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Freak Hurricane Hits South Dakota!
Details at 11!

Back in the Third World

I spent the month of August on the East Coast, visiting friends and picking up the threads of old activities. Many thanks to Tony Lewis and Marsha Jones, who took turns hosting me. I played some volleyball, dined at good restaurants, and was introduced to Anime by Alice Lewis. I bought several cases of very good wine for transport back to South Dakota and books that won’t get read until Winter.

Having refreshed my soul I returned back to the third world. Rural SD may not technically be a third world country but it is about as close as you can get to being third world and still be within the geographic boundaries of the US.

Put it this way: The nearest movie theater is 50 miles away. The nearest large bookstore is 200 miles away. You can buy houses for thirty to fifty thousand dollars. I could, if I chose, live comfortably on my social security. The local cuisine is grease. The news on the TV stations seldom reaches much beyond the borders of SD – the Minnesota Twins are the only team playing baseball.

And the bad news is …

The bad news is that I came home to discover that my hard disk had crashed. It isn’t totatlly gone – most of the files are still there – but it has some bad sectors and the OS was enthusiastically making mush out of everything it touched. I bought a hard disk and made the old one a slave. I have been busy rebuilding and recovering my system, along with catching up on my email, and sundry. In the mean time the grass needs mowing again. It seems that the great SD drought ended a couple of days after I left for New England. They got lots of rain while I was gone (and a fair amount since I have returned). The rains were too late for the crops but they certainly turned the country side green.

September 11

As my astute readers will have realized (all of my readers are astute) that I have chosen to update my site on the anniversary of the WTC attack. This is mostly happenstance – the eleventh was about the earliest I could get my web site updated.

It behooves me, I suppose, to say something about the event although there is little that I can say that is not being already said by someone else, said, no doubt, much better than I could say it. Credit me with the apropriate sentiments of the day – none-the-less it was an excellent day to have the TV turned off.

Fat boy slims down

Currently I am at 189 and am still losing weight, albeit at a slower pace these days. I would like to lose another ten to fifteen pounds; I figure that I will be there at the end of the year – sort of a nice xmas present to myself.

I had expected that I would gain a few pounds on the trip; instead I lost a few, that despite having dined very well at some rather nice restaurants. The secret to dining well and not gaining weight is the obvious – eat small portions. American restaurants are your enemy; they rather consistently serve too much food.

For those interested (according to surveys, at any particular moment half of American females and a quarter of American males are trying to lose weight – I expect some of my readers must be interested) my “secret” is simple: I don’t diet. Instead I eat as much as I want of low calorie foods. I nosh a lot on things like carrots and apples. I don’t eat fried foods, candy, desserts, and snack foods like chips. Once or twice a month I might have a small ice cream cone.

That’s the input side of the equation. On the output side I get a lot of physical activity. I walk at least an hour a day. I do a couple of hours of physical labor, and some calisthenics. The idea is that there is more room on the output side of the equation. When I play couch potato I burn about 2200 calories a day; when I am physically active I burn about 2700 calories a day. If I eat 1700 calories a day that’s 1000 calories shortfall per day, which works out to about two pounds per week. There is more room on the output side of equation – you can burn 6000 calories a day if you are into intense physical activity.

So much for the weight saga. Oh yes, the other day I took all my size 40, 42, and 43 pants and gave them away to the local charity. That was a rewarding moment.

This page was last updated September 11, 2002.
It was reformatted and moved May 15, 2006.

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