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May 31, 2012

Culling the Reader Feeds

Whew, I feel like a huge weight has just lifted off my shoulders. 

I just now un-subscribed from my TasteSpotting feed. It's a great recipe site, gathering recipes from all sorts of websites, but it just got to be too much for me to deal with.  The latest stats say it has 690 posts/week and believe me when I say, an extra hundred posts per day to wade through was just too much.

It was twice as worrisome when I also had the foodgawker feed.  According to their latest statistics, they posted 1,563 recipes this last week.  

Both sites were good at finding other recipes sites I subscribed to in my reader, but the problem with the feeds were that most recipes were uninteresting or nothing I cared to save or try (like eel, etc.) Quite a large number were also in other languages and most of the time it wasn't worth the effort to translate them.

I probably have 30-40 recipe site feeds in my reader now; some post every day or multiple times a day,but others publish less frequently. I think I've got plenty for now. I also frequent other sites that have recipes and get several newsletters every day in my email inbox.

Yep, I feel better already.  This will let me devote more time to the dozen Dallas Cowboy website feeds I have.

haimish

haimish haim·ish [hey-mish] adjective Slang
homey; cozy and unpretentious

Yiddish heymish  Middle High German heimisch, Old High German heimisc  literally, pertaining to the home


Wonder if there's a Yiddish word that describes me: homely, crazy and pretentious?

May 29, 2012

Rude Interruptions

For the entire weekend, my cable has been breaking in at least once an hour with emergency test messages.  These tests are usually limited to once/week, along with the weekly Saturday noon test of the emergency broadcast system. (the last time I complained to them was when they preformed the weekly test when the National Weather Service was warning of a possible tornado in the storm that was going on at the same time. After complaining to the cable company, I found out it was the city that used poor judgment in testing the sirens during the storm)

The message shows up only for a few seconds (it's still doing it), but it's done it at the most annoying times.  The final straw was last night when I was watching Pawn Stars and the owner told a customer "I'll give you...." and then came the message.  I didn't miss but ten seconds of that program, but it was a detail I didn't want to miss.

It made me so p.o.'d I went to the CableOne website and left a message and got an email from them an hour or so ago. (at least I got a reply) Here's what they said:

Thank you for submitting your online inquiry. Unfortunately we are unable to discuss your issue via email. Please call us at 806 273 5258 for further assistance with this matter. We look forward to resolving your issue.

I immediately fired back a response:

Well, I don't understand why it can't be discussed via email;  in fact, I don't really care to discuss it at all, I only want it fixed.

I wonder why it couldn't be discussed in an email?  Even if I called them, I figure they would just apologize and tell me it was a glitch and that there was no one on duty due to the holiday weekend.  I guess I was the only one who complained. I certainly don't see how it could be MY fault. Maybe it's the city's fault again and maybe I'm complaining to the wrong people. Regardless, it's darned annoying.

I'm an Advertising Einstein

Although I really don't think it's much to brag about.

Go take the quiz Do You Recognize These Famous Logos? and see how you do.

I'm not sure if my great score is due to a good power of observation or simply from watching too much mind-numbing television.





Edit: I had trouble uploading the graphic of my score and finally got it to go, but now it doesn't show up. Blogger doesn't report any issues, so maybe it's just on my end.

Edit again: Just now noticed that the right-hand column is now under all the posts, so I'm hoping it's on Blogger's end and that it will soon be fixed.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Pre-posting this one seven months before my birthday. I hope I'm not alone when this is posted.

Hard to be romantic when there's no one to be romantic with.


Good grief, I must have been feeling particularly sorry for myself when I scheduled this.



You Are a Romantic







You have the mind of an artist, even if you haven't developed the talent yet.

Expressive and aware, you enjoy finding new ways to share your feelings.

You often feel like you don't fit in - especially in traditional environments.

You have big dreams. The problem is putting those dreams into action.

Your strength: Your vivid imagination

Your weakness: Fear of failure

Your power color: Coral

Your power symbol: Oval

Your power month: November


May 27, 2012

Twilight Zone - Golden Earring

Formed in 1961, Golden Earring has been active for more than 50 years non-stop, which makes Golden Earring the world's longest surviving rock band, formed a year before The Rolling Stones.

May 26, 2012

Reading Speed Test

What speed do you read?

