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Posts Tagged ‘StarTrek TOS’

Yesterday, I woke up to darkness.  The alarm clock said it was after 8am, but the bedroom was DARK!  I slipped out of bed and went to look out the window and I felt very much like what the surviving dinosaurs must have felt the day after the meteor struck.  “Well, I’m still here, but it looks like Hell out there!”
The sky was a dark reddish, orange and grey with a steady (but light) ash-fall.  The streetlights were still on, because the day-light sensors were telling the lights it’s still night-time.
Here’s a shot looking east to where the sun normally is at this time of morning…
Here are a couple of shots of my car (which is parked under our carport)…
Here’s a shot of the ashes covering our backyard garden table…  The shadows you see are from the motion-activated yard lights which only come on when it is “dark”.  They don’t come on during dusk / evening / twilight.  Only when it is night.
The “day” brightened in the mid-afternoon before quickly getting dark again.  The “orb” of the sun was never visible in the sky.
Just as a matter of personal curiosity, the lack of visible spectrum light made the greens, oranges and reds REALLY pop out with incredibly vibrant color.  Truly bizarre!  Or, as Mister Spock would say:  “Fascinating!”
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On This Day In:
2019 Where And Why
Day 12: Pause Or Plateau?
Eating Later
2018 Here And Hope
2017 Choose
2016 All I Ever Wanted
2015 Compassionate Toward Yourself
2014 All And None
2013 Voices In The Dark
2012 Does Uncommonly Flexible = Flip-Flopping?
2011 A Modest Review Of A Modern Day Classic
Encouragement Is The Path To Immortality

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The end of day nine and (now) most of the way through day ten…
Morning weight: 358lbs.  (on Day 10)
I am down / down “1/15”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 15lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).  Compared to today (Day 10), yesterday (Day 9) was easy.  Maybe it’s a hangover from yesterday’s flu shot at the doctor’s office, or not, I don’t know.  I woke up feeling “fuzzy”.  I walked the dog (like every morning), but I kind of “woke up” every now and then realizing I was walking along just staring at the sidewalk.  The day was grey and overcast, so I wasn’t missing anything brilliant, but I really have little to no recollection of most of the walk.  I’m tempted to blame it on low blood-sugar level, but that normally feels weakening, not fuzzy around the edges.  Anyway, I got home and drank some “swamp-juice” and started feeling better.
Most of yesterday was just “chillin’.  I remain “mildly” surprised at how much extra time blogging takes up during these fasts.  It’s my own fault for trying to keep a running daily tab, but this “journaling” is the closest I come to actually writing.  Yes, I also do book and movie reviews on this blog, but I’m really slacking off on the book reading and I’ve got a running list of just over a hundred movies I’ve not reviewed in the last eighteen months.  Heck, I’ve got over five movies to review from this week alone!  Alas, if only there were more hours in a day and / or I were less of a procrastinator.
Before reading any further, remember I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist.  I am only relating what I have viewed on YouTube and read over the course of my lifetime in books and magazines.  Take everything I opine on with a healthy bit of skepticism and conduct your own research.  To quote the famous Vulcan expression: “Never trust anyone over 50!”  Me in particular…
Eat Less
I mentioned a few days ago that I believe losing weight comes down to three things.  ONE of them was to eat less.  I also mentioned I didn’t particularly believe this meant eating less calories.  Huh?  It turns out for many years we’ve been fed (pardon the pun) a line as to both calories and various food types.  It turns out that you really AREN’T what you eat.  When we eat fat, we don’t get fat and when we eat food high in cholesterol we don’t “get” high cholesterol.  It seems the body has an organ (the liver) which can make enough for you to live without eating foods with high cholesterol content.  BUT, that’s not the same thing as saying eating foods with high cholesterol will make your cholesterol rise.  From my limited reading (remember, I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist), we don’t know if it does or not for “most” people.  We also don’t know if the bump / effect is permanent or short term and we don’t know if it (high cholesterol) causes any problems in the body.  We have evidence that folks who die from heart disease also frequently have high cholesterol, but correlation is not causation.  For all we know, the heart disease may be causing the high cholesterol, rather than the other way around.
