RSS

Happy Turkey Day?

My daughter is a vegetarian. Not a vegan, mind you, but a vegetarian. I’m told there is a difference, but I’m not real sure what that difference is. And, as a carnivore, I don’t really care what the difference is. Life without meat is just not worth living.

I do admit, though, that I’m not a big fan of turkey. I eat turkey on Thanksgiving because, well, that’s what you eat on Thanksgiving. I will also occasionally order a club sandwich, which typically is made with sliced turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato, and an abundance of mayonnaise on three slices of toasted bread, from room service when I’m staying at a hotel for business.

But otherwise, I rarely eat turkey. I find it dry and bland.

This Thanksgiving, it’s just my wife, our daughter, and me. Our son is out of town having Thanksgiving with his girlfriend. Rather than preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal — turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, etc. — my wife and daughter decided that we should have Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant.

Okay, fair enough. No spending the whole day in the kitchen making a huge mess cooking all that crap. No wasting hours afterwards cleaning it all up. I’m down with that.

Together they picked out the venue for our Thanksgiving dinner. Being the easy-going, always accommodating person that I am, I left that decision in their hands. “Choose whatever restaurant you want,” I said.

They refused to tell me what their choice of restaurants for tonight’s Thanksgiving dinner was. They wanted to surprise me, they said. Fine, I can handle surprises. They’re kind of fun, right?

So this morning my wife and daughter finally revealed to me where we’re having Thanksgiving dinner. Much to my surprise, but not my delight, the restaurant they selected is one that offers “fresh, innovative vegan cuisine.”

Yes, that was quite a surprise.

Here’s the special, prix fixe Thanksgiving Day menu.

Vegan Thanksgiving menuAre you freakin’ kidding me? Other than the wild mushroom torte, I don’t know what most of those menu items are. I do not like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, squash, or even pumpkin pie. What the hell am I going to eat?

I am willing to at least try a taste of everything. Who knows? I might be surprised and some of it might actually be palatable. But I think I’m going to head over to the local sandwich shop and pick up a turkey club sandwich and put it in my refrigerator for safe keeping.

You know, just in case.

Happy Thanksgiving

 
63 Comments

Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Blogging

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One-Liner Wednesday — The Right Things

efficient and effective


Efficiency is doing the thing right; effectiveness is doing the right thing.

Business guru Peter Drucker


This is my response for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt.

 
42 Comments

Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Blogging, NaBloPoMo

 

Tags: , , , ,

Holiday touring — New Year’s Eve

new years eveI got tapped by Willow over at Willow’s Corner to participate in something called “Holiday Touring.”

It’s like one of the NaBloPoMo blog hops I’ve participated in this month, but with a slight twist. A blogger selects a holiday and then poses three questions to two other bloggers he or she has selected. The questions are about how, if at all, the two other bloggers celebrate that holiday.

Willow’s holiday was Halloween, but then she tapped Louise, at Baby Gates Down, and me to carry on the Holiday Touring blog hop by selecting New Year’s Eve. So, without further ado, here are my answers to the questions Willow posed:

New Year’s Eve

1. Do you celebrate this holiday? How?

Who doesn’t, in some way, celebrate New Year’s Eve? That’s the easy part. How do I celebrate it? Well, that’s a more challenging question, since my way of celebrating New Year’s Eve has evolved over time.

In my youth, New Year’s Eve was most often celebrated at a wild New Year’s Eve party, typically involving the consumption of large volumes of alcohol and frequently followed by depositing large volumes of vomitus into the nearest porcelain goddess.

There was also a period of my early adulthood where the thing to do on New Year’s Eve was to head to New York City for the holiday and to spend that crazy night, along with about a million other crazies, in Times Square watching the ball drop.

After getting married and having kids, our New Year’s Eves evolved into family game nights. I would make a batch of frozen piña coladas for our adult guests and non-alcoholic piña coladas for the kids. My wife would whip up a bunch of appetizers, like shrimp wrapped in bacon, baked mushrooms stuffed with lump crab meat, and pigs in a blanket, to name a few. And, of course, there would be a selection of desserts.

