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Opinions

The medical adventure continues

Walkin'

The good news in my ongoing battle to lose weight (and alleviate gout) came courtesy of a website telling you how many calories various activities burn.
Walking, for a guy my weight and age, uses about 200 calories per hour (CPH), the digital assistant assures me. Running comes in at about 500 followed by vigorous cycling at 600. I thought swimming, at 700, was the top fat burner until I plugged in playing golf with a motorized cart. According to the program hitting the links eats up a full 750 CPH!

Remembering birthdays

Sept. 10 was my mother’s birthday. Because of her small stature, I was surprised to learn that my 4-foot-11 mother had played on the girls’ basketball team when she was in high school in a small town in northern Wisconsin where she and Dad first met as classmates. Unfortunately, Mother never finished high school. Her father, who was working as a carpenter at the time, fell and injured his back which kept him unemployed for some months. Mother and her sister Opal dropped out of school and found jobs to help support the family.

Some numbers

Zero: Sam Clovis’s salary after Rick Perry cut it. Clovis is a former conservative talk radio host at the popular Iowa station WHO, and more recently Perry’s State Chairman.
Four: Number of candidates (Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz) Clovis considered going to work for before hiring on to the Trump Campaign as his National Co-Chairman.
Unknown: Amount of Clovis’s salary now.
Four hundred million: Trump’s yearly salary, as he claimed at a news conference held at the Iowa State Fair.

Lack of imagination

Food For Thought

Doggerel: Poetry with irregular rhythm that does not scan well and is often not intended to be taken seriously. Poor-quality composition: something that is badly written or makes no sense at all.

The Foxosphere John

Walkin'

As I write this I’m watching a YouTube video of a “breaking news” report by Fox Business that propelled a Clive businessman into the national news.
It was Sept. 29, 2010, Obama was stumping for the mid-term elections, just five weeks away.
Long time Democratic Senator Tom Harkin retired, and there was a close race to determine whether his replacement should be Bruce Braley or Joni Ernst.
Obama was drumming up support for a tax increase on the wealthy. The audience was supposed to be friendly and the scene couldn’t have been any more bucolic.

The need for butt glue

Food For Thought

“I think it’s writer’s block,” my friend said. “I can’t seem to think of anything interesting to write about.”
This, from a talented woman who writes delightful poetry and entertaining essays, and has something new to share with the writers’ group at nearly every twice-a-month meeting.
“Take an imaginary tour of your grandmother’s house,” someone suggested.
Others said, “Write about one of those old family anecdotes that get told at family reunions or around the dinner table on Thanksgiving.”
And, “Do you have any relatives who might be called ‘characters’?”

No more beer

Walkin'

As you read this it has been one full month since I’ve consumed a cocktail or beer. It hasn’t been easy, but the choice was a no-brainer: gout has been ravaging one foot or another these past four months and it was time to decide whether to give up being able to walk or quaff.
It’s been a good run, however.

How many trees do you need?

Food For Thought

Because I live in the woods with more than my share of trees, I forget that one of our environmental concerns is we don’t have enough trees to absorb the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere. Whether happy coincidence or divine plan, it doesn’t matter, the fact that plants use carbon dioxide and manufacture oxygen holds the possible solution to the unbalance that is causing our environment to become less suitable for the sustenance of animal life—and that includes us humans.

Falling apart

Walkin'

As I approach 63, I find more and more things simply can’t be done any more.
Like driving a golf ball. In my prime, during the rare event when I actually hit it where aimed, my ball might actually be in a position to reach the green in regulation. And if my aim was off, at least the shot would go two, sometimes, three fairways over.

A little bit of water

Food For Thought

I don’t know why, but my mother firmly believed that a lawn and garden weren’t complete without a pond, stream, fountain or, at the very least, a birdbath. Dad apparently agreed, for he managed to provide a small body of water in the back yard of every place we lived.
While I don’t remember it, I have photos of a fish pond that was in the back yard of the house where I was born. It featured a little waterfall that tumbled over some rocks on its way to the pond, and a weeping willow tree that drooped picturesquely over its west edge.

Golfing again

Walkin'

With Sabra’s retirement from the veterinary clinic, we have more time to do things together like golf, at least in theory.
When I first started dating her, she played several times a week. Naturally athletic, she was playing a fairly competitive game, which I found unnerving. Not that I can’t stand being beat by a woman; it was the way I was getting hammered.

The harvest

Food For Thought

Dad’s dream of raising all the food for his family came closer and closer to reality as the fruit trees and berry bushes he planted came into production. He had planted just about everything in the nursery catalogs they claimed would survive southern Iowa winters, and we were beginning to enjoy the difference between store-bought and tree-ripened fruit. We also had a number of things that, for years, had been standards in gardens across the Midwest. Rhubarb and ground cherries, horseradish, grapes, asparagus and other things that, once planted, came back reliably every spring.