According to one of the (many) online calculators, at 5′ 10″ and 358 pounds, my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is : 2750 and my Daily Calorie Needs (DCN) is: 3850 calories.  The BMR is how many calories you need if you are in a coma or sleeping all day.  The DCN is how much I need for a sitting job and light physical activity (aka: a normal life).  What this says is that (on average) I will burn 110 calories per hour if I do nothing but breathe, and I need to take in 150 calories per hour if I live my “normal” life.  This will leave me at a complete wash.  I won’t gain weight.  I won’t lose weight.  As most folks normally eat during a 16 hour period (8hrs per day of sleep), that “really” breaks down to about 240 calories per hour or three meals in that time span of 1,300 calories each.  (Yes, I am rounding my numbers.)
When considering these numbers, please recall both BMR and DCN are related to height and weight.  Since my height is not going to decrease by dieting, we really only need to think about weight.  As my weight decreases, my BMR and my DCN will both also decrease.  So, as I get lighter, I will need to progressively eat less.  Surprising, the difference is not linear for either.  If I were my “ideal maximum” weight for my height (181 pounds), my BMR should be: 1678 and DCN should be: 2349 calories.  Since my ideal weight is almost exactly half my current, I would expect my BMR and DCN at my ideal weight to also be one half (i.e. BMR: 2750 / 2 = 1375 and DCN: 3850 / 2 = 1925).  The two ratios are linear (corresponding) with each other, but they are not linear with weight loss.  So, something seems out of whack for calories…
It is generally accepted you need to burn 3,500 calories to burn off one pound of body weight (per week), or 500 calories per day.  That’s not eating slightly more than two candy bars or not drinking three eight ounce glasses of average juice per day.  That should be “doable” for most people.  Instead of four bars a day, I’ll cut back to one or two and voilà, in two years (-ish) I’m skinny.
The problem seems to be that calories don’t count as much as sweetness counts.  Fat / obesity “seems” to be more related to insulin than it is to calories.  And the primary purpose of insulin is to maintain blood-sugar level within a pretty narrow band:  too low, you pass out;  too high, you get sick (think: diabetic coma).  So, the questions are:  “What do we know about insulin?  And, how can we control it?”
And…  more to come…
Oh, yeah.  The average Vulcan lifespan (in StarTrek:TOS) is 180 to 200 years.  The actual Vulcan expression is:  “Never take the advice of anyone under 50.”  Presumably, because they haven’t lived long enough to know much.
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On This Day In:
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 2)
Day 1: Redux
2017 Good Blogs, Too
2016 My Prediction For #AmnestyDon
2015 Worth A Try
2014 I’m Feeling It
2013 May I Have A Little More, Please?
2012 Increasing Doubt
2011 You Can’t Touch This

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Hacksaw Ridge (2016)  —  movie review
WAAAYYY back in August 2016, I wrote a post about a documentary, a movie preview (“trailer”), and a few comments on something I’d discovered on YouTube which I then called “trailer reviews”.  Here is a link to that post for anyone who would like to read my earlier post:  https://kmabarrett.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/conscientious-courage/
At any rate, the movie came out and, for whatever reason, I never have reviewed it.  This post corrects that mistake.  (My earlier post was about the documentary / subject of the movie and not on the actual movie.)
The film is a typically formatted two-part military tale focusing on the World War II training (pre-military life / boot camp), and then, (actual) combat experiences of Desmond Doss, a combat medic who was a pacifist / Seventh-day Adventist Christian, who refused to touch, carry or use a firearm or weapon of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  The medal was for service above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Okinawa (April to June 1945).  It should be mentioned, the movie implies the battle shown was a few days / nights long.  In fact, it (the battle shown) lasted a couple of weeks and the battle for the island several months.  Also, Doss received medals for two acts of courage in combat (on two other islands) which preceded this battle on Okinawa, so his courage was already known by his fellow soldiers before the events depicted in this movie.
Andrew Garfield stars as Doss, and Hugo Weaving (Mr. Smith from the Matrix movies) as his father, with Sam Worthington (the blue guy in “Avatar”) as Doss’ company commander and Vince Vaughn as his drill instructor and platoon sergeant.  The film received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Garfield and Best Sound Editing, and winning the awards for Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.
