Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don’t Be Stupid Be a Smarty

Finally.  Mel Brooks will be getting is star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  What has taken so long?!  He will receive his honor on Friday, April 23.  I would love to be there; but hope the wonders of the internet will help recreate the moment.  Anyone lucky enough to be there is just that---plain lucky.

When I create my dream luncheon, Mel Brooks is always on the guest list.  I want to be surrounded with laughter, good food, and great memories.

Here are a few classics:

The Producers

At least watch the first few minutes.

History of the World Part I

This movie should be required viewing in every World History course.  Very difficult to pick out a favorite clip.  Whenever I meet someone by the name of Bob, I instantly become Madeline Kahn.

Young Frankenstein

My absolute favorite.  There is no way I could pick out a favorite scene. 

Blazing Saddles

Mr. Brooks, please consider becoming governor of the great state of California.  It would be such an improvement.

Best wishes and congratulations to Mel Brooks on finally being recognized for all of his wonderful work.  I look forward to a large booth at Canter’s soon. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party – Bakersfield, California, U. S. A.

DSC_1294_3947Cowboy hats, liberty bell, and the American flag.  This is Bakersfield, California, U. S. A.  People gathered for the 2nd Tea Party to show support for disgust toward our government.  They were trying to make a point.  People gathered to express their opinions.  There were speakers.  There were singers.  There was even prayer.  GASP!

There were signs.  Loads of signs.







DSC_1297_3950I noticed this tall chap holding a 2 sided sign up above the crowd.  He was well behaved and mostly silent.  He stood on the outside fringe next to the fire truck along with a man holding a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag.  I knew he wasn’t part of the party.  I hate to even give him a mention; but he wasn’t a disruption as long as I was there.

DSC_1301_3954 Here’s his sign.



Now, come on, Mr. Tea Party Crasher.  If you’re trying to convince people that you’re a retard (Yes, I said retard.  I use it all the time.  So there.) with your misspelled words and improper punctuation, the least you could do is lose your engineer like handwriting.

I don’t know where he came from; but he did tell me that it didn’t take him too long to get to the party.  I do hope he enjoyed his stay in Bakersfield, California, U. S. A.  And I do hope he spent plenty of money during his visit. 

Following the Tea Party, there was a street fair just a few blocks away.  The street fairs are held once each month in April, May, and June.  Then we take shelter.

Bakersfield, California, U. S. A.  That’s me.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tea Party


I’m thinking of attending the next tea party (April 15, 2010) in Bakersfield.  Not to make a statement - just to observe AND take some interesting photos.  I’m thinking of attending; but I’m not sure.  The side opposing the tea party may be interesting to observe.  Are they really from Bakersfield?  Are they there to just stir the pot?  Will any politicians show up?  If I go, I’ll be on the fringe looking in.

My favorite place is home.  If I don’t have to go anywhere, I won’t go anywhere.  I’m thinking of attending.  Maybe I’ll buy a t-shirt.

Please.  No stupid comments about tea bagging.  That’s so Ho-Hum.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Road Trip Sonoma – Part III (eats)

DSC_1406_3778 We had a continental breakfast at the Ledson Hotel before we started out.  It was wearing thin after touring the Pacific Air Museum; so we headed out to St. Helena to nosh at Tra Vigne.  I’m more of an American diner type gal; but Farmer MacGregor is a complete foodie.  This is the place he enjoys and it was really good.  We started with the organic lettuce salad.  Okay.  Since this plate of greens was $9, I figure that the salad stuff from my garden is well worth $20/salad.  The candied walnuts were my favorite part of this dish.  Next, was the Seasonal Fritto Misto.

This dish consisted of prawns, artichoke, lemons, and calamari all fried up served with a creamy dipping sauce.  Since I’m not a fan of mayonnaise (hate it), I had everything sans sauce.  The very best was the thinly sliced lemons.  Zowee.  Following that was a rosemary pizzetta.

Roasted garlic with a chunk of cambozola cheese was served with this thin, thin crust.  Farmer MacGregor simply smooshed out all the garlic and spread it on the slices.  We each took whatever amount of the cheese we liked to spread on the pieces.  Garlicy!  Next?

