Saturday, February 29, 2020

Damn! I Can't Marry Him Now - He Just Died!

For years, I have joked that if God forbid anything happened to Richie, I would marry Trader Joe.  Hah!  Joseph Hardin Coulombe died yesterday, age 89.  He and his wife were married 67 years had three children and six grandchildren.

He was an observant man and saw - in 1967 - the lay of the land customer-wise.  Young, well educated, looking for fair prices for "exotica" such as trail mix.  Today there are 500 stores in 40 states.

In 1988, age 58, he sold the whole thing to a German supermarket chain named Aldi.  He stayed on with Aldi as CEO and did consultant work for other companies.  He finally fully retired in 2013.

Working in a Trader Joe's is a very good thing.  Employees get medical, dental, vision and retirement plans plus an annual raise of seven to 10 per cent.  Maybe this is the reason that every clerk, checkout person I have talked to there are happy, anxious to find whatever it is that you can't  find and altogether pleasant.

Just as well I wasn't planning a wedding with granola to be tossed instead of rice.
Although one could consider the merits of defrosting  "riced cauliflower" - easier on the pigeons' digestive systems? - and toss that instead.

Condolences, Mrs. Coulombe, this Trader Joe groupie is no longer a threat.

Friday, February 28, 2020

A Brief Personal History of the Typewriter

Or youngish people and today's communications.  I grew up in a day when a letter went from Kansas City, Mo. to Wichita, Kansas overnight with a penny stamp to today's lightning quick cyberspace emails and apparently an app called "What's App?  Apparently it is now the fastest way to communicate.   All of the teenagers have it.  I am not by any stretch of the imagination, a teen.

This made me remember the day back in high school.  Our junior and senior years, we had mandatory classes in shorthand and typing with the expectation that these lessons would help us make notes in our college classes.

My first typewriter was a black, boxy thing that squatted on the long desks we used.  It had a sling back carriage, meaning that at the end of a line, to keep from typing on the roller, you slung it back to the left with a handle.  You've seen them in old movies.  Yeah, that's what we had.

Then, out in the world, my office typewriter was powered by electricity (!) and the carriage returned automatically!  Hog heaven!  Progress!  These models had a print ball which could be changed from one font to another.

And then came the first computers; at that time basically a typewriter and  file storage in one go.

Look at us now.  The one consistency though is the desire to communicate.  I hope that never vanishes.




Thursday, February 27, 2020

Minor Effects of the Coronavirus


Shares in American airlines have gone down.  AA to the point of the 2013 merger with US Air and yesterday share prices were seven per cent lower.

So - class, if very few are flying, very few hotels are sold out.  And hotel help is not needed.   Nor rental cars which can sit languidly in their respective garages.

If in fact just being in a group exposes you to the virus, even local restaurants will suffer a certain pinch.

Cabs, Lyft, Uber at LAX?  Good luck.

Meanwhile we have renamed the Murphy Mansion "The House of Pestilence" since Richie is fighting a bladder infection and I have nearly won the battle with acute bronchitis, origin unknown.

Expecting  full recoveries very soon.

Has this new (and very unwelcome) invader affected you?  Comments is Open.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Statistically Speaking ...

The dailymail.co.uk   is currently running a daily head count (so to speak) on cases of coronavirus and the number of people it has killed world wide.  A sample.

February 24, 2020
Cases reported:  79,732
Deaths in this group:  2,628
Or - and this is my calculation so you've been warned … I divided the lesser number by the larger number and of the above figures, the percentage for you getting it and dying is 0.0329604 per cent

February 25, 2020
Cases reported:  80,326
Deaths in this group:  2,705
Death percentage:  0.03367526

What are the known factors in death resulting.
Very great age
Children
An existing disease
Overwhelming the host's immune system


ADD -   from the Land Down Under:  3 per cent death rate

I would add that if it is three percent; it's 97 per cent that don't die!

Monday, February 24, 2020

And the Reader's Digest Writes Another Blog!

Life With Pets:
I like to listen to owners talking to their dog(s).  Recently I was petting one and he suddenly growled at me so I left.  As I went I heard the owner telling the dog, "Oscar, you always do this.  You drive away all of your friends."

Our cat "Ceremony" is mostly referred to as "Cat."  When we have company though we always use her real name so that we can say, "Come in - don't stand on "Ceremony!"

A maintenance engineer is insulted after he refers to himself as a "Jack of all trades; master of none" and an Asian secretary remarked, in Taiwan, we say, "Equipped with knives all over; yet none are very sharp."

The world's first speeding ticket was written in 1896 (1896) in the village of Paddock Wood, England.  The violator was caught driving 8 mph in a 2 mph zone and was fined 10 shillings.  How times have changed, eh?

Laugh Lines:
The quickest way to find out the time is to order a beer at breakfast with your mother.

A new study finds that sausages are often linked to other sausages.

My wife was going to make pancakes, and then she wasn't and then she was going to make pancakes.  Now it looks like she's just waffling.

Humor in Uniform:
"In the '50s, I was a clerk typist at our headquarters in Verdun, France.  We were tough.  How tough?  This was our motto:  'We never retreat, we just backspace.'"

Medical Advice:
Nothing looks better in your 50s than sunscreen in your 20s.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

And That's the Hard Part


No, not going to be a dissertation on herding cats or nailing Jell-0 to a tree or clearing out a stump with a pair of tweezers.

Not that you asked.  yesterday Richie and I had haircut appointments with Dale Snowberger, owner and proprietor of The Tonsorial Parlor of El Segundo, CA.  This is a modest distance from our house so I book appointments for both of us as a matter of convenience for all concerned.  And, sly note, I always book for around lunchtime; there are some good restaurants in El Segundo!

Yesterday, at the end of my trim, I asked Dale to take the little 1/4 in. clipper and use it to follow my part.  I have been having trouble with bed head and I rationalized, if the part was shaved in, that's at least half of the battle.  And it is!

This request goes back to a dental appointment when the surgery tech was sporting three very smart chevron marks through his left eyebrow.  I had wondered about the razor width never having seen a razor that cut that thinly.

Come to find out, this indelible (for awhile) permanent part dates back to Victorian times when soldiers found their helmets fit better with one.  And their hair looked smarter when they took the helmet off.  It continued to be popular from 1901 through 2000 and today, 20 years later is making a come back.

The illustrations (all men) seemed to be a highlight for another apparently popular cut called "the fade."  Above the ear, your hair "fades" into thick, lush crown hair.

I don't see any reason why a thick-haired woman can't enjoy a ready to go hard part.  And it certainly improves one's morning when all you have to is flick a wet comb through your hair, up pops the part and out the door you go.   A fade is optional for us ladies.  No thanks.

And when Dale offered to cut his name on the back of my head, I politely declined.  "Snowberger" would wind around my head several times!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Olive Gardens Are Cutting Edge Italian?

There are 840 Olive Garden restaurants in the United States and their corporate cousin, Red Lobster, has 749.  Both made the news when then-First Lady Michelle Obama went after them for "fattening up a whole generation of kids" or words to that effect with their endless pasta and unlimited bread sticks in Gardens and cheddar cheese biscuits at Red Lobsters.  Screams of anguish could be heard all across our fair country.  One might be justified in thinking it was similar to snatching a newborn from the mother's arms and beating feet.

Darden, the parent company quickly cut the amount of sodium and fat in both food items.   Today, all of the menu items in addition to price, show the calorie count for each dish.

I think I've eaten once at an Olive Garden, now hidden in memory by the passing of time.  The reason for last night's venture through their doors was that Dee is having a birthday and as the Birthday Person, he got to choose the restaurant.  Frankly, I thought it was a little peculiar of him; I don't associate chain restaurants with a man who likes Dominique's Kitchen (French.)    But birthdays rule.
What was certainly different to the four of us (Mouton joined us for this dinner) started with drinks.  My Bloody Mary came with the requisite garnish - in this case, slices of pepperoni alternating with olives on the spear.  Pepperoni marinated in Bloody Mary mix is quite tasty and the very large glass lasted me all the way through dinner.

