Saturday, June 30, 2012

The south will rise again. Believe it.

This is the day I know you’ve been waiting for … the first installment of our road trip retrospective! I suppose the best way to get started would be a chronological album of photos, so grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable. If you don’t drink coffee please feel free to select a reasonable alternative.

Our first stop was an authentic Cajun lunch at Marilynn’s Place in Shreveport, Louisiana, about 175 miles from home. Sam and I both had “po-boy” sandwiches. I had shrimp, he had crawfish. My shrimp po-boy is pictured below alongside Bozz Baucum, Marilynn’s owner and chef, a very happy dude with a great accent. After lunch we drove a bunch of back roads across the entire state, which included small towns, real bayous and a stop at the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe, located at the base (Selman Field) where my dad had been stationed for flight training during World War II. We crossed the Mississippi River and arrived at our first overnight destination in plenty of time for genuine southern cuisine at the Chinese Buffet of Vicksburg, which was everything we expected (cold egg rolls and too many kids). Afterwards we enjoyed a junket to the Ameristar Casino and I won myself a seriously lovely $120 jackpot on a penny slot machine.
Vicksburg has a lot of very nice riverboat casinos that attract a swinging local crowd of heavy smokers, where the average age is 70 and most are in wheelchairs.

On day two Sam and I visited the Vicksburg National Military Park, a 16-mile driving tour on the site of a 45-day siege during the Civil War that involved 77,000 Union soldiers and 33,000 Confederates. After trying to capture Vicksburg from every conceivable direction General Ulysses S. Grant eventually achieved victory by starving the entire city and forcing a surrender. The battlefield is an amazing experience. You can actually feel the ghosts!
Other activities in Vicksburg included swell food at Rusty’s Riverfront Grill, gigantic murals depicting the city’s history at Catfish Row, beautiful back roads and views of the Mississippi River, and a profitable afternoon (this time for Sam) at the Rainbow Casino, where we enjoyed a surprisingly excellent food at their excellent buffet. Frances the hostess was excellent, too. She brought me sugar-free pie — I love sugar-free pie! — and promised “the south will rise again.” Sam and I believed her.
Please stay tuned for the next installment of our road trip retrospective, probably tomorrow if I set aside enough time to sort through the photos. Sam and I have been busy watching a lot of crappy science fiction movies this week, such as Wild, Wild Planet (1965), a dubbed Italian dreck-fest that included a mad scientist turning people into teeny dolls with teeny diapers and teeny transfusion IVs, miniature sets with Jetson-style cars flying around on strings and idiot astronauts who hurl insults by calling each other “helium head.” Basically, this is a Technicolor version of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), the worst movie ever made.
I think I’ll rustle up some grub and watch a few Boston Blackie reruns. Thank you for reading this!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy birthday, Sam!

Good morning and howdy from Texas! Excuse me for a few minutes while my cane and I attempt a couple of handsprings to celebrate the following two momentous occasions: 1) Sam’s 53rd birthday (today); and 2) the Supreme Court’s decision (yesterday) to uphold Obamacare.

Thank you for your patience. Please call 911.

And now, an apology. It took me a little longer than expected to get back into my usual Howdygram routine due to the typical assortment of back-from-vacation baloney, such as: 1) following up an overcharge from the Hyatt Place in Nashville; 2) how did I end up with a rash in my left armpit; 3) figuring out which post office held our mail; 4) contacting Amazon so I can return the lousy insulin travel wallet that tried to kill me in Corinth, Tennessee; and 5) why the hell did AT&T decide to add $32.35 to our June bill for no reason whatsoever. Details concerning items 4 and 5 appear below for your possible interest.
Regarding the lousy insulin travel wallet pictured above, this useless contraption is advertised online with phrases like “refrigeration not needed,” “keeps insulin safe without the need for refrigeration” and “lasts four times longer than an ice pack.” In a word, this is horseshit. I followed instructions to the letter and all of my insulin got ruined. By the time we got to Corinth, Tennessee, I had to throw out four brand new insulin pens, find the closest Wal-Mart and grovel for a prescription refill, buy an Igloo cooler and then keep it filled with ice from assorted motels in three states. A few minutes ago I read some fine print on the manufacturer’s website, where they claim their travel wallet will only maintain the temperature of insulin at 79°. That’s a far cry from “refrigeration not needed” and “lasts four times longer than an ice pack,” since unopened insulin has to be stored at 46°. The Howdygram would like to thank Amazon for agreeing to a full refund with free return shipping.

