Halloween Allergy Free Candy

halloween candy sign
Halloween is a fun time of year for children and adults alike. It’s the time when you can role play and be someone you are not. It’s fun, yes? I think so.

It’s not fun when a child comes home from a long night of door-to-door begging for candy (let’s call a spade a spade), only to find out they can’t eat 3/4 of the candy they collected because they have food allergies. And yes, food allergies are real. I am lactose intolerant which means no milk chocolate. I won’t die, I’ll just fart until no one wants to be around me, even me. Oh and it causes stomach cramps. Have you seen what happens to children with peanut allergies? Imagine having to tell your child that all their efforts were for nothing, because if they eat the candy they collected, they might die.

At first when I saw this sign on the Today Show website, I was like most people who probably think this is just too much PC bullcrap being shoved down people’s throats. But then I started thinking about how legit the allergies really are, and I put myself in my little 2 to 10 year old shoes and thought how I would have felt all those years ago if I were told I couldn’t eat any of the candy. I would have been devastated. So instead of thinking about how PC this sign is and start thinking how the children might feel. Also, that candy that you spent a lot of money is just going to go into the trash, so you’ve wasted money on candy that will never be eaten.

Now, I don’t agree with everything on the list, like come on, carrots? Raisins? Really? No child wants dried fruit or vegetables. I mean come on people. And if you hand out apples or oranges to kids, their parents are just going to throw them in the trash, and you have a huge chance of your house being decorated with toilet paper.

There are a few things on the list that I used to love to get as a child, and that is Necco Wafers, Smarties, Life Savers and Lemon Drops. And if you really want to hand out chocolate candy with or without peanuts, why not do both? Why not put a sign on the door saying you have dairy free, peanut free, and gluten free candy as well as regular candy? That way the parents of children with allergies will know which house to go to, and they can tell you that their child has the food allergies so they know which bowl of candy to grab. It’s not that difficult.

I did the Today Show Halloween Candy Poll and was shocked by the lack of empathy of Today Show viewers and website readers.

Today Show Halloween Candy PollIt never occurred to me before reading this article that there might be a child out there with food allergies. I know there are children out there who were born diabetic, so I am sure those parents don’t even introduce them to Halloween because the candy could literally kill them if they ate too much sugar. Or maybe those parents bring their child to a Halloween party where they know the candy is sugar free.

Hey, speaking of a Halloween party, why couldn’t the parents who have children with food allergies just throw a kick ass haunted house and Halloween party with allergy free candy that all children could enjoy? This way the kids can still go home with a bag full of candy that they can eat, and they will have a fun memory of the party they went to. I seem to recall going to a Halloween party or two as a child where I never even went home with a bag full of candy. I remember bobbing for apples and playing games, and it was fun. I think this is the ultimate solution to this problem. Don’t you?

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Laminator

laminator

I have a funny story. My partner told me a few days ago out of the blue that he wanted a laminator to laminate his new insurance card that he recently got in the mail. I don’t know what happened to his last one that made him decide he wanted to laminate it, but I started thinking that this might be something both of us could find useful.

When I was in my early 20’s, I worked in a bath house. I was the guy in the office when you first checked in who took the money and gave you a key for a room or locker and handed you the towel. When a new customer would come in for a new membership, or when someone was renewing their membership, I would laminate the card for them. It wasn’t a huge laminator, it only laminated business card sized sheets.

When I was searching on Amazon for a laminator, I was under the assumption I could buy a small one specifically for business cards like the one I had at the bath house. I also naturally assumed they were expensive, like hundreds of dollars expensive. I was actually surprised to see how cheap they are. Well, the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator is inexpensive. I did a little more research and found some at Office Depot/Office Max that are $100 and up. $21.65 is more in my price range lol. The sheets are less expensive than I thought. I figured while I’m getting a full sheet size laminator and the business card laminating sheets, I might as well also buy AmazonBasics full size Laminating Pouches. I mean, I’ve never needed them, but it could happen.

One thing I know I could use the business card sheets for is my Etsy shop earring cards. I have a earring display card punch and I print the design on a sheet of business cards. The earring cards are nice, but they are very flimsy because the card stock isn’t that thick. I figured that perhaps laminating them would make them stiff enough that they would work better for earrings. I don’t know if I can cut them on the edge of the cards, but I’ll experiment when I get them and find out.

I can also use these to laminate regular business cards to place in the padded envelope with every order. There are many possibilities for laminating things, and I’m sure I’ll think of something later down the road, like post cards and bookmarks. Maybe place mats at the dinner table or for the dog bowls. Who knows? I’m sure I’ll come up with some new things as time goes by.

One thing I noticed was that these laminating sheets don’t come with a foil pouch. The laminator at my last job required using a foil pouch. You put the card in the laminating pouch, then place that in a foil pouch that is paper on the outside, and foil on the inside, then you run it through the laminator. This one doesn’t do that, and I know this because I watched a video and the guy who made the video ran a full size sheet of paper in a full size laminating sheet straight through without a buffer. I know technology has come a long way since 1992/94, but still. I would just naturally assume if I ran plastic through a machine that has to melt the plastic to create a seal, that if not protected inside a card stock sheet with foil inside, it might perhaps melt all over the machine. But from what I saw in the video, the guy ran the full sheet in full sheet pouch without any buffer and it didn’t melt. It makes me nervous lol. I’ll try it and see how it goes when it arrives.

PlayStation Vita


I have a Nintendo Game Boy that my partner bought for me in 1994 or 1995, I honestly can’t recall when. I was so bored because we didn’t have much in the way of entertainment, other than the TV with 7 channels of course. He used a Sears credit card to buy the Game Boy and he would buy me games every now and then. It took me months to play one game, and if I knew we couldn’t afford a new game, I would just play the game multiple times. Occasionally we needed the money for food, so we had to sell the games to game stores. We only got a fraction of what the games were worth, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s sad too because I still have my Game Boy, but I only have 1 game; Tetris.

In 2007 I bought myself a PlayStation Portable Slim aka PSP -2000. I bought many games, and didn’t have to sell any for the money. I played the heck out of that game system, and now it’s tricky just to turn it on. The power button is glitchy, so it’s difficult to turn it on or off. It still works, but it doesn’t connect to our WiFi because the security is different from when I first bought it, so I can’t buy and download games. If I want to buy a new game, it has to be on the UMD format which I can only buy on Amazon and eBay.

Last Christmas my partner bought me a PlayStation 4. My PSP-2000 talks with a PS3, but not a PS4. If I want to play my PS4 games in the living room, I need a PlayStation Vita. I can also download tons of PS Vita games that I have gotten for free over the last year with my PlayStation Plus account.

I know that I don’t deserve to buy a PlayStation Vita because I haven’t worked for it. I know that I would prefer to play the games I own on my HDTV instead of a smaller screen in my hands, but I feel like there are times when I can’t play games on my PS4 because I’m watching tv in the living room with my partner. He stares at his iPad the entire time, that is if he’s awake, and I sit and stare at either my Nook HD+ or my phone. Sometimes I’d prefer playing Minecraft or whatever game I have instead of staring at Facebook. I have Minecraft PE on my phone, but it’s harder to play on a touchscreen because the screen gets too hot, that’s why I prefer to just stare at Facebook on my phone.

I know I’m coming off as the most spoiled brat in the world, and it’s true, I am. That’s why I haven’t bought the PlayStation Vitayet, because I know I don’t need, nor deserve it. I just want it, and that’s not a reason to spend the money I don’t have to buy it. I could put it on a credit card and pay it off over time, but it’s just not right for me to do that. I have this stupid need before greed thing, and I honestly don’t need it, but I would really love to have it lol.

When my hands heal from the recent order of 200 mini DNA keychains that I recently finished, I will start making different kinds of earrings and keychains to put on Amazon Handmade, that is if they approve me. I recently applied, and they don’t have a category for “Accessories” which is what I classified my craft as. I can’t really call keychains jewelry. My earrings and chokers are considered jewelry, but since they don’t actually have jewels in them, are they really jewelry? The earrings are plastic stems with plastic lanyard. The chokers are hemp with wood beads. Not exactly jewelry. I also make the friendship bracelets, which I really need to make more of. They sent me an email telling me I can change my category to jewelry, so I did. I can’t sell keychains as jewelry, but I can sell earrings, chokers and bracelets.

I’m sure I will need a huge inventory for Amazon Homemade, so when I can start working again, I will make a bunch of things and put them in a drawer to have them ready to ship if anyone orders them. If I make any money, I will keep the money in Amazon so I can buy a PS Vita. I could also start buying Amazon gift cards every month and put them in my account. I’m also playing around with Swag Bucks, so I’ll do surveys and watch videos and install useless apps for SB’s so I can get a Amazon gift card. If I do all those things, then I can say I deserve a PlayStation Vita.

By the way, all these links for PlayStation Vita will earn me money if YOU, the reader click them and buy one for yourself.

