Welcome to ToTG!

March 31, 2012

Big Change for ToTG

No, not an early April Fool's joke. Just a tiny exaggeration. Tiny is right.

A while back, I noticed Blogger had introduced the ability to add a favicon to blogs. I kept meaning to create one and upload it, but kept forgetting until last night. I tried several different ones, but finally settled on the shape of Texas in the ToTG logo.  I also didn't like the white square on the blue-ish grey background on my Firefox browser, but when I made the white  transparent, it made the entire thing almost invisible. 

A webmaster I'm not. (nor a graphics artist or a decent blogger, but....)

For some reason it doesn't change from the orange "B" Blogger one in my bookmarks menu.  (and I've deleted the old bookmark, cleared cache and cookies but still no-go)

Anyway, did you notice?  What do you think?

A Rare Medium Well Done

So says the PBS fundraisers.  I wouldn't disagree - although I really don't like tax money funding the channel - but they have dropped the ball, particularly at the local PBS station, KACV.

As many of you know, I enjoy collecting recipes and watching most Food Network programming. One Saturday a few months ago, I noticed a show on PBS called America's Test Kitchen, immediately followed by another program called Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen. (Official website)

I immediately fell in love with both shows. They appealed to the food geek in me, ala Alton Brown and his Good Eats show, plus the recipes were not complicated and were usually improvements on classic, every day dishes. They also do blind taste tests on various ingredients as well as review useful kitchen appliances. The host, Christopher Kimball, is likeable and entertaining and doesn't take himself too seriously. I also enjoy the recipe adaptations by several of the female contributors.(They don't show cleavage like some of the female Food Network show hosts nor or they as attractive, but they're cute and seem more "real" than does Giada De Laurentiis. They're certainly not anywhere near as annoying as Rachael Ray. That said, Claire Robinson and Nigella Lawson and a couple other female FN show hosts could boil water every week and I'd watch.  Hey, I may appreciate good cooking, but if there's also a pretty face involved...that's a bonus, like finding two yolks in an egg)

I was a little annoyed last week when they showed only one of the Test Kitchen shows and I was hoping that wouldn't be permanent. The programming before the cooking shows consists of cartoons and sewing/quilting/crafting shows. That's fine, I'm glad - if I have to pay for it - that there are programs that appeal to everyone, but I didn't want anything to preempt my shows. After my new-found favorite shows are how-to and home improvement shows, another with a guy who makes crude, new things with crude, old tools followed by a boring car show or two and then Lawrence Welk reruns to round off the afternoon. Yuk.

No, I want my America's Test Kitchen shows, at least one of 'em!!!

Instead, they aired a rerun of Back to the Table with Chef Bud, a poorly done cooking show with an Amarillo area chef. Now, I watched his first two shows because they had been heavily promoted and I wanted to see if it was any good.

It wasn't. Judge for yourself.

It's not horrible...but it's not good, either. Part of the fault with my finding fault is that I'm used to the professional production of FN shows and the likeable hosts. Since we can't smell or taste the food they're cooking, personality plays a huge part in a cooking show's appeal. Maybe the show will get better with future episodes, and I'm sure Chef Bud is a good cook, but it lacks that certain "something", like not enough sage in Thanksgiving dressing or a rib-eye steak without salt. IOW, bland. The visuals aren't all that good, either.

I want my America's Test Kitchen shows back!

March 30, 2012

Happy Together - The Turtles

About That Time Again

I was looking at this blog's Flag Counter the other day and viewing the yearly graph, I was reminded that April Fool's Day is coming up.

For the last couple of years, I've linked to the Google blog and their annual April Fool's joke and it had a trackback and people saw the link and came here.

I'm sure they were disappointed.

This blog averages around 50 unique visitors every day, 80 on a "good" day.  Now and then the count tops 100-150, but that's rare.  They mostly arrive from search engines, looking for gay dwarfs, sister's feet or other things I'm sure they meant to find but didn't...at least not anything applicable to their original intent. 

There are quite a few hits from people searching for Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter) or for a particular vehicle I just happened to photograph at a car show.  Some come for videos, but often YouTube has taken them down.  That's probably a visitor that will never come back here, but I can't help that.  I always wonder why they don't search YouTube, but on the other hand, sometimes the comments after the video might be what brings them in. My friends, family and regular readers are sometimes enthused by a certain video and Google or other search engines has their comments in the results.

Many come from different parts of the world when the movie Cast Away is shown, and I'd bet the other spikes in visits shown in the above graphic are from that.  ToTG is near the top in most types of searches for that movie.

My claim to fame. -sigh-

No matter the reason they arrive here, I appreciate the traffic...even though I don't have any paying ads. I don't validate my self-worth by the hits on my blog, but the interest does make it seem worthwhile.   I also appreciate my online friends, my family members and loyal readers who do stop by and laugh at an old fool just foolin' around all year long.

