Saturday, October 13, 2012

Acorn? That's not an acorn! THIS is an acorn!

This year I've seen about the biggest acorns I've ever seen. 

[OK, a subject of interest for hunters only perhaps]

But check out this bad boy!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Lonely Cat Who Plays Too Rough

Our cat Callie gets mighty lonely sometimes when we are gone. In fact even if one of us is home, but no one is playing with her, she will sometimes let out an awful yowl. This has even happened when both of us are home!

So we think she would like for her little friends, the birdies, to play with her when she goes outside. But word has it, she just plays too rough! We were ready to believe, nobody will play with her. [You can forget making friends with another cat.]

Which makes something we witnessed very funny. We are outside in the patio; Callie too. But she apparently is a little miffed that we aren't coming inside, as it is time for her din-din. So she has her back turned to us; this is supposed to give us the message. Well, turns out a young cardinal we had been watching had evidently at some time gotten a taste of this 'playing too rough'. The next thing we know Callie, with back turned, gets dive-bombed by this cardinal. It happened super fast, hard to know what happened exactly, but I don't doubt a good hard peck was delivered. We were stunned, really. I have seen crows and maybe jays willing to get feisty, but I don't think I have ever seen a cardinal do something as brave as that!

So turns out her little friends will play with her sometimes, if they can play a game that suits them!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Boudoir

To avoid continuing wisecracks from certain parties about guests staying in "the man-cave" Louise has been offered not that, but a "Boudoir", you see. The above is what a guest gets to ponder above their head while sleeping. So far Louise has very kindly avoided cracking about "some Boudoir!" Good for her!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

WWII Again

A statement to ponder:

"In October 18, 1940 the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with L.A Du Bridge as its technical director was set up with the prime purpose of developing radar for the war effort...In its 6 years of existence, over 2.1 billion dollars were spent on the development of radar. This was about as much as was spent on the development of the atom bomb"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Technological Troglodytism

I think a person is pretty much doomed when it comes to keeping up with the latest things. I think it is perfectly natural to be less interested in what someone younger is into, after all one feels this way at age 10 regarding what the 6 year-olds might be up to. Once you get just a bit long in the tooth, you start to view much of technological innovation this way, reserving your involvement to what seems to matter for your daily life. At a certain point, you begin to realize this might make you seem a bit weird to much of the population. Possibly even as a reaction to that, you keep up a bit, but considering the pace of it, what are the chances of being up on it all?

Yes, sometimes it comes down to outright orneriness. When it comes to smartphones and I-pods, it is more of a matter for me of questioning whether I want to invest time and money. But for me anyway, when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, and the like there just seems to be too much contempt for it in my soul. I hear that one of the secrets to the success of Facebook is that you can click on your "likes" and that really 'does it' for people. 


Don't get me started on Twitter. 

So I apologize, many friends and family members are into these things, and that certainly should give me pause. But it doesnt, other than to say I am not trying to insult anyone and concede I am not being fair. However, you can pretty much count on me just not participating. I started with Facebook and have a user and password saved somewhere, but I got turned off immediately... I think it was instantly evident privacy problems that did it. 

I am a little ashamed to have to tell you I delayed for nearly a year after getting a new one to learn how to get pictures off the cellphone. The turkey I bagged finally motivated me enough and now I am definitely chagrined about how easy it is [I gave up too easily after first going about it the wrong way]. 

So, anyway, you might get treated to a few more pictures now. Here is one of Russell hunting turkeys, using a call and listening for gobbles. I'll let you speculate whether it is fair to put this picture in this post, considering how I have titled it. But I think it has been a while since we've had a picture of him. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Honey Syrup

Sue got me a book on cocktails for Christmas which has been pretty good for recipes. The best thing though has been the suggestion to use Honey Syrup instead of Simple Syrup in certain recipes. Subsequent experimentation has shown that the Honey Syrup works in all cases and we have switched completely. Honey syrup of course is basically simple syrup made using honey.

