June 22, 2014

Lazy Pancake(s)

Your regular pancake recipe (no changes) into a rice cooker. Turn it on. When it's done, it's done. The article says about 45 minutes, but I'm sure that will vary depending on the cooker and the moisture content of your pancake.

If you try this, let us know. Pics would be nice. I don't do pancakes. But I don't think this has to be limited to just pancakes. Try any cake recipe. Or a cookie recipe to make one giant cookie.

permalink | June 22, 2014 at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 5, 2014

DHS City Council - May 27, 2014

Public Comments

Paula Terifaj spoke about the Riverside County animal control ordinance. She said she would like to see every pet spayed or neutered, licensed and microchipped. But she doesn't think the county's ordinance is the best way to accomplish that. If you want pet owners to be in compliance you must first tell them they are not in compliance. Tell them what the ordinance says. She has been told the best way to gain cooperation is to first notify them they are not in compliance and then tell them exactly what they need to do to be in compliance, step by step. We must also understand that some people don't comply for economic reasons. Pet owners should be given 90 days to comply. There will need to be subsidies for households with income below $30,000.

Anna Matthews said that after the last time she spoke to the Council she continued to be illegally locked out of her home. In the past two weeks she has been arrested and detained. They tried to destroy all the evidence in her phone, but did not succeed. They accidentally recorded their own conversation, the Commissioner "Mickey Reed" and the Bailiff who manhandled her. She can prove her neighbor is going into her house with a key illegally. She has been warned to shut her mouth. There is retaliation going on. She hasn't got a change of clothes nor her Bible. She fell in the courtroom and was hospitalized and has been in bed for almost two weeks. Police Officer Davis accidentally recorded his conversation with the Commissioner against the crimes they were committing against her. Ms. Matthews has that conversation. She wants access to her home again. She's not going to shut up, she said. Somebody's ticked off at her for saying something. She's requesting immediate help. She asked for advice and Mayor Pro Tem Betts attempted to speak to her, but as he was just winding up she spoke over him and refused to allow him to speak. Mr. Betts stopped saying "I'm done, thank you."

Medical Marijuana

The Mayor skipped over item 3 on the agenda "Appointment of City Attorney." On the agenda for the closed session prior to this open session there was an item "Public Employee Appointment; Position: City Attorney." When the open meeting began, Attorney Quintanilla had said there was "No reportable action" from the closed session. When Mayor Sanchez Mayor asked for Attorney Quintanilla's report on medical marijuana the first thing Mr. Quintanilla said was "I'm here on a volunteer basis tonight." That's all that was said about the matter, which could lead to a lot of speculation. I had intended to ask Mr. Quintanilla what this was all about after the meeting, but forgot. But the next morning the Desert Sun reported that Mr. Quintanilla intended to leave his law partnership and form his own firm here in the valley. This would require a new contract for the attorney. That's all.

He said the California Supreme Court had ruled that every municipality (or county) has the discretion to permit or prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries.

You can read the decision here. That ruling pertains only to dispensaries. Local jurisdictions cannot override the state law that allows medical marijuana patients to grow, possess and consume marijuana. The original Prop 215 addressed only the cultivation and possession of marijuana by patients or their primary caregivers. (It also protected physicians who recommend marijuana to a patient.) It is silent on the concept of dispensaries, coops and collectives. The "Medical Marijuana Program" adopted in 2003 includes section 11362.775"

Qualified patients, persons with valid identification cards, and the designated primary caregivers of qualified patients and persons with identification cards, who associate within the State of California in order collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on the basis of that fact be subject to state criminal sanctions.

That's all it says about dispensaries, other than requiring them to be at least 600 feet away from any school.

Attorney Quintanilla had provided a "laundry list" of regulations and taxes in other cities.

Larry Buchanan came to the podium to say he is in favor of dispensaries primarily because they can be a source of revenue. Also some people don't have the transportation to get to Palm Springs. That encourages illegal sales here in DHS.

