Thursday, May 31, 2012

NY to try and ban the Big Gulp and other large drinks?

The sin-tax sheriff is back on the job.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing another ban on unhealthy foods. This time, he wants to outlaw super-sized sodas and other sugary drinks.

The first-in-the-nation ban would limit sweet drinks to 16 ounces at venues across the city ranging from restaurants to street carts to movie theaters -- that means those extra-large cup holders at Lowe's are about to get awfully lonely.

No word, yet, on any plans to levy special 'weight taxes' on the obese. But, I'm sure that's coming....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is this where America is going? Diane Tran jailed?

A Louisiana group has raised more than $70,000 for a 17-year-old Texas honor student jailed for missing too much school because she worked two jobs to support her siblings.

Diane Tran, an 11th-grade honor student at Willis High School near Houston, was sent to jail for 24 hours last week by Judge Lanny Moriarty and ordered to pay a $100 fine for excessive truancy.

Are things now spinning out of control? This by Thomas Jefferson so long ago:

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their Powers
from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of
Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right
of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a
New is their Right, it is their Duty, to
throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards? for
their future Security."

To this, I say...
"The very truest test of this still young Republic, which is so fragile and easily broken,
will be forever the stout men and women of these United States who have the will
the vision and the desire to protect this Union even unto death.
No matter who or whatever power would seek other ends!
So help us God Almighty.
In Your Name, Amen"
DWO 2012

Read more:

Who's lying? The Republicans or the Democrats?

In the coming elections,
please vote for anyone
who is not an incumbent,
not matter what their party!
Please send the message
that we are tired
of all this crap!

Russia 'categorically against' Syria intervention!

Screen grab of online video purportedly showing armoured fighting vehicle in Damascus (28 May 2012)
Russia "categorically" opposed foreign intervention in Syria, he said, as outrage grew over the massacre of 108 people in Houla last week.

Turkey is expelling all Syrian diplomatic staff from Ankara, following similar moves by Western states.

China's UN representative also agreed, in essence, that they can live with the continued murder of innocents and children.

Why am I not surprised by this?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Evil incarnate – I give you the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is scrambling to broaden its appeal to liberals, leftists and Christians after official results Monday showed that the Islamist group's candidate will face ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister in next month's runoff for president of Egypt.

Violence flared late Monday when several hundred people ransacked the Cairo campaign headquarters of the ex-premier, Ahmed Shafiq. They smashed windows, threw out campaign signs, tore up posters and set the building on fire, according to witnesses and security. No one was hurt. The office is in a Cairo residential neighborhood.

Please mark these words - The Muslim Brotherhood is, in my opinion, the closest thing in this corporal world to a living Satan that has ever existed. Of the rest of the the Muslim people - I embrace and love them.

Where is America? Syrian Holocaust widens!

A mass burial for the men, women and children killed in Houla

Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, arrived in the capital Damascus following Friday's massacre in Houla in which 108 people – including 49 children and 34 women – were killed. He called on "every individual with a gun" to lay down their arms before Syria collapsed into full-scale civil war.

But his words went apparently unheeded as scores more civilians and regime troops lost their lives, with fresh clashes erupting all over the country between two sides that were supposed to have agreed a ceasefire six weeks ago.

Read more:

I am going to Hell!

For all of those who sit
On their philosophical throne
There is hope and kindness
God is good and we are not alone
But value attached to real life
Concrete, steel, asphalt and glass
How far from the concept
Has true goodness passed?
Tell to the workers have seen their job pass
God may be all good and merciful
But to many people
He can kiss their ass
For hope springs not eternal
As he would say
In his arrogant way
How do I meet my rent today?
How do we keep God Alive?
When he seems to tells us
This all just jive
And have lost hope all of us
God tells us love and caring is all of it
But I for one have my doubts
And believe it is all shit
But I for one have my doubts
So we all search
Often in vain
With life pouring down on us a cold rain
But what to believe in
We humans do not know
Life’s often alone and black
As a cold, cold as a blizzard of snow
We find no solace in the attempted journey back
So Christ died on the cross
Gods only son
To save us all
Are we having fun????????? 

