A Great Cup of Coffee

In Search of a Great Cup of Coffee

I started drinking coffee very late in life at the age of 50.  By this time I had given up sodas and I don’t do drugs or smoke so I needed a vice and decided on coffee.  I started with baby steps and my daughter told me that McDonald’s had nice cup of coffee for a fair price and I should start there.  So every day for a month or so I went through the drive through and built up a tolerance to coffee.  Of course I needed Splenda and creamer to make it palatable to my delicate taste buds.

I am not the type of guy to spend $3.00 on a cup of coffee.  I do not like lattes or specialty drinks that are the price of a good used car.  My daughter loves this stuff but I do not need the calories or the hit to the wallet.  Coffee should not break your bank account.  However, in the interest of science I have found that Starbucks and Caribou have tasty coffee for a couple bucks a cup and that Caribou will refill the thing for free if you sit in the coffee shop to drink it.  I like both of these coffees but I also have no issue with McDonald’s coffee either.  I will drink anything by these three entities.

Cheap Coffee

This leads me to my quest in search of a goof cup of coffee.  My wife has always been a coffee drinker and we have had a Cuisinart coffee maker for decades.  The model we have grinds the beans for you just before you brew it which results in a fresh cup of coffee.  I have become great at making coffee and can disassemble all the pieces, wash them, and make another pot quicker than my wife can.  I buy the Costco brand roasted coffee that is roasted by Starbucks.  $10 for two pounds is cheap and it is great tasting.

I then did more reading and discovered that a clean machine helps with the taste of coffee.  Over time the oils of the beans build up in the machine and that results in a more bitter taste.  The trick, I learned, is to clean the machine with vinegar every month or so.  I also found a product on line which works well, Dezcal.  This product helps remove all the mineral build up.  I like it but may have found a better product, Brew Rite.  The reviews are phenomenal.

Anyway, yesterday was spent cleaning my coffee pot.  I ran through one package of Dezcal and followed that by running through three pots of vinegar.  I buy it at Costco and do not dilute it so it smells like vinegar after I use it.  I then run through three pots of clean water until the vinegar smell is gone and the water going through ends up clear.  I could never get the inside of my aluminum pot cleaned, however.  I tried baking soda and vinegar and nothing.  I tried this several times.  Nothing.  Then I read an article by Mary Hunt and got the greatest piece of advice on cleaning a coffee pot.

Salt and ice.  Yes, salt and Ice.  I poured a generous amount of course kosher salt in the pot.  Enough to cover the bottom.  I then added ice to about 1/3 full in the pot.  You put on the top and then shake the hell out of the pot.  Empty the pot and rinse it and repeat.  I did this five times.  The black sludge that came out of my pot looked nasty.  I have heard that Brew Rite cleans the pot witch it why I put it in this article.

Results of my coffee oddesy

After doing all of the above I had a coffee pot that was 90% clean.  I had a muscle spasm in my arm from shaking the pot so long because each round of cleaning took about three minutes of shaking.  My pot sparkled and there was no dirty coffee water coming out the last time I ran the water through the machine.  I then replaced the filter (I would take the filter out or replace it after cleaning if your machine has a charcoal water filter for the water tank).  I prepped the machine for the next morning’s coffee and went to bed.

Results?  This morning I woke up and had the best and smoothest cup of coffee I have ever made at home.  Cleaning all the components of your machine (I could never get the pot clean in the past) results in a coffee that is so smooth and rich that it could come from any coffee house.  It was fantastic.  My wife even threw a compliment my way and that was completely worth it.

Do yourself a favor.  Clean you coffee machine and save hundreds of dollars a year on expensive coffee house coffee.

 

 

People are really fucking stupid

People are Stupid

I have always held out hope that people would figure shit out, that they would come to their senses about the current class of Democrats and Republican.  I thought they would intuitively understand that voting for these morons is tantamount to killing off the United States of America.  Surely they would not fall for the canard called “social justice.”  Surely they would not want something like socialism or communism, would they?  Don’t people look around, know history and understand that these types of governments never work and never will work?  It is about control.  The political elite in this country have a perverse need to control your every action, deed and breath you take.  It is coming now faster than ever before and I have to come to the conclusion that people in this country are really fucking stupid.  Alas.

It pains me to say this.  I watch the interviews with the people on the street where 8 out of 10 people don’t know that the Fourth of July was a holiday that celebrated independence from the British.  They do not understand the ramifications of the civil war.  They vote for a President only because of the color of his skin.  You would not hire Our Dear Leader to run a lemonade stand and there he is, President of the country.  They fawn over socialism and communism because the political class offer them free homes, free food, free phones etc.  They are slaves, but not with whips and chains.  They do it because they are really fucking stupid and have not read or understood anything outside of high school.  I hate stupid people.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

What the hell does that even mean?  There has been a plan in place for a long time started by Woodrow Wilson, who was one of our Presidents, to make this nation a progressive nation.  That meant he had to make people stupid because smart people would never go along with something that has never worked in the history of the world.  So how does a good progressive go about doing this?  Take over education in this country and dumb down the population.  Look at an 8th grade test from the 1940’s and I bet only 1% of college graduates could pass that test today.

We as a country lack basic thinking skills.  Why?  There are no repercussions for bad decisions.  Didn’t graduate high school?  Doesn’t matter…you still deserve $15 an hour.  Can’t make change in your head for a dollar?  You should be the damn CEO.  We feed on stupidity.  We care about the Kardashians.  We no nothing of our Founding Fathers.  We feel outrage at symbols…flags and statues.  We celebrate thug black kids who get killed because of their abhorrent behavior.  We are stupid.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

 

Why I Post Political things on Facebook

Political things on Facebook

A friend recently chastised me for posting political comments on Facebook saying that when I post things that I am not doing anything to change our political system. Unfortunately I did not have a ready comeback to his persistent question of what am I doing. I have thought about it and am posting this to everyone so at least you might understand where I am coming from.

I am a student of history. I read voraciously and understand that history repeats itself over and over and over again because people do not read or understand history, and people have not changed. We are programmed deep in our DNA to act and react and the predators who are our politicians (and many others) have figured out how to manipulate information and feelings in order that the people follow blindly their recipe to fix things.

Throughout history the first thing dictators do is shut down the press, and in this day and age the politicians have largely corrupted the main stream media so that they will never report the truth if it would hurt the Democratic party. Look at the incestuous relationship between the main stream media and the current administration. Hell, look at all the reporters either sleeping with or married to someone who has power over us mere sheeple. Here is one link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/media-administration-deal-with-conflicts/2013/06/12/e6f98314-ca2e-11e2-8da7-d274bc611a47_story.html

Political things on Facebook and conflicts

When you have these types of conflicts how can you expect the main stream media to give you the truth? How can you expect a media who overwhelmingly give money to one political party to be unbiased in their reporting or even care that they do? It is the same now as it has been throughout history and this country is going down a dangerous path. Read how Hitler got into power. He created crisises that only he and he alone could fix if just given enough power. He used an economy that went into the toilet to get elected vowing his version of hope and change. He killed Jews and gays and Gypsies and any other undesirables because good people stood by and did not speak up for fear of being chastised.

Other dictators have done the same thing. They use actors and authors and popular culture to sway people that they alone can fix things. When they take over the country they end up killing these people first, then the college professors, and then anyone who dare speaks out against them or the tyranny. Read and understand history or we are doomed.

So what am I doing? I am posting stories that most people do not see on Facebook hoping that some will read them to see things from other perspectives. The active and loud voices of dissent are the only things that keep people from tyranny. I am posting stories that do not come from the government, frankly because every single thing the government has told me for the last six years or more have been lies. It is sad that I cannot believe one thing the government says. So I am posting in hopes that one story or two or more will be passed on and shared in hopes that others will read something and not get their news from John Stewart.

I also have worked for the Republican Party the last two election cycles and have been a delegate. It is not because I love the Republicans, in fact I loathe the leadership more than I can put into words. I go and become a delegate in hopes of getting Tea Party people nominated and elected because I know that under this current political climate both the Republicans and Democrats are corrupt and rotten to the core.

I am working to get a states convention going so we can change the constitution so that we can get term limits and other amendments added to the constitution. I am giving money to people who want the flat tax and who want to abolish the IRS. I am attending Tea Party meetings. I read. I send out stories on Facebook even though people hate political things because when the greatest country in the world collapses, and we will, people will wonder what they could have did and I want to be one of the minority that is shouting from the roof tops.

On a personal level we have a small supply of food storage items. We have cash on hand in case of disaster. If ebola hits and explodes like I believe it will, then I hope others are doing this too. I also give money and clothes to charity, I deliver meals on wheels and this year I am going out to ring a bell for the Salvation Army. I am the guy who buys Christmas wreaths from cub scouts and if a neighbor calls and needs a hand I will be there to help out. I am part of an exchange where people donate their talents for the use of other people’s talents.

That is what I do.

