Archive for June, 2008

The Monday Tone Set

One of my big problems: I often have no idea where the time went. What did I do Tuesday? I can’t remember! Wednesday? It’s a wash, a blank, a total blur. Didn’t I drink a beer? Part of the project intrinsic to this blog is paying attention to how time is spent. Each Monday, I shall set up an agenda with regard to this space and I will be consciously pursuing that agenda for the rest of the week.

Cat, Gary, watches as Herbach types agenda.

Variables: My kids are out of town until Friday (more free time than usual). It is a holiday week (4th is also Friday). This is the first week of the new quarter and I begin teaching 6 new classes online. The weather will be warm and summerish.

Monday: Yard work! The end is not in sight. I nearly sweat out my insides yesterday trying to take care of the nasty business. Freaking weeds and Cheetos bags from the busy street adjacent. What does it mean to have a well-kept yard? I don’t care what the neighbors think. The neighbors here in Powderhorn don’t care what I do for the most part…Thankfully some do…I like neighbors. Why do I want to take care of the yard, now? I never have before.

Tuesday: I am spending much of the day writing hellos to my new students. I actually like my day job (teaching online). Tomorrow I’m going to consider number six in the Buddhist Eightfold Path. Because, the truth is, I like lots of stuff but often-times don’t put in the Right Effort. Do you hear me, grasshopper? Ding! (sound of bell ringing.)

Wednesday: I’m going to cook some damn brilliant meal. It is going to Rock My World. Seriously. I can’t survive on bread and cheese. Leafy greens! Do you hear me, grasshopper?

Thursday: It’s career day! I don’t know what that means, but it will Rock My World. We all should spend measured time considering the appropriate path and what steps are necessary to be fully on that path. I tend to think for a second thusly and then turn on the TV (I wish Charles in Charge were on right now), because it is hard thinking (do you remember the sort of Go Gos knock off Charles in Charge theme?). (Aw, hell.)

Friday: Free for all having to do with Carl Jung and also running around a big lake.

Hello. I am Carl Jung. Had I been born 100 years later, I’d likely put down this pipe and run around a big lake.

I’m also going to try reporting the first daily “metric” results. I think the system is working! Do you hear me, grasshopper?

So, that’s what I got for now. Now, I’m going to go kill weeds with my bare hands in order to achieve some kind of peace.

3:30 UP DATE: I have killed much of what was living in my garden.  I found that there is a woody mulch underneath the plant cover.  It all looks like hell and my big round head is sunburned.  That said, I feel great!  I’m not done, but I got it going on… in my yard!  Call me Mr. Greenjeans.

Mr. Greenjeans say: “Call me Mr. Greenjeans.”


I am tired but will battle in the garden instead of watching rioters on TV

Last night was a late one, which ended in dangling legs in a hot tub with lots of excellent friends. I’m not beating myself for a good time on a Saturday. That’s okay.

What happens way too often: next day I spend watching TruTV (not reality… ACTUALITY! – what a bunch of crap). Today, I have, in fact, watched it, first a story about a doctor who murdered his wife and almost got away with it! And then I found myself staring at some crowd violence show (footage of riots with dramatic, deep-voiced, COPs-esque narration: But the brave riot police faced down the wild and rowdy mob and, eventually, order was restored to the beach… but not before a young child was injured in the indecent fray). I realized I am like the rioters except I am alone. I don’t much like me either (as the rioters certainly don’t like themselves) and sometimes I feel like breaking stuff. This will not change by watching TruTV. Instead, I’m going to get up and work in my overgrown garden. That’s healthy! I have a headache.

Oh the humanity! I don’t like me either.

I’m going to go be this guy instead (hope I don’t fro up).

Except I look like this guy, because…

Somewhere in there is my compost bin and I am the only one who will weed it out.  Home ownership is not easy, my friends.

Big Saturday Breakfast Yes! VH1 No!

Sure, I’m exhausted right now. That was a big breakfast! I earned that exhaustion and I’d be fine with it, except I went back to bed and watched insipid jackass VH1 (the “I love” series is now doing the new millenium — e.g. NOW — “Oh man, remember when Paris Hilton was on TV all the time… She was all like, That’s Hot!” — asinine).

