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Friday, September 28, 2012

Time To Kiss My Ass Goodbye?



Since I wrote and published the Reluctant Hero Trilogy (The Last Wizard - The Story Of A Reluctant Hero, Son of the Morrigan, and Ragnarok) beginning in 2008, there's been a glut of movies and television shows that bathe themselves in some kind of post apocalyptic genre.  I am neither pompous nor naive enough to think that those productions got their ideas from my work.  Maybe, they were impregnated with the minor mayhem that was created by the dire predictions after the Mayan calendar was deciphered.  Well, maybe; people seem to feed on fear and there are those that profit from that fear.  Within this context, fear sells damned near anything.  But who knows?  Maybe some folks tapped into the collective unconscious described by Jung, or the mystic's concept of Divine Mind.

Two of the above allows us to "pierce the veil" with various means.  The Mayan calendar does not, because it was written by men and open to interpretation.  Many books have been written, based on the Mayan calendar, that proclaim the end of our world will be on 12/21/2012.  Those authors and their publishers have made a lot of money.  Recently, other researchers have found that that first interpretation to be false, but few have written about that.  It does not push people to freak out - remember Y2K?

In general terms, and I do mean general, there has to be a giant gap between the end of the world and the end of a cycle.  Remember, pilgrim, change happens - period.  And really, think about this:  if the world should end today, tomorrow, or on December 21st, what the hell are YOU gonna do about it?  The answer should be abundantly clear - Nothing.

Now let's get a bit personal.  Our world (I/me/my/our/yours) will end when we die; like it or not, death is inevitable.  The Reaper gets us all.  Here's the kick - we do not know our date of death.  For me, this is more meaningful than a thousand December 21st predictions.  My answer, my response to all of these predictions?  Live and love your loved ones everyday like it's your last.  The hell with predictions.

                                                  Copyright @2012 Terry Unger              

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Visit To My Doctor


I try very hard to avoid doctors, but not quite as hard when it comes to lawyers and used car salesmen.  My wife insisted that I schedule a check-up, so I did.  After waiting the usual and customary 45 minutes past the scheduled appointment time, I finally was ushered into one of the examination rooms.  The first thing out of the doc's mouth was to ask me where I've been.  Being the truth sleuth that I am, my reply was direct and to the point:  I've been busy.  He curtly reminded me that the last time he saw me was over two years ago; I guess he missed me.  What's a guy to do?  I told him that I was there at my wife's request to get a complete physical; he thought that I was there for Viagra - no chance of that, Bud.  And that's what happened.  After another 90 minutes in his office on that day of getting poked and prodded, over four hours the next Saturday, and three more that following Thursday, the results were in:  I am physically fit as a horse, just plain awesome, and an all around nice guy who just needs to lose ten pounds.  But, I already knew that.  I think the doc was upset because he had no reason to proscribe some kind of pill for me.  And if you are ready for it, the real excitement begins when the Explanation Of Benefits (EOB's) from your insurance company begin to stuff your mailbox.

To humor myself, I added up the "total charges" for this, that, and every other thing that was done to me.  Those "total charges" were well over $10,000.00.  Now mind you, I was not in a hospital; all that stuff took place in the doc's office.  If you don't know how to read those EOB's, that news can give you a heart attack.  But there is "good news," and it ain't the gospel.  When your doc is a "participating provider" ( labs and hospital too ), he accepts a lower, pre-determined fee for the provided service.  Simple logic begs the question:  since the doc/provider has agreed to the predetermined fee for the service, why the hell submit a charge that is no where near that predetermined fee?  I can only hazard to guess.  When reading over an EOB, the important thing to you is the column that tells you how much you owe.  And, zero dollars always is a good thing.  Well what the hell, I am still tickled purple that I can fire one doctor and hire another.  To me, they are subcontractors hired to do a job.

By the way, what is black and brown and looks really great on a lawyer?  A really hungry Rottweiler.  Do you know where used car salesmen go when they die?  They are reincarnated as insurance salesmen.  And what happens when doctors go to the great beyond?  They reincarnate as the accountants for insurance companies.