Pat Betz 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day, what does it mean? As your long weekend unfolds look around. Take in your world and listen.

What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel?

Will you hear this long weekend referred to as “the unofficial start of summer?”  Will you hear people talk about parties, barbecues, trips to the lake and the beach, probably.

As you feel the warm rays of the sun, smell the inviting flavors of fresh food sizzling on the grill and watch your children run around the yard or splash in the surf there is something you should remember.

It is another beach, from a time long since past. You can see that beach in the photo accompanying this article. It is the beach at Buna, Papua New Guinea, and it depicts just three of the young lives this weekend memorializes.

The photo is of three dead American GIs.  They lie half buried in the sand of an island far from their homes, far from their loved ones. They died so you could be

Police kill naked attacker chewing on man's face in Miami street!

Attacker (right) was identified as 31 yr old Rudy Eugene

This is just so wrong! Dining on a man’s face while in the nude! What planet do these people come from? Apparently, an officer came upon this most perverse scene and summarily shot the naked perp. When the aforementioned man continued to dine, a la ‘Night of the Living Dead’, the officer shot him several more times.The man then expired....

Note to my viewers, this was not a fast food review! [sic]

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How retarded can my government get? USPS furlows workers!

The U.S. Postal Service announced late Friday it would offer thousands of mail-handlers a $15,000 incentive to retire early, the most recent attempt by the financially-strapped agency to cut costs and stay open for business.

The voluntary offer was extended to roughly 45,000 full-time union employees. It is part of the agency’s larger plan to cut its workforce by 150,000 over the next three years and close hundreds of mail-procession centers.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What are those purple bug traps hanging from trees?

If you have been vacationing and driving around Missouri, particularly in the southern half of the state, you have probably noticed the big purple boxes hanging in trees. The Missouri Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and other cooperators are using these sticky traps to aid in the detection of the dreaded emerald ash borer.

The map, shown below, marks locations where the ash borer has been discovered. This very invasive bug, which looks kinda cute, has already been responsible for the deaths of millions of ash trees across the US. If left unchecked, it will eventually kill all the ask trees in this continent!

Click to enlarge
How can you help stop its spread?

    1)      Don’t move firewood from one are to another. This is a favorite method for the bug to move around!
    2)      Don’t plant ask trees. Plant something else as this bug can only survive by eating ash.
    3)      If you spot an infestation, call 866-716-9974. Lots of bugs look like the emerald ash borer so do your best to make sure before you call.

Click here for a technical information guide.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I pray your brakes go out! - Jaron

A decent YouTube video that expresses what a lot of us guys feel at one time or another!

Click here for the link!
And, oh yes, go full me!

Lost Dog - Reward offered!

Click to enlarge

A must read book for the younger generation!

you're reading...

On ‘The Limits to Growth: The 30-year Update’!

On bookshelves right now is a publication that was literally thirty years in the making. Originally published in 1972 by a group of scientists from MIT, it computer modeled global resource consumption and production. What they wrote shocked the world and created vigorous conversations about the concept of ‘overshoot’ or resource use beyond the carrying capacity of the planet.  Back then, the book was optimistic about the future of humanity as even the most dire computer model showed things would not start to get bad until 2015 or so. What???

Now, The Limits to Growth: The 30-year update, has taken on the tone of a dire warning, citing that many of the  ‘tipping points’ have now come and gone with even the more ‘optimistic computer models’ portraying a very bleak and sad future for men and women who are just now coming of voting age. This piece of work is a must read for us all, especially those who might what to prepare for what is to come.

This chart, taken from the book, is an example that chronicles in stark fashion where we are all headed.

Click on to enlarge

Monday, May 21, 2012

When Americans have to hide behind masks!

You know that the Republic is in serious trouble when Americans, who are protesting some ideal or the other, begin disguising themselves behind masks in a manner similar to the Al Qaeda. Whenever I see people like this, I wonder why are they so ashamed that they don’t want their faces seen by the public? When you hide behind a mask – there’s a reason. And, generally, it’s not a good one!

Surviving a diet while still eating at McDonald’s!