Go to the site, click the button "Start Reading" and start reading. (duh) Comprehension figures in too, so try to absorb what the text says, not just zip through the few paragraphs. (like I am prone to do at times on quizzes and tests)

Here's a screen shot of my results:


As you can see, I read 727 wpm, faster than the average college student, high-level executives and college professors, but a little slower than high-scoring college students. (Since I was barely a college student and most definitely not a high-scoring one, that doesn't bother me.)

Still, my score was much, MUCH slower than 4700 wpm, which is how fast the world speed reading champion reads.

Reading Speed Test

May 19, 2012

They're Expensive Hear

I've been using a cheap set of headphones I bought from WalMart to replace another cheap set I bought from Amazon a few years ago, so I thought I might price them again and see if there was one of decent quality that wouldn't cost too much.

These sound OK, but they just don't have the range I'd like.  For one, the bass  level isn't very good.  I've gone into the equalizer and tried to adjust it, but these phones just won't handle it.  They also don't have the volume I want; they're perfectly fine listening to talk radio or most music, but when I play my AC/DC I want it LOUD, y'know? (what's the use of listening to it if it's not played at the intended sound level, nearly enough to bust your eardrums!)

I have some good quality "bud" type phones that give me the volume and sound that I want, but they're uncomfortable and I read something just the other day that said they can give you an infection that can cost you your hearing.  No thanks, if I lose my hearing I want it to be because I played "It's a Long Way to the Top" at too many decibels, not from some eardrum rot.

So, I went to Amazon and typed in "headphones" into the search box, then selected the highest rating,  4 stars and up. I probably shouldn't, but trust most of the reviews there and haven't been steered wrong...yet.

A list of headphones came up, so I clicked on the first one. At the top of the screen were the words "You purchased this item..." and gave a date from a few years ago. They weren't BAD headphones, but they just didn't tolerate me sitting on them or getting up and trying to walk away with them still on my head. The set still works, but only if I hold one of the wires "just so". I don't know why I keep them, but figure they'll be good for something someday - maybe I can fix them or use the jack for something else.

Yeah, right.

I don't remember what I paid for the original headphones, but they were new.  They're not something I would buy used - the thought of putting something on my ears that have been on someone else's grosses me out.  The new price is really reasonable for an inexpensive set of headphones, but I really don't think I want to pay that much for used ones. (click image for larger view)



May 17, 2012

Nacho Usual Quiz

You Are Nachos


You are outgoing and generous. You love to share your life with other people.

You are carefree and light-hearted. You try to always make the best of things.

While you enjoy being with other people, you also value your alone time.

You like to reflect, think, and pick things apart. You like to study everything carefully.



Again, this quiz is pretty much spot on. OTOH, I probably flatter myself just like it did.  Nachos ARE just about my favorite Mexican(type of) food.  Not a big fan of it, not like most of my friends and family.  I'd rather have a hamburger or Chinese.

Good News!

Only my head is fat.

I was reading a post in my reader - How I Eat - by well-known food author and personality David Lebovitz, and saw a link to the CDC BMI Calculator (BMI - Body Mass Index)

I've figured my BMI before, but it's been a while. I remember doing it about 10 years ago on my mom's computer and getting the results that I was "morbidly obese". Yikes. I was concerned, but my mom reassured me (which mothers do so well) that I wasn't all that fat and that she was sure there were other variables to take into consideration, such as body frame, muscularity, etc. Still, when I have seen BMI calculators since that time, I avoided them.  I didn't need the reminder that I was fat - the little tag on my pants told me I was every time I put them on.

I went ahead and plugged in my height - 5'11" - and weight - 185lbs - and it told me this:

Your BMI is 25.8, indicating your weight is in the Overweight category for adults of your height. For your height, a normal weight range would be from 133 to 179 pounds
.

Overweight? Six lousy pounds and that makes me fat? Good grief, if I was 133 lbs. I'd have to move somewhere there was no wind, far away from the Texas Panhandle.  Remembering what my momma had told me, and hoping for different/better results,  I found another BMI Calculator. It gave me the same number but also added this:

People falling in this BMI range are considered overweight and would benefit from finding healthy ways to lower their weight, such as diet and exercise. Individuals who fall in this range are at increased risk for a variety of illnesses. If your BMI is 27-29.99 your risk of health problems becomes higher. In a recent study an increased rate of blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease was recorded at 27.3 for women and 27.8 for men. It may be a good idea to check your Waist Circumference and compare it with the recommended limits.

