The reason why my voice is so clear.

Is there’s no smack in my brain

I grew up in the 70s and 80s, in the heat of Georgia. This means that all sorts of things appeal to me, like barbecue and sweet tea, that might not appeal to others. In a trolley suburb of Atlanta, it was hardly a rural or bucolic existence. A ready consolation was the selection of candies, chips, snacks, and soft drinks at the corner store, a half block away. Back then, they could be had for a quarter, which was pocket change. My parents pocket change, anyway. After raiding their change bowl in their closet for the choicest coins, I would run as fast as I could to McMichael’s, relishing the thought of a Lil’ Debbie, Coke or Zero Bar. During weekend sojourns out to the country, my dad shared the exotic luxuries of Red Rock and Moon Pie’s with me. I loved the sweetness of all these things.

About a year ago, I visited a facility at work that was in a giving mood. They gave each of us a candy jar, with plenty of individually wrapped chocolates within. Neat! Bringing this back to the office, I perched the jar at the edge of my desk, and invited my coworkers to partake. When all the candy was gone, I spent a quarter hour’s wages on yet more candy. Chocolates, Mints, Caramels and the like. I would theme it, with tiny Snickers and Crunch for Halloween, red and white mints for Christmas, and pastel jelly beans for Easter.

It sat at the corner of my desk, so I was of course eating more of this stuff that anyone else. It occurred to me to move it into the hallway after I realized that I was getting heavier and staying heavier. Not significantly, but frustratingly. I would fast though supper, be hungry all day long, and still keep the pounds on. Meanwhile, I would casually grab a few candies every hour, figuring that they could not be more than a few calories each. It wasn’t the calories. It was the sugar itself.

After my weight got to and stayed at unacceptable levels a month ago, drastic measures were needed. I took sugar-for-sugar’s sake off the menu. Not cold turkey, mind you, and not a complete vegan detoxifying abstention from all dairy, flour, fat, meat, eggs, sodium, trans-fats, palm oils, and brown foods. Just dialing back the sugar. I started to think of sweets like cake, donuts, and *gasp* Coke as poison. I’ve long been amused by the fact that the Romans used Lead acetate as a sweetener. Now it seems we are using sugar in much the same way, and with the same effect.

I still put sugar in my coffee. The sugar packets at one of my usual haunts actually reports how many grams of sugar are in a sugar packet: 3 grams. This is great info. So a Moon Pie or a Snickers bar contains 9 packets of sugar, the bowl of cereal I had this morning contained 7 packets, and a small can of Coke contains just over 8 packets. Just like the 3 cans I have at the bottom of our pantry. I’ll drink them when I’m out of harm’s way.


I had hoped to post an article on the French Quarter in New Orleans, one of the most walkable places in America. This morning, my computer’s virtual machine crashed, so I have to fast track this article for you.