Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Learning French

Every time I see that Windows 7 commercial with the French girl, Charlene, it makes me want to learn French. Seriously, I've seen that commercial a hundred times and every time it's on I say to Erik, "I want to learn French."

I want that cute lilt at the end of the words. I love how it flows. There's no harsh sounds in French. No hard 'g's. Everything sounds awesome in French.

I even think French cooking is better, mostly because of the way it's all said! :) Think about it: Ratatoille; Pate a choux; Mirepoix; etc. If it's French you can bet it sounds great.

And even in the movies, I love the French accents. I loved "An American in Paris", "Gigi", "Funny Face", and "Charade". Even Kevin Kline in "French Kiss" with his fake French accent I didn't hate! Seriously, love it.

And someday I'm going to Paris. I'm going to see the Eiffel Tower and I'm going to stroll down the Champs-Elysees. Bonjour Paris!

Oh, I'm So Glad They're Going to Regulate...

the Salt content. That's right. Salt content in foods.

They say salt leads to higher rates of hypertension.

Are you freaking kidding me? No. Here's the scoop:

The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

The government intends to work with the food industry and health experts to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet, according to FDA sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the initiative had not been formally announced.

Officials have not determined the salt limits. In a complicated undertaking, the FDA would analyze the salt in spaghetti sauces, breads and thousands of other products that make up the $600 billion food and beverage market, sources said. Working with food manufacturers, the government would set limits for salt in these categories, designed to gradually ratchet down sodium consumption. The changes would be calibrated so that consumers barely notice the modification.

I have two points of contention with this:

1.) People who have hypertension and heart disease should already know to watch the salt content. Which is why ALL major food manufacturers offer a low-sodium alternative. The point here is that the government obviously doesn't think we can make diet decisions on our own. We're a bunch of children in their eyes.

2.) Could it possibly, even the teensiest bit possible, that hypertension is exacerbated by THE UNPARALLELED UNEMPLOYMENT RATE? If they actually cared about people they would be helping them by cutting taxes so that companies would hire them bring back some dignity to their lives by making a wage and not taking some government hand-out.

3.) Salt is the main preserver of foods. You eliminate salt from the process and either the food companies will be using a chemical that is truly unhealthy and you also reduce the shelf-life of foods. Which also raises the costs to consumers. (Which is what they want anyways.)

But this is all under the guise to keep people healthier and longer. But I have a secret, and this is a big secret. Are you ready for it?

People die.

I KNOW! Isn't that amazing! It's terrible only if you don't believe that your soul is eternal and that our actions here on Earth have no impact on the afterlife. For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ we know that life here is not all there is.

This is just one more public policy designed to bring people over to Humanism as their religion. And that is why religion and politics are mixed. What people believe about the human condition determines what they believe the role of government should be.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Recent Eatings Here at Home

Someone a while back asked me to post some of my usual makings for lunch and or dinner. I really enjoy eating, and I love when my family love my cooking.

So, anyways, here's what we Wilhelmsens have been eating lately.

I've started Asian night on Monday nights. One of my favorite foods is Chinese/Thai. But the spices are not always great for the girls. So, I have had to find a kid-friendly, mommy/daddy like, dinner. I have settled on Panda Expresses Orange Sauce. I found it at Costco! And let me just say we LOVE it! I lightly coat chicken pieces in flour and salt and pepper, spray them with Pam, and cook them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. And then I quick toss the chicken into a skillet, cover with about a cup of orange sauce and heat through. YUM-OH! It's like take out with WAY less calories. I serve the chicken with Jasmine Rice (my little secret weapon for authentic Chinese take-out.) And I throw in either Edamame or Broccoli with the chicken. It's delicious!

The other menu item that is a sure thing for our weekly menu plan is some sort of Pizza Night. I make my own pizza dough and use it either for pizza or calazones. For calazones I use cottage cheese rather than ricotta, and throw in any veggie and pepperoni I can find. And I serve it with the BEST pizza sauce as a dip.

I also like to throw in a Mexican night. I love Mexican food, but it has been somewhat challenging to find recipes that don't kill my calorie count. My favorite recipe is a Weight Watchers Taco Salad recipe with Ground Turkey.

Well, there is a bunch more so I'll just post a list of what a few things I've made in the last couple of weeks.

Let me know if you have any questions. I love to talk Food!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Side Tracked...

Last week I was having dinner with a few friends from my old work place. We try to get together a few times a year and catch up. I really like them. And I'm so glad they want to get together with me.

Well, last week a third person came, who is not usually part of the group, but nevertheless I knew her and was happy to have another person.

Anyways, I have been recently burdened for their salvation. I hope that doesn't sound hoaky. I know them. I know their lives. And of course I know that the Lord Jesus Christ wants them to be with him. So, with that in mind, I have consciously tried to maintain a friendship with these super ladies. Therefore I was hoping to get into some discussions about the eternal state of their souls...

Unfortunately the third person was asking me about my kids, you know. The get-to-know-you better small talk that one engages in when you meet up.

And then she asked my kids names. Well, Reagan is my first child's name. And she said, "Did you name her for the President?" And of course I said yes. And I said, "Well, I'm a conservative. I believe conservatism is the way to move forward." Oh goodness. And she said, "I liked Reagan." And then moves on to her views of all things liberal. Like she's so happy that banks are no longer allowed to loan money to students. And how the government's investment in green technology is awesome. And how all bankers are evil. And how all profit is wrong. Especially all those bankers who caused the housing collapse.

Gag me.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't just let all that drivel go unanswered. At which point my friends turned to each other and started discussing a current employment situation (I should say unemployment situation, thank you, Mr. Obama.) And after I got through saying that profit is not wrong, neither were the individual bankers, and then how the loss of private loans for education will be bad for America, the newcomer said, "You know, you're not going to change my mind."


So, I wasted energy and precious time on someone who was not going to listen to me in the first place. Oh, what a lesson.

I feel convicted that I should have been wary of this. I should not have taken the bait. I should have just smiled, said nothing, and moved on.

The truth of the matter is that I have finally felt a burden for these friends of mine and instead of being focused on that, I went off on a political tangent. No one was saved through politics, at least I don't know anyone.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Taxes for the State

So, apparently the legislature did vote down the 1% sales tax the Governor asked for. I'm glad! But of course now there's a special election for the public to vote on it.

The sales tax would help K-12 schools and also health and human services. It would automatically repeal in 2013.

Okay, not to sound cold-hearted or anything, but really people. THERE IS NO MORE MONEY! Services are going to have to be cut. We need to wake up! Public services are all nice when we're in times of plenty. BUT WE'RE NOT! We're in a financial crisis. And these bozos at Prop 100 want us in the State of Arizona to fork over more money. This will harm even further businesses and individuals. Any time there is a tax implemented, less money ends up in the treasury. It's an economic fact. More taxes, less actual revenue to the government. This is how it works: Higher taxes, people won't buy as much. Which in turn means less taxes for the government. Higher taxes, less consumption. Less consumption, less revenue. Less revenue, less income from taxes for the government.

If I can learn this, why can't the government? I'm voting against Prop 100.

I know many teachers, and I really don't want to sound cold-hearted. I am sad that many people have gotten themselves to a place where they are totally dependent on government services to survive. And I'm not naive; I do understand that many times circumstances are not entirely brought on by behavior. But instead of looking to the government, those people should be looking to Christ and the Church. The Church needs to step in the gap and provide help and assistance for people.