Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Navy Veteran Remembers A Differently-Purposed Kneeling

Bruce Newman and his wife Lynn are old friends.  Bruce was our financial guide for years and he finally was able to tear himself away from the roily-boily world of the Market when he was 75. 

Back in 2015, he and Lynn flew to Paris and then went to Normandy's beaches to pay their respects to the dead.  He e'd me about it and gave me permission to print the following:

"I am one of those veterans who is in the strange position of having been on active duty during the Cold War.  We were in the Western Pacific for eight months while Nixon and Kennedy were debating the defensibility of Quemoy and Matsu Islands.  We were doing joint exercises with the National Chinese Navy in that area (scary!) 

I finished my sea duty and was assigned to a Marine-Navy-Army joint command in Coronado, CA, and got to go back to Okinawa for a teaching gig.

Then Berlin happened and I was extended four more months after my four months of Officer Candidate School (OCS) for a total of 36 months active duty.  I stayed in the Reserves until '65.  Did a reserve cruise on a destroyer escort (talk about scary!)

Anyway, the bottom line is that Cold War Vets do not even have a ribbon for that duty and Congress keeps rejecting efforts to present that to vets.  On the other hand, I was lucky that no one was shooting at me. 

Without seeming falsely modest, there were a hell of a lot of other guys doing the same thing.

And a couple of historic sites which stand out in my memory are a reminder of how lucky I was to have been born in 1936.

I saw the USS Arizona before the monument went up.

On a beautiful afternoon in Pearl Harbor in the Fall of 1959, I stood at attention with our crew and saluted as we went by the sunken ship.  I still get goose bumps every time I tell that story.  And seeing the destroyed bunkers and cemetery at Normandy defies description.  It is impossible to imagine the chaos of those events."

Today's chaos is the spoiled, wealthy sports pros kneeling to protest their harsh treatment. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Loose Change in the Sofa

The Fire Hydrant On The Corner 
E-mail from the Deputy Fire Marshall, Redondo Beach, to Richie.  I will quote exactly.

"Dear Murphy,

I spoke with CA Water Service, and they are in the process of relocating the hydrant on Wooly and Comforter.* 
They said the work should be completed within a month due to the fact that they are relocating to a different corner (where it is now blocks a disabled parking space) at that intersection, and they are changing the size of the pipe that supplies it.  If you have any further questions all hydrants are repaired and serviced by CA Water Service and they can be reached at 310-257-1400.

Thanks so much,
(name) "

*False street names, author

Eating Gold
This business yesterday with the $2,000 gold pizza caused me to wonder if eating gold is harmful to the human body.  I'd think if it were, that the chef wouldn't use it.  "Customers Eat Gold-Leaf Pizza, Die in Restaurant" is not the kind of PR any chef (that wasn't crazy and sadly, so many are) would want.

I also wondered about the purpose of so doing.  Would chewing gold fill in any little dings on a gold filling?  Would it provide the equivalent of a liquid fast on the digestive system and more or less rotor-rooter out the system?  And just how much gold would you have to eat for either function?

According to various sources, gold is "biologically inert" (so is silver) and as long as the cook is using 22 to 24 karat gold, all will be merry.  Lesser karats are cheaper, but more likely to have an ill effect.  Gold garnishing is not a cheap way to make food, birthday cakes, etc. look better.  A package of 10 sheets of 23 karat gold is $49.99.  Why not just get a wad of $10 bills, sterilize them, shred them and serve them as the salad course?   Put some gold flecks in the dressing and bill it as Millionaires Salad.  I think I'm onto something here...

RIP Hugh Hefner
My only experience with Hefner was indirect.  Back in the 60s there was a national holiday called Secretary's Week (and who else gets a whole week?  Nobody, that's who)  and since my birthday fell within that week, my bosses always took me out to lunch, secretly congratulating themselves on being able to combine two costly events into one.

One year, my boss thought it would be terrific fun to take me to the Playboy Club for lunch.  I was cool with it and in fact, looked forward to the Bunnies bringing the drinks and food and doing their little bob - in his direction, not mine.  I knew it would make for a good story later.

