Sunday, January 21, 2018

How to Avoid Being Obese - See Trump's Doctor

So Dr. Ronny Jackson reported last week that Trump is in perfect health. Despite the fact that he looks like he’s about to explode (and that’s not just a fat/thin issue, btw), Donnie’s doc reckons his weight is in the heavy, but not obese, category, and his high cholesterol poses no threat. At the hour long press conference after the four hour examination, Dr. Jackson conceded that Trump should lose ten to fifteen pounds, but otherwise reported Trump as in “excellent” health, weighing 239 pounds (that’s 108.409 kilograms or 17 stones.) In fact, he can safely be President for the next three years and (hint, hint) even another four, were he to win again.
At least he didn’t go for the superlative we got from Trump’s doctor during the election campaign. Trump provided the media with a letter from his doctor, Harold Bornstein, which stated: “If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
Given the emphasis Trump placed on the physical appearance and well-being (of others) during the Presidential campaign, this health report is garnering quite a lot of attention. A “girther” movement erupted, consisting of those whose tongues are firmly planted in the cheek and whose eyes are rolling so far backwards they’re about to fall over. Comparisons are being drawn to several fit and healthy athletes who also claim to be Trump’s height and weight and let’s just say, even accounting for the lumps and bumps of ageing, there’s no comparison. Late night talk show hosts were having a blast, with Stephen Colbert impersonating Trump, "Listen, Doc, I don’t want to be obese, but I feel like this wad of cash is about one pound. Why don't you take this off my hands and weigh me again, OK,".
Asked by one reporter how Trump could be so healthy for a guy who eats junk food and never exercises, Dr. Jackon’s response was simply “genetics”. Hmmm.
It would apparently have nothing to do with the extra inch Trump seems to have acquired in his dotage then. By suddenly being an inch taller, he has cannily avoided landing in the “obese” category. Fancy that. A copy of his still-current New York state driving licence tells a different tale. The licence was released by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control through an open records request by Politico news, and shows him as 6’2”. Having obtained several American driving licences myself over the years, I can state that one’s height is self-reported. To be fair, this height discrepancy was first exposed in late 2016, which just means that…….in preparation for Presidential weight gain, he’s been fluffing that fact for a while now.
Obama is 6'1" by the way. 
It’s not uncommon in American doctor’s offices to be asked to “step on the scale” before entering the consulting room. You can go in for a suspected broken finger and they’ll still want to know your weight. The dreaded weigh-in usually happens in hallways, and although people walking past most definitely have other things on their minds, the public aspect just adds to the experience. Shoes are flung off, extra layers and jewelry abandoned and we inch onto the scale, one foot at a time, as if that’s going to make a difference. I don’t recall ever being measured for height though, so from now on I’m just going to add an inch and hope I don’t get busted. I’ve always said I’d be perfectly happy with my size and weight if only I could grow a bit higher, and now it seems, with the right doctor, it can be done. Hallelujah!
But really, thank goodness he grew that extra inch, for all concerned. Donnie clearly doesn’t mind looking the way he does, but anyone reporting him as clinically “obese” would be well and truly in the dog house, if not in the jail house. I’m now betting that he’ll write a book or launch another reality TV show called The Art of the Meal. Or get the good doctor to write it for him.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018 - No Resolutions, Just a New Handbag

After the total s***storm (excuse the French) that was 2017, I don't believe there's any point at all in making NY resolutions. I mean, we could all be blown to smithereens if Trump is allowed to keep his phone couldn't we? (A quick look back at some of my previous, unkept resolutions might also have some influence on this opinion.)

What I do need however, is a new handbag. 

I'm not a great one for changing out handbags unless there's a real clash with what I'm wearing, or I'm going to a wedding. Can't really take a bulky, functional black thing when you've thought long and hard about all other aspects of your outfit can you? Actually, I'm also not a great one for thinking long and hard about what I wear, so never mind. 

My present handbag looked ideal when I bought it. It has a main section with a slightly smaller section on either side. "Ah" I thought "I can be one of those people who always knows where everything is in her bag. No more diving to the very bottom of the abyss." The plan was to have money things in the middle, with lipstick-y things in one side section and keys and house items etc. in the other. Unfortunately, each sections comes with a myriad of pockets and sub-sections and that's where the trouble starts. 

