Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sorry that I have been away ...

I have not been able to even get on-line, for a while know. Thanks to Mother Nature. You see back in August a powerful thunder storm roared through my neck of the woods, well long story short. It had a bolt of lightning hit our fence. As it turned out the phone line was laid under the fence and was way to close to the surface. Well it took out all of our electronics that were plugged in at the time.

We were home at the time which was a good thing, so that we could put out the fires that erupted in three seperate rooms at once. I'm glad that the horses and milk goats and dogs were in the shed at the time, because it has lightning rods on top. Yes we are all fine ... no one was hurt.

We have since redug the phone line down to a depth of 6 feet. We are also slowly replacing what was distroyed. But slowly we are getting back to normal, and soon my friends I'll be able to get back into publishing my weekly posts ... which I miss doing and sharing with everyone.

There you have it, my friends,
The short and skinny;
I'll be back talking with everyone before you know it

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Logically Thinking

Let me guess, lately you have been spending way too much of your hard earned coins, to fill your car or truck gas/fuel tanks. Not to mention all of your traffic fighting and the aggravation of stop-n-go traffic jams. Also with the weather that seams to be in extreme mode all of the time lately. Taken altogether every ones temper and nerves seem to be more and more on edge. Making a traffic jam all that much more dangerous. Maybe you are thinking that there must be a better way to get around. Something less polluting. That may help to lower your carbon footprint as well as your blood pressure. Something cheaper. But sturdy enough to hold you and some packages too. Hey, why not a bike?

That's a great idea. So, where do we start? Well let's see, you can pick up a bike at most any of the major department stores, like Wal-Mart or Kmart maybe Sears and even some hardware stores. All ranging from $50.00 to $200.00 or so, not a bad place to start. However these are the cheap ones, sort of designed to break down and wear out rather fast. If you could get five years of use out of them you would be lucky. Personally, I would say that if your funds are rather short, and whose isn't these days. Grab a cheap bike to begin with. Then shop around the local bike shops for your next replacement. Mind you these will end up running you a few more coins, something like $400.00 to $800.00 range. But still cheaper than an internal combustion engine running vehicle would set you back.

To begin with ... we need to answer some pertinent questions, To better understand how to proceed. So, why do you want to ride -- to exercise; commute to work; run errands or just for a leisurely country ride? Where do you want to ride -- potholed city streets; open roads; gravel bike roads or maybe a mix of environments? Finally, how do you like to ride -- in an upright position; leisurely paced or leaning hard forward as in a race mode where ever you go? Answering these questions will help you to figure out which bike may better suit your needs. Oh, before I forget, you may want to look into a recumbent bike or trike, they are like sitting in a recliner.

Let's look at some options here. Mountain Bikes. If your main terrain to travel on is a pockmarked city street or rough bike trails, a mountain bike might be your best choice. Chances are that you will not need a dual suspension bike, but you may feel better with front shock absorbers if the streets are really bad. Semi-slick tires grab blacktop better than knobby mountain bike tires. So if riding mainly in town, get a pair of those. Kona, Specialized, Trek and other manufactures make excellent mountain bikes that sell for $500.00 or less. Check out Mountain Bike Review ( for ratings on the latest models.
Touring Bikes. If you take to the open road more often, you will probably want a road or touring bike. These have different features than mountain bikes. Like drop handlebars, larger wheels and narrower tires. Also the frame geometry is different than other bikes. I understand that the entry-level touring bike costs a bit more than the mountain bikes, but check around with your local bike shops ~ they may have last year's model on sale. Road Bike Review ( has ratings on the latest models.
Cruiser & City Bikes. If you are just into leisurely riding around town and like the upright sitting position, check out what are called cruiser bikes. These are curvalicious, fairly heavy,with balloon-tires, swept back handlebars that are fun to ride, as long as the road is more or less flat. A closely related bike style is the city bike. Which is a little bit lighter than a cruiser, with narrower tires more gears and higher gearing. Googling cruiser & city bikes should give you many more sites and information on these bikes.

OK, let's fit the frame to you. Most frames - as long as they are appropriately sized for the rider's height - can be made to fit almost anybodies particular body geometry. This is, of course, absolutely specific to each person. So the only way you are going to figure out what is best for you, is to sit on a few bikes and see what is comfortable, what needs adjusting like the handlebars or the seat positions. Most bike shops are more than willing to help with adjustments, some may even loan a bike for a day. So that you will have time to figure out if the bike is right for you.

Now as for Recumbent Bikes & Trikes. These are not as well known about as a normal bike or trike is, so their price tag tends to be quite high. However ( is a good place to start your research on their forums as a lurker. This site sells plans for you to build and adjust your ride with a myrid of possibilities. Their form discussions are both interesting and informative. They also have a gallery that show off other people's creations from around the world.

OK, now on to some Useful Accessories. Once you have your new bike or trike, hit the road. It may not be to long before you end up wanting a few accessories, particularly if you are using your bike or trike for commuting. Full-coverage fenders are a necessity and a rack with pannier bags can be a convenient relief from wearing a backpack all of the time. A bell is handy and fun to scare the squirrels with. Lights are a must if you ride at night or early morning, also they may help to showcase you in storms and/or fog. Don't forget reflectors, they are a must by law in most places now. Now don't forget about hydration, with cup/can and bottle holders. You may even consider installing a large water hydration bag that you can sip from while you keep on pedaling down the road. Helmets claim to save lives and most places now have it on their books as the law of the land ~ That all bikers whether pedal or motor ... any cyclist must wear a helmet. At the very least a helmet gives a cyclist more places to install lights, mirrors and reflectors.

All right, you bought or built it and tricked it out. Now ride it. The brakes may stick, you may be unable to shift through the full range of your gearing, the wheels may feel to "flexy", etc. These are pretty much normal symptoms of breaking in your bike. Most of your problems will occure with in the first 200 miles or so of you riding your bike or trike. If you bought your ride, take it back to where you bought it. Most reputable bike shops will do post break-in servicing for free. Even if it is not free, the small charge to readjust, tighten, realign or whatever is well worth the piece of mind to fix your wheels. If you built it ( is a good place to get advice on how to go about fixing your wheels on your own.

Speaking of fixing things on your own. Learning to perform basic maintaince is fun and can save you some of your hard earned coins. Also it may open up another stream of an income for you as a bicycle repairman(woman). Here are a few great on line resources: Park Tool's repair help section (; articles from the late bike expert Sheldon Brown ( and the "Bicycle Mechanics" section of bike forums (

Sometimes though ~ when your hands are coated in grease and grime, and "she-who-must-be-obeyed" won't let you in the house (much less any where near the computer) ~ you need a hard copy helper. Here some excellent paper-based references: "Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance" (Velo-Press,2005), "Bicycling Magazine's Basic Maintenance and Repair" (Rodel Press, 1999), and "Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" (Rodel Press, 1999) to name a few. If you buy any of these from ( they will also suggest other possible choices that may also help you out of your dilemma.

Whew, will you look at that, another week has slipped me by. It seems that the longer posts take more time to prepare and to get them into a readable posting. Sorry about that my friends, but I am trying to get the facts straight so that everyone will get out of my posts, what I try to put into them. Which almost makes me glad that I am not an editor for a daily paper of some kind.

I must add a thank you to Mother Earth News Magazine for help with this post as some of the information was gleaned from an article, written in their wiser living series a "Guide to Living on Less and Loving It" in the summer of 2009. Yes I save old magazines, you never know when an article or subject will come in handy. So thank you Mother Earth News.

As I close this post my friends,
Let's all try to get a little healthier while saving some of the environment,
Maybe also some of our hard earned coins,
All by pedaling our arses off ...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Knowledge Is Power ...

Let me start this post with a quick update. A few posts back I was telling you all about the way that the mosquitoes like to attack easy and sleeping prey. Well in view of the title of this post, I have stumbled on to a rather simple solution quite by accident. You see I personally do not use air conditioning at home, I can't justify the expense. So when it gets to hot to sleep comfortably, I have a fan pointed at the head of the bed. As a result I found a three fold effect was taking place. Number one, I was staying cool enough to get some sleep. Number two, once I got used to the noise of the fan working, it acted like a white noise generator allowing me to sleep better. Number three, here was the surprise. Now on windy days or nights, bugs with wings tend to be grounded. The same held true for my bed with a fan working over it, allowing for a more restful sleep. So I found a non-poison salutation to my "Hour Of The Mosquito" after all. Darn it! Here I had been hoping for a chemical cure, with the help of some kind of drinkable alcohol. Oh well, I'll just have to find another reason to have a few drinks ... LOL.

