Thursday, August 31, 2017

PC Idiocy Part 2

Yesterday we learned that the LA City Council wanted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.  Today I read that 14-1 voted to do it.  The usual knee jerk reaction to  anything mentioning slavery, real or imagined or made up.  "Columbus had slaves!  He killed Indians!" 

Except it wasn't American Indians or imported blacks. 

My cousin, Doug, a noted historian writes:

"I keep reading where people are saying Columbus and his men were responsible for massacring Indians.

"In all of the years I've studied history, I have never before read that from an authoritative source.  His crew was involved in killing Indians who attacked his ship (in the Caribbean Islands, as I recall) but I've never heard they massacred people." 

Note to the LA City Council:  Buffoon alert - read up on history before you make fools of yourselves.   

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"And" Doesn't Exit in the PC Crowd's Lexicon

California, in its great wisdom, is listening to the blather of a bunch of Politically Correct  City Council members whose newest great idea is to banish Columbus Day, a federal holiday held on the second Monday in October, and to replace it with Indigenous People Day.   Or more informatively "Native American Day."

Native American Day is already celebrated in September in the great state of California, but the wack-a-dos of Berkeley are not happy with that.   Columbus Day must go!

Why is not possible for the holiday to be Columbus Day AND Native American Day if they have to celebrate it?  Because liberal thinking forbids anything but my way or the highway.

Legislatively, they're about as needed as a life guard in a car wash or as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.   Instead of The Last of the Mohicans, how about The Last of the Liberals?  I'd celebrate that for a minimum seven days. 

And when the celebrants of the 91st Feast of San Gennaro to be held this year from September 14 to the 24th in Little Italy, Manhattan,  hear about this newest folly from California ... well, yas don' wanna be dere.  It ain't going to be pretty. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Everything Old Is New Again

Today's Antifa thugs are just yesterday's pre-WW2 Brown Shirts..  Pure and simple. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Rockport Update

This came in this morning concerning the fellow classmate and his wife who had to flee Rockport as reported yesterday.

"Just had some friends go by our home in Rockport.  Doors, windows and roof are okay.  No flooding.  One broken small palm tree and fence down in places.  Still without water, electricity, sewage, etc.  We are going home tomorrow.  Thanks for all of your prayers."

Bill, our class correspondent,  added that he also heard from several other classmates who have relatives or friends in Houston or the Gulf Coast area.

"Phil and I were in Rockport until we had to evacuate.  We have friends that have a condo there.  He went in yesterday to see the damage.  Parts are really bad.  We were planning to go back in two weeks, but don't think that will happen.  (We're) praying that Larry's is one (of the houses) that made it without too much damage. 
"Also, please pray for our son and his family that live in Houston.  They have had 17 in. at their house and expecting another 20 - 30 inches.  So far they are okay, but not with another 20."  Gloria and Phil Rollins

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Report from Rockport, TX

Our high school's designated "contactor" wrote this morning about a fellow Southeast High School member and quoted that note to the rest of us.

"Good morning, Bill.  Thanks for your prayers.

We escaped to a safe harbor before Harvey - a town about 200 miles west.  It appears that Rockport is in shambles.

Martial Law has just been announced, so we may not be able, for a time, to get home to examine damage right away. 

Power is not expected to be returned for 30 to 45 days.  I lived in Coastal areas sine 1975 and this is my first loss of a home.

We appreciate all prayers.  Psalms 91:11  Take care and God bless.  Larry and Nancy "

Friday, August 25, 2017

Suitable for Tornados and Hurricanes

The Mayor of Texas city about to be affected by the hurricane  advised the people who insist on staying in their homes to put their Social Security Number in indelible ink on an arm.

If it were me, I'd put all of my i.d., a credit card and the smart phone and charger cord in a ziplock sandwich bag and tape it securely to my chest with duct tape.  . 

Harvey! You Leave My Cousins Alone!

Harvey is scheduled to land tomorrow - Saturday - morning.  If they hadn't lived in Texas all of their lives, my cousins safety would be a cause for worry. 

Corpus Christie -  Paul, his wife and daughter can go to their ranch inland

Beeville (60 miles north of Corpus) - one family lives in an immense, solid (18 in. thick walls) mansion that has been there since 18-something. One could take the position that if it hasn't been blown down by now, it's unlikely it'll go this time.   It's last incantation was as a B & B and insanely popular with hunters in deer season. 

