Sunday, 17 February 2019

Is Your Employer Torturing You?

"Early to bed, 
early to rise; 
makes a man 
healthy, wealthy 
and wise."

Are you familiar with that old maxim? I grew up hearing one variant or another of it. But is it true?

Well now it would seem that, according to some scientists, we may have been misled if that has become our mantra and reason for an early start to our workday. They've actually gone so far as to label any kind of work prior to 10:00am as akin to, are you ready for this? … "torture."

Yes, you read that right … torture.

It would seem that a leading Oxford University researcher, Dr. Paul Kelley, has suggested that starting work before 10:00am plays havoc on the Circadian Rhythm, otherwise known as the body's internal clock. He says,
"Staff should start at 10 am. You don't get back to (the 9 am) starting point till 55. Staff is usually sleep-deprived. We've got a sleep-deprived society. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don't have to."
He goes on to say that in as little as one week in which we get less than six hours sleep per night, the body experiences up to 711 changes in the way genes function. Now, I'm no scientist, but I cannot help but wonder how many of the plethora of modern illnesses that plague mankind are perhaps in some way related to this "torture." Hmm.

A British school tested this theory by changing the class start time from 8:30am to 10:00am and found that not only did grades significantly improve, but so did attendance. Hmm, interesting.

Now I realize that in today's 24/7 world, we cannot all come strolling in to work at whatever time we like. Yet at the same time, maybe there are a few take aways from this study that employers can adopt to reduce stress and increase productivity in the workplace, and in the end have a more energetic workforce. Who knows, they may even save a few dollars on the coffee budget. Then again, maybe we all just need to get to bed a little earlier, and in doing so, we may just find that the office "torture" chamber isn't quite so bad after all.

But seriously, and with all due respects to Dr. Paul Kelley, no matter how bad a day one might be having at work, "torture" seems a little overkill of a word for this application. History is full of examples of real torture that unfortunately are 1000's of times worse than simply being over tired at work.

Just my two-cents worth. Peace. 😉

Read Source Article Here

Photo Credit: Neil Moralee, Flickr Creative Commons

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Move Over, Breakfast Cereal

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."
John Gunther

It's been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I believe it. For me personally, it is also often my biggest meal of the day. The noon meal is a little lighter, and often the evening meal, assuming it happens at all, is typically the lightest. I load up with the calories early in the day, and then as the day progresses, my calorie intake gradually goes down. It may not be typical of most, but it works for me.

Perhaps the reason many go without a hearty breakfast, especially on work days, is because they don't allow themselves enough time for much else other than maybe a quick bowl of cereal. Some people I know don't take time for even that much. That's unfortunate; I don't know how they do it.

A big hearty bowl of porridge with fruit, prepared the old-school way from scratch on the stovetop as opposed to an instant package in a microwave, two or three hard boiled eggs, rye toast with butter and jam, and a tall glass of cold milk. I love it! Oh, and of course, strong black coffee.

But sometimes you've got to mix it up ...

For some time now I have been making freezer packs of all sorts of interesting meals that I can quickly pull from the freezer on my way out the door in the morning, and thanks to office microwaves, I've got a decent hot meal for lunch. Today I tried something similar for weekday breakfasts by preparing the bulk of those breakfasts ahead of time on the weekend.

It looked like this:

  • boiled potatoes, drained, and seasoned with a Cajun spice mixture
  • beef/lamb burger patties, about a 1/4 pound each, with a Guinness sauce
  • baked brown beans

Now on weekday mornings, when time is at a premium, but I still want and need a good hearty breakfast without all the fuss, all I need to do is to quickly reheat of one of these dishes. Add a couple fried eggs on top, and a couple slices of rye buttered toast, and voila; I'm good to go.

Cold cereal? Thanks, but no thanks. I need something more to start my day.

"One should not attend even the end of the world
without a good breakfast."
Robert A. Heinlein

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

How To Get Your Case Thrown Out Of Court?

Did you hear about the two bed bugs that met in a mattress? They got married in the "spring."


Have you ever been dragged into court? Maybe "dragged" is the wrong word, but you were in a situation where an unwanted court visit was a necessary evil. Now what?! Wouldn't it be nice if there were some way out of it?

Maybe there is.

It would seem that a lawyer attending court in Oklahoma managed to do just that when he showed up in court with … are you ready for this ... "an abundance of bed bugs falling out of his clothing." Yup, you read that right; bed bugs!!! Apparently, according to the article, the lawyer was so non-chalant about it, that he didn't even seem to notice the bugs crawling all over him or the files that he had laid on the desk. Now maybe it's just me, but I very quickly notice and get annoyed by even one fly or mosquito taking up residence on my body; how could one apparently not even notice, much less seem to care, about an infestation of bed bugs hitching a ride on one's body? Now maybe if he were headed to Walmart, that might be overlooked (Yuk, Yuk), but he was headed to court to presumably defend some poor sap! The court building was apparently evacuated and closed down. Go figure!!!

Are you grossed out yet?

Begs the question, however, as to what happened to the cases on the docket for that day. As much as we might like to think that they were thrown out of court, they were probably simply rescheduled when everyone was just too "bugged" to continue on that day (Yuk, Yuk).

Morale of the Story: If a lawyer is necessary, find one with bugs? Hmm. 😆😆😆

Got a phantom itch that suddenly needs scratching? Sorry.

Read Source Article Here

Photo Source: Shena Tschofen; Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

One Day at the TV Repair Shop

"Have you ever noticed that families on TV never watch television?" (Henry Youngman)

Kids today are so hard done by! They really are! Sorry, but in their quest to have the latest in cell phone technology, or perhaps that new Samsung 'The Wall' TV, they've missed out on that hi-tech fun that my generation went through, such as having to actually get off the couch and walk a whole ten feet through shag carpet just to change the TV channel.

