Friday, January 30, 2009

I think I may have found pants I like, finally

Well, this is a good thing. I've been buying pants for DH at Haband, he likes the knit pants with elastic waist and drawstring and pockets. They actually carry them in several colors (black, navy, burgundy, heather gray, charcoal gray) and go up to a size 6X, and you can order inseams from short (28") to X-long (33" - 34"). Now, I don't like the idea of an elastic waist with a drawstring, but the drawstring can be removed.
So I was looking at the pants and trying to decide if I wanted to order some for me. DH told me to go for it, but to order a size bigger than I would normally wear because they shrink when washed and dried. So I ordered 3 pair for me and 3 more pair for him (he already has 3 pair we ordered a while back). All 6 pair only cost $61, with shipping and handling. They came in the mail today, and I tried a pair on, and after washing and drying, they are going to fit me awesomely, and I love the way they feel (they're 100% cotton). They aren't a really heavy pant, so will work for summer wear (and if it's too cold in the winter, I can always wear my leggings underneath for added warmth). I think I'm going to have to say to hell with looking for the pants I want at LB or WW, and go with the ones from Haband. I got black, charcoal, and burgundy, and will go back later on and get the other colors they have so I will have a variety to go with my tops. Now I can go through my closet and throw out the knit pants I've been wearing that have the tiny holes in them from being worn and washed so often over the last 5 or 6 years (and other small holes from where our dryer was eating them, got that fixed so no more eating clothes for it).
Haband does carry clothing for women, but their pant sizes stop just short of fitting me (and they don't carry talls for women). Most of their pant sizes stop at a 42" inch waist (their size chart says they go up to a 46/48" waist, but I haven't found any that do). They only carry petite and average lengths, with no inseams listed for those. Their prices seem to be pretty good for the women's pants, slightly higher than the men's pants I ordered, but not outrageously so, comparable to Lane Bryant Woman Catalog and Woman Within pricing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wynonna shilling for Alli

Ok, I have to admit, I don't watch television during the day unless DH is home (he's the TV addict). So, he had today off and was watching TV, and one of the commercials was Wynonna, talking about how she's taking Alli, and doing it for her kids, and how she wouldn't recommend anything that isn't safe (and says how Alli is FDA-approved).
Now, I'm not much on country music, but I have seen Wynonna when she was thinner, and I've seen her when she wasn't thin. Either way, she's a talented woman, and I think she's gorgeous at whatever size she happens to be. For her to be taking Alli (with its "wonderful" side effects) just makes me so sad for her, and for all the women who will follow her example because she's a star. That kind of pressure to be thin has to cost so much in makes me wonder how a woman who knows she has talent and is good at what she does can believe she's not worthy of her fame just because she isn't stick-thin. Or does that pressure make her think the fame she got when she wasn't thin was just a fluke, and in order to keep that fame, and keep working, she has to get thin?
I don't understand it, because I never thought I was worthless because I was fat, I thought I was worthless because nothing I ever did was good enough for certain people in my life, everything I did could always have been done better if I had just worked a little harder, no matter how hard I worked. My diets weren't ever to improve my looks, I never thought I was cute, or pretty, or good-looking, so losing weight wouldn't have made me any better-looking, at least, not in my eyes. My diets were always for my "health" because doctors were just sure that I was either going to die any minute or I was going to end up with diabetes or some other debilitating disease, and they pushed the fact that losing weight would prevent any of that happening to me. So to try and lose weight to become better looking (or more acceptable in others' eyes) just is not comprehensible to me. I guess I was pretty lucky when I was working too, in that my weight was never an issue at any of the jobs I ever had. Never prevented me from getting a job I wanted, never prevented me from doing that job to the best of my ability, and didn't matter much to most of my co-workers (at least, if it did matter, none of them had the balls to say anything to me about it).
I am getting so fed up with the entertainment industry and their unattainable, unrealistic ideal for how women should look in order to be able to work. If a person has talent, they should be allowed to use that talent, and shouldn't be pressured to meet model-thin standards. I like diversity when I'm watching a movie or listening to music (if I didn't like diversity, I wouldn't listen to Jimmy Buffett and Metallica and Brule' and Blackmore's Night and Johnny Cash). So to deny diversity of talent and body shape/size in entertainment seems short-sighted to me. After all, if you look at the world around us, there is a huge amount of variety in sizes and shapes and colors, and that should be reflected in the movies we watch and the music we listen to and the books we read. I'm really sorry that that isn't the case, and I'm sorry that Wynonna has bought whatever bullshit her doctor spouted to get her to take Alli (how on earth do you perform on stage if you're taking a drug that can make you unexpectedly shit yourself?).

