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!

Monday, August 10, 2020

An Idle Question Prompts Important Information

My best friend Michelle wrote from Bretagne, France, that her son/our godson Fabien was surfing every day at the beaches there.  One beach, La Torche, is the site of an annual international surf championship.

Richie wondered aloud at this - "Do they have sharks there?"  Here's what I found.  In Bretagne one needs to be careful of the Porbeagle shark which authorities say runs 2.5 meters long which, translated is eight feet.

Okay Bretagne is northern France, not far from Dunkirk, Normandy and other WW2 landing beaches.  What about the famed French Riviera?  Cannes, St. Tropez?  Nice?  The last shark attack in their waters was in the 1840s.  French waters, by and large, are shark free.  Allee! Into the water!

When or probably "if" we can travel again, file this and pack your bathing suit.  

Meanwhile - cool French vacations.  Fabien, his first cousin Florente are even now in Corse (Corsica) on a rented sailboat with captain and crew and 5 or 6 of their best friends.  Oddly enough, I noted that most of the friends are women.  

This renting a domicile is by no means a new thing.  Ski season they rent a chalet.  To escape Paris heat, they go north to Trouville, Deauville, - and rent a house.  But I like the sailboat idea the best...will have to tell them to watch for sharks though.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Are the British Royals Going to the "Dawgs"? *

Dawgs here used refers to American slang - dawgs for feet.  "My dawgs are killing me!  Why did I buy these shoes?  Temporary derangement?"

Except certain of the Royals have taken feet to a new level.  Most recently Andrew Duke of York made the news by groping young women with a life-like puppet of himself.  The article referred to him as "Foot Fetisher Andrew …"  and went on from there.  That label a sort of an aside, if you will.   The burning question for me were - is it a life-size puppet or one of those that are no bigger than your forearm?

I found,  that Andrew is by no means alone, mainly caricatures of  famous politicians, historical characters and more and they were used on a British television program called "Spitting Image" which ran from 1984 to 1996.  After that was over, the creators donated all of the puppets to Cambridge University to what purpose, I have no idea.    However to satisfy your curiosity, the puppets appear to be life-size.  Andrew's was a gift from Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.  

Did Andrew enjoy it?  We have only testimony from one of his victims on his reception of it.  She remarked in a forthcoming book that "He looked me up and down like a shiny new car and he was about to take a test drive."  This is believed to have taken place on March 10, 2001.

But had a predecessor to lead him down the path.  In fact it was his own wife, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.  She and Andrew had agreed to separate so "Fergie" (is that a name for a Duchess for pete's sake?) Took off with her "financial advisor" John Bryan for a 36 day tour of Thailand and Indonesia.  I anything happened during that, the press missed it.

It wasn't until they were visiting Saint Tropez that, feeling secure in their privacy, Bryan was sucking Fergie's toes who was decoratively displayed on a lounger by the water.  The press got on it like white on rice and ran the pictures with a story.

After that embarrassment,  the two went to Balmoral at the Queen's invitation and all hell broke out as the family read the papers with their lurid accounts and photos over  their breakfasts.    

I tell you with parents like that - the suckee and the sucked upon, I fear for the couple's two daughters.  

Friday, August 7, 2020

Never Get In A Car With a Stranger!

Your mother was onto something.  Even hospitals join in her warning!  I got the post op instructions in the mail yesterday.  Among them was, "Make arrangements for transportation to and from surgery.  No Taxis or Ubers."  

"Huh?  The reasoning apparently applies to the state of the patient on discharge.  If you are still a little out of it, either driver, either sex, may take advantage of you.  Our mothers could speculate on exactly what they are capable of and wring their hands nd moan but all we have to remember is, "Don't get into cars with strangers!"

Uber and cab owners might join together to promote a specific service for surgery transport - and recoup a certain loss of income due to cynical staff at the hospital.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

How Sweet It Was! Or the Reign of Jackie Gleason

In the constant search for a new book since the main library is closed I rejoiced once again that we have frequented library book sales with gusto.  We Have Books.   And this was a charmer.