Sugar Daddy

Got an email in my spam folder just now; here's the graphic that was in it:

I'm hoping they know something I don't...that maybe later tonight I will win the lottery and I CAN be a sugar daddy.

Actually, I wouldn't want a gold digger, even if I could afford her and she was twice as pretty as the woman in the graphic.  No, I want a woman who loves me for my sense of humor, my gentle and kind nature and my good looks.

Aw, who am I kidding? Maybe I DO need to be wealthy.

Oh yeah, just because they spammed me, here's their email addy:


I may not be handsome or wealthy, but I am a vindictive cuss.

March 28, 2012

Choking on Artichokes

A great artichoke post hit my reader earlier:

I'll have to admit that I was basically unfamiliar with artichokes until a few years ago. Oh, I knew what they were and loved a pasta salad w/ artichoke hearts sold at a local supermarket deli.

So, I never had much experience with them until I dated a woman who cooked me dinner one night - steaks, corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes and for an appetizer, she prepared an artichoke.  I watched her as she trimmed the leaves, then boiled the thing in a few inches of water. (basically steaming it, she informed me)

She made a couple of dipping sauces;  one was just melted butter and another was made with mayo and some various herbs and a dash of spicy mustard. The artichoke was done, so she put it on a serving platter along w/ the sauces and told me to have at it while she finished the rest of the meal.

Gamely, I snapped off a leaf, dipped it in butter and popped it in my mouth.  I started chewing...and chewing and chewing and chewing.  I chewed until my jaw was aching, then decided to swallow.  It was like swallowing shredded tree bark. (not that I've ever done that, I just imagine it was like that)

I sat there wondering what it was people saw in this particular dish. My gosh, maybe a cow would like it, what with the ability to chew, swallow, then bring it back up to chew some more, just as they do a cud of grass.  I bet grass would be easier to digest than an artichoke leaf.  Thinking that perhaps I had just got a leaf that wasn't cooked through, I popped another leaf off and started chewing on it.  Same thing as before.  This time I didn't attempt to swallow, but got up with the excuse I needed a glass of water (and I did!) but went to the trash and spat out the leaf, making sure she didn't see me.  I went and sat back down, saying nothing.

My lady friend noticed I wasn't eating the artichoke and asked me if there was something wrong with it.  She came over, snapped off a leaf, dipped it in butter, scraped it on her teeth then discarded what was left on an empty plate.  She looked around the table and asked me where my "spent" leaves were.  I told her I hadn't done as she did, but had chewed and then swallowed the entire thing.

She laughed until she was crying.  Then, when she caught her breath, told me that you don't eat the entire thing, but was just supposed to scrape the waxy covering off the leaf, then throw the rest away.

It would've been nice if I had known that before eating the entire leaf.

Sometimes ignorance isn't bliss.  Sometimes it's painful to chew.

March 27, 2012

The Waiting Game

Thought I'd check my Mega Millions lottery ticket; I knew from past experience to not even bother for a few minutes after the drawing and it's a longer wait when the jackpot is huge as it is now. The official Texas Lottery site has the results for all the Texas games as well as Powerball and Mega Millions. I waited for thirty minutes, then clicked on the link and got this error message:

A little unusual, but not totally unexpected. I then went to the official Mega Millions site and saw this:

The Texas Lottery site was probably just overwhelmed with traffic.  I bet I could have kept refreshing and eventually got the site to load.  I imagine the Mega Millions site servers have crashed.

Not sure why I'm even bothering about it; I'd bet - if I had it - 363 million I didn't win. The odds of me winning that bet are much better than the odds I won the lottery. (the same, only in reverse)

Oh well, I'll just go on to bed ,check in the morning.  I might be a multi-millionaire when I wake up.

Yeah, right.

UPDATE: According to an unofficial lottery results website, no one won the lottery. They put the new jackpot at 476 million with a cash value of $341.4 million. They also state it will be the largest prize "the world has ever seen."

I plan on buying a ticket early.  I remember a drawing for a huge jackpot a few years ago where there was so much activity, the Texas Lottery machines couldn't communicate w/ the main computer in Austin..

Tuesday Afternoon - Moody Blues

March 26, 2012

Some Might Say

I don't have a brain.

You Are 35% Left Brained, 65% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.

Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.

If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.

Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.

Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.

If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.

Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Mega Wages

The Mega Millions lotto had no winner this last drawing, so it's rolled over again, making the jackpot of $365 million one of the largest ever.

The amount is staggering, isn't it? Over a third of a billion dollars.  It would be nice (an understatement) to win it, but even nicer (read:greedy) to be the sole winner.