Juliet [no last name given] also spoke in favor of dispensaries. She said it does keep a lot of crime off the street. Also the dispensaries will pay taxes. "You have a sister city already that is a pattern for you to follow." She said the tax revenue to the City of Palm Springs is $900,000/quarter. [That figure is far higher than other figures I've heard for Palm Springs.] She said this number was in city records that "you can pull up at any time" [but I haven't been able to find it].

Phil Kern is a resident of DHS. He supports Measure F. He also supports a measure for medical cannabis. He and his partner will apply for a permit, if it is approved by the City Council. They would support a 10% tax on the gross sales. He came here in 1978 as Captain of the fire station. In 1982 he was promoted to Battalion Chief. His headquarters were in the fire station and Pierson and West. He retired after 30 years.

Councilmember McKee asked if any of the regulations in the laundry list are also required of a regular pharmacy. Attorney Quintanilla said that he was not familiar with pharmacy regulation, but he could say that most did not apply to pharmacies. Mr. McKee said DHS has a reputation as a city where it's difficult to do business. He thinks some of the requirements in other cities are onerous. He said that we permit pharmacies to sell serious drugs and alcohol, but we don't want marijuana dispensaries to sell alcohol. He doesn't understand that. The inspection requirements enable city officials to check books, check inventory, etc. He said he doesn't think the city has the resources to do that, and we don't require that of any other business. There is no city ordinance that limits any business to only $200 cash on the premises. He has no problem with applying a tax. He asked why we wouldn't apply some of these same requirements to Rite Aid. Some of their drugs are far worse than marijuana. Dispensaries should be brought in as any other business.

Before we go too much further, let me answer some of that. First, some of the onerous requirements in other cities were put in place years ago when dispensaries first began to be established. At that time there were fears that people who had been illegal street dealers, gang members, or illegal growers were going to move into the dispensary business and cities wanted to be sure the dispensaries were on the up and up. Cities were also afraid that dispensaries would be attractive targets for criminals. Experience since then has shown that most of those fears and regulations were unnecessary. Second, pharmacies (and other businesses) are subject to a tremendous deal of government regulation. It just doesn't come from the city. The federal government has a lot to say about what goes on behind a pharmacy counter, and I'm sure that part of that is maintaining an up to date inventory. Alcohol sales, we all know, are heavily regulated by the state. There is no type of business in California that gets to operate in a laissez-faire atmosphere. There is no state regulatory body for medical marijuana, as there is in other states. There's just the law and how the Attorney General wants to interpret it. This is because Prop 215 was overly simple and too brief. The only way to make it more rational and uniform would be with another vote of the people. Until that happens, all the responsibility of regulating dispensaries falls on the cities and counties because of their powers to regulate land use. As for special taxes that apply to only one business, some already exist, but they are not applied by the city. Alcohol and gas taxes are examples of this. As far as I know a city could legally impose taxes focused on other products as well, if they could get the voters to approve them. Haven't some cities tried junk food taxes?

Mayor Pro Tem Betts said he had received only one phone call expressing opposition to medical marijuana dispensaries. He said this process needs to go through the Planning Commission as well as the City Council. He pointed out that in some cities some restaurants are required to put in some sort of exhaust control so that neighbors don't have to constantly smell the food cooking. He said he too could smell the marijuana at Organic Solutions of the Desert [the dispensary on Ramon near the airport] even with his car's air conditioning running. Environmental controls must be part of the approval process. He thinks the dispensaries should be located in a retail storefront. He is not opposed to it being on a main street. He doesn't want something like a red light district. It should be the dispensaries decision to install cameras or not. The city should not require it. He does not want an onerous process like Palm Springs where they review patient records. We need to be able to audit a dispensary to make sure we are getting the proper tax amounts. He said the first reason to approve dispensaries is for the health and convenience of the residents. Taxation is secondary. Why should the city tax this one item when it doesn't tax pharmaceuticals. He estimated tax revenue at $120,000 year with a 10% tax, which would not be enough to get the city out of its current fiscal crisis.

Councilmember Pye said that the records being accessed by the City of Palm Springs are the identity of each patient, identity of caregivers, the doctor's letter of recommendation, and the patient's application [to join the collective, I think]. This excludes the diagnosis of the patient. She said that because of the city's budgetary problems, they should be looking at revenue sources in addition to cutting expenses. She said it was the Desert Sun is the source for the claim that 40% of the patients at Palm Springs dispensaries live in Desert Hot Springs. [This only increases my feeling that this figure is unreliable.]

The Palm Springs dispensary ordinance says "The cooperative shall maintain patient records in a secure location within the City of Palm Springs, available to the City Manager to review upon demand. Such records shall include without limitation a copy of the physician's referral." The physician's referral does include the patient's address and I suppose whoever is reviewing those records could count which cities are represented.

Ms. Pye suggested have the Planning Commission review this to address the zoning issues. She also suggested a standing commission that would last for only one year that would review the process and review applications, making recommendations to the City Council. She thought the Commission should be made up of three patients, one doctor, and a current or retired law enforcement officer. [I would suggest adding one owner or manager of an existing dispensary who will not open a dispensary in DHS.]

Organic Solutions of the Desert in Desert Hot Springs (2339)
The location of the illegal Desert Hot Springs dispensary today
. It was open briefly in 2007.

Councilmember Matas said he has seen a lot of progress since that one dispensary tried to open up in DHS without so much as a business license. He think Palm Springs has done a good job. He thinks a dispensary will be the target of criminals, so he is in support of security requirements. He wants collectives to be at least 5,000 feet apart. He has seen those neighborhoods in Los Angeles where there are door-to-door dispensaries. He doesn't want to see that here. He doesn't want more than three collectives. They should not be in the industrial areas. They should be in commercial areas, but away from schools, churches and parks...similar to ABC restrictions on alcohol. He would like to restrict them to age 21 or older.

While the city can set an age restriction on who can enter a dispensary, it can't restrict the use of medical marijuana on the basis of age. The Medical Marijuana Program addresses the issue of patients under the age of 18, saying they need the consent of a parent or guardian. I could lay out a heartstring-tugging story of a Marine who becomes seriously injured in some heroic action, comes home in great physical pain and suffering with PTSD, gets a recommendation for medical marijuana, but he's only 20 years old, so he can't go in the DHS dispensary, so he'll have to get someone age 21 or over to agree to be his caregiver (at some additional expense) to go in and get his marijuana for him. Or...he could take advantage of one of the delivery services. But more than likely, he would just go to Palm Springs. I think setting the age limit at 18 would work best.

Mr. Matas doesn't want illegal dispensaries alongside the legal ones. "This is about business, that's all I see it about," he said.

Mayor Sanchez said he supports it because it represents the health and wellness of Desert Hot Springs. He disagrees about the age limit suggested by Mr. Matas. The safety and security of the business is important. DHS covers a lot of area. If we had two or three dispensaries, they should be spread out. He doesn't want to see 2 on Palm Drive. He wants to hear from the city residents. He asked the attorney if he was familiar with any other cities having a marijuana commission as suggested by Ms. Pye. He said he was not, but there may be some.

This is California, so we know there must be marijuana commissions...and they're right where you might expect them: Oakland and Berkeley.

Ms. Pye said the City Councilmembers are not experts on this. Patients are experts, as are law enforcement, and doctors. She asked if anyone would join her in putting the commission idea on the next agenda so it could be discussed.

Mr. Betts said that the county Public Health Department inspects restaurants, the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology inspects hair salons, and the city never knows. He said there's somebody in the state government who regulates the marijuana industry. [He is not correct in that assumption.] He said this city cannot be the regulatory body. We don't have the staff or time. He doesn't want to adopt Palm Springs' excessive regulations. He suggested each Council member should give their input to the city attorney who could then draw up an ordinance based on that. He said the city needs to hear from the Police department. He said he was leery of the idea of a marijuana commission.

