Inca Gold: A Brief History

It’s important to understand that the Andreans (Aboriginal inhabitants of the area of the Central Andes in South America) didn’t have a written language, they hadn’t developed the wheel, money, buying and selling, or even the concept of an economy. Imagine a world with no economy and a strong religious presence but with an excess of gold.

The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. The Inca created one of the largest and cohesive empires the world has ever known in under a century. Every aspect of Inca culture was encompassed by religion. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in the city of Cusco. Success or failure in any form was considered to be directly influenced by their gods. For the Inca, Gold was a gift from the Inti and it should be used to honor him along with the other Inca gods. If Inti was not honored there could be severe consequences.

Inti was the God of The Sun and The Patron of Empire and Conquest. Inti was revered and held in prestige by his devoted. He gave and he took away as he saw fit. Every city had temples devoted to Inti. The most significant temple of the Inca empire was Coricancha in Cusco city. Coricancha means “house of gold” in Quechua ( Inca official language). Its walls were covered in thick gold layers. Innumerable amounts of gold coins, jewelry, and religious artifacts dedicated to Inti were inside. Where’s all the gold now? What happened to it? What happened to the people who supposedly recovered it? We’ll explore these topics in more in the following weeks!

To be continued..

Sources Cited:

On this Day, March 27…

Historical Events

  • 1513 – Spaniard Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first sight Florida
  • 1855 – Abraham Gesner patents kerosene
  • 1866 – Andrew Rankin patents the urinal
  • 1866 – US President Andrew Johnson vetoes civil rights bill; it later becomes 14th amendment
  • 1879 – Longest championship fight (136 rounds)
  • 1884 – 1st long-distance telephone call, Boston-NY
  • 1914 – 1st successful non-direct blood transfusion is performed by Dr. Albert Hustin in Brussels
  • 1915 – Typhoid Mary [Mary Mallon] is arrested and returned to quarantine on North Brother Island, New York after spending five years evading health authorities and causing several further outbreaks of typhoid
  • 1931 – Charlie Chaplin receives France’s distinguished Legion of Honor
  • 1939 – 1st NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: U of Oregon beats Ohio State, 46-33
  • 1941 – Adolf Hitler signs Directive 27 (assault on Yugoslavia)
  • 1948 – Just 11 days after being released from prison, Billie Holiday plays in front of a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall
  • 1952 – “Singin’ in the Rain”, a musical comedy directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in NYC
  • 1964 The Great Alaska Earthquake (9.2 magnitude) and resulting tsunami kill 139 people in the largest US earthquake and second largest ever recorded
  • 1973 – 45th Academy Awards: “The Godfather”, Marlon Brando & Liza Minnelli win. Marlon Brando then turns down the Oscar for best actor to protest Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.
  • 1977 – 583 die in aviation’s worst-ever disaster when two Boeing 747s collide at Tenerife airport in Spain
  • 1979 – US Supreme Court rules 8-1 that cops can’t randomly stop cars
  • 1980 – Mount St Helens becomes active after 123 years
  • 1984 – Beginning of “tanker war”: over the next 9 months, 44 ships, including Iranian, Iraqi, Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti tankers, are attacked by Iraqi or Iranian warplanes or damaged by mines
  • 1995 67th Academy Awards: “Forrest Gump”, Jessica Lange & Tom Hanks win
  • 1998 – Chicago Bulls – Atlanta Hawks matchup at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, draws a crowd of 62,046, largest in any game in NBA history; Bulls win, 89-74
  • 2134 – 32nd predicted perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet

Famous Birthdays

  • 1845 – Wilhelm Röntgen, German physicist who discovered X-rays (Nobel 1901), born in Lennep, Rhine Province (d. 1923)
  • 1963 – Quentin Tarantino, American director and screenwriter (Pulp Fiction), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 1971 – Mariah Carey, American singer (Love Takes Time, Hero), born in NYC, New York
  • 1975 – Fergie Duhamel, American pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), born in Hacienda Heights, California

Famous Deaths

  • 1916 – Susan Blow, American educator who pioneered kindergarten education and was known as the “Mother of the Kindergarten”, dies at 72
  • 1968 – Yuri Gagarin, Russian cosmonaut and 1st man into space (aboard Vostok 1), dies in a Mig-15 plane crash at 34
  • 2002 – Dudley Moore, English actor and comedian (10, Arthur, Bedazzled), dies at 66

Good News for Torchy’s Lovers (Local Eats)

Image Credit: Eater Denver

Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos is opening a Conroe location very soon at 351 S. Loop 336 W., Ste. 100, in Grand Central Market. The fast-food restaurant plans to open in the 336 Marketplace development before in the coming weeks and staffing has already begun.

