Sunday, October 10, 2010

!!! FREE BEER !!!

... I remember it, just like it was yesterday ...

Thumbing my way through
the campus newspaper,
looking for a diversion,
something different,

something away from the Quad,
away from the dorm,
away from the usual suspects,
tedium and boredom ...

Then, there it was! -- !!! FREE BEER !!!

... Read the rest of the story of Free Beer on RedGage!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Stop Poetry - Where Poets and Writers Meet: One Shot Wednesday: A Place To Share Your Poems

One Stop Poetry - Where Poets and Writers Meet: One Shot Wednesday: A Place To Share Your Poems

Feverish Meanderings of a Mad March Monday Morning

~* Feverish Meanderings *~

of a Mad March Monday Morning

Sun Drunk Funk,
spent on Saturn's Day
ruefully remembering a Fried night.

If wishes were fishes
riding tandem bicycles,
we'd all be well fed and traveled.

Odd Mob's Sob,
while picking Colonels from a Cobb.
Too many say, "It’s not my job!"

Sitting Waiting left Hanging.
The game of the name is still the same
and you can't Love unless you're on with it!

~* © 1995 MrBill *~

Friday, June 25, 2010

Oh MY Muffins! and Other Mysteries of Fixin' Brekkie

Oh MY Muffins! and Other Mysteries of Fixin' Brekkie

Oh MY! ... can you believe it???

Three days running and nothing has !EXPLODED! during brekkie preparation!!!
The nuclurizer has been well behaved. As have the eggs and oatmeal. I am not sure how long this streak can last, so I will revel in it while I can!

Today I baked brekkie in my countertop oven. I do not have a real oven, so I bake, toast, and broil in a European style countertop oven, sort of an overgrown toaster oven. Today's menu was Cranberry-Walnut muffin bread. Yes, muffin-bread not muffins. I don't have any muffin tins that will fit in the smaller oven, but I do have a smaller sized loaf pan that does fit. So when I get a hankering for muffins, I mix up my muffin batter and plop it the loaf pan and bake muffin-bread!

This is just a standard muffin recipe:

2½ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

To which I added:
1 cup dried cranberries (Crazins)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix the standard ingredients thoroughly,
stir in the cranberries and walnuts,
scrape muffin mixture into lightly oiled loaf pan,
Bake @ 375ยบ for 30 minutes or until top is nicely brown
and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I make these substitutions:
1 cup milk and cut the oil to 1/4 cup
Splenda instead of sugar
I prefer using half unbleached flour and half whole wheat

You can substitute other fruit and nuts as you prefer, or go all fruit or just go all nuts! - ie blueberries(blanch berries before adding) blackberries, apples, other dried fruits (even mixed dried fruit), pecans,
peanuts, hazelnuts, brazilians, almonds, etc
!!! ENJOY !!!
I enjoyed mine sliced and toasted, with a thin spread of cream cheese, and a mug of my favourite strong Guatemalan Rain Forest coffee!

So what did you have for Brekkie this morning?
Did you have any memorable mishaps in preparing breakfast lately?
Buon Appetite! ;-)

For more catastrophes "and Other Mysteries of Fixin' Brekkie" click below:
Exploding Eggs and Other Mysteries of Fixin' Brekkie
Bagel Bungle and Other Mysteries of Fixin' Brekkie

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thanks RedGage!

Thanks RedGage for featuring my video!

Boots Can Dance

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Countdown To Spring Time -- Daylight Savings Time Starts Tonight!


Daylight Saving Time
Countdown To Spring Time
- preparing to spring forward -


Yes! For all you chilled, frozen and frigid, sunlight deprived (depraved too) poor souls – Spring Time time is here!!! … and just another week ‘til the Vernal Equinox, followed quickly by the Vernal Moon, and then Easter! So start looking for your bonnets, get your eggs ready to balance on the equinox and then color them up and hide them for Easter!

Oh the vernal season we call Spring still begins on or about March 21st when the Sun crosses the Mean Meridian (180th meridian at Greenwich England). However, we will be Springing forward in the US to begin Daylight Saving Time. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME STARTS ON MARCH 14TH THIS YEAR! (well except for probably AZ, HI & parts of IN, who don’t like to be team players ;-p )

Since 1966, most states have spent the past 41 years springing forward one hour at 01:59:59 A.M. to 03:00:00 A.M. on the first Sunday of April. Conversely, the last Sunday of October they would fall back one hour effectively plunging into the darkness of the approaching winter. Not only will we spring forward three weeks earlier this year, but you will get an additional week of Daylight Saving Time tacked on your rear the end of summer time as DST now end the first Sunday of November in the Fall.
[click for history of Daylight Saving Time ]

Why the Heck do We even have Daylight Saving Time to Begin With?!? No, I am not one of those. The ones that want to abolish DST for their own selfish gain. I truly believe those people merely like having their knickers in a knot twice a year. They want to punish everybody else just because they cannot remember the mnemonic! Come on! Say it with me, you know it – Spring forward & Fall back! See, wasn’t that easy. No, what I want is for the US to place ourselves permanently on what we call Daylight Saving Time making it our new Standard Time . This would serve to get the US in the correct time zone in relation to our distance from the Mean Meridian.