Yes, I'm being facetious.

I remember as a kid going with my Dad to our local TV repair shop with our big bulky cabinet TV in tow. When the appliance repairman began filling out the work order, he asked, "And what's wrong with the TV?" Legitimate question.

Unfortunately for him, he had yet to have the pleasure of my father's rather twisted sense of humour, that so many others have come to enjoy, and which I and my brothers have also since inherited. My Dad answered, "It has no colour."

As the TV repairman noted the concern on the work order, I wondered how long it would take before he noticed that our old 26" Admiral black and white TV never did have colour. Dad soon let him in on the joke, however, and the real reason for our visit was duly noted.

True story. I am still laughing over that one when I think of it. 😂

In retrospect, if we had not let him in on the joke, it would have been interesting to see if we would have ended up with a colour TV after all. Probably not.

Photo Credit: David Kessler; Flicker Creative Commons

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Cockroach Milk: The New Superfood?

One of the more bizarre things I've read lately from the world of science is that the next superfood could actually be cockroach milk. Yes, you read that right; cockroach milk.


As weird as all this sounds, scientists claim that there are all sorts of health benefits to cockroach milk that may be perfect for some people's diets. It is dairy-free, dense in calories and nutrients, and is a time-released food. Call me a Doubting Thomas if you will, but I'll pass. Apparently I'm getting too many calories already, and as far as time-released goes, that's easy; eat more often. Problem solved.

Yes, I'm being facetious.

I wonder what they're going to call it? Bug juice? Probably not. I suspect, however, that they may want to change the name to try and make it sound a little more palatable. Otherwise advertising might be a problem. I can just imagine a TV commercial now: "Cockroach milk; part of a nutritious and balanced breakfast!" Doesn't that just sound yummy? Somehow I doubt there will be too many people calling from the kitchen, "Who left the empty cockroach milk jug in the fridge?!" And what would one pair it with? Chocolate covered ants?

Also, just as cow's milk often has a picture of a dairy cow on the label, I wonder if the containers of cockroach milk will have a picture of little bugs on the label, maybe like the one above. This in turn begs another question: How will we know if it has gone bad? Will it start to smell good? Hmm. But then again, what do I know; many people eat bugs. Once you get over the shock of it, it might even taste kind of good … Nah!

Well there you have it; cockroach milk. Watch for it in your grocer's dairy cooler. Cheers!

Read the source article here

Photo Credit: Joachim S. Muller, Flickr Creative Commons

Retirement: Does Retiring Earlier Mean A Longer Life?

Now, here in my sixtieth year, I've been mulling over the big "R" question … Retirement. When is the right time to pull the plug? Can I afford to pull the plug? What kind of lifestyle do I really need and/or want here in my later years, and what is it going to cost to maintain that lifestyle?

The other day at work, two people shared with me that they had read an article that suggests that lifespan, and more specifically, the number of retirement years that one enjoys, may be related to the question of when one retires.

Intrigued, at home later that day I looked up the article and found it. It would seem that there was a study conducted of pensioners from several large US-based businesses that compared the retirement lifespans of people who retired at age 55 versus those who waited to retire at the more traditional age of 65. Those who retired at 55 years of age collected their pensions for an average of 25-years, while those who retired at 65 years of age only collected their pension for an average of 18-months. Wow!

"Retire at 55 and live to 80; work till you're 65 and die at 67 … Ten working years could cost you twenty years of your Retirement!"

Obviously there are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances, however, the study seems to show that the typical busy stress-filled workplace is harder on older bodies. I think there is some truth to that. Looking at my own situation, lately I am starting to find it harder and harder to get through the work week than I once did when I was younger. Sure, I can still do a quality job as well as the next person, but maybe it is time to look a little more seriously at the big "R" sooner rather than later.

Choosing to retire earlier doesn't mean the rocking chair in a nursing home; not by a long shot! Like many other retirees, I can see myself still working part time, two to three days per week, at something much more low key, less stressful, and in line with hobbies or other interests. I guess the point is, why kill yourself at the daily grind any longer than absolutely necessary? Besides, Lord willing, I'd like to enjoy a little more than only 18-months of retirement before family and friends gather for my funeral.

I guess if I have one piece of advice for younger generations, it would be this: Plan early for your big "R" while you still can. You'll blink one day and suddenly forty years ago will seem like yesterday. In the words of an elderly lady I once knew, "I ain't never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul." Her point was, we're not taking all those trappings of the world with us anyways, so maybe we would be wise to re-evaluate the "Keeping up with the Jones'" materialism mantra in favour of an earlier and healthier retirement. Just a thought.

Read the source article here

First Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence, Flickr Creative Commons
Second Photo Credit: Marco Verch, Flickr Creative Commons

Thursday, 22 November 2018

of Red Shirts and Yellow Pants: A Day on the Galleon

A very nervous first time crew member says to the skipper, "Do yachts like this sink very often?" The skipper replied, "Not too often. Usually it's only the once."


Once upon a time, many, many years ago, a Spanish captain was walking on his ship when one of his solders rushed up to him and exclaimed, "An enemy ship is approaching us!"

The captain replied calmly, "Go get my red shirt." The soldier ran off and got the captain's red shirt.

The enemy ship came in closer and soon heavy rounds of gun and cannon fire were exchanged. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the Spaniards won the battle.

The soldier approached the captain and said, "Congratulations, Sir, but I have to ask; why the red shirt?" The captain replied, "If I had gotten injured, I wouldn't have wanted my blood to be seen, as it most certainly would have caused my men to lose hope."

Just then another soldier ran up to the captain and said, "Sir, we just spotted another twenty enemy ships!" The captain calmly replied, "Go and bring me my yellow pants."

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons