Leaving Las Vegas; On Hiatus

Greenlee Gazette is on hiatus until the first week of February. New stories may appear, but I'll be mostly offline. Please come back and see me after I make the transition!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mike in Raleigh Rocky Mountain Mike: Naked Face Eating Guy & Siri

Mike in Raleigh (of The Stephanie Miller Show) has moved from the seemingly bigoted/homophobic environs in North Carolina, and has re-christened himself Rocky Mountain Mike. And he's kept his sense of humor intact. While I feel really bad for the poor guy who got his face eaten in Florida (and wonder if it is the start of the zombie apocalypse we all knew was coming), there is no denying that the extreme WTF-iness of the whole thing lends itself to squicky, icky humor. To wit. . .

Rick Scott Purging Elligible Voters in Florida

Image from Wonkette
Florida's Rick Scott (pricelessly pictured with his lookalike, Voldemort) is one of the odious GOP Governors class of 2010. Though he had a hideous past, and seemed thoroughly unlikeable, he benefited from 2010's dual political realities: disaffected, apathetic Democrats and Tea Party, Obama-hating Republicans. So, we got a whole boatload of arch-right, ideology-first Republican Governors. They all seem to think that being as nasty and mean as possible is the key to political fortunes.

Scott is second only in my book to Wisconsin Governor Scott Wanker Walker for douchiness. And he's proving it now by purging thousands of Florida voters from the rolls under the guise of preventing "voter fraud." Voter fraud is a vanishingly rare occurrence in the United States, but politicians like Scott have used very rational-sounding arguments to ram through many voter rights restricting laws in the short time since they gathered power. But now, Scott is going further. He's purging actual legitimate voters. And if they don't take the effort and time to prove that they are eligible, they just won't get to vote. If they didn't get the memo? Tough. They don't get to vote.

I can hardly think of anything more un-American. And he's getting away with it.

[Excerpt]


Rick Scott Bravely Purges 91-Year-Old War Hero Criminal From Voting Rolls

Oh look, there they go again! By “they” we mean the Democrats, always crying about voter suppression. Look, is it our fault that their supporters are all vicious thugs, pot smokers, illegal immigrants, white slavers, people whose names end in vowels or “z,” vicious illegal immigrant thugs, and liberals? . . .

Read more at: Wonkette

FOX "News" Now Producing Their Own Attack Ads

I'm sure there are FOX Fans out there who would immediately react to that headline with cries of "MSNBC is the same from the left!" and that FOX "News" has Democrats on for counterpoints in a show of "fair and balanced." But there is nothing like this on the left. Even if I conceded--as FOX Fans insist--that all other media is leftward-canted, you'd have to add them all together to even approach the tilt of FOX "News." And here's a hint FOX defenders: MSNBC doesn't have "news" in its name.

[Excerpt]

Fox News Is Now Producing Its Own Anti-Obama Attack Ads



This morning on Fox & Friends, Fox News aired a straight-up, unadulterated four-minute attack ad mocking Obama's "Hope and Change" message and cataloguing the purported failures of his administration, complete with ominous music, depressing charts, and voiceover audio of Mitt Romney attacking him. Not someone else's ad, mind you—this was actually an in-house production of Fox News, involving weeks of work by a Fox staffer. . .


Read more at: Gawker

In Case You Missed It: Mitt Romney's "AMERCIA"

One of the bad things about being a part-time blogger with a full-time job, is that I often am doing something else when something I'd normally post happens. The Mitt Romney campaign's AMERCIA gaffe is right in my sweet spot: political flubs by graphic artists.

See, I'm a graphic artist, and if I made a mistake like this at work--usually--it would be no big deal. After all, every job goes through stages: concept, options, prototypes, revisions (revisions, revisions, revisions), with client input along the way, finally only producing the final product with the clients' express approval. Sometimes, there are multiple people signing off! So, if there's a typo on the 1,200-piece order, it's the client's fault! Oh, who am I kidding. . .it's the artist's fault, even when it isn't. No matter how many people signed of on AMERCIA (say it with me in your best Jan Brady voice, "Amercia, Amercia, Amercia!"), it is the artist who took this one in the shorts. And not in a good way.

[Excerpt]


Romney’s ‘Amercia’ and 7 More Political Gaffes Rooted in Technology

Mitt Romney has a technology problem. Not the sort of problem that Rick Santorum had with Google search results, but with his latest app called With Mitt. Apparently, his developers had trouble spelling the word “America.” Whoops. That’s an important word to know how to spell when you’re trying to become a U.S. president. . .

Read more at: Wired

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mitt Romney Releases His Birth Certificate

I would have expected an owner's manual with Mitt. Image from MSNBC.
Ha-ha! Isn't that a hoot? Willard Mitt Romney has released his (ha-ha!) birth certificate! You see, it's funny because. . .oh, shit, I don't know. . .because a sizable chunk of the Republican base is stupid (and racist) enough to believe in birtherism. Ah, but Willard's little joke may contain a bit of a problem for him: his dad being born in Mexico! Yes, we already knew that, but this puts it right out there.

You see, as the birth certificate branch of birthers lost some steam, they were overtaken by the "two citizen parents" faction. Some take this to mean that both parents must've been born in the USA, some just say they both must have been naturalized before the candidate's birth. No law says either thing, just to be clear. There are several other tangents in the birther conspiracy corner, and some cancel each other out, but are still sometimes held by the same people! Yeah, nobody said conspiracy theories have to make sense.

[Excerpt]


Romney's birth certificate evokes his father's controversy 

Finally, there is definitive proof: The presidential candidate was born in the United States, and his father was not.Yes, Republican Mitt Romney appears eligible to be president, according to a copy of Romney's birth certificate released to Reuters by his campaign. Willard Mitt Romney, the certificate says, was born in Detroit on March 12, 1947. . .

Read more at: MSNBC.com


PS. If the birthers are going to be consistent, they're going to have to examine the above image with a fine-toothed comb. They're going to need to take it into PhotoShop, Illustrator, maybe Inkscape. They'll need to zoom in, enhance, unmask, ungroup. What's with the "VOIDVOIDVOID" business? Huh? and look at the left side of the document. Clearly it's been cut off. What are they hiding? What are they hiding?

Lawrence O'Donnell on "Bloviating Ignoramus" Donald Trump

Three posts in a row about Donald Trump is at least two too many, but I couldn't resist adding this one. Nobody, but nobody does a better deconstruction of the "bloviating ignoramus" (™ George Will) than Lawrence O'Donnell. I don't know if there is something between Trump and O'Donnell from the past, or if O'Donnell just likes to deflate monstrous egos. But it doesn't matter, whatever it is about, it produces great television.


Donald Trump is a Moron, Mitt Romney a Chump

This should be embarrassing. This, at least. I know that politics--at least on the Republican side--is scarcely different from professional wrestling. But something should be a bridge too far, something should be off the list. That a buffoon like Donald Trump tries to bigfoot his way into politics is not surprising. But that the now official nominee on the Republican side would actively court Trump's endorsement; to effectively use him as a campaign surrogate. . .that should be embarrassing.

And let me be clear. It isn't just that the Donald is a birther. That's stupid enough, of course. There isn't a shred of legitimacy in that loony nest of self-contradictory conspiracy theories. But it's that he's a bad birther. He loosely strings together snippets of birtherism, mangles them and gets them wrong. He talks about Obama's grandmother saying Obama was born in Kenya. . .but it was a step-grandmother, one who was mistranslated, one who corrected the record in the same interview. And he doesn't just get shit wrong, he lies at the same time. Is there anyone gullible enough to believe that Trump really hired investigators and sent them to Hawaii? Or that if he did (he didn't), he won't talk about it now, because it's "old news?" I know birthers are thick, but even they should see through this clown. And Romney should have backed away long ago.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mitt Romney and The Donald and Birthers

Willard will do anything for votes. Clearly. Image from CNN.
I'm not sure how to parse this Mitt Romney statement, regarding Donald Trump:

“You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

So, the people he's latching on to are there to get him votes. . .even if Mitt himself isn't on board with those peoples' agendas? How does this work? I seriously don't get it. In this case, you've got Trump who is espousing the ludicrous (and largely racist) "Birther" nonsense. So, Mitt, you're cool with that if it gets you votes?

Source: CNN

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blast from the Past: ABBA Gold, Pt. 2

As the long Memorial Day weekend comes to a close, I've reluctantly dragged myself back to the computer for my (day late) weekly installment of Blast from the Past. Back in early April, I ran the first part of an ABBA discography. I'm finally getting back to part two. In the meantime, YouTube has changed something, and my old method of posting these clips has been muddied up. If you followed that link, you see what I mean. So, I will simultaneously write part two while figuring out how to post them! Here we go. . .

After SOS, the biggest ABBA song for me was. . .

1. Bang-a-Boomarang, which wasn't a hit song anywhere. But it was on the Greatest Hits album I got at 10 years old, and became one of my favorites. It's actually pretty amazing that it wasn't a hit. The "dum-de-dum-dum" may have been lazy lyrically, but it sure was catchy.

2. Mama Mia followed, and I thought it was a hit, probably because of that album, but also because my babysitter had the 45 and played it endlessly. It was a hit around the world, but barely cracked the top 40 in the United States, maxxing out at 32.



3. Fernando did quite a bit better, but surprisingly still only hit number 12.

4. But the blew the doors off with Dancing Queen. This one is a huge hit, and is often included--oddly enough--on disco compilations from the 70s. ABBA wasn't really disco, but whatever.


5. Money, Money, Money continued ABBA's fascination with repetitive titles, and also again crashed and burned on the US charts, though it was a hit everywhere else.

6. Knowing Me, Knowing You brought ABBA back to the US top twenty.



7. The Name of the Game did just as well, and the song that followed. . .

8. Take a Chance on Me was almost as popular as Dancing Queen.



And with that one, we've really hit ABBA's heyday. The next installment will bring the decline.  But the songs were always good! Meanwhile, welcome back to work everybody! At least we get to start on a Tuesday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wisconsin: Looking for a Reason to Vote Against Scott Walker? Here are 18.

Governor Scott Wanker Walker. Image from source.
Oddly, though Wisconsinites were able to amass huge numbers to get Governor Scott Walker forced into a recall election, Walker seems to be getting support now. What do you know, if people like Karl Rove get their billionaire benefactors to spend gazillions there, it has a measure of affect on the matter.

Regardless, it bears repeating that Walker very, very quickly became very, very unpopular in Wisconsin for taking his 2010 electoral victory, and using it to steamroll every arch-conservative policy ever imagined, though he didn't campaign on most of it. He's one of several of the class of 2010 GOP Governors, but at the head of the class for extreme douchiness (and in this crowd, that is really saying something). I am not confident that the poorer anti-Walker contingent will prevail in this fight, but I hope they do. And there are many reasons. . .


[Excerpt]

18 Reasons Why The People Of Wisconsin Should Vote Against Scott Walker In The Recall Election

There is an extremely pivotal statewide election coming up on June 5, 2012 in Wisconsin. After turning in nearly one million signatures, the people of Wisconsin have a chance to end Governor Scott Walker’s oppressive regime and replace him with someone more attuned to the needs of Wisconsinites. More than likely, there are voters in Wisconsin who are undecided, but if they need to be convinced to vote against Scott Walker in June, here are 18 reasons why Walker should be kicked out of office in shame. . .

Read more at: Addicting Info

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Over Time with Bill Maher, May 25, 2012

Anderson Cooper Schools Anti-Gay Bigot

Remember that Pastor Charles Worley guy, who thought it'd be nifty to put "lesbians, queers and hom-a-seck-shulls" behind an electric fence, until they "die out?" Well, obviously, nobody would ever go on national television to defend such a thing, so. . .what? Somebody did? Oh dear, that couldn't have gone well, could it?

Actually, it's very instructive. Anderson Cooper is meticulously rational, measured and logical. And this horrible woman is impervious to all of it. She's got her own version of Wonder Woman's bracelets, except hers are logic deflectors! It's obvious how badly she's beaten by her snipe at Cooper right at the end there. I'd love to hear Cooper's internal monologue. . .he ought to have been proud of himself for this one.


Friday, May 25, 2012

What Happens in Vegas: Goodbye to Stupid Monkey Planet

I've just left Rev. and Mrs. Stu of Stupid Monkey Planet, at a going away party of sorts. Earlier, I helped the good Rev. with some of their heavier items, and they should be on the road to their new environs by early Saturday morning.

Packing to go. . .
I've known them both for over 15 years, and they've been very good friends. They may be psuedonymous here, but they're very real, quite wonderful people. The Las Vegas valley wasn't very nice to them in recent years, and they decided to find a better place and a new adventure. Fortunately, while this was a physical (and embarrassingly weepy) goodbye, today's interconnected world means that we'll still be in contact. The Stupid Monkey Planet Church of Primatheism will continue on Facebook, and from time to time Rev. Stu will cover for me here, as always.

