Brushing your teeth

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

I always thought you were suppose to brush your teeth AFTER breakfast. NAY NAY say the dental wizards. Brush right when you get up… BEFORE breakfast.

  1. The goal is not to clear you teeth of food debris, it’s to rid the mouth of plaque. Nighttime is the perfect plaque environment (less saliva, less swallowing, little tongue movement) so any plaque anchors in your teeth have a field day during those unconscious hours.
  2. Brushing your teeth after you eat acidic foods results in FASTER food decay. Reminder: coffee = acidic. The acidic foods soften your enamel, so if you brush after acidic foods you could inadvertently damage your teeth.
  3. As an added bonus, Brushing spurs saliva production, which aids in digestion so by brushing first, the consumption of your breakfast will be more productive/efficient.


I wonder what other normal lifetime activities I inherently misunderstand.

Food shortages and surpluses

Photo by Mike Haupt

Meat plants a closin’, produce farmers at risk, dairy farmers dumping eggs & milk – what in the pandemic is going on?

I was curious how today’s experiences might relate to the food shortages of WW2. I remember learning about the butter shortage back then that related to the war needs for lubrication oils, but I didn’t know much other than that.

Through an exceedingly brief search of the internet, here’s a collection of some fun facts I learned. I have no education on this matter other than this brief search so if someone can contribute meaningful science/history, I’m all ears.

What we know is true: there are two kinds of shortages:

  1. Those that relate to heightened demand
  2. Those that relate to restricted supply

Back in WW2 they were dealing with both. As noted above, demand for fats like butter were high because the war machine needed lubrication for weapons and vehicles. There were supply issues in WW2 as well. Another contributing factor to the butter/oils shortage was that many of the raw materials for these products originated from countries with whom we were at war.

A non surprising fact is that the shortage spread. According to the book “The Army and Economic Mobilization” by Elberton Smith “the Army found itself presented with applications more and more removed from its direct interests.”

I like a phrase that was referenced in this book: “shortage of capacity.” This included not just the ability to find enough raw materials to make the stuff you want, but also the challenge of logistics. I like this because it seems to nicely describe our current supply network problems. By being optimized for a narrow market, production facilities falter when there’s a hiccup. Dairy farms are dumping milk because they don’t have any means of transitioning from industry milk to consumer milk. Toilet paper is plentiful for business supply – but not for consumer use. These logistical issues on top of the dramatic demand increases for PPE, glass for medical vials, that weird south American tree bark for vaccine research, and the fact that hording will likely grow at both the local and national levels suggest to me that things are gonna get weird.

And not the good weird.


Aching for the outside

We’re about 40 days into the pandemic Quarantine. It’s a uniquely fascinating time to experience, though admittedly a little scary. We DiDonatos are lucky enough that we have a comfortable place to live in, jobs, a swing set for the little ones, and a netflix subscription.

Our biggest challenges are temporal in nature. Anyone who is taking care of kids right now are feeling the amplification of time. No longer are there plans or activities… just minutes to consume.

Beyond that, our burden is the annoyance associated with a lack of eggs. Oh how convenient it would be to have chickens… it’s times like these that rekindle those dreams of off-grid farmesque living.

Things that keep me up at night:

  1. Maintaining positive cash flow
  2. The abnormal consumption of raw materials and the looming inflation
  3. The tenuous societal balance that seems to be maintaining our social cohesion

New Stuff.

Johnny enjoying gravity

We did it! The website is fixed… almost. I’ve got the basics up and running, even if there’s some formatting and back end clean up still necessary. Overall, it’s good enough to move forward, so let’s go with it.

For now I’ve decided on three segments. Up top we will have the three most recent blog posts. I’m not going to even pretend that this will be updated daily. But maybe one a week or every other week. Something along those lines.

Next, we will have a monthly photo, likely family related. We’ve got two kids now, Johnny and Ava. I don’t doubt there will be plenty of pictures to keep this area active.

Lastly, I recently got into chess. So I’m playing around with a third segment exclusively about my chess adventures. If you don’t know how to play, or if you’re interested in learning, I intend to walk through my process. Maybe you can tag along! It’s madly fun.

Please feel free to share your thoughts or critiques about the new website design. I’m still educating myself on CSS so I appreciate your patience as this place gets cleaner.