My doctor says my cholesterol is too high. He wants me to exercise for more than an hour a day and consider a Mediterranean Diet, with high concentrations of fruits. He also wants me to avoid processed food entirely, especially things like french fries.

I'm not sure I can do that.

Exercise is the least of the problem. I'm already walking July for 30 minutes and then spending another 30 on the elliptical. In addition, I'd been contemplating how I can add some strength training to that regimen. I'm actually starting to like exercising.

On the other hand, I do eat too much processed snack food. I admit it. It's a bad habit that I'm always aware of, even when I'm eating it. I can make a sincere effort to cut back (he says as he stuffs another handful of potato chips in his face).

What I cannot do is eat more fruits. I hate fruit. I hate its texture and flavor. Berries are gross. Bananas trigger my gag reflex. I saw what apples did to Snow White. And don't even get me started on oranges. If I thought global warming would wipe all fruit off the face of the planet, I'd leave my car running 24 hours a day.

I understand that a Mediterranean Diet might prolong my life, but quality of life has to count for something, too. How am I supposed to enjoy a life of only eating foods I hate? Frankly, I'd rather have a heart attack.

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There's only one more week remaining in this godforsaken presidential election, and still no one has answered the single most important question of our times: do the candidates wear boxers or briefs?

I'm of the MTV generation, and I recall when Bill Clinton was asked the question. His answer was "Usually briefs." Bernie Sanders said the same thing when Ellen asked him last year. But what about Trump? Or Hillary?

Personally, I used to wear standard white briefs until one evening in 1993, when an icebreaker at my coed freshman dorm had everyone trade underwear and mingle until we had all recovered our own. While everyone else revealed a pair of boxers or silk panties, my only option was a pair of tighty-whities. My underwear was very, very easy to recover. At least my name wasn't written in them.

You can imagine my humiliation. I spent the rest of the mixer sitting alone on a bench holding some stranger's underwear in the air. Scarred by that experience, I naturally changed my underwear preference. Now I only wear colored briefs. (The pair I'm wearing right now are navy blue.)

Based on my experience, I know that what you wear under your clothes says a lot about you. That's why it's so important to see what our presidential candidates are wearing. Trump, Hillary, it's time to drop your pants. It's a matter of national security.

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A Quest Before Dying

A Quest Before Dying on

Book Three of the Central Kingdoms Chronicles, A Quest Before Dying, is now available both as a $2.99 Kindle eBook on and as a $12.00 paperback from

Book One, The Wizards of Ranaloy, and Book Two, Prince Thorgils' War, are already available in both formats via and You can find links and preview chapters at

Thank you to all who have supported this project.

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I wouldn't forget things if I took her with me

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I immediately had voter's remorse

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Sit back and enjoy as I regale you with tales of the first five movies I watched in October.

86. (1024.) The Sugarland Express (1974)
Steven Spielberg's first theatrical movie! It's not what you've come to expect from the master of mainstream schmaltz. In fact, despite having some very comedic elements, it's really a tragedy. Besides Goldie Hawn, what this movie really has going for it are some fantastic shots of Texas landscapes. It's far from Spielberg's best, but it's also much, much better than his worst.

87. (1025.) Foul Play (1978)
This movie is mostly a comedic take on the noir thrillers of yesteryear. The first two-thirds is pretty entertaining (it's easy to see Chevy Chase's eventual Fletch character here), but it runs out of steam by the last 30 minutes. By then, the ending was no longer in doubt and the long car race through San Francisco (more Blue Brothers than Bullit) felt like a tedious waste of time.

88. (1026.) Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
How was this only in theaters for two weeks? This is very much Spinal Tap for the Millennial generation. I know that my father's mother would have hated the foul-mouthed, uncouth lyrics, but I loved every satirical moment of it (even though I'm an Xer myself).

89. (1027.) Station West (1948)
Dick Powell stars as a hard boiled detective in the old west. It's not quite as good as that pitch sounds, but it's worth a watch if you like RKO detective movies. And I do.

90. (1028.) The Star (1952)
Hollywood sure loves stories about the dark side of Hollywood. There's some great writing and acting in this film (though not from Natalie Wood, who acts as well as her namesake). The film closes with a pointed slap in the face from the screenwriter. I found it a clever and effective ending to this depressing character study. Well done.

More to come.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is raising the monthly health insurance premium on my current health insurance plan to $338 for 2017. That's a 27% increase from monthly 2016 payments. I should probably be thankful it's that low. My 2016 premiums represented a 100% increase over 2015.

Perhaps you're thinking that $338 isn't a lot of money each month. If you can afford better, good for you. However, the Affordable Healthcare Act has destroyed insurance for self-employed professionals like me. The insurers are complaining that they're loosing money on individual plans, and I can understand why. No independent can afford their rates.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable. I don't mind paying for health insurance coverage; I've done it for years. But I don't see why the monthly amounts have grown so out of line with what I can afford. (Especially when it still won't pay for hospital visits!) We're not experiencing rampant inflation, and there doesn't seem to be any shortage of services. So what's driving these impossible costs? Perhaps its a liquidity crisis. We can't save anything for the future if we have to spend every penny paying for right now.

In the past year, my insurance has been billed for $479 worth of doctors fees. Comparing that number against the $4,056 or more I'll have to pay in premiums in 2017, it's clear to me that my best economic option is to cancel my insurance and pay the "individual shared responsibility payment" — the government's name for the ObamaCare penalty tax. At my income bracket, the government will penalize me $695 for the whole year. That leaves enough leeway for eight doctor's visits next year, and I'll still come out ahead!

So if you see me grab my chest and collapse, don't call an ambulance. There's no way I can afford that.

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This heavily scripted short "about" Emma Stone feels fabulously Old Hollywood, like an MGM promotional puff piece. Is Emma anything like the person appearing in this video? Who cares. More please.

(FYI: Note that the video was uploaded on October 18, but National Dress Up Your Pet Day is January 14. Has Vogue been sitting on that footage for nine months? Or was it released three months early? I guess those would have made it 75 questions.)

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Technically, Dr. Allen didn't prescribe this

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I may be guilty of this

It's funny because it's 10,000% true.

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To be continued...