Say what you will about McDonald’s; that their playgrounds are bacteria infested cesspools or that their prices are through the roof! Yeah, go ahead and say those things, but when it gets right down to it, a Mac Attack will have you coming back for more of the same. Afterall, who can resist those great and thoroughly fattening burgers and fries. Not me! But, listen up all you quivering piles of fatty flesh out there in the blogosphere…there's hope. If you’re careful, you can walk boldly up to the food trough and still sample some of life’s forbidden fruits…er, ah burgers while losing those pounds of flab.

Here’s an example of a lunchtime meal deal that works for me:

A hamburger and fries!!!
Click to enlarge
This is the Double Cheeseburger with a small order of fries and a diet coke. Total damage, just 670 calories. (Now, mind you, this is a once a week deal when I’m trying to lose weight).  
 Looking at the bigger picture for the day, I’ve managed to get Breakfast and lunch and the afternoon on just under a thousand calories. Since my target is 1500 calories a day, I’ve still got over 500 to play with for my dinner and evening snacks!

The great thing is that I feel like I’m still enjoying some really nasty but good tasting food while sticking with the overall program!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


As bad a boy as I can be
Their genes and desire
Attract the honeybees
And many I have lit their fire

Love but a purpose
On their tongue
But in full denial of their true thought
Of the lust that is sought

Life has taught me
If nothing else
That while love is sought
With lust it can be bought

At our essence only animals are we
We claim to be above the beasts
How naïve are we
Providing meat for natures feast

We hide our lust in a thing called love
To provide a rationalization
For the beast within us all
But at what I have written I am appalled

For it is not as I had hoped
But what life has taught
That through lust
Love can be bought

Of true love I know naught

I have given myself to no avail
All of myself to another’s wishes
But in the name of love
My heart has felt nails

So now
How to love and trust
It is only in my inner self
That I deeply believe  I must

What is my purpose upon this earth
To be beast for breeding stock
Or to feel that which I have so long sought
Love that lust has not bought

Pat Betz 2012

Pat, and his brother Michael, are two good friends. Hopefully Mr. Betz will be authoring more entries on this site in the near future!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Critique: Spaghetti Squash

It's ALIVE!!! This is sooo wrong!

What man or women who have been locked into a diet of some kind have not, at some point, thought about a substitute dish for pasta! A quick perusal of the internet will fill you in on all the bad things there are to say about regular pasta and how much better it is for you to sub in a nice steaming plate of squash! Well - they got the steaming pile part right anyway!

My reaction….balderdash! After trying a plate of this I will admit that if my life depended on eating spaghetti sauce layered over a plate of spaghetti squash, I could do it, but I would not be a happy camper while I was doing it.  Sure, I’d save a few calories in the process, but life is not just about saving calories. It’s also about eating and living well! This squash thing just didn’t cut it with my taste buds and that as they say is that! I’ll give this one a score of 4. It was edible, but only just!

My advice to you dieters out small portions of the real deal!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Critique: Van Camp’s ‘Pork n Beans’ with a wiener!

So, what’s with this? The times have gotten so slow, I’m now doing critiques on canned goods? Well, yes I am!

You see, I’ve always had a soft spot for this bean dish ever since I was a child. Some winters, when it got cold outside, my Mom would place a hot bowl of Van Camps Pork N Beans in front of me and I can still remember the great aroma. Yeah, pork and beans, a slice of toast and some milk…those times were good.

Today, in 2012, I still like this stuff both from a standpoint of good taste and nutrition. This mix of beans, tomato sauce and pork is loaded with fiber. It also contains a goodly amount of iron and zinc! Half a cup yields only about 124 calories, so when used as a side as shown here; it’s not exactly a diet buster. But, here’s the deal that makes this side dish into a real meal…of sorts. An all beef wiener and a side of green beans with milk! With those additions you’ve escalated everything up to about 400 calories! That’s a diet friendly number while providing everyone with a great tasting meal.

Currently, you can purchase a 15 ounce can for under a buck. I think I paid .69 cents. This is still a good bargain all around that provides high caliber protein along with much needed fiber. I give Pork n Beans a score of 8!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is this monster weed set to explode?