It would also solve the DST whiners problem of having to change their clocks twice a year. We would then have all the benefits of DST year round and without the hassle. There would be those that squawk about kids having to go to school in the dark during the winter months. Get real folks! Kids don’t need to get up at the butt-crack of dawn and go to school in the dark! Just who the heck was the complete idiot and total moron that decided kids should start school at 7:30 in morning and get out at 2:00 in the afternoon so they can terrorize the town, mall, or neighborhood??? When did school stop being a 8:30 to 3:30 school day? And who says you can’t change the school day to better use the daylight available.

So there you have it folks! A new start date for Spring Time, and it is just around the corner. Remember you only have today left to make plans for that extra hour of daylight. What will you do with yours???

P.S. Make sure you check all your supposedly self-setting appliances, i.e. TV, VCR, cable set-top box … your computer! These items may not recognize the new start and end dates for DST. If you regularly apply the updates to your computer’s OS, you will most likely be covered. The satellite dish-receivers and your cell phone clocks should be updated automatically off their respective satellite relays. The DST time changes are also recommended as a good date to change those 9volt batteries in your smoke detectors!!!
Daylight saving time (DST), also known as summer time in British English, is the convention of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour in late winter or early spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. DST is used mostly in temperate and polar regions, where summer mornings are longer and have more hours to spare. Governments often promote DST as an energy conservation measure on the grounds that it substitutes natural summer sunlight for electrical lighting. In some cases, though, DST can increase energy costs. - Wikipedia
When we change our clocks:
Since 1966, most of the United States has observed Daylight Saving Time from at 2:00 a.m.on the first Sunday of April to 2:00 a.m.on the last Sunday of October. Beginning back in 2007, most of the U.S. began Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m.on the second Sunday in March and then reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time when their zone reaches 1:59:59 A.M. - Daylight Saving Time
Date change in 2007:
The Energy Policy Act of 2005. This Act changed the time change dates for Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.Beginning in 2007, DST will begin on the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November. The Secretary of Energy will report the impact of this change to Congress. Congress retains the right to resume the 2005 Daylight Saving Time schedule once the Department of Energy study is complete.- Daylight Saving Time

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


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Friday, March 5, 2010

Be Prepared

Are You Prepared For A Disaster? When questioned about disaster preparedness, poll results are not surprising - 70% of respondents typically are not prepared if their area was hit with a natural disaster. Many claim that their area does not get natural disasters because they don‘t have earthquakes or hurricanes; but don’t be fooled, disasters come in many different forms. In spite of some respondents false sense of security, forces of nature can reek havoc on any area of the country. No one wants to think it can happen to them! In this modern world some more disasters can be added to Earth Wind Fire and Water, there are also blizzards or extreme heat, plus those man-made catastrophes we really don't want to think about ... chemical spills, nuclear accidents, or, heaven forbid, another terrorist attack.

The motto of the Boy Scouts is Be Prepared.
Someone once asked Lord Baden-Powell, the founder
of Scouting, "Be prepared for what?"
Baden-Powell replied, "Why, for any old thing!"

So what does "being prepared" mean for the average person in regards to natural disasters? No, you probably cannot be totally prepared for anything, much less all possible disasters; however, being mentally prepared is a huge step in the right direction. Emergency preparedness is more about personal (family) survival than property protection. Forget about the sheets of plywood and portable generators, this is about you and your family surviving the first few days after a disaster strikes. Here are some simple things every family can do to be better prepared:

⊕ Discuss Emergency Preparedness with your family! Things are less scary for all, especially children, if they are previously discussed calmly and rationally. Where are the safe places in your home to go in different types of emergencies, plus when and how you should evacuate if necessary.

⊕ Family Escape and Evacuation Plan - The escape plan should encompass escaping fire and floods, how to get out of the house, upper story escapes, even getting out of a flooded vehicle. The evacuation plan is about where you should go if you have to leave the house, what routes to take, and how separated family members should locate each other.

