Friday, February 29, 2008


I was in the grocery store the other day and I was looking at the different butters when my eyes fell upon the Land O'Lakes package that is still pretty much the same as it was in the early 60's when I was a lad.It triggered something I had not thought about in awhile and that was how the Land O'Lakes box was in my day usually a boys first dirty picture.I can't imagine who figured it out and why but I'll never forget the first time several of us were at our friend Dennis's house and he took the box out and cut it so the Indian Maiden's Knees became her breasts.I was amazed someone had thought of that but even then I wondered how and why someone had thought of that.I don't recall any of my friends getting caught with the naughty butter box hidden under the bed or desk drawer and wonder if boys of a certain age still do this in the age of computers and video games.I can see a father somewhere telling his son that in his day we had to make our own porn.We just didn't turn on the computer to see it while mom and dad wern't home.It was a simpler time but the Box is still there on supermarket shelves just waiting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I was watching this nature show tonight and they had some beautiful shots of swamps.It brought to mind a day several years ago when I was in NYCity in October.My New York friend Henry and I went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for the day and we were in the area behind the Japanese garden where there was a small swampy area with a few ducks.As we were standing there a small group of Chinese tourists came up next to us.After a few minutes one of the ladies in unsteady english asked us 'Excuse me are thosa har das?"Huh? a smile and then"Are thosa Harr dass?" What? She said it again with a bit more pointing and my friend Henry says"Hot Dogs?","No those are cattails".We could tell she did not quite get it but they looked somemore and we walked off before it registerd so we did not have to explain cattails.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Putting away CD's a few weeks ago I came across one of my fave albums which I haven't heard in awhile.The Waterboys"Fisherman's Blues" is just a wonderful CD.I had forgotten how great it was to listen to.Mike Scott and the boys deliver really catchy tunes and do a haunting version of putting"The Stolen Child" to music and then I dug out two of my other fave CD'S by World Party.Their first album"Private Revolution" is really good but the one they put out after"Goodbye Jumbo" is one of the great albums of the 90's.World Party's frontman Karl Wallinger left The Waterboys to start World Party and though it would have been interesting to see what they could have done together the seperate results are classic.

Winter Landscape-Peter Brueghel the Younger(1621)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Local Food

This past Wed the Dining out section of the New York Times had an article on the growing number of small farmers producing and selling dairy.Cheese,Butter,Milk,Yogurt,Creme Fraiche etc.Now we have some fine farmers markets in L.A. but I haven't really looked to see if anyone is selling butter.In High School I had a friend whose grandparents had a farm between Rochester and Syracuse and I went with him one time and his grandmother served us lunch with biscuits with her butter on it and it was like nothing I have ever tasted.Tegs grandparents were a bit different but then so were Teg and his brothers.They were the only ones in our upscale little suburb that had a pet pig and Teg's brother Tom used to put him in the front seat of their Mustang Convertible the first winter when the pig was still small,put sun glasses on him and drive around town with the top down.Eventually the pig got to big and back to the farm he went.I love going back to Rochester in the fall and going to the farm stands in the country side for apples,grapes,squash and going to Naples N.Y. and buying the area speciality Grape Pies which are really really tasty.But by going in the Fall I miss those summer days when we went to the farm stands for just picked corn and all those in season veggies just picked.During my Cape Cod summers we didn't have a lot of money but we always seemed to have free Bluefish and thanks to my buddy Jimmy fresh Quahogs he clammed the flats for.We ate a lot of chowder.We akso knew a guy in Provincetown who sold us Lobsters out of his tank in the garage for 2.75 a pound.This was late 70's There is a website called Eat It) that lists farms that ship state by state.Mostly meat and Poultry but also dairy and fruit and other things.It's worth taking a look at.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Classic Novels

In my "More Middlemarch" post a reader made the very witty and funny comment"Have you never reenacted scenes from Middlemarch with Pee Wee's Playhouse action figures?" and it got me to thinking something I was trying to launch a few years ago with no takers.I had the idea of doing classic books on audio with Gilbert Gottfried as the narrator.Just think of that voice doing Dickens"IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES,IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES" or Melville"CALL ME ISHMAEL"

Sweet Pea and Knuckle Sandwich

I looked out the window before to see Sweet Pea and Knuckle Sandwich outside and heading off with their parents.Now I noticed this cause I come from a long line of Nosy or is it Nosey ancestors.Sweet Pea my 4 year old neighbor has had a flu type thing twice in three weeks.Her 6 year old brother Knuckle Sandwich came down with it a few days ago.I might add a I live in a two story 6 unit building owned by brothers mother in law and most of us have been here a long time so we are like a family with our ups and downs.We all know each other very well.Sweet Pea and Knuckle Sandwich are also my"helpers" out on our patio garden and since the garden is pretty much overgrown from a Winter of ignoring it we'll be out there in a few weeks pulling weeds trying to control the ever expanding Blue Dawn Flower Morning Glory Vine that seems to be growing everywhere and putting all the new stuff in the ground and in the pots.I know I'll find many peanuts,walnuts and other nuts in the pots from the gang of neighborhood squirrels and as soon as I replant the pots the squirrels will come dig them up looking for the nuts that I have removed.

