Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bob Marley and waiting...

My roommate in college at SIU was a Jamaican by the name of Carl McPherson. Since that time, long ago, he has become an MD, (and is so to this day). Carl instilled in me a love of his Nation, his race and his intellect. (You get to exchange much in a dorm room over a year's time). Dr. McPherson was, and remains a pivotal force in my life, even now! This song is a poorly made tribute to the man, his race and his kindness.. 'Carl, thank the forces of Nature that you got stuck with me as a roomie)!

Hey! Please watch the (2) scenes and contemplate places you haven't been.

Now, let's let the story go on...

When I arrived at Carbondale on my inaugural trip there, I was shaky, fearful and missing a girl I'd left behind. My paper, mailed to me from the college, told me I was assigned to Allen III, a three story dorm in a complex adjacent to Trueblood Hall. After driving for hours, I was tired and was trying to figure out a way out of the whole mess I'd found myself in.

I remember that the day I arrived on campus, it was God awful hot and so, with tears still in my eyes, I decided to at least get up to my dorm room. Lugging my suitcase to the front door, I was informed that my doom was on the third floor! Fuck! OK. So, up some steps, dragging a case, that was all that remained of my previous life was about all that was left in me. I arrived at my room praying and hoping that my roommate would at least be someone I could relate to. After no little effort, I finally made it to my room.  Looking around, I saw a really small space with two beds, a window between them and a very small chest of drawers on either side...

Exhausted from driving. Heartsick and incredulous at such primitive digs, I broke down and sat on the bed on the left. Now, my plans to escape this prison were foremost in my mind. The ONLY thing that prevented me from bolting that day was the shame of going home. So, I unpacked a few items and prayed for a white man to be my roommate... Of course, I got the blackest young man I'd ever seen... He appeared in the doorway and, guess what? My life got one hell of a lot better... It just so turned out that Carl, was not only black, but also an exchange student and an emerging track star! A very wonderful man that also happened to be a chick magnet - go figure... my life got much much better after that day... [Please forgive any errors here, just too tired to fix them].

Long after my youth's eager transgressions!
Views of times, now long forgotten.
Aged eyes, still with a spark of how,
Looking back, and not knowing how... the fuck I ever survived, to be writing this shit!!

Always Save mustard container. A poorly designed bottle?

The picture is of the top cap of a bottle of Always Save mustard. You might be able to detect that it is not exactly functioning as designed. I bought this bottle after experiencing a very similar problem with a similar contain from French's.

Now, I'm pretty sure that condiment dispenser apertures are pretty old news and not exactly cutting edge stuff anymore. That fact, however, seems to have escaped some folks. The truth is that the hinges often break even if the top section manages to hold itself together. I decided to switch to the more expensive Heinz bottle as its top is much more robust.

Update: I did get a response from AS asking for more info and a promise of some coupons. Swell! Days later I received a coupon and a letter thanking me for drawing their attention to the problem.

April 26, 2018 - I stopped at the same store and lo and behold, Always Save had changed the top design. It looked a lot more rugged, but time will tell.. [Note that both Always Save and Best Choice of subsidiaries of the same company, i.e. Associated Wholesale Grocers!]

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Free Internet news on the way out?

If you're like me and have been cruising the Internet for many years, you've probably got into the habit of grabbing and then reading articles published by large media outlets for free. That seems to be something that won't be happening, in the days to come, as sites like the New Yorker and Washington Post have now set up paywalls that allow you to read just a couple of articles before they start demanding that you pay cash....

I'll assume that many people out there in 'cyberland' won't bat an eyelash and will pony up the dough. Me? I have zero intention of following this trend. If left alone pretty soon everything will cost, perhaps even your email, if trends like this are allowed to continue. And, yes, I do understand that some news needs to be funded, only I'm disappointed that more creative ways have not been put out there to try. For instance, Amazon's Kindle department offers a 'free sample' of a specific book that allows you the opportunity to see if a particular book is worth purchasing. Perhaps something like that could be arranged for large news outlets who do have bills to pay. Another option might be to offer potential viewers the ability to sign up and then pay a monthly fee based on the number of articles they actually read. That way if you never visit a site again... no money gets exchanged.

