Monday, July 16, 2018

We're Both Fine - Why Do You Ask?

Oh - you mean this?  Just another example of my legendary efficiency.  Pre-planning and execution were designed to take one more burden off of getting us in the ground for our Executors.  And it's also a chance for me to give One Last Order!  

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Very Short Read and Some Unusual Obituaries

Where to begin …

Midnight Confessions by Stephen Colbert  $19.95
This is the brief book by a comedian who admits that what he's done is basically turned a bunch of one-liners into two pages per joke.  I quote:  "When I put together this book, I asked God for inspiration.  When that didn't work, I used a large font and wide margins."  He wasn't kidding.

Selected travel tidbits:

"I've never joined the Mile-High Club, but I am in the Greyhound Bus Terminal Utility Closet Guild."

"I think income inequality is one of America's greatest problems … until they bring me that little hot towel in First Class."

"You know how on airplanes they have that Secure your oxygen mask before helping others rule?  I don't need to be told that."

Eye-catching Obituaries
Daily Breeze, 7-15-18
Delores Skjervern 8/17/1934 - 6/29/2018
Born a farm girl in Petersburg, ND, ...passed away while on safari in Tanzania with family.  Reading further "She died after a long but rewarding day in the Ngorongoro Crater."

James F, Scasserra Jimmy "Jet"
Hearts are breaking everywhere with the shocking news and unexpected death of the man, the myth, the legend - Jimmy Jet, 67, at home in Tucson, AZ.

Born May 6, 1951, Jimmy was blessed with a handsome fa├žade, ice-blue eyes, big heart, superior intelligence and wit and a memory like no other and a wicked sense of humor.  (here follows a long list of presumably relatives complete with nicknames)  He will be missed by all.  This is not a ploy to avoid creditors, bookies or old girlfriends."  
   Please sign the guestbook at or

Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 14,2018


If you don't have a French restaurant within 20 miles, make up your own menu!

Aperitifs - such as a Kir or Kir Royal, champagne or a pastis  Pass around slices of melon wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with EVOO and sea salt

Steak and French fries


Cheese course  Carambazola is a favorite here … Brie is always good


                                                Bon Appetit !

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Big Yellow Inflatable

A lot of hyperbole in the media about the Trump-image baby that is to be flown from Parliament Square, London, today from 9 to 11 a.m.  But none of these accounts answered my questions:  Who made this and who paid for it?

Diligent gleaning through the shards of glass and fragments of information that are the internet I found the below.

The man tethered to it, so to speak, is one Leo Murray, 41, a grandson of the late Labor politician Anthony Greenwood.  He is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Art.  Murray and wife live in a 1.8 million dollar town house in Hammersmith, West London.  They rent out two of its flats.

Appeals to the public for money came via crowd funding sites.  The original plea was for $2,000.  Some $13,000 from 718 people came tumbling in.  The amounted to $26,696  Because this was two different sites' information am unsure as to which figure is correct - $13,000 or $26,000 or both.

When asked about leftover funds (after putting $1,050 worth of helium into The Donald) Murray said they would probably be used to take it to the United States.  Which is a bad idea almost anywhere in the Midwest where many have rifles, hunt for the table and are excellent marksmen. And are mainly avidly pro-Trump.

Okay, now we know who activated this project, what it cost and probably use of leftover funds.  Who made this thing?

Graphic Designer Matt Bonner, of Imagine Inflatables in Leicestershire.  I read that Bonner had never made one (odd, considering the firm name).  He specializes in protest materials and used Adobe Illustrator.   Face:  Panton 715C; body Panton 1375C and charged 3,500 pounds for this work.

Details like this should have been included.  I spent some time this morning just compiling the tidbits above.  So if you are planning a duplicate effort, let me know all about it!  It's hard enough to write almost daily; having to winkle pick every detail is time-consuming.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Redondo Beach? Murder Capital of the World?

Richie has been wandering around the house murmuring this statement ever since the 7 a.m.. news.  Except he uses an exclamation point instead of a question mark.  The news that put him quite a bit closer to "around the bend" which is, I am assured by those in the know, a standard medical opinion in psychiatric circles.  Next ranking down is "bat-shit crazy."

Here are the scant details as reported:  at around 10:15 p.m. 7/11/18, a call to report shots fired resulted in the RB police arriving at a condo among the many at 700 The Esplanade.  There it is reported they found three dead bodies.  Of gunshot wounds one presumes.  No identities were given; Esplanade was blocked off through the night and as of the 7 a.m. news.

Based on the fact that the police statement said no one outside of that condo is a suspect; the police said that the general population is safe.

