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Truckin' with Chili Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Holy heartburn, Batman!

Apparently, red hot chili peppers and truck driving don’t mix – at least, not for Eric Gremm, a 59-year-old truck driver from Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

Eating a cup of Wendy’s chili while driving through a residential area on Saturday morning (January 30th), the trucker began to choke and lost control of his rig. (Later, the truck driver learned from emergency medical technicians that he probably lost consciousness at the time.)

The truck blasted across a yard, through a white picket fence and into a home. Because the giant lumber truck smashed into the foundation of the house, emergency crews were concerned that extracting the vehicle might cause the structure to collapse.

The homeowner and children were away from the home at the time.

A woman who was inside the home at the time of the crash was uninjured, perhaps because she was in another section of the building. Emergency staffers rescued the woman through a bedroom window.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries. He was treated at a local hospital and released.

Here’s a video, posted by a local videographer, on the scene in Lowell, Massachusetts.

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Super Bowl Party Game Plan

Super Bowl Party Game Plan

The Super Bowl is about one week off. Hey, football fans! How's your game plan for Super Bowl Sunday?

Try these helpful how-to's and recipes for a stupendous Super Bowl party.

First, pick out or plan your Super Bowl party invitations:

Kick off your Super Bowl party with super party invitations. Invite your favorite sports fans to join you for the big game by sending clever and creative announcements. Here are three easy, but fun, do-it-yourself Super Bowl party invitations you can use.

Once those Super Bowl party invitations are out, you can put together your Super Bowl party menu - with favorite foods for your friendly football fans:
Here's a quarter-by-quarter guide to catering the big game with no red flags. You pick the plays! After all, if you host the party, then you have the home field advantage! 
This Super Bowl Scrimmage Salsa will drive your football party in the right direction! Make it mild for armchair quarterbacks, or spice it up to get them running!
This festive and colorful salad is ideal for a Super Bowl football party, tailgating event, picnic or any occasion. Simple to make, it looks elaborate and special.
Football fans will love this delicious vegetarian soup. Great for company or for a tailgate party, it's also perfect for free-agent fare as a simple supper on a chilly Super Bowl Sunday night.
Nothing warms the body -from head to toe -like a wonderful cup of delicious soup. Try this smooth, savory and soothing soup for a midwinter Super Bowl party. Creamy Garden Goodness Soup is simple to make, but healthy and simply spectacular.
Beer bread is a Wisconsin favorite, but folks elsewhere enjoy it too. The crunchy crust and soft inside make this home-baked treat a family favorite. The alcohol bakes out, so Wisconsin Beer Bread is great for all ages, especially for a Super Bowl party.
Serve your sports fans this delicious hot treat during the final quarter of the game, to warm their tummies for the final end-run, as they head home! This hot spiced cider is ideal for sports parties, tailgating events, cold-weather picnics and even holiday gatherings.
Add some snacks and a few sweets, and you'll be ready for kickoff on Super Bowl Sunday!


Feds Ban Texting While Trucking

Feds Ban Texting While Trucking

Truckers and bus drivers may now be ticketed and fined for texting while driving, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Here’s an excerpt from a US DOT news release, issued on January 26, 2010:

“We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” said Secretary LaHood.  “This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”

The action is the result of the Department’s interpretation of standing rules. Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

"Our regulations will help prevent unsafe activity within the cab,” said Anne Ferro, Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). “We want to make it crystal clear to operators and their employers that texting while driving is the type of unsafe activity that these regulations are intended to prohibit." 

This news, while welcome to safety-conscious drivers and passengers, could be filed under any of the following departments:

The It’s-About-Time Department
The Thank-God-We-Arrived-Alive Department
The Well-Duh Department
The What?-Are-You-Kidding Department
The Whatever-Happened-to-Good-Old-Common-Sense Department

Undoubtedly, you can think of more spots where this news might fit.

Speaking from Personal Experience

Not long ago, I helped to chaperone a school field trip. Boarding the school bus, I was astonished to see a sign, taped to the dashboard by the bus driver’s seat. The sign read as follows:

No texting allowed
by driver
while school bus in is motion.

Frankly, only response fits here. As Blue-Collar Comedy Tour comic Bill Engvall says, “Here’s your sign.”

