carla and henriette hochdorfer

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Grandparents Gone Mild

Harmony at Thou and Thou Only commented to this post:

Becoming a mom might be euphoric, but becoming a grandparent is a mental disease. I just thought you should be forewarned.

Heh. So I thought I’d share a story of my dad back when he had all his marbles but had lost his mind.=)

Keep in mind that when I was a child my father was a strict, even harsh, disciplinarian. He did not take kindly to ‘interference’ from outsiders, either.

So when the HG was about four years old and we were visiting my parents I was flabbergasted by the following incident:

1. The HG and EC shared a room- the HG liked dark, the EC preferred a light on. The EC usually got the light, but one night she was being obnoxious and pestering her sister. I told her if she did it again, the nightlight would go out. She did it again. The nightlight went out. The EC predictably, objected loudly. I remained unmoved. Then I caught my father sneaking down the hall with a flashlight in his hand to give to the EC. He looked sheepish and just said, “Well, she wanted a light.”

More to come.

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J.D. Sumner sings Wayfaring Stranger

Who choreographed the hair?

1967, The Buck Owens Show with the Stamps quartet sounding like the polished barbership group they are (except there’s only three of ’em), the fourth being J.D. Sumner with his incredibly low voice, and J.D’s hair, which surely should get separate billing here. It moves, seemingly independently of the singer. I know, I know, this is so shallow of me. But it’s oddly disturbing. It seems to be both a single plastic shell and a living entity capable of undetermined things. We don’t know what they are, but we suspect that hair is up to no good.

I made Pip watch it with me at midnight when I found it, just to see if she’d notice what I did, and how could she not? She started laughing right when I expected her to, but then accused me of trying to give her nightmares about hair.

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Nutrition Science

Reynold Specter writes on the pseudo science of nutrition:

The notion that some diets (e.g., low-fat or low-carbohydrate) are better than others is not based on sound science but instead on flawed EOS.[something or other Observational Studies] The USDA food pyramid of the past (which prescribed what you should eat, how many portions, and disparaged certain nutritious foods like eggs and butter) was unscientific.1,2,6 That food pyramid was based, in part, on EOS so flawed as to be almost ludicrous.1,2 Specifically, there are no scientific outcome data (as defined above) that five daily servings of fruits or vegetables as per the original USDA food pyramid are better than two or that apples are better than pears (notwithstanding Ben Franklin) in normal-weight adults who consume the essential nutrients in Table 1. Let the proponents of such dietary advice prove the value of their advice with real outcome data from well-managed randomized controlled trials. Similarly, recent attempts to create new food pyramids are also flawed, for example, those that disparage rapidly absorbed carbohydrates (e.g., processed rice and potatoes) and recommend megavitamin E.6 Let the anti-potato and anti-rice proponents scientifically prove to billions of normal-weight adults or millions of older citizens with delayed gastric emptying (on diets adequate in the essential nutrients in Table 1) that potatoes or white rice per se are more harmful than whole wheat in scientific controlled outcome trials.

The author does acknowledge that there is evidence that for some overweight people a diet high in carbs is a contributing factor and that there is empirical evidence that low-carb diets work best for weight-loss at least up to one year- there just haven’t been any good two year studies.


View the nutritional advice of “experts,” like those who prepared the agriculture department’s original food pyramid1 and the newer food pyramids, with a hypercritical eye. Their track record is poor.

There are other conclusions as well, and the section on how medical journals benefit from publishing misleading studies and articles was very interesting.

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So the HG still exists (somewhat) in blogdom

It has been a crazy summer.

As I told friends earlier, my state of being right now is like this: extremely excited (getting married next month!), somewhat overwhelmed (getting married next month!) and a bit spacey (getting married next month!).

This getting married soon business has introduced Strider and the HG to an entirely new world…a world of well-crafted sales pitches, glossy catalogs, and business schemes. This is the world of wedding registries.

We have a registry with Alternative Gift Registry, which we love (and was shared with us by one of our blog readers last year). Registering there is easy, painless, and fun. We have some very practical items on there, and then had the fun of adding our favorite types of herbal teas for people who might want to do something smaller or more unique. So. That part of it all was great.

We also decided to go with a registry at a Major Shiny Stuff Store. This was done for a variety of reasons… their very good return policy should duplicate gifts be received, the fact that some people asked about specific stores we were registered at, the fact of a discount on registry items after the date of the wedding, it gives people an idea of our tastes even if they choose to get something from somewhere else, etc.

So. Imagine the Young Innocents (that’s us) wandering into the Major Shiny Stuff Store (henceforth known as MSSS). We are envisioning adding some things like kitchen towels, bathroom stuff (his bathroom design has previously been rather bright and garish tropical fish. I will use that, but if there are other designs to be had, they are preferable :-), some cooking things we’re both short on (glass measuring cups, etc.).

The first thing we’re asked once we’ve created the registry is how many people we expect will be at the wedding. Oh, somewhere ’bout 200, we think. “Then you should register for at least 400 things,” says the MSSS employee. *blink* Ma’am, we are getting ready to live in a 700 sq foot space… there’s no way we want to even contemplate that many new items to fit in that space. Actually, they tell us, it’s about giving guests options… letting them choose from things on our registry what to get us. Right. Because we want our guests to feel like this is the ONLY place they can get us a gift (ironically, and I know this is probably unique, our private wedding blog explicitly lists Goodwill as a nice wedding gift place).

My mind still reeling from the thought of someone recommending we add close to 500 items to a registry, we are then asked about china. Do we need some? the employee asks hopefully. Uhm, not really. Later on I find out that if we’d registered for $2,000 worth of some particular china brand, we could have gotten a free bud vase. Now we’re not just talking hundreds of registry items, we’re talking hundreds of expensive registry items.

Clearly disappointed in our lack of materialistic drive, the employee hands us a ‘helpful’ check-list of recommended registry items. It includes things like bag clips (I guess the old stand-by of rubber bands or clothespins isn’t good enough?), a salad spinner (tons of room for THAT in my adorable galley kitchen), and electric toothbrushes.

While in Texas, we added a few things to our registry online (skype is fun, people!). And I actually went into the store to register there as dear friends down south were throwing a shower for me and wanted to see my registry. The employee at that MSSS gave me the exact same spiel… 400 items… in fact, she flat out told me we didn’t have enough things on our registry and that I needed to get busy adding more.

So now I am envisioning couples in there, registering for more and more things they don’t need, simply because they were told to do so. And it’s rather a cool feeling to be holding a bar-scanner in your hand. 😉

Necessary Caveat: Ok, we don’t even have 70 items on our registry… so in one way we rather fail at the registry game, from the store’s perspective. On the other, some of those items aren’t truly necessities either. We registered for a bunch of candles because we both love them (I am of the opinion that a house should be full of flowers in the spring and summer and candles in the fall and winter) and they’re not exactly the type of thing that will always fit comfortably into a newlywed budget – so maybe in that way we did succumb? 🙂

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