Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Two Can Play This Game
After seeing the menu below, I had to drag out this image of a little menu card from the Stillwell Cafeteria in old Los Angeles. If you really want to see some price "the way they were," click on that image. My mother had a note on this that my father, an Angeleno from a young age, saved this as a reminder. I'll post the other side of this card too.
UPDATE: I just took a squint at that address on Google maps. It's about as smack dab in the middle of LA as you can get.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Remember "The Good Old Days"? Just thought I would post something us old timers could remember to go with the Who post...
A Baked Ham and Cheese-Toasted Three Decker Sandwich....60 cents.. with a King Size Coca-Cola..10 cents. Total bill of fare 70 cents maybe 1 or 2 cents for state tax. Notice..no diet soda's.
Yepper doo! I am ready for the "home"
Saturday, July 26, 2008
This is a quick and dirty posting of the weekend music embed. More textual blather will be coming along later.
As you read this, keep in mind that "I've been a fan of The Who since the very beginning ... when they were known as the Hillbilly Bugger Boys."
First, I'd like to thank Denny for his accurate comment and then follow my thanks with my envy that he saw The Who when they really were The Who. My co-blogger the Enigmatic Misanthrope saw The Who at the now-defunct (de funk-ed?) Capitol Center in Landover, Md. My 'time machine dreams' include going back to that time and actually going to shows that I missed. Thus my envy extends to the EM and his lovely (now) wife who was also in attendance.
So why post the viddy I did? Because The Who, claims by the Rolling Stones to the contrary, actually are the "World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band." The Stones are the world's best R&B band playing rock music. I'm very glad VH1 gave The Who the props, the "Rock Honors," that have been long-deserved. And I elected to use "Baba O'Reily" which is one of the greatest rock tunes ever written, since it's part of a disc that had no bad songs. Not only did "Who's Next" not have a bad song, it was loaded with great songs. (hmmm - must go cue it up in iTunes now...) John Entwistle's turn at the mic, "My Wife," might be the weakest song yet it rocks as well as being full of the Ox's sly humor. Of course there's "Tommy" and the too-often ignored "Quadrophenia" in addition to the other albums the boys produced. I mention the extended-form music for a couple of reasons. First, listen to the horns in "Tommy" (as in the amusingly titled "Underture"). Superbly charted by Entwistle whose musical ability extended far beyond his brilliance on bass guitar. Much is made in the VH1 tribute of the Ox's bass line on "My Generation" which I think is perhaps the number 2 best bass line ever in rock (McCartney's in "Day Tripper" is first and the opening bass line in Queen and Bowie's "Under Pressure" is third). And Keith Moon's drumming was never better than on "Quadrophenia." I think he reached an apex in Quadrophenia where his drum kit was more an instrument than just a rhythm machine than it ever had been. His runs and fills were always there but in "Quadrophenia," they were never better. I also wonder if his being allowed to "sing" on "Bellboy" might have made Moonie happier to contribute. As great a drummer as he was, he was not a singer (as his solo album proves.) I do have to give Kenny Jones credit for a damn fine job of work drumming in Moonie's place now. How hard is it to come in for someone who really can't replaced?
The loss of both of these men is a loss to music. Perhaps the personal demons that led them to drugs and the "rock lifestyle" drove them to frenzied heights they wouldn't have otherwise reached.
Living in the now. Denny comment is spot on. Roger Daltrey was a great rock singer. Was. He "can sing" now but he can't "sing Roger Daltrey" as much as it pains me to admit that. I'm amused, however, to note the mic he's using has the cord wrapped back and forth and strapped with gaffer's tape. His famous mic swinging probably ruined more than a few before the roadies got the taping technique down. At least that he can still do.
Townshend was indeed never a singer. Never a great singer. But he could sing his own material. He hasn't lost what Daltrey lost likely because he never had what Daltrey had. I will allow that only Lenon/McCartney have written more great rock music than beaky old Pete. Listen to "White City" or "All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes" if you don't accept that. Two little-known discs that are damn-near perfect. As great Sir Paul is, he hasn't done that in his solo career.
My co-blogger routinely disses Townshend's playing and I'm willing to concede that there are greater guitar heroes than Pete. EVH, Brian May, Hendrix, Clapton. A lot. But his rare combination of writing and playing puts him in a special place. What intrigues me in this viddy is that he's playing a Strat. I think of nothing but Gibsons in his hands. He even wrote "Sittin' in the Sheraton Gibson / playin' my Gibson...." And that's all I have to say about that.
Now, about the show. Typical VH1 crapfest. As much as I love these guys, I'm nonplussed to hear Daltrey now that he's no longer Daltrey. The band still rocks but not like they could twenty years ago. Then there are the bands doing tributes. "Tenacious D" (whose fame I can never understand but then Jack Black has never impressed me as an actor either) doing a cover of "Squeezebox." Oh please! That song's a trifle, a throwaway, Spike Jones's "Cocktails for Two" in rock garb. Three words for that segment: waste of time. I won't call the efforts of Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Incubus, the Flaming Lips and Adam Sandler into question but, (insert exasperated look here) really. All that covering of Who songs just ain't worth anyone's time. Show archival footage, let the band play, do interviews. But spare me the butt-smoochery of the current acts. If a viewer doesn't know how good this band was, let him die in ignorance.
Finally, Rainn Wilson who's absolutely hilarious as Dwight Schrute in "The Office," was a waste of oxygen on this show. The intro when he dressed as Elton John's version of the Pinball Wizard from the horrifying movie of "Tommy" was just embarrassing. Dude, be selective.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Did Megacolon Burger Boy of the later Vegas years, Elvis, have 60 Pounds of Undigested Red Meat In His Colon When He Died ? or was it something else?
This claim was somewhat true about Elvis Presley (in concept if not in actual quantity), but not for the reasons we're led to believe. According to an account based on the report by the four doctors who performed the post-mortem examination of the entertainer:The colon is approximately five to seven feet in length in a person Elvis's size and should have been about two inches in diameter...However, Elvis's colon was at least three and a half inches in diameter in some places and as large as four and half to five inches in diameter. The megacolon was jam-packed from the base of the descending colon all the way up and halfway across the transverse colon. It was filled with white, chalklike fecal material representing an amazing likeness of the King. See photo.This account makes it sound like Elvis was a prime example of the hazards of the "goo and glue" diet, but his poor eating habits (greasy, cholesterol-laden foods such as cheeseburgers, french fries, bacon, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, ice cream) were far less responsible for the condition of his colon than other factors, such as his congenitally twisted ganglionic fold, his overuse of laxatives, and, primarily, his prolonged drug abuse. As one of the autopsy doctors described, "When you take downer-type drugs, depressants, narcotics, a lot of them, most of them, have the concomitant effect of slowing down the digestive system. In other words, the locomotive action of the bowel quits working, so it gets packed with food, and then it gets packed with more food. And it sits there distended and full of food, and that causes the colon to stretch." In other words, it was drugs, not meat, that caused the severely impacted condition of Elvis' colon.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the colon. Thank you and goodnight."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
As wont as I am to food blog (and I am wont), I must also share wid ch'all of my online shopping (sometimes). To wit: A product from The Ginger People of which I am most enamored (both The People and the product) which has been "temporarily out of stock" for a while now (insert sound of tapping foot). Ginger Spread is back in stock! I've just ordered a dozen of 'em. Which I will split with my fellow gingerphile David. Trader Joe's used to carry it but opted out of it at some point.
This stuff is fantastic. Let me share a TJ's recipe I've not yet made (shouting) because I didn't have ginger spread! (/shouting):
Chocolate Ginger Fondue BlissOh yes. That is pure decadence to me. I would also use this as an ice cream drizzle.
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sweet unsalted butter
2-3 tbs ginger spread
Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until smoothly melted (about 10-15 minutes). When everything is melted together, pour into serving bowl (or fondue pot or crock-pot on low). Select your favorite dippers and dig in.
Suggested dippers: dried fruit (apricots, mangoes, papaya, figs), fresh fruit chunks (banana, strawberry, apple, pear), pretzel slims, cookies (macaroons).
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
It seems I'll try anything. In this case, Ranier cherry sorbet. (If you've never had Ranier cherries, and they ain't cheap, you're really missing something.) Two pounds of the cherries ($10 at Costco and I don't know of any place that sells them as cheaply), 1/2 cup sugar, juice of one lemon and 1/3 cup of peach vodka. Blend it. Process it. Put in the freezer.
Don't get me wrong - the flavor is wonderful. Delicious. But the texture is strange. Fluffy. I think some air got into the mix in the pureeing but then the processing seemed to fluff it up some more. It's not bad. But I just like a denser sorbet. Of course I'll try this again with an intermediate step of trying to agitate out some of the air befoer the processing. Fingers crossed.
What happens next? Well, there are blueberries in the fridge....
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I got the photo hereby in February and have been meaning to post it since. But sometimes an e-mail will slide back in the queue and you just can't quite put a finger on it. Nonetheless, I finally ginned up the gumption to dog back and find this fine picture of my best friend from college and newly-minted federal officer, Michael. Though he's been known as T since, oh a long way back. And no, I'm not going to explain why. That's his right, not mine.
