Learn From Creation: Sunflowers

Sunflowers turn according to the position of the sun. Their faces “chase the sun.” You may already know this, but what happens on cloudy rainy days, when the sun is completely covered? Does the sunflower wither, and turn its head toward the ground? No- my God Jehovah made them do something very special. They turn towards each other! To share their energy – How can we apply this reflection in our lives?

Many people may be low spirited and the most vulnerable ones. Sometimes depressed. We can follow the example of Jehovah’s creation, the sunflowers – turn to each other, supporting and empowering one another during moments of despair. God’s words have power, “So keep comforting one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). God’s example of love has even greater power and Jehovah’s creation has much to teach us.

This was a a Public Talk delivered at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses as part of the Sunday worship. We all have different faiths but the content of this talk applies to all of humanity … specially in these Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo: Stock photo meaning it is not my picture. I give credit to the owners.

Elephant: “Help Me! Give Me Back My Teeth!”

This is part of a series of attention-grabbing photos from a conscientious artist (stock photos) to expose the plight of the animal trade, it’s illegal business and the perpetrators who take advantage of it.

What an amazing beast! An elephant is a tall, large-eared mammal that has a snout elongated into a muscular trunk and two incisors in the upper jaw developed especially in the male into long ivory tusks of tropical Africa. Have you seen this photo? A bleeding elephant who lost his teeth (tusks). So graphic but true.

The trunk is used for breathing, bringing food and water to the mouth, and grasping objects. The tusks are derived from the incisor teeth, serve both as weapons, tools for moving objects and digging for water and roots, for marking trees, and clearing paths. Also used to attack and defend. Elephants have roamed the land of Africa and have been allies helping with domestic work, protection and safety.

Elephant orgy poaching is a term used for encroaching, trespassing hunting and killing for their ivory. Ivory is the hard, white dentine material that composes tusks and teeth of animals. To remove the tusk is painful essentially harming and killing the elephant because what we see on the outside is a big powerful tusk but the rest is in a socket in the skull.

The obsession of ivory for art, ornaments and medicinal purposes has diabolically increased in the late 20th century. Ivory is traded … a business transaction and China is the biggest market for poached ivory.

Commercialism and greed has capitalized on the ivory trade which has contributed to the decline in the African elephant population. There have been good people who have noticed and want protection for elephants from captivity like in zoo’s and circuses. People with good intentions prompted international bans on ivory imports, starting with the United States in June 1989, and followed by bans in other North American countries, western European countries, and Japan.

Sadly, In June 1997, an international conference in Zimbabwe, delegates from 138 countries voted to ease a seven-year-old global ban on the trade in ivory.

Photo: Stock photo

Shark: Help Me! Get Back My Fins!”

Sharks are threatened by commercial and recreational fishing. Have you seen this meme? It’s breaking my heart!

A shark is a marine fish of medium to large size that have a body that tapers to the end and a tough usually dull gray skin. Sharks are predators sometimes dangerous to humans ‘But’ many shark populations are threatened by human activities.

Certain countries and its inhabitants from early times like Japan, Australia, India, Iceland , etc have had access to food from the sea. Sharks as food meant survival. Sharks were not endangered back then. Notice that these countries are bordered by seas and oceans.

Food preparation was mostly in sushi and sahimi in Japan; fish and chips in Australia, and powdered shark seasoning in India. For Icelanders , it is a national dish where havested sharks are cured, fermented and hung to dry for 4 to 5 months. Like an aged blue mold cheese or even green mold cheese, this dish Hakari is an acquired taste.

Sadly, globalism and commercialism equals greed has capitalized on the creatures of our oceans for profit and have diminished our beautiful, glorious and smart sharks. During a four-year period from 1996 to 2000, an estimated 26 to 73 million sharks were killed and traded annually in commercial markets and so much more in our time. No longer for nourishment but ‘Traded’ meaning a business transaction occurred and still occurring for enormous quantities or for sport to hang on a wall.

In our generation, the early 2020s there are good people, Greenpeace, organizations & sanctuaries, conservations, Shark Trusts, etc. all have the good intentions to fight and inform nations and its people to plainly not eat sharks and other marine life.