Note the ruler I placed at the base of this giant weed!

What began as a joke between neighbors has suddenly become more serious as a small weed that was growing in a side planter was recently identified as Cnicus benedictus or Blessed thistle. A weed that originates from as far away as Iran. Once it sets flowers and blooms it will send million and millions of seeds to colonize other unsuspecting areas. As you can see, this one is truly a monster.

I never would have let the plant get this large had it not been for my neighbor, who asked that I let it grow so we could see ‘what happens’! What happened is it got big…really big! Now if I were a sick person, you know mentally unstable. I would wait for the plant to set seed, then in the dark of night I would drag it all over my neighbor’s immaculate lawn. Later, I would bring him this ‘article’ I found on the net describing how it is a good idea to let your lawn ‘go to seed’ during the summer, so as to allow the grasses to become better entrenched. You know, I’m like the good neighbor…from Hell. After a few weeks it would then fun to sit outside, beer in hand, and watch that lawn go progressively downhill! “Uh hey neighbor”, I would chortle over the phone. “Looks like you got a heck of a weed problem on your hands!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Critique: Marie Callender's Meat Loaf and Gravy

I gotta hand it to the folks at ConAgra, they sure know how to take liberties with words like meat and loaf. I've had real homemade meat loaf in the past and brother, this ain't it! Even the picture on the front of their package cannot get away from the truth. This is a meat slab, not a meat loaf. The texture and feel was tough and dense, but still just edible. (Perhaps it was all that salt they add that helped). I sort of liked the gravy, but had a heck of a time locating anything that even remotely looked like a mushroom. Likewise the mashed potatoes should be renamed creamed potatoes as it was not too unlike eating toothpaste. Finally, there was the corn side dish! Wow. Who would have thought of adding that?

OK, The bottom line is that while I did eat this 380 calorie offering from Marie C., I wasn't all that happy. There are better products out there for me to spend my money on. Next time I get a hankering for something like this, I think I'll go visit a restaurant. This one gets a score of 6 and no, I don't plan on buying it again.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

And then there were none! The last shuttle...

Can you see this picture OK? It’s the cockpit of the space shuttle EndeavorTake a good look everyone, because on May the 5th 2012 all the lights and gizmos that make it a true spaceship will be turned off for the last time.

Americans have proved that they can be a part of space exploration. We have the technology, the training, and the men and women with the right stuff! Just look at all that we’ve accomplished in such a short time!

What’s missing is true leadership…..


Friday, May 4, 2012

Critique: Banquet Pepper Steak Meal

First off, I have to say that the meat patty in Banquet’s Pepper Steak meal is rather tiny. As in dinky, not really there and where the F is the beef? This dollar-a-meal offer by Banquet is perhaps ‘all it cannot be’! For something that comes in at just 260 calories, and which costs a buck (.97), it’s not a horrible deal, mind you. But, keep in mind that you pretty much get what you pay for these days. Q: What does a buck buy in 2012? A: Not very much!

You just can't fix ugly!
This offering, from the folks at Con-Agra, advertises a ‘seasoned patty made with chicken, pork, beef in a pepper sauce over rice’. (Not really a steak). The reality, as you can see in the picture at right was pretty lame. Made me think of my last septic tank inspection, for some reason! Nothing at all like the package artwork.... And, there’s also enough sodium to qualify it as a preservative in its own right! (Turns out the extra salt is all that save this meal a deal).

Yet, I must remind myself that these are hard times under Obama's regime, and so when I run low on funds, I will often visit the 'commoner’s food trough' from time to time. If I close my eyes tight, this stuff does taste OK. However, next time I can scrap together enough mullah, I’m gonna buy the upscale version. Maybe something from Marie Callender or even Healthy Choice! [Updated in Nov 2014]

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spirit Airlines – You vill follow the rules comrades!

Moving backwards at the speed of light!
I would be remiss if I didn’t at least comment on a recent article concerning Spirit Airlines and how they feel about doing business. According to the CEO, Ben Baldanza, the fact that his airline generates two and a half times the number of complaints when compared to other airlines is ‘irrelevant’. He's my candidate for customer service Man of the Year!

