Tuesday, February 27, 2018

To dream the impossible dream!

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

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My name is Dan and I'd love to see some fresh perspectives on what you think concerning such diverse topics as foods, politics, energy and philosophy. You can find me here in FB! I'm a Centralist who leans towards Conservatism and lots of common sense. I trust in God, a responsible yet limited government, like women a lot and have the mind of a 15 year old housed in a body that going to hell!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Starman poised to make a flaming renetry!

The Tesla Roadster and its driver, a mannequin named Starman were launched on the maiden flight of SpaceX's huge Falcon Heavy rocket just last week. The car is currently looping around the sun on an elliptical orbit that takes it a little beyond Mars at its farthest point, and back to Earth's orbital distance at its closest.

A team of researchers with time on their hands wanted to know the Roadster's ultimate fate, so they performed a series of computer simulations tracking the car's path through the solar system over the next 3 million years.

"Although we are not able to tell on which planet the car will ultimately end up, we’re comfortable saying it won’t survive in space for more than a few tens of millions of years," lead author Hanno Rein, director of the University of Toronto Scarborough's Center for Planetary Science, said in a statement.

When that happens, most or all of the Tesla will burn up in the atmosphere, team members said. As all the uncertainty suggests, the orbits of small objects like electric cars are tough to project so far into the future. The Tesla will have many gravitational encounters with Earth over the eons, for example, and it's unclear just how these will shape its trek through space.

"Depending on the details of these encounters, the Tesla can be kicked onto a wider or smaller orbit, so it’s random," study co-author Dan Tamayo, also of the University of Toronto Scarborough, said in the same statement. "Over time, the orbit will undergo what’s called a random walk, similar to the fluctuations we see in the stock market, that will allow it to wander the inner solar system."
The researchers also determined that the space Tesla will make a relatively close pass by Earth in 2091, coming within a few hundred thousand kilometers of the planet.


After reading that factual post from Fox News, I immediately called the Capitol and tried to get Nancy P. on the phone. I wanted to tell her that this pending crash just might be the fear angle they're looking for to push them over the top in 2020. I even prepared a statement for her;

'Attention fellow US citizens (and voting illegal aliens). It has come to my attention that the money you taxpayers wasted on that rocket with the car will come back to haunt us, over time. However, urgent calls to my friends across the isle resulted in many abrupt hangups! This kind of total disregard for tax paying Americans [as well as free loading illegals] can not be tolerated! At some point, in time, a big chunk of flaming debris could well impact out fragile planet and cause who knows what damage! This is just one more reason we need your vote in 2020!'

Remove the guns and then....

Eighteen school shootings since January 1, 2018. That's what the news is saying on boob tubes everywhere. And, as expected, a call is going out to restrict and or ban guns everywhere. This cry from mostly the Left is exactly the sort of wrong headed thinking that makes Democratically run cities complete shit holes.

Removing guns completely from schools would have the same effect as it did in parts of Europe where even the police are unarmed. The crazies merely went over to driving trucks through crowds when they weren't blowing themselves up with explosive vests! And, the nut job kids who are likewise preordained to kill will come up with the same sort of tactics, in a heat beat...

So, what's the solution. Simple. Train some of the willing teachers how to be responsible carriers of lethal weapons and turn them lose. But, also test and certify them on a regular basis. Watch the school shooting plummet. (We already did that, you know, when concealed carry became pretty much ubiquitous all across the US, some years ago. The number of robberies then went down partly due to the fact that even a crazy person could not be sure of who was and who was not armed).

Now, will that idea ever fly. No. Speaking plainly, the Democrats have had such a hard on for gun restriction to such a great extent, that Nancy Pelosi has announced that gun control and confiscation will be a major part of the 2020 election ticket. As has been the case, in the past, Democrats never let opportunities to use fear to gather votes. Their 'the sky is always falling' tool along with political correctness is about all they have left these days...

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." - Rahm Emanuel

Take or create fear - Mold it into a fix that adds even more government control - Get the votes -  repeat! The rubes will never know what hit them...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

She can do it all!

At an unnamed condo association, there is a woman who I figure must spend at least 20 to 30 hours a week researching what she feels is wrong with the Board of Managers, and who has repeatedly implied misdeeds and even outright wrong doing and incompetence as existing in a body of individuals who basically work for nothing. And while some may question her mental state (I do), I would propose the following;

Insist that she work as an advisor and problem solver for the Board, announce the fact and then dump basically everything into her lap. That would be maintenance, finances, complaints and work order management. Broadcast this to one an all and then sit back as she really takes charge. I think they call that giving someone a lot of rope. I would then tell everyone else to 'take a vacation' and leave for a while with her in charge. After a week or so, I would expect that she would be long gone in the wind...

