The Hidden Truths about Calories

The Hidden Truths about Calories:

We now have too many calories and too many of those calories are of low quality. One in three Americans is now obese. Over the last thirty years the number of calories we eat has increased, but so has the number of those calories that come from highly processed foods. In this light, we would do well to eat fewer processed foods and more raw ones. This is not a novel insight (Such foods, after all, tend to have more nutrients such as B vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals and so are good for reasons having nothing to do with counting calories). But what might be novel is the realization that in eating such foods you could lose weight while keeping the precise tally of the calories you consume exactly the same. However, this realization comes hand in hand with another, namely that how much weight you lose depends on the biology of the plants and animals you choose to eat and who you and your microbes are in ways we are only beginning to understand.

[As a whole the article is interesting. It still comes down to you figuring out what works for you, and that whole foods (anything that still looks like it did when it grew) are better for you and processing food more than a bit is not a great idea.]

Att: Folks who make presta valve extenders for deep section wheels

You know who you are…

I think we all understand the problem. Deep section wheels require longer valve heights than shallow section wheels yet there’s a variety of section depths. Since manufacturing the tubes or the tubular tires in a variety of lengths seems to pose a challenge (?), or because invariably the person who might be trying to help you with a flat has a short valve on the replacement tube they’re trying so hard to give you… valve extenders were born. Great! Except…

There’s a bunch of assumptions made about how these things work vs. how things go in the real world. Allow me to illustrate.

There I am riding along… and unbeknownst to me some viscous bit of glass or shrapnel or schist decides that inside my tire is the place to be. And let’s say this only causes a slow leak and I get home just fine. So a few hours later I glance at my bike and the tire is flat. Interesting because I put sealant in my tubular tires. But ok, it was only 30ml and at the beginning of the season. Fine. Whatever. We’ll get to that issue some other time. So now I have a couple of choices. I can try and save the tire that set me back $100+ because other than the slow leak it’s just fine, or I can run out get a new 100+ tire and spend the time getting it all glued up etc.

Oh wait. I can’t run out and do that because I’m a million UPS miles from anywhere. So I can try adding more sealant but hmm, now we’re risking my life and getting stuck with nothing but hungry bears and annoyed moose between me and civilization by riding on a less than whole tire. Maybe not such a good idea.

“I should probably change the tire.” thinks I as painful as that is with tubbies. I had prepared by bringing two extra tubular tires with me with their own extensions and even supplies to glue things in place. But lo and behold when I took a look to see whether I could manage all this far away from the comforts of my shop stand I learn (kinda the hard way) that Vittoria has their own removable stem standard which changes the needed length of the extenders and thus, though I had what I thought was all the right parts, I actually needed longer extenders *and* I’d have to use they’re not entirely inexpensive sealant since that would appear to be the only way to get sealant into their tires. Awesome. Of course, I didn’t have their system specific sealant with me even if I could get past the valve extension problem. Sooo… that was out. Sending those suckers back as I write this…

So now I’m home and like the crazy person I am, I decide that it’s worth the bit of time it would take to remove the valve and try adding some more sealant and see if that works before I spend all that money and time replacing the tire.

But gee, there’s no flat to grab the valve extender poking through my deep section wheel. And you know, sure as shooting’, that if I grab that thin round tube with a plier while I try and twist the valve out that sooner or later I’m gonna pinch the extender and I’ll be back to replacing the tire, gluing, *and* buying a new valve extender. So do me a favor and machine a couple of flats at the top that sticks out of the deep section wheel, not just the bottom that you can use while the tire is your hand *before* you glue it on? Thanks.

Now as luck would have it, when I tried to remove the valve it twisted the entire extender off the tire’s stem rather than just remove the valve. Ok. That’s not the worst thing. I removed the valve easily now that I had access to the flats and rethreaded the extender onto the valve. Again, I can’t ensure a really tight connection because there’s no way to hold the tire’s stem, but I think it’ll be ok. I add some new sealant, screw the valve in, re-inflate, and see just a bit of sealant leaking out a hole in the center of the tire. We’ll see if it holds. I’ll also find out if the item was in the tire or not… possibly not in a good way, so I’ll have to be careful. But I don’t think so. It seemed like clean cut. Still a risk, but at least I’m not a million miles from nowhere, with very spotty cell coverage, and the aforementioned bear, moose, and the not until now mentioned nutria and honey badgers (alright, I might be making up the last couple).

So can one of you geniuses figure out a way to make this work in the field? Assume I don’t have a team car waiting to pull up and hand me another wheel off the rack. And yes, I can use clinchers and tubes and probably will next time as I have for most of my riding through the years but I didn’t because I didn’t have time to also change the brake pads on my bike. So part of the solution is definitely gonna be disc brakes, which eliminates the brake pad changing for the sake of switching wheels, and then this all goes away because I would have switched out the wheels this time if I had 25 minutes to change them out, change the brake pads, a get that all reasonably tweaked up. But I think you guys can do better. Please do so.

