This And That (153)

I like to daydream a lot and one of the things I daydream about is “How To Make Money.” Right now, at this stage of life, I definitely do not need any more money but I still like to investigate or think about what I think are clever ways to make money. I guess this hobby of mine is one of the reasons that I no longer need any more money.

One of the ideas that struck me this very morning is “How To Make Money Renting Goats.”

Goat, Grass, Livestock, Grazing, Animal, Horns

Why would anybody want to rent a goat?

Well, for one thing … goats can be used to mow grass and to keep weeds in check.

That’s right, goats are Nature’s lawn mowers and it strikes me that there are some large businesses somewhere who have a lot of land to tend to who would pay a premium to rent a goat or a bunch of goats to keep the grass and the weeds down on their properties.

We have a large Native American mound in the area where I live and a few years ago the town council rented some Llamas to do the same thing for the mound.

So, for those with capital and land and facilities to house animals, the Goat Renting business might be just the thing to supplement income.

STAND AND DELIVER

You really do need to go to the amazing blog by Cathy Cade and read this inspiring, thought-provoking and refreshing poem. —–https://cathy-cade.com/2021/05/11/stand-and-deliver/

I FINALLY GOT NETFLIX

Needing a dependable movie source, I finally subscribed to “Netflix.” There is some really great stuff on Netflix and it is not expensive and the picture and audio quality are superb …. I use it on my computer ….but there are some surprisingly “Adult” concepts in some of their offerings as well. I have watched a few things on there that have brought blushes of surprise to my face for their absolutely fastidious attention to some of the strangest details of human life that I have ever seen portrayed on media of any kind. I would say that some of it is not for the faint of heart. I guess that is one of the reasons they give you the option of using their parental controls.

BOOK REVIEW

I was thinking about doing a book review here and it occurred to me that I do not do much reading …. and I tend to avoid reading books as much as possible. Why? Because when I was very young and when I was in school and then in college and then in Business, I exhausted libraries of books. It is like eating too much of a favorite food … you eat enough of it, you get to the point where you can’t stand the taste or the sight of it.

I guess that is what happened with me and books.

But if I was going to write a book review, I would probably cheat. I would probably read the synoptic material on the book cover and distill it into as few words as I thought possible to get the overall flavor of the book across. That is what I did in school and I got away with it rather nicely. I even garnered Eight different certificates of achievement in English Literature. However, like Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus, I never used any of those acquired skills and entered the cut-throat world of Business.

If my fortune depended on what I read in books, I would condense the responsible tomes down to a very few. Among the very few would be “Think and Grow Rich”, and “How To Swim With Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” The lessons I learned from the latter of these two choices was “How To Become An Effective Shark” — a lesson that I learned very well and profited from very handsomely, thank you.

EIGHT TRUTHS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

I was reading this article today and it struck a powerful note with me. There is so much truth in it.
https://cristianmihai.net/2019/02/09/eight-undeniable-truths-that-are-going-to-change-your-life/

I was so thrilled to find out that I had gotten 23 “Likes” on an article that I had written here on the blog that I have decided to feature things from fellow bloggers from time to time that I find intriguing. There are so many wonderful folks out there writing blogs that are filled with helpful and inspiring things …I would say that the products of their efforts amount to at least a college level course in almost everything anyone would ever want to know … and I am going to take far better advantage of what they have to offer than I have in the past.

MAPLE TREE PROBLEMS

It is hard to conceive of the mess that those little whirligigs from maple trees can make in the guttering and downspouting of a home. This is the 50th year we have had to climb a ladder to hand pick this mess out of our guttering and you can bet that tree will not live to see another season!

Maple Fruit, Maple, Tree, Green, Norway Maple
THIS IS THE LAST YEAR I CONTENDED WITH THESE THINGS.

WORDPRESS.ORG OR WORDPRESS.COM?

I have been thinking, “I wonder if I should get onto a Host Platform such as Bluehost and go over onto WordPress.Org? Right now I am on WordPress.Com and have been here for quite awhile. I am still reading about the differences between the two platforms. The question is, “Is there more traffic on one platform or the other? The other question would be, “Are there any advantages to switching to what some people call “The Real WordPress” and abandoning WordPress.Com altogether. Have any of the rest of you ever wrestled with this question?.

This And That (152)

My favorite snack —– I have never picked a favorite snack because I like a lot of things. I would say that popcorn and potato chips are pretty high on the list as is ice cream. But I also like salty snacks that come in bags from the grocery store — things like crunchy cheesy things made from cornmeal and cheese …. I do have a certain affinity for Hershey’s milk chocolate nuggets — and, of all things, candy corn. It is hard to make a decision about a favorite snack when you tend to like so many different things.

Have you ever camped in Berwick upon Tweed? I haven’t!

