Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Biden and his suggestion to use a shotgun!

Before you run out and get a shotgun to protect you and yours, please check out this video! Personally, I think I'll stick with an assault rifle!

Wearable gesture control from Thalmic Labs! Amazing!

Is the future of drones rapidly getting ahead of us as a culture?
Click here for the You Tube video. Prepare to be amazed!

You (I) have zero friends!

After watching an episode of South Park called ‘You have zero friends’ and after I stopped laughing myself sick, I began to understand a little more about Facebook as a site and as a persona and why it’s so popular among the younger set. It’s actually just another hi-tech tool by which young kids can drive each other crazy and become ever increasingly more isolated.

Sequestration begins day after tomorrow! Am I prepared? No!

I’ve promised myself not to panic, but according to my President ‘all hell is going to bust lose’ come March 1st. A date I’m sure will live in infamy as the economy will begin to look more and more like the Titanic did on April the 15th 1912. Only, damn it all, at least they had a band!

By way of preparation, I went to the grocery store, yesterday, and spent almost all my remaining money on canned goods and other foods that could help last me through the dark times to come! (While I was there, I was very surprised to see that there were no crowds). Didn’t everyone get the President’s memo of impending catastrophe?

I’ve also made it a point this past month to buy as many guns and ammo as my dwindling pile of cash would permit. All in order that I would be ready for the ‘day the economy crashes’. An event that the Democrats and the President have pretty much guaranteed as a direct result of the interference of a Republican Party gone crazy!

Man oh man; I can’t believe this is actually happening! And, all because of those traitorous Republicans who want to wreck everything and really shouldn’t be in Congress in the first place. No sir, they should be kicked out so that President Obama and the Democrats can work smoothly together to re-shape our country so that people like me won’t have to worry about our personal finances. Isn’t that what he means by a FREE Society? I mean why should anything I need have to cost me something when I like need it? Duh.

Well, now it’s all about over. I hope you Republicans are happy. You’ve ruined what was a great party (pun intended) and now it’s the end. Goodbye all….

A lucky couple is chosen to go to Mars!

Dear Mr. Patrick Betz,

Congratulations! You have been specially selected by Bas Landsdorper et al. to participate in a manned fly-by of Mars which will take place on the morning January 2, 2018 from Cape Kennedy Florida in a space vehicle designed exclusively by Spaced-OutX.

Cosmonaut Burswadle
Mr. Betz, this honor has been afforded to you after the failure of anyone to willingly step forward as a volunteer for a 501 day journey in a cramped space capsule where spartan conditions will definitely prevail. However, Mr. Betz, you will not go alone! Mr. Landsdorper is also proud to announce that Russian Cosmonaut Helga Burswadle has agreed to accompany you on this most auspicious mission for all of humankind!

This epic journey of over a year and a half will pit; human endurance, extremely cramped quarters (not to mention the likely advances of one very determined cosmonaut) against all possible odds of survival! We also would like to advise you, Mr. Betz, that you will be exposed to extremely high levels of radiation for most of the trip and will therefore be encouraged to wear our custom designed metal athletic supporter at all times.

Mr. Betzel shortly after receiving word!
Mr. Betz, we request that you get prepared mentally and then present yourself to the space terminal no later than December 31, 2017. Please note that there will be no need for a doctor's physical or other preparations prior to us placing you (by force, if necessary) into that cozy little capsule with Helga! God speed and good luck!

If you make it back, Mr. Betz, a party will be held in your honor. (If you don't make it back, we will hold one anyway).

Bas Landsdorper
CEO Mars One

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It’s called CRE and it kills!

The scientific name is Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, and it’s a killer with virtually no drugs to stop it! Even the CDC is currently at a loss to describe the scope of the problem; having issued an alert this date to clinicians nationwide.

This superbug belongs to a once obscure family of drug-resistant bacteria that has stalked the corridors of U.S. hospitals and nursing homes for over a decade. Today it is a persistent and growing problem all across the country with doctors trying one antibiotic after another to no avail. The bacteria are named for their ability to fight off carbapenem antibiotics -- the last line of defense in the medical toolbox. Death rates among patients with CRE infections can be as high as 40%, far worse than other, better-known health care infections such as MRSA or C-Diff, which have plagued hospitals and nursing homes for many years.

