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Thursday Thirteen #6 — My Interests

Posted by infinitygoods on November 14, 2007

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I am sharing with you 13 topics which interest me and are important to me. They are in no particular order, because most of these would all tie with each other. These are topics
you see and which will recur on my blog. To see more participants in this carnival or for
details on how to join, visit Thursday Thirteen.

1. Computers/Internet/Blogs/Technology/Science
These sort of overlap in many ways. I’m forward thinking and I’ve been using computers
since before my teen years, back in the days when people were saying it was a waste of
time, and it wouldn’t last. Wait, aren’t a lot of people still saying that? Well 30+
years later, I’m still interested. I remember asking for a calculator as a Christmas gift
when I was in Kindergarten. The people selling them were flabbergasted that a child would want one and thought no child would ever need one. This “pocket” calculator, the smallest on the market at the time, was about the size of a small paperback!

2. Fine Art
I was an art history minor and an art minor. I seriously considered switching it to my
major, and often wonder if I didn’t make a mistake. I draw, paint, photograph, make
ceramics and do a lot of new media paintings — that’s every stroke hand-painted by me, but instead of using paint, I use computers. Museums and galleries recognize new media, but the average person out there still claims the computer makes the paintings. Not so! This would be the equivalent of saying oil paint and brushes are the artists making the artwork. Computers do not make art. Paint and brushes do not make art. The people, the artists make art, regardless of which tools they use.

3. History/Biographies/Autobiographies
As much as I like the future, I also like the past. We can learn from our past and our
past can help us understand our present. I’m very much interested in people and their
lives which is why I like history and also what leads me to the next item.

4. Psychology/Sociology
I’m interested in people and what makes them tick. I’m also interested in science, so
psychology helps me understand the individual and sociology helps me understand the groups and societies we live in. In college my sociology professor had wanted me to switch majors to either sociology (he hoped) or psychology (which he admitted was related and thought I would like too). I ended up with an additional certificate in psychology, but I never switched majors to either psychology or sociology.

5. Cross-stitching/Crafts
My grandmother taught me how to cross-stitch and I spent numerous hours watching her even before she taught me how to do it. I find it very relaxing and as I like art and to create, cross-stitching and other crafts are just related to that.

6. Reading/Writing/Journalism/News/Books
These are all intertwined. As a professional journalist, writing and reading are just my
life. I just could not live without reading. I have to learn at all times and reading is
the best way for me to do that. I have been wanting to write since early childhood. I
have attempted not to write for a living, but life was just too miserable without a pen in
my hand or a keyboard at my fingertips. I’m a published journalist, but I would love to be a published author using either my journalistic skills to write non-fiction or even writing a
novel. I’m one of the crazy participants in National Novel Writing Month. Any publishers
out there interested in my writing voice?

7. Religion/God
I believe in God and shout it from the rooftops, but won’t attempt to convert atheists as
belief needs to come from inside your heart and soul. I worked for my parish for several
years and wanted to work there until retirement, but an evil man came into our midst,
getting rid of staff and clergy, swiftly putting a financially viable parish in the red,
and destroying the work of the last 40+ years. Some will turn away from God because of
him, but the destruction he brings is not of God. Destruction can never be of God.

8. Education
I love to learn, my husband and I have both taught, and since we have a son, education is very important to us. He went to private schools for several years and while that was fine, we found something better through an excellent public school system with an independent study program. Forget all the stereotypes of homeschooling and of public school. That’s not what it is. It’s more a combination of when people had private tutors teach their children, the one-room schools and parents nurturing their own children. The program is what it is thanks to our son’s wonderful teachers, especially the founder, Resa Steindel Brown. If you want a glimpse at what it’s all about, read her fantastic book, The Call to Brilliance: A True Story to Inspire Parents and Educators. You can also read about his science teacher in my blog posts here and here.

9. Family
Family and extended family is extremely important to me. It is where we receive and give love and support. Here on Earth, not counting God in Heaven, it is the one most important thing and it just doesn’t get more basic than that.

10. Movies/Plays
I don’t watch much TV, but I love a good movie or play. While it can’t replace a good
book, it’s still a story, whether real or fictional, and I love to be entertained. I
prefer comedies, especially for movies, because I don’t know about your life, but my life
is enough of a drama as it is. I just don’t need other people’s too, especially the made-
up ones. I really like adventures too, because this way I can escape to some fabulous
world and live vicariously. I would like science fiction, but most don’t meet my quality
standards unfortunately.

11. Hiking/Walking/Swimming
I enjoy being in nature and these are the most fun forms of exercise for me. These are not boring to me. I enjoy the scenery. Running would be too fast and strenuous to enjoy the
scenery. These are also quiet and since I despise noise, anything with bouncing balls,
whistling referees or echoing gymnasiums just would not work for me.

