Friday, May 31, 2019

All These Splendors ... and We Weren't Invited! Major Pout Coming On!

I am referring to the soon to occur State Banquet hostessed by Elizabeth II for U.S. President Trump and both families ( QE will have Charles and Camilla, William and Kate, Prince Andrew and Trump is bringing Melanie and all of his children) at Buckingham Palace where  State Dinner prep is probably no more than just another day's to Staff who have weathered innumerable ones.  

Some details gleaned from the Brit newspapers:  The table is set so that each guest's plate(s) are exactly 18 in. from one another and from the veritable forest of glasses next it - six in all:  Water, Champagne for the traditional toast - leader to leader - Red, White wines to match the courses, a Dessert wine and Port (presumably for the gentlemen. "Now don't linger over the port, gentlemen," said with a wagging finger by the dinner hostess in many a British novel)  

Speaking of formality, the dress code for this event calls for "Tiaras and White Tails."   

To mention some details … Prince Charles eschews butter and will have a little dish of olive oil at his place for his bread which will be easy to locate as his "bad back" requires a special cushion.  

After the speeches (re what was not disclosed) 12 pipers will march around the room, tootling away.  This is truly when it pays to be the Queen or the sitting President of the United States as they will repair to another room for their post-prandial coffee.  And when the Queen leaves the room, the party is over and guests are ushered gently out.  

On the other hand, the Queen is said to be very fond of her bagpipers and Trump's mother was of Scottish descent.  If she lingers then I feel for those among us who loathe and detest bagpiper toots and  sour chords.  Maybe not being invited is not such a bad thing after all...

Thursday, May 30, 2019

You Say "Impeachment; I Say "Vote of No Confidence"

A vote of no confidence is a formal vote by the members of a legislation indicating they no longer support a leader in government.  Because impeachment is certainly a vote of no confidence, I lumped the two of them in my mind and proceeded accordingly.  As in:  I didn't think about it any more.

In the USA Step 1 levels charges of against the politician which does not automatically remove the offender from office.  That comes in Step 2 when an indictment of criminal law - charges to include Treason, Bribery and other Crimes or Misdemeanors - is brought against the so-called offender.  Then the legislative body votes again and it's this vote that can oust the alleged offender  from office.
Countries which use impeachment include Northern Ireland, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy.

In Great Britain, "Impeachment" is defined as questioning the integrity or validity of something.
In the USA it is a charge of misconduct against a holder of public office.

Based on the impeachments of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, nothing happens.  Both just got their fingers rapped in public and presumably embarrassed mightily.  Much like someone voting no confidence in your actions.   Both are pretty much toothless old dogs.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Polite Ways to Diss the Other Guy

To express your view of the doubtful completion of an action on their part...

Some samples:

Honey, you know he'll get your power tools back to you when there are glaciers in Key West...

Yeah, she'll learn to cook when pork chops grow on the palm trees in downtown Tel Aviv …

The day after the first day back at the gym, "I'm stiff as a hinge that's needed oiling for the past 20 years!"

What are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

I Know You Don't Want To, But We're All Gonna Die - Make the Most of It

In fact, as you know, every living thing on, above or below Planet Earth is going to die so read all about it so yours will be a beautiful passage with flowers and music and weeping friends and relatives that the Splendor Of You is leaving their midst.

"The Art of Dying Well, A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life" by Katy Butler,  262 pages, $25. has it at $12

I will skip the case histories, good advice (and for all I know some clunkers thrown in) to give away something that might be helpful.  Back of the book's Further Sources of Reliable, Unbiased Medicine:

Center for Science in the Public Interest - excellent guides to medicines

American Cancer Society - Not funded by Big Pharma which she says promotes straight info from them

Choosing   Am. Board of Internal Medicine lists items such as specific treatments, tests, procedures that may be of no help or do more harm than good.  Enter all of your Rxs and get a free personalized report on possible interactions.

eProgress  Calculate the odds of how much time you have left.  I can't recommend this for Type A's as the competitive urge is strong in us …

Mayo Clinic  Reliable summaries of diseases and standard treatments.

