One reason we need government: Foster Farms

We eat a ton of Foster Farms chicken. Then I read the following article tonight. 

Foster Farms? More like Salmonella Farms.

I know it’s easy to get on our government about how much they suck at times, which I do, as I can’t stand Congress, except for Senator Elizabeth Warren, but the government does provide some good services. As in policing the companies that provide our food.

Not looking so hot today, Foster.

Not looking so hot today, Foster.

On top of the Salmonella concern, once again the continued use of antibiotics in our food supply rears its head. How long is this going to continue? Does anyone still think it’s a good idea? Years from now, this is one of those actions people will look back at and shake their heads, wondering how we could have been so stupid.

Worst of all, the example above is just one of many stories each week of companies pushing the boundaries of what not to do. Without government, though far from perfect, we’d be hosed and puking chicken casserole into a toilet while the banks took crazy risks with our money.

Hold it? What the hell. That’s already happened. Our government sucks. Never mind.

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Treadmill Desk: 3-month Update

Three months down, a lifetime to go. Here are my observations:

My fingernails and toenails grow faster. I know that sounds odd, like I’m Howard Hughes holed up in Mexico watching Ice Station Zebra, but I swear I cut them more often, especially my fingernails.

I can put my pants on without falling over. That makes me sound like a drunk or something, but I have incredible stability now. It doesn’t mean I can stand in front a of moving train and stop it, but I can give flamingos a run for their money.

I’ve tripled my weekly distance. I went back and looked at my first blog posts. I started with weekly mileage in the 20s. Not I’m walking between 55 and 70 miles a week. My daily record is 16 miles.

I walk faster. My minimum speed now is 1.3 MPH, but I can type at up to 2.7 MPH, though the more concentration I need, the slower I go.

The detritus of cystic fibrosis pollutes any desk.

The detritus of cystic fibrosis pollutes any desk.

My conditioning has improved. At a work dinner this week in Manhattan Beach, I dreaded walking up the hills to the van after a dinner of raw clams, scallops, french fries, and three scoops of ice cream, including a maple-bacon flavor that made cry it was so good. Surprise, I made it and didn’t feel completely winded. And, I kept talking while I walked. Miracle.

My work pants fit better. I’ve lost about five pounds, and most of it seems to be from around my waist. I still eat too many Mini M&M’s.

Treadmill desks get just as messy as regular desks. I need to move my Denver Broncos trash can closer.

Last thought: I wish I’d started walking while working years ago. I’d be in much better shape today.

Treadmill Desk: my first EOW report

Totals for the five-day work week:

This is 7 a.m., morning hair and breathing treatments. Yes, @seanset, those are my new whale boxers.  The good part about my wife discovering the blog is that she can pictures.  However, I thought I looked like a cool, hip dude while I was multitasking. This picture proves I'm more like that guy at Venice Beach who plays the harmonica, guitar and knee cymbals all at one time. How depressing.

This is 7 a.m., morning hair and breathing treatments. Yes, @seanset, those are my new whale boxers.
The good part about my wife discovering the blog is that she can take pictures. However, I thought I looked like a cool, hip dude while I was multitasking. This picture proves I’m more like that guy at Venice Beach who plays the harmonica, guitar and knee cymbals all at one time. How depressing.

Time Walking: 24.77 hours

Steps taken: 71,050

Miles walked: 21.26

Calories burned: 3,951

Mini M&M’s eaten: 3,951

Body weight: Forgot to check this morning

Thoughts for the week:

If you’re considering a treadmill desk and are not an Olympian, or have not exercised enough in the past 12 months, listen to me closely, please. Do not overdo it during your first week.

After five straight days of walking, I can’t walk anymore. Everything from my waist down hurts, is tight, is sore. And if I were to sit down on the couch right now, I would Rip Van Winkle it and wake up on Monday.

TGIF carries new meaning as I try to find a comfortable position while sitting. I’m 14 again with growing pains. Motrin, if I could take it, would help. I’m considering half a pain pill.

Now, despite my whining and crying, and fighting through the aches and pains this week with my OCD running wild, I am so glad I bought this LifeSpan treadmill. I really enjoy walking while working. That’s it. I like it better than sitting. And once I get conditioned, I’m sure I’ll like it even more.

The big surprise of the week: how much I enjoy walking after dinner. I didn’t expect that would happen.

And, best of all, I’m getting better at harder tasks, such as concentrating on conference calls and eating M&M’s, while walking. It was more difficult earlier in the week.

