Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is it child abuse?

Connor McCreaddie of Wallsend, England, is 8 years old. He is also 218 pounds. On Tuesday, Connor and his mother had to meet with the County Council (equivalent to our court system) to determine if Connor was facing harm at home due to his diet. Ms McCreaddie was worried about loosing custody of Connor. However, the North Tyneside County Council determined that Connor could stay with his mum but they all needed to watch over him to ensure that this situation does not get out of hand.

Recently, ITV, a British televison network, followed Connor around for a month watching his every move. He would eat snack every 20 minutes, usually comprising of chips and cookies (or in British, crisps and biscuits). He can put away 8 lunch sized bags of chips and 3 packages of cookies a day. For dinner, his mother would prepare french fries, buttered bread and other bad things. She tells Connor to stay out of the fridge between meals, (which he ignores) and refuses to put a lock on the fridge. She admits that he was a big baby. At age 2 1/2, she could not pick him up anymore and at age 5, he was 126 pounds.

Is this abuse? I think that it can be if the mother is not doing anything about this situation. She is not forcing him to exercise and it is aparent that she is not changing the diet. I am sure that she is not deliberately trying to fatten him up like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, but in this age, it is necessary to be more cognizant of diet and weight. It is all just sad. I can understand that she is a single parent of 2 kids and that it is hard, but if she were to put a little bit of effort into it, it could go a long way. Maybe take the kids to the park every other day. Throw in some salad instead of bread. Try some vegetarian dishes. GET A LOCK FOR THE FRIDGE! He will not starve to death, he will just gripe until the next meal time.

I think that the County Council made a good move in not removing him from his mothers custody. That probably would have been detrimental to him and caused depression which leads to even more eating. They should just help his mother construct a diet and exercise plan for him. That is all that he can do for now. Maybe they should also check him for a disease that may be causing him to be obease.... Whatever happens, a change needs to be made immediately before it causes long lasting effects that will be with him for rest of his life..

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Denton Apartments Suck!

Recently, my roommate and I have been shopping around for a new apartment. That is just something that you do around the time that you lease is up. We were interested in looking for a new place, some place that was more modern and had a few specific features that we were looking for. As we were driving around on Saturday to these newer apartment complexes in town, we quickly discovered that we could not move into any of them. Why you may ask? They are all Federally subsidized and subject to income restrictions. WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?! I was livid, especially after the 3rd place that we went to told us that. These are all brand new apartments, all built within the past few years and are the nicest apartment complexes in town and they are out of reach because our incomes equal over $31,000. The only choices that we have remaining to us are some dumpy apartment complexes or ones that we cannot afford altogether. Where is the logic in this? One apartment manager put it eloquently, "You are being penalized for actually having a job."

My question in all of this is why is there such a need for low income housing in the City of Denton? Denton is not that poor in my opinion. Yes there are some parts of town that seem poorer than others, but over all, we as a city are not doing that bad economically.

So I thought.... Then I checked with the Census Bureau. According to the 2000 Census the median household income was $35,422 for the City of Denton, comparing to 63K for McKinney, 54K for Lewisville, 62K for Carrollton and 78K for Plano. I just cannot believe this. I don't understand why the median household income is so small for Denton. We have a lot of industries here, Peterbilt, national headquarters for Sally Beauty Supply, UNT, TWU, Denton ISD (it is a big school district) and other big employers. I guess what this number shows is that a lot of people are not making that much money from these employers (I know that I'm not) or that they are living in other communities outside of Denton.

Maybe the fact that we have a large population of college students living in Denton has something to do with how low our median income numbers are. I don't know. You would think that the Census Bureau would account for this though. Who knows? It is just a major shock to me and my roommate. Now we have to decide if we want to stay in our current complex or possibly pay more and live in another complex a little more out of the price range. I just seems a little unfair for those who are actually starting off in their adult lives and want to continue to live in Denton.

Maybe I should be complaining more to the City of Denton for not enticing other complexes that could cater to a customer such as myself. Yes, we have a lot of complexes already in Denton, but if you really look at a lot of them, nobody would really want to live in them. Ah, and that is another thing. Maybe I should complain to all of the management companies for not keeping up with their properties and making them appealing to people. Curb appeal says a lot. If it does not look good on the outside, that is definitely an indicator of what you will find on the inside.

I am still boggled by the income numbers for Denton. I just don't understand. Even if these incomes were for 2 people, they would still be too high for these low income complexes. There are a lot of variables and would be a good topic of study for somebody who needs an economic or business project...

What do you think of all of this? Post your thoughts below...

They JUST changed the rate!

Is it just me or didn't the Postal Service just raise the rates for the 1st class stamp? I can remember when it was a quarter to send a letter in the mail. My mom remembers when it was a dime to send a letter. What is the deal? The postal service has just announced that it wants to raise rates for a stamp from 39 cents to 41 cents, a 2 cent increase. I know that it is needed because of the increase in cost of gas and labor, but it is just crazy! This will be another reason for people to start paying their bills online and stray away from the paper and pencil method of paying bills. Our generation is starting to abandon this old method and I think that this will force others to abandon this method as well.

The postal service is talking about implementing a "forever stamp" which would lock in prices at the time of purchase, but you will still have to buy those stamps at the 41 cent price. It is a good concept, because it will save money over a period of 10 or more years, but then you will have stamps coming out of your ear for that period of time. It will save a trip to the Post Office or Kroger to get stamps, though, which is good too..

My plan to help the Postal Service earn more money, charge those advertisers who send junk mail that nobody ever reads a dollar or more just for being annoying..

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

WTWO Fights back!

This is a follow up to a blog that I wrote a looong time a go..

Basically, WTWO, local NBC affiliate in Terre Haute, IN, made a promo talking about the greatness of their weather department and how their CBS competitor sucks. Here is the video :

John Stewart got wind of this and called WTWO out on making fun of their competitor and he made fun of them.. Supposedly, (I say that because this happened quite some time ago and I am now just reading about it..) there was a bunch of controversy between WTWO and Stewart. In response to Jon Stewart, they made this great gem: Obviously, it is probably safe to assume that this was never aired on WTWO. Supposedly it was an internal film.

It is all just freaking hilarious! I would love to see some of this kind of action between WFAA (ABC-8) and KXAS (NBC-5) in Dallas or KTRK (ABC-13) vs KHOU (CBS-11) in Houston.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sign of the times?

Is it a sign of the times that Americans depend too much on Fast Food and a high fat diet? I have an interesting example for you...

I am 22 years old. I am a good weight for my stature. I am not bouncing off the walls with activity, but I am not totally stagnant either. I am moderately healthy. I am a semi-moderate consumer of fast food or dining out (about 2-3 times a week), but I do not do it all of the time. I would rather cook at home most of the time. With all of that said, I have recently been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol. When I learned of this, I was shocked. I am pretty healthy. My previous physical showed great results. And now I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol and the medications that accompany such conditions.

Now granted, my doctor said that alot of this had to deal with family history, and yes, I do have some history. But still, is this an indicator of what will happen to others in my generation who h ave grown up in the age of Fast Food and high fat diets?

Are there others out there from our generation who are experiencing this? It would be interesting to see the numbers on this.

I could be blowing all of this out of proportion, but I think that there could be an interesting correlation. What about others out there from my generation who are heavy eaters and eat out at least once to twice a day?