Tuesday, August 31, 2021

New in The Restaurant World?

I happened to glance at our tab at Hof's Hut where we'd just finished lunch which is cleverly near the eye surgeon's offices.  Of course I'd made an 11:30  a.m. appt.  A different doctor gets a 4.pm. appt so that we are well positioned for a beer  at the Pitcher house, Upper Deck.  Plan ahead for God's sake!

Back to business - Hedoism

The line that got my attention, running across the top of the bill read:

"Server: Lisa      DOB 8/30/2021"  As I studied that I thought, "That's today That's not a baby! What the hell?   The bell finally rang and I realized it had to be her birthday.

Was that a solicitation for a bigger tip because it was her birthday?  Entirely possible because the clientele is largely senior citizens and they would appreciate their regular server  with cold cash.

Hof's Hut is famous for their chicken pot pie and they have a variety of pies for dessert.  All soft on the teeth.  Huge portions to easily have again for dinner.  

Hof's Hut, 23635 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance  hofshut.com 

Monday, August 30, 2021

There's a Bounty On'em!

I am referencing the up-tick  of the death rate for Florida conservative radio hosts.  So far - they are:

Marc Bernier, Daytona

Dick Farrel , Miami and Palm Beach

 and an interloper from Nashville - Phil Valentine.  

All three railed against getting The Shot and and all three regretted that oversight  -from their hospital death beds.  Thanks Raffish  

A cheerier subject is the proverb - A falling knife has no handle.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Waiting in Vain

How many times have weather men freaked out about a possible worst ever  hurricane in (place and date) - they really go nuts.  Well, from a safety point of view this is a good thing.  "Better safe than sorry."

The mandatory photo for a weather person (usually a male) is standing near a body of water being buffeted by high winds while standing in water with a live microphone. 

  I think you're - the audience - supposed to think, "Oh, what awful winds!  How brave he is!  Not me.  I tend to think of the 1st responders who could be helping - really helping- such as  old people on their domicile's roof waiting for a motorboat to get them down.

And not some grandstanding weather broadcaster. 

Many of us may well have someone we love out there for any given weather event  and speculation about speed or arrival of the most deadly hurricane since 1899 is not helpful - especially since most often the weathermen have whipped everyone into a lather only to hear next morning "Hurricane Worst Ever has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm Worst Ever  status. 

But it is looking dolefully to be "Not this time."  God bless all involved in rescue work. And for God's sake get Granny's bottle of vodka away from her. It's not suitable for roof sitting.

Friday, August 27, 2021

The High Cost of Living

I thought that a $500 Rx was bad.  I wasn't even on planet Earth.  The $500 drug in question was a trials drug, betcha.  The doctor prescribing the drug  kept emphasizing  that it was rather expensive adding that insurance didn't cover the cost "because it's a little expensive" and it wasn't until the pharmacy called to say it was in.  Handed it over to me and said, "That'll be $500."  "For a drug that doesn't work all that well?" I howled.  "I don't want it."  The doctor had given me a small free bottle and I didn't even finish that.  

Today I got a note from my cousin, who wrote, "My sister has finished her third round of radiation to treat her liver and brain cancers simultaneously.  She told me the drug comes in pill form and costs $300,000 per pill.  She will have to take two pills about a month apart.  Her insurance plan denied the claim so her doctor got the drug maker to get her enrolled in a trial at M D Andersons Cancer Center ; both pills were reduced to a single co pay of $5,500. This drug has 42% more time . 

Note; this report was edited by this editor,

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Malicious Old Woman Here

 I've said for years that someone oughta bury him; now they have to.

Being nosy in addition to mean, I read that he was diagnosed in 2004 with throat cancer.  Outcome of that unknown by that writer.

Can't find "the London hospital" that he died in.  Surprised the hospital didn't want the fame of having a dead Stone on their premises.  

Patience -we will all know in the fullness of time.

Meanwhile condolences to his wife, family, and friends. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Restaurant Review Coming Up

We and Dee and Mouton celebrate  birthdays by going out to dinner, restaurant chosen by the birthday boy (since I'm the only female)  The month of August is Mouton's choice and he chose Seaside Bistro in San Pedro.  Checking out the menus I saw that breakfast offers an extensive list of imaginative items.  But we're doing dinner as always. 

And as always I'll report back.

Speaking or Just Thinking about Food    

From Sheila, in Israel

Eating raw fish was called poverty not sushi

None of us had ever heard of yogurt

Cooking outdoors was called camping.

Fish didn't have fingers.

Or 'so it's said.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Because the French (collectively) are honoring Josephine Baker

There's suddenly a new interest in her, who was variously nicknamed the Black Venus, the Black Pearl, the Bronze Venus or the Creole Goddess.  It comes with the recent opening of a movie about her titled "The Josephine Baker Story. "

In addition to her career as a singer, dancer and "vedette" meaning "star" it could be said that she was also a collector of children.

She called the 12 children - two daughters to whom she had given birth and 10 adopted sons - The Rainbow Tribe - and to mention a few; they were variously from Belgium, Finland, Japan, Venezuela and France.

