Friday, August 11, 2017

I knew it was coming, we all knew it was coming, but still...
The Death of the Internal Combustion Engine

Just realized I had let this blog sit idle for exactly 1 year and 1 day when I realized I had something to say. Should consider the same schedule for facebook, twitter, instagram...
This is important, and we cannot stop it, and it will truly change the world. But it is not all for the best. A number of things will be lost when we begin to make the change towards no more internal combustion engines in our automobiles.
I'll have more thoughts on this soon...
The Death Of The Internal Combustion Engine

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

AKA the Season of Madness.

As a registered Independent, I don't really have a horse in this fight.  Nor do I want to.  But in reality, we all are in it, at least all of us in America, and all the countries with which America trades, travels, interacts and/or has conflicts.  So, I guess, most of the world does actually have a stake in this election.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be putting down some thoughts on what, or who, we should be looking for in a leader, and on the policies that I believe will make a much more positive difference for our future than anything we are hearing now.

Some of these ideas include vast disruptions to existing international borders, and some just include mowing the lawn.

Coming back soon with more detail.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

This Just In:
Eat Red Meat For A Healthy Heart!
Even The Feds Are Starting To Say So.

The US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee no longer deems natural cholesterol a "nutrient of concern".  Their report will be sent to HHS and the U.S. Dept of Ag.  New gov't dietary recommendations will eventually follow:

But this new attitude only applies to real food that contains natural cholesterol, such as meat, eggs, cheese, butter, stuff like that.

Processed foods with lots of ingredients, including cholesterol, are bad.
Stuff made of white flour and sugar is very bad.  Margarine is terrible.  Never eat it.
All bad cholesterol is still bad.

But Get This:
It Is OK To Eat BACON!
Even if you have high cholesterol!
And have a glass of wine, or a drink, or a mimosa if you feel like it.

I've been eating this way for over 10 years:
Red meat + eggs + cheese + butter + fish + poultry + lots of vegetables & fruits, + whole grains instead of white flour.
And I do have alcohol (I abstain from abstaining).

You would be amazed at how good all the veggie and whole grain stuff can taste, if you just allow some time get used to it.  I can barely stand to eat anything with white flour in it anymore.  (Except for an occasional Bacon Lardon Croissant at St Honore Bakery in Lake Oswego, OR... but who's going to tell?)

Humans have an almost infinite capacity to adapt.

While eating this way, I also eat about half the volume of food daily as I did when I was 20 or 30 yrs old.  Makes me feel better, and I don't bulk up as much.  (Way less feeling of acid reflux, too.)  So my wife Heidi and I almost always share 1 entree at restaurants.
But I do get my own salad and martini.
And I still feel good. Satisfied.

When we split a Prime Rib - I Eat All The Fat.
Because It's Not Harmful.  Seriously, It's Not Harmful.
(I know, no one will believe that one, but it is absolutely true.  Heidi still doesn't believe it, but she also doesn't like the fat taste the way I do.  So I eat it.)

However, I eat about as much in vegetables and/or fruit as I do in proteins at lunch and dinner.
It's a good rule of thumb.  I've grown to like extra veggies and no potato with an entree. 
For me, breakfast is usually coffee with half & half, plus a piece of whole grain toast, lots of butter, and peanut butter.  Or scrambled eggs with butter and cheese, and maybe some berries.

At home, all vegetables taste pretty good when sauteed for a few minutes in olive oil, garlic, butter, etc.  All of them.  Even Kale!  I got rid of a lot of pre-made gravies and sauces when I started eating this way, and I actually don't miss those.  Use the excess fat from your meat to add flavor to the veggies, if you like.  That's okay, too.

There are fast, easy and tasty ways to cook almost everything.
You can even nuke leafy veggies for 3 or 4 min, carrots, broccoli, beets, etc. for 6-8 min, then add butter, olive oil and salt.  Oven roasted brussels sprouts are amazingly good.  Even meats don't take as much time as we think on the stovetop.  For good recipes,  always, Google is your friend.

