Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Recipe Pet-peeve

Okay, people.  This has been bothering me long enough.  It's time I said something.

When you try an online recipe and change some of the ingredients to suit yourself, that's fine. However, if you change so much of the original recipe that you are no longer making the same thing - DO NOT ACT LIKE YOU MADE THE RECIPE.  You didn't.  You did your own thing based on it. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING.

Don't make a comment on the recipe saying you liked the recipe or you didn't because you did not make the recipe! That is all I ask.

I just saw someone post a recipe on Facebook for a Hot & Sour Vegetable Soup.  Her friend said she was going to make just the broth part of the recipe.

So - here are the ingredients for the broth part of the soup:

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 green onions
 6 cups vegetable broth
 ½ Tbsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce

Now, here is her comment after she made it:

Ok just made the broth with half veg broth, half chicken broth I made last night, frank's hot sauce (I don't like sriracha) regular white vinegar, and some ground ginger.  IT'S THE BOMB!

Okay, but here is the difference:

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp grated fresh ground ginger
4 green onions
6 3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups chicken broth
½ Tbsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
1.5-2 Tbsp rice white vinegar
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce Frank's hot sauce 

So, yeah.  What she made was similar but it isn't the same. So, it's fine to mention the changes she made and that she enjoyed it but it would be misleading for her to say the recipe is a good one because she didn't make it.

You find this all the time online!  It's maddening!

Here's a comment on a chocolate cookie recipe:
"Great recipe! I followed it with some exceptions: I used a mixture of bittersweet, semisweet, and white chocolate; before chilling for 36 hours, I formed smaller than golfball-size balls and placed them in a large covered bowl (cannot imagine how hard it would be to work with the chilled, unformed dough); baked them on parchment lined baking sheets for 10 minutes before sprinkling a tiny pinch of flaked sea salt, then baked 5 minutes more."

On an Irish stew recipe (note: the original recipe called for a cup of white wine and no beer):
"Very good recipe. I did tweak quite a bit. Scaled recipe for 6 servings and made the following changes: 1/2 lb bacon, 2 lbs lamb steaks, 1 onion divided, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, no thyme ,1/2 cup red wine to deglaze pan Then threw everything in crock pot after browning and sauteing and deglazing, cooked on low 4 hrs added 1 Cup or so Guinness, cooked another hour, stirred in fresh, chopped parsley and served with Irish brown soda bread."

You get the idea.

So, to re-cap, if you are altering the recipe to the extent that it is unrecognizable, don't make a comment about the original recipe. It is misleading to those of us who want opinions about the original recipe!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In search of the perfect calendar...

It's that time of year.  Time to find a new calendar for my wall at work.

First, a little background.  For years, I would use whatever free calendar I could find for my wall at work.  Many companies we do business with have their own calendars that they send to us, so I have quite a few to choose from. Thing is, they are all rather... boring.

So, I decided to find something I would prefer to look at.  I chose an Anne Taintor calendar one year. This year's has drawings by Edward Gorey. There were other such calendars.  Mostly cartoons or humor of some nature.

This year, I went to Amazon, my store of choice, to look for a new one for 2017.  I had a vague notion that I wanted one featuring the Addams Family but there aren't any.  I started a search and refined it to calendars for 2017 and wall calendars. 1785 choices!  Wow.

I debated narrowing it down to humor/cartoons but decided just to start looking through the pages.  Perhaps I want photos this year and I don't want to limit myself to only "humorous" calendars.

Well, you would be amazed what I have found so far.

Yes. There are the usual cat and dog calendars, calendars featuring scenes from movies and television shows, calendars of other animals, landscapes, artistic works, and celebrities.  Then there are the others.

There is a calendar with pictures of dogs pooping. No lie.
There are goats in trees. I've no idea why they are in the trees.
Pocket pigs. Wee little pigs.
Cow Yoga. - Cows in yoga poses. (and other animals in yoga poses, as well)
Hot Dudes Reading. - What it sounds like.  A bunch of men reading.
Shoes. - Just shoes.
Trout of North America - Sounds a bit fishy to me...
Pumpkin the Raccoon - That's the raccoon's name. It is not a calendar of pumpkins with raccoons.
I Could Pee On This Calendar - I presume the kitten on the cover is the one who could do that, not the author.
Outhouses - Why?
and finally, the 2017 Carp calendar - notable because of the nearly naked models posing with the fish.  (In fact, when I first saw the cover picture, I was confused. All I saw was the woman, not the carp.)

