Saturday, July 07, 2018

Grill time for vegetables

Grill gives fresh summertime vegetables an extra taste of yumminess. Coat vegetables with olive oil so they don't stick to the grill. Use a grill basket for smaller pieces.

Raw zucchini
Grilled zucchini

Cooking time
Heat level
Asparagus (whole)
6 to 8 minutes
Direct medium heat
Bell pepper (halved)
6 to 8 minutes
Direct medium heat
Carrot (halved)
12 to 20 minutes
Direct medium heat
Corn (whole, shucked)
10 to 12 minutes
Direct medium heat
Onion (1 inch slices)
10 to 12 minutes
Direct medium heat
Mushrooms (whole)
10 to 12 minutes
Direct medium heat
New potatoes (halved, precooked)
10 to 12 minutes
Direct medium heat
Russet potatoes (whole in tinfoil)
40 to 60 minutes
Indirect medium heat
Squash, acorn (halved)
40 to 60 minutes
Indirect medium heat
Squash, butternut (halved)
50 to 55 minutes
Indirect medium heat
Sweet potato (whole in tinfoil)
50 to 60 minutes
Indirect medium heat
Tomato (halved)
5 minutes
Direct medium heat
Zucchini (halved or sliced)
6 to 10 minutes
Direct medium heat

Learn more about StemEnhance ULTRA at 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Children’s Health Care: Best and Worst States

With Every Kid Healthy Week kicking off on April 23 and children’s health care costs getting increasingly more expensive, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Best & Worst States for Children's Health Care.

In order to determine which states offer the most cost-effective and highest-quality health care for children, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 30 key metrics. The data set ranges from share of children aged 0 to 17 in excellent or very good health to pediatricians and family doctors per capita.

Best for Children’s Health CareWorst for Children’s Health Care
2.District of Columbia43.Alaska
5.New York46.Montana
8.New Hampshire49.Texas
9.New Jersey50.Louisiana

Source: WalletHub

Best vs. Worst

  • Massachusetts has the lowest share of uninsured children aged 0 to 17, 1.3 percent, which is 8.8 times lower than in Alaska, the highest at 11.5 percent.
  • The District of Columbia has the lowest share of children aged 0 to 17 with unaffordable medical bills, 5.20 percent, which is 3.3 times lower than in Nevada, the highest at 17.00 percent.
  • The District of Columbia has the most pediatricians per 100,000 residents, 45.52, which is 25.1 times more than in Oklahoma, the fewest at 1.81.
  • New Hampshire has the lowest share of obese children aged 10 to 17, 8.50 percent, which is 3.1 times lower than in Mississippi, the highest at 26.20 percent.
  • Iowa has the highest share of dentists participating in Medicaid for child dental services, 83.70 percent, which is 5.7 times higher than in New Hampshire, the lowest at 14.80 percent.

For the full report and to see where your state or the District ranks, please visit:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

by John Fisher

Last week my wife and I visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum, which honors the 168 people (including 15 children) who died in the bombing of the Murrah Federal office building on April 19, 1995. I was greatly moved emotionally.

Staff indicated that it takes about an hour and a half to take the tour that begins on the second floor and makes it way down to the first and then to the bookstore and exit and the ground level. We took two and half-hours and didn’t see all that we would have liked to.

The tour begins with a description of the building and then takes your back to 9 a.m. on April 19, 1995 by listening to a recording of a meeting that began across the street and adjacent federal building. About two minutes into the recording I jumped at the sound of an explosion. We then moved into the next room, which showed scenes and broadcast news reports about the impact of the explosion.
Display in the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum

The next few rooms described the response of police, fire, and emergency medical personnel as well as the city generally. I was impressed by the immediate and long-term work of first responders, including 665 Urban Search and Rescue Teams (USAR) that came with 24 K-9 units from across the nation.
Rescuer photo in the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum 

Responders rescued hundreds of injured people on the day of bombing. The final live victim was pulled from the ruins at 7 p.m. Finally, after a week it was determined that no more people could be alive. The rescue process ended and the recovery process began. On May 5th the search was called off because of potential danger to responders. On May 23rd the building was demolished, with three people unaccounted for. On May 30th, their bodies were discovered as workers removed the rubble.

I learned how eagerly the citizens of Oklahoma City answered any appeal for help. And, how determined they became in face of disaster. They pulled together and became united in their efforts to recover form the tragedy.

The media helped tremendously in the response by keeping the public informed and by sharing appeals for help when needed. They respected the privacy of victims and their family and treated all with dignity.

On the first floor we walked into a room with windows that provided a panoramic view of the memorial which consists of a pond the length and width of a city street next to where the Murrah Building stood. At either end are large block monuments with the time of the blast inscribed. Across the pond are 168 chairs on a grassy knoll (the original site of the building) representing the 168 people who died in the explosion.

