The Cat Box

You’ll always find something of interest in the Cat Box

It’s all in my power — January 12, 2017

It’s all in my power

Over the past 12 months, Donald Trump has had varying degrees of control over my emotions. The specter of evil and unknown danger, he has been invited by me to come into my brain and fill it with green vitriol made up of everything I fear.

Now with the inauguration approaching, the volume on “the uncontrollable” has become a little louder to me and yesterday after listening to Trump’s press conference I felt myself totally focused on all the things going on in the world that I have no control over.

There is so much hate and fear out there and I was giving it too much of my attention. I kept moving back and forth from the circle of my life over which I have some influence into the bigger circle of life where I have no influence and where the only control I have is to not focus on it.myinfluence

So, I gave up my control, throwing Love and Faith under the bus carrying Hate and Fear. After a short time riding that bus, I decided to take myself to the place where I go to fix myself.

The gym.

I jumped into a spin class and challenged myself to leave all the baggage I was carrying there on “the road.” I did, it worked, and I felt much better.

Driving home on a cloud of endorphins, my eye was caught by a bumper sticker on an otherwise nondescript van traveling in front of me. It looked like this:

bumpersticker

The universe had spoken to me right there and then. I had taken the bait of hate and was feeling the pain of the hook all day.

Today I begin with gratitude for a new day and a new start.

My intention is to stay laser focused on the amazing stuff that is happening in my life.

I am going to breathe in the blessings and breathe out gratitude to the universe.

I AM the strength of Love and Faith and vow that, at least today,

I won’t take the bait of hate.

 

 

 

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No Dough Pizza — January 23, 2016

No Dough Pizza

I am neither gluten intolerant nor following a Paleo diet. I am an omnivore and will eat anything that doesn’t eat me first.

Pizza

I do love my healthy diet though and am always on the lookout for food that is healthy, delicious, and interesting. This cauliflower crust pizza is a winner in all of those categories. Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, stalk removed

1/2 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. (You can squeeze it in a light towel or cheesecloth to get all the moisture out.) Let cool. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.

I used half of a large head of cauliflower and only one egg. I topped it with fresh garlic, sliced cherry tomatoes, and sausage. Dried basil and hot pepper flakes finished it. Try it, you’ll love it!

 

Get On Your Bike and Ride! — May 16, 2014

Get On Your Bike and Ride!

PeopleForBikes invite us all to imagine a place where one bike path leads to the next. Where trails, bridges, and underpasses lead safely to exactly where you want to go.

PeopleForBikesLogo
PeopleForBikes

They work to make this happen by connecting millions of riders to unite them into one voice.

They then take this strong voice to represent us all in building communities where, regardless of experience and fitness level, all of us can pedal across town.

PeopleForBikes, located in Boulder, started a national Green Lane Project to help cities build safer bike lanes to encourage more intercity riding.

In the first two years (2012 and 2013) of the project PFB worked with Austin, Chicago, Memphis, Portland, San Francisco, and DC.

In March PeopleForBikes announced six new cities where more safe bike lands will be installed and Denver is among the six cities including Atlanta, Boston, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.

Denver was chosen because of all of our biking initiatives and because our elected officials strongly support biking. One of the initiatives that sets us apart from other bike-friendly cities is our 15th Street Bikeway

New Green Lane on 15th Street in Denver
New Green Lane on 15th Street in Denver

The 15th Street Bikeway is a Denver City Works’ project that demonstrates our city’s promise to provide for and encourage use of all modes of travel. Using the bikeway, cyclists can now safely and easily access the Cherry Creek trail or lower downtown by continuing along the right side of 15th Street after the bikeway ends.

The left-side bike lane on 15th Street between Cleveland Place and Larimer Street helps organize all modes of traffic along the corridor, with bicyclists using the left lane, motorists in the middle lanes, and buses on the right. Yes!

Bike Denver

Denver is a great cycling city and the many biking organizations and programs for all levels of cyclists here make it easy to get rolling! Visit BIKEDENVER for resources and ways get on the road in Denver,

A Denver B Bike
Jump on a B Bike

jump on a B-cycle  at one of the many stops in Denver, or hook-up with a cycling Meet Up

for more push in your pedals. You’re in Colorado now so get on your bike and ride – safely!

