NOTABLE WASHINGTON LUNCHES- I love accounts of political lunches, such as the occasion when Ty Cobb discussed his strategy for defending Trump in an outdoor restaurant (the BLT Grill) with a NYT reporter taking pictures and recording him. On Friday, Michael Cohen had lunch at the Loews Regency with Al Sharpton (!).  No word yet on what they had and the website doesn’t include  prices.   I guess if you have to ask…..

TRUMP AND FOX-  Our billion-dollar security establishment isn’t good enough for our ignorant president.  He’d rather get his news from Fox.  This explains  in part his stunning incompetence.  HERE’s an account.

WHERE’S THAT TRIBE? Amazing story from the morning Times-Standard.  Wouldn’t it be stunning to find out that the tribe you belonged to never really existed?  There’s a lot of money at stake with tribal designations, so this will be a hard-fought fight.  My sister lived in Etna for awhile and met some tribal folks who invited her to their sweat lodge.  That’s all I can contribute.

DUTCH BROTHERS-  I quit drinking coffee about ten years ago so when a friend asked for a  coffee card from Dutch Brothers it was a revelation.  There was a line around the block at 2pm!  Took me 20 minutes to get a card!  NONE of the other coffee places are that busy. What’s their secret?  Don’t tell me to try the coffee.  I don’t want to get hooked again.

STILL WANNA BE A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE?  Watching the bashing of Peter Strojek  who is being castigated for  poor judgment (shouldn’t have used a government account for private tweets) would make any young person question whether Federal employment is a good deal at all. Trump’s crew hates the government in such a simpleminded way  they doh’t think about accomplishing  the job, only in destroying the civil service.  Tell your kids to hold off till Trump is on the way out.  It won’t be long.

OFF-SEASON TV-  If you grow tired of pining for the next episode of 90 Day Fiancée,  I’ve noticed for the last couple of days TCM (Channel 37 on Suddenlink) is showing the old “Young Peoples’ Concerts with Leonard Bernstein”   in between movies. They are wonderful and I wish they’d show a whole season.  They haven’t aged a bit and Lenny is wonderful.  Worth watching for. 

Short Ribs and Random Thoughts Dec 12 2017

HALL & OATES BACK FROM THE DEAD- Have you heard those Applebee’s commercials featuring H&O’s “You Make My Dreams Come True“?? You must have. They run it every five minutes. I guess I never appreciated them,  but that is the ONLY music coming out of the TV that sets my toes tappin’ and makes me dance in the kitchen. I must be getting old.

TRUMP’S SCREWY LAWYERS-  It’s no secret that with his reputation for not paying his bills Our Fake President has had trouble engaging legal counsel. The Covingtons and Burlings of the world are not interested in representing a deadbeat.  Trump had had to resort to using his real estate lawyers and characters like Jay Sukelov,  who advertises himself  as a Christian-rights attorney.  The star of Trump’s legal team is Ty Cobb, the genius who held a strategy meeting at the BLT on the sidewalk in front of Trump Tower in full view and hearing of a WAPO reporter who recorded everything.  It’s not going to get better.

THE PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL in NYC was in the news this morning because of a bombing. I will give a prize to the first person who identifies the person portrayed  in the statue in front of its entrance on the west side of 8th Ave midway between 40th and 41st Streets. You’ll say, “Oh, of course!”.

THE  BIG  4-0:  My car has now registered 40K miles, so I guess it’s not a new car anymore.  Hardly surprising  since it’s a 2007,  the last year they made the PT Cruiser. On the one hand I’ve only had one problem with it, a $300 one-time electrical thing.  On the other hand, I hardly drive it.  I need to get  a new mechanic because I won’t use Old Town Auto any more.  I was a faithful customer for ten years when Wally Cunningham was running it.  He’s send me a notice when I needed something and I blindly followed his advice. Never any problems and when it was electrical he’d refer me out to Dan’s. I knew things would be different when he retired but I didn’t realize HOW different. I blew out a tire and decided to replace all four.  Old Town wanted to sell me a $900 set of tires!! For a PT Cruiser!  The CAR is hardly worth $900! I found I could get perfectly good tires from COSTCO for $370 and from Gosselin’s for a couple of bucks more . Guess where I ended up?  Dan’s let me know they are available for non-electrical work and I just may go to them unless any of you have a better idea.

HIGH-SPEED RAIL –  is being built in China, and everywhere else in the civilized world while California  limps along  dodging lawsuits. In Florida they’re all ready to start testing their privately funded route between West Palm and Lauderdale. Even in pissy little Ireland, they’re building HSR between Cork and Dublin.  Read about the Florida deal HERE.

Do you ever read those ads from the Tractor Supply company?  They’re largely farm-related which means they’re very exotic to me, who has never spent one moment on a farm.  The one that came last week has an ad for a “Yardbird Chicken Plucker- Fully defeathers a bird in 15 seconds or less” for only $349.99.  It looks like a tripod with a perforated cylinder on the top and I don’t even want to know how it works. On the same page is a “$199.99 Shelterlogic Shed-In-A-Box 10 ft X 10 ft X 8ft Roundtop Storage Shed”.  It would need a floor and an end flap but, hey, these could solve the homeless crisis if you put them in the right place.

THE WINTER SUN- Does it bother you as much as it does me? Every year from December to February or so, I hate driving after about 2pm. The only wreck I ever caused was at the junction of Myrtle and Hall, near Redwood Acres.  I was trying to turn left, and couldn’t see a damn thing.  I ended up T-boning a Ford van.  My little Neon didn’t have a scratch on it but the van looked like it had been hit by a train. They are apparently made of cardboard.