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Showing posts from 2020

The Cost of Canada's War on Guns

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Zesty Cheese Sauce

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- jim Young 20200601

Make this Zesty Cheese Sauce thick or thin depending on what you want to use it for.

As a thick spread you can use it on your sandwiches to add a little cheesy spice flavour or spread it on your favourite crackers for an extra special snack.

As a dip or thin sauce you can use it for tortillas or nachos. Sticks of celery, pieces of cauliflower or broccoli will all taste better dipped in Zesty Cheese Sauce. Heat it up and pour this cheese sauce over your mashed potatoes.

Anything that you would use a cheese sauce or cheese spread with, will taste a little better with a bit of this Zesty Cheese Sauce.

Time: 10 minutes
Yield: ~450 gm (1 Cheez Whiz jar)

Stuff Required:
225 gm Jalapeno Cheez Whiz (½ jar)1 cup cheddar cheese, old, shredded¼ to ½ cup of milk (depending on if you want a thick spread or thin dip)½ tsp red pepper flakes2 tbsp horseradishDo This:
Add Cheez Whiz and cheddar cheese to a medium bowl.Microwave for 1 - 2 minutes until the cheeses are melted.Add milk and…

Free Range Flower Garden

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- jim Young 20200601

“If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.” - Andrew Mason

My free-range garden is in full bloom already this year.

I don’t think flowers should be confined to pots, vases or segregated areas along the house and edges of our property. They should roam free to spread their beauty wherever their seedlings may fall.

These beautiful yellow flowers, reminiscent of the marigold, that are spotted throughout our yard, perfectly complement the green backdrop of our lawn which consists of a variety of grasses, clover and assorted Perennials.

The colours yellow and green are next to each other in the rainbow so why not in your backyard as well?

Together yellow and green is soothing and undramatic; a perfect combination to induce relaxation in your backyard.

With an imaginative name such as the “Dandelion” how can this be anything but a fun flower?

Derived from the French name “dent de lion” meaning “lion’s tooth'', the dandelion was so n…

Reducing Raised Rates or Raising Reduced Rates?

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- jim Young 20200601

“‘Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. ‘Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.’” - Jacob Marley in the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”

Hydro One is quick to boast of suspending time-of-use electricity prices on March 24th, but they
often try to gloss over that this reduction of rates was in fact mandated by Premier Doug Ford and not instigated by Hydro One.

When Hydro One announced this program was slated to end a short time later, Premier Doug Ford decided “no it isn’t either” and mandated a further extension.

Now Hydro One is offering assistance with one hand and taking it back with the other.

The “time-of-use” electricity pricing schedule is to be temporarily replaced with the “COVID-19 Recovery Rate” until October 31st, at a fixed rate of 12.8 cents per kWh versus the previous rate of 10.1 cents per kWh.

While companies across our country are struggling just to survive (some u…

In Keith Richards' Years

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The Lionel Conacher May “2-4” Weekend

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- jim Young 20080519

Note: Much of the information found in this article was taken from an email sent to me from my friend Don Gillies.)

I just got back from celebrating the annual Lionel Conacher May “2-4” Weekend with some very good friends at Severn Heaven.

Now you may be thinking that I am referring to the Victoria Day Weekend and I guess technically you’re right. But really - just what is the relevance of Canadians celebrating the birth of an old fuddy duddy of a Queen who inspired the “Victorian Era”?

Is it in Queen Victoria’s honour that our provincial parks ban alcohol on this weekend?

Where’s the fun in that?

What could be more uniquely Canadian than the May “2-4” Weekend - the first long weekend of the coming summer after our sometimes cold and harsh Canadian Winters?

So why aren’t we celebrating this weekend in honour of a Canadian instead of an old and long dead English Monarch?

And when we look for a Canadian who truly represents the Canadian Spirit – who would be more appr…

Fish In Milk

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- jim Young 20200517
My mother used to make this Fish In Milk dish when I was young. It was all but forgotten until I thought about it one day and decided to make it from memory.
This is my version of it here. I later came across my mother's version which is pretty much the same with the exception that she added 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. I'm guessing the reason that I didn't remember that being in the recipe is that my mother hid it from me, guessing correctly, that I wouldn't have eaten it had I known that was one of the ingredients.
Now I will prepare it sometimes with the Cream of Mushroom Soup and sometimes without it. Both versions are equally good.
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 45 min. Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 2
Stuff Required: 2 fillets of fish (if frozen, do not thaw)3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced1 cooking onionmilk3 tbsp margarinesaltpepper Do This: Preheat the oven to 400° F.Place fillets of fish in an oven proof casserole dish (13”x9”x2”)Layer slices…

To Wear A Face Mask Or Not?

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- jim Young 20200507

“Who was that masked man?” - President Ulysses S. Grant in the movie “The Legend Of The Lone Ranger” (1981)

Under normal circumstances I am not a big believer in the use of hand sanitizers (see Are Hand Sanitizers Weakening Our Immune System?) or any methods of isolation, self imposed or otherwise, intended to keep us germ free on a daily basis.

But these are not normal circumstances and until the world returns to some kind of normalcy, whatever that may be, exceptions need to be made.

The coronavirus pandemic that has brought the world to its knees has created both confusion and dissension among friends and neighbours with varying opinions on how to best battle Covid-19.

One of these battles involves the use of face masks worn in public.

Social Media is littered with memes encouraging the use of face masks.

Many, however, resist this method of protection and I suspect much of it has more to do with vanity than anything else, although some people would just rather ri…

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

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You can throw this recipe together in just a few minutes and then let it cook most of the day for a
wholesome and delicious meal the whole family will enjoy.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 ½ hours + biscuit baking time
Total Time: 6 hours, 40 minutes + biscuit baking time

Serves: 8

Stuff Required:
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed1 cup carrots, round slices1 cup celery, chopped1 small onion, diced1 can corn, drained (or 1 bag frozen corn)1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, green beans)2 10.5-oz condensed cream of chicken soup1 cup milk1 tsp garlic powder1 tsp dried thyme½ tsp salt1 tsp black pepper1 tube biscuit doughDo This:
Put cubed chicken into a greased 6-quart slow cooker, then top with cut vegetables.Pour over chicken soup and milk, then sprinkle in garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine well.Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.Add in frozen vegetables. Stir and then cover and cook on high for 1 more hour.Pop open tube of bis…

Is Mother Nature Plotting To Kill Her Offspring Through Covid-19?

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- jim Young 20200503

“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” - Chiffon Margarine Ad (1972)

Maybe we’re going about this all wrong.

Maybe we should just open up our doors, set everybody free and go back to normal, pretending that nothing is going on.

Ignore the problem.

That’s what most people seem to want anyway and hey - we’re all about democracy aren’t we? The majority rules.

Even if those that are actively protesting against the lockdowns don’t actually make up the majority - add to that number, all those that would just go along with it and I’m pretty sure you’ll have a quorum.

Nothing’s going on. Everything is fine just the way it is.

That’s how we’re handling climate change isn’t it?

Covi-19? Faggedaboutit!

It’s just a virus. Ebola, Hantavirus, West Nile, Swine Flu even SARs - they were all just a big nothing. They went away and Covid-19 will too.

What exactly is a virus anyway? It’s just a tiny, insignificant living thing that’s nothing more than a pain in the ass to man. Hell - …

Stove Top Meatloaf

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- jim Young 20200422

It just doesn't get any easier than this. Take these 4 simple ingredients, mix them together and throw it in the oven to cook. The stove top dressing spices give the meatloaf a unique flavour and will delight all.

Leftovers also make great sandwiches.

Prep Time:  15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 min.

Servings: 4

Stuff Required:
2 eggs, beaten1 box of stove top dressing½ cup ketchup1 lb ground beefDo This:
Preheat oven to 350° F.Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.Shape into a loaf in a baking pan.Cook for about 1 hour or until cooked through.

Homemade Tomato Soup

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- jim Young 20200421

Forget Campbell's Tomato Soup. This is a quick and easy way to make your own homemade tomato soup from scratch. If you prefer your soup not quite so thick leave out the flour.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices such as basil, rosemary or thyme instead of, or along with the oregano.

Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Total Time: 50 mon.

Servings: 4

Stuff Required:
4 heaping tbsp butter¼ cup flour (omit if you don’t wish your soup to be thick)½ sweet onion chopped2 cloves garlic, minced20 oz tomatoes, whole, peeled1 ½ cups chicken brothSalt1 tbsp oreganoCroutons or crackersDo This:
Melt butter in a large pot on medium.Stir in flour.Add onions and garlic and cook for a minute.Add tomatoes with their juice and the chicken broth and bring to a boil.Add salt and oregano to taste.Reduce to simmer and cook for 45 minutes.Pour soup into a blender and puree.Serve with croutons or crackers.

Rinty's Shepherd's Pie

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- jim Young 2020204

The secret to really good shepherd's pie of course is to use real German Shepherd. If you're too squeamish for that you can always substitute ground beef.

Prep. Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 min.
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 min.

Servings: 12

Stuff Required:
10 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces3 tbsp cooking oil1 large onion Spanish type, chopped2 cubes of beef bouillon1 ½ pounds of "ground beef" *wink* wink*1 cup vegetables, mixed, frozen2 tsps garlic salt (divided)1 tsp salt (divided)1 tsp pepper (divided)½ sweet pepper, seeded & chopped½ cup milk2 tbsp margarine or butter (divided)1 cup cheddar cheese, gratedDo This:
Preheat oven to 425° F. Boil potatoes.Brown onions in oil in a frying pan.Dissolve bouillon in ¾ cup of boiling water.Add beef, vegetables, 1 tsp of garlic salt, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, sweet pepper and bouillon mix to onions in the frying pan.Continue to cook.Mash potatoes, adding milk and ½ of the butter.Season potatoes wit…

Oven Barbecue Pork Chops

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- jim Young 202004

All you have to do is add some mashed potatoes and a side dish of veggies and you have a quick and easy meal ready for dinner.

Prep Time: 10 min.
Bake Time: 40 min.
Total Time: 50 min.

Servings: 2

Stuff Required:
½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp vinegar1 tsp brown sugar¼ tsp pepper¼ tsp chili powder¼ tsp paprika⅓ cup ketchup¼ cup hot water2 pork loin chopsDo This:
Preheat the oven to 375° F.Mix the first 8 ingredients in an oven-proof casserole dish. Add pork chops, coating both sides with the sauce.Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, turning chops halfway through cooking.

Dinner Rolls

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- jim Young 202004

These dinner rolls are quick and easy to make from scratch with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

No yeast is required so it's practically fool proof.

Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Total Time: 55 min.

Servings: 10 rolls

Stuff Required:
2 cups flour2 tsp baking powder2 tsp salt1 cup milk4 tbsp mayo1 egg, beatenDo This:
Preheat oven to 350° F.Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.Spoon into a greased muffin pan.Brush egg on top of each muffin.Cook for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked in the middle.
Tip: Cook the leftover beaten egg in microwave for a couple of minutes until fluffy and make it into a toasted egg sandwich for a nice snack.

Just The Facts, Ma’am

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- jim Young 20200420

"What is truth? Is truth unchanging law?
We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?"
- Tim Rice from the Rock Opera Jesus Christ, Superstar

The pandemic caused by Covid-19 is causing stress among people all over the world. As with most
unpleasant situations in life, one of the worst things about Covid-19 is the uncertainty that follows as events unfold.

It’s the not knowing that is causing us the most grief.

When will it be over?
How many people will be affected?
When will the lockdown end?
When can I go back to work?
When will things go back to normal?
Will things ever go back to normal?

We don’t trust the media to report truthfully any more than we expect our politicians to speak the truth.

Of course it’s just accepted that pharmacies and big business will be more concerned with making money than acting in our best interests.

Even our doctors and scientists are suspect as to having hidden agendas.

In this age of information we expect to have all the…

Slow Cooker Stove Top Turkey Stuffing

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- jim Young 20200411

Whether it's Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other occasion that calls for a turkey dinner, you can never have enough stuffing; even if it's just for leftovers.

Make this stuffing the day before if you wish so you'll have plenty of time to prepare your other dishes.

Stuff Required:
1 cup butter or margarine2 cups onions, chopped2 cups celery, chopped¼ cup parsley2 cans (10 oz/284 ml) mushroom pieces3 quarts (12 cups) bread, dried (cubed or crumbled to your preference)1 tsp poultry seasoning1 ½ tsp sage1 tsp thyme½ tsp pepper¼ tsp garlic powder800 ml chicken or turkey broth2 medium eggs, beatenDo This:
Melt butter or margarine in a large frying pan and saute onion, celery parsley and mushrooms.Pour over the bread crumbs in a large container. (I use the roasting pan.)Add all seasonings and mix well.Pour in enough of the chicken or turkey broth to moisten.Add eggs and mix well.Line a slow cooker with parchment paper.Pack the dressing lightly into the …

Good Time For Cleaning

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We’re Quarantined, Ba-Ba-Ba

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- jim Young 20200327
“Good times never seemed so good…” Neil Diamond
It feels wrong, when someone is doing something “nice”, to be thinking, “Is that ALL you can do? Is that really the best you’ve got?
Yet that’s exactly how I feel about Neil Diamond’s feeble attempt to rework "Sweet Caroline" and release it to help “boost people’s spirits” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mind you, I’m the guy that cringed when Elton John rewrote "Candle In The Wind" for Princess Diana. 
Originally, having penned “Candle In The Wind” for Marilynn Monroe, it just seemed to me to be a disservice to both ladies to now take it, change the words and dedicate it to Princess Diana - just because she died. 
In Elton John’s defense, the tragic death of a good friend is not likely to be conducive to put one in an inspirational frame of mind for song writing. So I’ll give him credit for changing the entire lyrics (except for part of the chorus) in Diana’s honour.
Elton John may have changed the…

Trump Hands Out Money

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Are Hand Sanitizers Weakening Our Immune System?

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- jim Young 20200314

“Never bring a knife to a gunfight.” The Untouchables (1987)

One of our most effective natural defenses against infectious and contagious diseases is our own immune system.

Exposure in small doses to infections and contagions allows our immune system to build up a resistance to diseases enabling us to fight it off and prevent us from getting sick.

This often explains why housewives and doctors have traditionally been passed over during outbreaks of colds and flus

As caretakers to the family and the general public, housewives and doctors are most likely to be exposed to cold and flu viruses in the early stages of their attack.

It’s the same principle with vaccinations which inject weakened doses of the virus (alive or dead) into our bodies to allow our immune system to familiarize itself with the threat and take appropriate defensive action.

When our bodies don’t have the required resources to fight back, our immune system becomes overwhelmed and we get sick.

Hand s…

Why The Corona Virus Hasn't Affected Me

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“Everything You’ve Ever Seen About Cuba Is A Lie” - Review

- jim Young 20200209

The documentary "Everything You've Ever Seen About Cuba Is A Lie" is a lie and it only took 20 seconds into the film to find the first lie.

"I started doing a lot of research," one of the filmmakers claimed.

I don’t know where he got his research or what he defines as a “lot” but one of the first things he should have discovered about visiting Cuba is, if you try to take a drone or anything that might be considered a tool of espionage into Cuba, you’re going to have a delay at customs and may not be permitted entry.

Not a very clever start for an investigative journalist.

From the video it looks like most of his research came from travel sites. There’s nothing wrong with starting there, but did he really expect to find anything but “a very beautiful country. Very colorful photos with all the classic American cars?” 

That’s called marketing. You know about marketing - it’s a key component to American capitalism.

It doesn’t take a computer whi…

The Lesson Trump’s Impeachment Has For Our Children

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- jim Young 20190207

“Never argue with someone who believes their own lies.” - anon

With the possible exception of one Republican voting to convict Trump, I don’t think there were any real surprises on the final day of Trump's impeachment trial.

It’s an undeniable fact that the Liberals didn’t win the impeachment trial. And yet it’s also an undeniable fact that neither did Trump nor the Republicans.

The repercussions of Trump’s impeachment will ripple through time leaving it’s lasting impressions on history forever.

So who did win?

Whether you side with the political right, insisting it was a frivolous waste of time and money from the beginning or you lean towards the political left and are shaking your head in frustration, there is another group of people that are formulating some of their own very important lessons from it all - a group of people that should be far more important than the right or the left - our children.

