Tag Archives: Local stuff

How to solve the ‘obesity crisis’

In my daily round I do see a great many people, who, not to put too fine a point on it, need to shed a few pounds. Although I’ve always been painfully aware of my own tendency to hang on to excess weight, and not being twenty one any more, have to work much harder to get rid of the unwanted extra me. So I’m a little more cautious than many to go flinging the terms ‘blubberino’ or making pointed remarks about great white whales, or going into a frothing diatribe about heart disease and arteries so furred up they cost the health service ‘billions’. Glass houses and stones having their own small compatibility issues. Although nowhere near so much as the cases in point.

Nonetheless, on my daily round a couple of days ago, I was walking up the street behind two such sidewalk blockers and found myself wondering why they had laterally grown to the size they had. Casual observation gave no clues, and in the case of the two in question, this being the town it is, everybody knows somebody. You don’t have to be a detective to find out most things about others who cross your path. I’d seen the people concerned before and a friend had made comment that the two in question were well known as serial dieters who hawkishly watched each and every calorie that passed their lips in case it did something vaguely reckless.

After hearing a number of similar stories, I found myself thinking that maybe the calories themselves were innocent, but the people’s restricted physical mobility might be the key issue. Canadians living as they do, they travel a lot, and some walk a lot (And I do mean a lot), and others don’t. Many people spend so much effort at work, that at the end of the day all they want to do is slump down on a sofa and veg out half watching television.

One of the things I’ve noticed about those who are, let’s say, more than a little over the limit weight wise, are big watchers of TV. It’s how they ‘relax’. Soaps, dramas, talent shows, what passes for news, sports etc. On the whole, and I know this is one of those awful broad brushstroke statements, they are passive absorbers of the world. This being the case, it might be said that Television, that great thief of time, might be the root of the current ‘obesity crisis’ various well meaning control freaks and politicians are always berating everybody about.

Having ditched the old one eyed monster over five years ago, I find that anything over half an hours exposure soporific, so how some people can sit there for hours in front of the idiot box is beyond me. I’m increasingly of the opinion that such long periods of inactivity, vacuously drinking in the dreams of others, actually contributes to packing on the poundage, and some serious people think the same. To quote this article;

According to William H. Deitz, pediatrician and prominent obesity expert at Tufts University School of Medicine, “The easiest way to reduce inactivity is to turn off the TV set. Almost anything else uses more energy than watching TV.”

Of course there are many other sources that say the same things in a similar way. So there you have it. The answer to the great conundrum of increasing obesity in the Western world; Television. Cut the channels down to broadcasting between four o’clock in the afternoon to say eleven o’clock at night and we may find the ‘obesity crisis’ simply disappears as people begin to get lives. No need for ‘five a day’ or ‘eat healthy’ TV campaigns or for healthy eating activists to chain themselves to the doors of fast food eateries. Simply cull the viewing time available and the ‘problem’ will simply go away. TV’s mostly crap anyway. To repeat this axiom;

“Don’t watch TV. It’s a cultural wasteland filled with inappropriate metaphors and an unrealistic portrayal of life created by the liberal media elite.”



Obesity crisis solved! Huzzah! World a much better place, sun shines, birds sing, half hols all round. Well done young William. You’ve saved the day!

Not. Hey, what’s on the other channel? Pass the remote will ya hon? Zzzzzzzzzz….

Playing victimhood poker

I got caught out the other day doing some voluntary work. Actually I was covering for the paid staff’s lunch, which I do as a personal favour, not because I’m asked to.

At the time I made a remark to someone in response to a rather fatuous complaint. “Don’t worry, I’ll pass that one on.” I said in cheerful tones. Honestly, I thought the guy was kidding me by making such a nonsensical remark so my initial response was to blow off his complaint as though it were of no importance. Much to my surprise he came back at me with; “You just insulted me.”
To which my conditioned reflex was; “Wasn’t meant as an insult. I’m sorry you feel that way.” My mental response was a slightly confused ‘where the hell did that one come from?’. Although by then all I saw was his retreating back. Damn! Someone had been playing victimhood poker and I’d been so involved with other thoughts I missed an opening gambit.

Upon reflection I should have trusted the evidence of my own eyes. My accuser moved like someone with poor self esteem. Hunched up shoulders, slightly dragging footsteps and wearing his defensiveness like a shield. If I was security or a copper, he would have flagged up on my ‘Up-to-no-good-ometer’ right away. He acted furtive, if you know what I mean. If asked, I would have said the adjective ‘creepy’ would not have been too far off the mark. A veteran offence seeker like that should have had my mental defences ready with all guns loaded. Fortunately they are so rare in our neck of the woods that I’ve gotten out of practice dealing with such people. Good natured joshing is more usual in our part of Canada.

