Learning About Food

Food is an essential part of the human experience. Salt that elevates flavor profiles. Acidity that makes you pucker your lips. A sweetness that calms your heart. I love learning about different tastes and how different cultures apply them to culturally-important recipes.

This year, I am trying to increase my knowledge of different flavor profiles and cuisines. I want to learn about the umami of Asian cooking, the brusqueness of eastern European food and so much more. I didn’t have many opportunities to experience different types of food growing up, because my family followed pretty similar routines and recipes growing up.

To expand my knowledge, I’ve turned to research online through food blogs and home chef pages! I’ve had a lot of success so far and my family loves the different recipes I’ve introduced in my repertoire. The most surprising thing I’ve learned, however, is the importance of the environment to the eating/cooking experience.

Apparently, experts say that people prefer eating average food in a beautiful setting over eating amazing food in a dim or dull place. Naturally, I want to elevate my experience as much as possible. So, I decided to not only learn more about what makes food good but also what maximizes the quality of a dining setting.

It was intuitive to learn that lighting is pretty important to what constitutes a good place for a meal — no one wants to eat food they can’t see! However, specifically, natural lighting is the best option for ways to illuminate guests and the meals they are eating. The next thing I learned about was spacing. People don’t like to be closed off or closed in — it’s a threat to our natural human instinct of preservation! Open-concept restaurants not only make the best food, but customers prefer the ambiance.

This, of course, was difficult to reconcile with the constraints of my home chef adventures; it’s not like I can just knock down walls in my kitchen or dining room the same way that restaurants can. So, I researched alternatives for open-air seating with natural lighting in homes and felt dumb. Of course, eating outside is an option!

My outside patio and outdoor kitchen were disasters, though. So I had to research even more to find the best Chesterfield lawn care service that could take care of my lawn while also helping with outdoor kitchens or entertainment options. Midwest Lawn Co was the most recommended and discussed option, so I contacted them immediately to see what they could for my lawn and more importantly, for my outdoor kitchen. I met with someone to discuss my options and pretty soon, my outdoor kitchen looked brand new and amazing!

Since then, my family has cooked and eaten outside in the evenings. The lighting is perfect as the sun sets, and the flavors of our meals are elevated with such open space under a beautiful sky. I highly recommend Midwest Lawn Co to any who needs someone to cut their grass or remodel an outdoor kitchen!

Getting to Know Your Digestive Problems

Digestive issues are incredibly common. Many of us simply ignore them, at least until we can’t ignore them anymore. After all, these issues can seem mysterious and embarrassing. We will often put more effort into hiding the issue than in discovering the cause and treating it.

I understand that. I understand the embarrassment. That’s why online articles like this can be such a useful resource. You can look it up and learn about your problems without any risk of embarrassment.

So, let’s get to it. To begin with, let’s talk about the symptoms that suggest you’ve got a digestive problem. According to GastroCare LI, some of the most common symptoms of a digestive problem include:

  • Diarrhea or, alternatively, constipation
  • Bloating and cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches after eating
  • Vomiting
  • Painful gas

Obviously, sometimes something doesn’t agree with us, and if it’s a one-off, you may have nothing more serious than a bit of food poisoning. But if you start seeing these symptoms consistently, it may be time to start looking for a cause.

What is that cause? There are plenty of digestive problems out there, but some of the more common are:

  • Intolerance to certain foods: This is different than having a food allergy. An intolerance won’t result in an outbreak of a rash or hives, but it very likely will show itself in the above symptoms. Discovering the food you are intolerant of and removing it from your diet can lead to the end of your uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Chronic constipation: A lack of exercise and fiber can lead to chronic constipation. This isn’t just an issue on rare occasions, but a constant concern that can cause serious damage to your digestive system. By increasing exercise and water and fiber consumption, you can reduce this problem.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome: This, or the similar Inflammable Bowel Disease, can lead to very significant symptoms, including blood in the stool (always a symptom that should result in a visit to the doctor). With these problems, you’ll need to speak to your doctor to find a treatment that will work best for you.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Another one for the doctor. This is when heartburn goes beyond an occasional discomfort and becomes a constant presence. Heartburn results from acid reflux from the stomach, and that acid can cause many long-term problems for your health. Work with your doctor to reduce your stomach acid issues and the damage they cause.