                                                   Copyright @2012 Terry Unger

This was posted before The Affordable Care Act.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Right of Expression and the Invasion of Privacy



In recent days, the media has treated us to three events:  the Islamic over-reaction to a stupid video, and the invasion of privacy of Prince Harry and then of Kate Middleton and her husband, Prince William.  In all three events the media has claimed freedom of expression, speech, and press, but only one, as sad as it is, can solidly claim that right.

Prince Harry was caught with his pants down while partying in Las Vegas.  So what.  Most people have not made the connection that a few days after "The Party In Vegas," Harry was deployed to Afghanistan.   Of course he knew of his deployment.  I don't know what planet you live on but here on Earth young men who are about to be deployed party hard; it just may be the last time that they can, and they know it.  Harry has a right to his privacy.  Any other soldier doing the same thing would not even be a blip on the media's radar.

Yes, it is true; Kate and William are the royal couple.  And because of who they are, the media goes into a feeding frenzy when they do anything.  Now stop and think.  They are young, in love, and want to enjoy each other.  And all you prudes out there please remember that they are married.  At the end of the day when all their official business is over, they have every right to kick back and relax.  Kate and William have all and every right to their privacy as anyone else.  Being a part of the cult of celebrity does not make a difference when it comes to that right.  Remember who put them in that cult.

I have no problem what so ever with a celebrity, when walking down the street alone or with family, is suddenly accosted by the media, and then throws a punch and curses them out.  None.  Everyone has a right to privacy.  The Royal family sued the French magazine Closer, and a French court rapidly agreed.  The court ordered a cease and desist, and a " let's have all the pix, copies, and digital order."  Good, very good.

I can still remember a time when the media was aware of the private goings-on of celebrities but kept all of that under their collective hat - because of decency; what was one's privacy was private, period.  It's time to return to that mind-set and forget about selling pictures or magazines.  I really don't care who you are; you have a right to your privacy.  if you want to run around naked within your own home, go have at it.  Oh, yeah, that dumb video.

Some asshole made an independent film, not much more than a video, that put the Prophet of Islam in a bad light.  This video is so bad that the worst skit ever presented on Saturday Night Live comes off as Emmy quality when compared against this piece of trash.  That being said, we in the western democracies  have a right to do that, even though the work is a piece of shit and insults another.  It's called freedom of speech, something that the people in the free world consider a God given right.  So for the over 1.5 billion people who do not like that right that we consider God given, I suggest that you get a really hard and firm grip.  Even though that guy's work is a piece of shit, he had the right to make it, do it, and say it.  Period.

We in the west have grown weary of putting our rights in back of your feelings.  Your feelings about your religion are yours, not ours, so stop trying to force them on us.  You sure as hell did not consider our feelings on 09/11/2001.  As I recall, you were dancing in the streets.  So you and your religion want respect?  I have a few suggestions for you.

#1 - Respect us and our rights.
#2 - Bring your religion into the 20th century.  The Crusades are over.
#3 - Stop burning down stuff that is not yours.  If I put a match to your beard, how would you feel?
#4 - Stop killing your mothers, daughters, and sisters.  Your reasoning for that is BS.

Maybe if you start with these simple four, maybe we can give you some respect.

Now listen up all you followers of the Prophet and the rest of you:

There are Christian extremists here in the States and throughout the world ( I am not one of them ) who are itching for a holy war with Islam.  You want peace?  Then change.  Guaranteed, those people will not send troops.