Another surprise in Appetizers was fried mozzarella sticks garnished with Alfredo sauce.  We all know they usually come with marinara sauce.  There was a cup of it but on the side.  Thinnish squares made for a crispier crust it seemed and the Alfredo sauce was a welcome change.  Not crazy about cooked tomatoes.

Also apparently always offered was a salad for the table, to arrive before our various entrees.  Billed as "house salad" it was pretty much fresh lettuce and tomatoes in Italian dressing.  Refreshed our palates quite nicely.

And what of the famed bread sticks?  They looked like hot dog buns that had been on a diet with a great deal more texture that a hot dog bun ever dreamed of.  They come as an appetizer and they are ordered by the diner, not just issued to the table.   And they aren't free either.

All in all, the food was good; the service excellent (the grated cheese lady was right there) and the prices reasonable.  But one visit was enough.  I like Charlie's, a New York Joint and/or Spumoni better for authentic Italian foods.  The Olive Gardens seem to cater to people who've never been any closer to Italy than an Italian restaurant!  In Texas.  

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Small Smiles

"So - you're telling me that:
     a shrimp fried this rice
     a flea runs this market
     this garage is on sale

My wife cooks for me like I'm a god - by placing burnt offerings before me every night.

My Dad suggested that I register for an organ donor card.  He's a man after my own heart.

I love you just the way you are.  Although, I do have a few suggestions ...

Karma's going to make sure I come back as a lobster - I've cooked too many.  Chef David Chang

My wife says to me, 'You look heavy on TV."  I said, "Honey, the camera adds 10 pounds."  She said to me, "How many cameras did they use>"  Eddie Money


Thanks to Reader's Digest.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Famous People's Thoughts on Politics

Hat tip to Shelia, of Netanya, Israel 

Nikita Khrushchev - "Politicians are the same all over.  They promise to build a bridge even when there is no river."  (Think:   Bullet Train here in California.)

Will Rogers - If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement to go to Heaven."  

Clarence Darrow - "When I was a boy, I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it." 

Author Unknown - "Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you."  (And for free!)

Oscar Ameringer - "Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other."  

John Quinton - "Politicians are people who, when they see a light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel." 

Doug Larson - "Instead of giving the keys to the city  it might be better to change the locks."   
  
It's rare but it struck me that every one of these is true!  Scary, no?  

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Last Man Standing (If a Little Wobbly)

Former Senator John Warner, (R) today celebrates his 93rd birthday. He might also be quietly pondering the fact that he is the only survivor of Elizabeth Taylor's eight marriages (seven if you discount Richard Burton who was a double.  Married, divorced; married, divorced)

Less fortunate -
Conrad Hilton, Jr - one year later, divorced.
Michael Wilding, British actor
Mike Todd plane crash got him
Eddie Fisher
Richard Burton
John Warner
Larry Fortensky, died age 64.

Laugh if you will, but it is a feat.  From all accounts, she was not a day at the beach with a well-filled Fortnum and Mason picnic basket.  

Monday, February 17, 2020

If You Love Statistics --

If you're worried about the Coronavirus, may I recommend a look at this Website:  worldometers.info/corona virus.  I'll save you some time and print what I gleaned.

Cases to date:  71,449
Deaths 1,776
Recovered:  11,425
Percentage of people who died from cases to date:  00.0248

Active cases - 58,248
Of them, mild cases 46,922 or 81 per cent
Serious cases 11,326  or 19 per cent
Closed cases - 11,425  87 per cent
Deaths - 1,776  13 per cent.

If you have a doctor's appointment, you will be asked if you have traveled to China.  I was and replied, "I haven't even been in a Chinese restaurant for 20 years or more - my husband doesn't like it."


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Newman's Own friend has joined him in the Hole In The Wall Gang.

A.E. Hotchner, writer, playwright, author and Friend of Papa (Hemingway) has died age 102.

