Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Pepper Store

So, it's spring. Well, sort of anyway. Maybe just a wee bit late.

Ms. Avops and myself are going out to pick up some pepper plants for the mini garden that replaced our huge sprawling garden from years back. So first we hit the local grocery store... green bell peppers are sold out, sorry. Next, we hit the local greenhouse... same story. Then we head a little farther out of town to the lady who sells plants in front of her house. Now this is a kind of sad statement as to the regulation of small home-based growers. Seems that this gal, who for years has been selling her greenhouse starter plants at very competitive prices has been shut down by the township. Big Brother told her that there were too many cars stopping to buy her products and that it was causing a nuisance to someone and gave her a cease and desist order. Pretty sad, she always had a good selection of very healthy plants at really good prices. I'm guessing she was causing a loss of profit to the well connected “legitimate business” around here.

Anyway, with that option scratched of the list, off we go to the “Big Box” store in the next town over. Yay! They still have some garden vegetable plants! So we make our way through the elbow-to-elbow crowds to the vegetable section.... and.... there are 2, yes, TWO green bell pepper plants left. One looked like a survivor of a drone strike and the other looked like maybe it was coming down with a case of capsicum fever.... so I grabs the flat of feverish looking peppers and am ready to make a quick escape from the hordes in the “Big Box” open air prison complex.

Suddenly, I realize that Ms. Avops is nowhere to be found........ rats.

So off I go in search of the missing woman. Quickly scanning the writhing hordes, I spot a waving arm! There's the Ms. right back where I started. So I make my way back, bouncing off a few plant zombies, and meet Ms. A right where I got my green pepper treasures. She has a big smile and a flat of decent looking pepper-like plants in her hand. She says "these are the ones we are going to buy!"

 OK, at this point I'm ready to crawl over the barb wire fence to get out of there. She takes my flat of feverish looking green peppers and puts them back on the shelf and gives me HER flat of decent looking green peppers.

Zoom... we're outta there!

Back a the ranch, I get the planter ready for the green peppers and start removing them from the fancy pot, noticing that the leaves are a little different than what I remember from green peppers, I spy some microscopic writing on the side of the flat. So I go get my magnifying glass (yes, I'm at THAT age) and low and behold.... we are the proud owners of a flat of tomatillos!
Great! Now what the heck are tomatillos? Off to the inter-web to do some research.

So, I find out that the tomatillo is:
“a native to Mexico and domesticated by the Aztecs around 800 B.C., tomatillos are one of our most ancient food-bearing plants. Today, you can grow varieties of the same two species the Aztecs grew. Physalis ixocarpa is commonly sold in markets and has large (up to 2 ½-inch-diameter) tart green fruits, which ripen to pale yellow. P. philadelphica produces sweeter, marble-size purple fruits. This species is a common field weed in Mexico, but it is no less delicious. “
Great again! Now, what are we gonna do with 'em? Turns out they are pretty easy to grow (probably has something to do with the field weed thing) and..... they are considered an essential ingredient for authentic salsa (among other things).
Alrighty then, here's a few ways to use these critters if you ever happen to get stuck with some tomatillos.

 Smoky Salsa Verde
Roast a large unpeeled onion, five unpeeled garlic cloves, two to five chile peppers (such as Serrano, poblano, or Anaheim), and 1 pound tomatillos on a charcoal grill or in a heavy, ungreased skillet on top of the stove until charred and soft. Peel the onion, garlic, and peppers and cut into chunks. Pulse all ingredients briefly in a food processor along with sea salt, a handful of cilantro, and a generous squirt of fresh lime juice. Serve with chips or use to smother cheese enchiladas.

Crisp Fried Tomatillos
Halve the fruits. Beat an egg with a ½ cup of milk. Prepare a shallow bowl of seasoned flour and another of cornmeal. Toss the fruits first in flour, then in the egg mixture, then roll in cornmeal. Fry in olive oil in a nonstick skillet until crisp and golden.

Green Rice
Puree 2½ cups raw tomatillos with ten cilantro sprigs. Measure 2 cups of this puree. In a medium saucepan, sautée a finely chopped small onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft. Add 1 cup rice and cook, stirring, five minutes longer. Add the puree and 1 teaspoon salt, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 20 to 30 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.

And... drumroll please....

Terrific Trio
Combine tomatillos, cilantro, and onion for a classic salsa combo!

And there you have it! Enjoy! It's Summertime!!

Peace, Avops

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Season Of The Blues

Another “The World is Ending” post?

Nah! Nope! Not here, not anymore (hopefully).