                                                 Copyright @2012 Terry Unger            

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brunch With The Pope



It was a bright sunny day, so I decided to walk the short distance from my hotel to the Vatican.  To kill some time, I detoured on to a side street and found some dirty, scruffy boys playing futbol; their ball had seen better days decades ago but at least they were having fun.  When I finally got back on the main drag, the Vatican was directly in front of me.  As I passed through a security checkpoint I was reminded of the TSA pat down before I had left.  Trying to compare the two was tough; similarities are what they are.  When I reached the correct office, I was well received but told that the Pope was running behind and I should make myself comfortable.  Finally, my guide escorted me into a well appointed dining room and there he was, the Pope, waiting for me.  He said that he was happy to meet me and that I resembled Tom Hanks.  I took that as a complement but I am better looking than Mr. Hanks.  Then he muttered something about a Dan Brown, whoever he is.  After some more genteel conversation, we sat down to eat.  The only thing that I can think of that was NOT on the dining table was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  In between mouthfuls, I asked the Pope many questions.  Like, what are you and the Church doing about hunger?  About homelessness?  About ignorance?  About the exploding world population?  There were more questions, but the answer to all of them was the same:  a smile and a nod of the head that went this way or that.  I thought that I was lunching with a bobble-head doll.  When the coffee was finished, the Pope rose from his chair and then I knew that it was time for me to leave.  My escort-guide, like a pre-set alarm clock, was immediately present to take me back to the public areas.  But before I left, the Pope put his hands on my shoulders and said, " God bless us, everyone."  Well, that's what I think he said.  My walk back to my hotel took me past the same boys who earlier were playing futbol.  But this time they were not having any fun.  This time the boys were tired and very hungry.  Those boys had no where to go - the streets were their home.  I bought them bread, cheese, and milk; their thanks was abundant.  When I left those boys, in the shadows of the Vatican, I had one burning thought in my head.  It takes a lot more than some god's blessing, given by a man, to solve a problem.  Words, after all, are just empty vessels until action is applied to make them happen.

Author's Note:  This post is fiction, a bit of wishful thinking.  I have more important things to do than have brunch with the Pope.


                                                 Copyright @2012 Terry Unger          

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lunch With A Former Professor

He appeared as a rather common fellow (and always did), like a regular Joe, until he opened his mouth (his personal downfall).  His words were almost grotesque, not in a vile sense, but on a level that would be alien to many people.  Here he was, an old professor of mine, probing me to see if my intelligence level had been raised from that of so many years ago.   When I replied with the same level of verbal pomposity, he settled down; a condescending demeanor would not be his to use on this day.  Many folks in academia, but certainly not all, have a thing or two in common.  One is that they think they have all the answers concerning their specific discipline.  But only a small number have taken their knowledge outside of the classroom (in other words, they are not Indiana Jones) and applied it in the real world.  For the some of those who have done so, they discovered that the real world is not so kind to some of their treasured postulations.  And to others that ventured outside of the lecture hall, the satisfaction had that what they taught worked in the real world, was a bonus.  In both of these instances, knowledge was applied and experience was gained; that's the beginning of wisdom.  Success or failure does not matter - the experience gained is what's really important.  My lunch companion did not fail to disappoint me.  After all, I know the man.  He had no intention of proving his postulations in the real world; he wrote his position papers and they were published - that was good enough for him.  He then reminded me of his position and of his tenure; because of that, in his mind, he was right (even though he had been proven wrong many times - that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!).  Well, the man has spent most of his adult life in academia.  Another thing that many academics have in common is a sense of entitlement - they like their freebies.  It did not come as a surprise to me when the professor finished his lunch, got out of his chair, and bid me a good afternoon and left, sticking me with the check.  I expected that to happen, even though it was he who had invited me to lunch.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not coming down on academia.  We really need good teachers.  What I am saying is that they need to get away from their cloistered life and take a few long walks in the real world.  


                                               Copyright @2012 Terry Unger

                                                 
                                                       

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Evening With A Prophet



He likes his steaks, he told me, pink on the inside and juicy, and red wine served at room temperature.  That's where any other personal information about him ceased to be.  Men who do not honor themselves, he said, will never honor anything true.  Then he opined about how men, who do not set goals, will not succeed and will only rise to the level of their self expectations.  Careful time was spent as he explained to me that each one of us is responsible for our actions.  As one sentence flowed into another, he told me how, when men do not learn from history's lessons, they (we) repeat those mistakes and then act like it's a new happening instead of acknowledging it's a repeat of past cause and effect.  To drive home that point, he mentioned a few of mine and some that had occurred on the world stage.  I silently sat and listened as I was admonished to avoid those people who languish in their own self-pity; they will suck the life out of you.  When he drained the last drop of fermented red from the bottle, I knew that the evening was over, but not before he dropped the mother load on me.  Be wary, he told me, of the priests with their canned answers for every situation.  As he rose from his chair, he said that all mysteries can be known if we open the door to the heart and journeyed within.  When he was leaving, I asked him if I would ever see him again.  That he said, was all up to me.


