Sunday, May 31, 2020

"I Say, Old Chap What's This Kerfluffle Out In the Street?"

The rather portly old gent with ruby red cheeks from a lifetime's avid support of British beef, and port wine,  asked the club steward, who was hovering anxiously near him,  both peering out of the window at massive crowds below waving banners and yelling"  "How un-British, " he said.  The steward clicked his teeth and nodded in agreement.

He could have been in his window seat in any of these places - Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, the  US Embassy, Cardiff or Manchester and similar.  All hosted (however reluctantly) civil protesters.  We know them as rioters here across The Pond.

In watching ABC-TV last night I noted several white faces and I thought, "Rodney King maybe your plea has not gone to waste.  "Can't we just get along?"

In today's media I learn that a great many of those white faces were members of ANTIFA, or Anti-Fascist.  They are known to be Far Left, Anarchists, Socialists, Communists and a soupcon of liberals and social democrats.  So much for a dream, ay, Rodney?

When I noted that the rowdies were in Beverly Hills, I thought, "Finally, dullards!  It finally dawned on you to go where the good if horrendously over-priced stuff is - Beverly Hills."  When the Beverly Hills Hotel starts boarding up as for a hurricane in Key West, and Gucci which had already done so - this is extremely serious.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Looking Forward To The Fight!

Many of you astute readers will remember that in Olden Days, Richie, self, Mouton and "D" went out to dinner together once a month.  Ring down the curtain.  Until today - eating in a room with white linen-covered tables and people bringing you drinks and food was a non-existent "thing."

But today came the good news that restaurants are okay to attend, maintain a 6 ft. separation if you please, just not party like a Kennedy.   The "fight" referenced above will be the choice of where we go for that all-important greeting of an old friend.  According to our old rules if a month has one of birthdays in it, that person as acting Birthday Person gets to choose the restaurant.

For myself, so addled am I at the thought of eating in a restaurant and not our dining room table is so overwhelming that I feel uncharacteristically uncertain about what my choice should be - don't have a thought.

All three of them are Dodger fans so this is for them, a quote from the redoubtable LA Times columnist Chris Erskine, who in 30 years with the Times is retiring and wrote his final column in today's paper.

Vin Scully is baseball's Frank Sinatra

For the rest of us:  If gophers were racehorses, our yard would be Churchill Downs.

Does the US really need two Dakotas?

A mother can smell a bad diaper at 100 yards.  A father couldn't smell a bad diaper if he were wearing it as a hat.

World's most perfect design - a baseball .  World's second-most perfect design - the martini glass.

Can I have a  whoa martini glass?  

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Video

Dear God - we've SEEN THAT.    The video of a police officer shown kneeling on the neck of an alleged perp for supposedly  trying to pass a fake $20 bill ina grocery store.  The video must be worn out by now (if you can wear one out.) 

There are other sides and details I haven't seen on the moving media.   CNN, FOX, BBC etc.

Fair coverage covers it all. Officer Derek Chauvin has been cited for 12 complaints from the public in a 20 year career.  Myla Masson, a Houston retired officer and training specialist, remarked, "Anyone can file a complaint for any reason."   source, Rolling Stone
George Floyd, at 6 ft. 6 in. was a tight end in high school and played in the 1992 State Championship.  They lost to Temple 38-20,

Arrested for criminal trespass, in 2002, Floyd did 30 days in jail.
In 2007, busted for armed robbery for which he did five years in prison, beginning in 2009.
He worked for 17 years as a bouncer at El Nuevo Rancho along with fellow security off-duty Officer Derek Chauvin.

Excessive violence is never good on anyone's side, but neither has been the media spurring on the racist beliefs  that have lead to robbery, looting and general bad behavior on  everyone's part.

A lot of blame to be handed out - let's do it.  

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Murder Mysteries with a Dollop of Local History

Linda Fairstein has carved out that interesting field with gusto.  Nine books to date featuring Alexandra Cooper, Ass't  DA, in New York City.  Fairstein is herself a lawyer, who served for 25 years as the chief prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Sex Crimes Unit and today is a legal expert for major media.

