Monday, January 15, 2007

Will you swear on the Bible?

On December 31, I heard a commentary by Jeffrey Reel on WAMC. I searched for it on the internet, and found it as comment #9 replying to the following blog entry:

Ellison to Use Thomas Jefferson's Koran - AOL Elections Blog - The Stump

Jeffrey Reel brings up the point that the Bible says not to swear, instead, let your yes mean yes and your no mean no. Coming from a Quaker background, I've known about that since I was a kid. A verse from our favorite Quaker song says,

Will you swear on the Bible?
"I will not," said he,
"For the truth is more holy than the book to me."

Jeffrey Reel writes

say what you mean, mean what you say; let your word be good, and binding, at all times. And this, perhaps, is the most difficult standard for each of us to live up to, yet our emotional and spiritual growth is conditioned upon walking that narrow but clearly defined path.


The act of taking an oath – as separate and distinct from all other times – trivializes the immensity of the spiritual experience that can be found in every conversation we have with every individual we meet, at every moment in our lives."

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The future

As we walked on a path where the railroad tracks used to be, we could hear the cars whizzing along a highway off in the distance. Stephen said that some day people will go for walks along places where the highway used to be, and off in the distance they'll hear the hovercraft whizzing by.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Food and drink

This is what I do and don't eat, in case anyone ever wants to know.

To me, there are four basic food groups. There are a wealth of interesting things to eat in these food groups, but you wouldn't know it from going to an American restaurant.
  1. Legumes, nuts, and seeds. Includes lentils, split peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, and many others. Hummus and tofu are both made from foods in this group. I like some Indian and Latin American style dishes. Red lentils are one of my standby dishes because they are easy to cook. I just throw on some spices, and if I'm feeling energetic, I add onion and coconut too. Tofu is also easy -- usually I throw on some tamari and some sesame oil.
  2. Whole grains: includes brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, whole wheat, oats, and amaranth, barley, kamut, rye, spelt, corn, triticale, and flax. I don't usually eat all those. Usually it's mainly wheat, oats, and rice. Shredded wheat is a good cold cereal because it's just made with whole wheat. Most cold cereals have some form of sugar added. When I was a kid, my mother made whole wheat muffins without sugar, and that was better than the sugary things called muffins that they sell in stores.
  3. Vegetables. My favorites include tomatoes, carrots, squash, beets, sweet potatoes, spinach, and swiss chard.
  4. Fruits. My favorites inclue nectarines, peaches, bananas, mangos, kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries, and blackberries.
My beverages of choice are:
  • Juice. I usually drink this for breakfast. When I talk about juice, I mean juice that's actually 100% juice. I don't see why anyone would add sugar to their juice. I like orange, pineapple, and grapefruit juice. I also like blends of several kinds of juice, sometimes with fruit puree added too. In addition to the aforementioned kinds of juices, these blends may include banana, passionfruit, etc. I don't really drink a lot of apple, grape, or cranberry juice.
  • Water. I drink this for lunch and supper, and between meals.
  • Smoothies. These are a tasty treat, especially in warm weather.
  • Herbal tea. I drink this once in a while, especially in cold weather, in the evening, or when I'm sick.
Now here's what I don't eat, or only eat in limited amounts:
  • I don't eat meat. Sometimes people ask me, "What about chicken?" What about fish?" I didn't say I don't eat mammals. I said I don't eat meat. Meat is the flesh of animals. Chick and fish are animals.
  • I am not a vegan. I will eat foods containing milk or eggs. However, often I don't. I don't generally drink milk as a beverage. I do put milk on cereal, but at home, I usually have soy milk for that purpose. Though I'm not fond of milk as such, I do like milk products such as ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and pudding. However, sometimes I try to avoid milk products when my respiratory situation is flaring up. Most of the time though, I eat milk products regularly, mainly cheese. However, some nonvegetarians seem to think the way to feed vegetarians is to give them a lot of cheese. I like cheese, but not enought to make it the main course of every meal.
  • I don't eat much sugar. Sometimes I try to avoid it entirely. Other times, it's not part of my daily routine, but I'm willing to have ice cream or cookies as a treat.
  • I don't like hot, spicy foods. Some people are proud of their tolerance for hot foods. To me, that's like being proud that you are so hard of hearing that loud noises don't bother you. I just don't see the point of repeatedly burning your taste buds until your sense of taste has been dulled sufficiently that you don't mind hot foods, and non-spicy foods seem too bland.
  • I avoid alcohol and soda because I just don't see the point of them. I don't really like them and they aren't the most nutritional beverages anyhow.
  • I don't usually drink much coffee or caffeinated tea, but they are okay sometimes. Occasionally I like a latte or cappucino.
  • Chocolate occasionally makes me nauseous, and besides, it usually has sugar in it, so it's a good thing to avoid. However, sometimes I try it in a social situation, like when there's cake to celebrate someone's PhD defense.