I am giving up Candy Crush

I am giving up Candy Crush

I admit it.  I am addicted to Candy Crush.  My kids told me about this game when we got our first smart phones and it was pretty fun for a long time.  The game is free but you can purchase extra lives, unlimited lives for a set period of time, or many other things I have no idea about, because I am too damn cheap to pay for anything.  You get five lives per cycle and when they are gone you have to wait 2.5 hours to rebuild the five lives.  You can even connect it to Facebook and pester all your friends for more lives.

I am giving up Candy Crush.  I have been on level 425 for about two months (I already admitted I was an addict) because the designers of the game decided that instead of needing skill to get past a level, you tend to need to spend a lot of time on it and then pray for a lot of luck.

I am done with it.

I am uninstalling Candy Crush.

Today I am uninstalling Candy Crush.  I may sync it up to Facebook because when you do this you can always re-install the program and it will sync with Facebook and you will start again at the same level that you last played.  Thus, I will not have to go through 424 stages taking a couple of years and thousands of hours of productivity, to get back to where I started.

As I write this I realize how pathetic this sounds.  I have a problem.  I need an intervention or better yet a twelve-step program to get over the addiction that grips me.  I just decided I am going to uninstall it and go cold turkey.  I need to.  I have to.  If I do not it will be in the background, a seductive temptress luring me to the electronic bliss that I seem to need.  I know my daughter gave up the game for the most part, she did not go cold turkey, but I need to do this.  I need to do this to be more productive and to show Candy Crush that I am the one in charge and it does not own me.

Life after Candy Crush

Is there life after Candy Crush?  I am guessing there is.  I had a life before the game came to me and I will have a life afterwards.  I will not spend thousands of dollars for extra lives so I can get past the sadistic levels the developers created.  I know they did this to extract money from my wallet.

So I am going to do this right after I make this post.  I will not sync Candy Crush with Facebook and I will not get a new game in its place.  I will instead pick up a book, or a newspaper, or maybe take my dog for a walk.  Calm down, she gets a walk a day already.

Life is going to be good after Candy Crush!

Glenn Beck has become unhinged

Glenn Beck has become unhinged, and not in a good way

I have been a fan of Glenn Beck for years and years now.  I started watching him when he was on CNN and continued to listen and sometimes watch him now that he owns his own T.V. empire, The Blaze.  His radio show is sometimes brilliant, his predictions are uncanny, and sometimes the worst drivel on radio (i.e. More on {moron} Trivia…get it?).  I listened, and continue to listen, to Glenn Beck but something he said a couple of weeks ago leaves me thinking he is unhinged.

Last week Glenn Beck went off on the Nevada Rancher and the patriots that showed up to support him.  His name is Bundy and he has refused to pay grazing fees to the U.S. Government because he does not think they have the power or authority to collect this money.  The Bureau of Land Management, which seems to have it’s own standing army, showed up in full military regalia and took Bundy’s cattle and that is when the patriots showed up with their guns.  The standoff took a couple of days but in the end the government backed down, threatening to come back and enforce their arcane laws.  Meanwhile, Dingy Harry Reid has his son all tangled up in the government land grab in Nevada.

Glenn Beck basically told his listeners that he did not want them, did not need them, told them that they did not deserve to listen to him, if they were willing to use violence to enforce the constitution.  His logic seemed to be that there are laws and we should follow them, no matter how punitive and disingenuous the laws may be.  Glenn Beck cited Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Gandhi.  We are supposed to show up with flowers and love while every organization in the government is buying millions of rounds of ammo.  How much do you want to bet that all this ammo is being diverted to Homeland Security?  But I digress.

Glenn Beck tells us off

So Glenn Beck went off on his rampage.  He does not want us or need us or even want to be associated with those who think that the patriots that showed up with guns were right.  The Achilles heel of Glenn Beck is his unquenchable ego.  No one around him has the balls or temerity to tell him to dial it back, that he is not God, he is not the only human being on earth to speak to God, and he does not have all the answers.  Unfortunately, the butt-kissing sycophants that he surrounds himself with (why do I picture all of them telling him how great he is and feeding him grapes?).

A couple weeks before that there was a theory that one of the passengers on the missing Malaysian flight sent out a text on a iPhone that he had hidden in his rectum.  The web site that had this text said the flight was hijacked and taken to an abandoned airfield.  The argument holds some merit because it would explain why the pilots manually turned off the navigation and tracking systems, while a plunge into the ocean does not have the same clean logic.  Glenn Beck went on the radio the next day and ranted and raved how stupid we are for believing any of that (who the hell could fit a phone up their butt anyway?) and made fun of us in the same way he mocks the morons during his football picks segment.