Her books and their crimes are located in historic spots in Manhattan.  "Bad Blood" which I'm currently reading, goes deep under the streets of Manhattan - where subway lines, sewers and water mains criss-cross the City; some go down as deeply as a 60-story hi-rise goes up.    

Statistics are tossed in through all of her books.  Yesterday I learned that New York City goes through 1.4 billion gallons of water per day - drinking, bathing, washing one's car, myriad uses.  Water for Italian restaurants pasta pots?  (made that up.)   I assume these statistics were current in 2007 when the book was published.

Now 73, Fairstein has been married twice.  Justin Feldman was her first husband whom she married in 1987 and buried in 2011.  He was 92.  In 2014 she married Michael Goldberg and they live happily in Manhattan and Martha's Vineyard.

If you are history buff with a special interest in Manhattan, these are for you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Incredibly Useful Watermelon

Long a summertime favorite watermelon has shifted gears a little and can now claim all sorts of benefits to the humans eating it - But, what ho?  In today's world (aka Trader Joe's) it is now formulated as the Watermelon Overnight Facial Mask.  It's a gel, slapped on your shiny clean little face at night and left to percolate so to speak overnight when you can expect to see a new rosy pink complexion in the morning.  Or so tis claimed.  $6.99

Watermelon Facial Mist to cool you down at the beach (if you can find an open beach) and can be used copiously.  "Mist" sounds cooling without even having to BE cooling.  But TJ swears by it.  I would bet it's equally as useful on a plane.  $3.99

Organic Watermelon Fruit Spread made up of 60 per cent puree, cane sugar, and a bit of cherry juice for "tart."  Try a dollop on a dish of vanilla ice cream or slathered on a dainty slice of cheesecake.  10 oz., $2.69

I would think yellow watermelon would be a great barbecue show-stopper.  It has the normal green rind covering the yellow meat of this type of watermelon.  Picture it - Sicily 1912 - oops, the Golden Girls are not hawking any watermelon that I've ever seen.

Instead:  the barbecue is going great guns, rib bones in neat little piles … and the great moment when an innocent-looking green watermelon is about to be cut - and onlookers gasp - "A YELLOW watermelon?  Is that okay to eat?"  "Yes, it is," you coo, and hand them the knife.  That's what I'm going to be shopping for - I think it's cool.  I mean the Japanese already grow square melons in glass jars.  Clearly there is potential for this popular summer treat.   It is said to have a honey-like flavor.

What next for the humble watermelon?  We live to find out.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Two New Discoveries

A new bunch of movies - "Johnny English" traveled across our TV screen last night and the adventures of a James Bond-like spy was a parody and very funny as one.  Rowan Atkinson starred in this one (there are three with hopes of a fourth).  His leaping, jumping, physical comedy days may be numbered as he is 65 now.

He's been married twice - #1 was a make-up artist and they had two children.  His wife #2 is a fellow comedian and together they have a third child.

In  this scene with a pretender to The Throne - being sworn in as King, English claimed that the "king" was dissing the entire royal family because he had this tattooed across his butt, and English insisted on proving it by disrobing him  ( literally, flipped up the coronation robes and pulled down the tighty whities underneath) to show this immortal phrase on his butt  "Jesus is coming!  Look busy!" Nice fit on the tighty  whities.

We ordered and got dinner out/in last night.  The bill had the handwritten name Morfy on it to distinguish our order by name from others.  

In another restaurant, we were designated as "Merfie."

The proper spelling is Murphy.  

The restaurants in the event you have a name that can easily be messed with - or not so easily- are,in order: 
Spumani, Italian but entirely staffed with Mexicans including the chef and dandy he is in that kitchen, too.  