                                                 Copyright @2012 Terry Unger    

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Opa


My grandfather, Opa, was a good man.  He and my grandmother Celia raised five sons and two daughters in their adopted country (the USA).  Their seven children went on to be a part of the WWII generation, said by some to be the best generation ever.  I can't speak about other families, but I know that Opa instilled certain values in his kids that were passed down to his grandchildren.  One of those values was molded into a simple sentence.

At the right moment during our frequent family gatherings (usually when we were eating), Opa would say, " I wonder what the poor people are doing today?"  Being the curious tike in short pants that I was, I believed that Opa was making a joke about the homeless and destitute; so I asked him.

That day I vividly remember.  It was in late summer and my family had gathered to pick fruit for our fall wine ( yeah, we did that and drank it too!).  Opa sat in his favorite outdoor chair and like a military field commander, directed the fruit selection while my Oma (grandmother Celia) took care of the food preparations.  We kids took care of the lower branches while our parents dealt with the higher ones.  And if you missed a spot, Opa happily made you aware of the error.  Opa's pipe was ever present.  It was one of those long stemmed things with a big base that he had brought with him from Austria.  I do not remember the brand of tobacco that Opa smoked, but I can tell you that the aroma was terrific.  When dinner in the orchard was finished, I took advantage of Opa's available lap.

Opa adjusted his pipe as I climbed into his lap and then asked him about the poor people stuff.  He chuckled at my question but it was not a laugh of derision but one of understanding that needed to be addressed.  Opa told me about what is true wealth and what is fool's gold.

To Opa, the "poor people" in his statement were the insanely wealthy.  All their wealth, he told me, blinded them to what was really true and important:  family, love, friendship, togetherness, and peace of mind.  In my Opa's head, those insanely wealthy folks could not enjoy the real wealth that is had with a simple life; their monetary wealth blinds them and thus, they are poor, and lack the knowledge of real wealth.  Does that mean that we should not strive to improve our lives and that of our family?  Absolutely not.  It really means that we should not take to heart all that glitters and sparkles as real, true wealth.  Keep in mind that that kind of wealth can be fleeting; easy come, easy go.  Real rock solid love, family, and friendship does not.  When the money is gone, it's gone; when love and family are true, they're still there.

That piece of wisdom and more was given to me by a really smart guy over fifty years ago.  Maybe it's time for me to get a pipe like Opa's and start dispensing the same.  The thing is, who will listen?


                                                 Copyright @ 2012 Terry Unger            








       

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Problem With Perception

When we touch a hot burner or get too close to that roaring fire, we get burned.  We do not just feel it, but we perceive it.  Our perception of what is supposed to be true and false comes from our five senses and what we have been told.  So, what we perceive, is what we believe.  Once we have experienced our burned flesh, we know that when we put our hands in a flame, we will get burned.  But is that red wall really red?  To you yes, but it will not appear as the same shade of red to another - we perceive things differently - because we are all unique.  What you find beautiful, another will find repugnant.  Revel in your uniqueness and your individuality.  But, beware of all that wants you to think and believe in a certain manner.  A guarded disposition will sense the fire that can burn you.  However, some people will believe anything, even when they get burned; thus the problem with perception.  

                                               Copyright @ 2012 Terry Unger           

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Top Ten List Of Strange and Wacky Human Behavior



#10 - Spouses cheating on each other....simultaneously.

#9 - Stiffing your waiter/waitress....no tip.

#8 - Not giving credit where credit is due; hogging all the glory for yourself.  In general, using other people for self gain.

#7 - Really believing that there is a thing in life known as a "free lunch."

#6- Smoking in public places where smoking is prohibited.

