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August 31, 2012

Bad Broccoli Blunder

I'm sitting here, just having finished my supper and I'm still hungry.  Why?

Well, I first steamed some broccoli, then cooked a hamburger patty. (hey,that's a pretty good meal for this old bachelor!)  I was ready to plate (paper) it all up and took the insert with the vegetable out of my microwave steamer...and immediately dropped it and the contents.  If it had been raw, I would have just washed it off, but as it was cooked and soft...and most of it went into the full-of-water dishpan anyway. 

I had about three little florets of my veggie left that had stuck to the ribbed insert, so that's all I had to eat along with my burger.  I did have a piece of double-fiber bread to go along with it, but I didn't eat nearly enough to fill me up.

Oh well, it wouldn't hurt me to eat less, even skip a few meals.

I didn't used to be so clumsy. -sigh-

August 27, 2012

I Always Thought

I was more of a middle finger kinda guy, but...

You Are a Thumbs Up
You have an upbeat and positive attitude.

You really see the beauty in life.

You'll say yes to any opportunity that seems even slightly interesting.

You are in love with the world, and you really savor an adventure.

You inspire others to be more fun loving.

Your happiness is unstoppable.

Weather Around My World

Almost since I first got on the 'net, I've used the Excite TV listings to see what's on the tube.  I prefer it over any other similar sites because it allows me to favorite the programs I like and they show up in red. 

Other types of programs are also color-coded which makes it easy to see movies, sports, etc.  at a glance and when they're airing.

I used to have Excite as my start page; they were ahead of their time because the page allowed one to customize with various modules - local weather, the TV listings, reminders, news, famous birthdays, word of the day and many others.  (now most sites allow that, such as Yahoo, MSN, etc.) They also offered up registered users with their own web space...many other sites have done that, too, but Excite was a little more advanced than most of the others, letting the owner use Java and javascript and also had a "file cabinet", a directory much like a "real" website.

The site has changed a lot since that time, though, changing hands and streamlining their offered content.  I don't use anything other than the TV listings now, not even their free email service and seldom look at the home page.  I had cleaned out my browser cookies and cache last night and when I do that, I have to sign into the site again to have my favorite shows highlighted.  I have to go to the home page to do that and after putting in my user name and password, noticed my weather module and decided to edit it.

What's neat about that Excite module is one can not only include their own local weather, but several other locations as well.  I've always used my own, but also some of the places where my family and online friends live.  I added a new location this morning - that way I can keep up with the weather of those I care about.

It might seem silly to some, but it makes me feel closer to them. I can usually claim bragging rights to the worst - hot/cold - weather, though.

August 25, 2012

If I Had The Time - Uriah Heep

NOTE:  Noticed the original video had been taken down.

Live at London Shepherd's Bush Empire November 6, 2004

This song takes me back to when I was first getting out on my own, my time at college and living away from home.  Loved to listen to this through headphones because the music was so beautiful, the lyrics simple yet profound. 

If I had the time,
To re-live my life
I don't think I'd care,
To change a thing
As long as I find,
Just a little peace of mind
I can dream and laugh and I can sing

Ugly Nipples

Popped in to see if the blog was still here and noticed this search from our Feedjit counter:

We've had some search hits on odd subjects before, but I don't recall any for "ugly nipples". Clicking on the link in the Feedjit page takes it directly to here, but I'd like to see how far up the search listings ToTG is for "ugly nipples".

Then again, maybe not.

This isn't my photo, but I found it on the 'net to illustrate the only "ugly nipple" that would ever be posted in here.

Now THAT'S an ugly nipple; looks like it's cross-threaded and just about to rust out.

Should have used some silicone on those nipples.

August 22, 2012


I got an email from Amazon earlier; once you look at something and are signed up for their email alerts, they practically bombard you with suggestions of that item. I've received at least one mailing a week since I looked at cell phones.

A few weeks ago I was checking into the price of peanut oil, having heard of its high smoke point and health benefits. As I often do on Amazon, I then went on to look at other related items, mostly outdoor deep fryers.

After looking at a few of the suggestions on Amazon, I started wondering if peanut oil can be reused. Before we were married, my ex managed a seafood restaurant that had daily specials on many menu items with both fried catfish and shrimp being the most popular. After a few days of use, they "rejuvenated" their oil with a nifty filter machine; you drained the oil into the machine, then it was filtered and pumped back into the deep fryer.

As I was typing in "reusing cooking oil" into Google, the auto-complete gave me suggestions. I've seen quite a few humorous screen shots of those in various websites, some laugh-out-loud funny and others making me shake my head. This time was a little bit of both.

