Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cherry Wars

I'm at the grocery store today and everything went fine till I hit the produce dept.The produce dept is an argument waiting to happen because everyone seems to have an opinion on produce.Be it fresh corn,tomatoes and especially fruit.Fruit is the easiest way to get punched in a supermarket or have it thrown at you.It all started when I saw 1lb bags of cherries.The zip lock bags full of cherries are a recent thing by me instead of a bin of loose cherries you bag yourself.I guess a lot of folks were slipping on loose cherries on the floor or the juice from supermarket carts was staining the carpet really bad.The cherries in question had 3.99 and 5.99 listed underneath.So I asked one of my produce buddies which price was correct.He called another one over and they wern't sure so one went up front to scan it and came back a few minutes later with 3.99.While he was gone a lady and an older gent in a Mr.Greenjeans outfit both came by and eyed the cherries.Which is the right price? they asked the other produce guy.He said someone was getting the price and I asked him if I could buy just a half pound if they were 3.99.He says sure and opens a bag and pulls some out."Try one" so I take one and say not bad.He offers the lady one and then the old guy who says"No I bought some here three weeks ago and thought they were soft,I like a hard cherry".I'm thinking this guy is trouble and he tells the lady "Go to Gelson's they are 7.99 a bag but very good".She replies"Yes they have wonderful fruit compared to this store"I'm wondering why the heck are these two here then looking at the cherries while the poor produce guy is wondering what the heck is going on.Then the old guy says to me while I'm eating a second cherry"Don't eat the skins,just spit them out"Me"Huh?",Him"If you eat the skins they can give you stones""That sounds like a bunch of bull" I tell him and his face gets a little red."No it's true,I know" he says with a little spit coming out of his mouth as he walks away.The other produce guy comes back and says 3.99 but at that moment I spot containers of raspberries 2/7.00 and say"I think I'll get a container of raspberries instead,sorry for the trouble" I did look up the skins causing stones on google and nothing for both types of stones.In fact under kidney stones was a link for cherry extract that says it helps gout and the prevention of stones.I can't wait to run into Mr. Greenjeans again and start holding up plums in a few weeks when they come in season.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jacaranda Trees in Bloom


On thursday I took a cab down to Santa Monica to one of my doctors and waiting for the bus afterwards I was rewarded with a whole block of Jacaranda trees in bloom.We have a bunch on my street at home in bloom also and I noticed this morning while waiting for the cab that even though our yard guy and the two houses next to our bldg. both get done on thurs morning and hour after these guys left the lawns were already scattered with many purple blooms.I'm not sure where the Jacaranda comes from but I know it grows down under,in Africa etc but after the purple blooms it's rather a plain tree of small green leaves.But the blooms are cool also because some of them when you step on them pop and make a sound like popping a plastic bag.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


So the Senior PGA is in my hometown of Pittsford(Rochester,NY) this weekend and I had no idea NBC was showing it till I came home today and turned on the TV to catch the last ten minutes.I saw Langer on the 18th green at Oak Hill getting ready to putt with a totally blue sky behind him and I'm thinking they are using a background from somewhere else till I talked to a buddy in Pittsford and he said that it actually was a beautiful day in Rochester.So sunday morning I can watch and see if there are actually two cloudless shots from Rochester on back to back days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Start of the Season

It's 50 and drizzly in L.A. tonight and snowing in the mountains above which is very late and odd but even though the weather is off I still get the old urges this weekend because it's the start of the summer season on Cape Cod.Spending five of the best summers working there well 4 since 1980 I was at my Northeastern Co-Op job working for the New England Press Association but I still made it to North Truro just about every weekend and worked at Babes the week before Labor Day to keep my streak intact.The summer of 77 I worked at a campground in North Truro for a month before moving over to Babes.Babes was the best job I ever had bar none.It was like senior year in highschool as it wound down.You wanted to be there.We were having fun and getting paid for it.In fact it was the perfect life.We only cared about the Red Sox scores and hanging out.Venturing south of Wellfleet was an event.It helped that the crew at Babes was together for those five summers give or take one of us and a few new girls each summer.For the guys in the kitchen we became very good friends and are to this day.The three of us lived together for some of the summers and the last summer in 81 it was three guys and three girls together with four of us at Babes and the other two good friends.In the kitchen Jimmy was the cook,Tom the toast man and myself the dishwasher.Babes was a breakfast and lunch place and Jimmy always kept track of folks served each day so there was a chart to compare it to his past years.So every three days we each got a start and if we beat the previous years total we got a win.We even had E.B.A.'S or earned breakfast average.The first couple of years Jimmys sister and girlfriend were waitresses with us.The dynamic of working and living together gave rise to some tension on occasion especially when we dated a waitress but we really were a team.The owners were great and some days the kitchen guys wound up playing Bocce Ball with Pierre after work out in the side yard but mostly we went to Cold Storage Beach on the bayside of North Truro after work and slept for a few hours which gave us all great tans.Then back to the campground or house we rented for showers and cocktails and other things and after that the night in Provincetown or sometimes Wellfleet till closing time and after and then back to Babes at 6:45 the next morning.There were trips over to ocean side for surfing also and I still recall the Ice Water showers at Head of the Meadow seashore beach at 6:30.a.m. if it was a really rough night which would revivify anyone.Let the Summer begin!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So tonight I go to the Provincetown Banner weekly and what is on the start page but the Moonset painting by Harvey Dodd.He has a show opening.I was just googling Provincetown Landscapes two nights ago when I came across his web site and recalled liking his paintings when I worked in North Truro.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bear Lick Lodge