#5 - Taking Fido for a walk and not cleaning up the poop.

#4 - Expecting other people to pay your share.

#3 - Cursing and other asinine behavior in front of children.

#2 - Talking and texting while driving-----Ugh!!!

#1 - Not taking responsibility for your words and deeds.


                                                Copyright @2012 Terry Unger  


My Top Ten List Of Gimmicks To Make You Spend More Money


#10 - Hurry in! Quantities limited!

#9 - We have 20 gifts for your holiday gift giving, all under $20.00! (Yep - $19.99)

#8 - Door Buster Sale! From 6am til 10:00am only! (yeah, right)

#7 - No interest on your purchase for 12 months! (yep - they back load the interest)

#6 - Zero interest on all balance transfers for the first 6 months! (But we will be happy to bang you for at least 25% interest on everything else!)

#5 - Free shipping on all orders over $100.00! (Do the math on this one. What was it you originally wanted?)

#4 - Going out of business/bankruptcy sale! Everything must go! Prices drastically reduced! (Yeah well, you've going out of business and claiming bankruptcy for the last 5 years!)

#3 - Here is your $5.00 shoppers reward coupon! Valid only on purchases of $50.00 or more. Expires....(really soon!)

#2 - Here are your credit card bonus points! Want more points? Call -------- and we'll happily charge them to your credit card!

#1 - Free gift* to the first 100 shoppers.  (follow the asterisk* to find the truth)


                                              Copyright @2012 Terry Unger






Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Top Ten List Of - Gawd! I hate when that happens!



#10 - When you wake up in the morning and have no idea of how and when you got into bed.

#9 - When that fart is just a bit more than gas.

#8 - When you don't have the correct coins for the parking meter.

#7 - When your health, car, and homeowner's insurance goes up in the same month.

#6 - When you get back to your car after shopping to find out that some jerk pushed in the door of your car with his bumper and then took off.

#5 - When after you fill out that on-line survey for a "free gift," a bizillion telemarketers suddenly know your phone number.

#4 - When you run out of beer and the store is closed.

#3 - When the cable company disconnects your service on Super Bowl Sunday because they think you're dead.

#2 - When you run out of smokes and matches at the same time.

#1 - When you finally catch your spouse doing the deed with your "best friend."
             


                                                Copyright @2012 Terry Unger


                                             

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Art Of Being Yourself



It's tough being your own man in today's world.  One group wants you to think and do their this and that, while others attempt to do the same.  And, they do not want you to deviate from their specific dogma and creed; 100% or nothing - cherry picking is not allowed.  While it is true that within civilized society the majority makes the laws and statutes (we want to think so), there always will be the fringe dwellers.  But for many reasons both real and imagined, the authoritative elements within the society makes or have made the people fear the fringers.  The majority then, hold the fringers in contempt for their failure to conform to the prevailing social paradigm.  In some cases, that fear is warranted.  In that respect, two names come to mind:  Charlie Manson and Adolf Hitler.  Both were fringe dwellers that rose to international notoriety through their actions; we know how that turned out.  But, what about the fringers who pose absolutely no threat who desire to be left alone and live their lives in peace?  They too earn the label of non-conformists and are used as scapegoats with an extra dose of fear thrown in for good measure.  A great example of this comes to mind, even though it is several hundreds of years old.  Its various parts are still valid in our times.

Once upon a time (no, really), the basic social structure was the village.  On the outskirts of the village lived solitary people who became known as the Hedge-woman/man.  The knowledge of the forest and field had been passed down to them and they used that knowledge for three basic reasons:  to maintain some kind of balance between man and nature (something already out of sorts in their time), to help their fellow villagers combat illness (they were also great midwives), and to eventually find the one that they could pass their knowledge on to.  Those folks existed in all cultures and they were the fringe dwellers of their day.  Enter the Church.

During the Church's early centuries, the Church and those fringers got along.  And, the Church used those fringers in a variety of ways to help advance their agenda.  But a thing or two, and more, ate away at that tenuous relationship.

