How About Some Chuck?!

January 23, 2018

Chuck Norris, that is.  Here is a small sampling of some funny Chuck Norris jokes.  For even more, check out this site.  Happy Tuesday!

  • Chuck Norris once had an arm-wrestling competition with Superman. The bet was that the loser has to then wear his underwear on top of his trousers.
  • Recently, a police patrol stopped Chuck Norris when he was driving along. They got off with only a warning.
  • Chuck Norris tried to lose weight. But Chuck Norris NEVER loses.
  • Chuck Norris went skydiving and his parachute didn’t open. He went back to the store the following day to claim a refund.
  • Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. His descendants are known today as giraffes.
  • Chuck Norris has a Grizzly bear rug. The bear is alive, but it’s too scared to move.

I could go on, but you can torture yourself some more by clicking on the above link for nine pages worth of more Chuck Norris jokes.  Enjoy!

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College Basketball 2018, Week Eleven!

January 22, 2018

The Spartans only had one game this week against the Hoosiers of Indiana and they found their groove for a dominating victory (despite their continued propensity for turnovers).   Only eleven (11) games remain in their conference schedule and the Spartans will be on the road for seven (7) of them.  This will be a huge test for the inconsistently performing and turnover prone Spartans who will have to bring all the intensity and discipline they possess to close out the season with some momentum.  The Big Ten conference now has four teams in the AP top-25 as the polls have finally included (rewarded?) both Ohio State and Michigan for their excellent play of late: Purdue [#3], Michigan State [#9], Ohio State [#22], and Michigan [#23].

Next up for the Spartans: on the road against Illinois tonight (January 22nd), at home versus Wisconsin on Friday (January 26th), and then on the road against Maryland on Sunday (January 28th).

The upsets this week included:
Oklahoma (#4) losing to unranked Kansas State and losing to unranked Oklahoma State by two (2) points in overtime.
West Virginia (#6) losing to Kansas (#10) by five (5) points.
Wichita State (#7) losing to unranked SMU by five (5) points and losing to unranked Houston.
Texas Tech (#8) losing to unranked Texas and losing to unranked Iowa State.
Gonzaga (#13) losing to unranked St. Mary’s by three (3) points.
Arizona State (#16) losing to unranked Stanford.
Auburn (#17) losing to unranked Alabama by five (5) points.
Kentucky (#18) losing to unranked South Carolina and losing to unranked Florida by two (2) points.
Seton Hall (#19) losing to unranked Creighton.
Tennessee (#21) losing to unranked Missouri by four (4) points.
Michigan (#23) losing to unranked Nebraska.
TCU (#24) losing to unranked Kansas State.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Kansas (#10) defeating unranked Baylor by three (3) points.
Xavier (#11) defeating unranked St. John’s by six (6) points.
Arizona (#14) defeating unranked Stanford by two (2) points.
Ohio State (#22) defeating unranked Northwestern by six (6) points.
Michigan (#23) defeating unranked Maryland by one (1) point.
Miami (#25) defeating unranked NC State by five (5) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Duke (#5) defeating Miami (#25).
Xavier (#11) defeating Seton Hall (#19).
North Carolina (#15) defeating Clemson (#20).

Preservation!

January 21, 2018

According to http://www.dictionary.com, the very first definition of preserve is: “to   keep  alive   or in existence; make lasting.”  When I was going through my mom’s old recipe boxes last summer, I ran across an index card that was not a recipe, but rather, it provided direction on “How to Preserve a Husband” (courtesy of Mrs. Alice Harker).  It definitely brought a smile to my face and will hopefully do the same for you.  Enjoy!

“Be careful in your selections.  Take only those varieties as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere.  When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain forever  settled.  Give your entire thoughts to preparations for domestic use; some insist on keeping them in a pickle, while others are constantly getting them into hot water.  All varieties may be kept sweet and good by garnishing with smiles and kisses.  Wrap well in a mantle of charity; keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion, and serve with peaches and cream.  When thus prepared they will keep for years.”

 

The Little Mermaid!

January 20, 2018

Happy Saturday!  When you mention “The Little Mermaid” today, most children would assume you are referencing the Disney animated movie (from 1989) featuring the red-headed mermaid, Ariel.  However, “The Little Mermaid,” a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson was originally published more than 150 years before (1837) and is the tale upon which the animated movie was based.  Did you know that there was a sculpture of the same name also based upon this fairy tale?    It is a bronze statue created by Edvard Eriksen,  and installed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1913.

According to The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy . . . a mermaid is “a legendary marine creature with the head and torso of a woman and a tail of a fish; the masculine, less well-known equivalent is a merman.  Though linked to the classical Sirens, mermaids may be nothing more than sailors’ fanciful reports of the playful antics of dugongs or manatees.”   Sirens are defined as “evil creatures who lived on a rocky island, singing in beautiful voices in an effort to lure sailors to shipwreck and death.  Odysseus ordered his crew to plug their ears to escape the Sirens’ fatal song.  Figuratively, a ‘siren’ is a beautiful or tempting woman; a ‘siren song’ is any irresistible distraction.”

Source: The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.; Joseph F. Kett; and James Trefil.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-Nine!

January 19, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “famous people.”  Do you know the name of the Missouri town where Mark Twain was born?

Nope, it was NOT Hannibal.  Hannibal was where he grew up.  Rather, Twain (Samuel Clemens) was born in Florida, Missouri.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Making Lemonade!

January 18, 2018

We’ve all heard the adage “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” right?  Here is a creative case of “lemonade-making” that was forwarded to me a couple of months ago.  And, being an art collector, I can truly appreciate this solution.  Should I re-paint?  Or should I just frame it?  A very creative solution!

Here is the article:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/family/mum-absolutely-genius-way-dealing-11534328

And, the original tweet:
https://twitter.com/DrMassicotte/status/930225763638317058

Amazing Adjective, Number Twenty-Eight!

January 17, 2018

Here is a word from the Latin iocundus or iucundus, meaning “pleasant”; from the infinitive iuvare, meaning “to assist,” + –cundus, and adjectival suffix.  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“The seriousness of the situation was leavened by his jocund repartee, which never stopped for a moment.”

jocund

jokuh nd, joh-kuh nd \, adjective;

1. cheerful; merry; blithe; glad.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and http://www.dictionary.com.

Light Roast or Dark Roast?!

January 16, 2018

A little over a week ago I shared another post about coffee and shared a few of my favorite “coffee” quotations.  So, in keeping with this coffee theme, I found this wonderful infographic (courtesy of Adams & Russell Wholesale Coffee Roasters) that explores the “single origin coffees” from around the world.  The infographic further explores the taste/flavors that correspond to each region as well as the most favorable “roast.”   Personally, I prefer the darker roasts . . .  Enjoy!

Single-Origin-Coffee-Chartv1.1

College Basketball 2018, Week Ten!

January 15, 2018

The Spartans seem to be struggling (big time) and while they managed to pull out a win at home in overtime against unranked Rutgers, being at home was not enough against their cross-state rival Michigan who came into East Lansing and took care of business to hand the Spartans their second loss in the Big Ten.  The Big Ten conference still only has two (2) teams in the AP top-25 (Purdue should remain in the top-5), but Michigan State will drop a bit.

Next up for the Spartans: at home versus Indiana on Friday (January 19th).

The upsets this week included:
West Virginia (#2) losing to Texas Tech (#8) by one (1) point.
Michigan State (#4) losing to unranked Michigan.
Texas Tech (#8) losing to Oklahoma (#9).
Arizona State (#11) losing to unranked Oregon by four (4) points.
Seton Hall (#13) losing to unranked Marquette.
TCU (#16) losing to unranked Texas by one (1) point in double overtime.
Miami (#18) losing to Clemson (#19).
Clemson (#19) losing to unranked North Carolina State by one (1) point.
Florida State (#23) losing to unranked Louisville by four (4) points.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
West Virginia (#2) defeating unranked Baylor by three (3) points.
Michigan State (#4) defeating unranked Rutgers by four (4) points in overtime.
Wichita State (#5) defeating unranked Tulsa by three (3) points.
Purdue (#5) defeating unranked Michigan by one (1) point.
Oklahoma (#9) defeating TCU (#16) by five (5) points.
Arizona State (#11) defeating unranked Oregon State by two (2) points.
Kansas (#12) defeating unranked Iowa State by five (5) points.
Kansas (#12) defeating unranked Kansas State by one (1) point.
North Carolina (#20) defeating unranked Notre Dame by one (1) point.
Kentucky (#21) defeating unranked Texas A&M by one (1) point.
Florida State (#23) defeating unranked Syracuse in double overtime.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Villanova (#1) defeating Xavier (#10).
Oklahoma (#9) defeating TCU (#16) by five (5) points.
Xavier (#10) defeating Creighton (#25).

Cheesecake of the Month – January 2018!

January 14, 2018

This month’s recipe features a southern favorite: pralines (a simple confection containing sugar, nuts, and cream).  Enjoy!

Praline-Crusted Cheesecake

Ingredients
2 cups of shortbread cookies, crushed
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
4 Pralines, coarsely crushed
5 packages (8-ounce each) of cream cheese, softened
1-3/4 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup of whipping cream
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
2 containers (8-ounce each) of sour cream
1/3 cup of sugar
Garnish: crumbled Pralines

Directions
1. Combine the cookie crumbs and butter and press onto the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased 10″ springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Sprinkle coarsely crumbled Pralines over the crust.

2. Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. gradually add the sugar, flour, and vanilla beating until smooth.  Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears.  Stir in the whipping cream and the lemon rind and pour into your crust.  Place your pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Bake at 350 degrees on your lower oven rack for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for an addition 1 hour and 20 minutes (or until almost set).  Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

4. Stir together the sour cream and sugar and spread over the top of the cheesecake and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes more.  Cool on a wire rack then cover and chill for 8 hours.  Remove the sides of the pan and garnish before serving.

Pralines

Ingredients
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of half-and-half
3 Tablespoons of butter
1-1/4 cup of coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions
1. Butter the bottom of a heavy 3-quart saucepan.  Cook the borwn sugar and the next three ingredients in the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugars dissolve; stir in the pecans.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from the heat.

2. Stir in the vanilla and let stand for 3 minutes.  Beat with a wooden spoon for 3 more minutes or until  the mixture begins to thicken.  Working rapidly, drop by Tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Let stand until firm.