Sunday, December 28, 2014

Three Years Without Eating Grains

Disclaimer: This is my experience by removing grains from my diet and the positives on my health as a result. My genetics and body chemistry is a result of genetic "crap shoot" at my conception. Readers will have different genetics and experiences.

Three years ago I eliminated all grains from my diet. Grains includes any item made of wheat flour or any whole grain items with the husk. That includes brown rice or wild rice. That meant the diet no longer included pasta, breads, cookies and cinnamon rolls. I had given up on cinnamon rolls a couple of years earlier since it was not possible to find snack sized cinnamon rolls. I didn't want an over sweet dessert big enough for four. But I digress.

Less than four years ago, I had read several books about cholesterol and saturated fats. Those readings lead me to paleo/primal readings and web sites. That new way of eating didn't sound like all that much fun (no bread slathered with butter), but I was willing to give it a try for thirty days. Two weeks into the diet I was eating meats, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits. That was when I realized I had not been hitting the antacids after most every meal. I also had not experienced a recent attack of acid reflux.

There might be something to this way of eating. I continued to eat food without grains for the remainder of the thirty days. Then it was time to test whether there was any validity to the issue of grains and whole grains in the diet. I don't recall what I ate, but within less than an hour I located the antacids to ease the discomfort. That was followed with more tests with grains. Wow. Each time I had the usual heart burn and acid reflux.

I was convinced this new way of eating without grains would be for the rest of my life. I had always read labels avoiding added sugars and industrial abused food products containing ingredients I could not pronounce. When I started the new way of eating, I became fanatical. Even more items were eliminated from the diet. Sugar is the item that is added to many foods by agri-business. Anything ending is "ose" is a sugar. (When I found sugar in sour cream, I started to read ingredients of every item.)

The new way of eating eliminated sugar from my diet as there were no longer products made with flour. (i.e. bread, pastries, cookies, etc.) The sweets now are fruits with a dollop of plain whole fat yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon or some other home made spice concoction. On the rare occasion when I desire something sweetened, the choice is either maple syrup or honey. An occasional special treat is 85% or better dark chocolate.

Doctors measure human health with blood tests and other body measurements. Doctoring by the numbers means that my primary doctor had been hectoring me to take statins for elevated cholesterol for about ten years. I always declined. Here are the results of blood and body tests before and after:

December 2011: Before starting the no grains diet.
Weight: 155 lbs.
Height: 5-9
Total cholesterol: 285
HDL: 70
Triglycerides: 74
LDL: 198
Blood Pressure: 136/70

October 2014: After three years with no grains.
Weight: 143 lbs.
Height: 5-9
Total cholesterol: 220
HDL: 65
Triglycerides: 71
LDL: 150
Blood Pressure: 130/65

After three years of no grains, the positives are:
  • The LDLs went down by almost fifty points while eating more meat and saturated fats.
  • Rather than putting the butter on bread, I mainline Kerrygold butter.
  • That industrial sized container of antacids from three years ago is still about half full.
  • There have been no acid reflux episodes.
  • The weight loss was a welcome side effect; the pants fit better.
  • I feel better.
  • I sleep better.
I don't miss the grain products. Pain is a good incentive.

The most amazing thing is that my body was able to handle the assault for seventy years before the body's owner checked out some other way of living.

Living without grains means no acid indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux. It is a wonderful life.

Note: In the standard American food pyramid, the bottom layer is grain products. There are no grains or grain in the paleo/primal food pyramid: (Food Pyramid Graphic from Marks Daily Apple)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Photo

Gilbert Ray Campground

Moonlit night

Tucson Mountains

From Wandrin archives -- March 2007

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

About a week ago, snow fell on the Catalina Mountains. See the white stuff atop the distant mountains to the left of the saguaro. Seeing it from this distance is fine with me. I know what snow feels like.

The original intent was to take a selfie with the Santa Claus stocking cap. However, I decided that the cap looked much better on the saguaro.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Happy Hanukkah or Frohe Weihnachten or
Feliz Navidad or Seasons Greetings -- or -- have a nice day!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ready For Christmas

Yesterday afternoon, I retrieved a box from my storage shed. I opened the box and carefully lifted out the Christmas Tree. The decorations were already in place.  The branches needed some realigning from the long storage. I removed the vase of plastic flowers from the table and replaced it with the Christmas Tree.

