March 2004

 

3/30/04

 

 

Well, my neighbor Fantasy Records' catalogue is for sale again. The rights and masters of this grand Jazz, Blues and R&B archive are again available. But collectors have long maintained that Fantasy has not given this historic material its due, re releasing haphazardly, often in mediocre sound. And sources within the industry suggest that among others, EMI is interested. Michael Cuscuna of their Blue Note division is well qualified to oversee and release this material. (The Fantasy Studio is no longer an A facility though Etta James and Sonny Rollins record here.) If a major buys the catalogue I don't believe it will remain in Berkeley. Of course the vacated space could be otherwise used or rented out as it is now.This is a seven-story office-building and more businesses with offices here would offer good pay for support staff and well paying management positions.

Check out this interview with Michael Cuscuna.

 

 

 

3/29/03

The U.S. Evacuation from DaNang began on March 29, 1975.

 

 

 

3/28.04

"By many measures, California's system is the costliest in the nation" writes Deborah Lohse in her West County Times story, "Employers, Workers Cite Comp Woes."

 

 

 

3/27/03

Worker's Comp Deadline Passes is an AP story in today's West County Times.

 

Yesterday I listened to my LP, "Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown." My copy is Japanese Mercury Emarcy EXPR-1009. Playing along with Sarah and Clifford on this 1955 session are Paul Quinichette, Herbie Mann and Roy Haynes, among others. Happily, this collection of beautiful ballads is now available on CD with extra tracks. (And, Clifford's truly somethin' else.)

 

 

 

 

3/25/04

 

 

I'm not as concerned about Inter Net privacy as I have been. I just joined Yahoo! Messenger. As part of their service they offer information about members. I searched "Ron Penndorf" and found information about me in five areas; name, address, phone, age, and email. Three of the five are wrong. Hell, these guys could get a job with one of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

 

There will be a Hula Ceremony-Party on Saturday night at 7:00 PM at the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance, next to Magic Garden on Heinz. It's potluck, very casual, and you'll be asked to remove your shoes at the door. Geralyn Hurney and her classmates will be going through this rite of passage.

 

Peter Hurney reports that the telephone polls have been removed from the middle of the parking lane on 7th Street.

 

What was that gray, ground-level cloud at the end of Parker just inside the Bayer West Gate? It was there when I left last night at 6:04PM.

 

 

 

 

3/24/04

Potter Creek's Café Cocao is featured in Carolyn Jung's "Chocaolate for Dinner?" a story in today's West County Times.

 

 

 

 

3/23/04

Patrick Hoge writes "Marie Andrushuk didn't know when she bought her central Berkeley home that it sits atop Strawberry Creek, one of seven creeks running from the hills to the bay -- many of them through aging culverts beneath or near about 8 percent of properties in the city" in his report in the San Francisco Chronicle,"Berkeley: Who Owns the Creeks, Culverts? Homeowners, City Fight Over Costly Question."

 

Gold Wing rider, Cliff Miller emails How To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity "At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down."

 

So now just where is our namesake, Potter Creek? According to a City of Berkeley, Department of Engineering, 1990 Map it runs underground in a 2ft culvert entering Potter Creek, the neighborhood, at the southeast corner of San Pablo and Heinz, runs along Heinz and directly under the Scharffen Berger factory, turns southwest at just before the corner of Heinz and 7th, and leaves Potter Creek at Potter Street and the railroad right of way.

 

 

 

 

3/22/04

 

 

 

3/20/04

HAPPY PERSIAN NEW YEAR!

 

Refecting the sea-change in west-Berkeley, John Curl was removed from the City of Berkeley Planning Commision by Councilperson, Margaret Breland. She appointed Tim Perry as his replacement.

It seems clear to me that John Curl was replaced because Councilwoman Breland and staff felt that he no longer best represented their and our interests. All else is politics, and at the moment, speculation. In fact, a story appeared in the Berkeley Daily P so filled with speculation as to better have appeared as a gossip column.

 

 

3/19/03

Saturday is he first day of the Noruz-the Persian New Year, 2563, and the First Day of Spring, a new season. Read about Noruz here.

