Birthday Cake Ban

I hate being one of those crotchety old people who hears a story, shakes his head in disgust, and says, “When I was a kid…”

grumpy-old-man-with-caneYet, I find myself in that position (hopefully I am not crotchety however).

“When I was a kid…” I don’t remember parents bringing birthday cakes or cupcakes to classrooms. I just don’t think it was done way back then; maybe they melted on the stagecoach ride over. Who knows? Yet, times change and it appears to be standard operating behavior for parents to do so nowadays — that is, unless you reside in Northern Kentucky.

Burlington Elementary School in the Bluegrass State revised its wellness policy.

The end result is a ban on food for school birthday celebrations. We’re not just talking about cakes; rather — in the interest of promoting healthier food choices — ALL other snacks are now verboten. Non-food “treats” such as pencils, balloons, erasers and book-marks are suggested. (“Happy birthday Johnny, now blow out your bookmark!”)

The intention is laudable; they’re actually doing some-thing to combat the ever-burgeoning obesity crisis and attempting to shift the focus of celebrations away from food. Good on them for that. And there are indeed health concerns involving food allergies; not to mention, I imagine it’s purt’ near impossible to school a child redlining on a sugar buzz.

Yet I have concerns.

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Double Standards Anyone?

Recently, a male “news” commentator on a national “news” network was referencing Michelle Obama’s cause about better childhood nutrition and made a rather insulting remark — while sitting on a couch surrounded by four women no less. One of the female panelists berated Mrs. Obama’s initiative saying, we don’t need “the federal government projecting these standards upon us.”

The man augmented her opinion with,

“How well could she be eating? She needs to drop a few.” After a shocked reaction from the women, he went on, “No, let’s be honest…who are we taking nutrition advice from? There’s no french fries happening? That’s all kale and carrots? I don’t buy it.”

 

Okay, where to begin? Step one; reassemble my exploded head.

I’ve said before, and will most likely have opportunity to say again, that I don’t get the thing about putting down the First Lady’s attempt to make our next generation healthier. Sugar is still as aplenty as sand in the desert and shadowy men wearing trench coats do not yet sell chocolate candy in dark alleys. Can we have a reality check? Our kids are getting fatter; it’s undeniable. Something has to be done and whether your like her or not, the First Lady has propelled the conversation into the spotlight so that unto its own is already a success. You don’t like her ideas? That’s fine. Step to the plate and come up with something else, but we need to adjust the vector of this country’s future health, and we need to do it yesterday. All hands on deck.

Additionally, if hypocrisy were water, he’d drown.

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There’s Nothing Worse…

I am not a snob; anyone who meets me would agree.

snob manWell, except those of an obviously lesser bloodline, of course. But, who cares about them anyway?

Having placed that firmly on the table, I know I can be, um, shall we say, “particular” about certain things and at times, might be prone to splash myself with a faint — very faint — scent of curmudgeonly, especially around speaking and writing.

As illustration, this is the second month of the year, pronounced “Feb-RU-ary,” not “Feb-U-ary.” Should you doubt, you can find out that I’m correct at the li-BRARY (not the “li-BARY”).

I manage to keep my mouth about “Febuary” because one only has to deal with it for 28 days a year.

Yet, lasting seemingly in perpetuity is misuse of  “your” and “you’re.”

The former is possessive while the latter is a contraction for, “you are.” Therefore, one would not write, “Your looking thin,” nor “I love what your doing with the house.” One might however write,

“When you’re on your way over, please let your hosts know if you’re bringing your children.”

See, isn’t that nicer?

Finally can we clarify that those of us on diets are attempting to “lose” weight, not “loose” it? (Ironically, “loose weight” is usually what started us on the path to “losing weight.”)

However, the expression that causes my head to explode is the self-important exaggeration, “There’s nothing worse than…”

This rose to my awareness on a TV commercial for an on-line postage service. In touting its (not “it’s”) benefits, a gentleman exasperatingly laments, “There’s nothing worse than standing in line at the post office.”

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Lose ten pounds — and your health — in three days

Snake-Oil-Diet

Searching the worldwide wacky web I stumble across: “Lose ten pounds in three days!

Intrigued, I find myself on a discussion page for a “fantastic new diet.” Let’s review, shall we? (Warning: If you are capable of rational thought, tread carefully.)

Day One

Breakfast:
Black coffee or tea
half cup grapefruit
one slice toast
two tablespoons peanut butter

Lunch:
half cup tuna
one slice toast
coffee

Dinner:
seven slices meat
one cup string beans
beets
one small apple
one cup vanilla ice cream.

Day Two

Breakfast:
One egg
half banana
one slice toast
coffee

Lunch:
one cup cottage cheese
three saltine crackers

Dinner:
two hot dogs
one cup of broccoli
half cup carrots
cup of vanilla ice cream

Day three is a virtual repeat. Beyond that, instructions include, “Do not vary or substitute foods. In three days you will lose ten pounds and then you can eat normal food, but do not overdo it. After four days of normal eating, start back on the diet.

Let’s wade right in, shall we?

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Got My Goat – Diet Falacies and Pet Peeves

I am “goat-less.”

That’s most likely because I let too many things get my goat. Whether it’s an age-related thing or I’m just a grumpy guy, I know not – but I find myself quickly irritated of late.

My biggest goat-getter is tailgaters; drivers who follow too closely, especially on the freeway. My uncle used to slam on his brakes and scare the bejesus out them, watching in his rearview mirror as a look of terror flashed across their faces when they saw his brake lights blast, eventually causing them to back off assuming they were following a maniac (which might have been accurate). I’m not that foolish but I’ll own up to giving that action serious consideration.

Oh yes, another peeve… people in supermarkets who scrutinize their receipt while still in line.  Sure, be positive you’re not overpaying; I’m down with that. But would you mind inspecting the receipt AFTER you let the other shoppers move forward? And have you noticed that those folks are the same ones who argue over a one-cent discrepancy? Here’s your penny. Move on, pal; some of us have lives.

But my ultimate irritation stems from misleading weight loss ads;

…the ones that promise to reveal, “The secret the diet industry doesn’t want you to know,” or falsely boast, “Lose weight without changing a thing.”

sham-diet

Recently, I had to strap duct tape around my noggin to prevent it from exploding when I heard an ad about a diet discovery you mix with water and — voila! (yes, they really said “Voila!”) — you drop 10 pounds in a week!

Class, pull out your calculators; it’s math time.

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