20090129

Cut that mango in half

The National Mango Board has a good site with plenty of mango advice. Learn some recipes, nutrition information, and even how to cut that mango.



Try these techniques today!

20090128

Eating for Two

When you're pregnant, you need to eat good food to keep both you and your growing baby healthy. You shouldn't try to lose any weight while you're pregnant, even if you are overweight.
You and your baby need healthy foods. It's best to avoid junk foods. They may fill you up, but they don't give you the nutrition that you and your baby need. They same is true of food that has a lot of fat in it. Try to cut down on, or avoid, potato chips and other fried foods.
Water is very important. Talk with your doctor about how much you need to drink every day. Sometimes your regular meals won't provide everything you and you're baby need. Your doctor or nurse may have you take extra iron. Some women need other vitamins and minerals, too. Your doctor will tell you if you need to take a prenatal vitamin.

A word about weight
Doctors recommend that most pregnant women gain 25 to 35 pounds. If you are underweight, you should gain 28 - 40 pounds. If you are overweight, aim for 15 to 25 pounds. Talk to your doctor about the right amount of weight gain.
Why so much, if your baby will weigh only about 7 pounds? The weight doesn't just go to your baby. Your uterus gets bigger because it is full of fluid the baby needs, and it also holds the placenta, which provides food to the baby. Your breasts become heavier too, as they get ready to make milk.
You don't have to eat too much to get the nutrition you and your baby need. You only have to eat a little more each day than you did before you were pregnant.
It is very important for your baby that you eat healthy foods. If you don't, you can gain too much weight and still not get all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs to be healthy. Also, if you gain too much weight, you could get high blood pressure or your baby could grow too larger. If you don't gain enough, your baby could be too small.
It's a good idea to carry a banana or a small bag of crackers with you in case you get hungry when you're out.

When you're sick to your stomach
In the early weeks of your pregnancy, you might feel sick to your stomach a lot of the time. This is called morning sickness, but it can happen any time of day. Even if you have morning sickness, it's important to eat to make sure your baby is healthy.
Eat whatever you can that doesn't upset your stomach. Here are some plain foods that are easy on your stomach:
  • whole wheat toast

  • low fat crackers

  • cold cereal

  • cottage cheese

  • bananas

  • applesauce

  • pasta or rice

  • mozzarella cheese


Food Safety
You have to be very careful in choosing and preparing your food when you're pregnant. Spoiled foods, foods that aren't cooked long enough and certain raw foods can hurt you and your baby.
Be sure to wash your hands before you cook or eat and after you're touched raw meat, chicken, fish, or eggs. Always cook these foods all the way through. Be sure to wash fruits and vegetables under cold running water before you eat them.
After you cook, don't let food sit out before you eat it, because bacteria can form. If you are cooking foods ahead of time, put them in the refrigerator soon after cooking. Reheat them before serving.
Raw milk (unpasteurized) cheeses and certain types of fish are unsafe to eat now. Avoid all uncooked or undercooked meats and fish. Also, ask your doctor before taking any herbal medicine or tea, because most of these have not been tested on pregnant women. Ask your doctor for a complete list of foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Information from USDA


20090127

Change your spark plugs

I just wanted to share a personal milestone with you.




These are pictures of the old spark plugs




I didn't find any good pictures of the new ones. I put them in before I took a picture of them.




I'm hoping that now, the engine will run better. I was having seemingly insignificant problems with the acceleration.

update: Switching the spark plug seems to have improved my car's acceleration.

20090126

What do you know about the Freedom of Choice Act?

I'm sure you've heard of this by now, but just in case you haven't, here is a little bit of info.

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) [read the wikipedia page] will:
  • Restore a person's right to choose

  • guarantee reproductive freedom.


Learn more at Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)

Religion is behind this assault on individuals's rights. Religion poisons everything.

20090121

Protecting your Baby from Harm

Protecting your baby from harm
Just about everything you eat, drink, or take into your body during pregnancy will be passed on to your baby. Some of these things can cause a lot of harm. Below, you'll find out what is dangerous while you're pregnant.

