Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Gala and Fantasy Tea.

Yesterday as I stated, Costume college holds social events every day in addition to classes and workshops.  There are classes for fashion trends, designers, jewelry making, techniques needed to finish historical gowns, armor making, etc.  There are so many choices, it is sometimes hard to decide where to go and what to do while trying to fit lunch in. 

The Saturday night event is called the "Time Travelers Ball" which is a sit down 3 course meal followed by dancing till around midnight.  I do not usually stay till midnight because I have to be up early to man the information booth on Sunday mornings.  I'm a department chair so I am required to put in some time there answering questions.

Now to a couple of photos of the Saturday night Gala.

The theme of this year's focused on royalty so many of the attendees created magnificent gowns a queen or princess might have worn.  As you can see in the above picture, some of the folks spend a lot of time recreating detailed gowns for the Gala.  

This photo area was right behind me.  I love the color and detail of the pink dress.  They work on making sure their gowns are complete from head to toe.  Many of the hairdo's are actually wigs because a wig is so much easier to fix, especially if you have extremely short hair.

As you can see from the photo, not everyone gets super dressed up. The three people standing in this photo are in evening attire but it is not as decorated as the ones in the first photo.  The young lady in the front right is in a simple black and white Audrey Hepburn look she got from a local used clothing store.  The lady on the left is in something she made representing an outfit from one of the ancient civilizations.  Some men just come in suit and ties. 

 Then Sunday Afternoon, they have the Fantasy Tea where people gather for a high tea with scones,  sandwiches including cucumber, sparkling apple cider.  Each year is a different theme with raffles and time period appropriate entertainment.
If you look carefully, you'll see people wearing the gambit from quite modern to detailed historical.  One lady wore an outfit she copied from a card she found.  The 1880's dress was kind of a Alice in Wonderland Queen with ton's of hearts, chess pieces, etc and was breath taking.
The entertainment this year was of people being given something written they had to turn into a tableau. This one had to do with the four seasons. Several of the narrarator's in the group were pirates.  Everyone who went had fun.

Thank you for letting me show a few photo's from the events held this past weekend.  On Thursday, I fly back to work and then I will be going on a quick day trip Saturday where I'll take a ton of photo's to share.

Let me know what you think.  I am always happy to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Costume College.

I just spent the past few days attending a wonderful educational opportunity in Woodland Hills, CA.  It happens every year and brings attendee's from all around the world.  I spoke with people from Australia and England.  I think over half the attendees were from out of state including myself.  At this event, you can learn to do so many different things. They have workshops for hands on learning, and lectures.

I gave four lectures and taught one workshop over the weekend.  I also attended a few lectures including one on taking grid based patterns from books and enlarging them so you can make it for yourself.  In addition, there are vendors who have everything you need.  I bought tons of historical patterns for the 1870 to 1900 time period.

This event also includes four different social events. It begins with a pool party on Thursday Night where people go to have fun, show off bathing suits from the 1890's on up to now or they might wear something casual from a different time.  Friday night, they have a wonderful social.  This year, it was a night in Paris Theme with food and entertainment.

People create outfits worthy of being in a museum.  I've seen some I cannot believe and will never be up to that skill level.  I'm sharing some pictures with you from the Friday night event.  Over the next few days, I'll share some from the Saturday and Sunday special events.  I tend to take general pictures that are very relaxed because I do it when they are not posed.

 This picture has gowns from the late 1700's, early 1800's and Victorian around 1870 or 1880
 In the above photo the gold is from the 1890's but in the background there are a variety of outfits including regular evening gowns.
This outfit, the one with the snail shell is one of my favorites.  Her hat has two antenna to complete the outfit. It's in the style 
 Some one came as a flower.  The back of the headpiece is beautifully done.
There is a beautiful selection of periods and styles.
 Here you see some beautiful beaded dresses from the early 1900's.  Probably Titanic era.
 If you look carefully, you'll even see the little one in the background who is is costume.
 Many people choose to wear more modern fashions because they are easier to find and pack.  Look to the right and you'll see a late 1940's or early 50's dress.
Yes many of these costumes were made by the people wearing them but others bought theirs off of ebay or had someone else make it.  No everyone was in costume.  Some come in their regular clothing.  This even allows people to show off their creations to others who appreciate the work on it.

I will share more pictures from the Saturday and Sunday events.  I hope you enjoyed these.  Let me know what you think.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Out of Town

Isolated, Fashion, Women, ClothingOut of town learning more about historical costuming and costuming in general.  Will share Monday and hope to have tons of pictures to share.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Next Lunar Eclipse

Eclipse Moon Sun Light Lunar Crescent Astr  I love astronomy.  I own a telescope I picked up at a garage sale for $20 but I have not had a chance to use it much for the simple reason that the best time to use it in the middle of winter when the temperatures are down around -40.  I do not like being outside for long periods when its that cold.

I can't use it in the summer because its so light, you do not get a chance to see the night sky.  I think we go from Mid April to Mid August with no darkness so we cannot see the stars.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll get a good chance to observe the next lunar eclipse because its visible to people who live in most of Europe and Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Antarctica, and the Indian Ocean.

Unfortunately, I'm in Los Angeles on July 27, 2018 when the lunar eclipse happens but people in this town are not going to see the event. I'm frustrated because it gets dark here and I don't get to see it.  This one is going to be the longest lunar eclipse in this century.  Fortunately, lunar eclipses happen about twice a year, usually in January and June or July.

For those of you who are not sure about lunar eclipses, it happens when the moon appears to go dark as it passes through the earth's shadow.  These are often referred to as a blood moon because as the moon enters the earth's shadow, it turns a deep dark red.  This occurs because the light rays are bent around the earth and hits the surface of the moon. 

The eclipse can be observed anywhere it is night time and its length depends on how close to moon rise or moon set it begins.  The best thing about lunar eclipses is that you do not need any special equipment to view it and your eyes are not at risk of being damaged by watching it.   For those who are able to observe it, the event should take up to four hours from start to finish.

Four days after this lunar eclipse occurs Mars is at its closest point to earth since 2003. The next lunar eclipse is due to happen on January 20, 2019 and there is a good chance people in the United States will be able to watch it.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Grace Kelly, The Name Says It All

Grace Kelly, the woman who married the Prince from Monaco to become a Princess.  Although she stared in 11 pictures over a 5 or 6 year period, she left her mark on the world.

She caught the eyes of the world in her second picture "High Noon" and became a star.  Over her short career, she stared in three Hitchcock films.  It is said she set the standard for future actresses who were cast in Hitchcock films.

She had a very distinctive style which was quiet, timeless, and understated.  She influenced fashion designers of her time and even to today.  She was beautiful in a classic way.

Its interesting to me that she was born into a wealthy family where her father was a former athlete and her mother was the first woman coach at the University of Pennsylvania.

When she was old enough, she left for New York to pursue a career in theater and while there she worked a a part time model before going to Hollywood.  Her parents were not happy she took up acting but it was actually a Pulitzer prize winning uncle who encouraged her to pursue her dreams.

Once she started acting, her career took off and exploded.  In 1955 she was chosen to be one of the American group who went to France for the Cannes Film Festival.  It was there she met Prince Rainer when she participated in a photo shoot.  They hit it off.  When she went back to the states, they continued talking and got together again when he came on a diplomatic mission.  Three days after meeting her family, he proposed.

She excepted the proposal but as part of marrying into royalty, her father had to come up with a dowry.  He came up with $2 million which helped pay for the wedding.  She wore a 10.47 carat emerald cut diamond ring.  She married her prince in April of 1956. The gown she wore inspired designers to create similar gowns even to today.

 Although Alfred Hitchcock tried to get her back to acting, her life as a royal princess precluded her from doing that.  She was one of those women who was as beautiful in her 50's as she was in her 20's.  All through her life, she maintained that wonderful look she began in Hollywood.

She died in 1982 of a stroke while driving.  Unfortunately, this caused her to crash, which killed her.  Almost 100 million people watched her being laid to rest via television.  Even after her death, she received accolades such as appearing on a stamp, a commemorative 2 euro coin, and a Sculling (rowing) even was renamed in her honor.

She may have had a short life, but she left her mark on the world.  I wish I could be as graceful as she and dress as well.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

She Doesn't Live Here.

Vote Poll Election Voting Polling Decision I believe I mentioned the other day that the State of Alaska has a major election coming up in November.  I do not usually pay attention to candidates because this state has either 5 or 6 officially recognized parties depending on the number of votes each gets during an election.

The parties include the Democrats,  two different republican parties, the Libertarians, the Green party, and the Independent party.  This many different parties can make life interesting.

Some of the folks who run provide so much entertainment such as the lady who often ran for office but was unable to win.  She accused the Anchorage City Council of sabotaging her husband's law test so he couldn't pass it.  At that point, he'd taken the test 25 times and had yet to pass it.

The latest issue is the woman who is running for the United States House.  She threw her hat in the ring running on the Democratic ticket for the primary.  The thing that has people upset is the candidate is not a resident of the state She has never even visited the state, yet she feels she can adequately represent the state in Washington D.C.

The Democratic party filed objections but apparently it was done after the time limit for objections so now she is on the ballot.   According to the Alaskan Constitution, must meet the requirements for citizen and age along with residing in the state at the time of election. 

Another odd thing about this candidate is that she has listed one address in New Jersey and another in South Dakota.  Apparently, she lives in South Dakota but the address listed there is a mail drop for transient seniors . She has spent a lot of time in New Jersey dealing with a family illness but the address listed there is for a business. 

Personally, I find it strange that someone thinks they can do a great job of representing the state without ever living there or even visiting.  In a previous senatorial election, someone who sort of lived here managed to get the backing of the Tea Party to get the Republican nomination but many of his electoral messages focused on his being from Nebraska.  He lost to a write in candidate.

