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September 2017

August 2017

Celebrate Sherlock Holmes’ 125th Anniversary at ICPL

Arguably the most famous of all fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes was known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science and logical reasoning that bordered on the fantastic. As British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once wrote, Sherlock Holmes’ business is to know what other people don’t know. 

The Iowa City Public Library will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the publication of Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” with a series of programs that honor the detective in all media, from short stories and novels to television and film. 

Will the Real Sherlock Holmes Please Stand Up? 

7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5, in Meeting Room A

Who, exactly, is Sherlock Holmes? Join Monica Schmidt, president of the The Younger Stamfords of Iowa City, a Sherlock Holmes literary society, as she explorers where literature ends and the pop culture begins. 

Sherlock Holmes in Turn of the Century Britain 

7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, in Meeting Room A

Richard Caplan, author of "Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventures of Young Stamford and Other Sherlockiana," will lead us through an exploration of the persisting phenomenon of the great detective. This event is made possible by funding from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Sherlock Holmes Movie Marathon 

9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, in Meeting Room A

Come to the Library for a day-long screening of some of the best Sherlock Holmes to appear on film and television. This marathon will feature the following:

9 a.m.: “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (1939),  starring Basil Rathbone

10:30 a.m.: “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (1959), starring Peter Cushing

12 p.m.: Lunch break: Sherlock Holmes on the Big Screen, presented by University of Iowa Associate Professor Corey Creekmur, who is the head of film studies.

12:30 p.m.: “The Copper Breeches” (1985), starring Jeremy Brett

1:30 p.m.: “Sherlock Holmes” (2009), starring Robert Downey Jr.

3:50 p.m.: “A Study in Pink” (2010), starring Benedict Cumberbatch

5:30 p.m.: “Mr. Holmes” (2015), starring Ian McKellen 

For more information, contact the Library at 319-356-5200

Bachelor on the Cheap: The 'Living on Appetizers' Challenge - Breakfast Puffs

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer    

Can a guy live on just appetizers alone? I'm going to find out. Over the next couple weeks, I'm preparing, eating and, 'surviving' on appetizers alone.

20170831_130515-1For breakfast on this day, I decided to go with "Breakfast Puffs."

What the hell is a breakfast puff you ask?  It's a bite sized pastry filled with meat and cheese and let me tell you, that bite is AWESOME!

Breakfast Puffs


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown sausage in a small frying pan over medium heat.  Add roasted red pepper, black pepper, pepper flake and bourbon, stir until incorporated and once browned, set aside.  In a separate pan, melt butter in 1/4 cup boiling water and a pinch of salt.  Add flour, stir vigorously.  Stir until the mixture forms a ball that does not separate.  Remove from heat and cool.   Add egg, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder, beat vigorously to incorporate.  Drop dough onto greased cookie sheet, using 1 level teaspoon dough for each puff.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove puffs from oven, cool and split.  Fill each puff with the sausage filling and serve. Serving Option:  Drizzle with melted Velveeta cheese. 

This appetizer 'meal' cost me about $3 to prepare which is VERY Bachelor on the Cheap friendly!  Did it fill me up?  Yes!  But I must admit there are no leftover puffs these were so good!  I did have more than enough filling however, which will refrigerate nicely for another application.

Grilling Tools - buy quality

Tongs: You can grill without them, but you really shouldn’t. NO grill master is without a good pair of metal tongs. Buy what suits your grilling needs. If you have a small portable grill, you don’t need long handled tongs. It’s not like you’re having to reach through of wall of flame to flip burgers when using a small grill, so buy a size that suits the grill. A 9” pair of tongs works fine for small grills, a 12” pair performs well with medium grills and for larger grills, get a 16” pair, that’s when you’ll need the reach. Anything larger than that can’t be handled well. The smaller pairs of tongs give you greater control than the longer pairs do, especially with big steaks and things like baked potatoes. For added control and gripping power, be sure to buy a pair with some kind of scalloped edge in the tip end, a pair that can grip something as small as a scallop or as large as a rack of ribs. Stay away from ‘scissor’ style tongs with the loopy ends, they’re practically worthless for grilling anything besides hot dogs. Don’t bother with the oversized but fancy looking wood handled varieties - the varnish on the wood wears off from the heat and the soap and water used to clean them…. and who wants that varnish stuff flaking off onto the food? You want locking metal tongs with spring action. When unlocked they naturally stay open to grab items easily and can be locked in a closed position for easy storage.


Javier Baez, Ian Happ lead Cubs past Pirates

CHICAGO -- Rookie Ian Happ drove in four runs and joined the 20-homer club while Javier Baez added a two-run double and stole home to spark the Cubs to a 17-3 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday and complete a sweep.

Kyle Schwarber belted a pair of two-run homers and Anthony Rizzo added his 31st blast of the season to help the Cubs improve to a season-high 12 games over .500 and maintain a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central.


3 military vets named finalists for trucking's top rookie

Three military veteran rookie truck drivers were named finalists in the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” program at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. 

Wayne Roy, a Marine Corps veteran driving for U.S. Xpress; Daniel Shonebarger, a Navy veteran driving for Melton Truck Lines; and Gregg Softy, an Army veteran driving for Stevens Transport, were named finalists in the program. Shonebarger was named the 2017 Trucking’s Top Rookie by Truckers News at GATS, as well.


Related:  Trucking Jobs

Country School House Reunion to be held at Ushers Ferry September 10

Cedar Rapids, IA – Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation is holding a country school house reunion for adults at the Cherry Valley School at Ushers Ferry Historic Village, 5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE, on Sunday, September 10 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. In 1907, Linn County had 130 one-room schools. Less than 40 are known to survive. Participants are asked to preserve this piece of Linn County history for future generations by sharing their own (or a parent’s or grandparent’s) school house pictures and stories.  

The fee for program #214702-01 is $15/person for residents and $19/person for non-residents. Advance registration is required. Call Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation at 319-286-5566 or go to

Werner Enterprises, Inc. (WERN) Stock Is a Trucking Industry Standout

Werner, which was founded in 1956 by its first driver, is a transportation and logistics company that has coverage throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. It’s among the five largest truckload carriers in the United States, with more than 8,700 drivers at the end of 2016.

While other trucking business execution numbers fell, WERN managed to maintain healthy revenue growth. It also saw much better margins thanks to lower deadhead (empty miles, higher average miles per truck and pricing power in transactional spot markets.

It’s important to note that the company’s interest in maintaining equipment through reinvesting has helped it manage an average truck fleet age of 1.7 years, which significantly decreases capital expenditures and depreciation expenses.


Related:  Trucking Jobs

Essential Tools for Grilling

Essential Tools: Assuming you have a gas or charcoal grill to work with, you’ll also need the following items, these are essential, the basics needed for anyone serious about cranking out a great meal from the grill.

The charcoal chimney: For me, there’s really no better way to light charcoal, lump coals or small chunks of wood for the bigger log fire. They’re easy to use and can be found most anywhere grills and grilling accessories are sold. The best chimneys out there are made by Weber and can be purchased for around $15 to $17. Weber chimneys are better quality with thicker metal construction, to include a heat shield and a two handle grip for safer handling. I recommend having two.

Grill gloves: Even if you don’t use a charcoal chimney start to light your coals, you still need a mitt or grill gloves. You may need a mitt to lift a hot lid (some of those handles do get hot to the touch!), lift or reposition a grill grate, move a warming basket of food, or maybe you left a spatula a little too close to the fire and the handle got a bit warm. Get a mitt or gloves that are made for grilling. That oven mitt your wife or mother has in the kitchen with the pretty little flowers on it won’t cut it. Some gas grills can heat up to 600 degrees at grate level with all burners on high and grills equipped with infra-red for searing and my preference - the charcoal grill - can get even hotter. Weber makes an OK mitt with a heat resistant liner for about $10. Good grill gloves go for $25 and up.


Cubs win, go season-high 11 games over .500

CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta made quality pitches when needed, got enough support in a three-run sixth inning -- sparked by Ben Zobrist's solo homer -- and Wade Davis set a franchise record for consecutive saves in the Cubs' 4-1 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night.

With the win, the Cubs are now a season-high 11 games over .500 and have a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central.