You Know They Were Having Fun…

Fall GearWhy does the Master Climber have radical calm?  Because of the Fall Gear he is wearing.

I went to my dentist this morning to have a filling filled.  It only took about 30 minutes and I was out, with a filled tooth and the right side of my mouth and tongue numb.  This was the magazine that I picked up shortly before going back for the procedure.  I thought it funny to have the “Fall Gear” directly below the “Master Free Climber”.

Pork Chop Sandwich

I bought a couple of slices of pickled green tomato at Whole Foods from the olive bar.  I had fixed a couple of pork chops on the stove top yesterday.  The ones shown here are breaded, but mine were not.  I sliced some French bread and spread some curried mayo on both slices.  The curried mayo also has some small capers in it.  I added a little Splenda to the green tomato slice.  I sliced a Vidalia onion thinly.

Simple, but it was so delicious!


french-bread-sliced sliced-vidalia-onion curried-caper-mayo pork-chop green-tomato-pickles_DSC8574

Black Queen & Latin King


Not a bad looking couple, right?  Why would a pretty girl like this hang around with a street gang thug like that?  When WRAL first reported this, that is what I wondered.  Then several days later I found out that the person on the left wasn’t actually a pretty young black woman at all.  Call me old fashioned, but if I was a macho, street gang member and started having sex with this good looking woman and part way into all this, it became apparent that there was one too many men, and no woman involved, I might go ballistic.  I don’t know if that is what caused the murder, but it would be a great motive.

So, you have to read though the WRAL news article online to get the “gist” of the situation.  You have to put the pieces together…

  • have located the remains of a woman
  • the remains of Elisha Walker (strange name for a woman)
  • Arias,… was named as a suspect in Walker’s disappearance
  • originally reported missing by her mother
  • “If he is still with Angel, I think there is a problem,” Ruth Alexander said (Is Ruth the mother?  If so she knows the sex of her child.)

Society can make all the allowances it wants, but pay attention and eventually the truth of what is right and wrong will be evident.

French Onion Soup @ Home – Yum!

A few years ago, I drove out to a motel along the I95 highway near Fayetteville, NC for dinner. This was just for something different. When I looked at the menu, I saw that there was “French Onion Soup” as an option. My eyes lit up! I hadn’t had French Onion Soup in years. Not something you would make at home, and rarely an option for the restaurants that I normally visited during a week. I’m not sure when the first time that I had this soup, but my mind navigates toward my time in Louisville, KY and Gary Golden.

Gary was at Southern Seminary in the early 1980s when I was there. Gary was a “foodie” years before that would become a popular term.  We shared an apartment for a while.  During this time, I think he made some French Onion Soup.  He ended up becoming a campus minister at Dartmouth (I think it was Dartmouth.) He was from Texas, Texarkana, where his mother still lived. One Christmas Holiday he drove down to Alabama and picked me up. We then went to Texarkana. He left me at his mother’s house while he went out to visit his old compadres.

I think we left his mom’s house on Christmas night and drove through the night toward Lousiville. Our route meant that we barely crossed through Arkansas in the early morning night. As the sun began to rise, I was driving and Gary was asleep… the sky became a beautiful burgundy tapestry, sort of like a beautiful old sofa, rippled and dimpled by tacks.

I think we spent a night at the Seminary and then drove across several states and spent a night with another friend of Gary’s in Maryland (maybe DC). Finally, we ended up in Vermont where Gary was living while ministering in NH at Dartmouth. We spent a couple of days at Gary’s place, and did not go out much. He had a wonderful view of the countryside for a great distance as the house was raised on stilts and there was a deep snow covering the land. *Deep may be a relative term. This would have been deep for the North Carolina coast where I grew up.

After a few days, Gary drove me down to Boston. I think the night before I was to fly out of the airport there for Jacksonville, NC. It seems that this might have been 1984. We ate at a restaurant in I think, Faneuil Hall Marketplace. I don’t recall the name of the restaurant, but I ordered both Boston Scrod and Boston Baked Beans. They don’t really go together, but I wanted to be able to say that I had eaten both. I’ve had better baked beans as these I seem to recall were under cooked and hard.

