Keto and me

I am Italian by heritage – if you couldn’t figure out by the last name. I love pasta, bread, pizza and the plethora of carb sludge that American’s also love. The Americans, that by some studies, are listed as being almost 75% obese.

I recently bucked 40+ years of indoctrination, and went to a Keto diet. The hesitation stems from a fear of fat. I literally used to ‘blot’ my pizza to get as much of the oils off the top of the pizza as I could. My daily fat intake was usually much less than 20 grams a day. I have no idea what my carb intake was – I never tracked it.

While you can find a ‘study’ to support most anything nowadays, I was still stuck on the government recommended food-pyramid, but the more I researched, the more I began to realize that the significant number of studies that supported a low carb diet, also made sense, chemically.

So three months ago, I went into ketosis, and here I am, 35 pounds lighter, changing nothing but my eating habits. Is it sustainable or will it eventually kill me, I don’t know – but for now, I feel much better, and I know by way of losing 35 pounds I am healthier.

So, all that said, what’s the point: the US government released its updated recommendations, and they are still spreading the (mis)information that carbs should be your largest daily consumption. Why?

Economics.

The cost to produce and consume carbs is much lower than the alternatives. Watch Food Inc, or one of the similar documentaries, then read this opinion article, which is what triggered my post.

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/419020-government-dietary-guidelines-are-plain-wrong-avoid-carbs-not-fat

The guidelines are very influential. In fact, their pro-carb message is precisely why schools serve kids doughnuts and pop tarts for breakfast. Is this what we want for our children? We must ensure the next guidelines reflect the best thinking in nutritional science.

Will there ever be a crises of conscious, and maybe there should be a documentary out there called “Economics Vs Health”?

Outsourcing vs. Insourcing

Found this post on my FB page from 2012, apparently some paper I wrote at the University, but never published here.

Outsourcing vs. Insourcing – I had an interesting conversation with myself this morning related to some of my graduate work.

Last month General Motors (GM) announced it was looking to insource somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000 Information Technology jobs back into the United States (Overby, 2012). Citing benefits such as productivity, business alignment, innovation and agility, GM hopes that the benefits will outweigh the increased cost of insourcing the IT functions (2012).

Outsourcing is used to describe the process by which an organization takes work being performed by internal employees and sending it to external employees or external organizations. Insourcing is the process in reverse, taking work that was previously sent outside of a company and bringing the work back into the company.

While Outsourcing and Insourcing can be done within a single country, often in many people’s minds, the words promote a connotation of sending or receiving work to or from other countries.

Many companies are beginning to insource back from other countries, and in my opinion they are wise visionaries. From an international perspective, in these economic times, I think some organizations are realizing that it may be irresponsible and counter productive to continue to outsource so much work to other countries.

While the costs may be lower for companies initially, the slowing rate of economic growth in our country means there will be higher unemployment and fewer consumers to purchase products. Thus while initial costs go down, demand for products also go down, and as the law of supply and demand dictates companies have to begin producing less in order to keep their prices stable. By producing less, they begin to need fewer laborers, which in turn limits the number of employees they can hire. In my opinion it is a vicious cycle.

By bringing more jobs back into the country, there will be an initial higher start up cost; however, as unemployment goes down consumerism will increase. As the consumption of products increase, supply can increase with the demand and prices can remain constant. However, companies can also have more intentional control over supply. By limiting supply, they can limit supply which will in turn increase costs and in turn it will increase profit while still supporting the economic goal of reducing unemployment.

While this is a simplified view of the process, and there should be a balance to keep inflation from getting out of control, overall, I think companies are also realizing the PR benefits of bringing jobs back into the United States (Overby, 2012; Karl, 2012).

References
Overby. (2012, October 8). GM banks on insourcing, opens up 10,000 IT positions. Computerworld. Retrieved from www.computerworld.in: http://www.computerworld.in/news/gm-banks-insourcing-opens-10000-it-positions-31812012

Karl. (2012, May 18). The Indian outsourcing issue is back. Retrieved from www.businessweek.com: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-18/the-indian-outsourcing-issue-is-back

Blog entry: first day of vacation

Day#1: The time it takes to get the tent put up and taken down has really hampered the overall tone of the day. Perhaps I’ll get used to the nomad life before it’s time to go back to work.

[note: have no idea where I found the image, so can’t provide attribution].

Boys Adrift – The crises of young men

International Woman’s day has had me thinking a lot about the pandemic of the failure to launch syndrome.

