Blogfather's blog

What would you order for your last meal on earth?

I'd order a medium rare, bacon cheeseburger with blue cheese and onion rings

By Walter Brooks

My favorite bacon cheeseburger today is at The Beehive on Tremont Street in Boston and the Land Ho! in Orleans or Harwichport.

My wife and I were dining a decade ago at the Julien at the Hotel Meridien (now the Langham) in the Financial District in Boston, when she was served a foie gras so sumptuous that she said it's what she would order if she were on Death Row and had one meal left on earth.

Or course, if anyone eats foie gras often enough that last meal will come much sooner, but it made me think about what I would order, and then even a harder choice:

What if you had to eat the same dish every meal?

Now this is a tougher choice, and while a bacon cheesburger with blue cheese won out, Yankee Pot Roast and Sauteed Cod were in the running for a while.

So my question for YOU, dear reader, is to add a comment below with YOUR choice if you had to eat the same meal at dinner for the rest of your life.

The Julien is gone, and so are many of my old Boston favorites like this list of other great Boston restaurants which are no longer with us:

Jasper's - Waterfront
Allegro on Boylston
Aujourd'hui- Four Seasons Hotel
Back Bay Bistro - Boylston St, Boston
Bay Tower Room - Downtown
Cafe Florian - Back Bay
Capriccio Plu - South End
St. Cloud - South End
L'Espalier - on Boylston St
Season's - Season's Hotel
Devon on the Common
Cafe Budapest - Brookline - Back Bay
Chef Chandler's - South End.
West Street Grille - West St
The English Tea Room - 29 Newbury St
The Commonwealth Grille - Back bay
Dartmouth Street - Back Bay
Delmonico's - Lenox Hotel, Back Bay
Du Barry - Back Bay
European - North End
Dini's Seafood - Tremont St.
Harvard Book Store Cafe - Newbury Street
Hermitage, old I.C.A. on Boyelston.
Jimmy's Harborside - Waterfront
Julien at the Hotel Meridien
Le Marquis De Lafayette - Hotel Lafayette
Maison Robert - Old City Hall
Maison Jacques - West End
Michael's - Waterfront
Mister Leung's - Back Bay
Newbury Steak House - Back Bay
Panache - Cambridge, Chef Margaret Fari
Peacock Restaurant - Craigie Cir, Cambridge
Premier Restaurant - South End
Rarities - Charles Hotel, Cambridge
Rebecca's - Charles St, Beacon Hill
Romagnoli's table - Faneuil Hall
St Botolph - St Botolph St
The Winery - Long Wharf
Zachary's - Colonnade Hotel
Joseph's Aquarium - Waterfornt
Dakoto's - Downtown
Betty's Rolls Royce - Faneuil Hall
Bandy Pete's - Downtown
Icarus - Tremont St, South End
Biba - Harvard Cafe, Cambridge
Blacksmith House- Harvard Sq, Cambridge
Ken's Deli - Boyslton Street
Walmouth's - Downtown
Oasis Cafe - North End
On the Park - South End
Jeffery's - South End
Ottavio's - North End
Falstaff Room - Sheraton Back Bay
Rocco's - South Charles St., Chef Danny Weisel

Our Christmas Wish List

CC2day's Christmas Wish List for the New Year

To all of our bloggers who get this site read.
No negative comments, just good ones instead.

To commenters we've exiled, punishment will beckon,
Especially ones as bad as naughty Steve Peckham.

To my fellow eCapers who labor so prodigious,
A great Christmas dinner, & your spouse does the dishes.

To Maggie Kulbokas, who works harder than the rest,
Our editorial whirling Dervish, the best of the best.

To Cape Cod's politicos who next seek our vote,
May you all get elected (hey, that's just a joke).

To our own Christy Mihos, instead of libations,
The support of Chatham & Dennis for his beautiful stations.

For candidate Chuck Baker, what else can we say,
The job wasn't worth it, neither was the pay.

To new Congressman Keating, a season so merry,
He'll forget he ever heard of a pol named Jeff Perry.

And to ex-Rep Jeff Perry who we pilloried the most,
A great paying job - I hear Fox News needs a host.

To Senator Brown for whom Tea Baggers pine, oh,
Complete transmogrification into our new Rino.

And to Senator Kerry, who still waffles on wind,
A stiffer new backbone, or he'll be a "has been".