Monday, January 26, 2009

chicken noodle recipe - new to me

Ok, I've been looking for more ways to fix the groceries we buy (I get stuck in a rut sometimes, mainly because it's easier to cook the same old things all the time, and I hate to cook). So last night, I had set some boneless, skinless chicken thighs out to thaw, and had some broccoli cuts (Bird's Eye Steamers) in the freezer that weren't that great steamed (lots of stem chunks, not a lot of florets). I also had a bag of kluski noodles (man, I love those). So, I boiled the thighs in salted water, and while they were boiling, I cut up the broccoli florets and used my food chopper to mince the broccoli stem chunks (worked like a dream). When the thighs were done, I took them out of the broth to cool, put the 12 oz bag of noodles in to cook, and tossed in the cut up/minced broccoli. When the noodles/broccoli were done, I added a can of cream of chicken soup (I drained off some of the water so the result wouldn't be too soupy), tossed in the chicken I had diced, added onion and garlic powder to our taste, and let it heat through. Turned out rather well, I thought (and DH liked it too). There was enough that we had dinner, there were leftovers for his lunch today, and leftovers for my lunch today and tomorrow. Total cost for the whole thing was less than $8 for 5 servings (and there was plenty of chicken, the 2 packages of thighs I used were on sale, buy one get one free, love meat sales like that).
I think I might try this same dish but substituting a small roast for the chicken, using beef broth and cream of mushroom soup with the broccoli and noodles. Damn, that sounds good, maybe dinner tomorrow night..............

Sunday, January 25, 2009

NuValT - coming to a store near you?

NuValT is a new scoring system to rate foods on a scale of 1 to 100 using a specially created algorithm. By rating foods according to nutrients with "favorable" effects on health (Fiber, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, Total bioflavanoids, Total carotenoids, Magnesium, and Iron), ingredients with "unfavorable" effects on health (Saturated fat, Trans fat, Sodium, Sugar, and Cholesterol), and Protein quality, Fat quality, Glycemic load, and Energy density, which can be considered as either positive or negative factors. Who decided (and how did they reach those conclusions) that certain things are beneficial and others are not? What we "know" about food and its effects is changing all the time, what is bad for you one day may be considered good for you in a year or two or three, so how can anything be said, definitively, to be "good" or "bad"?
This scoring system is owned by Griffin Hospital in partnership with Topco LLC (website here), is overseen by the Scientific Advisory Board. The people who created this algorithm are David L. Katz, MD, MPH, ONQI Chair (see here, here); Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD; Leonard Epstein, MD (Inventor of the Traffic Light Diet); David Jenkins, MD, PhD (inventor of the glycemic index); Francine Kaufman, MD; Robert Kushner, MD; Ronald Prior, PhD; Rebecca Reeves, PhD, RD; Barbara Rolls, PhD (Author of Volumetrics); Sachiko St. Jeor, PhD, RD; and Walter Willett, MD, DrPH (mentioned here, here, here, and here).
I have a problem with any system for scoring foods in order to prevent disease (which is what this system supposedly does). This system is basically a reworking of the stoplight scoring system for foods, just taking it a few steps further (not necessarily an improvement). I do think that doctors need to be better educated about nutrition and food, and how bodies process food. But this scoring system isn't going to do that. It assumes that each food will have the same effect, to the same degree, on each and every person who eats that food, which is very much not the case. It doesn't take into account how carbs affect people with diabetes (and not everyone who has diabetes is affected in the same way by each and every food that has carbs), or how any other food-related disease is affected by certain foods (and that not every patient will react in exactly the same way to certain foods). They are trying to make this a one-size-fits-all equation, and our bodies just don't allow that, there are too many variables that cannot be controlled for, or even known about, to be taken into consideration.
From the NuValT website -
Price Chopper: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Price Chopper grocery chain has rolled out NuVal™ Scores in all of its 116 stores throughout New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Hy-Vee: West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee is now featuring NuVal™ Scores in its 225-plus retail stores across seven Midwestern states.

And there are many more chains, stores, and categories to come as we aggressively rollout in stores across the U.S. throughout 2009 and 2010.

I'm thinking that this is just another way to push a "lifestyle change" (WL diet) on fat people, and will be used by doctors/insurance companies to rate how we eat and score us accordingly in order to decide if we deserve insurance coverage or treatment (add this to the electronic medical records bullshit they're trying to push and I would say we are well and truly fucked).
I also have a big problem with these people thinking that changing the way we eat or what we eat is going to prevent disease. If you have risk factors (genetics, anyone?) for a disease, that doesn't necessarily mean you will get that disease. Nor does changing how you eat mean you won't get that disease. I don't think anyone has been able to prove that what you eat will prevent heart attacks, strokes, or cancer, not to mention any of the many other diseases to which humans fall prey.
So, check out the website and the science, and see what y'all think.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where you won't shop in 2009

This makes it look like Lane Bryant may be among one of the many businesses that fail this year.
More pain is on the way. One-third of U.S. women recently surveyed by America's Research Group said they plan no clothing purchases--none--in 2009. Normally, it's just 4%. That means the market is still far too saturated with stores.
Expect closings and bankruptcies to rattle the likes of Lane Bryant, Gap, and Starbucks. It's the inevitable counterpunch to the days of retailers fighting hand over fist for market share during an era of loose credit and minuscule interest rates.

