Pasta, College Football, Music & Exercise, Conservation, Losing 10 Pounds, and Other Topics


I’ve been blogging more on my personal Facebook page lately, and have gotten a really good response.  I took some of those blogs and compiled them here, which I will do from time to time.  They are much shorter than the essays I normally write on the blog.  Enjoy

Tearing Down or Building Up?

I was thinking this morning as I was drinking my coffee and doing some reading……We all like to complain from time to time, but how often do we contribute to make things better? How much are we getting involved? How much are we trying to make our communities better? How much are we trying to create value in our jobs or businesses every day? How much do we set the small goals that lead to big things? How much are we encouraging people? How much are we doing the little things to make the situation better, every single day? This applies to so many things. 

Most people like to tear down, but few people want to put in the effort to see what could be, and to make it happen. 

It’s easy to tear down, and criticize, but it’s a lot harder to till the soil, plant the seeds, cultivate, nurture, fertilize, and produce something better for the future.
Are you tilling the soil? Or are you poisoning it?

College Football

​College football is more popular than ever because our cultural memory and traditions are so thin or non-existent. It is our last relic of a coherent and existent cultural experience, though even it has been affected by our culture’s decline and forgetting. We are people who have forgotten or never learned our past, and have no plans for the future. We’re strangers, living together, with little in the way of meaningful community. In a world without meaning, college football (and national politics) takes on a bigger and bigger significance to fill this void. When the game is over, the high wears off and we go back to the truth of this fact, but for a short time, the experience of something like college football fills this emptiness. 

Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

“Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be…” (proclamation by George Washington)

Some Quick Meals

​Here are some ideas for quick meals: Whole wheat wrap with turkey, spinach, avocado, tomato, and homemade sauerkraut add yogurt as dressing.

For breakfast, 3 free range eggs, spinach, glass of low sodium V8 (great source of lycopene, which prevents cancer). Add some whole grain toast for breakfast too if you want.

One key to eating healthy is to have healthy foods on hand with which you can make quick meals.

A Good Article

To understand culture and politics, and even health, in America, you have to have a solid grasp on metaphysics. What is that ? Metaphysics is a type of philosophy exploring the nature of concepts like being, existence and reality, things people rarely think about.

I quit reading the newspapers years ago, because normally the writers have an agenda and little more than a passing grasp of history, religion, science, and culture, and lack a coherent metaphysics. You’d be better off reading classic literature. FIRST THINGS magazine is the one periodical I read on a regular basis, and I have found it to be some of the best writing I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read it, check it out. Be patient because the articles aren’t easy reading. 

This insightful article reveals one of the hidden things of our times. What are we living through now, though this time period is now exhausted and is winding down, is a period of secular progressivism (characterized ironically by a utopian reading of history and a dangerous religious fervor), where the beliefs of our fathers and ancestors is being replaced by the gods of the self.  What will come next remains to be seen.  

​You may enjoy this FIRST THINGS article:

Our Secular Theodicy

Healthy Work at Christmas Time

As we move into Christmas here’s something to think about. How many of the products, food, and services you buy do you feel good about buying? Do you know who you buy from and can you look them in the eye? Do you have a personal connection to the people you buy from? Have the people who build the things you buy been treated well at work? Probably not if made in China.  It’s kind of ironic considering corporate America likes to lecture people about morality now.   I buy things made in China, like everyone else, but I try to buy less and less and I try to shop local and spend money local. When you go out to eat, if you eat at local restaurants, money stays local. If you eat at chains, profits go mostly to abstract investors in far away places. These abstract investors usually don’t care about your local community. Healthy Work is about doing work and buying from businesses you feel good about. Healthy Work is about using your mind and your hands to produce value in an ethical way. It’s about re-investing in local communities. It’s about producing an economic transaction that is healthy, good for you, the buyers and sellers, and the community.

