For many years I’ve used Herbal Essences shampoo. While I hated the ads, I liked the shampoo.
But recently I’ve noticed tell-tale white residue on my clothes.
Oh no. Dandruff. Not nice.
So I’ve switched to anti-dandruff shampoo for a while. It doesn’t smell as nice, but it appears to be working.
My dad turned 79 the week before last.
He got sick and went into hospital on Thursday. Pneumonia.
Over the weekend he was very unwell, and yesterday he expressed the view that he would like to go soon.
Tonight he got his wish, and slipped peacefully away.
RIP JQ. 7/8/1931 — 16/8/2010.
Thank you all for your thoughts.
I thought I’d just highlight a post from 2008 where I noted one of the influences my dad had on me: My dad and the trains
The other one was computers. He didn’t understand them, but he could see it was important to enable me to pursue my interests, and thus he helped fund my first three: the Vic 20, the Commodore 64, and the BBC Micro.
Here’s also a link to some text about him from the biography of Lillian Roxon, the legendary rock music critic.
And I thought I’d repost this fantastic old passport photo of him from 1969.
See also: The funeral
There appears to have been a recent reluctance from dieticians to use the term because of its manipulation by food marketeers, with the EU banning its use unless it can be proven.
However this page from Kraft Foods flags their top ten (none of which, I think, they make or sell):
- Oats — I regularly have oats in my breakfast
- Yoghurt — not regularly. I used to, but kind of went off it when I reduced my dairy intake last year. (Update: though come to think of it, we often have frozen yoghurt)
- Blueberries — not regularly
- Spinach — yep, it’s a green that the kids don’t mind eating, so it’s a staple in our house
- Nuts — yep, I’ve been trying to snack on these a bit more recently
- Soy beans — not really, though I have switched to soy milk on my breakfast cereal; does that count?
- Tomato — certainly cooked into pasta sauces. Sometimes on sandwiches
- Citrus fruits — not as often as I should
- Sardines and oily fish — ditto
- Rosemary and other herbs — not particularly often
What others are worth the bother?
That was until at a checkup last month when the dentist noted that the kids might well find them better, to counter less-than-perfect manual brushing. He recommended the Oral B brand specifically (interesting since the “show bags” from there generally include Colgate stuff).
Perhaps coincidentally Oral B currently has an advertising campaign for its electric toothbrushes.
So I picked up a couple of electric toothbrushes for the kids. I wasn’t going to bother for me, since my manual toothbrush is new, and I think my technique is reasonably sound; I just don’t floss as often as the dentist would like — but does anybody? But then by chance I found a third electric toothbrush, still sealed in its wrapping, in my bathroom cabinet. I don’t actually know how it got there, but I have a feeling I might have bought it for my dad a couple of years ago, who then he decided he didn’t want it.
The main change is the brushing style. Obviously the toothbrush itself does the round-and-round brushing motion itself, so there’s no need to do that manually. In fact, emulating the dentist, and going slowly around your mouth, from the tip to gum of each tooth, spending 30ish seconds on each quarter of your mouth (top/outside, top/inside, bottom/outside, bottom/inside) seems to be the way to do it.
No matter what the technology, technique counts for a lot, so we’ll still have to make sure everybody’s brushing effectively, even if the toothbrush is doing more of the work.
What’s everybody else use? What’s your dentist say?
Its conclusion was that:
…there is sufficient evidence that exposures to traffic-related air pollution cause asthma exacerbation in children and suggestive evidence that they might cause other health effects.
…the zones most impacted by traffic-related pollution are up to 300 to 500 meters from highways and major roads
How do they define “major”? It appears they’ve used the metric of 10,000 vehicles per day.
The latest VicRoads Traffic System Performance report doesn’t give specific figures for particular roads, but does provide average lane occupancy figures (in terms of both cars and people), from which one can derive a very rough average number of cars on each type of road:
- Freeways 28,485 cars per lane per 24 hours
- Divided arterials 13,180 cars per lane per 24 hours
- Undivided arterials 11,063 cars per lane per 24 hours
- Undivided arterials with trams 11,361 cars per lane per 24 hours
But this is very rough. The vehicle count figures appear to include only cars, not other vehicles. Obviously roads around Melbourne vary enormously, and the lane occupancy figures apparently include buses and trams, so the number of vehicles will be a fair bit lower on better-served PT routes (such as the figure for roads with trams). And the level of congestion on each road would also directly effect the emissions, of course.
I do live near some main roads — about 100 metres from one, and about 400 metres from another. Fortunately, being in an area of Melbourne settled before the domination of the car, they are only one lane in each direction, and far enough out of the city centre that clear ways do not apply.
In VicRoads parlance, they would be undivided arterials. I suspect they are below the average in terms of traffic, but whether they are under 10,000 vehicles per day or not, I don’t know.
While Melbourne’s air quality is apparently quite good compared to some cities, obviously the air quality anywhere in urban areas isn’t going to be as good as it is in most rural areas.
But I’m thankful I don’t live close by to much wider and busier roads such as Nepean Highway (4 lanes in each direction), North Road (3 lanes in each direction), the freeways, or the fat outer-suburban roads like Springvale Road (3 lanes each direction).
And I’m rather glad for my nephew and my niece that my sister has moved from her house in East Brighton, which was less than 100 metres from the Nepean Highway. I must ask her if there’s been any noticeable difference in the kids’ health.