AS the photo translates to please “STOP SHARK FINNING!”

Photo: Stock Photo

THE NEW PLASTIC TRASH FISH DIET

In the 19the century the development of plastics became popular during the Industrial Revolution. Plastics manufacturing is a major part of the chemical industry, and some of the world’s largest chemical companies have been involved since the earliest days, such as the industry leaders BASF and Dow Chemical.

In order to protect the ocean from marine pollution, policies have been developed internationally. There are different ways for the ocean to get polluted, therefore there have been multiple laws, policies, and treaties put into place throughout history. In some areas there have been significant efforts to reduce the prominence of free range plastic pollution, through reducing plastic consumption, litter cleanup, and promoting plastic recycling.

Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles (e.g. plastic bottles, bags and microbeads) in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans. Air pollution is one thing but water pollution is another. But marine pollution affects the air we breathe.

Marine life affects the nature of the planet. Marine organisms produce oxygen and sequester carbon. There is no life without water. What beautiful animals inhabit our oceans and mankind is deliberately poisoning them. Not only has it afflicted land but waterways and oceans. Marine debris, also known as marine litter, is human-created waste that has deliberately or accidentally been released in a sea or ocean. Floating oceanic debris tends to accumulate and a wide variety of man-made objects can become marine debris; plastic bags, balloons, buoys, rope, medical waste, glass and plastic bottles, cigarette stubs, cigarette lighters, beverage cans, polystyrene, lost fishing line and nets, and various wastes from cruise ships and oil rigs are among the items commonly found to have washed ashore. Six pack rings, in particular, are considered emblematic of the problem.

It is everywhere.

Marine pollution harms an estimated 100,000 sea turtles and marine mammals and 1,000,000 sea creatures each year. It clogs the digestive tracts of larger animals when consumed by them and can cause starvation through restricting the movement of food, or by filling the stomach and tricking the animal into thinking it is full.

Each human on this planet should be conscious, aware and participate in preventing marine pollution. But I feel indifferent because of how millenials do not care or consciously do not want to get involved. Their focus is on likes, vlogs, and their opinions in social media. My generation is that of the baby boomers who were raised and practice being conscious of world events, respectful to authority and taking care of family. We listen and act.

Otherwise we would be eating plastic trash salmon, plastic trash cod, plastic trash tilapia, plastic trash plastic trash tuna, plastic trash halibut, plastic trash oysters, plastic trash mussels etc. This will give rise to an increase in cancer statistics or even a higher risk of cancer. We would not want to lose a family member from this horrible disease that may metastasize in our bodies from eating sashimi (Japanese prepared raw fish), sushi, seared tuna salad, lobster or scallops.

I am conscious of the six pack rings and found a simple solution, just cut it with scissors. It is sad because some researchers suggest that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by weight. Our grandchildren may never get to see Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach; Aquarium of the Bay, San FRancisco, Monteray Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California; SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida; SeaWorld, SanDiego, California; etc.

Stock Photo: NatGeo Asia

HIGH PROTEIN DIET VS VEGETARIAN DIET

What is meat? Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines meat as animal tissue considered especially as food. In this blog I will be focusing on beef meat. I love meat specially a good beefy steak. It doesn’t matter whether it has saturated fats, in fact it’s the fats that make it juicy and tasty and if you get a good steak (Kobe or Wagyu and Aberdeen Angus, ), it just melts in your mouth. I like going to Outback Steakhouse, Black Angus Steakhouse, Claim Jumper, Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, some Korean and Japanese restaurants, etc. I don’t consider myself on a diet but since I like meats my consumption falls under a High-Protein Diet.

There are many different types of meat, and all have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. This have nutritional value and essential nutrients. There is pork, beef, lamb and mutton, chcken, turkey, venison, duck, wild boar, bison or buffalo, goose, rabbit and pheasant. There are so many choices that depends on where you live in the world.