Speaking of a reason to drink, has anyone noticed that gas prices are on the rise again? Let me discuss with you a few simple tricks, that should help to stretch your fuel consumption coinages. First off, if you drive a gas or diesel guzzler ... at least park it. Better still trade it for a more economical vehicle.

OK, now for the fun of relearning "How-To-Drive-101". Take your foot off of the floorboards!  Meaning for you to drive more sensibly and slowly, at least at or just under the speed limit. The experts all claim that, that one trick can increase your gas mileage by up to 23%.

Now if you know of any short cuts to your destination, take them on condition of staying out of heavy traffic. Also turn off your vehicle's air conditioner, if you don't believe me test it out for yourself. Drive like you normally do for a week. But keep a log book of miles traveled, volume of fuel used, cost of fuel, etc. Then drive economically for one week, remember to keep your log book updated. After your two week driving test compare your notes, you may be surprised. Also try to know of the cheapest gas prices in your area, and watch areas with multiple gas stations in close proximity to each other ... one may start trying to under cut the competition in effect starting a gas-price-war, which is a boon to the consumer. One more note on shortcuts, use everything at your disposal like MapQuest or Google Maps.

Now by staying out of heavy traffic, you lessen the chances of being caught in a traffic jam, or being in a multiple vehicle pile up. Stop and go traffic burns fuel really fast, also your nerves fray even faster. Road Rage is a major problem in congested traffic. Try to stay informed of road construction and traffic delays or slow downs as they can lead to already mentioned problems. personally I never drive on Inter-State Highways or Super Highways, they are death traps. has a good link called "Driving Directions" that can help you stay informed.

Lighten the load. If you a trunk full of "stuff", find a different place to store it ... like that parked Hummer maybe. Those same experts claim that for every 100 pounds of excess weight in a vehicle makes each gallon of gas cost up to 7 cents more. Also if you are on the heavy side, loosing a few extra pounds wouldn't hurt with your fuel consumption ... it might even ease the strain on your own body's organs.

By keeping your tires properly inflated you could increase your gas mileage by 3%. That is worth about 10 cents per gallon, plus it is safer and better for you and your tires. After all a blow out at a high rate of speed, could put you and yours on the evening news, and not in a nice way.

OK I'll admit it here since I am a guy, and like most all guy's say "When all else fails, read the instructions and or manual". I too fall into that one a lot. However reading the owner's manual for your vehicle, will tell you that if you use the proper fluids, oil, coolants and such. That you could have a 2% reduction in fuel usage. Also by replacing air filters and keeping your vehicle's engine properly tuned, you could be looking at a possible gas mileage increase of up to 10%.

OK this advice may hurt a little, but it is for your own good. If you are an aggressive driver, stop your vehicle and find a good hardwood tree. Then bash your bare head on it, until you knock some sense into yourself. Sailing along serenely. Speeding. Accelerating and Breaking quickly. Also squealing your tires on the pavement, all waist your money and hurts your vehicle. As well as waisting up to 30% of your fuel. Not to mention the harm and cost-to-repair the road afterwards.

Now by combining your destinations ... like errands, or shopping, also going to work, stopping at the bank, or taking the kids to the park. By combining what you need or want to do, you can actually be saving time, fuel and money. Also if you do not find a convenient place to park, parking a little ways away from your destination will save gas. If you don't drive around to find the "perfect" parking spot. By taking the nearest spot and walking to your destination, may even aid in helping your heart.

Which leads me into the next best way to save even more of your hard earned coins on fuel. Walking or riding a bicycle or trike or a quadracycle. Don't take my word for it. For the ultimate fuel savings more Americans are parking their cars and trucks and walking or biking. According to ( the National Center for Bicycling and Walking), and (the League of American Bicyclists). For still more ideas to save gas, and stretch your fuel buying coinages try these sites ...
There you go my friends, some hints, tips, tricks and sites to learn more from. So much for a short posting, but all-in-all good information to have.

Remember the highwaymen of old? The robbers of travelers?
Well guess what, they have changed their stripes.
Now we willing fork over our hard earned coinages,
To the gas stations ...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Speculations ...

Oh my, will you look at that. As I sit down to work on my next blog posting. Then realizing that I have lost a whole week somewhere.

Of course it doesn't help, that at work last week I picked up a couple of night maintenance shifts. Along with three dish washing shifts. As well as working on household chores at home, and not forgetting that never ending yard work either. So my spare time was pretty much tied up with relaxing and sleeping. As personal wants, wishes, desires, dreams and hobbies, have been temporarily been put on the back burner ~ or so it would seem.

Now if our world was a little farther from the sun, the year would be a little bit longer. Also if our world spun a little more slowly, the days would be a little bit longer. But would I be able to accomplish any more in a days time? Probably not. Also if those changes happened, would it mean that life would still exist on this world as we know it? Again probably not.

So my friends, I guess that;
"The hurryeder that I go, The behinder that I get";
Also seems to apply to me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cool Treats For Summer Heat ...

A couple of days ago a friend at work said that I looked like I was walking slowly and with a limp. This was about 10 days after popping my knee out of place, and re-popping it back into place. Yes it hurt. Both when it happened and a few minutes latter as I reset it right. Then I put a knee brace on to hold it together and kept on working in the yard. It hurts still and is slowing me down a bit, on the things that I want to get done in a days time. Anyhow as he made that remark about my walk and limp, he added "It's hell to get old ain't it". I countered with "I'm not old, I'm a P. Y. T.". To which he asked what was a P. Y. T.?" I said "Pretty Young Thing (and added that) that should give us both nightmares". We both chuckled. Of course the summer heat and humidity are not helping either.

Speaking of the heat let's get to the Summer treats ...
Let's start with a good breakfast:
  • 1 cup of quick oats (oatmeal)
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon of raw honey (best from local bees)
  • 1 cup whole milk - not pasteurized homogenized is ok but raw whole milk is best
 ~ Combine everything in a bowl and microwave about 2 minutes, stir it all together while hot and enjoy.

Speaking of a good breakfast, in last weeks post I alluded to the old proverb about "The Hour Of The Wolf". Again I'm not sure which country it originated in, I had thought Russia. Am now leaning more toward one of the Scandinavian countries. At any rate since our summer rains have finally started here in Florida, another vicious predator has awoken. No not the gators, a little smaller and these seem to hunt in packs. As they seek out their prey in the wee hours of early dawn. I know this for a fact as my alarm clocks are set for 5AM and 5:15AM. By which time I am already semi awake and fending off a rather vicious assault. Of what could best be described as the predator hour, but to name that said hour ... I would have to call it "The Hour Of The Mosquito". They seem to think of me as a good breakfast.

OK, back to the cool treats. Remember that you should drink before you are thirsty. Not just any drink, but a drink that will refresh and rejuvenate while you rehydrate. Sweat is salty. So salt needs to be in your food and drinks ~ sea salt is best. Sea salt also has other trace amounts of minerals that our bodies need. I first ran across this recipe for homemade "Gatorade" a few months ago.
When I tried it I found it very refreshing ... here it is to my tastes:
"Homemade Gatorade"
  • 2 whole lemons - juiced (I pureed pulp and all except the outer skin)
  • 1 whole lime - juiced (I pureed pulp and all except outer skin)
  • 1 whole orange (optional) - juiced (I pureed pulp and all except outer skin)
  • 1/2 cup local raw honey (contains trace minerals and natural electrolytes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (contains trace minerals and natural electrolytes) Could be replaced with Morton's Lite Salt that contains less iodine and sodium but has more potassium in it.
  • 1 teaspoon dolomite powder (powdered calcium - found in health food stores)
 ~ If you do not have good well water or access to a natural free flowing spring, then by all means use filtered water, about a quart. In a big jug mix all ingredients together and shake well. Pour into 1 quart glass or plastic bottles and chill. When hot and sweaty shake one up and enjoy the response your body gives ...

Now this next one is called switchel, a drink that has been used for several 100 years for various reasons. We used to make up several gallons of this when working in the fields, back home on the farm. Baling hay is a lot of hot and sweaty work, hence this drink is also known as ...
Hay maker's Switchel
  • 3 1/2 quarts of good well water or natural spring water or filtered water
  • 1 cup black strap molasses
  • 1/2 cup local raw honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (homemade is best)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dolomite powder (powdered calcium from a health food store)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 ~ In a big jug shake everything together and chill ~ makes about 1 gallon. Back on the farm we would mix up about 6 gallons at a time. Then freeze 1 of those 6 gallons in those old ice cube trays to maintain the chill factor on the other 5 gallons all day long. When this hits your system, first is a cooling refreshing feeling. Then what a rush as we all went back to work, our bodies seemed to kick into over drive.

Now for a good evening meal after the day's farm chores were done, that included milking the cows (we had 80 milking head) and tending to the young stock (about 250 head from day old's to two years of age). The chicken and pigs tended to as well, and the final day's feeding for the cows. Then it was time to relax, with a quick dip in the swimming hole ~ an old gravel bed stocked with large mouth bass, boy were they good eating when we could catch them. Anyhow as the sun set, the BBQ was lit with a real wood fire. As the fire burned down to coals, for the Bratwursts to cook over, the potato salad was made. With real farm fresh eggs and homemade mayonnaise. Back on the farm we ate good and hearty because we worked and played hard. However just recently I ran across a potato salad recipe that had no eggs or mayonnaise in it. I was surprised just how good it was, also without eggs and mayo in it, it could set out longer without refrigeration being needed. It is called ... 
Bulgarian Potato Salad
  • 8 - 10 medium sized potatoes - red or white, I use both and leave the skins on
  • 1 medium small red onion - finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet apple cider
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • about 1 tablespoon each of fresh Dill, Cilantro,Sweet Basil, Chive, all chopped coarsely then bruised together in a mortar and pestle
  • hard Ramona Cheese - to be grated as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
 ~ Wash and dice the potatoes into bite sized pieces boil til tender, drain, then cool in a refrigerator. Now mix the fresh herbs coarsely chopped in your mortar and bruise them with your pestle, then drop them into a large bowl. Add everything else and toss to blend the flavors together. When potatoes are cold, add them to your herb dressing bowl. Gently toss it all together, then grate about 1/2 cup of the hard Ramona Cheese over all and gently toss again, then grate some more Ramona Cheese on top as a garnish and a light sprinkle of Spanish Paprika over all. Enjoy. This recipe also works great as a macaroni salad, but I use bow ties for that one. Remember my friends recipes are versatile and loved to be reworked, to accommodate personal tastes. 

Now for a couple of desert ideas ...
Orangesicle Cake
  • 1 (18.25oz) package of orange cake mix
  • 1 (3oz) package of orange flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 (3.4oz) package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 (8oz) container of frozen whipped topping - thawed
 ~ Prepare cake mix according to package directions and bake in a 9"x13" pan. When done remove from oven and poke holes in the cake while still hot, with a round handle of a wooden spoon. Now in a medium mixing bowl, make the orange gelatin with only 1 cup of boiling water, then pour over the cake while both are still hot ~ cool cake completely. 
 ~ In a medium mixing bowl make the vanilla instant pudding with only 1 cup of milk. Stir in vanilla and orange extracts. Fold in thawed whipped topping. Spread evenly over cooled cake. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy not only the taste, but also the oohs and aahs.

Creamsicle Cheesecake
  • 16 oz cream cheese - softened
  • 1/2 cup granular sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 9" graham cracker pie crust
 ~ In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add sour cream and vanilla extract, beat again. Save out 1 cup of mixture. Pour remaining mixture into the graham cracker pie crust and level out.
 ~ Now take that saved 1 cup of filling mixture and add the orange extract and red and yellow food colorings and beat together. Then take a spoonful at a time and randomly drop into the pie. Use a knife to swirl everything into a marble effect.
 ~ Bake for 30 -35 minutes or until firm around the edges - the center will be slightly loose. allow to cool for 1 hour in oven with the door open partway. Then chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
 ~ For a finishing touch, top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream, a orange slice twisted and draped through the whipped cream, then grate fresh orange zest over the whole of each serving. Enjoy.

As I come down to the last of the Summer treats I was planning on using for this post,
I think I'll go raid the fridge to see if my sweet tooth can be abated yet again;
Or if my house mates were instead watching my waist for me,
Meaning the treats are all gone ... at least as far as they may know.
Oh look at that, they didn't find where I hid that last piece ... 
Enjoy my friends.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Good Things Coming ...

I had planned on having this weeks post up and ready for every one's perusal this past Monday. However once again life got in the way of my plans. I suppose that it didn't help that the fourth of July's Independence Day celebrations were held over through last weekend as well. Or that some of what I had planned on posting was playing hide-n-seek with me. Am beginning to think that an imp or gremlin is having some fun, at my expanse. At any rate I found what I was looking for late today. So next weeks post will be a culmination of a two week effort.

Am reminded of an old proverb Russian I think ... The hour of the wolf. When your troubles are scratching at the door, Take a long draft of Vodka to keep the wolf at bay, then several smaller sips of Vodka to keep any pups at bay also. Not sure if it works on imps or gremlins, May need to drink some Captian Morgan or Jack Daniels maybe some Black Velvet.

At any rate the pains are dissipating and nullifying,
As the blur of night transforms;
To the mists of,
A new morning of possibilities ...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence ...

Independence means many things to many different people, all around this big blue marble called Earth ~ Our collective home. In the United States of America at a time in our past, on the date of 1776/7/4, a group of men signed a parchment titled "The Declaration Of Independence". This document declared and decreed that the United States (the Colonies) of America, are to be free of English rule and terror for all time. Those 56 men became known as the fathers of our country. As their act of high treason against king and country set in motion a grand experiment ~ A land ruled for, of, and by the people. Liberty now had center stage, as the monarchs of the world watched with fear in their eyes and terror in their hearts.

236 years have passed as the land of Liberty has become a world power. Yes, the United States of America has stumbled a few times, and bloodied It's self. Also the land of Liberty nearly tore It's self apart, in the war between the States. But as the insanity of the times passed and the reality of killing Ones brother set in, The faltering fledgling nation began to heal It's self and look to the future once again. Yes, as a nation the United States of America has made a mess of things many times. As our leaders try to spread our grand experiment beyond our borders.

Personally I hope that our elected leaders, will learn to listen more clearly and closely to the will of the people who elected them to office. That way maybe the grand experiment of Liberty may one day be the guiding light that our fore fathers envisioned it to be ...

Happy 4th of July Birthday to the 
Land Of Liberty.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Down Time

Like the title says, R.~N~R. or better explained as Rest~And~Relaxation. I had so much that I wanted to accomplish this weekend, while I was off of work. Like working in the yard ~ filling in some more of the wholes that the dogs keep digging, mowing some, trimming some trees and bushes of the dead branches and some that are just in the way. Also wanted to work on this weeks blog posting. Am still trying to dig out my new burn pit as well, but to no avail this weekend.

Then it started with this weeks work being more hectic, than I remember this time last year being. My work is as a dishwasher, in a fairly busy restaurant, just off of Interstate 75 and State Road 200 in Ocala, Florida. It turns out that part of the reason that we were so busy, was because people were leaving low laying areas of Tampa Bay to our South West. As the fourth named system of the hurricane season was building in the Gulf of Mexico and heading our way. It's name is Debby, currently a strong tropical storm, that has been drenching south Florida for a week now. Where I live just North East of Ocala is a small town called Anthony.

As I write this the sun must have just set as it is dark out now, on Sunday 2012/6/24. Looking at my electronic rain gauge and seeing that 3.44 inches of rain has fallen today with no let up in sight. It has been a steady and heavy drizzle for the last 12hrs now. This is the kind of soaking that we need, as we have been in a drought for far to long now.

So yes, being tired from the paying job and while trying to stay dry. I took the whole weekend off. To enjoy some down time for myself. Oh, just so that everyone knows, this posting was one of those freight train hitting type of postings.

So my friends,
Next week it is back to the grind ...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Treats

Many have asked me, how do I come up with ideas each week for my blog postings. Well sometimes an idea will hit early in the week, giving me time to work on it all week long. Allowing for a smooth and easy to read posting. Other times it can be like a being hit by a freight train out of the blue, and entirely off of the cuff so to speak. Those tend to just flow out of me at the last minute, just in time for my deadline. Now the deadline that I've set for myself, is to be posted by Monday at 9pm EST of each week. That was my chosen deadline when I had Mondays off. Currently I work on Mondays, so now I'm trying to post by Sundays ~ Time will tell how long before my posting day will shift again. As to how the ideas come to me, I still do not know.

OK, let's get to the meat of this posting. It is June in the northern hemisphere, That means late Spring into early Summer. The days are getting longer and hotter. People are camping and hiking and biking and generally enjoying the outdoors a whole lot more. Now unless you have a summer kitchen (not many do anymore), then the kitchen in your house or apartment is really hot and sticky if you do much cooking. So Dad gets to barbecue a whole lot more. Here is a quick reference for summer kitchens, generally they are screened in gazebos with weather louvers that an be closed against the rain. Also they are usually located under a big shade tree. We had one back on the farm, not far from our garden. That way it could also be used as our harvest kitchen.