I don't know why they seem to think the market is too saturated with stores for fat women, I sure haven't seen an over-abundance of them, has anyone else? If Lane Bryant isn't getting a big enough market share from fat women, could it be that they aren't selling the clothes fat women want to wear? Could it possibly be that Lane Bryant made a big mistake by not using fat models/mannequins to showcase their clothing? Or maybe it was the decision to change details on classic items that women buy all the time (like removing pockets from their knit pants), or using cheap-ass fabric, stinky fabric, and cutting back on the variety they offer.
Retailers at risk in 2009, he thinks, include outerwear specialist Eddie Bauer and teen-apparel-seller Pacific Sunwear, along with Zales, the big jewelry chain. All three shuttered at least 8% of their U.S. stores last year, with many more closings expected. The same is largely true of Charming Shoppes, the owner of Lane Bryant, which closed 150 stores last year. With a mountain of debt and losses totaling over $260 million over the most recent 12-month reporting period, the company will close another 100 locations this year.

Ok, now is it just going to be Lane Bryant stores that close, or will it also be Catherine's and Fashion Bug locations also? I've shopped all 3 stores, when I lived within driving distance (and 120 miles is not driving distance, not for me, not just to shop for clothes).
Fat women have a hard enough time finding clothing to fit (especially that is affordable), and with these stores closing, it's going to be even more difficult. Ann Taylor is another one on the list, they're doing better than LB, but have let people go, and aren't planning on opening the 85 stores they had in the works before the economy tanked.
Sears-KMart may not make it through the year either. Now, KMart, I could give a rat's ass if they survive (other than I hate to see their employees without jobs). I haven't shopped there in years, mainly because their women's clothing sizes are so limited if you wear anything over a size 16 (and their service sucks, or it did the last time I shopped there). Sears, well, I don't shop there either, unless it's for tools (Craftsman has a kick-ass guarantee), but most places that sell tools nowadays have a similar guarantee.
I think things are going to get a hell of a lot worse before they start to get better, so I may just start hitting the fabric sales and stocking up on fabric to make clothes to replace the ones that wear out. This kind of situation makes me damned glad I know how to sew and own a sewing machine.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My living forward


Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her,

"I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine & fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

She got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my wine.

She's such a bitch.....

Good thing spending time on my computer isn't vegetative for me. I'm either laughing at something I've read or cursing at something I've read or a game that isn't going my way. Nothing vegetative about that.

Chronic pain, fat, and age

Ok, I have to admit, I've never accessed MedlinePlus before, but FatChic had a link that caught my eye. Now I know why I don't access MedlinePlus for health information. They have their heads up their asses, via this article about "Obese elderly at high risk for chronic pain."
Chronic pain, defined as pain that persists for three months or longer, is known to be common among older people, Dr. Richard B. Lipton and colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, note. Obesity is becoming increasingly prevalent among US seniors, they add, so studying the relationship between excess weight and chronic pain among older people -- as well as the role of conditions that might influence both pain and obesity, such as mental health problems, should be studied.

We know where this is going, right? If you have chronic pain, it's because you're fat and all that fat is putting too much pressure on joints and the rest of your body. If you just got rid of all the fat, you'd also get rid of the pain. Why do I think that's where this study is going? Isn't that where most of these studies go?
To that end, Lipton and his team looked at 840 men and women participating in the Einstein Aging Study, an ongoing investigation of people 70 and older living in the Bronx.
Overall, 52 percent had some type of chronic pain, including 40 percent of men and 59 percent of women. People with chronic pain were at double the risk of having symptoms of depression or anxiety compared to those who were pain-free. Chronic pain was twice as common among obese people as normal-weight individuals, and four times more common among the severely obese.
Obese people were more likely to have pain in virtually every part of the body than were normal-weight people, including the head, neck, or shoulder; back, legs or feet; or abdomen or pelvis.

Ok, for one thing, 840 people over the age of 70 is not a large enough group to be able to come to any serious conclusions about anything.
For another thing, trying to figure out which came first, the chronic pain or the obesity, should have been their first priority. Could it possibly be that the chronic pain made it more difficult or impossible to have any kind of active lifestyle, and that may have contributed to weight gain? Did they select people who had been fat all their lives and developed chronic pain in their later years? Want to bet they didn't even look for that factor? Did they bother to find out what kind of work those people did before retirement, since the type of work you do for a lifetime can contribute to chronic pain? Probably not, not relevant if all you're looking to prove is that being fat causes chronic pain.
Obesity could contribute to chronic pain by adding stress to the joints, Lipton and his colleagues say. In addition, obesity promotes inflammation, which could be a contributing factor.
More research is needed, they conclude, to understand whether obesity plays a causal role in chronic pain, and if so what mechanisms might be involved.

Didn't I say that they think fat causes chronic pain? More research is needed, my ass. Only if that research is unbiased and impartial and takes into consideration all the factors that can contribute to chronic pain, not just fat.
Just off the top of my head, some factors contributing to chronic pain can be diseases (fibromyalgia, anyone?), type of work performed in one's working years, injuries sustained (work, sports, exercise, recreational, etc), and depression. I'm sure there are other things related to chronic pain, but to say that any one of them is more causal than any other one is going to take one hell of a study (and I don't think that kind of study can be designed without bias and prejudice thrown in there). I also don't think they'll be able to find enough people over 70 willing to participate in a study like that (and data dredges don't mean shit as far as proving anything about anything).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Fluff: Winter in any cold state


It's winter in Illinois
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At twenty-five below.