"How Sweet It Is - The Jackie Gleason Story, Foreword by Jackie Gleason and written by James Bacon.  $15.95 - 215 Pages 

The book abounds with details - almost always a good thing.  He and his fellow comics trade quips and descriptions all the way through.  Example, both Jackie and Uncle Miltie Berle were 
working at a rather disreputable Club Miami.  Berle said this about it, "The food was so bad there, the rats went next door to eat."  

Speaking of eating, it was a favorite thing to His Greatness - slightly behind drinking.  Bacon reports that Gleason's daily studio commissary lunch was  "Six doubles, Scotch and no food!"  A typical dinner might consist of a start of a dozen oysters, a heaping plate of spaghetti and meatballs with a pound or two of roast beef with potatoes, gravy and a big finish with an elaborate high calorie dessert.  At his weightiest he wore a size 51 suit.  

Gleason is probably best known for "The Honeymooners" with Art Carney and Audrey Meadows.
I thought this was interesting ...
Gleason was born Feb. 26, 1916.  and died June 24, 1987 of cancer.  Frankly I'm surprised it wasn't cirrhosis of the liver given his alcoholic  consumption on a daily basis.  His weight couldn't 

Art Carney was two years younger than Gleason, having been born Nov. 4, 1918.  He died age Nov. 9, 2003  He was 93 when he died of natural causes.

Audrey Meadows was the last to leave the stage having been the youngest of the trio born Feb, 8, 1922  She died Feb 3, 1996 of lung cancer having refused treatment instead  going for palliative care.  She was 73.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Face Mask Irony - Only in America

Specifically, the KN95 masks that  have been getting the publicity.  I read in the WSJ this morning that 60 per cent of these masks are made by 67 different manufacturers, mainly in China.  Their fault?  They let in more particles.  

A Senior FDA Device Regulator told them that the agency has been constantly responding to new data and science during the pandemic and we have provided regulatory flex when it is needed the most."

Irony at Gate 43...

I had a CT scan scheduled at Little Company of Mary Hospital and duly appeared at the check-in to let them know we were there as directed.  Bing!  We were handed white KN95 masks, one each.  We were wearing our own, But if it's offered, take it!  from that wise old Brooklyn philosopher, Prof.  Richie Murphy.

I didn't like the K95 I had started with but it had an excellent record and was the hot item of the day so I wore it.  - I could almost see my ears trending down from the tightness of the elastic bands holding the damned thing on.   I was thrilled with the good fit I was getting from this one without fearing gangrene of the ear.   

It finally dawned on me:  We got the virus from China.   We are now buying protective masks from the Chinese.  Anyone else see something "funny" about this?  Yeah it took me awhile but I'm a Natural Blonde (insert a couple of choice blonde jokes here.)  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Looking for a Laugh or Three?

There are a number of places easily found online.  You might want to jot down  Daily they have all sorts of fun.  Recently they ran a bunch of signs put out by the El  a restaurant in Austin Texas that has continually amused the customers on a daily basis.

Sample - The teacher who said my kid was a joy to teach lied.

Remember when you wished the weekend would last forever - are you happy now?

I have a Skype meeting this afternoon -  got get into my business pajamas

What did the drummer name his new twin daughters?  Anna 1 and Anna 2

Friends are therapists that you can drink with.

There's another great site --    They've broken down their offerings to ethnicity, religious, "adult humor"and on and on.  A new category is Donald Trump Jokes.  

The best part of browsing a joke site is no one knows what you chose to laugh at.  They can't persecute you for what it was because they didn't see it.

Monday, August 3, 2020

If You Don't Laugh, Money Back

A good friend, known for having The Best Jokes sent this:

If schoolteachers are armed, do librarians get silencers?   RAh HA HA

Saturday, August 1, 2020

A Hidden Holiday?

This morning's paper - big mention of DOGgust 1st .  The largest no  kill dog shelter in the world - North Shore Animal League said so.  They seem to have gotten the handle on it in 2008, but as to whom at this venerable institute actually dreamed it up I could not discover.  Google and Wikipedia both went down for the count.

One thing though, this prompts the thought that there's something a little fishy  about this whole DOGgust thing.

No cupcake recipes.  No beautifully decorated cake to commemorate the occasion.  These two items always  go with a birthday cake/cupcakes for a gala celebration.  Sherlock Holmes, where are you?