Friday, September 27, 2013

Agape versus Phileo

An interesting essay about agape versus phileo.

My paraphrase is that the two Greek words specify two different reasons to care for someone or something: agape values because of a decision to focus on the relationship, whereas phileo values because of a natural affection in the relationship.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple Day

Today my family picked the last of this year's apples from the two apple trees in our back yard.  (The plum tree was done weeks ago.  One of the two pear trees still has most of its pears.)

We had many buckets of apples, and made time to process them.  The nicest we put through the corer.  These we clean up to make dehydrated apple rings.  The rest we use to make applesauce.

This time I oversaw the dehydrating and my wife oversaw the applesauce.  Both boys helped a little bit, but it was of course mostly our adult effort.  We now have fourteen more trays of apple rings drying, and four more quarts of applesauce.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bring Out Your Dead

Today is a weekly trash pickup day.  I had an unusual amount of dead bodies in the trash can.

One was a mouse.  As I wrote years ago, live traps don't work and the mice refuse to wear waist-coats and sing or dance.  So we set snap traps, and once a trap is used I carry the trap with its snapped contents to the trash can.
Then there was the Squirrel From Tinaldos.  I was cleaning up by the firewood pile, above which we store some long Trex boards, and found a moderately decomposed squirrel who had died after catching a rear foot between two boards.  Somehow decomposing had removed all its curves: it had become a furry, grizzly L-shape that looked more like an unusually geometric bird's nest than a former animal.  Into the trash.

Most of the bodies were big spiders.  That is part of September where I live: all the spiders who have been unusually successful eating and growing while spending the summer in the garage and heating vents notice the colder weather and decide to come inside to the laundry room and find a place to hide until winter is over.

I normally do not mind spiders in the home if they want to hide in a corner and wait for an insect meal to come to them, but when they are of sufficient size to prompt me to think to myself, "For a smooth-legged spider you sure have feathery pedipalps," then it is time to commence squishing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Three More Recipes

Today I typed out three more recipes we have been enjoying.

Mapping Racial Segregation

Two amazing maps!

One colors the geography of racial segregation in the United States, the other in the Middle East.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

High Intensity Workout for Seven Minutes

Some scientists have claimed to have put together a set of exercises that offers a more-or-less "complete" whole-body workout with aerobic benefits.

It takes about eight minutes to do (thirty seconds for each of a dozen exercises, plus eleven 10-second rest breaks in between).

You can read about their work in a New York Times article.

Then someone put together an image of the dozen exercises with photographs instead of the stick figures from the article's image.

Then someone created a web page to help keep track of time while doing the routine.

Pretty snazzy.

But even I know enough to see that it is not really a complete whole-body exercise routine.  There appears to be not much to work the anterior or posterior deltoids, rotator cuff, latissimus dorsi, biceps, and brachioradialis.

Tangentially, it is endurance training that changes muscles by increasing mitochondria, so the muscles can better burn lactic acid as fuel.  Does high-impact interval training also provide this benefit?  Research is just beginning, but the answer appears to be yes

Plank Variants Pictured

I have written a few times about plank exercises.

I recently found an image with a dozen plank variations.  Fun!

Prayerbooks Online

My wife was ill on Erev Rosh Hashanah, but Smiley attended the adult service with me and really enjoyed it.

It appears that Smiley is finally old enough to be interested in learning Hebrew letters and some basic liturgy.

One of my back-burner chores was composing a very short collection of prayers to use daily.  A big reason I enjoy liturgy is that it reminds me of all the ways I should be thinking about God.  That is useful daily.

Today I finally got to that chore.  I installed Wine and DavkaWriter on my newish laptop.  Then I could open the old P'nei Adonai prayerbook files to copy-and-paste from those into a new web page document.

Then I made a new two-page "prayerbook" of foundational prayers.  Hooray!

Perhaps Smiley will enjoy listening to me use it, and learn to sing along to the Hebrew melodies.

I also put a link to the old P'nei Adonai Haggadah on my website's religion page.

(Tangentially, my installation of DavkaWriter prints to .prn printer files without any problem.  Ubuntu can open these and print them.  I have not tried printing directly from DavkaWriter to my inkjet printer.)

Happy High Holy Days 2013

Happy High Holy Days!

I am a few hours late. But I'll still say...

L'shanah tovah tikatev(i) v'taihatem(i)!

This traditional Hebrew greeting for the High Holy Days means "For a good year may you be inscribed as sealed."

The alternate (i) endings are the grammatical form used when addressing women.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Metabolism and Muscle

One myth I repeatedly encountered during my small exploration of the manosphere is that strength training is better for weight loss than aerobic exercise.

The explanation is that your resting metabolism will increase: muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.  Here is a sample essay that includes the myth.

However, science says otherwise.  An article in the October 2013 issue of the Berkeley Wellness Letter explains.
Some studies have found that resting metabolism stays at least modestly elevated for 12 hours or longer [after the strength training workout]...but average gym-goers don't work out long enough or hard enough to achieve any significant calorie-burning after-effect...

