Monday, August 25, 2014

Anti-bacon PC run amok or most successful troll ever?

The right wing news wires along with plenty of mainstream sources are going crazy over this story.  In brief, a local restaurant does some community beautification work and thereby wins the right to post a promotional sign -- like those "adopt a highway" dealies you've no doubt seen.  Well in this case, a Muslim woman becomes offended by the word bacon and the restaurant, valuing the diversity in the community, takes the sign down.  Oops.  The internet loves bacon and lots of people don't much like Muslims.  A huge backlash ensues locally and, now, nationally.

I don't believe it.  Oh, I believe that some restaurant in Vermont is run by people so hippy-dippy that they'd not want to offend someone by the mere utterance of a word for a product which they (still) serve.  That part I believe.  And I believe that a whole bunch of wingnuts completely overreacted to the restaurant's skittishness at being seen as anything but the most diversity-loving company in the world.

I propose that the Muslim woman doesn't exist.  According to the article from WPTZ, the discussion began on something called the Winooski Front Porch Forum.  A message board.  I know a thing or two about message boards and I believe that Sneakers Bistro has been trolled.  There are not many Muslims in Vermont.  There are fewer Muslims in northern Vermont.  There are fewer Muslims still who are offended by the word "bacon."  There are fewer than that who are offended by the word "bacon" and who post on message boards.  But there are lots of trolls.  They live everywhere, even in northern Vermont.

Again relying on the WPTZ story, the people at Sneakers "reached out" to the allegedly offended woman.  I'll bet they did that through the message board.  I'll bet that not a single person has ever talked to the person who made the complaint, let alone confirmed that she is a she, that she is a Muslim and that she is genuinely offended at the mere appearance of a word she can't avoid at the grocery store every week.

The national media should ignore this story, at least until more is known.  Go cover Peru -- they had an earthquake there worse than the one in Napa.  Apparently there's also some sort of to-do in the Middle East and back in Russia I hear that Putin is trying to put the band back together.

The local media in Vermont --  I challenge you to find this woman.  If she exists, she exists.  Tell her story.  Find out why this occurrence of the word offended her when others don't.  Be fair to her.  If you find her.  Which you won't, because she doesn't exist.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

35 pounds!

That's what I've lost since I started trying to lose weight and get in shape at the beginning of March. That's a little over a pound and a half a week, about the middle of a healthy range. So far I'm pleased.

A picture purporting to show five pounds of fat (top)
and five pounds of muscle (bottom).
I've lost seven of the former and gained none of the latter.
My shape has not changed by anywhere near that amount
so the fat must be compacted when in use.

However, I think things are going to get more difficult from here.  For one thing, there's less to lose.  I have to imagine it's more difficult to lose the first 35 pounds generally than it is to lose the next 35.  For another, having lost some fat I've decided it's time to gain some muscle, which of course is denser than fat.  I've started a couch to 5K running program. It's this one, in case anyone cares. So far I like it because it lets me play my own music in the background, it doesn't nag or coach too much and it syncs seamlessly with Myfitnesspal, my calorie-counting app.).  I'm also going to be doing some whole-body exercises.  If someone has a link to a good app with videos that demonstrate proper technique I'd be grateful to hear about it.

In addition to the exercise, I think it's time to get more precise about my diet.  I've had good success on the old fashioned "take in fewer calories than you expend" diet without paying too much attention to where those calories come from.  It's true that the vast majority of my reduced intake has come from reducing cheap carbs like flour and alcohol, but that's only because I was consuming such insane amounts previously.  Now it's time to consider the more focused approach I've been hemming and hawing about all along.  I'm still thinking low-carb, but something more along the South Beach method than Atkins, which I tried once before and hated.  I lurves me some vegetables and I don't want to go through those first few weeks of Atkins before getting back to them.

So there we go.  I expect the rate of weight loss to slow, perhaps significantly.  But I'm OK with that.  I'm in this for health and (honestly) looks, not a number.  I do expect my shape to change more significantly than it's been doing.

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter