Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fighting Back, Armed and Dangerous, -and- Don't Bet on It!

Fighting Back - cruise-ship passenger fends off pirates with deck chair
Armed and Dangerous - NYPD officers accused of raping drunk woman
Don't Bet on It! - Minnesota seeks ISP online gambling block

On this day in history: April 30, 1945 - Newlyweds Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun kill themselves in the charming and romantic Fuhrerbunker, ending all hope for a ten-thousand-year Reich.

Born on this day in history: April 30, 1982 - Kirsten Dunst (1982-) Born in Point Pleasant, NJ, actress Kirsten Dunst began as a child actor and successfully transitioned into adult roles. She has already garnered over 40 film and TV credits, including films like "Interview with the Vampire," at age 11, and a string of Hollywood productions, including "Little Women" (1994) and "Spiderman" (2002), opposite fellow child phenom Tobey Maguire.

Scripture of the Day: To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. - Philippians 4:20

Video of the Day: Hero Dog - submitted by Frank

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Tuesday's Dinner
For dinner Tuesday, I grilled a large London broil, yellow squash, and white mushrooms. I baked russet potatoes in the microwave. Laura placed an excellent rub on the London broil the previous day. I grilled the meat until it was nicely charred on the outside and still rare in the center. It was an excellent meal. There is a quantity of the London broil remaining for a future meal.

Wednesday's Dinner
For dinner last evening, I made Sautéed Chicken Livers with Chiles de Arbol and Green Onions over Jasmine Rice. I coated the livers with highly seasoned corn meal and sautéd them in extra-virgin olive oil that had warmed for several minutes with whole dried Chiles de Arbol. When the livers were done on one side, I turned them and continued cooking. When they were fully cooked, I turned off the burner and tossed the chopped green onions atop the chicken livers. I cooked absolutely perfect jasmine rice in the microwave: In an uncovered casserole dish, I added rice and two cups of water for each cup of dry rice. I cooked uncovered for 5 minutes on high. I cooked for 10 minutes on medium. At the end of the cooking cycle, I removed the casserole dish from the microwave and put its lid in place. I allowed the rice to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving it. It was a delicious meal.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drive My Car, Stupid Criminals, -and- Mommie Dearest

Drive My Car - deputy resigns after wife takes patrol car for joyride
Stupid Criminals - men try to steal truck that doesn't run
Mommie Dearest - woman charged with nursing baby while intoxicated

On this day in history: April 29, 1996 - Search and rescue teams begin dragging Maryland's muddy Wicomico River after former CIA director William Colby is reported missing. They soon discover his partially-submerged canoe underneath a boat dock, but his body isn't located until it rises to the surface a week later.

Born on this day in history: April 29, 1957 - Daniel Day-Lewis (1957- ) Film actor, born in London, UK, the son of C Day-Lewis. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic and, after several small roles on stage and television, became well known for "My Beautiful Launderette" (1985) and "Room With A View" (1985). He won awards for his portrayal of handicapped Irish writer Christy Brown in "My Left Foot" (1989, Oscar, BAFTA).

Scripture of the Day: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable*#151;if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. - Philippians 4:8

Video of the Day: Coolest iPhone Ever - submitted by Darin

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to work this morning! Click to enlarge.

I have been playing Wolfenstein 3D Lite on my iPhone. Playing it brings back fond memories of playing the PC game circa 1992. I highly recommend this game!

There are few things in this world that will surpass the delight of playing a rousing game of Wolfenstein 3D while standing in line at the bank!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Drunk Again!, Surf's Down, -and- Daddy Dearest

Drunk Again! - man survives drinking 8 bottles of vodka
Surf's Down - U.S. regulatory czar nominee wants Internet "Fairness Doctrine"
Daddy Dearest - man forces gang tattoo on 7-year-old son

On this day in history: April 28, 1789 - In the middle of the South Pacific, the crew of the HMS Bounty mutinies, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 other crewmen adrift in an open boat.

Born on this day in history: April 28, 1974 - Penelope Cruz (1974- ) Born in Madrid, Spain, actress Penelope Cruz trained in classical ballet in New York City, and parlayed her dancing into an acting career, landing a role in "All the Pretty Horses" (2000) and "Sahara" (2005). Cruz has been romantically linked with actors Matt Damon, Tom Cruise and, most recently, Matthew McConaughey.

Scripture of the Day: Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? - Psalm 85:6

Video of the Day: iPhone Popcorn - submitted by Amber

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Foul Weather! Yesterday afternoon, the wind became fierce and plagued us throughout the night. I had intended to grill a London broil, but the wind was so strong it was not possible to do so. I cubed boneless, skinless chicken breasts from a previous meal. I diced red onion and Jalapeño and added to the chicken. I seasoned with adobo seasoning, ground Cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and celery salt and dressed with mayonnaise and lime juice. We made wraps with this mixture, using heart of Romaine leaves. It was a particularly delicious meal. Hopefully, the weather will allow us to grill the London broil tonight. The wind is not strong (yet) today, but it is overcast, gloomy, and rather chilly. Where did spring go?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fighting Back, Fighting Back 2, -and- Bad Sport

Fighting Back - 84-year-old man stops carjackers with groin kick
Fighting Back 2 - cruise ship fends off pirate attack with gunfire
Bad Sport - Rangers coach nails fan with water bottle

On this day in history: April 27, 1986 - During a live TV special, journalist Geraldo Rivera opens Al Capone's vault beneath the Lexington Hotel in Chicago. He finds nothing inside, apart from a few empty bottles.

Born on this day in history: April 27, 1927 - Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) Born in Marion, AL, civil rights activist Coretta Scott King may be best known as widow of slain leader Martin Luther King, Jr., yet she had a distinguished career in activism in her own right. Her memoir, "My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.," was published in 1969. After her husband's 1968 assassination, King worked at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, and was a TV commentator on CNN.

Scripture of the Day: The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. - Psalm 121:8

Video of the Day: Miniatur Wunderland - largest model railroad in the world - submitted by Jay

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Broken Toes! I was walking through our living room Saturday, when Zeus darted between my feet—as he often does. I adjusted my step in mid-stride and managed to strike the coffee table with my left foot, crumbling and breaking the four small toes of that foot. The balance of the weekend, walking was painful. The pain continues today. Zeus was unharmed.

We erected a Kittywalk for Zeus and Thor. We set it up in the house on Saturday and allowed the cats to acclimate to it. We then moved it outside and let them explore it without the doors in place.

Sunday, I affixed the unit firmly to the ground, and Laur affixed the doors. Zeus quickly took to cavorting in the Kittywalk, but Thor contented himself to lounge nearby and watch Zeus.

The Cruise

While searching the net for vacation spots, I found a Somali cruise package that departs from Sawakin (in the Sudan) and docks at Bagamoya (in Tanzania).

The cost is a bit high @ $800 US per person double occupancy but I didn't find that too offensive. What I found enticing is that the cruise company is encouraging people to bring their 'High powered weapons' along on the cruise. If you don't have weapons you can rent them right there on the boat.

They claim to have a master gunsmith on board and will have reloading parties every afternoon. The cruise lasts from 4-8 days and nights and costs a maximum of $3200 per person double occupancy (4 days). All the boat does is sail up and down the coast of Somalia waiting to get hijacked by pirates.

Here are some of the costs and claims associated with the package.

$800.00 US/per day double occupancy (4 day max billing)

M-16 full auto rental $ 25.00/day ammo at 100 rounds of 5.56 armor piercing ammo at 15.95

Ak-47 rifle @ No charge. ammo at 100 rounds of 7.62 com block ball ammo at 14.95

Barretta M-107 .50 cal sniper rifle rental 55.00/day ammo at 25 rounds 50 cal armor piercing at 9.95

Crew members can double as spotters for 30.00 per hour (spotting scope included).

We even offer RPG's at 75 bucks and 200 dollars for 3 standard loads

"Everyone gets use of free complimentary night vision equipment and coffee and snacks on the top deck from 7pm-6am."

Meals are not included but are reasonable.

Most cruises offer a mini-bar... We also offer......... get this.....

"MOUNTED MINIGUN AVAILABLE @ 450.00 per 30 seconds of sustained fire"

Group rates and corporate discounts......"FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY"

Partial money back if not satisfied....

"We guarantee that you will experience at least two hijacking attempts by pirates or we will refund back half your money including gun rental charges and any unused ammo (mini gun charges not included).. How can we guarantee you will experience a hijacking? We operate at 5 knots within 12 miles of the coast of Somalia. If an attempted Hijacking does not occur we will turn the boat around and cruise by at 4 knots. We will repeat this for up to 8 days making three passes a day along the entire length of Somalia. At night the boat is fully lit and bottle rockets are shot off at intervals and loud disco music beamed shore side to attract attention. Cabin space is limited so respond quickly. Reserve your package before Feb 29 and get 100 rounds of free tracer ammo in the caliber of your choice."

As if all that isn't enough to whet your appetite, here are a few testimonials.....

"I got three confirmed kills on my last trip. I'LL never hunt big game in Africa again. I felt like the Komandant in Schindlers list!"---- Lars, Hamburg Germany

"Six attacks in 4 days was more than I expected. I bagged three pirates and my 12 yr old son sank two rowboats with the minigun. PIRATES 0 -PASSENGERS-32! Well worth the trip. Just make sure your spotter speaks English"
----Ned, Salt Lake city, Utah USA

"I haven't had this much fun since flying choppers in NAM. Don't worry about getting shot by pirates as they never even got close to the ship with those weapons they use and their shitty aim--reminds me of a drunken 'juicer' door gunner we picked up from the motor pool back in Nam"
----"chopper' Dan, Toledo USA.

"Like ducks in a barrel. They turned the ship around and we saw them bleed and cry in the water like little girls. Saw one wounded pirate eaten by sharks--what a laugh riot!! This is a must do.
---Zeke-Minnahaw Springs Kentucky USA

Friday, April 24, 2009

Animal Kingdom, Bad Parenting, -and- Keep the Change

Animal Kingdom - sightings show cougars expanding into central US
Bad Parenting - German couple abandons three children in restaurant
Keep the Change - parking-meter repairman steals $170,000 from broken meters

On this day in history: April 24, 1928 - The Supreme Court of Canada declares that though women are indeed legal "persons," they are nevertheless ineligible to serve in the Canadian Senate. The Court agreed that the term "person" applies equally to humans of both genders, but the British North America Act referred specifically to "fit and qualified persons" -- necessarily excluding unfit and unqualified people (aka females).

