Friday, December 22, 2017

Fettuccine Alfredo. The real story!

Fettuccine Alfredo or fettuccine al burro is a pasta dish made from fettuccine tossed with Parmesan cheese and butter. As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich sauce coating on the pasta. That's what the history books would have you believe anyway..

The real story concerned a young Italian Lad by the name of Fettuchini (Italian for weak chinned) who owned a burro that he called Alfredo! Interestingly, old Alfredo was a real uptight burro that would jump at the smallest sound. And so it was one day, while Futtuchini was making normal spaghetti pasta, that he accidentally dropped his spatula, which startled the burro who got all crazy, jumped and knocked over a freshly made pile of regular spaghetti onto the floor. In the confusion, he also ran over and stomped the noodles flat. Then, as Fettuchini was beating the burro, some butter and cheese got spilled right into the whole mess. Being poor, Fettuchini scraped it up as best he could and ate it anyway! And a new recipe was born! The only problem being that the historians got his name spelled wrong...

Alfredo the burro, as a side note, was shot the next day and made into stew. A true story.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On the weather and taxes!

The coming cold snap!

Christmas in Forsyth MO. – When a forecast Canadian blast of frigid air blasts through southwest Missouri on Sunday December the 24th, we will all be likely shivering in our boots! The weather for Christmas Day looks to stay at or just below freezing for the highs with snow flurries much in evidence. A far cry from the relatively balmy temperatures we've all grown accustomed to... Everyone, please bundle up!

Taxes taxes taxes!

No matter what political side we all line up with, the tax reform package being pushed by the Republicans will have numerous short term benefits. Yes, one of those is a direct benefit to large corporation due to decreasing their tax burden from 35 to 21 percent! The hope is that the lower tax level ( a level more in line with the rest of the world) will entice those who left America to come back home and to bring trillions of dollars with them. Should that happen, there will be more jobs at higher pay as the economy gets a real kick in the butt!

The other big benefit, abet one that is somewhat selective, will be the easements given the Middle Class. (True, some wealthy individuals living in Red States like New York and California will take it in the ass, but that is how the cookie crumbles what with the Republicans in power). The real deal for most working class stiffs will be more money in their paychecks. (Many families will get to keep about two thousand dollars per year and that ain't chicken feed brother)! The economic idea behind this is a sound one, as people with more money tend to spend more money! I would expect to see a three plus percent rate of economic growth as we move forward. Boom times ahead! Also, the Individual Mandate that requires you to either have health insurance, or pay a fine, is also gone. That was one very stupid law to begin with.

On the down side will be the fact that these individual tax breaks will expire in ten years. The Democrats have made a big deal sounding off about how Corporate breaks will be permanent while individual breaks are not. This is somewhat twisted form thinking as they are talking about apples and oranges. Really they amount to scare tactics. Just remember that should things go south over the next couple of years, there will be nothing to stop the Democrats from reversing everything once they re assume power from a disgruntled population.

While I'm neither a Republican or Democrat, I can see how this bill will sadly further the ever growing divide that exists between two halves of America. The really sad thing is that both sides refuse to see the true elephant in the room. We have a spending problem, not a tax problem and until we get our arms around that central issue, any and all fixes by either side will be temporary...

---------------TRUE STORY--------------------------

Mr. Squat: 'Oh! Yes. Hi – my name is Doily Squat and I noticed I've reached my credit limit... again. And I was wondering if you all could just go ahead and raise that old limit up.. again?'

Visa: 'Well, yes. I have your records right here, Mr. Squat. It shows that we've raised your spending limit over fifteen times. I also noted that not only do you only make minimum payments, but that you've never made any money. Is that correct?'

Mr. Squat: 'Why yes. But you see, I have a lot of dependents and my family keeps growing by leaps and bounds – heck, I even adopted a load of illegal aliens last month and they also have needs....'

Visa: 'Seriously, Mr. Squat. It shows that you are in very serious debt, have been spending money like there's no tomorrow and now you're telling me your family's grown even larger? I'm sorry sir, but the answer is no. We would happy to send you a free booklet, however. It's entitled, You and Fiscal Responsibility'.

