Friday, November 29, 2019

Wind, rain and cold. What's not to like?

Flu report for Week 47 will show an increase in flu cases!

Nationally, flu markers that the CDC uses to track activity are still below their baselines, but for two regions, the percentage of clinic visits for flu like illness have reached their baselines. One is in the southwest in a region that includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The other is in the central part of the country in a region that includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

[Note the baseline is developed by calculating the mean percentage of patient visits for ILI (Influenza Like Illness) during non-influenza weeks for the previous three seasons and adding two standard deviations.]

In addition, the CDC said the influenza B Victoria lineage virus is currently predominant, which is unusual for this early in the flu season. Usually, influenza B activity rises late in the Northern Hemisphere’s season. However, there was little activity from the sub type in the latter part of the 2018-2019 season.

However, the agency added that all three strains are circulating, with patterns that vary by region and patient age. At public health laboratories last week, 59% of specimens that tested positive for flu were influenza B and 41% were influenza A. And of the sub typed influenza A viruses, 61.5% were 2009 H1N1 and 38.5% were H3N2.
Influenza B was most common in people younger than 24 years old and H3N2 was most common in seniors. In adults ages 24 to 64, equal proportions of all three strains have been reported.
Regional patterns show that influenza B is more common in the south and southeast, 2009 H1N1 is more frequently detected in the central states, and H3N2 is more common in the northeast.

The CDC report for Week 47 is due out ant time now.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Sewer fish a la mode!

On rare occasions, I manage to come up with a recipe that is a tad strange, even for me. This creation was made using a stargazer fish that was raised in a fish pond in central China. It is cleaned then cooked in a briny soup composed of lentils, bok choi, onions, mushroom pieces and tomato paste mixed with water. After about two hours or until the meat is falling off the bones, it is then served in a shallow bowl. I once prepared this and served to a women on a first date at a dinner party for two at my home. The expression on her face, when I placed the dish in front of her, was absolutely priceless! Sadly, the evening did not work out. Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


As we all blast our way into yet another new decade, please take time to reflect and to love those nearest to your heart! One woman in this video was dying of cancer, the other not. Please cherish the moments you have....And so it was, on a rainy February day, I found myself sitting next to God. Normally, He is just a part of me, as He is all of humanity. But, on this day, He was sitting right next to me. His hand moved forward and  struck me on the side of my head! I recoiled and stared at Him and said. '

Oh boy... More Trump impeachment drama...

After finding the mass new media still obsessed with Trumps impeachment, I got disgusted and so moved onto other channels. The ads on CNN suck! Way too many ads that focus on stuff I'll never buy. So, I went back to something that was way more fun... Hitting my big toe with a hammer!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The freedom of choice! Do we still enjoy that right?

On a street, where I have lived exists a road and a gate. The gate allows or restricts access to a public area park that is run by the Army Corps of Engineers or 'The Government' for short. Most of the time, that gate is open and travel over the road is permitted, but at other times it's been closed. This is usually because the Corps had determined that potential hazards might exist. But take note, it's the government and not the the People who are making that decision and that's precisely why I have a problem with it in the first place!

Here in America, where we all enjoy a representative form of Republic where we are granted certain rights among which are basic individual freedoms; 'Individual freedom is a complex of values. In its most basic form, individual freedom is the freedom to live as you choose as long as you harm no one else. Each nation, each epoch in history, perhaps each individual, may define this ideal of individual freedom in different terms. In its noblest of expressions, individual freedom is enshrined in our Bill of Rights. It is freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, economic freedom, and freedom to choose your unique life style.'

In the United States, you see millions of individuals who make many choices every day. Some are good and others not so good. The point being is that we do get to choose... Excepting when a gate controlled by the government happens to block your way forward...

Now I know what many are thinking right now, 'Hey dummy, They close that road to protect you from harm!' To which I would replay, 'Oh, yeah? Why? Because I'm to slow to figure things out for myself?' In point of fact, there didn't used to be a gate there in the past at all! And, drivers made up their own minds if it was safe to proceed or not and few if any ever got hurt. Why exactly could they do this, back then? Because most everyone had a measure of common sense! Now, let me switch gears...

One of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, expressed his fears of giving too much power to the government thusly - ' In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.'

Concentrated political power frightened the Founders.  They believed that only by limiting government could liberty survive the natural tendency of man to dictate the habits of other men.  The balanced separation of power with checks was designed to prevent tyranny.  Each branch was given delineated powers, and then each of these powers was limited and checked by another branch or entity.  The system was purposely designed to slow governmental actions enough to allow due deliberation.  This frustrates those who want the government to always “do something” about every problem (rules and restrictions), but it also hampers the government from doing something grievous that affects our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

I close by stating this... 'Tear down that fucking gate!'

Friday, November 8, 2019

An old man eating soup.

While sitting in a cafeteria at a care center, recently, I heard an old man state: 'Good living is like a bowl of homemade vegetable beef soup. It's a crazy mix of assorted veggies with some meat tossed in to make the whole thing work. It takes effort to prepare correctly, quite a while to cook, but in the end it's an awesome experience.'

I told him that didn't make much sense to me. He responded to my by asking, 'Do you even like making soup?' He asked with a concerned face.

I said no, not particularly. Too much work. Me, I like the canned stuff. You know, it's quick and cheap. He smiled, took a spoonful close to his mouth, blew on it and then gulped it down. 'There you go', he said with a smile. You just made a Democratic Party case for me.... That which is good comes at a cost to build. That which is cheap also comes at an even higher cost'.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Cold weather and warm meals!

As winter had seemed to arrived in southwest Missouri a bit early, I turned to hot foods for meals as a matter of course. 

For my breakfasts, I tend to swing towards oatmeal for my morning repast when cold winds are blowing outdoors. (That's when I'm not going out to eat)!

Lunch becomes a lot of chili and spaghetti dishes that warm the belly and offer up the needed extra calories we all burn in colder weather.

Finally, many of my dinners have turned towards the various frozen entrees put out by companies like Health Choice.