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I have battled with being overweight since I was 17 years old. I have lost over 70 pounds twice in my life, swearing to never gain it back.

 

When I was a kid, my mom and aunt were on Weight Watchers, so after I had my first child, joining Weight Watchers seemed like the natural thing to do. I was already familiar with weighing food and counting points. I joined my first gym then also and started keeping measurements of my arms, chest, waist, hips, and thighs. The weight came off easily and I mostly kept it off until I had my third child. After Dominic was born, I had my first round of health issues and surgeries which has resulted in my gaining and losing big chunks of weight over the next 10 years. In 2012-2013, I lost 74 pounds again with Weight Watchers. I was within 5 pounds of goal. I was so determined to be healthy and fit and again vowed, “Never again.” But… in the last three years, I've put half it back on, lost half of that, put it back on, lost it again... you get the picture. I am incredibly unhappy with my body and I wish I didn't care so much. My health issues continue so there is a reason for this struggle… but still.

 

This picture represents my battle with my weight… I've always judged myself and held myself accountable by what these objects say. This tape measure has measured my body since I was in my early 20s. This Weight Watchers food scale is one I got when I first joined the program in 1992. The ironic thing is that I never measure up in my own eyes. Isn't that a sad thing? I'm soooo ready to throw it all away and not care anymore... just as soon as I lose the weight again, ha.

During my break from photography, I spent time working on my health and losing some weight. I'd really let myself go over the last ~3 years. I ate terribly, didn't do *any* exercise and spent too much time sitting down. The weight slowly piled on, and over the years I became a fatty.

 

I got serious about my health towards the end of last year, started counting my calories, lifting weights, bought a standing desk (so I'm not tempted to sit down) and am now about 24kg (53 pounds for my American friends) lighter than I was at my heaviest. (80kg vs 104kg). Still got a bit to lose, but I'm happier with the way I look. Feel a million times more energetic and alive too - I feel like a person again. As the weight creeps on, you feel less and less like you're living your life. Lethargy creeps in, going out becomes more of a "hassle", you walk less, play sports less, socialise less. When I look back at the person I was back then, I'm hit with sadness. The weight was holding me back.

 

I'm convinced being overweight holds you back from being truly, 100% happy.

"deg yew kno howda get pee stains outta suede?" Santa slurrs, badly to anyone nearby who will listen. He goes on for another half hour straight chattering away to the bottom of his scotch glass.

 

Flit sits at the end of the diner near the thermal heaters watching the barkeep pour him one more for the road; they talk like old friends, she overhears that he always stops in a few days before the big event to relieve a little stress.

 

He's a lot buffer than she imagined, in fact they always portray him as being overweight...

looks like Cookies and 'Milk does a body good'.

 

--

 

::K:: Ki-Co Cozy Scarf Femme(non-rigged,resize) Steel @ TMD

ABAR - CAP007 CHRISTMAS HAT PREFABRICATED Red

(NIRAMYTH) - AESTHETIC - ENZO PACKAGE (1.7)

DECO - MESH Shifty Beard (ash)

.DOOM. Hell Awaits Tattoo - Aesthetic Only

GMan TK - Torn Tank AESTHETIC

.ID. Thank You Gift Eyes

X Designs - Sweatpants Roll Up Red - (NIRAMYTH) - AESTHETIC

I've been tagged by =Tom= and catklein so now I have to write 16 random things about myself and then tag #? of my contacts that I would like to learn more about. ok.. I'm game :

 

1~ I hate talking on the phone. even to my own mother. I send emails to my irl friends instead of calling them to plan anything.. I have no idea why I have a cell phone. :)

2~ I don't drink coffee or alcohol. except on very rare occasions. I'm a fan of tea (iced, moroccan mint, chai, etc.), cappuccino, mexican hot chocolate, smoothies... I love trying out new juice.. whenever I go to a new place, I ALWAYS have to buy a brand/flavor I never had before. and yeah. water is the best. ;)

3~ Speaking of wich.. I've been known to never finish a glass of beverage. I always have 3 or 4 unfinished glasses lying around the place.. it's a running joke in my fam.

4~ I never wear make-up. I don't even know what to do with it. and now that I'm 35.. I feel like I have to start learning how to apply some. cuz I'm starting to show my age. :)

5~ I love a good bargain. I LOVE thrift store shopping with a passion and checking out clearance racks in the stores. for me.. it's like a treasure hunt every time !

6~ I might be the world's biggest procrastinator. my son is currently at my parents place so I can finish some work before the holidays. and still.. I'm here writing this crap. ;)

7~ I'm not a party animal. I'm more of the strong silent type. wich sometimes make me look like a snob. but I prefer to watch and listen then to talk. people might think I'm bored.. but I'm not ! trust me. When I warm up.. I can be quite funny ! ;)

8~ I gained 20lbs since starting my 365 project. and I hate myself for it. I feel like I'm trapped in somebody else's body and I will NEVER be comfortable being overweight. it's just NOT who I am. but nothing I do to change this fact is working out. :(

9~ I never wanted kids. I've known and said that all my life. I was happy traveling, working, studying and being free. and then I had my son. and I ADORE him to death. but when people ask me if I can imagine my life without him, I say yes. of course. I had a good life before. there was nothing missing. and I get weird looks by some peeps when I say that.

10~ I love shoes. I reall really do. like most women. but I can't wear high heels. and that makes me sad. I don't know why. oh and.. I don't wear shorts nor short skirts either. cuz I hate my legs. and I can take the summer heat just fine with or without them. ;)

11~ I hate the fact that I can't afford things I really like. I rarely treat myself and that can get very frustrating. I guess that's true for a lot of folks. but I'm sometimes envious and jaleous of rich people.

12~ I'm a very indecisive gal. I'm always afraid of making the wrong decision. I find myself overwhelmed when confronted with too many choices. even in restaurants. I can study the menu for a good 30min before knowing what I want. and that can get on people's nerves. ;)

13~ I'm not a gadget freak. I have no ipod, iphone, blackberry, wii or any other electronic thingy. I can get by without them.. and so do you ! :)

14~ I LOVE handwritten letters, cards and notes.. and I LURVE getting snailmail ! Seems like the only things I write these days are the grocery list and some little words to teach my son how to write. I miss the act of writing. and nowdays, I write in english 99% of the time ! but I rarely speak ! :)

15~ I'm an atheist. borned catholic, but my fam was not very religious. it was more of an habit then anything else. when I do have to go to church (marriage, funeral, baptism, christmas) I don't do the ceremonial stuff. I stay sitted. my son was not baptized. and I'm happy about that. when it's time, he'll make his own decision about his beliefs.

16~ I've always been very attracted by other cultures. For as long as I can remember, I've loved learning, reading & discovering about different people and foreign countries. In elementary school I lived in the suburbs and we did'nt have many "ethnic groups" (for lack of a better word.. sorry) but they were all my friends : Kim (chinese), Pamela (indian), Jennifer (ethiopian) and so on. and later, I've dated my fair share of guys from all over the place! :) I really miss that diversity where I'm living now. it's very homogeneous.

  

woooooaaaaa I'm done ! *wipes forehead*

 

if you read all that and are not bored out of your mind... I applaud you !!! :)

  

*** Explored ! :) ***

The truth is I felt so beautiful both days until i looked at the pics later. These were the best of the bunch. The rest i deleted do to the dysphoria trigger.

I understand most people have issues with their bodies but it's not about being overweight, it's about how masculine I look when I see my reflection. I just want to climb in a hole and never come out. I wish I could accept that my body will never truly be feminine but it's just so hard.

When I see how far I have come, I cant believe it and I should be thankful but the truth is that it still cripples me to see that stranger looking back at me. Well I just wanted to share, thanks for listening.

January 21, 2011.

 

Your body isn't ugly. Society is.

 

Anorexia: An eating disorder, chiefly in young women, characterized by aversion to food and obsession with weight loss, and manifested in self-induced starvation and excessive exercise, etc.

 

A lot of people think that being thin is extremely important.

It's not.

 

"Is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me."

— J.K. Rowling

 

It happened a few years ago, but I still remember it vividly, like it was yesterday.

A girl was criticizing this girl in her class for being overweight. What she said was immensely cruel, and so judgemental.. the worst thing was that she didn't even realise the severity of what she said.

Later on, I got to know the same poor girl she was talking about. She is actually an extremely lovely person. She's a million times nicer than me. I felt so bad, there and then, that she got judged so viciously just because of her weight. And i felt that wasn't fair. I felt sick, because I knew it would continue when she got older and got a job, got new friends..

 

So what if I'm thin? It doesn't make me a better person than she is in any way.

So what if you're thin? It doesn't change a thing.

So if that guy you like cannot accept your weight, he's not worth it.

So if that girl you like tells you you need a six pack, she's not worth it either.

So if they don't want to be friends because they sneer at your weight, you don't need them.

So if everyone looks down on you automatically because of your size, they're the ones losing out on getting to know a wonderful person.

 

And it's not that easy being extremely thin either.

No, not all thin people starve themselves. We eat, alright? It's not that fun being thin. People call us anorexic wherever we go. If we're not hungry, it's always 'You're not eating? Anorexic." or "No wonder you're so thin."

So underweight people don't have the freedom to not eat, and overweight people don't have the freedom to eat.

  

I've had a bad last eight months, including a fair amount of time in the hospital, hence no posts. But last week I fulfilled an almost life-long dream and visited Amanda Richards. I can't put into words how much it meant to me. I once said to a guy I worked with (whom I despised) "I think you are the quintessence of your ilk" I can say the same of Amanda; meaning it this time with almost adoration. I went there thinking this would be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but I'm already thinking about "next time". She is WONDERFUL! I was especially impressed with how understanding and accommodating she was with my physical limitations (being overweight, balance, stamina, etc. SHE IS FANTASTIC, and she made me look the way I didn't even dream I could!!!

 

Cleo on a bench in the garden. When I look at her I always think that she is a beautiful girl in spite of her being overweight but I know that many people think differently. Her pictures have received some quite unfriendly comments recently. Someone called her fat and ugly and another one wrote that he'd be ashamed if she was his cat. Of course I know that Cleo should really lose some weight, not for aesthetic reasons but because it would be better for her health. She is on a strict diet and I weigh out her daily ration every morning but Cleo seems to be a cat who doesn't lose weight easily. A check-up at the vet showed that Cleo is perfectly healthy, there seems to be no physical reason why the diets don't work the way they should. The vet thinks it's due to an innate disposition. So all we can do is go on with the diets and hope for the best.

Ok, so this is happening again.

 

After I finished the project in 2012. I decided to take a break from the stress of coming up with an idea, setting up, shooting and editing to get a picture up every day.

 

I quickly realised I missed it though.

 

I figured I would do a few series, to fill in that gap. Unfortunately though, with out that pressure to produce something, I got lazy and hardly used my camera at all shooting just over 3,000 compared to the 12,000 in 2012.

 

As the year went on I realised the project had a tremendous influence on my health and confidence. A few months before I started the project in 2012 I was obese, by the start of the project I was overweight. Many people don't like there picture taken because they don't like the way they look. I am no exception, but it gave me the motivation I needed to change my appearance. While I haven't slipped back to being overweight, I am not where I want to be.

The confidence came mostly from being more content with my appearance, but also having a feeling of accomplishment "I can do that" and simply having something to talk about when people ask "What's new with you".

 

So if you read all that and understood it, you must be pretty awesome.

 

AND seeing that you are awesome, you should help me out with photo ideas. The more photo ideas I have the less you'll see of those cats I have. Please don't suggest I take a picture of a light post though, unless it's got girls dancing on it, or you've wrapped your drift car around it (don't do that) it's not really interesting enough... plus I did it in the last project, twice.

www.flickr.com/photos/tristan_brazier/6969016429/in/set-7...

www.flickr.com/photos/tristan_brazier/7374610510/in/set-7...

  

Strobist:

Elinchrom BX500Ri into 22" Silver Beauty Dish overhead.

255/365

What do you see in that mirror? I have talked about this subject before but felt the need to revisit it today. This image represents so many things related to emotion and to an extent reason. The slight ripples in the water distort the true me just like my emotions can distort reality. The image looking back at me also sees a distorted image, one swayed by not only their emotions but the outward persona that I portray.

This brings me to my topic of emotion verses reason. Although a person can act upon emotion or reason there tends to be a conflict in almost every decision we make, from religion, politics, family, and everything in between. It is obvious that a person should have a healthy diet, get proper exercise but how did I get to the point I am at now. Of course one could not feel or even love without emotion, motivation and a drive to succeed stem from emotion but so does fear and anger and regret. Emotion is the most powerful force inside us. I spent 4 years in college and 2 in graduate school to train my mind, but how much time have I spent trying to understand my emotions and how to use that driving force. According to Jim Rohn, there are four emotions that can lead to life change.

 

Disgust. I am disgusted with being overweight and out of shape. I am tired of aching and not feeling good. “I have had enough.”

 

Decision. I must make a choice. “Like an internal civil war” the battle between long term health and happiness but sacrifices and dedication, or short term gratification because it is easy.

 

Desire. Since desire is a craving, what do I crave more, eating healthy, exercising and feeling good or sitting on the couch eating anything that just tastes good?

 

Resolve. I WILL

200/365

 

If you asked me what I wanted to be, more than anything, despite talent and training and practicality and money, I would say a dancer. Specifically, a Broadway gypsy, somebody who goes from show to show for their entire life, dancing in the chorus.

 

I have wanted to be a dancer since I was a child. However, when I was 11, the girls in my dance class made fun of me for being overweight, and I quit the class. I didn't pick it up again until I was 18, and that's too late for somebody like me, who isn't oozing talent.

 

I still take dance classes whenever I can, and my most recent teacher said that I have a lot of talent; I just lack technique. And when she told me that, I let myself dream. I saw myself with a bag of dance shoes, running down streets in Midtown between classes and shows, dancing in the bright lights, being lifted and twirling and feeling my muscles strain to hold me perfectly still and graceful. And then I remembered that I'm pursuing something else now, something that I have a possibility of a future in, and that there isn't time in my full life to take the amount of training I would need to be a dancer.

 

But one day, I'll be one. Somehow.

Something that is so widespread in Britain, that few people seem to consider it to be very serious. This person can cover it up with stylish clothes. But..... she needs a walking stick!

Yet being overweight is a serious problem. We are of course in denial about it! We tell ourselves it is only natural.......

The increase in the numbers of overweight young people is staggering. There are 15,000 four/five year olds who are seriously obese when they start school.

In Barking & Dagenham (a poor area), 28 per cent of 11-year olds are obese, while in well off Richmond, the rate of obesity is only 11 per cent.

One culprit making people fat is cheap white bread, often eaten by poorer people since quality whole meal bread is much dearer. White bread is missing 20 vitamins/minerals processed out of the ‘refined’ white flour! It’s junk food in other words, along with a lot of the cheap but processed food! But people eat for COMFORT - they are not getting enough fulfilment through being social.

 

Vivimos en una sociedad donde sólo nos preocupamos de nosotros mismos y el resto que se cague. La indiferencia la vemos en todos lados, no solo en el mendigo que no miramos en la calle. Está en las cosas que comemos, en todo el sufrimiento de animales que viven en condiciones extremas (si es que a eso se le puede llamar vivir), es la parte que no miramos del jugoso pedazo de carne que tienes enfrente, en tu plato. Está en la terrible vulneración de los derechos humanos en algunos países de oriente, total están lejos y son gente mala. La vemos en países de África que no tienen que comer... y tú estás sufriendo por estar sobrepeso y no verte como el tipo o la mina de instagram. Vivimos en una sociedad basura, porque eso es lo que somos, me incluyo, pero eso no significa que no podamos cambiar.

 

We live in a society where we only worry about ourselves and the rest gets fuck. We see indifference everywhere, not only in the homeless we do not look on the street. It is in the things we eat, in all the suffering of animals that live in extreme conditions (if that can be called living), is the part that we do not look at the juicy piece of meat that you have in front of you, on your plate. It is in the terrible violation of human rights in some countries of the East, no matter, they are far away and they are bad people... We see it in African countries that do not have to eat and you are suffering from being overweight and not seeing yourself as the instagram guy or girl. We live in a trash society, because that's what we are, I include myself, but that does not mean we can not change.

Florence Ballard what a gutsy woman .Her passing was a tragedy and

loss to her family and fans.She got a raw deal and put up with to much

abuse in her short life.The sad fact in 1960 she was raped when was she

17 which forever changed her life.This untreated trauma would ultimately

affect her as so often ,depression,anxiety,self image,trust,substance

abuse,bad choices in men.Almost similar to Tammi Terrell's early life

when she was traumatized.If only Florence had been able to get help.

and her peers Mary and Diana noticed her personality change.Florence was

a wonderful person, mother and great singer.Sometimes we need to look deeper

into the lives of these great singers to understand the abuse they went

through. In those times racial discrimination and women having few resources

or supports working in the music business.They were at the mercy of the

record producers,managers and their peers.They were just teenagers wanting to be

 

singers and new nothing of the industry which in the end would destroy so

many of them be it depression,suicide,drug overdoes,financial ruin.In

those days you sold your soul to survive ,what sad legacy for so many

great singers.Florence Ballard was one of the casualities of the era

but her legacy remains as her fans will never forget her. God bless

Florence for giving us so much in her short life.

  

Florence Ballard | Interview: Being Fired/Replacement/Weight Issues (1975)

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBwsDVUSfAg

  

Found these 2 interviews with the Supremes from 1966.

 

I notice how the Supremes enjoyed Johnny Tillotson singing.

Also when Berry Gordy comes states when he first met the

girls they weren't beautiful at the time. Bad joke and not

funny. Also when Canadian host in 2nd clip jokes about

Florence's weight. It's sad as Florence had always been

picked on about her weight

  

Swinging Time-1966-The Supremes, The Marvellettes and Johnny Tillotson

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYwhk0O_tnE&list=RDXYwhk0O_tn...

 

plus

  

The Supremes, in Toronto for a week of concerts at the O'Keefe Centre, join Luncheon

 

Date host Elwood Glover for a chat. June 21, 1966

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdclAVfAx_k

  

The Supremes, in Toronto for a week of concerts at the O'Keefe Centre, join Luncheon

 

Date host Elwood Glover for a chat.The Supreme sound of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and

 

Florence Ballard

 

The Story

  

The Supremes, in Toronto for a week of concerts at the O'Keefe Centre, join Luncheon

 

Date host Elwood Glover for a chat. The trio discuss the previous night’s concert,

 

how they got together, Motown Records, and the style of their music, which has

 

switched from 3-part harmony to the new sound of Ballard and Wilson singing back-up

 

to Ross’s lead. They touch on the subject of money – their one-hundred-dollar-a-week

 

allowance, the cost of their gowns, and finally how success has affected their lives.

  

Broadcast Medium:

Television

 

Program:

Luncheon Date

 

Broadcast Date:

June 21, 1966

 

Interviewer:

Elwood Glover

 

Guests:

Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard

 

Duration:

11:24

  

Did You know?

 

•A newspaper ad for the performances listed matinee seats ranging in cost from $1.50

 

to $3.50, and the evening show tickets cost between $2.00 and $5.50. The other

 

performers on the bill were comedian Red Buttons, 16-year-old Stevie Wonder, and The

 

Wellingtons, a folk-singing group.

•Listen here for a radio interview with 13-year-old "Little Stevie Wonder".

•A 1967 radio interview with lead singer Diana Ross in which she talks about the

 

departure of Florence Ballard can be heard here.

•Diana Ross was born March 26, 1944, Mary Wilson March 6, 1944, and Florence Ballard,

 

June 30, 1943. Ballard died of a heart attack on Feb. 22, 1976.

  

Florence Ballard Biography

  

Florence Glenda Chapman (née Ballard; June 30, 1943 – February 22, 1976) was an

 

American singer. Ballard was a founding member of the popular Motown vocal female

 

group the Supremes. Ballard sang on 16 top 40 singles with the group, including ten

 

number-one hits. After being removed from the Supremes in 1967, Ballard tried an

 

unsuccessful solo career with ABC Records before she was dropped from the label at

 

the end of the decade. Ballard struggled with alcoholism, depression, and poverty for

 

three years. She was making an attempt for a musical comeback when she died of a

 

heart attack in February 1976 at the age of 32.[1] Ballard's death was considered by

 

one critic as "one of rock's greatest tragedies".[2] Ballard was posthumously

 

inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Supremes in 1988.

  

Contents

1Early life

2Career

2.1The Supremes

2.2Exit from the Supremes and solo career

2.3Decline

2.4Comeback

3Death

4Legacy

5Personal life

6Discography

6.1Album

6.2Singles

7References

8External links

 

Early life

 

Florence Glenda Ballard was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 30, 1943 to Lurlee (née

 

Wilson) and Jesse Ballard, as the eighth[3][4] of thirteen children or ninth of

 

fifteen children.[5][6][7][8] Her siblings were Bertie, Cornell, Jesse, Jr., Gilbert,

 

Geraldine, Barbara, Maxine, Billy, Calvin, Pat, Linda and Roy.[9][10] Her mother was

 

a resident of Rosetta, Mississippi.[10] Her father was born Jesse Lambert in

 

Bessemer, Alabama; [10] after his grandmother was shot and killed, he was adopted by

 

the Ballard family.[10] Jesse Ballard left his adoptive parents at 13, and soon

 

engaged in an affair with Ballard's mother, who was only 14, in Rosetta.[11] The

 

Ballards moved to Detroit in 1929.[12] Jesse soon worked at General Motors.[9][13]

 

[9][11] Jesse, an amateur musician, helped instigate Florence's interest in singing;

 

he taught her various songs and accompanied her on guitar. Financial difficulties

 

forced the Ballard family to move to different Detroit neighborhoods; by the time

 

Florence turned 15 they had settled at Detroit's Brewster-Douglass housing projects,

 

and the next year Jesse Lambert Ballard died of cancer.[14]

 

Named "Blondie" and "Flo" by family and friends, Ballard attended Northeastern High

 

School and was coached vocally by Abraham Silver. Ballard met future singing partner

 

Mary Wilson during a middle-school talent show and they became friends while

 

attending Northeastern High. From an early age, Ballard aspired to be a singer and

 

agreed to audition for a spot on a sister group of the local Detroit attraction, the

 

Primes, who were managed by Milton Jenkins. After she was accepted, Ballard recruited

 

Mary Wilson to join Jenkins' group.[15] Wilson, in turn, enlisted another neighbor,

 

Diana Ross, then going by "Diane".[16] Betty McGlown completed the original lineup

 

and Jenkins named them as "The Primettes". The group performed at talent showcases

 

and at school parties before auditioning for Motown Records in 1960.[17] Berry Gordy,

 

head of Motown, advised the group to graduate from high school before auditioning

 

again.[18] Ballard eventually dropped out of high school though her groupmates

 

graduated.[19]

 

In 1960, Ballard was raped at knifepoint by local high-school basketball player

 

Reggie Harding after leaving a sock hop at Detroit's Graystone Ballroom (she had

 

attended with her brother, but they accidentally lost track of each other).[20] The

 

rape occurred in an empty parking lot off Woodward Avenue. Ballard responded by

 

secluding herself in her house refusing to come outside, which worried her

 

groupmates. Weeks later, Ballard told Wilson and Ross what had happened. Though Ross

 

and Wilson were sympathetic, they were also confused because Ballard was considered

 

to be strong-willed and unflappable. Both Wilson and Jesse Green, an early boyfriend

 

of Florence's, had described her as a "generally happy if somewhat mischievous and

 

sassy teenager." Wilson believes that the incident heavily contributed to the more

 

self-destructive aspects of Ballard's adult personality, like cynicism, pessimism,

 

and fear or distrust of others,[21] but the rape was never mentioned again.[22]

 

Career

The Supremes

Main article: The Supremes

 

In 1994, the Supremes were recognized with a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7060

 

Hollywood Blvd.

