Thursday, December 31, 2020

One LAST Holiday in 2020

If you aren't Scottish you may never have heard of it -  Hogmanay a word that signified to the Vikings the last day of the year.  And the Vikings started celebrating in the middle of December.  It would not be inappropriate to say, "Let's party like the Vikings." 

Fireworks are set off in Edinberg and apparently everyone yells a lot.  

Guests are offered dinners of Neeps (turnips)  steak, whisky, Tatties (potatoes) and ... The dread in many stomachs - haggis where the innards of sheep or calves are stuffed into a tube made of small or large intestine stuffed with oatmeal, spices  and steamed to cook this whole  dish?  

It is generally cold in Scotland at this time of the year, so dress warmly.  Very warmly.  The copious   amounts of whisky offered should keep you toasty warm though.  I gathered from light research that only sissies drink wine at one of these affairs.  

I don't think even Gelson's or Bristol Farms - our local gourmet suppliers have haggis and I advise don't eat it even if they do!  

But certainly lift a shot of whisky to the Vikings and belt down another shot.  Happy Hogmanay Day!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Easter bunny Has Surprise for You - A Book!

It's the Biography of PETER RABBIT!

Read about his daring escape from evil Mr. McGregor and the very helpful birds. 

It's an exciting story and you will thrill  beside Peter during his adventures!  

Parents:  It has a happy ending that has nothing to do with chocolate Easter Eggs.  In fact, it might be fun to eat a carrot or two while you read. 

Monday, December 28, 2020

An Old-fashioned Rain Complete with Lightening!

This was scary!  A flashing light woke me up from sound asleep to sheer terror eerier still because there was no clap of thunder to go with it!  I knew there must be some; that's the way these things work.   But not last night.

I was especially terrified for I sleep on the window side of the bed.  It's gonna git me! I thought to myself.  

Then the flashing lights dwindled away and I still hadn't heard any thunder.  Not that I'm complaining about that ...  I didn't get a chance to count seconds between BOOMS which is what you do out in the country to see how far away the storm is from tiny precious you.  

Richie woke me up getting up himself.  I said,, "Don't go out for the papers!  You could get killed!

As husbands usually do, he went right out the door.  And I went back to sleep.

At 9:25 a.m. (now) the sun is out and it's a lovely sunny day.

Maybe I imagined the whole thing ...  

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Finger's Crossed for 2021

Treat yourself to  champagne and caviar.  Either but both is best.  The Robb Report wrote that the two flavors spark each other with the caviar's high fat, salt and the dry kick of the champagne.

 Gelsons has a variety of prices.  American Pride is $6.71  Feelin flush?  Spring for a tin of pure Russian at $785.  The remainder of choices ranges between these two extremes.  Bristol Farms ups the stakes with Foie Gras.  All three intended to kick off a gala dinner.  

                               And hopefully a much better 2021 than 2020 was.  The fact that we're still alive and well and considering a vertical descent on Gelson's for supplies says a lot.  While you're in there - or just plain  Ralphs don't forget the little Melba toasts, a lemon for a last minute squirt, chopped red onion and  a stick of butter 

I do it like this - butter a melba toast; add chopped red onion. squirt of lemon and lastly the caviar.

I won't caution any of my friends NOT to forget the champagne.  I don't have to.

                                              ONWARD INTO A BETTER 2021

Friday, December 25, 2020

The Virus Killed Christmas this Year - But We Can have Fun Anyhow With Boxing Day

 No, we are not going to slip into satin boxing shorts don a silken robe and go out in our various driveways and beat the shit out of each other.  I guess you could but  seems kind of anti - Christmas, no?

What is this acknowledged holiday in Great Britain?  

Once upon a time it was the day after Christmas when the masters packed boxes with  treats (think whole ham or big turkey), and small change were put in them and then given to the servant who presumably tore home at warp speed to start cooking and/or counting the money found there-in..

Even after extensive digging I never discovered why it's customary to wear pajamas to distribute gifts the day after real Christmas.  Just one of those Brit, Australian, New Zealand things.  It is, of course, a chance to go shopping.

Today merchants fling open their doors as early as 5 a,m,  Think of Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

 But I can't encourage you to go shopping in your jammies. Something about indecent exposure? 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Pretty Sounds of Christmas

 "Sleigh bells ring ..." and the muttered curses when you can't open the fruitcake tin - the door bell or the knocking at the front door ... as guests announce themselves.  

The not-so-pretty - TVs blaring either "Miracle on 34th Street" or a sports event. The excited barking of the family dog.

The squeals of little kids delving in the presents under the tree..

I miss them.  But my family is in Chicago or Long Island or San Diego ... just not in Redondo Beach.  Our friends?  One moved to San Diego; two died.

I hope you have all of the family you can stand on Christmas Day!  

And listen for the sleigh bells!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Torn Wrapping Paper under the dining room table - But Wait!

Some of it has writing on it ... what can it be - we better take another look...

The post apocalyptical  fiction section has been moved to Current Affairs - on this one ...

 Adam and Eve were the first to ignore Apple terms and conditions.

"I can get behind this one!  "Stop making stupid people famous - the Kardashion Klan - did I hear someone say Paris Hilton? "

"I wonder if our dog pets see a K9 dog and think, "It's the cops!"

Hospital Delivery Room door - "Push   Push   Push"

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Christmas Laughter

So, everything is in order for the big breakfast and the even bigger dinner.  Ready for a laugh or is that the loaded egg nog kicking in?  Try a few - 

What do you call an elf that sings?  A wrapper!

What do you get if you nibble on tree decorations?  tinsilitiis!

Why is Christmas like a day in the office?  You do all of the work and the fat guy in the suit gets all of the credit

Riddle = what has

34 legs

9 heads

2 arms

Santa and his reindeer!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Yesterday's Tea Party - December 16, 1773

This tea party was rather more active than most we've attended.  First we had to capture and board a British ship to throw some 300 chests of tea into the harbor.  Damned Brits can just take their tea and the taxes they charge for it right into Davy Jones Locker and begone with them.

Tea is a necessity in British life. - "Come out in the kitchen for a "cuppa."  

They'd have plenty of choices since it is believed in some circles that there are 20,000 varieties in the world.   They are subdivided into - Green - Black - Herbal - Oolong - White - Fermented - Yellow   Green and Black 

Be that as may.  The 300 chests of tea  made a helluva froth in Boston Harbor!   Except for heaving chests of tea around and  the work in the cold, it was a fun event.    

Best of all, we got a refund on taxes previously paid.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


Ah the elusive Mother Nature has put out something new for us.  Bees are said to love  all 16 different strains of cannabis buds and flowers,  but equally the dope doesn't love it enough to put out an aroma to attract them.    

Take a look, Ma Nature, and go to Plan B.  You're versatile enough.  You've already got a  cutesy name!  

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Book Worms - Attention!

When it was announced that all three of our local libraries will be closed until The Virus is conquered and that might be as early as April 13th.  Personally I think" April 13th" was deliberate  because at the same time our meals were getting harder and harder to get.  Inside - didn't last long - patios were next and meanwhile our stomachs were rumbling louder and louder.

Until the day, paused at a light, eyes rolling idly I spotted an independent book store.  We ankled in and were delighted at their prices.  Sample - "Extreme Prey" by John Sandford (one of my favorites) and "Crazy Rich Asians" by Kevin Kwan - and several of you may be yelling, "I saw that!! "  

"Prey"  (in pristine cover and pages) amazon price $29;  Dave's Olde Book Shop's price, "$7.46.
"Crazy Asians" amazon $16   Dave $4.96
Each book was in gift-to-someone else condition.

Dave's Olde Book Shop
2123 Artesia Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA

Moreover it's a pleasure to visit - they have a lot of books.

Get your butt over and buy some!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Bernie Got Busted

 Bernie Madoff is today's honoree in the section in the Daily Breeze that lists what happened on this date (today 12-11-2020)  in various years.  Madoff (pronounced) Made Off  has tried repeatedly to be given a compassionate leave as he has kidney failure.  He also has a wife, two sons and six grandchildren. 

If he does in fact die in federal prison, he'll have made this section in the paper again.

Helluva a way to get your name in the paper ....

Thursday, December 10, 2020

To VAX or Wait and See

 I mistrust anything going into my dear little body that hasn't had a sufficient test period.  

Sure enough yesterday's Drudge Report included the wonderful news that it can kill you if you react badly to it.   People with severe allergies to drugs or other ingestibles are at risk. 

Which prompted me to wonder about my friends and family and the resulting poll.  

My sister responded by remarking that she hasn't even been in for her annual flu shot!  A cousin said he'd do whatever his doctor told him to do.  

What would/will you do when it's widely available?  I nearly danced when I read this - I have a severe reaction to members of the cephalosporins.      

Friday, December 4, 2020

Dear Editor

Dear Sir:

It would be nice if the positive side of Corona Viruses could be emphasized:

An example:  There are 100 People known to have been exposed to it.  

Two of of these people have died of it. 

Leaving 98 (98) that recovered. I'd rather hear about happy endings, myself.  I wish the media could, too.  

Sincerely, Nina Murphy

1722 Wollacott St., RB 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

To Shoot or Not

Considering getting the Covid19 shot or --  not.   Here's a cautionary tale

Once upon a time- the days of the 50's and 60's to be exact, a young British woman came to her doctor with a plea for a sleeping potion.  This was her first pregnancy and she was having trouble sleeping.

"Oh," said the kindly old family doctor, "W can't have that.  I think I've I have got just the thing for you.  It's a new drug and it's a sedative.  Are you having morning sickness by any chance?"  She nodded.  The doctor began scribbling on a prescription pad for 30 Thalidomide tablets. 

Nine months, the woman delivered a hideously deformed baby boy.  Thalidomide had only had animal testing.  No British humans were tested at all.

Curious now about testing I visited the FDA site to see  the US Government protocols

PRIORITY - Tested for six to 10 months and released to the public

BREAKTHROUGH similar to Priority 


The patient is issued the drug immediately

If you  don't want any part of some slapped together  medicine, borrow a quote from Nancy Reagan and just say No.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A Discussion About Santa and Fitting Gifts

Mr. and Mrs. Fauntly-Jones were having something of a heated discussion  in their living room.  The Mister, carrying a yardstick, was pacing back and forth in front of the kitchen counter.  She looked quite pouty.

Mister:  "Helen, it will never fit down the fireplace.  Santa is good, but what you want is truly impossible."

Waving a hand, she said,, Didn't you learn back in the day that Santa truly has magical ways of giving one exactly what they wanted.  I don't think new granite counters is all that impossible."

"Let me tell you a little bit about granite which will explain why we really must have it," she said briskly.

Granite is a natural stone.  It's among the most beautiful countertop materials.

It accents the good looks of quality kitchen or bathroom counters

It's a natural stone, has excellent strength and durability - if you take good care with it. 

Properly sealed, it's impervious to stains and resists the heat you might get from a hot pan or hair dryer.

If sealed correctly it's easy to clean, too.

And Santa could be our very first guest!

Courtesy Silva Construction, com   San Pedro, CA   

Monday, November 30, 2020

Pandemonium Entertainments

Playing Van Gogh - first each player needs to obtain an Etcha-Sketch (Target $12 I think.) 

Set a start time, announce what you are all going to be drawing.  Example (and a classic starter) an apple. Can't you see one right now?  Betcha you do a dandy.

When the timer bell goes Bing! stop drawing immediately; take a picture of your masterpiece  and e it to the other players, all of whom, just like you, are playing at home.  First good use of a cell phone in ages!

Left, Right, Center  requires $3 in US quarters, dice that indicate if it goes left or right or center.   Three of any brings quarters to your grasping little fists.  Good for a nice windy patio but don't push how long you're out there.  This is so addictive that when the patio lights come on, game's over.

Strip Poker

I can't really endorse this one.  It has to (or certainly should)  take place in the house.  Think of the neighbor's property values!

In a last bid for a laugh, you could buy a copy of my hilariously funny book -"And the Best Blog Is" available at  It has a big red pair of lips on the cover.  Barnes and Noble, will special order it for you.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Did You Eat Enough at Thanksgiving? It's Simple

If you can't laugh and just sit there sort of wheezing, you did.

A psychiatrist and a proctologist went into business, but what to name it?  They pondered it and passed on:

Minds and Behinds

Catatonics and High Colonics

Nuts and Butts

Loons and Moons

Finally they decided:  Odds and Ends


My friend decided to walk to the edge of the earth to prove it's flat.  He came around eventually.


What do you call a tailor that only alters pants?  A slacker!  A rock band who can't stop washing their hands?  OC/DC


What if the person who named walkie-talkies named other stuff - would we have (stamps) lickie-stickies;

and hippos would become floatie-bloaties

or pregnancy tests were now called maybe-babies (I think that makes a lot of sense myself.)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Turkey Story Continued

I was only 6 years old and I am 'way beyond that now. 

Every year my parents would pack up the car for the trip to my Dad's mother's house in a little town called Yates Center, KS, some 150 miles from our house in Kansas City, Mo.  Preparations for this lengthy ride (probably 3 hours plus) included the making and packing of a picnic to dine on mid-trip. This was in 1946, post-war.  No money to go eating in a restaurant - "We're not the Vanderbilt's, you know."

Daddy always enjoyed this trip even though my mother and I disliked it intensely.  Grandma  never hesitated to ask my mother why she let me wear those dreadful blue jeans (I looked alarmed but my Mother patted me comfortingly, assuring me this wouldn't happen)  
On this particular trip when he ran into an old running mate back in the day - he was apprised of the fact there was gonna be a Turkey Shoot the next day.  Daddy was proud of his marksmanship and set off post hast to sign up.  He was, after all a several times .22 target shooting champion back in Kansas City, Mo and now came through grandma's front door crowing about appetites and succulent turkey meat.  ("Instead of that ghastly, gamey deer meet," muttered my mom. adding, "Hunting!  Huh - all they do is build a fire and sit around it drinking whiskey .  Hunting my eye" and stuffed another sandwich in her picnic basked.     

But 'twas not to be.  Late that afternoon he came through Grandma's front door. again, but in a very different mood.  I could tell from his face that there was no joy in Yates Center.  He looked at my mother and said, "It's on the back porch."  

I heard this from my post behind the door to the bedrooms upstairs, I couldn't wait to get to the back porch and see what "it" could possibly be.  A great big turkey? but wait he was not in a good mood by a long shot.  My Mother walked toward porch, opened the door, looked around, and back out to find grandma, presumably to plan the Thanksgiving Day dinner at noon the next day.

Yippee! I thought and went straight into the back porch.  There I saw a large cardboard box - flaps softly covering the top.  What could it be?  So I marched right over and flipped and flaps all the way open.  There sat a gorgeous teal duck, black eyes staring right back at me.  The body and tail feathers were a rainbow of various shades of turquois  I instantly fell in love and the parents had difficulty getting me in for dinner. I didn't want to leave my new best friend.  Mother and Daddy cut eyes at one another and I reluctantly slipped into my designated seat.

The next morning the whole household was in uproar - Grandma insisted on setting out a hearty breakfast, we wimmin' know you got chores, too, Dicky Bird - her nickname for Daddy whose real name was Victor.  So grandma set out on the big dining room table the following:
homemade-sausages, home-cured bacon, sunny-side up eggs - at least a dozen or more! A big bowl of scrambled eggs shining in butter. Toast - white, rye , homemade pastries such as freshly-made cinnamon lavished with frosting, 

Grabbing a slice of toast, I headed straight onto the back porch to sneak feed my new friend, who clucked softly and settled more firmly on the bed I had made him.  

Daddy called me to go with him on  couple of errands (they must have killed, plucked and cleaned it during my absence.)  And by the time we were back at the house, dinner was ready.  "Wash your hands, the both of you; we're ready to begin."  And when we were in our places at the table, Grand ma and  my Mother began put out dish after dish of vegetables, dressing, gravy (but NO salad!) - no wonder my 5 ft. 3in. grandma must have weighted at least 180 lbs.   

While I deftly avoided anything remotely good for me Grandma had slipped out on the back porch and in seconds, she emerged with a very big platter with something on it and she seemed proud of it.  With a flourish, Daddy stood up, relieved of the platter, and put it in the very middle of the table.  I half-rose to see what it was.  i studied it from all angles and an idea began to form really strengthened was Daddy said, "Have some duck - it's delicious (with a nod to his mother.)

I jumped up from my chair, knocking  it over smartly and ran from the dining room sobbing hysterically slamming the door as I ran, sobbing hysterically all the rest of the day.  Until fatigue finally set in.  But I spent most of the next day giving all of them the dead fish eye.
I think you'd have been a little upset, too - wouldn't you?

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Facts and Figures

 Hospitals and Covid Cases

I had to check in at the front desk at one of our two locals for a CT scan, and, making chitchat, asked where the  quarantine floor is located only to be told by a shocked receptionist, "Oh, we don't treat Covid."   So then, I wondered, "What the hell do you treat? "

The hospital in question holds 533 beds. 

I looked up the other major hospital which has 4 36 bed capacity.

So what's up with all of the signs out in front of them both about what heroes they have working there?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Calling bullshit on Some Covid "Facts.'

The latest that drilled me right between my disbelieving eyes  was a A Drudge Report headline - Every 17 seconds a person dies of Covid in Europe."  Every 17 seconds, eh?  Hah!  See headline.

How many Europeans are there anyhow?  Shouldn't Europe be absolutely empty by now?" You can do the math, being a helluva  lot math smart than I am.

Total population in Europe is 741.4 million

The largest country by population is Russia at  144.5 million But I, for one, don't trust them around a glass corner.

Turn your calculators molten with  heat and turn the rest of us pre-maturely grey trying to work it out.

If this dubious bit of information has any validity at all, Russia should be gone at 11:17 a.m. tomorrow morning Russian time.  Many Russian mothers will be wailing about not allowing little Vladimir to become an undertaker.

America can do it!

Friday, November 20, 2020

No More! Never Again!

And that is ever hearing the word "covid" ever again.   Thus I am forced to steal witticisms from Readers Digest.   \"My wife got a free-range, organic, non-GMO, antibiotic turkey this year and every one of those adjectives added $20."

This one's for my cousin Ron, a retired Nazarene minister.  He was waiting for the service to begin when another man approached and asked, "Is that seat saved?" gesturing at the one next to Ron.  "No," said Ron, :" but we're praying for it."

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Bad Day on November 18, 1978

 When I heard about it, I was up in the press room at Ontario Motor Speedway where I was shooting a NASCAR race.

I'd come up from the track for a needed gallon of  water.  It was amazingly hot for November.   Only to find the entire press box  yelling, damning  and screaming and very nearly glued to the AP wire.

A story out of Jonestown (where dat?)  reporting the massacre of 900 people via cyanide and valium stirred into the fruit salad, and Flavor aid   (Said to be the cheap-0 Kool-Aid.)

A small discrepancy from Kool-Aid  but unpleasant nonetheness.  

The 600 humans included little kids.  

It's a good read - google and dig!

Monday, November 16, 2020

If At First You Don't Succeed ...

Which is to say that am having the epidermal shot again a week from today at 10:30 a,m,  The first seems to have just eaten it and spit it out again or something.

Meanwhile I have to put together an ad to peddle my amazingly funny book "And the Best Blog Is - Word of Mouth"  

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

O Alex - Don't You Remember?

That time we first met - in New Orleans?  At the Old Absinth House?  You had been doing a week's worth of shows in  New Orleans  and the three of us got thirsty at the same time.  You'd finished that day's show and we were  in need of hydration. Seated at the bar, we were amused to see that a previous show was running on the TV.  I'd been doing pretty well right where I was, on the end barstool and when I got the final question  the local sots let out a howl of approval.

You proceeded to upstage me by remarking quietly, : "You do know that at 200 years, this place  is the oldest building in New Orleans?"  I had to look down at the filthy floor and mutter, "No."

Years passed, your fame grew and we never met again. But we became ardent fans.  We'd make dinner reservations for 5 p.m. just to make sure that we didn't miss Jeopardy.  Did you do that, too?  Damn!  We should have gotten take out.  

Author Linda Fairstein's series starring Alexander Cooper, assistant DA New York City, and the two detectives  she works with - Mike Chapman (will they never tear up the sheets?)  and Mercer Wallace,  have a tradition - they try to be with a TV in time to bet the final Jeopardy  question  for $20 each!  Mike's strong suit is historical New York and attractions known and not. Coop' specialty is English lit.  Mercer is the wild card.  Since books are famous for "lasting" bon voyage!  Go, Linda, go!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Looks Like Our Moms May Have Been Right

 I'm referring to her pithy advice about always wearing clean underpants when you venture out.  "What if you're in an accident?" in horrified tones.  

To be truthful, the paramedics in my neighborhood are well worth looking at.  If you have to have a pant less  episode with anyone, be sure to call Dispatch and demand Station 2.  You won't be disappointed.

But you may be stunned if you ever get an epidermal shot.

I was.  I was ushered into The Chamber for mine.  First thing I knew I was facedown on a padded table with a hole in it for your face.

And immediately assailed by what I would consider a rather vigorous attempt to yank my underpants and jeans down to my shins.  I hoped the doctor (male) was amused.   

The nurse (surely a contender in all-in wrestling) was a vigorish one.  This was unnerving enough but nothing to follow when it felt like someone it shoved me and my butt through what seemed like a personal carwash.  Floods and scrubs dealt with me for a bit rather longer than I thought necessary.   Then came the shot.  It was so painful that the doctor said to me, "I've got two more ccs to go; can you stand it?" 

So I said, "In for a penny, in for a pound."   I won't be doing that again.  


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Ir Happens Every Every Four Years

The British invade the United States and our Presidential elections.  They make their preferences very clearly known.  A hapless American viewing it would assume they were Americans with their use, every pronouncement they utter.  All of which are detrimental in the highest power.  

It annoys me mightily - yo! Brits - you are not  legit  voters here.   Get out of our polling places.  

I'm not a fan of the BBC; get off of our airwaves! 

In fairness, I have admired the Beebs for their hiring habits - the ones that don't stutter are immediately replaced by the ones that stammer.  We should do that here in America.  Pity we don't.  Our announcers are largely blazered, long haired (the men) and tight dressed women.  

Back soon - computer took a dump on me and took it in yesterday and am now more or less voiceless.

In fact, I was so unhinged by this sudden computer laryngitis that I was unable to function all the rest of the evening!  "Jeopardy" was the only thing that could could soothe me.  


Monday, November 2, 2020

An Elegant Winter Main Dish

 Two things  reminded me of it.  First, the documentary/movie about famed chef Julia Child.  And second our furnace went on during the night.  So - are you now thinking Quiche Lorraine a la Julia Child, too? 

This Julia the easy way ...

Buy a supermarket pie crust.  Cut 3 or 4 cooked slices of pre-cooked bacon into pieces and spread  across pie crust.

Beat three eggs in 1 1-2 cups of heavy cream! and pour over baconed- shell.  Slide it gracefully into the oven at 350  and bake until a mouthwatering brown appears on top/

                                                    Bon Appetit!


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween On Your Street

 Some streets have large flocks of kids; others like ours, none at all.  

Except for the the time a local school bussed them in!  Mini vans with a parent in the driver's seat and, notably, one big yellow school bus!

Before we knew it we homeowners were yelling back and forth, "You got any left?" a reference to the Trick or Treat Candy Fiends.  

Let's just say that front doors shut early and the porch lights did, too. Thus discouraged, the kids took off and Halloween was over, never to be repeated like that!  

This morning Riche remarked that he was leaving the front porch light firmly off.  His Halloween is now officially over.  And not a bad thing at all.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Morphine Does Nothing For Me Except ...

 It will confuse you as to oriented X4,  I did okay on "Trump, Pence, Pelosi" and that calmed them down and  they quit bothering me.  Another point for what day it was  But privately, going home, Richie asked me something and I was stuck for an answer.  In short, I felt like I'd been through a war.  And continued all the next day.  

Don't suffer pain, but do ask what their entire store of pain-reliving stuff is.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Scattered Syringes or Overnighter for One in a Hospital

Torrance Memorial (Tor Mem) bills it's self as a luxury hotel with touches like room service food 24/7.

More later it's shower time.


Speaking of  kitchens   It's not easy to call this fabled kitchen via phone from room to said kitchen.  The number is 22225   That number is imprinted on my brain because of my inability to get through to them or, for that matter, anyone else.  The nurse came to my rescue and why her and not me I will never know.  I was using the correct number.  

Finally through, I gave the voice my breakfast order.  It was "Crispy bacon and half of a toasted English Muffin, please."  Whereupon the dietician said, "We have a strictly limited salt menu," which translated to "no crispy  bacon for you Missy."

This on the heels of one of the doctors telling me I had a shortage of Sodium in my system (and potassium)  I remarked to the nurse that apparently no one had told the dietician.