Born in 1917, he would go on to forge a friendship with Paul Newman, born 1925,  and working together they created a spaghetti sauce licensed and labeled in 1982 as "Newman's Own" all proceeds going to charity.

Then they teamed up again in 1988 to create The Hole In That Wall Gang to benefit children here in the U.S., Ireland, France and numerous other locations.  Since both had a impish sense of humor, I would imagine that Ireland and France were included to guaranty tax-free travel "on business."

Newman died, aged 83, of lung cancer but both name products have gone on.  I would imagine that both projects are and continue to be so successful that they will not die away like their creators.

As one of a group of 20 writers, this is encouraging:  Hotchner published his last novel "The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom" in 2018 coming up on his 101st birthday.

Mah fellow writers, we must just keep on keeping on!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentine's Dud 2020

A fleeting stab of jealousy yesterday.  Richie got a Valentine's Day e-card from his dentist.  Mine was conspicuous by his silence.  And I spent some $7,000 on a pair of root canals last year.  His Ferrari is damned near paid for by now.  You'd think a little gratitude ...

I fully expected a card for the cats Streak and Fred from their vet (the admirable Hermosa Animal Hospital) but nothing.  Their vet does send them birthday cards so you'd think ...

Happily Richie and I have each other.  "Let's go out to dinner" was a non-starter since the night before Valentines, the restaurants we would have selected were sold out with ominous warnings - "We will hold this reservation for you for 4 minutes and a clock of ever diminishing seconds.  That kind of veiled intimidation doesn't sit well with me,  So we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and pretty much had the place to ourselves.  "Ha!"

For actual Valentine's Day we elected to stay blissfully at home and exchange cards during our routine 5:30 p.m. G & T.

Our individual choices for cards are:  Richie is a sentimentalist.  Me the ruder the better.  I like "funny."

My card to him - a pair of graceful harbor seals or some other kind of marine life swimming in clearly a dance.  Flip it open it's a pop-up and the copy reads, "To my significant otter."

His card to me:
A Poem for My Wife

Sometimes we're crazy busy
All day, all week or more
With crazy-hurried mornings
That rush us out the door.

Our crazy schedule has us
running here and there
And when it comes to crazy things
I' say we've done our share!

.At times I drive you crazy
With the things I say or do
But you know I love our crazy life
(0pen)
And I'm crazy over you!

And he added this line - To my East, West, North and South with all of my love.

No Valentine's Day card is a lot better than the annual birthday cards from the Neptune Society.  That's happened to us both.


Friday, February 14, 2020

Who Said, "Can't Buy Me Love"? or at Least "Like"?

Valentine's Day (in America, at least) could be subtitled "National Guilt Day."  if you don't fill up the living room (or room of your choice) with roses; buy the 60 pound chocolate sampler and something adorable from Tiffany or Cartier, you are in deep do-do, guys.  And if you did the huge chocolate gift, you could easily be in more trouble.  "I'm trying to lose weight, you dolt!  Would you look at my butt!  It's huuuge!"  As many of you know, gentlemen, it is a loaded statement/question and one best left alone like a political discussion.  

So - here's a summation of various components of Valentine's Day (which, btw, restaurateurs hate - why in a minute.)

In 2020 spending is projected to bring in $27.4 Billion or $196.31 per person.  Men spend three times what the ladies do.  Broken down -
Jewelry  $5.8 Billion
Flowers $2.3 Billion
Candy  $2.4 Billion
However, the National Retail Federation projects $19.6 Billion or $143.56 per person.

Hallmark, selling Valentine cards since 1916 estimates 6.5 Billion cards for between $7 and $8 Billion with 1,400 card choices.

What are the most popular flowers?
Roses
Irises
Lilies (Aren't those funerals only?)
Sunflowers
Orchids

Chocolates 58 million pounds for $10.7 Billion in return.

I was surprised to read that restaurants don't like Valentine's Day.  Turns out people linger too long over their dinners which makes turning tables a lot harder.  A wine upgrade barely makes them and the accountant happy.  They do (surprisingly) a lot of desserts from midnight to 2 a.m.  People pop in just for dessert!  

