Good morning and greetings, healthy snack fans. I remember a few years back going in for my annual physical, and my doctor suggested that it wouldn’t hurt if I lost a few pounds. I immediately thought of what Ellen Degeneres once told me. “You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.”
My doctor asked me about my diet and exercise regimen and then asked, “So, can you stop eating cookies?” I replied, “Hey, I’m a man’s man. Of course, I could cut back on my sugar intake. I’ll start right after I see Haley’s comet.”
Let’s fast forward to today, where at age 59, I’m still a growing boy and enjoy the comforting duo of milk and cookies. Actually, I don’t really need the milk, just give me the cookies. But since milk supposedly does a body good, I like to include it in my daily vegan regimen whenever there’s a substance full of sugar, sodium and saturated fat that I can hold in my hand.
So being that I’ve been pounding down the Grade A, Pasteurized, Homogenized, 1% lowfat milk with vitamins A & D like a camel on spring break, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at what goes into the making of this fantasticly nutritious white liquid. Or as Robert Fulghum once said, “Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”
So according to my friends at the Legacy Farms in Plainview, Texas, cows, like teenage boys, have a unique digestive system that includes four stomachs. They swallow food quickly without chewing it well and store it in their first and second stomachs. After they have eaten their fill, they will burp up a small portion of the food they have stored in their first and second stomachs without saying “Excuse me.” This small portion of food is called cud or quiche.
They will then chew this cud and swallow it to their third stomach. After that the food leaves their third stomach it enters their fourth stomach where the digestion and indigestion occurs. Amd that’s why four out of five dairy farmers recommend Pepto-Bismal for their cows that chew cud.
Cows spend about six hours eating per day and chow down about 90 pounds of food in that time, not including appetizers, jello or finger foods. It takes about two days for a cow to process her food into milk, three days for chocolate milk.
And since I’m not lactose intolerant, here are some more fun facts about about the liquid that I consider to be our national beverage. Well, either that or Jolt Cola.
It used to take a person one hour to milk six cows by hand. Today, a person can milk 100 cows and a billy goat in an hour with modern machines and a vivid imagination. In case you weren’t counting, it take about 340-350 squirts from Elsie to produce a gallon of milk. Cows drink between 25-50 gallons of water a day to produce milk, and even more if they play contact sports.
In the old days before TiVo, when people traveled and wanted milk, they had to take their cows with them. Cows have an acute sense of smell – they can smell something up to six miles away, particularly a punchline. And as George Bernard Shaw once said, “You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too. Even mother’s milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.”
Speaking of which, my favorite slogans for breast milk, “Latch on, nod off. Breast milk. Never been recalled.”
The average American cow produces 6.2 gallons a day or about 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime. A cow’s udder can hold 25-50 pounds of milk. Utterly incredible. Most cows give more milk when they listen to music, with their favorites being Soft Rock Hits of the 80′s or anything by Todd Rundgren.
The natural yellow color of butter comes mainly from beta-carotene found in the grass the cows graze on. And finally, as my mother or Aunt Bee from the “Andy Griffith Show” once proclaimed, “Opie, you haven’t finished your milk. We can’t put it back in the cow, you know.”
For today’s photo escapade we are jetting up the coast to Davenport on the evening of May 2. There had been a beautful sunset that I had missed earlier in the week, and after checking out the cloud cover at around 5:30, I thought something special might be on the horizon. I don’t shoot many sunsets in the spring so we’re talking bonus coverage for this cyber experience.
By the time I gathered myself under the Monterey Cypress trees, those early clouds had moved south, but as it turned out, we were still left with a colorful display of May pagentry. I am rarely disappointed whenever I turn on the TV or make a trip to the north coast and this night was no exception.
On to some late night. “Membership and recruiting of Al Qaeda is drying up. Far be it for me to tell terrorists about strategy but I think membership started to subside when they went to the suicide bomber exploding underpants. Let’s just say you put on the exploding underpants and you detonate. When they bring in the 72 virgins, then what?” –David Letterman
“President Obama visited Afghanistan — unplanned, unannounced, just went right to Afghanistan. Not to be outdone, Mitt Romney got in his car and drove through the rough part of Beverly Hills.” –David Letterman “Yesterday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he’s not sure if he’s going to run for re-election next year. He’s said, ‘I’ll collapse that bridge when I get to it.’” –Jimmy Fallon
“Usually they do these on TV together, but in this case Santorum made the endorsement in the 13th paragraph of an email he sent out just before midnight. Sounds like somebody had a bottle of sparkling apple cider for dinner. Santorum woke up this morning and said, ‘I endorsed who?’ “President Obama says his campaign for a second term is still about hope and change. The president’s exact words were, ‘I hope I won’t have to change my address.’” –Conan O’Brien
“And the Republicans, of course, were livid that on the anniversary of the killing of bin Laden, that Obama went over there and celebrated that. How dare he run for President using his accomplishments as President. We knew his campaign would be ugly, but stooping to facts? Could you imagine what Bush would have done if he had gotten bin Laden? I mean, this is a guy who played dress-up to celebrate a war he lost. If he had gotten bin Laden, he would have spent his whole second term in a Batman costume.” –Bill Maher
“According to documents recovered from Osama Bin Laden’s compound before his death, the Al Qaeda leader was worried that morale in the terrorist organization was fading. Bin Laden was concerned that his men were so depressed they wouldn’t commit suicide.” –Seth Meyers “In a new interview, Vice President Joe Biden said the sitcom ‘Will & Grace’ made America more comfortable with gay people. Biden also said the sitcom character Urkel made America more comfortable with President Obama.” –Conan O’Brien
“Today Mitt Romney visited a firehouse here in New York City. Of course, he was disappointed when he learned that the firehouse is not where you get to fire people. President Obama hosts an early Cinco de Mayo White House party today. I thought it was weird when he made all the guests climb over the fence to get in. More than 330 million shares of Facebook stock will be sold later this month. It’s great –- now you can own a piece of the website that completely owns YOU.” –Jimmy Fallon
That’s all she wrote for this week. Belated 60th birthday wishes go out to my old friend Susan Hall, who celebrated her big day with cake, ice cream and pony rides last Friday.
We’ll catch you amazing the baseball world by blasting four homers in one game. Aloha, mahalo and later, Josh Hamilton fans.