Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Old Digs

Riverside Plaza is also affectionately known as "the Crack Stacks" or "Ghettos in the Sky."

It is also where your humble Captain resided for 2 years of his collegiate days.

It is your classical government/affordable housing project where somebody high on pot back in the 60's was given the architectural contract to make it look hideous and be an eye sore to the city's skyline.

All that being said I have fond memories of the Crack Stacks;

washing clothes in the bath tub because you couldn't trust your clothes to be washed in the public laundromat, not to mention it was 34 stories below my apartment

carrying 60 pounds of groceries in one shot because you didn't want to make multiple trips

running down 34 flights of stairs during a fire only to realize that if there ever was a real fire, everybody in the building would be doomed because the slow old people who live downstairs back up the stairwell like a Wisconsin driver hauling horses during rush hour on 494.

Looks like it's going to get an overhaul (of course with part of yours and my dimes), though sadly, the city will continue its rapid charge to become the next cold Detroit so it's kind of like grooming your dog before you put it to sleep.
Prison Laundry Work (by the Occult Killer)

Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident. When police investigators discovered Gothic paraphernalia in his bedroom, they naturally concluded Brandon had committed a sacrificial murder for the benefit of Satan.

The prison where Brandon is at takes in institutional and hospital laundry as a business. Naturally this includes a lot of biohazard human waste. Brandon is now running the washing machines, one of which is large enough to hold 8 standing adult men.

The guy who runs the big washers next to mine, Taylor, was out on medical lay-in, so some rank amateur took his place. How hard is it to run the washers? Only three people are qualified, in a sense: me, Nate, and Dave. Two of those are quality control counters and can’t or don’t really want to run ’em. So, my foreman, Knapp, got our janitor to do it. The same guy who was told on several occasions never to touch a machine, ANY machine, as long as he worked at CI, because he is a disaster-prone idiot. That’s putting it lightly. He couldn’t cut it, he needed too much of my attention, and my work was suffering. We switched, figured he’d have it easier. Now it’s worse than ever. I need to either fix it or quit, because it’s becoming too hard a job to keep up. To make things worse, Taylor went to Michigan (mandatory transfer due to overcrowding) and may as well be gone for good, ’cause he won’t be back before I’m gone. That means I’m on the big washers for good, and Nelson the Idiot Janitor runs my old show. What a mess.

In the end, five guys were taken from our side, our shift, leaving us with 13. Enough to limp along. We’re taking on a new jail contract come Monday, Frackville, which with the reduced workforce is supposed to guarantee us 70 cent bonuses for the duration. A max bonus is great, but juggling my job and keeping in check the inadequacies of my wash counterpart is arduous. I don’t always have time to monitor him and his sometimes ridiculous errors or lack of observation. The twenty-year old, over-burdened industrial equipment needs constant attention and foreknowledge of their individual weaknesses. They are all in different stages of disrepair and a few wrong decisions can break them, cause injury, or both. In correctional industry, OSHA only exists on inspection days. In nearly all cases, liability rests with the prisoner alone. That says it all.

This Friday was no exception. The floor was backed up, 2 dryers were broke down, as was the cart wash. It was so bad, Knapp gave me that days 3 mandatory contracts to do, then said to shut down for the night. I never bothered to memorize the shipping schedule or the mandatories, because getting the work done was never an issue, or I had Taylor riding my ass and trying to micro-manage my work. Anyways, we do what we have to, leaving a ton of work, because anything left wet over the weekend will have to be re-washed. Nothing to do but buffer pads and 1,000,000 pounds of floor mats! Actually more like 1,000. Seriously. With the whole spring cleaning thing in effect, every dept sent floor mats. Normally they get done gradually over the course of the week, but not this time. They all had to be washed and draped over carts to drip dry, some as long as 20 or more feet. One from Medical must have reached 50 and weighed nearly 200 pounds. So big it had to ride in my twin-pocket 450, the other pocket loaded with as much ballast as we could find. (We used old leather boots sent for disposal. This thing was so heavy, when I went to weigh it to balance the load, I got tangled in it and just fell straight over like a tree going down, almost unable to get up from under it!) It took three people to wrestle it out of the machine and most of the crew to stretch it out. The hardest part for me was climbing inside the washer, slippery and humid as it was, to lift the mat up toward the access hatch and push while two others pulled. Difficult, but interesting. By the time we left, the dirty side was littered with mats on carts. I had long lost track of which went where and didn’t care. We barely escaped that place with our lives.

When I got “home” that night of the transfer, they wouldn’t let us shower. That really messed me up, because I was FILTHY. I had been digging in heavy soil loads known as “shit carts” (for obvious reasons” most of the day and I desperately wanted cleanliness. When Nate was taken out I unloaded my plastic foot locker and took an extreme “bird bath” in it. Burn me for a shower! Made a mess, but it was worth it.

Click here to read the Occult Killer’s previous blog.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Post comments and questions for the Occult Killer below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Counter Boycott

I loathe the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty of the mayors of both San Fran and now St. Paul "boycotting" Arizona.

Yes, how dare we protect US sovereignty and have the slightest bit of self-respect for ourselves. I mean this isn't our country. It's the world's country.

Of course, this is nothing more than a dispicable level of hypocrisy to protect an illegal voting bloc, while they sacrifice the integrity and sovereignty of the nation (I particularly like how Coleman calls it "hate.")

Regardless, listen to your Captain and do me one huge favor.

Go here and look up a company that you have a need for and FREAKING buy something from them.

I know you didn't want to buy my book (sniff, sniff, guilt trip, guilt trip), but please make the Captain happy in thinking that he somehow caused a nation-wide phenomenon to boost Arizona's GSP and interstate exports by 300%.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So I'm watching "Charge of the Light Brigade" and Errol Flynn just used the word "effrontery."

Meaning shameless boldness that is an insult to standard social decorum and propriety.

I shall try to incorporate it into my speech.

I Need a Doctor

Because my eyes just got stuck rolling in the back of my head.

Peter Schiff better run for president.
Volunteering in Prison (Part 2 by Guest Blogger Maria)

Maria is a Cuban refugee who has been volunteering with Latinos in the U.S. for over 30 years and in prisons for 2 years.

Insights was a program developed by a social scientist whose theory was that if inmates developed better skills at judgment, self-knowledge, and self-presentation, they could better free themselves from the cycle of recidivism and become integrated into society in a positive way. My first problem was that I didn’t believe that Insights would work, because the changes they aimed at, I thought, would take months, not weeks. Also, it was very hard to get good statistics on the success of the program, because the only inmates who could enter were those who didn’t have extant “tickets” for bad behavior. The program was selective, so a control group could not be found.

I did, however, want to work with the inmates and this was a way to do it. And, once I took the Insights course myself, I found ideas in it I could use in my own life, and I also found out it was in many cases fun, and when it was too simplistic, I could still tell the writer was sincere.

I was already an experienced teacher of the Insights Program on the first day of this new semester. I really respected our coach, Gladys, another volunteer, and how she arranged the teaching time. Half the time we would work one-on-one, and half the time we met as a group, 1.5- 2 hours a week for ten weeks. When we were in group, all of us were “students,” both inmates and volunteers. In group sessions, Gladys was the moderator, and the rest of us participated as equals. Our group this semester included 4 volunteers and 4 inmates. My student would be a 35 year old who had been transferred to the minimum security prison, Daniels, after spending 12 years in the maximum security Big House, having almost served out his sentence. For our purposes, his name will be Pablo, and details are being changed so as to keep trouble from coming to anyone I mention. In anything significant, though, the situation will be described in complete honesty.

