finger tooth

I have an infected middle finger. How I got it I have no idea. I went to the dermatologist. Hopefully, I will be able to tolerate the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor and my finger will heal quickly.

Worse, I also have to have a tooth extracted. The tooth has 2 large, deep cavities and cannot be saved. My dentist also wants me to take an antibiotic, prior to the extraction.

Antibiotics. Finger. Tooth.

I started taking the antibiotic. Three days later, I was just about to leave for my dental extraction when my stomach attacked me. I got an upset stomach. A very upset stomach. I could not leave the house. I had to cancel my dental procedure. It was probably a reaction/side effect of the antibiotics for my infected finger that caused the severe stomach upset. I had been taking the antibiotic for 3 days and thought I would be able continue to tolerate it with few/no side effects. I was wrong. On the third day my stomach attacked me.

I have always had stomach problems while taking antibiotics. I was hoping this time would be different. It wasn’t. A day later I was still having stomach discomfort.

I called my “finger doctor” and he changed me to another antibiotic. Shortly after I started taking the newly prescribed antibiotic I became a bit dizzy. I looked it up; dizziness is one of the "common" side effects of this drug. Common? Already-sick-people getting dizzy, nauseous, possibly falling down, falling over while sitting - as a result of taking this drug? That’s “common”? Not to me!

I have to take an antibiotic for both my infected finger and before my tooth extraction. But I have an upset stomach side effect or dizziness that may not end as long as I take the antibiotics. And my dentist can't/won't do the tooth extraction if I stop taking an antibiotic before the procedure - but I’m too sick with antibiotic side effects to leave the house ... and may be too dizzy to drive!

I can't stop taking the antibiotic and I can't leave the house and go to the doctor and the dentist if I don't stop the medication. A bad news dilemma.

The good news is, at the moment, my finger and my tooth do not hurt. The other good news is that there is a California lottery tonight and I can win $150 million.

Probiotics are for women only

I had to take antibiotics for a finger infection. Antibiotics also destroys the "good" bacteria in my stomach et al. It messed me up. I started taking probiotics to restore the good bacteria. I went to the supermarket to see what they had. I wanted the liquid not the solid pill-like probiotic or the yogurty stuff. The flavors of the available liquid probiotics were very limited and not what I wanted.

Hmm. Are probiotic drinks marketing mainly to women? Yes, I think so. Why do I think that? Because the flavors of probiotics are mostly "girly" flavors: fruity flavors like peach, mango, pomegranate, lemon cayenne, and an icky tasting strawberry (yes, I tried it, it was icky).

Do real men want to drink fruity flavored probiotics? Not really. Real men would prefer flavors like beer, hamburger, steak, potato chip and yummy stuff like that. I know I would.

high school

Ah, high school. I remember it well. I was a young man, still a boy. Awkward and hormonal.

I did not like most school subjects, they were boring and had nothing to do with being useful in real life. Chemistry? Why did I have to learn and memorize the Periodic Table of Elements? I was not going to become a chemist. Algebra? When is the last time I needed to know, and use, algebra?

Due to disinterest and boredom, I got mostly “C’s” in high school. I did just enough work to get my high school diploma. And to get into a college.

The best thing about going to high school for me was the socialization with other students. And graduation. And girls.

What is the purpose of high school? Training your brain? Learning to use your brain? Preparing you for life? By memorizing a bunch of dates in history or a bunch of stuff you will never use again after high school? If you want to know something, look it up on the internet. You don't even need to use your brain anymore, just use the internet. The internet has replaced thinking and learning. In my day, you had to learn everything the old fashioned way - using your brain - there were no calculators, no cell phones, no internet. Today, you don't need a brain, you just need social media!

