No More Supersized Sugary Beverages Says NYC Mayor Bloomberg

Tigger, you are fired!

Have you ever heard the saying, “This is an ‘A’ and ‘B’ conversation you need to ‘C’ your way out of it?” I’ve never been to New York. I can’t even see it from my house. But I am beginning to wonder what the deal is between the Big Apple and sugary beverages.

First Governor Paterson tried to tax the sugary stuff, but that didn’t work out. Now Mayor Bloomberg, in the fight against obesity, has enacted a bill to limit sugary drinks to no more than 16 ounces.  The ban, if passed, would affect food venues in New York City that are letter graded by the Health Department, food carts or street vendors included.

According to the Mayor while the rest of us slackers sit on our collective fat behinds, hello North Carolina, he’s not going to just wring his hands over the growing obesity problem in the nation. If he has his way, by March 2013, he would’ve wrested the sugary stuff away, at least in part, fighting the good fight against the spreading epidemic. Here’s how the sugary beverage thing breaks down:

  • Allowed: 16 oz. or less soft drink w/sugar
  • Banned: 16+ oz. soft drink w/sugar
  • Allowed: Diet Soft drink or sweet shake (ANY SIZE) LOL – couldn’t resist
  • Allowed:  16 oz. or less bottled soft drink
  • Banned:  16+ oz. bottled soft drink
  • Allowed: 16 oz. or less coffee or tea (unsweetened)
  • Banned:  16+ oz. coffee or tea (sweetened)
  • Allowed:  ANY SIZE – Latte or Cappuccino (51% milk – sweetened or unsweetened) LMAO
  • Allowed:  ANY SIZE – Fruit Juice (at least 70% juice) ROLMAO
  • Allowed:  16 oz. or less Fruit drink w/sugar
  • Banned:  16+ oz. Fruit drink w/sugar

(Source: N.Y.C. Health Dept.)

Call me many things but don’t call me an instigator. But if I lived in NYC and the ban became law, I would:

  • Hightail it to the nearest grocery store and stock up on all the sugary beverages I could lay hands on. You could always sneak a couple of big bottles into movie theaters, ball parks, and restaurants. And far as street carts, you can always go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths of the 16 oz. or less size. Oh, you could do it for the others too.
  • Pig out on all the ANY SIZE ALLOWED stuff: the 70% fruit juices, 51% sweetened and unsweetened Lattes and Cappuccinos, and sweet shakes, then bombard Mayor Bloomberg with letters proclaiming all the weight you’ve lost.
  • Don’t forget to SUPERSIZE your meal and order fries with that shake. Again, however you wanna do it, inform the wise and wonderful mayor of your weight loss. Don’t forget to include photos of your new, svelte self.
  • Get as much unsweetened coffee or tea you want. If you’re at the drive-thru window, get packs and packs of sugar. It is a slight inconvenience but you can dump in as much sugar as you want and Mayor Bloomberg will be none the wiser.
  • Send the mayor your dental bill after the acid from all the diet sodas eat away at your teeth. (Try pouring soda, diet or regular, on a corroded car battery and watch the results.)

Those are just a few suggestions from  a North Carolina country bumpkin. Y’all big time New Yorkers will no doubt come up with other ways to circumvent the sticky situation should it become necessary. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping y’all in prayer. Believe me I know how hard it is to drink water. Anyway, ah, I’ll just see my way out of it now.

Pssst…Again, I’m not trying to get between you all and your mayor, who just wants what’s best for you after all, but let me know if deep down you think he should just jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

Less posing and more working.

BEWARE WORK-FROM-HOME MOM SCAM

My one remaining fan – he works so hard at it

Recently I received several emails directing me to a news site for someone calling themselves Amy Livingston. Because the emails were seemingly sent by people I knew, I clicked on the link and was introduced to Amy Livingston. After reading everything, including the comments, I couldn’t shake the gnawing suspicion something just wasn’t right.

Years ago I did an article on local scams. During the interview the lady at the Better Business Bureau(BBB) said, “If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.” With that in mind I googled, ‘Is Amy Livingston, work-from-home mom, a scam?’ According to several sources, this so-called Amy Livingston, like Satan,  goes by many different names. Somewhere there is a stock photo of a benign looking woman and child being used as an integral part of a work-from-home SCAM.

