6 January 2016
Good Morning Campers!
My new (to me) laptop got here yesterday!
17.3 inch Screen
1 TB of storage
And a fantastic price because it’s refurbished. It may not last more than a couple of years, but the one that I’ve had for many, many years is about done. I’ve done all the updates and put a lot of the storage on a portable hard drive and I’ve worked around the keys that don’t quite work anymore, that long time that it takes to start up and the strange noises it makes as it operates.
I spoke to it a few weeks ago and it told me that it would try to hold on till the new one got here, but it’s getting hard to keep up and I’m tired. It’s time for me to pass.
So, this is the last issue from my old standby.
Next week’s issue will be from the new guy…if I can get it spun up and working the way that I want. And if I can get all the applications installed the way that I want…and….we’ll see.
But right now, I have to work all weekend so let’s get this party started:
Being a Dad is not easy. In fact, it’s probably the hardest job in the world, second only to being a Mom. One of the things I learned early on is that you gotta blend some humor in with the raising and disciplining stuff if you want your child to grow up to be a well-rounded child. So, this Dad gets it.
This Zika virus is pretty scary stuff. And that’s coming from a guy who works with scary stuff for a living. The virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. But, that may not be true any longer. I just read a report that supposes that the virus was transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact. http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/02/health/zika-virus-sexual-contact-texas/index.html
It is the first known case of an American getting Zika locally. In other words, all cases up to this point have been from someone who has been to South America and been bitten by an infected mosquito.
The symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis or red eyes. It’s usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe cases requiring hospitalization are rare.
So, why are we worried about it, if it’s just mild symptoms?
From my viewpoint as a CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive) Survival Instructor, any disease or virus that is transmitted by mosquito has the potential to mutate into something worse. It’s already mutated by being able to have human to human contact. Trust me when I tell you that it doesn’t bode well.
The particular mosquitoes that transmit this disease do not travel more than like 50 feet or so from their birth place, so the odds of them making their way up to the US are pretty slim…unless it mutates…which it already has.
So, you see why someone who plays with nerve agents and anthrax for a living is a little concerned about this stuff?
Yes. Yes, we did.
Hey Hillary. Pay attention, this next one is for you…
Good ole Maggie…we need a few more like her around!
People are always making monuments to me.
Jeannie who is Gracie and I have been talking about this back and forth for several days and both of us have said how often this has happened to us. And I know for a fact, cause I share books with some of them, that quite a few people who read this ezine are sitting at their desks right now nodding their heads thinking of times that this has happened to them.
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.
Cream Cheese Swirled Banana Zucchini Bread
This was pretty much my first mistake with this recipe since I was taking notes and pictures through out the entire thing, I really didn’t need the oven for at least 30 minutes so I wasted some heat, but that’s okay, since you won’t have that problem.
Then I had to grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan. I was taught a LONG time ago how to do this the RIGHT way, so as you can see, my pan looks pretty good:
After that, I did something that I don’t usually do when I’m cooking at home for myself or my family, but something I used to do all the time when I was training new cooks, chefs, bakers, etc. I took out and premeasured all the ingredients so that we could concentrate on the actual cooking and what the recipe is really trying to make. So, I did it hear, photographed it and labeled it all. Well, I labeled it all for the picture, I didn’t label it in real life.
Next we added the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. And this is what that looked like:
Many people don’t realize that it’s important to mix dry ingredients as well as wet ingredients. So, what I always do is grab a whisk and stir up the powdered ingredients so that it looks like this:
Next we do the same thing with the wet ingredients. We add the egg, bananas, oil and vanilla extract to a smaller bowl. The problem is, that this REALLY doesn’t look as good as the dry ingredients:
I won’t say what it looks like to me. I’m sure you can figure that out for yourself. I used VERY ripe bananas that we had frozen some months back and froze. Thawed them out and put them in the mix. Yes, we actually have bananas frozen for just this type of occasion. Like Lethal said in his Wednesday issue, we both LOVE our banana bread.
Now, we’re going to mix that and as you can see, it looks better, but not by much:
Now we start adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. I used the electric mixer for this because #1 I’m lazy, #2 my arthritis won’t let me mix by hand too much anymore and #3 I’m lazy. Next you fold in the zucchini. Now, folding the zucchini was really tough. It didn’t fold at all. So, instead, I shredded it and added it to the mix.
Okay, reality check here. Folding means adding it in to the mix and stirring it downward in a folding motion. I didn’t do that. I added it in and beat the hell out of it with the mixer because I like the zucchini mixed in well.
You now pour half the mixture into your greased and floured 9×5 loaf pan. That was probably the easiest part of the whole recipe.
You put the softened cream cheese, sugar and the other egg in a small bowl and whip it till it’s creamy. Make sure the cream cheese is REALLY soft. And I still don’t think that’s enough to get it as creamy as it should be. Beat those ingredients into submission.
The recipe says to then pour this over the the batter in the pan, but you weren’t pouring this stuff anywhere. It was too stiff. So, I used an old lasagna trick to put the ricotta cheese on the lasagna by spooning the mixture into a zip lock bag, cutting a tiny piece off the corner and making a home-made pastry bag. I’ve done this with icing on a cake and all kinds of different things.
Then you squeeze it out on top of the mixture and it looks like this:
It’s not pretty.
But, it works.
Then you add the rest of the batter on top. And throw it in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
For me, it took about 90 minutes before it was done all the way. I’m not sure if my pan was too deep (a 9×5 pan is a 9×5 pan. That shouldn’t have mattered) or whether it was something else. I almost think that using a 9×9 inch pan would’ve been better. But, when it was done, it came out of the oven and looked and smelled SO GOOD!!!
And once we cut it and ate it…. oh my gawd! … it was great! Thanks Lethal for pushing this one and letting me in on it a little early so I could try it out. And thanks to all of you for hanging with me through this explanation.
This is the view from outside the vacation mountain. And yes, it’s real and no, I won’t tell you how.
But she will still not hesitate to tell you how poor she is.
The priest responds, “My son, I’m here to forgive your sins, not to discuss your community service work.”
Have you ever found yourself out numbered in a snowball fight? Get plastered with snowballs and buried in the snow? Well, no more my friend. Watch:
But she’s broke. Just ask her. She’ll tell you.
Don’t you wish that this is how it really was? People would wake up real fast!!
The Canadians know how to handle complaints. Here is an example.
A Canadian female liberal wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter. She received back the following reply:
National Defense Headquarters
M Gen George R. Pearkes Bldg., 15 NT
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa , ON K1A 0K2
Dear Concerned Citizen
Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.
Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa. You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defense, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or L.A.R.K. for short.
In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists and place them in homes of concerned citizens such as yourself, around the country, under those citizens personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.
Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.
Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome those character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling, however, we strongly recommend that you hire some assistant caretakers.
Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbors or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can reason with him. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion, this might offend him.
Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills either in your home or wherever you choose to take him while helping him adjust to life in our country.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually, since he views females as a form of property, thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him.
You also should know that he has shown violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of ‘respecting his culture and religious beliefs’, as described in your letter.
You take good care of Ahmed and remember that we will try to have a counselor available to help you over any difficulties you encounter while Ahmed is adjusting to Canadian culture.
Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man. Good luck and God bless you.
Minister of National Defense
Now, that’s a perfectly good explanation to me.
If you can’t read the sign, it says Bernie.
We’ll wrap up today’s issue with a fairy tale. But, aye, not just any fairy tale. ‘Tis the tale of the three little pigs, but mayhaps performed as M’Lord Shakespeare may have intoned.