Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hungry Enough to Eat a Horse

There are many things that are not part
of our everyday cuisine in America that
are eaten in other cultures, and vice versa.
We don't eat dogs or cats either. All three
are considered "pets", not food,in this country.

I have eaten horse meat when I was in Switzerland.
It is ... ok ... nothing to write home about other
than the novelty. I would much prefer elk, venison,
American bison, antelope, or even bear to horse. I
really like elk, bison, and antelope!

I have eaten a lot things on my journeys that most
North Americans and Europeans don't typically eat.
Have you eaten - alligator or crocodile? How about
water buffalo? or snake, wallabie, kangaroo, rabbit,

You're laughing...but you've got nothing on your
bread! Let's get down and dirty...would you put
some ants on that bread? how 'bout some grasshoppers
or crickets?? Maybe a tarantula??? How about some
lemon grubs or some raw fish? No, I'm not kidding.
I have eaten all things I have mentioned above.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Glitch Found in the Economic Stimulus Checks

Reports of families receiving lower than expected "economic stimulus" checks started piling up the end of the week. Some families have found the $300 per child missing from their checks.

The IRS has issued a statement that around 350,000 families have been affected by a system glitch. That glitch has not correctly computed the amount of checks for some families with children. Other families are receiving checks for less than the full amount because they did not properly complete their tax forms. The IRS went on to say that those owed additional sums should get them in July after the first mailings have been completed.

And while these folks have encountered short-falls in their wind-falls, many many more people around the nation are still waiting for any kind of stimulus check - be it "short", long, or just the right amount - to be delivered to their household.

If you got yours, was it made out for the correct amount?

You can check on the status of your "stimulus" check here:

Click here for the IRS's general website for
Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center:,,id=177937,00.html

Haven't gotten your regular tax refund yet?
You can check on your refund status here:,,id=96596,00.html

Hey! Can't Find Your Economic Stimulus Check???

Friday - May 16th - was supposed to be the final day of electronic - direct - deposits by the IRS of the Economic Stimulus checks. Electronic deposits of the stimulus checks began two and half weeks ago on April 28th. If you requested direct deposit, depending on where the last two digits of your Social Security Number fell in the deposit order, your checking account should now have received your stimulus payment.

If you opted to receive a "paper" check, instead of electronic direct deposit, then Friday was also the beginning of the "mail-out" period. Again, depending on where the last two digits of your Social Security Number fall in the deposit order, you should receive the check in the mail between next week and the middle of July.
  • Were you/your family eligible for this "pre-bate" check?
  • Have you received your economic stimulus deposit or check?
  • If you got yours, was it made out for the correct amount?
You can check on the status of your "stimulus" check here:

Haven't gotten your regular tax refund yet?
You can check on your refund status here:,,id=96596,00.html

Click here for the IRS's general website for
Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center:,,id=177937,00.html

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All About me - Synopsis:

I'm formerly a Restless Colorado Native, grew up in tiny little town with a great big ski hill way up in the Rocky Mountains. Spent much time on my grandparents ranch in the Collegiate Peaks area surrounded by 14,000ft mountains, and for a time I lived in the choir loft of an old converted church in downtown Denver. I traded the Rockies for the Sierras and Tahoe to be close to my nieces and nephew [who told me I lived toooo far away] and the rest of the family who had relocated here. Professionally I'm a former chef and baker who switched to technology and now is in transportation and tourism. I enjoy the outdoors, walking, biking, flyfishing, I grew up in a ski area but I don't alpine ski any longer. I am also interested in activities of a cultured nature ... i.e. cheese & yogurt ... how about arts, music, theatre, and my favourite hobby is travel.

Friday, May 16, 2008

¿Where the Heck are You?

Check out my Travel Blog - ¿Where the Heck are You?

¿Where the Heck are You? is the usual greeting I receive from friends and family since they are never quite sure just where I might be or where I have been.

¿Where the Heck are You? is a traveler's column. Come with me for a journey to foreign shores, tropical locales, and places you may not have even heard of. Along the way I will introduce you to people; their cultures, art and cuisine, and together we will share an adventure.

¿Where the Heck are You? cool

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Valley of the Silicon Dolls

Bored with the 11:00 News, I started flipping through the myriad channels of cable TV. Lost in the seemingly endless regurgitations of Slaw & Order (CI, SUV, B-F-D!) there was a sudden flash of peroxide and silicon (I guess in this day it may have been pouches of saline...) that filled the screen! Gosh I am sooooo glad I was flipping channels and that FSN (whatever the freakin' channel that is) was so gracious to present the 2007 Ms H©©TER’s beauty pageant[sic].

There was more than enough silicon available to chalk the entire bathroom! (or if they were saline, the level of the sea certainly must have dropped) That much peroxide in one place just has to be a hazmat violation. And when are pageant contestants going to learn how to smile without coating their capped teeth in Vaseline™???

Oh well…so what happened to natural beauty?

"a beautiful woman is like a mountain road -
she has soft shoulders and dangerous curves"
... and at every turn she takes your breath away!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How Do You Like Your Soap?

What is your preference when it
comes to bath-body-hand soap?

Do you like your soap solid in a cake or bar?

Or maybe liquefied in a squeeze bottle?
How about with a handy pump to press?

What's the deal with "Soap-on-a-Rope"???
Why do some people need a leash for their soap?
Is there really a big problem with soap getting
away from them in the shower and running amuck
in the house?

Time to come clean - How do you like your Soap?

⊕ Rope That Soap ⊕
[the follow-up]

Comments from the peanut gallery:
  • "Seems so silly!"
  • "soap on a rope is you loop it around your arm so you never have a fear of dropping it and slipping on it."
  • "that's only for men. Men keep their hands so busy (even in the shower) that they need to corral their soap?"
Only one BT'er claimed to use Soap-on-a-Rope.

Back in the early 90's I lived in downtown Denver when Pope John Paul paid a visit for the International Youth Day conferences. Souvenir stands around downtown were selling Pope-Soap-on-a-Rope!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Buying Schwan's With Food Stamps

People using food-stamps are limited to what they can buy and where they can buy it. First they can only purchase food, no TP, no shampoo, no hygiene products. Each state administers their program and may allow some "food" products and not others. Some allow only the purchase of beverages that are milk and juice - no coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Of course no alcohol. Some states allow purchases of food from the deli departments of supermarkets, some don't. Within the guidelines people using food stamps are allowed to choose which food items they want to eat. Of course the best thing to do would be to purchase staples such as rice, pasta, dried beans, canned fruit and veggies, frozen ground-meats, and powdered milk. But people are mostly allowed to choose from any of the food items in the supermarket. Yes they can pick out a frozen pizza or Hungry Man TV-dinner if they want. Not everyone can cook so the options of frozen entrees and even the deli section are open to users of food-stamps.

However, participants in food-stamp programs are generally forbidden to purchase meals in a restaurant. Grocery stores have to be approved and certified to be in the program, most of them are. Schwan's Foods has apparently been through the approval process and qualifies to sell "food" to people in the food-stamp programs. Schwan's is not a restaurant, they are a mobile grocery store.

Are Schwan's prices really that much higher than a supermarket? I don't think so. Price competitiveness and convenient delivery are part of their marketing plan.

I am not a big fan of Schwan's and their product selection. Plus I don't want to eat a bunch of pre-prepared frozen foods. I don't buy that type of stuff from the grocery store either. I prefer to cook!

Monday, May 12, 2008

$5000.00 for Health Insurance

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has proposed a new tax credit that would change how many people get their health insurance. McCain said Tuesday he would offer families a $5000.00 tax credit to help buy health insurance. The proposal would supposedly allow workers greater choice in their health coverage. Everyone would be eligible for the new tax credit. Taxpayers could claim the credit whether they continue their health insurance through an employer based plan or if they purchase their own policy. Tax credits are applied directly to the taxes owed and any excess credit would be a refund to the taxpayer. Employers would still be able to deduct expenses for the part of employee plans they contribute to.

Three major concerns arise from this announcement:
  • First, that employers might stop offering health plans to their employees.
  • Second, that a cessation of employer-based plans will force people with preexisting conditions out of coverage.
  • Thirdly, that offering such a credit will spark a rise in insurance premiums so that the insurance industry can capture the entire $5000.00/year from each taxpayer.
McCain's proposal is nebulous at this time, but he responds that concerns about preexisting conditions will be covered and safety-nets will ensure that all workers will be able to obtain health insurance within the proposed program. The McCain camp was less clear about how the program will safeguard against the cutting of employer plans and the potential for the insurance industry to abuse the tax credits of consumers.

Of course both Democratic candidates, who are promoting different forms of supposedly "universal" coverage that would have to be paid for with federal tax dollars (which means higher taxes!) and downplayed McCain's proposal.

  • Have you heard of this proposal?
  • What do you think about this health/tax plan?
  • Would such a health plan be beneficial for you and your family?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Do You Call Her?

⊕ Weekend Qwiki Quiz ⊕

What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose,
By any other name
would smell as sweet.
- Wm Shakespeare

So what do you call her,
this woman we celebrate?

* Mom *
* Mum *
* Mother *
* mmmm-somthing-other *

!!! Happy Mother's Day !!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Get Your Wish: Get Your Wish 14: Guessing Others' Wish

Get Your Wish: Get Your Wish 14: Guessing Others' Wish