NYC Heading for Economic Disaster

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They said a Democrat hasn’t been a major since 1989.  Now that is a stupid statement to make.  Bloomberg was a moderate Republican/Independent.  He was once a Democrat but remained a Democrat at heart.  His questionable mayoral leadership revealed all his ridiculous ideas and intentions.  I think I can place him at number 7 on the “Dumbass” scale.

Proposing a law to ban large soda cups was a strike against our freedom of choice.  Personal choice is our right not a privilege needing monitored.  I won’t continue to lose space here just to berate a past mayor, so let’s go to the next step.

The new NYC mayor, Bill de Blasio, is a would-be idiot in the making.  For the time being, I will put him one notch above Bloomberg as number 8 on the “Dumbass” scale.  His platform on income equality is another goal that is doomed for failure.  Why do I say this?  The reason is that he was backed by our elected dictator/president Obama.  He [Obama] has broken his oath, numerous times, by not defending our Constitution.  These acts, of Executive power of over-riding the law, should be punishable by both the Judicial and Legislative branches.

If De Blasio had any logical sense of intelligence, he would see that from the dawn of time, there has never been equality in income and there will never be in anyone’s lifetime.  Perhaps de Blasio is fantasizing and living in a Star Trek bubble where money is obsolete

Income equality will create more problems than he can imagine.  Raising the minimum wage would create a jobless increase when businesses decide to fire workers to compensate for keeping some at the higher minimum wage. If you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can see that the majority if minimum workers are teenagers who work for pocket money and saving for special things they want to purchase.  Waiters and waitresses are always below the minimum wage.  They are compensated for their good service with tips that usually far exceed the minimum wage cap.

An older person (20 – 30 years of age) who has lost his/her job and decides to take a minimum wage job on a temporary basis, those individuals are less than 1% of the population.  The best thing to do is find these people jobs.  Jobs increase the tax base, something that NYC is in desperate need of.

I recall traveling from Pennsylvania to Connecticut for over 50 years on Interstate 84.  The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge over the Hudson River was a bottleneck with traffic backed up for miles.  The best time was driving late night to early morning, when the traffic was slim to none.

A number of years back the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge placed a sign stating that another bridge will be built to alleviate the bottleneck and the 10-cent toll will be dropped.  The toll went up to 25-cents.  When the new bridge was complete, the toll on the westbound side heading toward Pennsylvania was dropped.  However, on the eastbound side, the toll was not dropped.  Over the years, the toll increased to $1.00, at least for now.  Take in consideration all the bridges in the New York City area.  The tolls are so high, that you need a high paying job just to pay the tolls.

De Blasio has his hands full, but I will predict that the economic structure of the city will not improve.  Not as long as economic equality is the goal for this administration.  It will be a lesson in futility for those who think that he will achieve that socialistic structure.  Education, fewer taxes, curtailing money spent for pet projects, and helping money-donating cohorts, will cause his future demise, as well as, the city’s functionality.

The downfall of NYC is looming in the shadows, and new Yorkers are blind to it.  With their selective hearing, they missed the obvious words of reason.  People of New York City, have fun eating your mistake.

Losing a Dream

buzzard[1]

As we get older, some of us create a bucket list and embark on completing it, hopefully, before we expire.  Some bucket lists are completed at an early age, but many are not, as I am about to tell you.  This isn’t an article to feel sorry about myself, but to tell you to make a valiant effort to do what is important to you in the earlier part of your life.

I will be 63 shortly, and looking back at my life, though adventurous in its own right, it still lacked that one thought of fulfilling that dream.  The only way I can explain it is go back to the beginning, before I was born.

My great grandmother was Austrian, as far as my mother related it to me.  She traveled from there to Poland and back selling her wares that my mother did not reveal.  I did not know anything about my great grandfather, but the story goes on when my grandmother was born in Vienna, Austria.  She married a Polish soldier and had a daughter, but he died by means, I do not know.  She remarried later to another Polish man and had three daughters and a son, with two sons dying shortly at or after birth.  He was my grandfather.

The oldest girl, of the second marriage was my mother.  The story continues when my mother was about 10 years old in 1940, and they were living in Poland, apparently in a town called Bochnia.  My grandmother and her sister started a butcher shop and later turned it into a restaurant/café operation.  She was an amazing cook because right around the corner was the Gestapo Headquarters and they frequented the place quite often.  It also housed rooms for individuals upstairs.  Some of her recipes are in my blog list.

