Tag Archive: Gluten Free


Doesn’t the Declaration of Independence provide for life, liberty and the happiness of pumping our own gas?

There is certain joy that comes from feeling the surging petroleum rocket from the pump directly into my little green chariot. This Freude is kosher in the State of Washington and in California.

But what about that state in between?

Since 1951, it has been Verboten for a mere mortal motorist to pump his or her own gas in the State of Oregon. This antiquated 20th Century law requires petroleum transfer engineers (e.g., popular major at Oregon State University), and only PTEs to exchange fluids in the Beaver State.

What’s that Elon Musk?

Are you saying that EVs could spell doom to the PTEs?

The first affordable Tesla Model 3s are coming off the production lines in Fremont, California (the old NUMMI plant). The initial plans call for 110,000 this year and 500,000 next year.

From $35,000 upwards to $60,000 with all the fixins’, the intrepid all-electric motorist can roar from zero-to- 60 mph in 5.6 seconds with just a tap on the dashboard tablet without omitting one fossil fuel particle into the atmosphere.

Elon Musk, CEO of US automotive and energy storage company Tesla, presents his outlook on climate change at the Paris-Sorbonne University in Paris on December 2, 2015. / AFP / ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

How’s that sound green Oregonians?

Even a Prius requires a PTE now-and-then. And despite all the hype and owner strutting, the Toyota hybrid still contributes to Climate Change. The proud owner may still be gluten free, but his or her precious Prius is nonetheless putting CO² into the air.

In contrast, the Tesla Model 3 can travel 220-to-310 miles on one charge of electricity. What does that mean to Oregon’s PTEs (same for New Jersey’s legally mandated PTEs)? Are each of you heading for the same crash landing as those who made buggy whips?

Electronic vehicles make PTEs as uncomfortable as a former sales dude or sales dudette at Borders as the imposing Amazon digital shadow hovered over the bricks-and-mortar store. Did you have that out-of-print book, Borders? Do you sell that obscure concerto, Barnes & Noble? Amazon does (Google “Long Tail” Theory”) as there are no physical restraints on its inventory.

Maybe the Oregon PTEs will unionize (if that haven’t already) and march into Salem (not the one where they burned witches) and ask for a new law requiring ETEs (Electricity Transfer Engineers) to recharge EVs in Oregon.

Wait a minute? Oregon could actually mandate that ETEs recharge your Climate Change friendly EV? Don’t bet against it.

Think of it this way, if the state Legislature in its infinite wisdom for 66 years and counting required PTEs to pump gas into each car and expressly forbids the motorist from doing the same, then what’s to prevent them from requiring highly trained electricity transfer engineers (ETEs) to recharge your EV Tesla, Volvo, BMW, Chevy etc.?

What’s next? Will the state mandate an ETE to plug in your toaster or change a light bulb?

Incentives Today; Taxes Tomorrow

Immediately south of Oregon, the Golden State’s one-party Legislature is weighing adopting the California Electric Vehicle Initiative, which would designate $3 billion for larger rebates for those who purchase Tesla and other electric cars.

In April, the same Legislature passed legislation raising California’s gas tax by 12 cents to 30 cents per gallon.

Let’s see the state is considering incentivizing EVs to the tune of $3 billion. And nearly at the same time raising gas taxes to raise $5.2 billion.

What happens if the EV revolution is real and a precipitous decline in fossil-burning vehicles ensues? Does that mean gas revenues will simultaneously decline? Oh dear.

And does that lead to actually taxing EV recharges even though these environmentally friendly cars have been incentivized by the state?

What’s more important in Sacramento and other state capitals? The environment? Tax revenues?

Seems like a silly question to even ask.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/31/tesla-falls-after-model-3-as-street-thinks-musk-sounded-squeamish.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/07/29/i-spent-three-minutes-inside-teslas-model-3-and-im-still-thinking-about-it-a-day-later/?utm_term=.98459e459664

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-it-illegal-to-pump-your-own-gas-in-New-Jersey-and-Oregon

https://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-model-3-arrives-as-elon-musk-tries-to-manage-expectations-1501234208

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/28/new-bigger-incentives-for-electric-cars-could-be-ahead-in-california/

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-gas-tax-signing-20170428-story.html

 

 

 

 

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The University of Google is where I got my degree from.” – Anti-Vaccine Activist and Blonde Celebrity Jenny McCarthyjenny

“Even for scientists, the scientific method is a hard discipline. Like the rest of us, they’re vulnerable to what they call ‘confirmation bias’ – the tendency to look for and see only evidence that confirms what they already believe.” – Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, writing for National Geographic

There have been a lot of –isms in global history … most of them were/are not good, even though a few of them are more than okay (e.g., Buddhism).

