Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dining At The Hyphens

"Hyphens" in this instance, used above, refers to hyphen-named restaurants.  Such as Baskin-Robbins or A &(-) W Root Beer.  When they are two of the closest places to your hotel with food, and the only ones advertised for their proximity ... you have been well and truly snookered.

It seemed unlikely to me, too, that I would ever find myself in such dire straits that those two food groups would be the only readily available to me.

But all that was before I was notified that the bold 1958 Southeast High School graduates of Kansas City, Missouri,  would be celebrating their 60th graduation on a September weekend to be headquartered in in Olathe, KS.

During the 60 years that most of us have been absent from dear old SE H.S., change has come to our previously serene old neighborhoods.  Many of them are  not any more.

Thus, those that still live in Kansas City, MO or KS, decided that it might be a better idea to throw this shindig well away from our old grounds.

The Hilton Garden Inn photos did not display the dining room, but did mention that they have a marketplace for buy it, drag it up to your room and nuke it.

Happily for all concerned, I noted Joe's Kansas City Barbecue, Olathe, located what appeared to be only a log toss away.

We can have B-R or A-W for dessert.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Venice of France

If you have noticed that the Seine has flooded downtown Paris recently; that the major river attraction (the bateaux mouche sightseeing boats) are unavailable for tourism and there are a lot of b/w photos of  fisherman hoping for a little something for dinner ...
as they cast a line out over the swollen Seine ...

Then you will not be surprised to learn that you are seeing views of the new Venice of France.

One of the great (and typical and peculiarly French) worries about flooding along the Seine and the gloriously old, wrought-ironed balcony mansions that line this enormous river is the fear of flooding in the wine cellar!  Some of those preciously bottles were laid down for posterity - to celebrate the 21st birthday of a grandson here; the great beauty in the family there's in memory of her debut - and if flood waters have washed away the labels ... well, you see.  

Thus when we, the average tourist, see pretty water, surging and ebbing across a picturesque sidewalk where the space that once held little chairs and a table barely big enough to set a cowboy hat on it ... the French are by no means pleased nor happy with or at the Seine.

Oh and the Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay  are closed, too.  The museum guides are amusing themselves with a swim through the vaults.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Reflections On A Peaceful Sunday

I think that Sundays are perhaps more enlightening that any other day of the week because ... the Sunday paper is twice (or greater) the size of any week day; television has gone through all of the week day programs and all that is left is Sunday morning for the pseudo political pundits to muddy the air waves until the football game starts.

So when a good friend sent me a number of Winston Churchill quotes, I was enchanted.  In the hope that you will find amusements to your own liking ...

Fear is a reaction; courage is a decision.  (God love the fire fighters!)

At age 20, that person is dead solid positive that the world is looking at them.  By the time any of us are 40, we've stopped caring.  Sadly, it takes until we are 60 to realize that no one was looking at us in the first place when we were 20!    So much for us, eh?

You will never get where you're going if you stop to throw a rock at every dog that barks at your journey .  On the other hand, the dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.  Something to keep in mind...

But most of all  I address this to the American Liberals:


Friday, January 26, 2018

Beyond Rude - 'Way past Insulting and Oh! Politics As Usual

Which is surprising because this insult is coming from an internationally famous art museum which, in this case, is the Guggenheim.

Nancy Spector, Chief Curator, of the Guggenheim took it upon herself to deny the Trumps' request to have "Landscape With Snow" painted by Van Gogh in 1888, hanging in the private quarters of the White House, a treat and a privilege routinely offered to all of the White House incumbents during their stay in it.

In a show of ignorance and bias hitherto fore unseen - even in Washington. DC,  - Spector not only turned down a White House request, a snub of no mean proportions, she then offered instead a work called "America" created by Maurizio Cattelan for installation and use in the White House.

What is "America"? you ask?  A solid gold, fully functioning TOILET.

And this is a  perfect example of the mind of the devout Liberal. "Oooh - that'll show 'em!  A gold toilet!  Take that!"

Thursday, January 25, 2018

10 Days Down

Today is the second to last visit from the visiting nurse who has been coming to do low-key maintenance such as BP, temperature, etc. and so forth on Richie.  She remarked that "The cough is the last bit to get over" so I am looking forward to that.