As this sample is merely  small one of the good advice in the rest of the book, I recommend it even if you are in booming great good health.  Plan ahead.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Arlington National Cemetery - Some Statistics

Today - Memorial Day it seems "right" to think about all those who have, through no choice of their own, been relegated to it.

Number of people buried in it's 624 acres which also boasts the cooling shade of  8,500 trees:   420,000 and more as there are an average 25 burials every  day.  Every single tombstone has been photographed, presumably from the time they had cameras as the first person buried there was one Private William Christman in 1854.  All are available for viewing on a Web site.

Who is allowed in for interment?  Active duty military, retired reservists, POWs and US Presidents.

Section 27 holds the remains of 4,000 former slaves in what was once Freedmans Village, the first free neighborhood for them.

President Taft was joined originally by JFK who hospitably gave space to his brothers Joe, Jr., Bobby and Teddy along with his wife Jackie plus son Patrick, who died shortly after birth, and the daughter who was still-born.  I assume that Ethel has a space next to her darling Bobby (proof of their love being some 11 kids) and eventually whoever was Resident Wife at the time of his departure with Teddy.

Due to lack of space, some have predicted that Arlington National Cemetery will be completely out of dirt in 25 years.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ah, A Tranquil Sunday

The headline for this deathless bit of writing may infer that I spend my weekdays toiling in Asian sweatshop downtown, churning out hoodies for 18 hours a day.  With a 5 minute lunch hour and those other girls are really quick with chopsticks and noodles!  I am not but I can sometimes get a 3 minute break by the only kindly supervisor to mop up my front before I go back to work on the hoodies.

Rah ha ha!  Sewing a button back on is agony for me.  My opposing fingers are not pin cushions.

No, happily, I am a writer and we don't do jack-all.  We spend our days "researching" reading the media, humorous Websites looking for something to … liberate and/or reading a book "for review in the blog" purposes.

This morning is only different from past Sundays in that the Indy 500 is running (amok some would say) upstairs where Richie is thrilling at the incessant noise - very familiar to me from racing photographer days and not the stuff of dreams.  When the race is over, I can go back to working on solving both the NY and LA Times crossword puzzles.

In the meantime I've visited and done today's puzzle (a hairy dog in a drying off towel) and another that appealed.  Answered the mail, caught up on all of the news sites, took a glance at   What patients say to anesthetists while going or coming back was fairly funny …

I remember well and I don't doubt that the anesthesiologist hasn't forgotten it either.
Scene: the outpatient surgical clinic.  She began by injecting something and said, "You'll like this - you'll feel like you just had a flute of champagne!" all tinky winky bright..

At that moment my ob/gyn walked in to the room and said, "I saw you on the surgical list so I just popped in to say hello."  He and the anesthesiologist  exchanged warm greetings and he bounced away.  Hearing the door slam, I said to her, "Oh, so he's here to do an abortion?" and she took a half step back and shocked, said, "Heavens no!  He's a devout Catholic - I remember him as an altar boy!  He was such a sweetie."

And then I was rolled into the OR.  I was indeed comfortable and she must have begun to gently bring me back.  Error!  I popped up on my elbows to see over the short screen separating my eyes from my feet, and said brightly, "Whatcha doin'? and  the podiatrist gasped, rallied and said in nor
mal tones, "I'm just finishing up; I successfully removed the Morton's neuroma from your foot."

"Oo, can I see it?" and he obligingly held up a pair largish tweezers with a beautiful shade of  pink blob in their grasp.  "It's so cute!" I exclaimed, "Can I take it home?"   Now his eyes did bulge a bit but he gamely informed me it had to go directly to the lab.

It's now 11-ish a.m. and time for lunch.  A good one is:  two slices of rye break, crusts cut off, one side layered with cole slaw and the other with a spread of mayo and three thin slices of Boar's Head Chipotle Chicken.  Handful of potato chips and will be ready for the afternoon's excitement.  Which may well be listening to the rain (70 per cent chance forecast) and continuing with my book on the art of dying well.  So far it doesn't include slurping caviar, swilled down with  Moet-Chandon champagne. The beginning is a paean on changing evil life styles for healthy ones.  Diet, exercise, social agenda.  I am waiting for scenes at a death bed such as all of the family members standing around intent on their smart phones while the poor individual croaks his last.  And no one hears him … no one at all as their fingers flash on the keyboard.

