Archive for September, 2006

In these days of quickly fluctuating gas prices, it pays to have a handy tool to check the price at the pump before venturing out. The web site www.gaspricewatch.com does that for you. Just enter your zip code. Saved me about .12/gallon today by realizing I could fill up for $2.01/gallon vs $2.13 somewhere else.

Looking for good advice on health insurance savings and financial advice? Check out Tony Novak’s site. It’s worth signing up for his email newsletter – he offers good advice.

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Guess NYC is getting tired of seeing its citizens lining up in the emergency room because they eat crap for food. Suspect the rest of the country should get on the bandwagon.

New York City’s Health Department on Tuesday proposed a near ban on the use of artificial trans fat at restaurants, likening its health danger to that of lead paint. The proposal would limit the use of the artery-clogging fat, which is often used in fast foods, to 0.5 grams per serving. The proposal comes after a year-long city campaign to educate restaurants on the effects of such fats and encourage them to stop their use.

It doesn’t take a genius to cut back on this stuff – just read the labels when you shop and if you don’t see trans fats listed, look for “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list. If you see that, then pass on to a healthier item. Muffins, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. usually have them, but some people are trying to eliminate them now, so read the label.

If you live in the NYC area, the online grocer FreshDirect has no transfats in any of its foods, so check them out.

The FDA requires products manufactured after January 1, 2006, to list trans fat content directly beneath the “saturated fat” entry on the Nutrition Facts Panel. This listing includes both artificial and naturally occurring trans fat. Under the new guidelines, a product can claim to have zero grams of trans fat as long as it contains 0.49 grams of trans fat (or less) per serving. Thus, several servings of a given product might actually add up to a significant amount of trans fat.

The best way to avoid dietary trans fat is to read both the Nutrition Facts Panel and the ingredient statement and to avoid those products that contain hydrogenated oil.

trans fatAn unsaturated fatty acid produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and present in hardened vegetable oils, most margarines, commercial baked foods, and many fried foods. An excess of these fats in the diet is thought to raise the cholesterol level in the bloodstream.

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An interesting design seen on Flickr today. If you haven’t tried Flickr, you should check it out – if you don’t upload excessive numbers of pictures, it is free each month to upload. (You can see the differences between a free account and a Pro account here.) You can see my Flickr pics by clicking on the link in the sidebar. I’m still using the Free account and will move to Pro when I find a job! 🙂
circles in a spiral in a square

Originally uploaded by omnia.

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Walked 2.5 miles today using Google’s Pedometer – burned 282 calories

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I’m alway interested in new Firefox extensions that will make browsing easier. Two recently that I found are FasterFox and Email This!

FasterFox helps pages load faster in Firefox and does seem to make a difference. You’ll have to try to see how it works for you – you can always uninstall it, of course. Email This is pretty slick – puts a tiny icon in your toolbar line and when you see something on a page that you want to send someone , just click on the little icon and voila – the email is set up for you. Handy

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Black Cat John Brown

Had to experiment with embedding a YouTube video in this blog, just because it’s possible. 🙂 Besides,it’s a cool tune and it mentions “Full Moon”, my AT trail name, so it can’t be all bad. 🙂

Technorati Cosmos: other blogs commenting on this post

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A group of women (“Art Gurls”) meet weekly in Abingdon,VA to collaborate on an original piece of art. One person starts the project and then passes it on to the next person in the group who can do anything they want with the piece before passing it on to the next person. Quite fascinating what comes out of these projects. My wife was one of 4 collaborators on this particular project.

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Having just moved into a new neighborhood and not knowing anyone, it’s always kind of nice if someone actually introduces themselves, but having lived in neighborhoods before, I don’t hold my breath. So it came as quite a refreshing moment when a neighbor across the street came up to us and enthusiastically greeted us. But she didn’t stop there – she even invited us to a great lunch and a stroll through the gardens of Reynolda Village and the campus of Wake Forest Univ. Now how nice is that???

Gives one faith in the human race. Think I just might like this neighborhood after all. 🙂 How about your neighbors? Do you greet new neighbors and invite them over? Something to ponder. Suspect there was a lot of that going on some 70 or 80 years ago. Our modern times keep us all holed up in our little caverns afraid to tread on someone’s turf – damn shame, I say.

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Art and Remembrance

fabric artWe recently went to an interesting Holocaust art experience presented at the Art Gallery at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. Esther Krinitz and her sister, whose parents and other family members perished in the camps, managed to escape to a neighbor’s house and hid out as Catholic farm laborers during the war. Many years later, Esther created a collection of 35 works of fabric art depicting this experience. She has since passed away, but her two daughters are touring the country showing her art work and telling the story. We were lucky enough to get to hear them talk. If you’re interested in art or history, head over to the Art and Rembrances web site, where you can see the entire gallery as well as listen to a video produced by Esther before she passed away.

If you happen to be in the Greensboro area, the exhibit continues through October 29th, 2006.

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Time for a new Tea!

tea bagLiptons is going upscale in the tea world lately. No more of that tea “dust” inside the bag – now we’re going to longleaf – the real stuff and inside cool new bags.

James Wong, a Unilever vice president and general manager of Lipton, in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., said the company’s research showed that “every consumer is becoming a gourmand.’’“They want long leaf tea, but they can be intimidated by buying and brewing it,” he said. “We saw an opportunity to simplify it, making it convenient and accessible, and it’s appealing to new consumers as well as tea lovers.”

So drink up laddies! You tea lovers can read the whole article here.
(photo by Tony Cenicola – NY Times)

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This is a slick new tool. I take walks daily and was wondering how far I was going and was trying to figure out how to get into an old pedometer I used to use to change out the battery. I happened to be browsing through my daily emails from Lockergnome and stumbled across this link to a Google pedometer tool that probably isn’t very well known.

Once on the home page, just look on the left hand side for usage instructions. Basically, you just zoom in on the map to street level, click “Start Recording” and then double click each point along your route (it pays to double click frequently, especially around curves as it doesn’t know that you are navigating the curve and will bisect the angle and take you straight through the marsh, if you let it). Once you are back to your starting point, you can see in the left hand column, exactly how far you walked. You can then save the route, if you so choose or print it.

As an added feature, you can input your weight and it will tell you the number of calories burned during your walk.

This is just way too cool, even for this ol’ boy.

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