Monday, September 29, 2008

The Breast is Best

I grew up in a family that adores ice cream. We literally had it every single night after dinner. In a cone even. One of my favorite childhood memories is of us kids sitting for hours on the front porch swing with our ice cream cones on the warm summer nights.

My dad makes his own ice cream. It's kind of "his thing." At every family gathering, we indulge in dad's ice cream. If he were extremely wealthy, he would open his own ice cream parlor. It's already got a name even ... John D's Ice Cream Parlor. (After my ice-cream-adoring grandpa.) For now, though, it's just a Tschamler family perk.

So it's to be expected that we are extremely picky when it comes to ice cream. We're what one might call Ice Cream Snobs. And we wear this label proudly.

Here's my personal ice cream score sheet: Haagen Dazs and Breyers are both good brands. I had Bluebell for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was good, but not the best I've ever had. (And certainly not up to the galactic hype that Texans always give it.) I'd put it in the same category as Baskin Robbins. Those stone slab places like Coldstone and Maggie Moos are totally overrated. And don't even get me started on soft serve.

Then there's Ben & Jerry's. Good ice cream, funky flavors. Definitely a good Plan B when you run out of Dad's ice cream.

Seems, though, PETA has a different opinion. They sent this letter last week to Ben and Jerry with a suggested ingredient modification.

September 23, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's. Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers--and cows--would reap the benefits.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease--America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
Um, ewww.

Friday, September 26, 2008


"It’s extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion dollars to saved 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases."

- Bono

Thursday, September 25, 2008

40 Days

In just about 40 days we will choose the leader of our country. The way things have been going lately, I will change my mind 40 times between now and then about who will get my vote.

I thought I had finally settled on John McCain.

But I just watched Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric and suddenly I'm not so sure. Her discomfort is painfully obvious.

Morally, I tend to side more with the Republican ticket. But not totally. And now I'm scared to have someone so inexperienced in office. So now what? Any thoughts?

Speak up, people. I'm a vote to be won.

(At this point I'm leaning towards moving. Italy sounds nice.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clayken, Clothes and Vacation

Good Wednesday morning, blog world! How is your week going? Mine is going swimmingly. I think. (Actually I'm not sure what that word means. But I like how it sounds.)

I just found out via another blog that Clay Aiken (or Clayken, as I've dubbed him) has confirmed he's gay. Not much of a surprise, I suppose, but at least the rumors are finally put to rest. Now despite what including this news on my blog may lead you to believe, I'm not really a fan. (Well, except for his Christmas album which I really like.)

On Sunday we officially launched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Clothes Co-op! My friend (and co-Co-op-er) Amber posted about it. (Watch out for the phenomenal video footage. )

Today is Wednesday. Which means a week from now Chris and I'll be on a plane bound for NY! For 12 days. I can't wait ... beachfront wedding on Long Island, Wicked on Broadway (maybe I'll see Clayken in the city like my friend Suzanne did), time with my fam (especially this one) then on to more fun in Virgina and D.C.

While I'm playing in NY, my team at work is moving to a new part of the building (Compassion's building is ginormous now), and wood floors are getting put in my house. When I come home I'll practically have a whole new life! I hope Havana remembers me.

For your listening pleasure, I leave you today with a ROCKIN' version of Wild Horses, sung by Alicia Keys and Adam Levine.

I. Love. It. (ht: Alex)

Just in case you were wondering, according to, swimmingly is an adverb meaning: without difficulty; with great success; effortlessly. So it's true ... my week is going swimmingly. How's yours?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Party, Doggie-Style

We're a bunch of single people and DINKs.
We have dog birthday parties.
Cause that's how we roll.

Havana, ready to get her party on.

The labs came in every color.

This is Tucker. He and Havana are an item.


This was Belle's first party. Actually, her first anything. She just came home yesterday. What a way to start life.

Toby, rockin' the birthday pose.


Valeen charmed the mob with her doggy birthday treats.

Even Belle got a puppycake.

At least we don't buy them clothes or carry them in our purses.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Dachshund

I'm busy packing up my desk today for our move to the new part of the building next week. While the location of my desk won't be quite as sweet as it's been in the past, our team will still be facing the mountains. Woot!

Anyway, since I don't have much time to write today, I thought I'd point you to a very funny post I just read.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Creation Schwarzkopf Palin

That's what my name would be if Sarah Palin were my mom.

I got it from the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator.

I knew I liked Sarah Palin the moment I read that she named her daughter Piper. She and I are bonded that way. I've loved that name ever since high school, where I went to school with a girl named Piper Foster. I've always wanted to name my daughter Piper. When I tell people that, I usually get a weird look. Or they move a few feet away. But now I don't feel so weird. Especially when I see what she named her other children. (Track, Trig, Bristol, and Willow.)

So what would she have named you?

h/t: Vince

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On My Mind ...

A little free association for this Wednesday morning. Welcome to my brain.

My legs are jello. I went back to spin class this morning, for the first time in, oh ... three months or so. I used to go 2-3 times per week consistently. I had some pretty good motivation to get in shape back then. Winter's coming on fast, though, so I'm trying to get back into groove.

