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Happy New Year! 2014

| It's a new year, so you know what that means: time for another round of preposterously impossible-to-achieve resolutions.  more

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magicJack versus netTALK

| The magicJack ads on TV are ubiquitous and extraordinarily annoying: "Phone service for $1.70 a month, just $19.95 a year. A YEAR!!"  more

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My garden grows

| Two bright green tomatoes have appeared among the vines, presaging a perhaps bountiful harvest.  more

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Brunch al fresco

| The usual suspects came for brunch today, and it was so nice out we dined al fresco.  more

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Super Bowl 2014

| Super Bowl XLVIII (48) and the impending party Chez Paul so preoccupied my mind that I totally forgot about Punxatawny Phil and his weather prognostication.  more

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Bracing for winter

| It has been a very mild winter. I have only felt compelled to break out the long pants a couple of times.  more

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Who is listening? And to what?

| You see a lot of strange things out in the desert, usually far out in the desert. But this one is less than 3 miles away.  more

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Obama comes to town

| President Obama seems to use any excuse to leave our nation's capital. Who wouldn't?  more

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Can you make that in a crock pot?

| Recently the usual suspects went up to Idylwild to have brunch at the Gastrognome, our new favorite restaurant at the top of the hill. As soon as we sat down on the patio, a brisk wind came up, so we were very receptive to the idea of a bowl of French onion soup to start.  more

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Dirty birds

| After some strong winds the other day, a lot of crap appeared on my patio table, originating obviously from the fan above the table. A quick glance confirmed the presence of "deposits" on the blades of the fan.  more

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The thickest part of the thigh

| I prepared a turkey for this year's Oscar party. And as always one asks, You want me to stick it where? Meaning the thermometer, of course!  more

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Oscar party 2014

| The desert glitterati — AKA Brunch Bunch Plus — assembled chez Paul to watch the Oscar festivities. We were quite festive ourselves.  more

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Ultra-Soft or Ultra-Strong?

| There are some things a person buys without much thought, and for me, toilet paper is one of those things.  more

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Soup-er Sunday

| When there's turkey, soup is sure to follow.  more

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Casting Chrome

| There have been times when I have wanted to show something from my laptop on my TV. For instance, showing a web page to a group of people.  more

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Exhuberant red yuccas

| Last year when several agave parryi plants died, I replaced them with red yuccas.  more

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Missing mystery

| Almost three weeks ago, a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went mysteriously missing.  more

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Cruising with a Princess

| It's time for another cruise, this time on the Sapphire Princess.  more

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Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of ... champagne

| The usual suspects boarded the Sapphire Princess last Thursday for a 4-day cruise with stops in Santa Barbara and Ensenada.  more

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Today I ate a strawberry

| I harvested and ate the first strawberry from my garden. It was delicious!  more

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Goodbye Norma Jean

| For nearly two years, Marilyn Monroe has held court on the main downtown intersection of Palm Springs, a veritable magnet for locals and visitors alike.  more

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Opera in the Park 2014

| After several days of nasty cold and wind, Opera in the Park Sunday was the kind of day that makes you say, This is why I moved here!  more

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Land of the free and freely violent

| Two disturbing sets of images dominated today's news: a school stabbing in Pennsylvania and a memorial service in Texas.  more

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Adios, dead ocotillo

| One of the prized plants in my backyard landscaping was a large ocotillo that stood as tall as me.  more

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An international Easter 2014

| The Easter feast was held Chez Paul this year, and it was very special because we could share it with visitors from France, namely Bob's nephew Michel, his wife Benedicte, and their daughter Marie.  more

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Let's close!

| AT&T is running a series of commercials that make me laugh out loud every time I see them.  more

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Mrs Quail comes to visit

| This afternoon a quail hen came calling in the back yard and brought along her new family.  more

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Three score and eleven

| I am now officially old.  more

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They keep messin' with my head

| One of the worst things about getting old is when you realize that entropy is winning.  more

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What a cash-flow problem looks like

| For years the city of Desert Hot Springs was run by a City Council in thrall to Mayor Yvonne Parks who watched over the city checkbook with a rubber stamp.  more

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Catching something?

| In recent weeks there has been a tidal wave of spam hitting my inbox, and a large number of the messages contain viruses trying to infect my computer.  more

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More election disinformation

| The No on F campaign is in full swing, sowing disinformation to create fear in order to defeat Measure F on the June ballot in Desert Hot Springs.  more

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Fabulous Fiona

| Nobody likes to vacuum. It's boring, it takes time, and all that back-and-forth with the arm is tiring.  more

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And thus spoke the electorate

| Voters went to the polls in several states on Tuesday to vote in primary elections. Goddess, have mercy on our collective souls.  more

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Faces of the lunatic fringe

| We have yet another example — not that we needed one — of what happens when you mix anger and disillusionment with antigovernment fervor and guns. It's that last ingredient that makes this stew such a deadly combination.  more

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Hoist on his own petard

| Eric Cantor, currently House Majority Leader, second in command, lost the Republican primary in his district tonight to a Tea Party backed challenger in a stunning upset.  more

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Brunch chez Paul

| The usual suspects assembled chez Paul for brunch on Sunday. We had not had an at-home brunch for a while, and I volunteered to host.  more

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Best performance by a supporting actor in a comedy

| House Republicans yesterday elected Kevin McCarthy as majority leader, replacing Eric Cantor who is stepping down after losing his Virginia primary. They also elected Steve Scalise as majority whip, replacing Kevin McCarthy who moved up to majority leader.  more

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Shame. See: Cheney, Dick. See also: Cheney, Liz

| Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz are the new Axis of Evil.  more

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Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby

| The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is the modern-day equivalent of Pandora. They keep opening legal boxes visiting awful consequences into our lives.  more

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4th of July on the 6th of July

| We held our 4th of July celebration on the 6th of July this year, since Real had to work late on the 4th.  more

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Traveling with Sophie: I love/hate the Prius navigation system

| I generally love the navigation system in my Prius.  more

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Get-together getaway to Twain Harte

| Long-time friends Bob and Carolyn are in residence in Twain Harte, and they invited me to come up and visit for a few days.  more

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Obsession

| Since Malaysian Airways flight 17 was shot out of the sky over rebel-controlled Ukraine on Thursday cable television has been in all-crisis all-the-time mode, bordering on obsession.  more

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EVENTually this too will pass ... I hope

| Have you noticed that nobody has a sale anymore?  more

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Mystery parcel in the mailbox

| Yesterday on my way to brunch, I stopped to pick up my mail and discovered an unexpected parcel in my mailbox. Hmmm.  more

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HTTP port is disabled

| After putting a powerline adapter in the living room, my Samsung Blu-Ray player worked like a charm — except when it didn't.  more

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Shock and awe in Ferguson

| After days of demonstrations and sporadic violence and looting since a young black man was shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, the police unleashed their own version of shock and awe on the citizens of Ferguson.  more

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Mix-n-match with Cialis

| A current Cialis commercial has me scratching my head, unsure of what, exactly, is being portrayed in the ad.  more

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So, where's my refund?

| On July 5th I switched my internet service from Time Warner Cable to Verizon FiOS. A couple of days later, I called TWC to cancel my account.  more

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Shocking prudery on MSNBC

| The events in and about Ferguson, Missouri, continue to shock, often in unexpected ways.  more

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Foley beheading: deniers out in force

| The beheading of journalist James Foley has transfixed the world, when they could prise their eyes away from Ferguson, Missouri.  more

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Just say no to wheat

| Not to put too fine a point on it, since I got back on all my meds last October, my weight has skyrocketed.  more

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Did someone say 'burn'?

| Alka-Seltzer has a cute commercial featuring a hunky fireman helping to quench the heartburn of a damsel in distress.  more

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Where was my refund?

| Earlier in our story, I bemoaned the fact that Time Warner Cable had still not refunded the credit due me after I cancelled TWC internet service.  more

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Feeling nostalgic for the cold war

| The world is going to Hell in a handbasket, and the good old days of the Cold War look better and better.  more

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Here we go again

| On June 30, President Obama stood in the Rose Garden and declared that if Congress did not act to fix our broken immigration system, he would do what he could on his own.  more

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Big rain

| Sometimes the sky is so blue, the air is so clean, the temperature is so comfortable that you can't help but remark, "This is why I moved here!"  more

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Say "PC Matic" 21 times fast

| If you watch TV you have surely seen commercials for PC Matic, a magic elixir that will make your PC happy and bring about world peace.  more

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If it's September it's fair time

| The LA County Fair, popularly known as the "Pomona Fair" in deference to its actual location, runs the entire month of September, and the usual suspects always go on "Senior Wednesday" when the admission is only $6 — or so we thought.  more

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Frankenweb — intrusive web design

| Back when Al Gore invented the internet (it's a joke!) things were much simpler. Pages consisted almost entirely of text, but the beauty of it was that the text could include links to other pages. So, you could start in one place and end up in some fascinating other place just by clicking away.  more

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Taunted by the black cat

| I'm not a cat person, thus it is only logical that a neighborhood cat has adopted me.  more

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Great no-wheat experiment

| During the last visit to my doctor in late August, he told me about a book he had been reading, Wheat Belly by cardiologist Dr William Davis. I bought a copy of the book and a companion cookbook.  more

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Movie under the moonlight

| The Palm Springs International Film Festival is sponsoring two free outdoor screenings at Sunnylands this month. Last night was Rear Window starring Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Thelma Ritter.  more

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Apple season in Oak Glen

| Every year we make a trip to the apple-growing area known as Oak Glen.  more

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Brave new world of junk email

| The world of junk email keeps evolving and it is now in a particularly insidious and annoying phase.  more

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I ❤ AdBlock Plus

| A few weeks ago Jim wrote me about a missing image on one of my web pages. As it turns out, the actual image file was called "banner_ad.png" and Jim's AdBlock Plus plugin had blocked it from display!  more

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Time to vote again

| I voted by absentee ballot a couple of weeks ago. I held my nose and I voted. Without enthusiasm.  more

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Swamped by a red tide

| The election results, as my Mama would have said, are a fine kettle of fish — a very smelly kettle from my point of view.  more

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I forgot my username

| Websites that you go to just once a year are a pain in the ass.  more

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Palm Springs Pride 2014 takes over downtown Palm Springs

| The Palm Springs Pride festival and parade were both held in downtown Palm Springs this year, to great success.  more

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The Hillary bandwagon is on the roll

| Hillary Clinton must be the only person in the country who doesn't know she's running for president in 2016.  more

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Frickin' Quicken

| Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, Quicken was looked upon as a godsend for those wanting to manage their finances on their computers. No more.  more

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The emperor is fully clothed

| The Republicans have their knickers in a twist over President Obama's decision to take executive action on immigration. Their latest epithet for the president is Emperor.  more

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Thanksgiving Chez Paul 2014

| All was in readiness: the table was set, most of the food was done, and it was just a matter of waiting for the usual suspects to arrive with the usual bounty.  more

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Thanksgiving 2014 - the after-party

| It's a tradition that following Thanksgiving Day, traditionally chez Paul, the usual suspects reconvene for turkey soup lovingly crafted from the carcass.  more

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A river runs through it

| Mother Nature has decided to wash us clean.  more

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Palm Springs Festival of Light parade 2014

| The 2014 edition of Palm Springs Festival of Light was graced by nearly balmy temperatures, clear skies, and an almost-full moon overhead.  more

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Torture is wrong — to say it out loud

| The long-awaited and much-debated report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the CIA torture program in the wake of 9/11 was finally released yesterday.  more

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Soup Sunday

| The usual suspects came over Sunday for the traditional post-Thanksgiving turkey soup.  more

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Cheney would do it all again 'in a minute'

| The Prince of Darkness himself, Dick Cheney, appeared on Sunday's Meet the Press to give a breathtakingly tortured defense of torture by the Bush administration.  more

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Out of all proportion

| Yesterday a gunman walked up to a patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of New York City and shot the two patrolmen sitting inside at point-blank range, killing both.  more

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Christmas 2014 Chez Bob

| The usual suspects celebrated Christmas Chez Bob again, something of a tradition now.  more

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For auld lang syne

| It's time to sing Auld Lang Syne which asks the provocative question, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?"  more

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Brrr! It's winter!

| Mother Nature has decided to send 2014 out with a massive blanket of cold covering much of the entire US, including the desert.  more

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