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Monday, March 30, 2009


PhoneGap is an open source development tool for building fast, easy mobile apps with JavaScript.

If you’re a web developer who wants to build mobile applications in HTML and JavaScript while still taking advantage of the core features in the iPhone, Android and Blackberry SDKs, PhoneGap is for you.

PhoneGap Creators
Rob Ellis, Creator, JavaScript Maintainer

Rob is a developer at Nitobi Inc. As one of the PhoneGap creators, Rob is focused on trying to make mobile device app development easy and open. At Nitobi, Rob is part of a team that makes web applications easier to use by building software that allows both developers and end-users be more effective.

Brock Whitten, Creator, iPhone Maintainer and Repo Maintainer

Brock is a software developer at Nitobi Inc. He is one of the brains behind PhoneGap and recently presented on PhoneGap at MobileCamp Vancouver. Brock wants to see developers get really creative now that the barrier of entry for developing on mobile devices is getting increasingly lower.

If you want to read more, click this link.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Home Organization Plan

From the site:

If you've tried other home organization systems and failed then Justmommies Home Organization Plan is perfect for you. We've tried to create something simple, easy to use, and practical for even the busiest mom. We have broken things up into daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks There are some tasks that must be done every day to keep a clean home. To keep it simple for you, we have three very easy routines to do throughout the day. Most take only a few minutes. Some things, like vaccuming, do not need to be done but once or twice a week, those tasks are listed in green. We also list reminders for things like cleaning out your refrigerator in this section.

Link to article.

Joke: Fast movement in the company

The company boss called one of his employees into his office.

"Ron, it's been a year since you joined the company.

Initially, you began in the mail room and one week later you were
promoted to a sales position.

One month later, you were promoted to District Manager of the sales

Three short months after that, you were promoted to Vice President.

The time has come for me to retire and I would like you to take over
the company. What do you say to that?"

"Thanks," said the employee.

"Thanks?" the boss said. "Is that all you can say?"

"I guess not," replied the employee. "Thank you, Dad!"


1 3/4 pounds boneless pork roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into coins
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 large onion, chopped
4 tbs sweet paprika
2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

1. Place first 4 ingredients in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with 2 tbs paprika, stir to coat. Pour in broth. Cover and cook on high 3 hours or low 4 hours.
2. Add green beans, cook 30 min.
3. In a bowl, blend remaining paprika, sour cream, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Stir into slow cooker bowl until thickened, then serve.



16 dried bay leaves
3 tbs each olive oil and lemon juice
1 tbs chopped thyme or lemon thyme
1 tsp garlic paste or 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 small red onion, cut into 16 pieces
1 large navel orange, cut into 16 wedges
16 cherry tomatoes
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds swordfish, cut into 16 pieces

1. In a large bowl, cover bay leaves with hot water, let soak 10 min. Drain water. Add remaining ingredients to bowl, except swordfish, and toss to mix. Add swordfish, toss. Marinate at room temp while preheating broiler.
2. Drain marinade from bowl and reserve. Alternately thread an orange slice, swordfish, bay leaf, onion, and a tomato on 4 metal skewers. Place on broiler pan rack, brush with reserved marinade.
3. Broil 8 min. turning skewers halfway through cooking and basting with reserved marinade, until swordfish is lightly browned and barely opaque in middle, or to desired doneness. Serve over Spicy Garlic Broccoli Rabe.


Recipe: Juicy Roasted Chicken

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Servings: 6

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon onion powder, or to taste
1/2 cup margarine, divided
1 stalk celery, leaves removed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out
with salt and pepper. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder. Place 3
tablespoons margarine in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining
margarine around the chicken's exterior. Cut the celery into 3 or 4 pieces, and
place in the chicken cavity.
3. Bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum
internal temperature of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove from heat, and
baste with melted margarine and drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow
to rest about 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Penne with Pancetta and Mushrooms

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
Servings: 4

1 (12 ounce) package penne pasta
1 (3 ounce) package pancetta bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 (10 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook
for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cook
pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until browned but not crispy,
about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
2. Pour pancetta grease out of the skillet, and add butter. Increase heat to
medium-high and stir in sliced mushrooms. Cook and stir until the mushrooms
have softened and released their liquid. Add the minced garlic, and cook 2
more minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, then stir in cream and Italian
seasoning. Simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly.
3. To serve, toss the cooked penne with the sauce, and sprinkle with
Parmesan cheese.

Recipe: Lemon Barbeque Meatloaf

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Servings: 6

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 egg, beaten
4 slices day-old bread, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 dash ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 slices lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch
baking dish or a dish of similar size.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, lemon juice, water, egg,
bread, onion and seasoning salt until well blended. Shape into 6 individual
loaves - I like to make large balls. Place them in the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven while you prepare the topping.
In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard powder,
allspice and cloves. Spoon the sauce over the loaves, then top each one with a
slice of lemon. Return to the oven, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or
until cooked through.

Recipe: Anaheim Fish Tacos

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 Anaheim chile pepper, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets
1 lime
12 corn tortillas

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the chile, leek,
and garlic until tender and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the chicken broth and tomatoes into the skillet, and season with cumin.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Place the halibut into the mixture.
Sprinkle with lime juice. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until the halibut is easily
flaked with a fork. Wrap in warmed corn tortillas to serve.

Recipe: Juicy Roasted Chicken

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Servings: 6

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon onion powder, or to taste
1/2 cup margarine, divided
1 stalk celery, leaves removed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out
with salt and pepper. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder. Place 3
tablespoons margarine in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining
margarine around the chicken's exterior. Cut the celery into 3 or 4 pieces, and
place in the chicken cavity.
3. Bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum
internal temperature of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove from heat, and
baste with melted margarine and drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow
to rest about 30 minutes before serving.

21 Facts to Know

1. Chewing on gum while cutting onions can help a person from stop producing tears. Try it next time you chop onions..

2. Until babies are six months old, they can breathe and swallow at the same time. Indeed convenient!

3. Offered a new pen to write with, 97% of all people will write their own name.

4. Male mosquitoes are vegetarians. Only females bite.

5. The average person's field of vision encompasses a 200-degree wide angle.

6. To find out if a watermelon is ripe, knock it, and if it sounds hollow then it is ripe.

7. Canadians can send letters with personalized postage stamps showing their own photos on each stamp.

8. Babies' eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old.

9. It snowed in the Sahara Desert in February of 1979.

10. Plants watered with warm water grow larger and more quickly than plants watered with cold water.

11. Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.

12. Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.

13. Those stars and colours you see when you rub your eyes are called phosphenes.

14. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

15. Everyone's tongue print is different, like fingerprints.

16. Contrary to popular belief, a swallowed chewing gum doesn't stay in the gut. It will pass through the system and be excreted.

17. At 40 Centigrade a person loses about 14.4 calories per hour by breathing.

18. There is a hotel in Sweden built entirely out of ice; it is rebuilt every year.

19. Cats, camels and giraffes are the only animals in the world that walk right foot, right foot, left foot, left foot, rather than right foot, left foot .

20. Onions help reduce cholesterol if eaten after a fatty meal..

21. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.

Recipe: Apple Crescent Rolls

1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 large apple
Cinnamon and sugar mixture
1/3 cup orange juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel and core apple. Cut into 8 pieces.
Separate crescent rolls. Put 1 slice of apple in small end and roll up, covering apple
Completely. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet with
Sides or pizza pan. Put orange juice around rolls, but not on top. Bake for 20 to 25
Minutes or until brown.

Serves 8

Joke: Kill other animals besides the mule

A man drove with his 12 year-old son to the country one Saturday for his son's first deer hunt. The man intended to go to an old farmer who he had know when he was a boy and ask him permission to hunt on his land.

They arrived at the farm just after noon. The boy stayed in the car as the man went up to talk to the old farmer. The old farmer was happy to see the man and was happy to have him and his son hunt on his place.

The old farmer also asked the man to do him a favor. He explained that his mule, which was standing out in front of the house, was very old and would never make it through the coming winter. He asked the man if he would please shoot the mule for him, as he couldn't bear to do it himself. He said, just shoot him and I'll drag him off with the tractor later.

"Sure," the man replied, "no problem."

As he walked back to the car the man decided to play a joke on his son. He got into the car with a disgusted look on his face, slammed the door and beat his fist on the steering wheel a couple of times. "I can't believe it, that old man has deer all over this place that he doesn't hunt and he won't allow us to hunt them either. We drove all this way for nothing. I'll show that old fool."

