Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who would YOU believe?

With the world at our fingertips, it is sometimes difficult to sort through all of the BS and find real facts. I mean, I could post some bogus information on here, or even on wikipedia, and there’s nothing to stop me. Well, except morals, but that’s a whole different post. For someone ELSE’s blog.

I tend to think that when looking for information many people will stop searching when they find information to support their pre-formed beliefs. No? Here’s what sparked this for me: a TV ad for “BrandX”. It claims to be medicated, so (naturally) I wondered what the medicine was, and how did it ‘work’? TO THE INTERWEBS!

Turns out that “Trolamine salicylate 10%”is the active ingredient in “BrandX” and other similar products. (This isn’t about these products, but more about their claims, and how we perceive the information presented.) The product website lists trolamine salicylate as a ‘topical analgesic”, which means that it is a pain reliever that you rub on your skin. Ok….but if it is used for MUSCLE soreness……what the what? TO THE INTERWEBS!

Investigation of trolamine salicylate via google listed an article (?) on wikipedia.com with the following statements:

“The US Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed any of the over-the-counter products listed in the Daily Med database that contain trolamine salicylate.[1] Also, the producers of trolamine salicylate products have not provided evidence to the FDA in support of claims that this chemical is directly absorbed through the skin into underlying tissue.” (bold emphasis added by…ME!)

So now I am thinking…umm….then how can they make these claims? Reading on, I found this (next sentence):

“However, one study reported that trolamine salicylate does penetrate into, and persist within, underlying muscle tissue.”

Huh. ONE study. Worth looking into? Of course. So I did. Turns out, the experiment seemed to be conducted ‘well’ (controls, double blind, etc.), but no white papers were produced, or at least none that I could find within the time I was willing to devote to the search. Why not? well, my findings pretty much agreed with my own beliefs.

I do it myself. I’m not an alien (well….) so I tend to think that I’m not the only one who thinks the way I do (although if you ask Tracey, you might get a differing opinion). SO.

When investigating something new (workout philosophy, product claims, “new and improved!” this or that), try to see it from several angles before you make up your mind. And if the product makes some sort of MEDICAL CLAIM, do your research DILIGENTLY. You owe it to yourself not to fall for a scam or a claim of quick cures for chronic problems. (Yes, I said ‘problem’, not challenge or hurdle or some other euphemism. A spade is a spade).

Another thing that I encourage (do as I SAY, not as I DO) is to keep an open mind when looking into things. Beliefs that you may have held for a long, long time may be shattered by new research and evidence; just learn to filter out the BS.

Friday, October 19, 2012

“When you plant lettuce…”

Another Pole who understands Japanese posted the following on her FB page on Wednesday. Credit goes to Ewa for posting it and to Thich Nhat Hanh for writing it.
I invite you to take a few minutes to read it. After that, read it again. Slower, this time. Go ahead. Sip your coffee or tea while you read. Think about how it can apply to you and the way you go about your day. I’ve been ruminating on it most of the day.
Which is why I want to share it with you.
When You Plant Lettuce
Thich Nhat Hanh
"When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other ...person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change" __________________________________________________________ Have a great day!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

“Up with Upperdogs!”

While working on a project at work today, I came across a type-written script from an internal radio broadcast. It was in with some papers from the late 60’s early 70’s, so I thought I’d give it a read.

Two things struck me: 1) we used to have a radio station at our facility??? 2) this could easily have been written TODAY, as the same things apply.

Once home, I googled part of it, and was surprised to find a page from a newspaper called “The Andover News”, dated November 9th, 1967. It has a column called “For Society’s Sake: Up with Upperdogs!” Turns out it was written by the late Dr. Upton, President of Beloit University in Beloit, WI.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did:

For Society’s Sake: Up with Upperdogs!

Dr. Upton

I have just about reached the end of my tolerance for the way our society at the present time seems to have sympathetic concern only for the misfit, the pervert, the drug addict, the drifter, the ne’er-do-well, the maladjusted, the chronic criminal, the underachiever, the loser – in general, the underdog.

We have lost touch with reality and become warped – if not in fact psychotic – in our attachments.

IT IS TIME for SOMEONE to stand up and say, “I’m for the upperdog!”

I’m for the achiever.

The one who sets out to do something and does it.

The one who recognizes the problems and opportunities at hand and endeavors to deal with them.

The one who is successful at his immediate task because he is not worrying about someone else’s failings.

The one who doesn’t consider it ‘square’ to be looking for more to do, who isn’t always rationalizing why he shouldn’t be doing what he is doing.

The one, in short, who carries the work of his part of the world squarely on his shoulders.

Not necessarily the wealthy, the ones in authority, the gifted. Just the doer, the achiever – regardless of his status, his opulence, his native endowment.

WE ARE NOT  born equal; we are born unequal. And the talented are no more responsible for their talents than the underprivileged for their plight.

The measure of each should be what he does with his inherited position. No one should be damned by the environmental condition of his life – whether it be privileged or underprivileged.

It is a dying fashion to pay respect to those who achieve – who really ‘have it’, to use the vernacular. This the the day when the fashion is to be for the underdog.

The attitude is being developed that if you really want people to care for you – who doesn’t – don’t be successful. Be a misfit, a loser, a victim of one’s environment.

I’m not sure of the reason for what appears to be a general psychological aberration. But I suspect it springs from a massive social guilt.

THE ONE MOST CERTAIN point is that our problems will be solved by doers – not people with good intentions, but people with good deeds…not those who talk a good game but those who play a good game – the achievers.

We will never create a good society, much less a great one, until individual excellence and achievement are not only respected but encouraged.

That is why I am for the upperdog, the achiever, the succeeder.

I’m for building a better society. And this will only be done by those who take seriously their responsibility for achievement , for making the most of their native ability, for getting done the job at hand.


As profound now as it likely was then.

What say you????

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cheecago! (Part One)

My grandfather, for whom I am named, used to call Chicago “Cheecago”.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2012 Cheecago Marathon, and decided that you should know about my experience. So grab a cuppa joe, sit back, and enjoy…

I arrived at the Midway Airport early afternoon on thursday, then met up with John Williamson and Brian Fowler, both runners from North Carolina. We managed to head downtown on the Orange line, headed to meet up with another friend in town. When we got off the train at Roosevelt, we followed John’s iPhone’s directions to the meeting place. We ended up walking in the wrong direction for about 6 miles (HAHAHAHA) before we realized our mistake and turned around. We did manage to pass an inner city Target:DSCN1846

I was impressed, mostly because there are NO target stores in Vermont. Yea, we’re hill-billy like that. Anyway, we headed into town and came across some cool looking buildings and fountains. The fountains were a bit creepy…


Not quite sure what the purpose of the creepy fountains were, but it was ‘artsy’ just the same. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the start of the Expo on Friday.

Packet pick up was pretty smooth, though their readers couldn’t read the QR code from my phone. I managed ok, then headed over to the ArcticEase booth (#826) to begin my shift. I’d volunteered to work the booth for the Expo; John and Brian were going to be there, too, so it promised to be a good ‘ol time. I had a blast working the booth; people were very interested in learning more about the product. How does it work, how do I apply it, is it REALLY reusable? These were just some of the more common questions from the weekend. Are you curious, too? Here, click over and watch this commercial. I hope it will help answer some questions. If you have more, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer them or get answers. I don’t work for ArcticEase, but I use the product and am happy with the results. (Spoiler: I ran a marathon on Sunday, used AE on the plane, then used it again on Monday. On TUESDAY, I did a 5k in the morning, then another 5k in the evening. My legs are feeling great!)

Met some really cool people at the expo, and was fortunate enough to run into @KatieRUNSthis (who was at the NUUN booth) and @DrSherryPagoto (co-creator of #plankaday) and a bunch of her friends. We did a quick group plank, then went our separate ways. Good times!

Saturday afternoon we dined at a…diner. Yea. But this was unlike any diner I have ever been to. This one is called Eleven City Diner. Because I am nerdy, I checked in on Foursquare, and BOOM! Free ice cream desserts for all of us at our table. Cool. SO…here’s a PROTIP: the matzo ball soup has ONE matzo ball. It is about the size of your head. Thankfully, John was the one who ordered it, not me. Good times were had by all, and we headed back to our hotels in the ‘burbs to get some sleep.

Of course, I had nightmares all night long about over sleeping. I must have woken up every 15-20 minutes all night long. I hate that. I set 3 alarms, and was awake before the first one. Up at 4:30 and got ready. I had some oatmeal and crappy coffee from the crappy machine in the room (why are they always so crappy???) and got dressed. I bought some throw away sweats (top and bottoms for $10.99) which came in VERY handy. I caught the shuttle to the airport, then hopped the orange line back into the city.

Stay tuned for the second part. In the mean time, I invite you to watch this clever commercial (yes, for ArcticEase) which involves some pro football players, magic, and ALIENS. yes, Aliens.