It appears that the KFC chain has introduced something in Great Britain (England) called “The Gravy Burger.” It is said to be a hamburger with gravy on it and one of their iconic crispy hash brown potato patties on top. That is something I would dearly love to try …. so I am going to do it my own way ….I am going to cook my hamburger meat in such a manner as to make it all crumbly like in a sloppy joe and then I am going to add a cooked patty of hash browns that I buy from the frozen food department of a grocery store and I am going to incorporate brown beef gravy into the crumbled hamburger once it is finished cooking and ready for the bun — just like a sloppy joe.

Sitting in my lawn chair this afternoon, it suddenly dawned on me, “This air that I am feeling is nowhere near the 70 degrees that was predicted. It is still uncomfortably cool.” And somebody is going to tell me about “Global Warming?” What I am thinking is that we are going to have the hottest summer in memory. I fully expect some areas of the State of Texas, for example, to get up to at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit and if things work the way I expect them to, the Governor of Texas is going to declare some areas of his states to be uninhabitable this summer. The area that I am thinking about now is located somewhere near Joshua, Texas and environs.

I bought the egg-peeling device from a place on Amazon and it arrived today and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

your orders
I GOT MY EZ EGG TODAY

As always let me tell you that I am not being compensated at all in any way for mentioning EZ Egg or the website Amazon.

I followed the instructions and instead of boiling my eggs, I steamed them in a metal steamer basket for a period of 15 minutes. After steaming the eggs, I plunged them into an ice water bath for 20 minutes.

Then i put the required amount of water into the EZ Egg gadget along with three of the steamed eggs. Following instructions, I shook the device with the eggs in it for about 12 seconds making sure that I did not shake them too hard. This process caused the shells to virtually fall off the eggs leaving me with perfect, beautiful eggs with no chunks out of them at all. I am definitely sold on this item and wish I had bought it a long time before now.

I CANNOT MAKE THIS WORK ON SOFT BOILED EGGS

I can only make this work on HARD boiled eggs … but that is no problem because hard boiled eggs is the only way I ever eat them anyway.

CDC TAKING BIG RISK IN DISCARDING SAFETY MEASURES

The new CDC guidance about discarding face masks needs to be approached with an extreme amount of caution because unvaccinated people who do not wish to get vaccinated and who do not wish to wear masks will blend into the rest of the population and continue spreading the virus to the unwary!

Read all about it here and remember to share with friends —– https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/14/opinions/cdc-new-mask-guidance-concerns-holtgrave-rosenberg/index.html

I think this guidance about dispensing with masks comes far too early!

Dear Friends (151)

It is Thursday and it is still cold and it is still the month of May and there is a heavy white frost on the ground outside right now. I am so glad we put our flowers back into the storage shed last night. This frost would have killed them for sure.

O.K., so the pandemic seems to be letting up a little bit, states are starting to ease pandemic restrictions, people are starting to congregate once again … I hope it all isn’t happening too soon …. I worry that when the Fall of the year comes again we might see a resurgence of both the pandemic and the regular Influenza (Flu.) There are so many people who have listened to so much misinformation and who have failed to get themselves vaccinated … It can only have negative repercussions.

I am making baked eggplant with mozzarella cheese for lunch today.

Eggplant, Table, Covered, Plate, Dine, Scalloped
BAKED EGGPLANT WITH MOZZARELLA CHEESE

Here is the recipe:

VERY TASTY FOR LUNCH TODAY

PANDEMIC EXPECTATIONS

So a lot of the states in The United States are slowly opening back up because the pandemic cases in their venues are on the decline — for the time being anyway. So because of this a lot of people are getting their hopes up that they will soon be able to return to life as it was before the pandemic struck. Consequently, I believe a lot of people are jumping the gun trying to hurry the process of normalization along. At the same time, places like India and others are suffering the worst of it. My question for those hoping to return to normal here in the U.S.A. is, “What happens when and if people from India and other places where the pandemic is raging out of control start coming over here and spreading it among us? Are there safeguards in place to prevent this sort of thing?

The government is telling us now that everyone who is fully vaccinated can dispense with mask wearing inside or outside in large groups or small and that, for that group, social distancing is no longer required. My question, of course, is “How many people will lie about being vaccinated now in order to keep from wearing their masks and how dangerous will they be to others?

UNROLLING MUMMIES WAS CONSIDERED FUN

Back in the Victorian days, people were mesmerized by gatherings called “Mummy Unrollings” where a bunch of people would gather together in the name of Science to watch some researcher take the wrappings off a mummy. You might want to spend a few minutes reading about this one —– https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/31345085/posts/6404

Mummy, Cartoon, Halloween, Character, Monster, Scary
THE VICTORIANS LOVED TO UNWRAP MUMMIES

GETTING REALLY LIT REALLY FAST

Did you hear the story about the guy who got worried about the gasoline shortages being caused by the hacking of that pipeline down South and loaded his expensive vehicle up with a lot of containers and filled them with gasoline … and the lit a cigarette causing an explosion that completely destroyed his vehicle? I heard that story and from all I can gather about it, it is true!