We are by no means the only people we know with this visitation from Hell.  Richie's nephew and his wife and their daughter.  A grandson out here.  And hopefully, NONE of you.  

Stay well.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

But Where To Bury Him?

Not being overly troubled about things to do during recovery from what the doctor called bronchitis, I sank into puzzlement and speculation about where the late author, Peter Mayle will be planted.

Born in England, he moved to the south of France where his writings were so heartily adopted that he had to move to Amagansett, Long Island, to avoid un-invited guests just "popping in, old chap!"  

When I read yesterday that his express instructions called for a very nice lunch with copious amounts of wine - and death just before the check gets to the table - I knew immediately that he was talking about Provence.  Cheating the Check is a well-known and longstanding custom there.

The Brits aren't famous for their discernment at picking a wine; in fact, they seem mainly to drink champagne at the drop of an aitch or a hat.  I can hardly argue with that stance as I am very fond of a flute of bubbly myself.  Any occasion will do.  

Amagansett is only populated in the summer as far as I know and summers are always rowdier than winters because it's cold in the winter and passers-by cannot see what the home owner is up to and whether it involves clothing or not.

No wonder Mayle's books sold very well indeed.  With a fundamental philosophy like that listed above, how could one not like his writing?

Monday, January 22, 2018

RIP d'Une Autre Francaise

        Peter Mayle
6-14-1939  -  1-18-18
in Menerbes, France

I was very sorry to read of his demise for he had provided a great deal of amusement to an even greater number of people.  His oeuvre "A Year in Provence" was considered the springboard into the pool that  became Frances Mayes' "Under the Tuscan Sun."  

Subsequent to publication of the Provence books, the Tuscan books came hard charging along behind with the end result that a lot of people who had enthusiastically filled their homes with Provence fabrics, table ware, and on and on instead turned to Tuscan items and nearly stripped the shop shelves bare of "Made in Tuscany" items.

To my surprise, because he only mentioned a wife en passent in his books, when, in fact, he had had three.  His first wife Pamela presented him with three sons - Simon, Nicholas and Christopher; number 2, Nicola, delighted him with Jane and Joanna and his 3rd wife, Jennie, was the incumbent when he died.  

Arguably, he was hoist with his own petard of fame in that he had to flee France due to the tourists for a hidden corner of Amagansett, in the Hamptons, Long Island.    Once ensconced there, he refused interviews on his property and begged reporters, "No photos please!"      

Sunday, January 21, 2018

I've Got the Flu

Richie had it first, (Tues. 1/16 to the hospital and then  home on Friday, 1/19) but generously has shared it with me.  I am perhaps not as grateful as I could be.

So lackadaisical do I feel that I couldn't even fire up any enthusiasm for writing a column.  I did note that Chef Paul Bocuse, aka The Pope of French Cuisine, had died aged 91 in the bed where he had been born - "But I changed the sheets!" he quipped.    

It's worth a Google to see his most famous restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, Lyon, France.  To say it is colorful is wild understatement.

If you have the flu, I sincerely hope that you get well very, very quickly!  I'm rooting for you!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

If You Think of It This Way ...

We know several people who are dedicated punsters.  In every way possible, they are delightful people - good humored, quick to pick up a check or to pass the wine ... they just have this ... thing (shrug) - about puns.  This is for those people.

I swallowed a dictionary.  It gave me thesaurus throat I've ever had.

Science Tip 
You can tell an alligator from a crocodile by watching to see if the animal in question sees you later (gator) or in awhile (crocodile.)

The Gossip - turkeys are peacocks that have really let themselves go.

Ants:  said to always be at work yet able to find the time to attend picnics.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Richie's Harem - Expansion in the Ranks

I was quite surprised myself to discover that he has one.  They are the ladies of Wednesday's French Grammar class.  We both attend the Friday French Conversational Class, so any harem members present have to pretend to like me, too.

Of late - Since his four day stint in the hospital - a new type of harem has been formed.

He was discharged home late Friday afternoon.  Sunday morning, a visiting nurse (male - automatically  disqualified) arrived to take his vitals (all fine, thank you for asking) and explain that he was only the first of several more nurses who would arrive for various duties.

Tuesday, Danielle arrived and did physical therapy with him, including walking him down the street for a short distance.  Sadly, she did not say, "Walkies?" invitingly and pull out a poop bag.   They just walked out to the street and came back a short walk later.

Today - Wednesday - the 10 a.m. just arrived.  She was a surprise as when she called and said she'd be there at 9:30 a.m., there already  is one scheduled for between 11 and 12 noon.

Our gunwales are awash with nurses?

If the French Fan Club hears about the Nursettes, the fur will fly.  Good thing their paths will never cross.  Richie can just preen himself on his popularity and never the twain shall meet.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

More Or Less Back To Work

Almost back-to-back I came across two great business names.  Both were clearly not intended to be taken seriously.

Might I interest you in shares of Vulture Investments?  Apparently,  this is the kind of firm where the principals sit up in the tall timber, rifles at the ready, waiting to pick off the slowest and most infirm of the herd passing below.  

Sounds a little mean?  Kind of turns your stomach to shoot at anything?  Yeah, me, too.

This may cheer though - it is a delivery service for party animals called "Foam Home" and it brings kegs of the lovely brown beverage right to your very own front door.  Avoid getting hammered and driving drunk to get your own keg; Foam Home instead!  

Continuing the Richie Report - the Physical Therapy lady came and ran him through some exercises, said he was doing quite well; took him outdoors and walked him and brought him back.  She was pleased with him; reassured him that after five days of anti-biotics, his pneumonia is no longer contagious.  Another nurse will be coming; they like to be absolutely sure patients are not having a relapse of any kind particularly as there are four strains of the flu and the shot efficacy is only 10 per cent.    Or as some would label it:  worthless.  And so this overcast Tuesday afternoon, all is well.  1/16/18

Monday, January 15, 2018

How To Behave In A Hospital

In real life - you've agreed to meet a friend for lunch at the XYZ Café.  You get there first.  When your companion comes waddling in, you have a variety of conversational gambits such as:  "I've always loved the way they potted the ferns along the faux waterfall - so restful looking."  "I hope they still have the dish that I love!"  "Giggle - and I hope Robbie will be our waiter again!  Too gorgeous is all."

In the hospital - unless you are into 40 shades of beige, there is nothing pertinent to say about the décor. What you can see of it anyhow.  Every hospital room I have ever graced with my presence has had the curtains drawn, the blinds sealed shut for a wonderful air of  "You're not going to get out of here - you know that, don't you?  Yes, it's come to this.  A dim meaningless little death, all alone."  

If lunch has been served and the cold, dead, gray remains are just schlumping on the tray, don't bother with any pleasantries about what it could have been.  It - whatever it is - never came close to actually being as it was described on the menu.

Look down, grimace, shake your head sadly and say, "Want me to go  for a Mickey D for you?"
BAD IDEA.  They may be on a restricted diet.  Do not volunteer to bring in food unless you have written permission from medical staff.  Preferably pinned to the front of your sweater/outfit.  The help at MacD's will just assume that you are not an English speaker and carefully beckon you forward to read what to get for you,  smiling reassuringly all of the while.

If other souls, far more generous or careless with their money have sent flowers, do ooh and ahh over them.  If the card reads, "Looking forward to meeting you!  White & Day Mortuary" say nothing at all about the sender.  When the recipient is up and about, plenty of time for that.  Don't bother yourself.

If your patient is looking a little down at the mouth, do not throw yourself onto the mattress with them, laughing maniacally and try to tickle them.  This is a real invasion of personal space and not recommended at all.  Most particularly anywhere in Texas where most adults are armed.

The very hospital setting for a patent's room is a conversation stopper.   It's just too alien.  Your visitor has the opportunity to be out and about, mingling with every day society and what are you going to contribute?   "I had the cutest guy push my stretcher down to X-ray this morning."  Thud.  None of your visitors can top that.