Well so much for a short and quick introduction. Ah well, I do like to talk. At any rate with temperatures rising, I thought that you all might enjoy some more of the recipes that I like in the summer time heat. Let's start with Crepes, shall we. Endless filling combinations inside of these paper thin pancakes, can make for a hearty breakfast or a light lunch or a satisfying evening meal, along with delectable desert possibilities. So here is your basic crepe shell batter:
Basic Crepe Batter
          1 cup all purpose flour
          2 eggs
          1/2 cup milk
          1/2 cup water
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          2 tablespoon butter - melted
          1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
          1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
          1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
          1/8 teaspoon ground clove (optional)
 ~ In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs and flour. Gradually adding the milk and water, then add in the salt and butter and any flavorings, beat until smooth.
 ~ Heat a small griddle or skillet over medium high heat, while melting a tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Swirl it around to coat the hot surface, then pour off the excess and reserve. Now ladle about a 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot buttered skillet, tilt and gently swirl the batter in a circular motion until the crepe starts to set. 
 ~ Cook until bottom is light brown (1 - 2 minutes). Loosen with spatula and flip, cook other side about 1 minute. Turn out onto a warm plate and cover with cheese cloth. Now cook off the rest of your batter the same way, stacking each with cheese cloth for ease of use later. You should get about a dozen crepes. If you google crepe fillings and I think that you will be surprised by the number of response listings. The number that I got was 219,000 response hits. Now it's your turn, so have some fun.

Now for some really fun ones. That can be made up at home for snacks or trail energy boosts or maybe made by fire light when camping, instead of s'mores :
Peanut Butter Balls
          1/2 cup peanut butter - creamy
          1/2 cup honey
          1/2 cup crushed nuts - personally I use cashew halves and pieces ground in a blender
          3/4 cup wheat germ
          1/2 cup powdered milk
 ~ Mix all of the ingredients together in a large pot or bowl. Now pull out golf ball sized globs and roll into balls, then roll them in sprinkles packing them on. NOTE if these are made with kids around, when the last ball is fully coated ... then there may be no more left for you to nibble on. Better make a double batch. Enjoy.
Trail Mix Goop
          1/2 cup granola
          1/2 cup powdered milk
          1/4 cup brown sugar
          1/4 cup raisins
          1/2 cup finely chopped tropical trail mix
          1/2 cup chopped nuts - personally I use cashew halves and pieces ground in a blender
          1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
          cooked white rice - well drained
 ~ Mix granola, milk, sugar, raisins, nuts, trail mix and peanut butter in a large pot. Slowly add a handful of well drained cooked rice to stiffen the dough - if still loose add more rice. Roll into golf ball sized balls, then coat with shredded coconut and shaved sweet bakers chocolate (white or dark). 
* If you want any of these ~ guard them well. Great for cycle touring. Enjoy.
Sweet Potato Tag-a-longs
 ~ Wash a number of sweet potatoes, some people peel them, I do not. Cut into strips of 1/2 inch thick, about an inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long, basically steak fries. Shallow fry these in a large skillet with 4 tablespoons each of olive oil (extra virgin) and butter. Toss the sweet potato steak fries in the combined hot oils to coat them, then fry them about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Potatoes should be crispy outside and tender inside. Sprinkle with sweet potato seasoning (below). When cool place in double zip lock bags, great for a cycle touring light lunch. Enjoy.
Sweet Potato Tag-a-long Seasoning
          2 tablespoon brown sugar
          1 tablespoon Cinnamon
          1 teaspoon nutmeg
          1 teaspoon ground ginger
          1/2 teaspoon ground clove
          2 tablespoon salt
          1/4 teaspoon black pepper
 ~ Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk. Then put in a shaker jar with a screw on lid. It is ready to use. NOTE - a few grains of uncooked white rice will maintain a dry mix - dry.
 * This is my seasoning mix, remember that recipes are not written in stone - to accommodate personal taste.
Almost Peanut Butter Cups
          1/4 cup butter
          3/4 creamy peanut butter
          1/2 pound powdered sugar
          3/4 cup ground Oreo cookies
          1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
 ~ Melt butter in a pot, mix in creamy peanut butter, sugar and ground Oreo cookies. Press into bottoms of a cupcake tin. Now melt chocolate chips and pour over the crust. Chill until firm ~ if you can wait that long.
Peanut Brittle (Cashew Brittle)
          1/4 cup butter
          1 1/2 cup sugar
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          2 cups dry roasted peanuts - personally I prefer dry roasted cashews
 ~ Melt the butter in a pot, dissolve the sugar in the butter. Stirring constantly because this mixture likes to burn. I like to use a whisk for this reason. You can tell when the mixture is ready by splattering the whisk over cold water, if little balls of candy form it's done. At this point stir in the peanuts (cashews). Cool immediately by placing the mixture in but not under cold water. What I like to do is to pour the mixture into a walled cookie sheet, then set in a larger walled cookie sheet that has cool running under and around the smaller pan. When cooled, dry the cookie sheet with your brittle in it and put it in the fridge for at least one hour. After which time remove your brittle and smack the flat of the cookie sheet on a hard surface, to break up your brittle. Enjoy.

There you go my friends, half a dozen recipes to tantalize and tickle your taste buds. You all should have noticed that if the recipe called for butter, I wrote butter. You can use margarine if you like, but butter tastes better and is better for you. So no matter what you do in the great outdoors, eat healthy, be smart about your surroundings at all times and stay safe my friends.

Oh No, Mister Bear This Is My Berry Patch,
AHHH ... !!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Sorry everyone but this weeks post is not ready, I'll finish it up and post it this coming Sunday.

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed had a list longer than Santa's wish-n-want list this past weekend. Also the heat and humidity did not help. I felt as though I have been burning the candle at more than two ends, so when the sun set my eye lids did as well.

I should be back to normal by this weekend ... I hope.
Till then my friends ...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ending Human Drudgery ...

I had an idea for this post, so out of curiosity I googled "pedal powered machines". I was floored ~ 1,820,000 result hits. Looking through some of the sites on the first page, I kept seeing references to treadle power. So I googled "treadle powered machines". This really blew me away, now remember that treadle power predates pedal power. But there were only 248,000 result hits, and both pedal and treadle powered machines came about thanks to the industrial revolution. Also both are descended from winches and capstans. For those of you who are not into nautical terminology, a popular style of capstan is what draws in an anchor on ancient ships, and wind sailing ships of old. It is still in use today on modern ships to draw up, or "to weigh the anchor" as the saying goes.

Now what makes the treadle and pedal so revolutionary in terms of human powered machines, is that they allowed people to do more. You see pedals or foot cranks had a higher work ratio over hand cranks, treadles, and capstans because of compact versatility. Also the power of human legs could be harnessed, while allowing the hands to do other things. Ah yes, an early expression of multi-tasking.

In other posts I have referenced that the cycle came about in the late 1800's, well this time I have found a closer date. No one knows for sure (that I am aware of) just when the first cycle was invented exactly, but the time frame reference that I now keep finding is in the 1870's. To me that means that for some 10 - 15 years earlier, some inventors were possibly tinkering with ideas. All of the early cycles were direct drive. Later cycles starting using rope or leather thongs or crude chains to transfer power. Also some early versions had a large gear or wheel at the pedals, with a smaller gear or wheel powering the object being moved or rotated. Sometimes the object being rotated was a large fly wheel, to aide in powering what ever the machine was used for. In essence the inventors were borrowing from steam engine technology to aide in human powered machines. There you have it folks, some history into pedal powered machines.

Now let me get into the reason for my current curiosity into types of pedal powered machines.  Is a you tube video created by: Chris Turitzin, Jaireh Teccarro, Jennifer Chen and Nathen Lee ~ about their idea for the "Innovate Or Die contest". They used a bicycle to make ice cream, while pedaling around for a while. I also knew of other uses for a bicycle, so I went looking around the web to see what else I could find. Thinking that maybe my findings would make for an interesting post, here on my blog that is basically on a similar subject. Granted I do tend to wander into other subjects along the way, but I always do return to my root subject matter in a post or two.

