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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Plants, Melatonin, and Essential Circadian Rhythms │ Oral Contraceptives and Blood Clots │ Many Women Still Being Urged to Take Risky Annual Mammograms

As reported yesterday, my wife Jack arrived home from Vancouver around 5:15 p.m. with her eldest son Tho, whom she must have picked up somewhere after he had finished work in Burnaby.

She was to be home for the night.

However, I was unable to out-wait her, and shortly after 11:00 p.m. I had to let her know that I was going to bed ─ I was unusually tired. She was fussing around in the kitchen, washing dishes.

I am sure that I was asleep before she joined me in bed, but I became aware when she did. I just didn't feel like lifting my blindfold to check the time once the light was turned off.

It was a typical bad night's sleep. I rose once overnight to use the bathroom and drink some water just because I found myself awake enough to do so.

It was something like 6:07 a.m. when I checked the time in the morning, wondering if I ought to be getting up even though my burning eyes were telling me that I needed more sleep. However, I realized that Tho was still home. If his mother has spent the night like she did, he always abuses her when he is readying to leave for work by getting her up to drive him to the SkyTrain ─ it is far more important to him that he has the comfort of that ride than it is for him to allow his poor mother to sleep.

So I waited for that to happen ─ which it did around 6:20 a.m. when he rapped three times on the bedroom door and uttered a Thai word or two of summons to her for good measure.

Once she had dressed and gone downstairs, I also rose.

But unlike her, I was up to stay. She went back to bed after she returned from driving the soft suck to the SkyTrain.

The morning seemed to be surprisingly sunny.

After I put in the work I wanted to perform today as a minimum at the edit I am making of an old post at my Siam-Longings website, I helped myself to some of the Thai curry that Jack had cooked last evening.

I followed that with a good helping of the fermenting purple cabbage that I started last Monday, and which is still ageing in a large plastic tub here in the room upstairs where I keep my computer.

And then at 11:05 a.m. ─ Jack was still not up ─ I commenced what was to prove to be about 45 minutes seated out in the backyard and facing into the Sun. I know that I undoubtedly dazed out, tired as I was.

I had heard Jack in the kitchen not too very long after I was outside ─ maybe 15 minutes after. By the time I returned into the house, she had finished some more cooking, and was just about ready to leave us to return to Vancouver.

It was around noon when I saw her off, both of us in rather good humour.

She never mentioned when she would be back, nor did I ask.

I have a few more photos to post that were taken last Fall when she had charged up the cost of a trip back to Thailand to visit her mother after not having seen her since early March 2013.

Her home village is Nong Soong, which is about a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani.

Although it seems reasonable to me that this small collection of photos that I will offer today were taken there (or very nearby), that is 'educated' speculation. I would also say that the photos were probably taken on November 16, 2016:

Okay, now let's return to that batch of fermenting purple cabbage.

I tried my hand at fermenting it beginning on Monday of last week. I had never done anything like this before, and was inspired by watching my wife Jack set up two batches of vegetables to ferment not more than two weeks earlier ─ they were separate batches: she first fermented green cabbage; and then after that proved successful, she did some bok choy.

But I did not follow her 'recipe.'

First off, she  pretty much crushed her two collections of vegetables, but I found that far too difficult to do with the leaves of the head of purple cabbage that I first had soaking in water in the kitchen sink.

So I painstakingly tore them up into very small pieces.

Then all I did was cover them over with tap water, and I finished by salting the top quite liberally with some orange Himalayan salt ─ I used up all of the little that we had remaining in the container; and then I continued with some Mediterranean sea salt.

I don't use normal table salt for anything ─ it's been tampered with far too much by way of processing. And I have also read that the iodine in such salt may actually interfere with the bacteria whose flourish we want to encourage.

And that's all I did ─ just cabbage busted up into very small pieces, water, and salt.

I had to use a large plastic tub because we had nothing else large enough ─ I would have needed two of the enamel pots that Jack had used, but I didn't want to tie them up from cooking use for as long as I figured I might have to be using them.