So, that's what I did, going to the Body Fat Calculator. As a male, all I had to supply was my waist measurement. Women have to input their wrist, hips and forearm measurements. I'm not sure why that it's so simple for men. I found it odd that women have to input so much more to quantify their body fat, but I went on. I don't think I have any sort of tape other than a retractable one, but I did know my pants size - 32 - so I used that. After hitting the Calculate Body Fat button, I got this:

You have a Body Fat Percentage of 12.55%.

Hmmm...that didn't sound so bad. Maybe not good, but not bad. I remember the chart from using the calculator at mom's that I was something like 30% fat back then.  My pants size back then was larger too, probably a 40. I clicked on the Body Fat Chart and found this:

Body Fat Percentage Categories
Classification    Women (% fat)    Men (% fat)

Essential Fat   10-12%                 2-4%
Athletes          14-20%                 6-13%
Fitness            21-24%                14-17%
Acceptable      25-31%                18-25%
Obese             32%+                   25%+

Wow. I fall within the "Athlete" category, never mind that I'm far from being one these days. I understood the results, though and was pleased that while I'm technically overweight, I'm by no means FAT.

Of course, there's also the need to factor in that there are days I'm a few pounds more than I was today and that on other days I'm a few pounds less. Water weighs 8.3 lbs/gallon and my weight can go up when I'm fully hydrated, down when I need to drink. I drink a lot of water because I know that doing so helps me control my weight and blood sugar.

Yep, water weighs a lot and that's why I shake the heads of broccoli at the grocery store before putting them in the sack. I don't want to pay $1.99/lb. for excess water.

If I was broccoli, I'd cost $368.15. Any bidders? You gotta take the 23 lbs. of fat with me, though.


Edit to add: I bought some broccoli at the store earlier; it was .99 cents/lb. on sale.  I'd be willing to cut MY price by half, too.

May 14, 2012

Testing

This is just a test.  Do not attempt to adjust the dial. 

Just joking...I'll explain later.

I did not know there was a Blogger page to see the most recently updated blogs.
















I made the post, then kept checking.  I wasn't for sure if I'd get an update without clearing my cache, but it turned out I didn't need to do that;  all I did was keep reloading the page.  Hundreds of entries appeared and I had to use the search feature on my browser to find this post.

I found the link while reading about a conservative blog being closed by Blogger. (which is owned by Google) I'm not sure there's a concerted effort by Google to shut down anything conservative (although I DO think they're in bed with this progressive govt.) but rather the blog was probably marked as spam by readers who were offended by the posts on the blog. 

Who knows?  Either way it's a bad thing; if Google IS censoring a conservative viewpoint, then it should alarm everybody, no matter what their political affiliation.  If the shut down is due to reader complaints, it's not any better - I'd hate to have my blog deleted due to something totally out of my control, with absolutely no recourse or having anyone hear my case. (Google offers no "live support" for Blogger)

I've read several articles lately about how it's much better to have your own domain if you want to host your blog.  I've read some say how to get your own space, then use Blogger as your template.  Seems to me as though that would almost be as dependent upon Blogger as having a free blog w/ their service.

I don't know;  I'm not sure if it's worth the yearly cost of hosting or the fee for buying a domain name and the hassle of renewing it.  Still, it's something I'm thinking of checking into but I'm not convinced that with what little I do with this free service that I would suddenly do more with something I've paid for. I don't know enough about anything to make people want to read what I write and I'm sure that even if I did, I couldn't make a living being a professional blogger.

Still, the idea of being at the mercy of Google/Blogger has me a little uneasy. It's given me a lot to think about.

Stay tuned, will let you know.

May 13, 2012

matrilineal

matrilineal \ma-truh-LIN-ee-uhl\ , adjective:
Inheriting or determining descent through the female line.

Appropriate for Mother's Day,huh?

May 11, 2012

Friday Night TV

I can't believe it!  I get several dozen channels but sometimes there's nothing on that I want to watch.  I'll admit that I'm a little picky about my programs - I don't watch Survivor, Dancing With the Stars or anything like those.  I don't care for many of the popular sitcoms, I don't like talk shows or any politically slanted (either way) discussions.  I get my news off the 'net.

That said, this is a fantastic TV night.  Fantastic that there are some great shows on, but it's causing me a problem with trying to see several programs.  Friday night is Supernatural, a show I try to not miss. I watch the reruns that come on early in the morning. The problem is that Whale Wars: Viking Shores is on at the same time. The good thing is that Whale Wars is coming on again later tonight, so I'll watch it then.

