Archive for August, 2011

Corn Is Your Enemy

August 26, 2011

I was reading around a few different things this morning and of the many items I ran across such as Clark Gable’s grandson being arrested and facing three years of prison if convicted of pointing a laser at a passing airplane, and the fact today marks the 7th anniversary of Laura Branigan’s death; none were so compelling as the item about the temporary closing of a certain Nashville, Tennessee interstate highway ramp. It was due to the loss of four propane-sized containers of bull semen.  According to a transportation spokesperson, the smoking canisters (due to the dry ice) which began to emit a foul odor, was “…no different to us than if a mattress fell off a truck”. 

Well, what better way to close out a week that began with an earthquake than with a hurricane. From the sounds of it, it’s going to be the storm of the century and several shore towns have been ordered to evacuate. We’re prepared, too. We cancelled the family get together that was supposed to happen on Saturday and we’re armed with a bunch of recipes for summer squash.

Everything here in the house is electric–and by everything I mean the pump for the well (I really mean we can’t flush the toilets if the power goes out) and the stove….

But nothing says preparation quite like this:

Stay safe all!

Hey, What’s Shakin’?

August 24, 2011

Suddenly, out of nowhere, with no warning, I had this sensation like I sometimes feel a day or two after camping, after spending the weekend defying gravity and maintaining an upright position on the side of mountain, a sensation I call phantom vertigo.  I felt like I was leaning forward in my chair and thought how odd, it’s been two weeks since our last camping trip and I wiggled around in my chair, but I had to push off my desk return. For some reason I couldn’t shake that dizzy feeling and it just continued to happen. And just like that, the sensation stopped and without missing a beat, continued with my work. I heard a curious clanking and looked to the side and saw the tilt rod of the blind on my office window swaying, but attributed it to the flow of air from the air conditioning vent directly above it. But I’d never seen it blow like that before, nor had I seen the blind itself move back and forth like it was. I realized then it had to have been an earthquake.

And sure enough, it was. Radiating from the epicenter down in Virginia, the 5.9 or 5.8 (the magnitude reading was different depending on who was telling you) the effects were felt as far north as Toronto. Even Ariel felt it up where he works almost an hour away.

The airport was closed down for a short while; they say it was because they wanted to inspect the runways for any damage, but it’s really because the air traffic controllers were vacated from the control towers. And I started to wonder, yet again, why the landing airplane sequence was left out of the DVD version of the movie Earthquake.

That makes an official count of 2 earthquakes I’ve been in; the first, you may recall, being in Illinois for my niece’s wedding 3 years ago and now this one. That one was a little more intense as I was actually roused from sleep and found myself being tossed around in my 3rd floor hotel bed and remember thinking to myself, “why is Ariel jumping up and down on the bed?” only to realize he was sound asleep in the next bed. Or was I in the next bed? How does one determine which is first and which is next? Counting from the window or from the door? And it’s not like it was a reformatory setting with beds lined up one after the other…

…only to realize he [Ariel] was sound asleep in the other bed.

Of course I just had to chime in with my experience to the biggest news story since Justin Bieber cut his hair. So now I wonder how long before we get a tax bill for this event. Or maybe it will be called a natural phenomenon fee.

Natural Pharmacies

August 17, 2011

I’ve been going through my email inbox trying to clean out the 300 some emails sitting there, some dating back as far as the tenth of December of 2007. Really? What’s with that? Of those I have nearly 150 that have either not been read or saved as new…for future reference. So, I thought it any were blog worthy, I’d be able to share them with you. I found one, from my sister dating back to March that rather compliments a major breakthrough story I heard yesterday, compliments the Radio Chick, who is now sporadically filling in during different time slots on Fox News Radio. I hope she’s being honed for a permanent spot; radio isn’t the same without Leslie Gold.


Researchers have found a way to use cancer patients’ own immune cells to fight cancer and the findings from the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine were published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine.

According to Dr. Carl June, a professor at the Abramson Cancer Center and director of Translational Research this breakthrough was 20 years in the making. The study, in which white blood cells were turned into “serial killer” T cells, involved three cancer  patients who had few treatment options short of a bone marrow transplant. The patients’ white blood cells were removed and “reprogrammed” to attack tumor cells by genetically modifying them using a lentivirus vector (HIV is one example). These new “serial killer” cells focus their attack on tumor cells while ignoring normal cells.

