TED Conversations

greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed.

what do you do for fun?

just curious. I go to the movies (haven't owned a television for the last 30 years.) Like to sit at the kitchen table and talk with friends. Like to dance wherever I go, dance in line at the supermarket, dance while lying in bed before I go to sleep. You really don't need music to dance.

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    im boo

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    Nov 10 2013: How about growing some wheatgrass at home on a windowsill?
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      Nov 11 2013: well, im boo, at home I'm content to just eat food I buy at the store. Would there be any motive to grow grass? It's when I'm out and about that I occasionally would like something to chew on, so I bend over and tear a little grass. Now I'm imagining that the wild plants you pick you don't eat by themselves, you add them to dishes made with food from the grocery? My experience is that most wild plants taste somewhat bitter, but they could add an interestiing flavor to dishes made with food from a grocery. But one nice thing about grass, like lawn grass, is you can eat it by itself, and it does taste good.

      Thanks for replying. I hope we get to go on talking, but I do notice this conversation will close in three days.
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        im boo

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        Nov 12 2013: Hi Greg,
        If picked in right season & cooked properly, the wild edible herbs used for culinary purposes are not bitter.
        As far as health dangers for eating unwashed grass, consider this:
        One could contract visceral larval migrans from canine round worm larvae, or could get coccidia or giardia infections or hook worms.
        :)
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          Nov 13 2013: thanks, im. So you eat the herbs as a separate dish, or add them to dishes made with food bought at the grocery?

          I don't have a ready answer for the worms problem. I do visually look at the grass before I tear a little, and I chew it very thoroughly. Also I believe the bile that is part of one's digestive process might kill some worms. Maybe something microscopic could get through the filters, however. Although a worm could cling to something even if you wash it, true? I guess I just balance the risk, which in my mind is small, versus the effort of washing. Part of the idea of eating grass is to have fun, and going to a public bathroom and washing it would take a lot of fun out of it, or take out all the fun.

          My diet otherwise is very healthy, I don't know if you've seen any of my posts where I mention that I've basically been living on skim milk for the last five years, every day I drink about two gallons of skim milk, and hardly eat or drink anything else. Living like this, I feel like my body is better able to fight off worms than the body of someone with a less healthy diet.
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          Nov 14 2013: im, in case the conversation closes before we talk back and forth again, thanks for conversing with me.
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    im boo

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    Nov 5 2013: Hi Greg, I work in an office as a legal assistant.
    I live in Wyoming where there are hot springs.
    I've researched medicinal & edible plants for every state I have lived in, and began doing this as a teenager.
    Harvest plants from the mint family, horsetail, bearberry, you name it!
    Mostly go by myself; I mix well with strangers and don't mind going alone.
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      Nov 5 2013: so what kind of law is it, what are the jokes that come up?

      hot springs are kind of fascinating. Do you know what causes them? Are they hot all year around?

      You're ahead of your time with the plants, now that's kind of trendy but it wasn't a few years ago. Do you mix the plants with the kind of food you buy in a supermarket? Lately when I'm out I only eat grass, I'll often bend over and tear off some grass to eat from the top of the grass. I like the taste and it makes me feel in touch with the earth.

      Surprising that you go alone. You seem nice. Maybe you have friends but they don't do those particular activities that you like?
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      Nov 7 2013: She is ahead of her time with the plants??? OH MY GOODNESS! Those plants have been on our earth and used for many purposes for thousands of years! Many of the medicines we use are extracted from plants, and/or reproduced chemically with similar components. Most herbs have antibiotic, anti bacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, they taste GREAT and are very nutritious!

      I've also done some research and have used herbs for years. I grow many of them in the gardens, and these very beneficial plants are growing all around us....in the fields....by the roadside....etc.! I also started learning about herbs as a kid, with my mother, in the gardens:>)
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    im boo

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    Nov 4 2013: The head the agency I work for in my state once told the employees "If you're not having fun at work, then you need to." So when at work, I have fun by telling jokes and try to remember to find humor in everyday life. The day I lose the "skip" to my step is the day I need to re-examine my reasons for losing joy-de-viere -- the joy of life. Sometimes I might play a mild practical joke on someone.
    When not working, activities I consider fun are those where I can physically do something outdoors, and also completely relax. I go to hot springs and spend the weekend swimming in the springs, rock hunting in the desert and sometimes I sing aloud when I'm driving or out hiking. I take a lot of photos and find it fun when I get home to see what I captured with the camera. I have fun camping out and hiking in the mountains, fishing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and gathering wild edible & medicinal plants.
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      Nov 4 2013: what a great comment, im boo. What sort of work do you do? I'm going to try to remember to have fun at work, too. Your outdoor activities sound really lovely, where do you live that has hot springs? What plants do you gather, how do you know how to do this? Do you do these different activities with other people, or by yourself?
  • Oct 15 2013: Discuss things with people, read, write, do puzzles
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      Oct 16 2013: what do you like to discuss, wayne, with what people?
      • Oct 16 2013: a lot of things - philosophy, math, physics, politics, society, aging, books we read, movies, comments made by people, etc - have a group that meets but we are very loose and people drift in and out - they are a broad spectrum of society from blue collar to phd - love the different points of view
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          Oct 18 2013: so who is this group, wayne, how did this group start, is it just a group of friends or do you perhaps get together through a library? Where do you meet?
      • Oct 18 2013: started with friends at a coffee shop and people listened and some joined in - now we have an informal mtg once a month at the coffee shop.
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          Oct 18 2013: pretty cool, wayne, how many of you are involved, perhaps you cannot sit all at one table and have to break up into more than one conversation? What's your favorite topic to talk about, and why?
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    Oct 15 2013: Enjoying the conversations and discussions here.
    Watching modern plays in the theatres.
    Doing window shoppings on line.
    .......
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      Oct 15 2013: let's see, you're from Shanghai? What are these modern plays, by Chinese playwrights? What are they about? Do you go with family, or friends, or by yourself?
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        Oct 15 2013: There're all kinds of plays domestic as well as foreign ones in Shanghai.
        http://www.ticket2010.com/project_index.aspx?id=64
        They are very popular these days.And I'm the type of enjoying both team activities and vegging out with my self.
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          Oct 15 2013: thanks, yoka. something I ask myself is that I like movies, but I don't like plays, and I can't figure it out, as aren't they similar, they are both stories acted out. Can you make any sense of why a person would like movies but not plays?

          Do you like going to the movies, or just theater.

          What do you shop for online?
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        Oct 16 2013: I like movie too. I just watched the movie"Steve Jobs" last week. So why don't you like seeing plays in the theatre? I think I enjoy the onsite stage sets and the actors' dialogue performance, they are very true without being processed by filming techonology and need strong professional skills.

        I shop everything possible online.I can live without milk, can you?And what do you like doing for fun?
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          Oct 16 2013: I don't know, Yoka, there's something about a film that moves faster than a play, for example in a film you could have a car driving, even if it's only going 40 miles an hour it's still faster than any person in a play.

          No, I have to live on milk, it's the only way I feel good. For fun, I go to movie, sometimes documentary movie, I saw one this weekend about Diana Nyad, she is a woman who just swam from Cuba to Florida, about 100 miles, she is the first person to do it. Also listen to talk shows on the radio, here we have talk shows with host and guest, and also the audience can phone in from their house and talk to the host and guest live on the air. Also like to walk. Also like to dance, I have an amateur video on youtube under my name.....oh wait, you can't get youtube in china, can you?
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        Oct 18 2013: I'm sorry I don't know whether I can or can't. I have to say I like singing instead of dancing.

        Thank you for sharing your fun in life.I like documentary too. "Discovery" was a very popular one in China.
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        Oct 19 2013: I'm surprised you don't know" Discovery". It's a program about all the explorations in life or some introduction about history events. I'll give you an example video of the program in English. If you like it, you can google more with "discovery".
        http://www.56.com/u29/v_ODg1MzgxMzg.html

        I like singing whenever I want to , yes, basically in my house.I used to be said I sang very well. I can sing a whole half day or even longer in KTV. :)
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          Oct 19 2013: Oh, I apologize, Yoka, I probably do know it, was it perhaps for television, the documentary I had mentioned was shown in a movie theater, so probably the experience felt different to me.