The man then grabbed his rifle, jumped out of the car, and shot the old mule dead. Just as he was turning to see his son's reaction he heard BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, from his son's side of the car.

His son yelled, "We showed him, Dad! You killed his mule, and I got his bull and two cows. Let's get out of here!"

Humour: Confession

A new convert to Catholicism decided to go to confession to deal with his transgression. In the confessional, he told the priest that he had sinned.

"What was your sin, my son?" asked the priest.

"I stole some lumber, Father," replied the man.

"How much lumber did you steal?" asked the priest.

"Father, I built my German Shepherd dog a nice new doghouse."

The priest replied, "Well, that's not so bad."

The man continued, "Father, I also built myself a 4-car garage."

"Well, now, that's a little more serious."

"Father, there's more. In addition to the doghouse, the 4-car garage, I also built a 5 bedroom, 4 bath house!"

With a pause, the priest finally spoke. "That is a little more serious. I'm afraid you'll have to make a novena."

"Father, I'm not sure what a 'novena' is, but if you've got the blueprints, I've got the lumber!"

Humour: being overweight is good

A new report suggests that being overweight is not as harmful as is commonly believed, and actually confers some surprising benefits.

Being five to ten pounds overweight could protect people from ailments ranging from tuberculosis to Alzheimer's disease, research indicates.

Those carrying 15 to 25 extra pounds are better able to recover from adverse conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia, and various injuries and infections, states the report.

Thirty to forty pounds of flab could help fend off breast, kidney, pancreatic, prostate, and colon cancer.

And an extra fifty pounds on the scale may improve eyesight, reverse baldness, cure the common cold and reduce global warming.

In general, the report concludes, overweight people are happier, more successful in business, smarter and friendlier.

The study was funded by a research grant from McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Domino's Pizza, Starbucks, Haagen Daz, Sara Lee and Krispy Kreme.

Cauliflower Tips

Cauliflower can be found in the produce section of most
health food stores, specialty markets, and supermarkets.
Choose a firm, heavy head with compact, white-colored
florets and no sign of brown specks, which form as
cauliflower ages. The leaves should be fresh and green.
Store it in a plastic bag with holes poked in it for up
to two days.

Wash cauliflower well just before using. Cut it into
florets by pulling away the leaves and cutting around
the core on the underside. Separate the florets by cutting
them apart from the inside of the cauliflower. The green
leaves at the base are edible, but have a pretty strong
flavor. Adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or a cup of
milk to the cooking water will prevent discoloration.

Tip: The Benefits of Using Vinegar as a Fabric Softener

Vinegar Will:
* eliminate static cling
* remove soap residue from your clothes
* soften your laundry
* make your towels more absorbent

Vinegar Won't:
* add harsh chemicals to your laundry
* impregnate your clothes with synthetic fragrances
* cost you a lot of money

Tips and Warnings

1) To give your clothes a fresh scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar.

2) Have a fabric softener ball? Fill it with vinegar, and you won't have to
watch for the rinse cycle.

3) Keep vinegar out of the reach of children and pets.


A husband and wife were sharing a bottle of wine when the husband said, "I'll bet you can't tell me something which will make me happy and sad at the same time."

The wife thought for a few moments, then said, "How much you're willing to bet?"

"One hundred dollars!" said the boisterous husband.

"That's all?" inquired the wife.

"OK, two hundred."

"Not too sure of yourself, are you?" teased the wife.

Felling pretty good, the hubby announced, "Five hundred!"

The wife twinkled her nose and calmly said, "Your pecker is bigger than your brother's."


1. CURL UP AND DIE........I walked into a hair salon with my husband
and three kids in tow and asked loudly, "How much do you charge
for a shampoo and a blow job?"
Melinda Lowe, 39, SeguinTX

2. PAD PLEASE.......... An insurance man visited me at home to
talk about our mortgage insurance. He was throwing a lot of facts
and figures at me, and I wanted to follow as best I could, so I told
my 6-year-old son to run and get me a pad. He came back and
handed me a Kotex right in front of our guest.
Kate Newman, 46, Winston-Salem,NC

3. HO, HO, HO............. I was taking a shower when my 2 year old
son came into the bathroom and wrapped himself in toilet paper.
Although he made a mess, he looked adorable, so I ran for my camera
and took a few shots. They came out so well that I had copies made
and included one with each of our Christmas cards. Days later, a relative
called about the picture, laughing hysterically, and suggesting I take
a closer look. Puzzled, I stared at the photo and was shocked to discover
that in addition to my son, I had captured my reflection in the mirror
nothing but a camera!
Name Withheld

4. LADY GOLFER................ I was at the golf store comparing different
kinds of golf balls. I was unhappy with the women's type I had been using.
After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the
good looking gentlemen who works at the store! . He asked if he could
help me. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, "I think I like
playing with men's balls."
Colleen Collins, 31, Ferndale, MI

5. NUTS ABOUT YOU............My sister and I were at the mall and
passed by a store that sold a variety of nuts. As we were looking
at the display case, the boy behind the counter asked if we needed
any help. I replied, "No, I'm just looking at your nuts." My sister started
to laugh hysterically, the boy grinned, and I turned beet red
and walked away. To this day, my sister has never let me forget.
Faye Emerick, 34, Ellerslie, MD

6. PRICELESS.............A lady picked up several items at a discount store.
When she finally got up to the checker, she learned that one of her
items had no price tag. Imagine her embarrassment when
the checker got on the intercom and boomed out for all the
SUPER SIZE." That was bad enough, but somebody at the rear
of the store apparently misunderstood the word "Tampax" for THUMBTACKS."
In a business-like tone, a voice boomed back over the intercom.

7. MOM'S ADVICE......... A teacher noticed that a little boy at the back
of the class was squirming around, scratching his crotch and not
paying attention. She went back to find out what was going on.
He was quite embarrassed and whispered that he had just recently
been circumcised and he was quite itchy. The teacher told him to
go down to the nurse's office. He was to phone his mother and
ask her what he should do about it. He did it and returned to his class.
Suddenly, there was a commotion at the back of the room.
She went back to investigate only to find him sitting at his desk
with his penis hanging out. "I thought I told you to call your Mom.
" she screamed. "I did," he said "And she told me that if I could
stick it out till noon she would come and get me."


10. Read less.

9. I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.

8. Stop exercising. Waste of time.

7. Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.

6. Procrastinate more.

5. Drink. Drink some more.

4. Start being superstitious.

3. Spend more time at work.

2. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.

and last but not least...

1. Take up a new habit: maybe smoking!

Joke: Father will die

A baby was born to a couple. When he was one, he could talk like an
adult. When he was two, he could read anything. When he was three, he
could do advanced calculus. When he was four, he could predict the future.

One day, he made three predictions: "One year from today, I will die.
Two years from today, my mother will die. Three years from today, my
father will die."

Sure enough, a year later the young boy died.

The father, getting the picture in a big way, loaded up his wife with
a million dollars in life insurance. A year later she died.

The father collected the million dollar insurance benefit, and,
figuring he only had a year before his own death, went on a 364-day
binge. Fast cars! Faster women! Exotic vacations! Flings with supermodels!

His timing was perfect, for on the 364th day, he blew the last penny
on a Blue Sapphire martini and an exotic dancer with a taste for
overpriced champagne and sexy lingerie!!!

At midnight, he toasted himself, "What a way to go," and slipped off
into what he assumed would be his *big* sleep.

To his amazement, he woke up the next morning... He thought he had
cheated death! He was invincible!

But then the exotic dancer with whom he'd spend the night broke the news...

"Honey, better come quick, the pool boy's dead."

Joke: Spelling of father's profession

Little Johnny was in class and the teacher announced that they were going to try something different to help everyone get to know each other a little better, and to help with their spelling. She explained, "I want you to stand up and give us the occupation of your father, spell it, and say one thing he would give us all if he was here today."

The first student raised her hand to volunteer.

"Marcy," the teacher said. "You may go first."

Marcy replied, "My father is a banker. B-A-N-K-E-R and if he was here today, he would give us all a shiny new penny."

The teacher said, "Very nice, Marcy, who wants to go next?"

Kevin stood up and announced, "My father is a baker. B-A-K-E-R and if he was here today, he would give us all a freshly-baked cookie."

"Very good," the teacher told Kevin.

