TMC for ek hornbeck

The Breakfast Club (Get Back)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

China enters Korean War; Nazis force half a million Jews into walled ghetto; Nixon’s secretary tries to explain gap on Watergate tapes; ‘Casablanca’ premieres at Hollywood Theater; Tina Turner is born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.

Continue reading

A Seth Meyer’s Family Thanksgiving (Reprise)

These videos were posted by ek hornbeck in Thanksgiving day in 2018 with the videos that re no longer available edited out. TMC

Back In My Day

Newlywed Game

Embarrassing Your Children (Part 1)

Embarrassing Your Children (Part 2)

Translator: Thanksgiving: (Almost) Everything You Know is Wrong

Eight years ago in January of 2013. we lost our friend, Translator aka Dr. David Smith. He suffered from depression and his untimely death left those of us in the blog communities who knew him wondering if we could have done more to help him through his struggles. The holidays are rough on people who suffer from depression, worse for those who live alone. If you know someone like that, call them, visit them, include them. Most important, listen to them, don’t offer advice, offer to help them get help. There is help available 24/7 and it’s free. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) offers support for people in distress and their loved ones. It is confidential. There is now a toolkit for managers on social media platforms to establish best practices to prevent suicide, Support on Social Media. Just remember this one thing, all you can do is try, it is up to the individual to live.

So in remembrance of our dear friend, David, this was his post about Thanksgiving myths. TMC

Popular Culture 20121123: Thanksgiving: (Almost) Everything You Know is Wrong
by Translator, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Yesterday the United States celebrated yet another Thanksgiving Day.  I think that Thanksgiving is a marvelous holiday, but it is hardly uniquely American.  As a matter of fact, it is hardly recent, if you can call something that supposedly began in 1621 as recent.

As a matter of fact, celebrations of the harvest at about this time of year go back millennia.  It is known that the Egyptians has such a celebration, and it seems that such festivals have occurred off and on in all agrarian civilizations since prehistory.

However, we shall confine our discussion to the US holiday (Canada has a similar one, celebrated in October due to the earlier onset of cold weather).  Almost all of our “knowledge” about this festival is imparted in children in the early years of grade school, and almost all of it is either very speculative or is created from whole cloth.

irst of all, there is only one extant, detailed account of the November 1621 feast.  It was written by one Edward Winslow, one of the founders of the Plymouth Colony, or Plymouth Plantation.  However, it is known that British colonists had similar celebrations in the Virginia Colony as early as 1610.  We do not hear about those very often.

I hesitate to use the term Pilgrims for the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation.  The literal meaning of “pilgrim” is someone who travels to a preestablished site, often religious, for the specific purpose of paying homage to something or someone.  Those to whom we apply the moniker were actually more properly called “Separatists” in that they wanted to separate from the Church of England, which they considered corrupt.  Many of them went to the continental Europe for a time after the political pressure was too great for them in England, but economic and political problems made their continued presence there untenable.

They got a boost from laissez-faire financial backers who fronted the capital necessary to outfit a ship to carry the Separatists to the New World.  That solved many political problems, as the Crown was able essentially to get rid of a thorn in its side by relegating them to the wilderness.  The capitalists who bankrolled the project were to be paid in mostly furs from America and had definite profit goals.  Finally, the Separatists would be able to practice their version of Christianity as they pleased without interference from Church of England clergy.

So they sailed the ocean blue in 1620, ostensibly heading for what is now northern Virginia.  Provisions were sort of short (the backers evidently provided the bare minimum of supplies to make the trip), and because of some other random factors made landfall much further north than they expected.  They had to make a decision as to stay there or take more time to sail south, and they opted to stay in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The climate there is radically different than the climate that they expected in Virginia, and it proved to almost be the undoing of the effort.

Actually, there was a technological failure.  Originally, two ships were to be used to carry the colonists from England to America.  The plan was to carry 121 colonists in the Mayflower and the Speedwell, with pretty much ample provisions.  Before the fleet departed England it was determined that the Speedwell was unseaworthy, so 102 colonists were loaded into the Mayflower to make the sojourn.  To accommodate almost twice the average passenger density, provisions had to be removed from the Mayflower to make room for the people.  This was a fatal decision for many of the colonists.