Pablo and I sat across from each other, and although he didn’t look very friendly, I didn’t pay much attention since I was focused on the introduction to Insights, which I believed had to be carefully done. I did notice that he had a Spanish accent, even though he had never been outside the continental U.S. His neighborhood was entirely Spanish speaking. Later, at the end of the course, when we held our graduation ceremony, two of my fellow volunteers remarked on the hostile look on his face that first session, like he was going to sit through the course but no one could tell him what to do. I had not noticed. Sometimes it helps to be clueless. One other thing I did notice was his name, P-A-B-L-O, tattooed like a bracelet, just below his wrist. Most inmates have wild ornate tattoos of dragons and pretty girls and snakes and their initials or gang stuff, really intricate. Pablo had nothing else but those five letters, 48 point Helvetica font with no decoration.

The next step was taking down Pablo’s biography. This is naturally important since the past colors how we develop our insight into our world. Pablo’s childhood and early adult years were the roughest of all the inmates I have met but one. He was abandoned at birth by both parents, and then adopted by his mother’s sister, Aunt Cecilia, who was a leader at one of the Pentecostal churches in his town. Aunt Cecilia beat Pablo in a systematic way and practically on a schedule. The irony of this is that the aunt’s was continually preaching from the Gospels, and Pablo well knew that beating children wasn’t condoned in that particular section of the Bible. You may imagine this led to his having a few issues with the God Business as he grew up. Pablo’s older cousin also lived with him, and brought alcohol home and taught Pablo to drink and forced him to get drunk at age nine, and then regularly. Later, he would bring Marijuana. His younger cousin, Isabel, escaped the beatings that the two older boys endured, but that would change. Isabel’s eventual suffering from this would become the source of trouble and anguish for Pablo who was very protective of her.

At about age 12, Pablo became old enough to get the hell out. From then on, as he put it, “I was raised by the streets.” The one bright memory is how he figured out a way to make a handball court in the projects. Pablo loved handball. This sport, played in Spanish speaking countries, was developed by the Basques. Pablo and I spoke often of the thrill of this fast paced game, since although I didn’t play, it had been a favorite of my father’s and he told me many stories as I grew up. This is where I really benefited from being from such a similar background as Pablo’s.

All the volunteer coaches and managers thought of me as useful in case an inmate was from a Spanish background and knew no English. The best part of working with a Latino inmate however (and this was true for both of us) was sharing our cultural heritage. My father would talk about how much he missed handball since he came to the States. Pablo showed how, with a little ingenuity, someone who had never lived in a Latin country could make handball happen in the U.S., even in the least likely circumstances, the inner city projects. They call it “Pelota,” which simply means “ball” in Spanish. My father had played with a small leather glove or cover, but Pablo played with his bare hand. This is impressive given that the ball is hard and moves very fast. There were handball courts at the prison, and all the guys played—regardless of background. As time went on, Pablo would give me details of the social aspects of prison handball.

Not long after he became a street kid, his birth mother, who had been a serious alcoholic, committed suicide. This distressed Pablo greatly, though he barely knew her. His father, who had recently returned from Puerto Rico, realized Pablo’s non-existent supervision and brought him to live with him. Pablo still spent all the time in the streets, because his father had to work a tremendous amount of hours to make a living. Several years later, Pablo’s father also committed suicide, and this was truly agony for Pablo. His father had killed himself because he had a rare kidney disease and had already lost one kidney. He knew he would soon lose his second kidney, and did not want to go on dialysis. So he took his life. What was hardest for Pablo is that some time after his father’s death, he found out about donating kidneys, and that had he known, he could have been tested and possibly saved his father. None of the medical caretakers of Pablo’s father bothered to tell Pablo or any other relatives about this.

By the second session Pablo began to tell me what his biggest frustration was with himself. It was his anger. I said to him, “Don’t they have that course here, the Danger of Anger to help with that?” Pablo immediately became angry. “That’s bullshit. They suppose to teach with a social worker, but the social worker she got transferred and then they got a guard teaching. He don’t know nothin, lazy bastard. That Danger course was a waste and I dropped it. They always do that, they fuck with the courses, and then they worth nothing.”
“So what do you about the anger?”
“I count to 150,” said Pablo. What popped into my head is how people sometimes say count to ten when angry. Pablo had big anger.
“Yeah, by the time I get to 80, I am blind. My anger fills and fills me til it’s up to my eyeballs.” Again I noticed the PABLO tattooed on his wrist. Was it there so that his name was the last thing people saw before the lights went out, if he takes a swing?


In one of the previous comments there was a question about the cost of the Insights volunteer program to the state. I will need to estimate, and I believe I am not far off. The state gives Insights $6,000 annually for advertising (usually small classified ads) and insurance for the program. There are about 30 volunteers, so $200 per volunteer. Each volunteer teaches 20 classes, 1-2 hours per class. So each of our classes costs the state $10 or so. Even if I were 100% off, that would be $20 per class. Can anyone tell by now that I used to be a cost accountant? Many times, C.O.’s teach similar classes. Take a wild guess as to what one hour of their time costs. And keep reading, because my good friend Pablo has something to say about the quality of our course compared to equivalent prison courses.

For Maria’s previous guest blog click here.

Post comments for Maria below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood
Hard Time Internet Banner

My friend, Stephanie, made this banner, which links to where is selling Hard Time: A Brit in America's Toughest Jail.

Click here for the code if you want to use this banner at your website.
The Bearded Lady of Guildford (Part 2)

A short video of me with Brenda at the Friary Shopping Centre, where she often goes for lunch at McDonald's:

Click here for updates on Brenda, the Bearded Lady of Guildford

Click here to view this video at YouTube

Click here for Brenda's Myspace page

Tags: brenda bearded lady guildford surrey shaun attwood jon's jail journal

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Insulin Response of Long Term Type 2 Diabetics Improved with Amino Acids

Amino Acid Ingestion Strongly Enhances Insulin Secretion in Patients With Long-Term Type 2 Diabetes

OBJECTIVE—Insulin secretion in response to carbohydrate intake is blunted in type 2 diabetic patients. However, it is not clear whether the insulin response to other stimuli, such as amino acids, is also diminished. Recently, we defined an optimal insulinoptropic mixture containing free leucine, phenylalanine, and a protein hydrolysate that substantially enhances the insulin response in healthy young subjects when coingested with carbohydrate. In this study, we aimed to investigate the insulinotropic capacity of this mixture in long-term type 2 diabetic patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Ten type 2 diabetic patients (aged 59.1 ± 2.0 years, BMI 26.5 ± 0.7 kg/m2) and 10 healthy control subjects (58.8 ± 2.1 years, 26.5 ± 0.7 kg/m2) visited our lab twice, during which insulin responses were determined following ingestion of carbohydrate only (CHO) or carbohydrate with the free amino acid/protein mixture (CHO+PRO). All subjects received 0.7 g · kg−1 · h−1 carbohydrate with or without 0.35 g · kg−1 · h−1 of the amino acid/protein mixture.
RESULTS—Insulin responses were dramatically increased in the CHO+PRO trial in both the type 2 diabetic and control groups (189 and 114%, respectively) compared with the CHO trial (P < 0.01). Plasma glucose, glucagon, growth hormone, cortisol, IGF-I, and IGF binding protein 3 responses were not different between trials within the 2-h time frame.
CONCLUSIONS—The insulin secretory capacity in long-term type 2 diabetic patients is substantially underestimated, as the insulin response following carbohydrate intake can be nearly tripled by coingestion of a free amino acid/protein mixture. Future research should be performed to investigate whether such nutritional interventions can improve postprandial glucose disposal.

My Summary:  10 adult males with Type 2 diabetes >8 yrs and ready to switch to insulin therapy were compared to 10 normal adult males.  Each group was fed either a standardized carbohydrate only meal (CHO) or the carb along with a protein mixture containing free amino acids.  The insulin responses were increased in both groups given the protein/AA mixture.

So ... what was the composition of this magical protein mixture?   The dose was 0.35 g · kg−1 · h−1 of an amino acid/protein hydrolysate mixture.  The mixture consisted of a wheat protein hydrolysate (50%, 0.17 g · kg−1 · h−1), free leucine (25%, 0.09 g · kg−1 · h−1), and free phenylalanine (25%, 0.09 g · kg−1 · h−1).  This was administered  in 3 mL/kg boluses  at 0, 30, 60, and 90 min.

For "A", the open symbols are the CHO only, the black symbols are the CHO/PRO group.  The circles are the T2's the squares are the normal controls.  

Remember, these are T2's who are about to become insulin dependent.  We see that the T2's had less than half the insulin response to CHO that the normal controls have (clear bars in "B").  We also see that using the protein along with the CHO, the T2's had an insulin response similar or even a little better than that mounted by the normal "unstimulated" controls as evidenced in both "A" and "B" above.

The results don't impact glucose levels a whole lot, however.

The shape of the normal control curve does show a lower max BG (something that might show up better but for the scale to accomodate the BG levels of the T2's).  The glucose clearance does not seem to be improved by the insulin response in the T2's.  Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm.  Seems the IR of the T2's is still "in force".  For this treatment to reduce hyperglycemia, it seems the underlying resistance to insulin needs to be addressed.  

However this does demonstrate that long term T2's may not have "worn out" their pancreases with their hyperinsulinemia after all, but rather than chronically elevated BG's may reduce the pancreas' response to acute BG rises.  

Still, this points to me that even long-ongoing T2 diabetes could theoretically be reversed.  The subjects in this study were only mildly overweight.  What is the underlying cause of the IR in these Type 2's?

More Biochemistry Animations

Boyer - Interactive Biochemistry

A screen shot of the Menu:

A Neat Gluconeogenesis Tutorial

Interactive Gluconeogenesis Tutorial

Effects of aerobic exercise and dietary carbohydrate on energy expenditure and body composition during weight reduction in obese women

Effects of aerobic exercise and dietary carbohydrate on energy expenditure and body composition during weight reduction in obese women

My Summary:

Subjects:  23 Obese (44 +/- 4% BF), Healthy, Premenopausal Women (Range 21-47, late 30's on average) 

Compared:  Two diets -- one low fat LF , one low carb LC,  and Two exercise states -- one aerobic EX, one no exercise  NX -- Four groups were compared LF/NX, LF/EX, LC/NX, LC/EX.

Study Length:  12 Weeks of weight loss, preceded by 5 weeks maintenance (MI), and followed by 6 weeks maintenance (MII).

Diets - Carb/Protein/Fat:  Maintenance - 45/20/35 ; LC - 25/25/50 ; LF - 60/25/15  It is worth noting that the LC vs. LF comparison kept protein constant.  The caloric content of the reducing diets was individualized to each participant to be ~75% of measured RMR.

Exercise:   3X/week, 45 minutes = 15 min on each of three different cardio machines, 60-65% VO2max

Measured:  Changes in body composition, Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), thermic effect of a meal (TEM aka TEF), and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).


  • LC lost a bit more weight than LF:  10.6 kg ± 2.0 vs  8.1 ± 3.0 kg   (P 0.037)  
  • Diet composition did not significantly influence body composition or energy expenditure changes
  • RMR was reduced similarly for both diets:  0.54 MJ/d (~130 calories)
  • TEM/TEF did not differ between the two diets
  • Exercise resulted in greater loss of fat mass 8.8 ± 2.1 kg vs. 6.1 ± 2.3 kg  (P = 0.008) 
  • Exercise maintained TDEE better +0.07 ± 1.23  vs. -1.46 ± 1.04  (P 0.004) due directly to exercise, and  +0.75 ± 1.06 for the exercisers vs -0.61 ± 1.03 MJ/d  (P = 0.006) for the non-exercisers not solely attributed to the exercise sessions.   I'm not sure these are additive, but +0.82 MJ vs -2.07 MJ between the two.  This is a swing of almost 3 MJ or ~ 700 calories!!

Some of the tabulated hormone & blood glucose findings:  (You can click to enlarge)

Interestingly, the LF/NX group had the same fasting insulin as the LC/EX group during the reducing phase., the LC/NX group had the highest fasting insulin.  I don't think these were statistically significant (especially because it looks like some samples were lost), but this counters the general belief that low carb diets necessarily impact fasting insulin levels.  One can see that fasting insulin decreased in all groups probably attributed to weight loss in general.

From the Discussion:

More important than total weight losses, however, are the relative changes in FFM and FM. Exercise training was a major determinant of the changes in body composition, with FM comprising 89.4% of the weight loss in the Ex group, compared with only 71.3% in the Nx group.
Exercise led to more FAT loss irrespective of diet.

The increased fat loss in the Ex group indicates a greater energy deficit, but this cannot be attributed to the energy costs of the exercise sessions alone because the diet prescriptions for the Ex subjects were increased to compensate for the energy expended during the exercise sessions. The rationale for this compensation was to avoid a greater energy deficit in the Ex subjects relative to the Nx group, because changes in FFM (6) and RMR (30, 35) have been shown to depend on the degree of energy restriction.  
So they held the calorie deficit constant for the caloric expenditure associated with the exercise session itself.  But interestingly:  
The increased fat loss in the Ex group cannot be attributed to maintenance of RMR, because in this study aerobic exercise failed to have a protective effect on RMR. ... In the present study, RMR, which comprised 58 ± 6% of the subjects’ daily energy expenditure, demonstrated the commonly observed decrease during the reducing diet in all treatment groups.
RMR was also measured during MII after the subjects consumed an isoenergetic diet for 4 wk. RMR values increased relative to energy restriction levels, but remained significantly depressed during MII.  
That second quote is depressing and probably is what causes relapses and regain.  I contend that a goodly portion of the adult obesity epidemic (especially in women) is probably due to dieting in the first place.  Repeated bouts of caloric restriction depress RMR (and thus TDEE), and there's a "hangover" effect that is not attributable just to reduced caloric needs to maintain a lower mass.

A unique feature of this study is that we measured free-living TDEE. Aerobic exercise played an important role in maintaining TDEE during weight reduction. The lack of a significant change in TDEE in the Ex group (+ 1.2 ± 12.2%) is in sharp contrast with the decrease of 12.3 ± 8.8% observed in the Nx group during low-energy feeding. The major effect of Ex on TDEE during weight reduction was its effect on physical activity. Because the change in TDEE is equal to the sum of the changes in RMR, TEM/TEF, and physical activity, and because the changes in RMR and TEM/TEF were comparable in the Ex and Nx groups, we were able to deduce that the significant TDEE difference between groups was attributable to a difference in physical activity (Figure 3). Although compensatory reductions in spontaneous physical activity are classic responses to undernutrition and must also be considered as part of the energy balance picture during energy restriction (43), the addition of aerobic exercise during the reducing diet proved to be an effective method for preventing this decrease. In contrast with the Nx group, the Ex group increased their physical activity by 0.75 ± 1.06 MJ/d, offsetting the decreases in RMR and TEM/TEF, yielding virtually no change in TDEE.   Note:  0.1 MJ (mega joule) is roughly equal to 25 food calories.
What this says to me is that ELMM IS the most effective method to lose weight after all.  I gotta say, my personal journey included rapid weight loss without formal exercise, but I'm a more active person by nature.  As weight was lost, I did become more physically active (taking stairs, parking further away from destination, etc.) so I think I probably staved off some of the TDEE reductions.  But this can be highly individual as the large variation in the mean (>140%) meant that for some of the exercisers, TDEE was not maintained and/or was still reduced.  Still, your chances seem better when including moderate aerobic exercise into the mix.

