I'm a nail biter.

I've always been a nail biter, and I'll most likely always be a nail biter. And some people have a problem with this. And for a long time, I did too. I tried many times to quit biting them, and never succeeded longer than a couple weeks.

I can't even remember now why I wanted to quit. Maybe it was because everyone else said it was a "bad habit." Yep, that's probably why it was.

But WHY is it considered a bad habit? Is it because you end up with jagged fingernails? That's what a nail file is for.

Is it because if you bite them too far down, they bleed? Okay, that's a point, but if I bite my nails till they bleed, is that really anyone else's problem?

Is it because they don't look "ladylike" when they're short? Probably. Not that I've ever cared whether or not I was "ladylike."

So yeah, I don't see it as an issue.

Besides, what did mankind use to trim their fingernails before the invention of nail clippers? Knives? Maybe a few people did, but I'm betting most people just bit 'em off.

When my fingernails are long, it's harder to do just about everything. They get caught in the computer keyboard. I accidentally scratch myself and others when I don't want to. All manner of food, dirt, and who knows what else gets caught under them (you should've seen them some nights when I was working at Pizza Hut - it wasn't pretty).

So I'm not gonna stress about biting my fingernails anymore.

My take on horse flu.

Take these two cases.

Rabbits in Australia. They're an introduced species here, and they run amok. A number of diseases have been introduced to the rabbit population to try to cut them down. It works on some of the rabbits, but the ones that recover from the disease then produce stronger offspring. So the government introduces another disease, and on and on it goes.

The second case is horse flu in Australia. Horses were getting sick & dying from this horse flu. All the tracks (in South Australia, at least) were closed for a time not long ago because they didn't want it to spread. Then suddenly there's a vaccine available for it, just in time for the Melbourne Cup (which took place yesterday).

So here's my point. Maybe, in order to have a better chance at getting a winning horse, breeders should be letting their animals get sick, get over it, and move on to breed stronger horses, rather than jockeys thinking they have to starve themselves before a race.

A no-brainer

Once upon a time, while we were on our way out somewhere, Darrin & I started listing all the ways a low carb style of eating had helped us. We came up with a very long list. Here it is.

  • Weight loss (the obvious one)
  • Increased energy
  • Cleaner teeth. Seriously, that's one of the first things I noticed. Almost didn't need to brush my teeth anymore.
  • The warts on the bottom of my foot disappeared.
  • Darrin's tinea (athlete's foot) reduced significantly.
  • Less frequent headaches. I used to get an average of one headache a week. After low carbing for a while, I noticed I hadn't gotten one for ages. When I was seriously doing low carb, I only got them if I had a cheat day. Which really deterred me from cheating too often.
  • Fewer aches & pains
  • Better sleep
  • Less flatulence and/or burping
  • Shorter colds and less illness in general
  • Fewer cravings (again, unless I had a cheat day, then the cravings would come back)
  • Clearer thinking
  • Appetite suppressant. Yep, sugar makes you feel hungry; protein & fat make you feel full.
  • Less acne. One of the things Darrin notices after a binge is he breaks out in pimples on his back.
  • More obvious body responses. This means, basically, that some of the symptoms we were having constantly before low carb disappeared or were at least reduced after low carb, so we were able to deduce what caused them in the first place.
  • Increased muscle mass (especially Darrin, because he's a bloke)
  • Less earwax. Seriously.
  • Reduction in allergies/hayfever (because what we were eating before was causing it!)

So yeah, we're kinda silly for going off it, aren't we?

The mind boggles...

Okay, there's something that really baffles me. (Well, actually, a lot of things, but I'm just talking about one particular thing here.) And that's women who go back to work shortly after having a baby.

How do they do it? I'm not talking about "how can they live with themselves leaving their baby behind" or anything like that. I'm talking about how, physically, do they manage to do such a thing? I've heard of women going back to work at SIX WEEKS postpartum. Sheesh, I hadn't even vacuumed the house by that time. Even at ten weeks, some days I feel like I'm just barely functioning (usually after he's had a night of waking up every 2 hours). Going back to work so soon just sounds to me like a recipe for insanity.

A shot in the dark

}Okay. I'm about to say something very controversial, something so controversial, in fact, that you may well think I'm a complete idiot for saying it and should be locked up in a nut house. But it's gotta be done.

Darrin and I have decided that our children, when they eventually turn up, will not be vaccinated. At all. And no amount of coercion, manipulation, threats, or scare tactics will move us from this decision.

And now I'll explain why, for all three of you who haven't left the website in disgust. ;-)

The first thing that got my attention on this subject was a few months ago, when I read what someone posted on a message board about the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, & rubella) containing thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative. This did worry me a little, since mercury does some nasty things to the brain. And then I found out that the Australian vaccines don't contain thimerosal anyway, so I thought, "Oh, okay, never mind," and didn't think about it again for a while.

And then a couple months ago I came across this article and man...the claims in that were astounding. The second bullet-point item about the Japanese vaccination age was very telling (if you can't be bothered going there yourself, let me sum it up: the Japanese health department raised the minimum vaccination age in 1975 to two years, and SIDS virtually disappeared - when they lowered the age again, SIDS came back). I pasted the link to the IRC channel I was on with Darrin, Josh, and I don't remember who else. And by the time I got to work just over an hour later, Darrin had read the entire article (and possibly some other ones linked from it), and when I walked into the room he said something to the effect of, "No way are we vaccinating our kids!" and proceeded to rant about some of the other statistics he'd read.