Related Items:

Is cellular phone usage safe while driving? Certainly, cell phones offer convenience, especially for commuters. Hands-free, voice-activated, or otherwise, how can drivers take precautions to avoid call-related dangers?

Unprotected Text Can Kill You
Everywhere you look, people are having text. Some even share text with people they do not know, or folks they haven't even met. You can see them in online chat rooms. "Give me your number. Text me, and I'll text you back," they say. Do they not realize what is going on here? Perhaps we need to develop safe text strategies.

My teenybopper has a phone; She really never is alone. It beeps and jitters day and night, Emitting tiny bluish light.

"Who is calling?" I am asking. Hold the phone! I'm multi-tasking. Munching lunch and punching keys, Driving fifty, with my knees, We converse, but in a hurry; Life zips by, a whirly flurry.

Friday evening, driving out West, putting our new four-wheel-drive to the test, I spotted the lights, which curtailed our fun-fest and veered for the shoulder, then, under arrest.

My neighbor knows this firsthand. Cruising down a county road, a few weeks ago, she heard her familiar message tone. She picked up her cellular phone and proceeded to check her incoming mail. Suddenly, she dropped her phone.

Tailgating is downright dangerous. In fact, "Following Too Closely" is considered a moving violation in most states. Yet people do it daily. What can you do, if someone hugs your bumper on the highway?

Has multi-tasking become our master? Why do we seem to be fighting time and traffic every day? Sometimes, only a crash course can teach us how to focus on the here and now.

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Blessed Blueberries May Improve Memory

Blessed Blueberries May Improve Memory

Good news for blueberry fans!

Scientists now claim that eating more blueberries (or drinking blueberry juice) may help to preserve memory, particularly in older adults. A recent study, conducted at the University of Cincinnati and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, reported the results.

Blueberries contain antioxidants, making the tiny fruit a big contributor to overall health. Blueberries have been shown to prevent cancer, aid in weight reduction and minimize risks of Type 1 Diabetes.

With 84 calories, a single cup of fresh blueberries (vaccinium) offers 24 percent of the average person’s daily Vitamin C requirements. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Center tagged the humble, but tasty, blueberry as the number-one source of antioxidants, outranking some 40 other fruits and vegetables.

Perhaps blueberries don’t make us blue, after all, despite the comical claims of Veggie Tales’ Madame Blueberry:



Do you have a favorite blueberry recipe to share?

Related Items:

Blueberry-picking is a fun family activity. Who doesn't love extra-fresh fruit? However, once you have gathered several pails of blueberries, how can you make these last until next year's picking season?

Here's a simple, old-fashioned recipe for making two dozen delicious and healthy blueberry muffins.

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A Bedtime Story?

A Bedtime Story

Sometimes a familiar story is worth revisiting.

Maybe you have heard this amusing account before. If so, please forgive me.

I’m not sure where this story started, but I am a sucker for an adorable anecdote, particularly if it’s about children. And what parent has not seen this scene at some point?

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Little Larry’s father had already tucked him into bed. They had enjoyed a bedtime story and a good-night hug and kiss. It was time to sleep.

Not five minutes later, Little Larry called out, “Da-a-a-ad!”

“What, son?”

“I’m thirsty. Can I have a drink of water.”

“No. You already had a drink of water. Go to sleep, son.”

Three minutes passed. Then Little Larry was at it again. “Da-a-a-ad!”

“What is it?”

“I’m still thirsty. Please! Please! Please! Can I have a drink of water?”

“I already told you no. Ask me again, and I will have to spank you.”

Two minutes later, Little Larry yelled. “Da-a-a-ad!”

“What is it now?”

"When you come in here to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?"

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Milky Ways and Molars

Milky Ways and Molars

Here’s a story you can sink your teeth into … or not.

Texan Sue Calhoun grabbed a Milky Way chocolate bar for an on-road snack, as she and her husband headed for a drive and an errand on New Year's Day. Biting into the candy bar, Sue felt something crunch.

Normally, a Milky Way will not crunch, as the Milky Way candy bar is filled with chocolate, caramel and a creamy nougat.

