Friday, July 30, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook - Hot Pepper Fried Rice

I admit it, I'm a tad on the heavy side. As a result, I've been trying to eat a bit more on the healthy end of the food spectrum. And so, I've been eating more rice. I've always liked rice, so this is not a hardship for me. And there are so many ways to make rice taste good...

Fried rice has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time. It is a versatile base for many meals, and it makes a tasty side dish all by itself. Fried rice has a crunchy-nutty-toasty flavor that is just hard to beat.

Our ingredients are:

1 cup of uncooked rice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 cups of cold water

Place your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and the olive oil and the red pepper flakes. Cook the red pepper flakes for one to two minutes, allowing the “heat” of the peppers to infuse the oil.

Add the uncooked rice to the skillet and stir until the rice is coated with the oil. Continue to slowly stir the rice until it reaches a nice, toasty-brown color.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a sauce pan and combine with 2 cups of cold water and the tablespoon of sesame oil. Stir well, and bring to a boil over med-high heat. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

Fluff and serve. Makes 3 cups of cooked rice; serves two. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 7/29/2010

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

In these tough economic times, crime is on the rise. A young man in Colorado didn't lock his car one night and, sure enough, someone got in and "drove" away. The car was found just a little ways down the hill from where it was "stolen," with the "thief" still inside. But, when police arrived, they sure didn't want to mess with him. It isn't surprising to have a bear steal your picnic basket, but to have a bear steal you car...

Many Christians are undecided about what to do with the bodies of the dead. Cremation makes some folks squeamish, and some Christians think it is disrespectful of the body that will be raised on the last day, but it is usually less expensive than a full burial. Well, for the squirrels, there is a third option: Squirrels can live on as beer bottles. Yes, that's right, beer bottles. BrewDog Brewery, in the United Kingdom, set out to make the world's strongest beer (55% alcohol.) To top off that achievement, they bottled it in some very... unique... bottles. And they sold out their entire stock in one day... at $700/bottle! (I can't even tell you how many people sent me this story this week, but nobody gets a hat tip because I had found it myself first. Everybody does get a big "Thank you!" though.)

We've discussed the advisability of posting stuff on the internet. The same advice applies to text messages and tweets and such; it just isn't a good idea. An 18-year-old boy in Glendale, Wisconsin learned the inadvisability of sending... provocative?... pictures of himself to his girlfriend when he sent them to her mother instead. In addition to it being inadvisable to do something like this, it's also pretty classless. And dangerous! This guy has no idea how lucky he is that the pictures went to her mom and not her dad!!!

You DO NOT want to steal spiders in Maryland. (I really don't know how I missed this until now.) It seems that, back in May, Chili Rose, the resident spider at the Westminster library was arach-napped. The Spidy-napper, Randy Allan Humple, age 27, was apprehended and charged. Well, the trial is complete, and the penalty for abducting a spider and holding it against its will in Maryland is 90 days, but he also gets 4 years for violating his parole on other charges. "Hey! What're you in for?..."

You never know what you're going to find at auctions. Sometimes you find a bargain, and sometimes you find hidden... "treasure?" Five years ago, then-75-year-old Gordon Clement bought a painting at a post office auction. Then, last week, he discovered 4 pounds of marijuana hidden in the picture frame. Police, who gladly confiscated the weed when Clement called them, valued the stuff at $4,800. Mr. Clement wont see any of that money. Like I said, you never know what you'll find at auctions...

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sorry. Busy. Life. Deal with it.

I'm going to be busy most of today, and, yes, I know that I'm way behind on my blogging. Sorry. Life. Deal with it.

Anyway, since there's nothing new here today, I thought I'd point you towards this excellent post by Majastatic.

Keep watching this space!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

An Evening At The Improv with Ergun Caner...

James White posted this last Wednesday night. The clips are taken from Ergun Caner speaking at Stand for Truth Ministries, California Christian Apologetics Conference, September 22, 2006. You may need to watch in "full screen" to be able to read the comments.

Yes, it's more of the same. But, knowing what we now know about Ergun Caner, and seeing and hearing him say things we just know are not true, you have to ask yourself why Norman Geisler and others are saying things like, "...out of a couple thousand sermons, nearly twenty books, and hundreds of media interviews, the relatively few mistakes are trivial by comparison." Trivial, Dr. Geisler? Watch the video again, and ask yourself if Ergun Caner wasn't intending to mislead by his remarks.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook - Spicy Chicken Salad

When I was in high school, I worked for my Dad’s construction company during summers. He would pack us both lunches before we’d head off to work in the mornings. Quite often he’d make chicken salad sandwiches.

