Sunday, May 5, 2013

I May Have the Pocket Knife Virus...

Yes, I may have the pocket knife virus. No, it's not medically  fatal, though at the present time there is no known anecdote; however, it will leave your checkbook in tatters. Some have suggested 12-Step Programs for those who feel they need help. Some say, just sit back and enjoy it. Others say it's some kind of devil at work. The best I can do is to try to track its history and see how it came about or happened. When did I get infected by the virus?
For the past more than 40 years I've carried a Swiss Army Knife Classic on my key chain. An earlier post has a photo of the Classic.
And, I've for years had a few Case and Buck knives around. A couple of years ago I bought a bunch of SAK (Swiss Army Knife). And, a few months back started filling in my accumulation with the alox models. Over this period of time, the virus was most likely festering, I would occasionally look at knives on the Internet and wonder how in the world people could pay over thirty or forty dollars for a darn knife.
OK, let's see, what happened next? What really allowed the virus to gain the upper hand and thwart all of my, well...common sense, limited as though it is?
Yes, I happened upon a Website devoted to a famous name in the cutlery world from years ago. Yes, two fellows, Mike and Derek, who had been collecting his knives and studying his history, decided to resurrect his name and start manufacturing pocket knives from a bygone era. They were going to drag up out of the ashes, like a Phoenix rising, the name of JBF Champlin who manufactured a complete line of cutlery many years ago. Anyway, go here and take a look even if you have no interest in knives. It's a fascinating story.
In order to do this they met with the folks at Great Eastern Cutlery (GEC). GEC is a fairly new company to the knife world, established just a few years ago. They, GEC, brought back a couple of old names from the early years of the cutlery business; Northwood and Tidioute and started producing quality knives in small quantities, using the best of the old world handmade techniques along with modern precision machinery.
OK, where was I?
Anyway, Mike went to the old factory where the JBF Champlin knives had been made. The roof had literally fallen in...not ready to of it had fallen. As I best remember, he'd gone to the factory hoping to maybe gather up some floor panelling or some type of wood to use in making the knives' handles. Instead, he found a bunch of rosewood blank handles.
Anyway, let me go forward a little bit.
I found out about all of this after they'd (GEC) made the first group of knives. The pattern was known as tear drop and they were made with ebony and stag handles. They'd made 50 of each and they were sold out.
Anyway, found that they were making a second group, fifty each, of a pattern (knife folks seem to call the style of the knife the pattern, I think) called Eureka jack. For this series they were making them in stag and yes, using the redwood Mike had gathered from the factory. OK. I got on the list for one of each. Shortly after I received my knives, the stag being a gift to my brother, Mike called and said he'd located an ebony model from the first group. Yes, I bought that which is in the photo.
And, no I ain't tellin' how much it cost (less than an OK used car).
Anyway, if any of you folks have an interest in getting on the list for the next knife you can find Mike's email address at the JBF Website. Hey, own a piece of history.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Classico Spicy Tomato & Basil...A Decent Sauce...

OK, I goofed this test up. I added a large can of mushrooms and threw in a half package of TVP crumbles and served on angel hair. I think I use Morning Star crumbles; it's a green package.
So, how was the sauce? It was OK...good...actually the large can of mushrooms was a little much. I'll add to this review the next time and leave out the mushrooms. Good sauce, not thin or overly thick. The spiciness was about right. And, of course you can always add a little crushed red pepper if you want it a little spicier. Yes, will buy again.

Bertolli Marinara Sauce With Burgundy Wine...Another Contender!

Well, in Kroger a couple of days ago and yes, Bertolli sauces were a dollar off if you buy five. This was the first time I saw this sauce and they only had one jar left.
Anyway, tried to find out the difference between a regular sauce and marina. Didn't want to spend but so much time and  the best I could come up with, is that marina uses just a few spices, no meats, and no chunky know, peppers, onions, mushrooms.
OK, this test, I added meatballs and served on angel hair. This stuff was great. Yes, you could taste the burgundy...surely not overwhelming by any means and you could also smell it as the sauce was heating. The sauce wasn't thin but surely wasn't overly thick. Yes, I will buy the is again. I just noticed Classico has a similar sauce. Next time at the store I'm going to look for it.

April 22, 2013... OK, folks. Yes, had this again with meatballs...and, yes, it was great. Had it over regular-size spaghetti noodles. You know, the thickest noodles. I guess these are the noodles that many of us grew-up with. The regular old spaghetti noodles. Yes, back before our mom's knew or cared about angel hair and such.
This is a great sauce. Yes, you can taste a little sweetness and the burgandy.

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This! Yes, Homeopathy, Again!

Nelsons Noctura™ a 6c homeopathic potency of Kali brom, Coffea, Passiflora, Avena sativa, Alfalfa and Valeriana to bring soothing relief from sleeplessness. This unique combination of homeopathic remedies can help to aid a good night's rest.
Non-drowsy and suitable for all the family.


OK, folks. Yes, I've known about homeopathy for years; however, just learned about this product after watching a video at JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation). Did you read the above ad? Yep, it can "...aid a good night's rest." Hey, we need some rest sooooo, off to the old drug store to stock-up on Nelsons Noctura. Thankfully, it's safe for the your entire family and best of all, it's NON-DROWSY!!!!! Yep, a sleep aid that's non-drowsy. Thankfully, we'll be able to get some rest without having to worry about becoming drowsy....

Not sure if I've mentioned this in another post, but four out of four pharmacists who I asked about homeopathy had not a clue as to what it is. Yes, they all said about the same thing...Gosh, it's herbs and natural ingredients. And, there you have it.

Basically, homeopathic remedies have no active ingredients. Two concepts, to use that word, explain homeopathic remedies. The law of similars and dilution. The dilution is the best part, yep...the more you dilute something the stronger it gets. Hey, I'm not cool enough to make this up. Do a search and find out for yourself. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Humorous Fairly Benign Story...That Actually Happened...

Five or six years ago I stayed at a hotel. In fact, the hotel had hosted a meeting of world leaders, so it was far from a shabby stay for twenty bucks a night place.
Anyway, went to the dining room for dinner. Just outside the doors to the dining room was a short counter. There were a couple of people behind the counter. As I best remember, the conversation went something like this...

Hi, are you here for dinner?
Well, would you mind checking back with us later?

I thought that was kind of odd. Anyway, I walked a few feet and looked in the dining room. Can't remember how many tables total, but there were at least six or so that were cleaned off and empty. So, I'm thinking, what in the heck is going on...

Listen, there are several tables that are empty. I don't want to go back up stairs and then check with you later. If you all are, well...running a little behind or something that's fine. Just seat us, bring us some coffee, and then take your time.

So, yes, we got a table. Waitress came over and brought us coffee. The weird thing was, they didn't seem to be getting backed up or anything. In fact, the waitress took our order promptly and the food came out in a reasonable time. And, the food was fine.

As were were walking by the counter the manager was still there.

By the way, it's not important, but I thought I'd let you know I'm the food editor for the Baltimore Sun. Then I smiled. They all three looked at each other and...well...the manager I think was saying to himself, "Oh, $%&X."

An hour or so later, I went back down to the restaurant and said to the manager, "Hey, I was kidding, I'm not the food editor for the Sun."
We both smiled and he looked relieved.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Prego Italian Sausage & Garlic...Another Winner...

Yes, another winner. Thick enough and tasty. Decent amount of sausage. Yes, I will buy this again. Oh, had this over thin spaghetti, with crushed red pepper, and cheese. Pretty darn good!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Classico Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic...

OK, folks. Some changes in my sauce evaluations. First off, I'm going back to eating spaghetti the way I have been for years; using various add ins: hamburger-like crumbles, olives, mushrooms, crushed red pepper, meat balls, and cheese. Also, will vary the pasta. So, from now on you're going to get my opinion for the sauce along with the add ins. Yes, I know you guys are disappointed as I'm sure all over the world you've been sitting at your computers just waiting for my next review.
Another thing to mention, the sauce I just tested was OK for me; however, it could well be the best sauce of its kind...but, just OK for me as I'm not all that keen on the type of sauce.
So, there you have it. Will evaluate the sauce along with whatever I put in it.

Prego "New" Spicy Sausage is a Contender...

Well, I would have put a photo of the jar, is not on Prego's site which I find...well, strange. The jar does say new, hey...maybe they rushed it out so they could get a jar on the shelf just for me.
Anyway, this was pretty darn good. One of the thickest sauces, a little sweet (descriptive, not a negative comment), definitely spicy but not too spicy, and it had actual small chunks of Italian sausage. What more can I say. New to my reviews is whether or not I plan on buying it again.

