musing minds

July 2015
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Cowhide Rugs: Versatile and Stylish

The words “feminine” may not spring to mind when you picture a cowhide rug. It’s time to reconsider. Cowhide rugs can add a needed boldness to a room that is otherwise quite pretty. Picture a room filled with light, crystal accents, flowers, and classically elegant furniture. Now picture a bold and beautiful cowhide rug tying it all together. It is one of the great design strategies: take a style that works on its own, and then juxtapose it with an unexpected piece to really give the room its own character. A piece like this can also serve to help bridge the gap between the different tastes of the users of a space, whether it is a home or business.

A cowhide rug is a statement piece that adds charm and warmth. It is exotic, and at the same time it is earthy and practical. The natural cow skin material is extremely durable and will hold up in even the most high traffic areas of your home or office. These rugs are exceptionally easy to spot clean. The durability and ease of use are just a few of the great qualities of cowhide rugs. It’s also worth noting that bold accent pieces such as cowhide rugs can be the difference between a boring room and an exciting room.

You need not feel compelled to surround your cowhide rug with decor reminiscent of the Old West. The ways in which you can incorporate this design concept are limitless. It can seem at once whimsical and sturdy. A cowhide rug would be adorable in a child’s room or in a cozy home library or den. A kitchen designed with very simple, clean color schemes and lines would only be enhanced by a cowhide rug in a corner, or in the entryway.

These soft and stylish cowhide rugs are just the thing to tie together a whole room. They can be used as traditional rugs under a chair or in front of a couch, or you can use your imagination and use them as you would any other tapestry or throw blanket. This extreme versatility makes a piece like this a much better choice than a traditional rug. A traditional rug would stay on the floor in its place. A cowhide rug can be moved around from floor to wall to the back of a couch, allowing you to really express your creativity and keep your space feeling vibrant.

Allergens can be a major factor when purchasing a rug, but rest assured that cowhide rugs are not likely to harbor mold or mildew or other allergens.

Whatever your design challenge, you cannot go wrong with a classic, versatile, and bold cowhide rug.

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We received a call tonight from (646) 595-4784. Caller ID said BLOGTALKRADIO. I answered. It was someone saying he was from Microsoft and my Windows computer was downloading malicious software.

I told him we were IT professionals and that we weren’t downloading any malicious software, thank you very much, good bye. Click.

He tried to keep me on the line. Didn’t work.

Microsoft will NOT call you to help you with malicious software downloads. They don’t do customer service like that for free. And they don’t call YOU.

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Our Day At C2E2

Oh so much fun. The Little Guy and I dressed up for it. The Little Guy was Foxy the Pirate Fox from Five Nights at Freddy’s – a video game. He was recognized all over the con. Lots of kids wanted to take their pictures with him.2015-04-26_11.05.39 2015-04-26_11.05.49 Continue reading

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Nine Years Smoke Free

Nine years ago I quite smoking. I went to have laser acupuncture done and it was like a miracle. Halfway through the treatment I tossed the few cigarettes I had left in a pack and the lighter in the trash. And I’ve never gone back. That was a very worthwhile investment. Today cartons are costing almost what I paid for three cartons when I was smoking.

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Campaign Cash and Citizens United

Barack Obama turned down the public funding for presidential campaigns and raked in billions of dollars (and some donations were questionable (Fictitious Donors Found in Obama Finance Records)  – more was completely opaque.)

The group Citizens United wanted to air a movie critical of Hillary Clinton and air commercials advertising it. They came up against McCain-Feingold and sued the Federal Election Commission to be able to air the movie and advertise for it near an election. The Supreme Court eventually ruled in their favor.

Hillary Clinton and the Left are very much against the ruling in Citizens United. They want to undo the decision by passing a bill through both houses of Congress and having the President sign it into law. So she rails against money in politics, all the while raking in money hand over fist.

They act as if the Citizens United decision helps only conservatives. Just like they act as if the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts in various states help only Christians. But the Citizens United decision can help people on all sides, as the RFRAs can help more than just Christians. Remember the first RFRA signed by Bill Clinton was enacted to help Native American Indians who wanted to use Peyote in religious ceremonies.

Of course, Hillary has more reason to loathe Citizens United. They made a film that didn’t show her in best of lights.

rakes in campaign cash hand over fist, bitterly complains about money in politics

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$15 Minimum Wage

Apparently yesterday there were some protests demanding the minimum wage be increased to $15 per hour. For a full time job, that’s $30,000 a year (2000 hours x the wage.)  SEIU was involved in arranging some of these protests. Unions like the minimum wage increased because many other their contracts are based on some multiple of the minimum wage. Paying an employee $15 an hour costs the employer more than that. The employer has to pay his portions of the payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicaid) equal to the employee’s portion that’s withheld from his paycheck. The employer also has higher Unemployment Insurance rates. And that’s just the start. The people who were previously already getting $15 will want a raise too. Why should their pay suddenly be the same as the lowest paid employees? They worked to get above minimum, and now they’re just at minimum. Some employers’ payrolls are pretty tight in their budgets. They just can’t afford to raise everyone’s pay. People aren’t in business to provide jobs to other people. Jobs are a beneficial side effect of having a business. Employees with the job skills that employers want are more valuable. Employees can get training at a job, but if the come in fully trained they save the company the costs of training and can garner a higher wage. So, it’s time to bring this photo out again:

It's not an employer's responsibility to pay a "living" wage. It's the employee's responsibility to learn the skills necessary to earn one.

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He is risen, He is risen indeed.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Happy Easter!