Cigarettes
It isn't easy to give up cigarettes. But smoking can cause your baby to be born too small. Smaller babies have more health problems during the firts few months of life. And smoking may also cause you to deliver too soon. Babies who are born too early may have weak lungs and find it hard to breathe.
Smoking while pregnant also puts the baby at greater risk of crib death. Another name for this is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The more you smoke, the more danger there is for your baby. If you can, you should quit smoking. If you can't, cut down as much as possible. Talk to your doctor or someone at a clinic. They'll help you quit.



Other people in your home who smoke should also quit or cut back. They shouldn't smoke around you when you're pregnant, or even in the house. And no one should smoke near your baby after he's born. Breathing in smoke can cause health problems for your baby. Second hand smoke has been linked to SIDS.

Learn to quit:
www.smokefree.gov

www.helppregnantsmokersquit.org

Alcohol
Alcohol can affect how your baby's brain and body develop. No one knows for sure if any amount is completely safe. So it's best not to drink any alcohol during pregnancy. In fact, you shouldn't even drink if you plan to become pregnant. If you drink alcohol, it reaches your baby fast. It doesn't matter if you drink beer, wine, or liquor. The more you drink, the more your baby is at risk. Unborn babies exposed to alcohol may be born with a condition called fetal alcohol syndrom (FAS). The brain of a baby with FAS may work more slowly than the brain of a healthy baby. Babies born with FAS may also have heart problems.

Medications
You shouldn't take certain drugs while pregnant. If you're pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor, nurse, or dentist. They may ask you to stop taking some medicines. If you go to the dentist

Illegal Drugs
Using illegal drungs while pregnant can be very dangerous. Drugs can sicken or kill your baby. Heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are the worst. If you use any of these drugs, even once, your baby can have serious health problems.
These drugs can damage your baby's brain. Babies of mothers who use these drugs are often born too soon and too small. These drugs can also cause you to lose your baby.
Often, women who use drugs to get high are not able to take good care of themselves. This can be harmful to the baby both during pregnancy and after birth. You need to give all your attention to taking care of your baby first.

20090116

Charity of the Month: Humane Borders

This month I encourage you do donate five or ten dollars to Humane Borders. This organization works toward a safer US-Mexico Border. Their goals are to change immigration policy to reduce the number of people that attempt to cross the Arizona Desert, and in that process reducing the number of deaths (237 deaths in 2007)
Visit the Humane Borders Website.

20090114

Caring for your Body

Caring for your Body During Pregnancy



Weight Gain
Why should you gain about 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy? It's important to gain that weight so your baby will be healthy. You should not try to diet now.
In the first three months, you may put on about fourt to six pounds. After that, you'll gain about one pound each week. You should keep track of your weight. Your doctor will also check it.
You'll need a little more food now, so be sure to eat well every day.

Your uterus
During pregnancy, your baby, or fetus, is growing inside your uterus, or womb. Your uterus will stretch and change as your baby gets bigger.
The opening of the uterus is called the cervix. The cervix will get softer during pregnancy to make the birth easier.
While you are pregnant, you may feel little cramps in your uterus. They are the Braxton Hicks contractions and are normal and healthy.

Changes to your skin
Some women get brownish marks on their face, upper lip, forehead, nose, and around the eyes. This is called a pregnancy mask. You may also get a dark line right down the middle of your belly, along the linea alba. For most women, the spots and the line fade after the baby is born.
Many women get stretch marks. These are pink, brown, or purplish streaks in the skin. You may see them on your breasts, stomach, buttocks, and thighs. Stretch marks usually fade over time after the baby is born.

Food Cravings
During your pregnancy you might start craving foods that are not very healthy for you. Talk with your doctor if you find that you want to eat anything unusual, such as dirt or clay, which could be unhealthy for you and your baby. This is called pica.
Some of the foods you used to love may not taste good to you now. The sight and smell of other foods may even make you feel sick. If this happens, choose other healthy foods instead.