                                                HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
 



Thursday, February 13, 2020

Kennel Clubs

I can't bill the title as "War of" because I don't think they're fighting.

The American Kennel Club was founded in 1884; the Westminster Kennel Club in 1877 a mere seven years apart.

Both clubs were formed by rich men.  Westminster started with judging Gun Setters and Pointers.  The group met in the West Hotel, Irving Place and 16th Street, Manhattan.  Today they use Madison Square Garden.  The name Westminster was taken from their favorite bar.  An auspicious start or not; you be the judge on that one.  Today it is #2 in Oldest Continuously RunningEvents, led by the Kentucky Derby at #1.

It wasn't until 1907 that the award Best in Show was created.  Some of the first competitors were J.P. Morgan, journalist Nellie Bly and Queen Elizabeth I.  This setting aside of the sport for rich men continued into the American  Kennel Club whose driving force was August O. Belmont and I think he got into horse racing, too.  The Belmont Stakes?

On September 17, 1884 12 men were invited to a meeting at the Philadelphia Kennel Club.  Each of the invitees had held a dog show or field trials.

In 1932 the club introduced Children's Handling classes.  It wasn't until 1974 that women were allowed to participate.  1956 the 5 millionth dog was registered, a Collie named Lassie the Golden Glory. Today their HQ is in Raleigh, NC

Two new breeds were introduced last year.  To qualify your breed for membership, there have to be at least 300 of the dogs in 20 States.  


A friend of mine reports on what the show dog life is like.  Her dog was a boxer (gorgeous dog; seen the pictures)  named Mr. Bull Nozey Dozer.

"He lived like a very wealthy king with human servants, groomer, chauffeur service, his own dentist, eye specialist, personal trainer and show handler; a life insurance policy with a hospital plan."  She went on, "And the AKC is an expense, too, with event entry fees ranging from $50 to $100 and up.  Really, having a performing dog is extremely demanding - a four legged child on steroids."

But beautiful.  The Dobermans, Whippets, Boxers ... each gorgeous in their own right.


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Very Good of Two Worlds

Periodically one of us will discover a new restaurant (we all like to eat), pick a night and go eat there.  Sometimes it's nothing more than a bargain at a place we've already eaten  (PRICE ALERT:  Spumoni, corner of Prospect and Aviation, Hermosa Beach - Monday nights, the food is 50 per cent off.  But you better be hanging around the parking lot at 4:45 for their 5 p.m. evening open.

Our foursome consists of two guys (Dee and Mouton) who were our neighbors when we all lived at the Peppertree, on PCH.  Thirty-six years ago.  We are not flighty about loyalty.  If we like you, we like you!

One lives in Long Beach; the rest of us here in Hermosa and Redondo so last night's dinner and a stop in at The Bar That Could Get Us Over the Loss of Suzy's (to Barsha.)  Long Beach stayed home.

The bartender at New Suzy's recommended that we have dinner next door at Hop Saint Brewing Co. and then come to him for a postprandial libation.  The bar has their own kitchen but tactfully, he didn't mention it.

Cut to Saint Hop.  I've reviewed it before (when it was new) and it's still concrete floors, very high ceilings and casual seating i.e. on wooden benches and tables for the food.  Bring your own cushion.  Wood benches are not very forgiving to the butt.

Quoting from the tab:
Vienna Lager Batch #1  $7
Pure Intention Beer $7.50
Grayson Chardonais $16 (two)

For apps with our drinks:
Pulled Pork Poutine - imported from Canada, this dish there is French fries, slathered in a rich brown gravy and smothered with Cheddar cheese curds.  Here at Hops, it's chunks of very crisp potatoes, called "torn potatoes"   ("Dry," Richie complained) with a beer cheese layer on the bottom of the skillet serving dish.  The pulled pork was scattered over the potatoes and the whole thing was topped with a tomato-based thick, slightly spicy, sauce  $11
Deviled eggs with pulled pork beds, chive spears - tasty.  $8 for four.  The men halved #4.
Roasted cornbread with a seasonal fruit jam (like icing on a cake) deliciously flavored and moist. The sugar in the jam caramelized nicely.    Most often, cornbread will explode all over the place with the first fork poke.