Later in 1960, the Primettes signed a contract with Lu Pine Records, issuing two

 

songs that failed to perform well. During that year, they kept pursuing a Motown

 

contract and agreed to do anything that was required, including adding handclaps and

 

vocal backgrounds.[23][24] By the end of the year, Berry Gordy agreed to have the

 

group record songs in the studio.[25] In January 1961, Gordy agreed to sign them on

 

the condition they change their name. Janie Bradford approached Ballard with a list

 

of names to choose from before Ballard chose "Supremes".[26] When the other members

 

heard of the new name, they were not pleased. Diana Ross feared they would be

 

mistaken for a male vocal group. Eventually Gordy agreed to sign them under that name

 

on January 15, 1961.[27]

 

The group struggled in their early years with the label, releasing eight singles that

 

failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100, giving them the nickname "no-hit Supremes".

 

One track, "Buttered Popcorn", led by Ballard, was a regional hit in the Midwest, but

 

still failed to chart. During a 1962 Motortown Revue tour, Ballard briefly replaced

 

the Marvelettes' Wanda Young while she was on maternity leave. Before the release of

 

their 1962 debut album, Meet the Supremes, Barbara Martin, who had replaced Betty

 

McGlown a year before they signed to Motown, left the group. Ballard, Ross and Wilson

 

remained a trio. After the hit success of 1963's "When the Love Light Starts Shining

 

Through His Eyes", Diana Ross became the group's lead singer.[28]

 

In the spring of 1964, the group released "Where Did Our Love Go", which became their

 

first number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, paving the way for ten number-one hits

 

recorded by Ross, Ballard and Wilson between 1964 and 1967. After many rehearsals

 

with Cholly Atkins and Maurice King, the Supremes' live shows improved dramatically

 

as well. During this time, Ballard sang lead on several songs on Supremes' albums,

 

including a cover of Sam Cooke's "(Ain't That) Good News". During live shows, Ballard

 

often performed the Barbra Streisand standard, "People". According to Mary Wilson,

 

Ballard's vocals were so loud she was made to stand 17 feet away from her microphone

 

during recording sessions.[29] Marvin Gaye, for whom Ballard sang backing vocals on

 

occasion, described her as "a hell of a singer, probably the strongest of the three

 

girls."[30] All in all, Ballard contributed vocals to ten number-one pop hits and 16

 

top forty hit singles between 1963 and 1967.

 

Exit from the Supremes and solo career

Ballard expressed dissatisfaction with the group's direction throughout its

 

successful period. She would also claim that their schedule had forced the group

 

members to drift apart.[31] Ballard blamed Motown Records for destroying the group

 

dynamic by making Diana Ross the star.[31] Struggling to cope with label demands and

 

her own bout with depression, Ballard turned to alcohol for comfort, leading to

 

arguments with her group members.[31] Ballard's alcoholism led to her missing

 

performances and recording sessions. Gordy sometimes replaced Ballard on stage with

 

the Andantes' Marlene Barrow. In April 1967, Cindy Birdsong, member of Patti LaBelle

 

and the Blue Belles, became a stand-in for Ballard. A month later, Ballard returned

 

to the group from what she thought was a temporary leave of absence. In June, Gordy

 

changed the group's name to "The Supremes with Diana Ross", which was how they were

 

billed on the marquee of Las Vegas' Flamingo Hotel.

 

On July 1, the day after her 24th birthday, Ballard showed up inebriated during the

 

group's third performance at the Flamingo and stuck her stomach out from her suit.

 

Angered, Gordy ordered her to return to Detroit, and Birdsong officially replaced

 

her, abruptly ending her tenure with the Supremes.[32] It had been decided as early

 

as May that Birdsong would be Ballard's official replacement once Birdsong's contract

 

with the Bluebelles was bought out.[33] In August 1967, the Detroit Free Press

 

reported that Ballard had taken a temporary leave of absence from the group due to

 

"exhaustion". Ballard eventually married her boyfriend, Thomas Chapman, on February

 

29, 1968. A week earlier, on February 22, Ballard and Motown negotiated to have

 

Ballard released from the label. Her attorney in the matter received a one-time

 

payment of $139,804.94 in royalties and earnings from Motown. As part of the

 

settlement, Ballard was advised to not promote her solo work as a former member of

 

the Supremes. In March 1968, Ballard signed with ABC Records and released two

 

unsuccessful singles. After an album for the label was shelved, her settlement money

 

was depleted from the Chapmans' management agency, Talent Management, Inc. The agency

 

had been led by Leonard Baun, Ballard's attorney who had helped to settle Ballard's

 

matters with Motown. Following news that Baun was facing multiple embezzlement

 

charges, Ballard fired him. She continued to perform as a solo artist, opening for

 

Bill Cosby that September at Chicago's Auditorium Theater. In January 1969, Ballard

 

performed at one of newly elected President Richard Nixon's inaugural balls. Ballard

 

was dropped from ABC in 1970.

 

Decline

In July 1971, Ballard sued Motown for additional royalty payments she believed she

 

was due to receive; she was defeated in court by Motown.[34] Shortly afterwards,

 

Ballard and her husband separated following several domestic disputes and Ballard's

 

home was foreclosed. Facing poverty and depression, Ballard became an alcoholic and

 

shied away from the spotlight. In 1972, she moved into her sister Maxine's house. In

 

1974 Mary Wilson invited Ballard to join the Supremes, which now included Cindy

 

Birdsong and Scherrie Payne (Ross had left for her successful solo career in 1970).

 

Though Ballard played tambourine, she didn't sing and told Wilson she had no ambition

 

to sing any more. Later that year Ballard's plight started to be reported in

 

newspapers as word got around that the singer had applied for welfare. Around that

 

time, Ballard entered Henry Ford Hospital for rehab treatment. Following six weeks of

 

treatment, Ballard slowly started to recover.

 

Comeback

In early 1975, Ballard received an insurance settlement from her former attorney's

 

insurance company. The settlement money helped her buy a house on Shaftsbury Avenue.

 

Inspired by the financial success, Ballard decided to return to singing and also

 

reconciled with Chapman. Ballard's first concert performance in more than five years

 

took place at the Henry and Edsel Ford Auditorium in Detroit on June 25, 1975.

 

Ballard performed as part of the Joan Little Defense League and was backed by female

 

rock group the Deadly Nightshade. Afterward she started receiving offers for

 

interviews; Jet magazine was one of the first to report on Ballard and her recovery.

 

Death

On February 21, 1976, Ballard entered Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital, complaining of

 

numbness in her extremities. She died at 10:05 the next morning from cardiac arrest

 

[35] caused by a coronary thrombosis (a blood clot in one of her coronary arteries),

 

[36] at the age of 32.[36] Ballard is buried in Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery

 

located in Warren, Michigan.

 

Legacy

Florence Ballard's story has been referenced in a number of works by other artists.

 

The 1980 song "Romeo's Tune", from Steve Forbert's album Jackrabbit Slim is

 

"dedicated to the memory of Florence Ballard". The Billy Bragg song "King James

 

Version" on his William Bloke album contains the line "Remember the sadness in

 

Florence Ballard's eyes". On his 2006 album Hip Hop is Dead, hip-hop artist Nas

 

mentions the Ballard/Ross rivalry in his song "Blunt Ashes": "When Flo from the

 

Supremes died/Diana Ross cried/Many people said that she was laughing inside." In his

 

short story "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band", Stephen King, through the late disc

 

jockey Alan Freed, includes Ballard as one of the deceased artists who performs in a

 

town called "Rock and Roll Heaven".

 

Dreamgirls, a 1981 Broadway musical, chronicles a fictional group called "The

 

Dreams," and a number of plot components parallel events in the Supremes' career.[37]

 

The central character of Effie White, like Florence Ballard, is criticized for being

 

overweight, and is fired from the group. The film version of Dreamgirls released in

 

2006 features more overt references to Ballard's life and the Supremes' story,

 

including gowns and album covers that are direct copies of Supremes originals.

 

Jennifer Hudson won a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for her portrayal of Effie

 

White in the Dreamgirls film. In her Golden Globe acceptance speech, Hudson dedicated

 

her win to Florence Ballard.[38] The music video for the Diana Ross song "Missing

 

You" pays tribute to Marvin Gaye, Ballard, and Paul Williams, all former Motown

 

artists who had died. In 1988, Ballard was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

 

as a member of the Supremes alongside Diana Ross and Mary Wilson.

 

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Florence Ballard among hundreds

 

of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[39]

 

Personal life

Ballard began dating Thomas Chapman, a Motown Records chauffeur, in 1967; they

 

married in a private celebration in Hawaii on February 29, 1968, and had three

 

daughters: Michelle Denise and Nichole Rene[40] and Lisa Sabrina (b. 1971). Ballard

 

reportedly had several domestic disputes with her husband and filed for divorce in

 

1973, but they reconciled in late 1975, prior to her death. Besides her three

 

daughters, Ballard's family included her cousin, rhythm and blues singer and

 

songwriter Hank Ballard, and his grandnephew, NFL player Christian Ballard; she was

 

also an aunt of the Detroit electronic musician Omar-S.[41]

  

See a GP if you have shortness of breath and:

 

it's lasted for longer than a month

it gets worse when you've been active

it gets worse when you lie down

you've been coughing for 3 weeks or more

you've got swollen ankles

 

It's important to get medical advice to make sure it's nothing serious. You're not wasting anyone's time by getting it checked out.

  

Call 999 if you're struggling to breathe or have sudden shortness of breath and:

 

your chest feels tight or heavy

you have pain that spreads to your arms, back, neck and jaw

you feel or are being sick

 

You could be having a heart attack or a problem with your lungs or airway. Call 999 immediately as you need treatment in hospital.

  

Common causes include a cold or chest infection, being overweight, and smoking. It can also be a sign of a panic attack.

 

But sometimes it could be a sign of something more serious, such as a lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung cancer.

 

-----------------------------------

Candid shot, Beer, Devon, UK.

The war of 1812 had just started...

 

HALIFAX / JUL 20 - dated straightline handstamp (34 mm 4 mm) - JJM #10 - contained in a holder of 38 mm diameter / second period of use 1810 - 1812.

 

- rated 2/2 in manuscript - collect overseas postage / the original 2/ rate was increased by 2d for the shipmaster's gratuity (JGY - page 242).

 

- sent to - The Rev. Doctor Coke / New Chapel / City Road / London

 

- London morning (arrival) duty cancel - / C / 21 AU 21 / 1812 / - double rim / red ink - morning duty cancels were struck in red ink with the year marking in a straight line. The code letter "C" only identified the table at which the letter were sorted, or the clerk using the stamp at the time - when the volume of mail was heavy there were additional stamps used which had double rims.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thomas Coke (b. 9 September 1747 – d. 2 May 1814) was the first Methodist bishop and is known as the Father of Methodist Missions. Born in Brecon, South Wales, his father, Barthomolew, was a well-to-do apothecary. Coke, who was only 5 foot and 1 inch tall and prone to being overweight, read Jurisprudence at Jesus College, Oxford, which has a strong Welsh tradition, graduating Bachelor of Arts, then Master of Arts in 1770, and Doctor of Civil Law in 1775. On returning to Brecon he served as mayor in 1772.

 

Rev. Dr. Thomas Coke had been ordained priest in 1772. In the summer of 1777 he cast in his lot with Wesley. He was then twenty-nine. Methodism quickly took him to its heart. His earnest and simple preaching made a deep impression. Thousands flocked to hear him in London, Wesley rejoiced when he found that Dr. Coke was reluctant to confine his labours to one congregation. He clasped his hands and said Brother, go out, go out, and preach the gospel to all the world.

 

He hoped to open Methodist missions in the East Indies and at his own expense he set sail for Ceylon on 30 December 1813. He had in fact tried to persuade the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, to appoint him to an Indian bishopric in the Church of England (the appointment of Church of England bishops being then, as now, a prerogative exercised by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Sovereign). However, Coke died after four months at sea on the way to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). It is thought he died of a "fit of apoplexy," or possibly a stroke. He died aboard ship, located 2 degrees, 29 minutes south latitude, and 59 degrees, 29 minutes east longitude, in the Indian Ocean, where he was also laid to rest.

 

Asbury described Coke as "a gentleman, a scholar, a bishop to us; and as a minister of Christ, in zeal, in labours, in services, the greatest man in the last century."

 

Link to a photo of Dr. Coke - upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/BpThomasCoke.png

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The "Entwicklung" tank series (= "development"), more commonly known as the E-Series, was a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardized series of tank designs. There were to be six standard designs in different weight classes, from which several specialized variants were to be developed. This intended to reverse the trend of extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability.

 

The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors; however, their design offered only modest improvements in armor and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace, such as the Jagdpanzer 38(t), Panther Ausf.G or Tiger II. However, the resulting high degree of standardization of German armored vehicles would also have made logistics and maintenance easier. Indeed, nearly all of the E-series vehicles — up through and including the E-75 — were intended to use what were essentially the Tiger II's eighty centimeter diameter, steel-rimmed road wheels for their suspension, meant to overlap each other (as on the later production Tiger I-E and Panther designs that also used them), even though in a much simplified fashion.

 

Focus of initial chassis and combat vehicle development was the E-50/75 Standardpanzer, designed by Adler, both being mostly identical and only differing in armor thickness, overall weight and running gear design to cope with the different weights.

 

The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I battle tanks and the conversions based on these older vehicles. The E-50 hull was to be longer than the Panther, and in fact it was practically identical to the Königstiger (Tiger II) in overall dimensions except for the glacis plate layout. Compared with the earlier designs, however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing the Standardpanzer designs was reduced drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing their predecessors' torsion bar system which required a special steel alloy.

 

The basis development, the combat tank, was to carry the narrow-mantlet 'Schmalturm' turret (designed for the Panther Ausf. F), coupled with a variant of the powerful 88 mm L/71 gun.

In service the vehicle received the inventory ordnance number "SdKfZ. 304" and was officially called "Einheitspanzer 50" (Standard tank), retaining its E-50 abbreviation. The weight of the E-50 vehicle family would fall between 50 and 75 tons. The engine was an improved Maybach HL234 with up to 900 hp output. Maximum speed was supposed to be up to 60 km/h.

 

The E-75 Standardpanzer (SdKfz. 305), based on the same hull, was intended to be the standard heavy tank and as a replacement of the heavy Tiger II and Jagdtiger tanks. The E-75 would have been built on the same production lines as the E-50 for ease of manufacture, and the two vehicles were to share many components, including the same Maybach HL 234 engine.

As its name indicates, the resulting vehicle would have weighed in at over 75 tons, reducing its speed to around 40 km/h. To offset the increased weight, the bogies were spaced differently from on the E-50, with an extra pair added on each side and eight instead of six wheels plus a slightly wider track, giving the E-75 a slightly improved track to ground contact length.

 

The basic combat tank version was to be equipped with the same turret and 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 as the E-50 battle tank, but along with an optical rangefinder for increased long range accuracy. Anyway, heavier guns (10,5 cm and 12,8 cm caliber) in bigger turrets were under development.

 

The E-50/E-75 chassis would also become the basis for a family special purpose vehicles like anti-aircraft tanks, assault guns or tank destroyers. One of the earliest developments for the latter class of vehicles was the SdKfz. 304/2, a self-propelled gun carrier for the powerful 12.8 cm KwK L/61 gun, a proven weapon with immense range and firepower, based on the 12.8 cm FlaK 40 anti-aircraft cannon.

The SdKfz. 304/2 was to be much more mobile and lighter than its predecessors, the Jagdtiger and Keiler tank hunters, which had suffered from being overweight and - consequently - underpowered. The new tank hunter was not to exceed 55 tons and offer a field performance similar to the highly effective Jagdpanther, which was only armed with an 88mm cannon, though.

 

As an appropriate vehicle basis the new E-50 chassis was chosen, but the internal layout was radically modified in order to accept the large and heavy weapon, the crew of six and a decent load of ammunition (which consisted of two parts) in a fully closed combat compartment.

In order to simplify the tank and save weight, the engine section was, together with the gearbox, moved to the hull's front. The complete crew section, including the driver’s position, was placed behind the engine. This was a radically new layout approach, and this form of the standard chassis was called E-50(F) (“F” standing for “Front”; there was also an “M” (= Mitte) for a mid-engine layout, with a separate driver compartment in front of the engine; the standard layout with a rear engine did not receive a dedicated suffix).

 

The driver’s position behind a long ‘bonnet’ considerably impaired the field of view, and both driver and radio operator, placed on the other side of the hull, had sit in separate "cabins" in front of the casemate-style box main structure. These positions were separated by parts of the engine and the gearbox between them, and accessible from the main combat room.

Despite some inherent weaknesses, this arrangement was regarded as an acceptable price to pay for space and weight savings through only a single major internal fire bulkhead, no need for a long power shaft running all through the hull and an improved crew survivability behind the massive engine against frontal attacks.

 

The large 12.8 cm cannon was completely covered under a box-shaped superstructure, which had almost vertical side walls. The gun could traverse 7° to each side, elevate 15° and depress -10°. 32 rounds were carried inside of the hull, including armor piercing and explosive shells.

In order to keep the SdKfz. 304/2 within a 60 tons overall weight limit, the vehicle’s front armor was limited to 70mm. This was deemed satisfactory, since the SdKfz. 304/02 was primarily intended for long-range combat only (the weapon had an effective range of 3,500 m (2.2 mi) and more even against heavily armored targets), primarily against heavy Soviet combat tanks and assault guns.

Having learned painful lessons with the Sturmgeschütz IV "Brummbär" and its vulnerability to close range attacks of infantry soldiers, the SdKfz. 304/2 was from the start outfitted with a ball mount for a MG 34 machine gun in the front plate of the superstructure. Another MG 34 on board could be mounted on the commander's cupola for anti-aircraft defense. Smoke dischargers were also available.

 

A small batch of the SdKfz. 304/2 was built at Deutsche Eisenwerke in mid-1945, to be tested under field conditions. Due to the lack of 12.8cm anti tank guns, around half of the 40 vehicles (production numbers are unclear, since the vehicles were manually converted from initial, unfinished E-50 chassis') were outfitted with the lighter 8,8cm Pak. Both variants were distinguished by "A" and "B" suffixes, respectively, and officially called “Jagdpanzer 12.8cm auf Fahrwerk E-50(F)”, frequently shortened to "Jagdpanzer E-50 (F) A or B".

In service, the relatively agile vehicles were dubbed "Uhlan" (after German light lancer groups in WWI) by their crews, and the more simple name quickly caught on. Another unofficial nickname, based on the separated driver/radio operator compartment and the boxy shape of the tank, was “Beichtstuhl” (“Confessional Box”), but this name was soon forbidden.

 

The new tank hunters only saw limited use, though, since they suffered from many early production flaws, and general technical reliability was also low. Other weaknesses were soon revealed, too. The SdKfz. 304/2's high casemate design made the vehicle hard to camouflage. With its almost vertical front and side armor, as well as the separate and edgy driver and radio operator compartments, it proved to be very vulnerable, too, so that - on the same chassis - an improved hull (similar to the Jagdpanther, but with the engine in front of the crew section and armed with a new 105 mm cannon) for the newly developed SdKfz 304 chassis (a.k.a. "Jagdpanther II") was quickly developed, offering a much improved ballistic protection from any angle.

  

Specifications:

Crew: Six (commander, gunner, 2x loader, radio operator, driver)

Weight: 54 tonnes (60 short tons)

Length: 7.27 metres (23 ft 8 in) (hull only)

9.36 metres (30 ft 8 in) incl. gun

Width: 3.88 metres (12 ft 9 in)

Height 3.35 metres (11 ft)

Ground clearance: 495 to 510 mm (1 ft 7.5 in to 1 ft 8.1 in)

Suspension: Conical spring

Fuel capacity: 720 litres (160 imp gal; 190 US gal)

 

Armor:

10–70 mm (0.4 – 2.75 in)

 

Performance:

Speed

- Maximum, road: 46 km/h (28.6 mph)

- Sustained, road: 38 km/h (24 mph)

- Cross country: 15 to 20 km/h (9.3 to 12.4 mph)

Operational range: 160 km (99 miles)

Power/weight: 16,67 PS/tonne (14,75 hp/ton)

 

Engine:

V-12 Maybach HL 234 gasoline engine with 900 PS (885 hp/650 kW)

 

Transmission:

ZF AK 7-200 with 7 forward 1 reverse gears

 

Armament:

1× 12.8 cm KwK L/61 with 32 rounds

2× 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 with a total of 5.200 rounds (one in the casemate front

and an optional AA gun on the commander's cupola)

  

The kit and its assembly:

This build was spawned from the question: with the German Experimental-Panzer designs becoming available, what would have been an initial solution for the large 12,8cm PaK, and a kind or predecessor of the more effective designs that were to follow (like the Jagdpanther II on E-50/75 basis or the heavy ‘Krokodil’ from the E-100 chassis)? Creations like the Jagdtiger or the Elefant/Ferdinand had failed due to their weight, and roofless self-propelled designs like the Nashorn or the lighter Marder family had also not been very effective designs.

 

Consequently I tried my luck with a kitbash: the standard E-50 chassis (from a Model Collect combat tank variant), combined with the superstructure of the “Sturer Emil” SPG prototype (Trumpeter kit).