I know about reusing things - mostly because I try to make it a habit, both from an ecological standpoint but also from an economic one. I've read about some of the suggestions Google was giving me; from my homesteading and survival Facebook groups, I've seen quite a few ways to reuse old wood pallets, from making furniture to filling them full of potting soil and making small herb gardens. One of the best uses I've seen for them was sinking them in a pond for what I call "minnow motels" - minnows lay their eggs on the underside of wood and the relatively small openings in the pallet keeps the larger predator fish out.

I've also seen a bunch of different ways to reuse plastic bottles;  just the other day I saw a photo of a raft someone had built out of 2L bottles.  Not sure if I would want to cross the ocean on one, but....  I have been known to reuse a tea bag, but it's certainly a weaker "cuppa" the second time.  I've read that earthworms love old tea bags and they also degrade well in compost heaps.  I've also read that they're good to mulch into the soil under acid-loving plants such as blueberry bushes.

I also belong to a canning group on Facebook and the general consensus there and elsewhere is that one should NOT reuse canning lids.  The rings, yes, but new lids should be used.

It was the third entry in the auto-complete form that really threw me for a loop.  I'm sure that, if refrigerated, it would last for a day or two, but how the heck can you reuse it?

August 20, 2012

Only When Food is Involved

Do I have a big mouth.

You Don't Have a Big Mouth
In fact, you like to keep your life very private.

You figure that your personal life is no one's business.

And if people try to pry, they'll end up unsuccessful.

You're a big mystery to people - and that's fine by you! 

The Letter - The Box Tops

I don't normally post so many videos in a row, but I needed to send a message to *someone* and thought this old tune was the most appropriate.

August 19, 2012

Are You - Bob Seger

Every now and then a song comes along that makes a profound impression upon me.  To me, the lyrics of "Are You" speak about our society's out-of-control commercialism and how we value "things" over everything else.  I also think it makes a subtle mention of how our government lies to us.

From the 2006 album "Face the Promise":

Most of what we want is just illusion
Most of what we buy won't change a thing
Most of what we're told is misdirection
Offered up to ease our suffering

August 17, 2012

Bite Me!

At first it started buzzing around my head, but I was engrossed in something on the 'net so I just waved my hand and shooed it away.  When it started flying close to my eyes, I stopped what I was doing, picked up a flyswatter and waited for it to land so I could get my revenge.  It landed my my bare thigh and I saw it wasn't a fly, but a huge mosquito.

When I raised the swatter to whack it, it flew off.  I still wanted to kill it, especially with the recent West Nile cases in Texas.  I waited for the mosquito to land again and it did, very near to where it had landed before on my leg.  I slowly raised the swatter but it took off again.  It didn't fly but a few inches when it landed again on my leg.  I lowered the swatter and watched.

It kept taking off and landing, looking as though it was testing the best place to stick me.  It tried at least a dozen times until I finally swatted it with the flat of my hand.  It was just a smashed piece of flesh on my palm, but there was no blood in it, so I must have not been bitten. 

I got to thinking that it was the first mosquito I had seen this year and then started remembering all the times over the last few years when I was with people who complained of being bitten but I never was bothered. I recalled a time when I stopped by the side of the road to take a photo of a horse in a nearby pasture.  To get to the fence, I had to go through a damp ditch with knee high grass and swarms of mosquitoes making a cloud around me...but not being bitten. (I was more concerned with a rattlesnake in the high grass, to be honest)

I haven't been bitten by a mosquito in years and years and I don't think it's a coincidence that the last time I suffered mosquito bites was before I developed diabetes.  A quick Google search shows plenty of folks with diabetes complaining they are bitten more than their non-diabetic friends, so that's probably not it.  Still, there's got to be some reason.

Maybe I'm TOO sweet for the skeeters, both literally and figuratively.   Nah, that can't be it.  The mosquitoes probably avoid me because of my sour disposition.

Clip art courtesy of DailyClipArt.net

August 14, 2012

Hitchcock Cameos

A compilation of (most of) Alfred Hitchcock's cameo appearances.

The music gets a little tiring after a couple of minutes, but there's always the mute button.

Hank Skinner on Death Row

44 1/2 minutes long, but well worth watching. I've often wondered what it would be like to be on Death Row and Skinner gives a cursory glimpse of that existence. As the video went on, I found myself in the place of the condemned being driven to the death house, looking out the window along the drive and seeing the beauty...and the ugliest...all the while knowing it was the last landscapes I would ever see.

The video is completely one-sided, the maker of the video making no bones about being against the death penalty. It doesn't paint Pampa in a particularly good light, especially in the scenes where it shows only the worst and ugliest parts of this small town.

I didn't realize it until I watched the video that I used to roughneck with a guy who had, several years prior, lived at the house where the murders were committed; I had driven by there doing some research for the book I had intended to write, but didn't recognize it as the place where my co-worker had lived, that I had been inside the house and visited with him and his family.  I don't know why I didn't remember that when I was researching the book.