Mr. McKee said the businesses with the greatest security problems in DHS are liquor stores and banks. The banks have on their own protected themselves, and there hasn't been a bank robbery in a long time. The city doesn't impose special security requirements on liquor stores. He has no problem doing the same sort of auditing and monitoring that we do with hotels. He agrees with Mayor Sanchez that an age 21 limit should not be set. He wants to move ahead with this as quickly as possible, but he likes the idea of a commission to choose which dispensaries to admit to the city. He suggested the city could impose fees to cover the cost of services.

Ms. Pye clarified that she didn't think it would take a year to get the marijuana dispensaries set up. She wants a marijuana commission that would recommend dispensaries to the council, the council would approve them, and then the commission monitors the situation to see if further recommendations are needed. Then after a year the commission goes away.

Mr. Matas said the city hires an outside firm to come in and audit the TOT tax. The same process could be done with marijuana collectives. He thinks the Conditional Use Process provides sufficient ability to regulate a dispensary. He said a lot of experts support an age limit of 21 and older.

Andrew Milks came up to comment. He said he runs a cooperative. He said there two pending bills in California; one in the Assembly, one in the Senate: SB 1262 and AB 1894. He said he had not heard of any city requiring more than 1,000 foot distance between dispensaries. Although DHS has a lot of area, we've got only a small retail area.

I want to point out that the intersection of Pierson and Highway 62 is zoned commercial.

Mr. Milks continued, saying there are also a high number of churches. He said younger people need access to CBD preparations.

The next speaker was Marcel [last name unclear] who said he was all for it, that he is a land owner and property owner.

Joseph Miller spoke next, saying he has been a medical marijuana patient for about four years for stomach cancer. He's been with a collective in Thousand Palms and Palm Springs for the last five or six years. He suggested the city might begin to permit some dispensaries on a trial period.

City Manager Magaña said the Planning Commission has authority over land use. When they deal with entitlements the issues are time, place and manner. The Planning Commission needs some direction from City Council indicating how the Council is expecting to regulate marijuana dispensaries. He explained, too, that if the tax to be assessed on marijuana dispensaries is to be a general tax, then it can't go to the voters until November 2015. If it's a special tax (meaning designated for a specific use) then it could go on the November 2014 ballot, but would require a two-thirds majority.

Rich Malacoff explained that if the rules are very specific for where a dispensary could be located, then a Public Hearing would not be required for each dispensary.

Attorney Quintanilla said that many of the regulations in other cities are based on a white paper from California Police Chiefs, but that white paper was written before there were any dispensaries so it's mostly speculative. The law does allow for oral-only recommendations from physicians, so the city could not require a written recommendation.

The Council members agreed to email their preferences to the attorney who would then compile an ordinance based on that. The ordinance would come back to the Council at a study session on June 24, where it would be further refined.

Food Trucks

It was only in April of this year that Riverside County began permitting food trucks. Rich Malacoff described what other cities in the Coachella Valley are doing. Palm Springs passed an urgency ordinance prohibiting food trucks for 6 months. Cathedral City has drafted an ordinance, but it has been continued. The Cathedral City ordinance (which hasn't been approved yet) prohibits them from being closer than 750 feet of a fundraising event. Otherwise it's pretty flexible. In Rancho Mirage food trucks can operate only under a special permit at special events. Palm Desert does not permit food trucks within 750 feet of a restaurant. Neither Coachella nor Indian Wells have any rules yet. Indio allows food trucks within 100 feet of an intersection. [I wonder if the rule actually forbids them from being within 100 feet of an intersection.] They cannot be within 100 feet of a school. La Quinta passed an ordinance in 1994 that allows food trucks to operate for no more than 10 minutes at any one location. [General laughter upon hearing that.]

The county has jurisdiction over the health and sanitation issues; the same as any restaurant.

Michael Burke came to the podium to comment. He said anything that will bring us more revenue should be considered. He doesn't think it should be too heavily regulated.

Heather Coladonato from the Chamber of Commerce spoke next. She said the Council should consider the need for food trucks in DHS at special events and daily food opportunities. She has spoken with a few DHS restaurateurs who are not opposed to food trucks. But they are concerned with food trucks located in the proximity of their restaurants. OTOH, they are intrigued with the possibility of operating their own food truck. At our special events food trucks might help buffer some wind while creating additional sources of revenue. Since we have so few empty storefronts in town, food trucks present a good option for additional revenue.

Mr. McKee said he would like to create as much opportunity as possible for food trucks so long as some distance requirements are in place.

Ms. Pye said that Cathedral City's ordinance is the most lenient and she thinks DHS should use that as a template. She thinks the organizer of any special event should be the one to decide if food trucks can be there. They should not be at parks with snackbars, where they would be competing with the fundraising for little league or soccer.

Mr. Matas said he foresaw the only problem being competition with snackbars at parks. A few years ago they had that problem with ice cream vendors. He said the trucks should have professional signage. Ice cream vendors sometimes would just buy some stick-on letters to make a sign.

Mr. Betts said he saw a "food court block" right across the street from restaurants in Portland. It was busy. He would like to see a designated area for food trucks in the commercial part of the city.

Mayor Sanchez said he likes the Rancho Mirage policy. It's very simple - special events only. It fits the Chamber's needs. Then they could expanded from there.

Mr. Betts moved to allow food trucks at Salsa Blast (October 25, 2014). A discussion ensued about whether a simple motion like that could achieve the desired result while an ordinance is still being worked up. Attorney Quintanilla said he doubted very seriously that anyone would sue the city over the issue.

Mr. Matas said it needed to be kept simple. The Council should direct staff to put together an ordinance based on the Council's discussion. There should be no problem with having an ordinance in place before Salsa Blast.

Mayor Sanchez suggested that should be made a friendly amendment. Mr. Betts did not object.

Approved 5-0.

Mary Jane Sanchez asked about religious organizations, would they be able to use food trucks? Mayor Sanchez told her "It's going to be fine."

permalink | June 5, 2014 at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2014

Got Yer Marijuana Food Truck Right Here

Unveiled at last month's Cannabis Cup in Denver, was MagicalButter's food truck "serving peanut butter and jelly, pulled pork and grilled cheese sandwiches along with tomato soup."

MagicalButter sells a device that makes extractions of marijuana in any edible oil.

permalink | May 28, 2014 at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2014

New Mural at South Of The Border

John Coleman has completed another mural, this one on the south wall of South Of The Border at Palm Drive and Second Street.

South Of The Border Mural in progress (2291)

South Of The Border Mural (2329)

The owner and artist (photo by John Coleman)
The owner and the artist
.

More photos.

permalink | May 27, 2014 at 09:17 AM | Comments (3)

April 22, 2014

Beer & Nudity

Sunny Rest Beer Fest
I don't usually have two Pennsylvania posts in one day
. BTW, see those three ladies in the middle of this poster? They won't really be there...at least not until you've had about a dozen "samples."


Sunny Rest Resort

permalink | April 22, 2014 at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2014

Honey Maid Grahams

First this:


Then this:

permalink | April 3, 2014 at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2014

ITALIA!

Something to do with Italy, but the important thing he's got a GoPro on his chest.

A YouTube commenter suggested this for a translation:

New, incredible experiment with Coke and Mentos! But we're gonna try something new today: the energy and vitality of Nutella! And as always, we're gonna use a condom, but this time it's gonna be mango-flavored. Let's start. First thing: let's take some Nutella and put it on the top of the bottle, creating some kind of Nutella cap that will be fundamental for the Nutella-Coke-Mentos reaction. Good, now we open our condom and we put Mentos in it. Not just one, two or three, but five Mentos, since we found out during previous experiments that 5 is the best quantity of Mentos in terms of maximum reaction. Now we're going to seal everything with some tape. Perfect: Nutella, Mentos… now we're gonna let the Mentos drop on top of the Nutella, and that's enough for… and here's the reaction! Incredible, guys! Coke and Mentos are reacting… it's a world record! Look at it! It's a world record! Look at it! IT'S A MIRACLE!!! WOOOOORLD REEEECOOOOOORD!!! COKE, MENTOS AND NUTELLA WORLD RECOOOORD!!! GOOOOO ITALYYYYYY!!!!!! NUTELLA, GUYS, IT'S THE PERFECT INGREDIENT!! YEEEEEESSSS!!!!

