Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Candy Corn Time

October 30 is National Candy Corn Day

Candy Corn Image from www.nutsonline.com
Candy corn image from Nutsonline.com

Here are two timely links from the National Confectioners Association:
History of Candy Corn
Candy Dish Blog.

And here are links to two posts from this very blog about candy corn from October, 2006:
The Natural History of Candy Corn
Six Degrees of Candy Corn.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Political Polls

Election 2008 presidential candidate buttons
With the U.S. Presidential election less than three weeks away, I thought it was a good idea to learn more about pollsters and their organizations.

Here is a list that includes the top opinion polls. These are the ones most often mentioned in news stories and are frequently co-sponsored by the major national newspapers and television networks.

Gallup Organization
Harris Interactive, Inc.
Peter D. Hart Research Associates
Mason-Dixon Polls
Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago
Pew Research Center
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Roper Poll, University of Connecticut.
Zogby International

To see how the various polls compare check out FiveThirtyEight -- Electoral Projections Done Right -- and Pollster.com.

The National Council on Public Polls has interesting statistics on how the major polls did in predicting previous presidential elections. And Wiki has an excellent overview of Opinion Polls: the history of them and how they work -- or are supposed to work.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Flu Shots for the 2008-2009 Season

Hypodermic needle"Ouch!"

Yesterday we got our flu shots. It's a fall ritual like Halloween and raking leaves. We went to Pensacola's Professional Health Examiners -- a one-stop service where you can get flu shots and paternity tests right in the neighborhood. Our real reason to go there is that we can get our shots and be on our way in about five minutes. Try that at Walgreens or the doctor's office.

There's lots of flu information at the Centers for Disease Control website and specific information from them about the coming 2008-2009 flu season. We will find out during the peak of flu season, in January and February, if "they" picked the right formula to fend off this winter's flu bugs.

Still have flu questions? Click and read Seattle's excellent Flu FAQs.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Back to Destin for Lunch

Commander's Palace logoA few days ago we drove to Destin to have lunch again at the new Commander's Palace, a branch of the original in New Orleans. This time we went with Joan and Billy and everyone had a fine meal. We started off with soup. Jack had the turtle soup, I had the gumbo of the day -- smoked duck with a garnish of crispy fried oysters. Both Joan and Billy had the three-soup samplers, that's a small cup each of the turtle soup, the gumbo and the soup of the day, which was cream of butternut squash.

For the main course Joan had a crab salad with a very generous heap of fresh lump crab meat. Billy had the shrimp remoulade over a creole salad. Jack had a smoked pork chop with crispy fried plantain strips and I had grilled grouper on a bed of fall vegetables. And of course we all had lots of their garlic bread with our soup and French bread with the meal.

Billy ordered the signature Creole Bread Pudding Souffl├ę with whiskey sauce and we all had a taste. After years of eating this dessert at Commander's in New Orleans this was the best I had ever tasted. Light and not too sweet. Better than you get in New Orleans.

Any complaints or suggestions? Of course. But nothing serious. There should be better directions to the restaurant from the parking garage and in the elevators from both the parking garage and from Harbor Walk. The directions lead you to the bar and two stories of stairs to climb. There's a convenient elevator to the dining room but nothing is posted. Also they don't need the insipid, intrusive background music. And as I mentioned in the post after our earlier visit, it's much too bright in the dining area.

The service, as always was excellent and cheery. I'm ready to go back soon.