Christmas decorating was complete. I was no longer the Grinch of the neighborhood. Whew!

The tree was a gift from the Gard family of Boulder Colorado. It was given to me when I quit working at the end of 2000 and began 13 years of nomadic wandering in a 200 square foot home on wheels. That 18 inch tree was a perfectly sized Christmas Tree to decorate my home every year.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Right Place Right Time

This morning, neighbors Cheryl and Ted joined me for a short hike. We were on the Cactus Forest Trail for about a tenth of a mile when we saw javelinas off the trail in the desert scrub. The group of about a dozen slowly crossed the trail in front of us. The sun behind the javelinas made for poor photos.

Once they crossed the trail in front of us, we proceeded on our hike. There was no more wild life meetings for the rest of the hike. Rats. Not even a jack rabbit.

That is the first time I have met up with javelinas on a hike. Wonderful experience.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Photo

Blue Lake Pass

Near Ouray, Colorado

Hike with Bobbie and Mark

From Wandrin archives 2009

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mini Book Review -- The Boys In The Boat

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James Brown

In the course of the book I learned about crew rowing. Brown writes an adventure that is more than the race or the rowing. There is the training, the trainers, the boat, the boat builder and -- The Boys In The Boat. The author weaves the tale around Joe Rantz -- one of that crew of freshman at the University of Washington in 1932.  That freshman crew goes on to compete in the 1936 Olympics and win against Hitler's German team.

The book at times almost reads like historic fiction as Rantz and team mates struggle to stay in school during the depression and then succeed to compete at Hitler's Olympics in Germany.

It is a book that will have you hooked from the first page and through the epilogue about the lives of the crew after the victory at the Olympics.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Only six days after Round Two of chemo travails, this morning I was joined by park neighbors Cheryl and Ted for a three mile desert walk at Saguaro East. The photo is a backlit cholla with drops of moisture (from yesterday's rain) on the spines.

Some of my blog readers and lurkers have been following posts of my 13 year nomadic travels as I lived full time on the road.

That was my travel years. Today in late 2014 and into 2015, it is travails. According to some linguists, the two words share a common etymology. From Wikipedia:
"The origin of the word "travel" is most likely lost to history. The term "travel" may originate from the Old French word travail.[3] According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the first known use of the word travel was in the 14th century. It also states that the word comes from Middle English travailen, travelen (which means to torment, labor, strive, journey) and earlier from Old French travailler (which means to work strenuously, toil). In English we still occasionally use the words travail and travails, which mean struggle. According to Simon Winchester in his book The Best Travelers' Tales (2004), the words travel and travail both share an even more ancient root: a Roman instrument of torture called the tripalium (in Latin it means "three stakes", as in to impale)."
Maybe there is no impaling for today's travelers. However, an instrument of torture would be sitting in coach for 14 hours headed to Australia.

My 13 years of nomadic travel does not qualify for the travail category. However, travails are part of my daily life at the end of 2014 and far into 2015 as I undergo the every three week chemotherapy treatments.

Before the chemo infusion of Round 2 last Monday, there was a visit with the oncologist as he read the blood test results. I passed that test. Damn. Since the last chemo treatment, there was an ECG (Electro Cardio Gram) to make sure the heart is capable of handling the drug onslaught. I also passed that test. Damn again.

Yes. I know. This chemotherapy is elective on my part. After the original lymphoma diagnosis, I pondered and researched what to do. One of the options was to do nothing. In the end there are no guarantees after the therapy. I may have one year. I may have ten before the lymphoma returns. The other possibility I may die of something else. That might include being hit by an errant semi truck.

Then there are the side effects of the treatments. It seems to be a much older man in the mirror. Could that be a change in the elasticity of the skin. For comparison, I regret not taking a selfie before I started the therapy.

The upside to this is that I haven't shaved in a week. The hair follicles have stopped creating hair. Actually, it isn't an upside. Given the choice I would rather shave than put up with the torment to my body.