My children range in age and gender, and I can look around and see this story playing out both near and far.

From Dr. Leonard Sax’s book: boys adrift:

Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically. While Emily is working hard at school and getting A’s, her brother Justin is goofing off. He’s more concerned about getting to the next level in his videogame than about finishing his homework. Now, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.

Here is another, more recent treatment on the topic:

Meeting a legend! Kevin Mitnick.

23 years ago, on Feb 15th, the worlds most famous hacker, Kevin Mitnick, was apprehended in NC after years on the run from the FBI.  Prompting many, many young hackers and computer enthusiasts (including yours truly) to take up the mantra “Free Kevin”.

A little over 28 years ago, I started my own journey into information security (thankfully never pursued by the FBI), and much like Loyd Blankenship (Hackers Manifesto), Kevin had a profound impact on my young security career.

Today, not only did I get see Kevin in action (POC exploits), but I got to say hello and shake his hand. I didn’t even think about taking a picture, I just wanted to shake his hand; but I’m thankful, someone there said “would you like a picture”.

Thank you anonymous picture taker!

Playing with Python

It’s been 15+ years since I have received a coding assignment, so recently, I decided to try moving in the opposite direction from Assembly, C, and Reverse engineering, and decided to take a course on Udemy for learning python.

So far, it is an excellent course.  If you are interested the course is located here.

The assignment:  create a Tic Tac Toe game in Python.  The results are as follows:

https://github.com/idarthjedi/TicTacToe/blob/master/tictactoe.py

Resurrection of Animals – you ask?

For my Christian friends:

I’m a logical person, I eat animals as much as I have them as pets, I won’t hold to false hopes, but I didn’t hear any logical, biblical, or otherwise, facts offered in the video below that a friend posted.

Do animals go to Heaven?

I think a more complete treatment can be found here:  

Will Spot be in Heaven?

Short version,  man and animal are different, but the bible is (mostly) silent to resurrection of animals.

I would say that I can’t tell what Paul is up to when he claims all of creation groans for resurrection and redemption, especially if it only means complete and utter annihilation and destruction for all created things but humans.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently

What do you think?

Blessings in disguise

Today, I had the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus; and I hesitated, and I lost out. I was left with a feeling of love, and wonder and shame.  Here is the story.

You need to have this background first:  I work in an area that is quite a bit run down, in the two years I have been here, there have been stabbings and shootings in the parking lot.

I have recently taken to walking through the parking lot to a gas station half a block over to a Subway.  It’s not the cleanest looking gas station, I feel a little out of place in my dress clothes; but the people are polite, and nice, and the food area is clean and well kept.

Today, as I was walking through, there was a fella outside picking through trash cans; as I walked by, he stood up and started shuffling his way behind me.  Given my background, I have a heightened level of situational awareness; so I watched him closely out of the corner of my eye, and then through the reflection of windows and cars.  No issues.

After I ordered, inside, and had a pleasant and familiar discussion with the ladies behind the counter, this same fella came stomping in.  Once again, my level of awareness increased. He stomped to the back of the store to grab a drink, and then over to the sandwich counter.

To the reply of the lady behind the counter he very gruffly said “I want a sandwich with everything on it”.  It seemed clear he was slightly intoxicated.

As I walked over to pay, racing through my mind was the fact that I knew this fella couldn’t pay for his own food.  Once I ascertained there seemed to be no immediate threat, I tried to rationalize how he went from picking out of the trash to buying a sandwich and drink.  Slowly, in my mind, crept the thought that I could pay for his sandwich, I had the means, and I could see a storm brewing.

As I started thinking through all the ways I could do it, without becoming ‘personally involved’, in less than the couple minutes that I stood there trying to rationalize what I was going to do, and how, an elderly lady came through the door and said over my shoulders to the cashier, “I’m going to pay for his sandwich”.

I was immediately overwhelmed with various emotions.  First, love and compassion for someone who would see a random stranger picking through trash, and instead of immediately viewing them as a threat, and running through scenarios on how to contain that threat, she went over and asked if she could help.

Then, shame, that as a young, relatively healthy human, with means, I would stand there contemplating for so long whether or not I should help, and he had a clear need. The book I bought on Amazon this morning cost more than the price of his meal.  I was rationalizing, because I didn’t want the “messiness” of dealing with the humanity of the situation.

In the end, I lost the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but I got to witness someone, whether in Christ or not, was faithful to their fellow human, to part of the Message.  It was a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps, next time, I’ll stop thinking, and start doing.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.