It seems like there is a relatively new –ism that is building in intensity in the First World: Foodism.

And with Foodism come its adherents/zealots: The Foodinistas.

It’s not hard to find this rapidly replicating species as its high-rent habitat keeps expanding from shade-growing, free-trade coffee with soy stands to gluten-free bakeries to vegan & veggie restaurants to über-expensive, organic Whole Foods.gluten-freefallon

And the frenzy does not stop there. How about the continued ban toward adding natural mineral fluoride in the water of Portland, Oregon? How about those who adamantly refuse to vaccinate their children against whooping-cough, measles and other diseases? And let’s not forget what columnist Charles Krauthammer has labeled, the narcissistic pursuit of the home-birth “experience”?

Like the devotees of other –isms of history, the Foodinistas are almost religious in their devotion to their cause(s), even though they are usually secular in their orientation. They are armed with their increasingly wireless Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines. Literally in nano-seconds with their personal “filter bubbles” they can find what they are looking for and conveniently ignore all the rest.

If you care to spend time with them (if you must), you will find bright, highly educated, well-compensated Foodinistas, inhabiting aware enclaves such as San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Alameda Counties (e.g., California examples), who are more than happy to proclaim the overwhelming virtues of their shade grown, gluten-free, pro-GMO labeling, anti-vaccination, pro home-birth, anti-vaccination, veggie/vegan existence.

First-World Starvation?

Foodinistas are hungry; they are always hungry, which means food is always top of mind. Is there any wonder why humor is not in great supply with this crowd? A growling stomach and a good time don’t typically go hand-in-hand.

Even though we live in the richest country on the planet, the one that has more than its fair share of food choices in its supermarkets and restaurants, there are ever-more that Foodinistas will not eat as opposed to what they will actually consume. And as time goes on and more pseudo-science articles are posted online, their acceptable food groups shrink even further as they grow more “mature.”chemicals

Some will chop veggies for two, three, four hours or longer in order to prepare a vegan feast (hold the honey, honey; it belongs to the bees). Guess what? The process is repeated for the next meal and the next and the next and …

In an extreme case, a Foodinista will break the vegan fast for a (gasp!) vegetarian meal on Fridays, only on Fridays. There is no alteration of this pattern permitted. The Swallows of Capistrano wish they could be this predictable.

A gluten-free prince or princess will challenge everything that is being served including white and red wine. What do grapes have to do with the gluten in grains?

And what are some of the places that require labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs)? How about China, Russia and Vermont? Maybe Vladimir Putin will next annex Ben and Jerry’s?

Is increasingly legal, taxed, regulated medicinal marijuana gluten free? Almost DailyBrett can see the coming Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) roll-out for gluten-free weed.

Pass the coconut oil

“The people who believe that vaccines cause autism, often well-educated and affluent — are undermining ‘herd immunity’ to such diseases as whooping-cough and measles.” — Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, writing for National Geographic

Is it just Jimmy Fallon, little ole me and a few others who see that this Foodism religion taking on even more Kool-Aid drinking zealots?filterbubble

And what are the consequences of the behavior of Foodinistas? It ranges from forcing even more to listen to one more narcissistic epic tale of triumph over gluten and Porterhouses to the unnecessary spread of measles and other diseases. Have these folks ever weighed the impact of their behavior on their own personal brand and reputation? The most important public relations are personal public relations.

One would think that we have enough to worry about including the record $18 trillion+ and climbing federal deficit, ISIS atrocities, rampant obesity, whether the majority of Millennials will be able to buy a home anytime in their lifetimes, and if way too many Baby Boomers will live years/decades longer than their retirement funds. There are others who are obsessed with food: They live in the Third World.

Almost DailyBrett will humbly argue there are real issues that deserve our attention, not whether a scone is gluten free or not or whether it is safe to engage in have-a-blast vegetarianism on any day other than Friday.

Something tells me that fun and Foodism are two F-bombs that don’t go well together.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/science-doubters/barnes-photography

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-05-27/news/9605270029_1_midwife-first-child-childbirth

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2014/08/25/why-liberal-americans-are-turning-against-gmo-labeling/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble

 

 

Who says there is no such thing as a “free lunch”?

ribsdinner

Just split an entrée with your significant other the night before and there most likely will be plenty left over for lunch for two the following day.

And maybe even a bite or two for Bowser too?

What is it about all of this food? When is enough, enough?

Are restaurants overfeeding us?

Why would Almost DailyBrett pose these questions?

Heading into Husky Stadium on Lake Washington for Oregon’s record 10th straight (and counting) win over Washington last October, I was struck by what one can buy with $250 million.

Four years earlier, Husky Stadium was an old, decrepit and crumbling football stadium with small seats and incredibly narrow aisles. Today, the stadium is much more comfortable with larger seats and wider concourses. Does this upgraded level of comfort just reflect the power of millions of dollars of legal tender or does it signal another trend?

huskystadium

The answer is both. The stadium, even though it sits on a beautiful lake spanned by a floating bridge, needed a facelift and that requires cash. The smaller seats and narrower aisles were judged to be more than adequate way back in the 20th Century, but they do not work now. People are bigger and becoming ever larger. Is this what they mean by upgrading our national “infrastructure”?

How many of us are “normal” weight by using the Body Mass Index (BMI). Try it out: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Mimicking the Spaniards and their appetizing Tapas, there was a small-plate movement (10-inch rather than 12-inch plates) in the trendier parts of America less-than-a-decade ago. And like most well-intentioned campaigns, some stick around and some go by the wayside.

tapas

We are way past the point of being overly concerned about the obesity epidemic in the good ole USofA. Are our restaurants in their never-ending quest to provide “value” to discerning customers in this eternal difficult financial climate, contributing to the expanding waist lines of Americans?

Research indicates that we eat what is put before us, and that is contributing to an obesity epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 35.7 percent of Americans are obese including 78 million adults and 12.5 million children. For men in particular, this trend is heading in the wrong direction with 27.5 percent registering as obese in 2000, escalating to 35.5 percent 10 years later. The number of obese women also increased from 33.4 percent in 2000 to 35.8 percent in 2010.

Last month, my relatively new spouse and I visited the Old Town Tortilla Factory in Scottsdale, Arizona, a great place particularly in 87-degree February warmth.

We placed one order of the chipotle baby back ribs with string fries and cole slaw and the waiter was cool enough to waive the divided order charge. Predictably, we could not finish the entrée and had no room for dessert. Alas, there was no Bowser back in our rented condo to devour the remains.

And just this past week, Bates’ Steak House in Eugene, Oregon was the venue for the birthday celebration of the editor in chief of Almost DailyBrett. We ordered one serving John Wayne Cowboy Steak (e.g. marbled 16-ounce rib eye). Fair enough.

The entrée came with soup, salad, potatoes, rice, bacon, blue cheese, tortillas, salsa, beans and the aforementioned 16-ounces of seared steak. For dessert, the choice was either a fancy liquor or a root beer float with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Predictably we needed a Bowser bag. And the left overs, placed in the microwave for two minutes, were more than enough for lunch.

nachos

You may thinking these stories are anecdotal, but they keep on recurring. Walking into a Mexican restaurant, we were told of the grilled chicken nachos appetizer special. We took the plunge. That plate was more than enough for dinner for two…and that turned out to be our dinner.

Admittedly, the vast majority of restaurants fail. The new ones in particular are under tremendous pressure to succeed in this low-margin business. Are they and their entrenched competitors resorting to overfeeding customers in order to stay in business?

And if they are, is this delicious trend contributing to our obesity epidemic?

Writing about food is not for the faint of heart. The editor of Almost DailyBrett still has scars on his back for his commentary about the TMI (Too Much Information) gluten free movement. There are those who care big time about genetically modified food and those who have more important things to do. There are the carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, vegetarians, vegans and countless other (up)-vores.

And regardless of all this attention as to whether coconut oil is actually good for you or not, it all comes down to calories in; calories out. Salad-size plate moderation is a good thing.