Chicken salad is pretty neutral stuff, and you can take it a lot of different directions. If Dad was in a hurry, his chicken salad would just be a can of chicken, some mayonnaise, and a little salt. If he had a bit more time to prepare it, he’d often cut up a pickle or some celery or onion. Either way, it was always pretty good stuff.

Here is a take on Chicken salad that would have been a bit spicy for my Dad. (Mrs. Squirrel didn’t eat any of this, either… In fact, all of my photographs show only a half recipe, as Mrs. Squirrel used the other half of the can of chicken to make her own, much milder, chicken salad.)

Our ingredients are:
1 12.5-oz can of chicken, drained
3 tablespoons of pickled jalapenos and carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon hot mustard
½ teaspoon of minced garlic
½ cup Miracle Whip (not pictured

Since the jalapenos and carrots are sliced, we need to chop them up into fine little bits. The La Costena green pickled sliced jalapeno peppers is a blend of jalapenos, carrots & onions, and is very spicy. A friend gave me a few cans to try, and I’m very glad she did!

Next, combine the chicken, jalapenos and carrots, mustard, garlic, and Miracle Whip in a bowl. Mix well with a fork. That’s it! (I didn’t say it was hard…)

Serve as a sandwich or eat on crackers. One recipe makes four sandwiches. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 7/22/2010

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the Beatles tribute band, The Fab Four, is suing the Beatles tribute band, The Fab 4, because they are "essentially identical in sound and appearance." Okay, let me see if I understand this... You're a tribute band and make your living by imitating a well known band? Now you're upset because another tribute band, imitating the same band that you are imitating, has an act that is too similar to yours? Well, good luck with that...

A statement on their website says, "The Rodex Rodent Control system is the quickest and most reliable method of rodent eradication." Using a propane-air mixture to explosively demolish the homes of innocent burrowing rodents may sound like fun for you, but I doubt very much that the lawn rodents find it funny at all! Doesn't seem that the neighbors really care for all those loud "Kaboom"s either. One Oregon man has filed suit against a pest control company, claiming that he suffered permanent hearing damage last year when the Rodex system was used to remove rodents on his next-door neighbor’s property. He seeks $146,427 for medical bills and pain and suffering. No information is available on how much in compensation the lawn rodents are seeking...

I've always enjoyed saunas. While most of the time I really don't like being sweaty, there is just something really relaxing about sitting in a hot sauna (especially in the winter, when you can go outside and roll in the snow afterwards!) Several folks on eBay had thought that they'd found the perfect thing. "Ideal for conversion into a one-person sauna, a small bar or a children's playhouse," the item description said. It was constructed of nice age-darkened hardwood. The church was being remodeled, they certainly didn't need that old confessional booth anymore. and then the archdiocese found out. "Confessionals should not be converted into saunas or bars." Oh, and the top bid when the item was pulled from eBay? 666 Euros...

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Officers saw the vehicle run the stop sign, and they signaled the driver to pull over. Instead, the driver made a run for it. Reaching speeds in excess of 20 miles-per-hour, the chase lasted for 3/4 of a mile before the horse & buggy crashed, and the driver fled on foot. He was later apprehended. Yes, I said "horse & buggy." Turns out that the driver was a 17-year-old Amish lad in illegal possession of alcohol. He must have already consumed a bit of that alcohol to think he could outrun the police cruiser. "Thou hast the right to maintain thy silence, if thou doest give up thy right to maintain thy silence, whatsoever thou sayest shalt be used against thee in a court of law..."

I make no secret that my all-time favorite television show is Magnum P.I. It went on the air my freshman year of high school, and I tried my best to be home on Thursday nights to watch every episode. So I was excited to hear that there was a new Magnum case that had just been solved in Hawai'i. A man found one of those classic red Magnum Aloha shirts in a thrift store. Used and torn, he was able to purchase it for $2.99. Then he saw the autograph, "For The Hard Rock, With much aloha, Tom Selleck." Sure enough, the autographed shirt had been stolen from the Honolulu Hard Rock Cafe. Case closed, and Rick didn't have to track down a single license plate...

And now, to revisit a case from a Nut Cache past. You may remember this: "Marion V., who teaches German and Geography, refuses to say if she is actually afraid of rabbits. But when she walked into the classroom and spotted the drawing on the board she burst into tears and fled." Well, the case has gone to court & the court ruled against Marion V. and for Kim, the girl who drew the rabbit. The court said that the defendant, Kim, proved in court that Marion V.'s "Bunniophobia" was fact. One wonders, did they bring a bunny into the courtroom? Is there film?

It is funny how every movement seems to want to make Jesus their own. Back in the 1960's, the Jesus Movement saw Jesus as the original hippy. Liberal theologians see Jesus as a crusader for Social Justice. New Agers view Jesus as one of "the enlightened ones." Therefore, it shouldn't surprise any of us that proponents of the use of marijuana think that Jesus was a stoner. Using very selective and... unique, shall we say... interpretations of Biblical passages, an article in High Times magazine says that Jesus not only used marijuana himself, but he used marijuana to accomplish all his healings, because marijuana cures everything, don't you know. At least, since it's High Times, we don't really have to wonder what they were smoking when they wrote this... (WARNING-While I did not see any offensive content when I read the article, be advised that it is High Times magazine. There is also a summury article from the U.K. Guardian.{High Times article - Guardian article})(h.t. wonky73)

That's all for this week, kids! Keep those Nuts and letters coming!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook – Quick & Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I remember making a huge batch of pulled-pork barbeque with my Dad in July of 1987. It was for his 50th birthday party. He & I built a cinder block smoker out by the splitting block, where there wasn’t any grass to burn, and we stayed up all night, and went through I don’t know how many bags of charcoal and pieces of applewood and hickory, smoking 6 or 8 pork butts. That night will always be one of my fondest memories of time spent with Dad. And the food turned out good, too!

If you are going to do pulled pork barbeque right, it takes hours and hours of smoking. Don’t get me wrong, the taste is definitely worth it, but, other than special occasions (like a 50th birthday party) who has the time to devote to something like that? What if you want a pulled pork sandwich, and you want it now?

Well, I’ve got a quick and easy substitute for you! It’s not true barbeque, but it’s mighty tasty, and it only takes about 45 minutes or so to prepare.

Our ingredients are:
1 pound of pork
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 ½ cup of your favorite barbeque sauce
2 cups of cold water
8 hamburger buns

First, we need to prepare our pork. As far as meat selection goes, I purchased a 5 pound pork roast & quartered it. I’ll freeze the other 3+ pounds and use them for something else later. You could use a pound of boneless pork chops. Because I bought a boneless roast, after I quartered it, when I cut the string, I ended up with two ‘chunks’ of pork, about a ½ pound each.

We are going to use our pressure cooker again. Place the cooker over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the cooker. Let the oil heat for a minute or two. Then brown your pork. Brown each side for a couple of minutes each. Then add one cup of cold water and seal on the pressure lid. Bring the cooker to pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Allow the cooker to cool on it’s own.

Remove the pork from the cooker and grab a couple of forks and start pulling!

When you’ve gotten your pork all pulled apart to your liking, place it in a large saucepan with 1 cup of water and 1 ½ cups of barbeque sauce. Mix well, bring just to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve on buns, about ½ cup per bun. Serves 4 (if everybody eats two sandwiches each… like we do…) Like I said, it isn't really true Barbecue, but it disappears just as fast! Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 7/15/2010

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

It seems that close to 14 million "adult" children are still living at home, with their parents. Every advice column that deals with "adult" children living at home advises that rules need to be agreed upon and adhered to in order to reduce conflicts in the home. One of those rules should be about the use of the laundry equipment. Had the Tyrrell family of Villa Rica, Georgia established such rules, this may not have happened. Somehow, I think pulling a gun on Mom isn't exactly compatible with the 5th Commandment...

While some 29-year-olds fail to exhibit the characteristics of adulthood, somehow I don't think 8-year-old Logan Fisher is going to turn out that way. It seems that he already has a pretty good understanding of the responsibilities of government as Biblically defined in Romans 13. I'm betting there are some in the Brooklyn Park suburb of Minneapolis who wish that Logan was on the city council instead of just talking to it!