Where AT&T is concerned, apparently a number of “promotional discounts,” which I never knew I had, expired this month, so the Einsteins at AT&T just went ahead and started charging full price for everything, including the complimentary Internet upgrade they offered me back in April. I seriously despise these people.
Our road trip retrospective begins with my next post, so come back soon, okay?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Holy crap. We’re home!

We pulled into the garage about an hour ago after a six-hour drive from Little Rock, Arkansas. Our first order of business is showers, unpacking toiletries and ordering dinner from China City. I’ll get started writing Howdygram posts later tonight and tomorrow with all the essential details from our 2,100-mile road trip.

For the record, I tried to write a post from our new iPad but it doesn’t work very well with the blog interface, the keyboard is a little too small for any serious typing and I couldn’t preview any of my work. What the hell. I know you’ll forgive me.

It’s time to order food. More later, okay? Thank you for reading this!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

You can always count on Texans to throw a dignified party.

Breaking news! It seems that Trader Joe’s grand opening yesterday in Fort Worth was a huge success, as evidenced by the following photo from the Dallas Observer website that was taken immediately after the store closed at 9 p.m. You can always count on Texans to throw a dignified party.
Thank you for reading this.

Happy Father’s Day to Howdygramsters far and wide!

Saturday was a long day around here, packed with projects, fun and excitement that included two loads of laundry, an extended afternoon nap, watching most of the U.S. Open (round three) and a couple of movies on TCM, World Without End (1956) and All Through the Night (1942).

World Without End stars Hugh Marlowe, the reigning king of crap science fiction. Oddly enough, this movie shares a lot of plot elements with two other films: Forbidden Planet, which also was released in 1956, about a scientist father and a gorgeous daughter creating their own food and living underground; and Planet of the Apes (1968) about a spaceship from earth that returns hundreds of years in the future after nuclear war. Unfortunately, while Forbidden Planet and Planet of the Apes were terrific movies, World Without End really SUCKED.
Although the producers obviously spent plenty of dough on Technicolor, the film suffers from demented dialog, cheesy sets and bullshit costumes. All the men wear glittery satin jumpsuits with stupid hats that look like carved-up cantaloupes (see photo below) and the women — all sex-starved because who the hell would get turned on by an old guy in a cantaloupe hat — are running around in halters, mini-skirts and stilettos. (It’s gratifying to know that stilettos will survive a nuclear holocaust. There’s hope for mankind.)
Before I forget ... HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to Howdygramsters far and wide. Since Sam and I no longer have dads we commemorate the day with a 24-hour yahrzeit candle, which we lit during the U.S. Open.
May your Father’s Day be merry and bright and filled with all good things, including brunch, beer and a chance to sit around the house in a suit and tie reading your favorite magazine. L’chaim, y’all.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Glorioski! Trader Joe’s opens in Fort Worth.

Hey, shoppers! The first Trader Joe’s in Texas opened today somewhere in the depths of Fort Worth! According to a live blog on the Dallas Observer website crowds started piling up outside at 5:30 in the morning — in the pouring rain — and by 9 a.m. all 12 checkouts had at least 50 customers in line, stretching all the way to the back of the store. The Howdygram thinks these people are all lucky, brilliant, brave and damp. The first store in Dallas (on Lower Greenville Avenue) won’t open until the end of this year and there’s another scheduled to open at Walnut Hill and Central Expressway in 2014. Holy crap, I know I won’t be able to wait that long for Trader Joe’s cashews, cottage cheese, frozen mango, hot mustard and tofu egg salad. Fort Worth is getting closer all the time. (Please don’t tell Sam.)