The day before Glenn Beck told us how angels had come and spoke with his dad the day his dad passed away.  So if I have this straight we are supposed to believe that invisible fairies came and talked to his dad and showed Glenn Beck that God is alive and is speaking only to him, while we are not allowed to bring forth evidence on the location of a missing plane?  A plane that has been missing for over a month with no shot of ever finding it?  So his invisibly fairy theory is supposed to hold weight because Glenn knows there is a God and this God only speaks to Glenn, and the rest of us are idiots?

I am done with Glenn BEck

The latest rantings and ravings have me questioning Glenn Beck.  While I admire his uncanny ability to put a lot of little information to come up with the big picture, and I admire his finding out who is behind most of the claptrap put out by the Liberals, I am finding it harder and harder to listen to a guy who thinks he is Jesus Christ himself.  You see, when you listen to Glenn Beck you come away hearing how his way is always the best, how he and he alone hears God, that his dad out of all the dads on earth was the one to see the magic fairies, that his knowledge is beyond us mere mortal men, etc…while Beck goes on and on about that I will walk away from paying for any of the services he provides.  I will take his advice and not pay for The Blaze TV anymore (I used to subscribe and was going to start again because I think an independent voice is needed) and I will not buy any of the products he sponsors.

I will give all this up until I hear Glenn Beck admit he was wrong, which he rarely does, and tell the patriots that now is indeed the time to fight our tyrannical government.  It is time to draw a line in the sand.  It is time to quit taking it and taking it and taking it, and accepting our lot in life.  It is time to elect the Tea Party and dismantle the EPA and the Department of Education.  It is time to abolish the IRS and institute a flat tax.  It is time to cut the size of our government to nothing.  It is time to stop spending money like we can print it and get rid of baseline budgeting.  It is time.

Take me away from Glenn Beck

I am done with Glenn Beck

My Root Canal

My Root Canal

My tooth had been bothering me for months.  There was the dull ache that was almost always present and then there was the hypersensitivity to hot and cold.  The body adapts, though, without you putting in very much thought into the entire process.  You tend to chew food on one side of your mouth.  When you drink you find yourself pushing the liquid away from the tooth.  The dull ache becomes just more noise in the background of your life.  I went in to the dentist for my regular six month check-up and mentioned the tooth.  My dentist took an x-ray below the gum line and he showed me there was an infection below the gum line and that I might need a root canal in the near future.  Damn, a root canal.

Now a root canal conjures up images of sadistic dentists going in elbows deep with their implements of destruction.  The patient, in this case me, being held down by nurse Crachet and the pain shooting through my mouth and body.  That was my image of what a root canal looked and felt like.  I had never had one before.  I had never even come close.  I brush.  I floss.  I practice great dental hygiene so it shouldn’t have happened to me.  Yet it did.

A month or two passed since I was at the dentist and I went out to dinner with my family.  I drank something cold and even that cold, on the other side of my mouth, sent waves of pain shooting through my mouth.  I tried to eat and drink that night and had a hard time because the pain ended up being so bad.  What could a boy do?  I needed a root canal and needed it soon.

My Root Canal Oddesy

The next morning I called my dentist.  Of course he was on vacation that week and I ended up getting a call back from the receptionist about an hour after I left my message.  My friends had given me a name of an Endodontist ( a dentist specializing in root canals) where the experience would be relatively painless.  Since they do so many root canals they do them efficiently, quickly, and are able to tamp down the pain.  I gave this name to the receptionist and she said that this was the person they recommended anyway, and then she told me she would call me back yet again after talking to my dentist.  The long and short of it is that she was able to make an appointment for me for the next morning for a consultation with the Endodontist.

I got up early and left for the new dentist I was about to see.  This office was closer to my home so I was happy about the low travel time.  I filled out some paperwork and then they took me to the back room which looked like every other dentist office I had ever been in.  The assistant took and x-ray, which appeared immediately on a computer screen, and there the infection was brilliantly glowing beneath my gum line.

The doctor came in and looked at the x-ray and then he put a cold stick on part of my tooth.  After they peeled me off the ceiling they told me I did indeed need a root canal and the doctor started to put a Novocain stick in my mouth.  I told them I thought that this was just a consultation and he said they could do the root canal immediately if I had the time.  Indeed I did!

The Root Canal and the Aftermath

So they proceeded to numb up my mouth before they took out the needle and shot me full of the goodness that is Novocain.  The prep work took about ten minutes and after half of my face was sufficiently numb, the big needle came out and he started filling my jaw line with the pain-numbing formula.  It took about seven or eight shots I would guess?  He then said they would wait another five minutes before they started and I wandered off down the hall to use the bathroom.

The root canal was fantastic.  I experience absolutely no pain.  He kept injecting more Novocain into my mouth as he drilled and as he worked all the debris kicked up by the drill was caught by a dental dam.  I had never used one before but that was really a neat invention.  The root canal felt like an extended cavity being filled, which in reality it was.  The root is killed and the cavity made by the Endodontist was filled like any other cavity.  He then packed the rest of the hole with cotton and put a temporary filling over the hole he had just drilled through my crown.  My beautiful $650 crown.

They left me $345 lighter in my pocket, thank God we have dental insurance because they covered about $1,300.00 of the procedure, and I had lost about an hour of my time.  A root canal is not cheap.  They told me to I should follow up with my dentist to get the temporary filling removed and replaced by a permanent one.

The tooth was tender from the procedure for a little over a week.  It would hurt if I would bit down on it and I could tell there was a bit of swelling around the beastly tooth.  The sheet sent home with me told me I could expect pain for up to a couple of weeks following a root canal, so the feeling was not unexpected.  I could, however, now drink hot and cold liquids!  Progress!

Did you know when you have a root canal that you do not need Novocain to get the new filling put in?  Since the root was killed and the nerves removed, there is no pain associated with that tooth.  I went in this morning and had the absolute best experience I have ever had getting a filling.  The entire thing took about ten minutes and the filling matched the crown perfectly.  The dentist could not tell where the crown ended and the filling began.  I could then eat and drink on it immediately.  Fillings and cavities have come so far in my short time here on earth.  It amazes me how nice fillings look these days.

Anyway…that is my story of my root canal.  There was no pain involved at all except the pain that my tooth had from needing a root canal.  The procedure was quick, I was in and out in about an hour, and the tooth was back to normal in a little over a week.  I have a filling that matches my crown and I have no more pain eating or drinking.  I would get one again in a second if I had known it would take the ache and pain away from my tooth.

An old dog

Tales about an old dog

Dixie (nee Erica) had a tough go of it at the beginning of her life.  When we met her she was in a cage in the parking lot of a local Petco put up for adoption by a Labrador rescue organization.  She was not our first choice because the purebred puppy was gone before we even arrived.  She was our second choice, though, even though she was timid and afraid of her own shadow.  We were told she had been living with a foster family, that she liked to run and that she was potty trained.  We bought a new dog collar and leash and took her home with us a couple of weeks after my daughter’s fifth birthday.  Our first dog, Buttons, had to be put down on my daughter’s birthday.  I digress.

After we got the dog and the paperwork we read through it and found out a bit more information about this dog.  She had lived on a farm.  When they spayed her they found that all her internal organs were bruised from the abuse she took.  We assumed the person who abused her was a man, because most all humans who abuse dogs are men, and that proclivity was manifested in the way she would not come in the same room I was in for two weeks.  She loved my wife, though.

She needed a lot of love to build up trust with us and she displayed new puppy tendencies like chewing up my new $100 dollar running shoes with my new $250 orthopedics that were in the shoes.  For good measure she chewed up my son’s friends new $250 orthopedics after he left his shoes on the ground despite the numerous warnings not to.  She also crapped and peed all over the house leading us to believe that the adoption agency was less than truthful with us.  Alas.

A puppy turns into an old dog

Well when my wife went to pick up one of the poop bombs she left for us on our living room rug, she noticed there were little white bugs crawling around in the fecal matter.  One trip to the vet and pills to eliminate the  worms she had cleared up that little matter.  We were told that when a dog has worms they always feel like they have to go to the bathroom, which explained why she pooped and peed all over the house.  The pills cleared up that little mess and she never again had an accident in our house.

Through time we noticed she had other little habits we had to deal with on a daily basis.  She does not like strangers and does not like men and will in general keep a healthy distance away from them.  She does not like strangers petting her but has never growled or bitten or acted aggressive when this has happened.  Over time she has relented and will sit (although her body language shows us she leans away from the love) and get petted and belly rubs.

She loves my wife.  She sleeps with my wife on her side of the bed….which is a lot of fun with a 70 pound dog.  She sleeps downstairs on the couch when my wife goes out of town.  She waits at night until my wife comes home and is at the garage door when she comes through it.  She does not extend this courtesy to me.  She loves my kids as well, but my wife is the bomb!

She loves to run.  When she was young she would pull hard on leashes, snapping two of them, so that we had to invest in a Gentle Lead leash.  Now her snout has a line where the Gentle Lead runs over it, where she has wore the fur down to nothing from pulling.  She would run and run and not come back for a day or two and there were many nights when my wife would go out looking for the idiot who did not know how good she had it.  She also ran when we let her out to go to the bathroom and we had to invest in a shock collar in order to protect her from running into traffic.