Crafting Pains

I am a crafter. I think I was born a crafter because I love making things with my hands from raw materials. Everyone loves something that was made specifically for them to enjoy.

When I was 9 years old in the Cub Scouts, I learned to make keychains with 2 strands of Rexlace, or as some people call it “Gimp”. I made a few here and there at that age, but never went further with the craft until I was in my early 30’s when I remembered how fun it was to make, so I decided I wanted to learn all over again. I played around with the 2 strand keychains, but still didn’t know how to finish them, so I did what we did as kids, we burned the strands to melt them together with a lighter. That of course was the wrong way to do it.

Fast forward 10 years to a couple of years ago when I broke my arm and decided I wanted to make keychains again, but this time I learned how to properly finish them. I also learned how to make keychains with more than just 2 strands and in many patterns. I went overboard and opened an Etsy shop to sell my keychains. I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, but it was fun.

I recently had an order for 200 mini DNA red and white keychains. Unfortunately my carpal tunnel syndrome got in the way, and I was only able to complete half of the order before I was forced to take a break. I shipped out the first 100 in the first week of October, and I just finished the second 100 and am going to ship those out in the morning.

This is a casual business for me. I’m not living on the profits, in fact, when I do get an order, which is very rare, it helps me buy some groceries, or it may help me pay for a new video game, or jewelry that I wanted to buy. I never intended on huge bulk orders like this. It’s nice that someone thinks highly of my work that they want a huge order, but my hands can’t handle the constant torture from pulling strands of plastic lace.

My hands are in so much pain that I wake up every morning in agony. When I go to the gym, if I have my hands up on the bars or on the top of the treadmill, the pain in my thumb is excruciating and I have to bring my arms down to swing.

As of right now, I’m retired from making anything in bulk. I don’t mind making up to 10 keychains,  10 mini or 5 regular size, but that’s it. I’m going to have to just stop the torture on my poor hands. I love the work, and appreciate the groceries and winter cycling gear I was able to buy, but it’s just not worth permanent damage to my hands.

Actually, as of right now I am on vacation from my Etsy shop lol. I honestly don’t even want to think about making keychains and earrings, or even the Friendship bracelets or anything that is repetitive.

Come to think of it, my hands are killing me from typing this blog post. I have to rest my right hand from typing every few minutes, so I’m just going to stop typing and get in bed.

My Triglycerides Are Super High

My triglycerides have been an issue for a long time. I gained weight when I quit smoking in 1996 because I was tasting food for the first time, or at least it seemed that way because I was actually getting the full flavor of the food for the first time. I guess I had just forgotten what food was supposed to taste like and I went a little overboard. I was 150lbs and gained 50lbs in the first 2 months when I quit smoking. Over the years I gradually gained so much weight until I was my highest at 262lbs in 2013. I lost 70lbs, but I stopped losing weight, and nearly all of the weight came back.

Last month the doctor told me to get my blood tests done a week before our appointment. I was supposed to go in last week on Friday, and we did come in, but the guy just left for lunch and we didn’t want to wait an hour for him to come back, so we just went home and decided to come back on Monday morning. When we went to our appointment today, the doctor told me that my triglycerides were extremely high. He said they should be 150, but they are 332 or so. That’s more than double what they should be.

He told me it’s from eating too many fatty foods, but the problem isn’t the foods that I eat, because I don’t eat fatty foods that often. In fact, it’s very rare. We had Burger King twice this month, and that’s the first time we’ve had Burger King in years. We don’t eat fast food, like ever. When we go to the mall and we get hungry, I always get Subway. That’s about that only fast food I will eat because it’s supposed to be good for you. We don’t eat Subway that often, but when we do eat at a fast food restaurant, it’s usually Subway. At home, I am usually always eating skinless boneless chicken breast and I cut out all the fat. I don’t eat red meat, chicken is the only meat I will eat.

Here’s my issue, I’ve been going to Planet Fitness for 5 weeks. I don’t eat fatty foods. I think the blood report he was looking at wasn’t the new report from Monday, but from my last report from several months ago. He had me do more blood work today, so next month I will find out the results.

Fish OilI asked him what I can do to fix this and he told me fish oil. So, I went to Albertson’s when we came home and bought some fish oil. I read the directions and it says to take 3 pills with a meal every day, so that’s exactly what I will do for the next month. It’s a 30 day supply, so it looks like I will be taking 3 pills a day for the next several months until my next blood report. Hopefully that will lower my triglycerides enough to bring them back down to normal.