The windbreaker Skinner speaks about being tested has been misplaced: Evidence Missing in Skinner Case.

Personally, I've gone back and forth on Skinner's innocence; at first, I thought he didn't do it, then was convinced he had. Now, I'm not so sure.  The uncle that Skinner claims to have done it died in a car wreck several years later after the murders and another witness* has also passed away.  I've interviewed Skinner's ex-girlfriend (whose house he was found at after the murders) and I understand why her recanting her trial testimony has been discounted:  she's not a credible witness.

*Witness, in this case, doesn't mean "to the crime" but rather a person with "evidence" offered to prove Skinner's innocence.  In this instance, it was someone in jail who claimed to have called the house just before the murders and being told by one of the victims that Skinner was passed out on the couch.

It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.  As it is, it's a landmark case in how DNA evidence will be treated in future trials and subsequent appeals.

August 10, 2012

Money Can't Buy Love

So they say, but it CAN rent it for a while

You Would Choose Love
Money may buy a little happiness, but not the happiness of true love.

You rather have a true soulmate than a private jet.

And while many people may claim they would choose love too...

You're one of the few who would really do it.

Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles

The Scot Version of Jerry Springer

August 8, 2012

This Could Be Me

Except I rarely drink and can't sing a lick. When I do sing, my cat runs from the room

For some reason, the original video was taken down. I think I might have linked to a video that someone copied and it was taken down because of copyright issues. I did manage to find this one, hope it works for a little longer than the first one.

Excited Train Guy

This reminds me of a British guy that used to come into a friend's group chat room when I was involved in MSN Groups. The first time he entered the room, the friend PM'd me and warned me to not ask him about trains. I told her I liked trains too and she replied "Not like he does! Fair warning!"

A few days later it was just we two in the room and I made the mistake I was warned against making. "Heard you liked trains!" I was then treated to a rundown on every train he had seen in the last month. I finally had to beg off and tell him I had to go...I forget what it was I lied about, might have told him my house was on fire. I bet that guy sounded just like this one, only with a British accent. Anyway, this is funny.

August 6, 2012

Free Printable Recipe Cards

From the website:

If you love collecting recipes, you will flip over our free printable recipe cards.

We have several fun styles for you to choose from, in a variety of colors.

Plus, there is an adorable angel shopping list. Hopefully she will help you remember to get everything on your list.

You can save them in a recipe box for many years, especially if you print them out on card stock or thicker paper.

You can use these handy cards for a many things -

Write down any of the recipes on this site that you want to keep. All of the recipes available on this site are free for you to use. (Of course you can print them as well.)

You can use them to collect recipes from friends and family.

You can send others your favorite recipes on these adorable recipe cards.

Develop your own favorite recipes and keep track of them in a special recipe box using these cards.

Use them as handy reminder notes and attach them to the fridge with magnets.

The list goes on and on.

Download as many as you want.

August 5, 2012

Close Encounter For the Third Time

Close Encounters of the Third Kind was on earlier, so that accounts for the "alien" theme today.  It's one of my favorite movies, plus I was annoyed at some political posts I read on Facebook. Some people's thought processes truly are alien.

I kinda get carried away with something at times. I think I'll get off the 'net for a while, because my very favorite sci-fi movie is on now: Blade Runner. While I am sometimes prone to argue over politics, I think arguing about movies is silly. The only thing I'd want to discuss about Blade Runner is if you think Deckard is a Replicant or not.

First Contact

An alien landed on Earth and the first person he met was a tall, good looking woman. Awed by her beauty, he finally managed to speak:

"Take me to a ladder lady, I'll meet your leader later."

Government Explained

An inquisitive alien visits the planet to check on our progress as a species, and gets into a conversation with the first person he meets. The alien discovers that we live under the rule of a thing called "government", and wants to understand more about what "government" is, what it does, and why it exists.

If you don't want to sit through the entire 9 1/2 minutes of the video, then you can read the transcript.


From the Word of the Day:

billet-doux (bɪlɪˈduː, French bijɛdu)

— n , pl billets-doux old-fashioned , jocular or a love letter

[ from French, literally: a sweet letter, from billet + doux sweet, from Latin dulcis ]

I'd be afraid to ask a woman if she'd like a billet-doux; unless she was French, she'd probably slap me.  OTOH, if she was French, she might slap me anyway.

I Side With

I saw a link to ISideWith.com on Facebook earlier and decided to take their test. Most of the regular readers of this blog (all six of you) already know I am a Ron Paul supporter, but I wanted to see if this survey would validate my choice.

It did.

I try to not get too involved in politics here;  I don't care to debate them and have always wanted my blog to be light hearted and educational if possible. Still, this was an interesting thing to do.

Click graphic for larger view.

