Tuesday, September 30, 2008



This week is Banned Books Week. Read a book to celebrate. Let me know what book you chose. I'm reading Issac Asimov's, Foundation. I suppose Ray Bradbury's, Fahrenheit 451, would have been an even more poignant choice, hence the photo above.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

Read while you can.

My all time favorite Twilight Zone episode, Time Enough at Last.

Yes, that's Burgess Meredith as Henry Bemis.

The Twilight Zone: Time Enough at Last (Part 2)

The Twilight Zone: Time Enough at Last (Part 3)

Monday, September 29, 2008


It's really rather clever, if we do say so ourselves! To create the GUINNESS® Draught magic, slowly pour the special GUINNESS® Draught SURGER® beer into your pint glass, place it on the SURGER® and press the button. The SURGER® sends ultrasonic sound through the beer activating that instant rush of GUINNESS® magic, creating a rich black body with a tight white creamy head.
-From Guinness.com
I meant to look this up last year after we saw it in Aruba, but it kept slipping my mind. I'm happy to confirm that the device exists and wasn't some prank the bartender pulled on me. I've gotten some weird looks from people when I've tried to describe the Surger to them. Now I can properly explain it.

Apparently, the Surger has been out for a few years but it's only available in the U.K. I have an email in to the folks at Guinness to see if the Surger will be making it's way to the U.S. anytime soon.

Ebay had an empty Surger can for $1.82 - An empty can, what good does that do me?

BTW when I tried the Surger it produced an enjoyable pint. Of course to properly rate the pint, I'd need to have a pub can and a draft as well.


This Machine Kills Fascists



Household Items


I bought a new cast iron bacon pan. The non stick pan I had was cooking the bacon unevenly; crispy on the ends and raw in the middle won't cut it.

The pan's virgin fry produced some lovely BLT's.

I also picked up some canvas shopping bags. Yea earth!


They were made in Lowell, MA. Could it be that they were made at the Boott Cotton Mills, that hosted the On the Road, scroll?

It's nice to see that the industry that literally put Lowell on the map is still alive and well.

I can't believe Lego of my Ego doesn't already have a "Bacon" label. The oversight has been remedied.

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Two Time Loser


Not only do I have a Washington Mutual account but my workman's comp case is being handled by A.I.G.

Government Seizes WaMu and Sells Some Assets

Fed to Offer Bridge Loan to A.I.G. and Take Control of Firm

Apparently, I'm something of a Typhoid Mary for financial institutions.

Yesterday's News

I went to San Francisco's Outside Lands Music Festival, in Golden Gate Park with some friends back in August. Well, we didn't actually go inside the festival we lurked outside the perimeter. I think we might have had more fun than the people inside. We watched people try to sneak into the festival all day and get chased by security. We were able to catch a glimpse of the stage from an empty tractor trailer bed that we set up camp on. There were probably 100 people on or around the trailer.

Here are some photos.

After Outside Lands I went to Yosemite National Park for a few days.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rest Easy

Sometimes I hate myself for checking the news first thing in the morning.

Legendary film star Paul Newman dies at 83

"He was thrilled, friends said, when he heard that he had made President Nixon's enemies list."

After seeing the news I watched Luke sing Plastic Jesus a few times before watching the second half of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Hud was just a little to irredeemable for the occasion. It's odd how watching videos on youtube has become part of the mourning process. Odder still to watch heroes die as you grow older. The first time I saw Newman was when I was a teenager and my father and I watched all three & a half hours of Exodus on a Saturday afternoon. Thanks Pop.

If you don't well up you should check for a pulse.

If the redemption doesn't make you smile give up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Go Eat


, home of the French Dipped Sandwich is celebrating their 100th anniversary on Monday, October 6th at 4 PM.

Sandwiches are going to be a dime (one sandwich per person; I know collective groan) and a cup of coffee will be a nickle.

If the prices aren't reason enough for you to leave work early Mr. Amazing, Huell Howser is gonna be there.

Philippe The Original
1001 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

At Alameda & Ord Street. One block North of Union Station


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today, is the anniversary of Richard Nixon's, "Checkers" speech in which he denied allegations of improper campaign financing. At the time, Nixon was Eisenhower's running mate in the 1952 presidential election.