Truth be told, our relationship has been largely online for some time, since his former residence was all the way across town. It was Mrs. Stu that I may have been weepiest about, since we've been having lunch every Wednesday for nearly a decade (sometimes with her husband). That will be a weekly reminder that they aren't here anymore, and that will continue to make me sad (crying again as I type this). I'm not a particularly emotional person--I've been told I have the compassion of a rock--but this one got me.

I want to wish both of my dear friends the best of luck, and am hopeful that this journey leads to great rewards, or at least boundless happiness. I know their menagerie of pets will enjoy their destination, if not the trip itself. And I'm confident that their new town will be better with the two of them in it. And it is Las Vegas' loss. It's not going to be the same around here without them.

Bye, guys.





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Elizabeth Warren's 30-second Take-down of Mitt Romney

People are focused on the Scott Walker recall election in Wisconsin, and to date I still don't understand why the national Democrats aren't more invested in it. But for me, the real fight is in Massachusetts. That's where the seemingly eternal Ted Kennedy Senate seat was usurped by super-sexy former Cosmopolitan centerfold, Scott Brown. He's only had a partial term, and is now up for re-election. He's running against Elizabeth Warren, one of the most well-spoken, intelligent, educated, awesome women I've ever seen run for office. I'd vote for her for whatever she was running for!


What Happens in Vegas: Siegfried's Roy Accused of Sexual Assault

Sigh. Okay, I wouldn't call this a gay thing exactly. After all, Sigfried and Roy are not officially gay, right? It sounds more to me like a older celebrity sex thing. If Joan Collins groped her chauffeur, would he sue her for sexual assault? Okay, maybe. . .whatever. In any event, after Roy's brain injury (being mauled by a tiger and whatnot), I would think a guilty verdict would be anything but certain. But as a gay Las Vegan. . .well. . .sigh.

[Excerpt]

I'm pretty sure Death Becomes Her was based on their
life story. Image from FOX "News."
Tape of Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy allegedly sexually assaulting staff being shopped, report says


A graphic video purportedly showing Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy groping his employees is being shopped, according to a report from TMZ. Horn, who was mauled by a tiger in 2003, has been going through rehabilitation to strengthen the left side of his body. TMZ staff has reportedly viewed. . .

Read more at (of all places): FOX "News"

CNN Grills Homophobe Tony Perkins Over His Views

Yes, Brooke. That is precisely the expression you should
always present to this douche! Image from Raw Story.
I am greatly annoyed that cable news and other outlets keep spotlighting hateful people like Tony Perkins (blood, Mother, blood!) of the Family Research Council. The FRC--like most organizations with "family" in its name, oddly enough--has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law center. They exist to torment gay people, and virtually no other reason I can discern. CNN and others put people like Perkins out there in a misguided attempt at "balance." Because, if you have a controversial "issue," it must have a counterpoint, right? Yes, but that counterpoint isn't always equally valid.
Not that Tony Perkins!

Anyway, if they must put this cretin on, I'm thankful that the host toyed with him like a mouse. Good work, Brooke Baldwin!

NOTE: This is something I'm going to post in every future story having to do with same-sex marriage and religion: Civil marriage is not holy matrimony. Civil marriage only includes religion if you want it to. No matter what you feel about "God," it is irrelevant unless you want to start outlawing interfaith marriages, or marriage between atheists.

[Excerpt]


CNN host probes Tony Perkins: ‘Why do homosexuals bother you so much?’


Family Research Council President Tony Perkins found himself in an awkward situation on Thursday when one CNN host insisted he explain why “homosexuals bother you so much.”
When Perkins agreed to appear on CNN to hype his press conference supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, he probably didn’t expect host Brooke Baldwin to make the conversation personal. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Nevada Republican Officials Resign After Ron Paul Coup

Don't the PaulBots realize that this man would be in his 80s before
his first term was over? Image from TPM.
Being a Democrat in the state of Nevada, I don't have an inside perspective on the Nevada Republican Party. I can say, that in 2008, the Democratic operation at the caucus I was at was full of energy, organized, excited. And the Republican effort was tepid at best, sparsely attended, and seemingly only attended by people who may have already passed on (RIP). The Democratic effort this time was likewise sparsely attended--Barack Obama was running unopposed--but still fairly enthusiastic. The enthusiasm on the Republican side this time seems to be primarily for Ron Paul.

In fact, though Romney actually won (after much tallying of the miniscule turnout), Paul has taken the delegates. So, the Republican establishment is really shaken up. Without all of this drama, Nevada would be a lock for Romney at the convention. Now, not so much. . .and Paul's army has been pulling this around the country! It is entertaining though!

[Excerpt]

Nevada Officials Resign After Ron Paul Takeover

For the second presidential cycle in a row, Ron Paul supporters wreaked havoc on Nevada’s GOP, threatening to take over the state party and key county positions by flooding their conventions with supporters. Now mainstream state Republicans are falling on their sword in the aftermath. . .

Read more at: TPM

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Frivolity Break: Celebrities Turn Ugly

For best effect, hit the maximize button. This is pretty dang freaky!


Study Shows FOX "News" Viewers Uninformed. . .Again

This keeps happening. Time and time again, studies show that if your primary source of news is FOX "News," you are likely to be less informed than if you didn't watch any news at all! Or misinformed, if you ask me. MSNBC got some knocks too, but if I had to guess, I'd say there are fewer people who only get their news from MSNBC. And surprise, surprise, it's the Daily Show with Jon Stewart fans who get the highest marks! Meanwhile, FOX Fans will continue crowing that "FOX is #1! Woo-hoo! America, fuck yeah!" They're so easy to please.

[Excerpt]


Study Finds Fox News Viewers Least Informed Of All Viewer

Another study has concluded that people who only watch Fox News are less informed than all other news consumers. Researchers at Fairleigh Dickinson University updated a study they had conducted in late 2011. That study only sampled respondents from New Jersey, where the university is located. This time, the researchers conducted a nationwide poll. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Mitt Romney's Bain History Trashed by. . .His Supporters!

It's pretty hard to to criticize President Obama for being critical of Mitt Romney's Bain Capital history, when Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman and Rick Perry did the very same thing. And in starker terms.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jim Parsons if The Big Bang Theory Officially Has The Gay!