It's also true that strength training builds muscle, and that muscle burns more calories than body fat does...One pound of muscle typically burns 5 to 8 calories a day, though this depends on many variables, according to estimates by Robert Wolfe, Ph.D., professor of geriatrics at the University of Arkansas.  In contrast, a pound of fat burns about 2 calories.
So in that sample essay the claim is that the young woman gained 25 pounds of muscle.  That would burn an extra 75 to 150 calories per day, which is insignificant compared to how many calories she burns through exercise (and also at most 4% of her daily calorie intake from food).

Losing one pound requires a deficit of about 3,500 calories.  To lose fat, eat healthy and either eat fewer calories or exercise more (or both).  A balanced exercise program includes both aerobic and strength training exercises.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Least Expensive Nutrition

The September 2013 issue of the Berkeley Wellness Letter mentioned a recent study measuring vegetables in terms of nutrition per dollar.

The blurb was prefaced, "To get more nutritional bang for your buck, buy beans, potatoes, peas, and corn."  The actual study was, of course, somewhat more thorough and complicated.  Here is one of the key tables.

So to inexpensively the highlighted nutrients (fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K) it is least expensive to eat lentils, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, collard greens, broccoli, and frozen spinach.

I wondered if a daily menu could be made from that information.  Was the study useful for meal planning, or would following its advice require consuming a ridiculous number of calories?  What about other nutrients?

My wife helped by using her MasterCook software to create in inexpensive daily food plan.
  • Oatmeal with milk and molasses for breakfast.
  • Spinach, chard, and cheddar topped with a fried egg for lunch.
  • Peanuts and sweet potato for an afternoon snack.
  • Stew for dinner.

Here are the ingredients.
  • 2 cups of one-percent milk
  • 1 cup each of carrots, potatoes, kale, oatmeal, spinach leaves, and lentils
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses
  • 1 ounce each of peanuts and cheddar cheese

The total is roughly 1,600 calories.  It is a high protein diet.  Daily values are fat 84%, protein 1597%, and carbohydrates 72%.

Daily values are low for zinc (75%), B12 (44%), and Niacin (62%) but over 100% for all other major vitamins and minerals.  Fiber is really high: I hope whomever eats this enjoys being regular.

The total cost is $5 or less, depending upon where you shop.

Two years ago I wondered how inexpensively someone could eat by shopping at Costco.  I abandoned that project because I could not define the question well.  Was I trying to construct a meal plan, or just how inexpensively someone could buy protein, fat, and carbohydrates?

I settled my curiosity by noting calories per dollar.  Here were the highest ranking foods I noted.  (There may be others I did not notice on the shelves.)

Instant oats (2,460 calories per dollar), peanut butter (1,906), brown rice (1,483), chocolate chips (1,244), quinoa (1,149), boxed Kraft macaroni and cheese (1,114), heavy cream (946), and instant mashed potato (912).

After those, the next set of foods jumped down to under six hundred calories per dollar: dried cranberries (580), fat free milk (589), Monterey Jack cheese (514), and canned black beans (510).

Surprisingly expensive per calorie were canned nonfat refried beans (410), canned corn (360), and canned peans (308).

Fight Club Excerpts

I recently skimmed the novel Fight Club.  I was curious about what it said about masculinity.  That was actually a minor topic.  (But I did not care about its views on nihilism, consumerism, etc.)

The most relevant quotations are unsurprisingly in the sixth chapter, which was the original short story.
After a night at fight club, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down. Nothing can piss you off. Your word is law, and if other people break the law or question you, even that doesn't piss you off....

I felt finally I could get my hands on everything in the world that didn’t work, my cleaning that came back with the collar buttons broken, the bank that says I’m hundred of dollars overdrawn. My job where my boss got on my computer and fiddled with my DOS execute commands....

Nothing was solved when the fight was over, but nothing mattered.
Perhaps I just don't get it, but for me those quotations do not seem realistic.

It certainly is true that becoming capable and confident in some kind of physical competition is a vital part of healthy masculinity, which cannot be replaced by being capable and confident in other areas.  But I have never seen in my life or my friend's lives that being capable and confident in any kind of physical competition creates a sense of overall sufficiency the way the narrator describes.
I asked Tyler what he’d been fighting. Tyler said, his father.
Maybe this is the clue.  The narrator might be saying of himself and the other members of his fight club, "We had some inner demons, and becoming capable and confident in some kind of physical competition was enough to help us banish them."

That is a far smaller and simpler message than "Becoming capable and confident in some kind of physical competition grants a sense of overall sufficiency and contentment in life."

Tangentially, the trailer spoof Jane Austin's Fight Club is terrific.  And someone created a Fight Club in 15 Minutes that did a great job of summarizing the film version of the story.

Fun with Disney

A few fun Disney-related links:

First, seven terrible lessons from Disney films, courtesy of the website Cracked.

Second, paintings of various Disney cartoon females done less caroonish and more realistically, by Jirka Väätäinen.

Third, the five greatest innovations of Walt Disney by PJMedia.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

More Birthday Fudge

Ah, the problems I have in early September!

Do I eat the last piece of my fourth annual Birthday Fudge or do I save it for another day?

Monday, September 02, 2013

A Tribute to (and Recreation of) Pink Floyd

Here is something fun to make some time at home even more interesting.

