Sunday, March 22, 2009

March Madness and Basketball Jones


Well, March Madness is here again. I'll never forget how I first got addicted to this insanity. Click the title up above to hear and see the original Cheech and Chong version of " Basketball Jones".

Anyway, about, 30 something years ago - Me and "Big Al" Jurkonis drove up from Texarkana to Dallas. We sent the wives shopping and we plopped down at a place on Greenville, Ave., called the Filling Station. Hopefully, the Filling Station is still there - it was a gas station which had been converted into a great Burger Resturant - many years back. They had a big screen TV, cold beer, and great junk food - burgers, potato skins, fries, cheese fries, you name it. It was a great day - the kind you wish would never end.... and there are never enough of those.


Big Al, and I sat there all day enjoying the games and festivities. Honestly, it was the first time I had ever watched the "sweet sixteen". One great game right after another. I don't think anybody played the brackets back then....but they may have- I would guess it would be 1981 or 1982. You know, back in the previous century.

Hope your brackets are working for you and enjoy the March Madness Season. Oh and uh, Go Memphis Tigers!


All the best,


Mike



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What is Fair??? Re-writing the rules.

Warning! Warning! I got fed up with hearing about AIG bonuses this week and what is "Fair". I have gotten so upset with the media and other people's definition of "Fair", that I have created my own simple, and sure-fire definition of what "Fair" really means. Read on and understand Texas Truth!

On the bright side; at least this lying, cheating, stealing A-Hole will be spending the rest of his sorry life in prison. I hope he gets the cell mate he deserves. My buddy, Chris McAfee, was right...this guy deserves Sharia Law and Justice...unless we can come up with something more sinister for Bernie, under Texas law.

A long time ago, I had to adjust my understanding of what the word "Fair" means. Kind of like when Bill Clinton asked, "Well it depends on the meaning of what the meaning of "is" is? Philosophical questions like these can be confusing for many of us. In fact, they could be down right misleading and disingenuous. So, with a goal of adding clarity to "life its ownself", I have simplified the definition of "fair" for you. If you use any other definition of the word "Fair" you do so at your own risk, and you may be sorely disappointed.

As of this writing, it is precisely 131 days until "Fair" will be available to all Americans. Yep, they have "Fair" every year in Texas - at least that's what they call it. And I love the Fair, you can see the championship livestock, look at the newest automobiles, see blue-ribbon winning arts and crafts from around the Great State of Texas. And that's before you even get to the Midway at the Fair, with all the carnival rides, sideshows and games? Why you can step right up and win that little lady a cupie doll. Unfortunately, as far as I know, that is as "Fair" as it gets.

Here are some of the dangers of using other definitions of "Fair".
Is it "Fair" that:
  1. AIG Exec's get bonuses?
  2. That I have to pay for other people's bad mortgages?
  3. That UAW workers won't take pay cuts?
  4. That UAW exec's won't take pay cuts?
  5. That we pay a greater % of our GDP for healthcare than any nation and have less benefits?
  6. That Big Pharma spends more on advertising than research?
  7. That we pay more for prescription meds. than Canadians or Mexicans?
  8. That lobbyist's essentially buy our politicians?

You see this is a dangerous subject; so I think we should all forget about this and go to the only real fair - September 25th in Dallas. Let me know if you're interested, it'll make your life better than some of the other "fairs" and "unfairs".

All the best,

mike

Did I mention the Texas - Oklahoma Games is there - the Red River Shoot Out? It is always Fair unless OK wins.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vegitechture - How Much is Your Utility Bill?


