Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Different Use For "Pez"...!

Who would have ever thought that something like the candy called Pez would have been designed with smokers in mind?

Strange beginnings for a candy, but many had some strange starts. Seems like anything goes when naming a candy, even in the old days.

PEZ Dispensers Were Created To Attract Smokers

The famous PEZ candies were created in Vienna, Austria, in 1927. Originally, they didn’t have the sweet, fruity flavors that we know today. They used to be peppermint flavored. In fact, their name comes from pfefferminz, the German word for “peppermint.”

Packaged in tins, the candies were popular for a time. They were supposed to be used as an alternative to smoking because their creator, Eduard Haas III, disliked smoking.

In 1949, new PEZ dispensers designed by Oscar Uxa were introduced as a way to hygienically share the candies without touching all of them. The dispensers were also designed to draw in smokers. Flicking open the top of a PEZ dispenser was meant to be like flicking a lighter. For a time, Haas even used the slogan “No Smoking, PEZing Allowed.”

In the transition to American markets, PEZ changed to their iconic fruity flavors, and the dispensers acquired their character tops. Whether PEZ have actually discouraged smoking is debatable. But PEZ still exist today as beloved combinations of candies and toys.

Thanks to the folks at Listverse for sharing this bit of candy history with us. Great place to get some useful information.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. High should be in the 70s, OK?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Vigilante Justice Committee...!...

In the olden days when things got so out of hand that the law couldn't or wouldn't help, vigilantes became the order of the day.

It was a wild and crazy time, as you can imagine!

When San Francisco Was Ruled By A Vigilante Justice Committee
By Debra Kelly on Thursday, February 4, 2016

In the 1850s, long before designs for the Golden Gate Bridge were even put down on paper, San Francisco was awash with crime. From murderers and thieves to corrupt politicians, it wasn’t a pleasant place. Spurred on by first a robbery and then the assassination of a newspaper editor, thousands of citizens, merchants, and businessmen banded together to form the Committee of Vigilance. Two committees—one in 1851 and the second in 1856—would take it upon themselves to clean up the city and prosecute and hang criminals. State militias were called in, but the committee ultimately disbanded voluntarily.

The 1850s were a busy time in California. People from all over were descending on the West Coast in hopes of striking gold and becoming rich overnight. Unsurprisingly, it could be a pretty lawless place at times.

The residents of one city were so fed up with the crime rate that they decided to take matters (and hangings) into their own hands.

The first Committee of Vigilance was formed in 1851, but it was fairly short-lived. A local paper claimed that the group had formed for the sole purpose of protecting its citizens against scum and villainy, and it was surprisingly well-organized.

Even though it was small, the committee had a group that was responsible for policing the streets and putting an end to criminal activity when they saw it. Their own justice system was responsible for handing out the punishments, which were then dispensed with enviable speed.

Part of the problem was the influence of the city’s politicians. Most were rather crooked and were more interested in using the official system to line their own pockets than fight the rash of unsolved murders that gripped the city from 1849 to 1851.

The committee formed in the face of a brazen theft on June 9, 1851. A man named John Jenkins walked into a store, picked up the safe, and walked away with it. Then he boarded a boat and headed out into the San Francisco Bay.

This proved to be something of a breaking point, and other merchants gave chase. Even though he threw the safe overboard, Jenkins completely failed to make the brilliant getaway that he so needed.

He was dragged back to the city, put before a hastily assembled jury, and hanged by 2:00 AM that same night.

The committee was re-convened in 1856 when matters were no better. This time, the trigger was a deadly disagreement between newspaper editor James King and the notoriously corrupt politician James Casey. After King called Casey’s well-known corruption out in the paper (along with spilling the beans about his previous stint at Sing Sing), Casey had had enough and shot the editor.

The reaction was immediate. Around 10,000 men took up arms and put the committee back together. They would make up San Francisco’s justice system for the next five months.

Casey was seized by the committee, as was a man named Charles Cora, who’d been jailed after shooting and killing a US Marshal a few months before. (The committee brought along a cannon to discourage actual law enforcement from arguing against their authority.)

An overnight trial was begun, and it happened at the same time that King succumbed to his wounds and died. The charges against both men were upgraded to murder, and they were declared guilty the next morning.

They were hanged that afternoon.

The message was clear, and it was directed at one man: David Broderick. Everyone knew he was a crooked root of the corruption and crime in the area. After making an example of some of his cronies, the committee discovered a false-bottom ballot box in the possession of one of Broderick’s Democratic committee members.

The committee deported around 25 of his party members, ushering them on ships and sending them on their way. About 800 others—from ballot-box stuffers to thieves, gamblers, and con men—were also sent packing.

However, the committee was opposed by a working-class gang called the Chivs, and conflict got so bad that the state militia was called in to stop the chaos.

They failed.

Other plans were put into place, but with countless official government employees involved in the whole mess, no one knew quite what to do. On August 18, 1856, the Committee of Vigilance saved everyone the problem when they voluntarily disbanded, content that the worst messes in the city had been cleaned up.

Of course, a month later, things were back to normal.

I'm thinking that we could probably use a touch of this justice from time to time. Not much...just a touch. Know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Little Norse Myth For Ya,,,!

Many of the Norse Gods were pretty strange, but Odin took the cake,

His thirst for knowledge was legendary and he would go to any lengths to get it. Here's what I mean...