Sue Calhoun had obviously bitten off more than she could chew. She discovered a tooth inside the Milky Way chocolate bar. In fact, the tooth contained a silver filling.

Counting her blessings that she did not crack one of her own teeth on the mysterious molar in her Milky Way bar, Sue Calhoun contacted the candy manufacturer, Mars Chocolate North America. A Mars Chocolate representative offered her coupons for free candy bars, in exchange for the questionable Milky Way bar … and the tooth.

But Sue Calhoun said she was not sure she really wanted any more candy bars – at least, not for a while.

One may only wonder what the tooth fairy would say about this situation.

Perhaps the folks working in quality control at Mars Chocolate North America ought to go over their Milky Way chocolate bar production process with a fine-toothed comb, so to speak. To be sure, Mars Chocolate management is likely to chew those guys out a bit.

Sue Calhoun is probably still wondering if this story has a silver lining … like the tooth she found in her Milky Way chocolate bar.

What’s the moral of this story?

Reality bites, particularly when one finds an unexpected prize in something very different from a Cracker Jack box or a Happy Meal.

Or …

If you pick a candy bar, be sure to eat your fill without eating a filled tooth.

Related Items:

Here's a sweet confection you can whip up in a hurry for family and friends. Toss some in a festive tin, and you will have a delicious homemade gift for someone special.

These delicious toffees are easy to make. What a wonderful and festive gift for family members, friends, teachers and other special people!

 In the Midwest U.S., chocolate-covered bacon is a state fair staple.

Butterfinger Drop Cookies are a great way to use up leftover candy, while baking holiday treats.

Peanut Butter Cup Pie makes a wonderful holiday dessert for a party or festive family dinner.

Snickers Fudge Bars make a delectable holiday party treat or a great gift.

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God’s Acrostic Valentine

God’s Acrostic Valentine

Maybe you’ve seen this before. Still, I think it is quite clever and so true.

Here’s the ultimate Valentine:

This verse may be found in the Bible (John 3:16), if you want to look it up for yourself.

God loves you even more than you can imagine. And He loves those you love - even more than you do!

May God bless you (and those you love) at Valentine’s Day and always.

Related Items:

For Valentine's Day, what wonderful homemade gifts can you make for a fabulous female? Ladies of all ages appreciate thoughtful gestures of love, particularly on Valentine's Day. Here are five unforgettable handcrafted Valentine's Day gift ideas for gals.

What wonderful homemade gifts might you make for a man for Valentine's Day? Guys of all ages appreciate thoughtful gestures of love, particularly on Valentine's Day. Here are five fabulous handcrafted Valentine's Day gift ideas for guys.

Valentine's Day is a popular occasion for sending sweet greetings to those we love. Did you know that you can download free printable Valentine's Day cards on your own computer? Here are ten super sites for free printable Valentine's Day cards.

On February 14th, we decorate with hearts and offer sweet messages to those we love. How can you decorate for Valentine's Day without spending lots of time and money? Try these five easy and economical Valentine's Day decoration crafts.

Pretty paper hearts and cute Cupids are everywhere - in stores, classrooms and even offices. Why not download a free Valentine's Day screensaver or wallpaper for your computer? Try these 10 super sites for free Valentine's Day graphics - or make your own.

Valentine's Day cards are the hallmark of the heartfelt holiday on February 14th. Who doesn't love sentimental and even humorous Valentine's Day cards? Try these creative card making tips to put your own mark on your Valentine greetings this year.
Children adore Valentine's Day surprises. Try these do-it-yourself Valentine's Day ideas for a child you love, and watch for the delighted response. What child - of any age - doesn't want to feel special, especially on Valentine's Day?

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Looking at Life with Multiple Sclerosis

Looking at Life with Multiple Sclerosis

What is it like to live with multiple sclerosis? Recently, I queried several fellow MSers. Here are the results of those personal responses:

The physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) are challenging to describe. The potentially disabling neurological disease takes different forms in various patients. Those who balance life and multiple sclerosis (MS) daily describe it the clearest.

The cognitive symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) are difficult to define. The potentially disabling neurological disease manifests itself differently by individual. Those who face multiple sclerosis (MS) daily share their thoughts about the MonSter.


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