Thursday, October 26, 2017

Disturbing news from Australia concerning the flu!

Australia, the continent down under, has been going through the worst flu outbreak in its history. And now as the season winds on down for them, new concerns about the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine are coming to the fore!

As a Queensland family mourns the sudden death of an 18-year-old student who fell ill with the flu, experts have revealed this year’s vaccine “wasn’t a perfect match”. And that's not good news for the US if the same strains migrate northward over the coming months!

According to 7News out of Australia, 'Madeleine Jones was supposed to turn 19 on Saturday but while holidaying with her boyfriend in Queensland, she began to show symptoms of the illness.

Five days on, the law and business student was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane where she fell into a coma and never woke up.
It is not known whether Ms Jones was vaccinated or not, but those responsible for creating the flu vaccine have revealed it has done little to stop the epidemic.'

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Random thoughts for October 20, 2017!

Rebooting the French Dip!

One of my favorite restaurant foods would be the French Dip with a side of au jus! A truly delectable combination of bread, beef and sop, if ever there was one! However, there's one thing wrong with that name. Interestingly, this culinary creation originated in America, not France! Apparently, some LA California eatery called Philippe’s came up with the first recorded mention of it way back in 1908! (Even French fries (which are often served as a side), were originally invented in Belgium! So, you can't always go by a name when trying to figure where some foods originated from. A rather messy way to go about naming foods, in my book. So, I thought that perhaps now was the time to 'reboot' the French Dip into something more PC...

Recently, i launched a campaign to rechristen it to the 'LA Dipper.' And, while I was at it, I felt perhaps that the beef drippings, (aka the 'au jus') could also be changed to plain old 'slop'. So, now when ordering this classic, you could ask for a LA Dip n Slop with a side of Belgium fries! Wow! Talk about being political correct! Inspired by my genius, I've even tried to call Governor Jerry Brown's office to see what he would think, but so far he's been out of the office each time I've tried...


Bernie Sanders is leading the polls!

Speaking of French Dips. Just look at Bernie Sanders and the fact that he was currently leading the 2020 Presidential candidate polls on the Democratic Party side! (A factoid that is driving many Republicans mad with happiness). Both they and I can just imagine what a wide appeal such an avowed Socialist would have in the upcoming general election in 2020!

Yes, I can just see it now. Old Bernie standing up there on a podium in early 2020 under the glare of media cameras, doing his best to convince voters everywhere that piling trillions more debt on top of the staggering amount we already owe, would not be completely insane! I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that kind of thinking? Go Bernie!

The Country Mart crawl!

As the years have flown on by, increasingly, my body has become more and more infirm and in meed of exercise. I'd begun to look, ever more longingly, at those neat enclosed malls where old farts like myself can get in a bit of exercise while also staying out of the elements. I think they're referred to a Mall Walkers! You can catch packs of them shambling around in endless circles most every morning in the neighboring town of Branson. Wikipedia even has a neat definition; 'Mall walking is a form of exercise in which people walk or jog through the usually long corridors of shopping malls. Many malls open early so that people may mall walk, however stores and other such facilities generally do not open at this time, though vending machine concessions are available.' Wow! I found myself in total geriatric envy...

Then it came to me that even though there was no mall in my particular town, we did sport a nicely sized grocery store! It's called Country Mart and I've discovered that if you are very careful, you can get there early and walk and walk and walk....


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Avoiding the flu bug! Ten strategies.

The 2017-16 flu season promises to be a tough one. At least, that's a few of the indications I was seeing from the so-called experts. So, how can you avoid, or at least, limit the chances of catching Influenza this year?
  1. Avoid crowded venues!
Visits to grocery stores and shopping malls should be kept to a minimum. If you do venture out, try and go during the early morning hours when fewer people are out and about!

  1. Wash your hands!
If everyone remembered to wash their hands fairly often, we'd all see fewer colds and flu problems! Make a special effort to wash up after any outdoor excursion or contact with others.

