Saturday, August 22, 2015

No Trump Saturday aka let's talk about some neat products, movies, and books...

because we all need a break...

so let's start with breaking eggs. 

For love of soft boiled eggs:

We love our soft boiled eggs around here.  I'm used to whacking them on the side with a knife and scooping out the insides.  That approach hasn't been going too well the past few months. Often I'm left with an egg that has multiple cracks and I'm unable to pull the two halves apart.  That leaves me with a soft boiled egg that I have to try and peel.  Doable, but not fun.  We buy Wilcox eggs at Costco, and I suspect, due to a superior chicken diet, the shells are thicker and harder to crack.

Years ago, I had a egg scissor cutter like the one in the picture on the right.  It was so long ago that I don't even remember if it worked very well.

Off to Amazon in search of a solution.  The scissor slicer is still available, but the reviews weren't too good.

The next on the list was the Rosle Egg Cracker/Topper pictured at left.  You pull the handle up and release, the spring mechanism causes vibration, wherein the sharp edge in the dome perfectly cuts the shell.

It had fairly good reviews, but seemed a bit pricey at $15.00 + shipping. 

The search continued, because the good Lord knows we can't do anything anymore without hours of research on the internet.  Maybe I should just stick with my knife approach and hit the egg harder.

I finally settled on the Cucisina Egg Topper / Cracker - Hard and Soft Boiled Egg CutterCost?  $9.00.

It works like a little French guillotine.  Stick the egg up the hole and cut it's top off.  Does it work?  Pictured below is my first egg to be sacrificed in the interest of scientific research.

Why you would need it for hard boiled eggs has escaped me.  One reviewer said she loves it for when she makes deviled eggs.  WTHell?  You just cut the end off your hard boiled egg. How are you going to make a deviled egg out of a decapitated egg? 

I'd say it worked pretty well for soft boiled eggs, and if I ever want to play French Revolution with a Barbie doll, I'm set to go.


Woman in Gold

If you haven't seen this movie, I urge you to view it as soon as possible.

From the Producers:
Woman In Gold is the remarkable true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way.

Helen Mirren is brilliant (as usual), and the rest of the cast is also exceptional.

What I want you to pay special attention to is the Nazi's arrival in Austria and how quickly the people were turned against the Jews.  Take heed, and when you hear people say, "It cannot happen again," know that it can.

It's a magnificent painting:

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer aka The Woman in Gold by Gustav Klimt


I've never been a fan of Swedish writers.  Probably the most famous is Stieg Larsson, who wrote The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  After reading some of the one star reviews on Amazon that referred to "graphic violent sexual abuse and animal abuse", I had to pass. 

One reviewer said:
Hard to imagine that mutilating, burning, sexually humiliating and stoning women and torturing animals to death can be a good read.
I had to agree that didn't sound very good.  I do not read books with graphic sexual episodes. If the author sneaks one in, I'm done.  I'm an adult and I know how people have sex. I don't need to read about it.

Imagine my surprise when I dragged home The Hidden Child: A Novel by Camilla Läckberg, who grew up in Fjällbacka and now lives in Stockholm.

It's the newest in a series of crime novels she has written.  I don't do book reviews.  It reminds me too much of high school, where we were to read a book and do a book report.  I was not good at that. Not at all.

I will say, after reading the Hidden Child, I borrowed all the previous books in the series and have enjoyed them all.

The novels are based in Fjällbacka, and as a result I was able to investigate the area online, learn some Swedish pronunciation, and discovered that Swedes drink an abundance of coffee. I also learned the keyboard command for an umlauted character, which is the two little dots over a vowel.  It's a win-win.

Beautiful Fjällbacka

Next up:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo, has changed my way of dealing with "clutter."

I borrowed the book from the library and promptly purchased the book from Amazon. Since I'm such a cheap thrifty soul, that speaks volumes.

From Amazon:
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 
First of all, I love the words "tidying up", rather than "decluttering."  To call your possessions "clutter" is demeaning and negative.

Two things really spoke to me:  Decide what you want to keep, not necessarily what you want to throw away, and keep what sparks joy.  

You may think that your mop doesn't spark joy, but if you look at it through the eyes of it's function and the work it performs for you, it should. 

I've been through the phase of buying multiple containers to house my "stuff", then the phase of organizing drawer by drawer, or cupboard by cupboard, and can verify what she's saying. It doesn't work!  

I thought my closet was pretty well organized and my clothes pared down.  Umm - no.  When I heaped every article of clothing I owned on the bed, and went through them item by item, I managed to fill two trash bags, as well as a large box for the thrift store.  

Talk about sparking joy.  Every time I open a drawer or walk into my closet, I'm overwhelmed with joy.

Next up were my books.  Every book we owned was heaped on the dining room table.  End result? Another eight boxes to the thrift store.  My book shelves look wonderful, and every book I kept sparks joy.

Isn't she just the cutest?
Here is the only place I quibble with Ms Kondo (I understand it's now Mrs. Kawahara - Congrats!) - she has an aversion to stocking up, which I attribute to her being Japanese where most people have limited space, her age (30), and her belief that you will always be able to head down to the corner store for toilet paper.  People in Venezuela would probably tell her something different.  

I've always admired the Japanese approach to life, the sort of zen of it all, and Marie brings that to life. 

Smoke, Prayers, and Pope Francis

North Idaho has been shrouded in heavy smoke from the forest fires raging in Washington and Idaho.  Three firefighters have died fighting the multiple fires. 

Resources, including firefighters, are running very low.  A call went out for volunteers, and three thousand people responded.  Good on them!

We have friends in Chelan, WA, who, along with their older children, had to defend their own property against fire, while forest service people rode around in pickups and did nothing to help.  Ironically, our friend works for the forest service. 

Please take a moment and say a prayer for all the people who have lost their homes, the firefighters, and the people who are volunteering. 

The fires are due to the decades long mismanagement of forests by the Federal government. 

Read that sentence again, and let it sink in.  The forests, thanks to the Federal government, are stacked shoulder high with dead timber and diseased trees.  Now they want to confiscate even more of this forest land and keep us from even accessing it. 

Coming in September is Agenda 2030 from the UN.   It has been described as Agenda 21 on steroids. 

Forget about the stock market taking a nose dive - Agenda 2030 is the real danger.

Pope Francis will travel to the U.S. next month and speak to the U.N. about Agenda 2030. 

I am a cradle Catholic, and it saddens me to say this Pope is dangerous and a disaster. The Church will survive, but how many souls will be lost as a result?  

Babies are being torn limb-from-limb, with their little parts sold to the highest bidder, while this Pope spews his dangerous Marxist nonsense, which, I may remind you, is his opinion, and has nothing to do with Church teachings.

Please, pray also for this Pope, and the many Catholics who are being led astray.

If your pastor, priest, or deacon preaches on "sustainable development", "global warming",  or any of the other buzz words in use today, leave that church as quickly as you can. 

Thank you.

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