New Year’s resolutions often manifest themselves in some type of exercise and or weight loss program involving crash diets and boot camp. With good intentions, we promise ourselves this will be the year; we will exercise more, dine healthier, and eat less. My daughter in-law is a wellness coordinator and personal trainer; January is her busiest month. By mid- February melancholy has replaced motivation; her client schedule and class size returns to normal. This says something about how we approach diet and exercise. It’s all or nothing; we set drastic unrealistic goals and expectations. When they can’t be sustained we become discontent, disheartened. So, what is sensible and sustainable? How can we achieve the desired lifestyle changes, and remain content with ourselves along the way? The answer: small changes over a long period of time.
Actress Delta Burke struggled with her weight for years; she took a patient approach. She decided, if it took her 10 years to lose the desired pounds- so be it. Her goal was to stop gaining. This confirms what my college nutrition professor shared about maintaining your weight, “You may think a one pound weight fluctuation each year is harmless. If, at 20 years old, you gain a pound per year by the time you’re 50 you’ve gained 30 pounds.” Delta figured it out, she made lifestyle changes to maintain her weight and weight loss was the benefit. It worked; it took 10 years.
As a dedicated bird watcher it was with incredible delight that I accepted the invitation of Rena Holt (of the Sunflower Farm) to come to her home to see a Rufous Hummingbird that was visiting her feeders and watch it being banded. For those of us who do feed our regular visitors, the Ruby Throated Hummingbird, we send them off in September, take down our feeders, and wait for their return in early summer. I’ve been advised to keep up the feeders for those stragglers that might come by, but it seemed like too much trouble. Well, Rena proved me wrong. What a beautiful sight to see this 2-year-old male (the bander told me this) flashing his bright, copper-colored feathers in the sunlight. And then to have an up close and touchable moment with this little beauty was a birder’s dream. To impress you a bit more, note that the Rufous Hummingbird’s migration and breeding grounds are on the west coast – to have him visit us here is a rare treat.
There was something I learned a long time ago in my two-and-a-half years of experience as a Boy Scout: Be Prepared.
No matter what you do, and no matter where you go: Be Prepared.
A little Boy-Scoutery would have done a pair of would-be carjackers a lot of good this week in Florida, who learned a little too late that being able to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission could be a useful skill if you want to try to steal a higher-end car.
Set the stage: Randolf Bean, 51-year-old Floridian, was waiting on his wife to get off of work, patiently sitting in his bright yellow Corvette.
All of a sudden, two men rush at the ‘Vette brandishing a pistol and insisting that a hostile takeover of Bean’s keys and vehicle take place.
Bean, being a sensible man, steps out and hands the keys over to the jackers, who hop in and prepare to make their getaway.
After several failed attempts to crank the car – while Bean himself is telling them that they need to push the clutch in to be able to start a standard transmission – one of the thieves reportedly shouted, “It’s a stick,” switched to Plan B, demanded Bean’s wallet, phone, and house keys, and went their way with their lessened loot.
Bean, remaining aloof of his stake in the situation, was thankful to the carjackers for not turning violent when their scheme didn’t go their way. In his opinion, the outcome also turned out best for the boys.
“This is a high performance car compared to other cars, “said Bean. “So if they had gotten it, they might have hurt themselves in it.”
Printed in the February 7, 2013 edition
Last November was shocking for many. Romney won more men, married women, Catholics, and evangelicals than John McCain. He won more independents than Obama, long thought to be the key to any Presidential election. Yet he wasn’t even close to winning the election.
The good news is that Republicans have 30 governors, control the U.S. House and a record number of 31 state legislatures, a stunning flip from only 16 in 2009. The South and the vast Midwest are more Republican than ever.
The bad news is that the GOP faces major challenges. Obama only won by a very narrow 2 percent of the population, but he’s going to govern as if he won a mandate with ever-expanding abuses of executive power. America is now the most indebted nation in history, yet Democrats and their Pravda press of the mainstream media could care less. Worse, it seems more Americans think government should provide for their every need than those who desire to be free. The idea of the sturdy, independent, entrepreneurial American has fallen prey to a spend-happy socialistic nanny-state.
Why? Because it’s easy being a Leftist. Don’t make hard choices. Avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. Take from the rich and give to the poor. Well-intentioned emotion should trump fiscal realities. Unfortunately there is no example in history where such ideas were ever successful… not one. Every great civilization that has tried has failed.
The Washington Post’s editorial board recently opined that a national ID card would be the most effective method to thwart illegal immigration (http://goo.gl/A7x3v). Their idea was bolstered by the fact that both President Obama and a bipartisan group of eight senators recently put forward similar ideas (“fraud-resistant, tamper resistant Social Security card”). Superficially this makes sense. If the problem is uninvited guests crashing your party then the most logical solution would be to demand your guests show their invitation at the door. The Post then dismisses any potential concerns about civil liberties as nothing more than empty rhetoric by citing the fact that 35 percent of Americans already have a passport.