That being as it may, he's on the job on the border in Arizona and the country could not be represented by a finer man. Though how he can stand the heat (if you remember the trail of postcards, "it's a dry heat") is beyond me. God bless him and keep him.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
This week's viddy is a tribute to a passion shared by the Enigmatic Misanthrope and myself: Taffy Nivert Danoff, the distaff side of Bill and Taffy who have been adding to American popular music for the last 30 years or so. Writers of John Denver's big hit "Country Roads" and the animus deii of the unfairly maligned Starland Vocal Band. The EM and I, one late night many, many years ago went to the Cellar Door in old DC to see the SVB. And, because I had at least one nerve way back then, we got to meet and, over subsequent years, know the lovely and talented Taffy.
Before the show, my co-blogger told me that he was crushing on Taffy. I wasn't as familiar with her as he but I could understand such a crush (see "talented" above). And the band absolutely tore up that show in its intimate venue. Taffy absolutely destroyed the song "Maybe" and the harmonies the entire band put together on "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" would make you forget not only the Diana Ross version but Frankie Lymon's original as well. And, in a masterstroke of luck for us at the end of one of the songs, Taffy said to the crowd, "I never know where to look when the song is over." So I pipe up with "Look at him!" indicating the EM. She did and there was a short exchange of pleasantries which ultimately resulted in our being invited to the green room after the show to briefly hang with the band. Nicer folks could not exist in the music biz.
My subsequent interaction with the then-divorced Miss Nivert came years later when I was in the banking industry and she opened an account in my branch. The EM, however, has maintained a friendship with her for years. I'm jealous. So, in honor of the superb talent and song-writing skills of Bill and Taffy, I embed "Flying Home to Nashville" from 1973. The first line is pure genius.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Just got The Fratellis new disc "Here We Stand." It's good. Not great. It's clearly a sophmore effort compared to "Costello Music" which had the brilliant "Flathead" (used in an iPod ad), "Chelsea Dagger," "Henrietta" and other fun such as "Ol' Black and Blue Eyes."
As a musically talented friend once pointed out to me, you have a lifetime of songs to pick from for your first album. That pool of excellence dries up after the inital effort. You have to be damned good to make good records after you've put your heart and soul into your first. (cough)hootie and the blowfish(cough)
But, thank goodness, "HereWe stand" is good. Certainly good enough that I'm pleased to have bought it. What it lacks is the manic energy of "Costello Music." My faves look to be "Acid Jazz Singer" and there's something about "A Heady Tale" that puts me in mind of early Who. Yet "Mistress Mabel" is the feature song. Fair enough. They get to feature whatsoever they choose.
Two "rules" in succession? Yep. I'll speak slowly so's you get it: They rule in different realms. No overlap. (whap) Are we clear? Good.
Today's strip, the aftermath of the nuptials of Roast Beef and Molly, contains two more of Chris Onstad's world-class uses of the language: "You put some damn food on that plate or I'M gonna industrialize me up some slaughter of life you candy-ass word-style hero." And "No man I'm just sayin' years from now me all crawlin' around blind on the linoleum with some eighty dollar tube hangin' outta my Johnson / My lady all dead six days in the bathtub and the guy from the county comes in and checks the Yes box after Is It A Shame."
Please click through for context. Personally, I identify with Roast Beef. Apart from the marrying my returned-from-dead-in-heaven girlfriend thing.
OK. I didn't watch "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." But I started watching the "Angel" spinoff (featuring the ever delectable Charisma Carpenter - link goes to Google image search including decidedly NSFW content). It was surprisingly well done with consideration given to good and bad, right and wrong that went beyond the simple dichotomy. And cracking dialog. Then I came late to the game to "Firefly" and not so late to the game for "Serenity." There's no secret how good those efforts are. And cracking dialog.
But Mr. Whedon has done one more thing that simply must be noted: "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog." I'm laughing still and the last act won't go online until Saturday. Neil Patrick Harris is the evil Dr. Horrible, a man in love. And Nathan Fillion (Captain Mal in the Serenity universe) is the heroic hero. Or is he? Hmmm. Felicia Day is the leading lady. I haven't noticed her before (I looked at her IMDB listing and haven't really watched anything she's been in). But she was in "Buffy" so it's no surprise Whedon used her. She's a very attractive redhead very much in the Alison Hannigan mold. I'm starting to think Whedon has "a type."
None of the cast of "Dr. Horrible" should be particularly noted for his or her singing but then again, they can all at least carry a tune. Better to listen to the songs for the wit in the lyrics and the intelligence of the production. The "acts" are about 13 minutes long so it won't take time out of your busy schedule. Give it an eye and a ear sometime you have a few minutes. You shouldn't be disappointed.
