Friday, April 25, 2014

Doing a Little to Help the World



Almost every day I see, read, or talk to someone fighting cancer.  A number of people who are dear to me have either gone through chemotherapy, or are at the present time.  The number of folks around us with this disease is staggering and I know all of us see it.
Just this past Sunday, I hugged a dear lady I’ve known for over 30 years who has lost all of her hair to this terrible disease and the devastating treatment.  It’s scary in the extreme and I feel compelled to try to do my part to help in the research needed to stop cancer in its tracks. 
So, what should I do?  Do I get a pink t-shirt and wear it everywhere I go to show I support breast cancer awareness or do I send money someplace to someone I don’t know and hope it will get funneled into some mysterious coffer that will help research a cure for HIV/AIDS?
Should I search the Internet for a solution, or volunteer somewhere to help the environment?  Geeze, we are all so busy most of the time that it’s hard to figure out what to do and what if I simply do not have spare money to offer.  I mean, I want to help and all, so what can I really do to make a difference?
Here is something you can do right now with your Internet connected computer and it won’t cost you an extra dime.
Join the World Community Grid as part of our Houston GeoCaching Society team. 
The World Community Grid?  Seriously?  That sounds like something evil, Mr. Bert!
It’s not, I promise you and it’s secure and safe and won’t infect your computer with a virus, or let the NSA in, break the bank on your bandwidth, or disrupt your surfing or game-playing in any way. 
In fact, it might just be the most unselfish thing you’ve ever done.
Back about ten years ago, I was supporting a world wide effort like this one doing SETI research.  The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.  As far as I know, we never found little green men, but it was a noble effort and didn’t affect my bandwidth or mess up my machine.
What about this effort?  What exactly is it?

The World Community Grid is a platform for distributed computing. If you aren’t familiar with distributed computing, it’s a system that makes use of the idle time of home computers everywhere. Some projects require more computing power than the most powerful computers can provide. Such projects are made possible by using a collection of computers worldwide.

World Community Grid supports projects attempting to solve problems in biology, medicine and the environment. To be accepted for the World Community Grid, a project must make any discoveries and data public domain – that is, available to all researchers.
Follow this link to register:  http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org
It will make you a member of both the World Community Grid and then select the Houston Geocaching Society as your team of choice.  You can track the team’s statistics and your own contribution to research.
After joining you will need to need to download and install the World Community Grid software.  This is the software that enables the distributed processing.  It is safe and secure and won’t allow anyone to “look” at your secrets, documents, or photographs.

Here are their currently ongoing projects:
 

Computing for Clean Water
The Clean Energy Project

You can see a list of all the research projects by going to the main page. Hover over the Research tab and click on any of them to learn more. The active projects are the ones above. Each person chooses which projects they want to support. To add or change the projects you are supporting/running hover over the My Grid tab and click on My Projects.

Our  team is in a friendly competition with other teams for the amount of computing time contributed.  Make a 2014 resolution to help others and the world, and then check it off your list today as one resolution kept.
Now, pat yourself on the back.  You just did something that will make a difference.

Friday, April 18, 2014

God, Guns, Self-Defense, and Oscar?



I read with great interest the letter written to the Sun by Rick Crotts and I read it about six times.  Other than a missing word, which I filled in, and the unintentional implication in the opening paragraph that a person might use the Oscar Pistorious trial to kill a person, it was definitely food for thought.   Incidentally, I am not following the trial, so I can’t answer any of the six specific trial questions Mr. Crotts posed and I am not sure anyone else can either.
For instance, the question of, “How many times did this man prevent a tragedy using a gun and how many times did he create one instead?” can only be answered by the Almighty.  I say that facetiously, as I see the points he is making in his two question sentence.  The same could be said of anyone using diplomacy instead of a “gun” however.  The answer would be the same, “Who knows?”
The letter was intended to show a parallel between using a handgun for self-defense and outright murder and of the fifteen questions raised in the letter; I am going to address the nine that would apply to me as a concealed handgun permit holder and thus most everyone else who possesses one.  Mr. Crotts’ letter was heavy on questions and equally absent of solutions, but that is my opinion and you may have felt he spoke to your heart.  I do not agree entirely and I’ll explain in a bit.
I do agree with the intent of his letter and that is the “awesome responsibilities associated with using a gun in self defense.”  Back years ago before my physical abilities began to wane, I was a proud black belt martial artist with the confidence to handle most anyone who decided I was a target, but then, there wasn’t the proliferation of armed assailants we are seeing now in the news.
The CHL permits were just becoming available and I put off getting certified for the very reason Mr. Crotts wrote about.  I didn’t want the responsibility of killing someone on my conscience.  For years black belt holders were viewed as loaded weapons, with “registered hands” and the responsibility of not using unjustifiable force was upon us, both socially, legally, and personally.  It was enough and many black belts take this responsibility seriously past the point of fighting. 
In other words, they don’t fight anymore than most CHL owners look for opportunities to “blow someone away”.
Second, I want to take time to say that anyone with a real black belt, after years of study, is fully capable of maiming, crippling, or killing another human being.  Don’t believe the hogwash you see in Hollywood movies where two or more practitioners beat on each other for ten minutes and even the mixed martial arts bouts have many rules to safeguard the fighters.  Real combat is short and swift and if both have skills, both get hurt, regardless of who wins.
About 99% of having the ability to bring severe or fatal harm to a fellow human will be dependent on the mental state of the person with the skills or gun and their confidence level.  As an alpha personality with a black belt and a CHL, I can’t for 100% certainty say I will be up for the confrontation if and when it happens, or if I will make absolutely the right decision.
I, as a degreed self-defense practitioner would like to think I will and I have years of extensive training to possibly bolster my assertion – but I can’t say for a certainty until that time comes and I think that pretty much answers this question, “Does the average individual even act rationally when they are mortally afraid, justifiably or not?”  No one can say for sure they will do the right thing until it happens, regardless of what they tell themselves they will do – unless there are children involved.  The violence is then immediately justified without thought.
On these questions, “What do I do if I wake up in the middle of the night with a loaded gun nearby, hearing an unfamiliar or unanticipated noise? Is that a legitimate reason to shoot somebody?”  The answer to the first one is you arm yourself, hunker down, and call the police.  If it is indeed an intruder and you do not have other people living in your house and they come through the door, you shoot them by aiming for the center of their body.  If you have other people in the house, you are going to be forced to investigate exercising great control.
“If I want to be sure that I don’t make a mistake in shooting, how do I do that? Turn on the lights and get a good look? Do I call out for someone to identify themselves?”  If you don’t have confidence or the ability to identify a noise or intruder, you simply cannot use a firearm to “recon by fire”.  Call the police and hunker down.  Don’t yell out or turn on a light.  Wait for the police.  As far as waking up and thinking straight goes, that is what the hormone adrenaline is for.  It’s God’s auto-pilot to warn and equip us to run from or react to danger.
Unless you are a B.A.S.E. jumper adrenaline equals fear and it should.  Everything in you will make you want to run and this is normal.  Having a gun in your hand doesn’t negate this over-whelming feeling.
“If I observe a crime, even a violent one, out in public, do I really want to blaze away with my gun, perhaps escalating the violence or hurting a bystander? If someone else with a gun sees me firing a gun, what prevents them from seeing me as a threat and joining in, with me as the target?”  I’ll answer the first one, first.  Nope, call the police and hunker down.  Don’t do a thing unless you are personally threatened.  If the armed robber turns their gun on you, you will be forced to engage them or be a victim.
On the second question, if you are observed shooting a gun, you are potentially a bad guy to everyone at the scene regardless and will be treated as such until and when the police arrive.  Put the gun in plain sight and keep your hands out of your pockets until the police can sort it out.  Only talk when spoken to.
Like I said, earlier, I see the gist of what Mr. Crotts is writing and believe I understand he is attempting to educate by getting people to define what they would do and thus my take on it.  Your views may differ from mine, but that’s okay with me.  In the meantime, I will continue to arm myself and as always, stay out of trouble.
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A case study in guns & self defense

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I am posting a letter to the Baytown Sun published 4-15-14 for your consideration.  It poses 15 questions about gun ownership and whether a person should defend themselves.  In the following blog post, I will answer the majority of the questions.

A case study in guns & self defense

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:00 am
Having written recently about the awesome responsibilities associated with using a gun in self defense, I note the trial of Olympian Oscar Pistorius as a case study in the associated issues. Any handgun owner who proposes to use it to kill another person when they deem it necessary should be watching this tragedy closely.
Numerous details surround any use of deadly force in self defense or to prevent a crime. One very important such detail most certainly is the probability of this type tragedy occurring from gun usage the probability that gun usage will actually prevent a tragedy.
How many times did this man prevent a tragedy using a gun and how many times did he create one instead?
Those who encourage more and more private gun ownership as a deterrent to criminally induced mayhem might consider another question right along with the one raised above. As guns proliferate for the purpose of self defense, what is the almost certain result in terms of accidental and later regretted maimings and killings? 
What do I do if I wake up in the middle of the night with a loaded gun nearby, hearing an unfamiliar or unanticipated noise? Is that a legitimate reason to shoot somebody? 
If I want to be sure that I don’t make a mistake in shooting, how do I do that? Turn on the lights and get a good look? Do I call out for someone to identify themselves? 
Do I even wait to wake up good, so I can think straight? 
So many real life questions which maybe I haven’t considered in the rush to arm myself.
Any scenario in which one might propose to use a gun to deter crime has the same issues. 
Serious considerations attach to the use of deadly force by private citizens no matter what the situation. If I observe a crime, even a violent one, out in public, do I really want to blaze away with my gun, perhaps escalating the violence or hurting a bystander? If someone else with a gun sees me firing a gun, what prevents them from seeing me as a threat and joining in, with me as the target? These questions are the essential ones.
There is no need to even worry about the actual facts surrounding the Pistorius trial. 
The issues are all there regardless of whether the defendant is a murderer or the victim of overzealous defense. The young woman remains dead, and he remains scarred for life, even if actually a murderer. 
Even if murder was committed, the claim of fear and the right to self defense, may well absolve Mr. Pistorius of legal responsibility, much as happened in the recent prominent case in Florida. 
There are no witnesses to dispute that claim, so absent some concrete evidence to the contrary, what is a jury to do? Was the defendant rightfully afraid for his life? 
Was he legally justified in trying to protect himself with deadly force? 
Did he exercise the good judgment of the average individual? 
Does the average individual even act rationally when they are mortally afraid, justifiably or not? 
Every last one of these questions and many more are essential to any real discussion of guns. 
As gun owners, we might do well to consider and answer them for ourselves right now instead of later, in the middle of a dark fear filled night. 
Rick Crotts
Baytown
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Local Park guy gets his tractor stuck

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I was over on Tri City Beach Road today, close to SH-99 and passed a young fellow standing by his very stuck John Deere tractor.  He was pulling a brush hog type cutter and was high-centered in a rut.  When a tractor is stuck, it usually means a Jeep is not going to pull it out.

I parked down the road because I was in the covert act of hiding a geocache, but I watched as a second tractor arrived and I thought he would simply pull the other tractor out - but this is not the case.

Now, I do have quite a bit of off-roading experience and have either been pulled out, or have pulled out a large number of very stuck Jeeps and trucks and I could see what the problem was, so I drove down to talk to the two hard-working young fellows.

Anthony Morris was stuck and Tyler Retzer was trying to pull him out and they were talking about it.  I had noted that the stuck tractor was only turning one rear tire and I asked if the vehicle had a locking rear differential.  Anthony was unsure, but Tyler knew it did, so I instructed him to show his buddy how to "Lock it in", which he did.

I then told them that since the stuck tractor was high-centered and the mower couldn't be raised higher, it would be better to pull it from the rear, using the heavy chain they had.  I also cautioned them about having a signal when the tractor came free, so the chain wouldn't be run over.  Everything worked perfectly and I walked along side and whistled and signaled, and both guys came to a halt.

They were very appreciative and introductions went around.  I proceeded to explain how dangerous farm equipment is and the number of serious injuries occur each year with these machines and both guys appeared to be well-versed in safely operating them.  I love to see young men and women working and my hat is off to these two fine Baytownians.

Then just to show-off, I dropped my awesome Jeep in 4 wheel drive and drove through the rut.  Anthony Morris just laughed.
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The Fajita Del Mar Conundrum


Chipotle Shrimp

Have you ever experienced an imbalance in the solar system or a paranormal occurrence when ordering a meal at one our fine Baytown restaurants?  I might not be correctly identifying what we experienced with any degree of accuracy.  It could have been a dub-step in the space-time continuum, or some bizarre sequence of miscommunication on a grand scale; whatever it was, it has never happened before and hopefully, won’t happen again.

My Bride and I had a hankering for some delicious Mexican food and it may be argued that the large restaurant on the main drag with the big sign and the beautiful architecture doesn’t serve authentic Mexican food, but it does indeed, according to my discerning palate. 

We elected to sit out on the patio, as it was about 75 degrees F. out with a nice breeze and low humidity.  “Wow, it is really nice out here,” I said, looking around and my beautiful bride agreed.  It was our first time under the open sky and we liked it already – we just didn’t have a clue that Jupiter, or Mercury, or maybe even Saturn was pulling a strong magnetic invisible force against us.

“I’m starving!” my bride exclaimed.  I knew for a fact that all she had for breakfast was one banana and I forsook from my normal healthy breakfast of boudin, mustard, and onions and ate oatmeal with walnuts and raisins.

“I could eat an entire rack of endangered Sumatran rhinoceros ribs with a side order of whooping crane,” I remarked and thumped my rib cage for effect.  “Where are the chips and dips?” I said; looking around, ready to begin tough-grubbing.  I casually noted the arrival of a steady stream of customers, including an entire tour bus, but not to worry.  We were already seated.  Our chips were surely on their way.

Now on the million other occasions we’ve been there, the chips usually arrive before you can get seated real good and pull out your Smartphone to check your social status.  Fifteen minutes passed and the waitress arrived and we told her we were ready to order.
I’ll be forthright and come out and say that I “don’t order anything I can’t pronounce!” which incidentally isn’t true, but I love to say it to anyone who will listen. 

However, we were literally starving, so I cut out my usual witty anecdotes and butchering the King’s Spanish, I ordered a numbero unoh, and pointed at the chipotle shrimp.  My bride is much more cultured than I and speaking what sounded to me like Castilian Spanish, gave offered her request.  The African-American lady taking the order was impressed, I could tell.

“Uh, we never got the chips and dips, ma’am”  I said and nodded my head side to side, which due to the fact that I was famished, made me nauseous and a bit dizzy.

She assured me she would get on it immediately and departed to get us “some dip”.  Another ten minutes passed and the chips miraculously appeared in the hands of one of the wait staff.  I say that because I didn’t see them until they were standing by the table with the delicious appetizer.
 
We had just about consumed the bowl of tortilla chips and dip when our food arrived at the hands of a new waitress – well, my food arrived.  My bride’s meal was not what she ordered.  Aghast, the waitress announced she would return with the correct meal.  “Uh, we never got our drinks also.  One sweet tea and one unsweet tea, ma’am.”

“Heavens!  I’ll be right back!”  To her credit, she bounded off like a kangaroo, except in a figurative sense.  Ten quick minutes later, her delicious Tex-Mex victuals arrived and five minutes later our drinks.  I could feel a strange quiver of paranormal activity, or maybe some of those CO2 emissions I’ve read so much about in the atmosphere, but ignoring the skin tingles, continued to dig into my numbero unoh meal with gusto.   

As the new waiter set down the drinks, we noticed there were no delicious packets of artificial sweetener on the table, or that there wasn’t no “gwacklemoley or picro de gano”, as I attempted to pronounce it, accompanying my bride’s meal.

The eager to please bringer of our tasty food zipped off and came back about five minutes later and we completed our dining experience without further atmospheric or 6th dimensional disturbances.  I can safely attest that none of these things have ever happened in this finery to my personal knowledge and the food was totally satisfying and delicious.  The obvious answer was the wait staff was simply over-whelmed by the incredible number of patrons – or something very strange was happening in...the Force.

Enter the manager.  When this fine gentleman caught wind of our culinary dilemma, he personally came to our table and explaining the circumstances as extra-ordinary, promptly reduced our bill to the point that it embarrassed my bride.  She placed a ten dollar bill on the table as a generous tip and we left, fat and happy.  Will we be back?  You better believe it!

Friday, April 04, 2014

BB's whoop bunns fast beans and rice dinner!







1# ground chuck
1# Chapel Hill 100% meat sausage
1 whole yellow onion
1 small can green chilies
2 cans Hunts Fire Roasted diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans
1 can tomatoes and chilies
3 tbl spoons real butter
2 cans chicken broth
¾ cup water
1 Family size Zatarain’s red beans & rice

Follow instructions on the package.
In a separate pan, brown the sausage and ground chuck.  Throw in the onions when they are about half brown.   Dump in the tomatoes and chilies on top of the meat and onions when they are soft.  Add the beans to your Zatarain's mix about 5 minutes before the 25 minute timer goes off.  Finally, add it all into the pot, stir and serve. 
Roll that beautiful bean footage!
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What’s more fun than food?

Makins' for taco salad
A friend once said that they would rather have a little bit of something that tastes “real good” than a whole plate of “something that tastes… okay”.  I didn’t understand or agree with that statement twenty years ago, but now that I’m more seasoned, it makes perfect sense.

Back in the day, I was exercising heavily and when it was time to eat, I wanted quantity and lots of it.  That sounds redundant and is, but for those of us who like to eat, it just sounds right.  Food!  Give me lots of food.  Food is fun and it’s more fun if there’s lots of it.  Think Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and after-dinner and snacks and desserts.

Ug-Lee's jambalaya
I wanted “seconds” – or even thirds!  I wanted that great big chicken-fried steak, the one that over-lapped the platter and had the cream gravy slathered over it.  I wanted a heaping pile of buttery corn on the side and a couple of those fist-sized rolls to go with it.

How about a side dish of fried okra to bump it up to just the right place on the culinary scale and a huge glass of sweet tea?  Talk about delicious!

I like boudin or boudain, whatever.  I like it a lot.  In fact, I eat boudin with onions and mustard pretty much every morning.  Not to worry, my cholesterol and blood numbers are right down the middle.  I just like it.  I read one time that onions are so good for your heart, that you should eat them with every meal.  It’s probably the only healthy thing in that breakfast meal, but who’s checking?

Cornish Game hens stuffed with boudin
I used to eat a lot of food and still do, but when I say “a lot of food” I’m talking variety, not quantity.  You see, what my friend told me is apparently true.  In fact, I learned that it’s not what you eat that contributes to a weight problem, but how much.  I knew a guy once who in our times would be considered morbidly obese (he used to just be fat) and came to work with a plan to lose weight.  He was going to eat fish.

Come lunch time, he heated up 24 breaded fish sticks and pulled out a pint of tarter sauce – and ate all of it while we watched.  But forget all that talk about dieting and stuff.  Let’s talk about food and lots of it!

Jalapeno poppers!
My bride and I ate at a restaurant in the French Quarter of Nawlin’s at a place called the Old Coffeepot.  She was openly aghast when I ordered a steaming hot plate of chicken livers, mustard, and buttery grits for breakfast.  Yea, I had eggs and a biscuit and black chicory coffee with it, but it was a memorable breakfast and delicious.  Speaking of that, name three memorable breakfasts in the next thirty seconds.  You can’t?  Try the grits and chicken livers then.

More than once I’ve heard friends object to this food or that and blatantly announce “I would never eat that!”  I always think the same thing.  “You’ve never been hungry enough.”  If you get hungry enough, you will boil leather and try to eat it.  Look in the Old Testament at what people did who were starving to see how low we can go when really hungry.

Jalapeno and cheese stuffed burger
Years ago I read a book about a married couple whose yacht sunk suddenly while out on the Pacific Ocean.  They only had time to save themselves in a canvas raft and floated for 120 plus days before being rescued.  They lived off raw fish that jumped into the raft and any tired bird that landed.  They stayed sane by planning elaborate meals for when they were rescued.  What they wouldn’t have done for a chicken fried steak, boudin, or chicken livers!

One time years ago in Thailand, I ordered pork chops at a local restaurant.  What I was served was one pork chop and one black chunk of meat with a bone through the middle.  My friends and I laughed and inquired what it was to the server.  “Poke chop!”  I sliced a piece of it and ate it and to this day, I attest I’ve tasted dog meat.  Of course I sent it back and in return got a second “poke chop”.  I imagine the people in the back got a good laugh out of it and I got a memory to recall.

Homemade oatmeal and raisin cookies!
What’s the bottom line on all of this you ask?  Don’t believe all that bunk about what you can eat and what you can’t.  Whatever the experts say today, they’ll say something else tomorrow.  Eat whatever you want, just eat in moderation.  Try something new and you might just get a meal worth repeating.
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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Local gardener applies for patent for meat cucumbers!



