Fit Recovery

Home » Running

Category Archives: Running

Vegans Over the Edge… Yet Again: Class Action Lawsuit Against Burger King for Using Same Grill as Normal Burgers. Paging Captain Obvious, Please Call the Office

Trigger (heh) warning:  This post will be somewhat of a hit piece on a specific, small, yet exceedingly loud portion of the vegan/vegetarian population.  Not quite what would come out of the New York Times if it pertained to President Trump, because at least this will be truthful, but I’m going to be pretty blunt, as my disclaimer to the left explains.  I’m not, in any way, shape, form, or manner, trying to say all vegans and/or vegetarians are bad, mean-spirited, ignoramuses… just that a very specific cult of that small group is.  You have been trigger (heh) warned.

My wife has a vegetarian friend who once complained that my grill had meat cooked on it at one time, so she’d prefer it if I didn’t grill her veggie burger on that same grill…  I did figure a way around that for her, though.  I steam cleaned that side of the grill to her liking, applied some oil to keep her burger from sticking, and grilled her veggie burger.  I did this because I love my wife, and her friend is pretty cool about the whole thing, anyway.  Now, if she were like some people…

When Burger King came out with their Impossible Whopper, however, I had a feeling a complaint wasn’t too far off because there’s no way Burger King was going to appease the vegan nutter base.  What’s it been?  Three months and some change.  One way or another, someone was going to go all apoplectic.  I should have published something to show what a genius I am… and what a loser the vegan who would eventually sue Burger King is:

The lawsuit alleges that if he had known the burger would be cooked in such a manner, he would have not purchased it.
The Burger King that Williams visited did not have signage at the drive-thru indicating that the plant-based burger would be cooked on the same grill as meat, the suit says.

Paging Captain Obvious, please call the office.

What did this knucklehead think, Burger King would install another grill to grill their Impossible Whopper?  The guy, if he thought that, is impossibly stupid.  He obviously has never looked beyond the cash counter to see how little room there is in the back of a Burger King – there’s certainly no room for another broiler!

Where this, and so many sordid stories like it, runs afoul of decency is when nutters try to impose their idiosyncrasies on the rest of civilization.  It’s not Burger King’s job to anticipate and prepare for every nut who walks into a Burger King.  If Phillip Williams has a problem with his veggie burger being cooked on the same grill as a normal burger, perhaps he should be wearing signage stating that his beliefs run counter to popular norms and he prefers his burgers to be prepared a special way… this way the employees can simply nuke his Impossible Whopper (I’d bet that’s BK’s “non-broiler method of preparation”) and be done with it:

“For guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request,” the site notes.

This can be put in simple terms, folks; if you require your food to be prepared in a special way, not in the norm, and obviously Phillip Williams knows he does, then it’s his responsibility to make sure his needs are met, not someone else’s.

Better, in a sane world the court would make the complainant prove his/her/their Impossible Whopper actually did get beef on it from being cooked on the same grill.  What most people don’t know about Burger King broilers (that I happen to), is that the grill is a based on a conveyor belt system, about 2-1/2 feet wide by, maybe five feet long (if memory serves), so the grill actually goes through the fire a second time which gives any meat that might be stuck to the links time to cook off.  Thinking back on teenage days at BK, more than three decades ago, I can’t remember ever seeing any buildup on the conveyor, certainly not like one would see on their home grill, and certainly not in amounts that would lead to meat clinging to the conveyor so it could then be transferred to someone’s Impossible Whopper – the claim this could happen seems shady to me.

Anyway, insufferable people are insufferable.  Paging Captain Obvious.  Again.

Sobriety is ALWAYS a Longshot… But It’s a Beautiful Thing When You Work It.

My name is Jim, and I’m a recovered alcoholic. I have recovered from a seemingly helpless state of mind. I was, at one time, so depraved, it’s hard to believe I was that guy.

I am a small miracle. Anyone who makes it a year is. I once couldn’t make it 24 hours without a drink or the shakes would start.

The first year was a gift. The next four were hard work. The clouds started to break up at ten years. Our first daughter was born at eleven. Our second was born at 14. The clouds parted at fifteen. At twenty, the clouds dissipated and it was time for the flippin’ sunscreen, baby. The last seven years have been glorious, though with some challenges.

It wasn’t that the years before 20 were bad, far from it. They were challenging, though, through the looking back glass. I was learning how to live a sober, clean life, and sometimes I bumped heads with good orderly direction.  Even so, life seemed good enough it was often tough to wrap my head around it.