Now, I realize that very few individuals would want their credit cards spread around in such a fashion, so maybe a kind of readership clearing house could be created that would give us all one place to put in our sensitive credit information, from which all the media sites that do charge could draw from. A benefit of such a set up would be itemized listings that one could view to see all the stuff they've read about over a period of time. That was just a thought...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Alone again naturally!

Each of us has a talent in this life. I'm just hoping to find mine before too very long...

In a little while from now,
if I'm not feeling any less sour.
I promised myself to treat myself
and visit a nearby tower.

And, climbing to the top,
will throw myself off.
In an effort to
make it clear to who... ever
Wants to know what it's like, when you're shattered!

Left standing in the lurch, at a church
were people saying, 'My God, that's tough
she stood him up
no point in us remaining'.

We may might as well go home,
as I did on my own.
Alone again, naturally.
To think that only yesterday

I was cheerful, bright and gay!
Looking forward to who wouldn't do
the role I was about to play.

But, as if to knock me down.
Reality came around.
and But, without as much as a mere touch,
cut me into little pieces.

Leaving me to doubt.
Talk about, God in His mercy!
Oh If he really does exist,
why did he desert me?

In my hour of need
I truly am indeed alone naturally...

The dregs of January!

That line from a song by Gordon Lightfoot rattled around inside my brain at 3:30 AM on a brisk early morning in late January, 2018. I realized that I was so not living la vida loca and that the cold dregs of January were turning me every so slightly towards a more nihilistic approach to life and living.

That said, I still needed to contemplate all things basic, not the least of which was eating a decent breakfast. And even as that blessed event was still some hours away, I spent no little amount of time in bed planning such culinary and mundanely related matters... tic tock tic tock....


At the 6AM hour I 'bounded' out of bed, in a manner only other old men could ever understand! It was 28 degrees outside, the sky was clear (as best I could make out) and the winds were nonexistent. Not a day to want to venture out, but rather one to stay in the kitchen, perhaps, and whittle away at what had been a promising diet. On this morning, I elected to throw together a cheese omelet and some biscuits covered in brown gravy. (My only effort towards eating healthy resided in a glass of low sodium tomato juice). The rest of it was pure and very enjoyable crap. 

Breakfast came and went all too quickly. Sort of like a dream that you forget all to quickly. I washed my dishes and put them away while contemplating all the chores that needed to be done, even while also scheming madly on how I could avoid doing them.  One of those chores involved taking out the trash. A task that required me to walk about a half a block to a dumpster... in the cold. I decided the trash was just fine where it was...

Walking over to the living room, I sank down into my easy chair, turned on the TV and then turned it off and took a nap. Heck, lunch was just a few hours away...

Saturday, January 27, 2018

What's with the potatoes, bread and gravy!

What started out as an impulse buy at a local grocery store has quickly bloomed into an ongoing catastrophe as what had been a successful diet effort had turned way south!

I bought a single packet of brown gravy after it caught my eye in the herb isle of my local grocery store. I'd been primed for this as I'd also purchased some biscuits earlier in the the day. A quick nutritional look informed me that this was not a really bad idea. I mean 70 calories was no biggie. And for the first couple of breakfast encounters, I did faithfully adhere to just one biscuit and 6 grams of gravy... That was a few days ago...

On what was otherwise a really nice weekend morning, I arose a tad hung over after having gone out on the town the evening before. (Actually it was more like a night of utter debauchery which also involved some power drinking... but, I digress).

So, there I was in the kitchen that morning, in my robe with my fly away hair making breakfast. I made up a nice omelet as had been planned, but then I began to add some potatoes and shredded bread – I thought 'Why Not?', at the time. Yes, I think that was definitely the moment that things began to unravel for me...