I feel so much better than I did when I ate so much processed stuff.
We can eat it when we're young, but as we age, we may need to adapt.

Fun Fact - Pork is good for us!  Not only Bacon, but Pork Belly, Lardon, Pork Chops, Pork Loin, Prosciutto and Ham.  All good!  (As long as no nitrites/chemicals are added.)
And for a better dish, you can cook pork medium rare.  It's true.
There have been Zero Deaths from Trichinosis in America in over 100 years.

Btw - I recently had a savory appetizer of Bacon Cheesecake at Swine Bar.
Cheese & Bacon, surrounded by greens.  It was great!
I am never going back to the way I ate before.  No possible way.

Fun Fact 2:  Getting fats and cholesterol only from real meat, butter, eggs, cheese, etc, contributes to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, even if we make no other changes.  That alone helps us!

Real food is real good for us.
Processed foods are bad for our hearts, our weight, and everything else.

More News:  Salt is not harmful for high blood pressure.  I know, also hard to believe, but also true.  The original studies that suggested it was bad were not scientifically sound, but for decades docs and others have just said what they've always said about salt.  No one actually looked at the evidence.  They are just starting to now, including reporting this exact information in The Economist.

Use as much sea salt or kosher salt as you like, because it tastes better.  And besides, no one in this country is ever low on Iodine, and too much of it may be not so good for our thyroid.  Iodine was not part of our original, historical diet.  Meat and vegetables and fruits were part of it.

Cholesterol evidence began pointing this way several years ago, and it looks like it's finally come to the attention of the Feds.

If you cut way back on processed foods, you can eat as much salt as you want, and you'll still take in less total salt than before.  But there are other, much better reasons to cut down on processed stuff.

For instance, the content and type of fats, sugars and white flour in most processed foods combine to make us want to eat more, even when we are full.  The processed and fast food industry knows that their products make so many of us overeat, but they don't care.  All of these things (yes, even my sacred Doritos) actually do cause food addiction and constant overeating.  The companies that make them aren't helping us get any healthier, so we have to help ourselves.

(Don't get me started on pharmaceuticals, and that entire industry.)

And if you really want to be good to your body, and have a much easier time keeping your weight where you want it to be:
Stop Drinking Pop.
Sugared or Sugar Free, that stuff is all crap for us.
Soda screws up our appetite, inhibits mineral intake, and messes with our weight, in a bad way.

And anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup in it should be taxed about One Hundred Thousand Percent.  That's right:  100,000 %.  The stuff is worse than margarine, worse than a Hot Pocket.
So why is it legal, and in so many foods, you may ask?
Because huge corporations that make it have all kinds of expensive, high powered lobbyists.
And all the regular people like you and me have Zero Lobbyists.
That's why.

Stop taking in stuff that's really awful for your health, and you will be surprised at the benefits.

My theory has been:  Even if you still think these are bad in some way, it should be okay to eat at least some of the real stuff you like, for the pleasure, for the quality of life they provide.

No red meat, no butter, no salt, no martinis... that's not living, to me.

Moderate amounts of real food with real flavor - that's good for us.
Not just my crackpot opinion anymore - the science is on our side.
And - hard to believe - We Can Eat The Fat!

One more thing - when we turn 70 or so, we may start to shrink down and waste away like some older people do.  Then we should start eating twice as much as we think we want.  Older people often say food doesn't taste as good as it used to.  Without the pleasure, they eat less, until their strength and even muscle mass declines alarmingly.  So if that's you, eat more.  And if you make it to that age, heck, eat whatever you want!

----- Sorry for this really long post/food rant. -----

As you can tell, I have been thinking about this subject for a long time.

Eat real food.
Eat less food.
Enjoy life more.

This author is way ahead of her time:

What do you think?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Seattle Unique

After lunch with my new editor, and after visiting the Elliott Bay Book Company, I was on my way to my car, when I met...

A really nice guy named Purple Mark.

(He told me that it was Red Day.)

Keep on being who you are, Purple Mark!


When in Seattle, I had lunch with Bryan, my new editor, at the Lost Lake Cafe.

Cool place, great food, really nice, attentive service.

Loved It!

And even better, it's right next door to the Elliott Bay Book Company!
Got to be one of the 5 best bookstores in the US.
Picked up a copy of Portnoy's Complaint (I had never read it).

It was a good day.  I'll be going there again.

The Editor is on the case...

Day trip Seattle on Tuesday, to meet with my new editor, Bryan Tomasovich.

Bryan is doing my developmental edit, and I feel good about the project.

Love Seattle!

Saw some great tagging on the building wall next to the lot in which I parked.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So this blog has been dormant for awhile now.  Very dormant.  Asleep might be a better word.
This was partly due to the Great Recession, which we now would all like to forget, if possible, and partly due to my having started a couple of other blogs and a twitter account that all took up some of my time and attention, and together made it tough for me to even remember this one.
Lame, I know.

In the interim from the previous post to this one, I decided to complete a couple of fiction novels, and start a few more.  So... that's what I did.
The first novel is Black Ice, a murder mystery thriller set in a black ice storm,
in late December, 1979, in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

This is the beginning of a series.

The next novel in this series will be called something like Grey Storm, or maybe Grey Blizzard.
I haven't decided yet.  But it will be a murder mystery thriller set in the town of McMinnville, Oregon,
on May 18, 1980, when Mt. St. Helens nearby in Washington blew its top,
and ash fell all over the Northwest, including the town of McMinnville, for many days.

The town was almost silent while the ash fell...
A murderer took the opportunity to do something terrible,
and then to try to escape before being caught.

That coming novel will have the same two main characters at Black Ice,
and for the moment, that's all I can divulge about it.

The second novel I completed during this time is called Fear of Intimacy.

The cover actually needs a little more work before it is the final version.
For one thing, I'm going to change the font so that it matches Black Ice.
I think I need to have a consistent look among my thrillers, even though they are each the beginning of different series... something about marketing or branding or some other goofy concept that I barely understand.

Fear of Intimacy is a story I have been working on, off and on really, for over 15 years.
If that seems like a long time to you, I can relate.  It seems even longer to me.
But it is now nearly done, and I am going through the final edit to get it ready for publication.

It is about a middle aged man and his grown son, and their difficult relationships with women.
One of the women has her own severe difficulties with emotional intimacy,
as a result of serious abuse she survived as a child.

The story begins in Portland, Oregon, in the Pearl District, and is largely set in the art world.
The story moves through the Minneapolis Art Museum,
and Jackson, Wyoming, and then on to a sailboat trip from California to Hawaii.

The conclusion of the story on the sailboat trip sees four people embark, and one survives.

This one is also the beginning of its own, separate series.
The next novel/thriller in the series will be Fear of Failure.
That novel will be followed by Fear of Commitment, and others.

I am also writing a novel with my father, Gary Lawrence, that will be coming out late this year or early next year. I hope.  I don't even have a title for that one yet, but it will be really a fun read.
It starts with a chapter that completely surprises and delights people when I give them the synopsis.
It is a thriller with a conscience.

The reason I don't know when it will be out is because, while first drafts now go really quickly for me, editing takes a long time, and it is hard work.  But it is worth it.  Editing well is its own reward.
Or something like that.
But I know it is important.
How do I know this?  Ernie said so, in a manner of speaking.

As Ernest Hemingway once said,
"Write drunk, edit sober."

Of course, I have decided to adapt this saying to my own situation.
This is how it goes:
"Write drunk, edit sober, nap hungover."
I think that says it all.

I look forward to releasing the first two novels, and following them with more stories.
And I hope people like them.
I hope you like them.
If you are people, that is.
If you are animals or aliens, or robots, I may not put quite as much stock in your opinion.
Sorry, that's just the way I am.