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Posts by bobcaat

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The Lounge Your Arch-Nemesis May 03 2011
20:19 (UTC)

Anyone who does not like Captain America Laughing

Foods Help me like Greek Yogurt....Mix in help and other ideas. Apr 20 2011
18:25 (UTC)

You may want to try a different brand.  A magazine (Cooks Illustrated or maybe Consumer Reports ?) recently did a taste test for no fat Greek yoqurt and it seemed some brands were a lot more sour then others.  If I remember I will look it up when I get home.

The Lounge Christmas existed before Christ and other religious truths. Apr 04 2011
21:31 (UTC)

Centuries before the arrival of Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples’ rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.  In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.  The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.  In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down.  Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra's birthday was the most sacred day of the year.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today's Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the "lord of misrule" and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined "debt" to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America's new constitution. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. 

It wasn't until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?  The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city's first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.  In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving's mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving's fictitious celebrants enjoyed "ancient customs," including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving's book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving's account actually "invented" tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.

Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story's message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.  The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and gifts-on their children without appearing to "spoil" them.  As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving.

Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.


Fitness Something just popped into my head... May 13 2010
13:50 (UTC)

In Fairfax County VA (suburb of Washington DC) we have county run recreational centers with weight rooms and exercise classes, dance lessons, craft and cooking lessons; some have indoor or outdoor pools with water areobics and one has an ice rink.  It is not free but county residents pay a lower fee and one can buy a season membership.  They may have, but I do not know, a lower rate or subsidies for lower income residents.  We also have parks with bike and nature trails, lakes with boat rentals and fishing, tennis courts, basketball courts and county run golf courses with driving ranges.  There are jogging and bike trails throughout the county; one goes from Lorton, VA to Reston, VA about 40miles.  It sounds like Fairfax County is a country club.  

The Lounge Just to lighten it up a bit: What's your breed and why? May 13 2010
13:44 (UTC)

We have two Caviliar King Charles Spaniels from the same litter and we love them.  Our prevous dog was a Husky; we loved him and he was good with us but he was agressive with strangers.  So after he passed and we decided to get another dog we wanted a dog that was very friendly with everyone.  Caviliars love everyone; everyone is their friend.  We both work and we did not want our dog to be alone all day so we decided to get two dogs.  Since we were getting two dogs we decided to get smaller dogs as two large dogs could be a bit much and we went with the Caviliars.  The big surprise to us is how LOUD they snore.   

I want an English Bulldog!

The Lounge FED: first ever audit will reveal who got $2 Trillion May 12 2010
21:22 (UTC)
Original Post by nomoreexcuses:

From Barry Ritholtz:

There is a faulty meme circulating that the US is on the hook for enormous amounts of the $145 billion dollar Greek bailout. Rumors of 20, 30 even 40% of the total bailout

Turns out the US participation is de minimus.

U.S. participation in the €110 billion ($145 billion) loan to Greece is relatively modest. The 15 nation euro-zone governments are ponying up $106 billion, divided according to their stake in the European Central Bank. Germany, for example kicks in $29 billion, with France good for $22 billion.

Of the $39 billion the IMF is participating in, the US is likely to kick in somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion dollars. Considering the US role in the global collapse, that is a relative bargain.

So only $3 billion. 



Tiddly Winks.

 That is after the $109 Billion the U.S. gave the IMF last year in addition to the U.S. funding 17% of the IMF budget.

From the Jim DeMint Op-Ed of May 6th.  "At the G-20 conference in April 2009, G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors asked the United States, the IMF’s largest contributor, for $108 billion to rescue bankers around the world and the Obama Administration quickly obliged.  Rather than pass it as stand-alone legislation, President Obama asked Congress to fold the $108 billion into a war-spending bill to send money to our troops.


Weight Loss I overdid it... May 04 2010
15:21 (UTC)
Original Post by bettymilo:

Wait a minute.... wine from Juicy Juice??  I gotta hear more about this....

 Also known as - Prison Hooch!

The Lounge Physician Assisted Suicide Apr 30 2010
17:50 (UTC)
If you believe your life is yours to do with as you please, then physician assisted suicide is a moral right not murder or compassion.

If you believe that you are a slave to "god" then feel free to die in agony waiting for your all-caring god to take you away.

 This seems to address whether suicide is moral but does not address whether it is moral for a doctor to assist in the suicide. 

The Lounge Physician Assisted Suicide Apr 30 2010
15:39 (UTC)

I agree with Pgeorgian.   

Vegetarian Vitamin Supplements Apr 29 2010
15:47 (UTC)

You can buy a pill spliter and/or a pill crusher at the pharmacy.  But check with the pharmacy as to which pills it is okay to cut or crush as some should not be crushed.  My Mom use to crush pills for my Dad when he could no longer take pills; she mixed the pill into apple sauce.  One of the calcium supplements is available in a mini pill (petites); I believe it is Caltrate but my be mistaken.

The Lounge Finally donated blood! Apr 23 2010
18:41 (UTC)

Congratulations on giving blood.  I always gave blood and felt really good about it; it is a good way to do something good and give back.  Unfortunately since I lived in Germany in the early 80's I am no longer eligible to give blood; I believe it is related to the risk of mad cow disease.  I would think by now my risk of mad cow is pretty small; I hope they change their policy and allow me to give blood soon.

Health & Support Water in my ear Apr 23 2010
15:12 (UTC)

Go to the drugstore and get a bottle of a product sold for "swimmers ear"; I believe it is basically an alcohol based product and quickly evaporates and dry the inner ear.

The Lounge Bahamas???? Apr 23 2010
15:02 (UTC)

Where you are leaving from and what month you want to go will have a big impact on the cost.  Is the $2K the total cost or just airfare and hotel?  You can use Apple Vacations and/or FunJet Vacations websites to get an idea of what a vacation package will cost; I have not used either to book a trip but it will give you an idea on the prices.  These firms and travel consolodators can save you money with a package as they often get very good deals on airfare.  Also use tripadvisor to read about the various resorts or hotels; I like the see the photos from travelers rather then photos from the resort to get an idea of what the resort is really like.

Are you set on the Bahamas or open to other islands?  You may get a better price at one of the other islands. 


Foods Your favorite type of ice cream? Apr 22 2010
16:48 (UTC)

I can't be trusted with real ice cream so I have been having Skinny Cow Truffle Bars; when really cold and hard they are good.  Instead of a chcolate cover they just have a chocolate drizzle.  They come in a number of flavors and are 100 calories. 

The Lounge I got 99 problems with my Appointees Apr 21 2010
19:30 (UTC)
 That one didn't pop into my head, likely because I can never understand what the chick is saying.  Not that it matters.  It's damn catchy. 

The original by Nena was sung in German (saw her in Germany in '83); it was recorded in English but with different lyrics. It is damn catchy. 

Weight Loss Can oil on the skin make you gain weight? Apr 19 2010
20:19 (UTC)
Original Post by trhawley:

Your husband's a nut.  You don't absorb oil into your digestive system though your skin.

 And I thought I gained five pounds last summer from the sun block I used.

Fitness How long does it take you to run one mile? Apr 16 2010
16:37 (UTC)

You may find this interesting as a data point; the link below is the Army PT Test 2-mile run times standards.  If I remember correctly 60 points was the minimum to pass.

Weight Loss too much fat harmful? Apr 16 2010
15:22 (UTC)

The American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee strongly advises these fat guidelines for healthy Americans over age 2:

  • Limit total fat intake to less than 25–35 percent of your total calories each day;
  • Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of total daily calories;
  • Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories; 
  • The remaining fat should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils; and
  • Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day, for most people.  If you have coronary heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, limit your cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.
The Lounge Tea Party Poll Apr 15 2010
19:50 (UTC)

I am very pro-military but I believe money could be saved in the military pension system.  Currently if you serve 20 years active duty you receive 50% of your base pay for the rest of your life with cost of living increases annually. 

So you could enlist at 17; retire at 37 and receive military retirement pay for the rest of your life (almost 40 years with male life expentency at about 76; even longer for a female.)  A college graduate that goes in at 22 can retire at 42.  If they serve 30 years they draw 75% of their base pay.    

The Lounge Tea Party Poll Apr 15 2010
19:09 (UTC)
Original Post by akgal:

Original Post by mlyopp:

Original Post by akgal:

Original Post by mlyopp:

Hm. do you get the money out of the hands of the administrators and into the practicioners?

 Like everything else is done, theoretically, by legislation.  

 So your answer to reduce adminstration is to legislate more mandates and regulations?  Oh, yeah, that will work....

 I am ALWAYS open to better ideas and you sound like you have one...

I take the ridiculous position that one does not have to layer new legislation over old, but rather replace a complicated one with a simpler version.....therefore acheiving addition by subtraction......

 I work with the Housing & Urban Development housing grants.  Some of these grants are extremely complex and frankly i just don't see how you can take complex regulations and substitute it with a simpler version.  Usually regulations are there for a reason and have evolved over decades with revisions/amendments etc.  Alot of these regulations are not included to necessarily  complicate the programs or to provide jobs for administrators but to protect U.S. citizens from abuses from the government.  Seriously...alot of regulations ensure U.S. citizens get a "fair deal" when HUD is involved.  Is this really what we want to do away with?

I really don't get the tea party.  They seem to want reduction in government but don't want reduction in any tax deduction or government benefit that they enjoy.  Cut everyone else but don't touch my social security, medicare, mortgage deductions, education deductions, and please keep sending money for schools, roads, housing, education, jobs, military bases, etc. 

My last job was with a company that got paid by States to teach them how to comply with HUD programs and regulations.  The regulations are so complex the States don't know what to do and have to use tax payers money to pay a private corporation to explain Federal regulations to them. 

Part of the waste is in duplicate programs.  Often different departments or different Congressmen set up programs that are already addressed in a different agency; but they won't be merged because no one wants to give up their power.