Thursday, February 13, 2014

Traditional Southern Mac and Cheese Casserole

(15 minutes preparation; 45 minutes cooking)

  • 2 cups dry macaroni cooked al dente
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed saltine crackers
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • Dash of salt
  • Cooking oil spray

Pre-heat oven to 400. Generously coat casserole dish with cooking oil spray.

Cook macaroni. I use a Fasta Pasta cooker (http://www.fastapastacooker.com/). If so, cook in the microwave on high for 10 minutes. Stir and cook for 5 minutes more. Drain promptly. Do not cool pasta for casserole.

While macaroni is cooking, beat two eggs. Add milk and salt and mix well.

Add 1/3 layer of macaroni to casserole dish. Spread 1 cup cheese on top. Continue with two more layers of each. Do not stir. Pour egg and milk mixture over the dish. You should see just a bit of liquid at the top when you are done.

Add crushed crackers on top and dot with the butter.

Bake uncovered in the center of the oven for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Crusty Fluffy Bread

I've been trying out new bread recipes for sometime and finally hit on a winner. This is crusty white bread that is light and fluffy.

I make mine in a bread machine to make it super easy. Please note that I weigh instead of measure many ingredients for best results.

The lecithin is the real secret to the lightness of this bread. You can find it in some health food stores or on Amazon. I can't find it at Kroger, Publix, or Aldi. Maybe Walmart has it, but I wouldn't count on it, but look where the baking soda/powder or wheat gluten are sold.

  • 1 1/4 cups water at 105-110 degrees (use a kitchen thermometer for accuracy)
  • 1 package of dry yeast (dissolved in the water)
  • 45 grams of butter softened at room temperature (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy lecithin
  • 420 grams bread flour (this is a bit over three cups unsifted if you don't have a scale)

Add all ingredients at once to a bread machine and set to French bread cycle (for the crusty result). Please let me know if you try this and like it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chris Kluwe: Here’s what’s wrong with Ayn Rand, libertarians

Good article. I may have to read the book too.

Chris Kluwe: Here’s what’s wrong with Ayn Rand, libertarians
So I forced myself to read “Atlas Shrugged.” Apparently I harbor masochistic tendencies; it was a long, hard slog, and by the end I felt as if Ayn Rand had violently beaten me about the head and shoulders with words. I feel I would be doing all of you a disservice (especially those who think Rand is really super-duper awesome) if i didn’t share some thoughts on this weighty tome.
Who is John Galt?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Closing Multiple Chrome EXE Processes

If you use Chrome and close the browser, Chrome may still be running in the background and really slow down your computer. Until Chrome fixes this issue, here is what to do.

  1. Close Chrome browser normally in Windows.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to display the Windows Task Manager.


  3. Scroll to the Chrome instance that is using the most memory.
  4. Right-click that instance and then select End Process Tree.
    That will close all instances of Chrome at once. Would be nice if this were built into Chrome, huh?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Google Chrome: Removing Predictive URLs (The Real Solution)

I see this question posted to a lot of Google Groups. Since I have not figured out how to answer a question on a group page (maybe I have to be a Google employee, who knows? No really, who knows?), I thought I would post the answer here.

Problem

When typing in the URL bar in Google Chrome, Chrome offers all sorts of suggestions. You want to prevent this from happening or at least remove some of the suggestions.

Solution

  1. In Chrome, press Ctrl+H.to display your browsing history. Delete the items you want or delete all of them.
  2. On the Chrome Settings page, click Show advanced settings (at the bottom of the page).
  3. Uncheck Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar if it is checked.
  4. Delete any bookmarks that you do not want to appear. (This is the part that many answers miss.)
  5. Close Chrome and restart it.
  6. Press Ctrl+Shift+N each time you start Chrome so that Chrome will not track your Internet history.
  7. If you use other computers when signed into Chrome with the same account, you may have to repeat these steps on your other computers if your settings a synced.
Please let me know if this works or not for you. I appreciate the input.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Frank Schaeffer: Christian Terror in Norway: I Predicted Terror from the Religious Right in My New Book "Sex, Mom and God"

Frank Schaeffer: Christian Terror in Norway: I Predicted Terror from the Religious Right in My New Book "Sex, Mom and God"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Four Charged In Alleged $2.5 Million Reverse Mortgage Racket

These scammers are scum.

Four Charged In Alleged $2.5 Million Reverse Mortgage Racket:
For their victims, the phone call sounded like salvation. Seniors, living on a fixed income and having trouble with the bills, they were glad to hear someone offering them a reverse mortgage that would allow them to turn the equity in their house into cash. But the four mortgage professionals charged with perpetrating a $2.5 million reverse mortgage fraud scheme are anything but angels. Their aftermath has left those who signed up with them impoverished and close to foreclosure.

The Miami Herald reports that the way it allegedly worked is that the mortgage professionals would call up the seniors - they only called seniors - and pitch them a reverse mortgage insured as an FHA loan. After they agreed and filled out the paperwork, the four conspired to have the homes appraised at many multiples of their value. In one case, a $31,000 condo got a value of $275,000. They then got the inflated reverse mortgage approved and staged a fictitious short sale, diverting the difference between the reverse mortgage amount and the short sale into their personal accounts, without ever paying off the existing mortgage. Falsified documents were used to hide the scheme from the lender and from the government.

If convicted, the quartet faces a max sentence of 30 years each and fines up to $1 million.

'These are seniors who are on Medicare, limited incomes, desperate for help,' Tony West, U.S. assistant attorney general for the Civil Division told the Miami Herald. 'Money that should've gone to help seniors with modest incomes instead went to line the pockets of fraudsters.'

One of the signs of a scam is that they contacted you. Always be wary when someone calls up with a great 'opportunity.'

Reverse mortgage scam targeted seniors [Miami Herald] (Thanks to Shawna!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rand(y) Paul Exposes His Moral and Intellectual Hypocrisy

Why is it that people who are born with silver spoons in their mouths are so eager to tell working people how they should live? Go home, Rand(y), and tend to your patients. We don't need and and don't want you.

Read this excellent post: Rand Paul Exposes His Moral and Intellectual Hypocrisy | The Seminal

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Limits of Political Correctness

"Political correctness" is one of those terms we bandy around a lot, but the term probably means different things to different people. Right-wingers sometimes accuse us lefties of it when we try to be respectful of minority groups by calling them what they call themselves. To wit, we would probably use "Native Americans" instead of "Indians."

While watching Real Time with Bill Maher a week or two ago, Bill was using his usual "tea-bagger" term to describe those people who describe themselves as part of the "Tea Party" movement. A right-wing guest chastised Bill for using the "tea-bagger" term, saying he preferred to call them what they wanted to call themselves. I was angry that Bill did not use the moment to accuse his guest of "political correctness," since that was the behavior he was advocating. Nevertheless, Bill continues to use the "tea-bagger" term. My feeling is that since the "tea-baggers" are not a minority group, I'll call them what I please.

Political correctness in language is one thing, but it is working against us in politics. Few Republicans would describe themselves as moderate or liberal today. The far right has forced these folks to become either independents or moderate Democrats. Republicans tout the "conservative" label and criticize more moderate party members such as Charlie Crist in Florida, and ultimately force them from the party. My own Democratic Party is starting to do the same thing by forcing out more moderate Democrats who don't agree to push liberal issues.

I am probably to the left of most Democratic politicians, however, I am not an ideologue. I don't like ideologues, whether they are libertarian, conservative, liberal, or progressives like me. Above all, I am a pragmatist. I believe if something works and works well, their is little reason to change it, even if what works well is a Republican idea. I am alarmed at the liberals in the party who are going after Blanche Lincoln and others. What happens when we purge moderates from our party, as the Republicans have done? I think we'll force a third moderate party to be formed, which will ultimately attract most Americans. I prefer the Democrats remain the "big tent" party that some Republicans had once wanted for their party. Only then will our party be successful. Political correctness will result in failure.

Political correctness, when applied to "justice" issues, has its place. Their is nothing wrong with using the African American term to describe black Americans. I prefer that people call me gay instead of homosexual. That is about justice for minority groups. But imposing a litmus test on political issues by either party goes too far and will mean a further polarizing of our great nation. It's a shame.