Friday, January 27, 2012

red wine and chocolate cake

I have cycles of will power. This week has been a down cycle. The last three days have been drenched in chocolate. Chocolate cake for dessert Wednesday, thin mint girl scout cookies yesterday and today, and left over cake just now.  I’m squinting through the sugary cake buzz to write this.  The red wine helps.

In addition to these cookies and cakes, the candy dishes around the office are killing me. One woman has a four inch thick dish full of peanut butter M&Ms. She refills it to the brim every few days. My travel patterns through the office have been adjusted to swing by that dish several times a day. I have to go farther than I would normally walk to get to and from my desk and I justify the candy intake telling myself that I’m burning more calories.

The interwebs tells me that “will power” is both self discipline and an Australian racecar driver. The former is “the ability to overcome laziness and procrastination.” If I don’t develop this ability soon I’m going to look like this:


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Masonic G

While in a small Colorado town I passed a Masonic center that had this symbol over the door:


Having a “G” name, I often notice when there is a “G” sign.  The person I was with asked what the G stood for and I assumed “God” but wasn’t 100% sure.  So I Googled it!

I learned that it could mean God or it could mean Geometry or it could mean the “generative principle”…this is the definition I found:

The Blue Lodge Mason is taught that the "G" in the Masonic symbol represents God. Later on, he is told that it also represents "deity." Later still, he is told that it represents "geometry." In reality, this letter represents the "generative principle," the Sun-god and, thus, the worshipped phallus, the male "generative principle…" In its position (along with the Square and Compass) on the east wall over the chair (throne) of the Worshipful Master, it is the representation of the Sun, thus of the Sun-god, Osiris. Its earthly meaning, then, is of the sacred phallus; its cosmic meaning is of the Sun, worshipped since antiquity by pagans while facing the East.

The phallus eh? Who knew?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Brush your tongue?

Lately I’ve been asked a number of random questions for which I have no answers. Similarly, I’ve started challenging myself on things that I think I know about. These are questions largely about the world around us and how things work.  I’m realizing how little I know about a lot of these things. 

This is the first in a series about researching the answers to these pressing questions.

Why Brush your tongue?

Usually I brush my tongue with my toothbrush at the end of a toothbrushing.  I was about to recommend this to someone when I realized that I didn’t know if there actually are any benefits to this.  Research has shown there are some benefits.

Basically, brushing your tongue can reduce bad breath.  This is particularly true if you brush the back of the tongue as opposed to the front. It seems the front has more saliva and more of a “self cleaning” function, while the back doesn’t. 

There is a danger of activating the gag reflex with cleaning the back part of the tongue.  So a “tongue scraper” is recommended.  What is a tongue scraper you ask? Good question.  Here is what it looks like:


If you want to know how it works, google it.  The photos aren’t going on this blog.

So if you are concerned with bad breath, try brushing (or scraping) your tongue.

Until next time…

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Views of Valleys…

It’s January in Colorado and I’m at an elevation of over 8,000' feet.  It’s nighttime and dark but for the light of the stars. The moon has yet to rise.  I exercised my clothing optional option and quickly dipped into a hot spring pond to cover myself in warm water. The “waterfall pond” is smallish and as I move further in, I’m startled to realize there’s a man in the water sitting at a distance but under the waterfall.  I’m surprised because I made something of a racket arriving at the pond and I thought he would have announced himself.  This was my first night at Valley View Hot Springs

In addition to the option to go clothing-less, the setting was also very natural. There are several ponds and all are actual ponds complete with rocks and algae. The thin film of detritus stirs as you settle in to the mostly subtle rocks and pebbles of the pond bottom. It is fantastic!

The views are truly wonderful. It was possible to watch the sunset from the “soaking pond”:

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And from one of the top ponds, you can gaze over the valley and the Sangre de Cristo mountains as you lay flat propped on your elbows with just your head sticking out of the water. Here is one of the top ponds:

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A nighttime dip is a must – especially in the top pond, which is also the warmest natural pond. There are no lights. The night sky view stretches from the western horizon to just overhead and is so bright and clear.  It’s magical to sit in the warm spring with the twinkling stars above and bubbles all around you from the water seeping up from the ground.

From the main Valley View lodging area there is a hiking trail to the bat cave or the Orient Mine town site.  The hike to the bat cave has sweeping views of the valley and a cool cave system, which you can partially see but is separated from you by a chasm (and a fence). It’s worth the hike up.

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On the hike up there was an interesting sight – the carcass of a deer. There were a few bits around the trail but this was the biggest part.  It must have been recently taken down. Not exactly sure why it’s so fascinating to see stuff like this but I really can’t help looking.  Not something you see everyday…

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Speaking of dead things, the Orient Mine is sealed but there is this eerie sign nearby that reminds you that six people died in the mine and that their ghosts are in the tunnel.

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After two nights and two days at the hot springs (and two stops at Amica’s in Salida!), I’ve returned home feeling relaxed and lucky to live in Colorado and be able to see stuff like this.