Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Beautiful Carroll County; Ft. McHenry;Crime Examples; Guns; Knives; Spell Checker; Senior Joke

Every day I get up and look out the windows and see all of the greenness of Summer, and it makes me happy to be living in beautiful Wakefield Valley in beautiful Carroll County, in beautiful Maryland, in the beautiful U.S.A.  And tomorrow, Elaine and I get more patriotic feelings when we go on a trip to Fort McHenry.  I'm sure that before the day is over, we will have very wet handkerchiefs in response to the programs and singing.  Especially, of course, seeing the Star Spangled Banner flying over the Fort.. Long May it Wave!

In addition to beautiful greenness, Carroll County is also one of the safest Counties in Maryland and also in the United States.  However, we do have our moments.  Here are three crime (prime?) examples from today's Carroll County Times:

Farmer's Wife?

Apparently, a house guest must have said something his hostess did not like, and she tried to cut him  up with a kitchen knife.  He lived.  I hope he learned his lesson!

Tough Lady!

When she assaulted a visitor to her apartment, the victim called the police.  After a tussle, just as she was about to get into the police vehicle, she said that she was having a "diabetic attack", and the officer arranged for an ambulance to get her to the hospital.

After another tussle with EMT personnel, and a massive amount of obscenities being yelled out in the hospital, it was determined that she was faking her "diabetic attack,"  This announcement resulted in lots of kicking of hospital and police personnel, as well as a threat to burn down the hospital.  I think that they finally got her incarcerated.. one of the policemen involved thinks that this 59 year old lady may have been intoxicated.

This is not your basic "Bloom's Day!"

A group of people were standing outside of a local restaurant, waiting to be called to dinner, when a Mister Bloom showed up and must have said something that  rubbed them the wrong way, because an altercation occurred, in which Mister B.  sliced up one of them with his knife. He is now sleeping off his intoxication in the local jail.

Did you notice something strange in these three cases?   No guns involved.  Just knives, fists and legs.  Very seldom do I read about a case where a gun is involved.  And this is in Carroll County, where guns are a fairly common item in people's homes.  I love the people in Carroll County and I like to think that  they are a sensible lot when it comes to guns.  (Knives, I'm not so sure of.)

When I spent over three years in Germany during the 1950's, I was warned to carry a concealed weapon... i.e., a gun of some kind.   Well, I did not want to put myself in the position of getting into some kind of altercation with a German national and pulling out  a pistol to settle the argument.  But, I didn't want to be a complete dummy.. (this was just 7 years after Germany's defeat in WWII, afterall).. so, I kept a blank pistol in my right hand pocket.. it was only one inch long and took a very small charge of powder that would make a big bang and lots of smoke when the trigger was pulled.  Very scary.. especially for me. I never used it for anything except a conversation starter.

However, I did think that I needed some kind of real weapon to carry, so I purchased a German switchblade knife and also carried that for  three years.  I always wondered what I would have done if I had felt I had to use it.  I would have probably sliced myself up real bad.   But,  you know, that knife was a great tool for opening bottled beer and specialty beer cans.

Of course, back at the base, I always had my "burp gun".. and orders to "shoot any commies  trying to break into the Crypto van!"  Lucky as usual, I didn't have to fire the weapon.   (Somewhere else in these blog entries I have talked about the guy who was mad because I found out how he was cheating at Black Jack and conned him out of his beloved "shades"...  and how he fired at me in  the Crypto van one Sunday Afternoon.   Scary true story.. but complex, with lots of side stories that I need to write up someday.)  ("What Did You Do In The Army, Daddy?)

Jump to another subject, please, Joe.

Hillary's Spelling

I received a nice letter from Hillary Clinton, asking if she could count on me for a few bucks to help in her campaign.  As part of her background, she put out this sentence:  "I took a road trip to Iowa, spent a few days in New Hampshire, and will be heading to South Carolina and Neveda and I am working as hard as I can to earn every vote."

She must want my $15 so that she can buy a spell checker better that the one she has, that would let the name of a State be unfixed.

Finish with a Joke, Joe.

An older man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a beautiful young woman at his side.

He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend.  The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring.  The old man said, "No, I'd like to see something more special."

With that, the jeweler went into his special stock and brought another ring over.  "Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000."  the jeweler said.

The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement.  The old man, seeing this, said, "We'll take it."

The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the old man stated, "By check.  I know you need to make sure my check is  good, so I'll write it now and you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds and I'll pick the ring up on Monday afternoon."  He said

Monday morning, the jeweler phoned the old man.  "There's no money in that account."

"I know," said the old man.  "But, let me tell you about my weekend."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Graduation Jail Time; Government Give-Aways; Almonds; California Water; Vaccination; Facebook; Baltimore Raven; Flat Tires; Schizophrenia; Mooch; Hooch

Nice hot day with bright blue sky and white puffy clouds.  We were supposed to have a flood watch, but I guess the storms blew over.

