Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Missing Japanese Actor

Leading off this morning's birthdays, was none other than one Katsumi Tezuka, celebrating his 107th (107) birthday.  Born 8/31/1912 and that was it.

So I jotted down that scant info and went looking.  The only thing I found was that he starred in more than a few of the "Godzilla" movies.

What I didn't find:
Place of birth; any siblings, number of marriages with or without issue
Currently living in:  his own home?  The Motion Pictures Home?  With his loving wife? Daughters? Sons?  

A total blank on his childhood - how he got into the Godzilla movies which you would think might be of note - and all of the above that you'd think would be of interest enough to add a few of the details.  I mean. Why bother to live to be 107 and then be snubbed like this?  He didn't sit around in a Godzilla suite for all of those years!  

If you have information leading to the discovery of these details and/or more, please be kind enough to report it in the Comments section of this column.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Make This Holiday Better - Laugh!  has a feature today on Dad Humor + Roadside Signs  Think Burma Shave signs without a moral.

The writer, a guy named Vince, waves his Presto! wand over the general area of Indian Hills, CO.  Here are five samples, taken at random - there are another 95!

Before the crowbar was invented
crows had to drink at home.

Coming soon!  Star Wars 12!
Luke needs a walker.

My friend David had his id stolen
Now he's just Dav  

If a cow doesn't produce milk,
is it a milk dud or udder failure?

If money doesn't grow on trees,
why do banks have branches?

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hurricane Math

Today the weather persons are bleating breathlessly about "a 31 per cent chance" that Dorian will become a Category 3 hurricane.  I would point out that there is a 79 per cent chance that it will not.

Or in even barer terms … 1/3 it will; 2/3rds it won't.  Am I the only person in the U.S. that has figured this out?  If so, we are all in very deep doo-doo.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

And Now the Weathercasters Begin Preparations

If not already, then we are about to experience the dread  Explosion of the Weatherpersons As They Battle a Killing Hurricane.  For those unfamiliar with this ritual, here is my interpretation of it.

They go to their Hurricane/Tornado Closet and, depending on the amount of storm expected, pick out their most suitable custom-tailored rain gear and set it next to their ever-ready suitcase for immediate response to gentle/savage rains, puddles/streets that are now rivers! and don't forget the wellies in case of a flooded luxury hotel lobby.

Some - and this applies to men and women alike - call their hair and make-up people and put them on alert for a sudden departure to the storm area.   No, you fool!  Not to make them look good, but to make them look like they've crawled on all fours to be able to tell us how ghastly it all is!

I feel for the camera and sound men on a deal like this.  No audience has ever seen one and yet they are being a great deal more heroic than Our Weather Forecaster, who is artfully directed to turn into the worst of the gale.  The power tool guys (camera and sound) are a lot more likely to suffer injury.  Rain?  Electricity?  Do these mix easily in your mind?  Me either or why would so many people get electrocuted when someone throws a plugged-in radio or hair dryer into Milady's bath?  ZAAAP!

Hurricane Dorian - go elsewhere or better yet, just dismantle yourself over uncharted waters.  Make a weathercaster cry!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

And Back in 1943...

The Reader's Digest helpfully ran some technology that might be useful for those at home who weren't fighting WW2 to understand their returning military friends and family.

Armored Cow - Canned milk

China Clipper - Dishwasher (mechanical not human, but on the other hand if the shoe fits)

Roll up your flaps!- Stop talking

Side arms - Cream and sugar

Monday, August 26, 2019

Of History, Wars and Food

Yesterday (Sunday, 8/25/19) was the 75th celebration of the liberation of Paris which followed the D-Day invasion of June 6th, 1944, which preceded the freedom of Paris.

Charles DeGaulle was President of France at that time and addressing the thousands celebrating on the streets of this venerable city said, "There are minutes which go beyond each of our poor lives.  Paris!  Paris outraged!  Paris broken!  Paris martyred!  But Paris liberated!"