The $365 million is for an annuity which would be paid out over 26 years.  When you purchase a ticket, you have the option of the annuity or taking a lump sum, which for this drawing would be $255.1 million. After federal taxes, that figure would be $165.815 million. (No state tax in Texas!) I've always thought I would opt for this method of payout, considering what my age would be after 26 years.  I have to face the fact that I most likely wouldn't live to see the last yearly payments. (or wouldn't remember my name or that I had ever won the lottery) That's not the only depressing fact to take into consideration - the interest on certificates of deposits is pathetically low.  They vary all the time and from bank-to-bank, but some yearly CDs pay less than 1% a year and 5-yr CDs anywhere from 1.7- 2%. 

Let's say you blew through 10 million right off the bat and allotted another million a year to spend until your jumbo 5-yr CDs matured. (of course, you could make a dab of interest on unspent money, but let's disregard that for the sake of simplicity.) $150 million @ 2% would, with simple interest (not figuring compound rates) get you $3 million per year. (15 million+ over the five yr. period)  Of course, Uncle Sam would want his 35%*, so the yearly net would be $1.95 million. I think most people could live on that.(You could also make some interest on the earned interest if you reinvested it.)  You could then leave the huge sum of money - the 150 million-  to your family.  (Although in some cases, you *might* want to lie to them and tell them you're leaving most of it to charity.  Otherwise they might want the will to be read a little early, if you get my drift. It's happened.)

On the other hand, if you did opt for the annuity, the income is much better.  Before taxes, the yearly payout would be $13.692+ million a year with a net of $8.9 million.  That would give you a monthly take-home income of a little more than $741, 666, a weekly income of $171, 153 and change - which works out to $24,383.56 a day.

Or, you could look at it this way: $1015.98 an hour.  You could afford to pay someone minimum wage (Federal min. wage is $7.25) - along with some basic benefits - just to screen your calls from all the distant kinfolk and scam artists who would want some of your new-found riches.

That leaves you with a thousand bucks an hour for 26 years.  That's $1000 per hour, every hour of every day of every week of every month for 26 years.  Rain or shine, asleep or awake, it's going into your bank account.

Not bad wages, huh?

*I've read that 35% federal tax rate might soon go up to 39% if the current administration has its way.  It's not just the President and the Democrats in Congress - a growing percentage of the population is of the mind that the rich don't pay enough taxes.  Winning the lottery wouldn't just change your life, it might also change your political affiliation. -wink-

Edit: I don't mean to insult anyone w/ the political reference. I expect you...or I...would keep our same core political beliefs as we had before winning the lottery, BUT I'd think...would hope...we would be more "liberal" in regards to charity and more "conservative" fiscally.

UPDATE:  The announced jackpot is 363 million.  I guess the 365 number was the estimate.  Usually, though, when a jackpot is this large, the number goes up because the prize is tied into a percentage of tickets sold. So, my calculations are incorrect.  They were, anyway.  I don't know what caused me to make the mistakes, but I did.  (I used my computer calculator, but I guess you need to be semi-smart to use it.  That lets me out.) So sue me.  Wait until I win the lottery, though, because you damn sure wouldn't get anything now.

I read an article this morning which mentioned "lottery fever" - when people get excited by the huge jackpot and buy more tickets, often more than they can afford.  It also touted some "expert" who said a lottery player should always pick their own numbers, not allow the machine to choose them.  That doesn't make any sense, because one number is just as good as any other. (the winning number notwithstanding! -grin-) I always get a "quick pick" because my old set of numbers never did much good.  I also had a fear that if I ever did quit playing them or change to another, they would come up.  That could happen anyway, I suppose.

I also bought but one ticket.  Buying two tickets doesn't do much to increase your odds of winning, not by my thinking.  If the odds are one in ten million, then an extra ticket would make it two in ten million.  I suppose you've doubled your chances, but....

March 25, 2012

Quickie Wiki

The other day I was listening to an online radio sports talk show and they announced "This just in! Marion Barber retiring!"

Being a fan of the Cowboys and always enjoying watching Barber run the ball (his nickname was "Barbarian") when he played for Dallas, I did a quick search to see how well he had done after he had left the Cowboys. Quite a few results came up, most from football websites like NFL.com, ESPN, various fan sites and the official Cowboys site.

I also noticed news articles on Barber's announcement and most had "fifteen minutes ago" as the time the article was posted, which was about the same amount of time since I had heard the news on the online show. Also in the results was Barber's Wikipedia entry. I clicked on it and saw that it had already been updated with his retirement.

That wasn't surprising, though. It's been something I've been doing after hearing news of note - checking Wiki to see how fast it's updated. I've noticed that with other news stories, one recent one being the death of Whitney Houston. The Wiki entry for the last Super Bowl was changed to reflect the final score within moments of the game being over.