I mentioned my uncles hunting camp in a post last week.We had some great family times there when young especially some 4th of Julys with Aunts and Uncles but the most memorable was a early November weekend in 1969 when just my Parents,My moms Mother, three of my brothers and a friend of mine went for the weekend.Some of you might have heard this story before in a Yahoo group or the old NYTimes book forums so bear with me.We drove down from Rochester on a Fri afternoon and my grandmother had never been before.She said it looked like hillbilly heaven and it was.A small old uninsulated little farm house with two rooms down and two rooms upstairs.The plumbing was an outhouse to the left of the house and all was perched on the edge of a small hill that led down to a creek.When we got there and turned on the lights that night cluster flys came out of nowhere amusing my grandmother even more.We had the radio on for awhile and then dug out some records.We must have listened to Marty Robbins"A White Sportcoat and a Pink Carnation" about twenty times and still I love the song.Two of my brothers my friend Joe and myself wound up in the kitchen playing euchre and drinking glass after glass of springwater getting giddy from being up in the hills.Around Ten we all headed upstairs except for my dad who slept on the couch down.The beds upstairs were all those old 1930's single iron bedstands with thin mattresses but we thought they were great.As soon as the lights went out the mice in the walls started up and once in awhile we heard one scoot across the floor.If that wasn't enough we soon heard something walking on the roof above us and then the hoot of an owl.For the next forty minutes the owl would walk from one side to the other hoot and move again.My mom was shushing us telling us to go to sleep but for a bunch of 12-14 year old boys this was an adventure.All the springwater I drank finally hit me and since it was around 30degrees outside I spied a plastic cup on a ledge.I went in that and opened the window and tossed the contents out.I climbed back under the covers and about three minutes later my brother Larry asks me what I went in.I told him and he says"Grandma's teeth were in a cup on that ledge." So the four of us sneak downstairs and out the door onto the little front lawn glazed over with frost looking for my granmothers dentures.We are laughing about it and barefoot chilly but after several minutes we don't find the teeth.We decide the heck with it and go back in.But my father for some reason has set the alarm which was basically and old firebell my uncle had to keep the local kids from breaking in over the winter.My brother Mike opens the door and the bell starts clanging loudly bringing my dad off the couch wanting to know what the heck we are doing outside.I mumble something about going to the outhouse and he says "all four of you?,get upstairs and get in bed"We do with more snickering but not before my brother Larry who started all this spots the cup with my Grandmothers Dentures sitting on the other end of the ledge.We never did mention it to my grandmother but years later at a Thanksgiving dinner we finally spilled the story to my parents I think right before the one about who owned the bag of joints in high school my dad found in his wallet/key drawer upon their return from a trip to see my brother in Berkeley.

Out of the Closet

After cleaning out my office of twenty five years a few weeks ago for our move and the amazing amount of stuff I had never thrown out in just one room I realised my apt which I have been in about the same time was much worse.So of late I have been going through things.It started with the realization I don't need to keep every Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazine going back to 1984.So I have started going through and keeping only ones I have used and all the July BBQ issues from Bon Appetit.Yesterday I finally started looking into closets.I have clothes from high school and college still sitting around .I am ready to part with my wool tartan plaid pants 32 waist I bought the year after high school.Pittsford was a country club suburb and even us stoners dressed an odd mix of preppy which became more pronounced after my Cape Summers.Speaking of which I found my old Babes Restaurant t-shirt held together by a few threads with the stains of breakfasts cleaned up long ago.I also found my alligator roach clip(a gift from a Framingham summer girlfriend from the Cape Days when I wore Izod before Polo became In before Izod made a comeback.I also found my IRA t-shirt which I picked up in Provincetown in 1979.It just shows a gunman wearing a scarf over his face kneeling with an automatic rifle and IRA underneath.I have no idea who gave it to me but there was a guy in the Surfclub just about every night that summer watching the Jug Band with us who was from Ireland and would yell out to Geno onstage everynight at somepoint"Ireland for the Irish!" so maybe I got it from him.I also have a collection of t-shirts long ago torn to shreds and not wearable but with some memory which meant I could not throw them away.But I must get rid of them along with the pair of Red Chinos from Puritan Clothing I bought in Wellfleet summer of 78.Why I bought them I don't know because we never dressed up on the cape except that summer we lived in a tent/trailer large lawn furniture fire pit area on the edge of North Truro Family Camping Area on Highland Rd.Us four guys bought sport coats at a Truro church sale the first week of June we put on each night at five for cocktail hour.Usually it was just the jacket,no shirt and a pair of cords or shorts for a drink before we went off to Provincetown or on occasion Wellfleet for the nights fun.For some reason though the sportcoats always stayed in site 42 overflow which came to be called the Truro Hilton by our many friends that summer.