These scammers seem to be hacking into people’s email accounts and sending emails to their close contacts. The ones I received linked me to a news15 site. So far I’ve learned the so-called news story is just as bogus as Amy Livingston and the site. A couple of other non-news sites being used by these scammers are: News18today.com and News10reports. No telling how many people they’ve fleeced as the so-called work-at-home-mom lives in San Diego, Greensboro, Vienna, Ho Chi Minh, and just plug in a name why don’t you.

An even scarier aspect to this story is if your email account has been hacked or highjacked by these parasites you must be very careful of your passwords to important stuff like FINANCIAL AND RETAIL ACCOUNTS. If you forget your passwords to such accounts, you may want to open a new one and use a strong password. If your computer has already been  highjacked, your changed info could be going straight to the hackers’ account(s). These scammers are apparently very computer-savvy hell-bent upon parting you from your money by any means necessary. All I can tell you is if you feel your account has been violated act quickly and aggressively to purge your system of the offending violater.

STAY ALERT. If you receive an email linking you to Livingston or whatever pseudonym they are using, please BEWARE.  The thing that alerted me that work-from-home-mom could be a scam was that so-called Amy kept everything so close to the vest. It was obvious you would have to wander farther down that rabbit hole to learn what those ‘simple forms’ were she filled out that garnered her $15,000 – $17,000 a month. Aside from being vague as hell, it just sounded too good to be true.

This is just a brief post asking that you please beware and be a friend and alert your contacts to would-be scammers. Also, alert them when you think their email may have been hacked. Right now Internet scammers seem to be multiplying like cockroaches. And if  you’re looking for law enforcement to come galloping in on a white horse to save us, don’t. Like Wall Street bankers these guys are too complicated to be taken down. For now we consumers must arm ourselves with information and question everything.

Zoey’s gone. I’m so all alone.
I kind of miss that grr-rl

The Beautiful Walking Experience

There is nothing like walking. In a country where you have to pay for water, air, and even Helium, which they say is running out, walking is free. All you have to do is put on a pair of walking shoes and have at it. There is nothing more empowering than walking. Once you become accustomed to it you won’t drive around in circles at the shopping mall looking for that valet parking spot. Or blow a head gasket when that other driver dashes in and claims that parking space you were headed dead for. When you are a walker, you don’t sweat small stuff like that because like some people’s hair, you’ll roll up and park anywhere – lol.

No More Excuses About Bad Neighborhoods, Bad Dogs, Bad Traffic, Bad whatever

There are some places called parks and guess what? They are free, relatively speaking. Most of the parks here in Greensboro, NC are well-maintained.  Most dogs are on a leash and if you encounter folks doing the naughty, just avert your head. Granted, parks can be creepy at time, such as when your imagination is on heightened alert. Every shadow is a mass murderer, that jogger wearing the hoodie is definitely suspicious, and the snake that just slithered across your path is Satan incarnate or perhaps your wicked ex.  Just joking. If you just can’t go it alone, maybe you could find someone to pair up with. Be warned that some aren’t as dedicated to the cause. If you find that to be the case, don’t let it be a deterrent.  YOU just keep on keeping on.

In the meantime here are some recent photos I took while walking during an overcast day. If I could inspire you, it would mean the world to me – even more so if you are overweight, diabetic, and sedentary.  What can I say? I have Type II Diabetes and there’s a soft spot in my heart for others struggling with the disease.  In the meantime, keep the faith.

Starting point

Follow the graveled road

Ahhh…Such rustic charm

Fresh fish tonight

End point

 

Rewarding Yourself With Food Is No Reward and Here’s Why

A daily reminder to live life fearlessly

So,  this time you not only went on a diet. You changed your relationship with food altogether. It wasn’t easy but this time you did it for all the right reasons. You did it for you. You did it because that piece of double fudge chocolate thunder cake doesn’t taste nearly as good as rolling out of bed in the morning filled with vigor ready to take on the world.  And you’re not an idiot. You know you have your food choice and daily exercise to thank. You’ve been diligently at it for months even though Lord knows it got hard sometime. But, it is now a part of your life. Gone is your old sedentary existence and suicidal eating habits. Until… you listen to others who tell you it’s okay to go back to your old ways once a week a month or whatever. It’s called rewarding yourself. Rewarding yourself by eating what you want is no reward and here’s why.