“We saw at least a 1,000-fold increase in the number of modified T cells in each of the patients. Drugs don’t do that,” June said. “Within three weeks, the tumors had been blown away.” He ended his statement with, “Overall, they [T cells] destroyed at least 2 pounds of tumor in each patient.” This treatment also limits the typical side effects of standard cancer therapies.  Of those three patients, 2 were completely cancer free and one went into remission.

Part II: (from an email entitled “God’s Perfect Foods”

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female – they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be…

August 16, 2011

I can’t believe I’m quoting Shakespeare. Not a fan, although, it was due to a couple of the bard’s famous soliloquies I was able to graduate from high school.  In my senior year I was absent thirty-three days (many of them spent watching the goings on in Llanview [One Life to Live…but if you’re been following me, especially as of late, you know that] ) and because I needed to pass English in order to get my diploma, my teacher helped me out greatly by counting certain spelling tests as several grades (provided I got an “A” on it in the first place) and if I could recite the soliloquies from both Hamlet and MacBeth (the dagger one) from start to finish without a fumble, she’d triple count my marks.  Needless to say, I graduated. Thanks, Ms Mac.

Today marks the 34th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. I’m having potatoes tonight for dinner in his honor.

Actually, this first picture is my own. It’s the third poppy to grow in my garden and the sturdiest; it’s still standing even after the deluge of rain we’ve been having lately. The other two fell apart after the first day.

Riddle of the day: (thanks KK)

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a big one.

Michael J. Fox has a small one.

Madonna doesn’t have one.

The Pope has one but doesn’t use it.

Clinton uses his all the time.

Obama is one.

Mickey Mouse has an unusual one.

Liberace never used his on women..

Jerry Seinfeld is very, very proud of his.

Cher claims that she took on 3.

We never saw Lucy use Desi’s.

What is it?

The Remarkable Human Body: (thanks JN)

It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.

One human hair can support 3 kg (6.6 lb).

The average man’s penis is three times the length of his thumb.

Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.

A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.

There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.

Women blink twice as often as men.

The average person’s skin weighs twice as much as the brain.

Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.

If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.

Women reading this will be finished now.

Men are still busy checking their thumbs.


Perfect Record

August 15, 2011

Just a short missive about this past weekend. We camped and it started off with a bang, or should I say sting? It was a beautiful sunny day, and right away that should have been an indication something was wrong. I mean, sun and us camping?

After leaving the house a little later than we expected but earlier than we have been lately we figured we’d still make good timing. But passing the house after our customary stop at the deli and Dunkin’ Donuts (cream and sugar?) we saw the mail had been delivered to the house so we did a U-turn and brought in the mail, which included two packages left by the garage door that we took in, opened and inspected and by the time we got on the road, it was later than our more recent late leaving time.

At Dunkin’ Donuts, I ordered a regular coffee, medium, half and half and one Equal. The girl then asked, “Do you want cream and sugar?” and I realized then it was my own stupidity; I had given her too much information at one time. Then for Ariel’s medium iced hazelnut, black, one Equal she handed me the cup telling me what was in it, iced hazelnut, black, no sugar…right?

Then we lost an additional half hour to forty-five minutes in construction traffic before we arrived at camp. Remembering the last run in we had with the in-ground yellowjacket nest, we decided to test the area by tossing rocks at the base of that tree. Sure enough, a swarm emerged. Thinking I had enough space to circumnavigate with the cooler I was carrying while the agitated swarm seemed like it was settling down I got attacked in two places; my knee and my ankle, inside my sneaker. We were off to a great start. But we had brought two cans of industrial strength wasp and bee spray and Ariel emptied one entire can around the area and it may have done the trick, but no one really felt like conducting the rock throwing test again.

The rain held off until after the camp-wide party on Saturday and once again it seemed as though the world was ending for a little over an hour while we all huddled under the tarp. So, to keep track, that’s May/rain…check. June/rain…check. July/rain…check. August (trip one, for the day)/rain…check. August(actual camping)/rain…check.  Perfect record!  

In conclusion, everything is spread out drying in various nooks and crannies around the house, my ankle is still swollen and painful and the itchy area around my knee has spread. And I have to say, Benadryl can be fun.


August 11, 2011

…That’s the longest word in the English language and it refers to a lung disease caused by silica dust.