This also delayed departure.  They did not leave England until 16200916 (all dates are New Style).  Heavy seas were encountered, but they finally reached America.  First sight of land was made on 16201119, and anchorage was made at what is now called Provincetown Harbor on 16201121.  Think about that for a minute.  They arrived in the Cape Cod area in late November with substandard provisions, had so shelter except for the ship, at least at first, had experienced horrible privation on the journey, and now winter was coming, and fast.

By sheer luck they found some Native American deserted shelters, but betwixt the privations, the winter, and the lack of provisions illness soon struck.  As an aside, one of the reasons that they chose to stay at Plymouth was that they had pretty much drunk all of their beer, and needed to brew more, something that is not possible aboard a ship.  So much for the “Pilgrims” being like modern bluenoses!

Of the 102 colonists, only 53 as I recall made it through the winter of 1620/1621.  It is not clear what ailed them, but from contemporaneous accounts there was a lot of coughing involved.  I have two speculations as to what disease agent was responsible.  The first is that a virulent strain of influenza infected them during and immediately after the voyage.  That makes sense because they were in cramped quarters and carried both swine and fowl with them, a perfect breeding ground for creating new strains of the flu.

The second is that they succumbed to pneumonic plague.  With a 50% mortality rate, that also makes sense, and Europe was rife with Yersinia pestis in that era.  Ships are also full of rats, and rats are infested with fleas.  Without further research it is not possible to say with certainty what infected them, but it does not make sense to me that just general debilitation was the cause of the high mortality rate.  It would be extremely interesting to see if it might be possible to isolate remnants of viral or bacterial genetic material from that era and see what was the cause.

If it had not been for the Wampanoag people, many of the rest probably would have expired as well.  The relationship betwixt the colonists and the Wampanoag was not really as facile as we were led to think in grade school, and the famous Squanto (whose actual name was Tisquantum) was not even Wampanoag, but rather Patuxet, a related people.  He was able to translate betwixt the colonists because he had learnt English whilst being enslaved by one of John Smith’s men years before.  Why he chose to help the colonists is beyond my comprehension.

Now, the Wampanoag had also been severely affected by some unknown disease that reduced their population significantly in a handful of years before Plymouth.  Conventional wisdom has it that it was smallpox, brought by European explores, fishers, and settlers earlier, but that is also not known with certainty.  Recent speculation indicates that it was more likely to be leptospirosis, and that is known to be transmitted by fleas, like plague.

Although not directly related to Thanksgiving, it is of interest to note the the members of the Plymouth Colony agreed to form what is essentially a communistic society.  With the exception of truly personal items all property was communal, contributed for the greater good.  This system was in place at their first Thanksgiving and remained the norm for several more years.

In the spring of 1621 the colonists planted their fields and soon found that the grain crop would fail.  They had brought seed wheat and barley, and they just did not do very well, but those did not do well.  They knew that the Native Americans did well with maize, and took it upon themselves to steal seed corn from them!  The corn made, and they avoided starvation.  The colonists finally made restitution for the theft of the seed corn, but only after a boy was taken by the Native Americans.  He was returned, and relations improved afterwards.

Crops did well that year and the colony started getting back on its feet.  Because of the relative bounty, the colonists chose to have a fall festival to celebrate.  They did not call it Thanksgiving, for days of thanksgiving were somber affairs with fasting and prayer and this was quite the opposite.  Just before the festival, by just a couple of weeks, new colonists were delivered to Plymouth on the Fortune, with 37 new faces.  That almost doubled the population and put some strain on provisions since the Fortune was not well provisioned.  However, they went ahead with the celebration.

It is not completely clear what foods were eaten in November of 1621, but is it possible to glean some information from the few contemporaneous accounts.  It is known that “fowl” were eaten, but it is not clear exactly what kind, and it is likely that more than one type was served.  Other possibilities include duck, goose, and of course, wild turkey.

I have not been able to find any record of pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cranberries, or green bean casserole (LOL!) being served in 1621, things that are routine now.  It is likely that ham or other pork was served, but beef likely was not since cattle were too valuable for dairy at the time.  What was likely on the table was several different kinds of fish, because fishing was very good in the area, both freshwater and salt.

