• World’s Most Expensive Billboard

    Every day on the way home I pass the world’s most expensive billboard located in Merriam, KS.

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  • Recession Cooking

    Videos of a 93-year-old lady cooking Great Depression-era meals are making multiple rounds on the Internet. While I liked the videos, I thought to myself: what do you people eat that makes these meals look like poor man’s food to you? I watched a few and didn’t see anything that I wouldn’t normally cook and eat on a regular non-depression day. Some of my favorite foods are simple, few-ingredient recipes that are easy to cook and hard to screw up. Low cost comes as a bonus, not a goal. Are XO Burgers or Greg’s Fried Chicken supposed to be Depression foods? Certainly not! Yet I bet they cost less than 2 dollars per serving.  Here is another recipe that doesn’t cost a lot and is easy to cook:

    Ingredients:

    • meat (beef, pork, if chicken – use dark meat)
    • potatoes
    • tomato paste
    • cabbage (optional)
    • salt,pepper,bay leaf

    Pour a little bit of oil (olive or not) into your dutch oven or a heavy pot. Cut some onions (I used 1.5 medium onions) and saute them on a medium-low heat until they are soft and brown(ish) for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, cut your meat in a bite-size chunks. You don’t want them to be too big (you may tend to overestimate your “bite-size”  and make your meat too big to fit in your mouth), nor do you want to cut it too small (you won’t be able to taste your meat). When onions are ready, move them to one side of the pot and raise the heat to medium or little higher. In the free space, brown your meat in batches, keeping an eye on the onions and not letting them burn. Do not dump all the meat at once, it will not brown properly, instead releasing unsightly liquid. When the first batch is browned, mix it with onions, move to the side and proceed with other batches as necessary. Add salt, pepper and bay leaf. You could brown your meat in a separate skillet, but remember that dishes don’t wash themselves. Now add cubed potatoes and mix it all up. Skip the next step if you were born and/or raised in America. Add about half of a medium cabbage, sliced. Americans, get back on board here. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. You can also use salsa if you wish. Lower the heat, cover and cook until potatoes (and cabbage) get soft, mixing periodically. If you notice that your food is burning on the bottom, add a little water. That’s it. Delicious meal  in no time and for almost no money.

    clipboard01Remember: a pound of hot dogs costs more than a pound of chicken. You don’t need to be on food stamps to start eating delicious cheap meals. Of course when you “claim your check now” (actual advertisement from my Yahoo Messenger is on the left) you can go back to eating lobster, until then – stop eating crap.

  • Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow

    If you are not just headed to the Kansas City Public Library to look at porn or have sex, you may want to visit their excellent free exhibit Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living With the Atomic Bomb, 1945-65. Whether you are a history buff or just want to know why your crazy grandpa is storing canned water in the basement, you will find this collection of books, posters, games, educational materials, art and toys curious, exciting and somewhat morbid.

    It’s hard to comprehend that generations of Americans grew up with the thought of a nuclear blast being a sure thing always in the back of their mind. And although Geiger counters and Atomic trains seem like cool toys today, at the time they served to get the children used to the idea that someday they will be using the real thing. From the neighborhood and personal fallout shelters to the best-selling atomic handbooks the subject of an inevitable nuclear attack  determined the foreign and domestic policy for 20 years after United States bombed Japan and throughout the Cold War era.

    As always I took a lot of pictures, but I suggest you check it out for yourself. The exhibit is fairly small and will take you about 30 minutes to get through.

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  • WTF Illustrated

    I haven’t done this for a while:

    Undecided?

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    And the prize for the biggest penis sign goes to (drum roll) Julia Lynn for State Senator. She wins by a skin an inch small margin.

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    If I had a religion I would be switching it right now. You probably can’t read this sign photographed at a local Backyard Burgers restaurant but it says:”FREE 1/3 BYB (backyard burger) with church bulletin”. Last time I went to a synagogue I didn’t even get a free bagel. For those keeping a score: Jesus – 1, other deities – 0.

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  • Old Photos: One School Day In 1939

    Some photos depicting student activities in Springfield, MO in 1939.
    Toy train…

    A view of a children playing during class.

    …and the real thing.

    A view of a class learning about trains first hand at a railroad station.

    A view of a class learning about trains first hand at a railroad station.

     

    A view of a class field trip to the local stockyard

    A view of a class field trip to the local stockyard

    Now that’s tough, even I had a cot when I was a kid.

    A view of children in school taking a nap in the middle of the day.

    A view of children in school taking a nap in the middle of the day.

    This must be the other side of the tracks.

    A view of a class doing an exercise in practical carpentry.

    A view of a class doing an exercise in practical carpentry.

    This kid grew up to invent the overhead projector.

    A view of child giving a presentation in school.

    A view of child giving a presentation in school.

    Something tells me the old guy is not an actor.

    A view of a class learning about slums by visiting the local slum area.

    A view of a class learning about slums by visiting the local slum area.

    A view of a class field trip to a farm to study the soil.

    A view of a class field trip to a farm to study the soil.

    A view of the Springfield sewage disposal plant.

    A view of the Springfield sewage disposal plant.

    Before the air-conditioning the government meetings were brief and to the point.

    A view of a sixth grade class attending a town meeting during a lesson on government.

    A view of a sixth grade class attending a town meeting during a lesson on government.