          That's nice that you sing, do you have a house as opposed to an apartment, I live in an apartment therefore I don't play music as I'm afraid of bothering the neighbors, I sing a little but very quietly, but I can dance without any music, it's quite nice. Would you say you have a nice singing voice? Do you ever go out in public and sing, here in the States we have "karaoke bars," they are bars where people can go and do karaoke on a stage in front of all the people in the bar. I've never done it, but I could see some fun in it.

          Do you not like to dance then? Were you able to look at my YouTube video?
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        Oct 20 2013: What kind of walls are there in your house? Your neighbors can hear you singing?:))))))
        I think your house is too old to live. Please don't take it seriously.:)))
        In Shanghai, people often go to karaoke bars to sing songs with friends or colleagues. I think your karaoke is just like ours. Many people in Shanghai also like dancing very much. There're many hot dancing bars in downtown. I don't know how to jive elegantly and I prefer sports. I used to be good at sports.:)
        I'm sorry, I still can't open your link now.But if I can, I'll let you know.
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          Oct 20 2013: well, in an apartment we share walls. I don't know if they can hear me or not, but I would rather be careful. I'm careful not to make too much noise because I do not want to listen to their noise.

          I'm not sure you have to know how to "jive elegantly" to dance, these days most people are just making it up as they go, at least when they dance to rock and pop. Or at least they do in the States, is that your perception in China, that when people dance to rock and pop they just improvise, make it up as they go? I would think in that case they would tolerate people who aren't great dancers, and you would get better in time. I wish I could encourage you to dance.

          What sports were you good at?
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        Oct 23 2013: Thank you for your words.I were good at ball-games.
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          Oct 23 2013: Hmm, I would think most games involve a ball, do you mean softball? I myself liked basketball but was only fairly good at it. It would be kind of interesting to play a basketball game where you had to dance while you played basketball.

          We are hearing American basketball stars are very popular in China, do you know why?

          Do you work, Yoka, what is your occupation?
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        Oct 25 2013: Good evening~, I think you're really productive in questions.:)
        I played badminton well when I was trained in sports school. And I can strike out a Turkey in bowling sometimes(use the lightest ball). hehe……

        Currently I'm an office-worker and a part-time teacher teaching in language school. I like my job. What's yours?
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          Oct 28 2013: So do you bowl nowadays? By yourself, or with friends? My favorite physical activity is walking.

          I wish I could give you the freedom to dance if it is something you would like to do but just feel too self-conscious, or shy. I suppose you could take a class to help you.

          I have some health problems so I don't work as much as I would like. Sometimes I help my mother and she pays me, it is help with office work (she owns a number of apartment buildings), or help around her house. I spend a certain amount of time trying to get my diet, which is almost all skim milk, approved by the nutrition and medical establishment here in the states. Once I get it approved, I would like to spend some time actively promoting it to the world.
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    Nov 14 2013: Well, I don't mean to pop your bubble. After all, it ain't fun....

    Being an older person, I find joy and fun in very simple things. Hanging with my grandson, taking a walk along the river, watching a hawk soar...

    but movies? I think the last movie I saw was Ben-hur, or perhaps around the world in 80 days..

    concerts? I grew up in SF bay area in the 60's. I got my fill back then..

    Parties? no thanks.... I'd rather be stimulated intellectually regarding how are we going to reverse the onslaught toward extinction. Consciousness can be a bitch.... undermining our mindless fun...

    my two cents.. so what's your perspective?
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      Nov 14 2013: whew...well, whether we're rushing toward extinction I don't know, I know some people believe it, I probably tend in life to think on a slightly more micro level (micro as opposed to macro.) I would say that even people who are fighting for a cause should take time to have fun, whatever fun is for them. Someone could believe that the human race is heading toward extinction, and still take time to go to a movie, having fun might renew them for the struggle, or even give them ideas about how to struggle better. Ditto on going to concerts or parties, you might even meet people who will join your struggle, I am glad you have fun from very low-key things, Craig. Do you watch television if you don't go to movies? It seems like fun nowadays often has an electric or electronic component. For myself I have something of an addiction to things like TV or radio, I can try to not consume them, but I quickly start to feel physically bad if I refrain. But I try to consume fun that somehow edifies me, or where I learn something iinto the bargain.
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    Nov 14 2013: Greg, are we to assume that 'fun' just isn't a part of the human experience anymore???? Perhaps so.... in these 'end' days...of human survival.

    Who would have thunk it??
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      Nov 14 2013: gee, craig, I hope you're having fun. You don't enjoy the typical things that most people think are fun, like movies, concerts, parties? I probably don't think of these as the end days, perhaps I'm deluded?
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    Nov 7 2013: Breathe deeply....enjoying the last of the clean air...
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      Nov 11 2013: breathing is a pleasure. nice odors are too, I like lavender for example, what do you like?
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        Nov 11 2013: the scent of a woman.... and nature after a rain ..... a toss up...
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          Nov 12 2013: would you say you're a sensualist, Craig, what are other sensual pleasures?

          I think that would be a good TED conversation, "What smells do you like?"
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          Nov 14 2013: craig, looks like the conversation closes in 13 hours, in case we don't talk back and forth again, thanks for conversing.
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    im boo

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    Nov 7 2013: To Colleen, a Kindred Spirit: There is nothing more exciting than to finally come across a species of herb you've been searching for in the wild, no? I'm out there in the wilderness, look down and Eureka! I cry out as I discover what I've been researching and looking for perhaps for a year or more. I'm also into studying the medicinal aspects of Calcium Montmorillonite (a type of Bentonite Clay) -- in the Smectite category of clays. They mine it here in the mountains west of me, I've known about it since 1980 ("Pascalite"). With the antibiotic-resistant MSRAs out there, and antibiotics now failing to defeat these bacteria i.e. E-Coli, Staph, etc. -- this type of clay is a natural product found in the earth that works! Love studying Ethnobotany, too, because they are forefathers of using natural products of the earth in medicinal & other ways. Here is one of my blogs about Horsetail herb, etc.: http://medicinalbenefitshorsetail.blogspot.com

    I think Greg is just curious about people and wants to learn about how other people think and asking what we do for fun is one way of doing that.
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      Nov 7 2013: Yes Im Boo....nice to meet a kindred spirit...welcome to TED conversations:>)

      We seem to do things differently though.....I usually discover the plant FIRST, then do more research after that. I have never had the experience of researching a plant then going out looking for it. I've actually had lots of things volunteer in the gardens....mints....horseradish....chives....ellacampaign....calendula...red and white clover....black raspberries moved in by themselves....never planted them....etc. etc. It's fun to watch different things volunteer.......OH.....must be I needed that!!! And that is when I start researching it:>)

      I agree....I've been in lots of conversations with Greg and LOVE his curious exploration of people and experiences:>)

      Here is a technical tip....if you wish:>)
      Rather than going to the top of the page to respond, you can reply directly to the person and comment you are replying to....see the little "reply" in the upper right corner of my comment? Then I will get a notice of your reply:>)
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        im boo

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        Nov 8 2013: Thanks Colleen I think I missed hitting the reply button, will pay more attention. I live in an apartment, so no garden, but with the mountains so close, at least I have somewhere to go to glean the wild herbs. Nice to meet you!!
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          Nov 8 2013: Nice that you have mountains close by Im Boo.....I LOVE the mountains, and I have them close to where I live too. Very nice to meet you as well:>)
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    im boo

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    Nov 6 2013: I wash all herbs before using them; animals may have urinated on them!!
    Perhaps send me email if you want more details about me.
    Okay?
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      Nov 8 2013: I'm sure that is a good thing. When I pick grass I don't worry too much about the possible urine, if there is any I would think it's only a tiny amount, and I would think your body can actually do what it does with everything else you eat, which is use whatever is good and filter out the bad.
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        im boo