I think Gary and I stayed at a motel near the airport, although maybe not. I was reading a book on the airplane. I think it was Dune, and I recall hoping that we would land safely so that I could finish it. We had been above the clouds that morning and the sunrise was beautiful, but as we neared Jacksonville, we dropped down into the mist with no visibility until we were almost on the ground.

It must have been Mary Ann and/or Ray that picked me up at the airport. I don’t recall the visit much, but I flew out of Jacksonville for Charlotte at the end of my family visit. It was a quick flight, rising to a pinnacle and then almost immediately dropping at a similar angle to land. I recall looking down on the Carolina countryside which was not very far below. I don’t recall the friend that picked me up at the Charlotte Airport, but I think he had been one of my tennis buddies in Jacksonville and was going to school in the Charlotte area. The flight had taken about 30 minutes in the air, but I think it was an hour and a half on the ground before we were off the plane.

I took the bus from Charlotte and arrived at the main bus station in Atlanta, GA. The parents of a friend (from Lineville, AL) had driven to pick me up in Atlanta to take me back to Alabama. Their daughter was supposed to pick me up, but she had gone off to do other things.

I think this holiday was when I managed to go through 26 States in 15 days. If I had driven across the River in Louisville, I could have added another state (IN).

A few days ago, I thought of making some French Onion Soup at home… in the slow cooker.  I had done this at least once before, several years ago.  It had turned out well, and going online, I was reminded of how easy this can be.  I had bought some Swiss Cheese slices, and then some yellow onions (so I wouldn’t waste the last of my Vidalia onions), and I think I purchased a box of Beef Broth, although the one I used, I had had for some time.

I might have fixed this yesterday, but in the morning I had turned on my dishwasher as I left to drive to Raleigh.  I had my slow cooker crock pot in the washer.  To my surprise, when I returned, I checked the dishwasher and the crock and saw that it was still dirty.  I checked the other dishes and they had not been cleaned either.  I looked down and saw there was no detergent in the first tray, but the second tray was still closed.  This was proof that I had started the washer, but something odd had occurred and the process had stopped somewhere along the way.  I restarted the process and this time, it completed successfully.

This morning, perhaps closer to noon or 12:30 pm, I got the crock out and started chopping some yellow onions.  I used a couple of large ones, and a medium sized onion.  Some olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, freshly ground pepper and a little powdered garlic… turn on High and go off to do other things.  After several hours, I added the box of Beef Broth and a little extra water, and some salt.  Later, I went to sleep during the afternoon.

I awoke about 6:30 pm.

Eventually, I got out a soup bowl (with small handles).  I sliced some French bread and buttered the slices, adding some powdered garlic and toasted them up.  While they were toasting, I got out the Swiss Cheese slices.  I ladelled some soup out of the crock into the bowl, placed the toasted bread across the top and finished by adding the Swiss Cheese, and a little grated Parmesean over the top.  I put the broiler on HI and put the bowl on the top rack of the oven.  I checked several times, not wanting this to burn, and noting smoke coming off of something in the oven.

I got out a dinner plate and took the hot bowl out of the oven with my pot holders and took it and a spoon to my easy chair in the living room.

I dipped the spoon into the cheese, bread and soup and lifted it up, the cheese stringing high above the bowl.  I blew on the hot soup and then into my mouth.  Delicious!  So easy to make.  It takes a little time, but so worth it.

Okay, so it’s about time for some more “home made” Chili.  Same slow cooker, but I’ve now found some special flavors that I like… The dried Spanish Chorizo and extra Paprika (alot of Paprika), with a little sweetner.

20 Years!

My first day of work at Fayetteville State University was on August 7, 1995.  Today is Friday, August 7, 2015.  Twenty years working at FSU.  I was hired by Mr. Leo Taylor, then Director of MIS (later became ITTS) Management Information Systems.

Leo and I became good friends.  His direction, in my writing a job description,  was instrumental in my receiving a significant pay increase several years into my employment.  He retired from FSU and then worked several years for Sprint.  Leo was originally from Washington, NC (“Little Washington”), and his mother, “Silver,” still lived in Washington until her death at the end of 2013.  Leo had a “love-hate” relationship with Silver.  He loved to hate her;-)  Leo died in April of 2014.  I miss him.

I had breakfast at the Rainbow Restaurant before work this morning.

