Tame the Wolf

I fasted for 3 days, once, when I was in junior college.   On that 3rd day, I stopped being tired and hungry, and I felt full of energy.

What happened was my digestive system stopped drawing energy to digest for lack of anything to digest.  It was a eye-opening lesson in how much energy it takes to digest food.  Eating slower means the food is  chewed more thoroughly.  It's the opposite of wolfing down your food.  Unchewed food takes more energy, and stomach acid, to digest.    I think it's the main cause of sluggishness. 

During 20013-14 when I lost weight,  I experimented with chewing food until there was nothing left to chew.   It takes quite a long time.   Surprisingly, there is flavor in the tiniest of morsels left in the mouth during chewing.   After a while I get bored with chewing and become easily distracted from what was on my plate.   My food craving is satisfied with less food.

Another key to digestion is roughage.  It takes less energy to push a turd through the intestine when there is roughage in the stool.  We eat food for energy, but if the digestive process requires too much energy, then we feel tired, and want to snack to overcome the tiredness.  It's a vicious cycle. 

Losing weight is a 3 legged stool, and making digestion easier (using less calories to get the job done) is one leg.  The other legs are regular exercize, such as brisk morning walk, and cutting out sugar and alcohol.


Cosmic Question

I'm just a regular guy from somewhere on the fat part of the bell curve asking a question to the YouTube geeks about Cosmic Microwave Background. And here is what I posted in the comments:
"Why is it that this earliest of light, or microwave background, still in our neighborhood? What's it been doing all this time? Shouldn't it have sped off into uncharted space long ago, leaving matter, like galaxies, suns and planets, such as Earth, in it's wake? Surely microwaves travel faster than galaxies."


10 days on Easter Island

I'd taken photographs before, but always at the thoroughly ignorant beginner level, and only with film cameras. My decision to go digital, I thought, was subject to pitfalls and hard lessons.
After hours of research of the reviews of cameras on the net, I chose the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W150.
I bought it just before leaving on a trip to Easter Island. I made certain to take the instruction booklet with me, in order to learn how to use it. Well, I was able to read some of the instructions, but I was very busy, and reading on a South Sea island is not easy. Anyways, almost all of my pics turned out clear, and certainly beyond my expectations. Here's five examples. Click on the pics to enlarge, and then click on the pic to enlarge even more. They lose some clarity transferred from my computer via this blog program, which resizes them. I'll be sure next time to make the pics not so big.


Reading Aloud and Listening to Audio Books

In the following article, the author discusses the lost art of reading aloud.
Well, not 'lost' but 'diminishing'. I decided to read  the Lord of the Rings
trilogy aloud in order to increase my reading aloud skill. It worked.  Not only is it easier now to read aloud, comprehension seems to be equal to that of reading silently. However, listening to books on tape or CD is a different thing altogether. Much more difficult. One has to be ready to
rewind to re-listen because the mind sometimes wonders. It seems the very act of reading the words off a page helps the mind to focus, while pure listening sparks other avenues of thought. For an extra special treat, try listening to "The Code of the Woosters" as read by Jonathon Cecil.  Cecil is the only reader of P.G. Wodehouse that I would recommend.
The above link is this: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/16/opinion/16sat4.html?hpw

April 16, 2011 - As a change of pace to reading aloud, here is an audiobook to buy:  "True Grit" by Charles Portis, as read by Donna Tartt. It is nothing less than excellent.  In fact, I've listened to it now 3 times, and realize that I should pace myself, and put off another listening for at least half a year. Great book. Great reading by Donna Tartt.


From Fahrenheit to Centigrade and back Again

My memory is so bad. It sputters, coughs & wheezes up surprising stuff, appearing
out of a fog, or washed up on the beach like they were messages in a bottle.
It occured to me that my ol' dad told me, probably 40 years ago, an easy formula for
converting between Fahrenheit and Centigrade.

I got depressed because I knew wouldn't ever remember it, but then it came to me
within a minute or two, after I stopped straining my brain.

Here it is: Whatever temp you have, in either Centigrade
or Fahrenheit, add 40 to the number. (I recalled the number 32 at first, incorrectly,
and found that value generated had an error of a few degrees.)

After adding 40, multiply by either 5/9 or 9/5. If you want to convert Fahrenheit
into Centigrade, multiply by 5/9. Then subtract that same 40.
That will be your converted temperature.

[(F + 40) 5/9] - 40 = C is the formula for converting F into C.

[(C + 40) 9/5] - 40 = F is the formula for converting C into F.

For easy remembering, just add 40 and multiply by either 5/9 or 9/5,
then subtract 40.


