Just Walt's Mental Meanderings

Walter Blevins

Walter Blevins
Vista, California, USA
August 22
I'm a 60 year old guy who lives in Vista California with my wife. I spent the 30 years before moving to Cali in Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota. And I have 2 grown children, a son and a daughter who live in Virginia and Iowa and a 22 year old step-daughter lives with us here in Vista. I'm a proud grandpa with 2 grandaughters living in Virginia. I like to write about a whole variety of things from my kids to cooking to politics to the car industry to my status as a "Cheap Bastid" and "Old Fart" and just random thoughts. And I really love writing about cooking really good, homecooked comfort food cheap. That's why they call me the Cheap Bastid. By the way--all the stuff I write is my stuff and you can't use it without my official OkeyDokey

MAY 8, 2012 2:15PM

Foodie Tuesday: Cheap Bastid's Go You Chicken Fat Go

Rate: 10 Flag

The other night I was watching an episode of “American Pickers”.  Mike and Frank were checking out a guy who had some old-style soft drink machines where you put in the change, lifted the lid and snaked an ice-cold bottle of soda out—an 8 ounce bottle.  The kind where you either plunked down another 2 cents for a deposit or drank the pop then and there and left the bottle behind.

Yep, I remember those.  And then Frank made a really interesting comment.  He recalled old-fashioned soda vending machines too.  “Used to be when I was a kid,” he said, “that when we’d get one of these it was understood that the pop was going to be shared by three of us passing the bottle around.”


Does anyone else remember that?  A cold, small bottle of Coca-Cola was a big time treat, and you shared, passing the bottle around, each kid taking a turn at wiping the previous kid’s “lip germs” off with the palm of his grimy hand before taking a good swig.  What do we do today?  We’ve got to get a 40 ounce “Big Gulp” and slug it down.  Everybody gets their own.

And we wonder why ABC News reported yesterday on a new report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention that predicted that 42% of us will be obese by 2030 with 11% severely obese (more than 100 pounds overweight).

“Predicting obesity is tricky and no one variable showed up as causing obesity,” said Eric Finkelstein who authored a report.

To quote the late, great George Carlin:  “Well isn’t that interesting.”  Or maybe the quote from him should be:  “Thank you Captain Obvious.”  I’m not sure.

Obesity poster

Seems to me that there are 2—count them T-W-O—causes for this “obesity epidemic”.  We eat too much of the wrong stuff and we don’t get enough exercise.

The report, published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine also said “anti-obesity measures such as better urban design, access to recreational facilities, workplace health promotion and new drugs could help reign in the problem.

Are we just too damned politically correct anymore to be blunt and direct?  I’m not.

Hey parents!  Quit stuffing your kids full of fast-food crap and soda!  Cook at home!  Cook decent, healthy food!  Send your kids outside to P-L-A-Y!  If they’re thirsty give them a glass of water—from the tap!  Turn on the hose and let them slurp from that.  Take a ballpeen hammer to the video game controllers and then toss them in the garbage.

You don’t need team snacks after every practice and game.  When I was a kid, my dad would fill the “picnic thermos” with ice water before baseball practice and games and take along some wax paper cups.  That was our Little League team’s “treat”.  Oh yeah, and we got a free cup of soda after the game courtesy of the concession stand—everybody loved “suicides” which was coke, orange and 7-up all mixed together.

What do kids do today?  They do video games.  They’ve got well-exercised thumbs.

obesity mcdonalds

OK, enough ranting.  So here’s the question:  WWCBD?  (What would Cheap Bastid Do?)  

Simple.  Here’s a few things that might help.

• Cook.  Stay away from carry-out and drive-throughs.  Plan a menu, shop for your food and cook.

• For dinner, cook one thing.  If you’re cooking spaghetti, that’s it.  Not spaghetti for Mom and Dad and a hot dog for one kid and a grilled cheese for another.  If one or more of the kids doesn’t like what’s for dinner then make sure that they know where the bread and peanut butter are—they can fix their own.  Or they can skip dinner—but no dessert and no snacking.  They won’t starve to death.

• Drink water, juice or milk with meals—no soda, unless there’s a weekly “exception night” like Pizza Friday.  Get away from the “fizzy drinks”!  Soda is a treat.

• Eat together.  And then you can do that old fashioned thing like talking.  NO cell phones, texting or whatever at the table.  And after you eat together, clean up together.  Kids can scrape plates and stick them in a dishwasher.  Kids can scrape plates and put them in a sink and help wash or dry.  Kids can put clean dishes away, whatever.

So how do you fight an obesity epidemic?   Eat better and be more physically active.  It ain’t brain surgery.  Here’s how exercise was encouraged in the early 60’s when President Kennedy started the Presidential Fitness Program (see they were worried about it 50 years ago!).  Watch the video, there are a bunch of school class photos.  Notice—very, very few of the kids are even “plump” let alone “obese”.

