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My favorite Thanksgiving poem: Everyday Thanksgiving


Everyday Thanksgiving

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the
alarm ring's each morning,
Thank you, Lord, that I can hear
There are those who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed tightly against
the morning lights, as long as possible.
Thank you, Lord, that I can see.
There are those who are blind.

Even though I huddle in ray bed and put off the physical
effort of rising,
Thank you, lord, that I have the strength to rise.
There are many who are bedfast.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic;
When socks are lost, toast is burned, and tempers are short,
Thank you, Lord, for my family.
There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures
in the magazines, and the menu is sometimes unbalanced,
Thank you, Lord, for the food we have,
There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous,
Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work,
There are many who have no work.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day,
and wish my modest circumstances were not quite so modest
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.

The Obama Economic Stimulus Effect Blesses Five Guys

President Obama at Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Since the President's golden touch seems to be more golden than Oprah's nowadays, the folks at a Five Guys Burgers & Fries in DC must be thrilled he stopped by for sustenance. Of course, he placed his own order and ordered for the crew filming him for a documentary.

This president is intent on living outside the White House bubble as much as possible. He likes to be around people. His security team must be going bonkers with this "regular stuff" the Obamas like to do.

Five Guys, which does have great burgers, must be a favorite of the First Family because the First Lady was also photographed at a Five Guys dining with staffers back in February. Of course, her visit was sans the film crew and as much hoopla.

The Obamas must also have an awesome workout routine because they seem to love burgers but stay in great physical condition.

The President does have some cleaning up to do. It seems it was leaked that he prefers other burgers to the burgers served at the White House. I'd love to attend that White House Kitchen staff meeting.

Oh yeah, the president ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, mustard and jalapenos. It's now unofficially called the "Obama Burger."

Did I mention the doubling of business at that particular Five Guys restaurant the President visited? Yes, that's the Barack Obama Economic Stimulus Effect at work.

Peanuts: Eat at Your Own Risk

Peanut-caution Boiled peanuts, roasted peanuts, peanut butter on saltine crackers, peanut butter cookies, and frozen Snickers bar: those are just a few ways I used to enjoy eating peanuts but not anymore.

Thanks to Peanut Corporation of America and the salmonella found in their products, it will be a long time before I eat peanut butter again. The conditions described in the plant were criminal. The company’s leaders should be jailed; no question about it.

Peanut Corporation owner Stewart Parnell, repeatedly invoked his right not to incriminate himself when questioned by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. In spite of the 600 people sickened and possible nine deaths linked to the salmonella contamination, Parnell defiantly refused to answer any questions; that’s unconscionable.

The sad reality is that Peanut Corp represents such a small percentage of the peanut industry. Their misdeeds has jeopardized an entire industry. As a consumer, there is nothing that leads me to believe that the conditions at Peanut Corp are different than other peanut processing plants. Perhaps the stimulus plan includes funding for more inspectors of our food supply. It may be time for meto seriously consider growing my own food.

Until this peanut situation is resolved to the satisfaction of the American people or is no longer highlighted in the media and the American people forget, the peanut industry will suffer. What's next?


Photo:  Bill Kennedy/The Plain Dealer

© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

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Topps Meat Company Closes but How Safe is the Food You Eat?

Ecoli E. coli and an extensive beef recall have forced the closing of the Topps Meat Company. Topps was one of the largest meat processing companies in the United States. If the safety of the food supply in the United States doesn't cause you some concern, I don't know what will.

If there was ever a time to consider the switch to vegetarianism, this would be it. If Topps sold tainted beef, isn't is reasonable to assume other companies are guilty of the same? It wasn't the company, it was the beef.

I know of a gentleman who died recently from e. coli tainted beef bologna. After a hospital stay and surgery, he was sent home and died a few days later in the arms of his daughter. I'll spare you the description of his body's reaction during his last moments but let's just say that it was horrific and disgusting to the point that I'm considering the ultimate transition to a vegan lifestyle.

By far, the most comprehensive and informative site is sponsored by the folks at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Yes, those are the same folks that went a tad overboard regarding the Michael Vick case but be sure to check out their website for shocking facts on nutrition and the food industry.

Going vegetarian is easy. Grocery stores are always stocked with colorful vegetables and plenty of other vegan foods. Almost all grocery stores now carry delicious faux meat products, too—from veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs to vegetarian chicken nuggets, ribs, steak strips, and more. With all these great products available, it's easier than ever to whip up delicious meat-free meals at home. Going out to eat couldn't be easier too! With more and more people becoming vegetarian these days, most restaurants now offer great-tasting, healthy vegetarian selections.

Making the Transition

Watch more videos at

Pledge to Be Veg for 30 Days!

Famous Vegetarians



The PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Bottled Water Scam

The latest commotion about Aquafina being little more than tap water has sent my health-conscious friends into a tizzy. Dasani had the same problem back in 2004 in the UK. Who knew? I just know my granddad is looking down from heaven saying, "I told you so. Folks shouldn't pay good money for what Mother Nature makes bountifully."

I do drink bottled water but I try to only drink Evian and Zephyr Hills. They taste better to me. Aquafina and Dasani are the only brands in the vending machines in my office building but my days of purchasing them have come to a screeching halt. At a buck a pop, for tap water, I went back to the water fountain and I'll save money also.

I still feel taken advantage of. Perhaps, someone somewhere is mounting a class action suit against Pepsi and Coca-Cola, manufacturers of Aquafina and Dasani. If so, sign me up.

From Think Outside the Bottle website:

Media Coverage of the Think Outside the Bottle Campaign

Momentum is building in the campaign to challenge corporate control of water. Dozens of media outlets have brought national attention to the bottled water issue. See our interview with TV20's 'Your Green Report' on the San Francisco Executive Directive, which bans bottled water in the city in favor of tap water. Here's a sampling of recent coverage:

Read our letter in the New York Times. Read more.

Pure Water, Right on Tap. Read Yvonne Abraham's column in the Boston Globe.

Tune into our interview about Bottled Water with NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Listen now.

New Yorkers Urged to Drink Tap Water. Listen to NPR's Morning Edition report. Read more.

Ditching Bottled Water for Tap Water. Read ABC News' report.

PepsiCo to review label of Aquafina water brand. Read more.

Time to Chill

I am not getting enough rest. This is the second week of a lingering cough --- not a good sign --- there are a couple of major, time-sensitive projects that I must complete within the week. I'm pretty sure the cold is lingering because I really haven't allowed my body to rest in about five weeks now. Well, I'm really going to chill this evening. My remedy of choice is tea with honey, lemon and Haitian rum. I must fill you in on Haitian rum in a future post. With that, I'm surely to be out like a light soon and not to be held responsible for anything I may type.

I'll be back with you good people tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this unique collaboration of the James Brown hit, It's a Man's World, with Brown and Luciano Pavarotti.


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Smart Business Move: Queen Latifah to Open Fatburger on South Beach

Fatburger_2 I sure hope there is such a menu item as a vegetarian fatburger as The Queen (Latifah) is scheduled to open South Florida's first Fatburger on Miami Beach. The famous West Coast eatery quietly found a home on other parts of the East Coast but that quietness will come to an end when the joint opens later this year on Miami Beach.

How do I know it's going to be huge? Well, the fact that all of the major news programs announced it ad nauseum is a clue. I'm sure Magic Johnson's Burger Kings must be shaking in their boots. Hmmm… As soon as The Queen realizes there is more territory ripe for the picking, she may venture on the mainland.

What's next? Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles? All hail the Queen, now pass me some of those fat skinny fries!

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