After doing a bit of house-cleaning1 and trying to fix a problem with Ariesna‘s computer2 when I decided to take a break and read some blogs off my portal page. At AWelkin‘s page, I ran across this link: 2005 Inaugural Celebration.

Estimated cost of the 2005 Presidential Inauguration celebration: $40 million
Amount currently pledged by the United States to aid victims of Sunday’s tsunami: $35 million
I read that the cost of your upcoming inauguration has surpassed $40 million. I also read this morning that the tsunami death toll has reached 114,000, and that more than 1,300 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq since our 2003 invasion. I know too that many Iraqi civilians have suffered this past year.

I think it would be a magnanimous and inspiring act of Christian goodwill and worldwide solidarity if you were to forgo the planned inaugural celebrations this year and instead pledge those funds to worldwide disaster relief and the rebuilding of civilian infrastructure in Iraq. I think it would be a gesture that Americans, and indeed, the world, would never forget.

I thought that was rather inspired and stopped a moment to do the same. I post about it here to try spreading the word to encourage others to do the same.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I hope you all have a happy, safe & properous new year!

1 Stop that sniggering! Everybody has to clean their place some time and while I dislike doing it; sometimes the mood hits me. Today it hit me because I was drying a rug on the shower curtain bar and the water that came out of it was funny colored. It rather resembled the cat vomit that hit the rug last night; hence my desire to clean the tub before using it today.
2 Sorry dear, it’s still not working. I’ve got an alternative plan in mind now but it’s ugly. Tell you about it later.

Pukka forwarded me this link today and killed any hope of me being productive. How’s that work? Well the link ends up leading you to this article over at 1UP. The article takes a couple of today’s youth and exposes them to some of the classic games of my own youth to get their reactions. Here’s a quick snip to give you an idea of how well the games went over.

EGM: What do you think this character’s name is?

Parker: Dot. Or Adventure? That’s what this game is, isn’t it? Go up, go up, go up.

Bobby: Stupid duck. I hate the duck. The duck is evil.

Here is a very tasty recipe from my Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001 (page 74). It doesn’t create a big mess.

Chicken and Broccoli Teriyaki with Noodles

    Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 regular size foil oven bag
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (powder works too)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound skinned and boneless chicken breast cut into 1/2-inch bite size pieces.
  • 1 cup fat-free less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages chicken-flavored ramen noodles
  • 4 cups of broccoli florets (about 11 ounces)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of mushrooms sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions

  1. Coat inside of oven bag with cooking spray. Place bag on a large shallow baking pan.
  2. Combine teriyaki sauce, ginger, and sugar in a zip-top bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from the bag, reserving the marinade: add chicken broth and cornstarch; stir with a whisk. Stir in oil and 1 flavor packet from the noodles (discard remaining flavor packet). Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  4. Break each noodle package into 4 pieces. Place noodles in prepared foil bag. Pour broth mixture over noodles. Add broccoli, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Top with the chicken. Fold the edge of the bag over to seal. Bake at 475 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Place bag on a platter. Cut open with sharp knife (be careful of steam) and peel back foil using oven mitts. Sprinkle with onions.

This recipe is from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, (page 248).

Hamburger Pie (a.k.a Shepherd’s Pie)

    Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 10oz. bag of mixed vegetables
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can of tomato or cheese soup (10.5oz – 11oz). I highly recommend using a cheese soup!
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 package of instant mashed potatoes (enough for four servings)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Run cold water over vegetables to separate.
  3. In a large skillet, cook meat and onion till meat is brown. Drain.
  4. Stir vegetables and 1/4 cup water into skillet.
  5. Cook, covered , 5 to 10 minutes or till tender.
  6. Stir in soup, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
  7. Prepare potatoes according to package directions. Drop in mounds (potatoes) atop the hot mixture. Bake in an oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till hot.