The Problem With Bread

All my life, I’ve loved bread.  As a kid I ate bread with every meal, mostly the commercial white- or brown loaves (called “government bread” in South Africa because the price was kept low by a combination of both subsidy and quota production).  The nearest equivalent today would be the Wonderbread/ Hostess/ generic breads found in supermarkets (U.K. equivalent:  Hovis/ Warburtons/ store brands).

Gradually as I got older and my taste buds matured, I discovered bakery breads, my taste for which became exacerbated by visits to Europe and exposure to wares of the boulangerie  and bäckerei… oy, my mouth waters just thinking  about the Viennese brötchen  I’d gobble down with my morning coffee.

All went well, until my doctor told me that I needed to change my diet (his exact words:  “If you don’t lose weight, you’re going to die, you fat bastard”).  There were other words related to my extreme paucity of exercise (“Get up off your fat ass and start exercising, too.”)

I know that diets don’t work;  only permanent changes in lifestyle and eating habits do.  And the only change that seems to work without being too much work is getting rid of the bad things which cause you to gain weight, chief offenders being starches (grains) and sugars.

Sugars were not too difficult, as long as I cut out stuff like Coke and fruit jams [moan];  but I was never going to eliminate sugar from my diet altogether because I can’t drink coffee without at least a little sugar to cut the bitterness — and I’ll never  give up coffee.

The grains were not altogether difficult to cut back on.  I’ve never cared much for pasta — whatever it’s called, it’s all the same stuff — so Italian dishes like lasagna and macaroni went into the trashcan.  Ditto rice, which I’ve always liked but found easy to drop.

But then comes the worst offender:  bread.  Oh… fuck.  Wait:  you mean no more baguettes?

Non.

What about challah?

Nah.

Croissants?

Pas du tout.

Brötchen?

Bestimmt nicht.

So my all-time favorite, crusty French batard loaf?

Mais non (mon gros cochon).

As I said… fuck.

So here’s what I do.  I limit myself to two slices of toast (or one croissant) on Saturday mornings, and occasionally a toasted sandwich (cheese, or chicken mayonnaise) on Friday nights.  Those are my “cheats” (without which I’d never do any of it).

And I hit the gym — treadmill and stationary bicycle for half an hour — every weekday, religiously.  (When I was still at Doc Russia’s house, I walked about two miles per day, including a quarter-mile up and down Thrombosis Hill*.)  The results have been quite pleasing:  270 lbs in Jan 2017, somewhat south of 230 lbs today, with a goal weight of 205, which was my weight at age 23 in the Army, right after boot camp.  (Some asswipe once suggested that at my height, my goal should be 175, whereupon I chastised him sorely, saying that I hadn’t weighed 175 since 1969 at age 15.  When he got his breath back, he agreed.)

But I still miss — I mean, constantly — my daily bread.  Were it not for that “death” bullshit, I’d dump the whole stupid diet/ fitness lark in an instant and go back to my four slices a day.  I mean, FFS:


*the road up the hill behind Doc’s house, which requires cars to shift into low gear at the base.

A Gun WTF

This in my email yesterday from one of the Usual Suspects:

Am I the only one who goes “WTF?” — and the price is only part of the issue.  Let me count the ways:

  • Fugly finish
  • Aluminum grips
  • That stupid extruded grip safety thing
  • A gun called “We The People” from a German  company.

Other than all that, it’s not bad (apart from the price).

Not An Improvement

If London is trying to make itself into some kind of copy of Manhattan, it’s looking like a roaring success — if, that is, you’re going for the “soulless, impersonal, could-be-any-city” look.

Of course, I think it looked better back when I were a nipper:

That looks like London.  The other looks like shit.

Life Under The Liberals

To the surprise of precisely nobody, a government which welcomes illegal immigrants, allows people to live like animals (under the guise of “compassion”) and muzzles the police from actual policing  ends up with a situation that is (unexpectedly!) dire:

Images from the downtown area show trash piling up as workers struggle to keep the area sanitized. They are pictured wearing face masks among the dirt and grime.
Rows and rows of tents line the sidewalks of Skid Row in the sprawling 50-block area, home to around 4,200 homeless people, many in tents and shantytowns.
Some lay passed out in the street, seemingly from the effects of drugs as others are pictured lugging their property around, in search of the next spot to set up.

I’d post lots more pictures, but I imagine that some of you haven’t had yer breakfast yet, so I’ll content myself with the most inoffensive thereof:

There is no  amount of money that could persuade me ever to visit L.A. again.  I come from the Third World, I’ve been back to it a couple of times, and I have no desire to see it here in the United States.

Birth Year III: Euro-Saloon Cars

In my yoot, I never saw many of the 1954-model European cars featured below, which may have been a Good Thing.  Let me start off with the ones I did  see on the streets of Johannesburg:

Mercedes 300 S

Citroen Traction Avant 15

Renault 4CV

And the reason I saw the Renault at all may have been that it was assembled in Britishland from French parts, and imported into South Africa.  The following, however, could have been seen on the roads of Euroland back in the late 1950s and early 1960s:

Peugeot 203 

Renault Fregate

Simca Grand (“large”, not “grand”)

…as opposed to the small  Simca DV:

Lancia B20 GT

Hotchkiss Gregoire

…although fewer than 300 of these monsters were ever made, so you might NOT have seen one.

Even Alfa Romeo got into the “touring” groove:

1954 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Touring

Of all the above, only the Alfa (because Alfa), Lancia (because Lancia) and Mercedes 300 (because engineering) would have my vote in the “old cars Kim would want to own because birth year”.

There was one more, though, that would definitely make the list because it had the first V8 engine ever mounted in a German car:

BMW 502

Except that I’d have preferred the rag-top model:

BMW 502 Baur Cabriolet

Oooooh, yummy.  Kim likes.

Next week, we’ll be looking at the 1954 Murkin cars.  Try to contain yourselves.