On right now is a two hour episode of Deadliest Catch, another show I love.  Since it's an extra-long episode, it will conflict with Supernatural.   Thank goodness it too repeats later. There are also some great movies on tonight,several I've been wanting to see. One is a Mel Gibson flick, Edge of Darkness. I'll have to miss it, but I'm sure it will be on again. I'd also like to watch Avatar all the way through, but it has been on quite a bit here lately, so I bet they'll air it again, probably several times this weekend. Caddyshack, a movie I've seen at least a dozen times, is coming on in a little bit. I wouldn't mind watching it again, but I would rather watch my other shows. If the other shows weren't coming on, I'd be satisfied with watching reruns of other favorites such as King of the Hill, American Dad!, LockupStorage Wars, Frozen Planet, or Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Great TV night!  Gotta go, Supernatural is coming on in 30 minutes!


Edit to add: I just found out that it's "Sweeps Week". No wonder there are so many good programs and movies on.

Foolish Facebook Feuding

I belong to a lot of Facebook groups and fan pages;  ones about TV shows, movies, politicians, celebs and several Amarillo media outlet pages.  With the recent backlash over North Carolina’s marriage vote followed by President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage, the pages have seen activity such as I've not witnessed before since I became active on Facebook.

For the record - I'm not "for" gay marriage...but I'm not against it, either.  It really should be a non-issue, as I take the libertarian stance that govt. has no place in marriage.  I'm on record as saying gay marriage won't be the downfall of this great nation, but the continued loss of our freedoms will be.  The only "problem" I have with same-sex marriage is one of semantics, namely that marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman.  If gays want to "marry", then there should be a different word to describe it, such as "civil union".

That's not the point of this rant, though;  reading through a thousand or more posts from both sides of the issue I've been offended by many of those arguing for and also by many against it.  The anti folks are the most obnoxious - but not by much.  Most use the Bible verses to argue their case and they have a point...but many are not being very compassionate when they state their case.  Personally, I consider myself a Christian, albeit not a very good one, but the judgment isn't mine to pass out.  I can send no one to Heaven, cannot sentence anyone to Hell.  There have been a few against it that have had that compassion, though...voices of reason in an unreasonable crowd.

The pro people are almost as bad, bringing up the argument that the Christians pick and choose what they want to follow from Biblical teaching.  They're right, but they are so full of rage it's hard to give sympathy to their views.  The hatred between the two groups is frightening.  I almost feel as though I'm caught in the crossfire.

What annoys me the most is the President's change of heart over the issue.  He's been on record as being against it, but just as soon as N. Carolina passes the ban, he changed his mind.  He may have agonized over it, who knows?  I'm not against his new-found stance, but I think he has seen a poll or study that showed he was losing the (for example) 18-24 vote and needed to sway them back into the fold.  I don't need to see statistics to know that it's the older generation that holds the anti viewpoint and that the younger generations have little or no problem with gay marriage.  I think the President is doing what he does best and that's being a consummate politician. (and that's what I hate the most about politicians, especially the ones that are good at being one)

What's also troublesome is that there are many other issues for the President with which he should concern himself;  our dwindling civil rights and vanishing privacy, several wars, the economy and many others.   We have our service people dying and the drums of war are beating even louder...people are out of work and we're putting ourselves into debt that our children's children's children won't even begin to pay off...and Big Brother is here, Orwell's 1984 a few years late here in 2012.  I may seem callous, but same sex marriage should be far down the list of his concerns.   Something that affects perhaps 3-4% of the population shouldn't take precedent over the things that affect us all.

Anyway...I shouldn't sit on the fence about this.  If it were up to me, I'd let gays legally join together using any word to describe it but "marriage".  I'm still against the govt. being involved with whatever one wants to call it, though, but since it is, then allow any two people a license.  Let the churches decide if they want to perform a ceremony.

Sure, let them legally join together.  Let them have the same tax and other advantages that heterosexual couples have. As some comic once said, they deserve the right to be as miserable as the rest of us.

May 8, 2012

In My Case

4 sides equals square.


Your Four Sided Personality is UDCG



Side 1 of your personality is unassured. You don't like to mention your accomplishments, and you prefer to let others talk.

Side 2 of your personality is devious. You are calculating and enjoy being a little wily.

Side 3 of your personality is cool-headed. You aren't swayed by emotional appeals.

Side 4 of your personality is gregarious. You love to meet and converse with all sorts of people. 

pother

pother \POTH-er\

noun:
1. A heated discussion, debate, or argument; fuss; to-do.
2. Commotion; uproar.
3. A choking or suffocating cloud, as of smoke or dust.

verb:
1. To worry; bother.