Born on this day in history: April 24, 1942 - Barbra Streisand (1942 - ) Born in New York City, singer, actress and director Barbara Streisand became famous in Broadway's "Funny Girl" (1964), which she repeated in the 1968 film version to win an Oscar. Later films include "Hello Dolly" (1969), "Yentl" (1983), which she co-scripted, composed, directed and starred in, and "Prince of Tides" (1991), in which she also starred and co-produced and directed. A multi-talented entertainer, Streisand has won numerous Grammys, and maintains parallel careers as recording artist and actress.

Scripture of the Day: The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment. - Proverbs 10:21

Video of the Day: Amazing Accidents - submitted by Darin

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Charging My Batteries: I am charging my Nikon D3 camera battery and the batteries for my Nikon SB-900 Speedlight, in preparation for attending and photographing ChicoFest at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. It will be an exciting event, and I am eager to photograph the event and the inner workings of the brewery.

For more information on ChicoFest, click the link above!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mommie Dearest, Heat of the Moment, -and- Weapons of Choice

Mommie Dearest - woman orders daughters out, drives off
Heat of the Moment - California EPA to rule against ethanol
Weapons of Choice - court says 2nd Amendment trumps local gun laws

On this day in history: April 23, 1985 - The Coca-Cola Bottling Company announces that it has irrevocably changed the formula for its flagship beverage, unveiling "New Coke." The company stands firm on its decision until public pressure finally forces them to reintroduce the original drink, exactly 79 days later.

Born on this day in history: April 23, 1936 - Roy Orbison (1936 - 1988) Born in Vernon, TX, singer-songwriter Roy Orbison began playing at age 8 on radio stations, and had his first hit single, "Only The Lonely" (written for Elvis Presley), in 1960, followed by a succession of smash hits, including signature "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964). Tributes to his music continue long after Orbison's sudden death from a heart attack.

Scripture of the Day: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. - Philippians 4:23

Video of the Day: Terry Tate - Get Out the Vote

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while passing the park on the way to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Heat Wave: We are experiencing a heat wave. Weather forecasters say this heat wave will end today, and temperatures will drop by more than 20°! This will be a short-lived respite from the heat, however, since scorching, triple-digit temperatures will soon be the order of the day.

Yesterday, this was the temperature outside Mr. Nitro, as displayed by his exterior temperature probe. Fortunately, the inside temperature was cool and comfortable. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Go Girl, Plain Text, -and- Animal Kingdom

You Go Girl! - Miss California's granny comes out swinging
Plain Text - PA men send 217,000 text messages, get $26,000 bill
Animal Kingdom - woman mugged by eagle

On this day in history: April 22, 1997 - After a four-month standoff, 140 government commandos storm the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru. Of the 72 hostages, one is killed in the ensuing firefight, along with all 14 of their captors.

Born on this day in history: April 22, 1937 - Jack Nicholson (1937 - ) Born in Neptune, NJ, actor Jack Nicholson first hit big in a supporting role in "Easy Rider" (1969). His charisma and acute sense of humor have illuminated a wide range of characters in films as diverse as "Chinatown" (1974), "The Shining" (1980) and "Batman" (1989). He has earned several Oscars, notably for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) and "Terms of Endearment" (1983). Nicholson has also written scripts and occasionally directs.

Scripture of the Day: Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. - 1 Corinthians 15:58

Video of the Day: Terry Tate - Vacation

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Hot Weather: The hot weather is here! This is a screen capture from my iPhone yesterday afternoon—after the temperature had dropped from a high of 98° earlier that afternoon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fighting Back, Fighting Back 2, -and- Matters of Life and Death

Fighting Back - pit bull stops wife-beater from abducting estranged spouse
Fighting Back 2 - clerk fights off robber
Matters of Life and Death - Planned Parenthood to patient: Lie to judge.

On this day in history: April 21, 1992 - Convicted murderer Robert Alton Harris consumes two large pizzas, a bucket of fried chicken, and some ice cream on the eve of his execution. Later, before the gas chamber is activated, Harris propounds: "You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the grim reaper."

Born on this day in history: April 21, 1958 - Andie MacDowell (1958-) Born in Gaffney, SC, actress Andie MacDowell began as a model and got her acting break in "Greystoke- The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" (1984), though Glenn Close re-recorded her lines. She had success in "Groundhog Day" (1993), opposite Bill Murray, and in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994), with Hugh Grant.

Scripture of the Day: But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:57

Video of the Day: Terry Tate - Draft Day

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this sign on a new restaurant while driving to my office this morning!

