Showing posts from February, 2013

The Business of Blogging

There's this DIY blog I read each week, not because I have an interest in redoing my entire house but because I am fascinated by the family. Husband and wife are both full-time bloggers and make in the six figures basically recording their homelife. They even wrote a book based on the blog and it was almost instantly a New York Times bestseller. They have a huge following and get sponsors to give them great loot to give away. They have a no swag policy, meaning they won't take freebies from companies. This is genius because it makes them appear to have a lot of integrity when I suspect it's really because if they buy a product or service and then blog about it, they can deduct it as a business expense.  They moderate up to 10,000 comments a day (I am not kidding). And they love to take pictures of themselves and do Q&A videos where you feel like you are right there in their living room or kitchen. They just did a book tour and people all across the country loved the

The Science of Junk Food

I have to admit I've never fully bought the "addictive nature" of junk food, even as I was engrossed in a bag of Ruffles that disappeared in minutes without me even realizing it. We all have a weakness and some of us are able to manage our cravings better than others. Real food is also more expensive than the fake stuff, which we can buy on sale and with coupons. But I highly recommend you read The New York Times feature on " The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food ." It's based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning author's upcoming book on the same subject, which is already cued up on my Kindle Fire. The piece opens with one of those secret meetings in 1999 in which big CEOs behave just as we expect them to behave: without any scruples, ethics or morality. Here's the crux: The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quan

Best Line of the Day

I worked the U-T Successful Aging Expo today. About 10,000 people are expected during the two-day event, many of whom looked like they've never exercised or ran too much back in the day. It's amazing how you can detect those with a runner's bum-hip walk. Still, it's inspiring to see those that have aged well and even those who haven't but continue to persevere. Seniors love freebies and they love to stop and talk, even if the topic - losing your memory - makes them uncomfortable. One woman in her late 70s said she's looking to give her husband something new to do. Retirement apparently wasn't going well. Then she leaned in and told me in a hushed tone: "I married him for better or for worse, but not for lunch every day!"

Word[y]less Wednesday: Stasha's Graduation

Stasha is a very special dog. She had the right combination of discipline, temperment, smarts and compassion to take on a very important job. This is Rolly and Louise, who raised Stasha for the first 18 months. Actually, Stasha was so smart, she got called up for "Puppy College" early.   It's an emotional day. They had plenty of tissues on hand.   And plenty of people taking tissues too. Boo hoo  hoo. Finally, the moment that Louise and Rolly officially unite Stasha with her companion. She's their third puppy and their first "success" - though we are glad Twilah (known in our house as "The Best Behaved Dog We've Ever Known") intentionally flunked.   Here she is getting ready to go to Kylie. And here's Felicia, the next puppy to join the Roup Troupe. Love is neverending, isn't it? Special thanks for the stage photos from Louise, who got them from someone else whose name I cannot recall. The rest are min

A Clean Start

At 7 Saturday morning, my friend called to let me know that their 2-year-old had just come home from the ER. I was due to babysit her and her 3-year-old sister for the weekend while her moms went to Las Vegas to celebrate a birthday. The toddler had a stomach bug, and even though the worse had passed, my friend was willing to stay home. I knew how long they had planned this trip and agreed to stick with the plan. Which is how I ended up dehydrated and delirious with fever the past 24 hours. Fortunately, the illness didn't strike until Sunday night after everyone was home and I was able to get sick in my own home. But here it is Tuesday and I still lack an appetite and have trouble moving around, mainly because my body's sore from six hours of straight retching followed by 18 hours of shaking under the sheets. Tylenol doesn't work to reduce a fever if you can't keep it down. I feel like I did after undergoing a colonoscopy several years ago. I feel "clean.&quo

Wordless Wednesday


How to Keep an Eye on Your Pace

My friend Louise, a longtime reader and commenter on this blog, sent along a news item out of Portland on new smart sunglasses to help runners maintain a swift pace. The glasses are embedded with code that tracks your pace and distance, much like a Garmin or other GPS-based watch. But here's the really cool thing: When you start to fall behind, an avatar appears on your right going the pace you originally set. So, you in essence start to race yourself. Genius. And expensive. The startup behind it expected the first version to hit the market around the winter holidays and cost $300 to $500 a pair. And these are sunglasses, which means they may also help keep out harmless sunrays but are more likely to be lost, broken or stolen because they aren't affixed to your wrist when not in use. But this certainly seems to be the wave of the future for runners in search of novel ways to improve running times. Whether this particular tool for training will truly work remains to

Guess I Still Got It

Just an update to yesterday's race in Mission Bay. I finished 2/20 in my age group. The funny thing is the woman who won it ran with me until the last 3/4 of a mile. She asked if she could pace off me and I said, "Sure" and we then told "war stories" of running (and cycling, in her case) in the 1970s. So I knew she was around my age. (And, counterintuitively, I run a little faster if I talk out loud, which is how I kept the quicker pace for both of us.) My friends Deborah and Stephanie also did well. Deborah won her age group, though she was in competition with only herself. Still, there's something to be said for outlasting everyone just to get to the starting line at her age. And Stephanie came in fourth in her group. "Good times" had by all this weekend.

Race Report: 2013 Mermaid Run 5k

I wondered what would happen to this all-women race series after gushing about how great it was two years ago . I'm happy to say the only thing that's changed are the crowds - they've grown considerably in the past two years for the Mermaid Run half marathon, 10k and 5k. Last time I did the 10k, this time I downsized to the 5k. All three courses are pancake flat since you essentially run loops or out-and-backs  through the Mission Bay Park complex. It isn't a closed course, and as with my previous race, there was a lot of weaving and pulling up short once you were on the Mission Bay sidewalks. Even though it cost me some seconds, I'm okay with it. There's a reason I haven't been writing as much about my running; I don't run as much as I used to. That's by design. So even though you are supposed to run your heart out at a 5k pace, it was okay for me to have a time goal that was doable but with a decent dose of discomfort. That I had when I crosse

Sleep More, Eat Less

Studies abound showing that how much we sleep impacts how many calories we consume on average, with those short on sleep compensating during the day by eating more calories, especially empty calories. But a study in today's also proves the reverse, that how much we eat helps determine how much sleep we get. And, no surprise, short sleepers tend to overeat, which just causes disruptive sleep patterns to continue. Short sleepers are defined by those who get 5 or less hours a night; standard sleepers get up to 8 hours; and long sleepers somehow manage to stay asleep 9 or more hours. This is daily, not just when you're under the weather or overstressed. Among the UPenn researchers' findings: Short sleepers consumed the most calories, followed by normal sleepers, then very short sleepers. Long sleepers consumed the least calories. Normal sleepers actually show the highest food variety in their diets; very short sleepers, the least. A varied diet with a balance of

Wordless Wednesday


Things I Learned Today While Getting My Hair Done

If you want to lose more weight by running, do it by miles and not minutes. For instance, say you'll run 5 miles and not 40 minutes because we overestimate how much distance we actually do when we run by time, according to Self magazine. If you want a racy dream, fall asleep on your stomach. The mattress apparently stimulates your breast and pelvic regions. Guys say they prefer women who don't wear makeup then they actually complain if they don't wear any. So, ladies, wear makeup for your man, just not enough to where he can tell. An old NYC acquaintence has always been courageous, talented, truthful and beautiful, but it's still startling to keep seeing her in Juvederm ads -- using her real name too -- that say, "With Juvederm, no one will know." Really? Kale is the trendy veggie now. Or it was last month, anyway. The reason legs and hands get so dry in winter is because neither area produces many natural oils. And Glamour magazine recommends a $125