ARE THESE THE HEALTHIEST FOODS?

First of all, click on the link and read the article. —--https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-healthiest-food-we-can-eat

Thanksgiving, Cornucopia, Fruit, Autumn, Harvest
CORNUCOPIA OF HEALTHY FOODS

But, according to experts there are far more than the ones show in this picture. Take Ginger as one example. Does this pique your curiosity?

Dear Friends (150)

I started painting my little storage shed out in my back yard and I remembered how much I hate painting because of all the mess and the cleanup. In the middle of dipping my brush into the paint tray, it came to me: “Why don’t you line the paint tray with some plastic wrap before putting the paint into it. Doing that would make cleaning the paint tray a lot easier after the painting job is done. Sure enough, it worked! Why hadn’t I ever thought of this before?

The plastic wrap as a lining for the paint tray got me to thinking. “What else can I use to make cleaning things a lot easier?”

Well, for one thing ….When I get done cooking meat, for example, in my stainless steel skillets, there is always a layer of stuff that has stuck to the bottom of the skillet and it takes a lot of determined scrubbing and elbow grease to remove the crud. That is, it did take a lot of effort until I poured some white vinegar into the pan while it was still warm from the stove top and let it set for a few minutes. I discovered that it took a lot less rubbing and scrubbing to get even the burned on stuff out of the pan when I used the vinegar.

Speaking of vinegar —– I have one of those solid glass cook tops on my cooking stove and once in awhile I get stuff burned onto it. I hate scraping the glass cook top because I am always afraid of scratching it. So I finally found out that if I mix a little baking soda with some white vinegar — just enough to make a kind of thick paste — and then rub that paste onto the burned on stuff on the glass cook top and let it set for about 15 minutes before rubbing it a little bit with a microfiber cloth or a non-scratch sponge, the burned on gook usually comes off and leaves the stovetop sparkling clean. It sure saves me the expense of buying those specialized glass cook top cleaners.

THOSE CRAZY SHOE LACES

I hate how the laces on my sneakers manage to untie themselves as I walk or run and they always seem to manage to do it. I have to retie shoes a lot and those laces that come with the shoes in the first place are always too long for some reason. But I found an answer to the self-untying shoe laces:

Shoes, Sneakers, Footwear, Sports Shoes, Sporty

The answer is Elastic shoe laces. I never had heard of elastic shoe laces until I went onto Amazon and found them. They sure give me peace of mind and I use them exclusively now. You would think that shoe manufacturers would include them with the shoes when you purchase them but apparently they haven’t gotten to that point just yet.

CALCULATE THE LAST FREEZE IN YOUR AREA

Worried about when to plant your flowers this year with all the late frosts that are happening?

Flowers, Pansy, Garden, Violet, Garden Pansy

You can calculate when it will be safe to plant your flowers this year by doing a little research from the climate information found on the following link: —-– https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/when-expect-your-last-spring-freeze
You are welcome.

NEW NORMAL FAST APPROACHING?

It seems like things might be starting to open back up a little here where I live as more and more people are getting their covid-19 vaccinations. I notice the experts on the television set are suggesting that we can all do a few more things and do them in a little different manner now …. things like visiting with loved ones without wearing masks …. going without masks in outdoor environments … a few things like that.

One problem, as I see it, is that nobody seems to know very much about how transmissions of the virus happen and a lot of what they are saying and doing seems like educated guess work to me but I have to believe somebody so I am taking full advantage of every opportunity that seems safe for me to take. I am still wearing my mask whenever I go into a super market however and restaurants and theaters are still out of the question for me. I am waiting until the government gives us the “All Clear” to resume our lives as they were in pre-pandemic times. But I know that nothing will ever be truly the same again. I know that there will always be the need to make certain adjustments in lifestyle because, if nothing else, we will face another season of the regular influenza in another few months.

I love pizza and chili-spaghetti but I don’t really have to go to a specialty restaurant to get either one because I have learned to make both of these delicacies at home …. and, if I do say so myself, my home-made pizza and spaghetti taste better to me than the stuff I used to get at a restaurant. So the pandemic has been a win-win for me on this count.

I AM TOTALLY VACCINATED NOW

At first I worried about getting the vaccines because there was so much information floating around about it. At first, I had a full-blown case of vaccine hesitancy and imagined all kinds of horrible things that might happen to me if I took the shots.