Oklahoma City National Memorial shows 168 chairs for each person who died 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Best & Worst States for Doctors – WalletHub Study

As the personal-finance website WalletHub showed in its report on 2018's Best & Worst States for Doctors, good health care is dependent on any number of factors.

To identify the best states for those in the business of saving lives, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 16 key metrics. The data set ranges from average annual wage of physicians to hospitals per capita to quality of public hospital system.

Best States for Doctors
Worst States for Doctors
South Dakota
District of Columbia
New York
North Dakota
Rhode Island
New Jersey

Source: WalletHub

Best vs. Worst:
  • Oklahoma has the highest average annual wage for surgeons (adjusted for cost of living), $317,825, which is 2.8 times higher than in the District of Columbia, the lowest at $113,603.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest number of physicians per 1,000 residents, 8.24, which is 6.9 times higher than in Nevada, the lowest at 1.20.
  • Florida has the highest projected share of the population aged 65 and older by 2030, 27.08 percent, which is two times higher than in Utah, the lowest at 13.21 percent.
  • Nebraska has the lowest annual malpractice liability insurance rate, $4,977, which is 8.2 times lower than in New York, the highest at $40,826.

To view the full report and your state or the District's rank, please visit:

More from WalletHub

Life Satisfaction: A Scientist’s Guide by Leo Lafferty-Whyte, PhD

With a PhD in Molecular Oncology, experienced life coach Leo brings an unusual mix of scientific and motivational methods to put people on the path to life-changing happiness. 

Feeling Stuck? Fed up with thinking 'I'll be satisfied when' but who knows when that will be? How can we simply 'be satisfied' when the pressures of jobs, mortgages and relationships are upon us all?

Enter Leo Lafferty-Whyte, Ph.D, who has spent over twenty years researching, learning and practising the tools and techniques he has discovered which today enable him to help his clients live a happy and fulfilled life. Now, in Life Satisfaction; A Scientist's Guide, Leo shares his no-nonsense Triple 'H' approach  covering the three pillars of Health, Happiness and Harmony along with his own deeply personal story which he hopes will give readers the tools to enjoy, and make the most out of,  life. 

Dr. Leo Lafferty-Whyte

In this tale of two halves, Leo starts off with the analogy of building a house to highlight the importance of his three central pillars of self-development with Healthy providing the foundations, Happy the structure and Harmony the environment you choose to build and that all of these to be just right for you otherwise the house can fall down. Leo then introduces the first stage of his guide, the concept of 'Life Currency.'

Using maths, Leo invites you to reflect on different areas of our life  from career to health and fitness and finances and calculate how satisfied you are with each as well as how important each is to you. The results of his questionnaire highlights your deficit and paves the way for the all important first-month plan that will provide a clear and accessible series of weekly goals. The second stage, and one which will ensure success, is Leo's reward and consequence system based on the primal brain's response to the pleasure Vs. pain principal.

As Leo explains, individuals will go to great lengths to avoid something that they don't want to do or 'gives them pain,' therefore by applying consequences the success rate for achieving goals will be higher. However, Leo is also quick to highlight that anyone who is looking to make serious and long lasting changes in their lives not only need 'Cheerleaders' in their lives but also a 'Wiggle Week.' Acknowledging the awkward human traits of enthusiasm and indecisiveness, Leo allows the first week of each month to be an opportunity to alter your weekly goals for the rest of the month in order to ensure that you can reach your monthly target.

After outlining his methodology, the book then moves on to Leo's own deeply personal transformation using the Triple 'H' approach. Open and honestly, he documents the successes and challenges he faced along the way and the astounding results he got in just four weeks. 

A no-nonsense and accessible approach to self-development, Life Satisfaction; A Scientist's Guide is the perfect read for those of us looking to find their inner satisfaction and keep hold of it, no matter what is happening in our lives. 
About the author: Dr Leo Lafferty-Whyte, Ph.D grew up in the North East of Scotland in the 80's and 90's. As a young gay man in a small fishing village he suffered mental and physical abuse on a daily basis. He used his past traumas to fuel his hunger for self-improvement and adopted the life goal of leaving the world a better place than when he entered.

After several years experience, and receiving his life coaching accreditation, Leo launched Triple 'H' Coaching in 2016 and the Triple H Coaching mobile app. In addition he has a degree in Genetics & Immunology from University of Aberdeen and he was awarded a Ph.D in Molecular Oncology from the University of Glasgow. Leo currently lives near Glasgow with his partner and Newfoundland dog, all three of which can often be found hiking a local mountain or relaxing on a woodland walk.

As well as having articles featured in multiple scientific journals, his first book, Reliving the Past to Release the Present was published in 2017. Life Satisfaction: A Scientist's Guide by Leo Lafferty-Whyte (published by CreateSpace May 5th 2018) is available to purchase from Amazon. For more information please visit; 


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Friday, April 13, 2018

Basil Mediterranean Cafe - Midtown Oklahoma City

I'm attending a conference in Oklahoma City. While most of the people at the conference went out for famous Oklahoma beef, I looked for ethnic food.

I went to TripAdvisor and looked for their top-rated less expensive restaurants. The Basil Mediterranean Cafe, rated as number 11, is located in Midtown Oklahoma City at 211 NW 23rd Street. TripAdvisor describes the restaurant as Mediterranean, Greek, Middle Eastern, vegetarian friendly with vegan options.

It has a variety of Mediterranean dishes ranging from $4.95 for a gyros and $13.95 for Persian saffron lamb shank. Meals are described as delicious, well-priced, and filling.

We began our meal with dolmas, herbed steamed seasoned basmati rice, wrapped in soft grape leaves and served with fresh lemons. Because we ordered two main entrees, we also received hummus, which is prepared with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic and served with warm fresh pita bread.

Dolmas and hummus appetizers with Peach Cream tea

As our main dishes, I ordered a gyros platter with french fries while my wife ordered the Persian saffron lamb shank.

The gyros platter at $8.95 included thinly sliced gyros meat (lots of it), served with fresh vegetables, warm pita bread, and a choice of French fries or basmati rice. It was served with a side of tzatziki sauce. I enjoy gyros meat and I was not disappointed. When I saw the size of the meal, I asked for a take-out box and took half the meat home and left over pita bread and hummus for tomorrow's lunch.
Gyros meat platter with French fries

My wife orders lamb whenever she can. The Persian saffron lamb shank includes slow cooked fork tender shank of lamb with a tasty sauce made with saffron and served with onions and garbanzo beans. It served over steamed basmati rice with pita bread.
Persian saffron lamb shank

We ordered peach creamed herbal tea to go with the meal. It came in a glass tea pot which gave us three small cups of tea each. We added saffron honey to sweeten the tea.

We took home baklava for dessert and a bottle of the saffron honey.

The owner, Tony, who came from Iran in the 1970s, has operated the restaurant for four years. He helped pronounce each of the dishes and described each of meals.

The web address for the restaurant is 

Here are some of the more recent comments from customers on TripAdvisor:

We stopped in here the other day for a late lunch after reading good reviews. First the owner was very friendly and also very funny. The food was very good, inexpensive and the portions were huge. Our service was very fast, as you order at the counter and they will bring your food to your table. Good sized parking lot especially for this area. The map showed it at 23rd and Hudson but it’s located about a block down nearer Harvey.

I pass by this jewel often, but never had I stopped until a friend recently took me. It was a delightful experience And I’ll return again soon. I had a falafel and hummus plate. When they saw that I was about out of falafel and pita they brought more! Very friendly staff and reasonable prices.

Basil's food is amazing, and it is always served hot and fresh. The owners/employees are so friendly and warm. It's always clean and welcoming inside. My absolute favorite is the Mediterranean chicken, but I've liked everything I've tried.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


A traveler's notes by John Fisher

February is a good time to see Albania, because the weather is moderate and there are few tourists. Rain is a possibility, but it's not a cold rain. With this in mind I set out with two friends, Muje and Nuhi to see what we could see in three days in Albania. We focused on history and food, which was absolutely fine for me.

Both Muje and Nuhi are Albanians from near by Macedonia. Albanian was their first language and they both has been raised in the culture. Muje spoke good English and Nuhi knew only a few words. I speak only a few words of Albanian. Nuhi and I passed a lot of time learning each other's languages. Nuhi drove and I sat in the passenger seat.

I had spent over a week in Kosovo on business so Muje and Nuhi picked me up there. We drove Kosovo's four lane highway E851 from Pristina to the border of Albania. Soon after crossing the border into Albania, we stopped to get a view of the majestic Accursed Mountain range that welcomed us. The mountains were snow covered and reminded me very much of some of the mountains I see in my home state of Utah. On one side we saw the White Drin or river and on the other the Bardhoc and Gjegjen mountains.

Majestic mountains welcomed us to Albania. 

An hour later we left the major freeway and made our way to the town of Lezhë where Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, Albania's warrior hero, was buried in St. Nicholas church in 1466 at 61 years old. At first Kastrioti fought for the Ottomans and was given the name Skanderbeg a designation for leader. But, then he turned against them in a rebellion that was to free Albania from Ottoman rule, at least during his lifetime. The names of his battles in locations in Albania and Macedonia are listed on shields along the walls of the memorial. After his death, according to our guide, legend says that the Ottomans took his bones from his grave and scattered them on the ground. His followers secreted them away and returned them to St. Nicholas church.  After the fall of Albania to the Ottomans the Kingdom of Naples gave land and noble title to Skanderbeg's family, the Kastrioti (Castriota).

We paid a guide to open the church doors and give us a tour.

A bust of Kastrioti sits under the Albanian flag. Along the walls
are shields naming the locations of Kastrioti's battles.