Mr. Squat: 'Noooooooooo'

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cincinnati Chili with a twist!

For many years, I've enjoyed making a slow cooked chili and then trowing some of that over a nice steaming plate of chili! After adding a couple of topping like cheese and chopped onions, I enjoyed what amount to Cincinnati chili! A true winter time comfort food!

However, being a normal male with a smattering of curiosity, I decided to experiment by adding a small amount of spaghetti sauce I had made earlier using only a small can of tomato sauce and some seasonings! (Is that being a little too nit picky)? Sure, but I wanted to see if there might be some taste improvement to be gained. [Spatula in hand, I marched forward]...

This luncheon styled meal came together very quickly (around ten minutes or so). I had already made the chili and sauce a day before, so all that was needed was to boil some pasta in water, chop some onion up and then sprinkle on a little shredded cheese! I my view, this is very filling Italian styled repast would be great for both kids and old men, such as myself. (If you count pennies, as I do, this is also a pretty cheap eat)!

TASTE: After mixing in some chili into the spaghetti sauce in a 2 to 1 ratio, I sat down and tried to impartially judge the result in terms of overall taste. My immediate reaction was that I liked it. I felt that the taste of the added sauce mellowed out the chili in a flattering manner. I also thought this to be a winning idea, as I'm always on the lookout to find ways to bulk up my meals in a cheaper manner.

CALORIES: If you happen to be twenty something and fit, then you can wolf down all of this stuff you want. If your not particularly fit and or older, then you may definitely want to keep an eye on how much you eat. As a rough rule of thumb, I have calculated that the combination of pasta and chili comes in at about 1.8 calories per gram – so the 150 gram serving equaled out to be about 270 calories. Not all that bad when you consider what I was eating. (Note that 150 grams is a very small amount. I supplemented this sitting by adding in some fruit and garlic bread)!

Friday, December 15, 2017

An open letter to ABC News!

It was with no small amount of shock and some bewilderment that I've noticed how your advertising partners are doing such a poor job at portraying every racial and gender conscious group in a fair an impartial manner. Sure, they to throw in a few blacks here and I appreciate it, but I cannot even remember one single commercial that featured a woman wearing a burka or of Sunni men wearing sporty jalabiyyah's! Exclusion of these very important racial and religious orders is tantamount to your company being labeled as racist, in my opinion, and so I encourage your program directors to please mend their ways post haste.

Lastly, and in a desire to be completely fair and progressive, I think you should air a few commercials that are friendly towards our gender disoriented men and women. (I'm sure you may have a few working for you right at this time)! And you know what? A few atheists thrown in to some of your daytime programming might just add a certain flavor that would endear my future and devoted patronage...


Dan Owen
Center for the Underexposed!

McCallisters and the Gumdrop!

In the small town of Narge, somewhere in the USA, lived two small venues. One was upscale while the other one was no scale at all. Both served food and booze and had loyal followers. McCallisters offered a clean environment in which to eat with clean air to breath as you did so. Families frequented the establishment and most said they were content with the experience. The other facility lurked quietly on the same road, although it did not share in the same type of sparkle that it might have. You see the Gumdrop had grown a tad seedy over the years and decades. Entering the place, one had a sense of wandering onto the set of the Twilight Zone. That is if you could see very clearly through the wafting clouds of cancerous smog the constantly pervaded the air and which caressed every surface. Ah yes, two venues that could not be further apart and in the end only one survived!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rumors about alien object abound!

Recently, an object from another solar system buzzed ours! Named 'Oumuamua', the craft shaped object was first spotted on Oct. 19 2017, by astronomers using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii. It was initially classified as a comet, but then regarded as an asteroid after further observations revealed no evidence of a coma (the fuzzy cloud of gas and dust that surrounds a comet's core). Very rapidly, the object made its entrance, swung around the sun and is now exiting stage right! Some people, like the author, remained alarmed.