The easiest way to describe the last couple of decades and change is like this: Each year sober was a new gift. I had no clue how good life would eventually get, so I never felt like I was shortchanged. It just kept getting better.  And that’s the idea.

Every year, since 2012 when I wrote the following post, I like to link to it around my anniversary.  It is, without question, the best thing I’ve ever written.  Please click here and give it a read:

November is a special month for me. I celebrate every single day of the entire month. I celebrate having the ability to have a wife and two fantastic daughters. I celebrate being on the right side of the grass, pumping air. I celebrate being able to love my wife….

[Tap the link to read on]

Day 259 Days of Recovery from Procrastination

I’ve never seen anyone drink their way to happiness…

Or, as the linked post explains, I’ve never seen anyone procrastinate themselves into happiness.

Never thought of it quite so simply, but it sure does work.  Please take a moment and check the linked post out.

“Treating Boys Like Defective Girls” in School; Boys Need More Time in Motion, Study (FINALLY) Finds.

As a young boy, I did not sit still for long.  I’m tempted to use the word “couldn’t”.  In order to get me to eat, my mom would cut up a hot dog, put it on the plate on one end of the coffee table in the living room and let me do laps, eating a piece every lap or two.  When I went to school, they didn’t know how to handle my rambunctiousness so I was held back a year.  School was an environment that would only let me move a half-hour a day during school.  I went from hot (dog) laps to sitting still all day.

My story began more than four decades ago – and the prescription for me wasn’t “keep him moving”, it was “give him Ritalin” to get me compliant.  My mom refused and worked with me all through school to help me conform to a world that wouldn’t let me move.  I was told, from four-years-old, that it was me.  That I was the problem.

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland recently tried to document whether boys actually achieve less in school when they’re restricted from running around and being physically active.

They studied 153 kids, aged 6 to 8, and tracked how much physical activity and sedentary time they had during the day. Sure enough, according to a report by Belinda Luscombe in Time, the less “moderate to vigorous physical activity” the boys had each day, the harder it was for them to develop good reading skills:

The more time kids … spent sitting and the less time they spent being physically active, the fewer gains they made in reading in the two following years. [It] also had a negative impact on their ability to do math.

Now here’s the best part – and this is what really fries my bacon:

The results didn’t apply to girls. I know that sounds sexist; the researchers offered a few possible explanations. Maybe there simply are physiological differences—or maybe the girls were just as eager to move around as the boys, but they were better able to set aside that disappointment and concentrate.

And for that reason, other researchers say, girls are rewarded more than boys in the classroom.

“Girl behavior is the gold standard in schools,” says psychologist Michael Thompson. “Boys are treated like defective girls.”

The emphasis above is mine.  What is sexist is expecting boys to behave like girls and treating them as “defective girls” in school if they act according to their nature.  Now, I’m sure all of the open-minded people out there who have the delusion that sexism only works one way will complain that what the study found is not right – maybe the sample size wasn’t big enough so more study is needed, but I lived it.  I’m here to tell you, if you multiply this out over time, the ramifications are devastating.

And, according to the article linked above, it gets worse:  The punishment for being rambunctious is more time sitting still which compounds the problem, especially for boys, rather than fix it.  It appears as though there might be hope.  One school in Texas has implemented four recess periods into the school day…

Result? Students are “less fidgety and more focused,” one teacher said. They “listen more attentively, follow directions, and try to solve problems on their own instead of coming to the teacher to fix everything.”

Well imagine that.

Somebody, Send Help Quick! I’m Running Out of Bikes to Tinker With! Oh, Wait… That Wasn’t Thought Through Very Well…

I know I’ve opened up a can of worms. No, I don’t want your bike to work on. Thanks for thinking of me.

God help me, my friends, I resorted to switching the bottle cages between the Trek and the Venge yesterday, just for something to do. I’ve got my 5200 purring like a kitten. My Venge is running perfectly. My mountain bike has always been fantastic (I really don’t ride it enough to beat it up, anyway). Even the tandem is in great shape.

My wife’s bikes are perfect – I just ran a new brake cable on her good bike for her last week, and with a Shimano 105 11 speed drivetrain, I’m jealous of how well her bike shifts (there’s a vast world of difference between Shimano’s 10 speed and 11 speed reliability. Their 10 speed was always a little quirky.

My gravel bike is almost perfect but it needs a little drivetrain attention – and, believe it or not, it’s a bit out of my league. I can’t get the front derailleur set right – either it rubs three of the nine gears or the cage hits the crank arm. It never bothered me before, but now that I’ve got the cockpit lengthened to where the bike is comfortable, I’m going to spend a lot more time on it next season. It’ll have to be right. If it rains today, I’ll take it into the shop to have it looked at.