As I write this post the aforementioned Sam is stretched out in the family room watching 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the most annoying movie ever made. Not only did the sound track completely ruin Strauss for me for the rest of my life, the story is slower than watching your fingernails grow and the first 20 minutes with that pack of violent screaming gorillas is enough to set my hair on fire. I don’t like Keir Dullea, either. Or Stanley Kubrick. I am definitely NOT a fan.
Unfortunately, I have a dilemma. I’m starving right now but I can’t access the kitchen without seeing and hearing what’s on TV in the family room. If I offer Sam part of my omelet maybe he’ll change the channel. (I can dream.)

Thank you for reading this.

Tiger Woods, Sam’s errands and celebrity feet reviews.

At 3:30 this morning I had a nightmare that somebody was pounding on our bedroom window. This scared the hell out of me so I sat bolt upright in bed and shouted, presumably to Sam, “Did you hear that?” except he obviously didn’t because he never woke up. Eventually I found myself in the study noodling around on the Internet until the panic subsided. It wasn’t a total waste of time, however, as I discovered, where they post photos and reviews of celebrity feet. Check it out when you have a chance. Tell them Marcy sent you.

Sam, at the moment, is in the midst of some nice Friday morning errands. These include: 1) buying a bigger memory card for our digital camera at Best Buy; 2) picking up a couple of prescriptions and a bag of shredded cheese at Wal-Mart; and 3) not getting the car washed because it looks like rain again. (We had a few thundershowers creep through here around 6 a.m.)

Breaking news from the wacky world of professional golf! Don’t forget to watch the 112th U.S. Open tournament this weekend starring Tiger Woods and friends, live from the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Tiger is in second place after round one, during which he wowed the crowd in chic gray separates, pictured below.
Just in case you give a crap I’ve got a quick update on Sam’s errands. He says Best Buy doesn’t carry memory cards for our digital camera any more because (apparently) we’ve got “old technology.” They referred him to the big Wal-Mart Super Center in Garland and he’s on his way as I write this paragraph. In the meantime I think I’ll make a few tacos and watch yesterday’s episode of “People’s Court.” Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Glorioski! The next generation of “Dallas” is a juicy, geriatric knockoff.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. And I’ve got two classic examples I’d like to share. First, in the news today cycling champion Lance Armstrong has been charged again with participation in a massive doping conspiracy. Allegations against him began in 1999 with evidence dating back to 1996, and if Armstrong is finally convicted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency he could lose all seven Tour de France titles and have to give back a bunch of really cool team tee shirts. He will, however, be allowed to keep his helmet and continue swilling champagne.
Second, the next generation of “Dallas” premiered tonight on TNT, and even though I thought for sure this geriatric knockoff would completely suck, I have to admit that J.R. — he uses a walker! — and a strangely pruny Bobby got me hooked all over again. The obnoxious, uber-rich Ewings are back, and now their demon offspring have weasled into the family’s relentless quest for dough. The new series films lots of great scenic shots in and around town here and they’re also shooting exteriors at Southfork Ranch, which is about 15 miles north of the Howdygram’s nerve center in Mesquite.
The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; and B) Southfork Ranch, which is actually a lot smaller than it is on TV. For the record, Southfork is real; the Ewings, unfortunately, are not.
Speaking of Howdygram headquarters, we narrowly missed some huge and scary thunderstorms tonight! Although we had about 45 minutes of light but steady rain, most of Dallas and the suburban areas just north and south of Mesquite wound up with baseball-size hail, 60 m.p.h. straight-line winds and torrential rainfall. Casualties included all the skylights at North Park Mall (the snootiest mall in Dallas), the glass lily pad sculptures at the Dallas Arboretum and two or three billion trees and car windshields all over town. Check out the video clip below.

