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Showing posts from October, 2016

L'ARTICA BAKERY AND CAFE, ALQUEZAR SPAIN - RESTAURANT REVIEW

When it's off season and you are visiting a vacation destination early in the week, choices can be limited. The only bakery/cafe that was open at the beginning of our stay in Alquezar was L'Artica. It was enough. We never even walked through the doors of the others after they opened.

The bread display case was filled with enticing goodies. Both the main and the upper floor featured small balconies with views over a rocky gorge. The coffee filled the mid morning bill. The beer was cold. (Yes, a bakery with a bar!) And the food hearty and priced right.

We lunched on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, I had a French loaf filled with scrambled eggs and sausage while Cathey enjoyed dense, toasted bread topped by salt cod. On Wednesday, I chose a smoked salmon/hard-boiled egg sandwich while Cathey munched on an assortment of charcuterie on toast. Each with beer. Each meal for less than 25 euros total. Cheerful attentive service. Pleasant surroundings. Recommended.

Read more of my re…

IRA'S STUPID STUFF & A JT/CAROLE KING DUET - 21/10/2016

1. A man buried 2,500 years ago in northern China had 13 marijuana plants covering his torso like a shroud. Not the first burial in the region showing signs that the Chinese were stoners. A grave close by contained two pounds of seeds and powdered leaves. Seeds and shake in a grave? Saving the buds for the living, maybe?

2. Conservative pundit Matt Drudge said that he didn't believe that Hurricane Matthew had the potential to be as bad as was forecast. The National Weather Service lied to hype climate change, said Drudge. We are in a post-truth world. Drudge makes a claim. News agencies report the claim. The claim becomes a concern. The concern requires a Congressional investigation. And suddenly the National Weather Service has to defend its science because Drudge was having a brain fart. Bull cookies! (And of course, the flooding in the Carolinas was massive...)

3. Hillary said, "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders..." and the…

ALQUEZAR, SPAIN - VACATION COMMENTS AND PICS

Built by Moors as a fortress in defense of a nearby town, what became the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria in 1099 dominates the skyline of the village of Alquezar. The year-round population of just a few hundred swells ten-fold during high season due to Alquezar's majestic views, interesting architecture, the surrounding national park, and the many nearby opportunities for adventure travel. Cathey and I chose to visit during October, a quiet time that would have been just a touch quieter if there hadn't been a cadre of youth on the streets freed by mid-term break from their Spanish schools. Not many, and not too rowdy, but just enough to add a bit of color.

We chose the scenic route to Alquezar from our home in Quarante, heading for Toulouse and then turning southwest and climbing over the Pyrenees. Even with a six-page printout of directions from the Michelin website, we strayed off our route more than once and, when the road turned into what amounted to a paved cow path, w…

ABBEY FONTFROID ORCHID SHOW AND SALE - OCTOBER 2016

IRA'S STUPID STUFF AND BOWIE DOING PINK FLOYD - EARLY OCTOBER 2016

1. A man was arrested on a New Jersey beach wearing a 'swimsuit' made of clear plastic wrap. Island Beach State Park, my favorite Jersey beach, had the honor of hosting the show. The investigation before the arrest took two days, during which time the police report says that his genitals were clearly in full view. I guess the police had to be careful how they handled the evidence.

2. My Presidential candidates spend late nights on Twitter either ranting about sex or replying to rants about sex. I'm asleep. They should be too. If they are asleep, it's somebody from their campaigns posting on Twitter. Either way, they both should be ashamed at the depths to which this campaign has sunk. I certainly am.

3. Nigel Farage is back. That's all. Just that.
3a. Tim Tebow is now a professional baseball player. That's all. Just that.

4. Although Florida Governor Rick Scott denies having created the policy, a former lawyer for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection …

WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT LIVING IN FRANCE?

The conversation is predictable. It begins when we say, "We live in France now."

Full time?

Yes.

Really? All the time?

Yes.

Why?

Well, during our active retirement years we wanted to visit friends in England and travel in Europe. Why not live here?

How did you pick France?

Long story. (Pour wine and tell story. It's HERE on the blog.)

Are you going to become French citizens?

No. Residents but not citizens.

Does it cost more than living in the States?

Not really. Depends on how you live. And the dollar is quite strong these days. Viva Brexit!

Do you speak the language?

Well enough to get by and we're getting better all the time.

And then, at some point during the conversation, "What do you miss most?"

The stock answer is, "We miss friends and family the most."But you can see the real answer for yourselves when you see the picture of what Cathey brought back from the States for me in her suitcase last week.





IRA'S STUPID STUFF AND A BEATLES COVER - LATE SEPTEMBER 2016

1. On a recent Saturday, a French hunter 'accidentally' killed a hiker wearing brown clothing thinking that the hiker was a deer. Protestors demanded that France calls a halt to all hunting...on Sundays. People hike on weekends because it's their days off? Guess what. Hunters hunt on weekends because it's their days off too. But the point is that if you shoot a hiker, any day of the week and regardless of the color clothing that he's wearing, it means that you haven't properly identified your target. That's not an accident. At the
very least, that's reckless endangerment.

2. 'Community activist' Sean Thomas grabbed Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson from behind and shoved a custard pie into his face while shouting at him. Johnson, a former all-star pro athlete, proceeded to kick Thomas' butt. Thomas says Johnson over reacted. I say Thomas is an entitled idiot who is lucky he can still walk and fashion complete sentences. Whether you see Thomas…