January 08, 2009

Test

To post or not to post...

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September 12, 2008

Bottled Water

I found an article on WebMD about Bottled Water and congressional concerns about Americans not "understanding" that this stuff is really no better for you than normal water. And I think they just don't get it.

Environmental and consumer groups are urging closer scrutiny of bottled water. The groups say Americans are wasting billions of dollars while causing environmental damage -- and adding few health benefits.

The calls come as Congress begins to consider stricter labels that alert consumers about the source and potential environmental impact of the products.
Wasting billions of dollars and causing environmental damage. More on this.

Americans spend about $11 billion per year on bottled water, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp. In the process they help generate 2.7 million tons of plastic bottles. Those bottles are produced and transported using petroleum, and most wind up in landfills, Wu says.
Well, good for us. About half of that might otherwise be spent on bottled soda. If you're going to attack the environmental aspects of bottled water, you'd better put all sorts of portable potables in there. Grrrrrr.

There wasn't bottled water in the 70s and early 80s. Pretty much the only bottled beverages were carbonated, and I just could never abide by the bubbles. So when things such as bottled water and bottled juices etc. became mainstream, there was much rejoicing. But, hey, I guess we plebes need to know that we're destroying our planet without giving ourselves any health benefit (all the while stupidly wasting our very few hard-earned dollars because, hey, this stuff is very expensive compared to tap water). If only there weren't for that bottled water, Mother Gaia would stop weeping. I'll continue wasting my money, thanks.

hln

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September 09, 2008

Original Original Recipe

KFC's original original recipe was moved today.

So important is the 68-year-old concoction that coats the chain's Original Recipe chicken that only two company executives at any time have access to it. The company refuses to release their name or title, and it uses multiple suppliers who produce and blend the ingredients but know only a part of the entire contents.

The spice mix comes in a packet to the restaurants - at one time it was very nondescript, and the cook just emptied the packet into a premeasured pit of flour, and there was your breading flour. I remember being dismayed that that was as close as I would ever get to the recipe when I worked there.

Larry Miller, a restaurant analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said the recipe's value is "almost an immeasurable thing. It's part of that important brand image that helps differentiate the KFC product."
I'd agree. Yummy stuff. Even if you had the recipe, it's not like you're going to be pressure frying chicken in the home anyway, though I've seen lots of replica recipes with funky things like tomato soup mix.

hln

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September 08, 2008

The Cake

There's a cake called dump cake where you do just that - dump the ingredents into the pan and bake. It's quite good, but it has a bunch of butter, so it's not exactly low calorie. I was looking for a way to lighten a cake that didn't have frosting, so here's what I did:

1 yellow cake mix (make as the box says)
1 can of cherry pie filling - spoon into cake batter after it's in the pan before baking. Swirl a bit with a knife.

Bake two minutes longer than the box says to.

It's sublime. No need for frosting. I'll be experimenting to see if I can cut an egg or add more filling and cut two eggs (box called for 3) or something like that.

hln

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September 07, 2008

ROM

This exercise machine claims that 4 minutes a day on it is all you need. It carries a price tag of $14,615, though. At that price, it'd better do windows when not in exercise use.

Seriously. 4 minutes. Suuuuure.

Seen in Fortune magazine.

hln

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September 05, 2008

Tilt-a-Whirl

Oh, to be 8 again. I miss the carnival rides.

I reintroduce you to the Tilt-a-Whirl.

hln

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May 19, 2008

Jack Michael Noggle

Jack Michael Noggle was born at 2:34 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2008. Yet another reason I probably won't be resuming blogging (though if I'm up everyday at this hour, maybe I will) anytime soon. jack1hospital.jpg

hln

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January 14, 2008

Has It Been That Long?

August 2007? Yikes. Probably not coming back anytime soon, though.

Brian and I are expecting boy #2 in early May. That, boy #1, church, and work keep me pretty busy. I tend to just share my opinions about the obnoxious things I find in the news and in life around the dinner table.

