The Well Travelled Joint

Sunday, 15 August 2010 01:14 by The Lunatic
I’ve never tried pot. It’s not that I have any moral objections to Marijuana , and I really don’t care whether it’s legal or illegal – it’s not a big issue to me.  The reason I have never smoked Marijuana is the same reason why I don’t smoke cigarettes: I just can’t understand why anyone would willingly inhale the soot and tar and ash of burning carcinogens into their lungs.  Blech.  You might as well suck on the exhaust pipe of your local city bus for all the good it’s going to do for you! Back around 1985 or so, I was staying at a friends house for a few days and he asked if I wanted to smoke a joint with him.  I politely declined, but he was persistent.  More...

The all natural, all organic, totally healthy blog post

Monday, 29 March 2010 01:04 by The Lunatic
I consider my family to be a fairly “healthy” eaters.  We consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and eat very little fast food (only a few times a year). My kids are never allowed to drink soda, except when they are at a party or some function where there are no alternatives.  We eat a lot of fish and pasta.  And although I love beef, lamb, pork, and chicken, we limit our portion sizes and try to stick to lower fat recipes. However, I have mixed opinions about the “organic” food movement. I admit it’s important to openly discuss better/safer/healthier/environmentally friendly ways of feeding our growing population, and there are many organic products and processes I agree with wholeheartedly – but many of the organic guidelines are based on emotion rather than facts and real data. The use of synthetic fertilizers, for example, is one of the hottest topics. I liken the use of fertilizers to More...
Categories:   Science | Social Issues
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The Bigger Chill

Saturday, 30 January 2010 12:10 by The Lunatic
The star studded 1983 movie "The Big Chill” was about a weekend reunion of a bunch of old college friends – now in their early 30’s – who all get together for the funeral of Alex, one of their classmates who committed suicide. The movie is poignant, intelligent, very funny, and somewhat disturbing all the same time. It’s about rekindling old friendships, coping with the shock of their friend Alex’s death, and wondering what happened to the social idealism that they all shared when they attended the University of Michigan in the late 60’s. They were all anti-establishment, idealistic, smart, enthusiastic, with a vocal desire to change the world and make it a better place. Alex, now deceased, was a charismatic science major. Everyone thought he was the most intelligent one of the bunch – and their mutual friendship really survived through the years because of him. He was the glue that kept them all together, but he was never able to get his own life straightened out. Now, in 1983, they realize they are becoming the conservative “establishment” that they protested against in college.  More...

I Want My (Digital) Rights To Be Properly Managed

Thursday, 14 January 2010 07:00 by The Lunatic
I bought my wife the new Kindle, from Amazon, for her birthday last week.  I really love the whole idea of eBooks – the Kindle is quite portable (about the size of a regular book) with a gorgeous high resolution surface that is really easy to read. Plus, you can do cool things like set multiple bookmarks, change font size, store hundreds of books at one time, and download new books wirelessly from almost anywhere in the world. It even has “text to speech” built in so it can read to you! Wow. It really is very, very, very cool technology. But there’s one thing that still bugs me ... we read a lot, my wife and I both go through a few books a month. So it’s quite likely we could spend a few hundred dollars (or more) on a library of Kindle books over the next couple of years. But what guarantee do we have that we will still be able to read them in ten years?  What happens if our Kindle device breaks, and there is no replacement?  Or what if the best device on the market in ten years happens to be a product from another company, which isn’t compatible with our library of Kindle eBooks? This isn’t just an issue with the Amazon Kindle, it’s an endemic More...

Want to lose weight? Buy smaller dinner plates.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 05:14 by The Lunatic
Last summer, as we were moving from Washington DC to Switzerland, our flight was delayed by more than eight hours on the first leg of our journey.  Grrrrr.  Of course, we missed our connection. And we missed every other possible flight from Newark to anywhere in Europe – so we had to spend the night. Ahhhh ... back in wonderful Newark, New Jersey.  I guess I can’t say TOO many bad things about Newark because I have relatives there – but I think most people would agree that it’s not the most appealing place in the world. Let’s say it’s a few notches above Iraq, maybe not quite as nice as Zimbabwe. After a bit of haranguing, the airline was kind enough to pay for a room at the local Holiday Inn as compensation for the inexcusable delay , and to get me out of their hair and out of the airport they gave us some meal vouchers as well (really, we could have DRIVEN from Washington DC to Newark and we would have made our connecting flight with time to spare!) So the next morning, we had our last meal in the USA.  Connected to the Holiday Inn is Harold’s New York Deli (don’t let the name fool you, it’s really in Edison, New Jersey) where they claim to have the World’s Largest Pickle Bar. They serve half pound burgers More...
Categories:   Social Issues
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Nothing controversial in this post ...