In your own home, you would be hospitable.  In your little beige cubicle just big enough for a bed you have little to offer.  The hospital TV channels are what used to be "real TV" - you turned a dial to change channels.  Ha ha - hollow laugh - they still are.  PBS? ha ha Starz? Gone, all of them gone.  Much like your anticipation of getting out of there.  Roll over, face the wall and go to sleep.  You aren't going to miss anything.  Company won't hesitate to wake you if they show up.  They did go to the trouble to come, you know.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hospital Behaviour In Times of the Plague

The flu is most definitely among us.  It is unpleasant and not to be wished on your worst enemy.

I read that many hospitals are turning away visitors to their patients and this makes sense.  The hospitals are swamped; why create more business for themselves by letting the fresh meat in?

If you are a patient, become a curmudgeon and send visitors on their way.  Down the road, you don't want to have to go see them in the hospital because they caught it visiting you and then .... and around and around it goes.


Thinking about visiting as a general subject ... when I was in for hip surgery, two couples came to visit and because they are extremely classy people, they brought a darling little Easter basket with all kinds of goodies (it was Easter - they don't make a practice of just handing out Easter baskets willy-nilly.)  

I was delighted to see them - sorta - because I hadn't had a shower or washed my hair that day or the day before (because they were waiting for an operating room and I hadn't had surgery either.)

Richie had just brought me the Thai shrimp I'd ordered from Elephant Bar across the street and since I hadn't eaten any of the hospital "food" (quotation marks because I'm not sure what it was) and I finally was hungry I could thank him, set it aside, turn back to my guests and carry on with my company but "No, no!" they cried as one - dig in!  "You need to eat - get your strength back!"  So I sat there awkwardly slurping up the noodles that  had twisted off of my fork.  Not a really great look.

What do you say to someone in the hospital?  This has stumped me for years and years, largely because, happily, few people I know have had to go to the hospital.

For starters, a hospital room is such a strange setting in real life.  Very few of us seem to entertain in our jammies on a hospital bed in the middle of our living room.  Clearly that's saved for the hospital.

They are lying there, wanly, and you bop gaily in and ask, "How're you feeling?"  Slit-eyes will glitter back at you.

Did you bring a book (for them!  Not to extend your visit!)  A couple of magazines?  New - not scooped up from the lobby on your way past.  Waiting room and lobby magazines are smeared with germs - avoid them at all costs.

More on Visiting tomorrow - the Symbiotic I huffed for excessive coughing is making me sleepy.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Report From the ER

Richie said that a nurse told him that the Providence - Little Co. of Mary ER has space for 64 patients (and that includes chairs and cots) and 190 new patients waiting to get in on Tuesday 1-9-18.

He arrived via ambulance around 9 a.m. and got a room at around 3:30 p.m.   The private room they did give him was in Cardiology on the 4th floor.  He was alarmed and asked, "Is there something wrong with my heart?" and the nurse said, "No - but this is the last open room in the hospital."

A little later on, he heard a man who couldn't have been that far away, yelling "You f--ker!" and more along that same line and then he heard pounding feet going down the corridor.  He said it must have been a big guy because you could really hear them.

Moments later, the speaker was saying, "Code Grey ... code grey.." but nothing more was heard.   Whether the guy was a patient and bolted or a visitor was not explained.

He didn't have the room for long  He was discharged around 6 p.m. with the bag of his possessions and another shopping bag of medications as well as an encyclopedia-size folder of instructions.

Ann next door brought over a generous portion of her home-made chicken noodle soup (rich broth and fat noodles) a tossed green salad and a pair of rolls.  Richie ate his up with some speed; it was heartening to see.  He is not a fan of "hospital food."  But lunch looms large in our thinking - we had leftover soup Ann's portioning was so generous.  Lifting a spoon, "Here's to you, Ann!"

Friday, January 12, 2018

Coming Home

Tuesday morning Richie had a fall and I couldn't get him up so - much against his wishes - I called for the paramedics.  It turns out he also had The Flu that is being such a tremendous scourge around here.  The flu had made him so weak that he couldn't get up.

The ER was doing a booming business, all of the cubicles were full and stayed full until  finally there was a room for him.

Today he is supposedly being discharged at 11 a.m.  Hospitals are so full that they wanted to discharge him to a nursing home (!)  to put an edge on his cure.   He declined with some gusto.
One more test has been scheduled and Dee, our long-time friend, reported back to me that when that test is over and the results known, then he can go home  But "based on what I was hearing, It can't be earlier than 4:30 p.m." said Dee.

A big thank you of appreciation to Dee who took me over to the hospital both days and is going today to get him and Ann next door, "Making a pot of chicken soup this afternoon - want some?"  and Tony way far away in Long Beach and  Troy down the street who volunteered to do anything useful that they could.

It's 3:31 p.m. and Richie just called to say that he has to get dressed, get the Rxs and pay for them and then he can flee.   Dee is manning the wheel of the getaway car.

Don't set your watch by hospital time, eh?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

#Me, Too - for Wives

I really wanted to head this "Hail, Mary, full of grace,  pray for me now and at the hour of Richie's death because I'm tempted to kill him."  Richie has a bad cold.  Ah hah! fellow wives.  I sense your ears pricking up.  Yes.  The Dread (by wives) Cold.  Eat a big breakfast, girls, you're gonna need your strength.

I have no idea how single men deal with a cold; but if they are anything like married men, they will call for feminine help.  For a single dude, it could be  a girlfriend or a former girlfriend or an ex-wife or a former high school sweetheart (and the guy is 45) for help.

I will state it clearly, here and now.  Men are constitutionally unable to care for themselves when they are sick.  The corollary to that ruling is "depending on the severity of the ailment, injury or on-going condition (whining in many cases.)  

Richie with a cold is the street version of the Imaginary Invalid (Moliere, I think) but when he really is hurt - chock flew up at the airport and busted the bone under his eye; emergency appendectomy - he is as docile as a lamb.  He goes straight to his side of the bed and stays there, wanting nothing, complaining not at all.  I've been known to tiptoe in and see if he's still alive so quiescent was he.

(If I forget anything here, fellow wives, e me, okay?)  Up the Invalid's Ramp we go -

Seated in his royal recliner, wearing a ratty old white toweling robe, over a pair of threadbare sweats, box of Kleenex on his lap, blanket swathed over  his sheepskin-lined new slippers, he bleats piteously, "Do ... do you think you could... hand me that glass of orange juice?"  I put down my book, get up off of the couch and walk over to render this small service.

The glass of life-giving orange juice is 4.5 in. from his hand.  I measured when he went back to sleep.

The action comes with a sound track, too.  Richie is sitting upright, snoring with some gusto.  Every now and then he gurgles (probably just to see if I am appreciating the concert) which makes me at least look up from my book.

Feeding the invalid consists of the wife listing delicacies and the husband responding softly, "Oh ... oh ... I'll just have some chicken noodle soup.  But not too hot - my throat is sore - and don't forget the soda crackers - I don't want the fig and black olive ones.  Maybe a pat of butter on top of the soup... for protein ...I don't want it now, but maybe I'll be ready to eat by noon.  Not now.  (huge sigh) I don't have any appetite now ..."

I would go on in this vein (heh heh) but Himself is ready for a toasted English muffin with "real butter!" and perhaps a bit of cherry jam or maybe orange marmalade - "Bring'em both - let me decide then."


Monday, January 8, 2018

The Feminist Business School

The above is said to be an eight week long online program with qualified "midwives" teaching how to deliver the "birth of a business."  Some listed topics under the heading, "Concepts and Conception," include "Body-Loving Business Practices," (I don't even want to speculate) and "Birthing a Business."

Since no birth is commonly possible without sex I would consider the $1,200 course fee to be the preliminary screwing.

Editorially I would venture that women teaching other woman how to run a business using the terms midwives, birthing, etc. are more than somewhat unclear on the concept. (Couldn't resist.)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Out and About - Whee! In Flu Season - Nooooo

The flu is a wily devil and we need all of the defenses we can muster against it.  Not just covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing.  Shall we take it to the streets with Mr. Flu?

"Raffish," MD, told me that when OR staff scrub (that's wash their hands to us) they keep soaping until they have sung (hopefully to themselves) "Happy Birthday to you" twice.  Happily the wash basins are located far from the wheeled-in patients.  It would be disconcerting in the least for a patient who is likely nervous any how to see all of the medical staff blowing soap bubbles and singing "Happy Birthday" before upping tools and cutting down.   If not yet fully anesthetized, many patients would at least attempt to flee.