Jeff was next, and he said, "My father is an accountant. A-K, no wait, A-C-K, no..."

Before he could attempt to spell it once more, the teacher cut him off and told him to sit back down and to think about it for a while. When he thought he knew how to spell it, he could stand back up and try again.

Little Johnny raised his hand in excitement hoping to be acknowledged by the teacher.

The teacher called on little Johnny to go next.

Johnny said, "My father is a bookie. B-O-O-K-I-E and if he was here today, he would give us all 20:1 odds that Jeff will never be able to spell 'accountant'."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops - a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.

At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on. Six feet eight,built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said, "Big John doesn't pay!" and sat down at the back.

Did I mention that the driver was five feet three, thin, and basically meek? Well, he was. Naturally, he didn't argue with Big John, but he wasn't happy about it.

The next day the same thing happened - Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down.

And the next day, and the next.

This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. Finally he could stand it no longer. He signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff.

By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what's more, he felt really good about himself. So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said, "Big John doesn't pay!"

The driver stood up, glared back at the passenger, and screamed, "And why not? "

With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, "Big John has a bus pass ."

Management Lesson: "Be sure there is a problem in the first place before working hard to solve one."


* Dyslexics have more fnu

* Clones are people, two

* Entropy isn't what it used to be

* Microbiology Lab: Staph Only!

* Santa's elves are just a bunch of subordinate Clauses

* Eschew obfuscation

* 186,000 miles/sec: Not just a good idea, it's the LAW!

* Air Pollution is a mist-demeanor

* Anything free is worth what you pay for it

* Atheism is a non-prophet organization

* COLE'S LAW: Thinly sliced cabbage

* Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

* Editing is a rewording activity

* Help stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy

* I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not sure

* My reality check just bounced

* Rap is to music, what Etch-a-Sketch is to art

* What if there were no hypothetical questions?

* Energizer bunny arrested, charged with battery

* No sense being pessimistic, it probably wouldn't work anyway

* Boycott shampoo... Demand REAL poo!

* IRS - Be audit you can be


Coffee filters ..who knew! You can buy 100 for almost nothing.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China. Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."


Casserole Tips

Here are a few great tips to help make your casserole making endeavors as simple as can be.

To save time, though not necessarily money, stock up on pre-cut and peeled vegetables like carrots, onions, and broccoli florets available in either your supermarket produce aisle or salad bar-you'll discover they make casserole preparation a snap.

Because generally a casserole takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to bake, you ought to consider using dried herbs in dishes which require longer cooking (more than an hour) rather than delicate fresh herbs which tend to lose their flavor when exposed to extended periods of high heat.

If you desire a crisp, browned topping, don't cover the casserole as it bakes.
When reheating casseroles, it's best to defrost them in the refrigerator overnight. If that isn't possible, cover and reheat in a 350*F (175*C) oven, allowing almost double the baking time. To test for doneness, insert a knife or a wooden skewer in the center of the food, if it's hot to the touch when removed trust that it's hot throughout.

Want to make that casserole au gratin? Simply sprinkle the assembled dish with grated cheese and bread crumbs moistened with a little melted butter and dried herbs if desired and continue baking until filling is cooked and topping is melted and bubbling.

When you don't have the specific casserole baking dish called for in a recipe, it's best to think big. Opt to use a pan of equal or slightly greater volume. However, if you substitute a pan that is shallower than the one specified, reduce the baking time by 25 percent, if the pan is deeper increase the baking time by 25 percent. Unsure about the capacity of your baking pan? Measure water and pour it in the pan to check.

Casseroles really taste best when made in advance. Time will allow the flavors to blossom.

To freeze an unbaked or fully baked casserole: begin by lining a casserole with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving enough of an overhang on all sides to cover and seal the food later. Assemble the casserole, laying it in the lined pan and either freeze the ingredients until solid or bake and cool to room temperature then freeze (it's not necessary to seal it up for this short freezing time). Once the casserole is frozen, use the excess foil overhang and seal airtight. Double wrap the foil wrapped casserole in freezer proof plastic bags, label, date it, then freeze until ready to use. (Meanwhile, you can use the casserole dish for other purposes.) To thaw, remove the wrapping and place the frozen food back into the dish in which it was assembled or baked. Defrost and reheat or bake as recipe instructs.

Company Motivation Posters You'll Probably Never See

If you do a good job and work hard, you may get a job with a better company

It's only unethical if you get caught.

The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts.

We put the "k" in "kwality."

If something doesn't feel right, you're not feeling the right thing.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity!

A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat.


We make great money! We have great benefits! We do no work! We are union

2 days without a Human Rights Violation!

Your job is still better than asking, "You want fries with that?"

If at first you don't succeed, try management.

Never quit until you have another job.

The floggings will continue until morale improves.

Signs That You Have a Boring Job

You're introduced to everyone as "The Minesweeper God".

You have visited every website in the world.

You're the Spelling Bee Coordinator in rural Alabama.

You are the only one that is ready for the rush of ticket sales for that New
Kids on the Block reunion tour.

You're able to pull staples out of papers with your teeth.

Your doctor says that he's never seen someone exposed to so much photocopier
radiation in his life.

You've seen the late night commercial for the Chia Dildo.

You're the only actor on Melrose Place that doesn't get to have sex and
you've been on the show since the beginning.

Your workload is so intense that you can write Top 10 lists all day long.

In your 10 years on the force as an Amish Traffic Cop, you have not had to
write one single speeding ticket.


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup malted milk powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
2/3 cup oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 tbs vanilla
3 tbs heavy cream
2/3 cup tart cherry preserves

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with 20 paper
2. CUPCAKES---Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda,
baking powder and salt until blended.
3. Beat milk, malted milk and espresso. Add oil and eggs beat until
4. Add flour mixture to milk mixture, beat until smooth. Add sour
cream and vanilla beat until combined. Stir in chips.
5. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake 17 min. or until done. Cool
cupcakes in pan 2 min. Remove cupcakes and cool completely.
6. BUTTERCREAM---Beat powdered sugar and butter until blended. Add
vanilla and cream beat until light and fluffy. Beat in preserves until
7. Frost the cupcakes. Garnish the top of each cupcake with a malted
milk ball or maraschino cherry, if desired and serve.


Some useful quotes

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.

FIVE. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT.. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN! .. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice

TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.


A new TV game show in Hollywood had many contestants who were beautiful, but they weren't necessarily too smart.

On one show, one such woman was extremely nervous, but tried to make the best of her

The host asked, "Who was the first man, for one thousand dollars?"

She responded, "The first man was Peter, my postman, but he only paid me one hundred

Carving a Ham or Leg of Lamb

Have butcher remove pelvic bone (Aitch bone) at butt
end before roasting.

Lie the ham on its side. Cut slices parallel to the
bone, removing the cushion of meat on the underside.
Or remove as one piece and slice this at an angle
against the grain. You want to be able to sit the ham
on this surface, with the main cushion of meat
accessible to carve. Sit the ham on this newly cut
flat part.

At the shank end cut a V shaped wedge between the shin
bone and the main leg bone. This lets you get your
knife in. Cut thin slices down to the bone, moving
towards the butt end. You can release these slices by
inserting your knife in the V Shaped cut you made. The
knife is held parallel to the bone, and cuts toward
the butt end.

For second helpings, hold the ham on its side by the
shank bone. Cut parallel on either sides of the bone
to remove the meat and cut it against the grain.

For a half a ham, the same ideas apply. Release the
bottom cushion to make a flat surface. Cut at right
angles to the bone and turn your knife to release the

After carving, in the kitchen remove all remaining
meat from the bones to make deviled ham salad, ham
omelets and the like.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rapid Environment Editor

Rapid Environment Editor (RapidEE) is an environment variables editor. It includes easy to use GUI and replaces small and inconvenient Windows edit box. RapidEE 3.x supports Windows NT, 2000, XP & Vista. If you still use Windows 9x or ME, then use 2.x branch.

Editable tree
Show environment variables and values as an editable tree. Click the thumbnail to view the full size image

Multilanguage interface
RapidEE is translated into number of languages (English, Russian, Japanese, French, Polish, German, Italian, Latvian, Slovak, Greek, Spanish, Chinese), and the language can be changed on the fly.

Variable inspector
Inspector shows miscellaneous information about variables: name, type, value, short file name in the 8.3 naming convention for each long file name and vice versa.

More details and download at this link.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Which Herb for which meal?