Penguins a pretty cool birds. In fact, I've collected stuffed penguins since childhood. Where others had Teddy Bears, I had Peter Penguin. I am also a fan of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. However, I must tell you that I was not the criminal mastermind behind this recent case of penguin-napping. I also checked with my friend in Ireland, and he assures me that he was nowhere near the Dublin Zoo...

Pareidolia is the term for the mind's ability to see familiar patterns in random images. When we see a horse or an elephant or a bird in the shape of a cloud, that's pareidolia at work. Pareidolia is also responsible for many recent... uh... iconic... images, such as the Virgin Mary Grilled-cheese and the NunBun. Well, now the Liquid Planet Water Park has the Jesus Lifeguard Flag. "Since the face on the flag was revealed, the weather has been more than perfect, Dumont said. Business is up over 200 percent from last year." It seems a Roman Catholic priest is going to investigate the claims. Who ever said that ignorance and superstition were dead?

It seems that no Nut Cache is complete without a dumb drunk story. This week's dumb drunk story involves a lot of beer and a really big reptile. Here's some advice from The Squirrel: If you are so drunk that they kick you out of the bar, you are not sober enough to attempt to ride a crocodile. "No person in their right mind would try to sit on a 5m crocodile, Saltwater crocodiles, once they get hold of you, are not renowned for letting you go." Scratch that... sober people don't try to ride 1,800 pound crocodiles...

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

“Veritas” Means “Правда”

Правда (pravda) is the Russian word for "truth." Pravda was also the name of the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party from 1918 until the party was shut down in 1991 by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Throughout the Soviet era, Pravda was where official policy and policy changes were announced to the world. What the Party spoke, Pravda printed.

When I was in high school in the early 1980’s, I read an essay by science fiction writer and (mostly) Libertarian political theorist (with firm anti-Communist sentiments) Robert A. Heinlein, an essay titled ”Pravda” Means “Truth”. The essay was written in the 1960’s, at the height of the Cold War, and recounted incident after incident where the Party line, as reported in Pravda, failed to entirely match reality.

Focusing on the 1960 U-2 spy plane incident, Mr. Heinlein wrote:
On May Day, 1960, a United States U-2 reconnaissance plane made some type of unplanned landing in the Soviet Union. This much is both "truth" and "pravda." Beyond this bare fact, "truth" and "pravda" diverge widely.
* * *

Khrushchev could keep quiet, in which case there was little chance that the Free World news services would ever learn about it, and no chance that the Russian people would ever find out. Our Central Intelligence Agency would know that a reconnaissance plane was missing, but it would not have advertised a top secret.

Khrushchev could refurbish the incident, give it a new paint job and peddle it as propaganda.

Or Khrushchev could tell the simple truth. This alternative is mentioned simply to keep the record technically complete, as the simple truth is a tactic not contemplated under Marxism-Leninism doctrines. Here we have the essential distinction between truth and pravda.

Truth, to the West, consists of all the facts without distortion.

Pravda is that which serves the World Communist Revolution. Pravda can be a mixture of fact and falsehood, or a flat-footed, brassbound, outright lie. In rare cases and by sheer coincidence, pravda may happen to match the facts. I do not actually know of such a case but it seems statistically likely that such matching must have taken place a few times in the past 43 years.

* * *

Apparently Khrushchev and his cohorts encountered much trouble in deciding just what the pravda should be about the U-2. They spent almost a week making up their minds. I was in Moscow at the time and there was no indication of any sort that anything unusual had happened on May 1. Russians continued to treat us American visitors with their customary almost saccharine politeness and the daily paper (I hesitate to call it a newspaper) known as Pravda hinted not of U-2's. This situation continued for several days thereafter.
* * *

As of Thursday morning, May 5, the pravda was still that nothing had happened.

Thursday afternoon the climate abruptly changed. Khrushchev's cohorts had at last decided on a pravda; to wit: an American military plane had attempted to cross the border of the Soviet Union. Soviet rocket fire had shot it down from an altitude of 60,000 feet as soon as it had crossed the border.