The real upside is that my life's travails haven't kept me from getting out for a hike this morning.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The General Store

In the 1940s there was a general store in the farming village of Morrison. The proprietors were the Falck family. That general store was one of a half dozen businesses in that small farming village -- less than 300 inhabitants.

As a small child in the 1940's, I have flashes of remembrance at each of those businesses. The general store had most everything from hardware to clothing to groceries. If the store didn't have it, you probably didn't need it.

Farmers brought in excess eggs to sell to the store for resale. To make sure those eggs were good, the store had a "candling nook" where one of the store employees viewed each egg in front of a bright light. This was to ensure that it was a good egg -- no embryo or had blood spots.

There were always chickens on the home farm. Most likely my folks also sold excess eggs to the store. No doubt we couldn't consume all the egg production even though we had eggs for every breakfast and frequent custard for dessert. Sometimes those old laying hens became a meal or chicken soup.

With the prosperity following World War II, the country general store was in decline. De Pere was about a twelve mile trip where there was greater selection in a variety of specialty stores.

Fast forward many decades. There is no general store in Morrison in 2014. Today the general store is fifteen miles distant. The general store is Walmart.

The photo of Falck's store dates to 1906. I was unable to locate anything more recent.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Photo

Before Walk comes Hang Loose

Pacific Beach, California

From the 2009 Wandrin archives 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

RV Trailer Door Window Insert

When walking around the park (Far Horizons Tucson Village), I noted an unusual window in a trailer door. I had to get the whole story.

The background was the same as my experience with that factory provided RV trailer door with a single window. Can't see out and when facing the sun a lot of heat enters the trailer with that one pane of glass.

There were days when I would like to have the door open to see the outside world. However, on a cool day with just a screen, it didn't often happen. My solution to my trailer was to insert plexiglass panels in the screen door. Now I could have the door open and see the outside world and the keep the heat in or the cold out. The bad part was that there now was no screen door.

A much better -- and admittedly more expensive -- was to get a door window insert. These window inserts are designed for house doors. The trailer's owner decided that he could use an insert and put a real window in his trailer door. That is what he did.

Two views: one with the blinds open and one closed. These are dual pane glass with the blinds in between. No worry about cleaning those blinds.

The window inserts are available at: ODL

The trailer shown above has a 30 inch door with a 22 inch wide insert. Considering some trailer doors are two feet wide, the narrower 8 by 64 inch window (called a side light at ODL) might be the solution.

The gentleman has already gotten several jobs in the park to cut holes in doors and install the inserts. For $50 he will install your new insert.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Photo

A long time ago farming was done with horses. Not tractors. In the 1940s, this would have been a scene on the Wisconsin farm where I grew up. A photo in the 1940s would have been black and white. :-))

This photo was from a 2003 visit to Heritage Days at the Heritage Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks and Gratitude

Thanks to readers and friends and relatives for the prayerful wishes on a healthy recovery as I proceed through months of chemotherapy.

Thanks and gratitude also go my doctors. Further thanks go to the cancer research scientists who have been able to unlock the mystery of how to kill those lymphoma cells.

Today I was really thankful that I could go on a hike this morning with friend Paul (park resident). It had been over ten days since the last hike.

Returning from the hike, I made my Thanksgiving dinner. It was a salmon fillet accompanied with brussels sprouts and my homemade cranberry sauce. (Sorry. No photos.) That just created a few more dishes to be washed.

The stacks of dishes are from several meals. With other things going on in my life, doing dishes just did not take priority. I'm living in the moment. Since I have no slave or hired help, eventually I will be responsible for cleaning up the mess. Thankfully, I will be able to do that.

Wishing all a pleasant and tasty Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Round One

A week ago today, I had Round One of six chemotherapy infusions to occur every three weeks. That is before the radiation and I don't recall the other treatments the oncologist will perform.

Why chemotherapy. The reason is in the post Another Pot Hole.

Before chemotherapy is administered, heart and blood tests were performed to make sure this body is healthy and can withstand the onslaught of the cancer killing therapy.

