I Have Questions - Burning Questions

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Am I the only one who thinks Garth Brooks' song Standing Outside the Fire is one of the best songs ever written? And why exactly is that? The lyrics are a bit banal, the hook is predictable, but still - LOVE THIS SONG.

How come eating healthy foods is so fucking difficult? You'd think eating whole foods wouldn't require a strategy that rivals D-Day planning. But even finding foods that don't require a chemistry degree to interpret is challenging in urban environments. I know, I know - the answers to these types of questions is almost always "money." That doesn't make it right.

Why are people so shocked and surprised when it's revealed that health care insurance companies are amoral, profit driven and completely uninterested in serving mankind? This is not news, people. These folks are not interested in how your family member will die without a procedure recommended by their doctor - they're interested in how denying that procedure will increase their profit margin. The right can wax philosophic all they want about how nationalized health care will put health care decisions in the hands of "government bureaucrats." The real answer is that those decisions are already in the hands of bureaucrats, they just don't happen to report to the government. Health care for profit is really kind of immoral, you know?

Why are we still talking about the death of Michael Jackson? Yes, yes, talented guy and all that. But how come his memorial was a three ring circus when we barely noticed when "Shifty" Powers passed? I realize the answer to that question is probably "because we're fucked up," but it still saddens me.

I guess I'm just a sentimental sap, but the song Down'easter Alexis chokes me up. I'm glad Billy Joel's midlife crisis hit after he hit this one out of the park. I realize there's no question there - I just really like that song.

16 comments:

Steve Buchheit said...

Say, I think I saw Michael at the Chardon Wal-Mart the other day. (figured I'd get my sighting in early and beat the rush)

ntsc said...

We eat almost no prepared foods other than some baked goods. Just about everything else is from scratch. We also try and avoid fast food unless traveling.

Anne C. said...

No, you're not the only one. I LOVE that song too and it's the song that made me realize that some country is good. (Lyle Lovett helped with that too.)

ntsc is right. The key is making things from scratch so that you know what's going into 'em. If you put a pound of butter in, at least you know it's there!

Thanks for the heads up about Sgt. Powers. Reminds me that I simply MUST buy that series. I really can't live without it. [steers off towards Amazon]

Anne C. said...

PS - sayin' this before I forget...

At that party I gave, you missed (early in the party) my cousin, Bonnie, winning my mom over with her Kindle. She's very intrigued!

vince said...

Steve, you're so lucky in making one of the first sightings of Jackson. And why should the people of LA pay for the costs the city occurred for the memorial? And come on, his sister LaToya and his Father Joe are saying he was murdered? The sightings and conspiracy theories have just begun.

Janiece, how we value people in our society is absolutely fucked up. We see entertainers and people who play sports as worthy of hero worship and massive amounts of money. Yet everyday heroes, like military personnel, doctors, nurses, teachers, fire fighters, etc., struggle to have sufficient resources to their jobs - jobs that benefit all of society.

And I'm not surprised making money is the priority for health care insurance companies. I don't find health care for profit immoral, but I do find it immoral when the best interests of the bottom line are supreme over the best interests of the patient.

Janiece Murphy said...

Kindle FTW!

Jim Wright said...

Re: Healthy food.

Farmer's Market, Janiece. Usually cheaper (but not always) and much healthier. Plus farmer's markets often (but not always - you should check) support local growers. Local produce is often far, far superior to imported or commercially produced (strawberries especially)

Be wary of the phrase "organic." Most growers despise this label. The unscrupulous ones use it the way Ford uses the word "Green." Purely organic is rarely superior to non-organic.

Plus, farmer's markets are fun. Look for small markets that are strictly farm produce, not flea markets with some produce.

Now, while at the market ask around for local small poultry and meat sellers - the growers will know who they are. Small farm poultry, including meat and eggs, is far superior to commercial, usually cheaper, and usually safer. Best thanksgiving turkeys come from small farms, they cost much less and taste far better - but you normally have to reserve one in advance. Chicken farmers are usually easier to find, much safer products, much better tasting, and usually much healthier for free range products.

Instead of getting meat in the supermarket, check the directory for local butchers. You can almost always get a far better deal on bulk meats that are far superior in quality and much lower in fat. Same with fish mongers, go for wild fish, not farmed. Farmed is almost always nasty and pales in comparison to the wild version. When it comes to salmon for example, wild red pacific salmon is much healthier, cheaper, and better for you than the farmed shit in the grocery case.