His enthusiasm came after four years of occupation by the Germans/Nazis (inseparable in my mind.)

Meanwhile, back here in sleepy Redondo Beach, "D," Mouton ("sheep" in French) and we finally settled on the site of our monthly dinner.  Dominique's Kitchen, PCH, Redondo (previously reviewed.)   Coincidentally Mouton's birthday is in August and the Birthday Boy always selects the place and time.  Domique's was his choice.

Purely coincidental that we will be dining at a French restaurant.   On the other hand, "A day late and a dollar short" is fairly descriptive for us in general.

"Queen of the World" by Robert Hardman  $35  578 pages  The jacket blurb said (in part)  "Hardman reveals the true story of the Queen on the world stage."   She has visited 130 countries, over the years (68) f her reign since coronation at age 25.  She is 93 now.

As I am at least a Princess of Very Lite History - "Gimme the dirt!" I snatched it up at the library if only to see the 4/c photos near the end of this tome (and it is - 578 pages?)

Unfortunately for a feather brain like this writer, there is a great deal about the politics of being Queen and a copious use of titles of the characters such as 4th Baronet of the 6th Cabinet and on and on.  Privy Secretary.  Rather dull I thought.  As a historian, you may be enchanted by it all - the little spats between the Queen's Equerry and the country being visiteds refusal to do this or that.  Apparently "diplomacy" isn't.

If you pick and choose you may find some amusement but it's thin on the ground no mater which of the 130 it's taking place.  God Bless the Queen!

Good for a summer dinner ... MANGO SALSA WITH LANGOUSTINE TAILS.  
Ingredients - I didn't measure anything and you won't need to do it either.
Diced fresh mango (Ralph's peeled and sliced in Produce)
about half of a red pepper, diced
a couple of thick-ish slices of red onion, diced
a couple of jalapenos, de-seeded and membrane removed - dice OR Trader Joe has issued a new Jalapeno Sauce which will singe the roots of your hair.  I looked and the main ingredient listed is … jalapenos so no wonder.  Be sparing with this.  
   Bang it all around together and toss in half a bag of defrosted and paper-toweled dry langoustine tails, let chill and serve.  Bon appetite!  (I couldn't resist.)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Who Knew? Or Curiosity Rewarded

For some time now, I have been curious about what the two parallel two-story buildings, beautifully and freshly painted a bright navy blue with white trim could house.  The second floor seemed to be apartments?

If there were businesses in them, whoever surely didn't believe in advertising.

And now I know why.  This morning's Daily Breeze announced that something called  the Pineapple Club was running an ad in WeedMaps that told readers where to fine them - look to the right of Angel City Grill,  to a solid white, ordinary-looking front door on the first building at 1505 Artesia and ring the doorbell.  Caller's purpose?  To buy marijuana.

As it happens, legal purchases of recreational marijuana for our area passed in 2016.  This is not the '60s when less than an ounce would put you in jail.   This and another site got busted for not having business licenses!

Even more amusingly  this Angel City Grill silliness reminded me of Prohibition Days when passwords and "So and so sent me" reigned over the drinking class which was pretty much everyone in those days.

The other local business to get nabbed was passing itself off as a church!  That's right!  Come see God yourself after our ushers come around.  That's not incense they're swinging, dear members.

The Law was not amused particularly since it appears to be a habit for these "churches" to change their name within two days of getting busted and go right back to bidness.

But business being business, I wonder if Angel City Grill is dealing with an upsurge of a very hungry lunch crowd?  It would seem only fair - being good neighbors 'n all ...

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Man Who Invented Autocorrect Has Died

Friends sent a beautiful floral tribute and the card advised, "Restaurant in Peas"  It is believed that the deceased is somewhat/largely responsible for the following -

A burglar is simply "an unwanted house guest"

An illicit drug dealer is merely an "unlicensed pharmacist"

Bank Robbers don't rob banks, silly!  They're just making unauthorized withdrawals!