I wish you the very best of luck trying to fly into the East Coast today.  If you do get a flight, bring sanitized wipes for rubbing down:  your seat buckle, the arm rests, the in-flight movie buttons and most of all, your tray table.  Since you can't easily sanitize the seat back magazines, bring your own reading material.  If you use the bathroom, afterward, wash your hands and arms up to the elbow.  Don't worry about your derriere - flu is one of the few diseases not transferred by a toilet seat, unlike crabs, herpes, syphilis, etc. (toilet seats are often blamed for an unfaithful spouse's sudden disease.)

Dining out?  Of course the silverware, table wear and dishes have been sterilized!  What has not been cleaned in any way is the MENU.  Think of all the little fingers that have flickered through it.  Right after wiping their nose.  And there was a tissue failure. Thus this action plan.  Before you bring your fingers anywhere near your face after picking up the menu, decide what you want,  hand the menu back and then hand sterilize your hands thoroughly.  

Your turn to bring the treats to the Social?  Please bring utensils with which to pick up that deviled egg half, fork up a cupcake, spoon out the cashews, tongs for the plate of fudge...

Sneezes are another matter; sneaky and able to cover a room, sneezes are no one's friend.  I find that wearing a turtle neck sweater is great for the first little hint of a sneeze coming on.  Pull it up over your face!  People will stop whatever they're doing and thank you.  And we all enjoy cheap appreciation especially when it's as easy as that to obtain.  

Supermarkets very kindly offer sterile wipes from a dispenser as you enter or leave their premises.  Use it to wipe off the cart handles on entering and use another one for your hands when abandoning it at your car.  When you get home, put everything away and then go sing "Happy Birthday" in the bathroom.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Too Busy Eating To Write

(Writer blushes - or should)    First instance:  this required some cunning on my part.  Our 30+ years hair dresser/barber Dale's shop (Tonsorial Parlor) is in El Segundo.  The only times that El Segundo is a destination for us is either a hair cut or picking someone up from LAX.  Since Richie considers haircuts of the lowest possible necessity and few people fly in, El Segundo and all of its charms is seldom visited.

But:  comes now the new shopping center called The Point which is a rather pointless name for a shopping center, but I digress.  In The Point is the Salt Lick Grille which menu I had recently read.  One dish appealed in particular, the bacon-wrapped, horseradish stuffed shrimp with honey chipotle sauce $16.  I wanted to go there simply to eat this.  But El Segundo is not next door and Himself would consider it on the frivolous side to drive that far just to eat.

So I booked us with Dale for 4:30 and 5 p.m.  We would get out at 5:30 +/- and by the time we got to Salt Lick Grille, it would work out well for a 6 p.m. drink while we perused the menu; pointless in my case as I already knew I wanted said shrimp plus a Wedge Salad $9.

The room reminded us of a Las Vegas casino buffet dining room.  Subdued lighting, sand-colored color scheme and walkways for the servers so they didn't have to cut their way through the tables.

Richie had a G & T $11, and I the only dirty martini I can remember that had enough olive juice that it could be tasted $13.  Incidentally, the house martini is half-price on Thursdays but it was some concoction with lemons.  A Lemon Drop, if memory serves.

Richie ordered and ate with gusto the half-chicken after he had asked for creamed spinach to replace the Brussel Sprouts.  $19.   As he ate it all, he missed out on leftovers the next night.  So hah!

The shrimp were sizeable, the bacon was thick and five shrimp left me with two for tomorrow's dinner.  If I had any suggestion, it would be to make the horseradish a little more predominant and put in more chipotle with the honey.

The wedge salad was very generous, thick with cherry tomatoes, "shaved" raw red onion rings and a hefty shot of thick bacon chunks.  The dressing was some version of blue, and it was good and thick.  The wedge of ice berg lettuce was large enough (nearly) to qualify as an ice berg.  Dinner came to $69 pre-tax.

