55 minutes of utter bliss (until, of course, reality returned)

It’s been a few days since I’ve last posted here.  Not since I’ve last posted, mind you, as I’ve been posting all over the place at AskOwlbert.com … but since I’ve last posted HERE.

You know, I thought last Friday that I’d actually have time to indulge in my other pastimes.  :)   For 55 utterly blissful minutes, I really thought my life would be returning to normal!  And then inspiration struck…and I’ve haven’t been still since.

I seem to be swept up into a never-ending stream of tying everything together.  I had planned on returning to my beloved Kendo tomorrow and Wednesday, but alas, that’s not to be either.   Sigh.  Part of me really misses my adult self-defense/sparring/etc., and another part of me simply lacks the time/energy to focus on anything except my family/work. 

I do believe everything happens for a reason, and that what I’m currently going thru is meant to be.  What will come out of it….gosh, I really wish I knew!! 

More later,



Robot dogs to the rescue in nursing homes, dispelling loneliness

Fascinating article

over here:

Researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri compared a 35-pound (16 kg), floppy-eared mutt named Sparky with AIBO, a far-from-lifelike robot dog, to see how residents of three U.S. nursing homes would respond.

"The most surprising thing is they worked almost equally well in terms of alleviating loneliness and causing residents to form attachments," said Dr. William Banks, a professor of geriatric medicine who worked on the study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

Banks said pets have been shown to help older people feel less isolated. "It really improves loneliness considerably," he said in a telephone interview.

But many senior citizens are too frail to care for a pet or have had to give up their own animals when they went to the nursing home. "They really miss that bond," he said….MORE….

The article goes on to say, both Sparky and the robot dog gave virtually equal the amount of comfort.

This can be a boon for nursing home residents, but truly….their families should show up as well to dispel the loneliness too. 


ps – Want a robot dog?

Plus Size Model – 4 inches more than a Victoria Secret Model?


Check out

Can you believe this woman is considered a Plus-Size Model?

over at  Back in Skinny Jeans.   To wit: 

She ain't fat! This woman does not look Plus-Size to me at all. I saw these ads for Marina Rinaldi inside O magazine, and thought wow what beautiful outfits. I had never heard of Marina Rinaldi before so I Googled the name.

I honestly was shocked to discover that Marina Rinaldi is the Plus-Size division of Italian designer Max Mara. This woman in the ad is supposed to be Plus-Size? Marina Rinaldi’s sizes run from a 10-22 US, and the clothes can be found at upscale department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Saks and Bergdorf Goodman. There are also Marina Rinaldi stores around the world.

They consider a size 10-12 Plus Size! Are you kidding me ?!?.….MORE….

Doesn’t look plus-sized to me whatsoever!  Fashion is truly sad.

Data points,


ps – speaking victoria secret:

Korean food diet


I’ll admit it myself, I adore Korean food (especially the beef cooked directly at the table, not to mention Kimchi, the food of the gods).  Here’s a neat news report about the Korean food diet:

Samhui “Sam” Mitchell needs no coaxing to eat all her vegetables. Mitchell, a native Korean, says her Asian-based diet isn’t centered on meat.

Mitchell is inspired by her homeland when it comes to preparing food. She moved to the United States in 1984 and takes pride in sharing Korean culinary traditions with her family, which includes her husband, Edward, and sons, Ben, 16, and Joseph, 8.

Residence: Stilwell in Johnson County

Occupation: Korean book translator and cosmetologist

Special cooking interest: Korean food

Are you a vegetarian? I am not a vegetarian, but I do make more dishes with vegetables than I do with meat. In Korea, meat is used more as a seasoning. My Korean heritage has taught me to eat lots of vegetables. I also cook with seafood, not only fish, but also sea vegetables including seaweed. We also eat fresh fruit without dipping it into any sauces.

What are the biggest differences between how Americans and Koreans eat? Americans have taste buds that like meat, cheese, sugar and fried foods. Food is so plentiful here with so many choices.

I have found when I eat more fresh vegetables, I feel better. I try to pass along good eating habits to my children and get them to develop a taste for vegetables. We don’t indulge in sweets too often.