Promising for a rainy afternoon, no?   I'll wait to revue it until I get to the good stuff.  And the wilder the better.



Saturday, May 25, 2019

BBQ Sauce Under My Fingernails

Last Wednesday it was our monthly dinner and Mouton had chosen the place this time.  It was his turn.  He chose The Rib Company, 5800 E. 2nd Street, Long Beach (  There is a sister spot in Newport.

The Long Beach Rib Company presents a cozy exterior with a grey barn siding-looking fa├žade with a couple of benches for anyone waiting for a table (or sneaking a quick cigarette.)

The extensive menu indicates that this isn't Uncle Reubens side of the road smoke joint and bbq, County Line Road, Open Weekends Only, with  a dusty parking lot and beat-up looking picnic benches under a shade tree.

Our drink order was promptly taken by "our" server to be and we had:  Mouton and Dee - glasses of wine, Richie a draft beer and me  split of sparkling prosecco.  For an appetizer, we ordered a half loaf brick of onions which arrived with a cunning little "silver" sauce pitcher filled with their bbq sauce (sweet and good).  We went through that like a bunch of starving farm workers after a long day threshing.  The only things left on the serving platter were some beat-up looking lettuce leaves (brick heat killed it; not us.)

Theirs is a typical bbq menu with Sandwiches, Burgers and the ubiquitous Ribs.  I don't often see this, so I was impressed:  full rack $29.99 for 12/13 ribs; 3/4 rack (!)  with  9 or 10 bones
 for $26.99; half rack $24.99 for 6 or 7 bones.

This is a touch that I genuinely appreciate.  Under the heading Senior/Smaller Sizes, the lead dish is Sr. baby back ribs (4) with one side $19.99.  Not for the price particularly, but for the recognition that older people very often have smaller appetites.  And after I had eaten my share of the onion brick, it was inconceivable that I could plow through 12 or 13 ribs.  At that I only managed one and one-half ribs.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables and Mashed Sweet Potatoes among the more traditional offerings (fries, cole slaw, beans) were a surprise.  And so was the potato salad I ordered as mine.  They were dry-ish and tasted like boiled potatoes.  Just boiled potatoes.  I took mine home, dressed it up with chopped red onion, pickle relish and mayonnaise and it was then a respectable dish.

They do offer seafood and I would go back solely for the Hawaiian-style Shrimp Kabob with vegetables for $25.99.

Meanwhile, I finally got the sauce out from under my nails and am off to other adventures. They did give each of us a full-sized hot washcloth at the end of the meal (aping 1st on a plane?) and we availed ourselves of them with gusto.


Friday, May 24, 2019

Bring Back the Lethal Hatpin For Ladies

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in  Edwardian times women kept veils and wimples (wimples!  that was a long time ago) secure on their heads by use of a device called a hat pin, a long shafted needle - the pointy end held veil to hair and thus the head; the visible end was bejeweled or otherwise adorned and it became an accessory of some desirability on the part of the ladies - held the damned things on and provided another area for one-upmanship.

Men, after a series of events, were much less in favor of them.  Women on public transportation were becoming very adept at whipping out the hat pin and skewering the unfortunate male who had gotten just a leetle to friendly.

Even in play they could be deadly.  A 19 year old girl in Scranton, PA, playfully pretended to menace her boyfriend, something went wrong and she got him right through the heart which killed him then and there.  And no therapy invented yet.

Another fatal outcome occurred when a man on a crowded horse car felt a little sting behind his left ear - an accidental brush up with one of these ladies and spent a week in the hospital and died.

Law and order was threatened when 100 female factory workers, brandishing said hatpins, charged police who were trying to arrest a pair of fellow workers for "making anarchistic statements."

Men, quite understandably, were very, very wary around the ladies wearing great big hats.  So much so that laws were passed directing women to blunt the needle end via a cork or for less well-to-do ladies, a chunk of raw potato.

In today's world, the only women with the ability to wear a hat pin are the long-haired beauties who wear it up when they aren't competing in hair tossing contests.

Still … it was a thrilling moment for Women - seeing the terror in male eyes if they even gestured toward their hair.