I won’t go into details about some of the heinous things my young mother had seen and experienced, but the Gestapo did not bother my grandmother because she was an Austrian citizen, even though my mother was born in Bochnia, Poland.

Sometime in the 1940’s the family migrated back to Austria and ended up in Trefling, in a town called, Spittal-an-der-Drau.  Drau is the river adjacent to the town.  Many folks that were there were displaced persons due to the ending of WWII, and not having any home to return to live.  The place was a “Lager” a displaced persons “Camp”.  My grandmother accumulated much money from the restaurant and they were not struggling financially.

My mother was old enough to learn the German language besides her Polish and attended school to be a nurse’s aide.  It was at that time, when my mother got pregnant by my father whom I did not know, but later saw his photograph that my mother kept.  He tried to be a part of my life, but my grandmother was a very hard woman (in today’s terms she was a bitch), and he was scared of her rebukes.  So his continuation of his visits ended.

Trefling had 4 distinct areas at that juncture, English, French, American, and Russian.  We were in the Russian district.  If it weren’t for my grandmother I would have been waiting for Glasnost before I could even think about being in the U.S.  She paid a vegetable truck driver and later in the night he drove the family to the English District and we later entered the American side.

I was born on January 17, 1951, and 10 months later, in October, we arrived in New York City by troop ship.  I was told many had motion sickness crossing the Atlantic, including my mother.  Other immigrants went to Australia, England, Canada, France, Russia, and South America.  I was lucky to be in the states.  A charitable group gathered us and took us to a city named, Meriden, in Connecticut, where I grew up until I turned nineteen and left for the Navy in August of 1970.  It was the Viet Nam Era.

I will skip all the specific details, but I was married twice, with two kids from my first, and two with my second, including her 3 from her first marriage.  Being Austrian, I now felt like the Von Trapp family with seven kids.

And so now I can begin to tell you my dream.  Throughout the years, my finances had been up and down like a yoyo.  It got worse after the divorce of my first wife, though it was amicable.  It has been a constant struggle to pay bills and still have some monies left for extras.  We weren’t in poverty, but we weren’t rich.  In my second marriage, I was terminated after 20 years, due to a hostile takeover.  I worked part time as an engineering testing consultant for USB (Universal Serial Bus) consortium.  It involved all the big boys in the electronics field.

When that ended 6 months later I worked for 2 years as a contracted Engineering Technical Writer.  It was 2002 when I was out of work for 13 months.  By 2003, I lost all my IRA money trying to save my home, and I lost my car after owing only 7 more payments.  It was a terrible year, especially after I had to file for a chapter 7, bankruptcy.

It has been a struggle all these years, and for the last 15 years, we had no vacations.  We have an autistic son who has Asperger’s Syndrome, and my wife is not in the best of health as she just quit delivering newspapers in December after 17 years.  One of the reasons we couldn’t take a vacation.  She delivered 7 days a week and if she got a substitute, it would mean more money out of our normal income.

I grew up playing all kinds of sports, including swimming, diving, gymnastics, and running sometimes up to 10 miles a day.  Yes, I played all those regular sports too, but my main sport was racket ball.  It was in the early stages of the game before it became publicly prevalent.  I even owned a Joe Sobek racket, the man who invented the game.  It is ironic that now I am plagued with physical problems after being so intensely active.

Presently, at my age today, I went on disability from the State of Pennsylvania after working there for 9 years making many friends.  I lived to work, and now I had to give it up in June of 2012.  Last year, 2013, was probably the worst year of my life.  I am also on Social Security Disability.  I am a disabled Viet Nam Era Veteran, and after 3 different hospital stays, I had died twice in the ER, on separate times while I was there.  If it wasn’t for my defibrillator implant, I would have been gone.  I have diabetes, Fibromyalgia Rheumatica, complicated by arthritis and gout.  I am a CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) patient.  But I have lost 70 pounds, by my determination since my first bout in January of 2013.  No magic pills for weight loss, just plain being careful and losing it slowly.  I am on oxygen 24/7 but it is not critical if I do not become strained.

So following all that nonsense, I am usually isolated here in my room every day, writing, emailing, and doing things I can still do before my hands and feet become too crippled to manipulate.

