How long should I stay on my inversion table?

I bought my inversion table a little over two years ago.  It was definitely helping but not to the degree that I had hoped until a more recent discovery. 

I’ve had lower back and hip pain for many years.  The lower back pain for most of my life.  I have done all sorts of things to help it.  Lots of yoga, stretching and exercise – that helps but more to keep it somewhat comfortable but not so great for improvement or taking the overall pain away. Years ago I would go to Chiropractors but until I met one more recently none really helped at all.  A Chiropractor that my brother went to told him about ‘the table’ so I thought I would try it. 

First I did a bunch of research on tables and purchased.  I found lots of good testimonials on its use but not much on how to use to get the best results. So, it was a bit of trial and error.  I started using it about 3-4 times a week for about 20 minutes or so each time.  I had the angle at about 35-45 degrees.  I could feel it pulling and I did see some improvement for a while but after a bit,  not so much. I could not do an extreme angle for that amount of time as it would start to hurt my sinuses.  A few months ago, I started doing it for about forty minutes each time to see if that would help.  Not too much difference.  So after almost two and a half years I was getting relief but no solid improvement.

More recently, one of the lifeguards at the pool where I swim mentioned to me that one of the other patrons used to sell inversion tables for a living and was quite knowledgeable about them.  About three weeks ago he was a the pool at the same time as me so I asked him if I could ‘pick his brain’ about the tables.  He was quite willing and told me some very good data.  He told me a brand that he like but the key was how to use.  He said that I should place the bed at an angle of at least 60 degrees.  At that angle the weight of the body takes 100% of the pressure off the base of the spine.  Allowing it to heal.  The advice, though, was to only hang for five minutes or so three times a day.  This was great news for me as I could do that length of time without having a problem with my sinuses. 

I have now been using the inversion table this way for about three weeks.  With a few days here and there missed from being out of town.  At first I thought that some of the changes could just be in my head.  Kind of willing things to get better.  But I noticed this weekend, standing a lot working that a weakness in my leg that had been starting to develop was no longer happening.  And it does not hurt ‘all’ the time now. 

One other benefit of the “five minutes’ is that it is very easy to fit in through the day.  It does not add a lot of time anywhere.  I can do this for 5 minutes right after I get up or just before I’m going to go out to run some errands or when I get back.  It all adds up to about the same amount of time but just doesn’t interfere the same way with my schedule. 

There were some other comparative tests that this fellow told me about where people using the inversion tables for a certain period of time had 78% fewer back operations than the control group, etc.  When and if I find this I will try and add it to this article.

Posted by cyril0 in back pain, hip pain, inversion table, lower back pain, sore back, upside down, upside down table, 0 comments

HIGH SCHOOL 1957 vs. 2014

This was emailed to us today.  Says it pretty clearly. 

HIGH SCHOOL 1957 vs. 2014

Scenario 1:
Jack goes duck hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack.

1957 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2014- School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1957 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2014 – Police called and SWAT team arrives — they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class; he disrupts other students.

1957 – Jeffrey sent to the Principal’s office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2014 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family gets extra money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2014 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affairwith the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 – Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2014 – The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.

1957 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2014 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1957 – Ants die.
2014 – ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents – and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1957 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2014- Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Posted by cyril0 in HIGH SCHOOL 1957 vs. 2014; 1957; 2014;, 0 comments

Recipe: Stir Fry Lamb

This recipe take longer to tell than to cook.

Ingredients(extremely flexible)

Lamb sausages (pork chops or boneless/skinless chicken will do as well but by far our favourite is lamb)
Fresh green onions
Cherry or some sort of small tomatoes(any tomato will do – something with a lot of taste)
Feta cheese(dry)
Mushrooms
Zucchini
Red pepper
Pasta
Basil
Ground pepper
Olive Oil
Butter
Salt
Turmeric (use very lightly if I’m cooking with chicken instead of lamb)
Mint Sauce(with the Lamb)

I first get a pot of water going for the pasta as it take the longest.  Start the other items to time them to the completion of whatever kind of noodles that you are using.  Salt the water, add a bit of oil and when boiling throw in the appropriate amount of pasta. Note: This meal is not heavy on the pasta; I essentially cover the bottom of the eating bowl or plate, not heap it.

