BIEN PADRE-  I am endlessly sad about the demise of Bien Padre, the very model of a well-run, well-beloved local business. I met the owner, Benito Lim, many years ago.  I was probably still working at Redwoods United,  trying to find a job for one of our clients. I recall asking him about vacancies and he told me that no one quit once they were hired.  Everyone I talked to there seemed  to be happy, in contrast to most jobsites, where people would love to complain to a sympathetic listener. Sad!

QUITTING  MAGS- Have you ever noticed how easy it is to subscribe to something and  yet you never seem to get OFF it?  I subscribed to Newsweek for thirty years and stayed with it long after Tina What’s- her name turned it into a chaotic mess.  Now, I’m so glad to be getting TIME instead. The next candidate for the chopping block is Condé Nast Traveler  from which I planned my longish trip to Europe in 1994.  Their photography convinced  me to visit Brittany, for which I will ever be grateful,  but their latest issue, like most of the recent ones, is useless unless you like spending $500 a night  to stay someplace. And their fashion spreads are ridiculous.  If I ever take another travel mag, it would be something like the old Frommer’s which was bought out by Lonely Planet several years ago. I guess everyone’s going online for their travel  info, though.  Not to worry, I’m still subscribing to The Times-Standard, the Mad River Union, the New Yorker, Time, Rolling Stone, Allure, Better Homes, Sunset, the Washington Post (digital  only) , Coastal Living (good for recipes) and a number of train mags and political newsletters. a I will always prefer a paper mag to online because I like slouching in my recliner and I don’t like tablets or anything with a small screen. I wonder what is going to happen with Rolling Stone.  The latest issue weighs a TON,  and although the articles look good, it’s really not user-friendly.  BTW,  Time’s current issue, about the South,  is a must-read.

GOOD EXPERIENCES- lunch with a friend at Gallagher’s,  which I tend to forget about.  Their halibut and chips just can’t be beat.  Also my first acquaintance  with Conti’s service station on Harris, whose staff is friendly and efficient s and couldn’t have been more helpful replacing my battery.  That is one busy station!!  Finally, when my battery died in Murphy’s parking lot,  one of their staff gave me her cell to call AAA with.  Of course I didn’t bring MY phone!  What can happen only three blocks from home?   Plenty, of course.  Thanks to everyone.

WHY IS ANYONE STILL ON FACEBOOK?  Because they WANT their data to be misused? Because they can’t figure out how to share their cat videos on email?  Someone please explain it to me.  I confess I still have an account but I only use it to check “I Remember In Eureka When”.  Within three or four years, mark my words,  FB will be going out of business and there will be a new platform too which you can migrate your cat videos.

Someone said recently that the President Trump MOST resembles is Nixon and the President he LEAST resembles is Eisenhower. Discuss among yourselves.

I am sneezing from the smoke and my cousin’s cousin lost his home in Redding.  God bless the firefighters!




TAX CUT-    So,  how did you do with the Trump tax cut? I got $3 out of  it. Anyone get more?? Tell the truth, now.

5th DISTRICT SUPERVISOR RACE-  SEEMS to have been won by Steve Madrone but jeez, it took a long time.  I hate elections like this. Close elections don’t give you any real feedback and deprive the participants of a real victory celebration, not to mention closure. Kudos to the election office staff for their careful work. .

SUMMER IN HELSINKI-  Trump and Putin have chosen Helsinki for the venue of their summit.  I can’t think of a more romantic place.  I’m not kidding! Helsinki is a charming little city full of Victorian architecture that gives it kind of an Alice-in-Wonderland quality. It’s a seaport and there’s water everywhere.  The ZOO is on a island-  you take a boat.  The boat must run late because  I recall sitting in a ruined castle (yes, there are LOTS of castles in Finland) in perfect calm at near-midnight looking back at the lights of Helsinki and feeling that I had never been so safe. Anyway, Trump and his boyfriend will enjoy good weather. You wouldn’t want to go there after October. Great food too!  The Best Western where I stayed  had FIVE kinds of herring on the breakfast buffet.  Can’t beat that!