My bikes are a microcosm of my life. Everything, with the exception of some huge hiccups well outside my control, is good. It’s not perfect (is it ever?), but manageable and enjoyable. And that’s the goal.

As they say, shit happens. The trick is to be wearing the hazmat suit when it does.

UPDATE: I didn’t have to take the gravel bike to the shop. A judicious use of the front derailleur high limit screw did the trick. I have to trim for the two highest gears but no more rubbing. Shoot, now I’m really out of stuff to do.

The Time to Recover From Addiction Is Now – Not Tomorrow…

You never know what’s coming down the pike.  You never know what stupid choice you’ll make tomorrow that’ll lead to you being fertilizer or worse, behind bars….

I had a shockingly clear vision of what my future would look like if I kept drinking after sobering up, just two weeks into a stint at an in-patient treatment facility that I’d been sentenced to complete (6-9 months).  I could see my future clear as day; zero hope of happiness.  Zero.  The day before I had been certain I’d drink again once I got myself out of trouble.  Certain.  I was looking forward to it.  Something changed in me in the dead of the night.

I’m meant for more than this.  

That was the one thought that changed everything; I’m meant for more than this miserable existence.  That thought replayed, over and over again, until it turned into, “what would it be like if I was sober?”  There, I saw hope.

Many aren’t that fortunate to actually pay attention to that thought.  Most discard it or hide from it out of fear and harbor the hope they can include getting drunk or high in that future, that things will still have a chance to work out.  And then they die.  Or they go to prison.  Only then, when it’s too late, do they think, “If I’d just…”

I quit drinking and drugs – all drugs – because I wanted to be happy.  Plain and simple.

If you are currently drinking or struggling to quit, think about a life so enjoyable, all you want is another day exactly like the one you just lived.  Nothing more or less, you don’t need any more money (though more money is always nice), you don’t need any more love or adulation… you don’t even need the world to change, as long as it spins on.  All you really want is another day.  That happy.

My friends, it gets that good.  I just had to stop fighting it happening.  One minute at a time.  One hour at a time.  One day at a time.  One month at a time.  One year at a time.

One step at a time.  One meeting at a time.

Happiness is an inside job.  It doesn’t happen on its own.  We have to work for it.  You know what your life holds if you’ve got a drink in your hand (or a joint, or a pipe, or a syringe…).  I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that.  You can trade that misery in for a new way of life.  You can know a peace and happiness you can’t even fathom because your entirety is so toxic, your brain simply can’t wrap itself around how to get there.  You don’t need to know how to get there to start the journey, you just need to take a step.  Then another…

It just takes time and want to.  And a decision to stop fighting and start working.  When you want to be happy more than you want to escape the misery you’ve created, you’ll be ready.  Don’t miss that opportunity, because what comes next is usually very bad.

And inescapable.

On My Third Lap Around the Earth on a Bicycle

61,000+ miles on a bicycle.  Almost 2-1/2 times around the earth.  Some, a very rare few, have the time to do that in a year.  It took me eight wonderful years.

For me, there truly is no better way to see the countryside than from the saddle of a bike.

I have more appreciation for the planet we live on that I ever thought possible, simply from riding its roads, almost always with friends.   The sights and smells, the colors… the water.

For years, while I was struggling to get my cycling legs I was too busy pushing the pedals to look around.  Back then it was all about the speed and getting faster.  Now that I’ve managed to get as fast as I want to be and know how to strategically use “active recovery days”, cycling has become a lot more enjoyable.

I’ve gone up hills that had me as slow as two miles an hour, and I’ve raced down them at better than 56-mph.  I’ve seen majestic color changes just before trees shed their leaves, and Lake Michigan, far below awesome cliffs.  I’ve spent fantastic time with my wife and friends creating memories that’ll last a lifetime, long after we’ve traded our road bikes in for trikes… or walking shoes.

The best thing I’ve gotten out of cycling was learning how to have fun.  Not stodgy “adult” fun, sitting on a couch watching a football game.  Kid fun.  The kind that makes me feel young again.  You can’t fight time any more than you can gravity, but fun makes it slow down just enough that I can look around and think, “My God, I’m a fortunate guy.”

As I get older and my elder family members began passing on, it’s really sunk in how blessed I am to be able to look forward to another day on the right side of the grass, pumping air.  I’ve come to understand just how rare true happiness and contentment is – and how important it is to fill each moment with as much good as I can stand.

I’ve learned just how good it is to be me.  And that’s enough to keep me on the path, because I don’t want to mess it up.