One reason Chick Fil A, even though they are a very large corporation, is such an admirable company (for now) is that they are connected to Georgia, have a face to face connection, the Cathy family, and have remained a private family owned business. Some places I like to shop at in Chamblee are Zen Tea, Southbound, and the Antique shops and Furniture Consolidators. I also like to eat at all the ethnic restaurants on Buford Highway, and to go to the coffee shop in Southbound, called Mooonbird. Casey, the proprioter of Moonbird, may not have a ton in common with me as far as hobbies or interests, but we have a a lot in common when it comes to our coffee transactions. She produces a warm fresh cup of coffee, freshly brewed on her Italian espresso machine, and I drink it after chatting with her a few minutes. It’s delicious and I like her because she is making money engaging in Healthy Work. She puts a lot of love into that cup of coffee.

A lot of people might think that just because I’m pretty conservative overall that I might not have an appreciation for Karl Marx, the socialist philosopher and economist. I’ve read all of his work, and actually, he was dead wrong overall on the redistribution of wealth, but his critique of the downsides of the industrialization of labor was on the money. Industrialization, even though it was / is obviously good and it brought us a high standard of living, has the potential to be dehumanizing. The way around this is to stay connected to each other. Look people in the eye when you spend money, buy things from people you know and like, and live near you. Buy from people who are going to reinvest in your local community. 

If you like this essay, you might enjoy my book Healthy Work. It teaches you how to get more out of work and feel good about it. Now, you’ll have to excuse me because I’m off to have a local beer!

An Easy Way to Lose 10 Pounds

​10 Pounds is 3500 Calories times 10, So if you skip one meal every other day, that is 35,000 Calories in 140 days. Which means you can lose 10 pounds in 5 months just by skipping one meal or snack (500 calories) every other day.

Conservatism is Conservation

Environmentalists & Social Conservatives are both often dismissed as cranky quacks, “tree-huggers” and “bible-beaters”, by the mainstream but I’ve always felt a certain kinship to both groups. Maybe it’s the mainstream that’s wrong? It’s strange to me that they don’t often think of themselves as natural allies. I feel kinship in both groups because both want to conserve life, culture, and nature. It’s a shame these two groups don’t cooperate more, and make use of the one true uniting motive that could actually save the environment and the culture, primarily love of the land and the love of home. Environmentalists reject patriotism and nationalism in favor of globalism, socialism, and radical social liberalism, but globalism and socialism and radical social liberalism have been proven to be disastrous for the environment and the culture. Social conservatives love local people and culture and family, but often forget about the environment and become the tools of big corporate business interests. I would like to see these two groups come together more in a meaningful way. Civilization is a covenant of the dead, the living, and the unborn and without that covenant the world is imperiled. More on this in the future.

7 Pasta Tips

7 Pasta tips: 1) moderate the size of your portion, think about the size of a baseball 2) choose a whole grain pasta 3) cook pasta “al-dente” – firm to the bite, or about 7-8 minutes, which lowers the blood sugar response 4) go easy on the sauce and cheese, sprinkle cheese lightly and use less sauce and low sodium sauce or real tomatoes 5) throw steamed carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, cooked cauliflower and / or spinach in your sauce 6) sometimes skip the meat 7) use a minimal amount of oil 8) try veggie pasta to lower caloric intake
I love pasta, I just try to eat it in moderation. If you’re trying to lose weight and having a hard time, it would be helpful to take 3-4 months off from most non-fruit carbohydrate sources like bread and pasta. Otherwise enjoy in moderation and use these tips.
Music & Exercise

One unique way to approach exercise:
Follow me…..Once I had a guitar teacher who liked to smoke pot while he taught. He would occasionally go off on these long riffs and play for 15 min without stopping. I didn’t mind because I liked him and he was a jazz musician and like me a Grateful Dead fan. I never smoked pot with him, but I learned something about scales. Once you know scales you can improvise, have fun, and make something beautiful. You can even play off of band mates. A good workout can and often should be structured but you can also improvise like you would as a jazz musician- push, pull, rotate, stretch, flex, extend, run, jump, stabilize. These are your “scales” so to speak and you can hit every note of a great workout, and even feed off of training partners or coaches.
Once you hit every “note” the possibilities are endless!

3 ways to be healthier today:

1) Have goals but live in the moment. Be happy for what you have.
2) Breathe deeply and more often. This will lower your blood pressure and anxiety.
3) Simplify and downsize. Create a small space of order and beauty out of what might disordered. Example: clean your room.

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Read Next:  In Defense of Walls




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