Sunday, November 17, 2013

Late Again

So here I am again fresh out of the hospital after another surgery. This is getting to be a nasty habit. In the hope of blocking the air leaks in my lungs, they put in four stents. To get to my lungs, they put a large tube down my throat. I don't remember a thing about it because they somehow put me under, though I don't remember them giving me anything. I'm sorry to report the stents didn't make much difference because they couldn't find the main area of leakage. I was really hoping to get rid of the chest tube, but I guess it wasn't meant to be and it's still there. It's not painful, it's just a pain in the ass. They kept me overnight for observation and I was released on Tuesday around noon. The closest thing to pain is a sore throat, and even that is pretty much gone now. The doctors seem to think it's going to be a waiting game to see what, if anything, they can do to get the tube out of my chest. I was supposed to call and set-up an appointment with the doctor, but I keep forgetting. Maybe tomorrow.

The world’s experiencing a major wine shortage

 Microsoft researchers invent sign language translator

 Drug Reduces Gambling Behavior In Slot Machine-Loving Rats

 Scientists show Sars started in bats

In Vermont: It is illegal to deny the existence of God.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Monday should be an interesting day. I have to go back to Holy Cross at 06h00 for a surgical procedure. I 'think, but I'm not certain, that the chest tube is coming out and they are going to try to place some kind of "valve" on my lungs. It seems to be somewhat of a guessing game; let's try one here, if it doesn't work, we'll try another place until we find the one, or more, that works.

A Beautiful Photograph Of Saturn

Deep-Space Engines

Photos and videos from Berlin's dazzling Festival of Lights

Sleep boosts brain's self-cleaning system

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.

Monday, October 14, 2013


I like nuts. Cashews, pecans, brazils, peanuts, hazelnuts. You name it. I used to buy a pound container at our local supermarket, Publix. Then they raised the price from ten dollars to sixteen dollars. I willingly paid it. Then they stopped selling them altogether. The other day I suddenly got the urge for nuts but Publix was not selling them. I decided to check out the internet and found a website where they sell bulk amounts. I'm not sure why, but I bought four pounds of mixed nuts! That's a lot of nuts. Luckily, I have two containers that will hold the entire four pounds. Actually, I've almost finished one of them. I will definitely buy more from this place because even with the shipping charge, it only came to ten dollars a pound and the nut selection is great. Normally, when you buy mixed nuts, they're mostly peanuts. Not this one. And as a bonus, this one includes a lot of pecans. If you're interested, it's Nuts in Bulk ( They have a lot of other good looking items also, including fruits and cakes.

Scientists closer to Alzheimer's cure

New, Incurable Botulinum Strain Has Top Secret DNA

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Bat Song

castAR augmented reality glasses switch to true VR with a clip

Dumb Law of the Week: In Texas: The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned because it contains a formula for making beer at home.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


This is long, long overdue but I just couldn't pull together the necessary momentum to get going with it. The last time we saw "our hero" he had just been released from Holy Cross Hospital where he was treated for a collapsed lung. Within a couple hours of writing about that episode, he was rushed back to Holy Cross where it was determined his condition was three times worse than the first. I was assigned a surgeon who placed a tube in my chest to re-expand the lung. The wild thing about that is when the tube entered my lung, I was immediately relieved. Not a couple minutes later, but immediately! Three or four days later, that tube was taken out and another, smaller one replaced it. It is still there as I write this and I'm not sure how long it needs to stay there. Holy Cross is a very good hospital and the staff if excellent. But it is a hospital and it's a lot like being in jail, or some other restrictive place. I left the hospital Monday night, after waiting four hours for the oxygen I needed to get home and the wheelchair I needed to get me to the car. I am currently on oxygen 24/7 and when I have an appointment (as I did today) I have to pull an oxygen tank along with me. I met some nice people in the hospital and some who were not so nice, but generally they were alright. There were a couple of amusing incidents and a couple of scary moments, but I seem to be responding fairly well.


Dumb Law of the Week: In Tennessee: It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


It has been a while (well, a couple of weeks). I suffered a collapsed lung and, after stupidly waiting for five days, finally called 911 and had myself taken to Holy Cross Hospital. In the ER, they did the usual work-up with X-Rays and blood tests, and they gave me a couple of breathing treatments. It all seemed to help a bit. The ER doctor decided I was fine and was going to send me home, but I didn't feel right about that decision so I told them I wanted to stay over night. That was a good move on my part because when my PCP came in the next morning, he told me that the X-Rays showed the collapsed lung. No one seems to know how it happened, but it was real, why the ER doctor could not see that remains a mystery. I hate being in the hospital; they won't let you sleep, you can't get any rest and it's colder than the damned North Pole. I am home now, but I don't feel any better and suspect that I will be returning to the hospital very soon!