Another flock has nested about a mile from the Beeville Country Club (which has been there since the '30s)  in a cluster of low-to-the-ground one-story houses surrounded by live oak trees.    If they run out of food?  Shove aside the tree branches, grab the little red wagon handle and hike over to the Club.

Harlingen - that cousin is the former Risk Management Supervisor for the City of Harlingen.  I believe he knows what to do. 

We heard the mayor of Corpus Christie saying yesterday that while the city has not gone to forced evacuation yet, it could happen.  And if it does, he warned, go. " I am not risking our first responders lives to save someone who stubbornly stays home."  Or words to that effect.  I really wanted to clap and cheer, but that would have scared our cats. 

I hope that if you have loved ones in Harvey's path, they emerge safe and sound. 

And if you do live where there might be strangers pounding on your front door, here are some doormats that might distract them from trying to barge in and eat all of your food and drink all of your water.  Of course, a double-barreled shotgun would undoubtedly turn them away, but how unchristian!  Not the famed Texas hospitality At All.





Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sadly Disillusioned ...

Early evening, 8/23/17
I had spent the day in a haze of euphoria - "And the Best Blog Is: Word of Mouth" was ranked 4.6 stars out of a total of Amazon-issued 5 stars.  I also spent a good part of the day advising my nearest and dearest of this amazing (couldn't resist; should have) news. 

As evening gently came down, so did my spirits.  I am a practical person.  Euphoria drifted away as that pragmatic person (me)  realized that is in the book-selling business.  They are hardly going to award a book (or writer) with a half or one star.  That would not intrigue the potential buyer to act with alacrity to buy the book. 

So I stood in the middle of the dusty old road to Enlightenment  and watched Reality jump up on the Practical wagon, gently flap the reins on the  Common Sense horse and plod away. 

And I finally got over myself. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Goodie For Me, She Chortled

More unabashed glee.  A friend prodded me to pay more attention to my listing on and Barnes & Noble for "And The Best Blog Is:  Word of Mouth" so I dutifully skipped over to and found .....

This is really great!

Wait for it .....

Out of a five stars possible rating, "And the Best Blog Is: Word of Mouth" scored a 4.6.

How cool is that?! 

On top of:   Barnes & Noble using it in an online ad for various books they're promoting yesterday.  I couldn't have been more surprised - or pleased. 

It may be overcast and gloomy outside (and it is) inside, sunlight and joy prevail. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

More of Richie's Treasures

Periodically he decides to go through some of his collection and he makes a point of showing most of it to me.  Baseball cards and sprint car magazines are lusterless to me somehow. 

Among yesterday's gold and dross was an information sheet from the good ship Jubilee on which we traveled touring the Mexican Riviera in 1990 to celebrate my 50th birthday.   Obviously there have been some changes in ships since 1990, but it's fun to look back. 

Trivia - built in 1986, and is the largest ship to ever come out of Scandinavia (built in Malmo.)

We toured the Bridge and according to the information sheet we were given...

Satellite Communications Terminal - Inmarsal Raytheon JUE 35A
This system provides high-quality telephone, telex data and facsimile services.  Calling is fast and easy, and because transmissions are by  line of sight microwave radio, they are virtually unaffected by weather or ionospheric conditions."

Since I understand exactly nothing of the above, but it sounds like a good idea, let us find something I could understand.  The following has probably been around since the '30s.

Why is a ship called "She"?   BECAUSE:

There is a great deal of bustle around her
She has a waist and stays
It takes a lot of paint to keep her looking good
It's the upkeep, not the initial expense that breaks you
She is all decked out
It takes a good man to handle her
She shows her topsides; hides her bottom sides
When coming in to port, she always heads for the buoys!

I did say "1830s" didn't I?

Monday, August 21, 2017

And the Henny Pennys Have a Field Day!

Their cry is not "The sky is falling!" but "The sun is dying!"

Not content with that, the more religious among us are saying the eclipse portends the Apocalypse!  The Rapture!  The Second Coming!

The beach cities will just have to miss it all.  It is heavily overcast here and not scheduled to clear up before 11 a.m. or noon.  The eclipse is due here at 9 a.m. and at 8:27 a.m. as this is being written, it is still overcast.

We can always see it on TV - benefit - no danger to our vision. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Blink and You'll Miss It

Tomorrow's much hyped total eclipse (WOW!) will be seen for a grand total of two minutes, 40 seconds, anywhere along its path.

Your cell phone will not go dead.  The climate will not plummet into the low 30s.  Your pets will not suddenly stop whatever they were doing and go to sleep thinking it is bedtime; outside birds will most likely just keep flying.  They will not drop like stones, onto the nearest branch for sleep. 

As always, given a shred of fabric, the scare media makes a tablecloth.  Where they will dine in glee at having scared you.  Don't give them the pleasure. 

If you live near the beach, you, your pets and the wild birds won't even know about it.  We're scheduled for overcast Monday and all the rest of the week. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The "Knife-Resistant" Vest

Thursday Writers aka the South Bay Writers finished critique and we had time leftover.  The discussion turned to the news, none of which, of course, was good.  One member said, "I always feel so sorry for the British police - they aren't allowed guns!"

Another member said, "It's very difficult to get a gun in Europe ..but those jackets are knife-proof." 

You would have to conclude, as I did, that nothing had been resolved. 

Still, those fluorescent yellow vests were rather smart; I wondered if an American citizen could buy one for Home Country use?

Indeed.  Pages of vendors, but the one that caught my eye had this blurb ",,, to individuals who require reliable protection from edged weapons in their chosen vocation."  Was that gracefully phrased?  Was it typical British understatement?  You betcha!  That sentence alone would make me buy from that supplier.

Take a look - they have a British Bobby Yellow version in sizes XS to 4XL.

Previously covered in my book "And the Best Blog Is:  Word of Mouth" was one Miguel Caballero who manufactures bullet-proof designer clothing in disguise.  Looks like your sister is wearing a wife beater undershirt?  Uh huh.  Vest.  Lovely suede men's jacket?  Ditto.   Bonus points:  anti-bacterial.  Men's jacket 4,401 Euros; woman's undershirt 2,023 Euros. 

But I side with the woman who feared for the unarmed bobbies.  At least they are guarded against knife thrusts. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Coming Soon To Your Local DMV

Now Hear This:  Inasmuch as there have been a number of regrettable vehicular incidents involving crowds of innocent (or presumed innocent) civilians, be advised that your car keys are now considered a deadly weapon and you are now required to register said car keys at the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

There will be no exceptions to this directive.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Letter to the Editor

Alert readers will notice that I deleted God in the letter.  He ran yesterday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Where's The Sauce for the Gander?

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. 

Apparently the sauce for the gander ran out - the KKK, New Black Panthers, #Black Lives Matter, the pink pussy hat wearers for womens' solidarity, the Antifa, Social Justice Warriors and the Westboro Baptists Church poured it down the drain. 

These demonstrations and marches (with or without a permit to demonstrate) have changed exactly nothing at all other than overtime for the trash collectors  to clean up their meeting sites.  These supporters may believe ardently in their "cause" but clearly not in trash cans. 

The 1st amendment blesses (and rightly so) a peaceful assembly.    All of the above groups do not assemble with any kind of "peaceful" in mind.  It is time to call out every group that riots and causes riots, no exceptions.  If God came down from Heaven and picked up a protest sign and started yelling for His cause, I'd tag him, too - for Remedial Peaceful Assembly 101. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Now At Barnes & Noble

"And The Best Blog Is:  Word of Mouth" is now available at Barnes and Noble bookstores as well as

Can I Offer You Some Swineapple?

Apparently foodies are now turning their noses to the aromas of pork and pineapple; their ears to the crackle of cooking bacon and their salivary glands are working overtime!

Who knew?

"Swineapple" is a cute name for a fresh pineapple, cored, and the vacant space filled with cooked, pulled pork or stuffed with Spam.  Then a lattice of bacon strips is draped over it cunningly and the whole mess is put on an outdoor grill or in an indoor oven. 

I read that a bacon lattice is made in the same manner one would make the lattice for a pie.  I think just the bacon lattice all by itself would make an attractive dish as an appetizer - put it out whole on a platter with a sharp knife and let guests cut their own portion.  Add to the merriment by basting it with a mix of brown sugar and whisky as it cooks.  It should crust up nicely and give a visual and taste bud treat.  Cook the lattice at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, plus or minor. 