She was my running partner for about ten years, maybe a little less, until she was too old to run.  She let me know by not wanting to run the full route we usually took, by wanting to go home, by making me pull her a bit for parts of the run etc.  The day she could not run with me any longer made me cry because this was a dog who truly was born to run; she thrived on it and loved it and looked forward to it every other day.

Old dogs heading towards a sunset.

The past few years we have noticed she was slowing down.  Labs do not have a long life but she was a mix so who knows?  Right now she is either 13 or 14 (we never got a true age from the adoption place) and she gets an aspirin every morning and every night (tri-buffered for her tummy) and she is on Prednisone for allergies from early to late July until the first hard freeze.  This causes her to bloat up in the summertime.  She cannot jump on our bed with ease anymore.  She cannot jump down off our bed with ease either.  She takes the stairs one at a time.  When she gets up from a nap, and now there are a lot of naps, she moves slow as if frozen in place.

She can only walk every other day or else she gets too sore.  She goes to the dog park sometimes and while the other dogs run and rip past her, she ends up trying to trot, moving at a speed somewhere between a walk and a run.  She has lumps on her body and we really do not want to know what they are because what the hell could we do about it anyway?  She is too old for surgery.

She has come to love me, but not at the same level she loves her mom.  I was the one who always walked her and fed her and took care of her most of the time but I was cat poop compared to her mom.  Wait, she likes to eat cat poop so that analogy may not be apropos.  She does love me in her way and I know she is happy when I am around.

She is getting so old I know she will not last the year.  Like all the other animals in our lives it will be up to me to put her down and I will cry like a baby for a couple of days after.  Dixie had a hard life her first one or two years, but the last 12 years have treated her like the queen she is.  I hope she knows, but she is a dog so who knows for sure what they understand?  I like to think she knows that for twelve years we loved her as unconditionally as she has come to love us.  She knows she was walked or ran whenever we could, almost every day, and that we made sure she was up-to-date on all her shots and things to keep her healthy.  I hope she knows we bought her the best food and the nicest treats we could find.

I hope she knows that when she dies that she will leave a tremendous hole in our lives and our hearts.  I hope she knows she was loved.

It is a bummer being sick

Bummer being sick

I am sick.  I woke up the day before Thanksgiving feeling great and on top of the world.  At 5:00 PM my symptoms appeared, I felt weak, my head was stuffed and my chest was congested.  It felt like the flu was heading my way.  I was extremely disappointed because I did not want to be sick on Thanksgiving, the day when we dine like kings.

The next morning I woke up stuffed up again, but overall I felt a little better!  I was not weak or lethargic, I was relatively healthy.  This made me happy because my appetite was intact and I could go see my family on this holiday.  I was fed great food which I thoroughly enjoyed and by the time I left for home, I was still feeling on top of the world.

I had conned my son into going to Target with my after we got home so I could be in line for the Black Friday deal on the iPad.  I did not care if I was sick.  If I could save $130 (which was actually $160 but that is a longer story) I was going to stick it out in the cold for 3 1/2 hours because I am cheap.  It did not matter if I was sick or not.  The temperatures dropped to 20 degrees or so but we fought back the elements with sleeping bags, dressing in layers and hand and feet warmers.  The result is I had a new iPad to give to my mom for Christmas and I got it at the lowest possible price.

Still sick.

It is five days later and I fear I have the flu.  Being sick is one thing, having the flu really bites ass.  I am thankful, though.  I was thinking about this just now while watching the snow fall outside my window, aware that the temperature is supposed to drop near zero in the next couple of days, and that winter is here with a vengeance.  I am lucky to be sick this day and age.

Think about it.  If you were sick even a hundred years ago odds are you had no central heat to keep yourself warm.  You did not have access to medicine that is fairly effective at keeping the side effects down to a minimum.  You have access to a comfortable bed and comfortable pillows.  You suffer like a dog for a week or so at least, but you do not suffer in squalor.

Throughout the history of man today we live better and more comfortable lives than even the richest Kings did a couple of hundred years ago.  We have better food, better medicine, better shelter, and all these things are cheaper as well.  We get fruits from exotic lands, we do not have to forage for every meal, we have central heat in the winter, and air conditioning in the summer.  We have access to health care and equipment and doctors today know more about the human body than doctors did in the past. Getting sick is not a death sentence anymore and human life span has reached levels not heard of before in human history.

Sick, sick, sick

I was thinking about all of this while I was sick.  I was thinking of all this while complaining and coughing and just wanting to sleep all afternoon.  Good times.  Good times.  So I am off to take a nap because I am tired and sick.  Sick and tired!

The Great Carbon Emissions Scam

The EPA and Carbon Emissions

This past Friday the administration released the news that the EPA would be imposing very expensive mandates that will force coal fired power plants to capture the carbon emissions emitted and bury them back in the ground.  This technology is not perfected yet, who the hell really knows if it works, and the result of this action is that your electricity prices are going to skyrocket.  It is funny how important news that will drastically affect your life is always released late Friday afternoons, isn’t it?

The great thing about the US trying to curb carbon emissions is that we think we can control the weather.  We think we can control the forces of the earth.  We pretend that what were are doing will have any affect on carbon in the atmosphere, at least that is what our leaders want us to believe.  I think, though, that the thinking by our leaders is far more nefarious in that they want to collect the taxes, control our lives even more, and get more and more people dependent on government to help pay their electric bills that will skyrocket.  It is the action of deeply physiologically scarred individuals that want to foist this crap upon us and it is time that we as Americans fight back.

Carbon Emissions throughout the world

The same day the news leaked that the EPA would be punishing the American public, it came out the Germany and Australia are backing away from carbon emissions taxes and their efforts to cut carbon in the atmosphere.  See the article here.  The reasons are self-evident.  The taxes do not decrease carbon in the air and energy prices have soared under this scam.  The policies inflicted on their people made it so that Germany and Australia suddenly cannot compete business-wise with these feel-good taxes.  Unemployment in Germany shot up 10% after these taxes were implemented.  That means in that we here in the U.S. will suffer the same fate when these rules are enforced.

In Germany the green energy initiative has resulted in over 300,000 homes having their electricity cut off because they cannot afford it anymore.  Think about that.  People in Germany cannot pay for their electricity because their leaders, the brightest of the bright, decided that everything they produce in the way of electricity should be “green.”  Never has a greater scam been perpetuated on the world than “global warming” and more importantly, all the money our leaders are going to take from us in an effort to combat it.  And they KNOW they are lying to us.  And they KNOW that global warming is a hoax.  And they know that anything we do will have no affect on the earth.  Yet we keep tilting at windmills.

Why should be surprised?  This president, Our Dear Leader, told us up front that our energy prices would necessarily skyrocket if these carbon emissions schemes were put in place.  He told us that companies would go broke if they built coal energy plants.  We know is is a communist and he wants to destroy this country and the wealth in this country.  Except when it comes to him.  He will get rich as hell off of any scam perpetuated upon us.

Carbon Emissions problems

You know what the biggest problem is with any carbon emissions scam?  We do not exist in a bubble.  The world is round.  China is on the other side of the world and they probably have 50 cities of significant size and each one is more polluted than the other, and we want to pretend like this will only affect them.  I had a friend who just spent a couple of months in China and she said that the capital was the most polluted place she had ever seen.  You could see the soot hang heavy in the air.  Everyone wore masks, and there were all kinds of alerts and warnings being screamed out to the masses.  For any carbon emission scam in the world to work, we would at least have to get every single country in the world to have the same standards, and honestly, that would most likely have no affect either.  Alas.

What to do?  Let’s elect leaders who will eliminate the EPA.  I am tired of their 12,000 new regulations since Our Dear Leader took office.  We did not elect a bunch of bumbling bureaucrats who put in rules so they can justify their own jobs, to control our lives.  We do not need a government employee looking over our shoulder to control every aspect of our lives.  The President’s wife wants to control what food you put in your body.  Think about that for one minute.  How sad is that?

There is no such thing as global warming, the carbon emissions scams are coming at us at a brutal pace, and we are so overwhelmed with misinformation and there are so may major things coming at us on late Friday afternoons, that we have to put an end to these morons that we elect to run our country.  It is time to get rid of big government, it is time to get rid of the EPA, it is time to get rid of the money spent to investigate, i.e. guessing, what the weather will be like in the future.  It is time to take back our country from these pathological idiots.

The Minnesota State Fair 2013

Minnesota State Fair 2013

Minnesota State Fair 2013

The Minnesota State Fair

Once again another State Fair has come and gone which indicates the end of summer to most people in Minnesota.  I went twice, once with my wife and once with my wife and kids, and both days were hotter than hades but that did not dampen our enthusiasm for the State Fair.

I have been going to the fair almost my entire life.  I went there as a young lad when my friends and I took the bus to get there.  I went as a horny teenager looking at all the pretty girls that were there.  I have been going there as a middle-aged man and I went there this past year old enough to join the AARP, if I would ever join that communist organization (that was a joke son!).  The great thing about the fair is that it changes yet it remains the same.  If you read the short story, “A Night at the Fair” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you will see that things are even the same if you go back to the 1920’s.