My phone is usually kept on the outside, zipped pocket of one of the side sections. That usually works well except when I'm at things like airports, and the phone then just gets dropped into the middle with everything else. Cue panicked cries of "I think I've left my phone at Security", while my family sigh and wait for me to search each and every compartment (except the middle one), until I find it. 

The other side on the outside contains no less than four separate pockets! I don't even carry enough stuff around to make use of them. What was I thinking? 


Currently I have my "readers" in one pocket and a house key in the zipped part. (See, I didn't even stick to the original plan of keeping house things in the inner compartment.) Other than that, it's usually anyone's guess as to what one might find in the other sections. Is it any wonder I can never find anything?

So, I'm looking for a bag that has a few compartments, but not the ludicrous amount that this one has. I don't want a bag that is basically a posh sack. Been there, done with having to tip everything out to find a tissue. I could get one of those portable organiser things that you just pick up and move from bag to bag, but doesn't that require the same size bags to drop it into? 


Advice needed. Ball & Chain is actually threatening to burn my bag and thus force me into a new purchase. 


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Britain - A Nation of Selfish Parkers?

One of the lovely things about returning to the UK as a driver is the frequency with which other drivers let me in, out and through. In my particular part of the USA, to signal an intention to change lanes on the motorway/freeway was, for the most part, a cue for other drivers to bunch up as tightly as possible to prevent said lane change. Similarly, when wishing to turn out of a side street onto a main road, it was safe to assume that no car would ever let me out until it could go no further itself. Then, when a red light meant cars were in effect stuck, I was allowed to squeeze out between them. (I realize that this is a regional issue, by the way.) In the UK, all I have to do it seems, is turn my indicator on and a gap appears in the desired motorway lane, often accompanied by a flash of headlights. 
One thing that does not impress me much is the parking. As I mentioned recently, it’s one thing getting used to cars parked on the wrong side of the road, (which still gives me a slight moment of panic five months down the line), but quite another seeing cars dumped anywhere and everywhere. Seriously people, there are lines to help you figure out where to put your car you know. It might not seem much of a big deal to straddle that line if there are no cars around, but as the car park fills up, your straddling means that everyone else has to straddle and at some point there will be several parking spaces wasted. And that’s usually when I turn up looking for one. Grrr.
Then there’s parking on the pavement. I understand that many roads and streets in the UK were not built for cars so it’s all a bit tight. They were however, built for people, and pavement parking makes it very difficult for some people to use them. Leaving ten inches between your car and a hedge or garden wall results in blocked access for wheelchair users and pram pushers. Clearly the plight of such people isn’t enough to make these prattish parkers think twice, so local councils up and down the country are about to be given more powers to ban such selfish parking and mete out harsher penalties. You are warned!
Meanwhile, it seems those of us not parking selfishly are hopping mad at those who do. There are groups and web sites popping up everywhere to help shame these reprobates. The folks at SelfishParker.com currently have over four thousand photos of poor parkers, and over fifteen hundred members. Being the admitted geeks they are, they have broken down their finds into some interesting statistics too. A whopping 34% of cars posted have their own personalized number plate. Hmmm.
I asked the SelfishParker team how things work and what (if any) results they’ve had. “Currently we are seeing a high engagement of visitors spending their time searching for their own or (we presume) friend/family number plates.” Well, that’s a start, although I do wonder if such people care, given that they blatantly park where they do without so much as a backward glance. Some supermarket chains are also working with SelfishParker to help prevent shoppers taking up more than one parking spot; hopefully more of this type will return to the car park to find the badly parked car gone. These multi-space users make up 35% of the photos on their site, and that doesn’t include those who park over two Disabled or Parent & Toddler spaces. (Really, people? Really?)
And, just in case you think it’s just a bunch of curtain twitchers, Steve at SelfishParker echoes the thoughts of many -

“- you name me one person (whether they have ever parked selfishly before, intentionally or not) that when they are on the hunt for a space in a busy car park, sees a selfish parker across two bays, or in a disabled spot, or facing traffic on the wrong side of the road on double yellows (which causes a traffic flow block), or has to walk in the road as the car is blocking their path - looks at the car and thinks 'Man, that person is cool!'. they don't! It's the one human dislike trait all drivers share - well that and maybe middle lane drivers!”
If you're one of the many who've had enough of selfish parkers, you can print off this flyer and ram it under the wiper of the next offending car you encounter. And don't forget to upload a photo to the web site. 

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