Saturday, July 21, 2012

Uneasy Rider- Charlie Daniels Band

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose- Little Jimmy Dickens

The Three Bells- The Browns

Cancer Survivor's Park- Omaha, NE

When we were in Omaha, Ne on vacation, we discovered a Cancer Survivor's Park about two blocks from our hotel.  Both of us have had family and friends that have either battled the disease or are currently undergoing treatment, we spent some time walking through it.  There is a sculpture representing people in different stages of treatment, a positive mental attitude walk, reflection and meditation benches, and instructional plaques explaining what cancer is and steps to fight it.
Cancer Survivors Park-Omaha. NE
Cancer Survivor Park-Omaha. NE
The park had special significance because Chris will mark her 23rd year of being cancer free in December.  Her personal philosophy is expressed in the top plaque. 

Placque- Cancer Survivors Park

Sculpture Honoring Cancer Survivors

Cancer Survivors Sculpture

Cancer Survivors Sculpture

Cancer Survivors Gazebo

Cancer Survivors Sculpture

Fighting Cancer with a Positive Mental Attitude
by Richard & Annette Bloch
Numerous headlines have been printed lately indicating a “positive mental attitude” has no bearing on the success of cancer treatments. In fact, some of the articles indicate that an optimistic attitude can be a negative factor.
While this article is not about me, I would like to refute these claims. Twenty-six years ago a top physician told me my lung cancer was terminal, there was nothing I could do and I had about 90 days to live. If I would have believed him and followed his advice, I would have been long gone. But I believed I could beat this, I tried my best and I won. My positive mental attitude saved my life because it caused me to seek a second opinion and search out treatments. Who says it couldn’t be the same for you?
Let’s examine the subject a little deeper. What is life? Life is only worth living if it has quality. Sitting, doing nothing constructive, waiting to die must be a horrible existence. Maybe a rare person would enjoy it, but most human beings would not. To have as pleasant day as possible today and hope for tomorrow makes life not only worth living but also happier. Who can say that happiness, pleasant thoughts and optimism could possible shorten one’s life?
Taking cancer treatments often is unpleasant and/or uncomfortable. Certainly if we do not believe we can successfully beat this disease, why put ourselves through this ordeal. We don’t take treatments and we die. To the old statement, “If we do not try, we will not succeed” we must add “If we do not believe it will help, we won’t try.”
Many doctors have an ego problem. They need to maintain their image at all costs. Therefore, they will tell patients that they are terminal. This guarantees that they will be a hero. If the patient dies, they were absolutely correct. If the patient survives, they were a hero because they brought them through it. What a horrible way to maintain a fragile ego. This is one of the reasons we always recommend a second opinion.
There are 3 bronze plaques in each of the Bloch Cancer Survivor Parks around the US stating:
“There is no cancer for which there is no treatment”
“There is no cancer from which someone has not been cured.”
“Cancer is the most curable of all chronic diseases.”
In spite of these headline-seeking articles, if you love life, make a personal commitment to do everything in your power to fight the disease and do your best to keep a positive mental attitude.
The above article is reprinted from the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation Website:

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Triple D Adventure (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives)- Day 3

On the third day of our Triple D adventure, we decided to go to Amato's.  It's open for breakfast and lunch diner.  When we arrived all the parking lot was full so we pulled around to the back. Sam Amato had just pulled from a grocery run. He told us it was too hot to walk around the front just go in through the back door. We got a behind the scenes glimpse of their kitchen.

Amato's -Omaha, NE

Amato's- Omaha, NE

The place definitely has an old style diner feel to it. It was decorated with mementos from Guy Fieri's visit including photos and signed menus.

Amatos- Triple D Photo

Amato's Menu signed by Guy Fieri

We asked our waitress what did Guy have when they filmed the Triple D episode. She replied the Tri-Berry Ricotta Cheese pancakes and their homemade Italian sausage.  This was the episode where Guy made sausage for the first time. We had to try them...In a word...Awesome!!!  You could tell the sausage was fresh and homemade. The pancakes look odd with three different berries mixed into them. However, they were superb.

Ricotta Tri Berry Pancakes and Sausage

The thing that made the visit special were the Amato's.  They both spun stories about Guy's visit. They were warm and personable. Their love for their craft came through.  If you're ever looking for a great breakfast place in Omaha, try Amato's. 

This was our last stop on our Triple D adventure. We were going to try one more...but we couldn't locate it with our directions. Guess we need to come into the 21st century and get a smart phone...but that will be another story.

A Triple D Adventure (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives)- Day 2

Day 2 of our Omaha Triple D adventure started with a trip to Boys Town. I'll post pictures of that later in the week.  We decided to eat at Big Mama's Kitchen.  Big Mama's is located on the Turning Point Campus which used to be the Nebraska School for the Deaf. It was little difficult to find but well worth the search.
Mural at Big Mama's Kitchen

I couldn't work up the courage to try the pigs ear. Still I wanted to be adventurous so I tried the Afro Burger.   Chris tried the oven fried chicken Both were exceptional. 

