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Showing posts from October, 2015

LA FOLLE EPOQUE, MARSEILLE - RESTAURANT REVIEW

We hadn't planned to visit Marseille for another couple of weeks but we needed the notary services available at the US consulate there. So off we went. I didn't investigate possible sites for lunch because I had no idea how long it would take to get there, find the consulate, then find a specific restaurant. Since the US consulate was right next to the prefecture, the government offices of the region, I figured that there would have to be restaurants nearby to handle the hordes of government workers who would descend on the area once the noon bells rang. I was right.

Running up to the prefecture is a pedestrian shopping mall about a kilometer long. The side streets that intersect the mall are littered with restaurants and, at the very top of the mall up against the fountain in front of the prefecture, a handful of restaurants with outdoor spaces, both covered and uncovered, line the sidewalk. We checked out the posted menus, decided to pass on the joint that advertised an Ita…

LE PETIT BOUZIGUES - RESTAURANT REVIEW

It sits looking out over the Etang de Thau on Bouzigues' restaurant row, a relatively tiny place seating about 18 people when it's full. So reservations are a really good idea. (We must have witnessed 15 or so people being turned away for a mid week lunch.) Tiny kitchen for the chef/owner. One waitress...owner's partner? And while it's true that there is a menu, let's face it. The reason that you are there is for the assiette. 
It's an amazingly beautiful dish just to look at - colorful and exotic. Octopus and squid and shrimp and more. (As is sometimes the case, oysters and mussels were restricted due to a bacterial infection in the etang. But no matter.) Add roasted red pepper, a slice of melon, spiced chick peas in endive boats, and several rounds of orange, and the presentation was awesome. As was the taste - or so I'm told. I'm not a lover of seafood. In fact, I ordered the one item on the menu that wasn't fishy, the duck breast. (…

#24 - #FreeSpeechMatters, PUTIN, FAMILY LEAVE

#FreeSpeechMatters
If you don't know what came down at Wesleyan University, look it up. Simply stated, a student wrote a respectful, thoughtful, but politically conservative op-ed in the student newspaper of a notoriously liberal institution. All hell broke loose. He's been castigated for voicing an opinion that differed from the norm, made a pariah.

He hurt peoples' feelings.

We are learning that we have raised a generation of easily bruised youth, protected in their homes and their schools from uncomfortable thoughts and speech. A generation that grew up being praised for simply playing the game rather than for winning. A generation that is having a difficult time in a world that has demands, that punishes failure, that is full of folks in authority who don't give a damn about hurt feelings.

Look up what happened at Wesleyan. Decide who was in the right. Discuss among yourselves.


PUTIN
"My son is 22 years old. If he had not become a Communist at 22, I would have …

#23 - ANOTHER GUN RANT

CHRISTIAN SELF DEFENSE
A guy walks into a church and threatens the pastor with a brick. The pastor pulls out his Glock and shoots the guy multiple times, killing him.


That's all. Isn't that enough?




TODDLER MURDERERS
Over 40 murders have been committed by toddlers this year.


Call me out, if you will. Insist that the deaths at the hands of the toddlers who find guns and shoot people with them are are not murders but are accidental deaths. Then you will say that accidental deaths and suicides should not count when discussing gun violence. Then you will say that when you take out what doesn't count, what's left are people with mental illness and drug-related murders. And therefore what is needed is more guns in the hands of good people to protect us from the sickos and the druggies.

Pfui!


Let's be clear. The deaths of children, murders at the hands of children, by accident or murderous intent, are less important to you than your guns. Just admit it.

BAN KNIVES
An intern…

HANDICAPPING THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION - OCTOBER 2015

DEMOCRATS
That's Lincoln Chaffee pictured on the left. Nice guy. Smart guy. Not going to happen. But he takes a nice picture.

Last month, I gave Hillary one more month at the head of the field. After the first debate, she stays there. Not that Bernie didn't do well. But he still has that accent from the Northeast. He's still a Socialist. And he's still Jewish. In a country that has just elected a black Muslim from Kenya twice, Bernie's electability has to be considered, whether that word makes you gag or not.

Last month's new wildcard, Joe Biden, remains in place but he's fading fast. Clinton avoided a major stumble in the debate. Joe's window is closing.

October, 2015
Favorite: Hillary Clinton
Long Shot: Bernie Sanders
Wild Card: Joe Biden
Prediction: Hillary Clinton

July, 2015
Favorite: Hillary Clinton
Long Shot: Bernie Sanders
Wild Card: Elizabeth Warren
Prediction: Hillary Clinton

REPUBLICANS
Scott Walker is gone. Flamed out. I'm not sure why. It happe…

RESTAURANT DE LA TOUR - RESTAURANT REVIEW

When your restaurant is the go-to choice in a small town in a popular tourist and expat region near the Canal du Midi in the south of France, when the view from the patio of the restaurant is just this side of breathtaking, you can get away with doing less and charging more. It's a sad commentary but it happens. One place where that definitely does not happen is at the Restaurant de la Tour in Montady.

 We stopped by the Restaurant de la Tour after a long ride and a bit of shopping out in the country. We've lived within 15 minutes or so from the place for 18 months but for some reason we just haven't stopped by. Mistake...

You climb to the very top of the village. Make certain that your hand brake works. The view is of the Etang de Montady - vineyards and farmland stretching for miles. We sat on the patio in the shade on a warm, early October afternoon and enjoyed the view all the while that we dined.

We never saw a menu. The daily specials were sufficient. …

LA BRASSERIE BARBA - RESTAURANT REVIEW

I've been wanting to stop into the poissonnerie (fish market) that is attached to La Brasserie Barba for quite some time but I always seem to miss the turnoff. On this trip, I discovered that the problem was that the exit on the roundabout is not marked as I expected. Problem solved if you come at it from the opposite direction. So this time we found it and, although we missed the market because it didn't open until some time after we'd finished our lunch, now that we know how to get there, and now that we know that the restaurant is worth a repeat visit, we'll be back.


The exterior of the building has an industrial modern flavor but the brasserie is of the white tablecloth and sparkling crystal variety. Our waitress was attentive without being intrusive and had enough English to answer the question or two that we couldn't answer for ourselves from the extensive menu.


Our meal began with a small tray with three amuse-bouches - olives, tiny crisp-roaste…

#22 - HOW DID WE GET SO STUPID?

It's no longer funny. We're stupid. Americans are stupid. That's not to say that idiocy is an exclusively American trait. But we're damn close to qualifying for a patent.

Stay with me. If you don't like what I say at first, I'm certain to really piss you off later.

LINDSEY GRAHAM AND FLOOD AID
The man is running for President, voted against increased federal funding for the Northeast in the wake of SuperStorm Sandy, and is asking for federal aid after flooding in his state from Hurricane Joaquin. Huh? Does he think that nobody notices this kind of shit?

Does he think that we are that stupid? Or is he that stupid?

Probably both.



GUNS 
Tell me truthfully. You like guns, don't you? That's really what it's about with you. You like the noise they make, the way that they shred targets at the range, the feel of the steel in your hand when your dick isn't in it.

How many deaths will it take 'til we know that too many people have died? The answer to t…

AMINE TILIOUA - CONCERT REVIEW

Imagine the music on this video without the electronics - all acoustic including violin. oud,  rebab (ancient Arabic bowed string instrument), qanoun (sort of a lap zither) and a percussionist. That's what we heard in Capestang on a recent fall evening as a slight chill heralding autumn hung in the air.

We haven't yet learned the rhythms of our new home in France but we believe that October marks the start of the indoor concert season. As is typical, the doors of Capestang's Maison de Peuple (community hall) opened at about 7:00 PM for folks with reservations. You could choose little round tables suitable for three of four dotted around the room or the longer rectangular tables that lined the perimeter. For about $5.00 each, we were entitled to a plate with a slice of bread smeared with tapenade, another slice of bread with a hunk of a cheddary cheese, a scoop of cold rice with spring onions, and a chunk of one of three types of loafy somethings - one featuring smoked tro…

CHEZ DAVID - RESTAURANT REVIEW