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February 2016
« Jan    

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Early on a beautiful Sunday morning 73 years ago, the world changed.

At 7:55 a.m local. December 7, 1941 the attack begins.

Pearl Harbor Attack
Pearl Harbor Attack

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to remove what it saw as a threat to the empire’s southern expansion. The Pearl Harbor attack hurt us badly, but it also hardened our resolve and brought us fully into WWII.

Snopes has some photos that were purported to be found in an old Brownie camera years after the attack. The story was untrue, but the photos are archival and genuine.

The U.S. Navy has a Pearl Harbor site with more photos.

Chris at A Large Regular has linked to this National Geographic Pearl Harbor site in the past. It has a multimedia timeline, survivor stories, kid’s section, and more.

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Veterans’ Day 2015

Armistice Day, Veterans’ Day, Remembrance Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month…

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Written by Lt-Colonel John McRae (1915)

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot


  • 6 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Medium Onion (diced)
  • 3lb Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1/2lb bacon (cut into lardons)
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 8oz cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 bunch chives (chopped)
  • 2-3 green onions (sliced green parts)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)


This recipe uses the potatoes themselves to thicken the soup. You can add a bit milk if the soup is too thick, or add a bit of Wondra flour, cornstarch, or instant mashed potatoes if it's not thick enough.

Use the chives or green onions or both!

This recipe uses Yukon Gold potatoes because they are both starchy and can hold their shape for the chunky bits. You can also use Russet or baking potatoes.


Step 1
Cook diced potatoes until cooked, but still firm. Set aside.
Step 2
Cook bacon in the soup pan until most of the fat has rendered out. Set bacon aside.
Step 3
Put onions in pan with bacon fat. Cook until translucent.
Step 4
Deglaze with 2/3 of the chicken broth/stock
Step 5
If you don't have a stick blender, take 2/3 of the potatoes and 1/3 of the chicken broth and puree in a regular blender or food processor and then add to the pan.
Step 6
If you do have a stick blender, add the rest of the broth and 2/3 of the potatoes to the pan and puree with the stick blender.
Step 7
Add the sour cream and 2/3 of the cheese, stirring until incorporated.
Step 8
Add 2/3 of the chives or green onions (or both!), 2/3 of the reserved bacon, and the reserved potatoes to the soup.
Step 9
Divide into bowls for serving using reserved bacon, cheese, and chives/onions for garnish.
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Book Review: The Forgotten Room

The Forgotten Room is a novel by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig.

I really enjoyed the book and wouldn’t have known it was written by three different women. It’s the story of a love that spans three generations, the stories of Olive, Lucy, and Kate. Olive and Lucy’s stories are told third-person and Kate’s, the latest generation, is told first person.

What connects them all is a townhouse in Manhattan built in the early 1890s. With a five story central staircase topped with a domed skylight, kitchens in the basement, servants’ quarters on the sixth floor, and a room on the seventh floor perfect for an artist. A square room with a fireplace, large windows, and a skylight.

Stories of love found, and lost. Stories with a bit of mystery.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of this book.

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Never Forget

The complete list of 2996. 2996-11

Paul Pansini:

From a profile published in the New York Times on 8/11/2002

Paul Pansini

World Trade Center

His Presence Is Everywhere

Paul Pansini
Paul Pansini

Paul Pansini loved the excitement of being a firefighter in downtown Manhattan, but his days off meant a great deal, too. Firefighter Pansini, 36, took his son, Paul Jack, now 7, and his twin daughters, Anna and Claire, now 3, everywhere when he was not working. “He was brave enough to even take them to the store,” his wife, Janice, recalled.

Since Sept. 11, the family has, in turn, felt his presence everywhere. “I feel him definitely in my house,” Mrs. Pansini said. The family lives in his childhood home in Tottenville in Staten Island. When they moved there in November 1994, the couple almost tore the century-old house down.

Now she is glad they did not. In Tottenville, they are surrounded by family members who keep his presence strong, including his sister, Loretta Halpert.

Lake George was Firefighter Pansini’s favorite spot in the world. This summer, as Mrs. Pansini packed for their annual vacation to the lake, Claire asked if they were going to meet Daddy there. “I’m blown away by how much they remember him,” Mrs. Pansini said. “I don’t think he knew how much he meant to so many people. He was a very comical person. The love of my life. People keep coming up to me and saying, `I miss him so much.’ ”


10-housememorial_23aOur thoughts and prayers go out every day to Paul’s friends, family, and coworkers at Ten House. Six men were lost that day from that Firehouse.

Click either picture to embiggen.

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