I have had several helpings beginning three days ago, so the plastic tub was probably half full before I started sampling. Too, yesterday I scooped away a lot of the top sections because the cabbage had not been submerged in the water, and there were fairly extensive areas that appeared to have a mouldy film spreading.

The mould ─ if that's what was developing ─ would not be able to live within the brine; nor would pathogenic organisms such as 'bad' bacteria. The wholesome fermenting bacteria would kill off anything else.

Or so I have been hoping each time I enjoy a small bowl of the stuff! Today I had more juice than I have taken at any one time previously, and in drinking it down after I had eaten the pieces of cabbage, it was almost like drinking pickle juice ─ it is that well fermented. I could barely resist making a 'sour face.'

Here is a photo that I took today of the plastic tub that I had placed on the dining table:

As I had said, it was fuller a few days ago.

The lid of that container has a split that is nearly through to the centre, as you can see here ─ that is an iPhone that you can see lying next to the container, just for perspective:

And here is s shot of the contents ─ far nearer a red than purple any longer:

It tastes like strong sauerkraut ─ I love it!

And provided that I really do have a good product and am not spooning and drinking down masses of slow-acting pathogenic bacteria that are going to strike me down days, weeks, or maybe even two months from now, then I firmly believe that I am doing myself and my intestinal flora a vast and untold wealth of good!

In fact, I shall try to always have something like this on hand brewing up.

I just wish that I didn't have to use that plastic container.


The following short article is quite intriguing, for I never considered the so-called sleep hormone melatonin to be not just prevalent in other animals, but also throughout the plant kingdom.

Also, were you aware that the nutritional value of harvested vegetables and fruits actually changes over the course of each 24-hour day due to circadian rhythm cycles that plants demonstrate?


I checked out one of the studies the article referenced ─ it involved 'training' harvested cabbages to become attuned to a cycle of light and darkness in their storage much as they would have enjoyed out in the field where they were grown.

In the quote below from the study, just know that 4-methylsulfinylbutyl (4MSO) is a cabbage glucosinolate identified as a beneficial phytochemical because of its anticancer and antimicrobial activities:
These results suggest that light-dark storage of postharvest cabbage combined with timed preparation, preservation, and/or consumption to coincide with peak accumulation points may enhance the health value of the food crop. For example, cabbage stored under 12 hr light-dark cycles may provide as much as 2- to 3-fold more 4MSO phytochemical if the cabbage were ingested 4 to 8 hr after initiation of the light period than if the cabbage were stored under constant light or darkness. 
From the little research I have just done, another name for 4-methylsulfinylbutyl (4MSO) is glucoraphanin.

I hope the technical language did not lose your interest. But is it not amazing that cabbage stored with alternating 12-hour periods of light and darkness has two or three times more phytochemicals four to eight hours after beginning their light cycle?

If you are utterly blank concerning just what are phytochemicals, this basic article at FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org should clue you in somewhat: What Are Phytonutrients?


How many of us are aware of any adverse relationship between cellular hydration and the consumption of so many of those commercial sports drinks that are supposed to be supplying electrolytes?

This also ties in with the real dangers of blood clots in women taking oral contraceptives.

The following article explains:


The topic of sexuality and giving birth is not something I want to broach at this time, so I am going to pass it by.


Let's talk about mammograms for a little bit.

First, this question: During which phase of life should a woman be undergoing them? Any idea?

Well, if the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is to be believed, a woman only needs to undergo the procedure from the age of 50, and then stop upon reaching the age of 75 (see here).

However, most medical authorities completely ignore that recommendation:




I located that claim in that last reference concerning the Susan G. Komen organization:
The more mammograms a woman has, the more likely she will have a false positive result that will require follow-up tests. The chance of having a false positive result after 10 yearly mammograms is about 50-60 percent.
They also had the gall to claim this:
Getting a false positive result can cause short-term fear and worry. However, these feelings do not seem to have lasting effects. 
Remember, most women called back for a false positive result do not have breast cancer.
But isn't that what's so damned awful about the false positive in the first place? The poor woman didn't have a cancer, yet was identified as possibly having one!

And the fear and worry doesn't "seem to have lasting effects"?

