Such Deals!

Every day I receive multiple deals via email. I’m not sure why, but I have to assume that I have done something really stupid in order for that to be happening.

Never has a daily deal been something that I’m even remotely interested in purchasing. But some might be good deals for others. You can’t blame businesses for trying. However, this week I had to wonder why I was chosen for one of the daily Amazon deals.

I do live in the West, but everyone in the West does not ride a horse to work, carry a gun, own a pick-up truck, camp out in the mountains, and sing country western songs. Some of us actually live in homes, shop at malls, go to hear the Philharmonic perform, and sit in front of the fireplace reading books.

So my question for Amazon is, “Do you think everyone who lives in Colorado subsists on jerky?” Send me a book deal, send me a CD deal, send me a deal on a new gadget for my kitchen. But beef jerky? Never tasted the stuff – never want to taste the stuff. No thanks!


Good to Know Laws

Many states and cities have laws that are unique to them. This is true where I live. Even after living in the same area for seven years, every once in a while I learn about a law that I might have unknowingly broken.

Most laws are so common sense that one would never break them anyway. For example, in my city it is unlawful to place upholstered furniture out-of-doors unless it is specifically manufactured for outdoor use. That certainly makes sense since soggy furniture would be useless and an eyesore.

But some obscure laws are not necessarily based on common sense. Soon after arriving here, I learned that it is lawful to carry a concealed weapon. What I did not know is that it is unlawful to draw a firearm in the presence of another person. This raised a question for me. What would be the purpose of the weapon? Maybe one could use it to build confidence by standing in front of a mirror and drawing his/her weapon. But is the self in the mirror “another?” Hmmm.

It is also not lawful here to ride a horse while under the influence. That’s not going to happen with teetotaler me, but would that be RUI?

Recently I read in the newspaper about a person who broke our local “Puffing Law.” This law has nothing to do with things one might smoke and, I suspect, a lot to do with appeasing environmentalist groups. This law makes it illegal to start a car and leave it unattended. An infraction of this law carries a fine. So, a car reported stolen from a driveway while it is “warming up” would mean the owner incurs a fine.

I was shopping in a department store this weekend and a lady reading an ad on the speaker referred to “A-sops” fables. Now there’s something against which there should be a law!


Cowboy Church

Cowboy Church is big here in Colorado. Interestingly, one of them even has a “Coffee Saloon.”

I’m not sure why those who consider themselves to be cowboys need a church of their own, but seeing pick-up trucks parked around cowboy churches brings to mind an advertisement that used be on TV. A “cowboy” comes on screen and declares, “I’m a cowboy. Got my hat. Got my boots. Got my gun.” He then walks up to the truck being advertised and says, “Got my pick-up truck.”  Makes one wonder whatever happened to horses!

I’ve decided that maybe all churches should be planned with specific groups of people in mind. The possibilities seem almost endless:

·      Teacher Church – Coffee on the Run
·      Attorney Church – Java Bar
·      Judge Church – Drink Court
·      Chef Church – Presentation Coffees
·      Mathematician Church – Haus Brew
·      Engineer Church – Design-a-Drink Shop
·      Nurse Church – Coffee IVs
·      Photographer Church – Ambient Lattes
·      Minister Church – Great Awakening Brew
·      Theater Church – Black Tie Coffee
·      Police Church – Joe & Donut Nook
·      Environmentalist Church – Green Tea Shop
·      Psychologist Church – The Bean Grind
·      Fireman Church – Hot Java Bar
·      Dietician Church – Lite Brewed Drinks
·      Electrician Church – Jolts Awake Coffee
·      Seamstress Church – Measured Concoctions
·      Jeweler Church – Gold Mine Canteen
·      Dude Church – Wha‘sup Surprise Drinks
·      Programmer Church – Basic Brews

The church I attend is for everyone. If you visit, be sure to arrive in the coffee room early. If you arrive late, the knives used for spreading cream cheese on the bagels will have been licked by the little guys.

Clipart from OCAL


Fired Green Tomatoes

The forecast for a hard frost meant that a friend picked the rest of his tomatoes, which he shared with me. They were still green.

So what to do with green tomatoes? Well, fry them, of course! Since I had never made (or even tasted) fried green tomatoes, I went on-line to find a recipe. There were many, but the one I chose had the word “Southern” in the title. I decided on that one because I connect fried green tomatoes with southern cooking.

I must admit they were delicious. Of course, they were – they were fried. But, after consuming them, I began to wonder if that was a good thing and how much fat I might have ingested. So here is a problem for all of you story problem lovers out there.

     Two green tomatoes were cut into 4 equal slices, giving a total of 8 slices. In a 10½” iron skillet, vegetable oil (1½ c.) was heated to 375°. Each tomato slice was dredged (southern cooking word) in flour, dipped in an egg/milk mixture, and then dredged in a mixture of cornmeal and flour. The slices were then dropped into the hot oil and fried on each side for approximately 2 minutes. After being removed from the oil, the slices were placed on paper towels to drain and sprinkled with salt.
     For frying, 100% vegetable oil was used. 1 tablespoon of this oil contains 14 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, and 120 calories (all from fat). When cool, the leftover oil measured 1¼ c. Only a thin coating of oil remained on the pan.
     Three green tomato slices were eaten by Anonymous. Approximately how many calories from vegetable oil did she likely take into her system, assuming that the oil absorbed by the paper towels was negligible? Extra credit: How many grams of saturated fat? How many grams of trans fat?

Now that I know about fried green tomatoes, I wonder how much extra fat I would consume if the first hard frost of the year occurred more than once.


Things I Missed in Class

For me, high school was friends, fun, and learning, maybe heavily weighted toward the first two. While I always knew the purpose of friends and fun, I sometimes questioned the same with regard to things that required study time, such as Algebra, World History, and Nineteenth Century Literature.

Possibly the time I spent doodling on my notebook during class accounts for why I missed important information that might have lead to being a more informed individual. I thought I was saving my sanity.

Although I loved reading, “studying” literature was not the same. From my first introduction to Edgar Allan Poe, I considered his writings to be dark and chilling. Not great reading during the daytime and downright frightening when tackled as late night homework.

My take on learning about nineteenth century authors could have been summarized with one question: Do I care about dead authors? My lack of interest, I’m sure, screamed to my teachers that I was not a serious student. I did learn enough, however, to earn grades that would not produce frowns from my parents, and for years I could quote a large chunk of “The Raven.”

Now that I write, I’m much more interested in the lives of those dead writers and what made them tick. What I have come to realize is that possibly all writings somewhat reflect the lives of the authors. No doubt Poe’s dark writings reflected the darkness in his life.

While I’ve had people ask me if my novel is about my life - perish the thought - it’s worrisome to think that maybe someone out there is analyzing my story and assigning me a classification from the DSM - III. Yikes!