At times during my stressful week, the treadmill really helped. I can’t explain it. The rhythm? Exercise? Concentration on walking and not the stress? Who knows, but this week came with crazy, “why do I work for a corporation,” stress, and I still managed to overdo it and log good steps and miles.

So, a giant “thank you” and writer’s hug to Susan Orlean and her article about treadmill desks. The universe led me to it and I followed its lead. Luck rains down on me once again.

Treadmill Desk: Day Three

Day-Three Results

(Sung to the Nancy Sinatra version) These boots were made for walking, and that's just what they do, all day, while I work.  Okay, it kind of sucks, but I'm tired.

(Sung to the Nancy Sinatra version) “These boots were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do, all day, while I work.”
Okay, it kind of sucks, but I’m tired from walking in those boots all day.

Time Walking: 6 hours, 1 minute

Steps taken: 17,340

Miles walked: 5.12

Calories burned: 945

Body weight: Who cares after three days

Thoughts:

My calves are broken. I don’t think they work anymore. It’s like I’m wearing ski boots, but not.

After stretching on the floor this afternoon, I couldn’t get up and had to crawl to the chair for support to stand up again.

Late this afternoon, I sat down on the couch next to my daughter. Then I was asleep. Bang, just like that, lights out, until my wife woke me for dinner.

Holy mother of god, this walking stuff is almost like exercise. Who knew sitting all day wasn’t a sport.

I find it easier to walk 6 hours over the course of the day than to exercise on a treadmill for 30 minutes watching the clock. Time on the hamster wheel moves unlike any other form of time. (Thanks to @seanset for calling me a hamster, indirectly.)

If I could still take Motrin, I’d down one of those 800mg tablets like I was drinking the finest wine ever made. I may dream of Motrin tonight.

When I take a break from work now, I sit down.

Treadmill Desk: Day Two

The good news for today is that I start the TOBI Podhaler tonight for the first time. However, I'd like to speak to Novartis about the design of the packaging. It's a little bit feminine. Can they create a more masculine design and color scheme? Camouflage with dead bacteria piled up would work for me.

The good news for today is that I start the TOBI Podhaler tonight for the first time. However, I’d like to speak to Novartis about the design of the packaging. It’s a little bit feminine. Can they create a more masculine design and color scheme? Camouflage with drawings of bloody, dead bacteria heaped in open graves would work for me.

[I’m behind on replying to your comments. My apologies.]

Day Two Results

Time Walking: 4 hours, 37 minutes

Steps taken: 10,850

Miles walked: 2.93

Calories burned: 652

Body weight: Didn’t check. It’s only been one day.

Thoughts:

I overdid it yesterday and the CF gods punished me for my hubris.

I didn’t feel so hot when I woke up this morning, and I had some mild hemoptysis (lungs opening up yesterday? Desatting?).

My lower back is sore and my ass hurts. And my calves feel like someone whacked them with a cricket bat (that’s for all the Brits who read my blog while sitting on the can).

My wife wasn’t surprised when I told her my results yesterday and how I was hurting today. “You always overdo it, don’t you?” she said, or something close to that. Yes, I do. And I completely ignored the advice everyone gives about starting out slowly on your treadmill desk, which you’ll ignore too when you get yours. (You know who your are.)

So, overall, I was in pretty bad shape today and had to walk at a snail’s pace throughout the day. Yet, even slowly, I put some miles behind me. And I got my work done.

After dinner, my wife was amazed, yes, amazed, when I got back on the treadmill to work and didn’t sit down. Wasn’t I tired? Yes, I was, but that’s exactly it: the treadmill improves energy, the chair doesn’t. I’ve had it backwards all of these years.

Key lessons learned:

For the second day: the more the complicated the work, the slower I have to walk. It takes concentration to walk on a treadmill and keep your balance. Reaching for a pen or nebulizer while on a moving belt is like that moment where you slip on a wet floor but catch yourself just in time. Whew, that was close. Now I know why the treadmill I have has a speed limit of 4 mph.

You can’t pace back and forth on a treadmill, but you can dance. I did spend time pacing back and forth a lot today, but not on the treadmill. Rather, in my house, as work was a stressful, solid 11-hour day.

Here’s today’s work joke: How many [insert your job title in plural] does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, and nine managers, GMs, and VPs to tell him/her nine different ways it should be done and take credit for it when it’s finished. 

Ah, corporate life and decision-making by committee. Delightful.

Keep on trucking.