Monday, December 31, 2012

Bonne Année

Every year at Christmas, our neighbor a couple houses down the street, puts out their Christmas Pig display. I've been meaning to get a photo for a long time. This year, I finally got around to it. Here, also, is a photo of our Christmas tree this year.

Thursday evening we went to the retirement party of our friend Tanya (that's her in the middle).  She had been with the Library for thirty-five years.  A lot of people didn't realize how accomplished she is and how many things at the library with which she was involved in a major way.  It was a really nice party and we got to see a bunch of people we haven't seen in years. 

We seem to be on a quest to find new restaurants this year. Saturday evening, we went to another new one which was recommended by our neighbor Dave. Dapur bills itself as an Asian Tapas restaurant. We were seated directly in front of the golden Buddha. The food was excellent, especially the dessert, but the noise level not so much. We shared Dapur Duck, Coco Shrimp, Bang Bang Scallops, and Calamari (unfortunately they had two kinds of calamari and we ordered the wrong one). Dessert was called Dark Volcano. It was a rich chocolate soft-centered cake with a small dish of vanilla ice cream, and it was was super delicious! And of course, a bottle of Pinot Grigio.  While eating our dessert, the owner stopped by for a short chat.  We learned that he used to own Galanga, another of our favorite restaurants.

Dumb Law of the Week: In LA, a man may legally beat his wife with a leather strap, as long as it is less than 2 inches wide, or she gives him permission to use a wider strap.

Bonne Année

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, December 24, 2012


I assume everyone survived the 21 December debacle. It's creepy and scary how many people actually believed the world was going to end, or some other equally ridiculous scenario. Is it any wonder the nut jobs who come up with strange religions (well, stranger than usual since they're all rather strange) can find so many ignorant people to follow them?

We've had our Fiat 500 for about a year now. Last week, Robb washed it for the very first time. To our great surprise, the paint started peeling from the roof section just above the windshield. Robb called the dealer from whom we bought it and arranged to bring it in to be looked at. The guy (Juan) at the dealer was very nice and took a bunch of pictures to send to Fiat. Then we went back on Tuesday to leave it to be re-painted. They gave us a loaner and we picked up our car on Wednesday. I don't think we'll ever buy another car from this dealer. Not because they're bad, but just because it's so far to drive if anything goes wrong.

Saturday evening, we tried another new (to us) restaurant. J. Marks. The food was great and our waiter, Exorios (yes, that's really his name), was as personable and charming as a person could be. He spent a lot of time at our table chatting, even though he had several other tables to service. Robb and I both had the special, Sea Bass with French Fried Sweet Potatoes. We drank a Pinot Gris recommended by Exorios.

Top Scientific Discoveries of 2012

IBM Predicts: Cognitive Computers That Feel And Smell, Within The Next Five Years

Our Solar System Formed From The Cumulative Ashes Of Countless Stars, Not One Supernova

Alien-Like Skulls Found In Mexico

Simple Test Predicts Longevity

Dumb Law of the Week: In Alabama, It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.


À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Window Dinner

For a little over a week now, new windows and sliding doors are being installed in each of the apartments in our building (they other two buildings were already done) that hadn't already done so on their own. Those of us who have already replaced our doors and/or windows, will receive compensation in the form of our monthly maintenance bill being paid until the appropriate amount has been reached. That will mean most of us will not make a maintenance payment in the year 2013. During the time they were working in the other two buildings, I never heard a sound. For the past two weeks or so, it has been hell in our apartment because of the noise level. I fear we still have about a week to go. A large part of the problem with the noise is that they start at 08h00 every weekday morning.

Friday night we decided to try a new restaurant. New to us since it has been there longer than we have lived in this apartment. J. Alexander's is a very nice place. It is known for its steaks, and since we rarely ever eat steak, we hadn't tried it. Robb had fish, which he said he didn't like very much. I had what they called "Steak Brazzo"...filet mignon pieces in a fantastic Madeira mushroom sauce. They were served with a mountain of "smashed potatoes". And I do mean a mountain. I loved my dinner. For desert, we shared a large portion of carrot cake. Robb drank Pinot Grigio, I drank Côtes du Rhône.

In breakthrough, patients’ immune systems attack cancer cells

Will you live past 100?

Could Scientists Have Found A Gay Switch?

NYC's taxi commission votes 'yes' to one-year trial of cab-hailing apps

Learn English online: How the internet is changing language

Dumb Law of the Week: In Richmond,Virginia, it is illegal to flip a coin in any eating establishment to determine who buys a cup of coffee.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, December 10, 2012


A little over a month ago, my blood test indicated a heightened PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) count.  The PSA is the test that rates your chance of having prostate cancer.  Apparently, anything over .4 is considered high and usually results in more tests and the likelihood of a biopsy.  My doctor sent me to a Urologist who took another blood sample which resulted in a score above .7.  Biopsy here I come.  I had the biopsy about two weeks ago.  Believe me when I say it is not fun.  Thankfully, my doctor/urologist believes in pain killers and they gave me several shots of novacaine, including one directly into the prostate gland.  They first insert an ultrasound probe that looks very much like a large dildo.  Then after looking around and taking several pictures, they insert the needle to take the samples.  The needle is about two feet long.  It was most uncomfortable, but if it hadn't been for the pain killers, I'm sure it would have been quite painful.  The pre-biopsy info sheet I was given, indicated that there would be "some" pain for an hour or so after the procedure.  They lied.  The pain, slight as it was, lasted for more than twenty-four hours.  The doctor called me around 19h00 to inform me that there was no cancer.

Blowing a Cosmic Bubble

New contender for oldest dinosaur

Does Edible Deodorant Work?

Breakthrough retinal implant fits entirely inside the eye

Hercules A, a galaxy with a massive black hole blasting out matter.

Dumb Law of the Week:  In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Mobile Wine

Our mobile phone service is with ATT. It has the distinction of being the worst. While the people who work for ATT are friendly and helpful, the company nickels and dimes you until you become so frustrated you just want to scream at someone. Our two-year contract will end on 28 December. I was willing to sign for another two years IF I could get the phone I wanted. But they kept changing the phones available from day to day, so I finally just said the hell with it. I ordered another Samsung Infuse (which I really like) for Robb and I will switch our service to either MetroPCS or SIMple. Both offer unlimited talk, text and data for a really inexpensive cost. And both use the facilities of large, good service providers. Something else I noticed is that the App Store no longer carries the memo app that I love. There are literally thousands of memo apps, but not the one that I love. That has me most curious.

On the way back from the ATT Store, we stopped at a Cellar Warehouse just to check on their cava. They had the brand we usually buy and a couple of others. We bought one of the others and a case of our favorite. Then we noticed an Italian wine that was on sale, so we also bought a case of that. When we tried it at dinner, it was terrible. We took the remaining eleven bottles back to the store. The guy who sold it to us (one of the managers) was there. He suggested we had simply gotten a bad bottle. He offered to open one of the other bottles to let us see if that was true. He chose a bottle at random, opened it, and gave us each a glass. He was right. The new bottle was very different from the first we had tried. He replaced the two bottles that had been opened and we brought the case home....again.

Dumb Law of the Week: In Utah, a husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife in his presence.

À la prochaine, mes amis.