Friday, November 30, 2018

Sister Theotine, You're BUSTED!

This morning's Daily Breeze front paged this headline:

"2 nuns blamed in thefts at school"  followed by this information. Monsignor Michael Meyers, the pastor at St. James Catholic Church, Redondo Beach, said that a letter arrived that alleged that  two Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet had, over years, appropriated substantial sums for their private use from the St. James School, Torrance.  The article went on to say that the nuns were abjectly sorry and no one was at the moment planning on suing anyone.

Reactions - a NUN stole?   What in HELL is for "personal use" for a nun?   Victoria's Secret underpants?  Upgrade from Trader Joe's $5 wines to $15?  Generous donations for praise?  Your ideas?

I await with some interest this list...

Of note:  There really was a Sister Theotine.  She was Richie's great aunt, sister of his great grandfather.  She entered the convent as a fully-fledged nun in her teens and  died aged 90 or 91 - no one can remember - in said convent.  She taught math at a girls' business school. When the Pope said the ladies could wear more modern clothing, Sister Theotine ignored this well-meant directive and insisted on the full black and white ensemble until the end of her days.  In a group shot, she would have looked like a very large bat...  Richie and his brother dreaded her infrequent visits as she was a martinet of the first order.  Posture, shirt tails - in or out - table manners and a great deal more were noted and remarked upon and difficult math tests were issued all the days of her very long  life.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

An Idle Mind...

Steel-cut Oatmeal.  This is a phrase that has puzzled me since I first saw it on a menu.  Why "steel-cut"?  What special properties does steel give a flake of oatmeal?

This morning the in dominatable Heloise reminded me of this old curiosity when a reader wrote in to know what's so hot about steel-cut?    News flash - that oatmeal is "bigger" in size and thus takes longer to cook.  This is good?  When you're hungry and you're running late?  She helpfully added that it has less sugar and salt than instant for fewer calories and a nuttier taste.

So now both that reader and I can wonder no longer why oatmeal is not cut with, say, a rusty nail file or a ballpeen hammer or a used cocaine razor blade… let your imagination be your guide.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We Have A Winner!

My longtime go-to for describing how badly I don't want to do something is:

I'd rather sit naked on a stump eating raw bacon while a snake slithers up my spine than …

The winnah:

I'd rather neuter a fully-aware bobcat in the trunk of my car with only my Swiss Army knife than …

Use it wisely, my friends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Public Warning

Monday while wending our way through the aisles at Target in search of space heaters, we passed men's wear.  Richie was foraging ahead of me which was just as well because this item caught my eye:

A Christmas fabric had been used to make a suit for a man.  I am talking regular pants and a blazer jacket.  In Christmas cotton fabrics of green pine trees with gold bells with scarlet ribbons … mini-Santa sleighs … to be worn over (as they showed) a white t-shirt.

I was enchanted.  What a grand gesture they would make at a Christmas party, office party, your local, the supermarket, CVS...  but perhaps not out to dinner at a "nice" restaurant until two days before Christmas.

The price on this triple-piece*  male attire?  $49.99   Target.  Dirt cheap for something that would be useful for years!  There's a Halloween every year just as there is a Christmas, you know...

Richie had doubled back to spur me forward so I pulled out a hangar, showing it to him and said I'd buy it for him if he wanted it.  He emphatically did not.

But I do.  Just the jacket - over, say, dark green corduroy pants and a white fleece top … smart!  Chic!  Funny!  Yes.

But realizing this kind of outerware isn't everyone's cuppa, I thought it only polite to warn you mine may be appearing soon in your worst nightmares.

*  Didn't say whether the white t-shirt is included.

Monday, November 26, 2018

"I Was the Prius In The Porsche Parking Lot"

So writes Daily Breeze restaurant reviewer Merrill Shindler in this morning's edition.

He was talking about his visit to the Porsche Experience Center, Carson,  on Main near where the 405 meets the 110.   Located on 53 acres, the building houses the headquarters of Porsche North America, displays of historic cars and a look into the workshop  team at work.  There are also three tracks to test drive a Porsche in varying configurations with a choice of models.

Model prices vary, but the 911 Turbo is yours for 90 minutes and $500 or $5.50 per minute on the track.  If you plan to have lunch there ($75 per person average cost) may I suggest "driving" the simulator for 30 minutes for $35?

After touring the gift shop, you feel a little hungry?  The 917 Café offers rather upscale-priced victuals.  "Aw, just a burger and fries," you murmur.  May I direct your attention to the Kobe Burger, composed of the following - Roasted red pepper aioli, butter lettuce, smoked bacon, tomato, a confit of raclette cheese and "frites" (French fries to the rest of us.) Oh, that'll be $20 please.

Shindler was most impressed by the butter offered - shaped like a Porsche (two) on a plate with a little mound of sea salt.  For maybe $10 you could ask for an order of rolls and butter?  Or - I bet the gift shop carries Porsche-shaped butter molds.  Buy one of those and at home,  stuff it with I Can't Believe It Isn't Butter.  Budget Porsche Butter!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

My Faith In The Media Restored!

AP is up to it's usual standards (critics would mutter "none") and here are fragments of what I'm talking about.

 "NEARLY 500 flights cancelled!  (Note to readers:  please add exclamation points to all of the below; am too lazy to do it) when then actual count is:  491

" storm IS EXPECTED to head to O'Hare (ORD) and Kanas City (MCI) and cancel flights.  From personal experience, I can tell you that to even get to Kansas City, you have to go through DFW when from the East or Left Coasts.

Potential flyers are warned that" … storm COULD dump NEARLY a foot of snow."

Are we all breathless now?

I didn't think so.  Our next treat, however, should be the mandatory, traditional "Look at these poor bastards trying to sleep in ORD, LAX, JFK! (the domino effect on incoming and outbound)

"That'll teach them to buy hardshelled luggage" we mutter scathingly …   Ah, the joys of Thanksgiving - the gift that goes on well past the actual day!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Yesterday Town and Country hit the mailbox with a resounding thump and in the front section is an area for doting parents to buy totally useless things for their 5 year old's.  Motive not being very Christmas-y as probably purchased for one upsmanship at cocktail parties and such. 

The other day we had a nice example of that in the pages of the Target circular - extremely expensive brand ride-in electric cars from Target.   From $124 to $309 for a BMW or Volvo - big ticket cars.

T and C as they fondly call themselves has a topper - and a bargain as far as cars for kids goes.  The bargain is a Big Toys Green Country Mercedes G55 SUV for $460.  Bargain?! you gasp?  (see below - roomier than the Target offerings no matter how la de dah they may (or not) be.

The "Can you top this? item is a Circu Magical Furniture plane bed for $22,430.  

Your eyes are not failing you - $22,430 for a kid's bed.  I noticed that to get into this flight to dreamland, the kid has to use what looks like a suitcase for a boarding step onto the mattress.  Probably available for a modest sum would be an alligator-skin trunk from Louis Vuiton for another $5 or $6,000.

With parents who are crazy enough to buy something like this at a price that is higher than the plane's projected altitude, I had to wonder if the kid would still fit in it when he was 35 and how could you take it apart for reassembly in the parent's basement (now a suite for the kid.) 

If you are handy with tools, here is a site that will allow you to build a version of this wretched excess.  It is   and it is a charitable donation to buy parts of airplanes, cockpit and flight attendant seats, instrument panels and other bits and pieces.  The proprietor, Captain Nick Louis (Ret.) a former UAL pilot is assisted by his son, a pilot for AAL.  Even if you don't have kids, and would certainly never toss out that kind of money, the site is an interesting place to visit and browse.   And in certain circles, day dream ...

Friday, November 23, 2018

A Backward Glance at Yesterday's Meal

Some small discoveries... 

