The Great Plotnik

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Secret Agent Number 99, or How to Camouflage Yourself at a Giants Game

Thursday, April 23, 2015

It's Time for Action

Two nights of old Dodger baseball. It's time for a change. We'll be there today. (Of course, this shirt will be hidden under a less inflammatory one.)

Who remembers The Wreck of the Ol' '99? Manny Ramirez, what a great half season he had. Nothing like flax seed oil, right CryBarry?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Long Live the King

The Bearded Iris is King of the Garden, surrounded by alstroalmerias and alyssum. I suppose that would be alstroalmeriae and alyssi. But there's only one King.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Finch is in Town, Pt. 2

Corned Beef Reuben at The Beach Chalet.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Finch is in Town

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Three Foot Tall Guitar Player Made out of Legos

The Great PD is in Denmark at a conference at Lego Headquarters. Looks like a mariachi four-string cuatro player to me.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Summer Internship.

It is looking promising that The Great Plotnik World Headquarters will have a summer guest. Kazakh Desert Princess may be accepting an internship in Saint Plotniko which would have her working on Sutter Street while staying at 26th of October Boulevard in Snowy Valley Marina Estates East. The fee of $7,000 a month for room and partial board (beer, no food) seems reasonable and an invoice to this effect has been verbally exchanged with her father, who curiously enough is The Great Plotnik's Hawaiian Investments Counselor.

How we doin' on that sunken island, Joe?

None of this will make any sense to any of you. But we do hope it all pans out

Thursday, April 09, 2015

April 9: Last Daf, and the Rest are Alstroalmerias

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Water Part Two

So last night I filled up two measuring bowls with cool water in the kitchen sink while waiting for the tap to get hot to cook some rice. When I told Barb I did that, she said "why did you do that?" I said "so I would use less gas to cook the rice because the water would already be hot" and she said "but you had to use gas to get the hot water heater to heat the water to the hotter temperature so you could then save the same gas by using hotter water to cook the rice."

Sheee-it. Then it rained last night.

OK, so the moral of this story is that there is no need for your wife to know about your conservation attempts.

I hope people will take this water business more seriously than our neighbors have taken the recycling issue. It's not that hard: garden and kitchen wastes: green can. Recycling: blue can. Land fill: Brown can.

And yet, every Tuesday night their brown can is filled with blue can stuff, their blue can is filled with green can stuff, and their green can is empty. When I comment about it I feel like Ms. Wormwood sending Calvin to the principal's office.

Monday, April 06, 2015


Everything is early this year, which has made for late Winter glory, and Spring beauty, but then summer is going to arrive, and with it water restrictions. So once these beautiful alstroalmerias are all done, I'm afraid their green-ness will be taken over by brown.

It's not like we are living in the Sahara, but it's certain that we will feel a 25% decrease over 2013
levels, if that is indeed what is required of us when the water districts finally agree. Still, we are talking about inconvenience more than dire restrictions, and if everyone shares in the discomfort we'll get used to it.

It's easier for us in a cooler, fogbound city than in So Cal or the central valley. Farmers are screwed without water, and the rest of us will be too when we try to buy lettuce or strawberries or almonds. No one will like to see their lawn go dry or their car not get washed, but all that can still happen with a little planning. This year shouldn't be so bad. The question, which no one can answer, is: Are we in the new normal? Is this what we and our kids are going to deal with into the foreseeable future?

Barb and I are already warming up shower water into a basin and carrying it outside to water our container plants. All the fixtures have been changed and the toilets are low-flow. The garden has drip irrigation. Most of the time our car looks like a target for crow low-level dive-bombing practice but we only wash it when we have to pick somebody up at the airport. Pasta gets cooked without salt now so we can re-use it too. So we're talking about 25% off of that.

Maybe you haven't done a thing? Maybe you're smarter than we are? Maybe all you have to do is not water your lawn as often? Who knows what's coming? 

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Passover 2015

Passover was fun last night. Reading in advance uncovered this little fact:

The Israelites escaped from Pharaoh in the late 15th Century BC and ended up in the land of Canaan. Before too long they split up into tribes again. The two biggest were Judah and Israel.  That's Judah on the left and Israel on the right.

Eight hundred years passed -- middle to late bronze age.

Then the Babylonians and their king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah and demanded the Judeans pay them a tax each year to keep their freedom. After a few years of payment, a political struggle broke out in Judah, with half the people supporting the Babylonians and half the people supporting, get this, the Egyptians, who were the other most powerful player in the region. Many advocated moving out of Judah and going to Egypt to be safe.

That's right, going INTO Egypt. It is during this time, when many Judeans were kidnapped and taken by Nebuchadnezzar into captivity in Babylon, that the whole idea of Jewishness began. Before that you were Judean or Israeli or Moabite or Syrian, but after that a Jew was a Jew, no matter where they might live.

This is also when they adopted the Passover story, eight hundred years after it happened, probably at least in some measure to remind their nation it wouldn't be such a good idea to trust the Egyptians again.

Politics -- religion -- politics --- religion -- blue states, red states, evangelicals, liberals, chariots, smart bombs, everybody has a story and if you win the war you get to tell yours.

Our story includes deli hats, Rosie's brisket, a short pass through the Hagaddah and a lot of wine and laughter. Hasselback potatoes are in forever. You wouldn't think the matzo balls could get better but they did. And in Brooklyn, Isabella got $5 bucks for finding the matzo.