Oh, how I love Illinois
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Illinois
I'm frozen to the ground!

My aunt in Illinois sent me this, but I can tell you, it applies to Minnesota too (or any other state that has had zero and below temperatures this winter).

Friday, January 16, 2009

A couple of minor rants

Rant #1
Had some grocery shopping to do today, so went to our local Super Wal-Mart. Now I've complained about them before (poorly stocked, cramming flimsy bags so full you end up with groceries all over the driveway), but today, well today took the cake. I went in at 1:30 p.m. and what are the employees doing? Taking all the stock out of all the refrigerator cases and cleaning those cases. Now, I know this has to be done periodically, and I agree that it needs to be done. But not on fucking Friday afternoon when a lot of people are doing their weekly shopping. I needed butter and margarine (I found the butter in one of those long freezer cases) but no margarine (also no cottage cheese or sour cream). I was told to come back in 20 minutes, they should be done by then and everything would be put back where it belonged. Yeah, right. I did the rest of my shopping, browsed clothes and books, and one hour later, they were still pissing around (and I say that because no one was cleaning or stocking or anywhere in sight).
Why the hell couldn't they have done it after midnight, when hardly anyone is shopping? I realize they don't have a lot of staff working nights (try finding someone to check you out if you go in there at 3 a.m., hell, if you go in after 5 p.m. any night of the week, you'll be lucky if you find 2 checkouts manned, let alone anyone to help you find something that has been moved for the umpteenth time). But they don't know how to ask dayshift employees to volunteer to do this late at night? Or is it because Wal-Mart is too fucking cheap to pay overtime or extra incentives to get people to do extra work outside of their regular hours? Maybe I'm just getting crotchety in my old age, but that just totally pissed me off. I went across the street to our local Coborn's and bought the items there that I couldn't get at WM because they were so busy cleaning the refrigerator cases. I paid more for them than I would have at WM, but it was still less than the gas it would have taken me to make another trip later on.
Rant #2
I ordered this bra from Woman Within. I thought I had finally found a pretty bra that would fit my rack of doom. Boy, was I ever wrong. It's pretty all right, but the lace is so flimsy it wouldn't support a D-cup, let alone support a G-cup. And the fabric on the sides and back might last through 3 wearings and one or two washings, but I wouldn't bet on it.
What is it with bra manufacturers? Do they not realize that bigger tits are not only just bigger, they're also heavier? Just because a bra supports smaller tits doesn't mean it's going to support bigger ones if you just make the bra bigger. You have to use firmer, better quality fabrics (and flimsy stretch lace is NOT supportive, neither is that sheer stretch mesh you use for the sides/back). I bitch about having to pay $35 for a bra, but the ones I usually pay that much for last me a couple of years, if I buy 3 of them and alternate wearing them. The bra I linked to, I'd have to buy 7 of them so I could wear a different one every day of the week, and I'd still be lucky if they lasted 6 months, let alone a couple of years (and no, I don't ever dry them in the dryer, I wash them on the gentle cycle in the washer with the hooks done up so they don't catch on anything). So I guess I'll go back to buying/wearing my industrial, plain bras that do support the rack o'doom and give up on finding something sexy in my size (52H/54G in sexy and supportive does not exist, my friends, it just does not exist, at least not for the amount of money I can afford to spend).
Other than that, life is good. Colder than a welldigger's ass in January (33 below zero at 1 a.m. this morning when I finally went to bed). I will be glad when winter is over (I'm tired of shoveling the path in front of the door and DH is tired of snow-blowing the driveway and driving home from work in snowstorms). We have 18" of snow in the yard, and it's piled almost 3 feet deep around the driveway from where the snowblower has thrown it all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PETA - Fish are sea kittens, don't eat kittens!

Fish are now "sea kittens" according to PETA's latest ploy to get people to stop eating meat of any kind.
"PETA thought that by renaming fish sea kittens, compassionate people who would never dream of hurting a dog or a cat might extend that sympathy to fish, or sea kittens," PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Byrne says.

Well, I'm used to having dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, gold fish, goats, donkeys, geese, ducks, rabbits, and chickens as pets (I've had them all at one time or another). About the only ones of those I wouldn't eat are dogs, cats, gold fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, and donkeys. This is not to say that other cultures don't eat any of those animals, and it's not my place to judge if they are right or wrong in what animals they choose to eat (or not, as the case may be). I'm just saying that I wouldn't eat the ones I listed.
"Fish not only have the same ability to feel pain as a dog or a cat, but they also communicate with one another," she says. "They have complex social interactions; they form bonds; they express affection by gently rubbing against one another."

