Sunday, October 30, 2016

Carnegie Deli, NYC - Closing 2016

A sad day is on the horizon for the people of New York City and for people from all over the world. December 31, 2016 will be the last day of business for the legendary Carnegie Deli.
The famous Jewish delicatessen on 7th Avenue at 55th Street, across from Carnegie Hall, opened in 1937 and quickly became a favorite of celebrities from all walks of life and from all over the world. It was featured in Woody Allen's 'Broadway Danny Rose', and their most popular sandwich is the 'Woody Allen'.
I have to admit that every time I went to New York I walked right past the Carnegie. There was always a line out the door onto the street. It's possible Mick Jagger was inside or one of those actresses with three names.
Unfortunately, at the end of 2016 the 7th Avenue landmark deli will join Tavern on the Green and the Russian Tea Room. Sad day indeed.

Maybe you've heard of Carnegie Deli, even if you have never been to New York. So here are a few pictures of the deli, the sandwiches, a snippet of the menu and a couple of videos made by people you might know.

 The Woody Allen

Pastrami and Corned Beef piled high on freshly baked Jewish rye bread.  Made famous in the movie 'Broadway Danny Rose'.

 Snippets from the Menu



Matzoh Ball Soup

 It's all homemade!

Video Tributes


Friday, September 2, 2016

Texas Prosecutor Convicted and Sentenced - Too Little Too Late

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"  William Blackstone.
While I believe most prosecutors are ethical and take their obligations to the U.S. Constitution seriously there are some, too many in fact, who routinely and intentionally engage in government misconduct such as disclosure breaches. This is known as a Brady violation. Yes, there really is a Brady disclosure law that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly insisted that prosecutors favor disclosure over concealment.
There are many facets to the Brady disclosure, but the statute that was breached by the prosecution in this case states that:

  •   The prosecutor must disclose to the defense any evidence or information that is material to the guilt [or innocence] of the defendant.

Michael Morton - The Defendant
In 1986 Michael Morton's wife Christine was beaten to death.
In 1987 Michael Morton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The murder was in fact committed by someone else but that would be discovered 25 years too late, especially for Debra Baker who was murdered by the same man in 1988.

Ken Anderson - The Prosecutor
During the 1987 trial of Michael Morton, Williamson County, Texas prosecutor Ken Anderson had a statement from an eye witness stating that Morton was not in the home at the time of the murder and did not commit the murder. Anderson withheld this statement from the defense. That is a direct violation of the Brady disclosure. (Ken Anderson later became a judge)

In 2005 an organization known as The Innocence Project got involved and filed for DNA testing to clear Morton. The request for DNA testing was tenaciously fought against for 6 years by Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley until 2011 when a judge approved the request.

The DNA testing cleared Morton who was released from prison after serving 25 years for a crime he did not commit, and identified Mark Alan Norwood as the murderer of Christine Morton and also of Debra Baker.

In 2013 former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson was arrested for contempt of court. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, yes 10 DAYS, $500 fine and 500 hours community service. He was released for good behavior after serving only 5 days. He lost his license to practice law but can reapply in five years.
My opinion, if not for Ken Anderson, Debra Baker would still be alive. Michael Morton would not have lost 25 years of his life, and Ken Anderson should have been given a real prison sentence.

If you have never actually seen a grown man lie through his teeth, backpedal and not take responsibility for anything, now is your chance.  He says the system failed.  It did not, he lied.  He says there was no such thing as DNA testing in 1987, that is true but there was such a thing as  witness statements in 1987, he concealed an important one.  Meet Ken Anderson.

What do you think of this prosecutor and this case?  Please leave your comment below.  (your comment won't show up right away, it might take a day or two)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Haus the Hero Dog and Rattlesnake Bite Survivor

Haus's first day at the vet
It was a beautiful day in Tampa, Florida while 7-year old Molly played in the backyard as her grandmother watched along with the family's 2-year old German shepherd Haus. Suddenly Haus jumped up in front of Molly and reared up several times. Although he was bitten several times by a venomous Eastern diamondback rattlesnake he never backed down, protecting Molly from the rattler. At the time the grandmother didn't know what happened but Haus was bleeding so he was taken to the vet immediately. There it was discovered Haus had suffered three poisonous rattlesnake bites.
Haus's bloodstream was filled with venom, his kidney's were damaged and there was blood in his urine. He needed such a large amount of anti-venom that the vet put Haus on an IV drip rather than injections.
A friend of the family started a GoFundMe page to help with the veterinary costs which in just two days amounted to $10,000. In that same amount of time, the GoFundMe page raised $48,000. The donation page is shut down now because the family said that's more money than they need for Haus's medication and treatment.
Almost a week has passed and Haus is expected to make a full recovery, it'll take time though and he is still at the vet. You can follow Haus on his Facebook page Haus the Hero Dog for updates on his current condition.