Is dinner the largest meal in Korea, as it typically is in America? In Korea, traditionally, the biggest meal was at breakfast. When I was growing up, most social gatherings in Korea were at breakfast and people would eat a protein, vegetable, fruit and soup in the morning. But nowadays, Koreans also have social gatherings in the evenings and they can have big dinners like here.

My parents really believed in a big breakfast, and I am trying to hand that tradition on to my kids. I like to make a big breakfast for my family to help them get their day started right….MORE….

And if the above intrigues you, here are some great Korean recipe sites:



ps – want to enjoy Korean music while eating Korean food?

When kids get around parents

You know

I’m always big on holding strong on boundaries and making kids follow their responsibilities. 

But now that my kids are getting older, they’re realizing there’s one way to compel Mom to soften on her stance. 

It all happened this afternoon.  I was ready to get the kids to karate (advanced and sparring), when one of my kids suggested, hey Mom, let’s do the circle walk instead!

Now, this is a 2.4 mile walk.  It was raining and very windy outside; my kids know I adore walking in such weather.

But no, I was going to be tough with responsibilities!  Until, that is, said kid tickled the back of my neck.

It’s my weak spot!  I just can’t think straight when they do that.  :)   And I figured, okay, well, hmmm, a 2.4 mile circle was IS exercise, and we could always go to karate tomorrow, and and and …. and the end result: we went on the walk.  :)

Oh that was nice – the wind was fierce and the rains were lashing and my kid and I had a great conversation to boot.

Karate tomorrow – I promise!  :)



ps – want some nifty umbrellas to boot?

Danger Will Robinson – 10 dismal guys from whom you should dash away, dash away, dash away fast!


I just came across this clever compilation of 10 guy types that are guaranteed to make your life seem worse than the Black Death. It includes:

… One guy is needier than quicksand. Another is jealous of your cocker spaniel. A third quietly hates all womankind. Here’s a list of men you should put in your rearview mirror, ASAP.

Certain clues in the way a man acts may be a hint that you need to ditch him.

Joe No-Show
You meet in a city where neither of you lives, at a convention or a wedding. The calls and e-mails are making the phone lines sweat; two months later, he’s begging you to visit.

You tell the woman next to you on the plane that, after years of searching, you think you’ve met The One, and the two of you giggle with anticipation all the way to baggage claim.

Thirty minutes later, when the carousel stops going around, she looks at you with deep pity and asks if she can give you a ride somewhere. That’s the moment to go straight back to the ticket counter.

Mr. Jealousy
At first, he’ll get a little short with a waiter who flirts with you. Then he’ll be exasperated by how long you and the postmaster discuss the rising price of stamps. When he points out that you and your brother hug too long to be appropriate or that your gynecologist is a lesbian and obviously has the hots for you, it’s time to give him his walking papers.

However flattering his jealousies may seem in the first five minutes of your relationship, they’ll get old and confining more quickly than you can imagine, and when you do finally break up with him, he will hang the scarves you left behind on your trees like nooses and follow you and the next man you date all over town.

The Bully
This is the man who sits you down, grabs your arm, pulls your hair, or pokes your chest. While most of us know better than to let ourselves get socked in the mouth the way Ralph Kramden was always threatening to do to Alice (but even then never following through), there’s a whole universe of more “minor” infractions in the violence department that should disqualify your new beau instantaneously (but all too often does not).

The Two-Timer
For the first time since you’ve been dating, he’s too sick to make a date. You try to ignore the fact that it happens to be your birthday, and you assemble the ingredients for your famous chicken soup. You drop it off inside his door.

Two days later, he’s still sick, but you’ve been invited over. You ask if you can heat up some soup for him, and he says, in a small, congested voice, “That would be wonderful.” You pour the soup from the Tupperware into the pot, and you see that there are mushrooms in it. Your famous chicken soup doesn’t contain mushrooms. Conclude that this man has another source of soup and will continue to cheat on you for as long as you give him the chance….MORE….

