Thursday, March 30, 2006
Ostrich Burger, Fries & Steamed Vegetables
Like many of you out there I too have had problems controlling my weight over the years. I am an avid gym goer however I still am not at the weight I would like to be. The problem is I like to eat! I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales Culinary school and have dedicated myself to developing recipes that enable me to eat the most amount of food for the minimum amount of calories possible. The following is one of my favorite meals and is only about 600 calories. That may seem like a lot until you take into account that it only contains 3 grams of fat! Compare the same Big Mac and Medium Fries from McDonalds and you can see the benefits. (940 Calories 50grams of fat!) Even if you add a bun you will only add around 120 calories and less than 3 grams of fat. Remember that based on a 2000 calorie diet (most larger people tend to burn a lot more than this because of the amount of work the body has to do to lug all that weight around) this meal at most is 36% of the days allotment. This leaves you 1280 calories for both Breakfast, Lunch, and a Snack. Remember, eating healthier will make you feel better physically and feel better about yourself in the long run. I use a technique that has worked pretty well in helping me to keep my junk food under control. Before I eat anything I ask myself the following question in my head: "Do I want to eat this more than I hate being fat!" I guarantee if you ask yourself that question each time you eat something you will start to get your cravings under control. Drink a lot of Water, exercise (walking is a great start) and you should see results. I will be offering recipes from time to time so your feedback is appreciated.
1/2 pound Ostrich Burger - Bunless 220 Calories 3 grams fat W/Bun around 350 calories 5 grams of fat
(Give Ostrich a chance. I know it sounds strange but when you season it, it tasted like a very lean ground beef. It has the lowest calories, fat, and cholesterol per ounce of ANY meat so if your goal is to be able to each as much as possible for the lowest amount of calories it can be a great friend!)
8oz Ground Ostrich (You can find it at health food stores or buy on-line. You will get a MUCH better price on-line)
Franks Red Hot Garlic Powder
Season Patty with garlic powder and coat in Franks Red Hot. (optional but very tasty!) Broil until desired texture is reached. Remember Ostrich cooks just like red meat. You can eat it rare-well done. It is NOT Poultry so if you apply the same safety standards you apply to beef it will be fine.
Baked Fries - I realize this is a contradiction however this recipe only has 200 calories and 0 fat! This is my favorite thing to eat. It has no more calories than a Baked Potato with a French fry feel. Despite the recent anti carb marketing blitz potatoes are NOT bad. They are extremely high in potassium and naturally fat free. I wouldn't eat 100 a day but a couple won't hurt and are very tasty.
2 Medium Size Yukon Gold potatoes
Fat Free Cooking Spray
Heat oven to 450 degrees
Slice potatoes into French fries
Line the bottom of a baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with the cooking spray. Place potatoes on tray and spray liberally again with the spray. Bake for 40 minutes flipping with a spatula after 20. Remove from oven and season. They will be nice and crispy and golden brown! I know they take a while but they're worth it!
Steamed Vegetables - 2 cups around 80 calories. I suggest buying green giant bags of mixed vegetables for this one. You can even buy some decent microwavable ones. The point of the vegetable is to add food without a lot of calories. I guarantee you will be full after eating all of this. If you're not I'd be very surprised. Enjoy!
No Brother of Consequence
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Mazel Tov!!! A hearty, deep, and warm congratulations to NoBestManofConsequence and his wife on the birth of their daughter!! A 7lb 6 oz treasure who I can’t wait to get back to NJ to meet.”Babies come with hats!!”
Trivia Bonus: “Babies come with hats” comes from what TV show? Double bonus for character who said it and triple bonus for the episode name or story arc taking place when it was uttered.
This blogger posted instructions on how to perform an abortion on her website. Here is an article about the backlash she has received for doing this. Of course the death threats from the religious right have shown up in earnest. Can you please explain the rationale of these zealots? “I believe in Jesus so much I am going to kill you for saying something that is different than what I believe.” Could they be more unbelievably myopic? I hope she gets tons of traffic on her blog and a book or movie deal. I also hope no one finds out who she is and kills her. She should probably stay out of Mississippi.