However, I did get to taste something I'd never eaten.  It was mi-afternoon and Richie and I were conferring about a late lunch.  I saw an item (and attractive picture) of a "Southwest Quinoa Salad."   Never having seen let alone eat any of this quinoa stuff, either one of us, I ordered it.  For those equally as willfully ignorant as I had been, (health food?  Arghhh) quinoa looks like baby tapioca beads.  I couldn't discern any flavor at all, but Richie liked the salad dressing.  The lettuce - kale? was as fresh as a smart-aleck kid. Great points to them and the kitchen had added a couple of packets of the dressing which should be done in restaurants everywhere.  

Monday/ 10-26-20

Never let anyone give you a morphine shot and why.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

In Which Readers Digest Disappoints Me

I'm always delighted (until today)  when  it arrives and I know I've got blog material to steal. 

Here is pick of the litter, so to speak, this month. 

A friend was giving me and my Very Big Coffee a ride to work.  He hit a huge pothole that splashed it all over my front!

"Didn't you see that pothole?!"

"Hey, I hit it didn't I?"

***An old lady was accosted by a burglar her on her own front porch.  But he ran away when she yelled, STOP! ACTS 2;38! "  

"Why did you run?" the puzzled officer asked the burglar when he caught him."  The burglar said, "She said she had an axe and two .38s!"

***  My son won't eat corn unless I cut it off of the cob.  He's 27."


Monday, October 19, 2020

Anchors Away!

Today - October 19th - back in 1944 - Franklin D. Roosevelt granted black women the right to join and serve in the  US Navy.  They were Lieutenant Harriet Ida Pitchers and Ensign  Frances Wills.   Both are well worth a deeper look.  Have at 'er!  Let me hear an "Aye, aye!'

Friday, October 16, 2020

Pick Your Hospital Before You Have to Go to One


We're lucky to live in an area that has two hospitals.   Just not so lucky in one of them.  Some illustrative personal experiences follow.  To avoid lawsuits - so dampening to the spirit...

Hospital L and Hospital T  

I briefly covered Hospital L in a previous column.  The one where the menu includes Macaroni and Cheese - from a box of Kraft's - in the supermarket.  

New examples.

Hospital L - fresh from Recovery - I was put in a room for an overnighter.  Some what confused by lingering anesthesia, I was labeled "a risk for falling"  The nurse told me as I drifting back off, "Don't try to go to the bathroom by yourself.  Call me."  Time passed.  Couldn't find the call button.  Kept stabbing at various buttons I couldn't see and finally she wandered in.  By then I had passed the holding tank's limits and to my horrified shame, I wet the bed.  Apologized profusely.  Twice more and she was visibly angry with me.  After the first, mind you, I'd asked for an adult diaper.  "Oh, we don't have those she caroled merrily.  Going home the next day I suddenly wondered, why the hell didn't they catheritise me?  quick efficient, controlled, if you will. 

This hospital as recently as 2014 was charged with wrongful death after a nurse put a feeding tube in a patient's lungs and (no surprise) it killed him.

Vivid contrast.  Was making a good will tour of Hospital T's ER.  After taking blood, an EKG, a CT and two MRIs of the afflicted area, they asked the question beloved by nurses "Can you give me a urine sample?"  She and I troddled down to the bathroom; no luck. Back in my curtained-off cubicle and she asked, "Can I catheritse  you - it's a one-time sample  and I can do it right here.  "Great!" I said."  Guess  where I'll go  if there's ever another reason to go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

You Can Break the Camera With Your Image

    This is a personal brief example - Richie grabbed a quick shot of me in my new home - the sofa - I wanted a different shot and low and behold the camera button on the phone symbol was gone!  Not there at all!  We both fiddled with it - nada      This morning I slid a whole half-page to the right and - THERE it was!

Now I have to find the photo.  Momentarily titled The Sloth In Her Lair

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tail Wags Dog

 File as above:  two local women, one 19 and the other older, got into a fight at the Redondo Beach Dog Park.  What triggered it unknown at this point in time.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Post Surgery

Taking longer than I thought it would - to recover from it.  But I will!

Stay out of ORs! 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

We've Come To THIS?

 Re the Vice Presidential Debate last night (10/7/20  

This morning, did the media lead with any discussion about what was said politically to advance themselves or make a terrible error and blow the show - was it really about Pence and Harris?

According to this morning's media, the star of this "debate" was what looked like an ordinary house fly which landed on Pence's head and which lingered for a FULL TWO MINUTES soaking up the ambiance (?) before it departed the premises.

Some of the press it got.

Fly VP debate star!

Steals the show - The Guardian - stayed there for two minutes

Surprise accessory - NY Times

CBS News - presumably film of this absolutely riveting event.

This nation is desperate; I tell you desperate! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Please Remit the Sum of $59,011.98

Medicare wrote in yesterday's mail an itemized bill - what was charged vs. what they paid for various services and supplies during my recent surgery.  Some of the numbers appalled me; others made me smile.  To amuse you ...


$1,712.32 to include blood test clotting time - $1,84lood typing for Rh (D) antigen - $141

Bacteria colony count urine $294


Injection: butacaine $3,742.82

Injection: ascetaminophen $3422.72   i.e. aspirin

Partial removal of middle spine; bone with release of spinal cord  $36,450

Anesthesia  $8,586.00

My piece of the action will be $1,000-something; it's upstairs and I'm down. Surgeon and Anesthesiologist together:  $45,018 

Monday, October 5, 2020


 Richie and his younger brother Charlie, of Huntington, Long Island, were chatting Sunday afternoon.  I was listening because the phone always gets handed to me last,  and over his shoulder, Richie addressed me, "You've got to study!"  He turned back to Charlie and evidently answering Charlie's "Huh?" said, "She's got an MRI of her brain Monday afternoon."

I'm still grinning.

And I advise you not to make any smart remarks about my brain.  Please excuse me - I've got to go see exactly where our brains are.


Saturday, October 3, 2020

Hunt Down the Picnic Basket!

We can go marvel at the Bridge to Everywhere in Long Beach - it's officially  open Monday, October 5th!  Let the traffic flow!

The way there is rather terse - get on Ocean Boulevard to the I-710  I happen to know that Ocean Boulevard is in Long Beach having shot quite a few Grand Prix's back in the day.  So:  don't believe what I just typed because I didn't write these directions.

But do do this - stop off at Jersey Mike's Subs for the picnic lunch especially if you can't be  arsed to make your own.  

We got a full-sized Italian meats to be cut up and shared.  here are just some of the ingredients - provolone, ham, turkey, caprio-something,  mortadella, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and all were as fresh as the girl who just slapped you for making an indecent proposal.   And was still daisy-fresh for lunch the next day.$19.95  

You don't have to go to a bridge to eat them, either. 

Jersey Mike's Subs - 561 N. PCH, Redondo Beach  310-374-4900  Opens 10 a.m.

Friday, October 2, 2020

It's Not Stealing -

It's only borrowing the genius of a friend.  Which is "Jay" in this case.  He wrote - 

Age 60 might be the the new 40, but 9 p.m. is the new Midnight

The older I get, the earlier it gets late.

If I say, "The day," I could be referring to anytime between yesterday and 15 years ago.

I remember being able to get up without making sound effects

I had my patience tested - I'm negative

I finally got eight hours of sleep.  It took me three days, but whatever.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Floor Splat

And much more.  I have a new something wrong with me and  the neuro set up an MRI of my brain next Monday.  Clearly anything that starts with a feeling of dizziness and then the patient is SPLAT on whatever floor covering she happened to be standing upon.  Since the end of August, right after back surgery, to date, I have had this happen to me six times.  I should have called my neuro after the first one.  

If you have never had an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) you will be lying on a rolling table attached to it and massive unexpected Bongs is what you will hear even over the type of music you have chosen.  I avoid  rock'n roll or blues because I can't keep from wanting to move with the music.  Go with half remembered Classical and let it lave you into peace.  Think of it like this which I made up:

                         MRI - Symphony for the Tumbling Boulders.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

No Matter Which Side You're On - This Is Funny

"Trump is no more than a broke father of five kids by the three different women, living in public housing." 

Courtesy of one Devita Davidson

Monday, September 28, 2020

This morning's (9/28/20) Daily Breeze has a front page coverage of the just completed Gerald Desmond bridge which replaces the old Gerald Desmond bridge which was build back in in 1966.  