In addition, she is relying on her website and used of social media for her campaign. According to one article, she doesn't even plan to visit the state unless she wins the primary.  It seems to me that if you want to represent a state, you should at least go up and check it out, meet people, and let them know you are running.

Although there are cases in other states where someone comes in just to run for a congressional seat and have won, Alaska tends not to have time with people who have not lived in the state.  I want to know how she thinks she could effectively represent the state when she's never been here.  She cannot understand the dynamics of living in a place accessible only by air or having a very limited set of roads.

The primary is next month.  I'll keep watch on things and report back.  Let me now what you think.  I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Something New At the Farmers Market.

I shared information about our Farmers Market earlier this month but the other day when I got there, I discovered a new vendor who had an item I've never seen offered before.

The vendor offered freshly grown oyster Mushrooms.   As you can see in the picture to the left, the mushrooms are absolutely beautiful and mouth watering. 

We've had wild mushrooms such as freshly gathered morel's picked from local areas.  I enjoy morel's but its nice having something new offered.
I love mushrooms, all kinds.  I've even been known to buy them when I'm traveling to bring home since the varieties available up here is rather limited.

The owner returned this past Saturday with more Oyster Mushrooms, I bought more.  We do not get them very often at the supermarkets locally so of course I had to buy some to cook up.

The first bunch I purchased, I did two different things with.  I cooked some up in butter and garlic, then spread it over buttered pasta and topped it with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  It was turned out so well.  I loved it.

The other portion, I chopped up with an equal amount of chopped eggplant.  Cooked them up in oil with a bit of onion and broth.  when the eggplant softened, I added a little taco seasoning to add a bit of flavor and served it in corn tortillas heated on a greased cast iron skillet.  I'd found the recipe but I don't eat the meat so I substituted the eggplant and it worked well.

Last night, I again cooked the mushrooms up with eggplant, zucchini, onions, garlic, and a bit of chopped up Napa cabbage.   I threw in a bit of enchilada sauce before making stacked cheese enchiladas with this stuffing, a bit of cheese, and a bit more sauce at the end to make sure the top layer wasn't too dry.

Ohhh I loved it.  Yes I enjoy cooking and eating well spiced and flavored foods.  I think tonight, I'm going to finish off the mushrooms by making a mushroom pate with part of them and fry the rest up with butter, garlic, and a splash of wine.  That last one, I'll savor it by itself.

I hope you have a great day.  Enjoy yourselves and let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Backstage at the Golden Days Parade

This past Saturday the annual Golden Days Parade made its way from Carlson center to the Coop in the old Carrs Building.  The path wound along the river before heading down Second, over to Nobel and down almost to Airport Way.  It celebrates Felix Pedro, an Italian immigrants, discovery of gold which started the local gold rush.

Since I play in the parade, I am unable to get pictures of groups during the event so I always arrive early to snap pictures of various groups and share a few with you.  I hope you like them.  The parade has entries ranging from the military, the colleges, the political parties, civil groups, churches and anyone who wants to enter. 

 The entry to the above is presented by the Pioneers of Alaska who want to preserve one of the last remaining steam boats that served Fairbanks.  They are raising money to repair it and continue making it into a museum to show the early days. They always make an appearance in the parade.

The above is the Alaskan equivalent of "The Beverly Hillbillies" truck.  This makes an appearance every year in the parade.  I don't know how old it is but I do know the father used to drive it until he passed away and now his daughter and grandson make sure to carry on the family tradition. 
The Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce has their portable jail house they bring out as one of the fund raisers at this time of year.  You purchase one or more tickets which pays for them to go "arrest" someone.  It is always seen around town with the pretty 'Saloon Girls' hanging off it to advertise the event.
This big yellow rubber ducky is the other fund raiser participating in the parade. Tickets are sold all around town in $5 or $10 values.   Every year, they release a ton of small numbered rubber duckies into the Chena River.  The first ones across the finish line are the winners.  People can win money, airline tickets and other great prizes.  I've participated but never won.  Its all in good fun. 
Even the Furthest North Rodeo got into the act with their float which included several mini horses.  

This year being an election year, means just about every candidate had some sort of float in the parade.  I am not endorsing Grunwald, I just think the float was cute.  

Several realtors came out with floats designed to remind people of their services. Fairbanks has two military bases in the area and there are people who move in and out all the time. 
The local colleges had several floats and students from the law enforcement and fire fighter academies  marching.  I was just going to take a casual picture but one of the leaders saw me and called them to attention.

Everts Air service helps to fly cargo out to remote villages such as the one I live in.  They haul cargo and are one of the many air services out there.

This truck represents the Brest Cancer Detection Center who is one of two places in town taking mammograms.  On the side they have the names of several who have passed away of the disease.  I include it because my sister passed from it back in January.

This is a shot taken from my seat on the Fairbanks Community Band's float. Every year, the band provides a group of volunteers to provide live music along the parade route.  We have a great driver who makes it a smooth ride.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The History of Going to the Beach

Maldives, Tropics, Tropical, Aerial View  Although I grew up near the beach, I've never been one to really enjoy spending tons of time at there.  Growing up, my sister would spend hours lying on the beach, trying to get a tan.  At that time, people associated healthy with tans. 

