Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sun Tea

A few years ago I began experimenting with different non-alcoholic, non-carbonated cold drink concoctions. Most of my effort went for naught, but I did have one winner; a sweet tea with an unusual taste. I am often asked for the recipe, so here it is.

Thaw one 16 ounce can of frozen concentrated apple juice by removing it from the freezer and placing it in refrigerator.

The following day;

Using a 1 gallon clear glass jar pour in 7 pints of filtered water. (Chlorine ruins the taste.) Suspend 10 Bigelow’s Constant Comment tea bags into the water.

Place jar in partial shade for one hour.

Remove tea bags and refrigerate. Allow enough time for the tea to become thoroughly chilled.

Mix the apple juice with the tea by “boxing” the concoction between two 1 gallon containers.

Goes well with lunch on a hot summer’s day.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hysteria And Common Sense

I saw a couple of interesting articles in today’s news that caused a chuckle at first, then a bit of rumination.

The first was a report on a 73 year old woman who is a member of the Kansas City, MO parks board. She is also a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. From the way LaRaza and NAACP are bemoaning her membership, you’d think she had hoof, horns, a forked tail, and carried a pitchfork.

First, the Minutemen are a bunch of overweight guys, mostly retired, who showed up the Fed’s border policing efforts in the Arizona desert a year or so ago. No violence, no call for lynching wet backs. Just a bunch of guys sitting in umbrella shaded lawn chairs in the Sonoran Desert a month or so before the heat became unbearable. They had all the comforts of a good deer camp down to cold beer and lots of cold cuts. Plus, while toting guns is legal in Arizona, the Minuteman organizers forbade long guns. No rifles, no shotguns, and certainly no assault weapons. Pistols were optional, and most didn’t carry them. Their aim was to point out just how the Gov’ment isn’t enforcing the immigration laws. They did that . . . much to the consternation of just about everyone. Some dippy ACLU lawyer branded them vigilantes. Not fair; they didn’t hang a single illegal, they just reported them to the border patrol.

I have yet to see how pointedly emphasizing the Fed’s shortcomings is a matter of concern for LaRaza or NAACP. If anyone out there knows, call me up and tell me. The phone number is 1(800)32JESUS.

The other article deals with a middle aged housewife who sits home while the kiddies are off to school cracking and reading Arabic language internet sites. When she comes on a juicy tidbit, she calls the “proper authorities.” Hmmm. Too bad she wasn’t on the job in early ’01.

I seem to recall the fact that there is a huge bureaucracy called National Security Agency charged with that effort. It is supposed to be doing what she’s doing in between baking cookies and whipping up pasta sauce. Maybe we should hire her and fire them. Sound good? Lets do it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I had a fun day. Let me tell you about it. I needed to do some shopping and it was up into the 90s so I found some shade to park in, even though I would have to walk a little farther. Worth it not having to get back into a wheeled oven.

On my trip to the store, I saw an abandoned refrigerator with the door still attached. That’s a hazardous condition if I ever saw one. Trying to be the responsible citizen I would like to think I am, I whipped out my trusty telephone and called the San Jose Police dispatch line.

The man who answered shared my concern and asked me to stay on the line while he forwarded my call to city code enforcement. That’s when things started to go wrong. The phone was answered by a woman who heard what I was calling about asked the address. I couldn’t see an address number anywhere and said so. End of conversation; she forwarded my call and that happened twice more before I got an outgoing voicemail. When it came my turn to talk I’m afraid I wasn’t terribly polite and did speculate a bit on city employee ancestry.

I gave it up for a moment and did my shopping chores. When I got home and got all the goodies put away, I tried calling the San Jose City Manager’s office. I called the number 13 times a got a busy signal 13 times. Then I tried calling the City Switchboard. They’ve got one of those automatic answering systems that tells me to press “1” if I want to speak English. Hell and damn! I’m a US American! Of course I want to speak English on account of they might not respond to well to Sailor.

I tried again for the City Manager’s office. I was directed to speak it or dial the right number. I spoke it four times with no recognition on the part of the machine after that I was directed to another recording telling me it would be 5 minutes before someone would answer my call.

That’s a stark contrast to the Cupertino City Hall, where the people are both solicitous and caring. I’m glad I live here rather than there.

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