C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Pork Boys Do Spring

Well, spring has sprung down here in Texas, and with the return of (mostly) sunny days and (mostly) warm weather, M.P. was inspired to cook up a spring feast for Sunday dinner (which we ate on Monday because Sunday was cold and dreary).  

Spring table setting with Ukrainian Easter egg centerpiece.

The rotisserie chicken with lemon and rosemary was a sensation!
M.P. uses a portable countertop electric rotisserie for such things.

English peas with that new-fangled argeyola lettuce, or whatever you call it.  Tastes like spinach to me.

Corn Balls - something like hushpuppies full of corn kernels - were a new invention of M.P.'s, but alas - they came out tough and chewy, so back to the drawing board.

The soup course was Egg-Drop Soup, delicious.

M.P. found a recipe online for Melting Potatoes roasted in chicken broth - mighty good flavor, but they don't melt, so it's a strange name.

Hot Cross Biscuits, another invention of M.P.'s, were fluffy and tasty, brushed with honey butter.

From the noon position:  corn balls, peas, potatoes, chicken leg quarter, biscuit.

Dessert was a plate of luscious banana-creme cupcakes.  Fabulous!

A gardening note:  M.P. has started work on the yard this week, and there's a lot of clean-up to do first.  He reports that the yard is covered with little wild violets like these.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Two Churches, One Town

Today I discovered just by chance this mini-documentary of two beautiful 900-year-old churches in a lovely little English town - and the struggle to keep them from falling into ruin.  The high-definition videography is wonderful.  

You can learn more at the website Two Churches, One Town.


Sunday, March 26, 2023

One City, Two Statues

Tallahassee, Florida, has been in the news lately:  two sides of the very same coin.

'David' by Michelangelo Fir JBU005 denoised 
Michelangelo's David


Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. 
--George Orwell, 1984

Friday, March 24, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Pork Boys Do St. Patrick's Day, 2023

 M.P. is proud of his French and Irish descent, so St. Pat's is always a festive occasion here.  We actually celebrated twice, once on Friday night and again on Sunday.

Our Irish pub dinner on Friday was memorable for M.P.'s whimsical use of paper napkins to give a subdued lighting effect to the kitchen and breakfast bar. 

In the pic above, you can see a tray of just-baked pasties on the counter; at the far left is a pan of delicious rarebit sauce (one of M.P.'s specialties) and a little pot of parsley sauce, yum.  Both were used for dipping or spreading.

Below is a platter of hot, fresh jambons, which M.P. has discovered are all the rage in Dublin these days:  they are made with pastry dough and a mixture of ham and cheese filling with bechamel sauce.  (Sort of a croque monsieur.) Scrumptious!  Of course, we each had a rare bottle of Guinness to wash it all down with.

Buttered toast points, left, and homemade French fries, right.

Some of everything.

The pub dinner was all finger foods, but Sunday dinner was rather more formal, starting with the place settings.  

M.P. likes to use the gravy boat to make a centerpiece, if it's not needed for gravy.

Tasty Irish soda bread, hot out of the oven. Smells good too.

Roses were on sale at the grocery store, and M.P.'s favorite dining-room colors are green and white, so it all worked out beautifully.  However, I must confess that these roses are actually a very pale green, which doesn't show up in the photograph.

The bamboo plates are a bone china set from the 1930s or 40s that M.P. found online years ago and snagged at a bargain price.  They do lend a bit of old-time glamour to the table, we think.

The oversized cups were for the soup course:  Dublin Coddle.  Diced potatoes, leeks, bacon, ham, and sausage.  Poor man's food but mighty tasty, and perfect on a cold night.

The entree was corned beef, of course, with some sliced potatoes and baby carrots, all cooked together in the crock pot from noon to midnight.  At top right, a bowl of homemade mustard sauce (mostly mustard and a lot of brown sugar, with a drop of Louisiana Hot Sauce™) that goes perfectly with the meat.  At bottom right, a bowl of M.P.'s famous Truckstop Cabbage, the perfect complement:  it's cabbage, carrots, red onions, and bacon cooked together till everything is tender and delicious.