I can add my own – the guy for whom his toys are not only life, they’re the reasons for being. Unless you’re a toy-girl too. :)



ps – want some love?

Dying to be thin – exposing eating disorders in girls

This breaks my heart:

…According to a recent survey by M.E. Collins, 42 percent of girls in first through third grade want to be thinner. That’s right, dieting is no longer for those looking to fit into that dress for Prom or even for that first dance in junior high. Being thin is a concern for almost half of all six-year-old girls on the playground.

However, the desire to be thin isn’t confined to a specific age group or gender. Unhealthy body images, eating habits, and eating disorders are becoming more common throughout the country, including on college campuses….MORE…

Truly horrible.

What do you think?


Kimkins – The Diet Monster That Just Won’t Die


I read on my BigHugeMinds Diet/Fitness board earlier today the following post about Kimkins – it was posted by a member and went to her blog. The title is:

Kimkins Diet Rolls On Despite Founder’s Excess Poundage

and it discusses the Consumer Affairs article, to wit:

…Waiting in line at your favorite grocery store is a guaranteed way to see the covers of magazines targeted toward women. It’s a real challenge to find just one week of a year where the cover of at least one check-out tabloid doesn’t have blaring headlines about weight loss or the most recent diet sensation.”Better than gastric bypass!” “Kim lost 200 lbs in 11 months!” “Christin lost 100 lbs in 5 months!”

Those very comments appeared on the cover of the June 12, 2007 issue of Woman’s World Magazine. The story was a fascinating look at a weight loss diet known as Kimkins, created by Kim Drake, also known as the “Kimmer.”

The Woman’s World story begins by saying they sent out their spies to gather intelligence about Kimkins. The Kimkins website included numerous before-and-after pictures of not only the “Kimmer, but also happy members that had shed massive amounts of weight.

Woman’s World describes Kim as “smiling” when responding to questions. This implies that the Woman’s World interviewer was personally watching the response of Kim Drake. So, you would think that Woman’s World would have noticed that “Kim” was in fact a 300-pound woman.

Kimkins before & after, according to Woman’s World

The Kimkins website saw a huge increase in memberships due to the flattering Woman’s World cover story. Records introduced in connection with a class action lawsuit against Kimkins show that for the month of June, 2007, Kimkins pulled in over $1,200,000 in membership fees.

Mouthpiece needed

So great was the response that Kimkins needed to hire a public relations spokesperson — and there was no one better suited for the job than Christin Sherburne.

Christin’s picture had been featured on the Woman’s World cover, holding a pair of old jeans next to the headline: “Christin lost 100 lbs in 5 months!”

“I was excited about it,” said Christin. “I’ve been overweight all my life, and even though I had never met Kim Drake in person, I wanted to tell others how they could finally lose the weight as I did.”

Soon the Kimkins machine was in full throttle. Members were reporting faster weight loss than they had ever experienced on other diets, and Christin was in P.R. mode in her new role as spokeswoman for Kimkins. But little did Christin know what would happen next.

Job & hair loss

The job of a spokesperson is to represent your company and answer any questions that might be thrown your way, including those from the media. One day, Christin found herself facing questions that she couldn’t honestly answer … questions concerning medical claims and health issues related to the Kimkins diet.

“As a spokeswoman, people would ask me questions that I couldn’t answer, especially related to the medical safety of the diet,” said Christin.

Christin did the logical thing. She contacted Kim Drake, the founder of Kimkins. Christin sent a letter to the “Kimmer” in which Christin asked about medical claims of the diet.

Is the diet safe? Are medical authorities backing the diet? All reasonable questions that any spokesperson needs to be able to answer.

To Christin’s dismay, instead of getting answers to her questions, she received a pink slip. Kim Drake had removed Christin from her public relations job and offered her a much reduced role moderating the Kimkins forums.….MORE….

This particular article starting to fly about the Internet! Here are just two takes on it:

Be sure to alert me here to more!

Personally, I feel that Heidi Diaz, the scamster behind the Kimkins diet, should have the book and the entire library thrown at her. Preying upon the most helpless in our society (people desperate to lose weight) is just plain abominable.