Jim Parsons, from HuffPo
And now, we know what Sheldon's "deal" is. And while many of us with functional gaydar already knew this (and were secretly wishing it were Johnny Galecki), it's always nice to have it confirmed. Jim Parsons has very likely been open about it behind the scenes, and it is a shame that gay celebrities have this dual coming out business. But now--unlike the rest of us, whenever we move or get new jobs--he never has to do it again! There will be militants who will harumph and say, "sure, now that The Big Bang Theory is going into year six, he had nothing to lose." To which I say, exactly. And so what? Everybody hopes to have ideal circumstances when they come out. Don't begrudge the man. Support him!

[Excerpt]

Jim Parsons Comes Out As Gay: 'Big Bang Theory' Star's Sexuality Officially Revealed In New York Times


Actor Jim Parsons has revealed he is gay and in a committed relationship in a new interview. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post 

And here's Penny's question about Sheldon's "deal". . .

Say What You Will About Gays. No, Really.

Yeah, this guy has room to talk about matters of
"morality." Image from HuffPo.
I said recently that my conservative mom has tried to convince me that "most" Republicans (and conservatives/Christians/etc.) aren't anti-gay. My mother is naive. The Huffington Post just posted a video slideshow of a huge list of outragously hateful/nasty/wrong/ridiculous things said by prominent conservatives. It is unfortunately not set up to be embedded, but I'm linking to the main story below.

Long story short, conservatives who are opposed to* gay people find it to be perfectly alright to say anything they want about us.  Anything. No matter how dishonest. Or nasty. Or insulting. Doesn't matter, they feel free to just spew. And these people get regular play on FOX "News", CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks. They are treated like royalty at CPAC and other conservative gatherings. They are lauded at FreeRepublic.com. And they hate me. Seriously.

Homophobe Roundup!

- Pastor Wooden Says Gay Sex Causes Gay Men to Need Diapers
- Bryan Fischer on Why Gayse are Responsible for the Nazi Party
- Rick Santorum: Why Gay Marriage is Like 9/11
- Linda Harvey: Don't Let Gay Doctors Attend to Your Children
- Matt Barber: "No Evidence" Gays are Targets of Violence, Discrimination
- Stacey Campfield: "Virtuall Impossible" to Contract AIDS Through Heterosexual Sex
- Kevin McCullough: I Don't Believe You Can be Gay
- Rush Limbaugh On Why Gays Should Be Pro-Life
- Scott Lively: Gay-Straight Alliances Are Designed To Recruit Kids
- Tamara Scott: Gay Marriage Leads To Eiffel Tower Marriage
- Michele Bachmann On Gay Lifestyles (vague, but the "lifestyle" bit is a hint at where she's going)
- Tony Perkins: 'If You Want A Military That Just Does Parades,' Allow Gays To Openly Serve
- Pat Roberston: 'Demonic Possession' Behind Homosexuality
- James Robison: 'The Enemy' Is Using 'Glee' To Destroy America
- Newt Gingrich: Gay Marriage A 'Perfect Example Of What I Mean By The Rise Of Paganism'
- Daniel Lapin: Gays Should've Been Quarantined To fight AIDS
- Pat Robertson Advises Father To Seek Ex-Gay Conversion For Gay Son
- Bryan Fischer On How 'Poppers' And Promiscuity Causes AIDS
- Liberty Counsel Warns That Macy's LGBT Policy Could Lead To Rape, Sexual Assault
- Bryan Fischer: Adolf Hitler Was An 'Active Homosexual'
- Alan Osmond: In Defense Of Reparation Therapy
- Victoria Jackson: Homophobia Is 'Buzzword Of Liberal Agenda'
- Ann Coulter Calls John Edwards A 'Faggot'

On the last one, I'd call John Edwards a scumbag. Which might be offensive, but only to John Edwards. This list is mostly posted for people like my mom, who make excuses for the homophobic right. And for all the gay Republicans out there! You know who you are!

Source: Huffington Post


*As a sidebar, I'd really like to know what "being opposed" to the gay really means.  Opposed to our rights as taxpaying citizens? Opposed to our existence? My favorite, is when people say, "I don't agree with the lifestyle," and I'm all, "I don't agree with that sentence." First, it isn't a "lifestyle," that's a euphemism invented for the personals section of newspapers in the seventies. And second, how do you disagree with reality? It's nonsense! Knock it off!

WTF is Wrong With Iowa Republicans?

In my last post about the birthers, I gave you a link to where all birther conspiracy theories are thoroughly debunked. While there myself, I found a post about the Iowa Republican Party's potential platform planks (Iowa is partial to birtherism, of all things). So, I'm taking Dr. Conspiracy's paraphrasings of the planks--which are more concise--and making my own comments.  I'll have a link at the end to the actual list, so you can check if you think the paraphrasings are wrong. As you read, note the inherent meanness toward anything but the hardline Christian/Conservative mindset.


I feel I have the right to criticize Iowa, since I'm (gay!) married to an Iowan. And it is legal there!  Keep in mind, this is a partial list! Reducing font size for length, so put your readers on. Mmmkay?