Without getting too deeply into my love of physics and scientific discovery, read this. It is some pretty mind blowing stuff.
While living in California, it is probably advisable to avoid Denny’s like the plague.
This is a really interesting article about productivity.
Here is something terminally unimportant.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
My first YouTube video post from Real Time with Bill Maher, quality comedy as usual.
This kind of story makes me happy. One of the ways we need to drive innovation is by encouraging our top young minds into the sciences and engineering. Intel taking this kind of social and civic responsibility to try and advance the youth of our country is a very good thing. I hope more large companies take their lead and give back to the communities that support them.
I love Jon Stewart and whenever I watch The Daily Show I end up laughing hysterically. When you click this link, scroll down and watch the Access Holyland clip. It is incredibly funny.
This is an interesting little story about how the Asian style of baseball is very tough and it is showing up in the success of Japan and Korea in the World Baseball Classic.
Africa is splitting in two. Literally. This freaks me out on a core level.
Robonanny, coming to a Japanese nursing home near you. Of course living to old age in Japan doesn’t happen as often as it used to because they have one of the highest suicide rates in the world and apparently routinely have group suicides.
The leader of the communist party in Russia is blaming the US for bird flu. Wacky, wacky Russians, but if you ever read Stephen King’s The Stand, a little creepy too.
Trivia Bonus: In The Stand, what is the command code to release the virus into the world after it escapes in the US?
Maybe we can bring freedom and democracy to the Mexican people next.
No 1 of Consequence
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Onward to more things of moderate import:
- The US government is running out of money. Not really shocking considering the unprecedented spending of the Bush administration.
- France is looking to screw over Apple and a lot of musicians. This, by the way, is total crap. It should not be legal to steal other people’s intellectual property. If you are a fan of Bruce Springsteen and you want to listen to his music, isn’t it fair that he be paid? He wrote the music, sang the music, produced the music in a format that makes it easy for all to enjoy. Isn’t he entitled to remuneration for his work? I think he is. I think making it legal to break the technology that protects digital rights is very shady and anti performer. There are plenty of places that people can share what they create, but it should be their choice to share it. If they choose to sell it, it is again, their right. If in choosing to sell something they own, they find a market for it, meaning people want to pay for it, then it is not the place of any government to impede their ability to protect what they created. As a matter of fact it is the responsibility of the government to at least try and protect intellectual property. France, getting it wrong again. Should be their national motto.
- Another kick in the teeth for freedom and privacy. This excerpt says it all;
Although the Justice Department said it doesn't want any personal information now, the victory would likely encourage far more invasive requests in the future, said University of Connecticut law professor Paul Schiff Berman, who specializes in Internet law.
"The erosion of privacy tends to happen incrementally," Berman said. "While no one intrusion may seem that big, over the course of the next decade or two, you might end up in a place as a society where you never thought you would be."
Honestly, this should be a post all by itself, but I am only allowing myself 3 minute increments to build this post today. So far it has taken me 5 ½ hours.
- Just in case you were worrying the German sex industry is ramping up for the World Cup in a big way.
No 1 of Consequence
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
If you are a frequent reader here, or know me at all you know I love baseball. I spent some time this weekend watching the World Baseball Classic, which is like soccer’s World Cup, except for baseball. At least that is what they want it to be. The scheduling is a little moronic since you are disrupting spring training. The rosters weren’t finalized until a week before the start and the coverage has been mediocre. I mainly say that because I can’t seem to find the damned thing on TV when I think it is going to be on. I watched the US play Japan, resulting in a victory for the US more or less because a bogus umpiring call.
It was very cool to see Jeter and A-Rod wearing there Team USA unis. The downside was this whole thing now reeks of a fix. MLB wants the WBC to work. They have banked a lot on it and poured countless millions into it. They need the US to make a strong showing and, honestly, so far they haven’t. (17-0 routing of South Africa notwithstanding) Things like this need to catch the public eye on there own. They can’t be forced otherwise they turn out like Major League Soccer or the WNBA, which haven’t exactly lived up to expectations. They should schedule the next one a lot better. If the had the next one in November, post World Series, in all warm climates I bet it would be HUGE.
(Note: this post was written before Heep Seop Choi and Korea bombed the US yesterday)
No 1 of Consequence
Monday, March 13, 2006
"If you gonna dunk it, you better make sure it goes down" - John Chaney to James Spears in McGonigle Hall 1992 after a missed dunk attempt.
John Chaney is retiring. He probably would have retired last year if not for the incident that clouded the season. Chaney was a maverick coach his whole career. He steadfastly refused to recruit blue chip players. He staunchly adhered to a system that stressed smothering defense during an era of basketball that basically eschewed defense totally. He also conducted practice at 5:30 AM to help mitigate the amount of class time his players missed. His gravelly voice boomed through McGonigle Hall and later the Liacouras Center on Broad Street in Philadelphia. He was very good for basketball. He was a good role model and a ground breaker in Division 1 basketball as one of the first African Americans to coach a major program. When I was a Temple University student is when the program enjoyed some of its greatest success. I absolutely hated him then. I thought his strict adherence to his system left no flexibility for the finest athlete Temple ever produced to rise to the next level. I always believed that if Chaney had given Eddie Jones the freedom he deserved with the basketball Temple would have made a Final Four. It never happened and I don’t think I ever really forgave Chaney. I hope he lives out his retirement in peace and comfort. Despite my youthful animosity, Chaney and Temple basketball provided the only good memories I have of my time there.
The first has to do with corporate greed, which I agree there is a lot of and the second has to do with IT globalization which I didn’t address at all in my last post. I believe in a more collective economic structure. Socially, especially in terms of those without health care for the low and middle classes the US is woefully behind other nations. I believe there is more than enough wealth generated in this country to move us more closely towards socialism without impacting personal wealth to a huge degree. I am more than willing to pay more of my personal earnings towards taxes if those taxes will be used to help people in need. However, without changing the entire organizing structure of our society, which would be nice, but is ultimately not possible without a revolution, this is the world we live in.
The second has to do with IT outsourcing to low cost countries which is much broader topic. I touch on it briefly.
Here are the comments:
1. Maybe instead of the workers giving money back the CEOs should take pay cuts for the better of the company? When the last time that happened at GM? Where's your blog about that? Fuck the these big companies crying poor and expected the only people actually working for a living to bail them out!
2. Ok fine maybe you can blame the unions for some jobs being more costly here than they should be. But what do you say to the IT workers, software developers, and other tech workers who don't have unions, and who in most cases have to pay for their own health coverage (and more than $5 a month in many cases), who would not be able to live off the same salaries as those doing the same job overseas? Don't forget also that China provides most health care and medical care in other countries is relatively cheap (though inferior in many cases).
First, let’s be clear, I am not really blaming the unions, their members, or organized labor. I am blaming their negotiating tactics and some of their leadership, which doesn’t seem to be that interested in protecting or creating union jobs. In this economy, in this world, they are going to be forced to be more flexible or they are going to continue to lose members at an alarming rate and worse, lose thousands of jobs. If you read that article, the president of the Teamsters more or less agrees that the unions need to change or they will continue to face steep declines in membership. I am saying that as the marketplace evolves, everyone has to evolve with it or the losses will continue to mount. In a global economy the labor force needs to re-organize and re-prioritize.
GM has 327,000 full time employees. Richard Wagoner, the CEO makes less than 5 million dollars. That’s about $15 for each employee he is responsible for. GM sold between 9 and 10 million cars in 2005. Richard Wagoner’s salary cost GM around .50 cents per car. GM’s revenues for 2005 were approximately 192.6 billion. 1% of GM’s revenue was 1.926 billion. 1% of that is 19.26 million. Wagoner’s salary is less than 25% of that. It doesn’t seem unreasonable in a capitalist society. Conversely GM’s healthcare costs were about $1500 per car or about 15 billion dollars. That is close to 8% of total revenue. A $5 co-pay on the health insurance mitigates a significant portion of this. If GM’s response to the losses is to close three plants and put 15,000 union laborers out of work, permanently, which is worse? I think adding the $5 co-pay protects a lot of jobs for a decent amount of time and a hard line labor stance costs an already dwindling union fifteen thousand members. I think I am a pretty reasonable person, but that kind of negotiating by a union seems to be doing a disservice to its membership in the short and long term.
