We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The time is upon us. That is, spring time. A time of hope, renewal, and (for the last 5 years) the Maggie's Farm Urban Hike.
Each one has had its own persona, as we've explored various parts of NYC. Art, architecture, history, music, food, humor - we do manage to run the gamut of interests and topics. We encourage anyone and everyone to join, the group has always been a great deal of fun to meander with.
There is a 'set' path we follow, and there will be some additional commentary along the way. But we are always willing and open to adding more places based on interests, or hearing additional commentary from our companions, especially if they are familiar with the history/stories of New York (and elsewhere, as the case may be).
The hike is 11 miles this year. That's a little longer than it's been the first few years, though shorter than last year.
Bring comfortable shoes, and rain gear. Right now there is a 50% chance of rain. I have friends in high places, so we'll work on arranging the weather machines to produce some sun. The temperature should be nice, in the 60s.
Meeting at 9am at the Natural History Museum - the statue of Teddy Roosevelt on his horse. There is a Dunkin' around the corner, so if you need coffee and donuts, it's not far.
I receive all these magazines and ads for "summer escapes." I like to explore new places to hike, swim, boat, fish, learn, etc. but I have nothing to "escape."
It is a strange term, isn't it? Thinking past the sale? If my life needs escaping, something is wrong with my life, perhaps? I don't know, just wondering. Escape from routine? I love my routines, because I constructed them to my specifications and I get a kick out of working. A million people each year come to where I live, NYC, to escape something and, in fact, I came here to escape dreary, moldering, rural New England to engage in a richer, more high-energy life. It worked for me.
Actually, nobody visits NYC as an escape. I think they come for the intensity and adventure, and they get their money's worth of those.
Celebrities are always touting the latest nutritional fads like "clean eating", veganism, etc. Now it's the Fasting Plan. Of course, these people know nothing. In fact, little is known about human nutritional needs but we do know some simple things to prevent starvation. For example, your nutrition requires fats.
There seem to be all sorts of variants of the Fasting Fad, but there may be something useful in it. For example, no adult without an all-day manual labor job (or a heavy lifter or a distance runner) needs three meals/day unless they are underweight. Three meals/day was designed for farmers, just like summer school vacation.
Furthermore, most hunger is what we have described as "false hunger" (meaning it represents no need for significant nutrition) for anybody even 5-10 lbs overweight. Our fat cells are a massive storage battery waiting to be used.
So what about fasting, whether it means just skipping one of the conventional meals or even taking a day or two off from food every week? Not as a weight-loss plan, but just as a plan. Many find it increases their energy.
When you think about it, during almost all of the 300-500,000 years (except the past few thousand agricultural years) of human life and evolution, food scarcity was the norm. Humans are designed for food scarcity rather than for today's abundance. That's why eating is fun rather than necessary.
One of my daughters Ubered to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center yesterday afternoon with sharp abdominal pain and a mild fever. Appendicitis, unless ruled out.
Of course, it was appendicitis. Three or four hours later they took the disgusting thing out laparoscopically and sent her home in an Uber a couple of hours later. No stitches, just a couple of steri-strips.
My House Wrens returned yesterday, so I am re-posting this. I need to quickly finish my re-painting and refurbishingof their birdhouses because it cheers me to have them around ye olde cabin.
We have two pairs nesting each year in our wren houses, and their cheery chatter is a sentimental springtime pleasure. I can hear them right now. Once they lay their eggs, they tend to go silent so as not to draw attention to their eggs and babies.
With wrens, "If you build it, they will come." They lovewren houses. They like to appropriate mailboxes too, or anything else with a hole in it. For many years when I was a kid we had them nesting happily in an old horse feedbag that hung on a nail in an open shed.
Problem with House Wrens is that the males will fill boxes in their territory with sticks to keep competitors from using them. Filthy Capitalist slime.
This month’s Harvard magazine has an article on just this topic. Scroll down to the section titled, ‘Eating to Excess: Metabolic Inflammation’.
“The metabolic stress that is a hallmark of modern life, the stress that the body has not evolved to handle, is constant eating, he continues. When people eat, energy and nutrients enter the body rapidly, are processed, produce in turn a lot of by-products, and then need to be reduced to “functional substances that are distributed throughout the body, and then disappear very quickly. Many cells and tissues actually undergo a huge amount of stress during this process,” he explains, “as they store appropriate nutrients and dispose of harmful intermediates.” Part of this process also involves mounting an immune response. “The pancreas, for example, must secrete four to five hundred milliliters of enzymes every day” to be able to manage the incoming energy load with every meal. “If you place these organs under constant stress, they start malfunctioning.” The consequence is that “right now, one out of every 10 individuals has diabetes. One out of every four individuals has fatty liver disease. And if you reach a certain age, one out of every three individuals will develop neurodegenerative disease.”
The metabolic stress that underlies these conditions comes from the daily imbalance between how much energy people consume and how much they need, and can process in a healthy manner. The long-term consequence of overconsumption, combined with lack of sufficient expenditure, is stored energy—the accumulation of fat...”
Also interesting in that article is a bit about the benefit of muscle inflammation due to stressful exercise. Muscle damage, of course, is how we build strength.