Well, I think I've seen it all now.  I'm reconsidering the boring landscapes.


Update:  I eventually settled on the Every Days a Holiday calendar.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

PA State bill seeks to legitimize naturopathic practitioners

There is a bill in the Pennsylvania that would allow the State to issue licenses to naturopathic "doctors" in the state.  I disagree with this idea and sent off a letter to my state senator that read as follows:

I am writing to you concerning HB612 which has passed in the PA house. The bill would allow licensing of practitioners of naturopathic medicine.  On the surface I can see how this would appear to be in the best interest of public safety.  On further examination, it is clearly not the case. 
Naturopathic medicine is an alternative medicine.  Alternative medicine is not medicine but an alternative to conventional medicine.   
To quote Tim Minchin, "By definition ... alternative medicine ... has either not been proved to work, or has been proved not to work. You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? Medicine." 
By allowing practitioners of these unproven and, therefore, potentially harmful procedures to be licensed, we are legitimizing procedures that have not been proven to be effective.  The danger is that a patient might view such procedures as a legitimate alternative to what their physician is recommending and that they might eschew effective treatment for questionable treatments.

There is a potential for real harm to patients if we allow this AND it should be noted that by licensing these people we are placing them on the same level as medical doctors in the eyes of insurance companies under section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which will only serve to muddy the waters even more. 
Please vote against HB612 and urge your colleagues to do so as well.  Thank you.

It concerns me that alternative medicines are starting to be seen as legitimate treatments for diseases and medical conditions when they are not proven to be effective!  Not only could a patient be wasting his or her time and money on these treatments but it could be dangerous, as well.  Naturopathic doctors do not receive the medical education that medical doctors do so they could do more harm than good.

We have a local television station with a "medical news" reporter who recently has been examining "complementary" medicine.  It makes me want to scream.

Dr Oz, who I've mentioned many times here on my blog is another proponent of some questionable treatments and he is a medical doctor who I am concerned people will take seriously!

It's time to stop the madness, folks!  Make sure that your representatives in your state and in Congress know how dangerous it is to legitimize alternative medicine!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday 9: Waking Up In Vegas

These are the Saturday 9 from this site

1) As she sings about her night in Las Vegas, Katy wonders if she "got hitched last night dressed up like Elvis." Tell us about the last wedding you attended. I think it was my niece's wedding.  It was a little unusual as the service seemed to include a sermon and the bride chose to go barefoot.  It was different.

2) Whenever Crazy Sam visits Las Vegas, she stays at the Paris Hotel and Casino. Have you ever been to Las Vegas, Nevada? What about Paris, France? I've never been to Vegas but I did visit Paris on a school trip when I was in high school!

3) Do you enjoy gambling? Have you had any success at it? I'm not too much of a gambler. I dislike giving my money away so easily as I work too hard for it!

4) Las Vegas is served by the RTC Bus Service and the Vegas Monorail System connects many of casinos on The Strip. When was the last time you rode a bus or a train? Um... I think the last time was on a trip to NYC a couple years ago.

5) It's not unusual for the mercury to hit 100ยบ in Vegas in August. Which are you more comfortable in -- extreme heat or bone-chilling cold? Hard to say. I prefer cold because you can always put more clothing on but you can only take so much off!  On the other hand, it makes my joints ache. Heat is awful, though, especially combined with humidity...  I guess I'll take cold with a side of painkillers, okay?

6) As a little girl, Katy Perry sang nothing but gospel. Do you remember any church songs from your childhood?  A few.

7) She made her film debut as the voice of Smurfette in The Smurfs (2011). Who is your all-time favorite cartoon character? Eeyore

8) Do you consider yourself a picky eater? Nope!  I'll try almost anything once!

9) You receive an invitation to a party that starts at 7:00 PM. When will you arrive? 6:55

Saturday Six - August 10, 2013

1. What do you hear around you right this minute? Locusts in the tree outside the window and a lawnmower down the street.