When We Walk — April 3, 2014

When We Walk

I have always loved to walk and have accumulated many hours of memories and recorded thousands of impressions during my walking life. Walking always seems to have generated a heightened awareness in my senses stimulating my perception, my imagination, and my memories.

My mind can at any moment wander back to walking home from Muhlenberg Elementary School with my little sister. Sometimes I would trudge home, dragging the toes of my shoes, worried about some disclosure I would have to make to my mom upon arrival. Sometimes on the way Sallie and I would drop our book bags and run around laughing and teasing each other. And sometimes we would short cut over to our grandma’s house and share some delicious chocolate chip cookies that were always waiting in the freezer.

In Mid City, New Orleans I lovingly walked my newborn, Joseph, through the neighborhood, stopping along the way to allow my neighbors to admire the joy of my life. I could count on Miss Minnie’s being on her porch and she would always say, “Bring that baby up here, child. I need a closer look at that beautiful baby.” Joseph spent some leisurely afternoons strolling through Mid City and tipping a few iced teas on Miss Minnie’s porch.

When we moved to Denver from New Orleans we got a dog. Nelson was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever whose favorite activity second only to swimming was walking. Nelson and I put on many quick-stepping miles between our house and Nelson’s favorite swimming hole, the Cherry Creek Reservoir.

When our family moved to Evergreen, Colorado we adopted Boofy from the Evergreen Animal Protective League and my wilderness walking experiences took off. There was a dirt road that began up the hill from our house and descended into a beautiful woodland paradise that Boofy and I explored every day. I wrote about our walks here because they were so special to Boofy and me.

My dog Boofy in Elk Meadow, Evergreen, Colorado
Boofy in Elk Meadow

After my divorce Boofy and I moved to Denver’s beautiful Potter Highlands neighborhood and began hitting the sidewalks in what I think of as our own personal Urban Renewal. What an adventure it was being back in the city!

I could go on and on sharing my walking journal, but this story is called “When WE Walk.” When I say “We” I mean “You and me.” We receive energy when we expend energy and we don’t accumulate many memories sitting on our tuckus.

Walking stimulates our brains, our awareness, our lungs, our heart, and our smiles. When we walk we invite ideas, energy, and happiness into our lives. I invite you to go out and take a walk. It’s that simple, first one foot forward and then the other.

Now go on out and experience what happens when we walk. Let me know what you think.

More Healthy, More Happy! — March 28, 2014

More Healthy, More Happy!

Ed B walking in the neighborhood
Walking in the Hood
Physical activity and movement, so important to humans, has somehow slipped away from us.

We seem to have stopped moving ourselves around in our daily lives and started jumping into our cars to move us everywhere for everything.

Many of us have jobs where we sit. We have cars that we sit in, and when we are sitting around at home we think about ways to fit some kind of physical activity into a lifestyle that has very little time left for adding anything.

To buy our food, many of us drive our cars to a grocery store and look for the closest spot in the gigantic parking lot to the door.

I have written about the joy of riding my bike to my favorite neighborhood farm market in Sunnyside to pick up browns (eggs from happy neighborhood chickens) and greens (arugula, and kale, etc.) from the corner of 44th & Vallejo in Denver.

Denver’s Stapleton Community is an Active Living Partner of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living by Design where physical activity is restored back into the fabric of everyday life. People walk or ride their bikes to work and school and to the store and this is good.

The whole experience of riding your bike or walking down neighborhood streets to a local garden or grocery store, chatting with your neighbors, buying fresh food and walking or pedaling home with it is rejuvenating and makes us healthy and happy.

Healthy and happy is worth finding time for no matter where you live and I know that “more healthy” makes me “more happy.”

Happy and Healthy!
Happy and Healthy!

Since I am pretty sure that “more healthy” will also make you “more happy,” may I suggest that you sneak some activity into your life and move it around a little bit.

If you need a little prod, travel on over to my Pintrest account and check out “Day 100” for some “more healthy, more happy” inspiration.