I did most of the prep work on Wednesday so that, basically, all I did was lay out the appetizers after I turned on the oven on.  

Our no-waste-turkey:  bones, skin, giblets and worse  was replaced by 2 lbs. of Boars Head roasted breast of turkey cut into half-inch steaks.  All meat and plenty of it.  The turkey that contributed to our table was the Dolly Parton of birds.  This is not a "bargain" as 2 lbs. cost $25 which would have bought a 30 lb. turkey but No Waste.  You could and we did eat nothing but "pure" turkey meat and the white meat at that.  

Roast Squash with a Butter Maple sauce turned out well after some initial difficulty cutting the ends off and halving it for face-down roasting.  An hour later at 350 degrees, it was done and cooling to be bathed in about a half stick of butter and half a bottle of pure amber honey for the sauce.  I'd given this a small shake of cayenne pepper to give it a little more than pure sweet.  The garnish offered was glazed pecans, but our guest "D" said he like it with just the sauce.    His mother's recipe cranberry sauce was delicious, as usual.

The only disaster - and it WAS one - was trying to cook the stuffing in a waffle iron.  I will gloss over trying to get the lid open to check on degree of doneness and breaking the lid lifter (which snapped back on) BUT the waffler still refused to open.   In desperation, I unplugged it (based on the odor of burning trash and steam from the cracks)  and let it cool.  Eventually we were able to open it to find sad black patties indistinguishable from coal.  The whole thing went out on the balcony where it spend the night in deserved seclusion.  

Richie's pumpkin pie finished off dinner and this year's added attraction was a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  "D" was particularly pleased at this addition - he loves him some ice cream.  

All in all, it wasn't a bad dinner; it just wasn't as good as others I've made in the past.  As I am stubborn and love the mental picture of gravy pouring into all of the little waffle holes I remind myself, I've got a year +/- to perfect stuffing waffles.  Gravy Greed can make you crazy.    You read it here.   

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wretched Excess More's the Pity

I now consider the Thanksgiving Day meal done and dusted since I did prep work yesterday; mentally assigned specific bowls to certain foods, the platter for the turkey, spurred Himself into clearing off the dining room table  and all I have to do is heat it and dish'er out.

Freeing me to read the Target ad which I did.  One item positively leaped off of their pages and it was Kids Cars.  On several levels - does a 5 year old need a driveable "car"?  The makes and models - what the hell is a kid doing knowing model numbers on such as the Volvo, Mercedes Benz and more.  And a great deal more.  This would indicate to me parents who are more than a little concerned about "status" and extending it on down to clueless kids.  Cruel.  And then they wonder why Sonny, age 35,  is living in their basement with free use of the servants (if any) and doesn't pay rent.  Or have a job.  Or want one.  Look in the mirror Moms and Dads.

As you see from the above I can almost always get indignant about something.  I'm not proud of it.

Anyhow, if you are dying to get your Satan's Image a sit in, drive around "car" here are some from which to choose.  Target, shipped to you; not kept in stores.

The following run on a 6V battery.

BMW 18 Hybrid Concept $175.99

Mercedes-Benz GL 450 SUV in white  $124.99

Ford Mustang, red $169.99

BMW X5  black  $199.99

Audi 6V gray $128.99

ProGolf Cart   white  $128.99

Revving up - the following are 12V
Chevrolet Bel Air in light blue $249.99; in pink $241.99  no idea why.

Volvo XC 90  white or black  $299.99

Chevrolet Camaro seats two kids  $369.99

Kawasaki KFZ motorcycle  $249.99

Arctic Ca  army green  $309.99


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

or as it's known in some circles - The T-Day Gobble-a-thon!

Get on your mark, have your fork ready and GO FOR IT!

Other Thanksgiving Traditions Rarely Mentioned As Such -- But They Are

And so this morning, we are reminded of more traditions than turkey starring in dinner menus.