Fish also eat their young and the young of other fish species, it's part of being in the food chain. And Ms Byrne, have you ever been in the mind of a fish? How do you know what they're expressing? Have you bothered to set up a large enough environment so you could actually study interactions between fish? Do you even know what the hell you're talking about, or are you just making shit up to make people feel bad about their food choices? What's next? Telling us that plants have feelings too so we shouldn't be eating them either, we should all just starve to death and let the plants and animals take over the earth? I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not that altruistic, and I don't think you are either.
"Most parents would never dream of spending a weekend torturing kittens for fun with their families, but hooking a sea kitten through the mouth and dragging her through the water is the same as hooking a kitten through the mouth and dragging her behind your car," Byrne says.

I don't know what statistics you're looking at, but I don't think implying that most parents advocate torturing fish by taking their children fishing is anywhere close to being true. If you looked at the numbers of people in the United States who fish and compare that with the numbers of people who don't, it's not going to come up to anywhere close to being able to say most of 3 billion people fish.
"I don't understand how it makes sense," says fisheries observer Mary Powers, who works on fishing boats to collect data on the catches. She thinks the campaign, which encourages people to petition the Fish and Wildlife Service to stop the hunting of sea kittens, is misguided. "It seems like it's discouraging Americans to buy our product, which I think is unpatriotic."

It doesn't make sense, but then, not much that PETA does makes sense. It doesn't have to, all it has to do is get them publicity and donations so they can keep on making ridiculous claims and getting more publicity and more donations (talk about a vicious circle).
But Byrne says that even if people lose jobs in the fishing industry through the success of the campaign, they could find work in more sea-kitten-friendly environments.
"So as there is less of a demand for foods like fish, there is more of a demand for other foods, and jobs open up in those industries," Byrne says.

What other food-related industries are you talking about, Ms Byrne? Has to be all those processed foods (no meat, no milk, no eggs) that you think everyone should be eating, along with fruits and veggies, because I know you're not talking about being able to work on farms that raise meat animals for slaughter, nor are you talking about working in the packing plants where those animals are killed and processed. All the people that you want to put out of work by getting everyone to quit eating any kind of animal product probably will not be able to find jobs anywhere else (especially in the economy we have right now). But you don't care about that, people don't matter to you, their livelihoods don't matter to you. All that matters to you is that you get to spread your fanaticism to the rest of the world. You have a problem there, though, not everyone is buying your particular brand of bullshit.
All of this is not to say that I think vegetarians/vegans are wrong for not eating meat/animal products. It's their choice, and I respect them for that, and I'm not going to push my food preferences on them. I would hope that most of them feel the same way about my food preferences. I think everyone should be free to make whatever choices they want about the food they put in their bodies, and not be made to feel guilty about those choices.

Question for readers and bloggers on my blogroll

Ok, folks, I have a question for y'all. I have this venomous troll who knows almost every time I make a comment on another blog. It has been harassing me when I post on my blog, and sometimes when I comment on another blog. I think the troll is escalating its harassment and commenting on other blogs when I comment (by saying I shouldn't be allowed to comment or some such drivel). It has been telling me for the past 5 months that I have no right to blog, comment, eat, drive, or do pretty much anything else until I lose weight (and this goes along with the usual fat-phobic vitriol-spewing that we all know and love). That troll is one of the reasons I changed my comment policy to one where commenters had to register, and I have to approve all comments (I'm not about to give the trolls the attention they seem to crave by publishing those comments, troll comments are automatically deleted).
But now it seems to be making its vitriolic comments on other blogs when I comment, which to me, is unacceptable. I don't care that trolls think they can harass me, I don't know them, will never know them, so I don't give a rat's ass about their opinion of me. But when that harassment extends to bloggers I read and admire, it pisses me right the fuck off. I know we all deal with trolls, that's a given when you blog, and I can deal with that (I think most of us can, or we wouldn't be blogging), but I don't think anyone should have to deal with a troll just because they read a certain blog, or a certain individual reads their blog or comments on their blog. That's going too far. If I could figure out how to find out who that particular troll is, it would be reported to its ISP so fast its head would spin. That's cyber-stalking, in my book, and I'm not down with that, at all, ever.
So, my question to y'all is this: Do I delete my blogroll to save y'all the harassment of the troll? I haven't updated my blogroll in quite a while, and this is part of the reason. I really don't want to inflict this asshole on anyone else. I'm subscribed to all the blogs I read (and I think that list is up around 175 or so now, not all of them are fat acceptance, some are political, some are feminist, some are liberal, some are conservative).

ETA - The blogroll stays, hopefully this post will serve as a warning to the troll that its harassment will not be tolerated by anyone (not that that has ever stopped a troll from doing its thing).

