Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chuckuary Recap

Chuckuary Recap
My birthday month ended quietly and that was as it should be. I achieved some minor milestones in my life.
I participate in SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrials. I don’t remember when I signed. It was a long time ago. SETI has a credit program based on the number of searches your computer executes. In May, I reached the 350,000 credit or point level.
During the month, I wrote my 125th review for Amazon. I am ranked into the nowhere land. My review ranking is Number 112,767. I wonder how many reviews the Number 1 ranked reviewer wrote.

The MINI Cooper’s electronic odometer blinked and passed 67,000 miles. I noticed there are now four MINIs parked in the building car park. Mine is the only convertible and the only one in British racing green. Driving with the top down has improved my arm and face tans. The car now has 900 hours of top down driving time on the openometer. 

I finally got around to celebrating Chuckuary with a lunch at McCormick & Schmick’s. It’s owned by the same company that owns Morton’s. I went here so I could use my birthday coupon. I had a very nice late lunch in an uncrowded restaurant. I enjoyed a wonderful cup of clam chowder that I followed up with a chopped salad. I had grilled halibut with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. I indulged myself with a scoop of vanilla iced cream with chocolate sauce.

Be well and stay happy

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chuckuary tag along months and events

Chuckuary tag along months and events
Did you know that Chuckuary is also National Hamburger Month? Yes, it is. Wasn’t that nice of the hamburger people to join me in my month long celebration? It is especially fitting since I love hamburgers.
Yesterday was Devil’s Food Cake Day! What an epic addition to the celebration. My all-time favorite cake has been a devil’s food cake with coffee icing and chocolate sprinkles. I used to wash the cake down with really cold milk when I was a kid. It is always a perfect way to end any meal.
The only cake that comes close to the joy of the devil’s food cake with coffee icing is the Morton’s Cake. Since I am not going to Morton’s any longer, I will have to find a replacement from somewhere. The easiest solution is a bakery and have them make the cake for me exactly the way I want it.

Be well and stay happy.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My first milkshake

My first milkshake
After driving to South Orange County and back, I didn’t fell much like making my own dinner. I was also out of food at home except for my earthquake emergency foods supply.
I went to The Counter for a late lunch of early dinner.
I had a Bacon BBQ Cheeseburger and fries for my meal.
The Counter had emailed me a coupon for a free milkshake for my birthday. I had my first milkshake, a chocolate one with my bacon cheeseburger. The milkshake was very tasty but I found it to be just too rich for me.

I will stay with my Arnold Palmers instead.

Be well and stay happy.  

Early Mothers' Day

I went out to see Marilyn, my favorite and only former wife for an early Mothers’ Day.
It was warmish and sunny at the beach when I left so I put the top down. By the time I got to Long Beach, it was no longer sunny and warmish.
I put the heater on high and drove on.
Yes, I know I could have pulled over, stopped for a minute or two, and put the top up.
Buying a Mothers’ Day gift is always tricky when you haven’t lived with her. Marilyn mentioned she liked maple syrup at Christmas. It was an idea I kept.
I gave her a Syrup Sampler from Stonewall Kitchens of York, Maine. It came with a jar of 100% Maine Maple Syrup and a jar of Wild Blueberry Syrup and Wild Raspberry Syrup. She seemed surprised and very pleased with the syrup sampler. She planned on making pancakes this morning.
We talked for two hours, mostly catching up.
I wisely drove home with the top up.

Be well and stay happy.

My Birthday Day

My Birthday Day
In addition to today being my 70th Birthday, it was also the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. This one event, more than any other, was the cause of the United States entering World War I. Almost 1200 died in the sinking including 123 Americans.
Dead Wake is a recently published book by Erik Larson. Using newly declassified information, Larson makes a compelling case based largely on circumstantial evidence that the British Admiralty knew German submarines were actively operating in the area where the Lusitania would pass and did nothing to prevent the sinking.
I’ve read the book and I was fascinated by the possibility of official British government collusion in the disaster.
Moving on, other things happened.
I went to see Molly the Stylist for my regular haircut. I thought she did a fine job on my hair. Molly was smiling in the photo because I gave her a box of Ethel M dark chocolates. She loves dark chocolates.

I left the salon and headed back to my part of town to have lunch at The Counter in Torrance. I was lucky and found a table in my favorite server’s section. Dena brought me an Arnold Palmer and asked where I had been. She had missed seeing me. I had been to The Counter at times when she wasn’t working.   
I had an Old School Burger.
As its name implies, it is a basic type of hamburger. It started off with a 1/3 pound, cooked medium well for me. It was topped a sliced tomato, sliced onions, lettuce, and a thick slice of cheddar cheese. It was excellent and I finished my meal with a small dish of vanilla iced cream. Dena topped the iced cream with some chocolate sauce.
My next activity was a no student showing up tutoring session. I get paid for my time. I read the latest copies of Los Angeles Magazine and Fortune while I killed time.
After tutoring at school, I drove to Santa Ana for my birthday dinner at Morton’s the Steakhouse. I have been going to Morton’s for the last twenty one years. I think it was the last time I will go there. When I made my unnecessary reservation, I had told the young lady the meal was a celebration of my seventieth birthday. There was no connection with my purpose and the service from the staff. I was shunned so much I felt like I was bubonic plague carrier.
My problem with Morton’s is the business has been run into the ground by Landrys Restaurants. Landrys bought Morton’s during the Great Recession or after it. The operating plan seems to have been cut all costs and but keep the price high or raise them.
I have been willing to pay for the extra level of service because that made the meal special for me and my guests. Doug and I had a lot of happy meals there over the years.
Now, with in different and uncaring service, it’s no longer a fun meal. It is very difficult to justify spending fourteen dollars on a simple lettuce salad where the chopped lettuce came from a bag and the only addition by Morton’s was pouring some dressing on the lettuce and tossing it.
I had an uninspired salad, an average steak that was overcooked, and a slightly dried out lobster tail.
I did have a modestly tasty Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs for an appetizer. It was interesting and that is all I can say about the dish. I don’t think I would order it again.
Morton’s also no longer carries my favorite Single Malt Scotch Whiskey.
I didn’t have my usual Morton’s Chocolate Cake. I had put up with too much.
It was raining when I left and I got damp as I walked to my car.
The cold rain was a perfect metaphor for a ruined evening.

Be well and stay happy.