Monday, May 4, 2015

Through the Keyhole - April 2015

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     APRIL 2015 turnkey-color-logo-white 7
Through the Keyhole

Informative & Interesting... not your everyday company newsletter.
Spring has Sprung...
Welcome spring.  The clocks have moved ahead giving us more sunlight at the end of the day (making it difficult to wake in the darkness) and March Madness is in full swing.  Easter is just around the corner and April flowers will bring May flowers.  My how time flies.

Also, Chicago baseball looks to be brighter than years past.  The Cubs have an over/under of 82.5 which means that "experts" have set the amount of wins the team will post to just over 82.  Out of 162 games, that is slightly above .500.  The White Sox are set at 81.5.  Hey, WE'LL TAKE it no matter which side of town you root for.

Last month's winner of the "guess the location" game was Rusty Knutz who guessed the Rock of Gibraltar...Way to go Rusty.

And now for a new picture above- Can you guess where it is by looking through the keyhole? "The iconic symbol of this city is a place where the fat lady has sung (literally) and home to crazy accents, legions of criminal forefathers and interesting animal species."

Correct answers will be given recognition but half the fun is trying to figure it out.  The correct answer will be revealed in the subsequent issue.  Good luck and have fun.

If you like this newsletter, forward it to someone else or
sign them up HERE.

As always, send any items you think are newsworthy, interesting or just plain odd to

Gibraltar - Keyhole Answer


"This rock is a monolithic promontory.  People refer to something that is very safe and firm as being as solid as this place.  Famously, Prudential makes its trademark out of this location."
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Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean.  It is only 2.3 sq.mi. and home to only 30,000 Gibraltarians.  The economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services and shipping. 

This place is the last known holdout of Neanderthals, and one of the Pillars of Hercules.

The official language of Gibraltar is English although most people speak Spanish as well with the proximity to Spain.  78% of all people here are Roman Catholic with other religions widely represented. 
Interesting Facts:
1. Gibraltar is a British territory, although it has been a point of contention with Spain since forever.

2. The population of Gibraltar is about 30,000, so rumors spread quickly.

3. Most people in Gibraltar speak English, although members of the older generation are often bilingual in Spanish and speak “Spanglish” at home.

4. Gibraltarians consider themselves to be culturally British, rather than culturally Spanish.

5. To American ears Gibraltarians sound more or less British.

6. A lot of people who work in the shops are actually from Spain.

7. Gibraltar is one of the richest countries in the world and has an excellent education system.

8. Gibraltarian and British children who live in Spain cross the border by foot each day to attend school in Gibraltar.

9. The government of Gibraltar pays to send its students to university in the United Kingdom.
Where I’m sure they send them.

10. Although there is currently no university in the territory, plans for a University of Gibraltar are in the works.

11. Gibraltar has a very religiously diverse population. Spanish and British influence brought Catholicism and Protestantism to Gibraltar respectively. The territory’s proximity to Morocco accounts for the large Muslim population, and Gibraltar is also home to many Jews whose ancestors fled south following the Spanish Inquisition. There is also a small Hindu population and a Hindu temple.

12. Gibraltar uses the pound (although many stores also accept the Euro). However, their money says Gibraltar on it.

13. Gibraltar celebrates National Day on September 10th. Each year they release 30,000 red and white balloons – one for every citizen.

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Yes that is a road crossing the Airport.  To the north is Spain.
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The Traditional Polish Easter Basket - "Swieconka"- REPEAT

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Ever since I was a little kid, my late Polish Grandmother would prepare a beautiful basket filled with items that are symbolic of different things in Christian life.  I always enjoyed taking the basket over to church on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) and having it blessed by the Priest. Although we could eat the food items the next day, we mostly had the basket for display only. 

You may see people both Polish and non-Polish gathering at Catholic Churches for this activity on Holy Saturday.  Now you know the story behind it.  It is a very nice tradition and as a kid, helps to display some symbols as Christians around the world celebrate Easter. 

Happy Easter!

Items contained in the Easter Basket:

Maslo (Butter)
- This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the good will of Christ that we should have towards all things.

Babka (Easter Bread) -
A round or long loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.

