Coping: The Friday Rural Gazette and Oatmeal Review


Do something nice for a Veteran today.  A simple phone call and a “Thank you for your Service” is good.  I don’t care how busy you are, the only excuse for not making one such call is you’re dead. 

(In which case drop us a note, we have some questions.)

Topic 1:  Weight Loss with Oatmeal

I have been nibbling around the edges of dieting, but when working as hard as I have been (sweating like a fool, which come to think of it does make sense…) it’s easy to run off 10 pounds.

Three major changes in lifestyle may account for my loss of 10 pounds in recent weeks (since October 19):

1. I have been active as hell. Working – real physical hard, sweaty work every day for 6-8 hours. Mouse time doesn’t count.

2.Ending my consumption of martinis. Sure, they were fun, but as I age, my ability to bounce back from more than two glasses of wine with dinner suggest aging doesn’t include too many excesses.

3.I’ve just gotten started on Oatmeal.

There’s a book out, The Oatmeal Diet and I’ve been munching on plain old Quaker Oats along with some frou-frou organic brand, but to read the book, Oats have not been exploited by the corporate types yet because there is not enough interest in higher Oat production worldwide.

I highly recommend not only the book, but also eating half a cup of dry oats (add water to cook, duh) as eating it daily now for a week seems to have almost magically reduced by scale-breaking proclivities.

Also reduces inflammation, appetite for red meat is on the run, and now a small meal of high carb food (like mac and cheese) actually more than works.

Blood pressure has come down a bit too, although I am compulsively checking that and it could be from just plain old hard work.

Sleep hasn’t changed, workload hasn’t changed….

Oh…one of the couples we know? Well on her side of the family, her dad – who eats a bowl of oatmeal once a day – is now 98 and is looking like an easy hundred.

Statistically, oatmeal (and going to wine and no hard liquor) seems to be the path to many more columns.

Topic 2: iPad Travel Alert

I’m not saying this is widespread, and I don’ty have any other reports, but one of our sources up in the Seattle area reported a really odd case recently:

He was traveling OUTBOUND from Seattle and he was told that he had to turn over his bag for inspection because he had failed to mention his iPad and it was spotted on the scanner.

Now the odd part: His bag was taken from him, out of his view, around a curtain.

After a few minutes of “searching” his bag was handed back.

Upon arriving at his destination he discovered that his high-end ($175) Sony headphones were missing so he has filed a complaint with the TSA.

Other thing is where he bought the headphones had a 90-day theft insurance thrown in…and he had the receipt and discovered them missing when he unpacked….on day 88!

So here’s the deal:

No problem with TSA folks doing their job…but YOU have a RIGHT to be present when your bag(s) are searched. And, check the TSA website for which electronics are subject to search. Don’t give up your phones without accompanying them, either, since some people don’t have passwords for little goodies like, oh, bank accounts, locked down well.

Just passing it on…

Topic 3: Shop Work

Spent all day on the dumb end of power tools trying to get the trim (finish carpentry) just right. And caulked and trimmed out the new exterior door to the guest quarters.

This is not a particularly “fun” series of tasks (back hurts like hell), but it is rewarding when I look at the ratio of raw materials to perceived value.

Then I feel better.

UPS dropped off my new tile saw Thursday. Never had one before, but after seeing the great tile work that Chris Tyreman of The Chronicle Project did, well, I’m competitive. What can I say?


Topic 4:  How to Get More Tools

(Attention Tool Sluts!)

If you are new to the fine art of being a home handy-bastard, one of the fine points to success with limited budgets and spousal relations goes like this:

Work out the real cost of a proposed project.

Base everything on full retail prices. Then add in a couple of “necessary tools to do a good job.”

Most spouses have a hard time with significant who go overboard with their hobbies (which is why ham radio gear arrives when someone is shopping, lol) or put up things like 746-foot long antennas.

BUT – and this is top secret stuff to remember and it will fill out your shop – Make a logical case that the tool you need to buy (like that $1,500 class cabinet saw) will help you make much better cabinets than store-bought.

For the remodel of the guest quarters I’ve worked in a Skil tile saw and a Wagner power paint roller, for example.

This will not work with all women, but I am one of the most blessed men on earth because my wife is one of the feqw beautiful women I’ve ever met who has done commercial garage and carport rebuilding and can run a jack-hammer.

Who’d have thought?

Topic 5: Make Your Life a Huge Series of  Adventures

Your Life is your resume and the people you’ve touched along the way.

If you were to read your own resume today, would you find yourself a petty damn awesome person, or shading over into staid and boring?

I considered my wife carefully…the more skills, the better, I figured…

I mean seriously? Homesteader, masseuse, dancer, construction work, and  sergeant in her military hitch. Significant time as a Title clerk, well-driller & pipe welder, restaurant hostess, rodeo timer and as an artist and personal trainer….Mercy – sounds unbelievable.  I’ve been after her to finish writing a book about her adventures.