It is warm! It is 62° at 7 AM this morning. It is forecast to be 98° this afternoon. This is warm for April. Nonetheless, I will enjoy the warmth without complain. I have the rear door open, and a gentle breeze is wafting through my office. It is an excellent morning. The open door has the added benefit of allowing me to hear the birds singing. How I love the sound of birds singing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fighting Back, Bill Please, -and- Weapons of Choice

Fighting Back - man bites snake in hour-long battle to survive
Bill Please - bogus waiter fools diners at 2 NJ restaurants
Weapons of Choice - shortages of ammo and gun accessories cropping up nationwide

On this day in history: April 20, 1999 - After their homemade timebombs fail to detonate in the school cafeteria, the heavily-armed duo of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold decide to prowl through Columbine High School, indiscriminately gunning down classmates. A total of 15 are killed in their shooting spree.

Born on this day in history: April 20, 1951 - Luther Vandross

Born in New York City, singer-songwriter Luther Vandross first worked as backup singer for artists like David Bowie and Barbara Streisand. In 1981, he released debut album "Never Too Much," which sold more than a million copies, and went on to success and Grammys in the early 1990s. In 2003, Vandross suffered a stroke; the singer died on July 1, 2005.

Scripture of the Day: Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? — 1 Corinthians 15:55

Video of the Day: Terry Tate Office Linebacker - submitted by Chris

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

The weather was excellent throughout the weekend. It was very warm (high 80s) and sunny, and there was a gentle breeze. The birds sang with great abandon and obvious mirth.
Saturday morning, I made a marinade with teriyaki sauce, garlic powder, lime juice, brown sugar, molasses, and ground Cayenne pepper. I placed two thick top sirloin steaks, whole white mushrooms, sliced squash, and sliced red onion in a large, zip-seal bag, covered with the marinade, sealed, and placed in the refrigerator. Throughout the day, Laura turned the bag—ensuring that all was marinated well. Click images to enlarge.

Sunday evening, I grilled Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts that had marinated all day in Jack Daniels barbecue sauce, garlic powder, ground black pepper, and Crystal hot sauce. I made corn and diced red bell pepper and garlic mashed red potatoes for side dishes. Click images to enlarge.

Sunday evening, after dinner, we watch "The Case for Christ." [In this thought-provoking program, Lee Strobel—a former legal editor for the Chicago Tribune and a self-described atheist who became a Christian—shares the details of his spiritual quest and asks tough questions of a wide range of experts. Is the New Testament a reliable source? Did Jesus Christ in fact exist? Was he really the Son of God? And could Christ's resurrection have actually occurred?] I highly recommend this movie.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fighting Back, Fighting Back 2, -and- Can't Beat the Rap

Fighting Back - man throws robber through glass door
Fighting Back 2 - woman shoots home invader
Can't Beat the Rap - music mogul sentenced to life plus 55 years

On this day in history: April 17, 1965 - The FBI Laboratory in Washington reports their inability to make out the vocals on the hit single "Louie Louie." Thus, the Bureau is unable to determine whether the record constitutes obscene matter.

Born on this day in history: April 17, 1972 - Jennifer Garner (1972-) Born in Houston, TX, raised in Charleston, WV, actress Jennifer Garner began with bit parts on TV shows like "Spin City" and "Law and Order." In 2000, her work on TV show "Felicity" led to the lead role on spy drama "Alias," which made her a star. Garner married for the second time to actor Ben Affleck in 2005. Their daughter, Violet, was born the following November.

Scripture of the Day: For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. - 1 Corinthians 15:25-26

Video of the Day: "T.J. Hooker" - Vengeance Is Mine - submitted by Cap'n Jack

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while fast-walking to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

No More Wind! That is a chant—an exhortation. It is—above all else—my hope! The weather forecasts on my iPhone show the following:

  • Today: 52°/82°
  • Saturday: 54°/87°
  • Sunday: 58°/94°
  • Monday: 60°/96°
  • Tuesday: 57°/91°
  • Wednesday: 49°/81°

    Those forecasts look very good—if only the wind will stay far away!

  • Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Grave Injustice, He's Alive!, -and- Girl Power

    Grave Injustice - suit claims funeral home left body in unrefrigerated garage
    He's Alive! - DUI suspect attempts to escape trial with fake obituary
    Girl Power - female-only ant species discovered

    On this day in history: April 16, 1943 - Chemist Albert Hofmann inadvertently experiences the world's first acid trip when a tiny quantity of lysergic acid diethylamide accidently seeps through the skin of his finger. After leaving work early, he went home and settled into "a not unpleasant intoxicated condition." Then he had solid two hours of visual hallucinations: "I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors." It will be another three days before Hofmann gets up the courage to swallow 250 micrograms and ride his bicycle home.

    Born on this day in history: April 16, 1965 - Martin Lawrence (1965-) Actor/Comic born in Frankfurt, Germany.As a teen, Lawrence pursued a love of boxing, but was also a gifted comedian. A teacher encouraged Lawrence to attend an open mic night at a local comedy club, and his career as a comic was born.

    Scripture of the Day: Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. - 1 Corinthians 15:24

    Video of the Day: Dilbert - Hard Reboot and Free Energy - submitted by Amber

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this sign in a store window while jogging to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    The lure of the grill is great. I am driven to grill whenever possible. When wind such as that to which we were subjected two evenings ago plagues us, however, the outdoor grill is not an option. We are not fortunate enough to have an area in which to place our barbecue that is sheltered from the wind, and the wind of two evenings ago was so substantial that it was considerably less mine own discomfort that made me eschew it than it was the certainty that the wind would not allow the flame to remain active.

