Yellow & White Diet

My daughter Luísa is now on a yellow and white diet. She’s been only eating bread, rice, pasta, chicken, and potatoes. For fruit, she’s all about bananas (some days she will have three – making my nutritional worry be gone for the rest of the day, I can’t really explain this feeling) and apples. And lots of milk that she serves herself to the point it’s just annoying. The colorful exceptions are tomatoes and watermelon.

As monotonous as this looks, it has foods from the main four groups needed every day: cereals and potatoes; fruit and vegetables; milk and dairy foods; meat, fish, and alternatives. I do get stressed about her diet and think she needs more diversity, more colors. What happened to old spinach she used to like?

But somehow I trust her diet, or rather I got tired of trying to make her eat what she doesn’t want.  She manages what goes inside her body in a satisfactory way. She is healthy after all.

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New Technology

The Internet and related technologies are changing the securities business. Buzzwords such as “investor empowerment,” “democratization,” and “paradigm shift” only begin to suggest the extent to which the industry is being transformed. But if technology is the driver, regulatory change is the pit crew.

Consider a few recent examples. A couple of years ago, Congress repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, eliminating barriers between commercial banks such as Citibank and investment firms such as Salomon Smith Barney. Later, Congress was debating whether to repeal the ban on trading single stock futures (surrogates for the underlying securities) and which set of laws – securities, commodities, or both – would apply to that area of trading.

U.S. exchanges shredded trading in fractions in favor of decimals. In the following years, the securities settlement cycle shrunk from three days to one day, dramatically reducing risk in the financial system. Eventually, a security may trade globally and continuously as firms pass their trading book from closing markets to open markets.

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The $100K trigger finger

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Six Million Dollar Man, and most of us have eaten a Hundred Grand Bar (the candy bar formerly known as the Hundred Thousand Dollar Bar). But what about the Hundred Thousand Dollar Trigger Finger?

This story concerns an acquaintance of mine who is a sworn officer for a state law-enforcement agency. One weekend, while doing a little home improvement, he accidentally cut off the tip of his right index finger, just above the first knuckle. Since the guy is right-handed, his right index finger is his trigger finger—a fairly important digit for someone in law enforcement.

After the accident, he and the severed fingertip were rushed to the hospital. The doctors called in a hand specialist—there’s a specialist for every body part, apparently—who attempted to re-attach the finger. The hand specialist was unsuccessful, so he called in a plastic surgeon to sew up the shortened digit in a way that would minimize scarring. All in all, my acquaintance spent two nights in the hospital.

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Why Does Time Fly

Why did whoever invented time decide to be against me in every possible way?

  1. Each and every weekend flies by in a blur of food, kisses, Netflix series and a general good time.
  2. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get everything done in the day at work.
  3. When I know I’m attending a meeting, course, training afternoon, the time seems to stop for the few hours I’m attending.
  4. I was all proud of myself Friday morning when I woke up in New York, pulled on my running clothes, and left the vacation house for a run.  And then I got two feet up the cliff of a driveway and thought I would die.  I huffed and puffed (walking) to the top of the steepest part of the cliff, then got myself running again.
  5.  So here I am back at home, completely covered in scratches and bruises.  I can’t tell which injuries are from my “run,” and which are from my hot tub antics.  I’m pretty much a mess.
  6. I’m due back at the gym tomorrow, and I’m sitting here thinking to myself, “Maybe next day, maybe now let’s take another test… ha ha ha, Am I just looking for a reason to sleep in a little tomorrow?

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A million miles from stress, but only 500 yards from the highway

The other day, while shopping, I got a craving for licorice allsorts, actually I’d been craving them for days, and decided to satisfy it right then. However, the only licorice allsorts I could find, came in a giant box, like the sort of box one might find under the Christmas tree. I briefly considered going to another store, hoping they would have something smaller because I don’t need a whole kilogram of licorice allsorts. But going to another store was not in my plan, so I thought, what the hey, and I bought them.

I managed to eat quite a few on the drive home. Feeling somewhat sick I hid them in the bottom of the freezer, forgetting all about them until today. So HELP ME, because now I’m forced to blog about my licorice allsorts self-made addiction, in a supreme effort to take my mind away from eating every last one of them right now! Continue reading “A million miles from stress, but only 500 yards from the highway”

Books. Massey lectures and Margaret Atwood

More than two years ago I packed all my books into boxes in preparation for moving. They sat in the basement of our new house until today. They withstood a flood when the connection in one of the water pipes blew apart luckily the plumber was still on contract so he fixed it the next day although he did nothing for the books.

