Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Counselor: Captain, you wanted to see me?
Captain: No, Counselor, I did not, but I am advised by the Spark Team to address possible emotional eating issues of the crew in the Ship's Blog, er Log. I did not know what to say.
Counselor: I see. And do you think there might be such issues on the ship?
Captain: I prefer to think not.
Counselor: I see. And why, Captain, do you think that? Are you afraid to face such
a deeply psychological issue? Does it reflect on your leadership perhaps, if the crew is eating out of some emotional rather than nutritional need? Do you feel the lines of communication may not be as open as they could be among the ship's officers and crew members?
Counselor: I'm sorry. What was that? I am sensing some anxiety, some stress. Perhaps you would like to give this some thought, and arrange a time to talk again?
Captain: Very well. I will talk to you later. I'll let you know when I am ready.
Counselor: I will be eating an entire 440 calorie chocolate bar in my office later. We can talk then if you like.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Number One, please inform the ship's crew that the purpose of the Ship's Garden is to provide active recreation. (There are no illusions about actually feeding the crew from the results of gardening. )
The Garden Project allows Commander Data to enjoy researching deer resistant, drought tolerant, low maintenance plant life forms that can survive the packed clay soil and compete with the virulent weed aliens that thrive here. It keeps Dr. Crusher's interns busy proscribing mild analgesics and heat therapy and exercise programs for gardeners such as the excellent Spark People Workout that promises to prevent back and shoulder injuries which I regret was delayed in being made available.
It allows Geordi to theoretically engineer irrigation systems and terraforming plans to develop a pleasing but efficient result that requires very little of the crew's energy beyond what is available for recreation, that is the daylight hours not assigned to life maintenance activities like bathing, grooming, eating, toothcare, food preparation and Spark People Points gathering. The Chief Engineer enjoys measuring the dimensions, pacing off the areas which might be cultivated, and creating graphics of possible outcomes. The diagrams are visually stunning.
Some success has been achieved under test conditions: the herbs now growing in containers have the potential to keep 10 Forward supplied with enough mint for a year's worth of Mojitos or Mint Juleps, and the kitchen with fresh herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes so long as the menu is mainly Italian and the illness requires mint tea. Roses in containers have new leaves. I personally look forward to someday having a fresh rose in my quarters once or twice. Whether or not any of these trial plantings will survive tranplanting into the actual soil remains to be discovered. We look forward to going where no one has gone before.
But mostly the Ship's Garden is an efficient way to burn calories to balance the excessive time the crew spends at the computer on garden web sites, watching mind-numbing basic Cable HGTV, or reading paper novels about civilizations where gardens were commonplace such as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Dune. I believe it is important to remind the crew members of this priority so that false expectations do not lower morale. We must live in peaceful co-existence with the deer population as they are a protected species in spite of their rodent like propensities to eat whatever is not metal and to leave their excrement in the public avenues. Further, the plant forms that can survive the dense clay soil, the limited supply of water, the invasion of weeds without number, and the limit to the financial resources available to ameliorate these conditions do not auger well for anything resembling the catalogs, seed packets, diagrams and other works of fiction. That being said, I encourage all crew members to avail themselves daily of the pleasures and calorie burning opportunity the Garden does provide. Birds continue to investigate, insect life is vigorous, and the deer are friendly and curious about humans. Avoid the burrs, stickers, prickly leaves, and barbed seeds by remaining on the concrete walkways at all times. When the rains come in 4 months it will be possible to walk in the mud with boots as the infant weed crop sprouts and consumes the dangerous adult seed parents. I am sure we are all looking forward to that.
Monday, May 17, 2010
I am in the 4th week and the enemy Borg have only appeared twice; once, disguised as a harmless package of fat free sugar free pudding. Our shields were down and the package ate us, aided by light whipping cream in a pressurized rocket. Second full attack by a Borg Sourdough loaf. It was a slaughter, and the ship crew was seriously out of commission with bloat and discomfort due to gas emissions. We will not be duped into taking that voyage again. Perhaps the lesson here was "No pain, no gain," i. e. we will not gain weight if we do not eat ourselves into a painful condition. We had a skirmish at the edge of Romulan Movie territory, attacked by Altoids in chocolate, but the day itself was not lost.
My average calorie intake for this period is about 1200 . Maneuvers plan is working; am exploring yoga planet twice a week, ballet world twice a week . So far the Walking World option is not being exercised, but instead a new heavenly body has appeared: Garden Universe. This surprising discovery has great potential for dumping of surplus fuel supply, plus the rewards of killing off evil alien Weed species and making habitat terraformed for Native California species appeals to my prime directive impulse. Most of my green thumb experiences have been aboard ship such as alfalfa sprouts, extending the life of cut roses with copper pennies, a serious love affair with orchids one year and an earlier infatuation with African violets. Currently only living thing on ship besides the ship's cat and me is a newly purchased creeping fig which I consider more or less a bouquet with a long life expectancy.
Nevertheless, am in training with free workshops to acquire piloting skills to start a real garden off ship. Gardening sessions count as "extra" exercise, not being tracked on goals.
Don't want to spoil the fun and spontaneous recreation aspect by making this a SHOULD or a MUST, because you know Captain, how deep your authority issues go.
Have plotted goals and weekly weight loss hopes in datebook, have actually gone public on Facebook and am being tracked on Sparks America for regular fitness classes. Very bold move for me to "share" where failure is a possible outcome. Let's see how this step into unknown territory goes. Perhaps boldness is due rather to greater confidence in success than in willingness to be vulnerable to ordinary Fitness Federation members.
And finally added "visual" reminders in strategic areas of the ship: food replicator area, storage holds, sleep cabin. Have written a rough draft of Vision Statement as well, but am now planning to add a section on "create a Native Species garden over 5 years." You have the con Number One. Make it so.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
I have sent my Data-self on a research mission and returned with the intel on drinking 64 oz. of water every blessed solar day. I can't do it despite the 5 point Spark Points incentive, and as it turns out, I don't have to. Recent research (2002,2004) published in Scientific American on 6/4/09: Fact or Fiction? You must drink 8 glasses of water daily" concludes that there is nada,zip,zero evidence or research to support this urban legend. Conspiracy theory would conclude that the bottled water industry is solidly behind the hoax. Certainly the Sparks folks have been taken in along with the rest of us. Sparks points are awarded as if drinking water were equivalent to exercise or actually watching what you eat.
As for me, I am going along with the idea suggested by scientists that if your bowels are constipated you need to hydrate, as in "Earl Grey, hot." or H2O, cold. Not constipated? You are doing fine self-hydration wise. I do believe Mother Nature knew a thing or two about her children and that anything that could kill us (like dehydration) is probably hard-wired to be self limiting. That's why we can't hold our breath till we die. We breathe adequately without counting breaths and I do believe we drink adequately, given the opportunity, without counting ounces, those with medical conditions like alcoholism or kidney stones possibly excepted. And ALL water counts: tea, coffee, soda, juice, beer, the tonic in a gin and tonic, and all the water in every food consumed. These are the facts by the god of the 21st century, Science. If we seekers of health in the Space Age are going to go along with all the other research on health and nutrition and limit our fats and sugars and salt, then I am going to go along with this research data and I am announcing here that as of this date I am going to claim my 5 Spark Points if I consume 48 oz of liquid, in any form except straight grain alcohol. That's 6 cups of tea, diet soda, coffee, beer, or broth, and yes, even pure unflavored water. Oh, and for anyone listening, the total amount of fluid required for adults varied for men and women, just as most things do, and that is not considered in the 8 x 8 formula either. Don't believe me? Go Google it yourself.
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