ELDERS IN CHARGE-  The Democratic Party is being led by folks who are over seventy, and in some cases,over eighty years old!  Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn,  even Chuck Schumer is over 70. I’d take any one of them over the folks who are the face of the GOP these days, but at the same time it’s clear that new leadership is in the offing..

MURPHY’S is now grilling M-F from 11am to 4pm.  Their cheeseburgers are huge for $5.99 and they also have tri tip sans, chicken and ribs.  fI don’t know why they don’t stay open later.  It’s a damn shame. In Cutten, they have 15,000 people going right past them on the way home,  a large number of whom would LOVE to take home dinner but Murphy’s closes the grill at 4pm.  Go figure.


HARRY BELAFONTE- remember him?  He turned up on CNN the other night looking like a 40-year old.  He’s 90!!! What is his secret? A clear conscience?  Amazing!

PUBLIX VS THE KIDS- Ever shop at a  Publix?  In Florida, Georgia and elsewhere in the Southeast, they’re the equivalent of Safeway.  Big company with 120,000 employees.  They made the mistake of endorsing a candidate who’s real cozy with the NRA and are now facing a boycott led by the brave students from Stoneman High.   Hopefully, they’ll come  to their senses.  If I had to bet, I’d take David Hogg over Publix.   In Jax, Publix is the best market, then it’s Winn-Dixie,  which is in bankruptcy, then at the bottom there’s Food Lion which is awful but has sweet employees who urge you to “have a blessed day’.   Publix has the best grab-n-go lunch I’ve ever seen,  a Cubano sandwich that is PERFECT.  Someone should be selling those here.  A shrink-wrapped Cubano stays fresh a long time.

FOOD NEWS-  Southside Mike and his truck will be at St Joe’s at the Harrison Street entrance,  from 1130 to 2pm on Tuesdays. Also Murphy’s in Cutten has started their “BBQ”  again, M-F from 11 to 4.  It is insane that they close so early, leaving  the 15,000 or so residents who go past everyday on their way home to pine for burgers and ribs which they would gladly purchase for dinner that night.  Go figure.

— SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-ARIZ.), (on Twitter): “To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED that Our Fake President runs away from dealmaking (hid out during the budget negotiations, hid during the Obamacare  negotiations, leaving everything to McConnell, blew the immigration negotiations. .  He wouldn’t know a deal if he hit one in the road.  And have you noticed that whenever he is faced with anyone who is more confident, more educated, more prepared , better spoken, better educated –  he pulls a cheap attack like finding “dandruff” on Macron and pretending to pick it off. How come no one else saw the “dandruff’? Now young Justin Trudeau is eating Trump’s lunch and reminding the world what a statement is SUPPOSED to sound like.

MORE RETAIL CLOSINGS-  Stonestown Mall,  having already lost its  Macy’s, is about to lose its Nordstrom’s, leaving the center with no anchor.  How times change!

I am very sad about the death of Anthony Bourdain.  I bought his “Kitchen Confidential ” book and encouraged my Job Club  members to read it, when I was doing that. He apparently did not give his closest friends the slightest hint that he was considering suicide which is sobering.  PLEASE pay attention to anyone who acts depressed or seems to need help. You could be saving a life.

Short Ribs and Random Thoughts, November 29 2017

The constant onslaught of idiocy from the White House is so depressing I don’t blame people who have stopped paying attention. Just remember to wake up in time to vote this year.

ONE TURKEY DOWN-  David Marcus has finally quit the PD’s office and slunk off into the sunset and we the voters have yet to receive a decent explanation for his hiring in the first place.  WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE??? Who wanted him hired??  One of the Supes? In the absence of any other explanation, I’ll take that one.  Remember, elections are coming.

NIGHT MARKETS- have been a big thing in Asia for years  and I’ve wondered why we don’t do them here.  Finally,  they had one in Arcata’s Creamery District and I’m wondering how it went. Wouldn’t more people come to the Farmers’ Markets if they were in the evening? I think so.