permalink | March 30, 2014 at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2014

WikiPearl

WikiPearl is a blob of water held together by a membrane made from brown algae and calcium chloride. It works like an egg yolk - if you carry whole egg yolks around with you and slip one out of your bag whenever you'd like a snack. Here's a video that's supposed to illustrate its use:

Far be it from me to be picky, but if you're trying to illustrate the use of a clear blob of water, doing so on a white table set against a white backdrop with two people wearing nothing but white in a studio setting evenly lighted from multiple sources so there are no shadows is not the most effective way, especially when the critical element (that is, how to drink from it) is mostly hidden behind the hands of the drinker. She doesn't pop the whole thing in her mouth, as I had expected, even though it looks a bit too large for that. She bites the membrane, or sucks water through the permeable (?) membrane, or she licks it to dissolve a bit of the membrane. The article says the membrane is edible, but they don't ever show anyone eating one.

They say they say its created "using 'spherification,' the technique of shaping liquids into spheres first pioneered in labs in 1946." But in the how-it's-made video on the same page they show that they just pour water into spherical molds. Then "the water is frozen as ice." I think ice is definitely the best thing to freeze water as. Freezing it as stainless steel, for example, or banana puree would contradict the physics of our universe. Maybe no one thought of making a sphere to hold liquids for freezing until 1946. Maybe. But I bet somebody thought of it before then.

After freezing, the balls of ice are dunked in a broth that must contain the brown algae and calcium chloride. Then, I guess (they don't say), they are left to set up as WikiPearls.

I'm curious why they don't make it a little smaller so that the consumer could pop a whole one in his mouth, chew and swallow. That would solve the problem of water spilling all over the place when you try to drink from it.

We know somebody likes the design, because it won a Lexus Design Award and will be shown during Milan Design Week.

Much more exciting is that the article says WikiPearl will be sold at "selected Whole Foods" stores "this month." I'm not really sure that the water blob will be what's on sale, though, because when you go look at WikiPearl's website you'll see that they are offering an array of spherical foods that appear to be wrapped in this same membrane of brown algae and calcium chloride, but they don't even mention the water blob. One of those products is WikiPearl ice cream. They avoid the obvious question of how WikiPearl ice cream is superior in any way to traditional Mochi ice cream.

But let's just head on over to one of these select Whole Foods stores and give it a hands on test ourselves. Here are the locations which are convenient to all:

  • First, there's the store in Charles River Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts. Ken, it's your job to check this one out.
  • If you live further west, you'll want to go to the store on River Street in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. That's David's task.
  • But of course, some people live farther west than that. For them there is the store on Alewife at Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That one is Brian's.
  • Those who live far, far from Boston will find their WikiPearls at the store on Market Street in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. That one is for Tim & George.

There ya go! Everybody in the United States who is anywhere in that great 10-mile swath from downtown Boston to the north shore can enjoy the wonders of WikiPearl! I expect you'll be seeing a lot of these on the Red Line. If they're cheap enough I imagine the students of Harvard and MIT will find a way to use them as little pre-made water balloons. Or they could be re-frozen and used as ice balls during a dry winter.

I think the WikiPearl is a great product for space travel. They should be marketing it in Florida, Texas and Kazakhstan.

permalink | March 28, 2014 at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2014

Amtrak Carrying Out That Plan

About a month ago I posted a little note about Amtrak starting up a writer's project. Well, it looks like they are actually following through with that by training 30 bloggers (I must have been in the #31 position) from Los Angeles to Austin for SXSW.

Those writers do wax on about the beauties of train travel. It almost goes over the top when we see how excited they are about getting genuine El Paso burritos. But these were not all Los Angelenos, and maybe they'd shared some of that special medicine just before getting to El Paso.