I also have to make mention dedicated Vegetarians and Vegans who abstain from animal products due to their concern about the ethics of eating meat
(inhumane killing or slaughter of cows, pigs, lamb, chicken, etc.), the environmental effects of meat production (release of methane affecting climate change), the nutritional effects of consumption and for religious reasons. I respect their view. I like vegetables too.

I’ve asked myself what is the history of meat?. What is its origin? I go to my meat market and laid out under the glass cases are varieties of cut meats. There is no pleasant definition of butcher in the dictionary. It is one who slaughters, kills ruthlessly, or kills brutally. Oh, how I cringe!

How is it that it’s on my dining table being served. Why do we eat animal tissue? So, I did some research and first, it lead me back to the diet of the earliest humans who were hunter-gatherers. They organized the hunting of deer and bison. There is evidence that a substantial proportion of early human diets is supported by biology, geology, fossils and ecology during that time. But It still doesn’t answer the origin of meat consumption.

Secondly, my research pointed me to the Scriptures, the Old Testament of the Bible. In this modern age, it’s called the Hebrew Bible, as it was written in Hebrew because its principles still apply in our times. For those who believe in God, it is spiritual knowledge. For atheists and agnostics, please keep an open mind.

The context of Genesis chapter 1 shows where God, Yahweh in Hebrew and Jehovah God which is the English translation begins when the heavens and the earth were created … man … the creatures in the heavens, domestic animals …”

In Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 30, it states: “And to every wild animal of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving on the earth in which there is life, I have given all green vegetables for food.” And it was so.

This was a loving direction from Jehovah God to provide his living creatures food, but only green vegetation. There was no instruction for meat to be consumed. What they harvested, they ate. And because, God loved animals.

Here is a simple explanation. No mystery. No hidden truth. No secret. The context of Genesis chapter 6 shows God giving instructions to Noah for the preservation of his family but also for his creation, the domestic animals (two of each kind for procreation) in the land before Jehovah God brings about the Flood.

Here, in Genesis Chapter 6 Verse 21,22, it states: “For your part, you are to collect and take with you every kind of food to eat, to serve as food for you and the animals.” And Noah did according to all that God had commanded him . He did just so.”

Here, Jehovah God gives Noah a tenderhearted command that he can now eat meat, “as food for you and for the animals.” So, before the Flood, humankind as well as animals ate vegetation off the ground. God loved his creatures and so never did it come up to his mind to have them for consumption.

But now, circumstances have changed, so, to prepare for the coming of the floodwaters that would destroy every evil, wicked, and unrighteous humankind. Noah could not gather carrots, potatoes, kale, brussel sprouts, etc. as this would not last while in the ark. Imagine. No refrigeration and it would have spoiled in 2 days and his family and the animals will go hungry. Or this generation would describe it as: “Hangry” – hungry and angry. Jehovah God already foresaw what they needed for sustenance.

I found the answer! Ever since I was born and up to the time I was served and ate meat, I wanted to be informed about the origins of meat consumption. Vegetarians and vegans have a platform too that is sensible and motivating and marked by conscious awareness of their diet. But, scripturally, God made allowance to eat meat that started with the preservation of Noah’s family and everything in the ark until the floodwaters were no more and Noah’s household came out of the ark onto dry land.

I am informed!

Stock Photo of Beef Cut Charts from Finedining Lovers

The Workplace Is Like An IED

Note: To get a background of the source of the feature image, go to my blog: “TO USE HUMOR TO A RUMOR.

So what’s a fool? According to Websters Dictionary it means a person lacking in judgement and understanding. It can also refer to crazy, insane, kooky, senseless, stupid and witless. It’s just plain retarded. The word is still in the dictionary although when said aloud is not politically correct. Beware that one should not say the word in public or your name, family, friend and life be destroyed in social media platform.

FRIENDSHIPS
Friendships is a relationship of mutual affection between people. It’s characteristics include love, affection, sympathy, understanding, honesty and trust. But there are times where you refer to persons you just met as friends. No they are not friends, they are just acquaintances. Most of all is the ability to be oneself, expressing one’s feelings and making mistakes without fear of judgement from the friend. This is special. But there are times where you refer to persons you just met as friends. No they are not friends, they are just acquaintances.