In between all of the edible treats, we’d play games like Pictionary, Scattergories, Wise and Otherwise, and Yahtzee. Oftentimes we’d be literally rolling on the floor laughing. And the kids were delighted to be able to stay up until the bewitching hour.

When we moved to Massachusetts, we learned that the New Year’s Eve festivities in Boston are called First Night, even though it’s technically celebrated on the last night of the outgoing year. The end of First Night — and the beginning of the new year — is marked by a midnight fireworks display to rival those on the Fourth of July.

These days, our kids, who are all grown up, are out doing their own thing with their own friends celebrating New Year’s Eve in their own ways.

For our first New Year’s Eve in San Francisco in 2010, my wife and I went to Cobb’s Comedy Club to see John Oliver, among other comedians. We’ve also gone out to dinner and a movie, and sometimes we just stay at home and have a nice meal and a night of TV.

2. How has this holiday changed over the years? Is this a good thing or bad thing?

To be honest, I’m not sure that the holiday, per se, has changed. But what has changed is the way I celebrate it: from wild parties to bar hoping hopping (thanks Valleygrail over at Boomer Connection for catching my faux pas) to intimate family game nights to fireworks displays and, now, to nice quiet nights at home.

3. Do you wait until midnight for the ball to drop or let the New Year come without you?

I try. Honestly, I try. But I have reached the stage in my life that when my eyelids start to get heavy, I will simply give in to nature and go to sleep. I am pretty sure that if I don’t make it to midnight, it will still be January 1st of the new year when I wake up in the morning.

Next up

Okay, now that that’s settled, it’s my turn to choose a different holiday and to turn it over to two other bloggers to carry the ball. The day I’m choosing day is not really a national holiday in any country, but it is a well-known day in many parts of the world.

The day is April Fool’s Day. And here are my three questions:

  1. What, if any, April Fool’s Day pranks have been pulled on you? Alternatively, what is your favorite April Fool’s Day joke?
  2. Do you pull pranks or practical jokes on April Fool’s Day? If so, please tell us about some of your best pranks or practical jokes that you have pulled off.
  3. April Fool’s Day should be a national holiday — yes or no? Defend your position.

And the two bloggers to whom I’m going to turn this Holiday Touring blog hop over to are: TC Connor over at The Write Gardener and Marilyn Armstrong at Serendipity. Have fun, guys.

 
27 Comments

Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Blogging, NaBloPoMo

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

New and improved

iPhonesI finally received my iPhone 6 last week, but I didn’t really have time to activate it until this past weekend.

Moving most of my apps to the new iPhone from the iCloud was fairly easy. But I did have to spend time with my company’s tech support resource to get my corporate apps, like email, moved over to the new device. So that took a while.

What’s the verdict? Do I like the iPhone 6 better than the 5? Well, to be honest, there’s really not that much different between the two devices that I can see. At least not after just a few days of using it.

The 6 is a little larger than the 5 (see the image at the top of this post). I opted to not get the iPhone 6 Plus because I thought that device would be too big to function effectively as a phone. It’s more like a small tablet, or what some are calling a “phablet.”

The camera is supposed to be better on the 6, but other than taking a selfie, I haven’t tried it out. Just so you can compare the two cameras, I’ve included two selfies below so can judge for yourself.

The selfie one on the left was taken with my iPhone 5 and the one of the right was taken with my iPhone 6. I think the one on the right is a little better, don’t you?

before and after selfie

There are some neat camera features with the 6 that didn’t exist on the 5, like time-lapse photography, slow motion video, and panoramic images. At least I don’t think these were available on the 5.

Bottom line?

Should your run to your local Apple store or mobile phone provider and get the new iPhone 6? Well, I don’t know.

Maybe those of you who have the iPhone 4 or earlier models should consider getting the new one. But if your 5 or 5s is still working for you, I honestly see no compelling reason to buy a 6. Unless you want or need a slightly larger phone or you crave a better camera with more features. Then, maybe.

 
68 Comments

Posted by on November 24, 2014 in NaBloPoMo, Technology

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

America’s biggest threats: Ebola and Obamacare

ebola in AmericaI love public opinion polls. You know, the Gallup Poll, Harris Interactive, the Pew Research Center, the Rasmussen Reports, just to name a few.