Here we go. . .
4b: No ternerders!
  1. No school activities on Sundays or Wednesday nights [when Baptists hold Prayer Meeting].
    Ludicrous. Why do Baptists get special treatment? All religions or none.
  2. No mandatory school attendance.
    Sorry, this one is bananas. Even if it's the dreaded home schoolers, kids have to go to school.
  3. No voting by non-tax-paying out-of-state college students.
    Why? This is suspiciously like "must be a property owner to vote." It's just wrong.
  4. Mandatory ultrasound prior to abortion, which should be outlawed anyway.
    Again, why? It is medically unnecessary, and intended to inflict shame. Since when is "shame" the intent of a law?
  5. No stem sell research.
    Why?
  6. Abolition of the Department of Agriculture.
    Sure. Because agriculture should be utterly free of regulation. Again, why?
  7. Abolish all farm subsidies.
    In Iowa? I can't imagine this is a universal opinion there.
  8. Oppose UN Agenda 21 (a popular conspiracy theory related to the New World Order) on sustainable development. It is described as “diabolical.”
    Boogity boogity!
  9. No regulation of dust by the EPA.
    As a resident of the Mojave Desert, I find this one particularly ridiculous. If you can control the dust, you should control the dust. Be reasonable about it, not black or white.
  10. Ban foreign corporations from owing Iowa farm land.
    Why don't we ban foreign corporations from donating to candidates? Hmm? Would be a little more important.
  11. No money for bike trails until the federal deficit is eliminated.
    Errr. . .hunh?
  12. No government money to ACORN, AARP, ACLU and Planned Parenthood and anyone else who lobbies against the platform.
    ACORN is gone. The rest. . .have to agree with you? Compromise really is dead.
  13. No federal money for public broadcasting
    Death to Big Bird! Spoilsports.
  14. Support a landlord’s right to refuse to lease on “moral grounds.”
    Yes, because we should be free to be bigots! And if we find black people or Hispanic people or Jewish people to be "immoral," who are you to tell us no?
  15. No “hate crime” laws.
    Again, they want to be free to hate.
  16. No Sharia, or other foreign laws.
    Yep. Nothing from that there Jerusalem area. . .Nazareth either.
  17. No smoking bans.
    Cough! Cough! Idiots.
  18. No First Amendment protection for pornography.
    Well, now you've gone too far. Even right wingers like porn. Idiots.
  19. Eliminate the Federal Department of Education.
    Duuuuhhhhhh. . .
  20. No regulation of private schools or home schooling by the Iowa Department of Education.
    Damn straight! People ought to be able to teach any ol' thing they want to their chillen! Idiots.
  21. No teaching of “multiculturalism” in public school.
    Oh, that would be dreadful.
  22. Education “purely returned to a free market system.”
    Yeah, I have no idea what that means.
  23. No reporting requirements for home schooling families.
    Sure! Let 'em just say whatever and boom! You graduate! WTF? Idiots.
  24. Balanced presentation of evolution and creationism in public schools. “Darwinian evolution is only a theory and not a scientific fact.”
    Creationism is not science. Any party--anybody who thinks this is a good idea is crushingly stupid.
  25. Tax-funded libraries must include “intelligent design” and creationism books.
    Ditto #24.
  26. Parents may opt-out their children from health screenings and surveys.
    I. . .um. . WTF?
  27. No school clubs based on sexual orientation.
    Okay! No straight clubs, whatsoever!
  28. Repeal “No Child Left Behind.”
    Hmmm. . .a Bush Era policy? Weird.
  29. Oppose anti-bullying laws. Students should stand up for themselves.
    Fuck 'em!
  30. Repeal the 17th Amendment (direct election of US Senators)
    Yes, because voting is bad. Have I said they're idiots?
  31. Abolition of the US Department of Energy
    Abolition of the US Government! Why not?
  32. No regulation of greenhouse gasses or carbon dioxide.
    I'll stop the world, and melt with you!
  33. Claims of human-based globing warming are “fraudulent.”
    Based on what, geniuses? Your track record as evidenced by this list, is thin.
  34. More deer hunting licenses.
    Fuck yeah!
  35. Parents have a right to know what their children read at the library.
    Oh, and on the internets! Them Googles and Tumblrs are all writed by fagitz!
  36. The US should drop out of the United Nations.
    Yes. We should be quitters like Sarah Palin.
  37. End foreign aid.
    All of it! And put a fence around the whole country!
  38. Oppose any revision of the original intent of the US Constitution (except for a few Constitutional amendments called for in the platform)
    Back to 3/5 of a person for some people then. Idiots.
  39. “We support Congressional action, including an Amendment to the United States Constitution if needed, to repeal the 1943 (sic) Wicker (sic) vs. Filburn ruling by a divided US Supreme Court cowed by Democrat FDR’s “court-packing attack” which set in motion ever-increasing misuse of the Commerce Clause in Article 1, Section 8.”
    Yeah, that's going to be a tough sell. Imagine trying to explain that to America, and getting them to pass it.
  40. Public display of the Ten Commandments.
    Wrong. 100% wrong. Especially if you're bitching about "Sharia Law."
  41. Return money to the gold and/or silver standard.
    Impossible for lots of reasons, but as I said. . .idiots.
  42. Impeach judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage.
    Awfully specific, wouldn't you say?
  43. Eliminate the Department of Homeland security
    America! Fuck no!
  44. Eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development
    America! Fuck no!
  45. Eliminate the Department of Labor
    America! Fuck no!
  46. Eliminate the Department of Commerce.
    America! Fuck no!
  47. Eliminate the Department of the Interior
    America! Fuck no!
  48. Eliminate the TSA, FDA, ATF, EPA, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fannie Mad and Freddie Mac.
    America! Fuck no!
  49. The US Census should only count citizens.
    Yes. It should have no statistical relevance whatsoever. Just count us, dammit!
  50. Juries instructed that they may consider questions of law as well as fact.
    This one sounds fine, but I'm quite sure I don't trust these people after 50 of these. They're up to something on this one.
  51. No federal regulation of guns manufactured in Iowa for use in the state.
    None! Get yourself a nuclear warhead if you want it! And you can be crazy, or a felon. . .but not a fag.
  52. People with concealed carry permits may take their guns to school.
    Capital idea. Nothing bad could come from this idea.
  53. Repeal the “allopathic medicine” monopoly.
    So, what? They want witch doctors? Apothecaries?
  54. “Philosophic exemption” for childhood vaccination requirements.
    Oh, why? Can't you leave your kids out of your crazy hallucinations?
  55. End the “Patriot Act.”
    First thing I've agreed with entirely. But again, suspicious.
  56. Oppose any military draft.
    This one I seriously don't get. Don't they freakin' "support the troops" and love war?
  57. Drug testing for all persons on public assistance.
    Just to be mean. No other reason.
  58. Opt-out of the Social Security system until it is privatized.
    Fucking nuts.
  59. Anchor babies are not citizens.
    And babies are not anchors. Sickos.
  60. The Supreme Court not have jurisdiction over cases related to marriage.
    Why the hell not? Does Loving vs. Virginia bother you that much? On what Constitutional grounds could this possibly be based on?
  61. No “no-fault divorce.”
    Oh wow, good luck with that, goobers. On this one you are at least putting your money where your teeth should be.
  62. No minimum wage.
    Yay, slave labor!
  63. No public employee unions.
    Yay, slave labor!
  64. Repeal of various financial reforms: Davis-Bacon, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank.
    Yep. Because lax regulations worked so well in 2008.
  65. Abolish the IRS and repeal the 16th Amendment (Income Tax Amendment).
    Who needs fire departments, police departments, roads, the military. . .
  66. Abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax
    Why?
  67. Eliminate estate, gift and inheritance taxes, and let heirs avoid capital gains when they sell appreciated inherited property.
    Yes, no tax! Every man for himself!
  68. No unmanned cameras allowed to enforce traffic regulations.
    Wow, the last one is kinda random. I'm out of outrage, so whatever.
I'm frankly surprised that there wasn't more antigay stuff here, though it is plain. In any event, I wouldn't want to live in any state or country where even a majority of these things were made law. What a horrible, theocratic, stick-up-the-ass, Footloose town-that-can't-dance world it would be. Don't fall for it, Iowa!

