Oldie but goodie

“He passed me at Doheny and I started to swerve
But I pulled her out and there we were
At Dead Man’s Curve”

This is one of the biggest hits Jan and Dean had before Jan Berry wrecked his car in 1966, just blocks away from the site of the curve immortalized in the song on Sunset Boulevard in LA near Bel Air Estates.

Before the wreck Berry was highly regarded as a record producer, while Dean Torrance was and remains a graphic artist who won a Grammy for best album cover in 1971 and was nominated for three other albums. You might be surprised at the covers he designed. I know I was. I own four or five of them.

Berry died in 2004 of a seizure. He suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of that car crash and never fully recovered. He was 62 years old.

Now what?

I suppose that withdrawing from a confrontation with Nevada land thief Cliven Bundy was the better part of valor. Nobody in the Federal government wants another Waco or Ruby Ridge incident, although I suspect some of the militia and tea partiers who converged on the jerk’s ranch (and your and my land) would have been quite happy to have a pitched battle, as long as they escaped alive.

The fight between Mr. Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management widened into a debate about states’ rights and federal land-use policy. The dispute that ultimately triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the bureau cited concern for the federally protected tortoise in the region. The bureau revoked Mr. Bundy’s grazing rights after he stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded federal court orders to remove his animals. (My emphasis)

This turkey broke the law, owes the Federal Government upwards of $1M in past due fees, and has now become a hero to the far right. What a country.

It took overtime, but . . .


Hawaii Public Radio started its spring pledge drive last Wednesday, the 2nd of April. They hoped to be done in eight days, finishing this Wednesday. Well, trying to get $1,032,000 in that period of time proved undoable this year, so they went overtime and got it done in ten days, finishing tonight around 6:00 PM. It should be said that up until a year or so ago ten days was the time budgeted for these drives, and they were for slightly less money, too. NPR and PRI and the other content distributors have this policy of raising prices for the programs they provide depending on the number of listeners reported, so as your station grows, so do your costs for content. This means HPR has had to request more money on every drive as they’ve expanded listenership by installing new transmitters on other islands.

Cutting the number of days by two even as the dollar amount asked increased was a bold stroke, and it worked the first two or three times they tried it, but not this time. I don’t consider that a major failure. I think this was the first time they’ve asked for more than a million bucks.

Oh, before anyone asks, yes, I pay $12.50 per month to help out.


Occasionally I see a recipe on Facebook which looks worth trying. A friend who works for Cabot Creamery has been celebrating Grilled Cheese Month (who knew, right?) by posting pictures and recipes, and this one looked great: Spicy Sausage and Creamed Corn Quesadillas.

There are excellent photos at that link, but I took one of my own just as the two concoctions were about to go into the oven. I had to use the oven because my grill pan isn’t large enough to hold two 7″ tortillas. I jazzed mine up a little, adding slices of red, green and orange peppers to cooked Italian sausage. Next time I think I’ll slice the sausage before cooking rather than doing so after it’s done; I might get more even cooking that way. I might add some sliced red onion, too. To go with it I microwaved a burrito for each of us, because I didn’t think the quesadilla was enough food. As it turned out I didn’t need to do that.

Creamed Corn Sausage Quesadilla

Nope, no racism on display at all

Jonathan Chait wrote a long piece for New York magazine the other day which came to what I thought was an odd conclusion: race is a subtext for Republican opposition to everything President Obama has tried to do, but it’s not the principal reason for it. In fact, Chait says,

It may be true that, at the level of electoral campaign messaging, conservatism and white racial resentment are functionally identical. It would follow that any conservative argument is an appeal to white racism. That is, indeed, the all-but-explicit conclusion of the ubiquitous Atwater Rosetta-stone confession: Republican politics is fundamentally racist, and even its use of the most abstract economic appeal is a sinister, coded missive.

Impressive though the historical, sociological, and psychological evidence undergirding this analysis may be, it also happens to be completely insane. Whatever Lee Atwater said, or meant to say, advocating tax cuts is not in any meaningful sense racist.

Oh, I don’t know. Look at who benefits from the kind of tax cuts Republicans always push: rich white people.

Jamelle Bouie, however, has written a much more serious rebuttal to Chait than my single sentence there. He looks at the same paragraph I quote up there and comes to a more apposite conclusion:

What’s odd about the argument is that Chait clearly shows the extent to which conservatism–even if it isn’t “racist”–works to entrench racial inequality through “colorblindness” and pointed opposition to the activist state. But rather than take that to its conclusion, he asks us to look away: “Impressive though the historical, sociological, and psychological evidence undergirding this analysis may be, it also happens to be completely insane. Whatever Lee Atwater said, or meant to say, advocating tax cuts is not in any meaningful sense racist.”

Read the whole thing.

Dental trauma

I had to go see the periodontist today. His office and my regular dentist’s office have a good racket going. I’m supposed to see each of them every six months, and they’ve worked between them to ensure that I go no more than three months without seeing one or the other of them.

Anyway, the hygienist nattered at me about gum recession, saying fluoride would help, but our water doesn’t have it. The loonies have managed to persuade our legislators that we’ll all die if our water is fluoridated. So I have several teeth whose gums are receding down to root level. Thanks, loonies!

She painted all my teeth with a fluoride goo and told me that the mouthwash I’ve been using isn’t the right one for flouride — I need Listerine’s Total Care product, not the Cool Mint antiseptic stuff I’ve been using. She also made me wonder about Crest toothpaste, which I’ve been using for as long as I’ve been brushing my teeth. I checked. The variety I use has fluoride.

Then I drove home, turned around and took Mom down to the corner to pick up her new glasses.

I hope y’all had a quieter Monday than that.

I got it!

Figuring out bidding strategy at eBay took me a few days. I opened my bid on this 19-year-old instrument on about the second day it had been listed, meaning there were five more days for someone to outbid me, and that’s what happened. But I noticed with other items that bids kept coming till the last possible moment before the auction closed, so I kept an eye on it. Today it got to the point where there were fifteen minutes left on the clock and the highest bid was still well within my range, so I put in a new maximum bid. I beat the other bidders by about $1.50; apparently they hadn’t set maximum bids which would automatically be incremented if new bids were placed.

Now I have to get a book which will show and tell me how to play dulcimer.


Thank you, Houston Chronicle!

We could not get the answer to this jumble in the March 28 edition of our paper, and we inadvertently tossed the 3/29 edition which had the answer. Worse, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser doesn’t put its crosswords or other puzzles online. They appear in print only.


If the syndicator of the puzzle, Tribune Media Services, has an archive function on the game’s website I couldn’t find it.

Fortunately for me, the Houston Chronicle does put its jumble online with an archive, so I found the damned answer. It was driving us crazy.