Now, you might think it's pretty sad or a sign of having too much time on my hands for me to check Wiki for updates when breaking news is announced. You would be correct, but what does it say about those who rush to the site to update the entry before anyone else?

Update to add: Another example would be that of the NBC show Celebrity Apprentice. It's just now ending as I type this, but the results/who won the challenge/who was fired has already been posted. I realize there are different satellite feeds, one earlier on the east coast, so that accounts for the quick update, but it would be a spoiler for anyone who read the Wiki entry before the show airs in their time zone.

A disclaimer: I've never watched Celebrity Apprentice much before this season and I haven't seen all the shows this year.  I watched a few of the shows last year because Meat Loaf and Gary Busey were contestants and they had a huge fight during one competition.  (either one could be/should be the poster child for "Just Say No")  I don't care much for Donald Trump and, for the most part, don't care much about celebrities. The thing I like the most about the show is watching the celebrities stab each other in the back in order to be kept on the show for the next week.


I had been hearing good things about Pinterest, an online "pinboard" used to organize and share your interests. I have a couple of Facebook friends who use it and several of my favorite recipe sites have also touted the service.

So, I went to the site and requested an invite.  I wondered why they made people do that; I would think that the normal procedure of filling out a few bits of information would do. I signed up and got a message saying I would be notified shortly.

Again, I wondered why I had to wait.  I really don't know why, but my suspicion is that they want people to think it's "exclusive" and it is a privilege to be allowed to join.  Several days went by and I finally got an email notifying me that I had been accepted and to click on a link.

As you can see, I was taken to my Facebook account and, as with so many of these things, I had to allow Pinterest to access my data and to let it post on my account.

This app may post on your behalf, including pinboards you created, pinboards you followed and more.

I really hate those apps.  It not only accesses my personal data, but that of my Facebook friends.  I want to be the one to share information, not some invasive application.  It also said it was going to update me to the new Timeline.  I've been putting that off, even though all Facebook accounts will go to that sometime this next week.  (I don't mind change, but I do not like that new format.  What's wrong with how they're doing it now?)

So, here's what I did with the invite.

March 24, 2012

Swimming in Conspiracy Theories

I subscribe to Alex Jones on Facebook, not that I'm such a big fan of conspiracy theories, but because I used to listen to his radio shows on late at night and found them both amusing and entertaining. (Along with Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM) It was also a good way for me to fall asleep, much better than listening to music. It wasn't the show or subject manner that amused me the most, but rather the callers.

The Alex Jones Facebook page is no different; just the other day there was a post about the recent Clintonville "booms" and it brought the crazies out of the woodwork.  Some posters claimed the govt. was responsible (which makes up the highest percentage of blame in most conspiracy theories) while others said it was aliens and a few blamed fracking (the hydraulic fracturing of formations to release the oil or gas.  Fracking is one of the latest controversial subjects that serves as the blame for people's water catching on fire, pollution of water aquifers and gingivitis. OK, just kidding on that last.  Fracking will be the subject of a future rant, so stay tuned!)

As is nearly always the case, there were posters who disregarded the subject at hand and wanted to bring up their own pet conspiracy theory.  One guy said we all should Google "New Navy Maps".  Usually these things don't interest me (as a Ron Paul supporter who frequents several forums devoted to him, I've grown extremely weary of this stuff), but I never had heard of that, so I did some quick research.

In a nutshell, this is supposed to be one of the new maps the U.S. Navy will use in the near-future.  As you can see by the graphic below, large sections of America will be flooded.

NOTE:  Image was removed, prob. by Google/Blogger because I used it without permission.  To be honest. I didn't think it was such a big deal;  it was a crudely drawn map with areas of America underwater.  I tell ya, these conspiracy nutjobs don't have a sense of humor.   If whoever turned me in is reading this:  sorry you got upset, sorry you can't make a better graphic and sorry that you're such an anal retentive asshat.

Many theories were put forth as to why so much of the U.S. will be submerged; Fracking (again ), global warming, intentional diverting of the Mississippi river (which doesn't account for the east and west coasts being under water) as well as many others.

I'd have to look at a topographical map, but it looks to me like the water just blows right through part of the Rocky Mountains.

If this comes to pass, it might be a good idea to buy stock in a boat building company or maybe get some of that good-for-nothing-else desert land in Arizona and New Mexico...which will be ocean front property then.

Maybe it would be better to invest in a company that makes tin foil?

March 22, 2012

The Story In Your Eyes - Moody Blues

One of my most favorite songs from one of my most favorite groups

March 21, 2012

Your Inner Sloth Name

My inner sloth name? "Bilbo The Loitering Dummy"

That's about right.

