Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arizona Bill

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the new bill in Arizona targeting illegal immigrants will likely increase rates of unsolved crimes and destabilize urban and rural communities. But, this reporter writes it a lot better I do. Worth reading.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Beecher's Cheese

For my operations course this quarter, I had the great pleasure of getting a private tour of Beecher's Cheese, located in Pike Place Market here in Seattle. They made 1.2 million lbs of cheese in their tiny location (see picture) last year. Their cheese is not only amazing, but they also donate 1% of profits to the Flagship Foundation, which helps to educate schoolchildren about making good and healthy choices in eating food. Touring Beecher's was like taking a master class in operations, and snarfing down fresh curds and mac 'n cheese made it all that much better.

Why not just shoot yourself?

I keep trying to remind myself that some people don't fully grasp what it means to be alive. And that teenagers and people in their lower twenties don't yet have fully developed brains. But it really doesn't matter, when people are SO incredibly stupid and wasteful with their lives. Other people desperately wanted to live and didn't get to, and these idiots are throwing away that precious gift - for what?

I just read an article from the AP about the risks associated with a new very pure, very cheap form of heroin from Mexico.

From the article:
Glendale, Calif., often ranks among the safest cities of its size. But police are concerned about a growing heroin problem tied to Mexican street gangs from nearby Los Angeles. Gang members make the quick drive up Interstate 5 to deliver heroin straight to high school kids.

"They tell them, 'Just smoke it. It's just like smoking a cigarette. It's just like smoking marijuana,'" said Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz. Once the kids are hooked, "they've got a customer forever."

Just smoke it?? JUST SMOKE IT??? Even marijuana is more potent and dangerous than it used to be, and everyone knows - or at least ought to - that if you mess with heroin, you've just given up your life. Not to mention, these are gang members driving up to you, offering you random powders, and you have no idea what's in it. How about potassium cyanide? Mix it with a little sugar or starch, and sell it as cocaine - how would you even know the difference? And these kids just SMOKE it??

Shooting yourself seems about at the same level of stupidity as using this new form of heroin. I just can't get over the concept that people are really so bored with the life they've been given, and so incapable of appreciating it and everything it offers that they would waste it in such a pointless fashion. I am personally offended at anyone who treats their life so carelessly.

I feel a lot more sorry for the loved ones that they care so little for, they'd throw their lives away than those stupid idiots who think it's FUN to take random drugs from gang members. If someone is that stupid, I feel no obligation to feel sorry for them, even in a general way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Odds of Childbirth Success

It's probably quite well known that women usually make less than men over the course of their lifetimes, and that's in large part due to taking time off to have children, and the career sacrifices one must make if one wants to raise a happy, healthy child. Thus, it's difficult for a career minded younger woman to have a stable environment, financially, in the family, and career-wise, to have a baby. So, in general, it seems better to have a baby when older. But, just to depress you, here are some great statistics from Baby Center on fertility to show that having a baby in your 20s is what biology wants you to do:

In your 20s, the stats are on your side, says leading fertility specialist Sherman Silber, director of the Infertility Center of St. Louis at St. Luke's Hospital in Missouri and author of four best-selling fertility books, including How to Get Pregnant. You have about a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant in any single ovulation cycle. Your chances of conceiving within a year of trying are about 98 percent in your early 20s and about 84 percent by your late 20s.

Only 7 percent of 20-year-old women struggle with infertility — whereas two-thirds of women over 40 have infertility problems. A 20-year-old woman has only a 6 percent chance of remaining childless, while a 40-year-old's chance of never having children is 64 percent.

A woman in her early 40s is three times as likely to have a miscarriage as a woman in her early 20s. For women 45 and older the rate leaps higher still.

As for other risks, at age 20, the risk of carrying a child with Down syndrome is one in 1295. That risk jumps to one in 759 when you're 30.


I took up yoga almost a year ago, with fits and starts in my sessions with the amazing Emily Murray. My (self-imposed) schedule has not helped in this endeavor. In any case, I am now to the actual "routine" stage.