Haus the Hero Dog on Facebook 


Almost a week later, still at the vet

Monday, May 9, 2016

The FDA - Misleading and Deceptive

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to be the watchdog for us, the American consumer, they are the oversight that prevents mega food corporations from poisoning us. Yet it seems to me they are more interested in protecting big corporations, could it be because those big food processing companies are buying their way through the FDA. As a result, we the people are being misled and deceived.
What is misleading? Here's just one example: Greek Yogurt. Does it come from Greece? Greek cows? Do Greeks know more about yogurt than the rest of the world? The answer to all those questions is, no! The FDA has no regulations about naming a food, so it's called Greek. That's misleading.
The bigger problem in my opinion is deception. We all know, or should anyway, that processed food has preservatives. Frozen dinners, meals in a box, etc. have some sort of preservatives present, for instance high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to prevent freezer burn.  But if you look at the front of some processed foods you might see one of these 'no preservatives' logos or something similar, leading us to believe there are no preservatives added.

Common sense tells us that can't be true, it just can't. We also know, being the well informed public that we are, that salt, sodium, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are primary preservatives in processed food. So I decided to investigate the Food and Drug Administration's regulations for these 'no preservatives' labels on food. This is what I found: 
  • “In recent years, we have held that the statutory words “chemical preservative” are not necessary in order to satisfy the 403 (k) provisions of the act, so long as the declaration on the label does reflect the fact that a chemical preservative is present.
    The term “chemical preservative” as defined by 21 CFR 101.22(a(5), means any chemical that, when added to food tends to prevent or retard deterioration thereof, but does not include common salt, sugars, vinegars, spices or oils extracted from spices.” 
The 'no preservatives' logo actually means no chemical preservatives, but the food corporations aren't required to indicate that information. This, in my opinion, is deceptive. For those people who are diabetic or have been instructed by their doctor to maintain a low sodium diet, this deception could cause even more serious health problems.
I suppose the best thing to do is what I've been saying all along...don't eat processed food.

What's your opinion?  Scroll down to leave a comment and share this article with your friends.  (it'll take a day or two for your comment to show up).

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Governmental Overreach - The Long Arm of the Law

Let me begin by saying that I believe we need laws and a fair justice system. I also believe that sometimes the government agencies that make the laws might possibly be in the pockets of big commercial businesses. Local, state and federal government agencies are all susceptible to the temptations of greed. The long arm of these government agencies sometimes overreach.
For instance...
In the state of Colorado it is illegal to collect rainwater that falls from the roof of a residence into a rain barrel. (also known as Rooftop Precipitation Capture System). The following information is taken directly from the Colorado Division of Water Resources dated June 2015
"Colorado water law declares that the State of Colorado claims the right to all moisture in the atmosphere that falls within its borders and that such moisture is declared to be the property of the people of this state, dedicated to their use pursuant to the Colorado constitution."
There are circumstances where a permit can be granted to install a rooftop precipitation capture system (rain barrel) but certain criteria must be met and the permits are costly. To summarize the necessary requirements to obtain a water collection permit, it must be a private residence, the water collected is for personal use only and there is no water supply available in the area from a municipality or water district.
Utah and Washington also have similar ordinances for collecting rainwater.

Here's another one:

In Sugar Creek, Missouri an ordinance prohibits vegetable gardens in front of a residence. The zoning board ordinance reads:
"No food shall be grown in the front yard and/or within 30 feet of any city street in Sugar Creek. Violators will be fined."
So much for sustainability in Missouri.
Cities in Florida, Mississippi and Oklahoma also prohibit front yard gardening. In Orlando, FL the fines are as high as $500 per day.

Then there's the case of solar panels

Several states prohibit homeowners from installing solar panels to generate energy.  Although the rules vary by state, there is one common denominator:
The opposition from utility companies having grown nervous from the rapid advancement of solar power firms and the effect on their business.
Florida, South Carolina and Virginia are a few states that ban residential solar panels.
In Woodland, North Carolina solar panels banned because they will 'suck up all the sun' as Woodland resident Billy Mann pointed out to local bureaucrats.
A little research and I turned up the truth in Woodland, NC on the issue of banning solar panels. The ban is not meant for residential use, it's meant for solar panel farms which Woodland has too many already. City council banned the addition of another solar panel farm, they did not ban homeowners from installing solar panels.

Water, sun, food, all banned in some way by the government.  To the government I say instead of banning vegetable gardens, ban processed food!

What's your opinion?  Please scroll down to leave a comment below. (your comment won't show up right away).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What Do Those Numbers on Binoculars Mean?

I needed a new pair of binoculars so I began my internet search for just the right pair. But then I saw those numbers...7 x 50mm, 10 x 25mm, 15 x 40mm. So what does it all mean? I looked it up and it's really quite simple. This is what I found:

The first number is magnification. That means how many times closer the object will appear. So if your binoculars are 7 x 50, the object you're viewing will appear 7 times closer. Keep in mind that the higher the first number is, the narrower the scope of vision.

The second number is the size of the objective lens diameter in millimeters. The objective lens gathers light to allow the object to appear brighter. The second number has nothing to do with magnification, just brightness. The size of the objective lens also determines the size of the binoculars. If you want a small pair of binoculars, look for a low second number.

The exit pupil number is usually shown on the back of the box, it doesn't have anything to do with the first and second numbers such as 10 x 25. The exit pupil is the size of the hole through which light travels to the eye. Simply put, the larger the exit pupil, the brighter the object.
That's it!  I hope you find this useful when you're ready for a pair of binoculars. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Melania Trump Does What?

I've remained silent about a particular social media post that has been making the rounds. I ignored it the first 3 or 4 times I saw it, but I cannot contain myself any longer. Below is the message I've seen several times on various social media sites:
"Melania Trump speaks five languages and has a degree in architecture and design. That sets s new high standard for first ladies, doesn't it?"
I don't know who authored this but to that person I would like to say, read a history book or if that's too complicated for you here are a few names you can look up...they're on the internet. I would also like to ask the author what was the previous high standard?  Could it have been any of these listed below?
 In no particular order:  

Laura Bush – Became a grade school teacher after graduating from Southern Methodist University then went on to earn a master's degree in library science at the University of Texas, and continued teaching.
Lady Bird Johnson – Graduated high school at fifteen. Received two degrees from the University of Texas at the age of 20, one degree in liberal arts the other in journalism.   
Pat Nixon – Graduated cum laud from the University of Southern California and became a high-school teacher.
Jackie Kennedy – As a young girl attended private schools and studied ballet. At college age she was a student at Vassar and spent a year studying in France, then eventually graduating from George Washington University.
Then of course there's Eleanor Roosevelt who practically ran the country.
These are some pretty high standards. I don't think Mrs. Trump has set any new high standards.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

I'm So Mad I Could Spit! Grrrr......

There is a nest of owls in a tree close to my house and I've been documenting their activity with photographs. A couple of weeks ago I showed the nest with the owlets in it to my neighbor. Today I saw said neighbor throwing rocks at the nest.  To make matters worse, he had two children with him!  What a horrible thing to teach children.  By the time I put my shoes on to go outside, he was gone. 
This is a rural desert area but the neighbor I am speaking of lives in Las Vegas, coming here on weekends only. To him and others like him I say, “if you want to capture nature, use a camera not a weapon.”
This nest of owls is a wonderful teaching and learning opportunity; take pictures, take notes, do some research, learn something.  Instead these people throw rocks.  Their children probably know ten different ways to take a selfie though.
What do you think?  Please leave a comment below.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Does a Narcissist Always Have to be Right?

First let me say I am not trained in psychology, everything I know about narcissists I learned from experience in life. Let me tell you I've known quite a few narcissists, and they all have some of the same traits and characteristics.
One common complaint people have about narcissists is that they always have to be right. In any conversation a narcissist will not change their ideas or opinions about any subject no matter how much logic they are presented with that proves them wrong. The narcissist will insist they know what they're talking about to the point of throwing a tantrum as a response to those who disagree. 
My opinion is this behavior is not a need to be right, it's the need for everyone to agree. The way I see it, for a person to be right about something they should have a certain amount of knowledge of what they're talking about. People who are not narcissists can make a logical point in a conversation or debate and explain their point, a narcissist cannot.
A narcissist doesn't have to be right all the time, they just expect everyone to agree with them all the time.
What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Welcome to Las Vegas...Or Maybe Not

Remember the days when drinks were complimentary at the casinos? It didn't matter if you were a high roller at a baccarat table or playing penny slots, everyone was entitled to free drinks. Not anymore. The Mirage has incorporated a voucher system for video poker players to earn drinks.

Caesars Palace has taken it a step further in the Race and Sports Book Bar. They've installed three lights on the backs of each poker machine at the bar. A red light, green light and blue light will determine if a player has earned a free drink.
Here's how the penny-pinching bean counters have structured their evil plan.

The blue light comes on when a player has inserted $20 into the machine. This lets the bartender know that money has been inserted, but it doesn't entitle that person to a free drink. Not until the light turns green can the bartender serve a free cocktail. So, blue light or red light means no free beverage.

