Friday, July 31, 2020

A Conversation Overheard

A couple were trying to decide where to go for dinner.

"Remember, we can't eat inside - it'll have to be on the patio," she said.

"Yes, yes, I know," he replied, somewhat crossly.

"I think it's wonderful that there are so many restaurants with patios," she replied.  "How many times have we had visitors from other states and countries, and so many of them say, 'I can't believe you don't have more sidewalk seating than you do with your wonderful climate'"

"Okaaay," he muttered, "What restaurant do you want to sit out in front of tonight?"

I take this as a comment on our times and of perhaps a dire future regarding dining.  Fie! virus!  It's fun now, but it's not going to be come November when the marine layer drifts in and there's little sun in which to bask.

Locals you may well not need it, but here is a brief list of patio-ed restaurants.

Madrone's, RB  Whole front of the restaurant

Las Brisas, RB

Barnacles, HB

Hennesey's, HB and Riviera Village

HT Grill, (flagship of Hennesey's) Riviera Village

Crème de la Crepe, HB

International Seafood, RB Pier
Capn Kidd's, RB

Kincaid's RB Pier

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Be Careful What You Wish For and How I Learned the Hard Way

For quite some time, I've been complaining about Lumbar5 (L5) and the back and leg pain it was causing me.  My alarm clock was incandescent pain every morning.  I was beginning to dread going to bed at night.  No matter how I slept - pillow under knees, etc.  Surely something could be done to fix this.

So I made an appointment and saw my orthopod who promptly referred me to  his choice of a superior orthopedic surgeon.  We met; I liked him and went off to think about surgery; decided to do it and was all set for Monday 7/27, be at the hospital at noon for 2 p.m. surgery; choice whether to go home after or spend the night.  I spent time, daydreaming about being pain-free.  I had to have a pre-op okay to make sure I was up to it.  Apparently surgeons (of any kind) get all pissy when a patient pops their clogs on his operating table.

So off to the cardio, blood work, culminating in an MRI. And when that report came in, all hell broke loose.

Along with a good view of L1 to 5, the radiology doctor saw and reported a cyst on the top of my right kidney and a tiny dot at the bottom of my right lung to my GP who told me and got a barrage of fear-induced bad temper along the lines of, "What the hell is this?  This was supposed to be L5?  What were they doing messing around up by my kidney?"  Simmering outrage, freely expressed.

The kidney specialist said that because both growths were so tiny, that he just wanted to do careful monitoring and would see me next for ultrasounds (a machine handily right in his office suite) on November 2nd and then again in February 2021.

This reassured me terrifically.  And better still?  He cleared me for the back surgery "or any other kind of surgery you want."  Am now trying to reschedule.

And, in the future, am going to only wish for things like which restaurant for dinner tonight?


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

At The Doctor's

This is a true story - the two reasons I know that it is are:    I was there and I triggered it.

Background:  our two main hospitals here are Providence Little Company of Mary and the other is Torrance Memorial..  Either one this was my first visit to a certain doctor from one or the other.  In an effort to make chitchat, I said, "Do the two hospitals have ? softball teams and play each other?"

"No, no" he said.  Without thinking, I said, "Well you're no fun!" teasingly and as he turned to get something from across the room, I heard this, very softly, somewhat resentfully/defiantly  " I'm a lot of fun!"    I'm grinning at this as I type...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

New Virus Sign? BOLO!

Be On Look Out!  I don't have any empirical proof that what I think I discovered is true.  But to at least make people think … all I would say is:  Portland, Oregon.  Does it get any crazier than that?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Too Much Togetherness

When too much together amounts to an obsession.  Here's a perfect example of something I ran across this morning.  The article was headed that "The Most Identical Twins in the World" are now planning to become impregnated and give birth together.

Lucy and Anna DeCinque, 33, and their shared boyfriend Ben Byrne, 34, a mechanic,  in Perth, Australia, is to do the heavy lifting on this.  They began dating in 2012.  They, plus the twin's mother, all live in the same house.  Separate bedrooms?  Get real!  Mom has one, but the twins and Ben all sleep in the same California-king sized bed.

