Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ways of Looking at Things...

A new and charming custom was revealed to us this morning via an article about this quiet custom - West Point graduates class rings are often donated to be melted down and made in to class rings for the new graduating class upon the death of the original wearer.

West Point was the first American school to have class rings, a custom that began in 1835 (no wonder we didn't know about it.) 

The ring custom is old, but the recycling of them  only began in 2002.  The class of 2016 seniors rings were composed of donated rings - 451 donated so far - of cadets from 1924 to 1968.    Among them - Lt. Gen. James ("Jumpin' Jim") Gavin, class of 1929 who parachuted four times into enemy territory during WW2.

There is a ceremony for the people donating  the rings and  a brief biography is read about each former West Point member. 

The rings are given to the beginning seniors who will have started designing their ring months ahead of school starting.  The choice of metal, a stone or just a West Point medallion, a miniature to be used as an engagement ring - Ike gave a miniature to Mamie.  When the rings have been handed out, there is a dinner dance to celebrate for family and friends. 

The rings are meant to be a continuation of the "Long Grey Line" an old reference to West Point students. 
And then there's this.  Sixteen countries refuse to accept Israeli passports, banning Jews from their countries.  Six of the seven countries  banned via President Trump from entrance here are whining that they are being shut out due to their adherence to the Muslim religion.    Hi, Hypocrisy - didn't know you were here!

Monday, February 27, 2017

What They Ate After the Oscars and Other Vital Matters

Chef Wolfgang Puck is once again catering the Vanity Fair magazine post-Oscars doolally.

Oddities from his menu - I didn't bother with mac and truffles or bacon-wrapped dates - so 10 years ago.  Really!  What were they thinking?

Gold-dusted popcorn - great addition to a resume, "Oh, I held a gold-filled shaker over the popcorn at the Oscars party." 
24-karate gold-dusted Oscar-shaped chocolates.  There will be 7,000 of them for your dining appreciation.  I have to wonder with all of the gold if "the stars" aren't in reality getting free dental work -  gold-filled cavities? 

Lobster corn dogs
Taro root and shrimp tacos
Oscar-shaped matzo crackers with smoked salmon
Baked potato and caviar

For the full menu - in very small type - Google  Chef Wolfgang Puck + Vanity Fair.  It is an extensive menu and I think that if you ate just one bite of everything being offered, you'd be as full as an egg.  Let me know how the lobster corn dogs worked out, okay?


The "My Turn" column in today's Daily Breeze:  "Lenten Offering:  The Top 10 Best Films Starring Jesus" by Don Lechman

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Replacing "Fish Needs a Bicycle" Add This to the Lexicon

"That's like going hunting and forgetting the accordion."

A member of the Three Comma Club is a billionaire.

Dear God - Don't Bury My Ashes in a Snow Globe with a PLASTIC Base!

The Daily Mail this morning offered an article on tasteful (doubtful) or creative (decidedly so) ways to preserve a loved ones ashes.  Naturally this piqued my curiosity.  Hello, Google?!  Me again.

Billed as the Heavenly Globe of Tears, it is a snow globe with non-alcoholic anti-freeze, a photo of the deceased and a plastic base.  Your choice of a variety of base styles - red/white/blue for a patriot or silver or gold plastic.  How tacky! 

If you are an ardent environmentalist, become a coral reef!  The ashes are mixed with concrete and then the concrete is made into a reef, let dry and put in the water.  All this to forever sleep with the fishies (are you paying attention Mafia chieftains?)   at a cost of between $2,495 up to $6,995.

Can't bear to be parted?  Find a tattoo artist that will mix ashes into the ink for a memento that will last as long as you do.  Depending on whether or not you get a massive infection from sloppy work and survive. 

Holy Smoke of Stockton, AL will add ashes to hand made bullets, tastefully engraved with the name or initials of the deceased. 

Cremation Solutions will construct a bust of you from photos, insert the ashes in the base and charge $600 to $2,600 for it.

Unusual containers would be - a mock pizza delivery box (made of poplar wood and painted)  or a container made to look like a Craftsman toolbox, $349.95.  Both, of course, can bear the name (especially the pizza box to avoid situations like "Man I was really like stoned and I opened the wrong pizza box") and I think the Craftsman dweller should add this line: " Gone to fix Heaven." 

