Saturday, May 16, 2020

Phenology report

Sorry, no pictures of bumps on my head.

140 GDD, b-50. Source

Most European pears are in full bloom. Kerr apple very close to full bloom.
Image from Accu-guess for month of May. We might start getting "normal" temperatures next week.

Sprite's calves are on our pasture now. There is not much mass for them to graze. The 3000 pounds of cattle eat about 120 pounds (dry matter) of feed a day. They were on a half-acre paddock for four days or roughly 500 pounds of dry matter. That is pretty thin pasture. We need some heat.

Folks down south will laugh at me, but I set a new record; four ticks in one day.

Ticks are a new thing around here. I was almost fifty before I picked the first tick off my body.

It is purely speculation but I think the large number of ground squirrels might have something to do with it. The larger snakes (blue racers, rat snakes) are mostly expatriated from our area. Larger farm fields, increased road traffic and large mowed expanses of lawn might have something to do with that.

Diet report
I have been learning about the diet Mrs ERJ and Belladonna are on. Their mentor calls them every day.

I learned that they are allowed one solid food in infinite amounts: Ice cubes.

Condiment bowl sitting on paperback book. Dollar for scale.
I continue to learn about the serving sizes.

For instance, Bella had one of the condiment bowls and it was partially filled with gooey, white material. I assumed it was one of the three servings of "condiments" she is allowed a week.

"Pretty generous diet" I commented. "Most diets wouldn't allow Ranch dressing." I assumed she was going to have her three stalks of celery allowance.

She gave me a look that scorched my eyebrows. "It is a SERVING of mac-and-cheese."

"And it tastes like bull-crap" she said.

Always one to look on the bright side of things I commented "Well, at least there isn't a lot of it" before I ducked and dashed out the door.


  1. I doubt that their highly processed mail order diet food is very nutritious. Too bad they did not read a good book or two and get on a keto diet of some kind utilizing fresh and nutritious veggies and meats.

    One of the landmark books I have read in recent years was Wheat Belly. The guy who wrote it is a cardiologist who researched the subject for 15 years prior to writing the book. Bottom line is to avoid wheat at all costs. He says it is also good to cut way back on other starches, but wheat is the biggie.

    Since the 1940's, wheat has been hybridized so many times and in so many ways that it is nothing like the wheat our grandparents grew up on. It will spike the blood sugar faster and higher than pure table sugar. And it is every bit as addictive as cocaine, as it attaches to the same binding sites. There have been NO studies to determine if modern wheat is even safe for human consumption. Lab rats that are fed wheat get sick and die.

    A few years back, I went from 195 lbs to 160 lbs in six months just by not eating wheat or anything containing wheat. I made no other dietary changes or exercise changes during that time. The guy who introduced me to the book had gone from 300 lbs to 200 lbs in one years time just by strictly avoiding wheat.

    The fact that your wife and daughter's diet contains things like macaroni, which is wheat, tells me all I need to know about that weight loss system. I hope they are able to lose some weight in any case. After they are done with the program, To keep the weight off and maybe even lose more, they should then stop eating wheat.

    1. Some of the best advice my dad ever gave me is that if somebody has enough ownership they can make a lead balloon fly.

      That does not mean that the success will scale or that it can be transferred. It just means that when somebody takes personal responsibility for something that they will take whatever steps necessary to get the desired outcome.

      What we put in our bodies is a highly personal decision, one that we make many times a day. I have to live with my wife and daughter. They are intelligent people. They would consider my giving them specific dietary advice as being insulting.

      I am not going there.

      I follow Paul's diet: All things in moderation. My beef with Mrs ERJ and Bella's diet is that the moderation is immoderately severe. Mrs ERJ's metabolic needs are low. We joke that we can put her in the sunlight and she can photosynthesize her needs. Bella has significantly more muscle-mass and this diet is beating her up.

  2. Meat and veggies. Avoid carbs and sugars. I dropped 22 pounds in 25 days just by cutting most carbs and sugars out. That was in 2012. I still eat some carbs and sugars but not like I did years ago. The trick is to burn them off before your body stores it. Keep your head down and your mouth shut. This season will pass.

  3. Possums eat ticks I found out last year, if you or your neighbors remove them, the tick population zooms. I used to (they eat horse feed out of the horse feeders) now
    I just chase them out of the barn.

  4. Joe,
    I'm going to post something that you will have a knee-jerk reaction to reject but you seem a rational person and I believe that if you think about it, you might start to see where I'm coming from. Here's my thesis: if you are dieting, it is easier and more effective to eat nothing than to eat too little.

    Scientific reason why:
    Why does our body store excess calories as fat rather than just excreting them? A:To save them for times when food is not available. The fat is stored as an energy reserve. What do I have to do to access this energy reserve? A: stop eating altogether. Why? Because if you eat a small meal, your body excretes insulin to deal with the meal and you cannot access your body's fat stores in the presence of insulin. If you eat 3 calorically deficient meals per day, all you do is make yourself miserable because your behavior is preventing your body from burning stored fat. Eating a colorically deficient diet can literally drive you insane (google "Minnesota starvation experiment"). If you stop eating altogether, however, your body stops secreting insulin and turns on "fat burning" mode after about 13 hours. Now you can access your body's fat stores for fuel and start burning them. Here's a question - why are really fat people hungry after they don't eat for four or five hours? Their bodies have roughly 100 days of energy already stored, so why are they hungry and feel the need to put more energy into a system that already has too much energy in it? Answer: because they are not in fat burning mode because they need to stop eating for over 13 hours to start accessing their body fat for fuel. They literally cannot access their huge energy stores because they are still eating regular meals.

    Psychological reason why:
    Is it easier for a drug addict to shoot up a small dose of heroin or not shoot up any heroin at all? Once a drug addict shoots up a little, they will follow it up with a lot. Similarly, once you start eating, you will eat too much. It's far easier to just not eat than to eat too little. I see this behavior in myself. Heck, I see it all the time in my dog. My dog won't eat his dry dog food unless he's really hungry. But if I put a little bit of leftovers on it, he will start eating and then he will continue eating the dry food even after he's finished the leftovers. This is the reason our ancestors came up with the concept of "appetizers'" - once you start eating, you will get really hungry and continue eating. When it comes to the pleasure/reward pathways of our brains, it is easier to abstain than to moderate.

    Just something to put in the back of your brain box and cogitate on.

  5. If a woman is dieting, stay away... FAR away!!!

  6. Ticks.
    I bought two sets of inexpensive gaiters for our geocaching and I will spray them with permethrin as an anti-tick measure.
    We tried them on for size, but they aren't yet sprayed or tested in the field.
    If they are too bulky or uncomfortable, I will look at sewing up a lightweight pair from some material that will wear well, and act as a barrier to the spray.
    I'm thinking of ripstop nylon, but research is needed.


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