Friday, May 16, 2008


While waiting for the bus today a white GM panel van with the picture below went by.Now I had never heard of this outfit let alone seen a van with the ad on it.It listed several different types of autopsy and other services.I think even for me this is a bit much.But the best laugh I had in a looong time came when I googled it tonight.The pic is on the home page also but along the headings on top for things like services is one Gift Catalog!.I was laughing hard and then I clicked it on to find it's for clothing and trinkets with the 1-800-Autopsy logo on it.I must say I was a bit let down by that.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Food Fun

The Wed NYTimes Dining In section had a nice article with pics on creating animals from fruit and vegetables.Now while I never understood the goofy little vegetable/fruit flowers etc. some places put on your plate(I could care less if I have a radish that looks like a rose next to my porterhouse)this went way beyond the Martha Stewart anal retentive school.This was art.There are pics of parrots made from carrots which is cool just because the spelling is so close,my fave a standup bear made out of lemons,a poodle made from broccoli,some really realistic human faces carved on watermelons,mice made from taro root and a few others.I'd link some pics but the NYTimes takes forvever for some strange reason on my computer.Go have a look.Also there is a nice article on cookbooks for children with several listed.My neighbors Sweet Pea and Knuckle Sandwich thanks to their parents are budding little cooks and interested in food. Knuckle Sandwich is a fan of my Chicken/Sausage/Shrimp Gumbo even though it's pretty spicy.Sweet Pea likes to pick the herbs we grow if we need them or not.She then either makes a "salad" of them puts them in baggies or throws them at me shirt level.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

They Found Him!

I love the local TV blurbs that try and get you to watch later on.They just had one for a family reunited with it's runaway tortoise that they thought they would never see again.Now just how far is a runaway tortoise going to get?I mean a few hours later it could not be more than a block if that.I wonder if they put up pics on telephone poles.Lost Tortoise answers to Pokey.If found do not feed him lettuce.He has a jones for lettuce.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy 90th

My uncle who I have the first and last name of plus middle turns 90 on Friday.He is also my godfather and in a way that sometimes seems spooky I have become him in many ways.He finally sold his hunting camp in Canisteo N.Y. late this past fall.He and two other uncles plus two other guys bought it around 1965 and my uncle John bought them out over the years.Along the way he went from hunting there for Deer and Rabbits to not hunting at all and then for some years in his early 80's hunting deer again.I always loved our family trips there because the place was way up in the hills a few hours south of Rochester.The only water was from a rainbarrel outside and a spring down the dirt road that at one time came out in the trough for a farmers cows.The outhouse which is still there today was the only toilet.For several years we went for the 4th of July and had a great time launching fireworks into the field across from my uncles camp.It was surrounded by hills and already it was up in the hills which gave awesome views.When we were young the hills were something we climbed every time we went and if three cars came by in one day it was an event.More later on Bear Lick Lodge.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Hat Lady

While waiting for the bus today I saw the hat lady again.She was walking across the street and today's hat was quite impressive.She had strung different color little plastic easter eggs all around this one except for a large flower in the middle on each side.When she reached the Catholic Church across the street she stopped and made the sign of the cross before passing.I don't think I've seen that since I was an altar boy many many years ago.Though when I was at Northeastern my fraternity brother roomie and I would do that when we passed a liquor store.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Waiting for the Bus

I sat at the bustop for a good twenty five minutes at two this afternoon and it was a nice wait.I saw three Bentleys go by one a softop,a ferrai,a 64 chevy impala in mint condition and numerous other interesting cars that Los Angeles is full of.But the best was a guy who came by on an old Mountain Bike sort of converted into a mobile home with things stored all over it and large color pictures covered in plastic on the front and back of the bike of Jesus.The guy riding the bike looked classic hippie.It got me to thinking some of the unusual things I've seen in L.A. over the years.The night I woke up at 3:30 to hear a wacking noise and someone laughing.Looking out I saw two guys driving golf balls down Beverly Glen on their way to the golf couse across the street.They were both carrying six packs and it was quite impressive they were driving the balls straight with cars parked on both sides considering their condition.Several Years ago there was a guy who liked to walk very fast against the traffic on Olympic Blvd during morning rush hour.I would be driving and there he would be in the middle of the road arms swinging ignoring all.But the strangest thing I ever saw was back in the late 80's.I was driving down Venice Blvd on a hot August afternoon when I passed a guy walking a good five miles from the Ocean but heading for it..He looked like a South American Indian,nut brown skin carrying a fishing pole,a large plastic bucket and wearing nothing but a loin cloth.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Stars and Moon Watermelon again

I've been told in another forum tonight by an eccentric poster in Amish country that the melons are actually a dark green and the more I look at that pic it could be lighting that gives it a purple tint but then again the NYTimes ran a different pic and it looks purple so I'll say they are a very very dark green bordering on purple.However she claimed it's a common watermelon in Amish Penn which it clearly isn't from looking at seed sources online.