  1. Avoid touching your face!
    The average person touches their face with their hands 1-3 times every 5 minutes! (There! You just did it again)! Try to curtail this nervous habit by groping tying your hands to your waist instead. Just kidding....
  1. Butt those hands!
    Butting hands with someone else, as a form of greeting is way better than shaking them. You'll walk away with only a fraction of the germ transfer that might otherwise occur. Then, visit step #2 again.
  1. Avoid anyone who looks ill! - Duh!
    When your out and about, keep your situational awareness keyed up. Watch out for anyone who appears even slightly ill and if you see someone like that, head the other direction!
  1. Get a flu shot!
    Of all the things you can do to help avoid a week or more of abject misery, an early season visit to your doctor, health clinic or pharmacy could be just the ticket. Only, remember, after getting your flu shot, it still takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective!
  1. Use credit cards, not cash!
    During the hectic holiday periods when many of us tend to shop a lot more than we usually do, cash becomes a great medium of germ exchange. Switch, instead, to credit cards or even better opt to make most of your gift purchases on line!
  1. Eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep!
    Maintaining your over all conditioning, getting plenty of sleep and eating a balanced diet will do wonders for how you feel and can add some protection against rhino viruses and the flu bug.
  1. Avoid stress!
    Right next to following the advice in #8, reducing stress has a direct impact on that status of you immune system. Anyone who has made it through a holiday like Christmas can attest to all the opportunities to become stressed out!
  1. Skip those holiday parties and stay home!
    OK, so this one might be a little hard to do.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

And, in the endof times!

In the end of times, so did mankind fade from this earth. And, over eons of time, so it was that all he had built crumbled into dust and was no more...

So, it was on a day in October, that I asked God. 'What was the point?'

It took some time for me to hear a response. Then God said... '

Friday, October 13, 2017

Now more than ever, we need to stand united!


That we all live in trying times, is a given. But, as a Nation, we've been there before... God is good and God is kind and sometimes He laughs, cries and hurts for His children who do such strange things. Including,  but separate from, those of us with poor keyboard expertise...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Dockside Pub & Grub in Rockaway Beach MO!

Rockaway Beach MO. - After hearing that a good friend of mine had just started working at the Dockside Pub & Grub located in the center of Rockaway Beach at 2718 State Hwy 176, I decided to stop in and check the place out. (After all, it had been a number of years since I'd last been in the area). And, back then, the venue had a less than savory reputation... Well, that's changed big time!

Ever since August of this year, it has been under the new ownership. Fred Hoffman, a local entrepreneur has assumed control, and I had to admit I was rather impressed when I entered the establishment and ordered a beer. Clean, warm and friendly were my very first impressions! My friend Brandy was also working that afternoon along with another professional named Brenda. The establishment, (which can seat about 80 customers), was well appointed with a well laid out arrangement of bar stools and tables where hungry customers could enjoy a variety of prepared foods (including a signature 1/3 pound hamburger and French fries)! There were also two pool tables, a jukebox and a stage with a dance floor. Very cool indeed!

Menu as of Oct 2017!
Brenda filled me in on a few of the almost daily happenings that included Friday ladies night, upcoming pumpkin carving contest and a Halloween contest that offers cash money to the top costume. I had the impression that this was really nice venue that was well run and would be a good hangout for anyone at any time. I was also told that the Rockaway police looked kindly towards it patrons as long as they behaved in a responsible manner and obeyed all traffic laws. Well, perhaps things are changing for the better in Rockaway Beach and we may have new owners like Mr. Hoffman to thank for that! Oh, and at Happy Hour - (2PM?) draft beer is only $1.75!

I plan to make the Dockside Pub & Grub a frequent destination!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Earth to get a close shave!

An asteroid the size of a house is set to give Earth a close shave, and you can watch part of the space rock's approach live online this evening (Oct. 11 at 7PM CST).