Prison Gang Rape Video

Shaun Attwood talks about the brutal gang rape of a prisoner in Arizona.

Tags: gang rape sex assault Aryan Brotherhood jail prison murder gangs inmates phoenix arizona mexican mafia corrections prisoner jonsjailjournal shaun attwood hard time

Click here for my jail survival tips video

How to Survive Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jail System

Friday, April 23, 2010

From Two Tonys (Letter 14)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Left bodies from Tucson to Alaska, but claims all his victims "had it coming." Diagnosed with liver cancer, and is fighting to prolong his life.


It’s me. Guess what? I fell off the john two nights ago. My pals got help for me. Bottom line is I’ve been moved up to a medical complex, a big building. It seems they have a wing of cells here for blokes such as I. I’m speaking medical talk. They’re doing things to me but not too much. I don’t know, bro. This could be the end of the road for me. Time will tell. They’re talking a lot of making-me-more-comfortable shit, but that’s OK with me. I’ve got me own room, TV, remote, change of diet, change of meds, more nurses on demand. I’m pretty well messed up now as I write. I would and should have wrote you more, but I was lazy. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Good news on your speeches and come up in the writing world. Know this, you’re a damn good man, and you’ve enriched my life and soul. Knowing you, I can feel your love and friendship even as I sit here waiting for my number to come up.

Hey, bro. I’m short on stamps till store day, so until then I’ll cut this off. I’ve got a few blogs left as soon as I get a little more energy. My daughter will get in touch if my number comes up, so you can have a pint on my sorry old ass.


Two Tonys

Click here to read Letter 13

Two Tonys is dying, and really appreciates your comments.

Post comments below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

If you would like to write to Two Tonys or send him a book or a magazine subscription, then please email me for instructions on mailing stuff to the prison.

Shaun Attwood

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sun Chips

Your Captain grills a lot. And his friends bring over "Sun Chips" as a snack. Of course you can't ignore the boasting of their green credentials because all over the bag they brag about how the bag will naturally decompose and their sun chips are made with "100% natural sun." So you could imagine my happiness when I saw this on Sun Chip's banner advertisement on You Tube.

Apparently you can all upload what you did for Earth Day. It is subject to censorship...err..."moderation." We'll see how long Michael's stays up.

Happy Earth Day...I Think

I'm under the impression it's Earth Day or something today.

Whether it is or not, it's always a good day to drive your 8 cylinder car around. I have an old GM car, the tires on which are NOT inflated properly. I shall drive it.

I will go to the grocery store and ask them to double bag.

I will then burn the bags.

I will also grill a steak because cows emit carbon and to grill I will have to use fossil fuels to heat it.

Do your share to emit more carbon than the phonies claim to save.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Great Ugly Jean Purging of 2010


Your Captain, not only be wise in the world of economics, but is also an accomplished ballroom dancer, extraordinary video game player, fossil hunter extraordinaire and all around funny and amusing guy. And thus, your beloved Captain would have thought this would be enough to satiate the intellectual and romantic desires of his beloved Natasha.

However, unforeseable to your humble Captain, he walked right into a trap without knowing it. Oh, it started innocently enough, but little did he know what was in store for him.

It all started when thanks to President Obama both your Captain and Natasha had no real work to do for about 2 months. Besides which we were told we didn't have to worry about our mortgage or paying for gas any more, so off we went to Missouri for a 6 week vacation. A mere week before this I had come down with a nasty bout of poison ivy, and was thusly aware of what it looked like. However, eager to find fossils in Missouri, I pulled over my motorcycle when I saw a promising strata of rock, running up to it, only to realize I went through a 20 yard patch of poison ivy.

It then became a mission to immediately get rid of the jeans I was wearing and buy a new pair. Stopping at the local Pamida, I bought a nice, big, baggy pair of jeans, perfect for riding my motorcycle.

However, Natasha protested. Not that I would swap poison ivy infected jeans for clean ones, but that the others were too baggy and did not show off "my cute little butt" (her quote, not mine).

I dismissed this as typical foolish female tomfoolery as I thought all jeans were the same. Sure some might fit better, but it was merely a whim of preference of women that would ebb and flow every other day, surely to be ignored because of it's irrelevance.

Now fast forward 6 months where the Minnesota winter has been replaced with a VERY early and VERY wonderful spring, permitting me already to put over 3,000 miles on my motorcycle. Not only has the weather allowed for me to bring out my bike early, it has also allowed me to start my seasonal running early. Your Captain is already running his goal of 7 mile runs which he usually attains come mid-May. Combine this with the wonderful economic boom promised to us by Barack Obama, and your Captain has more free time due to a lack of work which he has now dedicated in part to lifting weights.

What does this have to do with the Great Ugly Jean Purging of 2010, you ask?

Well, the combination of lifting weights AND running has resulted we say, a very Cappy Cap physique. So much so that Natasha, IGNORING MY INTELLECT AND PERSONALITY TRAITS, has now taken a new-found and cheap affection for my physical looks! Discarding my great economic insights and wonderful personality, she now barks orders at me to "take off my shirt."

I feel so cheap and used!

However, simple demands that I take off my shirt are the least of the costs of the Captain's new bod. The Captain's wardrobe has taken a beating as well, specifically jeans.

I had, I HAD, a nice collection of nice comfy jeans. Perfect for any kind of activity. Fishing, motorcycle riding, wearing, you name it.

But oh, no. No more. Those jeans just won't due according to the illustrious Natasha. And ever since this early spring sprung, she has declared war on my "Ugly Jeans."

The purge started much like Stalin's purge of his military officers, except with more vengeance, aggression and hatred. I was TOLD that I was going to get rid of my ugly jeans and replace them with NEW, BETTER FITTING jeans.

To this I had no choice.

And so, much like 1982 where my mom would take me to Goodwill and I would try on some stranger's jeans, with the tugging and the pulling and hemming and the hawing, Natasha took me to Old Navy (that's where the cool hip kids go if you didn't know) to replace my Ugly Jeans with new, "sexy" jeans ("sexy" apparently meaning they look worn and tattered like my old jeans, but cost 3 times as much).

And thus, at the ripe old age of 35, your Captain now has sexy jeans. The ugly jeans have been bannished, burned or otherwise taken care of, and now I can't ride my motorcycle for more than 10 miles without having to"adjust."

So men, beware. If you ever decide to work out, run, tone up and just become more sexy than you already are, realize there are consequences. Your women will no longer desire you for your intelligent conversation, your wittiness, or your knowledge of economics. No, they will become carnivorous temptresses, demanding a constant display of your body accentuated by "sexy jeans." You will be their little doll so they can dress you up in clothes to meet their shallow, lewd whims. You will become nothing but a piece of meat for their eyes to devour!

And alas, there's nothing you can do but grin and bear it.