I finally decided to go ahead and get vaccinated but then the lack of availability of the shots and the agonizing routine of searching for a place to get one and the irritating difficulty in making an appointment caused me to believe that I was never going to get mine.

I finally got both of them (The Moderna Vaccine) and, much to my surprise, I suffered absolutely no ill effects at all save for about a day of feeling a little tireder than usual. Here it is now a few months later and I am fit as a fiddle, fully active as ever and happy as a clam that I took the plunge.

Even though I feel safer now than I did before taking the shots, I am still wearing my mask whenever I go into the supermarkets or other retail establishments …. I am avoiding theaters and restaurants for the time being …. I have never gone to sporting events so I am not missing out anything there ….I am waiting for an official “All Clear” to be announced before I try to return to absolute normal again.

The thing is I had all these negative thoughts about getting the vaccine at first and now I am thrilled that I went ahead and got them once they were available. Now I am waiting to see if I will need a booster shot sometime down the road and if it happens, you can bet your bottom dollar I will be first in line!

PANDEMIC ZOMBIES COMING?

Somebody said that the pandemic is causing some neurological disorders among some people. “Neurological Disorders” means that the pandemic is causing some brain damage. I wonder if it is a permanent thing or if goes away after awhile? What worries me most about hearing this news is, “I wonder if this “Neurological Disorder” thing is going to make a few more crazies running around shooting other people with guns?

LIZ CHENEY OUSTED BY REPUBLICANS

Liz Cheney has now been voted out of her leadership position within the Republican Party and it was all said to have been done because she went on record to criticize former President Trump. To my way of thinking, and I could be wrong, this move means that the Republican Party as it has been known for decades is now abandoning its old cherished position as Defender of Democracy and is now aligning itself to be seen in the future as the great defender of Trump and his agenda. This is a shift in policy that I believe will change American politics and the direction of The United States for a long long long time. If you have thoughts about all this that you would like to share please leave a comment on the blog here and share with us.

CRISPIER PIZZA

I like my home-made pizza to have a nice crispy crust and here are a couple of ways I make sure it always happens for me:

(1) I brush the edges of my crust with a little olive oil before baking the pizza on the center rack of my oven at a temperature of 450 degrees.

(2) I always use a pizza screen rather than a pizza pan to insure a well-browned and crispy bottom to my pizzas whether home-made or frozen. The holes in the screen allow more heat to get to the bottom of the pizza and it browns better than with a solid pan.

Cheese, Crust, Delicious, Dinner, Eat, Fast Food, Fresh

I do much prefer to make my own pizzas because I can load it up with more toppings than I can normally get from a pizza that I have ordered from a commercial pizza chain or a grocery store.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with adding extra toppings to any pizza — whether it comes from the frozen food section or from a pizzeria!~

I guess there is only so much excitement that a person can squeeze out of a single day so to all of you out there … Good night and God Bless.

Dear Friends (149)

I discovered that it pays to keep track of prices shown on shelf tags at various retail places ….. especially grocery stores! The reason I say this is because when I check out at those automated checkout stations, I often discover that the price that appeared on the store’s shelf tag is completely different than the price that is rung up on the automated checkout machine. (Usually higher than the shelf tag.) — When this happens to me (And it happens often,) I have to take the person monitoring the checkout stations aside and have him or her correct the difference.

Another irritating inconvenience that has to be carefully watched is caused by some of those automated checkout machines double charging. This usually goes unnoticed until the bank statement arrives and then you discover that on the same date that you were in the store, you are charged twice for something. Example: I buy a can of tuna at the super market for $1.99 on May 10th. When the bank statement comes, it shows as follows:

Supermarket – May 10 – $1.99
Supermarket – May 10 – $1.99

When I find these double charges, the managers of the markets where the overcharges occurred always tell me, “Take it up with your bank.” I am sure that a lot of stores out there make a couple of million extra dollars a year because of the “Mistakes” in charging customers that happens over the course of any given year.

PEANUT BUTTER
I am a certified peanut butter freak, there is no doubt of that! My favorite peanut butters are always the ones marked “All Natural.” But there is a problem with most of those “All Natural” peanut butters ….. the oil in them always rises to the top and collects in a little pool under the lid of the jar. This creates some bit of hassle when you try to mix the oil back into the peanut butter.

So I have discovered that if you store your jars of peanut butter upside down on your pantry shelves, the oil then tends to “Rise” toward what was once the bottom of the jar and this makes mixing the oil and the peanut butter together a whole lot easier than it was before.