ETA: The troll IP is, for any FA/SA blogger who wants to block it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Medicare and existing insurance rant

Damn, because I'm drawing disability (arthritis and back problems), I'm now eligible for Medicare. And because I have insurance through TriCare (DH is retired from the Navy, 20 years and 20 days), I don't have a choice about enrolling for Part B if I want to keep my TriCare coverage. Which means Medicare is going to take almost $100 a month out of my SSDI. So now my doctor will bill Medicare, and what Medicare doesn't pay, TriCare will pay (I wonder if I'll still have to reach TriCare's deductible and then take care of co-pays?). And this is going to cost me $1200 a year, for two federal government agencies to pay for medical care I very seldom use. Thank you very much, government assholes. It's not bad enough that I'm paying around $300 a year for my medical care, now the federal government wants to add $1200 to that annual sum, and I probably won't use it any more than I do now. Well......then again, maybe I will. Maybe I'll go in every 4 months for cortisone shots when my arthritis gets really bad, instead of once a year and dealing with the pain the rest of the time. Maybe I'll push my doctor for a referral to a specialist to treat my fibromyalgia instead of pushing past the pain and fatigue all the time. Maybe this is my opportunity to try for a less pain-filled life (and let me tell you, the amount of pain I deal with on a daily basis would have most people refusing to get out of bed, let alone get out of bed and cook/clean/do laundry/do dishes/take care of pets/grocery shop/etc/etc).
Maybe this is the push I need to get off my ass and do something about the pain I've been living with for the last 20 years. At least I don't have to worry whether my doctor will dump me because I'm now on Medicare (I called the clinic to check, I've seen the horror stories of people on Medicare being dropped by their doctors because Medicare reimbursements are so low, and the difficulty they have finding another PCP). They have other patients who are on Medicare/TriCare, so I'm safe, as far as that goes (for now, anyway).

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Kitteh Fluff

DH's kittehs. The one on top of the kennel is Boots (aka Slick) and the one in the kennel is Scruffy (aka Fat Cat or Puker, depending). It's unusual for Fat Cat to go in the kennel, he usually sleeps under one of the computer desks or in one of the recliners. Slick is the one who sleeps in (or on) the kennel most of the time.
DH was snowblowing the driveway the other day, and we had the front door open while he was doing it so I could hear if he needed my help with anything. The glass on the storm door was all frosted over and I happened to look over and see Slick licking the frost off the glass (this is the same cat who will drink lemonade or diet Coke out of a glass if he has half a chance).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

luccy: What part of "No Diet Talk/NoWLS" do you not understand?

Okay, I have this spammer/troll who likes to comment on certain posts of mine with an advertisement for a weight loss website. She/he/it seems to think that I'm going to post its comment advocating diet/exercise/drugs for weight loss. This is in spite of the anti-diet anti-WLS No Diet talk Fat Acceptance Blog banner on the sidebar.
What part of Fat Acceptance, No Diet Talk, Anti-diet, Anti-weight loss do you moronic spammers not understand? Can you not read and understand what you've read? Or is it that 2 seconds after you've read something, you've forgotten it? Reading comprehension skillz, you don't haz dem.
I've dieted, I've tried the so-called diet drugs, I've tried WLS. None of it worked for permanent weight loss, EVER. If you bothered to read anything I've written, you would know how I feel about all 3 of those topics and you wouldn't waste your time (and mine) asking me to point my readers to sites that advocate that foolishness. You are evidently a lot more stupid than you obviously think I am if you think I'm going to advance your agenda of shilling shit that doesn't work just so you can get money out of fat peoples' pockets.
So, luccy, whoever the fuck you are, you can quit spamming me because none of your comments will ever see the light of day on my blog. It's a waste of your time and internet bandwidth to keep trying.
Oh, and just FYI, "the shackles of obesity" are not binding me, however, "the shackles of ignorance" are binding you quite tightly.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not funny at all, NYT editorial cartoon

This is not funny, not in any way, shape, or form. Do I have to list the ways it's not funny?
Calling names is not funny. Suggesting the Army is so desperate for warm bodies that they will now accept the formerly unacceptable is not funny. Suggesting that recruiters lie to potential recruits is not funny (mainly because it's too true in a lot of cases, sadly enough). Some jokes about fat can be funny, but not when they're mean, and the jokes contained in this cartoon are mean. It's not satire, it's not funny, it's mean. Danziger should be ashamed for creating it, and the NYT should be ashamed for printing it (yeah, like that's ever gonna happen). Fuckwits.

ETA: H/T to Annie McPhee for sending this cartoon to me (you know me so well, friend) :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

US Army relaxes weight requirements

Ummm, I hate to tell the Army this but this just is not a good idea. Relaxing weight requirements to get bodies enlisted and then telling them they have a year to meet the stricter weight requirements to stay enlisted is setting people up for failure.
The recently-introduced waiver program allows enlistees who don't qualify for the military because of their weight a chance to shape up after joining. So far, the program has helped the Army make its recruiting goals in what remains a tight recruiting market.

Yeah, this is really going to work. Make those recruits exercise more and eat less. They might meet those regular standards, for a while. What happens when that weight loss can't be sustained? You're going to tell them to repeat the diet and exercise, they might lose the weight again, and how much harm are they doing to their health while trying to meet an arbitrary standard (BullshitMI), repeatedly? Is that really what you want? How about setting standards for what they are supposed to be able to do, and not bringing weight into it at all? Can they carry that field pack of 90 lbs of gear, wearing a 30 lb flak jacket and march however far they're going to have march in the field? If they can do that on field rations, then what does it matter if they're 5, or 10, or 15 lbs heavier than the BullshitMI chart says they should be?
The Army's weight waiver program rests largely on a distinction between individuals who are overweight or obese and those who are physically fit but whose "body mass index," or BMI, doesn't meet Army standards.
"The point is to get the football-player kinda kids. It's not to get the couch-potato kids," says Beth Asch, a senior economist at the Rand Corporation who studies military recruiting.

Ummmm, I hate to tell ya this, miss senior economist (which has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with nutrition or health), not all couch potato kids are fat. Some of them are thin, some are fat, some are in-between. Not all football-player kinda kids are in optimal shape either (neither are they all in bad health, but you can't tell a kid's health just by looking at them).
Excess weight is the chief reason many individuals can't enlist.
It's no secret that today's youths gobble up french fries and suck down Big Gulps. At the same time, fewer are getting exercise. The percentage of young adults considered obese – with a BMI greater than 30 – has grown sharply in recently years.

There is just so much wrong with the above statement. So many mythperceptions that these supposedly intelligent people should know better than to believe (but I keep forgetting that "government intelligence" is an oxymoron). Fat kids don't eat any more or any differently than thin kids (given the same socio-economic standards). Fast food isn't why people are fatter nowadays, it's because some moron decided it would be a good idea to lower the BullshitMI standards 10 years ago. If the standards hadn't been lowered, maybe the Army wouldn't be in the shape it's in now (pun fully intended) since those recruits who are 5 - 20 lbs "overweight" now wouldn't have been 10 years ago.
And excuse me, kids are getting the same amount of exercise now that they have been for the last, oh, 50 years or so. That hasn't changed. What has changed is that kids are getting taller, and taller kids weigh more than shorter kids (that should be common sense, for crying out loud).
"We know that is even going to increase because the [Centers for Disease Control] says the numbers are going to go up," says the Pentagon's Mr. Gilroy.

Mr Gilroy, if you believe everything the CDC has to say about the weight of our population and their projections for whether it's going to increase and by how much, I have some ocean-front property for sale here in MN that you might be interested in buying. The CDC has been known to get it wrong before (300,000 die every year from "obesity" when it's actually less than 30,000, talk about exaggeration, wonder who funded that study?).
It's a big change from 50 years ago, when there was widespread fear that soldiers were "undernourished," says Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
Today, Americans live in an age of super-sized proportions. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average-sized bagel 20 years ago was three inches across and had 140 calories. Today's bagels average twice the size and have about 350 calories.

Gee, Ms Van Horn, could it be that 50 years ago, there wasn't the abundance of food or the money to buy it that there is now? Nah, that couldn't be it, it has to be that we've all decided it's much better to be fat and reviled, so all we do all day long is sit on our asses and stuff our faces. Yeah, I'm sure that's it........fucking not!
As far as the average size of a bagel 20 years ago, I wouldn't have a clue, since I didn't eat bagels back then, and don't eat them now. Just because portions are larger now doesn't mean that everyone partakes of those larger portions (hell, when we eat out, I end up taking at least half of my meal home with me most of the time because I can't eat it all in one sitting). Talk about mythconceptions and mythperceptions. They abound in this article. These people really need to get a clue.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Limiting levels of sugar, salt, and fat to end obesity epidemic

I'm not sure what to think of this, other than what will they do next when limiting the amount of salt, sugar, and fat in processed food doesn't end their so-called "obesity epidemic"?
Do they really think that's going to work? I don't know about anyone else, but even if there was no pre-sugared cereal left in the world, there is nothing to stop anyone from adding their own sugar to it, just as an example. And how well are those foods going to sell? The reason they have inordinate amounts of sugar, fat, and salt in them is so that they will taste good enough for people to buy, so that they will have a long shelf life, and be inexpensive to make.
One of the reasons we don't buy cookies anymore is because packaged taste ok, but the cookies we bake at home taste a lot better (not to mention, DH and I bake them together and that's time we spend talking to each other, exchanging ideas, etc).
Personally, I think they're only tackling one part of the food industry that may or may not be responsible for people supposedly getting fatter. Do they know what effect all those hormones that are routinely fed to meat animals do to people when they ingest the meat from those animals? Did anyone ever bother to do a study to see what would happen? Probably not. They figured out that feeding hormones to animals made them mature sooner, made them fatter, and got them to slaughter more quickly so more animals could be raised in less time and more money could be made. Problem is, it isn't the farmers who get that additional money, it's all the corporations between the farmer and the consumer who make a shitload of money.
I think that kind of money would be better spent on making sure there are grocery stores in all neighborhoods (rich and poor) that have a wide variety of affordable fruits and vegetables for sale. Not that doing that will make people any less fat, but having a wide variety of foods available for consumption is always a good thing, whether you're thin or fat or anywhere in-between. It would also be better spent on programs to stop bullying in schools, to educate politicians about the real detriment of diets on health, and to educate the media on how to do their job of reporting (check the facts, research, etc, not just go with a press release and believe everything you're told by vested interests). Yeah, I think that's probably too much to ask.
Granted, this isn't happening in the US yet, but how long will it take for that to migrate over here? Not long, I'm thinking, not with the way the obesity epi-panic is still being hysterically heralded from every media source every time you look.