Breakfast? Wonderful! I ate a ton of food: a ham and cheese omelet. But, it wasn’t any ham and cheese omelet. It was local free range ham or something and local not from Europe gruyere cheese. That’s top of the line stuff and while I fed my face, I helped a local farmer and a new local restaurant, Citizen Cafe!

Actually, I can’t remember if the food is locally grown. In any case, it was delicious. I really liked it, even though the service hasn’t exactly figured out how to deal with a weekend breakfast rush (opened ten days ago, so that is eminently understandable).

Great breakfast on the weekend (after eating healthy all week). That’s what I want to do. Be moderate. Cut big fat bombs out most of the time, totally love them when I get them. I did it. And so, I should feel excellent! I should feel alive!

Except I watched damn VH1, which I hate. What is my problem? “I love the new millenium?” Aw man. Soon they’ll have minor celebrities watching themselves in a mirror while making snarky comments about themselves. Hmm. Sound familiar?

Tasty fat bomb diner/yuppie Saturday breakfast is good for you. VH1 is not. But both smell like something you want to put in your mouth… know what I mean?

Life is full of little pitfalls. The work goes on.

The Magic of Omega 3s, the best fat ever!

OMEGA 3 VIDEO: First things first, these are some damn cute rats. I don’t want them to have to suffer in this ugly laboratory swimming pool. Had they both drunk a power shake with Omega 3s in it, they’d both be out of that swimming pool fast. Only one did consume that formula from birth on, however (the winning rat).

Of course, this example is pretty simple, and not the best science (one rat verses another rat — even if they are siblings, I’ve met brothers who are very different — one dumb, one smart, for instance), still it is a nice illustration of a proven, scientific fact: a certain kind of fat (Omega 3, baby!), can make you feel smart and swift (and can help your heart keep beating, according to the NY Times)! Let’s watch the video, shall we?

Hey, there are Omega 3s in other greens and meats?! Woot Woot.

I’m not very educated on the matter, but honestly thought that the only real source of Omega 3s are fish. One of the things I don’t like eating is fish. Someday, I’ll tell the most horrible story of me, a babysitter and a 48 pack of Van de Kamp’s fish sticks in 1978 (the last year I ate fish other than tuna). Oh no, I don’t eat fish!

Terrifying Fish

Turns out Omega 3s are in other stuff. I’m going to see if I can’t speak with Susan Allport (who is referenced at the end of the video) to find out more about “The Queen of Fats” and especially more about other good sources.

I, for one, love fat. It is delicious (when not fish). I also like to feel smart and I like the fact that my heart keeps beating. Hells to the yes I’m going to hunt Omega 3s out in my diet. I’m not super stupid. If given reasonable information (that doesn’t contain too much pain), I’ll follow suit.

Beer. Oh, I likey! How much is just right?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there is evidence that “moderate” consumption of alcohol is actually a boost to the health of the “moderate” consumer. Check this out from Professor David J. Hanson of SUNY Potsdam:

Alcohol And Health

Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. In addition to having fewer heart attacks and strokes, moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine or distilled spirits or liquor) are generally less likely to suffer hypertension or high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, Alzheimer’s disease and the common cold. Sensible drinking also appears to be beneficial in reducing or preventing diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis, kidney stones, digestive ailments, stress and depression, poor cognition and memory, Parkinson’s disease, hepatitis A, pancreatic cancer, macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness), angina pectoris, duodenal ulcer, erectile dysfunction, hearing loss, gallstones, liver disease and poor physical condition in elderly.

I mean, really. That’s a lot of stuff alcohol can help with! And, not just red wine, ALCOHOL, GENERALLY, used SENSIBLY! Is it true? He’s a professor saying it, but also, obviously, a big fan of ALCOHOL, GENERALLY. The NY Times would tend to back him up (although, they say it is a slightly controversial claim — because drunks and fights and driving and sexy dancing, etc.).

So, moderate. What does moderate mean? Just to reiterate:

I’m not in this picture, but easily could be!

