Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alaskans for Global Warming

I’m making a stand. I’m not taking this lying down anymore. I’m going to fight back. I want my two degrees of warmer weather. That’s right, I’m for global warming, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep it and a tantrum is not out of the question.

Please don’t get upset with me…try to see it from my point of view. I’m not trying to be selfish, I’m just having hard time letting go. I’ve gotten used to those two degrees of higher temperatures and now it’s nearly impossible to think what life would be like without them. Yes, I’ll admit, those two degrees have spoiled me rotten. So what if I wasn’t alive when the temperature was two degrees less. I can imagine what the world was like then…and I don’t like it…I mean there weren’t even colored TV’s back then.

What I don’t understand is why the rest of the world has to be so greedy? Can’t we come to some sort of compromise about it? Why does it have to be so one sided? I’m starting to feel like my feelings don’t matter. I mean, come on, it’s two degrees over the last 100 years. That isn’t so bad. Alaskans have worked hard for those two degrees and now the rest of the world seems hell bent on taking them away from us. Let’s try to find another cause for the world to rally behind, like not allowing fat people to wear stretchy pants.

I love Alaska. I’ve always loved Alaska. But I love it even more now that it’s two degrees warmer. They say that everything is bigger in Alaska, and two degrees is a lot bigger than you probably imagine. It can mean the difference between below freezing (31˚ F) or above freezing (33˚ F). I’m not sure about you, but I like the idea of above freezing. It makes me feel all warm inside.

Florida and Hawaii are allowed to have their warm waters and tropical beaches, so why can’t Alaska? Maybe we want the same thing. Maybe tropical beaches are in Alaska’s 1000 year master plan. Who gave the rest of the world the right to tell us no? I’m beginning to think its discrimination against us because we aren’t part of the famed “lower 48.” They want our state to provide picturesque ice capped mountains, glacier filled valleys, fancy igloos, and the world’s supply of ice cubes, but they could care less about letting us be who we really are – tropical at heart. It’s discrimination at its worst. Where are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rest of their Rainbow/PUSH Coalition? Why aren’t they representing Alaska? It is an outrage! An injustice! A mark against the human race.

I’m really a simple man at heart. I just want a little warmer weather and maybe a little longer summer, that’s all. Maybe that’s why no one is listening…I’m too simple. I’m not a shady politician looking to make exuberant amounts of money to pay my exuberant monthly utility bills by filling peoples' heads with lies and trying to make the whole world feel guilty for causing these two (heavenly) degrees. (And yes, I am referring here to a certain unamed former vice president, and the fact that the only thing growing faster than the size of his waist is the amount of money he is making from this global "crisis.") Nope. I’m just a simple guy wishing I could wear swimming trunks every once in a while.

Everyone agrees temperatures have risen. How much of it is natural and how much is caused by the humans is up for debate. The thing is, I really don’t care about the reduction in milk production of the Colobus monkey in East Africa because of global warming. Nor do I care about the link between global warming and the increased antenna size of the Nettle-tap moth. My life is 100% unaffected because these female moths no longer find their long-antennaed males attractive and therefore are having difficulty reproducing. I’m sorry, I just don’t care and neither did anyone else until scientists figured out they could use this “scare” to fund their otherwise useless research.

I’d just like the rest of the world to see it from my perspective. Let us have our two degrees and I’ll promise to do my part in protecting the earth – I’ll ride my bike to work – I’ll plant a few trees – I’ll only eat tuna fish that was caught without the catching of dolphins – I’ll even go as far as to only use one sheet (single ply) of toilet paper per wipe. That’s all I’m asking – let us keep our two degrees. Please?

Locked on Target

What is it with kids and throwing up? How it is that they are able to throw up exactly where you don’t want them to when they’re sick? One would assume such pinpoint accuracy with body fluids could not be possible from something so tiny, but they’ve definitely got the gift of aim. If it weren’t so amazingly disgusting, it would actually be incredibly impressive.

I’ve had every square inch of a 10 foot radius surrounding the kids covered in towels, and yet somehow they seem to find the one small gap in coverage every time. Wham! Just like a sidewinder missile slamming into its target, or a bat honing in on a moth with it’s sonar in the dead of night, they’ve gotcha! If there is even the slightest breach in coverage, they’ll be sure to find it…every time.

Oh, and is it just me, or does food in their stomachs seem to double…or triple…in volume from when it entered? I swear that more comes out of them than ever went in. Macaroni and cheese multiplies in the belly worse than Gremlins eating after midnight. You may think I’m joking, but anyone with kids knows what I’m saying is true.

The funny thing is that my wife likes to tell me that as bad as our kids puking aim is, she can think of people who are worse. It’s strange that she only brings it up when she’s cleaning the toilets.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Perfect Diet

It seems like I’m always hearing people around me talk about the latest diet they’re on or that they plan to try. The two most popular diets I hear about are the Atkins and the South Beach Diets, but the more I hear people talking about them, the more I realize how imperfect these fad diets are and wonder why no one has been able to come up with the ultimate diet – you know, the sure thing. The foolproof way to lose weight. I’m talking about a diet that allows you to drop those unwanted pounds but still lets you enjoy all that yummy food that’s overburdened with carbs and packed full of empty calories. The Perfect Diet.

