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June 27, 2008

Things That Come In Sheaves

Not long ago I read a piece by Jack Handey in the New Yorker, “The Symbols on My Flag (And What They Mean).” It was the funniest piece I have read by him; I even had to stop reading it on the train until I recovered my composure. Embarrassing.

When I saw this sheaf at the Panera Bread in Millbrae, I knew I had to share the link. You’ll understand the connection if you read it.

Sheaf at Panera Bread

June 24, 2008

George Carlin’s Hair Poem

I was very surprised to hear that George Carlin died. Sure, he had a history of heart trouble, but still. I stopped following his career a while ago, but back in the day, I was a huge fan.

For my George Carlin tribute post I would like to share one of my favorite bits, the “Hair Poem.” I liked it so much I took the trouble to memorize it (I thought it would make me the life of the party or something). I still remembered most of it (Google filled in the gaps).

Hair Poem

I'm aware some stare at my hair.
In fact, to be fair,
Some really despair of my hair.
But I don't care,
’Cause they're not aware,
Nor are they debonair.
In fact, they’re just square.

They see hair down to there,
Say, “Beware” and go off on a tear!
I say, “No fair!”
A head that’s bare is really nowhere.
So be like a bear, be fair with your hair!
Show it you care.
Wear it to there.
Or to there.
Or to there, if you dare!

My wife bought some hair at a fair, to use as a spare.
Did I care?
Au contraire!
Spare hair is fair!
In fact, hair can be rare.
Fred Astaire got no hair,
Nor does a chair,
Nor a chocolate eclair,
And where is the hair on a pear?
Nowhere, mon frère!

So now that I've shared this affair of the hair,
I'm going to repair to my lair and use Nair, do you care?


"Here's my beard, aint it weird?
Don't be "skeared", it's just a beard..."

Mark, I forgot about that one. It expresses so much in so few words... thanks!


it sucks hella bad

June 19, 2008

Nice Shoes, My Man

Those who have seen me in real life know that I do not adorn my body with luxurious fabrics tailored in the latest style. Rather, I dress in the urban camouflage known as “business casual” (think Dockers® and button-down shirts—although I don’t wear actual Dockers®). I think I blend in perfectly with my surroundings, and as long as I keep up with the rest of herd, the lion ain’t gonna get me.

Once a long time ago (probably when I was in my ballroom-dancing phase), I stepped out a little and bought some notice-me shoes. I wear them rarely, because they just aren’t “me.” Monday night, however, I got myself all dolled up to go to Chris’ Jazz Cafe: wool trousers, one of my lobster ties, and these look-at-me shoes. Since I’ve always called these my “jazz” shoes, it seemed appropriate.

As I was walking along 16th Street, I thought I heard someone say, “Nice shoes, my man.” He couldn’t be talking about me, but I slowed down anyway. He repeated the compliment in a tone that unambiguously emphasized his sincerity. I had to laugh because it was so unexpected to receive any kind of compliment on my appearance (there’s a first time for everything, I guess). But you know, they are nice shoes. They really are.

Allen-Edmonds shoes

Update: Albert shamed me into posting a picture of said shoes. i think they were better left to the imagination. :-)


where's the photo?!

Found your site through the Philadelphia Blog Community.

I just started checking out your site and I must add I like the shoes as well.

June 17, 2008

Anne d'Harnoncourt Memorial Thursday [nanoblog]

Anne d'Harnoncourt, the director of Philly’s Museum of Art since 1982, died suddenly June 1. The Museum grew tremendously under her leadership, and she will be greatly missed. There will be a tribute this Thursday on the East Terrace featuring musical performances (including a Dixieland band... huh?) and eulogies by Philadelphia luminaries (including Michael Nutter). Admission to the Museum is FREE all day. I’ll bet that was her idea. (via artblog)

June 10, 2008

The Active Blogger Meetup RIP

<Maurice Chevalier accent>Ah, yes, I remember eet well: my first blogger meetup—in fact, my first meetup of any kind.</Maurice Chevalier accent>

I had been blogging in isolation since early 2002 and, amazing as it seems to me now, only reading a handful of other blogs by the onerous process of visiting each web site one at a time. In March, 2005, I was reading Drunkenbatman’s interview with Brent and Sheila Simmons, who together comprised Ranchero Software (makers of NetNewsWire, the RSS reader I eventually started using). Both were asked what blogs they read, and Sheila answered, “I like Blankbaby - he’s regularly quite funny and gives an interesting slice-of-life from Philadelphia.”

Philadelphia? There are bloggers in Philadelphia?! So I visited this “Blankbaby” person’s site, and the current post at that time invited people to come out to a “blogger meetup.” I joined forthwith and ventured forth on March 16, 2005, to the Independence Brew Pub. The rest, as they say, is history. Scott “Blankbaby” McNulty has been the tireless organizer of the monthly Active Blogger Meetup (there was apparently an earlier meetup that was “inactive”) since that day and has been paying the monthly fee faithfully ever since, never once asking for help.

Attendance has been erratic in the last year, and Scott has decided to resign as organizer. It is doubtful that anyone could ever fill his shoes. Myself, I’m only a 9-1/2 C (way too small), and even though I was a strong believer in the meetups, I was only attending them a few times a year. The purpose of this post is to thank Scott for his generous support to the meetup, which has enabled me to meet so many wonderful people over the years as well as getting me hooked on good beer. I am also pleased to say that Scott and I have enjoyed an asymptotic relationship—growing closer and closer over the years, without ever actually hugging. Thanks, Scott, for doing so much for so long!!!


Hear hear. I've always enjoyed the meetups. Won't anyone take up the mantle?

Hi, my name is Chris I work at and I came across your post through my profile. It sounds like your friend Scott has created a fantastic community and while you feel you might not be able to "fill his shoes" I just wanted to pass on that you would be surprised at how many people think they can't do it, but then do and succeed. We at Meetup try and give you as many tools and as much help as possible at being a good Organizer. It may seem scary and a lot of work, but some of our newer features make it easier than ever to plan events and have an active group. I hope that you! or someone in your group steps up! It can be a fantastic experience. People from MeetupHQ will be down in Philly on the 24th as part of our Meetup Tour 2008. If you or anyone else from your group is interested in being an organizer and has questions, let them know they can attend. See here for more info, or email me:

- Chris
Meetup HQ

Well, said Tony. The Bloggers Meetup was my first experience with any Meetup. I met Scott (and you) there. I enjoyed it so much I went on to be the organizer of another meetup group. Unfortunately, my schedule at work changed and I had to work on Saturdays. That did in my attendance at the blogger meetups. I still follow Scott through Twitter and his blog and vcast with Marissa called Fork You. He has moved on from Blogger Meetup but still seems to be doing very well. I hope you are also. We should create our own occasion to have a beer together.

Michlt, I don't need much of an occasion to have a beer. :-) Most weeknights are good; I can just get off the train in Center City. Email me what works for you.

June 6, 2008

Pat’s Lunch in Stone Harbor

On a visit to Stone Harbor earlier this year in March, my brother-in-law’s eagle eye spotted a sign advertising “Fresh Lobster on a Roll.” A lobster roll in Stone Harbor??? We swerved into the parking lot of Pat’s Lunch at around 5:00 PM. The restaurant was empty at the time, and the ebullient owner, Pat Tirotta, had a captive audience, so he began by fanning out press clippings about himself and his restaurant on the counter. It’s no wonder that the New York Times wrote a story about him back in 2001. Originally from South Philly, he has had this place since 1966 and is now 88 years old, obviously still going strong. Pat made us taste all his homemade soups, which we ordered. I sampled the lobster roll, of course, and regretted not bringing a camera.

Pat Tirotta

88-year-old Pat Tirotta telling us youngsters a thing or two.

I finally got back to Pat’s last Saturday (a dreary, rainy day) with a camera to get some pictures. The lobster roll is pretty good, but it was quite salty and Pat doesn't grill the hot dog bun. Still, the fact that he even serves a lobster roll endeared him to me. Pat’s roll might not be worth a pilgrimage, but all of Pat’s soups certainly are, especially the she-crab. I bought a quart of it to go. The stories are pretty tasty, too.

Lobster roll at Pat's Lunch

The lobster roll at Pat’s Lunch.

I assumed Pat’s served the only lobster roll for miles around until I learned the next day that there’s another lobster roll in Stone Harbor at a new place called Quahog’s Seafood Shack. I’m sure I’ll be trying it sometime this summer. With two places, it looks like Stone Harbor is the lobster-roll capital of New Jersey.

Pat's Lunch, Stone Harbor

Pat’s Lunch on Stone Harbor Boulevard.


went up to Maine last weekend for a wedding. i had 2 lobsters at the reception ;)

but no lobster rolls.

Ah, Maine! At least you got some lobstah.

What kind of self respecting lobster joint prepares a lobster roll on a bun that doesnt have the white part of the roll all exposed so you can slather it with butter and grill it?

Blasphemy I tell you!

Please read for the proper techinque, OY!

How to F^@K Up a Lobster Roll

Ingredients For The Worlds Greatest Lobster Roll

Grill The Buttered Buns To Golden Brown

Joey, you're right; Pat’s bun was a disappointment. When I’m stuck with that kind of bun, I trim off the side crusts to make flat surfaces for grilling. Really enjoyed reading your posts, by the way! I had my first lobster roll ever in Gloucester in the late 1980s. (Sorry your comment got trapped in my spam filter temporarily. I don’t get many comments and hadn’t looked at the queue for a few days.)

We look forward to going to Pat's every day for 5 days each year in June!!! We LOVE his homemade soups (my favorite Lobster, shrimp, crab bisque, while my husband's favorit is She Crab) and adore the lobster roll!!! Listening to him is a real experience. he is such an inspiration. We hope he will be around for many, many more years..satisfying our palates and telling us stories.
PS I am glad he doesn't grill the hot dog buns for the lobster roll, personally I like it with the fresh soft bun!!

If you're ever in Brooklyn try the lobster roll at the cafe in Fairway in Red Hook. It's piled high big hunks of mayonnaisey lobster meat on a toasted bun and served with a slightly sweet creamy fresh cabbage slaw. And it's only $8.95! Plus you get to sit out back at the river with a clear view of the statue of liberty. I think I'll go back right now.

What an effort. Of necessity, your list will be incomplete. You can't possibly visit them all.

My favorite is Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard (Mount Desert Island), Maine.

photos in the first post in that thread

Kit, thanks for the recommendation. This place was news to me; sounds great and so cheap, too! (I see that the New York Times singled out the lobster roll.) I added it to the map.

Visit them all I will! Strong with the Force am I!
No, you’re absolutely right, my list isn’t remotely comprehensive, and at the rate of only 10 or so a year, it never will be. But I am having a lot of fun. It’s good that I’m not a completist.
Thanks for the Thurston’s recommendation. I haven’t been there yet, but I asked around last time I was on Mount Desert (2004), and Thurston’s seems to be the favorite of the locals, so it’s at the top of my list. I enjoyed the photos, especially the roll closeups. Well done!




Tim, Amen to that. Pat is awesome, and I am so glad to hear he is still going strong. I hope to get down to Stone Harbor soon.

I've had Pat's for my first lobster roll ever. I don't like salty foods and I did not find his lobster roll salty. I loved it! In fact, it's one of the things I'm looking forward to when I head back to the shore this summer. Pat's is on my list all week, as often as I can afford to go.

Bob, I am glad you enjoyed Pat's lobster roll and glad to hear that Pat is still going strong!

Oh man, I just ran into this article by coincidence, nice! I used to go Pat's when I was a kid in the 80's, no less. Best hoagies, best cheesesteak, best everything, and Pat was always great company (his hair was still black back then). I miss that place, glad to hear he continued long after I left.