Using simple syrup or honey syrup works much better for drinks as you don't get the problem of much or most of the sweetness staying in the bottom of the glass. This is bound to happen using undissolved sugar and the same problem occurs with undiluted honey.

Simple syrup is water with table sugar added to the point of saturation; I forget the correct quantities, and you are supposed to boil it. What I found, though, was I would never have any properly made syrup unless I bought it; I was just not going to be spending the time to make it. What I started doing instead was just adding sugar to water until no more would dissolve. Unfortunately this tended to get mold growing in it unless you always remembered to refrigerate. Ultimately I learned that if there was a stack of undissolved sugar and only a small amount of water floating on top, about a quarter inch, it wouldnt get any mold. It would be a good question for a physicist, I think, to figure out why this was so. I thought saturated is saturated, but it seems the small amount of free water is even more saturated with sugar, to the point of allowing the preservative quality of sugar to work. No boiling!

So I figured this out. The new problem was, I never had enough simple syrup!

To make honey syrup according to the recipe given, you use 2 parts honey to 1 part water and pasteurize it. You do not need to get to the point of boiling [for simple syrup, the boiling breaks down the sugar into simpler sugars, which apparently is an improvement; otherwise the boiling point is unnecessary, I would guess, even for simple syrup]. Naturally I immediately tried to skip the step of heating the mixture, or the old problem would return, never having any! I was counting on honey supposedly having natural preservatives beyond the natural effect of sugar. Sugar basically works as a preservative by starving microbes of water, but I have heard honey has something more. The good news is, so far, I have had no problems with mold and just have been adding water to honey until it has the consistency I can now recognize without measuring. Hotter weather in the summer will be the real test! but in the meantime cocktail life is going to be much better in the Fall, Winter, and Spring; at least at our humble abode.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bird is the Word

Luck holds up for Spring Turkey. Poplar Grove farm 8 AM today. Pictured also is Buddy, who called in the bird.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Edelman Radio

I've been enjoying listening to Ric Edelman lately now that his radio show has been archived online. Good stuff! I have read his books and think I have learned more about investing from Ric than from any other one source.

With my background in sales I also though get a kick out of following his need to recommend his own services; he owns a firm. So sometimes the advice you wait for with bated breath turns out to be "be sure to drink your Ovaltine get a financial adviser". He must be forgiven for this I think.

One tactic he uses is to scare you into thinking you might not be able to handle certain things yourself. That's not to say a financial adviser might not be a good idea for about anybody, and in my day certain things have meant I needed help - from a tax preparer for instance. But for Ric he hates to admit not every subject is undefeatably difficult. 

For example Ric often warns that the distribution requirements for regular IRA's when you reach 70.5 years are needlessly complicated and carry a stiff 50% penalty for insufficient withdrawal. Yes, this has been helpful to know. You can't deny it is a stupidly written set of rules, the time of year you hit 70.5 matters and incredibly also the age of the beneficiary, if your spouse, matters [what?]. However, it is a little ridiculous to claim you need a financial adviser to handle this. This is the day and age of calculators of all kinds in cyberspace, and anymore you really don't need to bookmark, you might as well just google when you need to. And of course there is a neat online calculator available to crank out the facts and also factor in the complicating age factors. How much you want to bet your financial adviser just pulls one of these things up?

One final nod to maybe he is right: he keeps mentioning you have to navigate a lot of stuff while in your dotage and says "good luck". He may have the last laugh with "mr. no-adviser" [me]. 

note: it looks like the hyperlinks will be in blue but I can't be sure by the preview. Links below if needed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Egged On

I've been able to get more of those eggs [see Dec 16th post]. Sue took a picture of one of them next to one of the pricey eggs from the store, free range or whatever it is they claim about them. Since blogger dot com sucks to the nth degree anymore and won't insert this, I will just post the URL: