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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Constipation Associated with Kidney Disease │ America's Impending Calorie-Labeling Requirement │ Placebo Almost As Effective As New FDA-Approved Eczema Medication

Perhaps having my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Bev here last evening kept me from encroaching upon depression, for I would have otherwise been sitting in the darkened living room drinking all alone as I watched television via our Android TV Box while the year 2016 died away.

I hate seeing a year die.  It's gone forever.

While I was waiting for the two of them to show up last evening, my youngest step-son Pote ─ and from hereon, perhaps I will use the accented letter 'é' that he employs to best indicate the pronunciation of his nickname ─ sought me out to alert me to the audible scratchings of the rodent that has recently moved into the house.

Its noise was coming from the downstairs bathroom in the boys' den area ─ one of the two drawers at the sink.

We opened the drawer, but could not see the critter ─ neither was it evident in the other drawer, nor in the storage space beneath the sink.

But now we see where it may be gaining access.  When we get a trap, that will be a best place to place it.

My wife Jack first learned of the invader on December 26, and brought it to my attention.  Mark learned of it independently on the early morning of December 28 as he was having a morning coffee before heading off to work.

It would seem that in lieu of food, the wee beast is ripping into things like tubes bearing various creams ─ Poté showed me a vitamin E cream tube with a large opening in its side.

Hopefully there is only the one rodent, and we will soon have it eradicated.  I sure don't need it finding its way upstairs.

Anyway, after Mark and Bev arrived home last evening, we were quite good in tempering our drinking over the evening.  Bev never even realized it when midnight had arrived ─ she thought it was much earlier.

She wasn't up too long after that, but Mark surprised me by wanting to continue to watch T.V., so I carried on with him.  We didn't want to get wrapped up into another movie once the one finished that we had been watching (Masterminds), so after it was done we tuned in a couple of episodes of People of Earth.

Concerning Masterminds, I must say that I was quite attracted to actress Kristen Wiig ─ she looked to me to very much resemble Jennifer Aniston.

I don't think I got to bed last night until after 2:30 a.m.

After getting to sleep, my first check of the time was after 8:00 a.m.  I did not feel at all like getting up, so after using the bathroom and drinking some water, I returned to bed for another hour, but sleeping little of it.

Right after I rose, so did Mark and Bev.

It had snowed most of yesterday, finally stopping in the evening after nightfall.  I went outside the front door late this morning and took these seven photos:

I want to record an interesting texting interaction I had with my wife Jack yesterday ─ she was in Vancouver at the time.

I was carrying my phone around in my hands early in the afternoon, and did not realize that the darned thing had somehow gone to the messaging feature and had not only entered 'S/il' in the message field, but it promptly sent the gibberish to Jack at 1:07 p.m.

She later replied at 2:07 p.m.:
What !!!
I explained:
Oh, that was a mistake.  Somehow my phone went to messages without me realizing it. 
I was carrying it in my hands, and I guess random keys were getting pressed. 
And then they were sent somehow.
K, Tho say rat in his room
Tho is her oldest son.  Late yesterday morning he had awakened to the noises of the mouse in some shelving by his bed; and when he investigated, he became the first person to actually see our unwanted guest.  It jumped down and promptly disappeared from sight.

My reply:
Yes -- he told me of his lovely experience.
Happy New Year wish all the best for you love you
It's still early! 
But I sure do wish for you happiness, success, and safety always. 
I love you, too, my busy, busy girl!
I going to work will b busy that time
I know you will be; but I hope you can have some fun, too.
We've not communicated since, so I don't know if she did get to have some of that fun.

Mark and Bev watched some NFL action late this morning and the early afternoon, and then Mark discovered that his van had a flat rear tire.

While he was outside replacing it ─ with Bev's company ─ I noticed something else going on.  This was my description for the video I recorded:
I took note of a tall young lady walking past the front of our home early in the afternoon on New Year's Day (2017). 
She stopped a few times and looked across the street to where an older chap was working at shoveling snow from his driveway ─ he was mostly bent over due to back issues. 
She continued on, still looking back occasionally, and was soon lost from sight. 
And then I saw her returning, but on the other side of the street. 
She walked directly up to the man who was now seated in a chair, and after brief conversation, she put down her bag, picked up the snow shovel, and went to work. 
It took me a couple of minutes to think to record some of her activity, so I got my camera and started recording her for something over 90 seconds. 
She remained and completed the task with surprising strength.  And when done, she left and proceeded back down the street ─ no doubt with the man's sincere thanks.

Mark and Bev left around 2:00 p.m.  I had just been starting to feel the spiked coffee I was drinking, and had been expecting that maybe we'd be watching some shows together this afternoon while enjoying drinks together.

But I am on my own again.  And blogging.  It's the surest way to keep my mind diverted from dwelling upon the isolation.

By the way, before starting this post, I checked my AdSense account.

I earned absolutely nothing yesterday ─ it has been some days since that last happened.  I usually get at least a cent.  But the 2¢ that have accumulated to this point today evens it out, I guess.


Most people probably understand that it does the body no good to have slow bowels, as in a case of some constipation.  Those toxins within need to be regularly expelled, and not to be just sitting there.

Well, a study has found that there does indeed seem to be an association between constipation and kidney disease, as this report tells:

Dr. Marc S. Micozzi has an interesting commentary on the topic, and goes even further ─ he contends that other health issues can also be involved, such as breast cancer:


The state of the gut is key to so much that is utterly crucial to health ─ we ignore it at our peril.


What matters most to you ─ the number of calories in a prepared food item, or the source of those calories?

Apparently the States will initiate the following calorie labeling requirement this May ─ this quote is from a critical study of that policy's likely effectiveness:
By the end of 2016, federal policy will require chain restaurants with more than 20 US locations to include calorie information on their menus. Despite high expectations that this policy would encourage healthier eating, most studies of local policies to mandate calorie labels have demonstrated little impact on consumer choice.
Here are a couple of reports about this critical evaluation:



I heartily agree.

I don't worry about the amount of calories in things I eat ─ not if I know that they are wholesome calories.

Trash calories are the danger ─ those from trans fats and fructose, to give two examples.

I prefer to know what the ingredients are in the foods I might be about to eat ─ are there GMOs in the product?

This is a senseless and money-wasting policy that should have been vetoed.


The FDA has approved a new drug for the treatment of the most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis.  The drug is Eucrisa (crisaborole):


You will note in that very short report that an unidentified placebo was not all that far behind in effectiveness in the trials for this new medication.

That fact was not lost on this observer:


That second report offered some natural alternatives to medications, for anyone affected by atopic dermatitis.

To my thinking, this condition harks back to the issue of the state of the gut.

Much inflammation is attributable to an inadequate population of the desirable gut flora from an early age in life.  But I am not sufficiently versed in the topic to be able to state that we can reverse a lifetime of damage by undertaking to establish that missing optimal gut environment.

Still, it sure couldn't hurt to give it a solid try.


I took a break from this post around 4:30 p.m. and went outside to try my hand at shoveling snow from the driveway.

I found that I waited too long.  It had become bitterly cold, and the base of the snow has become affixed to the pavement ─ in other words, the pavement-contacting snow has turned to ice.

So I had to settle on removing some of the upper loose material that is actually rather powdery.

Unfortunately, we may be in for a stretch of colder weather that will likely not climb above freezing.

I wish to close for today, so here is a New Year's Day journal entry from 41 years ago, back when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting it in a house located on Ninth Street, just a house or two up from Third Avenue.

The evening before, I had gone with my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther to participate in a New Year's Eve party at the home of my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson.  She had a large household, and the party carried on until the breaking of day, at which point we started bedding down for some sleep ─ I was lying on the floor with a pillow under my head and a quilt for cover.

Jeanette (whom I tended to refer to as Cathy in my journal) was not in the least okay with having to sleep there and not go home.

At the time, my Aunt Nell may have been living on 64th Avenue in Surrey, quite near to Newton Junior High School.

Note that my old friend William Alan Gill had also come to the party, arriving in his new car.  He lived in New Westminster, too ─ maybe four or so blocks from my room.  Thus, he would be my ride home.
THURSDAY, January 1, 1976

I didn't sleep too long, being on my back; I had thought to sneak off and catch a bus home, but wasn't at all keen on the walk to the highway with my bad foot.

I finally arose about 8:30 a.m., as I could hear Bill coming out to join the few already up.

I wanted to leave as soon as possible.  But Bill stalled.

Bruce breakfasted us with eggs, toast, and hashed spuds.

And the time passed.

My head developed a splitting headache.

Jock & Shirley were going to the store, and he wanted my accompaniment.  I thought I'd never make it back, for great nausea and an attack of ill perspiration joined my headache in bringing me down.

I went straight to the bathroom ─ but it was occupied.

However, Cathy took me to Sandy & Randy's downstairs.

I managed 2 mouthfuls of vomit, and could do no more, though I still felt the strong need; the situation was complicated by a loose bowel which vied with my stomach over priority.

Finally I joined Mark in a bed, covering my aching head with my coat, and gradually slipping sweatily into a state of unconsciousness.

I blame Bill for my predicament there; if he'd left early, I'd have been home in bed.

I got up perhaps 11:30 a.m. with Mark.

Upstairs Bruce gave me a pint of chocolate milk; then a glass of coke that, by its stench and single taste, must have been 50% rye.

I could not drink that.

He eventually slept a bit on the couch, and I used the opportunity to pour the stuff down the drain.

Bill had yesterday invited me for a turkey dinner tonight at his mother's (he got one for buying his car when he did), but the way he was stalling on leaving, I began in the morning to needle him seriously that I might in better stead use the time for sleep.

When he finally left, it was nearly 2:00 p.m. when I crawled into my own bed.

I think a couple hours later the landlady knocked.

I got up to my alarm at 5:00 p.m. (Bill was to come at 6:00 p.m.); Bill came toward the end of my shower, but I didn't rush it.  He thought I wouldn't get out of bed, I guess.

I let him in and began to get ready.

When we left for the supposedly 7:00 o'clock meal, I took my camera, forgetting the bulbs (but I later borrowed a flash from his mother and took a shot of her with Bill just before we left for home).

The meal was delightful, though she was told by Bill to have it ready at 6:00 p.m.; we were about 15 minutes late.

Tomorrow night we are to finish off the 13 lb. bird.

We left a bit past 8:00 p.m. for home.
My cousin Bruce ─ one of Nell's sons ─ fixed up the breakfast.  I feel bad today reading that I poured out the drink of rye he had fixed up for me.  In the journal, I wrote 'coke' with the small 'c'; I was going to capitalize it  here, bu then I thought that maybe I had meant to write 'cola.'

Since I now do not know, I decided to just leave the word as I wrote it.

Jock (John) was another of Nell's sons; Shirley was just one of a pair of sisters who had attended the party.

Yet another son of Nell's was Randy.  He and his wife Sandy had a suite in the basement.

Evidently once I was back to my room in New Westminster and sleeping, I did not rise to answer my landlady's knocking.  No doubt I had no interest in trying to be social ─ I was in no shape for it.

As for the photo I took of dear Bill and his mother Anne Gregory, I still have it:

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