Word and Image

Restaurant

High Tea

This would be my second time. We tried it in Scotland. And, now we found a Tea Room closer to home. It was shut during the Covid crisis. Now that we are vaccinated, the shop has opened and accepted reservations. The hat is de rigueur. Afterward we wandered through the local antique store trying on more stylish chapeaus for the next occasion when we take high tea once more. Pennies on the table? Shiny. They keep away flies. Uh, ok. It worked. We did not see a fly all day.


Opps…oops

Digital cameras allow you to make a mistake that keeps on giving. Since August 3 of last year, for nearly eight months, I have had an erroneous setting for the ISO. Ordinarily, it is set to “Auto.” Somehow it was set to ISO 800. So, a lot of pics were taken with the wrong setting. The other parameters adjusted “automatically” and I never noticed the error till now. I only picked up my mistake because the camera used a very long shutter speed one day. Aha! Corrected! Fixed! All is right again. It only took eight months to notice. Gee!! The pizza? As long as we are talking mistakes, this shot was made after I fixed the ISO. The pizza is the error. We have a pizza chain. The pizza is nearly inedible. I kid you not. I was desperate for a “slice,” any slice. I actually went home and ate something more. To protect the name of the guilty I won’t mention the name Grotto.


Krazy Cat

Colleen loves to eat out – as in – we live to eat. Restaurants are a fun experience. Mostly… Sometimes, you get a dud. But, on this occasion, we got a fun experience. Colleen was worried. She’d made the reservation. So, a lot depended on her choice. To her delight, I was very happy with her choice. Of course, I love her dearly, and, I love to eat out in a different restaurant. Success! Amuse bouche! It’s a classy prelude to dinner. It is a complementary touch to the meal. I digress. The restaurant name is Krazy Cat. My mask (made by Colleen) had a cat face. Cats were dispersed around the restaurant. We had a great time. Colleen made a great choice. But, more than anything else, I was enjoying a moment with the one I love.


Jumbled

I’m spinning the photo catalog today. Originally, I had intended to publish one picture a day of “ooh and ah!” quality along with a story. Lately, it’s been about the stories triggered by the images. Technically, it still fits the title of the blog, but we are a long way off. I’ve been on a lot of planes. The middle top pic is instantly recognizable. Colleen hates to fly. She goes because she does not trust me alone? ?? Dunno? Ha! The first thing we did upon arrival was seek a vegetarian restaurant. It’s very appetizing – if you’re a rabbit. And she got a bottle of organic beer. Isn’t all that beer vegetarian and organic to begin with? I think maybe I would have rather been in the pakora place next door. But, it is now revealed Colleen doesn’t care for Indian. Damn, so far and yet so close. Figuratively, literally, you do the math and take your pick of the choices here in my words. The truth: We have fun. Anywhere is good as long as I’m with Colleen. Happiness is…


A year ago

3/11/21 – this year, designated the “one year anniversary”

57 million vaccinated – have had one shot or more

Vaccine – an actual one was developed in less than a year

Speech – a national address by our (real) leader on the 1st anniversary. trump???? who????

Covid relief American rescue package – it passed. Not a single republican voted for it. Traitors.

Eve of 2nd shot – I got mine the next day.

“If somebody said ‘N95’ to you one year ago, you’d think they were a bingo caller.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

They talk about a year ago. 3/11/20. Anniversary of corona. Where were you? Memorable? No, it just came and went as an ordinary day. I can note it/did note it, because I have a photo diary. The news and late night shows were full of the “anniversary.” The “event” (last year) was marked by the shutdown of Delaware by the governor. For us it was the evening/night of 3/16/20. All business was shut. A year later, the library opened for the first time. We did a little victory dance. Anniversary Day +1 is my second shot. I’m old. For most the first shot is months away. For others, they will be foolish, ignore the science, and decline the vaccine. What a world? What a time? The “former guy” is out of office. Sanity, truth, and science have returned. If you commit a crime, you do not get a free pass – see Gov Cuomo. Yeah, it’s been a hell of a f’n year!

What were/where were you? We learned to make Nantucket baskets and ate Thai as they announced all business was closed. The flowers were in bloom. (Not yet this year.) I was in my fake flowers/vases phase. Colleen made a “Giovanni” burger for me. The groceries were suddenly without TP! Toilet paper!?!? Patch was sleeping soundly through it all on our bed. It’s not an anniversary. That would impart more of a celebration. This was more like – “yeah, I was there. Ain’t it amazing when you look back?” Life, as we knew it, changed right afterward.


Giddy

It’s done. We have both completed two doses of the covid vaccine. It’s a relief! I feel bad for everyone still waiting. I am bewildered by those who believe the vaccine is not necessary. Our appointments were days apart. We celebrated the same way – a meal in a restaurant, distanced. Safe. I feel safer. Indeed, “safer” is s very good feeling.


Do-over

We ate in this restaurant the night we were married. It was pre-Covid. But, we sort of eloped. Not even our hosts joined us to celebrate with dinner. Luckily, restrictions are not so tight now. We returned to a splendid evening out and had another excellent meal. Crab, lamb, and creme brulee – have you gotten the idea Colleen likes crab? Happy? More than ever. Given my tendency to nuttiness, that’s saying a lot for Colleen’s patience. Saintly!! – her, not me!


Happily married

What do you do on a day you’d like to celebrate in an understated way? Head to the bookstore, antique store, and on to the favorite restaurant. Someone got a very nice day out of the deal. Pardon the out of focus shots – low/dim lighting. That would be crab imperial – pretty much straight lump crab meat. We got a teacher discount at Apple. And, “one thing” at Barnes and Noble – that’s the rule, just one thing. Happily married? I joke. But, it is not an oxymoron in our little house.


We got one

Have I told you I hate needles? Ha ha, coming from a surgeon, you might laugh. But, I follow the rule: it’s better to give than receive. So!? When it came time to scheduling our Covid vaccines, it was a no-brainer (ha, ha, I was a brain surgeon too), that Colleen would be scheduled first. I could not get our appointments on the same day. This set off controversy and argument: How chivalrous it was of me to get Colleen’s appointment first! Andy got his second appointment and did not get one for Kathy. Lee got her own without help from me.

And when my (first) vaccination was canceled/delayed, I thought I was in the clear and off-the-hook. No such luck. I got another appointment a week later. (Mike got it for me.) After each vaccination we celebrated in a restaurant. The second was an Indian buffet. Interesting times, the buffet was served. We pointed at each dish we wished to sample. Done! That was interesting indeed. Meanwhile, we have appointments for the second shot. I am not looking forward to the dates.

They got a name! Vaccine selfie! Elvis in 1956 at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Polio vaccine. I’ve had one!


Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo. Maybe you’ve had it, maybe not. There are two restaurants in Rome that claim to be the original. At least that was the case many decades ago. We tried both restaurants on that trip long ago. This is the restaurant where they put on a show as they served. It’s the original! The showmanship makes me smile even now. That’s Alfredo in the picture, Of course!


The last time…oops

It looks like I have already published this post a few days ago. We’ve been kind of distracted. I didn’t notice my error till now. Oh well, stuff happens.

The last time… we ate out, we had dinner guests, our house was clean. Well, now might be the time to look back. Ha ha! I compose posts long before published. I am trying to stick to the one/day rule Jules imposed. This is/was being written in early May. Poignant! Literally the day/same evening we ate our last meal out as DE closed all restaurants.

We only clean up when we invite dinner guests. This was the last clean up before Jen and Mike came for St Pat’s corned beef. And the very next day… no toilet paper to be had. It’s been a while. No, no, no, there’s a new normal. Little did I know. Our house will not be tidy again, for a long long time. It’s a good thing. I do so love my life and my wife. Eh? What did I say? … I can’t remember when I last saw TP on the shelves! …  and I love my wife.


San Luis…

Obispo

Summer market, famer’s market, teeming with people out to get fresh produce or a good meal. Ya gotta love the kids. There’s nothing better than a hot ear of corn on the cob! And beer? We settled in at BBQ joint and Colleen got a flight (of beer). San Luis Obispo was such an exotic faraway city when I first came across the name back in the early ‘70’s while working in a publishing house. My niece later married here. And now, Colleen and I have dined. I never actually thought I’d ever be here. Funny how life intersects with my reality.


Last supper

…or Corona… or eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die! This is the last (our) supper before the ban on eating out in restaurants went into effect in Delaware. Nuts! By the time this post is published… who knows how the disease will have gone? Fact and fiction, either or, neither will have made much difference. Science and politics don’t match well. Too convoluted? Well, as of this writing, there are folks (Republicans) who deny anything is wrong in the face of the fact that there is no toilet paper, water, or hand sanitizer to be had. These three items alone should tell you a disaster is happening. It’s seems that FEMA has noted we always have a disaster when the TP goes missing. Laugh, slowly clapping.


Way back…

…when. Not that many years ago, in a simpler time, who knew how the world would change? We haven’t been back in many a year. But, at the time, in that place, it was the highlight of our world. We had been recommended and found this restaurant that served deep fried kale. Unhealthy! You bet. Good? Unparalleled! It was mere months from this point that someone tried to detonate (bomb vest) in the parking lot across from the US Embassy. My life changed and I was soon home for good. I don’t remember when we ate there again. Unhealthy! Good? You bet!


Behind the scenes (pics)

The only difference between your iPhone and my camera is that my inconsequential pics have a higher technical quality. My daily diary is not particularly interesting. I have shots of the cats, where we’ve been, and the food we consumed. Mundane. Boring, no doubt. The stories behind the picture(s)? It’s all an experience/experiment. Does the picture come first or does the narrative come as I take the picture? Both, all of the above, a gorgeous sunset is easy. But I experiment. There are few new pictures. It’s mostly reworking previous subjects in a new situation. Repeat? You bet. New? Some, too. By now I should know what I’m doing and never miss. I should not have to repeat my mistakes. I know what to do. But… most of my stuff (images) is mundane and not worthy of more than a glance. Throw stuff away? A friend told me recently that he dumps all his bad images. Clutter! No clutter! No, no, no. I have faithfully cataloged all of my clutter with a database. Database? Why not? And images are stored on hard drives. There’s no space taken up there. …except if you have too many redundant drives. Anyway, today was mundane. Anything but…  Coffee in the antique store, antique store (another), ghost church/cemetery, dinner/anniversary with the cousins, and food! There’s a fine line. But, every day is a gift! Really!! You gotta be smiling by now, YTIMA spelled backwards is llits AMITY.


Valentine’s

A while back we had an excellent Valentine’s Day. We are beyond cards and flowers. Heresy! I shall say, though, we had a splendid day. There was even time for a costume change.

And dinner?! It was our (Colleen’s) favorite restaurant! We have lots of restaurants we like. But there is a number one! Above all others, this was the place! An excellent stout (beer) and crab imperial. Yes!! Flowers? I did a fake bouquet at pottery barn. Hey! It’s the sentiment! And no, we did not buy that $39 bunch. Geez! Good looking and a good $$$ too. No, I followed the road to the heart via the stomach.


Touch of Italy

It was lady’s night. The respective husbands were otherwise unable to attend (the restaurant). Chicken parm comes on a plate – a large plate. Did I say, “Large plate?!” The pounded cutlet fills the plate to the point where the spaghetti on the side was served up on a second plate. The portion was large enough to take home and serve up to the absent husbands. Me? I was at the head of the table. That means I picked up the check. I feel like I got caught in the headlights. Next time….