Since the first known case, at a North Carolina hospital, was reported in 2001, CRE’s have spread to at least 41 other states, according to the CDC. And many cases still go unrecognized, because it can be tough to do the proper laboratory analysis, particularly at smaller hospitals or nursing homes!

The question in everyone’s mind is will this elusive bacteria escape the confines of health facilities to set up shop in local communities and so with potentially devastating effects!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

We are lost, in a lost world!

The thing about reality is the way it sneaks up on us in the night. A sharp cutting edge. We are but children who, while eternally innocent before God, must live our lives here - forever soiling the sandbox we share with others...

Critique: Banquet’s Charbroiled Patty meal!

Back in March of 2011, I did a review of Banquet’s Zesty Smothered Charbroiled Patty Meal which also included some meat, potatoes and corn. This version (from the darker side), has substituted pasta noodles swimming in a dull brown gravy. Still costs only a buck, though, even in 2015!

This meal, at 227 grams, is comparable to the 2011 version by weight and the meat was also about the same size (and taste). This meal deal, however, was by no means either zesty or really smothered by anything more than a salt-loaded brown 'gravy'. (Perhaps it’s a recent casualty of the new ‘change’ our President has been talking so much about).

Nutritionally, you’re getting 310 calories, 26% of your daily fat, 40% of sodium and close to a 20% dose of cholesterol. A real winner, this one. Eat enough of these meal a deals and you’ll wind up on a cold slab in some morgue someplace. Other than that sobering news, this is not a bad dalliance if you happen to be starving. I actually liked the taste of the mix of pork and machine separated turkey mixed in chemicals and found the pasta to be just right. I gave it a 7 on overall taste and a -2 on healthy eating. Still, it’s only a buck man! I did think to try and improve the appearance of this meal by moving it to a regular plate and by adding a slice of toast!

Are rising gas prices leading to more personal isolation?

As gas and other fuels continue to rise in cost, are Americans becoming more isolated?

I know a statement like that is bound to raise a questioning eyebrow or two. The year 2013 caps a string of years where technology has never made it easier to connect with others. Smart phones, the internet and social circles like Face Book have made staying in touch a snap! Every day, I get texted, called on the phone, poked and emailed just about to death. But, that’s not what I talking about…

An interesting phenomenon of the times has been the paradigm shift in the way people get around and even in how they shop. Not too long ago, I would think nothing about jumping into my car to run 15 miles over to a shopping center to buy something or maybe meet with friends at a popular eatery for a casual lunch. That was when gas cost $1.85 and it really didn’t figure into my thinking process. These days, with gas at $3.60 or more a gallon, it does! Now that trip of 30 miles round trip (assuming I only went from point A and then right back home), would cost me over $6 just to make the trip. So, yeah, I do think about it! And as a result, I’ve tended to group my errands, shopping trips and luncheons a little more carefully. Truth be told, when I need something now, I tend to jump online and order it (often free of taxes and shipping costs)! I also try and keep my trips to the grocery store down to a minimum and when I do shop; I tend to buy less as rising food prices have also had a bad effect on my budget. Luncheons? Yes, I still meet people on increasingly rarer occasions for a quick bite, but invariably the location we choose is close to everyone’s home.

So, now I’m told that our illustrious President has it in his mind to go around Congress (if needed) and pass a tax on industries that emit CO2 as a part of their manufacturing process. Uh oh! That would definitely include such ‘luxury’ items as heat from coal fired electric generators and gasoline from refineries. God only knows what long term effects that move would have on heating costs and oil prices. I’d personally have to face the fact that, at say $7 a gallon, I’d need to think seriously about investing in a motorcycle; because that’s the only way I could afford to get around!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ihmisten Edessa - In front of people!

I'm posting this more to rattle my latest follower, than for any other reason. :) This song by Finnish singer Jenni Vartiainen was the start of a multi-year learning session for me to try and pick up the language. An effort, sad to say, that was not all that successful. Having said that, I did manage to absorb some of the lingo through my skin. Joka harvoille luetaan - a story read by few I'm afraid! Anyway, a video worth watching....kiitos!

