Spamalot ???

With the utmost respect for all things Monty Python, this post asks a very different question. spamalot

Since more than 90 % of the items in my spam folder are attached to one particular post, will the spammers go away if I eliminate that post ?

Or will they just attach to another ?

Does anyone have a clue about what draws them to your blog in the first place ?

Some followers seem to have taken up residence in spam, and I am reminded to go there frequently to rescue comments. I’m not really clear on why that happens.

Any suggestions or advice will be most appreciated.

And yes, always “look on the bright side of life”…it’s out there.

Posted in Art, Books, Education, Entertainment, Food, Humor, Movies, Music, News, Technology | Tagged , , , | 94 Comments

Thimble 1935-2017

The Monopoly thimble is being retired.

Following 4 million votes in an online poll, toymaker Hasbro announced that one of its original token pieces will be replaced in the 2017 edition of the popular real estate board game.

It makes sense. I was trying to remember the last time I used a thimble in real life, or maybe the last time I did any hand-sewing. Okay, any sewing at all ?


Image. Hasbro, Inc.

Everyone had a favorite token back in the day, and I can guess it was not the thimble.

I remember folks fighting over the top hat, the race car, or the Scottie dog. For some reason, I liked the shoe.

In a similar “token madness” campaign in 2013, the iron was replaced by a cat.

The most surprising aspect of this story might be the 4 million voters who responded.

Not including power outages, holiday gatherings, or vacations in Wifi dead zones, how many people still play Monopoly, or any board game ?

Maybe the votes reflect a bit of nostalgia for a simpler game and a simpler time.

There was just enough interest to encourage the public vote on a new token piece, to be announced on March 19.

Stay tuned.

Posted in Art, Education, Entertainment, Family, Humor, News, Technology | Tagged , , | 72 Comments

February Potato Salad

She brought the dish to every luncheon, picnic, potluck dinner. Gail’s potato salad was a huge hit, and made its way into the Welcome Wagon cookbook. Her secret was bacon.

Is there really anything that is not made better by bacon ?


The full bowl of new red potatoes with creamy dill dressing was always topped by crumbled bacon.

But that was not the secret. While the potatoes were still warm, she added a few tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease. It made all the difference.

I’ve made it her way for many years since then, with pretty positive results.

There is no real recipe, it tastes a bit different each time, but the technique is constant.

When the forecast here was for several days of sun and springtime temperatures, I set out for the new red potatoes.

It is one of the many times that I have built a meal around a side dish.

It didn’t matter if we were to have BBQ, simple sandwiches or fried chicken, I was determined to find a main course to complement that potato salad.

It’s not just for holidays, picnics and parties.

It’s a dish that deserves to show up on ordinary days.

Thanks, Gail.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Family, Food, News, Travel | Tagged , , , | 52 Comments

Civil Wars

Remember when Facebook was fun ? It seems so very long ago.

What started exclusively for college students, expanded into a global phenomenon, has evolved into something that is anything but social.


“Gah”. Kristen Wiig caricature by lufreesz.

We all learned so much that we didn’t need to know about those “friends” during the tumult of recent elections.

Some of these friends and acquaintances go back to the high school years, decades ago. Maybe we didn’t really know each other, we surely never discussed our politics.

Or maybe, time and life experience have altered our world view in very different ways.

Debates turned into verbal battles, honest opinions were ridiculed, comments were ugly.

The smart ones left, or took to “unfriending”.

I still have an active account, using it for simple birthday greetings, to keep connected with distant relatives.

But eliminating so many from my daily feed has allowed me to keep my peace of mind.


Posted in Art, Education, Entertainment, Humor, News, Politics, Technology | Tagged , , | 89 Comments

Bed Bath Beyond


Pinterest image.

What are European Shams and why do we need them ?

It was a simple question that I could not answer.

When did bedding become so complicated ?

I grew up with chenille, and a down-filled feather bed.

My first purchase was a wildly floral polyester cover for a dorm room twin bed.

From there, I moved into the comforter set era that included pillow shams and dust ruffle.

I recently settled on new bedding after a frustrating walk through annual “white sales”.

It’s important to find what I really like….I don’t want to have to go through this again too soon.


Posted in Beauty, Education, Entertainment, Family, Home, News | Tagged , | 76 Comments

The Gift of Stress. How Lobsters Grow.

With very few words, this post and brief video has been viewed almost 1000 times, more than any other on this blog.  It might say something about the level of stress in ourselves, our families, our world.  Time for a reminder.


A brief but brilliant way to look at dealing with stress.


Courtesy. FineArtAmerica

Posted in Books, Education, Entertainment, Family, Food, Nature, News, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 112 Comments

Chicken. Day #4.

I promised I’d throw it out this morning. I just could not do it.

Something in the genetic code will not allow it. (Thank you, Grandma.)

I can’t waste leftovers. That $5. rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club is making its 4th appearance at dinner tonight.sams

In line with what could be called “Super Bowl Food”, I used the 4 lb. bird to make BBQ pulled-chicken sliders on Sunday.

We have become fans of those amazing Hawaiian sweet rolls, and I keep finding ways to use them.

Simmered in the BBQ sauce from a recipe in a previous post, the sliders were a big hit, and we ate them for 3 days. No complaints.

On Day 1, I realized there was just too much meat for the amount of sauce, so I set aside an entire breast portion to use in another form, freeze for later, or discard by today.

Early this morning, I went to the frig, and hesitated.

There was this copycat Alfredo sauce recipe I’d seen a while back…using heavy cream, butter, garlic, parmesan, etc., all ingredients which I had on hand.

So I took that half chicken breast piece, discarded the skin, diced it and proceeded to make the sauce. I modified the recipe as I went along, adding fresh mushrooms, sweet onion, red pepper flakes, wine.

I boiled some pasta, buttered a casserole dish. Topped it all with bread crumbs, melted butter, more parsley, and it went into the oven.

Half an hour later, I sampled. It might be one of the best tasting things I ever assembled.

It’s what’s for dinner.

And nobody will mind the 4th day of chicken.


Basic Alfredo Sauce: Melt 1/4 cup butter, blend in 8 oz. heavy cream, 3/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese. Add minced garlic clove, fresh chopped parsley.


Posted in Art, Books, Education, Entertainment, Family, Food, News, Sports | Tagged , , | 71 Comments