 

Work started with the lower hull, which was more or less taken OOB – just the upper side was completely re-arranged and the engine roof cut out, together with the attachment ring for the original Schmalturm turret, and transplanted to the front. In this step, the original driver hatches on top of the hull were deleted, too.

 

On the hull’s gaping rear end I tried to integrate the (originally roofless) weapon compartment from the “Sturer Emil” SPG. The latter comes as a single piece and turned out to be a little too narrow. I could have taken it OOB, but then a small step in the hull’s side walls had to be accepted. So I cut the box structure into pieces and tried to blend them as smoothly into the lower hull’s lines as possible – with the benefit of slightly more angled side walls. The resulting gaps at all four corners were filled with styrene sheet and putty, and the rear wall called for some major adjustments because it has a convex shape with an entry hatch. A bit messy, but the flanking exhaust pipes cover most of the mess.

 

On the new roof (cut from styrene sheet using a pattern made from adhesive tape and graphite rubbed along the edges), a commander cupola from a Panzer IV and some details like rangefinder optics or air vents were added. Since the interior would not be visible anymore, I only added a primitive console that would hold the OOB cannon bearing and allow slight movement with the barrel in place.

 

The kit would receive new tracks – vinyl pieces instead of the single styrene pieces from the Model Collect kit. And for a more lively look, the mud guards and side skirts (integral part of the upper hull half) were dented – using a candle flame to warm and warp the material.

  

Painting and markings:

The rather massive and tall tank was to look simple, yet a bit improvised, so I decided to mimic a primer finish with some thin camouflage paint added on top, so that much of the primer would still shine through.

In an initial step, the hull and still separate parts like the barrel and the wheels received a uniform coat of RAL 3009 Oxidrot – a rich, rust-red tone that comes close to the German primer used on late-war tank hulls. This basic tone was considerably lightened, through dry-brushing and shading with Humbrol 70, 113 and 119 (Brick Red, Rust and Red Brown, respectively), since paint was sparse in Germany in late WWII and colors frequently stretched and thinned with added pigments like white lead, resulting in an almost pinkish tone.

 

Once dry, the kit received an overall cover with thinned acrylic Sand and Beige (Revell 16 and 314) – almost a custard-colored wash - so that a good amount of the light paint would cling to details and run down the vertical surfaces, leaving an uneven, partly translucent coat on top the red primer that shines through everywhere. This finish was later tailored with brass brush, steel wool and sand paper treatments. No further camouflage (e. g. with Olivgrün) was added, for a simple look.

 

On top of the basic paint, a dark brown washing was added and the edges further emphasized through dry-brushing with light grey and pale sand tones, plus some acrylic silver. Once the wheels and tracks were fitted into place and the few decals applied, a coat of matt acrylic varnish was added. Finally, dust and dry mud were simulated with mixed pigments, applied with a soft brush onto wet stains of varnish.

  

An impressive whif tank, and the complex superstructure was quite challenging. Even though it’s a kitbashing, the whole thing looks pretty plausible and “German”, so the original objective was accomplished.

 

I've started writing this entry a good half-dozen times, but kept starting over because I felt I wasn't explaining well enough the profound changes that have manifested - and sharing a look at those, along with my past, whilst celebrating the sheer awesomeness (I over-use that word, but feel it's entirely appropriate!) of the people who helped me get here is my aim, so that others might be inspired that the journey is worth traveling because there are wonderful destinations along the way!. That, and keeping it shorter than a small novel - yes it's long anyway, but I've tended not to share so much of myself to the 'net at large in the past. I'm cashing in credit for that.

 

I don't expect there's anything I can write that'll make anyone see precisely how to achieve this for themselves in a step by step fashion; I believe it needs to be personally realised and experienced directly, built from our own individual experiences without coercion or duress. I do hope reading of my experience can generate just a little faith, though, that even for the most depressed and worn-out among us simple, complete and deep happiness exists without the ever-present push against a wall of mercurial moods. I hope to play a part in guiding minds to the doorway out of there. I hope to sow a seed. 

 

I think it's a fine balancing line I have to take, and I respect that for folk deep in mid-depression this may sound like nothing but feel-good platitudes - I may be too far removed from that state to directly relate any more. Still, there are those I know who're starting to see, and taking their first steps out of the mire. If that sounds familiar, then this is probably more for you :)

 

What I write below will only make any sense if you've already read this little piece I wrote in May 2010 about an event I've come to call my first enlightenment, a night where I stopped the quotidian trudging, step by slow step, and launched further forwards than I knew was possible. I was thrown to a place where discovery of how everything works came in waves that I've still not entirely caught up with. It was a trip!

 

(If the term 'Enlightenment' bothers you, perhaps a Singularity may sit better; a point where advancement is based on countless preconditions all coming together, and nothing afterwards is anything like before. Indeed, it may describe it all quite a bit better, as it didn't appear from nowhere, but was the result of years of slow change, accelerating in the months beforehand.) 

 

So to it.

 

Like most folk, over my lifetime I had accumulated so much crud that I believed was my identity - habits, memories, fears, roles, desires and so on. I thought these defined me and couldn't really be changed. I thought I could only add to this built-up collection that was me through learning and experience. And for some horrors within, all I could do was cover up and bury them. If I wanted to truly change anything back then, I expected I could only make waves in the external world, because I saw my Self as fixed. Humanity, I'd been taught, could adapt the world to suit ourselves - that was supposed to be our great legacy over all other life.

 

But instead, by practicing my existence as no more than consciousness and letting go of all else, my attachment to those things I'd once considered Self eased off. So many things that weren't really Me fell away - great masses of want, desire, clinging and ego. Since almost everything I'd once thought was Me was now equivalent to Not Me, my whole concept of what that Me could be widened further than I could have imagined.

 

With false identity dissolving, choices far beyond just making changes 'externally' revealed themselves. What I am, what I fear, what I desire and what I believe all became choices - because after seeing 'myself' as merely consciousness, I became aware that all of those other parts to my identity are external to 'Me'. Being human wasn't limited to adapting the world outside myself - I could adapt myself, and all of myself, on a whim!. The world changes constantly, sometimes in tune with but often regardless of my will, what sense is there in not being able to let go and change fully with it?

 

Especially as in the end it's all the same thing - or at least, the line I used to see demarcating me and everything else is now very very fuzzy. A kind of beautiful Self-bokeh.

 

I suppose I could better label my old false identity as my random collection of stuff that happened to me identity. Now though, my new identity is a non-identity, no-self, where this consciousness that looks out through my body gets to pick and choose how to be from day to day, in order to best satisfy some core beneficial tenets. Compassion, kindness, openness, respect, love...

 

I saw firmly on that night 365 days ago how extraordinarily powerful pure consciousness can be, and how everything that manifested in my life began with thought derived from it. It's become more and more obvious since then that thought is a thousand-tonne karma train on a high speed track; every single one has consequences, and everything that happens to me is a consequence that began who knows how far back.

 

Thoughts don't just include my plans for the day, what I'd like for breakfast, or the occasional large scale decision like moving house or marrying, but every self-doubt, lie, or validation about my worth, every awareness or non-aware presumption, every creative notion or destructive want. They all manifest consequences. I manifest them, by thinking them.

 

Becoming aware of how this works allowed me to see clearly some chains of consequence and responsibility I'd been ignorant of, and those consequences I'd once thought were simply how-things-were, were the end result of decisions I'd made - and that could change. Of course, it's easy to rationalise that the smallest actions in our lives can have huge effects; I only need look back to some beautiful changes in my life occurring because of a chance meeting in 2006 with someone who became a very close friend - but not everything is so black and white. I can also be aware that every thought or action I perform has a direct chain to consequences I may not know at the time (a buddhist concept of karma), and that's a strong and constant guide to doing aware and thoughtful good by myself and others.

 

So, with this new-found awareness and without a substantial ego in place, I saw my depression was a choice I made based on what I told myself, and all those lies I believed about myself. I may have had prompting events happen to me, but I chose all my reactions to those. I discovered my anxiety was precisely the same, and I could simply let go of the thoughts that brought it on. Depression and anxiety were both irretrievably lost like smoke in fog. I'm not sure I even remember what anxiety feels like, and the angst-infused tears of depression are becoming difficult to recall...

 

I cringe now when I read the writing of friends and acquaintainces who're still deep in depression, with statements like I wouldn't be me without this or I've always been too smart to trick myself into being happy and you can't just BE happy, or the worst: This is just who I am. They're words spoken as if the depression is the person, as if the negativity we create for ourselves is something solid and comforting but the happiness we can equally will up from the same place is an ethereal thing with no substance, or even some creepy insidious evil.

 

I know those lies, I know how shallow and deceptive but appealing they are, because they feel true by cloaking themselves as validation - and I know thinking like that does work to ease the ache, just a little. Ultimately though, it still feeds back into the beast inside and strengthens it. I lived it almost constantly, often suicidally so, since I was 16. Now I'm within spitting distance of forty, I've survived all the tricks of long-term depression, and its not Me. It never was. Depression, like happiness itself, is what I do not what I am

 

I realised being overweight was also a choice, and it caused the majority of my health issues. It was a choice reached by the thoughts I entertained about food and movement, and the lies I told myself about them that resulted in a body so out of condition it hurt - I used to tell myself that my weight had little to do with my health, until I saw myself with awareness; as I treated myself better my weight fell away and my health improved simultaneously and dramatically - I'd been overweight for so long I'd forgotten what real physical well-being felt like!.

 

Dozens of little pains, difficult movement, over-sweating, difficult breathing, fat rashes, postural hypotension, migraines, sleep apnoea, easy bruising and endless other little cumulative physical ills caused by my weight - I now know they were choices. They may have been several steps removed from conscious thought in that chain of consequences, but they were no less a direct result of my own thought. I took responsibility for them and decided no more.

I'd like to reiterate that I didn't consciously choose my ills, of course, by refusing to make choices that'd improve my life - it's that I didn't know how to make those choices, or in many cases simply didn't believe I could. I'd taken on the beliefs of others and made them my own.

 

I realised that my triggers (for the most part revolving around religiosity, sexual abuse, abandonment and responsibility) weren't events that forced an uncontrollable firestorm of anxiety within me, although it felt like that. They were simply events that reminded me of past horrors, and my head did the rest. It was real terror, but what destroyed me inside was a reaction that I owned. Once again that was based on that false identity I no longer carried. Those memories used to bring on such strong reactions that they could undo a whole week's good mood work - now most of them have no effect, and the ones that still do are... mild. I could never have seen that for what it is, and I would have argued against the description I've just given as fairytale wishful thinking bullshit, if I didn't have the awareness I now carry.

 

The smell of chai at sunrise in summer with the plaintive call of Koels outside was once enough to sour any good mood. Together they remind me of lost love as they took me back to a time lost too. Now that I know the awful feeling that came upon me with those memories was a choice based on what I carried, and because I choose now to carry love and memories of love, I only remember that was love, and it was beautiful!

 

I realised getting up off my arse and doing just about anything was worth more than uncountable signatures on a petition, retweets, 'likes' on facebook (or whatever simplified expression of 'support' that isn't really much of one at all is doing the rounds today) and that in the scheme of things it's not that much more difficult. I realised I could fly planes, rescue and ease the suffering of Australia's beautiful wildlife, be a morning person, be a much better photographer, be a better friend, write, love and trust freely without needing love or trust given first, improve and inspire human lives, and be that person who renews others' faith in humanity - so I do that and more. It's not effort, it's fun!

 

I realised that the dichotomy of Conscious and Unconscious mind is a bit of a lie in itself. It's all Mind, and there's no hard line where the unconscious does its thing without me knowing and then the conscious reacts. They fade into and feed off one another constantly without clear demarcation, and they can be observed with an awareness that's above either; an awareness that holds no words, judgments, or anything but What Is. Unconscious may lie in dappled shadows, but it can still be fed quality food. I choose to feed it love, and it no longer springs horrific surprises on me that leave me feeling small, alone and unfixable at 2am.

 

If I had to summarise the last twenty something paragraphs succinctly and more colloquially, it's that when I realised everything I lived was all in my head, from my worst terror to my most sublime blissful joys, I was freed from it. 'I' was no longer trapped by having to be 'Me'. Sounds self explanatory, no?

 

Because I began this journey by being opened to a wisdom I couldn't be sure existed and appeared to make little practical sense (but subsequently changed me entirely overnight) I discovered not only the power of choosing thoughts, but in belief - in faith. I combine those to create my own beliefs so strong they become knowledge that I can't so much explain other than with an analogy.

 

Imagine being given a placebo, a sugar pill that you've been convinced is the best painkiller for relieving your headache - as placebo demonstrations go, it's a standard one that works effectively, and you'll more than likely get a measurable dose of pain relief. I can now both know it's a placebo and believe it'll work, and still find relief. That's powerful. Choosing to believe is my superpower.

 

And there's a whole lot of super in my life right now.

 

So anyway, I couldn't have reached where I was this time last year without some very special people who gave and still give of themselves. I'm sure anyone reading my tumblr has seen the number of entries attributed to l.c.h.e.; they're the initials of the four individuals I credit most with lifting me to a point I could haul myself up and not fall back. They're in no order other than letters that sounded good together - I can't rank friends, or indeed most human capabilities, we're just too complex for that.

 

I attribute my posts to these four individuals because it was through their combined aid that I could recognise the sense and usefulness in each (and many more I noticed but wasn't near a computer to place online). Those realisations, my friends, are yours as much as mine.

(I must add that I have many other friends I love and adore, who I know care for me deeply and who're very important to me in all manner of ways. They're no less worthy of my time & love, but when it comes to this particular chapter of my life, not all had the opportunity to play. That's ok!. We have more time, and there's a lot more life to live!)

 

So to my blessed saviours. 

 

Leticia - @sweet_libertine. Thank you Tish, for so pleasantly surprising me. Thank you for being my rescuer when I was at my worst, both to myself and to others. Thank you for being my protector, my white lady. Thank you for picking me up and carrying me, a burden I know was heavy through very important times to you. Thank you for trusting me to know what I needed, and thank you for applying tough love when I showed I didn't. I know my mind is a surreal landscape of strange fruit to you, but that only makes my appreciation for your acceptance stronger. You are my Sergeant major, my commanding officer, my kick in the arse; you know precisely how hard a kick I need, and precisely when. 

 

Char - @cmoliver. Thank you Char, for being my sounding board for Every Goddamned Insecurity I Ever Had. Thank you for propping me up when I couldn't stand, thank you for growing with me, thank you for listening, for sharing of yourself equally, and thank you for keeping in touch with me through all the changes in both our lives for good and bad. You are my Doctor, the psych at the end of my couch, the one I ramble at who agrees wholeheartedly with me whether or not I make sense, and who slips in the tiniest little confronting wisdom, sometimes just a single word, that makes me reconsider so much. 

 

Helen - @Invisiblepixels. Thank you Hamsterkins, for being my bestie for so many years. Thank you for being so very blunt with me, but also for validating my sharing, from the stupidest little obsessions to the most profound changes in my flakey, flitty, oh-so-variable life. Thank you for your entirely practical questioning and criticism, and for sharing that brilliant intelligence of yours. Thank you for sharing and giving so much of yourself, and thank you for so unconditionally accepting everything I was and am. Thank you for sticking around, for laughter, for your patience, thank you for just about bloody everything while you write the story of my life with me. You are my Companion, my reflection, my sparring partner and you are in my pocket when I'm not in yours. 

 

Efisia - @01000101. Thank you Fiz, for finding and feeding the heart I carried. Thank you for recognising its stupid tightly-knotted self-protection and knowing how to reach in past all that invented crap to touch the other end so I could begin unraveling it from the inside. You held me up when I faced my fears, and one by one while you stood with me I saw they weren't scary at all. Thank you for liberating me, thank you for showing me connection, thank you for showing me I didn't need knowledge, analysis or even rationality to figure this life out, or to see what was or wasn't me; I simply needed to feel, to love freely. You were my Sister, nine muses in one, my inspiration, and you didn't so much teach me how to be, rather you picked me up and showed me what I was through your eyes, and I couldn't help but come to believe. Thank you for giving the world what I chose to be. 

 

With such praise, it wouldn't be unfair to think that I'm placing dependence of my well-being on my friends in an unnecessarily unhealthy way, and you may have been right in the past. Post-enlightenment though, I've become aware that my appreciation and gratitude is no longer for my wonderful people as a need; I don't and can't cling to that, because I know what I genuinely need is welling up inside, that inside is everywhere, and there's an endless supply to share for everyone.

 

To survive, I might not need you all - but by Gods I'm glad you're here.

 

Or as Amanda Palmer sings in her cover of 'I Want You But I Don't Need You':

 

I like you, and I'd like you to like me to like youBut I don't need you, don't need you to need me to like you Because if you didn't like me, I would still like you, you see.

 

La la laaa - It's all good. 

 

Of course, my friends are more than just the narrow descriptions above, and we all share each of those roles among one another to some level, but again that's beyond the scope of this piece.So here I am after a year recovered - more than recovered! Twelve months in a state so unlike my old depressed self, where I felt I was constantly looking up and wondering how the hell other folk found happiness. I felt scared, and clueless about how I could get to that point, wondering if it was even possible for broken ol' me to be fixed. Twelve months in a state where now I've arrived at that high, gone way past the other side, and found a few other folk there. Now I'm longing to reach out to my fellow humans and drag everyone forward while screaming "Come in! the water's AWESOME!". 

 

Twelve months with three or four bad days, instead of every previous year containing no more than that number of merely OK ones, and no sign of this bliss abating. Twelve months since I finished pecking at my shell from the inside, cracked it open, and took my first real deep breath of free air with the ability to begin growing. It was rebirth. 

 

That makes today, December 8th, my new birthday - because this is the day the closest thing to Me was born, and not just an arbitrary cutoff remembering when biology laid eyes on even more gooey screaming biology.

 

I gush, for very good reason, because now I get to share all this with everyone else!

 

2010; Gods, what a year. I hope for everyone to have a year like this, a year that overflowed with such pure existential bliss that events which would have once unraveled me entirely simply came, passed, and I got to watch and learn. Even now, mortal and painful events are unfolding within my closest family, and will certainly involve some major changes directly to my life - but that's OK, it's not the entirety of anything. Onwards and upwards!

 

There can't help but be another year as good, and another, and so on... simply because I get to make them so.

 

Happy birthday, me!

Eat smart, Live Smart, Live Longer With Keto Diet Plan

INTRODUCTION

 

When you hear about the ketogenic diet, the first thing you perhaps think of is what could possibly make it as good as people say. The answer is, there are enough benefits to change your life.

Keto is everywhere; it's the new buzzword, the new favorite among those looking to shed pounds, and the new hate victim of the food-pyramid-spouting-eat-your-whole grains mainstream medical industry. The keto diet, while it is not the magic cure-all for every single disease on the planet, does a pretty dang good job at being the potential causer of healing many horrible conditions. So let's cut through the science, separate fact from fiction, and look at the benefits of the keto diet.

 

IMPORTANT: The ketogenic diet is not a free-for-all eat however much cheese or super low-carb fat bomb treats you want diet. If you are eating way more calories than you need, you will not lose weight. So focus on keeping your diet around fatty cuts of grass-fed meat, butter, eggs, avocados, lots of green veggies and cruciferous, and be modest with the keto desserts, dairy, and sweet

What exactly is a ketogenic diet?

 

The keto program recommends a diet that is low on carbs, moderate on protein and high in fat. The idea is to fine-tune nutritional intake in order to send the body into the metabolic state known as ketosis.

The body enters a state of ketosis when it no longer has stores of glycogen sugar to fuel its energy needs. With sugar out of the way, the body has no choice but to tap its stores of fat to get by. The liver converts fat reserves into ketones to present to the body as an energy source. This is why the keto program is a good way to lose fat.

 

BENEFITS OF KETO DIET

Unlike other diets that offer practitioners a weight loss benefit and little else, the keto diet comes with several benefits.

Weight loss

Without a doubt, weight loss is the primary goal of the keto diet. It works because it makes the body look to its fat reserves to power its metabolism. It can be interesting to go deeper into the process, however.

When the body is deprived of carbs, it enters a state of ketosis. Blood sugar and insulin levels fall when that happens. As the body taps the energy in fat cells, they release considerable quantities of water, making for some great weight loss. The fat cells are then able to enter the bloodstream and make their way to the liver, where they are turned into ketones for energy processing. As long as your diet allows you to stay in a caloric deficit, you get to enjoy the weight loss benefits of the keto diet.

It takes the edge off your appetite

 

When your diet isn't heavy on carbs, you'll find that you don't crave as much food as before. Many people who get on the keto diet are able to fast most of the day, and only eat at mealtimes. They are simply not as hungry as before.

 

Improved ability to focus

When you choose a regular diet that puts carbs into the body, your brain has to deal with the rise and fall in sugar levels that happens as a result. Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard for the brain to focus. With the keto diet, however, the energy source is constant and consistent. The brain is better able to stay focused.

 

You feel more energetic

When you are on a regular diet, your body is always on the verge of running out of energy. You need to constantly eat and refuel. With a keto diet, however, the body taps its fat reserves, a nearly unending energy source. The body, then, is able to maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. The result is, you end up feeling a lot more energetic.

It helps you fight diabetes

When you suffer from Type II diabetes, your body experiences high levels of insulin. Since the keto diet takes excess sugar from your diet, it helps stabilize HbA1c counts, and reverse Type II diabetes.

Potential Cancer Benefits

One study showed implementing the ketogenic diet led to a dramatically increased survival time and slower tumor growth.

 

Brain Function

A poorly functioning brain, as you may have already experienced, leads to lessened work productivity, which in turn means an unhappy boss, lack of job satisfaction, sugar cravings for energy, and depression. It's a horrible domino effect. The original ketogenic diet was formulated by Dr. Russell Wilder in the early 20th century to treat epilepsy. The success rate was phenomenal and it is still used today to treat epilepsy and other brain disorders. Research also indicates that ketones are more efficient brain fuel than glucose.

 

You get improved levels of good cholestero

HDL cholesterol helps get rid of the body's bad cholesterol reserves. When you're on keto, your body's triglyceride levels fall and your HDL cholesterol levels rise.

You get better blood pressure

 

When you're on the keto diet, it drops your blood pressure. Many people on the keto diet find that they are able to stop taking blood pressure medicine altogether.

The keto diet can change a person's life. It isn't a difficult diet to get on, either. There are plenty of great recipes for the keto diet. All it takes is the willingness to give it a shot.