These last fews days I’ve been hearing various sources say it’s okay to basically sabotage yourself. The last straw for me was Paula Deen. She was on The View. As a Type II Diabetic I paid rapt attention to what she had to say. She came out last year or so as a Type II Diabetic and caught a lot of grief for failure to disclose. Anyone who watches the food network knows Paula Deen’s cooking isn’t the healthiest. I’m not sure she’s changed her cooking ways but she divulged  she had lost thirty something pounds. No mention if it was all due to eating less of the bad stuff or combined with a hefty side dish of exercise.

As the interview progressed, someone wanted to know if Paula missed the old food. To which she responded by saying she still had a buttery biscuit or two. In other words she still rewarded herself by eating the bad stuff. Don’t buy into it and I’ll tell you why. If you’re overweight to the point it has damaged your health, partaking in a certain food or foods is akin  to that alcoholic taking that one drink or that drug addict doing that one line or popping that one pain pill. It’s a dangerous chance to take for a food addict. And if you’ve really been disciplined for months, why take the chance?

For months with proper diet and exercise, I’ve never felt better. Yet I foolishly took the advice of Paula Deen and some of the others and my body punished me for it. First of all I was running on empty when I went to WalMart. I spent about two hours in there. On my way to the cash register, I made the mistake of wandering too close to the cooked food. It had been a couple of months since I’d eaten anything fried, so looking at the fried ranch chicken wings I decided why the heck not. Got a half pound which amounted to about six wings. To even things out, I got a half pound of honey glazed wings or something like that.

The ranch wings I ate right away. They were as greasy and salty and flavorful as ever. To heck with my diabetes, right? Not to mention other than parking on the far side of Walmart and walking briskly to the building and continuing to do so once inside, I had not exercised in several days. To make matters worse, I rinsed it down with a Pepsi Next and followed up with a bowl of Funyuns or whatever. A couple of hours later I ate the honey glazed chicken wings. I followed those with a heaping bowl of spinach, kale, and romaine, all nicely mixed topped with a few walnuts. See, I partially redeemed myself.

Around 1:30 a.m. the chicken and other junk food woke me from a sound sleep. The pain in my gut was excruciating. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say, I ran in and out of the bathroom all night. Trust me in the morning I didn’t roll out of bed with vigor. My day was very unproductive. The feeling of tiredness reminded me food is meant to fuel the body. To give it what it needs to get you through the day. When it fails to do that, more than likely you’ve rewarded yourself with something you never needed and could have done without.

Do you think rewarding yourself with food help or hurt when it comes to walking the straight and narrow?

The daily reminders I keep on my bulletin board to live my best.

Goodbye Zoey

Tigger(left), the late Zoey(right)

Zoey’s gone.

She left this life with grace. She started her day giving as usual, rubbing against my legs and purring. She didn’t eat anything and went outside with her piglet tail high. After nibbling the grass she returned indoors and rubbed against my legs, and stared at me purring as I worked on the computer. Later she joined me on the chair as I took a breather. Literally starving to death but she’s going on as usual. Tigger on the other hand ain’t doing too hot. We got the bad news about Zoey Monday. Tuesday morning Tigger jumped off my bed and threw up. He threw up again and again. He didn’t eat the next day. Just laid around looking miserable. In the meantime Zoey was her usual peppy self.

D-day, Zoey’s date with the great sleep, Tigger won’t eat. Except for a small bit of ham and grass Zoey too is running on empty. She’s still alert and zipping around. Tigger on the other hand is scaring the hell out of me. We called their owner. She showed  up around 10:30. Tigger didn’t want to go into the carrier. He escaped and made his way to the water bowl on the floor. “See,” he seemed to say as he dipped his head toward the water, “I’m a-okay.” The ploy didn’t work and off he went. Of course Zoey had zoomed to her room. Once the coast cleared she made her way back out to me. I’d told Zoey’s owner how lively Zoey was. Selfishly I suggested that maybe the appointment could be postponed. There would be no reprieve. So, Tigger was taken away making all the ruckus in the world. Several hours later Zoey entered the door of the same vet clinic. Only one would exit alive.

