Saturday, March 30, 2013

red velvet pancakes

Red velvet pancakes?   This is a new one for me.   I have had red velvet cake with that decadent cream cheese frosting.   Sometimes I am not sure which I like most, the red velvet cake or the incredibly rich cream cheese frosting.    The cake and the frosting make for an incredible combination.

And then there are the red velvet twinkies.   Have you seen these in the stores?

I couldn't believe that there was such a thing so I just had to try some.   They are really quite good.    But then who doesn't like twinkies.    To do a "fractured" quote of Will Rogers, I never met a twinkie I didn't like.

They make a fantastic snack.   And the red velvet flavor comes through nice and strong.   Two of my favorites rolled into one;  red velvet and twinkies.   Am I making you hungry yet?  And let's not forget about the red velvet cupcakes.   I have seen them but I have not tried them yet.   I will have to add them to my "bucket list".
My wife knows my passion for red velvet cake and she saw this box of the red velvet pancake mix and so she got it and tomorrow she is going to make red velvet pancakes for breakfast.   To ease my caloric conscience I will put sugar-free pancake syrup on them.   It is like the scales of justice; red velvet pancakes on the scale on one side and sugar-free syrup on the other scale.

Does that reasoning sound good to you?   Works for me, especially while I am eating the red velvet pancakes tomorrow morning.   Bon app├ętit.    Lew

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

atomic coffee cup

I call this cup my "atomic cup" because it depicts some atomic bombs going off. The picture is by a cartoonist named Gary Larson who did the Far Side series of cartoons.   But in the radiation field of work it use to be joked that in the event of atomic attack the best thing to do was to go fishing (just like the scene on the coffee mug).  No joke.  Why go fishing?   In radiation protection the golden rules for protection from radiation are Time, Shielding, and Distance. 

1.   TIME  -  If any fallout sprinkles down out of the sky and lands on you, just jump into the water to wash it off (decontamination).   This keeps the TIME that the fallout is on you to a minimum.  

2.   SHIELDING  -  Radioactive fallout which sprinkles down from the sky and lands on the water will sink to the bottom of the lake and all of that water will supply SHIELDING from the radioactive material that sank to the bottom.

3.   DISTGANCE  -  If you row the boat to the middle of the lake you are a long DISTANCE from any of the radioactive fallout on shore.

Would going fishing really work?   I don't know but let's hope that we never have to find out.

By the way this is also a favorite cup that I have bearing a Gary Larson cartoon.

Now wouldn't this be a quite a trick to play.   I can just imagine the fear and shock the poor individual would have had when his friend popped the bag.

I saw Olympus Has Fallen starring Morgan Freedman.   It had a lot of action in it.    I mean lots and lots of action.   I thought that it was very good if you happen to like action movies.   Have a good day and peace to all.     Lew

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


This was our little chihuahua Duke.   He doesn't look very happy probably because of being dressed up with the sombrero.   He was  very tolerant of us putting him in costumes (especially at Halloween).   Here in Florida it rains a lot and so we would put his doggie raincoat on him when he had to go outside in the grass to take a restroom break.  
And when it was cold outside he even had his own warm red sweater to keep him warm.
He was an excellent lapdog and his favorite pastime was sitting on the couch next to us while we were watching television.   Such a lovable and loyal pet.   But his "end-of-life" time came and off he went to doggie heaven.   We buried him in our backyard and we got a memorial marker to mark his spot.   Mary even wrote his name on the marker in gold paint.

I checked the marker last week and saw all of these cracks in it.    The marker seemed to be made out of a plaster-type material.   The cracks are probably due to the plaster drying out.   We are going to replace the marker with a new one.   We will try to get one that won't have a "drying-out" problem.   I know that people can get so attached to their pets that the pets are like members of the family.   And when they are gone it is like losing a family member.  
        So we got another chihuahua.   A female named Judy.

She is also a lap dog and likes being on the couch next to us.   In this case she decided to lay on the nice soft cushion behind me.

She is an older dog which is what we wanted.   We got her from one of these pet rescue organizations.    They got her from a county animal shelter (dog pound).   I know that chihuahuas have a reputation for being nippy but she has a wonderfully passive disposition.   Incredibly sweet.   We got lucky.   She is a good replacement for our male chihuahua, Duke.   What type of pet do you have?   Dog?   Cat?   Rabbit?   We have all three.    Have a nice day and don't forget about the wild animals like the squirrels and the birds.    I am sure that they would like to have some supplemental food.    Be happy.    Lew

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

sinkhole tragedy

In the past I have used the title of "Good News, Bad News" when I write about sinkholes.   The "Bad News" is that a sinkhole opened somewhere in someone's front yard.   The "Good News" is that it wasn't my front yard.   But in this sinkhole there is no "Good News" because it involved a fatality.   I am shocked.   I didn't think that people died in sinkholes.   We have sinkholes open up in people's yards from time-to-time here in Central Florida but no one gets hurt.   This is the first one that I am aware that had a fatality.   Where was this sinkhole?   It was at 240 Faithway Drive, Seffner, Florida which is about 15 miles east of Tampa, Florida.   It is also 73 miles southwest of Orlando, Florida.   Seffner is located where the purple dot is in the lower left corner of the picture below.
It was 11:00 pm on Friday, March 1 and Jeffrey Bush was in bed when a huge hole opened up under his bed.   
A hole?   How can a hole open up under the bed?   This is the stuff that nightmares are made of.    But with a loud crash the cement floor, the dresser, the bed, and Jeffrey sunk down into the hole.  
Jeffrey’s screams for help were heard by his brother, Jeremy Bush.  
Jeremy ran to Jeffrey’s bedroom and what he saw was a large hole with Jeffrey’s bed in it.   Jeffrey was screaming for Jeremy to help him.   Jeffrey was still alive.   Jeremy jumped into the hole and tried to help his brother but couldn’t.    Now Jeremy was also stuck in the hole and couldn’t get out.   Jeremy was a real-life hero to jump into a sink-hole as the dirt was going down the hole making the hole even deeper.   I take my hat off to Jeremy for his bravery and devotion to his brother.
A police officer, Douglas Duval arrived at the house in response to a 911 call by a family member.    When the police officer entered the bedroom and looked into the hole he could see Jeremy Bush trying to get out of the hole.   He also saw a bed and a dresser in the hole.   Everything in the hole was sinking.  Officer Duval reached into the hole and helped Jeremy Bush get out of the hole.  
The hole sunk to a depth of 60 feet and was about 30 feet in diameter.   But what about Jeffrey Bush?   He could no longer be seen.   Emergency responders came but it was deemed unsafe to have rescue personnel go down a 60 foot deep hole because of the danger of the sides of the hole collapsing.   A camera and a sensitive microphone were lowered into the hole but no sign of life was detected.    Anyone going near the house had to wear a safety harness with a rope tether.
The rope was held by a firefighter.
On Saturday, the ground was studied with ground penetrating radar and it still seemed that the hole was just too unstable to send someone down into the hole.   It was felt that Jeffrey was no longer alive and it would be another tragedy to have the hole collapse on people who would be trying to recover Jeffries body.   It had to have been a tough call to make.   The house was razed to the ground and the debris taken away.
It had to be tough on the family to see their house end up piece-by-piece in a dumpster.   The owner had sinkhole insurance which was fortunate but when you live in a house for a long time there are so many memories.   Over the course of a few days the house was cleared as it had never existed, the hole filled with gravel from dump trucks and now the site looks like an empty lot.  
His brother leaves a memorial of flowers to his brother at the site.
At the age of 36 Jeffrey Bush died too soon and too young.    His family will remember him always, especially at Christmas time.
Live each day to the fullest because you just never know when tragedy will strike.    Lew