Saturday, August 31, 2019

It's Fall

Lake, Water, White, Peace Of Mind, Swans

We see them on the ocean and in the slough.  It's definitely fall.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Where To Visit In September.

Galapogas Tortoise, Turtle, TortoiseSome people wait till September to head off on vacation because its after the height of the tourist season and before everything slows down for winter.  There are some great places to visit during September.

One great place to head is the Galapagos Islands because September is one of the coolest and driest months and there are fewer tourists visiting.  Furthermore, this is the month when many birds are nesting including the Albatross and the Sea Lions are mating. Furthermore, one can enjoy watching whales, dolphins, or penguins.

If you don't want to travel that far, check out Greenville, South Carolina in the Blue Mountain foothills because humidity is dropping and temperatures drop to the 80's during the day and the 60's at night. In mid September the university hosts a craft parade followed by a huge food festival with chefs, cooking demonstrations, tastings, parties, and live music.  Furthermore, there are walking tours, a park with summer movies, and so much more.

What about visiting Havr, Croatia during September.  Havr is an island located in the Adriatic Sea. By September, the number of tourists has decreased while the weather has gotten nicer.  In addition to wonderful beaches, and a history dating back to 6000 BC, this island also offers a music festival highlighting Croatian music for most of September.  Furthermore, Havr is well known for its wine industry and one can take a tour to learn more about it.

Still prefer staying in the United States, then head for Fort Collins, Colorado where you can find more than 20 craft breweries.  The town has its Historic Old Town area filled with all sorts of restaurants and stores including candy stores, and a vintage trolly running through the area.  In addition to having a strong cultural scene with music, theater, and museums, the town is known for its variety of outdoor actives.  Another great thing about Fort Collins is that it is not that far from the Rocky Mountain National Park and its not far from the Denver International Airport.

Check out the island of Santorini, Greece, located in the Aegean Sea.  It has beautiful cliffs, wineries, villages, photographic areas, and friendly people.  Aside from great weather, the number of tourists is diminishing, making it a nicer place to visit.  Due to its volcanic nature, the soil is perfect for producing well known wines.  In addition, there is a ancient village destroyed by the volcano yet preserved by it.  There is also a food festival hosted by one of the hotels.

If you've never been to the Florida Keys, September is the perfect month to go.  The number of tourists have diminished significantly, temperatures are dropping but its the perfect time to indulge in water activities such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, etc.  This is also the best time to rent a car and drive the overseas highway.

So if you have a couple weeks off and haven't decided where to go yet, check these places out or mark them down for next year.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Radios - Past, Present, and ?

Radio, Old, Tube Radio, NostalgiaOn my walk around town, I pass the health clinic, the fire station, the police station, the troopers offices, the churches, the stores, and the local radio station.  I know this radio station has not been around as long as the longest running one.

In 1886, Henirich Hertz showed that radio waves could both be sent and received which lead to wireless telegraphs aka radios being used at sea by 1891 to improve communications.

Within two years, Nicola Tesla demonstrated the first public wireless telegraph in St Louis Missouri.  About three years later, while Tesla worked on radio signals, Guglielmo Marconi filed the first patent for his version of a radio but the courts found Tesla's claim of having discovered the radio first Creedence and awarded it to him.  In the mean time, Marconi founded the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company because most radio telegraphs transmitted Morse Code.  In 1899, the first recorded request for assistance came from a ship using Marconi's invention.

Just two years later, the first signal traveled carrying the letter S from Ireland to Canada via the Marconi.  In 1902, Ham radio was born when Scientific American published an article so people could make their own radio's at home.  This increased the number of Ham's to the point the United States Government required all operators register.

During the first decade of the 20th century, someone invented the vacuum tube which amplified radio signals and someone else developed a way for radio ways to carry voice.  This lead to a live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House to the various boroughs across New York City on January 13, 1910.

At the same time, radio began growing, there was a total lack of understanding of how electromagnetic waves worked so people often thought these "radio" waves caused children to throw up, caused droughts, made bed springs shake, and even cause draughts.  This didn't stop radio stations from developing.

One experimental radio station in Detroit broadcast the results of the Harding-Cox presidential election to 500 listeners.  Over the coming years more and more things were broadcast including some of the speeches from the Scopes Monkey trial in 1925.  During the same time period, the number of radio sets sold rose from 60,000 to over 1.5 million because radios provided more information faster than newspapers could.  Furthermore, the number of stations jumped from 28 to over 1400 in the two year period from 1922 to 1924.

At the same time commercial stations were expanding, Universities and colleges applied for licenses to broadcast. Of the approximately 200 licenses granted, about three-fourths had disappeared by 1933.  In addition, radio stations began running ads by various companies as a way of funding their operating expenses.  During the Depression, people relied more and more to keep abreast of the latest news, listen to the president bring the nation up to date on things, and listen to all the different types of entertaining shows and music.

By the beginning of World War II nine out of ten families had radios and used them three to four hours a day to keep up on what was happening at each front.  In addition, about a fourth of the cars being produced came with a radio so people could hear the latest news when they traveled or on their way to and from work.  The love of radio continued until the 1950's when television broadcasting began, taking many of the programs that had once been on the radio and producing television versions of them.

At this point, people began predicting the end of radio with the emergence of television but that wasn't right.  Much of this had to do with the miniaturization of parts so radios and broadcasting equipment became smaller and more effective, stations began using data to provide more specialized programming designed to appeal to specific groups and new music emerged across the nation.

Where is it headed?  The internet of course.  Many radio stations broadcast on the internet even though they have physical buildings because they can reach more people that way.  Furthermore, people are able to start their own stations easily and transmit them over the internet.  So there you have it, radio from telegraph to over the air to internet and its still around.

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

That Costs How Much?

Background, Food, Fresh, Fruit, Healthy I live in Alaska which means I pay more for most things because they have to be shipped by plane out to my location.  This can add quite a bit to the cost of anything.  I came across an article on the cost of certain foods that make what I pay seem good.

There is a meat, ribboned with fat that is considered the Champagne of beef called Wagyu Beef.  It's fat melts at a low temperature giving it quite the flavor. A pound goes for around $1300 and when added to fancy dishes, it causes their price to rise significantly.

Another meat, the Bluefin tuna noted for it's tender meat commands over $4000 per pound.  Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more rare due to overfishing.  On the other hand, purchasing Almas Caviar can set you back quite a bit.  This rare caviar from Iran comes in a tin with packaging is made out of 24 carat gold.  Furthermore, if you can find this, it will cost you around $25,000 for one tin.

If you check out the most expensive meals, they usually include either white or black truffles, both are quite expensive.  White truffles can run as much as $7800 per kilo or around $3800 per pound.  Most restaurants use white truffles in scrambled eggs.  Black truffles on the other hand run much less at $1700 per pound and are generally used as flavor enhancers.

As far as fruit goes, certain melons can set you back almost as much.  In Japan, they have a black watermelon that has sold at auction for $6100.  It went for so much because it is one of the rarest types of watermelons so it is hard to find.  Another rare melon is the Yubarki King melon, with a netted greenish outer rind and a nice orange center but the taste is said to be so much better.  These melons can set you back quite a lot because each one is sold at auction.  One melon can go for as low as $6000 each but have fetched as much as $23,000 due to the demand.

Even vegetables can run a lot. The La Bonnette potatoes, found only in one part of France can set you back around $1600 per kilo and the price is on the rise due to it facing possible extinction. The same can be said of Matsutake Mushrooms.  This wild mushroom is also facing extinction so its price is rising and it is now up to $1000 per pound. People want to try it before it disappears forever.

There is even a cheese in Sweden, Moose milk cheese, known for its taste and rarity, that goes for around $500 per pound.  Finally, there is a Red Bird's Nest soup made from saliva. This soup is so rare, it can cost you over $10,000 per bowl.

Each one of these items has a reputation for being either so rare they command a large fee or the the taste is so fantastic, that it commands the money.  It's all a matter of supply and demand.  It is the cost of these individual items that can raise the cost of a meal from $10 to more than most people are willing to pay.  Let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear, have a lovely day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Belguim Waffles are from Belgium - True or False

Waffles, Syrup, Diner, Breakfast, FoodMost of us, when we hear Belgium. waffles, think of a thick waffle made out of the same mix you use for pancakes.  Often, the thick waffle is covered with syrup, fruit, and whipped cream.  We assume that because they are called Belgium waffles, they originate in the country of Belgium.  That is not quite true.

Belgium waffles came to America at the 1962 Seattle World's fair.  The Belgian proprietor, Walter Cleyman and his family, had sold them at the 1958 World's fair in Belgium and secured a spot here.  During the run, they sold over 500,000 during the run of the fair and when it was done, he licensed the waffle to a local pancake house.  Apparently, Cleyman visited a local Waffle House to try an American waffle.  He pronounced it good but he preferred his own version better.

 Then at the 1964-65 World's Fair in Queens, New York another Belgian,  Maurice Vermersch, offered the Brussels waffle for sale.  This version used yeast to create a light and fluffy product served plain or with fresh sliced strawberries and whipped cream. The waffle was so popular, they sold up to 2500 per day. Since most people had no idea that Brussels was the capital of Belgium, let alone its location, the family renamed them Bel-gem waffles.

The waffles made their jump to American diners where they were soon made out of pancake mix.  Unfortunately, the product is not as good as the originals and is covered in butter and fruit to make it what we eat today.

In Belgium, waffles are more of a street food eaten with their hands so the Vermersch's refused to pass out forks and knives because that is not how these waffles are eaten.  In fact, you'll find two different types of waffles in Belgium, both are eaten widely there.

First is the square Brussels waffle made from a yeast leavened batter, cooked in a cast iron waffle maker.  This creates a light, fluffy, crispy waffle easily eaten by hand.  The other type of waffle referred to as the Leige waffle, from the city of Leige in Belgium.  This oval waffle is made from a sweet Brioche type dough with thick pearl sugar spheres folded in and the dough is cooked in a waffle iron.  It is much denser, chewier, and sweeter than the Brussels waffle.

What is interesting is the word waffle is first mentioned in Belgium literature back in the 1600's but Belgium waffle does not appear until the 1830's or 1840's. According to UNESCO, waffles were first made in the medieval times by people who sold them outside the churches in Belgium.  During the 19th century, many families opened small shops or booths to sell these marvelous waffles to the public.  Some even opened a tea room or gauferies on the coast.  Over the years, the types of waffles spread across the European continent until it jumped across the ocean in the early 1960's and the rest is history.

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

Monday, August 26, 2019

School Camp Out

The new school begins the year by having the high school students spend most of the day completing service projects.  I spent time with the group that cleaned the school playground before heading over to the cemetery to pick up trash and cut down willow bushes.  This made the cemetery look better and the kids thought it would be nice to clip the grass at some point.  The other two groups picked berries for the elders and put up a welcome to town sign by the airport, near the beach.

Once the time for service projects ended, we hopped into several vehicles and drove out to the local bible camp located about 20 minutes out.  It was a dirt road the whole way but the kids all knew its location.  When we got there, we set things in the cabins and started dinner.  The above picture was taken out the window on the second floor, near where I stayed.

This is looking towards the road you come in.  Only the truck with food was the only one allowed in all the way.  The others had to park about 15 minutes down the road and people hiked in.  Some folks brought suitcases while others brought backpacks.  I brought a backpack and sleeping bag.

I took this photo from the corner of the porch,  To the right you see the kitchen and dining hall.  The metal roof you see is where they usually do dishes but we used paper plates to cut down on washing.  Every grade level had to cook.  I had the 9th graders and we got to make breakfast which meant we had to be up quite early in the morning, earlier than I wanted to get up.

That evening, the students divided into three groups.  One group, my group, went out to pick blueberries from the tundra.  This picture shows the area we went to pick blueberries.  The other two groups cut up fish and learned more about local plants.  Our group picked enough blueberries to make four pans of blueberry crumble for a late night snack.

These are two of the pans of the blueberry crumble the kids made.  They were a bit tart but I prefer them that way to being over sweet.  All of it was eaten so we didn't have any left over.

On Friday, after cleaning and packing things up, the students participated in an eco-challenge beginning with chewing two crackers and then whistling.  They had to build a shelter with only a tarp, climb around a rock wall tower, and at the end, they had to start a fire to boil water. The first group getting their water to boil won.  

Once the fires were roaring, people cooked the salmon they'd filleted the night before, backed potatoes, and heated corn for a wonderful meal.  The potatoes tasted quite good and everyone's fish turned out perfectly cooked.

We finally got back to town around 4:00.  I went straight home for a nap.  It was fun and I had a chance to get to know the students before I have to start teaching them.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, August 25, 2019


Aurora Borealis, Aurora, Northern Lights

People believe when you whistle, you make the lights dance.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

Gone Camping

Camping, Tent, Nature, Girl, Woman
Spent last night camping a few miles out of town with a bunch of high schoolers.  I'll tell you all about it Monday. Have fun.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Two New Things and One Oh My!

While I was in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I spoke with a friend who happens to be a hair dresser.  She told me that you don't have to go in every six weeks to get a trim.  You really only need to go in when your hair needs it.  I'm glad to hear this because I can only get into town to get my hair trimmed three to four times a year.  I've been working on taking better care of it.

She also mentioned she'd found a new comb that was fantastic.  It's a detangler comb impregnated with coconut oil and keratin.  I found one at my local beauty supply store and bought one.  Ohhhh my goodness, it is awesome.  It makes it so much easier to comb out my hair whether its wet or dry.  It slides through my hair, eliminating all the knots I get from walking in the wind.  I found more on Amazon, so I'm planning on ordering a few more for when this one is done. 
While I was in the beauty supply store, I found these.  They are colored pieces of human hair attached to combs.  I got them in this bright pink, a dark red, and a dark purple so I can put in instant color without damaging my hair.  I wear my hair twisted on the top of my head so my hair is shorter.  I can attach the strands just under the bun and the streaks look like they are part of my hair.  I love them. I can be wild when I feel like it and be conservative when I need to.  It's a perfect solution.

Now for the Oh My!.  I told you that we had a major storm hit the village when I arrived.  We continued to have more and more rain until the water processing plant could not handle the amount of water and all the sudden it turned a bright orange, almost the color of a pumpkin.  The city put out a notice not to drink it, wash in it, or wash your clothing in it.  I didn't get the notice till after I'd filtered and boiled the water to drink and cook with it.

I'd also run a load of laundry so now all my whites are a dingy, yellowish, shade.  They look so old.  On Monday, I discovered I wasn't the only one who didn't get the notice in time.  There were quite a few people out there who did the same thing.  A couple of days later, they got the water situation under control but they still had to flush the lines so when I went to cook dinner again, I ended up with cruddy water again, so I switched dinner to things that were easy to cook and didn't need any water to prepare - Beans (canned), cheese, and corn tortillas.  Unfortunately, I had so many beans made up, I've had to eat them four days in a row.  The latest note from the city assures us its all under control.

I will not be posting tomorrow due to being involved in a high school camping trip.  The local high school performs service projects during most of the days before heading out to camp out of town for the evening.  While out there, they'll do some cultural activities, have snacks. play games, build leadership and team building.  I plan to take pictures and report back on it Monday.  I'd go a head and write an extra column but I have classwork and need to pack.  

Have a great weekend and I will have my usual pictures.  Have a great day and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

New Place

Every night, as soon as I've finished work for the day, I head over to my apartment, drop stuff and go out for a 40 minute walk around town.  One night, I grabbed my iPod so I could take pictures of places on my walk to share.  I don't know whose this is and I have no idea what its used for but I thought it looked fun. This photo is of the black, gravely beach looking kind of south west.

The coast line curves in towards the village and then out again towards the south.  We're kind of in an inlet along the coast.  This photo is taken down near a bunch of rocks near the school.

Sometime in the past, people built a playground area just off the beach.  The first day after the water retreated, it had lots of loose logs but people went in to clear it out.  There is also a skateboard ramp that I've never seen used by kids.

This statue sits in someone's yard just after the road curves inland from the ocean.  This road comes out by the old Covenant Church boarding school and school buildings.  

This is a picture of the old Covenant Church Boarding School.  The church is to the right, immediately next to the grocery store.  This building is used by the local school district to store building supplies.  The boarding school opened in 1954 and closed in 1981.  This one was a private boarding school rather than public so 

This last picture is of the slough which runs inland from the Bering straits.  To the right is the ocean and to the left is inland.  You see some beautiful hills that surround the village.  Most people secure their boats along this area but a bit further down to the left.  I took the photo one the road furthest inland and just past the garbage dump.

Since this is a new job in a new location, I thought I would share a few photos of the village so you'd get a chance to see what it looks like.  Thursday night I'll be chaperoning a bunch of students at the local Covenant Bible Camp and Friday we come back.  It should be fun.  I'm hoping to take pictures to share with you of the area further inland.

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Don't Throw That Out!

Carrots, Potato Peeler, Cook, KitchenI finally got everything unpacked and put away.  I got a box of wonderfully fresh organic fruits and vegetables to cook but I've had to throw some of the peels, tops, etc out because I haven't been in a position to use them.

Many people throw bones or peels, or pods, or other parts of vegetables because they see them as waste.  There are still lots of things you can do with them before disposing of them but you don't have to throw them out.

1.  My mother always saved left over bones and carcasses from anytime we had a turkey, chicken, pork or steak to form the basis of soup.  She'd throw the bones into a pot of water and simmer until the meat fell off all the bones and it had reduced.  Then she'd add vegetables and noodles and cook till done.  She wouldn't keep fish bones but gave them to my father to bury in the garden.

2.  My grandmother always just boiled the bones in a pot of water with onions, salt, and garlic until the meat till the meat fell off the bones.  She'd let the broth cool before freezing it in ice cube trays or plastic containers to use when the recipe called for broth.

3.  I keep all the trimmings from vegetables such as peels, onion skins, pea shells, leek greens, beet skins, the hard center of the chard or kale leaf, and throw them in a bag to freeze until I get enough to throw in a pot of water to cook until I have a vegetable broth.  When I've strained all the odds and ends out, I bury those in the garden and use the broth in all sorts of things.  I've read you can cook the corn cob in with vegetable scraps for the broth.

4. When I was growing up, there was usually watermelon rind pickles made from the rind of watermelons.  They were a particular favorite with meat due to the spiciness of the finished product.  In addition, someone in the house always dried pumpkin seeds, spiced them, and enjoyed them as snacks.  By the way, you can throw the gummy stuff from pumpkins in the soup pot for the broth.

5. Grate the skins of the lemon, lime, grapefruit, or other citrus to make zests for later use.  I'm discovering more and more recipes calling for lemon or lime zest so I grate it and freeze it in my ice cube tray for later use or dry them.  One can also make candied citrus peel or a marmalade from citrus skins.

6.  Remainders from juicing vegetables and certain fruits.  I take the pulp that is left and add it to cakes, breads, and other baked goods instead of the grated vegetables or diced fruit.  I really don't notice much difference when using the left over carrots, apples, and ginger in a carrot or apple cake.  Its great.

7.  You can take the peel from apples, pears, pineapples or other fruits, throw them in a jar with a tsp of sugar, cover with water, top with a cloth, and stir once a day until it ferments into vinegar, strain, and use.

8.  I don't throw the green part of the leek out.  I use it in place of onions or throw it in soup.  I also take the stem of broccoli, or cauliflower, peel (peels go in soup pot), add to soup or cook separately, blend and use for "cream" in a cream soup.

9.  My father used to take the pickle juice once everyone finished eating the pickles, add cucumbers, olives, or vegetables to pickle them.  He'd get a few batches out of the juice this way.

10.  As certain vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, or potatoes wilt, my mother either cooked them up into a mush before adding them to pancakes or soup, or she shredded them for use in cookies, cakes, or breads.