Entrees
Burger  $15 - very big, thick hamburger patty, lettuce and so on
Smoked ribs $15 in a fennel caramel sauce.
Killer Shrimp in a habanero cream sauce.  $16.

I thought everything I tasted was quite good.  And, aside from the huge mound of chunked potatos, portions were filling, but not swamping your innards.  And yes, I had enough left to take home for dinner tonight.  Buy a half pound of shrimp and add it to the sauce of which I have plenty and dinner is served.

Then we walked next door to the New Bar and having timed dinner and so forth to 7 p.m. for "Jeopardy" switched to wine, asked the bartender nicely if we could have one of the TVs on Channel 7 for Jeopardy with the closed captions; he happily acquiesced and we watched it from our bar stools!

A lovely evening altogether.


Monday, February 10, 2020

Aftermath of the Oscars

LA prides itself on being the Capitol City for the Motion Picture Industry.  Accordingly they run a yearly contest to publicize this unfortunate fact.

Since  it's timely, I wrote a bit about it yesterday.  Today we have the best part of this event for the picking over the well-dressed bones of the participants - whose dress was ridiculous; which acceptance speeches ran longer than the movies in which the actor appeared.  Gone forever, sadly, would seem to be the fun of spotting those who had overserved themselves (booze or drugs)  made an ass of themselves … good clean fun!  I miss that.

I did get one unwelcome surprise - I omitted Peter Fonda in the sad list of deceased in 2019/  I gasped when his name was called; because I didn't know he was dead.  He died age 79 of COPD from lung cancer.  My regrets and apologies to the Fonda family.

For my own amusement, I sent around a short poll to our friends who do like "the movies" or the theatre for that matter.  Only snagged two replies so far.

Questionnaire - If you are watching - Good show?
Boring?
Loving them!

Response #1
Nope, watched the Black Hawks lose to Winnipego.  Sorry, not interested in the Oscars.  We never go to movies anymore.

Response #2
Always interesting.  A very different world indeed.  This year it is better and it is moving quickly - speeches are short and to the point.  YAY!

I do find it funny though to see and hear 50+ year old men thanking their mothers.
The dresses never disappoint.  I can only shake my head (with pleasure at how stupid some of them are.  A bit of side boob here; a dress you couldn't sit in if you tried ...

If more comment, will include their remarks.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Spoiler Alert - Oscars

No, not Best Movie nor Best Actress - I don't have that kind of intelligence.  My guy at Price Waterhouse quit and moved to Rio where they don't have extradition.  He was doing rather too well at his low-paying job there and yet,  curioser and curioser, was swanning around town in a brand new Ferrari convertible and inviting friends for drinks at his new $5 million Beverly Hills mansion.

I've always liked the segment in the program that mentions that year's dead.  It seems nice to feature them at this awards show especially since Hollywood is as phony as you can get.  In a spirit of respect -

Oscar 2020 Shout Out to The 2019 Dead.

Kaye Ballard  93

Don Imus  79

Danny Aiello  86

(Rapper) Juice WRLD 21

Carroll Spinney 85 (voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch)

Diahnn Carroll  84

Eddie Money  70

Toni Morrison  88

Rip Torn  88

Tim Conroy  85

Gloria Vanderbilt  95

Doris Day  97

Peggy Lipton  72

Nipsey Hussle  33 (shot dead)

Luke Perry  52

Karl Lagerfield  85  His beloved cat Choupette inherited and lives on.

Sadly I knew of more of the people above than I have any idea of who is up for various awards.  I'd rather read than sit through any of the movies touted for an Oscar.


Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Royals and Showbiz

They didn't learn with Prince Edward who worked for Andrew Lloyd Weber's Really Useful Little production company  in order to indulge his love of show biz as a TV and film Producer and Presenter.  In 1987 he produced an exhibit of his design called "A Royal Knockabout" in which four teams of 12, under the leadership of one Royal per team competed to look more ridiculous than the other.  I give you one team, dressed up as human-sized vegetables throwing hams at one another.

Edward was apparently gently (or not so) turned away from a life in the theatre.  This was in June, 1987.

Now time passes and here comes another Child of Television.  Meghan Markle who clearly enchanted  Prince Harry.  Much like the Duke of Windsor, he has thrown away his kingdom (someday kingdom) for a woman.

Based on Comments in various columns of the Daily Mail the people seem evenly divided between "Aw, leave 'um be" and scorn of the highest magnitude.  

My point is this:  The Royal family knew she made a living as an actress.  Clearly no one remembered Prince Edward and his buddy Andrew Lloyd Weber.   Or the fact that "show biz" runs in the veins of performers.  You can't keep them off of a stage.

Detrimental nicknames I ran across courtesy of Comments.
Markles and Spencer - Marks and Spencer is a legendary department store.  It is affectionately called Marks and Sparks.

And this more telling … Cringe and Whinge (a reference to his frequent mentions of his late mother and his seven years in therapy due to her death.)  Will assume that "Cringe" is a reference to Meghan and her inherent entitled attitude.

If you hear any good ones, let fly!  .

Friday, February 7, 2020

"How Ya Doin'?" Ask at Your Own Peril!

"What peril in a simple question?" you ask.  Asking an old person or, to be more PC, a senior citizen.  They'll tell you.

As it happens, today is not a good day to ask me.  At least it's typed here and you certainly don't have to read it. (Or any other of these columns.)

My only decision here is whether to start from the head or from the feet up?  Hmmm.  By severity of situation?  None are life threatening (Thank you, God) mere more annoyances than Real Problems.

I have a minor sinus infection; being treated by an  antibiotic and a marvelous drug called Benzonatate which is believed to relax and numb the lungs, allowing them to function better and reduce the amount of coughing needed to get whatever the hell out of your throat.

On the other hand, I'd be remiss in not suggesting you might benefit from buying shares of Kimberly- Clark as you will need to stock up on boxes of Kleenex.  This is the time to use your Costco or Sam's Club cards.  Buy by the case.

Ah, I nearly forgot - speaking of hands I managed to sprain my left thumb.  Happily I have an old carpal tunnel brace and that is working wonderfully to protect it.  I first thought I'd just tape it to the index finger but the brace is easier.

If you have a wax build-up in your ears, my ENT suggested using hydrogen peroxide periodically to melt it. (?)  I use a no-needle syringe.  You can control where it goes.  The ensuing bubbles may remind you of Lawrence Welk's champagne bubbles.    Fun, no?

Lumbar 5 (L5) decided to pay a very unwelcome visit and  about the only thing I can do is two Aleve after breakfast and sit in a position that doesn't hurt.  Support L5!

And finally, I cut a chunk out of the calf of my right leg from the drawer pull to the under bed storage and that gets a dressing change every other day.  Whee!  playing Doctor!  Wash your hands, use a saline liquid to clean up the area, take a throat depressor and smear Mupiricin (the miracle drug for open cuts, scratches, burns) onto the distressed area, and then bandage with a non-stick "gauze" square and then band-aid it to the calf.  Pull up your jeans and caddy on old thing.

Somehow I don't expect any further questions about how I'm doing ...

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The State of the Union

Pretty dismal based on House Leader Nancy Pelosi's manners during it.  Various friends have communicated re her thumbing madly through apparently her copy of the speech.  One said, "She's a drunk and lost her place in it!"  I wouldn't know if Pelosi is a teetotaler or the biggest sot on Capitol Hill.  I'm down here in So. Cal. not up in San Francisco trying to set Siri to find the free Poop Palaces.

I've read that is not uncommon for senior citizens to revert back to childhood.  She will be 80 years old March 26, 2020.  Perhaps a stressful life?  She and husband Paul have been married since 1963, a total of 57 years.  They have five children and any mother can tell you that's a houseful, even with help.

