Why Buy Vegetarian Cage-free Brown Eggs?

May 27th, 2009

I buy Vegetarian Cage-free Brown Eggs at the grocery store. What does that mean?

Vegetarian Eggs
Chickens need protein. Chickens in a pasture eat bugs, like wood ticks. Commercial chicken feed may contain animal protein sources like meat or bone meal, dried whey, and fish meal. Vegetarian eggs are eggs fed feed with only vegetarian ingredients, like soybean.

Cage-free Eggs
In a perfect world, all God’s creatures could co-exist and share the land. Unfortunately, even “cage-free” chickens may not have a pleasant existence, but they are free to roam in an open area like a barn and have unlimited access to food and water.

I will spare you the details of the caged-life of a commercial layer hen. Please, if you can, buy cage-free eggs.

Brown Eggs
There is no difference between brown eggs and white eggs other than the fact that brown eggs come from “brown” or “red” hens and white eggs come from white hens.

While white to brown is common in commercial eggs, eggs can come in a wide variety of colors. There is even a non-commercial chicken breed called the Araucana, an ornery, white chicken that lays blueish-green eggs.

According to the American Egg Board at IncredibleEgg.org:

Egg shell and yolk color may vary. Color has no relationship to egg quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness.

Shell color comes from pigments in the outer layer of the shell and, in eggs from various commercial breeds, may range from white to deep brown. The breed of hen determines the color of the shell. Among commercial breeds, hens with white feathers and ear lobes lay white-shelled eggs; hens with red feathers and ear lobes lay brown eggs.

White eggs are most in demand among American buyers. In some parts of the country, however, particularly in New England, brown shells are preferred. Commercial brown-egg layers are hens derived from the Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire and Plymouth Rock breeds. Since brown-egg layers are slightly larger birds and require more food, brown eggs are usually more expensive than white.

One Space or Two Spaces After a Period?

May 26th, 2009

The MLA and Chicago style guides now recommend using only one space after periods or other end punctuation. The APA style guide recommends two spaces after punctuation ending sentences.

People were taught to use two spaces following a period in the days of the typewriter and those double spacers became parents, teachers, and professors who taught word processor/computer-era students to use two spaces after a period. It’s a vicious cycle.

I have even seen two spaces following periods in text messages – a form of communication where spelling, grammar, and punctuation are often completely eliminated!

It is a hard habit to break and though one space after a period is now considered standard, the most important thing is to be consistent.

MLA (Modern Language Association)
MLA Handbook FAQ – How many spaces should I leave after a period or other concluding mark of punctuation?

Since word processors make available the same fonts used by typesetters for printed works, many writers, influenced by the look of typeset publications, now leave only one space after a concluding punctuation mark.

Chicago Manual of Style
Chicago Style Q&A: One Space or Two?

There is a traditional American practice, favored by some, of leaving two spaces after colons and periods. This practice is discouraged by the University of Chicago Press, especially for formally published works and the manuscripts from which they are published.

APA (American Psychological Association)
The APA style guide is not available online, but I used this APA Style Essentials summary. One must use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Spacing after Punctuation: Space once after commas, colons, and semicolons within sentences. Insert two spaces after punctuation ending sentences.

Please note: In the quote advising those following APA guidelines to use two spaces after punctuation ending sentences above, there are not two spaces after the end punctuation of the first sentence…

And finally, I have to give props to the OWL.

Best Zumba Shoes

May 19th, 2009

While I search for the best shoes for Zumba, I do not recommend turf shoes or wrestling shoes for participating in Zumba or other aerobic dance classes.

One of the main gripes I hear from Zumba enthusiasts is that their regular gym shoes stick to the floor during class. Sticky shoes during Zumba can cause blisters or foot, ankle, or knee pain or injury.

While turf shoes are designed to allow you to comfortably train on a variety of surfaces, they probably still provide too much traction for Zumba or other ballroom or hip hop dance classes. On the bright side, turf shoes do feature a more narrow footprint – more like cross-training shoes and less like running shoes.