In the Light Urns are offering an hourglass to contain the ashes "for generations."  They then add the disclaimer that the hourglass may not be accurate, depending on the size of the burned bones in the ashes. 

I can't figure this out, but the ashes are turned into a vinyl record album with favorite artist or songs.
A comment from England re wife's final resting place in an album:  Well she did go on and on - like a broken record.  The Website name?  Vinyly.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Presidents & World Leaders at the Table

Sources:  Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and various Websites including Food & Wine

Ladies First - It is well known that Queen Elizabeth never left the castle without her Malvern barley water.  Until 2010 when Coca Cola who had bought the brand ended it.  This closure really was the act of Damned Yankees as Queen Elizabeth 1 popularized drinking barley water and now, 400 years later:  gone!    This may not be so well bruited about - (shhhh!) but - she's a chocoholic and particularly enjoys chocolate biscuit cake, mousse au chocolat.

Pope Francis loves pizza, but is sad that he can't just hop over to the nearest pizzeria and have a slice.

Kim Jong-In is mad for Swiss cheese to the point that he claims it has messed with his digestion. An adventurous eater, he has sampled rhino, spiders and God only knows what else.  Grilled rhino steak with a Swiss cheese sauce anyone?

Vladimer Putin loves pistachio ice cream as does Binyamin Netanyahu.  Hmmm...

Angela Merkel likes a soup made of cabbage with sausage chunks.  Another sauerkraut lover is Jacque Chirac who also loves escargots.  Surely not together???

Evo Morales of Bolivia likes quinoa soup.  It can't be chicken noodle because once he publicly stated that after eating hens on hormones, men  no longer act like men. 

Obama loves broccoli; George H W Bush hates broccoli so much that after election, he said that he didn't like it as a kid; he doesn't like it now and as President he doesn't have to eat it at all. (So hah!)

Donald Trump loves McDonald's Filet O Fish.

Bill Clinton claimed his share of chicken enchiladas.

David Cameron likes a rather easy-to-make dish - spicy sausage and pasta.

Theresa May?  Indian cuisine.  She has tons of restaurants in London to choose from, too.

Justin Trudeaux loves sushi.  This took me a moment to consider, I must say.

Shinzo Abe likes ice cream - do we see a trend here?      

Dalai Lama sets a more austere table with bread and cheese.

Fidel Castro liked turtle soup.  Turtles have 100-year life spans, maybe he was trying for same?

Nelson Mandela likes ox tripe.  Not beef (or chicken if they do indeed have tripe)

Ronald Reagan dug into mac 'n cheese with gusto. 

Margaret Thatcher enjoyed grilled Dover sole.  Could the mercury in fish have caused Alzheimers?

Idi Amin not surprisingly liked roast goat.  I wonder if that was after-play for the poor goat...

Richard Nixon - much has been made of his penchant for cottage cheese swathed in catsup, but historians forgot one other ingredient - pineapple! 

Ready for lunch yet?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Listen to this!  The body of a British children's writer who was worth 4 million pounds,was finally found in a "cesspit" in an old well in the garage of her 1.5 million pound home, along with that of her dachshund Boris.  She had been missing for three months.

The money didn't stop there.  It is estimated that Helen Bailey's monthly royalties were 5,000 pounds per month.  FiancĂ© Ian Stewart, lived with the 51 year old writer.  It is believed that he gave her increasingly larger doses of sleeping meds.  She had complained in e-mails to friends to ask them why she felt so sleepy so frequently.   When she was sufficiently doped up, he suffocated her, wrapped her in a comforter and blomp! splash!  (The cess pit was full of human waste.)

Okay, it's a terrible story, human depravity, greed and lust for money (she'd changed her will to favor him the day before he offed her.)  Never mind all that.

But did you see the important stuff?   A 1.5 million pound house; 4 million more in assets and 5,000 a month???  All that for a children's author?  And little kids rarely have any cash on them! 

God damn!  "My Turn" in the Daily Breeze doesn't pay a dime and when they did pay, it was $25 per column. 

We need to do some serious thinking about marketing.  Meeting Thursday at 2 p.m. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Government Work Today

The City of Redondo Beach has a standardized application for employment that is mandated, according to this application "to prepare statistical reports required by Federal, State and local agencies."  