I get lamb sausages that are already spiced so there is no need to add anything to them.  If you use chicken or pork, oil them and season with salt, pepper and basil to taste.

Grill them if you can.

Vegetables: Mushrooms, Zucchini and Red Pepper.  Grill if you can or fry.  If you fry, wait until everything else is almost done before starting – I put zucchini in longer, then the mushrooms and the peppers for only a minute.  Covered.  With lots of butter and a little oil(I cook with grapeseed oil a lot).  Try not to cook the veggies too much.

If you grill the vegetables as well, then lightly oil and season with the salt, pepper and basil as well.

Garnish: Chop green onions(two or three) into a bowl that you can use for serving.  Half the cherry tomatoes and add them(a handful or two).  Add a good handful of Feta cheese(I use cow Feta) with a bit of pepper and basil.  The Feta I use is pretty salty so extra salt is not needed.  Just before you serve, add a bit of good olive oil and stir.

When the meat is cooked, cut into bite sized pieces.

Presentation: I use wide soup bowls(from Ikea) for this dish.  Put a small amount of noodles on the bottom of the dish.  Add the vegetables(the grilled or fryed) and then the meat.  The garnish is on the table and is added as desired. Use a bit of mint sauce if you are using lamb.

This is best served with a decent Chianti.

I think I’ve covered everything here.  A very flexible recipe.  Use what you have.  My garnish though, is pretty much always the same – incredibly refreshing.

Enjoy,

– Martin

Posted by cyril0 in recipe, recipes, stir fry; lamb; stir fry lamb; lamb sausages, 0 comments

Marty’s Spelt Flour Pizza Recipe

This is for one batch.  You can make a larger batch and freeze some and take out to thaw a few hours before you want your pizza.

About a half an hour before you are ready to start put one packet of ‘pizza’ yeast in a bit warm water with a little sugar.  It is supposed to foam up but if it doesn’t…whatever. Pretend it did.

In the meantime:
In a large bowl(my favourite is the stainless steel one that I got from Ikea) put the rest of the ingredients:
  
    2 Tbl olive oil
    2 cups whole spelt flour or white spelt or mix the two(I use whole grain spelt when I can as it make for a ‘grainy’ pizza dough).
    1 tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp Salt
    I saw one recipe that suggested a couple of tablespoons of apple sauce – I use that sometimes if available in my refrigerator.
    A few pinches of sage – I like dried better and it grinds up in my fingers better – I like the feel – but fresh is OK as well.
    A few pinches of basil – same: dried or fresh.  Grind it up into the dough.
These last two are to taste.  Experiment.

When the yeast is ready pour into the mix.  Mix and add water till it is the consistency you like.  I use a large spoon to mix so it doesn’t stick to my fingers.  Works well.  Once well mixed you can let sit for a little so it rises. 

Once that happens, I cut into either three or four sections.  Each an individual pizza.  I put a bit of flour on my cutting board and take one of the sections and roll it out with my knuckles.  Put a bit of flour on top so doesn’t stick to your fingers.  Make it as thin as possible. 

While this is procedure is going on, have your pizza stone in the oven which is turned on to about 410°.  Once the oven goes ‘ding’ I take the pizza stone out of the oven and place the dough on it(carefully).  The reason I do it this way is that if I ‘dress’ the pizza beforehand it is a bitch to get on the stone.  If all the ingredients are cut and prepared beforehand then it only takes a minute to put everything on.

First I put a very thin layer of tomato paste with the back of a spoon. Add some spices or some such here if you like. 

I use green onions, mushrooms, bison pepperoni, feta cheese, spinach, and sharp cheddar and tomatoes.  Put the whole thing back in the stove for about 5-8 minutes and you will have a killer pizza.  I like my cheese melted but veggies not too cooked.  Split that one with your partner with a glass of wine while the second one is cooking.  Make each different.  A decent Chianti is best with this pizza. 

Optional ingredients: sun dried tomatoes – these will knock your pizza flavour out the park if you are trying to impress someone or you just want explosions of flavour in your mouth.  Other options include artichoke hearts and olives.