Chrzan (Horseradish)
- Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds.

Jajka (Eggs) and Pisanki (decorated with symbols of Easter, of life, of prosperity)
- Indicates new life and Christ's Resurrection from the tomb.

Kielbasa (Sausage)
- A sausage product, symbolic of God's favor and generosity.

Szynka (Ham)
- Symbolic of great joy and abundance. Some prefer lamb or veal. The lamb also reminds Christians that the Risen Christ is the "Lamb of God."

Slonina (Smoked Bacon)
- A symbol of the overabundance of God's mercy and generosity.

Sol (Salt)
- A necessary element in our physical life. Symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us that people are the flavor of the earth.

Ser (Cheese)
- Symbolic of the moderation Christians should have at all times.

- Represents Christ as the Light of the World.

Colorful Ribbons and Sprigs of Greenery
- are attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.

Linen Cover - drawn over the top of the basket which is ready for the priest's visit to the home or the trip to church where it is joined with the baskets of others to await the blessing. The food is then set aside and enjoyed on Easter Sunday.

Anna Kendrick
“We should be thanking Apple for launching the $10,000 ‘apple watch’ as the new gold standard in douchebag detection.”


You had ONE job.

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Survey Says?  

    1. Name something you'd do tonight if the world was coming to an end tomorrow.
    "Get the kids and pack."

    2. During what month of pregnancy does a woman begin to look pregnant?

    3. Name a reason for kneeling.
    "To be beheaded."

    4. Name a famous or fictional Willy.
    "Willy the Pooh."

    5. Name something you open other than a door.

    6. Name something you squeeze.
    "Peanut butter."

    7. Name a famous Dick.

    8. Name a boy mentioned in nursery rhymes.
    "Little Red Riding-Hood."

    9. Name something you hit when it's not working.
    "Your spouse."

    10. Name something associated with Liverpool.
    "The yellow brick road."

    11. Name a body part beginning with the letter N.

    12. Name a famous bridge.
    "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

    13. Name a domesticated animal.

    14. Name a famous brother and sister.
    "Bonnie and Clyde."

    15. Name something you do in the bathroom.

    16. Name something that comes in 7s.

    17. Name a city named after a president.
    "Carson City."

    18. Name something slippery.
    "A con man."

    19. Name something orange.
    "A banana."

"Wife Discovers Browsing History" circa 1576 unknown artist

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The Secret Tripod in Every House

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In low light, you run the risk of taking blurry photos. That’s just the way it is.

It’s because a camera’s shutter has to stay open long enough to soak up enough light — and while it’s open, anything that moves becomes blurry. That goes for the camera, too: If it moves even slightly, the whole picture comes out blurry.

That’s what tripods fix. But when you’re at a school function, or just bopping through life in general, carrying around a tripod is silly.

You can use the environment to stabilize your camera: Find a big, stationary object that you can use to prop it (or your arms) against: a door frame, a tree, a wall, a car, a piece of furniture.

But there’s also a tripod in just about every room in every house in the world. The threads at the top of a typical lamp — where the lampshade screws on — precisely fit the tripod mount underneath your camera. Remove the lampshade, screw the camera on, and presto: You’ve got a rock-steady indoor tripod. You're welcome.

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Why do supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front? 

Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke? 

Why do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters?

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed? 

Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'? 

Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?

Why is it that doctors and attorneys call what they do 'practice'? 

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? 

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? 

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes? 

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal  injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes?  Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?? 

If flying is so safe,  why do they call the airport the terminal? 

A Deadbolt you can open with your phone


A few days ago, Apigy, Inc., a company out of Mountain View, California, announced the lauch of a deadbolt you could unlock by swiping your phone. The Lockitron Bolt connects to your phone through its app that sends a signal through the internet to unlock or lock it.

I personally like the kind of lock that you can simply enter a code right on the door.  Having to use my smartphone, rely upon electricity, wifi and the internet seems like too much...
See the best selling deadbolts HERE

Clinton Portrait Scandal

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National Portrait Gallery/Business Insider Nelson Shanks' portrait of President Bill Clinton with an arrow identifying a shadow the artist says is a reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Monica Lewinsky may have literally cast a shadow over a portrait of President Bill Clinton that is in the National Portrait Gallery.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News published Sunday, artist Nelson Shanks, who painted the picture, said he sneaked a reference to the scandal over Clinton's affair with Lewinsky into the portrait.