Question #3 - If hired, can you present evidence of your US citizenship or proof of your legal right to live and work in this country?  Yes   No

#17  Have you ever worked or attended school under another name?  If yes, please list name(s.)
(This might be a clue as to whether Bob became Abdullah Mohammed)

#22  Do you have a history of filing for personal bankruptcy more than once, have current financial obligations for which legal judgements have not been satisfied or currently have wages garnished?  (Trying to weed out candidates unsuitable for financial work)

#26  The City of Redondo Beach is a drug-free workplace.  If you are offered a position, as part of the pre-employment process, you will be required to submit to a urinalysis drug screen.  Please indicate that you understand this requirement for employment.  Yes   No  

#28  Further, do you hereby agree to be fingerprinted before or during your employment and agree to your fingerprint being processed by the Department of Justice?

It should be noted that the above is given to anyone who wants to work for Redondo - from Police Chief down to unpaid social volunteers such as the Bingo Lady at a senior center run by the City.  Say what you will about laid-back beach living, Redondo is flat ON IT.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Add Flavor To Your Tofu

Buy the firm kind, cut into cubes and fry them in bacon grease.

The Wit of Some of Our Presidents (or Their Speechwriters)

The LA Times this morning featured a listing of clever things some of our past Presidents have uttered, many at the annual Press Club dinner where polite manners dictate that the President speaking make fun of himself.  I think most of them do that on a regular basis and not only at the Press Club affair. 

Gerald Ford in 1975:  "I am sure you have all noticed that the White House is getting a new coat of paint.  The painter says it is leak proof.  I sure hope so."

Lyndon B. Johnson's reply to a Marine who'd told him, "Mr. President, this is your helicopter over here."  He said, "They're all mine, son."

Herbert Hoover's answer to a woman who wanted to know what retired presidents do - "Madame, we spend our time taking pills and dedicating libraries."

John F. Kennedy's reply to someone who asked him how he'd become a war hero:  "It was involuntary; they sank my boat." 

Jimmy Carter at the 1979 White House Correspondent's dinner:  "Tonight, to show my good will, I'm going to give you such an inside story - off the record, of course, so put away your crayons."

James Madison lay dying, but quipped, "I always speak better lying down." 

                                                    HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Grotesque: comically or repulsively ugly or distorted"

This is a reference to a new fad in the Body Modification world.  It is getting the whites of your eyes tattooed.  I'm against for the very simple reason that the end result might be a massive infection followed by blindness for the rest of the tattooed's life.

Disclaimer:  Let me say that I don't have and never have had any problem with tattooed or pierced people.  This is a free country and if you want to spend painful hours -- spine, upper shoulder, neck are said to be the most painful because of the numerous bones under the skin - getting inked, more power to you.  Interestingly enough the soles of the feet and palms of the hand are considered non-starters because the skin is often thicker than say the inside of the upper arm and as a result, shed skin.  And the tattoo. 

Back to having your eyeballs tattooed.  Dye is inserted into the area between the white and the sclera (?) as a one shot and then the dye is left to itself to spread out and color the white. 
Light blue, purple and black as well as the rare bloodshot red seem to be the colors of choice.

Two sources so that you can see for yourself (although can't recommend viewing them before or after a meal ...)  viralnova.com/eyeball tattoos or BMEzine.com   BE = Body Enhancement

The above was presented as an interest in others and is not meant in any way to encourage readers to emulate these people who have dyed their eyeballs. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Henny Penny and the Weathermen - The Sky Is Falling!

You'd think we'd all be inured to the hysteria with which the weather people greet storms these days.

For the last week, here and nationally, the forecasters have been bleating in terror about The Storm That Will Kill Us All.  Since previous storms, projected to do us all in, haven't I sensed a certain deja vu ...

This morning I finally pinpointed the source, perhaps, of this hysteria.  Many of you will be able to join me in remembering an old folk tale that we heard as children.  A brief summation, if you will.

Henny Penny the chicken is sucking up dried corn when an acorn falls off of a nearby tree and conks her on the head.  She didn't see that it was only an acorn and freaks out, believing that the sky is falling in on her.

In a panic - "The sky is falling!" -  she decides to notify the King and on her way to his palace, collects several animals to accompany her.  They include Turkey Lurkey, Goosey Loosey and the villain Foxy Loxy. 

Foxy Loxy convinces this gang to take shelter in his den.  "The sky can't fall into a hole in the ground," he reassures them.   They join  Foxy in his lair and Foxy and his family  kill and eat them all. 

