Sunday, January 22, 2012

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

This recipe is designed to work with potatoes 1½ to 2 inches in diameter; do not use potatoes any larger. It is important to thoroughly cook the potatoes so that they will smash easily. Remove the potatoes from the baking sheet as soon as they are done browning—they will toughen if left too long. A potato masher can also be used to “smash” the potatoes.

  1. 2 pounds small Red Bliss potatoes (about 18), scrubbed
  2. 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  4. Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  1. Adjust oven racks to top and bottom positions and heat oven to 500 degrees. Arrange potatoes on rimmed baking sheet, pour ¾ cup water into baking sheet, and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Cook on bottom rack until paring knife or skewer slips in and out of potatoes easily (poke through foil to test), 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and cool 10 minutes. If any water remains on baking sheet, blot dry with paper towel.

  2. Drizzle 3 tablespoons oil over potatoes and roll to coat. Space potatoes evenly on baking sheet and place second baking sheet on top; press down firmly on baking sheet, flattening potatoes until 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and season generously with salt and pepper; drizzle evenly with remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Roast potatoes on top rack 15 minutes. Transfer potatoes to bottom rack and continue to roast until well browned, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6

Thursday, January 19, 2012

True Story!

More than 24 years ago, Pam and her husband Bob were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.

Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said the doctors didn't think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.

While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: If you will give us a son, we’ll name him Timothy and we’ll make him a preacher. Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam’s youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father’s ministry in the Philippines .

He also plays football. Pam’s son is Tim Tebow.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hover Over My Name: New Hoax Spin Added to Viral Facebook Status

I thought I'd repost this article from a fellow named Jon Loomer. I saw several different blogs that had written about the 'Hover Over My Name' scam. He puts it quite simply. He's on facebook and I am now a 'fan' of his. So, here it is:

Just when I think this one will die, it comes back even stronger…

Back on September 23 (yes, more than three months ago), I first wrote a post called Facebook Scare: Uncheck Comments and Likes about a viral Facebook status that was circulating. Long story short, it’s when friends ask you to hover over their name and uncheck comments and likes. They believed this would help your privacy or some other complete nonsense (see the blog post).

Today, I am again seeing spikes to that blog post. I ran a Facebook search of “hover over my name” and it is absolutely out of hand. When I run the search, there are 15 public posts over a six minute span. That’s public posts only.

Originally, this seemed to be simply a well-intentioned (though ill-informed) attempt to help friends and right a wrong. But as it’s evolved, it has taken on the flavor of a hoax. The new copy and paste is as follows:

With the new ‘FB timeline’ on its way this week for EVERYONE…please do both of us a favour: Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you’ll see a box that says “Subscribed.” Hover over that, then go to “Comments and Likes” and unclick it. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the side bar for everyone to see, but MOST IMPORTANTLY it LIMITS HACKERS from invading our profiles. If you re-post this I will do the same for you. You’ll know I’ve acknowledged you because if you tell me that you’ve done it I’ll ‘like’ it. Thanks!

A couple of the tell-tale signs of a hoax (as I outline in this post) are now evident:

  • Attempt to scare you with completely untrue statement about protecting you from hackers

  • Of course … Asking you to re-post

  • Let’s be clear about what happens when I hover over your name and uncheck comments and likes. I no longer see your comments and likes. Period.

    What doesn’t it do? It does not stop my posts (comments and likes) from showing in your newsfeed, though this status promises that. I have no idea how they think it would limit hackers from invading your profile. It is completely individual. It only stops one person from seeing the comments and likes of one person. That’s it.

    And this brings us back to the absurdity of the post. If you are worried about people you don’t care about seeing your comments and likes, who is going to respond to this and hide that content? Maybe a handful. And what kinds of friends will they be? Your closest friends. The ones who actually care about your comments and likes (and the ones you wouldn’t mind seeing them).

    But maybe your closest friends are hackers. In that case, carry on. You did well.

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Wacky In Waco

    I rec'vd an email that made me want to look up it's validity when I found this:

    I recently received an email going around the www written by a 21 year old female "who gets it".

    I will leave it intact, but with modifications that reflect the reality of life, not the views of the GOP rhetoric that it is filled with. I am a senior citizen with many more years of experience under my belt than this 21 year old, and with a better grasp of reality and hopefully with a little more common sense, and ability to look at life with a broader perspective. Although a few of these ideas are quite thought provoking they need to reflect the real world. So here goes.

    (My responses and clarifications will be in parenthesis, in italics, and underscored when applicable)

    This was in the Waco Tribune Herald, Waco, TX., Nov. 18, 2010:

    This was written by a 21 yr old female who gets it. It's her future she is worried about and this is how she feels about the social welfare big government state that she is being forced to live in! These solutions are just common sense in her opinion.

    > Put me in charge . . .
    > Put me in charge of food stamps. I'd get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho's, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

    (This has some merit. The use of food stamps should require some discretion on what they are used for. Although the meaning is well intended, there are folks on food stamps that are unable to work, unable to cook, or even unable to store such quantities above what can be used in a reasonable period of time. It should be explicit about: not for the purchase of junk foods, alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, stamps, etc... but food choices are based on the individuals tastes, likes, and needs; as some people cannot digest certain foods or may be allergic to others.).

    > Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I'd do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligation's. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get tats and piercings, then get a job.

    (Here her knowledge of medicaid is not quite accurate, logical, or adult. Medicaid is mainly for the use of the elderly, or those who are disabled. The government cannot legally require the disabled or the elderly to have tubal ligation's or birth control implants. The use of prescription, or over the counter drugs, or the use of alcohol, cannot be dictated by the government, and has nothing to do with medicaid. Even the use of cigarettes cannot be taken away from anyone when they are legally sold over the counter. So this portion about medicaid is inappropriate for anyone to suggest. The abuse of medicaid or medicare is NOT by the recipients of it, but by those providers who put in bogus claims, and pad their bills with the intent to defraud the government who provides no oversight to stop those false claims.)

    > Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks?
    > You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your "home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

    (Actually has some merit with this one. There are no current restrictions regarding upkeep, or maintenance, etc... Anything procured prior to moving into Government housing cannot be taken away from those who are in need, simply because someone thinks they do not deserve to have them. There should be some restrictions, however, on the purchase of new and "expensive" items. Televisions sets, computers, phones, and other "conveniences" are basic necessities in our current life style, and are often required in looking for work, raising children and providing basic needs.)

    > In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a "government" job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the âcommon good.

    (I am assuming that this paragraph is a continuation of "living in government housing"? People who live in government housing are either unable to work (due to mental or physical impairment), or work in jobs that pay minimum wages or less, or have small children they must care for and using sarcasm regarding selling high end properties while living in government housing is silly, demeaning, and uncalled for).

    > Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules.. Before you say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin their "self esteem," consider that it wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

    (I am not quite sure what this paragraph references, but it sounds to me like the remarks about "taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem" is being misdirected toward the poor and needy when in reality it is certainly the descriptive narrative for big business executives.)?

    > If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

    (This paragraph above is totally unjustified, insulting and just plain ludicrous. Making assumptions that the poor, or the infirm, are products of their own choices is stereotyping at its worst. The majority of the poor and homeless are not there by their own volition, but are victims of circumstances beyond their control, victims of crimes, sexually, physically, or emotionally abused and left on the streets to fend for themselves. When we start turning our back on those less fortunate than ourselves, or blaming the victims, we have lost our compassion, our humanity, and our decency.

    This seems to be the new wave of thought from the Republican (and the new tea party) government, the wealthy, and those who became self reliant by stepping on the poor and middle class.) *(This kind of generalized statement that reflects the mistakes of drug/alcohol addicts is also inappropriate when describing those unfortunate people who require assistance just to be able to afford basic essentials.)

    > AND While you are on Gov't subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Government welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.

    (This is unconstitutional and serves no purpose. You can not remove a person's right to vote, or any other basic human rights just because you disapprove of people who have less than you do. This is the current mentality of the GOP to remove basic voting rights of those who are less fortunate, for fear that they might just be voting for simple democracy, equality, justice and a better way of life for themselves and others in their situations.) *(i.e.,the current GOP drive to suppress votes of the poor, elderly, and college students, in the next election, that we see daily on the news programs on T.V. )

    > Now, if you have the guts - PASS IT ON...

    (And lastly, I do have the guts to PASS THIS ON, not because you, the writer, or you, the reader who agrees with this writer, is correct, but because you are part of the problems of society instead of part of the solutions. Criticizing and demeaning the less fortunate, seems to be the order of the day for the new political environment, while making compassion, caring, social welfare needs, and helping out the less fortunate seem like something perverse or evil.)

    (I can only say just how disappointing it is to see, and hear, this younger generation coming up without any sense of empathy, compassion or understanding of what being a victim of the system is truly like. We are NOT always the cause of our own misfortunes.

    Perhaps one day those who find fault with the less fortunate among us will find themselves in those very shoes.)

    by d.william 12/10/2011

    For what it's worth ... I tend to concur with Mr. William.

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    Well wha'da ya know!

    Living in this house that I grew up in holds SO many memories! As a kid, every year we would take a vacation "up home". Since my Mother was born in Sonora, CA. and my Dad in Knights Ferry, CA., and since my Dad was one of nine kids, we'd always end up 'visitin' folks' during that trip "up home".

    Our mainstay was at one of his sister's, Dorothy Hall, in Manteca, hence when either Mom or Dad would say, "We're goin' "up home" here next week.", that would mean start getting things together to pack cuz we were going to Aunt Dorothy's!

    It was generally seven days that we'd be gone. We'd take a day to drive around visiting an aunt & cousins, plus an uncle who all lived in Lathrop. We'd leave early on another day and to over to Sonora but stop in Oakdale to Aunt Nervie's (cookies or fresh made bread 'n jam to eat!) and go see Aunt Vadna & Uncle Bill (they had a farm with chickens, cows & cats. LOT'S of cats! Counted 40 something once!) who lived near a Hershey's plant. Driving past that place smelled SO good but you'd have to time that big inhale just right or you'd smell nothing but cow manure since there were cattle pens all around! Next we'd head over to see Uncle Leslie in Knights Ferry (he had a turkey ranch!) and we'd usually have lunch, get a bunch of turkey eggs, then go off to Aunt Helen's in Sonora to spend the night or two. (that's a whole n'other set of stories!)

    The best part of going to see Uncle Leslie tho was getting to go over the bridge that spanned the river. My Dad told us how he & his brothers would kick loose a couple boards on the sides and jump into the river below! I would picture my Dad beating his chest hollerin Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan yell as he fell to the water! One time we got to spend a whole day there and all the family came to a picnic at a park next to the river. All us kids got to play in the water and we could see the bridge not too far from where we were & we saw a couple fellows jump ... then came sirens and the police were trying to find who it was. My Dad laughed 'n laughed!

    When we'd stay at Aunt Helen's, she'd take us out to dinner to some 'fancy' place. Once we went early in the afternoon and we went into Columbia National Park and got to ride a real stagecoach where, of course, we'd gotten held up by outlaws. I cried 'n cried when my Mom handed over her watch. She didn't want to spoil it for the other kids so I wasn't very happy until after we'd gotten back and she got her watch back plus we were introduced to the robbers. I remember they sure laughed as I stood behind my Momma's skirt! That place sure was fun tho with the park they had & all the old time stores and horses everywhere. I loved the ride home when the car windows would be down and the clean crisp smell of the pine trees would just engulf my senses.

    Those smells and memories were all jogged by seeing these photo's. I was simply amazed and I also felt a sort of a sense of pride of knowing exactly where that tree came from!

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Everything God does is perfect!

    A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in all circumstances would say: My king, do not be discouraged, because everything God does is perfect, no mistakes!

    One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his majesty from losing a finger.

    Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the king said "Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger."

    The slave replied only "My king, despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good, and he knows the "why" of all these things.What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!"

    Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.

    Later, the king left for another hunt and was captured by savages who made human sacrifices.

    While on the altar, ready to sacrifice the noble, the savages found that the victim had a missing finger and so he was released. According to them: he was not so complete to be offered to the gods.

    Upon his return to the palace, the king authorized the release of his slave to whom he said very affectionately:

    - My dear, God was really good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: If God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?

    - My King, if I had gone with you in this hunt, I would have been
    sacrificed for you, because I have no missing finger.

    Therefore, remember: everything God does is perfect. HE is never wrong .

    Often we complain about life and the negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random and that everything has a purpose.

    Every morning, offer your day to God.

    Ask God to inspire your thoughts, guide your actions, to ease your
    feelings. And do not be afraid. God is never wrong!

    You know why this message was sent to you? I do not know, but God knows, because he never makes mistakes.......

    The path of God and his word is perfect, without impurities. It is the way of all those who trust in him, as he says in 2Samuel 22:31

    Surely this message arrived at the right moment. May God put in your heart the desire to send it to someone. Do not be ashamed to send it to the right person. God knows, He knows why.

    God is never wrong!