There are evil companies out there. Wal-Mart is one of them. Wal-Mart is so anti-labor it is sickening. Here is an excerpt from a CNN labor article that demonstrates the point.
The largest private-sector employer in the country with 1.3 million employees, Wal-Mart is by far the biggest target for labor. And so far it has been among the most unattainable.
Unions have won the right to hold organizing votes at only a few Wal-Mart locations. The only time that a union won a vote was in 2000 -- 10 butchers signed on for representation at a Jacksonville, Texas store. Two weeks later, Wal-Mart got rid of all its butcher operations nationwide.
That is downright evil. Fired every butcher in its employ and stopped cutting meat globally rather than allow its workers the right of collective bargaining. Of course, most everyone I know shops at Wal-Mart, because we like cheap stuff, so we are ALL part of the same hypocrisy.
Moving on to IT globalization:
The glib answer is, of course, these people should have joined a union back in the 70’s, but of course, who knew that the IT industry would be ravaged from overseas in 1977. You want someone to blame? Blame Al Gore, he invented the internet after all. The internet, long distance networking, the ability to transfer terabytes worth of data in seconds or minutes killed the US programmer’s stranglehold on the industry. Another way to put it is the commoditization of programming skills killed the US marketplace. What does that mean? Good question.
Commoditization is an exercise in basic economics. It is simple supply and demand. When the demand for programming talent can be filled anywhere in the world, including places where labor is significantly cheaper than in the US, then that is where it will be filled. Manufacturing has a chance to come back, because the logistics of moving parts back and forth across the ocean is getting more expensive, while the transmission and storage of data via phone line and satellite is shockingly cheap. The price of raw material fluctuates, but steadily rises. The amount of available mechanical and design engineering talent is shrinking which drives wages up. In the IT world, wages are being driven down by a glut in talent, prices for hardware are being driven down by cutthroat competition, so the industry has less monetary value overall. Have a CISSP (data security certification)? Are you able to code in special languages? There are still plenty of high paying jobs out there for Americans to fill. Basic html and java coders are pretty much a dime a dozen and because of this they are not as valuable as they used to be in the marketplace. It isn’t an indictment of the American economy to say that, it is the function of the American economy existing in a global marketplace.
Try looking at it this way. If you lined up 20 HTML coders and gave them an assignment would you get basically the same product back? My contention is that you would. How does an employer distinguish between the 20? They hire the cheap one because the have to meet budgetary constraints. Extrapolate that out to a large company who needs 50 java programmers. Does that company go through the human resource expense of identifying, interviewing, and hiring 50 programmers, paying them a yearly wage and benefits? Can that larger company justify that to its stockholders and investors when there are plenty of solutions available that will get them the same production at ¼ the price? (i.e. outsourcing the jobs to India or eastern Europe or wherever.) Should our fictitious large company spend 75% more for the same thing? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Understandably it is a tough pill to swallow.
Protectionist responses to market shifts like this only bring protectionist responses from other countries. Who is taking our programming and manufacturing jobs? China and India. Who are the two largest emerging markets for US goods and services? China and India. We need to expand our markets and we need trading partners to do that. Our economic problems can’t be solved with reactionary tariffs or protectionist legislation. We have to innovate within our own borders and come up with the “What’s next” for our economy. What’s next? I don’t know. Maybe the biomedical industry? Private space companies? We need to identify the next big thing and nurture that. Then, 20 years from now, when there is a glut in geneticists in the biomedical marketplace, someone will complain that all the gene sequencing jobs are being outsourced to India.