    Therefore, it was the indoor grill upon which I placed the evening's meal. The indoor grill lacks the robust heat and the flesh-charring flames of the barbecue, and its size is certainly a limiting factor. Nonetheless, all its limitations do not dissuade me from engaging it often during times when weather conditions do not allow the use of the outdoor grill.

    Perhaps it is due to some extent to a tribal consciousness that extends to me from my caveman ancestors. Whatever the exegesis may be, I know only that the thrall in which the grill holds me is great and cannot be denied. I am drawn, inexorably, as is the proverbial moth, to the flame!

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    What's Up Doc?, Never Too Young, -and- License to Drive

    What's Up Doc? - surgeons find fir tree growing in man's lung
    Never Too Young - 13-year-old boy accused of robbing Illinois bank
    License to Drive - Chico man hits gas inside his garage, plows through wall

    On this day in history: April 15, 1955 - The first McDonald's franchise opens in Des Plains, a suburb of Chicago. Because it is the first one launched by Ray Kroc, he names it "McDonald's #1" despite the fact that the McDonald brothers had already opened eight of their chain restaurants before they began accepting licensees. Kroc's unfortunate numbering system guarantees perpetual confusion for amateur fast food historians the world over.

    Born on this day in history: April 15, 1959 - Emma Thompson (1959- ) Born in London, actress Emma Thompson made her stage debut while still a student. In 1989, she appeared in "Henry V," directed by Kenneth Branagh, whom she married and later divorced (1996). With Branagh, Thompson made several films, including "Dead Again" (1991) and "Much Ado About Nothing" (1993). Other notable films include "Primary Colors" (1998), "Love Actually" (2003) and "Howard's End" (1992), for which she won an Oscar and a BAFTA.

    Scripture of the Day: But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. - 1 Corinthians 15:20

    Video of the Day: Rodenator - Burrowing Pest Control - submitted by Frank

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    The Wind that plagued us severely yesterday has abated! This is a wonderful relief. The wind yesterday was fierce and unrelenting. It howled throughout the day and night and made what otherwise have been a beautiful day miserable.

    Corning Wind Makes National News! Corning, CA, was reported as having the most severe wind of anywhere in the U.S., with winds reported at 48 MPH and gusts up to 56 MPH!

    Grilling outdoors was impossible last evening, so I grilled indoors! We enjoyed Johnsonville Brats, Jalapeños, mushrooms, and squash, cooked on the indoor grill. Click to enlarge.

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    You All Right?, Cleared for Landing, -and- Animal Kingdom

    You All RIght? - David Buckner Faints on Glenn Beck's show
    Cleared for Landing - passenger safely lands plane after pilot dies
    Animal Kingdom - Spokane parks detonating ground squirrels

    On this day in history: April 14, 1865 - President Abraham Lincoln receives a cranial gunshot wound from the nation's most famous actor, John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln dies the following day, primarily from ill-advised attempts to extract the bullet lodged in his brain.

    Born on this day in history: April 14, 1977 - Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977-) Born in New York City, actress Sarah Michelle made her first TV movie in 1983. In 1993, she joined the cast of soap "All My Children," earning an Emmy, and then moved into leading films roles. In 1997, Gellar landed her star-making role on TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." She is now pursuing a film career.

    Scripture of the Day: Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death. - Proverbs 10:2

    Video of the Day: Cat Yawning - submitted by Cindy

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    The Wind: The fierce wind that plagued us earlier in the month has returned! It would be a beautiful day—as was yesterday—were it not for this foul wind. The sun is shining brightly, but the birds are unable to maintain a perching posture on the telephone wires because of the wind. Consequently, they are not singing.

    For dinner last evening, I made lemon chicken. I cooked jasmine rice in the electric rice cooker. While the rice cooked, I sautéd Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1"-wide slices), bevel-sliced celery, and sliced white onion. I made a sauce with a large Meyers lemon that was given to Laura by a coworker, cornstarch, sugar, and red pepper flakes. I spread the rice on a serving platter, positioned the chicken and vegetables atop the rice, and drizzled the lemon sauce over the dish. It was a delicious meal.

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    You Want Gastro with That?, Law of the Land, -and- Somebody's Watching You

    You Want Gastro with That? - filthy McDonald's caught on video
    Law of the Land - Saudi judge upholds 47-year-old man's marriage to 8-year-old girl
    Somebody's Watching You - microchip to tell if you have taken your pills

    On this day in history: April 13, 1981 - Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke wins a Pulitzer Prize for her story about Jimmy, an 8 year old heroin addict. Strangely, police could find no trace of this boy. And this was one of those investigative journalism Pulitzers, not a fiction Pulitzer, so she was forced to return the award two days later. Cooke later clerked part-time at a department store cosmetics counter in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

    Born on this day in history: April 13, 1743 - Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) Born in Albermarle Co., VA, 3rd President Thomas Jefferson (1801-9) helped draft the Declaration of Independence (adopted July 4, 1776). In 1789, George Washington appointed him secretary of state, and, in 1796, he was elected vice-president under Federalist John Adams. In 1797, Jefferson won the presidency, narrowly beating Aaron Burr. In his day, Jefferson was charged with everything from godlessness to fathering a child with his black servant girl. Today, he is considered one of America's greatest forefathers.

    Scripture of the Day: And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19

    Video of the Day: iPhone OS 3.0

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this sign while walking around the lake this morning! Click to enlarge.

    New Site! I created a new Web site over the weekend: Now See This - Random Photographs from My iPhone. This is a site I created with the sole purpose of having fun with my iPhone camera. Visit it, and take a peek into my life!

    The Weekend

    Saturday morning, we enjoyed a brunch. We had potatoes O'Brien, New York hot Italian sausage patties, and fried eggs.

    Saturday evening, we enjoyed a succulent pork tenderloin. I grilled the tenderloin and made a batch of Cajun red beans. It was a delightful meal. Leftovers followed Laura to Chico this morning.

    Sunday morning, we attended Easter Sunday service at Harvest Christian Center.

    Sunday evening, I grilled giant prawns. I removed the tails and marinated the prawns in extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, grated ginger, ground cayenne pepper, lime juice, and sea salt. I then grilled them over a high flame.

    I made Asian noodle salad to accompany the prawns. I used four packages of ramen noodles and mixed in chopped green onions, sliced celery, diced red bell pepper, kernel corn, parsley flakes, sea salt, ground black pepper, ground cayenne pepper, ground ginger, granulated garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and the seasoning packets from the ramen packages. It was a delicious accompaniment to the grilled prawns.

    An excellent bottle of Indian Springs Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc accompanied this incredible Easter dinner.

    Friday, April 10, 2009

    All in the Family, Armed and Dangerous, -and- Somebody's Watching You

    All in the Family - advertisers back away from "Family Guy" raunch
    Armed and Dangerous - police chief arrested after using taser on wife
    Somebody's Watching You - Web cam catches burglars in the act

    On this day in history: April 10, 2003 - FBI agents raid the Noonday, Texas home of avowed white supremacist William Joseph Krar. Upon searching the domicile and some rented storage units, the agents turn up an arsenal including briefcase bombs with remote-controlled detonators, full-auto machine guns, silencers, nearly 500,000 rounds of ammunition, a 1953 military land mine, more than 800 grams of sodium cyanide, and a copy of "The Turner Diaries." Krar later receives
    11 years for possession of a dangerous chemical weapon.

    Born on this day in history: April 10, 1984 - Mandy Moore (1984-) Born Amanda Leigh Moore in Nashua, NH, raised in Orlando, FL, singer and actor Mandy Moore had a big hit in 1999, "Candy," followed by album "I Wanna Be With You" (2002). Moore has parlayed music success into an acting career.

    Scripture of the Day: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he
    appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. - 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

    Video of the Day: Easter Gospel "Sing Alleluia"

    Imagine my surprise when I stopped at the marina this morning to check on my boat and encountered this scene! Click to enlarge.

    Thursday, April 09, 2009

    The Mane Thing, Love at First Cite, -and- Never Too Young

    The Mane Thing - horses get hair-extensions
    Love at First Cite - woman marries traffic cop who ticketed her
    Never Too Young - 22-year-old grocery clerk becomes mayor

    On this day in history: April 9, 1992 - Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering by a federal court in Miami.

    Born on this day in history: April 9, 1926 - Hugh Hefner (1926- ) Born in Chicago, IL, editor and publisher Hugh Hefner grew up in a family of strict Methodists, and then invested $10,000 to start "Playboy" magazine in 1953, with Marilyn Monroe posing nude in the first issue. He went on to influence the country's views on sexuality and to build an empire of Playboy media, real estate, nightclubs and more.

    Scripture of the Day: By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. - 1 Corinthians 15:2

    Video of the Day: Way of the Guard - submitted by Danica

    Imagine my surprise when this enormous butterfly landed upon my arm while I was walking through the park this morning! Click to enlarge.

    Today's Weather: It appears that the gloomy, overcast weather that visited upon us yesterday has returned. Yesterday, the afternoon was excellent—following a dreary morning. This morning is equally gloomy, and there were scattered rain drops on Mr. Nitro when I departed for my office at 7 AM.

    Must-see Web Site: Caroline!

    Wednesday, April 08, 2009

    Emergency!, Good Parenting, -and- Gone to Pot

    Emergency! - diner dials 9-1-1 over shrimp order
    Good Parenting - dad finds kidnapped sons without police help
    Gone to Pot - cops find marijuana garden in bedroom of "Harry Potter" actor

    On this day in history: April 8, 1994 - Kurt Cobain's body is found 3 days after committing suicide with a shotgun.

    Born on this day in history: April 8, 1968 - Patricia Arquette (1968-) Born in Chicago, IL, daughter of actor Lewis Arquette, actress Patricia Arquette grew up on a Virginia commune, alongside siblings Rosanna, Richmond, Alexis and David. At age 15, she ran away to pursue acting. In 2004, Arquette landed the role of psychic Allison DuBois on hit TV show "Medium," which earned her an Emmy.

    Scripture of the Day: Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. - 1 Corinthians 15:1

    Video of the Day: Strangest Clip Ever - submitted by Darin

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while passing the park on the way to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    The rain that was forecast for yesterday did arrive—albeit briefly: It rained lightly for approximately 45 seconds yesterday afternoon. Today's weather report calls for "Mostly cloudy. Scattered rain showers in the morning... then isolated rain showers in the afternoon. Highs 57 to 63. South winds around 10 mph." The sky looks ominous currently. It may easily rain with considerably more might than predicted. Where, oh where has spring gone? I quickly became accustomed to the 80°+ weather!

    Tuesday, April 07, 2009

    Matters of Life and Death, Brave New Schools, -and- Mommie Dearest

    Maatters of Life and Death - White House confirms it received two million red envelopes
    Brave New Schools - high school baseball coach takes players to strip club
    Mommie Dearest - woman breastfeeds baby while driving drunk

    On this day in history: April 7, 1989 - Soviet nuclear submarine Komsomolets sinks in the Norwegian sea, with two nuclear reactors and two nuclear torpedoes aboard. 41 crew members die, and the submarine remains one mile below the surface of the ocean, with its nuclear weapons intact.

    Born on this day in history: April 7, 1964 - Russell Crowe (1964-) Born in Wellington, New Zealand, actor Russell Crowe began as a child actor, teen rock singer and in the Australian theater. Breakthrough film roles included 1992's "Proof" and the controversial "Romper Stomper" (1993). He hit big in the U.S. in "L.A. Confidential" (1997), followed by starring roles in increasingly A-list Hollywood properties, notably "The Gladiator" (2000). Widespread rumors about Crowe's brash personality have increased with his fame.

    Scripture of the Day: ...present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7

    Video of the Day: Cat Does Taxes - submitted by Darin

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    When I departed my house this morning at 7 AM, the sky was blue and clear, and the sun was shining brightly. Now—45 minutes later—it appears that the weatherpeople correctly forecast today's weather: The sun is hiding behind very dark, threatening clouds, and the temperature is dropping quickly. Rain is predicted for today, and it now appears this prediction will materialize.

    I have "Photograph" by Def Leppard set as my ringtone currently on my new iPhone. If you have need of custom ringtones for your iPhone, by all means do not pay for them! You will find an excellent, quick, easy-to-use, and free online ringtone maker here: Audiko - the free iPhone Ringtone Maker Audiko will quickly and easily take an audio file from your computer, allow you to clip the portion from the file you wish to use for your ringtone, convert it to an iPhone ringtone, and upload it to iTunes on your computer!

    Here is a photograph I took of my cat, Zeus, yesterday afternoon with my iPhone. I am impressed by the quality of the images the iPhone produces. Click to enlarge.

    Monday, April 06, 2009

    The Kids are Alright, Hang 'em High!, -and- Stop the Presses

    The Kids Are Alright - Ohio teen girl saves 76-year-old man from drowning
    Hang 'em High! - power outage leaves Six Flags thrill seekers dangling
    Stop the Presses - NY Times Co. threatens to shut down Boston Globe

    On this day in history: April 6, 1868 - Mormon prophet Brigham Young marries 23-year-old Ann Eliza Webb. This is Young's 27th wife, 18 of which are still married to him.

    Born on this day in history: April 6, 1937 - Merle Haggard (1937-) Born in Bakersfield, CA, country singer-songwriter Merle Haggard began playing in the country band of San Quentin prison, and, upon parole, formed a band in 1965. Their single, "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," (1967) hit big, followed by a string of No. 1 singles, including Haggard signature "Okie from Muskogee" (1969). Since then, he's released close to 70 albums and 600 songs. In 1994, in 1994, his 38 No. 1 hits earned him induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

    Scripture of the Day: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6

    Video of the Day: How to Beat the Claw Machine - submitted by Jay

    Imagine my surprise when I saw how neatly my neighbor had stacked his firewood! Click to enlarge.

    Yesterday was easily the most beautiful day of the year to date! It was sunny and warm (78°), the sky was blue and clear, and the birds sang loudly and with great enthusiasm. A gentle breeze was an excellent compliment to the day.

    Following service at Harvest Christian Center, a fellowship barbecue was held. A church member had anonymously gifted a large barbecue, and another church member had anonymously gifted a large ice chest. Hot dogs and hamburgers were grilled on the new barbecue, and a vast array of side dishes and desserts covered a long table. Approximately 100 people were in attendance. I photographed the event and will post the URL here when I have completed a slide show of select images from the 250+ photographs I took.

    When we arrived home following the fellowship barbecue, I determined that it was an excellent time to wash Mr. Nitro. I spent a good deal of time washing him by hand. When I had completed the washing process, I sprayed him with anti-spotting rinse, using the Mr. Clean system. I took him for a quick run to the local cemetery and back to air dry him He gleams!