The new version is 515 feet tall, making it the second tallest bridge in the U.S. and has a vertical clearance of 205 ft.  It took seven years to construct for a cost of $1.45 billion.  It will be formally opened next Friday.    Richie was irritated about this because he'd planned a road trip, followed by a picnic lunch to admire it this week.  But philosophic as always, he shrugged and said, "Next week will be fine."

All of the above tweaked my curiosity and here are the results in the event you decide to take a vacation with no other goal then to visit notable bridges.  Imagine yourself on Jeopardy and Alex asks you about your hobbies and you respond, "Oh, I collect Bridges and so far have visited 10 - from the scariest to the longest."  Imagine Alex's face!

Tallest:  Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, SC  573 feet.

Scariest Bridge Chesapeake Bay which serves Baltimore and Washington DC  

The Causeway linking New Orleans to Metairie, Louisiana,  23.8 miles long.

The State with the most bridges - Texas!  Who'd a thunk that?

Friday, September 25, 2020

The 624 Acre Front yard

The estate that goes with all of this land was once owned by Mary Anne Custis Lee who inherited  it  from  Martha Washington who was her great, great grandmother.  Who was clearly clearly quite  fond of Mary Anne who, at the time, was Mrs. Robert E. Lee

Today it is Arlington National Cemetery established as such on May 13, 1864. 

And it is a busy place as some 25 to 30 burials are held every day.  No wonder they are running out of space for new arrivals.  There are 22 million people okayed to be buried here but there are fewer than 95,000 spaces available 

An expansion to accommodate another 60,00 spaces is apparently still pending.  If it passes or the money is found, that would increase the Arlington"  life for another 150 years.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

How The Hell Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wind Up In Arlington?

 More to the point how did her husband precede her ?  He was a very good lawyer; he also taught Law in various universities, such as Harvard, to name one.  But I saw no mention of any military service that would (as far as I know) qualify him.  

There are only four deceased Justices buried at Arlington - William Howard Taft, Earl Warren, Warren Burger and William H. Rehnquist. Only three U.S. Presidents went to the funerals.  Apparently it is not a mandatory "thing" for Presidents to do that.  

Justice Scalia, who died February 13, 2016, drew an enormous crowd.  A photo accompanying his rites shows that the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was filled to the rafters.  In life he had been a devout Catholic. 

But no answers to the question of both Ginsburg's burial at Arlington.  I could speculate that the original paperwork to do this was a reaction to one of her  bouts with cancer when the outcome of the disease was problematic.  Not that I grudge the space for them.  Simply sheer curiosity on my part.  If you know, tell me in the Comments block.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Surrounded By Cancer

Ruth Bader Ginsberg's  mother died of cervical cancer when Bader was in high school.  Bader's husband of 56 years developed testicular cancer which traveled and  killed him age 78. 

I thought this was interesting - generation to generation.  Zap!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Stigma of Being Stared At Is Lifelong

It starts early ...

Age 5 or 6, on a car trip to a family vacation comes  a plaintive wail from the back seat:  "Ma-ohm, He's looking at me! Make him stop!"

Age 14 or 16.  Suzie elbows her friend Barbara and says softly, "Don't look now, but see that guy over by the punch bowl?  He was looking at me!"  Girlish giggles ensue.

21+  Suzie to Babette   " Well this bar  is a big waste of time - isn't there anyone here who's not with someone?  I haven't gotten a single look."

Age  45 to 50  "You get off of Skype this instant!  If I catch you lurking again, I'm going to report you!"

And finally, in the assisted living center,  "I'm glad that people want to want to visit me on this my 106th birthday but it's no big deal.  Either you kept going or you died."

And in the coffin, "I told them Closed Casket!  Didn't they hear me! Weren't they listening?.  I'll get them for this." 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

 A Very Unlikely Flight Crew

That would be a duck, a rooster and a sheep.  In a hot air balloon in front of  King Louis XV and his lovely wife Marie Antoinette in a demonstration on September 19, 1783,  of the possibilities of flight. This test flight  took place over the fields of Versailles.  

This first test flight went well; it was up for eight minutes and covered two miles before making a safe landing.

Neither the sheep nor the duck nor the rooster were available. for comment. 

Friday, September 18, 2020


Today begins Rosh Hashana which has been described as the Jewish New Years and will herald the beginning the year of 5781 on their calendar. The shofar's horns will  blaring away across this our great country.

As a sweet, there will be apple slices or chunks of challah,  eaten after being dipped in honey.  So will pomegranates who carry an interesting legend.  It seems that a pomegranate contains 615 seeds each of which - aha! - coincidence?  is the same number of commandments in the Torah!  How well things sometimes work out...

Discovering that the shofar is converted  from  a ram's horn into a musical instrument  reminded me of a family story I heard about my grandparents. And of course I can't remember which grandparent it was.  Both of them were 12 year old orphans at the time they arrived in America.   One of them wouldn't have been stepping onto Ellis Island  if it hadn't been for a cow horn.  At birth one of them was fed via the horn as a substitute for a bottle.  I cant think either horn is soft in any way so for horn-fed (horn not corn)   Dine and Teeth all at the same time!  

You can buy a great many Jewish artifacts from a website:  I saw a couple of them on a quick pass through -shofars  $18" to $21  

In the spirit of good advice, don't buy a bris kit for baby boys unless you are a doctor.  

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Honoring First Responders

Richie's cousin, in South Florida, wrote in this morning to tell us that her greyish-blondish hair now has bright red streaks  -to honor the California fires.  Her daughter, she went on, is a Person of Service - she is the Director of Ambulances in a small Northern California town.  She is an EMT person and now she is The Boss!  "Anyway, this is why my hair is  now a lot of red!"

Bravo to them both!" 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

How Come?

Not one politician has died from the virus,  lost their job or had their business looted or, missed a hair cut or wears a mask (unless on camera somewhere)  and we could wonder about that in their own neighborhoods.

Remember when we panicked when no toilet paper could be found? What are we going to do when we need a cop?  And there they aren't

NYC just defunded the very people who ran into the 911 towers to help any where they could.  Grateful thanks NYC.  Just not much.

Why are mobs tearing up statues instead of crack houses Why aren't we?


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I Never Thought I'd Hear Me Thinking This!

Which are mentions of Climate Change.  The Virus news put it in a dark corner evidently.  I thought (happily) "Huh - maybe it's been vanquished forever!  Yay!"

Maybe because it seemed to strike me as a return to arguing about Climate Change and thus normalcy!   Loud and bitter have been the debates I've overheard in the past.  We can all live happily at the thought of that mess being gone!  

Especially if that precocious teen Greta starts to pop up in various places yelling "How dare you!"  

Sure sign.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Good for a grin If Not a Laugh - It IS Monday...

On Day 121 the dog looked at me and said, "Now you see why I chew the furniture"?

Thanks to whomever decreed singing Happy Birthday as you wash your hands.  I come out of the bathroom and my kids look for the cake.

If we're all in quarantine, I guess it's inside jokes only.

Every few days, check the fit of your jeans - pajamas lie.

We ran out of toilet paper and have to use lettuce leaves.  That was the tip of the iceberg; tomorrow romaine's to be seen.  

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Of Note? - Or Not

New York gets a moment in 1788.  The Congress of the Confederation authorized  the first national (what there was of it) election declaring New York City the temporary capital.  I don't think they ever got over it.  They still think the Big Apple is the boss of everyone.

The Pope, of all people came out for fine food and sex.  Now one of those receiving the papal endorsement struck me as odd.  The sex part.  No details please, but since he is widely considered to be chaste, I wondered where that came from.  Further research discovered that we should eat well to keep and maintain a healthy body (to serve God and the church?).  Sex is still mainly for propagation (to add new members to the clergy?)

I was impressed at the great view he has of St. Mark's Square but I bet tourists are not allowed anywhere near that balcony.  Pity - great photo opp.

More if or as they roll in.  Have a great day!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

To His Last Breath!

This probably caught your eye, too.   A report spot lit online that Henry Ford caught Thomas Edison's last breath in a test tube; meticulously wrapped the tube in paper with all of the pertinent data.  "Huh!" we probably all thought. "How crazy is that?" 

It turns out that Henry Ford and Edison were great friends with Ford idolizing Edison.  Very much his acolyte.  They bought land in Fort Meyers, Florida and built themselves, wives and kids very large houses to not only hold them but visiting friends from in the freezing North (Dearborn.)  For everyone's pleasure the duo also built a pool and the ladies directed the gardeners and household help.    The kids basically did what kids seem to do - run around a lot.

They have a mutual museum across the road from the houses.  Amazing what Edison, in particular, invented.  

Ladies if you, as a child, had a Chatty Cathy doll - thank Edison.  Although it was alternately thought of as amazing and equally as the work "of the devil."  It had been programmed to utter 11 phrases such as "I love you"  "May I have a cookie?" via a tiny tape recorder hidden inside the doll body.  

Edison invented an Electric Pen to duplicate letters and photos on waxed paper and a stylus system said to be the first safe office tool.  It was also proved later to be a useful way later to do tattoos!

Leaving with one of Edison's sayings when questioned about the number of things he had invented (1,093 patents)  "I have not failed, I just made 10,000 things that will not work!"

Friday, September 11, 2020

Interesting Tidbits - 911

The NY on-site 911 Museum is finally going to re-open Friday after six months of closure due to The Virus.  I read that it will not charge admission on Tuesdays.  Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. 

Normally the ticket costs are

adult - $26+

age 7 to 12 $15

ages 13 to 17 are charged $20

seniors pay $20.

You can walk past it any day of the week no charge.  As yet anyhow.  We're in The Big Apple, you know.  When it opened in '04 or '06 it was a great deal more expensive  - something like $40 apiece - souvenirs and mementos extra.  And I can only whimper softly at their prices.  For the hell of it Google NY 911 Museum store.  If it's like I imagine, you may well be as outraged as I am at the crass commerciality.

Conversely, the monument for  those who died in Pennsylvania is a great deal simpler.  As it  is a property of the National Park Service admission appears to be free because I couldn't find a list of them.

It is open from 9 to 5 on Sundays and Saturdays.

Most recently a 93 ft. tall carillon has been added. Every 5 to 10 feet is a windchime, each with it's own, individual chime sound.  All of them face North, away from the crash site to ring out   over the fields and hills  as each person who died was an individual.  This really appeals to me.  The honoring of the  individuality; not the brash crass commerciality of the 911 Museum in Manhattan.

Souvenir or not, God bless them all. 


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Krash of the Kardashions?

Dare we hope?  One show goes off - Doc Martin - sadness ensues.  But then elation pokes a finger into our ribs at the news that E! doesn't want to renew them for $150 million for Kim and the Klan for  new five year contract.   I have never sat down and watched a whole show.  Why bother?  I've seen people get off of a plane many times.  Wave out of tinted limo windows... yawn.

Famous for Being Famous was never more aptly used.  Utterly wasteful conspicuous consumption.  

Bye Bye  I won't kry for you.     

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Our MidWest Correspondent Weighs In With a First-hand Report on What's Going On There

My cousin Doug and his wife Melanie drove from Indiana to Ohio for a nephew's wedding this weekend.  He says that they took  US 36 and OH55 and along the way saw and logged the following in the way roadside signs.

14 Trump signs

 9 sweet corn for sale. 

 6 yard/rummage sale notification signs

 5 homes for sale

 3  tomatoes signs

 1  Biden sign covered in bird droppings

This is by no means scientific, he added, but but indicative of small town and rural thinking.   

Monday, September 7, 2020

A Confident Prediction for Spring, 2021

And you shake your head and mutter to yourself, "I know there's no way to be confident about something as ephemeral as a prediction. "

To which I retort, there is if you are talking about the legions of PBS "Doc Martin" fans.  They are not only in America, but Canada, Germany, France and the Czech Republic.  All have had their fans since 2000.

Some tidbits - 
Martin Clues, the actor who plays Doc Martin (he hates that; he's Doctor Ellingham)  has confirmed what I've thought for a long time - he's on the autistic spectrum.  Who wouldn't have some "issues" if both of his parents hated him and couldn't wait to ship his ass off to boarding school?  Inside his often brusque, if not actually downright rude manner, peeks of a sad little boy pop up from time to time.  This I have to see and haven't.

Now I'm waiting for confirmation from someone, anyone, that his mouth looks like that due to a bad hair lip surgery.  

His formality and distance from others is illustrated by the fact that he wears a suit in the office, or making a house call or delivering a baby for that matter.  

He's gone through two receptionists so far and even if I didn't love the dialogue, plots I would tune in to see their mad outfits which I can only describe as gypsy on acid.

The pharmacy lady Mrs. Tishell is played by Selina Cadell, age 67.

The sets used in the show are kept in an old barn and I believe the tour includes it.  Photo opp!  

When a show is as popular as Doc Martin, the villagers decided to participate, in a little profit-making. too.  Hence a walking tour of Port Isaac, led by a former extra, which stars as the show's Port Wenn which takes 90 minutes and "is not recommended for pregnant women"  Certainly is easily affordable at $20.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Two Things Your Surgeon May Forget to Tell You

Both occur post op primarily because it wouldn't make sense to suffer them PRE surgery.  

 I finally made my escape from Providence Little Company of Mary aka the little house of horrors (beginning in their kitchen.)   This is my interpretation of the place - it's always twilight inside.  The rooms are dim; the halls are perhaps a watt brighter (but no more than that.) 

As I am fixated on finding a little sun somewhere, anywhere this tells on my psyche.  

Back to original business.  The two conditions post op are:  anorexia and/or depression.  

I'd already lost weight in the hospital; as previously remarked, I lived on Italian gelato (less wiggly than American) and yogurt for three days and at that, one meal a day.  The first dinner home I was able to eat about four bites and that was it.  Up until recently, the pattern persisted.
Am now back , more or less, to usual diet.  

Post op depression according to the literature, is routinely thought to be a last ditch bummer from trace anesthesia still in the body.   

Today, 9/4/20 I have felt better inch by inch every day which, as you can imagine, is quite welcome.  I have an appt. with the surgeon next Tuesday at which I am hoping that he will remove the dressing.  It itches all around the borders.  Last night I had to put an ice pack on it.  Hot tip - ice acts against itching.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Chasing Pain Pills When You're Not a Dope Addict

A bittersweet tale of patient error (massive error) and a semi-recovery.  When I was being discharged, I was told that they would give me pain pills to take home.  Saucily I informed them that Dr. Cutter (surgeon who did the posterior lumbar decompression) had assured me several times that my back pain would vanish!  End of pain!  Which is the reason I elected to go with this surgery.

Very big mistake.  When I woke up at home the day after getting home, I was in agony.  I had to get something.  

Now, knowing that the doctor had ordered the pills from the hospital pharmacy, I called them and explained.  They said they couldn't help me so I called the doctor.  "Oh, doctors can't just phone in opioid prescriptions."  I argued that the pharmacy had the Rx just fill the damn thing.  No go.

On "Raffish"'s suggestion I called the hospital and asked to speak to the on-call orthopedic doctor.  They don't have one.  They aren't a teaching hospital.

Decided to throw myself on the mercy of the Urgent Care on Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach.  There we were told to go to the ER of that hospital because they can't treat another doctor's patient.

I don't like bothering ER but all of them insisted that this was the solution.  So we went there.  That doctor finally appeared - young, brisk, no nonsense - and wrote an Rx for generic Norco (I think 95 % aspirin' 5% codeine.)  Any road it is by no means effective at all.  As I promised the ER doctor; I will take one per night and I don't care if it's one of Jack in the Beanstalk's  Magic Beans!

So am back on Advil which the ER doctor told  me is recommended by ERs.  Who knew?

And none of this would have happened if I hadn't believed the surgeon.  Trust No One is my new motto.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

This'n That

The meaning of words:  I was reading a book (which I can't really recommend - "The Red Room" by Nicci French which is a sort of Brigette Jones Diary and a couple of murders.) and one of the lead characters said to another, "I'm just on tenterhooks about whether..."

And I thought, we hear that word in sentences that express agitation - so what the hell is a 'tenterhook'?

Wikipedia told me that it's a hooked nail which is called a tenter which is used on the wood frames used in making woolen cloth since the 14th century.

Dissing Great Britain.  One of the travel sites released a bunch of letters that express distaste for some of the great sights there.  With no further ado - Big Ben (common name) 

"It's just a clock and I can't understand all of the hype about it.  It'll be digital in 30 years anyhow."

It's just a pile of a few rocks disgusting to look at and nothing to do.  If they knocked it down and put in a funfair or an arcade... it's just a silly place.  

The London Eye isn't an eye just an overgrown Ferris wheel with too much PR. 

These letters were clearly written by foreign hands.  Brits are unfailingly polite!  And I like'em!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Up In The Air - or Not

This morning I read with interest the following tidbits.  The pilots on AA1997 inbound from La Guardia to LAX reported to the flight controller, "We just passed a guy in a jetpack."  This was on landing  at LAX! At the time of the incident reportage, the jetpack pilot? was unidentified.  Look for the movie soon. 

You can be sure great mirth followed this riveting announcement.  Pilots and controllers love to play with each other's heads.  I have it on good info.

Perhaps not meanwhile, but back in LaGuardia, the pilots were being informed of a pair of women brawling on the floor of the jet bridge - not even on the plane yet.  Which was a Delta to fly from LGA to Atlanta.  They were wearing pink sweats on one combatant and grey on the other.  Bystanders thought they were related - sisters or cousins.  From the back of the crowd now observing came a woman's voice, "Go get Aaliyah - she's fighting."   This whole megillah delayed the flight by 40 minutes, due largely the article said, on the necessity of going through all of the baggage to find the brawlers' bags.  Which I took to mean they would  not flying anywhere that day.   Certainly not to Atlanta on Delta.   

Monday, August 31, 2020

Getting back to normal

Or what passes for it with me.  It turns out I may have started a war between the (horrific) pain and generic Norco.  I complained bitterly that play Norco isn't worth a damn but all the while I'm complaining the chair I'm sitting in and the way I'm sitting in it are working to bring me down.  This morning I tried the last chair upstairs and feel much better!  Maybe my own stupidity brought me down.  Whatever.  

Any road I am more or less on track to get back to work and hope to keep you amused very soon.  

Here's a stolen (I didn't write them) start - 

Being popular on Face Book is like sitting at the cool table of a mental hospital.

You're NOT fat!  Just east easier to see.  

Generously endowed young lady - her t-shirt read "I'm not fat just fluffy!"

Remember when we were kids and our parents would say, "Anyone can become President and I'm beginning to believe it."

If I go the extra mile it's because I missed the exit.

If you see me talking to myself, I'm having a staff meeting. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

East or West; Home Is Best.

I was discharged from Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital yesterday around 2 p.m. 

I would be leaving behind horrible food; isolation until I got a roommate who'd had an emergency appendectomy apparently in the night.  All of the rooms are dim with one window each - our view was extra ambulance parking space.  May I say less than amusing?  

Due to lingering anesthesia I couldn't make any sense out of my book.  But I tried.  

The food:  this will sum it up - dinner choice of macaroni and cheese.  At the supermarket pick up a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Ghastly!  I tried to hand it off to Richie, the Omnivore, but he wasn't having any of it.  I lived for three days on Jell-O and Italian gelato. 

Due to The Virus, no visitors at all except Richie and thank God for him!  

But:  for dinner tonight, Himself is making his famous meatloaf which I love.  

Until then, off to walk up and down our hallway - that's a specific order.  Walk as much as you can.  Even though it hurts like a bastard.  

Friday, August 28, 2020

Free again

After three days in solitary, more or less in Providence Little Company of Mary.  I have vowed they will never catch me again.   

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Is Everyone In the Operatng Room? Oh, Yeah? Which Hospital?

Two friends and one relative have had/or will having surgery in rather rapid succession.  A sister had varicose veins removed just the other day.  She's fine!  Today a friend and gifted writer is having outpatient surgery on a thumb.  She's not only a lifelong strong tennis player but she wrote a great book - "Last Trip Home" by Maureen M. Miller which is available at 

Tomorrow I go in (at the ungodly hour of 5:30 a.m.) for a posterior lumbar decompression of L3 - 5 which is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. and last perhaps only 2 hours.  Then released for home after Recovery; possibly another two hours.  This will be after you are wheeled out of the OR and asked to get off of the table and walk a couple of steps.  Same thing after both hip surgeries.  "Gitch'er languid ass off that table and stomp on outta here"  With which I am only too happy to comply. 

Of note - no longer is there a surgical waiting room where friends and relatives wait for the surgeon to come out drenched in blood (for best dramatic effect) and tell them what's what.  Technology and The Virus have changed all of that.  Today the surgeon will pull out his cell phone and call Richie on ours.  

Anyone else "Going under the knife" soon or recently?  "Under the knife" reminded me of limbo dancers.   Those days, Doctor, are gone.  Close and let's get out of here.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Virus's Gift

To someone with way too 'way much time on their hands.  I am reminded of something I bet more than one of our mother's laid on us - "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."  With the corollary "So go pick up your toys!  If I get tangled up in that Slinky again, there's going to be hell to pay!"   Since Betty White is about as far from devilish doings as one can get, that part doesn't apply but have you found yourself lately thinking of how may things Betty White  is older than?  Somehow I didn't think so ...

To catch up - she was born January 17, 1922, and is therefore 98 years old.  For our Brit readers, Betty is four years older than Queen Elizabeth II.  They have met during "Golden Girls" fame.  It is not known if "Lizzy" was auditioning for an appearance.

Things we take for granted (and a great deal more) today:

The microwave - 1946 when Betty was 20 years old.  

The ball point pen  1930 when she was 8. 

The electric garage door opener 1926.  And given the lack of cars to put in them, kind of a show-offy thing, no?

Instant development cameras - think Polaroid in 1923.  She was only a year old - 'way too young for selfies.

The juke box in 1927 but she was only 5 and perhaps her parents frequented neither bars nor soda shops? 

Scotch-tape in 1930 - at 8 I bet she could get into all kinds of trouble taping things together - the rabbit and the cat didn't work out too well for one ..

The Slinky Toy came along in 1943 and Betty, 21, got a Congressional Hearing to determine if a Slinky was a toy for all ages or invented to torture all ages.  The result was unfindable.  


Monday, August 24, 2020

Ready To Make A Run For It? Covid Getting You Down? Check These Out for an Alternative

population - 1.27 million
344 cases
10 deaths

Per month:
1 bedroom apartment $287
public transportation $25
utilities  $91.75
per month $404 

Saint Lucia
pop. 182,790
cases 25
deaths 0

1 bedroom apartment $367
groceries $372
public transportation $148
utilities $145
total $1,030

population 23.6 million
cases 480
deaths 7

1 bedroom apartment $397
public transportation $94
utilities $99
per month total $923

New Zealand
population 4.92 million
cases 1,219
deaths 22

1 bedroom apartment $954
groceries $282
utilities $172
per month total $1,516

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Built to Last and Then Some - and Then Some More

Step up and hear about Madresfield Court, built in 1086 to house the Lygon family.  They. have owned it and lived in it now for 900 years and 29 generations of family.  

It has a moat, 18 + bedrooms which were given bathrooms in 2014.  The roof covers two acres of building for a total of some 160 rooms.  Just think of the winter heating bill … awesome. 

A frequent visitor in the '30s was novelist Evelyn Waugh who based "Brideshead Revisited" on the Lygon family.  During WW2 had the Nazis invaded England, plans were in place to evacuate the British Royal Family to Madresfield which means mower's field.  

If you'd like to see it, tours are offered for 15 pounds which I would bet is Euros today.  

I must say, they built to last back in 1086.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Oddities Courtesy of Reader's Digest

Can You Believe This?   Don't know if it's meant to be ironic or what?

Sweden's famous Ice Hotel has a smoke detector!  

The season for visiting the Ice Hotel ends in April when it melts!  It was original constructed of big (1,00 ton blocks) of ice gleaned from the next door Torne River 

The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, asked for whiskey on his death bed.  (The nurse refused.)

  The founder was Bill Wilson born November 26, 1895 and took to the deathbed mentioned above with emphysema complicated by pneumonia on January 24, 1971 age  76 

The "Father of Traffic Safety" Willian Eno invented the Stop! sign, speed limit, traffic circle and the one way street, but never learned to drive.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Laughter Can Dissipate Rage -

Let's see if I'm right.  For four nights in a row I have been livid at the news - once again - that the stupid Democrats   have kicked "Jeopardy!" and Alex Trebek off the air.  Trebek is a great deal more interesting than their braggadocio  four nights in a row.  

And lest you rank me for favoring Them, next week I will again be having tantrums about the stupid Republicans putting Alex in the parking lot.

When it comes to Jeopardy and Alex there is no favoritism.  He wins.  Hands down.  Both miserable political parties can go pound sand somewhere else. 

Hoping the Reader's Digest can provide a laugh.  From a brief multi-joke bit titled"Dear God" - kids questions for their minister.  The kids are in the 3rd grade.

Dear God
How come you didn't invent any new animals?  We still have all the old ones.  

Dear God
Is Reverend Coe a friend of yours or do you just know him through business?

Dear God
Who draws the lines around the countries?

Dear God
How did you know you were God?

Dear God
I bet it is very hard to love all of everybody in the whole world.  There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. 

Dear God
I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A Timely Question - Why the Very Hell do 525 People Want to Live in Death Valley?

And yet they do. ( pop.525)  There are no gas stations.  The only restaurant is the Amargosa CafĂ©.  Jobs?  Ya wanna work in this heat?  There are two places - the park or a resort, such as Scotty's Castle.  The  Furnace Creek Inn is not actually in Death Valley.  A worker there told the reporter doing the story  that "When it gets to 120 degrees, it's so hot that the liquid in your eyes begins to dry up."

I suppose bragging rights might accrue in the club house at home;  "I played 18 holes 214 ft. below sea level!"  It's not going to be easy putting together a foursome; Death Valley Junction had manual phone service until the 1980s.  "Hello, Operator?"  May I speak to the Death Valley Junction Toll Station; the one digit number I'm calling is.  The Operator was in Los Angeles 150 miles away.

The Death Valley Railroad, long gone now, carried borax from a mine in the area.  The woman who ran the Amargosa Opera (!) there in the 1920s and '30s has long been gone and it is now a tourist attraction.  

My only conclusion in this matter is that People Are Strange; God bless them.  And may their winter start early this year and may the yearly average of 2 inches of rain be more fruitful this season.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Can Peanuts Contribute to Longevity?

I read in this morning's newspaper that today - August 18, 2020  former First Lady Rosalynn Carter is 93 years old.  She was born on this date in 1927.  

Husband  and former President Jimmy Carter is 95.  They have been married for 73 years.

Jimmy is widely known as a peanut farmer and the presumption is that peanuts would have been a large portion of their diet and since Jimmy and Rosalynn did and do everything together...

Incidentally a peanut is not a "nut."  It is (technically speaking) a "legume" which is an edible seed in a pod - examples are lentils and peas.   

If I'm right (always a dubious supposition) then don't save peanut crunching for just a baseball game!  Look at the Carters and hit it!  L Chaim!

Monday, August 17, 2020

"Oh, run down to the bacon vending machine and get me some, will you?

 I was startled to come across an article headed "Push Button Bacon" a reference to a vending machine that (for money of course) dispenses measures of cooked, smoked, bacon.   First thought was "I bet that's in Japan!"

But no.  Look to Oscar's Smokehouse of Warrensburg, New York.  Their refrigerated vending machines also carry three year old Cheddar and smoked pork chops - all priced the same as they are in the store.  

It is unlikely that beach dwellers will be trekking to upstate New York.  So for a much more local place to get a bacon fix, go no further than Slater's 50/50 bar and restaurant in the old Mermaid restaurant of the Hermosa Beach Pier.  

I quote some of the items on Slater's Bacon Flight - bacon with salt, vinegar chicharrons
Salted caramel bacon Kettle Corn
Crispy pork belly with jalapeno-bacon jam

It's worthwhile to pull up Slater's menus for plenty of ideas for  things you can prepare  and enjoy right in your own home. Oscar's Smokehouse came up with this vending machine thing in an effort to avoid face-to-face contact during The Virus.

But if for some reason you are in Oscar's neighborhood - pop in and take some pictures!  Preferably a galley of people's reactions when they push a button and bacon! comes out!

Friday, August 14, 2020

"Oh I miss airline food," said no one at all, ever.

The pandemic is doing more than its fair share to bring airlines to their landing wheels and one of them - Jet Blue - has begun to sell their snack packs for home consumption in an effort not to lose any more money than they are right now.  

Well, good for them, to make an effort to up their falling revenues.  They have sold 40,000 of them - to be stored by the hosts of Superbowl Sunday games?   Some kind of stag party?  As they are composed of cheese, crackers and dried fruit, you could make your own.

I am horrified to have to report I can't find a price on them.  And not for any other US airline that is selling a First Class dinner or a Business Class lunch.  Instead, you'll have to save your meal shopping list for trips in and out of Australia or Russia on Ural Airlines. 
Gate Gourmet sells 20 meals for $35 or 50 AUD

Ural Airlines flies in and out of Moscow, St. Petersburg or Yekaterinburg.  The Business chicken is $16.65; Economy chicken is $7.33.

One would think that such as LSG Sky Chefs or Gate Gourmet would sell a cookbook of various of the dishes  they sell to American or Delta or Peanut Air marked into class - "Our exquisite (dish) can be found in First on Alaska Airlines and here is how we make it."  

You can't get off of a cruise ship without a tour of the vast kitchens led by your genial chef who not only cooks (I'm still disappointed that we toured the day they had escargot soup and we missed it.) but has written this glorious cookbook of all of our wonderful dishes!  Chef will sign it for you - $35

Hotels have long issued cookbooks "from the BoomBoom Room!"  They got the idea very quickly.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Church Humor

The humorous bits some fun-loving churches sometimes put out are good for a laugh from the blackest sheep among us.  Usually the format is the billboard in front of the church but today social distancing demands that humor be kept inside in order to see it.  

Here, the Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New Orleans exhibits their method for keep us from seat/pew encroachment.  They use the usual white letter-sized typing paper attached to pew ends with pieces of a very noticeable blue tape.  

A few samples - 

I have prepared a place for you, just not this pew.

Reserved for Elijah

Jesus sat the 5,000 in rows, but not this one.

You will find me when you seek just not this pew

I bet it works a charm, too.  Most people are amenable to humor but not a direct order.  Good for you Redeemer for "getting" that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Dancing Weatherman or Nightly Screams of Laughter at the Dinner Table

The dinner table is ours and KABC 7's weatherman appears as we're forking it in.  His name is Dallas Raines (real name, too - didja evah?) who has brought new life to the normally dry, statement of fact most weatherpersons put out.  Raines is no less informative, but he does it with a flair not seen since the days of Fred Astaire.  

Impeccably tailored suits with slightly tighter pants than the norm seen in the street.  To say Raines is animated in his delivery is certainly understatement.  He has a move for every weather occasions.  Moreover, he's being doing this interpretive dancing to the weather for so long his moves have been recognized and named!  May I present to you the Dallas Dip!  The Swirl!  The Fist Bump!  the Golf Swing and last night's treat, the little skip.  I was literally screaming with laughter.  A 66-year old man doing a perfect little skip like a very  little kid. 

 As this had been preceded by a Raines "stalking step"  I think he was after  Palm Springs, which is forecast for 114 degrees today, you can perhaps my reaction.  

I am sorry to tease you with such a feast of nightly hilarity if you are out of range for Ch 7, but I would bet that if one wrote a nice letter to Channel 7 they would happily send you a clip of Raines doing his jive thing.  Certainly worth a try...

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Quick! Get A Shot of That!

And once again we all quietly think, "Thank God for cell phones!  It wasn't always like this - the instant ability to get a shot of something.  In olden days having your picture taken was a real ordeal.  To make sure the person being photographed did not move, their heads were clamped in a brace and there they stood for up to half an hour while the photographer adjusted his camera.  There's a reason why infants and slightly older children were most often photographed in the mother's lap!  

Today the Library of Congress has the first albums which date back to the 1850s.  Back in those days, the usual photographer's target was the pater familias, the wife with the husband and quite often the first children of the couple.  Photography was expensive and few could afford more than a photo or two so each family - say the Smiths- had a Smith family album for all to share.   It was often on display in a central point in the album host's living room hence "coffee table albums."   

If these photos had been dated, listed who the people were and what the occasion was - "Uncle Jack and Barbara's wedding, 1901"  they became invaluable to genealogists.    "Ah-hah!  that fat Murphy lower lip!"  

Today it would seem that albums have become digital, too.  Numerous companies offer deals to make your own coffee table book, complete with space for captions, comments and so forth.  

All of this is in aid of something to do when The Virus has us shut up in the house.  I would bet that there's at least one collection of loose photos in anyone's house that could use some sorting and organization.  But - isn't it great to see that trip we took to (fill in) or "This is the whole story of Jack and Barbara - from dating to the wedding photos and the first kids … 

Take a trip back in time and bon voyage!