While I am not advocating killing weather forecasters and eating them - because the thick pancake make-up and lashings of hair spray would undoubtedly ruin the digestion - I do think they could peddle back a bit on the hysteria.  I realize and sympathize that the weather, out here at least, is same-o, same-o day in and day out and that their excitement at finally having something to report is thrilling ... but, cautionary gesture - the sky is NOT falling. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Get Harrison Ford Out of Our Skies!

Never mind Black Lives Matter (BLM which I thought stood for Bureau of Land Management) or Social Justice Warriors (oxymoron on a good day) or all of the rest who delight in breaking windows, torching cop cars and in all ways being disruptive.  I say, "Pish tosh!"

We are facing a real threat to our safety and well-being.  I don't think many of us drive police cars or go around carrying a crow bar.  I could always be wrong, but I don't think so on this.

We are facing genuine menace.  I am referring to actor Harrison Ford and his unalloyed attack on our country's golf courses, dry river beds and most recently a 737 110 seat plane while making a landing at John Wayne Airport. 

Tell me he wasn't confused when he allegedly asked the control tower if that airplane was supposed to be under him?

I read yesterday that the FAA may not get around to evaluating Ford/deciding on a plan of action for perhaps six months.  This is unacceptable.  Meanwhile, Ford is free to fly around, landing willy nilly at any emergency site he deems able to accept his aircraft.  Or not.    Skilled pilots rarely land on golf courses or dry river beds.  Runways are their landing site of choice.

Until this matter has been successfully adjucated, put the golf clubs in the garage  and go somewhere that does NOT have dry river beds.  Word.  Stay safe. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


The title is the colloquial pronunciation of the word "foreigners."  With that out of the way ...

Ikea is running an ad for a new store location in Spanish.  Tell me you don't immediately understand what it's saying -  

El Nuevo Ikea Burbank.  1-5 en Olive Avenue/Verdugo. Obten detalles. 

If we can easily read this and translate it to English, why can't Spanish-speakers as easily read the message in English?  Ikea comes to us from Sweden.  Maybe they know meatballs better than Spanish ... incidentally, their Swedish Meatballs are said to be excellent. 

A Four-legged Fur-riner.  That would be a German Shepherd dog who took Best in Show last night at the Westminster Kennel Club's 141st contest.  Rumor, a female dog, is owned by four women and a man - Americans all, as is the dog. 

German Shepherds appeared back in 1892 in guess where?  Such was the enthusiasm for a dog that looked like a wolf, that a fan club sprang up.  And shut down a mere two years later over disagreements over what the dogs should look like.  More wolf-like or less? 

The Kennel Club lists them as "working dogs."  We've seen this live and in person at the K9 shows here in Redondo.  The thing about this breed that I really notice is the notably sloping hind quarters.  Even at rest, they look like they're sneaking around.  LouisDonald.com explains that over the years, the dog's have been bred for a curved lumbar and longer bones.  His Website (above) can tell you all you ever wanted to know about these dogs including what judges look for in teeth (diagramed for your viewing pleasure,) wet or dry mouth, a masculine or feminine face and a great deal more..

An Irish Setter won his class; his name made me sit up straight - GrC, Ch Vermilion (one l) Sea Breeze; routinely called "Adrian."  Vermillion (two ls) was my maiden name. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Mixed Bouquet for Valentine's

"Here's your card today
But I think it would be nice
To give you candy tomorrow
(It'll be half price.)
     courtesy of Bruce Tinsley, Mallard Fillmore cartoonist

The above is a sentiment dear to the heart of Richie who forces me to buy Christmas cards the day after Christmas - "They're 50 per cent off!" he enthuses as he hustles me out to the car.

In earlier married years, Valentine's day was a big deal - card exchange, dinner out ... but after 34 years, it seems a little ... unnecessary somehow.  Furthermore, it is very difficult to get dinner reservations and I speculate that we have a great many young couples (25 to 45) that still go out.  Based on the number of baby buggies (the size of Volkswagens) seen locally many of them  probably have children of varying ages.   It's not really that pleasant dining out on this night - the restaurant understandably wants to clean up; servers scurry to serve as an inducement to "Eat awready and GO!"  I tell you who makes out - the babysitters!  And they earn it, make no mistake.  Some children's parents should pay a bonus for hazardous duty. 