Fat Burger is now serving a small cup of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing with the onion rings.  I learned this because after French Conversation class from 10 to 11:30 a.m.we planned to go up The Hill to the Palos Verdes Library book sale.  Traditionally we go at 10 a.m. and then have Fat Burgers for lunch as we thumb through our new books.  This time we had lunch first and then went to the library.  Either way I can recommend the Original Fatburger and onion rings.

January 6, 1838 -  Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail invited the public to come and see a demonstration of their telegraph.

Apple is recalling some of their smart phones for low battery expectations.

We've come a mighty long way, baby.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Dubious Statistics

Not to call bullshit on which has so cheerfully allowed me to write this column since 2008.  But in truth I find what follows amazing, if actually true.  Since I have no idea how they arrived at these numbers, let us both surge forward in blind faith, shall we? 

I want to say hello and thank you to these readers in their own language.

Ciao y grazi! to all 228 of you in Italy.

Privet i spasibo to all 131 of you in Russia

Ahn-young Kahm-sah-hal-knee-dah to the 11 of you in South Korea

Ukraine - to the 11 of you there privet i spasybo

Bonjour et merci to the 11 of you in France

G'day and cheers to the 10 New Zealanders

"Oh-lah obrigandoh (men) obrigadah-dah (women) of Portugal

Hello and thank you, eh to the 3 of you in Canada

Hola y gracias! to the 3 of you in Spain

Hello and dank je to the 3 of you in the Netherlands

I congratulate all of you whose first language is not English.    And I thank you all very much.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Dear God, There Really Is An App for EVERYTHING!

Full page ad, Sunday, December 31, 2017,  LA Times. 

As of January 1st recreational marijuana use is somewhat allowed in California.  Smokin' dope is still against federal law, but California state law says, "Light up!  We don't care - as long as you and the farmers pay the proper taxes." offer to the genteel cannabis user a variety of services, among which are a map of dope sellers closest to you, and their proud boast that they've been in business since 2008; that they can show you more than 13,000 stores offering more than 50,000 cannabis products which are beautifully photographed, detailed descriptions, customer reviews and "expert" tips.

Curious as well as amused, I went online and found these tidbits for your delectation -

"Kush" one of the many cannabis nicknames is so called because it comes from the Kush Hindu mountains said to be one of the very few places in the world where it grows wild.  I am much more familiar with this use of kush:  taking a stick, banging an empty feed bucket out in the cow pasture while gently murmuring "Kush kush"

One enterprising firm is selling New Patient Recognition cards approved by one of the firm's resident doctors.  Readers were admonished to think of it as a "Costco Card for Cannabis."  New patient recognition  costs:
New patient forms - $59
The above with a photo ID - $79
Renewal of above - $45. 
They are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a live doctor to converse with you.

The nicknames and references I knew for marijuana (it was never called cannabis) back in the day were:  to smoke dope or weed;  "How come that last batch you sold me was all seeds?  A "blunt" was about the fatness of a cigar, but shorter.  A "phatty" was black jargon for a blunt.

Today's references seem much more inspired.
Rainy day woman - isn't that a Bob Dylan song? - Intellectual property theft!  Call your lawyer, Bob!
AstroTurf (throw back to grass)
Lefthanded cigarette

DISCLAIMER:  I am not advocating drug use nor advertising for in any way, shape or form in this column.  I don't happen to smoke dope, but rest assured that I do not give a damn what you smoke.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Buh Buh Bye 2017

I thought this is spectacularly good news.  NO commercial passenger jets around the world fell from the sky (i.e. crashed so hard that cows three counties away quit giving milk.)    However, I would advise staying off a train.  My pet name for them is:  The Train of Sure and Certain Death.

I hadn't been curious about how the spectators in Times Square for the ball drop were going to bathroom themselves - by the way, the traditional ball descending and the crowd counting down was nowhere to be seen last night.  Instead it was some big, red gaudy scoreboard advertising (something) and which counted down in seconds.

Anyhow for anyone who may have been curious as to whether the great city of Manhattan put out Port-a-Potties for the vast hordes, an article this morning remarked that many sightseers were clad in adult diapers.  If a baby's diapers, long unchanged, get cold imagine the greater coverage area on the average human and the extremely cold temps at this annual event. If anyone had asked me, I would have told them to stay home where it's warm and there is ready access to a bathroom.  But that's just me.