Note: If you divide into three parts instead of four – makes an OK late night snack for two people.
Note(2): Once you have some frozen pizza in the freezer it is a very quick deal from the point they are thawed to make and eat.  

Posted by cyril0 in chianti, pizza, spelt, sun dried tomatoes, whole spelt flour, yeast, 0 comments

Bob Lee Swagger

In the words of Bob Lee Swagger: “I just show up and pay attention.”
from Sniper’s Honor by Stephen Hunter

Posted by cyril0 in bob lee swagger, sniper's honor; the nailer;, stephen hunter, 0 comments

A Personal Plug for a Great Product

This is a post that just happens to be plug for a product that I sell.  I sell it at trade shows(Home Shows, Women Shows, some fairs, like the Calgary Stampede, etc) and online. 

This cream – it is called Thentix – ‘A Touch of Honey’ – really is wonderful.  I gave a small jar to my buddy Len a few weeks ago.  He has some eczema on the palms of his hands which developed about 5 years ago.  I told him to put it on three or four times a day for 2-3 weeks.  I saw him after three days and it was cleared up by at least fifty percent.  Another recent story is the lady at the Post Office.  She serves me when I ship out the Thentix.  She recently went through chemo for cancer.  She had asked me about what I was sending and what it was for.  I brought her a small jar to try for the itchy skin from the treatments.  I saw her about a week later.  She exclaimed that it was amazing.  She said she could put it on early in the day and bathe later and her skin was still silky.  I was thrilled that it worked for her.    (I expected that it would but it is always wonderful to hear stories like this.)

Thentix skin cream was made for more serious skin conditions but is great for something as simple as a mosquito bit itch. I use for shaving.  You really don’t have to but if you want to find out more, I have tons of information on the product here:

“Thentix: ‘A Touch of Honey’

If you are at a trade show in Alberta(I’m at a lot of them), see if it is me – I work the Calgary Stampede every year as well.  Come by and say ‘hello’.  Anywhere else in Canada or the USA, try a little out.  I’m sure that you will like.  Mostly natural.  No smelly stuff and no petroleum products. 

Thanks for listening.
– Martin

Posted by cyril0 in a touch of honey, cream, lotion, thentix, 0 comments

Manners: Are they Obsolete?

A lot of what I write here is not so much to be advice but a bit of ‘hatting’ on life.  (Definition for ‘Hat’: the conditions or data to operate a job or post. From the days when one wore a hat(i.e. a conductor on a train) to be recognizable as to a particular function or job).
One of the things that I see missing in the world around us is manners.  I really don’t know if the word has taken on a bad meaning or if parents over the last couple of generations have just forgotten or not have had enough time or energy to teach some basic manners to their families. 

To me it is all about respect and caring.  If anyone ever has the thought that they don’t get respect, I would suggest they improve their manners – they may have to learn some.  Similar to learning how to operate a drill press or drive a car if you don’t know how.  You will be in big trouble if you try and operate one of those without knowing how.  Same with manners.

Like dressing nicely: One of my sons pointed out to me that this is should be done out of respect for the people you are with or visiting.  Not so much of ‘hey see how great I look’ as “I respect you and don’t want to look like a slob around you, I would rather help make your space look nicer…”. 

There are numerous ‘little’ actions that can make all the difference to the general tone of a society.  For example, who should hold the door for whom?  And there are hundreds of actions that are completely missing.  Like holding the chair at a restaurant for a woman or letting the oldest woman at a dinner table start eating before you start. 

I would say the people that don’t care about manners or think they are not important will generally have more trouble in social situations or at work and have more people pissed off at them. 

If you are having good manners around others and they don’t respond in kind, should you just stop being good mannered around them?  Not at all. Why should you lower your own personal integrity and respect for yourself, because they don’t have manners or respect for themselves or others? 

There is a fantastic article on ‘Opening Doors for Women’ on the Art of Manliness website.  This article is as important for women to read as it is for men.  It covers ‘respect’ and ‘working together’.  The article covers those awkward moments and double doors etc.
Read it here: Art of Manliness: Holding the Door for  a Woman

But then there is the question of who lets who go first when two people of same sex and different age approach a door…?

