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DSC00190  The day started off by first being cool … having great Saint Louis blue skies with floating puffy white clouds. And I decided to get out and seize the great day while I was able. I decided to start with a walk in the park which I captured with my pocket camera.DSC00166

The main entrance to Forest Park is the JEFFERSON MEMORIAL dedicated to our third president who had the foresight to buy the Louisiana Territory from France. The memorial is also the home of the Missouri History Museum. Notice that the Museum is also celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of Saint Louis. They have a great exhibit celebrating the anniversary running through next February, but I didn’t want to waste the day inside a museum. So I went around the museum and into the park.

But first I had to walk around the TROLLY.DSC00168

No, this is not the trolly that Judy Garland rode on in Meet Me In Saint Louis. This is the trolly you will be able to ride on later next year, when it travels from the Museum to the entertainment center of the historic DELMAR LOOP in University City.DSC00167

Once inside the park, I discovered another SAINT LOUIS 250 Birthday Cake.DSC00169

There’s 249 more of them scattered around the metropolitan area. But I wasn’t looking for cakes, so I continued my journey into the park along the Grand Esplanade.DSC00171

You know, the park has something to interest almost everyone …DSC00172

Bikers and runners …


Lovers of forests …DSC00175And waterways …


Wild flowers …DSC00177


And cultivated gardens …DSC00179


And even potted plants!DSC00180

And ducks …DSC00182

And duck families!

And that brings us to the second reason for my walk in the Park.Boathouse


The Boathouse is located on Post Dispatch Lake in the heart of the park. If you’re athletically inclined you can rent a paddle boat and wear yourself out exploring the waterways in the park. The Boathouse is also a damn fine restaurant and that was why I was there.  I was meeting a half dozen people I used to work with for an ungodly amount of years for one of our regular lunch get-togethers.DSC00184

Naturally, we opted to dine outside to enjoy the view and the fantastic day. The conversation was great! Ditto the food! And it was a totally enjoyable day!


“As restless as a willow in a wind storm …” or THE SECOND DAY OF SPRING




Today was lunch day with the guys from the High School Class of ’57. We get together every other month at the original Pasta House in University City and compare aches, pains, naps, golf games, vacations and the weather. Yes, you’re right, it’s the old farts lunch day. Thankfully, we went to an all boys high school that unfortunately closed down ten years after we graduated. The last time we heard the building was being used to house fallen felons. Our graduating class consisted of 120 guys, and 13 guys showed up for today’s lunch. Hey, that’s more than 10%! Naturally, a lot of guys have moved out of the city.  And unfortunately, way too many have passed on.

Hey, we have a good time. Today, we all decided that we would like to go back to 1957 … but only if we could go back knowing what we know today.



And on the subject of spring birds … I saw a huge crow on my way home after lunch.CROW

Oh, yeah, spring might end tomorrow. We’re heading back to the frigid zone tomorrow with snow by Sunday. Crows are ill omens you know.


MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, DAYS 318-320 OF 2013: Apparently I lost a couple of days this week … and I blame it all on this photograph I discovered on-line Friday morning.Red-lipped Batfish


I was sure it was someone’s photo shopped fish fantasy, until I went online and discovered this…

Would PBS try to fool us? Never I thought, especially with a narrator who studies fish by joining them in swimming underwater. But things like that lipstick fish scare the merde out of me, and also give me night shivers.

To be honest though, I really had other things to do this weekend.  Friday, I had lunch with a bunch of high school classmates. Can you still call guys with whom you went to highschool over fifty years ago, classmates?  In some circles, I think the correct term would be old farts. While most of the lunch conversations deal with nostalgic reminisces, we do have more topical discussions. Like how good the fish always is at the Pasta House where we dined. (We found out tha the fish is BASA … a type of catfish native to  Vietnam and Thailand where it is farmed for export.) Anyway, we talked longer than usual and I got home later than expected. I barely had time for my afternoon nap.

So I decided to postpone the second part of my Origami Parrot Project until Saturday.parrot2

BookWorm But there was a FRIDAY MENSA PUZZLE to work:11-15




MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SATURDAY, DAY 271 OF 2013:  I actually did something yesterday, rather than loaf and goof off. I actually went to lunch with a bunch of guys with whom I went to high school a multitude of years ago.Mick

That grubby little leprechaun was the mascot of William Cullen McBride High School. It was a Catholic all-boys high school, and our release from educational system that had been previously dominated by cranky women who dressed like penguins who carried rulers and rubber bands.

And this grubby little band of 14-year olds were my classmates from a multitude of yearsMcB54

I’m sure you’ll have no trouble picking me out (in the front row). The school officially closed down about ten years after we graduated. And the last thing I heard about the building was that it had become a refuge for juvenile delinquents  and then men who have a substance abuse problems.

A lot of the guys have spread out across the country. A few have passed on to glory. And only twelve showed up for lunch today at THE PASTA HOUSE. We try to meet there for lunch every other month, and we have had as many as twenty guys show up on occasion.

And every time we get together we rave about the restaurant’s salad and fish. We finally found out what the fish was today. We thought the waiter said basso fish. But after going on-line , I discovered it was basa fish.

A basa fish is a type of catfish found in southeast Asia, mainly in Vietnam. The fish is valued for its appeal as a food source, especially in mass markets elsewhere in the world, including the United States. The basa fish can be caught wild as adults, but most are raised in captivity after being caught as fry.

Most basa fish farmed in Vietnam are done so by local farmers along the Mekong River. They are raised in pens that use the natural flow from the river to remove any impurities that may build up over time. Though most catfish varieties do not like strong currents, the basa fish does not seem to mind them, but actually may prefer them. This technique offers a number of advantages for the farmer and increases the reputation of the fish’s flavor, if not its value as well.

Known for its mild taste and white, flaky meat, the basa fish is beginning to challenge other sorts of catfish around the world as the preferred food catfish. The method of raising the catfish in the Mekong River has helped it create a following among those who like fish. Most feel the basa fish has a “cleaner” taste than most other forms of farm-raised fish, because of new water constantly flowing in to their pens.

Well, you learn something new every day.

And what do a bunch of old men talk about. Naturally, our younger days. And then our aches and pains. And then our kids, or in my case Mlle. Renee.

We talk, and eat, and when we get up and leave … we say to ourselves, “Well, at least I don’t look as old as Tom or Dick or Harry.”  Even though we really do.

ORIGAMI CHALLENGE: Of course it’s the weekend, and the calendar does not have an origami challenge.

Rob’s Recipes for quick and easy GOOD EATS! Egg Salad

ReneeEgg This morning I realized that Easter was a week and a half ago and I had not made any egg salad from the decorated eggs. This was probably because I only had a single decorated egg this year. It’s the green one up in the corner on which my nephew had drawn his artistic impression of Mlle. Renee. When Renee saw it, she commented with a one-sided upturned, “How cute, I hope he washed his hands.”  Yes, she can be sarcastically droll at times. Besides, she didn’t think twice about sampling a spoonful of the pan-fried spinach* I topped with the sliced egg on Easter Monday.

So, I threw three eggs in a pot of cold water which I brought to a rolling boil before turn off the heat. I left them sit in the hot water for three or so minutes before pouring of the hot water and replacing it with very cold water. Then I cracked and peeled the eggs. The shells came off perfectly. I removed the yolks from the whites and mixed them with a teaspoon of sweet pickle relish, a half spoon each of creamed horseradish and stone-ground sweet/hot mustard, a sprinkle of salt, pepper and celery seed, and a tablespoon or so of Duke’s Real Mayonnaise. Then I chopped and added the egg whites along with a table spoonful of Shredded Italian 5-Cheese Blend. Combined everything and spread on sliced Oat-Nut Whole Grained bread. It could have been topped with a slice or two of iceberg lettuce, but I didn’t have any in the house.DSC06483

Notice that I still had half the box of dark chocolate covered marshmallow eggs I treated myself to for Easter. So I had one of them for my lunch desert. I covered the remaining egg salad with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.

*Pan-fried Spinach 

None of my ancestors qualify as being Southern – even though my mother’s Polish/French grandparents arrived in the US via New Orleans in the mid-19th century. They got off of one boat and immediately got on another heading up the Mississippi to Saint Louis. There was a large community of Polish immigrants in Saint Louis and the surround  farm lands.The family recipe called for frying a couple of slices of bacon in a skillet until crisp. Removing the bacon and adding olive oil  and a chopped onion to the pan to saute. The a bowl of washed drained spinach leaves is added along with salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and a spoonful of sugar. Fry until the spinach is wilted and tender. Top with the crumbled bacon and the sliced egg. That was a family Easter tradition long before I showed up.

Rob’s Recipes

For quick and easy GOOD EATS!