But there are joys to be found right in your own home.  Last night's entertainment (and it was) was the 141st  Westminster Kennel Club "Best in Show" contest, live at Madison Square Garden.  Notes I scribbled during the broadcast:

The car wash dogs and/or the animated bath mat dogs.  These are the dogs who have long, floor-length coats and when they run the hair swooshes back and forth.  Since nothing of the dog is visible except for its head, and sometimes not much of that,  I wonder what the judges take note of - gait is visible, dog structure is not.   Every time I saw one of these dogs I burst out into spontaneous guffaws; they look as though they have wheels underneath all of that hair. 

Last night the judges examined Hounds, Toys, Companion Dogs, Non-sporting and Herding dogs (who didn't get to do their thing; they were just paraded around the ring like all of the other dogs.)

The shortest dogs don't use their knees; it's a stiff-legged gait - much like their handlers who all ran flatfooted which couldn't have been good for their livers - pound, pound, pound.  Thus there is a ramp from the show spot down to the ring floor.

I'm surprised that there are any rabbits left in the United States or most of Europe since hunting dog after hunting dog was "bred" to get rabbits.  In the companion-dog size, many were dogs that originated in Asia that I'd never heard of and one breed that arrived via the deserts of Arabia (as it was then.) 

The show continues tonight - we get it on Fox Sports 1 - but look around if Fox isn't in your area.  If in the worst case scenario you can't get it, get a copy of the 2000 movie "Best in Show" and live it vicariously. 

What's for dinner, you ask?  Baby crab cakes and peach champagne to start, followed by roast pork loin with Tiger sauce, grilled cauliflower with a touch of white balsamic and hash browns.  Bon appetite and a very happy Valentine's Day to you all. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Sadness of the VA Cemetery ...

Richie's brother Charlie and his wife Rosalind live on Long Island, NY, and twice a year they fly out here to see their daughter and her family who live in Studio City.  (Twice a year the daughter and family fly to Long Island.)

From here at the beach, one has a choice of two routes - the 405 North or La Cienega to Beverly Hills to Coldwater Canyon to Ventura Boulevard.   Yesterday - Sunday morning - we took the Freeway because traffic was stepping right along. 

Familiar sites flew by - Nordstroms, the cinema, Century City's skyscrapers until at last we were opposite the VA Cemetery just after Wilshire Boulevard.

This is a part of the trip I enjoy because I love to see the military precision in the ruler-straight lines between the headstone rows.  From any angle you view them, they are straight as a die.  Certainly it is a sad sight and I always say "thank you" mentally.

But yesterday it struck me.  There were no grave decorations - no flowers, no helium balloons - just row after row after row of plain white stones, shaped like tablets.  Like a giant's neatly-planted teeth.    

The lack of decoration, if you will, bothered me - maybe many of the graves held men/women whose families had all died out, too?  Perhaps flowers and balloons were forbidden?  So I looked it up.

This VA cemetery was opened on May 22, 1889, covers 114 acres which hold 89,000 graves of military and their spouses.  The cemetery's first guests were veterans of the Mexican-American War followed by the Civil War and then the Spanish American War on up to today's veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. 

There are two dogs buried there - "Old Bonus" the mascot at the Old Soldiers Home and "Blackout" who fought in the Pacific during WW2.   Also of note, Wyatt Earp's father and Dean Martin's son Dean Paul Martin.

The chapel was renamed the Bob Hope Veterans Chapel in 2002 to honor Hope on his 99th birthday.

An additional 13 acres has been purchased to build columbarium (basically walls with niches for cremated remains containers) because there is no more space for coffin burials except for spouses of the deceased (they stack them.)   It is planned that these walls will contain another 89,000 people.

To answer the lurid decorations ban (I have personally seen a pair of child-sized flip flops, toy bears, and more in other cemeteries) the VA does permit fresh flowers (no plastic varieties allowed) and fancier decoration for 10 days before Easter and Christmas.   If you don't come and get your offerings, they are held in storage for a month and then destroyed.  The VA feels that dignity is better as a reminder.