This is really just the beginning. There are plenty of other common and uncommon digestive problems. It’s important to recognize that these issues are like any other medical issue: they’re natural, they can be serious, and they should be dealt with by medical professionals.

It’s time to get over the embarrassment and put your health first. Go to your doctor and discuss your symptoms so you can start focusing on getting healthier, feeling better, and end the embarrassment for good.

Buying up the local tractor trade

I’m on here seeking legal help because, well gosh darn it, I’m cheap, which is how I got to where I am, which is in a position to buy businesses…at least, I think that’s the position I’m in.

That’s what I need advice about. I own a small business repairing tractors and other farm equipment. We do well because we’re located right smack dab in the middle of the country where every other lot is a farm of some sort. I’m in a small town out in corn country, and out here, in the immediate vicinity, there’s just me and this other fella’s business that compete for every farmer’s favor.

It’s been a friendly competition between us for some time, for more than a decade in fact, and sometime before that when we were both working our way up in the business. I wouldn’t call us friends, but I’d call us friendly, which has worked out fine for both of us.

Well, this friendly fella of mine has decided to throw his hat in the ring. He’s giving up and moving out to the coast to retire early. He’s got a place on the beach in Florida in mind, which sounds quite fine, assuming he can avoid the hurricanes. Well, and what do you think this fella has gone and done? He’s asked me to take over his business. Or, not take over so much as buy him out.

That sounds fine as well, I’d say. I have the money he’s asking, or I should say, I’m square with the bank and in a good way to get the money together that he’s asking. It’s all quite reasonable, which makes me think I may have been doing quite a sight better in this business than my rival across the way these last few years. Buying him out now means I’ll be the only game in town, literally. A farmer can jump on his broken down tractor and ride it out fifty miles to get another offer, but if he wants to spare himself the saddle sores of that one, he’ll have to work with me.

I like the sound of that, I must say. Not that I’ll be unfair, mind you. I won’t raise my prices a penny. I know these farmers, many of them are my friends (not just friendly, but friends, I’m telling you), and I wouldn’t cheat them. It’ll be nice, though, to know I don’t have to worry about the competition anymore. I won’t have to sweat keeping the prices rock bottom. That’s not the same thing as raising them, you see. It’s just a little less stress.

What I’m asking all of you for right now, if you’ve got it, is advice on how to buy a business. I know there’s a whole legal rigamarole, and I’ll probably need a lawyer in the end, but I’d rather put it off and save the cost long as I can. Best I can figure out is what I read on that site I linked to above. And that’s really not enough to go by.

So friends, or friendly internet folks, what can you tell me about this? I’ll throw in a discount on your tractor repair if you can steer me in the right direction.

Choosing which Specific Type of Restaurant would be Good to Open

A plan to open a restaurant business may be more challenging than opening any other form of business. Besides all the usual concerns which include permits, contracts and so on, the product sold, menu, is an added risk. Without proper and wise planning, the food you intend to serve may just end up being wasted, resulting to losses rather than profit.

It is, therefore, important to focus your thoughts on these following issues as these will enable you to decide exactly what type of a restaurant business would be best for you to run and manage: What food do you intend to serve?; What is your intended price range?; Who is target customer?; Do you want a casual or a formal establishment? Knowing the differences each type of restaurant has from others would definitely help in your decision making. So, here are eight types that may help you decide which restaurant type you might exactly want to open:

  • Fine Dining – means the best atmosphere, food, and top-notch service from highly-trained servers. This is the type of restaurant where everything comes at a high price.
  • Food Truck – a mobile restaurant that requires a lower capital and maintenance budget. Its being mobile means you can take it where possible customers are more plentiful.
  • Buffet Style Restaurant – a practice that has existed since the Middle Ages. Customers are required to serve themselves with the privilege of choosing any food set on tables.
  • Cafe – offers an intimate and relaxing ambiance (and an outdoor sitting area). Patrons, themselves, place their orders at the counter; menu choices include sandwiches, pastries and coffee.
  • Fast Casual Restaurant – one of the most preferred today. Here, more upscale food is served on disposable flatware and dishes. It also has an open kitchen, allowing the customers to see how food is prepared.
  • Family Style Dining – (also called casual style dining) its moderately priced food consists of classics cuisines, unique dips, sauces and toppings. Family or casual style dining offers table side service.
  • Fast Food – the most famous and preferred type of restaurant. Prices are cheaper, service is fast and customers are ensured greater convenience (location, dress attire, etc.). More expensive to open as this type of restaurant is offered through franchising.

