Wednesday, April 2, 2014


This is a good one!! Look at the two pictures; then scroll down
This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania. This guy's response is hilarious, but read the State's letter before you get to the response letter, you won’t stop once you start. WOW Love this man.

This is an actual letter: State of Pennsylvania 's letter to Mr. DeVries:

SUBJECT: DEQ ... File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations.. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2010.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action..

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

Re: DEQ File
No.. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. Price,

Your certified letter dated 11/17/09 has been handed to me. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane , Trout Run, Pennsylvania .

A couple of beavers are in the process of constructing and maintaining two wood 'debris' dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials 'debris.'

I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) Do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. (Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

I have several dam concerns. My first dam concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.

The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.

If you want the damed stream 'restored' to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2010? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice by then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your dam step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.



Monday, March 31, 2014


In order to make himself appear more important, a miller lies to a king, telling him that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king calls for the girl, shuts her in a tower room filled with straw and a spinning wheel, and demands that she spin the straw into gold by morning or he will cut off her head (other versions have the king threatening to lock her up in a dungeon forever). She has given up all hope until animp-like creature appears in the room and spins the straw into gold for her in return for her necklace. When the king takes the girl on the next morning to a larger room filled with straw to repeat the feat, the imp spins in return for the girl's ring. On thethird day, when the girl has been taken to an even larger room with straw and told by the king that he will marry her if she can fill this room with gold or kill her if she cannot, the girl has nothing left with which to pay the strange creature. He extracts from her a promise that her firstborn child will be given to him, and spins the room full of gold a final time.
The king keeps his promise to marry the miller's daughter, but when their first child is born, the imp returns to claim his payment: "Now give me what you promised." The now-queen offers him all the wealth she has if she may keep the child. The imp has no interest in her riches, but finally consents to give up his claim to the child if the queen is able to guess his name within three days. Her many guesses over the first two days fail, but before the final night, her messenger (though he does not know the significance of his mission) comes across the imp's remote mountain cottage and watches, unseen, as the imp hops about his fire and sings. In his song's lyrics, "tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll go to the king's house, nobody knows my name, I'm called Rumpelstiltskin", he reveals his name.[1]
When the imp comes to the queen on the third day and she, after first feigning ignorance, reveals his true name, Rumpelstiltskin, he loses his temper and his bargain. In the 1812 edition of the Brothers Grimm tales, Rumpelstiltskin then "ran away angrily, and never came back." The ending was revised in a final 1857 edition to a more gruesome ending wherein Rumpelstiltskin "in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two." Other versions have Rumpelstiltskin driving his right foot so far into the ground that he creates a chasm and falls into it, never to be seen again. In the oral version originally collected by the brothers Grimm, Rumpelstiltskin flies out of the window on a cooking ladle (Heidi Anne Heiner).

Hungarian Tale: 

My name is Emma Orczy. I am also known as Baroness Orczy because my father was a Baron. I was born in Tarnaƶrs, Hungary, in 1865. Then my family lived in Budapest for a few years. We were very proud of our Hungarian heritage, and often dressed in traditional Hungarian costumes. We also enjoyed Hungarian goulash for many meals.
When I was older, I married a nice man and lived in France. We didn't have much money so we translated some of the very old Hungarian folk tales into French and English. Here's one of my favorite folk stories, called "It's Not True."
Once upon a time there was a Hungarian princess who was very beautiful. One day she announced that she would only marry the man who could tell her father, the king, a story which he could not believe. Now, in a village there dwelt a poor young peasant, who, hearing of this proclamation, went up to the king's palace, and loudly knocking at the gates demanded an audience of His Majesty.
The king knew very well what the young fellow wanted, as by that time many princes and knights had come on the same errand, in the hope of winning the beautiful princess, but they had all failed. So John, the young peasant was admitted to the royal presence.
"Good morning, your Majesty," John said.
"Good morning, my lad. Well, what do you want?" asked the king, kindly.
"So please, your Majesty, I want a wife."
"Very good, lad; but what would you keep her on?"
"Oh! I dare say I could manage to keep her pretty comfortably. My father has a pig. A wonderful pig, your Majesty; he has kept my father, my mother, seven sisters, and myself, for the last twenty years."
"Indeed!" said the king.
"He gives us as good a quart of milk every morning as any cow."
"Indeed!" said the king.
"Yes, your Majesty, and lays most delicious eggs for our breakfast."
"Indeed!" said the king.
"And every day my mother cuts a nice bit of bacon out of his side, and every night it grows together again."
"Indeed!" said the king.
"The other day this pig disappeared, my mother looked for him high and low, he was nowhere to be seen."
"That was very sad," said the king.
"Finally, she found him in the larder, catching mice."
"A very useful pig!" said the king.
"Yes, your Majesty, and he pays all the bills out of the gold he picks up on the road."
"A very precious pig," said the king.
"Lately he has seemed unruly, and rather out of sorts."
"That's very sad!" said the king.
"He has refused to go where he is told, and won't allow my mother to have any more bacon from his side. Besides which, your Majesty, he is growing rather blind, and can't see where he is going."
"He should be led," said the king.
"Yes, your Majesty, that is why my father has just engaged your father to look after him."
"That's not true," yelled the king . . . then suddenly he remembered his daughter's promise. So he was obliged to allow the princess to marry the peasant's son, but this he never regretted, for the peasant's son became a most clever and amiable young prince, and lived happily with his bride and his father-in-law for very many years. Years after, when John became the king, all his people declared they had never had so wise a ruler. Then it was that he romanced no longer but was always believed and respected.