Last night Madero's Cocina Mexicana.  Mexican-owned and staffed.  We had their guacamole - rough cut, and absolutely packed into a good-sized container plus splitting a coctel de camarones (shrimp cocktail) with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, Clamato and shrimp, making a much thicker sauce than the usual broth. And the grande finale - Bacon-wrapped shrimp, stuffed with Jack jalapena cheese.  Five enormous shrimp, bacon well done and a chunk of lemon to quick - sauce it.  portions were so generous that we're having the rest of last night's dinner tonight and I bet we have leftover guacamole AND shrimp cocktail tomorrow night!  I said, "Generous portions!" And reasonable prices - guacamole that would feed four $10; ditto coctel de camerones $15 and bacon-wrapped shrimp $21 plus rice and bean choice of refried or black.  
There's no reason, now I think of it, to hold off on the guac until dinner time … 10:38 a.m. is just an early lunch; perfectly legal ...  

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Please Be Warned; No Coronavirus Jokes in This Location

Which is not to say that someday they may be here.

Words to live by from the redoubtable Julia Childs -
"A party without cake is really just a meeting."  We've been partying pretty good here, but in an effort not to get fat, we downgraded to cookies, not cake.  Same difference.  At least 5 lbs. plus.

If "the customer is always right" is true, there should be a bounty on the following:

I work at a pet store.  A customer called wanting to buy a  dog squeaky toy but he didn't know which kind so he made me pick a selection and squeak them into the phone until he heard what he wanted.

I work at a book store and was standing there when a customer demanded that my assistant give her a haircut.

Another woman in another book store had a tantrum when, trying to help her kid with a dinosaur project, didn't believe (and subsequently tantrumed) that we didn't have any books with photographs of dinosaurs.  Photos.

Shopping - Accidentally went grocery shopping on an empty stomach - C'mon fella - accident?  And I'm now the proud owner of Aisle 7 (baked goods.)

One of The World's Strongest Man events should include pulling two grocery carts apart.

If I worked in a record store, I would tell every customer that bought something, "All sales are vinyl."

Exercise equipment for sale: owner is having a going-out-of-fitness sale.      

Friday, May 22, 2020

When You Just Sit Back and Wonder, "How Did They Know?"

A Case in Point

The Readers Digest  June edition arrived two days ago and, as always, my lazy ass was delighted.  Huh?  Longtime readers will remember that I help myself to any of the jokes that strike me as funny and run them here.  In professional circles, this is called "laundry list" writing.

A new feature popped up called, "The Military to English Dictionary."  It intrigued.  Last night, the grand finale Jeopardy question was what is a name for a worthless metal used to refer to big shots in the Army?   Deep thought for a moment after digesting the fact that the two Army mentions had been back-to-back and the realization that "What is Brass?" was the answer.  I remarked to Richie, I betcha they don't use "snafu"  Situation Normal All Fucked Up.  I was right again.  Brass.

The Military-to-English Dictionary (Thefts)

Flight suit insert - the pilot   

Football bat - an odd way to do something

Galloping dandruff - lice.  (Eeeyu!)  ((In today's modern Army?))

Geardo - obsessed about his/her gear

Oxygen thief - someone who talks way too long

Five-sided puzzle palace - the Pentagon

Go fasters - trainers or sneakers

Ink stick - pen  I particularly liked this one as it is so aptly descriptive. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Finally - A Note of (Limited) But Cheer Nonetheless

I am referring to a daily feature in the Daily Breeze newspaper.  Among the page full of comprehensive statistics a new category has been entered.  Sample -

Country       Cases       Deaths     RECOVERIES
US          1,539,152      92,583        289,392

U.K.        250,141         35,422      1.101

France     180,934         28,052      62,681

Additional categories are:  Cases/100K  4,704
Death rates  6.0
New deaths  1,589   These are the numbers for the US

For all too long grim dispatches arrived on our screens "11 People will die every 15 minutes!"   The wonderful news coverage stopped just short of "We're all going to die!" which is hardly encouraging or most likely true.

Source:   Jeff Goertzen, Southern California News Group  His e-mail is  For myself, am mentally composing a letter of gratitude for including Recoveries.  Previously I was reduced to speculation - 100 cases, 5 died, but 95 DID NOT.  And I wondered what did happen to them?  Now we know!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

SHE Had The Right Stuff

And so did most of the other circa 1950s astronaut's wives.  John Glenn's widow died 5/19/2020.  He preceded her in death by five years.  They had been married 73 years at that time.  They were high school sweethearts.  She graduated college in 1942 and they married in 1943.

Despite a stutter that encompassed 85 per cent of her speech, she was a popular athlete, classmate and had tons of friends.  It wasn't until she was in 6th grade that it became an issue.

Later, after she was married, she was ingenuous in being understood.  At home, she would compose a shopping list for food and household necessities by writing down a detailed list of goods to be purchased, show it to a store clerk and get what was needed.

It wasn't until she was 53 that the improvement that permitted her to campaign for John was established after a three week stay at a speech impairment clinic.   It began to go away, but she never thought she wasn't a stutterer.

During this period in the '50s, NASA encouraged (laid down the law more likely) the wives to push domesticity.  They were suddenly members of something called the Astronaut's Wives Club.   Brilliant (or not so) marketing efforts for domesticity gave the astronaut's a Corvette each, but the wives got to keep their station wagons.  A group shot of them for the Life cover had them all wearing a particular shade of red lipstick.  Post cover publishing, there was a rush across America for that same shade of red.

She became involved treatments for stuttering as well as other oral problems, raised their two children, ran the house, and to be tormented every time her husband was strapped into the seat of a rocket which had been made by the lowest manufacturer's bid. "Would she ever see him again?" wondered the wives of the test pilots and from which the astronaut's had come.

Pictures of her as a young woman reminded me of head shots of Amelia Erhardt - same boyish grin, short curly hair … she was a beautiful woman, but not a classic beauty.  Better to have the right stuff, don't you think?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Signs Of The Times

The coronavirus made them do it -

Sign on a Strip Club - Masks On - Clothes Off
Another club chimed in - Clothed Till April 31st

Seville, Spain - Husband For Sale

Movie Theater - Now playing NO close encounters of ANY kind

I just finished Netflix!

Common sense is like deodorant; the ones who need it the most never use it.

Having trouble staying in the house?  Shave off your eyebrows!

And this (would that we could)  Uninstall Corona 2020, it has a virus

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Funny and a Very Much NOT Funny

The Funny:  last night we decided to order dinner, go get it, bring it home and eat it.  Spumoni, corner of Prospect and Aviation, Hermosa, was having a 40 per cent off on dinner.  'Nuff said, eh?  We walked in, made our order - Chicken Cacciatore for Richie' Priest Strangler Carbonara for me.
Homeward we sailed for the 5:30 p.m. gin & tonic.  As told,Richie went to get the food at 6:15 p.m. .  He was laughing like a maniac when he plunked a brown paper bag on the dining room table.  I had set the table and was "resting" from that arduous duty.

The bag - for Murphy - read:  MERFIE and so did the Paid Ticket.  When I stopped laughing, and considered it, it made perfect sense for phonetics users.

The Very Much NOT Funny
According to several unimpeachable sources in the medical world, the CDC is misrepresenting the number of coronavirus deaths via their rules about who died of it.  In autopsy if the deceased showed positive for the virus, then that was the cause of death even if the person died of other causes:   auto accident, suicide, in hospice with a life expectancy rate of one or two weeks or some other disease, such as diabetes, COPD, and so forth. If the test is negative for the virus and the patient has "regular" flu instead - that's a coronavirus death.

Even if the sick person who died was negative for it, that death was considered virus related.  Doctors have complained that hospitals are pressuring them to declare on the death certificate that the cause of death (COD) was the virus even when it wasn't because there is a financial reward for the hospitals.  The CARE Act provides a 20 per cent premium (bounty?) to the hospital for Medicare assistance.   
Source:  weaselzipper.usa  but am sure a quick Google will bringu p this story as well as other supporting articles.