The Trouble with the Pitch: Off Label Uses of Yaz and Yasmin

Birth control pills were originally developed to do exactly as it says: prevent unwanted pregnancies. The first oral contraceptives were not always effective even with perfect use, but newer formulations have proven to be highly efficacious. Of course, as is typical with most pharmaceutical solutions, there are side effects that range from uncomfortable to potentially fatal. It is accepted that with any type of oral contraceptives, there are common side effects such as blood clotting, gallbladder complications, and possible cardiac problems.

Currently, much attention has been brought to bear on the newest crop of oral contraceptives which contain drosperinone because it is suspected that the typical risks associated with oral contraceptives may be higher with 3rd and 4th generation progestins such as drosperinone than 1st and 2nd generation ones. Among the most targeted products in this category for product liability cases are Yaz and Yasmin, both manufactured by Bayer. The most popular allegation is that Bayer knew or should have known about these elevated risks and failed to give due warning to users. Bayer continues to deny these allegations as it steadily settles thousands of cases.

But to add salt to injury, Bayer had mounted an aggressive and highly successful direct-to-cutomer (DTC) marketing campaign which touted the success of Yaz and Yasmin for off label use such as treatment of premenstrual syndrome and severe acne before the Food and Drug Administration could put a stop to it. By then, doctors had prescribed the drugs to a lot of women who would otherwise not take oral contraceptives for treatment of these conditions, believing that they were no more harmful than older formulations.

As a result, more than 12,000 women or their representatives are now waiting for the outcome of litigation or settlement offers for injuries they sustained from the use of Yaz and Yasmin. By what percentage that number would have been reduced if Bayer had not encouraged the off-label use of the product is hard to determine, but it is probably a significant number.

Keeping in Touch: Internet Facts at Sea

People sign up for a cruise to get away from it all—as long as they can still go online. Today, folks cannot imagine not getting their email, taking calls, or updating their social network accounts for a day, let alone the 7 they will be out at sea. But first-time cruisers that expect availability of the Internet will be the same out in the water as on land are in for a rude awakening.

Cruise ships have been web-connected sine as early as 1999 when German cruise ship Norwegian Sky added an Internet café to its amenities. Today, most cruise ships have Internet service but it can be a frustrating, and expensive, experience for landlubbers.

For one thing, Internet connection on a cruise ship is typically via satellite, and that’s a heck of a lot farther than the substation that your Internet cable has to travel to receive and transmit data. When a cruise ship’s satellite antennae sends your email to the service, it first has to bounce it 22,000-odd miles into space, which is then beamed back to Earth to a land-based substation. That’s a lag you don’t get on land.

There is also the question of bandwidth. The larger the bandwidth that the cruise ship company pays for, the faster the transmission. Unfortunately, such satellite-dependent technology is expensive, and even the typical fixed bandwidth costs way more than what you would pay for on land. Cruise lines that shell out the cash for better Internet quality will inevitably pass on the costs to those who want access. This can translate to a big wad of cash at 75 cents a minute for a typical connection. Most cruise ship offer packages for heavy users, but still, considering that the typical Internet connection on land is just $30 a month…

And to add insult to near the equator usually have the most reliable connections.

As of lately, there have been mentions of cruise ship accidents and injuries. Unforunately, these sort of situations happen more frequently than one would imagine. Passengers can become injured by falling due to slippery floors, or another negligent action. If anyone you know does get hurt on a cruise ship, it would be helpful to contact a cruise ship attorney to speak about their legal options.

But don’t let these Internet facts discourage you from cruising. It may not be a bad idea to be disconnected for a short while. At the very least, you will have a lot of interesting things to come back to at the end of your vacation.

 

Social Security Disability Filing

Many people often focus too much on succeeding on their chosen careers or jobs that they forget to make back-up plans. Anything can go wrong anytime, and accidents that can happen may leave you with a disability that can affect you for the rest of your life, this is where having a Social Security could become invaluable.

