Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.
- Israel Zangwill, English Author (1864-1926)

Monthly Archives: April 2017

Egg in Avocado


Last year, in the last six months of the year, I embarked on a full-force weight loss campaign. I lost 59 pounds the first three months and finished up the year down 70.

And then I heard a statistic – 95% of crash dieters will ultimately gain the weight back, and once I heard that, not becoming the 95% became my new obsession. I visualize a room full of twenty people, and I have to be the *one guy* in that room who keeps it off.

So even though I’d reached my target weight, I continued obsessing on removing all possible fat calories from my diet. While I was avoiding every fat calorie I could however, I would hear from healthy people and the uber-fit that you really do need a healthy dose of healthy fat in your diet, but being so obsessed with not gaining the weight back, it was so difficult for me to wrap my head around it. I had a pretty good idea eating nuts, for example, was good for your diet, but I’d grab a handful of peanuts and all I could think of is FAT, FAT, FAT!

I finally found two articles that really laid it out and helped me make peace with adding a healthy amount of healthy fat to my diet.

In the spirit of “fair use”, I will give you the bullet points and hope they inspire you to read the articles.


8 Cues that You’re Not Eating Enough Fat

• You’re Get-Up-and-Go Has Got-Up-and-Left
• You Have Difficulty Focusing
• You’re Constantly Hungry
• You’re Anxious in Crowds (sounds silly, but there’s an interesting study behind it)
• Your Period is MIA
• Your Memory is Zapped
• You’re Down in the Dumps
• Your Skin is Lack Luster

As a ninth cue, I can also add that on a strict non-fat diet, I noticed my joints cracking more when I was doing push-ups and exercising. It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Now that we’ve covered the “why” of eating healthy fats, here’s a good top-ten list of the foods that have them:


10 Fatty Foods with Mega Health Benefits

• Avocados (love seeing my favorite at the top of the list)
• Olive Oil
• Salmon
• Eggs
• Nuts
• Coconuts
• Flaxseed
• Peanut Butter
• Almond Butter
• Dark Chocolate

Both articles are well worth the read.

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This is what I see when I see an iPhone.

This is what I see when I see an iPhone.

I really have hated Apple and all their iCrap devices ever since the iPod came out and my mom was so sweet to get me that pricey little device as the hottest Christmas gift of the year and I can remember I was so excited as I plugged the USB connecter from my brand new iPod into my PC and I began dragging and dropping my mp3s over from my PC and . . . what? What’s this? You mean to tell me I can’t drag and drop my mp3s over just as simple as you can with any other USB storage device that’s ever been made? You mean to tell me that I have to install that bloatware known as iTunes just to do something as simple as a file transfer? Eff you, you effing control freaks.

That was 2001.  Flash forward 16 years later and the tyrants at the Apple regime still make it just as ridiculously convoluted for me to get my wife’s pdf resume from my computer to her iPhone. All these years later and still the authoritarians at Apple won’t allow a simple drag and drop, so the next three options are iCloud and AirDrop – both a bunch of iCrap only available on iOS, and then there’s iTunes, I already swore I was not going to be forced into installing that garbage on my PC, the final solution was a third-party app (Documents 5, thanks Readdle Inc.!) which allowed my wife to get access to the pdf attachment from her browser-based email. Seriously, what a load of crap.

Forget about the fact that Apple outsources all their manufacturing to the cheapest slave labor factories in China and then slaps on their products the most over-inflated price tags imaginable. Far better to buy stock in the company than complain about that, but what I want to know is when will Apple stop ruling their design process with a money-grubbing iron fist that squeezes out the state-of-the-art technology their customers deserve?

How long are iPhones and iPads going to stick with that outdated single button beneath the screen when both Androids and Windows devices have a much more useful set of three permanent buttons? On Android phones, you have a permanent back button just to the right of the home button, on Windows Phones, you have a permanent back button just to the left, but for some reason, Apple is stuck on this lame idea that one button somehow makes things simpler. Because of this, the all-important back button could be in the upper-left of the screen or the lower-left or wherever the developer might want to put it. Listen Apple, pig-headedly sticking with one button beneath the screen does not make your phone any more functional or aesthetically pleasing. It just sucks.

And when will Apple give people the same ability to upgrade their device storage with the MicroSD slots that every other phone has had for over a dozen years now? I know Apple’s all about fleecing their fan base and forcing them to shell out the big bucks if they want more storage on their devices, but did they ever stop to consider that from a historical perspective, their phones and tablets look ridiculously behind the curve when it’s 2017 and they still don’t have something as basic as a MicroSD slot?

Just the same as I wouldn’t begrudge Yves Saint Laurent for finding a way to convince the masses their bags are “status symbols”, to the point where people are willing to pay way more than any bag should be worth because everyone else knows how much they paid for that YSL bag, I also won’t begrudge Apple for finding a way to convince their loyal fans to pay a premium price to make their own fashion statement. You have to hand it to Apple for managing that one, but when it comes to the capabilities and the technology of their devices, don’t ever let anyone tell you Apple isn’t squeezing it out.

Apple Squat

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Bam Bam CornelisonBam Bam was just a tiny kitten living on the streets of Santa Ana when I first met him. A friend had noticed this litter of street cats on a couple previous visits to a taco shop there and while there are probably worse places in the world to be a homeless cat than posted up by a taco shop, I figured at least one of those kittens was deserving of being rescued and given a loving home.

He was filthy and infested with fleas when we grabbed him, but I took him home, my wife and I cleaned him up, and then when he was old enough, we got him his shots and had him neutered. Now he’s been with us about six months and he’s as healthy and happy as can be. All told, Bam Bam has been nothing but a joy, but boy did he throw us for a loop last Friday afternoon.

We were settling in for a full afternoon and evening of binge watching Hulu and there’s our little Bam Bam, munching on the popcorn right beside us. Before either one of us had even noticed he’d left the bed, our doorbell rang and it was one of our neighbors asking us if we have a cat. I told her yes we did have a cat and it turns out she found him in the carport that lies under our balcony and she says she tried, but she couldn’t catch him.

Built on top of a carport, our balcony is nearly two stories above the back parking lot. No way did I ever imagine Bam Bam would even try to make that leap, but that’s just what he did. Having been an indoor cat ever since we took him in and knowing more than a few coyotes roam the neighborhood at night, my wife and I went out in a near panic as we began our search.

We split up and searched through the remaining hours of daylight. No Bam Bam. We left the front door open all night. No Bam Bam. When Saturday came, we searched again. No Bam Bam. We left the door open again that night, still no Bam Bam. We searched again Sunday and by the time we were headed to bed with the front door open, we both had a sinking feeling we’d never see Bam Bam again.

Then finally, late that Sunday night, like a drunk returning home after a weekend bender, little Bam Bam quietly crept through the front door.

I was the last person you’d ever imagine becoming a cat lover, but there I was, completely overjoyed and relieved when his first meow woke me up. I realize that Bam Bam escaping is one-hundred percent on us, his owners, and I know two people in particular who are going to give me a lot of shit about it, but all I can say is we are so filled with gratitude he found his way home and yes, the balcony is temporarily closed and the chicken wire is on its way.

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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
Doris Kearns Goodwin