Examples of their alikeness include the following:
They eat one meal a day, evenings.
They do 6 hour workouts (daily or not, article didn't say)  2 hrs. treadmill; 2 hrs. weight training; 2 hrs. walking around the house.
They cannot be apart from each other less than an hour.

Surgeries include:  lip fillers
eyebrow and hair extensions
Breast implants - double D!
They eat, drink, shower, go to the doctor and beauticians together.  Basically never apart and that's the way they want it.  They want to share every single experience.  Hence their decision to use Ben as a sperm donor to further their desire to go through pregnancy and birth together.
                                             Good luck to you ladies.  Yes, both of you.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Jeopardy Final Question "Who is Alex Trebek?

He's a game show host and has steered Jeopardy for the past 36 years which in almost any profession you care to name is remarkable and very much unheard of in television.

So much of his life is well-known:  originally from Canada; became an American citizen and continued to thrive.  His dry sense of humor and the exactly perfect comedic timing amuse many of us, who are ardent fans of the show "Because it's 'Different'" so is the forat of the book:  example -  Fatherhood is the answer.  Who is Johnny Gilbert?  What is strategy?

Well, no surprise, so is his book: The Answer Is... Reflections of my life.  Instead of just reading words, the many photos in it show some unexpected sides of the man.  This can be a bad thing, but in this case, not so.  He is an ardent do-it-yourself home improvement guy.  Refurbishing his wife. Jean's bathroom, for example.  A local hardware store was going out of business, so he hotfooted it over and bought all of their tools, etc.  His kids Matthew and Emily looked around his garage shop and asked if he's bought the hardware store?!

This photo caption still makes me grin.  Alex is talking to a horse, wearing jeans and a jean jacket:  He explains this denim suit with the explanation that it's a Canadian tuxedo.

There's plenty more to laugh at - go for it!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

A Treat Coming Up

Yesterday we made a special trip to Barnes & Nobel, hoping they still had copies of "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek's book "The Answer Is ... Reflections on My Life."  They did!

A peek inside tells me it's 289 pages,  $26  B/w and 4/c photos.

Will read it and give you some tidbits as the pages flick by.  Still, it's not the same as having your own copy.

                                                            BUY ALEX'S BOOK!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

All Agreed? This Charge of "racist" Has Gone Far Enough?

I am referring to the most recent outraged public howl - Trader Joe is practicing  cultural insensitivity!

Trader Joe?  I think of him as mild mannered and certainly no flag burning miscreant.

What the hell?  Joe's people thought such product labels as Trader Ming or Trader Gianni or Trader Jose were merely good illustrations to remind  customers of the many international flavors on display. .in their stores

The virus is bad.  But it pales in contrast mightily with the idiots obsession to find something - anything to call "racist."  God save us all.  And wear your mask and go wash your hands!

This just in - courtesy LA Times front page.

Other victims of a name change.

Land O Lakes butter; removed their  Native American woman.

Aunt Jemima pancake mix  and Uncle Ben's rice

Eskimo Pies!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Reinventing The Wheel or Somethinng Like That

Bon Appetit featured a Tropical version of the old (1937) Cobb Salad created and named by executive chef Robert Kries, to honor Brown Derby owner Robert Cobb.

The story goes that Cobb hadn't eaten all day, it was midnight and he was roaringly hungry, so he went out into the kitchen and made himself a salad of that day's leftovers.

Traditional contents - hard-oiled eggs, bacon, butter lettuce, red onion, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and diced, cooked chicken.  Roquefort or Bleu cheese dressing.

Tin Roof Bistro, Manhattan Beach, CA, serves a version with these ingredients:  chicken morsels, bacon, grapes, walnuts, celery, crisp shallots, avocado, herb and vinaigrette dressing.

Tropi-Cobb Salad, courtesy Bon Appetit "summarizes" it with this version:  avocados, mango slices, cherry tomatoes, red onion, Little Gem or butter lettuce.

Dressing: your choice - the salad dressing shelf space at any supermarket  is home to a wild variety of them!  Add your customizing and own the tropics!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

"What? He's going to do my surgery on his lunch hour?"

I ask that because my surgery instructions are to show up at 10 for a noon surgery.

Encouraging, I guess as to the degree of difficulty …  Be that as it may, Monday, 7/27 I am having surgery to correct Posterior Lumbar Decompression.

