Thursday, March 30, 2017

On eggs, the wind and blank TV's!

Outside, a brisk wind was moaning through a crack in my kitchen window. I glanced up, briefly, as I washed a few dishes in the sink and checked the solid blanket of clouds for an spot of blue. 'No sunlight today,' I thought to myself. OK, sure. Chilly winds, overcast skies and sore feet were about par for a late day in March. It was a fact that my condo and my body were rather old, each growing more infirm as the days passed. And, we both creaked a little in a stout wind, me more than the condo...
On this day, I'd just finished eating breakfast after first hobbling from my bed over to the fridge. My ankle hurt more so than normal. I couldn't tell if that left foot was sprained or perhaps gout was getting a better hold. In either case, I was forced to hobble that morning or risk dying of starvation. After a bit, the pain subsided and I hobbled along pretty well.

My breakfast consisted of an egg, a slice of toasted rye bread and a glass of milk. Only the milk had started to go bad and so I dumped it. Water would have to serve. I fried the egg while wondering what kind of number all the cholesterol was going to do to my circulatory system. I didn't worry at all about the bread. 

Off in one corner of the room that morning, my flat screen stared defiantly back at me. It had been off more than on in recent months and was likely a little sore. Being turned off, though, was a testament to sort of channel programs being offered. I found the silence to be refreshing and that TV could glare all it wanted. Anyway, there was the moaning of the wind to keep me company. I quickly consumed the egg and the toast, feeling completely unfulfilled and if anything more hungry! As I sat there at the table, looking at the empty plated with only a streak of yellow and some bread crumbs scattered here and there, I thought of my life. In many ways, I was like that plate. Yellow marks here and there and sort of crumbly and empty headed. Time went by as my grandfather clock ticked off the seconds...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Am I a theif or just a confused old(er) man?

After enduring a somewhat humiliating experience at a local gas slash convenience store in Forsyth, I came away a wiser, but still very confused man.

The problems began when I stopped to get some gas and to make a purchase. Everything went smoothly until I walked up to the checkout counter and the young girl began to speak in some form of gibberish that left me with my mouth hanging open I'm sure. According to the clerk, I had used the gas station intercom (didn't know that existed) to order $10 worth of gas the day before, but had not paid for it. I found that puzzling. Yes, I had visited the store that day before, but that had been to purchase consumables, not gas. No, she informed me. 'We have you on surveillance video!' (I didn't know they had video)! Well, being sure that I had not purchased any gas, I left, after telling the girl that I would be happy to sit with management the next day to look at me in the act of 'stealing gas'. Even though I had paid at the counter on that date and every other date, over the past many years. Later that day, I went back and gave the clerk the money she told me I owed on the promise that she would call me in a few minutes to verify that her 'bank' was 'short'. I never heard from her again on that day. [Now if this diatribe sounds a bit disjointed and rather weird, good. You now know how I felt!]

I did come away with one thought, however. And, that was as a cash paying customer who wanders around buying other products after first getting gas, is it my responsibility to also tell the clerk that I had made a gas purchase? Normally, I do, but really! Shouldn't the people there know what's going on? I'll leave this perplexing thought for you all to ponder and move onto other things and in the meantime, I'll make it a point to use a credit card and buy my gas at the pump without ever having to walk back into that place....

Update: I had a call from the manager and apparently there had been a mix up. I got my money back and a hug! Not a bad ending!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Photos of Forsyth MO – March 26, 2017!

 It was a Sunday in late March and I thought it to be a good idea to get out and shoot some pictures of various businesses and other sights in and around town, (just for the historical record of course). Forsyth is a small town (population at around 1400) that is located in Southwest Missouri, not very far from Branson – our local claim to fame. As of that date, we had ourselves something like three banks, thirteen eateries, an O'Reilly auto center, a smattering of hair styling venues, a hardware store and a couple of parks! What more could anyone ask? I've called this area home for many a year and it really hasn't changed very much. Something I really like a lot!

#1 White River Plaza – Beginning at the northern edge of town, we have a nice strip mall that houses a neat collection of stores. I generally stop there to visit the Dollar General ( a nice store), the Subway and the excellent laundromat that's located in the back!

#2 National Enzyme Company – I worked at this supplement manufacturing company for a long time and have many fond memories from that experience. And, while it's changed ownership over the years, it's still is a viable place to seek and find good work in the area!

#3 McDonald's – You aren't a genuine 'town' unless to have a McDonald's and a Sonic's! Forsyth MO has both and while I don't frequent them as much as I used to, it still is a pleasure to eat food that tastes great even as it's killing you! I've  done a number of articles on both establishments along with some of the other eateries and have a love-hate relationship depending on the size of my waistline....

#4 O'Reilly Auto – In Forsyth, if you need something for your vehicle, O'Reilly's probably has the part in stock. I go there for parts and visit the Tire Crew for oil changes and any other serious automotive work! I've found both establishments to be very helpful whenever I've had a problem/

#5 Frosted Mug – A venerable local watering hole, the Mug is also one of the older businesses in Forsyth. I've enjoyed their signature 'frosted mugs' of beer and have eaten and enjoyed the varied menu that they offer. This is a good place to kick back on those really hot summer days that hit our neck of the woods in the summertime and enjoy a cold one!

