Archive for July 15, 2008

The Oasis on Edgwood Ave.

When I worked construction and was back and forth in Jacksonville all the time, I often tried to stop by the Oasis on Edgwood Ave. to pick up a camel rider or tuna rider for lunch.

We were in the area since we needed to go to Grainger Supply, so we decided to fulfill a long-denied rider fix. The price of the sandwiches has gone up since the last time I was there (but so has everything else). The sandwiches are just as delicious and filling, and the sweet tea is just as sweet as I remember. I wonder if there’s anything else from over in that area we can order just so we can make the excuse to get another rider next week.

Picture found here. While it isn’t the exact same sandwich, you get the idea.

Here’s some more information on the origin of the pita sandwiches.

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Hey, GM! While You’re Revamping…..

I watched Fox Business Channel today going over the new plans by GM to stay financially solvent in what may be a prolonged business crisis. The plans sound pretty good to me, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why the Geo Metro isn’t being brought back from the junkyard of history.

Back when I used to travel frequently in the course of doing business and my transportation costs were paid by my company, I chose a Geo Metro rental in order to save my company some money. It was a fun little car to drive and got GREAT gas mileage, so much so that I resolved that were I ever to need a commuter car in which I had to pay for the gas, I’d get one for myself.

Flash forward to this year, when gas prices are HIGH and in my job starting this fall where the pay is low, I have to commute an hour each way. Perfect opportunity to get a Metro! Unfortunately, as I was to find out, they quit making Geo Metros some time ago. Damn.

So, how about it, GM? We have 3 of your trucks. I’d love to have a little economical Geo Metro to take back and forth to work each day. Do you think you can switch some of those folks presently building trucks to building the lil’ Geo Metro? Its time has finally come, but y’all cannot seem to see that.

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Where’d the Stimulus Checks Go?

Well, in this household, there was no stimulus check. Our “stimulus check” was applied by the government towards our outstanding tax debt. We weren’t behind on our payments; in fact, they are automatically deducted at the beginning of each month. So, instead of a new lawnmower, we have a lower total tax debt.

In our friends’ households, the stimulus check went variously towards catching up past due bills ranging from utilities to house payments, buying groceries, and buying badly needed tires. The only person that I know that bought something frivolous was our son, who applied the payment toward a big flat screen television.

I hope that your check was able to go toward something fun.

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Farm Chores Lead to Bone Damage for Teens?

Although farm chores are likely to keep young boys in shape and out of trouble, University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health experts caution that it could be harmful to overall bone health if done too often at a young age.

A UC research team recently reported data suggesting that excessive weight-bearing activities—such as squatting, kneeling or lifting—can affect the mechanical properties of developing bone. They say this could leave junior farmers more susceptible to degenerative skeletal disorders later in life.

“Research has clearly shown that healthy adults who engage in excessive weight-bearing activities often develop bone disorders,” explains Amit Bhattacharya, PhD, a UC professor of environmental health and principal investigator of the study. “These excessive, repetitive weight-bearing activities could cause irreparable trauma and impair growth in young children whose bones are still developing.”

The UC-led team’s findings were published in June 2008 issue of Journal of Agromedicine.

For this pilot study, Bhattacharya’s team wanted to know if high levels of load-bearing activity done repetitively, such as shoveling chicken feed, would cause changes in the mechanical properties of bone—specifically, mass and structural strength.

The team recruited 36 boys, age 12 to 19, from Butler County, Ohio, to study the biomechanical properties of developing bone. Eighteen boys had a history of regular work on family farms and the remainder were not involved in farm-related activities.

Researchers developed a list of 22 tasks children of this age might be asked to do. Each boy was surveyed about the tasks he performed to split participants into farm and non-farm groups.

In order to gauge overall bone health, the team took two measurements: bone mass, which is a measure of how much bone exists, and dynamic bone quality, the bone’s ability to sustain incoming force during physical activity. A person’s bone mass continues to accumulate up through their mid 20s.

“If bone is unable to adequately absorb incoming shockwaves, it can cause microdamage and eventually crack,” explains Bhattacharya. “When it happens at a lower level, the body can recover. But if happens too much and more frequently in developing bone, it may predispose these children to degenerative skeletal disorders later in life.”

The UC study showed that young boys who participated in regular farming activities had significantly lower bone-damping ability compared to the non-farming group. “Damping” refers to the bone’s ability to absorb shock when the heel strikes the ground.

“We’ve detected signs that high levels of cumulative weight-bearing activity during a time of rapid bone growth could cause chronic trauma to bone growth plates,” says Bhattacharya. “Larger studies are needed to determine the extent of damage, but our initial findings support taking a closer look at how much physical activity farming children are doing and make sure their bone is developing normally for their age.”

Bhattacharya points out that weight-bearing activities are not bad—it’s excessive activity in this age group that causes concern.

Increased stress concentrations cause maladaptations in bone modeling, which can lead to osteoarthritis conditions that make the bones very stiff and cause damage to the cartilage between the bones.

“It’s a very sensitive balance of what is acceptable and at what point it becomes dangerous,” he adds.

UC’s Nelson Watts, MD, Jessica Gordon, and Rakesh Shukla, PhD; Thomas Waters, PhD, of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Steve Bartels, of the Ohio State University Butler County extension office; and Robert Colman of SignaLysis, Inc. also participated in this National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-funded research.


Oh, PLEASE. So now doing chores is more dangerous to the skeleton than doing all of the (often unsupervised for correct form) weightlifting for football, basketball, and other sports? I don’t think so! The rural kids at the school I was with last year had injuries that were directly sports related, not from shoveling chicken feed, tossing hay to cattle, or baling hay. SwampMan has several injuries from sports in his youth that have only been growing worse with time.

I didn’t injure my knees from farm work. I injured them through a combination of auto accident and jogging. (Okay, the ligament tear normally seen in football players, not in grandmothers, did come from a ram injury.) I haven’t been suffering from plantar fasciitis and bone spurs from farm work in my youth OR middle age; no, it has been from walking and jogging 6+ miles per day.

The fitness thing is what’s harming me, not work.

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