Ah, so rightfully said "Those were the good old days."  #Me, Too can't hold a candle to a good, strong hatpin.  

Thursday, May 23, 2019

"Dear Sirs -"

Daily Breeze 5/23/19

Redondo Beach public smoking ban a bad idea

Re "Redondo Beach closer to public smoking ban, including e-cigarettes and cannabis"  May 8

Dear Sirs:
I think the Redondo Beach City Council is being rather short-sighted regarding this proposed draconian no-smoking policy.  It would effectively kill the recent BeachLife Festival, which by all accounts was a roaring success and by all of the visitors (who smoke) and are turned off and out of Manhattan and Hermosa Beach.

I doubt that summer merchants and restaurant owners will be thrilled.  Please don't recite the dubious "research" that would have us all dead and lying motionless, buried under tons of cigarette butts.  This kind of oversight of any practicalities reminds one unfavorably of the ill-fated "bullet train."

Sincerely, Nina Murphy
Redondo Beach

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Jeopardy James - How Do I Love Thee - Let Me Count the Ways

He is extremely intelligent and better, his mind clearly works at warp speed.

Of note, when asked how he prepped for "Jeopardy!" - which he started trying for in 2006 and didn't get a slot as a contestant until 2012 - he said that he had read a lot of children's books as they were designed to fuel curiosity about new subjects.  He particularly wanted a seat at the Jeopardy table to honor his beloved grandmother.  They used to watch it together.

Unexpectedly, Ken Jennings ($2.5 million) said, "I'm the only person alive who knows first hand how difficult it is to do what Holtzauer is doing and I am rooting him on."

He has a sweet smile - James not Ken Jennings - and seems to be altogether a very nice person.  He used the birthdays of  family and friends for the sums he'd wager.  Alex was puzzled  at the odd numbers - 10,213 and asked - and that's how the rest of us know it.

 Last night we all learned that he met his wife when both were teaching ESL in Thai schools.  They have a four year old daughter.  Wisely both avoid the spotlight while James is photographed by the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.

But two other things stand out to me - he doesn't show boat around (Austin the Boston bartender)
and clearly has his mind set on bidness.  His only gesture to show biz is when he bets a daily double  and Alex asks how much? and he makes the shoving in of his chips gesture. " Push" in blackjack. (Not that I've ever played it in a casino.  My math skills are non-existent. yes, even for simple addition.)  

 I also especially like the way he toys like a cat with a succulent mouse with the other contestants.  The first couple of shows when he went straight across the board with the $1,000 and then $2,000 questions I was first gobsmacked (see OED) and then ruefully sighed and thought, "He's got a death wish."  How wrong I was.  He is a sportsman.  Of late, he is leaving some big money questions to the others.  Apparently he has a point financially when he feels his lead is definite  so he avoids the easy low-money questions so that these contestants can go home with some money, too.

A scholar and a gentleman.  Go, James!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Spring Fever Symptoms

I read that in April and May, humans and many animals are intent on finding a mate.  I rarely offer medical advice as I am not a doctor.  Not that this deters me much if at all.  I would, however, caution you to be careful where your "fever" leads you.  It is not recommended to listen more than once to Peggy Lee's version of "Fever."  'Nuff said.

Now, if you are fretful, here are the symptoms … you feel laid back ...lazy (hell that's every day season or no) lethargic … abstracted.  Now you know.  If you are delaying doing household chores or similar in the office, in favor of a quick nap, you have been alerted.

As always, use your own judgment.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Preakness and A Daunting Horse

Firstly, I bet War of Wills which won the race.  As I always bet Place, I got my money back and I think it was more than a First.

But the highlight was Bodexpress and if horses had mottos, a very apt one for him would be - Will Race, Rider Or Not.

Of note:  He ran the race and then did a solo run all the way around the track all by himself  after the race was over!  Is that heart or what?

As the dumped rider was unhurt, I can make fun of Bodexpress's determination.  "By God, they brought me in here to race and I'm gonna!"

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Be Prepared - What Witticism Will You Contribute on Your Deathbed?

You know that Oscar Wilde gave it some thought - his last words were:  "Either this wallpaper goes or I do"  The wallpaper won.

Winston Churchill, totally being himself, said, "I'm so bored with it all," went straight in a coma and died nine days later.  One can only wonder if a comatose state was more interesting?

Groucho Marx, "Die my dear?  Why that's the last thing I will do!"  Hardly profound, Groucho.

Humphrey Bogart (ruefully one assumes)  "I should never switched from Scotch to martinis."

This is sad …John Belushi and Chris Farley - both of these men died saying the same thing after extensive encounters with drugs and prostitutes... "Don't leave me!"   they pled.  Only to watch (if still capable) the door close behind the prostitute and drug dealer respectively.   As they left them.

Frida Kahlo remarked rather petulantly if you ask me, "I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to return!"

Beethoven's last request of his fans, "Applaud, my friends; the comedy is finished."

Jimi Hendrix wrote almost a paragraph and his message was:  "The story of my life is quicker than the blink of an eye.  The story of love is hello and goodbye until we meet again."  Place of meeting unspecified.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Okay, Punsters - This One's For You!

This month's Readers Digest wants to delve into the popularity of shows set in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance are big on TV currently … look down the list of credits to see which Knight is doing what:

The dancing knight - Sir-Prance-A-Lot

The knight who was afraid to fight - said to be a French Knight - Sir Render

The knight who arrived unexpectedly - Sir Prise

The alcoholic knight - Sir Rhosis

The undercover knight (they had them back then?) Sir Veillance

And you would add to this list with?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

I Erred

Thanks to her work with her husband plus crews of around 20, Jan is also the first female Merchant Marine ever and has a lifetime membership given her by the Singapore Yacht Club.

And I erred further by referring to their ship - a freighter with twin diesel cranes  - as a barge.

Mea culpa and no one else's.  And Jan graciously laughed when I read that column today at the South Bay Writers

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

An Unlikley Excursion

Which is:  a luncheon invitation to the Los Angeles Yacht Club, Whalers Walk, San Pedro.

Yeah - I know awready - us at any place as swank as this promises to be is an unlikely destination for the likes of us.

To see the place and picture us inside it is …an  unlikely juxtaposition.  Take a gander

We are responding to a cry for help from Janet White, today's guest speaker.  She is a fellow member of the  She is working on a book detailing her experiences as the wife of a commercial barge owner dealing in the transport of various items to such as Singapore and a bunch of other exotic destinations and their adventures with pirates (they're for real) and the time the ship developed a problem transporting explosives and he had to go underneath it and fix it.

Like a great many of us faced with public speaking she is scared and wanted us and the rest of the Thurs. Writers to bolster her spirits.

Lunch is $20 per person and is comprised, so I read, of a garden salad, followed by Tomato Bisque and fancy Grilled Cheese sandwiches with Bread Pudding and chocolate sauce for dessert.  The bar will be open, but you pay for any drinks.  Reassuring news for Jan!  Where was the bar when I was fitfully treading the boards at the South Bay Stories Show?  Suggestion for next year's 7th annual show.

If the sun comes out by noon it will be a blessing - white sails against the deep blue sea … ah, picturesque.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

In Which Bad Turns Into Good

Many of you may remember a recent column when I suggested that mothers start male potty training (i.e. the use of toilet paper for blotting purposes) rather than let them continue using Male Toilet Paper - shake and go.

David of Silva Construction made a house call Monday and defied my theory by saying that it was simply a case of the flooring outliving its normal life span.  Although I must say that 30+ years seems like a good span indeed.

Outcome:  I am re-doing the whole room.  I picked out a new vanity yesterday - grey bead board-cut wood for the front face with a white china basin.  The walls are already a light grey, so give the baseboards a coat of dark grey.  The flooring is to be white oak which has a grey-ish tinge to it.

Cape Cod/New England-style.

Am already making out a mental guest list to come inspect it.    Foregoing breaking a bottle of champagne over the toilet.  Perhaps just glasses of cranberry juice.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Following Is Totally Made Up of Whole Cloth.

I was idly wondering this morning what mothers talk about at their yearly reward brunch from grateful (or not so) husbands and children.