I’m thinking that this is more of a sociological issue than it is a medical issue.  What do you think?

Author tags:

foodie tuesday, obesity

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They were talking about one school district that banned Bake Sales. Will sugar be an illegal substance soon? It sure has been an addicting factor in my life. I need a fix every day and not just a little square of chocolate. I want the whole king size bar. I have no answers.
Zanelle--if kids would get off their butts and parents would quit being so indulgent (and perhaps read more John Rosemond) then issues such as bake sales and sugar at school would become moot. I eat a lot of sugar...and vegetables and fruit too. So what. There's an entire societal lifestyle that's killing us but we are captives of marketing and merchandising shouting out at us all day every day.
Thanks for your comment. I'll get off my rant now.
The true secret to keeping a body healthy is exercise and healthy eating.
If our body was a new car, the last thing anyone would want to do would be stuff it full of cheap fuel and then race the engine while it sat in the garage.
I think our body is the same. I keep fit and reasonable healthy now by eating healthy and walking/bicycling everywhere. I don't have the price of a car and have not for a long time.
Loved that video. I hope more watch the entire thing. Some of those faces could have been mine.
Mission--thanks for the comment. I concur.
I'm with you Walter.

We hardly ever have desserts at our house.
I don't eat chips. I'm allergic to nuts.
Don't like sweets much. Ice cream leaves me cold.
Chocolate? Meh.

I love coke. Ice cold, lots of ice with that and a slice of lemon.

In January I weighed in at the gym I'd just joined. I was as heavy as I was at the end of my pregnancies. Shocking.

So now I gym 3 days a week, take a yoga class, take a dance class, walk 5 k with the dogs every day and I just had my bicycle overhauled so I'm biking around town to do my errands and stuff.

I've lost 6 pounds (just 20 more to go) and lots of inches the past few months and I still indulge in the occasional coke.
I'm not fat, I'm just fluffy!! Yea!! Fluffy!! PFFFT!!!

~wanders off to eat his cake and drink his 62 ounce Burpee Soda~ :D
???????????? I think it's all about the commas . . . never mind the "fat" . . .
VCorso--thanks. yeah, mainly it's about common sense--although I love my desserts! But--I drink milk with meals--always have & always will. And I only drink one soda a day. Unfortunately, I do not exercise anywhere nearly enough.

Tink--fluffy is good! Besides you disguise it under a fur coat

Gary--thanks. I don't know about the commas, but I have 2 kids neither of whom were anything close to overweight or obese and both of whom have always been active--as kids it was about playing outdoors and as adults they just have some decent habits without having to watch every damn little thing they ingest. And my son is the same way with his daughters.
I think you are preaching to the choir when you tell me this stuff. I well remember hot Summer days when me and two buddies would pool our money and buy a big Nehi Orange soda and a Moon Pie. We would sit around just like you described and share the bounty.

I saw a video a few months ago that was both silly and sad. This father told his two kids, aged about eight and ten, to go outside and play instead of sitting in front of the TV. They went outside, went to the side of the house, opened the basement window and aimed thier video controllers inside at the TV in the basement and played their game. The father saw them and thought it was so funny he took the viedo. Those kids had no idea what playing outside was....sad.
David--yeah, and it mystifies me that these medical and scientific types can't figure out the "cause"...only the effect.
Man it was the Music Man all over again in that video.
I remember the cold cokes and yes they were a treat.
Zanelle they are banning bakes sales because of health codes.

Kids have the healthiest and worst choices now.
Linda--there's something about Robert Preston's voice isn't there! But I remember this song being played over loud speakers out on the grounds of our junior high school for the girls PE class while the boys were over on the other side in "squads" for calesthetics.
fast food (french fries top the list) and carbonated sugar drinks plus pizza - every seriously overweight kid i know eats/drinks a ton of those three things. i remember putting on some weight (probably 10 pounds) as a teenager back in the 'sixties and my brilliant family doctor telling me that i was ingesting at least as many calories with Coca-Cola as i needed in a day's worth of food, an eye-opening conversation. you hit all the right points in your essay. good on you.
I loved Robert Preston... "We got trouble, right here in River City!!"
Great common sense post!
I have not answers either other than exercise, exercise, exercise -- kids need to eat okay, but run a alot ....We got snowcones after the ball game -- cherry on one side and lime on the other....pure sugar I'm sure....
A surgeon once said in my earshot that were salt to be new, it'd be a conrolled-substance.
JMac--thanks. It takes folks our age I guess to recollect Robert Preston.

MartysHusband--Thanks. I'm sure you're like me that when we were kids we were so busy running around playing that we never knew it was exercise--it was just kids being kids.

Jon--could be, but salt is essential. It's just that a lot of us overdo it. Sugar is arguably more insidious.