Ginger Vodka Recipe

No pic for this one, it’s just not needed since this is so very simple.


1 Teaspoon of Fresh Grated Ginger
1 Cup Vodka

Add ingredients to small jar with lid.
Seal jar.
Shake a few times, and periodically.
Allow to steep for at least 4 hours.
Filter the mix through a strainer or cheesecloth when serving, or just enjoy the little bits of ginger in your drink.

Serving Suggestion:  Mix as you would in a screwdriver.  The ginger adds a nice little bite to the drink.
Alternately, pour over some Vanilla Ice Cream and make an ice cream soda for big people.

As usual there is a story behind this.  We were making a Ginger Pie.  It means you grate up a lot of ginger, soak the stuff in rum, and bake in the oven until it is a pie that resembles a pecan pie.  I don’t like pecan pie, particularly, but this was a very interesting pie.  Definitely not for everyone and since I like crystalline ginger, it was for me.

We had a LOT of grated ginger left over so I experimented.   Grabbing a washed jelly jar from under the cabinet, I added a measured teaspoon of ginger to the jar, a cup of vodka, shook the thing and walked out to the living room.   After watching a couple hours of Britcoms, a couple of old Simpsons episodes and surfing too many web pages, I got the idea to try this Ginger Vodka.

You know what?  It was good.  Not earth-shattering, but a very pleasant change of pace.  Since I have about another four ounces of ginger, I had better make up more of this stuff to use it up.

Weddings – Humor

Men and women have two distinct views about weddings.

The husband-to-be wakes up in the morning, plays a round of golf and counts the minutes until he has to be at the altar.

The wife-to-be, on the other hand, wakes up in the morning and is panicking. She immediately begins to organize things, making sure everything is in proper order. In her mind she is repeating what she has to do: “All I have to do is go down the aisle, get to the altar, and marry him.”

She repeats this over and over again, until she begins to shorten it to three words which she continues to repeat, “Aisle, altar, him.” “Aisle, altar, him.” “Aisle, altar, him…” 

A Professor, Golf Balls, Pebbles, and Sand

I have been seeing this particular one a lot lately.  I think my friends are trying to tell me something!

One of those stories that tells you something deep and philosophical about life… with a small twist.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

When Good Gadgets Go Bad

Time for music.  

Reaching for the remote, the red button is pressed bringing the radio to life.  Walking to the stereo, the power and aux buttons are pressed to power on the unit so the music can come out of the speakers.   It is not a remarkable stereo, simply used as an amplifier just for this purpose, to play internet radio.

The internet radio is a Squeezebox, but for that matter it could be an iPhone or a Tablet computer.  The sound is routed from the headphone jack to the back of the stereo.   It is a simple setup.

Waiting as the Squeezebox goes through its paces, it comes to life and waits for further commands.  The keypads on the remote are hit to make the thing go up through the list to find “Favorites”.  Unfortunately it has a headache and goes right past it looping around to the beginning of the list at “Now Playing”.

Pressing up again, it begins to go through the list one at a time on its own.  Faster and faster on a crazy blur of blue-green fluorescent letters in a blur until it stumbles back to Now Playing.

Press up again and for some reason, it bumps one at a time to get to favorites.   Then to the list of channels.  There are 63 of them.  Up is pressed.  Luckily it goes to the bottom of the list.  Press up again and it goes through the list in that crazy blur.   Then the radio jumps to the configuration menu and spasms there as if someone has hit it in the head giving it a concussion worthy of a trip to the computer hospital. 

Go home radio, you’re drunk.

Give up on that, turn on a different and much more basic radio until curiosity raises its ugly head again.  After all, why have just local FM when the world awaits you on a spastic little black slab of plastic?

This circular behavior and logic continues onward for a week.  The semi solution of a work around was that for the last five days it was left on Discover Trance for 24 hours a day because to turn it off meant that more head scratching and dancing in a blue-green blur would happen.

Finally today the solution was found.  The batteries in the remote were replaced after spinning them around in their mounts a couple times, and in the clarity of a second mug of coffee a “Why Not” moment of playing “Lets Replace The Batteries” occurred. 

Seems that the broken part of the electronic gadget was the human operating the remote.

So remember, if your electronics aren’t working… check the batteries.  The mind you save may be your own.

Laundry Logistics

Mine, Ours, and the Dog’s.

Doing my own clothes is no big deal.  Toss them in, pour the soap on, press buttons and go.

Ours are pretty much the same.   Grab everything from every corner of the house, and toss them in with the bed linens.  Temp-Boost Hot and boil the little suckers down.  Gives me some nice clean towels for the Kitchen, Bathroom, and the bed linens are nice and smooth once a week.