Noted theorist, Dan Owen, speculated that it's approach angle was not unlike that of some sort of an attack run. 'If true', Mr. Owen went on to speculate, 'One has to wonder if perhaps it dropped off some sort of surprise for all of humanity!'

When queried further on what exactly he meant, Mr. Owen went on to explain that he had long been worried that an advanced alien civilization may have it in for us homo sapiens, even to the extent that they may have directed some sort of viral bomb that could even now be headed for earth.

'I'll tell you all,' Mr Owen went on, 'that rather than calling it Oumuamua, which means "a messenger from afar arriving first" in Hawaiian, a better term might be Shitstormsacoming!' Even Stephen Hawking seems worried!

Astronomers have been running exhaustive tests to try and determine if anything did, in fact ,break off of the object in such a way as to intersect with earths orbit. Those results are still pending....

Flu on the rise in early December!

Taney County MO - There is little doubt that the 2017-18 flu season is going to be a rougher ride than what we all had become used to in the past. As the graphic above illustrates, the incident of flu like illness is quite a bit more widespread in 2017 that it was during the same week last year.

Here in Taney county the numbers had ratcheted up from almost none in the last week of November to thirteen confirmed cases this year! Those kind of increases are somewhat concerning when they occur so early in a season that normally doesn't peak until February! As a result, health professionals are encouraging just about everyone to get out and get a flu shot as soon as possible. They admonish that it takes about a month of time for average person to build up any resistance after getting the shot! so, if you're just getting around to it in Week 48, then you won't see much in the way of benefits until sometime in January!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Flu rate doubles in early December 2017!

December 6, 2017 – It was with no small amount of concern when I read a Fox New article proclaiming that the incidence of flu cases had more than doubled over what was the case this time last year! According to the story, 'More than 7,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this flu season -- more than double the number this time last year, CBS News reported, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.' Sobering new, so early in the flu season.

And the bad guy or virus seems to be the H3N2 Type A which did such a number on people in the southern hemisphere during their period of winter. The continent of Australia reported the worst number of cases in 2017 ever recorded with over 70,000 taken ill! And the thinking by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is that these nasty bugs are now headed for us up in the north! At the time of this writing, it appeared that the south central portion of the United States seemed to be leading the charge, as it were.

As we are heading into the early stages of the Christmas holiday season, now would be a good time for families to remember that one of the best ways to avoid catching the flu is to wash your hands frequently! I also did a short piece on some ways to avoid the flu for anyone with an interest!

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's early December and the flu is on the move!

A number of factors may make the 2017-18 season for flu something rather special! Already, the bug is showing up in more states than is 'normal' for the time of year. And, as the graphic above shows, it looks to be making significant headway in the central southern states! So, why do I think we might be in for a rougher than normal flu ride? Let me count out a few....

1) Every year, scientists look towards the Southern Hemisphere to help hone their predictions for what might happen here. When choosing strains for the coming year’s flu vaccine, they consider what’s circulating in that part of the world. That’s the good news. The culprit in Australia was the H3N2 strain of flu, which is included in this year’s vaccine and which dates back to Hong Kong in 2014. The bad news is that the H3N2 strains are some of the hardest ones for the flu vaccine to combat. All flu viruses make frequent genetic changes that help them slip around a vaccine. Influenza H3N2 viruses are particularly adept at changing as the vaccine is being made, rendering this year's vaccine less effective against them. Some experts cite an effectiveness rating of only about 10%!

2) Most of the patients that have tested positive, as of late November, tested positive for the H3 Type A strain. The same virus that did such a number in the southern hemisphere...

3) Only about 47% of American citizens even bother to get a flu shot, citing their robust health as a reason. Sadly, the virus doesn't really care about who it infects. It treats everyone the same!

4) There is some growing evidence that more Gen X shoppers are flocking to the malls, not so much for the shopping aspect as for the socializing aspects.

5) There is some evidence that the H3 strain may be more deadly that what had been normal

Flu season off to a tough start!
Flu shot may only be partially effective.
Mom of 2 dies day after flu diagnosis!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

DanO's Place cafe!

