Sunday, June 1, 2014

The American Dream Raffle

It was for a good cause, but I could only afford one ticket for the Washington State Special Olympics Dream House Raffle. The grand prize was a huge house on a lake or four million dollars.

I began to wonder how the winning entries were picked and since there was no limit on the number of tickets an individual could purchase I guessed the odds would be greatest for the person who bought the most tickets. Still, there is always one chance for a lone ticket to be picked, right?

Yesterday was the final drawing. I went to the website and looked down the list of winners and saw that no one whose last name began with the same two letters as mine was even on the list. That tiny detail was an added paper-cut to my already dashed hopes.

The concept of a raffle drawing makes a pretty good economic metaphor. Most people live below the threshold of risk-cost-effectiveness for lack of a better term. In other words, they don't earn enough money to stay out of debt and save for future emergencies or retirement, let alone risking some money for a chance at success.

Like a raffle, there is one chance that you will start a business that takes off to make you prosperous, but the odds are greatest that you will be swept away in the tsunami of competition by vertically integrated multinational conglomerates. If you have enough money to throw away on the one-time chance so that losing your business won't hurt you, then you are one of the lucky few who could say you gave it a shot and it didn't ruin your future.

A lot of people take that risk in the form of a college loan. Gambling that their chosen field of study will get them ahead in the world, but tuition costs, loan debt, unemployment, and the odds that the chosen career path becomes obsolete just before graduation takes a terrible toll.

So congratulations to the winners of the raffle. I wonder how many of them purchased only one ticket?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Carbohydrates made me hungry every two hours.

 I couldn't understand why I was hungry all the time. It seemed no matter how much I ate I was at the refrigerator on schedule, every two hours. I started dieting. I thought I was being healthy by filling soft, wheat tortillas with shredded vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, etc., and just using a little salad dressing, yet again I found myself hungry every two hours. I figured now that I was limiting myself to vegetables I should be okay.
I stopped drinking everything but water in June of 2012. I stopped putting creamer and sweetener in my coffee and I actually enjoy it more because after drinking coffee with creamer and sweetener, my stomach hurt and I had to eat something. Nearly everything is sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup. After I quit the creamers and sweeteners I was no longer hungry for something to eat right away.
I learned that all Carbohydrates are converted into sugar by the Liver. Here's a nutrition label for pure granulated sugar: href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5592/2
Note that one teaspoon of pure granulated sugar has 4 grams of Carbohydrates. We can reverse-engineer how many teaspoons of sugar we eat by looking at the nutrition label for a Wheat Tortilla, about 10 inches in diameter: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/baked-products/5120/2
The label shows 36 grams of Total Carbohydrates, but by showing Sugars at 1 gram it seems safe, right? Would you eat 9 teaspoons of sugar right now? 

Thom Hartmann also reported on the addiction potential of High Fructose Corn Syrup.



Here's a search link at Thom Hartmann's website about Sugar that may shock you. http://www.thomhartmann.com/search?keys=sugar

Friday, February 7, 2014

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

It seems like a healthy meal, but peanut butter, bread and bananas contain significantly higher amounts of Carbohydrates, Sodium and Sugar. I had one about two hours ago and I still feel full from it. It was under 500 Calories. Worth mentioning.

Nutrition Data
Name Calories Carbs Sodium Sugar
Peanut Butter 188 6g 5mg 3g
Bread 180 12g 132mg 2g
Banana 105 27g 1mg 14g
Total 473 45g 138mg 19g

My current weight is maintained by an estimated daily intake near 3000 calories, Seems a bit high, but because I have no way of accurately calculating the burn rate, I would need to pay strict attention to my intake over an extended period of time for which I have no patience.

Overlooking the other nutrition details like carbohydrates, sodium and sugar can be troublesome in the long-term.

Sources:
Self/Nutrition Data: Banana, whole, medium. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2
Self/Nutrition Data: Bread, Whole Wheat, commercially prepared. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/baked-products/4876/2
Self/Nutrition Data: Peanut Butter, smooth style, without salt. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4453/2

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's a mid-term election year and you need to vote.

It looks like the Internet is winning the retail shopping war. Some estimates are that sales is increasing by a few hairs indicating some sort of consumer recovery.

Not so much for Macy's, cutting 2500 jobs, and JC Penney. CNN reports the company is cutting 2000 jobs and closing 33 stores. The list of stores sound like towns you might hear announced at a Grey Hound bus station, maybe not an Amtrak train station. Small towns long-decimated by Walmart super centers.

I lived near some of these towns where the stores are closing. I imagine these are very old buildings already in blighted neighborhoods. Some entire towns are blighted, probably because everyone in town stocks shelves or loads up the deep fryer during the week and makes popcorn on the weekends for minimum wage.

The piss-poor economy is reverberating back up the pipes far enough to wreak havoc on the financial system with even more Bad Corporate News. Best Buy sales dropped, there is an overabundance of retail inventory, which was falsely reported as a story that merchants were stocking extra inventory due to confidence in a growing economy.

Unemployment failed to pass in the Senate because the Republicans are playing politics by obfuscating between claims of not getting the amendments they want and the claim of not having the money to pay for it.

Not enough people are turning out to vote for mid-term elections and it has destroyed the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. If you didn't vote, it's your fault.