Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Prometheus Review

A Prometheus Review
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Idris Elba as Captain Janek
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Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), and David (Michael Fassbender) explore an alien structure.
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Exploratory vessel Prometheus.
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Michael Fassbender as David, examining a holographic display.
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Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers
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Promotional poster for the movie

WARNING: SPOILERS!!

In Greek myth, Prometheus was a god, responsible for giving man the gift of fire. For this, he was punished by Zeus by being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten by an eagle for all eternity.

In Ridley Scotts’ new film, Prometheus is an exploratory vessel, dispatched across the cosmos to a distant moon on a search for extraterrestrial life. Of course, this being set in the same universe as Scotts’ 1979 classic ‘Alien’, things start to go badly.

Actually, if Scott hadn’t said this movie was a prequel in an interview, you could be forgiven for thinking this was something new. Except for a short sequence at the very end of the film, the beloved Xenomorphs are nowhere to be found. Instead we have a new alien menace. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Prometheus’s mission is headed by Drs. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), archaeologists who have discovered the same iconography in cultures separated by both time and space. This leads them to conclude that life on Earth was seeded here by aliens, and that this iconography was left behind as an invitation. Captain Janek (Idris Elba) commands the ship, and tagging along are corporate overseer Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and David (Michael Fassbender), an android. Guy Pearce also makes an appearance as Peter Weyland, in thoroughly unconvincing old-age makeup.

Mrs. Rapace is a capable leading lady, but she’s out-shined by Michael Fassbender, who turns in what is easily the best performance of the whole film. Mrs. Theron also turns in a good performance as the aloof and somewhat menacing Weyland Corporation director in charge of the mission.

The story starts off good, but begins to fall apart in it’s second half. A black goo that, early in the film is seen to kill an alien, and is implied to have seeded it’s DNA on Earth, is encountered by some earthworm type creatures that mysteriously mutate into something reminiscent of the face-huggers of previous films. Later, Dr. Shaw becomes infected with an early chest-burster, and operates a computerized surgery suite to give herself a cesarean section while concious, then proceeds to spend the rest of the movie being the action hero. I had difficulty suspending my disbelief after that point.

But for me these were minor complaints. Actually, my real complaint has to do with the nature of the film, I went in expecting to be scared, just as I remember being when I watched ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’ for the first time. And I was disappointed.

‘Prometheus’ is a good summer popcorn movie (at least for those with a strong stomach), though not on the same level as ‘The Avengers’. But it is definitely worth the cost of a ticket.

The Best IPhone Cases

The Best IPhone Cases

Where To Find Iphone Cases Under $10

Iphone cases for under $10? Is that possible? Yes. If you have ever had to replace your phone because it got damaged, you know how expensive it is. My phone was run over by a car, so I know. Not to say one of these cases could protect my phone from that, but if you have a tendency to drop you phone like my brother than a protective cell phone case may be a good idea for you. A rubber case may even be better.

There are a ton of cases out there and just as many designs. Even better, there are a great number of them that are affordable. I mean, under ten dollars affordable.

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Colorful Strip Snap on Case for iPhone 4/4s
Amazon Price: $9.99

Here is a Hello Kitty inspired rubber case cover protects your phone from dust, scratches and bumps you know your phone can get. This case also allows your phone to function fully because it has openings for all buttons, ports, jacks, and speakers. You can be fashionable and your phone can be functional and safe.

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This colorful strip inspired iPhone designed cover is perfect for someone who is fun at heart. The pink, yellow and green color scheme keeps things fresh and fun. The case also allows your phone to function fully with openings for the things you use on your phone. Plus the cover is rubber so the protection is awesome.

BONUS IPHONE CASES

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Hand Made Lace and Pearl Green Hard Case Cover for iPhone 4 4G 4S
Amazon Price: $0.01
List Price: $19.99

I recommend checking out Targets list of Iphone cases for some great deals and some great designs. But really, whatever design you choose, the most important thing you do is choose. Getting protective case for your cell phone should be non negotiable. Even if they are closer to $20 like the bonus Iphone case option above.

Until next time,

Stefanie

Healthy Pizza Recipes: Chicken Spinach Feta Mushroom Pizza Recipe

Healthy Pizza Recipes: Chicken Spinach Feta Mushroom Pizza Recipe

Quick and Easy Pizza Recipe

I mostly advocate homemade but let’s face it – sometimes we all have to cut a few corners if we need to make something quick and still have it resemble homemade. Tonight, I was faced with making something quick and the ‘something’ just happened to need to be pizza. I could have ordered takeout but thankfully, I had a flat bread thin crust pizza shell in the freezer. See my recipe further down for making the crust from scratch though.

I will list the basic recipe but I decided to just do my own thing with it and it turned out wonderfully. It is more of a Florentine concoction than regular pizza but you can make it to your own specifications very easily. Think about what pizza you like best – Canadian bacon or pepperoni – and just improvise. Took me all of about 10 minutes to prepare – 6-7 minutes to cook – even faster than delivery!

For another vegetable pizza you’ll love, try my butternut squash and basil pizza recipe!

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How to Make Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Chicken Florentine Pizza

INGREDIENTS

1 Thin crust pizza (I used Signature flat bread – Napoli style) – or substitute fresh pizza dough
1 8 oz. Classico Sun Dried tomato Pesto Sauce and Spread
1/4-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or shredded cheese blend – any Italian white cheese will do
Fresh spinach leaves washed and dried
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup olives – regular will do but I used pitted kalamata
1 boneless chicken breast cut into small chunks/slivers
1/4 teaspoon or so of dried oregano
Fresh Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Place chicken strips/chunks in skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil (or substitute cooking spray). Sprinkle with oregano. Cook until brown on one side, flip and cook on other side. Set aside. (You can also grill the chicken breast and cut into small pieces)
Place thin crust pizza or dough on pizza plate.
Spread tomato pesto sauce/spread over the pizza dough on pan.
Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Sprinkle cooked/roasted chicken over sauce on pizza.
Slice olives and place on pizza.
Sprinkle mushroom slices over pizza.
Add fresh spinach leaves to pizza.
Sprinkle on feta cheese.
Sprinkle with mozzarella or other white Italian cheese.
Sprinkle on just a bit more of Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 450 degrees for 6-7 minutes.
Let stand about 5 minutes or so before slicing.

Serves 1 or 2 as a main course.

Cuisinart AMB-14PP Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch Pizza Pan
Amazon Price: $8.62
List Price: $26.00
OvenStuff Non-Stick 12 Inch Pizza Pan Two Piece Set
Amazon Price: $14.99
Zyliss 11370 Classic Rotary-Style Cheese Grater
Amazon Price: $10.95
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OXO SteeL Pizza Wheel
Amazon Price: $6.50
List Price: $11.99
The Art of Pizza Making: Trade Secrets and Recipes
Amazon Price: $10.42
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California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook
Amazon Price: $3.69
List Price: $22.00

Other Suggestions

For Canadian bacon pizza, use cheeses except feta and Canadian bacon and pineapple tidbits
For pepperoni pizza, use cheese except feta and substitute bite-size pepperoni slices, mushrooms, green peppers
For meatless pizza, omit the chicken
For a different meat pizza, substitute another meat such as cooked ground beef or chicken – or try Italian sausage cooked
Substitute any other prepared pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce or substitute homemade such as Italian sausage

 

Totally Pizza Cookbook (Totally Cookbooks)
Amazon Price: $2.11
List Price: $5.95
Pizza on the Grill: 100 Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More
Amazon Price: $6.99
List Price: $16.00
Pizza Lover’s Cookbook: Creative and Delicious Recipes for Making the World’s Favorite Food
Amazon Price: $9.98
List Price: $15.00
The Pizza Gourmet: Simple Recipes for Spectacular Pizza
Amazon Price: $1.02
List Price: $17.95

Homemade Pizza Dough

Makes 2 pizza crusts

INGREDIENTS

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups flour

PREPARATION

Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Stir in sugar, salt, oil and 1-3/4 cups flour.
Turn onto well floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Or place in mixer or food processor with dough hook and knead for 5 minutes. Add additional 1/4 cup of flour to prevent sticking.
Pat into a 10-inch circle on lightly greased cookie sheet or pizza pan with floured fingers.
Spread with sauce and toppings.
Bake in 425 degree oven until cheese melts and is bubbling, 15-20 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes or so before cutting.

NOTE: You can refrigerate or freeze other pizza half if not used right away – refrigerate up to about 5 days.