I was a little surprised that it was "only" 93%, but that might have been due to a few of my choices where I put I didn't think the federal govt. should be involved, whereas Paul's stance would have been leave it up to the states. A minor difference to me, but perhaps not to him. Another difference was that maybe I didn't attach enough significance to certain issues, such as gay marriage or attaching the most as I did with gun control.   I expect that if I waited a while and took the test again, the numbers might skew a few points one way or the other.  That doesn't mean I'm wishy-washy, just that I might feel a little stronger towards some issues after a while and deeper reflection and less so on others afterwards.

I think the most pressing concern to us is economics;  none of the rest of the issues will matter if we don't get our debt under control and unemployment down to a minimum.   I'm also for change in regards to our immigration policy and that of the war on drugs because our current policies aren't working. 

I was a little surprised that it showed me to have that much in common with the Republican party.  The way they've treated Ron Paul and we libertarian-minded conservatives has driven many of us away from the GOP.   I think both they and the Democrats have morphed into two sides of the same coin - a plugged nickel.

I think my libertarian viewpoints mirror my Texas upbringing, namely that it's an innate thing for most Texans to want to mind our own business, to allow others to do as they like just as long as it doesn't affect us in a dangerous  or overly annoying manner.

Edit to add: While watching the live NASA feed of the control room monitoring the Curiosity as it touched down on Mars, it dawned on me one of the reasons that I didn't mesh up with Ron Paul more than I did; I am in favor of govt. funding for space exploration, at least I have been. I doubt we would have already landed on the moon if it were not for the massive funding of the space program. However, it looks like private space projects are now in the works..

I'd also like to clarify that I do not belong to the Libertarian Party. I agree with most of their platform, but not all. I consider myself a "small L" libertarian.

August 4, 2012

August 2, 2012

Many Mules

(Click photo for larger view)

There were several others, I just couldn't get them all in the shot.

Taken Sept 07 at the horse lots, just west of the Pampa city limits.
Originally posted September 12, 2008.

UPDATE: I had forgotten this post and photo; I really need to get back out there to check on "my" mules.  I got to "know" these mules fairly well in the half-dozen or so times I was out there then.

The two smaller mules on the left have been photographed and been the subjects of several other posts in this blog.  They are a pair of females that pulled a wagon and sometimes could be seen in parades here in town.  They always were together and when one moved, so did the other.  They weren't as tame as some of the others, but would come up to me and let me feed them unsaleable apples or vegetables I had convinced the produce mgr. of a local grocery to give me. The way they moved and always in the same order convinced me that must be the exact same way they were harnessed to the wagon.  I called them "Sally" and "Sadie", seemed appropriate.

The next mule was always a little standoffish and didn't like taking the fruit out of my hand but would eat it if I pitched it over to him.  He, like the two mentioned above, didn't like me touching them. I named him "Shiloh". (shortened to "Shy")

The brown mule wasn't affectionate, but he would eat the produce out of my hand.  Most mules looked sad, but he especially did.  He also had the largest ears of any creature I've ever seen in person.   He looked like a "Luke" to me.

The big mule on the right was my favorite;  the owners had told me what her name was (which I forgot), but I called her "Molly". I don't know why I named her that, I've only known one Molly in my entire life and she wasn't mule-faced or particularly stubborn.  She was a sweet old thing (the mule, not the girl I knew named Molly), enjoyed the treats I'd bring her and liked being patted on the jaw or neck.  To be honest, I don't know if she liked the affection or just suffered my pats because of the attention I gave her. 

I felt sorry for all of them and for almost all the rest of the animals out there.  These mules aren't neglected as were many of the other animals, the other mules, the pigs, goats and horses.  These were fed well enough it looked, but I always shuddered at the condition of the pens.  The owners did a fair job of keeping the waste shoveled out, but I still thought it not healthy for them to have to stand on damp ground. 

I love dogs and would like to have one, especially a large one, but town is no place for a larger breed.  They need room to run and I'd think a mule would be the same.  I don't know how intelligent a mule is, but I'd think they're smart enough to need some mental stimulation and enough acreage to roam.  They definitely need some grass to graze.

I know I've bored people with my dreams of winning the lottery and what I might buy with the money, but if/when I ever did win and got a small ranch, these mules would be the first thing I'd try to buy.  I don't know why I got so attached to them, but I do know one of the reasons I quit going out there and "visiting" with them...I felt so sorry for them.  Like I said, they're not being mistreated, but they certainly deserve a better life than to be cooped up in a small pen like that.

August 1, 2012

Window Pain

I'm Pure As The Driven Slush

You Are 24% Pure

You've either done it, thought about it, or at least heard about it.

You approach most things with an open mind and a sense of adventure.

Luckily, there's a few things left for you to try!

The bad news is that most of them involve farm animals and clowns.