Reading Milestone #2

Yesterday Caleb went and got one of his books, handed it to me and then went and got another book and came down and sat next to me.  We read for all of sixty seconds but it was very cute!

Sam’s Club

I bought my own membership to Sam’s Club today and spent $391 in less than an hour.  Not a thing more will fit in our fridge or in either of our freezers.  Frank says I’m not allowed to go there alone again.  (And this is after I bought diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, etc from Amazon’s Subscribe & Save!)

A Reading Milestone!

We reached a reading milestone today!  I was sitting on the kitchen floor reading (that’s what I do to feel less guilty about Frank cooking) and Caleb (15 months old) went and got a book and sat down next to me to read it.  He read The Nose Book, Toys, and several others in the time it took me to read a couple of pages.

One good reason. How to make decisions.

The author of Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious (as quoted in Newsweek) argues that we make the best decisions by using one good reason instead of weighing all the pros and cons:

In every case, one good reason has proven superior to data-greedy mathematical equations in making the best choices.

The example he gave was a parent whose child wakes up wheezing in the middle of the night.  One doctor they know can come to the house in 20 minutes but he’s not a good listener or they can drive 60 minutes to an unknown doctor who’s known to be a good listener.  Although there are four pieces of information, most parents make their decision based on one piece of information: whether or not the doctor is a good listener.  The author argues that the gut feel decision based one piece of information is better than the decision that could have been made by weighing all four.

Book Review: Good Calories, Bad Calories

If you have ever tried to lose weight or just eat healthy, you must read this book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.  This book changed my thinking about food, health, nutrition and exercise.  I didn’t realize how much of what doctors said that I just believed.  I didn’t realize that what they recommend is based on little proven evidence.  Or how much contradictory evidence is just ignored. 

This isn’t a diet book.  It’s a book about the history of nutritional advice.  Our understanding of food and obesity, how it’s come about and how it’s changed over the past century.  I’ll be writing more in future posts but here’s what I’ve definitely taken away:

  1. A calorie is not a calorie.  A lot of other factors matter like what kind of calorie, what kind of person, metabolism, exercise, external environmental factors, …
  2. Calories in does not always equal calories out.  Or we are not measuring all the calories in and out correctly.
  3. Dietary fat does not make you fat.  Fat is not necessarily better or worse than protein or carbs.  It’s not necessarily equal either!
  4. Many of our current doctors are 100% convinced of what they know and not really willing to consider radical shifts in thinking.   Like they continue to recommend  eating less calories and exercising to lose weight when it’s obviously not working for many people.  (Do you really lack the will power?)

More to come, but I definitely recommend Good Calories, Bad Calories.  You can read a good excerpt written by the author, Gary Taubes, on ABC News.

Sailing around the world

Here’s a couple who took the same sailing class as I did (not at the same time) and then decided to buy a boat and take their two kids sailing around the world.  They were both lieutenant-detectives in Montreal.  You can read the school’s newsletter article about them or their website.  Their website is not html based. 

Congratulations to them for pursuing their dream!  I wish they had a blog and/or an RSS feed so I could follow them in their journey!

Here’s my story of my week of live aboard sailing school.

Electronic books

Electronic books, books that you can read on your computer, phone or other electronic device, have been around for a while but they haven’t really taken off.  (I read quite a few when I had a PocketPC.)  Amazon’s new device, the Kindle, is trying to change that.  They spent a lot of effort making sure their reader resembles a paperback book in size and weight plus they added features that other electronic readers don’t have.  On the Kindle, you’ll have wireless access to the entire library of Amazon books.  You’ll be able to search for books and download them on the fly.  You’ll also be able to read blogs and use Google to some extent.

I can’t wait to see one!  Although at $399, I might not buy one right away …

Update: The Kindle just came out!

Some women are still punished for being raped

Rape victim gets 200 lashes. Actually, I think the punishment was for being alone with an unrelated man.  This makes me:

  • sad that some women live without the rights I take for granted,
  • angry that the people around her have accepted and perpetuate this as normal,
  • grateful that I have so much freedom and so many rights,
  • frustrated that I have no idea how to fix something I think is wrong,
  • scared to ever travel to a Muslim country.

A romantic evening out

Caleb, at 14 months, is at a really fun age and so eating out is quite the adventure.  (Monday night he kept trying to go into the restaurant kitchen and he screamed bloody murder all the way to the car because he liked the restaurant.)

So it was a really nice treat when Granny and Papaw watched Caleb last night so that Frank and I could go out to dinner and a movie.  We’ve had breaks and baby sitters before (mostly thanks to Granny and Papaw!) but we’d never just gotten someone to watch him so we could go out on a date.

We went to a new restaurant called the Bonefish Grill complete with white table clothes, candlelight and wine.  I had a yummy dish – a fish from Argentina that I’d never heard of and can’t remember the name of – and Frank had a mahi-mahi with goat cheese dish that was even better.  Then we snuck our leftover wine into the movie theater and saw American Gangster.  A good movie (how could it go wrong with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe?) and an amazing true story.  I’d heard parts of that story but never the whole extent of the drug smuggling operation.

Thanks Granny and Papaw!