Constipation and hemorrhoids
If you have a hard time having a bowel movement, it may help to eat more fresh fruits, bran cereals, vegetables, and whole grain breads. Drink plenty of water every day. Daily exercise, such as walking, may also help.
You may also get hemorrhoids. These are swollen veins in your rectum. Take a warm bath. Try putting an ice pack, a cool, wet washcloth, or witch hazel pads on the hemorrhiods. If they bleed or hurt, ask your health care provider to look at them.
Some of these changes aren't very comfortable. But after your baby arrives, you probably won't think about the hard times at all.

20090113

Is your lunch causing global warming?

Yes. Yes it is.

With every meal you eat you have the power to reduce climate change.

The food system is responsible for 1/3 of global emissions.

Learn how to reduce your emissions by 25% by visiting the Eat Low Carbon Webpage.

20090109

Things to consider before you get that tattoo

1) MAKE SURE THAT YOUR TATTOO ARTIST HAS CONSIDERABLE EXPERIENCE TATTOOING. The more tattoos your artist has done in the past, the better he/she will be at tattooing.

2) ASK TO SEE HIS/HER PORTFOLIO. If an artist comes up with an excuse as to why he/she doesn't have a portfolio, it's probably because the artist hasn't done enough tattoos to have any good pictures. Or, the artist may not be very good at tattooing and doesn't want to show you (a potential paying customer) the sub-standard tattoo artwork he/she has done in the past.

3) ASK THE ARTIST IF HE/SHE HAS EXPERIENCE TATTOOING LETTERING. Tattooing Ambigrams (and pretty much all other lettering) requires a very steady hand and someone who is extremely good at straight lines. Be sure that his/her portfolio work shows good, straight lines as opposed to shaky, wavy lines.

4) MAKE SURE THAT THE ARTIST USES A THERMAL-FAX MACHINE TO TRANSFER THE STENCIL TO YOUR SKIN BEFORE TATTOOING. Unless your artist is Michaelangelo or Von Dutch, don't let him/her free-hand the stencil. A thermal-fax stencil will ensure a perfect foundation for your tattoo. Don't settle for anything less!

5 ) A CHEAP TATTOO ISN'T GOOD, AND A GOOD TATTOO ISN'T CHEAP! Just because the shop across town will do your tattoo for fifty bucks less DOES NOT mean you will get the same high quality tattoo as you will from a good, experienced artist. In the end, a good tattoo that will hold up over time is worth way more than the fifty bucks you thought you'd save at the time.

6) TATTOO ARTISTS ARE INTELLIGENT, HELPFUL, AND CREATIVE HUMANS. Listen to their suggestions in terms of placement, color, size, etc. They know what they're talking about and will want you to love your tattoo; and they know how to make it the best it could possibly be.



