Famous Friday: Beekeepers Friend

Beekeepers Friend is my dad’s blog. He is using it to tell about his personal beekeeping antics as well as sharing his knowledge of the trade.

There has been a lot of talk about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in the beekeeping business over the last year or so. Yesterday he summarized an article on what may be the cause of the disorder. It is still somewhat mysterious.

As he shares more about how he works his own bees, the reader will gain knowledge of what, and sometimes what not, to do with their bees. Dad is not a large commercial beekeeper, but he has had enough years of experience as a hobbyist to be able to help others along.

Popcorn lung?

Ever hear of “popcorn lung”? Me either until today. There is a story in the news today about a man who ate 2 bags of popcorn every day for the last 10 years. Easy snack; extra buttery.

That can’t be good for your body. For a moment, ignore the lung problems and think about the chemicals he is putting in himself. I know we get icky chemicals in lots of food, but I would think that there is a lower risk of some strange disease if you spread your chemicals around. The same chemicals being stuck in the body twice a day for 10 years just can’t be healthy. This disease comes from breathing the toxins after it is released in the cooking process. I know popcorn is supposed to be fine, but microwave extra buttery is probably not very healthy at all. I don’t eat it because I don’t like the waxy slime it leaves on my hands. Though I do love air popped popcorn.

Now to the lung disease he has. This is the first case of this disease diagnosed outside of factory workers.

Step away from the microwave man! Take a walk around the block.

A fine example of poor education

Does this person really write like this, or did he do this on purpose? This was written tonight on a forum I frequent.

hello i have recently purchased a shure beta57a and a monster xlr to 1/8″ cable and i want to hook this up to my computer but when i connect the two for sum reason the mic duzn work..it almost seems like the computer isnt recognizing the mic or sumthin..please help me out..thankss alot

I kid you not! That is a straight cut and paste. He wants help in making this work; however, I am not sure he would be educated enough to use the information given to him. According to the forum, he even edited this after he posted it! What did he change?

Presumably this is someone over the age of 13. My 9 year old can do far better than this. If you wonder why I try to point people to good writing tips, there is your answer.

Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my wife and I were trudging through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. We finished it last week and I am still struggling with my thoughts on it.

While it was an entertaining book and quite humorous at times, I have a feeling of having wasted a couple of hours of my life reading it. The number of books I have read more than once are very few. This will not make it onto that list.

The story is about Earth being destroyed to make a new intergalactic highway. Actually, that is just the spectacular thing that gets the story going. It does play a minor role in the events to follow. The last surviving Earth-man, Arthur Dent, is taken on an adventure by an alien, Ford Prefect, in which they hitchhike on a couple of ships (one intentionally and the other by a strange twist of improbability) and learn something about life, the universe and everything.

One of the caveats I was given by a friend is that I “had to overlook the whole evolutionary theory talk” that was in the book. I am strongly against the theory of evolution but was not at all offended by what was proposed in the book. I actually found humor in the way the author talked about evolution and thought it was actually a fair mockery of the whole thing. I am not sure what Douglas Adams’ thoughts were on evolution, but I am not sure he was a supporter.

Frustratingly typical of fiction books, it has its share of vulgarity. Since my wife and I were reading out loud to one another (and neither of us uses that kind of language) we had to do some creative speaking to keep the flow of the book going without uttering certain words. As this was written by a British author, there were some words which were unfamiliar to me. My wife is much more well read than I and therefore she kindly informed me each time I cursed in the Queen’s English.

If you told me you read the book, I think we could appreciate a good laugh at some of the events and passages, but I definitely would not recommend it as a “must read.” Well written? I guess. Humorous? Mostly. A good story? No, not really. Kinda lame.

I think my opinion counts for something (otherwise I would not have written anything here), but you also have to take into account that this is being written by someone who reads very little fiction.

No butter in peanut butter?

Today my son and I made peanut butter. It is super easy. I bought a pound of pre-roasted (but unsalted) peanuts this morning. From what I had read on the web, you simply need to chop them up in a food processor or blender. The blender takes longer, but works just fine.

Keep chopping/processing/blending until it is smooth and creamy. You need to add a touch of salt to taste.

You could add a bit of peanut oil at the beginning of the process to speed everything up, but it is not necessary. We did a batch with and without the oil and preferred the batch without oil better (then we mixed them together).

You definitely want to salt it just a touch. It was pretty nasty before adding salt. Some people have recommended a bit of sugar too. I guess you can. For me it was fine without. I mostly use peanut butter on my pancakes, therefore I will be putting some syrup on there too. Or if you are using it for PB&J sandwiches, you probably don’t need the sugar as the jelly will have plenty.

The pound of peanuts (shelled, roasted and peeled) cost about $1.50. I am sure that amount will vary quite a bit from place to place. It made more than $1.50 worth of peanut butter. It should be about as healthy as you can get. No preservatives are added, therefore you will want to keep it in the fridge. It is supposed to keep for about 2 months, but peanut butter never lasts that long in our house. If the oil separates out, just stir it back in before using.

And, no, you don’t add any butter to the process.