COSTCO-  I just called in  a prescription to COSTCO and was delighted to find that their automated system now keeps track of your prescriptions and offers refills for the ones that are coming due.  At least ONE thing that ‘s improved. 

THANKSGIVING-  probably my least favorite  Holiday.  It’s too darn close to Christmas. This year,  for the first time,  I ordered the whole meal from Murphy’s and I have to say they did a good job.  Thank God I had a guest from the Bay Area who willingly took the leftover turkey home with him. I’m not real big on turkey.  For sandwiches, I prefer chicken, which you can get at WINCO. My friend drove off talking about turkey soup and turkey enchiladas.  He can have them.  Remember the hot turkey sandwiches at Stanton’s?  Now THOSE were good!

SHORT RIBS- on sale at Safeway for $5.99 through Tuesday the 5th.   And already it’s December!!!!


October! Best month ever!   I love October.

KENNEDY FIELD- This has got to be the feel-good story of the year.  My intrepid neighbors made their feelings known and, at least for now, the hideous scheme to relocate the City corporation yard to the ball field across from the Zoo is on hold. Kudos to those who took the lead on this.  I’ve driven past that field for twenty years and never knew it was called Kennedy Field.

HOBBY LOBBY- the right-wing Christian-owned store opened in Redding this week, with a staff of 80!!   It’s supposed to be like a MIchael’s on steroids. This was the company that wouldn’t provide contraceptive care in its health plan. Bring me a plastic Jesus if you go.

HAVE YOU BEEN EQUIFAXED??  I got an email from Equifax telling me my data MAY have been breached and asking me to fill out a form including my FULL SSN.  I’ve decided to ignore it. I don’t need their monitoring to keep track of my two credit cards. I’ve been there before.  When I was working for the State, we all got hacked and they told us to notify the three credit agencies and get copies of our credit reports.  THAT was a revelation. All the credit reports could have qualified for the Pulitzer prize for Fiction but Equifax was the craziest. The showed me as having several charge accounts at Dayton-Hudson, a store in Minneapolis.   I’ve never been to Minneapolis  except passing through on the train. They would only correct errors one at a time!  You had to keep calling and calling.  Someday when I have absolutely nothing else to do,  I will worry about my credit reports.

FAREWELL CARPATHIAN!!!  What a horrible development!   I’ve dragged three or four people to Carpathian shows .  They were wonderful !  I never figured out whether he/she /it was male or female.  Child molestation is a tragedy whenever it happens, or is even alleged.   There is no good outcome.

THOSE BAGS OF HERSHEY’S HALLOWE’EN FUN-SIZE BARS have settled into a  price of 2/$7 IF you can find them.  Don’t pay any more. If you see them cheaper,  let us know. Hershey’s has started including the vile Twix in their bags. Twix just doesn’t cut it.  I discovered Skittles this past year.  They’re good!

MURPHY’S TO THE RESCUE-  I am an almost daily visitor to the Cutten Murphy’s.  Last week I apparently got separated from my wallet there.  I didn’t even know it till I got a call at 11pm from Joseph letting me know they had my wallet and it looked like everything was there. Everything was and  the Murphy’s staff has my eternal gratitude.  Support your local markets!

SI NEWHOUSE died the other day. He was in his ‘nineties and most of you have probably never heard of him but his family’s wealth and  patience have kept The New Yorker afloat for many years while other magazines bit the dust.  I literally learned to read from The New Yorker,  hanging in my aunt’s madrone tree in Mill Valley.  Well, that and Little Lulu comics. SUPPORT THE BEST MAGAZINE IN THE WORLD.   $99 for print AND digital if you get in on a promotion.

“PUERTO RICO’S DEBT MUST BE WIPED OUT” says our Fake President, who obviously has no plan to do so.  Maybe he’s so dumb he thinks territories can just file bankruptcy like he did.  Four times.