So the question you might ask is, “What does all this have to do with losing a dream?”  I am here to tell you to do the best you can and accomplish it as early in your life as you can.  Do not wait and put it off for retirement.  You do not know when or how things can drastically change and cause you to become cripple or your demise, before that retirement day arrives.  I have known friends who have experienced that fall as I have.

What was my lost dream?  It was to go back to Austria to see where I was born, as I have no memory of it at 10 months old.  I wanted to experience my family’s history when I got there.  It is finality, I wanted, to breathe in, touch, smell, and feel the aura of my family, something I can never mindfully resolve.  I suppose I was too naïve to think that I could achieve it, but I was not ready to deal with all these walls in my life that blocked my every opportunity to do so.

I probably can travel now, but financially, on a fixed income, it will never happen.  Don’t let your work and dedication stop you from your dreams.  Experience it while you are single or married, before you wonder where all those years have gone.

 

The Fairy Festival at Spoutwood Farm

2011 Faerie Festival & sell items 072

buzzard[1]I know it is early in the New Year, but I felt that it was important to expose an event that my wife and I have been a part of for 20 of the 22 years of its existence.  At Spoutwood Farm, in the Glen Rock area of Pennsylvania, the Fairy Festival is an attraction that brings over 11,000 people from all states and often from overseas.

It began as a tea party for friends and expanded from one day to two days and finally to three days of the first weekend in May.  As long as one day in May falls on one of the 3 days, the festival is open to the celebration.

Spoutwood Farm is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm, growing and educating individuals for the natural farming of crops.  It also promotes the non-destructive and the protection of all living things both vegetation and animal.  You can read about Rob and Lucy Wood and their farm if you follow this link:

http://spoutwood.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=28&Itemid=6

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There are many photos from past years for you to look through and they will amaze you at the versatility and ingenuity of costumes that people wear.  You cannot go there without a camera as not everyone comes back with the same costume.

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There are many events taking place each day.  You can peruse some of them on a past schedule shown on the site.  It is a fun time for the whole family.  On Friday it is a very special day for the children as there are all kinds of events for them including making things in the craft barn.  It is the official opening of the festival and is dedicated to all the children with the dancing at the May Pole.  However, the entire weekend has activities for the kids as well.

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During the weekend, there are roaming musicians, bands scheduled, and drumming circles throughout the day where everyone dances to the beat.  There are also Belly Dancers that show their expertise in the dance.  There are food vendors at the lower half of the farm and the upper section with animals to see and there is a telescopic observatory.

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There are many vendors selling their wares that are handmade including artwork.  Of the vendors, 75% are usually those returning and 25% are new.  That is the standing order every year.  They only allow 5% of vendors with manufactured retail items but all vendors can sell some manufactured items if it is 15% or less of their original handmade inventory.  An ATM machine is also available for your convenience.

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There are many volunteers throughout the festival to help run the festival more smoothly.  As an example, at the end of the festival, all refuse is collected.  The refuse pile heaped outside of the festival area is where each bag was placed, is separated by hand, to make sure that the contents are recyclable.  Usually, if there are 100 bags, they end up with only a couple of bags of real garbage.

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Even though it is an open area, they have smoking areas designated in certain places located on the map all visitors receive.  One nice thing to remember is that if you decide to volunteer, you can have your entrance fee returned if you put in the designated time for your work.  There are price packages for all three days if you are interested and there is a parking fee as all parking is off site.  There are paths created for your trek through the woods adjacent to the road.

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The photo at the top, of the Fairy, is an example of the elaborate costuming.  This fairy is famous throughout the U.S., and is always at Spoutwood’s festival but a bit more down to earth.  This festival is similar to the Renaissance Fair that you may be familiar with, an event in the fall, and is at another location in Pennsylvania.

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Everyone attending is always friendly to all visitors and vendors.  It is truly an event you would not want to miss.  So start planning your schedules and I hope to see you there.  You shouldn’t miss it if you have never been there.  So start planning your schedules for May 2nd to May 4th of this year and I hope to see you there.  If you decide to visit, look for the Keeper of the Stones booth and say hello to the wizard…me!

Cleaning Small Battery Terminals

This is a good time for this blog because of all the electronic devices being sold. I also improved the instructions…thanks

Buzzard's Roost

buzzard[1]

There are too many advice givers think that their solutions to cleaning battery leakage in a battery compartment are their best solutions.  Cleaning chemical leakage is performed carefully by simply understanding and knowing all the facts and solutions first.  A car battery is a different animal in itself.  We will just concentrate on the small portable batteries.