If you have a way you use vegetable or meat scraps, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Wanted: Dead Or Alive

Cowboy, Icons, Hat, Lasso, Rope, Boots We've all seen the part of the western where the bounty hunter shoots down the bad guy and then hauls him into the next town to turn in for the reward.  If you've been to the post office, you may have seen the "Most wanted list" with pictures of people complete with descriptions, aliases, crimes, etc so people can turn them in if they've seen them.  I've even seen the occasional movie supposedly in the medieval time where the sheriff puts out posters to catch someone like Robin Hood.

Did they exist way back then or are they a thing the writers did to make the story more fun.  When did wanted posters come into use?  I never really thought about it until I saw a You Tube video that matched the Young Guns movie up with Bon Jovi's song Wanted.

The answer to when depends on which branch of justice you look at.  The FBI didn't start using wanted posters until 1919 when they issued a poster for a William Bishop for desertion from the military.  Originally these posters were actually Identification Orders which included details on the person such as name, crime or crimes they were wanted for, picture, and criminal history. Sometime in the 1920's the FBI began adding fingerprints as they became available and the Identification Orders changed to Wanted posters.

In the 1930's the FBI began collecting information about people wanted from across the country so they could publish posters of fugitives wanted across the country. In 1950's the FBI started the Most Wanted Fugitives due to a request from a reporter in 1949 for information on the 10 most wanted people.  As time went on, the posted changed and eventually moved into digital form.

As for wanted posters from the Wild West, those began in a much different way.  In the 1870's and 1880's most wanted or reward posters were simply handbills or postcards sent out to lawmen without any pictures, only the descriptions.  Some lawmen kept pictures of the outlaws taken when they were in prison and scribbled information on the back of these.

Photo's didn't appear on posters until the 1900's when photography became more advanced.  Furthermore, these posters were seldom placed in public as they were intended only for use by lawmen.  Occasionally you'd find a poster with a sketch or added photo but without was much more common.

Usually when a criminal did something, posters were printed up and sent out to lawmen in surrounding areas because they didn't get very far by horse.  It's not like now when you can get into a car and speed away or hop on a plane so wanted posters never had to be circulated very far. Occasionally, lawmen had the wanted posters printed in newspapers, or sent across many states such as the one for the people who assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

The last group of wanted posters are put out by U.S. Marshals service didn't begin until 1983 with its first issue of the 15 Most Wanted.  These were usually posted at your local Post Offices and carried the usual information.

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

Friday, August 16, 2019

10 of the Most Expensive Dishes in the World.

Hamburger, Burger, Barbeque, Bbq, BeefWhere I am, we talk about how expensive it can be living in the bush of Alaska where Bananas can cost between $1.00 and $1.50 each, or Cherries can be $8.00 per pound and a hamburger can run in the neighborhood of $25.00 and that does not usually include the French fries.

The $25 price in no way compares with the cost of the most expensive hamburger in the world.  Imagine paying $295 for a burger in New York City or $666 for a burger from a food truck.  The second burger is made of Kobe beef, fois gras, and gold leaf all covered in caviar, lobster, truffles, cheese melted in a champagne steam, and topped with a BBQ sauce made with a rare coffee.  If you want a burger that is even more expensive, you can buy one for $5000 made out of Wagyu beef and fois gras topped with a truffle sauce and shaved black truffles.  A bottle wine accounts for half of the cost.

If you want, you can finish your meal with a frozen chocolate sundae.  The ice cream is made of 28 different types of cocoa including 14 of the most expensive, decorated in edible gold and served in a glass lined with edible gold.  At the bottom, you will find an 18 carat gold bracelet with a one carat diamond and a spoon made of gold with white and chocolate diamonds all for the wonderful price of 25,000.  Yes you get to keep  the bracelet, and the spoon.

For people not into hamburgers, its possible to buy a curry made of Devon crab, white truffle, Baluga caviar, a gold coated Scottish lobster, abalone, eggs, and more gold leaf.  This dish is found in London and can be purchased for just over $3000.

There is main dish you could have instead of curry.  It is a meat pie made of Wagyu beef, matsutake mushrooms,  winter black truffles, blue foot mushrooms, accompanied with a gravy made with two bottles of expensive 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine and the crust is covered in edible gold leaf.  The whole pie costs over $14,250 but you can buy a piece for just over $1700.

If you prefer something a bit more down to earth and less expensive, head over to Malta for a pizza topped with up to 100 grams of white truffles and gold leaf but the money from this dish is donated to charity.  The restaurant also requires at least a one week notice to make it.

Prefer something even more basic?  Head over to Sacramento for a hot dog that will only set you back just over $145.  What makes this so expensive is the Swedish moose cheese added to the apple smoked uncured bacon, greens, French mustard, a garlic and herb mayo, tomato, a balsamic vinegar dressing served on a herb focaccia with truffle butter.

Are you a Sushi lover?  You can spend almost $2000 for five pieces of it.  Each piece is wrapped in gold leaf, topped with three pearls, and one diamond.  I think the gold, pearls, and diamonds is responsible for the cost.

How about taking home a 15 pound ham from Sefridges in London.  For just over $2,600 you get the ham from a pig fed only on acorns and roots, then cured for three years before being packed in a hand made wooden box covered with a hand sewn apron and each box includes a DNA certificate, just so you know its real.

Some time in the future, I'll write on the most expensive ingredients in the world.  I hope you enjoyed learning more about the most expensive dishes in the world.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The 10 Most Expensive Jeans In The World.

Fabric, Jeans, Texture, Cloth, MaterialI know jeans out there can be quite expensive especially when looking at name brand ones.  I tend to go for the lesser known brands that are a whole lot cheaper because I would rather spend my money elsewhere.  The jeans I'll mention today, go for way more than most of us spend on jeans and often rival the price of rent, a car, or a house.  I kid you not.

There is a brand known as 3 X 1 that's been around since 2011.  They have stock sizes but the prices are in the $100 to $400 range and it is going to be even higher, around $1,200 if you have them make you a pair of custom jeans.  If you buy a regular pair, you have to choose by the waist size because the length of the leg is determined by the style.

Yves Saint Laurent relaunched their high fashion collection in 2015.  In the process, their high end jeans are going for over $1000 each.  If you don't want to spend quite that much you can get a pair for between $500 and $800 each but you don't have a choice of leg length, only waist.

Michael Kors is a company that began producing clothing for women but expanded to the men's market.  In general, their jeans run a reasonable price between $100 and $300 but if you go for one of his tie-dyed leather bell bottom pants, those can go for over $1000.  I found one in a Wisteria color, marked down to $1078 from $3,595 at Neiman Marcus.  In another shop, they advertised a straight legged leather pant for just under $2000.