GOODBYE COLUMBUS?  When I was growing up, Columbus Day was  a day to honor our Italian citizens, not a glorification of the oppression of Native Americans. Outside  New York and SF, I guess no one has parades any more but I hope the holiday survives. We need an October holiday and why not have a Native Peoples’ Day during another month?

TEA FOR THE TILLERSON-  Overnight the most useless Secretary of State in history has secured his everlasting fame. For the record,  Tillerson is not accused of calling Trump a “moron”.  The exact term was “fucking moron”,  which sounds about right.  Trump, who seems to think he can govern by tweeting, is about to lose another Cabinet secretary to join those who have already proven themselves too corrupt or stupid to serve in government and those who have or are going to quit out of frustration with the man-child in the White House.

THE SPOOKS ON HARRISON-  That wonderful family across from the Immanuel Church has their display up again,  eight spooks dancing around in a circle  This year they have an addition,  a ghoulish “Last Supper” display. Thank you. folks!  If you see any outstanding Hallowe’en displays, let us know. We’ll spread the word.


Short Takes and Random Thoughts

Here is a miscellany of what’s been rambling around my brain.

MURPHY’S CUTTEN gets 4 stars for customer service.  I emailed then demanding to know why they were cutting off the BBQ at 3pm when there are 15,000 Cutten residents going past their door everyday who would love to take home some burgers or chicken.  Lo and behold manager Travis emailed me back that they will be keeping it going till 6pm M-F. That’s more like it!  Their burgers are GOOD.

NIXON/TRUMP  The last few days have been bizarre for those of us old enough to have watched every minute of the Watergate hearings, 40 years ago this week. CNN had a retrospective over the weekend and the similarities between what was being said about Nixon THEN and Trump NOW are astounding. “Isolated” is just the beginning.

THE FITZGERALD-  let’s take a few moment to mourn the loss of seven young sailors who  died a horrible death aboard the Fitzgerald.  Doesn’t matter whose fault this will turn out to be.  It’s just tragic.

BOOK CLUB-  I don’t read enough  books.  Who does? But at the behest of one of our readers I went to the Humboldt County library and checked out their copy of Evicted:  Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond..   It was one of the NYT’s 10 beat books last year and it is a terrific and harrowing read. I’ll return it before the end of the month.

REST IN PEACE:  Mrs Maureen Johanneson  who was my teacher at EHS in my tenth grade.  We were in her class when JFK was shot.  She was a wonderful person and wonderful teacher. Also, Fred Mangels, (Fred’s Humboldt Blog)  who I never met and seldom agreed with, has passed.  He was incredibly consistent in his blogging and was an inspiration to those of us who just can’t get it together daily.

THE WHITE HOUSE TAPES:  Isn’t it fairly obvious that there are none? If there were, Trump and his minions have had enough time to find them and erase them. Lordy, they’re gone!

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: His current show on CNN, Parts Unknown, is the best TV he’s ever done. Maybe CNN has a bigger budget that the travel Channel?  Parts Unknown is a beautiful show, fantastic photography.  Tape it. The show on Laos was particularly memorable.  



Tidbits and Gossip 8/5/15

The Cutten Inn reno that was supposed to be completed in July has obviously not been completed.  From the look of things it could be many months.

The Cutten Murphy’s s having their annual summer BBQ season in front of the store M-F until at least the end of August. Easy to grab on your way home! Grass-fed cheeseburgers $5.99 and the half-chickens at $4.99 are a real deal.  Support your local grocer!

CNBC’s new series The West Texas Investors Club is kind of a Shark Tank meets Hee-Haw and the shark/investors don’t have the cred of the originals but after you watch it for half an hour or so it all starts to make a loony kind of sense.  One of the sharks is Matthew McConaghy’s uglier brother.  Tuesday nights on CNBC (Ch 51 on Suddenlink).  Let us know how you like it.  Coming up on August 12 is their latest,  Make Me a Millionaire Inventor  which has to be the worst title ever but let’s hope for the best.