Archive for August, 2015

“Some Say Love . . . It Is a River . . . !”

August 31, 2015

Or so go the lyrics to the Bette Midler song of the same name.  Here’s an origami version of a rose.  Happy folding!

Oxymoronic Humor!

August 30, 2015

I truly love a good oxymoron (a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction) and have upon occasion perused a copy of Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe in search of some light entertainment.  My most recent perusal landed me in the “wit and humor” section where I found the following gems.  Enjoy!

“A bank is place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”  (Bob Hope)

“I figure you have the same chance of winning the lottery whether you play or not.”  (Fran Lebowitz)

“It is difficult to keep quiet if you have nothing to say.”  (Malcolm Margolin)

“It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I’m right.”  (Molière)

“I love mankind — it’s the people I can’t stand.”  (Charles M. Schulz)

“I hate intolerant people.”  (Gloria Steinem)

“There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.”  (James Thurber)

The list could go on, but I think this will do for now.

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Fifty-Two!

August 29, 2015

The Perfect Cream Puff, aka Choux Pastry!

Choux is actually a light pastry dough that contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs.  And instead of utlizing a more popular rising agent (baking soda or baking powder) this pastry form employs a high moisture content to create steam during the cooking which puffs the pastry.

You will want to cook the dough long enough to allow the flour particles to swell and to evaporate as much of the moisture as possible.  The drier your dough, the more egg it will be able to absorb and the more puffed the final product will be.  For maximum puffiness, beat each egg vigorously to incorporate lots of air into the dough.  Bake the puffs until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, then reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake another 10-15 minutes to dry out the shells.   Then, puncture the shells with a knife to release any residual steam (which will help you avoid sogginess).


August 28, 2015

Today I will be introducing a vocabulary word that I recently discovered; a word most often used when referring to soil and/or stones or rocks.  “The Jebel ed-Druz is a group of extinct volcanoes whose friable volcanic soil is extraordinarily fertile.”


frahyuh-buh l \, adjective;

1.  easily crumbled or reduced to powder; crumbly

Source: and


August 27, 2015

Here’s the next installment of manners and etiquette (courtesy of the Goops)?

When you are playing with the girls,
You must not pull their pretty curls;
If you are gentle when you play,
You will be glad of it someday.

Source: Goops and How to Be Them: a Manual of Manners for Polite Infants Inculcating Many Juvenile Virtues Both by Precept and Example by Gelett Burgess.

The Final Inspection!

August 26, 2015

Here’s a poem (author unknown) that seems to have two titles —  The Final Inspection as well as The Policeman’s Lot.  And despite these two titles, I’m still unable to ascertain the author.  Regardless,

The policeman stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?”

The policeman squared his shoulders
and said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,
Because those of us who carry a badge
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough,
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much.
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”

There was silence all around the throne
Where saints had often trod,
As the policeman waited quietly,
for the judgement of his God.

“Step forward now, policeman.
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets,
you’ve done your time in Hell.”

Self-Diagnosis for the Die-Hard Runner!

August 25, 2015

If you are a runner, chances are you have experienced one or more of these maladies. The secret to a successful and long running career revolves around being able to diagnose what’s wrong and either treat it (or prevent it in the first place).  Four of the more common lower-leg injuries include: calf strains, shin splints, stress fractures, and achilles tendinitis.  There are things you can do to prevent any of these from happening, but if you do succumb, then diagnose and treat it early.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know the difference between simple aches and pains and an actual injury.  When in doubt, always consult a physician.

Do you have discomfort in your calf (twinge, tightness, excruciating pain)?  Chances are you have a calf strain. To treat it…

  • Don’t run.
  • Ice for 15 minutes, five times a day.
  • Wear a compression sleeve for the first 48-hours.
  • Elevate your leg above your hip for the first 48-hours.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications can help.
  • See a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve.

To prevent it . . .

  • Foam roll/stretch your calves daily.
  • Strength train.

Do you have tenderness or achiness along your shin?  This could be one of two things: shin splints or a stress fracture.

To treat shin splints . . .

  • Reduce your mileage and start cross-training.
  • Apply ice for 15 minutes, five times a day.
  • Consider arch supports if you tend to overpronate.
  • If the pain doesn’t subside with rest, stop running and see a doctor (to rule out a stress fracture).

To prevent them . . .

  • Always increase your mileage gradually.
  • Strength train (target your glutes and core).
  • Shorten your stride.
  • Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D.

To treat a stress fracture . . .

  • Get medical care.
  • Avoid activities that put weight on your leg.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D.

To prevent them . . .

  • Increase your mileage gradually.
  • Have the right running shoes (overpronation can cause this issue).
  • Strength train (focus on the glutes and core).
  • Shorten your stride and increase your cadence (puts less stress on your shins)

Do you have mild to severe soreness along the Achilles Tendon?  Chances are you have Achilles Tendinitis.

To treat it . . .

  • Don’t run.  Swim, bike, or pool-run.
  • Ice for 15 minutes, five times a day.
  • Foam roll and strength train your calves.
  • See a doctor if there’s a lump in the tendon (sign of a tear).

To prevent it . . .

  • Do plyometric exercises.
  • Foam roll calves daily.
  • Increase mileage gradually.

Go forth and run well!

Source: Runner’s World magazine, August 2015.

More Famous First Facts!

August 24, 2015

A few weeks ago I shared some “firsts” related to the State of Oklahoma.  Today I’ll be sharing some famous “firsts” for August 24th . . .  enjoy!

  • 1st Catholic holy orders (St. Augustine, FL, 1675)
  • 1st court-martial in a colony (Newport, RI, 1676)
  • 1st village improvement society (Laurel Hill Association of Stockbridge, MA, 1853)
  • 1st waffle iron patent (Cornelius Swarthout, Troy, NY, 1869)
  • 1st parcel post service (1912)
  • 1st transcontinental nonstop airplane flight by a woman (Amelia Earhart, 1932)
  • 1st United Nations delegate who was African-American (Edith Spurlock Samson, 1950)
  • 1st Air Force Medal of Honor for action in the Korean War (Major Louis J. Sebille, 1951)
  • 1st Senator of Asian ancestry (Hiram Leong Fong, 1959)
  • 1st Catholic mass in English (Catholic University of America, St. Louis, MO, 1964)
  • 1st woman to serve as patent examiner-in-chief (Anna R. G. Nichols, 1971)

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janel Podell.

Do Tell, William . . . a la Edgar Cruz!

August 23, 2015

Here is a wonderful rendition of The William Tell Overture performed by Oklahoma classical guitarist, Edgar Cruz.  Very nicely done!  I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I’ve never been able to hear this Oklahoman musician live in concert (yet) . . . I will have to rectify this in the not too distant future.

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Fifty-One!

August 22, 2015

Freezer tips and tricks . . .

Vacuum sealing zip-top bags: to prevent freezer burn, you must be sure to remove as much of the air from the bag as possible.  While this is easy to do with liquids, it gets a little tricky when dealing with solid foods.  Put the food in the bag, insert a drinking straw into one end of the bag and close the zipper up to the straw.  Pinch the zipper and bag around the straw and suck out the air (yes, use your mouth).  Then quickly remove the straw and finish the zip.  This is almost as good as a vacuum pack and will considerably extend the life of your frozen foods.

Another method involves immersing the open bag of food (up to the top edge) in water .  The water pressure forces all the air out of the bag.  Then zip the bag closed and remove from the water.

Source: Russ Shumaker and Matt Kaspar, in How to Break an Egg by the editors, contributors and readers of Fine Cooking magazine (p. 272-273).