Archive | May 2012

In Memoriam

A happy Memorial Day weekend to all.

My children, Matt and I spent yesterday morning walking around DC in the war memorial district.  WWII, Vietnam… I’m not a particularly overtly patriotic person.  I don’t have flags on my car/residence, no yellow ribbon magnets, I don’t go around hollering about the USA or the President.

But I am proud to be the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, and proud that my son’s great-grandfather is a Korean War veteran, and that my son’s uncle is a Marine, and that some of what I did when I worked with NASA had military connection.  I’m jobhunting (for a full-time one) and the VA is high on my list of places to look.  My son’s father rides in Rolling Thunder every year (except last when our son was very new), and in fact left about 45min before I originally wrote this to meet up and form up.  We went to a viewing spot about an hour later, and the kids had flags.  I teach my children about the importance of respect for the flag; whatever they may think of it when they’re older, they will know that it stands for more than just something to wave or draw pictures of in school.

This weekend please remember and honor those who fought and didn’t make it back, and thank those who did.  Really, we should do this all year ’round.   The war memorials in DC to those fallen exist more than two days a year.  If you’re ever in town, visit them. Honor them. And shed a tear for the sacrifices made, and think about why, and think about what to do about it and with it.



It’s very frustrating to have one of these moments and be nowhere near a keyboard. 


I made a voice memo, but I can’t follow my own logic right now.  I’ll listen to it again in the morning sometime soon and use it as a prompt.  It involved quantum resonances of individuals and the relation to relationships and the type of bonds they form, and the possible parallel to chemical bonds.

Obesity, mathematics, and solutions.

About a week ago Matt sent me this link:

I read it and responded. Before coffee or being truly conscious. I’ve started to realize that I gear DOWN as I wake up.


Extremely so.

My immediate thought is to stop and look at household shopping/cooking patterns in the ’50s-’70s, compare them to current, and adjust current back to match. Just because we CAN buy X doesn’t mean we SHOULD. Grow more food (the giant garden is a great start, actually) and have a set limit of how much in the way of stuff (ie, groceries) we’ll get to supplement.

A bonus to this should be less grocery spending (and what there is on better ingredients), which will only help the monthly budget. Another thing to do is to have a hard budget for groceries; if we run out, guess what: it’s time to clean the pantry shelves, isn’t it? (Another clue that his findings are correct: look at the basic pantry contents then and now. Look at this house; it wasn’t built with a pantry. It wasn’t necessary then, really.)

We do have an overabundance of calories available to our society (barring homelessness, etc.) To help control this, we need to look at the “choke points”, the points where we can easily control inflow. Actual ingestion is one, but it’s a notoriously difficult one for many people. The next is meal preparation… and while that works partially, it’s really easy to cook with high-calorie ingredients so it’s not a total solution. The next (hello fault-chain analysis, here) is influx into the home, and THAT is probably going to be the easiest to control. It only requires self-control for as long as we’re in the grocery store, and we can have set “grocery days” outside of which only certain things (milk, veg, cat food) can be purchased.

One thing that can be done (for us) is harder budgeting. We know about what we spend on groceries every two weeks; with fruit, cream, and cat food it seems to hover around $250ish (feel free to correct.) Now we can take that and very deliberately chop off $50. We know we need certain things (like the cat food, etc) but it’ll force us to think a lot more about what we actually need/want from the store. If you would like, we can sit down some night this week and figure it out for the next go-round — which will be MY test-run, as you’ll mostly be in the UK.

Another thing that can be done is, believe it or not, a straight-up set of new tupperware for leftovers. For some reason I’ve found that it’s a LOT easier to remember to eat leftovers if they’re attractively packaged, and the fridge space is used more efficiently. (Not to mention it keeps things from smelling like garlic…) It’s not that expensive and doesn’t have to be the priciest thing in the store. (Bonus points for stuff that’s expandable piece by piece in case something gets broken.)

(Side note: where can I publish if I write this up as a companion article? I have no clue of that sort of thing.)

TL;DR: I think I see how to shrink both waistlines and grocery spending.

The purpose…

People ask me things. Sometimes they do this before I’ve had my coffee and am fully conscious.  This is to share the results.

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