Goodbye to Bill Delahunt and his éminence grise,
Now our politics will improve with a little less sleeze.

For new Senator Dan Wolf, what could be finer,
Let's give his Cape Air a Boeing Dreamliner.

To State Senator O'Leary who got beat in a tease,
A  shot at the job of Prexy at 4Cs.

To departing Rep  Patrick we'll deck all the halls,
For supporting Cape Wind when it really took balls.

To Reps Vieria and Hunt, we know winning's a peach,
But we hope Santa gives you a single term each.

Spyro Mitrokostas gets kudos I suppose,
For getting elected, although unopposed.

To our D.A. O'Keefe (we won't call hima liar),
But bisn't it possible your smoking started that fire?

To Democrats here as they drift ever more to the right,
A new name for their party - GOP sounds about right.

And to Cape Cod's Republicans as they disappear from sight,
It was fun while it lasted, sleep well and good night.

To the Oceanic heroes in Woods Hole, Cape Cod,
A thousand new fishes - every one of them odd.

To friend Robert Dwyer as he drifts to the right,
Be careful good buddy, you're almost out of sight.

To the Cynthia Stead, a bizarre change of will,
And a return to her liberal youth on Blue Hill.

To Cape Cod Healthcare, every doc, nurse and lackey,
A quiet New Year's Eve where no visitor goes wacky.

To Felis at Alberto's who fed me all year,
A week or two off with some Portuguese beer.

To Bill Koch and his Alliance, those fossil fuel fools,
Their support for Cape Wind, and watch us all drool.

To Clean Power Now for their for guts and strong will,
Led to a victory by Barbara Hill.

To Jim Gordon at Cape Wind, as he heads for the wire,
No more opposition, and another big buyer.

To our friends at the Times may their paywall be secure,
And kids start to read newspapers, this year for sure.

To the folks at Cape's weeklies, from Carol Dumas to Mike Bailey,
Continue yours habit of scooping the daily.

To the gang at the Globe, the end of its groaner,
As a liberal local mogul becomes its new owner.

To our policemen and firemen who work day and night:
Cars that drive safe, and matches that don't light.

To the Cape Cod Commission whose greed's overflowing,
A move to another county and our help to get going.

To Mashpee "Praying Indians" who forgot Jesus Christ,
A conversion to their old gods - hey, they got a good price.

For an Internet heaven,
As more dig our motto: "Cape Cod 24/7."

To my hard-working wife Pat, who says "all is forgiven,"
"You can still write this column and not work for a livin'
On right from the top: Steve Peckham, Mihos and Baker, Keating and O'Leary, Delahunt and Forest, (the Cape's long-time éminence grise,) Dan Wolf and Matt Patrick, David Vieria and Randy Hunt, Jim Gordon and Spyro Mitrokostas, Cynthia Stead and Barbara Hill, Mike Bailey and Carol Dumas and my wife Pat.

What to do when a hurricane hits

Veterans who met Bob can recall their experiences

Hurricane Earl becomes Category 4, Fiona close behind

By Walter Brooks

Regular updates of Earl progress.

Vote in our poll
"What are your plans for Hurricane Earl?"

On this same week nineteen years ago, Cape Cod was slammed by Hurricane Bob, and our tourism season came to a windy halt several weeks earlier than planned.

Bob was a category 2 while Earl is now a category 4, and my sons and daughter-in-law came back to the Cape to help me board up our eight sliding glass doors facing Pleasant Bay.

After boarding up the house, son Jay was able to lean into the 80 mph winds which increased to 100 later. Note the small slot in the plywood for our "peek hole."

As I write this on Tuesday morning some weather gurus are predicting that Earl may simply brush by Cape Cod 100 or 200 miles off our coast and just give us high surf and rain, but perhaps they haven't told Earl, and hurricane tracking is an inexact science.

One thing you can predict with absolute certainty is that the Boston weather bimbos will make it sound like Armageddon.

How to plan next weekend on Cape Cod

I hate to admit it, but we really enjoyed Bob's visit in 1991.

We cut a couple slots in the sheets of plywood covering our sliders and spent hours watching TV and peering at the winds.

Then the eye passed over us.

I stayed home, but Pat and the kids drove down to Ryder's Cove where they hopped on Peter Mason's boat and sped out into the eye for a look-see.

Maybe they'll all stay home with me this time if Earl cometh.

It doesn't hurt to be prepared and hope for the best, so here are some useful links;

Here are some tales of our past storms....

1991: Hurricane Bob reshapes Cape Cod

The "Shoulder Season" that was reshaped by Bob

 Peter Robbins took the photos above right after Bob stopped blowing.

When travel stories became travel advisories

On this day in 1991, potential visitors to Cape Cod were warned about the after effects of Hurricane Bob which hit the area the previous week.

bob1_400The result was a huge drop in visitors during the so-called fall "shoulder season" since the hurricane hit the Cape the week before Labor Day in 1991.

Coastal communities bore the brunt of the storm, with sustained winds between 83 to 107 mph (172 km/h). Peak wind gusts to 125 mph (201 km/h) were recorded on Cape Cod in the towns of Brewster and Truro. The highest sustained wind of 100 mph (160 km/h), was recorded in North Truro.

Here is the start of a newspaper story that day:


Hurricane Reshapes Cape Cod

As Bob became a hurricane, it began to move to the northeast and accelerated. By August 19, the storm was located 30-35 miles (50-55 km) to the east of Cape Hatteras, and was at its peak intensity of 115 mph (185 km/h). As the storm moved quickly northeast, it began to weaken over the colder waters. Hurricane Bob then made landfall twice on Rhode Island: at 1:30 p.m. on Block Island, then at 2 p.m. over Newport.  The storm cut a path across southeastern Massachusetts and then into the Gulf of Maine.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Bob on Cape Cod, visitors who head down the Mid-Cape Highway this fall will be struck by a dramatically altered landscape. An early fall has struck, with shriveled brown leaves beginning to drift from trees and shrubs -- the result of the fierce, salt-drenched winds.

Along Route 6 in Eastham the scale of the forests seems lower. Many of the fast-growing, shallow-rooted locusts planted in groves 60 or 70 years ago have been uprooted while the frail survivors dangle overhead; groves of oak, maple and pine have been "pruned by nature," as the professionals put it. Many Cape Codders are left with unaccustomed sunlight and a decade's worth of firewood.

Naturalists say that the defoliation will prove to be a boon for birders this fall. "The warblers were starting to leave in mid-August because they had come north early during the warm spring," said Robert Prescott, director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. "But the storm delayed the wave of migrants by a week or so. Now, September should be a fine month for warblers, and, as a benefit to birders, they will be able to see species more easily through the barer branches."

Mr. Prescott leads frequent trips to Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, a wilderness area off the coast of Chatham consisting of two main islands that serve as a major landfall for migratory species.

"Most of the trees will recover in the spring unless heavily saturated with salt," said Susan Lundquist, director of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. April Phillips, park ranger for interpretation, Cape Cod National Seashore, said non-native species like locusts and cherry trees fared worst.

1991: Storm waves worse than a hurricane

Storm's Huge Waves Make Hurricane Seem Tame on Massachusetts Coast

Waves breaking over the top of Minot's Light, a 100-foot-tall stone lighthouse off Scituate.

Peter Montgomery knew the storm was bad when he looked out his window Wednesday and saw waves breaking over the top of Minot's Light, a 100-foot-tall stone lighthouse that is a landmark of the Massachusetts coast.

The old gray shingled house where Mr. Montgomery lives, a mile from the lighthouse on a spit of land that juts out into Massachusetts Bay, was also being pounded by the raging northeaster. "Every time a wave hit the building, you could feel it -- va boom! -- the whole house shook," said Mr. Montgomery, a caretaker for a group of summer residents.

Mr. Montgomery and his wife wanted to evacuate, but when he stepped out the back door, a wave came crashing over the top of the three-story building, sending him scurrying back inside. By his calculation, the wave must have been at least 50 feet above the normal high demarcation...

Cape among hardest hit

Parts of Cape Cod were among the hardest-hit areas, especially those facing east and north along the outer Cape from Chatham at the elbow to Provincetown at the tip. "There are some places on the outer Cape where the beach is completely gone," said Tony Bonanno, the chief ranger at the Cape Cod National Seashore. Surprise Lobster Dinner

On Nantucket Island, just south of the Cape, a number of residential areas remained under three to four feet of water today, and several stores were flattened by the pounding waves... NY Times.

Anniversary Valentine

To a beautiful wife

More than Steve Jobs loves his iPad,
I love you more, I'm happy to add,
More than than Lakshmi loved her Rama,
I love my blond and blue-eyed Mama.

More than McDonald loves Big Mac,
More than cyper-geeks love to hack,
More than lug-nuts love a jack,
For you I've got a heart attack.

More than Coke-heads love their pipe,
More than women love to gripe,
More than Groupers loves their gill.
Of you, I never get my fill.

More than Will loves his cars,
More than alkies love their bars,
More than Maggie loves her Droid,
Without you babe, my life's a void.

More than a Lobstah loves his claw,
Or a pitcher loves his ball,
More than policemen love the law,
Here's my love - please take it all.

Way more than McCain loves Sarah Palin,
My love for you is never failin',
More than a vintner loves his vat,
More than that, I love you Pat.

More than a Hindu loves his curry,
My love grows fast - it's in a hurry.
More than a boozer loves his suds,
More than a heifer loves his cuds,

More than Winter loves the Spring,
More that bumblebees love to sting,
More than Irish love the 'tater,
My love for you is even greater.

More than a stoner loves his pot,
Or Donald Trump, the dough he's got,
More than a sleeper loves his cot,
That's how much love for you, I've got.

More than a hangman loves his noose,
More than a pederast loves child abuse,
More than a copper loves a clue,
That, my dear, is how I love you.

More than Marina loves to shop,
More than a bunny loves to hop,
More than some housewives like to mop,
'Cause you're my bottom and my top.

More than Hindus love Ganisha,
As we say 'round here, "You're a real pissa,"
When you're not near I always miss ya,
You are my pumpkin-angel, Patricia.

How to write a news story that readers will want to read

The 6 Ws and the Upside-down pyramid (this is a headline)

A year of Journalism School in fifteen minutes (this is a  sub-head )

By Walter Brooks

       The Inverted Pyramid
                    (This is a sidebar)
News writing has its own structure. It's called the inverted pyramid. This upside down triangle should serve as a guide for how you ad information in the story you are writing.
   Using the inverted pyramid means starting with the most important information, then putting the next most important info and so on.
   It can also serve as a guide for writing each paragraph in the story. Start with the most important point, then the next most important and so on.

More tricks to hook the reader

Think a moment about how YOU read a newspaper or magazine.
Most readers skim the pages quickly reading the headlines of stories.
   Years of research by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and the trade journal Editor & Publisher (E&P) have proven that since everyone reads the headlines (heads) they will also read a sub-headline (sub-head) if there is one.
   So by ALWAYS adding a sub-head to your story immediately doubles the chances it will be read.
           Add another 16% readership
Look at this page and this side bar. There are "drop caps" at the beginning of each separate story.
    That same research has proven that simply by adding a drop cap at the beginning of the first paragraph increase the readership by 16%, so why wouldn't every writer use one? It would be crazy not to do so.
          Cross head and pull quotes
Further research showed that readers scan a page and will read the one-line cross-heads if you use them. Experts advice adding them every three paragraphs.
   The same enhanced readership will accrue by using pull quotes when possible.
   Any writer who does not employ all these simple tools to enhance the readership of his work is probably not the kind of person who will be successful for very long at web journalism.

We have discovered after years of trial and error that is is far easier to teach a tech-wise person how to be a journalist than  it is to teach a journalist technology.

We have seen how even the best of the newspaper-trained journalists simply do not understand the power of the web or how to use it, or worse, when told how to use it, do not do so.

After all, they were trained in the "old media" way of writing, and you are about to be trained in the "new media" way which is in many ways what you've been using all your life, and you are very comfortable with it.

You won't have to be reminded (read nagged) to use a links because you understand already how powerful they can be in explaining something to others.

And the idea of always adding a hyperlink whenever possible to explain yourself or extend the meaning of what you are writing comes naturally to you because you've been doing that with emails for years.

6 Ws & the WHAT formula (this is a crosshead)

Just imagine you're telling a story. Here are two journalism training reminders to check to see if you have covered all the information you wanted to report.

They are called the 6Ws and the WHAT formula.

Journalism tutors use the 6Ws to help students remember the main elements of writing a news story, but they work for any story and even for writing a good web ad as well.

Here's an example. Imagine you have seen a car crash on the way to this meeting, and you want to tell the rest of us about it. The 6Ws are what you would relate:

  • Who was involved? (These are bullets)
  • What happened?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Why did it happen?
  • When did it happen?
  • How did it happen?

Giving these immediate and simple details gives you and your readers the basics of the story, but I can not tell you the number of times I have read stories in major newspapers which left me confused because this simple rule was not followed.

"I try to leave out the parts
  that people skip."

            - Elmore Leonard.
                    (this is a pull quote)

Don't let it happen to you. You success at this venture literally depends upon it.

You should also use them to write a "lead" which will entice the reader to read further.

Once you have done that, use the WHAT formula to finish and expand your story.

  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?

At this point you should amplify the introduction which means expand on the points you made at the start of the story.

Then tie up any loose ends, so that your story answers your readers' questions.

These formulas are the basis for every good news story, and you just saved yourself countless hours at J-school.

Extra Credit - 10 tips

The very successful writer, Elmore Leonard, (Get Shorty. Killshot, La Brava, Stick, Freaky Deaky, 3:10 to Yuma, etc.) revealed his ten tip on writing in The New York Times article in 2001.

This is a embedded video used instead of a digital photo in a 325 pica wide caption box. The visei is of Elmore Leonard interviewed - Pt. 1 - From the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference. Part 2 is here.

His tips were:

  1. Never open a with weather.  (these are numbered bullets)
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than ''said'' to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ''said''.
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control.
  6. Never use the words ''suddenly'' or ''all hell broke loose".
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things (unless you're Margaret Atwood).
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

You can read the entire article here.

In praise of postprandial naps

There ain't nothing like a nap with two cats on your lap
At desk, floor, anywhere, even Python's "comfy chair"

I managed to survive for five decades before I discovered the post prandial nap. That's an "after-meal" nap, and for me, the best time is after lunch.

The Comfy Chair used by Monty Python.

Luckily I can sleep anywhere, and I mean anywhere. The floor will do in a pinch, and a comfy-chair (as Monty Python's Grand Inquisitors used to call it) is beyond compare.

For me the ideal length of nap is between eight and ten minutes, and I don't need an alarm because I always re-awake in that time frame.

Good enough for DaVinci

My sainted mother-in-law, Margaret Teresa Twite, nee Gerrity,  thought naps where the devil's handwork for damning miscreants like myself, but luckily around 1988 I read that Leonardo DaVinci always took a nap after lunch.

DaVinci (April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519) didn't own a wristwatch (1920-present) because they weren't invented until Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont asked his friend Louis Cartier around 1906 to come up with an alternative that would allow him to keep both hands on the controls while timing his performances during flight.

DaVinci he used his drawing tool which held held in his hand as he napped at this chair. As his hand relaxed with sleep, the drawing instrument fell, and the sound of it rattling on the stone floor awoke the snoozing genius.

Eight minutes = eight hours

"I can resist anything except temptation." - Oscar Wilde

I do not exaggerate when I say that after an eight minute nap I feel as refreshed as I do after eight hours of sleep.

While it may be excessive to take a second nap, I must admit there have been rainy Saturdays when I succumb to the temptation and take a post-postprandial nap as well. As Wilde said, "I can resist anything except temptation."

And napping is a high art in some cultures where there is no shame attached to it. It's even good for your health, as a recent study from Greece indicates. Here's what a story in the New York Times said about napping:

You know the feeling - your screen starts to blur, your eyelids become heavy, your mouth feels cottony, and you would give back all the perks of adulthood to be able to curl up on the floor.

Now out of Greece, comes permission to do exactly that. A study of more than 23,000 adults shows that those who napped for about 30 minutes each week had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack than those who did not.This is hardly the first study showing that sleep is more than simply time when we really should be at work. Other studies, though few as extensive as the Greek research, show that short periods of sleep during the day increase productivity and creativity while reducing stress. And even without surveys, we know this from experience.

Which is why so many of us have been sneaking naps at work for years. Mark Lipschutz, a computer specialist in Philadelphia, for one, acknowledges disappearing out to the company parking lot when the need hits. There he reclines the front seat of his car, sets the alarm on his mobile phone, puts on the eyeshade he carries for just this purpose and sacks out. Eight or 10 minutes are often enough. More than 20 and he wakes up groggy.

Some Doctors disagree

The medical profession has not always agreed with me. A Dr Andrew Boorde (on right in an old woodcut obviously about to take a nap), writing in his Dyetary of Helth in 1542, said "Whole men of what age or complexion soever they be of, should take their natural rest and sleep in the night, and to eschew all meridial sleep. But, an need shall compel man to sleep upon his meat, let him make a pause, and then let him stand, and lean and sleep against a cupboard."

In the other hand, John Ponet, bishop of Winchester relates as matter of common knowledge that in 1547 Doctor Boord was convicted in Winchester of keeping in his house three loose women. For this offence, apparently, he was imprisoned in the Fleet, where he made his will on 9 April 1549. It was proved on the 25th of the same month. Thomas Hearne (Benedictus Abbas, i. p. 52) says that he went round like a quack doctor to country fairs, and therefore rashly supposed him to have been the original merry-andrew.

I rest my case, and my head... it's nap time.

My cataract operation

Ten minutes to change your eyesight for the better
Some patients even throw out their glasses after surgery

By Walter Brooks

The video is a dramatization of what actually happens.

I have been taking eye-drops for a decade or longer to impede the development of glaucoma in both my eyes.

When I recently visited Dr. Paul Ciaccio in Orleans for a new prescription for my glasses, Paul looked at the medication I was using, and instead of giving me an eyesight exam, suggested I might be a candidate for cataract surgery which often has the added benefit of lessening the pressure which causes Glaucoma while replacing a damaged cataract with a Silicon lens.

When I moved to Cape Cod 45 years ago, the level of all professionals here was like that of any other bucolic backwater, marginal at best. So it is quite amazing what a couple hundred thousand extra residents has done for medicine here. Until recently, I would not have dreamed of opting for a local surgeon.

What a difference a couple hundred thousand extra residents makes

But Paul Ciaccio recommended that I see Dr. Bradford Shingleton who Paul said was a leader in cataract, glaucoma and laser surgery. In fact Dr. Shingleton does more cataract and glaucoma surgery than any other ophthalmologist in New England and has performed over 40,000 cataract, glaucoma and laser operations. He treats a worldwide clientele at his practice at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston. In addition, he has a highly respected international reputation as a lecturer and clinical researcher in the field of ophthalmology. Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston has a surgical facility in Sandwich as well as offices in Yarmouth just off Exit 7.

Shingleton is an Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and a Clinical Instructor at Tufts University School of Medicine and has been President of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

The results after operation #1

I had my right eye operated on two weeks ago today. It is routine in these operations, which have become commonplace, to choose a lens to replace your own which will either give you near perfect distance vision, or near perfect near vision.

I decided it was best to choose distance (for driving and seeing the saw-toothed tiger in time to protect the family) and after the operation use glasses for reading.

A week after my surgery I discovered that I could easily read without any glasses and still had excellent distance vision.

I eagerly look forward to my next operation for my left eye in two weeks. You can view a facsimile of my operation above, and you can even video your own at Bradford Shingleton's Sandwich surgery where he performed 32 of these operations two weeks ago when I had mine.

2012: Obama-Biden in landslide; Palin-Brown a distant third place

Exit polls reveal an astonishing voter migration
Tea Party candidate Lush Rimjob amazes pollsters with 2nd place win
Jeff Perry wins 2nd term, Joseph Kennedy III wins U.S. Senate seat

November 7, 2012 ~ By Retlaw Nillor Skoorb, INS.

Bimbo bust - The two tickets with attractive women came in second and third, above Tea Party: Lush Rimjob and Ann Coulter, below them, Republican Party ticket: Sarah Palin and Scott Brown.

It was an early night for the TV news anchors last evening when the Barack Obama vote numbers were so big and so soon that all four networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and FIX-Noise, called the Democrat the winner ten minutes after the polls closed in Dixville Notch, NH where all 21 voters cast ballots for the incumbent.

In 2008 Republican John McCain received 6 votes there. This year his former running mate Sarah Palin got 1 as did third party candidate Lush Rimjob.

Extensive exit polling revealed that Mr. Obama was returned to the White House for another four years by moderate Republican voters who voiced fear and loathing for MS Palin despite the ameliorating influences of her running mate the more moderate and articulate Scott Brown.

As Rolling Stone had predicted, Obama has been captured by "Inside the beltway boogie" which has co-opted most presidents from the hinterlands, and his reelection hopes were dim without the GOP party's poor pick for Pres.

Almost as shocking for pundits were the voter numbers for third party candidate Lush Rimjob who was drafted by the Tea Party last summer when MS Palin made the mistake of saying that she felt Social Security might still be allowed in her administration.

Despite her endorsement of the Tea Party agenda items urging the return of the "Literacy Test" and "Poll Tax" requirements for voters, it apparently wasn't enough to satisfy the "baggers" as they call themselves. The movement to reinstate both the Literacy Test and the Poll Tax were initiated at the Tea Party Convention in February 2010 in a speech by former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancreco.

Local upsets and also-rans, Perry in, Peake out, Stead whips O'Leary

Two losers: Sarah Peake (on right) seems amused at Rob O'Leary's "hair-piece malfunction" during their joint concession speeches last night.

The political scene on Cape Cod was turned on its head by voters yesterday when they returned arch-conservative Jeff Perry (R) of Sandwich back to Congress for a second term. He easily defeated former State Rep Sarah Peake (D) of Provincetown who gave up her seat to oppose Mr. Perry. Aaron Maloy (R) of Orleans, who changed his anti-gay marriage position shortly after his own wedding last Spring, easily took MS Peake's State Rep seat away from Peter Manso (D) of Provincetown who campaigned from his jail cell where he is serving a 50-year sentence for illegal firearms possession.

In the closely watched State Senate race here, long-time incumbent Rob O'Leary (D) Barnstable was defeated by GOP State Committeewoman Cynthia Stead (R) of Yarmouth.  Her victory turned on O'Leary's continued opposition to the highly successful Cape Wind farm which has been producing higher than expected energy loads after its start-up earlier this year.

Cape Wind to the rescue

Yesterday's violent nor'easter caused several power outages on the Outer and Lower Cape, and NStar credited Cape Wind's production with allowing most polling places to continue operating yesterday. The turbines offshore were generating enough electricity to satisfy all of Cape Cod as well as most of Plymouth and Bristol Counties just over the bridge, a toal of 10% of the statewide needs.

In one of the day's more ironic twists, Rob O'Leary's toupee blew off during his concession speech shocking supporters who had long admired his well-coiffed locks.

"Kennedy Seat" returns to Klan

Former Asst. D.A. Joseph Kennedy III (D) Brighton wrested the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Scott Brown (R) of Wrenthem when he accepted the Republican nomination for Vice President, by defeating Robert Hedlund (R) of Weymouth by 13 votes statewide.

The son of Joe "For Oil" Kennedy's nomination had surprised most Bay State democrats who had expected former Governor Deval Patrick (D) of Milton, who was defeated by Christy Mihos (R) of Yarmouth in 2010, to seek that office rather than returning as General Council for the Cola Cola company in Georgia.

Pick up a copy of today print edition of cc2day for complete election results.

Cape Cod's 19th Century merchants

You'd never think there was a recession going on around here
Nothing costs so little or does so much good as courtesy

I won't mention names to protect the guilty, but in the few weeks I've dealt with four Cape Cod businesses with results which remind me that we still live in the boondocks out here when it comes to Business 101 on the Lower Cape.

Same-old, same-old
Marketing on Cape Cod in 1965

I really find if hard to understand how any business, even in really good economic times, can expect to grow and survive with the kind of non-service many Cape businesses offer their customers.

When anyone calls Best Read Guide or, or BRG Disribution, my wife or my daughter-in-law or my son will be all over them with service, and we'll be very grateful for the opportunity they offer us.

Our businesses are growing during this recession, and that is certainly one reason.

Marketing the Olde Cape Cod way

Three weeks ago a young man who was doing yard work for me dropped my generator off for me at an Orleans repair shop with a request to service it in case there was another blizzard this winter.

Perhaps we should have said NEXT winter, because when I called after two weeks to ask the progress, the man said he hadn't had a chance to look at it yet, but he would get to it in the next couple days.

I still haven't heard back.

Obviously there's no recession in Orleans.

Two MONTHS ago I called the guy who takes care of my outdoor hot tub and left a message that I was leaving for several weeks and asked him to drain it the shut off the electricity for the winter as he had done the previous year.

After not hearing from him for a month, I called again and he said he's be by that week.

The hot tub is still on and the electric meter still clicking away.

I guess there's no recession in Dennis.