Ekoj Slooflirpa’s story is incredible

I am always on the search for local history or stories and by Jiminy; I found a jewel out Crosby way for this week’s column.  I’ll be honest and say that this beats the socks off anything Jim Finley has written in a while and not to take away from Wanda Orton’s take on history – this particular fellow is going to put the area on the international map.
Bu-cee’s is a big draw you say?  Ha ha ha!  In the ensuing rush, people will whisk through and forget to buy their precious nuggets and buy gas at Bu-cee’s just to come see what this local visionary has grown.
Crosby denizen and horticulturist Ekoj Slooflirpa’s story is incredible in the literal sense and when the rumor of his amazing skills came up on the BaytownTalks.net forum and what he’s growing, I simply had to hear the story and of course bring it mainstream.   What better way than the Baytown Sun, so I asked local contributor Dufresne, who incidentally also brought to my attention the Bead Rattler of Baytown (which is a whole ‘nother story).
Arriving at his proving ground and passing through his elaborate security checkpoint, which is one old bluetick coonhound, I found the man to be a curious mixture of intense passion, combined with a bizarre social awkwardness, most likely caused by long tenuous solo hours working in one of his twenty-two large greenhouses.  For the sake of the patent, I was asked to not disclose the actual whereabouts of his farm and by golly, I am honoring that.  Seeing his operation, I told him like I told Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon, “”This thing is simply too big!” and “You won’t be able to hide it!” and “Zounds, man!”
“Yah, I going to poot meat veggies on every table in Texas .  You wait and see young fella, dis combo-ski be more popular than fajitas (which he pronounced fajita-in-ski’s).  His accent was rather peculiar and I wasn’t really familiar with it, but when I asked if he was from –maybe  Channelview, he verbally wandered and finally replied to my question:
“Most folks tink people who can grow tings have a green tum.  Seeing I was born wid fingers that resemble hotdogs, but love to garden, I figured I could combine meat and veggies and possibly, mind you, breach de gap and create a meat-eatin’ vegan-type food,” blurted the future award winning gardener and obvious expert.   
“My folks – Gott bless dare souls, were farmers in our home landski – the Czech Republic, but most people brand me as being Polish.  I not Polish!  Why would I live in Crosby if I wast Polish?  Yah, yah!  I know, many Poles are parading as Czech’s here, but let me axe you someting?  Can a Pole grow a meat cucumber?  Can a Pole move his feet like dis?”  He does a rather bizzare upper body dubstep with his furiously moving brogans resembling a cross between someone in a bed of fire ants and the River dance.
I assured him the fleshy brown bumpy tubes look rather difficult to duplicate, at least with conventional methods and he continued.  “My meatumber-inski’s, which by de way ist a patent-pending trade name, can be eaten by de rich folks wid a steak knife and fancy silver fork, tossed on a steamed hotdog bun wid kraut, or for de Tex-Mex loving crowd, gloriously wrapped in a flour tortilla-ski.  Ist de perfect food!”
He claims to have recently perfected the tasty-looking digits and each greenhouse is a work in progress.  “Now deese,” he points at rows of green and pinkish-looking weiner-bearing plants.  “Deese are wad I call greenie-weenies and will replace dose greasy pork sausages in kolache-inski’s.  Did you know the Czech’s invented de word kolach?  No?  Yah and my greenie-weenies will hab only six calories minus de bun and will promote amazing weight loss.”
I found this truly amazing and asked how he knows this, seeing he doesn’t appear to have a board of scientists on his payroll.  “I am gardener sir.  Gardeners know stuff like dis and it is too technical to cover on simple interview.  Hey, let me show you dese tings!”  He lurches wildly ahead of me and it is the dickens to keep up with the tireless man of the dirt.
He points at a huge steaming pile of “magic droppings” and the odor causes my eyes to burn and I cough out a lung.  “De secret is in de manure!” he says and plunges forward.  I pull my t-shirt up around my nose, as my eyes are watering heavily and follow as best as I can.
We wander over to the next greenhouse and the “meatumbers” here resemble of all things, boudain.  When I loudly point this out, Mr. Slooflirpa ducks down and looks around, pushing his hotdog fingers up to my lips and shushes me.  “I do not want dis to get out just nyet!  My Meatumber-dainski has no rice or pork, only my patented meat-veggies.”  He looks warily around and I do too, but I see only the greenhouse and pinkish bumpy meat-laden plants.  Waving his arms around like a rooster about to crow, he tries in vain to say what is obviously on his heart.  Like I said, he’s as socially awkward as many engineers I know.
“If your, ahem, meatumber-inski becomes as popular as you believe, Mr. Slooflirpa, what is your plans for the area, seeing that you will basically be the main attraction in Harris County?”
“I going to push to hab de city renamed to Crosby-inski to honor my heritage and my tuber-ski’s.”  He is quick to point out they are not real tubers, but do indeed “kinda look like dem”.
Well, there you have it folks, breaking news right here in our area.  I declined to take Mr. Slooflirpa up on his offer to actually taste the “delicious-looking” hybrid, as I had already eaten before the interview, but one thing is for sure, it would probably be real tasty with a side order of Kasza gryczana.

What, me read? Isn't that a 4 letter word?

I had an appointment this week at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center to have an echocardiogram, which by the way is an EKG ti...