Let's cut to the chase here....whatever that may mean.... How much do you think the heating and cooling bill for these places might be??? Certainly, less than yours and mine, I'd bet. As we in the U.S. of A, bumble, and stumble, and fumble around, for energy independence, a cleaner environment, and an economic recovery...isn't it amazing what nature herself can do, with little or no interference from Humanoids. No Republican, or Democratic Party....just a little common sense and a need for a place to sleep. Necessity....the mother of invention. Nature, the mother of everything else. Let me know if you get it....I'll understand if you don't. Take time to explore this website it is called ...
All the best,
Mike

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Grow Your Own Sponges


This post needs some explanation, unfortunately. A few weeks ago, I wrote about advertising to sell sponge seeds as an April Fool's Joke. Well, you know you have told a bad joke when no one gets it and you have to explain it. Such is the case with the "sponge seed" blog - no one got it - so now I have to go and make it worse by explaining it.


A lot of people are amazed that you can actually grow the popular Luffa Sponge in your own garden. You see the popular luffa sponge that you may have in your bath or shower, is actually a member of the gourd family, closely related to squash and cucumbers. The Luffa, as we know it, is native to South America and Southeast Asia where the long growing season allow the Luffas to proliferate.



Luffa seeds are shaped quite a bit like a pumpkin seed, and are normally a blackish gray color (see picture on the right). Most growers agree that is best to soak the seeds overnight before planting in a small peat cup. For best results, plant 3 seeds per peat cup – after the plants produce their first leaves, you should thin out the weaker plants and keep just one strong plant. Luffas require a long growing season, and are not tolerant of frost – so it is best to start them indoors in early spring – and transplant them when there is no longer a great of frost. These plants prefer full sun.



Luffa’s bloom virtually all summer with bright yellow flowers. As it turns out the Luffa plant, produces male and female flowers. The male flowers eventually fall off, but the female flowers remain attached to the gourd. Pretty exciting stuff, huh. By the way, when you plant your luffas outdoors, you’ll need a good trellis of some sort. If the gourds are allowed to lay directly on the ground they will become discolored and most people prefer a clean looking “sponge”. A chain link or wood fence can work just fine of you can use a couple of 4” inch square posts and string wire between them for the runners. In any case be sure your trellis is sturdy because the vines can grow over 20 feet long and the gourds themselves are heavy.


Here is a picture of an almost mature Luffa aegyptica also called Luffa cylindrical. These gourds require 4-5 months growing season, so here in East Texas we could expect to harvest in the August / September time frame. These members of the gourd family grow fast (as much as 1 -2 inches per day) and a single plant may produce as many as 25 luffa gourds. Agriculture experts have estimated that a single acre planted with Luffa could produce as many as 25,000 sponge gourds. That’s a whole lot of back scrubbin! If you figure that a luffa sponge can sell for $2.00 - $8.00 each, the luffa could have potential as a cash crop.


A variety of methods have been used to remove the outer skin of the gourd once it has reached maturity. The best I have seen, is to wait until the gourd has begun to turn brown, but has not totally dried. At this stage, the gourd skin can simply be peeled off in one fell swoop with your fingers. However, if you wait until the gourd is too dry – the skin will become brittle and you will have to take it off piece by piece. Green luffa sponge gourds can be “peeled” with a knife. In any case, you will want to rinse the gourds out thoroughly, they have a milky interior which will be full of seeds. A luffa gourd will often have as many as thirty seeds. Be sure and save the seeds from your best gourds for next year.


Some people use a mild chlorine bleach mixture, to get a whiter looking luffa sponge but this is a matter of personal preference. Bleaching will reduce the useful life of the sponge – but can arguably make a “better looking” sponge. The choice is up to you.




Once you’ve grown and harvested your own Luffa Sponges the choice is up to you – how you want to use them. Some people use them in the kitchen to clean pots, pans and Tupperware. They make great back scrubbers. You can put soap in them and make Luffa Soap. You can tie ropes, or use them in their natural state. Luffas make great gifts – rubber duckey sold separately.


By the way if you want some luffa seeds - write me. I've got a pound of em. All the best, mike







Monday, March 9, 2009

If it feels good - Do It!!!

Since no one " got " my last blog - I have made one which requires no explanation. Turn your speakers on and "Just Push Play".


video

Happy Monday - All the best!