March 20, 2012


I recently subscribed to List25 and this post hit my reader earlier this morning:

25 Things Psychology Tells You About Yourself

#20 validated something I've always believed, namely that people really can't multi-task. From the article:

We know, you are a professional multi-tasker. Unfortunately, if you really believe that, you are also overly self confident, because the truth of the matter is that humans cannot multi-task. At least not in the sense of the term that we often use. While you can certainly walk around while talking to your friend, your brain can only focus on one higher level function at a time, which means you cannot be thinking about two things at once.

While it doesn't qualify as a "pet peeve" of mine, it's always slightly annoyed me to hear people say that. I think I'm fairly capable of performing multiple tasks, but I've always known I can do only one thing at a time. For example, I can build something out of wood, but there's no way I...or anyone else...could cut out the pieces, sand them and nail them together all at the same time.

I've never heard a man saying he can multi-task - it's always been women who have said it. (and I'm not picking on the fairer sex here, just stating something from my own experience)  I think these women who say this confuse their ability to juggle tasks - go from one to another with ease- with the true definition of multi-tasking. I think women have superior organizational skills and can accomplish more in a shorter time than can men, but that's not multi-tasking.

The first time I ever heard the term used was by an old classmate who lived nearby me a few years ago.  We were both going back to school at the time and I used to go over and visit her and her family.  She would be "studying" with the TV on all the while yelling at her kids for being kids.  I mentioned to her that she really needed a quiet place to study and she replied that she was an excellent multi-tasker and could handle it.

She failed several courses that semester and had to take them over.

I forget what show I saw it on, but they did a hidden camera study of people sitting down to eat in a restaurant.  They filled the nearby tables with other people talking about all sorts of things:  behind the test subjects was a couple where the guy was breaking up with the girl, at another table were two women talking about the affairs they were having and at another table were some people talking about a crime they were going to commit.  They all had been instructed to talk in low voices but loud enough to be overheard by the test subjects. 

One of the tests featured a couple, a man and his wife.  The woman was trying her best to hear all the controversial talk and was getting frantic and her food was untouched.  She whispered to her husband "Did you hear that?"  The man looked up from shoveling food in his mouth and grunted "Huh?"  He said he had heard the couple talking about breaking up and decided it was none of his business so he tuned them out and went back to eating.

The gist of the study was that people can TRY to do several things at once but it won't work.  In fact, when they do try, they can't do even one thing very well. Cases in point: I wonder how many automobile accidents have been caused by the driver talking on a cell phone, changing the radio station or lighting a cigarette?  I was reading an article about the Autobahn in Germany, the no speed limit super highway and that most German cars (for sale in Germany) don't have cup holders because they know that driving should be the sole focus of the driver. (I don't know if that's true...just because I read it on the 'net doesn't make it so, but it makes a lot of sense)

Multi-tasking - ain't no such thing.

The rest of the article is interesting and I urge you to read it.  Something else I've always known is #6:

You can sustain a high level of attention for approximately 10 minutes

The operative word is "approximately". I think that 10 minute time is generous for most men. I know it is for me.


This was a featured article on my Yahoo start page this morning:

The High Cost of Multitasking

There is a poll embedded in the side column and 76% of the respondents claimed to be good at multi-tasking.

March 18, 2012

Word Verification Nixed

Sorry to all who have posted and had to go through that silly word verification thing in order to comment.  I didn't have it enabled, but with the latest upgrades to Blogger, I guess it defaulted to that setting.  I never noticed because as the "owner" of this blog, I wouldn't have to do it.

I HATE the word verification.  Sometimes I can't make out a "1" from an lower case "L" and others. 

Strange Blob on Radar

Some storms have been popping up in the region and I read on a Pampa woman's Facebook wall that she had seen storm chasing vehicles in town today, so I've been keeping an eye on the NWS Amarillo radar. We've been under a tornado watch since about three this afternoon.  Most of the storms are quite a ways away, down near Childress and moving on into Oklahoma. There are a few storms firing up near Perryton but they too are rapidly moving out of the area. I hope it stays calm; I'm not ready for a tornado. (now or any time)

The last few times I checked the radar, I saw an odd anomaly between here and Amarillo, close to White Deer. It looks like a small thunderstorm - most t-storms are ten miles or less in area - but it stayed in the same spot. The funny thing was it increased and then decreased in size when I set the radar in motion.

At first I thought it might be a grain elevator complex just to the north of Highway 60 - the distance looked about right, but I couldn't be certain, so I used the distance tool on the radar website and saw that it was around 17 miles from Pampa.