The media is helpfully cranking up the angst with photos of such as the 405 freeway at night - a double ribbon - white headlights going north and another ribbon  of red taillights going south towards LAX.

Overbooking airlines with resultant bad feelings throughout airports; the mandatory shot of wanna be travelers sleeping on the floor; suitcases as pillows.  A photo can't show it, but there is incessant noise - from the change of gate announcements, the reminder that you cannot park in front of the airport entrance, screaming children, yelling adults and crying babies.

The East Coast weather (always bad and predicted to get worse) slowing or delaying flights; scare headlines that predict no Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade due to high winds or snow storms …

None of this is "news" because it all happens every year and is definitely a Thanksgiving Day holiday tradition.

More's the pity.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

As Always...

If I can't find something funny, interesting or mildly educational, I'll keep my trap firmly shut.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Brief History of "Festivus" a Holiday NOT Invented by "Seinfeld."

Sad news, I know that the devotees of "Seinfeld" will be devastated.  Tough shit.  Neither Seinfeld nor Curb Your Enthusiasm are even remotely of interest, let alone to be considered hilarious.

This is how Festivus came about.  In February, 1966, a now retired Readers Digest editor named Daniel O'Keefe - apparently a major romantic (or a guy who just liked to have a few to celebrate damned near anything) created  what he called "Festivus" saying later that the name just popped into his head.   He insisted that his wife join him in celebration of  the anniversary of their first date.  Hard to get more nebulous than that …

Time went on, the couple had three sons, one of whom wound up as a writer on the "Seinfeld" show.  A fellow on the show overhead Dan O'Keefe describing it to other show writers and lobbied to have an episode written about it.  O'Keefe didn't want to do it and protested mightily to (clearly) no avail.

Before "Seinfeld" the O'Keefe household celebrated Festivus on random holidays - not just Christmas.  Activities included wearing funny hats, Dan and his two brothers wrestling and a clock put in a bag.  This mystified the boys but all their father would say was, "That's not for you to know."  This may be a sort of Celtic recognition of death inasmuch as the first Festivus arose from the death of O'Keefe, Sr.'s mother.  A way of saying, time is fleeting; seize the day, we never know when the bomb will drop on us.  There was no pole made of  aluminum, pine or anything else at the O'Keefe residence.  

Airing of the Grievances on the show was in turn inspired by O'Keefe the Elder's admiration for Samuel Becket's play "Krapp's Last Tape."  During the continuation of Festivus at the house from the '60s, '70s and on, he would tape himself talking about whatever had gone on during the previous months.  Again, an item copied by the show writers.

Now you know more than you may have wished about Festivus.  Since, ideally, this non-official holiday includes food and drink, and plenty of it, give some consideration to the end of January as your Festivus.   The bills have come in, the weather (and many of you) has gone south on us all and it is, generally, a good time for a party.  Ice the champagne and caviar and have at it!


Friday, November 16, 2018

Bad Weather and (Probably) Worse to Come: Timely Correspondence From Our On the Ground Reporter

My cousin, Doug Vermillion, in Indiana is our correspondent from his catbird seat in lovely Anderson.  Aside:  a family motto - "Keep nepotism in the family!"

Breaking:  We are having ice, freezing rain, sleet and snow here today.

Sidebar:  A suitable poem from a high school classmate - totally appropriate for this kind of bad weather - and yet, delightfully educational for all who read it and want to know a little about weather in the mid west.  With no further adieu …

It's winter here in Indiana
Where the gentle breezes blow
At seventy miles an hour
While it's thirty-five below

Oh, how I love Indiana,
When the snow's up to my butt
I take a breath of winter air
And my nose gets frozen shut

Yes, our weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Indiana
Because I'm frozen to the ground!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

How To Foil a Package Porch Thief

Timely, considering Christmas presents are coming to our front porches soon.

Yesterday, Dave from Silva Construction came over to see what we want done here so as to give us an estimate.  Our business concluded, he left.  An hour later, I noticed his measuring device on top of the dishwasher (with a lot of other crap.)  Knowing the firm has more than one, I didn't worry about it.

He called last night and asked that we leave it on the porch for one of his guys to pick it up today.  "Of course," I said.

This is clearly an expensive item - this tape measure - as it is clearly industrial length.  It may weigh as much as 2 lbs.  Our porch is visible from the street, but only if you're a porch bandit looking.

I wanted to follow instructions (for once) but I worried it might get stolen.  FLASH!  idea!  (A rare and wonderous thing for this writer) so I took a sheet of typing paper, switched over to Word, chose RED INK and typed:


Richie came in from his morning walk, noticed my bomb outside the man door to the garage and came into the house yelling, "Call the police!"  I said, "It's okay, Blondie.  Calm yourself."

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"If You Can't Say Something Nice, Don't Say Anything At All "

The above quote could be from any one of our mothers.  So, not for the first time, I will try to foil (!) my own mother, by saying as much "nice" as I reasonably can and still get something to write about for today.

Here goes.

It is a very large room, made to look even larger by the vast paned windows that stretch all the way across the space, overlooking an outdoor rectangular patio and the street.  The bar is to your right as you enter and the dining area - wood tables, bar height and normal -size dining tables and chairs, all of which is dominated by a HUGE TV screen that must measure 6 or 7 ft. tall and 8 or 10 ft. wide.  I joked to our server (a very personable guy) "I congratulate you on having a TV Stevie Wonder could watch!" and he roared.

Happy hour prices are properly lower than normal as evidenced by my $2 dirty gin martini, but it was served in a flat champagne glass, not a flute.   Richie had a Citra ale $8, and "D" a glass of Sky Fall Cabernet Sauvignon $9.  Those finished, "D" had a second and Richie his first.  The wines were $27 for three.  In addition to my $2 martini, I had a glass (smallish) of De Luca prosecco. $8

With our drinks, they ate (and clearly enjoyed) the Chicken Tenders, $5, and I joined them in the order of house-seasoned French fries , $4, which were nicely crisp.

"D" ordered and ate with enthusiasm, the Fish Taco, soft shell, $9, and Richie the Tavern Burger, $12.50, and I the grilled cheese sandwich of white Cheddar on cranberry/walnut bread which arrived on a square wooden plate, neatly quartered and burned.  $12.50.  A bit price-y I thought for two slices of bread and some cheese, whatever they grilled it in (and semi-charred) and NO side dishes.

The tab was $96 of which $59 was the bar.  So never mind my whine about a grilled cheese sand for nearly $13.  It was a good flavor pairing and now we can all make them at home for considerably less.

The Laurel Tavern
1220 Hermosa Beach, Hermosa Beach 90254  Take a gander at your own risk - the online and on site menus are different.



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Full Gravy Boat Lifts All Spirits

Perhaps it's due to having grown up in the Midwest when gravy is very often a dish on the dinner table or just an instinctive love of it, isn't known.  It was  the first thing my mother taught me too cook when I was 12 years old.  Unfortunately Ironing Lessons came along about the same time - easy stuff, to be sure, sheets, pillowcases and my Dad's boxer shorts. So much for my pitiable childhood stories of forced labor.

In a section of Parade (I think) last Sunday, there is a series entitled  "What America Eats" and it was fancy-pants sandwiches made the day after T-Day.  One of them that caught my eye called for using waffles made from stuffing as the BREAD of the sandwich - that also contained barbequed turkey, crisp bacon and cranberry jalapeno mayonnaise.

"Hmmm," I thought.  "Waffles from stuffing …"  Why not serve them with the real meal?  Think of all the gravy those little holes could hold …

So:  make your favorite dressing (here we have 1 in. baguette cubes, lavished with chicken broth, chopped red onion, and lashings of white or rainbow pepper and plenty of sage)  and while it sits, get out the waffle maker (everyone has one - classic wedding gift) and brush the grill with the oil of your choice.   When done, stack them on a tray or pan  and put in the oven with the turkey to stay warm until ready to be eaten.