Afro Burger  This looks like a brat, but it's not. Hand-rolled choice ground beef with a fiery hot blend of seasonings, simmered in Big Mama’s Spicy BBQ Sauce, & served on a fresh hoagie bun Featured on “Diners, Drive ins and Dives”.  I don't usually like spicy food but this was an exception to the rule. I loved it...although I did have to pace myself with sips from the Cranberry Sun Tea, bites of cole slaw and sweet potato fries.
Big Mama's Afro Burger

Big Mama’s Oven Fried Chicken You won’t believe this chicken is fried in the oven! Our chicken is season with Big Mama’s own rub, marinated in buttermilk dusted with flour and oven fried to golden brown perfection. This is without a doubt the best fried chicken we have ever tasted at a restaurant.

Big Mama's Oven Fried Chicken

Dessert was an easy choice. Sweet Potato Pie and Sweet Potato Ice Cream. It looked so delicious we had it hald eaten before we realized we forgot to take a picture of it. So we copied these pics from their menu.



 After we were stuffed with the most amazing food from our triple D adventure, I checked out the numerous pictures that were on display. I went back to my table and found our waitress and Big Mama. They brought me a birthday cake...and then sung "Happy Birthday" to me. Our waitress had a beautiful voice. 

Big Mama and our waitress sings Happy Birthday Ron

We took the cake with us back to our hotel. It was just as good. Although I was surprised it wasn't a sweet potato cake. 

If you're ever in Omaha, check out Big Mama's. Don't be in a hurry. Everything is made to order so it is longer dining experience than we're accustomed...However, it is worth every second you wait for your food.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Triple D Adventure (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives)- Day 1

Chris and I are addicted to the Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Host Guy Fieri visits various diners, samples their food, and describes it. When we travel, we try to eat at a triple D site if it's possible. Our recent trip to Omaha, NE afforded us the following culinary adventure. 

We found Brewburgers easily enough. However, the trick is finding the entrance to the restaurant's parking lot. You actually have to enter through the neighboring hotel's parking lot to get to Brewburgers. When we entered we asked the waitress, "what did Guy have when he was here. She told us he had the following:

The Cheesy Sacramento


Six ounces of beef with a mountain of crispy cheese.

House Fries

French fries plated with a delicious, spicy Cajun chicken gravy, white cheddar cheese curds, sour cream & chives.

Old Fashioned Brisket Sandwich


Cured & smoked brisket piled high on Rye with your choice of Swiss cheese or Havarti cheese & mustard.
Italian French fries plated with Alfredo sauce, Gorgonzola cheese, bacon & chives

The food might look and sound weird...but it was delicious.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monkey Business or Lies the Monkeys Told Me

The wonderful thing about Facebook messages are they don't go away unless you archive them. Since my blog post of Star Trek: the Review that Wasn't.  I made the mistake of rereading a couple of  message exchanges with a MSM member...and I have to conclude I was definitely a victim of Monkey Business. Here were our last exchanges copied and pasted from Facebook.
  • Ron Asher
    June 3
    Ron Asher
  • Kimberly Sansone
    • Sir,

      I read the posts on the Magic Smoking Monkey Facebook page. We did respond to you. And stated that had you stayed a while longer, we would have been able to seat you at the 8p show or you had the option of attending the 1030p show. It was also noted, that your coupon was almost a year old (expiring in June) and had 5 different shows to see either with St. Louis Shakespeare or the winter Monkey show. We also made a $500 donation to the Kiwanis.
Here are the lies I was told:
  1.  At the box office, we were told repeatedly by Kathy that she did not have our reservations. She said she was sorry but due to fire codes we couldn't be seated at the 8:00 pm show.
  2. I was told by Kimberly that I would receive a phone call from Donna to discuss our missing reservations. This was promised to me twice. I never received a phone call. (Strangely enough, that would have soothed ruffled feathers.)
  3. A donation was made to the Kiwanis. Only one member of group was a Kiwanis member. I've heard two different amounts and wasn't able to reach Ann for verification.
  4. The members of my group still believe that we were bumped because a Monkey or St Louis Shakespeare party needed our tickets.  The only other answer is incompetence on the part of the box office.
  5. It was mentioned in my blog post that the certificate didn't have an expiration date. I was wrong and correct that now. However, it states: that it was good for 4 St Louis Shakespeare shows, the winter 2011 "It's a wonderful Life" production and/or "The One-Hour Indiana Jones Trilogy or similar parody in May 2012. Since we were turned away on May 19, 2012, by my calculations the gift certificate was still good. If you don't believe me... Here's the scanned document.

I have enjoyed the MSM's productions for years...I can forgive lost reservations...LIES are a bit harder for me to overlook.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Music from 1953...the year I was born

 On Wednesday, July 11th, I'll be 59 years old. I thought it'd be fun to see what the music was like back in 1953. Music sure has changed. No profanity...and the performers had all their clothes on. Unbelievable. Hope you enjoy this nostalgic musical journey.
"I'm Walking Behind You"- Eddie Fisher

"How Much Is that Doggie in the Window?"- Patti Page

"Song from Moulin Rouge" - Percy Faith Orchestera

"No Other Love" - Perry Como
"Va Ya Con Dios" - Les Paul & Mary Ford