Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Cuttin' The Cheese"

Who cut the cheese? I cut the cheese. Today I opened a package of Cabot Horseradish cheese and cut off a few slices. I also had some pumpernickel bread and pinched a loaf before I sliced off a couple pieces.

As I reflect on cheese today to me it is amazing the number of types of cheese that are available in the marketplace. In most major supermarkets there is a huge selection to choose from with cheeses from all over the world. What is your favorite type of cheese? Do you cut the cheese with a regular knife or a custom cheese knife or do you just bite off a hunk of cheese with your teeth?

I really like this Cabot brand Horseradish cheese. It has a lot of flavor. Speaking of horseradish, I remember one time about four years ago I went to Foxwoods Casino and the Pequot Nation which is surrounded by the State of Connecticut with three friends from Ireland who were working on Cape Cod for the Summer season. They had never been to a casino before . We had dinner at the Festival Marketplace buffet that evening.

At the buffet there was one station where one of the chefs was hand carving a roast beef for the diners. Next to the roast beef there was a large container of horseradish that you could serve yourself as a compliment to the roast beef. One Irish friend named Claudaugh, came back to the table with her roast beef and a large mound of white substance on her plate. She took a large helping of this white mound and put it into her mouth. Apparently she thought she was helping herself to mashed potato but in fact she had loaded her plate up with a big mound of horseradish. The look on her face was "priceless" as she ate a mouthful of pure horseradish. Hot stuff!

I like horseradish and cheese and horseradish cheese but have never personally been fond of eating mouthfuls of pure horseradish. Maybe that is an Irish custom.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Patience Is A Virtue

China Traffic Jam Could Last Into September - I don't know if you saw this story about the 60 mile traffic jam in China that may take weeks to clear up. I don't know about you but I get annoyed somewhat with traffic jams in America around cities such as Boston, Hartford, and/or Providence when I get caught in them and get delayed for a half hour or so. Can you imagine a traffic jam lasting for weeks? What would you do if you felt thirsty and wanted a drink of water over those weeks or if you had to use the "restroom" during that time? What if you wanted something to eat while you were waiting? Imagine sleeping in your car and wearing the same clothes for weeks on end?

The article found on the "Drudge Report" states the the traffic inched forward approximately one third of a mile per day. Now, I'm not an Olympic athlete, but I know I could walk or crawl faster than that. Also, if you notice in the picture of the traffic jam in the article the other side of the road appears to be "wide open" with just a couple of cars going the other direction. Gee, I wonder if it would have been a good idea to divert some of the traffic to the other side of the road to alleviate this traffic jam? Sixty miles is equivalent to a traffic jam from approximately Hyannis Massachusetts to Boston. On Labor Day on Cape Cod there are often reports of the traffic leaving the Cape being backed up from the Sagamore Bridge to the Orleans rotary. This distance is approximately 35 miles and takes maybe a few hours to clear up not a week or two. Apparently there have been more cars recently sold in China than the amount of road capacity to handle all the cars and trucks. The Chinese culture has a long history and generally they have learned the value of patience and long term planning such as building the "Great Wall" which surely wasn't built in a day and from what I understand is one of the only and perhaps the only man made structure identifiable from Space. We Americans tend to get impatient if you are stopped at a traffic light and there is more than a second delay before the car ahead of you reacts to the green light. We have places to go, things to do.

I guess the only way to survive a traffic jam such as the Chinese 60 mile weeks on end mess would be if you had an air conditioned mobile home or custom motor coach with a kitchen, satellite television and Internet connection, a full wardrobe of clothes, full bathroom, a few kegs of beer and cheese nips, and maybe a grill to cook up some steaks and hamburgers. A few weeks worth of clean towels or course would also be required. Although this would still be "roughing it"; without these items the wait would just be too inconvenient, uncomfortable, and frankly slightly boring. "Are we there yet? No, my son we just went a third of a mile today and we have sixty more miles until the traffic lets up."

I guess we Americans just don't have the patience to sit through a minor multi-week traffic jam.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Dreaded 8/20

Some people believe that certain days are lucky or unlucky such as March 17th, St. Patrick's Day and the "luck of the Irish" with four leaf clovers and gold found at the end of the rainbow and Leprechauns. Unlucky days for some are Friday the 13th, "The Ides of March, and the Ides of April (tax day deadline).

For me, over the past two years, August 20th has been my "unlucky" day. Last year I fractured my wrist while playing volleyball as I dove into a wall while chasing the ball. For some reason when I put out my hand to stop my momentum, the wall didn't give but my wrist did! SNAPPP!! OUCH!!

So today I am commemorating the unhappy anniversary of my wrist fracture. I had a couple insurance inspections to do today and drove to them in my new to me car. As I finished my second inspection in Harwichport I was driving back to my house to download the pictures into my computer. While driving I was listening to the album "10,000 Days" by the Los Angeles based group "Tool." My new 6 CD car music system has a lot of bass (not a fish) but I heard what I though was a "rumbling" toward the back of my car. When I arrived at my house I saw that I had a flat tire on the right back side. I have an air compressor in my car in case I need to inflate the tires as my former car for some reason had tires that needed frequent inflating; plus President Obama said that we all should drive our cars with properly inflated tires. In this area I agree with the president and he should know, as GM (Government Motors) is basically under his control so he must know something about cars.

