Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Close Call with Ebola

By now you may have heard about Patrick Sawyer. He was the man who fell ill with Ebola in Lagos and died there. He was in Liberia for a conference promoting development in west Africa and is said to have been caring for his sick sister before he returned. He was heading back to his family in Minnesota when he collapsed.

Had he not collapsed in Lagos, he was only hours away from the US. If he had become ill on the flight, he might have infected the entire aircraft. The CDC would have you believe that it is not easy to contract Ebola but I do not believe them. In a full blown case, the patient will be bleeding from every orifice. It would be almost impossible for someone not in full protective gear to avoid contact with bodily fluids. All it takes is a minuscule drop of blood in your mucous membrane to catch the disease.

Watch the news closely on this one.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Normandy and Musee d'Armee

Here are some pics of a recent trip to Normandy, including Pointe du Hoc, and the Museum of the Army with Napoleans tomb.

There is a ceremony that only family members can perform. Sand from Omaha Beach is impressed into the engraved name of theit soldier. This is from one of the panels with the names of the missing. Earl Parker was in the 116th Infantry.

 The American Battle Monuments Commission has taken over Pointe du Hoc. They have stabilized the erosion and built access to the observation bunker that the Ranger Monument stands on.

Ranger Monument

Musee d'Armee

Ma Deuce and grandson.

Napoleans Tomb

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This is NOT Good!

Reuters reports that a Liberian man who collapsed in the Lagos airport is being tested for ebola. Although it has not made the news on this side of the pond, ebola has killed almost 700 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. If the virus is truly loose in Lagos, it could be a disaster. Also, because of the numbers of oil patch hands travelling there, these men could provide a vector for infection in the US and Europe.

If you want to learn about ebola and other hemorrhagic viruses, read "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston. I promise you, you will not sleep well after reading it.

Red Dog in London

Red Dog took a ride on the London Eye and then went to Covent garden to see the mimes. They have a new gig - no visible means of support.



Two Words - Candied, Bacon

What a concept! It combines the two things men want most.

Take some bacon, coat it with sugar, lay it out on a rack and put it in a 400 degree oven. While it is cooking, heat up a small amount of honey to reduce its viscosity. Add some cayenne to the honey if you want some kick. When the honey is thin, brush some of it on one side of the bacon and let it cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Flip the bacon, spread some more honey and let it cook again. Sprinkle the bacon with crushed pecans and put back in the oven until the honey is crystalized.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review - Wayfaring Stranger

This is the latest book by James Lee Burke. It continues the saga of the Holland family, this time following the life of Wendel Holland, grandson to Hackberry and cousin to Billy Bob. Burke explains the family relations in his forward. He also says this is his best work and I agree with him.

The book starts with Wendel as a young man and a chance meeting with Bonnie and Clyde. It continues with Wendel in the Battle of the Bulge and the rescue of his future wife from a concentration camp. After the war, he partners with his platoon sergeant in the development of welding technology and starts a pipeline construction business.

Burke uses Wendel's personal and business experience to explore the dark side of human nature, violence, love and redemption. As always, Burke has some of the most poetic descriptions of nature that I have ever read. This is a love story as well as an adventure story set in the post war era. I really enjoyed this book, and if you are a Burke fan, so will you.

Bacon Jam - Its Gotta be Good.

I popped over to London on the Eurostar last weekend. I was looking for breakfast and came upon Gail's Artisan Bakery. I noticed that they had more than bread. They also had savory sandwiches. I opted for the one with bacon jam spread on a toasted english muffin with a slice of ham and topped with a fried egg. It was an upscale version of an egg mcmuffin.

I had never heard of bacon jam so I looked it up. It's a concoction of brown sugar, vinegar, maybe some bourbon, various spices (chili powder, mustard, ginger), onions, garlic and cooked bacon. And I gotta think you couldn't go wrong with some Tabasco or Crystal sauce. The bacon is cooked and then the other ingredients are cooked down until it is reduced to a pasty consistency. Then the paste and the bacon is put in a food processor and blended into a chunky paste.

Spread it on bread for a tasty treat. Me, I'd probably spoon it out of the jar.