Quietly nestled in a back alley, near the heart of a business district somewhere, is DanO's Place. A startup cafe, that while it may still be a bit rough on the outside, is soft and gooey once you come inside! And yes. That corpse over on the left was not a customer!

Monday, November 27, 2017

This Amish hot sauce has whiskey in it!

While I was visiting a friend, recently, the conversation wandered off into a discussion of spices and hot sauces. And, though I had considered myself to be something of an herbal aficionado, I didn't hold a candle to her stash of hundreds of jars and canisters of just about every herb and sauce that has ever been produced!

One item that caught my eye was a small bottle of hot sauce. I picked it up and noted that it was an Amish Country Store product by the name of Woodpecker Hot Sauce. Most interestingly, I saw on the ingredients list that it contained some Jack Daniels whisky! I just had to give that shit a try and so begged her to loan out the bottle for a while, so I could try it out.

Now, please understand that I'm no glutton for burned lips and gums! However, I do go for the special (not as hot) flavors that come from adding these sauces from hell to a good chili while it's cooking. Apparently the heat reduces the hotness, if you get my drift!

So saying, I made up a batch of my favorite chili, making sure to add about a teaspoon to the pot early on in the cooking process. When it was ready, I grabbed a sample and dug in. To my surprise, there was quite a kick left in that bitch of a sauce! The effect, however, was quick and then faded. My thought at the time was 'not too shabby'.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving is all about people!

A big heartfelt thank you goes out to my good neighbor, Carol, who went to the effort to bring this aging old gnome a 'Thanksgiving platter' that contained some of the best tasting food I'd had in quite some time! All I needed to do, after enjoying that repast, was to try and figure out the amount of exercising that would be needed to stay on my diet - ( a failing effort, but one that my heart was into).

As I ate this meal, I had cause to reflect that so many souls who make Earth Earth their home, had precious little to eat. Not just on a holiday like Thanksgiving, but on any given day. It made me happy to live in such a country of plenty, while also very sad that so many suffer elsewhere..... One of my dreams has always been that perhaps someday we may yet learn to live together, in peace.

God has bequeathed us all a beautiful world in which to live, to work and to love. God Bless America and God Bless the American people! And at the risk of being called a pareidoliac, I swore I could see
Pelosi's bloomers in those clouds....

Friday, November 17, 2017

Critique: SmartMade Roasted Turkey and Vegetables!

At about $3 and a half bucks, the Smart Ones folks, ( a Kraft-Heinz company) latest creations called SmartMade meals are not to shabby! They offer about 19 different combinations of which I tried their Grilled Peppercorns Beef and Vegetables about a week prior. It was a 'bowl' type deal with strips beef mixed in with 'oriental-styled' veggies in a sauce resting on rice. When I nuked it up, for the first time, I had my doubts. Those were quickly put aside, however, after just a few minuses of eating. The blend of separate tastes was inspiring and I even felt fairly satisfied. No small feat in a 255 gram – 260 calories frozen creation!

So, as I was then somewhat hooked, I went back to the local grocery store on a cloudy November day and quickly selected the Roasted Turkey and Vegetable item from the frozen food shelf. This 240 calories meal was advertised as 'Roasted white meat turkey medallions with honey glazed roasted sweet potatoes and citrus green beans'. That sounded pretty good to me, and so into the shopping basket it went!

Now, anyone who would bother to read the nutritional label would be hard pressed to find anything that was out of line. This is a low cal, low salt and low fat meal a deal! What's more it delivers a decent carb-blast that doesn't really overdo it at just 36 grams! (I was in awe and also a little doubtful as it is very true that in the world of food the better the nutrition, the more many of us will run the other way – It's like a carrots versus French fry kind of deal).

The directions to make are simple. It's one of those vent-nuke-stir-cover and nuke again kind of prep deals. I have no problems with that and in short order a steaming tub was on the table before me. And yes, I generally eat right out of the plastic container as it saves dirtying up a dish and I can do pretty much what I want anyway. 

As I motored through this repast, I found everything to be just OK. Not great. To add to my displeasure there were all those sweet potatoes, which I couldn't quite wrap my head around. I'm more of a regular potato kind of guy, but soldiered on. Overall, a mediocre experience, and whenever they get around to using regular potatoes, call me!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The mentally ill are roaming our streets!

If the headline in your local paper were to state that 'Gangs are running wild in our streets', there would very likely be a great cry from yourself and those around you for law enforcement to do something about it! And you would be justified in feeling that way, for such a problem would be a clear and present danger to the safety and security of the law abiding men and women in your community. That makes sense, right? Yet, that is clearly not the case when it comes to the mentally ill living in America today (see graphic above)! In my opinion, there currently exists a silent and ongoing epidemic of mentally unstable people who receive poor, little or no care at all! Many of these people walk our streets, and when it comes to seeing effective mental health legislation coming out of Congress, all you can hear is the sound of crickets chirping...

When I'm asked if I'm surprised at some of the horrific mass killings that have occurred in recent times, I answer that no, I'm just surprised that there have been so few! And, when I'm asked if more gun control is needed, I respond, 'Are you crazy'? People who are mentally ill are sometimes like criminals in one respect - They could less about what's lawful. You see, they really are 'sick' in the truest sense of the word. Duh.

So, while the various groups; political, media oriented, left, right or in between cry for increased control and the expansion of gun laws, the elephant standing right there in the room is being virtually ignored! And until we can get a grip on the humane, fair and solid treatment of our mentally ill, I'm afraid these mass killing are doomed to continue and even to increase. And, until such time, I kinda go along with old Peanuts here...

Monday, November 6, 2017

Pop-sickle stick fantasy's!

There are things that we all see as we go from day to day that bother us. It might have been something on the TV, something we heard about or observed and then wondered about. My bothersome thing fell into that third category!

One of my flaws, (and I have many), concerns my near addiction to ice cream bars! Even in the trenches of an out and out diet fight to the death, you can find a box of Blue Ribbon Classic ice cream bars tucked safely away in the freezer compartment of my home! I generally eat one to two a day and love the about to death. However, those little wooden pop-sickle sticks that are left behind have driven me cuckoo over the years. I'm the kind of guy that reuses stuff like plastic grocery bags as trash container liners as I have a firm belief in all things conservative. And those sticks really do look like they could be useful, if only I could figure out how...

So, that's how I ended up making these cute little billboards. My analyst thinks that there are some deeper issues going here and I'd tend to agree... Go here for the song It's a Turn Down Day - a piece originally penned by David Blume the day after the JFK assassination!

Friday, November 3, 2017

ADE, my new logo!

As I wander my way on towards 2018, I've had the foresight to understand that changes in ones life do not begin on New Years Day, but rather needed to be well entrenched by the time January the 1st rolled on by!

So, it was that sometime in September of 2017 that I elected to follow a new life direction. One that involved just four rules; no alcohol, a proper diet, daily exercise and a renewed belief in God and the teachings of Jesus. That's what the logo implies and that is my new mantra for the coming year!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Is Bardarbunga about to erupt!

Iceland - Say it ain't so! Back in 2010, the Iceland volcano known as Bardarbunga blew her top. This event caused utter travel chaos causing more than 10 million air passengers to be stranded as a result of its ash cloud and cost the European economy an estimated £4 billion ($4.9 billion). And now geologists are warning that pressures are once again rapidly building. Another eruption could bode ill for travelers in America who might be seeking travel to Europe in the coming months!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dutch capital bans pedal-powered bars!

AMSTERDAM – A ban on group-powered pedicabs that are popular with inebriated tourists and stag parties has taken effect in the busiest sections of downtown Amsterdam.

The ban on so-called "beer bikes" kicked in Wednesday, a day after a court rejected arguments from four operators that the prohibition promoted by the Dutch capital was too drastic. The Amsterdam city government says the contraptions are a public nuisance.

The pedal-powered vehicles resemble small trailers more than bicycles and are configured to work as bars on wheels. Passengers sit around a table on stools fitted with pedals and trundle around the city while they are served beer and other drinks.

Beer bikes have long angered Amsterdam residents, who complain they block roads and cycling paths and encourage drunk and rowdy tourists.

Not to be discouraged, I took the bull by the horns on this issue and have sent Mayor Bill de Blasio a proposal that New York City take up the cause and resurrect this time honored tradition in his fine city! After all, I reasoned, the place is already full of drunks and other assorted rowdies... What could go wrong?

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. Those who would intentionally harm a Republic, for personal gain, do need to die. For they have committed treason of the highest order!

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...


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


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?
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...

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...

Friday, September 29, 2017

Getting my flu shot!

It was late September, in 2017, when I decided to go and get my flu shot! (Even though it was still early in the flu season). As the chart, (below right) illustrates, high rates of flu really start to get going from December on! But, this year I thought it prudent to get my shot now!  I decided to do this as the CDC was recording increased numbers of people coming down with the swine version of the flu (H1N1). So, I called the Taney County Health Department and scheduled an appointment for Friday, September the 29th. Hope I don't faint when they stick me with the needle!

The vaccine to be given out this season is as follows:
  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
  • an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
In my case (old age), I would also be given the slightly more powerful quadrivalent vaccine which also includes the B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus!

Hey! What about the mercury content you may ask?

OK, here's some facts: Thiomersal*— A preservative that contains mercury — has never been shown to be harmful. The type of mercury linked with nervous system damage is methyl mercury. (Concerns over methyl mercury levels have led to recommendations that pregnant women avoid eating large amounts of certain types of fish, such as swordfish).

In contrast, thiomersal is an ethyl mercury compound.

Still, because the preservative raised controversy, especially over a now dis-proven link to autism, it was taken out of almost all U.S. Single does vaccines starting in 2001.

The injectable form of flu vaccine is available to health care providers in one of two ways — they can get large bottles of it, which contain many doses, or they can small bottles, which contain an individual dose of the vaccine.

There is a tiny amount of thiomersal in the multi-dose bottles. The preservative ensures that no bacteria will grow in the vaccine. The individual-dose bottles, however, contain no thiomerosal. So, anyone concerned about the compound's effects can ask their provider for an individual dose.

*Thiomersal, or thimerosal, is an organomercury compound. This compound is a well established antiseptic and antifungal agent. The pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly and Company gave thiomersal the trade name Merthiolate.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Protesters gather in front of Taney courthouse!

Forsyth MO. – Thursday, September 29, 2017 was the date that authorities had set for a courtroom hearing concerning Kyle W Williams; one of two men who have been accused of the death of a kitten by means of torture – The specific charges were; Animal Abuse - 2nd/Subsequent Offense Or By Torture And/Or Mutilation While Animal Was Alive along with a separate charge of Armed criminal action, both considered to be felony charges. See video:

The gruesome nature of the killing and methods used to torture the kitten to its death, (a video of which was posted on Facebook briefly before being taken down), has raised a great amount of ire in the community as the protesters signs would seem to indicate. Mr. William's attorney has filed both for a change of venue and another trail judge in the previous month. No word, as of yet, of how the hearing went down.

What's in the 2017-18 flu vaccine?

The strains of influenza covered by the vaccine vary from year to year; the composition of each year’s vaccine is based on recommendations from the World Health Organization.

Around the world, more than 100 countries have influenza centers that monitor flu-like illnesses. The centers test samples from patients to determine whether an illness is caused by an influenza virus, and if so, which type.

Those centers report data to a handful of WHO sites around the world, and those sites in turn track which strains are circulating. In February, the centers’ directors and other experts meet to prepare for flu season in the northern hemisphere.

“What’s circulating in the southern hemisphere (mainly H3N2 in late 2017) kind of gives us a determination of what we might expect to see in our season,” Stated Kayla DeBusk, a vaccine accountability specialist with the Spokane Regional Health District. .

Contrary to popular belief, the effectiveness of the vaccine isn’t usually determined by health departments selecting the right flu strains. More often, it depends on whether scientists have a similar virus mapped out well enough to produce vaccines for it.

“We don’t have a good virus match” for some strains, DeBusk said. Typically, a vaccine strain of the flu is about a 40 to 60 percent genetic match to the virus it’s supposed to provide immunity for.
Vaccines are more effective in years when the main types of flu have been seen before and already have effective vaccine strains. Strains for vaccines are grown in hen’s eggs.

Some people believe flu vaccines are rushed or “untested” because they change composition every year, but DeBusk said that’s far from the truth.

“We’ve been doing this method of manufacturing flu vaccines for about 70 years,” she said.
Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is circulating again this season and has been included in this year’s vaccine, though the variant is slightly different from the one included in last year’s.

All vaccines protect against two types of influenza A, which can be transmitted from animals. Those viruses, including H1N1, make up most cases during the early part of flu season. Influenza B strains, which only affect humans, tend to pick up later in the season.

Quadrivalent vaccines include two types of influenza B, while trivalent vaccines have just one.
This year's trivalent vaccine will contain:
  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
  • an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
The quadrivalent vaccine will also include B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Congressional death spiral 101! Next up! Tax Reform!

Scientists often use a word called the 'action'. It describes something that moves. Congress has a similar word they like to also use quite often.... inaction!

OK, so after giving up on the repeal of ObamaCare, the Republicans have now set their sights on tax reform. The plan, as outlined in the framework, nearly doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families. This basically increases the amount of personal income that is tax-free. The plan also would collapse the number of personal tax brackets from seven to three. By simplifying the system, most Americans would be now be able to file their taxes on a postcard, or so the plan would indicate.

And while there are some other 'gee whiz' pieces and parts, I can almost hear many a Democrats teeth grind at the thought of even slowing down the gravy train a tad, has got their collective panties in a twist! You see, after working so hard to thwart the President's agenda at every turn, many on the Left are beginning to drool at the thought of taking back both Houses in 2018 and maybe even the Presidency come 2020! (Sabotage, like vengeance are meals both best served cold, and the Democrats are past masters of both)!

So, onward we will then go, everyone. As fall turns into winter, more and more of us will be left in the cold, standing on the outside of a clinic unable to get in. And, as system after system begins to fail, in earnest, only the shouting of politicians will be left. First up will be the ever declining level of healthcare Americans will receive, followed by failing entitlements, as the money to fund them also dries up. (You all really didn't think we could carry a 20 plus trillion dollar debt with NO consequences, did you)?

The 2017-18 flu season may be a bad one!

One of the indicators for determining how severe the coming flu season will be is to just look at the opposite hemisphere to see what is happening. The flu bug is always active somewhere in the world and tends to get worst in colder weather when people tend to become in closer contact. When it's October here and we are just getting into the cooler months, places like Australia are heading for spring.

Health experts say this is Australia’s worst flu outbreak thanks to a particularly nasty strain,
Influenza A (H3N2). More than 137,500 cases of flu have been reported so far this year including a record breaking 30,000 cases in August. That’s more than double the 53,159 cases confirmed by this time last year and more than the total 83,092 cases confirmed by the end of the flu season in 2016.

So, we have that same strain, (perhaps) to look forward to later this winter season! Thankfully, the vaccine that is being made available this year has an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like deactivated virus as part of the mix!

Of interest is the fact that the flu is already hitting states like Colorado pretty hard.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

So, it's come down to this?

While in a never ending search for meals that would fit well into my latest diet (aka Ketogenic*), I've come across a real wiener, er, winner.

Column headers are; calories, carbs, fat, protein and sodium

OK! So, it don't look like very much and, you know what? It isn't! Just 166 calories (with enough salt to last me a few weeks). And, yes the salt issue aside, this is a low carb, high protein repast that was just the ticket for an otherwise so so Tuesday in September!

*The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Let's try someone new in 2020!

Bill the Cat for President!
Let's face it! Obama was a complete loser, while Trump has become somewhat of a cool bully! So, come 2020, I propose we elect a real idiot to give running our government a shot!