Sam Bauman: Big MAC welcomed to Carson City



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I skipped the ribbon-cutting for the opening of the multi-purpose athletic center last week. I figured that since I have lived with it from 100 yards away from the uprooting of the first sagebrush plant to the turning on the indoor lights I have spent the MAC’s lifetime watching it go up.

I’ve seen the covering up of the path from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada building, which means that unless some alternate route is devised I won’t be able to enjoy watching the kids dash to the big open field to the south. It has been great fun to watch the kids lightly supervised do somersaults and cartwheels, play group tag and generally being kids.

Looking back, I remember when I was serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission there was talk of a smaller “Little MAC,’ but we never got anything done. My congratulations to the Commission, you did it.

Grand as MAC is, I suspect I won’t be trotting its walking-jogging track. My apartment is furnished with an exercise room with treadmill, stationary bike and stair steppers. And if I’m in the mood, an always open hot tub one floor down.

Well, you spend $8.3 million and MAC is what you get. It looks like a real bargain for all of us, go check it out.

Food Poisoning risks

The holiday season my be waning, but there always seem to be tempting leftovers from big dinners. The Mayo Clinic Health Letter reports an estimated one in six Americans suffer food poisoning annually. This can happen at any place in the food chain — growing, shipping, picking, processing, storing. Basic precautions can reduce the risk.

Here are some Mayo Clinic Health Letter safety habits that can prevent food poisoning at home:

Wash hands well with warm water before and after handling or preparing food. Use hot, soapy water to clean utensils, cutting boards and other surfaces you touch. Plastic cutting boards are often contaminated but look clean.

Wash fruits and vegetables that can’t be peeled and are consumed raw, such as berries and leafy greens.

Keep raw meat, fish and shellfish away from other foods at all times. Same for their juices. Make sure that juices don’t come in contact with fully cooked meat or other foods.

Use a meat thermometer to assure that ground beef is cooked to 160 degrees; and steaks, roasts and chops hit the 145-degree mark at least. Cook poultry to 165 degrees and make sure that fish and shellfish are well cooked (hard to measure them).

Avoid having perishable foods at room temperature for more than two hours.

Thaw food in the fridge; if you thaw by microwave or immerse in water be sure to cook it at once.

Use cooked leftovers within four days or freeze for longer storage. Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees. Reheat sauces, soups and gravies to boiling.

If you’re not sure a food has been prepared, served or stored safely, dump it. Don’t taste food that you’re not sure about.

I should have dug this out before the holidays but it’s always good advice.

Layer up!

Seniors may hate the bother of dressing for winter chill, but they can do it right by using the layering idea. When hitting the snow use layers of outerwear. That way you can peel off an unneeded outer layer when it warms up. Go from thick to thin and keep track of where you peeled something off.

Senior skiers may have forgotten that before putting on heavy ski boots you need to wear thinner socks. The old days of heavy knits are out; they made it hard to get the boot on and often cramped the foot. I try to use medium thin and slide my foot around when I’m buckled up.

If you haven’t hit the slopes as yet, be sure to wax or have waxed your skis or boards. Makes turning easier. And don’t forget to set your binding release level again if you backed it off last spring.

Incidentally, I’ve found that the easiest way to put on boots is from a folded chair by the rear of the car. I usually just leave the chair sitting there when I’m on the hill. Once in while I’ll find someone using to put on boots. I’m happy to share.

Personal note: Many thanks to readers and neighbors who dropped off cards of snack over the holidays. Enjoyed the cards although I don’t send any, and snacked on the candies.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.


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