Glyceroneogenesis and the Source of Glycerol for Hepatic Triacylglycerol Synthesis in Humans

Glyceroneogenesis,i.e. the synthesis of the glycerol moiety of triacylglycerol from pyruvate, has been suggested to be quantitatively important in both the liver and adipose tissue during fasting. However, the actual contribution of glyceroneogenesis to triacylglycerol synthesis has not been quantified in vivo in human studies. In the present study we have measured the contribution of glycerol and pyruvate to in vivo synthesis of hepatic triacylglycerol in nonpregnant and pregnant women after an overnight fast. 

After a 16-h fast, ∼6.1% of the plasma triacylglycerol pool was derived from plasma glycerol, whereas 10 to 60% was derived from pyruvate in nonpregnant women and pregnant women early in gestation. Our data suggest that glyceroneogenesis from pyruvate is quantitatively a major contributor to plasma triacylglycerol synthesis and may be important for the regulation of very low density lipoprotein triacylglycerol production. 

Our data also suggest that 3-glycerol phosphate is in rapid equilibrium with the triosephosphate pool, resulting in rapid labeling of the triose pool by the administered tracer glycerol. Because the rate of flux of triosephosphate to glucose during fasting far exceeds that to triacylglycerol, more glycerol ends up in glucose than in triacylglycerol. 

Alternatively, there may be two distinct pools of 3-glycerol phosphate in the liver, one involved in generating triosephosphate from glycerol and the other involved in glyceride-glycerol synthesis.

The synthesis of triacylglycerol in the liver, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle following a meal is an important metabolic pathway for the deposition of fat and in the maintenance of energy homeostasis in all vertebrates. Even after an overnight fast in adult humans, and following a brief fast in newborn infants, a substantial re-esterification of fatty acids has been documented using isotopic tracer methods (1-3). The source of glycerol for the esterification of fatty acids in various tissues has generally been considered to be plasma glucose or glycerol; however direct evidence for such an inference has not been documented.

Triacylglycerol synthesis requires both fatty acids and a source of 3-glycerol phosphate. During fasting, the source of 3-glycerol phosphate can either be plasma glucose via glycolysis or glycerol released from the hydrolysis of triacylglycerol. In the adipose tissue in particular, the glycerol released from the hydrolysis of triacylglycerol cannot be re-utilized for the esterification of fatty acids because of absence of glycerol kinase. It has been proposed that during fasting adipose tissue generates the 3-glycerol phosphate required for triacylglycerol synthesis, either from glucose via glycolysis or, alternatively, from pyruvate via an abbreviated or truncated version of gluconeogenesis, termed glyceroneogenesis (4-7). The key enzyme in this pathway is the cytosolic form of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (GTP) (PEPCK;1 EC The transcription of the gene for PEPCK is stimulated by cAMP during periods of fasting (8, 9), resulting in an increase in enzyme activity in both adipose tissue and liver. In isolated epididymal adipose tissue from the rat, the rate of re-esterification of free fatty acids was greatly increased by the provision of a glyceroneogenic precursor such as pyruvate (10). In addition, hepatic glyceroneogenesis has been shown to account for ∼89% of glyceride-glycerol in the triacylglycerol synthesized by rats fed a high protein diet (11).

There has not been a quantitative analysis of the relative rates of glyceride-glycerol synthesis from its precursors, plasma glycerol, pyruvate, or glucose in humans. In the present study we have quantified the relative contribution of plasma glycerol and pyruvate (plus lactate, alanine, etc.) to glyceride-glycerol in nonpregnant and pregnant women during fasting. Pregnant women were studied because of the higher concentration of plasma triacylglycerol during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. Our data show that the source of glyceride-glycerol following a brief fast is predominantly pyruvate. Because the synthesis of glucose and glyceride-glycerol from plasma glycerol share common enzymatic reactions, our data also suggest a functional separation of the pathways of glycerol entry into the liver and the 3-glycerol phosphate precursor pool for triacylglycerol synthesis.


When doing LC, our metabolisms are essentially the same as the fasted state.  More than half of the triglycerides that are broken down to free fatty acids are re-esterified to triglycerides even in the fasted state.  Where do we get the G3P?  Glyceroneogenesis.  And there's that pesky PEPCK again.

This blows one of Taubes' central theories out of the water!

Monday, April 19, 2010

How Does This Square with Reverse Mortgages?

Read the whole thing. I'll let you guys rip it apart.

PEPCK Website

There's some interesting information on this -- apparently -- "amateur" website.  PEPCK is an important enzyme regulating blood glucose and free fatty acid levels.  It is involved in gluconeogenesis and glyceroneogenesis.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dow 11,000

Because I am in general a financial "party pooper," bringing in and highlighting facts, that "no, I'm sorry Suburban Sue, your house is not worth that much and you shouldn't have taken out that HUGE home equity loan to pay for your child's "masters in communications" degree," it is therefore behooved upon me to point out yet another sad fact for those who are woefully financially ignorant (which is most of the population).

I know you're all giggity giggity about the Dow breaking 11,000. But sadly, nobody paid attention to that all important economic lesson - CASH FLOWS DRIVE MARKET PRICES.

You see, prices can go up and down all they want, whether they are actually worth that price depends on the cash profits those assets generation. So yes, you can be very happy the Dow is up to 11,000, but did corporate earnings go up by a proportional amount?

Well, here's your answer;

You see, the PE ratio of the US stock market (as measured by Prof. Robert Shiller) compares the price of a stock to its earnings. Historically this has averaged around a ratio of 15 - 15 dollars in stock price for every dollar in earnings. And after the stock market crashed due to the housing market, stocks were ever so briefly "accurately valued." Meaning they weren't a steal or a great buy, nor were they overpriced.

Of course, that lasted about as long as sanity usually lasts in the financial markets and stock prices once again rallied, driving the PE ratio up to 22.10.

What does this mean for you the average investor? Well, for those of you who religiously invest in your 401k or 403b, you better pay very close attention to the prices you're paying for those stocks and mutual funds. For younger investors, I don't even know why you would invest in a stock market when not only it's overvalued, but it's progressively likely your "Roth" IRA or 401k plan will simply be nationalized and taken over by the government (much like they did in Argentina) to fund unfundable entitlement programs.

But I know, I know, I'm shouting into a hurricane. Why ruin everybody's good time?

Let's just party because an index broke an arbitrary number like 11,000.

Ketones, Anaplerosis & Insulin

Acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate in combination with other metabolites release insulin from INS-1 cells and provide clues about pathways in insulin secretion

Putting this here for my own orgnization


The synergistic insulin release by compounds that can be metabolized to mitochondrial acetyl-CoA, such as KIC, β-hydroxybutyrate, or acetoacetate, in combination with methyl succinate that can be metabolized to mitochondrial oxaloacetate, suggests that acetyl-CoA and oxaloacetate condense in the citrate synthase reaction to form citrate. Numerous compounds can be formed from citrate, and citrate can carry acetyl-CoA and oxaloacetate out of the mitochondria to the cytosol. Many compounds, including most short-chain acyl-CoAs, can be formed from acetyl-CoA in the cytosol. KIC and β-hydroxybutyrate can also be directly converted to acetoacetate and acetyl-CoA in the mitochondria. Acetoacetate can be exported to the cytosol and converted to acetoacetyl-CoA to form several other short-chain acyl-CoAs. The results support the idea that anaplerosis is important for insulin secretion and suggest that multiple short-chain acyl-CoAs may be some of the products of anaplerosis in the β-cell.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hard Time Launch Party!

My book just went on sale here at Random House:

And here at Amazon (with errors in the blurb that will be fixed in a few days).

I’ve been so excited since seeing it for sale. It has made getting published all the more real for me.