Three weeks ago we called the company which sold us our gas stove and asked if they could sell us an automatic thermostat for it. They said they'd come by that week.

Last week they did call and said they'd be here this week, but we still haven't heard from them.

I guess there's no recession in Harwich.

Last Friday four of us decided to visit the scene of our youthful indiscretions, see Chapter 9 of "Three Plus Lives", and we headed for our favorite Provincetown restaurant.

The room was cold, the service slow, the prices high and only included the main dish alone - no starch, no veggies, no nothing. A side dish of pasta with really bad, watery, sort of brown sauce was horrible and the veal must have been left over from last summer because it was like shoe leather.

Some in our party don't drink, but  they haven't time (with three other tables filled) for separate checks, but it won't bet a problem in the future since we'll never go back, and I guess the recession hasn't reached Provincetown yet either.

Not just good, but Hunan Gourmet III is inexpensive too.

Fortune cookies may be the solution

I've begun to notice how much better service I get from immigrants and new citizens.

I run into Brazilians at restaurants, doing yard and house work, and every one I've done business with has been polite and quick and dependable.

Last night I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant, the Human Gourmet III at Exit 12 and Route 6-A in Orleans.

Our waiter Mike used to own the place for years, but here he was last night working for the nice, young couple he sold it to, Karen and her husband-chef, and he all over us and the and other guests with service and anything extra we might want.

I had one of their combos.

It started with a big bowl of Hot & Sour Soup, followed by an nappy of four, fat Shrimp Rangoons, and then a plate brimming full of a big stack of Egg Foo Young with Pork and a mound of Fried Rice and a pit of green tea.

The whole meal came to $9.25, and it was so ample that I had to bring half home, but the shocker came when I opened my Fortune Cookie last night.

It read, "Nothing costs so little or does so much good as courtesy."

Cape Cod businesses should consider fortune cookies and the advice they offer


That's a bumper sticker I saw on Route 28, "Who Would Jesus Bomb"?

But don't just chortle, think about it deeply. It begs the question:

Who would get the napalm or nitro?

We have to begin by reminding ourselves who the guy was expropriates his name.

Unfortunately the Christian bible isn't much help because the only fisrt hand accounts of Jesus are by Luke, and his account was written originally in Sanskrit, later translated into ancient Greek, then rewritten by a 16 member committee under the direction of English King James, and as they used to say in Judea back then, "a camel is a horse designed by a committee."

Ergo, many educated people today doubt the bible's authenticity. The uneducated accept it on a whole different level.

Why Rome?
According to Catholic doctrine, the Catholic Church is the original Church founded by Jesus Christ. The New Testament records his appointing of the twelve Apostles and giving them authority to continue his work. One of these, Simon Peter, was made their leader when Jesus proclaimed "upon this rock I will build my church ... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven ... ". The traditional narrative places Peter (the name Peter is of Greek origin, and its meaning is "rock". a variant of Petros in Latin. ) in Rome (which is built on rocks), where he founded a church and served as the first bishop of the See of Rome.

But the guy called Jesus never started the several religions which use his name anyway, so that's not much help either.

Historians claim the only reason the western church (as opposed to the eastern orthodox church) was moved to Rome (see sidebar) was because Luke or some disciple said the the man Jesus had told Peter "on this rock I found my church", or something like that. Rome is built on rocks and Peter means rock in old Greek.

The best best answer to WWJB is to ask those folks who borrowed his name to set up what are essentially money-making businesses in which the leaders, usually male, get to interpret the words in the bible.

Most of these folks on this side of the Atlantic are Republicans and NRA members and those who are against a woman's right to control her own body.

We know that all Republicans are not NRA members or anti-abortion, but we know that all NRA members and anti-abortion folks are Republicans.

So figuring out who those folks would bomb in the name of Jesus is easy, like:

  • Iraq,
  • Yemen,
  • Sudan,
  • Somalia,
  • North Korea
  • China, 
  • Russia,
  • Vietnam, 
  • Venezuela,
  • Cambodia, and just maybe
  • Massachusetts.

to name a few from listening to too much Fox Noise News after the fifth martini.

Most are Muslim countries or places where the folks have different color skin than most Republicans and NRA members and anti-abortion types.

That's why I was thinking of  becoming a Born Again Jew were it not for a painful surgical procedure which my Congregational parents spared me at birth.