The location will be managed by Monika Lupkovics and the bar will be tended by Mellisa Melendez among others. Torchy’s Tacos will feature their signature tacos, chips and dips, and signature sauces as well as a full-service bar. For more info visit their site,

Google Maps

On This Day, March 20th

This day was quite historically significant!

World Events

  • 1602 United Dutch East Indian Company (VOC) forms
  • 1800 Alessandro Volta reports his discovery of the electric battery in a letter to Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society of London
  • 1815 Napoleon enters Paris after escape from Elba, begins 100-day rule
  • 1890 German Emperor Wilhelm II fires chancellor Otto von Bismarck
  • 1900 US Secretary of State John Hay announces that all nations to whom he sent notes calling for an ‘open door’ policy in China have essentially accepted his stand
  • 1933 Dachau the first Nazi concentration camp, is completed
  • 2016 Barack Obama becomes the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928, arriving for a 3-day tour

Sports, Film, TV, and Music

  • 1952 24th Academy Awards: “An American in Paris”, Humphrey Bogart & Vivian Leigh win
  • 1973 Roberto Clemente elected to Hall of Fame, 11 weeks after his death in a plane crash

Famous Birthdays

  • Carl Reiner – 96 Years Old
  • Fred (Mister) Rogers – (1928 – 2003)
  • Spike Lee – 61 Years Old

Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse (Local Eats)

When it comes to celebratory eating, nothing beats a Brazilian Steakhouse.

The highest quality buffet of endless meats that come to you? Count us in. Start the meal with an all you can eat, gourmet salad bar stocked with fresh, delicious meats, vegetables, and soups. Oh, about the soups, the lobster bisque rivals the best we have ever had in the area. You are going to want to keep going back for more and we don’t blame you. But keep in mind that you have an endless stream of beef, lamb, chicken, and shrimp coming your way. So, maybe limit yourself to five two cups.

Now that drinks have arrived, you’ve restricted your bisque intake, and everyone has settled in, it’s time to flip that magical card to green. If you’ve not dined Churrascaria style, they will explain the simplicity of it all to you. The card next to your plate has a red and a green side. Green indicates to the attentive staff to keep bringing on the delicious meats. While red means that you’ve given up or that it’s time for a break.

Image Source: Yelp

The protein options come in waves to allow your party to sample any or all of Avenida’s amazing options. They are carved tableside from a skewer and delivered to your plate. As with any dining experience you should let the staff know of any allergies in the party. The shrimp is absolutely delicious but would require one of our friends to use a pricey EpiPen if they came in contact with the crustaceans. The server made sure this would not be an issue.

Speaking of crustaceans, our shrimp allergic friend can have lobster and he HAD lobster. The special that was available on our last visit and will be available through March 20th is $3 lobster tail weekends. You read that correctly, $3! If seafood isn’t your thing and there are a few types of meat that you fell in love with all you have to do is request them. They will arrive as promptly as the kitchen can ensure their perfection. Meats can be ordered to temperature. If you’re a caveperson and like your meat well-done, it’s done. They will readily offer up medium rare cuts to those who appreciate a perfectly cooked cut too.

It can be difficult to find the perfect dining spot for a group with varying tastes, allergies, and dietary requirements. Avenida seems to be ideal in all regards. As mentioned above we have a friend with a severe shrimp (iodine) allergy. We also have a couple that joins us frequently who strictly adhere to a diet requiring Halal fresh meat. This is available at Avenida with 24 hours advanced notice. Seriously, this is one of the only restaurants at which we can all meet and eat meat (or salad bar for the meat-averse).

The cost should not be surprising. You have just had the endless filet, lamb chops, shrimp, chicken, gourmet salad bar, lobster bisque, and a finely crafted cocktail or ideal bottle of wine. This is one of a handful of places that we visit and don’t feel awkward asking for separate checks. It deservingly receives the $$$ or $$$$ from the review sites. But it also deservingly receives glowing reviews all the same. There seems to have been a staffing issue on Valentines Day that has resulted in some poor reviews. I suspect the lesson has been learned and that likely won’t be an issue going forward. We dined at Schilleci’s for V-day like we always do. So, we can’t comment to those reviews on that day. Trust us when we say that we have NEVER had bad service or slow wait times for requests when we have visited.

So, somehow you have made it this far and are still reading rather than booking a table. I suppose now would be a good time to remind you about the $3 lobster tails going on for just one more weekend! See you there and Bon Appétit!