Note: This method can also apply to any type of connector contact areas.

Needed:

Cotton swabs

Paper towels

Clean, new grease brush

Plastic picnic knife or similar

Isopropyl alcohol

Distilled water

Tarn-X® or similar

Can of compressed gas dusting air

Instructions:

To resurrect your non-working device, open your battery compartment and remove the batteries carefully.  Dispose of them in the proper manner as required by your local trash laws.  Most of the time you will probably see the Potassium Carbonate (CK2O3) residue on both the anode (positive +)…

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Special Austrian – Polish Turkey Stuffing

I have had many hits on my Austrian-Polish Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing. So here is a re-blog for all of you.

Buzzard's Roost

Many different stuffing recipes are made from bread, rice, oysters, and so on. This one is a meal in itself. My family usually stuffs the turkey, both front and back, but these days everybody gets in a dither and many do not actually “stuff” the turkey. Well, I made it to 62, so I still stuff it. If you wish, you can cook it separately, but you need to use some of the turkey drippings to ladle over the stuffing as you are cooking it. It will give the stuffing the appearance and taste of being “stuffed” in the turkey. This is not an ordinary stuffing, as you shall read.

Need:
• 2 Lbs. Ground beef
• 1 Lb. Pork Sausage
• 1 Lb. Ground veal
• 6 Kaiser rolls or hard rolls
• 2 Medium Onions
• 2 eggs
• 2 Tbsp. Salt
• 2 Tbsp. Black pepper
•…

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The Demise of the Democratic Party

buzzard[1]The American people are finally seeing the true colors of the Democratic Party.  I know there are those staunch supporters that will follow blindly no matter what the Democratic leaders say.  Their allegiance to their party is nothing but arrogance and will certainly begin to wane in the following years to come.

The Senate has finally hit an all-time low by going “nuclear” and destroying the minority’s only tool to have some say and equality within the legislative body.  The majority of Democratic senators have never experienced being in the minority, but they have the gall to change over two hundred years of historical government structure set down by Thomas Jefferson.  This move was to give the president more power and defeat the capability of preventing appointments of additional people into the Obama administration and the Judicial Branch.

They are the hypocritical party that has changed from sheep to wolves.  They rebuffed the “nuclear’ act when they were the minority.  There was enough video (of Senator Harry Reid and Senator Obama at that time) to back that premise.  But because their ratings, across America are dwindling into obscurity, they are desperately doing everything in their power to keep their heads above water.

This is one good reason for our government to have term limits.  We should be represented by citizens that will return to their original jobs in the workforce after serving the people.  Lifelong position of power will always be the demise the government in part if not in total.  We citizens do not want to be put in their gun sights for the destruction of our nation.

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader of the senate, is a pork grabbing, power hungry advocate of the Obama curse that has spread turmoil and personal bankruptcy for many.  Reid has perpetrated this pox trying to gain brownie points for his party.  Unfortunately, he and his presidential cohort are prevaricating without shame trying to convince us that they are helping the people.

Regrettably, the Senator doesn’t hear his constituents. He blindly has eliminated equality and traded it for more power.  The Obama administration and the Democratic Party are desperately changing ways to blame all their woes on everyone except themselves for their ineptness of serving the people.

They keep shifting blame beginning with President George bush, then the Republican Party, the Tea Party (calling them Nazis and terrorists), and now they are shifting blame to the media.  Only the most extreme media groups, such as MSNBC, are still siding with the administration.  But MSNBC is losing and has lost all credibility when it comes to the news.  Where are those bygone newscasters that reported rather than spewing slurs and fraudulent accusations at individuals that have nothing to do with the Democratic downfall of Obamacare.

Obama is circumventing the law. He picks and chooses to make adjustments on Obamacare and now wants to delay it until after the November 2014 elections.  Does he think we, the people, are that ignorant to see he wants to save his democratic cohorts from losing their seats in the government?

I think the populace has finally realized, or at least most of the populace, realize their biggest mistake by re-electing Obama to a second term.  It’s a wonder that nobody has brought charges of maleficence against him for lack of leadership and being unable to control his administration causing a destructive economy and healthcare upon the citizenry.

The contrast between his previous position in the senate, and now as president, is a 180 degree turnaround after viewing archived videos.  They show his obviously damning evidence that he can no longer shroud his true goal of socialistic objectives.