On the other hand ... Saute rings of fresh pineapple, put them on a plate, fill the hollow with pulled pork and garnish with an "x" of grilled bacon strips.  One strip halved should work just fine per pineapple ring.  Let's not get giddy here.  Bacon doesn't grow on trees.

Want proof?  This is an old Israeli/Jewish saying:  "Such-and-such will happen when pork chops grow on the palm trees in downtown  Tel Aviv."  I think you can take that pretty much as the long way of saying, "Never." 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Shameless Self-Promotion


Dogue de Bordeaux

I am grinning ear to ear about the use of this perhaps slang French word for "dog?"  "Chien" is dog in French.    Maybe it was one of those jokey Cajun things like "Geaux"  for "go."  But since the Kennel Club lists them and we pretty much know that's not a jokey group ...  

Another dog listed for today (8-12-17) and tomorrow's Kennel Club Show being held at North High School, Torrance, from 9 a.m. to around 3 p.m. when Best Dog in Show is determined, is a Peruvian Inca Orchid.   Yes, orchid.  I thought maybe the typesetter had slipped and confused the list of entries with a flower show, but, no.  They are beautiful medium-sized dogs - 26 lbs.-  and hairless so no allergy worries. 

The one pictured had great, clean lines that reminded me of a greyhound, to give you a mental picture  and an alert look.  My only nit pick would be that this dog has rather larger ears than might be necessary for it to get through life.  Puppies go for from $400 to $600.  Check the pound first. 

It really is an international list -

Finnish Spitz, French Bulldog, Chinese Shar Pei, Irish Setter, French Poodle ...

And, of course, le Dogue de Bordeaux. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Robbery Foiled

Yesterday I mentioned that Zazou, a French restaurant in Riviera Village, was offering a three courses for $40 per person special menu.   Richie and I looked at each other and the decision was made that quickly.  We would go and ravish this menu, knowing that many restaurants put in one of their big ticket dishes such as filet mignon with various sauces.  

We were told "Sit anywhere" and once we'd plopped our butts down, the server Daniel D  approached and laid out a wine menu, the regular food menu and the three course menu.  We glanced at each other and grinned.  This was what we'd come for - let the games begin!

Unfortunately, there was nothing at all on it that we would eat.   Colorado lamb.  Nope, don't eat lamb.  Richie asked me what Brick Chicken was and after I'd explained, he turned it down.  He didn't explain, but I got the feeling that he thought it was a rather rude thing to do to a hen.  In short, so much for robbing the kitchen profits blind. 

Richie has developed a fondness for beef short ribs that have been cooked longer than FDR was in office and ordered them.  They came with braised spinach, another love of his. 

I ordered the Shrimp Toast, remembering the Duchess of Windsor's favorite appetizer, made of half baby shrimp and half butter with a pinch of nutmeg, creamed together and used as butter on toast rounds and baked.   It had always sounded good and quite naturally, I've never stirred myself enough to make it.

Zazou's shrimp toast is quite different.  Picture an oval dish with a long slice of toasted and grilled baguette covered with flavored olive oil, sautéed cherry tomatoes, sautéed shrimp (the big ones) cubes of feta cheese, garnished with sprigs of arugula.   We split it because it was a lot for a single serving.  We nodded knowingly at each other as we chewed.  We'd lucked into some good stuff. 

I am still in the hunt for a perfect Caesar salad, so I ordered the hearts of romaine salad (aka Caesar) and it arrived in a deep bowl, whole  fronds sticking gracefully out of the top, garnished with another slice of toasted, grilled baguette but with a smear of seasoned, lemony avocado.  Served in a bowl and not flat on a plate said, "Finger food" to me so that's how I ate it.    It was excellent, I loved salad as finger food and it is definitely in the Finals for Best Caesar. 

I think it should be mentioned that we have three French restaurants in our area - Crème de la Crepe (two - Hermosa Beach and Riviera Village,) Dominque's Kitchen and Zazou.  One would expect French speakers on the staff at any or all of them.  Zazou - zero.  Dominque's Kitchen - one.  Crème de la Crepe was ALL French speakers when they first opened but no more.  I think this may come under the general heading of misleading advertising.    Still, I don't have to have a Frenchman serve the salad - God gave me fingers.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Continuing Research - Dimple Update

Today (8/10/17) six of us presented ourselves at Thurs. Writers aka the South Bay Writer's Workshop. 

We numbered three men and three women.  Two of the women have dimples.