The roasted butternut squash ravioli inspired me to search for butternut squash seeds.  This dish had toasted sage and walnut brown butter served with the ravioli and parmesan.  This was really, really good.  Really, really good.  Dessert anyone?

I had a Meyer lemon tart.  This put the POW in powerful taste.  The dish was great from the bottom of its crispy crust through to the tangy lemon filling up to the scant meringue topping.  Too much meringue is just that – too much.  This was just right.  I couldn’t lick all the huckleberry sauce off the plate.

DSC_1392_3764 DSC_1394_3766

Bread pudding was next for the farmer.  Candied orange rinds and raisins joined the pantone bread to make the pudding.  This was topped with Frangelico ice cream.  The farmer loves his Frangelico.DSC_1391_3763 The place was fairly empty so we had excellent service from a very nice staff.  We’ve been there when it’s busy and the service is just as great.  If you enjoy food and flavors, Tra Vigne is really a nice experience when visiting St. Helena.DSC_1395_3767Farmer MacGregor spoke to the chef/owner to extend his compliments and chat about all things food.DSC_1396_3768 Here’s what the rest of the place looks like.

DSC_1387_3759 Entrance

DSC_1400_3772 At the end of this patio is the smoke house.  The waiter recommended the short ribs and said they could be eaten with a spoon because of their tenderness.DSC_1401_3773 View from the roadside through to the patio and back to the restaurant.DSC_1386_3758 The Tra Vigne dude makes a great scarecrow.  I want one for my garden.DSC_1408_3780 We drove passed the Tra Vigne Pizzeria on our way back to the Ledson Hotel in Sonoma and I noticed a huge tomato.  It looks just like the one on top of Frugatti’s in Bakersfield.

The plans for dining at Della Santina’s in Sonoma would have to be cancelled.  There was no room to stuff more food.  Too bad.  The place came highly recommended.  We did see it though from across the street in the bookstore.  The bookstore sells eggs but does not sell newspapers.  We’ll keep Della Santina’s on the list for our next visit.

Sonoma was a nice place to get away for a few days before returning to Spring chores.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Road Trip Sonoma – Part II

DSC_1322_3694 We gave our sneakers a rest, left Sonoma, and headed up to Santa Rosa to visit the Pacific Coast Air Museum.  The museum is located at the Charles M. Schulz Airport.  Cool.  DSC_1339_3711As we entered Santa Rosa, I noticed the walking paths are lined with wisteria.  Really. Does everything grow beautifully here?  DSC_1362_3734Farmer MacGregor is a huge fan of military aviation – especially WWII.  Oh yeah.  He can fly the crap out of an Medal of Honor Airborne.  It seems like a place old boys love to hang out.  Farmer MacGregor enjoyed guiding our tour.DSC_1342_3714 DSC_1370_3742 I enjoyed this kind of stuff…DSC_1340_3712 DSC_1344_3716 DSC_1358_3730 

Next up – eats.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Road Trip Sonoma!

