While driving down Route 55 in Lagrangeville, New York (about 60 miles north of New York City) on the way to a medical appointment yesterday, I spotted a sign outside of Kelly’s Steaks and Spirits that sure lifted mine! The sign announced that they DO NOT air NFL games in that establishment and the sign further went on to say:

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

If I were not driving at the time I would have taken a picture.  I do not have the resources to go out for dinner, but that sign alone (in NEW YORK) is enough reason for me to want to check that place out if the opportunity to dine out should ever present itself to me. Predictably, the Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicting people has caused an outbreak of hatred and poor reviews for this establishment.  At the top of their page, Facebook highlights certain words they think we need to know people are using:

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MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Warning: this post may not be suitable for the faint of heart or weak of stomach…

My best friend texted me from work the other day with a picture of what she discovered in the snack that she was attempting to enjoy on her break. She was eating Wonderful brand pistachios, and apparently what happened to her is NOT an isolated incident.

Continue reading “Nasty Surprise In A Nutshell”

Maybe he was bored. Presiding over the mass starvation of your country’s people isn’t a cakewalk, after all.

Venezuela’s Joe Stalin lookalike dictator has been criticized for becoming a fat bastard while the people in his country wait for hours in line to get bread, resort to picking through trash for anything edible, and die in the streets of hunger – but that won’t make Nicolás Maduro lose his appetite:

American Thinker has more about this:

Thursday, Maduro was in the midst of a long-winded national speech known in Venezuela as a “cadena.”  He paused, pulled a sandwich-like object out of his desk, and took a bite, chomped it down, and then continued his speech.  He was eating what looked like a Venezuelan arepa, a tasty cornmeal-based snack with probably some meat inside, although the Latin press accounts identified it as an empanada, a dish more commonly associated with Argentina and Chile.

It comes at a time when the Venezuelan daily minimum wage, just raised for the sixth time this year, won’t even cover the cost of an empanada, let alone an arepa, given that inflation is running at close to 3,000% and Maduro has just introduced the new 100,000 bolivar note.

Efecto Concuya, via Google Translate, reports:

For the sixth time in 2017, President Nicolás Maduro announced a new increase in the minimum wage that placed the daily salary at Bs. 5,916, but the number of products that can be purchased with that amount is increasingly reduced.

In a sale of breakfast and lunch located in the municipality of Libertador, a pie costs 5,500 bolivars and a filled arepa exceeds Bs. 12,000. There was Rodolfo Gutiérrez, who bought two empanadas and a malt for an amount of Bs. 15,500. That is, someone who only receives a minimum wage, nothing else could pay for a pie.

In a restaurant located in El Cafetal, municipality Baruta, it is impossible to even buy a pie, because it has a price of Bs. 7,500. A large coffee is also inaccessible since it is sold above 8,000 bolivars.

What it shows is the Venezuelan elites’ complete indifference to the suffering of Venezuela’s people.  They mark their superiority over the masses – not by flashing Rolexes anymore, but by eating in front of them.

And don’t think such a message didn’t get out.  Cadenas in Venezuela break into every TV set, every radio show, every program without warning, no matter what’s playing.  You don’t have the option to flip the channel, because the cadena is on every channel.

And cadenas can last for hours.  The logic was that the president’s announcements were so crucial, so important, and so necessary that every other broadcast could just be broken into, like the emergency broadcast system.

You got that? It wasn’t just a video version of the “hot mic”, people had no choice in watching it if they had a television on, and Maduro knew it.

Is this man stupid or just cruel?

Please pray for the people of Venezuela.

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MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

“Made with love” doesn’t go over well with bureaucrats. Well, you can make the things you cook “with love” in every bite, just don’t list it as an ingredient. Via FoxNews:

“Love” is definitely not an ingredient in granola, regardless of the amount of effort you put into making it, the Food and Drug Administration ruled on Monday.

The FDA issued a warning to Nashoba Brook Bakery for violating food labeling regulations by including “love” in its ingredients list. The agency added the bakery misbranded the product by including the obscure addition.

“Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient ‘Love.’ Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name,” the FDA wrote in a letter dated Sept. 22.

“’Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient,” it added.

The bakery’s chief executive said the FDA’s ruling on their listing “love” as an ingredient “just felt so George Orwell” and was “silly.” The FDA says the ingredient thing wasn’t what concerned them the most, the government agency says the bakery has “sanitary issues” that are of greater importance. Here are some highlights from the warning letter the FDA issued to Nashoba Brook Bakery:

1.    Your firm failed to conduct all food manufacturing, including packaging and storage, under such conditions and controls as are necessary to minimize the potential for the growth of microorganisms, or for the contamination of food, as required by 21 CFR 110.80(b)(2). Specifically, on May 25 and 26, 2017, our investigator observed the following:
a.  On May 26, 2017, remnants of Pepper Jack dough (dairy allergen) were observed on the inside, the lip, and the outside edges of the “(b)(4)” stainless steel mixing bowl that an operator stated was cleaned, sanitized and ready for use prior to the production of non-dairy Sourdough dough.
b.  On May 25 and 26, 2017, empty color-coded barrels designated for use with different allergens including tree nuts (b)(4) and cheese (b)(4), with apparent dough residue inside and out, and stacked inside one another. These barrels were confirmed as clean and ready for use by the mixing operator, and were observed in use during operations.
c.  On May 25 and 26, 2017, (b)(4) bread loaf molds, wooden peels, canvas conveyor mats, rolling metal wire cooling racks, and ovens are not cleaned or sanitized prior to production or during change-over in between different allergen products. Your firm does not have a procedure or production schedule to ensure cleaning and sanitation is done before production or in between changes to prevent cross-contamination of different allergen products.
     
2.    Your firm failed to maintain equipment and utensils and finished product containers in an acceptable condition through appropriate cleaning and sanitizing, as necessary, as required by 21 CFR 110.80(b)(1). Specifically, on May 25 and 26, 2017, our investigator observed the following:
a.  What appeared to be an encrusted buildup of brown colored debris on the metal screen of the “(b)(4)” dough mixer that is positioned over all raw dough mixed during its operation.
b.  Plastic barrels, barrel lids, totes and tote lids used to hold and transport raw dough with apparent dough residue buildup. One barrel had an approximate 1″ dough clump from a different day’s production still stuck in a crack. These barrels had previously been pressure washed and were considered ready for use.
 Two ceiling air intake vents adjacent to the bread ovens and above racks of ready-to-eat foods were caked with apparent debris.
Two large wooden bread peels used to pull ready-to-eat breads from ovens were placed on top of the ovens, which were covered with apparent debris.
Sprinkler heads above the bread ovens where ready-to-eat foods come out, were caked with apparent debris.

There is much more, including flies and an inch long insect on or near food, and employees failing to take basic food preparation precautions like taking off dangling jewelry that can come into contact with food and cause cross contamination, so apparently the whole kerfuffle is not just all about the love and isn’t as “silly” as the bakery’s executive would have you believe.

Nothin’ says lovin’ like unsanitary cross contaminated debris encrusted stuff from the oven?

H/T: iOWTReport

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MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

My mom made fruitcakes every year during Christmas season; the rum they were soaked in was all I could smell in our house for weeks and I would only eat the special cake my mom made for me that had no alcohol (I prefer my booze in a glass, thanks). My mother said her fruitcakes would never go bad because of all the alcohol (except for mine, of course) but the theory never got tested because they always got eaten by the people she gave them to. My mom is not old enough to have made the cake they just found in Antarctica, though:

A fruitcake thought to be 106 years old was recently uncovered in an extremely remote Antarctic hut.

The cake was almost “perfectly preserved” and apparently untouched when conservators from the Antarctic Heritage Trust spotted it on a shelf inside a Cape Adare hut, according to Stuff.co.nz.

The shelter was built in 1899 during a Norwegian expedition, but it’s thought that the fruitcake was brought to Cape Adare in 1911 by Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition party.

Lizzie Meek, the trust’s artifacts manager, told Newshub the delicacy still had remnants of Huntley and Palmers brand paper stuck to its side.

“It looks like new, which is quite fantastic,” Meeks said. “It smells a little bit of rancid butter, but it looks beautiful.”

Despite looking “edible,” the researchers were not permitted to taste the cake for ethical reasons.

Meeks added that while the fruitcake’s tin had nearly disintegrated, the cake itself was well preserved due to freezing conditions.

The fruity treat was among nearly 1,500 artifacts found in the Cape Adare huts. The conservators also discovered tools, clothing, sardines, “rather nice looking” jams and “badly deteriorated” meat and fish during their 14-month effort.

Meeks described the fruitcake finding a “quite a surprise.”

“Most people don’t carry a whole fruitcake to Antarctica and not eat it,” she said.

No word on the alcohol content of the cake, but I don’t want to eat it – and it isn’t for “ethical” reasons. Maybe if I had a bunch of alcohol in myself first, but that’s a whole other thing. The cake and other items found with it will be returned to their places of origin so someone else can “discover” them again in the future.

I kind of want to go clear the leftovers out of my fridge now, for posterity or something.

Very old fruitcake

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MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

I didn’t spend all my time in Chicago at the Catholic Marketing Network, I had to eat sometime so I went to Solano’s Pizza in Libertyville and talked to the Owner Michael Solano

The food was well worth the trip

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.


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When you think of American Success stories in Hamilton Missouri it’s quite natural for the first thoughts in your minds to be either JC Penny who was born here, or Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt company who we wrote about here.

But at the very end of the street, just beyond the last quilt shop, there is a very small building. It doesn’t look like much and only sits about 20 people but it’s an American success story all the same.

This is Hank and Tank’s barbeque and you should know about it.

DaWife DaYoungestSon and I stopped there in the midst of her Missouri Star Quilt experience to have some lunch. Tank took our order and gave me a few minutes of his time.

I recorded this interview after we ordered but before we got our food. Believe me it was worth the wait.

Yes the scarf comes off when eating DaRibs

The Ribs I had were the best ribs I’d ever tasted and it wasn’t even close, they were not served sauced but sauce was provided i we wanted but I found that the ribs were so good that I didn’t want to dilute the flavor the slighted bit (this was in contrast to the pork and pickle at the airport whose ribs which needed bbq sauce to give them flavor). My wife who had the Brisket said it was “melt in your mouth tender” and not only did my son love his pulled pork sandwich but while he never cared for ribs absolutely loved the ones I shared with him as did DaWife, both of who gave me a taste of their food as well.

I spoke to both to Tank’s father and Tank as we ate, he starts preparing his meat for the smoker at 4:30 AM and prepares his mix of hickory and cherry wood before feeding the smokers at 5:30 AM. He was very humble concerning his praise of his food still very much the man who told his family when the idea of opening a restaurant was presented to him “Who’s going to pay money for my barbecue”” even as he sells 800lbs of meat a day on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday that they are open. He was constantly in and out with his brother and son Hank serving the customers who came from all over the world for the jewel of the crown of the quilting world and discovered another gem right beside them.

Without a doubt the food here is spectacular and if you are anywhere near Hamilton Missouri it’s worth coming down for some of the Best BBQ you will ever eat, but what I love most about this story is how American it is. Think about it, a family deciding they have to get their hard-working father and husband out of a corrections job that was killing him, going all in to make their tiny restaurant a success and being rewarded not with glowing reviews from all over who have eaten their food, but more importantly with the improved health of the person they love, which is what they really wanted above all else.

That’s the quintessential American success story.

I don’t know if they’ll eventually decide to open a fourth day or a fifth, or expand into a bigger restaurant and I can’t tell you if you will someday see a Hank and Tank’s chain serving great food all over the country, but that doesn’t matter because that’s not the measure of what success is. If they simply remain a family able to support themselves by working hard and providing customers with great food three days a week that makes it no less an example of the American Dream that Tank’s great grandfather came from Sicily to pursue.


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Honey Badger don’t care, and neither does Mike Huckabee – and for that, we thank him.

Today is the fifth day of May, which means tequila and margaritas are flowing in American bars, to celebrate a Mexican holiday that few really know anything about. Mike Huckabee offended the perpetually outraged by saying on Twitter that he would celebrate Cinco de Mayo by drinking salsa and watching Speedy Gonzales cartoons. Hysteria ensued, of course!

The former Arkansas governor quickly drew criticism comprised mostly of howls that he is raaaaacist, but some people hope he will post video of his festive activity.

Remember last year when Donald Trump tweeted about a taco bowl on this day? Snowflakes got all worked up over that one, and they are all worked up over Huckabee’s tweet today. Trump and Huckabee seem friendly with each other and neither one of them seems to really care at all if they tick off the tolerance mob; I wonder if they are engaged in a competition to see who can get the most histrionics out of the SJW crowds with the least amount of effort? I’m pretty sure my Donald is winning that contest, but it’s not for lack of trying on Mike Huckabee’s part, and I hope the games never end because every time the left loses its collectivist mind, an angel gets its wings another American realizes that the petty leftist temper tantrums are never ending and of no importance other than being nuisances.