Thank you for reading this. It’s bedtime.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Madonna’s nipple, take it or leave it.

In an effort to take our minds off the sordid trial of pedophile Jerry Sandusky, it seems that every national news website is bombarding us today with the hottest story in cyberspace: MADONNA’S NIPPLE. Apparently she flashed one of her 53-year-old boobies to an audience of 55,000 in Istanbul and followed it up two days later by mooning the crowd in Rome.
Just between us, I think Madonna might be a little too old for the horseshit she used to pull off 25 years ago, mostly because she looks a little worn out and flabby and — even worse — her children are on tour with her now. But as much as Madonna might be pushing her luck, the following Holy Crap Gallery offers some outrageous then-and-now photos of the world’s biggest rock stars from the 1960s.
Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, who never was much to look at, anyway, is monumentally worse at 71 with the cascading chins and weird hats, and beautiful Grace Slick has morphed into a plump bingo grandma in polyester. Nobody standing next to her at the supermarket checkout would ever in a million years guess she was once the queen of acid rock who sang with Jefferson Airplane. And in case you were (literally) born yesterday, Keith Richard, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts were three of the original Rolling Stones. Richard and Jagger could haunt a house; Watts looks like he joined a yacht club.

And now it’s time to fold a mountain of socks and join Sam in the family room for a couple of good movies. Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nothing I do has ever been worth $120 an hour to anybody.

First, please accept my apology for not writing posts for the last couple of days. I didn’t intend to ignore you; it just happened. I guess I was preoccupied with other crap, although at this point I honestly can’t remember what that other crap might have been. It’s hell getting old.

My Mac technician finally showed up today to install the latest operating system and sync our computers with our new iPad. This turned out to take a lot longer and cost a lot more money than I’d planned, leading me to conclude that I’ve been in the wrong business all these years because nothing I do has ever been worth $120 an hour to anybody. After shelling out $360 for three hours of labor, during which Betty talked about her mother and juggled an endless flurry of incoming calls on her cell phone, I am proud to announce that emails now show up on our iPad. I promise to let you know if it was worth the money as soon as I get over the shock.

For your possible interest I’m pleased to offer yet another installment of our popular Holy Crap Gallery, this time featuring three former cutie-pies who haven’t had much luck with their aging genes. I think Kathleen Turner and Linda Ronstadt are the scariest of the bunch.
Incidentally, Sam and I had a swell and profitable junket yesterday to the Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma! Following an okay lunch with sugar-free pie, I hauled in GREAT BIG WINS (more than $60) on a couple of new penny slots and then Sam hit a jackpot on the best slot machine God ever invented, the Cash Wizard (see below), after which we bailed out immediately and drove back to Texas so we wouldn’t be tempted the blow the money.
This week we’re busy tending to a lot of essential baloney as we get ready for our big ROAD TRIP, such as prescription refills, getting a new pair of jeans shortened, figuring out which shoes to pack and selecting obscure towns to stop for lunch on the way to wherever we’re going. A map of our travel route appears below.
Indicated here are: 1) Howdygram headquarters, our starting point; 2) Vicksburg, Mississippi, where we’ll visit a huge Civil War battlefield, a great museum and several riverboat casinos; 3) another Civil War battlefield in Shiloh, Tennessee; 4) Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry; and 5) the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. Also on our schedule is a visit to Monroe, Louisiana, located on the map between points 1 and 2, where my father was stationed in 1943 for basic training in the Army Air Corps. Apparently the only remaining building on base has been turned into a World War II museum and I’m feeling compelled to check it out. I even have a fantasy that I’ll find a photo of dad on the wall. No kidding.

I’d better get myself ready for bed. Tomorrow Sam and I want to road-test our new Garmin GPS (delivered from Amazon earlier today) and visit the Dallas Farmer’s Market.
As you can see, this is NOT the kind of farmer’s market that sets up in a parking lot once or twice a month. It’s a permanent complex of buildings with indoor vendor stalls and restaurants that’s open every day of the year except Christmas and Thanksgiving. Sam and I haven’t been there before, so stay tuned for an in-depth review. I apologize in advance if you’re convinced this will be boring.

Shalom, y’all.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gigantic freeze-dried omelets and an unexpected Saturday morning splurge.

Oy, I keep forgetting to tell you this. See if you can guess what’s the highest-rated entree produced by the Howdygram test kitchens, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with gefilte fish. Drum roll ...

It’s MARCY’S FREEZE-DRIED “EVERYTHING” OMELET! A few days ago I made a gigantic omelet for Sam and me that included six real eggs and two slices of real pepper jack cheese plus all those amazing freeze-dried ingredients I’ve been stockpiling from Shelf Reliance, including chopped bell pepper, onions, sliced mushrooms and sausage TVP (textured vegetable protein). It only takes two or three minutes to rehydrate all this heavenly crap and you’d never taste the difference in a million years. Shelf Reliance also sells freeze-dried scrambled eggs and freeze-dried cheese but I think I’ll skip the science fiction dairy products for now.

As long as I’m horsing around with the Howdygram please allow me to share this morning’s unexpected purchases on Amazon. I say “unexpected” because Sam casually muttered something a few minutes ago about do I think we need a GPS for our road trip and before he finished the sentence I’d already placed the order.
Pictured above are our new Garmin 5-inch Portable GPS Navigator plus a handy little zipper carrying case and a cool friction mount doohickey for the dashboard. Amazon’s prices, as always, were terrific. And God bless free shipping.

I also ordered another box of insulin pen needles because sometimes a girl needs to splurge a little. Believe it or not, I actually remember when splurging meant shoes or an expensive lipstick. These must be my golden years. Oy.
It was nice of you to stop by this morning. Seriously.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Danny DeVito is obviously enjoying a steady diet of lasagna and Ding Dongs.

The last 48 hours have been plagued by two crushing disappointments here at Howdygram headquarters, mostly because Sam and I are a pair of trusting souls who tend to believe almost everything we hear.

Crushing Disappointment Number One. We canceled our trip to the Choctaw Casino yesterday because rain and thunderstorms were in the forecast all day and we’d have to be awfully desperate to drive 160 miles round-trip in a deluge for sugar-free pie and penny slots. Unfortunately we never got a single drop of rain on Thursday whatsoever, so we wound up sitting around the house all day DOING NOTHING and whining about why the hell did we ever listen to those pathological liars at again.
Crushing Disappointment Number Two. I finally managed to turn my mood around by reminding myself that Betty was coming over on Friday afternoon to upgrade our Macs with the latest operating system, install a pile of fabulous new Adobe software and synch everything with our iPad. Right on schedule, Betty sent an email at 2:30 to tell me she was “on the way” with a thirty-minute ETA ... AND THEN SHE NEVER SHOWED UP. Apparently she had car trouble and wound up getting towed to a dealership, which I didn’t find out until two hours later because she left voice mails on my cell phone and I NEVER TURN ON MY CELL PHONE. (Seriously. My cell phone leads a full and rewarding life as an expensive paperweight.)

Although we’ve rescheduled the Choctaw Casino for Monday and Betty for Tuesday, to help me get through the weekend without a nervous breakdown I’ve convinced Sam that we need dim sum for lunch tomorrow at Hong Kong Royal. God bless dim sum. Dim sum can solve damn near anything.
For your possible interest I’m pleased to include the latest installment of our popular Holy Crap Gallery.
Of the four celebrities pictured above, the one I’d pick for Most Deteriorated would be Rip Torn, who looks mighty shredded to me. Connie Stevens seems kind of colorless and pruny, Danny DeVito is obviously enjoying a steady diet of lasagna and Ding Dongs, and I’m thoroughly intrigued by Dean Stockwell, who’s practically the only movie star left from Hollywood’s golden age, having appeared in films with — ready for this? — William Powell, Myrna Loy, Joel McCrea, Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore, Reginald Owen, Gene Kelly, Donald Crisp, Charles Coburn and Wallace Beery. Holy crap!

