18
Jul
2013

I recently joined a local area bloggers network (Rocket City Bloggers) in the hopes that it would inspire me to rekindle my old passion for blogging because, quite frankly, the motivation to do better is not coming from within!

One very helpful tool is the weekly topic prompt they are posting over there, thus the subject of this particular posting.

My First Job.

My first job was very easy to come by. You see, my Granddaddy was a prominent, southern lawyer, who decided that I was not going to have idle summers during my  high school years.  So, he hired me during the summers to help pull up the slack during a time when many of the workers were vacationing.

It sounds like it would have been a very cushy job, but it wasn’t. I worked very hard; I learned many skills in order to be useful wherever I needed.

One summer, I completely ran the law library all by myself.  You have to remember, this was the late ’70s/early ’80s. Back then, the law firm only had computers for word processing. Tax codes and other corporate laws were revised practically hourly, it seemed. The library contained hundreds of volumes (imagine the rows of lovely leather bound books you see in lawyerly photos), and we received paper copies of the updates in the mail every day.  One of my responsibilities was to remove the old pages and insert the new ones.

I also learned how to run the switchboard so that when the office receptionist (who covered the phones for nearly 50 busy, busy people), needed time off, I could fill in without one of the legal secretaries having to leave her post.

My favorite task, by far, was running.   Remember, ancient times meant NO fax machines.  So, we runners ran papers over to other lawyers’ offices downtown to get them signed, initialed, revised, etc, and then ran them back over to our place, which generally resulted in more signing, initialing and so forth.

Well, we didn’t literally run most of the time.  This was Mississippi in the summertime, so it was usually well into the 90s by lunch time.

Oooh.  There was one special perk afforded me, that I have the fondest memories of.  Granddad often let me tag along with him to lunch.  Since he was the senior partner, those lunches generally were very good and with very interesting people including Senator Stennis, the mayor at the time, as well as prominent business owners.

Granddad also made sure to stop by the stock exchange ticker machine in the bank lobby on the way back in.  Remember, ancient times, no 24 hour business channels scrolling the prices across the screen. This thing just spewed out an ever growing ticker tape all day long.

So, to recap: no computers, no fax machines, no constant TV scrolls. What on earth do kids do at their summer jobs, now?

Thanks for the prompt, guys. I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

27
Jun
2013

After Tuesday’s speech given by the president on climate and what he’s calling “carbon pollution” (not really a thing, but who needs facts, amiright?), the white house posted some information on their blog about the issues facing states due to climate concerns here: www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/26/state-state-reports-president-obamas-plan-cut-carbon-pollution-and-prepare-consequen#states

Out of curiosity, I went over to read Alabama’s report. One alarming statement indicates: “In 2011, power plants and major industrial facilities in Alabama emitted more than 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution—that’s equal to the yearly pollution from more than 22 million cars.”

Needing some scale to think about this on, I decided to visit the California page to see what theirs had to say: “In 2011, power plants and major industrial facilities in California emitted more than 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution metric tons of carbon pollution—that’s equal to the yearly pollution from more than 21 million cars.”

Dude. In Alabama 100 million metric tons equals more pollution than the same number does in California. That ain’t science. That’s magic. Not only that, but I find it incredibly difficult to believe that Alabama has the same amount of power plants and major industrial facilities as a state as enormously populated as California.

Then, I found out, through reading other comments on the state fact sheets, that the white house believes that Hawaii had natural disaster declarations in 31 counties but there are only 5 counties in that state. Looking through some of the other reports, both Montana and Missouri also had disaster declarations in 31 counties.

I know that most people are going to take the hype and hysteria at face value. But, this report that came out was obviously produced using a bunch of “cut and paste” effort, with no real rigor to ensure they got it right. How can we ever trust them to get the solutions correct if they can’t proof their own reports? They just want to terrify people into giving carte-blanche to tax and spend.

(PS – it gets funnier as every state report ties a high rate of lyme disease to carbon emissions by factories. In most cases, the alarming rate of lyme disease is on the order of 0.0001% of population. Note that your chances of being hit by lightning are 0.0003%, three times greater. But no worries, the report does not indicate that lightning strikes are predicted to go up due to coal energy).

13
Jun
2013

Rarely do I recommend recipes or products claiming to be authentic cajun, creole and/or New Orleans style, because, quite frankly, most of them aren’t what they claim to be. However, I found a gem of a product that far exceeded my expectations in its ability to satisfy my red beans and rice cravings, recently.

While I know how to make them from scratch, it is a production in itself starting with soaking beans overnight. Therefore, my personal recipe won’t do when I need something quick and easy. I’ve tried several mixes including Louisiana Fish Fry and Zatarain’s brands. They are at best an over-salted, seasoned, pasty mess.

A couple of years ago, I discovered a saffron yellow rice mix that I love:

This little 5 ounce packet averages around 79 cents, cooks up with a nice crusty bottom (use a non-stick pan!) and is the perfect amount as a side for a family of four. It also comes in larger sizes, but this little one is my pantry staple.

Color me excited when I noticed a red beans version of the same brand!

I snapped it up and tried it over the weekend, and you know what? It has a good authentic flavor and texture, which is somewhat fluid, and not too terribly salty considering it comes from a pre-packaged mix. It was the perfect side dish for a quick meal we were throwing together. Add some good sausage, and you would have a meal in itself. The 8 ounce package makes quite a lot of finished rice for a buck fifty.

If you are an exile from the mother land of outstanding culinary delights as I am, go now, get you somadiss.

5
Jun
2013

Everyone knows this.

Yesterday afternoon, my entire community was in a tizzy about this mysterious radar image that appeared to be a strong thunderstorm. The image popped up yesterday afternoon, only it was sunny and dry all day and into the evening.

Here it is from the Wundermap:

redstoneblob0

I don’t know about you, but it reminds me a little of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

So, attempting to find an explanation, the weather folks contacted the arsenal to determine if perhaps there were planned burns of some sort that would cause the reflections on radar.

Nope. No burns.

They contacted the utility folks to determine if any of the large substations were causing interference.

Nope. No issues in the grid.

Hm.

Okay.

I awoke this morning to find out that, the blob was still hanging around, albeit much smaller in size. (I believe the length of that image spans approximately 8 miles).

Then, someone reported seeing some sort of white fluff falling in the area.  Not snow, just fluff.  This fluff was conjectured to be some sort of fiberglass chaff from something on the arsenal under that blob.

****** RIP!!!!****** Conspiracy theories began to fly.

My favorite ones to hear about on the radio and in online conspiracy nut comments were 1) alien invaders; 2) chemtrails; and 3) development and testing of new force fields, ala Under the Dome.

There’s a pretty nifty time-lapse showing the blob appear then slowly dissipate.  Mind you, it never really moved out of place, just faded away.

The researchers are more convinced of the fiberglass chaff.

Obviously.

I think an alien ship came to attack the arsenal, and they retaliated with George W. Bush’s super secret weather machine weapon. You know, the one that created Hurricane Katrina.

The fiberglass chaff is fallout.

WE KICKED THE ALIENS CHAFFY ASSES!!!

In the interest of full disclosure, I DID see the fluffy white stuff on the interstate this morning. However, I did not find any alien bodies.