Summing It Up

While takeout is great, it is very expensive and in most cases, laden with salt.  It really doesn’t take that much time to make your own – and even if you have to make do and use a few non-homemade items, I have to think it is still better for you in the long run. 

Be creative above all – pizza is after all a man-made pie of sorts and the sky is the limit on what you can do with it!  Check out other sites on the Internet for millions of variations and ideas.

The Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook
Amazon Price: $6.47
List Price: $16.95
OXO SteeL Pizza Wheel
Amazon Price: $6.50
List Price: $11.99
Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It!
Amazon Price: $7.48
List Price: $17.99
500 Pizzas & Flatbreads: The Only Pizza & Flatbread Compendium You’ll Ever Need (500 Cooking (Sellers))
Amazon Price: $10.57
List Price: $17.95
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN STYLE PIZZA
A real pizzaiolo in Napoli placing a pizza into a woodfired oven From the alps in the far north to the boot heel in the deep south, Italy is ripe with great pizzerias where you will marvel at the simple but…
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
This is am amazing whole wheat pizza dough recipe I developed it my self in search of a healthy pizza. I love pizza so I figured I might as well make one that was good for me, so before we go any further lets…
5 Uses for Store Bought Pizza Dough
Usually found in the refrigerated section near the cheese or fresh pasta, store-made pizza dough is one of those supermarket bargains that you shouldn’t ignore. It’s fairly inexpensive, all the prep work is…
Home made Pizza with Mozzarella, olives and anchovie…
Sure, you can buy a ready made Pizza, and have it delivered – they are cheap and easy and.well, they are cheap and easy. If you have ever eaten a home made Pizza, you know what Im talking about. I…
Homemade Pizza – Is It Cheaper Than Delivery or Froz…
Pizza is a favorite food among most people, especially children. It is also one of the most commonly eaten foods. Yet the prices vary so much, how do you know what is the cheaper option? Can you make your own…
Make a backyard mud oven. Cheap, fun, and makes a pr…
Here are easy to follow instructions for building a mud oven at home. You can make a mud oven (Cob oven) at home without any special skill and almost for free – and your wood burning pizza oven will turn out professional quality hearth breads and pie
How to Make the Absolute Best Homemade Pizza
Prep Time: 1 – 2 hours Cook Time: 15 – 20 minutes After many years of trial and error I have come up with the best homemade pizza I have ever tasted. Even my little one’s love to
How to make a Pizza at Home
When my sons were younger, I used to make pizza regularly at home using the recipe below. A friend told me about this method and I found it to be inexpensive as well as quick and easy with tasty results. …

My Funny Story About Riding A Horse

My Funny Story About Riding A Horse

Favorite Funny Stories – Horseback Riding

From early childhood, I have had a love affair with horses. I cannot say why or how it all started but at the ripe old age of 6 or 7, I went into the field behind the duplexes where we were living in California, untied a full-grown horse who was about a million times my size, and very proudly took it by the lead and clomped, clomped, clomped it through the duplexes and ‘parked’ him or her at my front door.

I then had the audacity to go inside and leave the poor thing outside. I announced to my mom ‘Guess what followed me home?’ She was not pleased! She was also not amused. Now she is – it is yet another of the Audrey stories that circulate in our family from time to time.

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Vicki circa 1971
Audrey circus 1971
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Where we met – Band Freddies united

My point being, this love affair I had with horses
I acquired out of the blue. No one in my family loved horses. To
finish the above story, I of course marched that horse back to its
pasture and retied it up as best I could. I then went to tell the owner
what I had done to make sure that the horse had not been missed and I
would not be prosecuted for ‘borrowing’ the horse! But I never forgot
that moment of feeling that huge animal walking behind me and nuzzling
my shoulder. I already had a name for it!

Years later and a lifetime of crazy experiences behind me, I arrived at age 13 and entered high school.
To say that I was a bit of a ‘drama queen’ would be putting it mildly.
In my defense, all of it was not my fault. I do not mean to digress,
but my life was a bit of trauma and drama so when I emerged as a young
woman entering high school, I was a bit of a mess to put it mildly. I
honestly didn’t know if I was coming or going.

All this is
said not to bemoan my childhood. It is what made me who I am and that
is a great thing! It is, however, to illustrate the magnitude of horses
and horseback
riding in my life and how I viewed this ‘release’. I of course did not
own a horse. I didn’t even know anyone who did own a horse. When I
think back on it now, that should have been my M.O. – I should have
found a friend with horses and I would have been set for life!

I
did have a substitute though – somewhere along the way in high school, I
learned to make good money cleaning people’s houses. I was great at it
because I am by nature a neat freak and an organizer. My talents were
not wasted as I made really good money doing it.

By the
time I was several years into high school, I was in need of outlets for
my stress – big time. Somehow or other, I remembered horses and that
became my first love. I would work to buy clothes but I’d always set
some aside most of my money for my one addiction – horseback riding.
Once I was able to drive, it was even better. I would go into the
hills outside La Mesa, California and head for the stables.

The Ride of a Lifetime

I would stride into the stables and without pausing for a moment in my excitement announce that I wanted the wildest, friskiest, biggest, fastest horse in the place. This was of course in the late 1960s when no one thought to put a helmet on someone riding a horse for recreation – nor did they seem particularly enamored of finding out if I actually knew how to ride! In fact, I learned ‘on the job’ – by saddling up one of the meanest, toughest, friskiest horses and just riding.

In retrospect, I think I had somewhat of a death wish – or at the very least, I needed to escape and feel free. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that free in my life – before or since. I would no more than get up on the horse than I was kicking him or her in the ribs and galloping out of the yard. The only stipulation for my $20 was that I not bring back the horse lathered up. No one went with me – no one demonstrated what to do – and no one seemed to believe that I might not know what I was doing.

Those rides across the fields and hills of San Diego were some of the best days of my life. I would leave everything behind and gallop full tilt for all I was worth for roughly 45 minutes – followed by 15 minutes of letting the horse cool down and not getting into trouble for over-tiring the horse. Some of the time I would just lean out over the horse and grab hold of the neck and feel like I was flying. I was cautious enough to never jump anything other than a very low log – I might have been a little ‘carefree and wild’ but I wasn’t insane!

At any rate, I would go alone on my wild rides and come back refreshed. I got to thinking that the only thing better than riding alone was perhaps riding with friends! I talked a group of 3 other girls into going with me one day – only that didn’t go so well. Before we even got out of the yard, one of the girls reined in both reins on the horse which led to the horse spinning in circles and she fell off and broke her arm. Not cool! After that, I could talk until I was blue in the face and not one of those girls was going back!

Ah, now she gets to the point of the tale! Vicki – my dear friend Vicki Coy now Coy-Alpaugh. She was my forever friend at a time in my life when I truly needed good people around me. We are remarkably still friends! Even at the ripe old age of 56 or 57, she totally gets me – and this is a supreme gift. At any rate, we met in band – marching band to be specific. I had wanted to be in the hand corps but I was informed by my mother and stepfather that only ‘sluts’ were in the hand corps (I don’t think my friends in the hand corps knew this).

I did not want to be in band – but if I had to be in band, I wanted to play the flute. Tough titties – I was not allowed to play the flute. I luckily did not have to play the piano as we strode down the street – too cumbersome and I could reserve that talent for private. Luckily, they also did not need an accordion player in the marching band – another whew!!! What would be the most non-sexy instrument for me to play – ah – the clarinet! Well, it could have truly been a lot worse now that I think back on it. I did well enough to pass muster and got into the band; in my final years, I actually was very good in spite of my dislike of the instrument – but I digress.

We were called Band Freddies – nice label and I do think in retrospect it was after a wonderful musician Fred Kidder who was several years ahead of us. However, Band Freddies was not a term of endearment – it was rather a kind of sneer about us being dorks. Oh well – we dorks hung together through thick and thin. It really was quite a wonderful part of my life and how I met many of my long ago friends and some of my friends through the decades, many of whom remain in contact and who I love dearly.

All this said, not many people were willing to go with Psycho Audrey on her little jaunts into the hills to run like the hounds of hell were chasing her. Can you blame them? They already knew what kind of ‘accidents’ befell those who had the nerve to ‘saddle up and ride’ with me! But Vicki, dear sweet, quiet, shy Vicki – she couldn’t stand for me to be stressed out. She knew how my moods fluctuated like the barometer and she only wanted me to be happy. That can be the ONLY possible way that I talked this dear sweet girl into accompanying me!

Off we went on a Friday afternoon. I remember driving and I remember Vicki asking me several times if it was safe. ‘Of course,’ I assured her – you see me coming back every time don’t you? ‘Vick – you are going to LOVE it I tell you – the freedom – the running – the sound of the hooves galloping – it’s like music!’ When I looked over, she was a bit wide-eyed but she was still in the car after all so how bad could it be?

We arrived, went into the barn and I proceeded to step right up to the fellow saddling up the horses. ‘Yeah – we know – fastest horse, wildest thing we got, the one who loves to run and needs to burn off some steam. Same for your friend here?’ ‘Ah – actually no – Vick – you tell them what you want and how big a horse you feel comfortable with’.

The look was priceless – I know she was going to say ‘But, Audrey – I don’t feel comfortable at ALL – is there like a horse with a cart – can I ride in the cart? At the very outside, can I drive the cart?’ But not willing to hurt my feelings, she said very quietly ‘One that I won’t get hurt on please’. I think that might have been a clue that we needed a little help – but as I say – things were different then. Pay your money, saddle up – and get outta the stable. Ride, baby, ride!

After looking over the large looming horse who was much taller than Vicki (and me for that matter), Vicki saw me sitting atop my horse just primed to be off. She sighed a very long suffering sigh and then proceeded to try to get up on the very large though very gentle horse. Finally as I recall, someone got the idea that Vick might need a little help so they dutifully helped her get up on the horse and handed her the reins.

I think we gave her all of about a 2 second lesson – ‘do this, whatever you do, don’t do this, and when you want to stop, let me know’. I was literally chomping at the bit to get off and run and true to form, Ms. Considerate led Vicki out of the stable to the stable yard, and proceeded to do what I did – kicked my horse into high gear and off I went galloping like a loon.

Did I stop and think for 1 second that my poor, devoted, loyal friend Vicki had never been on a horse? Of course not! That is the stupidity of youth and I fully take responsibility for my insensitivity. Of course her horse followed mine – albeit at a slower pace because she did not have a horse named ‘Wicked’. I did, however, look back – and was satisfied that I must have told her something right because she was still on the horse, and she was galloping along. I, however, did not take into account that her eyes were now as big as platters and she was bouncing up and down on the horse like a ball, and that she was flailing her arms all over the place in an effort to stay on and keep up with me (all of which were not her choice unfortunately).

We were out in the meadows and I decided to take one of the beautiful curving paths – I was convinced now she would fall in love with horseback riding just like I had – when she saw the beautiful fall-time meadows and rode like the wind, she would be in horse heaven so to speak and we would be here all the time! I was so jazzed – I looked back to wave my arms as if to embrace all the beauty around us but when I looked back, I didn’t see someone who looked all that enthralled. In fact, I didn’t see Vicki in the saddle at all.

Actually, Vicki was in the saddle after all – but the problem seemed to be that the saddle was sliding sideways on the horse. In retrospect, it seemed that the horse had bloated up while they were cinching his saddle on and upon exhaling while we were galloping – bad news for Vicki! At first, sh
e was almost on top of the horse, but then as I watched in absolute horror, she was now riding side saddle – or on a saddle that was sideways on the horse.

She opened her mouth to scream or yell – or most probably say something very well deserved on my part as to the stupidity of this exercise when she just kept on going. The saddle kept slipping and pretty soon, unable to hold on any longer, my wonderful friend Vicki disappeared as she dropped off in a lump into the tumbleweeds and the horse ran on – with the saddle now down on his underside. He galloped off into the sunset – mission accomplished!

I was afraid to turn back – I was afraid not to! What if my poor friend was mangled and in a million pieces in the bushes? What if she’d broken something? What if she hated me and never wanted anything to do with me again? Of course, I did the honorable thing and spurred my horse to the place where I’d seen her pitch into the weeds, and just as I did so, up she popped. She was walking bless her heart – her glasses were on totally crooked and she had huge pieces of tumbleweed stuck to her hair, stuck to her clothes – everywhere!

She was muttering – I had to get closer to hear – she was saying something about what kind of stupid idiotic person goes horseback riding? What kind of stupid idiotic person believes this is a fun thing to do when they could have just been home reading or watching TV? What kind of a stupid idiotic person wants to do this? Thankfully, she wasn’t asking what kind of a stupid idiotic person wants to have a friend who happens to be crazy?

I offered to boost Vicki up onto my horse and get her safely back to the stable but surprisingly, she did not want to have anything to do with another horse. She told me very politely that she’d just limp on back to the stable and wait for me there – could I possibly go and retrieve the horse for her though? Huge sigh – of course I could.

So I rode off into the sunset and found her horse, tethered it to my horse, and for once quietly rode back to the stable, where I found Vicki sitting on the bench just patiently waiting for me. She very politely told me that riding just didn’t appear to be her ‘thing’ and would I mind terribly riding without her? I actually didn’t have the heart to continue but she insisted that since I’d paid, I should go ahead and ride. The stable was very nice and refunded her money since I think she was on the horse all of 5 minutes!

I remember galloping about – after asking Vicki over and over if I should continue – and reflecting on how riding a horse could be a wonderful release, but that more importantly, having such a good friend was a far greater thing to have in my life. When I returned, Vicki was fully recuperated from her ‘adventure’ and we laughed and chatted all the way home. Lucky for me, it did not hurt our friendship and although she never went with me again, she laughed about it and took a good deal of teasing about it in her typical gentle way.

Most importantly, we remained friends. Even though we lost touch for several decades as I never went back for reunions, we connected again and it was like we’d always been friends. This hub is dedicated to my terrific friend, Vicki and all the many good times we’ve shared – then and now! Even if we live far apart, we still enjoy each other’s friendship – although Vicki says now that she doesn’t remember her wild horse ride! Who can blame her? I’m just so grateful she wasn’t hurt!

Later in Life

I never forgot my love of horses after high school. It was a while before I was able to go riding again but one summer, I visited an old grade school chum. She just happened to have a horse across the street that was untamed and of course, who volunteered to ride bareback? You guessed it.

I spent the better part of a week riding this horse, being scraped off on the barn, being scraped off on the corral, and finally being thrown head over mane to the ground when the horse stopped. I was bucked off more than I was on – and I had a raw behind by the time I went home a week later. But I have to say – it was one of the best weeks of my life. I had a blast! My poor friend Jeanne probably did not see the upside of this, however. We did a lot together and spent a lot of time at the beach, etc. but she knew my heart was always with the horse.

A few months later, I entered a barrel racing contest with some friends – and almost won it. I seemed to get the knack of it quite easily – and my horse was fantastic. We had the best time running – although this was a charity event and we had to do it with a whole uncooked egg in our mouth! Just as I galloped over the finish line with my winning time intact, my horse stomped down and gulp went the egg. But it was a kick!

Further down the road a bit, I met Bob – the love of my life. We were dating and in an effort to please me, he agreed to go horseback riding. He did not want to go horseback riding and he made this quite clear. He had been in Vietnam twice, but he frankly was not enamored of horses because they were huge and they had hooves – they could kick a guy when he was not looking as he put it – or throw him from here to kingdom come in a flash. Ah, but so like the people who have loved me, he did it for me.

Off we went to the same stables I had always gone to in high school. And again, in marched Ms. Audrey Horsewoman and asked for the meanest, fastest, wildest horse they had. This time not to burn off anxiety or feel free, but just for the sheer love of horses. By this time, I just loved to ride and to ride at a full out gallop. Poor Bob – he did much as Vick had done – asked for the slowest nag they had and proceeded to sigh all the way through getting up into the saddle. He looked at me endearingly as if to say ‘Are you sure we have to do this? I love you but COME ON!’

Well, off we went. If anything, I had learned from my experience with Vicki not to spur my horse into a gallop and expect Bob to follow me. I spent some time walking patiently with him, showing him what to do and how to turn the horse, etc. However, he wasn’t really paying that much attention to me and he was getting frustrated with my ‘instructions’. Finally he said none to cheerfully ‘Go on – go ride – I can do this! What do I look like, an idiot?’ Well, okay – if that’s how you want to be about it, it didn’t take me long to go into ‘wild gear’ and go galloping off across the meadows.

After I’d been riding a while and needing to cool down the horse before I headed back to the stable, I started to scan the horizon looking for kemo sabe (that made me Tonto of course). I looked and looked where I thought he should be but no Bob. Then I started to scan upwards towards the hills although I couldn’t really imagine him galloping up into the hills since he didn’t seem like he was that enthralled! Up next to a very large water tank up on stilts, high on a gentle hill, I discovered the love of my life. He was still on horseback but he was trying desperately to kick his horse and get it to move – as in quickly! (Now he decides he wants quick)

I quickly galloped within range of him so I could shout out to him ‘Are you okay?’ I got the look that would kill – even from that distance I could see the scowl – I could almost hear the swearing that he was undoubtedly doing – at least in his head. He was having a devil of a time getting this horse to even move – it was quite fixated with something on the ground it seemed! It wasn’t after the grass and wasn’t trying to graze or anything – it just simply did not want to leave.

Finally, after many minutes, and many kicks I might add to the poor horse, here he came – trotting very unnaturally in the saddle down the little rise to join me. He was furious! I couldn’t believe it – what the heck could I have possibly done (other than suggest this marvelous outing) to warrant such behavior? Well, I found out pretty fast!

‘I really hope you are totally happy – I have never been so GD!@ embarrassed in my entire freaking life!’ I was really astounded – ‘Because you were riding a horse? Good grief, Bob – people ride horses all the time – what’s the big deal?’

‘Well, if you want to know Little Ms. Annie Oakley – I guess not EVERYONE rides up on a couple doing it in the grass! Are you satisfied now?? I couldn’t even get the damn horse to LEAVE – it was like it wanted to stay and watch the show!’

I maintain to this day – none of it was my fault – and it certainly was NOT my fault that a certain Navy man could not even get his horse in hand so to speak to get him to move out of the area. It was also not my fault that that couple had the great idea of making out and having sex under the water tower! And if a certain person had listened to my very detailed instructions on how to handle a horse….well, we can only surmise how it would have turned out.

After he calmed down and as we walked our horses back to the stable I said very casually (knowing he was past his mad) ‘So…what did you say by the way when you galloped up on these poor people?’ It really would have been tricky to think of something. He shrugged, embarrassed all over again and said ‘Oh – you know – something like so how’s it going?’ I was laughing myself sick of course by now and was wondering if that killed the moment for them to be honest! What do you say to a naked couple when you happen to ride upon them on horseback? I guess ‘Have you seen Tonto go by here?’ would have been really lame!

Summing It Up

I haven’t been on a horse in years – I dream about galloping across a field many times – my malamutes running full speed beside me.  Of course, it is in a fenced meadow! No trusting malamutes! 

I did go riding one more time with Bob – he did not go because of me but rather because of some friends who had the brilliantly wonderful idea of going to a horse ranch as a day trip.  We rode the hills and had a fantastic dinner afterward.  It could only have been better if we had stayed overnight in the cabins and ridden for several days.  Lucky for Bob, we had not come prepared to stay.

At any rate, we saddled up (I saw Bob shaking his head) and off we went.  Only nowadays, you are only allowed ‘designated’ gallops so there was no free spirited galloping across the meadows for me.  Still, it was very beautiful climbing the trails and looking out over canyons and rivers – beautiful scenery – and feeling the horse beneath me, smelling leather and horse.  Bob was riding in front of me and I became obsessed with laughing at his riding ‘technique’.  This is why God got me back – because I had the nerve to laugh at my darling husband and his butt waddling side to side in the saddle.

He turned around and gave me the glare – and said very pointedly ‘Quit laughing at me!’  I of course tried to sober up and be good – this is a lost cause I’m afraid.  About this time, my girlfriend pointed out to me that my cinch had come undone.  Remembering Vicki’s fateful ride because of a cinch problem, I immediately was seized with panic and bent over to check the saddle myself – all the while continuing to ride. 

Too bad my friend didn’t happen to mention that there was a tree approaching – nor did my charming husband who was still ticked at me about the giggling.  Of course, in retrospect, he didn’t really know what I was doing so he was off the hook.  At any rate, about the time that I sat up straight in the saddle, a very large, pointed branch came into my very immediate view, and proceeded to jab me in 2 perfect fang-marks – right in the forehead! 
The phrase ‘You’ll shoot your eye out’ immediately came to mind – I shrieked out a very colorful swear word which echoed all over the canyon – and definitely got my husband’s attention as he whirled around so fast in his saddle that he almost fell out.  ‘Are you out of your mind swearing like that?’ he bellowed.  My retort of course was totally refined ‘Look at my bleeding forehead you moron – does this justify a little swearing – it was only ONE word!’ 

Of course, the entire string of horses had to stop then – and the guide had to get a bandage for my forehead – just call me Flicka with my new big star!  They were all torn between being concerned and laughing like loons at my new ‘look’ – most especially my so called best friend!

So there you have it – tales of the horse.  I would not have changed a moment of it all though to tell the truth.  This one’s for you, Vick! Sure you don’t want to come here to redneck country and saddle up?  I might not be as spry as I once was, but I bet I could still get up to a gallop – though I might wear a helmet nowadays!

We Could Try This, Vick!

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Other Moments In My Life

Favorite Funny Stories: Soccer Bloopers
For those of you who know me now as the mushing old lady, there’s yet another side to me I have to introduce you to. These are my favorite funny stories and soccer bloopers. Growing up, I was not allowed…
How My Husband Ended Up Wearing My Victoria’s Secret…
Men! Need I say more? If only they would learn! We spent quite a bit of time visiting in Central Oregon and once upon a time, they had a North Face Outlet store. Bob has the most amazing blue eyes I have…
The Day I Was Too Sexy For My Skirt
Ever have one of those days when you just can’t believe how incredibly HOT you must look? Well, I think I could count those days on one hand but when I was younger….. Long days past, in my 30-somethings…
Dancing Fool Meets Do-Si-Do
Let me preface this whole Dancing Fool story with one very important fact. I now live in a redneck town of about 10-11,000 people. I have decided Im not overjoyed about it. It sounded good in the…
Teaching a City Slicker to Camp – Who Knew?
Camping was not something I grew up on hanging out in trees or on the roof yes actually going somewhere and preparing for it and being taught in the ways of camping no! When I met Bob, it was…
The Indignity of Some Medical Procedures
I am beginning to think there can be no dignity with medical procedures and have decided just to do what I do best – laugh it off! I recently had to have some procedures done because I found out that I had…
Should Painting Be An Olympic Sport?
Okay so Ive already established that Im not the most graceful person on the planet but really painting? Can this truly be that dangerous? Should it be an event in the Olympics because of the…
How To Make A Chocolate Bomb
I grew up in southern California and I had a pretty crazy childhood. These are the facts. I also had a rather ‘unsupervised’ and rather ‘unusual childhood’ to say the least. I could have used a LOT more…
Help! I’m Under The Bookcase And I Can’t Get Up!
I’ll tell you why – because I’m a sitting duck. I’m a veritable Lucille Ball going through life minding my own business and these things just HAPPEN. I do not go looking for troubles or ‘situations’ as my…
Help! I’m Trapped In My Bustier And I Can’t Get Out!
First off – I never even HEARD of a bustier before we were planning my daughter’s wedding much less ever had one on. I am here to tell you, like so many things that I seem to get myself into, this was again…
Why I’m Not A Huge Fan Of Skiing
If skiing was a sport in the Comedy Olympics, I would have all gold medals! I should have known it was not going to go my way from the day I tried it. In all fairness to myself, I have to say that I have the…
Horseback Riding: The Complete Beginner’s Guide – All You Need To Know About Horseback Riding BEFORE Your Take Lessons!
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Horseback Riding For Dummies
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40 Fundamentals of English Riding: Essential Lessons in Riding Right (Book & DVD)
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Judy Richter’s Riding for Kids: Stable Care, Equipment, Tack, Clothing, Longeing, Lessons, Jumping, Showing
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Complete Horse Riding Manual
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Centered Riding (A Trafalgar Square Farm Book)
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2013 NFL Draft- Mock

2013 NFL Draft- Mock
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*This is my first revision after the NFL Free Agency period has begun in full force and also the College Pro Days have begun. Team needs are becoming more clear and the prospect evaluations are winding down.