There's no danger of an impact by 2012 TC4 on this pass, astronomers stress. But the space rock will get quite close, coming within a mere 31,200 miles (50,200 kilometers) of Earth's surface, according to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, which is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. For perspective: The moon orbits Earth at an average distance of about 239,000 miles (384,600 km). That be dag nab-bit close!

Astronomers estimate 2012 TC4 to be 39 feet to 89 feet (12 to 27 meters) wide. That puts it in the same general size class as the object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, injuring more than 1,000 people. So, were it to hit earth, only about a thousand might get injured. No big deal, right?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My tacos grande!

It was only a rather blasé Monday and definitely NOT a Taco Tuesday, so... I decided to make up a batch of tacos! When a man gets a hankering, that's how it goes....

So, whenever I happen to make tacos, I insist on hard shells and lots of crap mixed in topped off with some Louisiana hot sauce! Yep! That be the ticket...

Ingredients:

Taco meat (HB and taco mix)
Hard corn taco shells
Taco mix shredded cheese
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Green chilies, chopped
Salsa Ranchera
Hot sauce

Preparation:

If you don't know how to make taco meat, please stay out of the kitchen and away from sharp blades. I prefer 80/20 ground beef mixed with McCormick's Original Taco mix. Once this is ready, I mount the shells in my little taco holders and then throw on the rest of ingredients with wild abandon! Making tacos is about as easy as 'cooking' gets! Note that the taco, as pictured, contained about 180 calories!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Firefighter fired for bringing watermelon to station!

DETROIT (WJBK) - Earlier this month, 41-year-old Robert Pattison went to introduce himself to his fellow firefighters at Engine 55 at Joy and Southfield in Detroit. Second Battalion Chief Shawn McCarty calls it a tradition for firefighters.

"It's not mandatory, it's voluntary," he says. "You come in bearing gifts. The usual gift is doughnuts, but you are allowed to bring whatever you want to bring in."

And Pattison, a probationary firefighter, decided to bring a watermelon wrapped in a pink ribbon. We're told some African-American firefighters were instantly offended, since 90% of the people who work at Engine 55 are black.

"When you get your first detail at a firehouse you pretty much know what you are getting yourself into," says Patrick Trout. "So you would have to say it was probably a bad call."

FOX 2: "Is it racially insensitive to bring a watermelon into a fire house?"

"To some people," McCarty says.

FOX 2 spoke to Pattison by phone, who claims it was not a joke - and he did not mean to offend his fellow firefighters. But he clearly did. Fire Commissioner Eric Jones says the Fenton native was officially discharged.

In a statement Jones says: "There is zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior inside the Detroit Fire Department. On Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at Engine 55, a trial firefighter (probationary employee) engaged in unsatisfactory work behavior which was deemed offensive and racially insensitive to members of the Detroit Fire Department.

"After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the best course of action was to terminate the employment of this probationary employee."

In a world where racial tensions run high, some tell me the trial firefighter should have known better. Trout doesn't know if he meant anything by it - but feels it was a bad choice.
"For sure by far it was,"

The question is did WFD take it too far?
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This rather interesting piece came from Fox 2 out of Detroit Michigan and my response was to approve wholeheartedly the firing of this insensitive fire fighting cracker! Any man with even a lick of sense knows that you do not ever bring 'color sensitive' foods to a mixed racial party! That includes not only watermelon, but fried chicken and BBQ ribs! Had it been me, I would have brought pickled eggs, a slab of sauerbraten and perhaps some pressed duck! (All foods that are accepted by international convention and which are approved for all races).

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sometimes, perhaps we follow people a bit too blindly!

In the ancient time of Judea, the Pharisees, (who were the authoritative figures in all things religious and who were the church and who were the seat of real power for the Jewish state) had grown short sighted and self important. They would, on every Sabbath, show up in fine garbs and parade down the streets for all the common men to see and wonder at! 'Follow us and not Him', they loudly proclaimed, 'for we can see clearly the true Mind of God'!