What's all of this fuss about a place named Gitmo and waterboarding 'n shit?  Torture is just enhanced interrogation!

Don't sneer at used car salesmen!  They're only selling certified pre-owned vehicles.

That was not a lie emerging from your mouth!  You were just relaying misinformation or maybe merely being economical with the truth.  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Chez Murphy's Steak and Baked Potato

Dinner evolved from a minor disagreement at the Beef Counter, Ralph's Supermarket (Kroger elsewhere.)   Richie had stated his preference for a NY Strip as my eye fell upon a row of neatly package single bacon-wrapped filet mignons $5/each.  Do you know what you'd pay in a restaurant for same?  Ruth's Chris steak house, say?  Probably $40 each.  'Way too pricey for us.

I put two in our cart and marched off, leaving Himself pouting and reluctantly following me, right after I told him, "Well, we don't always get what we want, do we?"  in the manner of a disapproving first grade teacher.

In Fruits and Vegetables, I got a lovely big potato to bake.  We already had leftover mushrooms to make a suitable steak sauce - butter, mushrooms, and a splash of steak sauce or, in a pinch, just Worcestershire sauce.

Now, I wondered, studying them, how the hell do you cook these round chunks of tender beef with a bacon ribbon?  Set them up on edge and roll it back and forth cooking the bacon and hoping for the best to cook the interior?  That's when I spotted the green plastic spike holding the bacon ends together - be sure to look for it.

Google and several other people told me, "Sear the flat meat, stick in a 400 degree oven for 6 - 8 minutes, flip sides and do the same again and let sit for some 8 to 10 minutes for medium.  

I give ours a dubious gaze … the meat was nearly 2 in. thick.  I hate steak blood on my plate ...I am not a cave dweller.

So I didn't bother to sear it, but put them on a metal tray and slid them into the oven where the baked potato was cooking.  (400 for an hour.)   I flipped both a half hour later and the meat, specifically the bacon, was beginning to darken.  

Half an hour after that the bacon had become nearly caramelized and they were looking toothsome indeed.

I halved the baked potato, admired the fluffiness of it and then cut that in half to accommodate my next Big Thing - Parmesan baked potato - mash up the potato, add butter, a couple of shakes of Parmesan cheese and mix lightly.  The other quarter was for sour cream - in this case onion dip - and fluff the two together.

Richie not only ate his but finished off mine which was admittedly only a few more bites.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Good News for Writers (and Other Very Small Businesses)

I'm now speaking as a writer and holder of a California DBA since 1996.  My first book (out of print now) earned me some money.  Averaging it out came to about $1,000 a year.  Our CPA said I could charge off on advertising, supplies, long distance phone calls and I went crazy.  New computer, new printer, business cards and anything else I could think of - and due to laws at that time, it was all perfectly legal.  I could not write off the room in the house that I use as an office as my clothes were in the closet there.

Two years ago, having bought a $1,400 ad for my most recent book, I chortled and handed over the paper work to our accountant, who took a gander at that and at the profits for this book and then burst out laughing.  "The IRS doesn't care about anything earned under $600."  another gust of laughter and he said, "$58 in royalties?  Don't bother them about this."

But:  In today's "Ask The Lawyer," I read this tidbit in Sokol's column wondering if it's true that giant pharma gets a tax cut to write off  their many (and annoyingly long) TV ads.

Sokol replied:  "Companies can often deduct the money they spend on advertising and this cost is considered 'ordinary and recurring expenses for carrying on a trade or business.'"  Yeehaw!  I have a trade (writer) and I am running a business - Murf Ink."

Mah fellow small business owners, rejoice!  Landscapers, order more of those 4/c business cards you put on our front porches to advertise your services!  Dog walkers and pet sitters - print more flyers for phone poles in your area!  There are almost limitless savings just waiting to be declared!

But:  a word - don't try this at home - use an accountant.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Why You Saucy Thing!