Heinlein, who’s degree in engineering came from the United States Naval Academy, pointed out that the Soviet version of the U-2 spy plane incident could not possibly have been factual. He based this on his knowledge of what happens when high flying, fast moving, aircraft are shot down. If the Soviet story of shooting down a U2 flying at operational speed and altitude was true, then there would have been little pieces of U-2 all over the country side and not the large pieces of wreckage that the Soviets displayed at the pilot’s show trial. [On May 1, 2010, the 50th anniversary of the event, the Times published this article, CIA documents show US never believed Gary Powers was shot down, which supports Mr. Heinlein's assertions.]

I couldn’t help thinking about Heinlein's essay as I reflected on the name of Norman Geisler’s seminary, Veritas Evangelical Seminary. After all, “veritas” means “truth,” just like “pravda,” means “truth.”

You see, Dr Geisler has assembled and posted on his website a collection of statements in defense of Ergun Caner; statements from Dr. Geisler himself as well as a select group of “Noted Christian Leaders.” It seems that Dr. Geisler and his cohorts have, at last, decided on a pravda…er…”veritas” regarding the Ergun Caner situation; to wit: Dr. Caner’s “self-contradictory” “factual statements” were not at all intended to mislead anyone and he has apologized for his unintentional misstatements and only extreme Calvinists, who hate him with unreasoning passion because of his strong anti-Calvinist stance, and Muslims, who hate him because he turned his back on Allah, are refusing to accept that Caner has been found to have done nothing morally wrong, and has apologized… anyway… even though he did nothing morally wrong…

It is noteworthy that all of the “Noted Christian Leaders” whose support Dr. Geisler relays have close personal and professional ties to Ergun Caner and/or Norman Geisler. Like the Soviets who determined the “pravda” of the U-2 incident, these “Noted Christian Leaders” have a vested interest in the “veritas” they proclaim:
  • Emir Caner is, of course, Ergun Caner’s brother, and, while he hasn’t been as visible, or as vocal, as Ergun has been, their careers are closely tied; they’ve co-authored books together and have often spoken at the same conferences and events. With the knowledge of Ergun Caner’s 9-year-long pattern of dishonesty comes the knowledge that Emir Caner has been complicit in his brother’s embellishments

  • John Ankerberg has had Ergun & Emir Caner on his television show repeatedly, and has co-authored at least one book with Emir Caner

  • Norman Geisler is co-founder and provost of Veritas Evangelical Seminary where Ergun Caner is an adjunct professor, and Ergun Caner is often a featured speaker at Dr. Geisler’s Veritas conferences

  • Joseph Holden is co-founder and president of Veritas Evangelical Seminary, where Ergun Caner is an adjunct professor

  • Paige Patterson has long served as a mentor to both Ergun and Emir Caner and has been instrumental in promoting their rise in Baptist circles

  • Kregel Publications publishes several of Ergun Caner’s books and has no desire to see one of their authors discredited

  • Ron Rhodes also teaches at Veritas Evangelical Seminary and speaks at Veritas conferences with Norman Geisler and Ergun Caner
Again, it must be noted that none of these “Noted Christian Leaders” deals directly or indirectly with the mountain of documentation that evidences Dr. Caner’s pattern of untruthfulness.

This lack of meaningful interaction with documented evidence seems to be nothing new with Dr. Geisler. In the 2nd edition of Chosen But Free, Dr. Geisler included a "response" to James White's The Potter’s Freedom. Dr. White writes concerning this review:
I find it next to impossible to believe that Dr. Geisler actually wrote the entirety of this review. In fact, I am convinced he wrote almost none of it. Why? Because this review not only ignores the vast majority of the book it is allegedly responding to, but much more, the author(s) of this review either lacks the capacity, or the integrity, to deal with the material before him or her in an honest, contextual fashion. (White, The Potter's Freedom, 347-348)

Now, having read Dr. Geisler’s defense of Ergun Caner, and seeing that same lack of “capacity, or... integrity, to deal with the material … in an honest, contextual fashion” that Dr. White alluded to, I’m thinking that Dr. White may have been in error about who really wrote the review of The Potter’s Freedom in the 2nd edition of Dr. Geisler’s book. I believe that Geisler may have just written it himself after all.

It seems to me that Dr. Geisler has been playing the "veritas" vs. "truth" game for a long time.

Update: It looks like Dr. White has been revisiting his conclusions regarding the authorship of the review of The Potter's Freedom in Dr. Geisler's book; "Dr. Geisler's behavior in [the Ergun Caner] matter is beginning to weaken my resolve on that issue," he wrote on July 2.

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[Heinlein's essay "Pravda" Means "Truth" is contained in Expanded Universe available from Baen Books]

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Difficult Confession

I have a horrible admission to make. It isn’t easy for me. This has been eating me up inside for weeks. I just can’t keep the cover-up going. All of the blogging about Ergun Caner, the audio clips, the YouTube videos – it’s all been highly coordinated and orchestrated. You see, it has all been a vast Calvinist conspiracy to bring down the biggest threat to Calvinism since Jacob Arminius himself; Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner.

You see, we knew that Ergun Caner was just too good, too funny, and too persuasive to be allowed to continue. So we put together a crack team of computer graphics artists, quantum physicists, cartoonists, and bloggers and went to work.

Using pirated versions of James Cameron’s state-of-the-art 3-dimensional Computer Graphics Technology and precise physical measurements of Ergun Caner, obtained at great risk by commando teams using laser scanners as he slept on airplanes while flying from one anti-Calvinist conference to another, we painstakingly constructed a perfect digital model of Dr. Caner.

We also combed through hours of high-quality audio and created a digital library of every vocal sound uttered by Dr. Caner that has ever been recorded. Then, using highly advanced audio processors, we were able to combine those sounds into any word or phrase needed.

Next, we stole temporal displacement equipment from a top secret lab at MIT. This equipment was used in several ways.

First, using the projection mode of the temporal displacement equipment, we were able to project an absolutely perfect 3D image of Dr. Caner anywhere, and, more importantly, anywhen we chose. We were able to project this image of Dr. Caner back in time and make him stand behind any pulpit we chose and make him say whatever we wanted him to say. In this way, we built up a vast library of “authentic” audio and video recordings, all in plain sight, in front of thousands of witnesses.

Then we used other features of the temporal displacement equipment to change dates on legal documents filed in the Columbus, Ohio courthouse, as well as real estate records.

For my part, I’m sorry I was ever a part of this diabolical scheme. We have totally maligned an honorable man. For the record: Ergun Caner never claimed to have grown up in Turkey; he has never watched The Dukes of Hazard or Professional Wrestling; and he does not eat ham or babies.

(I think Norman Geisler is starting to figure it out, too. We never should have left that copy of The Potter’s Freedom on his desk in 1972…)

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The Squirrel Can Cook - Chop Suey

As I’ve said on more than one occasion, I love Asian cuisine. But, until I was in my teenage years, I’d never had an opportunity to sample a variety of Asian foods. Growing up, “Asian” meant only one thing; Chop Suey! It was a favorite around our house, with Mom fixing it at least once every couple of months.

As I grew up and got a family of my own, I kept right on making Chop Suey. There were even a few times that my daughter requested Chop Suey as her birthday meal. It is still a family favorite.

I had always heard that Chop Suey was not authentic Chinese cuisine; that it had been invented in the United States by immigrant Chinese railroad workers. Turns out that isn’t the case. While it was introduced to America by those Chinese railroad workers, it turns out that Chop Suey is very traditionally food from Taishan, a district of Guangdong Province, the origin of many of those early Chinese immigrants.

Our ingredients today are:
2 Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (see below)
1 28-oz can chop suey vegetables (drained)
1 14-oz can bean sprouts (drained)
1 8-oz can sliced bamboo shoots (drained)
1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts (drained)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups of cooked rice

First, we need to cook and shred our chicken breasts. Once again, we’ll be using our pressure cooker. Place the chicken in the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, the tablespoon of soy sauce, the teaspoon of garlic powder, and the teaspoon of black pepper. Bring the cooker up to pressure and cook the chicken for 8 minutes. Let the cooler cool on its own, remove the chicken and shred it with a couple of forks. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Put the chicken, with the original cooking liquid, in a large pot with a cover. (I just use the pressure cooker. Since it doesn’t have lid other then the pressure lid, I just use a pie pan as a lid. It’s worked well so far!(10 years or so))

Add the Chop Suey veggies, the bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts, the ½ cup of soy sauce and 4 cups of water, and mix well. Cover & bring to a boil. When it comes to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. (I cook my rice at this time, and just let the Chop Suey simmer until the rice is done.)

Serve over rice and top with a few crunchy chow mein noodles. If you like your food spicy, add a spoonful of chili paste. Serves 6. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

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