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2013 NFL Mock Draft (4-23-13)

Round 1

Kansas City (2-14) Luke Joeckel*, Texas A&M- OT Height: 6-6. Weight: 310 *Joeckel is one of the VERY few ‘sure things’ in this year’s draft. He is Very Good to Great in nearly all aspects of the Left Tackle position in professional Football. In this year’s rather weak draft class, Joeckel is a rock star and a great pick, be it at 1,2,5,……etc.
Jacksonville (2-14) Dion Jordan, Oregon DE/OLB Height: 6-6. Weight: 248 *Dion Jordan proved himself to be a really good athlete at the NFL Combine and it’s pretty obvious that he possesses at least a few un-coachable attributes: he’s really tall and really long in addition to being fast and strong. Jordan will be a very good rush LB or an explosive weakside DE.
Oakland (4-12) Ziggy Ansah, BYU DE Height: 6-5. Weight: 274 *Ezekiel Ansah is a sure thing as an athlete and person, but somewhat an unknown as a football player. He has only been playing competitive football since 2010, leaving track and field and walking on the team at BYU. He is Raw…..he has to be…..doesn’t he? He surely doesn’t know all the tricks that a lifetime DE knows, but Ansah is very coachable, is progressing by leaps and bounds, and when he applies these skills with his God-given gifts, we have an elite level Defensive End who is worthy of a top 10 pick.
Philadelphia (4-12) Eric Fisher, Central Michigan OT Height: 6-7. Weight: 305 *Eric Fisher has been rocketing up the draft boards, possibly all the way to the top. He is 1-A if Joeckel is #1. His athleticism is at an elite level and he will be an anchor for his QB’s blindside for years to come. (If Fisher isn’t available here, the Lions are hoping that Lane Johnson, or maybe even Joecke,l is)
Detroit (4-12) Lane Johnson*, Oklahoma OT Height: 6-6. Weight: 302 *Lane Johnson is 1-a, 1-b, or 1-c in this year’s big 3 top Offensive Tackles crop. He is a former Qb and TE who is quickly rising up the draft boards and has the elite athleticism and footwork to protect the blindside. Lane is one of the few prospects who can “realistically” say that they are THE best player in the 2013 draft.
Cleveland (5-11) Dee Milliner, Alabama CB Height: 6-0. Weight: 201 *Dee Milliner has been universally considered the top CB, and the only elite CB, in this draft. But there were questions if he really was elite. Alabama routinely puts out underwhelming Corners who must benefit greatly from the incredible talent surrounding them. Milliner erased many of those concerns with his very strong Combine workouts- especially his 4.37 40-yd dash. Milliner is one of the very, very surefire prospects. And at an important position.
Arizona (5-11) Jonathan Cooper, UNC G/C Height: 6-3. Weight: 295 *Cooper used to be the “Other” elite interior O-lineman in the 2013 Draft. He is more of a technique and leverage type than Warmack, who is more of a mauler. That said, Jonathan Cooper projects as a elite level Offensive Guard for many years to come. Very “Safe” choice.
Buffalo (6-10) Geno Smith, West Virginia QB Height: 6-3. Weight: 214 *Geno Smith is the 2013 version of Alex Smith. Someone needs to be the best QB every year, and clearly that makes them a top-10 pick…..right?
New York Jets (6-10) Star Lotulelei, Utah DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 311 *Star Lotulelei is the definition of a high risk-high reward prospect. He is likely the most talented DT in a VERY strong DT class- physically. That is the Reward= you get one of the top football players in this draft class and a likely Pro-Bowl talent. Here’s the Risk= Risk(S)= first, he has the potential issue with his heart….granted, probably a smallish risk. But also, Star doesn’t exactly have a glowing resume as far as his desire, commitment, and motor are concerned. BIG RISK!….Big Reward(?)
Tennessee (6-10) Sharrif Floyd*, Florida DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 297 *Sharrif Floyd is one of the fastest rising prospects soon to join the NFL. He was an elite prospect recruited by the Florida Gators. But yes, Sharrif had an underwhelming Freshman and Sophomore seasons, but seemed to intensify his dedication and exploded as a Junior. Floyd is an explosive gap rusher in a 4-3 or can add some pressure and yet hold the edge in a 3 man front.
San Diego (7-9) Barkevious Mingo*, LSU DE/LB Height: 6-4. Weight: 241 *Barkevious Mingo’s athleticism cannot be questioned. He’s a monster. The overriding question he faces is whether he is a great football player or just looks good in pads.
Miami (7-9) Xavier Rhodes*, Florida State CB/ S Height: 6-2. Weight: 210 *The Dolphins have a weird fetish for big, strong, sometime bulky CBs. But they have had pretty good luck with their pass defense despite losing key members seemingly every year. Rhoades is a hybrid CB/S combo but he appears to have the instincts and athleticism the Dolphins look for.
New York Jets – && (7-9) Chance Warmack, Alabama G Height: 6-3. Weight: 320 *Offensive Guards are rarely chosen in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, but Chance Warmack is an elite prospect, and he will break that trend.
Carolina (7-9) Sheldon Richardson*, Missouri DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 294 *Sheldon Richardson is a dynamic interior pass rusher and depending on system, the NFL really values pressure on the QB from the interior D-Line positions. This is what Richardson does best.
New Orleans (7-9) Jarvis Jones*, Georgia OLB Height: 6-2. Weight: 242 *Figuratively speaking: “Looks (at least work out) like Jane, Plays like Tarzan!” Jarvis Jones is also a huge Risk/Reward candidate. His Reward is that he is a wickedly explosive playmaker who is always around the ball. The obvious Risk is the Spinal Stenosis he possesses. This could be a non-issue, but there have been more than a few players whose careers were cut very short by it- Marcus McNeil, Chris Samuels, and even Peyton’s brother Cooper Manning, to name a few. High Risk!……..HIGH REWARD!?
St. Louis (7-8-1) Tavon Austin, W. Virginia WR Height: 5-9. Weight: 176 *Personally, I don’t understand 1st round consideration for a buck seventy pound firefly. His comp is Percy Harvin…. Except Harvin has him by over 20 lbs. (How explosive will Austin be after getting sandwiched between a big SS and MLB?) Austin IS electric though, and I suppose if he can somehow avoid ever getting tackled, he can stay injury free and light up the league (awkward pun not intended).
Pittsburgh (8-8) Cordarrelle Patterson*, Tenn WR Height: 6-2. Weight: 214 *Cordarelle Patterson is an outstanding athlete, perhaps the most dynamic offensive playmaker this year. Every team wants to find their own Calvin Johnson, and while Calvin doesn’t exist in this class, Patterson is the closest thing to a Julio Jones type of physical beast. The main knocks on Patterson are his suspect hands and below average Football IQ. The Steelers don’t care though. They just lost Mike Wallace and Patterson can run really fast and gets open deep- like Wallace- and later perhaps he will develop in a more complete player than Wallace.
Dallas (8-8) Sylvester Williams, UNC DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 313 *The Cowboys are switching to a 4-3 Defense this year and they need another Dtackle to team with Jay Ratliff. Fortunately for them, there is plenty of help up front and this is a rich D Tackle class. In this mock, they get an all-go, balls-out, relentless warrior in Sylvester Williams
New York Giants (9-7) Bjoern Werner, Florida St DE/OLB Height: 6-3. Weight: 266 *Bjoern Werner has been poked and prodded and his game has been dismantled to the point where the “experts” prognosis is that he is too stiff and not athletic enough to be a difference maker as a pass rusher in the NFL. To me, he is built from the same mold as Kyle VandenBosch, and while that’s not flashy, KVB was once a top-flight DE in the League.
Chicago (10-6) Alec Ogletree*, Georgia ILB Height: 6-3. Weight: 236 *Alec Ogletree is a dynamic football player. On the field, he is more dominant for his own position (ILB) than any other player in this draft (he and Milliner). But while his talent and explosive tendencies as a football player are apparent, the questions lie in his predicatively (?) undesirable tendencies off the field.
Cincinnati* (10-6) Kenny Vaccaro, Texas S Height: 6-1. Weight: 215 *Vaccaro is similar to Damantre Moore in that his workout numbers didn’t help his cause much. But in his case I don’t think they hurt him too much either. He is still clearly the top safety in this year’s draft and will be drafted as such.
St. Louis* (10-6) # – Eddie Lacy*, Alabama RB Height: 6-0. Weight: 220 *It seems like there is always at least 1 RB taken in the 1st Round and while there are none which deserve to be 1st Rounders this year, I suppose Eddie Lacy in the best option.
Minnesota* (10-6) Keenan Allen*, California WR Height: 6-2. Weight: 215 *Allen hasn’t displayed elite athleticism this offseason but he may very well be the most polished all around WR in this year’s draft
Indianapolis* (11-5) D.J. Fluker*, Alabama OT/G Height: 6-4. Weight: 355*OK. DJ Fluker may not be nimble enough or mobile enough to play Left Tackle in the NFL. But he does possess a very rare build and is a strong, strong man. He should be a turnkey Pro-Bowl Right Tackle within 2 years.
Minnesota* (11-5) ## Jesse Williams, Alabama DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 323 *A combination of elite strength and exceptional athleticism. Williams put up the most impressive strength workouts of any prospect in the draft and showed his athleticism by playing DT and short yardage Fullback at Alabama.
Green Bay* (11-5) Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame TE Height: 6-6. Weight: 251 *Tyler Eifert has separated himself as the top Tight End in the 2013 NFL Draft. He is the model of the new era of elite NFL TEs. He’s big, strong, fast and he gets open. Not to mention Eifert holds his own in blocking. He will be a big upgrade to anything that Finley was, or even was supposed to be.
Houston* (12-4) DeAndre Hopkins*, Clemson WR Height: 6-1. Weight: 200 *Hopkins is a very aggressive WR who plays bigger than his size and plays faster than his times. Very strong hands, attacks balls in flight. Catches everything away from his body.
Denver* (13-3) Eric Reid*, LSU S Height: 6-2. Weight: 212 *Is there any question that the Broncos need to upgrade at the Safety position? “How, in the WORLD, can you let that guy get behind you?!!!!!”
New England* (12-4) Justin Hunter**, Tennessee WR Height: 6-4. Weight: 200 *No, Justin Hunter is not a polished WR and he has many flaws that (hopefully) someday he can iron out, but neither was Randy Moss- and look what Tom Brady did with Moss!. I’m not comparing Hunter to Moss other than that they are both Tall, Fast, and can high point the ball, making them great deep threats and Red Zone targets.
Atlanta* (13-3) Desmond Trufant, Wash. CB Height: 5-11. Weight: 190 *Desmond Trufant is perhaps the best pure cover CB in this year’s draft. He possesses adequate size, is a very good athlete, and has elite recognition and anticipation skills.
San Francisco* (11-4-1) Jonathan Cyprien, Florida Int. S Height: 6-0. Weight: 209 *San Fran needs a replacement for Dashon Goldson and hopefully improve on the mediocre results they were given in the 2012 season. They are hoping for a season similar to Goldson’s Pro Bowl 2011 season. Cyprien is a fast riser in the draft whose draft star exceeds his school size and name recognition.
Baltimore* (10-6) Arthur Brown, Kansas St ILB/OLB Height: 6-1. Weight: 228 *The Ravens need to replace (or attempt to replace) the immortal Ray Lewis. It will be tough to ever match his locker room presence and leadership, but his production on the field must be compensated for. Arthur Brown is a clone of a young Ray Lewis. He is a violent, sudden, (considered to be) undersized, sideline to sideline enforcer.

#- St. Louis: from Washington = Robert Griffin

##-Minnesota: from Seattle= Percy Harvin
&& -New York: from Tampa Bay= Darrelle Revis

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Round 2

Jacksonville (2-14) Ryan Nassib, Syracuse QB Height: 6-2. Weight: 223
San Francisco – (2-14) $ – Damontre Moore, TexasA&M DE/LB Height: 6-4. Weight: 250
Philadelphia (4-12) E.J. Manuel, Florida State QB Height: 6-4. Weight: 237
Detroit (4-12) Tank Carradine, Florida State DE Height: 6-4. Weight: 276
Cincinnati – (4-12) $$ – Menelik Watson, Fl. St OT Height 6-6. Weight 320
Arizona (5-11) Manti Te’o, Notre Dame ILB Height: 6-1. Weight: 241
Cleveland (5-11) *Browns forfeit pick for supplemental draft pick (Josh Gordon)
New York Jets (6-10) Tyler Bray*, Tennessee QB Height: 6-6. Weight: 210
Tennessee (6-10) Matt Elam*, Florida S Height: 5-10. Weight: 208
Buffalo (6-10) Datone Jones, UCLA DE Height: 6-4. Weight: 280
Miami (7-9) Justin Pugh, Syracuse OT/G Height: 6-6. Weight: 292
Tampa Bay (7-9) Jamar Taylor, Boise St CB Height: 5-11. Weight: 192
Carolina (7-9) Kawann Short, Purdue DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 308
New Orleans (7-9) * Saints forfeit pick for Bountygate
San Diego (7-9) Dallas Thomas, Tenn G/OT Height: 6-5. Weight: 310
St. Louis (7-8-1) Larry Warford, Kentucky G Height: 6-3. Weight: 340
Dallas (8-8) Terron Armstead, AR. Pine-Bluff- OT-Height: 6-4. Weight: 310
Pittsburgh (8-8) Johnathan Jenkins, Georgia DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 359
New York Giants (9-7) Zach Ertz*, Stanford TE Height: 6-6. Weight: 249
Chicago (10-6) Robert Woods*, USC WR Height: 6-1. Weight: 180
Washington* (10-6) Jackson Jeffcoat*, Texas DE Height: 6-5. Weight: 245
Minnesota* (10-6) Kevin Minter*, LSU ILB Height: 6-0. Weight: 246
Cincinnati* (10-6) Giovani Bernard**, UNC RB Height: 5-10. Weight: 205
Miami * (11-5) $$$ – Jonathan Hankins*, Ohio St DT Height: 6-3. Weight: 320
Green Bay* (11-5) Jonathan Banks, Miss St. CB Height: 6-2. Weight: 185
Seattle* (11-5) Gavin Escobar*, San Diego St TE Height: 6-6. Weight: 255
Houston* (12-4) Margus Hunt, SMU DE Height: 6-8. Weight: 277
Denver* (13-3) Bennie Logan*, LSU DT/DE Height: 6-2. Weight: 309
New England* (12-4) D.J. Hayden, Houston CB Height: 5-11. Weight: 192
Atlanta* (13-3) Le’Veon Bell*, MSU, RB Height: 6-2. Weight: 238
San Francisco* (11-4-1) Quinton Patton, La. Tech WR Height: 6-2. Weight: 195
Baltimore* (10-6) Phillip Thomas, Fresno St S Height: 6-1. Weight: 208

$= 49ers: from Chiefs – (Alex Smith)

$$= Bengals: from Raiders (Carson Palmer)

$$$= Dolphins from Colts (Vontae Davis)

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Round 3

1. Kansas City (2-14) Sam Montgomery*, LSU DE/OLB Height: 6-3. Weight: 262

2. Jacksonville (2-14) Barrett Jones, Alabama C/G/T Height: 6-5. Weight: 311

3. Detroit (4-12) Terrance Williams, Baylor WR Height: 6-3. Weight: 205

4. Oakland (4-12) Matt Scott, Arizona QB Height: 6-3. Weight: 196

5. Philadelphia (4-12) Tyrann Mathieu*, LSU CB/S Height: 5-9. Weight: 178

6. Cleveland (5-11) Travis Kelce, Cincinnati TE Height: 6-5. Weight: 255

7. Arizona (5-11) Montee Ball, Wisconsin RB Height: 5-11. Weight: 210

8. Tennessee (6-10) Matt Barkley, USC QBHeight: 6-2. Weight: 230

9. Buffalo (6-10) Blidi Wreh-Wilson, UConn CB Height: 6-1. Weight: 195

10. New York Jets (6-10) Christine Michael, TA&M RB Height: 5-11. Weight: 215

11. Tampa Bay (7-9) Alex Okafor, Texas DE Height: 6-4. Weight: 261

12. San Francisco (7-9) @ – Marcus Lattimore*, S Carolina RB Height: 6-0. Weight: 218 *Luxury Pick: The Niners could trade some of their many draft picks and grab Darrell Revis, but I think that would be a mistake. Dude is a whiney cry baby who’s exorbitant salary will handcuff the franchise long term- and he’s a Cornerback NOT a Quarterback!! Know thyself son! I feel that San Fran would be better off drafting this lottery ticket- Marcus Lattimore, who is the best RB in the draft and a once in a generation type of talent if he regains full health. It’s bordering on heresy, but think Adrian Peterson, both in recovery and potential.

13. New Orleans (7-9) Kyle Long, Oregon OT Height: 6-6. Weight: 311

14. San Diego (7-9) Johnathan Franklin, UCLA RB Height: 5-10. Weight: 205

15. Miami (7-9) Nick Kasa, Colorado TE Height: 6-6. Weight: 271

16. St. Louis (7-8-1) Jonathan Bostic, Florida ILB Height: 6-1. Weight: 245

17. Pittsburgh (8-8) Bacarri Rambo, Georgia S Height: 6-0. Weight: 218

18. Dallas (8-8) David Bakhtiari*, Colorado OT Height: 6-4. Weight: 299

19. New York Giants (9-7) Sio Moore, UConn OLB Height: 6-1. Weight: 245

20. Miami – @@- (10-6) Denard Robinson, Michigan ATH. Height: 6-1. Weight: 193

21. Minnesota* (10-6) Travis Frederick*, Wisconsin C/G Height: 6-4. Weight: 312

22. Cincinnati* (10-6) Robert Alford, SE Loisiana CB Height: 5-10. Weight: 188

23. Washington* (10-6) Khaseem Greene, Rutgers OLB/S Height: 6-1. Weight: 230

24. Indianapolis* (11-5) Jamie Collins, S. Miss OLB Height: 6-3. Weight: 250

25. Seattle* (11-5) Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin OT Height: 6-6. Weight: 320

26. Green Bay* (11-5) Joseph Randle*, Oklahoma St RB Height: 6-1. Weight: 200

27. Houston* (12-4) Tyler Wilson, Arkansas QB Height: 6-2. Weight: 218

28. Denver* (13-3) Darius Slay, Mississippi State CB Height: 6-0. Weight: 192

29. New England* (12-4) Cornelius Washington, GA- DE- Height: 6-4. Weight: 268

30. Atlanta* (13-3) T.J. McDonald, USC S Height: 6-3. Weight: 219

31. San Francisco* (11-4-1) David Amerson*, N.C. St. CB/S Height: 6-1. Weight: 205

32. Baltimore* (10-6) Aaron Dobson, Marshall WR Height: 6-3. Weight: 200

33. Houston ***(comp.) Kiko Alonso, Oregon ILB Height: 6-4. Weight: 244

34. Kansas City*** (comp.) Stedman Bailey*,W Virginia WR Height: 5-10. Weight: 193

35. Tennessee*** (comp.) Jordan Reed*, Florida TE Height: 6-3. Weight: 240

@- San Francisco: from Carolina (Trent Robinson and Frank Alexander)

@@- Miami: from Chicago (Brandon Marshall)

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And Money makes the world go around

And Money makes the world go around

Money, money, money

(HOW MEN AND WOMEN DIFFER is my wife’s favorite hub)

So, I’m excellent in math, that is not in dispute. X always equals 3. My math instructor often sought out my wisdom when she encountered a problem in algebra. Believe me when I tell you that I can take an isosceles triangle and make it fly. Einstein and I were practically the same height.

I can make a bomb out of two sticks, a stick of gum and a stick of dynamite. Believe it or not it’s true. (Okay, so it’s not a new joke, so sue me.)

But the other day I was at Macdonald’s and I got a Big Mac meal and it came to $6.66, including tax. (I’m up here in Canada eh) So I shouted, “That the devil’s hamburger!” No one paid any attention to me, and since Satan didn’t show up I figured it was all mine.

Additionally, I changed my mind and ordered two Big Mac meals. I knew exactly how much it was going to cost. So I calculated that if one meal costs $6.66, right, yes, then 2 would surely be twelve twelvety twelve. But no, the idiot behind the counter charged me $13.32. Go figure.

So a fight ensued. Chairs were thrown (not an easy task since they are bolted to the floor), hair was ruffled, fists were hit with faces, asses were bitten. I taught them a lesson they’ll never forget.

A lawsuit is pending. And yes I will defend myself; they don’t stand a chance, well perhaps a little one.

So money makes the world go round, and it also makes everyone a little nuts in this economy. And being the smart guy that I are, I came up with an equation to sell every single car in America. Just imagine the people that would be put to work! That fact is also not in dispute. I know what you’re thinking, he’s trying to be funny again. But capital NO! I told them that people would be fighting one another to get their hands on those cars, and they even agreed with me on THAT point. I talked to several dealerships and they all agreed that it would work, but they felt they simply had to decline. I was not given an explanation just an ugly angry face.

So what was the great idea? The answer is at the end of this blog or hub or …

I was on the Antiques Roadshow last week and I had a five-year-old hundred dollar bill. The guy offered me fifty bucks for it and I said sold! You have to grab opportunity by the you know whaties when it knocks.

There are many ways to make money my fine feathered friends. I’ll tell you one that I attempted. We formed this rock band see, and we practiced and we practiced. I don’t like to blow my own horn but we were good; no we were great. I was the lead singer and I brought tears to peoples eyes. So we started to throw some concerts to get the word out. We were ready to be famous. I believe we threw about five concerts when the funniest thing happened. Not even one person showed up for a concert.

“Not even one guy pushing a shopping cart full of junk!” he screamed.

You think that I was such an awful singer that nobody showed up? But think about it, a place that seats over ten thousand people and with all our publicity not a single person bought a ticket? That simply doesn’t compute. It’s as much of a mystery as how they built the leaning tower of pizza. Scientists would be puzzled. Even I couldn’t figure it with an IQ of 45.

So what was the name of our rock band? We called ourselves CONCERT CANCELLED.

Drum roll, it is time to tell you how I would have sold all those cars. It’s elementary my dear readers. Every single car comes with a suitcase in the trunk, with a million dollars in cash in it. Smart eh! I know what you are thinking (Boy, he says that a lot), that I should be president. But I’m a Canadian, sorry.

(One interesting fact about the writer of this blog, he was in the same class as Bugs Bunny in the fifth grade. In fact Bugs sat in the desk directly behind him and would poke him in the back of the head with his carrot on a regular basis. One day A. J. Gallant turned to the rabbit and said, “What’s up doc?” And the rest as they say is HISstory.

Hiding In Plain Sight: The Secret Shelter Phenomenon

Hiding In Plain Sight: The Secret Shelter Phenomenon
Looks a lot nicer than the places I used to hide out in
Source: Courtesy Columbia University

Ever play hide-and-seek as a kid? Of course you did. I was the champion in our neighborhood, stuffing myself into hollow logs, climbing highly unsafe trees and hiding away in long-abandoned communication shelters. Actually, that last time, I stayed hidden so long that my folks panicked and called in a search party — sorry, mom!

Anyway, I’m not just waxing nostalgic for no reason, here. On the radio the other day, someone was advertising survival supplies, like freeze-dried food and plant seeds, so that you could stock up before the apocalypse. I couldn’t believe that nobody told me the apocalypse is coming—I would’ve quit going to the gym years ago! Then I caught this TV show about people called “doomsday preppers,” who are obsessed with preparing themselves for the end of the world. The more I started looking into this whole thing, the more I realized that hiding yourself has gotten a lot more sophisticated since my great 16-hour communication shelter hideaway adventure!

Panic Rooms and “Panic Room”

Back in 2002, the movie “Panic Room” really brought the titular living space into the popular imagination. In this blockbuster thriller, a woman and her daughter hide from home-invading burglars in what is called a “panic room,” which is a highly secure space equipped with emergency supplies. While the idea of a panic room was heavily popularized by the movie, they’ve been around a lot longer than that.

For example, panic rooms were popular in medieval times, when castles were built with special rooms in which lords could hide during invasions. They stayed popular for centuries, eventually evolving into hideaways like the one featured in the movie. Used for hiding from home invaders and harsh elements, these rooms can be expensive

The Popularization of Protection

While I’m deservedly proud to this day of my game-changing, communication shelter-barricading, police-alerting round of hide-and-seek, there was one neighborhood spot I always wanted to hide in even more: My neighbor’s fallout shelter. Now remember, this was back when we were being taught to hide under our school desks for protection from a nuclear blast, so fallout shelters weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are today. But these things were still heavy duty, and our neighbors had stocked it so that they could hide from nuclear winter for quite some time. I never got to go in.

Now, the cold war has been over for kind of a while, but people are still building all kinds of secret rooms, bomb shelters and doomsday bunkers—you know, just in case. Just look at the people on the reality show I mentioned earlier, “Doomsday Preppers.” Everybody has their own reasons for suspecting that the world as we know it is going to end soon, whether it’s widespread financial collapse, hostile government takeovers, worldwide power failure, nuclear war, overpopulation and rising sea levels. Clearly, it takes all kinds.

The Danger of Hiding

The point is, though, these people won’t settle for holing up in a rundown, rat-infested communication shelter like certain eight-year-old boys do. They stock up on non-perishable supplies, build expensive and extravagant fallout shelters, undergo weapons training and wait for the end of days to come on already.