Royal Arches&Half Dome,Yosemite by Thomas Hill(1866)

Presidential Library

I saw on ABC news where SMU has announced it will be the home of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.Bush said as soon as he finished the book"Walter the Farting Dog" he'll give it to them and they'll have their library.On another news note some mother changed the batteries on her son James Talking Elmo doll and now one of the phrases the doll says sounds like"Kill James" I heard it and it does.Evidently you can say names to put in the phrases the doll says.The Toy company is giving James a new Doll and wants to look at the old one to see why it went"Chucky".I heard a new Homerism on a Simpsons rerun tonight"We've had more problems than the Jews and Charley Brown put together"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Hunters by Peter Brueghel the Elder(1565)

More Middlemarch

Two nights ago I went over to Amazon to check out reader reviews of Middlemarch.So last night after posting here about it I went back to Amazon to look at some of her other books.If you ever use Amazon they always tell you when you go back that if you liked this book then you'd like this and this.Last night was a real hoot.It said if I liked Middlemarch and they show a pic of the book that I would like Middlemarch and Middlemarch.They had three different texts of the same book for me!I love it also when they used to cross brand(not sure if they still do this).If you like Middlemarch then they suggest outdoor lawn furniture and the complete Pee-Wee Hermans playhouse series.How do they arrive at these things?

It Never Rains in CA.

It's a nice rainy night in Los Angeles.In fact it's supposed to rain off and on right through Sunday.If one were to read only Raymond Chandler novels as to what L.A. is like one would think we have these rainy foggy nights as often as San Francisco.But in reality after April you rarely see any rain in Los Angeles till the next Nov.Once in awhile you get a summer thunderstorm that sneaks in from the mountains and late May-June can produce a thick fog bank along the coast that produces a very mild drizzle but Dec to March is when we can get rain just like folks in the real world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

U.S.S. Lake Erie

Maybe it's my sense of humor but I found it amusing that the U.S. Navy ship that launched the missle wed night that shot down the rogue U.S. sattelite was named The U.S.S. Lake Erie.35 years ago Lake Erie was probably more Toxic than the fuel tank from the Sattelite they were worried about falling to earth.


So I have a lot of free time the next few weeks and after two years of sitting on my shelf I pulled"Middlemarch" out the other night by George Eliot(pseudonym for Mary Ann Evans).I am pleasantly surprised so far though it is over 800 pages.My only beef is that it all takes place indoors so far.Hardly any description of the countryside,weather etc.It reminds me a wee bit of "Howards End" so far but I guess that should be reversed since "Howards End" came after.One of the reasons I loved "The Forsyte Saga" which came even later was because a decent amount of it takes place in outdoor settings.The first time I read the Saga was as a junior in highschool when I was young and romantic and Old Jolyon slipping away from this earth while napping beneath one of his massive old trees has always seemed like such a perfect way to die.But I digress.A poster in our old exile group from the N.Y. Times forums told me if I want an outdoor Eliot to read"The Mill on the Floss" which I may do down the road.

Lunar Eclipse

I watched outside toinight till the Moon was covered around 7:00 Los Angeles time but the clouds are moving in so I can hardly see it now looking out the window.Since I have a large golf course and city park nearby we often get great low banks of fog on nights like this but so far none.The thing here though that when I get the Fog I don't get to hear a foghorn.My absolute favorite thing from my summers living in North Truro on Cape Cod was the moaning Fog Horn of Highland Light on a pea soup foggy night.It comes out slightly ahead of a train whistle sounding in the dark while you sleep on a train or in my bedroom growing up the train whistle heard in the night off in the distance.Such a lonesome sound.In nature the cry of a loon can give you that same feeling.


Welcome to Was You Ever Stung By A Dead Bee.Since my other blog Parkrat is about the depraved youth of my friends and I this one will be about everday life now.Books, neighbors,friends,the garden cooking etc.Just normal everday things many of which are interesting and amusing.