Culinary no-no #592


Regular readers know that on many occasions it takes about 30 paragraphs before we get to the actual no-no. This week allow me to acknowledge from the get go the main components of this week’s installment.

1) Food is a subjective topic. Thus I have my own opinions.

2) Because of #1 I find the entire concept of veganism to be nasty.

3) I generally oppose big government and government mandates.

Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products, and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines.

I find the above disgusting. Frankly, I don’t understand it and would never even consider following such a practice.  That is my individual choice. I shed no tears for lobsters, cows, calves, chickens, etc.

I also find that the goofiest, dumbest, Fruit Loopiest ideas seem to always come from…

map of all cities in california maps of california map of all cities in california download maps map of california citites

So, no lengthy build-up. We cut right to the chase. From LA Times and columnist

Of all the dumb laws proposed in the United States this year — bearing in mind that Donald Trump is our president and the Republicans controlled Congress all year — few are dumber than what Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz wants to push on Angelenos.

He wants to require all concessionaires at city-owned properties, including all terminals at Los Angeles International Airport and the local Meals on Wheels program, to offer at least one vegan dish. But nanny-stating the public sphere isn’t enough for the three-term councilman. Koretz’s motion also calls for privately owned movie theaters and large-scale entertainment venues in the city, like Dodger Stadium and Staples Center, to “provide at a minimum one vegan protein entree food option on their menus.”

So it’s not good enough to sell a salad, or vegan popcorn, or maybe a slice of bread with a hefty helping of air. Koretz is even requiring what kind of vegan option must be made available.

This proposal is government overreach, of course. It also seeks to introduce yet another regulation to an industry drowning in them. Koretz wants to force restaurants — which usually operate on single-digit margins — to add an item to their menus that they would’ve already offered if their customers clamored for it.

What about a regulation they must sell a schnitzel? Shish kebob? Pierogi? Spanakopita?

So, Kev, that’s California. Why should we care here?

Because I worked in the state Senate for 15 years I know that legislators and their staff people watch carefully what happens in other states and propose new laws based on what they find. These ridiculous ideas out west move their way to the Midwest.

Do not believe it couldn’t happen here.


Woman threatened with fine after inviting lonely neighbors to Christmas dinner

Top 20 Christmas dinner disasters … no surprise they’re from the UK

A message to Franklin’s mayor, Common Council and School Board

Image result for john the baptist,  tax collectors

The very timely message comes from today’s Sunday Mass and the Gospel reading where John the Baptist talks to the crowds.

And the crowds asked John the Baptist, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

John has also been quoted telling the tax collectors:

“Be honest and do not cheat anybody.”

Oh, if only they’d listen.

Photos of the Week (12/16/18)

A pictorial week-in-review posted every Sunday.

1) U.S. President Donald Trump, sitting next to Vice President Mike Pence (2ndL) meets with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the White House in Washington. The photo op turned into a heated debate. Photo: Reuters.

2) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Oval Office of the White House. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

3) President Donald Trump argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty

4) President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen arrives at U.S. federal court in New York on December 12, 2018, where he was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a number of charges. Photo: Corey Sipkin / AFP / Getty

5) In Strasbourg, France, forces secure an area where a suspect is sought after a shooting. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

6) A French soldier stands guard at Strasbourg Christmas Market in France, after gunman Cherif Chekatt opened fire there, killing three people. Chekatt was shot dead by police on Thursday.  Photo: AFP

7) A woman is sprayed with tear gas by a riot police officer during a ‘yellow vests’ protest against higher fuel prices, in Brussels, Belgium. Reuters photographer Yves Herman said of the woman: “When one young man was seized, a young woman with him rushed towards the line of police, shouting that he had done nothing wrong … She wasn’t even wearing one of the fluorescent yellow vests.” Photo: Reuters

8) Immigrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, climb over the border wall into the U.S. as a Mexican police officer arrives on the scene in Tijuana, Mexico, on December 13, 2018. Photo: Leah Millis / Reuters

