Archive | January 2011


Exactly a month after the blizzard last month, we got another huge snow storm yesterday into today.

I’m not sure what the exact amounts are yet, but definitely in the 15+ inches range for sure.

Here are some pictures. The first two are from yesterday and the rest are from today:

that’s our pool that you see can barely see behind the fence

I was reading on NJ.com earlier that this is the snowiest January in 62 years… and no one that has resided in NJ can argue that. It’s been snowing all month long following the blizzard the day after Christmas.

From my phone this morning:

uncleaned side of the walkway

cleaned part of the walkway

neighbor’s tree fell due to the high winds last night

Updated pictures from around 6 PM tonight:

 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

SOTU 2011

I’ve embedded the speech below:

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Technical Difficulties

It would be my luck that the ONE day I would need to get in contact with someone at ETS, this would be the problem:


I had my GRE‘s scheduled for earlier this afternoon, and because of a mis-understanding (that’s what I am choosing to call it to be nice)… I was unable to take it.

Don’t I have great luck with these standardized tests? Remember this? (to name just one example) 🙁

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

MSNBC and Olbermann

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Countdown with Keith Olbermann is was the only news show I regularly watched on MSNBC. I have always preferred CNN over MSNBC.

I’m feeling a little under the weather today, so I didn’t have the T.V. on so you can imagine my surprise when suddenly I started reading tweets about MSNBC and Olbermann parting ways (to put it nicely).

If you missed the show like I did, here’s a clip I found online:

And here’s MSNBC’s statement.

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Am I the only one who wants an explanation? Somehow that statement above doesn’t seem enough. I am hearing it has to do with the NBC and Comcast merger deal going through

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

You’re Obsessed with Facebook. Here’s Proof

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What’s For Dinner: Crispy Chicken Sandwich

This is an easy sandwich that my family loves. It’s essentially a fried chicken [breast] sandwich.

What I do is: I marinate the chicken breast pieces (make sure they are thin) with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and egg(s). I, then, put the same spices in the flour and mixed it well (everything but the egg obviously).

Then, I dip each marinated chicken piece into the flour mixture before frying (you can either saute or deep fry depending on your preference).
For the sauce: I use two part yogurt to a one part mayonnaise ratio, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and… here’s the surprise ingredient: you know the sauce packets from taco bell? I use them and mixed it all really well.
To put the sandwiches together: in a club roll, I spread a nice layer of the sauce on both parts of the roll with the sauce, add the usual cucumbers and lettuce (plus whatever else you like in sandwiches), add a piece of the chicken… and cover with the club roll top.
Easy and delicious.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

Follow Up Thoughts on Giffords & Memorial

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Arizona, I quickly wrote about what I was thinking then.

Now that a few more days have passed since, here are some of my expanded and more coherent (hopefully) thoughts on the matter. The second half will discuss tonight’s memorial in Arizona, which was appropriately themed as “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America”.

There are so many aspects that I could talk indefinitely about, but of course that is just not feasible.

As someone who is greatly interested in politics and has interest in someday possibly being more involved, this whole thing frustrates me. It frustrates me because Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on your Corner” was something Giffords did to directly talk to her constituents and hear what they had to say. One of the arguments/complaints (whatever you want to call it) I hear is that politicians don’t know what the public wants and/or that they don’t care.

In the aftermath of last Saturday, a few congressmen have already said that they too will start carrying guns for their protection. Furthermore, I read this article earlier that says:

Congressional law enforcement agents advised staff on Wednesday to run and hide in the event a shooter attacks, but as a last resort, police said: “Attack.”

Will all of this scare constituents from going to meet their representatives and getting their voices heard? Will politicians stop or at the very least be more hesitant to hold these “Congress on your Corner” types of events? I certainly hope not.

Moving over to tonight’s memorial event in Arizona:

I found it to be absolutely beautiful.

At first, I was kind of hesitant to the constant sounds of cheering at such an event… but you know what, they deserve that right after such a week. And it WAS more of a celebration… and as pointed out rightfully so by several people — this certainly was not a funeral. Fair enough. I might not have agreed with it right away, but I accept it.

It was great to see Daniel Hernandez, the intern that is credited with perhaps saving the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, receive a standing ovation/the gratitude he rightfully deserves. He was repeatedly deemed a hero, as he has all week. Hernandez, humbly, said he was not a hero… to which Obama later responded with the notion that ‘you may deny it, but we have all decided you are a hero’.

Hernandez gave an amazing speech (WITHOUT a teleprompter or a written speech in front of him). I wish him well in all aspects of life as I’m sure he’s healing from what he encountered on Saturday still also.

Onto Obama’s speech: the speech was leaked as usual, but I kept myself from reading it in advance because I wanted to hear it. I did, however, have it open during his speech. Inspirational, uplifting, genuine, and apolitical are some terms that come to my mind immediately.