M.P. says white beans and carrots are a traditional Irish dish.  Okay.

Determine the area of a quarter-section of one-quarter of a circle:  geometry at work in the kitchen.

Wish I could hand all you boys a plate of this mighty fine eatin'!

Dessert was a Guinness Cake - the body contains Guinness and cocoa, and the frosting is cream cheese, mostly.  


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Poets' Corner: [In Just-]


 e. e. cummings (1894-1962)

[in Just-]

in Just-

spring          when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it's


when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far          and             wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and






balloonMan          whistles






Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sunday Drive: Green Eyes

Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell front the Jimmy Dorsey band in this classic rendition of their 1941 hit:

Note:  M.P. and I had a little Irish pub dinner on Friday night, but he's already up and working on a big St. Pat's Day dinner for tonight.  As soon as we get the pics back from the drugstore, I'll post them for you all to see.  The main dish will be be corned beef, which just began an all-day swim in the crock pot.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

See full photo of Paddy O'Brian here (NSWF).


Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Night the Wall Fell Down, and Other Stories

Real magazine article, 1953, from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, USC.

A mix of memories of life before Stonewall.


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Pencil It In

Just some interesting views of pencil production I happened upon while surfing YouTube. Not a subject I have a great interest in, but the videos are strangely soothing, somehow.


Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sunday Drive: Blue Skies

Ella swings the Irving Berlin song:


Friday, March 10, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend

Splicing the mainbrace at the 1960 Harvard-Yale regatta on a yacht owned by one of the Vanderbilts.  Much larger pic of this guy over at Shorpy here.  Starboard side here and tanline astern here.


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

FDR: The First Hundred Days

The New York Times, March 5, 1933

FDR giving his first fireside chat, March 12, 1933.

I have seen nothing mentioned about this in the news media, so I'm posting for the record:  this past Saturday, March 4th, was the 90th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inauguration in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression.  The first 100 days that followed were a great turning point in our history, as FDR and a newly elected Democratic majority in both houses of Congress kick-started the New Deal, providing relief and hope to the nation.  

By a strange coincidence, Adolf Hitler had come to power in Germany just a few weeks earlier; both men had a rendezvous with destiny, as yet unforeseen.

FDR's decisive actions and his compassionate, optimistic, encouraging fireside chats over the new-fangled radio system made a profound impression on many millions of Americans that was still vividly remembered by my parents and grandparents a generation later, when I came along.  As my little grandmother said, in her homely way, "If it hadn't-a been for Roosevelt, we'd have all perished to death."

His predecessor, the Republican Herbert Hoover, was a decent, highly intelligent man who had engineered food relief for starving European nations in the aftermath of World War I; but Hoover failed the test of history when it came to helping his own fellow citizens stricken by the Depression.  Then as now, upscale Republicans balked at providing any concrete help to the poor and needy, putting their own profits and pocketbooks first.  Ninety years later, we see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here is Part I of a very well-made documentary shown on the History Channel in 2005, covering Roosevelt's presidency from his first inauguration down to the beginning of World War II.  I've watched it several times, and recommend it to my truckbuddies. I don't know where Part II is; I can't find it on YouTube.


P. S. - Since the first of the year, on sunny days I've been taking little walks around the neighborhood, which is in the older part of town.  One day I noticed an impression in the concrete sidewalk:



1 9 3 8

That stretch of sidewalk is still in fine shape, as if it were laid out yesterday:  one of FDR's many enduring legacies to the nation.


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sunday Drive: It's a Lovely Day Today

Texas weather today:

Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters have just the right song for it:


Friday, March 3, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, March 2, 2023

What We're Watching: Vermeer, Master of Light

A few nights ago, M.P. and I watched this fascinating exploration of Vermeer's techniques, and had quite an interesting conversation afterwards.  M.P. being a trained artist, he understood more of the technical aspects than I did.  Very worth watching if you care anything about painting.


Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Poets' Corner: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.



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