Jun 12

Seven Ticonderoga 2HB pencils in a Patron Tequila bottle

Jun 12

Health Care reactions…

Pelossi: “Thank God, I have money to buy my own insurance if the we go broke…”
Boehner:” Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry…”

Jun 12

Ravens are cool… and intellegent

Check this out!

Jun 12

Seven Turrets

These Turret shells are from the Turretella genus of sea snails that prefers living on muddy or sandy bottoms.

I believe that they were used as a sort of currency in ancient times.

Jun 12

I like a no-nonsense Commander in Chief


Jun 12

I want my Baby Backs…

Going, going… GONE!

Last night’s Baby Back Pork Ribs dinner was delicious!

After removing the tough membrane from the concave side (the hardest part of the prep), I dry rubbed the ribs with a concoction of brown sugar, cayenne pepper, Hungarian paprika, onion powder, pepper, salt, more cayenne pepper, and dry mustard. They sat in the fridge basking in the rub overnight and went on the grill at 1:30 the next afternoon.

My grill was able to keep a constant temperature of about 275 degrees with just one burner turned all the way low. I put a pan of water-soaked mesquite wood chips on the burner side and the ribs on the “cool” side, closed the lid and left them to get happy!

Four and a half hours later, I knew they were done when I saw the meat pulling away from the bone ends. So I doused the ribs with some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and let them cook for another half hour.

The results? Absolute perfection! Fall-off-the-bone tender and moist. The taste was just a nice amount of heat and sweet that didn’t overpower the pork. And the mesquite smoke was wonderful. I think I spoiled myself!

Some folks like their ribs more chewy… not me, I’m in the fall off the bone camp. 275 degrees for five hours did the trick nicely. For the chewy crowd, BBQ them at a higher temperature for a shorter time… like 375 degrees for an hour or so.

And YES, I ate them all!


Jun 12


“There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.”

Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts, 1931

Jun 12

Landing on Mars: Seven Minutes of Terror

On August 5, 2012, the rover Curiosity will land on Mars using a completely different landing scheme than before. Prior to this landing, parachutes and balloons were used to soften the landings of the Mars Rovers.

This time, a parachute will be used to slow the entry pod down to 200mph, then a rocket propelled transporter to bring it to a hover over the surface. Since the rockets would create a huge dust cloud, it will hover far enough above the surface to prevent dust. The robotic system will then lower the Curiosity on a cable until it rests on the surface. As soon as the rover touches the surface, the cable will disengage and the transporter will rocket away to a safe distance and land.

It takes 14 minutes for radio transmissions to reach Earth from Mars. NASA will know when the Curiosity enters the atmosphere, and that it’ll take seven minutes to reach the surface. The Curiosity will have been on the surface for a full seven minutes before we know if it arrived safely. They’re calling it “Seven Minutes of Terror”

This movie clip is an excellent preview of what we can expect in August, 2012.

Jun 12


Jun 12

Happy Father’s Day Dad…

This is an excerpt from an autobiography I’ve been working on for the past few years…

Dad in his signature ‘Milstid Squat’. From Christmas 1951.

My dad always voted as a Democrat; a strong union supporter, put-your-forty-hours-in kind of a man. On the same token, he hated tax increases, social programs, and was vehemently against accepting charity or any type of social welfare. He was a proud man. He believed in a strong national defense, but felt strongly about keeping our nose out of foreign affairs. He was not, by today’s vernacular, a left-wing-liberal. By today’s standards, Dad would be a very moderate Democrat, or perhaps even lean a little to the right.

I didn’t care much about politics until much later in life. But dad’s viewpoints always made me curious. Had he had an education beyond the third grade, he’d have made a good attorney. He was a smart man and was able to think things through to a logical conclusion. He was a definite thinker. I can still see him in his signature “Milstid Squat”, cigarette in hand… thinking. He would take a break from whatever he was doing around the house, squat much like one sees the Asians do, and just contemplate things. He even sat on the toilet like that.

Dad was from the old school when it came to raising a family. That was the norm in those days. He cared about his family and worked hard to support us. He expected us kids to be respectful and polite, think of others, and know our place in the world. Our place was to be quiet around the adults, and do what mom told us to do. He seldom had to use corporal punishment… his words and his glare usually put the fear in us! When he did spank us, we knew we were in big trouble. He wasn’t a mean dad; he was firm and demanded respect.

His advice was simple. Keep your shoes shined and wear a belt. Live and let live. Explore all sides of a topic; “Let’s look at ‘er this-a-way…”.

He loved to debate. And he was good at it. He had his firm beliefs and came to them through much thinking and pondering. And I do mean MUCH thinking!

His last words to me came after I met him at the doctor. As we said our goodbyes, he told me, “James, take good care of ma.” A week later, he was gone.