The little bit I can find out about it says that the lady selling burritos at El Paso station is nice and her burritos are awesome, especially at only $2 each.

permalink | March 24, 2014 at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

March 7, 2014

The Sky Is Falling [repeat as necessary]

I cannot believe it's been almost six years since California voters approved new regulations for housing egg-laying chickens. The national standard is 67 to 86 square inches of living space. The California law requires at least 116 square inches. Now, Attorneys General in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and two other states (that I have not yet identified) are filing suit to stop this claiming that California is attempting to regulate agriculture in other states. Pish posh, all those other sovereign-loving states can simply refuse to sell eggs in California. Californians, when faced with the reality of starvation, eating tofu, or repealing the law will obviously cave. Uh-huh.

If the logic of the lawsuit were correct, no state would be able to regulate anything that could potentially be imported from another state.

In Europe egg-laying chickens get "enriched cages" which have an elevated platform and a separate nesting area. Initially it was proposed that they all get condos in central Paris, but they backed away from that.

permalink | March 7, 2014 at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2014

The Alcohol Kept Her Alive

According to this story in the Mirror an 18-year old woman drank 10 Jagerbombs in one evening (it was two-for-one). A Jagerbomb* is a shot of Jagermeister (70 proof) in a canload of Red Bull (80mg caffeine in 250ml). The alcohol protected her for 8 hours, but when that had pretty much worn off by 10 AM, the Red Bull took over. She had three cardiac arrests and was put in an induced coma for 52 hours. Now she lives with an implanted defibrillator.

* In the linked Wikipedia article about Jagerbombs it is noted that the Finnish name for this drink translates into English as "battery acid." I think the Finns generally have a firm grip on reality.

permalink | March 6, 2014 at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2014

100 Best Places To Eat In The USA

According to Yelp reviewers, not food critics. #1 is Da Poke Shack on the Big Island in Hawaii. The #3 spot goes to the very deserving Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas.
Oklahoma Joes BBQ
This is Oklahoma Joe's
. Really. Not kidding.

Highest on the list in southern California is Porto's Bakery in Burbank which sounds like it also has very low prices.

I'm sorry to say the list has only one (1) restaurant in New England, and it's in Providence, Rhode Island. Los Andes Restaurant landed in spot #69.

permalink | February 28, 2014 at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2014

If This Were The Only Smartphone App, It Would Be Sufficient To Justify The Existence Smartphones

SteadyServ Techologies introduces the Keg Sensor app. All hail Keg Sensor!

The SteadyServ keg sensor collects and sends a host of information to users, including how much beer remains, the type and style of the beer in the keg, when it was delivered, when it was tapped, its age, and when the keg may run out. It sends this information to SteadyServ's cloud-based software, where it is paired with other information, such as how much safety stock remains, the next delivery date, previous order information, past consumption trends, event information, beer consumption trends nearby, and even local weather forecasts which may impact patronage trends.

A cross between Keg Sensor and some popular social apps could let you know how much someone who is within a certain radius has been drinking. I would call that app Beer Goggles.

permalink | February 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2014

The Breaking Bad Wire

This one is for the second season.

All five seasons here.

permalink | January 6, 2014 at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 1, 2014

Republicans Like It Brown

Their booze, that is. Jennifer Dube of National Media Research Planning and Placement (a Republican consulting firm, we are told) has done something that passes for research and analysis and come up with a chart that links favorite alcoholic beverages to voting frequency and party alignment. Brown liquor puts you on the Republican side, clear liquor is for the Democrats. More important, however, is a strong correlation between a preference for wine and being a solid, 100% voter.

There are some exceptions, of course. Ketel One vodka is on the Republican side and Grand Marnier is on the Democrat side. Flavored vodkas seem to be a Democrat thing. Jägermeister is just barely on the Republican side, but is unlikely to show up at the polls. The lowest voter turnout indicator is Don Julio tequila on the Democrat side. Democrats who drink Jose Cuervo are much more likely to vote.