So, if a bunch of barbers got into a fight, it would be a...

Hairy Pother

May 4, 2012

A Picnic Every Day

I used to roughneck for a man named Delmer Miller; he was quite a colorful character and had part of his nose missing from a long-ago fight. He was rough-edged, but had a great sense of humor. (and could also be petulant and childish, as you'll see) I was single when I worked for him and like most bachelors, my lunch box didn't hold a decent meal - or the love - that most married men's lunch boxes had in them. I often went out to work with not much to eat, sometimes just a few packages of cheese crackers and a couple of pieces of fruit.

After missing many meals because I would sleep right up until the time to go to work, I got in the habit of making a couple of sandwiches when I got home, then putting them in the fridge. I also bought some small Tupperware containers from my sister and filled them with slices of tomato and lettuce so they wouldn't make my bread soggy until I was ready to eat my sandwiches. I also learned to use mustard on my sandwiches because on hot summer nights mayo or salad dressing would spoil before it was time to eat.

Sometimes while eating our lunch - when we had time to eat it* - Delmer would quip "Ain't this great? A picnic every day!"

It was funny the first few times we heard it, but...

*(I used to work for an old man and we once had some down-hole trouble on the rig and for several nights we didn't even have time to eat our lunch.  One of the other roughnecks was bitching about it on the ride home and the old man told him "Hell, boy...I give you two chances to eat every day!"  "I'd like to know when THAT is!" sniffed my co-worker. "Well..." dryly replied the old driller, "Once on the way out to the rig and the other on the way back.")

Delmer had a wife who absolutely doted on him and once when I brought out some stroganoff my mom had given me when I ate supper with them, told his wife that he too wanted something else besides sandwiches in his lunch box. That day, while Delmer was asleep, she cooked a big batch of stew and sent some out in a wide-mouth thermos.  She had also baked some cornbread and had included a couple of big slices of that, too. He ate every bite and when he got in that morning, gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her it was great.

The next night he opened up his lunch box and found another thermos full of the stew. (like I said, she had made a big batch of it) He complained about it, but still ate it.  The next night he opened up his lunch, muttering that there had better not be any more stew, but when he opened up the thermos...yep, more stew.

In a fit, he poured out the thermos into the lunch box, crumbled up the cornbread and stirred it all up with a spoon, then closed the lid, lit a cigarette and got a cup of coffee.   He was in a bad mood the rest of the shift and we tried our best to stay away from him.

I knew there would be fireworks when he got home and confronted his wife and I knew I really shouldn't, but I followed him inside before getting in my own vehicle and going home.  She greeted me and tried to kiss Delmer, but he shrugged her off and plopped the lunch box down on the table.  She asked what was wrong and he said he was hungry and angry that she had put "the same damn thing" in his lunch again.  She opened up the lunch box and even though her eyes narrowed in anger, she didn't say anything about the mess inside the box but asked "Well, what DO you want in your lunch?"

"I don't care." Delmer said. "Just sumpthin' different."

That night when we all sat down to eat, Delmer was telling the rest of the guys, also bachelors like me, how he had "handled his old lady" and that we should take lessons.  "You'd better believe there's sumpthin' different in here tonight!" he bragged.

There was.  It was a coconut and a hammer.

May 1, 2012

Russian Through My Vacation

Moscow?  Really?



Your Summer Vacation is Moscow

You are vivacious and high-spirited. You take a breezy approach to living your life.

You take life by the horns and are big on taking a chance. You aren't going to sit at home bored!

You are a truly extroverted person. People matter to you, and you get so energized from socializing.

You are downright amusing. Your odd sense of humor gets people laughing.


I've been to the Moscow in Kansas and I never want to go back. We played a football game there when I was a junior in h.s. and there was freezing drizzle all through the game. We had them down 20-0 at the half. Kansas football had a rule that if there was bad weather or one team was handily beating the other and both teams agreed, the game could be stopped at halftime. When our coach came into the locker room after talking with the Moscow coach and told us we had to keep playing, I quickly changed my soggy socks for my dry "street" socks. They became soaked in a matter of seconds and I went home with no socks, chilled to the bone and shivering on our old, cold ancient bus. I've been miserable since then, but that's in the top five of all-time misery.

Here's one of the best Beatles songs, IMHO. The best one with the song and footage of the group in Russia had the embed code disabled.