Monthly Archives: December 2021

Iran is Niger, Only Upside Down!

Look at the following map of the world. Notice anything spooky?

 

Iran is Niger upside down. Look, look! Someone copied Niger (ctrl-c), flipped it vertically, and plopped it down (ctrl-v)  between Turkey and Pakistan.

Niger and Iran even have the same color.

Wow.

Proof you cannot deny.

It’s so clear! It’s so clear.

Okay, maybe you’re not convinced.

 

Let’s compare the map of an upside down Niger with that of a right-side up Iran.

Identical. The maps don’t lie

 

So, the boundaries of Iran and flipped Niger are the same. But for my hypothesis to hold, Iranians must be flipped Nigeriens. Is this true? Yes. How do we know. People that are upside down will have a flag that’s turned upside down as well. Is this true? Let’s see.

Upside down Nigerien Flag                            Rightside up Iranian flag

But for the fact that the orange print cartridge on the upside down Nigerien flag deteriorated into red on the Iranian flag and the ink started to run out in spots on the right, the flags are identical. Proof you cannot deny.

There you have it. The land and people of Iran are identical to those of Niger, only upside down. So you only need to visit one of the countries. Remember to stand on your head and walk upside down if you travel to Iran. It is for this reason people usually choose to vacation in Niger.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: international, observations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tourist Spots for the Extreme Introvert

People-free paradise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You say you’re an introvert? You say you really hate crowds? You hate them more than lutefisk, filing taxes, and paper cuts? Are you oh so wary of catching a pandemic virus, or even a three-week cold? But you also like to travel?

I’m glad you spoke up. Here are the most beautiful, least tourist-ridden spots in the world. My rankings:

1. Naru

This island paradise gets only 200 tourists a year. Granted that’s 199 visitors a year more than you’d like, but you have to remember that you’ll be one of the 200. People don’t go there because it’s tiny, covering 8 squares miles. Although, this means you don’t have to go far for anything. The beaches are incredibly beautiful and uncrowded. Go there. Go there!

2. Tuvalu

This beautiful speck of land, hardly bigger than a burrito, manages to take in only 1,000 tourists a year. It would receive more visitors, but it’s so hard to get there; only a few sporadic flights connect it with Fiji. That’s great news for us. It keeps the riff raff away. Very few loud oafs infest the island oh so gorgeous beaches and the locals are so laid back that it’s quite easy and stress free to avoid them. Go there soon as global warning may drown this introverts’ paradise. Tuvalu would have easily gotten out number-one rankings if its annual mob of tourists hadn’t exceeded Nauru’s by 800.

3. Kiribati

Kiribati’s splendidly attractive. The life style is relaxed. The beaches are pristine and mostly uninfected by clamorous tourists. The gently swaying palm trees lull you into blissful tranquility. Unfortunately, the atoll-nation attracts 6,000 tourists per annum. That’s too many for us. We must regretfully assign a low ranking to Kiribato. Even so, you might want to go there once before rising water levels submerge the country forever. (The government actively considers relocation to other islands for its people.)

4. Montserrat

A huge volcanic eruption devastated this island in 1995. The southern half of the island was covered in ash and declared uninhabitable. The thriving musical culture got wiped out. So, fewer tourists came to once-island paradise. However, this will make a visit here more attractive. On the other hand, 7,000 clods visit the site every year. Fortunately, they tend to only clog up spots near the volcano. Apparently, people like to see towns and countrysides blanketed with ash. On the third hand, this strange behavior is a boon to us. We get the beautiful beach and wondrous scenery in the untouched north all to our selves.

5. Niue

This pretty little island is just the place for people-hating adventurers. It’s splendidly isolated from the world’s people-teeming nations. It’s beaches are few, small, and hard to get to. But how beach do you need when you’re by yourself, and at most, with one significant other? This little speck of lands is just the thing for divers. Nowhere else on Earth can you explore as many uncluttered underwater tunnels and caves. Supposedly, there’s internet connection all over the island. So if you must contact someone, you can do it at a blissful distance. However, 7,000 tourists manage to get there every year. So, Niue only manages to beat out Somalia and North Korea.

6. Somalia

This African nation is just the spot for tourist-hating travelers. Just 500 people visit the land’s beaches and haunting landscapes. Since, Somalia is a fairly big nation, this means the probability of running into any of the perhaps dozens of tourists there at any one time. On the other hand, it’s not much of a nation. The authority of the central government remains quite limited. The downsides to visiting Somalia are: political instability,  extremists running amok, and military coups. Still there are many forsaken, beautiful landscapes to behold if you’re willing to stock up and rent an all-terrain vehicle. Hey, it’s better than North Korea.

7. North Korea

You might be surprised that we included this country in our introverts’ must-see sites. This country steadfastly remains at the top-of-the-top list for its capricious, brutal dictatorship, rampant human rights violations, and annual food shortages. Paradoxically, these factors earn it a spot on our lists as these frankly horrible attributes keep the number of visitors down to 6,000. Oh and I forgot, you can’t go anywhere without a guide. If you talk to locals, the omnipresent police will kick you out of the country and possibly jail the local you spoke to. You should also assume your hotel room will be bugged.  There are no palatable restaurants. It’s airline, Air Koryo,  consistently wins the award for the world’s worst burger. It’s strange to say then that Air Koryo is North Korea’s primary attraction. There is simply no other airlines that give you a glimpse into what budget air travel was 70 years ago. Still, it’s hard to overcome the nation’s faults and the fact that you will be traveling in an airplane rife with tourists. We easily gave North Korea our worst rating. I mean, it’s like Somalia with 5,500 extra tourists. Brr!

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: international, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shrimp Cashew Stir Fry

Chinese Entree

SHRIMP CASHEW STIR FRY

INGREDIENTS

2 celery stalks
3 dry red chiles or Thai chiles
3 scallions or green onions
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ tablespoons light soy sauce or soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
1 pound shrimp, pealed, deveined, 31-40 count
⅔ cup roasted cashews*
¼ cup water chestnuts, sliced

* = Roast plain cashews with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in pan or air fryer, if you can’t find roasted cashews.

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Dice celery,. Add enough water to cover celery to small pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add celery. Boil celery for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.

Dice chiles, and scallions. Add vegetable oil to large pot. Heat at medium-high heat until a bit of scallion starts to dance. Add scallion, light soy sauce, and sugar. Sauté at medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Reduce heat to medium. Add shrimp, cashews, chile, and water chestnuts. and sauté for 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Stir frequently. Add celery. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

TIDBITS

1) I wrote this recipe assuming a person would be reading it, that a person would be making this dish come to life.

2) But there’s absolutely nothing in the recipe referring to a human chef.

3) There’s even no mention of the cook needing an opposable thumbs. So, if you’re quite the clever sheep, clever enough to read recipes in English, then go for it.

4) The title could also be interpreted as telling a shrimp to stir fry a cashew.

5) Or perhaps this stir fry is meant for a chef named Shrimp Cashew and no one else.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tired From Busy Day

Sorry, but there won’t a funny blog today. I spent many hours assembling Number Two Son’s university expenses. Then I spent two hours making a gourmet soup, Saoto, from Suriname. My back hurts. I’m tired. Behave yourselves while I’m recuperating.

metaphorical me

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: tired | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wanda Wunder Wonders About Lye and Olives

Wander Wunder wonders “Lye is used to unclog drains. Who thought putting it on olives would make them edible? Who tested this idea?”

Wanda Wunder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Wanda Wunder | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Roasted Chestnuts

American Dessert

ROASTED CHESTNUTS

INGREDIENTS

1 pound chestnuts (most of the fresh ones are available in Autumn)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

baking pan

Serves 6. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While oven preheats, cut an “x” that covers one entire side on each chestnut. Make the cut deep enough to cut through the shell. (This makes the chestnut easy to peel. It also keeps it from exploding. This really can happen if you omit this step.)

Place chestnuts on baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until chestnuts become tender, the chestnut shells start to open and become easy to peel, and the edible nut that’s inside turns golden brown. Remove from heat. Cover with kitchen towel. Let cool for 5 minutes. Peel and eat immediately.

TIDBITS

1) As you can see, the left chestnut in the above photo is unpeeled. It also has an “x” cut into it by a knife. This makes it much easier to peel. The two chestnuts on the right have been peeled and are ready to eat. ☺

2) But wait! This narrative gets even more exciting. ☺☺

3) When prehistoric tribes decided to cut “x”s on chestnuts, they inadvertently developed the game Tic-Tac-Toe. The uncut chestnuts became “zero” or the letter “o.” These doughty cavemen were already two letters on the way to the present English alphabet. Go, cavemen, go! Excelsior!

4) Then one fine summer day caveman Carl La Fong invented the letter “b.” (We know about La Fong because he signed his cave paintings. They’re worth quite a bit if you can discover one.) Ancient peoples could now spell the word “box.”

5 Before you knew it, peoples everywhere had an alphabet and words for everything. Not much later, the word “box” led to actual boxes. CheeriosTM and AmazonTM became possible. And we owe it all to chestnuts and the visionary Carl La Fong. Yay.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy new year from me and the critters of Paul’s Flying Squirrel Squadron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, NORAD Tracks Santa said the jolly Saint Nick delivered 7,623,693,263 gifts last night. Well done, sir.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

Categories: things that make me happy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

NORAD (North American Defense) Tracks Santa

As of press time, Santa Claus was delivering presents over Tibet. How do we know this? NORAD (North American Defense) tell us . Why does NORAD do this? The official explanation (see below) is that in 1955 Sears accidently gave out the phone number for the CONAD Commander in Chief hotline. Many calls came to this number. The worthy staff decided to run with it and provided “live” updates to all the believing little ones. Staff and kids were so happy about the Santa Claus spotting that it became an annual event.

Yes, 364 days a year NORAD does protect America from nuclear and other threats coming over the North Pole. But on Christmas Eve, this worthy arm of America’s armed forces tracks Santa’s gift-giving trip. Give NORAD’s website, http://www.noradsanta.org a look on December 24. There also a Santa app from NORAD, so you can keep of Santa’s sled even when you’re away from your computer.

noradsanta.org was particularly exciting one year when they showed sightings of Santa by F-14s and other jets. One of the sightings had an Air Force pilot telling how he was providing fighter escort over Rio de Janeiro, I think, for Santa Claus. Egad, chill out people. No sledjacking. They’re enough presents for everyone. Besides NORAD is full of Santa Claus believers and would take a rather dim view of anyone causing Santa any grief.

noradsan.jpg

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Christmas Wreath

Hi! This is the Christmas Wreath I made. I dyed the pinecones and glued to a wreath made of branches. I hope all of you are holding up well and are stress free, and happy.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sorry, No Blog Today

No blog today, my back and left ear hurt too much.

 

Paul De Lancey

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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