Going to the beach for the day or for a vacation is only a recent thing.  Back in the early days, before the 18th century, people feared the water and beaches.

Many people sailed off and never returned.  The beach was also where ships wrecked, people died, or natural disaster occurred.  Tsunami's could wipe out whole towns in a few minutes.  It's understandable why people feared the beach.

The poets and painters began changing the seaside into something more romantic.  People started heading to the beach to check out the real thing to compare it with the written words, or painted scenes. 

Around the middle of the 18th century, things changed.   During the Industrial Revolution, it was observed that many of those in the upper classes seemed much paler and sicker, triggering  the idea the sea could restore people's health. Doctors began prescribing time at the sea for medicinal purposes.  This lead to the growth of seaside  resorts which catered to the elite by helping to 'treat' a variety of diseases such as rickets, gout, leprosy, etc.

The prescriptions included information for how long, how often, and when they should go in.  There were even scholarly papers written on the subject.  At the time, people would sometimes climb into a barrel to be lowered into the water for prescribed time.  Sometimes, people would walk in for a bit, then out.  Men were often naked while women had attendants who would hold their heads under  the water when a wave broke.

By 1840, more people from a variety of classes began heading to the beach because it provided an escape from daily life.  The growth of public transportation such as trains aided this growth.  Even the phrase "on the beach" which used to mean poverty and helplessness evolved to mean health and pleasure.  In addition, 'vacation' changed meaning from referring to a forced absence from work to taking time off for a desirable activity.

Once seaside resorts appeared in the United Kingdom, they spread to Europe beginning in France before moving on to Italy, Northern Germany and parts of Scandinavia.  Eventually, it became a desirable place for everyone, not just the richest.  By the end of the 19th century, it was common to go to the beach to swim but it was not easy for women to swim because they wore wool swim suits, covering them from neck to knee with knee high stockings and shoes. 

In fact, Brighton became the first seaside resort for the working class person but over the years, seaside amusement parks sprung up such as Coney Island to provide entertainment for people.  In addition, styles and attitudes changed so women were able to swim in much smaller and lighter outfits. 

Now, the beach is a place to hang when the weather is good.  Some people spend all day there while other buy a cottage so they can spend more time at the shore.  I am one of those people who burns fairly easily when I spend too much time out in the sun, so I don't get out as much as I should.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The 10 Most Expensive Houses in the World.

Architecture, House, 3D, Design  I am thinking about moving in a year or two but right now, I look.  I know what I can afford but I've been looking at the higher end homes, just to drool and see what they have.  They have so much that makes them just awesome.  I'd love to win the lottery but in the meantime, I just drool.

One I saw was in Washington state ran like 8 million for a place that is over 11,000 square feet and multiple acres of land. Even the places that run 2 million have a huge monthly mortgage payment, way more than I make per month.  It would take about a half or three fourths of a year to pay one month.

I wondered how expensive the most expensive places in the world run and they are not in order. 

1.  This 135 million dollar house is found in Beverly Hills, California.  There is a main house with several small houses scattered on 6 acres of land.  The main house has a 50 foot entry way, carved ceiling, a library, wrap around balcony, billiard room, family room, patio that can seat 400, art deco night club, two movie rooms, and a spa.  If you want to you could rent it for $600,000 per month.  This house has appeared in several movies including "The Godfather" and "The Bodyguard"

2. This 102 million dollar house, called the 'Fleur de Lys' mansion in Los Angeles.  This 12 bedroom, 15 bathroom house was influenced by a castle.  It has a 3000 foot wine cellar with tasting room, a double story library, ballroom, commercial kitchen, along with a spa, pool and tennis courts.  It was built in 2002 but sold in 2007 when the couple who built it, divorced.  this has also been featured in a couple so shows including an Audi Superbowl commercial.

3. Popping over to France, you'll run into the $750 million mansion built by Belgium's King Leopold II in 1902.  The 11 bedroom 14 bathroom place sits on 50 acres of land.  It includes an outdoor kitchen, commercial greenhouse, pool, and helipad.  it has also been featured in several films.

4. Back to Central Park in New York City, where you'll find a $45 million penthouse.  It has over 10,000 square feet.  The address, 15 Central Park West is considered one of the most powerful addresses in the world.

5. Over in London, you'll find the $89.4 million Kensington Gardens. It was purchased by an Indian billionaire who renovated it using marble from the same quarry as that used in the Taj Mahal.  The 55,000 square feet includes, 12 bathrooms, a swimming pool, ballroom and Turkish bath among other things.

6. Go over to Monaco where you can purchase a 35,000 square foot penthouse for $400 million.  It is at the top of a 560 foot skyscraper with a 360 degree view of the surrounding water.  It is only a couple years old.

7. If you have $1 billion available, why not look at a 27 story, 400,000 square foot mansion.  It's multi-story garage can hold up to 168 cars,  three helipads,  a home theater for 50,  gardens, guest suites, and a ballroom.

8. Of course, Bill Gate's house in Medina, Washington makes the list.  It's a 66,000 square foot complex valued at $125.5 million.  It includes and almost 4,000 square foot pool building, a 2,500 square foot gym, a just over 2000 square foot library, a just under 2,500 square foot reception hall with a garage that is just over 6,000 square feet.  All of those bigger than all the houses I've lived in.

9.  Head back to Beverly Hills to find the $195 million Mediterranean mansion.  Its 53,000 square feet includes 12 bedrooms with 24 bathrooms, its own bowling alley, theater, swimming pools, and a garage that can hold 27 cars comfortably.

10. In New York State, you'll find a 63 acre place in the Hamptons valued at almost $249 million.  The approximately 20,000 square foot house includes 29 bedrooms with 39 bathrooms, its own power plant, three swimming pools, a 164 person theater , bowling alley and more.

I'm trying to figure out why someone needs 29 bedrooms since most families are not that large but if they have the money and are willing to pay for it, why not.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New Scam.

Shopping Woman Girl Shop Woman Shopping Pe Just the other morning, I received another text on my phone, offering me the job of mystery shopper.  I didn't ask for the information to be sent as i have a regular job, so this tells me it is another scam.

There are real companies who hire people mystery shoppers but they do not send unsolicited emails or texts looking for people.

These scams work in several different ways.  One way is to create a web site where you have to pay money to access it in order to find out more about the job, a directory of the companies, and the certifications that are required.  Of course the jobs require you pay more to obtain their certification which is worthless.  Lists of legitimate companies are available for free on the internet.

A second way is that you are hired to evaluate a local money transfer service.  The idea is that you are sent a check which you deposit into your account.  Of course the check is for more than you need, so you are to keep a fee, take the rest and wire it to a third party.  By the time you find out the check is fake, it is too late.

Although the bank gives you access to the monies, it can take up to several weeks for the lack of funds to become known.  Unfortunately, the person who has to make sure the bank gets its money is the one who deposited it.  This means you could be out a couple of thousand.  This is a variation of the fake check scam, similar to the car wrap scheme.

Ways to tell its a scam:
1.  The email is via gmail or AOL.
2.  If its a text, the phone number is not a normal one.  The phone number on this text showed up as 141-020-0500 which has been identified as a scam phone number.
3.  You are offered good pay for doing very little.
4. They tell you to deposit a check, take a small amount out before wiring it to someone.
5. The 'employers' set a deadline of say two days from receiving the check to deposit it, withdraw the money, and sending it on.  There is pressure to do it in a very short time because they want to get it done before the bank discovers the check is fake.

In the past scammers used mail, then moved to e-mail before heading off to texting.  Be suspicious of any offer which sounds too good to be true.  I had someone receive the car wrap text and asked me about it.  I promptly checked the internet for more info to verify it was a scam.  Thankfully, the person listened to me and did not follow through.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Chef Sean Walklin's Grilled Kale Recipe

Vegetables Vitamins Diet Food Eat Cooking I promised you the delicious kale recipe I tasted last week at the Farmer's Market.  I had planned on sharing it with you yesterday but I thought the information on the scam was much more important.

The chef made a minor change to the recipe.  Since the kale was so tender and sweet, he omitted the apple and he grilled some shrimp, cut it up before tossing it on top of the kale dish.

He placed the shrimp on top rather than in the mix because there were a couple of vegetarians around who wanted to taste the kale.  He also sprinkled the bread crumbs on at the end so those who needed a gluten free sample could have it.
It was so good, I ordered an electric grill for my house so I can grill inside during the winter.  I've always wanted to grill but couldn't due to too much snow in the winter.  Now I can do it. It might not be as good as with charcoal but I don't have to find any in the middle of a rural Alaskan village.  I don't even think they get it out there.

Grilled Kale
1/2 day-old baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups) or store-bought breadcrumbs
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
3 large bunches Tuscan or regular kale, ribs and stems removed
1/2 apple, cored, very thinly sliced lengthwise
3 radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread with 4 tablespoons of oil on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until crisp and golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Pulse in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs with some larger pea-size pieces remaining. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in paprika; set aside.
Meanwhile, mix yogurt, crème fraîche, garlic, lemon juice and honey in a medium bowl. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of oil, whisking until combined. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Toss kale with remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl to coat; massage leaves to soften. Working in batches, grill kale, turning often, until nicely charred and slightly wilted, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer back to bowl when done and let cool slightly. Add apple and radish and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing; toss again.
Serve salad topped with reserved paprika breadcrumbs and the seafood of your choice.

It isn't that hard to adjust for Vegans, Gluten-Free, or other dietary restrictions.  The sample was so good, I immediately went out and purchased some kale that I've used in other ways because the weather has been kind of rainy and I haven't been able to use my outdoor grill.  I'll get more and try grilling it then.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Have a great day, and let me know what you think, because I'd love to hear.