And now I agree.  There is something so very moving about row after row of plan white crosses.  Perhaps aside from family and friends, the dead buried there are as anonymous as they may have been in life and yet ... they gave their lives for this country. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Progress Report

Richie's brother Charlie and his wife Rosalind flew in from New York yesterday in time for lunch at Tin Roof Bistro.  This has become a sort of tradition with us in that they pick a flight that gets in around noon/1 p.m. and we go there for a bite.  And a drink if their flight was a little bouncy wouncy  They had Tom Collins, Richie a beer and I had a flute of sparkling prosecco.  Bonus points - I wasn't anywhere near an airplane all day yesterday..

Today is the bi-annual piano recital for C & R's grandsons, followed by a brunch at the house.  The little kids performing at these recitals crack me up.  They haven't figured out the bow/curtsy that starts their gig so they bend over and stick their little butts out.  Hilarious! 

Hope to run story and photos on the very interesting and educational Musical Instruments Museum, Phoenix, tomorrow. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Another War and a Temporary Fix

The War:  me vs. computer to display photos on a DVD.  Richie shot a great many pictures in Phoenix/Scottsdale, and I wanted you to see them.  I will triumph.  Eventually and through some quirk of the system. 

Meanwhile -

From the Dog and Cat Bible
And thou shall have dominion over all of the beasts ... except, of course, cats.  Felines 12-15
Many are chosen, but few come when you call them.  Canines 3-5

Colorful expressions stolen, er collected,  over time ...

So slick he could eat gravy with a fork.

I'd stop eating chocolate, but I'm no quitter.

Older than a couple of turtles and  redwood tree

Tough enough to hunt bear with a willow switch

I couldn't eat another bite; I'm full as an egg. 

Well aren't you just the oyster's ice skates!

Cuter than a Dalmatian puppy in a red wagon

The rodeo announcer said about the girl who missed two out of three of the barrels in the race, "Pretty outfit; long ride home."  Which pretty much sums up my battle with the computer except for the pretty outfit part. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Vroom, Vroom!

While visiting friends in Phoenix/Scottsdale, we all went to the Penske Racing Museum.  penskeracingmuseum.com if you want to "see" it. 

Very modern design - polished concrete floors, angular black leather and chrome chairs, an enormous patio which in reasonable weather (i.e. never summer) becomes part of the main area at the push of a button - the windows rise up into the ceiling. 

There is a very good little cafĂ© with tasty food that's extremely modestly priced - Jerry and I each had double, fat hotdogs with an order of very crisp fries nestled underneath them - $5.  Richie had a tuna melt - $5 and a cup of chili (forget; might have been $3) and Eileen hit the salad bar a death blow.  And management wanted her to do just that because the bowl was very nearly dishpan size. 

The usual exhibits found at car museums, shrug, but what blew me away was this:  the Penske museum is located in the heart of a new/used car lot for extremely expensive exotic and not so cars!  If for some insane reason, owners of ancient Model-T Fords want to wipe out exotics of today - a co-ordinated drones attack would take out:

Jaguar/Land Rover
Bentley/Lamborghini/Bugatti (BUGATTI?)
Rolls Royce/Aston Martin

You can skim through the museum in very little time which is a good thing because I had to be physically  pulled away from the Ferraris ... and didn't that make a pretty picture.  Not.

Monday, February 6, 2017

This'n That

Refreshing and Unexpected ...
This is a reference to Lady Gaga's performance during half-time at the Super Bowl yesterday.  Her outfit was positively tailored compared to the nudity flaunted by other performers.    "I can't sing worth shit, but look at my (fill in)."

Particularly so, because  Lady Gaga debuted the famous Meat Dress, a garment (in the vaguest sense) made from what looked like T-bone steaks.  Including shoe covers for her skyscraping platform shoes and a saucy beret of a draped T-bone.   I bet when dismantled, it kept her entire crew happily tearing into steak and tossing the bones over their shoulders for quite some time.  After a thorough rinse and high heat to cook it/them.

Eating Cheap on Supermarket Take-Out - Twice!
It is raining again here and thank you Rain Gods or real God because it comes in handy although the car wash guys are biting their nails and tearing their dreadlocks. 

French Conversation class this morning veered off somehow into Where Do You Find the Closest to a French Baguette In Our Area? 
El Segundo - the Bread Box
Manhattan Beach - Pain Quotidian (the day's bread)
   and a reminder about Jon's Supermarket, previously  reviewed.

The end result of this was that after class, we zoomed through the rain and went grocery shopping at Jon's just to get a baguette.

