A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Wall Street Journal: Patient takes charge

The Wall Street Journal has this compelling story about a man battling cancer, while at the same time battling doctors and his insurance company over bills. James Mannett, who lives out West in an RV, pores over everything on his bills; and has even bartered over the cost of procedures.
I admire his panache. Even as a relatively healthy 41-year-old, I hardly check medical bills and hardly question; but he was a dogged advocate--not only for his body but for his wallet.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Williams defeats Henin

Serena Williams won her fifth Australian Open title by defeating Justin Henin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Read Bloomberg News story here.
With the time difference, I've not been able to watch these matches live. "You could DVR it," one might say. But then, I'd need a DVR.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mental health day

Ironic that I'm blogging here (for our work Web site) but mostly I was out of pocket for a mental health day today. Even got a massage, which I didn't plan on, and the massage therapist was very interesting to talk to and of course her hands were magical. I'd been day-dreaming of a massage.
I'm almost as relaxed as our 25-pound feline next to me, but not quite.
It's raining out. The sound of it is soothing.
Saw a friend late this afternoon "in the streets" and when I said I was taking a mental-health day he said: "You ought to be ashamed of yourself!" I said, "No, actually I'm not."
Have a great weekend, Internet.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger of "Catcher in the Rye" dies at 91

J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose "The Catcher in the Rye" shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.
Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author's son said in a statement from Salinger's literary representative, which went out over the Associated Press. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.
Read a Time.com story here.
Here's a link to his short stories from the New Yorker.
I remember being assigned this book in high school and loved it immediately. The writing, the rebelliousness of Holden Caulfield (insane though he was) made for a very compelling read.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ask your doctor what Plungerhead Zinfandel can do for you

Always in the market for funny names on wine bottles, I stumbled on this just now.
Wonder what it takes like? Zinfandel or a plunger?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

10 swoon-worthy grilled cheese sandwiches

Check this out.
Love me some grilled cheese.
The ones on here that look most interesting are 1) the one with Gouda; and 2) the one with three cheeses.
Bon appetit.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dictonary.com: Tacky

2  /ˈtæki/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [tak-ee] Show IPA
–adjective, tack⋅i⋅er, tack⋅i⋅est.
1. not tasteful or fashionable; dowdy.
2. shabby in appearance; shoddy: a tacky, jerry-built housing development.
3. crass; cheaply vulgar; tasteless; crude.
4. gaudy; flashy; showy.

Somehow this word came up today and I posted it on Facebook. Here in the South, you can be lots of things but tacky isn't one of them. (We have our share of tacky people and behaviors, of course, but the ultimate put-down is to be tacky. Or so it seems to me.)
Share your vision of tacky. Whether real or imagined.
Mine? Some guy who walks around in a three-piece suit but eats his dinner with his hands. Or showing up REALLY late for a funeral. Or name-dropping, loudly.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

A Facebook friend posted this. It bears repeating.
"We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.
"Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external."
~ The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It Just Doesn't Matter

This is a great message, on so many levels.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eat, Pray, Marry

The sequel to "Eat, Pray Love" is out and some critics are panning it.
Haven't read it yet myself.
It's called "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage."
Here's a background story about Elizabeth Gilbert and the new book, from August.
Anyone read it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lance Armstrong: Yoga man

It's true. Lance Armstrong says here he's now practicing yoga.
Hard-core cyclists (or runners or walkers, tennis players, etc.) might scoff. "Yoga?"
You don't have to trust me on this when I say it's a workout and a half.
Check this out.
Meanwhile, ride on, Lance.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chan Gailey: To the Bills?

Reports have surfaced that Chan Gailey, former coach at Georgia Tech, is going to coach for the Buffalo Bills.
Read the AJC story here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

John Mackey: The bread and butter of Whole Foods

A great read from the recent New Yorker magazine.
John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods, is a complex fellow. Eccentric; prone to shooting from the hip; thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail; a Vegan who believes it'd be career suicide if he quit selling meat; a capitalist with a hippie bent; outspoken about outrageous compensation of most U.S. execs.
One of the most interesting factoids: A Whole Foods will come to your town/neighborhood is based on the number of college graduates within a 16-minute drive.
(More eccentricity: Not 15 or 20.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Red Cross in Haiti

MSNBC has this story about the urgency of the situation in Haiti.
And here's how to donate to the American Red Cross.
And there's this.
Some reports say to watch out for donation scams. You can check out the charity through Snopes.com or simply donate only to causes you trust.
Most things I read say that monetary donations are most needed now, as travel to the devastated country has been delayed or hampered.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The earthquake in Haiti

Hi, friends.
The usual trivial matters here seem, well, trivial compared to what happened in Haiti.
If you are so inclined, click here to see a list we have on L-E.com for avenues to give.
Experts say money is mainly needed now. Assessments will be made to determine what's next.
Prayers for the people of Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The thighs have it

Check this out, especially you peeps who have the same problem I do: big thighs/hips/butt.
Turns out, it's best not to carry your access "baggage" around your middle.
Don't know about you but my favorite exercise is cycling. That tends to build the area I have issues with; never one for jogging, which makes people leaner in the hips/thighs/butt.
But if you have this (advantageous) pear shape, what do you do to tone?

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is a shocker

This is a shock.
You know, people will wring their hands about role models and how McGuire failed little kids, blah blah blah, but MLB won't take a hit until the ticket stands take a hit.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Running with cold feet

Some friends are running in this event tomorrow. Sunday's predicted high at Disney? 52. I like how the race director says all discarded layers of clothing along the route will be donated to charity.
This morning, some other friends ran in a half-marathon in Columbus: Sarah, Ashley, Scott and Beth.
Really. Cold.
At 10 a.m., it was 22 degrees. (I know my peeps in Minnesota would practically wear bathing suits in that temperature.)
Anyway, bravo, y'all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

College football: Here's the underbelly of things

Here's the underbelly.

It's Alabama

As if you didn't know.
(Well, except for the non-sports fans.)
Click here to read the Sports Illustrated story.
True to form with late games, I went to bed at the half, when I sensed it was going 'Bama's way. (Truth be told, I'd have gone to bed anyway. And Michael always says: "Want me to wake you up and tell you what happened?") But kudos to Texas second-string QB Garrett Gilbert who stood in bravely for the injured Colt McCoy. He really turned things around after the half.
At the moment, our colleague Chuck Williams, who also covered the game, is on an airplane packed with other Bama fans, headed this way. All without sleep. Imagine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Detoxing debuked

Here's a Duke University nurse weighing in, so to speak, on the recent fad of cleanses.
The body knows how to regulate itself, if we let it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Take our nifty poll

Do you make New Year's resolutions?
Is it the new year already?
pollcode.com free polls

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Standing on one's feet for 43 hours

Imagine this.
After a 35-hour surgery on a Wisconsin man, Dr. Tomoaki Kato of New York went in for eight hours more (same patient).
The article raises a pertinent question: Is it worth it? (Not just the time and cost.) But will it significantly improve the patient's life and, more broadly, will it be a teaching tool for other surgeons? Time will tell.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

Some quotes to help us get started:

Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to.
~P.J. O'Rourke