9) People believed to be part of the so-called migrant caravan trying to reach the US return from trying to climb the border wall into California. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

10) A firefighter helps a boy stranded in debris following a landslide in Xuyong county, Sichuan province, China, Dec. 9, 2018. Photo: Reuters

11) Maya Merhi, 8, from Syria, poses for a picture next to her prosthetic legs that are decorated with the Turkish flag inside a tent at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp of Serjilla in northwestern Syria, next to Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey. Maya, born with no legs due to a congenital condition, had to struggle around the camp on artificial limbs made of plastic tubing and tin cans. Today, she can walk with her new prosthetics after undergoing treatment in Turkey. Photo: AFP

12) In North Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a healthcare worker sprays a room during the funeral of Kavugho Cindi Dorcas, who is suspected of dying of Ebola. Photograph: Goran Tomašević/Reuters

13) Jewish tombstones are seen desecrated with swastikas in the Herrlisheim Jewish cemetery, north of Strasbourg, eastern France. Photo: AP

14) Armed police handcuff a man after Tasering him inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, on December 11, 2018. Photo: Peter Nicholls / Reuters

15) Ted Pelkey stands in front of a wooden middle-finger sculpture on his front lawn on December 13, 2018, in Westford, Vermont. Pelkey, who is in an ongoing dispute with the town over plans to move his truck-repair-and-recycling business to his property, paid to have the sculpture created to send a message to the town. Photo: Lisa Rathke / AP

16) Iraqi Nadia Murad and Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo Town Hall in Oslo, Norway. Photo: Reuters

17) A general view of the Nobel Prize banquet and its guests in the Stockholm City Hall, Sweden.  Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

18) Pedestrians walk under United States flags displayed at the Mother Teresa square in Pristina, Kosovo. Photo: AFP

19) Giant pandas Chengjiu and Shuanghao play in the snow at a zoo in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. Photo: Reuters

20) The Fearless Girl statue is unveiled at her new home facing the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during an event held by the city of New York and State Street Global Advisors. Photo: AFP

21) Workers clad in a dog and a wild boar costumes, to represent the outgoing year of the dog and incoming year of the wild boar, clean windows on the side of a hotel in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: AFP

22) A man carries an infant on a cold winter day in a village in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district on December 13, 2018. Photo:  Danish Ismail / Reuters

23) Spilled chocolate is seen on a road in Werl, Germany, on December 10, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media. Photo: Reuters

24) A participant takes part in a chili-eating competition at a hot spring in Yichun, Jiangxi province, China. Photo: Reuters

25) Irene O’Shea, a 102-year-old great-grandmother, performs a tandem skydive over Wellington, Australia, on Dec. 9. She plunged from 14,000 feet to become the world’s oldest skydiver. Photo: Bryce Sellick/Matt Teager / SA Skydiving via AFP – Getty Images

26) Inmates smile behind prison bars covered in decorative paper, part of a Christmas-decoration contest, at the Nelson Hungria Prison in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 13, 2018. Inmates serving time for offenses from burglary to homicide spent weeks decking out their cell blocks with handmade Christmas decorations and planning Bible-related performances for the jail’s annual Christmas event. Photo: Silvia Izquierdo / AP

27) Participants dressed as Santa Claus take part in a charity race in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Reuters

28) People enjoy the Christmas and New Year’s decorations in front of the GUM department store in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on December 11, 2018. Photo: Mladen Antonov / AFP / Getty

29) A girl laughs while her brother cries being held by Santa Claus at the King of Prussia Mall, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Dec. 8, 2018. Photo: Reuters

30) Green Bay defensive back Bashaud Breeland returns an interception 22 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of the Packers’ 34-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.  Photo:

31) Green Bay running back Aaron Jones breaks through for a 29-yard touchdown in the third quarter of the Packers’ 34-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.  Photo:

Week-ends (12/15/18)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…



Retired grandpas

Cody Struble of WI

Gary Sinise



Prabhu Ramamoorthy

Rev. Don LaCuesta

Ilia Semiletov


“I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down — I’m not going to blame you for it.”
President Trump telling congressional Democratic leaders that he would block full funding for the government if money were not allocated for a border wall

“I am done with the lying. I am done being loyal to President Trump. I will not be the villain of this story.”
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer said Friday that Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women during the 2016 campaign because he was concerned their stories of alleged affairs with him “would affect the election.” He says Trump knew the payments were wrong.