 

Conclusion

If you're reading this article now, chances are you are in some sort of pain, whether physical and/or mental (being overweight, struggling with autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, fatigue, brain fog) and want to change. Use this information, don't just skim through it and store it in the back of your brain and say "that's nice for some people", motivate yourself to change.

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TO GET ACCESS TO ALL THE KETO DIET PLAN NOW click the link bellow

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+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The "Entwicklung" tank series (= "development"), more commonly known as the E-Series, was a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardized series of tank designs. There were to be six standard designs in different weight classes, from which several specialized variants were to be developed. This intended to reverse the trend of extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability.

 

The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors; however, their design offered only modest improvements in armor and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace, such as the Jagdpanzer 38(t), Panther Ausf.G or Tiger II. However, the resulting high degree of standardization of German armored vehicles would also have made logistics and maintenance easier. Indeed, nearly all of the E-series vehicles — up through and including the E-75 — were intended to use what were essentially the Tiger II's eighty centimeter diameter, steel-rimmed road wheels for their suspension, meant to overlap each other (as on the later production Tiger I-E and Panther designs that also used them), even though in a much simplified fashion.

 

Focus of initial chassis and combat vehicle development was the E-50/75 Standardpanzer, designed by Adler, both being mostly identical and only differing in armor thickness, overall weight and running gear design to cope with the different weights.

 

The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I battle tanks and the conversions based on these older vehicles. The E-50 hull was to be longer than the Panther, and in fact it was practically identical to the Königstiger (Tiger II) in overall dimensions except for the glacis plate layout. Compared with the earlier designs, however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing the Standardpanzer designs was reduced drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing their predecessors' torsion bar system which required a special steel alloy.

 

The basis development, the combat tank, was to carry the narrow-mantlet 'Schmalturm' turret (designed for the Panther Ausf. F), coupled with a variant of the powerful 88 mm L/71 gun.

In service the vehicle received the inventory ordnance number "SdKfZ. 304" and was officially called "Einheitspanzer 50" (Standard tank), retaining its E-50 abbreviation. The weight of the E-50 vehicle family would fall between 50 and 75 tons. The engine was an improved Maybach HL234 with up to 900 hp output. Maximum speed was supposed to be up to 60 km/h.

 

The E-75 Standardpanzer (SdKfz. 305), based on the same hull, was intended to be the standard heavy tank and as a replacement of the heavy Tiger II and Jagdtiger tanks. The E-75 would have been built on the same production lines as the E-50 for ease of manufacture, and the two vehicles were to share many components, including the same Maybach HL 234 engine.

As its name indicates, the resulting vehicle would have weighed in at over 75 tons, reducing its speed to around 40 km/h. To offset the increased weight, the bogies were spaced differently from on the E-50, with an extra pair added on each side and eight instead of six wheels plus a slightly wider track, giving the E-75 a slightly improved track to ground contact length.

 

The basic combat tank version was to be equipped with the same turret and 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 as the E-50 battle tank, but along with an optical rangefinder for increased long range accuracy. Anyway, heavier guns (10,5 cm and 12,8 cm caliber) in bigger turrets were under development.

 

The E-50/E-75 chassis would also become the basis for a family special purpose vehicles like anti-aircraft tanks, assault guns or tank destroyers. One of the earliest developments for the latter class of vehicles was the SdKfz. 304/2, a self-propelled gun carrier for the powerful 12.8 cm KwK L/61 gun, a proven weapon with immense range and firepower, based on the 12.8 cm FlaK 40 anti-aircraft cannon.

The SdKfz. 304/2 was to be much more mobile and lighter than its predecessors, the Jagdtiger and Keiler tank hunters, which had suffered from being overweight and - consequently - underpowered. The new tank hunter was not to exceed 55 tons and offer a field performance similar to the highly effective Jagdpanther, which was only armed with an 88mm cannon, though.

 

As an appropriate vehicle basis the new E-50 chassis was chosen, but the internal layout was radically modified in order to accept the large and heavy weapon, the crew of six and a decent load of ammunition (which consisted of two parts) in a fully closed combat compartment.

In order to simplify the tank and save weight, the engine section was, together with the gearbox, moved to the hull's front. The complete crew section, including the driver’s position, was placed behind the engine. This was a radically new layout approach, and this form of the standard chassis was called E-50(F) (“F” standing for “Front”; there was also an “M” (= Mitte) for a mid-engine layout, with a separate driver compartment in front of the engine; the standard layout with a rear engine did not receive a dedicated suffix).

 

The driver’s position behind a long ‘bonnet’ considerably impaired the field of view, and both driver and radio operator, placed on the other side of the hull, had sit in separate "cabins" in front of the casemate-style box main structure. These positions were separated by parts of the engine and the gearbox between them, and accessible from the main combat room.

Despite some inherent weaknesses, this arrangement was regarded as an acceptable price to pay for space and weight savings through only a single major internal fire bulkhead, no need for a long power shaft running all through the hull and an improved crew survivability behind the massive engine against frontal attacks.

 

The large 12.8 cm cannon was completely covered under a box-shaped superstructure, which had almost vertical side walls. The gun could traverse 7° to each side, elevate 15° and depress -10°. 32 rounds were carried inside of the hull, including armor piercing and explosive shells.

In order to keep the SdKfz. 304/2 within a 60 tons overall weight limit, the vehicle’s front armor was limited to 70mm. This was deemed satisfactory, since the SdKfz. 304/02 was primarily intended for long-range combat only (the weapon had an effective range of 3,500 m (2.2 mi) and more even against heavily armored targets), primarily against heavy Soviet combat tanks and assault guns.

Having learned painful lessons with the Sturmgeschütz IV "Brummbär" and its vulnerability to close range attacks of infantry soldiers, the SdKfz. 304/2 was from the start outfitted with a ball mount for a MG 34 machine gun in the front plate of the superstructure. Another MG 34 on board could be mounted on the commander's cupola for anti-aircraft defense. Smoke dischargers were also available.

 

A small batch of the SdKfz. 304/2 was built at Deutsche Eisenwerke in mid-1945, to be tested under field conditions. Due to the lack of 12.8cm anti tank guns, around half of the 40 vehicles (production numbers are unclear, since the vehicles were manually converted from initial, unfinished E-50 chassis') were outfitted with the lighter 8,8cm Pak. Both variants were distinguished by "A" and "B" suffixes, respectively, and officially called “Jagdpanzer 12.8cm auf Fahrwerk E-50(F)”, frequently shortened to "Jagdpanzer E-50 (F) A or B".

In service, the relatively agile vehicles were dubbed "Uhlan" (after German light lancer groups in WWI) by their crews, and the more simple name quickly caught on. Another unofficial nickname, based on the separated driver/radio operator compartment and the boxy shape of the tank, was “Beichtstuhl” (“Confessional Box”), but this name was soon forbidden.

 

The new tank hunters only saw limited use, though, since they suffered from many early production flaws, and general technical reliability was also low. Other weaknesses were soon revealed, too. The SdKfz. 304/2's high casemate design made the vehicle hard to camouflage. With its almost vertical front and side armor, as well as the separate and edgy driver and radio operator compartments, it proved to be very vulnerable, too, so that - on the same chassis - an improved hull (similar to the Jagdpanther, but with the engine in front of the crew section and armed with a new 105 mm cannon) for the newly developed SdKfz 304 chassis (a.k.a. "Jagdpanther II") was quickly developed, offering a much improved ballistic protection from any angle.

  

Specifications:

Crew: Six (commander, gunner, 2x loader, radio operator, driver)

Weight: 54 tonnes (60 short tons)

Length: 7.27 metres (23 ft 8 in) (hull only)

9.36 metres (30 ft 8 in) incl. gun

Width: 3.88 metres (12 ft 9 in)

Height 3.35 metres (11 ft)

Ground clearance: 495 to 510 mm (1 ft 7.5 in to 1 ft 8.1 in)

Suspension: Conical spring

Fuel capacity: 720 litres (160 imp gal; 190 US gal)

 

Armor:

10–70 mm (0.4 – 2.75 in)

 

Performance:

Speed

- Maximum, road: 46 km/h (28.6 mph)

- Sustained, road: 38 km/h (24 mph)

- Cross country: 15 to 20 km/h (9.3 to 12.4 mph)

Operational range: 160 km (99 miles)

Power/weight: 16,67 PS/tonne (14,75 hp/ton)

 

Engine:

V-12 Maybach HL 234 gasoline engine with 900 PS (885 hp/650 kW)

 

Transmission:

ZF AK 7-200 with 7 forward 1 reverse gears

 

Armament:

1× 12.8 cm KwK L/61 with 32 rounds

2× 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 with a total of 5.200 rounds (one in the casemate front

and an optional AA gun on the commander's cupola)

  

The kit and its assembly:

This build was spawned from the question: with the German Experimental-Panzer designs becoming available, what would have been an initial solution for the large 12,8cm PaK, and a kind or predecessor of the more effective designs that were to follow (like the Jagdpanther II on E-50/75 basis or the heavy ‘Krokodil’ from the E-100 chassis)? Creations like the Jagdtiger or the Elefant/Ferdinand had failed due to their weight, and roofless self-propelled designs like the Nashorn or the lighter Marder family had also not been very effective designs.

 

Consequently I tried my luck with a kitbash: the standard E-50 chassis (from a Model Collect combat tank variant), combined with the superstructure of the “Sturer Emil” SPG prototype (Trumpeter kit).

 

Work started with the lower hull, which was more or less taken OOB – just the upper side was completely re-arranged and the engine roof cut out, together with the attachment ring for the original Schmalturm turret, and transplanted to the front. In this step, the original driver hatches on top of the hull were deleted, too.

 

On the hull’s gaping rear end I tried to integrate the (originally roofless) weapon compartment from the “Sturer Emil” SPG. The latter comes as a single piece and turned out to be a little too narrow. I could have taken it OOB, but then a small step in the hull’s side walls had to be accepted. So I cut the box structure into pieces and tried to blend them as smoothly into the lower hull’s lines as possible – with the benefit of slightly more angled side walls. The resulting gaps at all four corners were filled with styrene sheet and putty, and the rear wall called for some major adjustments because it has a convex shape with an entry hatch. A bit messy, but the flanking exhaust pipes cover most of the mess.

 

On the new roof (cut from styrene sheet using a pattern made from adhesive tape and graphite rubbed along the edges), a commander cupola from a Panzer IV and some details like rangefinder optics or air vents were added. Since the interior would not be visible anymore, I only added a primitive console that would hold the OOB cannon bearing and allow slight movement with the barrel in place.

 

The kit would receive new tracks – vinyl pieces instead of the single styrene pieces from the Model Collect kit. And for a more lively look, the mud guards and side skirts (integral part of the upper hull half) were dented – using a candle flame to warm and warp the material.

  

Painting and markings:

The rather massive and tall tank was to look simple, yet a bit improvised, so I decided to mimic a primer finish with some thin camouflage paint added on top, so that much of the primer would still shine through.

In an initial step, the hull and still separate parts like the barrel and the wheels received a uniform coat of RAL 3009 Oxidrot – a rich, rust-red tone that comes close to the German primer used on late-war tank hulls. This basic tone was considerably lightened, through dry-brushing and shading with Humbrol 70, 113 and 119 (Brick Red, Rust and Red Brown, respectively), since paint was sparse in Germany in late WWII and colors frequently stretched and thinned with added pigments like white lead, resulting in an almost pinkish tone.

 

Once dry, the kit received an overall cover with thinned acrylic Sand and Beige (Revell 16 and 314) – almost a custard-colored wash - so that a good amount of the light paint would cling to details and run down the vertical surfaces, leaving an uneven, partly translucent coat on top the red primer that shines through everywhere. This finish was later tailored with brass brush, steel wool and sand paper treatments. No further camouflage (e. g. with Olivgrün) was added, for a simple look.

 

On top of the basic paint, a dark brown washing was added and the edges further emphasized through dry-brushing with light grey and pale sand tones, plus some acrylic silver. Once the wheels and tracks were fitted into place and the few decals applied, a coat of matt acrylic varnish was added. Finally, dust and dry mud were simulated with mixed pigments, applied with a soft brush onto wet stains of varnish.

  

An impressive whif tank, and the complex superstructure was quite challenging. Even though it’s a kitbashing, the whole thing looks pretty plausible and “German”, so the original objective was accomplished.

 

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finally starting to get into the persona's of my puppet! This was just a trial shoot for lighting and make-up! My Persona for today is Anorexia Nervosa, there will be a full body puppet shot following this one soon!

 

Anorexia (an-a-REX-ee-uh) nervosa (ner-VO-sa) is an eating disorder that involves self-imposed starvation. It appears to result from a distorted self-image, and an intense fear of being overweight. Although it can occur in men and women of all ages, it's most common in college-age girls. Anorexics are typically perfectionists, and are often delightfully well-behaved young women who are kind and eager to please. However, their fear of obesity drives them to diet and starve themselves until they're dangerously underweight. Strangely, even when the weigh loss is so severe that it threatens to be fatal, anorexics will usually still complain that they're too fat. Losing weight becomes an obsession for anorexics, and they're typically preoccupied with food, menus, calories, grocery shopping, and tend to develop odd eating rituals and exercise strenuously to stay thin. The starvation can cause their bodily functions to slow down; menstruation to stop; and breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels. In some cases, fingernails and hair become brittle, skin dries and yellows, bones thin out, and heart and kidney problems develop. Treatment of the disease generally involves trying to normalize eating behavior and change attitudes about food, eating, and body size. It may also include medication, psychotherapy, behavior modification, and nutrition counseling.

 

If anyone has any suggestions on who my puppets puppeteer could be or what persona my puppet could have mail me on here or on my Facebook

 

HIGHLIGHTS

It is advised to try for pregnancy at an appropriate age. As you age, there can be higher risk of complications during pregnancy.

  

If you are planning to have a baby, more than the name, clothes and crib, it is important to know if your body is ready to get pregnant.

 

Once your mind is set on having a baby, any delay in conceiving can be highly unsettling. The anxiety of conceiving naturally and in a particular time frame can add a lot of stress . According to Dr Pragati Prakash, Consultant - Gynaecology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals Delhi, "Stress, anxiety, fatigue and other psychosocial characteristics may influence pregnancy prospects of a woman."

 

Dr. Nitika Sobti, Senior Consultant & Unit Head Gynecologist and Obstetrician, Max Super Speciality Hospital adds, "Stress of workplace for working mothers, financial stress and any kind of prolonged stress can lead to miscarriages and chances of infertility." infertility is a growing concern in India and research suggests that it has gone up by 20-30 per cent in the past five years. Increasing obesity in general population is proportional to increase in risk of infertility due to association of metabolic disorders with obesity. Smoking and alcohol also affect the fertility of a women as well as the outcome of pregnancy, she adds.

 

It is believed that working night shifts also can pose an issue in conceiving. Also, it is advised to try for pregnancy at an appropriate age. As you age, there can be higher risk of complications during pregnancy.

 

Dr Sobti explains, "Once you plan to conceive or try to get pregnant, you should not interfere too much with nature, at least during the first year. If you are aware of your ovulation time and follow it with timed intercourse then it can help you to get pregnant faster. Ovulation is when the egg is released in your ovaries, moves down to the fallopian tubes and is ready to be fertilized. An egg is released once in a month on the 14 th day of your menstrual cycle i.e. and this time frame you will mark as your 'most fertile period'. Before planning, it is important to get your general health tests done to ascertain your physical health. And after you get your check-ups done from your medical expert, you have to take care of your emotional health. If parents have a positive mindset and emotional balance then the process of pregnancy becomes quite easier."

What you should do:

Dr Prakash shares the pregnancy plan

- Keep a record of your menstrual cycle.

- Monitor your ovulation as it's important to know your fertile period.

- Being overweight can reduce a woman's odds of conceiving, but being too thin can make it even harder to have a baby. So, strive for healthy body weight.

- Women who are attempting to conceive should start taking prenatal vitamins even before becoming pregnant. These vitamins help decrease the rates of malformations in baby.

- Eating a variety of healthy foods can help prepare a woman's body for pregnancy by giving her adequate stores of critical nutrients such as calcium, protein and iron. This means eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, dairy and healthy sources of fat.

- Keep a positive mindset and practice yoga.

- Being physically active most days of the week can help a woman's body prepare for the demands of pregnancy and labor.

- Be aware of age-related fertility declines.

  

Things to keep in mind

- Go off the pill - Stop your birth control a couple of months before you plan to start trying.

 

- Give up drinking and smoking - it not only decreases the chances of conception, but also increases the chances of adverse maternal and fetal effects in those who conceive and continue taking alcohol and smoking.

 

- Limit your caffeine intake - in fact leaving coffee and switching to other healthier options is a wiser idea.

 

- Not only can trimming few pounds from body frame make it easier for overweight women to get pregnant but also it will help having a healthier pregnancy and delivery with fewer risks and complications.

Is over exercising a problem?

Losing weight and staying fit is an important step when you are trying to conceive but overdoing it may not always work in your favour. Dr Sobti recommends yoga and meditation. "Instead of rigorous exercise it's always advisable to practice yoga to relax the body, go for mediation to relax the mind or go for a brisk walk or jogging anytime. All this needs to done after consulting your medical expert to ensure your physical health."

 

Dr Prakash adds, "The only time that there is any real problem with exercise causing fertility issues is when a woman is extremely active, and exercise leans towards the extreme end of the scale. Over exercising can rarely result in fertility issues, but these are usually ovulation issues rather than implantation issues. Women who exercise too much often have irregular or no periods, and sometimes have a problem ovulating. It is very rare for over exercising to cause implantation problems. This also does not usually apply to overweight or obese women. For these women, in fact, strenuous exercise can actually be beneficial to getting pregnant. Sometimes, we advise women who are undergoing IVF or other fertility treatments to refrain from vigorous exercise during the implantation stage, but that is not necessarily because it will hurt implantation. This is more so to reduce all around stress on the body and avoid anything that could even potentially be a factor, since IVF and other fertility treatments are such a trying time on the body as it is." www.today-events.com/health-fitness/facts-about-pregnancy/

Ayurvedic Medicine for Cholesterol: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in maximum countries today. The good news is that 80% of heart disease is preventable simply by changing your lifestyle. There are lots of things that can affect your risk of heart disease. These include having high blood pressure, being overweight, getting older and being male. Some things you can’t change – like age and sex – but some things you can. Cholesterol is one of these!

 

Cholesterol is a fatty substance (a lipid) that can be found in some foods but is also produced by your liver. It is vital as it is used to make estrogen, testosterone, vitamin D and other essential compounds, and it is carried in your blood by proteins. There are two types of cholesterol.

Recently a co-worker told me a story about an incident that happened to her cousin on Valentine’s Day which made me think in details about my own love story. I have never written what happened exactly until now.

 

Background

 

I was a very shy child and teenager and lacked self-confidence and felt ugly, unwanted, stupid, and felt like I was a burden, a loser, and an outcast. My shyness increased many folds around girls. Not that I had many opportunities to be around girls because I grew up in Iraq and went to all-boys schools. But even when I had a chance to interact with girls, such as at church or neighbourhood or family friends, I did not. I remember when I was 12 years old I was enrolled in the church classes in the summertime to be prepared for my first communion (I grew up in a Roman Catholic family). The nuns paired me up with this beautiful girl: fair skin, silky black hair, and green eyes. The classes went on for a month or two and I did not say a single word to this girl. I just had nothing to say. She also ignored me playing with the other children; I don’t blame her. But this is pretty much the story of my life. For me it was always very hard to take the first step to introduce myself to a stranger and start a conversation, because I never thought of myself as worthy of people’s time and attention and I never thought of myself as interesting enough or had anything interesting to say. Once I got to know someone then I would be comfortable around them, but reaching that stage required me to take the initiative and I could never do that.

 

Because of my personality and upbringing I did not know much about girls, and so as I became a teenager and became interested in girls I started to think that girls are angels who could do no wrong. I always blamed the man if something wrong occurred in a relationship, since in my mind women could do no wrong! Around the same time, in my early teens, I realized a lot of Middle Eastern girls favoured a man who was educated, wealthy, and confident; men, regardless of their character and faith, were considered successful if they were educated and wealthy or losers if they were not. So I slowly started hating the idea of marrying a girl who would love me for my education, social status, or how much money I made. Soon my biggest fear became marrying a woman who would not love me for who I am, because I wanted to find true love. Needless to say I was, and still am, an idealist.

 

At the age of 15 we moved to Jordan and through reading the Bible and evangelical books I was saved; I was raised as a Roman Catholic. After spending a year in Jordan I came to Canada with my family. In Canada I became more withdrawn from people and focused solely on my studies and new faith in Jesus Christ. Having trichotillomania and being overweight made things worse with my already low self-confidence, and I became less social. Even though I graduated with high grades, after high school I went to work in a warehouse because I wanted to know God’s will for my career before I continued my education, among other reasons. Around that time my aunt introduced me to a girl who was a year younger than me; my aunt was a friend with her mother. She was also Middle Eastern but not Iraqi, and came from a conservative “Christian” family. Lacking confidence I did not want to be friends with this girl: I had no friends and I was comfortable that way, beside I did not know how to talk to girls or be friends with them. But the girl insisted on emailing me, then insisting on calling me, and then insisted on meeting me and pretty soon we were best friends.

 

Best Friends

 

We were best friends for five years and in the last two years or so I was in love with her. It was inevitable that I would fall in love with her because I did not have a social life or friends; it was just a matter of time that I would fall in love with the only friend I had and the only girl I ever got to know. I did not understand why this social, confident, successful, and beautiful girl was interested in talking with me and being my friend—I was none of the things she was, I had nothing special to attract her to me, or anything of value to offer her! I did not complain though—I was just so happy to have this wonderful young lady in my life. We were not dating though and our friendship was never physical; we were merely close friends and I was in love with her. Like I said, I was very naive when it came to relationships so I frequently read 1 Corinthians 13 which talks about love to learn how to love her and I lived these verses just for her. I lead her to the Lord early in our friendship, and I explained God’s Word to her so she grew in her faith. I comforted her, encouraged her, complimented her, bought her gifts, listened to her, got sad when she was sad and made her laugh to cheer her up, I prayed for her and with her, I wrote her e-mails and letters, and I gave her advice according to God’s Word. I did not raise my voice at her, criticize her, belittle her, or compare her to anyone. I always treated her as the most important person to me, and she was. I loved her more than I loved myself. I invested a lot of time and energy in our friendship—I gave it my all. We spoke almost daily and we spent hours every week talking and baring our souls, feelings, fears, and weaknesses to each other—we confided in each other. She knew about my struggle with low self-confidence and how I viewed myself as a loser and an outcast; I had never confided my feelings and weaknesses with anyone except her because she was the only person I trusted. She also struggled with low self-image so I made it my goal to always encourage her and build her up spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

 

While I was working in a warehouse as a general labourer for minimum wages she was majoring in biology in university because she wanted to become a doctor. The fact I had no education was a big deal to her and she often told me to go back to university or college and get a degree--any degree. But I could not just get any degree because I believe God has a plan for our lives and not just any plan. I did not understand how important having an education was to her.

