Focused On Fitness - January 18, 2007

     About 3,000 fewer people died from cancer in the United States from 2003 to 2004, the American Cancer Society reported on Wednesday. The big drop shows that a small decrease in last year's survey was no statistical fluke, as had been feared, but a trend that may improve as fewer people smoke and more get early cancer screenings. On the other hand, a Harvard study released today indicates that a reanalysis of nicotine yield from major brand name cigarettes sold in Massachusetts from 1997 to 2005 has confirmed that manufacturers have steadily increased the levels of this agent in cigarettes. It makes you wonder why profit margins are being placed ahead of public welfare.

In This Issue 
Featured Articles
Health News Headlines
Featured Books
Useful Resources
In Parting

On a personal note, I almost didn't do the newsletter this week because I have been rushing to get a lot of work done before my next challenge begins on Monday - the take your two year old and two month old to work a few days a week challenge. If you have friends or family members who are thinking of placing a phone order, please let them know that they may hear my "coworkers" in the background as many of you already have. Another reason that I decided to write was to share with you how blessed I believe that most of our lives are. Because it is in my blood, I am always thrilled to receive PCC newsletters, updates and inspirational messages and if you have the time, please read the shared email below and perhaps it will help you to push a little harder in your next workout, do a few more reps or try a little harder in your next race. And finally for those readers who are wives, I added some guidelines that you will find humorous and universally true

Featured Articles 
   4 Down and Dirty One Dish Meals - Ideas for getting something nutritious on the table in a hurry, and the best part - only one pot to clean!
   4 Hearty and Healthy Dips - Variations on some old favorites that are actually pretty good for you!
   Test Your Veggie IQ Find out if a yam is a sweet potato and whether Egyptians used onions to replace the eyes in mummies

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Health News Headlines 
    Caffeine may ease post-workout muscle pain - Great news for those who work out hard and love coffee!
    Starbucks plans switch to growth-hormone-free milk - Even better if you drink Starbucks coffee after your hard workouts!
    Handbags a health hazard, women warned - No, I'm not kidding. This is a real health article in Reuters Health.
    More fast food meals mean more excess weight - I'm glad that someone did a study to find this out. Didn't we already know this?
    "Cloudy" apple juice packs more antioxidants - Non-clarified juice carries a greater antioxidant punch than clear juice.

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Featured Books 
    The Four-Day Win - How to End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace Four Days at a Time - The woman Psychology Today calls "the best-known life coach in America" shatters the myth that willpower is an effective weight-loss tool and introduces a revolutionary approach to lifetime leanness.
    LL Cool J's Platinum Workout - Sculpt Your Best Body Ever with Hollywood's Fittest Star - The multitalented, ultrafit hip-hop star LL Cool J shares his personal workout regimen in a revolutionary new program that promises to help anyone build muscle and burn fat en route to 6-pack abs.

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Useful Resources 
    Swimming Without Stress - Although this is a site in the UK, I thought that it had some good advice and good resources for swimmers.

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In Parting 
   Shared Email from the PCC Update 1/17/07

What a winter. We live in SW Kansas. We had our farm completely buried by tumble weeds before Thanksgiving. If a fire would have started, we would have lost 2 houses, sheds, barn, all vehicles and farm equipment, and possibly our lives.

Then came ice storm #1 before Christmas. It took down fences and power lines. Cattle were scattered. Just before New Years, came ice storm #2. We were one of the few in our area that had a phone most of the time. Most of my neighbors are still without power. It looks like it could be 1 or 2 more weeks. There are MANY poles still down. Livestock losses have been heavy, and many more are dying from the stress. Neighbors have kept generators going on our rural church to be available for those without heat and water and the utility workers. We had 3 1/2" of freezing rain, then ice pellets, then snow. Everything has been covered with a very thick layer of ice.

We had a close call with a neighbor. He is handicapped and was unable to get in contact with his parents. It was a nice afternoon so he thought he would drive the 15 miles to check on them. He got stuck 1/2 mile from their home. It was too slick to walk with crutches so he crawled and got within 200 yards of their home -- until he could go no farther. Gas well workers found him the next morning and took him to the hospital. He had been outside 18 hours. It looked like he would lose his legs from frostbite, but they are doing better now.

It hasn't been all bad. Neighbors have helped neighbors hook up generators, checked on the elderly, cared for livestock. I enjoyed the 5:00 AM visits with my wife while sipping on hot chocolate. I had a 12 Volt TV and car battery that we planned to watch the 10:00 news but playing table games with the family by oil lamps was a lot more fun. We got to know each other better without all the interruptions of computer, TV, radio and all the other "necessities".

My wife and kids haven't experienced anything like this before. When our power came on (day 10), our 3 year old went to the first room and flipped on the switch. When the lights came on, she shouted, "Praise the Lord". She went to the next room and said the same thing. The last room was with the same excitement as the first. What a lesson for her dad.

We received some much needed moisture. We sure don't take things for granted like we did before the storm. Just wanted to let you know what going on in our part of the world.

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  Ranch Wife Guidelines from the PCC Update 1/17/07

1. Always load your horse last in the trailer so it is the first one unloaded. By the time he's got his horse unloaded, you will have your cinch pulled and be mounted up ready to go -- lessening the chance of him riding off without you with your horse trying to follow while you are still trying to get your foot in the stirrup.

2. Never -- and I repeat never -- ever believe the phrase "We'll be right back," when he has asked you to help him do something out on the ranch. The echoing words, "this will only take a little while" have filtered through generations of ranch wives and still today should invoke sincere distrust in the woman who hears them.

3. Always know there is NO romantic intention when he pleadingly asks you to take a ride in the pickup with him around the ranch while he checks waters and looks at cattle. What that sweet request really means is he wants someone to open the gates.

4. He will always expect you to quickly be able to find one stray in a four-section brush-covered pasture, but he will never be able to find the mayonnaise jar in four-square feet of refrigerator.

5. Count every head of everything you see -- cattle especially -- but sometimes horses, deer, quail or whatever moves. Count it in the gate, out the gate or on the horizon. The first time you don't count is when he will have expected that you did. That blank eyelash-batting look you give him when he asks, "How many?", will not be acceptable.

6. Know that you will never be able to ride a horse or drive a pickup to suit him. Given the choice of jobs, choose throwing the feed off the back of the pickup. If he is on the back and you are driving, the opportunity for constant criticism of speed, ability and your eyesight will be utilized to the full extent. "How in the *@*# could you NOT see that hole?"

7. Never let yourself be on foot in the alley when he is sorting cattle horseback. When he has shoved 20 head of running, bucking, kicking yearlings at you and then hollers, "Hold 'em, hold 'em", at the top of his lungs, don't think that you really can do it without loss of life or limb.

8. Don't expect him to correctly close the snap-on tops on the plastic refrigerator containers, but know he will expect you to always close every gate. His reasoning, the cows will get out; the food will not.

9. Always praise him when he helps in the kitchen -- the very same way he does when you help with the ranch work -- or not.

10. Know that when you step out of the house you move from the "wife" department to "hired hand" status. Although the word "hired" indicates there will be a paycheck that you will never see, rest assured you will have job security. The price is just right. And most of the time you will be "the best help he has" even if it is because you are the ONLY help he has.

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Stay warm and be safe,
    Richard Dafter