Culinary no-no #605

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

On Saturday it was pandemonium at the Fischer household. Kyla had some friends over for a small birthday party. A larger gathering is planned for sometime in May.

Image may contain: 5 people, including Jennifer Fischer, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

This was one of the quiet moments as the girls (from Kyla’s school, the neighborhood, and Cashel Dennehy Irish Dance) got right into the spirit of the party’s donut theme with frosting, icing, and sprinkles.

Donut decorations came after other snacks including pizza were served. The pies came from Papa Murphy’s (plain cheese that were a big hit).

There was enough on hand (imagine that) allowing me to sneak a slice or two. But the plain cheese needed some pzazz for my blood so I sprinkled on some red pepper flakes.

We’ll never think twice about ordering Papa Murphy’s. And some frozen pizzas are mighty good for frozen. But as far as the chains are concerned, for me, unless it’s Papa John’s the others will never see the inside of my house.  I don’t care how many deals they’re offering during March Madness.

Let’s consider what’s happening at Pizza Hut. We’ve mentioned before that all the goofy restaurant ideas often originate in the moonbat capital of the United States, the Golden State.

At select Pizza Hut locations in southern California the restaurants are selling 99-cent petite shakers of crushed red pepper and grated cheese. That’s how Pizza hut and other chains do it. Unlike pizzerias that put those condiments in jars on the tables, Pizza hut gives it to you in packets. But they don’t just  “give it you” in the aforementioned select spots.

In a statement Pizza Hut said, “As the marketplace continues to evolve, select Pizza Hut restaurants in Southern California have begun to test selling crushed red pepper and grated cheese for 99 cents.”

The shakers contain a measly .88 ounces of grated cheese and .61 ounces of red pepper flakes, according to Pizza Hut.

One Pizza Hut location in Orange County, California,  charges $1.25 for 1 gram of red pepper flakes and $1.25 for 2 grams of grated parmesan cheese. Two grams is equal to 0.07 ounces.

The 1.75 ounce container of red peppers I used on my plain cheese pizza this weekend…

Yeh. That’s it!

My wife bought it for 99 cents. If the size was 2 ounces the cost would be $1.40 as opposed to the $2.50 the restaurant might be serving. But the restaurant isn’t putting shakers on the table. They’re putting packets on the table.

Are they soaking customers?

No.

Are they asking customers to pay out of pocket when customers are not accustomed to?

You betcha.

You are a major national chain and you’re asking me (if the experiment heads to Wisconsin) to pay for a puny packet of cheese or peppers?

And not enough fresh stuff in a jar.

This is like McDonald’s asking me to pay for cream in a creamer. A Greek joint wanted extra for gyro sauce. A fee for maple syrup for  my to-go pancakes?

By  now the no-no should be clear and non-defensible.

Why this nickle-and-diming of Pizza Hut customers that could very well stretch elsewhere?

We’ve blogged about it many times, and many more times has it been reported.

The answer is food politics.

Protesters hold signs at a rally in support of minimum wage increase in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

When the minimum wage goes up, those watching only about their nose foolishly suspect good news.

But, from Nation’s Restaurant’s News:

In January, California’s minimum wage increased $1 an hour, to $12, for businesses with 26 or more employees. The minimum wage will reach a state-mandated $15 an hour in 2022 for large companies. Employers in California with 25 or fewer employees have an additional year, or until 2023, to raise wages to $15 an hour.

Most operators raise menu prices when faced with rising overhead costs, including labor and commodities. But with wages rising every year in California, independent operators and chains have resorted to adding surcharges as well.

I think we can, but won’t, but shouldn’t, agree that a minimum wage increase hurts more than it helps.

Sounds good initially to the teenage worker (the increase benefits the most), but he /she will, if not dismissed, have to work twice as hard to make hard for those who lost their jobs because of increased labor costs.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

Larger customers

Why Restaurant Demand For Smaller Fish Fillets Is Bad News For Oceans

Photos of the Week (03/24/19)

A pictorial week-in-review posted every Sunday.

