A Great Day to be a Geek Thank You Sir Richard

What a Great Day to be a Geek and Thank You Sir Richard 

The dictionary defines a Geek as… “A peculiar person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual, unfashionable, or socially awkward….”I say what a great day to be a Geek. Say it loud and say it proud, this is Geek Day on planet earth.Sir Richard Branson’s trip to the edge of space today was one of the greatest advancements toward us regular folk strapping in and successfully achieving the dream of joining Kirk, Spock and Flash Gordon above the bounds of earth.

Yes, I happily admit I am one of those people; the ones who dreamed of escaping this planet and seeking adventures among the stars. My first story at the age of eight was about space travel so it started early in this Geek. Although no one has ever referred to me by that particular designation, I believe it’s because there is actually a bit of Geek in most of us. Oh sure we seek coolness in our manner and pretend to be aloof when someone talks about this or that particular episode of Twilight Zone. However is it a coincidence whenever you mention the episode To Serve Man, everyone is familiar and can tell you the end where we find out it’s a cookbook. Deny if you will, but no one was untouched or unexcited when Neil Armstrong hopped down that ladder and touched the moon. When John Glenn orbited the earth or now when Richard Branson unclasped his seat belt and flew weightless for four minutes to the edge of space.

Are we perhaps now a bit jaded by all these accomplishments? I imagine we are, after all we are living in the world of AI and robotics and everything has changed except for the contempt and disgust we feel for politicians, but I doubt that would be any different on any planet. So why am I so pumped about Branson’s flight, when at my age I wouldn’t even be a candidate for a quick ride myself? Simply put this is the culmination of a dream held since childhood. Going from watcher to doer. Actually being able to participate in space travel is as exciting to me as watching Babe Ruth hit that record breaking ball was to New York fans.

This is not the end, but the beginning and now that the barrier has been broken it will continue to move quickly toward ever more exciting new efforts and achievements. Oh yes, there is one small caveat of course. A seat on the Concorde was 12,000 dollars. A seat to fly to the edge of space is now $200,000. A bit out of the reach of most Geeks, unless of course you’re Bill Gates or Elon Musk or were lucky enough to sell your app to one of the big guys for a billion or so. Although I’d love to suit up for an adventure I’ve been dreaming of since my childhood I’m afraid it will probably be my grandchildren that are flying around, planet hopping and if I’m lucky they’ll be able to regale me with their stories of Mars and other such exciting destinations.

Sir Richard Branson was the first billionaire into space and won the race even beating Jeff Bezos who probably should have called Amazon to deliver him and might have gotten there quicker. I suppose for now it’s a rich man’s travel package, one that most of us earthlings can’t avail ourselves of at this time. But like all new discoveries and inventions, the price will come down. In the 1980s we paid upwards of 5000 dollars for a big screen television, now on Black Friday you can get one for a hundred if you’re willing to risk a few broken bones to get into the store.

So will we find space to be Lost in Space or Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Will it be filled with odd creatures that populate the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine? What is waiting for us up there in the star-filled blackness of space and will we be glad we ventured forth into this new frontier? I hope I’m able to get some of those answers in my lifetime. Although some may believe this is business as usual in space travel, I have to admit I’m a pretty happy Geek today and relatively certain there are a whole lot more of us today thanks to Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic .        

Charlie Tuna’s Bait and Switch and is This Our New Reality?


Charlie Tuna’s Bait and Switch and is This Our New Reality?

If anyone wonders why one would think of Charlie Tuna at a time when the world is in chaos it seems very reasonable to me. I’m not sure if it’s the chocolate binges that have led me to these crazy, out-there theories and ramblings, but take the ride with me. What the heck? What else do we have to do after binge watching Ozark?

Right now most of us seem possessed with escaping from the turmoil of the outside world and building a safe harbor within our homes and minds.

Although too many are cavalier about the imminent dangers surrounding us at every turn, many have sought refuge in the past and the refrigerator, although not necessarily in that order.

I’ve been surprised and delighted lately at how many have responded positively and vocally to my waxing nostalgic about my youth in Detroit and desire to recall as many wonderful memories as I can from what seems to me now, a magical time in our history. A time when streets were safe, life was innocent and children were in awe of a puppet or seeing the peacock’s feathers in color on a television set. When everyone on the block rushed to see the first color TV, listened for the good humor man and compared collections of 45 records as though they were gold coins worth a fortune. Life made sense.

When the new Hi Fi was delivered I wondered how I’d ever learn to work this new state-of-the-art device. I was so happy when I learned to stick the plastic middle piece into my forty fives to make them fit over the spindle thingy on the turntable without breaking the record. Pretty high tech stuff huh? Now I wrestle with megabytes and artificial intelligence.

