Tag: lifestyle

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Gatto Basket

The folks over at Tuft + Paw saw my “Cats of University Heights” series and asked about my interest in some of their products and “to collaborate with you on a story. We have a talented team of cat behavior experts, designers, and engineers”. In looking over the outfit’s website, the understated designs of the feline furniture and accessories greatly appealed, but not the pricing, which I felt fell into a niche of well-to-do shoppers. Finally, on December 2nd, I seriously responded to founder Jackson Cunningham’s request (it has been a hectic autumn).

The $129, all-wool, Gatto Basket arrived this afternoon (my formal review, with tidbits about the company’s notorious beta tester, appears on BetaNews). Baskets are abundant inside our apartment. My wife loves them. As such, I unpacked the Gatto with great trepidation, wondering: “Why would any cat take to this?” We have so many others inside which our kitties can play, but for the most part neither does. A basket is a basket, right? Apparently, not. I plopped the thing onto the living room floor, and Cali settled inside quite nicely. Immediately, in fact, and she is finicky. 

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Fido Confections

Among the stereotypes that cling to Californians: Their love of—no obsession with—dogs. Take a peek into this window of a local dog bakery. I could understand meat pie. But cake? Welcome to SoCal, where residents primp tail-waggers and fawn incessantly over them. I am aghast how the fussy folk here let their beasts pee and poop everywhere. Sure, most dog walkers carry baggies to clean up the hard deposits. But the liquid soils sidewalks and anything along them; considering how rarely rain falls, this crap clinging to shoes and dust that becomes airborne can’t be healthy. So why in a state where residents also are lifestyle-profiled as being health-obsessed is there such contradiction?

In County cities Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee, and Solana Beach, there are about 162,000 licensed dogs, according to official statistics. Human population for the same locales is about 2.15 million, says the Department of Animal Services. FYI: San Diego Humane Society assumed responsibility for providing county animal services to these communities during second quarter of this year. If you’re local, and interested in domestic or wild beasties, SDH’s annual report is informative reading. 

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San Diego Bike Invasion

Like mushrooms suddenly appearing after the rain, ride-sharing bicycles are popping up all around my neighborhood (University Heights East) as well as North Park—and from two separate providers: LimeBike and Ofo. The sightings started several weeks ago, one or two, here or there. Now these things are absolutely everywhere!

The Featured Image makes the point. In the foreground, at Alabama and Madison, two Ofos are parked, while across the way—go ahead, count `em—another four can be seen. Out of view are two more further along towards Adams Ave. Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 8:31 a.m. PST, today. 

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‘Obstacles are Opportunities’

The new year ushers in a fresh, personal motto—an amalgamation of 2017’s slogan, “Everything is an opportunity“, older “Change the rules”, and another (“Why not?”) that I used for decades.

“Obstacles are opportunities” comes from an off-the-cuff, but well-meant, late-year text message response to my daughter. She struggled with something, to which I encouraged: “obstacles are an opportunity”. Then I thought to myself: “Oh, I like that. I shouldn’t forget that”. 

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This Is Me Then and Now

The photo left greatly embarrasses me, but I feel compelled to contrast it with the other. The heavyset me weighed 95 kilos (210 pounds), in September 2004. The other is from August 2014, when I weighed 70 kilos (152 pounds). I’ve lost another 2.5 kilos since my wife snapped the pic of me holding our cat, Neko. The change is dramatic.

Moving to California seven years ago on October 15 precipitated initial weight loss, which with increased activity occurred gradually to 82.6 kilos (182 pounds) early last year. The other 15 kilos (33 pounds) is result of massive dietary change, which is topic of my forthcoming book How I Beat Diabetes. Simply stated: I cut carbs and portions, switching to a diet high in protein, berries, nuts, and leafy veggies.

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My Next Project: ‘How I Beat Diabetes’

I am working on a new ebook based on a personal, health crisis and will start taking preorders this week at Amazon: How I Beat Diabetes, qualifying repeatedly that Joe Wilcox is not a medical professional.

On July 13, 2013, my doctor called frantic about my glucose level. Day before, she drew blood for routine check on something else, and the lab ran the full panel. The number: 212 mg/dL Anything below 100 is safely normal. 

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Christmas Uncommon

There’s something wrong with American culture and emphasis on the individual. I got to thinking about it today when yet another neighbor dragged another dried-out Christmas into the common area and out into the back alley—this one spewing white spray-on fake snow to go with the pine needles.

I live in a small apartment complex—nine units and delightful common courtyard. Six of the units had Christmas trees this year, all live cut. (On Christmas Eve, we put up a 3-foot fake from Walgreens).