This Random House website is for presales, and it’s not available in the US quite yet. The actual UK publication date of Hard Time is August 5th.

It was my blog reader, Rita Abraham, who picked the title Hard Time. My publisher and I are now turning to you again for launch-party ideas. If you have a suggestion, please post it in the comments to this blog entry. The launch party will be in London, so your ideas must be suitable for the London area. The winning suggestion will get a free copy of Hard Time.

Ideas so far include the Courthouse Hotel, which has a bar with original holding cells, and the Clinkbar situated deep in the cells of the old Clerkenwell Magistrates Court in Kings Cross, famous for its infamous felons including 70's punk rockers, The Clash and Charles Dickens' characters, Oliver Twist, Fagan, and The Artful Dodger.

If you’d like to attend the book launch, please email me.

Post comments below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood

Friday, April 16, 2010

Protein in optimal health: heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Protein in optimal health: heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Aside:  The lead author (I believe), is affiliated with the Australian CSIRO research group that is well regarded in the LC community -- except when, in the end, CSIRO's highly successful weight loss plan does not advocate for high fat  VLC after all.  I would also point out that the authors and the summit from which this article originated were highly subsidized by "Big Egg", "Big Dairy", "Big Beef" and "Big Pork".  I point this out not because I question the findings that seem pretty sound, but to point out that discounting research based on the sponsor just because one doesn't like the outcome is common practice amongst "debunkers".

So, that said, on to this article.  I won't repeat the whole thing.  It is a review, and although requires slow reading to digest, it's not overly clouded with technical lingo.  Some highlights of interest in no particular order:
  • Regardless of dietary makeup, LDL seems to be ultimately related to one's weight status  both in terms of degree of excess weight and whether one is maintaining, losing or gaining weight.
  • Protein's  "power" in weight loss may and glycemic control may well be its insulin stimulating action (particularly, leucine and glycine) -- this goes counter to LC theory, but makes sense to me.  If the post prandrial insulin response is increased by protein with reduced carb intake, BG's will not rise as high, and will fall more rapidly.  Protein seems to help insulin sensitivity.  If this occurs, chronic (basal) insulin levels should go down b/c the insulin manufactured in response to food is more effective, hence the pancreas is not pumping out more and more insulin in response to chronically elevated BG's.  Eggs, BTW, are particularly high in leucine.  Carbs and fats are still the prefered energy substrates, so insulin in-and-of-itself does NOT drive net fat storage, it merely directs energy traffic to the priority of available glucose or more towards fats when carbs are restricted.
  • Infused amino acids raised BG levels and insulin, while ingested whole proteins seem to have the opposite effect.  I've seen many studies demonstrating similar effects for infused vs. ingested fats, and liquid glucose vs. whole carbs.  As the review points out, this underscores the involvement of our digestive systems and livers in the whole picture.
High protein is not defined here.  But there is some info on diets in which carbs are replaced with protein (as opposed to fats as is highly recommended in the LC world these days).  For me, this seems to be where it's at for weight loss.

The Wage Gap

Can an IT professional of the female persuasion please field this one?

With such intellectual dishonesty, the people at Newsweak wonder why their subscriptions are tanking.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Your Recession Medicine

I hear leading economic indicators are pointing to a recovery....well, not a GW circa 2002 economic recovery, but you know, actual positive growth in the private sector. In the meantime, enjoy the recession!

Mentored (Part 9)

Thanks to the Koestler Trust, I was being mentored by Sally Hinchcliffe, a published author with an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of London.

I had the last session with Sally. I figured I’d nailed the opening chapter of the prequel to my jail memoir, but Sally breathed fire on it. And I’m glad she did, as her criticism has been the driving force behind my improvement.

Before we revisit that chapter, I’d like to share Sally’s comments on the draft in general.

- overall it rattles along fine, there’s a much better sense of good anecdotes, although you could start some later and end earlier

- it’s only a first draft, so the writing will need fine tuning

- there are too many incidents, I have a good idea of the mayhem and lunacy, but it’s hard to keep track of all of the characters

- the sense of structure and journey is lost in places

- you need to bring yourself more into the story, what do you feel when you relive these experiences?

- check that you are not opening yourself up to new charges from what you’re writing, statute of limitations/libel laws

- the dialogue is a little clunky in places

I agree with Sally on all counts. So far this year, I’ve been wearing myself out just to get the story down. I finished it last week. It’s 96,000 words. Now I can start to address Sally’s concerns, put more of me in the book, and trim the fat. In regards to her last comment, I’ve just started interviewing the characters to go over the conversations and get the dialogue as precise as possible.

Now onto Chapter 1. One of my problems is not starting anecdotes in the thick of the action. Slowing the action down with too much explanation early on. My rewrite of Chapter 1 is a classic example of this. Here it is with Sally’s comments in parenthesis.

Chapter 1

(Is this the place to start?) When Gary pulled our money out, I thought he might get stabbed and robbed or end up buying rat poison. (The opening sentence is spraying too many possibilities.) Gary was a fellow Economics student from Liverpool University. (You are backing away from the action by offering this explanation of who Gary is too soon. Go straight into what’s frightening, before backing off. Close down on one fear, and get the reader hooked.) Tall and blond with a pointy nose, he resembled Tintin. It was 1989, and we were in a club called The Thunderdome in Manchester – dubbed “Madchester” by the media because raving had exploded across England from there. (Madchester, again, slowing the action down.) I’d seen ravers on the news – wearing loud colours, dancing in ways I’d never seen to music that sounded like it was coming from outer space – so I was hoping to find out what all the fuss was about. But I was unimpressed by the bare room, square and dark with a stage at the front, and with only a few people dancing to acid house. I’d decided to try club drugs, but having never met dealers before, their presence – all shiny sports suits, gold jewellery and shifty faces – worried me. I admired Gary for having the nerve to do something I couldn’t: walk up to strangers who might have weapons or be undercover cops (Again, spraying possibilities.) and buy drugs. I was relieved when he spun around with a big grin, and showed me two Ecstasy pills, and two grams of speed meticulously wrapped in little rectangles of paper.
(Why are you using phonetic spelling?) Yer put yer gram of Billy Whizz in yer Lucozade,” he said, tipping the contents of one of the wraps into a bottle, “and swallow the White Dove with a big swig.” Committing to do drugs was one thing, actually doing them another. My heartbeat was growing louder, my hands trembling. But the desire to have fun was winning out over the terror of ending up in an ambulance and my parents finding out.
“Come on, get on with it,” Gary said, having already taken his Ecstasy.
Suspecting Gary had detected my fear was all the motivation (This language and phrasing is distancing when you’re just trying to say you didn’t want to appear to be a wuss.) I needed to dump the speed into my drink, and pop the pill into my mouth. Gagging on the chemical taste, I thought, Oh my God, what’s gonna happen to me now? “How long before I feel it?” I asked Gary.
“Within the hour.”
I spent the next thirty minutes or so convinced I was about to join the unlucky minority who die after taking drugs their first time (This slows the action down.) I kept having to check my pulse to reassure myself (This sentence is good because it demonstrates the fear more graphically.)

Here’s the rewrite. I’ve reverted to my preference for opening with dialogue.