There is no explanation why there are no beers on the chart. My guess would have to be that beers indicate a preference for the Libertarian or Green party or one of the other minority parties that the Tweedle-Dee-Tweedle-Dum parties like to pretend don't matter.

permalink | January 1, 2014 at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

December 6, 2013

More Los Angeles Culture

LA Bacon Festival
The LA Bacon Festival
, February 8, 2014, at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Admission price is $45 or $65 for "VIP" tickets. I think a VIP is permitted to ask for extra crispy bacon. I have been unable to find any information on how or where to buy a ticket, but their website says they are expected to sell out fast! There's no information about this on the Petersen Museum's website, either.

The event does seem to have quite a few vendors lined up already, including MexiKosher. Maybe they will be serving turkey bacon. See what you missed by not eating there during Hanukkah, El Schmucko.

permalink | December 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2013

Landmark Wienerschnitzel

The world's first Der Wienerschnitzel has been designated a landmark by the City of Los Angeles. It was built on the Pacific Coast Highway in Wilmington.

There it is in all its great landmarkness.

permalink | December 4, 2013 at 08:17 PM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2013

Meanwhile, at Two Bunch Palms

Palm Springs Life has an article about "the completely renovated and re-envisioned restaurant called Essense" at Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa.

The restaurant renovation enclosed a former open patio to enlarge the dining area with length of picture windows framing the soaring San Jacinto Mountains. Essense' ambiance is a composite of light, natural woods, soothing white walls, and natural stone and fabric textures. Burlap napkins, nubby placemats and small square glazed pots of tiny cactus decorate the tables.

"Next year, developers anticipate room renovations and expansion, construction of a new spa, café, boutique, fitness center and eventually a high-energy grotto." That's after building the 3,000 square foot yoga dome.

permalink | November 29, 2013 at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2013

Restaurant Impossible

The Rude Pundit (one of my guilty pleasures) admits that one of his guilty pleasures is Restaurant Impossible and then he goes on to write about an episode "last week" (which I missed) that focused on the Georgia Boy Cafe in Maryland that is owned by two gay African-American men who have been together for some years. Rude Pundit liked the way they were presented on the show: "A damn food show was more honest and less sensationalistic and patronizing about how a nonwhite LGBT couple exists than pretty much anything the Rude Pundit's seen on American television."

permalink | November 25, 2013 at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 4, 2013

Herbal Supplement Purity

Here's a study published in October that reveals the sorry state of the herbal supplement industry. It was published by BMC Medicine. You may find the PDF version to be easier to read (I know I did). The researchers/authors are affiliated with the University of Guelph in Ontario and Bharathiar University in India.

The researchers took 44 herbal products from 12 companies and subjected them to DNA testing. They compared the results to a library of DNA from 100 identified herbs.

  • Only 48% of the tested herbal supplements contained some of the herb identified on the label.
  • 59% of the samples contained some plant material not listed on the label.
  • 33% of the samples included contaminants or fillers not listed on the label.
  • Only 2 of the 12 manufacturers provided completely unadulterated, correctly identified herbs.
  • 3 other manufacturers included NONE of the labeled herb in their products.
  • The other manufacturers provided some pure herbs, some contaminated samples, some with unlabeled filler, and some with another herb entirely.

Some examples of what they found:

  • A product labeled as St. John's wort actually contained Senna alexandrina and no St. John's wort. Senna alexandrina is a laxative while St. John's wort is not. Prolonged use of Senna alexandrina can cause chronic diarrhea, cathartic colon, liver damage, abdominal pain, epidermal breakdown and blistering.
  • Several products were contaminated with feverfew which can be used to treat fever, migraines and arthritis, but it does have negative side effects including swelling and numbness in the mouth, oral ulcers, nausea, and diarrhea. Pregnant women should not consume feverfew.
  • A Gingko product was contaminated with black walnut which could be dangerous to those with nut allergies.
  • They found unlabeled fillers including soy, rice, wheat.

It is very unfortunate that the paper does NOT identify the manufacturers of any of the products, good or bad.

permalink | November 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)