Saturday, June 21, 2014

Might As Well Face It, You're Addicted to....


Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It's been 6 hours that I've been on this computer looking at pictures of cute babies and cats, tweets that don't concern me, "selfies", quotes, cartoons, disturbing videos, tutorials, Life Coaching posts, defending and explaining my Faith to strangers, giving unrequested and unheeded advice, playing games and following other people's lives.  I know waaaaayy too much about some people and what's happening in their lives. It's become like watching a serial soap opera. What do I do??! A day that I'm given can disappear like a snap through loss of time-awareness. I can't imagine if I were more mobile with this on a phone and able to stay 'connected', I'd never get anything done! Thank GOD, I only have a text and call phone! What is wrong with me?

There's nothing wrong with me...or you.

We have been absorbed by the black boxes offered to us for our pleasure. And that's what we want, right? Pleasure?

As long as we're receiving some payback of pleasure in the activities, we'll continue to buy, sign-up, listen, and pay. Which pleasure it is remains an individual choice. It may be competition in a game and winning. It may be learning info that's new and valuable to you or trying to find it's usefulness in your life. It may be the positive feedback you receive or merely the attention. It may be a replacement of direct human interaction. It may be a physical pleasure through pornography. It could be to fill the boredom of the day. It could be the laugh you need that day or the 'nosiness' in us all. It may satisfy a need to feel like a part of the world and everything in it yet not be in it.

The only problem is that it's a false pleasure we're getting.  It's actually pulling us farther apart from one another. You can stand in any space, indoor or outdoor, today, with others all around you and feel alone and ignored. Why? Because everyone is looking down at a device and not at you...or the car coming. You could be that cute guy trying to get the girl's attention but she's busy texting that she never meets anyone nice.

What happened before we could immediately call or text every single thought we had throughout the day? We kept our mouths shut. We used all of our senses. We noticed our surroundings. We looked at others. We talked to strangers. We didn't over-share but to those closest to us. And, we had people who were close to us. Everyone was our brother or sister, but everyone wasn't our friend or follower. We were content to wait to call someone when we got to a phone, we called them back if they didn't answer, if it was important. We didn't work ourselves up into a frightened, perceived insult because they didn't answer or call us back within a certain time. We just thought, "Oh, they must not be home or must be busy. I'll try later.".

Being fooled by that pseudo-pleasure can lead to emotional ups and downs and instability of emotions in every area of our lives. That adrenaline builds up and doesn't come down for a while and we remain in an almost constant fight-or-flight state. We feel anxious and jittery and may lose sleep. We actually believe we can start, build, and maintain healthy relationships across the Internet like that. Think about that and whoever you may be having problems with right now.

I don't know that I'm satisfied with that in my life. In fact, I know I'm not.

We should be focused on a REAL LIFE. I have REAL friends, REAL human beings, that I want to keep in my life. They are the ones I know and have met in person, have known for years, trust, and enjoy their company when we are together. If we are not together, we can 'keep up' with what is new in our lives through these tools, which is great! My pleasure comes from that and seeing their accomplishments and successes in life. I also enjoy seeing the progress people are making in their businesses, with education, with their faith, and growth of any kind. It's inspiring and uplifting and I stay open to meeting new live friends. That is what I should seek more of in my web-time.

My pseudo-pleasure sucks me in with YouTube videos like Bubzvlogz watching her and her husband go through their first pregnancy together. I watch new parents DearNaptural85 and their little one. I get a kick out of that. They are young and it's such a big change to their lives. It's just...nice. But it's become a daily look-out! I don't KNOW these people! It's beginning to feel voyeuristic!

My other is the games. Sigh. I can play for a VERY long time while multi-tasking! So wrong!

So, the upcoming reboot will be limiting the amount of time I'm online to checking email accounts, Facebook and Twitter for updates ONCE PER DAY (I'm not even signed into the other ones!). Games will be limited to 20 minutes, and not daily. I'll set a timer! I'll give myself once per week to check in to YouTube (just to make sure the families are doing well without me, sniff-sniff).

Is there any rebooting you need to do this week?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And/or what?

Update from 6/10/14:

This message is brought to you by the good people at Playtex.

Women, you may know where I'm going with this. They have succumbed to the latest in labeling that makes me want to tear my hair out.

And. Good word. Small word. You envision abundance of good things, extra things, being offered.

Or. It's a smaller word. It offers a choice. That should be a good thing in most situations. Especially if Eddie Izzard is asking you, "Cake or Death?".

These tiny little words have appeared on a box I examined that lists 'ingredients' as "Rayon AND/OR cotton fibers" and string as "Polyester OR cotton". Don't they know which?

What power those little words have! It triggered a fevered search throughout my household for other 'undecided' items we may be using.

The good news is that what we use daily, for the most part, has listed all the ingredients and chemicals that are inside it OR of what it is made. The BAD news is that our food is more fickle.