Once the oncologist's staff was satisfied with the test results, the first treatment was a two day affair. The first day's infusion is dripped slowly into the blood stream to ensure there are no adverse reactions. If there was a reaction, they have another batch of chemicals to counter that side effect. I survived the first day and went home with Tylenol and Benadryl in the system to address any possible side effects.

Day two was the rest of that stuff -- for which I had no reaction. That was followed by an infusion of a whole list of chemicals. Half of that list was to counter the side effects of the other infused drugs. One of those drugs was a steroid which made me hyper for the rest of the day and a sleepless night.

From Wednesday to Saturday, I seemed to feel a bit worse every day. I needed lots of sleep. There were body and gut pains. There was little appetite and the food tasted "yuck".

Those side effects were expected. The chemo was working according to design. There is no way to know if it was killing cancer cells, but based on how I felt, it certainly was doing a good job on killing the needed healthy cells of this body.

Yesterday I was a tad better although I continued napping -- and a long night in bed. This morning I felt about the same. Perhaps I am just getting used to feeling crappy.

The more visible side effect is hair loss. I haven't noticed anything yet. I will keep you posted when I start vacuuming the bed sheets in the morning. I certainly won't miss the loss of hair growing in the ears and nose.

The analogy to a six round boxing match is appropriate. Each round is hours long. The two week rest between rounds is to recover for the next round so the body is able to slug it out with the infused chemotherapy.

End of Round One.

Note: Perhaps those leaves on the backdrop of the graphic resemble marijuana leaves. They are supposed to be bamboo leaves. However, there is a very good chance that medical marijuana may be in my future to counter side effects of this chemotherapy ordeal.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Photo

Yaquina Head Light

Near Newport Oregon

From photo archives 2007

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Unusual Service Dog

When sitting in the waiting room for another medical appointment, a lady walked in with a below the knee service dog.

Service dogs are not unusual -- until this one. It was three legged. The lady brought out a small mat. The dog laid on the mat and watched its owner's every move. Dogs always attract conversations. Another lady in a chair nearby struck up a conversation with the dog's caretaker/owner. In response to a question, the lady responded that the service dog was 14 years old. Since the dog was mostly deaf and partially blind in one eye, the lady said that she was in the process of training another. Considering the dog's deafness, it was quite apparent why the dog watched the owner so intently.

This service dog will outlive its days in comfort as another dog is trained to be the lady's service companion.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Prototype Built

After the purchase of an iPad Mini, I needed some kind of holding device so I could read it as I ate meals. I searched the internet for possible devices that might work. There were lots of choices. Prices ranged from moderate to very expensive. All I wanted was a simple easel.

Since I am a creative guy and have a little talent, I decided to make one. Six dollars of supplies from Ace hardware I made the easel. Best part is that the iPad can be placed horizontal or vertical. There was no such option with commercial devices found on the internet. They all held the iPad vertically.

The completed easel.

The easel holds the iPad.

It may have been a prototype as I built it, but it has become the finished product. No. I am not taking orders.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thanks To All

In response to the post Just Another Pot Hole there have been blog comments, emails, and phone calls. All offered kind wishes, thoughts and offers of help. Those offers were in addition to the many offers from my neighbors here at Far Horizons Tucson Village.

Son TJ will be arriving this weekend for the first round of chemotherapy beginning on Monday. For future treatments I will drive myself. That is what I am told to expect by the oncology staff. If not, I will take advantage of those ride offers.

My nomadic wandering gave me lots of stories. I expect this experience will also provide material for future blog entries. 

A Thank You rose 
to all of you for your 
kind wishes and hopeful thoughts 
as I proceed into 
this next chapter of life.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Another Pot Hole

During those 13 nomadic exploring years, I would occasionally experience some event that slowed down my travel. Most often it was a truck or trailer issue. The length of delay was usually just a few days. Nothing to complain about. Only twice did weather change my plans.

My road of life has had no serious hazards -- until now. Soon I will begin chemotherapy treatments. This is more than a just another pot hole.

It all started mid summer when I noted that the left testicle was different from the right. A visit to the urologist was followed by an ultrasound viewing. The experts determined the best thing was to perform an orchiectomy. (i.e. Removal of a testicle.) Ouch. Anesthetized, I felt no pain. When I saw the incision and the bruising in the groin, it was definitely an ouch experience and I was glad to have been unconscious.

The removed tissue was examined and studied by a pathologist. It was "testicular tissue with involvement by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.” Dangerous stuff.

That was followed by a PET Scan which found no other hot spots in the body. The chemotherapy is preventative to go after any cells that may have migrated to another part of the body and had not multiplied to a nodule that could be detected.

I am a healthy 74 year old guy. I take no medications nor do I have any other health issues. I go hiking three times a week. According to the doctors my body will handle the chemotherapy much better than many patients.

Even with all the assurances, it took weeks for me to get comfortable with proceeding with the treatment for lymphoma.

Before I finally made that decision, I slept poorly. There were hours of internet reading/studying. I talked to doctors. I talked to family and friends.

Thanks to medical research, scientists and doctors there is a positive future ahead. No doubt there will be some unpleasant days. Fortunately my home of sticks and bricks will make this four/five month long pot hole easier to handle.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Photo

Sunset at Usery Park -- near Phoenix

From Wandrin archives 2010

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Artificial Intellegence

Those two words together seems like an oxymoron.

From first sentence at Wikipedia: "Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is an academic field of study which studies the goal of creating intelligence, whether in emulating human-like intelligence or not."

"... or not". I love that qualifier. What does that mean or how does that change the definition. 

Computers are good at crunching numbers. Give the computer lots of data and give it some rules to find some correlation between all the numbers.

Okay. After the job is done, can the machine "wonder" about some alternative number crunching. Perhaps it could if it were programmed to keep doing number crunches to achieve some predetermined result or correlation of data.

What about curiosity. What about reasoning. What about emotion. What about skepticism. That also is part of intelligence.

Searching the net, I found one of the companies doing artificial intelligence. At least that is what the hope seems to be. From the Vicarious web site: "our mission: build the next generation of A.I. algorithms".

Algorithms are rules for calculations. That is the perfect job for a programmed computer. Do the same thing for hours on end to solve a problem.

Is that intelligent? Or is that just a robot.

That bumper sticker was spotted when passing through Silver City, NM in 2011.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Photo

During my wandering nomadic years, I had the opportunity to hike many of the slot canyons in the southwest including the famous Antelope Canyons near Page Arizona. Of all the slot canyon photos in my archives, this is the best descriptive photo of a slot canyon.

This slot canyon is on the Calcite Mine hike near Borrego Springs California.

The photo is "right time right place" from my archives of 2008.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friends in Ukraine?

As I was viewing my blog site, I noted the most popular posts from the past week included a post written three years ago: We Are Going To Die.

I rarely check the stats for my blog site. Seeing that old post being in the popular list for the past week, my curiosity drove me to find out more about popular posts on my blog. That post was also in the "all time" list of posts on my Blogger site. The all time -- far in the lead -- most popular post was Two Story Home On Wheels.

The stat page also lists the country viewing pages on my blog. The United States is at the top of the list. Whenever I have checked that list in the past, Canada was in second place. In the past weeks, Canada appears after Ukraine and Russia. Hmm.

Could the accesses be nothing more than an internet robot based in the Ukraine. Could be.

Or my Wandrin blog has interested readers in Ukraine. :-))

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Photo

Sunset on the south rim of the Grand Canyon

From 2003 Wandrin photo archives

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Photo

This boat had been marooned and left in the tidal flats of Point Reyes, California. The scene is popular for artists and photographers. I have seen the boat in a water color painting in a gallery. I am not the first photographer to happen on this scene. When I attended a photo club meeting in Portland Oregon, one of the photos shared was that same boat.
The Petaluma Elks Lodge was where Wandrin Wagon was parked in 2007 as I explored the area -- including a day trip into San Francisco.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Morning Back LIt Desert

This morning's hike in Saguaro East NP provided some back lit desert scenery.

Check out the halo around the saguaros as a result of light shining through the spines.

Slippery rock surfaces reflects the early morning sun.

The eye doesn't see what the camera lens captures as a rainbow of colors.