And it did, because here is what happened ... he made reservations, we arrived punctually and we were told that my attire was "unsuitable" for the Club.  From raised eyebrows, I looked down me.  Navy blue Nehru pants suit with the longish jacket and collar that made it "Nehru." 

Quizzically we both looked at the Mamma Bunny or whatever her title was who said sternly that women in pants were not allowed in.  Putting aside the brief thought that the coutume de Bunny would not be accepted anywhere else but the Club, I asked what I could do?

She told me to go to the ladies room, remove my pants and come back, jacket only.  My boss and I looked at each other and then down at my jacket which barely covered my bottom.  As one we smiled, said, "Thank you" and marched out the door and up Sunset to Scandia where ability to pay was a great deal more important than what you were wearing.  Some $75 later, we went back to the office, laughing all the way.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wretched Excess # 6 million

I feel somewhat sorry for the chefs who have to come up with New!  Exciting!  Different! to keep the fat cats waddling in to their restaurant.  That said, I am also horrified by some of the things they come up with to amuse these customers.

Example:  Industry Kitchen ( next door to Wall Street, Manhattan, is offering a $2,000 ($2,000) pizza.  "What the hell could you make a pizza out of that could possibly cost $2,000?" you mutter, perplexed.  I'm gonna tell yas:

12 in crust made from Indian squid ink and a special flour from Italy.  First topping - white Stilton which is then covered with gold flakes (presumably edible) from Ecuador.  Then come slices of foie gras, imported from France along with $300 worth of truffles, also imported from France. As an aside, this is where my doubt crept in - French truffles are usually sold by the kilo and a kilo can cost more than $3,000.  Based on what I've read about truffle prices, that's dirt cheap.  (Deliberate.)

Now comes a slathering of Ossetra caviar detailed with edible gold stripes.  To aid digestion?  There is a glass shaker filled with gold flakes to garnish as you will.

The above is totes cray cray although a review praised the mix of salt (cheese, caviar) and sweet (foie gras) but it's all too rich for my blood. 

Incidentally, if the Two Grand Pizza doesn't appeal, you could order their Pop Candy Land pizza with cream cheese instead of tomato sauce, topped with pop rocks and cotton candy.  No price given.  Gastro's fees, check your insurance.  Or if you prefer a more healthy dish, a 3 ft. long bone-in rib eye with three sauces - truffle or port wine or Gorgonzola with potato curls aka potato chips.

To be fair, I am not in  position to criticize the above as my favorite is pepperoni and pineapple.  Richie,  Brooklyn-born and later Long Island native regards this as apostasy.   He believes we should all eat what God intended us to eat when He invented pizza - tomato sauce and mozzarella aka "a cheese pie."  Hey, pepperoni and pineapple is a hell of a lot cheaper than $2,000.  With a coupon, you can get the Really Big-size Pizza for $15.  Call Valentino's, the best pizza in the South Bay.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Fire Hydrant

Being a reprint of correspondence between Richie and our Councilperson relating to an unused and unusable fire hydrant in our neighborhood and my guffaws when I read the Councilperson's response.  Every effort has been made to make the locale and the person involved undetectable. 

Richie to Councilperson:

About a month ago, I noticed that the fire hydrant on the corner of Wooly and Comforter had an Out-of-Service yellow rubber bag over it.

I called the Fire Department and left a message.  A day or so later, they e-mailed me, thanking me and stating that they will notify the Water Department.

As of 9/24/17, the hydrant is still Out-of-Service.  I don't know how important it is, but it must have some use in an emergency.  Not losing sleep over it, but something should be done by somebody to make it operational again.

Best regards, Richie Murphy

Councilperson's reply:

Thank you, Mr. Murphy.

I really appreciate you reaching out to the Fire Department and I will follow-up today with them as well.

Anytime you see something like that, always copy me.  I will keep the pressure on from the beginning.  (Remember we are dealing with a fire hydrant.)

Thanks again, please feel free to reach out to me anytime with thoughts, concerns and ideas.

Once I get some information, I'll reach back out to you.

Have a terrific day and we hope to talk soon!

