Monthly Archives: May 2011

Food: Dairy Queen

The first Dairy Queen restaurant opened in Joliet, Illinois in 1941, shortly after the process of soft serve ice cream was invented. The chain now has more than 5,000 locations. Uploaded by

I apologize to those currently on a diet for the pictures in this post. Dairy Queen makes the best milkshakes of any chain I’m aware of, created a product called the Blizzard that’s probably successful beyond their wildest dreams, and has a number of food items that are probably higher in calories and fat than most of their competitors. But, if you can handle it, they taste great.

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DQ has been around since 1940, when it opened its first store in Joliet, Illinois. The company capitalized on a new invention – soft serve ice cream. By injecting air into the product at time of freezing, soft serve has that unique texture and flavor. Today, Dairy Queen operates more than 5,700 locations in 19 countries, though most are in the U.S. and Canada.

I submit that there’s not much better in life on a warm summer evening than making a pilgrimage to the nearest Dairy Queen for a chocolate shake, a dipped cone, or a Blizzard. No, it’s not diet-friendly food, but it’s taste bud friendly food. And that’s important, too. Here’s a funny DQ commercial:

Americana: Navy SEALs

They've fought in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan - and in lots of places we'll never know about. Photo by Michael W. Pendergrass.

There’s an old saying, “Don’t send a boy to do a man’s job.” Since their creation in 1961, the Navy SEALs have undertaken special operations jobs that required extreme skill, flawless timing, and the ultimate courage. They’ve been deployed in such trouble spots as Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. At least, those are the places we know about. Given the nature of their missions, no doubt they have completed other secret assignments as well.

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The name SEAL derives from their operations on SEa, Air, and Land. They trace their roots back to World War II, and the Naval Combat Demolition Unit. Today, they are the special forces arm of the Navy, and among their missions are reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, hostage rescue, and counter-terrorism.

And, we’ve just found out, killing World Enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden. As of this writing, it appears that a team of about 40 SEALs, 24 on the ground, invaded bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. They took out al Qaeda’s leader, recovered his body, brought out other documentation which may prove invaluable in helping break up cells, all without taking a single casualty. Today, all of America is more aware of – and extremely grateful for – the talented men who are proud to be Navy SEALs.