Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This is utter devastation

From the website The Daily What:

Before And After Photo of a neighborhood in Joplin

I've looked at this picture several time and just kept thinking how do you pull it together to go on.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Here's a tip for Mr. Gingrich,

You should immediately withdraw your candidacy for president when you tell people

it's none of their business how you spend $500,000.00 showering your mistress/ third wife with jewelry but you will tell them what they can do with their reproductive organs, how they will get health insurance or whom they can marry.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Here's a tip for Mr. Santorum

When Former Sen. Rick Santorum tells Sen. John McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years enduring brutal treatment at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors, doesn't know how effective waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques can be,

it's time to STFU. IMHO.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hang on to Your Ego

May 16, 1966 -
The Beach Boy released the 11th studio album, Pet Sounds on this date.

It has since been recognized as one of the most influential albums in the history of popular music and is widely regarded as one of the best albums of the 1960s.

All that beautiful music and barking dogs, too.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Remember one of your favorite parental units

The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.

When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Originally the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, this building is now the International Mother's Day Shrine (a National Historic Landmark). From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.

Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.

So now you know.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who thought about your children to the detriment of your own mental health. I hope a mediocre Mother's Day brunch can help negate 364 days of smug indifference of your children.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South ...

May 3, 1937 -
A short little southern lady wrote a novel for her own amusement, and with solid support from her husband, she kept her literary efforts a secret from all her friends. She would hide the voluminous pages under towels, disguising them as a divan, or hide pages in her closets or under her bed. She wrote in a haphazard fashion, writing the last chapter first, and skipping around from chapter to chapter.

In a nutshell, her novel was about a young woman who spend nearly 400 pages chasing after a man that she realizes in the end that she never really loved and (possibly) loses the man that she really does.

Her heroine also, in less than 10 years:

Marries three men; one dies from the measles, sends another one to his death and the third rapes her in a fit of jealous rage.
Has three children (one dies in a horseback riding accident) and one miscarriage.
Kills a man in self defense.
Helps with an amputation in a makeshift hospital.
Narrowly escapes the destruction of her adopted hometown.
Loses then regains her family's fortune.
Loses almost all of her family by the novels end.
And she still retains an optimistic view on life.

Oh yeah, all of this is played out on the backdrop of slavery, The Civil War, the fall of the South, Reconstruction, the rise of the KKK and a certain dress made from the living room curtains. (You thought Russian novels were convoluted.)

It was a great surprise to Ms. Mitchell that on June 30, 1936 when her voluminous novel was published. Even more shocking, on May 3, 1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Gone With the Wind.

... After all, tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May is National Salad Month

You may not have known it, but in the United States May is National Salad Month. By an astonishing coincidence, the second full week of May is National Herb Week. It's a time to celebrate the verdure of the earth with verdure on a plate. Or in a bowl—salad is just that versatile!

Salad has a long and noble history. The word itself comes from the Latin herba salta, which sounds like urban assault but actually means salted herbs. They called their salads salted herbs because that's what they were: bits of leafy herbs dressed with salty oils.

The Romans weren't the first people to enjoy salad. Though it's hard to imagine, people were eating herbs and vegetables long before the invention of salad forks. Many of our evolutionary forebears ate leaves and veggies right off the plants, vines, and trees on which they grew. In fact, scientists believe our ancient grazing tendencies may explain the popularity of salad bars and our willingness to overlook the inadequacy of most sneeze guards.

The salad was not perfected, however, until the develop of Bac-O Bits®, a genetically altered bacon substitute whose artificial bacon flavor and resistance to radiation have made it a staple of American salads, to say nothing of its cult popularity as driveway gravel.

According to the Association for Dressings and Sauces, the altruistic sponsors of National Salad Month, salad dressings and sauces have a history as rich and varied as salad itself. The Chinese have been using soy sauce for over five thousand years, the Babylonians used oil and vinegar, and Worcestershire was popular in Caesar's day. (Ironically, however, the Caesar salad was not invented by Julius Caesar. It wasn't even invented by Sid Caesar. It was invented by Caesar Cardini, a Mexican restauranteur, in 1924.)

The Egyptians favored oil and vinegar mixed with Oriental spices. Mayonnaise was invented by the Duke de Richelieu in 1756 after defeating the British at Port Mahon on Majorca (hence "Mahonnaise," later corrected to mayonnaise). The Duke was best known not for his military victories, however, but his all-nude dinner parties. I'm not going to speculate as to how a bunch of naked people got the idea of covering their salads in a creamy sauce.

In 1896, Joe Marzetti of Columbus, Ohio, opened a restaurant and served his customers a variety of dressings developed from old country recipes. His restaurant might have done better if he had served them actual meals, but his dressings became so popular that he started to bottle and sell them.

It was the birth of a market niche.

Half a century later, in 1950, Americans bought 6.3 million gallons of salad dressing. In 1997, they bought more than 60 million gallons. (This information is indisputable, because it appears on the Association of Dressings and Sauces's website.)

Since the United States had a population of about 260 million in 1997, it looks like the average American buys about 4.3 gallons of salad dressing each year. That's enough to drip a tablespoon per mile from New York to Chicago. I myself don't buy salad dressing, which means that some poor bastard has to buy 8.6 gallons each year to make up the difference. But it all comes out in the wash: I'm probably drinking his gin.

It's informative to note, however, that the Association of Dressings and Sauces measures salad dressing sold, not consumed. We've all seen salad dressing in the final stages of decomposition, the once creamy sauce crusting around the edges and congealing in the bottom of the bottle. Added up nationwide, that's got to be a few million gallons a year.

So it's not like we're pigs or anything.