At age 68 she died of a massive stroke in Paris' Salpetriere Hospital.  If  that name sounds familiar for some reason; Princess Diana died there, too.  If I were a celebrity, I think I'd stay the hell away from it.  Just a word of caution.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Things That Caught My Eye In the News This Morning

Higher Ambitions

Prince Harry and his wife seem not to be content with being the Duke and Duchess of Sussex but are aiming much higher - the King and Queen of Hypocrisy.

The media was all over Harry's recent ride home from  a  polo match in Aspen  to his home in Santa Barbara, a 750 mile, two hour trip on a friend's private Gulfstream jet that seats 20.    The trip is believed to have emitted 10 tons of CO2.  into the environment.  I'm just surprised that the trip wasn't a round trip to give a lecture on the horrors  of climate change, CO2 emissions and so on.  They certainly capable of that kind of hypocrisy.

Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Henri

Something of a worry as it's supposedly on a trajectory with Long Island where more than quite a few of Richie's relatives live which is Huntington which is on the north side of Long Island.

The south side is where the swells live in huge, extremely expensive houses.  The Hamptons North and South. 

  His brother and his wife; their sons Sean and Bryan, his wife and their 17 year old daughter.  

Because the younger two (Sean and Bryan) are Baymen and work on the water - clams, lobster, and similar, they both have boats and with Henri, they have to pull their boats.  I'll ask about specific details.  Since the boats get pulled for winter, they've undoubtedly got the technique down pat.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Construction Details

We had a wood-trimmed balcony - and I say "had" because termites ate  a lot of it.  Richie, son of a spec builder - he bought the land, put up a house and sold the house for a profit got right on it.  He called Silva Construction, builder  of choice, for the past 30+ years.   Dave (Silva) did three architectural drawings of the finished  new balcony, we okayed one and construction began.

Not with a whimper but a resounding b a n g!  The workers start at 8 a.m. and quit at 4 - and you can set your watch by them.  

And I think every cat in the neighborhood does.  Our cat Fred seems to sense them coming coming from  as far away as the exit off the 110 FW and is seen no more by us.  Or anyone else. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Sea Worthy

A yacht cruised slowly across the harbor.  Festooned with flags from stern to gudgeon.  What did they spell out?   So many flags...

                        Seas the day!

 Thanks Janet for  a buying these cocktail napkins.  When are they delivering the yacht to go with them? 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Day 2 of Height Hell Has Come

I am referencing a scatter shot where in:  our old redwood balcony over the years (36) which termites have done a job on.  Who do you call?  Silva Construction!  Dave   and his various crews have done all of the necessary work here for all those years.

I was dismayed and wanted and still want to destroy all the termites in North America.  This replacement balcony wasn't cheap but it will last another 30 years or so.  Silva Built Stays Built.

That balcony is two stories above the ground.  It is also only about 36/40 inches wide.  I am  terrified of heights.  Having heard very loud noises and being elsewhere in the house, I walked back into the living room to find the balcony gone except for the floor.  Just  a blank deck straight out into nothingness if you don't count the massive avocado tree and the huge tree with red berries that takes up the other half of the back yard. 

I spent the day quivering with fear.  I did say I was terrified by heights.  You could have rebutted that I could have gone downstairs and gotten away from seeing it.  And I did only now to be fearful of a worker falling past the office window!  The window is covered by the leaves of the avocado tree but how good a landing spot  they might be only calls for speculation. 

Today they're cutting the wood for the posts and slats.  And the roar of the saws is rampant over the West. 


Monday, August 16, 2021

Yesterday's Funeral for the Poop Deck

 The place was packed; the noise level was truly horrendous

A lovely couple, probably in their mid 60s,  invited the three of us to take the empty seats next to them.  Happily, we accepted their truly kind invitation. It was a zoo in there!   They were on our right.  On our left was a group of six - three men; three young ladies.

Chatting idly with the couple, I said that we should all sing For Auld Ang Syne and they thought it was a fine idea.  I then turned to the youngsters and asked them. One of the young women said, "What's that?"  

Her date looked embarrassed.  

Saturday, August 14, 2021

A Day When You Learn Something is a Life Bonus

Richard Fosse, food columnist, writing in the Easy Reader, was the  source of "new" today.

I had never heard of something called "fry sauce" for preparing hamburger patties or a sauce to dip one's French Fries - white potato or sweet potato fries.

Fry Sauce 

a judicious combination of:





a little cayenne

Too taste it without having to mix it up at home, go to Oceans Cafe and Grill, 12501 Vista on the beach at  first stoplight north of Grand Avenue.  I'd google maps myself.

But who knew about "fry sauce?"  Now we do! 

Friday, August 13, 2021


Our (Dee, Mouton and Richie and self) beloved Poop Deck on the Strand in Hermosa Beach is closing this Sunday.  Over the years we have relished the view from their one-way picture windows at the front of the bar many times.  We particularly loved people watching from that perch because passing people are so varied.  There's only one unifying factor - the amounts of bare skin.  In some cases, yards and yards of skin

The only thing we've never seen is a man of the cloth grabbing a little sun as he strolls leisurely along the Strand waving at parish members.  

And this Sunday is it's demise said the owners.  Gossip has it that it will  become a grocery and sandwich shop.  So, as any decent person would do we are attending the funeral.  Maybe now we'll see a man of the cloth?    

And now we read that "The Deck"  it's spiffed up image name is serving food, which was something of a shock.  Never in the 40 or so years we've been going have we so much as been offered a single potato chip.  for all four of us! Now they have Cheese and Chicken Quesadillas for $4   The Deck Burger  is $10 to give you a vague idea what's on offering.  Bar food.  Too little, too late flickered through my mind.

Here is  a tidbit of history abut the (largely)  sand part of the Strand upon which  the Poop Deck sits.

It was a Spanish Land Grant in 1882;part of the Rancho Sausal Redondo.  Barley grew and sheep grazed in waves. 

And what on Earth is a Poop Deck anyhow?  It's the prow of the vessel which juts out in front  and has a hole in the floor,  It is used as you would expect.  And from that came "The Head" used on land as well.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Odds and Ends


New Hosts   Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik  I liked Mike from the gitgo and have not changed my mind.   Great energy but not bellowing.  I can't remember her - short week for her?  but will when it's her turn.  I wonder if they have green room lotteries for hosting that week?

Courtesy boredpanda.com.

"Feeling a bit paranoid - remember you are not alone.

Someone's therapist knows all about you  (Somewhat sinister that one!)

Although Richie mutes ads, quite a few manage to slip through.  The many, many prescription drug ads and awful diseases must have most of Europe thinking all Americans are watching Jeopardy, for example. from their deathbeds.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Speaking in Tongues

 A reference to our French class this afternoon.  It meets every Tuesday from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.  The time in class truly flies.   The teacher is nearly as fluid as a French-born native.  Classes are held in a large room set up like a living room, at the Hermosa Beach Community Services Building facing Pier Avenue - next to the skateboard court?  

It's a very pleasant way to pass a Tuesday afternoon.   Y'all come!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Dubious PR

The BBC always calls our American "Shot" "A Jab" which is not what anyone could call enticing.

Particularly when the Brit Jab looks much more like the Brit Stab.  For a sample view "Doc Martin" PBS Thursday nights at 8 p.m.

Part 2 is that someone should give the not so redoubtable Dr. Fauci the word to lighten up!  Gloom and doom are his only messages.    If they had come true, we'd all be dead  

He is as useless as tits on a boar.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Lunch Out!

Does the socializing ever stop?

Thurs. seven of the writers gathered at the Ragin'Cajun Cafe at 525 S PCH, Redondo Beach   Once in awhile we decide we should gather at noon at a restaurant.  Yesterday was it.  

The food at the Cajun is very good and moreover, the portions are insanely large.  "Could I have a go box?" rang across the traffic on Pacific Coast Hwy.  

We all had lemonade or iced tea even thought they run a full bar.  A drink before dinner, sure.  Lunch not so much.

I got fried pickles (well coated with breadcrumbs) for the table but had few takers.  This is an item that I always order now after discovering it on a previous visit - Shrimp, Crab and Corn Bisque and hold the rice.  Great looking at the table.   Given the praise my bisque got I bet every one of them will order it on their next visit.

We weren't working (reading and critiquing) but indulging in desultory chitchat.  One of our group volunteered that she grew up with Gaelic-speaking parents ergo she spoke it, too,   Some years later, forgotten, of course.  It you don't use it frequently, you lose it.  

After we were home I remembered something "Irish" in my own life.  The wit of the staircase - your best material occurs to you when you're leaving a festive gathering.

Mine.   Richie's family are all 100% Irish-American.

His parents hadn't been able to attend our recent wedding so we flew back so they could get a good look at me.  I remembered something I had read recently.  In olden days  when a great many Irish immigrated to New York and/ Boston - so many- that signs soon popped up in store and restaurant windows.  N I N A, they said "No Irish Need Apply  We all had a good laugh.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021


Simone Biles - the Brittany Spears of the gymnastics world? 

Cuomo the sex fiend (or so accused).  I fault the women involved.  If you can't make it very clear to a marauding predator that his or her attentions are unwelcome you better go home and stay there.  You aren't old enough to be out in the world.  

ADD:  Last night Richie was watching an NHRA drag race and they started announcing some very familiar names - racers I covered back in the '80s such as Eddie Hill (retired as is 85; John Force, 72, still competing.  I said to Richie, "So, do they use their walkers to get from their pits to the track and their car?" 

This morning my research turned up unwelcome news - Eddie's wife Ercie  is dead at 74.  Be careful what you're looking up?

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

We're Having a small taste of a social life!

Never thought I'd see the day!  This week alone - wow!  Today - 10-10:30  Dave our construction guy coming to show us and explain architect's plans to to fix the balcony redwood lattice with Douglas fir.   The termites have gone to war.  

French class resumes at the Hermosa Beach Community Center at 1:30 t0 2:45 pm  

Wednesday, 4 p.m. routine appt with cardiologist which is always a joy as he has a great sense of humor.

Thursday (our former only source of entertainment) the South Bay Writers Workshop from noon to 2 p.m. Visit our Website:  southbaywritersworkwshop.com