Friday, May 15, 2020

None of Us Are in Jail

Our meeting went well; we delighted in our surroundings - round concrete tables with curved concrete benches to accompany them.  One set of tables has a pergola roof and it was a sunny day, but:  in the shade, there was a cold brisk wind.  We adapt easily and moved out to a table in the sun.

For future reference, one might consider bring a folded blanket to sit on or a cushion, ditto.  Concrete is harder than a banker's heart. Especially when you're going to be sitting on it from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

Against the possibility of the Redondo police cruising by, we all kept our masks pulled down off of our chins, but readily at hand if needed.  As stated, they weren't.  

Until the end of June when the Veteran's Park Senior Center, our usual haunt re-opens, I think we may have found a temporary nest.  To see if it might suit for your group, Google "Andrews Parkette, Redondo Beach."   But the South Bay Writers gets it Thursdays.  We found it.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A Word of Caution and This Column May Be on a Forced Hiatus if the Cops Bust Us

Regarding yesterday's column about the eye lift - I forgot to say that when adhesive is flattened on hair - as in around the hairline - removing it will remove the hair, too.  Continual use may result in a receding hairline.

Police Action Possible
For the first time since March, the South Bay Writers Workshop plan to see each other at 12 noon to 2 p.m.  at the Andrews Park (ette) in Redondo Beach.  This little park is next door to the Heritage Pointe seniors complex.  The far away end is for children with the usual equipment for them.

On the grown-ups end (the one we plan to use,) there is a concrete table with concrete benches on either of the long sides and a pergola roof.  There will only be five of us, well below the edict about 10 people anywhere at once together.   This table and benches set-up should easily support the social distancing required now in today's world.  Speaking of which Dr. Fauci s edicts include the banning of handshakes, but not hook-up dating sites on line.  

We will just have to wait and see if any of the elderly tenants, bored, will phone the cops and report us.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Cheapest Eye Job in America!

Pandemic  be damned!  Use it!  And improve your looks for virtually little or no cost!  The hell with you virus, I'll be walking out looking 10 years (or more!) younger! 

Use this House Arrest  time period to freshen your look!  Are your upper lids drooping making you look older than you really are?  Well instead of having expensive plastic surgery, do it yourself!  

And do it right in the privacy of your own home!   Listen - here's how to get rid of droopy eyelids!  And better still, at very little cost!  You use items that are already right there in the house!  

What do I need? you ask? For an easy start on getting a handle on exactly how much tension you have to use - Scotch tape to start.  Later on as you are getting more and more adept, you can switch to Nexcare, a heavier-weight tape.  Do this miracle treatment in the morning with your make-up;  this tape will hold up until bedtime.    And beyond, if you get my drift.  

So what do I do with this tape?  Skin your hair back over the offending eye with it's floppy lid so that, using a forefinger, you can slowly and gently pull up the skin right next to your hairline and lay a strip of tape Just Right There.  Put your hair back, step back and marvel at how much younger you will suddenly look!   

Take that coronavirus!   You're still an ugly bastard, but we're beautiful.  HAH!


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

At A Loss To Understand

Never promised to be the smartest pig in the litter, but the following have me confounded.

The total US population is 328.2 million people.  The total death rate of this poulation (at the moment almost literally) is 81,076 people OR:  0.00024782927 per cent of  Americans have died of the virus.
And yet we are quarantined.  Confined to what amounts to house arrest.  Of the total figure who died, the media says that half of that number were living in care facilities at the time of their death.

Old and ill - 40,538
Neither of the above  40,538

You could probably work the numbers so far out that nobody died!

The California edict says that all beaches are closed off as if they were radioactive.  Even in what is referred to as Stage 2 of re-emergence into life as we knew it;  here is what is true here and now.