Let's pop over to Alexander McQueen, another well known fashion designer.  They offer jeans ranging in price from $500 to over $1000 for a pair of these brand name jeans but some of their exclusive jeans range are in  the $1000 to $2000 or more price range.  I saw a pair of metallic jeans made of a metallic silver laminated material.

On the other hand, Gucci set a record back in 1998 when they released their "Genius Jeans".  These jeans sold for a little over $3000.  Gucci had taken a regular pair of jeans, distressed them, ripped them before adding African beads. This one pair is what got them on the list.

A.P.O. or Alpha Phi Omega  Jeans are defiantly high end due to the added bling.  They often use gold, silver, or platinum for rivets, small diamonds instead of buttons, so the cost depends on how many gems or types of metals they use but $4000 is the average price.  One thing these jeans do have that most other jeans do not - they come with an appraisal sheet and an authenticity number.

Back in 2010, Escada created the Escada couture Swarovski crystal jeans.  These jeans were decorated with Swarovski crystals.  The ones that cost a lot are the ones with decorations running up and down the sides.  They went for $10,000 at Neiman Marcus.

The pair of original Levi's 501 jeans dating back pre-1900's were put up for auction on e-bay and went for $60,000.  These jeans were only one of two or three complete sets from before 1900.  These were found in 1998 and never washed before being placed on line for sale.

On the other hand, check out the Dussault Apparel Thrashed Denim Line which are wash 13 times and hand painted or dyed between each wash before being decorated with 25 half carat rubies, 16 one carat rubies, 1080 grams of 18K rose or white gold, and 8 half carrot diamonds.  You can have all this for a cool $250,000 and these distressed jeans are referred to as "whites".

Now for the most expensive jeans in the world. Made by Secret Circus clothing, this pair of jeans went for $1.3 million.  These jeans look normal with designs on the legs but its the 15 diamonds on the back pocket which caused the price to be that high.  Someone did buy the jeans but the company is keeping that hush hush.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

14 Facts About Denim Jeans

Jeans, Pants, Trouser Buttons, ClothingBy now, most people have heard that Levi Strauss began making jeans back during the California gold rush because miners needed something durable to last.

 There is a bit more to the story in that Levi Strauss opened a western branch of the family dry goods store in San Francisco during the gold rush.  Jacob Davis, a tailor, received a request to make a sturdy pair of pants so he purchased denim material from Levi to make the order.  He placed the rivets in areas that tended to experience the wear first.  Davis decided to patent the pants and got together with Levi and before you know it, Levi Strauss denim jeans were born.

Now for some interesting facts concerning jeans.

1.  The orange thread used for stitching on Levi jeans is trademarked because it is a distinguishable feature and it was designed to match the copper rivets in the jeans.

2.  The making of the 501's requires 37 different stitching operations.

3.  Back in 1997, an the oldest pair of Levi's jeans were found.  The company estimated they were about 100 years old at the time.

4.  Originally jeans were called "waist overalls" and came in two colors: Indigo blue and a brown cotton duck.  Duck in this case refers to a type of material, not a bird.  The indigo blue was a dark blue that hid dirt quite well.

5. At one point, jeans for men were quite different than jeans for women.  The ones for men had the zipper in the front while the women's pants had zippers in the side. At this point, women's pants normally had zippers in the side.

6.  One bale of cotton produces enough material to make between  215 to 225 pairs of jeans.  In addition, twenty thousand tons of indigo is produced each year to dye the material used in jeans.  Each pair of jeans requires only a few ounces of indigo to obtain the color.

7. During the 1950's, blue jeans were banned from places like schools, and theaters because they were seen as being against conformity. This stemmed from the movies where the ones who refused to follow rules tended to be dressed in jeans.  In 1951, Bing Crosby was denied a hotel room because he was wearing jeans so Levi Strauss designed a "Canadian Tuxedo" jacket for Bing which was a proper tuxedo jacket made of denim.

8.  American soldiers wore blue jeans while off duty during World War II and the wearing spread to other countries for the first time.

9. No one is sure who invented denim but it is thought it was first created in Genoa Italy back in the 1500's but by the time Levi imported the material, it came from De Nimes, France.  It is thought De Nimes became Denim.  The term jeans is thought to be from the word "Genes" which is what the French called Genoa.

10. Levi Strauss never wore a pair of his jeans because he saw them as what the poorer people wore and he was wealthy.

11.  In 1936, the company began sewing labels in the form of a red flags next to the back pocket.

12. The  birthday of jeans is set as May 20 because that is the day Levi Strauss and his partner received their patent.

13.  A place called "Limbo" located in New York City's East Village, washed a pair of jeans so they looked used and sold it.  With just this one thing, they created a new fashion hit.

14. Back in the 19th century the term jean referred to much higher quality of material used in fine clothing while denim was rougher and used in work clothing.

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

History of Nail Polish.

Painting Fingernails, Nail PolishI have never been one to use nail polish but I remember many of the female teachers I had who wore it regularly.  I remember one teacher who told me, she had to wear nail polish because her nails were now yellowed and looked weird.  I think it might be making a comeback because I see more people wearing it.

Nail polish dates back to around 3000 B.C. in Ancient China.  They used a mixture of beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, and vegetable dyes.  Furthermore, they made artificial nails out of silver and gold covered with jewels or cloisonné for the royal classes only.

The Babylonian male warriors colored their nails with kohl but those of the upper class used black kohl while those in the lower classes used green.  Ancient Egyptians used nail polish as a way to distinguish among classes.  The lower classes wore a nude or light colors while the upper classes loved to wear red and the redder the nails, the higher in society the person placed.

The colored nails and jeweled nails continued into the French courts and the wilder the better. In the 1830's a manicurist created a nail file from a dental tool.  By the Victorian age, women were using tinted creams and varnishes.  Further more, Victorian women used tinted polishes that had to be buffed on each and every nail so it was rather time consuming.  The first nail salon opened in Paris where the workers polished, creamed, and tinted nails. This is where the term "nail polish" came from.

It wasn't that long before an American opened the first nail salon in New York City.  Mary Cobb started her own line of products and was the only source of emery boards in the states.  During World War I, the United States obtained nitrocellulose from Germany which was used in car paint, film, and Cutex's clear nail lacquer in 1916.

During the 1920's the automotive industry created a paint that a French manicurist adapted to be used on nails and in 1932 Revlon released the first colored nail polish in a cream color and soon a red followed. They used pigments rather than dyes which allowed them to create a lot of new colors and made it easier to apply polish to the nails.   Nail polish is the first product Revlon marketed before branching out into other cosmetics.  Curtex had three shades of red by 1934 on the market and a bottle was only 35 cents making it affordable for everyone.  In fact, having a French manicure became all the rage since most people could do it at home.