What the hell is that you ask?  It relives the pain (radiculopathy) in the nerves that are being squashed by narrowing and pressure on the spine.  Causes of that situation are disc degeration, bone spurs or arthritis.  It is 80 to 90 per cent successful for pain stoppage which would be very welcome indeed.

I have had the following for it - MRI or "The tossing of the boulders" soundtrack.  A sonogram followed and yesterday a CT scan finished it all.   Oops - forgot.  This Monday is the pre-op exam which all surgical procedures require.    That's gold standard medicine to me.  Am very glad to have the doctors that I do.  And the insurance, too!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Frosting Left In The Bowl -Lick It Up!

Climate Change - 401 Error

2000 - snow will soon be a thing of the past.  Did I miss something?

2007 - global warming will cause fewer hurricanes  But!
 In 2012 global warning will cause MORE hurricanes.  Hmm who is right?

Back to business -
2008 - the Arctic will be ice-free by 2008

For Chicken Farmers
Create the most impressive chicken coop in your neighborhood for your VIPs - Very Important Poultry. is showing 56 different posh poultry pens.  Let out your inner architect!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hereuse Jour de Bastille or Happy Bastille Day

This is the one where a French Queen was beheaded; charge:  treason.  Her husband had lost his own head(same reason) nine months earlier.  Both had been in the Bastille hoosegow.  

In many ways, this holiday (and it is) was a forerunner of our 4th of July.  One requires - not too strong a word - special food.  This is the parting of the ways.  If you don't serve hot dogs and hamburgers, preferably grilled on your own backyard barbecue you must be some kind of pinko, Commie, fag.  If I'd been on the ball yesterday, we all could have feasted on croissants, brioches and slices of baguette with butter and honey which is my creation and favorite.  That would be breakfast.  For lunch how about Quiche Lorraine - with bacon and cheese?  Oh, you prefer French Onion Soup.  Why have we never heard of Swiss Onion Soup?  Or Belgian?  Dinner?  The usual five courses with perhaps a few more pastries than usual.  Quite possibly, champagne.

Back to business which was vaguely the beheading of Marie Antoinette.  On July 14, 1789 the dastardly beheading took place.  Some curious online person wondered, "What happened to her head?  and Louis who preceded her?"  Both intact bodies are buried in the church of Saint-Denis which has its own arrondissment.  

The same thing we share as nations are:  fireworks.  You think we're enthusiastic?  I happened to be in Aix en Provence during one.  My bestie Michelle  and I were sitting in the Deux G, an ancient bistro on the main drag when a traveling band of hoodlums began throwing cherry bombs at the concrete under out feet.  We decamped forthwith Michelle laughing her ass off at me.  I've never been back for another one.

Monday, July 13, 2020

New Virus Idiocy

It's not a competition
Countries and Cities comparing illnesses and deaths.  Headlines when Florida with  15,000 cases in ONE day beat California which had a losing 11,694 in their one day figures.

Remember when it hit Europe?  Italy reports most cases!  two seconds later, Great Britain statistics had someone dying of it every 10 minutes!  That had to be wrong.   I thought it was and promptly dismissed it.

Now in this competition? with the Grim Reaper, we learn that California has the most cases within the U.S.

But I can't think of anything stupider than Virus Parties, a new fad of "young people" in this case probably 18 to 40 year olds.

A virus party:  you buy a ticket to attend an event where there are infected persons.  Your job as a guest is to mooch around and try to get the virus.  First to prove infected (how do they determine this?) wins the admission ticket money.  This may be an off-shoot of the young people who defied edicts to go to Spring Break on Florida beaches.  Look at them now. I wonder how many babies and grandparents fell to it courtesy of these thrill seekers?

Whether or not this idiocy originated in Florida or Tuscaloosa, Alabama, didn't say and what difference does it make anyhow?  Dead is dead.  Beach Break Fans, who've already defied  orders to get out of the water,  make sure you're wearing sunscreen when you pop your clogs - it's gonna be  hot where you're going.  Now you've been warned, not that warnings seem to have any sway over you.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Moods Are Like Outfits

Huh? you respond.   Both are changeable on the outside,  can be adapted for any occasion, are usually appropriate to the occasion and definitely subject to others' approval.   Or not for such as a wedding.

