Friday, November 30, 2012


Hopefully, the respite from the storms that we are now enjoying will last through the festivities! This evening, the Lighted Parade is scheduled for 7 PM on Solano Street. Tomorrow is Hometown Christmas. See the Calendar of North State Events for schedule of events.

Laura just sent me this photograph. Unfortunately, she had only her Droid X Android smartphone to use as a camera. Her Nikon gear was all at home.

Has the World Gone Fully Insane? - A brief scanning of current news items certainly appears to support this position, and empirical evidence strengthens the concept that we are living in a world that has, indeed, gone fully insane!

Here are but a few examples:
1) I pay bills using Online Banking. There are very few instances that require the use of postage stamps. For these few times, I keep a small supply of stamps available. Last Wednesday, I ordered a supply of "Forever" stamps from the USPS. I received a "thank you" email later that day. The following day, I received a shipment notice. Yesterday, the order arrived—a full week after the shipping notice.
2) A lady came to my office yesterday afternoon and placed a file folder upon my desk. She said, "I need you to fax this stuff right away." I told her I did not offer such a service. She said, "I don't need you to serve anything. Just fax this stuff." I took a deep breath and created and printed a sign which read, "We do not offer faxing services." I pinned the sign to a wall in my office and pointed to it. She exited my office—mumbling incoherently.
3) The wind gusts; leaves fall from trees; and the wind collects and deposits the leaves near storm drain orifices. The rain falls; the leaves accumulate in the storm drain; the leaves clog the storm drain; the street floods. It would seem that experience would indicate that collecting fallen leaves and clearing the storm drains prior to large rainfalls would alleviate the dangers created by the burdensome onslaught of rain.

4) Fast-food workers in New York City declared that their wages are too low.

They are demanding that the minimum wage be raised from the current rate of $ 7.25 per hour to— are you sitting down? Please do! FIFTEEN DOLLARS PER HOUR! Surely those positions would be quickly filled by people who would be pleased to have those jobs!

5) A 43-year-old state trooper has been charged with larceny, accused of stealing jewelry and cash from the victim of a fatal motorcycle crash. When first I saw this story, I assumed the thief was a rookie who found himself in a situation that proved to be beyond his capability to "Protect and Serve." But no! This idiot is an 18-year veteran with an unblemished record!

6) Residents of the western Serbian village of Zarozje reportedly received an unique public health warning recently, when the town's mayor cautioned that a vampire was on the loose.

I could continue, but I grow weary.

There is HOPE for the world, however. This story shows that compassion, kindness, and charity have not wholly vanished. One must, however, ferret through an inordinate amount of bad news to find good news such as this:

This video was sent to me by Frank, and I felt it worthy of sharing.

The Weather - The storms that were forecast for this area earlier appear to have passed for now. We shall have our annual Corning Hometown Christmas lighted parade this evening, beginning at 7 PM. Unless there is a dramatic change in the weather, it will be a very nice evening. It is currently 60° and very sunny!

Not far from here, however, the flooding is severe, and many are without power. The weatherpeople predict two more storms for this area over the weekend, but this break in the weather will make a significant difference, since it will allow the ground time to recover from the earlier rain.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Weather - All weather reports indicate that it is raining here. Actually,the sun is shining, and it is 60°!

As proof, I submit this image from my Web cam!

In order to ensure my Web cam was not displaying an image from a parallel universe and was, in fact, accurately displaying the current weather conditions outside my office, I walked through my front door and onto the sidewalk. It was dry and warm. I saw no rain.

Turkey Soup - We enjoyed some of the turkey soup we made last weekend for dinner last evening. It was wonderful. A quantity followed Laura this morning. A quantity followed me to my office this morning. We shall enjoy it for lunch!

Verizon - A gentleman brought a netbook to my office this morning. He said he was having problems accessing the Internet. I booted it and determined that it was most likely suffering an infestation. I tried unsuccessfully to access several sites that would have provided anti-virus/anti-malware tools.

I asked him whether he had been provided with Windows media. He said he had not. I asked him where he bought it. He said he had purchased it at the Verizon store in Red Bluff—a neighboring city approximately 20 miles north of here. I suggested that he take it to the Verizon store here. He said he had been there, and they sent him here!


A Lesson in Irony The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

What became of the sun?????

Here comes the rain! Saturday is our annual Corning Hometown Christmas. I certainly hope the weather improves significantly by then!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Weather - The weatherpeople were correct when they predicted rain for today. It is very wet outside!

Current forecasts indicate several storms will drop as much as 13 inches of rain in this area! (Northern California) Rain is predicted through the weekend—with the heaviest rainfall expected on Thursday. Fortunately, temperatures are expected to be relatively warm— with lows in the range of 48° to 50° and highs of 55° to 60°. Wind advisories predict winds to be 10 to 30 MPH. Wind gusts are expected to reach 35 to 40 MPH.

Flooding is not expected to be an issue here in Corning, but the outlying areas may well suffer flooding. Flooding is uncommon here, but it does happen. If memory serves me correctly, it has been around 10 years since last there was flooding in this area. Flooding within the city limits of Corning takes place when the rainfall exceeds the capability of the sewer system. It is advisable to be prepared, and several locations are producing and providing sandbags.

When I see reporting on television of the devastating flooding that has taken place in other areas, I thank God that we are fortunate to live in an area that suffers very little from weather conditions.

I then ask myself why people chose to live where weather poses a significant and predictable threat. I would move elsewhere.

Where do the hummers go when the weather is bad?

Addiction Counselor Charged with Murder in DUI - I stared at this headline—imagining that the pressures involved with counseling people suffering from addictions had taken a toll upon this person and "driven him to drink," as it were. I was completely unprepared for the story behind the headline!

The convertible the addiction counselor was driving hit the victim so hard that it knocked him out of his shoes and lodged him in the windshield. As he lay dying on the hood, police said, the counselor drove another two miles—until other motorists swarmed her car at a traffic light and grabbed her keys.

The counselor was charged with DUI and murder. She had a blood alcohol content of over twice the legal limit. She had a history of drug addiction and criminal activity. She was convicted of first-degree burglary in 1989 and a month later of having narcotics while in custody. In 1994, she was convicted on one count of burglary and given nine years in prison.

This story particularly saddened me—not simply because of the tragic, unnecessary death of the victim—but because someone with such a history of drug addiction and criminal activity would be placed in the position of counselor to addicts. This seems so absurd to me that I simply cannot imagine the vetting process under which such a person would be found acceptable for such a position.

I followed the story online and determined that such appointments are commonplace.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Lull Before the Storm - If the weatherpeople are correct, there is a major storm heading this way. Considering the incredibly pleasant weather we have had to date, one would imagine I should NOT be complaining. I am, however, complaining. I like the sunshine and the natural warmth produced by the sun! I know we need rain, but I do not believe I must welcome it! Oh, well!

I am NOT saying that I AM Batman. I am simply saying that no one has ever seen ME and Batman in the same room together.

A man came out to find the inside of his 18-month-old Toyota Sequoia trashed.

A grizzly bear had somehow got a door open. Once inside it got trapped when the door shut behind him, probably by the wind.

All the door panels were ripped off, the headliner torn to pieces, and the headrests, leather seats, and dash shredded.

The steering column was twisted Sideways. Two of the six airbags went off; the other four the bear ripped to pieces.

When the bear ripped off the door panels he also clawed all the wiring harnesses out.

The vehicle has been written off by the insurance company. The cost of this vehicle new was over $70,000, and they stopped counting the repair costs at $60,000 plus.

The housing bubble has burst for Hollywood veteran CONNIE STEVENS – she’s losing her Beverly Hills home in a short sale, sources tell The ENQUIRER.

The 74-year-old singer/actress , best known for her role as Crick­et Blake on the 1960s classic TV show "Hawaiian Eye," has report­edly been offered $800,000 for the 3,085-square-foot house. But that’s a whopping $1.1 million less than what she cur­rently owes on the property, which she rents out, say sources.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Food! - As planned, we enjoyed our festive Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. The turkey was incredible! Laura's brine made the bird very moist and wonderfully tasty. My famous stuffing was, as always, easily the most wonderful stuffing ever encountered on this planet. The Brussels sprouts were succulent. The surprise "hit" of the meal, however, was Laura's gravy. She said she had never made gravy from scratch previously, but that would seriously stress one's suspension of disbelief, since the gravy was absolutely superb!

Saturday, I enjoyed apple pie for breakfast. That might sound odd, but it was certainly tasty!

Saturday evening, we replicated Friday's dinner. It was easily as wonderful as it had been the previous evening!

Laura shopped (I was amazed that we were in need of anything, considering the grocery purchases she had made Thursday!), deposited her purchases at our house, and drove to our church—Harvest Christian Center—and performed the cleaning duties that were scheduled for her. While she was away, I began making turkey soup.

I began simmering a pot of water—to which I had added the turkey carcass and the meat from the legs and wings. I peeled five heads of garlic, sliced two white onions, chopped six celery stalks, sliced ten large white mushrooms, cut two dozen baby carrots into thirds, and diced six large red potatoes. I bagged these ingredients and placed in the refrigerator. Laura will strain the contents of the pot—retaining the meat and liquid, add the vegetables I prepared, and tend to the soup while it simmers for hours. The house will smell wonderful.

Google Nexus 7 Performance Lag Following Update to Jelly Bean 4.2 - If you updated your Google Nexus 7 to Jelly Bean 4.2 and noticed a significant reduction in performance, HERE IS A QUICK AND EASY FIX!

The culprit is Google Currents.

Following the update to Jelly Bean 4.2, Currents syncs continuously in the background--regardless of whether the Currents app is running or not.

There are two ways to remedy this: Uninstall Google Currents -or- do the following:

1. Open App Drawer
2. Open Google Currents
3. Click on Menu (vertical bar at top right)
4. Click Settings
5. Uncheck Background Sync
6. Reboot


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday - As I mentioned Tuesday, Laura and I decided we would have our Thanksgiving dinner today. And so we shall. She placed our 12.9-pound turkey in a brining solution last evening at 7:15 PM. She removed it from this solution at 7:15 AM this morning. Soon, it will go into the oven.

I sliced, chopped, minced, and diced all the ingredients for my famous stuffing (see the recipe in Tuesday's blog post). Laura will soon begin to sauté the hot Italian sausage and begin the production of the stuffing. I will peel two heads of garlic and dice some red potatoes for garlic mashed red potatoes. I will clean some Brussels sprouts. Soon, the house will be filled with the smells of Thanksgiving!

We intended to have pumpkin pie. Yet again, we broke from tradition. We shall have apple pie with vanilla ice cream instead.

I am salivating copiously in anticipation of this meal.

There is another undeniable benefit to be realized from moving the Thanksgiving festivities ahead a day: We will be safe inside our nest whilst others fight traffic on the highways and streets and crowds at the stores. We shall NOT be participants in the hideous shopping frenzy known as "Black Friday!"

While the turkey roasts, we shall entertain ourselves by viewing episodes of "My Name Is Earl," playing Draw Something, and collecting MP3 files to add to our Google Music libraries.

Mr. Turkey in the brine.

Out of the brine, washed, patted down, stuffed with the citrus, herbs, carrots, onions used in the brine.

Rub with butter, then ROAST that bad boy!!!

One large loaf sourdough bread cubed and toasted in the oven for the stuffing base.

Mr. Turkey is resting. Soon, I shall carve him!

The stuffing is ready to take to the table!