It’s the Dog’s wash that gets to be intriguing. 

You see, she wants to help.

Start with taking the linens back into the master bedroom.  Time to make the bed.   She’s lounging around taking it easy but hears some random sound and looks up.   I’m not in The Chair so she goes searching.   Since she’s a bigger creature of habit than even I am, this itself would give me time enough to get at least the bottom sheet on the bed.

Hurry, she’s only made it to sniff the laundry room!

Flip the top sheet out on the bed and there are paws padding through the kitchen out to the Florida room.

Quick, smooth the top sheet out!

And there’s the black nose sniffing past the night stand.  I’ve been found out!

Toss the pillow onto the bed, move over to the side that the dog is on and she backs up.

Now it gets fun.  I grab the spare set of dog mats, both of them, from the closet and toss one on the floor.  She moves to sniff that mat and of course the one on the floor that needs to go to the laundry now has 45 pounds of McNab Dog on top of it.

“Look!  Over there! (gesture gesture gesture)” Ok, forgot she’s almost deaf and just staring at the clean mat in my arms.   I “fake the throw” and she looks around moving just off the mat.  In one deft motion, I manage to make the old mat disappear.   Pointing at the new one, she goes back to sniffing it. 

Run, Quick!  Run!  Out to the living room.  Grab the other two mats before she follows!

Now I drop the one spare mat down on the floor and am inspected.

Have you ever seen a dog pout?

There’s a third mat that we’ve given her, of course, as her privileged position in life requires.  Since dogs are “Den Animals”, they like to be in semi-enclosed spaces.  That is why crate training is not a punishment, but more of a “natural state” way of being for dogs.   All except lap dogs.  Those little yappers get territorial of the few square inches of your lap that you need for important things like tech manuals, your lunch, and the plans to take over the world, Pinky.

Lap Dogs are a lost cause.  They can be trained but I have to wonder how some people manage.  I’m good at training dogs, but those little things?  Yer’ a better man than me Mc Duff!

That third mat is right next to my big chair and in a sheltered place just under a chess table in the corner.  Sometimes it is under it, other times it is repositioned with a precision that only a web footed paw can manage.

It is now gone and in my hand while I whisk it away to be heated and washed.

Yes, you’re going to be social today.  That third mat doesn’t go back until it’s well and truly clean.

Now she’s acting like the little girl next door who would say loudly to everyone when her security blanket was taken away…

I want my guggie!

Oh well, guggies will be washed, and little Lynn is now a beautiful woman who doesn’t need her security blankie either, Mrs Dog.

Bonus Blossom – Picture

A cold snap drew me out to the back yard.  Against the shed is a line of irrigation that I keep four separate orchids on.  Under each plant are some “starter pots” of cuttings.  It’s my little hydroponic drip feed garden. 

Fancy talk for pretty plants that entertain me.

The orchids are all from those “baby” plants you see in the big box stores, save one that my friends Kathie and Larry had given me as a present in a tiny little pot.  

Those babies are usually bought when you’re a snowbird, taken up to what ever cold and dry climate you live in and are presented as a challenge.   I was never quite up to that particular challenge, so one of the first things that I had done when I moved to Florida was see if I could get some to grow.

If you are a local and are patient, you can have some amazing plants.  All you need to do is wait.

This maroon beauty is a Bonus Blossom.  It is the first year that it had ever bloomed twice, this being the second complete set of flowers. 

Plants bloom where they are planted, but only when they are happy.  I’ve given them a home under the eaves of my little shed, water them with the ground water from my irrigation system, and pretty much ignore them until they show their true colors and gain my attention.   When that happens, the wheels start turning and I consider putting more out there.  

After all, who doesn’t like a little more color in their life?

Happy Holidays from – Picture

Yes, these are the famous Garbage Poinsettias that I wrote about last year.   My fence is lined with these things.  They’re all in bloom.  They’d be doing better if I fertilized them, but for being ignored and sitting under the orchid pots, they’re doing fine.

So Happy Holidays, yes, all of them.  Choose a holiday and celebrate it.  Or choose them all and cheese someone off!


Sharing Breakfast With Dad – Picture

I realized that I was sharing breakfast with an old friend more and more these days.  It’s the complete opposite of what we’re used to doing, but when you’re an old dog they make adjustments for you.

I used to get just a bowl of this stuff.  Smelled like sheep, crunched like a bone, and came in a big bag.  Dad would keep the big bag in the corner by the box he called trash.  I wasn’t allowed in that box, and wasn’t allowed in the big bag of crunchy sheep either.

Dad knew just how much I could have and gave it to me in my bowl.  It said C, A, T on it.  I think he was playing a joke on me because I couldn’t read.  It made him happy so I didn’t care.