Here is the “controversial” Huckabee Tweet:

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When I saw the uproar I said to myself, “I hope he doesn’t apologize, the right needs to stop apologizing for trivialities while the left runs roughshod over us with impunity!”, and I am delighted to report that The HuckaBadger ain’t backing down:

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Right on, Mad Mike, sock it to ’em!

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MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

I woke up unusually early this morning, so I naturally (ehem!) looked up my Twitter feed, and came across this from Juliette,

Indeed.

While I prepared breakfast (huevos rancheros with bacon, in keeping with the tex-mex theme), I pondered the delicious benefits of having a taco truck stop by near my house every day at noon:

  1. A choice of freshly-prepared, tasty food.
  2. It would encourage entrepreneurship and small businesses.
  3. It would probably mean that local governments reduced the red tape associated with such an enterprise – a woman can dream!
  4. Last, but not least, it may put Taco Bell out of business. (Disclosure: I got food poisoning at a Taco Bell years ago.)

Win-win.

It wasn’t until after I finished eating the huevos and bacon and putting away the dishes that I wondered why #TacoTrucksOnEveryCorner trended.

Sooper Mexican explains,

In an absolutely bizarre segment on MSNBC, the Latinos for Trump founder says that if we don’t elect Trump, you’re going to have taco trucks everywhere!!! I’m not sure why he’s against deliciousness, but there you have it.

Say whut?

Sooper Mexican gets to the core issue much better than the guy on TV,

Having been raised in California, I think I get what he’s trying to say, but he’s using the worst example ever because taco trucks are AWESOME. It is true, however, that we’ve been far too lax with illegal aliens in America, and it’s allowed a secondary culture to thrive – one that isn’t assimilating. And that’s a problem. We need to preserve American culture and our principles, and when we don’t even do that among our own native-born kids, we shouldn’t be surprised when immigrants, legal or otherwise, don’t assimilate into that culture either.

But c’mon dude, lay off the taco trucks, they’re amaaazing. That’s the worst argument everrrr!!!

In the interest of culinary diversity, I would not only love a nearby taco truck, but also a gyro truck, a pastrami on rye truck (complete with egg cream, of course), an empanadas truck, and a cubano sandwich truck. On a rotating basis, they would round up the work week nicely.

Speaking of cubano sandwich trucks, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch Chef. Funny and delicious.

Now if you will excuse me, I think I’ll make nachos for lunch.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

by baldilocks

Being blessed with great health and energy for almost all of my life, I found it disconcerting when I began to get tired at strange times in the day—like 1PM. The cure? Vitamin C and lots of it. An orange, a half of a grapefruit, the juice of a small lemon and a kiwi a day seem to have fixed the problem.

blood-oranges
Blood Oranges. Disconcerting at first, but really good for you.

It seems so simple, doesn’t it? We all grow up being told to eat citrus fruit and to drink a lot of fruit juices. Well, I don’t drink juices—or soda—because they have too much sugar in them. I don’t even buy bread that has more than one gram of sugar in it. (The only area in which I break this rule: coffee.) Keeping sugar out of my diet has kept me from getting too humongous–a battle which members of my family fight, especially the women. So, I had been inconsistent in eating the good sugars. No more and those grapefruit(s) are tasty!

Another natural remedy I’ve used for a couple of years: apple cider vinegar. Members of both sides of my family also suffer from high blood pressure, beginning in the late 40s and I was no different. My pressure had been very low before that, but I noticed the up-creep; I was always right on the borderline of hypertension. I did not want to take prescription medication, so I searched online for natural remedies and consistently found a daily recommendation of 2 tablespoons of ACV with 8 ounces of water. Now, every time I go to the doctor and my vitals are check, my systolic is in the 120 range and my diastolic is in the 60-70 range. (I drink it with a straw so that it doesn’t damage the enamel of my teeth.)

I don’t recommend doing any of these things without doing your own home work first and checking with your doctor. I mention them merely because it seems to me that God has provided many of the cures for nagging issues and signs of aging (I’m 54). We only have to be looking for them. And in the age of Obamacare, it’s always a good idea to be looking for ways to avoid the healthcare system.

I also wonder whether much of the craziness we see around us stems from vitamin, mineral and other dietary deficiencies. Well, excuse me now; I think I need a burger. Beef.

Kenya Trip Wishlist at Amazon.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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baldilocks