He was responding to questions posed by Fox News in response to the growing media relations disaster that surrounds the failure of Spirit to give a refund of $197 to a vet who found out he is dying. Spirits ticker symbol is SAVE - you might want to issue a sell order if you hold any.

On newspaper sales, rules, regulations and taxes!

I’m sure that what goes on here in my state of Missouri is just about what goes on elsewhere. We all exist in a witch's brew of rules and regulations that are layered from the very top of our state government right down to the local townships of each state. Each layer of this cake generating hundreds of pages of new regulations each year and whose overall effect seems more to confuse and confound rather than to get anything worthwhile done.

Take the lowly newspaper, for instance; a daily or weekly publication that is not to be taxed in most states under both Federal and State laws. Yet, interestingly, that’s not quite true. I’ve noticed that one store, close to where I live, adds a tax on them as seen in the picture above. (I changed the name of the store because this is going on everywhere, not just here in Missouri). Maybe they just want to be extra careful and charge a tax in case there might be a tax they need to charge. I dunno. Maybe it a sign of the Democratic leadership we have in the White House. (After all isn’t it the credo of the Democratic Party that if you can’t suffocate something to death with rules or regulations, then by God, tax it until the day after forever)??

So, it came as no surprise to me that the boys and girls at the Missouri State Capitol have now gotten it into their heads to create a new tax to be applied to newspapers, ink and other selected items. This proposal, currently headed for the full House, looks like it may be passed into law sometime this year. (I think they are promising that the money will be used to help the blind out. However, I’m not sure if they are referring to someone who is actually blind or just their constituents in general)…

Critique: Marie Callender's Roasted Garlic Chicken

So little time and so many TV dinner to choose from! This little number by Marie Callender’s line of steamed products got my attention by their use of the word 'roasted' in the meal description. Now, I’ll admit to being somewhat confused here. Just who got roasted? Was it the garlic or the chicken? I was determined to find out. I also like it that this meal has a serving of penne pasta. Penne is of Latin origin and dates from the word penna which means ‘quill’. These little cylinder shaped noodles must have looked like the quill part of a feather to our Latin and Italian ancestors. Actually, it doesn’t look like that at all. (I hear both groups were very fond of the fruit of the vine, that that may explain things).

This meal is one of those really cute ‘steam it in the basket’ creations that I’ve tried and enjoyed before from the Marie-C Kitchens which are actually a subsidiary of Con-Agra. At a hefty 410 calories, it qualifies as a full meal, so absolutely no side dishes are required. I picked an evening when eating one seemed appropriate. You know, one of those nights when you find yourself eating alone. (Which I am a lot)! Yeah, it was just me, my TV dinner and the trusty old microwave sitting off in the corner of my kitchen. I tell you, it was romantic…almost.

I followed the package directions which say to just basically nuke the heck out of it for four minutes, stir, add the sauce and serve. Like that’s so totally hard? Then, with fork in hand, it’s primo gusto eato time!

I think, in retrospect, it is the combination of flavors that I like the most. Something about chicken and pasta has always worked for me. The sauce and the vegetables (artichokes??) merely seal the deal. The chicken was perfect as was the texture of the penne. I gave this one a solid 8 out of ten on the edibility scale and yes, I plan to purchase this item again!

One final note concerns that little combo plastic steamer tray that's left over after the meal. You'd think some bright young person could come up with a use for this. I mean it does looks useful, I just don't know how!I also don't know if you can recycle this plastic as it isn't stamped. Perhaps the nice folks at MC could see fit to fix that little problem in the future. I sent them an Email explaining this and they have assigned me a case number. Now, I'll just hold my breath...