⊕ Get-Out-Quick Kit
Consider one of the small fire and water resistant lunchbox/briefcase type portable safes that you can quickly grab and toss in the car. This is the personal/family information that you would most need to start over with, especially if you were to lose your home to a disaster.

* USB-drive with scans of important documents, financial and credit information and insurance photos. It is also good in this day of cheap digital gadgets to create a digital archive of family mementos with digital photos and scans of old pictures, scrapbooks, etc.
* Passports and other IDs
* Insurance policies
* Professional licenses
* Other irreplaceable documents

⊕ Family Survival Kit
Consider a couple of those 30 gallon plastic storage bins with tight fitting lids to store these items. The following list is short and simple. This is the basics to get you and your family through the first 72 hours after a disaster hits. Battery operated flashlights and radios are ok, as long as remember to change the batteries, but the hand-crank units are much better for safety! You will find many of these items in the camping supplies at your neighborhood Kmart, Target, Walmart or other general merchandise store.

* First-Aid kitHand Crank Radio Flashlight
* 1 gallon of bottled water per person
* Half dozen Energy-Bars per person
* Space-Blankets 1 each family member
* Plastic ponchos 1 each family member
* Hand-crank radio-flashlight combo
* Hand-crank water purifier/filter
* Water sanitation tablets (iodine based are best)
* LeatherMan, Gerber, or similar type of multi-tool pocketknife
* Disposable lighter
* 100 ft light nylon cord
* Roll of duct tape (don’t laugh, add some baling wire if you really want a complete kit!)
* Spare (old) prescription eyeglasses

⊕ Always keep daily prescription medications together so they can be easily grabbed and dumped into either of the above kits if an emergency arises.

⊕ And if you happen to be a small business owner, is your business prepared? Insurance can cover the loss of physical property and merchandise, but can never replicate records. Consider means of off-site data storage for both paper and electronic data.

Hopefully you will never be forced to use this, but being prepared for the unexpected makes it much easier to deal with the unfortunate situation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Top 10 Ways Not To Be Bored This Weekend!


MrBill's Top 10 Ways
to Stave Off Boredom
this weekend:

10. Take a nap.
9. Daydream.
8. Lie still and pretend to be dead.
7. Listen to some good music (if using your iPod, this can be combined with #8 ... just be sure you don't lay there twitching in time to the music, otherwise people won't think you're dead ... they'll just think you're having a seizure!)
6. Laugh. (laugh at something, laugh at anything, or laugh at nothing-at-all!)
5. Read books by people with interesting ideas.
4. Look at art.
3. Make some art.
2. Look at MrBill's photos, art, and read his Blogs on RG! [shameless self-promotion but what the heck!] (-;

And MrBill's #1 way to stave off boredom ... Tonight's Nibbles

1. Get together with friends and solve all the world's problems over a bottle of wine ... or drink in your friends, enjoy the company of the wine, and just forget about all the world's problems for a little while!!!

Cheers! everyone and have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Make Your Own Peanut Butter and other Nut Butters

Make Your Own Peanut Butter
and other Nut Butters at Home

Basically you can make "butter" out of almost any type of nut and also from many types of seeds and grains. If you have access to peanuts, then you can make your own peanut butter at home. It would help greatly to have an electric food processor/chopper like a Cuisinart or other similar brand. You can use an electric blender, but you have to do it in small batches as the butter will be too thick for the blender blades to chop except right around the blade area.

- Prepare the nuts by removing shells. Or you can skip this step by buying already shucked nuts! I use about 3 to 4 cups of nuts for a batch.
- Lightly toast shelled nuts in oven, just a few minutes at medium heat, 350° F, don't let the nuts burn. Optional but highly recommended.
- Place nuts in food processor. Fill half full.
- Begin chopping nuts with a few short bursts to break up the nuts evenly. Continue chopping until nuts have been chopped and pureed into a smooth consistency. You will have to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula several times to get the nuts smoothly ground into butter.
- If you like chunky style peanut butter, I suggest saving out a 1/2 cup or so of the nuts to add after the bulk of the nuts have been chopped smooth. Add the reserved nuts and chop to your desired chunkiness.
- I do not add salt, but adjust to your taste.
- Scrape into a container with a tight fitting lid.
- Store in cupboard or cool dry place for up to 2 months.
- The longer the nut butter is stored, it may separate the solids from the nut's oil. No worries! just stir it back together and use.

I have made Nut Butters from many different types of nuts - almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans.

Butters can also be made from seeds, though they are often called pastes instead of butters. One of the most famous seed type butters is widely used in Eastern Mediterranean and the Arabique cuisines - Tahini. It is made from ground sesame seeds. Seeds are easier to do with a food grinder than a food processor. If you have a food grinder you can also make nut butters using the grinder instead of a food processor.

