A Good Spades Partner

A good Spades partner is very hard to find. I have been playing for years and I am always amazed at the variety of styles and tactics that players use. I wish I had a good regular partner that I could play with. It makes the game much more enjoyable when you know your partner’s style and you work together as a team.

It’s a pretty cool option that you can now play Spades online, but personally I enjoy playing the old fashioned way, with real cards and real people.

real cards with real people

Playing Cards The Old Fashioned Way



Like most people, I’ve seen the ads for a credit protection service called lifelock. And like most people, I’ve thought something along the lines of, “That’s nice – but I don’t need that. I’m careful with my personal information.”

So now that I’ve talked to a couple people at work and heard their warnings of identity theft experiences I’m a little freaked out that someone might actually try to do some damage to my credit or whatever else they can do with identity theft. I hope it’s not too late to sign up for the lifelock program and have them help me put a stop on anything this jerk tries to do. I’m going to their website to read through the details of their program and sign up.

A Nice Affordable Taylor 110 For Me

The Taylor 110 Guitars are some great alternatives to some of the more expensive guitars on today’s market. One of these days I swear I am going to order a guitar online and then take a few lessons to see where I stand when it comes to learning the guitar. I don’t want to sink a ton of money into something that I am so unsure about, but I don’t want to waste my money on a piece of junk either. I think a taylor 110 guitar might just work.

What To Do With 2 Hours?

Have to take a break from the convention and give my poor aching feet a rest. I have a 2 hour break, so I can either take a short nap or sit out on the balcony with my laptop and surf for a while. Guess which option won that coin toss?

Have a lot of emails to catch up. I think I’m going to ask most of my friends to just read my blog and post comments. I think this while blogging experience is so new to a lot of people that they don’t know how to make the most of this cool new technology.

I’ve been thinking about getting my MicroSoft certification and start taking on a few students to teach them computer and internet basics, especially the elderly that haven’t really grown up with all this technology. I would like to start a new project to help people, but have to work around a hectic travel schedule. Let me see if I can find some ideas on the net that I can adapt to my own purposes.

Dinner: Baked Ziti

A great recipe to use especially this time of the year.

Baked Ziti

Serves 4 – 5 adults

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (26 ounces) DelMonte traditional flavored spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 of a 16 ounce box of ziti pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring enough water to a boil in a dutch oven to cook the ziti and cook according to package directions. Drain and return ziti to the Dutch oven.

Saute chopped onion in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain beef mixture and return to pan. Stir in spaghetti sauce and set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Whick in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Take special care to not allow the mixture to burn on the bottom of the pan. Gradually whisk in milk, cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour sauce over the cooked ziti in the dutch oven, stirring until pasta is evenly coated.

Pour the pasta mixture into a lightly greased large pyrex baking dish (about 11″ x 9″). Spoon the beef mixture evenly over the pasta. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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