Is this moderate? Last night I had two HAMM’s the BEER refreshing.

They were quite delicious at the end of a long, hot day. I could easily have reached for one more! Or for several more! Instead, I stopped at two. Oh two, yes. And I went to bed, got up this morning clean headed, and went for a nice run, feeling no ill-effects of having consumed two beers (two sad beers).

So… Would my intake be considered “moderate” or would it be considered “palsy” and not enough to encourage the good effects of alcohol consumption? I think I know the answer. I think you probably can’t get drunk, like I didn’t get drunk.

It did still taste good! Yay! I didn’t catch a buzz at all. Boo. I woke up feeling fresh like oranges! Yay! I like the buzz part, too. Hmm. Choices.

Once I start drinking beers, it is hard to stop. I get on a roll. I do the whoop whoop. Can I drink two moderate and sensible beers regularly? Hmm.

I would like to wear a white shirt

I ran at the gym today and felt pretty good. For the first time in probably six months, I stayed running for over three miles. Considering the cartons (literally) of cigarettes I smoked in the car while driving to book tour stops in the intervening months, I feel quite happy and thought: I am healthier than I was a month ago… by a lot! I am also a fat ass.

Not smoking has prompted overeating on my part. I don’t think I’ve replaced smoking with eating. I just don’t know when to stop eating. I’ve always stopped because I wanted a cigarette. After smoking, I’d realize I was satisfied.

Now, I’m getting in good shape, but look like schmoo in a t-shirt.

Shmoo didn’t wear t-shirts

One thing about getting healthy that I’m really adamant about, I want to fit in my damn shirts correctly. I want to wear a light, white oxford all summer and not sweat through on the belly so that my belly hair and large belly button show dark from inside my sweaty shirt. That isn’t pretty. Sumo wrestlers are fit in a cardio-vascular sense. Do you want to hug them?

Good cardio-vascular health. I do not want to hug them.

I seriously need to limit my intake of calories. I’m thinking of using the Weightwatchers point system. I like that point stuff.

Make no mistake, life will totally kill you.

For instance, in this NY Times article, there’s a quick discussion of Tim Russert’s death and it talks about how difficult it would have been for Doctors to predict the heart attack that killed Mr. Russert (who was a bit overweight, but took medication and tried to be healthy). Life will kill your heart (one way or another).

But, apparently you can play the odds game and improve your chances of surviving longer! This, of course, is macro-analysis, across a population, not individual, because if you’ve got a bad ticker, you’ve got a bad ticker, and chances are it’s going to get you no matter what you do. Here is a distillation from another NY Times article about heart health.

*Do stop smoking!

*Do watch your cholesterol numbers.

*Do not eat lots of trans fats.

(I don’t know what the last two really mean — what are good cholesterol numbers and what are saturated fats?)

*Eat fish! Omega 3s and Statins. I don’t like fish. Twice a week tuna I could do (recommended in the article).

*What? 3-5 table spoons of nuts five times a week lowers heart attack chances 25-40% I’m on it!

*What? 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day? Oh, Jesus! How? Salads, 100% fruit juice, broccoli. I don’t know about that. Whoa.

*Some suggest adding alcohol to diet (moderate). Okay, but can I be moderate? What does “moderate” even mean? “Moderate” use can lower death rates in individuals by 25% in any given year. That’s good. But…

I’m not in this picture, but could easily be.

*Do exercise 30 minutes or more most days.

That’s all the article really says: No smoke, eat fish, eat nuts, eat fruits and vegetables, consider alcohol, exercise. I have considerable trouble with fish, fruits and vegetables and the appropriate use of alcohol. I’m now a nonsmoker (no nicotine replacement either) for over a month. Hmm… can a Herbach do this?

Hmm… Maybe a Herbach can.

I am…

Geoff Herbach. I am the author of Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, among a bunch of other stuff. When I'm not writing, I teach writing at Minnesota State, Mankato.

Stupid Fast

Nothing Special

I’m With Stupid

Fat Boy (Gabe Johnson Takes Over)

PowderKeg Stage

Herbach's favorite store

My Bizzle

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