Category Archives: vegetarianism

2010 Year in review, Resolutions, etc.

Well, this year pretty much sucked ass for me bicycle-wise.

I rode a whopping 460 miles all year. This has been, by far, my lowest mileage year since I started riding again back in 2004, when I started this blog.

Ass Suckage

I got hit by a car on my first commute this year. I was laid up for 2 months from that, and I never really got back into the groove. A few changes at work made commuting problematic for most of the summer. Excuses, Excuses.

The lack of bike riding has made me fat. I don’t have exact figures, but I’ve put on at least 20 pounds this year, and the extra weight makes biking less fun, especially going up hills, and I wasn’t exactly thin to begin with.

Every new year’s eve, I throw out some mileage number as a New Year’s Resolution. Usually it’s around 2000 miles. Then, when the end of the year comes, I act all surprised that I didn’t hit my number.

So, for 2011, I’m setting the bar low, and breaking the goal(s) into 52 pieces. I want to ride at least 35 miles a week, and lose at least 1 pound a week.

If I can manage that, by the end of the year, I’ll have ridden at least 1820 miles, and lost at least 52 pounds, and that will be nice.

To keep things on track, I’ll be reviving the long forgotten Weekly Summary Category of the blog, with a stupid weekly post that says “This week I rode X miles, and lost Y pounds.” Even if X =0 and Y = -10.

I think public humiliation is a great motivator.

Anyhow, 35 miles of bicycling is probably not going to be enough to burn off a pound of my flabby arse. So, I’m going on a diet also. The bicycle blogosphere has been burning up lately with people talking about the advantages of cave man style diets. Paleo Diet, The Primal Blueprint, the Jim Thill Meat-Rope Diet, whatever you call it, it’s all pretty much the same thing, and so that’s what I’m doing.

These diets are not very compatible with my vegetarianism, so I’m not going to be vegetarian anymore. Saving the environment and saving the animals is great and everything, but, well, I just don’t give a shit anymore. I want to be able to fit into my MUSA shorts again, and I want to make it up the big hill on my commute without having to get off to push. If a few cows get hurt in the process, so be it.

So, Tallyho, onward and upward, happy new year, and all that.

Books: In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food is sort of a sequel to the Omnivore’s Dilemma.

It’s a condemnation of the whole idea of “nutritionism.” The idea that people need scientists with beakers and test tubes to tell them what to eat and how to be healthy.

The general idea is that we’ve outsourced our food production to the industrial agriculture system and food preparation to restaurant cooks. Nobody knows how to cook anymore, and nobody even knows what to eat without consulting a “priesthood” of nutritionists who will tell you to eat less carbs or more Omega-3, depending on the fashionable nutrient du joure. The result of all this bullshit is that now everyone is fat, diabetic, or has high blood pressure.

He goes on to recommend that people not buy stuff in the grocery store because most of it isn’t even food, but “edible food-like substances.” He encourages people to cook at home, subscribe to a CSA, and shop at farmer’s markets.

He frames these activities like they are an act of open revolt against the system. I am never so happy as I am when I feel like I’m sticking it to the man, so I am joining Spiral Path (our local CSA) this year, and Brandi and I are going to try to grow at least one edible plant in a flower pot on the back porch (we don’t have a yard to plant a garden in).

Viva la Revolución!

Here’s an (hour long!) YouTube video where the author explains this stuff better than I do.

Anyhow, I give In Defense of Food 4 jihadis out of 5

4 jihadis out of 5

You can download an excerpt (90k PDF) from Michael Pollan’s website.

Books: The Undead and Philosophy

The Undead and Philosophy is volume 22 in the wonderful Popular Culture and Philosophy series.

The Undead and Philosophy

It’s a collection of essays by various professional philosophers about the philosophical significance of zombie and vampire stories, with a few digressions into specials cases, like bioethics of the Frankenstein monster and the problematic case of the not-quite-undead “Infected” people from the 28 Days Later films.

Some of the topics I found most interesting were discussions of the ethical considerations between zombies and vampires. Vampires are fully self-aware, so staking them without due process is somewhat problematic from a human rights standpoint. Zombies, on the other hand, are not “people,” and can be dispatched without ethical consideration. This, of course leads to discussion about why zombies are not people in a way that vampires are, and what exactly does it take to be considered a “person.”

There are also a few essays on political philosophy, which I found interesting. During a zombie outbreak, should you adopt an “every man for himself” individualistic strategy, or band together in more communitarian groups? The Romero films explore these themes in some depth.

Framing the obscure ideas of philosophy in terms of pop culture is a great way to make philosophy accessible to non-academics, and The Undead and Philosophy makes it fun and kind of silly.

Like the rest of the series, the book is not available for Kindle, which burns my ass to no end, but nevertheless, I give it 4 Jihadis out of 5.

4 Jihadis out of 5

If you want a taste of what the book is like, you can read Wayne Yuen’s essay on “The Bloody Connection Between Vampires and Vegetarians” online for free. It’s probably a representative sample of what the rest of the book is like.

Critical Mass

All you pansies who stayed inside missed out on all the fun. 5.5 miles of dark icy streets and the usual angry, honking motorists.

There was only three of us, so our mass was somewhat less than critical.

I think we spent as much time at Neato Burrito as we spent riding.

The vegetarian burrito rocks the bullocks.

Today: 5 miles
January: 25 miles
2009 Utility Miles: 20
2009 Total Miles: 25
Departure Temp: 27° F

6 months without meat

I stopped eating meat 6 months ago. I thought it was going to be all hard like quitting smoking, but it wasn’t.

It’s actually no big deal.

When people find out I’m vegetarian they say weird stuff like “but you still eat fish though, right?”

And then I say something like “No, fish are not vegetables.”

And then they look at me as if I’m the weirdo.

People are strange.

Stupid Blog Disease

Tex infected me with this silly blog nonsense. It’s contagious, evidently.

First, the background.

  1. Post the rules of the game at the beginning
  2. Each player answers the questions about themselves
  3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names
  4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer
  5. Create an arbitrary rule to keep with the whole fives theme.

What were you doing 5 years ago?

  • 5 years ago, I was smoking 2 packs a day, eating meat, and not riding a bicycle. I associated primarily with crass bar-people. I considered myself a libertarian, and earned my keep by working for evil corporate overlords.
  • Nowadays I don’t smoke, don’t eat meat, ride a bike sometimes, and associate with crass bike people. I consider myself politically confused, and earn my keep working for generally non-evil, non-corporate overlords

What are five things on your to-do list for today?

  1. Finish this blog entry
  2. suggest a Guy Fawkes ride on the HBG Critical Mass blog
  3. Figure out how to get to Jazz Under the Stars in Lancaster
  4. Ride my bike
  5. Read Siddhartha

What are five snacks you enjoy?

  1. Troegenator
  2. Appalachian Jolly Scot
  3. Ace hard Cider
  4. Hornsby’s Hard Cider
  5. Lancaster Milk Stout

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

  1. Two chicks at the same time.
  2. Buy a shit load of farmland and start my own religious cult. Kind of like the Amish, but replace the Christianity with a Secular Soto Zen Buddhism and get rid of all the farm animals — It’ll be all veganic farming and bicycles instead of horses and buggies.
  3. Go to space
  4. Donate a little bit to some worthy charities.
  5. Sponsor a mission to build 1/6 scale models of Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza on the surface of the moon. When space aliens come to Earth in a million years, that’ll give their archaeologists something to talk about.

What are five of your bad habits?

  1. Running this blog
  2. Eating too much
  3. Using enormous amounts of profanity in polite company
  4. Spending too much time in the internet
  5. fantasizing about doing cool things someday, when I could be dong them now

What are five places where you have lived?

  1. I lived 7 different places during the first 20 years of my life, but none was ever more than 6 miles from where I was born
  2. 10 years ago, I moved about 70 miles downstream to the Harrisburg area. I moved 5 times since then, but was always within bicycling distance of work.
  3. I’ve averaged 2.5 years per residence
  4. I’ve never, in my whole life, lived more than 6 miles from the Susquehanna River, and I think that if I ever move away from it, I will lose all of my supernatural powers, and turn into an asshole.

What are five jobs you’ve had?

  1. Paperboy – Milton Standard Journal – Got my first drop-bar ten speed to deliver newspapers
  2. Bus Boy – Good Wils Restaurant – Cleaning up after miserable Bucknell Students
  3. Burger Flipper – Wendy’s – cooking burgers for miserable Bucknell Students
  4. Macintosh ‘Computer’ Salesman – Bucknell University Bookstore (at this point I was a miserable Bucknell Student myself)
  5. Network Administrator – various evil corporate masters

I tag:

  1. Stankertanker
  2. Doc
  3. The Donut Guy
  4. end pavement
  5. analstormtrooper1996