Tag Archives: Popular

Best Cookbooks for New Cooks?

What’s best depends on what you want to do and learn. Do you want to know why a recipe works so that you can learn to improvise your own or do you just want dependable instructions for your favorite dishes?

sci of good cooking

If you want to know the “how and why”, The Science of Good Cooking by Cook’s Illustrated is an excellent choice and one of my favorites. There are 400 recipes and each describes not just what to do, but why doing it that way works best.

The 400 recipes are used to teach 50 basic concepts beginning with “Gentle heat prevents overcooking” to “Cocoa powder delivers big flavor”. In between you learn that salty marinades work best, fat makes eggs tender, how to “bloom” spices to increase their flavor, and why you should put vodka in your pie dough.

Continue reading Best Cookbooks for New Cooks?

Candidates Schedules?

Trying to find when and where you can see your favorite (or least favorite) candidate? These sites list candidate events.

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

Donald Trump

Ted Cruz

John Kasich

Doctors Paid by Drug Companies?

Every so often a friend will make a post on Facebook about “Big Pharma”. I don’t think it’s as simple as “drug companies are the bad guys”. Modern drugs can improve the quality of life or even save lives. Are some drugs over-prescribed? Sure. But is that the fault of the drug companies or the doctors?

The drug companies spend money to get their products in front of the doctors. This may mean paying $15 for lunch while the sales rep talks to the doctor or it may mean paying several thousand as an “honorarium” (a payment given for professional services that are rendered nominally without charge). Could they be more vague? It could be legit, but it sure sounds sketchy.

How do you know if your doctor is recommending a drug because you genuinely need it and it is the best choice for your condition or if they are recommending it because that drug company has been especially generous to them?

Continue reading Doctors Paid by Drug Companies?

Best TV Theme Songs?

We’re listing our 50 favorite TV show theme songs by decade (so it will be easier for you to look for your favorites and tell us how we must be the most tone deaf, tasteless people on the planet to have left out the ones that top your list!)


Rawhide – “Rawhide”

Peter Gunn – “Peter Gunn Theme”

Bonanza – “Bonanza”


 Hawaii Five-O - “Hawaii Five – O Theme”

The Beverly Hillbillies – The Ballad of Jed Clampett

Secret Agent (US name for the British TV show Danger Man – “Secret Agent Man”) This was played over the opening when it was shown in America. The original theme music was “Danger Man Theme”.

Here Come the Brides – “Seattle”

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father – “Best Friend”

Mission Impossible – “Mission Impossible Theme”

The Green Hornet – “Green Hornet Theme”

The Saint – “The Saint Theme”

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson – “Tonight Show Theme”


WKRP in Cincinnati – “WKRP in Cincinnati”

The Dukes of Hazard – “The Good Ol’ Boys”

Happy Days – “Happy Days”

Baretta – “Baretta’s Theme”

Welcome Back, Kotter – “Welcome Back”

The Mary Tyler Moore Show – “Love is All Around”

Minder – “I Could Be So Good For You”

The Partridge Family – “Come On Get Happy”

The Rockford Files – “The Rockford Files Theme”

Dallas – “Dallas Theme”

Taxi – “Angela”

M*A*S*H - “Suicide Is Painless”

The TV show didn’t use the lyrics, but here’s a version with them just because it’s such a pretty song, especially for one having such sad lyrics.

The Odd Couple – “The Odd Couple Theme”


Cheers - “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

The Greatest American Hero - “Believe it or Not”

The Wonder Years – “With a Little Help From My Friends”

Moonlighting – “Moonlighting”

The Fall Guy – “The Unknown Stuntman”

Fame – “Fame”

Bosom Buddies – “My Life”

Hill Street Blues – “Hill Street Blues Theme”

Hardcastle and McCormick – “Back to Back”

And (also from Hardcastle and McCormick) “Drive”

MacGyver – “MacGyver Theme Song”

EastEnders – “EastEnders Theme”


Friends -“I’ll Be There For You”

The Heights o “How Do You Talk to an Angel?”

Twin Peaks – “Falling”

Ally McBeal – “Searching My Soul”


 True Blood – “Bad Things”

Firefly – “The Ballad of Serenity”

Monk – “It’s a Jungle Out There”

Psych – “I Know You Know”

The Wire – “Way Down in the Hole”

The Returned – “Hungry Face”


The Shadow Line – “Pause”

Peaky Blinders – “Red Right Hand”

Pretty Little Liars – “Secret”

Game of Thrones – “Game of Thrones Theme”

Free Books on the Internet?

If you love to read, the internet is like a gold mine. You can find lots of free ebooks on a wide variety of subjects.

Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library and has over 50,000 public domain books. You can read them online or download them  to a Kindle or other device. They also allow contemporary authors to self-publish through http://self.gutenberg.org/.

Some of Project Gutenberg’s most popular books are:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Vatsyayana
Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Minute Mysteries by Harold Austin Ripley
My Secret Life, Volumes I to III by Anonymous
The King James Bible
Simple Sabotage Field Manual by the US Office of Strategic Services

Open Library is a project by the Internet Archive that allows you to read public domain books online or download. If you sign up for a free account, you can also borrow some contemporary books – up to five titles for two weeks each. Some of the newer books include:

Appetizers by Sunset Books
Novels by James Lee Burke
Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene
Brainpuzzlers (Math games and activities)
Business Etiquette by Ann Marie Sabath
The Rugrats’ More Jokes by David Lewman
50 Common Birds of the Southwest by Richard L. Cunningham
Dr. Seuss books

For those of you who prefer to have the physical book to read, Open Library will also tell you what libraries near you have the book.

Feed Books has a section for public domain books that can be downloaded and read on your device. They also have original books available.

Smashwords is an indie ebook distributor that has a selection of free books.

Directory of Open Access Books offers an online catalog of academic books that may be downloaded in pdf form.

The UC Press E-books Collection has almost 2000 academic books published between 1982 and 2004. You can search or browse by subject. (Look for ones that say “public” to find the freebies.)

OpenCulture has a list of free online textbooks. No, you’re not going to find that $350 textbook your professor said you had to buy, but there are some great resources for the self-learner.

Loyal Books has free public domain ebooks and audiobooks. Most are gotten from Gutenberg or Librivox, but this site may be an easier way to browse.

For those that like to have their stories read to them (it makes commutes and road trips so much more enjoyable), there’s Librivox and Podiobooks.

Librivox has public domain books read by volunteers. You can browse the site by author, genre, title, or language.

Podiobooks has serialized audiobooks and lets you browse by genre. They’re free to download but since they are by current authors, you are encouraged to “tip” them if you enjoy their work.