Friday, August 08, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun composer dies

"Robert Hazard, a songwriter and musician from Philadelphia who wrote the 1983 Cyndi Lauper hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," has died. He was 59." Click here for more.

Here's Cyndi Lauper singing the song on The New Show episode that aired on February 17, 1984.

Some people may wonder what one of my meals looks like...

Here's what I had for supper last night:

- Two chicken leg quarters (cold)
- Brie cheese
- Homemade coleslaw
- Shaved Genoa salami (good quality, no sugar)

I bake some chicken at the beginning of the week and keep it cold in refrigerator. I always have some low-carb coleslaw on hand, too!

You'll notice that there were no potatoes, bread, starches, pasta, etc. I could have also had a big caesar or garden salad in lieu of the coleslaw.

Low carb, not low fat is the best way to go

Hump Day
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Pg. D6

Although I'm not a fan of summer, I do have to say that I enjoy some aspects of it, most of it relating to food.

As the weeks progress and we move more fully into harvest season, I enjoy the smell of corn husks being opened by grocery shoppers looking for the best "ears" to take home for some good summertime eating. The presence of local strawberries, raspberries and blueberries is also a sight for sore eyes.

Nothing beats fresh, local food for its appearance, taste and quality. Frankly, it just doesn't get any better than that.

For the past year, I've been following a low-carb diet that has seen me drop more than 100 pounds (so far) with a corresponding drop in blood pressure that has allowed me to reduce my medication. I'll return to the doctor's office in a couple of months to make sure it's staying within the safe range, but the readings at my last visit a couple of weeks ago were nothing short of a home run!

Fresh food is a staple of any diet, especially mine. Since I've pretty much eliminated packaged food from my pantry, I've turned to fresh and good quality frozen food to make up the largest part of what I eat. Gone are the days of processed, high-sugar, low-quality foods. These days, I make pretty much everything from scratch.

Even though I've generally eliminated processed foods, sugar, flour, pasta, potatoes and high-glycemic fruits from my diet, I can't deny that I'm tempted every once in awhile, but it's mostly emotional temptation rather than a real craving. Once you get rid of the sugar "rushes" and "crashes" that most people suffer from, those nasty cravings disappear.

These days, I'm more attracted to the "memory" of how something tasted rather than the strong biological urge to pig out.

Emotional cravings are those where the basis is nostalgic rather than physical. For instance, I crave ice cream in the summer because they go together. There are "low-carb" or "sugar-free" ice creams in stores, but those are normally full of maltitol, a sweetener that can leave you running to the bathroom if you're not careful. I'd rather not eat any at all if that stupid maltitol garbage that manufacturers insist on putting in their products is going to force me into performing an impersonation of an out-of-control volcano.

Emotionally, I do wish someone would invent a carb-free, high-fibre potato so that I could enjoy a piping hot serving of french fries at a carnival. Those were always the best. The grease was old, the fries so hot you could barely eat them, and the atmosphere just wonderful. Once the pumpkins come out this fall, however, I'm going to try to make my own low-carb version of french fries using my deep fryer and julienned pumpkin strips. Apparently the final result is quite similar! I can't wait!

And if you're wondering why I'm on a diet and using a deep fryer (occasionally, mind you -- not every day), let me stress once and for all that I am of the firm unwavering belief that fat doesn't make you fat; it's sugar that makes you fat! I know that every dietician reading this just fainted, but all the research I've done and my own personal experience has absolutely convinced me that the low-fat diet that North Americans, especially, have been following in the past generation has caused us great physical harm.

Obesity and diabetes are now so commonplace that it's practically considered "normal" to have diabetics throughout one's family tree. It's not. But after gorging oneself on sugar and high-glycemic foods (white flour, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.) for years, what does one expect? When the fat went out of our diets, sugar came in big time. . . or foods that acted like sugar in our bloodstreams (potatoes, pasta, etc.) The low-fat experiment has been disastrous. It's a complete sham and, in my opinion, a national tragedy.

