Monday, July 28, 2014



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Glutards, lactards, and vacctards......

The continuing tale of mindfuck bullshit food "allergies":

Back in the Silver Jones era....many of the "cool" people were "allergic" or "sensitive" to "sulfites".  Bacon?  Bad.  Ham? Bad.  Red wine of any kind? Bad.  Sulfites. All of the coolios drank Cakebread Chardonnay.....and they were usually the same folk that got to go into the master suite at the party that was another couple of hundred bucks.  Good for us.....cocaine=low food cost.

Now....these exact same folks are lactards and are gluten free.  What?  The cocaine?  The Cakebread Chardonnay? 

We just finished our dinner party for 16 with four glutards, one lactard, one shellfish....and a late arriving butter hater who is also a glutard.  Fine.

We rallied and invented a new version of our Meyer lemon polenta pound cake that has no wheat flour.  We used ground almonds.....buttermilk....but basically still a genoise.  A genoise so heavy with the corn, and so non-bubbly flat with the lack of gluten fibres to trap the CO2 that you could throw it at a burglar.  But....not horrible.  Crunchy.  Glutards have great teeth.

Turns out that there were only two glutards.....both young mothers with babies.  Our hostess....a woman with a sense of humor that would stop George Carlin in his tracks....or at least slow him down....was somehow browbeaten by these two young women to tweak her entire party and menu in their direction.  One was married to the lactard.  He was actually a real one.  Lactaid can't compete.....over it.

Turns out that neither Mom has any personal allergy herself.....they both are just avoiding eating any foods that to which their babies might become allergic.

The semi-killer Meyer Lemon Polenta/Almond Pound Cake?  Fuck you!  It has EGGS!  And BUTTER!

We foolishly served our Dino kale salad with the Asian dressing....sesame, etc.  Each serving has about a gram of soy sauce.  My research on all the batshit crazy gluten sites tells me that the gluten proteins are so degraded in the production of soy that it is a non-issue.  Further, my research tells me that especially Korean Korean soy is by nature wheat-free.  Our soy comes from Han Kook Market.  There is no English on the label.....and I am learning Korean.  Wheat is not mentioned.

Trauma ensued when we served our kale salad.  One mom ate it after I gave her the science....the other did not.   Meanwhile.....the other 18 guests (hostess lied to us) had their entire menu and experience tweaked around these two chicks.

At dessert....both moms refused my new cake.  Because it had eggs.  And butter.  They are worried that their kids would become allergic to eggs and butter if their moms ate some while breast feeding.

In 1982 I had a client with dual US/Mexican nationality.  More money than God...his dad, uncle, grandpa, great grandpa had all been the dentists to the Presidents of Mexico.  He himself was the head of sales and operations for Mosler Safe for all of Mexico.

I spent all summer, every morning combing the markets in whichever town I found myself for stuff for breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Basically 5am....because in Mexico, the refrigeration is sketchy. My son Brendan came along...18 months.  I would drop him off at the first abuela I found in whichever market....and come back and track him down two hours later after I finished my shopping.  Couldn't happen now.  Brendan would be passed from granny to all the markets of Mexico.  Goat heads, weird night soil fertilized squashes and herbs, shellfish from sketchy coastal waters, delicious berries....also nightsoil fertilized.  Tortillas....corn and wheat.  Cheeses....goat, sheep, cow....mostly raw milk.  Thirty years later.....he is a lactard, but that is it.  We all are.......Lact-Aid deals with it.

The worst part of this story:  after making all of the cooks jump through hoops, and their fellow guests, and giving out weird conflicting information about their "problems", and ensuring that they were the center of attention....and making sure that the caterers threw out half the desserts we had worked all day to make because of their concerns....


Fuck me.  Kill me. 

Rich, "smart" people believe this shit.

I would rather be in a Roman galley....rowing, not cooking.

Ramming speed........

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Under Assistant West Coast Promo Man

Let's pretend: You are a political operator who gets paid for results.  You have a client.  The client's opponent has a troubled offspring.....drugs, shitty girlfriends...and he lives in your client's opponent's guest house.  Well...over the garage, anyway.
Hit him!  Drugs! Bad!  Immoral!  Zero tolerance for drugs and people who might take them!  Send mailers to every voter!  Eliminate the drug tolerant fuck dad dude...whatever.  He must be incompetent as an administrator....because his kid is on drugs.
Sounds good to me.
Except.....all our young people are on drugs.  Well....most or many.
Talk to any retail employer you know.  To be an employer....or a our modern times requires a functional knowledge of the courts, various rehabs, County drug policy, probation rules and procedures....bail bondsmen, cool lawyers,etc.  Not to mention modern medicine....and whichever religion you buy into to pray for your kid or worker's life.
I have actually purchased two young people from drug dealers.  First one was $1500 so he could join the army.  Second one was $2,000 so she could go into rehab.  They did not want to lose customers.....and they knew everything about my kids because they follow them on Facebook. 
The group....who I don't want to cross, because they most likely follow me on Facebook.... know where they are and what there triggers are. After one failed and one successful (out of town)rehab with the 18 year old girl.....they sent a bag over to her cousin's house when they knew she was in town and vulnerable.  Six months in the toilet....back to the rockpile.  
She eventually made it.  So far.  He did make it.
$3500 was cheap.  Two lives.
Except, the kids had to do the work.  Try to get into the Army nowadays.  Try to get back into rehab.  It is hard.  You have to be dedicated, with a program and support from friends, family and employers to even get a shot at a bed in rehab....and forget the Army if you have not been doing Iron Man..... and god forbid if that misdemeanor pot thing already hit your record.
Dealing with an addicted person is an all consuming job.  And no one has that much time.  The drugs and the drug dealers have all the power.  Recovery rates for heroin and meth are in the 5% range....with full time commitment and tons of cash.
So how ironic it would be if our pretend political operator....trashing our incumbent for his dealing with family drug issues....had family drug issues himself. 
Possiblily his brother is a known heroin addict with a current burglar girl friend....and whose previous girlfriend was shot on Christmas Eve trying to score drugs in Chinatown in Salinas.  And who has stolen property sitting in their Mom's front yard as we speak.
The irony comes when the opponent of our political operative has compassion and experience with drugs and young people.....and is not busting the brother of the operative who is cheaply trashing him because he wants the guy in recovery, not jail. Because it makes sense from a law enforcement, a human, and a $$$ standpoint.  As a professional administrator...with a heart.
This is all just a fantasy. 
This couldn't happen in our world.
Who could be that cynical
And why?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Elevator

Wow.....almost a year since a post!  This is what Facebook does to bloggers!

Here is a story from my youth.  It deals with the same feelings I get whenever I have to serve a wedding cake from Layers.

When I was in high school in New Jersey I somehow wrangled a job working on Wall Street in the summers.  I worked at Smith Barney at 20 Broad Street, in the same building as the actual NY Stock Exchange.  The Exchange took up the first three floors; Smith Barney had floors 9-13.

I worked in the wire room on the 13th  floor.  The 13th was where all the teletype machines that sent and received the orders were, along with the bond traders and the high end institutional traders.  My part was working in the tiny newsroom.  My boss was Richie, a sixteen year old high school dropout from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx…..hard core Italian all the way.  He took me up to Arthur Ave after work one day.....and stole a car to do it.  Cheaper and faster.

In the news room we had a Dow Jones teletype machine and an AP machine.  Our job was to watch the news come over the teletype. Every half hour we typed up a short news bulletin.  We had a big off-set printer to run off the bulletins and a huge pneumatic tube delivery system.  The tubes went directly into every office in the building, including even the bond guys ten feet away from us.

Because we were on deck every half hour from opening to closing, we were allowed special dining privileges in the company cafeteria.  We got free food, and we could load up as much as we wanted of anything we wanted.  We had to either inhale it in 20 minutes, or bring it back up to the news room.  

The cafeteria was on the ninth floor, and I am sure nothing like it exists today…..outside of Google or eBay.  They had full time chefs and waitresses and a wide selection of classic New York City food.  Best of all, were allowed anything we wanted to drink, including the tiny bottles of concentrated Welch’s grape juice….an big status symbol for a 15 year old.  Even then they cost at least fifty cents or a buck….a small fortune if your take home was $64.50 a week.

The 12th floor was heaven to a 15 year old Irish kid from Jersey: the International department.  The traders here had even better suits than the Institutional guys on 13……and they had drop dead gorgeous secretaries and assistants.  Model gorgeous.  In fact, one of my fellow interns back in the day was a gap toothed girl from Florida who became a famous super model in short order.  The International department for some reason did not have tubes, or the girls wouldn’t use them, so Richie and I fought over who got to hand deliver the news bulletins. I was always almost on the point of trying out my high school French on the beautiful French assistant, but could barely croak even in English.  She was a goddess.

My job nowadays would be done by everyone’s cellphone subscription to Bloomberg, but this was the heyday of paper.  The million dollar checks that settled trades between different firms and customers were even hand carried from office to office.  The P&S (Purchase and Sales) department was on the 10th floor and was the destination of the couriers.  In those days the couriers were always old, Eastern European and shabby looking. No such thing as superfit bike messengers.

On the day in question I got the early lunch shift and raced down to the 9th floor for some New York chow mein and Welch’s.  I inhaled my food, got back in the elevator and punched in 13.  Their was a guy already in the car. My co-passenger was an old, short, fat Russian guy…..obviously a courier with his crappy briefcase and ruined shoes.  It was humid and rainy out and the guy’s old wool overcoat reeked like dead wet sheepdogs.  Dandruff fell in drifts out of his oiled up hair.  Worst of all, he had a soggy recently extinguished cigar sticking out the side of his mouth that smelled like burnt hair.  He mumbled something like “Hello!” and his sour breath drove me to the far corner of the car.  He had punched in 10 for P&S, so I only had one floor to ride with him. Thank God.

Up we went to 10.  The door opened and the guy made a move for the door.  He paused for a second, took out his cigar, smiled and let rip a huge, wet fart.  It was massive. Out he went, and the doors closed.  I shrank into my corner….stunned.

Up I went towards 13, safety and fresh air.  No such luck. The elevator stopped at 11 while I was still reeling.  The door opened…..and Voila!  Twenty-one year old Lauren Hutton, the French assistant and another of their model perfect girlfriends stood in the door.  I was trapped alone with the fart, the burnt hair, the B.O. and the sopping dead sheepdogs.
The girls came in, pushed 12, and literally staggered when they hit the stench.  They glanced at me, and all I could do was cringe in my corner.  What could I say?  “C’etait pas moi!”  “It was a Russian guy!”  There was nothing I could do or say.  I was ruined. At 15, my life was over.

The girls exchanged looks and literally bolted from the car at 12.

The rest of the summer Richie made me do all the deliveries to International.  Every time I approached the desk of one of the girls…..or their friends (the word was out)…..they would push back their chairs as far as they would go and look away.  Stinky is here.
Lauren left mid-summer and eventually went on to be the girlfriend of Peter Revson of Revlon fame (who she probably met on the 12th floor) and was off and running on a fabulous career.  She is still around and looking fabulous.  

I bet if I met her today I would still turn bright red and cringe.  Heck, I am cringing as I type this!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Can you say "Mayaguez"?

 My dear friend Alice Green is trying to encourage me to abandon anger in my life.....Anger at idiots, morons, and the socially inept or actual sociopaths does seem to be right up there with Caligula sending his Legions against the sea......Alice has a point.

Here is my point:  Doesn't Evil and Stupidity need to be confronted? Too many people don't seem to even notice either....much less confront them.  Looking at the available tools.....Anger seems to be the most useful.

So....deep breath.  Hold that breath for four months......At some point I defer to Bob Dylan: "What kid of price do we have to get out of going through all these things twice?"

What ever happened to intelligent dialogue?  Facts, history, experience, respect, the thrill of battle against opposing ideas and the glory of compromise that moves us all forward?

Done and dusted.....

My dearly beloved brother Rob was at one time entranced....or at least attracted.... to John McCain for his various feisty, principled stances on policy.  Rob died in 2001, and so did any sense of propriety and reality in anyone connected to Senator McCain...