The morning was the usual blend of various technical feats.  I walked across campus and installed a couple of updates of software in an office.  I did the last push to get some FIU technicians their account info so that they could login to our Canvas LMS.  They will be assisting some of our Accounting Department faculty with getting the curriculum fully online.

I was thinking about what might be a special treat for lunch and then decided to go to the “Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet” on Ramsey Street.  This restaurant is in the remodeled, former Golden Corral.  I used to go to the Golden Corral at least a couple of times a week.  Although the restaurant looks little like it did for many years, I still feel comfortable there and enjoy the Oriental Cuisine.  However, I do like the shrimp and normally get a “mess” of them, peeling, dipping them in Cocktail Sauce, and eating them as my first plate.  I’ll get a slice of watermelon, and/or a slice of cantaloupe and add sweetner to the melon and salt the cantaloupe.  I may get a cup of egg drop soup, to which I may add some steamed won tons, and some chopped onion tops.  I’ve finally reached the age of a “Senior.”  They only charge $7.12 (tax included) for the Buffet and water.  I think the normal cost is $8.43, or there abouts.

If they want to charge more for the Senior meal, that’s okay with me.  If they don’t want to give a Senior Discount, that would be okay also… but, if they are offering a discount, then I am going to take advantage of it.  I have spent many years, not being a “Senior,” and paying full price.  I don’t want them to go out of business either.

After a late lunch, the afternoon became progressively more stormy.  And then, there was a crack and the office went black.  There was an unusual grinding sound as if something was attacking a large mechanical unit and then the sound of several battery backups beeping.   My monitors were black screened and no hum came from my PC.  I did note that the power light was still on for my laptop, which is running Ubuntu OS, but that is because some time ago I replaced its dead battery with one from one of the old laptops that was being retired.  I had also doubled the RAM in similar fashion.

The offices and halls were dark except for the degraded light filtering through the large exterior windows.  A year or so ago, a film was applied to the glass panes to reduce the heat & light to the interior.  This was a mixed blessing because the office environment was made more pleasant, but the exterior always seems to be either early morning or twilight.  I have a yard light that is solar powered sitting on my window ledge.  It used to gain enough power during the day that the light bulb would shine when you covered the top of the unit.  It doesn’t charge enough now with the film on the window.

The offices were quickly abandoned as staff found their way outside for various reasons.  I decided to go home.

At home, I notified several people of the power outage and which apps were affected.  The battery backups kept some apps running for a while, but then I think most or all of the apps were shut down until power was restored.  Blackboard, Canvas and WordPress became unavailable.  Although Blackboard and Canvas are both hosted off-site at different locations, authentication (ADFS, LDAP) is handled from our server(s) on-campus and these were unavailable to authenticate users for several hours.

So, that was my day… twenty years at FSU and counting.

Bill’s Weight Journal – Last 3.5 Years via FitDay

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In early 2011 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  Note that I had a rapid weight loss.  It is amazing how disciplined I can be when necessary.  However, there does seem to be a plateau at about the 230 lbs. range that I mentally cannot get beyond.  I hit this area, and then flounder and pretty quickly regain most of the weight.  Look like I’ve managed to reduce by about 20 lbs. during this time.

Upgraded to Windows 10

I had bought a cheap Dell Inspirion touch-screen PC for home, somewhere in the last year.  I got it from Best Buy, and it was a “return” unit.  It had Windows 8.1 on it, which I was not enamored by.  I did note that the unit would often go to the “Blue Screen of Death” and I had thought that the unit probably had some bad memory which was causing this.  So, I had left the unit off for months, just sitting there collecting dust.

Then over the weekend, I decided to start it up again, and then it came to me to see if I could get the free Windows 10 upgrade.  I found the upgrade request site and put my email address in.  At some point the little Window icon appeared on my Task Bar, and when I opened up the window from it, it said that Windows 10 was downloading in the background and it would notify me when I could start the Upgrade process.

Last night, I finally saw that the files had finished downloading and I started the Upgrade to Windows 10 process.  I think it took less than an hour, and when it was through I started using Windows 10.

Windows 10 seems to start up quicker, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the interface.  Enough like Windows 7, which I still use at work, and yet combining the Windows 8 interface.

ADDENDUM [8/15/15]:  I have continued to be happy with Windows 10.  I haven’t had a “blue screen of death” since I installed W10.  I installed Snagit successfully yesterday.  I’ve modified the background screens.