I then opened up Google Earth and measured 17 miles and realized the blob on the radar had to be caused by the Llano Estacado Wind Ranch™ near White Deer. I switched to street view in the application and couldn't see anything, but while the turbines can easily be seen from the highway, the closest one is around two miles away. The overhead view was better, however, and while a good side view of the turbines isn't available, they showed up, casting a long, detailed shadow.

March 17, 2012

If it's Chocolate Guinness Cake

It must mean it's Saint Patrick's Day.

I didn't need to look at the calendar to know today was Saint Patrick's Day.  There have been close to a thousand Irish themed recipes hit my reader this last week.  There were Irish cake truffles, potato cakes, many variations on the ubiquitous Irish stew, something called a "Dublin Coddle", another something called a "Champ", shepard's pie, and at least a dozen recipes for soda bread.

There were shamrock crackers, deviled eggs made to look like leprechaun pots of gold, and a bunch of different green cookie recipes. Then there were the brownies, cakes, fudge, milkshakes, cookies, bacon cheeseburgers, braised lamb shanks, etc. all made w/ Guinness, plus instructions on how to make green beer. (add food coloring, duh) 

Paying homage to the stereotype, real or imagined, that the Irish are big drinkers were quite a large number of Irish Car Bomb drink recipes (which not only reinforces the stereotype that the Irish are a nation of sots, but love to blow each other up over religion.), but it didn't stop there with that - there were Irish Car Bomb cakes, fudge, cookies, brownies, peppermint creams and cupcakes, not to mention at least a hundred recipes, both food and drink, featuring Bailey's Irish Cream.  There were also a large number of deserts made with Irish coffee.  One drink caught my eye, the Blarney Stone...but it had bitters in it, and if there was ever a nastier drink ingredient, I've never tried it. Sláinte, my ass.

At least St. Pats won't be back for a year.  Next up:  Easter and a thousand and one recipes using Peeps.  Gag.

You Might be a Leprechaun

You Might be a Leprechaun if.......

You snicker uncontrollably all the way through "Darby O'Gill And The Little People."

Your record collection is stocked only with very short artists, Paula Abdul, Sheena Easton, Prince, Phil Collins.

When you see a rainbow, you get a greedy little look in your eye.
(Arrrr, there's me pot o' gold!)

In your cupboard there is nothing but Lucky Charms cereal.

Every time you get your paycheck, you convert it into gold coins and bury it somewhere.

You insist on dancing a jig on your way to work each morning to the embarrassment of all your friends.

You've been under a rock for the past few years.

You just despise fairies.
("Wing Envy" if you ask me!)

You try to pick up women by saying "Ah, lassie, you have dazzling kneecaps, you do."

When you eat good food, you say it is "magically delicious,".

And the number one way you can tell you might be a Leprechaun:

You're three feet tall, Irish, have red hair, cuss, drink and wear green a lot!

March 16, 2012


Woke up early and hungry the other morning, so I sleepily made my way to the kitchen to fix my usual breakfast, some McCann’s Quick and Easy Steel Cut Irish oatmeal.  I've been buying the fast cooking kind because it has the same amount of fiber as the regular and it's much faster to prepare.

I flicked on the switch and the light bulb came on, made a "pop" then went out. (and that always startles me, even though it's not a loud noise...must be something to do with my innate fear of electricity) I had some light bulbs, but couldn't see them because it was dark.  (much the same way when I look for my glasses after laying them down somewhere.  It's hard for me to find them because I can't see without my glasses!)

That was OK, though, because I've made the same thing hundreds of times before and the light from the lamp in the next room was just enough to let me barely make out what I was doing.  By feel, I flicked on the hot water kettle, got a bowl and put in exactly 1/4 cup of the oatmeal, sprinkled a little Splenda and a dash of cinnamon on top.  The kettle boiled, then clicked off and I poured enough water to cover the oatmeal.   I didn't need to measure because, as I said, I've done the same thing plenty of times before.

I gave it a stir, covered the bowl with a saucer to keep in the heat, then grabbed a handful of blueberries from the fridge and a banana from the bunch I had just purchased.  I put the blueberries in a coffee mug, then poured some hot water on them to rinse, poured out the water, then covered them again with hot water so they would be warm when I added them to the oatmeal. 

Coming back into my bedroom, I got on my computer, checked my email and such, giving my oatmeal about five minutes to absorb the water and get soft enough to eat.  After the required time, I went and retrieved my breakfast and the cup of blueberries and banana and brought them back to my computer desk.  I dumped in the berries, then cut up the banana into tiny slices and added them to the bowl. (I like to have a bite of banana with every spoonful)

Giving a quick stir to my breakfast, I filled up the spoon for my first food of the day.   My nose gave me a second's warning, but my reflexes aren't so great in the a.m. and I shoveled a heaping teaspoon of the oatmeal into my mouth.