Nameless Councilperson from equally nameless District.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Long Island Food Porn

Let's be orderly here and start with breakfast.  Long Island is home to a lot of commuters who take the train into the City five days a week.  Very often they don't have time for breakfast at home, so they slither in to a deli for a Breakfast Sandwich.  When I list the ingredients of a typical breakfast sandwich, you may snort in disgust and think, "Just a Mickey D's Egg McMuffin."    

My turn to snort.  The Breakfast Sandwiches were being eaten long before Egg Mc-whatever came into being.  Toast a pair of slices of white bread, butter them, add scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, American cheese and double wrap.   At least three mornings of our five day stay, that's what I had but Himself preferred ham instead of bacon.  We'd take the steaming hot bag straight to the parking lot overlooking the harbor and eat and admire the view of sail boats shifting slightly in the current made by the clammers charging toward the Sound for a day's work. 

The Bar at Oheka Castle; we ate in the dining room, but I suppose you could eat here as well.

This is an interesting way to present an apple tart.

Bourbon pecan pie with vanilla squiggles

Lobster BLT salad

The lobster BLT salad was something new ... heritage cherry tomatoes to the left, Applewood-smoked bacon to the right with a generous portion of lobster over chopped Romaine, dressing is a lemon vinaigrette.

Desserts are all $12; my salad was $28,, but that's got to be 1 1/2 lobster tails!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Gate Crashers and Crumb Pizza

Richie went to the motel office for morning coffee and on the way back to the room spotted these three deer.  Plop! went the coffee cups on the table; swoosh went his hands grabbing for his camera and -- viola!

It really is a beauty shot, but they didn't come back for the Murphy Family and Friends Reunion at noon.  Just as well - have no idea what you feed adult deer. 

I don't think they'd like our menu particularly and, of course, plates, silverware and drinking cups are utterly foreign to them. 

This reunion thing was my idea which was reasonably pushy of me; I'm only one by marriage, but if no one else will do it (and they haven't so far, 34 years later) I, by God, will! 

We were staying at the Chalet Motor Inn, Centerport, as we have for some 30 years and behind our backs, management/owners have really spiffed the place up - added a pool! a covered patio where we established ourselves and another covered patio with fat, cushioned chairs (ours were plain wrought iron.)  The view is the woods and the pond behind all of these new glories and that's where Richie got this shot of the deer. 

In an attempt to cover all food tastes (vegetarian, non-vegetarian, diabetic) we laid out a buffet of cold cuts - all Boar's Head, one of which we don't have out here - "sweet ham."  O/T they have the new Caramel M & Ms and I haven't seen them out here.  A fruit plate, a veggies and dip platter, two cheeses, Kalamata hummus,  and crackers and rolls for the meats - another thing they do that we don't, rolls for sandwiches.    And iced brownies and the box of "French" cookies Richie insisted on getting, too.  We had bottled water (they're nuts for it back there) and of course, a sufficient supply of beer and three bottles of wine.  (Hella buy - Bottles and Cases was having a three for $10 sale.  I got two whites and a red, but they were all from Italy and I don't speak Italian so can't be any more informative than that.)

Another custom of which I was unaware is this:  instead of bringing a bottle of nicer wine for mein host as we do here; they bring desserts there.  We were gifted with: an enormous lemon pound cake, a large cellophane-wrapped plate of fancy cookies; the bakery's logo was a gold decal and the cellophane was tied with real ribbon! 

And there was one more item ... Sonny, Richie's old friend from back in their clamming days, was the first to appear - carrying a pizza box!  While I was delighted to see Sonny, the pizza box was ... daunting.  It would surely get colder than a banker's heart before anyone else even got there.  Damn!  What was he thinking? 

So, thanking him profusely, I put the box on the table.  More people arrived, and, o horrors! another one was carrying a pizza box! Smiling on the outside, sighing on the inside, I put it on top of the other one. 

People ate, wandered around, trading old photos and asking, "Who's that?"  Old photos, BTW, make wonderful conversation starters.

I hadn't been paying attention to the buffet, other than to make sure everything was "proper" - forks for serving the meat, knives for the mustard, etc.  Housekeeping chores.  And then, with a great cry of delight, the first pizza box was opened. 