While trying to figure what to write about today, I came across an article about some Tshirts geared at trying to rehabilitate hardcore neo-Nazi extremists. The shirts were given out at a right-wing concert, emblazoned with the slogan Hardcore Rebels and included a skull and nationalist flag. After their first washing, the shirts read: If your Tshirt can do it, you can do it, too–we’ll help you get away from the neo-Nazi scene”. I guess that’s sort of like those glasses that do a strip tease when they get cold, or coffee cups that show a scene in an otherwise stark black field when they heat up. But that was a rather wordy slogan. Perhaps, as an example, it should have been more to the point with something like, well, like: NJ and You, Perfect Together, which then turns into HA HA HA!

I also read about the Lucille Ball 100th  birthday festival in Jamestown, NY, attended by a record-breaking 915 adoring, look-alike fans, some coming from as far as Australia.

Last night we finally cut into the first beefsteak tomato to come off the assembly line. We waited until half-time during So You Think You Can Dance to make a lettuce and tomato sandwich, with a schmear of mayo and a twist of ground black pepper along with a dash of salt on downy soft Sunbeam bread


It was our “Melanie’s gonna wipe the floor with the other 3 dancers and win season 8 ” beefsteak tomato sandwich. It was the reverse of our usual “get rid of so and so” dish from whichever competition show we happen to be watching; whether it be a homemade slaw, or a 5 minute chocolate cake. We’ll mostly like have the other half tonight for a little extra boost to victory.

That mud nest on the sunflower leaf washed away in the torrential rain we had the other day. Alas. But I did manage to finally get the mint flowers cut off and the bee/wasp/ugly flying transformer-like Daubers are gone.

Here’s a quiz: take a look at this picture and see if you can figure out what plans we have this weekend.

And then just for haha’s…..

The Clay Pot

August 9, 2011

It’s sad really, the days are getting shorter already and it seems to soon for the days to be darkening so early. We’re not even midway through summer yet, not really. It seems from one week to the next the difference was quite pronounced. And sooner than it seemed it should have been, I sensed the days were staying brighter longer into the evenings earlier in the year. I think the earth is shifting somehow on its axis (the longer hours of daylight is coming earlier in the year) which is the reason for all the meteorological confusion we’ve been experience the past few years. That’s the reason for global warming, not the garbage in landfills or the exhaust from the congestion of automobiles; I don’t think either of those would cause the sun to set earlier and earlier, earlier in the summer season. Just sayin’.

When I first heard of the clay pot, I was intrigued, but wasn’t expecting to see a remnant from an ancient civilization hanging on the leaf of one of the sunflowers. But it fascinated me nearly to the point of examining it closely (which equates to holding it in my hands) but something told me I oughtn’t touch it. So, I photographed it instead and then came in to do some online investigation.

In so doing, I killed two birds with one stone which was a better tally than trying to kill one of the most God-awful looking Transformer-like segmented flying things between my thongs. Ack! My flip-flops! Not my Speedos. Yeah, right, the last time I was in a Speedo…. let’s not even go there. It wasn’t pretty then and it’s less pretty some 25 years later. At least I was thinner then and more able to….. HOLD ON, THERE! I’M HEADING DOWN A SLIPPERY SLOPE..

So, it turns out, this nasty looking buzzing flying thing was this:

Wasn’t I right, like it belongs in a Hollywood blockbuster starring Sigourney Weaver? I guess I should get rid of it, but I think I’ll wait until I see it closed up. Right now it’s not doing anybody any harm, and it’s cool to look at.  But because my mint plants have flowered, it’s a haven for every conceivable pollen-hungry flying beast so the trick is to get rid of those. But I just wonder how many more mud nests are laying around out there. 

But I came across this video of a Mud Dauber making a mud nest. I find it so fascinating. Nature is really wonderous.

Shine On, Tegon

August 8, 2011

Just a quick weather report mention: this past weekend was the big weekend at our campground that everyone waits for all season and we had planned on going up just for the day and we had a room at a nearby Holiday Inn. Illumination was the theme and that’s when each campsite partakes in a friendly competition of lighting up their sites as decoratively as possible (whether thematic, outlandish or elegant as possible) using candlelight in favor of as little electrical power as possible. It rained from the time we arrived at about 12:30 in the afternoon until just before it got dark enough to appreciate everyone’s work. Some sites actually packed it in and left.