Here are the links to the paraphrased list above, and the real one.

Obama Conspiracy Theories

Republican Party of Iowa Platform Committee Report

Ronald Reagan's Blood for Sale!

I remember the real Reagan. The GOP demigod is
a different guy.
Ermahgerd. . . You've really gotta be freakin' kidding me. I'll bet you the winner will be sorry that Republicans are against human cloning.

[Excerpt]


Anger over 'Ronald Reagan blood' auction

"UK-based PFC Auctions says the blood was taken from Reagan after the failed 1981 assassination attempt against him.  The PFC website put the latest bid at £7,587 ($12,000) on Tuesday. . ."

Read more at: BBC News

Hawaii Turns the Tables on AZ Secretary of State's Birther Request

I'm amazed--I shouldn't be, but I am--that this birther nonsense is still managing to worm itself into the news cycle, but there you go. We've now got a couple of stories from there, and both from Arizona! Figures, right?

Conspiracy theories are irresistible to people who are desperate to disbelieve something. People who couldn't believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman that killed John F. Kennedy, concocted conspiracy theories to explain that it wasn't true. People who couldn't believe a group of terrorists with boxcutters could bring down the World Trade Center towers, invented conspiracy theories to explain that it wasn't true. And, people who just couldn't believe that a black man named Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States, invented conspiracy theories to prove that he couldn't be. . .legally, anyway.

There are people who could harp on me for saying it was because he's a black man, but tell me why else they're trying to say he was born in Kenya? Why they weren't concerned that John McCain was born in Panama. C'mon, let's be real here. And notice that I didn't say "conspiracy theory," but "theories." In every master conspiracy theory, there are offshoots and tangents, and the craziest of the crazy. You can't consolidate them all into a unified theory because they don't mesh. And whatever you do, don't try to create a logical, cohesive narrative of what really happened.

Because, in the case of the "Obama was born in Kenya" theory, you've got to place Stanley Ann Dunham (Obama's mother) in Kenya, something that has never been proven. You'd have to explain why she was there, and how she got there. This was 1961, a time when air travel was much more expensive and difficult. And she was very pregnant, unless she was in Kenya a long time. And you have to account for this white, pregnant lady's presence in a place where Obama Sr. apparently had another wife. Then she has to give birth.
What a birther looks like. Kinda Huckabee-lite.
Image from source, The Raw Story.

After that, she's got to get home quickly. She has to--for some reason--smuggle little Barack into the United States with no paperwork. She has to arrange--using 1961 communication devices--to have two newspapers get birth announcements published. And she has to leave no paper trail that she made the trip! And why in the world would she make this secret trip? That's just skimming the surface of the problems with the story.


Fortunately, we need not strain our brains trying to figure this idiotic story out, because others have done that. Literally every single birther theory and "fact" has been debunked.  Go to ObamaConspiracy.org if you don't believe me. If Dr. Conspiracy can't convince you, you're without hope. But in this world of "the extreme right is now the mainstream," even this nutty theory is being touted by elected officials. But at least some of them are getting their noses rubbed in it.

[Excerpt]


Hawaii turns tables on Arizona Secretary of State’s birther requests

Hawaiian officials have apparently had enough of your requests for President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and they’re not afraid to tell you where to get off, even if you are Arizona’s Secretary of State Ken Bennett or a special delegation sent by Maricopa County’s controversial “Sheriff Joe. . .”

Read more at: The Raw Story


UPDATED: I just wanted to note that I went to FreeRepublic.com to see the arch-right (and oddly, now mainstream) take on this story. I said--as I clicked enter--"They got to him!" And here's what the first comment says:

"Sounds like someone got to him."

 
Thanks for not disappointing me, FReepers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Walking Dead Season 3 Preview!

Having read the first 48 issues of the comic book since the second season ended, I can only say. . . squeeeee! I can't wait!


Obama: Romney's Bain Experience Doesn't Qualify Him for Presidency

I had a little trouble with the headline here. Basically, there was a kerfuffle on Meet the Press, where Obama "surrogate" and Newark NJ Mayor Cory Booker criticized President Obama's use of Bain Capital's history on Mitt Romney. Even that sentence is a bit tangled, sorry. Anyway, the President did a pretty good job justifying himself today. Romney's entire schtick seems to be as a "job creator"* at Bain Capital. It has to be fair game, whatever Booker or Romney has to say about it, because Romney has hung his hat on it. Anyway, here's the Prez:


*By the way, whenever I hear a pundit or politician use the term "job creator" (and many, many other terms), I cringe. Because I know--unless they're using it ironically with air quotes--they're a bullshit artist. They're using Frank Luntz's Words that Work, and they have contempt for their audience, hoping to snow them. Unfortunately, they're so repetitive, that it bleeds over into common usage. I hate Frank Luntz, or at least what he does, and what he's done.

Monday, May 21, 2012

America the Stupid: Bicycles in Crosswalks

I go walking a lot, usually 4 miles per day, 5 days per week or so. I often find myself sharing the sidewalk with bicycles. Now, where I grew up, bicycle safety was really drilled into you. In order to legally ride a bike in Whitehall, Ohio, you had to have a license. And you had to pass a test to get it. We learned that a bicycle is a vehicle, and as such, needs to follow the same rules that cars do. This means, no riding against the traffic, and no riding on the sidewalk.

The stupid! It burns!
But I understand why people ride on the sidewalk. It's less scary. It's safer. And with morons who text and drive (I still can't wrap my brain around what could make a person that stupid), even daredevils may want to get up out of the way. So, while it's against the rules, I get it. But all of that safety is cancelled out, and the bicycle riders are rendered almost as dumb as our driving texter when. . .

They ride their bicycles through crosswalks.

On three occasions I distinctly remember, and very likely more, I have almost run over a bicyclist in the crosswalk. I looked left, looked right, I looked left, and hello! ZOOM!, right in front of my car. A few fractions of a second different, and my life--and particularly their lives--could be utterly changed. . .or ended. And it's even worse if you're at an intersection turning right, and they come from behind you, zooming across the walk on a green. Who thinks it's necessary to check the rear view mirror when making an unobstructed right turn?