One of the things the nurse said at the workplace health check a couple of weeks ago was about including a variety of fruit and vegetable in my diet.
And she said “Even beans on toast.”
You beauty! That there is an official recommendation to cook one of the laziest, least effort meals known to man.
I had it tonight. Heinz’s finest on wholemeal bread. The can notes that it is the equivalent of four serves of vegies, though it also says in very small writing that eating a variety is important. And of course there’s a fair bit of salt in one can, so you wouldn’t want to eat them morning noon and night.
But those reservations aside, what’s not to like?
Supremely easy to cook
(PS. Thanks to those who commented on the health check post. As always some good ideas. I love youse all.)
Apparently there have been some alarming results from the workplace health checks underway at the moment.
Victorian workers have been given a scare by a State Government-run health program which has found a high percentage don’t exercise enough with a number of people asked to see a doctor within 24 hours.
We’ve had ours on Friday (everybody opted-in, I think), and we seem to be a pretty healthy workplace.
At least, nobody’s been carted off in an ambulance.
My own results were all okay, with one exception.
Some of the points are self-assessment; others like cholesterol were checked by the nurse on the spot. I’ve summarised the take-home brochure, and my results below.
2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables (per day) should be your target
I’m on 3 serves of fruit, and 2 of vegetables, so need to increase my vegetable intake. It was noted that a variety is good. I probably eat more spinach leaves than most, as I know the kids will chow them down.
In all honesty, I’m not sure how achievable 5 serves of vegies per day is for me, but I can try.
I barely drink (perhaps a one standard drink per month if I’m lucky), and the nurse decided this was closer to no alcohol of the three options on the questionnaire.
I’ve never drunk a lot; it’s reduced even more since the cluster headaches arrived on the scene, as alcohol can help induce them (though just at the moment they’re not around).
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all days
I might not play sport, but I do a fair bit of walking. It’s generally three 30 minute walks a week with the kids, and one or two 60+ minute walks with Marita and her dog on the weekends. Add to that the shorter walks to/from the train each weekday (12 minutes x 2 x 5, though no doubt that doesn’t have the same benefits of the longer walks), that’s 270-330 minutes of walking per week, or at least 38 minutes a day.
So I think that’s fine.
There is no safe level of smoking
No problemo. Never smoked, sure as hell not about to start.
Normal — Men: 94 cm or less. Women: 80 cm or less
I’m 86 cm, have been since I was a skinny yoof. Do have a little bit of a pot belly, but nothing major.
Normal — Less than 120/80
The brochure explains that the first value is systolic — the pressure in the arteries as your heart squeezes blood out during each beat. The other is diastolic — the pressure as your heart relaxes before the next beat.
Mine’s a little high: 113/83. On this basis there’s a recommendation to review it when I next see my doctor, but the nurse emphasised that there’s no real problem.
This seems higher than usual for me. Normally when I give blood it’s lower — it was 117/76 the last time I noted it in my blog. In fact this time round the nurse thought it might be unusual and did an average out of four readings.
Normal — Total cholesterol 5.5 or less, HDL cholesterol 1.0 or more
Mine is 4.8 total, and 1.8 HDL, so that’s good.
Diabetes risk score — low risk: 5 or less. Medium risk 6-14. High risk 15 or more
Random blood glucose levels — normal: less than 6.5. High 6.5 or more
My diabetes risk score is 2 points for my age, 3 points for my sex (that would be male), and 3 points because someone in my family has it — my Dad has type 2. So 8 points makes me a medium risk for diabetes, and worth reviewing with my doctor at some stage.
My blood glucose level was 5.4, in the normal range.
I’ll enquire about blood pressure and diabetes risk, the former isn’t a big problem at present, and the latter I can’t really do much about other than keep up the exercise and improve the diet.
I suppose there’s no big surprises for me in all this, but in terms of preventative health measures, I can see how this kind of far-reaching basic health check might help others to think about their lifestyle choices and modify them if possible.
And of course it’s only a fairly superficial check. I’ve still got headaches, Bowen Belly (much less so recently) and other minor ailments which hit me from time to time.
Anybody else do the check? Any surprises?
I’m sure most men wish they could flick a switch to stop their facial hair growing.
Yesterday, for the first time in well over a decade, I tried blade shaving. I had been pondering switching back from electric, since my Phillishave shaver’s rechargable battery is wearing out, and it needs a new blade and filter thingy.
So I picked up a three-blade shaver and some cream from the supermarket, and gave it a go.
The result was more blood in the bathroom than Hitchcock’s shower scene. (No, not really, not quite.) (Sorry, no pics.)
You know that scene in one of the early Simpsons with Homer teaching Bart to shave, and then him putting lots of bits of paper over the numerous cuts? Yeah, like that.
The main culprit was a small (but permanent) lumpy thing on my chin, which poured out blood like a geyser (no, not really), and took quite some time to stop.
On the plus side, the shave was certainly smoother. But on the minus, apart from the blood (which would go away with practice and accuracy and once my face is “used” to blades again), it didn’t look noticeably better than with an electric shaver.
That is, despite the closer shave, the same amount of stubble was visible — it was just shorter. So what is the point?
It all made me remember why I switched to electric in the first place, and I’ll be heading down to the Shaver Shop ASAP to refresh the parts on my electric shaver.
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How do you shave? If you feel like it, click an option below.
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Update Monday: Survey results: