Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pet Shop Boys: Go West at Live 8

This is my Saturday night and this very live version of the Village People's hit, turned on its head is exactly fitting the mood of the moment.
The Pet Shop Boys are the best. This is the last number from their incredible 1.5 hour performance at Live 8 in Moscow. By this time Neil's voice is getting a bit iffy, but they pull it off well.   Enjoy.

And if you want to see their whole set, it is also available on YouTube

And so it goes.

Weary of "What If's"

"What If?  "If Only..."
You know, if I had a boat, I'd go rowing. This is second-guessing at its very peak. Sandra Day O'Connor:

Now she tells us. More than 12 years after the fact, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said it was probably a mistake for the Supreme Court to hear Bush v. Gore and anoint George W. Bush as president of the United States.
“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” Justice O’Connor told the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Friday. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’” 
She continued: “Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision. It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”
The result, she allowed, “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less than perfect reputation.”
Justice O’Connor’s comments, as fascinating as they are, have to set some kind of record for detachment (she calls the court on which she sat for 25 years “it” — avoiding the more apt “we”) and also for understatement. 
Granted, we don’t know for sure whether Justice O’Connor wanted to take Bush v. Gore. Only four justices have to agree to hear a case. But we do know that she sided with the majority on the actual decision, which stopped the recounting in Florida and gave a one-vote majority in the Electoral College to the man who lost the national popular vote. The ruling was a huge stain on the court’s reputation because it appeared to be — may well have been — blatantly partisan.
Sandy, baby, the public was already stirred up by the giant f**kup that was Florida. I am tired of the "maybe we shouldn't have done that" hind-sight stuff anymore. You did it.  It's done. You can't change it.
Now Shut Up!

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Are All Mercedes Benz Drivers Idiots?

I mean, do they pay extra to exhibit the intelligence of a rubber plant, or does it come naturally?

As I, and everyone sitting in the front of the restaurant couldn't help but notice, a man tried for a good 10 minutes to parallel park his Mercedes sedan. Even his lady friend was little help and kept shaking her head.He stopped traffic more than once as he swung out into the left traffic lane and tried backing into the spot again and again. He finally gave up and drove away.

A Mercedes sport convertible with top down sailed into a parking spot in front of the restaurant, neglecting to brake before hitting the curb. The loud crunching sound of concrete kissing metal made her yell, but the damage was done. The bumper fell off as she tried to back out of the situation. The whole scene played out before our eyes - tow truck and all.

On the walk home after work, as I was passing a beauty salon an obviously just coiffed young woman was getting into her Mercedes SUV ready to drive home.  I noticed there was a baby carrier on the roof and she appeared to be unaware .  As I tapped on the driver's side window I startled her.  Looking irritated, she opened the window and groaned, "what do you want?" I said, "well I think you're missing something.  Unless the baby on the roof of this car isn't yours."  Her eyes became as big as saucers, then she burst into tears.  She got out of the car and after securing the carrier in the back seat, thanked me and gave me a hug.  She was still crying as she drove away. And rightly so. The self-centered bitch should remember this day when she could have killed her child

I was still unnerved as I continued the walk home.  Enjoying a few olives which should remedy the jitters.

Busy restaurant today. Beautiful weather, and warmer temperatures brought many folks into town. It was all good. Glad to be home and preparing supper.  After the olives, of course.

And so it goes.

A Caturday Star is Born

It was only a matter of time...

More later.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's a Canon T3 DSLR

Opened the package this morning and found an almost brand new (at least it looks like that) Canon T3
DSLR with a zoom lens, all carefully packaged in bubble wrap and peanuts. Interestingly enough, the camera body isn't black, but a sort of gun metal gray.  A bit odd since I expect colours more on point-n-shoot cameras. No matter.  I'll have to look up the specs at Canon's site and maybe download a manual, if available.

I appreciate his gift and will learn to use it. While I have had experience with Canon point-n-shoot cameras, I have otherwise always been a Nikon man. Hell, I still have an old Nikon F film camera that I'll probably never use again, but can't bring myself to sell.  They were the perfect cameras of their day.

I do have a Nikon D70, which I seldom use due to the non-user-friendly formatting and programming. It was one of the first and best at the time, around 2003, so I loaded up on lenses, flash, remote triggers, and the like.  Except for the occasional twinge to use it, the poor D70 sits in the camera bag with all its companions.

This canon is smaller and lighter and offers many of the same options that are on their point-n-shoots, with which I am already familiar and can easily adapt to my shooting preferences.  And this camera has special meaning for me. I feel obligated to make my old shooting buddy proud of me, so there's that challenge, as well. In the box was also a flash, lens hood, and UV filter. I guess his widow was feeling generous when she packed it up.

Of course, this gift comes at a difficult time as we prepare for the summer season of long hours and 6 or 7 day work weeks. Still, there is more to be done to get the restaurant ready for the masses (the floors were refinished on Tuesday) so I have another 2 weeks with 2 days off.  So there is that.  I am sad and happy at the same time, and looking forward to some inspirational shooting opportunities.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Little Things & Perfect Relationships

No voice, no need to speak - until tomorrow.

Where is CUBBY?

Strawberries, eggs, bacon & sourdough toast breakfast

A mini-watermelon - so sweet.

Revived PC running OK, but can't install printer drivers.

Sun is shining today. Yay!

Grande dame around 80 yo, convertible top down, 70s Disco blaring - The Trammps - gotta love her. Only in Rehoboth.

Rib eye, baked potato, asparagus - supper.

Ordered an air mattress as extra bed for emergencies.

Package arrived - Canon DSLR camera gifted in the will of an old friend. It was one of his. (not ready to open the package yet)

Cara-Cara oranges are ruby red and juicy. Who knew?

Re-installed software - some function, others don't.

Kindle charging following a two-day workout.

Frozen bananas rule!

Sirloin pork roast rubbed, in plastic bag in fridge waiting for the crockpot tomorrow.

Balanced bank accounts.

Sazerac Cocktail waiting in the wings.

Not a bad day, actually. Looking forward to work tomorrow. The restaurant is sponsoring a fundraiser (what a surprise!) for a local campground to help fund a week at camp for kids who couldn't afford it otherwise.  A reservation for 25 has already been made for lunch tomorrow at 12:30 pm.  An all day event with 20% of sales going to the campground fund. Ought to be a great time. I love my job!

And so it goes.

Well Done, Delaware

Dover, Delaware 23 April, 2013

Five days after Delaware Democrats introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, the legislation is moving forward.
Marriage equality passed the Delaware House on Tuesday afternoon by a 23-18 vote. According to the (Wilmington, Del.) News-Journal, 21 votes were needed for passage, and five Democrats broke rank. The bill heads to the state Senate.
Gov. Jack Markell (D) has expressed support for the bill, telling the Huffington Post in mid-April that he is behind advocates' efforts.
"In 2011, when I signed civil unions, I certainly didn't have the intention of going back to it that quickly," Markell told The Huffington Post. "But when the advocates came to me earlier this year, and said we think it's time, and I said, you know what it is time, and I'm happy to stand right there with you."
According to Freedom To Marry, as of April 2013, nine states have passed laws legalizing same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Washington and Vermont.
And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Historic Day in The First State

The hard work of changing the hearts and minds of the conservative lower slower Delaware rednecks seems to be paying off.  Once they realize they already know us in their lives they are less likely to demonize us. This seems to be happening today.

I'm puzzled, but happy at the outcome. I want to hear more from friends, allies, and enemies.

And so it goes.

He Has No Voice: Sighs of Relief are Everywhere.

For me, ol' Mister "I'm Talking and I Can 't Shut Up" this is really painful. No words issue from this voice box, only croaks, wheezing, and the occasional blurp. There is little soreness, but if I try to speak, a coughing jag ensues and it ain't pretty.

I ran out this morning to run a few errands and thankfully had to utter few words.  I raced home to wait for friend Eddie to text that he was going to deliver my hospitalized PC, seemingly revived and with a new lease on life.  When he arrived I a croaked a greeting and he laughed.  I let it pass.  The PC seems to be functioning well, but I cannot get the printer drivers to cooperate with the Windows 7, as it once did.  The more frustrating Microsoft becomes, the less patience I have for the company. Plug n' Play?  Bulls**t.  If Eddie can't get the PC to recognize the printer I have another decision to make;  A new printer or a new computer. We shall see. All I know is this BS is working on my last gay nerve.

As I feared, all programs were lost, as were most personal files.  Eddie was able to salvage some personal stuff, which he saved to one massive folder with my name as the title. I will likely be sorting through that folder most of the evening and all of tomorrow to discover what is there and what is lost forever. If there are files I can't remember, well that's even better.  No great loss there, eh?

As mentioned in a recent post, I was suppose to join the locoguys and other staff for dinner tonight at the Buttery in Lewes  but I've bowed out. I can't talk and the stress of communicating in such a group would only make my throat sore, bring on more coughing, and make everyone giggle at my vain attempts to speak above a whisper. I'll pass on that for now.  To say I am bummed out by this turn of events would be an understatement, but it is what it is.

No olives this evening, no talking, no singing, no vocalizing whatsoever.  I'm ready for just a bit of Jameson's, neat. Then a light supper.

And so it goes.

R. I. P. Ritchie Havens

He was the glue of Woodstock, the first to perform and dominate the stage for hours as other performers struggled to get to the festival site. Having exhausted his huge repetoire, he and the band riffed on the old slavery spiritual, "Freedom" which became his signature song for years to come. Here is that performance.

His soulful singing style, and rough voice, always left me with a warm feeling of brotherhood and freedom. Thanks for the music, Ritchie.

More later.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Three Years After the BP Spill the Gulf Is Still a Mess

Earth Island Journal / By Maureen Nandini Mitra
"Most people have lost faith the in the recovery process," says photojournalist Julie Dermansky.

April 21, 2013  

Three years after an explosion at British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers, injured dozens, and set off the worst oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, the waters along Gulf Coast seems almost back to normal. Much of the oil is gone. New Orleans-based photographer  Julie Dermansky says there’s still a lot left. The oil, she says, is often hard to locate because it has a tendency to play hide and seek.
Dermansky, who photographed the spill in 2010 “pretty much non-stop for four months, has been doggedly following the story for the past three years — reading up all the research she can lay her hands on, making trips out to the worst impacted areas in Louisiana every few months, and talking to people from affected communities. In the early days of the spill the spill she was hired by several major publications, including The Times, London, The Washington Post, and Der Spiegel.
But these days she travels without assignment, covering expenses on her own since few publications hire photographers or reporters to cover what’s now an old news story. Last, Dermansky again visited the beaches and marshes along the Louisiana and Mississippi coast — some of the worst hit areas where crews are still cleaning up tar mats and tar balls. I spoke with Dermansky via email and over the phone about her trip and her assessment of the situation in the Gulf Coast.
Maureen Nandini Mitra: What did you find on your recent trip out to Grand Isle, Bay Jimmy in Louisiana, and the Mississippi coast?
Julie Dermansy: There was oil sheen stirred up from the turbulence in the Bay Jimmy PJ Hahn Plaquemines Parish director of coastal zone management, who I accompanied on an oil spotting trip, turned over some of the dead marsh grass and exposed roots covered in hardened oil. There was also hardened oil on top of some of the surface we walked on. With each step on the surface, oil sheen spread around my boots. Much of the vegetation there is now dead. That’s tragic as with less vegetation coastal erosion, already a problem before the spill, has intensified. A rainbow oil sheen has moved over parts of the marsh surface. There were signs of life though: small crabs moving around, snails and, raccoon paw prints.
On Grand Isle, at the state park, I found tar balls ranging from the size of a quarter to eight inches long. The beach was not blanketed in them but you could find one every couple of feet.
On the beach in Mississippi, from Waveland to Pass Christian, I found tar balls and dead animals including a Kemp's Ridely turtle (pictured above). Though finding dead animals on the beach is not uncommon, I find the quantity of dead animals on the shore in Mississippi alarming. How the animals are dying is impossible to say. There is no proof the deaths are BP related as none of the scientific studies done on the dolphins and sea turtles have been released. The results of those studies are controlled by the NRDA [Natural Resources Damage Assessment] and are part the evidence being used in the current civil trial going on against BP in New Orleans.
MNM: You mentioned earlier that this is a difficult story to cover because of the "hide and seek oil plays." Could you elaborate on that?
JD: From the start of covering the spill it was every photojournalists task to find the oil. There would be a sighting one day and if you could get yourself out to those coordinates you very well may have found it gone. Odds are it wouldn't be in the same place. It kept, and keeps, moving with the tides. Last week the tide is higher then usual and there was a south wind, so odds were if you went to Bay Jimmy where the oil had hit the hardest, you wouldn't find anything. When I went on Monday (April 15) with PJ Hahn, he was surprised and saddened we found as much as we did.

Forget all those BP "feel good" commercials produced by their PR department. If BP spent as much money on the cleanup, We'd be in better shape now.  Sad, really.

 Read pages 2 & 3 Here.

And so it goes.

Still Fogging the Mirror

Only just...

The tree pollen continues to attack my sinus cavities to the point that I can't tell which is worse - the allergies or the cold. No symptoms other than watery eyes and runny nose.  I don't know where all the stuff is coming from. I get a little relief after taking an antihistamine  just enough to get through the work day.  It wouldn't do to be hacking and sneezing all over guests, now would it? Sleeping and breathing are difficult. I closed the windows and turned on the AC to rid the place of air-born nasties.

Got through the busiest off-season weekend so far. Served over 200 at lunch Saturday, and a surprising 100+ Sunday, so the ride is beginning early.

The restaurant will be closed tomorrow so the floors can be refinished.  The locoguys are taking all the managers out to dinner in the evening at a lovely, posh restaurant in Lewes known as The Buttery.  I haven't been there in years, since I get to Lewes infrequently.  So, looking forward to the evening out. I only hope we don't talk shop all evening, that will drive me to distraction, to say the least.

The PC remains on life support and I don't know when or if, it will ever compute again. I'm weighing the options. In any case, I'll probably lose all program files, which means losing all the personal ones as well. I copied all photo and graphic files to CD. I have an old copy of Office 2000 Pro which will have to do for the present. I cannot afford to purchase a new copy, especially if I have to buy a new computer in the end.

Meanwhile, I have the laptop, purchased a wireless mouse because I can't get used to that silly pad thingy, so for now I can do what I need to do for work and myself. The tiny keyboard is also a challenge for my non-working hands, but I get by.

Getting old isn't for sissies!  But wait!  I AM a sissy...

And so it goes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Value of Silence

David really nails this one. I think it's what I've been feeling since the bombings.
 David Sirota:
Can you hear yourself think? Can you manage more than bursts of confusion and anger? Can you feel your own humanity anymore? I'll admit it — I've had trouble this week, too. After an explosion like the one in Boston, it is indeed hard to hear one's own internal monologue, much less meditate on such horrific events. Polluting that sacred quiet of the mind is both the haunting boom of the bombs themselves and even worse, the noisy coda that we've become so accustomed to.
Sensory overload, of course, is the deafening effect of the Catastrophe Aftermath — one of the last unifying and consistent rituals in our atomized nation. Yes, regardless of whether the tragedy is a school shooting or a terrorist attack, the epilogues of these now-constant mass casualty events have become prepackaged productions that seem less like reality than scripted television dramas.
You know how it goes. Cable outlets blare breaking news chyrons. Twitter explodes with declarations that we are "all from (insert city name) today." Websites post videos of viscera and other disaster porn. Pundits wildly speculate about perpetrators. The president promises justice. Law enforcement press conferences review body counts. Municipal officials insist the community will "stand united." Funerals commence. A media icon says something outrageous. Other media carnival barkers then react to the bombast. Ultimately, the whole episode becomes another excuse to limit civil liberties and is forgotten by all but those personally affected.

Go and read the rest HERE.  You may feel better, as I do now.
And so it goes.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Lone Ranger? In 2013? Where Have I Been?

I grew up with the Lone Ranger first on radio (yes, I am that old) then on B & W TeeVee with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. One of my fave shows in both mediums. (And one of the reasons I went into radio as a child.)

I have neither heard of, nor seen any publicity for this film. And, WOW! What a production.  What a cast! Johnny Depp as Tonto (works for me) and Helena Bonham Carter. I've never heard of the guy playing the Ranger, but he's easy on the eyes...I hope he can act. I guess this is one of the drawbacks of being without TV service.  Still a small price to pay.

From the Production Trailer:
From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films' The Lone Ranger, a thrilling adventure infused with action and humour, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes.
Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, a legend of justice -- taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.
The Lone Ranger also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter.
Director Gore Verbinski said: "I have always been intrigued by characters who exist at times of monumental change. They are somehow cast against the events that engulf them and magnified. The Lone Ranger is a story of two outcasts bonded by adversity at a time when the lines between right and wrong have become blurred. With no well defined beacons to aid them, and no tribe to return to, they are a glorious pair of misfits: A band apart."
Looks good to me, but we have to wait until August, which leads me to think that post-production may have hit a few snags.  Who cares! As long as the final product lives up to the trailer.

And so it goes.

A Harrison Caturday

Miss you George.

And so it goes.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Is There a Requiem For a Dead PC?

If not Mahler, maybe Phillip Glass or PDQ Bach?   You know, something like "Windows on the Fritz!"

Eddie has had my desktop for four days now and he can't seem to get it to read the OS discs, or any other for that matter. He describes loud whirring sounds that shouldn't be happening.  The drive has no problem playing DVD movies and music CDs, but not the Windows 7 disc.  He's all upset.  He prides himself on troubleshooting all versions of Windows, but the solution to this problem is alluding him.

I tried to comfort him. It's a 6-year-old computer after all, purchased when the last one bought the farm in October of 2007. I suggested that if he didn't get the CPU to cooperate over the weekend that he stop trying.  There are two options ahead: I've found another HP with more memory and faster everything for about the same cost as the 6-year-old one.  Or I can save all this unnecessary energy and stress and go into debt for an additional $200 and get a Mac - Mini.

Yes, I realize there would be a steep learning curve, and I'd prefer an easier option, but I cannot waste time on virus scanning everything that is downloaded to the PC, and worry about other viruses or worms creeping onto the hard drive to destroy my data.

Whatever path I choose, I'll receive 5% cash back using Discover Card, if I shop through the "shop discover" option on the website. This has helped me accumulate tidy sums over the years to apply to account balances, or purchases that I wouldn't normally consider for myself.  Recent example: the iPad. 

Whatever happens, I am happy to have this laptop so that I am not totally out of touch with cyber-world.  The laptop itself was one of those surprise deals that I couldn't pass up. Sale price plus the "Staples rewards" earned brought the price down to close to $200. Initially purchased to take along on holiday, it's coming in handy during this mini-crisis.

I'm tired of thinking. My head is about to explode I need to go now.

And so it goes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gun Bill Disaster: Small Comfort

I am happy, proud in fact, to tell you that the 2 Senators from Delaware voted FOR the il-fated background check bill that went down in flames thanks to 46 scum-sucking, bottom-dwelling, NRA bitches senators. (lower case is all they merit.) And, looking at the names of the 46, I was not surprised at all. Even the testimony of Gabby Giffords couldn't thaw their cold hearts.

It is little comfort to be faced with the reality that almost half elected to the Senate care more about the NRA than their constituents. At least Tom Carper can hold his head up on this one.  Chris Coons is a gem and we knew he would be on the right side of this issue.

There was much sadness at the outcome, but some rejoicing at the restaurant today, too.  Many of the staff are hunters as well as fishermen, and they were as unhappy as I by the outcome, but glad that the First State Senators did the right thing.

If you are a resident of Delaware, please take a minute to call or email both Senators and thank them for their vote.

And so it goes.

Britain: A Bus Stop Dancin' Queen

Dance like nobody's looking, indeed.  This made my day. All I can say is "Go, Girl!" From Huff-Po:

She attempts -- and fails -- to sneak in a dance-session unnoticed while she waits for a bus in the English town of Eastleigh.
Youtube user Jane Rowland caught her on tape and then edited in ABBA's 70s hit 'Dancing Queen.' Wait for the air punch around the 1:40 mark.

Now, go and enjoy your life.  Go on!

And so it goes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teabagistan. Wingnuttia, the Dodo, and a Geek

What is all this? I spend a day in bed resting my voice, heart and soul and wake up to more crazy than you can shake a stick at, though I would like to give that a try.

Wingnuttia & Teabagistan have already decided that the nasty Muslims (with Obama as leader, of course) are responsible for Boston bombs, even though the investigation had turned up nothing overnight.  The sooner they go the way of the Dodo, the better off we'll all be.

The bombers planned to maximize the damage to the lower body by stuffing bits of ugly and sharp things into pressure cookers.  And they were successful to a point. The ongoing investigation is offering more clues as to why this happened.

Note: I will postpone the purchase of a pressure cooker for the time being, since that kitchen marvel is now linked to the bombings and resulting carnage.  Is there any innocence left in the world? I am not making light of this news, believe me. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that a warped mind would take such a useful device and use it for such destructive purposes.

I was out of bed only minutes when the phone rang. It was Eddie (co-worker & computer geek) asking if he could drop by and pick up my desktop to clean it up and restore Windows 7 and MS Office.  I will likely lose most programs and all files I couldn't save to disc beforehand.  That's OK.  I've lost more important things in the past, so this is nothing in comparison.

Having spent Tuesday indoors and mostly in bed, I had to make a run to the grocery store before Eddie arrived. I was still unable to talk, not sure of my balance, but I headed out and was back home within an hour. Aside from the necessities I stocked up for Cara-Cara oranges, red grapefruit, bananas, and a mini watermelon. So, me has a craving.

 Eddie arrived a shortly thereafter. He unplugged all cables from the CPU and took it with him saying he may have it back to me by tomorrow evening.  In the meantime I am using the laptop connected to the network and gradually building up my cache of fave sites and blogs and tapping into the advertising websites I have to update for the restaurant. I'm glad I bought the laptop when I did for the very low price  because had I not done so, I'd be left high and dry for these past few days.

Still congested and unable to talk much, but I think I've crossed over to the healing side of this cold/allergy thing, and just in time to return to work tomorrow.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MIA & Boston

Laid low by a tree pollen/head cold  combo since Saturday evening, I've been missing in action ever since.
Made it through a busy Sunday and was making another valiant effort the last 2 hours of my shift yesterday - rapidly losing my voice in the process - when news of the explosions at the Boston marathon hit all TV screens at once.

For those 2 hours everyone was riveted trying to figure out who would do such a thing.  It didn't take long for many theories to surface. Local or foreign, none were excluded. Of course a cry went up when the first person snagged by police was a Saudi student studying in Boston.  Racial profiling, anyone?

As my voice faded away I sat at the bar after my shift and sipped a hot Jameson's toddy prepared by Linda, the GM. The concoction soothed my throat but had no effect on the ability to speak without croaking sounds.

The speculation continued by all of us as well as the media on the scene. Reading the captioning I noticed there was never a mention of this being planned and executed by a home-grown American person or group. American media still refuse to call local acts of terrorism, just that.  Acts committed by American terrorists. Seems we have a short collective memory for things like the Oklahoma City and Atlanta bombings.

I finished the toddy and tired of the same endless tape loop, I walked home in silence feeling empty and tired; wondering what sort of mind could imagine doing such a horrible thing and why it was always directed against innocent people. It was a very early-to-bed night; I felt feverish and chilled.

No one - or group - has claimed this evil. I woke this morning to news that many of the injured had lost limbs, both spectators and runners alike. Irony?  Maybe. This news made me feel no better as I remain without voice.

Grateful for the day off I will sip green tea with honey and lemon, down a few bowls of soup, read in bed all day, and fall asleep if it comes to me. It appears this thing has relocated to my chest, because it feels like a giant bird is crushing me.   Low energy and kind of weak.

I am on the laptop for now.  It seems the desktop has given up the ghost and I am too tired to call Eddie again for help. Whatever! It is what it is.  May be time for a new computer.

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Caturday Hobby

Try another hobby, kitty.

More later.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Philippe Cousteau: Man of my Dreams

Years before the start of my doomed 30-year relationship  I was secretly in love with only one man. I loved his intelligence, scientific and oceanographic knowledge, his documentary film-making skills, his commitment to his father's mission, and his determination to see it through.  I was an avid fan of his famous father and followed his work as possible back before social media and YouTube. 

And speaking of YouTube, I remembered seeing the myth-shattering film "The Silent World"  in NYC and recently discovered it on YouTube.  Watching it again, I felt the same awe, anxiety, and wonder that I felt all those years ago. 

Many of the Cousteau specials were produced by National Geographic and I still have some on VHS (Remember VHS?) 

Unfortunately, Philippe's life ended abruptly when his flying boat, the Catalina, flipped over off the coast of Spain. A terrible loss to all humanity.

In the Catalina.

So there you have it. I loved to dive and loved the Cousteau mission, and I could have spent my entire life working with and snuggling with this man and his beard. 

Now, please stop asking for info about the loves of my life.  He was IT!

And so it goes.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Theatre Talk: Elaine Sritch

You didn't think I was going to get this go away, now did you? Ms Stritch pays another visit to the set of "Broadway Talk" and describes her new show evolving at the Carlyle: Listen carefully:

She is one fascinating lady, no doubt about it. Oh, and there may be more to come.

To view the show that spawned this cabaret act, go here:  Elaine Stritch At Liberty



And so it goes.

Elaine Stritch: End of An Era

I first became aware of and fell in love with Elaine Stritch when she starred in Noel Coward's "Sail Away" -
a short lived Broadway musical.  I had the pleasure to see her in Company (three times!), once with Dean Jones - the original Bobby - and twice with the darling Larry Kert.

She's 88 years old now and ready to return to Michigan, which she left in 1942. This is a candid look at one of the brightest, toughest, and most gifted stars who has vast cache of back stage stories from the 1940s through 2000+. And each time she shares one there seems to another new one to tell. This is a sort of review/homage to Strritchy (as Coward called her) in the New Yorker.  Here's a little tease:

On Friday evening at the CafĂ© Carlyle, before the second-to-last performance of “Elaine Stritch at the Carlyle: Movin’ Over and Out,” Stritch’s farewell show, the crowd was settling in, ordering steak and lobster and Manhattans. The room was packed with theatricality: a woman with a crown of white-blond hair and a high lacy collar and the bearing of Snow White’s stepmother; men in fashionable suits, some with dramatic hair; a woman with a fascinator made of red feathers; Mandy Patinkin, bearded and serious; Michael Riedel, the Post critic, seated in the shadows to one side of the stage.
When the lights went down, Stritch’s accompanist, Rob Bowman, explained what to expect. “This is a very different kind of night,” he said. Stritch, everyone knew, was moving out of the Carlyle Hotel, where she’s lived for the past several years, and out of New York, and going home to Michigan, which she left in 1942. At eighty-eight, she felt it was time; she’s diabetic, and has memory problems, and had a hip replacement, and eye trouble. But her Stritchiness, by God, is still here. Bowman explained that this wasn’t a typical well-rehearsed cabaret show—the Times had tactfully made that clear in its Wednesday review, as if patrons had come for a night of showstoppers, and left confused. “Elaine was asked to do a little something for you all before she leaves for Michigan later in the month. She wants to say hello, goodbye, and everything in between. She wants to come and have a visit. Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s have a visit with Elaine Stritch!”
To wild applause, cheering, and a “Brava!” Stritch, cane in hand, made her way toward the stage as if determinedly fording a stream. She clambered onstage, yelling something feisty; people laughed. In the spotlight, she turned toward the applause. She was wearing her signature outfit: a long white man’s dress shirt, a black vest, black tights, nothing resembling pants. Her shirt buttons were shiny, like diamonds. She bowed, waved, clasped her hands together like a woman in love.
“Isn’t this fantastic, what a star I am?” she yelled. The Carlyle went wild. “I mention I’m going home, and I’m a star immediately! This used to happen with my boyfriends—as soon I’d say ‘I gotta go home now’ they fell in love.” Laugh. “Hard to get. What is it about that? And the newspaper does a picture of you with Tom Hanks, and you’re overnight a star.” The Times piece had featured a picture of Stritch and Hanks greeting each other after the Tuesday show, and another that showed her smiling at tables that included Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, and Bernadette Peters. “I went through so many emotions tonight that I’m a wreck,” she said, her voice breaking. The audience cried out in sympathy.
“I am, I’m a wreck! I’ve been up in that room, and I said, you know? Being a Catholic, I always give myself a problem. Sacred Heart Convent girls always give up something. Their prime time is Lent. The harder your life is, oh boy, you’re really making it.” She did a little riff about Catholicism and self-denial and guilt. “We used to go to downtown Detroit and get so drunk on Easter Saturday afternoon. And then you’d go to the cathedral and we’d say, Oh, I did it, I made a total fool out of myself, that’s what I did.”
A man ordered a glass of wine, too loudly. “Who’s talking while I’m telling these jewels? It’s just selfish!” Applause. “There’s something about it that makes sense, Lent. You give something up and everything’s more joyful.” She told more of the Catholicism story, her mood hovering between elegiac and saucy. “We haven’t even done the opening yet. That’s how casual this show is. Should we do the opening?”
“Yes!” the crowd said happily.
Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/04/elaine-stritchs-long-goodbye.html#ixzz2Q3yuKg4X

Go and read the rest.  You won't be disappointed.  I promise.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

PC is Off Life Support

At least for now. The PC has been resurrected  sorta like Jeebus, but it was not without  some major loss. Well, hey, I've lost everything 3 times in this life and I got through it every time.  Not without anger, tears, and frustration, mind you, but I moved on. What else is there to do?

Many of my personal files are gone or cannot be accessed now because I lost my latest version of MS Office and had to re-install my old Office 2000 disks.  At least they are still supported by Microsoft, which is a surprise in itself.

Many of my photo files and graphics were rescued, as well.  Eddie was here for over an hour re-installing  tweaking and rescuing data.  I've spent the rest of the day moving folders from the old corrupt Windows folder to the new partitioned windows 7 and so far, so good. All of my bookmarks were lost as were many of my fave news and info sites.  Happily many of my fave blogs are listed on the blog-roll so I will save them in my new bookmark folder on Google Chrome. Eddie swears by it and I must say I find it faster than either Firefox or the dreaded IE. Pages load faster and downloads are quick, too. I am so grateful to Eddie for all his efforts.  It's nice to be back even if crippled in many ways. Eddie noted that the PC was overheating due to all the processing it had to do, so I guess this PC is living on borrowed time, anyway. (sigh!)