Mike

Thursday, March 5, 2009

April Fool's Planning for Profits This Year

You know last year for April Fool's Day we ran a number of ads in the local paper advertising "Spaghetti Seeds" for sale. This was based on a hoax pulled in the 1950's by the BBC. Basically, it goes like this ...


In 1957 the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied that they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best." The picture on the right shows an Italian maiden, harvesting the record spaghetti crop.



Believe it or not, we got quite a few calls and visits at both flowershops - from people wanting to buy spaghetti seeds. In fact, we got so many calls that my sister, DeAnna, said she would kill me if I ran those adds again. Oh well, fun is fun - and business is business. The picture on the right is my wicked sister, DeAnna. No, she is not the one on the bottom, she is at the back and bares a striking resemblence to old you-know-who. By the way, the Big Bull in the picture is wearing a white hat - and the other one is the mascot at my old high school.



Anyhow, since I have been banned from bogus ads in regard to Spaghetti Seeds, I am trying to think ahead about a plan for this year's April Fool's Day. Here's what I am thinking of now....how bout instead of spaghetti seeds - Luffa Sponge Seeds? I could even expand my advertising to use pictures like this one....a genuine luffa sponge... like the one on the right. Additionally, I think I might fool even more people by showing evidence (like the BBC) of Sponges growing on a vine.....lol. I could probably throw some stuff in about how they were highly suited to growing in Northeast Texas. The picture on the right, is actually that of a "Ridged Gourd"...which if you use your imagination you could think might could be made into a luffa. What do you think?


One of my key concerns is how to make money on this project. Last year, we got a lot of phone calls but we didn't really get any sales from the effort. In order to promote this kind of thing, it really should be profitable.


So, that is where I need to call on you, the readers of the Let Go Journal to help me out. Please be kind enough to submit your ideas for improving April Fool's Day profitability in the comments section below and let me know how you feel about the idea...will it work? And how can we use this to make an extra buck on April Fool's Day.
All the best - your early April Fool,
Mike

Monday, March 2, 2009

Salsa Time - More Culture for You

Many of you know that I have always been a fan of Salsa. So this morning I started off the day with some Salsa. See picture to the right - this is not Nancy and I doing the Salsa - it is some other people doing the salsa, the same way Nancy and I would have done it about thirty years ago.






Some of you might not know that the name "Salsa" is the Spanish word for sauce, connoting (in American Spanish) a spicy flavor. Salsa also suggests a "mixture" of ingredients, though this meaning is not found in most stories of the term's origin. Honestly, I am a bigger fan of the sauce than I am of the dance. Which brings us to today's real subject, Salsa Michigan Family Style.



A few weeks ago my buddy in Michigan, Bryce Spencer sent me a jar of special home made salsa. It is called The Spencer Family Salsa. That's a picture of the jar to the right, and although the picture isn't very good - you can see a picture of a young man in front of a 30's - 40's automobile. This year's Spencer Family Salsa was dedicated to Bryce's late father-in-law and salsa making partner, Dick Esch. That's his picture on the label. Pretty cool family tradition if you ask me.




I asked Bryce how they eat Salsa up north in Michigan - because I really wasn't sure it was the same as we do down here. Quite often, in Texas, Salsa can be used to spice up beans and peas, and other normally ordinary foods. Bryce told me that he liked to use the Frito-Lay Scoops. Well anyway this morning I decided to give the Spencer Family Salsa a test.




I didn't have any "scoops", besides who wants Frito-Lay Scoops for breakfast? So, I whipped up some Huevos Rancheros and toast to go with the Salsa. On opening the jar, you can smell pungent fragrance of jalapeno peppers. Bryce had warned me that this stuff was hot, and the fragrance pretty much gave you a warning. I put two tablespoons of Salsa on the eggs, which turned out to be just about right. The sauce was just the way I like it, hot and tangy. Great batch of Salsa.

I suppose I am biased on the flavor of this Salsa, because it was home made by the Spencer Family. The friendship and love they cooked into it are unmistakable; and I am going to enjoy every last drop. Thanks Bryce.

All the best,

Mike