Monday, July 16, 2018

This Scam Is Out and About

Car, Wrapped, Covered, Auto, Vehicle The other day, I received a text on my cell phone offering me an easy way to earn a set amount of money per week.

The text went as follows:
FRM: Darren Mclachlan
MSG: Hiring for Pepsi Cola Car & Bikes wraps for $550 weekly.  Reply yes to apprise better.

Sounds like a great way to earn money without having to do much other than allowing someone to wrap you car with an advertisement and you just drive around.

Unfortunately, this is a scam.According to several sites online, the text I received is the first step in the scam referred to as the "Hook".  It temps people because they don't have to do much except drive around.  The idea is that you respond to the text.  They get your information and send you a check or directly deposit an amount for more than the first week's earning. The extra is to pay for your car being wrapped and you are asked to send the extra via wire to the company who supposedly will wrap your car.  Although the car wrapping people are in a different state, they have someone who will be assigned to complete the job in your area.

The check you are sent looks as if it is from a legitimate company complete with routing number, address, signature etc.   You have no clue it is not a good check and neither does the bank, so you go ahead, deposit it before sending the rest of the money on. By the time you find out the check is not valid, its too late.  You have to make up the money from your account.  Neither the person issuing the check, nor the one who will wrap your car is real. 

The text I received was for Pepsi but there are also text's and email offers for energy drinks such as Rockstar, Monster, and Red Rain, Red Bull, or other companies such as Heineken beer and Cricket Wireless. 

Things to look for to tell you its a scam include:
1.  Cashing the check and sending the difference between your promised pay and the amount of the check wired via a company such as Western Union.
2.  The companies issuing checks have nothing to do with car wrapping or the product.
3.  The person you send it to is listed in a totally different state.
4.  They require you to do this immediately
5.  The English in the text or e-mail has lots of misspellings and incorrect grammar usage.

The biggest tip off of being a scam is requiring you to wire the money.  The only thing a person needs to pick up the wire is usually a fake ID and once they've picked up the money, you will not be able to recover it.

Although this particular scam has been around since at least 2013 based on the information I can find, it appears scammers are moving from email to texting to attract victims.  This is the current incarnation of the fake check scam.  Keep your eyes open for it.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Farmers Market

Vegetables Veggies Farmers Market Veggie S Our local farmers market runs from mid May to late September.  I realize its a much shorter time than many places but the snow does not fully melt till May and the first frost is usually the end of August.

We have several farmers here who must use greenhouses and crop covers in order to produce crops for the market.

I went through the farmers market this past Wednesday and found some really nice things.  Unfortunately, only about a third of vendors actually sell vegetables or berries.  The rest sell some sort of product like hand cream, photos, baked goods, or other items.

One of my favorite places is the vendor from Manley Hot Springs.  They often offer things no one else does because they are able to heat their greenhouses with geothermal heat.  They offered their first oriental eggplants of the season.  Ohh, they were such a beautiful, shiny purple.  I bought two.   They've been offering beans and cucumbers.  This is also the group who offers cantaloupes and if things go well, watermelons.  No they are not the huge watermelons.  The melons are more often the small one to two person size.

Another group who are local, grow beautiful greens such as kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, and other greens.  Today I stir fried some Swiss chard with onions, apples, and a bit of vinegar as a side dish to the eggplant Parmesan.  I plan to cook the bok choy up with some stock, butter, and a bit of miso until soft and the liquid is mostly gone. 

One of the guys offered the first summer squash I've seen.  I didn't buy any because I had already purchased eggplant, Swiss chard, small onions, kale, bok choy, and freshly grown tomatoes.  I didn't want to buy too much because I want to buy a bit more come Saturday.

It is also the time of year when the farmer's market had the first chef out cooking for the public, showing what to do with a vegetable. This week it was kale.  He made a grilled kale, sprinkled with seasoned bread crumbs and topped with grilled shrimp and a yogurt sauce.  I'd never had grilled kale but this dish was soooo good.  I had mine without the shrimp and it was great.  I'll be sharing the recipe with you on Monday. 

Unfortunately, not everyone was set up this past Wednesday because it was cold and rainy so attendance was down.  I plan to take pictures on Saturday to share some of the wonderful produce people bring to the market. 

I hope you support your local farmers market.  The prices might be a bit more than at the local store but people make a living providing freshly grown food that has not had to travel hundreds or thousands of miles.  I love the freshness and the tenderness of the food.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I Love, Love, Love, The Internet.

Monitor Binary Binary System Computer Bina  I have something I need to admit.  It's one facet of who I am and have been since I first discovered books and libraries.  I am not ashamed of it, just discovered I tend to be the only one where I work who is an INFORMATION JUNKIE! 

When I was growing up, the only place I could go to get information was the library.  My family could not have afforded devices, computers, or even the internet.  So it was the library. 

I borrowed books on any topic that interested me.  If I wanted to learn to fix something, I borrowed a book.  The same for cooking, knitting, weaving, any topic but now, I don't have to leave home.

