If Meat is Murder, Then What is Dairy?

Maybe robbery? I’m not sure, but I am certain that I do try and avoid eating meat, primarily for religious reasons as I am an ordained Dudeist priest. But it is also a super-healthy way to avoid eating very tasty, enjoyable food. So, when I got the call to do a taste test for a plant-based food, I was all in. Plant-based eats and paying me money to shovel them into my pie-hole? It was too good to be true. I headed over to pick up my food for an at-home taste test.

As I drove over to the testing facility, my mind spun with all the plant-based food possibilities. Maybe it would be a savory rump roast made entirely from chickpeas? Or, perhaps it was a complete Thanksgiving dinner molded out of ground brussel sprout meal.

Instead, it was this …

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Bonjour France, J’ai Un Blaireau Dans Mon Pantalon

For you unsophisticated readers, I believe that title translates to “Hello France, I have finished my Channel swim,” but I could be mistaken and it may mean “Hello France, I have a badger in my pants.” I’m hoping for the former as I have figuratively arrived in France after my swim across the English Channel this summer. The French were quite excited for my arrival earlier this week.

You can see my route from the beach at Dover in England to just southwest of Calais per this map.

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Cereal Killer Diet

Some of you may be wondering why I have not recently chronicled my battle with weight. Well, there has been a sort of detente between me and my fat for one year now. Sure, there have been minor ups and downs, but for the most part, I have maintained my weight for exactly one year.

Although this stable weight was not my ultimate goal weight, it is 15 pounds down from my portly apex and a weight I’m semi-comfortable at. I still jiggle but don’t draw as much attention as I used to.

I’ve been somewhat resigned to being 5 pounds away from my goal weight which would still put me at about 10 pounds overweight. But then, I discovered what I am calling the Cereal Killer Diet. It seems like only yesterday that I stumbled upon it, when in fact, it was two days ago. Let me take you back in time to those events of that fateful day.

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Defeeted

I have successfully recovered from my bout with cellulitis. Not that any of you care. I can count on one hand the cards, letters, boxes of candy, flowers, cash, gift cards, etc. that I received, and I don’t have to use any fingers or even my hand. Fortunately, as I recovered from the cellulitis, I developed a case of plantar fasciitis so that I can still have something to complain about.

If you are not familiar with plantar fasciitis, it’s quite painful. But sometimes, from pain comes amazing art. However, in this case, I wrote a poem. More accurately, it is free verse, because I was too lazy to rhyme. Before you click to continue reading my new creation, I should warn you that the two people I have read this to have been at a loss for words upon hearing it, and not necessarily in a good way.

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Cellu-what’s-this?

I hate it when my wife is so dogmatic and then turns out to be so right. She didn’t take a very long look at my infected arm before rendering her diagnosis … cellulitis. And she highly suggested I listen to her and seek medical attention before I headed off on a trip to St. Louis. I always value her suggestions, especially when I feel threatened, so I trudged off to the clinic to receive a diagnosis of …

That’s right, my wife was 100% correct … again. But is cellulitis serious?

Uh-oh. Considering my case of cellulitis was spreading up my arm toward my armpit where I know my lymph nodes like to hang out (they’re kind of weird that way), I realized how in debt to my wife I was once again. A pic of my diseased arm follows for those with strong stomachs.

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The English Channel is a Cold, Lonely Place

I’m getting close to finishing my swim across the English Channel this summer. More importantly, I’m confused as to how I should refer to the swim. It’s not a literal swim across the Channel, but it’s also not figurative. I am literally swimming 21 miles, just not actually in the Channel. Maybe a combination of literal & figurative? Liturative? Figeral? Regardless, you get the idea. I’m swimming a lot this summer. But maybe not enough. I’m still 5 miles away from France’s shores, and summer is quickly slipping away.

I am close enough to almost smell the French fries fying, see the French rolls rolling, and hear the French champagne corks popping. Just a couple weeks ago, I almost threw in the towel, although not lituratively or figerally. My pool succumbed to mustard algae again and turned this lovely color.

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Halfway to France

Well, I’ve made it over halfway to France as I attempt to swim the equivalent distance of the English Channel this summer.

If I flounder now, it’s on France’s shoulders to come rescue me. Who knows what my French rescuers may throw to me as floatation devices in case I am in distress? Maybe empty champagne bottles and merveilleux fromage français (or wonderful French cheese for our English-speaking readers). The French have so much cheese that they use for so many things that I just assume that they also use it for water rescues. But will it float? Fortunately, we have an expert on the buoyancy of cheese (good name for an album) standing by who can answer that question.

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Channeling

A while back, I foolishly proclaimed in a blog post that I would be swimming the equivalent of 21 miles across the English Channel this summer. With the calendric summer half over, let’s take a look at where I’m at.

Well, that’s not far enough. At this rate, I will be at just under 17 miles out by the end of August. I will be too far from Dover for the British to mount an ocean rescue, and the French simply won’t care.

The reality is that crappy weather got me off to a late start swimming this summer, and I strained a knee ligament during my first open water swim which has slowed me a bit. Oh, and I also injured my butt when I had the “brilliant” idea to try jumping part of the way across the Channel.

I’ve been trying to split my swims between pools and open water. At this point, I have 5 miles of pool swims in with 3.4 miles in open water. Getting in the open water swims has not been as easy as I expected.