Notwithstanding, when playing victimhood poker, the idea is to trump the ‘offendedness’ of your opponent by insisting that you are the hurt party. No matter what the complaint against you, you must always claim the other party is actually in the wrong. This is a great game, and if played well can reduce one player to a grovelling apology in three sentences or less, regardless of any fault.

Let me demonstrate by example. Say we have two verbal combatants, Player 1 and Player 2. The game begins when Player 1 claims that their ‘feelings’ have been hurt. The reality of the Player 1‘s claimed offendedness does not matter, as Player 2‘s game objective is to negate present and future offence seeking behaviour. To win, Player 2 at no time should neither raise his/her voice, nor give the vaguest indication of smiling. An expression of indignant ire is a distinct advantage.
Player 1 opens with: “You insulted me!”
Player 2 counters with: “I find that accusation rather offensive.”
Player 1 is forced to fall back on: “But you insulted me!”
Player 2 can now offer: “Please don’t be patronising. I find your attitude vaguely (Player 2 inserts relevant ‘ist’ here). Kindly take your prejudice elsewhere before I call (Enter relevant authority figure here).”
Now this should be a winning gambit, as all Player 2 has to do to win is to insist that Player 1 is acting out of ‘prejudice’ and committing some vague sort of ‘thought crime’. However, it cannot be stressed too strongly that at no time must Player 2 indicate anything but muted moral outrage. Mocking laughter is only permissible after Player 1 is almost (But not quite) out of earshot. Extra points can be earned, should Player 1 return, hotly demanding apology for their ‘hurt’ feelings. At this juncture Player 2 should claim to be laughing at something else that was actually funny, and demand to know why Player 1 is indulging in ‘Offence seeking behaviour’ which Player 2, in his/her turn finds ‘violently offensive’ which Player 1 should immediately apologise for. In its purest form, this game is almost like playing ‘Cheese shop‘ without the Cheese, the shop, or the Monty Python references.

The winner is the first to obtain an apology.

I missed an opportunity like that? Crikey. I must be getting out of practice.

Vancouver rocks!

I have to say this. When the riots hit after the Canucks Bruins game the other night, my virtual heart had sunk into it’s dinky little cyber boots. My first thought; had leaving the UK to find a new and better future for me and mine been a hopeless quest? Had we just worked so hard to get here just to find the same old same old?

However, the local press and media today is full of stories where ordinary people stood up to the rioters, and are even actively helping to track the guilty down. Vancouverites demonstrated ownership of their own streets against hostile elements with messages of peace written on boarded store fronts, and handing videos of whack jobs smashing store windows to the Police to do what the cops should with said malefactors. There’s currently a big name and shame thing on Facebook where pictures of the offending low lifes have been posted.

Now I’m sure some tricksy defence lawyer might try to argue that this coverage makes a fair trial impossible, but I’m inclined to say that anyone trying to cop a ‘not guilty’ plea in the face of overwhelming evidence like that should serve double penalty anyway. I just hope the local judges and cops see it that way.

Today my rose tinted specs are sitting firmly across my face, and all I can say to the folks who stood up for their neighbourhoods in Vancouver against the vandals is; guys, you rock! You own your streets. God bless you.

I can only wish that if ever in the same situation I’d have the guts to do what you did. Thank you.

Twister weather?

Unusual cloud formations in the sky this evening.  Spring has come all of a sudden in the last couple of days with an abrupt change in temperature.

As you can see by the Weather Radar Sceengrab, it’s raining out in the Georgia Straits between Vancouver Island and the Mainland, and the two other images are mine, taken just a few minutes before.  One shows the odd cloud formations coming in, and the one with the foggy line extending groundwards could have been a little whirlwind.  It only stayed there for a few minutes, but I wonder if there might be a headline about Global warming causing whirlwinds over the Mid Island.  Which will be a bit of ill informed media nonsense, as it’s the warmer air coming up from the Pacific meeting the still cool air from the mountains, which had a better than average snow season this winter just gone.   Warm air mass hits cold air mass + rotation = whirlwinds.

On the other hand, it might just pass us by.  Whirlwinds are not unknown around here, and according to Landlord only ever move the garbage cans around a bit.

Update: A Pacific, sunny Sunday has just lazed on by.  Whatever happened, happened elsewhere, and I’m jolly pleased it did.