NO sunbathing, a false report said that heat is a good defense against the virus with heat.  This is NOT true; do not try it at home.
NO picnics with attendant ice chests and so forth,  Yet, our parks in normal times are spotless because people are very careful with litter and all of the parks have numerous trash barrels.
NO  beach volleyball.This is most definitely a 6 ft. away game by the nature of it.
 NO  parking.  Apparently if you want to park in Torrance (8 to 12 miles away) and walk to Hermosa, you could.   The ambulance can take you home.

After some digging and poking about, I discovered that:  sea water is good for many minor skin irritations.  The breezes off of the ocean due largely to the ozone in said air.  There is no smog in it nor exhaust fumes (think semis and used cars) which is good for our respiratory systems which is this virus'  main target.  

Most of all, the sounds and scents  of the sea - waves both gentle and loud, the warmth of the sun and the avoidance of sand in your skivvies,  the faint waft of Ban de Soleil  sun cream, the smell of the ozone-laden air - sudden shadows when a cloud hides the sun … a visit to the Pacific is considered quite therapeutic.  So check off mental health, too, from your list.

Monday, May 11, 2020

A Holiday Tomorrow That We Can Actually Celebrate!

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I direct your attention to NATIONAL LIMERICK DAY which is traditionally recognized on May 12th to honor the man who is credited with inventing them.  Edward Lear, born May 12th, 1812 and who died January 29th, 1888 at the ripe old age (for those times) of 76.  During his lifetime he was an artist, illustrator, author and poet.

The rules for  limerick creating  are:
Five lines and the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines have to rhyme with each other
 The 3rd and 4th lines have to have  5 to 6 syllables.

All of which is confusing as hell.  Anyhow, here are a couple of samples from Lear's times.

Limericks I cannot compose
With noxious smells in my nose
But this one was easy
I only felt queasy
Because I was sniffing my toes.

A fellow jumped off a high wall
And had a most terrible fall
He went back to bed
With a bump on his head
That's why you don't jump off of a wall.

I am papering walls in the loo
And quietly frankly I haven't a clue
For the patterns all wrong
Or the paper's too long
And I am stuck to the toilet with glue.

Much more recently the Daily Breeze for May 9th and 10th ran a double page feature "Fine Rhymes" with entries that were meant to fit with our position as the new Mask People.

A small selection to illustrate -

A girl from Long Island was bitter
Her birdy on Face Book had quit her
But said her canary
"Social media's scary-
I'm just sticking to my own twitter."

My poor puppy is lately confused
For his training is going unused
I taught him to shake
That was a mistake
Because handshakes must now be refused.

If you would like to submit one of your masterpieces, add it/them to Comments and I'll run them.  No vulgarity permitted and none is expected.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Distressing Day in Show Biz

When the Magic Died
Roy, the other half of Siegfried and Roy who worked as magicians exclusively with endangered animals, most notably Manticore, a seven year old white tiger who attacked Roy in 2003 on stage at the Mirage.  In the ambulance taking Roy to the hospital, he said, "Manticore is a great cat - make sure that that no harm comes to him."  Talk about turning the other cheek!

Roy, born Uwe Ludwig  Horn, was born in 1944 in Germany, and died of coronavirus-related effects age 75.

Good Golly Miss Molly
Little Richard, born as Richard Wayne Penniman died age 87.  One of his original girlfriends was Audrey Robinson when he met her as a 16 year old college student.  She later changed her name to Lee Angel and (I quote this exactly) "became a stripper and socialite." I sure would like to see me one of those...

In interviews, he said that he wore extensive (some would say "garish" ) make up because:  he didn't want white guys thinking he was after their women.   Wikipedia notes about him, that in his early years he became a voyeur who compelled various friends and girlfriends to pick up amorous couples who let him watch their antics in the back seat of his car.