"Oh! Crumb pizza!" several guests shouted.  Crumb Pizza is:  rich, buttery pie crust covered in streusel crumbs, round, and cut into pizza wedges.  It was fallen upon with gusto while I just stood quietly to one side and pondered the mind that thought that one up.  These New York types are ... different.  But no less lovable.  Far from crashing our little do, the deer were last reported heading for the Hamptons at a good clip.  Too much noise.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Sketchy Portrait, Huntington, Long Island

The 5 p.m. Bunny
Charlie (Richie's younger brother) and his wife, Rosalind, live in the same house the boys grew up in, starting ages 11 and 9.  Connecting the house to the garage is what's called a "breezeway" in those parts.  It has always been my favorite place and in good weather it becomes the family living room with tables and comfy chairs and a great view of the spacious back yard.  A tree-covered hill climbs daintily up from the back edge of the lawn to the houses above.

It was our habit around 5 p.m. to repair there with a beer, admire the fine weather around us and visit.  Our reminiscences were interrupted by one of the party spotting movement out of the corner of an eye and -- it was a medium-sized brown field rabbit.  I just assumed it was a male because I think people tend to assume rabbits are males due to early exposure to Peter Rabbit, but that's an unproven theory. 

It would not be it's last visit.  Every day around 5 p.m. he would hop into view - at a safe distance, you may be sure - and nibble grass.  A brash squirrel intruded one late afternoon and the rabbit turned on the power and scampered at warp speed into a pile of lumber at the next door neighbors.  The squirrel sauntered away as if to say, "My work here is done."   I was surprised that he wasn't spatting his front paws together in satisfaction.

Of Lobsters and Wine Lists
The Feed and Grain restaurant at 73 Main Street, Northport, had a billboard on the sidewalk next to their patio advertising "6 lb. lobster - $49.00".  I snorted in disbelief, pointed and said something witty such as perhaps, "They've gotta be kidding!  Lobsters don't grow that big!"

But Sean, a bay man who ran lobster traps until some virus or other killed them off, corrected me.  "Yeah, they do - guy caught one so big that he put a collar and leash on it and walked it around on the dock."  Since Richie's nephew Sean is as honest as the day is long, I believed him.

It was too cold to be out on the patio so we were seated in the big dining room with a long bar running down the right side of the room. 

Our server, named Lucas L according to the check, popped up at the end of the long table of our booth and asked for our drink order.  When it got to be my turn, I asked politely for the wine list? at which  Lucas guffawed and asked, "Red or white?"   I will not vouch for the look on my face, but the rest of our party howled in glee at my faux pas.

Signage Seen
In residential neighborhoods - "Drive like your kid (grandkid) plays here." 

On the road encircling Lloyd Harbor, not far from Billy Joel's former gated and guard-housed residence, "Turtle Crossing."  with one depicted where the deer usually is placed.  Whose turtle it might have been, why it was allowed free range status?  None of us had any idea.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Long Island Scenes

Conclusive proof Summer is over

The 5 p.m. Bunny

Bistro Cassis

French Onion Soup - it was a cold-ish day - perfect!

Follow the water to the Long Island Sound

Huntington Harbor

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Decoding Notes to Myself for Your Delectation

Writers are urged to start at the beginning so ... MAA #2 left LAX at 8:45 a.m. which means it was a breakfast flight Up Front aka 1st.  As I mentioned previously, re another 1st breakfast, try to fly around lunch or dinner time. 

The first thing to arrive as we settled into our cubicles was ... let me explain "cubicle."  This is a new configuration for First and each seat very closely resembles an office cubicle.  So much so that three of our fellow 1sts were quietly crying - two men and a woman and what they were saying, between sobs, was "Oh, Gawd - can't I ever  escape my cubicle?" 

They all face the window with a desk next to your elbow, a hole for your feet when the chair is flat like a bed.   So much for being seated next to a chatty person, your own mate or a crying baby. "But our celebrity passengers love them," trilled an FA and he was a guy. 

As always, we were offered Mimosas or Straight Champagne which came in a stemless white wine glass and was a much more generous portion than the previous little plastic cup (the flavor does nothing for the drink) or real champagne flutes. 

So -after reaching cruising altitude,  the smiling lady walked around a basket with your choice of a croissant or a mini-bagel or an enormous biscuit.  All were warm, not icy cold!  The butter was splayed out like ocean waves charmingly in a little pot and there was a little plastic container of honey. 

