Archive for July, 2011


July 31, 2011

Here is a wonderful syllogism (from an old German Proverb) that really makes a leap, but I like it nonetheless.

Drink wine and you will sleep well.
Sleep well and you will not sin.
Avoid sin and you will be saved.
Ergo, drink wine and be saved.

Enjoy some wine today.

Here are some statistics that document the growth of the wine industry in Michigan.  From 1991 to 2011, the number of wineries has grown from 14 to 81; there are now four wine trails (1. Leelanau Peninsula Vintner’s Association, 2. Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country, 3. Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, and 4. Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail); and the number of acres of wine grapes has more than doubled from 900 to 2,000.

If you ever find yourself in the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan, by all means stop by the family winery (Boskydel).

Statistics courtesy of Michigan Wine Country: Wine & Touring Guide.


Happy National Cheesecake Day!

July 30, 2011

And, while this is not an “official” holiday (no Congressional or Presidential proclamations), I am certainly going to celebrate the occasion!  Already this week I’ve made four cheesecakes (Caramel, White Chocolate Raspberry [2], and a White Chocolate Strawberry) and will be making one more (Peach) before the end of this week (while fresh peaches are in season!).

Peach Cheesecake (with a Gingershap Crust!)

25 Gingersnap cookies (crushed)
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, melted

4 small peaches (about 1-1/4 pounds, peeled and sliced)
1-1/4 cups (plus 2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened (room temperature)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup peach preserves
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 large peach, peeled, and thinly sliced

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind gingersnaps in food processor (coarse crumbs). Add melted butter and mix well. Press crumbs on bottom (and 1 inch up the sides) of a lightly greased 9″ springform pan. Bake until lightly brown (about 8 minutes); cool on a rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

For filling:
Combine peaches, 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice in large, heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and peaches are tender and juicy (about 5 minutes); remove the cover and cook an additional 5 minutes until juices thicken a bit. Cool this fruit compote.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Spoon half of the cream cheese mixture into the crust, spoon the peach compote on top of this layer, and then top with the remaining cream cheese mixture.

Wrap foil on the bottom and up the sides of your cheesecake pan and bake until lightly browned and set in the middle (about an hour — there should be a slight jiggle in the center). Cool the cheesecake on a rack and then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

For glaze:
Combine the peach preserves and the lemon juice in a small heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, cook the mixture and stir until mixture begins to simmer. Put glaze over the top of your cheesecake and refrigerate until the glaze sets (at least 30 minutes). Arrange peach slices in the center of the cheesecake and serve.


What is Life?

July 29, 2011

The following quotation (or is it better classified as a poem?) was shared with me last week (thank you Amanda) and it really is a good reminder that life requires participation!  And, we could proabably continue to add to this list if we wanted to.  Look at all these action verbs!  Carpe diem!

Life is an Adventure … Dare it!
Life is a Beauty … Praise it!
Life is a Challenge … Meet it!
Life is a Duty … Perform it!
Life is a Love … Enjoy it!
Life is a Tragedy … Face it!
Life is a Struggle … Fight it!
Life is a Promise … Fulfill it!
Life is a Game … Play it!
Life is a Gift … Accept it!
Life is a Journey … Complete it!
Life is a Mystery … Unfold it!
Life is a Goal … Achieve it!
Life is an Opportunity … Take it!
Life is a Puzzle … Solve it!
Life is a Song … Sing it!
Life is a Sorrow … Overcome it!
Life is a Spirit … Realize it!

New Resource for Vocabulary?

July 28, 2011

Well, new to me.  I’ve discovered a book (originally published in 1997) that I am just going to have to acquire.  And, I think it will complement (or at least offer a different view from) my Cynic’s Dictionary quite nicely.  The book, The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate (by Eugene Ehrlich), contains 192 pages of words that you won’t find in just anyone’s vocabulary.  I’ll start with a word from the very back of the book . . .


\zoo-KET-oh\, noun;
in the Roman Catholic Church, an ecclesiastical skullcap, black for a priest, violet for a bishop, red for a cardinal, and white for the pope.

Film Festival Begins!

July 27, 2011

The Traverse City Film Festival official got underway last night (although there was a film [The Blob] at the Turtle Creek Resort and Casino on Monday evening) and over the course of the next five days I have fourteen movies slated across four different venues.

I hit the ground running today (four movies) . . . let the movie marathon begin!

The Princess of Montpensier (France/Germany, 2010).
Incendies (Canada/France, 2010).
The Trip (UK, 2010).
All Good Things (USA, 2010).

Caption Contest!

July 26, 2011

A friend sent me this awesome picture a couple of weeks ago . . .  it has the potential for some really interesting captions.  His caption:

“When a guy can’t stand it anymore.”  (or, “when a gal can’t stand it anymore?”)

I’m certainly no ornithologist and I have no idea what the gender is of either bird.  What do you think?  Any other clever captions out there? (Let’s keep it clean, though.)

Marvel-ous Monday Part Eight!

July 25, 2011

After a couple of weeks of posting about dams (Hoover and Three Gorges), we’ll stick with the “water” theme, but switch gears to one of the most difficult engineering endeavors ever attempted . . . the Panama Canal.  This nearly 48-mile long passage through Panama between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was begun by France in 1880, but not completed until 1914 (by the United States)  During the American construction phase (over a ten-year period), more than 211 million cubic yards of dirt and rock were scraped away to finish the canal. 

Finishing the canal had an enormous impact on shipping — to get from New York to San Francisco, ships no longer had to travel the long and treacherous route (14,000 miles) via either the Strait of Magellan or Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America.  Instead, via the canal, a ship only had to travel 5,900 miles — less than half the distance of the other route.

For more background information on the Panama Canal (history, construction, challenges, locks, dams, the future, etc.) check out this link.

The Panama Canal is also the subect of my favorite palindrome . . .

A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!

A Librarian’s Worth!

July 24, 2011

Here is a wonderful inforgraphic from on the value of librarians (reposted from the Lone Wolf Librarian Blog). Enjoy!

A Librarian's Worth Around the World  | Infographic |

Don’t Cry For Me . . . !

July 23, 2011

 The act of crying (aka sobbing, wailing, weeping, whimpering, bawling, and blubbering) has been defined as “a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures” (Patel, V. (1993). “Crying behavior and psychiatric disorder in adults: a review”).  The medical term is to lachrymate.


\lak-ruh-meyt\, verb;
1. to weep.

Variations of this word include: lachrymation, lachrymator, lachrymatory, lachrymiform, lachrymology, lachrymose, and lachrymosity.

Some Friday Humor!

July 22, 2011

Happy Friday!  Here’s another gem  of a demotivator (in video format) on “how to address employee complaints” from   Enjoy!