OK, here we go in no particular order: a miller/thrasher; several versions of clothes washers were found; a blade sharpener; a blender; a meat grinder; several trike styles of a taxi or rickshaw; a rope or chain water lifter; a water pump; a nut sheller; a coffee or grain grinder; with the use of a winch and pedals to plow a field or garden; using a trike as a tractor to disk, drag, hoe, and plant food; wood and metal cutting saws; a pedal powered log splitter ~ that powers a hydraulic jack to push a log into a set splitting wedge; early sewing machines - before the popular treadle sewing machines; pedal powered cranes for heavy lifting; pedal powering of a generator or dynamo to charge up batteries; powering devices like laptops; powering a shaker that aides in the making of concrete tiling for roofs; shelling corn; grinding meal or flour; found several versions of ice cream makers; lawn mowing ~ mainly the old reel type of mower, however I did find one version where three push type power mowers were combined with a trike for a very interesting type of pedal powered riding mower; a water transport and filtration unit called an "aquaduck"; found several versions of a bladed snowplow ~ am wondering how long before someone comes up with a pedal powered snow thrower; also found a pedal powered drill press; a lathe; a grinder; a sander; tool sharpeners; boring and drilling and cutting machines; also a pedal powered scroll saw. All of these and more were designed for use in homes and workshops that have or had no power sources from in our past. However in currently developing countries around the world of today, I don't see why all of these ideas and more can not be used by everyone. As we all are trying to save some of our hard earned coins. Even in the modern world, where it seems that the working poor is the fastest growing class of people.  and  Are two interesting web sites to wander around on. So my friends, the information is out there on the web. Just do like I do, go for a stroll in cyber space. Also you tube is a lot of fun to get lost on. Wandering and wondering while doodling on the web is not only fun, but it can also be rewarding and educational along the way.

Remember this my friends;
When we stop learning or growing or doing,
We are pushing up the flowers ...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Journey's Importance ...

A couple of days ago I was reading an article on line, and silly me I forgot to bookmark it, so that I could reference it here and give proper due. So I guess that I'll just have to try paraphrasing what I remember of it. It was the conclusions of a study conducted of young people in the 16-29 age group in larger cities. It seems that this age group is for the most part fore going their driver's licenses. In Lew of taxises, trams, subways and buses, basically the public transportation system. Recreational transportation for the most part for them is pedal powered. The study also went on to speculate that these people may fore go ownership of any internal combustion engined vehicle, for the rest of their lives. I see this conclusion as a good thing over all.

Personally having grown up on a dairy farm in up state New York. Then growing away from my roots, I have had many a car and truck in my life, even some motorcycles. I am not saying that any of them are bad in and of themselves. Just that I can no longer afford them. What with costs forever going up, and with my income being either stagnant or falling. It just makes more sense that I turn to a more economical form of transportation, and for myself that takes the form of pedal power. Now with a trailer behind the, in my case a recumbent trike, that will allow for as much storage as a small car or truck.

Now granted going places and doing errands may take a little longer. But as a whole that can transform into "the journey being as important as the destination", or however that saying goes. Remember that by pedaling my "phat arse" around town, I will slowly start to slim down and firm up. Which will in turn translate into better health in the long run. Being that I'm over the 50 year mark, OK closer to 60 ~ about 1 1/2 years to go on that one. Slowing down is not a bad thing really. Getting into a better shape than roundish in the middle, should help me to see more of my golden years as well.

Yes I poke fun at myself, after all laughter is the best medicine, or so I have been told. Also if I am picking on myself, then I'm leaving others alone. Wait a minute here, maybe I should charge for that service. No, I could not do that to my fellow man, as I don't want anyone to think that I might be attached to some governmental branch, any where.

So as I pedal my phat arse ever onward,
Ohhh, look at the pretty flowers ...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

As The Wheel Turns ...

Recently I saw a trailer on You Tube, for a television series that is set for this fall to be hosted by NBC. The title of this series is "Revolution", and it is set in a post electrical era. Now the opening of the show is in a modern world. Then as some warnings are given by a few about something about to be turned off. However before anyone can get a handle on what is happening, a world wide blackout occurs. Then the announcer chimes in and tells of how major cities and governments collapsed. How warlords and fiefdoms sprang up. Various militia groups hold sway over expanses of land and peoples. As mankind rebuilds after 15 years a society fashioned from 200 years ago. The hook is that a decorative pendent is a device of some kind, that when it is activated reveals that some limited electricity still exists. Also that there is a covert group of some kind, who not only knows that electricity still exists ~ but seam to operate and manipulate outside and within the remaining population. In my view it looks to be a very interesting show.

Now the reason that I bring this up, is because in that event electric welding would be no more. Welding could still be done with gas, or maybe even blacksmithing possibly even rivet welding. Gas welding is not really that much more difficult to learn, any more than electric welding. However blacksmithing and rivet welding, on the other hand both are a whole other thing altogether and different from each other, but each would be do able. Also a human powered vehicle, be it a bike or trike or quadracycle, could rival the horse or other beasts of burden. We as a whole are not that far removed from the late 1800's, when industry was booming without the use of electricity. true there was some places that had electricity, but for the most part it was still a novelty, that frightened the masses. Remember that they did have power ~ steam power, coal power, natural gas power, people power, beasts of burden power, hydro power and wind power just to name a few. Did I mention people power? Yes a pedal powered machine could power a washing machine, a water pump sew clothes, plow a field or move products and goods from one place to another. We are not a helpless species by any means. If we had to, we could live with out electricity. Our pace would slow down and some things may take longer to build or to acquire but we could survive.

Books would again be read for their printed knowledge's of how things "old" once worked. We would look to books and our elderly for the collective knowledge to do everything "the old way" once again. Like tending the garden, or raising animals for food ~ remember milk comes from cows and goats and a few others. Cheese and butter comes from milk and so on. Cloth can be woven from some grasses or hair or fur. How many of us living today still really remember how to do any of these things? You see it is all of the little things that our grandparents and great grandparents did to make their lives a little more comfortable. If the lights went out tomorrow, it would be the first two generations that would have the most difficult time handling it. As we would be the ones who would remember what was lost. Also that there would be a lot of hard work relearning to again live with nature and within our means. However after a time of adjustment, things would start to settle into a pattern of practicality and necessity once again.

Now I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom here, but as a whole it has been nearly four years since the world economic collapse of 2008 began. Without showing any real sign of progress at much of a recovery just yet. Some countries around the world are in dire straits. While some economists here in the United States, are giving out predictions of yet another money disaster. That is yet to hit sometime in late summer or the fall of this year, They are calling it hyper inflation. Should this come to pass, things could be quite dire indeed.

Should the worst happen, myself and those around me will survive. I know how to garden and raise my own food. As well as how to preserve the harvest, along with the saving of seeds. We will barter with our neighbors, as we set up a defensive perimeter to patrol and maintain. I know how to make alcohol for drinking and to use as barter or fuel or a sterilization dip if needed. The knowledge of bio-diesel also is not lost to me. Surviving outside of what is normal is never easy at first, but it is all learn able and do able.

Something else that I find interesting, is that the Mayan calender is said to end on 12-20-2012. The deciphered hieroglyphs depict an "end of days as we know it" kind of scenario. Wait a minute here. First of all the Mayans never heard of leap year, so how could they be precise in their prediction? Second, it is my understanding that their calendar is several large circular stone rings that interact with each other endlessly. So how can anyone say that their calendar ever really ends? Let alone on a particular day like the winter solstice ~ which is in reality the beginning of the coming year, like any pagan or native of nature can tell you. At least in the northern hemisphere. Thirdly it has been rumored that when the Spanish missionaries first stumbled across the ruins of an ancient culture (like the Mayans), then if they saw serpentine hieroglyphs, then they would have assumed the worst from their religious view point. They therefore proceeded to destroy as much of it as they could. As I understand it, most of the codex's are lost for all time. So in deciphering a dead language, without a code to decipher it with, a prediction of a disaster yet to unfold of major proportions ... it all just sounds to convenient for me. Now I am not saying that nothing will happen, just that as a whole, it sounds like chance and possibility just maybe the victims of a hit and run with a massive cover up. So that the general population will have something to look at as the cause of their current problems, instead of the real culprits. Now don't quote me on all of this as I am just thinking a lot of what ifs here, along with historical facts that could create a possible explanation.

For as the wheel of the world turns,
A new day dawns ...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Love ...

Without a Mother's Love, how many of us would have survived past puberty? Or would have had the mired of pets in our younger years, that we teased and enticed into following us home. So that we could say, "Mom, look at what followed me home. Can I keep it? Huh, can I? I'll feed it, clean up after it, love it and care for it, you will not have to do anything. Pleasssssse?" Even though mom knows that with in a month at best, that she will be tending and caring for another of our whims. Being a mom she will usually give in. Sometimes with a stern warning though, "That if we don't live up to our end of the bargain ~ Out the door it goes." However that usually does not happen, thanks in part to mom's soft heart.

Without a Mother's Love, where would any of us be? Where would we be living? How would we have found the will and courage, to fight for our selves and what is right? Or to strive to better our selves? Our mother's may have tried to teach us all, good nutritional habits even though the older that we get, cold pizza and warm beer sounds so good. For those of us who were lucky to have a dad as we grew up, mom was still the nurturing one. The one that we would turn to, to sooth our many hurts and pains. To help heal our boo boos. To be our guiding light in the darkest of closets, where the boogie man hides.