In addition, the first black nail polish made its appearance during the 1930's.  As the 1930's gave way to the 1940's and World War II and women began to replace men in the workplace, newspapers ran articles on ways to combat mechanics hands.  Women gave up the long nails and went back to coating their nails with colorless polish so their nails looked good but were protected.

It wasn't until the late 1950's that the artificial nail hit the market.  It'd been developed by a dentist who broke a nail at work and made a new one from dental acrylic.  The dentist and his brother patented the formula and marketed this new product.

The nail polish market has continued to grow and has sold over 2 million gallons of nail polish worth over $768 million.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, August 12, 2019

8 of the Strangest Diets In History

Fruit, Watermelon, Fruits, Heart If you watch any amount of television or you check out those women's magazines, you'll see someone sharing the most fantastic diet with you.  You'll see low carbs, high carbs, lots of protein, little protein, counting this, counting that but they all claim to help you loose weight.

This is not the first time people have proposed diets.  This has been going on a lot longer than you might imagine.  For instance, there was a popular diet in the 1700's in which Thomas Short observed there were more heavier people living near swamps.  So his solution was for those people to move to a more arid climate, away from those bodies of water.

In 1820, poet Lord Byron advocated using his vinegar diet where you drank a combination of vinegar and water each day.  He lost weight but it may have been due to one of the side effects of the diet.  Drinking as much vinegar as he did resulted in vomiting and diarrhea, so of course he lost weight.  Even today it is recommended at much lower amounts than Lord Byron recommended but if a person drinks too much vinegar, it could possibly cause low potassium levels, bone loss, erosion of tooth enamel, burned throats, in addition to vomiting and diarrhea.

In 1903, Horace Fletcher shared his diet for loosing weight.  He recommended chewing every bit of food at least 32 times before spitting it out.  He maintained his body was getting all the nutrients from  chewing the food until it liquified so it didn't need any remaining solid part.  Horace traveled the world promoting his diet for 20 years, sharing it complete with advice of only eating when you were really, really hungry but not when you were angry.  This diet was soon replaced by calorie counting but there is at least one study which supports eating your food slowly and throughly.

One diet lasting from 1830 to 1900 has started making an appearance again.  All it took was one pill and you were set.  You could eat anything you wanted without ever gaining a pound. In fact, you'd loose weight but the problem was the pill was filled with tapeworm eggs. When the eggs hatched and grew into tapeworms, they eat whatever you eat but the worms can grow up to 30 feet long, cause illness or even death.  This is not a recommended diet even though it has made its appearance every so often including in the 1950's and the 2010's.

Even in the last 50 to 60 years, there have been equally fantastic diets.  There is the Breatharian diet that claims it is possible to live off of only air when a person is in complete harmony with the world.  Unfortunately, leaders of this group end up actually eating food and the few people who quit eating have died.    This one is still floating around and being offered by a few people.

One of the current diets is the Cotton Ball Diet in which a person is to fill up on juice soaked cotton balls so they eat less food.  This particular diet apparently came out of the modeling industry where women are expected to stay quite slim.  Unfortunately, your body cannot digest cotton balls so they just remain in the stomach and intestines forming a bezoar which must be surgically removed.  Furthermore, it can cause malnutrition.

From the 1970's there is the Prolinn diet in which you regularly drink something made out of ground up horns, hoofs, skins, etc, basically everything the slaughterhouses didn't use.  The stuff was broken down and flavored to create a drink with only 400 calories and no nutrition. Unfortunately, you just starved on this diet and at least 58 people died while using it.

Then there is the wonderful Sleeping Beauty diet where a person takes sedatives to sleep long periods of time.  The idea is while you sleep you are not eating so you'll loose weight.  This was Elvis's favorite diet but that may have been why he ended up addicted to drugs.

This is just a sample of strange diets that still pop up occasionally today.  Most were not good for people's health, yet they appealed to people who wanted to loose weight.  I've heard diets do not work, what works is eating a more balanced meal made of greens, veggies, and a protein along with moderate exercise.

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

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bucket List

Louvre, Glass Pyramid, Paris, Pyramid

The Louvre in Paris, France.  This is on my bucket list.  Is it on yours?

Friday, August 9, 2019

The 10 Highest Capitals in the World.

Paris, France, Eiffel, Tower, CityMost state capitals in this country are not all that high and our national capital in Washington, D.C. is definitely not very high but there are some countries whose capitals are well over a mile above sea level and one is about two miles up.  If you are not mathematically into things, a mile is 5280 feet.

The capital found at 11, 942 feet above sea level is La Paz, Bolivia in South America.  This is not the constitutional capital but the financial capital and seat of government.  The constitutional government, the second official capital, is found in Sucre Bolivia with an altitude of 9022 feet above sea level.

The next highest capital is Quito, Ecuador with an elevation of 9,350 feet above sea level and is also the second highest city in the world.  In addition, it has been the home to the Headquarters for the Union of South American Nations for the last 10 years.

Third on the list is Bogota, Colombia at 8,661 feet and is a popular tourist destination.  Furthermore, many tourists who visit Bogota suffer from altitude sickness due to its elevation.  Almost 1000 feet below Bogota is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in Africa.  Addis Ababa is 7,726 feet above sea level.  It is one of the oldest countries in the world in addition to being one of the largest and most populated in the Horn of Africa.

Fifth on the list is Thimphu, Bhutan at 7,657 feet.  The kingdom of Bhutan is a land locked country whose name means "Land of the Thunder Dragon" because of the fierce thunder storms produced by the Himalayas.  Next is Asmara, Eritrea at 7,628 and its been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site so as to preserve its architecture.

Dropping down to 7,380 feet, Mexico City is in seventh place.  This popular tourist city is one of the most populated cities in North America.  Then comes Sana, Yemen, a city found at 7,218 feet.  Sana is one of the older populated cities in the world and is Yemen's largest city.

Kabul, Afghanistan is in eighth place at 5,873 feet above sea level.  Due to rapid growth, Kabul has placed as the 75th largest city in the world.  In tenth place lies Nairobi, Kenya at 5, 450 feet above sea level.  Nairobi is part of a phrase meaning cool water.

So if you decide you want to visit one of the highest ten capitals in the world, you know where to go. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Odd Color Names.

Color Swatches, Design, Graphic DesignI hate shopping for paint or even clothing because they often have strange names for colors I learned by different names.  For instance, someone once showed me this peachy orangish color I thought was salmon but I was quickly corrected that it was nectarine.  It looked salmon to me but who am I to argue with the person wearing it.

Another time, I found this cool light pink paint for the bathroom.  I bought it and once I had the bathroom repainted, the pink only showed when the light reflected off the walls, otherwise it looked white.