Let me trot out an old warhorse … "Great minds travel in the same circles"  Here's an example.  Yesterday a book I was reading (Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles - excellent writer) when some mention in it reminded me of Durkees Sauce, a staple in the South and as far west as Kansas City, MO, where I certainly ate my share of it.  The flavor is or seems to be a mixture of mayonnaise and mustard and it makes excellent sandwiches or French fries dip..  

And then this morning, I had an e from Richie's cousin Ruth Ellen in Cape Coral, FL, wherein, unprompted.  she extolled the wonderfulness that is another Southern staple - Chow Chow.

There are two versions of it - the commercial is Cross and Blackwell's Chow Chow  vs. the Cracker Barrel restaurants ,sold there if you want to take it home.  The other is homemade largely from leftover pickled summer vegetables.  Further division is provided by the  North (northern Pennsylvania) and South versions, believed to be brought to Louisiana via the migration of Acadians to the South.  It may be that they spelled it "Chou Chou" or "cabbage" in the French/Acadian language.  

What goes with this Chow Chow stuff?   It can be eaten "as is" or on hot dogs, hamburgers (not to be confused with sweet pickle relish) biscuits and gravy, pinto beans, and mashed potatoes.  

In North America it is made from red and green tomatoes, onions, carrots, various beans, asparagus, cauliflower and peas.  The Southern version is mainly chopped up cabbage with a strong mustard flavor added by Colman's English mustard?  Powdered Chinese mustard?  

Since commercial foods guard their recipes with some interest, various Websites offer "mock" this or "faux" that.    

Chow Chow by any name
Chop cabbage and put it in a salt bath overnight in the refrigerator.  Next day drain it, add hot chile peppers vinegard, sugar and horse radish, blend it and can it in Mason jars. 

Durkees Sauce
1/2 cup water
4 T cornstarch
1/2 cup + 1 T balsamic or other dark vinegar
1 egg
4 T mustard (whether wet or powder not spelled out)
4 T sweet butter
2 T salt
   Blend and put mixture in the top of a double boiler and cook until it's a silky texture.   Jar it and put it in the refrigerator where it will last three months.   

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Beat the Heat! And Learn Something As You Do

The weather map in our morning paper shows a distinctive bright orange to show the intense heat that covers probably 2/3rds of our fair country.  In short, unless you've booked on an Alaskan cruise, the odds are good you'll have all of the ceiling fans whirring and all the shades pulled down and any a/c units going full tilt boogie.

Ah, you've found a cool-ish spot in your house, but you're tired of reading (is this possible?)

What to do?  What to do?  Watch some documentaries!  You'd be amazed how many of them there are at your library.

Last night we watched "Matisse from MoMA and the Tate Modern"  It concerned itself mainly as a look behind the walls of these two noteworthy art museums where there is a mock-up of the interior on each and the curators meet gravely around it to decide which work goes where, using to-scale paintings and sculpture.  Think of it as a sort of doll's house for art works.  

There are art experts who go over every canvas with a magnifying glass, looking for flaws caused by mishandling or simple old age and repair them.  In Matisse works for example, he used push pins or tacks to mount his biggest paintings which left a mark.  We are treated to a bunch of good-looking young people, shoving around the big wooden cases of the works, uncrating them (white glove work) and shifting the whole mess from place to place to best show it off.

The big hullaballoo is that this will be the biggest showing evah of so many Matisse works in one place (alternatively the Tate and MoMA).

Tonight we will watch "Skyscrapers"  Tidbits from the disc jacket:  In New York - not the Empire State Building, but the "Empty State Building."  A feud between a pair of medieval families brought us some of the world's first skyscrapers.  Gustave Eiffel built bridges before turning his attentions to the sky.  Design flaws in the Citicorp Center, NY, could have led to the biggest skyscraper catastrophe in history!

This documentary is clearly designed for educators; there's a bonus "How to build your own skyscraper using only newspaper, a few books and an electric fan."  I'd watch it for that alone!  Running time is 65 minutes while your brain distracts you by being fascinated at all you didn't know and never dreamed.  For free!.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Summer Foods

Easy bacon and tomato sandwich with optional avocado slices.  Chop the tomatoes!  Spread on a nice coat of mayo on your bread.  Much easier to eat than using thin slices of tomato. I just did this and it worked beautifully.  Recommended bacon:  already cooked, wrapped in a paper towel and nuked at 20 seconds.

I am a big fan of this quick prepare bacon as am too impatient to stand there flipping it back and forth.

Summer Dinner Salad for Very Hot Days.
Bunch of large macaroni, cooked - you might consider doing a whole package and saving half of the cooked macaroni in plastic bags or containers for the refrigerator. Purpose - only heat up the kitchen once.

1 or 2 cans of all-white tuna, some juice drained off.  Flake and add:
cooked macaroni
mayonnaise to suit
1/2 red onion chopped
chopped pimento-stuffed chopped olives - 8 or 10 olives
chopped sliced water chestnuts.
mx it all up and refrigerate until needed.

When you serve it, set out the jar of pickle relish and a spoon on the table for those that like it. (Not this cook)

True Deviled Eggs - use mayo and Colman's English mustard for the stuffing.

Do-It-Yourself Personal Guacamole.
Cut an avocado in half, remove the stone and cut a slim slice on the bottom side to hold the avocado steady on each person's plate while you pass the salsa and everyone mixes their own..  Most Mexican restaurants will happily sell you a pint of theirs.

Hoffy makes bacon-wrapped hot dogs which are quite tasty.  If you aren't working with a grill, put a tray of them on a cookie sheet or similar and bake at 400 until the bacon is done.

You don't have to depend on Hoffy - roll your own bacon on a naked hot dog and proceed from there.  If you use wooden toothpicks to hold the bacon on each end, be sure to soak them in water before using them.  Flaming toothpick is an interesting but scary sight.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Overcome Your Fear of Heights Right In Your Own Living Room!

Richie has been scouring the Redondo Beach Library for documentaries of various such as sky scrapers (how to build one I assume from the jacket copy) and the paintings of Gauguin.

Last night's bill of fare was called Man On Wire and the jacket is a photo of a lonely-looking male wire walker high above the earth (1,300 ft.) on a wire stretching from the South to the North Twin Tower.  Something no one will ever be able to do again due to the disaster that was 911.

I have acrophobia big time and I saw the front of the box photo as described above and I thought, "Oh, God, I don't want to see this!" and wondered how quickly I could hide behind the covers of the book I was reading.

But then!  I saw yesterday's announcement of his 70th birthday which prompted me to think, "Well, hellfire and damnation he survived it!  There's no gruesome footage of a big splatter on a sidewalk!"  Conclusion:  it could be watched.  So we did.  And since much of it was documentary, frankly it was rather boring.

I wondered if there was a fictional documentary which would include dialogue, love affairs, background … all of the things that make life more interesting.  There is!  it's called "The Walk" and if you don't have time for a movie, Google "The Walk" plot" and enjoy a much fuller history and ongoing adventures.

Now I want to see that one and rather rue "Man On Wire."  And clearly the man is gifted and now I want to see the fully-fleshed story.  He did make it to age 70; I can sit and watch his antics in a sort of homage to his good fortune.  And the hell with flickers of acrophobia!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

No One Thought He'd Live to be 70!

Today, August 13th is high wire walker Phillippe Petit's 70th.  Born in 1949 and still going strong.

You may remember him best for the 45 minutes he spent walking and dancing back and forth on a high wire he'd stretched across the Twin Towers on August 7, 1974.    His resume prior to that included performing on a wire between the towers of Notre Dame, Paris.

The only fall he had during this insane occupation was 45 ft. resulting in some broken ribs while practicing for a circus appearance.

Somewhere he made the decision to stay on the ground and in short order became an equestrian, learned juggling, fencing, rock climbing' became a bull fighter and developed an interest in construction.  He built himself a barn in the Catskills using only 1800 wood-working tools.

                      Bonne anniversaire, Phillipe Petit!

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Saturday Afternoon Bar, a Weekend Necessity

For those who work a 9 to 5 job five days of the week, a friendly watering hole with tasty food and plenty of sun (umbrellas dot the deck) may I propose the Pitcher House Upper Deck, at 409 N. PCH, Redondo which is a mini mall with such other enticements as a Whole Foods, a Paris Baguette, and various clothing/accessories shops along with a pet food store. Redondo Shores Shopping Center more formally.

The beer selection is quite adequate with (I seem to remember) a 4 page menu.  My tipple is Scrimshaw, ($7) and Richie stuck to his Pacifico, also $7 per pint.   Since I love them, I ordered their Fried Pickles ($8) as an appetizer.  These are fat dill pickle slices, battered and deep fried with little cups on the side of ranch dressing and a salsa-type sauce.  Let them cool down a bit or you will burn your mouth even after they have been dipped in cold sauce.

Still feeling a bit peck-ish we ordered the Quesadilla with fresh salsa ($8) and the trio of Sliders ($11).  Having eaten most of the pickles - Richie is not a fan - I now have two sliders for lunch today.

You can certainly sit inside; there is plenty of seating, but I really love the patio that runs across the front of the building.  Basking in the sun, sipping an ice cold one … scarfing down very good food … makes all of the Saturday chores much more acceptable when you know the Pitcher House Upper Deck awaits you.

During our visit, a bunch of 30-somethings were playing Cornhole, a game in which a bean bag is tossed from one end of the outdoor court to the other, trying to put said bean bag into a hole on the other end of the tilted board.    

If that's too much energy to be expended, just enjoy the sun and the people below darting in and out of the various shops.   Enjoy!  There's plenty of free parking and an elevator swoops you up to the 2nd floor quite handily.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

In Serial Killer History

The rules to be included in the Serial Killer Roster:  You must kill a minimum of four people, in the same area/location.

Currently ranked #1:  Las Vegas shooter, 2017, killed 58 and injured 851.

The first one that I ever heard of was in 1966 when a nut case went up into the Tower at the University of Texas and shot 16 and himself.  A later death - in 2001 - was added to the score.  It was the deadliest mass shooting since 1949.

Camden, NJ, the shooter - Howard Barton Unruh, killed 13 by walking down River Road, going into such as the supermarket and shooting customers as well as hapless drivers who didn't move out of his way when he asked.  This resulted in 13 dead, three injured.

Unruh, born in 1921, died in 2009, age 88, having spent 60 years in a mental hospital for the criminally insane.

Female serial killers seen (so far) to be few and far between.  One Jennifer San Marco in January 2006 killed six and then committed suicide.  She had believed there was some kind of conspiracy against her.

If you're half of a couple (a man and a woman) are you counted as a serial killer too?  Tashfeen Farook and her husband were this duo at the San Bernardino school shooting in 2015.

And in a goodwill gesture in the event serial killers are helped along in  their  their murderous careers, as believe, Wal-Mart management has decided to stop all ads for savage  video games and either turn off or hide the games available to try before purchase.  Of course, they'll still sell as many as you can waddle out of the store with, but they won't run any ads for them.  I wonder if management can spell "hypocrasy"?

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Celebrating The TransPac Race at the Los Angeles Yacht Club

What the hell is the TransPac? you ask?  It is a major sailing event wherein the boats leave from a specific buoy at Point Fermin, San Pedro, and race full out across the Pacific" to Diamond Head, Hawaii, a distance of 2,225 nautical miles or 2,560 regular miles.  This takes awhile.  In 2017 the winning time was:  4 days, (!) 6 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds.

You will remember that there are no Mickey D's out in the Pacific.  The crew has to pack very carefully.  Military mess kits are popular as well as frozen foods and cans and cans of such as (am assuming here) Dinty Moor Beef Stew, tuna and as much frozen food as can be stored.  Drinking water is distilled on each boat.  That's a lot of food you might think for four or five days.  Not so.  That was the wining boat.  There's only one winner per boat class.  Some poor bastards take up to 10 or 15 full days.  And win in their class!

Still and all, Clarence MacFarlane who proposed this race in 1906 must be pleased at how well it has lasted barring a few wars.  Stateside, racers are hosted at the Los Angeles Yacht Club.

And that fact brings us to the unlikely treat five of us had last night.  Jan, a fellow Thurs. Writer has just joined the LAYC and she invited us to join her at the regular Friday night dinner which coincidentally was celebrating several local race winners and losers in their class.  Several of them addressed us in the dining room after dinner.

Speaking of dinner - here is the bill of fare :
Fresh mango salsa (very good) with fried WonTon chips - very good use of them
Fried rice (very sticky, probably meant to be that way)
Hawaiian-style macaroni and cheese.  This was a big cauldron of bubbling hot mac and cheese with bright pink bits of what I assumed was Spam, a major comestible in Hawaii.  I passed
But went back for seconds of cole slaw with a big bowl of oil and vinegar dressing beside it so hat you could dress your own portion.  This is a nice idea and the dressing was very good.
Kalua pork chunks, apparently the taker pulled it themselves back at their table.
Pineapple and Shrimp Skewers which were a bitch to get off of the skewer - the usual method of upending the skewer and, using the tines of your fork, slide the meat down onto the plate.  Chunks of pineapple weren't on the skewers but the shrimp must have been marinated in pineapple juice or crushed pineapple.
Huli Huli Cauliflower bites  which appeared to have been grilled as their tops were somewhat charred.
Dessert was individual dishes of sherbet and a couple of kinds of cookies - sugar and chocolate chip.

The food was good, certainly plentiful and I wasn't the only one at our table to go back for seconds.  Even though we had not spent the afternoon out on the invigorating ocean yanking sails around.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

How True, How True

"I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well."
     Robert Benchley

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Better Than I Could Do

Which is the Website that explains root canal treatment  -

It is a step-by-step explanation of the root canal treatment.  If you are at all fearful, I can really recommend it.  Among other things, it explains why the oral surgeon treating me, held what looked like a fat tomato pincushion studded with short-ish pins with a bead on the dull end.  It's a strange sight … the mind wanders, "Is she sewing something  in there and she has to baste it?"

No, it's a bunch of vertical files to get at every tiny nook and cranny in the affected tooth.  Painless, let me add.  In fact, the whole procedure from opening your mouth to removal of the rubber "dam" that keeps your mouth open is painless.

The only thing I would (and did) complain about is having your head tilted back for two hours.  The neck does not like this at all and protests by stiffening up.  Once you are out of the chair, your neck pops back to normal in no time at all.

If this is the worst thing that happens ...we're doin' good.  That was the only remotely painful thing in the whole procedure.  I nodded off to sleep several times.  If that isn't pain free, tell me about it!

Thank you Manhattan Dental Care Studio
1101 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, CA

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


I do have something I'm working on, working title  "Round One - Root Canal vs Terrified Customer"  As there are two more rounds to come, I will leave you with this comforting statement.  According to the ADA there are 15.1 million done per year with a success rate of 95% +.

Of that number, it is unknown how many patients suffered extreme panic or believed old stories about vicious pain afterwards prior to the procedure.  I was one of them, but no longer.  I bring tidings of great relief.  Trust me.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Pure Foaming Rage (Mine)

Looking at the somewhat blurry first shot of the El Paso Wal-Mart shooter in the store, I finally noticed something that sent me mentally ballistic, Code Red - anything that describes great anger …but after cooling down maybe 2 degrees, I realized that the positive spin on it is that I will probably never have a heart attack if I didn't over this.

That little prick was wearing a shooter ear protection head set.  He didn't want to hurt his precious wittle ears while wiping out half of a Wal-Mart, packed with Saturday shoppers.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Happy Birthdays! Anthony Dominick Benedetto,93, and Martha Helen Kostyra Stewart, 78

In short, Tony Bennett and Martha Stewart or as Richie said re Miss Martha, when I told him today's birthdays, "Oh, the jailbird?"

Tony may all three of your wives and four children bring great presents and Marthat let daughter Alexis do the birthday cake this year.

Friday, August 2, 2019

This Worked Out Well - If You Like KimChee

I have had a jar of Kim Chee in the refrigerator for at least a month, maybe more.  Other than eating it out of the jar (am perfectly capable of it) I couldn't think of a way to serve it.

Opportunity sought me out and, based on the leftovers population here, I came up with this.

Leftover Old Bay Seasoning cold shrimp. We had 10 of these.  Nice big shrimp, too.
1/2 jar of Kim Chee, drained and chopped
1 package Soba Noodles

Discard the soup package and cook noodles in plain water drain, and toss in the shrimp to heat them up from the heat of the noodles and toss in the chopped KimChee.  Mix well.   Eat.

Richie looked askance at this dish as he is not fond of Asian food whereas I am.  He cleaned up his plate and (grudgingly you may be sure) said, "That wasn't so bad."

Word of warning - Kim Chee label instructs the person opening it to do it over the sink.  That suggests a certain fermentation found in champagne.  Need I say more?  Of course I like it.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Summer Sun = Fun

I admit, yesterday's "fun" was rather a-typical for us.  Richie, "D" and Mouton all went to Orange County for an Angels vs. the Detroit Tigers game.  When the Tigers won (9 to 1) Mouton was overjoyed.  He's from Detroit.  "D" said he did little dance steps all the way back to the car.  I find this difficult to believe.  He's not a dancing fool under any circumstances.  But I wasn't there so what do I know?

They have their annual train trip to San Diego to see the Padres and Whoever, but this additional game was a new one to me.  I was happy enough to stay at home.  I had bidness of my own, none of which, it must be said, had anything to do with cleaning up this house.  I was hunting for the children's book I wrote some time ago (and never did find it.)  One thing amazed me.  I had blogs going back to 2005!  Plus correspondence, articles written for real publications.  I looked at the sheer volume of "stuff" and shook my head.

Richie called; he and "D" had dropped Mouton off at his house and were headed for the 405 to pick me up and we'd all go out for a libation and casual dinner.

You can't get more casual than the Hermosa Beach Pier, where resides Hennessy's Tavern.  I know it's been there for 38 years because we used to go there when we were courting.  We frequented every bar down there, as I recall.

We got a big curving banquet, on the wall closest to the Strand (a wide sidewalk with the beach on the other side) and it now stays light so long, had to pull the blind down.  Skaters, bicycles, people walking their dogs - this was our scenery.

First a drink - "D" Corona, bottled $7.50  Richie a Pacifico $7.50 and me a Dirty Gin Martini $10 and the best one I've ever had locally.  Or, come to think of it, anywhere else.  You could taste the olive and gin together which is the whole point of one of the damned things.  And an order of onion rings; well breaded, but crispy at the same time.  Unusually, you can halve it with your fork.  $7.50

"D"  Fish'n Chips, cod, served with fries and coleslaw  $15.75
Richie "Frisco Burger" with Jack cheese, 1,000 Island Dressing, onion, lettuce tomato on a Parmesan-toasted Sour Dough bun.  $13
Me  Redheaded Reuben $12 and here's where I deflect from a Dirty Gin Martini to wonder where the hell they'd found the corned beef - it was pink, fairly chunky slices with a dash of sauerkraut - Put more in! - cheese and homemade potato chips.

Food, onion rings, drinks came to $96.25 plus $9.14 "tax" (on what, pray tell?) for a grand total of $105.39 plus a $20 tip.  I'd go back for the martini and have a BLT and avocado or something.