I'm too tired to be upset about the loss of files.  It is what it is and that's the truth. Can't do anything about it, anyway.

I've had nothing to eat all day but some cheese and crackers, so I am going to enjoy a festive cocktail as I get my email program restored, and then some comfort food for supper.  Not much sleep last night; between the crazy neighbor and the back pain there was no relief or rest for me.

The weather today was more like July than April. We hit 82' F by noon making everyone sort of happy, but sort of miserable, too.  It is way too soon for those temps. I plan to venture forth tomorrow morning to play in the streets or on the beach.

I think a mac may be in my near future.  I just can't deal with this Microsoft BS anymore. I return to working 6 or 7 days weekly next week, so that extra money will be helpful in making my decision.

And so it goes.

"Steppin' Out" Classic Song & Memorable Video

I fell in love with this song when it hit the charts in the early 80's and I was still working in radio.  This new video works on the classy side of the song and does so very nicely.

Special thanks to Auntie Dasch for the link. You made my day.

And so it goes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break, iTired, and iPad

These past 2 weeks have been an unbelievably busy time.  As if the Bloggerpalooza wasn't enough, spring break for NJ, PA, and NY broke out the week between Palm Sunday and Easter; while the second act, and busier for us; DE, MD, and VA busted out from Easter and ends today.  Thank you  Jeebus!

Please, we're not complaining; the weather has been unpredictable so far and we didn't know what to expect or if families would even bother with the beach.  They did and we were slammed at the restaurant all last week with large family groups to the point that I had a half hour wait for tables at lunch and an hour+ wait for dinner.

I picked up the iPad on Friday, brought it home and plugged it in to charge the battery, and that was that for the weekend.  No time to play with it and no energy to read the minimal instructions.

Today was another busy day, though not as busy as last week.  Folks were heading home for the new school week, having a quick bite and hitting the road. This meant I was free at my regular time and sat with a few co-workers for an after shift cocktail.

During this time, Ron (the dear) of "Retired in Delaware" arrived to offer a lesson in iPad 101.  I explained the situation and told him I would be in touch.  My 2 drinking buddies were on bikes and I was walking, so as we headed off in different directions, I knew what I was going to do:  I wanted baked pork chops with asparagus for supper and I wanted to spend the evening at the Apple Store searching for apps for the iPad. And that is what I am going to do.

The chops are marinating, asparagus is ready for the oven, and when I post this I will be in happy Apple land while supper cooks. Apple is very new to me, but I can get used to not worrying about viruses and the irritating downloaded "windows updates" that seem to occur almost daily anymore.

I may become a Mac user if my Windows 7 desktop isn't functional soon. None of the downloads have been helpful in reviving the OS and I am getting tired of using the laptop. If I must lose all my programs and personal files, then so be it.

Supper is about to go into the oven, a few olives will accompany me to the land of Apple Apps, so wish me luck.  This should be fun.

Someone said today that I am too old for all this change. They haven't known me very long, so they're allowed to be stupid.

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Raccoon Plays The Garden Harp.

He's a child prodigy so please hold the applause until the end.  Thank You.
Yes, it was a very busy day.  Why do you ask?

And so it goes.

Caturday Plots

Thank goodness they don't have opposable thumbs. We'd be in real trouble then...

More later.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Here's to The Ladies Who Lunch

I'll drink to that...and they certainly did! A party of 30 ladies from the same housing development dine out once monthly, and this time they chose Dos Locos. Age range best guess, between 50 and 80 years old, they were an absolute delight.

The margaritas and sangria (a few Manhattans & whiskey sours in the mix) flowed like mother's milk and the laughter was contagious. Other diners got swept up into the festivities and, I think, new friendships were made in the process.

These gals were not out for a cheap lunch, hell no, they ordered from the main menu.  The 3 servers were perfect for this bunch and enjoyed the 2.5 hours the ladies were with us.  Table hopping was the norm and it took a while for the staff to figure out who moved where when the food came out, but no mishaps were detected and the otherwise noisy dining room became suddenly quiet and these gals chowed down.

As they finished their meals the table hopping resumed and more drinks and even desserts were served until they were all giggling like schoolgirls at recess. We all got hugs as they left quite full and very tipsy, thanking us for making them feel at home.

That 30, plus the regular walkin's bumped our lunch total to well over 100, and for a Thursday after Easter that's pretty good.  Enjoyed a golden margarita with the lunch crew before heading home and as we talked about the day and shared stories about the big party a few insights were gleaned.  About half of the group had never been to the restaurant and many of them said they'd be back with husbands and family in tow. That really made all of us feel very good.

I arrived home, checked email and found a notice that the iPad is ready for pickup.  I could go and get it tonight, but I really hate that store and it's always busy at supper time. I'll get it tomorrow before work, plug it in to charge and tomorrow evening - look out world - this Cajun will be wielding another technological biggy.   Well, at least for me.

