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Never Say "Never"

    Ok. The older I get, the less things surprise me. Maybe I'm jaded, or just a cynic, but rarely does anything make me stand up and shout "Hey, when did they/how did they do that?"  Well, even this old dog (middle-aged, really) has gained some passion over something that I used to write-off as a useless item. Are you ready? This is about yogurt, Greek-style to be precise.  
    Here's the background: Last winter I came down with a really terrifying illness - one of those intestinal bugs that kills many hospital and nursing home residents that contract it. The cause was antibiotic, as was, ironically, the cure. In order to keep the 'opportune' bacteria from taking over a compromised intestinal tract, one needs to make sure there are plenty of probiotic compounds going in (i.e., 'live and active cultures'). According to my physician, the easiest way to obtain probiotic nirvana is by ingesting yogurt, preferably on a daily basis. My problem is that I have never been able to swallow a spoonful of yogurt in my life. There's something about the combination of sour taste and squiggly texture that makes my taste buds put up road blocks. I can handle sour cream, gelatin & puddings, cottage cheese, even lumpy cream of wheat (odd Bill Cosby reference), but yogurt has always caused me trouble. So instead of yogurt I bought acidophilus supplements, frozen yogurt with 'live and active cultures,' and cottage cheese with 'live and active cultures.'  These items are not as effective or as easy to find, but that's what I tried to do.
     Things changed when my cousin came to visit early this summer. He and I were discussing the popularity of Greek Yogurt, especially in light of the fact that two of the largest producers are local to my area (i.e., Fage and Chobani). He liked the yogurt and I liked the fact that they were supplying local jobs and using milk from small local dairy farms. After a grocery shopping excursion, he shoved a spoonful of Chobani greek yogurt (with some type of fruit in it) into my mouth whilst I was driving. I had to swallow it since I was otherwise occupied with keeping us alive in a moving vehicle. Guess what? I did not have the same problem with this style yogurt. To me, it was much like eating sour cream with fruit preserves. I was absolutely amazed that I could handle this. 
     I have to admit that I'm partial to those Greek-style yogurts with fruit accompaniment. Eating it plain just seems rather dull.  My favorite thing to do is to eat Fage Total 0% (cherry, peach, or blueberry) along with some Gatherer's Granola (another local product) for breakfast. It's delicious, high in fiber and protein, and only contains about 220 calories. So the good news is that I learned something new, and I've gained a way to improve my health for life. I'll try to remember my Greek yogurt surprise the next time I'm tempted to say, "No, thank you. I don't like ____."   

Restaurant Reviews

It has been so long since I've posted here, that I figured i should speak about something, no matter how esoteric. So here goes.... Restaurants: I've enkpyed two very nice ones in the last couple of months, one in Boston, the other in Syracuse, NY.

While in Boston, we wanted to try the famous North End for dinner. I refused to go to one of the awning-covered-tuxedoed -waiter places that serve the same thing I can get locally. Instead we tried a place called Marco, 253 Hanover St. , 2nd floor. It was small,intimate, and rustic. The menu is limited, as is the seating. The waiter was helpful, knowledgeable, and attentive. We took our pre-teen and teenager, who readily found items that appealed to them. In addition, they were welcomed and treated with respect. I had the orecchiette with peas and a side of grilled asparagus. The pasta was great, but the vegetables were phenomenal! When was the last time you went to an Italian restaurant, and were impressed by the vegetables? This place was lovely. As an additional note, skip the ubiquitous Mike's Cannoli and enjoy a hand-filled cannoli across the street at Gelateria. Yum.

The next review will be of The Mission at 304 Onondaga St., Syracuse. Until then, have a great day.

Individual Freedoms?

David Kaczynski on ABC News.  I think I love this man. He and his wife used to live four blocks away from us. He says some very important things in his recent appearance, please go google it.  If you care to gain some insight, and potentially understand "Why" Tucson happened, then perhaps we can (finally) affect "How" these things happen.      

Favorite Christmas Tunes

Do you have a favorite Christmas song recording? I have several; some old classics and a few new recordings as well.

When I was very young, my family loved to listen to Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Mahalia Jackson, and some Mormon Tabernacle Choir compilations. I was lucky enough to inherit some of those albums, but I prefer to listen to CD or MP3 formats. 

In the last several years I've  become a fan of "newer" recordings of some old favorites. In particular, if you get a chance, have a listen at Sarah McLachlan's "What Child is This," "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen" by  Barenaked Ladies, and "Carol of the Bells" by the bird and the bee.  Just for cheeky fun, check out "Little Drummer Boy" by Jason Segel and Jack Black! Much better than Bing and Bowie :)

Merry Christmas!  Here's some Christmas Cheer:

My brother John with his gingerbread re-creation of St. Ignatias School in Cleveland

The Little MP3 That Could

Hey, guess what? I finally own an Apple(TM) product. Review follows under the cut. Read more...Collapse ) 

Not Enough Self-Control for Twitter

Call me unfocused. Call me self-indulgent. Call me arrogant or egotistical. I've decided that whatever short-sighted, opinionated words I feel like spewing out to the world via the internet can not possibly be contained by the minuscule amount of characters allowed in a Twitter post.  

So here I sit, cross-legged upon my hill, contemplating the state of things tremendous. Or perhaps I am just standing on my soapbox, barking at that which I can not change. Either way, you are invited to sit and converse or simply walk by with a slight nod of the head.  Welcome to my viewpoint!

*Ok, so apparently I have nothing of value to say that consists of more than about 120 characters. Feel free to check out my ranting on twitter  @myopic_review  

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