Sunday, 20 December 2009 20:38 by The Lunatic
Many years ago, a neighbor of mine had a miscarriage after trying to get pregnant, unsuccessfully, for many years. It was very hard for me to see her go through such a terrible time. She was distraught.  I was upset.  Her husband was trying very hard to comfort her, and kept telling her “it was the will of god”. He didn’t know what else to say. Statistically, over 30% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage before the end of the third month, what’s medically known as a “spontaneous abortion.”  The number might even be higher, there is substantial evidence which says that many women don’t even realize they are pregnant if the miscarriage occurs about the time their next period is due.  Usually, a woman just assumes she is “late” by a few weeks.  The body just decides there is something wrong, and the pregnancy is terminated on the spot. So here’s my point. There are many who believe More...
Categories:   Religion | Social Issues
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Something to really think about

Wednesday, 4 November 2009 22:11 by The Lunatic
Just think: If you had started taking AloeControl when it was launched last summer, you could easily be 20 to 50 pounds lighter right now. Just think: If you had bought AloeAdvanced when you first heard about it, your cholesterol could finally be under control, you could have better concentration, more energy, less stiffness in your joints, better control over your blood sugar levels, and the comfort of knowing that you have the most effective anti-oxidant known on planet Earth combating the harmful free radicals in your body. * Just think: If you drank AloeRest on a regular basis in the evening or AloeBoost in the morning, you could be sleeping better at night and have more energy More...
Categories:   Social Issues
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I’ll Drink To That (Part II)

Sunday, 11 October 2009 06:48 by The Lunatic
Here’s a cute little nursery rhyme that my mother taught me when I was about five years old (it will take a few tries to get the pronunciation and cadence right): Starkle, Starkle, little twink - What the heck I are, you think? Up a high, the world so bove - Gee, you’d think I were in Love! The drunker I sit here, the longer I get. Why ossifer, what gives you the diarrhea that I’m under the affluence of incahol though some think’ll will peep I am! Hic. My mother had a lot of these funny drinking poems up her sleeve, but she never drank. Ever. (At least, not after I was born – she did when she was younger).  And myself – I had my very first drink of alcohol on my 21st birthday; a very dear friend named Linda took me out for lunch and bought me a beer.  I remember it well – it was More...
Categories:   Social Issues
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An ode to Washington D.C.

Sunday, 19 July 2009 06:37 by The Lunatic
It was one year ago today, July 19, 2008, that I moved with my family to Washington D.C. And in ten days from now, we’ll be leaving! We’re moving back to Europe next week. We knew our stay in D.C. would be only a year, which was fine with me.  I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy the nations capital. Although I was born on the east coast, we moved to Spokane, Washington in 1968, when I was five years old, and I lived on the west coast for the next 38 years.  Prior to moving here, my only visit to D.C. was a quick business trip in the early 80’s – for a trade show, which meant I spent the entire time at the convention center and didn’t really get out to see anything else. About the only thing I remember from that trip was A) it was the middle of winter, and whenever the roll-up doors were opened to let a truck into the exhibit hall during setup, there was an arctic blast of horrendously cold air, and B) I had to drive to New York after the trade show, and I got lost trying to get out of Washington D.C.  All the diagonal streets are horribly confusing for a first timer. But in the year that we’ve lived here, I’ve really come to love Washington D.C.  Besides the obvious More...
Categories:   Social Issues
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I’ll drink to that!

Thursday, 16 July 2009 04:11 by The Lunatic
Here’s a funny story from when we lived in Europe a few years ago ... Our kids went to a Montessori School in Waterloo, Belgium (famous for the battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated) and one sunny spring day the school had their annual fund raiser – an “International Day” where all the families brought foods from different countries, and visitors paid a few Euros per plate to sample all the delectables. They had song and dance performances from all over the globe, and a big auction of some of the students’ artwork and other donated items.  And of course, as expected at any good Belgian event, they served copious amounts of beer to the parents, teachers, and visitors. Good, strong, Belgian beer. After the day was done they had about three cases of beer left over – which the teachers piled in a very neat stack in one corner of the third grade classroom. This stack of beer was there in the class for a few months until their next school event came around, when it was finally More...
Categories:   Social Issues
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