2. Whose laughter do you most enjoy hearing? My grandchildren's!

3. Whose voice do you miss hearing most? My father's

4. If you had to pick a recorded song or tune as your personal theme song, which would you choose? Don't Stop Me Now by Queen

5. How many alarm clocks do you use to wake up on time? One.

6. Which musical instrument creates what you consider to be the most poignant sound? The violin

These are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place!

Monday, August 5, 2013

5 Facts about Mars

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the amazing landing of Curiosity on Mars! Can you believe it's been an entire year already?

You can see a movie entitled Twelve Months in Two Minutes here that shows images from a fisheye camera called the Hazard-Avoidance camera on the front of Curiosity taken over the last year.  It shows it taking samples in a variety of different areas of Mars.

NASA will have a live event tomorrow at 10:45 AM on NASA television and on their website, if you are lucky enough to be home to view it!  I'm not so lucky as I have to work.

In honor of the anniversary, I thought we'd take a look at the red planet!

How many of these facts do you know?

1. The largest volcano in the solar system is on Mars!  It's called Olympus Mons.

2. Mars has polar ice caps - like Earth does - but scientists believe the Mars ice caps are frozen carbon dioxide, not water.

3. Mars has seasons like we do here on Earth.  They are caused by a similar tilt of the planet's axis.

4. Mars is about half the diameter of Earth.

5. Temperatures on Mars can vary from about 80°F in summer to a low of -225° in the winter.  Not only is Mars much farther from the sun than Earth is but the planet lacks an atmosphere to hold in the heat.

Image found here

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Massive Alphabet Meme part 2

This is the Sunday Stealing meme

The Letter N
Do you have a nickname? People call me Cathy sometimes.
What is your favorite number? 25 - for no particular reason
Do you prefer night or day? Night - I'm a nightowl

The Letter O 
What is your one wish? Can't think of one right now
Are you an only child?  Nope!  I have 4 sisters
Do you wish this year was over? No!  It's only half-way through!

The Letter P 
What is one fear that you are most paranoid about? I don't think I'm paranoid about anything - and I have few major fears.
What personality trait would you look for in someone you wanted to date? A sense of humor is important.  So is loyalty.

The Letter Q
Are you quick to judge people? I don't think so.  As a rather awkward person in social situations, I understand that if a person is nervous he or she may not come off very well the first time they meet someone new. I think it is best to give the benefit of the doubt and give them another chance.

The Letter R
Do you think you are always right? Obviously not!  No one is!
Do you watch reality T.V.? I avoid reality shows like the plague.
What is a good reason to cry? If you're sad. (duh)

The Letter S
Do you prefer sun or rain? Sun, I guess - but I like a good thunderstorm!
Do you like snow? Yes, if I don't have to go anywhere. It has a way of covering up the ugly and making everything look fresh and new!
What is your favorite season? Autumn. Not too hot, not too cold and the leaves are pretty!

The Letter T
What time is it? 9:10 AM
What time did you wake up? 7:30 AM - I slept in!
When was the last time you slept in a tent? The last time we went camping...  a couple years ago, I guess.

The Letter U
Are you wearing underwear? What a rude question!  Yes.
Do you open your eyes when under water? Yes. Can't see with your eyes closed!

The Letter V
What is the worst veggie? Worst?  I love most veggies as long as they're prepared right.
Where do you want to go on vacation? Anywhere, really.  I'm not picky. It's nice to get away!
What was your last family vacation together? When we went to Vermont years ago, I guess.

The Letter W
What is your worst habit? Being self-conscious.
Where do you live? In Pennsylvania.

The Letter X
Have you ever had an X-ray? Yep.
Have you ever seen the X-Games? Not in person, but on TV, I have.
Do you own or have you ever played a xylophone? No and no.

The Letter Y
Do you like the color yellow? It's not one of my favorites.
What year were you born in? None of your business.
What do you yearn for most? To be able to travel more!

The Letter Z
What is your Zodiac Sign? Scorpio
Do you believe in the Zodiac? No. Not at all.  I think it's superstitious nonsense.
What is your favorite zoo animal? I like big cats - tigers, lions, etc - but I don't like to see them in zoos! I feel sorry for them.