“Why should we believe you now?”
Considering Cohen was charged for lying to Congress, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Cohen that question

“The court today finds the individual mandate is no longer fairly readable as an exercise of Congress’s tax power and continues to be unsustainable under Congress’s interstate commerce power. The court therefore finds the individual mandate, unmoored from a tax, is unconstitutional.”
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional. O’Connor agreed with a coalition of Republicans that it was unconstitutional to mandate that individuals buy health insurance or be taxed for not complying. He said last year’s tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under Obamacare by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage.

“As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”
President Trump on Twitter

“Tonight’s district court ruling exposes the monstrous endgame of Republicans’ all-out assault on people with pre-existing conditions and Americans’ access to affordable health care. While the district court’s absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision and for the fear they have struck into millions of families across America who are now in danger of losing their health coverage.”
Nancy Pelosi

“I’m not a person of color. And I haven’t lived your life or experienced anything like the subtle prejudice, or more overt harm, that you may have experienced just because of the color of your skin.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking at Morgan State in Baltimore. Warren has repeatedly told  about her parents eloping due to racism and her mother’s “Cherokee” heritage.

“This sentence serves as a warning to others in public life. If you engage in public corruption, you will be shown no mercy, and you will go to jail.”
U.S. District Court Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who sentenced Alain Kaloyeros, the former president of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany to 3 1/2 years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Kaloyeros spearheaded the spending of a “Buffalo Billion” in state funds to boost upstate cities in New York.

“America has reached the point of a full-blown national security crisis. If the United States had to fight Russia in a Baltic contingency or China in a war over Taiwan, Americans could face a decisive military defeat. These two nations possess precision-strike capabilities, integrated air defenses, cruise and ballistic missiles, advanced cyberwarfare and anti-satellite capabilities, significant air and naval forces, and nuclear weapons — a suite of advanced capabilities heretofore possessed only by the United States.”
From a report by The National Defense Strategy Commission, led by former undersecretary of defense Eric Edelman and retired Adm. Gary Roughead. The Commission was tasked by Congress to review the United States’ defense posture to determine whether it will keep us safe.

“I am curious if you are interested in a story about the Milwaukee Bucks using child musicians to play the national anthem, but revealing to parents after they have signed their kids up that it will cost the parents $66 each to see their children perform, and claiming that they are receiving a group rate. Why are multibillionaires, who already received hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers, hoodwinking parents?”
Steve Szymanski in an e-mail to the Journal Sentinel’s Jim Stingl.

“This group got 33 tickets in the lower bowl for free. And we were happy to do it. It’s a terrific organization. At the time the group accepted the invitation, the least expensive tickets available for the game were $66 in the lower bowl. This is the result of having huge crowds at every game and very limited inventory (of tickets).”
Bucks spokesman Barry Baum. Szymanski’s two sons will be joined by 28 other Suzuki program classmates from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, all playing violins, violas and cellos, plus three teachers. The Bucks are letting them all in free for the Jan. 7 game against the Utah Jazz.

“I had an argument with a coach in Triple-A about Babe Ruth’s effectiveness in today’s game. I said, ‘Babe Ruth, with that swing, swinging that bat, I got him hitting .140 with eight homers.’ He was like, ‘Are you nuts? Babe Ruth would hit .370 with 60 homers,’ and I’m like, ‘I would strike Babe Ruth out every time.’ I mean the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did. It was just a different game.”
Free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino of the Colorado Rockies. Ottavino, who had 112 strikeouts in 77⅔ innings with a 2.43 ERA in 2018 for the Colorado Rockies, is pitching himself to teams around the league now that he’s a free agent.


