Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving post

                Three pounds heavier and one week later… 
            Yes I gained three pounds, actually two and three quarters but who’s counting.  I did exactly like I said I would do, ate too much and drank too much, then try to eat some more and drink some more.  Got to spend time with some of the family, which is always an adventure.  We watched old home movies, looked at yearbooks, played games, and made fun of each other.  Good times. 
            And since Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever it is you celebrate is coming up I didn’t want to give the traditional where and why the holiday came about.  So instead I chose the mighty fruit cake to talk about this week.  Also because I mentioned it last post. 
            The fruit cake has been around literally for centuries and the recipes range from candied fruit, dried fruits, nuts, spices, spirits, basically whatever you want mixed together into cake.   The recipes have changed over the years and are different from country to country and family to family.  In 1913, mail order fruitcakes took off in the US and even though mass produced cakes are alcohol free, traditional recipes include brandy or wine and covered with powdered sugar.  I can’t say that I have ever tried fruit cake, so I guess I don’t understand the joke of the fruit cake, well I didn’t until I looked it up.  Apparently Johnny Carson started the joke of there only being one fruit cake in the world being passed from one family to the next.  The joke was carried on by “the Fruitcake Lady” that appeared on the tonight show after Johnny passed.  Since then the cake was a ridiculed dessert.   Aside from there only being one fruit cake in the world, there could actually be a cake passed from one fam to the next for years.  If a cake is made with our dear friend alcohol, then it can remain edible for years.  In Michigan there is a cake that was baked in 1878 that a family has kept as an heirloom and was tasted by jay leno in 2003. 
            So, fruit cake, my holiday challenge, I will taste, bake, and mail a fruit cake.  I wonder who will be the lucky one that gets the cake, and if they will send it on to someone else. Until next time, shake it out.
“Great things happen when men and mountains meet.”         -William Blake

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


                I recently have been made aware of a few things; one, stop writing about politics, it’s boring.  Second, I am starting to slack, again, it’s been almost three weeks since my last post.  And third, it’s the holiday season.  Ugh, it’s that time again to eat way too much, drink a little (or a lot) and spend time with the family. Not to mention the traveling, weaving in and out of traffic just to make it on time, the shopping, fighting hoards of people just to get the last fruit cake (just wanted to be the first person ever to use that phrase),  and throw cold and nasty weather on top of it all, I love it.  Well, maybe not the traffic, shopping, or nasty weather but the food, drink, and family.   The cold weather, surprisingly, I like.  I like waking up in the morning getting my hot coffee and walking out into the briskness of that crisp morning air with the sun slightly topping the trees.  And at lunch time walking outside and immediately getting blinded by the bright sun and hit by a cold breeze at the same time.  It seems the air is clearer during the fall and winter time, like the earth went from standard definition to HD.  I don’t know if it’s from the lack of humidity in the air or what, but I enjoy it. 
                Enough, about weather, I’m trying to keep it short today because I have decided to do a pre- and post-thanksgiving blog, don’t worry no cheesy “what am I thankful for” post is coming or recipes for food.   No, no I’m going to keep it simple.  I’m at 183 lbs now (weighed this morning); I plan to see how much weight I gain over the next few days.  I’m guessing over 5lbs.  I also will add some highlights, thoughts, ideas, and maybe my plan on how to lose those extra pounds in the post blog, maybe even add some photos.  So, until next week, eat, drink, and be merry… or crabby, your call.     

“Gobble, gobble.”         -turkey

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Politics. Keystone, and Fracing

            I would consider myself an environmentalist (yes this is going to be a political post), so when I heard the stories about the Keystone Pipeline and the ban on hydraulic fracturing, in New York, being lifted I was a little disturbed.  If you don’t know what the Keystone pipeline or fracturing is, then don’t fret kiddies I’m going to go into detail about them.  Now I realize there are two sides, maybe more, to every argument, especially in politics, so I am going to attempt to look at each side and the pros and cons of both.
            So, the Keystone pipeline is an oil pipeline that will go from Canada all the way to the US Gulf Coast.  Now there is already an existing pipeline from Canada down to Oklahoma but that’s not enough, they want to expand it down to a port in Texas for distribution. They also want to run a new line from the same area in Canada and down into Montana then meet back up with the existing one in Nebraska. The oil comes from oil sands in northeastern Alberta, make a few stops at refineries in Illinois and ends in Oklahoma and if the expansion is approved, it’s off the Gulf.  Now, when I first heard about this I jetted off into internet space looking for facts.  Needless to say the resources were endless so I attempted to set my opinions aside and reason with facts and tried to prepare an unbiased post.  If the pipeline were approved, pro side first, then that would create jobs for quite a few unemployed Americans.  It would also provide oil, thanks Captain Obvious, which would alleviate some reliance on oversea oil, which in turn will help us in our time of debt and lower gas prices.  Anti side, let us start with the destruction of hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat (this phrase will be used again later on).  As an environmentalist this is always our number one concern. With oil there is always fear of a spill, thanks BP and Exxon Valdese.  I’m not sure if the plans call for it to be above or below ground, not sure if they even know yet, either way they would have to take or buy land from land owners to “lay the pipe” (ha-ha) which would cause problems with the landowners who don’t want the pipe in their back yard. If it is above ground, how hideous would that be, driving across America and have to see this massive snake of metal cut across your path.   On the top of the anti list is the fact that this crude oil is some of the dirtiest burning transportation oils, which is what it’s going to be used for, so much for America for cleaner energy. 
            Speaking of cleaner energy, let us talk about fracing.  “What the hell is fracing,” you may be asking yourself.  Well hydraulic fracturing or fracing is the technical term used for drilling natural gas where they fracture rock to obtain natural gas.   Same as above with the pros and cons on both sides are jobs, more fuels, destroyed environment, land take-over, etc.  However, the main differences are there won’t be a pipeline but massive oil rig type pumps every so often across the land and transported by tankers from one location to the next. Another key ingredient to the pro side though, is it is a clean burning fuel and is readily available, but do you destroy the land?
            Aside from these issues, Greece is struggling to stay with the euro and may get bailed out by France and Germany, President Obama is fed up with the republicans against his jobs act to rebuild bridges and roads in the US which will give us jobs, and the 99% took over Oakland.
            With the elections coming up in the next year I have obviously been looking at politics lately.  Now as far as Herman Cain goes (possible republican candidate and possibly sexual harassment accused) or other republican candidate, vs. the reigning democrat champ “Big O” Obama in the election race not sure which way I would lean.  So, considering that I would claim myself as an independent because I'm unsure which way to lean in politics,   I came across a site called which is a political site that apparently is going to let America chose their possible candidate in the 2012 election as an independent.  On the site you can rate your priorities to help you chose which candidate to vote for to run in the 2012 election.  So if you already know which way you are going to lean next year then good for you, if not then check out the site.