Here, it's blueberry season! That time of year that the whole town and township are all about everything blueberry. They have made the humble blueberry into a center of commercial and financial deification. Seriously, they have a blueberry festival, and blueberry parade, a blueberry king and queen, blueberry pancakes, muffins, and probably a dozen other blue things you and I have never even thought of.

It's a little town, about 1000 souls plus another 2000 in the township, so who can blame them for latching on to the blueberry as their savior from the fires of anonymity! I suppose the orchard about a mile outside of the city had a lot to do with this event season. The orchard is a rather smallish operation that has apples, peaches, strawberries, and of course, the venerable blueberry.
They are pretty decent folks, the orchard owners. I've traded some useless (to me) stuff I had laying around the house for 10 lbs of blueberries a few years ago, and have been a steady customer ever since.

The wonders of small town life!

Anyway... I'm going to give you a little blueberry history, just for giggles.

Blueberries, also known as bilberries, whortleberries and hurtleberries, are named for their velvety, deep-blue color, of course. These luscious berries are one of the few fruits native to North America. Native Americans used the berries, leaves, and roots for medicinal purposes. The fruit was used as a fabric dye and combined with meat into a nutritious dried jerky.
The shrub is of the genus Vaccinium, from the Latin vacca for cow since cows love them, a fact first noted by Captain James Cook in the late 1700s.
Blueberries used to be picked by hand until the invention of the blueberry rake by Abijah Tabbutt of Maine in 1822, so it's no wonder that Maine's state berry is the blueberry.
The most popular variety of blueberry is Vaccinium corymbosum, known as the "highbush" blueberry. The wild "lowbush" varieties are a favorite of those who like to pick their own in the wilds.

And... there you have it!

So, now that I've told you everything about blueberries that you never wanted to know, I'll quickly segue into my new hobby of baking! Which is why I've just told you the saga of the blueberry centric area in which I live.

As of late, I've been baking all kinds of breads, cakes and pastries made with...... of course, blueberries! It really is the most excellent way to enjoy the summer months of harvest and stay out of hot sun! I'm really enjoying the new hobby as it seems to be a combination of chemistry and art, along with some really random exercises that combine to make some really tasty comestibles.
I can kill half a day just like that in the kitchen..... no worrying about politics, or world hunger, or killer earthquakes or asteroids or whatever the latest lone wolf killer has been up to! It really is a special world I create when I'm baking the days away.

Today, I will leave you with a couple of recipes for blueberry heaven that I have baked in the last couple of weeks. Enjoy, if you dare!

Blueberry Buttermilk Coffeecake 


Blueberry Hand Pies


Friday, May 8, 2015

How To Catch Wild Pigs


-Author Anonymous-


There was a chemistry professor in a college, who had some exchange students in the class.

One day.......

The Professor noticed one young man (an exchange student) who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what his problem was. The student told him that he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting the Communists in his native country, who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new Communist government.

In the midst of his story, the exchange student looked at the professor and asked a strange question. 
He asked him, "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.
The young man said this was no joke.

You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs discover it, and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn.
When they are  used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again, and you put up another side of the fence.
They get used to that and start to eat.
And again, you continue until you  have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side.

The  pigs, who are used to eating the free corn, start to come through the gate to  eat.
WHEN THEY DO, you slam the gate shut on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom.
They run around and  around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it, that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves.

And so they accept their captivity.

 The young man then told the professor that this is exactly what he sees happening to America........ 

Peace, Avops

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Ebola, A Nurse’s Perspective

(Photo: AP Graphics)

So a few months ago the country was enthralled with the idea of a few patients, infected with the Ebola virus, coming to the United States. Up until this point, we had been safe from Ebola due to the fact that bats can’t fly over the Atlantic. Some people were completely indifferent, while others had seen Outbreak one too many times. Most were a healthy mix, somewhere in between, but what bothered me the most was both the lack of education and the poor information that was spreading more virulently than the virus could ever hope to.

Read the rest here....

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dr. Ada Igonoh: How Patrick Sawyer gave me Ebola… and how I survived

Dr. Ada Igonoh: How Patrick Sawyer gave me Ebola… and how I survived.

Read more at: | TheCable 

If you don't read anything else today.... read this!

Also, this writer is an ER specialist at a major U.S. Hospital. He has written some hard hitting reports on the Ebola Pandemic about to ravage our country.

Go here to read The Raconteur Report.

