Friday, July 29, 2005

El Toro Polo

An El Toro is an 8 foot sailboat. There's not a lot of room in there. I'm pretty big. Really, it's like being in a bathtub.

I took my son out on Wednesday for "El Toro Polo". There was ostensibly a game involved, with a ball & goals & stuff, but mostly we just sailed in around & tried not to capsize.

He took over the tiller, as usual. It was a relief, since I had to reach behind me to grab the tiller.

They seem to tolerate bumps pretty well. I guess it's because they're so light. I let him dock (with instructions), and he was telling everyone he saw about it for the rest of the day.

Here are some pics. (You can also see my new haircut.) I'm trying blogger's new image hosting service:

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

a model for selecting food

As I mentioned before, I like to eat meat. I enjoy the taste of animal fat. I don't shy away from it.

Why not?

Shouldn't I be afraid of high cholesterol? Of heart disease?

Maybe, but I'm using a different approach to diet than the ones recommended by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

(I have some complaints. For example, the FDA's recommendations on avoiding food-borne illness in schools don't mention reducing sugar in your diet. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria & weakens your immune system so you can't fight it off easily.)

Here's the model:

I trust my body's food instincts in inverse proportion to how processed the food is.

That is, the less processed it is, the more I trust my instinct. Let's try some examples:

I'm hungry & in a 7-11. I spy a Hostess Twinkie. "mmm, looks yummy". I should ignore that instinct, as a Twinkie is one of the most processed "foods" I can think of.

I'm hungry & in my backyard. I spy the carrots growing in the garden. "mmm, looks yummy". I pull one out of the ground, wipe off some dirt, and eat the whole thing, including the tops. (Cutting off the tops is processing.)

I'm hungry & in my kitchen. A glass of raw milk has been sitting on the counter for a while, but I'm not sure how long. I wonder if it has gone bad. I smell it. If it smells fine, I'll drink it. Same if it seems a little sour but still tasty. Otherwise, throw it out. Human sense of smell is very good at detecting certain substances in trace amounts, including the results of spoilage. I trust my nose.

However, if it is ultrapasteurized milk from a cow that received antibiotics, I don't trust my nose. Pasteurized milk hasn't been around long enough for humans to evolve instincts to detect if it's safe to drink.

Raw sugar is extremely processed (90% of the cane is removed!), so it makes sense that my body's instincts throw me off. I really like the taste of candy, chocolate, cakes, cookies, etc. But I can't trust my body to tell me if I need those things or not, because they are so processed. Compare to some organic, local, in-season fruit. If I take one bite of a peach and suddenly want to eat a dozen peaches, then I should just do it. My body knows what fruit is about.

So, to eat well:
1. Select unprocessed foods
2. Eat whatever you want

hot meat!

I'm sitting here at my desk eating some chicken thighs for my lunch. I just pulled them out of the microwave down the hall. They're good.

Thighs have more fat than, say, breasts, which is yummy. This I understand.

There's a little salt on them from when they were cooked a few days ago. Salt is yummy. This I understand.

But there's something else. The very fact that the meat is piping hot makes them taste better.

Why is that? I'm not sure, but I have two theories:

1. The fat melts in the heat, allowing it to flow out of the meat & into my taste buds. As I mentioned, I like the taste of animal fat.

2. Humans have evolved to eat fresh meat. Fresh = the beast's heart is still pounding out its last beats. Just before its eyes fade, it sees you take a bite of freshly-carved meat, its blood dripping down your chin. Meat tastes best at body temperature.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sailing with inlaws

My inlaws got in to town yesterday. It was a beautiful day & it was a good day for me to skip out on work. We headed to CWB & rented a Blanchard Jr. Took it around the lake for a while & had a good time. For a while we sailed close to the houseboats on the east side. Residents were out on the porches enjoying the afternoon sun. Pretty cool.

After we docked I put away the boat while my son went to play with the Pirate models in the model pond. (The pond is a part of the lake surrounded on 4 sides by docks.) I arrived 15 minutes later to see him sitting in his grandma's lap sobbing. Then realized he was soaking wet. Found out that he had fallen in the pond, having lost his balance. He was not injured in any way.

I know it was very scary for him. I also know that chances are we will all end up in the lake if we sail often enough. I'm glad it happened on a nice day, with a live vest on, with people nearby, on the docks instead of in the middle of the lake, and that we had a change of clothes for him already.

It's important to explore the possible emergencies so you can prepare for them. Now I know that the life vest works. He knows that falling in is a real possibily and is really un-fun.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sailing with the son

Saturday I decided to take my 3.5 year old sailing. He needed to get out of the house, and his mom was feeling ill & needed rest. So we grabbed our gear & drove downtown. Of course I had forgotten that the SR-520 bridge was closed, and had to take a long detour along with the rest of the normal 520 bridge traffic.

We got there eventually & rented a Blanchard Jr. Knockabout. Reid came out to the bow to help me rig the jib, which he was pretty excited about. Then I sailed us in to the lake & gave him the tiller. He steered most of the time, until it was time to come in. We had an argument about who would dock! I was surprised just how sure he is that he can dock. No fear, I guess.

It was a real blast for both of us.

Sunday I went back. Taught a class in the morning (didn't touch a line or tiller the whole time!), and crewed on the Nautilus II in the afternoon (neat boat, but not much for me to do).

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

4th July boats

Over the 4th of July weekend we visited the Tacoma Tall Ships Festival. I was pretty excited to see the Mexican Navy's 270 foot (LOA) wooden ship, Cuauhtemoc. But the crowds were enormous, and transportation painful. Literally. Plantar fascitis is plaguing my foot. I never got on a boat.

We also went to the Center for Wooden Boats for the Wooden Boat Festival. I volunteered to work selling merchandise early in the morning, so I could spend time with my family the rest of the day. I woke up at 6:30am on 4th July! There was no traffic; it was surreal. However, by 4pm we were way to tired, and want home to crash. We saw a few sparkling lights through the trees, but not much else.
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