So, I'm putting this out there as a plea to the universe. Especially, a plea to bike riders. If you're riding your bicycle on sidewalks, when you get to the crosswalk. . .walk your bike across! You are not a pedestrian, you are on a vehicle! You have negated the safety of the sidewalk by being as stupid as a texter! Stop it! Or, I might kill you. . .


North Carolina Pastor: Imprison Gays & Lesbians Until They Die Out

My very conservative mother often assures me that "most" Republicans, conservatives, religious people, etc. aren't really all that anti-gay. It's just a really vocal minority. Maybe it is. I certainly don't bump into people like this in real life. But if the run-of-the-mill conservative does not hold these views, where are they when things like this are said? Every time some nut on the left does or says something wacky, President Obama is called upon by the right to "repudiate" them. Muslims are criticized regularly on the right for not "repudiating" the actions of radical Islamists. Where are the outraged conservatives when crap like this is unleashed? Or do they agree with him?


[Excerpt]


Charles L. Worley, North Carolina Pastor: Put Gays And Lesbians In Electrified Pen To Kill Them Off 



The barrage of anti-gay sermons delivered by North Carolina-based pastors to hit the blogosphere continues with yet another disturbing rant caught on tape. . .


Read more at: Huffington Post

Cory Booker Incident Highlights Problem of False Equivalence

Cool guy. Bad day. Image from The Nation.
Mayor of Newark managed to step in it pretty big on Meet the Press on Sunday (in a discussion in an episode I watched, and didn't manage to notice). Cory Booker's problem--besides going against President Obama's message when he is an Obama surrogate--was a classic on: false equivalence. It's one of the most infuriating issues in politics and in modern news-info-tainment. "They all do it." "They're just alike." "Both sides of the aisle are guilty."

 Mama might have told you that there are two sides to every story, but she should have been more precise. Both sides are not always equal. Rachel Maddow is not merely the flip side of Sean Hannity. Creationism isn't as scientifically valid as Evolution. And the Jeremiah Wright "issue" is not the equivalent to Mitt Romney's history at Bain Capital.

[Excerpt]

Et Tu, Cory Booker? The Pathology of False Equivalence

There is a disease spreading across our political punditry, and the beloved mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, seems to have contracted it. On Sunday’s Meet The Press, Booker disavowed the new ad campaign attacking Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, and in doing so, compared the Obama team’s decision to air the ads to the right-wing invocation of Reverend Wright to take down the president. Booker released a retraction video hours later, but the incident indicates just how advanced the sickness of false equivalence is in our national dialogue. The plague has now infected a normally sharp public official unlikely to confuse a thinly veiled racist play against the first African-American president with an examination of the economic track record of his challenger. . .

Read more at: The Nation

Karl Rove Thinks it's "Stupid" to Bring Up Reverend Right Again

Turdblossom. Image from source, Raw Story.
Yes, it's true. Karl Rove thinks attacking President Obama using Reverend Right--again--is "stupid." But, I'm really more concerned about Rove himself, and his position at FOX "News." What in the world are they doing, using him as a commentator on the election? He--in his capacity running Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads--is a major player in the election, thanks to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision! Does this not scream "conflict of interest?" It is sure as hell not fair and balanced.

[Excerpt]

Rove: Attacking Obama with Rev. Wright is ‘stupid’

. . .“So, you want to try and do things that are helpful, not hurtful. And look, I thought it was very smart for the Romney campaign to immediately go out an denounce the tactic. It certainly sent a message to everybody in America what they wanted the campaign to be about. And it certainly sent a message to people involved in the super PACs, don’t be doing stupid things like this. . .”

Read more at: The Raw Story

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blast from the Past: The Best of Donna Summer

I knew when Donna Summer died this week, I would definitely dedicate Blast from the Past to her. And today, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees died. Sad, two disco legends gone. But I've done a recent BftP on Saturday Night Fever, partly inspired by the fact that Robin Gibb was ill. So, we're sticking with Donna. Both acts were plagued by having been so definitive of the disco era. Though they've had careers since, they both had a fallow period, and neither regained their former glory. But Barry's still around, and sadly, Donna is no more. But her music was so fun, so full of life, we will always have that to remember her by.







Those are the big ones. There were countless other dance hits that didn't make the top 40, and some more minor charting tunes. But this post is long enough already! Thanks and RIP, Donna Summer. For the rest of us, have a great Monday!

Over Time with Bill Maher, May 18, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Low-Carb Diet Success Story (and Survival Guide)

This week will mark 6 months of successful maintenance on my own modified version of the Atkins diet. I call this a success story because I intend to prolong that six months, and have already met the challenge of encroaching weight. Let me explain.

Don't let this happen to you!
This was (at least) my sixth go-around of low-carb dieting. Of those six, only four--counting this time--were successful. But the mere fact that I'm on it again is a testament to the curse of most any diet: falling off the wagon. The weight returns faster than it comes off, as almost everybody knows. And after you hit a certain weight in the wrong direction, our response is often, "Oh, what difference does it make now?" That kind of attitude can cause an even bigger problem, pun intended. It seems that each time we fall off a diet, our "ceiling weight" goes up. I found after my last backslide that I couldn't even exercise the weight off without also dieting. My 5' 8+" body was finally pushing the scales past 180 lbs. And with my endomorphic frame, that just didn't work. If I stay at that weight long enough, it spreads around to my face, my legs, even my fingers.

School cafeteria Ranch Burgers
made on low-carb bread.
It's not a good look for me. So, last September 6, I decided I was going low-carb again, and this time I approached it with the same fervency that I gave quitting smoking: no excuses. I kept my carbohydrate intake at no more than 20-25 carbs at all times. By late October, I had shed 25 pounds. And by Thanksgiving--11 weeks after I started--I was down to 150, which is at least 30 pounds, possibly a little past that. Since then, I haven't ever gotten heavier than 154 (briefly), or lower than 147. My high school weight of 140 does seem out of reach, so I've given away all of my sub-32" waisted pants, and all of the over-33" ones!


Cheesy Faux Potato Bake.
We're almost never without it.



I've instituted and rule, a rule that is certainly not as challenging as "no more cigarettes." That rule is, if the scale even approaches 155 (a weight which I thought was "heavy" when I was in my 20s), I step up the diet and exercise. An addendum to the rule is that if I've maintained 150 or lower for a couple of weeks, I can have a cheat day. More on that in a minute. And so far, it has worked. Barring a catastrophic event in my life or my family, I intend to keep these rules. My goals are now at monthly intervals. I'm shooting for a year. And I'll take it six months at a time like that until this is just life for me. After all of these tries at the diet, I feel like I'm finally in a pattern that works. So, here are some of the things that have helped me keep the weight off, if you're trying the diet too.