Be Happy!

Temporarily Not Quite Least Obese — March 10, 2014

Temporarily Not Quite Least Obese

Back in October of 2010 I blogged about Colorado’s status as the country’s least obese state. I was happy to report that we maintained our status again in 2012.

Well, the bad news is the new numbers are in and Colorado has lost our first-place rating as least obese to Montana!

Montana???

Come on people of Colorado. What could have caused this?

I know what it has got to be,
and the only thing I think it’s got,
it’s got to be the legal pot!

pot plant
Legal pot in Colorado

I predicted that the legalization of pot would ruin our fair state. Now my predictions and the predictions of other luminaries have come to pass.

Legal pot IS dangerous. I mean this year we had Girl Scouts stationed outside of pot stores quadrupling their sales.

But, we can turn this around Colorado.

If all you are lifting is a bong in one hand and a local craft beer in the other it’s not going to work.

You have to get up and move it around a little bit. Walk to Sunday brunch.

A Denver B Bike
Jump on a B Bike
Get on a B Bike to do the brewery tour. Get out to Red Rocks when there isn’t a concert.
Take a hike in beautiful Red Rocks
Take a hike!

And Montanans, don’t get too used to to your top spot. We’re at least a mile higher than you are.

Reiterate, Iterate and the Internet of Everything (IoE) — February 15, 2014

Reiterate, Iterate and the Internet of Everything (IoE)

Until recently I had never heard the word “iterate.” I have done it, but never actually said that I have iterated.

Iterate means to do or say something over again, as in “Allow me to iterate my point.” You may have heard the more common request to “reiterate” a point. Though incorrect, reiterate is considered acceptable because it is (incorrectly) used so frequently.

Neither of these words is commonly used in the circles I move in, but as I delve into the world of User Experience (commonly called UX) design iteration has become a rather big deal. According to my go-to source, Wikipedia, iterative design is:

“A design methodology based on a cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product or process. “

What that means is you create a prototype, test it, analyze the results, and make any necessary changes to make it work better. Rinse and repeat.

Iteration (and reiteration) is commonly used in development of human computer interfaces. This is the place where we humans come face-to-face with all of the interactive devices that we invite into our lives. In software design, industrial design and website design this User Interface design is referred to as UI and is packaged together with UX to create UI/UX design.

I am just learning about this UI/UX world but to my uneducated eye this whole UI/UX design process seems to me to be part of the traditional creative process. We give it a name now though because it is becoming a study unto itself as its human impact grows.

Our deepening relationship with all of our favorite interactive devices is increasing at breakneck speed. I recently heard Scot Przybylski, Senior UX Designer at Slice of Lime in Denver, present on “The UX of the Internet of Everything (IoE)” at a Refresh Denver Meetup. He told the group that by 2015 there could be 25 billion “things” connected to the Internet. That’s BILLION with a B or 3.5 connected things, per person, on the planet. And all of these connected things require attention and some degree of interaction with us.

With that many connected things complicating our lives with their need to interact with us, an understanding of how we will use them and how we feel about our experience with them becomes more important than the things themselves. But you know it’s always been all about relationships.

So allow me to reiterate (sorry, but it just sounds better to me) my point if I can find it here. Over centuries our interaction with an abacus or slide rule never required an examination of our relationships with them because though they served a purpose, they didn’t drill into our lives. But as soon as that hand-held calculator wormed its way into our daily, we started going steady with technology and our infatuation and slavish devotion to it does not seem to be slowing down.

At the Refresh Denver Meetup Scot talked about the Internet of Everything (IoE) and the importance of developing a human-centered ecosystem that will attend to our needs, problems, and goals as we go forward into the future, hand-in-hand with the technology we create.

Think about your relationship with your microwave, or your TV remote, or your cell phone. Is it satisfying? New cars are coming off the line requiring more and more interaction with their drivers. Are you emotionally ready for a new car that is expecting a more serious relationship than your current car?

Take heart. At this writing, though we are still responsible for our human relationships we can rest assured that there are some very serious people thinking seriously about making the relationships we have with all of our devices satisfying ones.