A sales reps from the liquor distributors arrived today with a bottle of Lavender liqueur for me, so I will also pick up a bottle, or two, of inexpensive bubbly and try out the champagne & lavender spring cocktail I read about last summer.  I'm told that Barefoot is a good, moderately priced champagne, (it is served at the local country club, so it can't be bad) and I'll give it a shot.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Is That Really Necessary?

After a lovely day in the 50s yesterday, I woke to a frigid 38' F this morning.  Teeth chattering like castanets as I cranked up the heat to warm the apartment and slid back under the covers.  Later, after a coffee and an egg with sourdough toast, I grabbed my list and made my way downstairs to the car.

The little darlings were arriving at the pre-school downstairs so there was much babbling and malfunctioning of adult brain cells.  As I approached my car a little darling was having a meltdown and while screeching at the very top of his lungs (making my eyes water) he was kicking the driver's side door of my car.  Initially I couldn't believe his mother was just standing by and watching this little scene play itself out.

Furious, I brought my voice down to the most lethal tone and said "stop this, who do you think you are?" Both mom and the brat jumped then froze in place. I asked the mother, "is this your car?" she shook her head.  I said, "no, of course not. You wouldn't allow him to kick your car, now would you?" She said nothing while looking for a way to escape this crazy man.

I turned my attention to the mad child and he stood stock still. I said, "if you want to throw a tantrum, do so in the school, or in your mother's car as she drives you off the edge of a cliff. Now, GET AWAY FROM MY CAR!!! The little darling let out a yelp and promptly wet himself. Mom opened her mouth to speak, but I cut her short, "this is how you raise your child to be a productive member of society  No respect for the property of others? Really? Try harder."

While they stood in front of the school, seemingly unable to move, I got into the car and sped away to run errands. Still angry but feeling satisfied that my little scene may have been a life-changing event, at least for the kid.

When asked if he liked children, W.C. Fields replied, "I do if they are properly cooked."

Chaos and disorder neutralized.  My job is done for today.

And so it goes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Few Things

Easter weekend was an amazing time. Plenty of regular customers and families were down (the week prior to Easter was Spring Break for NY, NJ, and PA - This week is Spring Break for MD, VA, and DE) and the restaurant was hopping, big time. I had a half-hour wait for a table at lunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was a joyful time, to be sure. By last evening I was cross-eyed and so weary I almost waddled home.  No after shift cocktail for me, just peace and quiet and a few olives at home, thank you.

Today with Easter over, those decorations came down as we prepare Dos Locos for Cinco de Mayo - always a super busy weekend for the restaurant. I can't imagine why that might be, can you?  Of course, the Locosguys are working on a special menu for the occasion, as they always do.

I've been reading posts of bloggers who attended "Bloggerpalooza" last week and it seems all of us came away with the same feelings.  OK, so it may sound kinda mushy and stuff, but if you weren't here, you can't know how we related to one another. It was a unique experience for me, and as I read the words of others, it was for them, as well. And as many have written, it was too short a time to get to know one another better.  However, we did our  best. I did enjoy an intense one-on-one with Fred of "Our Simple Lives" and enjoyed a light lunch on Sunday afternoon with Sassy & Jeffrey who sent a text as they shopped the little stores in Rehoboth. Great fun that will never be forgotten. I am sure we will stay in touch and I will see them again in the near future.

If you visit this place from time to time, you may remember that I received a $150. Wal*Mart Gift Card for bitching completing a survey about the lousy service I was subjected to on a recent visit.  I couldn't imagine spending that much money on Walmart's Chinese junk, then someone told me to check their website; that they offered much more there than in the stores.  Well, the card was to expire on 3/31/13 so I took the shot and went hunting. What I found astounded me. An Apple iPad on sale for $376. with free delivery to any store. I did some quick math: $150. Card and  $131. cash back rewards from Discover Card meant that this iPad would set me back $95.!!! Well, what's not to love? I placed the order on 3/30 and it will be in my hot little hands by 4/4/13.  I still find it hard to wrap my head around this whole episode.  It appears that Walmart is desperate for positive PR after a year of negative press and lawsuits.  Sorry, but I only shop there for coffee pods for my Senseo Coffee Maker. No one else in the US carries them anymore.  Not even Amazon, who was my last supplier.

I learned today that an old photographer buddy of mine passed away recently. We used to spend our Saturdays in Central Park or The Cloisters in all kinds of weather shooting mostly black & white film, processing it and making prints of our efforts. We even sold a few. We stayed in touch via email and the infrequent phone call.  His wife didn't approve of his friendship with a gay man, so we hadn't seen each other in years. Today, his widow called to say that he left one of his cameras to me and she would be choosing which one and would send it when everything else was in order. I was shocked and honored that he would even think of our old days together.  First of all, I had no idea he was ill.  (she didn't go into details.) Second, I am sure it irritated her no end to make the call to get my mailing address information. Her voice dripped with sarcasm and oozed venom, but I didn't acknowledge the stinging barbs or take the bait to get my goat.

I am off work for the next 2 days, and these may be the last 2 days off until September, and the end of the summer season. It's coming, and they're coming folks.

And so it goes.
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