1) A structure is surrounded by floodwater on March 21, 2019, in Atchison, Kansas. Several Midwest states are battling some of the worst flooding they have experienced in decades as rain and snow melt from the recent “bomb cyclone” have inundated rivers and streams. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty

2) An onlooker checks out a bridge that washed out during a recent flood near Waterloo, Nebraska, on March 18, 2019. Photo: Ryan Hignight / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District / Handout via Reuters

3) Lanni Bailey and a team from Muddy Paws Second Chance Rescue enter a flooded house to pull out several cats during the flooding of the Missouri River near Glenwood, Iowa, U.S., March 18, 2019. Photo: Reuters

4) Local surfers and competitors in the Sydney Surf Pro participate in a paddle-out wreath laying and observe a minute of silence to remember victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks at Manly Beach on March 17, 2019, in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Cameron Spencer / Getty

5) Flowers and tributes are laid at the Botanic Gardens on March 18, 2019, in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history. Photo: Hannah Peters / Getty

6) A man lays flowers at the World War Two memorial in the former village of Khatyn, Belarus. Nazi troops killed 149 villagers on March 22, 1943, most of them children and women, and burned down their houses. The village was never restored again, according to historians. Photo: Reuters

7) People walk along a canal polluted with plastic and garbage at the Estero de San Lazaro in Manila in the Philippines. Photo: AFP

8) Thousands of ants warm themselves under the rays of the sun on the surface of an anthill in a forest on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, during a spring day. Photo: AP

9) A view of Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, on March 18, 2019. Photo: Yu Ruidong / China News Service / VCG via Getty

10) Dutch counterterrorism police install a camera on a sniffer dog as they prepare to enter a house after a shooting incident in Utrecht, Netherlands. Photo: AP

11) Peter Festa is pictured with his bulldog at the American Kennel Club’s Museum of the Dog during an unveiling of the clubs’ most popular breeds in New York, New York. Photos: Reuters

12) A day-old lamb explores new surroundings on the vernal equinox, considered the first day of spring, on March 20, 2019, at Coombes Farm in Lancing, England. Photo: Andrew Hasson / Getty

13) The Louvre Pyramid is seen at sunset on March 21, 2019, in Paris, France. The pyramid of the Louvre Museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Designed by the Chinese-born U.S. architect Leoh Ming Pei, it was inaugurated on March 30, 1989, by French President Francois Mitterrand. Photo: Chesnot / Getty

14) Britain’s largest bronze sculpture, Messenger, is driven to Plymouth Theatre Royal through the city center in Plymouth, England, on March 18, 2019.  Photo: Peter Nicholls / Reuters

15) Visitors spend time at “The Vessel,” a public art structure on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan in New York, on March 20, 2019. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil / Anadolu Agency / Getty

16) An inside view of the underwater restaurant Under in Baaly, Norway, on March 19, 2019. Photo: Lefteris Karagiannopoulos / Reuters. The brainchild of local hoteliers Stig and Gaute Ubostad, Under  was designed by Oslo-based architects Snøhetta. Semi-submerged in the North Atlantic, the 34-metre-long building rests on the seabed five meters below and breaks the surface at one end. It will open to diners on April 2. Photograph: Tor Erik Schrøder/AP

17) A visitor takes pictures of cherry blossoms at night in Yingyuan park in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on March 20, 2019. Photo: Wang HE / Getty

18) In Newton-le-Willows, England, a pair of 12-carat gold Hibo glasses that belonged to John Lennon. The glasses are among a number of Beatles items for sale at Omega Auctions. Photograph: Omega Auctions/PA

19) A giant ‘Companion’ inflatable sculpture by US artist Brian Donnelly, known professionally as Kaws, is displayed at the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, China. Photo: Reuters

20) An aerial view of the Chicago River as it winds its way through downtown after being dyed green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, on March 16, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty

21) A man dressed as St. Patrick poses with an Irish police officer as participants gather for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade through the city center of Dublin, Ireland, on March 17, 2019. Photo: AFP

22) Ireland player Nichola Fryday (center) and the rest of the Irish pack get ready for a scrum during the Wales Women versus Ireland Women rugby match in the Women’s Six Nations at Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, Wales, on March 17, 2019. Photo: Stu Forster / Getty

23) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro presents President Trump with a Brazilian national team soccer jersey in the Oval Office of the White House. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

24) Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ shoots against Oregon forward Francis Okoro, bottom right, during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. Photo:

25) Wisconsin guard Khalil Iverson dunks against Oregon during the first half a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. Photo:

26) Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ saves the ball from going out of bounds during the second half against Oregon, but his teammates on the bench part instead of saving him from crashing into the chairs during the Badgersloss to the Ducks on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in San Jose, Calif. Photo: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