It is hard to say if they had beer that day, but I strongly suspect that they did.  What little barley did get harvested could be malted and used to make beer with maize providing most of the starch to make sugar for fermentation.  What little wheat was produced was probably mixed with corn for bread, and it is also likely that bread from corn alone was also served.

It is highly unlikely that sweet corn was part of the meal, because the first record of sweet corn dates from 1779, over 150 years later.  It IS likely that popcorn was eaten, however, because it dates back much further than sweet corn.  The colonists carried vegetable seeds with them, and so likely had things like spinach, peas, cabbage, and potatoes.

It is a matter of records that the Wampanoag provided venison for the feast, five of them.  Tea and coffee were almost certainly not served, as they were not popular in Britain at the time.  It is possible that native “teas” may have been served, such as sassafras, since sassafras was already an article of commerce betwixt the Virginia colonies and Britain, and sassafras grows in the area where the Plymouth Colony was.  I still bet that they had beer, and possibly whiskey as well.

After that first celebration, it was a while before another was had.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, Thanksgiving did not become a big holiday in the US as a whole for over 150 years, although it was celebrated in various locations at times decided by local custom.  After the founding of the Republic, President Washington declared a Thanksgiving celebration in 1789 and in 1795, and President Adams did in 1798 and 1799.  Jefferson, always the libertarian, chose not to declare any.  Madison did, but by that time it was becoming more customary for the states to do it and Thanksgiving on the federal level sort of went away.

In 1863 President Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving be celebrated nationwide on the last Thursday in November, and since then (until 1939), it was celebrated on that day, all by executive order.  The person who is chiefly responsible for this was a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale.  She was editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most popular women’s magazine of its day, with a circulation of 150,000 in 1860.  She strongly believed that a nationwide celebration of Thanksgiving would promote national unity.  She had lobbied for this for decades, and President Lincoln finally rose to the occasion after the most devastating war in US history had started.

Presidential decrees specified the last Thursday in November until FDR declared that it should be the second-to-last Thursday in 1939 (1939 had a rare five Thursdays).  His logic was that moving up Thanksgiving would give merchants more time to sell items for Christmas, as it was considered unseemly to advertise for Christmas buying before Thanksgiving (I still consider it unseemly).  His intention was for that change to be permanent, so that the merchants would always have the extra week.

The Congress did not like that very much, but took some time to make a change.  It actually was a Republican versus Democrat spat, with the Republicans claiming that FDR was spitting in the face of Lincoln.  Imagine, partisan bickering!  Thus in both 1940 and 1941 Thanksgiving was celebrated on the third (second to last) Thursday in November.  In 1941 Congress passed a law that required Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November, but revised it shortly thereafter to define Thanksgiving as the forth Thursday in that month.  FDR signed the bill into law, thereby making Thanksgiving Day a legal federal holiday the USUALLY is on the last Thursday in November but sometimes is on the second to last.  Confused?  It gets even better!

Texas, the only state to once have been a whole country, continued to celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November until 1956.  What is it with Texas?  They are looking to secede again, but it did not work out very well for them the last time.

One tradition has been observed (except for some of the dark days during World War II) since 1924, and it is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a marketing ploy.  In 1927 the first helium balloon was introduced, one Felix the Cat, a very popular cartoon character at the time (and, as legend has, the very first television image).  Felix replaced the live animals from the zoo, and the use of balloons increased each passing year.  Originally, the balloons were let go into the air at the end of the parade (with a controlled leak so that they could be recovered later).  However, in 1932, if memory serves, one collided with an aeroplane with near disastrous results.  After that, the balloons were deflated and put into storage.  In 1942 the balloons were all given to the Department of War, the rubber in them being essential for the war effort.  The helium with which they were filled was also strategic.  In 1945 the parade was reinstated, once again with balloons.

However, there is a parade that goes back four years earlier.  What is now know as the 6ABC – Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade started as the Gimbels Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1920 in Philidelphia.  Gimbels was another department store powerhouse and Macy’s would not be outdone.  Gimbels was liquidated in 1986 and several other firms sponsored it and some of them went out of business as well.  Dunkin’ Donuts started its association with it last year.

Personally, I dislike the balloons as I consider them to be a waste of perfectly good helium.  I also dislike the hype and the priming of the buying binge pump.  I am not a big sport fan, so the football does not impress me, either.