Did you know chili powder and cinnamon look an awful lot alike in near darkness?

March 15, 2012

Hot Mel

Here's another mail that hit my spam folder.  At first, it looked real;  it had the official WindowsLive logo and since my Hotmail acct. had been hacked several months ago, it alarmed me.  After looking at the body of the message, I knew it was a phishing attempt.

 Dear ,

We have recently detected an unusual activity on your account .

WindowsLive has placed a hold on your e-mail account untill this issue will be resolved.

To ensure that your e-mail service is not interupted, please confirm your information with us, by following the link below :

(URL deleted)

We are sorry for any inconvenience that this might have caused.

© WindowsLive 2012

WindowsLive is working 24/7 to ensure the protection of your account.
This e-mail may contain confidential and/or priviliged information. In case you are not the intented recipient of this e-mail, you are hereby notified not to read , distribute , disclose or otherwise use this transmision. If you have received this e-mail in error , please notify the sender immediately and then delete this e-mail/transmission from your system

I deleted the URL, but it wasn't a valid one, anyway - it was masked.  Hovering over it with the cursor, I saw a different URL, one that went to a PHP page on imenasa.com.

Not sure why anyone would want to get into my Hotmail account;  I never use it for online financial transactions.  In fact, it's the address I give when I have to give an email addy for free samples or when I don't believe the site when they say they will keep my information private.  I checked the account the other day after not signing in for a couple of months and there were a half dozen newsletters I had never bothered to cancel when I pretty much quit using Hotmail and went to Gmail and there were over a thousand mails in the spam folder.

I should have noticed it was a phishing attempt from the get-go, as the reply to address was Hotmail Team services@hotmel.co.uk


That reminded me of someone I used to know, a guy named Mel who was a derrick hand on a drilling rig I worked on a long time ago.  Mel was anti-social and didn't like the other hands visiting with him in the mud house .(where the derrick hand mixed the drilling mud/fluid)  That was OK; it was during the summer and the nights were hot, so there was no need to get in out of the cold like there was during the winter.  I can't remember the details, but I didn't work too long on that rig.

It was several months later and I was behind a rather large and hairy woman in line at a neighborhood convenience store. She was dressed fairly nice - a white blouse with blue trim and a short white skirt and was wearing nylons. As "she" turned around, I saw that it was Mel!   Trying my best to remain nonchalant, I spoke with him a little bit, reminded him that we had worked together on the rig.  He was a lot more cordial than he had been on that job. He asked what I was doing now, I asked the same and that was about it. He said goodbye and walked out the door, a little rocky on his high heels.

I turned to pay for my items and the clerk was staring at me, her mouth wide open.  "You know that guy?" she asked with an incredulous look on her face.  "Yeah." I told her.  "We roughnecked together on a drilling rig.".

She shook her head in disbelief.  "Can you believe the way he was dressed?"

"Disgraceful." I told her and she nodded in agreement, still looking astonished.  I went on:

"Wearing white after Labor Day.  Disgraceful."

Yup, Mel looked pretty hot from the back until you noticed the matted hair under his stockings.  When he turned around, it was another story.

Edit to add: I am Facebook friends with a local woman.  Looking through her friends list, I noticed Mel was her friend.  I messaged her and asked if he still liked to "dress up".  She wrote back, saying she had heard he had done that, but she never had seen him cross-dressing.  She said he was a devout Christian now.

March 14, 2012

Cheating Women

Just got this email in my spam folder:


Local Profiles of Cheating Women for (my email addy)

Browse Local Profiles of Cheating Women
You've Been Approved for a FREE PASS:
(URL deleted)

Why would I want someone that everyone else has already had?

Free pass? No thanks, believe I'll pass.

Amazed by Stupidity

There was a post on the Amarillo Globe-News Facebook page about a woman who had been bitten by a brown recluse spider while in the Amarillo Rick Husband airport. The article didn't so much question that the bite occurred, only wondering why it took five months for the UK Mail Online story to report it.

Personally, I believe it happened and don't know/don't care why it took so long to be reported. What bothered me was a couple of comments on the Facebook page by some doofus who took offense at the story.

I'm a friend of a person who knows the victim of the spider bite personally. It happened. Quit being a crappy news source.

First of all, I don't think the guy read the story: My spidey sense is all messed up. He seems a little too defensive about the way it was reported. The author of the article did some investigating and neither the city manager nor the manager of the airport knew anything about the incident.

Be that as it may, the guy who was overly defensive didn't construct a sentence very well. In the above quote, it sounds like he personally knew the spider bite. Now, I'm often guilty of fracturing grammar usage, so it would be hypocritical of me to criticize him for making a simple error in his sentence construction. No, what annoyed me about the guy was him commenting after several other comments and saying this:

You people amaze me with stupidity.