No snakes. No rabbits. No deer. Just an early morning photo hike.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Photo

“There is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere."
― Edward Abbey

Photo is at The Wave at Coyote Buttes.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Home Size Growth

The U.S. Census Bureau has been collecting detailed information on household size since 1940 and tracking certain characteristics of houses since 1963. Data on houses were collected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies from 1940 to 1963. Average household size in the United States has dropped steadily from 3.67 members in 1940 to 2.62 in 2002. The average size of new houses increased from about 1,100 ft2 (100 m2) in the 1940s and 1950s to 2,340 ft2 (217 m2) in 2002. Factoring together the family size and house size statistics, we find that in 1950 houses were built with about 290 square feet (27 m2) per family member, whereas in 2003 houses provided 893 square feet (83 m2) per family member (NAHB 2003) -- a factor of 3 increase.

Other trends in American single-family housing have been similar. In 1967, for example, 48% of new single-family houses had garages for two or more cars; by 2002, that figure had jumped to 82%. In 1975, 20% of new single-family houses had 2.5 or more bathrooms; by 2002, that figure had increased to 55%. In 1975, 46% of new houses had central air conditioning; by 2002, 87% had it.

Quoted from the Small is Beautiful: U.S. House Size, Resource Use, and the Environment

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sunday Hike

Daughter Vanita was in town this past weekend. Vanita lives in San Diego. When she isn't working, she mountain bikes. She hikes. She hiked Mt. Whitney this past summer. I certainly am not in her league. I doubt I ever was that fit. So why were we hiking together. The hike was quality time to chat about life and living.

This trail was hardly a challenge for Vanita. She wasn't panting. Then there was the old guy on this journey. He was moving a bit slower. That's okay. He is 30+ years older.

When I had stopped at another uphill slug, Vanita went on ahead without me. That gave me a few minutes to get a selfie with the Catalinas in the background. Soon I continued up the trail. We met at a switchback. Soon we were back at the trail head. She has already planned her next hike when she is in Tucson: Finger Rock.

After a Starbucks chat, I wished her the best as she prepared to return to San Diego. 

St. Phillips Square farmers market was on my way home where I stopped for grass raised pork and chicken. Yum!

Hiking and grass raised meats. It was a great Sunday.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Take Time...

When going through the archives of my nomadic traveling, I found this photo of a marker at Montezuma Castle National Monument. When I visited many years ago, I was camped at Cottonwood Arizona.

There is no credit given for the source of the words. When I searched the internet, I found no matches.

Nature has time. Lots of it. Nature tolerates the human existence. When these humans go extinct, Nature will merely shrug and a million years later there will be little evidence of humans passing through.

Nature tolerates our brief existence on the planet earth.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


“The purpose of a consumer society is not the fulfilment of needs, but the creation of wants. In this way, the contemporary definition of prosperity is essentially synonymous with dissatisfaction.”

Photo and quote from Going Around Places

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pillsbury Doughboy Obituary

My breakfast most every morning is blueberries and full fat plain yogurt.  With the iPad in front of me as I eat, I read the obituaries of northeastern Wisconsin newspapers. The search is for entries to fill out dead ends in my genealogical data base.

The first obits read are in the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The second entry in the list was:

"Doughboy, Pillsbury, 100, Minneapolis   Minnehaha Funeral Home"

I continued reading the obits from other newspapers. Returning to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, I saved the link for the Pillsbury Doughboy. 

This afternoon, when I entered that saved link into the browser, the page could not be found. I wasn't surprised.

I wonder what happened to the person responsible at that had posted that obit. 

When I searched the internet for a Pillsbury Doughboy obituary, I found several of them with variations on the same theme. This is one of them:

Obituary for Pillsbury Dough Boy   

Sad news today, so please join me in remembering yet another great icon of the entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy died yesterday of a yeast infection and traumatic complications from repeatedly being poked in his belly during his lifetime. The veteran Pillsbury spokesman was 71. Dough Boy is survived by his wife, Play Dough; three children, John Dough, Jane Dough, and Dill Dough; plus they also had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

Services were held yesterday at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Dough Boy (DB) was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Longtime friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the eulogy, describing DB as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. DB rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers.