27) A couple of Badgers can’t bring themselves to watch the final seconds of their 72-54 loss to Oregon on Thursday. Photo: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

28) Golden Eagles guard Markus Howard passes the ball to forward Ed Morrow between a pair of Murray State defenders during the first half. Photo: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

29) Marquette forward Brendan Bailey throws home a dunk against Murray State during the first half. Photo: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

30) Murray State star Ja Morant whoops it up after hitting a shot against Marquette at the end of the first half. Photo: Maddie Meyer, Getty Images

31) Murray State guard Ja Morant dunks on Joey Hauser of Marquette during the second half. Marquette lost 83-64. Photo: Elise Amendola, Associated Press

32) University of Central Florida center Tacko Fall is a very large human being who stands at 7-foot-6 and weighs at a listed 310 pounds. CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson was able to get her photo taken with Fall during Thursday’s practice session at Colonial Life Arena. Photo: CBS Sports

AND FINALLY…

Week-ends (03/23/19)

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…

HEROES OF THE WEEK

Tanitoluwa Adewumi

Logan Brinson

Ernie Andrus

VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

These teachers

The media

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

Cassie Barker

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.”
The Associated Press

“Today, Democrats are in mourning. They banked on the Mueller investigation providing all the ammunition they would need to initiate immediate impeachment proceedings in the House and emboldening enough Senate Republicans to remove the 45th president of the United States for the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ of criminally conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“Yet, within an hour of the Mueller report being delivered  to the Department of Justice (DOJ), at least one DOJ source was quoted as saying that the special counsel was not recommending any further indictments of individuals. Another report indicated that there were no unsealed indictments in hand.”
Bradley Blakeman is an adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University

“So if, if as Jeffrey [Toobin] is saying, they [Trump administration] get great news, the great news is, first of all, there’s no more indictments. But if suddenly the president has to say those angry Democrats who were working with Bob Mueller were actually just part of a Justice Department doing its job after he has criticized the Justice Department, then he’s now vindicated.”
CNN political analyst Gloria Borger

“Let’s be specific. This is really good news for a lot of people around Donald Trump. Donald Trump Jr. Jared Kushner. Jerome Corsi. The writer who had a draft indictment presented to him by Mueller’s office and they decided not to go forward with this. Let’s be fair here. There has been a lot of suspicion around certain people. And a lot of negative things have been said and imputation of criminal activity. Mueller has said, ‘I am not proceeding.’ There is no better news to receive than you are not being indicted by the United States government.”
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin agreed with Borger

“The president himself has called, without qualification, for the report to be made public. There is no reason on God’s green earth why Attorney General (William) Barr should do any less.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York

“The American people will see every word, every comma, every period of this report. The president is outnumbered now in a way that he was not before.  We have the subpoena power … so it’s just a matter of time.

“This is a test for our country because the rule of law has had a wrecking ball taken to it, and what we do now with this report will very much determine whether the rule of law still stands.”
Rep. Eric Swallwell, D-Calif., a member of both the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee

“Russiagate weirdos next move is to claim ‘Russiagate is real but Mueller just couldn’t prove it!’ As crazy as that sounds watch them do it.

“To be clear:

The Robert Mueller investigation is over

There will be no more indictments

And there was no Trump-Russia collusion

Let that sink in”
Conservative pundit Jack Prosobiec

“Special Counsel Mueller appears to have concluded, after almost two years and millions of dollars spent, that there never was any illegal collusion. In other earth-shattering news, water is wet, and the sun rises in the east.”
Jenny Beth Martin is the co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, and a columnist for The Washington Times

“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell! I don’t know him. He’s a whack job, there’s no question about it.”
President Donald Trump  feuded with lawyer George Conway,  the spouse of Trump’s chief counselor Kellyanne Conway. Trump denied George Conway a top Justice Department job.