Ready to harvest your homegrown herbs but aren't sure how to best reap the rewards in your kitchen? Here's a handy guide that will help match foods with the herbs that best complement their natural flavors.


Basil, bay, caraway, coriander, cumin, dill, marigold, marjoram, mint, sage, savories, tarragon and thyme (no rosemary)


Anise, basil, bergamot, chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, lemon balm, mint, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savories, tarragon and thyme.


Mint, basil, bay, caraway, coriander, cumin, dill, lemon balm, hyssop, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savories or thyme.


Chicken only: basil or bay is always good; also caraway, coriander, cumin, dill, lemon balm, marigold, marjoram, mint, rosemary and tarragon; for both sage and savories.
Turkey: thyme

Fish & Shellfish

Anise, basil, caraway, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, hyssop, lemon balm (excellent), marigold, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, savories, tarragon; shellfish and fish, rosemary, and thyme.

Breads & Cakes

Coriander, cumin, caraway, dill, marigold and marjoram, anise, fennel, lovage and rosemary.




Dill, mint, hyssop, rosemary, sage, savories, tarragon.


Chives, dill, anise, basil, chervil, coriander, cumin, lemon balm, lovage, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, savories, tarragon or thyme.


Coriander, sage or tarragon.


Anise, basil, bergamot, borage, caraway, catmint, chervil, chickweed, chives, comfrey, coriander, cumin, dandelion, dill, elder, hyssop, lemon balm, marigold, mint, parsley, salad burnet, roses, sweet cicely, tarragon and thyme.


Anise, borage, chickweed, caraway, chives, cumin, dill, fennel, hyssop, lemon balm, lovage, marigold, marjoram, mint, salad burnet, stinging nettles, savories, tarragon, thyme.

My hometown was so small...

* the clinic was called Joe's Hospital and Grill

* long distance calls are delayed when the area code is busy

* the town Lady of the Evening stands under a flashlight

* in order to paint traffic lines, the road had to be widened

* instead of hoses, the Fire Department uses water pistols

* you had to make a reservation to use the parking meter

* during snowstorms, salt was spread using a salad shooter

* the local Motel 6 sleeps six

* during a boxing match, both men have to sit in the same corner

* the class valedictorian had both the highest & lowest averages

* the Mayor was also the Sheriff, Town Council & street sweeper

* we had no porn movie house; once a week someone left the shades up

* the municipal water system's pump was supplied by Water Pik

* before you visited, you could look out a window & see who was home

* there was no town idiot -- everybody had to take turns

Joke: The dying man

A priest was preparing a man for his journey into the beyond. Whispering firmly, the priest said, "Denounce the devil! Let him know how little you think of his evil."

The dying man said nothing.

The priest repeated his order.

Still the dying man said nothing.

The priest asked, "Why do you refuse to denounce the devil and his evil?"

The dying man said, "Until I know where I'm heading, I don't think I ought to aggravate anybody."


4 large eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tbs sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 cups mixed salad greens
2 shallots, sliced thin
5 heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into wedges
2 cups croutons

1. Place eggs in a saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn off heat. Allow to stand 12 min. Run under cold water and peel. Cut into quarters.
2. In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
3. Arrange salad greens and shallots on salad plates or a platter. Drizzle with 1/4 cup dressing. Sprinkle tomato wedges with remaining salt. Arrange tomatoes, egg slices and croutons on top.


Makes 4 servings.


1 stalk broccoli, trimmed
6 tbs olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 tbs minced ginger
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
15 1/2 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 yellow pepper, seeded, chopped
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tbs water
3 cups arugula (greens)

1. Cut broccoli stalk into 1/4" coins, cut top into bite size pieces. Steam until tender. Set aside.
2. Place oil in a skillet and heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and cumin, cook 3 min. or until onion is softened. Add salt, pepper and chickpeas and cook 3 min. Stir in yellow pepper and broccoli and remove from the heat.
3. Stir in vinegar, honey and water. Place arugula in a bowl and spoon warm chickpea mixture on top.


Makes 4 servings.


2 tsp flour
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tsp olive oil
2 Italian frying peppers, sliced
1 small sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup water
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 tsp each minced garlic and lemon zest
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tbs chopped dill

1. Mix flour, salt and pepper, coat chicken.
2. Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a skillet. Add chicken, cook turning once until cooked through. Remove.
3. Heat remaining oil in skillet. Add peppers and onion, saute 5 min. or until crisp tender. Add water, tomatoes, garlic and zest, saute 2 min. or until tomatoes soften. Remove from heat.


Makes 4 servings.


This cake has 3 layers, no frosting on the sides of cake, just frosting between each layer on the top of each layer, kind of different looking but yummy.

1 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tbs grated ginger
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups toasted sweetened coconut
Large coconut shavings, toasted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8" round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease and sprinkle with sugar, tap out excess. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
2. Beat eggs and sugar until light. Add ginger and oil. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in carrots, pecans and coconut.
3. Divide batter among pans and bake 30 min. or until cakes are done. Cool 15 min. Turn cakes out of pans and cool completely, top sides up.
4. FOR FROSTING---Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until combined and smooth.
5. Assemble cakes on platter, spreading the center of each cake with a generous layer of frosting.


Makes 12 servings.

Things you never knew about the human brain

The human brain is the seat of thinking, of thought, it is the essence of a human being. Yet not many of us know too many details about the human brain, and here is a site (link) that provides a lot of such information:

Your skin weighs twice as much as your brain.

Your brain is made up of about 75 percent water.

Your brain consists of about 100 billion neurons.

At birth, your brain was almost the same size as an adult brain and contained most of the brain cells for your whole life.

A newborn baby’s brain grows about three times its size in the first year.

18 rules for life

1. Pursue Achievable Goals
2. Keep Genuine Smiles
3. Share with Others
4. Help Thy Neighbors
5. Maintain a Youthful Spirit
6. Get Along with the Rich, the Poor, the Beautiful, &the Ugly
7. Keep Cool Under Pressure
8. Lighten the Atmosphere with Humor
9. Forgive the Annoyance of Others
10. Have a Few Pals
11. Cooperate and Reap Greater Rewards
12. Treasure Every Moment with Your Love Ones
13. Have High Confidence in Yourself
14. Respect the Disadvantaged
15. Indulge Yourself Occasionally
16. Surf the Net at Leisure
17. Take Calculated Risks
18. Understand "Money Isn't Everything"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Letting people know when you are dead and gone

If you are going to depart from this world, what would think about ? You would worry about the impact this would have on your family in terms of emotional and financial considerations, you would worry about whether you are going to leave with getting all the things done that you would have liked. However, would you worry about informing people on your online communities (including gaming worlds and social networks) that you are not going to be coming back, and they should not expect to see you there again. To some people, this is important as well, and hence an online service is coming up in this regard (link to article):

When Robert Bryant's father died, he left his son a little black USB flash drive in a drawer in his home office. The drive contained a list of contacts for his son to notify, including the administrator of an online group he had been in.
David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has set up a site called Deathswitch, where people can set up emails that will be sent out automatically if they don't check in at intervals they specify.
There's another site: Slightly Morbid. It also sends email when a member dies, but doesn't rely on them logging in periodically while alive. Instead, members have to give trusted friends or family the information needed to log in to the site and start notification process if something should happen.

Joke: Mugger needs help


Two social workers were walking through a rough part of the city one evening. They heard moans and muted cries for help from a back alley. Upon investigation, they found a semi-conscious man in a pool of blood.

"Help me, I've been mugged and beaten," he pleaded.

The two social workers turned and walked away, and one remarked to his colleague, "You know, the person who did this really needs help."


1. Finding and returning lost sheep isn't just a parable.

2. People ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch 'em.

3. The pastor says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering." and five guys stand up.

4. Opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church holiday.

5. A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of."

6. The choir is known as the "OK Chorale".

7. The collection plates are really hubcaps from a '56 Chevy.

8. Baptism is referred to as "branding."

9. High notes on the organ set the dogs on the floor to howling.

10. The baptismal font is a #2 galvanized washtub.

11. The choir robes were donated by (and embroidered with the logo from) Billy Bob's Barbecue.


Other than the rule about certain sexual acts being unmanly, the #1 rule about having sex is pretty simple: Your partner should be alive and, at least 50% of the time, awake.

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Mob Lover?