I feel a warmth when discussing about friendships but there is a lot of expectations when you get into a relationship. It’s supposed to be mutual but often it tends to be a one way street. The fool and the fooled. The fool is winning!

ADULTHOOD
Friendship in adulthood provides companionship, affection, as well as emotional support, and contributes positively to mental well-being and improved physical health. The next step for this young adults is after university/college is looking for employment. You gain new friends (I call them acquaintances first, then when I get to know them, I can call them friends) in the workplace but meaningful friendships is difficult to maintain.

The workplace is like an IED, an improvised electric devise. Your friendships are temporary, fireworks of competition, colleague quirks, Human Resource complaints, lifestyle envy, love life envy, harmful gossips, etc.

People learn to hide vulnerabilities, people can be fake. People will throw you under a bus/train. Sooner or later that IED will explode and will injure or kill you – emotionally and mentally.

Lessons learned. I have invested 30 years in the workforce and have experienced some of this things. The IED exploded but it did not kill me. It almost killed me. There was DRAMA all the time. My foolish actions in these unhealthy workplace situations:

– Potluck. A panic and stress to participate what to make, bring or buy. It has to be expensive. I will be judged. So I ordered a tray of Chinese egg rolls. My out-of-pocket $35. I spent money to impress specially my boss and was inundated with complements. In my mind, they will like me and be my friends. My boss will tread lightly on me. In reality, they forgot the next day.

– Birthday Celebration Potluck. I really do not want to attend but my boss and co-workers may notice and call me anti-social.

– Wedding Shower Potluck. The lady boss is having a shower. Panic. I gave her a candle warmer. It is different, unique and she will relate the present with my name. Voila! I was right. After her wedding she told me that she uses the warmer as a night light. Yesss! She did think about me … in my mind.

– Baby Shower Potluck Another panic and stress situation. I will be judged again. In my mind, the present has to be at $20.00 at least and cute. In reality, it’s just a complement of ooh’s and aah’s that sounds like music to my ears. They will forget about it next day.

– Last Day of Work Potluck. A nice male co-worker (we both hated out boss) was leaving and we were going to have a potluck lunch for him the next day. In my crazy mind, I made a grandiose dramatic gesture. I bought 3 orders of 8- piece Kentucky Fried Chicken worth $35. I spent to impress. He never said thank you. My other co-workers benefitted and left the lunchroom stuffed. My name in my department was trending for now.

I realized I am a fool. Why spend that much? I wanted to impress. I had the conclusions in my mind to the planned action I was going to do. So, I seeked therapy and along with that are medications. I am not one of those who reject anti-anxiety pills because it does help. I was impulsive and vulnerable with hard earned money and my pychological behaviors.

Now, I am more guarded, I am stronger, I can say ‘No.’ I don’t want to spend a single cent ever to whatever potluck there is. I have built shields. I reinvented myself to think of my well being first. I will never allow my brain to go to that space where I want to impress. No more panic. No more stress. There is no longer this white noise or background chatter.

Work is work, Upon the advice of my psychiatrist, I took down photos/pictures of family and vacation. He says: “Work is not your home!”

So the application of the saying about playing the role of a fool is enlightening. Wherever you go there are foolish people who gets you in trouble by making up stories, while you raise a hand to say an opinion when there are no other hands raised but still lady boss will not acknowledge you, the goal is to embarrass. Also, when the job is easy but during a performance review you fail. I wonder … I’m a college graduate and can’t get it? I have 10 years of experience and service with the company but a new employee gets a raise already? Lady boss’ wants to make my work life miserable. Why do some bosses make a subordinate cry? I think they like it, they want to see an ugly cry. My thought is that you should only cry when a family member dies, a loved one is very ill or a friend committed suicide. But crying at work is now a trend. A very sad cruel trend.

To get back at this retarded fools, first show that you are vulnerable that you can be attacked or be wounded. But in the end, I can say a big “NO!” or “I do not want to participate in the department’s potlucks!” Period.