My vision of Thanksgiving is for it to be a time from family and friends to come together in a spirit of mutual appreciation and affection.  My favorite memories of the holiday can be found here.

Yesterday, I cooked my grandmum’s chicken and dressing recipe and ate some of it.  During the day I watched NCIS reruns (that is really a good TeeVee show), cleaned a little house, talked with Youngest Son who called me.  The Girl was out of town, and the only contact that I had with anyone other than the call from my son was a call from a very good friend in Arkansas and a visit next door to The Girl’s family for just a minute.  It turns out that they had celebrated Thanksgiving with another daughter and her family, and The Girl’s mum had brought back a huge feast for me.  I took them some dressing and thanked them for the food.  I ate turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, some strange (to me) green bean, onion, and corn casserole (strange in that I had never had it before, but it was pretty good), a deviled egg, and some cookies that they sent me, along with more of the dressing that I cooked.  By the way, unless I am unavailable, I shall publish the recipe for the dressing tomorrow night in the comments on Whats for Dinner? on Kos which opens at 7:30 PM Eastern.

For some reason, it is more difficult for me to spend Thanksgiving alone than Christmas.  I have no explanation for that, but perhaps it is because I always thought that Thanksgiving was more family oriented whilst Christmas was more materialistic.  I am thankful for the telephone calls from my son and friend, and the gift of food from my neighbors, but just being with family and friends would have been better.  However, I am the one who made the bed in which I now must sleep.  I am not bitter, please do not get me wrong, just a little melancholic that I have made some really bad choices that have resulted in being more isolated that I would like to have been.  I do resolve to try to resolve this isolation before the next one comes.

Please do not get me wrong; I have much for which to be thankful and am not complaining.  I appreciate the acts of kindness that people showed to my yesterday.  I am thankful that all three of my children are well and successful, and that the former Mrs. Translator is recovering nicely from her knee replacement earlier this year.  I am thankful the Central Son married a mate who has been very good for him, and I am thankful that Eldest Son and his mate are very happy together.  I am thankful that I am in good health, despite my best efforts otherwise.  Yes, I still smoke cigarettes.  I am thankful that I have a place to live, and that I am surrounded by neighbors who are nothing but nice to me.  I am thankful that I have friends who accept this flawed person for who I am.  I am thankful that I have many, many wonderful readers of my blogs who give encouragement to me, and that a few of them have become personal friends.  I am thankful that I live in the most interesting period of all history.  I am thankful that the electorate had the good sense to reject Romney and increase the Democratic representation in both houses of the Congress, and especially thankful that the Senate remains in Democratic control.  I am thankful that I can eat whatever I want, both from economic and from health aspects.  I am thankful to be a citizen of the greatest Nation ever conceived.  I am thankful that this Nation is becoming more, not less, accepting of people of good intent who may have different orientations (not limited to sexual preferences).  I am thankful that the best days of this Nation are before us, not behind us.

That about does it for tonight.  I shall be around, on and off, for comments.  Just after publishing I plan to pop next door to visit with The Girl’s parents for a few minutes, but I shall return pretty quickly.  It is just important to keep those relationships fresh, and nothing can replace face time for that.

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at

Daily Kos,

Docudharma, and


If you want to end war and stuff you have to sing LOUD!

TMC for ek hornbeck

Reposted from October 3, 2015 by TMC for ek hornbeck

From the Group W Bench

I’m so mad.

How mad are you?

I’m so mad.

No, really.

I’m so mad I’m not even going to sing my aria.

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant, That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s Restaurant.

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Walk right in it’s around the back

Just a half a mile from the railroad track

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room, Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be  a friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid, we found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it. ” And I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope under that garbage.”

After speaking to Obie for about fourty-five minutes on the telephone we finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down and pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the Police Officer’s station. So we got in the red vw microbus with the shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the Police Officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at the police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and we didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out and told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again, which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station there was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. ” He said, “Shut up, kid. get in the back of the patrol car.”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, they got three stop signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars, being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station. They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and they took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your wallet and your belt. ” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you want my belt for? ” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings.