I don't know how much you use the internet but I use it for:
1. Shopping of course
2. Streaming videos
3. Researching topics and finding answers to questions.
4. Looking for activities I can use in my classroom.
5. Take classes.  I even earned my masters degree totally via the internet.  I never set food on the campus.
6.  Download and use apps for personal use, work, and enjoyment.
7.  Learn to do so much via YouTube.  I've learned to replace the toilet, install a load bearing wall, soldier, etc.
8.  So many other things like finding the best routing and purchasing tickets to travel, attend events, and so many things too numerous to talk about.

Unfortunately, the internet for me can be extremely addictive because I read the review of a book and I immediately want to buy it.  I discover apps that connect with the internet so I can learn programming or a new skill. I am addicted but not as much as some folks I know.

I heard of a young lady who would go to bed at night, her phone next to her head on the bed.  The first thing she did upon waking was to begin reading the 1000 or so messages which arrived over night.  I know from personal experience, many of my students are up late at night texting friends, playing games, and streaming videos so they do not get enough sleep.

I am not that bad.  I don't even freak out when I forget my phone because I am not addicted to that.  I'm just addicted to obtaining information.  I love information.  I'll even read a brochure if it has information I am interested in.

Are you an information junkie?  Let me know, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Why We Need Dark.

Milky Way, Stars, Night, Sky, Landscape  I have done so much travel since June first that I've gone from Alaska to Hawaii, Germany, Seattle, and Denver.  I have two more trips scheduled between now and the end of August.  Over the busy summer, I discovered we need nights that get dark.

I went to Hawaii to attend a conference and have a lovely holiday before flying home for 24 hours.  I had time to repack before heading off to attend a wedding in Germany and spend time exploring the area.

It is a twelve hour time difference between Hawaii and Germany, half a day.  I loved my time in Germany.  I managed to adjust to the time zone over there but I ran into problems when I returned to Alaska which is ten hours behind.  I live in a part of Alaska where it does not get dark at night for about 6 to 8 weeks.

It gets dim, kind of like dusk but never darker than that.  It is easy to play sports outside at three in the morning or go out for a meal.  Once I got home, my body had no idea what time zone it was.  I'd be so tired, I'd go take a three to four hour nap around 1 in the afternoon and again around midnight.  I could not sleep 6 straight.

It wasn't until my trip to Seattle and Denver that I began to sleep over 4 hours at a go.  I think its because it got dark at night.  The darkness signaled my body it was time to sleep.  Until that trip, I never realized how important darkness is to the human body.

The light and dark cycles help reset our daily or circadian rhythm so we know when to eat, sleep, wake, be active, and helps maintain our body temperature and certain things in our blood.  Our bodies rely on the dark part of the cycle to trigger melatonin levels to help us sleep while the light portion causes melatonin levels to drop so we wake up.

 It is suggested that people have too many artificial lights so their melatonin levels do not increase in the same manner as if it is totally dark out and are not able to have a proper sleep.  In addition, darkness is the body's signal for the body to begin dropping, slowing the metabolism, and we get sleepy.  Furthermore, melatonin helps keep us healthy by fighting diseases.   This may be one reason people gain weight and are sicker when they do not get enough sleep at night.

This explains why it took me until I spent time in a place where it actually got dark for several hours before my sleep pattern got back to normal.  I need that dark to trigger the proper sleep patterns. 

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Space Programs.

Space Travel Rocket Space Flying Cosmos In  If I asked you, "Who has a space program?", most people would answer the United States or Russia because those are the two countries most of us grew up with.  They had a competition to see who would be the first one to land on the moon. 

Russia managed to get the first woman in space but the United States managed to get the first person to step on the moon but until I heard this talk, I was unaware of certain other countries.

India is one of the best known for launching satellites into space, they have been launching them since the late 1970's and have begun launching for other countries.  So far they have launched 52 Indian satellites and over 230 satellites for other countries.  In addition, they launched something to Mars which just began releasing pictures.

Another country that is prominent when it comes to launching is China who said to have launched over 200 satellites. In addition, China has launched their own space station to be used for research.  On the other hand, although Canada has a space agency, they have the United States, India, and Russia to launch its space craft.

The latest thing out of Germany is the phone company is working on creating a 4 LTE that works on the moon so that when Germany sends their own moon rovers videos back to the earth in high definition.  Apparently, this method is more energy efficient than the traditional method of sending videos back to the earth.

Other lesser known countries with some sort of space program include Angola which launched AngoSat-1, a communications satellite, early in 2018 but which quit working after 40 days in space.  This was their first launch.  They hope to launch another one in 2020. The next one will not cost them anything because of the insurance policy they took out.

On the other hand, Algeria has launched a couple of satellites via China and have established plans to continue their program to 2040.  Then there is Israel who have begun developing the D-Mars is a program to further human space exploration.  One thing they plan to do is to simulate a mission to Mars.