THINGS NEEDED IN THE KITCHEN

There was a time when I bought my skillets, pots and pans … and almost everything else I needed for my kitchen at one big box store or another …. thinking that I was going to save a boatload of money by doing so. Until I got wise, spent a lot of money on things I needed for the kitchen at these stores. Then one day, a light dawned: “The stuff used by restaurants and professional cooks last a lot longer and often give better service and results than the stuff I have been buying at the big box store. So I went to the local Restaurant Supply store ….. a store that also sells to individuals as well as to food service operations …. and I purchased some professional skillets and pots and pans there. Best decision I ever made as far as purchasing food prep items! My professional stuff is far superior to anything I ever bought in a regular retail outlet. Oh it costs a few more dollars, but it is well worth the extra outlay!

SCHEDULING SHOE PURCHASES

I bought 6 pairs of sneakers last year — mostly all at the same time. I must have suffered a case of shoephobia or something or, perhaps I simply wanted to make sure that I would always have comfortable, well-fitting shoes on hand. So now I have 6 pairs of sneakers in a closet.

Most of the sneakers I buy have an expected life span of around Six months. But keeping track of every pair of shoes in the house is a chore and I do not like chores very much so something dawned on me about how to know when it is time to discard a pair of shoes and replace it with a new pair. — I simply take an indelible marker of some kind and, in an inconspicuous place on the shoe I print a date that is six months from the date I wore the shoes for the first time. So, if I first wear a pair of Nike sneakers (For Example) on May 10, 2021, I mark somewhere on the shoes, “November 10, 2021.” When November 10 rolls around I know it is time to inspect the shoes to see if they need replacing.

THE EMPLOYMENT QUAGMIRE

It seems to me like that everywhere I go these days I see lots and lots of “Now Hiring” signs in many windows of business places. I have a friend who owns and runs a combination pizza parlor and bar and he told me that nobody is applying for jobs these days because the government is giving away so much money in unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, free rent, free food, free everything and that he believes there is no longer any incentive for people to actually get out and work at a regular job.

I certainly do not know what the answer to the Job Market problem might be. For my own personal opinion, “I am glad to see the government actually helping people in need.” I don’t know if the government is doing it correctly or not, but I am glad to see that they are doing something at least.

THE SCARY SIDE OF POLITICS

I do not know how to handle some of the claims about politics being made in The United States today, but when I read the following article written by a fellow blogger who calls his or her blog, “On The Fence Voters,” I had to sit up and pay attention. You can read the blog article that I am talking about right here —--https://onthefencevoters.com/2021/04/21/a-warning-for-america-from-two-former-prime-ministers/ These kinds of questions often keep me awake at night because when I read them, I appreciate what they are saying but I am at a total loss as to what I can do to influence the political scene in any manner at all. It all makes me feel helpless at times and it is unsettling to say the least.

CHICKEN PRICES ON THE RISE AGAIN

The word is that we can all expect the price of chicken to rise again because of something that the roosters are either not doing or are not doing well enough to keep supplies up.

There is a new kind of greed running rampant in the land, folks … people who have things to sell are being very artful and crafty in finding ways to inflate the prices on almost everything that we normally take for granted. A Russian hack on the gasoline pipelines is going to cause gasoline prices to spike — errant roosters are going to cause chicken prices to rise — I am assuming that somebody will find an excuse to raise the price on eggs to $3 a dozen before it is all over —- I am expecting somebody to find a way to raise the price of milk ….of bread …. of everything. I believe a lot of this chicanery is based on all the financial relief (Think extended unemployment benefits and stimulus checks) the government has been handing out and the cleverest of the clerver merchants out there scheming new ways to get their hands on the windfalls suddenly given to consumers. It’s only natural if you ask me, but I also believe it is an excuse for us to get crafty ourselves and decide which merchants are going to suffer bottom line problems when Americans get sick and tired of their antics and start boycotting their offerings. Get the hint? Tell your friends.

HOW DANGEROUS ARE ASTEROID SAMPLES?

There are stories out there about space craft that will soon be returning to earth after a mission of gathering samples from asteroids hurtling through the void. Has anyone ever given any thought to whether or not gathering samples of anything in outer space and bringing them back to earth might pose a danger of releasing some new kind of virus or something possibly even more horrible? Should there be laws about how these things should be handled? What happens if we manage to bring samples back from Mars one of these days? Who is to say that it was not some kind of strange alien virus that wiped out what once might have been a living civilization on Planet Mars? What is to say that some alien virus brought back from the Martian terrain might or might not be the very catalyst that could turn the earth into another Mars?

Dear Friends (148)

Before going to bed last evening I was treated to something I hadn’t enjoyed for many many years — Graham crackers with marshmallow cream spread over one cracker and peanut butter on the other cracker and then put them together in kind of a sandwich affair … delicious … decadent and delicious!

We are expecting frost again tonight so our flowers that we were going to plant are going back into the little shed in our back yard to protect them. Maybe we can get them planted sometime this month. This unusually cold weather is a strange phenomenon for this time of year. We are hoping to get them planted sometime around May 18th.