Dumb Law of the Week:  In Rhode Island: It is illegal to throw pickle juice on a trolley.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Cobia and Cava

Dinner at Candela. When we go to Candela, they automatically bring us a bottle of cava. This time, Armando, the chef and owner, recommended a fish dish that he claimed would pair perfectly with the drink. A fish named Cobia. I have heard of it, but I have never eaten it. It was a huge piece and was quite tasty, served with a generous portion of arugula and assorted veggies. We started with a beet and cheese salad, which I also liked a lot. Another first for us was a second bottle of cava.  We will NOT be doing that again! When we arrived, there was only one other couple. Later, two other couples arrived, but that's a small group for a Saturday night. Maybe it had something to do with the holiday.


Dumb Law of the Week: In Pennsylvania: It is illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sage Dinner

Dinner Saturday evening at Sage. We weren't all that thrilled the last time we ate at Sage. but it is one of our favorites so decided to give it another shot. We both ordered the Flounder Almondine. It was fantastic! I don't know how they made the sauce but it was simply magnificent. I wish I had taken a photo. For dessert, we both had the Cafe Gourmand...expresso with four small desserts; crême brulée, chocolate cake, melon ice cream and something I didn't recognize (like a cup of whipped cream). I don't know if they got a new chef or what, but this was the best we've had there in quite a long time.


Dumb Law of the Week: In Hood River, Oregon: it is illegal to juggle without a license

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Marriage Football (EDIT)

As recently as last year, I was a football fanatic. If there was a football game on TV you just didn't bother trying to talk to me, except maybe during the commercials. But something has changed and now I simply can't stand having to sit through all the commercials. I tried watching a game the other day and after the second set of commercials, I turned it off. That is also the main reason I don't watch regular TV. And now they're trying to do the same thing with the internet. Haven't any of you noticed that every time you try to see a You Tube video, there's a damned ad that you either have to ignore or X-out? It really pisses me off, so I try to just not even attempt to look at the videos. We need a new internet with NO COMMERCIALS!

EDIT  -  SURPRISE!  SURPRISE!  Wandering around the internet, I happened to chance upon a fantastic site.  If, like me, you hate all those ads that pop-up when you try to watch a You Tube video, you'll be happy to learn there is a thing named ADBLOCK PLUS.  They claim it's free but ask for a donation.  There is a version for just about any browser you may have (I have three - Chrome, Firefox and Opera _ actually I have four including IE 8, which I never use).  It is added as an extension of each browser.  I added it to all three.  I haven't really tested it yet, but have high hopes.

Dumb Law of the Week: In Youngstown, Ohio it is illegal to run out of gas.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

True Review

A friend who used to live next door to us at the condo, and his boyfriend, opened a restaurant named Angel's Cafe on the main drag in Wilton Manors.  We finally got around to going on Sunday night.  I had read some reviews of the place and they weren't very good, but we thought they've been open for several months, they must surely have gotten the bugs out by now.  The first thing that strikes you when you enter, is the over-decoration.  A thing for which Alan is infamous.  He can't seem to do anything without going way over the top. and he apparently applied that formula to decorating the cafe.  When we checked the menu, it was mostly chicken dishes with a few steak dishes and one (count it) pasta dish.  Robb opted for the pork chop.  I decided on the only pasta dish.  Robb's opinion of the pork chop was "tough".  My pasta was supposed to be with shrimp and after searching under the pasta, I did find about six.  There was a lot of broccoli on top of the pasta, which was not cooked enough for my liking.  When we called for the reservation, we were told there was to be a "show" at 20h00, so we decided to get there in time for that.  There were only a few tables occupied when we arrived, but as it got closer to showtime, the place started to fill up.  Another unfortunate problem, was that it is right next door to The Village Pub with its loud, thumping bar music.  So when the show finally started about thirty to forty minutes late, there was the too loud show in the cafe and the thumping from the Pub next door.  Not an environment conducive to enjoying a meal.  To make it even worse, they had no espresso machine and the waiter didn't even ask if we wanted dessert.  I considered writing a review but decided against it.  There's nothing I could say that hadn't already been said. 

Dumb Law of the Week: In Oklahoma, it is illegal to hunt whales.
À la prochaine, mes amis.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Friday we had planned to take the Duck Tour.  Jumped up at the crack of dawn (for me that's about 10h00) only to find another cold, rainy day.  I didn't want to take the chance, so I called and arranged to take the tour tomorrow.  Here's hoping we get a good day!!  For dinner, Robb walked up to the Japanese place which closes around 19h00 during the week, and got some take out to bring back to the apartment.  We'll eat it somewhere around 21h00.  Once again I had no idea what we were eating, but it was really good.  Half of it was very spicy.  I didn't know Japanese food was spicy.  Live and learn!

Saturday we awoke (around 09h45) to a world bathed in sunshine and several degrees warmer.  We called the taxi and asked them to pick us up at noon because we had to get to the Duck Tour pick-up spot at the Museum of Science by 12h30.  We left the apartment, walked up the bazilllion steps to the street around 11h50.  The Green Taxi was already there waiting, and eating his lunch.  It only took about twenty minutes to get to our destination.  There was no trouble checking in using the information I had stored on my Samsung Infuse.  Around 12h45, we boarded our Duck vehicle, which according to our very knowledgeable driver, cost about $385,000.  I guess that makes sense because it is amphibian.  The Duck was roomy and wide windows.  The driver, whose name I cannot remember, kept up a non-stop commentary during the entire hour and a half ride.  We pretty much covered all the main historic sites of the city and a few of the surrounding areas like Cambridge, Back Bay and the North End (also known as Little Italy).  The last portion of the tour was a ride on the Charles River.  I didn't take that many pictures because the shots available to me weren't all that good.  I did get a shot of the Museum of Science from the river and the Longfellow Bridge.  For dinner, Robb walked up to the Greek Corner Restaurant and got the vegetarian take out.  Again it was excellent!

Sunday, 28 July, back to Fort Ladeda.  Our apartment agreement indicated we had to vacate by 11h00, which seemed a bit early to me, but I realize they have to clean the place before the next renter shows up.  We can't complain, it is a really nice apartment in an area that turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting from my Google street tour.  There were a lot of stores and restaurants along Massachusetts Avenue which was only a block away.  Unfortunately for us, our plane doesn't leave until 17h58, which means we'll have to spend six hours at the airport.  That wasn't so bad for me, but Robb would be climbing the walls after an hour or so.  Spirit Airlines refused to accept our bags until 14h40, so we took our baggage cart (for which we had to pay) to the nearest seats and started our long, long wait.  Finally, after three hours, we checked in our bags only to find that they were charging me an extra $25 because one bag was 5 pounds over the limit, so it cost us $115 for our luggage on top of the airfare!.  These are the exact same two bags, with the exact amount of stuff we had when we flew up at no extra charge.  So if you have a choice, and you always will, DO NOT FLY Spirit.

We love Boston.  The apartment was really nice although there were a couple of very minor problems.  There was one major problem.  In order to get to or leave the apartment, we had to climb a bazillion steps down to what would have been the basement in any other house, except, while it was downstairs, it was not under the house..   Most of the buildings in our area looked much the same.

Dumb Law of the Week: In Oxford, Ohio, it is illegal for a woman to disrobe in front of a man's picture. 

Monday, July 29, 2013


Monday evening the plan was to meet the lovely Blocked and her handsome husband some place for dinner, but wouldn't you know Spirit Airlines called and said they were going to deliver Robb's bag "sometime" during the day.  So we came up with an alternate plan.  Robb would meet them at the Greek Corner Restaurant, they would get take-out and we would have dinner in the apartment.  So that's what we did.  They got two take-out sampler dinners; one meat and one vegetarian.  Other than the stuffed grape leaves and the hummus, I had no idea what we were eating, but it was super delicious.  Robb stopped at the liquor store and got a bottle of wine, but had to go back to get another.  That too, though it was a name I had not known before, was quite good.  All in all, it was an excellent evening and we really enjoyed getting together with Blocked and her hubby again.  They are very delightful people.  It's too bad we live so far apart (did I mention they live in England?).  Robb would like us to go to London and see them there, but I'm not sure I can do that.  We'll see how it turns out. Oh, it was after midnight before the guy from Spirit arrived with Robb's bag!

Tuesday, Robb got a virus on his laptop.  It was something called System Care.  I tried to run the anti-virus program, but the SC wouldn't let me load it.  I tried to get on the internet, but it wouldn't let me do that either.  So I got on my laptop to see what kind of information I could find about getting rid of it.  I found a few sites that addressed the issue and checked one.  They provided a phone number, so I called.  That was my first mistake.  The guy at Advanced Tech said they could clean the laptop for only $199!  I don't know what I was thinking, but I agreed!  Mistake number 2.  They accessed Robb's laptop remotely and began doing whatever it is they do.  Well, it took forever and several hours later it still wasn't done.  It was around this time I started thinking maybe they were part of the scam.  I went back onto my laptop and checked.  That's when I saw something that I should have thought of in the first place: simply shut down the laptop, wait a few minutes, turn it on again, hit F8 and get on using Safe Mode, then run System Restore.  Why I didn't think of it at first, I have no idea.  But that's what I did and Robb's laptop was back to normal within a few minutes.  Then I decided to call Advanced Tech to get my money back.  I didn't really believe I had a snowball's chance, but figured what did I have to lose?  Surprisingly, they gave me no hassle at all.  So Robb's laptop is working again and I saved $200!  For dinner, I had discovered a Japanese Restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue and wanted to go there because I LOVE their ramen noodle soup!  Sadly, they closed at 19h00!  I couldn't believe a restaurant would close that early, but it seemed most of the restaurants along the avenue were already closed.  So we returned to the apartment where we ended up eating some of the Chinese food we had brought home Sunday night.  It was a bit tastier this time.

Wednesday evening, we called a taxi and went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts because Robb wanted to see their Impressionist section..  Entrance to the museum is rather expensive, so just getting there and getting in cost us $75.  But it was worth it because they had one of the largest Monet collections I've ever seen anywhere.  The bonus for me was that I was able to get a wheelchair and didn't have to walk around the whole place.  It is a large museum.  Since it was almost 20h00, we decided to have dinner at the museum.  They have two restaurants and two snack cafes.  We dined in the Bravo restaurant (scroll down, click on "Bravo" - the red-haired guy in the bottom photo was our waiter).  Robb had salmon and I had the Red Snapper.  I drank Sauvignon Blanc.  Robb had a wine recommended by our waiter (Loimer Lois Grüner Veltliner 2011), who was very knowledgeable about the food and the wine (he normally works behind the bar). Robb loved the wine.  For dessert, we both had Mocha Crême Caramel.  The dinner was not too expensive and everything was excellent.  If you're ever in the Boston MFA at dinnertime, we highly recommend it.

Thursday = RAIN!!!!

Dumb Law of the Week: In Minnesota, it is illegal to tease skunks.
À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, July 22, 2013


We are in Boston again. We left Fort Lauderdale on Spirit Airlines around 09h45 and got into Boston arround 12h30. My bag was the very last one to come out. Robb's bag never arrived. When he checked with the baggage attendant, they told him his bag was still in Fort Lauderdale. Then they made up some odd excuse about us arriving too late at the check-in, but we were there at least an hour ahead of time. So they're trying to make him come back to the Logan Airport to retrieve his bag...if and when it shows up. He called today but now they say they don't know where it is. Out first dinner in Boston was at Qingdao Garden, a Chinese restaurant. The food was plentiful, but rather bland.

I got my laptop to the point where everything worked except a couple of letters on the far left of the keyboard. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get it to work. I finally had to take it to the shop where they charged me twice as much as the first guy estimated.


Dumb Law of the Week: In Michigan, under State law, dentists are officially classified as "mechanics."

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gonna Fly

This time next week, we will have been in Boston for two days. Looking forward to seeing Blocked and her husband again.

A rabbit dubbed "Frankenstein" has what looks like a series of horns growing out of its head

Humans May Evolve To Grow An Endless Supply Of Teeth

Solar system has a tail shaped like a four-leaf clover

Space-Time Loops May Explain Black Holes

Starwatch: What's the dark matter?

Dumb Law of the Week: In Massachusetts, it is illegal to wear a goatee without a license.