For me it was broadcast engineer, R&E mechanic, DJ, newscaster, news director, airline VP, software VP sales, college president, electronics sales VP, director of strategic planning,  business process and sales consultant, writer, financial whiz after a fashion, and here lately, carpenter, and novelist…

It is amazing how much you can figure out if you take 10-years per industry and try different things, working your way up a wrung each time…

But you see,  that’s the neat thing about working hard and living a long life. You get to try your hand at anything than interests you, if you’re willing to turn off the Cyclops for a while.

Not willing?

Well, back to the shop. Zeus the Cat will listen to me even if kids today don’t give a rip about experience and the joys of learning by doing…

Life=long learning, that’s the key – that an d oatmeal which takes us full circle.

See you Monday. And we part with the Home Handy-Bastard salute.

(This is the part where we hold up our hands and show all 10-digits present. Re-check Monday so don’t screw it up, right?)

And write when you get rich,

(Or come up with a perfect crime that doesn’t involve running for office and starting a Foundation…)

12 thoughts on “Coping: The Friday Rural Gazette and Oatmeal Review”

  1. The oatmeal diet sounds like a variant of McDougall’s starch heavy diet, which I have been trying for three weeks, losing 17 pounds so far. EXecutive summary: as a young doctor serving 5000+ people on a Hawaii sugar plantation, he noticed that natives of Asia were the leanest and healthiest, with their American, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren getting progressively fatter and less healthy, living under the same roof.

    It became clear that diet was the key, and the Asians were eating about 80% of their calories as starch, and less than 10% as fat. He also noticed that animal protein was almost not consumed at all. 50 years later he is fit and trim and runs clinics in California where people go to learn how to eat and cook this way. Typical weight loss is 1/2 pound a day.

    My personal experience has been that starch without fat is surprisingly filling, so I am consuming far fewer calories, but feel full and free of cravings. And when I accidentally ate some bread with a lot of oil in the dough, I almost instantly became hungrier. Perhaps fat triggers hunger?

    Anyway, all long lasting civilizations have been sustained by prediminately starch based diets. Incas ate potatoes. Chinese and Japanese eat rice, mixed with some wheat and buckwheat. Mayans ate corn. Romans ate barley, wheat etc. the poor Irish lived on potatoes until the famine. Mesopotamia was a breadbasket, as was Egypt.

    I suspect that McDougall’s almost militant veganism may be driven a bit by political and moral considerations, but, frankly, as long as I feel good and lose weight, I’ll stick with it. If I reach my target weight, I will reintroduce small amounts of fish, dairy and meat, to see what happens. But these days, vegan substitutes are plentiful and tasty enough. Frankly, after you eat a few pieces of bread, the hunger pangs are usually gone, so why keep eating?

    An unexpected consequence of all this is how cheap it is. About the same cost savings as one might expect to net from a small rent house. For example, a 20 pound bag of premium jasmine rice costs less than $1 a pound at our Asian grocery. Try and eat a cooked pound of rice in a day. Condiments, dried seaweed, noodles, and other components are typically almost free, compared to beef.

    Finally, it turns out that humans have six copies of the starch digestion gene. Other mammals have two or less. Flow with it, I say.

  2. +1 on the wife that can do lots of things.

    Interesting that you bring up the benefits of living a long busy life. I am in the same age bracket as you and with raising a 12 year old presently we come in contact with quite a few 20 or 30 something parents.

    We have worked as a toilet scrubber, ICU nurse, assembler at wal mart, book seller, car mechanic,motorcycle mechanic, bee keeper who sold her hives to buy her first house, herbalist, medical intuitive, urgent care nurse in the big city and nurse in remote montana. Now we are artists and the wife is also a tour guide Life really is grand.

  3. Starters: My brother is a veteran, and I told him the reason I dont thank him for his “service”- is that I consider the military to merely be the goon squad to enforce the NWO’s objectives. I thank my lucky stars that my own commission was rejected years ago, because the betrayal of our people would have eaten at me for life. It was such a travesty to have sent the National Guard overseas to play the role of NWO enforcer- a job they didnt sign up for.
    I would like to thank Michael New, in his refusal to wear the blue hat of the UN Force and unsuccessfully take it to court. No one should have to take commands from another country’s officers. (yes, I had relatives who were forced into the military of other countries in WW2, and they hated it too).
    Let the “flaming” begin!

    • No need to ‘flame’ you because we’re all reasonable ;-). It’s also true that if there were NO military in any country, war would NOT be possible to exercise.

  4. I just redid the master bathroom. I was getting bonus points for using my fancy wooden boat building tools (knowing I would be able to use this leverage for more). The bonus points disappeared, however, when the boat tool needed turned out to be the bilge pump. At least the cabinets look nice ;)

  5. Danielle tried the oatmeal up here in Canada while body building, didn’t work. I guess certain body types will have good results, others will not, so pick and choose until something works. I’m guessing it was the martinis G LOL.

  6. Well, diet-wise I trust you are eating the apple each day. A long time ago I read a book by a Vermont veterinarian urging the health benefits of apples. One should eat the crunchy part in the middle, and try to bite the seeds enough to break the skin. Now may be a good time, prepper-wise, to can a couple of pecks of apples.
    Oatmeal is a good idea. I put several tablespoons in my bread dough. I use only organic oatmeal because I understand that industrial agriculture uses glyphosate to evenly assure that all plants are ready to harvest at the same time.

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