A better bet might be a wrestling shoe. While wrestling shoes are light and flexible, most wrestling shoes will only be available in mens’ or boys’ sizes and are only available in a high-top style. Wrestling shoes are not designed for impact and therefore do not provide a lot of arch support or sole cushion.

My recommendation is stick to athletic shoes designed specifically for dance or aerobics. If you’re not sure that a certain style is a dance shoe or aerobics shoe, look for a circle on the sole of the shoe at the ball of the foot. Not all dance shoes or aerobics shoes will have it, but it is a good way to tell if the shoe is going to allow you to turn on the ball of your foot or if you will stick to the floor instead.

If you can’t afford to buy athletic shoes just for Zumba, wear last year’s gym shoes. Be sure the traction on the sole has worn down on the ball of foot, but be sure the shoe can still provide cushion and support.

Also see my “Sticky Shoes During Zumba” and “Good Dance Shoes for Zumba” and “Where to Buy Dance Shoes” posts or check out my “Recently Written” posts about Zumba shoes to the right at Rencsi.com.

Oh, I don’t know, let’s see, crushing Dwight Yoakam’s voice box with my five iron?

May 13th, 2009

My favorite episode of King of the Hill is “Hank’s Got the Willies” from Season 1, originally aired in February 1997.

Hank and the guys go golfing. Bobby loses his grip on his club and the club hits Willie Nelson in the head. Bobby later runs into Willie…

WILLIE NELSON: Hey, I know you. You’re the kid that rakes my lawn.
BOBBY: No, I’m the kid who hit you in the head.
WILLIE NELSON: With a rake?
BOBBY: No, with a golf club.
WILLIE NELSON: You been raking my lawn with a golf club? I want my quarter back.

BOBBY: Dad, guess where I am?
HANK: Oh, I dunno, let’s see, crushing Dwight Yoakam’s voice box with my five iron?
BOBBY: I’m at Willie Nelson’s, and he wants you to come over!
HANK: Son, you’re teasing the gorilla in the monkey house.

(In case you’re wondering, I found the quotes at http://www.geocities.com/arlen_texas/willies.htm.)

On a Dwight Yoakam-related note, Dwight Yoakam provided the voice for recurring King of the Hill character, Lane Pratley, in “Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men,” although later appearances were voiced by someone other than Dwight.

King of the Hill has featured many celebrity voices such as the late John Ritter, Trace Adkins, Johnny Knoxville, Tammy Wynette, Betty White, Charlie Daniels, and Reese Witherspoon just to name a few.

Max Hodges is a 49ers Fan

May 7th, 2009

I’m a fan of Max Hodges, the long-haired blond guy on TMZ TV.

Tonight TMZ showed a clip of a cameraman meeting Joe Montana, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers football team, on the street. (If you didn’t know that, don’t feel bad, neither did Harvey.) Max is wearing a San Francisco 49ers t-shirt – perfect for the occassion… Enjoy!

See also “Who is the blond guy on TMZ?” at Rencsi.com and “Follow Max Hodges on Twitter” at Rencsi.com.

Where Are Jobs?

May 6th, 2009

Job Opportunity Index from Main Street

Rank – State

1 – North Dakota
2 – Wyoming
3 – Virginia
4 – Nebraska
5 – Maryland
6 – New Mexico
7 – Delaware
8 – New Hampshire
9 – Conneticut
10 – Iowa
11 – Massachusettes
12 – Montana
13 – Hawaii
14 – Vermont
15 – Utah
16 – Kansas
17 – Texas
18 – Colorado
19 – Alaska
20 – Oklahoma
21 – New Jersey
22 – Washington, D.C.
23 – Louisiana
24 – Maine
25 – Washington
26 – Pennsylvania
27 – South Dakota
28 – Wisconsin
29 – Arizona
30 – Arkansas
31 – West Virginia
32 – Missouri
33 – Minnesota
34 – Nevada
35 – New York
36 – Illinois
37 – Idaho
38 – Florida
39 – Rhode Island
40 – Alabama
41 – Ohio
42 – Tennesse
43 – Georgia
44 – California
45 – North Carolina
46 – South Carolina
47 – Mississippi
48 – Kentucky
49 – Indiana
50 – Oregon
51 – Michigan