Tegon, a South Korean cloned beagle puppy whose DNA has been combined with that of a sea anemone, one with a green fluorescent gene, glows in the dark under UV light when injected with the antibiotic called doxycycline. Under normal circumstances, Tegon’s skin has a yellowish tint to it. South Korean scientists have done this in the hopes of discovering cures for human diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

I had a beagle once that glowed red and that’s because she was imparted with a gene from the devil himself. Still, she was my baby.

Over the weekend I asked a friend of mine, over drinks, while I was chomping on an ice cube if he hated it when someone wanted to tell him something fact based and then didn’t remember the proof to back up the statement; it was the ice cube chomping that reminded me. He said yes, as I suspected he would. I then went on to tell him that I’d read once that people that chew on ice…and then I proceeded to admit that I had already forgotten the reason people chew on ice and that’s why I prefaced my statement with that question. Well, the reason is that pagophagia (ice chewing) is often associated with iron deficiency. Or, in some individuals it’s a sign of stress, OCD or some other developmental disorder.

And the latest garden report is this harvest from yesterday!

Just In Time For The Weekend

August 5, 2011

Over there in Kiev, Ukraine’s Environment Minister Mykola Ziochevsky has vowed to free all bears kept as entertainment in restaurants that are often forced to drink alcohol for fun by drunken guests just for laughs.  Captured and tamed bears were used for entertainment in the Russian Empire and the practice turned the animal into a national symbol. But now the practice of their being tortured with vodka has been getting exposure on television and Minister Ziochevsky had declared it inhumane and unacceptable and is currently building a large wildlife sanctuary to liberate approximately 80 bears.

Well someone apparently got word to the bears here on American soil to retaliate, what with the rise of bear attacks.  Well, except the latest one against two young campers who alleged they were injured by a bear who entered their tents, tugged at their sleeping bags and even knocked down one tent. The markings on the two boys, one on his shoulder and the other on his foot were later determined to be older and healing wounds. 

Budweiser (or Budwieser, if you happen to dine at a particular fun Irish Pub in Manhattan) has unveiled a update for their logo:

I like it, but just as long as it doesn’t say New Budweiser and a few months from now the lable would say Budweiser Classic.

Said Coca-Cola President at the time of that debacle, “We did not understand the deep emotions of so many of our customers for Coca-Cola”. If only the powers that be at ABC/Disney subscribed to that same school of thought for their audience when they refused to hear the cries of outraged soap fans. Sorry, had to have another dig!

And, it’s a day early, but Happy 100th Birthday to everyone’s favorite redhead!

Mutiny On The Bounty

August 3, 2011

Thanks to the new battery in Ariel’s truck, I finally finished my tray of summer squash parm last night. I intended to do it on Monday night and I actually started to fry up my squash when I got the phone call that Ariel was stuck in the Stop & Shop parking lot with a dead battery. So, I went on my rescue mission after shutting everything down and finally got him jumped after about a half hour and by then it was too late to resume cooking. So, last night, right after work I got right down to cooking and without making a dent in the squash supply, I/we made two trays. In the larger one, we layered lasagna noodles throughout and the smaller one, since it didn’t have to cook as long, except to melt the cheese, was without noodles and we had some of that one for dinner along with yesterday’s bounty from the garden:

I got what I wanted, at least one ear of corn from the garden, just to know I would be successful and there are at least 5 more ears in various stages of readiness.  Joy!

Today is Bette Davis day on Turner Classic Movies’ yearly Summer Under The Stars celebration, so you know I’ll be glued to my set. Who, besides me, still says “set” in reference to a television?  Oh man, the other day, I was watching a movie on TCM, starring Ann Blythe, Farley Granger and Natalie Wood called ” Our Very Own” and the Macauly family was getting their first television and the deliverymen actually put it together in the house, from running the wire to the aerial on the roof to even installing the picture tube. I found that fascinating.  Nowadays we’re effortlessly watching TV on our cell phones. 

And things are heating up on One Life to Live. The long-awaited showdown between the two Todd’s has finally begun. Real Todd is back after eight years and claims current Todd is the imposter and vice versa.  Blair, Starr and Téa have confronted him, but we’re all on the edge our seats waiting until Viki comes face to face with real Todd.  Stay tuned!