Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Came Upon A Friable Rock


The attempt at serious writing in a new journal is not proceeding well. When I was young, flocks of serious thoughts flitted into (and out of) my conscious mind faster than I could hope to handle them. But now that I (an old man) have the leisure to examine them, not a single serious thought lingers long enough to be analyzed... not a thought that has not been tackled time and time again by both thinkers and writers of sizable celebrity.

Who am I?

I intend to persevere, but I realize, with some sadness, that it might take me a bit longer to get started than I expected. For I find myself, at an unexpectedly advanced age, treading cautiously on exceedingly friable ground.

easily crumbled or reduced to powder; crumbly: friable rock.


Life, it appears, is quite friable.


I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles if I had to.
--John Updike
(From a 1967 Paris Review interview)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Herb Roasted Chicken For Dinner


I've been diddling with a poem idea that won't leave me alone. It begins:

The ubiquitous horde of artistic folk
who dwell in the town of Drivelville
applaud each launch
of peer-lauded spew
to snare their fair share of attention.

Dah, dah, dah, dah, da Dah . . .

There is an interesting list offered on Arnold Zwicky's blog. It is, as Zwicky puts it, a partial inventory of postings on language rage, language peeving, word aversion, and word attraction on Language Log and this blog.

A short example is:

No free speech for spam rage

USA Today reports that when Charles Booher got mad at a Canadian company that spammed him, and threatened to shoot or torture them and send them anthrax unless they removed him from an e-mail list, Federal agents turned up at his home and arrested him. He's looking at five years in jail and a fine of a quarter of a million dollars.

The entire list is HERE.


I read that it is insensitive to refer to another person as being an 'idiot' or 'lamebrain' or a 'retard' and that the proper and acceptable appellation for those afflicted with LD (learning disabilities) is 'neurologically different.'

If, unlike me, that subject interests you, then you might like to read some thoughts about LD in a short piece titled “Things not to say to LD people (or their parents)”at THIS LINK.

Or, if you are a writer or writer wannabe, you might like to read a Fictionaut article written by an adult with neurological differences...

Marty Castleberg

Last Sunday I wrapped up my TV News stint by watching Meet The Press wherein Bob Schieffer hosted a discussion with four authors: Condoleeza Rice, Michael Lewis, Walter Isaacson, and Kathryn Stocket.

Whether or not I learned anything from the group is questionable, but I did enjoy the half-hour.

I saw a YouTube video titled: disproving intelligent design with a mouse trap. Of course, there have been creationists who have used a mousetrap to prove intelligent design. Now, the mousetrap is being used to disprove it.

Disproving Intelligent Design with a mousetrap.


Evolution is the non-random survival of randomly-produced variations.
--Something Surprising blog

Sunday, November 27, 2011

TV Can Be Illuminating


Can you imagine that human beings can be so uninformed that they would actually eat vomit?

Many people willingly do eat vomit... often. And they enjoy eating it. They revel in it; they pay high prices for it at their local supermarket.

You doubt this?

Watch the following video:

I was disappointed this morning when George Will was absent from The Round Table on ABC's this week Sunday morning TV news show... Michael Gerson was okay, as were the two old has-been entertainers, Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson but none of them comes up to the common sense reportage of George Will. The interview with Colin Powell was (to me) uninspired. The interview with Matt Damon about his work to provide clean water to those who do not have it was inspiring.


I believe that most people believe the word disingenuous is a politically correct synonym for liar. But actually, the definition is: disingenuous: Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

Not quite the same thing.

For some reason, the word disingenuous reminds me of Senator Chuck Schumer, who, by the way, is extremely fond of using the word very.

Senator Charles Schumer


My new Journal is not ready yet. Only the opening page exists at this time, but it is not to be a daily journal. It takes me more than one day to put my serious thoughts into intelligible words. And I have no previously written postings to fall back on. When it is ready, it will be there.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Curmudgeon? Who Me?


I have been thinking about returning to the often thankless task of entering some of my deeper thoughts into my online journal, those personal pages within my domain which only those who have the link are able to enter.

Philip Pullman recently posted the following: "I don’t believe in dissing books I used to love..." Mr. Pullman is a published author and book collector, so I felt some distress because he used the word "dissed" instead of 'disrespecting.' Using popular slang is not forbidden of course, and any writer is certainly free to use any word he cares to, but I feel that doing so, at least in this case, shows disrespect for the English language.

