Monthly Archives: August 2012

Do They Still Print Books?

As a voracious “reader” I had the following brain spasm occur to me today.  As I was walking out of a supermarket, there was a small display where piles of books were on sale at deep discount.  The thought that went through my mind was “Do the still print books?”  I swear to God that is what I asked myself!

I read a local newspaper daily.  I “read” 50+ books a year via Kindle and listen to books from on my Samsung S III phone.  I read internet news, opinion, blogs and social goofiness at least an hour a day via the net on my computer(s). 

When we travel we read the local newspaper via the net and don’t miss a word and do the same daily reading via the phone and computer.

Do they really still print books?  Maybe the question should be,  Why do they still print books?


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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in California



Tomatoes, Peppers and New Mexico

Hot PeppersMust have been the best year ever for fresh vegetables this year.  We have been eating our home grown tomatoes all summer and now the bell peppers and hot peppers are coming in strong.  Many great healthy meals with the home made veggies.

We are planning a driving trip in November to one of our favorite places in the world, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Talk about wonderful food made with peppers!

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in California, New Mexico



Pot Fries Brain

Wonder if California will change its current direction in legalizing pot?  Snicker!!!!  No wonder our kids are doing so well in high school.  Heck, with all of the jobs leaving California, spending that welfare money off that card doesn’t take much of an IQ anyway.

Sorry folks for the sarcasm but it seems so obvious.

Cannabis smoking ‘permanently lowers IQ’

Teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis are putting themselves at risk of permanently damaging their intelligence, according to a landmark study.

Starting smoking cannabis during one's teens can have permanent effects on the brain, found researchers.

Starting smoking cannabis during one’s teens can have permanent effects on the brain, found researchers. Photo: ALAMY

Researchers found persistent users of the drug, who started smoking it at school, had lower IQ scores as adults.

They were also significantly more likely to have attention and memory problems in later life, than their peers who abstained.

Furthermore, those who started as teenagers and used it heavily, but quit as adults, did not regain their full mental powers, found academics at King’s College London and Duke University in the US.

They looked at data from over 1,000 people from Dunedin in New Zealand, who have been followed through their lives since being born in 1972 or 1973.

Participants were asked about cannabis usage when they were 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38. Their IQ was tested at 13 and 38. In addition, each nominated a close friend or family member, who was asked about attention and memory problems.

About one in 20 admitted to starting cannabis use before the age of 18, while a further one in 10 took up the habit in the early or mid 20s.

Professor Terrie Moffitt, of KCL’s Institute of Psychiatry, who contributed to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said “persistent users” who started as teenagers suffered a drop of eight IQ points at the age of 38, compared to when they were 13.

Persistent users meant those who used it during at least three of the ages from 18 to 38, and who said at each occasion they were smoking it on at least four days a week.

She said: “Adolescent-onset cannabis users, but not adult-onset cannabis users, showed marked IQ decline from childhood to adulthood.

“For example, individuals who started using cannabis in adolescence and used it for years thereafter showed an average eight-point IQ decline.

“Quitting or reducing cannabis use did not appear to fully restore intellectual functioning among adolescent-onset former persistent cannabis users,” she said.

Although eight points did not sound much, it was not trivial, she warned.

It meant that an average person dropped far down the intelligence rankings, so that instead of 50 per cent of the population being more intelligent than them, 71 per cent were.

“Research has shown that IQ is a strong determinant of a person’s access to a college education, their lifelong total income, their access to a good job, their performance on the job, their tendency to develop heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even early death,” she said.

“Individuals who lose eight IQ points in their teens and 20s may be disadvantaged, relative to their same-age peers, in most of the important aspects of life and for years to come.”

The cognitive abilities of the 10 per cent of people who started in their 20s – who could loosely be classed as college smokers – also suffered while they were still smoking.

However, if they gave up at least a year before their IQ test at 38, their intelligence recovered, suggesting their brains were more resilient and bounced back.

Prof Moffitt said adolescent brains appeared “more vulnerable to damage and disruption” from cannabis than those of fully mature adults.

Reliable figures on cannabis usage among today’s British teens and twentysomethings are hard to come by.

But Prof Moffitt said there was growing concern in the US that cannabis was increasingly being seen as a safe alternative to tobacco.

“This is the first year that more secondary school students in the US are using cannabis than tobacco, according to the Monitoring the Future project at the University of Michigan,” she noted.