The years the books spent in boxes compressed by other books in boxes was such that some of the paperbacks buckled and curled I hope they straighten out on the shelves.

Having all my books in boxes was a pain. I was constantly being reminded of some book I wanted to get a quote from, or reread, or lend to a friend. I was forced too go down into the basement, rummage around in the boxes, in desperation throwing books aside trying to remember which book the particular author quote was in. The book I wanted to lend to a friend was always in the last box I looked in. Now they are all on shelves I’m looking forward to rearranging them, perhaps this time by the author.

As usual, we managed to fill two boxes with discards, books I know I will never read again. I only keep books I read more than once. I only try to buy books I think I want to read more than once. Sometimes I make a mistake. Continue reading “Books. Massey lectures and Margaret Atwood”

Finding Inspiration

Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal Vegetable Miracle is about a family’s year-long experiment to produce all their own food or buy whatever they couldn’t produce from local sources. Usually small farms like their own and farmers markets. Sometimes their definition of local had to be expanded to include their whole state or another country for food like coffee and tea produced under a Fair Trade agreement.

I enjoyed this book. It inspired me to want to really take up vegetable gardening in a big way, try and plant as much food as possible so as to avoid buying out of season produce at the supermarket. Because if you are eating right you will not be eating tomatoes from Mexico in February. With a freezer, you would have been able to freeze your tomatoes in August, when they were ripe, for use in stews and soups all year long.

For a while, I was almost convinced to buy some laying hens and a couple of roosters. Robert soon set me straight by pointing out how much of a hassle it would be finding someone to look after them when we wanted to go away. Continue reading “Finding Inspiration”

Green Living and air-conditioned SUV for one

To celebrate the end of my two-week stint of full-time work, a biggie for me, we are going to blow our climate action dividend cheques on dinner in an expensive restaurant.

On Wednesday I listened to a program on CBC. The minister responsible for the carbon tax on gasoline, the resulting lower taxes meant to offset the carbon tax and a $100 dollar cheque for each tax paying British Columbian, was defending his governments attempt to force us to adopt greener habits. According to the minister, this means something like blowing the entire climate action dividend cheque on low energy light bulbs, weatherize our doors and windows, getting our car tuned up. You get the picture.
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Tromping up and down the mountain. Good to the last second

I’m back from tromping up mountains, every steep pitch, then down again, through hellebore covered slopes, slipping backward onto my butt more times than I care to remember, Fat hellebore leaves are a bitch to walk on especially when the slope is steep. Luckily there was enough snow and lateral moraines to keep things interesting.

Sometimes flowers like Valarian, Paintbrush Fleabane, Aster, Potentilla, Columbine and bog Orchids managed to push their way up between the hellebore leaves filling the meadows with color.

The hike leader packed two boxes of red wine for us all to enjoy thus our campfire conversations were lively and fun until my eyelids shut and I had to pry them open with my fingers so I could see through the gloaming, back to my tent. Yesterday, the third day, we came down the Red Mountain trail. I was reminded of all the skiing I have done there and all the skiing I have yet to do there. This slope is usually covered in snow not hellebores. Continue reading “Tromping up and down the mountain. Good to the last second”

I would like to have a mentor like Robert Weaver

I had never heard of Robert Weaver until a couple of days ago. I was plugged into my iPhone while I did housework, the Ideas podcast came on and I learned Robert Weaver had devoted over fifty years of his life to nurturing the development of Canadian literature. As I listened I realized almost all of Canada’s literary talent had been influenced by this men.

I felt almost jealous as I listened to Alice Munro or Alice Laidlaw as she was known back in 1951, tell her story about her business relationship with Weaver.

Munro had heard Weaver was looking for short stories to read aloud on his CBC radio program, Anthology. She wrote him a letter and included two of her stories. He wrote back suggesting ways she could improve them and subsequently bought them both. Munro says, “That was probably the greatest moment of my life,” appearing in print and being paid for the privilege. Continue reading “I would like to have a mentor like Robert Weaver”