We also lurched over to the in-house barbecue department and bought:
Baked beans - $3.00
Half a bbq chicken - $4.99
Baby back pork ribs - $7.11
1.2 lb. knockwurst - $5.71
  for a grand total of $20.86

Tonight - bbq baby backs and chicken and baked beans
Tomorrow night - grilled knockwurst and the rest of the beans.
Wednesday - leftovers, if any or if not eaten for lunch.

Best of all?  Didn't have to go out in the rain to get it!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Of Note

I read that Black Hawk helicopters will be part of the security scene at this year's Super Bowl.  I don't think this is a very good idea.  Their reputation for staying in the sky is not noticeably a good one.

Enjoy the day anyhow  - may your team win and make you proud. 

The Newest Idea for Bone-Idle Lazy People

What follows is NOT "faux news."  Sadly, it's for realsies.

The Whole Foods store in New Bryant Park, New York, has among other delights - a rolling cart dispensing made-this-minute tahini dips - a new department with a shiny counter, a white-clad "butcher" and a neon sign above (blue) that reads PRODUCE BUTCHER. 

This person will accept your head of cabbage or bunch of carrots or broccoli trees and trim and cut them as you require - chopped, minced, cubed - ready for the table or steamer. 

This is not a free service from Whole Foods.  It's a dollar a pound for bulk veggies (probably the head of a cabbage would be "bulk." )

This is not actually ground-breaking - this slice and dice service.  Mario Batali's Eataly started doing it seven years ago.  Since Whole Foods is promoting it like the best thing since crisp bacon - oops - I have to wonder what kind of a success or not, it was for Eataly. 

One reader commented "E.coli Warriors?"   Many others decried the laziness inherent in taking the onion for chopping to the Produce Butcher.  Several asked if someone would be sent home with them to spoon feed these customers.  "Millennials"  was mentioned frequently.  And not in a nice way.

Many of us know this service - in restaurants, it's called "prep cook" and, yes, they do cook your meal for you!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Don't Flush in Michigan and Hoard Your Avocados

If it's yellow, let it mellow - if it's brown, flush it down - But Wait Till the Game Is Over.
Macomb County, suburban Detroit, has a giant sinkhole and the public works chief there is fearful that if everyone in that area waits till the Super Bowl half-time to visit the toilet, that all of the subsequent flushing will further damage an already-broken sewer line that serves 300,000 people in 11 communities.  If it's a big party you're throwing, rent Port-a-Potties?  Line them up on the driveway and charge a small fee to neighbors wanting to "drop in"?

Work is progressing on the sewer line but whether it will be functional by tomorrow seems uncertain and, based on the public works chief's urging to return to hippie days, probably not.   

(source):  LA Times Sports section 2/4/17)

Trump Didn't Eat All of the Avocados
Whatever plans Trump may have to charge a 20 per cent fee on Mexican imports which presumably includes avocados, that edict or Executive Order or whatever the hell it is, does not take affect (if ever) until 2018.  So don't call the White House sniveling about "No guacamole this year!"

And never mind Mexico anyhow.  California produces nearly 90 per cent of the U.S. avocado crop.  The U.S. eats 2 billion pounds every year and I think some of them go into one of the new food fads - avocado toast which is bruschetta basically.  Toast a slice of baguette and slather guacamole on it. 

Besides the US and Mexico, these countries export avocados - Chile, Peru, the Dominican Republic and New Zealand (where, quite possibly, they've never heard of guacamole.  Maybe NZ started the "avocado toast"?)

As the proud co-owner of an avocado tree I grew from a seed, I would, of course, be stationed on the balcony (next to the tree) with a bb gun and a gin martini to ward off interlopers, but the tree hasn't hit its full stride yet and generally speaking, only gives us one or two avocados a year, if any.  It is a Big Deal when we get an avocado from it.  Granted they weigh about 5 lbs. each, but ... I have hopes for next year just as I have had hopes for the past five years.   Avocados aren't an instant crop like carrot-top ferns.  (sigh)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Home Again, Home Again

Uneventful flights (the best kind) to and from Phoenix of which you will be hearing quite a bit of later on.  A tour through the Museum of Musical Instruments - absolutely fascinating and well done; a very grand dinner at Eddie V's Seafood and what it's like to live in a Del Webb property (55+)