I started getting sick last year.  I’m getting up there in years, and Dad didn’t realize that I didn’t want the crunchy sheep any more.  He took me to the doctors that one day and I don’t like that.   They treat me well, but I just don’t like anyone poking me.

I never did.

That was when Dad gave me strange food.  Some of it I liked a lot, others I wouldn’t go near.   We all got real frustrated then until I showed him just what to get and what not to.

He slips once in a while and gives me peanut butter, but that makes me sick the next day.   I heard him say “no more”.  I guess that’s it for the peanut butter.

Lately I follow him more than usual.  I know my time may be short and I want to show him I still care as much as I can.

Breakfast time is the best time to follow Dad.  I’m a little slow on my feet now, so I have to stand back and stare at him.   He tells me that I “have the most beautiful brown eyes on the planet” and then gives me some of what he’s having.

The other day he laughed as he gave me a bowl of this stuff called cottage cheese and said “I’m going to have to stop giving you this or you will stink up the place”.  No idea what he means by that but it’s OK. 

I lick at that bowl until I can get enough out of it but it is hard to eat.  The bowl starts on one side of the house and ends up on the other.   I stopped just before it ended up going down the one step to that warm place in the back of the house.  Florida Room I heard it called.

Well, I’ll have to catch you later.   The sun is out today and I can catch a nap there on my place near where Dad sleeps every night.  The sun makes me feel better and I like that.

See if You Can Guess Who This Is

You may look at the post, mutter “TL;DR” and want to bail.   If you do, jump down to the bottom and you can skip ahead.   It really is a great story and a tribute to a great American who helped us win the war against the Fascists in WWII.

I’m tagging it “humor” only because it’s A Sunday Post, but hey, my blog my rules, right?

A little Paul Harvey-style non-fiction.  This would make a fascinating screen play. 


In 1933, a beautiful, young Austrian woman took off her clothes for a movie director.  She ran through the woods … naked.  She swam in a lake … naked.  Pushing well beyond the social norms  of the period, the movie also featured a simulated orgasm.

The most popular movie in 1933 was King Kong.  But everyone in Hollywood was talking about that scandalous movie with the gorgeous, young Austrian woman.

Louis B. Mayer, of the giant studio MGM, said she was the most beautiful woman in the world.  The film was banned practically everywhere … which of course made it even more popular and valuable.  Mussolini reportedly refused to sell his copy at any price.

The star of the film, called Ecstasy, was Hedwig Kiesler.  She said the secret of her beauty was “to stand there and look stupid.”  In reality, Kiesler was anything but stupid.  She was a genius.  She’d grown up as the only child of a prominent Jewish banker.  She was a math prodigy.  She excelled at science.  As she grew older, she became ruthless, using all the power her body and mind gave her.

Between the sexual roles she played, her tremendous beauty, and the power of her intellect, Kiesler would confound the men in her life … including her six husbands, two of the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century, and one of the greatest movie producers in history.

Her beauty made her rich for a time. She is said to have made — and spent — $30 million in her life.  But her greatest accomplishment resulted from her intellect…And her invention continues to shape the world we live in today.

You see, this young Austrian starlet would take one of the most valuable technologies ever developed right from under Hitler’s nose.  After fleeing to America, she not only became a major Hollywood star…her name sits on one of the most important patents ever granted by the U.S. Patent Office.

Today, when you use your cell phone or, over the next few years, as you experience super-fast wireless Internet access (via something called “long-term evolution”or LTE” technology), you’ll be using an extension of the technology a 20-year-old actress first conceived while sitting at dinner with Hitler.

At the time she made Ecstasy, Kiesler was married to one of the richest men in Austria.  Friedrich Mandl was Austria ‘s leading arms maker.  His firm would become a key supplier to the Nazis.

Mandl used his beautiful young wife as a showpiece at important business dinners with representatives of the Austrian, Italian, and German fascist forces.  One of Mandl’s favorite topics at these gatherings — which included meals with Hitler and Mussolini — was the technology surrounding radio-controlled missiles and torpedoes.

Wireless weapons offered far greater ranges than the wire-controlled alternatives that prevailed at the time.  Kiesler sat through these dinners “looking stupid,” while absorbing everything she heard …

As a Jew, Kiesler hated the Nazis.  She abhorred her husband’s business ambitions.  Mandl responded to his wilful wife by imprisoning her in his castle, Schloss Schwarzenau.  In 1937, she managed to escape.  She drugged her maid, snuck out of the castle wearing the maid’s clothes, and sold her jewelry to finance a trip to London.

(She got out just in time.  In 1938, Germany annexed Austria.  The Nazis seized Mandl’s factory.  He was half Jewish.  Mandl fled to Brazil.  Later, he became an advisor to Argentina’s iconic populist president, Juan Peron.)

In London, Kiesler arranged a meeting with Louis B. Mayer.  She signed a long-term contract with him, becoming one of MGM’s biggest stars.  She appeared in more than 20 films.  She was a co-star to Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and even Bob Hope.  Each of her first seven MGM movies was a blockbuster.

But Kiesler cared far more about fighting the Nazis than about making movies.  At the height of her fame, in 1942, she developed a new kind of communications system, optimized for sending coded messages that couldn’t be “jammed.”

She was building a system that would allow torpedoes and guided bombs to always reach their targets.  She was building a system to kill Nazis.

By the 1940s, both the Nazis and the Allied forces were using the kind of single-frequency radio-controlled technology Kiesler’s ex-husband had been peddling.  The drawback of this technology was that the enemy could find the appropriate frequency and “jam” or intercept the signal, thereby interfering with the missile’s intended path.

Kiesler’s key innovation was to “change the channel.”  It was a way of encoding a message across a broad area of the wireless spectrum.  If one part of the spectrum was jammed, the message would still get through on one of the other frequencies being used.  The problem was, she could not figure out how to synchronize the frequency changes on both the receiver and the transmitter.  To solve the problem, she turned to perhaps the world’s first techno-musician, George Anthiel

Anthiel was an acquaintance of Kiesler who achieved some notoriety for creating intricate musical compositions.  He synchronized his melodies across twelve player pianos, producing stereophonic sounds no one had ever heard before.  Kiesler incorporated Anthiel’s technology for synchronizing his player pianos.  Then, she was able to synchronize the frequency changes between a weapon’s receiver and its transmitter.

On August 11, 1942, U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387 was granted to Antheil and “Hedy Kiesler Markey,” which was Kiesler’s married name at the time.

Most of you won’t recognize the name Kiesler.  And no one would remember the name Hedy Markey.  But it’s a fair bet than anyone reading this newsletter of a certain age will remember one of the great beauties of Hollywood ‘s golden age — Hedy Lamarr.  That’s the name Louis B. Mayer gave to his prize actress.  That’s the name his movie company made famous.

Meanwhile, almost no one knows Hedwig Kiesler — aka Hedy Lamarr — was one of the great pioneers of wireless communications.  Her technology was developed by the U.S. Navy, which has used it ever since.

You’re probably using Lamarr’s technology, too.  Her patent sits at the foundation of “spread spectrum technology,” which you use every day when you log on to a wi- fi network or make calls with your Bluetooth-enabled phone.  It lies at the heart of the massive investments being made right now in so-called fourth-generation “LTE” wireless technology.  This next generation of cell phones and cell towers will provide tremendous increases to wireless network speed and quality, by spreading wireless signals across the entire available spectrum.  This kind of encoding is only possible using the kind of frequency switching that Hedwig Kiesler invented.

Holiday Party, December 23rd!

I thought that since tomorrow is the 23rd, you might want to know about this Holiday Party.  See, there’s a company that is trying to get all their ducks in a row and make everyone happy about getting a party together tomorrow.


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 1, 2012

RE: Gala Christmas Party

I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We’ll have a small band playing traditional carols… feel free to sing along.

And don’t be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchanges of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone’s

This gathering is only for employees!

Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family,


Company Memo
Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 2, 2012

RE: Gala Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on, we’re calling it our “Holiday Party.” The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians and to those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree and no Christmas carols will be sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family,


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees

DATE: October 3, 2012

RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn’t sign your name. I’m happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, “AA Only”, you wouldn’t be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?


And sorry, but forget about the gift exchange, no gifts are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and the executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

To: All Employees

DATE: October 4, 2012

RE: Generic Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything for you to take it home. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet, and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms.

Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each group will have their own table.

Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men’s table.

To the person asking permission to cross dress, the Grill House asks that no cross-dressing be allowed, apparently because of concerns about confusion in the restrooms. Sorry.

We will have booster seats for short people.

Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

I am sorry to report that we cannot control the amount of salt used in the food . The Grill House suggests that people with high blood pressure taste a bite first.

There will be fresh “low sugar” fruits as dessert for diabetics, but the restaurant cannot supply “no sugar” desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!?


Company Memo
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All F…… Employees

DATE: October 5, 2012

RE: The F****** Holiday Party

I’ve had it with you vegetarian pricks!!! We’re going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of death,” as you so quaintly put it, and you’ll get your ****** salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I’ve heard them scream. I’m hearing them
scream right NOW!

The rest of you ****** wierdos can kiss my ass. I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

Drive drunk and die,

The Bitch from Hell!!!

Company Memo
FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director

DATE: October 6, 2012

RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I’ll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!