À la prochaine, mes amis

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Ruth's Laptop

Dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House because Robb has been talking about going there for years. It's just around the corner from us but we've never been. We rarely eat steak. Robb started with Mushrooms Stuffed with Crabmeat, they were large and probably would have been a whole meal for me. I had the Grilled Scallops, there were two (count ém...2) grilled scallops on a small plate with absolutely nothing else. Which seems to be the way they serve things in this well-known, expensive restaurant. We both decided on the filet mignon. The filet comes in two sizes, 11 ounce and 8 ounce. We opted for the 8 ounce. They too, came on a small plate with nothing else. They don't seem to understand presentation at Ruth's Chris. For dessert, I had Crème Brûlée and Robb had a chocolate drink with some kind of whiskey. The Crème Brûlée was passable, but not great by a long shot. Robb wants to go back, but I don't care if we never return.

I'm very close to fixing my laptop. I just need to figure out one more step and I'll be able to do it!


Dumb Law of the Week: In Pawnee, Indiana: Any white citizen has the right to seize any Indian property for 25 cents.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Tour de Fool

Le Tour de France is currently in progress. In the US (sadly) you can watch the eight hour race squeezed into three hours from 20h00 to 23h00 on NBCSN. Of course, since it is US television, during those three hours, you get an hour and a half of race and an hour and a half of commercials. If I didn't like the race so much, I wouldn't even bother watching. I first watched in France several years ago and became a fan. But on European TV they have this great way of showing the commercials at the very beginning and the end of the show. You're not inundated with them throughout the entire broadcast. The preponderance of commercials is the main reason I almost never watch American TV. It's so damned annoying! Five minutes of race, five minutes of commercials, ad infinitum!!!

 So I broke my laptop! I have an Acer Aspire laptop with a 17.3 screen. That seems like a big screen...right? But it's really about the same size as a 15-inch screen. They just stretched the thing to make it 17.3. Oh well, to get back to my main thought...the letter "N" is broken. I tried and tried to get it to sit back in place but it just won't stay. So I went to CompUSA. The guy there said no problem, they can fix it for about $50. I agreed and went home waiting for him to call. After a month of not hearing from him, I started checking the internet. Without much trouble, I found a place that sold new keyboards for $15, so I ordered one. I also found a video showing how to take out the old keyboard and put in the new one. A piece of cake! Any fool can do that! Any fool except this fool. First, it was nowhere as easy to remove the old keyboard as they made it look in the video. Second, when trying to remove the cable, I broke the part that keeps the cable in place. Bottom line...I have to take it someplace to have it done and it will probably cost more than the $50 the guy at CompUSA estimated!

Virtual reality: Live your dreams in real time

Mouse cloned from drop of blood 

13-Year-Old Designs Super-Efficient Solar Array Based on the Fibonacci Sequence

Man Diagnosed 'Comatose' For 23 Years Was Actually Conscious All Along

Math Cheating Features Money Game Features 10 Mental Math Tricks That Will Make You Wildly Popular At Parties 

Dumb Law of the Week: In Florida, In Florida, it is illegal to tie an elephant to a parking meter, unless the parking fee is paid just as for a vehicle.

 À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I purchased a portable oxygen concentrating machine because I have reached a point at which I can barely walk a hundred feet without feeling exhausted.  I first bought a Inogen One G3, because it advertised itself as the smallest.  Not only is it not smallest, it is also very noisy and pretty heavy.  I emailed the company and told them I wanted to return it.   They suggested sending me a different model which would be a lot quieter, the G2.  It was a lot quieter, but it also was a lot heavier.  I will not be that person you see pulling the machine around behind him because it's too heavy to carry.  So I sent back both the G2 and the G3.  I then found, on the internet of course, a unit calledAirSep Focus.  It weighs about half of the G3 and is almost half as small.  It is a little more noisy than I would like, but I'll put up with a little more noise to have something that is more easily carried.  The first real test will be when we go to Boston in July.  I'm so hoping it works as advertised, because that would mean we can go to Europe again.


Dumb Law of the Week: In Denver, it is illegal to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Late For Dinner

Saturday we had dinner at Candela. I had the Grouper with veggies and a Gazpacho Sauce, while Robb had the Red Snapper with Shrimp. 

Monday we had dinner at Dapur because they gave me a $15 coupon for my birthday. We started with the Shrimp Martini and followed that with the Crispy Duck. You may have noticed we have the duck almost every time we go to Dapur. We do that because it's very good and there are only a couple of places in Fort Lauderdale where we can get it. When we were seated, the waiter informed us that the kitchen would be closing in about two minutes. Even so, they only rushed us a little and it was basically our fault for waiting so late to go out.


Dumb Law of the Week: In California: It is illegal to shoot any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.

À la prochaine, mes amis.