The Great Plotnik

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chill, Giants Fans

(The Great WantzaNewName-Nik, you may ignore this post):

(But, having said that, hee hee hee, I know you can't help reading now.)

The Great Plotnik is having a ball listening to Saint Plotniko baseball fans fearing the Apocalypse has come, because Magic Johnson is the face on the money team who bought the Dodgers, aka the Plotzers. They have so much money they'll buy up all the Braindead, aka the Giants, players. The Dodgers will become the new and hated West Coast version of the Yankees.

Well, they're not new and they're already hated, so stuff it already. Callers-in are terrified the Giants will become the New Red Sox to the Dodgers' New Yankees. Well, guess what. Boston and SF faded in the clutch last year but both have won recent World Series. It could be a lot worse.

The theory goes that Matt Cain, the Giants' best pitcher (when Tim Lincecum eventually hurts his arm, which is inevitable), will go for the big bucks when Moneybags Johnson comes a-callin'. And then, when Lincecum's contract comes up for renewal, ol' Moneybags will smile his way into Timmy's heart.

Ain't a-gonna happen, unless both pitchers are injured first. Then the Dodgers will go out and give them guaranteed long-term contracts. Also ain't a-gonna happen because the Magic Group paid, like, half a billion dollars too much for the team. Where does all this extra money come from to sign Cain, Lincecum and Cole Hamels (the other piece in the paranoia puzzle)?

It doesn't. Chill, my friends. The Dodgers will have the same problems they always have and end up in fourth place, while the Giants will have only themselves to blame if they don't win with this terrific team.

No, we won't take Barry Zito. Magic only has so much magic.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Missing the Bones

Plotnik is missing the B-Bone this morning.

The Great BZWZ texted from Yogyakarta, Indonesia last night. She was heading off to see the gunung merapi volcano. So, yes. Plot and Duck are missing the Great BZ-Bone too.

Then, there are the other Bones.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Magic and the HFSs

All right, it is time to discuss the Plotzer sale. Magic Johnson bought the team, with a truck load of help from "financial consultants." Translated, this means hedge fund scumbags (HFSs). The first thing Magic said was "we wish to continue the legacy of Frank McCourt." This is supposed to make us happy, after McCourt, after Rupert Murdoch, after so many years of mediocrity.

But whose fault is that? Plotnik's. He's been a Plotzer fan since the beginning of time, and he's loyal. It hurts when they lose and it is liberating when they win. This is just the way it is for true fans.

So, with the long view in mind, Magic Johnson is the perfect person to have as a Plotzer spokesperson. For one thing, he's very tall. Nobody smiles like Magic Johnson, and Stiletto City can use a new image: the successful, popular athlete/businessman. He was the greatest basketball player Plotnik ever saw so maybe Magic can convince more young athletes to come play for the Plotzers, especially with the help of the HFSs.

But Magic will only be the face: the big money people will call the shots. 2.4 BILLION dollars, my brothers and sisters. You don't make that kind of money back by smiling. You "develop," the scariest word on the planet. Look what happens around that beautiful stadium in the next five years. That this happens to be the Plotnik family's old neighborhood just brings it closer.

It can't be bad to get rid of Frank McCourt. But it can't be good to spend that much money on a stadium and cable rights. The HFSs can't pitch. What we really need is two more GSPs (great starting pitchers). Maybe they'll be available in the new PoliceMart, when the Walmart goes in next to the Police Academy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We're Home from Stiletto

One thing Stiletto City has over most other cities is a beautifully restored railroad station. It's lovely, most of all, because nobody uses it. There are fewer and fewer long distance trains, and Plot has never met anyone besides Ducknik and himself who have actually ridden on the subway. It's a shame, because it's a really nice subway and they're adding new lines all the time.

Union Station is deco to the max.

It is often half the price to fly from SFO-LAX instead of OAK-Burbank. So if you take advantage of that price difference you can take the Flyaway bus to Union Station and Mummy P. and Lillian will pick you up.

Except they never quite get to the right place. Plot and Duck know now that if Lillian isn't waiting when they get off the bus, she is parked on the other side of the terminal where people meet trains.

This means we get to walk through this beautiful station from one side to the other. You don't see a cigarette butt on the ground. The floors gleam. Plus, the hobo-to-passenger ratio doesn't seem nearly as high as in Saint Plotniko or The Shmapple.

Mummy P. announced she was taking Plot and Duck and Gloria, her Helper Number Two, out to dinner Monday night. We could pick wherever we wanted to go how about Thai food? We said "do you mean we can pick wherever we want or you want Thai food?" She said "we'll go wherever you say."

"Great," said Plottie, "let's go to El Caserio then." "Fine," said Mummy P., "wherever you like. How about Thai food?"

Plotnik said "sure," and drove straight to El Caserio. The lomo saltado and the halibut in tricolor sauce and the milanesa with many fried bananas were as good as ever. "The food is very good," Mummy P. said.

Then she ate her milanesa, all the while complaining about the cumbias they were playing very softly on the house music system. The problem is her hearing has deteriorated so much that she can only hear bass frequencies, which also means women's voices, such as her daughters-in-law, have disappeared. This also means strings, guitars and all singers. Musically speaking: only bass.

She refuses to get a hearing aid. We've been through this before.

"Do you call that music?" she said, and the ninth time she said it Plotnik said "Yes, and so do Barbara and Gloria. We are enjoying this music. So you don't have to tell us you don't like it any more."

"I thought we were going for Thai food," she said.

She is doing well, though she seems to be getting smaller and smaller. But, all things considered, and with the amount of cigarettes she smokes, she's doing perfectly fine.

Plot always dreads the mornings they are leaving to come home.

"I'm very sad," Mummy P. says. "But it's OK. I'm so glad you were nice enough to come see me."

"We love it too, Mom," says Plottie.

Like everything else, this small exchange begins to lose its value after the fifteenth time.

But then there they are at the airport, and she's struggling to get out of the passenger's seat so she can kiss Plottie good bye, and The Great Plotnik is hugging her, but not too hard, because there is so much less of her than there used to be. And then she gets back in the car and they all head off in different directions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How 'bout These Two...

Sunday, March 25, 2012


It's almost time to pick the rest of the beets in the garden to make room for seeds for next season's crop. It takes a long time for beets to mature -- these seeds were planted last August, and then you have to thin them all the time. You can't transplant beet plants, but you can pickle them, which is what's about to happen.

Meanwhile, Plotnik is watching the University of Kentucky playing against some preschool team in hallucinogenic uniforms.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This Truck...

...decorated somewhere in East Oakland...

...brought this new sofa.

Lamar's old room is starting to look pretty nice.

Right now Plot and Duck are shuffling around all their art work. You never know what you've got until you take it off the walls and put it somewhere else.

This painting by Plot's Aunt Ann actually belongs to The Great PD and Great 5Head, and has been hanging over Dan's desk in his room for years. Now, since possession is 100% of the law, it may end up living next to two small framed drawings that were wedding presents to Duck and Plot from an old friend, Mummy Plotnik's beautiful sculpture and the rocking chair that came from an auction in Catawissa forty years ago.

But, like Paul Simon says, it's all gonna change. Many times.

Friday, March 23, 2012


There's a pot of chicken soup on the stove -- what else do you take to a new mom with a two day old baby?

Meanwhile, the Broadway favorite "Der" (not its real name), which Plot and Duck saw last night, is a very good show, if you wish to see two men on stage talking about art, but you don't ever get to see the art. "Der" won several Tonies and its easy to see why, but this songwriter sure as heck wouldn't want to listen to people talking about songwriting if they didn't let me hear some examples. Y'know?

But it's good. You can read the San Francisco Theater Blog review of "Der" over in the usual place: Plot has decided not to post the exact link -- for the usual reasons.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Circle of Life

BZ, the baby of this family, is on her way to Indonesia. Plot and Duck spoke with her as she was packing yesterday, after they had gone next door to see baby Vaughn Michael, one day old, who was born upstairs with midwives attending. Both Plot and Duck find the idea of birthing a baby at home to be a bit scary, but when they were there yesterday, watching Athena being able to lie back in her own bed with her own blankets in her own room, without any of the hospital smell and protocol -- well, it looked pretty nice.

All are healthy and happy, though the birth was not an easy one, and it has to do with cervixes, but that is information Plotnik neither comprehends completely nor really wants to think about much, and he is pretty sure the plural of cervix is not cervixes.

You know -- the people who built this house were childless German immigrants. The next owners were Nicaraguan ex-nuns. There were several renters and then a few short term owners before Plot and Duck, and there was one child in that bunch but he surely wasn't born at home. So it's safe to say there has never been a baby born at Great Plotnik World Headquarters in the 120 years of its existence. That may be true for the whole neighborhood, although now that things seem to be moving backwards again this may change.

If the Republicans get in there will be no more sex without a permit. But the permit will be harder to acquire because the Permit Bureau will be abolished.

Still, there will be babies, eh? Nice, sweet smelling, cuddly babies.

Plot had the Circle of Life in his head yesterday. So last night on the phone he said to his Mom: "Mom, next door we have a one day old baby!"

"So what does that have to do with me?" she said.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Old Eyes, New Baby

Eyes dilated, Plotnik sees a screen and a half in front of him. The other night he was taking out the trash and saw several tiny flashes, like instant fireflies in the corner of his right eye. He thought at first they were lightning. But (sigh)no: it's age.

Dr. Po at Kaiser this morning said the tiny flashes, and the floater that appeared yesterday and wouldn't go away, are what you get when the gel that has been in that eye since you were born starts to deteriorate. In the interim stage you get flashes and floaters, until the brain gets used to it, and the gel is all gone.

This, thought Dr. Po, was supposed to be comforting.

Not that Plottie wanted her to say he had Eyeball Crudosis, but, well, that's what he's got. "No problem, nothing to worry about, no damage," she says, but Plotnik is thinking about the tmj business that is making it hard for him to chew, and now the eyeball crud and what in the world is next?

Next, hopefully, will be a glance at the new baby next door: Vaughn was born last night at home. As soon as Ducknik gets home from school we'll walk over there to take a look.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Note From the Previous Century

Does anyone actually listen to CDs anymore? Plot and Duck don't. So why put the CDs and the CD player and the old tuner back into the sideboard in the living room, where they lived for the last 18 years? What's the point?

The living room, formerly known as Lamar Odomville, is painted and the sideboard got moved a few feet so there was room to fix the walls and paint behind it. It is extremely heavy and no fun to move, so now that it's back it is likely to stay right where it is into the foreseeable future.

But it had to be emptied to even move it a little. Now is there any reason to fill it back up with its old stuff? Is its function as a musical control center gone? As Plotnik's children will tell you, the musician in this house doesn't ever listen to music, and anyway CDs are a disappearing technology. Does this mean the CDs, which have now been packed into a box, along with the tuner, and the CD player, and the record player will get Craigs-Listed out of this house? And what about the speakers?

Does our musical future include an I-Pad, small bluetooth speakers and maybe a flat screen TV in Odomville? Or, put another way, is everything we own now obsolete?

Should we die?

The other week The Great PD had a great laugh at Plotnik's expense when Plottie went to check the yellow pages to get a phone number. "Hyuk hyuk, oh, thou old fashioned relic of a father," he said, or something that sounded like it, getting the answer on his phone in five seconds.

Or, anyway, trying. "Siri, please give me the phone number of Hmong's Hat House." "Did you say Jong's Cat and Mouse?"

Do you listen to CDs? And if so, do you do it anywhere but on your computer? Does anyone?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Groupons and other coupons coupons always seem like a good deal at the time -- you pay $2 bucks for a coupon which entitles you to $25 worth of food, which is hard to beat. But you have to order $35 worth to qualify, and nobody stops there. Plus, they have a host of prohibitions -- like you can only use them Sun.-Thurs. and restaurants have a nasty habit of just refusing to honor them any more.

This happened to Plot and Duck a year or so ago at a Persian place named Alborz up on Van Ness. "Sorry, we no honor coupon," said the waitress, apologetically, and the owner repeated it, not so apologetically. Plot or Duck could stay or leave. If Plottie had been there by himself he would have pitched a self-righteous fit, know, you take your wife out for dinner...

When Groupon came out it seemed like a 'way better deal -- you pay, say, $20 for $40 worth of food, which is more to pay up front, but there are no choice-of-night restrictions and they are always honored, no questions asked, until they expire.

(DON'T EVER go to a restaurant on the last night of a Groupon promotion. Absolute Chaos. You've been warned.)

But last night was Sunday night. Plot and Duck were scrounging through their restaurant discount coupons and found one for Vega, which is close-by, up on Cortland. It's in the same spot where that wonderful old Hungarian sausage-maker had his shop for decades, before he died. It was another Italian restaurant in between, which wasn't too good.

Last night was really cold and windy, but a short ride on the 24 bus takes you up the hill in Bernal to within one block from the restaurant. And Duck knows a website (yes, it would be an app IF we had a smart phone) where you can see in real time when the bus is coming. The website works great, if only the bus paid any attention to it.

They had a fantastically tasty dinner -- as good Italian food as they've eaten in Saint Plotniko in years. They shared an appetizer of artichoke hearts stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped with prosciutto, over a delicious bed of greens; a Margherita pizza which (and this is coming from Pizza Grump here) was fabulous; and an order of home-made gnocchi with mushrooms, sausage and half a cow's worth of butter. MAN!

Ducknik drank a glass of Valpolicella and Plottie a glass of a quite nice Sicilian nero.

So now it's time to pay. Plotnik was curious to know how a coupon would compare to a Groupon.

The total bill was $68 (and that included a pre-added 18% tip). (The service was terrific and she deserved that tip.)(But it is irritating still to be charged in advance for a tip which should be optional.)(Of course, a tip is not optional. It is her wage.)(Plotnik always over-tips when using coupons because he knows the servers often suffer when people tip on the cheapened coupon-deflated bill rather than on the amount of actually served food.) (Plotnik was a cab driver once and then a piano player. So he knows about working for tips.)(Anyway.)

They took off $25 from the $68 total, including the tip. It came to $43. It had cost $2 bucks for the coupon. Total=: $45.

If he'd gone in there with a Groupon, he'd have received $40 worth of food for which he would have paid $20. So $68 worth of food, wine and tip, minus $40 is $28 plus the $20 for the Groupon: $48.

So there's a negligible difference, except that for the server and for the restaurant the Groupon is a worse deal. The server has her 'tip' figured in with but not with Groupon, so she doesn't have to worry about a customer undertipping. The restaurant makes out better too, because they only have to donate $25 worth of food instead of $40.

Groupon keeps its upfront charge -- ($20 in this case for a $40 food coupon) and the restaurant gets no share in it.

But in all cases the restaurant benefits by getting people like us into a restaurant where we probably would not have gone without the coupon. If the food is great we'll come back -- or will we? This is the wager the restaurant makes.

In this case, yes. It's close and delicious. In the case of Plottie's very favorite local restaurant, Olivia's on upper Mission, who is constantly offering Groupons to try and build their business, Plot used to go in there with Groupons but he was always embarrassed when he used it because he would frequently be the only customer in the place. (Well, the neighborhood isn't exactly the Marina, but he's not sure why they don't have more business then they do.)(It might have something to do with the chile.)