It’s 11 p.m. and time for my insulin injection and a pile of pills. For a bedtime snack I’m considering sugar-free vanilla ice cream with Smucker’s sugar-free fudge topping. I could even use my pills as demented sprinkles just for fun. Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Marcy’s Adventures in Diabetesland and other late-night entertainment.

Warmest greetings from Howdygram headquarters, where it’s been torrentially wet and unexpectedly stormy since late yesterday afternoon. We’ve probably had at least 1½ inches of rain so far with more thundercrap on the way overnight and a full day of rain forecast for Thursday. As a result, it’s possible that our junket to the Choctaw Casino might be postponed if we don’t get a break in the weather, and I’m understandably devastated in advance about missing the sugar-free pie at Butterfield’s Buffet. The map below illustrates our current weather situation and the big pink star indicates Howdygram headquarters. If you zoom in, I’m the attractive but grumpy senior citizen in the window clutching an empty fork.
During an especially noisy period of consecutive thunderstorms Wednesday night Sam and I ordered dinner from China City and watched Frankenstein (1931) with Colin Clive, Boris Karloff and Mae Clarke. Believe it or not, I’d never seen the entire movie before and thought it was definitely creepy, atmospheric, scary and extremely well done, especially when you consider there were no computer-generated backgrounds or special effects.
And finally, if you’ve been following the ongoing saga of Marcy’s Adventures in Diabetesland I’m pleased to announce that MY BLOOD SUGAR IS FINALLY UNDER CONTROL. I’m injecting 86 units of Lantus® insulin every night at bedtime. So far, so good. And as long as I’m composing a health-centered paragraph, the annoying flu-ish symptoms I had last night never morphed into anything substantial and I’m feeling fine. (Thank you for asking.)

I think I’ll pour myself a nice tall Marcytini and play a new slot machine game on my iPad. If I close the door to the study I can even turn on the sound and not disturb Sam, who went to bed about 45 minutes ago. The sound effects are amazing and you really feel like you’re in a casino except nobody’s sitting next to you with a cigarette blowing smoke in your face.

Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Slots, sluts and the world’s best sugar-free pie.

Before I begin my usual late-night drivel I should mention that I don’t feel too swell right now. I’m hoarse, I’ve got a nasal drip and my legs ache. I’m not exactly sure how all this crap is connected so I just washed down two Tylenols with a bunch of lemonade. A good night’s sleep might help, too, in which case I should try to keep this post rather brief. (Not very likely.)

Anybody seen the latest buzz about Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris? Apparently they’ve patched up their relationship after an ugly breakup last summer. Crystal backed out five days before their wedding, sued him in court for custody of their joint puppy and then blabbed to the press about Hefner being lousy in the sack. He’s 86, you little twit. What were you expecting? Frankly, I think they deserve each other.
A familiar face in the news! It seems that Octomom (Nadya Suleman), with her home in foreclosure and desperate for money, has agreed to work as a stripper in mid-July at T’s Lounge in West Palm Beach, Florida, performing twice a night for one week. During the last couple of months Suleman also posed nude for a British tabloid, signed up to star in porn films and filed for bankruptcy. She gets skankier by the minute. And the Howdygram wants to know who’s babysitting her 14 children while she peels for a mob of drunks in the Sunshine State.
And now I’d like to share a new photo of my great-nephew Cooper, age 4½ months, posing in a swell little hat. Is this guy adorable, or what?
For your possible interest my essential purchases from Amazon today included a case of wintergreen Tic Tacs and a yahrzeit candle because we can’t find yahrzeit candles in any of our local redneck supermarkets. Sam and I always light one on Father’s Day to remember our dads. Mine passed away 10 years ago on July 14; Sam’s died three years ago this month.
I also ordered a set of three clever wipey things by Targus to buff the grimy fingerprints off our new iPad. In the meantime I’m using the chamois that came with an eyeglass cleaner kit I bought at Costco.
Some BIG EVENTS coming up this week! On Thursday Sam and I are driving to the Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma to dine at Butterfield’s Buffet — they have SUGAR-FREE PIE — and play our favorite slots. A photo of Butterfield’s appears below. In addition to sugar-free pie I really love their hot & sour soup, which is extremely hot and extremely sour.
On Friday afternoon our computer technician (Betty) is coming over to upgrade our Macs with the latest operating system, synch them with our iPad and install the latest Adobe Creative Suite software. This is A VERY HUGE HOO-HAH and I’m so excited I might have a nervous breakdown.