Every single thing that President Obama is now trying to move forward with is now being tied up by Republican opposition.....not from any rational argument, just because.  Because....?

I am not a huge fan of the President.....I am on record as saying in print that Leon Panetta has a tiny little penis for continuing the attacks on privacy and personal freedom that started with Dick Cheney and George Bush....and were enthusiastically continued under our current President.

Don't start me on Medical Marijuana.....

Or ICE and Immigration.....

Democrats have always sucked.....They just suck less than modern Republicans....


Senator McCain and his buddies continue to bring up Benghazi as some kind of boogie man and tar-baby that is supposed to discredit every appointee that President Obama Secretary of State, no Secretary of Defense, no head of the CIA will be allowed because Obama did not rescue four guys in Benghazi in September, or Obama somehow lied about it.

We (Cachagua General Store) are locally famous for putting thousands of crosses on Carmel Beach to recognize our lost sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines on Memorial Day.  Our display was only made possible by help from some of those very Marines who did the groundwork.  I have kept track of them...most are OK.  Some not.  (We won't talk about the never spoken of effect of getting hit by an IED and surviving....and having your balls and dick blown off a few months after your wedding to your sweetheart....No one wants to pay that bill). Or even acknowledge it......

Others of my Marines are in task forces hovering in various places....some in the Med.  These guys and gals are ready to respond to any crazy thing that might happen anywhere from Rome to Malta to Benghazi.  Helicopters, jets, bombers, Special Forces, Seals, Delta.....whatever.

One thing they don't do.....and no one in the military will randomly fly into somewhere with our overwhelming skill, bravery and technology without local knowledge of what is going on on the ground.


Common sense.....and the "Mayaguez".

After the Vietnam War was over...way back in the day in 1975.....some random Khmer Rouge idiots captured a US container ship off Cambodia.

Long story short.....our response was unprepared, hyperbolic, with little info on the situation on the ground....and we wound up losing more Marines in the rescue than those sailors exposed on the ground.  Not one of the captives from the Mayaguez died....but the rescue crew was frankly humiliated.  Three captured Marines were executed in public, and the US could do nothing about it but watch. Not to mention the ten killed in the uniformed assault.

From Wikipedia:

The Mayaguez incident took place between the Khmer Rouge and the United States from May 12–15, 1975, was the last official battle of the Vietnam War. The names of the Americans killed, as well as those of three U.S. Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and who were subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge, are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The merchant ship's crew, whose seizure at sea had prompted the U.S. attack, had been released in good health, unknown to the U.S. Marines or the U.S. command of the operation, before the Marines attacked. It was the only known engagement between U.S. ground forces and the Khmer Rouge.

For John McCain to use the Benghazi incident as a bludgeon against President Obama and his appointees and his policies is an act of breathtaking hypocrisy.

Ever been to the Vietnam Memorial?  It will still your heart......You will sob like a schoolgirl.  So many dead young people. 

And when you get to the end......the kids from the Mayguez.

Killed by bad intel, no intel....political over-reaction......and letting the civilians get in the way of the pros. 

Obama and Secretary Clinton are only guilty of having learned from history, and having decided to not repeat it....regardless of the temporary cost.

Senator McCain......what can I say?  When hard core, life long, Republican gung ho Marines are embarrassed by your behavior because it is against all rational modern military tactics and policy.....Just to score "political points"......You have jumped the shark, buddy.

There is a reason not a single one of his fellow residents of the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam supported his bid for the presidency......

If our carriers had responded to the attack in Benghazi.....and we had Marine helicopters shot down and lives lost, and captives executed.....hours after any realistic possibility of helping our four State Department workers.....what would he have said?  Support for the President's decision to send in troops with no intel?  I am so sure......

Oh.....and the ultimate hypocrisy: Senator McCain voted with his "brothers" to cut the security budget for the State Department as part of their crusade to cut "wasteful" government spending.

Once an authentic hero.....maybe. Or not.

Now just a rancid piece of shit stuck to all of our shoes......


Now denying the approval of a Secretary of Defense....during wartime.....for the first time in the history of our country.

I think "shit" would be offended to be compared to John McCain......

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Let's Roll.....

Not to be a drag at the an irregular handball fan (oops, I mean football...they do kick every now and then) I was looking forward to looking back tomorrow for the Super Bowl.
I remember being on the road to a famous 49'ers house (YA Tittle) for a party when "The Catch" happened. Joe M and a bunch of Niner's crashed the dinner party.  If you ever want to buy a Porsche, I have the hook-up.
 We did Jim Plunkett's wedding..... with all the Niners present (I gave Randy Moss his own bottle of Jack and he fell down and broke his leg). The full story involves: a six-pack of piss, chocolate hand prints, Farmer's Market pasta.....
We used to rent a house at Alpine on MLK/Super Bowl week and ski and ski on empty slopes, just checking in from time to time as the Niners beat the Bengals or whoever bothered to show up. Being a Niners fan was being close to God.
 Bill Walsh was a client...we served him dinner four days before he died.

Still, the air ran out of my balloon when Idiot Boy Culliver went on his anti-gay rant the other day.
"I ain't into the sweet room in our locker room for that shit".

I was impressed at the Niner brass response.....and then:

Two other knucklehead Niners realized that the video they made for "It Gets Better" was directed to bullying yes, but specifically anti-LGBT bullying.....and withdrew their support, and even denied having made the video!  South Pacific Islanders being paid millions of dollars a year are not cool with bullying....some group of people....but not gay people.  Perhaps they didn't notice that in Polynesian culture there are actually at least three sexes....and last year one of the "other" sexes actually made a local national soccer team.  
Well, reading is really hard.....

Every sport team on the planet made an "It Gets Better" video....even Canadian hockey teams. (Love Canada and hockey (Ken Dryden....the Abraham Lincoln of Canadian hockey is my fraternity brother from Cornell).
 Did these morons ever hit the bars in the city they play for? Are they so dumb that they don't realize the hottest chicks they ever got a lap dance from this year weren't probably actually "chicks"? Have they even checked in with their own culture?

I am grumpy and depressed. I just had to write an essay about my near miss with 9/11 for a book (I was drunk on good champagne and great Calvados and missed Flight 93). 
The main guy behind "Let's roll!" on that flight was a gay friend of mine from PG who played on the gay rugby team out of Berkeley....and, like all rugby players, any other team he could find. Even lame-ass straight alcoholics in Monterey. (I wound up at CHOMP for alcohol poisoning after my first practice. Practice....not a game.)
 He was a lock...meaning a big guy who would kick your ass and run like a deer. 
 Rugby doesn't need's flesh to flesh, and bone to bone. Or time-outs. Pussies need not apply. There is a keg on the sideline and a jar of Vicodin, not oxygen tanks, Culliver. We play for 45 minutes pun intended...without commercial breaks and time to gasp. 
 No rugby player I ever met ever disrespected a gay player.....I guess the dregs drift towards "football".

Go Niners......
Let's roll......

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Get thee hence.....

In deep Carmel Valley the few businesses that still operate... generally work in an environment that is so cooperative and mutually supportive that it would give any hedge fund manager the heebie jeebies. Wineries trade glass, fruit, materials, staff and expertise. Restaurants exchange staff, fish, suppliers, deliveries, etc and rarely even tally up the pluses and minuses. 
 "In fifty years....none of this will matter!" Pierre Merle, Ithaca, NY (1972) 
This extends to town.....I am thinking of Mundaka. 
When a local business acts in a way that is so violent, egregious and contrary to both to our local economic world, but more importantly to our social and familial world....this business needs to be ostracized. 
Cast out....for fear of infecting the stability of our creative world. 
Silvestri Vineyards is that business. 
I will go on in exquisite detail later.....but suffice it to say that if you purchase one of their wines, or allow it to pass your lips, please consider yourself no longer my friend.....or my acquaintance....or someone who is even welcome to set foot in my humble business. Your money and custom are toxic to me and the other quality business in our Valley. 
If you buy or drink their wines you will not only upset our local, cooperative, pacific world view.....but I have doubts about the safety of your soul.