1. During sex you usually
a. Scream out your partners name
b. Plead the Fifth Amendment
c. Scream out your own name

2. Sex is best
a. With the lights on
b. With the lights off
c. With the dashboard lights on

3. If your partner pulls a Nelson Rockefeller and dies while in the saddle, your immediate reaction is to
a. Scream and roll off
b. Call 911
c. Finish

4. Your lover suggests something innovative, like hand-cuffs. Your reaction is to:
a. Try it, you might like it
b. Announce politely that handcuffs are not your thing
c. Wonder how you can use the TV remote during sex if you are handcuffed

5. Your partners are usually
a. Blonde
b. Brunette
c. Inflatable

6. After sex you
a. Think about how long until you can make love again
b. Hang up on the phone sex operator
c. Thank the priest
____________ _________ _________ _________ ___

Give yourself 3 points for every time you answered "a"
Give yourself 1 point for every time you answered "b"
If you answered "c" more than twice, just kill yourself, because you are a sick loser.

12-18 points: Last of the red hot mob lovers.
10-11 points: A good mob lover
7-9 points: You're no Johnny Stompanato; if you're planning to stay in the mob, you better carry a rolled up sock in your pants.
4-6 points: If you make love like this, you shouldn't be in the mob, you should be in a cemetery.
0-5 points: Forget the mob, just go to a Star Trek convention


1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 5:00 and then bring it to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.

2. If it's really a "rush job," run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how it's going. That helps.

3. Always leave without telling anyone where you're going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.

4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books or supplies, don't open the door for me. I need to learn how to function as a paraplegic and opening doors is good training.

5. If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which is the priority. Let me guess.

6. Do your best to keep me late. I like the office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do.

7. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. Leaks like that could cost me a promotion.

8. If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversation.

9. If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them down. In fact, save them until the job is almost done.

10. Never introduce me to the people you're with. When you refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.

11. Be nice to me only when the job I'm doing for you could really change your life.

12. Tell me all your little problems. No one else has any and it's nice to know someone is less fortunate.


4 large eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tbs sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 cups mixed salad greens
2 shallots, sliced thin
5 heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into wedges
2 cups croutons

1. Place eggs in a saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn off heat. Allow to stand 12 min. Run under cold water and peel. Cut into quarters.
2. In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
3. Arrange salad greens and shallots on salad plates or a platter. Drizzle with 1/4 cup dressing. Sprinkle tomato wedges with remaining salt. Arrange tomatoes, egg slices and croutons on top.


Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

OCR Terminal - free online Optical Character Recognition service

What is OCR Terminal?

OCR Terminal is a free online Optical Character Recognition service that allows you to convert scanned images and PDFs into editable and text searchable documents. It accurately preserves formatting and layout of documents.

PDF to Word Conversion
Convert PDF files into editable Microsoft Word documents without installing any software. OCR Terminal allows you to easily upload .pdf files, convert them to .doc files and download them without need for any lengthy software installation, and does it all for free.

Image to Text ( jpeg to word)
Convert scanned images in a number of formats to editable text format. OCR Terminal supports multi-page TIFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP formats. The formatting of all text in the images is accurately preserved and download is available in .doc, .txt, .rtf, .xml formats.

Read more at the site (link)

Monday, March 16, 2009


A cocky Department of Agriculture representative stopped at a farm and talked with the old farmer, telling him, "I need to inspect your farm."

The old farmer said "OK, but don't go in that field right over yonder."

The Agriculture representative went red in the face and lectured, "Sir, I have the authority of the U.S. Government behind me. See this ID card? It means I am allowed to go wherever I wish on any agricultural land -- no questions asked or answered. Do you understand!?"

The farmer nodded politely and went about his chores. Later, he heard loud screams and saw the Ag Rep running for the fence. Close behind was the farmer's huge-horned prize bull. The bull was madder than a nest full of hornets, and was gaining on the government man at every step.

"Help! HELP!" the Aggie screamed.

The old farmer called out, "Show him your ID card! Show him your ID card!!"


An old man turned 100 and was being interviewed by a reporter for the local paper. During the interview the reporter noticed that the yard was full of children of all ages playing together.

A very pretty young woman of about 19 served the old man and the reporter, keeping them in fresh tea and running errands for them.

"Are these your grandkids?" the reporter asked, somewhat suspicious.

"Naw, sir, they all be my younguns," the old man replied with a sly grin.

"Your kids?" said the reporter. "What about this beautiful young lady who keeps bringing us tea? Is she one of your children too?"

"Naw, sir," said the old man. "She's my wife."

"Your wife?" said the surprised reporter.

"But she can't be more than 19 years old!"

"That's right," said the old man with pride.

"Well, surely you can't have a sex life with you being 100 and she being only 19," the reporter remarked.

"Yes, sir," said the old man. "We have sex every night. Each night two of my boys helps me on her, and every morning six of my boys helps me off."

"Wait just a minute," said the newspaperman, confused. "Why does it only take two of your boys to put you on, but it takes six of them to take you off?"

"Because," the old man said, shaking a balled fist, "I fights 'em!"


An old prospector walked his tired old mule into a western town one day. He'd been out in the desert for about six months without a drop of whiskey. He walked up to the first saloon he came to and tied his old mule to the hitch rail.

As he stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a gunslinger walked out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. The gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, "Hey, old man, have you ever danced?"

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No, I never did dance. I just never wanted to."

A crowd had gathered by then and the gunslinger said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna' dance now," and started shooting at the old man's feet.

The old prospector was hopping around and everybody was laughing.

When the gunslinger fired his last bullet, he holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man reached up on the mule, drew his shotgun, and pulled both hammers back, making a double clicking sound.

The gunslinger heard the sound and the crowd got real quiet.

Everyone watched as the gunslinger slowly turned around, looking down both barrels of the shotgun.

The old man asked, "Did you ever kiss a mule square on the ass?"


A guy is standing at a urinal when he notices that he's being watched by a midget. Although the little fellow is staring at him intently, the guy doesn't get uncomfortable until the midget drags a small stepladder up next to him, climbs it and proceeds to admire his privates at a close range.

"Wow," comments the midget, "those are the nicest balls I have ever seen!"

Surprised--- and flattered--- the man thanks the midget and starts to move away.

"Listen, I know this is a rather strange request," says the little fellow, "but I wonder if you would mind if I touched them?"

Again the man is rather startled, but seeing no real harm in it, he obliges the request.

The midget reaches out, gets a tight grip on the man's balls and says loudly, "Okay, hand over your wallet or I'll jump.

Joke: 2 IT GUYS

Two IT guys were chatting in a pub after work. "Guess what, mate," says the first IT guy, "yesterday, I met this gorgeous blonde girl in a bar."

"What did you do?" says the other IT guy.

"Well, I invited her over to my place, we had a couple of drinks, we got into the mood and then she suddenly asked me to take all her clothes off."

"You're kidding me!" says the second IT guy.

"I took her miniskirt off, and then I lifted her and put her on my desk next to my new laptop."


Friday, March 13, 2009

.NET framework

The .NET Framework is Microsoft's managed code programming model for building applications that have visually stunning user experiences, seamless and secure communication, and the ability to model a range of business processes. In addition to the .NET Framework 2.0, it includes Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and Windows CardSpace.

Read more at this link.

Keep fit program for bloggers

Bloggers are known as people who are normally bound to the computer, and like other software people, would be thought to be the chief patrons of junk food such as pizzas, colas, burgers, chips, etc.
So how do bloggers keep fit ? Well, here is a 10 step program of how to keep fit (refer this article)
The regime consists of exercises you can do right next to the computer table, such as squats, leg lifts, jogging in place, squeezing muscles, stepping up or down, breathing exercises, stretching, etc.

Free Partitioning Software

The partition table editors listed on this page allow you to create, resize, move, concatenate, copy, undelete (unerase) the partitions that you have on your hard disk (or hard disks). For example, if you wish to create more partitions from the existing one (or more) that you already have on your disk, these tools will allow you to resize the existing partition to make space for more partitions without losing your data that is currently on your existing partition. They can also assist you in creating, and sometimes also formatting, new partitions. Some of the tools may have the ability to slide your partition, that is move your existing partition from one location on the disk to another location, without losing data, as well as convert a partition from one type to another (for example, converting from NTFS to FAT32 or vice versa). Still others may be able to help you recover partitions that you have already deleted, that is unerase or undelete partitions.

Read more at this link.