As it is her day to be the star the conversation that I thought I heard (obviously hallucinating again even through Doctor said it wasn't serious and to just kick back and enjoy whatever my imagination comes up with.)  about the sequence of events.  Bring it on Mom!

"Oh, my little dear - it was such a romantic place when we conceived you … the white sand seemed to glitter softly in the moonlight as we shed our clothes and inhibitions at the Caribbean island where we were honeymooning. The policeman was really very nice and just let us off with a gentle warning.
In gratitude we told him that if anything developed (heh heh) we would name the baby after him.  That's right, Generalissimo!  Yes, son, Jenny works a lot better for daily usage.  By the way, be careful with promises you'll regret down the road...

It was, the doctor said, a normal pregnancy and that a lot of mothers- to-be vomit the entire nine months!  You're not so special, he added.

But O my God, I really thought 48 hours of labor would kill us both, but it didn't!  And for what?  A 13 lb. ghostly white … thing! covered in meconium.  It took three hosing's with a high-pressure hose to get rid of that stuff!

But time passed and before I knew it you were ready for the immunization shots.  There was none of this anti-vaxxers stuff back in those days!  No sirree, Bob.  The only mandatory thing about it was the traditional shot of you bawling your head off!  Over the years that came, a quick glance at that picture soothed my soul in a variety of ways … I had it in my purse the night you got busted for joy riding in the neighbor's Ferrari - we never thought you'd do anything like that; we hadn't taught you how to drive a shift yet.  I guess you showed us!  O what a little kidder you were!

But all in all, I'm glad we had you.  Especially as you have the money for our tab here at the Solid Gold Restaurant and Bar.  What?  You left your billfold at home?  Give the tab to me; some things never change. (sigh)

O waiter, as long s I'm paying, I'll have another flute of champagne, please.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Never Thought About This ...

A cousin just wrote with this little gem -- "The Mafia doesn't want any Jehovah's Witnesses coming around; in fact, they don't want any witnesses at all!"

Jazz Club this afternoon; report tomorrow if there is anything to report.

Meanwhile, enjoy your Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Unusual - But Very Welcome!

"What is she babbling about now?!" you ask with some trepidation.  I write today of view restaurants and the often sad fact that while the view is wonderful, the food is decidedly not.

But what ho!  An exception!  Interesting and unusual view for, say, someone who lives in the Midwest.

Bluewater Grill, 665 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, CA 310-318-FISH

It's a long, large room and the entire length of the building is generously windowed with great close up views of parked yachts, all buttoned up in their individual berths.  Naked masts pointed to the darkening skies.  Our server Justin told us that largely these are party boats (live-aboards are farther north) that the owners never take out very far and use solely for entertaining.

Very well, we are all rapt at this view plus idle speculation as to the owners and/or occupations that can get you a boat like some of these.  Enough awready!  What's to eat?

An enormous selection of fish, shell fish, with a little beef thrown in for those that have the nerve to order it in a fish restaurant.  Primarily steaks of various styles and sizes.

We dined there last night.  We started out with the prawn cocktail composed of four great big shrimp stacked artfully in a circle on the plate with a surround of the usual red cocktail sauce plus another ring of what tasted like pureed avocado.   Justin told us that shrimp were on sale and that it would be only $10 instead of the usual $15.  Well now, we nodded at each other.

Cloudy with promised occasional showers throughout the evening prompted our order for a cup each of lobster bisque.  $8.50 per cup.  It was very good and very filling as soup to start very often is.

Richie ordered the prawn linguini ($22.50) and I the panko fried  jumbo prawns ($17.50.)  These were a choice of coconut or panko so I tried that as I was intrigued by the idea of panko instead of coconut.  Beautifully crisp!  With cocktail sauce or an oil and vinegar and harissa sauce or one can ask for tartar sauce.  Next time …

Richie had a Tanqueray gin and tonic  ($10.25) and I had a couple of flutes of sparkling prosecco ($10 each.)  The total tab was 100.25  

We'll go back...

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Trouoble With Men Is Their Mothers

Recently, the upstairs toilet developed a thin streak in the laminated "wood" floor within the 3 in. of the toilet.   The streak widened into a strip and the laminate peeled back infinitesimally widened.  