First we are introduced to Doss as a child and learn about his desire to be a doctor.  We also meet his girlfriend and future wife.  (Normally, I would describe all of this as “Blah, blah, blah…”, but in this movie, the background really is important to the story – imagine that!)  Doss joins the Army and is placed under the training of Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn, who is surprisingly good in this wise-cracking, but non-comedic role).  Despite being skinny, Doss excels physically but is cast as a coward to his platoon for refusing to handle a rifle and train on Saturdays.  Howell and Captain Glover (Worthington, who looks surprisingly old in this role) attempt to discharge Doss for psychiatric reasons but are overruled, as Doss’ religious beliefs do not qualify as a mental illness.  So, instead, they try to make life hard on Doss.  One night, Doss is beaten by some of the members of his own platoon, but Doss refuses to identify his attackers and completes his training.
Doss intends to marry Dorothy (his girlfriend played by Teresa Palmer), but his refusal to carry a firearm leads to an arrest for failing to follow a direct order by a commanding officer.  At his trial, Doss pleads not guilty, but before he is sentenced, his father barges into the tribunal with a letter from a former commanding officer (of the father) stating that his son’s pacifism is protected by an Act of Congress.  The charges against Doss are dropped, and he and Dorothy are married.
Doss’ unit is deployed to the Pacific theater, and during the Battle of Okinawa, Doss’ unit is told that they have to climb and secure the Maeda Escarpment (“Hacksaw Ridge”).  In the initial fight, Doss saves several wounded soldiers.  The platoon camps for the night, which Doss spends in a foxhole with Smitty (played by Luke Bracey), who was the first squad-mate to call Doss a coward back in his training platoon days.  Doss tells Smitty his refusal to carry a rifle comes from nearly shooting his drunken father, who threatened his mother with a pistol.  Smitty apologizes for doubting his courage and the two reconcile.  This last is definitely meant to create a “heart-felt” moment and my immediate reaction was: this guy is either going to be a friend for life or he’s going to be a “redshirt” (LOL – StarTrek TOS reference for you nerds out there).
The next day, the Japanese launch a massive counterattack and drive the Americans off the escarpment.  Smitty is killed (ha! a redshirt), while Howell and several of Doss’ squad mates are left injured on the battlefield.  Doss hears the cries of the wounded and dying soldiers and goes back to save them, carrying the wounded to the cliff’s edge and belaying them each down the cliff face by rope, each time praying to save just one more.  The arrival of dozens of wounded once presumed dead comes as a shock to the rest of the unit below.  When day breaks, Doss rescues Sergeant Howell and the two escape over the cliff while under enemy fire. Just a historical note on the escarpment / cliff face.  The escarpment is actually about a 300-400 foot “overall” rise which is topped by the last 30 to 40 feet of sheer cliff.  This last bit – the cliff face – is given a bit of dramatic enhancement by the film’s director (Mel Gibson) who makes the last bit seem like the whole thing.
Captain Glover tells Doss that the men have been inspired by his courage and faith, and that they will not launch the next attack without him.  With new reinforcements, they win the battle.  When some Japanese soldiers fake surrender, Doss saves Captain Glover and others by slapping and then kicking (nice Spidey move) enemy grenades.  Doss is wounded in the leg by the kicked grenade’s blast, and Doss descends the cliff, holding the Bible his wife gave him.
The film switches to archival photos and footage from the documentary to show Doss receiving his Congressional Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for rescuing the 75 soldiers at Hacksaw Ridge.  The notes state Doss stayed married to Dorothy until her death in 1991, and, that he died on March 23, 2006, at the age of 87.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, his fellow soldiers reported Doss saved over 100 men.  Doss estimated he “helped” 50.  His CMoH split the difference an said “75”!!!
So, what did I think? You gotta be kiddin’ me!  I loved the documentary; I cried during the preview (okay, maybe I just welled up a bit); and, I loved the movie (and, yes, I did cry)!!  This is not a movie about war – which is what I originally thought it was going to be about.  This is a movie about the human spirit, faith and courage.  Needless to say – final recommendation: very highly recommended.  One note of caution: like several of Gibson’s movies, this one is graphic in the display of violence and in the horrors of war.  As such, it is not appropriate for the very young or the squeamish.
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On This Day In:
2017 Talent Hates To Move
2016 Looking To November
2015 It Isn’t The End
Prospero’s Precepts
2014 Friends
2013 Learning Bitter
2012 Remembrance, Minstrels & Going Off To War
May I Have More Happiness, Please?
2011 There Is No God, But God
2010 Another Running Book…

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