So the "dreaded August 20th" struck me again. Last year a broken wrist, this year a broken tire. Although both events aren't too much fun it does appear that the effect of August 20th is weakening this year compared with last year as I would definitely choose a flat tire over a broken wrist. If I'm lucky maybe next year my "bad luck" hopefully will be something even more minor such as accidentally breaking off part of my sneaker shoelace. Yes, 820 very unlucky for me. I wonder if some people have problems with April 20 (420 man) which as we all know happens to be Adolph Hitler's birthday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Black Car

I bought a new to me car yesterday a 2007 Mercury Milan pictured here on a cloudy morning. My other car, a 1999 Mercury Mystique was starting to rust, the transmission was starting to go I think as the car engine would "race and buck" while driving but the "last straw" so to speak for the Mystique was a leak in the brake line so I didn't have working brakes. I had to put the brake pedal to the floor to get the car to stop.When I would fill the car up with brake fluid the fluid would empty out within a mile or two so I didn't want to have to stop every mile I drove that car and refill the brake fluid as it would be quicker almost to walk.

My new car only had a little over 6,000 miles on it when I bought it. My last car I had for a little over 10 years so I probably got my money's worth out of it. I guess this is another example of "nothing lasts forever" and I could have decided to get the transmission fixed and new brake lines but as they say there comes a time when you have to decide whether to keep the car or "move on" and whether to spend "good money' on an ageing car or get a car built in the current century.

Since I didn't have a "working car" I was somewhat "over a barrel" when I went to the car dealership. At first the dealership literally offered me zero dollars for the Mystique and I said, "You know I just put over $30 worth of gas in the car and the catalytic converter is worth something." I have heard that car dealers often try to "steal" cars but zero dollars is nothing. So, I received a very minor trade in allowance but at least it was "better than nothing."

I was almost trying to beat the world's record for buying a car in the quickest time possible as I spent less than two hours at the dealership before I drove out with my new to me car.

I think the picture I took came out pretty well as it was not taken on a bright sunny day where the glare of the Sun sometimes would cause a not so good picture. I have heard that "black cars look better in the shade." "Black cars look better in the shade" I think would make a good title for a song. "Oh wait, I think there already is a song called that. Have you heard it? Do you know what a "black car" is?

One thing I know for sure; a black car in the shade should be a little cooler than a black car in the sun.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Willow Street Windmill

Here is a photo of the Willow Street windmill located on Bass River in Yarmouth on Cape Cod originally built in 1791.

This windmill had blades which turned round and round with the wind to probably grind grain into flour.

Today, there is a renewed interest in wind power on the Cape although some people don't like the thought of having windmills near their property.

"What goes around comes around", I guess.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Into MY Belly"

Here's a photo of the fish and chips lunch I had yesterday while eating with Mayor John at "The Sailing Cow" restaurant in Dennis Port across the street from the Glendon Road Beach. I met John at the house he and his family rented and for fun I checked "Google Maps" for directions, distance and estimated time from the house to the restaurant. The "Google Map" said that the restaurant was .1 mile away with an estimated time of 53 seconds to travel the distance.

We decided to walk as although we are all getting a day older each day; a one tenth mile walk is still well within our walking range and we probably could have even crawled there if we couldn't walk. It was windy down by the beach so instead of 53 seconds it took us 57 seconds to walk to the restaurant and that long walk sure built up our appetite!!

I recall a while ago that I saw on the Internet somewhere that someone had a web site called "Into my belly" or something like that where they took a picture of each meal they ate and put the photo on their web page. This concept made me reflect, " I wonder how much food I have eaten in my life so far and how much milk, beer, water, orange juice, Diet Coke, Tang, and other beverages I have consumed to date?" When I visited the Canadian Horseshoe Falls just North of Buffalo, New York a long time ago; the guide there said that there has been more Coca Cola consumed than the amount of water that falls over the Canadian Falls in a day! And let me tell you that is quite a bit of water!

It would be interesting to see, (at least to me), if at the end of your lifetime you could be given a visualization of all the above mentioned foods and drinks in one spot so you could get an idea of the quantity and type of food that comprised your lifetime. You could then compare and contrast with other souls up in Heaven as this would provide many hours of conversation. For example, if you ran into a Hindu soul you could say, "Hi, Hindu Soul Brother! Did you know that in my most recent lifetime I consumed 13,154.27 pounds of steaks, hamburger, and other assorted cow parts? How about you? Oops! my bad, You guys don't eat cows! Sorry!"

Or, say a Korean soul originally from Seoul came up to you in Heaven and said,"Boy, I sure loved eating dog during my last earthly existence. Very, very tasty! My meal scorecard shows that I ate 4,168 dogs when I lived in Seoul." You could reply "Yuck, that's sick!!! The only dogs I ate were "hot dogs" as I ate 7,103 of them including 449 of them in total while attending baseball games of which I attended 247 baseball games over my past lifetime. Most of the "hot dogs" I ate were "all beef". This comment made the Hindu soul turn green.

Capital One credit cards has a commercial with the tag line; "What's in your wallet?" In regards to food the question to reflect upon is "What's in your belly? and What has been in your belly? and What will be in your belly in the future?" Yesterday for me fish and chips, cole slaw,french fries, catsup,and tartar sauce for lunch with two Diet Cokes with a slice of lemon and ice cubes. I have the picture to prove it!

Food for thought.