Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

November 23, 2017

Did you know that Turkey Trots are the most popular races in America?  Did you also know that eating that large Thanksgiving Day meal can cause you to gain a full pound in one day and consume more than 4,000 calories?  Here’s an infographic to show you how long you would have to run to burn off some of these calories.  Enjoy!



Long-Term Care!

November 22, 2017

According to a study compiled by the AARP Public Policy Institute, the Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation, “more than 9 in 10 Americans want to live at home or with a relative — rather than at a nursing home — for as long as possible.”  According to the study some states would be able to provide this to seniors better than others.  For the states that do it well, it is not only good for the person needing care, but it is generally less expensive to boot.  The states that do this the best include:

  1. Washington
  2. Minnesota
  3. Vermont
  4. Oregon
  5. Alaska

The states that don’t do quite as well include:

46.  Tennessee
47.  Mississippi
48.  Alabama
49.  Kentucky
50.  Indiana

Source: AARP Bulletin, September 2017, p 38.

College Basketball 2018, Week Two!

November 21, 2017

The Big Ten conference has three teams in the AP top-25: Michigan State [#4], Minnesota [#14], and Purdue [#18].  The Spartans faced the #1 Duke Blue Devils last Tuesday and came up a little short to suffer their first loss of the season, alas.  They played again Sunday and came away with the victory against the Stony Brook Seawolves.  Come March, I’m confident that the Spartans will be ready for a deep run into the tournament.  Go Green!

Next up for the Spartans: at the PK80 tournament in Portland versus Depaul on Thursday (23rd).

The upsets this week included:
Northwestern (#20) losing to unranked Creighton by four (4) points and losing to unranked Texas Tech (by more than 30 points!).
UCLA (#23) losing to unranked Creighton.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
USC (#10) defeating unranked Vanderbilt by four (4) points.
Baylor (#22) defeating unranked Wisconsin by five (5) points.
UCLA (#23) defeating unranked Central Arkansas by five (5) points in overtime.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Duke (#1) defeating Michigan State (#2).
Kansas (#4) defeating Kentucky (#7) by four (4) points.

A Platinum Occasion!

November 20, 2017

Today, Queen Elizabeth and the Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh) celebrate their Platinum (70th) Anniversary!  Congratulations!  And, rather than having a full-fledged, public celebration, they will settle for a small dinner party at Windsor Castle.  How often does a platinum anniversary occur?  Not very often at all, and especially not with a couple that is so much in the public eye as this royal couple.

Need to know more about platinum?   Need to know more about wedding anniversaries?

Being married for seventy years is a long time, but throughout the course of history, there have been numerous marriages that have lasted even longer.  Check out the list here.

College Football 2017, Week Twelve!

November 19, 2017

In their last home game of the season, the Spartans managed to win yet another close game in what looked like positively miserable conditions (rain, sleet, snow).    But a win is a win, and today’s win was the Spartan’s eighth of the season which puts them in second place of the Big Ten East division (tied with Penn State, and one game behind Ohio State).  A vast improvement over last year’s 3-9 record.    There currently are six (6) Big Ten teams in the College Football Playoff top-25 (undefeated Wisconsin, [#5], Ohio State [#9], Penn State [#10], Michigan State [#17], Northwestern [#23], and Michigan [#24]).  Next up for the Spartans: their last regular season game on the road to visit the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers.  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Oklahoma State (#13) losing to unranked Kansas State by five (5) points.
NC State (#19) losing to unranked Wake Forest by six (6) points.

The close calls this week (games that were won by a touchdown or less) included:
Notre Dame (#8) defeating unranked Navy by seven (7) points.
USC (#11) defeating unranked UCLA by five (5) points.
Mississippi State (#16) defeating unranked Arkansas by seven (7) points.
Washington (#18) defeating unranked Utah by three (3) points.
Stanford (#22) defeating unranked Cal by three (3) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Wisconsin (#5) defeating Michigan (#24).

The Tell-Tale!

November 18, 2017

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

The Tell-Tale

When youthful blood distends the veins,
Love fills the heart, and fires the brains,
Makes virgins dream they toy and kiss,
And long to taste substantial bliss.
Since this with females is the way,
And thus they wish both night and day;
Then, without witchcraft, one may guess
Their thoughts, by what their looks express;
And what discourse may pass between
Two wishing maidens of fifteen.

To prove what I have said is truth,
Two sisters in the bloom of youth,
Born by their mother at a birth,
Overcharged with blood, and full of mirth;
Alike in features, shape, and air,
With sparkling eyes and flaxen hair;
With lips like any coral red,
And lilies over their bosom spread,
For ever smiling, always gay
And, spite of what mamma could say,
About the town all day would roam,
And scarcely stayed one hour at home.

My lady was an arrant prude,
And could not bear such latitude:
Was formal, forward, stiff, and nice,
Each morning railed at sin and vice,
And gave her daughters sage advice,
But all in vain, it would not do,
The girls had something else in view,
And still went gadding up and down
To each amusement in the town,
Till mamma, in an angry tone,
vowed, if they would not let alone
Their idle ways, her skill she’d try,
And lock them up three stories high.
As thus my lady, like to choke,
In anger to the fair ones spoke,
A daughter younger by some years,
Than her dear sisters showed her fears;
Yet, smiling to mamma, did say,
“I know a sure and certain way
“Will make my sisters keep the house.”
“Pray what is that my little mouse?”
My lady said, and on her smiled,
“Get them stiff p—–les,” said the child;
“Whether they sit, or lie, or walk,
“Of p—–les they forever talk;
” ‘Tis that they wish for, and they want,
“And if you will their wishes grant;
“I’ll lay my life that they shall stay
“Within the house both night and day.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty!

November 17, 2017

Today’s real facts (courtesy of http://www.snapple.com) are all about the left hand.  Did you know that . . .

  • about 11% of the people in the world are left-handed? (Real Fact #52)
  • ancient Egyptians believed the “vein of love” ran from the third finger on the left hand to the heart? (Real Fact #309)
  • twins have a very high occurrence of left-handedness?  (Real Fact #729)
  • left-handed people tend to chew food on the left side? (Real Fact #834)
  • all of the major candidates in the 1992, 1996, and 2008 U.S. Presidential elections were left-handed? (Real Facts #985)
  • six of the last twelve U.S. Presidents have been left-handed, far greater than the national average of lefties?  (Real Fact #1178)

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts

Stupid, Trouble, and Shut Up!

November 16, 2017

Happy Monday!  Let’s start the new work week with a real groaner . . . enjoy!

One Day Stupid, Trouble, and Shut Up were driving along in their car when Trouble suddenly hurled himself out of the window.

Well, Stupid and Shut Up did not know what to do so they went to the police station.

When they got there the chief asked them their names.

“Shut Up”, replied Shut Up.
“Stupid”, replied Stupid.

The police chief thought these people were telling him to shut up, and were calling him stupid. Which made him very mad.

“Excuse Me!” shouted the chief.

Thinking the chief was hard of hearing, They once again shouted there names.

“Shut Up!”

The police chief was very riled. He then asked
“Are you looking for trouble?”!!!

Stunned at the idea of the chief knowing that they were looking for their friend, they replied,

“Why yes, how did you know?”

Source: https://unijokes.com/cop-jokes/13/

Cheesecake of the Month – November 2017!

November 15, 2017

So, amazingly enough, I have not yet thought to try to create a cheesecake with Nutella. Well that is about to change.  And, just in time for the fall harvest of hazelnuts to hit the store produce departments.

Nutella Cheesecake

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of ground oreo cookies or chocolate graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups of Nutella
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

For the topping:

  • 1 cup of Nutella
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, peeled, toasted, and chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In a food processor, grind your crumbs and hazelnuts. In a bowl, stir together the crumb mixture, sugar, and melted butter until the crumbs are moistened.

Pour into your springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 1-1/2 inches up the sides. Bake on the center rack of your oven until set, about 8 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and allow the crust cool on a wire rack.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

To make the filling, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar mixture and beat until incorporated.

Add the Nutella, cream, and vanilla and beat until well blended.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as required.

Pour the filling into the crust and spread it out evenly.

Bake until the filling is set and the center still jiggles slightly when gently shaken, about 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on a rack for about 30 minutes.

To make the topping, in a saucepan over low heat, warm the Nutella and the cream, stirring constantly, until smooth and completely combined. Let this mixture cool for about 5 minutes (the mixture should be smooth and spreadable). Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Let the cheesecake cool completely.

Cover and refrigerate the cheesecake until well chilled (at least 4 hours). Remove the pan sides and bottom and place the cake onto a serving plate. Garnish with the chopped hazelnuts and serve.


Amazing Adjective, Number Twenty-Five!

November 14, 2017

Here is a word possibly from the Middle English knorre, meaning “a knot,” + -ed, an adjectival suffix.  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“Without the knurled edge, neither my wife nor I would ever have been able to open a jar of martini olives.”


\ nurld \, adjective;

1. having small ridges on the edge or surface; milled.
2. having knurls or knots; gnarled.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.