In spite of being a mediocre student (and only excelling in the few subjects I liked) as an adult, I turned out OK. Better than OK. School was not the reason I turned out OK. School didn't develop me, I developed myself. With the help of my parents. Maybe it’s more important (or equally important) that a kid learns good values from his parents than gets straight “A’s” in school and/or is an asshole for the rest of his/her life. Yes, if that kid is taught good values at home and also does well in school that's even better, a big plus. However, the ultimate goal of life is not good grades. The ultimate goal of life is happiness.

supermarket germs


Your Supermarket May Be Carrying More Germs Than Your Toilet

It is a fact that most groceries from supermarkets are haunted by germs notwithstanding the fascinating shopping ambiance and pride of brands they provide.

According to Charles Gerba, one of the leading microbiologists at the University of Arizona there are many avenues through which microbes are piggybacking on produce without the buyer knowing it.

The germ exposure is highest in meat containers where they breed fast.

Gerba lists out the top germy things in supermarkets which people usually encounter.

Shopping Cart Handle
It may be recalled that bulk of the germs is transmitted through hands during the purchase of grocery at the shopping cart handles, where too much of bacteria load up from the touch of different people. Wiping the handle is most important, notes Gerba. He advises using sanitizing wipes at the store's entry or carrying own wipes to stay secure.

Produce Aisle
Fresh produce section often doubles up as a hub of germs as an easy point of entry for germs into handles. "I don't know anyone who buys produce without squeezing or touching it," said Gerba. The expert also cautions against buying produce that is cut or torn as they are easy passages of germs. Gerba recommends buying perfect produce that is not split or opened in any manner.

Meat And Seafood
For the discerning buyer buying meat, poultry, or seafood must be after satisfying that packaging is fault free. If packaging is torn, it is good to forego the item as outlets invite germs. Gerba suggests a double-bagging for meat and seafood before loading it onto the cart and keeping them separate from other produce to avoid cross-contamination.

Canned Food Products
A study by public health safety group NSF International has suggested mandatory damage-checking on the part of shoppers who are buying boxed and canned goods. It also gives the tip that no swollen or leaking cans must be bought as the likelihood of bacteria contamination will be high, including Clostridium botulinum that causes botulism.

Fresh Produce At Checkout Belts
There must be special alert regarding putting fresh produce on the checkout belt of supermarkets as the belts offer a field day for germs. This is because poultry, fresh fish, ground meat, and tuna are carrying nutrients that feed the germs on the grocery belt which later extend to the fresh produce.

OMG. Germy supermarkets. Ugh. I wonder if that also applies for "health food" markets?

Harmful nasty germs are everywhere and on everything. It's a wonder we're not all ill. Or germophobes.

After reading the above I'm never going food shopping again. Oh, wait a minute, if I don't go to the supermarket I'll starve. Hmm. Deadly germs or starvation. What a choice!

Why I am not fat

I maintain a good weight. A healthy weight. Many, many years after high school, I weigh only 15-20 pounds more. As of this writing, I weigh 161 pounds. Why am I not overweight? Many people, of all ages, seem to be overweight. Or obese. Not me. Why am I not fat?

There is one word which answers the question. Vanity. I am vain. That means that, when I look in the mirror, when I look at my body, I want to like what I see. I want to see a non-overweight person. I want to see a non-obese person. I want to see a not-fat person. I care what I look like. Is that being vain? Yes. Like I said, I'm vain.

OK, so how do I stay thin? I eat the occasional burger and fries, pizza, some ice cream. And cake. So why am I not 30, 40, 50 pounds or more overweight? Here's why ...

Years ago, I made a deal with myself. I noticed that if I gain 5 pounds (and I often do) my jeans get tight. If I continue to gain weight my jeans won't fit at all and I'll have to buy a larger size. That's my deal. I will NOT buy a larger size pair of pants. No matter what. And I do not, will not, wear stretch fabric pants. That means if I continue to eat and add pounds, my jeans will get so tight they will HURT! Then, I will have a choice. I can either continue to live in pain OR I can a few pounds. I will NOT buy a larger size pair of pants.

Hmm. What do I do? As I am a graduate of a hospital program which also involved nutrition training, I am able to understand basic nutrition and weigh gain. At my height and age, I should eat 2,000-2,500 calories a day. If I'm gaining weight (or not losing weight) I want to find out which food(s) are causing it. I go by the old adage: calories in, calories out. In other words, if I take in a lot more calories than I burn, it will cause weight gain. Simple. SOMETHING is causing weight gain or weight maintaining. So, in order to control my weigh gain, the first thing I want to do is figure out which food(s) is adding, or maintaining, extra pounds. How do I do that? First, I make a list. I write down everything I have been eating. Everything. Then, I look up the caloric content - and the amount of saturated fat, the sugar and the carb content of each food. If the info is not on the food label, or I don't have the label, I look it up online. I see which food(s) has a lot of calories, etc. I find the culprit(s). Then I eat less of it or stop eating it altogether, and lose the weight. Portion control is also important. And obvious. If your food is falling over the sides of your plate it is a big portion! 5 pounds is easy to lose. I can do it in a week or two. 20 or 30 pounds is not so easy to lose. If, after a 5-pound weight gain, I kept eating, not only would my jeans not fit and cause me great discomfort, it would become increasingly harder to lose the added weight.

And, yes, eating out is a problem; on the menu you can't always know the calorie et al content of the food AND the portions are often huge. And, if you try to eat healthy in a restaurant and don't know better, you could order a salad - with REGULAR dressing - which can be as bad as eating unhealthy food!

Also, when shopping at the supermarket, read the label. Look at the nutritional values. Pay attention to the calories, the fat, the carbs and sugar. Know what you're eating.

I also realized, early in life, that it is easy to gain weight. It's not difficult to be overweight. Or obese. It sneaks up on you. And it takes years to become grossly overweight or obese. Let's say, from my current non-fat weight, I gained a mere 1 pound a week. Every week. That would be a weight gain of 50 pounds in a year. And, if I kept going at that rate, three years later I would be 150 pounds overweight. If I kept going, at 1 pound a week weight gain, in 5 years I would be 250 pounds overweight! I would weigh over 400 pounds. It's very hard to lose that much weight! And it would take years. And it's unhealthy. That's why I stop at 5 pounds. A 5-pound weight loss is very manageable.

How do I know when I've gained 5 pounds? I strip down to my underwear and look in the mirror. I see belly fat. I see love handles. I see a fatter tush. Then I weigh myself. Yep, I gained about 5 pounds. And my jeans are getting noticeably tight. Time to lose a few pounds. If you do the mirror thing every week, you will catch the "5-pound fat increase".

Besides the obvious health benefits, not being overly heavy makes me feel - and look - better. And I do want to feel and look better. Because I deserve it. Because I am vain. And, yes, I exercise. I walk. Every day. Outdoors, weather permitting. As I live in Los Angeles, that means about suitable weather for about 350 days a year. I walk the equivalent of 9 football/soccer fields daily. Well, not always daily, sometimes I take Sundays off. My walk takes only about 20 minutes, short enough to not be boring. And I use the walking time to decompress, and to think. Walking is not only a good exercise, it also produces emotional and mental "clarity" - and some of my best thoughts and ideas have come during these walks!

So, due to my "deal with myself", my weight varies by only a few pounds. In fact, right now, as a result of eating "too" healthy and too little, I am a few pounds under my normal weight. I am going to put on a few pounds. Now that's a problem people WANT to have!

Vanity. That's why I am not obese. That's why I am not overweight. That's why I am not fat. Vanity. Vanity is my friend. Vanity keeps me healthier and looking good. I'm vain. I deserve to look and feel good. So do you! If you want to lose weight, and look better and feel better - a LOT better - first see a health care professional. Is that important? Yes. How important? Very.

Lose weight. Start now. Make a list of your usual daily food intake. Find the culprit(s). And do NOT buy a bigger pair of pants.