[Since folks asked… yes, the tire continues to hold air, so chances are when you see me ride Sunday morning (and you really should) I’ll be on riding on it. Thanks for your (ahem) support.]

trivial things

trivial things:

But I do hope that as you read this, you stop, if only for a second and realize how truly precious life is.  In the past couple weeks, some of the trivial things that I thought mattered in life,  don’t seem to matter as much anymore.  A simple thing like getting out of bed is just one of many things we take for granted.  So just take a moment – close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let some of the trivial things you worry about go.  Think about the positives and how lucky you are.  Now open your eyes and love life.  It’s too short not to.
P.S. – For the cyclists out there –  a friendly reminder – have fun, but please be safe on the bike.  Wear your helmet, carry identification/wear an ID bracelet, be mindful of traffic and maintain a speed where you are always in control.

[No one leaves this world unscathed.]

Crash diets and good habits

Crash diets and good habits:

Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you–the shift in daily habits that would mean a re-invention of how you see yourself.

Organizations can always benefit from better habits. Every day. Do that first.

[I think this every time I set a goal. Because they all seem to fall into one category or the other. Set the habits in place that will allow you to accomplish the audacious goal and you will.]

Source: Seth’s Blog

Not living in fear

Not living in fear:

I’m going for a run and I’ve got this to say, which I’ve said to many people in my life as I head out the door.  If something happens to me when I’m riding, or doing anything else I love, then don’t feel bad!  I was doing something I love!  Now, if I have a heart attack waiting in line to pay my taxes, have a really good cry.

[Nice. Any results?]

Source: JenniBlog™ 2.0

Missing stuff

An iPad Review, Sort Of:

Joe Posnanski:

I left my iPad on a plane the other day. The crazy thing about it — as if there needs to be an extra layer of crazy about leaving a hugely expensive and personal and professionally vital device on an airplane — was that I thought about it five minutes before I did it. Not after. BEFORE.

[So, ok, I haven’t (yet?) left my phone somewhere or iPad or whatever… but I do know that feeling and I try to pay attention to it. When I put down my keys and something whispers in my ear “You’ll not remember where you left these…” I try and not just chuckle, but pick up my keys and not put them there. Or tools while I’m working. Or whatever. And yet with all that, having just come home from a vacation, I couldn’t find my keys this morning nor several other things that are usually in one pocket of the bag that I usually carry. It would have been easier to take the bag along without removing anything… next time. BTW, Have you seen my keys?]

Source: Daring Fireball

[Thanks for all the suggestions, although some of them were a bit rude. On the topic of my keys however, I knew there was one bag that had not been unpacked. They were in there.]

A 40-Minute Crash Course In Design Thinking | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

A 40-Minute Crash Course In Design Thinking | Co.Design: business + innovation + design:

Inge Druckrey has been teaching design for more than 40 years. But what she has really been doing is teaching people to see. “You really learn to look,” she says in the opening lines of Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See, remarking on the benefits of an education in art and design. “And it pays off….Suddenly you begin to see wonderful things in your daily life that you never noticed.”

[Wonderful. Well worth the 40 minutes. And the creator of a favorite poster (the Beethoven poster for YSO]

In defence of music

In defence of music:

And so I am here in defence of music. Of music music—not social music sites, not music apps, not the ability to stream, or the ability to store songs in the cloud. I am here to extol the delicious, indescribable good that music can be to our ears, our psyches, our souls. I am here in particular to extol the marvelousness of recorded music, for its ability to be with us where we are, to soothe us and stir us and remind us, in ways both ineffable and unmistakable, of nothing less than the majesty of life itself.

[Not a perfect piece, but they’ve got a point.]

Hiltzik: Anti-doping authorities don’t play fair against athletes

Hiltzik: Anti-doping authorities don’t play fair against athletes –

The same people lining up to brand Lance Armstrong a cheater will worship a pitcher who undergoes Tommy John transplant surgery to save his career. The Oakland A’s Bartolo Colon will be missing 50 games for taking testosterone, but what about the batters he’s faced who have had their eyeballs surgically refabricated with Lasik so they can read his pitches better?

Is the rule that it’s OK to enhance your performance by scalpel but not by hypodermic needle? Then let’s discuss that and establish exactly what the grounds are for the distinction. Until we clear that up, along with why caffeine isn’t on the banned list but marijuana is, athletes will try anything they can to beat their records, thrill the masses and make money. And why not?

It’s all well and good to say the goal of the anti-doping system is to ensure that sports stay clean, and it’s certainly true that clean athletes have every reason to resent having to compete against cheaters.

But we’ve created a strange way to uphold these principles — a system that writes its own rule book, moves the goal posts at will, lies and fabricates to get the score it wants and fiercely resists playing before an objective umpire. Whatever you choose to think of Lance Armstrong, his case is just one more indication that the supposed guardians of honesty and integrity in sports are among the filthiest players of all.

[Excellent points all. The only part of these proceedings that make sense is the “don’t cheat” stuff.]



I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can’t afford a front yard full of old cars.

[Brilliant opening, and sadly too true for most of us. I may work on this forever unless some calamity helps me.]