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        Nov 8 2013: Ah I'd rather not take a chance!
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          Nov 9 2013: Yeah, I get that, im. Well, I'm guessing you gather a lot of herbs at a time, then bring them home and wash them? In my case, it's different. I live in a suburb, with suburban lawns. I walk everywhere, to work, to errands, to recreation. Sometimes I want something to chew on, so I'll bend over, grab the base of the grass with one hand, and tear the grass off above the first hand with the second hand (this is to keep from uprooting it.) In general, I might get 25 little sections of blades about an inch long, but sometimes it's just three or four fragments of blades a quarter-inch long. I suppose I could look for a bathroom to wash them in it just seems like a hassle if there's any urine on it I would think it's a tiny amount. But I like the taste and it makes me feel in touch with the earth.
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    Oct 29 2013: I don't bowl now. I'm busy but I still walk every day just like you.
    Thank you for inviting me to dance more. I'll consider it if I have time.
    Your mother is great~! Good for you. Why do you only drink milk, you should try more foods that can make you healthier. At least you can try some fruits and vegetables.
    Take care~.
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      Oct 29 2013: oh I'm glad, Yoka. Do you walk to work, or on errands, or...?

      Yes, I would say dancing is fun. I like the modern kind where you just make it up as you go, sometimes they call it "freestyle." If you were to dance, would you prefer "freestyle," or a dance done to established steps, such as foxtrot or waltz?

      Sorry, Yoka, I started this reply without looking at the whole conversation. I can't remember what I said about my mother. As far as milk, it's because I feel better when I just live on milk. I got this idea from the Masai people of Kenya, who only live on foods from their cows, that is, beef and milk. I like beef, but I prefer milk. The Masai have a saying "If a man drinks milk and eats meat on the same day, he is a glutton." Since I prefer milk, it works out that each day I only drink milk.

      Living on skim milk is a great way to lose weight. I have lost 80 pounds and maintained the loss. Also, milk is easy on the body because it is already broken up, it is very easily digested and doesn't interfere with bodily processes as much as solid food, or that is my impression.

      I do eat a little vegetables, however, when I stay with my mother, who lives in the same city as me. Usually I cut them up and add them to my milk. Also, lately, when I am walking, I am bending over sometimes and plucking some grass to eat, most say you cannot digest grass, but I do think you can partially digest some of it. It's not a large quantity, but I enjoy it. I also like having something to chew on, don't like chewing gum.

      Have you had any experience of farm life?
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        Oct 30 2013: I walk to bus-stop and subway station every day. I thank you for your advice on dancing again. I have to say if I drink a lot of milk my stomach will be allergic to the milk. And I don't eat grass. I think you seem like a baby cattle: drink milk and eat grass.:)

        Obviously we are different kinds of person. I was born and grew in Shanghai city. But I like farm life and some green plants very much.
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          Oct 31 2013: Oh, I'm glad you get some walking, Yoka. Does it feel good to be outside walking?

          Well, I'm not really advising you on dancing, just seeing how you feel about it. Have you danced at other times in your life?

          I don't know if your stomach would get upset. Milk is very easy to digest. You're right, my eating grass does come from my interest in cattle and milk. It tastes quite nice, did you know sugar is made, extracted, from a kind of grass?

          Have you been to farm ever. What is your interest in green plants, to eat, or to sit in garden and meditate, or...?
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    Oct 19 2013: Ha, I play music for fun. I must ask if you hear a tune in your head when you dance with out music? How do you dance on time if not? Maybe I should ask if it is in time first. :B

    I think of things I could do if I had the technology that is out there today. I think about building an airplane from plastic waste with a 3-D printer. I think of how much better humans could become if money did not exist as if we all worked together as a team like we did when we were kids.

    To relax I paint at times.

    I think of a grocery store where we could all go to have a huge food fight. This store is open 24/7 and free of charge. Every 3 days it is pressure washed by automated machines like at a car wash and also powered by water pressure. All the food is donated by the number of days before expiration. Sure, if you are hungry you can eat what you see. THis is my idea of a therapeutic homeless shelter :B The name of this market is called Samscratch's Market. However, chaotic it may seem ...this is not a place for reproduction or violence.
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      Oct 20 2013: thanks for asking, Whisky. Sometimes I very softly hum or sing to myself as I dance, either established songs or just improvising as I go, just humming whatever sounds good to me, but often I hear no music in my head, it's just moving sensuously, even if you're not hearing music it actually feels better to move in a sensuous way that is like you're hearing music than in a non-sensuous way that isn't like music. Most of the dance I do has a heavy component of belly dancing, which is very sensuous and naturally graceful without music. Here is my one YouTube video I made about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olHbo8IFOoI

      Possibly a lot of guys would feel uncomfortable belly-dancing, but when I see myself in the mirror it doesn't look too effeminate. It really tones my stomach nicely.

      Most people I believe would be too inhibited to do this, but I do remember working on a TV set and watching someone else take a cue from me. I was an extra on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," (with Danny Devito?) and sometimes when they were telling us what to do between takes I would dance as I listened to their instructions, and I noticed one of my fellow extras picked up on it and started dancing between takes too. Maybe that's not surprising as actors might be less inhibited than most.

      I generally think of creative things I could do without technology (you notice this dancing thing doesn't use technology.) I've been pretty influenced by the Masai people of Kenya who are kind of like the Amish in not loving technology, if you've never read about them they're pretty interesting. I probably don't usually try to think of creative ideas, for me I can't force a creative idea to come, I can do some of the things around trying to get a creative idea, like talk with others about what I'm trying to do, but then sometimes I just have to relax and see if the idea comes, just let things marinate inside.
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      Oct 20 2013: What sort of music do you play? Originals or covers? What instrument?

      Are you able to summon creative ideas at will, or are you more like me where you kind of have to wait and let them emerge?

      The food fight idea would possibly be for younger people, if you created this market would you participate? I have read about people paying to wrestle and wallow and play fight in mud. Have you ever slam danced at a punk rock concert, I've done that, it's fun.
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        Oct 21 2013: I have broaden my range of music I play or hear as the years go by. I play along to covers to the vocal melodies with the trombone and trying to purchase a 4 track digital recorder to write or compose the originals I have stored in my mind. I play guitar, bass guitar, and trombone. I started out playing bass about 25 years ago. I can keep simple drum beats if I ever come across a free drum set (not likely). I don't know, more than likely a drum machine for the 4 track idea thing. As far as the creative ideas at will is concerned I can only go so many a week, 2-3. If I try to push more they end up lacking something I find. I believe the most creative ideas I have come spontaneously without trying or thinking to hard about it. It just has a natural easy flow to it and just happens. Samscratch just told me that it sounds like I'm describing a good poop. :B

        Participate? Oh, yeah. No doubt in my mind. I'd patiently wait for some of my exes to walk in. HA! An open banana to the forehead! Nothing intensionally harmful though, just another belly aching good laugh image burned in my mind at the very end to last a life time. The ones that dumped me and tried to come back later on in life, yea all of those. As long as I got the first shot I'm all good. For the ones I left, here is your free shot....an open palm full of sour cream in my face I can imagine. Those would be just as fun. :P
        Punk rock shows, yes. Many. The Ramones was one of the best I've been to. I don't know, things are just not the same anymore in that scene. Yeah, Samscratche's Market would take it's place. Maybe playing some Ramones through the intercom system. A few people trying to skateboard, bicycle, pogo sticks ...through there as well ...spacewalks, belly exercisers ;) I don't know, just anything, anything would go, just whatever and whoever the hell you are. People dressed as clowns, maybe a batman...well, you get the idea, eh? Man, there's just so many empty food stores around here.
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          Oct 22 2013: thanks, Whisky. Yeah, I don't listen to music as much as I would like. Problem is, if I play it in my apartment where my neighbors have to listen to it through the wall, then I'll have to listen to their music through the wall, which I don't want to do. So far I have resisted headphones, maybe I will have to change to them.

          So you are writing songs, what genre and subject?

          You're a guy who likes to joke, so I don't know if the food fight idea is serious. If so, I guess you would have to create a budget and see if it is feasible economically. Plus think about whether you would get repeat business (maybe ask your friends what they think), I can see people going at first because of the novelty, but would they return. I don't know if I would patronize such a business, I get rid of a certain amount of energy and aggression just by walking and dancing.

          If you're only joking, well, you could write a story about this business, or make a film. You could talk about it if you ever do a standup comedy bit in a club.

          Any good stories or memories from the Ramones shows? Out here the most famous punk band I've seen is X, seen them 5 or 6 times. About 25 years ago Exene, the singer in X, got really interested in me as a romantic possibility, but I'm afraid it didn't go anywhere. But if you ever hear the song "You" from X's album "See how we are," it's about Exene and I.
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        Oct 21 2013: Colleen down there I'd probably get her with some raisins, dates, then have a glass of wine with her shortly after. You know all those good things that get better as they age! :) ...one of those eggs they bury in the sand for a zillion years, yeah one of those too ;)
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    Oct 18 2013: Hi Greg:>)
    For fun, I live life with gusto.....in the moment.....enjoying people......enjoying the process of the life adventure, which includes LOTS of things....talking with people....theater.....arts.....sports........reading....gardening....hard labor and "chores"....everything in my life is an opportunity and I live it joyfully:>)

    I spent the last couple days with my brother at his home, after being in the hospital again. He is 84 and has COPD (lung disease). He thanks me all the time for helping to care for him, and I assure him all the time that it is a pleasure to spend time with him....which is true for me....and apparently for him as well. We talk about the old days, we laugh, and he shares a lot with me that he has probably never talked about before. Although we talk on the phone all the time, we probably would not spend as much time together in person, if his situation was different, because he lives in another town. So, it is fun to spend the time with him:>)
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      Oct 18 2013: Theater you haven't mentioned before, Colleen. What is it like there? Sports, how do you participate (here we're all rooting for the Dodgers in game 6 against the Cardinals tonight.) Arts I don't think you've mentioned before, what is your involvement? Nor do I think you've said what you read, at least not where I've read. Is hard labor something different than gardening?

      Nice that it's a pleasure to spend time with your brother. What did you do in the old days when he was healthier?

      I'm going to see if I can get a ticket to a Katy Perry concert this week at the Hollywood Bowl, I generally enjoy pop music. I actually saw a wonderful documentary in Hollywood last week, it was about Diana Nyad who just swam from Cuba to Florida. It so happened that her nephew, who directed the film, was present and took questions afterward. Good times.
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        Oct 18 2013: I haven't mentioned theater to you before Greg? Must be I'm holding out on you....LOL:>)

        What is it like there? Well, I enjoy theater productions as an audience member, and I was a professional actor for about 10 years. It is always a great learning experience:>)

        I bike, hike, kayak, cross country and downhill ski, snowshoe. I have, in the past, played competitive tennis, volleyball and sailboat racing, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling........

        My involvement in the arts is simply to enjoy:>)

        Gardening is sometimes the same as hard labor......great exercise:>)

        My brother and I didn't spend a lot of time in the old days because he's quite a bit older than I am and he was leaving the house when I was little. He was in the service out of the country for awhile, then came back and was stationed on the other side of the country.

        That swim from Cuba to Florida was amazing wasn't it? She is not a youngster either!!!

        The concerts I attend are usually classical, although I like all kinds of music, and have friends who play jazz/blues, so I go to see them play occasionally.
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          Oct 18 2013: thanks, sometimes I picture your life there as being a little like the Gilmore Girls, if you've ever watched that show. When you say arts, Colleen, do you mean art museums? I occasionally go to them out here, I believe I last went to ...well it might be MOCA, anyway it's in "Japantown" in Los Angeles, because they had some Warhols. We also went to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), they had a funny piece down at floor level at the wall, it was a richly detailed little elevator door starting from the floor and rising 10 inches, "an elevator for the mice."

          Oh, the swim was fantastic, she failed three times and made it on the fourth, she had to contend especially with jellyfish which have a powerful sting, each time she swam it she commissioned new equipment to be created that would protect her, for example a plastic mask that covered the front of her face except eyes, nose, and mouth, because previously she'd been stung in the face by a jellyfish and had to stop the swim. One thing I thought about was how challenging yourself can be a way of loving yourself, pushing yourself to be creative and solve the problems that arise, learning about yourself, the world, and life.

          Damn, Katy is sold out, not too surprised, though.

          Do you dance, I was hoping to see Katy and dance at my seat.
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        Oct 19 2013: I don't know who the Gilmore Girls are Greg....how are we alike?

        Yes, I like museums, and generally go to the ones locally when visitors are in town. Other than that, I like to visit museums when traveling. Always important to have an elevator for mice....LOL:>)

        I noticed in the photos taken when she was coming out of the water, that she was all swollen.....probably partly from the water and partly from jellyfish stings. Some of the jellyfish can produce pretty bad stings.

        I totally agree Greg, that challenging our self, pushing ourselves to be creative, solve problems and learning, can always provide strength and self confidence which is a HUGE gift gained from our challenges.

        Yes, I LOVE to dance, and I know that you do too! I studied dance for years, danced in musical theater, and just LOVE it anytime.....it feels freeing....doesn't it?
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          Oct 19 2013: Gilmore Girls was a television series, I believe it was set in a small town in a Maine-type environment, in other words a little cold, foresty, etc. It was about a single mother raising her daughter while running, oh, some kind of business, having some romance. My mother is a big fan. Are you actually near the ocean where you are?

          Yes, had you told me what you like to read? I read a medium amount, actually I'm quite interested in true crime and thus could tell you a lot of serial killers, rapists, etc. Also the history of rock music. And a little about environmental matters.

          Well, in the last six months I've articulated an idea that I can dance anywhere, to anything, without music. I'm not a very inhibited person (for example, you can look at my profile picture with the tongue), so it's not so ....well, it probably is somewhat freeing, but for me it just develops my grace and coordination and muscle tone (particularly my stomach as it seems to come very naturally to do belly dance type movements.) And it makes me feel more alive than just standing there, or lying there ( I particularly do this while lying in bed before falling asleep.) What sort of dance do you do, where and when, do you agree you don't need music to dance? I would guess most people would feel too inhibited to dance in line at the grocery store (when I say I dance there, it's fairly restrained, but it's definitely dance), when I do it I see people looking at me with interest and I think longing, wishing they could do it. Which of course they can, but perhaps feel inhibited. I hope at least a few people will be inspired by me to do it themselves.
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        Oct 20 2013: Hi Greg:>)
        I don't watch much TV....not familiar with the Gilmore Girls. Vermont is similar to Maine in that it is cold and foresty...not near the ocean.

        I'm almost always reading something... it depends on the mood, or my intent at the time. I like historical novels & history books, biographies/autobiographies, mysteries...if I'm planning to travel, I read books about the country. If I'm researching for information regarding some of the roles I've been in with social service or planning/development organizations, that is what I may be reading about. My mother was an avid reader and I guess I caught the bug....books are wonderful, and I like actually holding a book.....I don't have any of the new devices.