If you have to shop in the grocery for meat, buy cheap cuts such as flank steak. These are very low in fat (and therefor tougher and less desirable), use a marinade. Personally I cut flank steak into thin strips and marinate them in Lowery's steak and chop or chipotle marinades all day (I run the meat through the Kitchen Aid slicer on high speed while it's still partly frozen, dump the slices in a plastic bowl, dump in the marinade, cover and let sit in the fridge all day. The longer the better) Cook them in a non-stick pan on high heat without oils. Now you've got the meat for California burritos, or better yet put on a flour tortilla with mixed greens and cut up olives and tomatoes and whatever, roll up and you've got dinner that is about as close to fat free and as healthy as it gets (also you have one pan to wash, and nothing else. Tortillas are their own plate). This works with chicken too, except use Teryaki marinade, the mixed greens, crispy oriental noodles, and Mandarin orange slices for oriental salad rollups.

While on the subject of tortillas, Hawaiian Wraps: brown rice, teriyaki chicken, and pineapple. Roll that up in a flour wrap and bake in the toaster oven until lightly brown and crispy. Very filling, very healthy, low fat (almost none in fact) easy, quick, and very tasty.

I can't help you with the insurance companies or Garth Brooks, sorry.

Janiece Murphy said...

Jim, I do go to our local farmer's market, and we usually get our eggs from my aunt and uncle, who have a small coop at their place.

The Smart Man loves them - I eat Egg-Beaters.

I have been serving wraps of late. There's a new brand at the grocery that comes in rye flavor (13 grams of fiber) and has one WW point.

I'm just a bit tired of the food-industrial complex this week. I'm sure you understand.

Jim Wright said...

Food-Industrial Complex. Heh!

Wendy said...

Food-Industrial Complex
You created a new oxymoron!!!

Local farmer's markets are always a good choice. My cousin Posey does a blog in the Western PA area local market movement. She and her husband raise sheep for both the meat and fine wool industries (their fleeces and her natural dyed wool have won bunches of awards). Local Growers Selling Fresh is the slogan for one market she promotes.

And, what's the big deal with MJ? I see his sister Janet in town here all the time. big whoop.

Garth Brooks is good, one of the few country artists I like and admire. Billy Joel is even better.

Health insurance. You need it to go get medical anything, unless you are stinky rich or dirt poor (and on a Fed or State program). Those of us in the middle without it just don't to ever see a doctor unless we have an emergency. Only MD I've seen in the last 10 years is at a doc-in-a-box for a couple extreme sinus infections and a dentist for emergency dental surgery.

WendyB_09

Janiece Murphy said...

Alas and alack, I cannot take credit for that awesome label.

I believe that one's on Michael Pollan.

ntsc said...

@ Wendy

Could you post directions to your cousin's blog?

Western Pa. is a bit far for me, but I do some shopping in Eastern Pa. Dietrich's Meats sells me most of my pork.

I make my own sausage, meat, fat and spices. Ok, the turkey cranberry has dried cranberries, and the chicken-basil also has sun dried tomatoes. And lots of them have garlic.

If you are using a naturally fatty meat, such as decent pork, you can substitute cooked rice on a weight for weight basis for the fat. Same mouth feel.

Sausage will keep for several months in a deep freeze.

RickU said...

I too love that Billy Joel song. I just saw him in concert last Saturday w/ Elton John on their Face 2 Face tour. He's still really energetic in concert for a 60 year old. Elton, not so much, but man can those guys play the piano.

Unfortunately BJ didn't sing Downeaster Alexa but he can only play so many songs in 120 minutes.

Janiece Murphy said...

Welcome, RickU.

Why, yes, I am turning green with envy, thanks for asking.

I'd call you a big jerk for getting to see a concert I'd love to attend, but that seems rude. :-)

neurondoc said...

I saw them both years ago in separate concerts. And loved them. And Billy Joel sang DownEaster Alexa at one of the concerts I went to (I've seen him twice). And yes, I love that song, too. And can I stop saying "and"?

RickU said...

Having the music stop while the whole stadium is singing the chorus to Piano Man is definitely an excellent experience.

I can't imagine what it would be like for a performer hearing that kind of response for the 1st time.