We both ordered the same thing so I can only tell you one other choice which was Shrimp Avocado Toast.  Peon that I am, I thought that a bit much for breakfast.  Our choice was billed as Scrambled Eggs with Chives and Sour Cream, Chicken sausage and Chipotle Oatmeal.  Let us attack the eggs first.  They were not visibly scrambled, but they did look like what they were - curded as in a Crème Brule.  The four slices of sausage, apparently cut from a whole that was as thick as a baby's arm, nestled between them and an enormous amount of what looked like it had been fried, like corned beef hash, but was instead, orange-ish colored oatmeal with little lakes of orange oil dotted over it.

If this is a common dish at your household, I do apologize for my ignorance about it. I liked it! let me hasten to add. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Getting To Be A Habit With Us

We got 1st out; Steerage home. 

Took notes and tomorrow I hope to tell you about the 5 p.m. bunny; the lobster so big the guy who caught it put it in a harness and leash and walked it all over the dock and more tales. 

East or West though, Home is best.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Vacay! - Additions

Going to New York tomorrow.  It's part business - to try to con Book Review, a veddy posh book store in Huntington, Long Island, into carrying "And the Best Blog Is: Word of Mouth" and pleasure - seeing Richie's side of the family. 

Later this same day ... if we are lucky enough to get 1st or Business, will liberate the menu and tell you what they served, if anything. They list breakfast and snack as the food service.   I seem to remember a breakkies in 1st some time ago where the excitement was a small container of strawberry yogurt, a blue berry muffin (ice cold) frozen butter of fresh-ish fruit (canned peaches, I swear it.)  No chickens must have laid eggs anywhere the airport.  Certainly no hogs were harmed in the making of bacon ... 

But the rule of commercial flight is:  if they serve you something to eat, do so.  You never know when you'll see food again.  We have logged personal bests for a Quarter Pounder, small fries eaten in airports across this glorious land.  Once more won't kill us. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

So Far So Good

The people we were worried about in Southwest Florida seem to be okay or to put it another way, we haven't heard that they're not.  Cape Coral and Bonita Springs were the two locations of concern.

I very much hope that if you had anyone in Irma's way that they are all okay this morning. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Waiting For News - So Armchair Travel

Since Irma has not yet decided where to stop off next - shoe sale?  Lunch? - the column's correspondents are, of necessity, silent.

For pure escape From It All, go to  This is an interactive map of the Paris Metro with it's 14 different trains/routes and innumerable destinations.  It's fun to type in where you are (figuratively) and where you want to go.  I just got back from a run from Charles DeGaulle airport to the famous cemetery Pere La Chaise.    Nice day today.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

How To Express Reluctance To Do Something

Writers love this kind of thing - a colorful phrase that can be, uh, liberated for the writer's own use. 
Here are a couple of dandies this writer thinks.

Stubborn as an oil stain.

I'd rather shove a wet noodle up a bobcat's ass in a phone booth.

I'd rather sit nekkid (or "naked" if you wish to sound erudite) on a stump, eating raw bacon while a lizard runs up and down my back.

I am waiting to get Irma news from various correspondents and will print it when I do.   The above was just a vamp.   

Friday, September 8, 2017

Is Your Name On One?

Hurricanes, that is.  Since there are (as of this morning) three whirling away there could be confusion about which is where if they were numbered instead of given a name. 

Who names them?  The World Meteorological Organization composes a list and then works their way down it.  When, in the fullness of time, all of the names have been used, they switch to the Greek alphabet.  Sloppy reporting here, but I don't think that has happened yet. 

Is there a hurricane out there with your name on it?  (Not meant in a sinister Clint Eastwood way.)

Hurricane Richard  October 20th, 2010.  100 mph, two dead, $80 million in damages   Affected Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

Hurricane Nina  August 7, 1957  85 mph, four killed, $100,000 in damages.  Last of the season for the Central Pacific and affected Hawaii. 

"So what's your hurricane, baby?"  Overheard in a bar. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Get to Your Wine Cellar - Quick!

Richard Branson Junior tweeted that all on Necker Island are safe despite being a little crowded in the wine cellar.  Giddy with excitement at being so close to their leader and prompted by his lavish gesture toward the many wine bins -"G'wan - arve a drink," staff has rather forgotten its manners.  "Put the empty bottle back where you found it full" is not being heeded.  The stone floor is now carpeted in shards of glass from careless revelers thanking their God and toasting their survival.

When the last puff of wind from whichever hurricane is passing at the time, has gone punishment will be delivered. Branson pointed out to staff that cuts from broken glass are not covered by health insurance nor is alcohol poisoning and anyhow, there's no hospital on Necker.  OSHA is going after Branson for that one - when the storm(s) are gone.

Branson in a gesture of bon homie urged fellow island owners to take cover immediately.  "My wine cellar provided such good protection, that I urge all of you to take cover in yours. Based on my experience with staff, I caution you to limit them to plastic water bottles.  Probably better for them in the long run anyhow.   Cheers!"

AP - 9-/7-17 
      Richard Branson's lavish houses on Necker have been destroyed.  To all potential vacationers planning on a visit, Branson assures them that the posh resort will be up and running by next Tuesday afternoon.  "The workers shacks have walls for privacy and it's a warm climate here.  Most of them are comely so if they have to wear rags, enjoy the view of some very pretty people!"

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Arrogance of the Willfully Stupid

This is a reference to the people who, faced with a 185 mph hurricane that comes barreling straight at them, refuse to leave their homes.    It's not like these people can whine afterward (if in fact they survived)  "Oh, I didn't know anything about it!"  C'mon - the media has made a real 14 course dinner out of it for three days. 

I understand loving one's home.  I certainly love this one.  But I love our cats, bird, husband and self 'way too much to risk harming any of us.  I'd rather be alive and rebuilding then dead and taking up land space.

But most of all I despise these idiots - for idiots they are - willfully stupid, in fact - because they may cause harm to a first responder.  These are the men and women who risk their own lives for trash.   Even if the governor of a state ordered them and the National Guard to stand down, a few of them would disobey orders.  They wouldn't be First Responders if they didn't. 

The saddest thing in a way is that the stay-at-home people are not defending million dollar homes if you want to put it on that basis - worth vs. danger. 

Which brings us to the despicable Richard Branson, proud owner of Necker Island, his own paradise.  He is known for ardently seeking publicity.  Much like a mole popping out of a hole, Branson pops up at the faintest sound of a Nikon's click. 

Branson, 67, estimated worth $5 billion, has decided to ride out Irma in his wine cellar.  His staff will be with him, he said,  and he jauntily posits that "there won't be any wine left when the storm is over!"  ha ha.    Isn't that precious?  Doughty Richard who remarked on last night's sleepover for staff (about six were pictured, all very attractive young people) that it was the most fun sleepover he'd had since he was a kid.  Awww...

The staff count is plus or minus 100 people, depending on the season and/or the guest.  The Obamas most recently dropped in. 

What I want to know is:  were Staff offered the chance to leave and the transportation to do it?  Branson owns Virgin Air so it's not like he doesn't have support aircraft for his high-powered guests to flit  to and from his paradise..

If not, why not?  Does Branson fancy himself as King of the Island (undoubtedly) and so the sarvints must stay because God forbid he do anything for himself. 

I would say that making people stay to face extreme danger could be classed as Murder 1 and should Branson survive, he should be prosecuted on separate charges for each staff member that was, in fact, killed.  Try a couple of hundred years in prison, Branson.  It's no Necker Island and you sure as hell won't be the boss. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hey, Mondays Aren't So Bad!

        Have a great Labor Day - and don't.  Labor, that is. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

It's Getting Cooler!

No doubt, we will be looking for warmer clothing (or least putting some on) by 4:30.  I am mentally reviewing ingredients in the kitchen and hearty soup recipes.

                                   It has plummeted from 102 to 98 off of the balcony.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Necessary Flood Gear You May Not Thought Of

For the people in the low-lying areas of Houston and environs, who maybe didn't think of this either. 

You should keep on hand a catch pole and a roll of duct tape.  For speed in using these items, stick the catch pole through the hole of the tape.  You don't want to have a catch pole in one hand while you're fumbling around in the tool chest for a roll of duct tape with the other.    

"Huh?  Do what?" and you stare perplexedly. And you might ask, "You bin smokin' crack er somethin?"  Hah!

There have been reports of alligators in Harvey's flood waters.  Just this morning I saw a photo online of a man carrying about 4 ft. of alligator out  someone's front door.  His (or her - who knows with alligators) mouth was firmly shut with a wrap or two of duct tape. 

One could probably buy a catch pole from a sporting goods store located in areas where there are alligators or ask Animal Control if they have an extra one that they don't foresee having to use.  Duct tape is ubiquitous and you can find it at your local drugstore. 

Be prepared.  We often can't see what is in the flood waters lapping closer and closer to us,  but we would sure as hell notice an alligator waddling through the living room to the kitchen. 

No need to thank me, happy to be of service.  But if you do trap an alligator, send me a picture and I'll run it here.  Don't hide your light (alligator trapping) from the world.  "Have Catch Pole; Will Travel"  or "Mamma Needs a New Pair of Alligator Shoes." 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Good, Bad and Old Friends

Post-Harvey - The good is that the guy who owns and runs a couple of mattress shops called Mattress Mack opened the store to let those fleeing Harvey come in an hunker down. 

The nation of Taiwan is donating $800,000 to rescue efforts in sympathy - every Summer and Fall, they have devastating typhoons. 

The Houston Police Chief put out a warning to  would-be looters.  Don't do it.  We will catch you and we will impose the maximum punishment.  Even it quits raining, you won't see sunshine for a very long time. 

Post-Harvey - Bad.  Very bad.

Faux ICE and fire fighters are showing up at people's houses and making them evacuate.  When the deluded, bullied home owners  have rounded the corner, the "ICE" and/or the fire fighter go in to the house and rob the people blind.  ICE is NOT in Houston or environs and does NOT plan to be. 

Chasing Favorite Restaurants - Hey!  Stop!  We want to eat there!

Both restaurants got their starts on the upper end of Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach. 

We loved the Ragin' Cajun due to the many visits we've made to New Orleans.  Whenever we were overcome by hush puppy longing, w knew right where to go.  And we did.

But then the evil landlord who owned the property decided to let his son open a restaurant.  So he kept jacking the Cajun's rent up until the owner couldn't pay it.  Instead, forced out, he took it on the road with a food truck.  Then luck and a nice landlord smiled on him and he opened the new Ragin' Cajun on PCH in Redondo Beach.  Business has been good there, but apparently a longing for his old stomping grounds moved the owner to buy a third property and set up shop again.  The new place is on Pier Avenue - just about dead center across from his original Ragin' Cajun.  Now, chant with me:  Karma's a bitch.

We had dinner there last night, the owner, in his Cajun outfit - soft-colored plaid shirt, tails hanging down, a pair of jeans so long that he could have been wearing 6 in. spike heels and the hem would have only brushed the floor instead of sweeping it.)  greeted us with his usual enthusiasm, and we enjoyed ourselves and the food.  Richie ordered a beer and I asked for a glass of pinot grigio (white) and the portion had to be about half of a bottle.  It was $7 and the whole bottle was $28. 

Crème de la Crepe  is also great favorite when we miss Bretagne and Normandy and their foods of note.  When they first opened - at the top of Pier Avenue - we supported them with enthusiasm.

And they, in their turn have prospered (not due to us)  and now have crepe stores in Beverly Hills, San Diego, Long Beach, Culver City and Huntington Beach and RB's own Riviera Village as well as the now-flagship Dominique's Kitchen. 

We had lunch there today.  We had French class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and Richie wanted to continue the French experience.  My Matinale crepe tasted exactly the same as the first one I ever ate there - buckwheat crepe, scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon.   Richie's Americain of ham, egg and melted  Brie was the same, too, he said.  We split a dessert crepe of mango, caramel syrup, vanilla ice cream and a cloudy puff of whipped cream. 

For your consideration - Monday nights are 50% off a bottle of wine; Tuesday and Friday, all the mussels you can eat for $25 and Thursday night is a three course dinner for $29 or $45.