"The reality is he's probably the most famous liar of all time. He and his administration did some very good things, of course, but I could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind and it is subtly incorporated in the painting," Shanks said.

According to Shanks, a shadow visible next to Clinton in the portrait came from a blue dress he placed on a mannequin near the canvas when it was being painted. The artist said this was meant as a reference to the infamous dress Lewinsky wore during one of her trysts with the president.

"If you look at the left-hand side of it there's a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things," Shanks said. "It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him."

Shanks also said Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were aware of his scandal reference and wanted to hide the portrait.

"And so the Clintons hate the portrait," Shanks said. "They want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery. They're putting a lot of pressure on them."

Bethany Bentley, head of communications and public affairs at the National Portrait Gallery, told Business Insider the Clintons had not asked to have the portrait taken down.

"That's not true. I can tell you that," Bentley said in a phone conversation.

Bentley said Shanks' picture was "currently not on view," but she attributed this to the fact the gallery had about 55 paintings and photos of Clinton that were continually rotated.

"It's been off view for a little while and it's something that the Portrait Gallery rotates through lots of portraits and photos of President Clinton," Bentley said, adding, "right now, we have a long-term loan on view."

Representatives for Hillary Clinton, who is widely expected to be preparing a 2016 presidential bid, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story from Business Insider.

Stop those annoying ads in free APPS

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Have you ever downloaded an app that had annoying ads displayed at the bottom of the screen?  You can instantly block those ads by turning on Airplane Mode while you are using the app.  Not only will you block the ads but you will also be saving your battery.

It really works!

PERCEPTION OF TIME: Cleopatra lived closer to the building of Pizza Hut than the PYRAMIDS.

The Great Pyramid was built cerca 2560 BC, while Cleopatra lived around 30 BC. The first Pizza Hut opened in 1958, which is about 500 years closer.
Oxford University is older than the Aztecs.


Teaching started in Oxford as early as 1096, and by 1249, the University was officially founded. The Aztec civilization as we know it began with the founding of Tenochtitlán in 1325.

The last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series, women were not allowed to vote.

The infamous cold streak by the Chicago Cubs baseball team extends back to 1908, when they won their second World Series. Women in the US acquired the vote in 1920.

Passive Aggressive Notes

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Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.

-Will Rogers

Classic Rack of Lamb

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb

I have been making rack of lamb like this for over 20 years (man am I getting old).  Over that time it is clear to me that the best place to buy lamb is at Sam's Club or Costco.  The price is easily 1/3 of what you pay at a normal grocery store.  When figuring out how much you need I usually figure 3 ribs per adult (2 per child).  Although you may like mint jelly, if you do your rack of lamb like I do, you won't need it.
Rack of Lamb (preheat oven to 425)
Prepare the rub / paste:
finely chop 3 TBSP of garlic
finely chop a 3 TBSP of Fresh Rosemary
1/4 cup Kraft Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
good olive oil
1 t salt
1 t pepper
Mix the dry ingredients together and add olive oil until you have a good paste

Sear the rack:
Trim excessive layer of fat on the rack.  You need some fat but not all of it. In a dutch oven (or pan that can fit the rack(s) and can be used in the oven), heat up some olive oil (just a little) until hot.  Generously kosher salt and pepper the rack on all sides. Place in pan and sear top, bottom and sides. You only need a minute or two on each side.  Remove from pan and wipe pan out.

Coat the rack with your rub sticking a layer of the mixture on all sides (some of it will fall off).  Place back in pan and cover the exposed part of the rib bones with foil to keep them from burning.  Insert a meat thermometer in the center of the rack. Place the entire pan and rack into the oven and cook until the thermometer reads rare (140 degrees). Remove from the oven and let the rack rest for 10 minutes.  Your finished rack will be medium rare (which is recommended). Carve.

Serve with mashed potatoes (or cauliflower), green beans, and carrots for a very good looking Easter plate.

Happy Easter!

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