 Fairy Tales and the Ancient Mythology
At eve, the primrose path along,
The milkmaid shortens with a song
Her solitary way;
She sees the fairies with their queen
Trip hand-in-hand the circled green,
And hears them raise, at times unseen,
The ear-enchanting lay.
Rev. John Logan: Ode to Spring, 1780

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mu Shu Pork

4teaspoons cornstarch, divided
8teaspoons soy sauce, divided
5teaspoons dry sherry, divided
8ounces boneless lean pork, cut into matchstick pieces
3dried mushrooms
2dried wood ears
1tablespoon water
1/2teaspoon sugar
1teaspoon sesame oil
7teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
2eggs, lightly beaten
1teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2cup sliced bamboo shoots (1/2 of 8-ounce can), cut into matchstick pieces
1small carrot, shredded
1/2cup chicken broth
2cups bean sprouts (about 4 ounces)
2green onions with tops, cut into 1-1/2-inch slivers
1/2cup hoisin sauce
16Mandarin Pancakes (recipe follows)
1. For marinade, combine 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons sherry in large bowl. Add meat; stir to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place dried mushrooms and wood ears in small bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand 30 minutes; drain. Squeeze out excess water. Cut off and discard mushroom stems; cut caps into thin slices.
3. Pinch out hard nobs from center of wood ears; discard. Cut wood ears into thin strips.
4. For sauce, combine remaining 3 teaspoons cornstarch, 6 teaspoons soy sauce and 3 teaspoons sherry in small bowl. Add water, sugar and sesame oil; mix well.
5. Heat 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of eggs, tilting skillet to cover bottom. Cook eggs just until set. Loosen edges and turn omelet over; cook 5 seconds. Remove omelet from skillet. Repeat with another 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil and remaining eggs.
6. When omelets are cool, cut in half. Stack halves; cut crosswise into thin strips.
7. Heat remaining 6 teaspoons vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir in ginger. Add meat; stir-fry until meat is no longer pink in center, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, wood ears, bamboo shoots, carrot and chicken broth; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add bean sprouts and onions; stir-fry 1 minute.
8. Stir cornstarch mixture; add to wok. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce bubbles and thickens. Stir in omelet strips.
9. To serve, spread about 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce onto each pancake. Spoon about 3 tablespoons pork mixture down center. Fold over bottom; roll up.
Mandarin Pancakes
Makes about 20 pancakes
2cups all-purpose flour
3/4cup boiling water
2tablespoons sesame oil
1. Place flour in bowl; make well in center. Pour in boiling water.
2. Stir flour mixture with wooden spoon until dough looks like lumpy meal.
3. Press dough into ball. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. Cover with clean towel and let rest 30 minutes.
4. Roll dough into 10-inch long log. Cut into 1-inch pieces; cover with plastic wrap.
5. Cut each piece of dough in half, keeping remaining dough pieces covered. Roll each half into ball; flatten slightly. On lightly floured surface, roll each dough piece into 3-inch circle; brush with small amount of sesame oil. Stack two dough circles together, oil-side in.
6. Roll the pair of dough circles together into 6- to 7-inch circle with rolling pin; cover and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping remaining dough pieces covered.
7. Heat nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook pancakes, one pair at a time, turning every 30 seconds, until cakes are flecked with brown and feel dry, 2 to 3 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook pancakes or they will become brittle.)
8. Remove pancakes from pan. Separate each pancake into two pancakes while still hot. Stack pancakes on plate; keep covered while cooking remaining pancakes. Fold pancakes into quarters and arrange in serving basket. Serve immediately.
Note   Pancakes can be prepared ahead and refrigerated or frozen in resealable plastic bags.
Note   To reheat, wrap pancakes in clean towel (thaw completely, if using frozen). Steam over simmering water 5 minutes.

Mandarin Orange Chicken

4boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1/4 pound each)
1/8teaspoon salt
1/8teaspoon black pepper
 Nonstick cooking spray
1/2cup finely chopped onion (about 1 small)
1/2cup orange juice
2teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1teaspoon sugar
2teaspoons cornstarch
1/4cup cold water
1can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments, drained
2to 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2cups hot cooked rice
 Additional fresh cilantro (optional)
1. Pound chicken slightly between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness using flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin. Broil chicken 6 inches from heat source 7 to 8 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Or, grill chicken on covered grill over medium-hot coals 10 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Spray medium nonstick saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Add orange juice, ginger and sugar. Heat to a boil.
3. Combine cornstarch and water in small bowl; add to juice mixture, stirring until thickened. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in orange segments and cilantro. Serve chicken over rice; top with sauce. Garnish as desired.