The only part he added from the script that was released was the astounding news that Giffords opened her eyes several moments after Barack Obama and Michelle Obama visited her in the hospital today. How amazing is that? Modern medicine is absolutely amazing and it’s so great to see her recovering so well. I would have never thought someone who had a bullet wound to her head would not only survive, but be able to follow “commands” within a day, make movements, breathe on her own, and now open her eyes four short days after such a devastating injury.

I wish her nothing but the best in her road to recovery… as well as all the other victims.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Please Help A Friend

UPDATE: 1/12/11 4:45 PM
My cousin informed me a little while ago that her friend passed away. Please continue to keep her family in your prayers and help financially via means of donations if you are able to.

You can read the original post below:

I hope this reaches all of you in good health. Below, I am including a part of an email I got earlier today from my cousin who is looking to help out a close friend who is battling cancer at a young age. Any support/donation you may be able to provide would certainly go a long way and hopefully will come back to you should you ever need it one day. If you would like more information on how to donate directly, please contact me. Or, I have set up a “donate” button in my left side bar and at the bottom of the blog post for your ease.

Many of you might already know, one of my friends has been in the hospital for a while now and is very weak needing medical attention 24 hours. She was diagnosed with cancer when she was 17 but was holding through. Now she is in critical condition. She’s the oldest of 6 siblings, her youngest sister is three years old the others are all under 20 and it’s not easy for the family at all. Also, Her father passed away about two weeks ago from a brain tumor. You can imagine how hard it would be for the family. Best thing to do is make lots and lots of dua (prayers) for the family. We don’t know why things happen but Allah (swt) puts us through all types of tests and we are also tested from others hardships as well. We should support each other in times of need and make dua for her health and for the pain shes suffering from, dua for sabr and strength for her mom and family, dua for the patience for her family and friends. We don’t realize it but we take way too much for granted.

My request is for financial assistance. Anyone who is able to contribute would be greatly appreciated. They are in need of financial support as well as emotional support. They don’t have family here but everyone’s trying to help in any way they can. Her mother is not in a position to take on employment, having to take care of 5 kids at home and then her daughter at the hospital it’s becoming very hard.

If you would like more information on donating directly, contact me. Or, you can donate by clicking below and a 100% of what you donate will go directly to the family:

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

I have so many thoughts on this issue, but I can’t seem to put the sentiment of it all together. By now, I’m sure you have read online or watching news on TV about the fact that a 22 year old shot and killed 6 people (including a judge and a CHILD) and wounded about 12 others (as reported last) including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.

It is absolutely remarkable that Giffords survived a shot to her head that passed through her brain.

There are two major aspects of this that bother me. The actual events and the way the media portrayed it.

It’s frustrating. It’s demeaning. It’s demoralizing. And most of all, it’s SCARY to think that there are so many people out there who think or use violence as a solution to what they perceive to be a problem. That’s not a new sentiment as it has been happening for a while, but it seems to be a growing trend.

Violence solves nothing. Period.

My first tweet on the matter earlier this afternoon was “When are we as a society going to grow the hell up? When/how does shooting someone solve anything?” and that feeling/question remains.

You don’t agree with the political views of someone or a party? Fine, use your freedom of speech and let it be  known and especially WHY you don’t agree. You have every right to do that. No one, however, has the right to take someone else’s life!

How heartless does someone have to be to deliberately take the lives away of innocent people, especially a little child! It’s disgusting and sickening.

Now on to the second part — the way the media covered the story in the early aftermath.

In this day and age of a 24 hour media cycle where each of the major media organizations are trying to be the first to report the latest, many times wrong information is delivered to the mass public. How about being the first one to report credible and correct information??

For every major news source (Reuters, NPR, MSNBC, CNN to name a few) to report that they have “confirmed” news from “reliable sources” telling them that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has passed away and stick with that story for over an hour at least only to later retract that because we all find out that Giffords is actually in surgery and alive is very demeaning!

Who are these “reliable sources” and how can you report “confirmed” news that is obviously not true? To report the death of someone when that is utterly false is absolutely absurd!

You want to be the first one to break the story? Fine, then about saying that you are getting reports from sources saying so and so and that you are waiting to confirm it!

Someone tweeted earlier that “Trashing the media for not knowing Gifford’s status is absurd. Imagine if Twitter had existed in the era of JFK.” While that is a fair argument, you can’t report CONFIRMED news when it obviously is not confirmed! Besides, I’m not just arguing about reports on twitter – I’m talking about all of the major news organizations reporting it on TV, their websites and on their social networks sites like Twitter.

Keeping the wounded in my thoughts and prayers, along with the family and friends of the deceased.

You can read a later post, an expansion, of this by clicking here.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Eric LeGrand’s Interview

If you are a local, I’m sure you are familiar with the Eric LeGrand story… and if not, I wrote about it here and then again here.

Earlier this week, ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi conducted the first interview with Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand since he was paralyzed during the football game against Army on Oct. 16. You can view it by clicking here.

Believe. How can you not?

Wishing LeGrand nothing but the best. He’s defied odds so far, and I’m sure he’ll continue to do the same in the future.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.