I cringe when I look through the American Diabetic Association's recipe section on its website. I kid you not that they have recipes on there that include white sugar. What's next? Serving martinis at AA meetings? Cigarette breaks at lung cancer support groups? Passing out directories of the best drug dealers in town at Narcotics Anonymous gatherings? It's baffling. Absolutely baffling.

When I tell people that I don't eat sugar, potatoes, pasta, etc. anymore, the usual reaction I get is "I can't do that!" Uhm, yes you can. Just decide to. That's all you have to do. Even though I'm not diabetic, I eat like the worst diabetic in the world. My entire diet centres on keeping my blood sugar stable. That's one of the major keys to weight loss, folks, not this wrong-headed low-fat garbage that only keeps you constantly hungry.

I realize that low-carb is not in fashion anymore. What we need to do is rebrand it to "low-glycemic", meaning that you eat to keep your blood sugar stable and avoid the spikes that cause cravings and weight gain. In fact, eating low-carb is the way we used to eat before we became fat-phobic.

Did you know that the rich were the only obese people in the late 1800s because only they could afford expensive white flower, white sugar and candy? Now, everyone can afford it. And now, everyone's overweight and diabetic. Low-fat is the "fad" diet, not low-carb. And it's been a complete and utter national disaster.

What I decided to do was to cut the emotion out of my diet and replace it with facts. That the gift I decided to give myself back on June 17, 2007, when I started down this road, and it's the gift that I will never give up.

I truly hope that society wakes up to the dangers of sugar and high-glycemic foods before it's too late or risk dying younger than the generation that preceded it. Our addiction to the low-fat, high-sugar diet is hilariously -- and tragically -- misguided.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Paris Hilton responds to McCain ad... awesome!

Here's U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain's original ad:

And here's Paris Hilton's response:

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Mark Day eliminated from Canadian Idol

As I predicted, Mark Day was eliminated from Canadian Idol last night. No big surprise. After making an appearance in the bottom three last week, it was pretty clear that he'd started to overstay his welcome. Mark becomes the worst-placing Newfoundland and Labrador contestant since Canadian Idol began. Previous contestants from the province have all been eliminated later in the competition. Two of them - Rex Goudie and Craig Sharpe - have even reached the final!

Although Mark had improved greatly since his "Dancing in the Streets" debacle during David Bowie week, he could never quite shake the brand of "awfulness" that the performance sprayed on him like an angry skunk. Mark never stood a chance in this year's competition. With contestants such as Theo, Mookie and Amberly, it was clear early on that he was not a serious contender for the crown.

As for last night's final three, Mark and Earl definitely belonged there. Despite singing last, Earl was showing off so much that he came across as "annoyingly" weird rather than "charmingly" weird. There's a difference... the difference being that "annoyingly" weird doesn't get you votes.

As for Theo being in the bottom three... WTF??? Did fans flock to save Mookie from being in the bottom three again? I don't know. Or is Alberta moving en masse to supporting Amberly? (Amberly, Theo and Earl are all from Alberta.) Regardless, let's hope that Theo doesn't get elminated shockingly early like Greg Neufeld did last year.

Here's Mark Day's final performance - Bleeding Love.

After losing 104.5 lb so far on low-carb, even my watch got too big!

This used to be so tight on my arm that I was thinking about adding links to it. I certainly don't have that problem now!

Retro Chic

Le Freak

Good Times

Fun with rollerblades

Well, now that he's permanently damaged his babymakers, at least he won't be making any baby morons.

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about the myth of the low-fat diet and how a generation's adherence to this wrong way of eating has caused an entire society to become overweight and diabetic. Fat doesn't make you fat. Sugar makes you fat. Sugar should be our #1 dietary enemy... NOT fat. Read all about it on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript or check back here tomorrow when it will be posted online.

I am particularly incensed by the American Diabetes Association's inclusion of white sugar in their recipes. It's unbelievable. And look at this atrocious food pyramid they put out:

Breads and starches as their #1 choice????? Breads and starches????? If you know ANYTHING about controlling your blood sugar, you should be staying away from that stuff BIG TIME.