Naturally, political rhetoric from the likes of certain radio show hosts and cable news stations encourages this kind of thinking, because it’s sensational and compels people to vote and otherwise behave in a certain way. But the obsession with self-protection is also big business. A single doomsday prepper can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment and supplies like a bunker, food, generators, fuel, bottled water and more. The companies that manufacture these survivalist supplies convince people that they’re a form of insurance, but they really remind me of an old episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “The Shelter.”

In this episode, a man and his family have guests over to their house when a CONELRAD announcement warns that a nuclear attack may be imminent. The man and his family hide in their fallout shelter, but the other neighbors—who don’t have shelters of their own—panic and demand to be allowed in, too. There isn’t enough room in the shelter for everyone, and the neighbors turn first on each other, then on the family hidden away. Eventually, they break into the shelter like wild animals, just in time for CONELRAD to announce that its previous warning had been a false alarm. The attack never came, but the bonds between the neighbors were destroyed by doomsday panic.

Obviously, you can see where I’m going with this. Preparedness is one thing, but widespread doomsday panic isn’t healthy. Fortunately, doomsday prepping like the people on the TV show do isn’t that widespread of a phenomenon—mostly just people with too much time and money on their hands. Still, if eight-year-old me had seen the silly way people would be acting in the future from the inside of that cruddy old communication shelter, I might’ve just stayed in there myself!

Using an iPad to Take Notes in Class

Using an iPad to Take Notes in Class
See all 3 photos
iPad with a Smart Cover and an Apple wireless keyboard.

Introduction

Heading off to college soon? Already in college and looking for a way to get rid of some of that paper and those notebooks? Or are you already done with college and looking for an easier way to take minutes at a meeting? No matter your situation, the iPad may be able to make your life a little easier.

Being a college student with an iPad, I can vouch for their versatility and their usefulness (I use an iPad 2 with a Smart Cover and a wireless keyboard). It is a very light and portable device and can also store ALL of your notes and papers, without having to worry about carrying around notebooks and binders. Although you may be skeptical about how easy it is to actually type on it, I can assure you that it is not as complicated as you think. In addition, you can use the “Notes” app already installed on your device or you can obtain a separate word processing app (I use Apple’s “Pages”).

Portability

One of the defining features of the iPad is its size. It is extremely thin and light, and takes up only about as much space as a magazine would. If you place it in a book bag or a small computer bag you can barely tell that it is even there.

Now, I believe that there is more to portability than just size and weight; how about how quickly it can be ready to use? Putting your iPad into sleep mode and waking it up is almost instantaneous. You’ll have your iPad out and ready to go before anyone else even has their laptops plugged in. Also, with the iPad’s long battery life you should have plenty of time to take all of your notes and then come home and charge it (although I only have to charge my iPad once every four or five days, at the most).

Storage

Another great aspect of the iPad is its storage capabilities. Every few pages of notes should only take up a few kilobytes (Kbs), let’s say 10Kbs-20Kbs. Now let’s say that you have a 16 Gigabyte iPad, that is ruffly 17 million kilobytes (another way to look at it is between 850,000 papers and 1,700,000 papers). I can guarantee you that all of your documents will fit comfortably in to your tablet.

Writing With the On-Screen Keyboard

When I first got my iPad, I thought that trying to type on it would have much the same results as typing on my iPod (which I find a quite difficult compared to using a physical keyboard). But I was surprised to find the typing on the on-screen keyboard felt more like typing on a computer keyboard than on an iPod. It is has large keys, giving you plenty of room to type, with a layout that feels a lot like a computer when you use it. Mind you, it’s not quite as easy as a physical keyboard, but it still very convenient and effective.

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The Apple wireless keyboard (side view).

Using a Separate Physical Keyboard

Like I mentioned earlier, I use an Apple wireless keyboard and a Smart Cover in conjunction with my iPad; this makes writing on my iPad even preferable to typing on my computer. The controls on the iPad are smooth and convenient, and I don’t have to worry about waiting for Windows to load before I can begin typing.

Although there are many docks and Bluetooth keyboards available for the iPad, I use Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard. It is small and extremely light, and with it being only slightly longer than my iPad it fits comfortably in my computer case. Connecting it is also very simple, I let the keyboard and iPad find each other when I first bought the keyboard and they have remained connected ever since.

Notes and Pages

“Notes” is a great way to take notes (no pun intended?) with the iPad. It is a simple yet versatile program that allows for you to keep your work organized in a small list and to take down anything you would normally put on paper. you even get the ability to send anything you have typed directly to your email. However, if you want a little more functionality you may want to think about purchasing a third part word processor or Apple’s “Pages”.

I bought “Pages” for my iPad and have not regretted it since (about $10 on the App Store). I’ve used it to write all of my class papers and it is on hand if I need it to take notes in class. Pages allows me to edit both Pages documents and Word documents, so I don’t have to worry about file type. What’s even better though is that it allows me to export as either file type as well, and I can send these right to my email. Pages is fun to easy and easy to pick up on. The controls seem to be logically placed on the screen and the touch capabilities make it all the more interactive.

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A screenshot of “Pages” at work.

Conclusion

The iPad is an extremely versatile tool, and can be highly beneficial to students and others who are required to take notes on a regular basis. It is small and portable, capable of storing all of your notes and papers, and is a breeze to type on. Apple and other companies have even made it easier to take notes by adding apps that cater to the paper-writing/note-taking users. I would recommend the iPad, or a tablet in general, to anyone who would ask me about it.

Long Horns

Long Horns

Long Horns: A fable

Chapter 1

Once upon a time there lived a wild goat in a jungle. She used to advice the wild animals and beasts about the prey. She was considered very wise and hence respected by all the beasts and beasts of burden. Moreover she was very agile and strong. She was distinctive due to her long pair of horns which she was bestowed by the nature. She gave birth to two kids. She named them Rosa and Indica after the well known flower of the jungle. The offspring were the pride of the jungle. Every animal that passes by the woods wished to see them.

They were of different colors with very innocent looks. The goat has quarreled with the jackal once over the issue of the status of the goat. The jackal was of the view that he was the only sane person who knows the way of the jungle. The goat could not agree to his judgment about him. She challenged him over the issue. The jackal wanted to show his superiority. The jackal was in the search of a chance. He was constantly pondering over it. One day he heard about the birth of two kids Rosa and Indica of the goat. He spied over the goat and came to know that she goes out for grazing in the morning. He came and lifted the kids.

He concealed them in a cave in order to eat them after the dust has settled. When the goat reached home she could not find her kids and was on the thorns. She searched everywhere in the nearby places but could not find them. She sensed conspiracy as she saw the foot prints of the jackal. She went up the mountains and announced in the loud voice. O, the residents of the jungle! My kids have been abducted and I want them back alive, if somebody has heard about them or has seen them anywhere in the jungle, he is requested to inform me please. She announced many times and in the end warned that if she finds the culprit she would not spare him.

Nobody told him about the jackal even those animal who has seen the jackal were silent. The jackal was a great black mailer. He has collected the weak points of all the animals and often snatches their prey and foods from them due to their weaknesses. If some animal resisted he used to instigate the lion to kill him for joy and delicious flesh.

The poor agonized goat went from place to place in search of the kids but was disappointed. He was doubtful of the intentions of the jackal but did not know his hide outs as jackal has never built his house.

Having Family Fun in Las Vegas

Having Family Fun in Las Vegas

Vegas, Premier Family Destination

Regular residents enjoy 1600 acres of Las Vegas parks and recreational areas that include many senior centers and recreation areas. Of course, due to the area’s dessert climate, pools and water parks are regular fixtures in neighborhoods. The city of Las Vegas department of parks and recreation prides itself in accommodating its residents active healthy lifestyle and promoting family living with plenty of family friendly and fun activities for the whole family.

Clark County, Nevada is also one of our nation’s fastest growing city’s. Among the many various reasons that Las Vegas is such an attractive place to live is the wide variety of dining experiences available as well as the world renowned night life.

Area residents also enjoy a diverse variety of cultural events and area festivals all year long. Las Vegas has a lot of extreme sporting events not found elsewhere such as, sky diving, off road dessert sandrail racing and white water rafting. If you’re more into the traditional sporting events, there’s a large number of tennis or basketball courts and areas for kayaking or canoeing. If you prefer a seat in the stadium to participating there’s a number of NASCAR events, professional boxing, college sports teams.