Jesus, hearing of this, responded. 'Hypocrites all! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. Yet, how is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?'

Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard this, and they asked Him, “Are we blind too?”

“If you were blind, Jesus replied, “you would not be guilty of sin. But since you claim you can see,’ your guilt remains.” 

I'll leave it for my readers to get where I'm going with this....And so, after decades of time, I did see her face...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Liberals scream for gun control!

Just hours after the horrific mass killing and wounding of concert goers who were attending a Country Western music festival, the Far Left had already worked themselves into a frenzy, demanding universal background checks, a ban on all semi-automatics among other items of perennial interest. As if that would have stopped a mad man from carrying out his quest for hell on earth.

Here's the facts; the guns were purchased legally and Stephen Paddock passed all the background checks – See Newsweek!

Mr. Paddock was unknown to the police or the FBI as he had only one parking ticket on his 'record'. 'Paddock had no criminal record beyond a routine citation several years ago that was handled in court.' Excerpt from a CBS story!

What is known is that Mr. Paddock did modify some of the rifles to become fully automatic – which is illegal. Mr. Paddock also clandestinely moved the rifles and the ammo into a hotel room which was also against hotel rules.

Finally, Mr. Paddock did cold-bloodily, and in a manner that exhibited careful planning and which required much work be done, well before the first shot was ever fired.... Something is not right here!

What screams out here, to me, is the fact that no sane man would ever have done such a thing – EVER! And perhaps that is what is wrong with my Nation today. We have a porous or wholly lacking mental health evaluation process for those people who would buy guns or other weapons that can kill! As a matter of fact, I would promote new regulations that would not only require gun owners to pass periodic mental evaluations, but which would expand that effort to include any man or woman or child who desires a driver license! A truck filled with explosives could have done a lot more killing in Vegas and had done so elsewhere in the world! Because, Liberals, you see that mental illness has played a strong role in other mass killings and I would not be surprised to see that in play here!

As an aside; I have to wonder how many of our Congressmen could pass even a rudimentary mental competency test, if one were given ?

Monday, October 2, 2017

OK! So, now I'm sick!

Monday, October 2 - Last November 3 (3026)  , I got my flu shot with no ill effects. This year (2017) I got a shot on Friday September 29,  with the same four inactivated viral components (2 type A and 2 type B), but was sicker than a dog just two days later. (My symptoms included a sore throat, sore joints, fatigue and a dry cough). Pretty much text book symptoms for someone with influenza.

The real test, however, will be just how long the 'illness' lasts. A bout of real flu typically lasts one to two weeks, with severe symptoms subsiding in two to three days. However, weakness, fatigue, dry cough, and a reduced ability to exercise can linger for three to seven days. Therefore, I figured if I was still sick by Wednesday, I just might have gotten the real thing. Otherwise, it was likely some other 'bug' that was floating around. And then again, the problems could be due to a reaction to the quadrivalent vaccine I'd just recently received. I've since concluded that I have the real deal...
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My anxiety was only increased with this news coming out of Australia:

Down south, a record-breaking 172,247 cases have been confirmed by the Department of Health in 2017: 86,567 in New South Wales; 44,866 in Queensland; 17,326 in South Australia; 13,654 in Victoria; 3656 in Western Australia; 2707 in Tasmania; 2352 in the Australian Capital Territory and 1119 in the Northern Territory.

That’s a 156% increase on the number reported by this time last year, according to Immunization Coalition statistics. And the health service believes the number is even higher, with a delay in reporting thanks to administrative backlogs as officials struggle to handle the spike.

The rates of influenza are highest among people aged 85 years or older, with a secondary peak for children aged 5 to 9 as well as unusually high rates among under-fives.

Update: Day #4 and I think I'm getting a little better - At least I've managed to get out of bed a few times. This 'flu', assuming that's what it is, has been a real SOB. Look up the list of symptoms for influenza and I've had them all over the past few days...