Switching from Nylon Strings to Steel

What if you're a classical guitarist wanting steel strings with a wide neck? 
The best way to go with that is the Takamine F-312s (see pic), which is out of 
production. It's not cheap either, but well worth the price. Actually, once 
a person owns this guitar, it's unlikely that they would ever sell it. You can't 
go wrong with that guitar and well worth the effort to shop around for it, 
including using eBay.   The old Martin 0-16, which the F312s copies, cost 
a minimum upwards of 2 grand.  It's essentially a classical guitar made for 
steel strings.   If you have 2 grand to spend, consider the Takamine EF740FS.

But what if you want a big bodied guitar or even an electric guitar with a 
wide neck for less than $2,000?
I experimented by stringing just 6 strings on an old, cheap Guild 12 string guitar. It panned out to be a successful procedure yielding a wide neck guitar with steel strings, which gives me 14 frets above the body, 2 more frets than a classical guitar. The Guild tuning keys were rather cheap, so I removed them and installed 6 Martin tuning keys.  I've strung 12-string guitars from the cheapies (Guild) to the more expensive Takamine and Larrivee.  The Guild did not need to be tuned by a luthier.  I think the thick neck of the Guild that was stout enough not to warp.  The Takamine and Larrivee required tuning because the thin neck warped after the string change.  It will cost around 200 bucks for the tune-up.


Calibrate your finger

Do you know how long your index finger is?

When you don't have a ruler or measuring tape, you can measure lengths, widths, diameters, and thicknesses by using your index finger as a ruler. It's amazingly quick and surprisingly accurate.

Look at your index finger with the palm of your hand open and facing towards you. It turns out that from your index fingertip to the first joint is about one inch.

Measure between the first and second joint, from one crease in the skin, or line, to the next. Again, it's almost exactly one inch. It turns out that the finger is about  3 inches long.  But you'll have to measure your
own fingers to find out the precise measurement between
each line on your finger. Discover where the lines on your
 finger are exactly at inch intervals.

Why do this? It's extremley 'handy' to know these dimensions
to be able to measure objects when you're in a hurry and you
don't have a tape measure or ruler, for example, while shopping.

You'll find that it's quite easy to estimate to an 1/8th of an inch.
How long would it take for you to find a measuring tape right now?
Before you start looking, using your finger, measure the width of
the ALT key on your keyboard.
I'm looking at it right now and it seems like it would be 3/4".
(Greater than half the distance between the lines, plus half again
as much.) Checking with a tape measure, I was off by a 1/16".
Accuracy to within an 1/16th" is pretty good in most instances,
and more reliable than 'guess'-timating.

It measures 3 1/4" from the tip of my finger to the line at my
knuckle. But since that line isn't perpendicular to the centerline
of the finger, the measurement on the opposite side of the finger
will be shorter. In my case, 2 7/8" long.

Another measurement is from the tip of your index finger to the
next line on your hand between the knuckle and the thumb. I
think palm readers call that your life line.

Now, stretch your pinky and thumb as far apart as possible and
measure that. Mine is 9" give or take an 1/8" depending on how
hard I stretch them. You can put both hands stretched out
like this, thumb tip to thumb tip, and get a measurement
close to 18", hands vary of course. You can hold your index
finger end-to-end with your other hand stretched out and get
something close to 1 foot.


Felicity in Life - Music Criticism

Ben Franklin wrote of felicity, as in the enjoyment of life.
With that same goal in mind, let me address one little dimension in
the felicity of relationships. That would be music criticism among
friends and relatives. This goes for all kinds of arts. Experiencing
art is one of the graces in life. It involves active esthetic and intellectual,
as well as cultural elements in the individual. That's quite a complex
formula for anyone, in any locale or age. So, because all folks are different,
they will appreciate art and music differently.

If we're to live a life with the aim of promoting felicity, then we must
tolerate other people's tastes and preferences. One of the qualities
of being an acquaintance, or friend, or relative, is that the things we
say to each other are stored in our memories. There's no controlling
that. We remember. And because of this, we should try to limit our
criticisms of art and music to positive statements.

Negativity resides in people's memories to such an insidious extent,
that these remarks will be drawn from memory by that person when
they next experience their piece of music or art. That's a spoiler.
They don't want to think about that while they're enjoying art.
There's no cause to load negativity on the people we have in our lives.  If you don't like a piece of music (for example, in the film, Big Lebowski,
The Dude hated the Eagles music ). He should've just endured and not try to bring down his taxi driver. (see pic...the Dude gets ejected by his
taxi driver because of The Dude's negative music criticism)

Unthinkingly, I've made the mistake of blurting out my honest reaction to friends and relative's music, when I should have held my tongue.  Looking back,
I recognize this as a lack of wisdom. What to do, then,
when someone wants you to listen to an Eagles tune (again, just an example).

Nod your head as if you appreciate the tune, and try not to say anything.
If cornered, and they want you to verbalize about it, say little and act
distracted with something else, but avoid loading your friend's mind
with things they don't want to hear. This is about art, not life.

This doesn't apply to professional or even blog o' sphere criticisms, since
these sources are disconnected from people's relationships. There must
be artistic criticism, but in relationships in real life, our input is best kept