        I've read about your dancing adventures in other comments of yours, and I love it! I agree that it can help develop grace, coordination and muscle tone. The other practices I do are yoga and tai chi, which also contribute to grace, coordination, strength, muscle tone and balance. I often assume a simple yoga or tai chi pose while standing in line, talking on the phone, working/playing in the gardens, etc. I agree....it feels more beneficial than simply standing there. I also love observing and interacting with people, which happens often while standing in a line:>)

        I remember standing in a long line in Paris, and a gentleman in front of me turned around and said hello. He was Italian, speaking that language, and I have a little bit of Spanish and French. We had a conversation with snippets of those languages as well as a few English words. It was really fun, and by the time we got to the front of the line, we knew quite a bit about each other, our families, countries, etc.! I love those interactions and find it to be "fun", while often very educational:>)

        Yes, I agree that we do not need music to dance. I took tap & ballet as a kid, danced in musical theater and took ballet & jazz classes during that time, did some ballroom dancing.....I LOVE it all!
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          Oct 20 2013: thanks, Colleen, very nice to read your thoughts and experiences. Well, my mom loved Gilmore Girls, but she's a TV lover whereas maybe you're not? Now are you retired, why would you read about jobs you've done in the past?

          Yes, doing yoga would be nice, to a slight degree perhaps yoga and dance are related. I did get to do yoga because my brother bought me some sessions as a gift once, but I tend to like moving, like walking, whereas in yoga you strike a pose and hold it, correct?

          Yes, you can have adventures in line. Once I was catching the Greyhound bus from San Francisco back down to my folks' home near L.A. for Thanksgiving. Three people came up to me and said "They've sold out on tickets to L.A., would you like to rent a car with us and drive down." So that's what we did, it was nice, two of the people stayed at my folks' home and had Thanksgiving dinner with us, one was a Japanese tourist, the other was participating in some of game show down here.

          I can see the pleasure in all those forms of dance. They all involve established steps? Did you ever dance to rock where you make it up as you go? Do you listen to music much, what sort? What sort of art museums do you go to?

          I had said that noone has ever followed me dancing in a non-dance environment but that's not true. I was an extra on a TV show called "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (with Danny Devito?), and between takes I was dancing while they gave us instructions. One of my fellow extras picked up on and started dancing between takes too. I like it because I don't like this thing where we kind of separate exercise off, like you go to the gym for an hour or two and then don't exercise otherwise. But dancing everywhere you can exercise here and there throughout the day. I often drop down and do some pushups here and there during the day too.
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        Oct 23 2013: Nope.....not a TV lover Greg. I think it's another tool, and I watch some things that are good (in my perception), but don't watch it just for the sake of watching something. There are SOOOO many interesting things to do!

        I am retired from a couple adventures, and still volunteer, so those volunteer positions (regional planning and development) sometimes require some reading...not much anymore though:>)

        Well, I think yoga can be done on several different levels. I used to work out with a yoga instructor/friend, and I can tell you, we DID NOT simply strike a pose and hold it.....we were moving and working up a sweat!!!

        Great story about renting a car with people you just met......yeah.....I have experiences like that a lot......more when I was traveling extensively. I've met some lifelong friends in airports, on busses, etc.......it's fun:>)

        Yeah.....I dance and just make stuff up when in night clubs, and that sort of setting. I listen to mostly classical. What sort of art museums do I go to? I like to visit museums when in another country, to learn more about the culture.

        It sounds like you have a very healthy lifestyle my friend:>)
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          Oct 23 2013: yeah, gardening is cool, but lately I've been eating a lot of grass, as I walk around town I'm bending over and pinching off some grass, it's less work than tending a garden (well, of course I'm eating other people's grass.) Eating grass goes with my interest in cows and milk.

          One nice thing about eating grass is it's taking me into different routes. Before I was always walking in the business districts, but there's not so many lawns there, now I'm heading for the sidestreets where the lawns are.
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          Oct 23 2013: how did you get interested in classical music, colleen? It probably isn't the most popular.

          what are the divisions in musical theater, in film acting you have your principals, your day players, and your extras, but I don't know about theater. Did you have major roles in the musicals you appeared in?
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        Oct 24 2013: Greg,
        I notice in another comment thread, someone mentions the possible danger of eating grass as you walk around town....contamination. Do you know where animals urinate? Are you aware of who puts pesticides on their lawn? Be careful my friend!

        I think I've always loved music.....took piano lessons as a child, and played classical, as well as popular tunes, show tunes, etc. My mom played the piano too, and we used to sing and play a lot....that was fun:>)

        In theater, there are also principals, supporting roles and "extras"...usually called the "chorus" in musical theater. I played major roles, supporting roles and chorus. In the beginning of the theater exploration, I also worked on costumes, props, etc. It was ALL fun to be part of a production, whether acting on stage, or doing some of the other supportive jobs that are just as important to the production.
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          Oct 25 2013: thanks for replying, Colleen. Well, grass gets cleaned with dew, rain, sprinkling systems. The sun evaporates some liquid contamination. If there is some tiny contamination left, I don't worry so much because our body filters out bad stuff, doesn't it, I mean even with the safest man-made supermarket food, our body still eliminates some of it in our urine and stool.

          Thanks, I can kind of picture you having fun working in theater with your positive attitude.

          C, someone told me yoga increased her core strength, can you understand how it could, wouldn't you have to lift weights to increase core strength?
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        Oct 25 2013: Greg,
        You're right, the body can filter out some "stuff".....not everything, so be careful. While traveling years ago, I picked up an intestinal parasite, and when I returned home, it took about a month to get rid of it.

        Yes, I can understand how yoga increases core strength:
        http://www.yogaglo.com/blog/tag/how-does-yoga-improve-my-core-strength/
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      Oct 19 2013: If I worked for an airline I would give you one of my free passes to go see him. I can't understand if your are saying his is far away or not.
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        Oct 19 2013: W.D.
        That brings tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. My brother lives in a town about an hour and a half drive from where I live, which is not a big deal. The weaker he gets, however, the farther I feel from him. We lost another brother 9 months ago.
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          Oct 20 2013: I'd go further and give him one as well and both of you could travel to a place he aways wanted to visit in any country the airline went to. I have a thing for making others last days here as pleasant as possible. If I had the resources and the available technology to make this possible I would do this all day long. In todays world one of the pilots would be over 65 (this is when they are not legal to fly in the airlines anymore) and the other a well trained student with less experience.

          I had an Aunt whom passed away before my first interview. I asked her if she could go anyplace in the world where would it be. She said Rome. I was looking forward to helping her get there. Unfortunately, her time ran out before I could make this happen.

          Many pilots sell them, go figure.
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      Oct 21 2013: colleen, just wonder if my diet might help your brother. As you probably know, I practically live on skim milk, close to two gallons a day, 365 days/yr. It has been very good for my health, I've lost a lot of weight (I'm 6'2" and now weigh about 165, which puts me in the middle of normal on BMI), but also I think it goes in very smooth, your body breaks up solid food as you eat it but never, I think, breaks it up quite as thoroughly as milk, I believe the solid food irritates your cells as your blood carries it around your body.
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        Oct 23 2013: Thanks Greg for thinking of that. By the time solid food gets in the bloodstream, I don't think it is solid anymore.

        Anyway, my brother can eat and digest food fine, it is breathing that he has difficulty with. I appreciate your thoughtful suggestion though......thanks:>)
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          Oct 23 2013: no, it's not solid any more, but I'm thinking it's not quite as fluid as milk.

          During the five years I've been living on skim milk (2 gallons a day, 365 days a year), I decided for two weeks I would try a nutrition "establishment" diet. At that time the "gold standard" was the USDA food pyramid, where the tip of the pyramid is some class of food you eat one serving of, the next row are two or three classes of food you eat 2-3 servings of, and so on. colleen, I felt lousy on this diet, my eyes ached and I was taking far more naps, and there was no evidence after 2 weeks that things would improve. Then I returned to milk, and felt acceptable again. Since I don't think my body is terribly different from anyone else's, I take this experience as some evidence that a milk diet is better for everybody.

          I would think what you eat would affect your breathing, as i think the respiratory system is formed from cells that get nourished by your food like every other part of your body. I'm not trying to push you, but I somewhat doubt your brother would be hurt by trying my diet. But of course there are other issues, maybe he doesn't like things that are different, or really enjoys a variety of food, etc.
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          Oct 23 2013: you know, colleen, I was saying that certain issues might affect your brother trying this diet, such as his enjoyment of a variety of foods. But if he felt better on this milk diet, maybe he'd be willing to forgo the variety of foods. I know having now drunk thousands of gallons of milk, I still find it utterly delicious and satisfying. In my case I now drink all my milk from gallon containers, it slowly dawned on me that of all the different size containers, the gallon one is most like a breast, round and full at the bottom, tapering to something like a nipple at the top. It works out, I drink in the morning, skip lunch since I don't want to carry a gallon container, and drink at night. This is the natural pattern cows are milked on, the morning and evening.

          You know, I'm in kind of a delicate position whenever I talk about this diet on TED, because this diet hasn't been validated by the authorities, so there might be some concern that someone would try the diet, be harmed by it, and blame TED. So far TED hasn't scolded me for mentioning the diet, though I usually say whenever I do mention it that it hasn't been approved by the authorities. I am in in a correspondence now with two people at the National Institutes of Health in I believe Bethesda, Maryland. This is the largest government health research center. I am trying to get this diet approved as an acceptable diet for human beings as I believe it could help many people. NIH's last statement has been they're afraid if someone stays on this diet eventually they will be harmed by the lack of certain nutrients in it. My comeback to them is that I've been on the diet for five years and I haven't been harmed in any way whatsoever, and I don't think my body is too different from other people's. I'm waiting to see what they say back.
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        Oct 25 2013: Greg,
        Your exploration of changing from a milk diet to a regular diet for two weeks and feeling lousy, doesn't surprise me, because once the body adjusts to certain kinds of food, it probably will "protest" when bombarded with different foods. I experience that with beef now, because I don't eat it any more. If I have even a tiny little piece of it, the stomach lets me know that it is not used to this kind of food! My vegan friends say they experience the same thing if they even eat a tiny bit of meat. It is very common when traveling in different countries, changing the diet, for the body to be "upset" with the change. I don't personally think my body was designed to eat/drink ONLY milk, but if you feel good about it, and it works for you.....so be it. I think a milk diet lacks nutrients that the human adult body needs, I LOVE a variety of foods, and my brother enjoys a variety of foods as well....thanks for your concern:>)
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          Oct 28 2013: well, it is hard for me to argue too strongly for my diet, Colleen, on TED's website, since the diet hasn't been approved by the authorities, and is somewhat different from the typical diet the authorities recommend. I will say that I don't think trying the diet could hurt anyone, I mean, it's milk for Chrissakes, could we agree that milk is the most benign substance in the world, can you think of a more benign one?

          I don't think in my case the problem was that my body had gotten used to the milk diet, I think the fact is that milk is just easier on the body than solid food, I think maybe the mammary gland of the mother gets the softest, most easily digested portion of what she has eaten, and that is the milk she then gives to her baby. I will admit that a nearly all-skim milk diet is missing some portion of some nutrients, but I feel better on this diet than any other, I think maybe the main thing one wants from one's food is protein, and milk has that in spades.

          I do understand people enjoying a variety of foods. Sometimes I'll somehow acquire some food other than milk, like someone may give me some. Then I'll put it in my milk and consume it with the milk, for instance if someone gives me peanut butter, I'll take a funnel and chopstick and stuff it down the mouth of the milk container. And I enjoy that little bit of variety. But for me milk tastes wonderful, and I can sacrifice the variety in most of my diet in order to feel better and to have a normal weight. I can't strongly push it, Colleen, but I bet your brother would feel better on my diet. How tall is he, and how much does he weigh? When I asked my doctor if she'd tell her other patients about my diet and my success, she said she would, she said she couldn't exactly recommend it to them, but she would say "I have this patient, Greg. Here is what he is doing, and he is having some good results."

          I'm still waiting to hear from NIH.
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          Oct 28 2013: And, at the risk of repeating myself, skim milk is fantastic for weight loss, if you drink two gallons of skim milk in a day that's only about 2500 calories, which is a reasonable amount for an adult male to intake.
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        Nov 2 2013: I see no reason to "argue" for or against your diet Greg. If it works for you and you feel healthy, so be it. It is not my preference:>)
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          Nov 2 2013: Well, thanks, Colleen, no, I'm not arguing, I'm still thinking it would help your brother. I believe the reasons it works for me are reasons it would work for and help anybody. I would think that sick people would be much more motivated to follow this diet than well people, you've never complained about sickness so you might not be motivated, but since your brother is sick he might be motivated. I really can't see it harming him, it's milk, as I say, it's the most benign substance in the world. And if he found it helped him, wouldn't that be wonderful? If it didn't help, he could easily just return to his previous practices.

          One thing that helps me stay on this diet is a saying the Masai have: "If a man drinks milk and eats meat on the same day, he is a glutton." Since I believe this saying, every day I have to choose whether I'll drink milk or eat beef. Since milk is more refreshing, I always choose milk.

          By the way, you sure participate in a lot of sports, it's really great. I wish my mom was active like you, as her obesity will probably shorten her life. Does it just come naturally to you? What about walking, I don't think we've ever talked about walking. I think by now in my life I've probably walked....50,000 miles total?
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        Nov 3 2013: Greg,
        You used the word "argue" in your previous comment..." it is hard for me to argue too strongly for my diet".

        Again, I appreciate your concern for my brother, and again, his appetite is good, he LOVES a variety of foods, and his eating habits and digestive system are healthy. It is his lungs and his breathing that are challenged with COPD/lung disease. I have shared with you my feelings about the milk diet, and it feels like we are going over and over the same dialogue with this topic, so could we please put the milk diet topic to rest Greg?

        Yes, sports and physical activity have always come naturally to me, and my interest in sports intensified at age 30, when I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in the spine. It is a common disease for older people, but I was pretty young when it began. Being in traction, wearing a neck brace, and meds temporarily relieved the pain, but it did not permanently support the back, so I was seeking ways to live with the disease without fusing the spine with surgery, which was suggested by medical professionals. I started playing sports more to strengthen the muscular system to support the DDD, which is a progressive disease and often disabling. It worked!!! Over the years, I keep changing the activities to fit the body condition.

        Walking is GREAT, and I do it all the time, when not engaged in another activity. I have a couple 3-4 mile loops I do regularly, walk to destinations in the village... grocery store, post office, hardware store, library, etc., and between the biking and skiing seasons, my buddies and I go geochaching once a week.....that is lots of fun! It is usually a couple miles of walking in various terrains, a treasure hunt with clues, good camaraderie, and we usually go to lunch after our "play time". There's usually about 10 of us, and it really is a LOT of fun!

        Good for you and your walking!!!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching

        http://www.geocaching.com/
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          Nov 4 2013: Thanks, Colleen. Yes, to some degree we can put it to rest, but it's hard for me as I don't think I've made my case well enough. I would say that all the bodily systems are affected by what we eat, in my case my eyes, in your brother's his lungs (and in your case, I would say, your disc.) Milk is simply easier on all those systems than any other food.
          I actually got to talk on the radio about my diet last night with Lisa Ann Walters, who hosts a popular radio show here. She was interested but said it would be hard for her to follow.
          Yes, sports came naturally to me as well, and I understand that my mother ran around a lot when she was a little girl, but as she grew she became adverse to sweating. I'll have to ask her at what age that happened. I'm sorry you had to go through difficulties with the DDD, glad you've found a solution. Do you follow sports other than your own activities, for instance did you follow the World Series at all?
          Wonder if I'm a walking fool. On each of three of the last 14 days, I've made a 10-mile walk. In two cases I was walking to see movies that weren't playing in my hometown. Right now in fact I'm at the public library in Pasadena, having walked ten miles this morning from hometown Glendale. I'll work at the library a while, then go to the Laemmle Theater and see "Spinning Plates."
          You sure have an active life. Do you have a best friend who shares some of these activities?
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        Nov 7 2013: Greg.....trust me.....you have made your case for the milk diet, and I simply do not agree....it is not appealing to me in any way.