I didn't catch this part of the news but someone called or messaged out to say that they loved the recipient which would lead one to assume some ghastly murder/suicide pact.  With no other information than the above, I have to wonder if it is four teenagers for two reasons.  Suicides are up in that age group.  Redondo Union High would be the school of choice for families with teens on Esplanade or Catalina Streets.

To refute Richie (and maybe get him to STFU) I found the following.

The current population of Redondo Beach is 67,867 souls

The chance that any of us in Redondo will be the victim of an armed robbery or aggravated assault or rape or murder is one in 141 people or two per 1,000 people.  Good enough for me.

Update  3 p.m.  
Victims were:  Ivana Waz, 49; Makani Wz, 13.  Shooter was Marc Waz, 48, a Senior Project Manager at Forensic Analytical, Las Vegas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

In Which the Author Gently Explains NATO

Currently much of the world is engrossed in the World Cup giving little if any thought to the NATO conference also in session today.    Both are equally as feisty.  Even though, so far, no NATO members have collapsed writhing in agony in an aisle unlike some of the more diva-like soccer players on the field.  Watching the grimaces of pain, the writhing bodies one wonders if the players actually have a secret contest going - something like the Oscars - with an award  awarded at a dinner at the end of the season.

Translating what the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) does makes more sense to me looking at it as a club that is devoted to defending members from enemies for a fee.  Mafia and protection racquets come to mind for some reason.

Some 28 or 29 countries - big and small - have banded together to provide personnel from their own military forces in the defense of smaller, more defenseless countries.  Their dues to be included in this program are an annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2 per cent (2%).

Obviously the bigger countries are going to give the most and the little ones - Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria , Slovenia are getting a bargain for their comparatively meager input.

At issue this go-around is the fact that only five (5) countries are in good stead with their dues.  The US (overly generous say some) pays in 3.61 percent.  Greece, Britain, Estonia and Poland all give just a little bit more than 2 per cent.  What surprised me was that Canada pays 0.99 per cent  and clearly relies on America to keep an eye out for them if Kim John Un miscalculates and takes out half of Western Canada.  Clearly they need a brick through a window to get their attention and then cause them to pony up with a threat of a veritable rain of bricks through windows.   During office hours.

So far, in some 40 years of US participation in "Mercenaries R Us" no US President  has gone after the low and slow payers until now.  Lo these many years, the Little-ies have lolled in deck chairs in the sand, and waved an idle hand at the Payment Due notices.

I say make'em pay.  Make them deposit what they owe for 2017 to start and deposit it in the NATO Receipts box and go back to active status.  Clearly it hasn't occurred to these countrys' bosses that slow payments may well result in slow service.

"Sorry to hear that, Spain (0.91) Belgium (0.85) Luxembourg (0.44) (aside to aide de camp "Such and such was attacked by a troop of Girl Scouts and needs bulldozers to move all of the boxes of cookies off of the roads - oh?  what's that?  (country)  hasn't paid in since 1946?"  Back to phone, "Sorry I think we have a bad connection.  Good luck with whatever it was you wanted.  Call back when you are free and clear of your debt to NATO.  Until then - good luck."  Seems reasonable to me.  Fair is fair - they are in breach of contract as they stand now which should make any "contract" null and void.   Mercenaries all over the world would rejoice.  "We're working again!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pepper Spray - for Bears!

Brown bears, Grizzly bears, black bears - pepper spray with capsaicin is a proven deterrent to a bear attack.  Yeah, I know.  Bears do not roam our urban streets unless you are reading this from somewhere in Alaska.  There bears are apparently considered something of a nuisance.

My cousin Doug Vermillion, MD, an orthopod/burn specialist in Anchorage sent me a first person account from a colleague who was attacked by a bear and survived!  It is a harrowing tale and you can read this first-person account by Googling Chris Zerger, MD, Anchorage Bear Attack.  I must say that for a doctor (masters of the illegible) it is well written.  

/The story begins after setting up camp. he and companion decided to explore a little completely forgetting to carry their cannisters of bear spray.

Bear spray?  WTF.  Turns out that capsaicin-loaded spray will deter a bear or a dog or a human.  PETA will be happy to learn that it doesn't kill bears which most of the rest of us might not believe  is a good thing.  I don't.  In fairness to the bear though, a mother defending her cubs should not be blamed for acting protectively.  We wouldn't want a bear to attack our offspring.  But gangs of teenage bears, roaming around looking for some fun is an entirely different matter.    I wonder if they bet on which bear can scare a human the highest up a tree?

Anti-bear Spray is available on amazon (to no one's surprise) and prices range depending on size of cannister.    Jot a note to yourself if you are planning an Alaskan cruise, to send for one well before your departure date.  They do take you off of the ship from time to time.  Be prepared!