These polls are designed to reflect the opinions of a population by asking a series of questions on a particular topic to a small, “statistically valid” random sampling of people and then extrapolating the results to the population in general within confidence intervals.

Public opinion polls are supposed to gauge what Americans are thinking about, how we’re feeling, what is important to us. But I think, instead, what these polls are revealing to us is what the media keeps telling us we should be thinking about, how we should be feeling, and what they think should be important to us.

For example, a recent Gallop Poll found that 17% of Americans believe that Ebola is the “most urgent health problem” in this country.

Only 10% mentioned obesity and cancer as being urgent health concerns. Diabetes and heart disease concerned only two percent of Americans. The flu, mental illness, and AIDS were each identified by only one percent.

Ebola! Yes, Americans believe that Ebola is the most urgent health problem in this country because we’ve had, what — seven cases and two deaths in the U.S.? More urgent than obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or substance abuse, even though, combined, millions of Americans die from those diseases each year.

It’s flu season, America. According to the CDC, there is an average of around 36,000 American deaths annually due to the flu and flu-related illnesses. Yet the flu barely registers on the health care concerns meter.

So why are Americans so petrified of Ebola, when the incidence of the disease and death in this country is so low compared with other health issues? Hmm. Perhaps we should look to Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and the network news programs for our answers.

I honestly don’t think that, over past month or so, I’ve watched any news program where there hasn’t been at least one story about the threat to America posed by Ebola.

No wonder Ebola scares the shit out of us.

What Americans fear most

Speaking about polls, according to a survey conducted by the Chapman University, here are the five things that Americans fear the most:

Safety in difference spaces
Anxiety about one’s future
Internet-related fears
Criminal victimization
Personal anxieties/phobias

Personal-Fears-and-Concerns-01-580x448Okay, I suppose those fears make sense — except, perhaps, for the fear of clowns.

But what really stood out to me in the Chapman University survey on what Americans fear was the statistic that 47% of Americans are afraid of Obamacare.

Hey, I get it. I, for one, am awakened nearly every night, sweaty and shaken, in fear of having health coverage and access to affordable health care. Oh wait, I actually wake up in fear of not having health coverage and access to affordable health care.

obamacare nightmareWhy in the world would nearly half of Americans be afraid of Obamacare? Three reasons: Fox News, Republicans, and gullibility.

I was going to say “stupidity” for the last reason, but I decided to go with “gullibility” because it sounds less harsh. But it’s really stupidity.

From the very beginning, Republicans — and Fox News, the GOP’s public relations media firm — have been scaring the hell out of people with their cries of death panels and socialism.

Republicans have claimed over and over that the United States has the best health care system in the world, which it doesn’t, while people from other developed nations, where every citizen has access to free or very affordable health care, are looking at our health care system and shaking their heads in disbelief.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. Fox News and the Republicans have done one helluva terrific job in getting Americans to believe that greater access to health care services and affordable health benefits for those who don’t have it is an evil, scary thing.

No wonder Obamacare scares the shit out of us.

Ebola is the most urgent health care threat to this country and Obamacare is scary to almost half of all Americans.

You tell me. Gullibility or stupidity?

 
62 Comments

Posted by on November 23, 2014 in NaBloPoMo, Society

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In Memoriam

cronkite - assassination


Find a word that begins with the prefix “in” or use the word itself anywhere in your post.

Two things came to mind when I saw Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt this week.

The first thing that came to mind was that 51 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. That’s why I titled this post, “In Memoriam.”

I was a junior in high school at the time. It was on a Friday at around 1:30 in the afternoon, Eastern Time, when I heard the announcement from the principal over the PA system that the president had been shot.

I was in the gym, along with maybe half a dozen other students, decorating it for a Thanksgiving dance scheduled for that night.

I was standing near the top of a ladder hanging some Thanksgiving-appropriate decorations from the scaffolding along the gym’s ceiling. I was stunned when I heard the announcement. My spotter, the guy who was holding the ladder steady for me, had a large grin on his face and said, “Wicked.”

I scampered down the ladder and, even though he was a friend of mine and could probably beat the snot out of me if he set his mind to it, I punched him in the face. He didn’t hit me back.

All that could be heard throughout the school, once it was confirmed that the president was dead, were the sounds of students and teacher crying and sniffling.

We had to wait around for the buses to take us home, but no one said a word and the silence was eerie. Our world, the world of high school students — and all Americans — changed forever that day 51 years ago.

And not for the better.

tie dyedThe second thing that came to mind for the prompt “in,” was the 17-minute long song, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” released in 1968 and performed by Iron Butterly.

I considered this song to be the true anthem of the psychedelic 60s.

According to Wikipedia, the song’s title was originally “In the Garden of Eden.” But, so the story goes, at one point in the course of rehearsing and recording, singer Doug Ingle got drunk and slurred the words, creating the mondegreen — or what some call an “eggcorn” — that stuck.

If you have 17 minutes to spare:

 
60 Comments

Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Blogging, Memories, NaBloPoMo

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Literally speaking — Redux

I apologize for lying to you. Earlier today I said that my last post — the one about evolution — was going to be my last serious rant after having posted two in a row.

Well, this is my next post and it’s another rant. Well, it’s not really a rant as much as an observation, and it is actually a recycled post from February 2013.

I was reminded of it today, though, when some of the comments on my earlier post mentioned interpreting the Bible literally, believing everything in the Bible is true. So here is that post, which, I admit, is a little dated (Benedict is no longer the Pope).


The year was 1969 and the war in Vietnam was raging. I had graduated from college in June of the prior year and managed to enlist in an Army Reserve unit, a medical unit, and barely escaping the draft.

I spent the first three months of 1969 going through basic infantry training in the Louisiana swampland the Army called Fort Polk before being sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas to be trained as an army medic.

Fort Sam was a resort compared to Fort Polk, and I didn’t really mind spending my last three months of active duty in San Antonio. And it was at Fort Sam where I met my first bible literalist, my bunk-mate Michael.

Unlike me, Michael had not escaped the draft. But he had declared himself to be a conscientious objector (CO) to the war based upon religious grounds.

Like most draftees who self-identified as conscientious objectors, Michael was assigned to be trained as a medic so that he would not be required to bear arms and potentially shoot other human beings — even enemy combatants — should he be called upon to go into battle.

I found out later that Michael and his pastor father were avid hunters and Michael was well-trained in using firearms. Go figure.

IOnly book you'll ever need to read learned something else a bit strange about my bunk-mate at Fort Sam. The only book he’d read in his entire life was the Christian Bible. Seriously, I’m not making that up.

He told me that he was home-schooled by his parents, who taught him that everything he would ever need to know was found in the Bible.

“So you don’t see the Bible as allegorical, a book of stories and parables meant to inspire and guide?” I asked.

“It is the true word of God. Everything else written is, well, fairy tales,” he answered.

Yikes! I thought he was joking. I’d often used that “fairy tales” analogy to describe the contents of the Bible. But, no, he was quite serious. Not only was the Bible the only book he’d ever read, he believed every word of it to be the literal history of, well, everything. “The Bible is the truth, the only truth, the God’s honest truth.”

Cabal of COs

BibleFairyTalesI had never previously encountered anyone who took the Bible so literally. And Michael wasn’t the only one in my unit who believed that way. At least a dozen guys in our barracks engaged in daily Bible studies.

These guys were passionate about the Bible, to the exclusion of anything that contradicted the “literal truth” of the gospel contained therein.

I initially thought that this cabal of COs was an anomaly, a unique gathering of undereducated religious fanatics brought together by their unwillingness to soldier.

Upon my return to the real world a few months later, however, I discovered that there were quite a few “regular people” who believed the Bible to be the actual words of God. My first boss, in fact, spent every lunch hour at church. I considered him to be an intelligent, articulate, and even humorous man, so I was surprised by his literal biblical interpretation.

According to a 2011 Gallup survey, three in 10 Americans interpret the Bible as not just words inspired by God, but as the actual word of God to be taken literally. I am floored by that statistic.

But I’m probably not as floored as those 30% of biblical literalists were after none other than the Pope called “bullshit” on the Bible.

Late last year, Pope Benedict XVI published his book, Jesus of Nazareth, in which he pointed out that over the centuries, the customary Nativity scene was embellished with other folklore and tales.

The Pope suggested that there were likely no animals present, nor were there three wise men. He also said that there is no evidence that angels sang at Jesus’ birth. So hark that, you herald angels.

The Pope wrote that Christ wasn’t really born in a stable and he wasn’t even born 2012 years ago on December 25th. He wrote that Jesus was probably born in 5 or 6 BC, and that the Roman Catholic Church chose December 25th as Christ’s birth date in order to co-opt a pagan feast day and to coincide with the winter solstice festivities.

According to modern astronomers, Jesus was more likely born in June, although it could have been any time between April and September.

So to my bunk-mate Michael from Fort Sam Houston, to my first boss, and to you 30% of Americans who take the Bible literally, all the Pope and I can say is don’t believe or take literally everything you read in books, especially if the only book you ever read is the Bible.

Of course, Pope Benedict has just announced his resignation and I suspect that he may have been forced out by the Holy See in Rome for his audacity to suggest in his book that not everything in the Bible is to be taken literally.

Apparently no one, not even the Pope, can call bullshit on the Holy Bible.


I promise you, my next post will not be about God, evolution, the Bible, or have anything to do with religion or politics. At least I don’t think it will be.

 
53 Comments

Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Blogging, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
My Self Evident Truths...

valid arguments against may be considered

Just Gene'O

A blog for bloggers, with Weekend Coffee

Notes Tied On The Sagebrush

Writing About Life

Random thoughts

Random musings about everything.

Just Plain Ol' Vic

Try it...you may like it...

My Journey - Questions & Observations of a Skeptic

Realizing how little I know, I want to write about what I am thinking and read what others think in response

FiftyFourandAHalf

More than just another wiseass

Flies and Buddha

At the river, the frog may frown, but the cow will still drink!

markbialczak

What will I write about next?

Dear Diary

Catchy Tagline Coming Soon!

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Sonmi's Cloud

Wanderings and wonderings from a sentient cloud.

Janey Does Blogging

She loves talking about herself in the third person.

It Goes On

"In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on" - Robert Frost

Not a Punk Rocker

Embracing my dorkiness, embarrassing my kid & blogging for the hell of it.

Gibber Jabberin

Q & A,Dumbassery,Sarcasm,Humor

Willow's Corner

Because why not?

misanthropy misunderstood

A public diary of personal reflections

HarsH ReaLiTy

My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.

Some Kernels of Truth

A WordPress site covering a wide range of subjects, including good books and the absurdities of daily life!

naptimethoughts

livin' the dream.

Idiot Writing

'all our lives are a poetry - awake our souls.' ~ Battling the hypocrite within ~

Logos con carne

Another voice in the interweb wilderness

Amusing Nonsense

Writings on Everything and Nothing

Ned's Blog

Humor at the Speed of Life

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Not trying to persuade you to think my way, but to make you think period.

Godless Cranium

Random musings of a godless heathen

waltbox

musings, humor, fiction

Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

A Collection of Musings

A witty outlook on everyday issues you don't usually think about

Truth Shall Set You Free So Don't Be A Crybaby

A dash of wit, A sprinkle of snark, A pinch of sarcasm, and some classy sass all baked in at 450 degrees!

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Sapient Chronicles

To go where no man has gone

lindaghill

Life in progress

Cordelia's Mom, Still

Just Good Reading!

Boomer Connection

Our journey, the bridge that connects us all

colemining

made of the myth

I Tried Being Tasteful...

BUT THE STRAIN WAS TOO MUCH FOR ME

Unapologetics

Religion, atheism, philosophy

A.C. Melody

It's not my fault, my characters made me do it...

Malaphors

Unintentional blended idioms and phrases - It's the cream of the cake!

the EXCESSIVE GARDENER

adventures in defensive gardening

Me - Who am I?

Life - How it changes you. Where you go. Who you become.

Waking of the Bear

Living in this world

Aging Gracefully My Ass

A sincere blog about a donkey

Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,405 other followers

%d bloggers like this: