Mark's blog

Sporadic posts about a wide variety of topics.
GERD (acid reflux) symptoms relief from yogurt?

GERD (acid reflux) symptoms relief from yogurt?

It seems bizarre to me the way that acid reflux disease (a.k.a. gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) has seemingly come out of nowhere to afflict so many people — and that its sufferers so readily gulp the array of remedies concocted by the pharmaceutical...

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Hang On Little Tomato

Hang On Little Tomato

Today's photo — after astonishing rains, with more on the way — is inspired by the song "Hang On Little Tomato" by Pink Martini: The sun has left and forgotten me It's dark, I cannot see Why does this rain pour down I'm gonna drown In a sea Of deep confusion...

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Sarah Palin is a Tic-Tac-Toe playing chicken

Sarah Palin is a Tic-Tac-Toe playing chicken

For a maverick politician who's constantly trying to portray herself as tough and unafraid, Sarah Palin has spent an awful lot of time hiding behind her Facebook and Twitter accounts, keeping herself as unaccountable as possible while simultaneously hoping to somehow...

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Antique farm equipment: 1915 Belle City threshing machine

Antique farm equipment: 1915 Belle City threshing machine

When we attended the annual Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast back on June 19, I was fascinated by this piece of antique farm equipment — a 1915 Belle City threshing machine. I uploaded a couple of still photos of the overall threshing machine (seen above) and its "Belle...

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President Obama in Racine, Wisconsin

President Obama in Racine, Wisconsin

hen news broke last weekend that President Barack Obama would be holding a town hall meeting here in Racine on June 30, the area media struggled to understand its purpose. On a national level, there is currently no sharper political analyst than...

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Happy Bloomsday! James Joyce / ‘Ulysses’ podcast

Happy Bloomsday! James Joyce / ‘Ulysses’ podcast

A stately, plump good morning to Ulysses readers everywhere. Over the last day or two, several messages have arrived here informing me (and asking me to inform you) of a new podcast. It's hosted by the bestselling Irish novelist, journalist and broadcaster Frank...

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How to be rich: Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’

How to be rich: Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’

Back in February when Amy and I heard a BBC interview with billionaire David Murdock, there was something that leapt out at us. In relating how he became one of the richest men in the world — despite starting as a homeless, dyslexic, high school dropout and WWII...

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Posting on Facebook: Content creator or slave?

Posting on Facebook: Content creator or slave?

Consider this aspect of Facebook's business model: There are currently some 500 million people creating content for Facebook, yet Facebook pays them nothing. Social media The implications of the social media revolution hit me one morning when I came down to the...

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My love for Indian Food

Oh my gosh! Last nights dinner was one of those that Mark and I literally high five each other on. I know it's corny but that's what we do when I am able to duplicate the experience we get dining out at most Indian restaurants. Earlier this week Mark came across an...

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‘A Man Named Pearl’: Pearl Fryar’s topiary garden

‘A Man Named Pearl’: Pearl Fryar’s topiary garden

We watched a warm and inspiring movie last night. A Man Named Pearl (trailer above) is a 2006 documentary film by Scott Galloway and Brent Pierson centered on one astonishing yard on the outskirts of Bishopville, South Carolina. The owner, Pearl Fryar, was born in...

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Oil spills absorbed by donated hair booms: MatterOfTrust.org

Oil spills absorbed by donated hair booms: MatterOfTrust.org

Sitting down to work this morning, Amy read me a Facebook post from her friend Dana Boyle, who is looking for a way to spread the word that hair soaks up oil spills, and that hair can be donated to help cleanup efforts in the massive Gulf oil spill off Louisiana:...

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FedEx vs. UPS: ‘Brown Bailout Guy’

FedEx vs. UPS: ‘Brown Bailout Guy’

This was a highly irritating story on NPR's Morning Edition today: Trucking Rivals Fight Lobbying Battle Over Legislation In short, back in 1996, language was put into a must-pass aviation bill which classifies FedEx as an airline, not a trucking firm — preventing...

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Fungus disease in Pacific Northwest: Cryptococcus gattii

Fungus disease in Pacific Northwest: Cryptococcus gattii

(X-ray image from CDC website) Nothing wakes up an amateur hypochondriac like a harrowing and deadly fungus disease story on NPR's Morning Edition. Here is today's: NPR.org: Fungal Disease Spreads Through Pacific Northwest The fungus is Cryptococcus gattii, and as...

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The Tea Party and a warped sense of time

The Tea Party and a warped sense of time

Reading an editorial today by Racine's local newspaper, I felt a certain "down the rabbit-hole" sensation that has become increasingly familiar. The Journal Times opinion piece, "State no longer a ‘tax hell’," lauds the news that "Wisconsin's taxation ranking has hit...

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Out with Easter candy, in with fresh vegetable platter

Lately I have been making up a platter of veggies for us to snack on throughout the day. I really  need to make sure that I keep this up. The past week has been very challenging for me. I happen to have a huge sweet tooth, and this time of year is always very...

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Forsythia pruning: Bush renewal produces more blooms

Forsythia pruning: Bush renewal produces more blooms

Here's our forsythia bush this afternoon. Okay, it may not be breathtaking to you — but it is to us because we know how it looked last year, and the year before that. Last summer, we did a "renewal pruning" on this shrub. This...

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Making the most of a website traffic spike

Making the most of a website traffic spike

Among the many other goals I have in life, I would like to see this blog earning $200 per day, every day. It's not there yet — but when you have seen $100 days, $200 does not seem impossible. Plus, since hearing about Dole Foods billionaire David Murdoch, Amy and I...

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Healthy Salad Dressings

It has been way too long since my last post, so I thought I would share with you some great recipes that have become a staple in our house.  I came across these "Dressing for Success" recipes last year in my Women's Health magazine. All three dressings are made with...

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Jaime Escalante and ‘ganas’

Jaime Escalante and ‘ganas’

The death of Jaime Escalante is in the news today. Escalante was the calculus teacher portrayed in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver who had his students in a low-income, East Los Angeles school passing the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Listening to a remembrance today on...

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Glenn Beck, Eric Massa, and the worst interview ever

Glenn Beck, Eric Massa, and the worst interview ever

The clips included in the clip above really deserve to be enshrined in the Awkwardness Hall of Fame. I'm someone who grew up watching the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon year in and year out. I was tuned in when David Letterman interviewed Crispin Glover and Farrah Fawcett...

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Recipe for oven fries: Healthy roasted potato fries

Recipe for oven fries: Healthy roasted potato fries

I have been craving potatoes lately. I wake up drooling at the thought of eating McDonald's hash browns — maybe six or eight of them — for breakfast. At dinner time, I imagine myself tipping large orders of French fries into my mouth straight from the cardboard...

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