Boston Strong!

Life Is Too Short

The past month has been full of remembrance, thanks and gratitude for all we have in life.  Everyone experienced the marathon bombing and the BostonStrongRibbonfiery capture of the culprits differently.  We’re all processing it the meaning of these events and affected by them in a unique way.

Fortunately, such events bring out the best in humanity and the beauty of life.  Sometimes we need these reminders.

  • Steven Tyler and Joe Perry dedicate this version of Dream On to the people in Boston
  • There are so many stories of survival and how people came together to support each other, and forming lasting bonds.

It strikes me, the reason that so many good people are caught up by these tragedies is because most people are good and it’s just a few bad ones who can cause so much pain.

Easter is a great day to recognize the power of hope and…

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Sally Kohn’s talk, the “clean” version

This could improve many relationships in my life.

TED Blog

Sally Kohn had a point to make in her TED Talk. During her career as a progressive lesbian talking head at Fox News, she’d get letters from people who really, really didn’t like what she said, or objected to her very existence. To make this attitude crystal-clear, onstage at TED@NYC Kohn read out the kind of letter she received during the course of a typical day. The hate-filled letter contained one of the last really untouchable curse words. Point made.

We wanted to make sure that Kohn’s message was heard with its full force. But as we’ve encountered in the past with other talks containing strong language or graphic imagery, not all TEDsters were equally happy with this choice. So at the request of several fans, we’ve created a “clean” edit of the talk. If you’d like to share Kohn’s message of tolerance and emotional correctness with an audience…

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How much is 2,000 calories?

Wow, I’m not surprised by the info, but I am shocked by the visual representations of how little it takes to get to 2,000 calories.

Life Is Too Short

If you have ever counted calories, it’s amazing to see how many can be packed into a small tasty treat.  This video 2000 Caloriesshows us how many Big Macs, or bananas, etc. it takes to eat 2,000 calories.  For some foods, it’s hardly considered a day’s worth of meals.  Of course, serving sizes are out of control, and yes they have a video about that too.

They also remind us to beware of sugar amounts.  I recently heard that low fat foods are made tastier by adding sugar, confirmed by this short video.

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Dear parents, you need to control your kids. Sincerely, non-parents

If this story is true, it shows that real life can be even more amazing than fictional stories.

The Matt Walsh Blog

To the fan I lost yesterday:

I don’t owe you an explanation, but I thought I’d offer one anyway. I do this more for your sake than mine. You see, maybe, as you later suggested, I was in a bad mood. Maybe I could have been a bit more polite about it. Maybe I’m more sensitive to it now that I have kids. Maybe I’m just sick of hearing these comments about parents. Maybe I know that my wife has to take the twins with her when she goes grocery shopping sometimes, so she could easily be on the receiving end of your sort of bullying. Maybe I took it personally.

Whatever the case, there I was, walking down the aisles of the grocery store looking for the ingredients for a new chili recipe I wanted to try. I heard the kid screaming from a distance; the whole store heard…

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Healthy Relationships – a spotter’s guide

I never had thought about the fact that we talk more about sex with teenagers and not relationships. And relationships are so complicated and difficult to navigate. Hopefully parents are having these conversations with their kids, but apparently the rise is abusive relationships among teens suggests otherwise.

A Relationship in Song

first-date-01First Meeting: I knew I Loved You by Savage Garden or Somethin’ Like That by Tim McGraw

First Date: Today was a Fairytale by Taylor Swift

Falling in Love:  It’s Friday, I’m in Love by The Cure or Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley

Proposal: Love Song by Adele

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Marriage: Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton or Make You Feel My Love by or Adele Little Houses by Doug Stone or Spend My Lifetime Loving You by Marc Antony

Family: My Front Porch Lookin’ In by Lonestar or One Boy, One Girl by Collin Raye

Overcoming a Big Fight: Madness by Muse

 

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Aging:  Follow you into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie or If You Get There Before I Do by Collin Raye

Watch Out – Stop Eating Microwave Popcorn!

So someone ingeniously figured out how to make popcorn more dangerous and charge more money for it. And most people foolishly bought Microwave Popcorn, including myself.

There are potentially/confirmed dangerous chemicals in the butter for microwave popcorn. Half the corns doesn’t pop, or gets burned while trying to pop a decent amount in the bag. Trust me, the only thing worse than stinking up the office with popcorn smell, is stinking up the office with burned popcorn smell; which for some reason clings to my hair and clothes to remind me of the awful decision to make a quick snack. And thats all the single serving bags are good for, i can’t get a serving of edible popcorn from it. I’m not a big fan of too much butter or salt either.

Now that I have a gas stove again, I’m back to popping corn in a pot with a little bit of oil, over medium heat. Kids are fascinated by this alternative popcorn production. But I could also get an air popper and save money and my health that way too.

Equality in America and the Myth of Social Immobility

Living the American Dream… Unfortunately not everyone has equal access to achieving the dream. In some ways there is a social necessity for keeping people at the bottom. Not everyone can have the high paying jobs, and anyone who falls down the ladder will be more distraught than people who grew up in that social position. So unless everyone can move up the ladder, would it be better to keep some people at the bottom? I believe in the US we have enough money and knowledge to provide basic needs for all. And we should strive to improve upon that standard. But we absolutely need to know how to maintain that standard and avoid falling back. Winning $100 is great, but losing $100 hurts much worse.

The McLean Parlor

wealth and inequality

In The New York Times’ series on inequality in America, Columbia professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz recently argued that measurable social mobility in America is incongruent with the often ascribed “land of opportunity” label.  Stiglitz did reference data from a reputable source (The Brookings Institution) to draw his conclusions, but his interpretation of said data is perplexing.

According to Stiglitz, “only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top.”

The word “only” in that statement is an interesting rhetorical choice. I don’t know exactly what percentage of America’s poorest children the professor thinks should be moving out of the untouchable caste, but 58% seems pretty good. And while 6% seems rather paltry when I pay sales tax on a Burger King Whopper, the fact that 6 out…

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Cleaning Stainless Steel

Many people who don’t have stainless steel think that it never gets stained.  Many people who do have stainless steel, do not realize that it requires special cleaning.

General cleaning should include warm water and a soft cloth.  You do not want to scratch the stainless steel.  You can purchase special polishers to improve the finish of the stainless steel if it gets scratched, but I don’t know how well these work.

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After 20 minutes cleaning

To remove rust stains, I cleaned the stainless steel with vinegar and a lot of rubbing.  I used the scratchy side of an old sponge which scratched the surface of my garbage can, but it’s a garbage can and I don’t mind so much.  The above photo shows the worst section partially cleaned, and this photo here shows how clean it got from about 20 minutes of rubbing. I could work on it some more, but I won’t.  My bf can if it’s important to him when he gets home.  This should work great on sinks, but  be careful with stainless steel appliances that you don’t want to damage the finish.

I got the suggestion from Apartment Therapy, but now thinking back to girl scouts as a kid, we soaked pennies in vinegar to clean the rust off them.  Smelly but effective.  And it’s great to avoid using harsh chemicals that can have a major impact on the environment.