I decided I could fix it by using a Phillips screwdriver point to clean it all out and then refill it with some kind of wood filler and then use shoe polish in the right shade to match the filler to the rest of the floor color.    

But before I tore  up the bathroom floor, I consulted with Dave of Silva Construction, a firm that has done all of the work here for 30 years.  He wrote back and suggested I check for a leak from a malfunctioning bowl seal.  I did.  Bone dry all the way around.  As  reported to back to Dave and then I told him my theory.  

I wrote back, "I strongly suggest it might be acidic urine during the male version of toilet paper:  shake and go."

His reaction, he responded was "Thanks for the big laff - I showed it to the rest of the office and they forwarded it to some 10,000 others."  So I wrote back, "Well good - I've got my own army so don't mess with me."

But this suggestion that males use a square or two to blot after urinating is not the first time I've had this idea.

Back in Y2K, I wrote Parade columnist Marilyn Vos Savant (means your scholar in French) a rather snotty Answer Lady and suggested that since we were starting anew in 2000 why couldn't all new mothers of baby boys, teach them from the beginning of toilet training to use squares of toilet paper to blot and then  go.  She never responded but I did hear huge peals of laughter from the general direction of the magazine headquarters.  That bitch.  

Dave or someone will come to take a look.  

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Senior Songs

You may not even be a senior yet, but this is one of the many things you can expect.  Old popular songs revamped for The Senior Life Style.  You have to have a sense of humor anyhow whether you are 30 or 103.  

Some samples from a birthday card that caught my eye … Hallmark:  Top 25 Favorite Songs for People Your Age.  I found several of them to be rather unsuitable for this audience so I have ignored them.  Meanwhile …

Let's Get Physicals …

A Hard Day's Nap

I Can't See Clearly Now

Knock, Knock Knockin' on the Bathroom Door

To All the Girls I've Disappointed Before

Hey! You!  Get Off a My Bumper

It's Only Muzak, But I Like It

Stair Lift to Heaven

Baby Got Backache

Groovy Kind of Love Handles 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Various Thoughts ...

I just read the name that his parents Harry and Meghan have given him.  Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

I think "Baby Sussex" would have been fine as is until the kid is old enough to yell in rage and horror at being y-clept "Archie"  Archie Bunker?  Archie Comics?

The other day, Richie stuck a Willie Nelson CD in the car player and I thought to myself … Willie Nelson's singing style … from his brain, through his nose and into our ears …

The old laptop died a merciful death more than a month ago and yesterday we sallied forth into Best Buy and got a new one.  We may have been in the store as long as 20 minutes.

Both the former laptop and the current PC are/were both so old that I'd had plenty of time to consider what I'd get on a replacement device.  To explain the speed with which we were able to accomplish the task and beat feet.  

AOL refused to accept my mail password; a quick phone call and "Ben" facilitated a password change.

All's well that ends well.  

Monday, May 6, 2019

It's Boy - Surprise!

After all of the bally-hoo with the pink decorations fluttering around like a snow storm.  Hah!
The media said that the blissfully happy couple "didn't want to know the sex of the baby prior to actually meeting him/her. "

And the merchants are licking their lips and rubbing greedy fingers together. has whole KITS about the participants;  Royal Blue party supplies (wonder if Kate's mother's firm is giving discounts...) Banners to hang outside your dwelling; Royal Blue and gold ornaments and balloons … let the profits roll in!

On a much lesser scale, our second Great-Niece, Alaina, joined the family April 26th so she'd be a week older than this Baby Sussex and that is no difference at all!   Our first Great Niece, however is now 14 years old,  That's not gonna work.

I advised her parents to pre-register Alaina at Eton.  Cute meet - over books in the library - followed by a lavish wedding - those Royals are LOADED!  And we've always said nice things about Queen Elizabeth II...  I think it could work …

Sunday, May 5, 2019

This'n That ...

Who says the beach is laid back; nothin' much going on?  Not the denizens in our neck of the woods.

First of all - there should have been an all-points bulletin warning that due to the Fri. Sat. Sun. Beachlife Festival, you want to forget about going to the beach.  Parking! is the reason.  This three-day event featured various musicians...Saturday was Brian Wilson with Al Jardin and Blondie Chaplin.

Today Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marlowe, Grace Potter and the Blues Travelers.  Friday's paper pointed out the various Lyft and Uber stations.  Local mall parking was strictly monitored for crashers by simply posting security guards at all of the entrances to the parking lot."What is your business here?"
Today is also Cinco de Mayo and we will pop into our favorite local Mexican restaurant - Las Brisas for a Pacifico and to split a giant quesadilla.

Yesterday's irritation began with the sad discovery that of the three Gray horses I bet, two were jet black!

At the finish I was congratulating myself that Tacitis came in 4th.  (sigh)  But wait!  The winner Maximum Security has just been disqualified!  Moving me and Tacitis up to 3rd!   Too bad for Maximum Security - or rather the jockey who rode him - which is where blame does belong.

Richie offered me a tour of his composite container out in the backyard.  My cup runneth over...

Monday promises to be calm.  With quesadilla leftovers for lunch.  Peace will reign at the beach.

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Oxford English Dictionary vs. Professor James Callahan's Generation Z Dictionery

Comes now the above -mentioned Callahan and his dictionary of ordinary words he hears from the teenagers he teaches at Lowell High School, Massachusetts.  I have long been a student myself in current words and phrases which often have nothing to do with each other.  I'm thinking of the old "phat" to describe something found by the speaker to be marvelous or wonderful or altogether a good thing.

His offering comes to four typed pages.  Herewith some samples:

tea or spill tea - meaning to dish the dirt or gossip

run that! - to start doing something  i.e.  Deal the cards or run that!

Pull up! - an invitation  Pull up - let's go to the movies, out for lunch …

Nunya - short form for none of your business

That ain't it! - to find something unacceptable or I don't approve

Hop off - mind your own business

Gotta blast - I have to go now

Finesse - to steal something

Deadass - I'm serious!

The Oxford English Dictionary  was first printed in 1879 and quite probably had slang entries way back then, too.

As for slang dictionaries today?  Every language in the known world has slang and it follows that they have a dictionary, too.  What marks the slang version is that in less than six months, whatever is current now will be obsolete.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Hit the Liquor Store for Bourbon; Raid the Neighbor's Yard for Mint - It's Kentucky Derby Time!

Then cozy up to the big screen and admire the ladies' hats.  A direct steal from Ascot, by the way.

I'm  sucker for a grey/gray horse and there are three of them running Saturday!  Despite the fact that a gray named Giacomo won the 2007 Derby and none others since then, it could be argued that my cup runneth over at three entries this year - Tacitus, Roadster and Gray Magician.

As many of you will remember, I err on the frugal side in matters gambling, even I am going to wager $2 on all three of them to Place or Show.  This vast outlay of cold cash is quite atypical of me of whom many have jeered, "You're too tight to squeak - sure you can afford it?"  accompanied by sneering laughter.

Sticks and stones … water over the dam … say what you will, I'm going to do it!

And, Jeopardy James, tonight if you gave us a tip or two, it would be much appreciated.  You do represent yourself as a professional sports bettor... put your money ($1.5 million so far) where your mouth is.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Once Upon a Time ...

It may have been Richie's first trip to France when this occurred.  May 1st we arrived at CDG mid-morning, disembarked, cleared customs and went out to the street to catch the Air France Bus (pronounced boosss) into Paris to be greeted by a lot of people moving around the crowd of incoming passengers and pressing little nosegays of  Lilies  of the Valley on each person while smiling in a welcoming manner.

A great way to welcome visitors to France and much more cost effective than a lei when landing in Hawaii.

Michelle explained it all to us.  May 1st is the French Fete du Travail or Labor Day when shops close, as do most restaurants and everyone goes to the beach or the country for the day.

The friendly aspect of this charming custom is the meaning of Lilies of the Valley - love and affection - started back in 1560 when a knight, one Louis Girard, pressed a bouquet of them on King Charles IX.  So charmed by the gesture the King then decreed that in future he would give every woman in his court a little bunch of them.  And thus the give away that became an official thing in 1947.

The French clearly have taken to this idea and spent $31.8 million last year on muguets.  You know it's got to be good to get that much cold cash out of the clutching fingers of the … frugal French.  .