9 oz pkg Stella D'oro Almond Delight cookies or use a graham cracker crust
3 tbs butter, melted

4 bricks 8 oz each cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
4 large eggs, room temp
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup seedless strawberry jam
2 pints strawberries, bottoms sliced evenly

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9x3" springform pan with cooking spray.
2. CRUST---Break up cookies into a food processor. Add butter, pulse until fine crumbs form. Press over bottom of pan. Freeze until ready to fill.
3. Beat cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla and almond extract, beat until combined.
4. Pour 2 cups batter into pan, spread evenly. Dot with 1/4 cup jam. Spoon on 2 cups batter, spread evenly. Dot with 1/4 cup jam, spoon on rest of batter and spread.
5. Bake 45 min. or until cake puffs slightly around edges and center still jiggles slightly. Turn off oven (leave door closed) leave cake in oven 45 min.
6. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release cake (leave on pan sides). Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours.
7. BEFORE SERVING---Arrange strawberries, points up, on top of cake. Heat remaining 1/2 cup jam in microwave or in a small pan over low heat until melted. Stir until smooth. SPOON OVER BERRIES, REFRIGERATE TO SET JAM, THEN SERVE.

Makes 16 servings.


1 cup chicken broth
2 tbs hoisin sauce
1 tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp vegetable oil
4 black cod or halibut fish fillets
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut in strips
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 tbs minced ginger
1/2 tsp minced jalapeno or serrano chile
1/2 cup sliced green onions

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
2. Mix broth, hoisin and vinegar.
3. Heat oil in a skillet. Cook fillets in skillet, skin side up, until browned. Place fillets skin side down on baking sheet. Bake fillets 12 min. or until fish is cooked through.
4. Saute in same skillet the mushrooms, bell pepper, ginger and chile 5 min. Stir in green onions and the broth mixture, cook 30 seconds.
5. Spoon vegetables onto each serving plate and top each with a fillet. SPOON BROTH OVER FILLETS AND SERVE.

Makes 4 servings.


1 large whole wheat or regular Boboli pizza crust
1 cup pineapple mango chipotle salsa
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread 2/3 cups salsa over the crust. Sprinkle the cheeses over the salsa. Spoon remaining salsa over cheese, scatter bell pepper and onion over the top.
2. Bake 12 min. or until heated through and cheese is melted. Allow to cool slightly.


Makes 8 servings.

Uses for Basic Herbs

Basil: This is used in tomato based dishes and salads. A must in Italian meals.

Parsley: Use a sprig as a garnish for meat and vegetable dishes.

Thyme: Delicious as an addition to stews,fish,lamb,pork and beef.

Chives: Chop these up and sprinkle on baked potatoes, soups, eggs and salads.

Bay: Use a whole leaf in stews, fish dishes,venison,or marinades.

Marjoram or Oregano: Great in soups,sauces,pizza.

Tarragon: Add to fish or chicken.

Science Definitions from Kids

H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.

To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.

When you smell a oderless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.

Water is composed of two gins, oxygin and hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin.
Hydrogin is gin and water.

Three kinds of blood vessels are: arteries, vanes, and caterpillers.

Blood flows down one leg and up the other.

Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then

The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader.

Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the

Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them

A supersaturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.

Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.

The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.

The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the
outsides have been taken off.

The purpose of the skeleton is that it is something to hitch meat to.

A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars, and eight cuspidors.

The tides are a fight between the Earth and Moon. All water tends towards the Moon, because there is no water in the Moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the Sun joins this fight.

A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.

Equator: a managerie lion running around the Earth through Africa.

Germinate: to become a naturalized German.

Liter: a nest of young puppies.

Magnet: something you find crawling all over a dead cat.

Planet: a body of earth surrounded by sky.

Rhubarb: a kind of celery gone bloodshot.

Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or

To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose.

For a nosebleed, put the nose much lower than the body until the heart stops.

For a dog bite, put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it.

For a head cold, use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat.

Joke: Giving the wrong answer

Eric is sitting at the bar staring morosely into his beer.

Tom walks in and sits down. After trying to start a conversation
several times and getting only distracted grunts he asks Eric what
the problem is.

"Well," said Eric, "I ran afoul of one of those women's questions
women ask. Now I'm in deep shit at home."

"What kind of question?, asked Tom.

"My wife asked me if I would still love her if when she was old, fat and ugly."

"That's easy," said Tom. "You just say 'Of course I will'".

"Yeah", said Eric, "That's what I did, except I said 'Of course I DO....'"

Joke: Child and the play

The choir director selected the 6-year-old little boy with the sweetest face for the opening scene of the play. "Now, all you have to do is, when I direct the choir to sing '...and the angel lit the candle', you come on stage and light all the candles."

"I can do it - I can do it!" the little boy said, excited to be the one picked.

Rehearsals came and went, and finally the big night arrived. The choir was in grand voice, the stage was beautifully decorated with dozens of unlit candles all around, awaiting the moment when the cute littlest angel made his entrance.

The director gave the downbeat, the orchestra began to play, and the choir swept into the introductory lines, ending with an expectant "...and the angel lit the candle," and everyone looked stage right for the entrance.

No little boy.

The director gave the downbeat again, and gestured for a louder line, which the choir gave him - "...and the angel lit the candle," and again, all eyes looked stage right.

No little boy.

The director, beginning to sweat, motioned with great, sweeping gestures. The choir thundered into the line. The curtains belled slightly from the sound - "...AND THE ANGEL LIT THE CANDLE!"

And into the silence which followed came a clear, boy-soprano voice floating piercingly from stage right,

"...and the cat peed on the matches!"


1 small fennel bulb, feathery top discarded
2 tbs basil olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs minced shallot
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 pound baby red potatoes, cut into 1/4" thick slices
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbs basil olive oil
1 1/2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tsp unsalted butter

1. SALAD---Cut fennel lengthwise into very thin slices. In a bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper. Scatter onion over dressing, then top with fennel and spinach (do not toss).
2. POTATOES---Place potatoes and broth in a saucepan, and bring to a boil, reduce heat cover and simmer until tender. Drain, keep warm.
3. HALIBUT---Heat oil in a skillet. Season halibut with salt and pepper. Add fillets to skillet, cook until golden brown. Turn fillets, cook until barely opaque in center. Remove to a plate.
4. Deglaze skillet with wine and bring to a boil. Reduce by half, then remove from heat and swirl in butter until emulsified.
5. Place potato slices on plates. Top with halibut, spoon pan sauce over fillets. Toss fennel salad and serve with halibut.



4 cups milk
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup stone ground yellow grits
1 tbs hot pepper sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbs Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 pound diced andouille sausage
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 small piquillo peppers, chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Sliced green onions (optional)

1. GRITS---Bring milk, butter, salt and pepper to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in grits, pepper sauce and pepper flakes. Cook 50 min. or until thick, add cheese and stir.
2. SHRIMP---Toss shrimp in Cajun seasoning, set aside. Heat oil in a skillet. Add sausage and cook 3 min. Add garlic, stir 2 min.
3. Add shrimp and butter, cook 3 min. Stir in piquillo peppers, cayenne and pepper flakes. Stir in wine, parsley, salt and pepper and simmer 3 min. Place grits in shallow bowls with shrimp mixture over top. Garnish with green onions, if desired and serve.



1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbs Thai red chili paste
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp each ground coriander and ginger
4 skinless salmon fillets, pin bones removed
ACCOMPANIMENT---Cooked jasmine rice (optional) & Lime Wedges

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet with sides, toss asparagus with oil, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, arrange in single layer and roast 5 min. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, roast 5 min. more, tossing until crisp tender.
2. Combine chili paste, lime juice, coriander and ginger until blended. Brush mixture over both sides of salmon, then season with the remaining salt.
3. Spray a skillet with canola oil cooking spray and heat. Add salmon fillets, rounded side down, and cook until browned. Turn fillets and continue to cook until desired doneness. Serve with asparagus.


Baking Tips

* When making cookies, always use unsalted butter, never margarine.
The unsalted butter gives the cookies a lighter texture.

* Add a pinch of baking soda to your frosting and the frosting will
stay moist and prevent cracking.

* Always chill pastry dough before rolling and cutting, and always
chill it again afterwards, before baking, to further relax the

* Your yeast will last longer than specified on those little packages
from the grocery store if kept in the refrigerator and even longer
in the freezer.

* For a practically fat-free crust, substitute frozen phyllo pastry
for traditional pie crust.

* To keep a cake longer, place half an apple in the cake container
when storing.