“We want two E’s and two grams of Billy Whizz,” Gary said to the drug dealers.
“E’s twenty quid. A tenner for a wrap of Whizz.”
I was hovering behind Gary wishing my heartbeat would slow down. Having never done drugs before, I was afraid of the dealers: all shiny sports suits, gold jewellery, and shifty faces.
When Gary pulled our money out, I thought he might get stabbed. “Here you go.”
Almost imperceptibly, the dealer passed Gary the drugs. My relief began when Gary spun around with a big grin, and showed me two pills, and two grams of speed meticulously wrapped in little rectangles of paper. But the relief didn’t last long. I braced for undercover cops to snatch us while we had possession of the drugs. I couldn’t stop my body trembling, especially my hands.
“You put your Billy Whizz in your Lucozade,” Gary said, tipping the contents of one of the wraps into a bottle, “and swallow the White Dove with a big swig.”
Committing to do drugs was one thing, doing them another. My heartbeat was growing louder, my armpits moistening, But I wanted to have fun, and that was winning out over my terror of ending up in an ambulance and my parents finding out.
“Come on, get on with it,” Gary said, having already taken his Ecstasy.
Worried Gary knew I was afraid, I dumped the speed into my drink, and popped the pill into my mouth. Gagging on the chemical taste, I thought, Oh my God, what’s going to happen to me now? I asked Gary, “How long before I feel it?”
“Within the hour.”
Gary was a fellow Economics student from Liverpool University. Tall and blond with a pointy nose, he resembled Tintin. It was 1989, and we were in a club called The Thunderdome in Manchester. I’d seen ravers on the news – wearing loud colours, dancing in ways I’d never seen to music that sounded like it was coming from outer space – so I was hoping to find out what all the fuss was about. But I was unimpressed by the bare room, square and dark with a stage at the front, and with only a few people dancing to acid house.
I spent the next thirty minutes convinced I was about to die. I kept having to check my pulse to reassure myself.

So I’m back on my own now. No more Sally. I’m not even allowed to contact her for six months as a way of making me stand on my own two feet now the umbilical chord has been cut. Sally recommended I join some organisations, including the Society of Authors, and find readers in the writing profession to review my writing and provide constructive feedback.

Thanks to Sally and the Koestler Trust, I’ve achieved the goals I first set with Sally of finding a literary agent and a publisher. I’m truly grateful to them for enabling me to realise my dream of becoming an author.

Click here for Mentored Part 8

Post comments below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"...and then I will take her to the theater."

Let me tell you about a foreign friend of mine. We'll call him "Jose" just to keep him anonymous.

Jose came to the US several years ago. Highly trained in computer networking, he stopped in on one of my dance classes to learn how to dance. At that time he was actively engaged in pursuing American women. While growing up in his home country, American women, as well as the American singles scene was so glamourized on TV and the movies that he too wanted to participate in this wonderful world. He started by going "clubbing" in Minneapolis' daycare center...err....I mean "hipster" area - Uptown. He failed miserably and thus changed tactics by taking classes from "pick up artists."

Here he had limited success. He did learn the basic rules of ignoring and being indifferent, "negging" and so forth, resulting in a fair amount of dates, but the problem was that he was at heart a traditional man. Yes he wanted to play the scene, but it was for the ultimate goal of finding a wife, settling down and having children.

Sadly the "singles scene" in Minneapolis is NOT designed to produce high quality marriage candidates.

Thus when he was stood up, 505025'd, strung along, or just plain dumped when he started asking about getting serious, he become frustrated. Realizing at the age of 35 what most American native males do around 25, that finding a quality marriable woman is laughably impossible, he sank into a deep depression as he saw his imaginary wife and little Joses fade away.

However there was an unexpected life line of hope. Jose flew to Eastern Europe to do some mountain climbing, where at a small motel he stayed there was a nice central European woman. She ran the bed and breakfast he was staying at, cooked him meals, EVEN CLEANED HIS CLOTHES, and can imagine what happened from thereforth.

Now, after two years of semi-annual visits, and constant contact on the phone, Jose is on his way back to this former Soviet country to marry this girl and bring her back to the states. I was driving him to the airport and asked him, "So when she gets here, is she going to work, or are you guys going to work on a family right away?"

And he said, "Oh, no. She will not work. I will go and work and make the money. She will stay at home and keep the house in order and make meals and bring up the children. I will work all day, come home and then I will take her to the theater."

It was a beautiful statement because whereas today people have been brainwashed to believe a woman staying at home doing the "womanly duties" is nothing more than a slave to the man, the reality is that Jose really does love this girl.

And the reason why is that she is not going to be some "slave" that he comes home to and yells at, "where the hell's my dinner, woman?!" It's the beautiful division-of-labor idea that one person would work, the other would work at home, they would raise a family and then my buddy Jose would look forward to nothing more than coming home and taking his wife to the theater.

Of course, what do those stupid Latino's and dumb Eastern European morons know about love and marriage? Look at how neanderthal Jose is, let alone how naive his fiance is. Why, don't they know the pinnacle of marriage is to have TWO people working TWO, if not, THREE JOBS, while they outsource the upbringing of the children to the nanny, or pay higher taxes to the state educational system? They then rush home where no food has been prepared and the children are slowly alienated from their parents. Let's not forget that Mrs. Jones-Hyphenated-Smith needs to get her masters is child psychology so she can better understand why little Johnny set fire to the couch. And Mr. Smith better work really hard to buy all those toys his children want, not to mention baseball practice, volleyball, student council, debate and racquet ball. And he better work doubly hard to buy his wife that new SUV she NEEDS, otherwise, she may just have to file for divorce because there wasn't enough jewelry to reconcile their differences.

Obviously Jose does not know what he's doing.
Author of "Jon’s Jail Journal" visits St Columb's

Click here for more pics and the story of my recent visit to a school in Derry (Londonderry), Northern Ireland.

Soluble Fiber and Net Carbs

I believe that, like sugar alcohols, soluble dietary fiber should be counted on a 0.5g carb/gram fiber basis.  However since most dietary fiber is not listed as to whether it is soluble or insoluble, this can be difficult to do.  Erring on the side of caution, a 1g for every 3g total dietary fiber would be a good compromise.  But many of the LC "fibers" such as polydextrose, inulin and glucomannan (shiritaki noodles) are essentially all soluble so 1g counted for 2g is a better count.

Insoluble dietary fiber, IDF, passes through the human digestive system unchanged so it is non-nutritive in all aspects. Further, since it adds bulk to food and assists in stool formation and "moving things along" IDF can reduce the nutrient absorbtion from the food we do eat.  This is essentially the rap of the "fiber is overrated" contingent.

SDF may not be metabolized by the body, but it is fermented in the large intestine to short chain fatty acids (SCFA) that are absorbed in the large intestine and metabolized. Some of these SCFA's are used by the intestines themselves as fuel, but the rest go mainly to the liver to be metabolized.

The "joys" of SDF are many from a weight loss and general health POV. To list a few I've read we have:
  • When SDF absorbs water it swells forming a gel. This gives a feeling of fullness in the stomach and slows the progression through the digestive tract so you may feel full longer.
  • This slowing of the digestion has been shown to improve the stability of BG levels in diabetics.
  • SDF's are fermented in the large intestine to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA's) that can be used by the intestine's cells as well as absorbed by the body. These SCFA's are believed to help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by boosting the mucosal cells and perhaps reduce colorectal cancer risks. They are also believed to contribute to lowering LDL levels.
  • SDF's do have a smaller than normal caloric nutritive value to us humans as compared to other carbs (1.5 cal/g to 2.5 cal/g, so I'll use an average of 2 cal/g)

What becomes of the rest of the SCFA's? We hear "fatty acid" and presume these are metabolized like other dietary fats, so eating soluble fiber has all the bennies above plus they are like ingesting fats!  But these are metabolized more like carbs -- the SCFA's are prime substrates for gluconeogenesis!!

According to this,M1 (which focuses on inulin type SDF's) the major byproducts of SDF fermentation are lactate (15%) and SCFA's (40% of which these are further classified as approx 15% butyrate, 28% propionate and 67% acetate respectively). The SCFA's are absorbed or otherwise utilized for energy at a rather high 90-95% rate, and the latter two are either entirely (propionate) or partially (acetate) metabolized by the liver to PRODUCE GLUCOSE via gluconeogenesis (and lactate is also listed as a substrate for gluconeogenesis). Scroll down at this citation

I have read several reports around the LC webosphere of BG increases with low carb breads and pastas. And, of course, the numerous reported stalls many seem to experience when including these products in their diet. This may well be why. Those "fibers" are like eating half their grams in sugar.

Also consider that, like all bacteria, the population will increase when their food supply increases. So more SDF is feeding these. Sounds great for digestion, but these same bacteria also ferment something else -- "regular" carbs that have not been completely digested previously. So in addition to adding to your carbs, you are very likely increasing the digestion/absorbtion of the other carbs in your diet.  Be consoled that you have a healthy and efficient digestive system, but you may be getting more carbs than you accounted for.

There may well be some mitigating factors to this in terms of the inefficiency and/or energy requirements for the gluconeogenesis pathways for these substrates, but to me it seems pretty clear now that soluble fibers should NOT be subtracted on a 1:1 ratio to find net carbs. At best they could be subtracted as 1:2. Here's a link to one source of fiber content for a pretty good sized list of foods:

Fatty Acid Contents of Foods: Beef Fat vs. Seal Oil

Another random listing from fatty acid compositions at

This post was precipitated by the oft cited Inuit as an example of the benefit of an almost all "meat", very high fat diet.  I've noticed that many of those practicing this version of a "Paleolithic" diet, tend to consume a lot of beef and rarely eat even the fish which are another staple of the Inuit diet.  So I decided to compare beef fat to that in seal oil.  The contrasts are quite stark!!
Read more »

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bachelor Pad Economics

For all the single, swinging bachelors out there, permit me a great bit of financial advice.


Drop the $35 on a good pair of clippers and you'll earn back your money easy within a month or two.

Now some of you will complain that you are not barbers, let alone self-styling ones, and therefore you will not be able to cut your own hair.

That is why you hence forth resign yourself to the buzz cut.

No doubt some of you will earn back your clippers in just one shaving in that you drop $35 on a hair cut. Others it will take 3 or 4 shaves if you go to a Great Clips to earn your clippers. Regardless, by a year's time going by, you'll certainly earn more than you did your 401k.

I have also found it a great way to get pampered by women who want to cut your hair.

Don't ask me how it works, I've learned long ago to stop asking why.

Ah, Baby Rabies

A movie I shall not see.
Jesus Christ Television (by the Occult Killer)

Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident. When police investigators discovered Gothic paraphernalia in his bedroom, they naturally concluded Brandon had committed a sacrificial murder for the benefit of Satan.

Crazy news in the even crazier realm of metal, my cellie and I have discovered a 30 minute golden nugget of headbangin’ music video goodness at 1:30 AM. On what channel, you ask? Why the only appropriate place for hair-raising, blood-boiling sonic battery: JCTV. That’s Jesus Christ Television. Read that again. I know you’re confused now, but be prepared to faint. A few of these bands rock harder, faster, and with more talent than some of the stuff I listen to. I’ll wait for you to regain consciousness.

The only real difference is image and content. I don’t know what JCTV’s criteria for a Christian hardcore band is, but if it’s what I think these guys are really passionate about God. More unexpected than a drunken brawl at a church picnic, you fill in the blank. I like the “God’s Wrath/scare you straight” stuff and can embrace what’s flawed or negative about Christianity. That would explain the heaviness of this Jesus Metal wave, but much of the music isn’t about that from what I can gather. Makes me want to bitch slap some of the bands I listen to and tell them they’re being taken to school by religious light weights.

In summation, check this out if you dare: “Back Burner” by “August Burns Red”, “Consume, Devour, Repeat” by “The Famine”, and “Hey John, what’s your name again?” by “The Devil Wears Prada”. That’s more or less the cream of it. I’m touch and go with Devil Wears Prada. Talented guys, without a doubt, but only parts of their music is to my taste. I was put off by the name alone. Really? Same as the book/movie about the cutthroat world of fashion? Maybe they are insinuating that Satan is way too sexy to wear anything else. I don’t know.

Click here to read the Occult Killer’s previous blog.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Post comments and questions for the Occult Killer below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Sheriff Joe Arpaio must be real proud of devastating this little girl's world by snatching her parents in yet another racially motivated raid:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio should be put in his own jail for child abuse for that one. The next video features a woman who asserted her legal right not to fingerprint a form in Arpaio's jail, and had her arm broken by the guards.

When is President Obama going to step up and do something about this racial injustice?

Post comments below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ready the Vomit Bags

I promise that I will remain a male, defend my loved ones with my life, destroy enemies that threaten my loved ones, be charming and charismatic towards you, support myself, and work out and stay in shape. And if that ain't good enough for you, then I'm sure one of those lovely men above are available for courtship.

In the meantime, here's an alternative.

Now, on a serious note, ladies, who would you rather date? The guys above of the guy below? Make your responses in the comments section, and I shall make a chart.

Fatty Acid Contents of Foods: Butter & Coconut Oil

On occasion I look up this type of info on -- it comes from the pull-down analysis of the fats.  This is for one ounce (28g) of butter.  (NOTE:  I suspect there is an error here on the serving size vs. fat content.  Normally 1T butter has ~11g total fat)

Of note, a little more than 3% (~1/2 g) of the total fat is butyric acid, the short chain fatty acid product that is the byproduct of some soluble fiber metabolism.  Butter also contains 3.6% of capric and caprylic acids combined -- these are the 8 & 10 carbon medium chain triglycerides in "MCT oil".  Lauric acid (12C)  is 2.7% (this is the longest chain length characterized as medium chain, that is almost 50% of the fatty acid content of coconut oil).  All in all, the short and medium chain triglyceride content of butter is 11.6%, of which ~8.4% are classified as MCT's.  By contrast, coconut oil (source: wikipedia) is a little more than 60% MCT's.

The PUFA's are all Omega 6

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sheriff Joe Arpaio To Inmates: You Want TV? Start Peddling! (Phoenix News)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was concerned about the waistlines of some of the inmates at his Arizona jail, so he had an idea. The sheriff brought in an electricity-generating stationary bike and hooked it up to a television set which is powered by the peddler–and if the prisoners want to watch TV, they have to exercise. Arpaio calls his system “Pedal Vision,” and he thinks it may be just the thing to get his inmates in shape.

Produces Power, Burns Calories

According to the FOX affiliate in Phoenix, Sheriff Arpaio’s “Pedal Vision” stationary bike produces 12 volts of electricity when pedaled, enough to power a 19 inch television in the jail’s viewing center. A noise encourages the exercising inmates when their speed has slowed below what’s needed to power the TV. One hour of pedaling equals one hour of television viewing for the inmates.

Right now, the “Pedal Vision” is only available to the female inmate population, but that could all change if the program is a success, so says Arpaio:

"I started with the females because they seemed more receptive to the idea. The only exercise the females get right now is speed-walking around the tents yard and few are doing that. This gives them a reason to get moving and a way to burn up to 500 calories an hour. They won’t be charged a monthly gym fee but they will have to sign a contract."

Click here for tips on surviving Arpaio’s jail system.

Click here for the first blog I wrote from Arpaio's Madison Street jail.

Post comments below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood