HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! 2018 is OVER! Our “End of the Year Review”

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! 2018 is OVER!
Our “End of the Year Review”
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Another new year.
Three hundred sixty five days!
The future is here.

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Okay, so it’s January 10th, 2019. We’ve been working on this Blog Post since just before New Year’s and it’s not going to get finished… so we are posting it “AS IS”. Enjoy it!

JANUARY 2018

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!

And so, GOODBYE 2018!
“Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split you!”
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We hope year 2019 kicks 2018’s ass, the way 2018 kicked ours!

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And Santa’s  job is done for the year. He’ll be back to judging you next week.

GOOD KHARMA for 2018:
Flooding in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara, forced family to evacuate. They and their little dog were our houseguests for three weeks in January and February. They had previously evacuated during the Thomas Fire and also stayed with us then.

And the Not So Good News:
On January 13, an early morning ballistic missile alert was sent across Hawaii in error, and revoked after 38 minutes, prompting changes to the warning system.
On January 25, the “Doomsday clock” was moved by 30 seconds to 2 minutes to midnight by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,  now the closest since the 1950s.

Kilroy Was Here! (pic from October 2017, read the Blog Post from January 2018)
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February

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! February 4th, 2018
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Philadelphia Eagles 41 – New England Patriots 33
The second time that the Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis, MN
NBC’s broadcast had the smallest audience in 9 years,
with an average of only 103.4 million viewers

On Feb 6th, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket.

The XXIII Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea begin on February 9th.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!
2018 was the Year of the Male Yang Brown Earth Dog

2019 will be the Year of the Female Yin Brown Earth Pig.

Mom’s Very Special Birthday Party at Melisse Restaurant
in West Los Angeles in February was a great event!

March

90th Academy Awards on March 4th:
“The Shape of Water” wins Best Picture and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro
Gary Oldman wins Best Actor for “Darkest Hour”, Frances McDormand wins Best Actress for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Mississippi”, and Jordan Peele wins Best Original Screenplay for “Get Out”. “Remember Me’ from the film “Coco” wins Best Original Song.
And a new envelope procedure was begun to make sure the presenters are given the correct envelope for the category they are about to present after “Envelopegate” in 2017.
The 2018 Academy Awards on ABC had 26.5 million viewers across the almost 4 hour show, a decline of 20% over 2017’s show and the worst viewership ever.

THE DAY OF THE DUDE March 6th
“You’re a Lebowski. I’m a Lebowski.”
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The oldest “message in a bottle” was found in western Australia. It was thrown from German sailing ship Paula on June 12, 1886, 132 years ago!
And they also found the sunken American aircraft carrier the USS Lexington in Australia. It was lost during World War II’s Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.

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Sunset in Oakland, California

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the “Highest overdose death rates ever recorded in the US”: 142000 overdoses in year 2016-17.

On March 20th,  Donald Trump meets with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House.

“March for Our Lives” rallies held in Washington D.C., most U.S. cities, and around the world to protest gun violence on March 24th. Thousands and thousands of people attend.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on March 26th, adult film star Stormy Daniels goes public about sex with Donald Trump, the $130000 payoff from Michael Cohen, and then later being threatened to keep quiet.

April

HAPPY REX MANNING DAY!
April 8th is always Rex Manning Day!
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On April 14th, Beyoncé Knowles is the first African-American woman to headline the Coachella Music Festival. Her performance is the most-watched ever on YouTube!

Donald Trump hosts his first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron on April 24th.

Bill Cosby found guilty of sexual assault in Pennsylvania on April 26th. He and Roman Polanski are expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on May 3rd.

Things That Really Don’t Matter but are considered really important:
On April 26th, 4 quarterbacks were chosen in the top 10 during the first round of the NFL Draft for the first time in history. On April 27th, the Swedish band ABBA announced they have recorded new songs for the first time since 1982. On April 29th, “The Simpsons” animated series passed “Gunsmoke” (with 635 episodes) as the television series with the highest episode count. And on April 30th, “Avengers: Infinity War” set a new box office record for a film’s opening weekend earning $250 million in the United States and $630 million worldwide.

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Mt. Shasta

“Truckin’, got my chips cashed in.
Keep truckin’, like the doo-dah man
Together more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.”

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Mt. Ashland in the Siskiyou Pass, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon – “A Gathering of Friends” Saturday, April 14th
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Dad 1

Lee Weisel RIP

In April we had a “Bilbo Baggins” party for my father Lee Weisel (now of blessed memory) at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Oregon. He was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other associated illnesses and passed in May. It was a swell party and good time was had by everyone!

We made three hard road trips from Los Angeles to Ashland and back between January and June. The first to take care of him, the second for the party and the third for the funeral. Rest in Peace Dad.

 

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”  ~ T. S. Eliot

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Double Rainbow Over the Comfort Inn & Suites at Oregon Exit 19

 

The first LEGAL 4-20 celebration in California in April!
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Recreational use of marijuana became legal in California on January 1st.
And as of November, ten states now have legal “recreational” marijuana!

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CA, OR, WA, AK, NV, CO, MI, MA, VT & ME

The whole country of Canada legalized marijuana this year too!
The Canadian Cannabis Act made weed legal across the nation on October 17th!

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Oh Canada!

May

The Kilauea volcano on the Big Island Hawaii begins erupting and forces the evacuation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and residential areas on May 3rd.

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Kilauea Volcano on Big Island Hawaii

California becomes the worlds fifth largest economy passing Great Britain on May 4th.

Justify wins the 144th Kentucky Derby On May 5th and the 142nd Preakness Stakes on May 19th! And on June 9th, Justify wins the 150th Belmont Stakes with 58 year old jockey Mike Smith and becomes the 13th Triple Crown winner!

 

Vladimir Putin is sworn in as Russian President for another 6 years on May 7, having won the election with over 75% of the vote (and the murder of his political rivals).

Global tourism accounts for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions according to a University of Sydney study.

On May 14th, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal law banning sports gambling in most states.

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A $5 Bet wins $100000 Parley For New Years 2019!

 

American actress Meghan Markle married English Prince Harry at a ceremony in Windsor Castle, joining the British royal family on May 19th. Queen Elizabeth II grants them the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Donald Trump posthumously pardons boxer Jack Johnson on May 24th for a racially orientated criminal conviction: transporting a white woman across state lines. Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury in June, 1913, despite the fact that the incidents used to convict him took place before the passage of the Mann Act.
NOTE: Credit should go to Sylvester Stallone for convincing Trump!

HAPPY TOWEL DAY! May 25th “Don’t Panic”
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June

Net neutrality is repealed by The Federal Communications Commission on June 11th.

Donald Trump and Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un meet in Singapore on June 12th.

FIFA World Cup begins on June 14th in Moscow, Russia.

On June 22, comedian John Oliver and the HBO website on the Chinese social media platform Weibo was blocked by censors after a hilarious 20 minute segment on Chinese dictator Xi Jinping ran on June 17th. Oliver made fun of the Chinese president’s apparent sensitivity over comparisons of his figure with that of Winnie the Pooh and called Xi the “creepy uncle who imprisons 800000 people in his basement” while criticizing China’s Human Right record and their crackdown on any form of political or social dissent.
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On June 28th, a lone gunman attacked the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, killing nine people,

July

“The Boss” joined the family in July.

Care and training for the new puppy!

August

Birthday Dinner at Larsen’s Steakhouse in August

Camp Envy – Burning Man 2018 (August September)

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CAMP ENVY PRIZE for BURNING MAN 2018

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TRAINWRECK! (via Camp Envy stream) at Burning Man 2018

We didn’t go to Burning Man in 2018 (read the previous Blog Post) but we participated in the event via Camp Envy (online webstream, webpage and fb group) on the interweb.
NOTE: We want to go back to Burning Man in 2019…. we think.

September

Happy Rosh Hashanah! (the Jewish New Year)
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October

Inktober!

Dinner Party at Mozza Osteria in October

LOTTERY FEVER!

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“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

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October 20th
Celebrate LA!
The Dodgers win the pennant!
World Series choke time

October 28th – CHOKE.
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World Series Game 5: Red Sox 5, Dodgers 1
THE RED SOX WIN THE SERIES!
And it’s all over now, Dodger Blue. They suckered you in again and took your money again. You bought your hats, jerseys, bobbleheads and other blue merch. You don’t get to watch the game on TV (FU TWC), and how much did you spend on tickets, parking and overpriced concessions to see them play at Chavez Ravine? And now when it counts, they fold like a bad poker hand and let you down again. But, maybe next year…..
THE CURSE OF TIME-WARNER/SPORTSNET CONTINUES.

Halloween

November

THE MIDTERM ELECTION on November 6th!

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WE VOTED!

 

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Veterans Day 2018!
100 Year Anniversary of the End of World War I on 11/11 at 11:11am.
Please remember and honor all the men and women, living and dead,
that have loyally served the United States!
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ArtRising in Reseda, California
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2018 was a Big Year for Natural Disasters!
2017 was a record year in the United Sates for cost of natural disasters: $306 billion
2018 will break that record.
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VOLCANOES!
The Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has been active for 35 years and this year the eruption in May-June-July destroyed more than 700 homes and impacted the tourism industry. Kilauea continues to erupt at the summit and from the Puʻu ʻOʻo vent in the East Rift Zone, producing lava that flows to the ocean.
The Anak Krakakau volcano in Indonesia triggered a tsunami on Saturday, December 22, and killed more than 400 people. Airplane flights have been rerouted and the crater’s status was just raised to high alert, the second-highest level.
The Fuego volcano’s sudden eruption in southern Guatemala on June 3 killed 194 people and more than 230 people are still missing. ~21000 acres of farmland was also destroyed.
And volcanoes also caused fires, floods, smaller tsunamis and earthquakes.

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Lava Flow from the Kilauea Volcano On the Big Island of Hawaii

EARTHQUAKES!
There were 15 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 7.0 in 2018:
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HURRICANES!
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was an above-average and damaging Atlantic hurricane season with 15 named storms with 2 major hurricanes Category 3+: Florence and Michael. 154 people died and the cost of damages exceeded USD$33.3 billion (2018).

NOTE: Puerto Rico has still not recovered from Hurricane Maria in September of 2017. 4645 people died (as per a Harvard study in May) and it caused over $43 billion in economic losses.

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Puerto Rican Lives Matter Too!

FLOODS!
Flooding was a major problem around the world in 2018. North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and South America all experienced record floods this year.

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FIRESTORMS!

Big fires in California and Oregon this year: The Woolsey Fire in Thousand Oaks, the Camp Fire in Northern California (the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history killed 86 people), the Mendocino Complex Fire in July was California’s largest fire by burned area ever (and it destroyed nearly half a million acres), the Thomas Fire in Ventura County (December 2017), and the Crater Lake and other adjacent Oregon fires this summer broke all records. Wildfires also killed more than 70 people in Greece and following the longest sustained drought on record, more than 50 fires in the Swedish Arctic Circle burned uncontrollably in July.
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The Last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood

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The Last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch

For 10 years the name only promised one thing, Josh and Josh….
and usually they were lying. All good things must come to an end, right?

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No matter where you go, there you are.

Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims
LIVE at Joe’s in Burbank on 11-16-18!
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In honor of Steamboat Willie and Mickey’s 90th:
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Disneyland - Mark Twain's Steamboat b&w

Tom Sawyer’s Island, Mark Twain’s Steamboat & Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland –  taken in Black & White in 1994

Tom Sawyer’s Island, Mark Twain’s Steamboat & Big Thunder Mountain
Taken in black and white in 1994 at Disneyland (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving Feast 2018

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Thanksgiving 2018

and the REAL TURKEY and the bird he was “pardoning”:

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“Don’t worry Donny, he won’t talk to Mueller”

Haiku for nothing?
Now you must pay the piper!
Pony up some dough.

On November 20th, the Rolling Stones announced they would tour again in 2019!
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“If you start me up I’ll never stop
Never stop, never stop, never stop
You make a grown man cry”

December

90000 Unsolicited Hits on Our Blog in early December! THANK YOU!

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90000 Unsolicited Hits on Our Blog in December! THANK YOU!

And as of the date of this Blog Post was published
we have passed 92650 Unsolicited Hits!

December Holiday Season

December 21st: Happy Winter Solstice! A full “Cold Moon” and the Ursids meteor shower! The last time the full moon occurred on Winter Solstice was 2010, and it won’t happen again until 2094! Celebrate the first day of Winter!

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Egg Nog!

Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the study, not a creature was stirring except my little buddy. The cell phones were charging by the desktop hard drive, with high hopes that AmazonPrime would arrive. No children, just dogs asleep on the bed, waiting for dinner and soon to be fed. And me in pajamas, awake from a nap, drinking my coffee and writing this crap… Happy Christmas Eve! (just a little poem I wrote)

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Egg Nog!

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Had enough Christmas yet?

 

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2016, REMEMBER WHEN?

12-30-18: Los Angeles Chargers 23 – Denver Broncos 9 (at Mile High)
Is Tim Tebow available?
And so ends another terrible season for the Denver Broncos…. 6 wins, 10 losses?
Someone’s getting fired.

December is cold
And still waiting for winter
A new year arrives

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Eat, Drink and Be Happy. We’re all gonna die.

Dad left us in May. And our old friends John “Wheels” Wheeler and Joreth Toropov left the party early this year too. John tragically in July and Joreth suddenly in October. Both left us way too soon. May the Four Winds blow them safely home.

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Tom Petty RIP

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Stan Lee RIP

 

 

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Roy Clark RIP

And WE REMEMBER THE VICTIMS OF MASS MURDER in 2018. Never forget.

On February 14th, 17 people were killed and 17 injured in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A shooting at Santa Fe High School in Houston, Texas killed 10 people, and wounded 13 more on May 18th. 11 people were murdered (including Holocaust survivors) in an anti-Semetic “hate crime” on the Tree of Life Jewish Temple in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27th. The deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States’ history. 

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The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA

And the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks killed 12 people and the gunman, and injured at least 10 more on November 7th. Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus was killed by CHP friendly fire during the attack.

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The Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA

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The Borderline Bar & Grill Victims

We Remember. “May their memory be a blessing!”

NOTE: There were many other “Shootings in 2018” with multiple victims, and these are just the two of the worst and most recent Mass Murders in the United States. So, THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS for the Victim’s friends and families and BUSINESS AS USUAL for the GOP Republicans, the NRA, the Gun Manufacturers and Retailers.

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It’s been four years and I still miss this guy.

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We are glad that 2018 is over. It was not a great year.
But, we did gain a new family member. And he’s such a good boy!

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And “The Boss” got bigger too! (a recent December pic)

Where were you 35 years ago? We were at the San Francisco (now the Bill Graham Memorial) Civic Auditorium for night number 4 of the 1983-84 New Year’s Eve Run and The Band was the opening act for the Grateful Dead on New Years Eve!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8vKVPx2-Lc

RECENT 2018 BLOG POSTS:

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2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Bottom’s Up!

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Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

FOLLOW us on Twitter and Periscope> http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE> http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

Plan for 2019 (cup of water… check):

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“Beef Jerky For Everyone”

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Thanksgiving 2018! The End of November.

Thanksgiving 2018!
The End of November. “Tempus fugit!”

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“Still Crazy After All These Years” – Paul Simon

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC in Los Angeles. This weekend will set new travel records!

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TravelTuesday in Los Angeles! 6pm at the 405 Freeway and Wilshire Blvd

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! A time to be thankful and grateful for all you have.
Celebrate with Family and Friends, but do not forget the less fortunate. Enjoy your bountiful feast, but remember there are many people who have nothing to eat.

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We always have too much food.
Thanksgiving Feasts!
“FOOD ORGY FESTS” from past years:

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Thanksgiving Turkey 2015

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

We have documented our Thanksgiving for the last four years (2014-2017), so if you are interested in HOLIDAY TRADITIONS, you can read our previous Thanksgiving Blog Posts!

NOTE: There are MANY GREAT RECIPES available here on this Blog! Check them out!

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Thanksgiving 2018 (Bird #1) – Resting quietly before meeting its plate.

Are you ready for some NFL Thanksgiving Day Football? Always fun!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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EVERY D*MN YEAR!

Thanksgiving Football 2018! All day Thursday, NFL morning to night.

Thanksgiving Day Final Scores:
Chicago Bears 23
, Detroit Lions 16 (played in Detroit)
Dallas Cowboys 31, Washington Redskins 23 (played in Dallas)
New Orleans Saints 31, Atlanta Falcons 17 (played in New Orleans)

NOW LET’S GET COOKING!

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Burn Baby…………………. Burn.

“I dont’ want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career.
I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed,
or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed.” ~ John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in the film “Say Anything”

TIME TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKE! (Back By Popular Demand)

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Thanksgiving 2015 – Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

ON THE MENU (the night before Thanksgiving): Thai Food for Wednesday Dinner – BBQ chicken, BBQ spareribs, Chicken Satay w/peanut sauce, Pad Thai noodles, fried rice, cucumber salad, mee grob noodles, and Thai iced tea to drink.
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Wednesday after midnight! Time to make the cheesecake!
And chocolate truffle & marshmallow brownies too.

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Time To Make The Cheesecake!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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Getting Baked! Cherry Cheesecake 2018 (in the oven)

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Frosty! Cherry Cheesecake 2018

NOTE: “No sleep ’til Brooklyn” We finished baking after 4am, the cheesecake cooled. and then we woke up early to refrigerate and then frost and decorate the cake. We tried to take an afternoon nap, but the dogs would not stop barking. The party was called for 4pm at the house, but people always show up early to prep and cook beforehand.

4pm TIME TO FEAST! 

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“Save us some white meat.”

TRADITION! We’ve been hosting the Thanksgiving Party for years and years. It’s a family affair with friends and guests of family and friends, so you never know who might be in attendance. The number of people varies each year, sometimes as few as 20, the record year was about 40. It’s always a major endeavor to prepare the party and all the food, and it’s usually also a group effort with people bringing prepared dishes, desserts and gift bottles of wine. As previously noted, the last four Thanksgivings are recorded in past Blog Posts with lots of pictures.

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THANKSGIVING FEAST 2018!

ON THE MENU: 2 Large Turkeys with gravy, 2 kinds of Stuffing/Dressing, Fresh Baked Challah Bread, Carrot-Butternut Squash puree, Corn Pudding, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Vegetable Medley, Greenbean Casserole, Fruit Compote, Cranberry Sauce, Deviled Eggs, and Green Salad. Beverage choices: Wine, a selection of Single Malt Scotches (and other hard liquor), and soft drinks. And then Dessert: Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Chip Blondie Cookies, and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge.

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THE AMAZING THANKSGIVING FEAST! Dinner and Dessert for 20 People.
(One year we had 14 different desserts for 20 people!)

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Mom baked a beautiful Challah! And it was delicious.

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(Homemade Fresh Baked) CHALLAH! (Bread)

AVOID A TURKEY DAY DISASTER!
Always cook with caution…… and a fire extinguisher.

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This year, the CDC and FDA have RECALLED ALL ROMAINE LETTUCE!
The food supply is vulnerable. Bureaucracy is impairing Public Safety.

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“WKRP in Cincinnati” – The “Turkeys Away” episode. A Thanksgiving Classic!

“Mr. Carlson comes up with a Thanksgiving promotional gimmick that involves a helicopter and live turkeys.” (with a wonderful homage to the Hindenburg Disaster)
SPOILER ALERT!

Recommended Classic T-Day Viewing:
The “Cheers” Thanksgiving Food Fight episode, John Candy and Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, and of course the “Addams Family Values” Thanksgiving Pageant.
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“I am a Turkey. Kill Me.”

Or there’s always the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
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WTF? What is this “Shimmer” crap and why are they all freezing their asses off? BOYCOTT MACY’S AND NBC AND SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!

 

ANOTHER TRADITION! (Arlo Guthrie sings “Alice’s Restaurant” LIVE)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!
“You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant!”
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From the Berkshire Eagle

Thanksgiving, an annual national holiday in the United States, celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated in October 1621 by English colonists (the Pilgrims) of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Wampanoag people, after their first harvest in the New World. The feast lasted 3 days, and (as per a written account by attendee Edward Winslow) it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.

The Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in 1777.

NOTE: “They didn’t just Massacre a group of Indians and then have a feast to celebrate it there were so many massacres and so many feasts that George Washington created one single day for celebration. And that celebration isn’t celebrating a feast of mutual celebration it’s a celebration of multiple massacres. These massacres were the beginning of the genocide of the North American population.” – Glenn, telling the historical truth

Credit for our modern Thanksgiving goes to Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a popular women’s magazine.  In 1827, she began a campaign to reinstate the holiday, she petitioned the Presidents, and finally succeeded in 1863 when President Lincoln declared two national Thanksgivings in 1863, one on August 6th celebrating the Civil War victory at Gettysburg and a second holiday for the last Thursday in November.

In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt lengthened the Christmas shopping season by declaring a Thanksgiving holiday for the next-to-the-last Thursday in November. And two years later in 1941, Congress permanently established a national holiday on the fourth Thursday of the month. Happy Thanksgiving Americans!

And in other news, we passed 88000 unsolicited Hits on our Blog this week!
BIG THANKS TO ALL OUR LOYAL READERS! And thanks to everyone who just drops in!

88, 000 project
88000 Hits! Eighty-Eight Thousand Hits! 88000 Hits On This Blog!

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

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PUMPKINS!

Whitchurch’s First Law of Human Dynamics:
“The difficulty factor of any task is directly proportional to the number of people involved, squared. (1 person = difficulty factor of 1, 2 people = factor of 4, etc.)”

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UPDATED PHONE NUMBERS FOR SELF-HELP:

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

1-888-633-3239 Addiction Hotline
1-800-442-4673 Eating Hotline
1-800-273-8255 Selfharm Hotline
1-800-273-8255 Depression Hotline

Read our previous Blog Post>
DEPRESSION: Questions to ask before giving up
www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/depression-questions-to-ask-before-giving-up/


 

And More and More Recipes!

And More and More Recipes!

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Open 24 Hours!

Here are more recipes! There are already a lot of recipes available on our Blog.
Some are in the Sidebar>>>> Others are in previous Blog Posts (use the Search Box^^^^^)
OR FOLLOW the links at the bottom of this page (see belowvvvvvv)

NOTE: This Blog Post is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION! We are posting it now because it’s the day before Thanksgiving, but we will continue to add recipes for a while.

Hor d’oeuvre?
Bacon Wrapped Cocktail Weenies! (“on a stick”)

 


Sticky Chicken
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Sticky Chicken Dry Rub Ingredients:
4tsp salt
2tsp paprika
1tsp cayenne
1tsp onion powder
1tsp thyme,
1tsp white pepper
1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp black pepper
1-2 large onions cut into quarters.

Directions: Combine all ingredients except onions. Coat chicken, insert onions into chicken. They call it sticky. We use minced onion instead of onion powder.
Bake for 4 hours at 300 degrees. We recommend cooking it breast side down for 2 hours, then flip it over. Also, you should baste it in the juice every half hour or so and add carrots if desired after 2 hours. Use the juice for gravy if you like. (tsp=teaspoon)


Potato Latkes (Pancakes) – Happy Hannukah!

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Potato Latkes (pancakes) – Happy Hannukah!

How to make Potato Latkes (potato pancakes):
3 potatoes (peeled and grated), small onion (1/2 grated, 1/2 finely chopped). Add 2 eggs (beaten), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Mix ingredients well. Heat cooking oil to med high in large frying pan. Spoon 1 large tablespoon at a time into oil. Cook until crispy golden brown on each side. Drain and pat dry on paper towel and serve warm with applesauce (or grated apple) and sour cream.


Quick Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie
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chickenpotpie


Mrs. Frank Sinatra’s Spaghetti and Meat Balls

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Ingredients:
Meat Balls
1 lb chopped/ground meat (1/2 beef, 1/2 pork)
1 clove garlic (chopped fine)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Italian cheese
1 tsp finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all well, form into balls, brown in oil and put aside until sauce is done.

Sauce
1 large can Italian style tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ground parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
thyme
salt and black pepper

Directions:
Brown chopped up onion and garlic in oil used to brown the meat balls. Strain tomatoes, add paste to the juice. Add the oil in used to brown the onion and garlic, but remove all sautéed ingredients. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. Cook the sauce (covered) for 1 hour, with meatballs added, over a slow fire. Boil spaghetti in water, salted to taste. Remove spaghetti, drain. Serve it on a platter over which you have poured the sauce and meat balls. Add layer of cheesed another layer of sauce. Serve piping hot.


Swedish Meatballs
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The Alpine Village Inn’s famous CHICKEN SUPREME SOUP recipe
(from the Las Vegas Review Journal after the restaurant closed in March 1997)
Ingredients:
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons Accent (monosodium glutamate) 
1 pound ground chicken (cooked)
1 medium onion, ground
Yellow food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
2 to 3 carrots (ground)
Roux:
1/2 cup oil
1 cup flour

Cook:
Boil the soup ingredients for 30 minutes.
Cool: Remove the pot from the heat and allowed to cool slightly.
Blend: Ladle the mixture into a blender, about 2 to 3 cups at a time, and blend until almost smooth. Be careful during this process, hot soup in a blender can shoot everywhere even with a lid on. The blender process gives the soup a creamier texture.
Thicken: To prepare the roux, heat oil add flour slowly and stir with a wire whisk. It should be the consistency of mashed potatoes. Don’t burn the roux.
Pour the blended mixture back into a large pot and add the cooked roux and continue to cook until the soup thickened.
Note: when adding the roux, use small amounts and watch the consistency (try not to over thicken-you may not need it all), it should look like a thick gravy.

SEASONED COTTAGE CHEESE (Serve as a condiment or a dip)
2 pounds cottage cheese, small curd
1/2 teaspoon caraway
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Accent (monosodium glutamate)
1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Mix all ingredients together and chill for several hours or overnight.


Constance Hall’s Cogs Biscuits (from the Folger Shakespeare Library)

Around 1672, Constance Hall recorded a dish called “Cogs Biskett”, a recipe for savory biscuits seasoned with caraway seeds and saffron. And here it is slightly adapted for your 21st-century kitchen:

“To make Cogs Biskett
Take 3 pound of fine flower well dry’d a Ounce of Carraway seeds 6 spoonefull of suger Double Refin’d 6 spoonefull of Ale 6 Eggs the whites of Two and wett it with warm Milk 2 peny worth of safforn lett it Lye to Rise”

Ingredients:
5 cups of unrefined, white flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp.caraway seeds
1 generous pinch of saffron
1 tsp.salt (or to taste)
3 tbsp beer (use a beer with yeast in the bottle; look for the phrase ‘on lees’)
4 eggs
About 1 ½ cups of whole milk
Optional: Additional sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:
Thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, caraway seeds, saffron, and 1 teaspoon of salt. To the dry mixture, add beer, 3 eggs, and 1 egg white; save the yolk. Stir the mixture as you slowly and sparingly add the milk, adding just enough milk that you are able to work the flour into dough. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead, drawing in flour if the dough is still sticky. Knead until the dough is smooth and bounces back when poked. Cover the dough with a dish towel and leave it to rise for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 390F. Grease one or more mini-muffin pans with butter. Pull or cut away portions of the dough, roll each into a ball that is 1 inch across, and place it in the tray. Beat the remaining egg yolk with a little water, and use a pastry brush to brush it onto the tops of the biscuits. Finally, sprinkle the biscuits with sea salt. Bake for about 20 minutes and remove the biscuits from the oven when they are slightly browned on top. This recipe will make approximately 36 mini-muffin-size biscuits.

Alternatives:
The biscuits can also be prepared in any size on a cookie sheet (perhaps as 18 biscuits in a larger size) or as a single loaf in a loaf pan. This will affect how long it takes to cook them, however. Watch closely to avoid over- or undercooking them.
NOTE: If you cannot locate beer with yeast in the bottle, you can try a filtered beer, but you might want to add a bit of yeast. (see the section below)

Modernizing the recipe and cook’s notes:
Converting a period recipe to modern methods can be a challenge. In this case, the most accessible ingredient for a 17th-century household is actually the least accessible for us. The original text implies that the ale in Cogs Biscuits was used as a leavening agent, which means that the beer had to have active yeast in it. Most modern beers are pasteurized and filtered—processes that kill yeast—whereas early modern brews would have been quite alive and active. Our solution was to use a beer with yeast in the bottle (look for the phrase “on lees”); we used a beer by the Unibroue company of Québec, available from Trader Joe’s. The lack of availability of living, yeasty ale is a reminder of how much the brewing industry has changed since the 17th century.
As modern cooks, the original recipe gave us pause. There is no added fat (butter or oil) in the biscuits. No mention is made of salt, and the recipe calls for a large amount of flour with relatively little sugar.  It asks the cook to “wet”’ the mixture with milk (requiring quite a lot of milk), after adding only a dash of ale. The recipe also gives no instructions as to how to actually cook the biscuits—it assumes you’d already know how! It was not even clear if we were supposed to knead the dough. However, in the process of cooking the Cogs Biscuits, we found that the recipe worked just fine. The milk and eggs added enough moisture and fat to give a nice texture. We opted to knead the dough to help it rise, and we cooked the biscuits at 390F until they were lightly browned on top.
We also discovered that the basic Cogs Biscuits recipe easily lends itself to improvement and variation. We recommend being generous with the caraway and saffron. We tried the biscuits in a variety of sizes and chose tiny muffin-like poppers, baked in a mini-muffin pan, our version of a “cog.” But we also tried making a big loaf. Every size turned out well; the sliced loaf was lovely with some cheddar. You can also roll the dough into whatever shape you like.


Granny’s Crescent Rolls


Pan Pizza Dough

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Tonga Toast – Serves 4
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Sugar-Cinnamon Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar & 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Batter Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Tonga Toast Ingredients:
1 quart canola oil, for frying
1 loaf sourdough bread (uncut, 12 inches long)
2 large bananas, peeled

Instructions:

1. Mix sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl (large enough to roll toast) with a fork until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
2. Whip eggs in medium bowl (large enough to dip toast) until well beaten. Add milk, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
3. Preheat oil to 350 degrees F in a large pot or a deep fryer. (If using a large pot, use a candy thermometer to make certain the oil does not get any hotter or it will burn.)
4. Slice the bread into four three-inch-thick slices.
5. Cut each banana in half crosswise, then each piece lengthwise.
6. Place a bread slice flat on the counter and tear out just enough from the middle (do not tear all the way through) to stuff half a banana into; repeat with each bread slice.
7. Dip stuffed bread into batter, covering both sides, allowing excess batter to drip off bread and place carefully into hot oil.
8. Cook 4-5 minutes until golden brown. If needed, turn toast over after 2 minutes and cook for another 2 minutes on other side. Remove and drain excess oil.
9. Roll toast in cinnamon-sugar. Repeat for each piece of toast.


 

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Just pour off juice/syrup from a can of sliced pineapple. Replace with Jello made with half the water in the direction. Chill and let set!

 


Cannoli Cream Puffs

Ingredients
Pastry Puffs:
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (reduce to 1/4 tsp.if using salted butter)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Cannoli Cream Filling: 3 parts cheese, 1 part sugar
1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (Don’t use low-fat, use whole milk)
or 1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (use more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon oil (USE CAUTION!)
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips (milk chocolate or cocoa drops, not semi-sweet or bittersweet)

Mix all cream filling ingredients to a creamy consistency and fill cannoli shells/pastry puffs using a pastry/plastic bag or spoon.
Garnish with chopped pistachio, chocolate chips and confectioners sugar.


Chocolate Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
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These were made without food coloring and almond extract (instead increase to tablespoon of vanilla extract). Also substituted plain white vinegar, mini chocolate chips, and reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup. They were delicious!


Long John Donuts

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Ingredients:
1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1/4 C. warm water (110° to 115°)
1 C. warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3-1/4 to 3-3/4 C. all-purpose flour
Oil for deep-fat frying
Glaze:
1-1/4 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt and egg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
Do not knead. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Cut into 3-in. x 1-in. rectangles. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 400°. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Combine glaze ingredients. Dip tops in glaze while warm.


Manny’s Churros (makes 18-20)
Manny G. Suarez RIP

Ingredients:
Vegetable Oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tblsp butter (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Heat oil (1-1/2 to 2 inches) to 375 degrees in a 12-inch skillet or fry pan
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Beat in granulated sugar gradually. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in butter and vanilla.
3. Fit a pastry tube with a large star tip.* Fill with dough. Squeeze dough into hot oil in 6-8 inch lengths, cutting off ends with a knife. Fry until golden brown, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; keep war. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*Tip: A cookie press with the star plate can be used in place of the pastry tube.

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Orange Cake and Orange Cookies

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Los Angeles City Schools Old Fashioned Crumb Cake

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
Directions:
1. combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, nutmeg, and oil.
remove 1/2 cup of mixture from bowl.
add 1 tsp cinnamon and set aside for topping.
2. combine remaining 1 tsp cinnamon, baking soda, egg and buttermilk. blend well.
add to flour mixture. do not over mix.
3. spoon butter into greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
sprinkle with 1/2 cup reserved topping.
Bake at 375 degrees30-40 minutes.
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Cornbread & Cornbread Muffins (with optional  BACON, cheese and jalapeño!)

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Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Corn Meal
1-1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs (beaten)
3 Tbsp Butter (melted)
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1-1/4 Cup Milk
Optional: Add 1/4 Cup of Honey to the batter mix

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease muffin pan and/or baking dish with more vegetable oil
Use a ~1/4 cup of batter for each muffin (fill each ~2/3 full)
Bake for ~18-20 mins or until they pass the toothpick test
Let cool and enjoy.

NOTE: This is basically the recipe on the Corn Meal box, so make adjustments for taste, time and temperature as necessary. We also like to add stuff before baking.
And the pictures show the product of a Doubled Recipe, so there will be fewer muffins.

Cornbread with BACON, cheese and jalapeño!
6 strips of Bacon (cooked and diced into very small pieces)
2/3 small block Colby Jack Cheese (diced into very small pieces)
1/2 small can of Diced Jalapeños (diced again into very small pieces)
Add Bacon, cheese and jalapeño to the batter mix and bake!
Adjust baking time as necessary, usually a little longer.

TIP: Bake in advance and freeze.
Let muffins cool completely and FREEZE them.
Then thaw them out and warm them before serving on the day of the party.


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Drop Scones

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake
(for a small spring-lock baking pan)

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake 2015

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
2 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 cup butter (melted)
4 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons White Sugar
½ teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:
Grease spring-lock cake pan all around with a stick of butter. Mix ingredients in large bowl and press on bottom and sides of spring-lock pan to form crust. (avoid loose crumbs if possible)

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
4 ¾ packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8oz. each)
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8 oz. or ½ of a large carton, use other half for topping)
½ small carton of Half-and-Half
4 Eggs
1 cup White Sugar
Punch of Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Juice from a small lemon
½ Can of Comstock Cherries (use other ½ for topping)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients except cherries (or mix by hand for thicker texture). Pour into crust. Spoon in cherries at various locations and depths. Bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Cool. Note: butter in the crust will cook off, so make sure to use a drip pan, cookie sheet or tin foil to catch the melted butter.
Topping:
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8oz. or other ½ of large carton)
½ cup of sifted Powdered Sugar
½ Can of Comstock Cherries
Beat together and top cake (once it is cool). Decorate with remaining cherries around the top of cake. Heat oven to 450 degrees and put topped cake in for 3 minutes only. Chill and serve when ready.


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Strawberry Santas!
1 lb large strawberries
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar (or sugar substitute – to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry. Remove the top, (enough for a hat). Clean out the whole strawberry with a paring knife, if necessary (some of them are hollow already. Prep all of the strawberries and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or Ziploc with the corner snipped off. Fill the strawberries with cheesecake mixture.
3. Once strawberries are filled, top with the ‘hats.’ Decorate according to photo.
4. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving.


LADYFINGERS RECIPE
(from “The Joy of Cooking”)
*for the Feast of St. Stephen and to celebrate Boxing Day*
Makes about 30 Small Cakes
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“Saint Stephen with a rose
In and out of the garden he goes
Country garland in the wind and the rain
Wherever he goes the people all complain”

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Have ingredients at about 75 degrees.

Sift: 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Sift before measuring: 1/3 cup cake flour and Resift 3 times!

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
Beat until thick and lemon colored

2 egg whites
Whip until stiff, but not dry

Add and Fold the sifted sugar gradually into the whipped egg whites.
Beat the mixture until it thickens again.
Add and Fold in the egg yolk mixture and:
Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Add and Fold in the sifted cake flour.

Shape the dough into oblongs with a paper tube
Place the dough on ungreased paper on a baking sheet;
or pour into greased ladyfinger molds.

Bake about 12 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove the baking sheet from oven.
Immediately slide the parchment paper (with the ladyfingers) onto a wire rack.
Let cool for just a minute and remove them from the paper using a flat spatula or knife.
Cool completely on wire rack. (If they cool before removing them, they may stick and are hard to remove without breaking)

Ladyfingers are best fresh on the day they are made. To freeze, place in a plastic bag between layers of wax or parchment paper and store frozen for up to one month.

Ladyfingers are long, thin sponge cakes shaped like a large finger. Also known as Boudoir biscuits, sponge biscuits, sponge fingers, Naples biscuits, Savoy biscuits and biscuits la cuiller. They can be served with desserts like ice creams, custards and coffees, and they are used as a component in other desserts. Ladyfingers can be either soft and cakey or dry and crispy, but they always have a sponge-like texture. Their texture makes them a perfect choice for soaking up flavors, which is why they are frequently used in other desserts. Ladyfingers are usually plain with a neutral taste, but can be flavored with any extract, a bit of citrus zest, cocoa or spice to give them a flavor that stands out.


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Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Get Baked for Festivus! Sharing my recipe.
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/festivus-chocolate-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

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Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Holiday Month of December!

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Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

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Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims!

FRIDAY NIGHT WAS ROCKIN’ FOR A GREAT CAUSE!

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Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims LIVE at Joe’s in Burbank on 11-16-18!
Maureen & the Mercury 5, Doña Oxford, the Brian Hogan Band, the Crown City Bombers, James Intveld, and Lil Mo and the Dynaflos!

BIG THANKS TO MAUREEN & LIL MO!
BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PLAYED, PARTICIPATED IN PUTTIN’ ON THE SHOW OR WHO ATTENDED AND GAVE MONEY TO AID THE FIRE VICTIMS!
BIG THANKS TO JOE’S GREAT AMERICAN BAR & GRILL FOR THE VENUE!

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The 101 Ventura Freeway East – Going to Burbank!

LIVE at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill in Burbank!  

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Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

 

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Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

 

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Stiff Drinks at Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

Raffle, Silent Auction (with very cool stuff)
and Merchandise Sales to benefit the victims!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Great Music All Night Long!

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Maureen making announcement! Let the show begin!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Maureen & the Mercury 5, Doña Oxford (on the electric piano), the Brian Hogan Band with Spanish Mike, a Guy from Hungary, the Crown City Bombers, James Intveld, and then Lil Mo and the Dynaflos! Great music all evening until after 1am.

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Brian Hogan and Spanish Mike Rockin’ The House!

All Night Long!

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Special Guest Swingin’ James Intveld!

All the bands donated their performances and a portion of the proceeds from their “merch” sales to Fire Victims Relief! Rockin’ music all night long! Joe’s donated the venue! There was a raffle and silent auction too, and a lot of money (over $7000) was raised from a Great Party for a great cause!

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The Dance Floor was Crowded All Night Long!

 

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Takin’ a Break Out Back at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill

Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill – 4311 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

All photos copyright 2018 JoshWillTravel

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The 101 Ventura Freeway West = Going Home!

Sharing this vid from the Retro Relief for Fire Victims. If you need someone to get the party started here’s Doña Oxford doing the Boogie Woogie on electric piano! I’d definitely invite her to play my next party! www.youtube.com/watch?v=E21XFEiB99A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks!

Sunday BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks!

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The Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

We heard good things about this place via friends on the interweb.
We were originally going to have an Italian dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletano (read our previous Blog Post), but when we got there, they were varnishing the tables and chairs and so were closed for the night. A quick decision was made and we headed over to the Boneyard Bistro on Ventura Boulevard near Woodman in Sherman Oaks for some BBQ.

NOTE: There have always been great BBQ places in San Fernando Valley. Growing up there were places like Monty’s Steak House, The Oak Room, Houlihan’s, Charley Brown’s, Victoria Station, and Love’s BBQ. Recently, a lot of old time BBQ joints have closed down: the El Paso BBQ in Tarzana, and My Brother’s BBQ in Woodland Hills are now gone, the SmokeHouse BBQ in Van Nuys didn’t last long, there was once a Mr. Cecil’s Barbecue in almost the same location as the Boneyard, but it closed well over a year ago. And just recently the Tony Roma’s chain BBQ restaurant in Encino closed after many years and the location will soon be a crappy Norm’s Restaurant.

The Boneyard Bistro has Valet Parking in front for $6.00 + tip, but we were able to find street parking at a meter and it was Sunday night so you don’t have to pay. Parking is a major problem on Ventura, and there is Starbuck’s on the corner to compound the problem. Just sayin’.

The place was busy, as shown in the photos, the bar was crowded and the dining room was already more than half full. It was a chilly evening so the patio was almost empty.

Choose your seating: The Bar (high-top table), the Dining Room or the Patio.

We chose the Dining Room and were seated immediately at a table for two. The Sunday night football game was on the television (Dallas Cowboys v. Philadelphia Eagles). The service was good. We ordered our drinks and food. They brought us the drinks and in very short order, they brought us the food. We waited a little bit for the bread and fried corn muffins, and then before we could butter our bread, they brought out the entrees.

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Not sure how to describe the utilitarian design of the place, other than functional. From the street is has a “Chicago Diner” type facade with a glass enclosed patio and big block letters. High ceilings and hard surfaces with wood accents amplify the sound. There is a weird painting in the dining room that is the length of the full wall and it’s a skeleton in red heels holding a platter of fire. The skull and cleaver is their logo and brand.

We were seated by the kitchen doors and prep station, so there was a lot of activity passing us and all around the table, and the dining room is a little “close-quarters” even for the size, because of the number of tables and space between them. The noise level in the bar area was very loud and happily the dining room was not as noisy. Service throughout the meal was good, and all of our requests were handled quickly.

Go ahead and have a beer (or a cocktail from the bar):

We ordered the $9 flight of beers, served in four small glasses. It was a very good deal.

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The Special Stout Festival Beer Menu

ON THE MENU: BBQ baby back ribs, fries, baked beans, bread & fried corn muffins, a flight of beer, and a coke. Tiramisu Creampuff for dessert.

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It’s a good menu. There are a lot of things to try that look really good. They also have salads, but who has a salad at a BBQ place? We always judge a BBQ restaurant on their ribs, and we weren’t disappointed by theirs.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

It was an excellent BBQ dinner! We ordered off the Ala Carte Barbecue list. The dry rub on the baby back ribs was subtle, spicy and not too peppery. The pork was smoked for a long time, it was juicy and came right off the bone. The beef ribs were big and beautiful. They give you the option of “wet” or “dry” ribs, and their BBQ sauce is very tasty, both on the meat and “on the side”. Their homestyle baked beans have nice chunks of meat in the recipe and was an excellent side selection. They have shoestring fries, and the first order was not hot, so our waiter brought us another order just out of the fryer.

The portions are huge, so each entree is actually two meals, and good for sharing. We ended up taking a big bag of leftovers home, like most of their customers, for later.

They also have fabulous creative desserts (like banana puddin’ brûlée made with Nilla Wafers and chocolate chip cookie dough egg rolls with vanilla ice cream and chocolate ganache) but they were all a little too fancy (and too expensive = $11 per dessert), so we decided to pass.

We enjoyed the food, and will probably return soon when we have our next BBQ craving.

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The Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

NOTE: And so DESSERT? After a brief conversation in the car, we decided to stop and get something sweet on the way home at the Paris Baguette. My dinner companion had a craving for chocolate cake. I wanted tiramisu when we were originally going for Italian food, so of course, a Tiramisu Creampuff for dessert:

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Tiramisu Creampuff from the Paris Baguette bakery in Encino!

Boneyard Bistro13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (east of Woodman)
818-906-7427 http://www.boneyardbistro.com Open 4:30pm-2am daily

All photos copyright JoshWillTravel 2018

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11:11 on 11-11-11

End of July, August 2018 and 75000 Hits!

WHAT’S UP?

AUGUST 1st – HAPPY JERRY DAY!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JERRY GARCIA!

“Daddy’s got them Deep Elem Blues!”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QNjD9d4aRU

It’s August 2018 and it’s been a “Cruel Summer” here in Los Angeles,
California is ON FIRE again and our “thoughts & prayers” are with those affected.

It’s HOT. REALLY HOT. Like, Africa Hot here in the San Fernando Valley.
NO RELIEF IN SIGHT! 10 MORE DAYS OF EXTREME HEAT in Los Angeles!
Untitled
And California is ON FIRE! (Oregon, Sweden, Russia and the Arctic are also burning)
Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is erupting and pouring lava into the ocean!
Fukushima Nuclear Reactor is still pouring radiation into the Pacific Ocean….
Too hot for humans during the day, so soon we will all be nocturnal…
CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!

Tempus fugit! (Time flies!)
And so the year races by as we pass Mid-Summer (June 24th) and enter August!

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Puppytime all the time here! HE’S SUCH A GOOD BOY!
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He’s doing great and learning the rules (see our previous Blog Post for more pics)

Eating / Leftover Indian Food: chicken coconut curry with basmati rice, Sushi & Assorted Tempura, Chicken Burrito w/ Tortilla Chips & Salsa, Panda Express (Orange chicken and fried rice craving), Cheeseburger, Corn on the Cob, Bacon & Eggs, and Pizza

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Orange chicken with steamed rice and veggies from The Cheesecake Factory for dinner last night (but no cheesecake….)

Drinking / Iced Coffee & Espresso
Practicing / Making plans for nobody
Mastering / 1 New Puppy, 2 Little Girls & the Big Boy
Learning / Time for Traffic School Again….
Wearing / underwear: black cotton boxers & a white t-shirt
(because it’s effin’ hot & humid in the SFV!)
Cooking / Bone-in Ribeye Steak with sautéed onions & broccoli
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Trying / To stay cool… it’s literally 100 degrees in the SFV!
Playing / With the puppies of course.
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Working / In the home office & in the backyard
Traveling / NOT TRAVELING. New Puppy Training & Dog Sitting!
STAYCATION? Well, we have all kinds of pleasant distractions and air conditioning! The new puppy requires a lot of time and provides non-stop entertainment. The construction next door has been relatively quiet for a time but that probably won’t last.

THINKING / ABOUT BURNING MAN! We haven’t told our story yet…. the Blog Post is partially written almost a year later, and we have had so many distractions.
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We aren’t going this year because of the puppy and a prior commitment that conflicts…
and it will certainly be hot & dusty again this year. So don’t go. (Blog Coming Soon)

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The Man burns in 30 days!

Finishing / Nothing.
Reading / More Bad News, lots of bad news… (but Not “fake news”)
Writing / This Blog!
Remembering / Dad, the babygirls, & Burning Man 2017
Wanting / More. (always much, much MORE!)

Oh, yeah, UM….
75000 Hits!
75000

Celebrate another milestone with us.

As of August 3rd, we are over 76000 unsolicited hits, with no paid advertising or commercial sponsorship, this Blog is FREE! Please check out our past Blog Posts>

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KEEP ON TRUCKIN

Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

Filming location for “Boogie Nights”

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Just another Donut store in the San Fernando Valley? Yes, and NO!
It was the location for the climatic scene in the film “Boogie Nights” where Don Cheadle’s character Buck Swope is caught in the middle of a robbery and shootout.

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And they have really tasty Donuts and Pastries!

On The Menu: DONUTS! Chocolate custard filled, chocolate bar, raspberry jelly filled, a cinnamon roll and a Napoleon pastry “to go”.

Miss Donuts – 18231 Sherman Way, Reseda, California (west of Lindley)

All photos copyright 2018 JoshWillTravel

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Don Cheadle in “Boogie Nights” (not my pic)

And time to eat the donuts…

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Donuts from Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

 

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon!

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon! Ten Days “On The Road” and on a mission.

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Cold Rain and Snow! Ashland, Oregon 3-14-18

Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon and now WE ARE BACK!

NOTE: The road trip happened in early March with the threat of winter weather in the north and in the Siskiyou Pass into Oregon, so we had to time our travel and hope for good weather on both sides.

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Monday Morning Road Trip! Los Angeles to Ashland (670 miles) in 10 hours! Instead of stopping, we decided to make a straight shot on Interstate 5 (via the 405 freeway) to stay ahead of the winter weather in the Siskiyou Pass…

A long, beautiful, uneventful drive north with the intent to get there as soon as possible while driving as safe as possible. “No tickets, no accidents, and no encounters with law enforcement” makes for a good trip. We stopped for gas and to stretch our legs (and other business) along the way, and arrived in Oregon in only 10 hours!

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Tejon Pass, California

NOTE: This Blog Post was delayed again because of technical issues. Our primary computer crashed recently and it had the transferred pics ready to upload.

 

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Mt. Shasta in the Siskiyou Pass, California (things start getting blurry)

670 miles and ten hours later we were in Ashland, Oregon!

WE LOVE ASHLAND!

There was beautiful weather all week long. It had snowed the week before, there was snow on the mountains, Mt. Ashland ski resort was open for business, and there was even still some snow on the ground the first day. It was cold and windy at night the first couple nights, and it was raining/snowing in the pass, but the weather stayed really nice during the day (sunny and in the 70s) from Ashland to Medford most of the time.

 

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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

 

Scenes from the Ranch:

 

 

On The Menu in Ashland:

Lunch at Sesame Asian Kitchen in Ashland

Dinner at The Loft in Ashland
NY steak & prawns, fries, veggies, caesar salad, tuna tartare, bread & butter, an excellent 1993 Southing Sea Smoke pinot noir, and a coke
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Pizza (take-out) from Kaleidoscope Pizza in Medford
Lunch (take-out) from Arby’s
Lunch (take-out soups) from Olive Garden

BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwiches for Dinner at the Ranch
Pasta and Meatballs with cheesy bread and a coke for Dinner at the Ranch
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Pizza and Champagne Dinner at the Ranch with friends
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Ice Cream from Grater’s in Cincinnati, Ohio (via UPS)
pints of black raspberry chocolate chip, cherry chocolate chip,
salted caramel chocolate chip, and chocolate chocolate chip
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Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs and Samoas

Dinner (take-out) from La Tapatia in Phoenix (Oregon, not Arizona)
2 chicken street tacos with salsa

Dinner (take-out) from Harvey’s Place in Ashland
roast beef dip sandwich and fries
(Read our previous Blog Post about Harvey’s Place>
)

Sushi Lunch at Bonsai in Medford
sushi, sashimi and cut rolls

Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland
shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, grilled prawns (didn’t eat them, got them “to go”), bread & butter, red wine, a coke, and no dessert thank you

Hand-made Chocolates from Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point

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Oregon Sky 2

 

Walking in Lithia Park on Monday Afternoon (almost alone)
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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park

 

Heading South on Wednesday! Destination: Oakland and then Home!

There was rain and snow in Ashland, in the Siskiyou Pass, and even further south to the Bay Area. And more stormy weather was predicted for Thursday and through the weekend, so when the weather looked clear on Wednesday morning we headed south hoping to get through the pass without incident or chain requirements. It rained a little, it snowed a little, there was a little sleet and then it was clear and beautiful the whole way to Oakland.

We stopped for an hour at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California on the I-5.

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Rolling Hills Casino – Corning, California

 

Going south, we had the choice to “stay on or get off?”: stay on and keep going south on the I-5 with Los Angeles as our destination or get off and take the 505 Winters cutoff to the Bay Area with an Oakland stopover as our destination. We almost kept going, but decided to detour west, get a hotel room, have dinner and rest for the night instead.

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San Leandro Bridge and Puffy Clouds 3-14-18

We were going to stay at a hotel in Emeryville where we got off the freeway because East Bay traffic was jammed, but found a good deal on a room at the LaQuinta Inn near the Oakland Airport online and made a same-day reservation through an internet site because it was easy and we were tired. We had Dinner at the Black Bear Diner in Emeryville on Pi Day and tried to connect with a friend who was local via telephone.

On the Menu: Breakfast for dinner.
2 eggs over medium. bacon (with extra bacon), biscuits & gravy, and iced coffee
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and then a small chocolate cream pie “to go”
We enjoyed it with some “free” coffee from the lobby in our hotel room.

 

 

After we ate, we drove over to the La Quinta Inn at the Oakland Airport via surface streets to avoid the freeway traffic and soon arrived at the hotel without too much trouble.
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We checked in, went to the room, unpacked, took a nice hot shower and shaved, and then got dressed to go and meet our friend. But it was too late (almost 8:30pm) so we got undressed and ate some of our pie and quickly fell asleep.

Thursday 7am: Leftover Pie and a Continental Breakfast!

On the Menu (a nice continental breakfast at the hotel): scrambled eggs, bagel with cream cheese, cornflakes and milk, and coffee. We also took a banana, an apple, 2 blueberry muffins, and a bagel with peanut butter and jelly for the road trip home. We also enjoyed the leftover chocolate cream pie and some canned pineapple juice before breakfast.

Thursday 11am: On The Road Again!
I-5 south (via 580) Oakland to Los Angeles

The LaQuinta loyalty program offers a late check-out to guests, so we could have stayed until 1pm. Instead we enjoyed the “free” breakfast, packed our bags, and loaded the car The early storm passed and morning Bay Area traffic cleared and we left at 11am to get on the road and get clear of the weather. From Oakland we had the choice to take the faster Interstate 5 (east route) or more scenic US highway 101 (west route) south to Los Angeles and so we chose the 5 south, again because of the stormy weather on the coast.

There was a little residual rain as we left the Bay Area at Livermore, but then it was blue skies all day and the whole way to L.A. and it only took 5 & 1/2 hours with one stop for gas.

 

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Los Angeles Again 3-15-18

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Oakland Sunrise 3-15-18

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday, March 25 April 1st, 2018
(April Fools! See the NOTE at the bottom of the Blog for details)

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I hate glitter. It never goes away.

So, yes there is a new Blog Post coming soon.
Sorry (to our Loyal Readers) we haven’t published any more this month in March.

We are still working on the March 2018 Road Trip Blog Post and the Burning Man Road Trip Blog Post from last August-September 2017 is almost done too, but we are not sure if we want to post it… and there are a few more unfinished Blog Posts that may see the light of the interweb eventually. Meanwhile, we are getting regular unsolicited hits on past Blog Post from all over the world everyday. Check them out in the ARCHIVES>

It’s a beautiful “pleasant valley Sunday here in status symbol land”.

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Ten and a half Apostles! Happy Passover and Easter!

In honor the holiday we watched “The Prince of Egypt” again. It’s a beautiful animated film about Moses and the Exodus story from the Old Testament. Gets a big thumbs up and we recommend it for everyone (currently on Netflix too).

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COMPLAINTS and GRIEVANCES!
It’s not all good eating and sunsets here at JoshWillTravel. Times are tough right now.
Normally we keep it upbeat and positive here. Not today…

“Mothers complain about how hard life is and the kids just don’t understand”

We injured our back again this month. It’s the same injury to our lumbar spine that ended our career in production work. We hurt our back on our Road Trip moving heavy dog cages from one room to another and then hurt it again helping with other things at the Ranch. It’s one of the reasons we haven’t written because currently sitting, standing and walking for long periods of time is painful. We have prescribed medication but we don’t like to take it because it doesn’t really work and it makes us groggy, unmotivated and unfocused the whole day after. It also makes us angry, irritable and grumpy, along with the daily news and other real-world happenings. PAIN HURTS. PAIN SUCKS.

Our back is feeling somewhat better, but we have been having a hard time sleeping at night (INSOMNIA), and the construction next door to the Home Office continues without end (now, a year and a half of noise and disturbance). We have been hearing the constant whine of a tile saw and loud Ranchera music since we returned two weeks ago. We yelled at them last week and asked them to move the tile saw away from the property line, following up on the same complaint as a month ago when they had the wood saw next to our fence and loud “musica” before. No consideration at all for their noise or the  neighbors.

We are currently feeling very disorganized and slightly overwhelmed by the task of getting organized. Our advice to a friend this week was “just do one thing” and we are trying that approach and it’s a little better every time we do one thing….
(see our previous Blog Posts about Storage and Stuff for more details)

POLITICS and GOVERNMENT and TRUMPAGE (and TRUMP-RAGE!)
Can’t even begin right now. Everyday is another day of national embarrassment!

There is also a serious personal family matter that has been an ongoing concern for years. We won’t go into detail or even expand on the subject right now, but it is weighing heavily on us and has become even more difficult to deal with in recent months.

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Springtime in Oregon

NOTE: This was originally written on March 25, but right now it’s just after midnight on Sunday April 1st and we added a bunch of stuff. Happy Passover and Easter! On top of everything else, our primary desktop computer malfunctioned earlier this week and we had to upgrade the home office with a new desktop computer.

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Happy Passover 2018!

Party time at the house for the Passover holiday. This year 20+ guests and family again.

On The Menu: Brisket of beef, asparagus, gefilte fish with horseradish, roast vegetables, carrot/squash soufflé, noodle kugel, spinach & egg kugel, quinoa taboule, matzoh, wine (red & white) and Coke, and then desserts (all flourless: macaroons, chocolate cake, nut bread, chocolate covered matzoh) all mostly kosher for Passover.

 

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Happy Passover 2018!

Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe somehow you will
You will when you believe

principe do egito giphy

A Few Passover Facts: (ripped from the interweb)

The World’s Largest Passover Seder Takes Place in Nepal, of All Places. Each year members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement hold their “Seder on Top of the World” in Kathmandu for Jewish locals and travelers alike (I’m gonna guess more the latter than the former). Last year they had around 2,000 people attend the festivities, and you can bet your tuchus that between the flowing wine and the thin air, it was quite the party.

2. Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated During Passover. According to the American Jewish Historical Society, many Jews were in synagogue for the holiday when the news of Lincoln’s assassination broke. Altars in temples “were quickly draped in black and, instead of Passover melodies, the congregations chanted Yom Kippur hymns. Rabbis set aside their sermons and wept openly at their pulpits, as did their congregants.” Sadly, a time that was supposed to be full of celebration became one of mourning.

3. Coca-Cola Makes a Special Batch of Kosher Coke for Passover. While Coke is generally a kosher product, the dietary laws tighten during the Passover holiday making high-fructose corn syrup a no-no for observant Jews (it really should be a no-no for everybody all the time, but that’s neither here nor there). In response, Coca-Cola pumps out a batch of limited edition Coke that uses (gasp) real sugar instead of the kitniyot corn. Look for bottles with yellow caps on them to be sure you’re getting the right one, baby! (that was Pepsi‘s old jingle, but close enough.)

4. The First American Edition of the Haggadah Was Published in 1837. The Haggadah is the book or text Jews read from during Passover. It tells the origins of the holiday and explains how the Seder is supposed to proceed. Solomon Henry Jackson, an English-born American Jew, published the first American edition of the Haggadah in 1837 in New York. Jackson had moved to the city in the 1820s to establish the first Hebrew printing press, and The Jew, a monthly newspaper and the first Jewish periodical in the United States. One could say Jackson was the original member of the Jewish media elite.

5. Gefilte Fish is Really Good, I Swear. I know, I know, a bottle of gefilte fish looks more like something you’d find in science class than in a supermarket, but trust me when I say this: it tastes great. Some are even calling it “the new bacon.” Explaining the ingredients or the process of making it would probably only hurt my case, so I’m just going to say that if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. Just think of it as a fish hot dog, and as you can tell from Hebrew National dogs, we Jews know how to do mushy meat!

6. Manischewitz is a Brand, Not the Hebrew Word for Kosher Wine. Just as a Kleenex is really a “facial tissue,” and Q-Tips are actually “cotton swabs,” Manischewitz is a proprietary eponym. Founded in 1927 by Leo Star, the Manischewitz winery has basically cornered the kosher wine market here in the US with their sweet concord grape wine. Yet like Coca-Cola, Manischewitz uses corn syrup to sweeten things up a bit, so surprisingly not all Manischewitz is actually kosher for Passover.


Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

A Very Special Dinner Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica!

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“To receive a guest is to take charge of their happiness
during the entire time they are under your roof.”
– Fernand Point

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR DINING! And a Birthday Party for my Mom!

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A fancy restaurant, a private dining room, 13 good friends and family, champagne, wine, great food, gifts, love, conversation and congratulation, and a good time was had by all!

Saturday evening, we had a 7:00pm reservation for a private dinner party at Melisse restaurant for my mother’s birthday. And it was “FABULOUS”!

We drove over the hill on the 405 freeway and down Wilshire boulevard to 11th Street in Santa Monica. Then we drove around for 15 minutes looking for a place to park before we finally gave up and valet parked in the lot behind the restaurant ($8.50 + tip).

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We were the last to arrive at 7:20pm, and because we were asked to take pictures, that was the first order of business after saying hello to everyone. The pictures of the party guests and the Guest of Honor, some pictures of the restaurant, and pictures of the excellent food came out pretty good. We were worried because it was dark in the private dining room and we chose to use the flash on our cheap LG phone even though we had brought our mini iPad camera.

“Melisse is both a two Michelin Star Award winning restaurant and the recipient of Zagats highly coveted top rated restaurant in Los Angeles since 2003.” – Open Table

“Simply superb in every way”, this “refined” “gastronomical wonder” in Santa Monica from Josiah Citrin “defines fine dining”with “inspired”“artful” French-American tasting menus and “spectacular” wine pairings – all “seamlessly” presented by an “intuitive”“world-class” staff in a “chic yet soothing” setting; prices are “not for the faint of heart”, but the “state of bliss” that ensues is “worth every penny.” – Zagat (4.8 out of 5)

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GOOGLE REVIEWS: 4.5 Stars! (141 reviews)
#38 on LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s 2017 “101 Best Restaurants” list.

Seasonal French-American cuisine!

We have eaten here before and it was one of the most amazing meals we have ever enjoyed! Read about in our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse” (see the link below). And we were very excited about dining here for Mom’s “Big Birthday” party!
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On The Menu: 1993 Dom Perignon champagne, crab amuse bouche, egg caviar, Maine lobster, dry aged prime New York steak or Spanish turbot (fish), choice of fresh baked bread & butter, red & white wine, chocolate L’Opéra cake, lemon soufflé with fruit & vanilla ice cream and 4 different petit fors:

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A Vintage Vintage! 1993 Dom Perignon Champagne – Cheers!

Let’s begin with a Dom Perignon 1993 Champagne to toast the Guest of Honor!

We began with a champagne toast! Found a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1993 tucked away recently. Didn’t know if it would still be good after 25 years. Opened it for the party and it was excellent! So we toasted the Guest of Honor and then we made everyone pose for the “toast picture” (as seen above) taken by our Host.

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“On the nose, this wine opens with notes of red-fleshed peaches, rapidly evolving into cashew nuts and dried herbs. The aromatic experience finishes on a note of lightly toasted brioche. On the palate, it offers a host of well-orchestrated, precise and full-bodied tastes. The initial density becomes creamy, while the long finish ends on a note of glazed citrus fruit.” – Winemaker notes

The unique Dom Perignon style: a rich creamy mousse, fine bubbles, a spirited, crisp opening leading into a broad palette of aromas and tastes, the delicacy of substance itself. Each Cuvee Dom Perignon is cellar-aged for 6 to 8 years.

And then a bottle of fine Chardonnay (white wine) for the egg caviar and lobster courses.

NOTE: Melisse has a fantastic, world-class wine list, however the “Good Stuff” is very expensive (repeat, very expensive), so we brought our own bottles of wine and champagne and paid the corkage fee for each one we opened.

BIG THANKS TO CHEF JOSIE AND THE ENTIRE STAFF AT MELISSE! Everything was excellent. The food was 5 star quality and cooked perfectly. And the service was done with professional precision and attention to detail not found in most restaurants.

NOTE: The red wine, a Pra’ Amarone della Valpolicella (aka Amarone) is a rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried Corvina Rondinella grapes and other red grape varieties. Valpolicella is located in the province of Verona, in the Veneto region near Venice. Italy.

“Dark ruby. Very refined nose offers aromas and flavors of spicy dark plum, chocolate-covered cherry and minerals, lifted by strong floral accents (especially lavender and peony). Multilayered and very suave, boasting a long and tactile finish, leaving behind a strong impression of grace and refinement. A very elegant, smooth Amarone of noteworthy depth and complexity but also impeccable balance (you can’t tell this clocks in at 16.5% alcohol).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous (scored a rating of 94)

Read our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse”
(Right click and “Open in New Window”> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Melisse Restaurant1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 melisse.com

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Chef Josiah Citrin, in his Santa Monica restaurant Mélisse. Citrin is celebrating Mélisse’s 15 year anniversary in 2014 (photo by Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)

NOTE: A meal at Melisse is a real dining experience and it’s expensive! $$$$$
If you can afford it, we recommend this restaurant as a destination in Los Angeles. The menu changes constantly and they have different tasting and course menus available.

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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NOTE: The photo of Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines is a fantastic gift!

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405 Freeway north into the Sepulveda Pass at night