#6 Courthouse and County Jail – Since Forsyth is the County Seat of Taney County, we enjoy excellent city services, a courthouse and a state of the art jail. and no, I've never been incarcerated there, I've only heard about it.

#7 Charlie's Ribs, Steak and Ale – In terms of offering finer dining, Charlie's and perhaps a couple of other eating establishments are where to go when you're hungry and also desire a taste of class. The establishment is non smoking, has a fully stock bar and excellent service. over the years, I've written a number of articles about eateries in this class including the Long Horn Family Dining establishment and Fat Daddies, where a lot of the town locals like to hang out.

#8 Shadowrock Park – Rounding out my tour this day, I visited a well known park that has a long and interesting history – everything from being the site of a civil war battle, way back when, to being one of the nicest places to hang out and fish during the warmer months of the year!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Critique: Lean Cuisine's Sweet & Spicy Koren-Style Beef!

Other than going for the longest name ever on an entree, I wasn't sure about how I'd like this offering by Nestle USA Inc out of Ohio. First of all, were they talking North or South Korea. I didn't want nothing to do with anything Kim Jon-Un might have had his fat little hands on. So, I assumed it was a south Korean dish and therefore somewhat safe to consume..

At 320 calories, this offering was not bad, assuming it would fill me up. Also, the 650 figure for sodium was a livable amount. At least the food wasn't soaked in salt!

After performing the rather simple preparation deal in the microwave, I noticed that the meal didn't look much like the picture displayed on the box, but it was close! It also helped a lot that I was hungry as this food was a wee bit too sweet for my pallet. If this is what they eat in Korea, I could better understand why everyone is skinny. It wasn't something I'd ever order seconds of... that was for sure! Of the visible vegetables, I was certain of the carrots and only guessed that what looked like zucchini really was. The cook prime beef steak was OK and I never really made out the green onions or the host of ingredients like whey solids, molasses or succinic acid. Not sure that was really a bad thing. In the final analysis, this meal was sort of like what I thought K-rations must have tasted like in WWII. You ate the stuff and then didn't feel too bad about going off to die.

I rated this entree a 4 on a scale of 10 and honestly do not intend to purchase it again in the future... unless we have another war or something...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Salsa chicken tenders in the slow cooker!

After tossing out the idea of doing a recipe known as Autumn Chicken in my slow cooker (missing some ingredients), I decided to throw in some chunky salsa and chicken tenders and then cook them on high for about four hours. At lunchtime, I them prepared a small amount of egg noodles in a manner that would insure I stayed within dietary limits! My chosen side was about 40 grams of canned green beans that had been soaked in water to brine out the extra salt. The result was interesting, tasty and allowed me the pleasure of eating pasta without the guilt. Now some notes on the two principal ingredients with an aside on sodium.

Note that the noodle weight was 'dry wgt' not actual wet!

Chicken tenders

According to Organic Facts, 'eating chicken provides a good supply of protein, a generous supply of essential vitamins and minerals, results in losing weight (when eaten in moderation), aids in cholesterol control, blood pressure control, and a reduced risk of cancer.' That's a few reasons why I eat it on a regular basis.

Egg noodles

The benefits of eating egg noodles are numerous, including; being a complete protein, which means that it contains all nine amino acids that the body needs. It also contains high levels of B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, and calcium. Plus, it's gluten-free. Finally, chicken is naturally very low in sodium, although if you season it with salt, you’ll consume way more sodium than you may realize. Personally, I brine the meat to removes excess salt and then use a salt substitute, like potassium chloride, as a healthy alternative.


As you may have guessed, I try to limit my sodium intake as most processed foods, these days, seem to be soaked in the stuff! When you have a lot of sodium in your diet, your body automatically retains extra fluid (bad). Because of this, your heart works harder to push blood out to your extremities that are suddenly heavier. While you may experience no immediate effects, over time, your blood pressure goes up, raising your chances of suffering from heart disease.


1/2 pkg of chicken tenders (about 4)
½ 8 oz jar of chunky salsa
1 cup of egg noodles
Fake salt and real pepper to taste

Directions: Place the chicken and the salsa into a small slow cooker. I used a 2 quart model. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. At the end of that time, cook a cup of egg noodles according to package directions. Serves 2 and cost less than a buck per serving. The power used was also a deal; .4 kWh's or about 6 cents of electricity!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Critique: Lean Cuisine's Chicken Parmesan!

OK, so this meal deal is about chicken, cheese and pasta! So, what's not to like?

After all, at only 310 calories, who wouldn't want to pleasure their taste buds in such a fashion? I was all on board and really like any frozen entree that is a slash, nuke, stir and nuke again affair. Simple meal prep for a simple mind.

Well, let's get to it. (No one like long boring reviews). This meal was composed of four basic elements;

Chicken – The texture was 'chickeneny', and it tasted OK to boot! I gave it three points!
Pasta – Way overcooked for my taste. It was only saved by the.. (one point)!
Sauce – You basic tomato sauce made all the more palatable with lots of salt (660 mg)! Two points.
Cheese – The element was pretty sparse and hard to find once you began to eat! One point.

So there you have it – a seven on a scale of 10. No the worst meal in the world, but at a cost of $3.55, there's lots better fare to be found on them thar frozen shelves...