Later that same day, it came to me that I would really enjoy ordering a Big Mac and fries from the McDonald's that stood not three miles from my door. (In the back of my mind I could hear the 'diet meter' clicking away. Truthfully, the food was all it could be and more)!

Way too late into the diet game, I realized that once you fill up a previously shrunk down stomach, it more than willingly expands. And with that expansion come intensified hunger pains. Swell.

So it was, as the evening fell, I found myself seated in front of a large plate of Penne pasta as viewed from over a rather large tummy......

Friday, January 26, 2018

All those ads!

It amazes me that as an otherwise intelligent citizen, I actually spend good money to a cable company, just so I can be assaulted with lots of advertising and very little real programming! I took a day, when I decided to watch a bit of Fox News where I began at a random time and then proceeded to grind on through a complete hour. It was eye-opening.

In that short span of time, I got the great privilege of watching 39 advertisements! Of those, I felt just 3 were OK or of some use. The rest of them ranged from mediocre to blatantly horrific (my opinion). The truth be told, I've rarely purchased anything as a result of seeing the product or service on the tube. Like most Americans, I go by word of mouth, seek local talent and visit my town's stores. Duh. I don't have thousands of dollars to take expensive vacations, I don't need people laying guilt trips on me and for God's sake. Good charities like the Red Cross don't advertise much - so think about that. And, if buying Gold or Silver were such great deal - how come companies like Augusta (I misspelled it in the graphic above) want to take my 'worthless American cash' for their precious metals. I just don't get that..... I also have decided that I more than likely could better spend my time in other pursuits. When my contract with Mediacom expires in a few months, I'm cancelling the TV portion....

Penne pasta: Dry weight vs cooked!

Whenever I've worked with pasta, one sticking point has always been the 'amounts' shown as a suggested serving. For instance, on a package of American Beauty Penne Rigate, the recommended serving is 2 ounces or 56 grams or 3/4 cup. This was 72 pieces by count b-t-w. But, are they talking dry weight or cooked weight as there is quite a lot of difference! Other sites, like one on Kraft, have tables that are supposed to clear things up;

So, 8 ounces of Penne results in 4 cups of cooked pasta at least according to Kraft. Which would translate to 2 ounces making up about 1 cup, (not 3/4 cup). Yes, I was more confused than ever. So, I decided to weigh out exactly 56 grams, cook it and then weigh it again after draining. Wow! Right off the bat, I noted that 56 grams measured out as 3/4 of a cup! OK! So, right there, I knew that with American Beauty they're talking dry weights!

Next, I wanted to see what sort of volume the cooked pasta would have....

OK! About a cup! These noodles went into my luncheon post where I looked at the nutritional analysis!

Penne pasta. A dietary no-no? Yes-Yes!

So, it was a Friday in late January. I was cold and when I get cold, I also get hungry. The 'fly in the ointment' [Likely source is a phrase in the King James Bible: Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour. (Ecclesiastes 10:1) For five centuries, 'a fly in the ointment' has meant a small defect that spoils something valuable or is a source of annoyance] was the seemingly forever diet I'd been on for a number of centuries...

I'd just finished a breakfast I termed E-PLT and was already 285 calories in hole that held only 1400. and, with a seemingly endless number of hours yet to go, I did the one thing any man is capable of doing when under stress... I ignored the facts and went for the gusto! 

In my case, gusto translated into pasta – one of the few foods I turn to in times of need. A plate of steaming Penne translates into comfort food taken to the max. I had to have some and as the 12 o'clock hour approached, I found myself heading for the kitchen... Earlier, I had thrown together a quick planning spreadsheet to estimate my meals as to their caloric content. For lunch, I had estimated I had about 400 calories from which to work with. That said, let's see how well I did...

Salad and dressing was not shown

OMG! Pretty well under that 400 mark wasn't I! So, being a guy, I added in a really 'tiny' slice of garlic bread (not shown) to make everything a little more Italiano! All in all, this was a great lunch time repast and I still had a nice salt laden Banquet entree to look forward as well as those brewski's!