20090108

Death, Death,and more Death

There is plenty of death and destruction to go around. Cuidad Juarez Mexico is no exception. Saw this on Facebook, written by Astrid Galvan (2009), please read it:
My cousin carries two wallets at all times. One has his belongings -- driver's license, credit cards, etc. The other simply holds a $20 bill and is strictly for if and when he gets robbed. His sister, Reyna, who by the way made my life miserable as a child (Reyna means Queen in English and she certainly lived up to her name), would rather suck it up if she's sick than go to go a clinic filled with armed federal soldiers. They may or may not be the enemy, she says.
And if for some reason either of them see a car speed up directly next to them, they know exactly what to do -- slow down or get shot.
This is they life my cousins and the 1.5 million other residents of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, live every day.
Well, at least during daytime, because when night falls the once busy streets of the largest city in the largest state of Mexico are empty.
After a year of beheadings and hanging corpses over grade schools and newspaper offices, more than 1600 murdered people later, they've figured it out.
The merciless killings have gone beyond what started as a territorial war between drug cartels.
The brutal killings (brutal in the sense that people are beheaded and left in busy streets rolled in carpets while their heads appear in different places) have blended their way in between the crackdown on cartels by the government; on police by the government; on police by the cartels; and on cartels by police. Or something like that.
It goes in circles, really, and nobody knows where or how it stops. But, it's happening, and it's happening in a city a mere 15-minute drive from anywhere in El Paso and an even shorter walk over a much-traveled bridge. Granted, Juarez hasn't been a particularly safe place in a long time (anyone remember the 400 or so murdered women left in the desert?). But the gravity of the situation is beyond what most of us understand. Hundreds of murdered police officers, dealers, innocent bystanders, kidnapping victims… you name it.
The city is literally lawless.
Still, my cousins try to live their lives as normally as possible. They keep a sense of humor and crack jokes about the situation, even though behind the laugh a slight tremor fills their voices. The truth is, up until I saw my cousins my concern (those who know me would call it an obsession) over Juarez and the rest of Mexico hardly regarded them. I hadn't seen them in years and they honestly just weren't at the forefront of my mind.
But when I sat there and heard my cousins tell it like it is first hand, on Christmas, a day after bitching about the shitty economy and work, it really hit hard.
It reminded me of everything I'm so blessed to have and how lucky I am that most of my family made the trek to the other side of the bridge. And I remembered why I rant to anyone who will listen about Mexico, and who Felipe Calderon is, and Juarez, and how many people were murdered in drug-related violence in Mexico in 2008 (5,376, double the amount last year, according to Mexico's attorney general).
There’s a reason why I don’t shut up about it and why it’s constantly on my mind. These are not just my people. They are our neighbors. They are humans. They need help. I know there’s a million other conflicts in the world, and I get it if you don’t care.
But if you could get anything from this corny confession I can’t believe I’m actually posting on Facebook, I hope it’s the knowledge that there is a real war happening just south of us.
If you don’t think you’re directly affected by it, you’re wrong.
If you wanna learn more, the LA Times has really good coverage, Surprisingly, so does the El Paso Times, so read it.
http://projects.latimes.com/mexico-drug-war/#/its-a-war
http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/
http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_11364479


20090107

Is baby getting enough?

Is my baby getting enough?

These things will tell you if your newborn is getting enough breast milk:

  • After your milk comes in, your new baby has about six to eight wet diapers and at least three mustard-color bowel movements every day.


  • Your baby gains an average of four to seven ounces a week, or at least one pound a month after the first week.


  • Your baby nurses often - about every two to three hours. That makes 8 to 12 times a day. The more you nurse, the more milk your body makes.


  • Your baby looks healthy. Baby has good color and is alert and active. If you think your baby isn't getting enough milk, talk to the doctor.


20090106

Energy Saving Winter Tips

Energy Saving Winter Tips
  • Replacing or cleaning filters can reduce dust and save 5% in heating costs.

  • Opening up drapes and blinds on windows with southern exposure lets the sun in, heating your home for free.

  • Fireplaces pull heated air out of the house so use it sparingly and be sure the damper is closed when it's not in use.

  • Moister air feels warmer, so by adding a humidifier you can set your thermostat lower to help you save money.

  • Place a piece of paper between the door and frame and shut the door - if you can pull the paper out without tearing it, you should weather-strip around the door.

  • Save 5% on your electricity bill by making sure there's no lint in your dryer lint trap before you hit the dry cycle

  • Give it away instead of throwing it away. It's called freecycling and it keeps landfills from loading up on things someone else could use. Find or a start a local group at freecycyle.org

  • Pay your bills electronically. In addition to helping you become a prompt payer, which will help your credit score, you'll also be protecting yourself from identity thieves who peruse curbside mailboxes for personal information. And because you'll be ale to make payments later in your billing cycle, your money will have more time to earn interest.

  • Buy fresh instead of canned. If every US household chose one pound of fresh fruit instead of jarred or canned for just three months, the total energy saved could operate kitchen appliances of over 21,000 households for an entire year.



20090102

What bailout money?

Where did that $700 billion go?

You know, from the bank bailout of '08.

Matt Apuzzo says that none of the banks have provided answers.

This is just another reason why you should have no faith in your Democrat or Republican politicians. They have not shown the Amerikan people any reason to trust them. Those politicians just gave $700 billion that they didn't have to banks that will not say how they will use the money.

Read the article.
Where'd the bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret