Archive for February, 2013

What’s for Breakfast?

February 28, 2013

Cookies!  And why not?  Using standard breakfast ingredients, here is a wonderful breakfast meal (in my humble opinion).  Of course the sugar and glaze make this a less-healthy option, but you can’t go wrong with the egg, the oatmeal, AND the bacon!

Bacon Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

1/2 pound of bacon
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspooon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
7/8 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 Tablespoons water (as needed)
1-1/2 Tablespoons real maple syrup

1. Place the bacon in a frying pan and cook over medium-high heat (turning occasionally) until evenly browned (about 10 minutes). Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. After the bacon cools, chop it up and set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together in a mixing bowl until it is fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until thoroughtly mixed. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl then stir into the butter mixture. Gradually stir in the oats and the bacon until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly grease your baking sheets.

4. Using about 1/3 a cup of dough at a time, roll into a ball and place on baking sheet about three inches apart. Use a fork dipped in water to flatten the balls a bit.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown (with slightly browner edges). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 3-5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling.

6. For the glaze, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, water, and maple syrup together in a bowl until smooth. Let the glaze stand about 5 minutes to thicken; then drizzle over the tops of the cookies. Let cookies sit for about 20 minutes to set prior to storing.

Now that’s what I call an excellent breakfast!



Please, No Foreshadowing!

February 27, 2013

Being an avid reader as well as an avid moviegoer, it is always a joy to arrive at the end without having figured out how it all sorts out.  Unfortunately, more often than not, the plot/storyline is adumbrated far too early in the book or movie.  This foreshadowing never really ruins my enjoyment; I just like an occasional surprise — predictable plots are  not nearly as much fun.


\a-duhm-breyt, aduhm-breyt\, verb (used  with an object);
1. to produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch.
2. to foreshadow; prefigure.
3. to darken or conceal partially; overshadow.


Let’s Not Be Idle!

February 26, 2013

Keeping busy has never been a problem for me.  I’m really good at finding things to do to keep myself occupied.   The key is in the variety of activities I pursue.  And because my interests are varied, I am rarely idle and rarely bored.  In fact, I can sometimes find myself in the dilemma of staying too busy; a problem that forces me to actually schedule “down” time where I don’t “plan” anything (usually once a month).  Of course, then I have to be careful of the spontaneity factor which will thrust me into an activity on the spur of the moment.   Again, not a bad thing necessarily, but without the occasional time to “recharge the battery,” staying overscheduled for too long can also have disasterous results.  So far, I’ve managed quite well.  Vacations can come in really handy as well; they allow you to step outside your routine.  It is amazing what a simple change of surroundings can do for your spirit and demeanor.  Here are a few quotations that sum up my thoughts on idleness quite well.

“Life is short.  Play hard.”  — Reebok

“Idle time is the devil’s play.” — Mark Dayton

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.”   — Thomas Jefferson


College Basketball 2013, Week Seventeen!

February 25, 2013

127Well, the Spartans had a very bad week and lost twice (their first back-to-back losses this season): they came up a little short against Indiana at home this week (losing by four) and then lost on the road to Ohio State. They are now in second place in the Big Ten behind the Hoosiers.   Regardless, the Big Ten conference continues to have five teams in the top-25 (Indiana [#1], Michigan State [#4], Michigan [#7], Ohio State [#18], and Wisconsin [#19]), at least for now.     Next up for the Spartans: a road trip to Michigan (#7). Then next week we finish out the season with a couple of home games: against Wisconsin (#19) and Northwestern.  Then we’ll have to endure the grueling Big Ten Championship Tournament, then . . . on to the Big Dance!  Go Green!

The upsets among the top-25 this week included:
Miami (#2) losing to unranked Wake Forest.
MIchigan State (#4) losing to Ohio State (#18).
Florida (#5) losing to unranked Missouri by only three points.
Syracuse (#8) losing to Georgetown (#11).
Butler (#15) losing to unranked Saint Louis by only four points.
Marquette (#17) losing to unranked Villinova by only four points.
Pittsburgh (#20) losing to Notre Dame (#25).
Colorado State (#22) losing to unranked UNLV by only two points.
Oregon (#23) losing to unranked California by only two points.
VCU (#24) losing to unranked Saint Louis.

The close calls (wins by six points or less [two scores]) among the top-25 this week included:
Indiana (#1) defeating Michigan State (#4) by only four points.
Miami (#2) defeating unranked Virginia by only four points.
Kansas (#9) defeating Oklahoma State (#14) by only one point in double overtime.
VCU (#24) defeating unranked Xavier by only four points.

The losses to higher-ranked teams among the top-25 this week included:
Michigan State (#4) losing to Indiana (#1) by only four points.
Oklahoma State (#14) losing to Kansas (#9) by only one point in double overtime.
Colorado State (#22) losing to New Mexico (#16).

Think Tropical!

February 24, 2013

Having just concluded a week of “wintery” weather, and with winter storms continuing to rage across the northeast, are you ready for spring yet?  Wouldn’t you love to escape either to the tropics or at least to a warmer clime?  I certainly would.  But until I do, or as a stop-gap measure, here’s a video that should help me “Escape.”  And while we’re at it, let’s also take a moment to wish Rupert Holmes a very Happy Birthday!

Just Put[t]zing Around!

February 23, 2013

For all of you golf enthusiasts out there, here is a pretty cool putting demonstration (courtesy of the PGA Golf Management program at Campbell University).  Every month they have a competition between the different classes to challenge them to excel. The January competition was to see how many people could line up and make a putt at the same time. The January competition winner was the Senior Class who were able to get nine people to complete this feat!

Keep Calm!

February 22, 2013

keepcalmdemotivatorThe phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” was from a propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 at the start of World War II.  Its sole purpose was to raise the morale of the British public.  But it had very limited distribution and was never displayed in public.  Since the copyright has expired and the image has entered the public domain, there has been a resurgence in its use and it has become heavily commercialized.  And, as its popularity has grown, so have the parodies.  Here is one of those parodies (using a play on words rather than the image) in the form of a demotivator (courtesy of  Happy Friday!

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

February 21, 2013

winter_weatherWe have had a fairly mild winter thus far, and our weather is certainly not as “frightful” as some other parts of the country, but we have been seeing a bit of winter reality from early yesterday morning through today.  There are generally four types of precipitation that can occur during winter: rain, freezing rain, snow, and sleet.  Within the last couple of days, we have experienced three of the four (no sleet [yet] that I’m aware of).

  • Rain is water droplets that form in clouds and fall to the ground.  Did you also know that all precipitation starts out as ice or snow crystals at the cloud level?  As this frozen precipitation falls into a layer of sufficiently warmer air (with temperatures above freezing) it melts into rain. If this warm air extends all the way to the surface of the earth, rain will fall at ground level.
  • Freezing rain occurs when the rain droplets fall into a shallow layer of cold air near the earth’s surface and freeze upon contact with the ground, leaving a coating or glaze.
  • Snow is frozen precipitation in the form of a six-sided ice crystal.  Snow requires temperatures to be below freezing in all or most of the atmosphere from the surface to cloud level.
  • Sleet is frozen precipitation falling as ice pellets. Ice pellets occur when snowflakes melt into raindrops as they pass through a thin layer of warmer air.  The raindrops then refreeze into particles of ice when they fall into a layer of sub-freezing air near the surface of the earth.  The difference between sleet and freezing rain: with freezing rain the subfreezing air is so shallow that the raindrops do not have time to refreeze into ice until they make contact with the ground.  Sleet is different from hail as well.  Sleet only occurs in the winter, hail usual falls from a thunderstorm during the warmer spring and summer months.

So, as we head out this morning, stay safe, stay warm, and drive cautiously!

Are You Literate?

February 20, 2013

Then thank your teachers.  By the simplest of definitions, literacy is the ability to read and write.  This covers the “prose” and the “document” forms of literacy, but what about the quantitative (numbers and/or money)?  It is most distressing these days to encounter a salesperson at a checkout line cash register who is incapable of making correct change unless the cash register figures out the total for them.  Here’s a startling infographic from about 10 years ago (courtesy of I can only imagine what this percentage has risen to in the last ten years or so.

23% of America Is Illiterate

Bloody Red!

February 19, 2013

Or crimson, as it were.  Here’s a word that I should have posted last week on Valentine’s Day, a day best known for its incarnadine color.  But another thought comes to mind: that of the school colors of the major universities throughout the country.  “Incarnadine Tide” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  Besides Alabama, what other schools have “crimson” as one of their school colors?  (There were far more that I realized.)  Here’s what I’ve been able to come up with so far: the University of Oklahoma, Harvard University, the University of Kansas, New Mexico State University, Southern Methodist University, University of Utah, Washington State University, Denver University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Ferris State University, Austin College, Indiana University, University of Indianapolis, and Central Washington State University.


\in-kahr-nuh-dahyn, -din, -deen\, adjective, noun, verb;

1. blood-red; crimson;
2. flesh-colored; pale pink;

3. an incarnadine color;

4. to make incarndine.