Friday, January 27, 2006

Selling Freedom Out

This week I saw clear evidence that many Internet companies believe freedom is up for sale. Google has decided to filter search results from China to comply with censorship laws imposed by that communist regime. Yahoo turn over emails from a Chinese user's account that caused that person to receive a 10-year prison sentence. Microsoft also vowed to Beijing and filters search results on MSN. All this censorship is being justified in the name of commerce. China has a large population and everyone is trying to get a piece of that market pie. But at what price? Are Google and Yahoo and others selling their souls in the process? It is ironic that one communist country is still able to suppress freedom and push their immoral mandates into the international winds. It is sad that large companies like Google lack the backbone to stand against this atrocity, acting like a Judas that justifies a hideous crime and receives a few coins. Benjamin Franklin said that "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either." The same holds true of the entities that trade freedom for money.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Turkey Bacon

Last shopping day, Tracey and I bought some turkey bacon. This morning I had the opportunity to use it for the first time. The package claims that it has 55% less fat than regular bacon. I found that claim to be a bit inaccurate. I believe the amount of fat I saw was about 80% less than what I am used to seeing. WOW! What a great surprise! I use a special microwave bacon cooker designed to minimize the consumption of bacon fat. One hangs the bacon from these special racks and the fat drips down to the holding tray as the bacon cooks. I usually can see a substantial amount of fat on the tray after cooking regular bacon. With turkey bacon there was almost no fat on the tray.

Another thing I noticed is that cooking time was half of regular bacon. I was fortunate to read the package before microwaving the product. No only is this bacon healthier, it saves energy in cooking!

Of course, one will ask about taste and flavor. In all honesty, it was OK -- but it did not taste like bacon. It has a very acceptable "smokey" flavor that is just fine for me.

By the way, I am still holding around the 236 mark. However, my clothes fit better on me and I feel better overall.

Here's to your good health! :-)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Gentle Waking

I have developed a "wake up" technique with my kids that really works wonders and I wanted to share it with everyone. It is a method derived from something I read on the Net. It goes something like this:

- I turn a light outside their room to bring dim illumination
- I begin by whispering a "wake up" song that the kids and I invented. In essence, it has their names in it and lots of happy words to start the day.
- I raise my voice a little bit at a time until they begin to wake up. Sometimes I walk out and come back five minutes later to give them a chance to come out of deep sleep.
- If they resist waking up, we play "tickle monster" and "earthquake monster" games. That usually gets them giggling and laughing.

Most of the times we end up in a big "wake-up hug" that fills my heart with incredible joy. I cannot think of a better way to start a day than with hugs and laughter with the kids!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


My weight in the last few days has been fluctuating between 237 and 239. That is a significant reduction from the 257.5 of late November. This whole holiday season has been sugar-free for me; the sense of control over my eating habits has been a reward on its own.

I attribute the weight fluctuation to drinking less water than I had been and also drinking more coffee than I normally would, especially since at home I only have regular coffee while at my office I almost always drink decaf. Now that I am back to my regular routine more of the weight should come off.

I am also determined to begin a daily exercise routine, even if it is a 30 minute walk.

A Loose Tooth and A Philosophy

When Tracey and I got home yesterday after spending time with a very dear friend, Noah met us at the door and announce he had his first loose tooth. Our boy is growing up so quickly! He is so excited because Tracey had told him that loosing teeth is a sure sign of getting to be a big boy. Needless to say, he was looking forward to this moment!

Later on that evening he shared with us his 5-year-old philosophy on life, a take-off from something I had explained to him a few days earlier. Noah's statement was very simple: "You live, you loose your teeth, you die." Of course, my original statement was "You are born, you live, you die." This was an explanation to a question concerning why people die. Neither Noah nor MacKenzie have hit us (yet) with the more difficult question of what happens when you die. I am sure that will come. For now, their concept of death is tied to what happens to Mario (and other characters) on the video games. I love their innocence.