On This Day (Tomorrow) March 14

Today’s post looks ahead to tomorrow, pi day!

Tomorrow, March 14 is Pi Day, an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi), which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The trillion-digit ratio is rounded to 3.14.

Albert Einstein was born and Stephen Hawking died on Pi Day. But of course, there is more than coincidences on this mathematically based holiday. There are savings on, you guessed it, pies of all varieties. The discounts range from coconut cream to deep dish pepperoni. More on some of the discounts are listed below.

Here are some fun Pi Day facts from

  1. Since the exact value of pi can never be calculated, we can never find the accurate area or circumference of a circle.
  2. Although Pi day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14), the exact time for celebration is 1:59 pm so that the exact number 3.14159 can be reached.
  3. There is an interesting reason why the name ‘pi’ was coined. Before the name pi came, mathematicians had to say a mouthful. The only descriptive phrase they could use was “the quantity which when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference”. Pi was named pi by William Jones, a not-so-popular mathematician.
  4. There is an entire language made on the number Pi. But how is that possible? Well, some people love pi enough to invent a dialect in which the number of letters in the successive words are the same as the digits of pi. But it is not just another nerd quirk that nobody knows about. Mike Keith wrote an entire book, called ‘Not a Wake’ in this language.
  5.  The calculation of pi is a stress test for a computer. It works just like a digital cardiogram since it indicates the level of activity within the computer’s processor.
  6. William Shanks, a British mathematician, worked manually to find the digits of pi. He spent many years trying to calculate the pi digits by hand and found the first 707 digits. Unfortunately, the 527th digit he found was wrong, which made his efforts of finding the remaining digits useless because they were all wrong by default.
  7. Even comedians use pi to make people crack at their jokes. John Evans, a comedian, once said in his performances, “What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π.”

We can geek-out all day for the math behind π but you probably want to know what deals are available for your pie cravings. Here are just a few from USA Today (link below to their complete list).

  • 7-Eleven: With the 7Rewards app, get one slice of pizza for 50 cents. Or buy a whole pie in-store and get 314 7Rewards bonus points. With 7NOW, the convenience store chain’s delivery service, get up to two whole pizzas for $3.14 each. 
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Get a mini one-topping pizza for $3.14 Thursday. Dine-in only. Learn more at
  • Cicis: Buy one adult buffet and large drink Thursday and get a second adult buffet for $3.14 with a coupon.
  • California Pizza Kitchen: Get a slice of Key Lime Pie for $3.14 Thursday.
  • Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen: Order the restaurant’s Homemade Chicken Pot Pie for dining in or to-go Thursday and get a free second pie to bake at home. No coupon needed, and Cheddar’s says it will provide the baking instructions. Learn more at
  • Kroger: Select pies are $3.14 for Pi Day including apple, cherry, peach and pumpkin pies.
  • Schlotzsky’s: The fast-casual chain is celebrating National Potato Chip Day Thursday. Get a free bag of potato chips with entrée purchase. (So, the sandwich shop famous for round sandwiches is celebrating Potato Chip Day rather than Pi Day!? That’s ridiculous.)
  • Whole Foods Market: Large bakery pies are $3.14 off the regular price Thursday. Varieties vary by region.

Here is the full list from USA Today.

So throw your dieting plans out the window for just one day this month and indulge in some π!

CHICKEN LO MEIN (Simple Home Cooking)

Chicken Lo Mein With Chewy Chinese Egg Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Chicken, Bell Peppers And Carrots In Under 30 Minutes Like Your Favorite Chinese Takeout Restaurant.

Today’s feature comes from Sabrina at

As a kid growing up my mom was not very well versed in making Chinese food (she once made chow mein with angel hair noodles). I wanted to know how to make lo mein like in Chinese restaurants but despite her best efforts we’d end up with were soy sauce flavored noodles with all the veggies she thought she could hide in the pot.

It was a valiant effort, but it never really tasted like Chinese food from a Chinese Restaurant.

Since watching my favorite Daytime talkshow make their version of The Chew chicken lo mein (I’m a huge Micheal Symon fan), I had a craving to make some lo mein.

What you’re looking at is my quickly thrown together lo mein with the ingredients I had on hand and it was as delicious as my favorite takeout spot. My husband was watching along with me but he didn’t understand the difference of lo mein vs chow mein until he saw the difference in these noodles!


A traditional chow mein has noodles that are boiled, then stir fried until having a slightly crisped exterior while lo mein is boiled then tossed in a sauce without cooking the noodles an additional amount. The noodles are roughly the same, both egg noodles, but lo mein noodles are normally thicker and chewier.


