Gift Guide for Every Occasion

Trying to find the perfect gift for that very special person? You won’t go wrong shopping at Archie McPhee in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. A Holy Toast maker – imprinting the Virgin Mary in your bread –could be just the thing for your devout friend. Or how about Nikola Tesla socks for that electric-car driver? Or a Mr. Bacon Air Freshener? If you’re looking for something more conservative, Archie McPhee carries the traditional Rubber Chicken.

Archie McPhee has been selling life’s necessities since 1983. If you can’t make it to Seattle, they also offer on-line shopping.

For a report on the hazards of this specialty business, click here.

Shopping at Archie McPhee can work up an appetite. I recommend going around the block for Puttanesca at Bizzarro Italian Café.

Urban Annoyance

IMG_1874The car on the left is several feet behind the marked front line of the parking space. The vehicle on the right is well in front of the painted rear line. Any markings that may have been painted in between have been obliterated. Thus, the two cars are filling up enough space where three autos could have parked.

In the not-so long ago, parking meters indicated where the vehicles should be parked. The modern system of payment at a machine, one machine to a block that spits out a receipt to display in the car window has removed that little bit of regulation. It’s no doubt more efficient to not have to empty coins out of each individual meter. And if you leave your parking spot twenty minutes before your ticket expires and someone immediately takes your spot and pays again, well, that doubles the revenue for those twenty minutes. So it couldn’t hurt to at least paint lines on the street marking the spaces.

How To Use Profanity

gin4Profanity is so pervasive in modern entertainment that it really doesn’t register any more, other than often invoking tedium. It makes you wonder how Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne were taken seriously without ever saying “motherfucker.”

Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones are currently headlining a revival of The Gin Game. The drama first appeared on Broadway in 1977 with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in the lead roles, directed by Mike Nichols. It ran for 517 performances.

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In Concert

Over the years, I have been to a lot of music concerts and clubs. Lately, there’ve been all these grey-headed and bald people at the shows I attend. Old people have always hated my music. Now the audiences are filled with old people. Why are they there if they don’t like the music? And why are the performers so much heavier than they used to be?

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God’s Wine Country

Living in California’s wine country is living in God’s country. That’s what we tell ourselves. Obviously, God’s plan was to pull out all the peaches and apples and hops and prunes and pears, and plant grapes in their place. In wine country, the price of grapes, especially the price of grapes in Napa versus Sonoma, is headline news. There is a friendly competition between these two wine-growing regions. Sonoma likes to make fun of Napa; Napa does not recognize the existence of Sonoma.

Q: How do you make a small fortune in the wine business?

A: Start with a large fortune.

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