I’m so tired of waiting for someone to develop a diet like this that I’ve decided to come up with one on my own. And I really must – without sounding like I’m patting myself on my back, which I totally am – say that it’s a doozy. This is a diet so revolutionary, so dynamic, so out of this world that you’ll probably drop 3-5 pounds just reading about it. It is specially formulated for those who wish to eat anything they want to and still drop the weight. That’s right, you heard me correctly – a diet that lets you eat whatever you want whenever you want, and you’ll still shed the weight like water on a newly waxed sports car.

I’m going to call it the North Shore Diet, and without going into all the boring details about how I came up with the name, I’ll keep it simple by saying that I thought it sounded cool (and in case this thing ever gets big, yes, I do have plans for some famous surfer to be my spokesperson). So how exactly does the North Shore Diet work? I thought you’d never ask, especially since I’m already three paragraphs into this and I’m beginning to get the feeling that I sound like a crummy infomercial where I try make you believe you can’t live without some lame product and then I rake you over the coals for shipping just in case you want your money back. But this is way better than a cheesy infomercial...because what I’m about to tell you will absolutely change your life. And I won’t even charge you shipping.

The diet is simple. Think, ‘in with the good out with the bad.’ Imagine you’re craving a greasy, triple patty, triple bacon cheeseburger (a.k.a. the Triple Bypass), and you’re thinking to yourself, there is no diet in the world that will allow this kind of gourmet fare – I’ll just have to sit down with a bowl of tofu instead. Well forget everything you thought you knew about dieting because on the North Shore Diet you are going to sit down to eat that cheeseburger your taste buds have been dancing for. However, alongside the cheeseburger, in this diet you’ll be expected to also sit down with equal portions by weight and size of low fat, low carb food items such as fruits and vegetables.

So here’s how it works: after taking a bite of the unhealthy, high calorie, artery clogging burger, I want you to chew it for as long as you possibly can to savor every possible ounce of flavor. Then, when the urge to swallow it down seems unbearable, spit it out. That’s right, spit it out. In its place I want you to take one mouthful of the healthy, low fat, low carb item and swallow it down as quickly as possible. Repeat the above steps until the burger has been completely chewed up and spit out and the healthy item has been completely chewed up and swallowed…or until you’re full. Whichever comes first.

Yep, it’s that simple. I believe in simplicity.

However, there are a few important things you’ll want to remember. You may be confused as to what kinds of foods to spit and which ones to swallow. Here is an easy rule of thumb: if just thinking about the item makes your mouth salivate, if it’s something that you desperately crave, or if it’s something that can be easily found at any local quick mart, it’s most definitely a spitter. On the other hand, if it is something that makes you want to throw up when you think about it, if it is something your dog won’t even eat, something that usually sits in your cupboards untouched and collecting dust, or if the words “puffed rice” appear anywhere on the packaging, then it’s probably a safe bet that it’s something you can swallow.

This applies to beverages as well. Juices, sodas (yes, diet sodas included), or basically anything with flavor should be enjoyed by swishing around in the mouth before being spit out and promptly followed up by a nice large gulp of healthy water.

And what should you do with all that chewed up and spit out food, you ask? Compost it of course. Throw it in with your grass clippings and yard waste and turn your unwanted food into luscious, nourishing fertilizer for your garden. Truly, recycling at its best. **Note: for this reason I might suggest keeping a five gallon bucket handy while eating, making it quick and easy for throwing into the compost pile.

Another secret to success with the North Shore Diet is to eat the healthy stuff as quickly as possible after spitting out the good stuff. There are two reasons for this. First, the sooner you can get the healthy stuff down, the sooner you can get to another bite of what you are really craving. Second, I find that if the healthy item is eaten quickly after discharging the tasty item, your mind, if even for but a few seconds, is tricked into thinking that the healthy item is in fact the very same as what was just spit out, and is therefore…bearable.

Soon enough you’ll soon discover that the true brilliance of this diet is that it makes the process of eating painfully and excruciatingly long, and in no time you’ll be feeling fuller faster and with a lot less food. In fact, the whole process will likely have you throwing up your arms up in disgust and saying “to hell with it,” thereby eliminating the need or desire to eat another wretched bite.

I’d also suggest keeping a small snack size candy bar and zip-lock baggie of carrots in your purse or glove box for those in between meal snack cravings. As soon as the craving hits, feel free to immediately pop the snack size candy bar into your mouth and chew it to your heart’s content. Savor it for as long as possible, and then when your mouth is overwhelmed by its own saliva (this is where the genius of packing your snack in a zip lock bag comes into play), spit it out into the bag to be conveniently carried back to your compost later. Then, of course, finish by polishing off the lovely carrot sticks, an effort in itself that will quickly remind you of how much you hate the process of eating, causing most – if not all – cravings for between meal snacks to stop.

So there it is, the North Shore Diet in a nutshell, or carrot stick, if you prefer. If you are one of the millions of people seriously considering a diet of some sort in the next little while, I’d whole heartily urge you to take this diet into consideration. After all, it does come with a 100% money back guarantee.

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously