Today is the Day


With any luck within a few months:


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You Don’t Know Jake

The folks over at Craig Crawford’s normally sane Trailmix really needed a break from all the election aftermath “Sturm und Drang” so they had some “add a line” fun to a mystery story. This is the first chapter.

Whiskey Jack

It is 11 degrees out with snow on the ground. Jake, the cat is standing on the top step of the back porch looking back at me flipping his tail saying “this is bullshit, fix this now”. As usual it is all my fault.


 if you don’t include the body at the bottom of the stairs staining the white snow bright red.

Katherine Graham Cracker

It was a nice looking body too, except for being dead, nice clothes for the beach not this weather.


Apparently,  bare back and face down in the snow, he or she had fallen, nay tripped, over the garden gnome on the way to the only shelter visible during last night’s blizzard.


The potting shed door was open, beckoning survival or at least pot.  Unfortunately, the now gnome slain and dome crushed would not be comforted by either possibility leaving the viewer with one question.  Was the gnome placed capriciously, maliciously or suspiciously?


But what the hell am I thinking?  I put the damn gnome there years ago when I thought garden gnomes were cool because I liked how it looked there. And no one was seeking shelter in the potting shed from any snow storm when I put it there five, or was it six summers ago?   And why do there appear to be two sets of footprints between the body and the rear gate that someone left open?  I ain’t a detective, but no way the small bare feet of that body made what looks to me to be two sets of tracks made by large boots?


But what really caught my eye was the scarlet and black opera cape snagged and left hanging on the gate. It was definitely not mine–I hadn’t been to the opera in weeks.

Rebellious Renee

So I take out my pipe and put on Madame Butterfly on my old victrola – I needed time to contemplate what these signs meant.  As the smoke started curling around my head I had an epiphany.


My reasoning began with the premise that I had not delivered the body or I would have known about it before Jake did. At the very least, I would have written myself a note. Next, I ruled Jake out because he is too small to lug a human out of the house and down those steps. He also never wears boots, although he does have white stockings. However, he would probably not be able to carry the body around from the front of the house and through the back gate either.

Stumped, I phoned my friend Solar Homes, a famous detective of Bakoda Yards. He said to meet him at Nino’s on the Lincoln Highway for a Bud brainwash and sardine pizza. Fish is brain food, he says.


Ima tired and cold, just finished painting a room….so now that i’m finished i’m resting on my sofa….when all of a sudden  i get a call from Minnesota….its Xr wanting some Ninos and some buds…..we can do that….but please no sardines in my pizza.

He tells me about Jack’s dilemma…and wants to  know if i can help with this riddle……What a mistake i started reading all of this from the middle… i think that i have…we all have to start from the beginning………I think that jack is wrong when he thinks that the cat tells him its all bullshit and to fix it now…….with all of the hints…..that are all over the fence and the snow….we better take another look to see if mrs Jack is involved in this riddle….she just got back from one of her trips and brought back……………..


I check out Mrs Jack, she has an iron clad alibi, She was out of town sitting on a warm beach, But she did bring Jack a bottle of cheap scotch, which he gave to me as he doesn’t drink. Lucky me.

As Jake the cat walked around the corpse, sniffing and eyeing me with suspicion, I grabbed the scotch and a red solo cup poured three finger in it and took a long drink. It was 7 in the morning but I needed that burn. It was going to be a long day for I knew the wearer of the boots and the owner of the cape and the police weren’t going to buy my story.  For  like Jake they are going to believe that I’m the one that put the body where he likes to take his morning dump


Poor Craig is going to drop in and wonder what in the world has high “jacked” his website.  Does anyone know if either he or David have an opera cape?  Mask?  Get Away Gondola?


our story continues…

So as I pondered my fate, realizing that I was likely to be the prime suspect when the police became involved and wondering how in world I could convince them that I knew nothing about the body in the snow in my back yard I poured three fingers more scotch and sipped as I watched Homes closely examining the body. He stood bolt upright and exclaimed, “Aha!”


He seemed frozen, about to sneeze. Or, perhaps the smell had gotten to him.

Now, I don’t want to give anyone the idea that I’m prejudiced against our Extinct American neighbors – some of my best friends have gone over to it – but after a several days dead folks, like house guests, begin to stink. I mean, even Mark Twain said so, and he’s dead. With this thought, it occurred to me that if Miss Wrong insists on occupying Jake’s defecatorium until morning, maybe I should phone my old pal Tony, who cleans up for a living. Homes appeared to agree for he again exclaimed, “Aha!” and pulled out a hankie.

To Be Continued at some later date when a dose of silliness is required.

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La La Land


The musical is back and it is a fantasy salute to real life. Here’s to the people who dream & fail; dream & grow up to do something else; and most of all to the fools who make dreams come true (almost). This is entertainment that fits into the secret places in your heart where you laugh and cry when no one is looking. Watch it for the music & dancing if that’s your thing. Watch it for the acting (Gosling & Stone do it well). Watch it for the changing lanes motif. Watch it as a love letter to Los Angeles and the movies. It doesn’t matter why you watch it, just go and if you catch me crying during “The Fools Who Dream”, don’t tell anyone.

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Eighth Night


Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

Sufganiyot (Jelly Doughnuts)


Doughnut Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2½ tbsp. butter (or oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting


  1. Pour the warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar into a small bowl. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Add the yeast mixture and knead until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Cover the bowl with a damp towel (or saran wrap) and place it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  3. Roll the dough out to approximately ½-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter, or the mouth of a glass, to cut circles from the dough. Transfer the dough circles to a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet and set them aside to rise for 20 minutes.
  4. Fill a deep frying pan or wide-bottomed pot with 3 inches of canola oil. Heat the oil to 350°F / 180°C. Gently drop the doughnuts into the oil and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden. Remove and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Repeat until all doughnuts have been fried.
  5. Poke a hole in the side of each doughnut and insert filling (recipe below). Dust with confectioners sugar.

Yields: 20 doughnuts

Strawberry Filling Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup water
  • 5 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups strawberries


  1. Heat the water and slowly add the cornstarch. Once the cornstarch has completely dissolved, add the sugar and strawberries.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Let mixture cool, then place it in a piping bag, or a zip-top bag. Cut off the corner and squeeze filling into the doughnut.
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Happy Hogmanay

bottle coalTomorrow will be New Year’s Eve.  There are certain experiences that should not be missed. These aren’t the climbing Everest type, just human places to be a certain times. A couple of them involve the New Year. If at all possible, find a group of real Scots, at least one of whom should be a dark haired man as you will need him after 12:01 a.m. for the first few minutes of 2017.   I can think of a few that I wouldn’t slam the door if they came calling in the wee hours, particularly if they were carrying really good scotch, but feel free to conjure up your own.

Scots are modern people.  They wear all modern clothes and while a few sport a daily work kilt, the full regalia is saved for special occasions.  They rarely play bagpipes daily and know how to use ATMs.  On New Year’s Eve they dig back into their past of the last 500 years and invest something special into the event. In modern day Scotland the street parties in Edinburgh or Glasgow are a sight to behold. In the small towns, the bonfires burn to bring back the sun.

In all of the places wherever they gather around the world, at midnight you cross your hands across your body and form a circle, and you sing only one song (all of it).   Each person in the circle represents all who can’t be there except in memory and the circle circles the world with each ticking of the clock and time zone.  Even though it is Burn’s version that is sung, he said that he was only recording a folk song that stretched way back in time. It is a song that looks backward to childhood and forward to old age. It is a wistful melody for things lost and things gained. A loose translation is provided after each

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

Translation:  Should past acquaintances and times now gone be forgotten and never thought of again?

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

Translation:  You will have a drink and I will have one.  Together we will toast those times remembered.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

Translation:  In the past we ran around the hills and picked the daisies but since then we have traveled far apart

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

Translation:  In the past we went boating from dawn until evening but wide oceans separate us now.

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

Translation:  So here’s my hand my trusted friend and give me your hand.  We will take a drink together to salute those still remembered times.

Once the New Year turns, the dark man bearing gifts of survival is welcomed at the door. It is considered fortunate if your first visitor on the 1st January is a tall dark stranger, armed with a lump of coal and a bottle of whisky. To this can be added the options of salt, shortbread and/or a black bun. That he should be dark is said to hark back to when a blond arrival might be a Viking, not always with the best of intentions towards home and family.

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