Buon Appetito!

Leno-vs-Conan: Is There a Fox In The Hen House?

LenoWhile not yet officially announced, word on the street (or at least in the back alleys of TV-land) is that NBC will put Jay Leno back in the driver's seat of the Tonight Show and partially pay-off Conan O'Brien's remaining 3+ years of contract and might even allow him to pursue a new show on a competing network as soon as fall of this year.

The NBC Leno -vs- Conan late night talk show show-down may have been settled.

Since taking over the Tonight Show from Leno in May of 2009 Conan had struggled to maintain the lofty ratings the show was accustomed to with Leno hosting, much less when Leno's mentor Johnny Carson established the Tonight Show as the premier late-night talk show. Meanwhile, Leno was also having troubles getting an audience for his new 10:00PM prime-time show.

NBC exec's had proposed moving Leno to a half-hour slot at 11:35 and pushing back Conan and the Tonight Show to just after midnight. But O'Brien balked at the idea claiming that NBC should give him more time to bring up the ratings. Rumors had surfaced that NBC CEO Jeff Zucker might just take O'Brien off the air and hold him to the current contract and not pay Conan any of the remaining money if him tried to move to another network. There have possibly been talks between Conan and the FOX network to launch a new late night show.

If this settlement comes through Conan could be off the air on the Tonight Show as soon as the end of this week. This purposed end to the late-night dispute would allow O'Brien and FOX to pursue a new show that could debut in September.

It is also rumored that O’Brien placed his TV studio set on Craigslist for sale.
TITLE: 4 SALE: Barely-Used Late Night Show - Make Me An Offer
DESCRIPTION: This is a chance of a lifetime to own your very own late night talk show–guaranteed to last for up to seven months!! Really must see to appreciate.
Information for potential buyers:
- Measures 100’ x 100’ x 32’ – plenty of room for a futon!
- Designed for 11:35 PM but can be easily moved to another time slot
- Band can be sold separately
- Buyer must honor Barry Manilow booking next Thursday!
MAKE ME YOUR BEST OFFER!!!!! (Also willing to trade for Coldplay tickets.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haitian Earthquake Relief - OK to Give - But Beware of Scam Artists

Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, was still recovering from a series of devastating hurricanes over the past few years, and had suffered under a long string of vicious dictatorial regimes. The need of humanitarian aid for Haiti was well established even before the January 12, 2010 massive earthquake. Tuesday's 7+ magnitude earthquake in Haiti destroyed much of the capitol city of Port-au-Prince, possibly killing thousands, and leaving in its wake hundreds of thousands without food, water or shelter. Yet the call for aid for the victims has brought the scam artists out in droves!

This most recent tragedy has brought out the spirit of giving around the world as global efforts are quickly being mobilized to set up relief centers, distribute food and water, and search for survivors in the rubble.

However, this call to action and for donations has spawned a wide spread series of scams to solicit funds from unsuspecting donors that will never reach Haiti nor the victims that need help!

The FBI, Attorney Generals of the United States and many individual states, along with Better Business Bureaus are warning people to be very cautious when making donations for Haitian relief. Be most wary of any group that contacts you directly by phone, email, or mail. Also, do not give out personal information when making donations, legitimate charities will accept contributions without asking for things like Social Security numbers, etc.

The U.S. Department of State has identified two organizations that can be trusted:
Of course, the Red Cross is given the seal of approval.
The other is YELE , which was established by the musician and native of Haiti - Wyclef Jean.

The public can go to to research charities and relief organizations to verify that they are accredited by BBB and meet the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

You can also visit a national clearinghouse of information about charities and their performance.

BBB Foundation offers the following six tips to help Americans decide where to direct donations:
1. Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity. Be cautious when relying on third-party recommendations such as bloggers or other Web sites.
2. Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist relief victims.
3. Be cautious when giving online. Be cautious about online giving, especially in response to spam messages and e-mails that claim to link to a relief organization.
4. Find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas.
5. Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.
6. Ask before giving gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations.
Top 6 tips from Better Business Bureau

The Oregon Attorney General's Office offers these 4 basic tips about charity giving:
1. Do not give out personal information such as credit card or bank account numbers over the phone.
2. Beware of callers who want your money fast.
3. Do not donate cash. Legitimate charities will be pleased to receive a contribution by check.
4. Be sure you are contributing to a legitimate organization registered with your state's Attorney General’s Office.
Top 4 tips from Oregon's attorney general

Scammers, identity thieves and unscrupulous charities pose a significant threat not just to would-be donors for Haitian relief efforts, but for future relief efforts as well.