The ultimate horrors of Global Warming!

Forsyth MO. – It was February the 15th in 2018 at 7:30 AM in the morning that I happened to glance at the outdoor thermometer and could not believe my eyes! Sixty seven degrees! I stopped eating my breakfast and ran right to the phone to call the local Chapter of the DNC.

I got a hold of someone named Phil who heard my tearful report and who also conferred with me that, yes indeed, it sounded as though GW (their progressive abbreviation for Global Warming) was in point of fact happening! He urged me to remain calm! Then, after confirming my membership status as a dyed in the wool Democrat, he then launched into a ten minute rant as to how GW was the fault of the Republicans and of Donald Trump in particular. (I listened with rapt attention and even took down a few notes). He finished by promising that, 'when we retake our rightful control of the Capitol come 2020, some sweeping and stringent (and very expensive) reforms would be swiftly put into place'. (Before hanging up we both then reaffirmed our total allegiance to Hillary and then preformed a very secret Party salute that involved grabbing our balls until they hurt).

I have to admit, to my readership that after talking to Phil, I did venture outside to wander around a bit in the warmth that was GW. (The air had a strangely poignant smell to it and you could almost hear the stirring of life in the plants as they tried to awaken into a false spring). Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a cockroach skittered across one of my shoes! I was aghast! (One of my many Democratic buddies had shared with me, some time before, that one of the effects of the early warming would be an explosion of the insect populations and in particular that of roaches)! Damn those Republicans, I thought!

I then took it upon myself to compile a list of some of the scientific fact-based horrors (as reported by CNN), that await planet earth, should we allow GW to continue:

  1. Early warming will cause an vast increase in the insect population which will cause the planet to become out of balance due to the excess mass and could then cause it to fall into the sun.
  1. GW will result in much warmer summers and that will encourage young people to begin taking off their clothes and rutting like there was no tomorrow. God would become very offended and would then toss the planet right into the sun!

  2. Increased carbon dioxide will cause plant life, crops and fruit trees to overproduce! This will tire them out and soon they could stop producing. Mass die offs of people would then occur and that darn old insect problem would get much worst – Well, I'm afraid it's number one all over again!

  3. As the planet continued to warm, Canada would begin to look better and better to US farmers and most would then move up there leaving the rest of us dealing with a great dust bowl. All those millions of farmers suddenly moving north along with all those insects which would then cause number one to also occur but, with a twist. You'd have millions of naked farmers humping each other right on top of billions of fornicating insects. The horror of that thought!

  4. Lastly, as GW continued in to ramp up in earnest, and assuming that we hadn't been thrown into the sun by some miracle, the entire population of the earth would at some critical point likely panic and stampede to both poles in search of cooler temps. Now should that occur, we would not fall into the sun. No sir. Our orbit would be changed in such a manner that we would all plummet into Uranus!
It is for the above reasons, that we must elect the Democratic Party so that they can impose drastic and very stringent regulations on all Americans to bring down the CO2 levels to about zero. (I'm told that could take awhile, say about two million years). But, just imagine, all that time under the fair, politically equal and oh so progressive smothering of people like Chuck Schumer and his descendants!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Suspended from FB?

While the graphic above is a spoof on one social media outlet, I have to wonder how long it will be before such sites begin to exclude people for 'medical' reasons...

Critique: The All American hot dog!

Why does this look like a very fucked up vagina?
The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year - more than twice the retail sales figures. That works out to about 70 hot dogs per person each year. Hot dogs are served in 95 percent of homes in the United States.

That is one heck of a boatload of dawgs! (For myself, I think that the total would be a much more conservative rate of consumption... maybe 68 hot dogs a year). Whatever the actual count, I thought to examine this very popular pastime in a bit more detail!

Right off the bat, let it be known that (like eggs), there are many variations you can eat out there; you have all sorts of meat wieners combined with many kinds of buns which are slathered with more crap than I could ever recount here. For this review, I decided to concentrate on your average run of the mill dog and bun! Here's a list of what I used for this post...

A disclaimer: This particular combination of ingredients was not the best a health conscious person could buy, nor was it the worst. (It was the kind of stuff I was able to easily purchase at my local Country Mart located in Forsyth Missouri).

I decided not to add anything about taste as that would be a waste of time. If you do not like to enjoy a good hot dog, you are very likely beyond the administrations of medical science....

What's actually in a common wiener?

All hot dogs (those that are sold commercially in the US) are cured and cooked sausages that consist of mainly pork, beef, chicken and turkey or a combination of meat and poultry. Meats used in hot dogs come from the muscle of the animal and looks much like what you buy in the grocer's case. Other ingredients include water, curing agents and spices, such as garlic, salt, sugar, ground mustard, nutmeg, coriander and white pepper. And that don't sound too bad... [Rumors that some dogs contain ground up eyeballs, beaks and other sordid and sick animal body parts. Not true, those are only sold to some West Coast consumers!]

Calories per gram!

After doing much research, I determined that there are about 2.3 calories per gram in this particular dawg. So, at 57 grams for the Frankfurter and 46 grams for the wiener, that came to only about 230 calories! Really, not all that bad even after adding some additional toppings.

The toppings!

For myself, I like a fairly standard group of stuff to throw on board; mustard, ketchup, minced onions, hot pepper and relish! I also like to lightly brown the inside of the bun for that finished look! 

In the end, you have thrown together a great tasting treat for low cost and a minimal impact on your waistline... enjoy!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Critique: Always Save Pork & Beans!

I've always felt that if a food product comes out of a can, it's probably not the best choice you could make from a  nutritional perspective.

Many 'canned' foods you can buy at the local stores are high in one sort of preservative or another. Salt is quite often used, or one could say, even abused. Let's examine a single 130 gram or 1/2 cup serving of a popular item known as pork and beans, for instance. A quick glance at the nutritional label is less than encouraging for what is essentially a bean dish. The single highlight, if you will, is the exceptionally high fiber content coming in at 6 grams. Applause for that! But, I'm afraid it's all down hill from there.

Other than the HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) which is a dietary no-no in any food, you also have a boatload of salt (440 mg) not to mention fairly high levels of saturated fat (.5 g). This is not the kind of 'food' I would have ever eaten when I was young, had I known any better. There are far better choices in the produce section. That said, it's even worst when you add in a Frankfurter and a slice slice of toast to the mix. I won't go into the dietary horrors of a meal I enjoy too often as this post is all about the beans!

My suggestion for companies that choose to make and to distribute products like this would be to perhaps give consumers some alternatives. For instance, how about a can of pork and beans without the HFCS and perhaps more potassium chloride and a bit lest of the sodium version. I'm not sure as to the cost or the taste, but I could tell you that I would have a more favorable view of companies that tried it.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

My problem with Hunt's tomato sauce!

As a man who loves to eat pasta, you would be right to think I would be picky about what sort of sauce I put on my noodles! And, as a careful shopper, I've taken advantage that Hunt's tomato sauce in the 24 ounce can which when on sale can be bought for only a buck! The sauce itself is great tasting and when you look at the nutritional label, you'd only see one big offender which would be the large salt content! (But, that's not why I have a problem with this product). It's the fact that they use High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as an ingredient. Yes, it's in a small amount, but it's there and it shouldn't be, in my opinion!

So, I wondered why use an ingredient that's really not very good for you? I'm not sure, and it doesn't look like much can be done on my part, as most of these types of products use it with abandon. I believe that they do it for three reasons; it's liquid in form, cheap and enjoys multiple byzantine agricultural supports and subsidies! That said, it wouldn't add that much to the cost for ConAgra to switch over to regular old glucose or even a sugar substitute. I know that I'd be happy to pay a little more, if they did!

Update: Feb 14, 2018 - I did receive a response from ConAgra in the form of an email. They denied using corn syrup, but used a different product as an example. I sent back a copy of the label shown above.

Critique: Trio Italiano

After going to a local grocery store and searching in vain for a package of American Beauty Penne Rigate on sale. No luck. I selected instead, a 340 gram package of Trio Italiano! Like the Penne I wrote about earlier, it was on sale for only a dollar! I figured I'd give this a try.

Now, normally, three different pasta's will cook to doneness at different times. However, I suspected that the AM Beauty people aka New World Pasta Company's quality control staff were on top of this and so designed all three types at about the same weight and thickness. As to why they decided on this particular mix, I really had no idea.

The cooking directions on the American Beauty package call for about two quarts of water, heated to boiling, in a pot. And even as salt is often considered optional, I like to add a small amount as it does add some needed 'flavor'. (If your on a salt free diet, then consider using a salt substitute). 

Once the water is boiling, you can add the noodles and maybe set a timer for say eleven minutes as per the package instructions. One thing to remember is that actual cooking times will depend on a number of factors such as the density and even age of the particular batch your working with. Do what I do and grab a sample piece from the pot for a quick taste test towards the end of the cooking cycle. After some practice, I've found that I can hit the 'al dente' mark just about every time!

Weights are in grams!
Once your pasta is cooked to the degree you like it; strain it and then add a pasta sauce of your choice back into the pot along with the noodles. (For this meal, I used Hunt's pasta sauce). Reheat everything for a bit and perhaps even add a small amount of Parmesan cheese to give this meal-a-deal an added flavor kick. There you go! Trio Italiano, ready to eat in only about 15 minutes!

[Take note that this meal is so not a diet breaker! Just make sure that any sides you choose to add are low in caloric impact; like say a salad with a vinaigrette dressing!] In the actual meal that I consumed, I used a tad less pasta sauce (110 grams) and sub'd in Catalina salad dressing and so the whole deal with a salad came in at about 360 calories! A very doable and satisfying repast!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

David Bowie and that Starman guy!

In a very frighteningly short amount of time, and after over two hundred thousand years of species development and darkness, modern humans emerged on the current scene almost as if by some magic.

Less than a hundred years ago, we can now look back and wonder at the lack of those things we now take so much for granted. That perception of wealth exists here only in the US and perhaps a few other countries..

The task before us now is daunting indeed. Each and every person, every mammal and even every tiny insect or other lifeforms now deserve our undivided attention. Being granted awareness by our Creator, does not come without any responsibilities. Duh! Those who have the most, owe the most to a world that suffers so dearly and supports our daily existence.... Me? I'm still trying to figure out what to wear when Jesus comes to my door....   Jesus: 'Perhaps Depends would be in order sir.' 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pontius Pilate and a dream!

OK! So, I'm working up to some things and some times yet to come. Stay tuned, as individuals like myself are either blessed from on high, or incredibly lost and a joke of existence.

My friends, enemies and associates, loving me and my love of my God, is your choice to believe in or not, either way! God walks with me every day and He's a pretty tough dude to hang with. I've been given sight or some semblance of sight. An internal awareness of His hard, but also incredible love.

Asides: Someone very old once said to me, 'To know the way, you must have first walked the way in my shoes.' The word 'the way' should have been a wake up call. 'The way' is the time line of each of our lives and how we all got to this point of existence (2018). Sort of like survivors in a poorly made sit com, and waiting for the next curtain. Well, here we are all now... [I take a breath. I breath in and then I breath out]. All the trials of my very petty existence, pales this on day, as I weigh my average life and my times against a man who is walking towards me now. For I now see, and am humbled... Forward: https://forsythkid.blogspot.com/2018/01/yvonne-elliman-late-night-thought.html

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

SpaceX's great experimental launch!

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX's giant new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, is set for its risky first test launch today (Feb. 6) from the historic Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The launch window stretches from 1:30 to 4 p.m. EDT (1830 to 2100 GMT). You can watch the launch live here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, beginning at 1:10 p.m. EST (1810 GMT). Weather conditions are currently at 80 percent "go" for today, and 70 percent for a backup launch time tomorrow, according to the 45th Space Wing's Weather Squadron, which monitors weather for air and space operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center.

The inaugural test will be flaunt with grave risks, as the vehicle's 27 first-stage engines will all need to light at the right time. The rocket stands 230 feet (70 meters) tall and will be the world's most powerful operational rocket, able to lift payloads of up to 19,000 lbs. (57 metric tons) into orbit. If it works! For this launch, though, the Falcon Heavy will have a smaller, stranger payload: Musk's car, a red Tesla Roadster. The car is set to end up in an orbit around the sun that's far enough out to reach Mars, had the mission launched at the right time, and Musk said it will carry cameras that should provide "some epic views," if all goes well. (Rumors that a crazed money, named Vernon, will be sitting at the wheel of the car have been repeatedly denied).

What is essentially three Falcon 9 first stages will boost the rocket into space, and then SpaceX will attempt to land all three of them. Two will set down on land, while the center stage, which will travel further, will land on a floating barge. Musk has emphasized that this is a high-risk launch, setting expectations low for a successful maiden flight. The vehicle's 27 first-stage engines will all need to light at the right time, for instance, and the central first-stage will undergo a lot of stress during the launch. After Musk made that comment, the Falcon Heavy underwent a successful engine test-fire, in which all the first-stage engines ignited for about 10 seconds on the launch pad. The good news is that the test was successful!

"It'd be a real huge downer if it blows up," Musk said during the teleconference. "If something goes wrong, hopefully it goes wrong far into the mission, so we at least learn as much as possible along the way … I would consider it a win if it just clears the pad and doesn't blow the pad to smithereens." Musk said that rebuilding the pad could take 8 to 12 months, which would be the limiting factor for when they could try another launch if this one went poorly; SpaceX can build another Falcon Heavy to test in 3 or 4 months.

All in all, this is must see TV!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Random thoughts for February 2018!

The dregs of winter!

I think of early February as a period that signifies both the midpoint of each winter and a focus of my discontent. It's the midpoint of winter, as the sludge of 2017 have not yet completely dissolved off me while the promise of yet another spring is still far off! A period of time when I often find myself falling back into old habits. Let me count a few off; slothfulness, gluttony and a general lack of any desire to exercise. (Two of those are major league sins, while the last is just me being stupid....)!

Fisa, piza, niza! Who really cares?

All that there seems to be in the way of political news has been the forever crusade to find Trump guilty of something. Anything! Womanizing, colluding with the Russians and even insanity top the charts for more than a year! And while this has been a white hot topic, for many on the Left, it has left me searching the channels for something else to watch. Sadly, advertising has now taken up the lion's share of most show's. I've even managed to surge a series of twelve stations in a row, never once hitting on anything other than ads for stuff I'll never buy. I can now see a time, where that tube will get someday get turned off, never to be restarted by moi... Too much garbage in too small a can.

Elvis has left the building!

As the midterm elections draw within sight, a veritable host of Republican Senators and Representatives are throwing in the towel and have announced their retirements. Even, Tray Gowdy, a man who some thought might try for the presidency has given up. This wave of Republicans will leave the door wide open for many weird minded Democrats to fill some seats in November. Putting these people in positions of power will be much like handing the keys over to you 17 year old hormone crazed kid and telling him, 'Go do what you want!' Well, it could make for a few interesting stories for the boob tube bunch...

Mediacom. A poster child for the limp!

After subscribing to Mediacom, a cable provider, for well over ten years. I can attest to fact that the number of outages I've experienced number far too many for me to remember. The company seems to put millions into advertising, but precious few pennies into infrastructure. Mediacom, a company that offers great discounts to new subscribers (for a year), and then seems to suffer amnesia soon thereafter. Mediacom, a company who fully takes advantage of being a true monopoly. King of the hill and Lord of the Flies!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

American Beauty Penne Rigate vs Best Choice!

The last time I purchased Penne Rigate at a local store, the American Beauty offering was on sale for just a buck for a one pound (545g) package. A great deal! However, the next time I stopped there, I was forced to purchase a package of Best Choice that also came in at the same weight. The cost, at $1.89, was 47% more costly, however. (Something that caused me to consider buying this stuff only when on sale in the future)!

Am Beauty vs BC
As might be pretty obvious, the Best Choice product (right) had a larger bore diameter more due to the thickness of the wall than anything else. A thicker noodle should take a bit longer to cook and this was reflected in the length of the cooking times; 6-7 minutes for the American Beauty versus 10 to 12 minutes for the BC, (or about the same amount of time it would take to cook regular spaghetti). Each package had a recommended serving size of 2/3 of a cup or 56 grams of product. (I noted that the actual counts of noodles were 69 for the American Beauty and just 57 for the heavier Best Choice).

The question that then came to my mind was one of overall taste and firmness. I prefer my pasta on the al dente (pasta that is cooked to be firm to the bite) side of things, and so aimed for that in my effort at cooking it.

OK. Let the experiment begin!


Preparation: For this test, I used 6 cups of water in a 2 quart Le Crueset. I added a quarter teaspoon of sea salt, brought the water to a rolling boil and then added the noodles. These were cooked for exactly 10 minutes, with me taste testing the noodles for doneness towards the end of that time. After cooking, I then added about a quarter cup of Hunt's tomato sauce to a sauce pan in which the two were brought together for the first, (and the last) time. That added a minute to the cooking time for the noodles. The only extra ingredient I used was a very light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. (At ~260 calories, this was a very doable diet styled meal)! Note: I'm not sure where that garlic toast came from!! That, and the tomato juice elevated this meal into the 400 calorie level...

Results: When compared to the American Beauty pasta, I found the Best Choice version to feel a lot more 'meaty'. It went OK together with the sauce and I enjoyed the experience. Still, in the future, I plan to base my selection strictly on the cost factor and will go with the 'lighter' noodle when I can!