Grab Bag Blender Biz:
If you are in the market for a masterful mixer, I have found a recommendation that answers a number of issues many people have with their blenders:
1) You may not want a huge blender all the time that takes up lots of space, is a hassle to haul out and put back, and has a capacity you rarely tap out.
2) You may want a blender that has a noise level somewhere below the decibels of a 747 taking off.
3) You may want a blender that deftly crushes ice into a fine snow rather than smoothing the corners of ice cubes into an ice marble.
Years ago I bought, and still use, The Magic Bullet of TV infomercial fame. I like it. I use it. Stores and cleans easily…. but ice crushing is sometimes good and sometimes not, and the decibel level is definitely north of Boeng’s Big Boy.
Consumer Reports has turned their microscope to blenders, and the top two high-scorers couldn’t be more different.
Number 1 on the list, with a score of 76, is the Vita Mix 5200 at $450:
Number 2, with a score of 73, is the Ninja Master Prep Pro at $60:
The Vita-Mix scored slightly higher in “Miscellaneous Tests”, where the Ninja scored slightly better in the “Noise” category.
So, when my Bullet is shot, I’m goin’ for a Ninja 🙂
Grab Bag Something’s Fishy:
Grilling fish is a fine skill, one often met with disappointment if the fish sticks to the grill and falls apart when lifting. One remedy is to invest in a cedar plank, which adds a smokey flavor to your favorite fish.
• Soak the plank in water for a couple of hours
• Crank the grill to high for 10 minutes, then reduce to medium heat
• Place soaked plank on the grill, place seasoned fish filets on the plank, and cover with a metal bowl. Cook until the fish flakes easily, about 15 minutes.
Grab Bag Risky Business:
There is a great article on Huffington Post by Dr. Nalini Chilkov of AOL Healthy Living, profiling the top ten cancer risks women can manage.
Here they are:
1. Too Much Stress/Not Enough Sleep
The demands of our lives with increased stress, little time to relax and not enough sleep leads to increased levels of stress hormones which lower our immune response and raise our blood sugar. High cortisol and high blood sugar increases cancer risk.
2. Too Much Body Fat
More and more teens and women are overweight and overfat. Fat cells produce hormones and also produce high levels of inflammation. Both elevated hormone levels and high inflammation increase risk of cancer.
3. Hormone Prescription Drugs
We are manipulating our normal physiology with birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, often increasing our exposure to cancer stimulating, proliferative hormones.
4. Chemicals in Our Food
Many pesticides and herbicides as well growth stimulating feed additives end up in our food and in our bodies, increasing hormone stimulation and setting the stage for increased cancer risk.
5. Chemicals in Body Care Products and Cosmetics
Most commercial body care products and cosmetics are preserved with chemicals called parabens. Many of the colorings and lathering agents are also potentially carcinogenic. Over the course of women’s lives, there is daily exposure to these chemicals which are absorbed into the body through the skin increasing cancer risk. In Europe, many of these chemicals are banned from use.
6. Fewer and Later Pregnancies
Women now delay pregnancy until later in life and have fewer children. This means more lifetime exposure to estrogen and an increased risk of cancer. In modern life many women choose not to have children at all, giving them no natural break from estrogen exposure that has been part of women’s health history for centuries.
7. Less Breastfeeding
Similarly, many women choose not to breastfeed at all or breastfeed for only a short period of time, rather than the typical 18-24 months. And of course women who never have children, also never breastfeed. This means there is no break from menstruation and hormone stimulation which can increase cancer risk.
8. Not Enough Physical Activity and Exercise
Modern life is sedentary. Sitting in our cars, sitting at our jobs, sitting in school, sitting in front of a computer or a television, surfing the web and texting. Regular exercise stimulates the proper regulation of hormones and blood sugar, helps us detoxify and eliminate environmental toxins, keeps us lean and reduces our food cravings, and helps us get a good night’s sleep — all of which lowers cancer risk.
9. Exposure to Pollutants
Many chemicals found in the modern industrial world are potential carcinogens and/or hormone modifiers. Depending upon where you live or work, and the choices you make in daily life, you may have significant exposures to cancer causing chemicals over a long period of time. While a small, one-time exposure may not be high risk, small exposures over long periods of time increase risk of cancer for some women.
It may be hard to believe, but women still smoke. Exposure to tobacco smoke increases risk of not only lung cancer, but also breast cancer. Women who smoke also have a higher risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis.
Grab Bag Wow Moment:
I need to tell you UP FRONT…. the video you are about to see is a MODEL airport in Hamburg, Germany. Remember…. MODEL…. you will have a hard time believing that.
This is phase 8 of a planned 10-phase construction at Minitur Wunderland in Hamburg.
Here are some stats on just the airport section, which opened to rave reviews a couple of months ago:
Size: 1,600 square feet
Cars & Trucks: 500
Buildings and Bridges: 300
Hours of labor: 150,000+
Cost: $4.8 million…. that’s about $3,000 a square foot
I just wonder if they lose any miniature luggage in Wunderland.
Thanks to Kevin M. for sending this in.
Grab Bag Lesson Learned:
Sometimes we live our lives as an example, and sometimes as a terrible warning.
Don’t forget to floss your teeth regularly.
Consider yourself warned.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Retro time for an old standard …… Chinese Checkers, cyber style. Uh-hum…. please notice who won in the screenshot below 🙂
In this online version, when you’re ready to play, click on a marble, then click on the subsequent holes it will land in, moving to an adjacent hole or jumping as many times as you can over (but not diagonally over) other marbles (yours or others).
When you have moved to an adjacent space or jumped as far as you can with your marble, hit Return to make the move. It’s addicting 🙂
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Signs that the economy is really taking a toll:
- My neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail
- CEO’s are now playing miniature golf
- Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen
- I saw a Mormon with only one wife
- If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them
- McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer
- Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America
- Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names
- My cousin had an exorcism but couldn’t afford to pay for it, and they re-possessed her!
- A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico
- A picture is now only worth 200 words
- When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room
- The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates
- And, finally … I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.
Thanks Tally and Susu for sending this to me 🙂