UPDATE: ORS is Oral Rehydration Solution.... get some here.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

You Know What Doesn't Work So Well? Private Prisons



The myth put forth by private prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group that private prisons are cheaper than public prisons is shattered by a new report from In the Public Interest, thus undercutting the primary rationale for prison privatization efforts across the country. When pushing for contracts with the many states that use private prisons, these corporations claim they are the better option because they can run prisons more cheaply than the government can. But this report not only dispels that idea, it highlights some of the less-than-savory activities the corporations engage in because of the perverse incentives created by these contracts.
The report details several methods through which private prison companies mislead governments and the public about their supposed cost savings, particularly hiding costs of private prisons, inflating public prison costs, benefiting from mandated occupancy minimums and delaying cost increases until after contracts are signed.
Numerous studies have shown that private prisons are more expensive than their publicly run counterparts. The report details a series of meta-analyses of individual studies conducted on the comparative costs between public and private prisons, and all of them found that cost savings, at best, were minimal for private prisons—in many cases, private prisons were more expensive. One of the few studies that showed private prisons to be more cost-effective was funded by the prison companies and is currently the subject of an ethics inquiry at Temple University. A close examination of many of the states that have invested heavily in prison privatization has shown the failure of the "private prisons are cheaper" idea:
  • Arizona: The state found private prisons can cost up to $1,600 per prisoner per year, despite private prisons often only housing the healthiest prisoners.
  • Florida: Three separate multiyear studies found the majority of the private prisons in the state failed to meet the legally mandated 7% cost savings, while half of the private prisons failed to save any money at all.
  • Georgia: In 2011, private prisons cost the state $45.81 per prisoner per day, compared with $44.51 per prisoner per day in publicly run prisons.
  • Hawaii: The state found the projected savings of using private prison contractors were based on bed capacity rather than the actual number of people incarcerated and that indirect administration costs were not included.
  • New Mexico: Over a five-year period, the state saw its annual spending on private prisons increase by 57% while the prisoner population only increased 21%. A significant portion of the increase was because of automatic price increases included in contracts with the private prison corporations.
  • Ohio: The state expected the private operation of the Lake Erie Correctional Institution would save the state $2.4 million a year, but it has turned out to instead cost the state $380,000 to $700,000 a year.
As the report notes:
To maximize returns for their investors, for-profit prison companies have perverse incentives to cut costs in vital areas such as security personnel, medical care and programming, threatening the health and safety of prisoners and staff.
There are several different reasons that savings fail to materialize. CCA and other companies explicitly seek to increase their profits by changing the details of previously signed contracts. They do this by raising the per diem rates the state pays for each prisoner or by requiring occupancy rates of 90% or higher or the state pays for the empty cells in order to reach the required level. Private prison companies cherry pick their inmates and refuse to house more expensive prisoners. Many contracts exclude those higher-cost prisoners, such as those in maximum security, on death row, female prisoners or prisoners that have serious medical or mental health conditions. Companies also make their costs look lower by inflating the cost of public incarceration when making their sales pitch. They can do this by leaving out overhead costs in their prisons, not including costs the state has to pay in either public or private scenarios in the private prison cost but keeping them in the public prison cost calculation, and leaving out the additional costs of overseeing and monitoring private prisons that the state must engage in if it properly oversees its contractors.
At its national convention last year, the AFL-CIO came out in opposition to the privatization of prisons and the profit motive being used to increase incarceration.
Read the full report.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

One Thing Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Tobacco and Thier Government Buddies Hate!

So. You smoke tobacco... I did for 38 years. Now my lungs are pretty much shot and my chances of ageing gracefully are gone. My choice, my consequence.
They say hindsight is 20/20 but I sure wish I had never made the choice to start.

If you smoke...  QUIT NOW!.

Easier said than done.. I know. Having tried everything under the sun with limited success, I understand the difficulty in kicking this useless habit.

Truth is.. a lot of Big Businesses profit enormously from peoples use of tobacco products.

They don't want you to quit. They PRETEND to want you to quit. They have all kind of "quit smoking" aids they will gladly sell you. They know their snake oil "quit" products are mostly worthless but it puts a few more fiat dollars in their bank accounts.

- Big Medicine profits from your illness, i.e. cancer, emphysema.
- Big Pharma profits from an endless list of drugs to keep you breathing till your cash runs out.
- Big Tobacco profits from... well, all the various tobacco products they sell the addicted folks.
- Their Government Buddies profit from passing laws to keep the above groups making obscene profits. Don't forget the taxes generated too.

That brings me to the thing all these groups mentioned above hate.