This just goes to show that there is a very powerful wheat lobby on this continent.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Canadian Idol: Favourites and predictions for week of August 4, 2008 (Top 7)

Canadian Idol was awesome this week, wasn't it? No one tanked, but there were a few stellar performances. My picks for the three best performances last night:

Mookie Morris - Lola

I can't understand why Mookie keeps ending up in the bottom three every week. He's a star! The judges and the audience love him. Why can't he get the votes??

Drew Wright - Creep

Theo Tams - You Had Me (best of the night!!)

Both Drew and Theo are in the following video:

Theo was amazing and Drew refreshingly memorable in his performance. Drew is flying under the radar every week. Is he so underestimated that he may surprise us?

And my pick for the worst performance? Earl Stevenson has a certain goofy charm about him and I really like him, but I found he crossed the line into "showing off" last night. I didn't think his antics were authentic... they were the antics of someone who's starting to believe his own publicity. And when that happens, you're toast! That "yell" at the end was so cheesy and fake. Sorry, Earl fans!

So who's out tonight? Well, Mark Day sang first and that is the "death" position. He made his first appearance in the bottom three last week. Was that the beginning of the end? Are east coasters flocking to support Nova Scotia's Mitch MacDonald instead? I think so.

So my prediction for tonight is that Mark Day will be eliminated tonight. I can't see anyone else going. As for who else will be in the bottom three, it's very very difficult this year with so many strong performers, but I'll take a stab at predicting that Mitch (because he sang early in the show) and Amberly will be there. Earl deserves to be there, but he's too popular and sang last, so that will keep him safe. If Mookie ends up in the bottom three again this week, there is something wrong with the world!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Champion sport stacker Mark Dennis of Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Way back on March 4, I blogged about sport stacking, an activity where cups are stacked and unstacked at sometimes dizzying speeds. Following my post, I got a nice e-mail from Troy Dennis of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, who wrote:

"Our son, Mark, got involved in sport stacking about a year and a half ago through his school, Hillcrest Academy in Shelburne NS. Since then he has been practising 2-3 hours a day. Last fall he competed at a sanctioned event in Miramichi and set Canadian records for 11-yr-olds and overall. He just arrived back from the World Sport Stacking Championships in Denver, where he placed 2nd in the 3-6-3 for 11-yr-olds, and 3rd in the Cycle for 11-yr-olds. We are awaiting word on whether his times will set new Canadian records for these events. This week, our local weekly, The Coastguard, published an article on him, and the Chronicle Herald (which had previously run an article after setting the Canadian records) ran an update. On Monday he appeared on Live at 5, and C100 radio in Halifax featured him as their "Link of the Day""

This is great stuff! Congrats to Mark on all his success and my apologies for not posting this earlier. I had every intention of posting it and then it somehow slipped through the cracks. Here are some videos of Troy's son Mark for your viewing pleasure:

Amazing to watch! Congratulations to Mark!

Brian Cormier's Blogtastic World! gets 8.3 "great" rating from

I was thrilled to learn recently that my blog has been rated a very high 8.3 by, a blog rating service.

I'm pleased and honoured! Thanks very much!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Orange lily - cool lighting effect

Here's a pic of an orange lily from my garden. I took it at sunset when the sun was shining inside the flower even though it was pretty dark out other than that. That's why the flower is "lit" and the background is dark. It's a pretty cool effect! Click on the flower for the large version. (Photo taken July 27, 2008)

You know it's windy when...

You know it's windy when it blows a freakin' plane around!

Irene "Granny" Ryan singing "No Time At All" from Pippin (1972)

Irene Ryan (1902-1973) played Granny in the Beverly Hillbillies from 1962 to 1971, but I bet you've never heard her sing like this! I heard this on CBC's Weekend Mornings today and was happy to find it on YouTube afterwards. So interesting to hear her sing!! And some of the "glamour" shots in the video are quite a change from her Granny look. Enjoy!