Bob Hope once quipped, “One party can’t fool everyone all the time, that’s why we have two parties.”  It is now obvious that we, the people, should force the government for reduction of their pay and pass term limits into law.  This is the only way the party in power can be controlled.  It will bring more bipartisan agreements. We can succeed if we push hard enough.

I want this country to grow and give our citizens the ability to live their lives as they want to.  We should stop sending funds to foreign governments that really don’t care about friendship.  Their coveted need for monetary aid will never buy their allegiance.  Most of the time, the monies never reach the people, just the government honchos.

When Election Day arrives let’s not forget what has happened and why.    There will be Democratic incumbents who want their seats back, but if we put in an opposition party, such as a Republican, Tea Party, Independent or Libertarian, at least we can hold off Obama’s road to disaster.  Let’s not fail the future of our children so that they may have a better life than what we are now experiencing.

An Ode to Autumns Passing

buzzard[1]Years ago when I worked for an electronics company, whenever some left, transferred, or retired, I started to write comedic poems. I would gather personal information that included, goofs, fun stuff that were said or done.  And at their going away party we held for each, I was the poet of mirth that roasted the honoree.  It was a time when everyone had a good laugh as a remembrance of the individual. Someone said I should do it for money and for a couple of years I did.  I wrote for a variety of folks including a local popular radio station.  I finally stopped after 20 years when many of us were downsized and I gave up the short lived business.  So again I am writing some verse but nothing comedic.  I hope you will enjoy the “Ode to Autumns Passing” below.

The autumn air begins the change,

Trees of color make leaves so strange.

Fallen leaves gathered into a heap,

I gaze upon trees as they decide to sleep.

The air becomes crisp and I’m bundled up,

I smell rain coming while sipping a hot cup.

The coffee warms me as I continue walking,

Crisp air and darkened clouds share a bond as if talking.

With Thanksgiving approaching I think of my past,

So many of those days I have quickly amassed.

Each was so different the older I grew,

Never again will I experience all those that I knew.

Thanksgiving Day has quickly approached,

Often it feels as if years are encroached.

When we were young it was such a long wait,

We’re home from afar for that turkey plate.

Age is a burden that takes its’ toll,

Few relatives faded to a spiritual world.

I sense the table showing signs of gaps,

I think of them who’ve taken eternal naps.

Giving thanks for memories we cherish,

In hopes of beginning our foremost wish.

The heartfelt need to celebrate this day,

We look forward again to love and play.

This year is another time for collection,

As family gathers and gives much attention.

Together we share as plates begin to form,

While some watch football, I hope with no scorn.

The day ends into the night,

And families shortly part from sight.

Another holiday shared and passed,

I wish that I could make it last.

I look forward to the future without any fear,

Our families multiply with each passing year.

This day is the trumpet that calls for the season,

With snow on pines that celebrate with reason.

We are the ones, who are getting old,

The holiday is arriving with holly and gold.

The snow will soon fall to see it glisten,

Perhaps from afar, the Noels you can listen.

More changes abound, familiar melodies sung,

And wreaths and lights are meticulously hung.

A maddened rush to malls we search for a gift,

A caroling troupe compels smiling spirits to lift.

Each day is counted to that day of joy,

Smiling faces we espy on every girl and boy.

Gifts under lit pines waiting for morn,

Feet rush to the parlor after break of dawn.

This special day of photos and smiles,

Bits of wrapping strewn even on kitchen tiles.

This day was born from the first day of fall,

Happy Thanksgiving I say and Merry Christmas to all.

The Bullying of Citizen Values

buzzard[1]We, as individuals, want to live our lives without constant harassment.  Our lives are dictated by beliefs, idealism, and the understanding of getting to and accomplishing personal and family goals.

It’s a wonder we can go day by day with prospering opportunities without someone constantly orating that we are misguided and wrong or we shouldn’t do this or that.  As long as we follow laws and continue to be a diligent asset to society, we shouldn’t be harassed by others who continually say they are more correct than what we believe in.

Most of us are readily intelligent, I might add.  We have the freedom to pick and choose what our lives should be like and what we can do to improve those decisions.  I am sick and tired of those that continually proselytize their isms upon us.  If you believe in a specific perspective, you alone should follow that obligation.  However, your preferences have no right to harass and override my preferences.

