Monday, January 29, 2007

It's Milton Friedman Day

When all is said and done, there are only two economists you need to know about, Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. In 1776, the year of America's Declaration of Independence, Smith published the Wealth of Nation which defined economics (and capitalism) as serious subjects of study. In 1976, Milton Friedman received the Nobel Prize for his economic work on capitalism.
Friedman was a serious scholar and a wonderful teacher whose book and PBS Series "Free to Choose", showcased his ideas. I read that book in college and it was life changing. In the face of 1970's pessimism spread by disillusioned baby boomers, Marxism spouting teachers, this old guy talked about the power individuals had through choice. Thankfully, many people listened to Milton and capitalism helped spread freedom. (I need to re-read that book, I'm finding myself a little disillusioned these days.)

Today has been declared Milton Friedman Day, there should be many good articles to read. To get you started please read Ben Stein's article from November -- he knew the man well.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mystery ABCs

Find a crytic note in an unknown alpahbet see some weird symbols on that sword? is the place to solve the mystery. This entire site is devoted to the written word or symbol -- over 150 language systems are cover with illustrations and history. Check out the puzzle section and see if you can help uncover any of the language mysteries there.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

The American Woman's Cookbook

The first cookbook on my shelf is The American Woman's Cook Book (1948). It seemed a good place to start my cookbook project. This was one of the few cookbooks my mother had around the house when I was young. I remember looking for Christmas cookie and candy recipes here.
This definitely vintage cookery here. If you want to what the post-depression, post-WWII American housewife was cooking, it's in this book. Mainly meat and potatoes recipes here with lots of cream sauces -- good for stretching the meat ration. The full color pictures are kind of nauseating, whether it's their strange pastel shades of green and pink or that the subject matter. The picture of ring of noodle aspic with chicken ala king in the middle is a true food nightmare. Thank god Mom only subjected us the the decidedly non-Chinese Chop Suey detailed on pg 334.
I choose an easy, safe dish to prepare for Hannah, Ham Baked in Milk. Pretty tasty, just rum a combo of brown sugar and mustard over a ham slice, plunk it in a casserole and cover it with milk. An hour later you get a yummy ham dinner. I didn't tell Hannah that I cooked the ham differently, but she tasted it and loved it.

So the first dish in the project went well, I'll keep the book. Who knows, someday I may have a taste for noodles in aspic.
If you want you own copy of this treasure, try Ebay and snag one for $9.99, Amazon has this listed for $24.00 and up --- go figure.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

52 Cookbooks

As part of my "Use What I Have" campaign, I took a good look at all the books I have around the house. I don't really know what I have. That goes for my cookbooks as well as my fiction and non-fiction volumes. By reviewing my books, I may not be easily seduced into buying more books on a whim. Cookbooks are practicable items and are supposed to be used, not just left on a shelf.
I have quite a collection, some purchased, received as gifts or inherited from my Mom. The kitchen bookshelves contain 52 cookbooks, ranging from the venerable, Joy of Cooking to the sadly titles Where's Mom Now that I Need Her?, there are pasta cookbooks, fondue cookbooks and even a Belgian cookbook.
I'm sure that when people see all those books there in my kitchen they must think I am a gourmet cook with a huge repitoire of recipes, but no. I just love reading cookbooks and having cookbooks --- at least that is what I have been doing.
This year I've decided I am going to cook at least one thing from each of my books and blog about it. The real challenge may not be the cooking, but getting my daughter, Hannah to try it. Looks for my cookbook project posts.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mistakes, I've made a few....

Today's internet is all about sharing. The younger generation (boy, it pains me to use that phrase) believes in sharing it all on the web. I'm not too into the whole MySpace thing, but I do have this blog --- so I guess I'm part of the movement.

So sharing mistakes is just part of the whole 'open life' on the Web thing. I just found Only Human were anyone can document any mistake they made. Check out the perils of "leaving unattended cool stuff with a dog around". This is just kind of a Duh moment for me, who doesn't know that dogs eat stuff, but I liked his solution, since I'm an animal lover.

It all reminds me of the Mistakes poster at is a wonderful, creative and demotivating company which lampoons those annoying Successories posters. As they say on their Motivation Poster " If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon. "

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bears Win!!!

Wow, I just love those Bears!!

We are Super Bowl bound!!

Is Resolution Season Over?

Resolutions, here in late January, the season has almost passed. After a flurry of news stories, little is said for year. It seems people either dig in and try to make changes or they hate the whole idea of resolutions.

I like resolutions, a good challenge is healthy. I try to make my resolutions positive and open-ended. Weight loss and quitting smoking have never worked as resolutions for me, they were just to serious. One year decided to eat more fish, another year I resolved to go on 12 dates --- both of these enriched my life by getting me out of my comfort zone.

This year I decided to tinker with my comfort zone I resolve to take stock of what I own and use what I have. These are kind of fuzzy resolutions, I know, but I think they both offer life enriching possibilities. There too many things in my house that I just don't use, appreciate or even like. So one goal is to get rid of all the extra stuff that just takes up space around here. In addition, if I like something, I need to enjoy it and perhaps even celebrate it.

Working on any of your own resolutions, let me know
Want some ideas? Check out 43 things where people set goals and track progress.