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Rice Krispie Treats When Allergic to Eggs and Butter

Passover starts Friday (on Good Friday) 3 April, 2015. Over on Facebook a friend a asked (for a friend) if Rice Krispie treats were Kosher.

They can be, if you use vegan marshmallows and use a butter substitute so you don’t have to worry about a butter and beef issue.

For me, with my egg, milk, and wheat allergies, if I use coconut oil and the vegan marshmallows, I can eat Rice Krispie Treats!

The vegan marshmallows are available at Whole Foods and can also be ordered online from Chicago Vegan Foods. They’re Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. They make mini marshmallows too.

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Allergic to Cake!

I recently had some blood tests done to see what I might be allergic to. The tests came back with moderate allergies to egg whites, milk, and wheat. So, cake. And cream, butter, half & half, milk, Carnation Instant Breakfast, yogurt, sour cream, CHEESE, mayo, marshmallows, meringue, soy sauce (has wheat!), bread, crackers, pancakes, biscuits, croissants, doughnuts!, and lots more including whiskey, vodka, and beer.

I got the test results on March 15th and stopped the wheat and egg that day. I stayed with the milk because I can’t drink coffee without cream and I wanted butter on my cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. By Saturday the 21st I had my last Starbucks Tiramisu Latte with milk. I’ll have to switch to a non-dairy option. Their website says they have soy and coconut. I much prefer the coconut to the soy.

We went shopping on Sunday for some alternatives for me. I found Kikkoman wheat free soy sauce and I bought some oatmeal and potato chips and Fritos. We also bought a half gallon of coconut milk and a half coconut half almond milk to try in coffee. The coconut almond milk doesn’t fit the bill for me for coffee, so I’ll use it in smoothies instead. I mixed cream of coconut with some coconut milk and that makes a passable creamer. Tuesday I found some soy creamer and a coconut creamer. The soy one said it was now creamier, but I found the coconut one much creamier. I also found some coconut yogurts that I’m going to try.

I also bought some wheat, dairy, and egg free pretzels, and some brown rice flour, potato flour, and tapioca flour. I have a little masa, but I’ll get some more. I will have to do a LOT of reading of labels. I won’t be getting rid of everything in the house because my husband and son can eat them and I am not so allergic that I can’t be around them.

I eat real food and make most of what we eat from scratch so I know what’s gone into my ingredients. But I’ll have to check what’s gone into other ingredients. I had a Swanson flavor packets box (mushroom marsala) that I had to give away because it contained butter and buttermilk.

I’ll find out if I feel any different after cutting these things out of my diet and keep notes of how I work around the loss of these in my cooking. I have decided that I can’t try for a competition cooking show because the items are too ubiquitous in cooking. They’re used in appetizers, entrees, and desserts. It’s not like, say, a shrimp allergy. That’s something that can more easily be avoided.

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International Eat A Tasty Animal for PETA Day

International Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA Day started in 2003 (12 years already!)

Here’s Meryl Yourish’s original post:

If you haven’t heard by now, PETA has started yet another offensive ad campaign. This one really reaches bottom—they are using Holocaust terminology, quotes, and pictures to liken the “slaughter” of animals to the slaughter of the Jews by the Nazis.

I’ve already received a letter from a child of Holocaust survivors who is, of course, extraordinarily offended. But here’s the thing: PETA is known for this kind of outrageous publicity stunt—and that’s what it is, an outrageous publicity stunt—and while I am also offended and outraged, there is absolutely nothing we can do that will make PETA change their ad campaign. I’m sure they knew exactly what they were doing, have a plan in mind, and, if they withdraw the campaign, will do it according to their deadlines and their decisions.

So let’s make up our own outrageous publicity stunt. Let’s designate Saturday, March 15th, as International Eat an Animal for PETA Day. Everybody set the date on your calendar, and either go out and enjoy a great steak, or cook one at home. Or cook up some chicken or fish or anything else that PETA wouldn’t want you to eat. And let’s let PETA know how their ad campaign has affected us.

And the post for the 3rd Annual IEATAPETA Day:

Some people are mentioning IEAPD, and linking to the original post, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to update you all on this year’s festivities. Yes, we are continuing our annual Mocking of the PETA People, because they always have something for us to laugh at (rather than get angry over). Their latest offense to things Jewish was their attempt to accuse a kosher slaughterhouse of cruelty to animals. Their charges were debunked. Yes, I know you’re as surprised as I was to hear that PETA lied once again, which would be not at all.

Yummy cowIn honor PETA’s continuing prevarications, and constant annoyance, we once again urge our readers to do what pisses them off the most: Eat meat on International Eat an Animal for PETA Day, March 15th (chosen because it was a Saturday, a convenient day to meet other webloggers, and come to think of it, if I could relive that day, well, I wouldn’t. Bill Cimino is a scary guy with alcohol in him. Come to think of it, Wind Rider is scary with or without the booze.

March 15th is a Tuesday night here. There’s a steakhouse in Richmond that I like very much that I could be convinced to go to for dinner. Or I’ll just have some kind of beef or chicken at home. How many Richmonders read this blog, anyway?

Remember, nothing says “Eff you, PETA” like a yummy cow dinner. Mm. Cow.

And here we are for the 12th annual International Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA Day!

You should check out our Facebook page – we have a year’s worth of delicious recipes posted there and we’ll continue to post recipes.

The snow’s finally melted off the grill and the ground around it is clear so I’ll be grilling some ribeyes for my dinner. Yum. Cow.

Another celebrating IEATAPETA Day is Lost in the Cheese.


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