Marketplaces evolve, and so do economies. Companies have to evolve with them in order to continue to exist. So do labor forces. There are no easy answers or short term solutions.
Thanks for the comments!
No 1 of Consequence
Thursday, March 09, 2006
When unions first came into existence they were incredibly important. Laborers were routinely exploited by company management and conditions for workers were brutal, dangerous, and more than that, unfair. Management had all the power and they wielded it like a club. The American Federation of Labor, the Teamsters, and the UAW changed all that. They fought tirelessly for the workers and they won legal and moral battles that swung the pendulum back and created an equitable relationship between worker and management. Now, in 2006, it has gone too far. Labor has far too much power and the benefits they have won for their constituency are more costly than most companies can afford. If the UAW would give just a little bit, they could probably avoid significant job losses, but they won’t. They have a “slippery slope” philosophy, as do most unions, which means they believe that any concession will lead them back to the dark ages. It is understandable, but shortsighted. Only through true partnership between worker and ownership will anything ever be resolved and both sides need to see that. If they don’t, more and more manufacturing will go overseas and the American economy will continue to suffer because of it.
Onward to far less important things:
SNL did another rap. Just in case you have been living under a rock 2 SNL guys did a rap earlier this season called Lazy Sunday. It was really funny and as one of my friends said, “the funniest thing to come out of SNL in the last 15 years.” Of course, because the show totally lacks creativity and focus they have ripped themselves off, this time wrangling Natalie Portman into the rapping game. Watching Padme Skywalker rap about getting drunk and having sex is pretty funny, but she really looks like a 12 year old boy these days, so it goes from funny to disturbing pretty quickly. It is just a sad state of affairs watching one of the most innovative TV shows of all time languish in unimaginative irrelevance.
Shocking upset in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Hey do you care about soccer? Me either, but this is pretty funny. I don’t think it is fair for only one team in the league to have wings.
No 1 of Consequence
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Sometimes you have to wonder why people behave the way they behave. I used to work for a company I like to call the Titanic. They have been a sinking ship for a long time and each month they lose more and more money. I was laid off 18 months ago and recently a number of people I respect were laid off. I am very interested in bringing at least one of them here to join the winning team.
The company I work for now sort of competes on the same field as my current company, but comparing the two is like saying the Columbia High School baseball team competes with the New York Yankees. Playing the same game? I guess, but in two totally different worlds.
The one person I really want to bring down here is a great guy. He has multiple skills on multiple levels and can really boost an area that I think my company needs boosting. He is young and energetic and fits right in with our office culture. Unfortunately, the Titanic forced him to sign a non-compete agreement. Let me repeat that for those not paying attention. They forced him to sign a non-compete and then fired him. That offends me on such a level that I can’t begin to describe it.
It came out that he was coming down here to meet with my company in GA somehow and the Captain and First Mate of the Titanic called this poor guy and threatened him with legal action. This is a young guy and he is scared out of his mind right now. He doesn’t want to come here. He is afraid they can keep him from working and have him sent back to India because of his currently uncertain visa status. They a bunch of punks for flexing muscle on some poor kid they decided they had no use for. They will pay.
No 1 of Consequence
This is the owner’s manual for the United States of America. It was written by some of the greatest minds of all time. It has been the framework for freedom and justice for 200+ years. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to spend some time with it. It is eye opening and informative and can provide you with understanding of how very very bad our governments, state, local, and federal have been behaving lately.
This story is just the tip of the iceberg when beginning to understand what happened to this country. I won't say special interest groups are to be blamed for everything... well, maybe I will.
This story makes you wonder if anyone in our government has any sense of fiscal responsibility whatsoever.
The government is really irritating me today!