Speaking of winter, I heard on the radio the other day that according to an almanac from, like 1957 or something, this winter is predicted to be one of the worst in recent history. Ugh. I'm still recovering from the winter we had two years ago. I'm not sure I'm ready for this.

I'm excited that reality TV season is starting up again! I've missed it. The Biggest Loser (a.k.a. Big Fat Loser) started last night. And I hear that The Amazing Race has a new season starting. (John, wish you were here!) And also Survivor. Which I haven't watched for a long time, but which is primarily responsible for originally cultivating my taste for reality TV. (At least if we are dumped on with snow we'll have something to do.)

Here's some good news ... we only have about six weeks left of political ads. Isn't that great? This election will be interesting. I'm actually kind of excited to vote! And I'm even more excited that the ads will stop.

My boss just stopped by my desk with donuts. I just three hours ago kicked off my new health goals and now this. How's that for timing? Get thee behind me, donuts! Thankfully, I was able to abstain. If they were Krispy Kremes, I might have been doomed, but they were only Dunkin Donuts.

I have started a Clothing Coop with a couple friends from work. Through a random Sisterhood-of-the-Traveling-Pants-esque situation last week, we discovered that we are all the same size. So we decided to hail back to our college days where roommates shared a communal wardrobe. I'm very excited about this Coop! We haven't worked out all the details yet, but we will most likely trade items on a monthly basis. (Although just between you and me, I do think I'm getting the far better end of the deal.) Both girls have a much more distinct style then I do. Maybe I'll post a picture of me wearing a new Coop outfit.

Happy Hump Day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Gonna Be a Good Day

Guess what? I heard some exciting news yesterday! Joshua Radin has a new CD out on September 30! Check out what is currently my favorite tune of his ... I'd Rather Be With You.

You can listen to it on his MySpace page. What do you think?

Yeah. Finding new music pretty much makes my day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Perfect Day

Saturday was Gor. Geous.

We hiked The Crags, a trail near Cripple Creek. This has to be one of my favorite hikes near the Springs. We couldn't have asked for a better day. Here are some photos. (It'll almost be like you're hiking with us.)

Jamie and I are excited!

Jamie and Chris gaze at the view. This view is just a preview, though, of what's ahead.

Havana and me on top of the world. The view behind us is 360 degrees.

This guy was like the bird whisperer. He held food in his hand and they'd come land. It was awesome.

Tilla and Havana. You have no idea how hard it is to get a good picture of the two of them. This might be my favorite.

Ooh. This guy is my favorite, too.

Jamie loves hugs so much, we try to oblige her as often as possible.

Intense. That's what this picture is.

On the way back we stopped to sit on a giant rock and enjoy the sun. Here's the view.

Devil's Playground and the back side of Pikes Peak behind us.

Jamie, contemplating life.

I love pictures of Aspen trees.

On the way home we stopped at this place called Jo Mama's and ate the best pizza I've ever had. I'm not exaggerating. If you ever drive through Woodland Park, you should definitely stop there. Then we got some Blue Bell ice cream.

Ahhhh. This is what life is about.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Follow Me

Remember when I tried to get people to "de-lurk" and it totally bombed?

Yeeeeeah ... that was funny.

Well I'd like you to know I've come to terms with my lurkers. I'm totally okay with you anonymous readers. Actually, the fact that people read this blog at all is pretty cool. So, thanks.

However, should any of you anonymous readers ever get the sudden urge to identify yourself, I've added an easy way for you to do so. Just look a few inches to the right and you can become a "follower."

Now, I know becoming my blog follower might seem a little creepy. I mean, only people like Ghandi or Jim Jones or Joel Osteen have followers. But really, it's just a way for all of us to meet. Then we can have community. Which I really like.

So go ahead. Don't be afraid. Let's create some community, people!

Monday, September 8, 2008

John Petty?

Nothing's better than some acoustic tunes on a foggy night.

Besides, it's been way too long since I posted anything about my musical soul mate.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Heart for Haiti

As if a severe food shortage isn't enough, Haiti is literally drowning. See for yourself. Tropical Storm Ike is headed towards the island (after they've already been hit by Fay, Gustav and Hanna.) And we're only halfway through the hurricane season.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the rain we'd been getting here. Now I feel like a jerk.

My first trip with Compassion was to Haiti in 2003. I went to visit Youvens, the boy I sponsor.

On that trip, God tore me apart. I saw a broken and desperate part of the world that is rarely shown on the news. I saw poverty so deep that I could barely comprehend it. I couldn't even journal for a week after the trip because I was having trouble processing the experience. It was so far beyond anything I had ever imagined.

Remember what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans? That was devastating, but that was in a developed country where there are organizations and relief structures and safety nets. I've heard Haiti called a "fourth world country" because the situation there is so much worse than that in "third world countries."

I know God is in control, but sometimes when I read stuff like this, it feels like He has temporarily forsaken part of His creation.

Will you pray with me for Haiti?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Colorado Balloon Classic

This weekend was Labor Day, which in Colorado Springs means ... BALLOONS!

It's always a bit of a game to figure out which day to go. This year we picked the right day. The weather couldn't have been better!