        No, I don't regularly follow sport events, although once in awhile it's fun to watch something. I used to LOVE watching sport events when my kids were playing several sports:>)

        I don't perceive you to be a "fool" for walking....if it feels good to you....do it! I listen to the body/mind regarding what I eat, and what activities I engage in....if it feels good, and feels like it supports the body/mind systems, I do it!

        Yesterday, I did a little hike with a buddy, which felt FABULOUS! I was with my brother again for a couple days....sitting a lot....so moving the body and exercising out in the fresh air and sun felt WONDERFUL!

        I feel like I have LOTS of "best friends", and share different activities with different people:>)
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          Nov 8 2013: well, nuts, Colleen, I feel like if I keep talking about it I'll alienate you, and if I don't talk about it I'll alienate myself. I will say that you're making a decision on low information, in other words, you've only tried one diet, the diet everyone eats; whereas I've tried both, and I'm sure you can guess which I'll say is better.

          Thank you for your support of my walking, of course your attitude is the correct one.

          Did you ever feel guilty watching sports as I do, knowing that by watching you are encouraging the athletes and some of them will suffer injuries from their game?

          Love your attitude of having many best friends.

          I did get an email today from David Katz, an M.D. at Yale who I'd written to about my diet. He said it is interesting and there are theories that would both support it and not support it. I should say that I had told you about trying an establishment diet for two weeks and feeling lousy, and you said that was only because my body wasn't used to it. I think that is wrong, Colleen, after two weeks your body has had a chance to get acclimated. The reason I felt bad on the establishment diet was because it is inferior to the milk.
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        Nov 8 2013: Yes Greg....I am aware of your milk diet and how much you like it. I respect your choice, and it is not my choice. Saying that I am making a decision based on "low information" is not accurate.

        No, I have never felt guilty about watching sports. I am conscious of how and why I choose to watch certain sporting events, and if I feel bad about that choice for some reason, I don't watch it.

        Greg, I do not know for sure why, or how a different diet affected your metabolism.....I simply offered an idea, which is well known. If you think/feel it is "wrong"....so be it.
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          Nov 9 2013: well, in general colleen I was hoping your brother would try it, I am sure you have some aches and pains and this diet would help you too, but your brother has a rather severe illness, right?, he really stands to gain from this diet.

          I started this diet at age 48. Up to age 48, I had eaten the standard American diet, but that last year I had eye discomfort that there really seemed to be no good solution for. Then I found this diet, and my eyes immediately felt better. So you see, it was a case where I was very used to the standard American diet but my eyes hurt on it, and then when I changed to milk they felt better. I believe this is not unique to me or to my discomfort, I believe the reasons it helped me are the same reasons it would help anybody with any discomfort--that being, that it helps with weight loss, and it's very easy to digest.

          Yes, after I wrote colleen I realized that while pros often get injured playing professional sports, the injuries do generally heal--so perhaps I won't feel as guilty in the future.

          This week I saw the movie "Big Sur," made from a Jack Kerouac novel. Are you any fan of Kerouac? His very famous novel is On the Road, it helped start the beat (or beatnik) movement, which led to the hippies, which....really changed American society?

          Colleen, do you have any thoughts on why it's enjoyable to read true crime books? I hear it's the most popular section in the library. True, they often have a happy ending in that the criminal gets caught, yet there's so much misery in the stories, people murdering people, raping, etc.
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        Nov 9 2013: I realize you were hoping for that Greg, and it's probably not going to happen, so how about letting it go?

        What do you mean by "the standard American diet"? I don't think I've ever eaten the standard Am diet......I eat healthy!!!

        I am not aware of Kerouac, but I WAS a hippie flower child, playing the guitar and singing songs of peace:>)

        I have no idea why people are attracted to true crime books....it does not appeal to me in any way.
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          Nov 9 2013: Well, it's hard to let go, Colleen, because as far as I can see you don't respond specifically to my specific points. For example, I say the milk diet helps with weight loss, and I think there is general agreement that weight loss helps with any disease, but I don't see you saying anything back to that. I say that milk is very easy on the body because it's already broken up, and I don't hear a specific response to that. You don't owe me a response, but it does seem like you're not really grappling with the story I'm telling you. It is true that the milk diet lacks certain nutrients, but I can say that I've done much better on this diet than I have on diets that have all the nutrients one supposedly needs--and I don't think my body is very different from other people's, therefore I think they will do much better as well.

          By the standard American diet, I mean meat, milk, fruit, vegetables, bread, and different combinations of these.

          Wow, how cool that you were a hippie. Where were you living at the time? Ever live in a commune? Did you protest the war? What interesting stories do you remember from that time?

          Nuts, you're such a good-thinking person I was hoping you would explain the appeal as it's something I would like to understand. I think one does learn a lot about the system from these books, how the police work, how criminals operate, how the justice system works, prison.

          I guess the reason I go to a lot of movies is because it's something you can do during the day, or a kind of fun or entertainment you can have during the day, most things like concerts and plays take place at night. I generally follow a natural schedule, going to bed about at sunset and rising very early. Have you ever raised animals for food, I know you do the gardening.
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        Nov 9 2013: Greg,
        I have responded to your comments about your milk diet to the best of my ability MANY TIMES. You are correct....I am not "grappling" with the issue. I have my own information and preference, which I've shared with you several times.

        Mostly, I was living in Vermont during my hippie days.....in San Francisco a couple times. Never lived in a commune. My only protest of the war was with songs. Interesting story.....I was in SF when the song was released......"if you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...if you go to SF....you're gonna meet some gentle people there....all across the nation....there's a new generation....people in motion.....".............remember the song Greg?

        There are books about real crime, and there are people incarcerated because of real crime. I volunteered with the dept. of corrections for about 6 years facilitating various programs. I heard the true stores all the time.....didn't have to read the books.

        I have not personally raised animals for food, but my brothers have done so, as well as lots of friends.
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          Nov 9 2013: well, I certainly do appreciate your talking with me about it, Colleen. I think a lot of people recoil from the diet because they think it would be boring, and I would have thought that too before I did it. But now, having drunk thousands of gallons of milk, I can say it tastes more delicious to me than ever. And it is so damned nice to feel good and be a healthy weight. I believe eventually I'll be proved right and it will help many people will all kinds of disease, but it would be nice to see your brother be the first.

          What was hippie life like in Vermont compared to San Francisco? As far as that goes, what was your hippie life like in San Francisco? Did you meet your husband during hippie days? I have heard the song on radio, it's a lovely thought to wear a flower in your hair, of course it's kind of depressing to think the flower died so you could wear it in your hair. Are you like me, Colleen, do you get depressed in flower shops seeing all the flowers that are going to die just so you could enjoy them for a week.

          That's kind of heavy that you worked in prisons since you seem very light-hearted. What led you to do that?

          Oh, had you said you're vegetarian now? For moral reasons, if it's for moral reasons I suppose you would disapprove of people eating meat?

          Well, I walked to my mom's house today, about two miles, now I'm just playing on her computer. She has gone to some kind of gettogether with teachers she taught elementary school with before she retired. It's kind of nice and quiet.

          Have you ever made a Youtube video, Colleen, or do you go on youtube? On the videos on YouTube it is also possible to leave comments and get into conversations, it's fun to do those as well as the TED conversations.
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        Nov 10 2013: Greg,
        Hippie life in Vermont was much more subdued than in SF:>) I had a regular job, and on weekends, I went to Stowe (ski area) where I skied in the daytime and played the guitar and sang in lounges at night. At that time, a person working for a Stowe business, got free ski passes in addition to a little pay:>) Yes, I met my wasband (was my husband) during that time.

        No, I do not get depressed seeing a flower die, because I perceive it to be part of the life/death cycle. In Vermont, the flowers in the garden die back every year with cold weather....it is part of the cycle, which I accept in flowers, and in myself.

        Where better to have a "light-hearted" attitude than in a prison? It seems like it is needed there as much as it is needed anywhere else in our world.....don't you think?