 

A Big Day

 

In 2007, after a 5 years friendship, I sensed that she wanted us to become more than friends so I decided it was time for me to tell her that I loved her and wanted to know her more because I wanted to marry her in the future. I was not an easy thing to say but I had to say it because I loved her and could not imagine living without her. So I started praying for courage and I started reminding myself that I was not a loser. I tried to shift my focus and thinking and told myself that I was God’s child. I kept encouraging and building myself up because it was not easy for someone like me with such little confidence to actually believe in himself and tell a wonderful woman he was in love with her and wanted to marry her! As the urgency of telling her how I felt increased I was getting more scared--more like terrified--nervous, anxious, but very happy! I was scared thinking, “What if she doesn’t love me back and this will ruin our friendship? I don’t want to lose her!” Then rationalized, “What’s the worse can happen? The worse is that she tells me that she appreciates me as a friend but does not share my feelings. It is not the end of the world. But I have to say these words! I have to tell her how I feel. I have to take this step or I will regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t take this step and lose her to another man!”

 

Even though I doubted that someone like her would love someone like me, I still imagined, “How wonderful it would be if she loves me too! I am sure she loves me too!” There were many signs that she loved me and wanted us to become more than friends, but then again I was very naïve and did not know how to read the signs of a successful or failed relationship. So I did not know if she loved me or not but I tried to stay optimistic. That day was going to be a big day—not the big day—but for my boring life it was a very big event! It was also a big day because few months earlier God had revealed His will for my career and I finally had a clear direction in that regard—finally life was going to be different! It was not perfect yet, but it was getting better--much better! I was healthy--I had lost weight and my trichotillomania was under control—I was young, God revealed His will for my career, and I was in love with my best friend! What more can I ask for? What can go wrong?

 

2007 was promising to look like a good year! For some reasons, even years prior I always thought, “2007 will be a different year! It will be a year of change!” I do not know why for years I thought 2007 was going to be different but it was! So one day early in 2007, I decided it was the day to tell her how I feel but before I could muster the courage and confidence to tell her that I had to think differently! Our internal fears are externalized through our actions so to overcome fears we have to face them with facts and rational thinking. For example, if you are afraid of the dark you have to tell yourself that darkness is simply the absent of light and that monsters are not real—this way you can overcome your fear and function in darkness. To function through my low self-confidence and fears I had to think differently, I had to stay focused on God’s Word and work hard to become a different man! And on that day I was a different man: I was less timid, more hopeful, more joyful, more ambitious, but most importantly I was more confident. Love has a funny way of changing us and making us do things we otherwise would not do. For weeks I had told myself, “I am not a loser. I am not a failure. That’s how I see myself but in reality I am not a loser! People who know me appreciate me; they love me, and enjoy my company! I am sure she appreciates me and loves me! I am God’s child!”

 

My declaration of love and commitment to her was a very simple sentence that I had rehearsed countless times because I did not want to sound pushy. And of course, I did not want to sound clumsy—this was important to me. I wanted to give her time and space to think about how she feels toward me, but at the same time I wanted the message to be clear. It was neither a question nor an official proposal—it was a statement of assurance to assure her that I had good intentions toward her. I wanted her to know that she mattered to me and I did not only want to waste her youth with my friendship but I had the good intention of marriage in mind. Because it was not a question, I did not really expect an answer; silent would have been an acceptable response. But I thought it would be really nice if she shared my feelings and told me! Anyway, I thought regardless if she loved me or not I had to let her know how I felt. All those weeks of mental preparations had to be fulfilled on that day. Feeling nervous, happy and hopeful on that day I finally told her how I felt about her and that I wished to know her more and marry her in the future. When I finished saying those words I was overjoyed and I thought, “She now knows how much I love her!” and I was joyfully waiting and hoping she would tell me that she loves me too. I did not have to wait long because she quickly replied, as if she was stating a fact, “Nobody wants to marry a loser!”

 

The Beginning of the End

 

Her words came down on me like a ton of bricks. I could not believe my ears, but she definitely said those words. That is how she saw me. I gave her my heart, she called me a loser. My fears came true: I am a loser. At least that is how my best friend whom I loved more than myself for 5 years saw me. Those words hurt until today even though they lost some of their sting. They would not have hurt if they came from someone else, but she knew me more than anybody else. She knew my love for her, my devotion, my commitment, my sacrifice, my kindness, my patience, my dedication, my long-suffering—she knew that nobody had loved her more than I did. No man had loved her more purely or sacrificially. She knew my character, she knew my faith, but above all she knew my weaknesses--how little self-confidence I had. She knew where it hurt the most and she took her best shot to hurt me.

 

That sentence was the beginning of the end of our friendship. We spoke one or two times after that and we never spoke again. Five years of deep and intimate friendship ended with her telling me, “Nobody wants to marry a loser.”

 

There was nothing she could have done or said after that to fix our friendship—it was over, it was just a matter of time. Until today those words ring in my head, every day, from morning until I sleep at night. For eight years I tried to forget them but I simply cannot. “Nobody wants to marry a loser” is a constant thought in my mind. “Nobody wants to marry a loser…Nobody wants to marry a loser…NOBODY…” I will not go into details about the emotional, mental, and spiritual damage her words caused me, but believe me you would not want to wish a rejection so painful on your worst enemy. I am perfectly fine with her breaking my heart, but there was no good reason for her to break my spirit. I understand that her and I were incompatible, but I do not understand why she had to be cruel about it.

 

My fear of falling in love with the wrong woman came true but the Lord, in His grace and mercy, protected me from marrying the wrong woman. If He did not intervene and protect me from marrying her then my fear would have become a tragedy. It took me a long time to get over her, probably longer than I had loved her. It was very difficult to come to terms with what had happened, but I had to move on. After her words my eyes were opened and I could see: I saw all the warning signs that we were not meant for each other. Every word and action made sense and everything fell in place. I needed those cruel and painful words to wake me up; God even warned me in a dream—a year prior--but I did not understand. I no longer am the naïve, innocent, gullible man I was. But I am still the Christian committed man who believes in love, care, and respect. I still choose to see people the way God sees them. When I look back now I understand how she always saw me as a loser but after five years she could not control herself anymore and my confession of love finally pushed her over the edge and she uttered the words she always wanted to tell me. She finally expressed verbally what she was trying to tell me through her actions but I never understood.

 

God’s Love Story

 

Before all these things happened—even before I fall in love with her—I had prayed, “Lord, let me fall in love with a woman just like your love for mankind.” When I prayed that prayer I had imagined that it will a mutual love—like we see in the movies with “they lived happily ever after”. For some reason I assumed God’s love to always have a happy ending. Years later, after all these things transpired I remembered that prayed and thought about it. I realized God did answer my prayer and He revealed to me that His love is not always returned. Through loving a woman who did not love me back I understood God’s love for mankind.

 

I remember when she rejected me I felt two feelings of rejection: one for me and one for my love. I saw my love as a separate entity from me because while I was flawed, my love was near perfect. While I lacked confidence, my love was assured and hopeful. While I doubted, my love believed. While I lacked direction, my love knew. While I lacked motivation, my love was determined. My love was the best of me and she did not only reject me but she rejected my best. If she doubted me she should have trusted my love. If she did not appreciate me she should have appreciated my love. If she did not need me she should have needed my life. If she rejected me she should have accepted my love. But my love would not have existed without me—my love was an expression of myself. And without my love I would not have been myself. My love and I were one: she could not have one without the other.

 

When I thought about these things I realized this is how it is between God and humans: Jesus Christ is God’s highest expression of love. The almighty, all-powerful and all-knowing eternal God and creator of the universe became vulnerable by sending His Son to earth as the God-man Jesus Christ—God became vulnerable to love us. When we reject God’s Son we reject His love. When we reject God’s Son we reject the highest expression of His love. When we reject God’s Son we reject His biggest sacrifice. When we reject God’s Son we reject His best. When we reject God’s Son we reject God Himself.

 

In Christmas of 2007 she found out I had been accepted at the University of Toronto and I was studying mechanical engineering, so early 2008 she contacted me on flickr under an alias name. I knew it was her because it was her way of writing and the questions she asked nobody in the world would ask other than her. It hurt me knowing that she was only interested in knowing my news after she found out I was getting a university degree. Many of her questions wanted to reveal what I thought about getting married and what I thought about my friend (her) because I had written about my friend (her) on my flickr page, so she was inquiring quite a bit about herself from me! I made it clear in my messages that it was over: we (my friend and I) had a beautiful friendship but it was over.

 

I did not want her back this way—in hiding! She insulted me right to my face by calling me a loser and saying that nobody would want to marry me, if she wanted to come back to me she had to do it in public and say she loves me to my face. She cannot declare her love to me by hiding behind a monitor and a keyboard—I was never scared of giving of myself to her and I expected the same! But is this not what we do to God? We swear and take His name in vain with a loud voice and in front of others, but when we want to come back to Him and repent we do it in hiding! We curse His name in public but we say grace in whispers!

 

Also, I did not want her back like this—for my social status! She rejected me when I was poor and had no university degree or social standing, but now she wants to come back to me! She left me when I was at a low point in my life, how is she going to stand by me in the future if I lose my job or become disabled? But is this not how we treat the Lord? We like Him when He blesses us financially and with comfort, but we doubt Him, rebel against Him, and curse His name when we go through trials and pain, (even if we know that those trials and pain are blessings in disguise from Him)!

 

As much as I loved her and wanted her back I knew I could not force her to love me: loving me was something she had to do by herself and on her own. I could not do more than what I had done for her in those five years of friendship—if that was not good enough then nothing I will do will be enough. I did my best so it was up to her to accept me or not because we cannot force love. Why did God create us? Was it because He needs service, obedience, or praise? Absolutely not! He created us for love and that is why He gave us a free will because love cannot be forced. God does the same with us: He created us lovingly, He sent His only Son to die for our sins so we can have a personal father-child relationship with Him, and so we can have eternal life. But He will not force us to go to heaven—we have to accept the free gift of salvation. We have to accept Him as our Father—we have to love Him. As painful as it is for Him to see us leave Him—He still gives us the choice to walk away from Him or draw near Him. It is out of love He gives us the choice: if He loves us then He cannot force us, and if we are forced then we do not love Him. He gave us His best—His Son Jesus Christ—and there is nothing more He could do. Accept the free gift of salvation by believing that His Son’s death paid for your sins or reject it. He did His part and more, now the choice is yours—love Him back or not.

 

I finally understood God’s love. Before these events transpire I did not understand the God of the Bible. I wondered: How can the God of the Bible be loving and angry? How can He be loving and jealous? How can He love us yet let us go? I did not understand that the purer and more intense the love is the more jealous it gets when it is taken lightly. God’s discipline is a testimony of His deep love. If His love is not worthy then there would be no need for discipline; in the same manner if He was not holy then He would not have required such a high price--the death of His Son--as payment for the sins of mankind.

 

True love is not loose: it demands exclusivity. True love feels pain. True love feels rejection. True love feels jealously. True love burns with anger when wronged. True love demands declaration of love, attention, and appreciation. True love is dignified. True love is valuable and worthy. True love is gentle and accepting. True love demands a sacrifice, a price, and an effort. True loves demands a relationship because true love desires to be with the beloved, and desires to be loved back. But true love is never forceful.

 

I loved her purely, truly, sacrificially with all my heart and might, but I had to let her go because I could do no more. It was her decision to come back to me and accept my love or not. Do not do the same with God. Come back to Him and become His child because He desires to be your heavenly Father. Accept His love by accepting His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour.

 

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PS: I often wonder, when someone asks her, “How did you come to the Lord? How were you saved?” Does she answer with, “Through the testimony of a loser!”

 

(Toronto, ON; summer 2015.)

 

I wrote this, oh, a couple months ago. Since I can't post pictures in this, I gave the links. Make sure you click them! They add a ton of laughs.

  

Welcome Brother, to the New World Order Induction! In this wondrous exposition, you shall learn The Truth.

 

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"Karl Rove is the president. We meet every month on the full moon at the Masonic Temple. We have the ritual: Karl brings the incense, I bring the live lamb and the long knife, and we begin with a pledge of allegiance to the Trilateral Commission."

- Freemason Charles Krauthammer

 

Welcome, brother! If you are reading this, that means you have been selected to be one of the ruling elite! Bully stuff, eh? Right-o! This will teach you all that you need to know on your path to global dominance and rightful tyranny over the Inferiors, hereafter referred to as Infers. So! Pull up a chair and grab a popcorn, because you are about to learn the Meaning of Life.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

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Ah, AMERICA! Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave! Smell that crisp, chemtrailed air! Take a big gulp of that fluoride-infused H20! Beautiful, isn't it? Of course! America, the wondrous lovechild of a one-night stand Teddy Roosevelt's mustache had with a Red, White, and Blue waterfall of firearms. A land where any little lad, every Timmy and Tommy, can grow up and become President of these here states.

 

Every little lad, that is, who is related to King John or Charlemagne.

 

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Above: John of England, Lucifer's Nephew born of Moloch's stepsister Isis' granddaughter's seventh cousin twice removed

 

You see, brother, every single President since George Washington has been directly related to each other and John and Charlemagne. Ah, the wondrous inbreeding that we controlled for centuries to create an entire line of tyrannical men to stand in the ovarian Oval Office is a great achievement. Great men have stared at that phallic monument to Washington('s status as an Egyptian God incarnate) out that window on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! All were cousins or even more closely related. Rest assured, mental effects from excessive cousin boinking are kept to a minimum, only manifesting themselves openly with two cases: George W. Bush and Joe Biden.

 

But why? What is the purpose of this never-ending chain of succession? Well, dear brother, it is simple: to tear down the old world and establish a New World Order, free of nasty things like guns, kindness, love, and religions except for the worship of Moloch the Indomitable and All-Knowing, Spawn of the Devil (who is actually God, but that's for a later chapter). Why do this? Because the Dark Lord Moloch commands this, as laid down in the Book of Illumination received from the Great Talking Bavarian Owl Goat. These orders are to be followed without question.

 

Your life without Moloch the Indomitable and All-Knowing:

 

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Your life with Moloch the Indomitable and All-Knowing:

 

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Which brings us to the next point: Under no circumstances may you reveal any content of this book without express written consent of your Lodge's Demon Lord and/or Grand Wizard/Knight/Master/Oddfellow/Scion of Satan. If you are found to be disclosing our secrets, you will be shipped to a FEMA camp in the foothills of Montana where you will experience the true meaning of pain and torture sharing a cell with a large Asian man named Reggie for the rest of your waking days, just like what happened to LBJ.

 

So, you want to be a Supreme Court Justice and preside over the raping of the pathetic US Constitution? Fantastic! We'll hook you up with John Adams' granddaughter who also happens to be the illegitimate spawn of Gerald Ford and Barbara Bush. How about Secretary of Defense? Great! A marriage to the seventh cousin of FDR (and his wife, who was secretly a Priestess of Moloch and chief arranger of the sacrificial picnics and annual Capitol Hill Hellfire Marshmallow Roast).

 

You see, your life is preplanned. Everyone's life is preplanned. You will, by "happenstance", marry who we think best. Heck, your own old man may be reading this to you before you go to bed, just before he tucks you in and tells you not to worry about monsters in your closet, for they are very real and you must embrace them as a Freemason embraces total evil. He is monitoring you, as did his father before him, and his before that. Through your actions as a child, we determine what job you "want." Are you a spoiled brat who gets everything he ever wanted, including underage Dominican hookers? Senator! Are you a bully who enjoys thrashing small children behind the mall? General! As you see, brother, your life is in good hands.

 

In conclusion, not every Timmy and Tommy can grow up and become President and wear the Winged Goat Head of Beelzebub with all his yuppie friends in the secret temple under the West Wing, but every Timmy and Tommy will have the illusion that he can, placating the pathetic masses as we move closer to our ultimate goal. Most Timmies and Tommies will end up being overweight crack-huffing loser garbagemen playing Call of Duty XXVI in their more successful sibling's basement, but ah, sweet illusions of grandeur can make even a monkey work harder for the state!

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

libertyfight.com/articles/2012/deesbohemian.jpg

 

Many have expressed a shockingly large amount of doubt over what our actual political ideology is. The correct answer is that we are Communist Nazi Catholic Jewish Lutheran Capitalists hellbent on destroying everything good. Bibles? Gone. Cupcakes? Uh-huh. Hello Kitty? Got it covered. For instance, Miley Cyrus was once an annoying but endearing child star. Now she's a buzz-haired skank! Progress! All glory to Moloch!

 

So, you may ask, why is the world so torn if we are in control? Why do Infers seems to be running about doing as they please? Well, the answer is that everything is a lie. Wars and disasters are all engineered to keep the Infers in their places. The following list shows numerous plots of ours (All Glory to Moloch for them, and to Isis for letting us squirm out of our mother's unworthy but fertile crotches to put them into action!).

 

World War One - World War One was a wondrous affair to give blood sacrifice to the Nine Goat-horned Metal Music Owl Gods of Battle. Gavrilo Princip, an entirely fictional person, shot the entirely fictional Franz Ferdinand to start it and it ended in the death of millions. The infer poopoo heads will believe everything they're fed (except Alex Jones, darn him, darn him to HECK!) Isn't that wonderful?!

 

World War Two - If you like the first one, this one is a can't-miss! Adolf Hitler caused WWII when the spirit of Moloch decided the time was nigh for the NWO and possessed his very soul to bring it about. The Infers were destroyed in the hundreds of millions for half a decade. Moloch grew weary of this, like a fat teenager after a 15 hour marathon session of World of Warcraft, and delayed the Rising of the NWO until a later date, resulting in the Cold War.

 

Kennedy Assassination - The Shooter on the Grassy Knoll was actually Richard Nixon, punishing Kennedy for defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis and delaying Nuclear Doomsday and the Rise of the Masonic Antichrist.

 

The Twinkie Crisis - Yes, Hostess Twinkies, too. HosteSS. Two S's form a swastika, and stand for socialism. Twinkies are an allegory for the NWO: Bite through the outside sponge to taste the sweet Beelzebub filling. This stuff should be obvious. Ah, Infers... The Infers so adored these snacks that they almost rioted when we pulled them from the market to cover any newsleaks about Obama installing a 20 foot tall brimstone statue of Hitler in the Capitol Rotunda that can only be seen after screaming "Magick Banana Cheese" at the ceiling five times while wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and balancing on one leg (with prior Homeland Security clearance of course; otherwise, you'd just be shot as the raving lunatic buttmonkey you'd appear to be).

 

All of history is just one big chess game being played by one person. Everything you know is a lie except what you read here. Even then, how do you know this is true? After all what is truth? Question all the things, brother. Question all the things.

Obesity: something we mostly ignore, pretending it does not exist. So few people really believe they need to tackle their being overweight.

ilovebuttercoffee.com/bulletproof-diet-review/ Dave Asprey is revolutionising the way the world looks at fat. No longer do we need to demonise this nutrient. What is being discovered is that in fact we need to eat healthy fats to be healthy.

 

Dave has been spreading his message through various channels. You may have heard him on his super popular iTunes podcast called Bulletproof Radio, you may have read his informative blog, you may have even attended one of the live Bulletproof biohacking conferences. Well he has also finally released his revolutionary diet The Bulletproof Diet to the public. It is based on eating lots of healthy fats, good quality protein and low carb and toxin foods.

 

This is a a bit like a modified paleo diet that falls more within in the ketogenic diet category, which Bulletproof Exec fans would say has been upgraded or biohacked.

 

The world has been advised for decades to avoid fat in the diet, especially saturated fats. However, modern thinking and research is opening up the idea that maybe that advise was wrong and in fact we haven’t been eating the right way at all. Looking at lifestyles diseases like: obesity, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and atherosclerosis all appear to be on the rise in the United States. We know food is medicine and we should let food be the best medicine we have, but the current Standard American Diet is not working as expected.

 

The Book

 

Dave is released his New York Times Best Seller diet book in December 2014. It is titled “The Bulletproof Diet – Lose Up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life”.

 

The dietary book is stuffed full of hints and tips on everything that Dave advises to achieve rapid weight loss and long-term optimal health. He should know what he says works because if you didn’t know Dave used these exact techniques to overcome being overweight and in poor health. He is not afraid to say how he used to weigh 300 pounds, and that was definitely not muscle. Dave tells how in is 20’s during the height of his business success as a Silicon Valley multi-millionaire he was doing things all wrong. He followed the health advise of doctors at the time and exercised regularly during the week at the gym doing weights and cardiovascular workouts. He also followed a low calorie eating plan of only 1800 calories per day. The results were sub-optimal and in fact he was falling into the lifestyle diseases category. Something had to change.

 

What Makes It Different?

 

You could say Dave recommends a ketogenic biohacked paleo dietary plan. The principles are aligned to the paleo world. The more natural you can source food ingredients the better they are for human physiology. That is why there is such an emphasis on eating things like grassfed meat and butter from cows that are raised on a grassy pasture. These details make a difference. However Dave goes into way more detail by analysing the likelihood of how different ingredients, even natural ingredients, are to either enhance your performance or harm your performance both physically and mentally.

 

When Dave ran his 3 Day Live Bulletproof Lifestyle TV show on creative live he spilled the beans (not real beans they aren’t in the green zone) on how we should be analyzing what we choose to eat every day at meal times. That show shed light on so many topics of discussion from his followers. Here is a clip from of Dave discussing why the diet works.

 

The goal is to be in a cyclical state of nutritional ketosis which is vastly different from a state of ketoacidosis which diabetics suffer. According to Wikipedia the definition of a ketogenic diet is:

 

“A high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet”

 

The list of foods Dave recommends include lots of different types of fat. You’ll be consuming lots of saturated fat, medium chain triglycerides, essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA, short-chain and long chain fatty acids. Consuming the majority of your energy from fat helps you achieve a state of nutritional ketosis.