The doctor told me that there is fat on my liver and that’s why the numbers are high. The bottle says that fish oil may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. I Googled triglycerides to see what it is, and this is what I found.

wpid-2015-10-23-00.35.14.png.pngStroke??? Holy cow! Yeah, I don’t want to have a stroke, so this fish oil better do what it is supposed to so I don’t have a stroke. That’s a scary thought.

So we will see how things go. My next blood test will probably be in 3 months, and I will find out the results in probably 4 months from now. I will definitely keep this blog updated on the results. Wish me luck.

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Tracker

I bought The Spark from SparkPeople last year, and it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t do everything I was hoping it would do, plus it’s a little buggy. For example, it doesn’t always recognize what exercise I am doing. I bought a bicycle trainer and would ride my bike on it, and sometimes it logged it as general exercise, while other times it would log it as cycling. When I ride the bike to the gym it logs it as general exercise, and when I walk on the treadmill it logs it as a walk event.

I was going to go with one that has the little dots that spin around to show you your progress, but I want actual real-time numbers displayed on a screen. I already have The Spark from SparkPeople, which has the little dots, I’m not looking to get another one like that. And the Spark doesn’t sync with Noom or Planet Fitness. It’s a nice little doohickey, but I want something that will do more for me since I don’t constantly wear my shoes. I want a watch to wear full time 24/7.

This Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband is exactly what I had in mind. It does everything that I need it to do, and it will sync on my computer, not just my phone. It’s about $146 on Amazon, and I will buy it using Amazon Smile to help the charity of my choice, which is the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield. Here are all of the things that it does.

  • Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
  • Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps
  • Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
  • See call notifications, daily stats and time of day on the OLED display
  • Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
  • Utilize the sizing tool in Product Details below to ensure proper fit.

This has more features, and it should sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app. At least I hope it will lol. Do you have one of these? Do you know if it syncs up with those apps? I would love to know before I buy this watch. Please leave a comment to let me know.

Update: I forgot something. When I say sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app, I mean that you can link your Fitbit account with Noom and Planet Fitness. So when I ask if it will sync up, I mean if it’s linked up to Noom and Planet Fitness apps, will it automatically transfer all of the exercise events with the link.

I checked the Noom app and it only connects with Google Fit and Misfit. Planet Fitness connects with more apps, but it doesn’t connect with Google Fit or Misfit. So I guess I have to choose which app is more important.

Weight Loss at Planet Fitness

planetfitness1I have been going to Planet Fitness 4 days a week for a month now and I am already starting to see results. Not scale results, but I can see results in my face, my double chin is getting smaller and so is my stomach. The scale results haven’t changed because I’ve been building muscle. I don’t expect to see much difference on the scale, so I’m not stressing over it.

I am a little confused about something that I’ve been seeing on the interwebs. I went to search for the Planet Fitness logo, and I see images like these.

planetfitness_judgementzone 44073962 e18byg1 Judgement-Free-Zone-Judged-for-being-fitWhen I first started going to Planet Fitness, there was a guy in the locker room with his teenage son. I was getting ready to leave, and he was getting ready to exercise. There was a Planet Fitness commercial on the TV and I wasn’t really paying much attention, but it was one of the usual ones that play over and over with a drill sergeant. It’s this one.

He told me “You know what they are saying in that commercial? They are saying they don’t want you to exercise here. They are telling you that you can come here and hang out and take selfies if you want to.” Really? Because the message that I got was that they aren’t pressuring you to kill yourself at the gym. Hence the “No Gymtimidation” quote all over the place.

I think people are getting the wrong impression of Planet Fitness. You know what I see? I see people come in and exercise at their own pace for as long or short as they want. I see people who are happy who do whatever the heck they want without anyone yelling at them, like in that commercial.

You know what I do? I ride my bike there, which is about 25 to 30 minute ride, then get in the Total Body Enhancement for 12 minutes, walk on the treadmill for 50 minutes to an hour, get a massage, then ride home on the bike which is another 25 to 30 minutes. That’s the extent of my exercise. I see people who are using the machines and they have big muscles and no one is telling them they are in too good of shape to continue going to Planet Fitness. The day before yesterday they set off the lunk alarm because there was some obnoxious person dropping the weights and making loud noises. That’s the first time I heard the lunk alarm in the month that I’ve been going there.

For those saying Planet Fitness doesn’t let you build muscle, you’re wrong. For those saying Planet Fitness isn’t a real gym, you’re wrong. So I think if you don’t like the message Planet Fitness is sending in their commercials, go to another gym. Life is too short to act like babies. I’m serious about my weight loss. If you are serious about being a jackass, go somewhere else.