Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eat Mor Chikin

A controversy has arisen since the Mr. Fil-A said that he believes marriage was only for people of the opposite sex. Celebrities (The Muppets and Roseanne Barr. Yep, I pay lots of attention to puppets and D list, crude comediennes.) and politicians have made much of the gentleman’s opinion. Some factions have called for boycotts, and a mayor of a major American city has said that the franchise is not welcome in his city. Some are eating at the franchise to voice their opposition to gay marriage. I say that they should be supporting the right to free speech, not just their opposition to a lifestyle that is really no one’s business except the adult individuals involved.

While I support the human rights of all individuals, as an American, I defend Mr. Fil-A’s right to hold whatever view he wants as long as he doesn’t trample on the rights of others. In fact, I think he may be stepping on a few toes with his employment conditions which seem to be discriminatory. I wonder how many non-Christians he employs. I do feel, however, that he can voice any opinion as long as it isn’t seditious, treasonous, or incites to riot. As I read his statement, it appears that it is his personal opinion, not the corporate position.

This is America, folks. We are (or should be) the example for the world. We were founded by people who said that as citizens we have the right to express our own opinions.

By the same token, we have always been a nation of protestors—The Boston Tea Party, the civil rights marches, and gay rights parades, for example. If you want to boycott Chick Fil-A, you have that right. Do it if it makes you feel better, but, remember, no matter how unpopular an opinion may be, it is also your right and anyone’s right to state that opinion. While not agreeing on some issues, we must agree that we are a nation of diverse people and opinions and we ALL have the right to express our opinions.

This is a little off the subject of the post, but I’m not a big fan of Chick Fil-A. Their chicken  has a curiously sweet taste (my grandmother never put sugar in her chicken dredging mix) and their so-called french fries are simply not acceptable for me. I like their side salad very much, and the walnut brownies were one of my guilty pleasures. They now have frosted brownies without nuts, but while I treat myself sometimes, it’s not a major effort on my part to refuse them.  My solution to that problem (this is embarrassing to tell) is to go to Chick Fil-A to buy the side salad and dessert, then to scamper to McDonald’s  or KFC for their chicken strips, and on to Dunkin’ Donuts for their UNSWEET iced tea. Thank goodness, most towns have “Fast Food Mile” where all the purveyors of that unhealthy, but tasty, food are in close proximity.

So in summary, Eat Mor  Chickin or not; just don’t abridge freedom of speech.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Odds & Ends

After waiting a few hours to see if the problem with the AC would resolve itself (fat chance!), I called our AC guy. It has been years since he installed a new unit for us so I know that when I told the office that I needed a repair man, they didn’t know that I was an old customer. She told me that she would try to have someone stop by in the afternoon. I was not holding my breath, but we did stay home and wait just in case someone showed up. I thought same day service was too much to ask for. I had given up hope of being able to sleep. At 6:30 pm, the doorbell rings and the most welcome sight of the technician was there. I could have danced a jig. He tinkered around with it and, voila! cool air. He said it needed a new thermostat but this one would last until fall. He said they would bill us for this service call when they installed the thermostat.

It must be great to have a job doing something that makes people so happy to see you.

Years ago PBS featured Bob Ross, a painter. I was amazed by him. He may not have been a great artist, but I watched his show regularly and marveled at his talent. The following link is a tribute to Mr. Ross:

I have been reading Steven F. Havill’s series of Undersheriff Bill Gastner books. The setting is New Mexico, current time period. If you enjoy C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett series, or Craig Johnson’s, Sheriff Longmire series, or P. T. Deuterman’s Cam Richter series, or William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor
series, you may like this series. I couldn’t find them at any of the three county libraries I access in any form, but they are available on Amazon, Kindle department. I found two free ones and the others are reasonably priced.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm Mel-l-l-ting!

The outdoor temperature is +l00 degrees. The AC is not working.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Complain, Complain, Complain


A large portion of the country is suffering through an early heat wave. Here in SC, we have high temps, high humidity and strong thunderstorms every afternoon or evening.