I had never seen the speech in its entirety. I didn't realize that Pat Nixon was sitting dutifully on the couch next to Tricky Dick.

Take a break from the current scrum and listen to the speech.


"I have found that there are so many deserving stenographers and secretaries in Washington that needed the work that I just didn't feel it was right to put my wife on the pay roll."

" . . . the speeches that I had printed for the most part concerned this one message of exposing this Administration, the Communism in it, the corruption in it."

Ahhh, the House Un-American Activities Committee

(HUAC is the), "most un-American thing in the country today."
-former President Harry S. Truman, 1959

" . . . we've got a house in Washington, which cost 41,000 dollars and on which we owe 20,000 dollars. We have a house in Whittier, California which cost 13,000 dollars and on which we owe 3000 dollars."

Wow, cheap digs. According to the website Simply Hired, the median price of a home in Whittier, CA today is around $485,000.

"I say that a man who, like Mr. Stevenson, has pooh-poohed and ridiculed the Communist threat in the United States -- he said that they are phantoms among ourselves. He has accused us that have attempted to expose the Communists, of looking for Communists in the Bureau of Fisheries and Wildlife. I say that a man who says that isn't qualified to be President of the United States. And I say that the only man who can lead us in this fight to rid the Government of both those who are Communists and those who have corrupted this Government is Eisenhower, because Eisenhower, you can be sure, recognizes the problem, and he knows how to deal with it."

"Let me say this: I don't believe that I ought to quit, because I am not a quitter. And, incidentally, Pat's not a quitter. After all, her name was Patricia Ryan and she was born on St. Patrick's day, and you know the Irish never quit."

Full text of the speech is available at American Rhetoric.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Week Three

I made a triumphant return to The Shack, in Playa del Rey, for the Patriots Dolphins game. Getting up at 9 am for the game was a bit of a shock to the system. As it turned out I should have stayed in bed.

Route Improvement

The Culver & Sepulveda Blvd. intersection which was torn up for over two years due to the 405 freeway expansion has been completed. They look ready to start the landscaping along Culver

I hadn't been to the Shack since the beginning of last season. The $5 breakfast buffet has been replaced by a three item breakfast menu. Take your pick from a breakfast burrito, a bagel sandwich or a scrambled egg plate. The lunch menu appears to have been pared down. The horrible rear projection big screen television has been replaced by a flat screen. I'm not sure how the men's room passes inspection from an engineering standpoint.

As for the Patriots game . . .

Five times, really New England, you were fooled five times by the direct snap to Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown?

Around the League

How much of Cleveland's (0-3) woes are due to Derek Anderson's ineptitude (14 of 37 for 125 yards & 3 interceptions yesterday) and how much is due to his preseason injury, Braylon Edward's slow start and the absence of Donte Stallworth. Anderson will likely have another week to show us. If Cleveland fails to beat Cincinnati (0-3) in the battle of the winless next Sunday it'll be the Brady Quinn show for a while. With both of the states football teams at 0-3 Ohio's state motto, "With God, All Things Are Possible", couldn't be more appropriate.

The Steelers, we already know you can't kill Big Ben (did you see the car he hit with his face a few years ago?) but come on Pittsburgh give the guy a little protection.

The Eagles defense looked really good. What I saw of them, I fell asleep after the half. I've watched two Steeler snooze fests in a row, last week's 10 to 6 win over the Browns and yesterday's 6 to 15 loss to the Birds.

Aaron Rodgers might have come back down to earth a little with the Packers loss. Down late and moving the ball it was apparent that the Packers were not engineered to come from behind quickly.

Denver has a terrible defense, they'll need to score 30 points to be in games.

How does Lions (0-3) President & CEO Matt Millen still have a job? San Francisco offensive coordinator and former Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz must have had a smile on his face last night after beating the his old team 31-13.

Has anyone written about Lion's head coach Rod Marinell's attempt to mold the Lions into a running team after Millen drafted wide receiver Calvin Johnson with the second pick in 2007, WR Mike Williams with the tenth pick in 2005 and WR Roy Williams with the seventh pick in 2004.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


His garden: "It takes up the entire roof. It’s packed with desert plants of all shapes and sizes. I have no dog, no cat. The succulents are my family, and they are always content."

Morning routine:
"I get up around 6 because in California you get up with the sun. I make some tea; sometimes I walk down the street to get the papers. I go up to the rooftop garden for some perspective on existence; then I make my European, African and Asian phone calls."

~Peter Sellars, Theatrical Director & Culver City resident

From: Demon Opera, Edward Lewine, NY Times Magazine, 9/14/08

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One Nation

Via Spx

Brought to you by the folks at, United We Speak English.

UnitedWeSpeakEnglish.com is a web site dedicated to the cause of keeping English the National Language of the United States of America.

Stand Up and Take part in a cause you believe in!
Let's not lose this fight to protect and preserve our heritage-

Speak UP if you feel there is something intrinsically WRONG with a Spanish Version of our National Anthem!

Tell the companies you do business with that you are PERSONALLY OFFENDED by having to Press a Button to get service in ENGLISH !!!

I had no idea the English language was in such peril. Makes me want to go patrol the line with the Minutemen (I can't believe these racist clowns refer to themselves as Minutemen) or read some poetry.
The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

- by Emma Lazarus, 1883


Drinks of the Week

Hoboken Speedball - Reagan era; a cup of coffee chased with a can of Budweiser

Kremlin Colonel
- Vodka, fresh mint, sugar


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Addition

I'm adding Kissing Suzy Kolber, to the blog roll.

"KSK is a humor site dedicated solely to the NFL."

Here's a look at the inspiration for KSK's name.


The Garden State

I went to New Jersey over the weekend to see some family. Thanks again to my sister & brother in law for making that happen. I confirmed that my niece is the smartest and cutest little girl in the state. I also got to watch football and eat barbecue with some old friends on Sunday.

Sunday was my first day of football as I was at the Camel Races last weekend.

Football Thoughts

The Patriots will make the playoffs. Starting running back Lawrence Maroney might loose his job to Sammy Morris. The Patriots are going to have to score some points on defense this year.

The Giants are loaded at running back.

I liked former Giant Michael Strahan on Fox's NFL Sunday.

What happened to the Browns? They may right the ship yet, but they looked anything but a playoff team. How long before the fans start clamoring for Brady Quinn.

Colts running back Joseph Addai really misses his starting center Jeff Saturday.

Why didn't one of Ed Hockale's fellow refs step in during his blown call in the Chargers Broncos game?

Is Chargers running back Ladainian Tomlinson out of gas or is he just off to another slow start?

Did Oakland owner Al Davis really think the Raiders would be good anytime soon?

Did Brad Childress really think quarterback Tavaris Jackson was the answer?

I think enlarging the NFL Schedule to 17 or 18 games is a bad idea. Two more regular season games makes winning the Super Bowl a war of attrition.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger really didn't want to talk about his shoulder after the Steelers win over the hapless Browns.

Will St. Louis Rams head coach Scott Linehan make it through the season? His week two post game press conference was a classic tirade. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a clip on the web.

Travel Notes

Photobucket Photobucket

A liter of water in Newark Liberty International Airport is $3.49. A gallon of gas was $3.47 in Hoboken, NJ. I pointed that out to the sales clerk and received a dirty look.

More evidence that the next wars will be fought over food and water.

I think the bottled water companies and the TSA are in cahoots. I'd like to see what a bottle of water was going for on the other side prior to the liquids ban. If I'm not allowed to take water through the security check point then there should be filtered water provided on the other side so I can fill my bottle.

My flight was delayed an hour due to the Ike related airport closure in Houston. We had to wait for two flight attendants.

Once on-board the flight crew apologized profusely for the delay. There was no offer of free booze or FF miles.


Man in a charcoal suit: "George W. was one of the worst students I ever had."
Woman in a yellow suit: "Student, where?"
Man in a charcoal suit: "Harvard, and I don't say that politically."

I have no idea if the man was a professor or not. He went on to mumble something about everybody deserving a drink now and then but . . .

Mother to her children (who had just returned from spending $50 in Borders) after discussing their frequent purchases on amazon.com.

"I don't want you using my credit card anymore. If you need something I'll buy it for you."

Umm, why did you give your kids the credit card in the first place? In the children's defense at least they're spending mom's money on books.

Waiting in the jetway

"We had a workforce reduction last year."

You mean some people were fired?


I read a piece on Lance Armstrong, in the October issue of Men's Journal.

Here's a quote.

"I'm glad I'm not cycling anymore. It was fun while it lasted, and I liked it, but I'm so focused on other things now that I never think about it."

The interview was done on May 13th, LiveStrong Day.

Armstrong announced his return to professional cycling via his website on September 9th.

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MRSA Medical Marijuana Collision


Article via JS

Chemicals in Marijuana May Fight MRSA
Study Shows Cannabinoids May Be Useful Against Drug-Resistant Staph Infections
Researchers in Italy and the U.K. tested five major marijuana chemicals called cannabinoids on different strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). All five showed germ-killing activity against the MRSA strains in lab tests. Some synthetic cannabinoids also showed germ-killing capability. The scientists note the cannabinoids kill bacteria in a different way than traditional antibiotics, meaning they might be able to bypass bacterial resistance.

In the study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, researchers call for further study of the antibacterial uses of marijuana. There are "currently considerable challenges with the treatment of infections caused by strains of clinically relevant bacteria that show multi-drug resistance," the researchers write. New antibacterials are urgently needed, but only one new class of antibacterial has been introduced in the last 30 years. "Plants are still a substantially untapped source of antimicrobial agents," the researchers conclude.

I recommend against googling for images of MRSA. The pictures are not pretty. Or maybe the public needs to see images of MRSA's destruction, perhaps it would move them to call for more research and funding into superbugs.

I don't think the alarm bell for drug resistant infections can be rung loud enough. The world is facing an epidemic. Only one new class of antibiotics has been developed in the last 30 years. As many articles have pointed out big pharma is off in search of the next billion dollar pill, another prozac or viagra and has little interest in developing new antibiotics. The federal government under the NIH, FDA or another of it's myriad of alphabet soup agencies should be leading the charge.

While we wait for the baton to be picked up; please, please remember to wash your hands frequently. It's the first line of defense against superbugs.


The New Yorker, ran an article on Superbugs in it's September 11th issue.


The new generation of resistant infections is almost impossible to treat.
By Jerome Groopman


Men's Journal
, ran an article on Medical Marijuana in it's September issue.


Athletes Discover Pot For Pain

Marijuana works wonders on serious pain related to major illnesses. But could weed also be a better option than over the counter drugs for sports injuries and muscle soreness?
By Marc Peruzzi

The author used to take up to 20 Advil or "skier's Chiclets" a week to treat a back injury suffered while skiing. He eventually developed an ulcer attributed to Advil (ibuprofen), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs).

At the suggestion of an editor he decided to try replacing "Vitamin A (Advil)" with marijuana. He found that, "through my improvised clinical trial I discovered that, used in moderation, pot can be an affective painkiller for sports injuries. I was most impressed at how quickly it relieved muscle spasms . . . More than that, I found that smoking pot for pain might be a smarter choice than popping pills."

"Pot has anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen, and it won't give you an ulcer." -Dr. Donald Abrams, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California - San Francisco

Unfortunately, the article is not available online.


Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, has said he would end federal raids on medical marijuana clinics. Obama's position was outlined in a San Francisco Chronicle, article earlier this year.

Next president might be gentler on pot clubs
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, May 12, 2008
"Voters and legislators in the states - from California to Nevada to Maine - have decided to provide their residents suffering from chronic diseases and serious illnesses like AIDS and cancer with medical marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering," said campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

"Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice - though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulation like other drugs," LaBolt said. He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

R.I.P. Snowman

You did what they said couldn't be done.

Jerry Reed, 71; country singer appeared in 'Smokey and the Bandit' films

LA Times, 9/3/08

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Los Angeles taco trucks can stay put again
LA Times, 8/28/08

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Wednesday overturned a controversial ordinance passed in April by county supervisors that made it a misdemeanor in unincorporated parts of the county to park a taco truck in one spot for more than an hour.

The language of the ordinance, Judge Dennis A. Aichroth said, was "vague" and therefore "unconstitutional" in its description of how quickly a vendor could return to an area where the truck was previously parked. Aichroth said it also violated the vehicle code because county supervisors had not properly established that it was written in the interest of public safety.