Flashing back to Miz Pelosi's appalling public demonstrations of How Not To Be, I find myself wondering if those five adult children still eat with their hands?

I wouldn't be surprised.

A quote from weaselzippers.com:   When you can't impeach, tear up the speech.

Disclaimer:  This column is not meant politically; merely criticism for very childish behavior.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Proud Mothers

Can you imagine the conversation during the Super Bowl in the box set aside for the Mamas of J. Lo, Kashira and Lady GaGa?

Lady Gaga's Mum studied her program with great interest - she was looking to see if publicity had put in her daughter GaGa's widely quoted  remark, "I better not hear no lip syncing."  Whether it was made as the Mamma Lion of the tribe about to perform on a stage that must have covered half of the field or just general dominance over the cubs is not known by this correspondent.

Shakira and J. Lo both performed with energy, Shakira at 43; J. Lo at age 50 (and looking a little portly for that costume.)

None of the prima donnas spared the cash for multitudes of back-up dancers, so many in fact that half of the time you needed to concentrate very carefully to even see "our star."  Even the mothers of these lesser performers  were probably unable to spot their own whelp  in the churning mass of people on stage.   Constant movement - to distract viewers from the … aging performers?  Off-stage outfit - sequined t-shirts that read Former Pop Tart?

BeyoncĂ© and JayZ - oft-mentioned by Michelle Obama as role models for the Obama's daughters - couldn't be bothered to stand up for the singing of our national anthem.  Volumes there; will desist.

Recap - it sure was 20 - 10 for a long time.  But finally it changed to 31 - 20 and happiness all over Missouri.  

Sunday, February 2, 2020

HomeTeam Loyalty

Familiarity doesn't always breed contempt unless it's earned … or so someone somewhere must have said.

I am referring, of course, to the two contenders in today's Super Bowl- the '49ers for San Francisco and the Chiefs for Kansas City, Missouri.  

I'm rooting for my home town because I know it - Arthur Bryant's world-famous barbecue.  The Nelson Atkins Modern Art Gallery and the familiar Claes Oldenberg sculptures dotting the vast green front yard there.   The Plaza  (our response to Beverly Hills) and the opportunity to drive by Pinkerton Elementary School and Southeast High School(two of my alma maters)  plus our old house .Our first house is now a freeway on-ramp.  Benjamin Stables where I learned to ride ...

I've only visited San Francisco once, probably 50 years ago, for two days.  Well before, you will note, potty maps for their city streets.   

Easy choice, eh?  Plus KC hasn't had a chance for 50 years - "It's their turn!" anguished fans howl.  Count me among them.

Plus?  The odds slightly favor the Chiefs for a win last time I looked.  

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Super Bowl Sunday - Not a Day to Diet

For years, the dining cognoscenti have eaten pretty much the same game-time snacks.  Brief refresher course - chips and salsa or guacamole, buffalo wings... 

But today, searching for material today and something other than the tons of avocados that will generously give their lives to be guacamole - guess what?  There are now themed desserts for Super Bowl Sunday!

Did you ever consider dessert with a major football game?  I sure as hell didn't.  Super Bowl (to me) is red go-cups (big ones) filled with keg beer; various dips, etc.  But not dessert.  It seems vaguely … wrong... don't you think, too?

Here are two that I came across. 

PEANUT BUTTER PRETZEL DIP
Cream together peanut butter (commercial not "healthy" - it separates) with cream cheese, spread out in a pie pan, cover the top with mini-chocolate chips and use pretzels to dip in. 

MINI OREO TRUFFLES
1 package Double Stuffed Oreos, ground into dust; blend in 4 oz. cream cheese and make football-shaped balls.  Dip the balls in two cups melted sweet chocolate,then fill a decorating tube with 1 cup white chocolate and make the football strings.  If that seems a little frou-frou for a football game, just dip half of it in the white chocolate. 

Or just give everyone a spoon and pass around a can of cake frosting. That's a football dessert, by damn!