RIP gentlemen.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Let's Have Dinner Out/In

I coined this phrase to cheer myself up.  Yesterday, Thursday, back in olden days, we would usually go out for dinner.   Richie once asked, "Why Thursdays?" in puzzled tones.  "Because," I said, "that was the cook's night off in Victorian days. At rich men's  tables..."  "Oh," he said, looking somewhat puzzled  But he laughed anyhow.  Richie's laugh comes easy.

Explanation - We went Out to Dinner to Bring dinner In so that we could eat it!  We went out to Las Brisas to bring home Arroz con Pollo for Richie and a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail  for me.  Six fat shrimp nestling in the bottom of a tall drink container with a wonderful tomato broth with diced raw zucchini, cilantro, onion.

These recent unpleasantness reminded me of a late friend's book - "Look Back and Laugh" by Jean Desmond who stole the phrase (oft-quoted at the Desmond home by her mother who prefaced it by the use of "Someday you'll look back and laugh.)  and to wonder to myself (no one else would be interested) if anything about Coronavirus would or could ever be funny.

The possibilities from a confirmed optimist include - "I put on a mask and my cat ran away and hid under the bed".  "My dog followed me around the house all day long, looking quizzically at me  as if to say, "What are you doing here?"  The goldfish didn't react in any way.  Other than their daily feeding frenzy for food.  Whoever said goldfish are stupid, rethink it.  They know what time breakfast and dinner occur. And they let you know, too.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Tonight Only!

Tonight May 7th is the third and last of the super Moons.  Tonight the Super Flower Moon  will be 6 percent larger than usual and - bonus points - it will be accompanied by the Eta Aquariids meteor shower.

This has been preceded by same or similar  moons - variously known as Mother's Moon or Milk Moon or Corn Planting Moon.  There won't be another until April 2021.  Don't miss it now!

I intended to suggest going to the Griffith Park Observatory, but checked first and they are CLOSED due to the virus.  We can only hope that the usual personnel will be there, cameras at the ready.

Save the Observatory for future reference; if you think about it this is as close to outer space we're going to get.  Don't forget your light saber if you go!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

"Privacy? Oh, that thing that we used to have before the virus?"

For a long time, avid mystery novels have featured scenes where the good guys try to locate the psychos and serial killers by asking the cell user's provider to turn on the "finder" in the phone to locate the miscreant.  Rather incredibly, this is covered by Senate Bill (SB) 1290, known casually as the Kelsey Smith Law.

Comes now the Thermal Solution, a heat seeking device that can instantly diagnose the virus based on the person's body heat.  It is being tested at  Stonehill Towers, an apartment complex in  a suburb of Boston.   Tenants must pass the 5 or 6 second test - think airport security and the Step Inside booth - after removing their hat and glasses.  If their temperature is higher than 100 degrees, an alarm sounds and presumably the virus police swoop down like mighty eagles and what?  Ban you from going into to your own home?  haul your feverish butt off to an ER?   False positive must be frequent because do they consider what you might have been doing before you got home?  Finished your five mile run?  Did you  ride your bike longer than a half hour?  Just climb out of bed with your personal trainer?

Thermal Solution seems designed for industrial use, but there are a number of single operator devices for use on a more personal level.  "Oh Maude is  this is your invitation's Plus One?  Step over here, sir, by the bar I just want to run this wand over you.  (ha ha) no we're not flying anywhere this evening!"    

Monday, May 4, 2020

I Like Cashews - But Cashew Milk? I Never Heard of That!

Now I have, due to an atypical hot spell we've been having here near the beaches (which are also in lockdown)  as well as us.  We can't even park along the ocean to catch the refreshing breeze or admire the seascape right in front of us.  Rot Gov. Newsom.

Thus at the supermarket I was checking out the dessert freezers for a nice chocolate-covered ice cream bar for hot afternoons.  Not much choice especially for a sea salt caramel freak.

But:  what ho?  SO Delicious diary free DIPPED salted caramel cashew milk bars.  The Web site for this 180 calories per bar (four bars to a box) treat is

Cashew milk is made of finely ground cashews with salt and water to thin as desired.  It has just the perfect  faint taste of sea salt and I'm guessing that comes when you use salted cashews.

It is purposed to be used as regular milk.  What if you had made chocolate cashew ice cream and then served it with a good splash of caramel syrup... I think you would be into something good.  Or, rather,  SO Delicious.   Made in Eugene, OR

Sunday, May 3, 2020

You Don't have To Be a Dad To Laugh sez so - forthwith:

What sounds like a sneeze?  A shoe!

Peter Pan is always flying, flying - he Neverlands.

I did a jigsaw puzzle in only a week!  I'm so proud because the box says, "2 to 4 years."

I told my wife to embrace her errors - she stepped up to me and hugged me!

My landlord wanted to talk to me about what he considered my exorbitant heating bills so I told him, "Come right in - my door is always open."

Toilet paper is scarce; I've been forced to use old newspapers - boy, The Times is rough!

For a joke I bought some friends a big stuffed elephant and sneaked it into their living room.  They were delighted; thanked me profusely and I had to say, "Don't mention it"

Saturday, May 2, 2020

An Unexpected Shortage Due to the Virus

Of all of the things I would never have expected to be in short supply is this:  Condolence cards.  No kidding!  So I went digging.

The Greeting Card Association reports that one should have cards on hand because they are a way to express your sympathy and sorrow, acknowledging this event without really doing anything.  Like jumping on a plane and going to the funeral, if any.  You have done your part with a tasteful card.

Tasteful to mean your handwritten note inside the card does not start "So - how much did the old bastard leave you anyhow?"

Europe was slow to get in on this card business. I can speak for the French when I report that the cards sold today are only for New Year's or one's saint's day - not birthday cards to an individual.  Few were sold in 1971, but by 2006 sales had picked up considerably.

Same source - Greeting Card Assoc.  Women buy more condolence cards and/or flowers  than men.  Their nurturing nature is thought to be the reason.    Never mind the witches you may know.

Here is a sort of all-purpose message written by (no kidding) Helen Keller:
"What was once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose.  For, all that we deeply love becomes a part of us."

I don't think you'd send a card to a chocolate cake, but her description fits a helluva lot of things.
Maybe send it to Alcoholics Anonymous for a sort of secondary Serenity Prayer?

Oh, and while card shopping - just to have a stock on hand - don't forget your friends' pets.  Yes, cards are now on the market for the demise of our furry/feathered/finned friends.  And commerce rolls on.  Get your billfold out.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Charles Dickens and the Great Typhus Plague of 1861-69.

We aren't the only ones being held captive in our own houses.  I was kvetching about the situation and someone  reminded me that Anne Frank and her family lived in an attic for two years.

Dickens was born February 7, 1812 --- hmm - was the 1812 Overture written to honor him?  Just joshing.

He died on June 9, 1970, at the ripe old age of 58 in a time when the average life span was 27 years for Londoners and for the working class?  Party hearty, you'll be dead by the time you're 22. Live hard and die young, for sure.

The Victorian Age was a tough time in which to be born.  The Victorians were all hoity-toity prissy (piano legs were never referred to in polite conversation.) but a survey in 1851 told the truth - 1/3 of the population never set food in church.

In 1847 500,000  or one-fourth the entire population had typhus - due to the horrific sanitation found in London.

In 1839 nearly half of the funerals in London were for children younger than 10.  Cause?  Contagious disease (chicken pox, measles) and malnutrition.  Dickens and wife Catherine Thomson Hogarth (not the descendent of Hogarth the painter.) had 10 children in their house plus his younger brother and her younger sister Mary.  There may have been/surely was some hanky-panky between Mr. Dickens and Miss Mary for when she died suddenly, he was absolutely gutted.  Catherine had to take him to the country to try to assuage his grief.

In June of 1870 Dickens suffered from a paralytic stroke and promptly died at 58.  At least he beat the odds for 27 or 22.

And we think we're being hard-shipped.  If you get into time travel, stay the hell out of London during the above years.