Now he doesn't buy the Groupon for Olivia's any more because he likes the husband and wife who run the place so much. He'd rather give them the extra $20 and hope they stay in business.
He is afraid he will walk in there one day and it will be a nail parlor. But not yet. You want to taste real mole? Olivia's. While you can.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Plot has SIFS again.

Just in case Plotnik didn't have his annual and predictable Springtime Itchy Foot Syndrome (SIFS), The Great BWZW sent this photo along. It's where she's headed this Thursday -- Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She'll have a conference and do field work and then have a few days for seeing sites like this one, which is called Prambanan, on the island of Java.

It has occurred to the Great Plotnik that his daughter seems to display a coffee-related subtext in her field work: Ethiopia, Kenya and now Java. All she needs is Mocha. The best news is that The Map will get several new pins the next time BZ comes home. This is always reason to celebrate.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Old Light

The Duck has figured out many astonishing things in the world of home renovation, but changing the fixture on this 100-year-old living room light, where the old wiring was still attached to the original gaslight assembly, ranks up there with the best of 'em. The phrase "call an electrician" does not compute with D. Ducknik. If she stares at it long enough, she gets it. And sure enough: it's now a new fixture, connected to the old system. And the light is on.

The painting is all done too in Lamar Odom's old playpen. J-Whack's friend Taper Dave repaired and painted the ceiling and D. Ducknik did the rest, repairing all the old plaster movements and tears and places it had pulled away from the lathing in 120 years of earth movements, and then painting it all. Now she's poly-ing the floors -- where did those tiny circles come from? High heels? Pool sticks? They'll all be gone soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Great Wall of Hanky and Barack-etology

As promised, and many thanks to Hanky Girl for the photo: The Great Wall of Hanky. But this isn't the only clockatorium in her house -- ya oughta see the kitchen.

Did we mention the deceased feline?

Anyway, no complaining from now on about having to change my three pathetic clocks one pathetic hour ahead because of Daylight Savings Time.

Meanwhile, has everybody seen Barack-etology? President Obama handicaps every game in the NCAA basketball championships -- 32 then 16 then 8 then 4 then 2. His choice to win the whole thing is North Carolina over Kentucky. This is like choosing China over Japan in the Rice Bowl -- which is to say, not such a surprise. The Pres does not go in for long shots. Think about it.

Score a few votes in the Angry White Men demographic. That gives him maybe 25. But there's still the NBA finals and the World Series before November.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Four Stars with a Boehner

Mmmmmflrnch mmmfl. This is the sound of the Great Plotnik eating his words. lliW tsruD's "tcelE ot hguaL" (you can probably figure out how to read this, duh, BACKWARDS) is ninety minutes of non-stop jokes that leave you forgetting about those uncomfortable seats upstairs at the Marsh. They got new ones below, so they brought the old ones upstairs to torment us again. We thought we were through with the backaches, but NO.

The comedian pictured above makes you forget all about it. You really shouldn't miss this one, even if you would rather never again hear these two words: "Michelle Bachmann."

Here's the San Francisco Theater Blog review of, you know, that show.

He's playing every Tuesday night until the November election, if the country lasts that long.

Why, you might ask, would The Great Plotnik, pastor to a growing-while-also-dwindling flock of NETDOs (Nothing Else To Do at the Office), would bother putting his reviews in code. Well, you see, there are those press agents out there who think one's own PERSONAL blog is the same thing as one's PROFESSIONAL blog. They access this information by googling the name of their show. See?

This is like sports-talk hosts reporting a player's personal tweets. Of course, this could never happen. But Plotnik likes to make sure.

An hour and a half, plenty of time for dinner before on a quiet Tuesday night, with a cheap parking garage around the corner. You really have no excuse to miss this show, unless, of course, you'd rather sit home and watch sweN ehT.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Way Too Cool

You are staring at Mr. and Mrs. Way Too Cool. These two have turned themselves from, well, whatever they were before, into diehard runners. They marathon, they 5K and 10K and 15K and this past weekend Mr. Way2, also known as NotThatLucas, completed his first 50K run, and we're not talking about running on a flat track -- this was up and down hills and over raging torrents. Mrs. That is congratulating him at the finish line above. Mr. and Mrs. That, you are my heroes.

This post will get back to them in a moment.


Fellow Plotnikkies, you perhaps will have noticed Hanky Girl's comment on yesterday's post about re-setting of clocks, and you said to yourself, 'hmm, well, this woman must have a few clocks."


Hanky, would you be so kind as to take a picture of, oh, say, your kitchen, or your living room, or even that secret clock room down under the Fake Ruby Machine that none of us has ever been allowed into? Just so our faithful flock will understand what you are talking about when you say you just kind of walk around pushing buttons? Please send me those photos and then they'll know the REST of the story.

Some of you will remember that Hanky Girl got her name because she and Plotnik used to review movies together. She could cry at a Godzilla movie.

(Actually the last Godzilla movie they saw was so bad that Plot and Hanky were castigated upon leaving the screening room for laughing so hard, because it wasn't a comedy.)

(If you have ever wondered what a huge gorilla dubbed into bad English smells like, this was it.)

Plotnik was thinking about hankies and reviewers Saturday Night when he saw that "Upright Grand" has made it out of the New Works Festival at Theatreworks, where he and Ducknik saw it last summer, and will be the opening show in next year's mainstage series. Plotnik NEVER has cried so much at any show.

(OK, what was that dog movie where the little doggie finally makes it home, sniff, to his young boy master, sniffffllll? Homeward Bound or something like that? He cried a lot there too. But, hey! A doggie! "Rex! You're home! You're home!" Bawwwwwwwwww.)

But that was one hanky. "Upright Grand" is three hankies, minimum. It's the one about the piano player dad who is still playing in clubs and his brilliant pianist daughter and then one of them, well, bawwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Now back to The Way2 family. Plot thinks that all his South Bay friends, especially The Great NotThatLucases, who live in Redwood City, would really love Theatreworks, whose two theaters are state of the art and their shows have become as good as anything we're seeing in Saint Plotniko these days. How far can Palo Alto or Mountain View be from Redwood City, twenty minutes? You two could run down there in half an hour, watch a show, eat some Chinese food and be home before the 10 o'clock news.

The Great Plotnik, sadly, has pretty much stopped playing in his lifetime weekend basketball games, and is seeing how years and years of running and jumping tend to wear out joints and tendons. He hopes his friends do not do something nasty to themselves running this much. Remember, NotThat, the human body stopped needing to outrun elk around 100,000 years ago.

Brother and Sister Plotnikkies, the point isn't to do more and more and more, because we all know that this ends up with you being able to do less and less. So please take it a little bit easy, right? But you're still my heroes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Last Clock

It's easier than it used to be when you Spring Forward or Fall Back. The cell phones reset themselves automatically and so do the computers, but Plot and Duck still had to remember where all the other clocks are. And you always forget one.

The microwave and the coffee pot were easy, because they're out in the open, but Plottie didn't remember the car until they were leaving last night and he looked on the dashboard and was momentarily angry at himself for leaving an hour early. There is an old decorative clock hanging on the wall in the entry hall, currently surrounded by paint gear and plastic tarps, so that one will take a little while. Nobody looks at it anyway.

The last one showed up this morning, when the heat came on at 8am instead of 7am: the thermostat on the furnace. That should take care of it.

OMG, Hanky Girl! You have how many clocks? A hundred, at least? What do you do, and twice a year?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nine More Months of This

If Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney had a love child, it would probably be Will Durst. Most Bay Area comedy fans know about him -- he's an old line pundit who tells jokes about politicians. He skewers everyone evenly, though probably, since they are providing most of the fodder for absurdity these days, Republicans will take the most humor abuse.