Boy #1 gives great responses such as "ble ble BLEH happy ble ble ball." It's affirming.

Hope all's well.

hln

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August 02, 2007

Anatomy of a Tragedy

...as played out by the American media.

Or, the best and worst of the human condition runs the gamut in a very short timeframe. Help me complete this if I'm missing anything.

Before the Facts Shock
  • This is the news rating period. There are no commercials during the television coverage.
  • You can tune in online with at least audio as it unfolds.
  • There's an intense - almost macabre - interest in learning about the event.
  • Because it's too early to know facts, there's a human interest angle:
    • Survivors' experiences
    • Interviews with "joe citizen" who happened to be there and helped however he could - situational heroes
Numbers Numbers
  • Death toll
  • Injury toll
  • Missing toll
  • Talk about "what we don't know"
  • Updates of these numbers (because they were published very early) for quite some time
Preblame Why why why
  • Speculation on causes
  • Interviews with "experts"
  • Goal is to keep the story alive
Blame and Lawsuits Who who who
  • Fingerpointing by politicians
  • Lawsuits by victims/victims' families
  • Lawsuits by government
  • Accused attack accusers, often personal attacks
  • Whining victims on camera, often blaming the government
  • Firings and "resignations"
Smaller scale tragedies often follow the general path if not the specific steps. The case in point is the death of Josh Hancock earlier this year. The media didn't stop its commercials for coverage, and the government blame angle was weak at best, so steps are missing, but the basic flow of the story in the media - yeah, it's here.

Does this bother you any? I think the outcome is that no matter how valiant the efforts of those who served after the tragedy, what we remember is the blame, lawsuits, and inadequacy. That's what we see last.

hln

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July 26, 2007

Best Song From Band/Artist X

I think this is just destined to become an every 8 day thing. So be it.

Last week was John Mellencamp. For me, I like Lonely Ol' Night best. I remember that being popular when I was in upper Michigan on vacation when I was about 13 years old. Worst song? Only fair to include that, too - Cherry Bomb.

This week it's "Weird Al" Yankovic. Plenty to choose from here.

hln

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Your Polluting Ways

Ah, CNN gives us this. I would think it wise to save comparison of waste to people for only insulting situations.

polluting.jpg hln

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July 21, 2007

PersonalDNA

Dustbury's site sent me here. Personality tests are so fun.


hln

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July 20, 2007

Dogfighting

If (man) is not to stifle his human feelings, he must practice kindness towards animals, for he who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.

Immanuel Kant
And that really says it all, that last bit. I'm an animal welfare person - used to like to make fun of PETA and will likely find the occasion to do so again. The dogfighting case against Michael Vick is very, very sick. Of course, dogfighting's been a problem long before the media pounced on this case of it. And now it's suddenly a big deal because a famous person's embroiled in the headlines, as I commented on a blog earlier today - forget which one. So, what does it all mean? Throw out the legal issue, and what does dogfighting mean?

My Internet is slow loading tonight, but eventually I found my way back to Outside the Beltway, where Steve Verdon posted this morning about the issue in a piece called Libertarianism and Child Pornography. Don't click through if you don't want to see a mangled dog. Whose name he gives - it's Gypsy.

Steve's piece attacks the view that dogs are just property, so what's the big deal. It's a debate I've had before, too, with a libertarian; this picture would have been my best argument. Brian and I have cats, and they're family. If someone broke into my house and smashed something, it better well not be a cat. Anything that has a personality is more than a simple piece of property. I visited PETA today to see what it had to say about the incident, and it goes a little something like this.

NFL star Michael Vick, of the Atlanta Falcons, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on felony dogfighting charges. Vick is charged with violating federal laws against competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting, and conducting the enterprise across state lines.