Our restaurants should come to this realization as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Plate_Movement

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/739086

http://oldtowntortillafactory.com/

http://www.batessteakhouse.com/

http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Overeating

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/vegan-gluten-free-elitism-with-coconut-oil-2/

“I went to go babysit for an hour and the kids didn’t know what their own Wi-Fi password was.” – A First World Problem

She came by our Saturday morning caffeination table at Eugene’s Hideaway Bakery.

She could hardly wait to tell us that she just came from Pilates, and now she needed her gluten-free scone to go with her vegan coffee with soy.

glutenfree1

 

Should she add some coconut oil just to be sure?

Was this pronouncement for us or was it for her…or maybe for both parties?

Maybe her first-world consciousness makes her just a tad better than the rest of us mere mortals? If you don’t know the answer,  just ask her. She will gladly tell you.

This all brings me to three questions: Why do all of these “classics” insist on making these sanctimonious proclamations of their inconsequential virtues? Who cares…besides them? Have any of them heard of the acronym, TMI?

Are they going to be granted early access to the pearly gates of Heaven just because they don’t drink bottled water or only consume organic fair-trade, shade-grown coffee? This question makes a huge assumption that they really believe in heaven, hell and purgatory.

I will take the “under.”

Maximum Flexibility?

Back in the 1980s when it was Morning in America, I was toiling in the Office of the Governor in Sacramento. One of our daily political tasks was to achieve, “maximum flexibility.” This notion often informally translated into minimal activity because if you did something that may close a door or two, you may therefore wipe out some of your maximum options.

Still the premise was a good one. Don’t give yourself only two options, such as drowning or burning at the stake. When possible provide yourself with a third viable option or maybe even more.

As we get more mature, we should be looking to expand our avenues to explore life and the world. Why? At some point despite our best efforts or because of our worst habits, our bodies will begin to atrophy and eventually and ultimately, fail. Our options will diminish. Our world will get smaller.

Drawing Lines in the Sand?

I can see my own flesh and blood rolling her eyes when I gave her my epistle about maximum flexibility. She insists on drawing more lines in the sand, even at the young age of 24. She has her “habits” and her teams.

Naturally, there are some options best not tried including meth amphetamine, bungee jumping, visiting North Korea or going on a raid with Somali Pirates. You can avoid all of these destructive activities and still have maximum flexibility in your life.

Instead of proclaiming…and yes…it is a proclamation…that she will never eat meat, I have suggested salad-size plate moderation. Why can’t Monday’s dinner by a veggie meal; and Tuesday, a lean beef feast; and Wednesday, fish; and Thursday, chicken; and Friday, pizza…? Isn’t variety the spice of life?

protest

And yet, it is akin to talking to a brick wall. If you believe that you are inherently superior because of your chosen lifestyle, and other elitists harbor the same image, is reason going to work? Alas, you know the answer.

Happy Activist?

For some reason, I can’t remember anybody giving a particle about being gluten free even a decade ago. Now this First-World concern is everywhere with pontificating and bloviating adherents drinking the gluten-free Kool-Aid.

Hideaway and other bakeries that actually use wheat (gasp!) are caving into the gluten-free tyranny. They do their level best, but some just will not be satisfied. This is a cause. This is a movement. And the gluten-free crowd is composed of radicalized activists. There is no joy in their gluten-free world. Have you ever seen a happy activist?

My shortest Match.com date lasted about 40 minutes (about 39 minutes too long). My companion for 2,400 seconds immediately and relentlessly harangued the Agate Alley Bistro waitress whether everything from the wine to the bread were gluten free. Upon reflection, I wish she had stood me up.

Beware

tattoo

If it wasn’t for the University of Oregon, Eugene’s economy would be dependent on its plethora of yoga studios and tattoo parlors. Maybe after an hour of Cobra, Downward Dog and High Plank, the gluten-free warriors can march over to the nearest “ink” dispenser and have the words, “Gluten Free,” affixed where the sun doesn’t shine.

For their present and future lovers, these permanent messages would be akin to the government warnings on the sides of cigarette packs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten-free_diet

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/glossary/g/Vegan.htm

http://first-world-problems.com

http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/5-reasons-not-to-drink-bottled-water

http://hideawaybakery.com/Hideaway_Bakery/home.html

http://www.agatealley.com

http://www.celiac.org

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