Wait! You might have noticed that the sauce may have had something 'extra'. Honestly, I had no idea of what that foreign matter could have been.....

An E-PLT breakfast!

Who eats a fried egg, a gravy soaked potato and Lima beans for breakfast? People like myself that's who! And surprisingly, even when you factor in a small glass of tomato juice, this meal is also very diet conscious! 

I call this meal deal an E-PLT which are basically the first initial of all the food ingredients not counting the brown gravy. OK. So maybe that's a bit of a reach! And, other than being just a tad high in the salt department (794 mg), it's a relatively nutritious throw together that is also high in fiber content! I also enjoyed the low cost...

I've found that the key to diet control, at least for myself, was to limit proportions and to avoid really bad foods like potato chips!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Subway Cold cut sandwich at home!

Subway offers a 6" Cold cut sandwich that is one of my favorites for about $3.75! Sadly, by the time you add in some chips and a drink you'll likely be over six bucks! And that cost was one reason, I sometimes like to make one of these up at my home. Sure, my sandwiches are nowhere as pretty as the commercial ones are, and I don't add in stuff like cheese. But, I feel that when you count the cost savings, that they are ever bit as tasty!

For this particular lunch, I elected to have a bit of deli coleslaw and a dab of three bean salad. Nutritionally, I came up with this:

For a 'beverage', I selected a glass of water with some Crystal Lite added that cost just a few pennies! All thing considered, that was not too shabby a meal deal!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A tribute to Johnny Mathis! Fly me to the Moon!

One of my very favorites - a song for the ages!

A sensible lunch that is also diet conscious!

One of the challenges in any diet is coming up with meal idea that are filling, tasty and still come in below your target caloric intake! For me, lunch time is a real challenge, as I am generally famished after having only a meager breakfast (245 calories).

To that end, I came up with the idea of having just half a ham sandwich combined with about a 100 grams each of coleslaw and three bean salad. The beans are very filling and pack a lot of minerals for the caloric buck!

Finding much of anything that is tasty and yet low in saturated fats and salt is real challenge in the world of today. This assembly wasn't perfect, but it got the job done!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sitting on the dock of some bay somewhere.

Otis Redding passed from this earth on December 10, 1967 - Among the many wonderful facets he brought to us was a simple song - On this day in early 2018, I'd love for everyone to picture in their minds, a dock, a bay and who each of us really are in the scheme of God's theme....

I threw out this deal as a sort of meditation and contemplation sort of song that I think Mr. Redding would have appreciated. The conundrum and strange paradox for each of us is living in a crazy and mixed up world are the mixed emotions we have, of both the hoped for reality of our spiritual existence when coldly faced with the absolute frailty our genome. Damn those constantly shredding Telomeres and the physical timeline end of each of us they do foretell. My best hope is that the Creator will catch me when I ultimately fall....Likely a shattered and broken man, still smiling through those tears of earthly existence...

Those who live in the light and those who do not!

Monday, January 22, 2018

An egg, a couple of biscuits and some gravy!

Each and every time I manage to get back on track, diet wise, I seem to then wander a bit in a culinary sense. On this day, I was overcome with a desire for some biscuits and gravy, so to that end I made myself a breakfast that included them.

Now, I understand that it's pretty easy to get into 'trouble' eating that sort of junk food, but I figured what the hey. Yet, I was a little concerned as to what a nutritional panel might reveal. So, here is what I discovered:

I admit to be somewhat surprised. The calories were not that big an issue at all! What was a pair of issues, however, was the out of control level of sodium and them thar carbohydrates. The first helps to exacerbate hypertension while the second get converted almost exclusively into fat tissue. Bummer. Still, I figured if I only ate this kind of junk occasionally, I'd squeak through....

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Wiener on a shingle! Or WOS!

 Ugh! No way José! That looks like you-know-what!

My version of SOS is to completely loose the chipped beef and to sub in a nice big stiff wiener! (Finding just the right wiener at the store can be a chore, mind you. I like my wieners to be of the real beef variety and have found that Oscar Meyer's Jumbo dogs are just about right). 