The bride wears the white, usually.  It's an old love and she/he are getting married and you are by no means best not to show your angst by wearing old fashioned jet black mourning apparel and asking the groom for a lock of hair to be made into a brooch while the groom and the best men await the bride's arrival.  The sight of a groom apparently getting a hair cut at this moment would certainly provoke post-ceremony conversation.

So it's not a question to ask yourself:  "What would Queen Victoria have worn?"  In the Victorian Age for mourning they swathed themselves (the ladies) from head to floor in black veils that fell all the way over their shoes.  Don't do it. You've got the rest of the year to wear black outfits all day, every day.  The Victorians did.  Show the world your love then but not  at the wedding.

This outfit analogy  is applicable to one's mood, too.  Want to have a good day?  First thing when your eyes open on a new day, remind yourself, "I am going to have a good day today - I am the  only  one who controls my moods and I will be in a great one today.  Time to get up and get going on it."  Heave yourself out of bed and go have a great day!

Works for me.  Mind over matter?  And you can make it happen for you.  It's such an easy thing to do.  Just like changing outfits for every occasion.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels! Ha Ha!

Let me give you these wooden dollars which are worth $25 each! You'll probably  have to travel a bit to get there; there being Tenino, Washington, Pop. 2,000 located 60 m SW of Seattle.  Ah Seattle - home of the fist CHOP Nation.   Deaths as of end of June, three.

Tenino accepts no US cash.  The wooden slightly-smaller looking than a US dollar,  is worth $25 which is the only level offered.  If you buy something for $24 not the $25 of this petite plank, the max in change you can get is 99 cents.   If you're getting ready to leave town and want to get gas?  You can't trade in any leftover town scrip for US currency.  If the Tenino gas station is empty, better hope the hotel hasn't sold all of their rooms.

Originally $2,000  was given to town residents but various donations have bumped that up to $16,000 per person!

The local bank now effectively owns the town.  They and they alone will turn wood into paper which can presumably be spent anywhere.  Except Tenino)  outside the city limits.  They're the only place to borrow money.  Bring a wheelbarrow for the cash.

This is reflective of  The Robber Barons or the Gilded Age when one million dollars meant something!  Industries such as logging or mining profited their owners or Chairmens of the Board with the origins of The Company Town.  Workers slept in company houses, handed out to them.  The only places to shop for food and goods were at The Company Store.  You may remember "You load 16 tons and whatta you got?  Another day older and deeper in debt.  I owe my soul to The Company Store."   courtesy Tennessee Ernie

This scrip by the way is no good for purchase of alcohol  tobacco or marijuana.  Kind of dims any desire to go there; right?

Tennessee Ernie Ford was onto something. Move.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Travel - And Don't We Wish That We Could ..

Wanna go to Japan?  Don't scream on a roller coast!  It could spread The Virus!  I have no idea what Japan does to people alighting from the roller coaster.  They are reputed to be, by and large, peaceable, agreeable people so probably no real harm to you.

Except. Memory was triggered and I remembered the Japanese reporter, in the press room of an off-road race, demanding prints of other reporters' notes.  He was rather unpleasant it about it and especially to the only female there (me) and finally I whispered to my boss, Deke Houlgate, "Let's go bomb Pearl Harbor again!")  and he grinned and said, "Let's!"

 I would imagine that the USA roller coasters would be the same, if any of ours were open.  Most definitely NOT my devout wish - that they would re-open.  There is nothing appealing to me in being hurled around a probably-not-OSHA approved, roller coaster.

 Speaking of which, if Baja is your heart's desire do not go paragliding.  We were once lunching on the patio of a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, idly watching the water traffic.  And then a heart-stopping moment - a female paraglider was headed straight for the side of a 6 story hotel until someone on the boat managed to get her back and over the open sea. We had to order another bottle of beer each to calm our fraught (and then some) nerves.

Ditto  the little harbor to Pacific Ocean glass-bottomed boat ride.  Look down at your very own precious legs and feet - and while you'e doing that, check out the cement holding your "glass" window in place.   That side of the Pacific is very, very rough.  Great big rocks dot the ocean. You've been told.