Some countries such as Columbia had a space program until someone accidentally blew up their space craft on the launch pad.  The explosion took out the whole launch pad along with everything around it.

This is just a short survey of some of the countries with their own space program.  I hope you enjoyed it. Tomorrow, I"ll be back to my normal topics. Thank you for letting me share this exciting information.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Space - The Final Frontier

Wallpaper, Background, Eclipse, Twilight  I just spent 4 days in Denver attending a conference with so many presentations on space, that I was in 7th heaven the whole time.  The panels were so exciting and filled with the latest information.  I hope you don't mind, my sharing this information with you because I am totally excited.

In the past month or two, news came out on an asteroid like object that came from out of the solar system and flew through so fast it was already five days past its closest point to earth when it was discovered. 

Oumuamua, Hawaiian for Scout, is a needle shaped object they think might have originated in a two star system that possible exploded.  The explosion pushed the object out and gave it the speed necessary to make it to our solar system.

The object is not small!  It is a 1,300 feet long following a hyperbolic path which means it is not gravitationally attached to the sun.  It has really been traveling through the solar system.  They thought it might be a comet but it does not have any of the normal attributes associated with one.  I am just thrilled to hear about this object. 

In another talk, I discovered there are more suns with planets than we'd ever thought before.  Technically, these are referred to as exoplanets because they circle a star.  There are about 3,200 confirmed exoplanets and another 2,500 or so unconfirmed.  This is exciting because some of these fall within the right size and position to possibly contain life of some sort.

When scientists discuss life at this point, they refer to small one or multiple celled creatures or possibly bacteria because those are more likely to be found first.  In addition, many of the smaller creatures are capable of surviving in more extreme climates.

They've discovered a small creature, the Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets.  They are tiny eight legged water creatures who can survive exposure to radiation, the vacuum of space, adapt to a huge temperature range from absolute zero to almost 100 C, live without food for years, and withstand significant pressure.  Totally amazing.

Tomorrow, I'm going to share information on space programs in foreign countries before getting back to my usual topics.  I'm just so excited about everything I've learned, I have to share.  Let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Surviving An Apocalypse.

Gothic Goth Horror Dark Zombie Zombie Girl  I am heading for a convention this weekend where one track seems to be focused on surviving any apocalypse.

One panel will look at communications such as ham operators who would be the ones getting word out, assuming that there are no EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) to wipe out all electronics.

Another panel is on preparing a survival kit.  They will discuss items you should have in that kit.  I recently purchased a survival bundle from Humble Bundle with a bunch of books on exactly that topic.  I bought it not for the survival books but for the cheese making, first aid, brewing and homesteading books. However, I don't mind having the other information.

A third panel is on surviving the apocalypse both emotionally and spiritually.  The idea is even if you survive the even physically, how will you stay both emotionally and spiritually healthy so you do not become depressed.  How do you face an event that wipes out the world and stay sane. 

Then there are the two familiar panels on Zombies.  The first is on choosing the best weapon to use to kill a Zombie.  The panel will also look at television shows based on the idea of zombies to determine if people on those shows used the proper weapons.  The second panel looks at Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness or how to protect yourself against Zombies.  What is likely to happen during the first 48 hours before governmental resources kick in.  How will you survive those first 48 hours when it all breaks loose?

I've never been one to plan fully for an apocalypse because honestly I do not see it happening but if I ever decide to become a writer, these topics would provide me with everything I need to accurately write this type of story.  One strand of science fiction is on zombies taking over the world while another strand is that something happens and you are left to survive the world as it falls apart.

That is one reason to attend these panels. If its something you want to write  a book or a screen play for a movie based on either topic.  I don't know if I'll attend those panels as they may be up against the hard science ones that I prefer.  I'll let you know and if I do go, I'll share the information with you.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Outlet Mall, Blaine WA

On my way down to Denver, I stopped off to visit relatives in the Bellingham, Washington area.  Since my parents are slowing down a lot and dad had a stroke, I am making a point of visiting as much as I can.  The other day, we took them up to the mall in Blaine.

The mall started out as an outlet mall but over the years, many of the stores have gone out of business, and others have come in while a few have hung in over the years.  I think there are only three or four that have been there since the beginning.

Down at the end by the realtors offices, I found some beautiful sculptures. Some are fun, some are more abstract but they are all interesting.

 I love these two children who have discovered something hidden by the plants.  They remind me of the wonderful joy we loose as we drive up.

This dog is actually a sculpture found by the men's bathroom on the back side.  He looks so real but will never shed or be noisy so the perfect animal for an apartment.

This is a nice water fountain but I got there before it began working for the morning.  

This tortoise is in front of the fountain and the perfect size for little one's to sit on. 

This area of the mall is extremely  family friendly with its cool sculptures and picnic table. 

I love visiting the mall, just to check out a few places I regularly shop at when I'm in the area before I head off to this area, just to sit and enjoy some down time.

I'm off to Denver to attend a conference.  I hope to share some of the cool things I'll be learning when I visit the conference.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. 

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. 

Have a great day.