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Wiser’s Wramblings-You Near Another New Year


Prime Rib, the Bonnies, Gas Prices

By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

As we are now officially into the new year of 2024, I am sneaking up on my 8th decade of traversing this glorious earth. Once again as Wrambling’s Wrattled around in my head over the course of the past week I don’t have any self-identified main topic to feature. Many of those things of which I have written about since starting this journey into journalism, still generate daily or weekly coverage in other official news sources. I let the experts handle the heavy lifting even within this microcosm of the news world that takes shape in the Sun. The Sun-shines not only in Wellsville, and Hornell, but now, most recently, with the Keuka Sun.

As Covid once again rears its ugly head in the form of yet another new strain, it isn’t given nearly the focus as it once was. Now in its fourth year, the corona-virus still affects activities and local functions. Postponements and cancellations now occur with noticeable frequency. Why?

Well, I guess as a flip answer one would say: “just because it can.” Then why can it? My opinion is that it has become so common place that people are no longer cognizant of its presence, or its potential affect on them personally. There used to be daily updates on its prevalence in local towns, counties, and states. News sources now only report on it, as they should, when there is a significant up-tic in its presence triggered by a new strain infesting a certain area. A recent news story on the Covid affect in Cattaraugus County, cited 1805 “reported” cases for 2023, with there being 10 deaths. I highlighted “reported” as I wonder just how valid that reporting was, given the common acceptance, or at least nonchalance as to our exposure and infection. My wife and I had it last year (a few months ago) and I know of several other people within the past week that have been affected. I know my personal infection wasn’t reported, and I’m pretty sure that the many people who also had it, that I’m aware of, didn’t report it either.

So, how valid is/are the officially reported number(s). Since I most likely won’t be held accountable for this guesstimate, I would, with no scientific rationale, say that I think maybe the reported numbers only represent 10% of the total infections. Did it help getting the Covid shots? Well, yes…until it didn’t. I had received the full complement of injections just two years ago, but still got it.

I Wramble on. My wife and I have feasted on a large Rib Roast for a couple of meals now since it’s initial “baking” last week. A well-cooked Prime Rib is most likely my favorite meat offering. As I chowed down on it at the initial unveiling I wondered just how, or how long ago, the “official” cooking directions were established. Our feast involved “baking” the 6 pound roast for 36 minutes at 550 degrees, and then turning off the oven, leaving the roast to rest, with the oven door closed, for two additional hours. This resulted in a medium-rare, finished product.

In order to validate those numbers from a recipe that we came up with several years ago, I researched several articles and there was some variation but similarities for most. A couple of observations still make me wonder though. My recollection of cooking temperatures was that 145 degrees Fahrenheit (F) was the safest meat cooking temperature. It seemed odd then that in some of the sources recommended cooking temperatures ranging from 135 to 160 degrees (F).

The temperatures were indicative of desired “doneness” of the meat from rare to well done. If those numbers are correct, I question the low of 135 degrees that some recipe’s indicated.

I certainly would have accepted an invitation to participate in the scientific “Blind Study Test” in establishing those general cooking instructions. I would bravely eat my “weigh” through the research with ardor.

Last night marked the beginning of the Atlantic 10 (A10) men’s basketball season for the St. Bonaventure Bonnies as they traveled to Richmond, Virginia to battle Virginia Commonwealth University VCU. It wasn’t a blowout with the final score having the Bonnies winning at 89-78, but the Bonnies seemed to handle VCU a little more easily than I expected. The Bonnies led “wire to wire” but the scoring gap kept closing and opening just enough to keep my nerves a little on edge. The Bonnies will hunker down in Virginia on this arduous “road trip” until they go up against the Richmond Spiders on Saturday.

The gas prices are slowly edging downward, giving us a little relief economically. Other economic signs are also trending favorably, but that trend may be expanded on in a future politically motivated Wrambling. Our gas prices continue to be above the state average, for some unexplainable reason, as we were at the $3.59 price level where I stopped yesterday. The National average price for standard unleaded as reported by Gas Buddy was at $3.06 as opposed to $3.30 in New York State. Over the last 10-year reporting period our state gas price has ranged from a low of $2.21 to $3.68, while the National average ranged from $1.99 to $3.32. Looking at the numbers on the many charts I looked at makes my eyes hurt just as much as does my wallet. However, I am certainly glad that our prices don’t even come close to those in some states.

I will end this somewhat shorter Wrambling with a typical poetic offering. This poem was written several years ago on a similar occasion as was this New Year, but I updated it somewhat to share here.

PS: This Wrambling title was a result of a long-ago word playing contest with friends who tried to violate the English language intentionally. The process involved changing the wording such that reversing the order and first letters of the words still made at least some sense in the hearing or reading. Thus “New Year” became “You Near”.

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