Or am I just being an old curmudgeon?

Romney Uniquely Qualified For President
said South Dakota Senator John Thune. I'm not sure exactly what it means to be "uniquely qualified."

I read a poem that made me question (again) the difference between modern poetry and prose.

Fun, Fun, Fun When the Guy Goes Away
by Hal Sirowitz

That's a strange question to ask
a woman at a bar, she said. "Are
you having fun?" If I wanted
to have fun I wouldn't have come here.
This is a lot of work. I have
to decide which guy, out of
all the jerks here, has the potential
of becoming my future husband.
I mostly just have looks to go on,
since the conversation is usually
minimal--like the one we're having now.

"Fun, Fun, Fun When the Guy Goes Away"
by Hal Sirowitz,
(Before, During & After, Soft Skull Press, 2003.)

I've read the poem time and again, and I can only surmise that it is recognized as being a poem simply because of its line breaks, without which it would surely be classified as prose.

Sometimes I fear that by posting my honest thoughts, some of the conclusions I come to and write about in this blog merely serve to illustrate my abysmal lack of culture, formal education, and basic intelligence... to those readers who possess culture, formal education, and basic intelligence.

Ah well... so be it.

A man and a woman who have never met before find themselves sharing a sleeping car on an overnight train. After some initial embarrassment, they both go to sleep in their bunks...But in the middle of the night, the woman leans over and says to the man: "I'm sorry, but I'm a little cold. Could I trouble you to get me another blanket?"

"I've got a better idea," the man replies with a glint in his eye. "Just for tonight, let's pretend we're married."

"OK, why not," giggles the woman.

"Great," the man says. "Get your own damn blanket!"

(From: Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind, MIT Press, 2011)

Yes, I have decided to go ahead with my plan to enter my deeper thoughts into my new Journal but it might take me a few days to write a worthwhile entry. I wonder if I can still write an intelligent and coherent sentence. Time will tell, as they say.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Clear, Direct, And To The Point


Talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity often use the phrase "for all intents and purposes." I believe this is unnecessary padding of any sentence in which it appears. I have never yet read or heard that phrase in any context wherein it could not be deleted without changing the meaning or the impact of the sentence.

Even Martin S. Pribble who is a writer I admire, recently wrote: "But to think that a conspiracy can be orchestrated on a global level where information about natural science and knowledge that for all intents and purposes should be publicly available, is ludicrous."

See what I mean? Remove the offending phrase and the meaning is unchanged. So, why add it? Perhaps to make the author of the sentence appear more 'literate?'

Could be . . .

Another unnecessary word that irritates me is 'very.' Adding very (or very, very, very) to a sufficiently descriptive adjective no longer affects its degree, probably because of its extreme overuse. Sometimes the word very appears in nearly every sentence, even from experienced speakers, such as politicians. I've heard celebrities on TV offer such ridiculous utterances as 'very marvelous' and 'very spectacular.'


My word for today . . .


a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based.

Synonyms: comparison, likeness, resemblance, similitude, affinity.

An example of an analogy that I was taught in Electronics School is the similarity between electric current being forced to flow through a wire by a generator and water being forced to flow through a pipe by a pump.


Neuron transplant in damaged brain fixes obesity
is the title of an article I just read in New Scientist Magazine.

The article is short and to the point.


I've said it before: I write in the voice of a child. That makes me readable in high school.
--Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day 2011


by Jennie A. Brownscombe. (1914)


Burrowing owl at Phoenix Zoo
by Ben Goren

I had no valid reason for posting the above photograph of an owl: I just liked it better than a picture of a turkey and thought I'd share it, that's all.


For breakfast a few minutes ago I enjoyed a large bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon and flavored with a cup of thawed from frozen mixed berries: blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.


For my Thanksgiving dinner at around two or three o'clock in the afternoon I plan to bake a Marie Calander frozen meal, consisting of Turkey Medallions, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Stuffing, Green Beans & Carrots. Dessert is to be an entire (single serving) Banquet oven heated Apple Pie.

Looking forward to it . . .


European Economics . . .

A Spaniard, an Italian and a Greek go into a bar.
They drink until dawn.
Who pays the tab?
A German
--George Will

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thoughts And More Thoughts


Fry's Supermarket provides two wood-slat benches outside the building for the convenience of customers and store employees who wish to smoke during their rest and lunch breaks. A huge pot filled with sand sits chained between the two benches, and it fills rather quickly with cigarette stubs of varying lengths. Since this area is located roughly half the distance of my daily two-mile walk, I take advantage of the benches to sit and rest for a few minutes before heading back down the return leg of my walk.

While seated there yesterday, I watched as an old lady approached and sat down close to the gigantic ashtray, upon which she latched her attention, carefully examining each discarded butt and putting in her apron pocket all of the bent and broken stubs of a size seemingly satisfactory for later re-lighting.

Not being particularly reticent in my old age, I struck up a lengthy conversation and told her that I had once been a cigarette smoker but had quit the habit in 1985. She said she knew she should quit but she was 47 years old and didn't have the will power to stop. Now, that surprised me greatly, as I had thought, because of her heavily lined and wrinkled face and her overall elderly appearance, that she was at least 70.

She told me that she had started smoking at age 12 but cigarettes have now become so expensive that she could not afford to buy them very often on her SSI (welfare) check (that was almost a hundred dollars more than my Social Security benefit.) I told her that back when I'd stopped smoking 26 years ago they had cost $1.00 a pack. She said that now the cheapest ones were more than $7 a pack, and that's why she came over to the store several times a day to salvage the butts.

One can learn a lot simply by observing and listening to people.

Don't know how much value to put on some of that information, though.


Neuroscience Challenges Old Ideas about Free Will is the title of an intriguing article in Scientific American wherein celebrated neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga explains the new science behind an ancient philosophical question.

At one point in the interview is the statement: ". . . neuroscientific experiments indicate that human decisions for action are made before the individual is consciously aware of them."

That was a difficult idea for me to understand and prompted me to read the entire piece, and I am glad that I did.

Again, here is the link.

Another interesting bit I recently read:

No matter what the Occupy Wall Street seems to have now become, the New Yorker has an article about how it all began. Arts & Letters Daily introduces the article thusly: "How a Canadian in a bathtub, together with transgender radicals, and a 'mystical anarchist' organized a revolution on Wall Street..."

Read about it here.


The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time.

--Franklin P. Adams, columnist (1881-1960)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Whaddaya Mean, Who's Carl Zimmer?


The Loom is a blog written by Carl Zimmer, a gifted science writer.

If you’re a regular reader of the Loom, you’re no doubt familiar with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. If you’re not, now is the perfect time to meet this sinister creature which may very well be residing in your brain. It seems like every year or two, it gets more remarkable, and today it’s taken another step into awesomeness. Read all about it here.

Also . . .

What is a Tartigrade?

According to Carl Zimmer:

Tardigrades make the world their hiding place. They live invisibly in the ground, in the muck of ponds and deep-sea sediments, in dunes, in moss, in stone walls, on the tops of mountains, and deep inside glaciers. They go unnoticed thanks to their miniature dimensions: the biggest tardigrades don’t get bigger than a poppy seed. When the naturalist Johann August Ephraim Goeze discovered tardigrades in 1773, he dubbed them kleiner Wasserbär, meaning little water bear. Their stocky bodies and stumpy legs do give them an ursine cast, but there aren’t many bears that have eight legs, or daggers in their mouths that pierce smaller animals or algae cells.

There are also aren’t many bears that could be taken aboard a spacecraft, left out in the vacuum of space for ten days, and still be alive when they returned to Earth. But tardigrades have made this journey. Here on Earth, they can survive without water by going into a state of suspended animation. Even after nine years a splash of water can revive them. No one is quite sure how tardigrades manage all this. Some experiments hint that they can turn their bodies into a liquid that’s as hard as a solid.

Scientists call it biological glass.

Tartigrades. Truth is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction.


Yesterday I doubled the length of my daily fitness walk: two miles in the morning as usual, then another two miles in the late afternoon. Might just do the same thing today.

Or not . . .


Q. Why can't a bicycle stand up by itself?
A. It's two tired.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Question Of Authority


Bring or Take? While watching old reruns of Two And A Half Men I noticed that the character named Alan, seated at the breakfast table in their home, said,"I have to bring Jake to school" instead of, as I learned in school -- "I have to take Jake to school." as I would phrase it. So, which is the correct form of that statement... bring or take?