ETA: Check out Sandy's take on this at Junkfood Science. It's a good one, with lots of informative links.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Reading and Supernatural Romances

Just finished Upon the Midnight Clear by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Upon the Midnight Clear is the first of the Dream-Hunter novels I've read, and I will be looking for more of them in the future. I love her Dark Hunter series, and the Dream Hunter books look to be as good.
I'm almost done with Christine Feehan's Turbulent Sea, another in her series about the Drake sisters (seven daughters whose mother is one of seven daughters). I've been reading Christine Feehan's books for a few years now, her books are what got me interested in the supernatural romances. I have a couple of anthologies with CF and several other authors, whose books I then purchased because I liked the short stories they wrote for the anthology.
I have 4 or 5 books by Kim Harrison that I haven't read yet, but will be reading soon (her For a Few Demons More hooked me on the series and I had to go out and get them).
Most of my reading is done when I take the car in for mechanical work (I can read while it's being worked on) or at DH's doctor appointments (I read while I'm waiting for him).
I will say that I don't read a lot at home anymore, mainly because when I do, time gets away from me. I get caught up in whatever world I'm reading about, and everything else disappears. I was reading Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, started at 8 p.m. and didn't quit until I had finished it at 8 a.m. the next morning (what can I say, it grabbed me by the eyeballs and wouldn't let go). That was a hard book to read, dealing with the abuse of Acheron as a child (and it was horrific), but at the same time, it was a look at what made Acheron the god that he is, and gives some explanation for why he relates to the Dark Hunters as he does in her other novels. I think I went through half a box of tissues reading that book (yeah, I cry at the sad stuff in books, and I laugh out loud at the funny stuff too, got me a lot of weird looks in study hall when I was in school).
I'm going to have to get another bookshelf for my books if I keep collecting them. I used to have enough books to fill shelves on a 6' wide by 8' tall wall (floor to ceiling), that was my science fiction/fantasy/horror/true crime/murder mystery collection. All of those books went to my son (yeah, he's a bookworm too, he started reading my books when he was 5 or 6). One of his wife's sisters is a reader, and she goes to his house every week to borrow 5 or 6 books (she says he's her own personal Now my grandsons, who are 12 and 15, are reading them, which thrills me no end. The books I'm reading now wouldn't interest them, I don't know many men who are into supernatural romances (or any kind of romances, for that matter), but I always keep my books, I might want to re-read them at some point in the future (hell, most of the books my son has, that were mine, I've read at least 3 times, and some of them, I've read 10 or 15 times). I have Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series, and I've read all of them 3 times already.
Every time I re-read a book, I get something new out of it, mainly because I've learned new things or been exposed to new ideas since I read the book, and that gives me a different perspective. It's one of the reasons I love to read. Well, that, and when I was a kid, it was the best escape in the world from a brother who was a pain in the ass and an abusive mother, not to mention bullying kids at school (it's really hard to bully someone when she has her nose buried in a book and doesn't hear you). I used to drive my mother batshit nuts when I was reading because she would tell me to do something, and I didn't hear her (I wasn't there, I was in the book and had blocked out everything going on around me. I can still do that if the book is really good). When I read, I don't really see the words, it's like I'm watching a movie in my mind, which is one of the reasons I don't like movies made from books. Those movies are hardly ever true to the book, too much is left out, and they're never what I've seen when I read the book.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Yahoo is tracking group members, how to opt out

I got this from one of the Yahoo groups I belong to and am posting it for anyone else who may want to opt-out of Yahoo's marketing tracking mechanism. I gather that this is not something Yahoo is publicizing, as you are automatically opted in. How many of us really read those privacy statements? I think I'll be taking the time to do that from now on.

You may want to Opt Out of Yahoo's marketing tracking mechanism.
Herewith the directions on how to do so.

Yahoo is Tracking Group Members

If you belong to ANY Yahoo Groups - be aware that Yahoo is now using
"Web Beacons" to track every Yahoo Group user. It's similar to
cookies, but allows Yahoo to record every website and every group
you visit, even when you're not connected to Yahoo. Look at their
updated privacy statement at

About half-way down the page, in the section on cookies, you will
see a link that says WEB BEACONS.

Click on the phrase "Web Beacons." On the page that opens, on the
left find a box entitled "Opt-Out."

In that section find "opt-out of interest-matched advertising" link
that will let you "opt-out" of their snooping. Click it and then
click the opt-out button on the next page.

Note that Yahoo's invasion of your privacy - and your ability to opt-
out of it - is not user-specific. It is MACHINE specific. That means
you will have to opt-out on every computer (and browser) you use.

Related article:

JFS makes finalist as Best Medical/Health Issues Blog

Junkfood Science has made it as one of the finalists for Best Medical/Health Issues Blog. You can vote for her starting Jan 5th (polling ends Jan 12th) at the aforementioned link. I'll be voting for her for all of the information and clear explanation of all those studies and what they really mean.
Please go vote for Sandy and Junkfood Science

H/T to Big Liberty :)