“Fewer now think cannabis is damaging than tobacco. But cannabis is harmful for the very young.”

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in California



Party Talk

An eye opener weekend.

Most of the party goers were in their 30’s and 40’s with young kids.  A few retired couples. They were white, Hispanic, and Syrian-American and other mixes.  Some were catholic, protestants, and a few were not religious.  They were there to celebrate a birthday of a mutual friend and were acquaintances but not close friends.

Similarities?  All had jobs in the private sector, local or federal government,  or ran their own businesses.  They all paid taxes and wondered how 50% of the population of the US did not.  All owned houses that were worth 1/2 or less than 4 years ago.  The older couples complained about how their retirement investments had dropped in the last 4 years.  They wanted to know why gas had doubled in price in the last 4 years.  They don’t trust the media.  They were all very, very independent people who will vote. 

There is a change coming.


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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in California



Three Olfactory Joys

Smells. Smells. Its what the Doc’s call olfactory ability.  They say that without the ability to smell, the food you eat would not have much taste.  Today was a day that my olfactory abilities were in full use. 

Fresh Tomatoes  I went out and picked a couple of meals of fresh tomatoes.  Does any vegetable/fruit have any better smell than a tomato from your garden?  2012-08-23 12.22.03

New Car Smell  Our 12 year old Honda was taken over by our daughter and her family for their sabbatical year here in the States.  It was time to replace it with a new one for Libby.  We drove it down to Valencia on the mountains roads(Bouquet Canyon Rd) to see how the new Honda Accord ran.  Oh yea and some great pasta at Chi Chi’s.  Its not a sports car but its just what Libby needs. Nothing like the smell of a new car. 

Coffee Freshly Ground  A few months ago we purchased a Breville coffee maker that grinds the coffee beans for each pot/cup.  The taste and smell of coffee this way is unbelievable.  Remember when the medical profession said coffee was “poison?”   Now they say its great for you. 

Three Olfactory Joys.  A great day.

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in California



A Smile And a “Close Enough”

2012-08-22 19.20.49With the heat wave of 25+ days over 100 degrees  broken, Libby and I headed off to the fair.  It was a balmy 88 when we arrived there at 6 pm and after slow walk through the sights, sounds, and smells of the food booths, we decided on the  sausage sandwich with onions, peppers, and mustard.  Not healthy of course but it was the fair!

Growing up on the farm in Minnesota, the first thing we had to do was head to the animal barns.  Our two favorite animals are the goats and the pigs.  Why?  I think its because of their personalities.  The goats just want to know who you are and the pigs want their ears scratched.  2012-08-22 19.17.38

We headed to the photo exhibits, the vegetable’s, and the household section.  We were really glad to see that a friend of ours who had lost her husband of life time this year had won a second place trophy for her table setting.  Life must go on although Tom will always be with her and us.

We stopped at a candy pavilion…yep more bad stuff, and ordered a half pound of peanut brittle for $5.00.  The shop owner filled up a bag with the candy and weighed it…just over a pound.  It said to him, “A little too much, only a 1/2 a pound please.”  He said with a smile, “I know.”  “Close enough, as he took my $5.00 bill.”  That smile was pervasive in the crowds as they enjoyed the cooler weather, the food, and the sights.  A wonderful stop along the way.  

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in California



89th Birthday

mom and melI was up at 4:45 a.m. this morning and after the coffee was on, the cat had her treats, I was out of the front door to get the paper.  The thermometer said 75 degrees and Venus was brilliant on the eastern horizon.  The desert wind was back and our wind chimes from around the world were singing in our garden.  What a great way to start a day! 

Getting ready for a trip to Minnesota to celebrate Mom’s 89th birthday.  Here she is with a bald baby, me(bald again), just less than 67 years ago.  She and Dad are still going strong, independent, and living in their own house.  Their secret to longevity?  Everything in moderation except for lots of hard work and their love of God.

Busy day on tap today.  Fund raising meeting, our college basketball workouts, and finishing the day with our yearly visit to Antelope Valley Fair.  1000’s of people rubbing shoulders, eating unhealthy but delicious food, walking through the buildings and barns looking at the 4-H animals, home grown vegetables, and crafts.  A blast from the past that still works well today.

And the trip continues. 

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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in California, Minnesota