A band named Brit Floyd has managed to recreate Pink Floyd's most famous music.  YouTube has a ninety minute video of their 2011 show.  If you play it as background music, can you hear the difference?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Local Things for Kids to Do

During the summer I created a calendar for Smiley as a page in my website, to organize all the fun things for kids to do locally in town during the summer.  His friends' parents could look at it and coordinate with us whenever an activity interested them.

I did not share the calendar page publicly because, even though it being overbooked with too many possible activities to actually attend, it would somewhat have served as a guide for when to burglarize our home while we were away somewhere. 

Where did I find so many things for kids to do?  Here is my list of online reources.


Summer Only

Open Gyms (Costs Money)

Azure Standard Shopping

I have mentioned the Azure Standard for ordering bulk food twice before, when writing about comparing berry prices and purchasing gluten-free grains.

Azure Standard used to have a strange website policy where folks had to log on to view their products.  It was free and quick to make an account, but that extra layer of bother meant it was impossible to blog about their products.  Now that has changed, so I can archive the items we often order as a blog post (as well as our "favorites" within our account on their website).

It is also true that Azure Standard has expanded their product list extensively during the past three years.  Not only do they sell a wider variety of items, but most items now are available in small, non-bulk quantities.

Prices per pound are provided in green after each item.  However, one advantage of bulk ordering is that we can often wait until each item is on sale to replace it, so the listed prices may be slightly higher than what we pay.   I have also noted in red when other stores we shop at are currently offering a better price.

Frozen organic berries are not included on this list because their prices might change next year from this year.  See the berry price blog post for old information.

Grains and Flours

Organic Millet ($47.20 for twenty-five pounds) $1.88
Organic Amaranth ($53.00 for twenty-five pounds) $2.12
Organic Quinoa ($55.80 for twenty-five pounds) $2.23
Brown Rice Flour ($23.80 for twenty-five pounds) $0.95
Teff Flour ($44.35 for twenty-five pounds) $1.77
Tapioca Flour ($26.60 for 12.5 pounds) $2.13
Organic Flaxseed Meal ($13.30 for four one-pound bags) $3.33 (better price at TJs)

Almond Meal Flour ($35.45 for four pounds) $8.86 (better price at Costco)
Hazelnut Meal Flour ($42.20 for 3.5 pounds) $12.06
(Almond meal and hazelnut meal are expensive everywhere.)
Brown Sweet Rice ($5.20 for five pounds) $1.04
Brown Bismati Rice ($16.85 for six two-pound bags) $1.40
Organic Sushi Rice ($10.35 for five pounds) $2.07
Brown Jasmine Rice ($10.80 for five pounds) $2.17

Quinoa Flakes ($7.25 for two pounds) $3.63
(Quinoa flakes work like oatmeal to make a nice porridge.)


Organic Great Northern Beans ($7.45 for five pounds) $1.49
Organic Small Red Beans ($7.50 for five pounds) $1.50
Organic Pinto Beans ($15.00 for ten pounds) $1.50
Organic Pink Beans ($8.25 for five pounds) $1.65
Organic Black Beans ($16.90 for ten pounds) $1.69


Corn Fusilli ($11.30 for six one-pound bags) $1.88
Corn Lasagna Corte ($11.30 for six one-pound bags) $1.88
Corn Tubettu Rigati ($11.30 for six one-pound bags) $1.88
Corn Conchiliette ($11.30 for six one-pound bags) $1.88
Brown Rice Caserecce ($3.45 for a twelve-ounce box) $4.60
(That Jovial brand brown rice pasta is expensive.  But it has a much better texture than other brown rice pastas, so we use it on some special occasions.)

Cheese and Meat

Organic Monterey Jack ($5.63 per pound) $5.63
Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon ($25.80 for a dozen 7.5 ounce cans) $4.59

Other Cooking and Baking

Organic Toasted Sesame Oil ($5.15 for one 12.7 ounce bottle) $6.93
Organic Tomato Paste ($23.00 for a dozen seven-ounce jars) $4.38
Bragg's Liquid Aminos ($4.05 for a one-pound bottle) $4.05
Organic Lemons ($5.25 for two pounds) $2.63
Organic Canned Pumpkin ($20.50 for a dozen fifteen-ounce cans) $1.82
Organic Allspice ($3.00 for four ounces) $12.00
Buttermilk Powder ($7.45 per pound) $7.45

Essential Oils

Clove Bud Oil ($5.25 for one half-ounce bottle)
Lavender Oil ($8.55 for one half-ounce bottle)
Wintergreen Oil ($4.70 for one half-ounce bottle)
Eucalyptus Oil ($4.00 for one half-ounce bottle)


Organic Multicolored Popcorn ($4.25 for 2.8 pounds)
Almond Nut Thins ($6.85 for three boxes)
Hazelnut Thins (not currently available)
Chocolate Mint Clif Builder Bars ($16.75 for a dozen bars)
Crio Bru Cavalla Brewing Cocoa ($9.90 for a twelve-ounce bag)


Oregon Rhodiola ($10.40 for a sixty day supply, 175 mg/day)