Admittedly, this is a very small sample. Still it was more than I had expected to find in such a small sample.

We're dining out tonight at Zazou, Riviera Village, because they are planning to close end of August to do some renovation.  If it's the public areas they are planning to re-work, it's unnecessary.  They're lovely.  Am particularly fond of the massive old mirror that must measure 6 by 4 ft. with a very heavy-looking rough old wood frame.  The whole thing must weight 500 lbs. plus.

Anyhow I will put a gimlet eye on servers and customers alike.   After I make my selections from the We're Closing menu - three courses, $40.  They have very good escargot and wooonderful baguette chunks among other things.  Richie has probably cast his eye on the beef short ribs. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017



Maybe it was a truck ad on TV that triggered these thoughts.  My mind went back to the days when I was a freelance racing photojournalist.  As such, I had free access to the press room and I used it.  Among other things, to network.  Jon Asher, a superlative photographer, much better than I could ever hope to be, Jim Short (Shorts) who was the Riverside Press Enterprise star racing writer, Howard Koby who taught me Grand Prix racing and high-speed pan shots.  But there was one writer that we all treaded lightly around and that was the marvelous Shav Glick, LA Times sports writer. 

He was a short, rather tubby grey-haired man, and he nailed it with every column he wrote.  Such was the respect that was given him that none of us ever smoked in the press room when he was working in it.  Why?  He was running on one lung and I truly forget what happened to the other. .  He retired from sports writing when he was 85 and succumbed to melanoma age 87 in 2007.

Normally writers and photographers never hesitated to push their way into anything; print reporters  crowding to the front when a driver was being interviewed,  photographers elbowing their way in to your shooting spot ... but we all respected Shav.  That's just how good he was. 

And that's also how we showed respect, a simple courtesy that he never asked for, never expected, never acknowledged.  Respect is a quality that is so rarely seen these days as to be on the endangered emotions list.  I miss it.

Separated at Birth?

There are two popular authors that make me wonder if they aren't the same man.  You take a look at David Baldacci and Lee Child and tell me I'm wrong. 

David Baldacci, born 8-5-60 (happy belated birthday) now age 60.  He and wife Michelle married in 1990.

Lee Child, real name James Grant, was born 10-29-62 and is 55 and 6 ft. 4 in.  He and wife Jane were married in 1975. 

Both write action intrigue books.  Both are blue eyed blondes with a clean-cut boned face. 

Both have to be the same person.  Ages in the spy world are so easy to change...

Monday, August 7, 2017

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Dimples

Idly watching an episode of "Law & Order" last night, I noticed that one of the main characters had a skull-like head - the facial bones.  And his scrawniness pointed up his dimples.  I began to study the rest of the cast to see if anyone else had dimples.  Nope.

So then I mentally leafed through an album of friends and family, looking for dimples.  Huh.  Couldn't "see" anyone.  And yet, most of us had dimples as babies.  A study posited that dimples make the owner look sweet, childlike (bingo! babies!) and give the wearer an air of innocence.  To which I would point out Clark Gable in "Gone With the Wind."  If they made him look  "innocent" instead of wolf-like, hah!

Speaking of old times and movies, the adorable Shirley Temple, the Dimpled Darling (and later California State Senator,) starred in a movie called "Dimples" in 1936 and created a rage among the populace for dimples.    Listening to the uproar, some woman, lost to history,  invented a machine to give the buyer dimples.  It was head gear that pushed in the cheeks where they were desired.  It didn't work which should come as no surprise.

Nor does puckering up your mouth like you just bit into a lemon and sucking in your cheeks tightly against your teeth 10 times.

Cleft chins (also considered a dimple) are caused by a muscle called the zygomaticus which creates the cleft when this muscle is shorter than God designed it to be.  Cheek dimples are the result of a shortened bifid zygomaticus muscle.  Today's plastic surgeons can go in and with some clever cutting and pasting put in dimples.  The average age for Dimple Desire is 31 based on some study or other.   

Dimples are believed to be genetically inherited.  If your parents have them, you will, too. 

Facial dimples are not the only ones in our bodies.  Reach around behind you and feel the bilateral dimples just above the flat part of your back, above the gluteus Maximus. .  Those are called the Dimples of Venus.   Please restrict display of them to bathing suits and the beach.  Young ganstas, hike up your pants.  We have our own Dimples of Venus and no interest in yours. 

Some day, you, too, will be old (if you don't get shot) and the skin and muscles will sag and remove them for you. It will happen to us all. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

83 Years At the Public Trough or $14,442,000 to One Family

Of  course, it took two generations and a wife to last this long as US Congressmen. 

The first generation was John Dingell, Sr., Mich. (D) who only lasted 22 years, dying in harness at 61 as a result of asthma. 

His son John Dingell, Jr., Mich. (D) is the record breaker.  He finally bailed in 2015 after 59 years in office.  Today he is 91 years old and his wife Debbie, Mich. (D) was the first woman to be elected to take her husband's seat without having to be a widow first.  She won the 2014 race and has been in office since 2015.   She is 63 so her longevity can be predicted.  And a long time would get my bet.  I have to wonder when Michigan will just give it up, secede from the United States and become the State of Dingell.   

Especially since there seems to be an adequate back field - Dingell, Jr. and his first wife had four children before divorcing in 1972.  They had been married in 1952 when penicillin had been invented and "Eat Your Veggies!" was popular so the presumption is that these kids grew up rarin' to go sit in Daddy's seat. 

Why is it so much fun to be a US Congressman?  Well for one thing you hardly ever have to go to work.  Congress typically works one day in three (33 per cent of the year, 67 per cent for travel, attempted seduction of pages, long, well lubricated lunches - and dinners - common knowledge:  your liver goes first) and Congress cranked out only 130 days of work in 2015.   They only worked 18 hours a week in 2013. 

Base salary:  $174,000 year.  Other little perkies - free airport parking at Reagan ($22/day for us) with free flights to and from your home state (tax payers treat), no charge for re-booking a flight.  Your workplace has a free on-site gym with pool, sauna, HD TVs. 

You will be given a $900,000 staff budget with an additional travel budget of $250,000.  I was unable to determine whether if you don't hire any staff and just use family members, if the politician gets to keep the $900,000 him/herself.  I wouldn't bet against it. 

Dingell, Sr. - 22 years
Dingell, Jr. - 59 years
Ms. Dingell - 2 years 

I vote for Term Limits!  The above is disgusting and shameful.  Not that any politician ever felt shame for any misdeeds.   Dingell kids!  Give it up!  Michigan voters!  Get off of your languid asses and V O T E. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Good News and a Dramatic Murder Case (For a Beach Town)

First the good news.  After a routine appointment with a doctor, some health plans mandate that the patient be given a paper report about their visit and specifically, their weight, height, BP, oxygen being sucked in, and ... Body Mass Index (BMI) with set boundaries. 

How do you know your BMI?  Height vs. Weight.  Then you go to the BMI chart and see what your number might be.  The boundaries are clearly spelled out.

After one of my routine visits a couple of years ago,  I was bitching about my BMI to "Raffish" who is a medical doctor.  "Raffish" laughed and said BMIs are totally useless for any kind of scientific value.  He said, "Do you know where they get their numbers?  From healthy military enlistees - many of whom were only 18 - in WW2!"  

A physical trainer in the Sept. issue of Readers Digest says that it's an outmoded way ... that creates confusion and even misrepresentation of the body's composition. That it ignores the fact that muscle weighs more than fat; thus, a body builder could be considered clinically obese when he/she has not an ounce of fat on their entire body.   So fuggeda bout it. 

Excitement here in usually laid back Redondo Beach.  A murder trial is cranking up in the case of a man who got into a domestic with his long-standing g'friend (they have a five year old son) and he apparently stabbed her to death.  The coroner testified that he "gutted" her with four stab wounds leaving her insides looking like "Swiss cheese."

The alleged killer claims that they got into it, she punched him (former police officer) and he slapped her with an open hand.  He then claims he went to the bathroom to give the situation a chance to de-escalate and later left the bathroom after a shower at which point she came at him with a 15 in. hunting knife in a threatening manner.

They were wrestling around (according to the defense) and she fell face down on the bed into the upright knife, he fell on top of her and they continued fighting until she (allegedly) said, "I think I'm dying" and apparently proceeded to do just that. 

I'm sorry.  You could fall face down on an erect knife once, but not four times.  Hang the bastard. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Per Se - the Muffaletta

Per se = a thing in and of itself.  Muffaletta = a type of Sicilian bread made into a specific sandwich, i.e., the muffaletta and it is peculiar to New Orleans.

It is also a collection of most of the Italian deli meats slapped on a sesame bun about the size of a dinner plate.   The special dressing for the muffaletta is no slouch either.  It's called "olive salad" with no lettuce involved so ... why "salad"? 

Here's a list of the ingredients and you could easily make it at home if you didn't have anything pressing to do for about an hour ...

black and green olives, pickled artichoke hearts with juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, celery seed, oregano, basil and black pepper.  Combine and coarsely chop either by knife or Cuisinart.

Calabrise salami, sopressata, dry salami, coppa salume, aged Provolone, pickled vegetables, all slapped on a pressed sesame Kaiser roll. 

Richie and I ate our first muffaletta at the Central Grocery in the Old Quarter, New Orleans.  Before our trip to New Orleans, we'd read up on what to eat - what you will see is never as important to the average vacationer as what there is to eat - you can see the notables on your way to the restaurant or, in this case, Central Grocery.

Why am I blathering along about this?  Yesterday we had lunch with "D" and Mouton at Tower 12, Hermosa Beach, and guess what was on the menu and guess who ordered one? 

It was a smaller bun than Central Grocery's but theirs is so humongous that a whole one is only ordered if you are feeding the multitudes.  A whole one at Central Grocery is $14.50 and a half is $7.50 which compared to $15 for one on a bun that could double for a hamburger at Tower 12 is a bargain.   Still there is the air fare to NO and the hotel and other meals ... Tower 12 is a lot closer, as it is located on the Pier, Hermosa Beach. 

It's an interesting restaurant layout - they've utilized the outdoor walkways for dining with tall tables and chairs that overlook the Plaza.  Yesterday (Wed.) was the Farmer's Market and we dined in time to watch the vendors setting up.  Frankly, our conversation was more interesting once they got through with the Dodger chit chat.  All three of the men are ardent Dodger fans and I hate baseball.  So I played with the smart phone.  I am easily amused. 

I could only manage half of my muffaletta and I wanted to save space for dessert which was one of my all-time favorites - Sticky Toffee Pudding.  Tower 12 serves theirs with a massive scoop of soft ice cream, laced with caramel syrup over a rather dry round of date cake.  $7 and a big enough portion to share with the guys.  They, however, were content with a bite apiece.  Apparently "sweet" does not go down well with beer. 

And, as usual, our bar bill was bigger than the food bill.  But that was okay!  Mouton only has a birthday once a year.  And he won't be thirsting for another until somewhere in the middle of November if my calculations are right. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Greed-Fueled Oddities

Beware of Dessert!  It Can Kill You!

Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden ate 14 (14) desserts and died of indigestion.  And well you may ask, "How did they know it was the dessert?  What else did he have to eat?"

Dinner had been lobster, sauerkraut (a combo that would be lethal all by itself, no?) smoked herring and caviar, all sluiced down with champagne aka the Rich Man's Alka-Seltzer.

It is debatable if this combination all by itself could kill the hearty eater, but he followed it up with a special Swedish dessert called "Semlan" which is a cream puff shell, stuffed with marzipan and served basking in a bowl of hot cream.  No idea of the portion size, but if faced with Semlan, restrict yourself to only 13 of them.  For once, 13 might be considered lucky rather than the reverse.

Despite a truly fatal fondness for dessert or any way, Semlan, Adolf was considered an ineffectual leader, but a loving husband and very good to his children.  His many friends were heartbroken at his death.  They sobbed into their memorial portions of Semlan the newspaper said.

When a Martini Kills

Noted author, wit and raconteur Sherwood Anderson was enjoying a Panama cruise in 1941.  Apparently enjoying the gin martinis a little too much, Anderson absent-mindedly (we're being charitable here) swallowed the toothpick after he ate the olives of his umpty-ump martini.  His interior understandably, poked and pierced as it was, became infected.  Penicillin hadn't been invented yet so he died. 

The 27 Club

Not to be confused with the ancient Manhattan restaurant "21," this is not a club you want to join.  The following musicians all died of drug overdoses when they were 27 years old. 

Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, and Amy Winehouse.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fred - The Gallery

Ah, Paris - next time I go, too.

Yes, I do love to read


Maybe they won't notice me

This would not be comfortable

Ah, my favorite holiday

On the right - enigmatic.  Don't you wish you knew what I was thinking?