I had hopes of cycling through fields of Purple Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans to get to a secluded, illegal swimming hole, which is typically the best kind. Well, the flowers didn’t disappoint.

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My Apple Watch Review

If you recall, I got a totally free Apple Watch that I must wear in exchange for a company using the data from the watch to study my brain. Yep, you read that correctly – my brain. I absolutely got the better end of that deal.

It’s worked out okay so far. I had no idea how many people wear Apple Watches until I started wearing one and noticing others wearing the same. I feel like I’m sort of in a club now, like a biker gang. You know how bikers signal each other when they pass?

Well. I’ve started signaling to other Apple Watch wearers. I think this signal is subtle, but effective. Take a look.

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I Got Vaccinated, or Did I?

I really don’t know for sure. Not for COVID, silly readers. I’m twice vaxxed and boosted against COVID. I just got vaccinated against RSV (click HERE for more info on RSV), which stands for Respiratory SomethingIcannotspell Virus. Or, did I get vaccinated? I really don’t know. I’ll explain.

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In Over My Head

I kicked off my summer swimming season when I was on my recent trip with my daughter. I swam indoors over 3 mornings and totaled 1 mile. It felt good getting back in the pool, but I yearned for open water swimming. Today was the day. The only thing keeping me from a 7:30AM swim in a deep water quarry with 66 degree F/19 degree C water when the air temp was 62F/17C was common sense. Well, that has never been much of a deterrent to me in life. I would definitely literally be in over my head today in the water.

I was also figuratively in over my head today. I pulled in as another swimmer was having his wife (assuming they were married because who else would be crazy enough to be out there with him?) help him prepare for his swim with wetsuit, goggles, swim cap, emergency inflatable, amphetamines, swim diaper, etc. He and many others present were serious swimmers training for triathlons. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his car.

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Want a FREE Apple Watch?

Of course, I won’t be the one giving you a totally FREE Apple Watch. Come on, I’m already offering you an almost free (under a buck!) award-winning book of short stories. But I can point you in the right direction to get a FREE Apple Watch. I have to admit, I was skeptical. But I registered, and this arrived by FedEx.

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My Dermatologist Won’t Take My Advice

But who in their right mind would? It would be challenging to find anyone who would admit to taking my advice. I have seen a lot of my dermatologist recently as she carved away more skin cancer from my noggin. I was hoping that in lieu of payment, I could do some “consulting” work for her. I have spent almost all of my career in sales & marketing, so I thought I could help her out with some ways to promote her business and make her waiting room even busier.

I had noticed more women than men in the waiting room. On my initial recent visit to my dermatologist, I shared with her a way to draw more men to her practice. For every visit a man makes to her practice, offer a free transplant of 5 hairs. I’d be in to see her every couple weeks for excellent dermatological care and a better hairline.

On my next visit to her for the actual surgery, I wasn’t sure if I was more excited to have my cancer removed or get 5 hairs planted on top of my head.

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A Sweet Deal

I have a new “career” as an independent Product Marketing Consultant. So far I have done “consulting” for companies on a variety of topics such as a cremation website, an anti-virus program, lawn & garden product packaging, Medicare, printer ink, and entertainment streaming services, along with others. Yes, people actually are listening to my opinion and paying me good money for it. In the past, nobody has ever wanted to even hear my opinion, let alone pay me for it. My wife doesn’t want to hear it. My friends don’t want to hear me drone on about this and that and how my soup’s too cold. And my kids certainly have never listened to me. They stuck with listening to their mother. Good choice on their parts.

I had blogged that I was hoping to be chosen for a product marketing study about candy. The candy study was local, paid well, and involved me eating caramel candy.

Exactly, Homer. And then yesterday, I got this text.

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Sore Loser

As I mentioned before, I have been taking part in product marketing studies as a way to make some extra cash. It’s been working well. I find them fun and interesting, and I think I’m pretty good at them. There is a caramel candy taste study I hope I am chosen for that is 3 hours long and pays $350. If I can eat caramel for 3 hours, I think I would do it for free.

Anyway, I am always on the lookout for new studies to which I can apply. I saw this one the other day.

It kind of makes me wish I had recurring cold sores (note to self: bad name for a band).

Vampire Resistant

Well, I tried. I really did. I went to my appointment earlier this week and got my mini-physical. Turns out that I’m in excellent health, thank you. Although I’m not sure how good of a physical it really was as they would not let me drop my pants or take off my shirt in the office. I then answered a bunch of questions about my health history before I was ultimately rejected and went home in disgrace. Just to clarify, in disgrace is normally how I return home from everywhere.

That’s right, they didn’t want my donation of blood plasma without a doctor’s note from my dermatologist verifying that she has my skin cancer under control. No problem, right? Uh, actually …

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Another Edition of … Am I a Bad Guy?

Tonight I start what I hope will be a series of blood plasma donations. Blood plasma is critically needed to create medicines to treat rare, genetic, and chronic diseases. I first heard about it through my brother-in-law who donates. Of course, he’s also donated one of his kidneys. Show-off. Anyway, here’s an overview if you are interested.

I am fine with all that, but one thing troubles me. I want to specify that my blood plasma only be used to treat Democrats and Independents. Definitely NOT to be used to help Republicans. Am I a bad guy?