The Church was envious and even jealous of the popularity that those fringers had with the general public.  Added to that, was the Church's misogyny.  Centuries before the birth of the baby Jesus, the Hebrew tradition, supposedly for what Eve had done in the Garden of Eden, held women in contempt for any and all evil that could befall a man, village, or nation.  As an offshoot of Judaism, Christianity adopted and continued that poor behavior.  Those fringe dwelling people and particularly the women, became a serious threat to the Church's authority.  Another point that can be debated but has some validity was the Black Plague; the Church was powerless against it.  People were extremely frightened and the Church could not quench their fears.  Toss in the Inquisition, stir and don't shake, and you have a deadly cocktail that was consumed for centuries.

Earlier it was mentioned about how authoritative elements within societies induce fear into the general populace to not trust the non-conformist fringe dwellers.  In the above example the Church was that element and blamed those fringers for everything (hence the stir and don't shake!).  They labeled those fringers heretics, witches, pagans, and heathens; thousands died.  By the way, the label heretic is given to anyone who does not proscribe to the major doctrine, dogma, and creed - history is full of doctrinal change.

In general, these folks held no harmful intention against the social order in which they lived.  But they were fringe dwellers and became an easy target.  Do we have fringe dwellers in our social paradigm of today?  Of course we do.  Are they a threat to civilized society?  

Actions speak louder than words.  What are these people really doing versus what the authoritative elements tell us they are doing?  This is where being yourself becomes an art.  You need to look at and review everything that you can.  Then you can decide for yourself; the art is deciding what is truth and what is fiction.  That's a big reason why it's tough being your own man in today's world; you're a fringe dweller and a heretic to boot!!!

                                            Copyright@ 2012/2016 Terry Unger  







 








      

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons For Giving Cash As A Gift



#10 - You will not agonize over if the recipient will like your gift.

#9 - That funny holiday sweater will not come back to you via some re-gifting scheme.

#8 - You will not waste your time guessing what the recipient wants.

#7 - You avoid those crazy holiday shoppers.

#6 - Since you didn't buy anything, you don't have to keep receipts for the inevitable return that is bound to happen.

#5 - You will not have to endure the fake smile from the recipient that really means they hate your gift.

#4 - When you put one dollar in a gift card it sends a strong message.

#3 - Who is gonna ask you to "return" cash?

#2 - Giving cash can make you appear extremely beneficent and magnanimous.

#1 - Giving cash is just easier.

Author's Note:  I still enjoy watching the grandchildren having more fun with the empty box that the expensive toy came in rather than the toy itself.  Hint - maybe an empty box holds more secrets then what meets the eye.  

                                               Copyright @2012 Terry Unger  



 

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons To Stay Home On New Year's Eve




#10 - The price of food and drink is jacked up, silly, and just plain ridiculous.

#9 - You can watch Casablanca and Gone with the Wind in one night.

#8 - You have the opportunity to watch your neighbor stumble and vomit on his driveway.  Then you can go out and ask him if he will join you in a new year's toast.

#7 - It's a great way to avoid a bar fight.

#6 - You can ring in the new year in your underwear.

#5 - You don't have to rent a room.

#4 - If you're gonna make a fool of yourself, your audience will be limited.

#3 - You can stock up on beer, booze, and eats long before New Year's Eve.

#2 - You can give Ryan Seacrest  a shot at filling Dick Clark's shoes.

#1 - Amateur drunks clog the roads on New Year's Eve.  Stay home; stay alive.


                                               Copyright @2012/2016 Terry Unger


My Top Ten Reasons Why We Watch Football









The 2015/2016 NFL season is here......a few of my thoughts.



#10 - You believe that John Madden is a god; you know that Vince Lombardi has a seat on Mount Olympus.  

#9 - You like watching the cheerleaders and hope that at least one of them has a "wardrobe malfunction."  

#8 - You enjoy watching a bunch of men chase each other in tight pants.  

#7 - You like the feel of the ball.  

#6 - When you go to a game and sit in the nose bleed section, you get to see some great MMA fights.  

#5 - It's a great reason to buy a 72" television.  