Dictionary.com defines amaze as:
1. to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish greatly.
2. Obsolete. to bewilder; perplex.

Why would stupidity "amaze" you? I can understand using "dismays", "surprises" or any other number of adjectives or verbs, but "amaze"? There's a LOT of stupidity in the world - why would you be amazed at it? Wouldn't that make you a little bit stupid yourself?

I'll admit I'm sometimes amazed at the sheer volume of stupidity...amazed that such stupid people somehow manage to get on the internet. What really amazes me is that there are 10,200,000 results on Google for "amaze me with stupidity". Hope that Google link works.

I'll feel really stupid if it doesn't.

Soylent Tofu

Earlier, I opened up my reader to find several hundred recipes from my foodgawker feed. Along with the other recipe sites I subscribe to, it's often overwhelming to sort through them all. I might not open every post, but I do like to scan the titles for interesting recipes and sometimes go to the website and save them. Far too often the most intriguing recipes are in another language and there's no translator widget on the page. Also, the ingredients are in metric measurements and it's just too much trouble to convert. It's much easier to just Google the recipe and find an English version.

Quickly looking over the titles, I stopped on one - I couldn't believe what I saw! I've always been slightly dyslexic and sometimes it makes for a confusing moment...and a few seconds later, a laugh out loud one.

I thought it said "Human Tofu"

(if you don't get the post title reference or haven't seen the movie: Soylent Green)

Even though I had heard of Hunan, a province of South-Central China, known for its three styles of cuisine, I didn't read it that way.

Here's the recipe that I misread.

March 13, 2012


A fun but frustrating game.  Use the knife (click and drag) to create a chain reaction and get your smiley face (on the tether/joint) to the exit and collect stars along the way. You can split joints and wood objects only. You're not limited to just one knife cut, but each level has a different limit.

The first one is fairly easy, but they get harder as you get to the next levels. Thank goodness for restarts!


Anything Goes - AC/DC

As much as I like AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top", I think this song has overtaken it as my favorite AC/DC song.

Ever Clicked the Button?

The time button at the top of the page? If you click it, it will tell you how many milliseconds you've spent on the page as well as how many there have been since 1970. I don't know why the script's creator picked that particular date - maybe it was the day he/she was born, dunno. I tried to alter it once, but screwed it all up, so I just left it as it was.

According to both Blogger and Google site analytics, most visitors to this pathetic excuse for a blog stay less than a minute.

I can't say as I blame 'em.

March 11, 2012

Top 10 Unbreakable Sports Records

Last week, several sports talk shows were talking about the anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game and saying it was a record that could never be broken. The subject then turned to other sports records that would forever remain. Several were brought up and some added to the mix while others were discarded as unlikely to be broken, but possibly could be.
This list hit my reader earlier this a.m. and I think it's probably the definitive list.

Number 10 - Rocky Marciano's 49-0

Number 9 - Michael Schumacher's 7 championships

Number 8 - Ty Cobb's .366 career batting average

Number 7 - Nolan Ryan's 7 no-hitters

Number 6 - Wayne Gretzky's 215-point season

Number 5 - Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point night

Number 4 - John Wooden's 88 straight wins

Number 3 - Cy Young's 511 wins

Number 2 - Jerry Rice's 22,895 receiving yards

Number 1 - Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games

I'm not a racing fan, so I couldn't pontificate on Schumacher's record, but it does sound like it's the "weakest" of the ten. If I had to pick another that could possibly be broken, then perhaps Nolan Ryan's no hitter total might be. Jerry Rice's receiving total would be next in line, but I wouldn't bet on any of those three ever being broken. The rest will probably stand for all-time.

I did a little research and found other, similar lists and some lists that took the total even higher:

March 9, 2012

College Letters

From the Photobucket archives:

College Letters

Dear Dad,

$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard.  With all my $tuff, I $imply can't think of anything I need. $o if you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.

Your $on

Dear Son,

I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOr student busy.  Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble task and you can never study eNOugh.


March 5, 2012

Dart the Sheep

How fast are your reactions? Click the tranquilizer button whenever you see a sheep leaving the flock and running for freedom. There are five sheep to stop, but be warned! There's a 3 second penalty if you shoot a dart when no sheep are running.

Dart the Sheep

I've always had pretty good reactions, but according to this game, I'm only a "Bobbing bobcat" and it said I need to improve and should get a cup of coffee. (my avg. time per sheep was .23 seconds)

Thunderstruck - AC/DC

This tune makes my heart beat faster.

Power of Observation

Test your power of observation about things you see every day.

As you can see by the screenshot, I did "pretty good", but after answering wrong on a few, I thought "I should have known that!".

Test your power of observation