In the meantime I think I’ll just go to bed. Thank you for reading this.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Sunday was awesome. It was so awesome, in fact, that I didn’t even have the time or inclination to write a post about it until now. Since I’m positive you won’t be able to continue with your day until I’ve shared the minutiae, grab yourself a lemonade and here goes.

My wonderful Sunday included ...

iPad App Acquisitions. I spent a little time horsing around on the iPad App Store and downloaded the following: 1) the Internet Movie Database; 2) TripAdvisor; 3) MyRadar weather maps and forecasts; and 4) an essential little doohickey called Where to Eat that — go on, take a guess — locates restaurants so I won’t have to be without Mongolian chicken anywhere in the United States. Ever. I’m also hoping to find a GPS locator app called Gefilte Fish Finder, so if you run across anything that fits this description please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you.

Memorable Television Programming. I enjoyed six hours of nonstop Diamond Jubilee horseshit on BBC America, including the entire Thames River pagaent and a special one-hour documentary about the life of Queen Elizabeth. Pictured below are the Queen and Prince Philip with the cast of “H.M.S. Pinafore” (just kidding) in a motorboat heading to the Spirit of Chartwell barge — check out that dude on the right with the skirt and red tights — and another shot of all the essential royals squished under a screwy gold canopy because it was pouring rain and God forbid any hats should get wet.
And I’ll also include a photo of the flotilla on the Thames (see below), led by a several hundred nitwits in costume rowing their own boats. The big one out in front is the Gloriana, powered by galley slaves like Ben Hur.
I also watched Tiger Woods win the Memorial yesterday at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio, tying Jack Nicklaus’ 73 lifetime PGA tournament wins. This was a very big hoo-hah  because Tiger’s game has been mostly crappy for the last couple of years. Jack was on hand to present the tournament’s trophy, which apparently was laser-engraved with a Hoover upright vacuum cleaner. (Is it just me, or is Jack shrinking?)
Last night also included: 1) the most amazing episode of AMC’s “Mad Men” I’ve ever seen, even better than the one two weeks ago when Joan agreed to sleep with a sleazy client to land the Jaguar account for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce; 2) the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” flying to Chicago for a gay wedding in Barrington (seriously); and 3) “Veep” on HBO starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The official trailer for “Veep” appears below for your possible interest. (If you like it you’d better watch next Sunday because it’s the last episode of the season.)

A Charming Late Afternoon Drive. After Tiger won his trophy Sam and I jumped into the car for a lovely Sunday drive that included (see visual aid below): A) downtown Dallas and dinner at Pei Wei; B) the entire length of Harry Hines Boulevard heading northwest to Bachman Lake; and 3) back to Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite via Northwest Highway. En route we sang several of Sam & Marcy’s greatest hits and played Who Would You Rather See Naked.
It’s lunch time at last. Thank you for reading this!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Howdygram’s latest healthy breakfast recommendations and other Saturday news.

Sam and I had a truly wonderful Saturday, highlighted by a gem on Turner Classic Movies. We watched The Lone Ranger (1956) in glorious Technicolor with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels fighting a gang of seriously nasty scoundrels in the wild west. This was a predictable, corny and hilariously entertaining film, right down to the classic ending — “who was that masked man?” — delivered by Bonita Granville (pictured at right) as the sexually-frustrated wife of a really snotty rancher. A portrait of the Lone Ranger and Tonto, who easily qualify for GQ’s best-dressed list, and a video clip of the original movie trailer appear below for your possible interest.

I also did some online shopping today and ordered a variety of essential yet affordable crap from Amazon, all of which will be delivered next week. I’d specifically like to call your attention to the stylus pen that appears in the image below ... a highly useful device and an intelligent investment because I’m having a little trouble adjusting to all the touchy-feely baloney required with our new iPad. Amazon sells a pack of three stylus pens for $1.46 — with free shipping and no sales tax — so I figure it’s worth a shot.
In case you’re looking for a couple of new healthy breakfast options, the Howdygram is pleased to introduce Vodka 360’s GLAZED DONUT VODKA and Taco Bell’s MTN DEW A.M., a hybrid and potentially lethal redneck cocktail of Mountain Dew and orange juice that’s available in their restaurants until 11 a.m.
Incidentally, a shot of Glazed Donut Vodka will only set you back 80 calories — as opposed to 250 or more for an actual glazed donut — and gets you plastered as an added bonus. This is an excellent way to start the day, cut back on sugar, show up at work happy as hell and save money at the same time. L’chiam, y’all, and thank you for reading this!

Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60 years in a royal “babushka.”

Before I get sidetracked by topics of lesser importance, the Howdygram would like to remind everybody that Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee — celebrating 60 year on the throne — is a four-day event that begins later today with royals in stupid hats attending the Epsom Derby, which is a horse race with snooty snacks. I don’t believe the race will be televised in the U.S.

On Sunday, however, BBC America’s TV coverage starts at 7 a.m. Central time and includes a flotilla of 1,000 boats on the Thames River clunking into each other from Putney to Tower Bridge. The Queen and assorted royals will ride the Spirit of Chartwell luxury cruiser, where they’ll dine on caviar, scrambled gems and serf kabobs.

On Monday there’s a huge Jubilee concert in front of Buckingham Palace that we apparently don’t get to see, and on Tuesday — the biggest hoo-hah of them all — BBC America and CNN will cover exclusive church services at St. Paul’s Cathedral, another fancy lunch, and then the Queen’s massive procession in a 24-karat gold coach back to the palace along with military bands, royal guards in Prada uniforms and 250,000 horses that are not allowed to poop. (I might be kidding about some of this.) BBC’s TV coverage begins at 3:15 a.m. Central time and CNN’s begins at 6:45. My favorite photo of Queen Elizabeth appears below.
In breaking news, researchers of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery have pieced together little glass fragments found on Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific and believe it was a jar of C. H. Berry’s Freckle Cream that once belonged to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who vanished during a round-the-world flight 75 years ago.
Analysis of the aforementioned freckle cream will be discussed this weekend at a three-day symposium in Arlington, Virginia, at which time I sincerely hope somebody tells these people to get a life and move on already.

And finally, here are some vintage photos of Skokie, Illinois — my home town — for your possible interest. All were taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s. When my family moved to Skokie from the north side of Chicago in 1956 these little stores and restaurants were already 50 (or more) years old. I don’t think I ever realized until now that I actually grew up in a town that looked like Mayberry.

In case you’re wondering, we had a productive and informative appointment with a genius at the Apple Store on Thursday and learned all about our new iPad. Sometime next month I’ll be upgrading the system software on our Macs so I can “synch” my contact list, email accounts and calendar. This is both exciting and slightly scary. (Mostly exciting.) A photo of our Apple Store appears below. I want to go back when Sam’s not looking and buy everything. Holy crap.

Thank you for reading this.