“I said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”

Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice (remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back to the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat, and didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog. Aand then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry, ’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And we was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not what I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street, where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted to feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York, and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the psychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, Kill, kill. ” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “kill, kill,” and he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections, detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me at the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there, and I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got one question. Have you ever been arrested?”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre, with full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all the phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever go to court? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on the back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want you to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W…. Now kid!! ”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father Rapers! Father Rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest Father Raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly ‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me and said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay $50 and pick up the garbage. ” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid? ” and I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, Mother Stabbing, Father Raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there, and I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on the other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the following words:


I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug. ” He looked at me and said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints off to Washington.”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into the shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. “. And walk out. You know, if One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may think it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the Guitar.

With feeling.

So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Walk right in it’s around the back

Just a half a mile from the railroad track

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.

I’ve been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it

for another twenty five minutes. I’m not proud… Or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part

harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Excepting Alice

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Walk right in it’s around the back

Just a half a mile from the railroad track

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum

At Alice’s Restaurant


Happy Thanksgiving

TMC for ek hornbeck

The Breakfast Club (Twelve Minutes)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

President John F. Kennedy laid to rest at Arlington; New details emerge about Iran-Contra affair; British forces leave New York; Elian Gonzalez rescued off Florida coast; Baseball’s Joe DiMaggio born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.

Erma Bombeck

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What’s Cooking: Pan Gravy and Carving the Bird

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner is the gravy made from the pan drippings. Here are Alton Brown’s directions for making a smooth, not greasy dressing. It’s actually pretty easy.

Now the last task is carving the bird, for which you’ll thank yourself for investing in an electric knife. It really makes it easier and faster. I suspect that a lot of people will need to watch this. My condolences to the turkeys that were sacrificed to provide the feasts. Just follow Alton’s instructions and you’ll be the other star of the day.

The recipe for the pan gravy is after the jump

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What’s Cooking: Turkey Technology

Oh dear, it’s that time of year again when you invite all the family members and friends whom you haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving 2019 to partake in the great American traditional gorge. Last year’s Thanksgiving was pretty much downsized due to the CoVid-19 pandemic and no vaccine. This year will be almost normal except for the cost. The pandemic has caused supply chain delays which has resulted in higher prices for everything. Though, thanks to vaccinations, we can ditch the masks for dinner with vaccinated friends and family.

My extended family will be gathering at my sister-in-law’s home. She has the biggest dining room (there are nearly 20 of us) and the newest kitchen gadgets, including a double oven with convection technology. My mother-in-law is here from France, she is in charge of appetizers and wine. My daughter is once again in charge of the turkeys, two 15 lb. fresh ones. I have the honor of desserts which will include a Paris-Brest, a French dessert made of choux pastry and a praline flavored cream.

If you’re an experienced cook or one who looks at the kitchen as a foreign country and are preparing a turkey on Thanksgiving, or any time for that matter, our hero is Alton Brown and his absolutely fool proof method for roasting a turkey is here. No basting required which leaves you time for other tasks or enjoying your company. We repeat this post every year at this time. If you haven’t already purchased your bird, you need to do that today. A frozen bird needs at three days in the refrigerator to defrost. The best bet is a fresh turkey. While it may cost a few cents more, you’re assured that it’s thawed and ready to cook. So, get thee to the grocery store!

Revised from November 20, 2010 for obvious timely reasons.

I never went to cooking school or took home economics in high school, I was too busy blowing up the attic with my chemistry set. I did like to eat and eat stuff that tasted good and looked pretty, plus my mother couldn’t cook to save her life let alone mine and Pop’s, that was her mother’s venue. So I watched learned and innovated. I also read cook books and found that cooking and baking were like chemistry and physics. I know, that was Translator’s territory, but I do have a degree in biochemistry.

For you really geekie cooks here is a great article about the “Turkey Physics” involved in getting it all done to a juicy turn.

Cooking a turkey is not as easy as the directions on the Butterball wrapping looks. My daughter, who is the other cook in the house (makes the greatest breads, soups and stews) is in charge of the Turkey for the big day. Since we are again having a house full of family and friends, one the two 13 to 15 pound gobblers will get cooked outside on the gas grill that doubles as an oven on these occasions. Her guru is Alton Brown, he of Good Eats on the Food Network. This is the method she has used with rave reviews. Alton’s Roast Turkey recipe follows below the fold. You don’t have to brine, the daughter doesn’t and you can vary the herbs, the results are the same, perfection. My daughter rubs very soft butter under the skin and places whole sage leaves under the skin in a decorative pattern, wraps the other herbs in cheese cloth and tucks it in the cavity. If you prefer, or are kosher, canola oil works, too.

