Saturday, February 28, 2015

My Dad's WW II Photos

Or a few of them, anyways.
My dad standing under the engine looking at the camera.
 My dad was a flight engineer on a Bomber.  We was stationed in Libya after it's liberation from Rommel.  In the summer of 1943, he participated in the bombing of Sicily prior to the surrender of Mussolini.
 Unidentified airman painting a plane.  Below two more examples of his artistry.

 My dad (left) with unidentified airman in Libya desert, 1943.
 My dad (left) with unidentified airman displaying bottle of something.
 My dad hugging unidentified airman.
The rest of the pictures are from Italy after it's liberation.  circa October/November 1943.
 My dad seated in a boat on his way to visit the Grottos.
 Approaching the cliffs where the Grotto caves are located.
 My dad with an unidentified miss...I could have been half Italian!
My dad with his flight crew in Italy, autumn 1943.

A Walk In The Snowy Woods

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ March 1st to March 7th

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lived Long and Prospered....

What a sadness.  What a joy.  How can you feel anything but happy when you consider a life so well lived?  I am sad for myself like all beloved passings into ancestry...and perhaps even just an intsy bit jealous.  Leonard Nimoy got to live a very charmed life, fully aware of how beloved he was and is, and able to do whatever he wanted to do by the prime of his existence.  Like, how much more can anyone hope for?

His legacy is sealed for generations to come.  I have no doubt of that.

In 1978, I met him after a performance of "Sherlock Holmes" performed at the Fisher Theater in Detroit, Michigan.  He was in the lead role.  I geekily gave him a copy of my fanzine.  He graciously accepted it.

Breakfast My Favorite Meal Of The Day!

Throw Back To China--1981

Here's a special TBT (倒退周四). In the summer of 1981, I contracted with the Chung Tai English Academy to teach conversational English over the summer - 10 weeks from early June to late August. It was a really important experience for me between my Sophomore and Junior years of college and helped me to solidify my life's vocation as a teacher. Here are some photos from then. The Academy had me teach 4 classes: two in the morning and two in the late afternoon. The morning classes were advanced conversational English. The afternoon were made up entirely of beginners--and very challenging.

The first class in the morning was made up of various local professionals and graduate students who were studying in the United States, but were home for the summer. One of my favorite students from that class was an older women who was the wife of a doctor, Connie. Early on she asked me what things I missed most from the United States. I told her peaches, brownies and dill pickles. It was an off-the-cuff response meant to be silly and playful. The next morning there was a perfectly ripe peach sitting on my desk when I arrived to teach class. A week later a tray of brownies! Unfortunately, chocolate is not common in China and so what it should taste like was equally a mystery to Connie... Image brownies with only 1/4 of the sugar. But I smiled and I ate one of those suckers, and no doubt she thought, "Americans are so strange". But it didn't stop her. Two weeks before the class ended, she presented me with a jar of dill pickled cucumbers that she also taught herself to make in my honor.

 The other morning class was a group of girls from the #1 honors English High School in the city. Boys and Girls were taught separately from elementary school to college, so there were only girls middle and high schools. These young ladies were truly exceptional. That is the picture of me with some of them. When they discovered that I was delighted by their singing. Our classes regularly began with a performance of a traditional folk song performed by them acapella. The first photo is me with some of them on a Saturday morning when they were taking me to a local university on a "field trip".

The other three photos are just random ones taken around the city. I can only imagine how much things there have changed.

Chicken Marbella

 Waiting to go into the oven after a night marinating in the fridge.

Chicken Marbella Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Marinating time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 5-8
Although the original recipe calls for 2 small chickens to be quartered, you could easily do this recipe with 5 pounds of chicken pieces, thighs and breasts.  I used a packet of tenders cut into thirds because they were on sale.  Boneless thighs are also an awesome option.


  • 2 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on
  • Cloves from 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely puréed
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 8 large pitted Spanish green olives, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped


1 In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight.
2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle brown sugar over the chicken pieces and pour white wine around them.
3 Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with the pan juices. Chicken is done when a sharp knife inserted into the thigh pieces, at their thickest point, run with clear yellow juices (not pink).
4 With a slotted spoon, move the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Pour some of the pan juices over the chicken and sprinkle generously with parsley. Serve remaining juices in a gravy boat.

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Presidential Race 2016 #1

Keeping it real, people. Presidential aspirant Scott Walker thinks that terrorists who burn human beings to death in cages and behead them for YouTube are the same as hardworking teachers, firefighters, garbage collectors and police officers who are fighting for their economic rights in his state of Wisconsin. The boy just ain't right.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cream of Broccoli

Actually made without any cream...and grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  A simple, warm winter repast.

Purple Shamrock

My purple Shamrock is blooming.

Without Science

This isn't clever or funny.  
Gotta LOVE science!

Not Snowing In The Sun Room

Back To The Park

after winter kept us away for several days....  What Joy!

Zen Lego Bonsai

Romeo Goes

To the Farmers Market, and...
 sees a very big dog!

Saturday Snow Storm