Monthly Archives: August 2003

Life is Still Good

This past week I’ve had a couple of interviews for jobs, a couple of folks asking for my resume, a proposal for some work tentatively accepted with refinement of the scope beginning and my oldest son and his girl-friend down for the weekend for a long overdue visit. In about an hour I’m heading out the door with my wife and youngest son to visit relatives in Cohutta, one who is in from Idaho, that I haven’t seen in a while. Who wouldn’t want to be me right now?

A Tip for Those on Atkins – No.1

When I first started the Atkins diet I would walk into a fast food restaurant, order a sandwich and throw away the bread. This seemed like an awful waste to me. I started ordering my sandwiches and asking them to hold the bread. I got no odd looks, just a plastic bowl from Wendy’s and Burger King with the makings of the sandwich without the bread. Not only was I not wasting bread but the sandwich was served to me in a container that made it less messy to eat.

I’m mentioning this because I was eating with some friends at a Wendy’s the other day and one of them who was also doing the Atkins diet remarked how she would have never thought about ordering the sandwich that way. Hey, the Burger King motto for years was, “Have it your way.”

For those of you interested, I’ve lost the twenty pounds I wanted to lose in eight weeks. I had to increase my carb intake just to avoid losing the weight too fast. I’ve also switched over to the South Beach diet and I’ve added a three mile walk to my daily regimen.

The South Beach diet allows carbs as long as these foods have a low glycemic index. Potatoes, white flour, white rice and sugar are still taboo but a lot of fruits and whole grain pastas are allowed. Overall I think it is a more nutritionally sound diet.

Stone Idols

Judge Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court had a monument of the Ten Commandments installed in the court building of Montgomery in 2001. A federal judge told him he had to remove it because it violated the seperation of state. Judge Moore disagreed and refused to have it removed. Last week was the deadline to remove it. The deadline passed and the monument was still there. Judge Moore’s associate judges refused to back their Chief Justices resistance. The bottom line is that the statue will be moved out of public sight and Chief Justice Moore has been suspended with pay pending a hearing into the matter by a board that can censure or remove the judge.

While all of this has panned out there have been hundreds of protestors kneeling and praying outside the courthouse in the oppressive August weather that typlifies summer in the deep South. This is the aspect of the story that I want to address and I want you to consider the second commandment on that monument in context to the protests.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Looking at pictures of this monument and the awe that the protestors appear to hold for it in the pictures of them in the news articles I began thinking how much like an idol this monument is becoming. People attending these protests are doing so knowing in some cases that they will be arrested for trespassing. This show of reverence for a stone (a graven image?) is disturbing.

I’m very sure that all of the protestors are good and sincere christians. I am also sure that they are there because of genuine concern over the direction our country is heading. What concerns me is that these fine christians are being set up by a charismatic and ambitious politician to break the very commandments that they believe they are trying to protect.

Sobig Virus Variant

A variation of the Windows Sobig virus hammered my e-mail yesterday. Time after time I was interrupted from working on my computer by NAV alerting me to another e-mail being received infected with this bug. I quit counting after eighteen. Folks, anti-virus software is a necessity if you are running a Windows OS.

Atkins vs. South Beach

I’ve been on the Atkins Diet for a little over four weeks and I’ve lost 11 pounds. I knew the diet worked before trying it because I watched several co-workers where I use to work just melt away their weight on this diet. For the most part they kept it off for over a year. A little weight came back over that time but what’s a five pound weight gain over a year when you dropped forty pounds the previous six months?

However, I’m considering changing over to a similar diet, the South Beach Diet. My reasons aren’t due any lack of confidence in Atkins, I know it works. The reasons for this is that I do not believe I can sustain Atkins for the long haul. I’m also concerned about the ambivilence that Atkins seems to have toward saturated fats.

Both diets are based on keeping blood sugar levels stable, keeping the body’s need for insulin at a flat rate. Both diets eschew sugars and highly refined flours and meals. The difference is that while Atkins wants you to limit your intake of all carbohydrates, South Beach just wants you to limit your intake of certain carbohydrates. While Atkins doesn’t care about the amount or types of fat you consume, South Beach wants you to avoid saturated fats and transfats.

I switch over this weekend to South Beach. I’ll keep you posted on the results. I want to lose another ten pounds. Let’s see if I’m there in another month.

The Lights Went Out

The lights went out in the Northeast today. This doesn’t appear to be the job of terrorist or anything, just an overloaded circuit, I’m guessing. Sort of like what happened in ’65.

I’m not reporting this here so that you will know about it because there isn’t a chance that anyone has not heard about it. It’s been on the news constantly since it occurred. Mayors have been interviewed, emergency personnel have been interviewed and the man and woman on the street have been interviewed. You know what these interviews have told us? That the power is out in the Northeast and people are inconvenienced and having to do without air conditioning and they are stuck in traffic jams. That’s it. No rioting or looting is being reported. No serious accidents and no injuries reported. It took fifteen minutes of the ABC World News Tonight to convey that bit of information.

Look, I know this is a significant event that will be recorded in history. I know that millions of people were affected by it, but billions of people weren’t. I want to know about Nigeria. Surely something happened there worth reporting today. Just a 30 second segment worth? Perhaps France is doing something to piss off US diplomats. But if I’m depending on ABC World News Tonight to tell me, I’ll not know tonight.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so hard on them for dwelling on news that has no effect on me but I get tired of it. I’m tired of listening to my own local news do a better job of keeping me informed of national and international events better than the network news does. I’m tired of the network news sounding like a local New York City newscast. It’s just so… provincial.

MKelley Wants Your Questions

Ask Mike a question and he’ll give you an answer. I don’t think he’s warranting the accuracy of the answers, though. Fair enough, he’s just curious as to the questions he’ll get. I am too.

Here’s a question for you, Mike. Is David Fowler Copeland going to have to serve any jail time once everything is said and done?

Edit: David Copeland was a state senator around Chattanooga for years and years. He left office and became a trustee of Erlanger Medical Center. David Fowler has been a state representative around Chattanooga for the past several years and is still in office. I often get their names crossed up. I meant David Copeland above.

On The Bricks

The stage at sunset

Yesterday was a full day. I spent the morning hauling five kids around in my pickup truck (extended cab, it was crowded but everyone had a seat) looking for kid necessities, you know, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, PS2 games, comic books, that kind of stuff. It was my youngest son and four of his friends. I managed to get them out and back by 11:30AM.

At noon I left to do some banking and to head to the airport to meet my dad and step-mother and to meet her granddaughter. Her granddaughter was arriving from Guatemala and I wanted to meet her. Dad and Stella live in Chattanooga and had driven down here to Atlanta to pick up Luci.

After doing my banking, I drove from my home here in Lawrenceville to Doraville and hopped aboard the MARTA train to the airport. Doraville is the terminal for the NE MARTA line and the airport is the terminal at the south, so I rode the entire line. I reached the airport at 2:13PM. Luci’s flight arrived at 2:05. I found dad and Stella and had a nice reunion with them while we waited on Luci to make it through customs and …. and waited some more. At 3:40 I realized I was going to have to leave or miss meeting my wife for other plans. I’ll drive up to Chattanooga next week and meet Luci. I am disappointed in not getting to meet her yesterday, though.

I got back on the train and headed back to Doraville Station. I had forgotten to bring something to read so I just watched the scenery pass by and the people getting on and off the train until I found myself back at Doraville.

As I was stepping off the train my cell phone rang. It was Gerri. I was suppose to meet her at her office at 5:00 to go to On The Bricks with her friend, Tina. It was 4:30 at that point and traffic back up I-85 was reported to be horrible because of road construction and accidents. Since we were going to take the train back down to Centennial Olympic Park, it was decided that I would meet them at Doraville Station, where I was right then. I waited.

Gerri and Tina arrived around 5:20. We road the train to Five Points and transferred to the East-West rail to get off at Omni/Dome/GWCC Station. We met Tina’s cousin, his wife and kids in CNN center and had a meal before heading out to Centennial Olympic Park. On The Bricks is a summer concert series in downtown Atlanta that costs $3.00 to get in. Last night we saw Hootie & The Blowfish, Tonic and Liz Phair, well worth the $3.00 admission price. The night couldn’t have been more perfect for a concert in the park. The city skyline at sunset was gorgeous. I had my cheap little cool-icam with me and tried to get a decent shot of it to share with you but it doesn’t do the sunset justice.

We left the concert around 11:15 and hoofed it over to Peachtree Station for the ride back. The train was very crowded but the three of us managed to get seats. Gerri and I ended up getting back home a little before 1:00. I don’t think I’ll be wanting to ride a train again for a while.

Orange Cooler

Just in case you’re interested there is a drink I’ve been making for my wife that she is fond of. This is a smoothy sort of drink made with orange Jell-O. You might like it as well.

  • 1 0.3 Oz. Pkg Suger-free Orange Jell-O
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp Orange Extract
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 2 pkgs Sweet-n-Low
  • 4 fresh strawberries — capped
  • A handful of ice cubes

Mix up the Jell-O according to package directions and set aside to cool.

Beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff.

Mix the Jell-O with the egg whites. Add the orange extract, the lemon rind and the Sweet-n-Low to the mixture and put it all in a blender. Add the strawberries and ice cubes and blend on medium until smooth.

This will make about four six-ounce servings.

While I like them Gerri is crazy about them so I’ll generally just put the blender pitcher in the refrigerator and just pull it out and reblend it any time she wants another one. The Jell-O does set up when left in the refrigerator but it blends back out very nicely just by running the blender again. Try it, I think you’ll like it.

Dixie Chicks Lit Up Atlanta

Gerri and I went to see the Dixie Chicks in concert at Phillips Arena last night. I’m not too good at reviewing concerts so I’ll just say that the show was extremely enjoyable. I was anxious to see how they were received after the mess Natalie stirred up several months ago. While there were some empty seats at this sold out concert those were few and I didn’t notice any catcalls at all.

A couple of things, though, that caught me a little by surprise. Right before the curtain went up the sound system began playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” then about half-way through the show that ripped into “Truth No.2” showing a video on their media screens of people protesting and marching. They were definately speaking their minds on political issues if only in a subliminal way.

They opened the show with “Goodbye Earl” and I thought that was great. They got that song out of the way first and I could then enjoy the show without worrying about when it would pop up. I got tired of that song pretty fast a while back. They ended the show with a three song encore ending with “Sin Wagon.”

All in all it was an enjoyable concert. The dinner Gerri and I had at the Cheescake Factory just enhanced the experience.