 

This form of ketosis has many exciting health benefits. Dominic D’Agistino is Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida College Of Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology. He is a scientific researcher who lives predominately in a state of ketosis. He is a Bulletproof Radio guest on podcast episode #85. Dominic explains why using ketones for energy instead of mainly glucose is so good for us. He even did a great TEDx talk in Tampa Bay discussing Navy Seals using it and cancer management.

 

Now can you see why Dave gets excited about putting butter and MCT oil in his morning cup of coffee. Our brains love ketones. This the mental clarity and cognitive boosts people feel when they stop the sugar addiction and become fat adapted.

 

The Bulletproof Diet Book

 

You can order either the hardback, kindle version or audio CD of the “The Bulletproof Diet: Lose Up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Your Energy and Focus, and Upgrade Your Life” New York Times Best Selling diet book.

 

The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life

 

Price Disclaimer

 

Special Book Bonus

 

When you buy the book on Amazon forward your receipt to:

 

bookbonus@bulletproof.com

 

To get access to 3 extra bonuses as a thank-you. Those are:

 

Upgraded Chef eBook

 

The Bulletproof Diet Roadmap

 

10% off Coupon Code

 

Specific Bulletproof Diet for Women Advice

 

There is a difference in how male body and female body work. Women the world over can struggle to drop the pounds whereas their male partners seem to have no problems. You can listen and watch Dave speak to a female weight loss group.

 

In the following interview, womens weight loss expert and CEO of Project Fabulous, Dr Tammy Tucker shares a group discussion she had with the Bulletproof Executive, Dave Asprey.

 

This is a highly informative, knowledge packed talk where a huge list of topics like, Bulletproof diet weight loss, where discussed. There was a particular focus on women eating Bulletproof diet food. You will find keypoints and the appropriate links in the summary points below the video.

 

Anything in particular you want to ask leave a comment on post in the Facebook page.

 

Dave Discusses Weight Loss Tips, Leptin Resistance, Exercise, Probiotics and More…

 

Executive Summary of the Talk:

 

Too much exercise is stressful on your hormones and body and won’t help with weight loss,

 

Using a whole body vibration plate 5-15 minutes per week is enough exercise like the Bulletproof® Vibe Whole Body Vibration Plate,

 

Or you can do high intensity, low repetition exercise for a Bulletproof body (Dr Doug McGuff from bodybyscience.net Big 5 movements book available).

 

Discussion on hormones like cortisol and testosterone,

 

Food cravings how Bulletproof® coffee is used to stop starvation feeling,

 

Why grass-fed butter from Kerrygold is better than commercial corn-fed butter,

 

Butyric acid in butter heals the gut and soothes inflammation in the brain,

 

Medium Chain Tryglyceride oil can be used for weight loss,

 

Coconut oil does not raise cholesterol,

 

One tablespoon of Upgraded™ Brain Octane gives you the benefits of 18 tablespoons of coconut oil,

 

Dave years ago started with 6 tablespoons of grass-fed butter before adding Upgraded™ MCT oil.

 

MCT oil helps the Kreb cycle to produce more ATP cellular energy,

 

Women should start slowly with adding MCT oil,

 

Start with 1/2 a teaspoon per day to help support the thyroid,

 

Too much MCT oil might give you too much energy,

 

Intermittent fasting includes skip breakfast to help weight loss,

 

Athletes, MMA fighters and professional poker players use Bulletproof intermittent fasting to optimise energy levels and maintain weight,

 

Fat in the morning helps avoid stress on the body and keeps it in fat burning mode,

 

If your struggling to lose weight on intermittent fasting you probably have leptin resistance,

 

To fix this when you wake-up in the morning, within 30 minutes, add about 30g protein in your coffee for Bulletproof® coffee weight loss,

 

You could do it with a couple eggs, including the yolks, or a collagen protein,

 

Collagen helps heal the lining of arteries and is missing from most American diets,

 

Upgraded™ Collagen doesn’t taste like horrible gelatin, it has neutral flavor,

 

You can put it in your cup of coffee,

 

Mix protein and fat in your Bulletproof® coffee recipe, for 60-90 days if you have a lot of weight to loss, once you have lost enough weight you can back off the protein in the coffee and continue Bulletproof intermittent fasting where you skip breakfast and waiting till hunger after having a Bulletproof® coffee in the morning,

 

Yes you can survive on two meals a day and not snack,

 

Dave can easily wait 6 hours after waking in the morning before eating,

 

You can eat 3000 calories for dinner,

 

Try get up to 50% of your daily calories per day from healthy fats,

 

Bulletproofdietbook.com launching in Jan 2014,

 

Bulletproof iPhone apps available and Android app coming soon,

 

Food sensitivity makes you feel weak,

 

IgG and IgE blood tests can be used,

 

Use the Food Sense app before you eat at a restaurant and after you finish the meal,

 

If your heart rate goes up more than 16 beats per minute then you ate something your sensitive too,

 

Eat eggs everyday unless you allergic to them,

 

Maybe the eggs you eat are a problem,

 

You will only know with a blood test or using the free Food sense app,

 

You can use the app with kids,

 

The infographic in the Bulletproof diet helps say which foods are more problematic,

 

Try for one week only eat foods on the least inflammatory side of the diet, then experiment with an inflammatory food to see if you feel different,

 

Beer is the most inflammatory substance,

 

Love handles or muffin tops is an immune response to your food,

 

Figure out your inflammatory trigger foods,

 

These foods make you eat more sugar for more energy to get rid of those toxins,

 

Gluten is not food for humans,

 

The safest carbs are sweet potato and white rice,

 

The time to eat these carbs for maximum weight loss is at dinner,

 

Carbs at night can help give a better quality sleep,

 

Just been interviewed by wall street journal on sleep hacking look at for the article,

 

Try a teaspoon of raw honey, not cooked honey, right before bed if on low sugar/carb diet,

 

This can help raise sugar stored in liver and improve sleep,

 

The brain needs energy to go through sleep cycles correctly,

 

Some people only need 1 tablespoon collagen and 1/2 tablespoon MCT oil before bed to sleep well,

 

Most can’t go to sleep on an empty stomach and it is a poor weight loss technique,

 

If you have poor blood sugar levels you likely have a poor cycle,

 

Smartphone sleep app called sleep cycle helps monitor sleep,

 

Remember keep your cellphone on airplane mode to avoid excess EMF exposure,

 

It senses when you turned over and helps monitor how well you slept,

 

You could test what you had before bed and how it affected your sleep,

 

Alcohol like a regular glass of wine for dinner before bed is bad for sleep quality,

 

Alcohol causes systemic inflammation over time,

 

Lets discuss probiotics and yogurt,

 

Use 5-10 grams of glutamine to help pro-hormone levels,

 

In some people it causes loads of energy so can’t take before you sleep,

 

Raw milk kefir can help heal the gut, commercial milk casein beaks down into caseomorphin and activate receptors in brain, similar to gluten which effects the brain and why you might crave bread,

 

Stomach acid will kill most the probiotic bacteria in yogurt,

 

There are two big classes of bugs in your gut Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes,

 

Lactobacillus common in yogurt makes you fat,

 

Bulletproof® coffee feeds the bacteria that makes you thin,

 

It is easier for guys to lose weight than women,

 

Women on the Bulletproof diet can lose 1/2 pound weight a day if they keep carbs low and have protein for breakfast,

 

They need to experiment with amounts,

 

Yogurt doesn’t get past stomach acid,

 

Probiotic capsules work,

 

Soil probiotics are best a good brand is Garden of Life Primal Defense,

 

Normal decaf coffee worst thing to drink because high in mycotoxins and highly inflammatory,

 

Upgraded™ Decaf coffee has been extensively tested,

 

What if you are not a coffee drinker drink?

 

Green tea is best and you can make Bulletproof Tea,

 

Instead of tea or coffee try Upgraded™ Vanilla mixed with coconut milk and warm water with some MCT oil and maybe a sweetener like stevia or xylitol.

 

Stay Bulletproof

 

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+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The "Entwicklung" tank series (= "development"), more commonly known as the E-Series, was a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardized series of tank designs. There were to be six standard designs in different weight classes, from which several specialized variants were to be developed. This intended to reverse the trend of extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability.

 

The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors; however, their design offered only modest improvements in armor and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace, such as the Jagdpanzer 38(t), Panther Ausf.G or Tiger II. However, the resulting high degree of standardization of German armored vehicles would also have made logistics and maintenance easier. Indeed, nearly all of the E-series vehicles — up through and including the E-75 — were intended to use what were essentially the Tiger II's eighty centimeter diameter, steel-rimmed road wheels for their suspension, meant to overlap each other (as on the later production Tiger I-E and Panther designs that also used them), even though in a much simplified fashion.

 

Focus of initial chassis and combat vehicle development was the E-50/75 Standardpanzer, designed by Adler, both being mostly identical and only differing in armor thickness, overall weight and running gear design to cope with the different weights.

 

The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I battle tanks and the conversions based on these older vehicles. The E-50 hull was to be longer than the Panther, and in fact it was practically identical to the Königstiger (Tiger II) in overall dimensions except for the glacis plate layout. Compared with the earlier designs, however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing the Standardpanzer designs was reduced drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing their predecessors' torsion bar system which required a special steel alloy.

 

The basis development, the combat tank, was to carry the narrow-mantlet 'Schmalturm' turret (designed for the Panther Ausf. F), coupled with a variant of the powerful 88 mm L/71 gun.

In service the vehicle received the inventory ordnance number "SdKfZ. 304" and was officially called "Einheitspanzer 50" (Standard tank), retaining its E-50 abbreviation. The weight of the E-50 vehicle family would fall between 50 and 75 tons. The engine was an improved Maybach HL234 with up to 900 hp output. Maximum speed was supposed to be up to 60 km/h.

 

The E-75 Standardpanzer (SdKfz. 305), based on the same hull, was intended to be the standard heavy tank and as a replacement of the heavy Tiger II and Jagdtiger tanks. The E-75 would have been built on the same production lines as the E-50 for ease of manufacture, and the two vehicles were to share many components, including the same Maybach HL 234 engine.

As its name indicates, the resulting vehicle would have weighed in at over 75 tons, reducing its speed to around 40 km/h. To offset the increased weight, the bogies were spaced differently from on the E-50, with an extra pair added on each side and eight instead of six wheels plus a slightly wider track, giving the E-75 a slightly improved track to ground contact length.

 

The basic combat tank version was to be equipped with the same turret and 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 as the E-50 battle tank, but along with an optical rangefinder for increased long range accuracy. Anyway, heavier guns (10,5 cm and 12,8 cm caliber) in bigger turrets were under development.

 

The E-50/E-75 chassis would also become the basis for a family special purpose vehicles like anti-aircraft tanks, assault guns or tank destroyers. One of the earliest developments for the latter class of vehicles was the SdKfz. 304/2, a self-propelled gun carrier for the powerful 12.8 cm KwK L/61 gun, a proven weapon with immense range and firepower, based on the 12.8 cm FlaK 40 anti-aircraft cannon.

The SdKfz. 304/2 was to be much more mobile and lighter than its predecessors, the Jagdtiger and Keiler tank hunters, which had suffered from being overweight and - consequently - underpowered. The new tank hunter was not to exceed 55 tons and offer a field performance similar to the highly effective Jagdpanther, which was only armed with an 88mm cannon, though.

 

As an appropriate vehicle basis the new E-50 chassis was chosen, but the internal layout was radically modified in order to accept the large and heavy weapon, the crew of six and a decent load of ammunition (which consisted of two parts) in a fully closed combat compartment.

In order to simplify the tank and save weight, the engine section was, together with the gearbox, moved to the hull's front. The complete crew section, including the driver’s position, was placed behind the engine. This was a radically new layout approach, and this form of the standard chassis was called E-50(F) (“F” standing for “Front”; there was also an “M” (= Mitte) for a mid-engine layout, with a separate driver compartment in front of the engine; the standard layout with a rear engine did not receive a dedicated suffix).

 

The driver’s position behind a long ‘bonnet’ considerably impaired the field of view, and both driver and radio operator, placed on the other side of the hull, had sit in separate "cabins" in front of the casemate-style box main structure. These positions were separated by parts of the engine and the gearbox between them, and accessible from the main combat room.

Despite some inherent weaknesses, this arrangement was regarded as an acceptable price to pay for space and weight savings through only a single major internal fire bulkhead, no need for a long power shaft running all through the hull and an improved crew survivability behind the massive engine against frontal attacks.

 

The large 12.8 cm cannon was completely covered under a box-shaped superstructure, which had almost vertical side walls. The gun could traverse 7° to each side, elevate 15° and depress -10°. 32 rounds were carried inside of the hull, including armor piercing and explosive shells.

In order to keep the SdKfz. 304/2 within a 60 tons overall weight limit, the vehicle’s front armor was limited to 70mm. This was deemed satisfactory, since the SdKfz. 304/02 was primarily intended for long-range combat only (the weapon had an effective range of 3,500 m (2.2 mi) and more even against heavily armored targets), primarily against heavy Soviet combat tanks and assault guns.

Having learned painful lessons with the Sturmgeschütz IV "Brummbär" and its vulnerability to close range attacks of infantry soldiers, the SdKfz. 304/2 was from the start outfitted with a ball mount for a MG 34 machine gun in the front plate of the superstructure. Another MG 34 on board could be mounted on the commander's cupola for anti-aircraft defense. Smoke dischargers were also available.

 

A small batch of the SdKfz. 304/2 was built at Deutsche Eisenwerke in mid-1945, to be tested under field conditions. Due to the lack of 12.8cm anti tank guns, around half of the 40 vehicles (production numbers are unclear, since the vehicles were manually converted from initial, unfinished E-50 chassis') were outfitted with the lighter 8,8cm Pak. Both variants were distinguished by "A" and "B" suffixes, respectively, and officially called “Jagdpanzer 12.8cm auf Fahrwerk E-50(F)”, frequently shortened to "Jagdpanzer E-50 (F) A or B".

In service, the relatively agile vehicles were dubbed "Uhlan" (after German light lancer groups in WWI) by their crews, and the more simple name quickly caught on. Another unofficial nickname, based on the separated driver/radio operator compartment and the boxy shape of the tank, was “Beichtstuhl” (“Confessional Box”), but this name was soon forbidden.

 

The new tank hunters only saw limited use, though, since they suffered from many early production flaws, and general technical reliability was also low. Other weaknesses were soon revealed, too. The SdKfz. 304/2's high casemate design made the vehicle hard to camouflage. With its almost vertical front and side armor, as well as the separate and edgy driver and radio operator compartments, it proved to be very vulnerable, too, so that - on the same chassis - an improved hull (similar to the Jagdpanther, but with the engine in front of the crew section and armed with a new 105 mm cannon) for the newly developed SdKfz 304 chassis (a.k.a. "Jagdpanther II") was quickly developed, offering a much improved ballistic protection from any angle.

  

Specifications:

Crew: Six (commander, gunner, 2x loader, radio operator, driver)

Weight: 54 tonnes (60 short tons)

Length: 7.27 metres (23 ft 8 in) (hull only)

9.36 metres (30 ft 8 in) incl. gun

Width: 3.88 metres (12 ft 9 in)

Height 3.35 metres (11 ft)

Ground clearance: 495 to 510 mm (1 ft 7.5 in to 1 ft 8.1 in)

Suspension: Conical spring

Fuel capacity: 720 litres (160 imp gal; 190 US gal)

 

Armor:

10–70 mm (0.4 – 2.75 in)

 

Performance:

Speed

- Maximum, road: 46 km/h (28.6 mph)

- Sustained, road: 38 km/h (24 mph)

- Cross country: 15 to 20 km/h (9.3 to 12.4 mph)

Operational range: 160 km (99 miles)

Power/weight: 16,67 PS/tonne (14,75 hp/ton)

 

Engine:

V-12 Maybach HL 234 gasoline engine with 900 PS (885 hp/650 kW)

 

Transmission:

ZF AK 7-200 with 7 forward 1 reverse gears

 

Armament:

1× 12.8 cm KwK L/61 with 32 rounds

2× 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 with a total of 5.200 rounds (one in the casemate front

and an optional AA gun on the commander's cupola)

  

The kit and its assembly:

This build was spawned from the question: with the German Experimental-Panzer designs becoming available, what would have been an initial solution for the large 12,8cm PaK, and a kind or predecessor of the more effective designs that were to follow (like the Jagdpanther II on E-50/75 basis or the heavy ‘Krokodil’ from the E-100 chassis)? Creations like the Jagdtiger or the Elefant/Ferdinand had failed due to their weight, and roofless self-propelled designs like the Nashorn or the lighter Marder family had also not been very effective designs.

 

Consequently I tried my luck with a kitbash: the standard E-50 chassis (from a Model Collect combat tank variant), combined with the superstructure of the “Sturer Emil” SPG prototype (Trumpeter kit).

 

Work started with the lower hull, which was more or less taken OOB – just the upper side was completely re-arranged and the engine roof cut out, together with the attachment ring for the original Schmalturm turret, and transplanted to the front. In this step, the original driver hatches on top of the hull were deleted, too.

 

On the hull’s gaping rear end I tried to integrate the (originally roofless) weapon compartment from the “Sturer Emil” SPG. The latter comes as a single piece and turned out to be a little too narrow. I could have taken it OOB, but then a small step in the hull’s side walls had to be accepted. So I cut the box structure into pieces and tried to blend them as smoothly into the lower hull’s lines as possible – with the benefit of slightly more angled side walls. The resulting gaps at all four corners were filled with styrene sheet and putty, and the rear wall called for some major adjustments because it has a convex shape with an entry hatch. A bit messy, but the flanking exhaust pipes cover most of the mess.

 

On the new roof (cut from styrene sheet using a pattern made from adhesive tape and graphite rubbed along the edges), a commander cupola from a Panzer IV and some details like rangefinder optics or air vents were added. Since the interior would not be visible anymore, I only added a primitive console that would hold the OOB cannon bearing and allow slight movement with the barrel in place.

 

The kit would receive new tracks – vinyl pieces instead of the single styrene pieces from the Model Collect kit. And for a more lively look, the mud guards and side skirts (integral part of the upper hull half) were dented – using a candle flame to warm and warp the material.

  

Painting and markings:

The rather massive and tall tank was to look simple, yet a bit improvised, so I decided to mimic a primer finish with some thin camouflage paint added on top, so that much of the primer would still shine through.

In an initial step, the hull and still separate parts like the barrel and the wheels received a uniform coat of RAL 3009 Oxidrot – a rich, rust-red tone that comes close to the German primer used on late-war tank hulls. This basic tone was considerably lightened, through dry-brushing and shading with Humbrol 70, 113 and 119 (Brick Red, Rust and Red Brown, respectively), since paint was sparse in Germany in late WWII and colors frequently stretched and thinned with added pigments like white lead, resulting in an almost pinkish tone.

 

Once dry, the kit received an overall cover with thinned acrylic Sand and Beige (Revell 16 and 314) – almost a custard-colored wash - so that a good amount of the light paint would cling to details and run down the vertical surfaces, leaving an uneven, partly translucent coat on top the red primer that shines through everywhere. This finish was later tailored with brass brush, steel wool and sand paper treatments. No further camouflage (e. g. with Olivgrün) was added, for a simple look.

 

On top of the basic paint, a dark brown washing was added and the edges further emphasized through dry-brushing with light grey and pale sand tones, plus some acrylic silver. Once the wheels and tracks were fitted into place and the few decals applied, a coat of matt acrylic varnish was added. Finally, dust and dry mud were simulated with mixed pigments, applied with a soft brush onto wet stains of varnish.

  

An impressive whif tank, and the complex superstructure was quite challenging. Even though it’s a kitbashing, the whole thing looks pretty plausible and “German”, so the original objective was accomplished.

 

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

The "Entwicklung" tank series (= "development"), more commonly known as the E-Series, was a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardized series of tank designs. There were to be six standard designs in different weight classes, from which several specialized variants were to be developed. This intended to reverse the trend of extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability.

 

The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors; however, their design offered only modest improvements in armor and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace, such as the Jagdpanzer 38(t), Panther Ausf.G or Tiger II. However, the resulting high degree of standardization of German armored vehicles would also have made logistics and maintenance easier. Indeed, nearly all of the E-series vehicles — up through and including the E-75 — were intended to use what were essentially the Tiger II's eighty centimeter diameter, steel-rimmed road wheels for their suspension, meant to overlap each other (as on the later production Tiger I-E and Panther designs that also used them), even though in a much simplified fashion.

 

Focus of initial chassis and combat vehicle development was the E-50/75 Standardpanzer, designed by Adler, both being mostly identical and only differing in armor thickness, overall weight and running gear design to cope with the different weights.

 

The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I battle tanks and the conversions based on these older vehicles. The E-50 hull was to be longer than the Panther, and in fact it was practically identical to the Königstiger (Tiger II) in overall dimensions except for the glacis plate layout. Compared with the earlier designs, however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing the Standardpanzer designs was reduced drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing their predecessors' torsion bar system which required a special steel alloy.

 

The basis development, the combat tank, was to carry the narrow-mantlet 'Schmalturm' turret (designed for the Panther Ausf. F), coupled with a variant of the powerful 88 mm L/71 gun.

In service the vehicle received the inventory ordnance number "SdKfZ. 304" and was officially called "Einheitspanzer 50" (Standard tank), retaining its E-50 abbreviation. The weight of the E-50 vehicle family would fall between 50 and 75 tons. The engine was an improved Maybach HL234 with up to 900 hp output. Maximum speed was supposed to be up to 60 km/h.

 

The E-75 Standardpanzer (SdKfz. 305), based on the same hull, was intended to be the standard heavy tank and as a replacement of the heavy Tiger II and Jagdtiger tanks. The E-75 would have been built on the same production lines as the E-50 for ease of manufacture, and the two vehicles were to share many components, including the same Maybach HL 234 engine.

As its name indicates, the resulting vehicle would have weighed in at over 75 tons, reducing its speed to around 40 km/h. To offset the increased weight, the bogies were spaced differently from on the E-50, with an extra pair added on each side and eight instead of six wheels plus a slightly wider track, giving the E-75 a slightly improved track to ground contact length.

 

The basic combat tank version was to be equipped with the same turret and 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 as the E-50 battle tank, but along with an optical rangefinder for increased long range accuracy. Anyway, heavier guns (10,5 cm and 12,8 cm caliber) in bigger turrets were under development.

 

The E-50/E-75 chassis would also become the basis for a family special purpose vehicles like anti-aircraft tanks, assault guns or tank destroyers. One of the earliest developments for the latter class of vehicles was the SdKfz. 304/2, a self-propelled gun carrier for the powerful 12.8 cm KwK L/61 gun, a proven weapon with immense range and firepower, based on the 12.8 cm FlaK 40 anti-aircraft cannon.