There are organizations that perceive that their tenets are morally better than our individual choices.  Often times they become a fanatical group of stir-crazed peddlers that uses a united front as a power hungry organization which thrives on the false premise of what is best for a thriving society.  They play upon your emotions.  They beg for your monies and for your acceptance with the idea that they are the saviors of our health and moral well-being.

A good example is P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.)  Their constant harassment of citizenry concerning animals and meat eating is nothing but an intrusion on our beliefs. I have no qualms about caring for pets and the fair concern of animals in general, but that is as far as it goes.  We were born as omnivores, not herbivores.  I love vegetables, but I prefer them as a side with fish, meat and poultry.

Jim Henson of Muppet fame, was a vegetarian.  He died at 53 years of age from Group A Streptococcal Virus.  I’m not saying that being a vegetarian caused it, but I am saying that to espouse the fact of an herbivorous life is healthy and prolongs life is nothing but futile ideology.  We are all guided by our mitochondrial genetic makeup.  There is nothing that can change what happens to us as a total no matter how hard we try every day.

I would rather enjoy my life to its fullest (to my final days) with my own convictions rather than to have an organization cram their way of life upon me. There are many other organizations that prey upon our emotional well-being and our vulnerable sympathies.

Commercials beg for monies for poor children across our oceans.  They depict photos of starving kids and saying we can save them from their plight.  I truly feel sorry for them, but why don’t they televise their parents?  Where are they?  I would rather see the beggars for money educate the parents or parent, so that they understand if you cannot afford to have a child, stop procreating.  I would gladly send a case of condoms and a box of birth control pills to fight the problem.  This may seem harsh, but again, this is another program that attacks emotional guilt.  I’m not saying not to help, but many do what they feel best.  Perhaps concentrating on the kids here in the states and educate the parents and single mothers is another alternative.

Those examples are just the tip of the iceberg.  We are not ignorant.  We understand the complexities of life.  But charity is a self-sustaining gift given of free will and not by emotional piracy.

There is a certain presence of a “con” perpetrated by most organizations. I remember years ago when the United Way was caught in a financial upheaval when almost 90% of the donations went to salaries and advertising.  I believe that if you want to run a charitable organization, volunteer and keep your day job.  Having a six or seven figure salary as head of a charity is morally distasteful.

Lastly, I just like to mention the tenets of every religious organization.  I condone your ideas of faith and your determined love of your religious faction.  However, there is an argument for the biblical adage of going out and preach the “Word.”  It should be a personal agenda designed for your own family.  One religious sect differs from another and attempting to persuade your tenets upon someone else’s specific faith is an invasion of their personal beliefs and their family values.

There is no religion better or more right than another.  They all are a part of sustaining faith within ourselves.  And they all are directed toward the same spiritual entity.  Be strong and be fervent in your decisions.  Go with your heartfelt and intellectual understanding to decide what is best for your family.

The GED Test Deadline

buzzard[1]There was an article from the AP service on the GED (General Educational Development) deadline the other day.  Since I am familiar concerning this testing, I want to express the importance of it.

There are many who never had the opportunity to finish high school or just gave up trying.  However, when one gets older, you suddenly wake up and realize that a diploma is necessary for many jobs as it signifies you have done your best.

If one never achieves that pinnacle as the first stage of one’s life, it becomes a real life reason why finding a good paying job becomes problematic.  The employer looks with a discerning perspective by assuming you are not responsible enough to care about your own obligation to your future and so his assumption is you wouldn’t do your best after being hired.

So what does one settle for?  You find a very low paying job you eventually get disgusted with.  So you quit and search for another “higher” paying job.  Unfortunately, higher paying jobs are taboo without the proper knowledge for the position. You can’t get something for nothing and you cannot achieve the respect you want from others.

If you just take the time to put yourself on the path of education, your life will no doubt improve and that fork in the road between comfort living and living in poverty will never appear for you to choose.

The article, I mentioned, identifies the closing opportunity for those who are considering obtaining a GED.  It also is a warning for those who have begun the process, but have not completed it.

On December 31, the deadline is set and when the New Year begins, the cost of obtaining a GED will begin at a minimum cost of $125.00 with some states raising that cost.  I’m sure many cannot afford that with the earnings they make presently.

For those who have partially completed the testing, they will lose all the testing gained and they will have to start all over again after January 1st of 2014.  Some of the costs may be subsidized in whole or part depending where they are.  But I wouldn’t hold my breath.  Be safe than sorry and finish what was started.