So now you know what started it. And we've read even more disturbing things about vaccinations since then that have only solidified our position on the whole issue. Such as the side effects from the vaccines are much more than the medical elite admit to, and heck, half the reactions don't even get reported, because people aren't switched on enough to notice that their kid's behavioural problem or fever or crib death happened right after they had a booster shot. Or if they are switched on, and ask the doctor about it, the doctor just says, "We don't know what's causing it, but it's definitely not the vaccination." These are the EXACT WORDS Darrin's brother heard when he asked the doctor about his daughter's fever just a couple months ago. Well gee, if you don't know what's causing it, how can you rule anything out definitely? Hmm?

Because everyone "knows" that vaccines work. Everyone "knows" that vaccines eradicated polio, and smallpox, and who knows what else. But if they have, then why do we still need a polio vaccine?

The truth of the matter is, all these infectious diseases that we get vaccinated against are recoverable in most cases. Sure, they'll knock you around for a bit, but if you get plenty of rest, water, food (that's REAL food, FRESH food, as in meat, fish, fruit, veggies, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds), and keep yourself warm, you'll recover pretty quickly. Darrin and I discovered this last week when we had a cold. We just kept ourselves warm, drank plenty of water, took NO DRUGS WHATSOEVER, and the worst of it was over in three days. This is the first cold in my memory where I've taken no drugs. Usually if I take drugs, the head congestion lasts about five days. This time it was three. So I dare you to tell me drugs will shorten the length of a cold. And then watch me laugh in your face.

Anyway, back on the vaccine subject. Have you heard of Guillain-Barre syndrome? Meningitis? Did you know they both used to be called polio? Now tell me again that we've eradicated polio.

Did you also know that SIDS did not exist in any significant number before vaccines came on the scene? Likewise with allergies, asthma, diabetes, cancers, autism, ADD/ADHD, ear infections, leukemia, lupus, Crohn's disease, arthritis, eczema, AIDS...all these conditions/diseases have either proof or suspicion of a link to vaccines. It's even suggested that Shaken Baby Syndrome is actually brain damage from a vaccine - where the child stops breathing or responding, and their parent or nanny or whoever shakes them just a little bit to get their attention, and then they get blamed for abuse when the damage was already done before they even touched the kid.

And then, inevitably, when people come down with these diseases, the doctors shoot them up with antibiotics, steroids, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and other drugs - which really only cover up the symptoms and make the problem worse.

It's enough to make you start believing conspiracy theories, I tell you.

"But, but, but...the shots are mandatory!" No. Not really. Even in America, where you can be fined and/or jailed for not vaccinating your kids, you can get an exemption based on any of four categories (such as religious grounds or personal conviction - the Amish don't vaccinate their kids). And here in Australia, even though everyone at Centrelink and your pediatrician will tell you that you have to do it to get child care benefits, you can opt out by simply downloading this form and getting your GP to sign it. This is what we'll be doing. And if the GP refuses to sign it, or tries to bully us into vaccinating, we'll be finding another GP pretty darn quick.

"My kid(s) had all their shots and they're fine." Are you sure? Do they have food allergies, specifically peanuts, dairy or eggs? A lot of the vaccines are cultured on eggs and dairy foods, and some contain peanut oil. So when they get the shots, the child's immune system is focusing on killing off what's been injected, including the food culture. And next time they eat something with eggs, dairy, or peanuts - instant allergic reaction, sometimes fatal.

I am fully convinced that my recently discovered peanut allergy - which I was having symptoms of as much as six years ago, but never connected it with anything - is from a vaccine, most likely the tetanus booster I had in August 2000. I'm also 90% sure that my suspected soy allergy happened when I had my tetanus & MMR at around age 14, because that's about the same time I started to get really bad hayfever - and we lived right across the road from a soybean field. I also had a flu shot a few years ago - and a week later, came down with the flu. Coincidence?

"You're a complete nutcase." You know, when we had a speaker in high school who was saying these same things, and that she decided not to vaccinate her daughter, we all thought she was a nutcase too. We thought she was a hypocrite becuase she was so concerned about environmental issues, but she still drove a car. And how dare she attack our favourite foods, Coke and potato chips and all our other lovely junk food, saying that the companies didn't care if they made us sick, they were just out to make a buck. The horror! And now here I am twelve years later agreeing with her.

If you have kids, or plan on having them in the future, please look very closely at this before you do anything. Don't just go with the flow, whatever the flow happens to be in your peer group - look at both sides of the coin and make up your own mind.

For more information see the National Vaccine Information Center and Vaccination Information South Australia sites. Both have links elsewhere, and there's always Google.

More good quotes

And this time I DO know who they belong to. Both are from Bill Cosby in the May 2003 issue of Reader's Digest.

RD: "What do you think about what's on TV, in terms of general quality?"

Cosby: "Well, this is my answer and it is going to be very short: I always find myself going back to The Weather Channel."

RD: "How do you feel about affirmative action, in light of the recent University of Michigan case? What does affirmative action amount to today?"

Cosby: "... It has always been my belief that if people in the audience connected with what I said, and if they are laughing at what I am saying, then where is our difference? They always saw the color of my skin. I didn't turn white while I was onstage. Yet if you're laughing at what I'm saying, and we're connected, why am I a person who has to have affirmative action to keep you honest?"

In my opinion, NBC will never make another sitcom as good as The Cosby Show.

Fun quotes :)

Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade, since it consists principally of dealing with men. - Joseph Conrad

A blunder at the right moment is better than cleverness at the wrong time. - Carolyn Wells

Truth or tact? You have to choose. Most times they are not compatible. - Eddie Cantor

Note: I don't necessarily know who these people are.

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