1/2 cup beef broth
2 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbs olive oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 pound thin boneless pork chops, cut across grain, 1/4" thick
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 1/4" thick
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2" thick strips

1. In bowl, mix first 6 ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbs oil in a skillet. Add pork and stir fry 2 min. Season with salt. Remove to plate and keep warm.
3. Add remaining oil to skillet, saute sweet potatoes and peppers 8 min. Add 1 cup water and simmer covered until sweet potatoes are tender.
4. Stir in broth mixture and cooked pork and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 min. or until sauce is thickened and meat is heated through. Serve immediately. I served this with Beef Rice a Roni. Very good meal.


Does Your Dog Own You?

See how many of these statements apply to you and your dog.

* You believe every dog is a lap dog.

* If you are cold, you put a sweater on your dog.

* You have a picture of your dog in your wallet, but not one of your kids.

* You often claim that it was love at first sight with you and your dog.

* You have your dog talk to your friends on the phone.

* You can't fully enjoy yourself without your dog.

* No matter how large your bed is, it is not large enough for you and your

* You spend more on clothes and food for your dog than you do for yourself.

* You have no reservations about kissing your dog on the lips, even when you
know where his lips have been.

* You believe it is your duty to talk to, pat, and even feed every dog in
the neighborhood. You know their names.

* You let the neighbor's dog sleep over.

* You believe there is no such thing as a naughty dog.

* Your vet and grooming bills exceed your rent.

* When you need someone to talk to, your dog is your first choice.

* You sit on the floor if the dog got in the chair first.

* You talk to your dog when you are driving. He answers.

* Your dog taught you to fetch and roll over.

Joke: What one could want with 10 new dresses

My mom got mad at my dad the other day and went shopping to relieve
her irritation...

When she returned home she informed him that she had purchased
ten new dresses...

"Ten!" he hollered, "What could any woman want with ten new

My mom calmly replied, "Ten new pairs of shoes."


8 oz can crescent rolls
7 oz box almond paste
2 bars 1.55 oz each milk chocolate, 1 bar cut into 8 equal pieces
1 tsp sugar

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Unroll dough separate wedges. Measure 1 tbs almond paste and divide in half. Press each half into a 1 1/2 x 1" rectangle. Repeat 3 times. Place a rectangle on bottom each wedge. Top almond paste with the chocolate pieces. Roll up dough as shown on package. Place on baking sheet, sprinkle each with 1/8 tsp sugar.
3. Bake as package directs. Remove to cool slightly. Break up other chocolate bar, put into a ziptop bag. Microwave at 10 second intervals until melted. Snip a tip off a corner of bag and pipe chocolate on croissants. Serve warm or at room temp. MAKES 8 SERVINGS.*


Replace milk chocolate with bittersweet or semisweet.

Use a teaspoon of raspberry jam instead of chocolate in each croissant.

To decorate, sift confectioners sugar on croissants instead of piping on chocolate.

Recipe: Vinegar Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
3 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Mix the flour with 1/2 cup of sugar. Add the water gradually and cook on top
of a double boiler for 15 minutes, stirring constantly, or until thickened.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the yolks and salt and mix well
with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the hot flour mixture to the
yolk mixture gradually, mixing all the time. Return to the double boiler and
cook for about 3 minutes more or until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Add the butter, extract, and vinegar. Mix well and remove from heat. Place a
piece of plastic on top of this custard.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until foamy and gradually add the 6
tablespoons sugar. Beat until a stiff, glossy peak is achieved.
Pour the custard filling into the prebaked shell ( the custard should still
be hot, if not, heat up a again before adding to shell). Top with the
meringue. Spread the meringue all over the top of the pie, sealing to the edges of
the crust. Place into the oven and bake until the meringue is a nice nut
brown, about 15 minutes. Traditionally, this pie is served hot.

Recipe: Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Hours
Ready In: 8 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings: 16

"Serve these slow cooked meatballs with your favorite pasta."

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree

1. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, onion, and
egg. Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs.
2. In a slow cooker, mix the spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato
puree. Place the meatballs into the sauce mixture. Cook on Low for 6 to 8

Recipe: Stovetop Pot Roast

3 pound chuck roast -- (3 to 4)
2 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut in 1/2" slices
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut in chunks
3 rib celery, cut 1/2" slices
4 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes
4 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered
1 pound carrots, cut in chunks
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Cut slits in roast; insert garlic slivers into the slits.

In a large deep skillet, brown roast on all sides in oil. Remove roast. Add
onion, celery and turnips to skillet. Place roast over vegetables; add water
and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hrs.
Add the potatoes, carrots and green beans; cover and cook for 45 minutes.

Add mushrooms; cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until meat and vegetables
are tender. Remove to a serving serving platter and keep warm. Skim fat from
pan juices. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into pan
juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Season with salt and
pepper. Slice roast; serve with vegetables and gravy.

Recipe: Chile Garlic BBQ Salmon

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Servings: 6

"Whole salmon gets a spicy Asian treatment, with soy sauce, ginger, hot
chili sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Bundled up in foil and cooked on the
grill, it's perfect for summer-time get togethers."

3 pounds whole salmon, cleaned
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon chile sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 lime, zested
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 green onions, chopped

1. Prepare outdoor grill for high heat.
2. Trim the tail and fins off of the salmon. Make several shallow cuts
across the salmon's skin. Place salmon on 3 large, slightly overlapping sheets of
aluminum foil.
3. In a bowl, stir together soy sauce, chile sauce, ginger, and garlic. Mix
in lime juice, lime zest, and brown sugar. Spoon sauce over the salmon.
4. Fold the foil over the salmon, and crimp the edges to seal.
5. If using hot coals, move them to one side of the grill. Place the fish on
the side of the grill that does not have coals directly underneath it, and
close the lid. If using a gas grill, place the fish on one side, and turn off
the flames directly underneath it; close the lid. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove to a serving platter, and pour any juices that may have collected in
the foil over the top of the fish. Sprinkle with green onions.

Naval terms


This old traditional greeting for hailing other vessels was originally a Viking battle cry.

Between the Devil and the Deep

In wooden ships, the "devil" was the longest seam of the ship. It ran from the bow to the stern. When at sea and the "devil" had to be caulked, the sailor sat in a bo'sun's chair to do so. He was suspended between the "devil" and the sea ­
the "deep" ­ a very precarious position, especially when the ship was underway.

Chewing the Fat

"God made the vittles but the devil made the cook," was a popular saying used by seafaring men in the 19th century when salted beef was staple diet aboard ship.
This tough cured beef, suitable only for long voyages when nothing else was cheap or would keep as well (remember, there was no refrigeration), required prolonged chewing to make it edible. Men often chewed one chunk for hours, just as it were
chewing gum and referred to this practice as "chewing the fat."

Crow's Nest

The raven, or crow, was an essential part of the Vikings' navigation equipment. These land-lubbing birds were carried on aboard to help the ship's navigator determine where the closest land lay when weather prevented sighting the shore. In
cases of poor visibility, a crow was released and the navigator plotted a course corresponding to the bird's flight path because the crow invariably headed towards land.
The Norsemen carried the birds in a cage secured to the top of the mast. Later on, as ships grew and the lookout stood his watch in a tub located high on the main mast, the name "crow's nest" was given to this tub. While today's Navy still uses
lookouts in addition to radars, etc., the crow's nest is a thing of the past.

Devil to Pay

Today the expression "devil to pay" is used primarily to describe having an unpleasant result from some action that has been taken, as in someone has done something they shouldn't have and, as a result, "there will be the devil to pay." Originally, this expression described one of the unpleasant tasks aboard a wooden ship.
The "devil" was the wooden ship's longest seam in the hull. Caulking was done with "pay" or pitch (a kind of tar). The task of "paying the devil" (caulking the longest seam) by squatting in the bilges was despised by every seaman.

Eight Bells

Aboard Navy ships, bells are struck to designate the hours of being on watch. Each watch is four hours in length. One bell is struck after the first half-hour has passed, two bells after one hour has passed, three bells after an hour and a
half, four bells after two hours, and so forth up to eight bells are struck at the completion of the four hours. Completing a watch with no incidents to report was "Eight bells and all is well."
The practice of using bells stems from the days of the sailing ships. Sailors couldn't afford to have their own time pieces and relied on the ship's bells to tell time. The ship's boy kept time by using a half-hour glass. Each time the sand ran out, he would turn the glass over and ring the appropriate number of bells.