12. Cooking/Gourmet Food/Reading Cookbooks
Yes, I read cookbooks. I actually read cookbooks more than I eat or cook. As a teen my
mom would tell me that I read cookbooks instead of eating. I also love to cook when I
don’t have a full-time job. If I’m working, then cooking is no longer a pleasure and
something that I do for the family that I love. It becomes a chore and a race to put
anything on a plate in front of starving eyes in less than half an hour from the time I run
through the front door. But when I am not working, I will use all my knowledge from
reading all these cookbooks and all my creativity and use cooking as another art-form. I
also like real food. I am against eating engineered chemicals, dyes, artificial products.
I like wild salmon, trout and other fish, I like real butter on all my foods and especially
my popcorn. And you really don’t want me to get started on cloned meat, or cloned
anything, because I’m really against that!

13.Travel
I don’t travel enough. I would love to travel 365 days a year, but that’s simply not
possible. I put roots down with a family and a house. Once upon a time I contemplated
becoming a foreign correspondent, a travel writer and even a pilot or a stewardess, just so
that I could travel, but I will just have to be satisfied with having been to Germany,
France, Switzerland, Italy, England, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Arizona,
Nevada, Georgia, … Oops, that sounds like another Thursday Thirteen! 😉

Just click on Mister Linky to add your Thursday 13 link and see the other participants who linked here. And please don’t forget to post a comment. Thanks!

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.
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Posted in art, blog, blogging, book, books, butter flavoring, carnival, Children, Christianity, Cookbook, Cookbooks, Cooking, culture, education, Faith, Family, Food, food flavoring, food products, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Journalism, life, man-made chemicals, Media, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, natural foods, nature, News, novel, novel in 30 days, nutrition, Photojournalism, popcorn, popcorn lung, reading, Recipe, religion, Salmon, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, spirituality, Stem Cell Research, technology, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Trout, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Votes Are In For Organic Meat

Posted by infinitygoods on October 17, 2007

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Follow up on Blog Action Day post from Oct. 15. To make more sense of this post please click Blog Action Day — Environment and Organic Foods.

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Organic meat tastes better. The verdict is in. Our family votes thumbs up for the taste of organic meat. The woman we met at the store who recommended organic meat was absolutely right. Though we vote thumbs down for the inflated price tag. Yet, I must say that just as with organic fruits and vegetables, I noticed that my family felt satisfied far quicker than with non-organic foods.

While I was concerned that we wouldn’t have enough to eat with this special birthday meal, as portions were smaller than we are used to, we ended up with left overs. I have noticed this before with fruits and vegetables. While the organics taste far better and some might think we would eat more, we in fact eat less. I am guessing because the nutrition value is higher.

So this interesting finding makes me wonder if it would follow that as we eat less yet have better and more nutrition, we would also lose weight?

We have seen our country as a whole gain more and more weight since the ’70s. At the same time our quality of food has degraded more and more with each passing decade.

Not only have our foods been pumped full with more and more chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, but also many additives like artificial and engineered flavorings and corn syrup. Actually, corn syrup is known to make us gain weight, eat more and crave additional corn syrup, but I will leave the side effects and evils of corn syrup for another post (stay tuned).

In the meantime, eat healthy and be well!

Posted in American Cookery, blog, blogging, butter flavoring, Cooking, diet, Food, food flavoring, food products, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, natural foods, nutrition, organic food, organic foods, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blog Action Day — Environment and Organic Foods

Posted by infinitygoods on October 16, 2007

The environment is at the forefront of the news these days, but today the issue was right in front of me at my local grocery store, and the opportunity for an instant consumer poll arose.

As I was looking at my choices in the meat and fish cases, I noticed a woman reaching into the new organic meat section. Having wondered about it myself, I asked her if she had tried it already.

Well, her face lit up and a giant smile emerged. “Yes, it is soooo good,” she said closing her eyes to savor the memory. She told me she was surprised at how much of a difference “organic” made. She had bought organic meat originally as more of a whim than anything else. She now uses it for all her special dishes and said even just a spaghetti dinner is brought to a whole new level. It is well worth the extra money, she advised, especially when considering the health benefits.

Double the money to be exact. The beef had a much more intense color, much darker. I thought it was just like the difference between farmed salmon that is pale despite the artificially added coloring, and wild salmon that is a dark reddish orange.

The label stated, “raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones, in pastures free of chemical fertilizers and fed only certified organic feed.”

And as I thought, “Shouldn’t it always be like that?” I recalled the cattle we see for miles as we go up the state on Highway 5. Those poor beasts do not have a pasture. They are sitting — sardine style — in mud, and the stench is sickeningly powerful even when the cattle have long gone out of sight.

We can’t tell what they are fed when we drive by at highway speeds, but if these cattlemen “care” enough to make their cattle sit in mud and breathe in highway pollution, I can imagine they also care enough to feed them all sorts of hormones, chemicals and perhaps even the best recipe for mad cows.