He was not considered a very “smart” cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, but was thought of a roll model for millions. Toward the end, it was thought he would rise again, but alas, he remained unleavened.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Buy a Chair -- Support Your NFL team

This line up of NFL team logoed chairs were outside the Bed Bath and Beyond store. They are priced at $29.95. Each. That chair will rot in the sunshine and depending on the weight rating it may collapse when the first football sized person sits in the chair. We have all seen them in the dumpster.

My most recent purchase of (non logoed) folding camp chairs was several years ago. They were about $16. (They were used during my nomadic travels. They now reside in the shed.) Making the assumption that the same chair could be purchased today at $19.95, that is $10 paid for the privilege of sitting in a chair with your NFL team's logo. Note: that logo is not visible when you are sitting in it.

No doubt the product cost to the retailer already includes the price of the logo. Is there an NFL rep at the manufacturer counting the chairs with the logo. I wonder how much the NFL gets for each logo.

Considering the salaries of the commissioner, the league owners, and the players, a five dollar charge seems quite possible -- 17% of the chair's purchase price.

So head out and buy an NFL team logoed chair to keep your NFL team from financial insolvency.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mini Book Review: Grizzly Years

Grizzly Years written by Doug Peacock and subtitled In Search of the American Wilderness

After witnessing the horrors as a medic in Vietnam, Grizzly Years includes flashbacks woven into Peacock's narrative of the grizzly world of Montana and Wyoming. For many years, Peacock spent spring to fall in the grizzly's neighborhood observing them from a distance of a few hundred yards. As he watches and observes, he is able to identify individuals, see their interactions, the hierarchies, and their daily and seasonal habits.

Peacock does an excellent job of relating the history of the grizzly in the US to those times when the only "good grizzly was a dead grizzly." With his book, Peacock attempts to correct those ill conceived beliefs.

I thoroughly enjoyed Peacock's very descriptive language as he bush whacks and travels through the wilderness in search of grizzly. That outdoor experience with no "civilization" penetrating that wilderness appeals to me. Unfortunately, now with settled existence I rarely get a chance to get to a wild place.

For me, there were a few too many narratives describing another summer of observations of the grizzly. That didn't detract from the book's appeal. I just skimmed what seemed to be a variation on a previous year's experience.

It is still a five star read.

Doug Peacock was the model for Edward Abbey's Hayduke in The Monkey Wrench Gang

Friday, September 26, 2014

Down Side of Sweet Things

Do you like sweet stuff. Of course you do.

So you have decided to cut the calories by using artificial sweeteners. You might want to reconsider. There is a downside to fake sugar as the Artificial Sweeteners May Leave You Absolutely Gutted

Did you know that sugar is a drug? Sure you did. You know the addictive nature of sweets. You didn't need this article that describes the 10 Similarities Between Sugar, Junk Food and Abusive Drugs

Thursday, September 25, 2014


No doubt there were times that I was with the majority of people. The desire to be accepted by "the tribe" is an imbedded genetic trait in most people.

In my mature years, as an observing loner, I am frequently a skeptic. Add to that my curiosity and a desire to learn doesn't make me a good follower of majority opinion.

No doubt I have biases and look for that which will confirm my beliefs. Of course those beliefs are rarely those of the majority.

Heeding Twain's wisdom, I will continue to avoid aligning with the majority.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Quagmire

And don’t believe a word of “no boots on the ground,” which is a classic “just sending in advisors” kind of thing that ends up with 40,000 dead kids and thousands more maimed and mentally ill, many of which we don’t even care for now.
Quoted from James Campion's column: Reality Check: Obamawar

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Saguaro NP East is a frequent destination for a hike. It is a short drive to the trail heads, but it is a pleasurable contrast to urban Tucson. For me, hikes are an escape from what is called civilization seen in the distance from a hike high point.

Like any large urban area, Tucson is not natural. It has lots of traffic, buildings, pavement and maintained landscaping. The landscaping is watered, trimmed and primped to resemble nature done by a landscape designer.

That is why it is such a pleasure to get away and enjoy a natural world which isn't someone's ideal planned landscape. In that natural world of Saguaro NP East, the living coexists with the dying or the dead. It stays there and decomposes to provide a living for the next generation of plants.

