Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bar Code

My friend Ralph Murre has published another book. If I had my wits about me I would have promoted his other books here before . . . before he published a book that included some of my photographs. And a short story.

Bar Code is a book of poetry, stories, drawings and photographs that revolve around bars and the life within them. What a brilliant premise for book! What a celebration!

When Ralph invited me to contribute, I instantly knew this was a great project. Having spent my share of time wearing thin the elbows of favorite shirts on various bars and tables in places ranging from godawful smelly holes to really fine saloons of distinction, I felt qualified. Indeed, there have been times when I have been overqualified. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to take a few photographs along the way. (A sampling appears in these links: Bars and More Bars.

Some of our best and worst times have been spent in bars. We've all been there, one way or another and we all have our stories and memories. This book reminds us of those times.

If you're interested in buying this book, send an email to either Ralph or me. Once we get back from the bar, we'll figure out how to get it into your hands.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Don't Worry . . . It won't be this John Brzezinski!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Help Keep McCain & Palin out of the White House

Obama & Biden

The Obama website makes it easy to help, right from your house (or even from your car).  Call people and tell them why it's important to vote for Obama and Biden.  Here's how:

1.  Visit Obama's website HERE.
2.  Enter you email and zip code and click "learn more."
3.  Click "action."
4.  On the next page click "I'll talk to anybody."
5.  Click "neighbor to neighbor" and watch the short explanatory video.
6.  Start calling the people they have on the list!

Remember what a shock it was that Bush was re-elected?  Imagine if this gets away from us and McCain and Palin win.  It may seem unimaginable, but it's not. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pathological Liar?

Palin Abused Power

She has all the earmarks . . .

The official conclusion to inquiry by the Alaskan Legislature is that Sarah Palin abused her power as governor, yet she denies the facts. 

"I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family reasons," Branchflower wrote.  READ MORE . . .

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


cast iron skillet

A good skillet is only out done in importance in a kitchen by a good knife.  Of course, a good sous chef can manage with a nail file and some aluminum paper, but I digress.

I am moved to write about this topic because Carolyn pointed me to the following comparison on the New York Times website:  Heat Distribution  Although it's a simple and limited comparison, it reminded me that I have some passionate views that I've been wanting to share with somebody.

First, let me say that we have an electric, glass cooktop in our house.  It's a Wolf product that looks like this:

Wolf cooktop

We used to have a Dacor electrical glass cooktop in our condo, but fortunately we no longer own either the condo or the Dacor.  The Dacor had a terrible problem with scratching; the Wolf is a LOT better. 

I know that many people, if not most, prefer the more traditional gas cooktop, but frankly, the degree of fine control that an electrical cooktop offers is superior to a gas model.  The Wolf even has a setting to melt.  It's incredible.  I also like it because settings are repeatable.  i.e you can jot down that you cooked whatever at "six bars."  I haven't seen a gas cooktop that offers that feature.  But I digress, once again.

Some readers, those who know me well, recognize that this posting will soon turn into a minor rant.  Why wait?  Let me flip the rant button to "ON."  There! Now we're in rant mode . . .

We have a number All-Clad skillets and pans.  Like this:


As I said, pots and pans are essential kitchen tools, so you need some good ones. The All-Clads are not inexpensive kitchen, yet they have two fundamental problems:

1.  The handles are much too thin for a human being to hold when the pan is loaded with food.  The pan instinctively wants to twirl. It's simply too small to get a good grip.  (I read that they actually made the handles smaller!)

2.  The pan is not designed to be used with an electric cooktop.  Even a small amount of heat causes the bottom to warp.  The result is uneven cooking.

Frankly, an inexpensive cast iron skillet (first photo above) cooks more evenly.  Unfortunately, it suffers from the same problem:  An ergonomically worthless handle.

Finally, I will mention that the All-Clad skillets, and probably all skillets with a non-stick coating, do not tolerate high heat.  Of course, a cast iron skillet will withstand a lot of heat. And, it does not warp.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart

Click chart to see large image.