My kids had a lot of fun and when we were done they were tired.  We rode all the rides we wanted to ride, which this year was zero, and we all got to eat the food that makes us the happiest.  We watched the salesmen with their patter and we bought a couple of things to take home with us that will absolutely change our lives.  That is the beautiful thing about the State Fair, it gives and gives and gives.

My History with the Minnesota State Fair.

Like I said earlier I have been going to the State Fair forever.  I remember going to get Danielson and Daughter’s onion rings when I was but a teenager.  I remember that his one daughter was so damn cute and I wanted to ask her out.  She is older now, as am I, but going back to the booth brings back fantastic memories.

The night before my wife and I went to the state fair I was thinking of my grandpa.  He only took me to the fair once, and that was with my brother.  I think he was given orders to go because he had surgery earlier in the year and he was told to walk and get exercise by his doctor.  He was also told to give up cigarettes and booze and basically take all the fun out of his life.

Well, he wanted to smoke.  I remember he bribed my brother and I with a Space Needle ride if we would not tell grandma that he was smoking a cigarette.  It was a great deal.  My brother and I got to go on a ride that took us to the top of the world and he got to stay on the ground and smoke.  I also remember he bought us each a couple of Pronto Pups (which are made with a flour coating as compared to a Corn Dog which is coated with a corn-flour coating).  On the sticks, in the part that was covered by the hot dog, there were coupons good for free Skyrides and free rides on the Space Needle.  I remember walking around Machinery Hill with him because he loved the machines and was a gardener.  I would give everything I have to see him again and talk to him; I miss him so much.

Other years I went with friends, but never my mother or father.  We would ride the bus to the fair until one of us got a license.  We would take all of our saved money from mowing lawns and shoveling walks, and we would blow it on seemingly unlimited food and rides at the State Fair.  It was such a fun time.  We ate until we were bloated and in pain.  We would go on rides and I would get dizzy and sick.  Three of us watched, having escaped the House of Mirrors, as my brother thought he had found the exit.  A pleasant look went across his face and he strode confidently right into a clear pane of glass, thus giving himself a welt on his head.

We knew where the cheapest pop was located.  We knew you could drink as much milk as you want at the unlimited milk stand, all for $.25.  We loved to see the animals because we were city kids.  Most of all we loved the girls.  It was so much fun watching and talking to the girls.  My favorite then and my favorite now is the About a Foot Long Hot Dog.  It is a perfectly boiled all beef wiener that comes on a fresh bun and is smothered in fried onions.  It is perfection.  It has remained unchanged, like the Pronto Pups and Corn Dogs, since my entire existence at the State Fair.  It is what makes me come back, it is what fills my kid’s hearts with joy.  To find something unchanged in this world is one of the greatest feelings man can have.

Today at the State Fair.

So what is new at the Minnesota State Fair this year?  Every year new foods get introduced and most of them seem to go by the wayside in a year or two.  There were about ten different food items (like bacon wrapped and bacon in the batter corn dogs), but I did not try one of them.  I tried Australian Battered Potatoes, which is not new, and I was not impressed.  I had a Scotch Egg and I was not impressed and this item used to be my favorite at the State Fair.  I had my About a Foot Long Hot Dog and a couple of Corn Dogs.  I had my onion rings and cheese curds.  I had a Gizmo which everyone raved about at the fair, it has been around forever, and it was OK, but not great.  The one brand new item I did try was Mini Donut Beer.  They had one keg available per day and they tapped it at noon.  We got there about 12:30, got in a short line, and had our small beer (no large beers for this specialty beer).  It was fantastic.  They put a little sugar and brown sugar around the rim and damn if it did not taste like Mini Donuts.

The new item we bought were silicone lids.  These are made to go over most any size container and they do not inherit smells.  They stop leaks if something tips in your fridge, and they apparently can keep odors in if you cover half an onion.  They come six to a pack and they cost $25, or two packs for $40.  We teamed up with another couple and got the discounted price.  We also bought more seal strips, which I reviewed last year, and we bought another chopper/processor.  There is a great article on this particular pitchman and his company in the Minneapolis StarTribune, here.   My favorite pitchman of all is an older gentleman named Larry Scheidt that sells Swiss Peelers.  There is an article on him in a California Newspaper here.

Finally, when we were sweaty and tired, we decided that we had our fill of the Minnesota State Fair.  By the end of the day your body is tired, your legs are tired, and you are sad because you are not going to see the State Fair for another year.  It means it is the end of summer and the start of school for my kids.  It also means a long walk back to the car.  When you are drained from a day at the fair the walk to the car can seem a bit burdensome.  But I would go again tomorrow in a heartbeat, if it were open.  The Great Minnesota Get Together.