Jobs per Capita from Indeed

Rankings First Quarter 2009
50 most populous metro areas ranked by job postings per capita

Rank (Rank Last Quarter) – Metro Area – Job Postings Per 1000 People
1 (1) -  Washington, DC - 144
2 (3) – Baltimore, MD - 89
3 (2) - San Jose, CA - 76
4 (15) - Las Vegas, NV - 56
5 (10) - Boston, MA – 51
6 (6) - Hartford, CT - 51
7 (11) - Austin, TX – 50
8 (7) - Salt Lake Cty, UT - 49
9 (5) - Seattle, WA - 49
10 (9) - San Francisco, CA - 48
11 (8) - Denver, CO – 46
12 (4) - Milwaukee, WI - 40
13 (12) - Cincinnati, OH - 39
14 (25) - Oklahoma City, OK – 38
15 (14) - Charlotte, NC - 38
16 (24) - Dallas, TX – 36
17 (16) - San Diego, CA - 35
18 (13) - Phoenix, AZ – 34
19 (19) - Columbus, OH - 34
20 (29) - Tampa, FL – 34
21 (34) - San Antonio, TX - 34
22 (22) - Orlando, FL – 33
23 (18) - Richmond, VA - 33
24 (33) - Jacksonville, FL - 33
25 (21) - Houston, TX - 32
26 (27) - Louisville, KY - 32
27 (31) - Philadelphia, PA - 32
28 (17) - Cleveland, OH - 31
29 (20) - St. Paul, MN - 31
30 (30) - Atlanta, GA – 31
31 (23) - Kansas City, MO - 31
32 (38) - Virginia Beach, VA - 30
33 (28) - Sacramento, CA - 30
34 (26) - Indianapolis, IN - 30
35 (32) – Nashville, TN - 29
36 (39) - Pittsburgh, PA - 29
37 (35) - Providence, RI - 28
38 (37) - Memphis, TN - 28
39 (36) - Portland, OR - 27
40 (46) - New Orleans, LA - 26
41 (41) - Birmingham, AL - 25
42 (44) - New York, NY - 25
43 (40) - Riverside, CA - 23
44 (43) - St. Louis, MO - 23
45 (48) - Los Angeles, CA - 23
46 (42) - Chicago, IL – 23
47 (45) - Buffalo, NY – 21
48 (47) - Rochester, NY - 18
49 (49) - Miami, FL – 16
50 (50) - Detroit, MI – 15

Awesome Daily Needs Nutritional Calculator and Health Tools

May 5th, 2009

I recently met with Beth, a personal trainer and wellness coach at my new gym to set goals for 2009. My original motivation was to simply get my trial membership host the free month he was promised for referring a new member.

I mentioned to Beth that there are days I have to cut my routine short because I’ve run out of energy. She recommended two sites I could use to make sure I get the nutrition I need to keep me going strong each day.


NutritionData.com has a great Daily Needs Calculator. You enter your height, weight, age, and lifestyle. AND you can list exactly what activities you plan to do and how long you plan to do them.

The Daily Needs calculator returns your BMI, calories burned, recommended daily nutrient (carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals) quantities.

I really like being able to customize minutes per day of exercise. My workout and level of activity each day is very different for me and I think this will help me get through my varying workouts more easily.

While preventing disease is not something I keep in mind while I work out at this time, PreventDisease.com features a long list of Health Tools including several Body Composition calculators, a link to the USDA Calorie & Nutrient Information Database, and even Sleep Tools.