Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Thanksgiving is too often about “The Meal;” Christmas about “The Gifts.” I try to start each day with a grateful heart, and at this time of the year I especially reflect on my greatest blessings.

I’m so thankful for my beautiful soul mate Cynthia. After all these years my heart still sings when I hear her voice, my eyes light up when she enters the room. I’ve given up trying to put into words the indescribable depth of my adoration. Our love is a precious gift that will forever be treasured.

“Expectation” is a poor choice of words regarding one’s kids, but hopefulness is a feeling probably all parents share. So what a joy it has been to nurture two wonderful children and then watch them become such marvelous young adults. I have many things I still want to accomplish, but if none of them happens I will still have had a happy and successful life because of the privilege of helping bring Brandon and Adrian into this world.

I have so much appreciation for my great friends and relatives. We have shared terrific experiences and memories, and we’re comforted to know that we are always there for each other, no matter what.

Overall I’m thankful for the remarkable opportunity to simply live my life---to observe, learn, laugh, cry, do well, goof up---and from it all be the best “me” I can and hopefully leave the planet a little better than I found it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Is there such a thing as a "healthy" cookie that tastes fantastic? Try this recipe and judge for yourself!


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 mashed ripe banana
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
8 oz. semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flours, salt, & baking soda in a small bowl & set aside. Mix butter & sugars with electric mixer on medium speed until pale & fluffy. Reduce speed to low, add egg & vanilla, mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture, mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate, & walnuts.

2. Drop 1 1/2 inch balls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown & just set, about 12 minutes. Let sheets cool on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks & cool completely.

3. Pour a big glass of milk & try not to eat too many!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Ever wonder why The Strip is called "The Strip?" Probably not, but I'm going to tell you anyway. Back in the '30's a totally corrupt LAPD cop named Guy McAfee was forced to resign because of his ties to organized crime. He moved to Las Vegas and bought a little club called The Pair-O-Dice (cute).

Because of his Mob connections he was able to grow his business to the point that he built The Golden Nugget, then the largest casino in Vegas. As the gambling business started to spread down Highway 91 (at that time known as Arrowhead Highway) City of LV leaders saw the tax opportunities and decided to annex the land.

McAfee and his fellow casino operators sidestepped their plan by forming an unincorporated township called Paradise (named after his 1st club) as a tax shelter that could not be annexed. He called the 4 mile stretch of highway "the Strip" after the Sunset Strip in LA and the name stuck.

So when you're walking down Las Vegas Boulevard admiring the fountains at Bellagio or the canals at Venice you're really not in Las Vegas at all----you're in Paradise!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Well, it had to happen sooner or later, I guess. I’ve managed to overlook the wrinkles; the morning stiffness—hey, must have worked too hard at the gym. I’ve even pooh-poohed the occasional moments of forgetfulness. But I increasingly notice a fundamental difference between me and “young people” that brings me face-to-face with the reality that, yes, I’m getting older.

The distinction has nothing to do with smooth skin or lively spirit. I just find it amusing?sad?bewildered? that kids appear to need to be “connected” every waking moment. For instance, the ever-present Ipod. What’s wrong with hearing the sounds of your own life, at least once in awhile? I actually enjoy the thoughts that go on between my ears. Nature abhors a vacuum; maybe piping in music constantly is an attempt to fill an empty cranium.

And this texting business is WAY out of control. I watch kids thumbing away in restaurants, concerts, and movies. Is whatever it is you’re “talking” about that urgent? I’m looking at you—trust me, ANYTHING you’ve got to say is of no urgency or important whatsoever, ever.

Facebook, YouTube, IM-------. I just don’t get it. Whatever happened to the old-fashioned notion of actually having a face-to-face conversation with another live human being?

The creepy thing is this all seems so Matrix-like—being plugged in and bombarded with constant external, artificial stimuli. I’m happy to be a purposely disconnected member of “notcom” nation.