“You seem determined to prove my point. Good for you! #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder. You. Are. Nuts.”
Mr. Conway tweeting at Trump

“You think he should just take that sitting down?”
Kellyanne Conway defended Trump for clobbering her own husband when she asked a reporter this question

“I studied for MONTHS for the SAT. Twice, sometimes three times a week. Tons of practice tests. Ended up taking the SAT multiple times as well. College apps were no joke… the amount of stress kids put into that to potentially lose a spot to someone unfairly is horrible.”
A tweet by John Owen Lowe, son of actor Rob Lowe

“I will appoint a new News and Information Ombudsman with the power to fine egregious corporate offenders. One of the main purposes of the Ombudsman will be to identify sources of spurious information that are associated with foreign nationals. The Ombudsman will work with social media companies to identify fraudulent accounts and disable and punish responsible parties.”
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says the federal government will punish media companies for the spread of misinformation if he wins in 2020

“You drive through Anonito and you used to not even have a gas station, and now it has four marijuana shops. I know in my district that’s not what they want downtown to look like, so this would help.”
New Mexico Republican Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a dairy farmer from Roswell, in a conservative political stronghold of the state, describing a Colorado town of 750 residents near the New Mexico state line.  He said said state-run stores can prevent the proliferation of pot shops that some other states have witnessed, and provide retail shelf space at a low cost to fledgling marijuana producers. New Mexico would become the first U.S. state to set up its own government-operated marijuana stores and subsidize medical cannabis for the poor under a bill brokered between Republicans and Democrats, as a new wave of states weighs legislation that would legalize recreational sales and consumption.

“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [grown-up Wade Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Barbra Streisand is under fire for comments she made about two men accusing Michael Jackson of sexually assaulting them as children

“Don’t pick a team that hasn’t been better than .500 in its last 10 games. Ahem, Marquette. A winning bracket takes a little research. The best way to avoid mishaps is to assess a team’s play in late February and early March because as much as the tournament is about matchups, a team that’s playing poorly shouldn’t be ignored. The Golden Eagles, for instance, are the best-seeded team from the Big East. But they’ve also lost five of six and do not look like they’re about to peak.”
Scott Gleeson of USA TODAY in a column offering tips on filling out an NCAA basketball tournament bracket.  He wrote the column BEFORE the tournament started. Marquette lost its opener in the tourney to Murray State, 83-64.

“Certainly we didn’t play as well at the end of the season as we did for most of it. We’ve got to really examine that and figure out why. When you hit a tough patch, usually it’s not one thing. It’s a combination of things. So we’ll have to study that and figure out what happened.”
Marquette Golden Eagles head coach Steve Wojciechowski

“Are you not entertained?”
As the final seconds ticked down and Murray State became the first mid-major team to pull an upset in this year’s NCAA tournament with an 83–64 win over Marquette, Tee Morant stood proudly in his front row seat at the XL Center and yelled to everyone within earshot about his son. Ja Morant of Murray State recorded a triple double (17 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds) in the victory. It was Morant’s third triple double this season and only the ninth in NCAA tournament history—the first since Draymond Green in 2012 at Michigan State and the first one by a guard since Dwyane Wade in 2003 at Marquette.

“It was kind of like when you have a near-death experience and your life flashes before your eyes. I thought back to my first trip up to Madison, my visit. Everything. It is still tough to know that it’s over.”
Ethan Happ of the Wisconsin Badgers, a fifth-year senior, after Wisconsin lost to Oregon Friday in the NCAA tournament, 72-54

 

I’d like to offer a few more proposals to speed and enliven the game many of us love, often because of its unhurried pace and multifarious strategies:

Don’t bother with actual pitches and hits. They take time and are hard to predict. Have the pitcher point to his stats on a screen, the batter point to his, then each touch a button on a home screen and have algorithms flash the results. Single! Walk! It’s outta here!

Bury gold bricks under each base. Incentivize the play! A potential payoff might encourage more base stealing.

Make managers remove one item of clothing each time the opposing team scores a run. That’ll keep managers in the dugout.

And to really speed up the game, put in antelopes as pinch runners. Antelopes can run 60 miles an hour.
NPR’s Scott Simon

OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

Priest stabbed during Mass

MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK

Toxic waters

MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK

March Madness, and rightfully so

MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK

Fence Dispute in Santa Rosa Leads to Racy Mannequin Display

The UFO community still believes

 

A 2020 landslide; $$$ and schools; college scandals, and an R for a pro-life movie

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (03/22/19): How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide

Today’s highly interesting read (03/21/19): R rating for this movie is laughable

Today’s highly interesting read (03/19/19): STUDY: K-12 Spending Increases Unlikely to Result in Student Success

Today’s highly interesting read (03/19/18): In colleges it’s not just the admissions that are scandalous

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (03/23/18)

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.

TODAYMostly sunny. High of 51.   “B”

SUNDAY
Overcast with rain showers at times. High of 46.  “D

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

It’s quiz time here at the dog blog. Let’s play.

What is Wisconsin’s official state animal?

If you guessed…

Average Size Mosquito In Wisconsin

Though it’s hard to disagree, you’d be wrong.

This was rather easy. Shame on you if you messed up.

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NOOOO!

Badger Culling and Perturbation

Yes.

State fish?

It could only be…

The muskellenge, better known as the muskie.

Most  people get that. And the state tree. State flower. State bird.

But what about the official Wisconsin dog?

The breed was developed in the Badger State and is firmly entrenched in the Blue Book as the state dog.

What is it?

To borrow a page from my hubby’s blog we’ll give you 30 seconds.

Think about it while the music is playing.

Go ahead. Click!

 

Ready?

Wisconsin’s official state dog is…

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The American water spaniel.

You didn’t know?

Not many people do.

Here’s important info.  The American water spaniel is one of only five dog breeds developed in the U.S. and the only one that originated in Wisconsin.

It was used beginning in the mid-1800s as a retriever for market hunters, primarily for .

Waterfowl hunters love this breed for its double-coat and hardiness in cold weather.

So why don’t more people know about the importance of this breed and why it has such a special designation here? Because it’s so rare. There are but 3,000 of these dogs…in the world.

The Blue Book accepted this dog in its list of state symbols in 1986.

A state marker in New London commemorates the breed’s standing. From the Blue Book:

 “The American water spaniel was developed as a practical, versatile hunting dog that combined certain physical attributes with intelligence and a good disposition. No flashy show animal, the American water spaniel is described as an unadorned, utilitarian dog that earns its keep as an outstanding hunter, watchdog, and family pet.”

More than half of the 3,000 American water spaniels are found in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, but it’s very difficult to come across one in the Badger State. That’s despite the fact it handle the cold.

And who says blogs aren’t educational!

For more check out the American Water Spaniel Club.
—Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

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

Related image

Bill would punish people who abandon dogs during hurricanes.

How far will apartments go to get owners to scoop the poop?

Barking Lot update: Attention, Dogs: Bark at Your Owners’ Peril.

ICYMI last week: Dog walking is leading to more broken bones in older adults.

Snow melt reveals dog ‘surprises’ scattered across Riverwest area of Milwaukee.

OPINION: Professor says dogs are better than grandchilden.

Vegan dogs and cats? Study finds some pet owners are feeding their animals plant-based diets.

What Would a Dog Do on Mars?

And the winner is…

And another winner is…

Doggie bartenders?

THAT’S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.

HERE’S OUR DOG PHOTO(s) OF THE WEEK.

A serviceman of the Belarusian Interior Ministry’s special forces performs as he marks Internal Forces Day in Minsk, Belarus, on March 17, 2019. Photo: Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

56 photos, yes, 56 from Texas! It’s bluebonnet season.

And here’s one we missed recently.


King, a wire fox terrier, leans toward a microphone during a media availability at Sardi’s in New York on February 13, 2019. King won Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show the day before. Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP

We close as we always do with our closing video. Once again this week…more than one.

In this inspiring true story, our best friends are also real-life superheroes. Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners.

First,  “Reef is a four-year old Newfoundland, who adores the lakes and sea around her home near Milan, Italy. Her partner is Commandante Ferruccio Pilenga, founder of the Scuela Italiana di Cani Salvataggio (Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs), and a huge advocate for the Newfoundland as a working water dog. Today, Reef is an instructor dog, helping other dogs develop their innate rescue instinct to save human lives. She can deploy from a boat or helicopter, swim for miles without tiring and tow up to 40 times her own weight in the water!”

Reef is featured in the new MAX film “Superhero Dogs.” Her school is the subject of this video.

 

 

Now we move to a company called Tombot that has devised a way to improve the quality of life for seniors facing challenges when it comes to being social: a robotic companion dog that behaves and responds like a real dog, but without all the responsibilities of maintaining a living, breathing animal. The company utilized folks at the Jim Henson Creature Shop to produce a robo-dog that looks as lifelike as possible.

Cool, or creepy?

 

 

 

Now here’s a video we shared with you on The Barking Lot on December 9, 2017.

CBS News reported on a growing effort to train dogs not just to be guides, but also to be athletes. Watch.

OK. That was near the end of 2017. Now for the update:

Blind Runner And His Trio Of Guide Dogs Make History In NYC Half Marathon.

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!

Best Cartoons of the Week (03/23/19)

THE CONWAYS

David Fitzsimmons

SOCIALISM

Gary Varvel

Michael Ramirez

Lisa Benson

BETO O’ROURKE

A.F. Branco

D.C. POLITICS

A.F. Branco

PROPAGANDA BROADCASTERS

Tom Stiglich

A.F. Branco

COLLEGE SCANDAL

Steve Kelley

Chip Bok

Ken Catalino

Joe Heller

BOEING

Sean Delonas

Ken Catalino

ANTI-VAXXERS

Robert Ariail

BIRTH STRIKE

Mike Lester

WHITE SUPREMACY

Tom Stiglich

TEXTING

Jeff Koterba

Goodnight everyone, and have an unforgettable weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

One of the greatest singers of all-time would have been 100 years old earlier this week.

Nat King Cole was taught to play the piano by his mother when he was 4. At 15 he dropped out of high school to lead his own bands. A ballad singer and jazz musician, Cole sold more than 50 million records.

“Nat King Cole’s voice is really one of the great gifts of nature,” said Daniel Mark Epstein, author of the 1999 biography Nat King Cole. “Remember, he was never trained as a singer. And so, his voice is absolutely pure. He’s a baritone with absolutely perfect pitch. He sings the notes true and he hits them right in the center.”

This week, remembering Nat King Cole. Let’s get started.

It’s the late 1930’s. Cole is 18, married, living in Los Angeles, and leading his own jazz trio.  The group became so popular that in 1946 it got its own national radio show. No African-American had ever hosted such a program before.  The hits kept coming.

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By the 1950’s Cole played less jazz and started singing more. In 1963 he was featured in a TV special on the BBC.

Even though he downplayed his singing ability, once he stood up from the piano Cole manufactured love songs that the public adored.

“You see, it’s not a case of my personal likes,” Cole said. “I try to please as many people as I possibly can and if I find the people like certain things, I try to give them what they like. And that’s good business too, you see.”

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Next, a rather unusual connection.

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Charlie Chaplin was the king of silent movie comedies.

In the 1936 film “Modern Times” Chaplin plays a factory worker who suddenly has a nervous breakdown and goes mad. During a journey that takes him from the hospital to prison to unemployment, Chaplin comes across a beautiful orphaned girl and helps her  escape from the police.

The final scene shows Chaplin and the girl setting off down a road to a new life. He pauses and points to the corners of his mouth, indicating that she should smile.

Chaplin wrote the music for the song “Smile” that was used in the movie soundtrack. Lyrics were based on that final scene.

Nat King Cole recorded the first version of “Smile” with the lyrics. His daughter, Natalie Cole recorded many of her father’s song and performed them in concert, helping immensely to keep his memory alive.

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Father and daughter were part of a super successful 1991 album “Unforgettable…with Love” that ultimately sold 14 million copies. On the title track Natalie Cole employed a number of over-dubbings allowing her to sing a virtual duet with her dad. Recording engineer Al Schmitt was the mastermind behind the classic collaboration.

“Natalie’s very easy to record,” said Schmitt. “At one point, instead of being in a vocal booth, she came out and stood right there with the orchestra, à la Frank Sinatra. She was amazing.”

The album  won a Grammy Award for Best Engineering.

“Nothing had been attempted like that,” said Natalie Cole. “To lift Dad’s voice, literally, off of that track and put it on a brand new one, and then line it up, match it up, get the phrasing right. I remember listening – everyone listening at the end, and we were just enthralled. It was really wonderful.”

For Cole’s 1996 album “Stardust” the engineering trick was repeated on this standard from the early 1950’s.

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That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Nat King Cole developed a very nasty habit when he was 14.

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He was a heavy smoker from then on and had a lung removed in early 1965. But doctors said the lung cancer had spread beyond control.

Born on March 17, 1919, Cole died on February 15, 1965. He was only 45. Just before he died his last studio album, “L-O-V-E” was released.

I just can’t resist. Here’s Kyla when she had just turned 7 performing with her school ballet group. Kyla’s classmates voted her “best hip action.” She starts out on your far right.

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