In a raid conducted on April 25 and 26, local and state law enforcement officials found 70 dogs—including at least 60 pit bulls and many dogs who reportedly were neglected, scarred, and malnourished—on quarterback Vick's rural Surry County, Virginia, property. Some of the animals evidently bear scars and injuries, and paraphernalia commonly associated with dogfighting—including a "rape stand"—are also said to have been found on the property.
Wow - reads just like the news. Criminy, I agree with PETA. Someone bring me an NRA magazine to balance the scale.

Point is - well, I opened the post with the point. We (humans) know better. Deep down we do.

hln

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July 19, 2007

Best Song From Band/Artist X

I'm a day late. What is it this week? John Cougar/John Cougar Mellencamp/John Mellencamp. Go.

hln

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Good Wine

Brian and I visited Cline Cellars when we were in Sonoma/Napa in May of 2005. Since then, we've joined the Cline Wine Club. We get little UPS surprises every few months.

Our local Sam's carries the Ancient Vines Zinfandel, which is a lovely medium-priced wine (about $12) that goes very well with steak. I very highly recommend it; I've had about half a bottle already tonight.

In my opinion, the ultimate Cline Wine, though, is the Small Berry Mourvèdre. Amazing.

hln

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July 17, 2007

Planet Earth?

Who ARE these people? How does the human thought process lead to this?

A Foley woman was arrested after sheriff's deputies said she doused her live-in boyfriend with lighter fluid and tried to set him on fire. Jessica Bressie, 30, of the 200 block of Burr Oak, Foley, was charged with first-degree assault and was being held today on $50,000 cash-only bail in the Lincoln County Jail. According to authorities, the couple got into an argument Saturday about writing markers. The children, ages 3 and 6, apparently were playing with them, and they weren't supposed to be. Bressie's boyfriend, 30, who also is the father of the children, decided to leave, but as he tried to back their minivan away from the home, Bressie smashed a baseball bat into the windshield, authorities said. The man got out of the vehicle, and Bressie allegedly came after him with the baseball bat, landed several blows, causing contusions and swelling. While her boyfriend was still on the ground, Bressie grabbed a can of charcoal lighter fluid and poured it over him, soaking his clothing, deputies said. Bressie then chased him around the yard with a cigarette lighter, threatening to burn him to death.
I mean, really.

hln

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July 14, 2007

Tooth Update

Well, mentioning it on the blog is all it took. The first one had its ragged edge's poking through Jimmy's gumline about two weeks ago. It's about 1/3 of the way in now.

4 more are making their apperance known in his upper gum. I learned this on one of our play adventures where I had him turned upside down over my knee, and, hey, TEETH.

Everything I've read says that it's usually the bottom two and then the top two and then the surrounding bottom or top ones on either side. Well, I don't see any signs of the bottom tooth's pair, but those top ones will be completely in fairly soon - couple more weeks. He's going to look pretty funny - in babies' eyes at least - I guess.

Today's his birthday party. All the literature from the experts say not to overwhelm baby at his first party. We're throwing that caution out the window and expect about 35 people.

hln

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July 11, 2007

And Now, the Shirt

The QA Hates You t-shirt. I'm going to be stylin' in my exercise class. Brian'd better work up a Cafe Press onesie for baby James.

hln

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Best Song From Band/Artist X

Brian and I a few years back started this dialogue of one of us bringing up a band name/artist and then both of us pontificating on the best song put forth by same. Because he is who he is, he always asked questions like, "Album?" and, "Year?" I pooh-poohed these - don't leave space in my brain for such trivia.

But it might make kind of a fun weekly blog feature. So I start with naming this week's band as Metallica. In a couple of days I'll let you know my answer. But someone must comment first. Feel free to include a memory that said song invokes.

hln

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July 10, 2007

Water! Now! Stat!

What? A woman's been arrested for not watering her lawn? IN AMERICA!

Brian and I better not answer our door. Not sure we've EVER watered our lawn. If you don't water it, it doesn't grow as quickly. The woman lives in Orem, UT - bet they've got an ordinance against home meadows, too. And you probably can't have cows grazing in city limits to take care of the length problem in that fashion.

Very, very scary.

hln

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