The best revenge is ME playing “The Fool” fooling the retarded Fool (fake friend/boss) who foolishly thinks they are fooling me. Redemption.

Stock Photo: Nene Leakes Instagram

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS, THEN & NOW

Here’s a perspective about cats in Asian countries. In the past, the 1960s, when I was growing up, cats were not domesticated. Companionship with a cat by humans was rare or non-existent. But there were a lot of wild cats that were freely ranged, roamed the streets and that avoided human contact. I’d see them in the streets most of the time looking for food in the neighborhood. My neighbors were nice and good people who would leave food in a bowl outside their front yard.

These wild cats when in heat mate in the evenings on the roofs of our homes. Veterinary practice was in it’s early beginnings and so I was not acquainted with spaying. The cries, the meows are super loud and they wrestle with each other. The roofs of our house is made of galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is suitable for high temperature applications of up to 200 C, so, it is the best material for roofing in tropical countries (if you’ve been to Hawaii you will notice this type of roofing.) This sheet of steel has ridges so that when it rains the water slides down onto the gutter and to the ground. There are just two seasons, dry and wet. To visualize – it’s like a ridged pringle. The steel is thin, welded together and not sound proof. We barely get enough sleep when they start to mate and it takes a few nights until the male cat gets what it wants. The meows are intense, the pitch is high and the tone is low. You’d hear running, pounding and rolling. Then, peace and kittens.

Another aspect is the myth that “A Cat Has Nine Lives!” It is said that cats give good luck because it often survives dangerous accidents. Falling cats can twist in midair and are able to survive falling from great heights leading people to say that cats have multiple lives.

In my neighborhood, male teenagers, hang around, drink and think of crazy antics. They are bored. Just like in farms across the United States, where cow tipping is a form of entertainment or possibly just an urban legend. But this can’t compare to what the entertainment these boys are up to.

These young boys test the myth. Someone gets a hemp sack and puts a cat inside the sack, ties a knot, then throws it over a bridge. Usually, what’s under the bridge is a stream, not a river or a freeway (no freeways during this time.) You would think that the cat should be dead.

Well, the following day, that cat is back on the street. The teenagers are creeped out. I’m shaken up and ask myself, how? I don’t have an answer but the myth is no longer a myth.

At the start of Generation X (following the baby boomers and preceeding the Millenials), a revolution started continuing until today, cats have had very good years. Cats in the Philippines are loved, have healthcare, groomed, spoiled and cuddled.

Extra Rice, Rice, Baby!

I had a strategy to hire a foodware developer/software developer/coder so when I wake up in the morning check the computer and with the help of symbols, numbers and letters I can identify who my enemies is/are. Then, I will dress incognito. Go the grocery and stalk the meat and fish section, the produce, the deli section, dairy section, ice cream, pasta, chips & candy, and the bakery. Did I leave anything behind? YES! How could I? I missed the Asian/Mediterranean aisles. I found my enemy: Aaahhh … “RICE!”

Rice, it’s just rice right? But there are a list of varieties I didn’t even know about. What I know is the floral Thai-Jasmine rice and the exotic Mediterranean, Indian-Basmati rice. But there are a whole world out there and here’s a simple list (to educate you and me): Texas rice, Texas wild rice, Calrose, Nishiki, California New Variety rice, Carolina varieties, Loiusiana varieties, African varieties, Bangladeshi, Cambodian, wild rice, Italian and Japanese. The Philippines alone has the white rice, sticky rice (for dessert), brown and black rice.

My enemies names are so floral, exotic and sometimes wild. So charming. Rice tastes so damn good with good dishes, stew or grilled or as desserts. This problem that I focused to create an algorithm for has the same outcome – Extra Rice. This requires major shift in my brain and is agonizing.