We gathered in the small room with Zoey. While we stroked Zoey, who hadn’t meowed once, all the talk was of Tigger and how badly he’d behaved. The same vet who’d deemed Zoey fine two weeks ago told the owner Tigger was just being a drama queen. I mentioned his eyes didn’t look good. Then she said he showed elevated cells indicating he had a slight infection. As we watched, she squeezed poor Zoey’s belly while explaining why we needed to proceed. The mass was there, along with a fluid buildup. She would only get worse.

I’m normally not a violent person but I wanted to grab that little vet by her throat and squeeze. Why didn’t she feel the mass before? My face got hot as the crematory that would soon consume Zoey’s body. We’re all lucky it didn’t go kaboom and incinerate everyone in there. Blood sugar high I leaned against the wall accidentally turning on the fan switch. The stifling space filled with sound. The vet quickly turned it off. Then she whisked off with Zoey. She returned a few minutes later. Zoey’s suffering was over.

First thing she said was that Zoey had been extremely dehydrated which meant it probably took more than one try with the needle. After talking me out of being there with Zoey, saying it would be quick and painless, by her own admission it had been no such thing. Just as I envisioned my hands reaching for her throat she vanished. She returned with Tigger in a carrier. He was fussing loudly, probably calling us every name in the book. His owner let him out. The vet said he’d behaved badly.

He came straight to me and for the first time stopped meowing. I stroked his cheeks and teased him about being a baby cat. I had to leave so left him with Zeke and his owner. I called Zeke later and he brought me up to speed. Tigger was still in a foul mood but had eaten a little. Zoey’s owner called. She wanted to know if I wanted a paw print and to keep the urn. Zeke had videotaped Zoey earlier and I would forever keep her safe and sound in my heart but sure what the heck.

Goodbye Zoey girl. It was an honor and a pleasure having you in my life. Hoping you much happiness on your new journey.

Zoey Is Leaving

A grass blade for Zoey

Well folks, it’s time to say good-bye to Zoey. For those of you who don’t know, she’s a cat I’ve been fostering for going on three years. I won’t post any pictures of her in her present state. The vet gave my son and Zoey’s owner the news around 4:00. She has an inoperable mass. Like her daughter before her, the late Cloey, it has spread throughout her vital organs. I guess that explains her inability to keep food down. Not even grass at this point. For the last several days, I’ve been feeding her the little she eats out of my palm. Sara Lee honey ham I pulled into small pieces. Anyway, we will be saying goodbye to Zoey on Thursday, if she makes it that long.

She ran straight down to my room when she got home from the vet.  Yesterday she kept pawing at me and today she looked at me as though saying, ‘save me.’ I wish dammit I could cause she saved me long time ago. All the time I spent trying to keep her from hiding in the hole she made in the mattress. I guess if I’d kept my distance I wouldn’t have such mixed emotion now. But it was well worth it to have her trust. I’m the only one she doesn’t run from. To me that’s an honor.

I asked my son why they didn’t just get it over with. He thought I wanted to spend some more time with her. She purred and rubbed against my legs while he gave me the news. I reached down to rub her. She’s all fur and bones and quite frankly I don’t think she likes being rubbed right now. In typical Zoey fashion, she’s the giver of affection. She would groom that old Tigger for hours if he didn’t turn violent. Wonder what Mr. Big & Bad gonna do once there’s no Zoey to attack?

Anyway, we will all be there with her. I’m a little nervous because it’ll be my first time holding vigil with death. I’d let my first cat die alone. I was a teenager and nowhere as strong as I am now, partially thanks to the small gray cat. Last night I was thinking maybe she won’t make it until Thursday. Maybe she’ll go peacefully in her sleep. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve wondered if Zoey would come out the room in the morning. Even when she’d started to limp for no reason she’d still emerged. Ironically, back then the vet told us maybe she’d injured her leg because she was overweight. If only she had that signature appetite of hers now.