US Courts Treat Illegal Immigrants BETTER Than American Citizens


This is How Much Taxpayer Money Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel Has Spent So Far

Trump to steer more money to Opportunity Zones


Melania’s hair is lighter


Irish woman who married ghost of 300-year-old pirate says they have split up

Office potluck planning spirals to hell after reply-all email sent to 25,000 employees







Banning Christmas in schools, “Merry Christmas,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” kids and screen time, and The Word of the Year

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (12/14/18): When ‘Misinformation’ Is Named the Word of the Year

Today’s highly interesting read (12/13/18): Groundbreaking study examines effects of screen time on kids

Today’s highly interesting read (12/12/18): Does ‘Merry Christmas’ Matter?

Today’s highly interesting read (12/11/18): A woman smokes, drinks, flirts — and maybe spends the night. ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ is a song ahead of its time.

Today’s highly interesting read (12/10/18): BANNING CHRISTMAS IN THE SCHOOLS

Today is Saturday and I would like to pay my Franklin property tax bill, but I can’t

At  least not in person.

That despite the fact I have both my escrow check and my Franklin property tax bill in hand.

But if you want to pay, as I do, the old fashioned way, in person, in front of a real human being, you can’t, until Monday, December 17.

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I’m off today. An opportunistic time to pay the tax-hungry Franklin powers that be. But no. As much as they want to tax me into oblivion, they don’t make my chance to pay easier.

From the city’s most recent newsletter:

Daily payment hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Saturdays? Not open. Note to the tax collectors … Does the term customer service mean anything to you?

So, I am NOT able to pay my taxes in person if I choose to on Saturdays December 15 or December 22 or December 29.

This is good stuff. In Franklin’s newsletter, always good for some laughs, we’re supposed to be impressed. Read:

Payment Hours:

Treasury will have extended business hours for tax payments the last 2 weeks in December (there will be no Saturday or Holiday hours for property tax payments).

Daily payment hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For tax payment purposes, payment hours will be extended on the following dates as shown below:

Monday—Friday, Dec. 17-21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday—Friday, Dec. 26-28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


City Hall has extended their hours from 8:30-4:30 to 8:00- 5:00 on weekdays. Again, on Saturdays, you’re out of luck.

I know tons of people who work from 8:00- 5:00…EVERY DAY!

So please, let’s not insult Franklin residents by claiming you’re working so hard and doing us a favor when we hand over yet another obscene tax bill.

As one resident told me, customer service will improve once City Hall gets that sparkling new taxpayer-funded roof.

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (12/15/18)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Sunny. High of 40. “C”

  Partly cloudy. High of 42. “C”

Now, here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer, with this week’s main blog.

I'm thinking that there needs to be some more training.

This blog is a team effort. When Kevin and I find the occasional “naughty dog” story for DOGS IN THE NEWS I must confess I chuckle. Heck, sometimes I LOL.

Haven’t posted one of those gems lately, but with the Christmas season upon us there will be plenty of “naughty dog” sightings. Depending on your perspective and whether or not you’ll be affected, that can be funny or not so much.

A survey was conducted in the United Kingdom about dog behavior at Christmastime. I’m guessing similar dog mishaps occur here in the good old US of A. And if that’s the case, dog owners beware. Any of what you’re about to read could very well happen at your house.

Based on the survey by an insurance company here are the ten naughtiest things dogs do over Christmas.


Eaten a present/part of a present (6%)

As in 6% of the respondents said this has happened.



Eaten Christmas chocolates (7%)

Image result for image, photo, picture, dog, ate  Christmas chocolates


Ate other parts of the Christmas dinner (7%)

My dog eating his first Christmas dinner.


