Monday, October 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Prices Skyrocketing

Can you say "global warming" boys and girls?

"Prices for a ton of runner peanuts, commonly used to make peanut butter, hit nearly $1,200 this month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's up from just $450 per ton a year ago. Overall, the USDA projects that American peanut production will hit 3.6 billion pounds this year, down 13% from last year.
"Analysts attribute this drop to the intense heat and drought that hit the southern U.S. this year…"
Al Gore warned us of increased food costs as crops failed due to effects of global warming.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Toilet Operating System

Not A Digital Operating System
w0w… The power-assisted flush of our new Glacier Bay water closet moves waste twenty feet further in the drain line than a conventional gravity-drained toilet. And it uses only 1 gallon of water per flush. Our days of double-flushing are over because the water closet bowl is completely emptied and cleared. And in only about five seconds.

As evidenced in the image above, water never enters the tank proper. The flushing system is the FlushMate device within the tank. A minimum water pressure is required because the FlushMate tank fills, compressing the air above it. This volume of compressed air provides the air pressure needed for the power-assist.

The actual flush is a little noisier than conventional toilets. However, the bowl clears quickly and the refilling takes less than thirty seconds.

Beyond the flushing efficiency is the water conserving benefit. This model sits a little higher in seating than the one replaced. This seems more comfortable for me. Shirley is interested in replacing the water closet in the master bedroom with this model. I think that is a good idea.

Friday, October 28, 2011

GPS Navigation

I was curious. If I cabled my Garmin Nuvi 255W to my iMac's USB port would there be notification of a map update? After all, it had been more than a year ago when the GPS navigation device was purchased. At that time I ran the free map updater. Did I say "free?" Being a new purchase, the Nuvi qualified for a free update within the first ninety days if one was available. It was.

Two choices. A one-time update for $50 or a lifetime plan for $90. I had to be frugal in spite of the costlier choice being the better value. In a couple years I will once again check, then decide if I truly need another update. I suspect I will elect to leave well enough alone.

Having GPS navigation is truly wonderful. My Garmin has assisted me often and can be a dependable time saver when I need turn-by-turn guidance to my destination.

My Garmin Nuvi 255W came with a power cord with the attached FM receiver for traffic updates. When construction or accidents dictate lane closures and traffic back-ups the Garmin suggests alternate routes. I needed that only once, so far, and it was a life saver.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

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Truth is, now that I am retired it would be quite interesting to sit on a jury for a trial. For me, the most interesting would be a murder trial. The initial jury selection process would be part of the 'fun'.

However, I take medications that sometimes require my immediate use of the bathroom. This urgent need cannot be put off. So, halting a trial proceeding to make a facility visit would be quite disruptive in the courtroom.

Because I am 70 years [young] I do not need a letter from my doctor if I wish to be excused from jury service for medical reasons. I need only sign a release of my medical records in the event the jury administration should wish to review them. In my excusal request I explained my situation, of course.

That request was mailed one week ago and here I am with the "permanent jury service excuse" in today's mail. With mixed emotions I bid adieu to the jury administration.

Have you served on a jury? Was it interesting for you? Would you like to do it again? Or, do you dislike receiving a jury summons?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sumatran Coffees

Coffee Beans — Seeds of the Coffee Cherry

[click image to enlarge]

[click image to enlarge]
Sumatra lies between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in Indonesia. The climate is tropical (hot and humid); yet, more moderate in higher elevations. Coffee production is the Arabica variety, a superior product.

Sam's Club carries European Café Sumatra coffee beans that are grown in the high altitudes. The beans are air-roasted. Freshly grinding the beans when brewing coffee ensures my enjoyment of the morning cup. Many times I brew coffee in mid-afternoon as a special beverage treat.

My twin brother got me interested in specialty coffee beans. He insisted that the best specialty coffees should be freshly ground using a burr grinder just prior to brewing. Now I will have my coffee no other way.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Potential Race Between Black Guy and Mormon Poses Dilemma for Bigots

Doomsday Scenario, Haters Say

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – A looming presidential race between a black guy and a Mormon is creating a major quandary for America’s bigots, a new poll reveals.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, a broad majority of likely bigot voters “strongly agreed” with the statement, “If it winds up being between a black guy and a Mormon I don’t know what I’ll do because I don’t know which I hate more.”

Tea Party activist Eldin Brazelton of Oak Park, Illinois, expressed a frustration typical of the bigots surveyed: “We’ve spent the last three years stirring up anger towards a black guy, and that’s all going to go to waste if we just up and nominate a Mormon.”

According to Mr. Brazleton, a presidential choice between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would be no choice at all: “For the life of me I don’t know why we can’t just have a regular President.”

Mr. Brazleton, who considers himself a sexist as well as a bigot, said that the doomsday scenario unfolding for 2012 offered one small silver lining: “At least we know it’s not going to be a woman this time.”

Elsewhere, in response to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan, banking giant Goldman Sachs announced today that it was investing in pepper-spray futures.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Palin Decides Not to Run: ‘I Want to Go Straight to the Quitting Part’

Decision Leaves Moron Vote Up for Grabs

ANCHORAGE (The Borowitz Report) – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told reporters today that she would not run for President because “I want to go straight to the quitting part.”

“If I launched a campaign, let’s face it, a couple of months from now I’d up and quit,” she said.  “This is a real step-saver for all concerned.”

She said that prior to her decision she had seriously considered running, “but only for the free clothes.”

When asked about her future plans, she said, “Although I’m not running for President, I have no intention of spending more time with my family.”

The former Alaska Governor, who had originally scheduled a thirty-minute press conference to announce her decision, abruptly cut it short after fifteen minutes with no explanation.

The Tea Party favorite’s announcement leaves the remaining Republican candidates scrambling for the moron vote, a key constituency in the 2012 GOP race.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was said to be considering new strategies to dispel the nagging impression that he is mentally competent, an attribute that has alienated millions of Tea Party voters.

Mr. Romney was rumored to be weighing a number of options, such as barking like a dog or wearing a bunch of bananas on his head at the next televised debate.

Meanwhile, still reeling from charges of racism, Texas Governor Rick Perry was reportedly huddling with advisors at his country home, Jewtrap.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken leg and thigh quarters were slow-cooked last night. The meat is now cut up into small pieces. The recipe calls for cooking chopped celery and onion. The chicken broth stands ready. Wide egg noodles will be included for a tasty chicken noodle soup.

This recipe was gleaned from the Internet and calls for corn starch to thicken the broth. However, I plan to substitute that with a couple cans of cream-style corn.

Overall this is a relatively simple chicken noodle soup recipe. It should be quite tasty and nutritious.

Do you have a chicken noodle soup recipe that you like quite well?

DIY Car Wash Soap

For $5 I can get a "touch-free" automatic car wash that includes a spot-free rinse. I clean my car, on average, once every week. Doing the wash and rinse cycles myself will save me around $20 per month.

Shirley and I are now both retired and a fixed income is in our present and future. We shall be creative in finding ways to cut back on spending.

I Googled "Homemade Car Wash Soap" and found an informative article. I believe I will get some Murphy's Oil Soap and try it. Only 1 fl. oz. of that product is required in my bucket of warm water.

How about you folks. Do you have a car cleaning product of your own invention? And do you have some hints for living more economically? Any ideas will be most appreciated.