Odin was nothing if not wise. His wisdom came from his obsessive desire to understand absolutely everything. He frequently made sacrifices—often of a self-mutilating nature—to gain knowledge because he believed that knowledge was worth any price. Never mind the fact that he once hanged himself, stabbed himself, and forced himself to fast for over a week to discover and understand the Norse runes.

Perhaps an even better example of Odin’s extreme thirst for knowledge—and the reason for his one-eyed appearance—was his journey to Mimir’s well. Those who successfully partook of the water came away with almost divine knowledge.

So Odin once rode to Mimir and requested a drink. Mimir agreed to spare a mouthful but made Odin’s eye the price of the drink. Not only did Odin agree to this price, but he gouged the eye out himself.

Now don't get me wrongt. I enjoy knowledge as much as the next guy, but I am only going to go so far to get it.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's almost like Spring!

Monday, February 8, 2016

True Color Of Cheese...!

Che3ese as a food is kinda complicated.

Not only is it the wrong color, but it's true taste doesn't always come through. Surprise! How it achieves this can be explained in a fairly simple way.

Why Do We Like Our Cheese Such A Bright Orange?
By Debra Kelly on Sunday, January 31, 2016

In its natural form, most cheese is sort of a white color. It’s nothing like the bright orange we see today, and that’s not a new thing. High-quality grazing lands, cows, and milk once made high-quality cheese that was yellow-orange, but when cheesemakers started taking the beta-carotene-rich cream to make butter with, they lost the color that had been a mark of high quality. They started adding all sorts of dyes to make up for it. That was in the 17th century, and we’ve been including the food dyes and additives ever since.

Take a look at the majority of mass-produced cheese in many grocery stores today, and you’ll likely be struck by one thought: nothing natural could ever be that color. We’re fussy about our foods, and whether it’s a slab of weird rubber cheese or a slathering of nacho cheese, it’s pretty unnatural-looking if you bother to pay attention.

That’s nothing new. We’ve been doing weird things to the color of our cheese for centuries.

It all started with high-class cheese. When the best cheese was made in pre-17th-century England, it came from Guernsey and Jersey cows that were native to a particular area in England. For around 500 years, all the best cheese came out of the village of Cheddar in Somerset. (Yes, really.) And that kind of fame means that their product sets the standard.

The grasses that Somerset cows grazed on was known for its high beta-carotene content, which was passed on to the cows’ milk. That gives the final product a sort of mildly yellowish-orange color. That’s how you knew your cheese was the good stuff.

By the time the 1800s hit, cheesemakers were learning how to stretch their raw materials a little farther. If they took off the cream, they could use it to make butter.

That also took away the color that people had become so used to. The cream is where the color is.

Cheese became white, and people don’t like those kinds of sudden changes in their favorite foods. So in the 17th century, cheesemakers started something that’s continued today.

They started adding things like marigold, carrot juice, and saffron to their cheese in order to keep it the same color. Finally, they settled on a food dye called annatto, which was taken from the seeds of the achiote plant.

It has a long history, and it’s a South American native that was even used by the Mayans to change the color of their food.

It’s claimed to have some health benefits, too, like lowering blood pressure, but it’s also been claimed that it can cause some major digestive issues and aggravate irritable bowel syndrome.

Annatto showed up most noticeably in Leicestershire cheese, and it’s still one of the most distinctively colored cheeses, bright red because of the annatto.

People took their cheese seriously in England, and as early as the 1750s there were standards that cheesemakers were held to. These standards weren’t just locked away in some government office to be read only by the upper class or the literate, either.

They were spread by word of mouth and by official town criers who made sure everyone knew about the standards required and the punishments that would be handed out to anyone who sold low-quality cheese.

Guess you could say that there is more to cheese than we originally thought. Nothing is ever simple, is it?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. That OK with you?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thanks For All The Kindness...!

To everyone that took the time to send good thoughts and prayers...a big thank you! You don't know how much it means

Tuesday I should be back on track with a normal post. The funeral was Saturday and I figure it's time to move on, ya know? I miss the posting and talking to you guys.

So there ya go. A posting plan in place and the time to finish it. Again, thanks for all the support and good thoughts. It is more appreciated than you could ever know! I mean it!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mom Is Gone....!

Yesterday at around 4:30 Mom passed away.

She didn't struggle, didn't fight for a last breath, just peacefully passed on. She was sleeping one minute and gone the next. I'm glad she went gently and glad she didn't have a hard time

Next step...moving on. We'll take some time over the next couple of days and see what happens

One journey ends...and another begins!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Missing Post For Tuesday...!

As most of you know, I didn't post anything for yesterday. Wasn't much I could say really.

Mom is back in the hospital. She went by EMS early Sunday morning. Even though she was on a breathing machine, her pneumonia kept her from getting enough oxygen. She has a panic attack when she runs short of breath, and nothing can stop that. Between the pneumonia. the shortness of breath, and lack of mobility we had no choice but to put her back in.

So, she isn't really 100% mentally. Some heavy medication and lack of sleep has made her imagination go wild from time to time. She hasn't eaten much in two or three days and that's bad. What our next step is...I don't know.

Let's hope for the best and pray for a good result.

Coffee out on the patio today.