I’ve a good, long-time friend named Jim. We met in 1960!
Jim is a former Marine, and has worked for the federal government for years. He is a good man, even though we differ politically and philosophically on many levels.
Jim LOVES trains. Especially train history and actually traveling in them. My father, who had worked on the railroad for a time (like his father before him) left me a gold-filled pocket watch, with a fob and locker key. The key was to his locker in Grand Central Station, NY!
Jim loves trains so much that for his 50th birthday, I gave him my father’s watch, fob and key. I knew he would appreciate it much more than me.
When we were in high school, Jim joined the National Association of Railroad Passengers. Got me to join, too. And Jim, his younger brother John and I took an overnight train trip from Flagstaff to L.A., and back (after spending a day @ Disneyland.)
Amtrak’s Auto Train from Virginia to Florida offers passengers complimentary wine and cheese, and three long-distance routes provide complimentary wine and champagne to sleeper-car passengers, Alves said, costing Amtrak $428,000 in 2012.…
“The Amtrak Inspector General has confirmed that Amtrak cooked the books to cover up food service losses that now approach $1 billion,” [John] Mica [R-Florida, chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee - DB] said.
The government running goods and services just isn’t healthy for the economy! (BTW – my ‘membership’ in the NARP only lasted one year. My heart wasn’t in it.)
Sorry Jim! And that government-run postal service for whom you work isn’t a bastion of efficiency and profit, either! Maybe they should increase the cost of their ad deliveries and get into the 21st Century offering Email and computer message services?
Just a suggestion.
OldNFO posted this yesterday (I’m certain with forethought of today).
His point was we might have won some battles, but may ultimately lose the war because of the lack of proper education of the young, who will eventually inherit this mess.
Regardless of the undertone of the message, I post it today to honor the memory of a great man, who grew in his lifetime from a proponent of gun control to become the President of the National Rifle Association.
Watch and listen. Remember and learn. Thank you, Mr. Heston, for all you did. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
OldNFO, NRA News
Brigid did a recent post about home cookin’ (who knew? :-)) with Mr. B and Midwest Chick, and included STEAK!
Geez, I miss steak… :-( (the image of Guffaw as Homer Simpson, reclining on the couch and drooling)
I’ve had a couple ‘home-cooked’ and a couple at ‘steakhouse’ versions in the past few years, but very few have met my very high standards. Even when prepared by me.
There’s one place that sticks out in my mind that gets it right, perhaps because I discovered it in adulthood and have only been 5 or 6 times. And not in recent years.
Founded in downtown Phoenix by Jack Durant (before 1953) this place embodies a time capsule for the late 50s, early 60s in terms of service, food and ambience. If The Rat Pack ever ate in Phoenix, this would have been their place.
The wait staff all wear tuxedo dress. The place is dark and cool, even in the Arizona Summers. The red flocked wallpaper is above the red leather booths. Think San Francisco’s Ernie’s in a smaller venue. The restrooms are well-appointed and the bar is fully stocked.
And the food. The best steaks and seafood on the planet. (I’ve taken the opinion of others on the seafood).
One parks in the rear (or uses the
varlet valet), and usually enters through the impeccably clean, organized KITCHEN (!), directly adjacent to the massive broiler.
Reservations are recommended for evening hours. The dress code, surprisingly, is as follows: NO SLEEVELESS SHIRTS ON MEN. I guess not surprising, as this IS Arizona. :-)
The desserts are to die for. The wait staff is always there, but never hovers.
Jack passed a few years ago. Ernie’s no longer exists. But Jack’s restaurant continues!
The billboard above the restaurant used to say it all.
“Durant’s is the finest restaurant in the World! signed/Jack Durant”
Durant’s gave me nothing to write this. FTC, find your own steak place!
Wait! Aren’t we supposed to be distracted by the pending war in Syria and Honey Boo-Boo? They are similar, ya know.
Twelve years ago, and it truly does seem like yesterday. And it’s only been a year and a quarter ago ‘we’ (actually, the spec ops guys) got Bin Laden (May 2, 2011). We’re not done, yet.
Global War On Terror, sorry ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ continues. Kinda, sorta.
We need to remember who we are. Or have we devolved into a different nation, one who treats international terrorist war criminals with Miranda Rights, instead of military tribunals. You know, as we do during WARS?
I’m a libertarian. But just like I believe in the right and the duty for me to defend myself, I believe in the right and the duty for the Nation to defend herself, as well.
We can’t force everyone into becoming a Constitutional Republic. But, we can kill and capture warriors on the side of evil to protect OUR Constitutional Republic.
It’s our right and our duty. I hope we’ve not forgotten that.
He left us in 2010.
Be cool, today.
(Regular readers know I love character actors!)
Certainly all of you remember him from ‘The McCoys’ aka ‘The Real McCoys’ 50s television show. But he was so much more.
He was in such diverse films as The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein. He received the very first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Swan Bostrom in Come and Get It (1936).
And most of us remember him as the preacher in Sergeant York: “Them’s a mess of beef critter’s, Alvin.”
He was a conservative and religious (although private regarding which variety of religion). He died of emphysema at age 80.
While travelling in Oregon with the family (in 1986), I got to drive by his ranch. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop.
I’m certain it would have been cool, even though he’d passed in 1974. I even do a passable impression of him, although my roommate tells me it’s the same as my Pepperidge Farm guy impression.
“Lilly Langtry, Lilly Langtry! (Judge Roy Bean in the Westerner)
We miss you, Walter.
There’s not much more to say.
Oft times in this venue, I write about my frustration with law enforcement, straddling the line between freedom and tyranny – and seemingly inching toward the latter.
But firefighters, be they in the city saving people, homes and property, or in the country, doing the same + our majestic forests, lands and wildlife, need to be honored. They are not as in the Ray Bradbury story – they are not starting fires. They are not inching toward the latter.
They need to be honored, not just when they fall, but rather, when they do not.
Please take a moment today to do that.
Today, my daughter is 30. The same age I was when she was born.
By age 30, I was married, beginning my own PI business, and scared to death about the prospect of fatherhood. Then she arrived and made it easy
Here it is 30 years hence, and by all-that-is-holy she should have been married, and had children. She aspired to be a veterinarian. I never had the privilege of walking her down the aisle or holding a grandbaby. Or proudly watching her get her degree. Or even her diploma.
She was taken from us in 1985. In a stupid car accident.
So she’ll always be age 12 in my heart. Or just born.
Happy Birthday, Molly! I Love You.
One year ago I was anticipating tomorrow being Ground Hog Day – that silly ‘holiday’ alleged to determine if Winter is on her way out, or lasting six more weeks. Based on the prognostication of a marmot; a woodchuck.
It was a Wednesday – the immediate previous Sunday, Mark Bell and I had attended the Central Arizona Blogshoot in Casa Grande! My car is kinda old and infirmed (as is her owner) so he offered to drive us.
We arrived late, but Kevin Baker and company showed us a great time! We met some other gun bloggers and some other shooters – great fun. Then Mark drove me back to Phoenix, and we had a late lunch at Original Hamburger Works. I was unable to attend the shoot this year.
Part of the reason for missing it is my ride is gone. On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, three days after the shoot, Mark Bell passed away, suddenly. His wife called me Thursday, Ground Hog Day, to give me the bad news. It’s a year later and it seems as yesterday.
I tend to get overly emotional, to react rather than act. I am getting better. Mark was my teacher. I never saw him lose his cool or express strong anger or rage. He was always rational and soft spoken, even in disagreement. A man of fine character and deportment.
A few years back, I was in the middle of trying to refinance my house (the one I lost last June) and the appraiser asked that I paint the trim. Now, I’m no painter, and being disabled would make this an arduous task. Mark volunteered, and I insisted on paying him, because, after all, it WAS work. He agreed, and said he would take it out of my extra re-fi funds. He accomplished the task in a couple weekends, and I got the financing. And I cut him a check. This was in late November.
Christmas afternoon I was between family Christmas get-togethers, and there was a knock at my front door. It was Mark, with a present! He again thanked ME for letting him paint (!) said he used the money for presents for his family. There was room for an additional present. Mine.
I was dumbfounded. It was the complete Capitol Record selections of Frank Sinatra on DVD! Wonderful!
Of course, every time I listen to Sinatra, I think of Mark. And other times, too.
I love you and miss you, my friend.
Remember – hug those you love and tell them you love them. Because you never know. Groundhog Day Eve will never be the same.
I’ve always liked character actors. He is among one of my favorites, although I was only four when he passed away. Thank goodness for old film nights on TV, and VHS/DVD recordings!
Petrified Forest, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, The African Queen, Sabrina. The Big Sleep. If you’ve not seen these films (and many others) you’ve missed something.
He was politically incorrect before such a phrase existed. A smoker, drinker and brawler, although thin and 5’9″, he was married four times. The last time to Lauren Bacall, 24 years his junior. They had two children.
Lauren Bacall as ‘Slim’ to Bogie in To Have and Have Not:
“You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”
He died of esophageal cancer. His wife placed a gold whistle in his cremation urn. It reads, “If you need anything, just whistle.”