Speaking of flowers, have you ever heard that mixing a little baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) with some pure water and then feeding it to the flowers is good for them and helps them to flourish and grow? I had never heard that and I am going to try it and see what happens.

The supposedly “Vine Ripe” tomato that I purchased at the grocery store the other day is red and inviting-looking but it has the texture of a stick of celery. I have never had a crunchy tomato before. And I will never have one again either. I guess the only way to have real, authentic tomatoes is to grow them yourself.

The pork chops that I cooked using a meat probe came out exactly the right temperature (145-degrees Fahrenheit) that I wanted them to be. They were tender and juicy and wonderful. I will never try to cook meat by a clock again. From now on, I will depend on the meat probe style of thermometer.

The evening news is telling us that those responsible for distributing gasoline to customers all along the East Coast of The United States are now looking to increase the price of gasoline for customers because of some kind of “Ransomware” attack on their storage and processing facilities. How convenient that this should happen at the very beginning of the summer driving season. I also notice that flower growers and distributors found ways to screw the consumer on flower prices too … just in time for Mothers’ Day! That is so obvious! I think people just ought to boycott flowers for about a year and see what happens.

It looks like Liz Cheney is about to get the boot from the Republican Party for no other reason that she stood in favor of impeaching President Trump. It looks like the most famous American cult of personality is heading more toward the National Socialiste ideology than ever before. I am fully expecting to see them put on parades with goose-stepping supporters and torch lights before it is all over. The ideas of civil rights for minorities and living wages for American workers will go straight to hell if Republicans ever realize their dream of permanent dominance of American Politics.

You know —– if you cook some pork chops on the grill or in the oven, you might consider peeling and slicing some apples and cooking them until they are soft in a 400-degree oven and then spooning a sauce over them made of balsamic vinegar salad dressing and brown sugar. Just combine the balsamic vinegar salad dressing with the brown sugar and simmer it until it reduces and gains some thickness. Then spread it liberally over the cooked apples. Makes a great accompaniment to the pork chops.

The American Public Radio channel is blabbing on and on again about the strife between the Palestinians and the Israelis. I have absolutely no clue as to what the Public Broadcasting System thinks that I, as an ordinary commoner in the American Social Order, think — or even care — about what happens between the Palestinians and Israel. I do know that all I have heard about some of those countries is how they are constantly at war with one another. Unless some jerk in Washington decides to commit some more American Flesh and Blood to the meat grinders of foreign wars, I don’t care what happens over there … and I will wager that most of my American Contemporaries feel much the same way as I do. And then those Public Broadcasters run all those fund-raising campaigns in the hopes that idiots like myself will send them money so they can talk more about crap that doesn’t concern me in the least.

While I am ranting about Public Broadcasting in America, let me tell you that our local Public Broadcasting channels have discovered the fine art of broadcasting discussions that include explicit, detailed and gory descriptions of human excrement, burned bodies, decaying flesh, abortions, birth processes, and every single thing that can turn a sensitive stomach at exactly the time usually allotted in The United States for normal meal times … usually at lunch time. I mean it is absolutely uncanny as to how these broadcasters can target upsetting stomachs so precisely and I wonder what they get out of doing it.

Dear Friends (No. 147)

Dear Friends:

I noticed this morning just how green the spinach in my pack of frozen spinach is and I am wondering if the processors have dyed it … and if the processor has dyed it, is it really safe to eat in any significant quantities? Ever since the government cut back on the number of food inspectors, I am beginning to wonder if anything is safe to eat anymore.

It is the middle of May and the weather is still cold enough to kill flowers. I bought a bunch of flowers with the idea of planting them this month but right now all my flowers are under protection in the little shed in the back yard because I am afraid to set them out.

I notice that more and more pandemic restrictions are being lifted now and people, in general, are getting brave enough to start hugging each other again … to start removing their masks …. thinking that the world is returning to normal. But there are still times and places where social distance and masks are still suggested …. but I am afraid that many people are going to ignore the CDC guidelines and just go about their lives as if the pandemic never happened. I am afraid that those kinds of cavalier and careless people might be the reason for a surprise resurgence of the disease sometime in the future. But they don’t seem to be too concerned. It’s like I always said, “Americans are more concerned with their own personal instant gratifications than they are about anything else at all … Life and the quality of life included.

Now that I have mastered the fine art of peeling boiled eggs without wrecking the eggs themselves, I am feeling more fulfilled. I know that sounds a little funny to some people but it really doesn’t take much to make me feel good about things. I remember how happy I was when I finally learned to ride my bicycle without falling off and when I learned to row a boat in a straight line … and when I finally let my investment counselor pick stocks and bonds for me instead of me trying to do it all myself. I remember the days, long gone by now, when I discovered it was a better idea to let the guy who ran my boat do the steering (After I had run it aground on a sand bar) and that it was a better idea for me to nod my head in agreement and keep my mouth shut whenever my wife was arguing with me about something.