I’ll be cooking the organic beef tonight for a special birthday dinner and I’ll let you know what we all thought tomorrow.

In the meantime, please let me know what you think of organic meats and foods in general and if you’ve tried organic, how do you think it compared.

Personally, I can’t wait for the prices to get lower as more people start using organic meat and it stops being some exotic product. Good, natural, organic foods should be the norm, not the exception. Where has the pride of our cowboys and cowgirls gone? Isn’t that what America was made of? Our cowboys and our farmers made our country what it is. So why the negative, greedy trend of late?

We need to be conscious of the total disregard for healthy foods by growers and manufacturers across the board unless they think they can “make a buck.” We need to stand up and demand that we not be fed hormones, chemicals, pesticides, cloned meats, engineered flavorings, engineered trouts to turn them into salmons, etc., etc., etc.; the list of Frankenstein science experiments that turn up on our table without our direct approval is too long and much too frightening.

For my related posts, please click on the following:

Salmon + salmon = trout

Popcorn lung

You can’t trust anybody

Farmer’s Market

Blog Action Day is October 15, when bloggers around the web unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. All bloggers post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topics. The aim is to get everyone talking toward a better future.

For more information about Blog Action Day or to participate next year, please go to their website at blogactionday.com. And beside their acronim, B.A.D., it is a good thing.

Posted in American Cookery, blog, blogging, Blogroll, butter flavoring, Caring, consumers, Cooking, culture, diacetyl, EPA, farmer's markets, FDA, Fish, Food, Food and Drug Administration, food flavoring, food products, Goro Yoshizaki, government agencies, greed, Health, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Kosher, life, manufacturers, natural foods, nature, News, nutrition, organic food, organic foods, OSHA, politics, popcorn, popcorn lung, profit, Salmon, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, Stem Cell Research, Trout, UN, Uncategorized, USA, workers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Popcorn Lung Yet Another Example of Big Business Greed

Posted by infinitygoods on September 7, 2007

With all the news about diacetyl causing swift and severe lung problems which can result in death, I see yet another example where big business turns a blind eye to medical and scientific research in favor of greed, wanting ever more money even at the expense of human life.

It turns out the manufacturers of diacetyl and other food flavors have had workers becoming sick and dying since 1985. Many of these workers need lung transplants. The factory owners were too greedy to even provide their employees with masks to prevent breathing in the vapors. Did they stop producing the butter flavor to protect their employees or consumers? Of course not. It would mean less profit if they had to switch to a more expenssive real ingredient rather than their man-made garbage unfit even for rats, who also die when they smell diacetyl for as few as 4-6 hours.

A few popcorn manufacturers are now deciding to stop using diacetyl because of the public outcry. Now that they’ve been caught red-handed they are worried about what negative consumer opinions will do to their profits.

And our government agencies who should be protecting both consumers and workers have done nothing in the last 22 years either. Government is nothing but a big money-generating business too afraid to lose funds from powerful special-interest groups.

Even when Cecile Rose, M.D., MPH, a global leader in lung, allergy and immune diseases with the National Jewish Research Center and associate professor of pulmonary medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, in July alerted the Food and Drug Administration, the CCD, the EPA, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of a case of a consumer, not a worker, becoming sick with “popcorn lung” they did nothing. They did not bother to investigate. They did not even bother to ask her for more information.

The Pump Handle, a public health blog, made the issue public by publishing Dr. Rose’s letter. It is run by David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, who is associate chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational health at George Washington University.

Dr. Michaels told WebMD that “the key issue is, are there susceptible populations — children, asthmatics, people with existing lung disease — who are more at risk?… Dr. Rose is a leading lung expert who knows that diacetyl vapors cause lung disease. But will the average pediatrician who sees a child with what seems to be worsening asthma be looking for microwave popcorn exposure?”

The whole affair is sickening and revolting. It also confirms my belief that as we find more and more food products manipulated with man-made chemicals but lacking in nutritional content, we need to become all the more vigilant about how we choose the food we put on our family’s table. We must look for foods which are all natural, organic or even Kosher even if we are not Jewish. Our well-being and our very lives are going to depend on it.

Please see the following interesting documents:

ConAgra letter dated 11/29/2004 to the EPA regarding the need for study of Microwave Popcorn Emissions Released During Cooking and Bag Opening.

Cecile Rose, M.D., MPH, letter dated 07/19/2007 to the FDA regarding the case of a consumer with symptoms of “Popcorn Lung.”

Posted in butter flavoring, CCD, Cecile Rose, consumers, David Michaels, diacetyl, diet, EPA, FDA, Food, Food and Drug Administration, food flavoring, food products, government agencies, greed, Kosher, lung problems, man-made chemicals, manufacturers, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, natural foods, nutrition, organic foods, OSHA, popcorn, popcorn lung, profit, The Pump Handle, WebMD, workers | Leave a Comment »