But here's Plot's problem: it's March 10 and the election is not until November 6. There are nine months until then. But the crap is just starting. If we think we've heard ludicrous people saying ludicrous things already, wait until summer.

Plotnik is all done. Finito. He wants to fly to Kiribati or somewhere there are no televisions and come back the day after Obama is re-elected, and be done with it.

So all you comedians can make more tired jokes about Gingrich's hair or his wives, or Romney and the dog on the roof or Santorum and birth control or Ron Paul - what? Are there any jokes about Ron Paul?

You can make jokes about Obama being too centrist or trying too hard to appease the Tea Party. You can make jokes about Iran and Israel. You can make jokes about southerners. You can find humor in everything, but it's only Saturday and Plotnik isn't laughing now and he won't be laughing until November 7, even if it's only relief that the robocalls will have stopped.

All you political satirists, if you get booked into the Ka-Chong Beachside Inn and Barbeque Pit on Kiribati, call me.

Many thanks to seven year old cartoonist Linus Van Pelt for this rendering.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Not Now, Mr. Galileo

Looking across the street from World Headquarters for this past week, we've been able to see Venus on the bottom and Jupiter above to the left.

It's quite a sight to see, far brighter in reality than in the photo. But it has presented Plotnik with his usual interplanetary quandry: if, in the solar batting order, Venus hits second, Earth third and Jupiter fifth, how can we be standing on Earth and see Venus, right there, and then Jupiter up THERE? Don't we have to be in between them in one way or the other?

Plotnik is pretty sure he saw Mars last night too, but above the back yard, not out in front. That makes sense. Mars hits fourth. Venus, there. Earth, here. Mars, next. But Jupiter?

Ducknik, and The Great BZWZ no doubt, will explain that it has something to do with places on orbits and relative sizes of planets, but we all know none of that is true. If Earth is here, and Venus is there, then Jupiter can't be where it is, as sure as the sun revolves around the Earth.

Not now, Mr. Galileo. We'll get to you later.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Only $4556.

The sanding and painting continues in the Room Formerly Known as Pool Room. Life continues in the House Formerly Known as Quiet House. Now Plotnik understands why J-Whacky always said the pool table should go: J-Whacky is a painter.

The ceiling now is smoother than it was. This matters to the following people: J-Whacky, The Great Ducknik and the folks at the paint store.

It's noisy around here. So yesterday, Plotnik downloaded information on the following RTW (Round the World) trip. ( -> signifies an airplane flight):

Los Angeles -> Cook Islands -> Fiji -> Auckland -> Sydney - overland to Melbourne -> Perth-> Singapore - overland to Bangkok -> Delhi - overland to Mumbai -> Nairobi -> Johannesburg - overland to Cape Town -> Buenos Aires - overland to Lima (this is a long bus ride) -> San Jose Costa Rica, overland to Mexico City (another long bus ride) -> Los Angeles.

Cost of all these air fares: $4556 on a RTW Ticket. This is what you think about when plaster is in the air.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Denzell Washington was a good Army investigator but Meg Ryan -- nahh. Too cute. You can't be cute in a combat movie. Of course, Meg Ryan would not know how not to be cute. "Courage Under Fire" isn't quite "Sleepless in Fallujah" but it's pretty lame, except for Denzell.

You could tell they were just getting used to saying 'fuck this and fuck that' in films, in 1996 when this movie was made. There's always an implied question mark on the end of it, no matter how loud they shout it. You know they had to do fourteen takes to get one word right.

At least we got to sit on our couch and watch it.

Around this house no one is allowed to say anything negative about Denzell.

But take a guess at how many films Denzell Washington has made since this one? How about 23? Wow. Plot guesses some of you have seen most of them. He was great in John Q. and will be as Plotnik in 'The Book of Plotnik" (still in development).

Medal of Honor: "A Medal for Honour. A Search for Justice. A Battle for Truth."

The Book of Plotnik: " A Medal for Battle. Does This Rhyme?"

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Fair Price

Plot found this the other day, but don't tell Newt Gingrich. I'd rather pay an arm a leg and a nut than listen to his specious garbage about $2.50/gallon.

Plotnik remembers when he wrote a song called "A Dollar a Gallon" and nobody believed that it could ever go that high. What rhymes with arm, leg, nut?

Monday, March 05, 2012

Screen Shots

You've got to love Skype and screen shots.

All of us watching the Knicks - Celtics yesterday, them from Brooklyn, us from World Headquarters, talking on Skype at the same time as Belly shows us the blow-up guitar she got for a birthday favor earlier that day. We take this kind of thing for granted now, but it's just flat out amazing.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Shout Out to Jade-Nik and Nik-Nik

Remember when Plot and Duck went down to Stiletto a few years ago for Nick and Jade's wedding? Now look at Baby Adelaide.

This little girl is destined to think Belly Bone is the coolest person in the world.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Early Spring at Allemany

Saturday, March 4: the first Sungold tomato plants go into the pot. If they grow on schedule, the first delicious little gems will be ready to eat right around the time Plot and Duck go on vacation, so the tomatoes will rot on the vine and get eaten by tree rats. This is The Natural Order.

In early Spring the Allemany Farmer's Market is filled with familiar and not so familiar produce, like these quintzes and sweet lemons (note the Arabic writing).

Bottlenose Grapefruit? Said to be lucky?

Wild potatoes. They're covered with hairy, black roots.

Baby cauliflower, followed by baby broocoli.

And every kind of citrus fruit imaginable. These are from the Nasty Russian Lady.

And these are from the sweet Hmong lady. (Plotnik has no idea why these three sentences are being underlined. He's never been able to underline on Blogger before. )

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Luv Ya Mom Luv Ya Dad

Quick visit with The Great BZWZ yesterday as she changed planes at SFO on her way to the Ala Moana Hotel in Waikiki. There was just enough time for her to get off her plane from DC, pick up the Care Package (carnitas super burrito, chips and half a package of Girl Scout cookies), luv ya Mom, luv ya Dad, and hurry back into the security line to catch the next plane. Here you go, people: The Essence of Parenting.

And the thing is, you love it.

Crystal is still guarding the daffies. It's a pity that these will all be gone within a few weeks, depending on the rain. And they won't come back again in this climate. So Plot will just plant another huge bag of them in the fall and winter.

Plot discovered that he and Duck had tickets to "Scorched" at ACT on Sunday night, and so did Mush, Silent Bill and Ginger. So they arranged to meet at Lefty O'Doul's for dinner. How can you not love that place?

Lefty's is a time machine, taking you back to the 1940s when O'Doul was San Francisco's most famous Irish baseball player (Joe DiMaggio takes first prize in the North Beach Italian Division). Great photos (all those double breasted suits and fedoras!), an atmosphere that, though it was nicer before they put in all those big screen TVs, still makes you think you're at least twenty years behind the times and you're happy for it, plus you can order hot sandwiches that don't set you back a fortune. True, they could use some real rye bread, but hey, they're Irish. What a great place to meet friends, hang out and wait for the show up the street, with that cool chandelier.

But take another look at that photo.

On the right is Mayor Jimmie Walker, on the left is Babe Ruth and next to Mayor Walker is Lefty O'Doul.

But next to Babe Ruth is Ben Chapman, a Yankee who played in the early 1930s and then managed the Phillies the year Jackie Robinson broke in. He was a famous bigot who taunted Jewish players in the '30s and tried to get his team to boycott playing against teams who had black players later. This nasty dude wouldn't be allowed to play today, but in those days it was just business as usual. Remember that.