Since childhood, rice has been our main staple. In third world countries this is mostly the diet. A carton of Pancit or chow mein will feed a family of 10. Two tablespoons of chow mein but 2 to 3 cups of rice. Rice is a god. But since the countries are in the tropics, the heat is intense and humidity is so high that once you walk out of your house you perspire. Rice is for the people is energy, it sustains them from walking in the heat, working at businesses with no electric fans, air coolers or wall air conditioners. 3 Egyptian cotton bath towels would be absorbed from sweat of just one person. For the rich, they take 3 to 4 baths a day (not showers, baths.) Still, you will cross paths of people thin, skinny, langky. Why? Inspite of a good mounds of rice on their plate, their energy is due to climate factors is spent. Rice, in these part of the world is GOLD.

But, I live in the United States where we are so blessed with a variety of food and with DIETS that will not allow as to eat these foods. I MADE RICE MY FRIEND. My brain can handle portion sizes. When I use to have 2 cups of rice and an abundance of dishes which I loved to taste and eat and chow down, you bet, I am not visiting that weight scale (that is like a prison sentence.) Anxiety is involved and then depression kicks in.

Now, my thought process has changed, I think of the global consumption that depend on rice. And to be conscious of the world’s rice food cultivation. So, I found the solution to that hidden algorithm in the Dart Net. That, rice size portion is the best. Start backwards …plate of Xtra Rice (3 bowls), Xtra Large (2-1/2 bowls), Large (2 bowls), Medium (1 bowl) and Small (1/2 bowl). I can live with this.

To My Readers: I respect you. You are busy but life isn’t boring. So, I will get to the point.

If My Pants Don’t Fit, I Can’t Have A Fit

Note: To get a background of the source of the feature image, go to my blog: “TO USE HUMOR TO A RUMOR.”

Dieting is the application and the attempt to achieve or maintain a certain weight through diet. Not all diets are considered healthy. Weight-loss plans from professional dieticians involve changes to a person’s normal eating habits in moderation. This is a healthy way. It will not upset your brain, hormones and your metabolism. In fact, these will elevate a healthy person out of you.

People also align diet and exercise. This is the most effective way to lose weight and will make you gain self confidence. The results will reflect on your soul, spirit and more importantly the scale and your closet. The battle isn’t over because you have to maintain it.

There are so many diets, most popular are: vegan, pescatarian, Weight watchers diet, Nutrisystem, Atkins, South Beach, Beverly Hills diet, cabbage soup diet, grapefruit, Subway, juice fasting, Master cleanse, Buddhist diet, Islamic diet, Diabetic diet, Kosher, Gluten-free diet, Ketogenic diet, Alkaline diet, High protein diet, Jenny Craig, Macroboiotic, Mediterranean, Organic food diet, Paleolithic diet, Scarsdale medical diet, Zone diet and more and more and more.

Think about this: The United States is the only country that has more food to eat than any other country in the world and God has provided a variety, a bountiful harvest of vegetation and fruits. Also, milk, butter, eggs, etc. – food products produced by animals, and HAVE MORE DIETS TO KEEP US FROM EATING IT.

If you ask me, my number one enemy is EXTRA RICE . My weight varies from 148 to 159. I love to eat and enjoy all kinds of food which I take in moderation. I lie. Oops! My gauge is if my pants don’t fit, I can’t have a fit.

Stock Photo: Nene Leakes Instagram

To My Readers: I respect you. You are busy but life isn’t boring. So, I will get to the point.

To Use Humor To A Rumor

First of all I don’t talk like this. This is an Instagram post by a person who is an OG in the TV Series Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA). She is my favorite and her name is Nene Leakes. She is glamorous, has a wild sense of humor, nice & kind, a good friend, her high IQ wit is uncomparable, loves to laugh and never, never, ever cross her (She keeps it real). I just find her transparent and organic. Just that she re-invented herself from being a pole dancer/stripper and now an actor, business woman equals – a rich woman.

I find her hilarious. Nene’s modern proverbs that she lets out on Instagram are a delight. I read it twice to get the meaning of the Atlanta vibe. Since my exposure to black friends is close to me, I get it. Laughter makes the day brighter so we can move forward. Rumors, gossip, whispers … if there is one, I want to hear it but not the one to spread it.

Stock Photo: Nene Leakes Instagram

To My Readers: I respect you. You are busy but life isn’t boring. So, I will get to the point.