Fathom was originally a land measuring term derived from the Ango-Saxon word "faetm" meaning to embrace. In those days, most measurements were based on average size of parts of the body, such as the hand (horses are still measured this way) or the foot (that's why 12 inches are so named).
A fathom is the average distance from fingertip to fingertip of the outstretched arms of a man ­ about six feet. Since a man stretches out his arms to embrace his sweetheart, Britain's Parliament declared that distance be called a "fathom" and it be a unit of measure. A fathom remains six feet. The word was also used to describe taking the measure or "to fathom" something. Today, of course, when one is trying
to figure something out, they are trying to "fathom" it.

Feeling Blue

If you are sad and describe yourself as "feeling blue," you are using a phrase coined from a custom among many old deepwater sailing ships. If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and
have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to home port.


The appropriate pronunciation for this word is fo'ksul. The forecastle is the forward part of the main deck. It derives its name from the days of Viking galleys when wooden castles were built on the forward and after parts the main deck from
which archers and other fighting men could shoot arrows and throw spears, rocks, etc.


The galley is the kitchen of the ship. The best explanation as to its origin is that it is a corruption of "gallery". Ancient sailors cooked their meals on a brick or stone gallery laid amidships.

Gun Salutes

Gun salutes were first fired as an act of good faith. In the days when it took so long to reload a gun, it was a proof of friendly intention when the ship's cannon were discharged upon entering port.


The "head" aboard a Navy ship is the bathroom. The term comes from the days of sailing ships when the place for the crew to relieve themselves was all the way forward on either side of the bowsprit, the integral part of the hull to which the figurehead was fastened.

He Knows the Ropes

In the very early days, this phrase was written on a seaman's discharge to indicate that he was still a novice. All he knew about being a sailor was just the names and uses of the principal ropes (lines). Today, this same phrase means the opposite ­ that the person fully knows and understands the operation (usually of the organization).


The last Navy ships with teak decks were the battleships, now since decommissioned. Teak, and other wooden decks, were scrubbed with a piece of sandstone, nicknamed at one time by an anonymous witty sailor as the "holystone." It was so named because since its use always brought a man to his knees, it must be holy!


The term meaning everything is O.K. was coined from a street named "Honki-Dori" in Yokohama, Japan. Since the inhabitants of this street catered to the pleasures of sailors, it is easy to understand why the street's name became synonymous for anything that is enjoyable or at least satisfactory. And, the logical follow-on is "Okey-dokey."

Log Book

In the early days of sailing ships, the ship's records were written on shingles cut from logs. These shingles were hinged and opened like a book. The record was called the "log book." Later on, when paper was readily available and bound into books, the record maintained it name.


"Mayday" is the internationally recognized voice radio signal for ships and people in serious trouble at sea. Made official in 1948, it is an anglicizing of the French m'aidez, "help me".

Pea Coat

Sailors who have to endure pea-soup weather often don their pea coats but the coat's name isn't derived from the weather. The heavy topcoat worn in cold, miserable weather by seafaring men was once tailored from pilot cloth ­a heavy, coarse,
stout kind of twilled blue cloth with the nap on one side. The cloth was sometimes called P-cloth for the initial letter of "pilot" and the garment made from it was called a p-jacket ­ later, a pea coat. The term has been used since 1723 to denote coats made from that cloth.

Port holes

The word "port hole" originated during the reign of Henry VI of England (1485). King Henry insisted on mounting guns too large for his ship and the traditional methods of securing these weapons on the forecastle and aftcastle could not be used.
A French shipbuilder named James Baker was commissioned to solve the problem. He put small doors in the side of the ship and mounted the cannon inside the ship. These doors protected the cannon from weather and were opened when the cannon were to be used. The French word for "door" is "porte" which was later Anglicized to "port" and later went on to mean any opening in the ship's side, whether for cannon or not.


The origin of the word "scuttlebutt," which is nautical parlance for a rumor, comes from a combination of "scuttle" ­ to make a hole in the ship's hull and thereby causing her to sink ­- and "butt" ­ a cask or hogshead used in the days of wooden ships to hold drinking water. The cask from which the ship's crew took their drinking
water ­ like a water fountain ­ was the "scuttlebutt". Even in today's Navy a drinking
fountain is referred to as such. But, since the crew used to congregate around the "scuttlebutt", that is where the rumors about the ship or voyage would begin. Thus, then and now, rumors are talk from the "scuttlebutt" or just "scuttlebutt".


Contrary to popular notion, the letters S.O.S. do not stand for "Save Our Ship" or "Save Our Souls". They were selected to indicate a distress because, in Morse code, these letters and their combination create an unmistakable sound pattern.

Splice the Main Brace

A sailing ship's rigging was a favorite target during sea battles since by destroying the opponent's ability to maneuver or get away would put you at obvious advantage. Therefore, the first thing tended to after a battle was to repair broken gear, and repair sheets (lines - not "ropes" - that adjust the angle at which a
sail is set in relation to the wind ) and braces (lines passing through blocks and holding up sails). Although no specifics remain, it appears that the main brace was the principal fore-and-aft support of the ship's masts.
Splicing this line was the most difficult chores aboard ship, and one on which the ship's safety depended. It was the custom, after the main brace was properly spliced, to serve grog to the entire crew. Thus, today, after a hard day (or, not so
hard day), the phrase has become an invitation to have a drink.


The Vikings called the side of their ship its board, and they placed the steering oar, the "star" on the right side of the ship, thus that side became known as the "star board." It's been that way ever since. And, because the oar was in the right side, the ship was tied to the dock at the left side. This was known as the loading side or "larboard". Later, it was decided that "larboard" and "starboard" were too similar, especially when trying to be heard over the roar of a heavy sea, so the phrase became the "side at which you tied up to in port" or the "port" side.

Taken Aback

One of the hazards faced in days of sailing ships has been incorporated into English to describe someone who has been jolted by unpleasant news. We say that person has been "taken aback." The person is at a momentary loss; unable to act or even to speak. A danger faced by sailing ships was for a sudden shift in wind to come up (from a sudden squall), blowing the sails back against the masts, putting the ship in grave danger of having the masts break off and rendering the ship totally helpless. The ship was taken aback.

Three Mile Limit

The original three-mile limit was the recognized distance from a nation's shore over which that nation had jurisdiction. This border of international waters or the "high seas" was established because, at the time this international law was established, three miles was the longest range of any nation's most powerful guns, and therefore, the limit from shore batteries at which they could enforce their laws. (International law and the 1988 Territorial Sea Proclamation established the "high seas" border at the 12-mile limit.)

Three Sheets to the Wind

We use the term "three sheets to the wind" to describe someone who has too much to drink. As such, they are often bedraggled with perhaps shirttails out, clothes a mess. The reference is to a sailing ship in disarray, that is with sheets (lines ­ not "ropes" ­ that adjust the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the
wind ) flapping loosely in the breeze.

Took the wind out of his sails

Often we use "took the wind out of his sails" to describe getting the best of an opponent in an argument. Originally it described a battle maneuver of sailing ships. One ship would pass close to its adversary and on its windward side.
The ship and sails would block the wind from the second vessel, causing it to lose headway. Losing motion meant losing maneuverability and the ability to carry on a fight.


Traditionally, a 24-hour day is divided into seven watches.
These are: midnight to 4 a.m.
[0000-0400], the mid-watch; 4 to 8 a.m.
[0400-0800], morning watch; 8 a.m. to noon
[0800-1200], forenoon watch; noon to 4 p.m.
[1200-1600], afternoon watch; 4 to 6 p.m.
[1600-1800] first dog watch; 6 to 8 p.m.
[1800-2000], second dog watch; and, 8 p.m. to midnight [2000-2400], evening watch. The half hours of the watch are marked by the striking the bell an appropriate number of times.

Different type of people

A statistician is someone who is good with numbers, but
lacks the personality to be an accountant.

An actuary is someone who brings a fake bomb on a plane
because that decreases the chances that there will be
another bomb on the plane. (Laurence J. Peter)

A programmer is someone who solves a problem you didn't
know you had in a way you don't understand.

A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for
a black cat which isn't there. (Charles R. Darwin)

A topologist is a man who doesn't know the difference
between a coffee cup and a doughnut.

A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and
calls it a "brief." (Franz Kafka)

A psychologist is a man who watches everyone else when a
beautiful girl enters the room.

A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.

A schoolteacher is a disillusioned woman who used to think
she liked children.

A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist
and tells you the time.