Our grandsons have been playing in baseball tournaments and I can say sitting in 100+ degree weather has taken the starch out of me. Noah’s team went to the State Championships which was four hours away. We didn’t make that one. Cole was in a huge tournament with about 200 teams from all the over the US in Marietta, GA. We went to three of his games because the trip was only 2 1/2 hours one way. I can’t seem to get cool enough. Even sitting in the car with the AC blowing directly on me, my skin feels cold, but the core of me is still hot.

This morning when I walked to the mailbox, there was a slightly unpleasant smell in the air. I realized that it was the smell that I imagine when James Lee Burke describes the odors of the bayous--the dampness and the decay of vegetation and animal life. While it was not overpowering as I imagine it must be in the swamp, it wasn’t a pleasant way to start the day.

There is a break predicted for Saturday—from the weatherman’s lips to God’s ear.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Iced Tea–Un or No?

Iced tea in the South is a year-round drink. We drink it if the temperature is below zero or above. Having been born in Western Kentucky, then living in several locations in Tennessee and then returning to Kentucky, I think I may consider myself a Southerner. My several years in Connecticut erased my drawl and I say “you guys” just like a New Englander; however, I’m still a year-round iced tea drinker.

Growing up, our iced tea was served without sugar in tall glasses, or, in some cases, Mason jars. The place setting at the dining table included long handled spoons for those of us who liked our tea on the sweet side. There were also little dishes of sliced lemons for those who liked a little tartness. When I started “fixin” my own, I discovered I found the plain tea more refreshing than the sweetened, and I liked the fact that the plain tea didn’t interfere with the flavor of whatever I was eating.

I might add that wherever I ate, the tea was unsugared and iced tea spoons were available—at homes or in restaurants, Kentucky or Tennessee. Perhaps now their iced tea is just like South Carolina’s.

I think I mentioned the incident when I first had lunch with the girls in the office in Connecticut. I ordered iced tea even though it was cold enough to freeze your…well, anyway, it was cold and there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. The waitress informed me that they didn’t have iced tea in the winter. I asked her if she had hot tea. She said yes. I asked her to bring me a cup of hot tea and a glass with ice. Everyone looked at me as if I were nuts.

When we moved here to South Carolina, I discovered that iced tea is sickly sweet as a matter of course. Apparently, there is a recipe for iced tea that involves dissolving lots of sugar in hot water and then steeping the tea in it. You can’t just add sugar to your cold tea. If you want no sugar, you have to specify. My problem is, I say, “Iced tea, no sugar, please.” This seems to cause every server a problem. At first, there is a look of bafflement and then you see from the expressions on their faces, their befuddlement passes. “You mean ‘unsweet tea?” This doesn’t happen 25% of the time or even 50% of the time—it happens every time I order.

I know that I could solve the problem if I could just say “unsweet" but there is something about the word that just seems wrong to me. (When I type “unsweet” spellcheck tells me there is an error, so I guess I could be a little bit right.)

I suppose it’s a cultural difference, and when in Rome. . . I should try to order “unsweet” tea, but it’s hard to change after 65 years of tea drinking and talking. I just don’t get why it is so hard to understand “iced tea, no sugar.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In the News - Tacky, Tacky, Tacky

When I read of  "drive thru" viewing of deceased persons at a funeral home, it seemed to me to be the height of tackiness. I thought the glow-in-the-dark figures in cemeteries were running a close second to the "drive thru's." Today I read in the news that a local funeral home is adding a Starbuck's Coffee to their establishment for the "comfort" of the bereaved. They are planning to serve coffee and Starbucks food. I think this has the "drive thru" topped for the tacky ideas. Anything to make a buck, I suppose.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Audio Books

Some years ago when I was first diagnosed with the my first serious sign of aging (I’m not talking about wrinkles or grey hair), the doctor suggested that I start walking.

I found out that walking can be deadly dull when you are walking the same route every day. It was either walk the same route or trying to walk up a tremendous hill out of our neighborhood. I purchased a tape player to listen to music. Somehow that just didn’t do it for me, so I tried audio books. They worked out great. The end result was that I was walking even longer than was necessary. When I’m reading, I find it hard to put the book down, and the cassette player seemed to urge me on to another chapter, and then another chapter.

That lasted quite a while until the weather turned much warmer and my knees and hip joints began to complain loudly. Walking fell by the wayside. I tried to use the dreaded treadmill, but the aches and pains made walking quite uncomfortable.

In the last few weeks, I have been using the audio books available from the public libraries that I can access on line. My insomnia is getting worse and worse, and I thought I would try the audio books. For a long time I downloaded old time radio shows to listen to at night and I would fall asleep quickly. They seemed to be a good solution for my sleep problems. I soon had listened to every Sam Spade, Richard Diamond, and Casey, Crime Photographer available.

The books don’t work as well for me. The problem is I become engrossed in the story and have to continue for one more chapter staying awake. That doesn’t help my sleeplessness much.

There is another little problem with the audio books that is a little distracting for me. When the readers (narrators?) act the parts of the characters, they changed their voices. I’ve noticed that sometimes they forget which voice goes with which character. It seems that Sheriff Longmire’s voice changes from chapter to chapter. And the voice range of Judge Deborah Knott changes—one chapter it’s a normal female voice, then it’s deeper, and then it goes to soprano. As I said, it’s a little distracting. I think it might be better for the reader just to read instead of “playing” the parts.

There is one more drawback. Mr. Fixit gets a little put out seeing me with the earbuds in my ears for most of the day. It’s such fun, though, listening to a good book while doing laundry, dishes, and cooking.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

If He Pulls It Off, He'll Deserve an Oscar

Lee Child is the author of a series of books featuring Jack Reacher, an ex-MP who is 6'6" tall and weighs either 230 or 260 pounds. Either way, this is one big guy. His size plays an important part of the character's persona. One of Mr. Child's books has been made into a movie that is scheduled for release this coming December.

Tom Cruise has the role of Reacher, all 5'7" of him. Some may think of him as a gifted actor, but I think he's going to have to be a GREAT actor to make me believe he is 6'6".

Monday, July 2, 2012

Goofy Headline of the Day

Source: Yahoo!/ABC News

"Sarah Palin: 'Nancy Pelosi Is a Dingbat'

(My childish response: "It takes one to know one" or "That's the pot calling the kettle black"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Heat Is On

This was one of those days that if  Satan visited South Carolina, he would have left quickly to get back to Hell where it was cooler. "It's hot" doesn't quite describe the conditions of the last few days.

Noah and Owen are in their All-Star Tournaments in this heat. I missed Noah's game last night because at 6:00 pm it was 103 degrees. (Owen's team lost two in a row so they are out of the competition and Noah's team has won two games and plays tomorrow evening.)

Cole also had a three-day tournament in Lexington, SC, where it was even hotter than it was here. It was 108 there the first day and didn't get much better the next two days. We attended today. The opposing team had played at 9:00 am and then had to play our team at 11:30 am. Both their pitcher and catcher had to be replaced because of the heat. We were ahead in the fifth inning, and the other team's coach ceded the game. His guys were just too hot and tired to continue.

I don't deal well with the heat. I was completely miserable through the whole game even though I was under a canopy and had a battery-operated fan. The five hours on the road didn't help much either. I should have stayed home, but I get very worried about Mr. Fixit on road trips alone to new places even with his GPS unit. He is--how do I put this--directionally challenged. I also worry because he watches the GPS instead of the road.

When we came home, we both went to bed. I took a nap, but he's still there and it's 9:00 pm. He doesn't like to admit how tired he gets.

It's supposed to cool a bit tomorrow. The high temperature is predicted to be 97.