Without a Mother's Love, how would we have learned to shop for food or clothing or what ever? Where would we have found our selves, when we went looking for a mate? Who would have been there to criticize and critique our choices? With a line like, "Son or my darling Daughter, you know that I love you, will stand by you and back you up. But are you sure, I mean really positive that you want to spend the rest of your life with that, ... person?" Of course you could have gotten lucky with your first choice, in that your mother was so totally approving, that she interceded with dad on our behalf.

Yes a Mother's Love is unconditional and infinite, even as her patience can sometimes wear thin and be finite. How many remember a line that was blurted out when mother was loosing it? That went something like this, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it!" or "I still remember how to replace you, so Don't Push Your Luck!".

But as we grow past our innuendos and insecurities to become what and who our mothers want us to be. We tend to blossom and bloom into the full adulthood of men and women. For then as we can look back only after surviving our youth, can we see what it was that our mothers saw in us in the first place.

So I say to all of you, my friends ... wish your mother
A Happy Mother's Day.
Also she may like the Mom Song at
Or maybe this version of the Mum Song at
For all that you did and still do 
Thank You Mom.

P.S. It seems that neither of the links are working, but if you google "the mom song" you will find them both. Sorry about any inconvenience. 
Your friend

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gravitationally Challenged ...

The title of this post is another rather colorful way of asking someone if they are a little over weight, packing a few extra pounds, pleasantly plump, has a shelf to set the beer mug on ~ namely the beer bellie, laying on the winter's larder, a little heavy, slightly rounder, rotund, imitating a blimp, obese or simply that they have a rare disorder where food to them, is like an asteroid belt is to a planetoid ~ it's like a gravitational pull that food just can not resist them. So ... let ask everyone a couple of questions here, "How many think that they might be gravitationally challenged? Could anyone maybe feel a little better if they lost a few pounds?" I am asking because here in the U. S. of A. a major health issue is the extra poundage, that many of us carry around ~ myself included. Even though I work hard and play hard, I still like to eat rather well. My problem being that I either eat to much and/or am eating the wrong foods for a healthy diet. Also like many, my relaxing time is usually spent in front of some kind of electrical device while playing with buttons and staring at a screen that is far to close to my eyes. So if you are like me, let's all turn off that electrical device and start exercising more ~ first our minds as we build our exercising machines, then going for a ride while pedaling our big arses around. You may even meet the neighbors (scary as that maybe), or see things that were only a blur when you were sitting in or on your internal combustion contraptions. That tend to suck your hard earned coins away faster than electricity can move. Also by pedaling we will loose the excess poundage and firm up while slimming down, all by pedaling around our county.

OK let's look at bad habits and/or vices for a bit now. Personally I have not gone off the deep end with illicit drug abuse, I did experiment and I did inhale in my younger years. Speaking of inhaling, I do enjoy smoking (about 30 years now) I enjoy cigars and a good pipe tobacco. Now as for drinking, I also enjoy that. My favorite metaphor on this subject is "that I don't drink any more than fish swim." Seriously though, I do drink (about 48 years on this one), and yes I am an alcoholic. However over the last 20 years or so I have painfully learned to control the cravings, even though I do tend to slip up sometimes. Smoking and drinking are my only two vices that I have left. They may end up killing me, but here is the big secret ... we can't get out of this world alive anyhow.

So as long as we are here, let's all try to get into a better shape than most of us are currently in. Maybe we cold give the grim reaper a heart attack while he tries to catch us. One way is to start walking more and not just casually strolling along. Work it up to a sweat and maintain it, start slowly by dragging our collective big arses out of that recliner. Then head for the door, without the keys to those gas and diesel guzzlers, then around the block as a starting point.

Also we need to start eating right, and a more healthy and natural diet at that. No it is not a diet per say, but more on the side of eating smaller portions with more healthy choices. It may be painful at first, but like all of our bad choices ~ our bodies will adjust. The experts all agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why not trick our bodies into it, by making them think that a milk shake is the way to go. Well an ice cream shake is not, but a nutritional shake is. In the June 2012 issue of Bicycling magazine is an interesting article titled "Whip It Good" and on page 40 they have a list of 5 different smoothies (shakes) that are healthy and designed to revitalize a cyclist after a long work out. I think that they would also make for a healthy breakfast shake.

They are as follows:
Blueberry Almond ~ strengthens bones and fights free radicals
          1 & 1/2 cups of milk
          1/2 cup ricotta cheese
          1/2 cup frozen blueberries
          1 teaspoon almond butter (homemade ~ Google it)
          1 tablespoon wheat germ
          1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
     blend till smooth ~ 351 calories, 11 grams fat, 44 grams carbs., 4 grams fiber, 26 grams protein.
Banana Mocha ~ replenishes glycogen stores and increases endurance
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup coffee, cooled (personally very strong)
          1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt has twice the protein)
          1 tablespoon almond butter (has calcium, magnesium and phosphorus for strong bones)
          2 teaspoon cocoa powder
          1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
          1 frozen banana
     blend till smooth ~ 357 calories, 11 grams fat, 49 grams carbs., 5 grams fiber, 23 grams protein.
Green Tea Ginger ~ speeds up metabolism and protects the heart
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup coconut water (homemade, google it)
          1/2 cup silken tofu
          1/2 cup frozen citrus concentrate (or fruit)
          2 tablespoon walnut pieces
          1/2 teaspoon matcha (google it)
          1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
     blend till smooth ~ 309 calories, 13 grams fat, 36 carbs., 4 grams fiber, 17 grams protein.
Tangy Raspberry ~ soothes and repairs sore muscles
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup pomegranate juice
          1/2 cup ricotta cheese
          1/2 cup frozen raspberries
          1 tablespoon ground flax seed
          1 tablespoon wheat germ
          1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
     blend till smooth ~ 305 calories, 5 grams fat, 51 grams carbs., 7 grams fiber, 21 grams protein.
Pumpkin Spice ~ boosts immunity and replaces electrolytes
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup coconut water (Google it)
          1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek)
          1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
          2 tablespoon walnut pieces
          1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
     blend till smooth ~ 292 calories, 10 grams fat, 30 grams  carbs., 5 grams fiber, 22 grams protein.
*nutritional information based on 1 serving, using nonfat dairy.

Now for lunch, I would say to keep it light with fresh fruit some yogurt (plain or flavored) and 1 or 2 energy bars. If you feel a energy crash coming on in mid morning or afternoon, grab a couple of fig bars and 1 or 2 energy bars. Alright the day is done, so ... what is for dinner?

Mediterranean Pasta
          1 pound farfalle pasta (or bow ties)
          4 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil) julienned
          18 ounces artichoke hearts (in oil) quartered
          6 cups (1 bag) fresh leaf spinach
          5 pieces thick cut bacon
          1/2 cup bread crumbs
          1 tablespoon minced garlic
          1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
          3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
          2 tablespoon real butter
          kosher or sea salt (not iodized) and fresh ground pepper to taste
          feta cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta. Place the bacon on a double layer of paper towels side by side, then cover with a double layer of paper towels. Cook on high for 2 minutes in the microwave, then crumble when cool. Julienne the sun-dried tomatoes, and strain the artichokes (reserving the fluids) then quarter. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, add the garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper stir together for about 5 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and cook for 3 - 5 more minutes. Add the spinach in intervals and saute down for about 3 minutes. Add in the bacon and cook for another minute while stirring it all together. Then transfer to a bowl. Now using the same skillet (do not clean) add 1/4 cup of reserved artichoke oil, reduce by 1/3rd, add breadcrumbs stir frequently until golden brown. 
Now take a large bowl or pot add the cooked pasta and 2 tablespoon of real butter, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Then add in the cooked bread crumbs to the pasta and toss together, add the artichoke heart mixture and toss again.
Plate and top with 1/4 cup of feta cheese on each plate. A rose or red wine goes well with this dish. Enjoy.