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    Grave Injustice, Stupid Criminals, -and- It's a Wrap

    Grave Injustice - SC exhumes tall body rumored cut to fit coffin
    Stupid Criminals - man robs store with 9-year-old in tow
    It's a Wrap - residents block street to prevent Google filming

    On this day in history: April 3, 1882 - Notorious outlaw Jesse James is shot and killed in his own home for a $5,000 reward. The assailants are Charles and Robert Ford, both members of the James gang.

    Born on this day in history: April 3, 1924 - Marlon Brando (1924-2004) Born in Omaha, NE, actor Marlon Brando played his greatest stage role as Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams's 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1947), also playing the screen version (1951), which earned four Oscars. Other award-winning films followed, including 'The Wild One' and 'On the Waterfront' (both 1954). Brando went on to a half-century of intense highs, self-indulgent lows and a tempestuous personal life. He is remembered as a consummate actor.

    Scripture of the Day: Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:9

    Video of the Day: The "Our Gang" Tribute (Part 1) - submitted by Jay

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while checking on my boat at the marina this morning! Click to enlarge.

    Last Evening's Dinner: For dinner last evening, I made a chicken breast revision of the chicken liver and rice dish I wrote about last month. I seasoned Mexican bread crumbs (I shall photograph a container of this incredible product and post it here later today!) with adobo seasoning, granulated garlic, ground Cayenne pepper, and Red Monkey Mango Habanero dry rub (your favorite spicy mix would suffice). I cut two large Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and tossed with the seasoned bread crumbs. I sliced three large white mushrooms and added to a cup of jasmine rice and 1.5 cups of water in an electric rice cooker. While the rice was cooking, I sautéd the chicken breast pieces in extra-virgin olive oil until browned on both sides. I turned off the burner and added a bunch of chopped green onions. Laura arranged the rice on a serving platter, arranged the chicken and green onions atop the rice, and drizzled the remnants of the olive oil over the dish. It was delightful.

    Here is a photograph of the dish—taken with my iPhone:

    We watched two episodes of "Boston Legal" on Blu-Ray DVD.

    The Talking Frog
    A guy is 70 years old and loves to fish. He was sitting in his boat the other day when he heard a voice say, "Pick me up."

    He looked around and couldn't see anyone. He thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice say again, "Pick me up."

    He looked in the water and there, floating on the top, was a frog.

    The man said, "Are you talking to me?"

    The frog said, "Yes, I'm talking to you. Pick me up then, kiss me and I'll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen.

    "I'll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because I will be your bride!"

    The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully, and placed it in his front breast pocket.

    Then the frog said, "What, are you nuts? Didn't you hear what I said? I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride."

    He opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said,

    "Nah, at my age I'd rather have a talking frog."

    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    Where's the Fire?, Never Too Young, -and- Lost in Space

    Where's the Fire? - Houston ladder truck runs red light, collides with pumper truck
    Never Too Young - 11-year-old with bad credit
    Lost in Space - hidden planet discovered in old Hubble data

    On this day in history: April 2, 1459 - Vlad the Impaler impales thousands of merchants and burghers of the town of Brasov, in Transylvania.

    Born on this day in history: April 2, 1939 - Marvin Gaye (1939 - 1984) Born in Washington DC, singer and composer Marvin Gaye wrote hit "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (1968) and other soul classics. In 1961, he married Anna Gordy, Motown president Berry Gordy's sister, and then released a series of Motown hits. The album "What's Going On" (1971) marked his new, socially conscious style. In later years, Gaye was beset by problems, which culminated in being shot to death by his father.

    Scripture of the Day: It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. - 1 Corinthians 1:30

    Video of the Day: "Repo Man" Theatrical Trailer - submitted by Darin

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this beastie in the roadway as I drove to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House in Washington: one from Illinois, one from Tennessee, and a third from Kentucky. They all go with a White House official to examine the fence.

    The Tennessee contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me."

    The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and, $100 profit for me."

    The Illinois contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, "$2,700." The official, incredulous, whispers back, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?" The Illinois contractor whispers back, "$1,000 for me, $1,000 for you, and we hire that guy from Kentucky to fix the fence."

    "Done!" replies the government official.

    Wednesday, April 01, 2009

    Separated at Birth, Have Gun Will Travel, -and- Man's Best Friend

    Separataed at Birth - mothers trade 2-year-old sons when hospital mix-up discovered
    Have Gun Will Travel - Canadian hit man pleads guilty to 27 murders over 25 years
    Man's Best Friend - officer, dog square off against Modesto mob of 60

    On this day in history: April 1, 1984 - Legendary Motown singer Marvin Gaye, who had recently moved back in with his parents, physically batters his own father. Minutes later Dad returns with a gun, shooting Marvin twice in the chest and killing him instantly.

    Born on this day in history: April 1, 1932 - Debbie Reynolds (1932-) Born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, TX, actress Debbie Reynolds gained notice in musical "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady" (1950), and is best known for "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), opposite Gene Kelly. In 1964, she won an Oscar for "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." In later years, Reynolds has split her time among stage, screen and TV appearances.

    Scripture of the Day: But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. - 1 Corinthians 1:27

    Video of the Day: RC Office Gran Prix with an iPhone - submitted by Frank

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this large hole in the lake while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    World's Largest Snake! This is a must-see video! Click here to view this amazing video of the largest snake ever captured!