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
I used to be a huge basketball fan. I have mentioned this before. The Knicks were my poison, although I had a healthy respect for Dan Majerle and the Phoenix Suns. I was such a big fan, in 1994, when the Knicks made the NBA finals I was living overseas in Israel. The games were on live at about 3 AM and I rented a hotel room, at great expense, in order to watch game 5. Game 5, as many of you may or may not recall was going on while the infamous OJ Simpson low speed chase took place. I speak Hebrew, or more to the point, I spoke Hebrew in 1994. However, the Hebrew commentary on the games was far too rapid for me to understand. Every few minutes there would be a shift away from the game to a white Ford Bronco. I was screaming at the television pretty regularly. I had no idea what the hell was going on as the whole OJ saga had not made the Israeli papers and the internet was in its infancy. Eventually the game went to split screen with the Knicks on one side and the Bronco on the other. I was livid, perhaps the angriest I have ever been. I dropped a hundred dollars on a hotel and room service to enjoy the game and my enjoyment was being ruined by a Ford Bronco. Eventually I flip over to CNN International and hear the whole story. This only made me more enraged. I wanted to, needed to see my Knicks. It’s was the finals, everything we had been struggling for my whole fandom and I was stuck watching half a screen in an expensive hotel in Jerusalem because of OJ fcuking Simpson. After that game and that series my love for the hoops began to wane. I was still a very big fan, but not to that degree. Now, my interest is only passing at best and I find the Nets a way more interesting team than the Knicks. However, was I still as rabid a fan of the New York Knicks, their current state of affairs would nauseate me beyond belief. I would want Isaiah Thomas’ head on a pike in my front yard and I would own this t-shirt and wear it with blazing pride.
Onward to other items of mild interest:
How cool is Café Press by the way? You can make your own design or logo, send it to them, and all of a sudden you have an entire inventory of merchandise. Amazing. The on demand world is an interesting shift in the way business is done. It is incredibly innovative.
John Stewart too smart for the celebrity Oscar crowd. I think so, so did this guy. His humor is too smart and subtle for most of America as well. The Daily Show is one of the best things on TV.
Thank goodness HBO is back to its original programming. I can’t take it when they are between original series. I am ambivalent about the Sopranos being back. It may have run its course and turned into a caricature of itself. Last season really started to seem that way, although it was so damned long ago I can hardly remember. I am looking forward to Big Love. It looks like a really interesting premise and I usually enjoy the HBO original series. I can’t wait for The Wire, Deadwood, and Rome to come back.
At the bottom of this story there is a link to a gallery of business leaders and their “secrets” to success. I found it very interesting and informative.
Friday, March 03, 2006
In my opinion Bret Boone is a bat flipping juice-head who was incredibly overrated. He is finally hanging it up. I am not sad to see him go. He was a lot of what was wrong with baseball for awhile.
OK, Madonna’s pseudo Judaism is just irritating me at this point.
The New York Jets are a freaking joke at this point. Cut Pennington, ok, sign Jon Kitna, shoot me now. Another 400 bucks for Direct TV and the NFL Sunday Ticket down the drain next year.
Apparently I am not the only one who thinks the new Georgia Aquarium rocks. Check out my pictures of it here!!
One of the things I like to do that I have not been doing lately is playing my Playstation 2. Every year, around this time I get the new MLB game from EA Sports and play an entire season with the New York Yankees. This year, EA lost their license for MLB and will not be producing a game. This leaves me with two choices. MLB The Show and MLB 2K6. I am not sure which one is becoming part of the video game library, but the decision is being made this weekend.
No 1 of Consequence
Thursday, March 02, 2006
We have a group of selfless, giving, honorable people that are out there right now. They are on the ground in some of the worst and most downtrodden places on Earth giving everything they can to bring up the standard of living for those in need. We should hire a global PR agency to make sure that stories about the Americans who give and sacrifice make their way into every newspaper on the globe. It might help some of the people that don’t really like us, like us a little bit more. It night not, but in my opinion it is worth a try. We need some better press. We have some great humanitarian stories to tell, we should be telling them.
In other news:
Apparently your college stats professor knows more about situational decision making in the NFL than most coaches do.
Youth sports in the US can be ridiculous. Youth sports in France, off the charts insane.
The religious right continues its attack on women. How any woman could vote for a republican, ever, is beyond my understanding.
No 1 of Consequence