Just look at that wiener!
Next, I eighty-six the gravy in favor of a generous portion of Campbell's Pork n Beans. There's nothing quite as satisfying as pouring those beans over a well chopped up wiener!

Lastly, for the 'shingle', I generally prefer the white variety. (Not that there's anything wrong with other color breads, mind you). I'm am so not a culinary racist! Why just the other day, I had me a slice of pumpernickel...

Now, that's what I'm talking about!

So, that's it. I toast the bread and heat the other two items in the microwave and then chow on down! Easy greasy. All told this meal came in at about 340 calories and cost well under half a buck. Enjoy!

Kitten killers await sentencing!

Kyle Williams & Jordan Hall
Taney County MO - The two individuals, Kyle Williams and Jordan Hall who were accused of incredible stupidity and mental sickness when they posted a YouTube video of them dragging a kitten behind their vehicle to its ultimate death, have both pleaded guilty and currently await sentencing.

The crimes occurred back in June of 2017 when Williams posted a video of the abuse in an effort to get his audience to buy him pizza. Perhaps, not too surprisingly, someone contacted the authorities which resulted in their arrests.

After appearing in court, it was also not very surprising that they both now face the maximum penalties that the law provides. Each of them face a class E felony of animal abuse which carries a maximum penalty of up to four years in prison and or a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars. Hall's sentencing is set for February 23 at 9AM and William's 'day of judgment' will occur on March 2, 2018 at 1:30 PM.

It's my personal guess that both these miscreants will likely have the 'kitchen sink' thrown at them with both of them soon to be enjoying the tender administrations of new found boyfriends at a local penitentiary. (I understand that many inmates rank animal abuse right up there with pedophiles, so their time spent in the joint should be very interesting).

Feburary 4th asteriod near miss!

Just imagine an asteroid that is larger than the world trade center in NY crashing into the earth! NASA scientists state that the consequences of such an event would be 'dire'. Well, just such a space rock, dubbed 2002 AJ129 will be thundering by our planet on February the 4th, cruising along at about 67,000 mile per hour! Comparing that speed to a speeding bullet traveling at 1700 mph give one the idea that this mother is really in a big hurry!

Although the rock will almost certainly not collide with us, as long as it remains within its current trajectory, scientists have previously warned that such an impact could have a dire impact on our planet. (It's been recently noted that some asteroids can experience sudden and explosive out gassing events that can and do change trajectories of such 'astro-bodies' in unpredictable ways)!

"These would not be pleasant times," Charles Bardeen, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said during a presentation at the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

A 2016 study found that the impact of a slightly smaller space object would bring about a mini Ice Age. Temperatures would fall across the planet as much as 8 degrees Celsius. The effects would last for several years, leading to potentially severe devastation around the globe, not to mention the havoc caused by the initial impact.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Changes via Bowie!

For whatever reason, I was thinking about David Bowie this day and how I grew to first ignore, then notice and then love him over the many decades of time. I'll miss that guy, his style, his heart and his awesome talent! Changes, are what's living and life, is all about. What's really important, are the friends we drag forward into those days of our insanity... Last thought: An infant, then a teen and all too soon a woman or man. Flash - Middle age and then old age before many dreams had yet begun. End times: Looking back and never perceiving the insane times yet to come.... God bless you Mr. Bowie, I'm just a second or two behind...

Friday, January 12, 2018

California beckons!

To all those who seek a new start in a country of plenty, I would give you California! I've even sent Jerry Brown a letter asking that he throw open his state to absolutely anyone in the world who would like to enjoy a free ride... You know, until they could really settle in to the Welfare concept and all...

Perhaps LA could erect a giant statue in their bay, with a large sign that would proclaim:

Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to enjoy the bounty of others! Come ye, the wretched refuse, the genetic slag, the malcontents, terrorists, crooks, hairballs and drug traffickers here to our LA shore. Oh wretched World, send the Golden State your worthless, most vile unto me, I lift my lamp of plenty beside that golden door!

I would even like to enjoin the State of California to possibly fund and develop a high speed free rail system directly linking South American countries, (with express service through Mexico) to select cities like San Diego, LA, San Jose and San Francisco. Trains arriving each day, like clockwork, loaded with teeming masses of the illiterate and the poor who could be dumped directly into American society and Gov Jerry Brown's lap – (I bet that the effect to the Calif economy would be sort of like a junkie injecting black tar heroin into his scrotum sack). Wow! Just think of the rush Jerry, not to mention all those brand new Democratic voters!

An aside: This article was not about the people of California, but rather what I feel are political and infrastructural issues that desperately need addressing! As an official sanctuary state, California thumbs its nose at the rule of law. Not a good thing for our Nation. I also made a glancing sort of reference to the Express train that Gov Jerry Brown promised would cost 30 billion, but which is now estimated at twice twice that amount, is behind schedule and is not supported by private concerns...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Yvonne Elliman - A late night thought.

I pushed this song out this night from a long ago album - Jesus Christ Superstar - At that time, way back when, I first saw that movie in a theater near the Randhurst Mall in Mt. Prospect Il. I cannot describe the effect it had on me/ It was a total bombshell and a life changer - for good or bad... My commitment to Jesus and my Lord is forever. Even as I strive, each day, to understand this place I wander about.... [Ms. Elliman, as you are 66 and I just a bit older, please don't sue me, for I am dull and of very little worth...] And if DL happened to visit this site - I'd never see how I ever survived that first passage through my mother's birth canal, only to be languishing here in this brief interlude... And even some later thoughts - Imagine a World Line which cycles back, as a temporal reinforcing wave or possibly a past harmonic. Each of us glimpsing just sometimes, a Deja Vu type of that moment.... Well, even aged minds do so dream...

Democritus, a man who I would have gladly followed, had a vision of this world's composition, way beyond his time - As it turned out, he had very good insights into particle physics, 400 years before the birth of Christ. That makes me now wonder... but I digress... Wait! I think another beer is called for here!

'Give a man a few beers and he will spread his wisdom to all who listen. Give a man a six pack, and he will boast of his great achievements. Give that same man a 12 pack and very likely you will have a pretty drunk man on your hands...' Dan Owen 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

Atomic hot dog II!

'Every man is really a boy inside and every boy likes to experiment to the point of distraction...'

Some time ago, I did a post on what I called an 'Atomic Hot Dog'. It was basically a plain Jane affair that I bombed with some diced Habanero peppers. As these peppers are one of the hottest known to humankind, all I did was to blister my mouth rather severely! That was definitely not what I was looking for!

This time around, I opted to mellow out the heat, just a tad, by forgoing the Habanero route in favor of something of a milder persuasion. So, for this test, I decided first on visiting my local grocery market to see what they had to offer. As it was just 22 degrees outside, I bundled up pretty well before venturing out. You see, I'd discovered years ago that I got slower, depending on how low the temperature got. (After doing a bit of math, I determined that somewhere around 4 degrees above zero, I would likely lock up all together)! On this particular day in January, although I shuffled around like an old man returning soup to a kitchen, I made the trip OK.

At the store, I discovered a jar of deli sliced hot cherry peppers that looked like they might be rather tasty while not being too hot. While I was there, I also picked up a package of Ball Park buns. The frankfurters were already in my fridge – Oscar Meyer Jumbo franks! Those, along with some condiments and relish and I was all set! Allez cuisine!

One would think that slinging together a hot dog would be a breeze, and you'd be right if you weren't me! I like to make the simple, complex and the complex impossible! So, saying, I spent a good hour figuring out;

Proper bun heating.
Prepping those condiments!
The correct method of heating your wiener!

Handling those buns – No one I know particularly likes eating a cold bun. Buns are supposed to be warm, brown and something you can really sink your teeth in! To that end, I like to give my buns a quick do over in a convection oven.

The condiments – In order to insure the maximum taste impact, I typically throw a teaspoon of sliced onions into a food processor with a like amount of hot peppers. The resulting mush insures that whatever heat therein that exists while hot my mouth all at once. To this mix at the last minute, I'll typically add a small amount of pickle relish, mustard and ketchup.

Getting you wiener hot – OK, everything was in readiness with the exception of that wiener. Should it be pan fried, microwaved or boiled in water? Heavy questions those. Personally, I generally opt to heat mine in some boiling water for about five minutes before slipping it quickly into a hot bun that's been lubed up with the aforementioned condiments....wait...what?

Well, this 'creation' proved to be way too time consuming even as it was very tasty! Thanks goodness it only cost about a buck and came in at ~275 calories! And finally, on a nutritional note, frankfurters are a real diet no-no. They contain corn syrup, salt and high levels of saturated fats! So, consume sparingly!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Leveling up to Level 401!

'401' is not about a retirement fund, it's about a life....

At some point in my early existence, say late 1949, I was just a fertilized zygote, then I was an embryo and over a period of time - I was a fetus growing in a female's womb over a period of about nine month's time. A story that has been told billions of times. A story being told to this very day... The truth is, we all have arrived here on this earth via the same birthing process and the same exact female birth canal!

What I struggle with is, some young children are born into wealth, some into so-so circumstances and way too many find themselves thrust into a 'live and then die early' existence from day one! Seven billion plus walk our tiny ball of granite on this day in early 2018. Not counting trillions of fellow 'biotics' that have also experience a birthing process - protozoa, bacteria, insects and all the other phylla of the family of life tree, which all battle for their existence daily.

Of all these creations, and over eons of time, there does exist a special evolved class - homo sapiens - A species whose major claim to fame is something called 'self awareness'. (How we all got to this higher state of awareness is a question best left for others more wise than me). The reality is, each of living person who reads this post this day, has won a kind of special lottery - (or else we'd never have made it down that canal in the first place).

So, generation after generation, we do stand bravely (or in cowardly manner) before the light that is our Creator. A Deity who had issued mankind only one dictum according to many scholars ... 'Go forth and choose that which is good or that which you know is bad, then suffer the consequences of wither choice! Each, and everyone of us, make that call each day. We do walk this earth a supreme beings and do exercise dominion over all those species around us which are weaker, slower or more basic than we are. Each and everyone of YOU seeing this post this day were His best thought. A true image of goodness made to spread and to prosper and to protect a cold Universe. Each fetus, a product of evolution made in His image. A 'sdsef' image who each shall then move forward as immortals (in training). Learning, along the way, that the larger we become in terms of wielding power, the more that we become a humble servant of the very smallest and weakest around us. Men and women all, who should they past that Test, may then go forth to ever new and more exciting challenges after passing from this existence...'

OK, so just search 401 on this site.... I'm currently in the good care of doctors, somewhere! If you need a place to start -

Is McDonald's McRib sandwich cancer inducing?

Recently I came across an article posted by Living Traditionally (, that charged McDonald's with selling a McRib product that contained over 70 ingredients! Another site – Mercola ( posted an article charging that this popular sandwich contained the growth hormone 'ractopamine' – a substance that had been banned in many countries. Truthfully, I was very concerned as I've eaten many of my share! So, I contacted McDonald's direct to find out the truth. 

While I was waiting for an answer, I copied their published ingredient list and posted it here. Truthfully, I could not find anything like what the other sites were complaining about – Sure the McRib is not the most healthy choice of food to eat, but then again how many fast food products are?

McRib Ingredient list:
Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Dextrose, Rosemary Extract.
Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Corn Meal, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Mono and Diglycerides, Enzymes, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Propionate (Preservative).
Contains: WHEAT.
Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tomato Paste, Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Natural Smoke Flavor, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Sugar, Spices, Soybean Oil, Xanthan Gum, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Pepper, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Caramel Color, Beet Powder.
Ingredients: Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Alum, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Natural Flavors, Polysorbate 80, Extractive of Turmeric (Color).
Ingredients: Onions.

Once again, I found nothing in that list to generate much in the way of dietary concern. Following is a snippet of the article published by Mercola....

---------------------------------------Segment of Mercola article-----------------------------------

  • Sneaky “tricks of the trade” employed by the meat industry include “pink slime” made of otherwise unusable scraps, meat glue, and reconstituted meat—all of which fool you into thinking you’re buying something of higher quality than you are!
  • McDonald’s seasonally-available McRib sandwich contains more than 70 ingredients, including a chemical used in gym shoes and other items requiring a rubbery substance. And the pork is actually a restructured meat product made from the less expensive innards and scraps from the pig.

  • Russia has recently banned U.S. meat supplies after discovering it contains ractopamine—a beta agonist drug that increases protein synthesis, thereby making the animal more muscular. This reduces the fat content of the meat. Ractopamine is known to affect the human cardiovascular system, may cause food poisoning, and is thought to be responsible for hyperactivity, muscle breakdown, and increased death and disability in livestock.

  • As much as 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket. Despite potential health risks, the drug is used in 45 percent of U.S. pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys.
I'm currently awaiting (2 days now) the response from McDonald's Corporate office and will share their response here when I do... I also contacted the McDonald's franchise located in Forsyth MO and was told that they were not currently offering it.

Here is the response or non-response I received:

Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's for ingredient and allergen information.

To obtain the most current ingredient and allergen information for McDonald's standard menu items, visit the website at Available allergen information will always be listed on the menu item's ingredient statement.

McDonald's has worked with Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to help consolidate all allergen information within our ingredient statements. FARE encourages customers with food allergies to regularly read ingredient statements because ingredients may have changed. Again, McDonald's recommends you visit the website,, for the most current information about our products. We also recommend that you speak with your health care provider if the information you are seeking cannot be found on our website or printed materials.

We also want you to know that, despite taking precautions, normal kitchen operations may involve some shared cooking and preparation areas and utensils, and the possibility exists for your food items to come in contact with other food products, including other allergens.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's and we look forward to serving you again soon.

Customer Satisfaction Representative

So, my take away was the fact that McDonald's did not expressly deny the specific question concerning Ractopamine - Sometimes you have to read between the lines...

Monday, January 1, 2018

Massive power failure greets the New Year!

At around 9AM, Empire Electric lost power for a few hours. I remember the event well, because it was just 8 above zero when it happened. My initial calls to them them were meant with a dead line, but eventually I did get through to a 'robot' to log the problem. Swell, I thought! I tried to think warm thoughts as my place grew progressively colder and creaked like an old radiator that had stopped working. Fortunately, the problems lasted just a few hours.

Next, at around 10 AM, my cable (a lot of people's cable?) stopped working and once again I got a robotic message when I called, that the area was 'experiencing a high call volume'. I bet they were. That service continued to be out for the next 7 plus hours until, finally, by 6 o'clock, it was restored. I can only imagine what that was like for parents with kids who had nothing to watch on TV or do on the Net – must have been a fun situation.

Really Empire? I've got to wonder what exactly is the problem here? Is it outdated and or poorly maintained equipment? Perhaps it's poor upper management or maybe it's a combination sort of thing. A synergistic CF of the inept...?? It would be great if you would issue a public statement each time something like this happens....A reported 3000 customer were affected by this event!

And, so, we're off to begin a new year with two major services looking just a bit sad....

An aside: Were I to post what I really felt about this Canadian owned company, I'd be using words like crud, antiquated and anal retentive. I trust their ability to deliver consistent and reliable power to my personal adobe about as much as I could kick a box full of anvils. I've been with them for two decades and they perform well if the weather is complacent. However, come any sort of storm or really bad weather and they fold like a cheap tent in a high wind. And, I think they have the ability to sell this critical infrastructure off to another foreign interest... I wonder who that could be?

KRZK radio also posted a story!