No, I’m not digressing from the whole Charlie Tuna headline at all, just merely leading up to a point I wish to convey. Perhaps Charlie Tuna had it right after all. If the whole world was looking for tunas “wit good taste,” Charlie would produce artwork or whatever he needed to do to prove himself. However, as he was reminded in the commercial, “Star-Kist don’t want tunas wit good taste, they want tunas that taste good.”

Yes, we all remember the old commercials where Charlie struggles to be selected by Star-Kist, a company so picky they thumbed their nose at Charlie, an obvious star and continued to reject his constant advances.

And how did we react to his dilemma? We loved Charlie and although we sympathized with his rejection, we were torn by the thought of the company relenting and putting him in a can on our supermarket shelf.

As I’ve said before, we were very innocent. But Charlie’s quandary seemed to teach him a valuable lesson that now goes unnoticed; distraction will save your ass.

Yes, without noticing, Charlie pulled the greatest bait and switch, pun intended, in history. Have you ever wondered why all anyone can talk about nowadays is salmon?

It’s all about the salmon. How healthy and full of good omegas they are. How sustainable they can be raised. How you can’t go to a damn dinner party and not find a slab of pink fish in front of you.

I for one dislike salmon unless it is dressed up like Cinderella for the ball or on a bagel loaded with cream cheese, and have struggled with why we have recently experienced this great love for salmon.

So because I have little to do except check the refrigerator for new food that may have snuck in while I wasn’t looking, I gave it some thought.

I’m convinced this is a plot hatched up by some undercover Charlie Tuna with the help of the Mossad (I have to infer that any food-related plots would defer to Israel) to distract people and turn them off tuna and onto salmon.

Why you ask would Charlie do this when he has always been a big proponent of tuna? Simple, pressure from a tuna mafia that simply got tired of having their tush chased all over the ocean.

Distraction is the perfect vehicle. It allows anyone with an agenda to perform under a cover of whatever they wish and we are easily fooled.

So the big boy tunas sat down with Charlie and laid it on the line, “Stop pushing the tuna or we’ll push you back hard.”

So Charlie possessing a desire for survival decided to secretly exploit a salmon agenda in an increasingly health-conscious society that believes salmon is the filet mignon of the fish world.

Smart move, Charlie. Salmon is now king and the poor fish is dead in the water, literally. Sad after all that work to swim upstream.

If this seems like a long way to go to make a point, it’s not so far as you’d think.

We are inundated today with distractions and being force-fed a steady diet of craziness, fear and distrust.

We are stressed over the news that changes hourly from one extreme to another. Masks, no masks, ventilators bad, no good, who knows anymore, you can catch COVID19 if your neighbor sneezes two blocks away, wait that’s six feet, lock down, go out, occupy the streets, take back our streets, police or no police, I guess if you’re in trouble you can call Rin Tin Tin to save you. Is Joe Biden still alive in the basement or is it a hologram? Is Trump self destructing on purpose or does he have some devious plan? Did Lincoln free the slaves or was he a racist? Is Congress as useless as an old girdle without any elastic left? Oh sorry that one is a no brainer, yes, Congress is useless, no quandary there.

No wonder people are hiding in their homes eating themselves into oblivion. Is all this craziness an attempt to distract us from what’s really happening and if so they’re doing a hellava job, because I don’t have a clue.

We’ve all lived through crazy times before. Viet Nam, the Cold War, Watergate, Bill Clinton’s women, Tiananmen Square, 9/11, the list goes on, but this is different, a complete switch from tuna to salmon.

This is a whole new breed of chaos and even the strongest of us have no idea what to make of it all.

Our generation is tough, but where once there were answers that made even a little sense, now there are none, and it’s a scary place to be.

So now that they’ve switched us off tuna and onto salmon I have two questions; first, what is behind this salmon switch and second, who is the real Charlie Tuna and what is he ultimately up to?

Yes, it’s unsettling and I feel like I’m living through an episode of The Twilight Zone.

And I think I hear Rod Serling’s voice now: “For your consideration, a world that once made sense now filled with strange happenings that cannot be explained. Is this truly reality or has the present descended into what these people will soon awaken to and find makes perfect sense in the new world within the Twilight Zone?”

Anyone for a tuna sandwich on whole wheat with chips in a little paper cup? I thought so. And tell ‘em Charlie sent ya.

Chicken Stuffed Portobello

4 large Portobello mushrooms cleaned

1 large or two small chicken breasts

1/4 cup celery chopped

1 cup grated Fontina cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano cheese

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup mayo

½ cup sliced almonds

1 heaping tablespoon of Panko crumbs

2 tablespoons of chopped sweet onions, sautéed with the celery

Salt and pepper

Cook and season chicken breast until soft. You can poach it in broth or water and wine. After shredding chicken breast combine with all other ingredients except Parmesan Reggiano.

Salt and pepper to taste

Fill the mushroom caps with chicken mixture and cover with Parmesan Reggiano. You may add sautéed spinach or tomatoes if you’d like.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted on top. Serve with soup and salad for a great easy supper.