Friday, March 31, 2017

Did you know? FYI, Apples Are Often Frozen In Time For 10 Months Before You Eat Them

Did you know? Apples Are Often Frozen In Time For 10 Months Before You Eat Them!
They can last a year or longer in giant, temperature-controlled warehouses.This article from the Huffington Post revealed how that happens. We wondered how produce is distributed throughout the year, and know we know...  at least about apples!
Apples Are Often Frozen In Time

When you pick out an apple at the grocery store, you may not think much about where it came from. But the truth is that some apples take a fascinatingly long journey to get to you.

If you’re eating an American-grown apple at this time of year, chances are it’s been in storage for about five months now. Eat one in July, and it could’ve been stored for nearly a year.

·         Alistair Berg via Getty Images, Checking on apples in cold storage in South Africa
Apples can last for months in specialized storage. If you think they're picked and delivered straight to you year-round, you're mistaken.  "Apples are harvested once a year in the U.S.," says Alisha Albinder, a fourth-generation fruit grower and distributor at New York’s Hudson River Fruit Distributors. “If you’re eating a New York apple not in the fall, then it’s safe to say that it’s been in storage.”

Here’s how the process goes down. 
There are two types of apple storage.
There are two types of storage: regular refrigeration and controlled atmosphere. Apples ― which are harvested between August and November, depending on variety ― usually enter refrigeration if their growers intend to sell them by December, Albinder told HuffPost. These giant warehouses are kept at 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit, preserving sweetness and crunch until it’s time to ship them to a grocery store.
Apples that will be sold later in the year head to controlled atmosphere storage, or CA. In this giant warehouse, temperature is lowered and oxygen levels are reduced to almost nothing. Without oxygen, the apples can’t “breathe” or ripen, and they’re essentially frozen in time. Growers often call this stage “putting the apples to sleep.”

They can stay there for up to a year.
Apples stay in CA from harvest time, which varies based on variety, until selling time. For example, Gala is usually harvested in early September. So if you’re eating one in March, it’s been in CA for about five months.
Albinder says apples can last more than a year in CA, but by then new crops have usually been harvested, so there’s no point. When packers are ready to sell the apples, they un-seal the CA warehouse, let the oxygen levels return to normal and start selling. 
By all counts, they should taste exactly the same.
“If it’s handled and stored properly, then it should taste the same as when it went in,” Albinder said.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Video Blog: Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund: Goalie Practice

Our Favorite Celebrity Dachshund, Crusoe has a new video where he practices to be a Hockey Goalie, and a good one!

For more videos, follow Crusoe on or

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Joke of the Week: 90-Year Olds and Women's Softball in the Afterlife

batter up, Bertha!
Two 90-year-old women, Bertha and Betty, had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Bertha was dying, Betty visited her every day.
One day Betty said, “Bertha, we both loved playing softball all our lives, and we played all through high school. Please do me one favor: When you get to heaven, somehow you must let me know if there’s women’s softball there.”
Bertha looked up at Betty from her deathbed and said, “Betty, you’ve been my best friend for many years. If it’s at all possible, I’ll do this favor for you.”
Shortly after that, Bertha passed on.  A few nights later, Betty was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to her, “Betty, Betty.”
“Who is it?” asked Betty, sitting up suddenly. “Who is it?” “Betty — it’s me, Bertha.”
“You’re not Bertha. Bertha just died.”
“I’m telling you, it’s me, Bertha,” insisted the voice.
Who's Pitching?
“Bertha! Where are you?”  “In heaven,” replied Bertha. “I have some really good news and a little bad news.”
“Tell me the good news first,” said Betty.
“The good news,” Bertha said, “is that there’s women’s softball in heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before me are here, too. Even better than that, we’re all young again. Better still, it’s always springtime and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play softball all we want, and we never get tired.”
“That’s fantastic,” said Betty. “It’s beyond my wildest dreams! So what’s the bad news?”
“You’re pitching Tuesday.” 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This Affects YOU #2: Cuts to Amtrak, EPA, Weather Agency.Allow more Pollution in air and water...

In this blog series "This Affects You." it will inform people in the U.S. about changes in government that will affect them. In this blog, learn about Amtrak cuts, cutting climate science; and allowing more air & water pollution. The new budget cuts the EPA by 33% and NOAA who manages Weather Satellites and Fisheries, and various NASA satellite missions.
  Here is the info from legitimate news sources.

Trump wants to decimate Amtrak—but he envisions supersonic flights zipping across the country
Byline: Leslie Josephs, Quartz  Date: Mar. 16, 2017
NASA has already been working on supersonic aircraft that are both quieter and more fuel efficient than previous models. Silencing these deafening planes would determine whether they have a chance of revolutionizing air travel, saving passengers plenty of time.

Trump budget slashes climate science. Why does that matter?
Publication: Christian Science Monitor, Mar. 17, 2017
At NASA, it would terminate four satellite missions, studying carbon dioxide, geomagnetic storms, oceans and aerosols, and the feedback between radiation and climate. NASA’s Earth science research grants would also be reduced.  Some of the cuts:
•Four NASA climate-related projects would be terminated entirely.

•The Environmental Protection Agency, which does significant climate science, would see its overall budget slashed 31 percent.

•At the Commerce Department, the proposal “zeroes out over $250 million in targeted National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education.”

Donald Trump wants to shut off an orbiting space camera that monitors climate change
Byline: Tim Fernholz,  Quartz,  Date: Mar. 16, 2017
The Deep Space Climate Observatory is an American satellite that sits in a special orbit between the earth and the sun, about 1.5 million kilometers away from us. That distance allows it to capture unique images of the entire earth. Today, US president Donald Trump said he wants to shut down those cameras.

The proposed 2018 federal budget tells NASA to forget about Earth
Popular Science, Mar. 16, 2017

The White House released its proposed 2018 fiscal year budget on Wednesday night, and the prognosis for Earth Science isn't great. If Congress approves the budget in full, NASA's Earth-observing satellite programs (PACE, OCO-3, DSCOVR, and CLARREO Pathfinder), which are mostly still in development, are toast. And even if Congress doesn't make all of the suggested budget cuts, the proposal indicates the administration is shrinking away from the research that most serves to benefit our own planet.

Monday, March 27, 2017

This Week's Idiot in Politics: Kansas Senator Pat Roberts

All women should be appalled, especially those in Kansas. Sadly, there seems to be enough material for a weekly post of "Political idiot of the week" winners. Here's this week's winner from Kansas - a Republican Senator: Pat Roberts who made a snarky comment about mammograms and health coverage.

Reporter Alice Olstein of TalkingPoints, a (legitimate) news source on Capitol Hill Tweeted: "I asked Sen. Roberts if he supports scrapping Essential Health Benefits. "I wouldn't want to lose my mammograms," he snarked"

Sen. Pat Roberts apologizes for 'mammogram' line

Story from CNN.COM:
Updated 2:54 PM ET, Thu March 23, 2017
(CNN)Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, apologized Thursday afternoon for making an apparent joke about mammograms related to what features are or are not included in Republicans' plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts Credit: CNN
  "I deeply regret my comments on such an important topic," Roberts said in a statement. "I know several individuals whose lives have been saved by mammograms, and I recognize how essential they are to women's health. I never intended to indicate otherwise, and I apologize for my comments."
Roberts, who's known for employing a dry sense of humor, told a Talking Points Memo reporter earlier in the day: "I wouldn't want to lose my mammograms." 
  He was referring to a potential change in the Republican health care plan that would gut a measure requiring insurers to cover "essential health benefits," including mammograms for breast cancer screening.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Good Thriller: The Athena Project

I've read and enjoyed every novel that Brad Thor has written about his lead character Scot Harvath, but this novel wasn't about him. It was about a new all-female team working as a Top Secret group for the military.
   It was a good story about a possible scientifically advanced technology that was being created by the Nazis in World War 2. This also involves the Russian mob, and an arms dealer in Venice, and Croatia, Prague, the Czech Republic and even Denver, Colorado. - There was a lot of locations, and a lot of characters.
   I had a lot of trouble keeping track of the 4 women and who they were as people. They were identified in the first chapter and I had to go back a couple of times to remember their backgrounds. After a while I just kept reading as they all blended together. It's just easier for me to follow one or two main characters.
   If you don't put it down more than a couple of times, you'll likely be able to follow it better than I could- but it was enjoyable.

THE STORY: The world’s most elite counterterrorism unit has just taken its game to an entirely new level. And not a moment too soon . . .
   From behind the rows of razor wire, a new breed of counterterrorism operator has emerged.
Just as skilled, just as fearsome, and just as deadly as their colleagues, Delta Force’s newest members have only one thing setting them apart—their gender. Part of a top-secret, all-female program codenamed The Athena Project, four of Delta’s best and brightest women are about to undertake one of the nation’s deadliest assignments.
    When a terrorist attack in Rome kills more than twenty Americans, Athena Team members Gretchen Casey, Julie Ericsson, Megan Rhodes, and Alex Cooper are tasked with hunting down the Venetian arms dealer responsible for providing the explosives. But there is more to the story than anyone knows.
    In the jungles of South America, a young U.S. intelligence officer has made a grisly discovery. Surrounded by monoliths covered with Runic symbols, one of America’s greatest fears appears to have come true. Simultaneously in Colorado, a foreign spy is close to penetrating the mysterious secret the U.S. government has hidden beneath Denver International Airport.
    As the women close in on their target, they will soon learn that another attack—one of unimaginable proportions—has already been set in motion, and the greatest threat they face may be the secrets kept by their own government.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Video blog: MICROWAVES (Are Watching You!) - Randy Rainbow Song Parody

It's another new  Randy Rainbow Song Parody (of Hall and Oates' "Private Eyes). Randy calls it:
MICROWAVES (Are Watching You!) 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Franklin Friday Fun at Petco

Franklin at Petco
  To recognize Franklin Friday, here are some of his birthday adventure photos!  
On Franklin the Dachshund's 13th birthday, March 19th, one of his celebrations included a trip to Petco. If you're a Petco card member (it's free) you can put the birthdates of your pets on their website and they send you a free coupon for 1 pound of their gourmet dog treats from their "treat bar." Franklin couldn't resist that!

Sniffing out treats through a bag is difficult!
  So, we walked around the store, picked up his free treats and some beef and chicken jerky and 2 stuffed monkeys with squeakers of course (that Tyler quickly removed at home), because Franklin's nickname is "the Monkey." 
Franklin wonders what a hoof is...

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next