The SdKfz. 304/2 was to be much more mobile and lighter than its predecessors, the Jagdtiger and Keiler tank hunters, which had suffered from being overweight and - consequently - underpowered. The new tank hunter was not to exceed 55 tons and offer a field performance similar to the highly effective Jagdpanther, which was only armed with an 88mm cannon, though.

 

As an appropriate vehicle basis the new E-50 chassis was chosen, but the internal layout was radically modified in order to accept the large and heavy weapon, the crew of six and a decent load of ammunition (which consisted of two parts) in a fully closed combat compartment.

In order to simplify the tank and save weight, the engine section was, together with the gearbox, moved to the hull's front. The complete crew section, including the driver’s position, was placed behind the engine. This was a radically new layout approach, and this form of the standard chassis was called E-50(F) (“F” standing for “Front”; there was also an “M” (= Mitte) for a mid-engine layout, with a separate driver compartment in front of the engine; the standard layout with a rear engine did not receive a dedicated suffix).

 

The driver’s position behind a long ‘bonnet’ considerably impaired the field of view, and both driver and radio operator, placed on the other side of the hull, had sit in separate "cabins" in front of the casemate-style box main structure. These positions were separated by parts of the engine and the gearbox between them, and accessible from the main combat room.

Despite some inherent weaknesses, this arrangement was regarded as an acceptable price to pay for space and weight savings through only a single major internal fire bulkhead, no need for a long power shaft running all through the hull and an improved crew survivability behind the massive engine against frontal attacks.

 

The large 12.8 cm cannon was completely covered under a box-shaped superstructure, which had almost vertical side walls. The gun could traverse 7° to each side, elevate 15° and depress -10°. 32 rounds were carried inside of the hull, including armor piercing and explosive shells.

In order to keep the SdKfz. 304/2 within a 60 tons overall weight limit, the vehicle’s front armor was limited to 70mm. This was deemed satisfactory, since the SdKfz. 304/02 was primarily intended for long-range combat only (the weapon had an effective range of 3,500 m (2.2 mi) and more even against heavily armored targets), primarily against heavy Soviet combat tanks and assault guns.

Having learned painful lessons with the Sturmgeschütz IV "Brummbär" and its vulnerability to close range attacks of infantry soldiers, the SdKfz. 304/2 was from the start outfitted with a ball mount for a MG 34 machine gun in the front plate of the superstructure. Another MG 34 on board could be mounted on the commander's cupola for anti-aircraft defense. Smoke dischargers were also available.

 

A small batch of the SdKfz. 304/2 was built at Deutsche Eisenwerke in mid-1945, to be tested under field conditions. Due to the lack of 12.8cm anti tank guns, around half of the 40 vehicles (production numbers are unclear, since the vehicles were manually converted from initial, unfinished E-50 chassis') were outfitted with the lighter 8,8cm Pak. Both variants were distinguished by "A" and "B" suffixes, respectively, and officially called “Jagdpanzer 12.8cm auf Fahrwerk E-50(F)”, frequently shortened to "Jagdpanzer E-50 (F) A or B".

In service, the relatively agile vehicles were dubbed "Uhlan" (after German light lancer groups in WWI) by their crews, and the more simple name quickly caught on. Another unofficial nickname, based on the separated driver/radio operator compartment and the boxy shape of the tank, was “Beichtstuhl” (“Confessional Box”), but this name was soon forbidden.

 

The new tank hunters only saw limited use, though, since they suffered from many early production flaws, and general technical reliability was also low. Other weaknesses were soon revealed, too. The SdKfz. 304/2's high casemate design made the vehicle hard to camouflage. With its almost vertical front and side armor, as well as the separate and edgy driver and radio operator compartments, it proved to be very vulnerable, too, so that - on the same chassis - an improved hull (similar to the Jagdpanther, but with the engine in front of the crew section and armed with a new 105 mm cannon) for the newly developed SdKfz 304 chassis (a.k.a. "Jagdpanther II") was quickly developed, offering a much improved ballistic protection from any angle.

  

Specifications:

Crew: Six (commander, gunner, 2x loader, radio operator, driver)

Weight: 54 tonnes (60 short tons)

Length: 7.27 metres (23 ft 8 in) (hull only)

9.36 metres (30 ft 8 in) incl. gun

Width: 3.88 metres (12 ft 9 in)

Height 3.35 metres (11 ft)

Ground clearance: 495 to 510 mm (1 ft 7.5 in to 1 ft 8.1 in)

Suspension: Conical spring

Fuel capacity: 720 litres (160 imp gal; 190 US gal)

 

Armor:

10–70 mm (0.4 – 2.75 in)

 

Performance:

Speed

- Maximum, road: 46 km/h (28.6 mph)

- Sustained, road: 38 km/h (24 mph)

- Cross country: 15 to 20 km/h (9.3 to 12.4 mph)

Operational range: 160 km (99 miles)

Power/weight: 16,67 PS/tonne (14,75 hp/ton)

 

Engine:

V-12 Maybach HL 234 gasoline engine with 900 PS (885 hp/650 kW)

 

Transmission:

ZF AK 7-200 with 7 forward 1 reverse gears

 

Armament:

1× 12.8 cm KwK L/61 with 32 rounds

2× 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 with a total of 5.200 rounds (one in the casemate front

and an optional AA gun on the commander's cupola)

  

The kit and its assembly:

This build was spawned from the question: with the German Experimental-Panzer designs becoming available, what would have been an initial solution for the large 12,8cm PaK, and a kind or predecessor of the more effective designs that were to follow (like the Jagdpanther II on E-50/75 basis or the heavy ‘Krokodil’ from the E-100 chassis)? Creations like the Jagdtiger or the Elefant/Ferdinand had failed due to their weight, and roofless self-propelled designs like the Nashorn or the lighter Marder family had also not been very effective designs.

 

Consequently I tried my luck with a kitbash: the standard E-50 chassis (from a Model Collect combat tank variant), combined with the superstructure of the “Sturer Emil” SPG prototype (Trumpeter kit).

 

Work started with the lower hull, which was more or less taken OOB – just the upper side was completely re-arranged and the engine roof cut out, together with the attachment ring for the original Schmalturm turret, and transplanted to the front. In this step, the original driver hatches on top of the hull were deleted, too.

 

On the hull’s gaping rear end I tried to integrate the (originally roofless) weapon compartment from the “Sturer Emil” SPG. The latter comes as a single piece and turned out to be a little too narrow. I could have taken it OOB, but then a small step in the hull’s side walls had to be accepted. So I cut the box structure into pieces and tried to blend them as smoothly into the lower hull’s lines as possible – with the benefit of slightly more angled side walls. The resulting gaps at all four corners were filled with styrene sheet and putty, and the rear wall called for some major adjustments because it has a convex shape with an entry hatch. A bit messy, but the flanking exhaust pipes cover most of the mess.

 

On the new roof (cut from styrene sheet using a pattern made from adhesive tape and graphite rubbed along the edges), a commander cupola from a Panzer IV and some details like rangefinder optics or air vents were added. Since the interior would not be visible anymore, I only added a primitive console that would hold the OOB cannon bearing and allow slight movement with the barrel in place.

 

The kit would receive new tracks – vinyl pieces instead of the single styrene pieces from the Model Collect kit. And for a more lively look, the mud guards and side skirts (integral part of the upper hull half) were dented – using a candle flame to warm and warp the material.

  

Painting and markings:

The rather massive and tall tank was to look simple, yet a bit improvised, so I decided to mimic a primer finish with some thin camouflage paint added on top, so that much of the primer would still shine through.

In an initial step, the hull and still separate parts like the barrel and the wheels received a uniform coat of RAL 3009 Oxidrot – a rich, rust-red tone that comes close to the German primer used on late-war tank hulls. This basic tone was considerably lightened, through dry-brushing and shading with Humbrol 70, 113 and 119 (Brick Red, Rust and Red Brown, respectively), since paint was sparse in Germany in late WWII and colors frequently stretched and thinned with added pigments like white lead, resulting in an almost pinkish tone.

 

Once dry, the kit received an overall cover with thinned acrylic Sand and Beige (Revell 16 and 314) – almost a custard-colored wash - so that a good amount of the light paint would cling to details and run down the vertical surfaces, leaving an uneven, partly translucent coat on top the red primer that shines through everywhere. This finish was later tailored with brass brush, steel wool and sand paper treatments. No further camouflage (e. g. with Olivgrün) was added, for a simple look.

 

On top of the basic paint, a dark brown washing was added and the edges further emphasized through dry-brushing with light grey and pale sand tones, plus some acrylic silver. Once the wheels and tracks were fitted into place and the few decals applied, a coat of matt acrylic varnish was added. Finally, dust and dry mud were simulated with mixed pigments, applied with a soft brush onto wet stains of varnish.

  

An impressive whif tank, and the complex superstructure was quite challenging. Even though it’s a kitbashing, the whole thing looks pretty plausible and “German”, so the original objective was accomplished.

 

The British Medical Journal released a study stating that Santa is not a healthy role model, and that you should not leave him milk and cookies but instead encourage him to share the reindeers carrots...

Can't you leave the jolly old man alone! ;)

 

They even stated that being overweight and jolly gives a bad image to our kids... Can't overweight people be happy? I'm just wondering if maybe these adults are so bored they have nothing else to work on... Our kids have better judgement than that!

 

Happy Thursday friends! ;)

This Island is void of cars, stores, in fact nothing to say that were living in the 21st century. I climbed a mountain to take this shot (you will see it in further photos). Got to say it was the hardest thing I have done in years being overweight.

 

The heat was well over 98F but it was well worth the effort, My wife unfortunately only made it half way, but I could not give up. I had a bunch of old Chinese ladies cheering me on!!!!!

 

Less than two miles in length from north to south, Dravuni Island lies in the Kadavu Island group of Fiji. Its volcanic peaks give way to a remote village of just 200 or so friendly villagers who live amongst the island's shady palms. These welcoming locals and their children often sing to arriving visitors.

 

Well-worn trails scattered with coconuts snake around the unspoiled beaches, the soft sands beckoning underwater adventurers towards the crystal-clear waters. Many visitors come to snorkel in the Great Astrolabe Reef, or to hike Dravuni Island's highest peak for magnificent once-in-a-lifetime views of the surrounding islands.

i was watching several videos on altered photos of human beings, people ranging from being overweight to having major scars, and then them being processed into perfection. it made me realize how the ideal sight of perfection is not even real, and no one can ever look as perfect as a photoshop makeover can make them.

 

EXPLORED Jun 18, 2008 #399

Who says I can't be free

from all of the things that I used to be

re-write my history

who says I can't be free?

- John Mayer, Who Says

 

So, as I'm sure millions of people have been doing over the past few days as we near the beginning of 2010, I've been doing a lot of soul-searching. About my life, what it's been, what I want it be. And I've concluded that I have spent far too many years of my adult life being overweight. 2010 will be the year I re-claim the very best version of myself. And that means committing to making big changes in terms of my health.

 

And yes, I've said this before. And maybe this won't be the last time I'll make a proclamation like this. I hope it is, but it might not be. But so help me god, I will keep picking myself up, brushing myself off, and trying again every time I fail. It's time to get this done. If I can commit to a year of taking and posting a picture every single day, then surely I can commit to a year of working out and eating right. After all, aren't the rewards much sweeter?

 

**Note: it's not a New Year's Resolution. It's just me starting again. Again. :)

 

**Explored**

 

365 Days (self portraits): Day 274

52 Weeks of Feeling Fit (pre-week 1)

 

Another 'bin rescue' slide. This shows the village of Northfield in Birmingham, taken around 1959, the local infant school has finished for the day and the summer clad children make their way home, cotton dresses and baggy khaki shorts with a snake belt was the order of the day. Northfield village is a conservation area therefore the basic view has not really changed. Directly ahead is the Church of St Laurence which is approached through a lych gate, next to which in 1959 was a gas lamp. Some pre-Worboys road signs are present, the school sign with the burning tourch is on the pole and on the church wall next to the 'Go slow Bend' sign. The pub is the Great Stone Inn, next to that, behind the group of mothers is a stone enclosure, this is the village pound and was used to tether stray animals inside until they were re-claimed by their farmer owners. Near to the camera, in pristine Birmingham maroon and cream, is a fine Revo 'Moseley' column surmounted by a Revo fuse box, swan-neck scrolled bracket and Revo C12422/AL 'step-top' lantern. Northfield was also noted as a village that had a cottage industry of nailmaking, two nailmakers cottages are listed buildings.

The photograph, I feel, captures an age of innocence, pre computer, satellite 24 hour television and mobile phones. The kids are not worried about being overweight or if their trainers will be laughed at by their contemporaries for not being expensive enough, they walked to school with their mothers, not collected in some flashy 4x4 tank and, finally, whoever took the picture was not branded as a paedophile. The ladies seem quite happy to have their children* as part of a picture.

*I have not pixellated out the faces given that they are now in possession of bus passes...

Thank to L.W. for i.d. of the Revo streetlight.

Photographer unknown, please do not copy or use in anyway without consultation.

Secret number eighteen:

It's no secret that I am large and in charge. The secret lies in the fact that a few short years ago, hell, even a year ago, I would have never posted this picture for the world to see. It only took me 35 years to realize that how much you weigh, or what size jeans you wear, has absolutely no semblance to who you are and what you are worth. Of course everyone would like to show themselves off in their best possible light. We all do it. I take pictures from a higher angle because, in my eyes, it is more flattering. There is nothing wrong with that. I'm just not ashamed of who I am. For the longest time, I was ashamed of how I looked. About 10 years ago, I was a purchaser for the company I worked for. I would form relationships with the vendors I spoke to over the phone. Being the consummate flirt that I am, there were a few men who formed crushes on me, and vice versa. In my world, it was safe. They were hundreds of miles away and they couldn't see me. Eventually, it always came down to them wanting to see a picture of me. Here's where the secret comes in. I used a picture of my younger sister instead of one of myself on two occasions. Isn't that horrible? I was so afraid that some man, a man that I had never seen, would think that I wasn't good enough because I was fat. I'm not naive. I know that we live in a society where being overweight is still an acceptable prejudice. I speak from experience when I tell you that you can be the largest person in the room, and yet still be completely invisible. I'm just not the same person I once was. I'm not ashamed of who I am, or what I look like. Sure, I wish I could change things about myself, but who doesn't? I'll tell you one thing, I will never pretend to be someone I am not just to be accepted. I shouldn't have to. No one should have to. Put that in your slow cooker and let it simmer on low for 8 hours.

40 oz (1.13kg) Tomahawk Steak at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

au gratine potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, sauted mushrooms, chocolate lava cake.

If this is not going to kill me than my doctor will!

I’m a touring musician and also teach music production across Australia, so I’m travelling constantly – This kit is constantly evolving and has already had some recent changes, but here is what it looked like just after my recent mission to the United States:

 

1. Adventure Medical Kits - Ultralight / Watertight .7

2. Maxpedition Fatty Pocket Organizer - Audio Fix S**t Kit (See load out below)

3. ATH-M50s Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

4. Ragged Edge Carbon Fiber Velcroless Portfolio

5. Black Fishing Tackle Vest - Laptop and iPad fit in rear zippered pouch, hard drives and other heavy items in pockets – in case I have any problems being overweight when taking bag on a plane as my carry-on

6. Cables: Belkin Lightning & 30-pin to USB & HDMI cable for the Laptop

7. Apple 85W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter

8. Apple 12W USB Power Adapter

9. Powermonkey Extreme 9000mAh Battery - Can charge an iPhone four times and an iPad twice when fully charged via a wall outlet or the included solar panel

10. 1TB LaCie Hard Drive USB 2.0 & FireWire 800 – Installers and Drivers

11. 2TB WD My Passport Studio Hard Drive – Audio Drive and Backup

12. Tiger Balm

13. Gorilla Tape - Handy 1" Roll – Best gaffer on the planet in a super compact roll

14. Jackson PT2USB 2x 240V Power Outlets 2x USB charging outlets – so useful when travelling to keep everything charged

15. a-JAYS Four iPhone Headphones – Reasonable audio quality, three-button remote for iPhone and flat tangle-free cables

16. Boo-boo kit in a waterproof aLOKSAK bag – Bandaids and cotton wool

17. Ibuprofen – I don’t like to take pharmaceutical drugs often, but this stuff works if myself or someone else really needs it

18. Tea Tee Oil – Great for removing ticks & disinfecting

19. Lavender Oil – Great for calming & healing wounds

20. Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover

21. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 Soundcard

22. Portable Adjustable Laptop Stand Holder For iPad + Audio and USB Cables

23. Apple iPad 3 32gb Wifi running a custom TouchOSC template as my main control surface for performances

24. 15" Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display – 2.6 Ghz i7, 16Gb RAM, 512Gb SSD – Best laptop on the planet

25. Tom Bihn Vertical Brain Cell Hard-sided laptop case – Clips into my backpack

26. Tom Bihn Smart Alec Backpack – I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect backpack for over 15 years, this was pretty pricey once I kitted it out with the Vertical Brain Cell, a bunch of pouches and stuff sacks plus shipping to Australia – but goddam is it a sweet pack – really comfy to wear - fully loaded the whole kit weighs in at about 15kg and the straps don’t even feel like they’re under strain – and when unpacking it feels like Mary Poppin’s bag – where the hell does it all go?

 

Audio Fix S**t Kit (See other photo)

 

1. Various audio and computer cables

2. LCD Screen cleaning kit

3. Batteries: 2 x Lithium 14500 3.7v for the Torch

2 x Powerex Imedion 2400mAh AA for the Zoom Recorder

4. Sharpening stone

5. Dr Bronners Lip Balm

6. Bic Lighter

7. Corsair Survivor USB 3.0 64GB USB Flash Drive – Contains all my important documents, scans of passport, licence etc, a few Gb of my favourite photos all encrypted with password access, a library of over 3000 eBooks covering: Permaculture, Sustainable Living & Building with Natural Materials, Survival, Bushcraft & Bush Tucker, Natural Medicine & First aid & HUGE Esoteric library plus Over 40GB of instructional videos and documents split into 7 categories: Growing Food, Permaculture & Organic Gardening, First Aid, Making Your Own Electricity, Pure Water For Life, Self Defence & Survival Skills – you know, just in case….

8. A bunch of audio adaptors

9. Spare guitar picks

10. Thom Bihn Mesh Ballistic Organizer Pouch – for all the adaptors and cables

11. ThruNite T10 115Lumen Cree XP-G LED (R5) - 350 Lumens when used with Lithium 14500 3.7v batteries – damn bright torch!

12. Tweezerman Folding Nail Clippers

13. Quantum capsule with spare battery for Veleno Designs Quantum D2 (My keychain torch)

14. Zoom H1 Recorder – for recording gigs and foley etc.

15. CRKT Eat'N Tool

16. Flat USB wall charger

17. Computer screwdrivers

18. Black Sharpie

 

Take a moment to check out my music here: lubdub.fm/

 

Plymouth stalwart 08895 drags disgraced 45133 off the 08.20 Plymouth - Leeds on the 10th May 1982 after it had failed. Not a happy sight for me as it was replaced by 47508 thus putting paid to my early outing on 1E30. The next peak east would be in over four hours so I opted to have a day's photography in the Plymouth environs. The fondly remembered late John Bending from Plymouth's platform staff looks on no doubt amused and muttering about the loco being overweight and having too many wheels. A great guy and much missed. Passed away much too early.

Alder buckthorn, shrub grows as the hilly sunny places, the edges of streams or swampy areas, but only up to altitudes of 1000 meters.

Alder buckthorn , reaches heights of 2-3 meters.

Alder buckthorn, part of the family and is called in Latin Graminaceelor Rhamnus frangula (Frangulea ALNUS).

From Alder buckthorn , is used exclusively peel.

Alder buckthorn , is gathered in March-April periods August and October.

Alder Buckthorn-Natural Treatments

Alder Buckthorn bark, contains a number of substances with emetic effect, anthraquinone principles, with a sharp purgative action.

It has the advantage over other vegetable purgative that can be used long without giving habit.

Purgative properties of alder buckthorn , known for over six centuries.

What therapeutic effects of alder buckthorn bark, it is effective in adjusting the seat (it is effective in regulating bowel movements).

Solve states of constipation in cases when the intestine becomes lazy.

Tea is also used preventively gall bladder disease and having a cleansing effect of the blood.

For chronic constipation, use 2-3 grams of powder or 2 tablespoons shredded bark plant, which is put to soak in 250 ml cold water, allow to pull noon, then drink a few sips every two hours.

For urgent cases, a tablespoon of shredded bark, scald with boiling a cup of water, then after half an hour let May boil for ten minutes.

Doses are starting to cure a teaspoon of zest to a cup of tea and titrated up to a tablespoon of zest to the same amount of water.

Low doses are used in mild constipation, and in higher doses in more serious cases.

With effect from the excitement of the ball, Alder Buckthorn bark, mixed with chicory, artichoke and dandelion, used to prepare a tea effective in the treatment of liver diseases and regulation of digestion making it one of teas often used in cases of obesity.

Taking every morning a pinch of zest Alder buckthorn and drinking a cup of tea chicory people who want to lose weight will succeed so gradually, without fear that usually accompanies diets, namely regaining weight once the diet weight loss is interrupted.

Alder buckthorn , regulates digestion and seat, leading naturally cleanse the digestive tract and thus eliminate toxins.

One of the important factors that usually accompany being overweight.

To prevent nausea and vomiting that causes the bark is good to bear in mind the following recommendations…read more…

 

Mackay Sugar locomotive #36 "Farleigh" bustles across the spectacular bridge over Pioneer River, approaching Mirani with a loaded cane train. For much of the lines progress west of Mirani, the Mackay Sugar "mainline" uses the former QR Finch Hatton line corridor.

 

Farleigh is a PSL27 cane-field locomotive, built in 1990 originally for Fairymead Mill, although the unit never entered service there due to being overweight. Mackay Sugar eventually purchased the unit for use on their network.

Only a third of Londoners keep fit by walking or cycling for 20 minutes each day. A huge number do nothing to keep fit and may even over-eat, especially with processed foods, and, of course, too much sugar.

And they become obese, but probably would never use that term. Many people regard being overweight as the new normal and fail to understand the serious health problems they could be creating for themselves. Obesity: the disease that people ignore!