We had home-made pizza yesterday. I bought a pre-prepared “Boboli: brand pizza dough crust, topped it with generous helpings of sliced ham, pepperoni, bacon, onion, mushroom, green bell pepper, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. It took 20 minutes to bake in my $1,100 convection oven at a temperature of 375 degrees. (Center shelf on the oven.).

Today I am going to attempt thick-cut pork chops in my Nu Wave combination countertop oven with the integrated meat probe. This appliance is supposed to sear the chops, cook them to 150 degrees internal temperature (Medium well) and complete the cooking in a period of from 4 to 8 minutes total. I cannot wait to see if this works the way it is supposed to. I have already done a successful three-pound top sirloin roast in it …. crispy brown on the outside and a perfect medium rare on the inside in a period of 22 minutes total.

I am still working on the so-called “Boiled Egg Diet” and have managed to shed 4 pounds in the last two weeks. The boiled egg diet consists of a breakfast with two boiled eggs and a large naval orange …. a lunch of one protein (Meat, Chicken, Fish) and a large salad. ….. Dinner of one more egg and one more protein choice. After a week on this, I am supposed to return to normal eating for a week, watching my portions, avoiding between meal snacks and then, after the week of normal eating, return to the boiled egg diet for another week if I think I need it. That is what I am doing for myself and I am not suggesting that anyone else do it either … unless they check with their personal physician first.

That Thousand Dollar mattress of mine sleeps like a cloud. I only awoke once last night to go to the bathroom. Other than that, I slept like a rock. My stuffed animals did not get kicked out of bed last night and neither did my extra pillows. (I have Four pillows on this bed.) I originally worried about buying an expensive mattress but after having experienced it, I am glad I got it. It is quite similar to those I had when I stayed in some upscale hotels a few years ago. The mattress that I got rid of was becoming uncomfortable and I had nick-named it, “Rock Bed City.”

A friend of mine who lives in Kentucky told me yesterday how the price of land is sky-rocketing in the rural areas of Kentucky right now. It seems a lot of city folk are running to the country to find some peace and are willing to pay what some of the locals consider to be outrageous prices for parcels of land that are really good for nothing except for building a house on. Once such small parcel of land recently sold in a remote rural area for $388-Thousand dollars. Another lot that was little more than a hill, a hollow and some scrubby plants went for $250-Thousand dollars. Some of our big cities around here are fighting among themselves about whether or not to spend a few million dollars a year to construct what they call “Affordable Housing” within their boundaries. The last great “Affordable Housing” project that I remember being built in a large city anywhere near where I live is now a slum and ready to the wrecking ball.

No more worries around here about keeping sink, shower and bathtub drains clear — I just pour a little full-strength household bleach down them once or twice a month and no problem. Speaking of showers, I will always argue that a fully enclosed shower with four operative shower heads throwing water at me from different directions is still a luxury as is the special area of the bathroom with the heaters and the fans used to drying off after a shower. I call such an arrangement “The Drying Room” but it is not a room at all … just has its own little corner.

Speaking of household products …. I discovered something called “Dawn Power Wash” for dishes the other day and it is a magnificent product in my opinion. (And in order to get the legal requirements for blog posts out of the way, let me tell you that I am not being compensated in any fashion for mentioning a product by brand name on this blog.).

https://res.cloudinary.com/pgone/image/upload/pgone/dawn-dish/en-us/prod/images/v2uodjtnnmhv4todsjrx

The idea of this dish detergent is that it comes in a refillable spray bottle and all I have to do is spray a little of it onto a sponge, wipe my dishes, pots, pans, knives, forks and spoons with it, rinse it off in clear water and either dry or put them into the drying rack. The results are shockingly magnificent. I have never seen cleaner stuff!

I tried this stuff and showed it to the cook and he was thrilled as well. (Yes, I occasionally dabble in gourmet cooking myself but there is someone else here who does the bulk of the kitchen work.). (In case you were wondering.).

Cooking, Stove, Pan, Pot, Eat, Kitchen, Gourmet, Food

Well, friends and neighbors, I guess that is about all I have for this few minutes of the new day. If something else pops up I will come back on here and talk about it too. Until then,

All my affection,

John

Toil, Boil And Peel

I got so sick of my boiled eggs disintegrating every time I tried to peel the shell off them, so I went to a friend who is a certified chef to seek advice.

Egg, Food, Nutrition, Animal Protein, Yolk, White, Meal
I AM TALKING ABOUT HARD BOILED EGGS, FOLKS.