This morning she came out soon as my door opened. I let her outside. I imagine her having a bucket list. Going outside daily has a check mark now. She made her way around the yard nibbling on grass. After about an hour I let her back in. Bones wrapped in fur. Not only is she still walking around, but she still claws her way on top my bed, she still jumps on top the sofa. I tried to palm feed her more ham but she turned away. I gave her a spoon full of chicken pate and put some of the appetite stimulant they got from the vet with it. To my delight she lapped up the gravy and medicine.

I had errands to run. When I was done, I went on to the park and took the trails. I hadn’t walked in five days. God I missed it. The medicine apparently did the trick. Zoey ate. Vomit was in the hallway and her room. She threw up again today several times. Still she walked around, clawed her way on top my bed, and jumped on the chair to cuddle with me. Not only is she impossibly still alive but she’s not lethargic. Even Zoey must have a breaking point. Even if she can go on I can’t. It’s a greater kindness to say goodbye.

A grass blade for Zoey

Trying to palm-feed Zoey

The Movie Gladiator Should Be a Must-See For Parents

The movie Gladiator should be a must-see for parents. Not just because Russell Crowe kicked butt, okay that too, but because it could offer a lesson to parents like the ones at Wal-mart yesterday. There’s this little old lady at the deli. She’s got to be at least 80 years old but she looks good, snazzy in a matching denim jacket and skirt. She’s spunky and anxious to place her order. She has only a few items in her cart and she’s mumbling to them to step it up. When they finally got to her another woman arrived. She yells, “hey mom,” and spreads herself on the edge of a crate of cantaloupes. Immobile as a stump she conversated back and forth with mom.

Mom lamented she’d forgotten a couple of things. Daughter is right on talking about something. It’s obvious the crate and her are one and she not leaving to go get those couple of items mom hinted at. And mom’s hands full dealing with the lackluster women behind the deli counter. Two actually appeared ready to throw down. One had an accent, maybe island, maybe African. She seemed to be taunting the other. They had to be in their sixties but whined and rolled their eyes like kids. One got really worked up because mom changed the order after she’d just got done slicing up a pound of meat.

Finally mom’s meat all sliced up but what’s this? Daughter yelled, “Mom, get some pastrami.” Poor mom is wilting like a day-old flower right before my eyes but stepped back up to the counter, peered through the glass as though she was reading fine print and tried to spot some pastrami. “What kind,” she asked. I looked back at the daughter. Surely she could get off that heavy load long enough to point out the meat to mom. Ticked off I turned and glared. When I turned back mom mumbled, “These folk gonna throw me outta here in a minute.” I pointed out some pastrami. It was turkey. Mom pointed it out to the deli worker. “It’s turkey,” the lady announced, making sure mom knew what she was getting. “Turkey alright,” mom yelled across to daughter. Turkey would work yelled back daughter. So mom added turkey pastrami to the pile of coldcuts and vanished from view while I stepped up to place my order.

Now that daughter reminded me of the emperor’s son in Gladiator, when he arrived to the battle scene via coach he’d shared with his sister.

Son(Commadus): “Have I missed the battle?”

Father(Marcus Aurelius): “You have missed the war.”

Son is not only a slacker but off in the head as well. The emperor is well aware when he tells him, “Commadus, your faults as a son, are my failure as a father.” Much to his detriment the father then proceeded to tell the son his intention to empower the general. This move would have cut son out. If you watched the movie, you know what happened next. Commadus felt entitled by virtue of birth but he’d not once put his life on the line or done much of anything except lust after his own sister.

Not saying this lady deserved nothing and maybe that day she was just tired. But if that was how she generally behaved, if her mother passed and left her nothing or a lot less than what she expected, to me it would have served her right.

It’s been alleged Warren Buffet plans to leave most of his fortune to charity. Not because his children are slackers or inattentive to his needs, but rather because he feels he has supplied them with the necessary tools to carve out a comfortable living for themselves. Tori Spelling, Aaron Spelling’s daughter complained he’d only left her $800,000 of his half-billion-dollar estate. Leona Helmsley, the billionairess, allegedly left the buck of her fortune to her dog, Trouble and foundation for dogs while leaving  a couple of grandchildren zip, zero.

Like the emperor, Marcus Aurelius, parents shouldn’t just automatically leave stuff to their children. And by that same token, children shouldn’t go postal if you don’t get any cash or get passed over to run the family business or any number of things to which you feel entitled. Chances are there’s a reason.