Graphic

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We were stopped in a coffee shop Colleen adores. Turmeric latte. What can I say? It’s good for you/her. I deferred. I sat and took in the ambiance. We were also here for the ambiance. A graphic image caught my attention. Drat! I almost had a great shot. It’s okay but it could have used a bit better focus.

Meanwhile, I noticed a family moving about, ordering, and eating. It took me a while longer to realize that there was a sleeping child on the table. I mistook the shoes for mittens and hats. There were two kids not one. Consider it an optical delusion.


not since…

Sometimes it’s not about the picture. I grew up in Elkins, a small town. This was before fast food, before McD. There was Dairy Queen and Tastee Freez. The later is down to 25 stores. DQ has 6400 in 25 countries. McD is between 14k and 16k. The DQ burger of my (memory) youth was akin to the White Castle “grey” disc. Nothing special, they were a treat whenever mom was feeling like a night off from feeding us real food. So, for the first time since childhood… yes, the first time in many decades, we were persuaded to stop in one while traveling through WV. It was an eyeopener. The burger was huge and greasy. It was as good as any diner burger I have had recently. And the chocolate shake was thick, like a soft serve ice cream. Good!? It was as good (burger) as I could get without making it myself. That good? Maybe I was hungry? Would I return? Maybe it won’t be decades.


Timing

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Mike rebuked me. I take pictures of everything. “Useless!” he intoned sarcastically.  I take pictures of plates of food. Ha! I guess we don’t see eye to eye. (I don’t think – never have seen – he owns a camera. He doesn’t run a blog and he doesn’t care to. Though we’re friends, one might question the commonality of our ways. Since, we’ve (Colleen and I) been here I have passed this joint many a time. I picture it as a fast food type place. No interest. But, finally, on a cold winter night, we looked up the menu and decided to give it a try. Boredom? Not Mike, you know who? and me. We parked and walked to the door. Locked! Lights on! Blazing in the night. Closed! Private party. Ha ha. We won’t be coming back. Sorry. Bad timing?! I was saved! And for Mike, there will be no food picture this time.


Close

Pronunciation is “close” as in “close to you” not “close the door.” It’s uniquely British/Scottish. We encountered one in Edinburgh that led to a charming little courtyard. And in Stirling it was a garbage filled back alley that led to the next street. You pick. The USA equivalent is a back alley. In Britain it is named (on a map) and designates a narrow alley/walk between two buildings to cross over or enter another space. In our first example it led to a courtyard of buildings. Charming. In the second it led to the adjacent street where we sought Nicky Tam pub – famous Cullen skink. No! It was a dive! We felt unsafe and unclean and quickly exited safe with our lives and our money. We lit upon Brea a few doors down where we slipped in just before dinner rush. They gave Colleen a lovely ½ order of Cullen skink and of risotto, two birds with one stone! And, now for the kicker, I dreamt this post up. Literally, I was sleeping and dreaming of two alternatives to pronouncing the word “close.” So, here we are.


Best

Best Cullen skink in Glasgow? Café Gandolfi. How do they make this up? It’s online. And we were parked right across the street. Serendipitously! Purely! And, Colleen read the menu and we made a reservation. It was later we searched and found this restaurant to be rated. Ok! It was still pure luck that we dropped in.


Chips

Ubiquitous Chip restaurant was near the top of every list for restaurants in my online search. We were curious. The name derived and was counter to chips – they served none. The food was pretty. The service was great. We were glad we came. I think probably once was enough. That’s just my opinion. The potatoes were good.


Hype

By the time I will have posted this to my blog, the Impossible Burger will be commonplace. It’s not meat! It’s plant based. It’s nothing to look at. It tastes just like a Whopper. Which is to say, it was never fine dining, but, for fast food, it was a meal. I hedged my bet and got a $1.49 chicken nugget special to go with it. We are not craving our next burger. But for what it was advertised, it wasn’t a disappointment. … been there, done that.