Recent studies show that almost one in four young adults (20 year olds) are at risk of disability before reaching the age of 67. Social Security can help provide benefits to workers who cannot return to their work because of a medical disability for at least a year. To meet the requirements for a disability benefit, a worker should be able to meet two types of earnings test: first, “recent work” test which is based on the disability started, and second the “duration of work” which establishes the length of time you have worked for Social Security credits.

Some time ago, the only way to apply for a Social Security Disability benefit would be by filing them to the Social Security Administration, but recently applying online has become available. You can also apply through the phone and at local Social Security office such as that at San Antonio. These options, although convenient, still require you to present certain documents to prove your circumstances in order to avoid delay or possible denied application.

Benefits will be given after thorough evaluation of the case, such as the documents submitted along with the length of time worked (if you are applicable for a Social Security Disability benefit) and the current employment status (if is a factor for disqualification of disability benefits). If the criteria are met, then the application is then submitted to the department of Disability Determination Services for a full review, since they are the ones who will grant the “approved” or “denied” decision regarding the application.

Because it can take a long time to have a disability benefit application to be approved, it is necessary to apply for it as soon as you have become disabled. A letter shall be sent to inform you whether your application is approved or denied.

An Overview of New York Cocaine Possession Laws

Law enforcement agencies in the United States take their duty to stamp out illegal drug use very seriously. The statutes for punishing drug offenders are often harsh, leaving many nonviolent drug offenders imprisoned for long periods of time. One of the drugs with the most severe criminal penalties is cocaine.

drug possession chargesCocaine is made from the paste that is created when leaves of the South American coca plant are mashed up. This paste is manufactured into a powdery form that is inhaled through the nostrils. Cocaine users report a feeling of euphoria, decreased fatigue, suppressed appetite. It is also known to increase energy and strength, but also makes the user irritable.

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has at least some recognized medicinal value, but also has an extremely high potential for addiction and abuse.

In New York, possession of even a miniscule amount of cocaine is a punishable offense. Being caught in possession of less than 500mg is a Class A misdemeanor that can carry a penalty of up to a year in jail. Being caught with more of the drug leads to longer jail sentences. Possessing an eighth of an ounce of cocaine is a Class C felony that can be punished with up to 46 months imprisonment, while possession of more than eight ounces is a Class A-1 felony. The minimum sentence for this kind of possession is eight years in prison. Repeat cocaine possession offenses carry increased punishments.

Understanding drug possession laws can empower a person to fight unfair or erroneous allegations in the unfortunate event they are ever facing unjust charges.

City of New York to Pay Damages for Zucotti Park Raid

new york arrestOn November 15, 2011, the NYPD forcibly removed Occupy Wall Street protestors from their encampment in Zucotti Park, arresting occupiers by the busload and damaging thousands of dollars worth of property onsite.

Since the raid, protestors have been fighting for compensation for the damages police officers caused to their belongings. Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the city must pay back the movement for $366,700 in damages and legal fees.

Occupy’s case against the city claimed that officers destroyed the free, donation-based library that was being managed by volunteers in the park. Additionally, police destroyed internet streaming equipment such as laptops, WIFI hotspots, and cameras that were being used to feed live video of the protest around the world. NYC must also compensate the owners of bicycle-powered generators that were destroyed in the raid.

Members of the Occupy Wall Street may be happy with this small victory, but should make an effort to not let this settlement placate the movement.

Felons Have Fewer Job Options After Serving Prison Sentences in Information Age

repeat prisonerA felon’s life after serving a prison sentence is incredibly tough. Not only will the outside world have changed over the course of the average prison sentence (four and a half years, according to the Almanac of Policy Issues), but so will the kinds of skills that are in high demand.

In years past, former inmates who wanted to better themselves were able to find work using the education and training available to them while behind bars. As more and more work transitions into skilled computer tasks, people whose computer skills are lacking have a harder time finding jobs. Unfortunately, many reformed inmates fall into this category.

Employers typically hire individuals with a clean records over a former inmates. Released prisoners also frequently have trouble getting back in touch with their families as well. When felons are met with nothing but rejection as they reintegrate into society, it can have a psychological effect that may lead to repeat offenses, since committing crimes becomes their only apparent option.

To break this cycle, there are organizations that are designed to help felons find their place in society. One such group, Exodus Transitional Community, helps hundreds of released prisoners in the New York Area every year.