#4 - You get to have/go to parties for 16 consecutive Sundays.  

#3 - Monday night football makes up for a lousy Monday at work.  

#2 - NFL Thursdays is a good excuse to go out and have a few beers with friends.  

#1 - It beats sitting on your ass and doing absolutely nothing.  


                                           Copyright @2012/2015 Terry Unger  



My Top Ten Reasons For Staying In Bed

#10 - It's raining, sleeting, or snowing out side.... and it's really cold out there!

#9 - It's a holiday, a weekend, or your birthday.

#8 - You're just too damned tired to drag your ass out of bed; rough night and hungover or just too damned sick to be seen in public.

#7 - You forgot to set the alarm so, screw it!

#6 - Whatever "it" is, you can do "it" tomorrow.

#5 - You work from home and it's more comfortable to work in bed rather than your home desk.

#4 - You really need 7 to 8 hours of great sleep.

#3 - It's a good place to start that new diet.

#2 - You have clean sheets and a spiffy new blanket.

#1 - Your significant other is there.

            I am sure that there are more reasons for staying in bed; feel free to add your own!

                                               Copyright @2012 Terry Unger


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Holiday Eating and Drinking..... You Want To Diet?

Recently, I read an article on the Internet (what, not relevant? Hahahaha), about how to not gain weight over the Labor Day Holiday (italics, mine).  That article was nothing more than a holiday specific version of How to not gain weight over the Holidays (again, italics, mine, just thinking about all those other articles over the years that want you to curb your holiday food and drink consumption).  Who are those people kidding?  Read the list of what is recommended for you to eat and then read the offered weight friendly recipes in those articles.  Ugh, and more ugh.  I for one, do not enjoy the tastelessness of cardboard and Styrofoam but if you do, bon appetite.  Well excuse me if I find that the taste of food is wonderful when it luxuriates in flavor.  And, so much of that flavor is dependent on fat ( no apologies here; I am a culinary school graduate of the old school and the three secrets of  great tasting food is butter, butter, and more butter.  And, your steak tastes great when it IS marbled with fat).  

Well OK, fat is fat, period (good fat, bad fat?  Only your doctor knows for sure; maybe).  We can get into the various types of fat but not now.  But I will admit that too much fat, depending on who you are, cannot be good for you (take notice, I said.....depending on who you are).  However, there is a secret available to all of us that busts fat and so much more.  Are you ready?  Really?  Here it is:  diet, exercise, and sleep.....plus some common sense.

Here, diet means moderation and balance, not some quirky fad quick fix.  Moderate your portions and give equal balance to meat, veggies, fruit, dairy, and whole grain consumption.  And drink at least two quarts of water daily.  Please understand that cookie cutter diets at the very least, are temporary and will not work for everyone.  You need to experiment, to find your balance, to discover what's right for you.  Unfortunately, exercise is a killer idea for many people.

Yes, exercise.  Sorry, whatever you do while at work is not enough.  You need to put effort into cardio:  walking, running, or bike riding, several times a week.  And, some weight training will help.  Hey - it is what it is - you need to blow off the calories to get your heart and circulatory systems in tip - top shape.  Oh, and if you smoke, for gawd's sake quit now.

The younger you are, the less you think about sleep and its importance.  Regardless of age, 7 to 8 hours of good sleep a night is essential.  It is during sleep that the body repairs itself and gets rid of harmful toxins.  Good and restful sleep goes hand in hand with diet and regular exercise.  During the holidays, I can eat and drink what I want, because of my attention to exercise, sleep, and moderation of what I eat during the rest of the year.  But hey, that's me; maybe it can be that way for you too.  When I am eating my stuffed beef tenderloin and boneless center cut pork, covered with bacon at Yule, and while drinking my Southern Comfort Manhattan, I may be thinking of you, but probably not.  I'll be too busy enjoying myself.  
                                       
                                               Copyright @2012 Terry Unger

        

Our Visit to Sutton Hoo

When walking the grounds, you can feel the specialness of this place.  It is quiet, save the wind rustling through the trees.  The ages...