DSC_1220_3598Farmer MacGregor and I got Old Bessie out and took a ride to spend a few days in Sonoma recently.  Getting ready for a trip is a huge reason why I don’t like to go anywhere.  The preparation for this trip was especially tedious because the homestead was being fumigated while we traveled.  Everything came together the Monday morning we were to leave.  All the items that needed to be removed from the house were removed.  The animals had been taking to be boarded.   Valuables were secured.   Everything had been heavily irrigated.  We were set.  The weather was beautiful and clear as we headed north for a few days of scenery change.DSC_1229_3607 The wild mustard was thriving along the road on the edge of almond orchards.  I’m not familiar when pistachios bud; so I couldn’t tell if the pistachio orchards were being let go fallow or if they hadn’t broken yet.  The pistachios are the grey matter in the center of the photograph below.DSC_1241_3618The central valley of California is in the middle of a political battle for water.  There has always been a battle for the power of water here and I suspect that there always will be.  Farmers are making their opinions known with the sad realization that their elected officials will continue to ignore their demands/needs (ala health care).  Please understand that the green grass is simply a result of the recent rains.  It too will join the dead trees.DSC_1240_3617 DSC_1419_3790 DSC_1420_3791 I’m very familiar with the politics involved in this situation and I’m very aware of the amount of money/power at stake.  The fallowed fields means either the farmers are fallowing their fields to make a point or they are fallowing their fields because they cannot afford the water or there simply is no water to be delivered.  Seeing the dead patches along I-5 really punctuated the dire situation.DSC_1236_3614 Harris Ranch is a nice oasis in Coalinga to stretch, refresh, and have a bite to eat.  Farmer MacGregor had pot roast going and ham & eggs on the return trip.  I had a chicken wrap northbound and a hamburger coming home.  It’s a recommended stop for travelers driving or flying (There’s an airstrip.) up or down California.  The place was developed by cotton farmers who worked hard and succeeded parlaying their success into cattle and race horses.DSC_1252_3628 Old Bessie did her part in insect eradication.  In just a few short hours she went form freshly cleaned, polished, and waxed to a fly swatter stand in.  We knew we were in the northern half of the state by the rolling green hills.  Those hills are home to wind mills.  The Tehachapi Mountains to the south have loads of windmills (maybe more and bigger too!)DSC_1254_3630 As we traveled north, the clouds darkened and Old Bessie was rinsed clean.  Rain is always a welcome event.  There was a bit of a navigational snag at this point though.  Just know the new fangled GPS gizmo demanded we take one route while the map showed something better.  The gizmo was shut off.  The map was ripped to shreds; and we made it just the same.DSC_1258_3634 Sonoma is a quaint, very quiet town.  The town square – Sonoma Plaza - reminded me of Back to the Future.DSC_1260_3636 We took a right turn here to get to where we would be staying a couple of  nights.  Just around the corner is the Ledson Hotel.  We had to drive through the tunnel to get to parking in the rear.  Ours is the center room there.  It’s called Winslow’s Room.   DSC_1319_3691Who Winslow is, I don’t know; but this is what the room looks like.DSC_1275_3650 This is the view from the balcony.  Take special note:  the sidewalks are unrolled in this photo.  They do roll up the sidewalks very, very early in Sonoma.DSC_1263_3639 The balcony is no doubt a great place to sit and enjoy the scenery.  On Tuesday nights there is a Farmers’ Market in the square – Sonoma Plaza; but those don’t start until April.  Dang.  See the glass awning overhanging the sidewalk?   Kinda cool.DSC_1267_3643 Here’s a closer look at those blooming trees (Anyone know what they are? Cherries?).DSC_1314_3687 DSC_1317_3690

Farmer MacGregor dined at La Salette  Monday night.  I didn’t see anything on the menu that I cared to try; so I was just a companion.  I gave him 5 stars to rate the place and he did.  He awarded La Salette 1 star.  Whoops.  Boy, I’m glad I didn’t take a plate.  We made our way down to Murphy’s Irish Pub to see if they had something I could enjoy.  They did.  I had some sausage rolls – which I cannot recommend.  They were sliced bangers with jalepeno cheese in puff pastry.  I know.  I know.  But I thought I would try it.  If any DBE members are reading this DO NOT try that recipe.  Stick with what you know gals.  They were way too greasy.  Nevertheless, it was a fun place and Farmer MacGregor enjoyed some liquid warmth.  “It’s hot in here!”DSC_1323_3695 We enjoyed plenty within walking distance.DSC_1281_3656 The Basque Cafe full of fresh baked goods but no XXXXL t-shirts.

DSC_1285_3660 The sight of the Bear Flag Revolt.  Who knew?!DSC_1298_3673 The Mission San Francisco Solano.  There was a tour of 4th graders on a field trip to the mission as we were taking our self-guided tour.  That brought back fond memories of being a chaperone to Mission San Miguel near Paso Robles.DSC_1329_3701General Vallejo’s barracks.  Farmer MacGregor used for scale.

DSC_1330_3702 One gigantic eucalyptus tree.  Farmer MacGregor used for scale. DSC_1320_3692 The Sebastiani Theatre was showing Easter Parade; but we were at La Salette and missed the 7pm showing.  There are shops and restaurants lining the plaza.  Why isn’t William Sonoma in Sonoma? 

Next up, adventuring beyond Sonoma.