Monday, February 28, 2005

New Book by Stephen King

New York (February 28, 2005) – Winterfall LLC, creator of the celebrated Hard Case Crime line of pulp-style paperback crime novels, today announced that a new book by Stephen King will be the lead title of the line’s second year. The Colorado Kid tells the story of two veteran newspapermen and their investigation into the mysterious death of a man on an island off the coast of Maine. The book was written specifically for Hard Case Crime and has never previously been published. One of the most beloved storytellers of all time, Stephen King is the world’s best-selling novelist, with more than 300,000,000 books in print.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Provencal Beef Slow Cooker Stew Weight Watchers Recipe - Provencal Beef Slow Cooker Stew: "Recipes
Provencal Beef Slow Cooker Stew

WW POINTS Value | 4
Servings | 6
Preparation Time | 20 min
Cooking Time | 390 min
Level of Difficulty | Moderate

Pureed beans added to this dish give it a robust, hearty stew with a wonderfully thick texture.


1 pound lean beef round, cut into 1-inch cubes (London Broil)
1 serving cooking spray (5 one-second sprays per serving)
1 small onion(s), chopped
2 cup mushroom(s), sliced
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 large carrot(s), sliced (about 1 cup)
15 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup canned beef broth
14 1/2 oz canned crushed tomatoes, (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp thyme, fresh, or 2 whole sprigs, for garnish (optional)

1. Place beef in a 5-quart slow cooker. Coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté over medium-high heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to slow cooker. Add carrots.

2. Place half of beans in slow cooker. Place remaining beans in blender. Add 1/2 cup of broth to blender and puree. Add mixture to slow cooker. Add remaining broth, tomatoes, oregano, dried thyme, salt and pepper to slow cooker.

3. Cover and cook on high setting of slow cooker for 6 to 7 hours. Garnish with fresh thyme. Yields about 2 cups per serving."

Friday, February 18, 2005

Organic Gardening Blog

A new gardening blog has popped up.
Sonoran Garden

Two Interesting 'Blogs - Check 'em Out.

These are two interesting and well-written 'blogs, both by the same woman:
This is My Body, This is My Blood

Prose and Cons

I found them by accident while doing a google search. That seems to be the way I find most of the things I 'blog about.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Waiter Rant

This 'blog - Waiter Rant
is without a doubt the funniest I have ever read.

Reading his posts has changed my interaction with wait staff forever.

And I tip better, too!
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

That's Going To Leave A Mark

LONDON (Reuters) - A British woman was sentenced to two and a half years in jail Thursday for ripping off her ex-lover's testicle with her bare hands during a drunken brawl after he refused her sex.

Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage in May last year after Geoffrey Jones, 37, who had ended their long-term relationship, rejected her advances.

She grabbed him by the genitals, tearing off his left testicle, then hid it in her mouth before a friend of Jones handed it back to him saying "that's yours."

Monti, of Birkenhead, near Liverpool, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at an earlier hearing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Orbital Wheels

Very Cool.


The Garden Guy

Here is a cool web site about gardening in the Sonoran Desert (specifically Phoenix area). The guy does everything organically, so it is a good resource for that type of information, and he guides you on when to do pruning, weed control, and things like that.

I am getting very interested in gardening around my house, and I like to use organic approaches.
Here is a method of weed control that I got from the site:

Weed Control Recipe
To kill weeds organically, try Dave's homemade solution for weed control, as featured on Channel 3:
1 gallon white vinegar
1 oz. citronella or citrus oil
1 tsp. Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap (Wild Oats stores)
Put in a pump sprayer and apply to weeds.
For a stronger weed control, try GardenVille Weed Control.

My first approach to gardening will be to get some pallets and make a compost area behind my back wall. We are going to need a lot of compost once we reach our final garden configuration. My mom composted when I was growing up, and it still pains me to throw away vegetable peels and such. My mom didn't turn her pile or anything - we just dumped the stuff. Eventually, it would decompose. In the spring, we'd get some really good tomatoes off of the plants that sprouted from seeds we had dumped the year before.

Wrong Thinking

I just realized, I've been going about this all wrong.

I started up my 'blog just for fun. I wanted to play around with it, and I had a vague idea that I could post things that are happening to me, and my family and friends would sign on to check it out. Mostly, though, I thought 'blogs were cool, and I wanted one.

Then I got the idea that scores of people would pay attention to me if I had a 'blog. (Why I feel this intense need for attention is beyond me). I thought if I'd only post interesting stuff, I'd get people that would stop by and comment. Then I thought I could make a little money by signing up for Google Adsense. The scores of people that visited my sight would find the adds useful.

Well, no one has commented on a single post. Sure, there's a photo I posted that has a comment, but the sad thing is that is actually me, playing around with the site. I don't really want to take the time out of my life to write a lot of stuff to post here, and I don't think any of my friends or family has every looked at my 'blog.

I am going to continue to put things here, but just for my self. I'll post articles I liked, and I have an idea on some reviews of Brian Herbert's and Kevin Anderson's Dune books, but who knows if I'll get around to it. In short, this site is going to be for me alone. I'd be happy to hear from people who wander in, but I'm not going to do anything to entice people. I'm really not that insecure that I must jump up and down, wave my arms and shout "LOOK AT ME". Sheesh.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

AP Photo of Lava from Kilauea flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
Posted by Hello
Europe, Thy Name Is Cowardice
by Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer
from the German periodical Die Welt, 20 November 2004.

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe — your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.

Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and, even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U. N. Oil-for-Food program.

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany.

I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.

His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary, we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even Otto Schily justifiably criticizes.


Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy, because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake — literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation, or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "Reach out to terrorists, to understand and forgive".

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.

Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.