There are names of colors out there which refer to specific shades but ones you've probably never hear of.  For instance, Sarcoline is a flesh color often found in high heels, blends in with your skin color so your legs look longer.  On the other hand, you might want to paint your shed Smaragdine which is an emerald green color.

Mikado in this case is not the name of a Japanese emperor or comic opera but rather a bright bold yellow while Glaucous is a powdery blue dating back to 1671 and originally referred to the powdery blue grey residue found on grapes.  The nice thing about Wenge is that it hides dirt well due to being a dark wood brown with coppery undertones.

Then there is Fulvous, a lovely brownish yellow while a Xanadu describes the grey green color found on a philodendron leaf.  You could always paint your room a beautiful Coquelicot or the reddish orange color of a poppy flower.  Razzmatazz is a pink half way between red and magenta when you look at color wheel.  This color was given to us by Crayola in 1993. Feldgru on the other hand is the grayish green color of German Uniforms from 1907 to 1945.

Of course you could always find a dress in Australien, a color described in 1897 as a rusty color similar to the Australian outback.  Some places have painted the walls of their jails a Drunk Tank Pink due to its calming influence.  A darker shade of pink, often referred to as Lusty Gallant, is similar to a coral pink.  Then there is Amaranth the color of that pink bubble gum you used to chew as a child.

Don't forget Puke which is a dark brown and believed to have come from a Shakespearean play while Watchet is a very pale blue, almost a sky blue but named after the color of the cliffs near Watchet, England.  Nattier, a deep shade of slate blue is named after an artist who used in many of his paintings including his "Lady in Blue".

There are so many other names of colors which historical significance, or named after plants, rocks, or minerals out there.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Interstate Highway System.

Interstate, Highway, Road Sign, Roadsign
Although the state of Alaska has a few highways, some built to interstate standards, they are not labeled as interstate highways.  They have numbers but most Alaskan's only know the highway by its name or where it leads.  I finally discovered the Parks Highway which runs from Fairbanks to Anchorage is Highway 3 and I've been up here many, many years.

The thing about interstates is they provide some of the most direct routes across the country from east to west and north to south.  In the early years of the 20th century, as automobile ownership increased and more roads were built, most highways were named with names such as "Dixie Highway".

This lead the United States government passing an act in 1925 that required these highways to be marked with the now familiar numbered shield.  Furthermore, as the number of cars continued to increase, making the need for more roads apparent,  car companies, tire companies, and others convinced state and federal governments these roads were extremely important.

By 1939, two people from the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads notified Congress of the need for a system of roads that did not charge tolls.  It took till 1944, for the government to pass an act which would create a 40,000 mile network of roads connecting all major cities but it never went anywhere because the government did not provide funding for this.

Jump forward to the 1950's when Eisenhower was elected president. When he was in Germany during World War II, he'd seen how well their network of high speed roads worked so once he'd been elected, he made the creation of nationwide network of high speed roads a priority.

This new series of roads would allow people to cross the country easily but it would also provide the military a way to move from one place to another incase of emergency.  In addition, it would allow people to escape from cities should there be a nuclear attack.  

In 1956, the federal government passed another act to build 41,000 miles of interstate roads across the nation.  It was decided the federal government  would provide funding for 90 percent of the cost while the states only needed to come up with the remaining 10 percent. "The National System of Interstate and Defense Highways."would get rid of lousy roads, traffic jams, and improve travel making it faster.  Furthermore, the highways used on and off ramps rather than intersections to keep traffic flowing and each one had to have at least four lanes available for high speed driving.

At first, people were happy with this vision until the building started and it began interfering with peoples lives.  People who owned property in the way of the roads were displaced and had to move elsewhere and these roads often cut through communities dividing them in half.  This lead to people fighting back.

For instance, protesters in San Francisco managed to halt construction of the double decker highway system along the water front in 1959.  In years following this, other protesters in other cities managed to stop construction so it didn't cut certain places in half but this lead to roads that went nowhere.  By the end of it, 46,000 miles of road had been built.

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Television and It's History

Tv, Television, Retro, Classic, OldMany of our grandparents would recognize this floor model but it is years away from the streaming of today or the flat screen televisions.  I know it's been around for a while but I'm not sure how long.

It turns out historically, the mechanical television came first followed by the electrical one which is what we use today.  The mechanical television began appearing in the 1800's but didn't make much of an impact until the 1920's.

A mechanical television shot light through  a series of one or more rotating disks to produce a picture so they could transmit images without using film.  The first modern one premiered in Selfridges in 1925 as a way to attract shoppers.  It threw the silhouette of a ventriloquist dummy across the room.  One year later, an improved version of the mechanical television made its appearance.  Unfortunately, the images were extremely low resolution, usually the resolution equaled the number of holes.  The disks also could spin so fast, they flew out of the television and hit things.

The inventor, James Baird, kept improving the machine so the "scanned" picture could be transmitted over radio wires so people hundreds of miles away could receive an image.  By 1928, he'd created color pictures using colored lights and various filters.  Across the ocean an American was working on his version of the mechanical television and on July 2, 1928, W3XK broadcast it's first program geared mechanical televisions.

In 1927, another inventor Philo Taylor Farnsworth, debuted a new system that captured moving images using a beam of electrons. He was only 21 at the time and it is amazing since he lived in a house with no electricity until he was 14 years old.

Basically the electric television worked by Cathode Tubes to send a beam of electrons to hit the back of the television screen that was coated in phosphor.  The television created a picture, one line at a time using two magnets that steered the beams to the exact location.  These electric televisions produce far superior pictures and the mechanical televisions quickly disappeared from sight.

The first television stations started broadcasting in the late 1920's and early 1930's.  One of the earliest, WRGB began broadcasting in 1926 and has continuously broadcast since then, setting a record.  Although electrical televisions had the best pictures, the first sets sold were mechanical televisions in 1928.  It wouldn't be until 1938 that electrical televisions went into production and became an instant success.

One of the first programs aired by WRGB, "Queens Messenger" premiered in 1928 to an audience of four televisions.  For the first 13 years of its existence, WRGB broadcast everything commercial free but in 1941, a ten second Bulova watch aired on NBC.

As far as color televisions, a German inventor patented the idea of color television in 1904 but he didn't actually have a working model.  It didn't go anywhere until 1946 when companies began pursuing the idea of a color television because all programs were in Black and White.  Although CBS invented the first color television, it was based on the mechanical television and was not compatible with current broadcasts.

Even knowing this, the FCC stated that CBS's television was the industry standard. CBS broadcast its first color transmission in 1951 to about 12 people while 12 million could not receive it.  RCA, the other company working on color, objected and kept on with their research until they came up with a system that worked with black and white sets in 1953.  The FCC acknowledged the RCA system superior and it became the industry standard. In 1954, RCA sets were sold across the country but nation wide color broadcasting didn't start until 1966.  In 1955, the first workable remote hit the market.  This one turned the television on and off, turned channels, and it was wireless.