Eaten the turkey (7%)


Ripped open all the presents (9%)

Destroying The Holiday Decoration, Ripping Open The Presents, Bringing Down The Tree... THIS Is How Our Pets Are Ruining Christmas.

Ruined decorations (12%)


Urinated on the Christmas tree (16%)

Image result for image, photo, picture, dog Urinated on the Christmas tree


Eaten decorations off the Christmas tree (17%)

Image result for image, photo, picture, dog, Eaten decorations off the Christmas tree


Pulled down the Christmas tree (25%)

Destroying The Holiday Decoration, Ripping Open The Presents, Bringing Down The Tree... THIS Is How Our Pets Are Ruining Christmas.
And finally, #1

Knocked down decorations (33%)

In London, more than half of animals have ended up at the vets in December, double the national average. 12% will spend Christmas Day there, too.

Dogs are not the worst offenders. In the UK Cats proved to be the clumsiest with 40% of cat owners having had their Christmas decorations knocked over, and almost a third having to put their tree up a second time.

Destroying The Holiday Decoration, Ripping Open The Presents, Bringing Down The Tree... THIS Is How Our Pets Are Ruining Christmas.
Maybe the Brits need to stop feeding their pets tea.
—Jennifer Fischer

Thank you, Jennifer.

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

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Delta’s New Rules About Flying With Dogs Just Started An Important Conversation About Disabilities.

Some dog lovers are using a loophole to bring their pets inside restaurants.

Dog debate growing in Wrightstown, WI.

Who gets the dog in the divorce? Enter the pet prenup.

Don’t call them mutts. They’re American Shelter Dogs.

Vigilance: Dog teams work to keep America’s largest Pacific air base safe.

Why you should avoid giving this popular stocking filler to your dog this Christmas.

Vet dresses as giant mouse to calm dog.

NY TIMES COLUMN: Read why owner believes his dog cheated death.

Do you really want to know what your pets are doing while you’re away?

Take your dog to the movies at K9 Cinemas in Plano, Texas.

These AKC Trick Dog Performers Know the Benefits of Trick Training.

Washington goes bipawtisan.

Milwaukee’s most popular alcohol-inspired dog name?

Are These Dog Leggings Supposed to Be Sexy?

NY TIMES COLUMN: I love Fido, but does he have to be on the bed while we have sex?



Mistletoe is pictured outside kennels at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, where the two-year-old lurcher has lived for 69 days. The animal shelter is seeking homes for some of its longest standing residents. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

We close as we always do with our closing video and we have a few.

A California woman and her dog have been reunited after more than a month, when they were separated by the deadly Camp Fire. Andrea Gaylord was evacuated and unable to access her Paradise, Calif., home after the fire broke out on Nov. 8. But Gaylord’s Anatolian shepherd, Madison, waited at home, apparently guarding the burned property for weeks.

Big, big dog show this weekend.

NEXT, in the United States, Christmas cards with family photos are popular. But more than ever many of those photos include a four-legged member of the family, the pet dog. For the past several years, a gourmet dog bakery and boutique in Arlington, Virginia has hired a professional pet photographer to take dog photos with Santa Claus. VOA’s Deborah Block takes us there to see the cute pups.

One more, right here.

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please consider passing this along to other dog lovers you know.

See ya, BARK, next Saturday morning!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, dog, tree, outdoor and nature
Niki (L) and Colt (R)

The Best Cartoons of the Week (12/15/18)


Chip Bok


Mike Lester


Steve Kelley


A.F. Branco

A.F. Branco

Gary Varvel

A.F. Branco


Michael Ramirez


AL Goodwyn


A.F. Branco


Ken Catalino


A.F. Branco


Steve Kelley


Tom Stiglich

Rick McKee

Joe Heller

Sean Delonas

Mike Lester

Steve Kelley

Joe Heller

David Fitzsimmons