There you go my friends,
A healthy day of food choices to celebrate the first day of the rest of our lives,
Let us all make the reaper work to catch us ...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Odds And Ends

Before I start this weeks post, let us all give thanks to the computer gods for spell check. Thank you. Now if I may ask another favor of everyone. A couple of moments of silence for all who either try to read my hand writing, or listen to each post before type them up and publish them. ... ... ... Thank you. OK let me explain why I asked this by explain a little bit farther. You see the restaurant that I wash dishes in has a cook who has taken an interest in my posts. He has collected each and every final draft, that I use when I'm typing the posts up on my laptop. That moment of silence was for all who try to read my script, and try to understand what I'm trying to say in each post. Some people in the past have told me that the scrawl that I call handwriting, should be that of a doctor. Oh well maybe I missed my calling, am wondering which fork in my life's path that that one was on that I missed it. At any rate this cook has a complete set of all of my final drafts, complete with my bad grammar and even worse spelling. Not to mention my notes in between the lines. He tells me that making out what I write is an adventure, but in the end when understanding comes he is entertained. He recently asked how I come up with the ideas for posts. I think that I may have scared him a little bit with my answer of "Most of my ideas are off of the top of my head. Some I just keep my eyes and ears open, for related subject matters of this blog. That I might be able to embellish a little bit on". There you go my friend, you are now infamous ~ or is that famous.

On to another topic of interest I hope. My humble aid to jump start the economy is now over, now that my tax return moneys are all spent. I have not gotten anymore of the bike building plans that I wanted to from  That leaves me with just 18 of them, which should keep me busy for some time come. I also picked up two of their books, before my moneys ran out. The books are "Bicycle Builders Bonanza" and "Bike, Scooter and Chopper Projects, For The Evil Genius", both are written by Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan. These two wonderful people are the talent behind A website that they not only maintain and just upgraded on their own. But also are active in their forum and put out a weekly news letter in a pdf format as well. Still more that Brad and Kat do, was last fall they bought a 120 acre homestead. Here I thought that I had a lot on my plate, after all land stewardship has not yet been the cards for me.

Well on to another subject. Am still researching dome construction. As I plan to start building one real soon. Also am starting to set aside money to buy electrical conduit tubing and other supplies. As I'm taking notes to aid in construction of said dome, besides sometimes reading my own hand writing can be interesting. After all why let everyone else have all of the fun at trying to understand my 'hen scratch' ... LOL. All joking aside household chores, work and side projects that help to pay for my 'room & board', tend to keep me rather busy. So this blog and related projects are on my time.

So just what is it to have free time any way?
That's all for now my friends ...

Monday, April 23, 2012

As Ideas Evolve, Plans Tend To Shift

For some time now I have been looking at the idea of having a mobile garage/work shed/workshop, as I've stated in previous posts. Also have been leaning in the direction of a dome, mainly for structural integrity. Whose structural frame work would be made up by bolting electrical conduit tubing together. Now playing on google's search engine, it seems that information's about domes and dome construction are rather bountiful. As there are many styles and sizes from which to choose, along with varying complexities there of. Remember domes have been used by mankind ever since the first wiki-ups of grass and twigs were built by the original hunter/gathers.

At first I was thinking small and mobile, but the more that I researched the subject. Well now am thinking sedimentary or semi-mobile and moderate in size. I'm currently looking at what is classified as a 4v structure and being about 32 feet across. Although a 4v could be any size, you see with this being my first ~ Am thinking of copying another person's build. Another reason for this size is so that I would have ample room for building and/or repairing many things on the ground level while being in the shade. In the top of the dome there should be about 12 feet or so of unused space, where I could create a 2nd floor for some storage and maybe a kind of bachelor's pad ~ like a place to act as an office and a place to sleep at, without having to rough it to much.

Now about roughing it. In my life time I have been forced to live on the street, four separate times,  mostly from the economic problems at those particular times. One of those occasions I was able to put together a make-shift tipi and I loved it. It was kind of like living inside of a chimney. It was very comfortable, with a fire right next to you. A comfortable bed roll to sleep on and insulate you from the ground, with a double layer of canvas tarps all around you and the fire. Also a partial canvas tarp strung between poles above you for rain or snow melt protection and heat retention (this is called an ozan). It could be below zero degrees outside with a storm raging and the winds howling, while still being very nice and warm inside.

I am certain that there are many differences between a tipi and a dome, but as of yet finding a problem with either I am not. For if the dome is insulated enough, kind of like the quilted Swiss ski dome cabins that are heated with a small stove (yes I found them on the Internet), well I really don't see that much of a problem. Also if I'm semi living above the shop, well tools and supplies should have difficulty growing legs and walking away.

OK, there are two websites that have been incredibly help full in making this decision and they are:
~ as these people have built a 3v style dome for many Burning Man gatherings, and for general camping in the American desert southwest. From what they have posted on their website about living in Arizona. Their website has many other interesting projects and simple living ideas as well.
~ also are associated with many Burning Man gatherings. This site has many tools to help you decide on a style and size of dome that you want. Also instructions that will help in constructing domes. Now in links to other sites is a link that leads to Earl's Recharge Dome, a 4v dome with a 32 foot radius (yes the one that I'm thinking of copying). Earl gives the complete breakdown of the number of struts, made of 3/4 inch electrical conduit tubing and the correct lengths of them all. Along with suggested construction techniques of the 6 different color coded and lettered struts. Also with a colored picture of the dome showing how to put the full size dome together. As well as instructions on how to go and build a model that should make putting the full size dome together a little easier.

Now as the title of this post suggests, I believe that it will now be closer to my 65th Barf-day, or about 7 years from now that I can say good-by to a personal internal combustion engine. At least that should give me a more relaxed time frame to make the shift to pedal powered transportation. Also available moneys might not be so tight while making the switch. An interesting side note is that in this self same time frame I will need to re-new my driver's license. So it seems like things are beginning to fall together in my favor after all at last.

Oh if anyone is interested in the material list, well that goes like this:
     Strut letter          color code          number needed          hole-to-hole length          total pipe cut length
            A                   yellow                        32                         4' 0" 11/16"                      4' 2" 3/16"
            B                     red                           32                         4' 8" 13/16"                      4' 10" 5/16"
            C                     blue                          62                         4' 8" 11/16"                      4' 10" 3/16"
            D                    green                         72                         5' 0" 3/16"                        5' 1" 11/16"
            E                    purple                        32                         5' 2" 8/16"                        5' 4" 0/16"
            F                    orange                       32                         4' 9" 7/16"                        4' 10" 15/16"
So yes I do have a plan to follow, one that someone else has already done. There by aiding me in building my first dome. Am thinking that more will follow after I make the first, time will tell.

So as the misty swirling fog of uncertainty lifts,
a path few have taken is revealed ...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mind Blank & Muscles Sore

Hi everyone I feel that I owe all of you an apology, because I haven't had the time to work on today's post. Normally I spend 3-4 days working on an idea and putting each post together. However this past week, no idea presented its' self as a worthy post. Also my time and daily chores and projects, were keeping me busy to a point of being tired all week long. Just reading emails took longer, as I kept waking up from small naps. Guess I'm just feeling my age.

So I'll just quickly explain why I'm so tired. You see for the past 6 years or so, we have been burning household trash in pits in the back yard as about 90% of all household trash is burnable. What doesn't burn, gets buried. In that time we have had 4 pits now, each being about 20' square and 15'-20' deep. Well with last year being on the dry side and this past winter being really dry. Well we just filled the pit about 3/4 full and have been back filling the pit for the last 2 weeks now. I never burn unless it is raining, so as to not inadvertently start a wild fire. So now all that I need to do is to take a garden rack to rearrange the mound of dirt. In time it will settle in and be level with the rest of the yard. So this week is time to lay out the lines for the next pit and start digging. Yes all of the digging is done by hand, now you know why I'm so sore and tired.

I do have some more good news though. I picked up another 6 plans from . That makes 18 plans now, also have picked out another 6 plans for this week. Oh just so that everyone knows, this is a good deal since the PDF plans sell individually for $16.95 each. So that is a savings of about $72.00 for each set of 6, for a total savings of $288.00. Since I bought the 6 for $36.00 specials, instead of buying all 24 plans individually. At least that will be the savings after this weeks set of 6 plans. Oh if anyone is interested, last weeks set of 6 plans are:

  1. The Tricruiser LWB(Long Wheel Base) Trike
  2. The Wildkat Recumbent
  3. The Tour Master LWB
  4. The Meridian Touring LWB
  5. The Streetfighter Quad(racycle)
  6. The Kyoto Cruiser Trike (a side by side tandem)
Well that just about does it. So I guess I'll kill some time and space by imparting a couple of my favorite and cool summertime recipes both of which are no bake:

Pineapple Cream Pie

1 - 16oz can of crushed pineapple - drained (drink the juice)
1 large instant vanilla pudding package
1 - 16lb tub of sour cream (thick and creamy is best) save about 2 tablespoons for smoothing on top of the finished pie
1 package of dream whip (usually 2 packages in a box)
1 crumb pie crust (or crumble 1 package of graham crackers in a bowl, mix in 2 tablespoons of melted butter then press into bottom and sides of a 9" - 10" pie plate)

Except for the pie crust, place all of the above in a mixing bowl and fold together _ when thoroughly blended, fold into pie crust - there should be a mound in the center. Now take your saved 2 tablespoons of the sour cream and smooth it over the mound to about 2" from the crust. Lightly sprinkle some Cinnamon and Nutmeg over all, then cover the pie but make sure that nothing is touching the top of the pie and place in the fridge until set - about 2 hours. Enjoy!!!

Strawberry Souffle
24oz of sour cream
2 large packages of vanilla instant pudding
1 package of dream whip
1 package of unflavoured gelatin
1 can of strawberry pie filling
1/4 cup of milk
1 pint of fresh strawberries - cleaned and quartered
1 crumb pie crust
grated white bakers chocolate
Put the top 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a spoon, when blended thoroughly and starting to set fill the pie crust - mounded in the center. Now take the quartered strawberries and place them in graduating circles inward from the crust. Now sprinkle the grated bakers white chocolate lightly over all. Now sprinkle with Cinnamon very lightly. Place in fridge until set - about 2 hrs. Enjoy!!!

Well until next time 
Eat, Drink, and be Merry my friends ...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Things Tend To Happen In Three's

Well, finally some good news to report. I was having a rather spotty Internet connection problem. You see my camp trailer is set up in my friends back yard. With a distance of about 100' away from the house, and his WiFi broadcaster is inside and on the opposite side of the house. So my laptop WiFi was having trouble staying connected to the Internet, because of the distance of about 150' and obstacles like the house between my laptop and his WiFi broadcaster unit. When it did make the connection, all that I could get was 1-2 bars at best. Also my laptop isn't the newest one around.

Now with this years tax returns, I was able to buy a stronger WiFi receiver antenna from the C. Crane catalog. It can pick up any signal in a one mile circle from it. That means that my laptop external antenna is now dead center of a two mile across circle of reception. So now off of my friends WiFi broadcaster, I have a solid Internet connection. Have also seen about five or six other possible connections, they however tend to fluctuate in and out of my signal range but most of them are locked anyhow. For anyone wanting to know what the name of that antenna is, its' the Super USB WiFi Antenna 3. Again that is in the C. Crane catalog or on the web at

Now sine my Internet connection problem has been fixed, on to good thing number two. I started ordering some of the plans from that they offer for bikes, trikes and quadracycles. currently there is a spring time special being offered, where you can buy 6 plans for $36.00 through May 1st, normally the plans are $16.95 apiece. So two weeks ago I bought a set of 6 plans and last week I bought another set of 6 plans and this week I'll buy another set of 6 plans. In all that is 18 plans, about half of what they currently have. The best part is that the plans are down loadable PDF files. When they get your payment a link is sent to your email box, then simply follow their instructions and down load the files. I have the files on my laptop and a copy on my zipdrive for safe keeping. OK, here are the PDF file plans that I currently have copies of:
  1. The LodeRunner Trike
  2. The LodeRunner Tandem Trike
  3. The Vigilante Chopper
  4. The Delta Runner Trike
  5. The Dutchman Cargo Bike
  6. The Gladiator Chopper
  7. The Viking Tandem Trike
  8. The Overkill Phat Chopper
  9. The Warrior Tadpole Trike
  10. The Delta Wolf Speed Trike
  11. The Streetfox Trike
  12. The Timber Wolf Delta Trike
Yes the finished units are as exotic as their names sound. Also has a gallery where builders have sent in pictures to show off their finished builds. Now here are PDF plans that I am ordering this week:
  1. The Tricruiser LWB Trike
  2. The WildKat Recumbent
  3. The TourMaster LWB
  4. The Meridian Touring LWB
  5. The Streetfighter Quad
  6. The Kyoto Cruiser Trike also has a builders forum, where many have posted their build progress. Novice to master builders hang out here to ask questions and give advice. Everyone from around the world is welcome.

Now that I have started collecting other peoples plans, I need to start pushing myself harder to work up my own designs. As well as start building. But before I can build a rolling bike, trike or quad, I need to build a place to build. As I have stated in other posts, it will be a dome covered with tarps for weather protection and shade. Also will make it so that it can be put up or taken down in a couple of hours. That way I'll have a mobile garage/workshed/workshop. Am considering a generator as an off grid electrical source, or at least to have as a back up power source. Oh yes, bike building/repair tools are needed, more than I currently have ~ but I think that they can be acquired for the most part as I need them. Now I need to actively start collecting donor bikes for the needed parts. Will have to keep an eye peeled for yard sales and such now.

OK, here is the third good news of last week. I got a new pair of glasses so that I can see more clearly again. Yes most of my tax return has been spent now. It did pleasantly surprise me that with the eye exam, the new frames and the new lenses, totaled in at just under the $200.00 mark. The written word was getting quite blurry to read in the distance. Then again just writing or sitting at the keyboard was becoming a test of will.

Now seeing everything in sharp focus again, hopefully I'll soon be building my alternative transportation so that I can make my personal deadline. That of in less than two years from now (by my 60th Barf-day), being free of the gas pump nipples. For me the soaring costs of maintaining a gas or diesel guzzler has soured the milk. Not just the cost of the fuel, but also the insurance, license, tags and fees as well as general upkeep. Not to mention that vehicle price tags keep going up. While income is either static or dropping in this flat line economy.

A quick side note here, I like to drink a dark lager. Some young co-workers found this out and said that it was just beer. I tryed to explain that beer was an overall classification, but they weren't buying it. I said that you have beer, ales, stout and lagers. Again these young American boys claimed that it was all still just beer. I countered with this one ~ with that kind of thinking, then champagne was really just an expensive wine. They conceded. I don't think that I won in their eyes, but at least the subject changed. My point is simple really, when your back is on the wall ~ making your attackers stop and think, some breathing room you acquire.

So for some breathing room
As I raise my mug (glass) of dark lager (Michelob's Amber Bock)
A toast I offer to everyone's dream ...

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Dilemma To Consider ...

I have been recently asked if I am what is commonly refereed to as a "prepper". They were wondering because of the flavor of some of my posts. Now that made me stop and think for a few minutes, as I have followed that movement for some time now. Have never really thought of myself as a prepper though, after all are they not considered as extremists? Personally I have thought of myself as being a survivor. While trying to follow the "old ways" of doing things. Not those expensive freeze dried fancy packages, but the way it was done back in the late 1800's and early 1900's ~ using general knowledge's to put food into storage by canning, pickling, fermentation, smoking and curing meats as well as dehydration. I don't try to be a hoarder, just keep putting some necessities to one side a little at a time ~ stored for a time of need. Whether that need be caused by nature or a man made crisis or both at the same time.

Now there was a time when I did own guns and stockpiled ammo. However I learned that like food, ammo has a shelf life. Unlike food, ammo's expired attitude can get rather explosive when its' time is up. So have gotten rid of all of my guns and ammo years ago. Don't get me wrong as I am not defenceless by any means. It is rare that I don't have at least two pocket and/or sheath knives on me at all times. I can also set traps and snares for both defence and food harvesting. Along with knowing how to make homemade bows and arrows and crossbows. Have made them in the past and continue to make and practice, so that should the need ever arise I'll be ready.

A prepper ~ Hardly. A survivalists ~ Definitely.
A preservationist of the old ways and techniques ~ Absolutely.

After all guns and ammo don't taste all that good cooked. But if you have the food and the knowledge to harvest and preserve wild foods ~ meat, veggies and fruits. Then as the prepper slowly fades and starves to death, well ... eventually the survivalist will have the guns and ammo, that the now dead prepper no longer needs. Some may think that that is a morbid way of thinking. I however see it as advanced strategic planning, and a way to save money.

OK, lets look at this another way. A prepper stockpiles guns and ammo right? Some may even stockpile reloading supplies and powder, along with food for the long haul. However how many of them know how to make black powder from the raw materials? Like I do. Or for that matter what is called country explosives, made by using fertilizer? Both are simple recipes really, but like cooking a good meal from scratch ~ the devil is in the details and techniques, to avoid a possible loss of a limb or life in an accidental big bang.

Granted knowledge is power. However if said knowledge is used for good or ill, which will better serve the user of the knowledge? I bring this up because it is another dilemma that all who survive what ever is thrown at us will have to face. Yes morality will also play out its' own cause and effect, in mental scenarios and stress on those who survive. Along with the individuals personal intent when it comes to surviving.

As I said earlier, 'I am far from being defenseless'. You see I collect usable swords, daggers and sharp implements. I not only maintain them, but also know how to use each effectively ~ a watermelon doesn't stand a chance. However human emotions and humanity are what separates us from the animals. So when the veneer of civilisation and civility are peeled away, and life of self and loved ones is at stake ...

Well how would you react?