Yes, I will buy this again.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ah, Tomorrow is Easter...Prayers to You???

Well, have been meaning to post this comment for some time. Decided Easter might be appropriate. So, here's what I want to know about Christians and their praying...
I follow our local online newspaper and for many of the articles read the comments. So here are the type of comments I'm wondering about.
There will be a death and the comments will go something like this: Prayers with, I'll pray for you, You will be in my prayers, Prayers out to you, and so on.
OK, someone is killed in an accident, here's what I want  to know...who are you praying to and what are you praying (for)?
Yes, I'm fumbling around here. Let me try again.
I would imagine that most Christians believe that their god is all powerful, knows everything, can do anything, can cause healings, can perform miracles, and so on. OK, now if that's the case that your god is all powerful and controls everything, what in the heck are you praying for?
Back to the accident. A good person, in fact a good Christian person, is killed in an auto accident. Now, if you believe your god controls everything and makes everything happen, it would seem like he wanted that person dead or it wouldn't have happened. With me, so far?
Of course, I would imagine some Christians may counter with god doesn't control everything. Ah, well, how does he decide what he controls? Well, he works in mysterious ways. That's a good one.
DON'T MENTION  FREE WILL! I'll have my pup track you down.
OK, if he's not running the show and is not all powerful, then what's the deal? He's not powerful enough to stop a car accident but he's powerful enough to put you in hell? Dang, it seems like it'd be easier to stop an accident than put someone in hell...
Well, this article or rant  is not going as I expected. OK, back to the basics.
A person is murdered, "Prayers to the family." OK, when you get down on your knees what do you pray? please make sure this person goes to heaven (hasn't that already been decided?). Pray that they have a nice trip? Pray that they get first class and not economy? Pray that they aren't held up in some type of purgatory? Pray that they get a waterside view in their new condo in heaven? What are you praying (for)?
You know, again...yes, sometimes we learn by rote. The guy who in your mind is in charge is the guy who caused the accident or allowed it to happen or who just doesn't care enough to be concerned about it at all and you're praying to him for what?
Now, the bible says your prayers will be answered. Obviously, that's not true. Are we back to god works in mysterious ways? Or, he only answers prayers that are worthy. Worthy, what is there, some type of commission that meets and votes on what's worthy and what's not?
One of the best ones I've heard, is that you should pray for god's will to be done. Good one. The most powerful guy around and we need to pray that his will be done. That'd be like me praying that Babe Ruth will let me help him learn to hit home runs.
Now, is a prayer merely a means of communication or is there something more to it than that? You pray so that god can know what you want? A means of communication... Well, if he knows everything he knows what you'll be praying about. So, why bother? For instance, you have a loved one who is ill...surely this powerful god knows that when you pray you'll be praying that he'll heal your loved-one. Or maybe prayer is something about accumulating a Green Stamp type of rewards. You know, for every hour of prayer you have XXX of heaven or prayer chips accumulated.
Yeah, like a heavenly bank account. In fact, that'd be another religious or heavenly scam. Lets's see, you'd go to your corner preacher, "I want my loved one to be cured."
"Well, yes, god and I understand that; however, you need to pray for 1732 hours plus give me $2775 in small bills."
Folks, not sure what you guys are looking for or trying to accomplish, but prayer ain't gonna get it for you. See the photo/snap on this page. You folks are looking in the wrong place and trying the wrong things. You keep praying and there is absolutely no evidence that a prayer has ever been answered. None. After no telling how many years of millions of people praying  and you think you are so special that this so-called god of yours is going to answer your prayer?
And, to add to it all you guys are going to church tomorrow to praise Jesus or something. So, how does the fable go? God allowed his only son to be crucified so that your sins are forgiven or something...and this so-called god resurrected his son. Wow, the god who is so powerful that he can kill his son so we can sin with impunity and then resurrect his son... If I've got this story even half-right, I'd say your god ain't real smart if he couldn't have figured out a better way to go about this.
Why couldn't he have just flapped him arms and spun some kind of miracle so our sins would be forgiven...while being in a bar and having a beer with his son? He really had to kill his son? Isn't that being a little overly dramatic?
Well, in the end, I am thankful and pray every day that I don't have to believe any of that bullshit.