Bon Appetite and Happy Thanksgiving.

The recipe is below the fold.

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THINGS SIMON’S CAT IS THANKFUL FOR (Thanksgiving Collection)

We may be living in stressful times but Simon’s Cat is here to help you look at the bright side of things. Join him and take some time out to sit back and relax with some of your favorite Simon’s Cat videos in this ‘Thanksgiving’ compilation.

TMC for ek hornbeck

The Breakfast Club (No Dead End)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

Jack Ruby fatally shoots Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas; Charles Darwin publishes theory of evolution; Hijacker known as D.B. Cooper parachutes out of plane with ransom money; Queen’s Freddie Mercury dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.

Billy Connolly

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What’s Cooking: Getting It Together for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving "Eat Pork" photo 0008_zps26f112b7.gifFor those of you who haven’t realized Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, snap out of it! Time to get on the road, into the grocery store and but the bird. Unless it’s fresh, that is not a frozen boulder, it’s going to take 2 – 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator. If your brining, you’ll need one that’s thawed or fresh at this stage. So. wake up, get thee to the grocery store. NOW!

For those who aren’t doing the big family bash and are spending the evening alone or with one or two others, here are a few recipes from the New York Times for a small scale Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey Cutlets Marsala

If you can’t find turkey cutlets, buy a boneless turkey breast, cut into cutlets then lightly pound them into shape beneath a sheet of plastic wrap.

TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes


4 turkey cutlets, approximately 1 1/4 pounds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flour for dusting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup Marsala wine

1/4 cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium


1. Place the cutlets on a wooden board, and season them aggressively with salt and pepper, then lightly dust them with flour.

2. Melt the butter in a large sauté or frying pan set over medium-high heat, and when it begins to foam, add the turkey cutlets to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook, gently, for 3 minutes a side, being careful not to allow the butter to blacken

3. When the second side is just about done, pour the Marsala over the cutlets, and allow it to bubble and combine with the butter. Now do the same with a splash or two of the chicken stock. Cook in the pan for 2 or 3 minutes more.

YIELD: 2 servings

Vegetable Risotto

TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes


1/2 ounce dried mushrooms

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 green leaf lettuce leaves, shredded

1 leaf of a fennel bulb, finely diced

1 small onion, finely diced

1 cup arborio rice

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Kosher salt



1. Put the mushrooms in a bowl, and pour hot water over them. Allow them to steep for 20 minutes, then squeeze them out and mince. Reserve the mushroom broth for another purpose.

2. Put four cups of water in a pot, and set it over high heat to boil. Keep it hot.

3. In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, melt 5 tablespoons butter and when it foams, cook the lettuce and fennel until soft. Lift them out of the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of butter if necessary, and cook the onion until translucent. Add the rice, and stir until it is glistening and hot.

4. Add a cup of the hot water to the mixture, and stir it until the liquid is absorbed, approximately 5 minutes. Add another cup of the water, and stir again until it is absorbed. Add the mushrooms, and stir again, then add a pinch of salt and another half cup of the hot water. When the liquid has been absorbed, taste the rice to see if the grains offer the slightest resistance to your teeth. If not, add the rest of the water, and stir again to combine.

5. Stir in the lettuce, the fennel, the Parmesan and any remaining butter, then grate nutmeg generously over the mixture.

YIELD 2 servings

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

TOTAL TIME 40 minutes


3/4 pound fresh brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or bacon fat

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Red-pepper flakes to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400. Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts, and remove all yellowing exterior leaves. Put the sprouts in a large bowl, and toss with the oil or bacon fat, and season well with salt and pepper.

2. Pour the sprouts onto a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to brown the vegetables evenly, until crisp on the outside and tender within. Sprinkle a little more salt on them and, if you like, red-pepper flakes.

YIELD 2 servings

All recipes are easily doubled.

Bon appétit

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