The Potsdam Church ladies did have sausage links at their pancake breakfast last week.

Over the past 3 weeks or so, I've been experimenting with food and exercise. I've never been much for minding either of these things before now. And, while it might have to do with my impending 50th birthday, I came to it by way of one-book-leads-to-another.

More than a year ago I'd seen several references to Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman had won a Nobel prize in Economics a while ago, and this was his latest, a kind of validictory of things he'd learned during and after the research he'd done for that. So I'd bought it and it had been sitting on my shelf for a while. Last summer I finally read it, and wished I'd read it a lot sooner.

Kahneman referred to another book, The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a book I'd also seen other references to in the category of "Must read." So I got that and read it, too. The second edition of Black Swan has a postscript essay (which makes it essential, if you read it, to have the second edition): On Robustness and Fragility. In the essay, Taleb talks about his correspondance with Arthur De Vanny, who applied many of the same Black Swan observations about non-Gaussian the effects of randomness to human biology.

Arthur De Vanny, as it happens, is the guy who later publisheds some of his research and diet as The New Evolution Diet, which led to all the various "Paleo" diet fads.

So, having read De Vanny's book (which covers both diet and exercise) in the context of the Black Swan and Thinking, I started with some self-experimentation.

I'm calling it self-experimentation rather than a diet. It's sorta paleo, but aside from De Vanny's initial book, I'm not following any other prescription. Basically, the principle of the eating part is, "Only eat what will rot if you leave it on the counter for a couple days; shop around the perimeter of the grocery store." For the exercise part, it's "Mostly low intensity regular exercise (ambling), with irregular spurts of strenuous exertion." So I've been going to the gym for a short intense work-out irregularly. I've also tried several times sprinting with the dog, but the dog is useless, since she can't keep up.

I'm not trying to lose weight. But I have had a bit of a "Dad bod" around the middle for a few years that I'm tired of looking at. At the moment, it's about reducing the fat to mustle ratio. So far, over 3 weeks, I've managed to reduce fat percentage by 1%. (I have also lost some weight.) So it seems to be working. I am not yet, however, what you would call "buff".