Throughout the 1950's many radio stars moved to television, original programming such as I Love Lucy began, and advertising increased consistently.  Furthermore, cable television began in 1958 to 425,000 subscribers.  Continuing into the 1960's and 70's many events such as the Nixon-Kennedy debates were broadcast live while much of the live programming originating in New York gave way to carefully shot shows.

Over time, televisions have changed to flat screen high definition where people can enjoy their sports and many more shows are now streaming to digital devices.  Some people, such as myself, do not own a television because I either stream or I watch DVD's on a player.  So now you know a bit more about the story of television.

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

Monday, August 5, 2019

Arrived In The Middle of a Storm.

I arrived to my new teaching position on Friday afternoon.  The plane was about an hour late but the ride left a bit later than normal.  When I got to the village, there was a significant wind blowing rain everywhere.  I didn't even get my stuff that was stored at school.  I told my lift, I'd prefer to get it on Saturday.  It was still windy as anything but it wasn't bad.  

I took the above photo Saturday afternoon while the wind was still blowing water from the ocean so it felt as if I were getting pelted by shards of something sharp.  This is the bay just past the road in front of my apartment.

The picture above was taken at the harbor where fishing boats come in and unload fish to be processed. The processing plant is the red building in the background.  I wouldn't be surprised if people could go there and pick up frozen salmon and other fish.

 The above picture was taken Sunday afternoon almost 24 hours after the first one.  The storm passed by and the sea is so much calmer.  My ride said this was the worst storm the town has seen in a very long time.

 The picture above is what the harbor area looks like under normal circumstances.  The storm brought the water up so high, those blue containers were under water.  Most people drove around the village, checking to see how high the water was.  It was a big difference.
This is the regional sub-clinic which means it has doctors rather than health aids and there is a dental clinic.  This is the place people come who are in surrounding villages if their clinic can't handle it and they come here to get their teeth done.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  I have most of my stuff unpacked.  I'm just breaking down boxes and finishing off the last few things.  Have a great day.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Friday, August 2, 2019

Best Places To Visit In August.

Fiat, Fiat 500, Auto, Oldtimer, VehicleIt is time for me to head back to work after a wonderful summer of travel but some people wait to take their vacation.  August is the perfect month to visit some wonderful places both in the United States and overseas.

We are heading into the fall when some people plan trips just to see the changing leaves but that isn't August.

In August, you might consider going to Newport, Rhode Island with its mild, sunny weather, rocky coasts, and gentle breezes.  Newport, though, is known for its Jazz Festival at the beginning of August.  It is held at the Fort Adams State Park, a place with good views of both the harbor and the bay.  In addition, there is a cliff walk where you can wander along the edges to enjoy all that the area has to offer.

If you'd prefer something overseas, check out Budapest, Hungary with its summer festival running from June to September but in August they have the Festival of Crafts, held at Buda Castle, between August 17 to 20.  This festival has craft demonstrations, food, folk dance, and markets.  August 20th is also St. Stephens day and the day of Hungary's statehood, both are celebrated with a huge fireworks display.  In addition, the Sziget Festival runs from August 7 to 13 filled with music, performances, parties, and other fun activities.  If you are more into motor sports, check out the Hungary Grand Prix on August 2 to 4 just outside Budapest, and of course one has to visit the Great Market Hall filled with crafts, foods, and souvenirs.  The Great Market Hall is well over 100 years old.

On the other hand, if you'd rather stay in the United States, check out Laguna Beach, California with the final month of its Sawdust Arts Festival filled with artists, jewelry makers, photography, and so much more.  In addition, its also the last month of the Parent of the Great Masters where famous works of art are recreated by actors.  This is accompanied by a Festival of the Arts with workshops, activities, music, and tours to enjoy.

Then there is Edinburgh, Scotland with the month long Fringe Festival filled with nonstop entertainment such as drag shows,  cabarets, dance, theater, children's shows, and so much more.  This festival is considered the "worlds largest platform for creative performance". I passed through Edinburgh one year during the festival and it was well attended.  The Edinburgh Tattoo also happens during this same time at the Edinburgh Castle so you can enjoy both during the same visit.

Back in the United States, take a trip to Michigan because of all the wonderful events happening during August when the weather is perfect.  There are three different Jazz Festivals in Lancing, Grand Rapids, and Makinac Islands on different weekends.  Then one can attend two different film festivals, or a African American or Hispanic cultural festivals.  One mustn't forget the music festival in Frankenmuth with music from polkas to rock and roll and everything in-between.

Head over to Iceland during August because its the country's warmest month.  I visited Reykjavik a couple years ago in August and it was fantastic.  The weather wasn't too hot and it was nice.  This is a good time to see up to 20 species of whales as they migrate north from the Atlantic to the Arctic.  Its also the month puffins begin their migration.  There are awesome things you can see including the place where the two plates meet.  Although it can cost a bit to get there, the exchange rate is better for Americans.

These are some great places to visit during August.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Lemon Kale With Chicken

Market, Vegetable MarketYesterday, I stopped through the Farmers Market in Fairbanks, Alaska.  The market happens two days a week.  It is not as big as some but it has everything from food to fruits and vegetables, to lotions, to handicrafts.

The market has local chefs come out to share recipes with everyone on what to do with various vegetables.  Yesterday, they had this wonderful woman from Stone's Throw to show how to use Kale.  Stone's Throw is a place run by Bread Line inc to train people in the culinary arts.

They demonstrated how to make a Lemon Kale with Chicken to all the visitors at the market.  They also took time to show a vegan version of the same dish by replacing the chicken with chickpeas.  I had the vegan version and it was awesome.  So tasty, I can hardly wait to make it myself.  Now for the recipe.

Lemon Kale with Chicken or Chickpeas.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion chopped.
1 clove garlic minced.
1/2 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast or one 15 ounce can of chickpeas.
1 small bunch of kale
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of agave syrup or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste.

1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the oil, then stir in the onions and garlic.  Cook for about 2 minutes or until the onions are soft.

2. Add the chicken, stirring occasionally until the chicken is lightly browned  and nearly cooked through.  This takes about 3 to 5 minutes.  Or you can add the chickpeas rather than chicken and cook till warm.

3.  Stir in the kale and cook till soft, about two to three minutes.  Stir in the zest, lemon juice, agave syrup or brown sugar and the smoked paprika.  Season with the salt and pepper.

This is sooo good and it is quite easy.  If you don't cook with much kale, remember to cut the center stem out so you only have the leafy part.

Thanks to Stone's Throw for the recipe and for allowing me to share the recipe.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.