There are specific ways to do things in many cases and learning these things is not all that hard.  If you are not sure, err on the side of more respect for the other.

Things from saying hello to people. I generally don’t wait for them to originate or say hello first.  That kind of falls into a similar category as contacting someone you haven’t heard from in a while.  My mum’s view on this was to never, ever wait for someone to get in touch with you.  You’ll end up pretty lonely if you do.  Write a letter, make a phone call. 

I’ll post more on specific areas of manners – what is good and what is not but here is an important one:

When you get an email let the person know you received it.  Don’t just read it and move on with the idea you will come back to it.  If you find yourself doing this sort of thing a lot then don’t read them until you can take the time to respond.  Saves the person who sent you the communication following up to ask if you received it or to get his or her question answered.  If the email in question is just an informative one requiring no actual information in return, then just say: ‘Thanks, I got it.’

This is a huge one: When you go to someone’s house for dinner, or they pay for you or someone treats you in some manner or way, you would obviously thank them when you are done, at that time.  Well, also, the next day, send a communication thanking them again.  Be it a card, an email or a text.  This goes doubly for gifts. When someone actually sends you something, ALWAYS acknowledge the gift in some way.  For something like this, minimally an email, phone call or text, ideally a card – especially if the person is over 50 years old.

Again, it is all about respect and caring for the other person.  Something as simple as listening to the other person when they are saying something can make their day.

And don’t forget, when someone does anything like holds the door, moves out of your way or any such thing, say ‘Thank You”.
Have fun!

Posted by cyril0 in art of manliness, etiquette, manners, 0 comments

Rhubarb Strawberry Jam

I wanted a simple recipe so I read through half a dozen that I found on various websites and it came to this.

4 cups of fresh strawberries cut up
4 cups of diced rhubarb that I had in the freezer from last summer.
Juice from 2 lemons
One package of pectin
Two cups of sugar(I use brown sugar – it is all I ever have in the house so…)
And a couple of teaspoons of butter

I put everything in a big pot and turned up the heat and started stirring.  I stirred at the beginning a lot as there wasn’t yet much liquid, the rhubarb was still frozen.  Took a little while to boil for this reason as well.  Turned it down a bit and I let the whole thing boil steadily for about 7-8 minutes stirring lots.  Then I scooped into half pint jars that were cleaned up and sterilized nicely.  Put the lids on and wait for the popping.  I was able to get 9 of these little jars filled with jam. 

Pretty simple really.  Never done this before and was way easier than I thought it would be.

Posted by cyril0 in rhubarb; strawberry; jam;, 0 comments

Walking

I know there are all kinds of studies about walking helping with mood for physiological reasons, brain chemistry and all that.  And I am sure that it helps with that.  I’m pretty sure that is true but I’m sure that at least half of the effects are just from the person getting his or her attention directed outwards.

If one gets his attention off of their ‘troubles’ and feels better then the body will heal faster or just do better generally. Common belief is that if you fix the body you will feel better spiritually or mentally.  I’m quite certain it works the other way even more effectively.

Take the person that is dying, having no real reason to live.  Something happens in their environment that gives them a new will to live and all of a sudden they no longer feel like dying.  Take this in a more common sphere of the child not wanting to go to school and is actually sick.  Give that child a purpose, something that he or she really likes to do or create, and watch the fever disappear.

This tack can be much more effective than huge amounts of drugs or other medical procedures.

Sometimes if one is in pretty rough shape it a matter of coaxing these things up together: physical, mental and spiritual.

So, turn off the TV and go for a walk.

Posted by cyril0 in exercise, go for a walk, mood, 0 comments

Tempur-Pedic neck pillow

I’ve been using one of these pillow for almost 15 years now.  Before I started using it I had consistent neck pain. Have had zero pain since.  I use a queen size; I think that is all they make now. If I’m on the road, I take it with me.  For me it stays cool and I also do not have to turn it over(almost forgot that I had to do that with a conventional pillow).

Tempur-Pedic Neck Pillow

Tempur-Pedic Pillow

Posted by cyril0 in tempurpedic; tempur-pedic; pillow;, 0 comments