Mentally, I am blissfully pouring gravy  into waffle holes! Let the level of the gravy boat rise!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Don't You Hate It When the Computer Goes Blooey?

It happened to me this morning.  Tried everything I know to no avail.  Finally called Horizon and a very nice lady fixed the router from whence the problems stemmed.

Back at the usual stand tomorrow - I read a great idea for waffles.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

100 Years Later - Lest We Forget

Billed as "the War to end all Wars,"  it didn't and wasn't.  This war which killed a total of 9 million people - both actively fighting and merely staying at home defending their land - began July 28, 1914 and ended on the rather poetic 11th hour of the 11th month of November 11, 1918.

                                                               Never Forget

These are not poppies, but they're also not a theft from a photo bank.  Richie shot a bouquet he bought from the Farmers Market.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Camels Would Be Better ...

Nevertheless, here is a shot from this morning's (11/10/2018) Daily Breeze - those are llamas tethered to a lifeguard station  - you are not hallucinating; this is just Southern California.   But camels would make better getaway means...

Friday, November 9, 2018

Driven By It 1,000 Times; Finally Stopped In.

I'm referring to a restaurant named  Frito Misto, 316 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach.  Visit their menu at 

Pier Avenue is one of three ways to get to the Hermosa Beach Pier.  The other two are via Hermosa Avenue and pulling your yacht in as close as it can get and hoping the dinghy to shore you ordered, will show up.  We don't have a yacht (snort!) so we drove.

In the wake of the most recent mass shooting, I was relieved to note that the minute you walk in the front door, you are facing a very large arc of booth seating with a table sized to them and a wooden barrier behind it,  stretching to nearly the ceiling.  Ushered around it by our server (very perky and funny Wendy) we were given a nice table at the back and bigger portion of the room, now visible because we've cleared the barrier.

As always (except for breakfast out - unless it's brunch and then, of course, one has champagne) ) we ordered a drink to sip while perusing their menu.  Richie had a Stella $3.75 and I a glass of the rose $5.25 for a healthy pour.  The fresh bread in a basket came with real butter (!) so I very politely asked that if they had the olive oil and balsamic dipping sauce and if so, may we have some?  Two seconds later, she was back with the tall, slim glass bottles of them plus a small dish filled with chopped garlic.  Del-icious!   Bonus points:  the cats didn't want any part of us when we got home.

To start, I ordered the side portion of Caesar salad for us to split.  If that's a "side" by God I don't want to see the entrée-size salad.  At any rate it was $6.  I don't know what's up with restaurants these days, but to a place they are using the dark green top of the lettuce leaf which looks tired even while it's back in the kitchen I don't doubt.  The dressing was inoffensive (translation:  could use a little pepping up) with a generous dust of chunk Parmesan tossed over it in  devil-may-care style.

Richie ordered the Chicken Marsala - two chicken breasts seared with sautéed mushrooms and Marsala sauce on a bed of linguini.  He said later that the linguini was a little too al dente for him; the chicken was headed toward "Tough" but the sauce was "okay."  Asked if he would go back, he nodded, "Yes."  $18.

I can rarely ignore pancetta, the Italian bacon so I ordered the Pasta Pancetta, composed of that, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions and a garlic cream sauce to which I will add  little chopped garlic for dinner tonight.  $15, and another glass of rose.

The grand total was $53.25 for four servings (leftovers for dinner tonight) which is a very affordable dinner out.  

And now we'll stop in from time to time!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Voting With Dick and Jane ... or Party Animals Vote

We can turn damn near anything into a reason to party, even if it's only the two of us.  I seem to remember going out to dinner at Bring Dollars, Home of Very Expensive Food Bistro and Bar one time to celebrate Ground Hog Day … So yesterday - Election Day - was no exception.

Even the day's start was fun as we have a new French teacher who Gets It that when a class is called French Conversation, that's what you do!   Previous teachers have grounded us well in French history.   My favorite story is one of a general who commandeered all of the taxis in Paris to take his men to the front line, but this is not the sort of thing that is going to pop up for discussion in today's France.  Or at least, I don't think so.

Anyhow, class ends at 10 a.m. so we promptly hied ourselves off to vote.  We were delighted and I was particularly gratified to see a full parking lot at our polling place and that we were numbers 10 and 11 in line to vote.  For a conceited nanosecond, I imagined that many of them were readers here and acting accordingly to my diatribe on The Importance Of Voting.   In real life, I doubt there was anyone there, aside from Richie, who does read me.   Didn't matter; there were another 8 to 10 in line behind us.  A friend, working this election told us that business there has been extremely good, starting with the poll's opening - at 7 a.m. - and hadn't slowed since then.

Even if we hadn't been there to vote, one of the workers was worth the wait.  She was dressed in:  very brief denim shorts with heavily frayed front pockets cut to show the red and white stripes on the pockets underneath  them, a shirt of stars and stripes, a big white cowboy hat with a red/white and blue band and a pair of white cowboy boots with a 6 in. fringe around their tops.  The only thing I could imagine was that she had gotten excused from her shift at the pole dancer emporium.  Made standing in line semi-amusing speculating on former Miss Texas?  Simply your average Southern California attention-seeker … or what?

Since our polling place is across the street from Las Brisas, when we got back in the car after voting I proposed treating him to lunch there.   With alacrity he accepted.  Since it was a beautiful day (the sun had finally come out) we elected to sit out on the patio,  which at that time of day was shadowy with splotches of sunshine.  The big plants sopped up traffic noise and we contentedly nibble on chips and salsas with an icy cold Pacifico.

It was so pleasant that after our food had been ordered and eaten, we ordered a second beer.  It was just too pleasant to go rushing away home.  Instead, we reminisced about previous elections, turnouts,  and I remembered back in the day in New York or Missouri, that if you sported your "I Voted" sticky label, the bartender gave you a free drink for voting.

No more had to be said.  We finished our beers and went straight to Suzy's, a live music-themed bar and grill that has rapidly become our go to spot.  Few customers at noon - in fact, none except for us - but the barmaid and her husband the chef were good company.

Entertainment of a sort was provided by the Hermosa Beach Police rousting a homeless man who had been living (presumably) in the parking lot.  They numbered four with a pick-up truck and two cop cars.  Business had to have been slow in Hermosa Beach.   The man was sitting on the curb at the base of a Big Lots sign.  After more than an hour, he got up, they all talked some more and they took him away.  Show over, we finished our beers and went home.  Where we both had a nap.  Mexican food is so filling

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

La Tristesse de les Gaufres Francaise

or "The sadness of French waffles."

"Yes, you there in the back?  No, (laughing) I have not lost my mind!"

SAVEUR, a food and wine publication arrived the other day and  throughout  it's pristine pages, I noted that almost all of the bakery items on offer were … very brown on top.  Some might even say, "Hellfire, woman, they were all burned!"

In the back section the magazine gave us a recipe for waffle sandwiches.  The normal breads in which sandwich ingredients are normally enclosed was - burned waffles.  This is not the only insult delivered to waffles with what could only be a resounding slap - I was instantly reminded of a lunch we and Michelle had in Trouville and my dessert was a waffle, covered with vanilla ice cream and tracings of strawberry jam.  No one else at the table wanted to help me out in this matter and poking around in it with my fork, I understood why.

In reading the following recipe I noted several decidedly UN-American waffle ingredients.

1 and 1/3 cups sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar, divided - doh; two 1/8ths sugar
pinch of kosher salt - use sea salt instead
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, melted
4 large egg whites

Whisk the sour cream egg yolks, milk, 2 T sugar, sea salt, followed by adding the melted butter  
Whip the egg whites and other half of the sugar and gradually add to mix very gently.
Ladle 1/3rd cup of mix onto the waffle maker, close the lid and cook until the waffle is lightly browned around the edges.

Their recipe continues - "butter the waffle with mayonnaise, layer on slices of avocado, add sheets of prosciutto or Spanish ham and dot with arugula.  Top with another waffle, squashed with a weight such as a heavy skillet and bake until warm.

Obviously, you can put in any filling that you want to add, but I can't recommend Velveeta somehow.Which is kind of sad - it makes such a great grilled cheese sandwich - any bread.   …

Monday, November 5, 2018

Election Drama Avoidance

Why get yourselves agitated by liars who mislead in exit polls and TV stations that "predict" outcomes when they are not smart enough to come in out of the rain?  

When the polls close, that's it.  The next day is soon enough to find out. Then, fresh from a blissful night's rest, you can rant all you want to because you will be well-rested.  No matter which way you voted or whom you expected to win.

We'll be watching the last episodes of "Lord Wimsey; the Nine Tailors"  during this frenetic madness and happy to do it.

You betcha we will have voted (as we have in every election preceding this one.)  The new French class from 9 to 10 a.m. and straight to the polls.  I will be interested to hear what the voter turnout had been up to that point.  The 2016 election had a line out the door of our voting place.

Vote - so you can participate in the post-election discussions...

Sunday, November 4, 2018

A Voting Alert

Today is a good day to read up on various propositions (and candidates) we will be asked to vote aye or nay on next Tuesday.

Sunday is traditionally a day of rest thus a hour devoted to political research is a lot more possible than from 9 to 5 weekdays or during Saturday errands (also a long-standing American tradition.)

Especially if, in the past, you have shrugged and said, "I don't have any idea what they're talking about so I'm not going to bother to vote."

I don't think that this is or would be much of an excuse to all of the families who have lost loved ones in America's numerous wars to insure our freedom and most especially our right to vote.

I feel very strongly that if you do not go vote, you absolutely do NOT get to carp and complain about any of the measures that were passed or the men and women who were elected.

Put your money where your mouth resides or lose the post-election whine until the next one.  Sorry, you're not allowed regrets if you didn't vote.  And, I might add, we know who many of you are and will not hesitate to tax you with this thought:   No Vote, No Whine

Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Scientific Treatise On The Effects of Daylight Savings Time on Our Pet Cats and Dogs

Unfortunately I found no specific results for this topic on your average gerbil or hamster.  In lieu of same, I would add that I once had a tank of goldfish that were smart enough to know when feeding time was and would churn up their waters at their usual time for a bite.

As is true of too many scientific tests to be measured, both cats and dogs and many others of our animal friends are driven by greed.  I.e. for  owners who feed their cats/dogs at a specific time.  While these animals can't read a clock per se their stomachs serve as their time-telling aids.

An oddity in this matter is that pets who are given a medication at a specific time of day, never seem to await that as they do their normal food.   Our 17 year old calico cat gets a liquid medicine at 7 a.m. every other day and so far, she still tears into her breakfast and then curls up for a digestive nap, making it very easy to tip her head and insert the syringe into her mouth.  Now a smarter animal might be able to figure the routine and instead of going to her cushion, hie out like a car thief for a new , less visible spot, but so far not and I am grateful.

So in answer to the many pet owners who contacted me re this pressing question, feed as normal during this new time and your pet will gradually accustom it's self to a new feeding time.  Over-the-top owners:  you don't have to change feeding time by five minute increments.  Both you and the pet will wind up confused as hell. Moderation in all things …

T/U Richie for asking me about this this morning.  I hope you find this information useful.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Trick or Treat Head Count - 2018

We had a 700% increase over last year's numbers.

Last year's number was zero and we ate leftover candy until Easter.

What're your numbers?  Take advantage of the Comments below and tell us.  Thanks!