Home is  not looking all that bad now, eh?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Well Now - An accidental "Find"

When you were a kid, did you ever ask your parents if you were a twin?  And if so, where was it?  Don't worry this is normal behavior for a kid.  What is not, said Mother of None is "My imaginary Friend."

Be that as it may and in addition to being mother of none, it should be noted that I am not a psychiatrist either.

In this mornings Daily Mail, I read an eye-catching story - World's Oldest Living Conjoined Twins have died age 68 and the article went on to say that they had broken the record for longevity from another pair of conjoined twins - Giocomo and Giovanni Batista Tocci who, as always, went together at age 62.

Their 19 year old mother had an easy birth as they were very small.  They were joined at the ribs.  Their mother adored them; their father had a nervous breakdown and checked himself into a mental hospital for a spell.  Family life went on as the parents had seven more children.  To support nine kids, Dear Old Dad put them into freak shows - circuses had them back then - and they earned a tidy $1,000 a week as the Blended Boy.  They had four arms (and presumably hands) and each had one leg apiece.  Getting around was difficult as walking required co-ordination with each other.  Additionally, Giacomo had a club foot which interfered with walking.  Their usual mode of transportation was a wheelchair made for two while out in public.  In privacy they developed a sort of spider-like crawl others reported.

Their personalities were different as well - Giocomo had an artistic bent and loved to sketch.  If Giovanni didn't like it, he would knock if onto the floor.  He was also known as something of a chatterbox.  Giovanni was quieter, more reserved.

They tried to join the Army but were given a 4F rating.  Earlier at school age, they were denied the schooling that the other kids got.  They were forbidden classes as "too much of a distraction."  As adults they were considered functionally illiterate.

The above struck me as another example of conjoined twins.  Often, they refuse separation which was interesting.  That part of the twin lore - secret languages, forced co-operation as true of them as well.

One birth in 200,000 is a conjoined twin.  And there are more women with it than men.

Monday, July 6, 2020

I Think He Just Likes to Kill Women, Myself

The events I'm about to relate to you both happened in England so our Brit cousins undoubtedly followed them with more excitement than I am probably able to gender among Americans.

It wasn't so much about the two (2) "fatal accidents" it was that I knew - of, not did actually know personally.  There's a chapter in my wonderful, hysterically funny book  "And the Best Blog Is... Word of Mouth" available at or Barnes and Noble, titled
 "Attention Writers!" about the following.

There was a Brit children's author named Helen Bailey affianced to one Ian Stewart.  He moved in with her - to her $1.5 million  home - where she was found buried in a cesspit buried under the garage floor!  The cesspit had been in use.  I say no more.  Her little dog was right next to her in her fetid grave.  

After he drugged her at dinner every night, she began complaining of fatigue and going to bed early.  That's where he strangled her and put her in her new home.

Now we come to the day's edition of the Daily Mail, a British newspaper.  There a small article said that Ian Stewart was going on trial for his murder of his first wife! Duration 21 years.   She died in 2010; Helen followed her in 2017.

The circumstances and the names immediately reminded me of my take on this macabre burial.  I think you'd have to really hate someone to tilt their poor dead body into a shit pool, literally.

But what of this first wife, Diane Stewart?  How did he polish her off?  There can't be that many easily accessible cesspits.  Law of averages, etc.

By dint of some heavy digging, I read that Diane popped her clogs in their back garden during an epileptic seizure.  But no more than that!  Maddening!  Did she pitch head first into a bordering stone wall?  No one seems to know.  Or to be interested, besides me and now you, I hope.  

I didn't mention this until now, but Helen was worth $4,000,000 but in pounds, so more. Earned from her children's books.  This is no way to treat a writer!  I protest!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Daddy and 4th of July Fireworks

Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was 5 years old, my parents finally trusted me with holiday fireworks.  Calling what they gave me "fireworks" was a real stretch.  Picture it:  a roll of cowboy gun caps and a sizeable hammer.

Add in the thrills and chills of a cylinder with a squat top and bottom to the mysteriousness  of a 1/2 in. tall, dark grey column.  I seem to remember they were called "Snakes." What did this cylinder DO when you set it on fire?  Daddy showed me how to do this.   Not much of anything.  The solid began to rise as a twisted cylinder of ash.  It curled out all over our front sidewalk.  Which brought my mother out in a fury.  "Vic - what are you doing?  That ..that thing is ruining our sidewalk!"  My Dad soothed her, "I'll clean it up, Orpha; don't worry about it" and they both went into the house.

Hitting caps with a hammer soon palled.  No matter how hard I hit a cap - or three, I soon caught on to stacking them.  Same result.  A sort of pooft sound.

The ash cylinder had worn out its welcome half an hour ago.   I wanted some noise!  That's what this holiday was all about.  So I started yelling, "Daddy!  Daddy!  I want some noise!" until he came out.  We discussed the situation.  Namely a silent 4th.

He grinned, patted me on the top of my head and walked back into the house.  Not seconds later, he was back carrying his .45, paused and put a round in our front yard.  My eyes as big as saucers probably, I said, "Daddy!  you shot the lawn!"  To which he responded, "You wanted noise," and grinned evilly.  My Mother had arrived by now and all but led him back into the house by the ear; squawking like an agitated hen the entire time.

Looking back, don't you agree it was a generous act on his part?  His darling daughter (my younger sister hadn't arrived yet) expressed a wish and Daddy of the Year complied.

Despite a lack of any discernible noise, you can see why it was a 4th to remember.  Whether a single infusion of lead hurt the lawn will never be known.

Friday, July 3, 2020

And Yet -

Los Angeles County Virus figures

Active cases - 107,667   3,454 poor people have died.  The remaining 104,213 are considered  to be recovering.

But against overwhelming numbers of people who are in the Recovery Room, so to speak, our beaches - on a beach holiday if there ever was one - are closed tighter than a banker's fist.  Patio dining only - not a problem - because our weather is lovely today and the sea air is loaded with ozone, said to be good for us.

Greatly positive stuff and wearing a mask cannot be stressed sufficiently.  You don't have to match a mask to either your underwear or eye color.  Pull it on and let's boogie on outta here!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Yes, But No

This is the new edict.  No dining room service.  Patio service, yes!  We were shooting for a patio anyhow and Ruby's Diner has plenty of parking,   It isn't free but Ruby's does validate.    

Now, if the food is as good as it is pictured at their Website, we are in tall cotton or hog heaven as you prefer.  

A ray of hope in a world of Do Not Enter.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Where O Where Is My Tin Foil Hat?

I need it and you may be wondering what it is and why do I need it now?

In order of  the two questions presented - the Tin Hat was invented to prevent others from reading your mind or to prevent paranoia.  These self-designed tin foil hats have been proudly serving Americans since 1909!

I need one now (but aluminum foil is SO expensive) because I'm pretty sure The Virus is out to get me.  Who can forget March 15, 2020, when the world pulled on masks, gloves and holed up at home?  Ah, the Ides of March.  March 15, 44, was not a lucky day for Julius Caesar whose crowd got knife happy and stabbed him to death.  O wait a minute - random stabbings are making the news.  Particularly Great Britain.  See what you get when guns are abolished?  A recourse.  Neither is good. 

My birthday was toward the end of April.  It was a big birthday to me - still two-digit numbers, but, well, getting up there.  With the new rules?  Hah!  Fuhgeddabout it as they say far to the East of us here in California.

Richie's nearly-as-big a birthday was June 16th.  No party, no excitement except for the cats' contribution.  Which was a big, fat, nothing.  They're so selfish …

And now bringing up the trifecta is this - our 37th wedding anniversary is tomorrow, July 2nd.

Traditionally, we go out for a posh dinner as opposed to the likes of  Rock'n Brew or Las Brisas - both have excellent food, but no white table cloths to the floor.   Or once, on a road trip, airport MacDonald's, but our favorite feedbags in this field are "Not serving eat-in dinner."  Take out in most of them, but French food (Dominick's Kitchen) is hard to transport.  An appetizer of house-made chicken pate with tiny cornichon pickles, a baguette and container of red onion jam for starters practically needs it's own container.

I'll just have to start collecting discarded aluminum foil.  From somewhere - I'm not the only one that's thought of this ...