Personal vaporizers for nicotine replacement or the:


Seriously though.. these devices have caused more people to drop tobacco than anything I have ever seen. It actually amazes me! So simple and so effective.

Now these are NOT e-cigarettes!

See the difference:

This is an e-cigarette - WORTHLESS!

Personal Vaporizer

More types of personal vaporizers

 Personal vaporizers use a tank that holds a liquid containing pharmaceutical grade nicotine and a FDA approved flavoring. The carrier liquids for the nicotine and the flavoring all have a VERY good safety profile when ingested into human bodies. If you want to know more, go here..

Now, inhaling anything except pure air is probably not a good idea but... the vaporized liquids used for "vaping" are a LOT less toxic than the over 4000 chemicals in your average tobacco smoke!
The big thing to me is, there are no combustion products, no carbon monoxide, no smoke particles, and no tar.

Remember, this is something to use if you are a tobacco smoker and want to quit. It is a "healthier" alternative. It is NOT something to start up just to be cool!

I make no claims as to the safety or consequences of using Personal Vaporizers. I present this information for those seeking a viable method to break the bonds of tobacco slavery.

And... possibly piss off some Big Business and Big Government somewhere as a bonus...


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Must Read If You Care About EMF


I came across this today.

It  is one of the most comprehensive essays on Electromagnetic Frequency Radiation I have read to date. If you like this kind of information then take a click Here for the article, and visit:

Have great day my friends.


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Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Few Thoughts On A Few Things

Due to popular demand.... OK, not really demand, just a request from Dublinmick to post something since it has been a while...

Here is what’s on my mind today.

ON LIFE.... The Grim Reaper decided it was time to pay me visit just to let me know about our mandatory future get together. The SOB made me take an ambulance ride and spend 6 days the hospital.
It wasn't THE time yet, but ol' GR likes to make sure that I know he will make the collection at the appointed time.
It's kind of weird... but no matter how many times he visits, I always get this panic and fear thing going. I know, we all got to die and you would think as we get older and lose more of our loved ones, the fear would diminish a little... but.. it don't!
So much for that! Odds are good I'll be around for a while yet (grin).

ON TODAY.... Well, it was a really nice, sunny, blue-skyed day here today. Everything is still recovering from a really wicked winter and looks like shit.. but, some heat, some sun, and some time, and the great outdoors will look at lot more appealing again.
I was actually pretty amazed not to see any "chem-trailing" today! Usually, on the nice sunny blue sky days the bastards get out there and cover the blue with whatever it is that they are spraying.

ON THE USA.... I really don't know what to think any more... is it all propaganda, is it really falling apart, is it just our collective imagination? (Seriously, I know it's pretty fucked up, everyone is just in denial)
I have no answers as to fixing this mess we are in. I'm more than convinced that it is all playing out as per the Divine scheme set in motion at the beginning of creation.
I see all morality being consumed by a lust to please ones most base desires... no thoughts about the consequences of our actions!
I guess what I see... is that Love has taken leave of this world....
Politically speaking... I really don't have any political feelings any more. I am convinced that other than the Love or Kindness I can show one of my fellow humans, not much of what I say, feel, or do will amount to a fart in a wind storm!

ON GOD, THE SPIRIT, AND THE TRUTH..... As I age (damn, I hate ageing), I find myself thoroughly convinced that the purpose of this life is to get to know the Divine and to diligently seek his will in the brief flash of existence we are allowed to enjoy!
I really don't have the desire to convert anyone to my way of thinking..... no one could convince me until I found it through my own searching. So please refrain from the "there is no God" bullshit... I'll just ignore you anyway.
All I know, is that when the breath leaves this body... I'll still be here. Just different is all.
I DO want to be on the right side of the Divine though... so I will keep on searching, and, yes, praying that my faith is strong and my heart is true....

............ OK then, that is about all I got for now. You all be be good. And be kind to each other!!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Moving Forward into 2014 New Year - New Challenges

 By Nathan Leal - January 14, 2014
Well it is a new year - 2014!

How many of you thought that we would make it this far? I confess, I always wondered if I would; and now here we are, approaching the middle of the lost decade.

For those who are paying attention, the past few years have not been boring. Thus far, the journey has been interesting.

For some of the players of Land-USA, there has been a visitation of drama.

Uncle FED

Uncle Fed became weary of the bill collectors so he packed his bags, ditched his family and skipped town.

 He tried to go into hiding because he owes a lot of money to this guy.

Read the rest here.......

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Blessed Christmas Wish to All!

Remember what's important and do good to your fellow man!

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