A quick survey of pantry and refrigerated items came up with the following:

    Coffee-mate (which Hubby won't give up!):  Vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated coconut oil OR palm kernel, hydrogenated soybean)
Jello No-Bake Dessert ( I don't know WHY that is here but has my 2nd highest pet peeve!):  Crust mix - Soybean oil AND/OR Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil

Again, if they don't know...?

OR do they? What is this ambiguity supposed to mean? Is a ruse that hints they are using whatever is cheapest at the time of production? I'm thinking....yes.

Now we all know the main culprits in our diets, currently, to be the excess use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which goes by many names in attempts to sway the consumer, and sodium. However, we must also be aware of the amount of soybean and cottonseed oils we are now consuming, also.

Soft drinks, breads, snack foods, salad dressings, Chips, Miracle Whip (my occasional guilty nostalgic pleasure), crackers, cookies, sauces, mayonnaise, desserts, condiments, seasonings, basically anything made for human and animal consumption, will likely have soybean oil, OR cottonseed oil, OR palm kernel oil, AND/OR HFCS. Why? It's cheap and abundant.

If a little does a little good, a lot will do a lot of...O.K. let's look closer.

The soy bean, in itself, is a good thing with many health benefits when in its naturally processed state, or fermented, in proper amounts, without having been sprayed and fed other chemicals to make them higher producers, of course. This isn't the 1960's Hippy-Soy, Folks. Where soybean products are concerned, I'm concerned. Too much soy is being connected with affecting under-active thyroids, feeding breast cancer, kidney stones, allergies, and interference with medications like antibiotics and blood-thinners.

Here's a little factoid from the USDA:

The United States is the leading soybean producer and exporter. Soybeans comprise about 90 percent of U.S. oilseed production, while other oilseeds--including peanuts, sunflower seed, canola, and flax--make up the remainder.

Supply and Demand at work, here. Guess who, combined, owned over 500,000 acres of soybean crops in 2005? Dupont and Asgrow. Asgrow is a brand owned by Monsanto who owns the 'patent' on the pesticide-resistant soybean crops and weed-killer (Round-up) that legally prevents farmers from growing any seed except Monsanto's (

I've mentioned this in the past. This is another reason I avoid US-grown soy milk and limit, if any, tofu, edamame, miso, soy sauces, liquid smoke, and any other items that cannot have their origin identified. I've found I can, mostly, trust the UK, some Canadian, and Indian processed foods that list and have the fewest ingredients on that list. Basically, if you can't identify it, you shouldn't eat it.

Cottonseed oil is listed often in processed foods, although exactly when cotton became something to eat rather than wear is answered by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. They've concluded that what is left in the processed seed or oil lacks appreciable levels of toxins and pesticide. Good to know. Note: It does NOT say the residue is nonexistent.

Everything in moderation, right?

I used to believe that until I began to read labels. The television ads that advocate HFCS as natural and legally safe are fully aware it's only if you eat and drink a little. Yet they sell to every manufacturer and each food manufacturer not practicing natural organic methods, is putting it in everything processed and sold to you, the consumer.

We need fat in our diets for our health. We don't need the soybean oil (which is Identity-Protected by Monsanto), cottonseed oil (please see above), OR palm kernel oil (which comes from palm 'seeds' which means less palm trees in countries that produce it, therefore, decimation of even more of our natural oxygen-producers).

I see that of my preferred oils, olive, safflower, coconut, grape, and sesame, the cheapest available oil is Canola. I used to wonder what a canola plant looked like. It's a rapeseed plant hybrid, it's said. It wasn't an attractive name for Canada to use. Voila! Canola Oil! Canadian Oil-Low Acid! Oh, I'd love to have been in the Think Tank for that meeting!

After further research of the rapeseed plant which is related to mustard and the cabbage family. I determined through that maybe it's not that bad. They claim it's NOT Genetically Modified but a hybrid of plants. It has health benefits, as do all listed in this post, but I am not convinced that it's being grown without Monsanto's herbicide residue that may be building up in our bodies if we have so many other foods in our diet with additional pesticides. This is in addition to what faces nature, on which we are dependent.

Honey bees exposed to pesticides die. They die, crops die. Crops die, people die.

Before you assume I'm pushing a vegan grow-your-own and boil your water lifestyle, let me say this. Read the labels. Just read the labels. If it's uncertain of what's in it, ask yourself, "Do I feel safe eating this or feeding it to my family?".  Charlie Chaplain, one of my favorite brains, said,

"I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose."

He summed up everything from Art to Food to Faith! I'm no Jada Pinkett Smith who says she doesn't eat for enjoyment. I do! I see the Beauty in the food provided for us. I love the colors and creativity, the tastes, the smells, the variety and will always. I live Life according to letting my Yes be my Yes and my No, my No, keeping it as simple as possible in this generation. How much explaining should our food need? Why should there be any uncertainty of what it includes? If there is an AND/OR I simply walk away from it.

I just had a flashback from School House Rock I'll share with you! Enjoy! Conjunction Junction!