It looks good and it smells good. The great pleasure is the silence. City traffic and street noise doesn't intrude. Occasionally, there is short term noise from a plane overhead. The usual sounds are birds, the crunch of shoes and the ping of trekking poles.

The downside are the occasional agnnoying gnats buzzing around my head. That's okay. I can handle that for the pleasure of enjoying the silence.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Autumnal Equinox

Growing up with hardwood trees of Wisconsin, it was a beauty to appreciate. However, as a kid and seeing nothing of the world beyond a small portion of Wisconsin, I didn't know it had special autumnal beauty. There is scenic beauty there no matter the time of year. However, with the autumnal equinox in the northern latitudes, the colors change from green to a rainbow of colors. The sugar maple becomes a blazing red.

This is from my journey through Wisconsin in the fall of 2008.

The surrounding Tucson desert doesn't have those autumnal colors of the northern latitudes. However, the monsoon rains have kept the desert green. The summer monsoons were followed by hurricanes off the coast of Baja Califonia which sent more moisture into southern Arizona.

This was the Autumnal Equinox green view this morning as I hiked Saguaro NP East.

The Catalina Mountains have some small stands of aspen. With cooling temperatures, those aspen will take on their autumnal hue of yellow. Time to consider that as a hike destination.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mini Book Review: The Big Oyster

The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky

Before the Dutch made the first permanent settlement in 1614 on Manhattan island, the Lenape Indians had already been dining on oysters. With a large population and pollution of the water ways, by 1900 there were few oyster beds remaining in the New York City area.

Included in the book are stories of some residents, historic oyster recipes and famous restaurants that served the oyster. However, at times I would skim through sections which just seemed more of the same. An example: too many oyster recipes.

The Big Oyster is an entertaining read about the oyster while weaving in a high level history of New York City.

No raw oysters for this guy.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

From The Net

It has been decades when I last tried to eat a Red Delicious apple. It was not delicious. It was red -- on the outside. Inside it was rock hard green. The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious tells the story.

It will still take at least a decade before eating butter will once again be accepted as healthy versus alternative oils and fats. That slow change is noted in this CNN opinion article: Diets: Fear of fat is melting 

Prescription from the doctor, "Get more sleep". Sleep: America’s BIGGEST Problem

What do you call that flabby underarm.... "There comes a time in life where waving hello means showing off some flabby underarm, but we have some slant to make 'flabby underarm' sound a little less icky. A hi-Betty takes its name from the idea of someone waving to a friend named Betty. They're also known as hi-Helens, bingo wings, bat wings and flying squirrels." From A Way with Words podcast September 1, 2014

The solution: Hide your underarms. Wear long sleeves.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mini Book Review: The Crash Course

Subtitled: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment.

By Chris Martenson

Martenson isn't the only author or blog writer who says that the way we live and consume is not a sustainable model for the earth.

To support his thesis, Martenson's book details the data behind his conclusions. The Three Es are required to maintain the good life: Energy is scraping the bottom of the barrel for more oil; the debt of the Economy is "managed" by central banks; and the Environment is misused and abused.

Martenson lays out the facts. There is no way to know how this unsustainable world will fail. It may take a couple of decades, but it will fail. However, it is up to the reader to be aware and make plans for living differently in the future.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rainy Days In Tucson

The monsoon rains continue to provide welcome moisture for Tucson. This was the view this morning where I had gone for a blood draw for a well physical check up.

A week ago three inches of rain fell on parts of Tucson. According to a weather watcher in east Tucson, there was over two inches in my neighborhood.

Drinking too much can be hazardous. This prickly pear ODed on water and with a small root structure the cactus collapsed.

The next day, the park's maintenance crew removed most of the cactus. Setting the stump upright, it will take a few years to regain the size before it collapsed.

With the moisture, the desert landscape has gone from predominate shades of brown to shades of green.

On a recent hike right after that rain, there was standing water on several points along the trail. That is where I found the reflected sky in the trail pond.

With this summer moisture, wild flowers are in bloom.

On another early morning five mile hike, I did not meet another hiker. However, I did have a walking companion joining me in every step.

More rain is predicted.