I quit school in my junior year, repeating it rather than being a senior.  Halfway through, I decided that it was too much of a burden, working full time and going to class. The reasons why are not important at this time.  Luckily, there was a person who I didn’t realize was a mentor.  It only dawned on me many years later.

He told me to go and get that GED. Without opening a book or going to any help classes, I took the five tests on two Saturdays and passed with 4 B’s and an A.  I ended up in the Navy where studying was mandatory for the rank and in the area I would be working.  Following my obligation to my country, I went on to get an Associate’s Degree in electronics. That was the key for a job that lasted 20 years.

The company hired me, gave me a better pay scale and offered more hands on education, which helped further my learning by increasing my ability to do a better job.  It was a very satisfying part of my life.  I want to let everyone know that they can make a better life if they just take the time and put forth the effort.  If anyone knows of someone that needs a GED, give them this article and mentor them to achieve their goal.  It will also give you the sense of accomplishing something good for the person you care about.

The Ultimate Cheeseburger

buzzard[1]In my sixty-two years of life, I think I’ve tasted all kinds of burgers.  Being in the Navy, for four years, certainly helped visiting different states and eateries. But at nineteen years of age then, the only one that I can never forget is in my home town of Meriden, Connecticut.  It has even been showcased on TV as one of the most popular places for cheeseburgers.  This little hole in the wall eatery is named, “Ted’s.”

The last time I was there was in early 1970.  Ted’s was only open from 6:00 pm to 6:00am back then.  Tractor trailer trucks would be lined up along Broad Street waiting to get in for an order.  There were only about six counter seats and maybe three or four booths, so it really is relatively small.

Let me explain why this “joint” was so popular.  They offered four items on their menu; French fries, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, and a cheese sandwich.  Their main item was the cheeseburger and what made this cheeseburger so popular was because it was “steamed.”

Ted’s incorporated a tall stainless steel container that sat on the burner of the stove and on the inside it was first divided vertically into two sections and then horizontally segmented into several narrow “slots” on each side.  Each “slot” was deep enough for two 4×4-inch trays.  On one side the meat was pressed into the trays and the other side the trays held hunks of white New York cheddar. After the door of the container was closed, from an area below the trays, water was put in allowing steam to rise and cook the meat and cheese.

The original way it was served was a freshly sliced poppy seeded top, Kaiser roll that was on the harder side rather than the soft ones bagged in plastic today.  This allowed the roll to crumble a little, but was made softer from the burger as you bit into it.  On the roll, the steamed meat is placed first, followed by scraping the steamed molten cheddar on top. The fat remaining in the little meat tray was poured over the cheese for taste.  To finish, a large hand sliced Bermuda onion was placed followed by the top of the roll. Most of the time no ketchup was used but you could put some on by yourself.  Nothing else was offered like lettuce or tomato.  An order of French fries was always nice as a side.

If you tasted one, you would really never want another cheeseburger anywhere else.  Recently, I was informed by watching the TV episode that the cheese was altered and the blend secreted, and they include the lettuce and tomato.  The hours have been changed as well.

I realize that many of you will never have the opportunity to visit Ted’s, even though there are also a few more places that offer it in town since then. So I will tell you how you can make it at home for you to taste this cheeseburger.

Get a large frying pan and put water into it.  Find two wide containers like a large tuna can or salmon can and make sure it is empty and cleaned.  Turn both upside down into the water. Next, make two square trays out of heavy duty aluminum foil or buy a couple of smoked oyster cans.  It is a good size to use as well.  I’ll continue with the oyster cans since it is easier.

After cleaning the oyster cans (make sure you remove all paper labels from everything) and pack teach oyster can, one with meat and other with mild white New York Cheddar.  Make sure the cheddar is about one-inch thick depending on the width of your cheese.  If you can’t find New York cheddar, use mild white cheddar of your choice.

Place both oyster containers on the cans already in the frying pan, make sure the water level doesn’t go over the bottom two cans, let the water boil and cover for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, pending the thickness of your burger and the heat of your stovetop.  Though we all know water boils at 212°F, the size of the pan can make a slight temperature difference for the time needed.  Make sure the water doesn’t evaporate before it is done.

The rest is easy. Use any Kaiser roll you want if you can’t find the harder ones (at home we called them hard rolls) and do as I described in the early part of the article.  If you try it, let me know how you liked it.  It is a winner.  Steaming is always better than frying if you are a health conscious person.

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