        What led to volunteering in prisons?
        I volunteered in a shelter for women/children, and observed....
        We tried to empower women regarding violence and abuse. After about two years of doing this, I realized that the challenge was deeper than simply educating the victims of violence and abuse. I decided it might be helpful to go further into the exploration of violence/abuse. So, I started volunteering with the dept. of corrections... facilitating programs for offenders of violence/abuse.

        No, I am not a vegetarian and never have been, but I seem to be leaning more and more toward that all the time. I eat very little meat any more. The other night I went to a friends house for dinner and was served meat, which was delicious. However, my stomach was not happy all that night because it is not used to meat. What I have been telling you about changing diets, is from my own experiences, as well as what I am told by my vegetarian friends.

        I have not made a YouTube video, and it is not something I have a desire to do. You know that I was in the acting/modeling profession, and appeared in videos all the time....that was enough:>)
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          Nov 11 2013: thanks, Colleen, something about the hippies captures my imagination, it's very cool to have known someone who lived the life. It is interesting to think why San Francisco became the world capital of hippiedom. What broke the two of you up?

          Well, what I meant is when you cut a flower to put it in your hair, you kill it before it would naturally die, you shorten its life. Since I believe plants have some consciousness, I think this causes them suffering.

          In theory yes, a lighthearted attitude would work in prison, but most lighthearted people seem to avoid grim places. What did your volunteering actually involve?

          Well, I really have nothing against people eating meat. Even for someone who is used to it, I believe it is hard for the body to process because it has much iron.

          Well, I have one on YouTube, and it's quite a nice feeling to have one there. I have also left many comments on different youtube videos, and sometimes I will get comments back, which are often very interesting and lead to interesting exchanges. Usually, however, conversations on YouTube don't continue past one or two exchanges, they could on my end, I'd like to keep them going, but the other person drops out. But I don't feel bad leaving a comment even if it isn't replied to, I still figure somebody reads it and is touched by it.
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        Nov 12 2013: The hippie era was interesting....just as any stage of the life adventure is interesting for me Greg:>)

        What broke the two of you up? You mean my wasband and me? In my humble perception, it was communication....or lack of communication. I LOVE exploring thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions and beliefs, and I married a person who didn't like to do that. I tried for 24 years to encourage more communication, and it did not happen. Interestingly, since we have been divorced (23 years), we are better friends than we were in our 24 years of marriage!

        In case you have not noticed Greg, I do not avoid "grim places". Those are the places that most need a light heart, so I take mine with me as I face some of the grim places in our world:>)

        My volunteerism with the dept. of corrections involved several different "jobs"....first I served on the Reparative Board, which is a court ordered program involving regular citizens who evaluate an offender and with his/her cooperation, design plans that might help keep him/her out of jail....paying for damages, physically repairing damages, community service, educational programs, etc. This program was modeled after the "Real Justice" program, and I was trained through that program to be a mediator. One of my favorite programs was co-facilitating "Cognitive Self Change" sessions with groups of offenders, and I also participated in a one-on-one similar program.....etc.

        I watched your YouTube video a long time ago when you posted the link in a conversation:>)
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          Nov 12 2013: thanks, Colleen. Yes, I was born in '60, so I was a little late for the hippies. I agree that one can enjoy all eras, to me there was something particularly liberating about the hippies, it seemed to me that it opened up America to a certain kind of playful, free creativity that maybe hadn't been there before. This had to do with rock music, freer attitudes about the body and sex, and so on. I think we benefit from it today, even on TED.

          Funny, are you saying wasband didn't like exploring? Cause really if you aren't exploring you aren't alive, are you?

          I hadn't noticed one way or the other whether you avoided or went into grim places. Come to think of it, you're right, those places could use a light heart. But do you ever fear losing your light heart? How are you using the word "mediator," and what was the training for that? What did a cognitive self-change session entail?

          Well, YouTube can be useful for learning things, and also entertainment. Lately I've been watching videos on grass, trying to learn more about it. I'm just dying to make videos about eating grass, and my milk diet, but I hold back because some people think those things are bad, and I don't want to get flagged and get the video removed and blah blah blah. I enjoyed learning as I made my first posted video, the first time I shot it there was a carving of a naked woman on the wall behind me, so we took it down and reshot because I didn't want to get flagged for it. So I learned something about awareness of the set.

          Had I asked you whether you sing, Colleen, a couple of Asian women I've talked with have said they don't dance, but they sing.
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        Nov 12 2013: I agree Greg, that the hippie era might have presented a new paradigm....more freedom to explore new ideas and behaviors:>)

        I believe people can be very much alive and willing or unwilling to explore on various levels....various topics or ideas, etc.

        No, I do not fear losing my "light heart" because it is a very strong light heart which has been nurtured for over 60 years. I would not think of giving it up, because to me, it is much more enjoyable than the alternative:>)

        I mediated with offenders who were incarcerated, and also the mediation practices helped with facilitating programs. The basic practice is to try to get people to actually listen to each other, stay focused on the issue and seek resolution. The cognitive self change sessions simply asked the offenders to genuinely think and feel....understand thyself.... because many of their actions/reactions are kneejerk reactions based on fear.

        I mentioned in a previous comment that I sang and played the guitar during the hippie era, and singing was the main reason I started doing musical theater....to get back to singing:>).
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          Nov 13 2013: well, I hear that prior decades were more repressive, more gray. But then I also have the idea that "the more things change, the more they stay the same," so many the prior decades were freer than I think?

          So you are saying your husband was willing to explore certain topics but not the same as you? So what were his topics, and what were yours?

          So in these prison programs were you hearing horrible stories of crimes committed? These didn't bring you down?

          I'm hanging up on the word mediation. Mediation means mediating between two parties, like you might mediate between the prisoners and the prison administration. Or between different prisoners in their conflict with each other. Is this what you mean?

          Yes, I'm sorry, Colleen, you have mentioned singing. I probably was more thinking do you sing now, like around the house? I sometimes do, or hum when I'm doing my belly dance (for example, I like a song called "Darkness, darkness," by the Youngbloods, which has an Arabic sound.) Were you doing originals or covers as a hippie performer? What is the pleasure of singing, perhaps the sound is sweet in our own ears?

          My mom and I went and saw "Bad Grandpa" yesterday, it is Candid Camera like, where this actor made up as an old man says various outrageous things to people who don't know they're on camera. It was okay, I guess, amusing though rather raunchy. I've generally enjoyed raunchy, this morning I was feeling overloaded on it, perhaps the feeling will ebb away.
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          Nov 13 2013: colleen, here is a link to darkness, darkness by the youngbloods: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-CYWbfFoXY. It's rather pretty. When I'm washing my hair in the shower, I spend some time thoroughly massaging conditioner into it, so i dance while I massage, it makes the time pass more interestingly. And I might be humming this song.

          Wonder why people like to sing in the shower? Maybe for one they think others can't hear them that well, or maybe it's because they're alone and don't have to engage with others?
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          Nov 14 2013: colleen, in case we don't talk back and forth again before this conversation closes in 13 hours, thanks for conversing
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        Nov 14 2013: Greg,
        My husband excelled at conversations about business, and although I like conversations about business too, I also LOVE conversations about feelings:>)

        Yes, in the programs with the correctional facility I heard lots of stories about crime. It did not bring me down.......it reinforced my resolve to do something about it. The mediation I did was between offenders who had issues with each other and/or correctional officers, and also mediating with offenders and victims of the offense as a member of the reparative board.

        I did not do any originals...although I improvised a lot, I never wrote a song. I suppose singing draws different people in different ways....to me, it just FEELS good...been doing it since I was a wee little lass....singing with my mom:>)

        It's kind of fun that you and your mom went to a production.....nice!
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        Nov 14 2013: Thanks for the link to that song Greg. It reminds me of some of the songs I did back in the hippie days. I have enjoyed the conversation, which brought back a lot of fond memories....thank you for that, and I'll see ya around TED again, I'm sure:>)