Lo Mein sauce is made with a sesame oil base that the noodles are tossed in with garlic, ginger, oyster sauce and soy sauce to round out the slightly sweet and slightly spicy sacuce.

  • Shrimp Lo Mein: Cook the shrimp after the veggies instead of before and remove them reserving them to toss with the pasta at the end. Undercook the shrimp by about 15 seconds before cause they will keep cooking in with the pasta.
  • Beef Lo Mein: Flank steak is the best beef for lo mein. Slice the beef against the grain and cook in on a high heat for just 30 seconds on each side.
  • Vegetable Lo Mein: The easiest of all the varieties, add in your favorite vegetables cooked until just softened but still with a crisp bite.
  • broccoli
  • red and green bell pepper
  • snow peas
  • green onions
  • sliced baby bok choy
  • sliced zucchini
  • julienned carrots
  • thinly sliced onions


  • 10 ounces Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 chicken breasts sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion slices
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Cook the egg noodles one minute shy of the directions.

Drain and toss with sesame oil in a bowl to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Cook the chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Remove from the pan and add in the red bell peppers, ginger and garlic and cook them for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until just softened.

Add in the water, soy sauce, cornstarch, vegetable oil and oyster sauce into the skillet.Add in the carrot, onion and cabbage and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding back in the chicken and egg noodles.

Add in the bean sprouts, toss all the ingredients together well and serve.


Yield: 4 Servings, Amount per serving: 281 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 281g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 1080mg, Potassium: 599mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 70.3g, Vitamin C: 53.5g, Calcium: 2g, Iron: 6.5g

Source: ; Enjoy more of Sabrina’s recipes HERE


Preparing to do more with more

This fall the typical three-year transition to a completely new Ford Super Duty becomes complete. The transformation began with the epic swap from steel to aluminum for most of the bodywork back in the 2017 model year. That truck was actually the first completely new Super Duty since 1998, so we can forgive the company for developing and launching its new body and chassis with carryover powertrains. Ford has spent the last few years renewing most of what goes under the hood and (transmission hump).

With 60-70 percent of Super Duty buyers opting for diesel and with a lot of news being made recently by competitors in this space, it’s no surprise that the Power Stroke 6.7-liter turbodiesel V-8 has undergone a thorough freshening while retaining the essential architecture that first appeared for 2011. Ford will no doubt spend most of the months between now and the Super Duty’s fall 2019 on-sale date tweaking and tuning the engine (and truck) to ensure its power, torque, payload, and towing numbers trump those of all competitors. For now, all we can tell you is to expect the numbers to improve from today’s 450 hp, 935 lb-ft, 7,640 pounds, and 35,000 pounds. The current target is the Ram 3500, which launched in January and raised those bars to 1,000 lb-ft, 7,680 pounds of payload, and 35,100 pounds of towing. GM has yet to divulge the numbers for its newest HD, but expect Ford to try to top them all.

The more interesting news is on the gas-engine front, where Ford seems to have taken an “Even if you beat ’em, join ’em anyway” approach. The Blue Oval owns 44 percent of the commercial truck market, handily outselling its domestic rivals, and yet the company is putting its modular 90-degree Triton 6.8-liter SOHC V-10 engine out to pasture in favor of the competition’s preferred pushrod V-8 configuration. After 22 years, Ford’s Modular/Triton architecture is reaching the end of the road, and the Super Duty team acknowledged the power- and torque-density advantage held by the cam-in-block setup GM and FCA have used all along. Oh, and we confirmed the new V-8’s internal “Godzilla” code name when we found it printed on a valve-cover ID tag in a test vehicle. Here again, power, torque, payload, and towing stats have yet to be disclosed. A third engine offering, at least at the beginning on base models, will be the carryover 6.2-liter Boss SOHC 16-valve V-8, which will likely continue to produce 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.

All three engines will be paired with a new 10-speed TorqShift transmission that is a heavy-duty incarnation of the new transmission architecture already available in the Mustang and F-150. It’ll be interesting to compare it with the Allison 10-speed GM is putting in its HD pickups, as that one is believed to also utilize the planetary gear and clutch design that was co-developed by GM and Ford. For a deeper dive into the engine and transmission tech—all of which Ford has subjected to 7 million miles of torture and durability testing—see our 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty Powertrain First Look.

Naturally Ford is taking this opportunity to update the Super Duty to the latest and greatest level of connectivity and advanced driver assistance technologies. Standard FordPass Connect technology with 4G LTE modem brings Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 10 devices to all models, and Ford offers fleet managers a suite of telematics and data services to help monitor driver behavior and optimize costs and fleet utilization. There’s available wireless charging plus USB type A and C jacks to keep everyone’s technology juiced while on the job.