Why does, as my post title has it, Joss Whedon rule? Because no one else in creation could possibly do something like this and have it be any good at all. Only Whedon could take this beyond the realm of crappy uToob viddy done in some shmuck's basement.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Obviously you can see the picture (which is totally stolen from the intarwebs). First, let me admit that green is my favorite color. I would surround myself with jade if I were ever given the wherewithal to do so. In further point of fact, the most beautiful sculpture I have ever seen is in the National Palace Museum in Taibei. It is a bok choy carved from a single piece of jade. The leaves are green and the stems are white. It is beyond exquisite and the artist made full use of the color variation in that single piece of stone to make an object of passing beauty.
But I digress from the pupa of the Monarch butterfly. I find the colors of green that flow through that object to be the most beautiful thing in nature. The dots of gold, the line of gold shadowed by black. Even the shape is gorgeous, lushly round yet creased with an edge that gives the roundness its counterpoint, that redefines the curves. I may have to revisit this description as I don't seem to be able to do this small glory justice this night.
There's more yet. If I were female I would have enamel earrings made to look exactly like a pair of these cocoons. And as I wore them, I would dream of having a pair of jade earrings instead, chased with pure gold, touched with black coral. But I'm not a woman. So I'm left with the question of how a man acquires an object like this. To wear in some way. Don't even suggest a tattoo, I've already thought of that. It doesn't work. Unless I move to San Francisco and am sure to wear some flowers in my hair.
Ok..Ok..So she wasn’t the best conversationalist either..but by the 16th beer she was looking hot and she was mine!! Now she won’t go home…what do I do?? ...I was thinking of just dropping her off at the mall..wadda think?? (currently I got her standing out in the back yard on account of Mrs. E.M. coming home...I told her it was one of those lawn statues I picked up at Home Depot..I don't know if she bought it though..)...help...I'm trying to keep this on the down-low you know..
Monday, July 14, 2008
This transformation, which I suspect involves copious quantities of subcutaneously injected hot wax, lacquer and repeated applications of a special-resin based formaldehyde douche, brings to mind the “Trilogy of Terror” story starring Karen Black as Amelia…where an animated Zuni fetish doll comes to life and terrorizes a woman in her apartment. To quote Amelia..”This can’t be happening! This can’t be happening!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I was casually humming the national anthem the other day (as I am wont to do - as well as whistling the "Switched-On Bach" version of "Wachet Auf" and Los Amadores version of "Tenderly") and considered the line "and the flag was still there." Yup. Sounds good. Ft. McHenry, flag still flying. All good.
But I thought, perhaps in this new era of energy crisis and brouhaha, the production of energy assumes a whole new mantle of patriotic glory. Especially with the gub-mint dumping subsidy money into ethanol production. Corn into alcohol. How patriotic is that? In point of fact, it's been done in the red(necked), white(men) and blue (Ridge) Applachians since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Moonshiners are the new oilmen. Jed Clampett wouldn't have to shoot up that Texas tea, Granny could just commence to makin' nigh onto it in her copper kettle.
Which brings me back around to the anthemic words I quoted above. Maybe there should be an alternate version of that line: "And the still was flagged there." I'm just sayin' is all.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
OK. It's past the 4th. And, technically, she's not exactly an American since she was born in England and lives in Canada but in the world of televised Sci-fi, she's an Air Force Colonel. In the even more real-life sense, she's a total babe and, wrap her in a flag and I will salute. That sounds so impolite! I only mean that I'll act as if her role is real and she's an officer. Yeah. That's what I mean.
The pics (yes, there are others) are from some lad's mag called "Femme Fatale." And they've been on the web for a couple few years now, actually. I can't believe I've missed them up til now. Live 'n' learn.
The pic certainly plays up her babe-a-liciousness but I hurry to emphasize that she is a wonderful actress as well. Her role on "Stargate SG-1" had her as a brainiac and a warrior. It also allowed her several different incarnations (alternate time-lines, characters that copied her physical form e.g.) that let her express a range from stone-cold killer to ditzy, flustered girly. She handled it all with aplomb. Also, if you can watch outtakes where she rails on Richard Dean Anderson - spit take funny.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Hello? Hello? (Is this thing on?) Oh. OK.
Sorry for the lack of posting but I've been in a whole world of pain lately. My joints have been just agonizing. There have been several days where I've spent the majority of the day in bed. But Celebrex is my friend and it's a whole new month (cue music from "Aladdin") so I'll try to crawl out of my cocoon and make some headway against the wind of the world.
To that end, I hereby reproduce something I found in the noisepaper a day or so ago. I thought it was pretty good.
Colin Powell's 13 Rules Against Adversity
1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
2. Get mad, then get over it.
3. Avoid having you ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
4. It can be done!
5. Be careful what you choose. You might get it.
6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don't take the counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.