• Start the diet by ridding your house of snack foods, and most any tempting high carbohydrate product.
• Be on the lookout for carbs/sugars in things that don't seem like they'd have much (they put high-fructose corn syrup in everything these days, even some "diet" items).
• Be wary of "serving sizes" of even low-carb foods. Sometimes a tiny package will claim it has seven servings.
• Remember that you can subtract fiber grams from carb grams to get your "net carb" number. If the food has a lot of fiber, it will cancel out and equal number of carb grams.
Cauliflower Faux Fried Rice &
Stir Fry. Amazingly good.
• Stock up on diet friendly items that can relieve any suffering you might be having on this restrictive diet, such as:
  • Pepperoni slices (which you can microwave on paper towels, if you're scared of all that fat)
  • Cheese in cubes, slices, bricks. There are some carbs in some cheeses, but most are very low.
  • Eggs. Buy the 60-egg flat at Sam's or Costco. Eggs are a wonderful meal any time in many varities, and can be used in egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, and on and on. Bacon is also good in all of those salads!
  • Dill pickles, in full, spears, hamburger slices or gherkins.
  • Cauliflower, radishes, turnips, lettuce, green onion, green beans, broccoli. Turnips and cauliflower can often be used as a substitute for potatoes, in roasts and bakes.
  • Butter, for recipes.
  • Bacon, cook your own, pre-cooked and/or crumbled (for countless recipes).
  • Hamburger patties.
  • Hot dogs, bratwurst, sausages (just check carb counts first).
  • Meat, from roasts, to pork loin, to London broil, to steaks. Prepare a lot on the weekend, and package lunches or freeze portions for later.
  • Seafood, if you dig it (I don't).
  • Flax meal, if you're a baker. There are countless recipes for breads, muffins, pizza dough etc. online.
  • Powdered diet drink mixes (check the label).
  • Atkins diet bars and drinks (but more about sugar alcohols below).
  • Mission brand low-carb white tortillas (all other low-carb tortillas I've tried tasted awful. These are good!).
  • Chicken wings. Read nutritional info to be sure of the carbs. I love Tyson tequila lime, and I sprinkle some Cajun seasoning on them, and cook them longer so they're crispy.
  • Kroger brand (also Ralphs, Smith's, etc.) Carb Masters yogurt. 4 carbs each, and delicious! 
  • Beef jerky, but check the ingredients. Jack Links Original has only 3 cars each.
  • Ingredients for homemade soups. You can make chicken or hamburger soups that are delicious and low-carb, and use egg drop for noodles! See here.
Pizza on a flaxseed crust. Tastier the
second day. Personal pizzas on
Mission low carb tortillas are better.
There are a few items that only certain people on a low-carb diet can eat and drink without disrupting their diets. I'm one of the lucky ones who can have everything in this list (don't hate me because my digestive system is efficient!). So if you have any of these things, add them a little ways into your diet, and see if they make you stop losing, or actually gaining:

  • Nuts, particularly peanuts and almonds. My favorites are dry roasted peanuts, and smoked almonds.
  • Alcohol, like vodka, whiskey. Red wine doesn't seem to hurt my diet either. Low-carb beers in moderation are also okay. Probably should avoid all alcohol in the first two weeks. Watch out for sweet liquors or flavored rums too.
  • Caffeine. Dr. Atkins said no, I said, "Screw you, Dr. Atkins, you're dead!" And I've had no issue.
  • Diet soda. Many people are concerned about artificial sweeteners, their affect on the body, on hunger levels, and whether they are safe. I figure I've been drinking them since the 80s. If they're gonna kill me, they're gonna kill me. And can they really be worse than high-fructose corn syrup? I drink it like a fish, and I still lost 30 pounds.
  • Diet ice creams and other treats (like Atkins bars and drinks). In these items, you start with the carbohydrate grams, subtract fiber grams, and also subtract sugar alcohol grams. This is sort of controversial, and apparently doesn't work for everybody. But it works for me, yay!

Flaxseed focaccia cheesy bread.
Not outstanding, but pretty good.
My saving grace this go-around has been the internet. Since the low-carb diet craze faded, and people moved to other things, there are fewer companies making low-carb items. So getting some recipes was essential. In addition to recipes I've invented myself, I've got quite a variety of things I can eat without getting bored. I have highlighted several of those recipes on this blog in the past, and if you go to this post, it will link to others, which will link to others. . . My favorites are the Faux Cheesy Potato Bake, the Cauliflower faux fried rice, and the Low-carb Pizza (both on Mission tortillas and on Flax crust). And if you don't find what you're looking for within those links, or the ones below this post, you can type, "low carb," "Atkins" or "cauliflower" into the search box at the upper left of this page for more targeted searching. Feel free to write me for advice or questions!

Now, about the cheat days. There are two types. The first is a scheduled "anything goes" day. This is particularly good for big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or littler ones like birthdays and summer cookouts. If you've been really good for a while, hit a personal goal, etc., go ahead and splurge. Even turn it into a weekend if you want. Then go back on the diet and exercise full-bore following your scheduled "time out." The worst damage you're going to do is a couple of pounds, and the cheat--for me anyway--often seems to jump-start the diet. The second type of cheat is to use carb blockers, like Carb Intercept, which is available at Wal-mart and other stores, or can be bought cheaper online. Now, I have no idea about the science behind this product, but it allegedly prevents the absorption of carbohydrates by the body. I don't even care if it's a placebo (don't tell me!), because it seems to work. I take these on days where it is difficult to avoid carbs (popcorn at the movies, special events), when I'm not looking to jump start, not looking to go nuts. I still try to limit these events. But "cheat days" overall can save your sanity. Let's be honest, can you give up potatoes, rice, bread, cake and cookies for the entirety of the rest of your life?

PS. I should note that The Other Half--who had gained quite a bit of weight over the past 10 years decided to join me on the diet this time around, after saying "it doesn't work for him." This time, he stuck to it, and it did work. He's lost over 50 pounds! And he started in October.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I exercise 5-7 days per week, most weeks. And by exercise, I usually walk 4 miles, or about 45 minutes on the treadmill. If I do it at the gym, I follow with a little swimming. I really ought to do more at the gym, but suiting up to just go walking is so much easier and less time intensive!
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