To reduce downtime due to accidents, all trim grades from XLT on up get standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping alert, and blind-spot information with trailer coverage. These items are optional on the XL grade. Other useful driver-assistance options include adaptive cruise control and Pro Trailer Backup Assist. The latter allows the driver to steer a reversing trailer via a knob, and new for 2020—it works with gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailers.

Design-wise there are new grilles, with special enlarged openings on all dual-rear-wheel models to further improve cooling. LED headlights improve illumination and high-line models get new signature daytime running lamps. There are three new taillight designs and seven new wheel styles. Some interior trim parts and materials have been upgraded, with Limited models getting the biggest upgrade in order to close the gap opened by the new Ram interiors. That model’s navy and parchment combo could be mistaken for a Ram until you spot its diminutive 8.0-inch infotainment screen.

Keep it tuned right here come Truck of the Year time when we hope to subject all three domestic heavies to our own regimen of real-world and torture testing to reveal which truck truly is the king of the hill.

To program a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer to work with Pro Trailer Backup Assist, a yaw-rate sensor must be installed on a vertical surface of the trailer to measure the rate at which the trailer is pivoting. This connects to the truck (along with any trailer cameras) via a new 12-pin trailer wiring harness. Then the driver calibrates the system by executing a few simple maneuvers so the truck can learn the distance from the hitch to the trailer axle. Then you’re in business.

Source: ; Words: Frank Markus ; Photos: Manufacturer 

Visit your local Conroe Ford Dealer, Gullo Ford for more information and to spec your next Super Duty.

Thursday’s Local Eats

Traditional Korean cuisine made from scratch daily.

This delightful, family-owned Korean Cafe offers casual dining, excellent service, and fabulous food. Most of the recipes are old, traditional family dishes. One such dish is the cross-cut beef short ribs marinated using a recipe passed down from many generations in the owner’s family, served on a sizzling hot plate with rice and kimchi. The kimchi is made fresh every day. Another must-try is the Hotpot Bibimbap with beef, chicken, or spicy pork bulgogi served on top of rice and egg along with a variety of vegetables and sesame oil in a super HOT stone earth bowl served sizzling. *Warning* this is an extremely hot plate meal, please use caution when eating!

Korean Dumpling Soup

Dosirak persevered through initial tragedy. Owners Sung and Youn Kim were just months from opening what they considered their American Dream when a fire at their home caused devastation. In May 2016 Sung died in the fire that ravaged the couple’s Conroe home.

Youn considered selling the restaurant but ultimately decided to open Dosirak Korean Cafe in September 2016 as a tribute to her late husband. “We came here for [the]American dream; I got this [restaurant], so I got the American dream now,” Youn said. “This is Korean food, and that’s my way. I’m so happy, and I’m working hard.”

The restaurant includes a small market offering traditional Asian items, including ramen, seaweed chips, and sweets.

Wildly popular brunch spot coming to The Woodlands in 2019

Pineapple upside down pancakes are coming to The Woodlands. Courtesy photo

There’s no stopping Snooze: An AM Eatery. Fresh off its announcement that the Denver-based restaurant will open near the Galleria comes word that the rapidly expanding brunch concept has also inked a deal on a location in The Woodlands.

Slated to open in the summer of 2019 at 2415 Research Forest Dr., the new outpost will be the Houston area’s seventh Snooze, joining the restaurant’s existing locations in Montrose, Katy, Town & Country, The Heights, as well as two under development in the Galleria and Webster. At 4,400 square feet, the location will be among the largest Snoozes, which hopefully will mean a slightly shorter version of the restaurant’s famous wait for a table. It will also feature a dog-friendly patio. 

“The Woodlands is an entire community built around the principle of being a good neighbor,” said Snooze CEO David Birzon in a statement. “That’s the same principle that guides us at Snooze, and we’re thrilled to be in a community where giving back is such an important part of the culture.”

Known for its creative interpretations of classic breakfast fare, Snooze also gives diners choices by offering pancake flights (diners choice of up to three different options) and Benedict duos. Dishes get faired with the usual juices or coffee, but a full menu of creative cocktails really sets Snooze apart from more traditional diners. Bright colors and a cheerful staff have also helped it win fans.

Snooze also does its part to be a good neighbor. Each restaurant donates 1 percent of sales to local charities (more than $600,000 in 2017), and it diverts 85 to 90 percent of its waste by composting and recycling where facilities exist.

Source: ; Eric Sandler