Update: On May the 5th, I did get a response:

"Marie Callender's Pasta AL Dente  packaging is made from polypropylene (#5 plastic) in order to provide a package that is both safe for microwave cooking as well as having the ability to function as a steaming package.  There is no other material available that can provide both of those critical performance attributes.  To indicate the plastic resin type, the #5 in the "chasing arrows" is embossed on the bottom of both the steamer basket and the bottom bowl.  While #5 plastic is technically recyclable and is collected in some municipalities, collection of this material is not widely available to the substantial majority of consumers in the United State.  For that reason, we are not able to claim that this package is recyclable; however, we encourage you to check with your local recycler as it may be collected in your area."

Guess that clears that up! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My weight loss update!

Click to enlarge

I’m now in my third month of a weight loss program of my own design. And oh, sorry. There will be no before or after photos of my disappearing belly fat. (Well, maybe one ‘after’ shot sometime in June or July when I hope to have gone from 201 pounds all the way down to 176 – my supposed ideal weight).

I began this weight loss pilgrimage on March the 8th after I got in firmly in my head that the word ‘obese’ was not going to be a part of my physical description. (I’m already saddled with such terms as ‘old’ and ‘flabby’. That’s plenty of baggage to have to carry around as it is, thank you very much).

When I began to approach the concept of dieting, I resolved to do a little bit of research to see what might or might not make sense for a sixty something older guy to attempt. After tromping around the internet for a bit of time, I came up with a coupe of concepts that I thought might work. Here they are in no particular order:

Exercise – Ya just gotta do it!

There was no way I could get around the need to exercise. Dag nabit anyway. It just made plain sense to me that if I wanted to make some changes, I’d have to give my metabolism a good old kick in the derriere. That meant getting up off my old butt and moving around some.  In my case, I needed mild 'cardio' workouts along with something that could build some endurance (improve muscle tone). It turned out a bicycle was just the thing, and so, that’s what I elected to work on. Four days out of every week, I have gotten on that bike and have done a few miles…up hill and down hill!

Kill off the white stuff!

By white stuff, I’m referring to carbohydrates in general. Things like bread, chips, rice and the like would be a definite no-no with the exception of one day each week. On that one day, I would eat anything I like – pancakes, ice cream, etc. I decided to do this after reading a post by Tim Ferriss who wrote that by ‘dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t down-regulate from extended caloric restriction.’ He’s the author of a book entitled ‘The 4-Hour Body’ available at Amazon. I liked this man’s approach and creative style.

Count those calories!

While this might not be required for others, for me it is a must. In order for me to stay focused and to see results, I elected to tract every bit of food I ate. I even have gone as far as to weigh everything to the gram! My program of choice for this effort was called FitDay, (although there are many others just as good out there to try).

Once I began tracking my calories, it was a simple matter to dial down my intake to match a goal of losing one pound a week. In my case, that worked out to about 1,500 calories a day as a targeted goal. Does that mean I hit the target every day? Heck, no! Some days were a total wipe out. But, I generally was able to rebound the next day and so get back onto the glide path (planned loss of weight) I had set for myself. Was I hungry? Sure, all the time. But, by keeping the goal in mind, I found I could get through hunger and on to the next day. Keeping a daily record of my weight (see graph on top) was a big help also. Man oh man! It was neat when I began to see results after just a few days!

Build meals that work for you, not against you!

Lastly, I did some research on meal combinations that I felt would be nutritious while, at the same time, cutting out some of the bad elements I so wanted to avoid. I also thought outside the box here. Take breakfast, for instance. Normally, I would have something like cereal or flapjacks or eggs and toast. But in looking at those types of meals, I realized that I was not doing my ‘program’ any favors. A high carb start to any day sets the tone (a bad one) while screwing up my circulatory system to boot. Eating any food that spikes blood glucose should be done with some consideration. (That meant I could have a high carb like potatoes or pasta, but wanted to make sure that was timed with a good workout beforehand). Is this scientific? No, but it seems to have worked for me! Here’s an example of the outside the box breakfast: A fish filet, small cup of Great Northern beans and a glass of milk. Above right, is a graph showing where the calories from this particular meal originate. Note the relatively low carbohydrate content. In the next panel below, note that this meal also provides a fantastic does of essential nutrients to help get me get off to a good start for the day.
So, that has been my plan, and it’s resulted in the loss of eleven pounds in about eight weeks. Not too shabby!