The Progressive magazine mentions:

Three people got all excited during graduation ceremonies and yelled and clapped for their favorites.  This was in Mississippi, and they like to have peace and dignity maintained, so the police arrested the trio and allowed them to face potential $500 fines and six months jail sentences.  Good sense prevailed, however, and the charges were dropped.

A Republican Missouri State Senator, running for States Attorney General let it be known that he would oppose legislation that advocated paying living wages, paid sick leave, paid vacation, as well as disability payments. Kurt Schaefer thinks that such "give-aways" would cause chaos.

Almond grower, Paul Wenger feels picked on because of talk of curbing California's Almond industry that uses a vast amount of water.  One almond requires one gallon of water!

The Funny Paper for June 15th had a few interesting items:

Harper's Index says the number of African countries with vaccination rates higher than that of the United States is an amazing to me: 16.

A South Carolina prisoner was placed in solitary confinement for 37 days for posting something to Facebook.

Chuck Shepherd says that John Urschel of the Baltimore Ravens continues to shine in matter of the brain.. his latest article in the Journal of Computational Mathematics is titled: A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians.   So,, why does he play football?His answer: "I love hitting people."

Chuck also mentions businesswoman Hua Hin from Thailand, who was arrested for scattering screws on a busy street, in order to increase business for her husband's tire store.

Jon Winokur gives us  a few quotes to think about:

Lily Tomlin: "When we talk to God, we're praying, but when God talks to us, we're schizophrenic."

Jon Stewart:  "Why is it that if you take advantage of a corporate tax break you're a smart businessman, but if you take advantage of something so you don't go hungry,you're a moocher?"

Al Capone:  "When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on silver trays on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality."



Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Portuguese Food; New Bedford, Massachusetts

I think Elaine and I have finally been cured of our breathing problems... miraculous recovery through the use of Steroids prescribed by Doctor Jacobs.. a little guy who is a three stooges fan.. but knows what the hell he is doing.  We thoroughly endorse him.

I'm sitting here with Cosi Fan Tutti  playing on my XM radio, as I nibble on a few cashews.  Elaine and I just came back from "swimming" in the Carroll Lutheran Village pool.  First time in over a month.. and we are both "beat"..

The New Yorker magazine for June 29, 2015, has a great food and drink review by Hannah Goldfield.  Her target is Lupulo  (Tables for two) on Sixth Avenue and 29th Street in NYC.  This is a Portuguese restaurant with dinner entrees from $14 to $45.   Hey!  I might be able to afford something there.  But first.... let's talk about Portuguese food:

One of the Chefs here in the Village was of Portuguese extraction and grew up in San Francisco.  Talking to him was fun.. and one day he promised to have Portuguese food night, with Kale Soup, Linguica, and other delicacies.  Before he could do so; however, his boss transferred him back to SF. Damn!

My late wife, Elaine, used to make great Kale soup, even though she was of French Canadian extraction.  One night she asked my daughter, Elizabeth, what she thought of the Kale soup she had just served.   Elizabeth replied: "It was great.. except for that green stuff!"

I can't remember a "high-class" Portuguese restaurant in New Bedford, Massachusetts (my home town)... but there probably was one.   I do remember lots and lots of bars and grills  where one could eat cod and other type fish to be washed down with buckets of Port and Madeira wine.

One of my New Bedford nephews mailed us a lot of Linguica.  I have it in the  freezer and every few weeks I cut off a slab of the sausage and fry it up.   Delicious item for those of us who grew up eating it throughout our formative  years.

Back to Lupulo.. which means "hops" by the way.. and they serve a variety of hopped beverages to wash down some of the Portuguese spices. 

Menu items

Grilled sardines in vinegary peppers.

Fava beans tossed with morels and blood sausage.

Razor-clam and cucumber salad. (You remember.. you picked razor shells on the beach.. but nobody that I know has ever seen a razor-clam alive (or recently deceased.)

Deep-fried salt-cod croquettes.

And Portuguese breads... the greatest gluten gift to mankind.  In New Bedford, it is just as important on Sunday to pick up fresh Portuguese bread .. as it is to get real Jewish bagels in NYC.

May I quote:  "Giant, ruby-red prawns known as carabineros, flown in seasonally from Portugual, are grilled, head on, until they are just cooked, their perfume nearly floral, their flavor lush and buttery. At thirteen dollars per shrimp, their juices must be sopped."

Caracois, meaty little knots of de-shelled snails, in a pool of alhinho, a mix of garlic, paprika and parsley.

And for dessert:  soft, grassy sheep's milk cheese with  a "pouf" of pastry, a "smear" of quince paste, and "scoop" of kaffier-lime sorbet.

Can you handle all this?  I'm sure that you can tell by now that I really miss New Bedford's wonderful Portuguese food.

PS.. I got a DNA reading from Ancestry.Com that indicated that I might have Portuguese blood.  My brother Joe has such a lineage, and perhaps I do too.  Right now I am investigating some possible DNA family matches through Ancestry...