This is what BreastCancer.org says about false positives:
When a screening mammogram shows an abnormal area that looks like a cancer but turns out to be normal, it’s called a false positive. Ultimately the news is good: no breast cancer. But the suspicious area usually requires follow-up with more than one doctor, extra tests, and extra procedures, including a possible biopsy.
How many women are not going to be going through hell while experiencing all of that? As one article back on February 7 was titled, "Many Women Skip Mammograms After False-Positive Result."

Well, of course! They don't ever want that experience again.

I will leave the subject at that ─ my eyes need a rest, so I want to be done with today's post.


Despite the unexpectedly sunny morning, the sky hazed over for the afternoon. And supposedly we are due rain this evening ─ as well as overnight and on well into tomorrow.

March hereabouts was the most sunless month since such records have been kept. And last month (April) was the fourth rainiest on record. 

Here to close today's post is a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. My small quarters were being rented in a house located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

I had been out drinking with family and friends the evening before, and never made it to bed until 5:00 a.m.
SUNDAY, May 2, 1976

I got up at 10:00 a.m.

With my Muscle Mag mail in mind, I am going to visit Bill; he said not to come over any earlier than 2:00 p.m.

I discovered in a discarded copy of yesterday's The Sun that I did not make a place in the preliminary Western Lottery. So now I must await anew, hoping May 12 and the televised final draw are fateful for me. But I'm stuck for next week-end.

Well, Bill wasn't home at 2:00 p.m.; but my walk in a fine rain benefited someone, as I helped a fellow push a car a couple feet up a slight gradient so he could park the fuelless thing.

Soon I put myself abed from sleep debt and boredom, but I tried not to fall deep asleep by remaining on my back.

I left here about 5:00 p.m. to check out Bill again. He wasn't there, but his mother was. He'd apparently gone to Nell's; so much for my hope of seeing mom today.

I was there perhaps 45 minutes afore his return. I thus supped with them, then went along as he took home his mother. Thereafter, I bought 2 quarts of vanilla ice-cream ($1.19) and he a boysenberry pie ($1.35). These we ate at his place.

When I left for home, I considered buying pornography, but the idea of the expense and the crime deterred me.

Gee I'm getting to be a flabby thing! I feel guilty about Bill's state, and hope to God a lottery comes across for me so I can metamorphose us both.

Bed at 10:00 p.m., I guess.
My old friend William Alan Gill may have lived little more than four blocks from my room ─ he was renting a bachelor suite. He had been part of the previous evening's drinking.

Bill's mother Anne Gregory was renting her own place ─ possibly in a duplex ─ over in Maillardville. She was commonly at his suite on weekends, doing his cleaning, laundry, cooking ─ they would even go grocery shopping together so he could stock up.

I was hoping that he would be interested in a drive out to Surrey to where my mother lived in the Kennedy Heights area. Her home was my main mailing address, and her husband had let me know on Friday that the latest edition of MuscleMag International had arrived. I was in need of the inspiration, apparently.

However, Bill was already away in Surrey visiting the household of my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson ─ she and much of those living there had been involved in the drinking Bill and I had indulged in that previous night. His car and also a pick-up truck were used to haul a load of us across the border to Bellingham to drink in a tavern there.  

Without the ease of Bill's car for the transportation, I would not be going to my mother's home that day ─ the hike just to get there was 1½ hours of fast-paced walking.

I have always had such high hopes of winning financial freedom in a lottery or sweepstakes, but it was never to happen. And now I am just hoping that it happens before I am too much older and unable to benefit from such a win. 

The reason I was concerned of Bill's physical status was because at perhaps five feet and 10 inches in height, he may then have exceeded 300 pounds in body-weight. So filling up on the sort of junk food that we did was far worse for him than for me.

Despite how I described myself, I was generally regarded as very well-built. Had it not been for my joblessness, I have no doubt that I would have been a father while still in my 20s. 

As it happened, I was never to have my own child ─ I never had lasting romantic involvements until I was into my early 50s and met Jack over in Thailand.

But that is a whole new conversation I haven't the time nor mood for today.
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