Image of a Girl - The Safaris

Another trip back to the sixties with this rare rehearsal by the Safaris and the classic song 'Image of a Girl'. For whatever reason... call it a mental aberration... I feel that I actually knew these guys... perhaps it's a Stephen King kind of deal...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shadows of Knight with Shake

This was a group that lived a block or so from my house in Mt. Prospect Illinois back in the 60's. If I remember correctly this is the same group that opened with the song 'Sugar Shack' in their first appearance at an 'All Knight Dance' at my school called Prospect High way back in the day. They also performed often, at a venue known as 'The Cellar' in Arlington Heights, Il. A great group that also made a signature song called Gloria!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The next pope? Pope DanO I?

Available in stores everywhere once I'm confirmed!
 I was very saddened to hear that Pope Benedict XVI had announced that he was going to step down. I wish only the best for his popeness. But imagine my surprise when a Vatican source informed me that my name had been 'thrown into the hat' as a possible successor! Of course I would be flattered to fill such big shoes and on reflection, felt that this might prove to be a large boost to me personally. I also refuse to listen to those around me that say the call I received late last night was a hoax! Hogwash, I say! Oh, and bless you my children!

Adding potatoes to a successful diet regime!

Half a medium potato!

Traditionally, many diets advise us to shy away from anything that is ‘white’! You know, bread, rice, pasta and potatoes! They cite the high caloric loads vis a vie the carbs that these food bring to the plate. However, I beg to differ when it comes to potatoes. When eating properly, they can be fit into most diets while at the same time bringing good nutrition as part of the bargain.

Fact 1: Potatoes offer themselves up as an excellent source of potassium.

Fact 2: Potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber and here is a little known fact. If you cook a potato and then chill it, you can effectively double the soluble fiber content. I will typically nuke a small russet potato in the microwave in the morning and will then let it sit in the fridge until dinnertime. After a quick trip back to the microwave, I’ve given myself a food that is high in potassium, vitamin C and fiber!

Fact 3: When eaten with milk or green beans, you’ll be getting all 9 of the essential amino acids your body can’t produce itself!

Fact 4: Eating half a medium sized potato (~80 grams) delivers only 85 calories while adding 12% of needed vitamin C and potassium to you daily intake.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Making do with less!

Let’s face it, food prices at most grocery stores are on the rise and they don’t look to be improving anytime soon. So, it’s not surprising when a person like me is on the lookout for any foods that are both nutritious and cost effective.

While I was recently shopping at a local grocery store, I spied a 10 pound bag of potatoes that was on sale for only $2.99! I thought that was a pretty good deal and purchased a bag to take home. It’s note worthy that I skipped the produce isle (lettuce at $2 a head – no way) and I didn’t even bother looking at any real meat items, substituting instead, a package of Oscar Meyer Cotto Salami for just $1.50 for one pound! The calories in the salami totaled about 1,120 while the bag of potatoes offered up approximately 3,400! Between those two, along with a half gallon of 2% milk ($2.29) and a loaf of cheap bread ($1), I figured I could get creative and came up with a couple of interesting meal ideas that wouldn't break my budget. (Note: I scrounged around in the fridge for my condiments and butter  while the lettuce came out of a small cold frame situated in front of my home). Here are a few of those meals:

A salami sandwich with a baked potato and milk!

Simple yet filling!

Cost: $0.56      Calories: 488
(Itemized cost: bread @ .10 + salami @ .09 +
russet potato @ .13 + 2% milk @ .29 = .56)
(Not included in the calculations were the pat of butter or the mayo)

A toasted salami & cheese sandwich with fried potatoes!

Cost: $0.71      Calories: 546
(Itemized cost: bread @ .10 + salami @ .09 + Cheese slice @ .10
russet potato @ .13 + 2% milk @ .29 = .56 cents)
(Not included in the calculations was the A1 sauce)

A simple salad with strips of salami and milk!

Tasty and nutritious!

 Cost: $0.43      Calories: 166
(Itemized cost: salami @ .09 +
onion @ .05 + 2% milk @ .29 = .xx cents)
(Not included in the calculations was the vinegar and oil or the A1 sauce, also the milk was not pictured)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

About putting stuff off! And, the phrase IPTO!

I came up with this, my new motto for 2013, after I discovered a list of stuff I needed to get done that somehow had got itself lost. (I have a feeling this same list will be getting lost again soon)!

Also, from now on when someone asks me to do something, I'll respond with 'IPTO' which stands for 'I'm putting that off'. Here's a for instance:

'DanO, could you help me clear that brush pile out back on Saturday?'

'Sure', I'll answer back. 'IPTO man!'

(Note that IPTO can be announced by pronouncing the letters or with saying it phonetically – as in Ip toe). I plan to use this phrase a lot in the future.

Can spring be far off? I’m thinking of gardening already!

While the calendar says it’s still mid winter, my thoughts keep jumping ahead to the 21st of March which is, as we all know, the first day of spring! So saying, I’m on the lookout for onion sets that usually appear about now in grocery stores across the area. These guys can go into the ground just as soon as you can get your hands on them and before you know it, you’ll have something to munch on in the form of scallions and such. I did a YouTube video, a while back, called ‘Onions are Easy to Grow’ which is sort of interesting to watch. I also have a gardening site called DanO’s Garden that contains some interesting tidbits especially on the topic of vegetables anyone can grow.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A video of many layers! Gosh! Just like makeup!

One day, way back in 2008, I happened across a video of a young girl doing her makeup on YouTube. What attracted me, initially, was only the audio cut. Good sounds! And, that was OK, but what soon got my attention was the shear levels of depth of this effort, of which I'm sure the creator had absolutely no concept. In this one video, I've perceived at least twenty or more mini-subplots in this video. Something that still intrigues me to this day. Watch closely and comment if  you want! Failing all else, please enjoy the song!

Asteroid DA14 to arrive Feb 15th

What’s bigger than half a foot ball field, travels at 8 miles a second and will skim over the earth’s surface on February the 15th at a height that will be closer than our orbiting satellites? Why it’s an asteroid you silly goose and it goes by the cryptic name DA14.

This is the closest any body of this size has ever gotten to the earth in memory…without impacting it that is. 2012 DA14 was discovered less than a year ago by a Spanish team at the La Sagra Astronomical Observatory, and initially stirred up a wave of doomsday worries. NASA quickly stepped in and quieted those fears, stating that while it will pass ‘interestingly close’, it should miss us. (This assumes that there will be no last minute perturbations to the asteroid’s orbit, of course)! HA HA.

At the time of its passage, the rocky intruder will be passing over parts of Asia, so even were it to slam into earth, it would more than likely miss North America. Its closest approach will be at 2:24 p.m. ET Feb. 15 and scientists say that were it to hit land, it would only be similar to a small atomic bomb. (Small comfort if you happen to live in a city where it hits)!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Seventh grade student launches into space! Really!

This video is real and it is a testament to American ingenuity and know how - !! The original and better video can be seen here -

And, not to be outdone, here is an HD version with a toy robot -

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Critique: Healthy Choice Honey Roasted Turkey!

This complete meal from Healthy Choice features turkey breast meat covered with a sweet glaze, green beans, sweet potatoes and a caramel apple desert!

How, I wanted to ask, could you go wrong with a meal as good as this one looks? A 306 gram meal that boasts only 250 calories, a modest 350 mg of sodium and only 40 milligrams of cholesterol! From a nutritional standpoint, this meal is out of the ballpark!

The chunks of turkey are real bit-sized and yes, those are tasty bits of sweet potato that strangely work well with the glaze and the turkey! On the side is a combo of green beans and shredded carrots that perfectly compliment the main course. Finally, but not to be considered lastly, is the apple desert which I found to be just OK. The apple slices were a bit too al dente for my taste.

For a few dollars, this meal (as is the case for most of the Healthy Choice entrees) can be considered a good investment. I gave this meal a solid 8 on a scale of 10.