I haven't been able to find the formula used to determine when a light changes to green. I can only guess that a player must play maximum coins each time and perhaps for a certain length of time.

Here's my opinion: When the mob ran the casinos they gave everything away...drinks, food, rooms, show tickets, parking and anything else a player wanted. The mob didn't try to make money in areas other than gambling. They made money on paper and for real even after everyone and their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and the paper boy skimmed from the top. There was enough money left over for everyone, all from gambling.
So to the penny-pinching bean counters, maybe there's a lesson to be learned...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

How Eric Clapton Got His Nickname 'Slowhand'

It's a common misconception that the nickname 'slowhand' was given to Eric Clapton for his ability to play the guitar slowly. When you think about it, anyone can play slowly but some are just a lot better at it than others.
Eric Clapton got his nickname dating back to when he was performing with the Yardbirds in 1964. Usually when a guitarist breaks a string onstage during a performance, a roadie will take the guitar and immediately replace it with an already strung and tuned guitar, then restring and tune the first guitar off-stage. Clapton's habit was to change the string and tune it while standing onstage. During one particular concert while Clapton was changing a string, the audience began a slow hand clap or a 'slow hand' until he began playing again.
The manager of the Yardbirds, Giorgio Gomelsky, coined the nickname 'Slowhand' from that 1964 concert.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Demise of the Presidential Debate

Mudslinging season is in full swing and I don't see it letting up anytime soon...or ever.
Watching the debates begs the question 'who's in charge here?'. Glad you asked. From 1976 until 1988 the League of Women Voters, a civic organization, sponsored and moderated the presidential candidate debates. There were rules, regulations, policies and procedures that candidates were required to follow. Then in 1987 the Bush and Dukakis campaigns entered into a secret 'memorandum of understanding'. As you know, anything with the word 'secret' in it cannot be explained away logically. With that secret understanding in place, the League of Women voters withdrew their sponsorship stating the new debate format “would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter” and the organization did not intend to “become an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public”. Hence, the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed, a non-profit, private firm headed by both Democratic and Republican parties.  (non-profit?  ya think?)

The presidential debates are more closely related to a Don Rickles roast than a debate of issues that impact the American public.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment below. (your comment won't show up right away, it might take a day or two.)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Healthcare or Sickcare - What's Your Preference?

The adage 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' probably shouldn't be taken literally, there is a lot more to good nutrition than one apple. I do believe however, and this is from my own experience, that eating real food will keep you out of the doctor's office and off prescription drugs.
Eat real food!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Wish I Hadn't Seen That
This is one of those things that I wish I hadn't seen happen, it sort of ruined the moment.
You might remember country singer Donna Fargo, she had two crossover hits in the early1970's. The first was 'Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A'. then followed by 'Funny Face'.
Ms. Fargo was appearing at a hotel in Las Vegas in 1981 or 82 I'm not sure of the year, but anyway I had backstage passes. So there I was backstage while Donna Fargo was on stage singing. There were a lot of people backstage, most of them were working, running back and forth, and the rest were guests. I noticed one young woman just standing backstage wearing a set of headphones and holding a microphone; the same kind that Donna Fargo was using on stage.
Then it happened. When the song Donna Fargo was singing required her to hit a high note that lasted several seconds, that girl backstage sang it, with the microphone she was holding. Donna Fargo looked like she was holding the note but no sound came from her for those few seconds. It happened several times during the show.
I wish I hadn't seen that!    Enjoy the video.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Prescription Drugs - Direct to Consumer Advertising

I can't help but wonder if it's really necessary or appropriate for pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drugs in television commercials. Do they want to create more hypochondriacs? And what about doctors, do they want patients who tell them what drug they want to try because they saw it on TV? These ads (allowed only in the United States and New Zealand) are the reason prescription drugs are unaffordable to so many people. Pharmaceutical companies spend $4.5 billion for television advertising.

There might be some good news on the horizon. As of November 2015 the American Medical Association voted for a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising. Nothing has been decided yet (it could take years I suppose), but the cost of prescription drugs should be more affordable. We'll see!

Of course there are regulations mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (my least favorite government agency, for a lot of reasons) that these companies must adhere to. Hah! As usual the FDA is vague and pro big pharma.

Here is what the products ads MUST tell you:
At least one approved use for the drug
The generic name of the drug
Risks of using the drug – under some circumstances the ads can give only the most important risks.

Here is what the ads are NOT REQUIRED to tell you:

Cost of the drug
If there is a generic version
If there is a similar drug with fewer risks
If changes in your behavior could help your condition (such as diet and exercise)
How many people have the condition the drug treats
How the drug works
How quickly the drug works. However if they say it works 'quickly' they must define quickly

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