The Wood Pigeon is generally grey with a pinkish breast and green, white and purple patch on the neck. The tail has a black tip and the wings have a prominent white patch. The eye is a bright yellow. The legs and bill are pink.

 

Juvenile birds are browner and duller and lack the white patch on the neck. They can be confused with the smaller Stock Dove.

 

Wood Pigeons waddle when they walk, which adds to their general appearance of being overweight. In fact, the Wood Pigeon's feathers weigh more than its skeleton and it is Europe's largest pigeon.

 

In flight the bold white bar across the middle of the wing is very prominent.

A new study proves the astonishing powers of the everyday 'wonder drug', aspirin.

 

For over 2000 years, aspirin has been, and continues to be, an important medical tool. Derived from willow leaf, salicylic acid has been used for centuries to reduce fevers, headaches, and inflammation. Hippocrates—the father of medicine—made a yellow tea from it. The ancient Egyptians used willow and other plants high in salicylic acid to treat pain and fight infection. Lewis and Clark carried some, using it to reduce fevers during their expedition.

 

In the 1830s, physicians began experimenting with different forms of salicylic acid and prescribing chemicals related to it. At the time, these processes were deemed too difficult and time consuming, so the compounds were labeled impractical and set aside. In 1897, a German chemist named Felix Hoffmann rediscovered salicylic acid while searching for something to ease his father's arthritic pain, and "aspirin" as we now know it was born.

 

The folks at Bayer came up with the name Aspirin, it comes from the 'A" in acetyl chloride, the "spir" in spiraea ulmaria (the plant they derived the salicylic acid from) and the 'in' was a then familiar name ending for medicines.

 

Aspirin was first sold as a powder. In 1915, the first Aspirin tablets were made. Interestingly, Aspirin ® and Heroin ® were once trademarks belonging to Bayer. After Germany lost World War I, Bayer was forced to give up both trademarks as part of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

 

1 EASING SYMPTOMS OF MIGRAINE

 

We’ve probably all used this all-rounder drug for aches and pains to ease headaches, muscle pain and toothache.

 

First developed to treat arthritis pain, aspirin belongs to a class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), as does ibuprofen.

 

These drugs dampen inflammation by blocking pain-producing chemicals called thromboxanes.

 

Aspirin differs from paracetamol, which has no anti-inflammatory effect and works on a different pain trigger, the chemical cyclooxygenase. There is emerging evidence that aspirin can be used to tackle the serious headache-type condition migraine.

 

HOW TO TAKE IT: Consultant cardiologist Dr Laura Corr says a higher dose of aspirin – three normal 300mg tablets – can be useful for reducing or relieving the symptoms of an acute migraine attack.

 

The recommended dose for pain relief is high – 300mg to 900mg every four to six hours. But you shouldn’t exceed 4g daily.

 

Aspirin works for more than half of sufferers. ‘It’s cheap and readily available over the counter and is as effective as low doses of the prescription-only migraine medicines such as sumatriptan,’ says Dr Corr, of the Harley Street Clinic.

 

‘As with many of the effects of aspirin, we don’t know exactly how it works. But it not only relieves headache pain but also many other migraine symptoms such as visual disturbances.’

 

2 AVOIDING HEART ATTACKS

 

The blood contains tiny cell fragments called platelets that play a crucial role in blood clotting. These can cluster together due to the development of cardiovascular disease brought on by a range of factors including diet, weight, genetic risk, lifestyle, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

 

If this happens, it can cause clots that block arteries and trigger heart attacks, when part of the heart muscle is starved of oxygen and dies.

 

What aspirin does is thin the blood by reducing platelets clustering, therefore preventing attacks.

 

HOW TO TAKE IT: Guidance issued in the US in April this year by a government-backed panel of independent physicians (the US Preventive Services Task Force) says that adults aged 50 to 59 at risk of heart attack should take a low dose of aspirin daily ‘as an insurance policy’. That group includes anyone with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

 

Dr Corr, though, says the advice in the UK is more cautious, with aspirin recommended only for those who have already had heart problems. ‘Although many people take low doses of aspirin – 75mg – every day to prevent heart attacks, the evidence that this does you more good than harm is lacking.

 

‘It’s now generally recommended only for people who have already had a heart attack or suffer angina, or those who have had treatment with stents or bypass surgery.’

 

3 PROTECTING YOU FROM CANCER

 

Scientists are also turning to aspirin in the battle against cancer. Although it is not fully understood, the theory is that aspirin hinders platelets from protecting cancer cells in the body.

 

HOW TO TAKE IT: A major study by experts from centres in the US and Europe found that taking aspirin daily for a decade can cut cancer risk. The findings, published in the Annals Of Oncology in 2014, show that not much happens in the first five years but after that stomach, oesophageal and colorectal cancer all reduce by about a third.

 

For lung, prostate and breast cancer it’s around ten per cent, according to Professor Jack Cuzick, who was involved in the research which was based on people between 50 and 65.

 

‘If you put all this together, then aspirin is the second most important thing in preventing cancer,’ says Prof Cuzick, head of the centre for cancer prevention at Queen Mary University of London.

 

‘It takes five years but the benefits are quite striking. A low dose of 75mg of aspirin is something to consider for people in this age group, apart from those with bleeding risks. What’s needed is a change in mindset to recognise the benefits of aspirin in combating cancer.’ If you are in this age group and are concerned that you may be at an increased risk of these cancers, for instance due to family history, discuss with your GP whether you may benefit from low-dose aspirin.

 

4 REDUCING RISK OF MINI-STROKES

 

Taking aspirin after minor strokes could limit the harm caused by further strokes. That’s according to a University of Oxford study published this month based on data from 15 aspirin trials involving 56,000 stroke patients.

 

Aspirin’s role in reducing stroke risk or mini-stroke has long been proven, says consultant Inderpaul Birdi. He explains that it helps stop the formation of clots, which block blood vessels in the brain and cause strokes

 

HOW TO TAKE IT: Mr Birdi, cardiac surgeon at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals, says: ‘Many patients are on aspirin for the prevention of recurrent stroke or mini-stroke. Aspirin inhibits clots forming where the arteries are furred up.’

 

He says that recent guidance from NHS drugs watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggests that a prescription anti-clotting drug called Clopidogrel should be used as a preferred stroke-prevention drug in these patients.

 

He adds: ‘If aspirin is used, it should be combined with the drug dipyridamole as this combination is more effective than aspirin alone.’

 

5 PREVENTING MISCARRIAGE

 

Women with conditions that make them prone to clotting, such as Hughes syndrome, also known as sticky blood, face the misery of recurrent miscarriage.

 

Peter Bowen-Simpkins, medical director of London Women’s Clinic, says the theory is that the blood-thinning properties of aspirin ‘prevent tiny clots forming in the blood vessels leading to the womb that can kill off a pregnancy’.

 

HOW TO TAKE IT: Several studies have suggested that a daily dose of aspirin combined with the blood-thinner heparin can reduce the risk.

 

High blood pressure – or pre-eclampsia – during the second half of pregnancy also puts women at risk of miscarriage. A review of existing trials by the US Preventive Services Task Force in 2014 found that daily low-dose aspirin could reduce the risk by nearly a quarter.

 

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Clive Spence-Jones, from the Portland Hospital, says: ‘It’s not for everyone but could benefit high-risk mothers who have previously had pre-eclampsia and problems affecting the baby, such as prematurity and slow growth.’

 

There is no evidence of any wider benefit for women having problems conceiving in general, according to Mr Bowen-Simpkins. All pregnant women should seek medical advice before taking any medication.

 

IT'S BAD FOR...

 

1 HAEMOPHILIACS AND CHILDREN

 

Aspirin is a powerful medication and, as with all drugs, it can have side effects. There are also a number of people who cannot take it, including:

 

Those who have had an allergic reaction to aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, in the past

 

Asthma sufferers

 

Anyone who has had stomach ulcers, or severe liver or kidney problems

 

Those with haemophilia or another blood disorder, or who have uncontrolled high blood pressure.

 

Cardiologist Inderpaul Birdi explains that aspirin is not recommended for general daily use, given the evidence linking it to internal bleeding. ‘This suggests that the benefits in healthy people are heavily outweighed by the risk of gastrointestinal irritation and bleeding,’ says Mr Birdi.

 

The drug is also not recommended for children under the age of 16 because of the risk of the very rare but serious complication of Reye’s syndrome, which causes swelling in the liver and brain.

 

2 SUFFERERS OF ATRIAL FIBRILLATION

 

About 50,000 people a year are diagnosed with an irregular and abnormally fast heart rate – classified as more than 100 beats per minute – which is also known as atrial fibrillation (AF). GPs still prescribe aspirin for about a third of AF patients at increased risk of stroke.

 

However, according to new guidance from NICE published last year, doctors should be switching them to newer anticoagulant drugs (NOACs).

 

The reason is that aspirin is not as effective in preventing stroke, and the bleeding risk negates any benefits, according to Jeremy Pearson, medical director at the British Heart Foundation.

 

‘Aspirin shouldn’t be used by AF patients because the risks of bleeding in the gut outweigh any benefits in reducing strokes,’ says Prof Pearson, from King’s College London.

 

‘GPs should be putting people [at high risk of stroke] on anticoagulant drugs unless they need to take aspirin for other reasons. Always talk through your treatment with your doctor.’

 

3 ‘ECONOMY-CLASS SYNDROME'

 

Although aspirin is effective in preventing blood clots that form in arteries – which lead to heart attacks and strokes – the drug is not effective in breaking down clots that block veins.

 

This means it will not prevent a venous thromboembolism (VTE), a condition where parts of blood clots in the legs – a deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT – break off and travel to the blood vessels between the heart and lungs, causing a potentially fatal blockage.

 

Typically, VTEs occur after periods of prolonged inactivity (such as in a cramped flight or hospital bed). Dehydration, being overweight and older age increase the risk.

 

Clots in veins are not triggered by platelets, so drugs other than aspirin are needed to stop them forming, says Duncan Dymond, consultant cardiologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. However, anyone already prescribed aspirin should keep taking it when they fly.

eighty

 

I think I have mentioned this before. I still find it very strange to see myself in a mirror after my recent weight loss and growing fitness level. After being overweight for over 15 years my mind seems to be having a hard time adjusting to this new person.

 

I also find the sensation very weird when my hand brushes my abdomen and instead of the soft cushy feeling I'm used to, it's solid. That's new too.

 

This whole change is still very strange and new to me. Still can't believe it's real I guess.

thoughts on a trip to the meat factory

 

Yesterday was thursday, I used to look forward to lunch on thursday. I got up earlier than usual to load 2 bulls in a trailer and take them to the slaughter house. I had no problem sorting them out from their comrades, one of them used to love having the back of his head scratched. I call it the 'toledo' spot. It's where those spannish bull fighting bastards stick in the sword after they've finished torturing the bull to end his life by severing the spinal chord. Toledo is a spannish city and I think they still make swords there for tourists, it's also afaik the spannish word for sword. Any way back to my bulls, got them out of the pen and into the crush. One of them needed an eartag. First blood of the day I thought as the spike on the tag pierced a vein in his ear.

It's about a 45 minute drive to the slaughter house from my yard. I drive at about 45 mph. If I can, I pull into the edge of the road to let cars pass. If the road is too narrow, tough shit. Most of the way I drive in 4th sometimes 5th. I think about ringing the miller where I buy bull ration to ask can I weigh in so I can find out what the kill out % is, but I don't bother, there is no tax on the land cruiser, one of the tyres on the trailer is bald, I don't want to meet any cops so I stick to the ring road avoiding towns. I pull in at a wide part of the road to let a bread van pass, but the prick pulls in behind me and never passes. Fuck him, by the time I get to the slaughter house there is a string of cars behind me.

At the slaughter house there is a que of trailers in front of me, the security man asks me to wait at the barrier until there is room ahead. It's half eight and raining. I sort of listen to the radio and dry my hat with the dashboard heater. Soon the barrier is lifted and I join the que. When I get halfway up I take the bull's passports up to the office and do the paperwork. He asks how heavy they are, 350 maybe 360 kg, I tell the guy there see you in 10 minutes. I help the guy in front of me back in his trailer, he says he's a bad driver. Easily half the farmers there have a land cruiser and ifor williams trailer and have of those have a dog in the passenger seat. He tells me how he backed in the wrong jeep and trailer and loaded it with cattle he'd just bought at a mart one day, I asked was it dark and he said 'No'.

I back up my trailer at the lairage, the guy behind me backs up beside me and is able to get his cattle off first, but I don't care, nobody panics at a slaughter house, just the cattle. My bulls walk off to their deaths easily enough. I go wash out my trailer, the guy who skipped ahead of me has an attractive red headed daughter in the front passenger seat instead of a dog. She is in her early 20's hair tied back in a ponytail. She doesn't talk much, me and her old man talk farming for a few minutes, they have suckler cows same as me, pissed off with the price of cattle, got 4.60 a kg last year, 3.60 a kg this year, that's roughly €400 euro less a head.

It's my turn with the power hose. I put on my raybans to keep the bullshit out of my eyes as I powerhose it out the back of the trailer. My foot gets wet because there is a hole in my welly, fuck that's nice, but they'll have to wait, my son needs a new pair of shoes.

I park the land cruiser and trailer beside a 40 foot fridge trailer, lock it and head back to the lairage, the manager says my bulls are gone up the line. I feel a bit sad, time was I used to give the lairage guys a hand to run my cattle up the chute. Back then perhaps 20 years ago I'd say a prayer, something like thank you, hope these provide a decent dinner for lots of people. Or tell Queen maeve I was asking for her, with a tear in my eye. But not anymore, not when I'm feeling screwed by all the meat factories.

I wash my wellys and head round to the payment office 'joke' and get a banin coat and a head protector. Head up the steps to the slaughter hall. I wash and dry my hands, there's an automatic scrubbing machine with two rotating brushes for my wellys, I think as they come out as new (except for the leak) that's one of the best things about seeing your cattle being killed. I push through the stainless steel doors, what you see first is sides of beef moving slowly to the left to the cold room, there is a wall to the right and straight ahead is maybe 30 cattle hanging from the ceiling in various stages of processing. There is a smell of hot guts but I don't notice it anymore. My cousin who is also a farmer says he hates that smell. But to me it's one of my favourite smells, it's the smell of money, the smell of a clear overdraft, the smell that pays the bills, puts food on the table, new shoes on my son's feet. I love that smell, when the weather is hot the smell is stronger, maybe because it's cold I don't notice the smell or more likely it's because the price of beef is so bad I don't notice it.

I walk past the scales and at the automatic grader I have to stop because it takes a photo of every second side and I don't want to walk past, the lights go off for a second before the photo is taken. There is a low wall running down the middle of the slaughter house. The line is 'U' shaped. The cattle come in at the top of one side of the U just after slaughter, and at the top of the other side of the U is where the door is and where they turn left to the cold room. The low wall where I lean on and watch the whole process runs up the middle of the U. My bulls are hanging up, bleeding, I can't really see them. At 10 am everything stops for breakfast, they've been working since 7am. I go with them to the canteen, tea and coffee is free but food has to be paid for. I remember the irony of having a free roast beef dinner in a slaughter house canteen the very first time I went to see a bullock being killed.

There about 4 long white tables in the canteen with room for perhaps 20 at each table, I just get a mug of tea, fishing out the teabag with my fingers. I sit at the first table beside a man with a tattoo sleeve, I say hello but he doesn't talk much, I suspect he doesn't speak english. A big brazilian guy and a paki sit down and we chat a bit, where are you from, Sao Paulo. He offers me a date from the paki's lunch box, and I take it. After about 15 minutes everybody heads back to the slaughter hall. Slowly one of my bulls moves along the line, the brazilian who I had breakfast with 5 minutes before chops the front legs and makes a few cuts at the throat of my bull. I wonder does he enjoy his job, he is standing in 2 inches of blood with a blank expression on his face, I don't think so. He has been here 11 years, he probably has most of the price of a farm or a decent house in brazil saved by now. My second bull appears, there are 8 other cattle on the line between them. It is hard to keep track of them, when the hide comes off the first one there is a small red patch where the fat has been pulled off, it helps me identify him. I chat to a vet, who says he is the hardest working man on the floor, yeah says I and the best paid. I feel I am the worst paid in there. My bull's guts empty out on to a low sized stainless steel table with a conveyor belt top. I ask if there is any fluke in the liver, the vet makes a few quick cuts and pronounces it 'perfect'. My second bull is being skint and I ask him to look at that one as well. My first bull gets a label with a carcase number, 7770 and his ear tag number on it too, it's easier now for me to keep track of him. He moves around the bottom corner of the U and is sawn in half down through the spine, next an eastern european woman removes bits of nerve. It must be a tough place for a woman to work, especially when she's on the rag looking at blood all day. The second bull has his liver out on the table, 'Fit for the pan' says the vet. I walk up to the grader and watch how cattle are grading and weighing as I wait for my 2 bulls. U and R mostly 2 and 3 for fat cover. My first bull is a U-2+ and weighs 360 kg, I'm happy at that, no deductions for being overweight or short of fat, the next bull moves slowly on, R+2+ and 380kg, I'm pleasantly surprised at the weights, I'm doing mental maths multiplying 38 by 3 and a half. 2.6 or 2.7k it's ok, will keep the wolf from the door for a month.

remixarmy.com/the-importance-of-visualization-to-achieve-...

Visualization And Imagery

The importance of visualization as part of your personal development plan cannot be overstated. Success begins within, and visualization is a great way to convince yourself you can achieve your dreams.

 

When you are trying to manifest your goals, you're essentially trying to change something about your current state of existence. And with any change, the mind resists as the ego perceives the unknown to be a threat.

 

Visualization and imagery exercises are excellent ways of managing resistance to change as they help push through this common barrier.

The Benefits Of Visualization

Visualization is a proven technique for achieving goals, whether your goal is spiritual enlightenment or winning a race. Even spiritual traditions such as Buddhism espouse the importance of visualization and sports psychologists swear by it.

 

In their book, Karate of Okinawa, Robert Scaglione and William Cummins give some compelling evidence of why visualization is considered one of the best self motivation tips. They cite a study by Russian researchers prior to the 1980 Olympic Games. Interested in understanding the power of the mind on performance, the researchers developed training schedules that involved different degrees of physical training and mental training. They found that the group which devoted the most time to mental training (and the least to physical training) performed the best.

When To Use Visualization

The importance of visualization is heightened when goals require long-term action. For example, if you have a lot of weight to lose, it's going to require a lot of time just following a seemingly mundane plan before you'll see results. When you consider that many people eat because they're bored, you can see why a mundane plan will be extra difficult for most.

The fact is; many goals take time to come to fruition. In his book, Harmonic Wealth, James Arthur Ray gives this example:

 

"Everything has a gestation period, a time period that must pass before things will come into form. If you plant a carrot seed, it takes about seven weeks for the sprout to make its above-dirt entrance. Bamboo, which can grow up to thirteen feet in as little as one week, takes up to seven years to break through the surface of the ground. But for seven long years it looks like absolutely nothing's happening."

 

Now, there's no question that human beings are more complex than bamboo! And we have a tendency to sabotage our own efforts. This is why it's best to incorporate visualization exercises into your daily personal development plan. You only need to spend a few minutes in the morning and just before going to sleep, picturing your success.

How To Visualize

When you practice visualization and imagery techniques as part of a personal development plan, you're living as if you've already achieved your goal, hence the saying "success begins within." In your mind, all you see is images of you at your goal weight. You see yourself in clothes you love, doing activities you've not enjoyed while being overweight, and most importantly, you see yourself getting plenty of attention from the opposite sex! These kinds of visualization motivate you to stick with your plan during the hard times.

 

Convinced Yet Of The Importance Of Visualization? Try These Exercises:

 

1. Internalization: see your goal in your mind's eye

 

2. Externalization: imagine the situation when you've attained your goal, this time with your eyes open

 

3. Forecasting: This requires expanding on externalization. Play out a whole scenario in your mind. See how people behave towards you. What else is happening?

 

4. Emotionalization: Focus on all of the positive emotions you will have when you achieve your goal

 

5. Verbalization: Picture your goals and the scenario you painted during your forecasting exercise. Say out loud what the scenario is that you see

 

Creative Visualization

 

Visualization is one of the most relied on self-motivation tips by Olympic trainers. And creative visualization is one specific style of visualization they often recommend. It requires imagining your desired goal by engaging all of your senses. For example, if you want to meet the partner of your dreams, develop a clear mental picture of what this person is like. What do they look like? Imagine the sound of their voice. What do they feel like? Can you see yourself holding his/her hand? What do they smell like?

 

To learn more about the importance of visualization, read Shakti Gawain's, Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life.

This is my wall of inspiration, motivation and fitspiration.

After years of being overweight and countless not-working diets I decided for something a lot more drastic.

I don't eat any carbs.

I don't eat anything with sugar.

I don't eat anything with too much fat.

I work out at least every second day.

 

Well, that was my new year's resolution last year.

Unfortunately my personal life made me stop this and fall back to my old and bad habits.

I was diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder, also known as bipolar disorder.

My life was shattered. I had no dreams and no future. No boyfriend, no real friends, no job. I was alone.

Don't get me wrong. I was never suicidal.

And after one year I feel really good. Like a new person. I learned to always find a reason to smile.

But there was one thing bothering me.

And that was my weight.

I know you should love your body no matter what but I was not able to. Never ever.

Well, now I love my body and I don't want to get rid of it, I want to change it.

I want to be healthy and feel good wherever I am.

 

So now, for almost one month I am doing my best and YES I CAN. And I can already see results!

Just wanted to share my personal happy moment with all of my flickrities.

 

Don't get me wrong, I didn't write this for attention. Sometimes it just feels good to write down what you feel.

 

<3

16 things.....

1. Today is my forty-tenth birthday.

2. My Mom is my BFF!

3. She is going to kill me for posting this picture!

4. I am an only child, although my Mom does have a son :)

5. OK, I have a younger brother, we're just not close and sometimes I am sad about that.

6. Lost my Dad in 2007 and I really miss him.

7. I was the 4th wife of a serial-husband....I survived.

8. 99% of the time I really like living by myself.

9. I am able to crack myself up so hard I make my stomach hurt and have tears in my eyes! 10. Never did have children, so of course I am an expert on raising them, just ask me!

11. I have always struggled with being overweight.

12. I have just a few really close friends and I've known them for over 25 years now.

13. I throw the best Oscar Party in all the land....yes, it's true!

14. I think a perfect day is one where I never even get out of my pajamas!

15. I worry that I use too many !!!!!'s in my posts.

16. And, yes, it really is all about me! ~eyes rolling~

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