The grammarphobia blog offers:

(1) If the merchandise or the person is moving toward you (that is, you're the destination), the appropriate verb is "bring." Example: "I have something for you to read, so bring your glasses."

(2) If the merchandise or the person is moving away from you (that is, you're the point of origin), the appropriate verb is "take." Example: "I've finished, so you can take my plate to the kitchen.”

Of course, grammarphobia has a LOT more to say on the subject.

While I am not a certified authority on the subject of English grammar, I still think my way is correct.


At the Writer's Almanac Nov. 17, 2011 I read a curious fact:

In the early 1950s, Bennett Cerf of Random House sent author Shelby Foote a letter asking him to produce a short account of the Civil War in time for the war's centennial. Cerf wanted about 200,000 words; it wound up being almost eight times longer. The Civil War: A Narrative took 20 years to write and ended up spanning almost 3,000 pages in three volumes. It was published from 1958 to 1974; he wrote 500 to 600 words a day, longhand, using an old-fashioned dip pen.

In my opinion, that's amazing! 3,000 pages using an old-fashioned dip pen.


We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
--Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, November 14, 2011

Something Completely Different



My Facebook page
-- but I don't know if it is accessible or not to non-members.


Why do I continue to write in this blog? Good question. Its meager content is neither prolific nor profound but is instead no more than quick random rambles of sporadic thoughts that occur to me at the instant of composition. And I know that these inane bits I write have very few readers.

If there is one positive thing I can say about the blog it is that it serves to illustrate what is on my mind at each particular instant as I write, although that's probably not exactly a smart idea.


English Grammar

Even though I make mistakes in grammar, I am somewhat obsessed with correct usage. For instance:

While watching TV I noticed on a Boeng commercial that an employee stated that the manufacturing of jet aircraft is literally making the world smaller. Literally? Really? Is the planet actually made physically smaller in size because of speed of travel? Of course not. The speaker should have said figuratively making the world smaller.

My new word of the day is bellicose

Demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight.
warlike - combative - militant

Along with the above, I often see the words forcible and forceful used and I found myself wondering what the difference is in the definitions of them. I looked them up and found: These words sometimes overlap, but generally "forceful" means "powerful" ('he imposed his forceful personality on the lions') while "forcible" must be used instead to describe the use of force ('the burglar made a forcible entry into the apartment').


One of the blogs I view every single day is Rensselaer Adventures, and sometimes it features photos and text regarding areas labeled 'not Rensselaer' -- such as one posting dedicated to the small town of Fowler, Indiana. In case someone might be interested in the town.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Twists And Turns Of The Mind


In an interesting little piece, George Will wrote:

The Stolen Valor Act of 2005, a compound of political pandering and moral exhibitionism, was whooped through the Senate, aka the "world's greatest deliberative body," by unanimous consent; the House, joining the stampede, passed it by a voice vote.

The Stolen Valor Act allows fines and imprisonment for anyone who falsely claims to have been awarded any military decoration or medal authorized by Congress, with the severest sentences for claiming the highest honors.

Read more: Our problematic speech - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

George Will's articles (and others) always provoke me to introspection, for some reason, often resulting in stirring up intense anger and resentment within my innermost secret thoughts--angers and resentments completely unrelated to the original article. And often it features as the villain: The government. The government. The government.

What it is with me, I suppose, is this festering rage against all authority figures I've always felt, beginning in my subteen years and building throughout my lifetime. Just what is it, I've always wondered, that gives another person (or group of persons) the right to tell me what I can or cannot do?

This question has plagued me all my life and has been the source of many, many misguided, stupid, and just plain wrong decisions I have made. No, I'm not blaming the government for my mistakes in life...

...or am I?


The Sunday morning TV news shows, sadly, were again profoundly disappointing to me. the Penn State scandal, the Republican debates and the candidate gaffes, and the so obvious schadenfreude of the commentators and round table participants...

And it rained quite a bit this morning, too... which puts a damper on my daily walk schedule.


We understand nothing of the works of God unless we take it as a principle that He wishes to blind some and to enlighten others.
--Blaise Pascal

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Again, I Am SO Tired


My new word for the day is heuristic.

heuristics refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution, where an exhaustive search is impractical. Examples of this method include using a "rule of thumb", an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense.


Went out for my daily two mile health and fitness walk today... but I waited till almost noon to go when the temperature got up to nearly 70 degrees... perfect walking weather.

Well... gotta go. My NaNoWriMo pages are waiting for me.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another Ridiculous Random Ramble


Regarding the proposed 9 9 9 tax plan.

The following paragraph was copied from a Herman Cain page

Unlike a state sales tax, which is an add-on tax that increases the price of goods and services, this is a replacement tax. It replaces taxes that are already embedded in selling prices. By replacing higher marginal rates in the production process with lower marginal rates, marginal production costs actually decline, which will lead to prices being the same or lower, not higher.

Huh? It replaces taxes that are already embedded in selling prices? Who's kidding who? When does a retail business ever reduce such embedded taxes? Is this guy really that naive?

I object to adding retail national sales tax of 9 percent to the already existing Tucson Arizona 9 percent sales tax. That's eighteen percent on the merchandise I buy from retail stores. Whenever I can, I buy needed items online, usually via And you can bet that a national sales tax will immediately be applied to all online sales.

And that ain't all...

Oh well, why should I worry about it? The majority of our Congress persons will never allow such a plan to pass, to come between them and their sacred opportunity to partake of the plentiful fruits of ever present graft. No way.

In fact, why on Earth should I worry about anything?

Here is a ludicrous fact: A 72 year old person, with the end of life drawing ever nearer, day by day, minute by minute, still frets over minor difficulties such as being 10 or 15 pounds overweight -- even though overeating has become such a deeply ingrained habit that it is performed without fail and without conscious thought every... single... day.

Good Gravy!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Science, Blind Faith, Etc.



After watching today's edition of this week and Meet The Press on Sunday morning TV news I find that some of my thoughts and ideas have changed, at least temporarily. One of those ideas is the effect on the public of those 'Sunday Comics,' the collection of recent nighttime sneers from the various comedians who deliver the tongue-in-cheek script lines supplied by the political joke writers.

Just because something makes you laugh does not mean that it is true. Question everything... nothing is sacred.

For all who are interested in poetry, there is a book you can buy in print form or download FREE (.pdf format e-book). Below is its description.

How does one bring poetry to a community? And who is going to make it happen? In response to these questions posed by the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, Katharine Coles and a cadre of poets and artists provide this essential guide and inspiration. Blueprints creates for poets and arts organizers the sense that they are part of a larger, noble endeavor based in shared values and commitment to poetry. The first three sections include essays by a dozen poets and artists about ways they have brought poetry into different kinds of communities. These essays demonstrate what has been done and what can be done and will inspire others to bring poetry into their own communities. The final section provides a practical "toolkit" loaded with experience-based advice and the tools and strategies necessary to accomplish those endeavors.

Katharine Coles is a professor of English at the University of Utah, former director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, and Utah poet laureate. She is the author of numerous volumes of poetry and has published poems in a wide variety of literary journals and anthologies.

Read about it or download it here.


A pulsar is a type of neutron star that emits electromagnetic energy at periodic intervals. A neutron star is the closest thing to a black hole that astronomers can observe directly, crushing half a million times more mass than Earth into a sphere no larger than a city. This matter is so compressed that even a teaspoonful weighs as much as Mount Everest.

Ha! Sounds a bit far-fetched to me. (Question everything.) But, if a scientist says it's so, then I s'pose it's so.

It's the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics that is saying so.


Wood you remember me is an excellent thought piece for everyone who is able to think, whether you are an atheist, an agnostic, a person of faith, or even if you just don't care. You may or may not agree with Mr. Pribble but you will more than likely be glad that you read his article

... or not.

If you did, you may also like to read another piece of his, the one he wrote just before the one above.

It is titled: Who Stole The Soul?

I very much like what Martin S. Pribble writes, and I admire how he writes... clearly and directly.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Life Is Often Quite Good


I saved some big bucks at the Fry's (formerly Kroger) supermarket yesterday. The mail brought me a bundle of Fry's coupons, some for dollars off various products and four FREE items -- 13 oz. Post Honey Bunches of Oats (dry cereal) -- 16 oz. Kroger brand Frosted mini Shredded Wheat -- 16 slice Pkg. Kraft American Cheese slices -- 9 oz. pkg. Oscar Meyer Honey Smoked Turkey breast slices. Total Savings = $20.60.

Can't beat that deal anywhere else in Tucson. Not that I know of.


My new word for the day is toque

1: a woman's small hat without a brim made in any of various soft close-fitting shapes
2: a tall brimless hat worn by a chef -- called also toque blanche


I recently ordered from an eBay store a set of 9 paperback books by Larry McMurtry. The price was $7.45 with free shipping. Of the 9, I had previously read only one, Lonesome Dove. The eight I had not read were: Duane's Depressed, Pretty Boy Floyd, The Sorrow's River, The Wandering Hill, Some Can Whistle, Texasville, Streets Of Laredo, and Telegraph Days.

The books arrived today. And I'm looking forward to getting started on the first one (Texasville) tonight when I go to bed. That's my usual novel reading time.


Yesterday was the birthday of Will Rogers a humorist and columnist who was born in 1879 on a ranch in the Cherokee Nation (now Oklahoma.)

In 1932, Rogers sent a letter to Franklin Roosevelt giving him advice on dealing with Congress, saying, "They're just children that's never grown up. They don't like to be corrected in company. Don't send messages to 'em, send candy."
Read more here.


AVT has posted a particularly compelling piece of writing.

Great job, Anthony.


Friday, November 4, 2011

But It Tastes So Good


Why do we season foods with salt and pepper?

To season: To render palatable, or to give a higher relish to, by the addition or mixture of another substance more pungent or pleasant; as, to season meat with salt.

Here is a personally observed fact: If I cook food without adding any salt or pepper to it, I find that even when I am quite hungry, the meal tastes to me so bland and flavorless that I will eat only a small portion before losing interest in it. I will usually then begin to think about some other more tasty food to eat instead (yes, even though I am no longer hungry) -- preferably something salty, peppery, spicy, or sweet.

So, why do we season foods with salt and pepper? That is a question I've been asking myself since the time a few years ago when my stomach began to give me terrible pains when I would overeat or eat spicy foods. For some reason I never did any research on the question.

Recently I Googled . . . "why season food with salt and pepper?" Below (with its misspellings and grammatical errors left intact) is one of the answers that appeared on

'salt adds much needed minerials and flvor and acts as a phreservative.pepper adds flavor and wards off insects and may provide a small amount of other nutrission..all cultures that i ever studyed about includeing american indians have used salt for thousands of years. and so have the chineese afterall what is rice without salt?yuck.i think black and white pepper may have oridgenated in india. spices have been traded for thousands of years.salt made sadom and gamorah welthey beyond belief and the peaple became haughty and rude this is the real reason god distroyes theese we know it goes atleast that far back.'

And here is the paragraph deemed's Best answer:

We started using salt to preserve meat. It's the only rock that humans consume. It's necessary for normal bodily function. Some people crave it due to electrolyte imbalances. The ancient Egyptians used it as far back as 6000 BC. Pepper is the from the same time period. No one knows specifically why they started using it but the belief is lack of other resources at the time. They didn't know what was poisonous or not until they tried it. I guess once they figured out it was safe and tasted good, they stuck with it.

Neither of those replies actually answers my original question. Not to my satisfaction, anyway. Further research reveals that the most common reason given for seasoning with salt is something similar to: Any chef or confident cook will tell you that knowing how to season with salt is as crucial as any other technique in successful preparation of delicious foods. You may have already mastered many cooking techniques, but if your food is not seasoned properly with salt, it won’t matter -- the flavors will be bland and unappealing.

So why cook without salt? Well... one reason might be that eating bland, flavorless foods might cause an overweight person to lose weight.

But does that overweight person have the perseverance to eat 'only' those foods... for a sufficient length of time?

That is the question.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rensselaer, IN - My Hometown


Little Cousin Jasper
By James Whitcomb Riley

Little Cousin Jasper, he
Don't live in this town, like me -
He lives 'way to Rensselaer,
An' ist comes to visit here.

He says 'at our court-house square
Ain't nigh big as theirn is there!-
He says there town's big as four
Er five towns like this, an' more!

He says ef his folks moved here
He'd cry to leave Rensselaer
'Cause they's prairie ther, an' Lakes,
An' wile-ducks an' rattlesnakes!

Yes, 'n' Jasper he says they
Got a brass band there, an' play
On it, an' march up an down
An' all over round the town!

Wisht our town ain't like it is! -
Wisht it's ist as big as his!
Wisht 'at his folks they'd move here,
An we'd move to Rensselaer!