The first thing I learned is that to boil eggs properly, you never ever actually boil them. You place them in a steamer basket over some hot water and you steam them for at least 15 minutes after which you place them in an ice water bath for another 15 minutes or so.

OXO Stainless Steel Good Grips Steamer with Extendable Handle, 7"
This goes in a pot on a stovetop with water coming up just to the bottom of the steamer.

Above is a picture of a steamer basket identical to the one I now use for my steamed (a.k.a. “Boiled” eggs.)

You do not have to add any vinegar or salt to the water for steaming the eggs.

Once the eggs are cooked and cooled, just tap them on a countertop or a table and roll them around, exerting a little pressure, as the shell cracks into what looks like a mosaic.

After this, peel off just enough of the shell with your fingernail so that you can gently and carefully insert a teaspoon (A spoon you use for your table service) beneath the shell. The concave side of the spoon rests against the egg underneath the shell. And then gently rotate and lift the spoon and watch the shell separate from the egg easier than you have ever seen before …. without leaving you with those unsightly “Wrecked and Pocked” eggs where portions of the egg come off along with the shell when using other methods of peeling them.

This might take a little practice until you get the hang of it but believe me, it is worth learning how to do it.

This is how I learned to do it and it works wonders.

You are welcome.

NOTE: I do not shake the eggs in a container like they are doing in the video. I use an implement such as the following but, of course, you can do whatever you want to do. Just remember, I do not recommend any of this for soft-boiled eggs.

I always use the following method to actually peel my eggs because this is the method I have become comfortable with. You can get these Swedish egg peeling implements from Amazon and Ebay and probably a well-stocked local kitchen store.

THIS IS THE ONE I AM MOST COMFORTABLE WITH.

But you can learn to use an ordinary small kitchen spoon with a little practice.

My Secret Savings Account

I doubt that this little trick will make you a millionaire anytime soon but it is something I used to do to some advantage.

When I used to write personal checks for things, I would always inflate the amount of the check when I entered it into my check register.

For example, if I wrote a check for One Dollar, I would enter $1.25 or $1.50 into the check register.

After doing this for about a year, I discovered that I had accumulated just about Seven Hundred extra dollars in my checking account,. In Ten years that amount amounted to Seven Thousand dollars.

The amount always varied, depending on the value that I would add to the check register.

It is hard to balance your checkbook using this method but when you get that last bank statement at the end of the month or the year, as the case may be, I always was able to see the difference between what the bank said I had and what my bank book said I had …and by doing this, I also never overdrafted my bank account.

I am not suggesting that other people do this, but it does work for me. (It did work for me.) I don’t have to do it anymore because I never worry about money any more.

Personal Blogging, The Elusive Magic

In the very earliest days of blogging, most of the blogs were all about all the mundane little events that were significant to somebody and somebody wanted to share those events with the world. But according to all the experts, nobody in the world would be interested in reading typically old-school blogs today because interests in the daily happenings of an individual life no longer appeal to broad audiences. That is what the “Experts” tell us.

I am the proverbial horse of a different color. I do not follow the herd. I am a rugged individualist and I firmly believe that all the great leaders and innovators of this century were men who bucked the tides of “The Ordinary” and “The Accepted” and who did things their own way. I have always believed that if a blogger writes something, regardless of whether it is agonizingly boring or it is excruciatingly capable of invoking physical ejaculation, somebody somewhere will run across it and read it and profit by the experience.

The experts tell us that those mysterious entities called “Search Engines” will ignore anything that is not exciting or that embraces the mundane or the ordinary. Personally I don’t give a flying f**k what search engines and their algorithms do …. I just case my bread out onto the waters of the great Web in the hopes that somebody of good will and curiosity will discover what I have written and be enticed by it, interested in it or enraged by it. With me, writing a blog is like playing the lottery, and with all the millions of blogs out there, getting an audience that reads, appreciates and returns to read some more is part good luck, part work and part persistence If you write it, somebody will come! That has to be some kind of mathematical certainty.

It is sad to think, however that a god damned electronic impulse randomly circulating through the ether-sphere has the capability and the authority to censor what a blogger writes on an Internet that really needs to be a mechanism for free expression to anyone who desires to use it. But, if what the IT guys tell me is true, we bloggers are kept in an electronic cage filled with boundaries that cannot be crossed and policed by horrid little prejudiced electronic things called bots and algorithms. It is sad but it is all we have and we have to abide by the rules in order to gain the audience and that in itself is shit because it forces all bloggers to be cloned, more or less, into something that somebody else wants them to be and what they, themselves are not necessarily interested in being.

Today blogs are not novelties anymore and it is imperative that successful blogging aspirants be focused according to a formula designed by somebody else, somebody unseen, but somebody who has god-like powers over the Internet and what is permitted to go into it or out over it.

With all that said, I hereby promise to do better in the future.