Yoga has made me more aware of my body's capabilities and limitations than anything I've done in terms of physical activity before. One of the most interesting things I've noticed is how my feet react to practice. Because of wearing shoes, I almost don't use my pinky toe, and it's all curled up anyway. My big toe is slanted inward. During practice, I make a serious effort to uncurl and use my pinky toe for balance, and make my big toe angle outwards. I have also decided to buy some toe shoes. Feet and hands have very similar bone structures; why shouldn't I utilize my feet more than as support systems for walking upright?

I have also noticed the effects of long years of sitting at a desk, either for school or work. I routinely sit with one leg under me - this knee bends much more easily in certain poses, and has a very hard time stretching out in others, where my other knee has the opposite problems. My right bicep is much stronger (strong being a relative term) than my left bicep. I have a back like Gumby.

All of this has made me much more appreciative and thankful for the body I have to use while I'm here on earth. I don't care much for philosophical discussions on mind/body/soul/heart and where each starts and stops. But certainly, a stronger body will help me to have a stronger mind, heart, soul - and same goes for each of the others. I have put so much effort into improving and building my mind and knowledge, and not nearly enough in building the intelligence and capabilities of my body. What I love most about yoga is the wholistic approach to strength and balance in the body and mind. I don't wish to become thin; I seriously doubt I could become thin even if I tried very hard. But I do want to show myself enough respect to approach my body with the same strength and purpose that I approach my work, studies, and family.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Organic produce

Article on organic produce:

"Exposure to pesticides used on common kid-friendly foods — including frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries and celery — appears to boost the chances that children will be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, new research shows."

Large corporate farming interests have been saying for years that pesticides (chemicals designed to exterminate living creatures) do not pose harm to humans. This might be true for adult humans, although I would argue that there has been insufficient study of a lifetime exposure to these chemicals, but it is most certainly not true for babies and children, for whom even a little extra Tylenol for a few days could prove lethal.

Even people who are on a limited income can choose not to pay for certain luxuries so that their children are not being systematically poisoned by large corporate food interests.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Colin Firth

I first became aware of Colin Firth after checking out Pride & Prejudice from the library. While I do dearly love me some Matthew McFadyen... no one does Mr Darcy like Colin Firth.

I saw him next in Bridget Jones' Diary, a book that had charm as a movie, but in my opinion remains a much better book than movie. Then I saw him in Love Actually, a movie I know quite well most people won't admit to liking, but I thought it was a lovely version of what it was.

Somewhere along the way, I saw The Importance of Being Earnest - a movie that I still dearly love, and not only because Oscar Wilde is brilliant.

I am currently watching What a Girl Wants. This is not, by any means, a brilliant movie, nor a brilliant script. The acting, also, is not brilliant - but for Colin Firth, who is a king among men.

I <3 Colin Firth.

Next phase

This morning in my yoga session with the amazing Emily, I discussed with her the best way to do yoga while pregnant. While I am not yet pregnant, it is in the (relatively) near future plan, and I want to be in as good of health as possible before that happens so I don't turn into a giant blimp. A merely plump blimp will suffice, no Hindenberg, thank you very much.

My friend Kungfuramone just had a baby with his lovely wife B. They're having difficult combining breast-feeding and formula, what the correct supplement should be, and so on. This reminded me of the incredibly offensive post (guy apologized for the offensiveness later, so I guess he can be off the hook) calling the practice of parents who choose cry it out as a method of getting their kids to sleep on their own (when they're old enough to do so, of course) "child abuse." His wife is a lactation consultant up here in Seattle, and he frequently updates the parents@ list with interesting tidbits and often good advice on lactation and new mother issues.

All of this is making me both really excited and quake with fear about what the future will bring. But, I think mostly excited.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I finally have weekends again. Well.... sort of, given that I still expect to be working, and I have homework. But, in theory - I have weekends. I also am very happy with my new job. Now, as soon as school is done, maybe I'll start having a life again too. :)

I am reminded today of how important it is to take time off for one's self, to do things that allow the mind to slow down, and appreciate the little things that make one remember that life is more than the endless hamster wheel.

Today, on my day off, I made about a dozen apple pocket pies and German style potato salad. And some laundry and dishes. But, no obligation to work. I still am having a hard time with that soaking in, I do believe.

I also watched a lot of TV today. Today has been a truly lovely day, and now I'm watching Iron Chef America, with the secret ingredient being cheese. I love cheese. Tomorrow, I have yoga. It's been a good day.