Rock Creature
That's me taking a picture of it at Newport Beach R.I. Notice its head on the right, one eye is showing. It appears to have a trunk or some sort of a beak. On the left of the body you can see its big fat tail that curled up as it died. It has a big round body. Its legs are not seen, they're under the body. I call it the Rock Creature because it has the ability to blend in with the many boulders along Newport shores.

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The Management

Is Chardonnay a Miracle Cure for
Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Part 1

I love garlic knots. Unfortunately they’re not good for me, the knots not the garlic. My other weakness is freshly baked glazed donuts from the Amish Farm market. Eating those soft warm donuts is practically an erotic experience. They’re also not good for me.
You see, I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and there’s good evidence that a low starch diet reduces inflammation caused by this auto-immune disease. Dr. Ebinger discovered this link from prescribing high protein, low carb diet to his overweight patients suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a form of arthritis of the spine. It causes inflammation of the joints leading to fusion of the spine and in some cases of the ribs. AS can cause many complications including bone density loss and inflammation of the eyes.
With further research it was found that it’s not carbohydrates per se that is the problem. It’s starchy foods like breads and other flour products like pasta. Rice and potatoes are also in this group. Some researchers think that it’s only the resistant starch that should be avoided. That’s the starch that digests more slowly. It is found in foods such as beans, barley and long grained rice.
There is strong evidence that AS is triggered by an infection from the Klebsiella bacteria. A genetic tissue marker, HLB-27, that exists primarily in bone and their connective tissues is found in 95% of people with AS. An exposure to the Klebsiella bacteria causes the immune system to develop antibodies against it. Researches found that HLB-27 and the K bacteria have similar structures such that the antibodies can’t tell the difference and also attack the HLB tissue.
The connection with the starch here is that the Klebsiella bacteria, which are normally found in the colon, multiply rapidly with a high starch diet. It is thought that infection or stress weakens the immune system causing the bacteria to pass through the wall and into the bloodstream. There is a high concentration of the HLB in the lower back. So when antibodies form to fight these bacteria they also attack the sacroiliac joint where the base of the spine, the lumbar area, exists. That’s where AS usually starts.
For a long time I’ve been struggling in trying to stay on a low starch diet (LSD). It isn’t easy. Recently a friend asked me to design a website for his Pizza Restaurant. In exchange my friends and I get free food there. And as you know, almost every Italian dish is starch based. So what do I do, watch my friends eat free pizza while I just lick the garlic off the garlic knots? It’s frustrating. It’s a good thing that I’m in his area only once a week. If you’re ever in NJ and go to the Six Flags Great Adventure, go eat there. It’s just up the road from the amusement park. Ask for Anthony and tell him that Ray sent you. Tell him you like his website and maybe you’ll get free pizza.
But there may be hope still. I may get to lick and eat my garlic knots after all. There was a discussion about AS in this British health website. Robert, who had AS for 20 years, had a bit too much Chardonnay at a party. He claims that soon after, his pain disappeared. Some think that it is the malic and tartaric acid in the wine that kills the bacteria. Since white wines have more acid then red, they are more efficient at killing bacteria.
So I’m doing an experiment. I’ve had AS for 40+ years. As I write this story there’s a bottle of Chardonnay next to my PC. I really don’t like white wine. Give me a bottle of Manishewitz any day. I like its sweet syrupy taste. I even look forward to catching a cold so that I can buy a bottle of cherry flavored cough syrup.
So far I’m down half a bottle and will keep drinking until the pain goes away. I’ll let you know.
It was in the Navy, in boot camp, where I think it began, I mean the AS. As part of our training, we were put into a swimming pool of ice cold water. It was survival training, in case the ship sunk. Turns out that I came close to having had to use that training, but that’s another story.
Other than getting a “Dear John” letter while at sea, being in that pool of frigid water was the most memorably painful experience I’ve ever had.
By the time I went on active duty my lower back and my hips began hurting.
Just finished the bottle and feeling no pain. But to make sure that the pain doesn’t come back I’m going to get me another bottle of Chardonnay. I think I’m going to like white wine after all.
End of Part 1
Jan 2011