And THEY know who won!

The only real winners in Trump’s im…

Would You Rather Live In Cuba Or The United States

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- jim Young  originally published August 2012 updated February 2020

“Humanity’s a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there.”  – Terry Pratchett

Just the very idea of living under a dictatorship or communist rule is so terrifying to most Americans that their answer to the question “would you rather live in Cuba or the United States?” would be based on a preconceived notion without even considering the facts.

Why cloud the “truth” with facts?

We could debate the pros and cons of a democratic/capitalistic society vs a dictatorship/socialistic society until the cows come home and never be any further ahead.

As Sir Winston Churchill said in 1947 “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.”

To put it another way, one might suggest a democratic government is nothing more than the least evil of all the evils.

And when you think about it, how much say does any individual really have in the running of any democratic government anywa…

Without Question

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- jim Young 1993/0621/20080227/20130227

It’s funny how many things we accept without question. Like the theory that no two snowflakes are alike.

Whoever said there are no two snowflakes alike? We've heard it since we were children and were taught it was an absolute truth until we no longer questioned the reasoning behind it.

I think there is a very good possibility that there are, somewhere out there, two snowflakes that are alike.

Not 100% identical maybe, but very much alike. After all they do have some things in common. They all have 6 points (although that is another “truth” that I might challenge at a different time) they are all made of crystallized water, etc.

Who has examined so many snowflakes that they can categorically state there are no two alike?

Did this person take a cross section percentage of snowflakes in the same manner that Neilsen determines TV ratings to arrive at this conclusion? Did he examine a determined number of snowflakes and does he continue to do so …

That’s Where The Money Goes

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- jim Young 19920221/20080302/20200122

Does anyone need to be reminded that it's income tax time? Each year at this time I have to ponder the original purpose of income tax in Canada as a temporary measure to help finance World War II. As far as I know, World War II is over and has been for some time. Did we really go into debt that much?

It's kind of like the introduction to dog licenses to compensate farmers for livestock lost to packs of wild dogs. The road to hell is, in fact, paved with good intentions.

As I sit down at my computer (which I hope to be able to write off this year) to prepare my claims for my tax auditor, I cannot resist the urge to play with some of my computer's fancy features.

My graph program for instance, paints a very clear picture of where my money goes. My boss has an incredible ability to look at columns and columns of numbers and be able to make some sense of it. Charts and graphs, however are the only real way to put things into perspective f…

Should We Allow The Lord’s Prayer In Our Schools?

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- jim Young 20080307/20200121

“Religion is like a pair of shoes.....Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes.” -George Carlin

You’ve seen them. Emails abound that complain about taking the Lord’s Prayer out of our schools.

This is often done under the guise that we seem to be letting the minorities dictate our new policies.

One remedy seems to be to allow the students of different religious faiths to leave the room while Christian religious prayers are being held.

I remember when I was in High School we had a Jehovah’s Witness that was excused from the classroom for morning exercises each day while the rest of the class stood for O’ Canada and then recited the Lord’s Prayer. I felt sorry for her. I can only imagine the embarrassment that she must have endured having been singled out so. Isn’t this segregation? Is this what we really want for our children?

I didn’t agree with her religious beliefs at the time – but I always held a great degree of respect for thi…

The F-Word

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- jim Young 20000924/20010121

Nobody let on that he saw nothing, for then he would not be fit for his post, or else he was a fool. Never before had the Emperor’s clothes been so successful! 
‘But he hasn’t anything on’ said a little child.
‘Oh listen to the innocent,’ said his father. And what the child had said was whispered from one person to the other.
‘He has nothing on – a child says he has nothing on!’
‘But he has nothing on!!’ cried all the people at last.
- Hans Christian Anderson, from The Emperor’s New Clothes

I remember the first time the boy child used the word “fuck” in front of his mother and I. His mother freaked and demanded that the boy child be put down. I could see by the expression on the boy child's face that he had just discovered a very powerful and valuable tool. He was in grade one and had heard the word used by his friends. Not realizing the significance or meaning of the word, the boy child had used it in a very innocent and casual manner.

It was time for a pro…