 

Friday morning I met Deputy Watson of the San Mateo County Sheriff Department. (The meeting made it again clear that there is a God and that She likes us.) I had parked off Black Mountain Road on the reservoir overview with what was probably a clogging fuel filter and was standing in front of my old, reliable truck with the hood up, puzzled. As I began to look over the engine, a Sheriff's cruiser pulled up behind me and a very large deputy got out. He walked carefully and deliberately toward us, stopped and looked around, and then satisfied, offered to call a tow-truck. "Thanks, don't need one" I said "I'll clean the filter and plugs and it should be ok." We began to talk more as I pulled the plugs. "I used to be a mechanic" he remarked moving toward engine compartment. As he began to feel comfortable, he began to help and pulled the filter. As I cleaned the plugs, he cleaned the filter and replaced it. He said that he's from Chicago "but been with the Department twenty-four years." I said that I was from Wisconsin and went to Chicago as often as I could to see and hear jazz. "Yeah, lots of jazz in Chicago" he chuckled. And the conversation went on. He had served in Vietnam and even now is concerned about wasting human assests in combat--people being killed and wounded. Clearly, Vietnam is very much with him. And he talked some common sense--I just listened. "Mind your own business." "Don't start a fight, but if someone else does, make sure you finish it." "Take care of your own before worrying about anybody else." Seemed like good advice for the neighborhood or the world.

 

While spending the day at Stanford University, I noticed signs on campus reading something like "Do Not Idle Trucks While Making Deliveries." A good idea for Potter Creek, too.

 

 

3/18/04

"End of the Road for Classic Brand: Liquidators getting ready to auction off last vestiges of Indian Motorcycle" is Matt Nauman's report in the West County Times. Most telling, however is a quote from Cycle World editor David Edwards. "David Edwards, editor in chief of Cycle World, the nation's largest monthly motorcycle magazine, doesn't sound saddened by the death of Indian. 'This was a quick and dirty way of making a new Indian that sort of didn't respect the heritage of the original company,' he said."

My memory was that the establishment of the new Indian Motorcycle company was simply a way for the owners of the Indian trademark to sell this intellectual property. A judge ruled that to sell it to new owners, the new owners would actually have to make a motorcycle. And how interested were these new owners in making a motorcycle? These first new Indians actually had Harley motors. Arrgh!

For a history of the Indian and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, read Allan Girdler's The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars.

 

1941 Indian Sport Scout

 

 

 

3/17/04

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK DAY!

 

 

 

 

 

3/15/04

 

 

 

3/14/04

Rick Auerbach and I met for two hours last night. We talked and talked and talked and we solved all of Potter Creek's problems. We even solved problems that Potter Creek doesn't have. Then, though exhilarated by our exchanges, I remembered what my old Gold Wing buddy, Cliff Miller said. "Generally you don't learn much when your lips are moving."

 

 

 

3/13/04

Tuesday, March 9th at 9:02 PM there was a robbery at knife-point at 9th and Pardee of a man and woman out-walking. The robbers were two males in their "early twenties." The man gave the robbers his wallet.

 

For what I believe to be an accurate portrayal of the Geronimo Campaigns, watch the DVD "Geronimo: An American Legend." (A British Army officer attached to the U. S Cavalry during the campaigns described the Apache as the finest light-cavalry in the world.)

 

Pam Belluck of the New York Times reports "Brown University to Examine Debt to Slave Trade."

 

George Avalos of the West County Times writes "The East Bay, which had been spared the brunt of the jobs recession, may be starting to suffer the side effects of the high-tech meltdown and the state budget deficit" in his report, "Recession Makes Way to East Bay."

 

Ravens have begun nesting around the 2800 block of 8th Street.

 

 

Fellini, the restaurant

Appropriately, Fellini has a interior out of a Fellini movie. Just a touch fifties-funky, it's crisp and clean and done in pure-black and bright-red with the dining space cut up into small areas in a wonderfully Byzantine fashion. (I think this creative division also keeps the noise down in a place with concrete floors.) But during our lunch, Fellini's sound system did not deliver Nino Rota's soundtrack from Amarcord, instead, it delivered tasteful post-bop jazz. More than background music, this set a hip tone, complimenting the decor. The service is good, friendly, and fairly fast. Fellini is basically a Pizza, Pasta place with a few sandwiches. I ordered the Margherita pizza*, usually just tomato and cheese, I added chicken sausage. It arrived hot, with good quality mozzarella melted and stringy. Instead of the usual tomato sauce it had pieces of small diced fresh tomatoes and a sprinkling of fresh basil with a few thin slices of fresh garlic scattered about. The crust was thin, and crisp on the bottom. (But the sides were not puffy and bread-like the way I like). Over all, it was a very good pizza and cost $8.50 with the added sausage. (I use Tomassos as the measure for pizza in the States.) Ron ordered a barbecue chicken sandwich which was served on an Acme bakery bun. (Why he ordered barbecued chicken in an Italian restaurant is beyond me.) The grilled chicken was shredded much like a barbecue pork sandwich and was mixed with caramelized onions--very, very sweet. The sauce was just too smoky, over powering any other flavor. But it was nicely presented and of a generous portion. The accompanying Caesar salad was good sized, crisp, with just the right amount of dressing. The dressing itself was was lemony and garlicky and there were a lot of grated parmesan and croutons on top of the salad. Very nice. The sandwich and small Caesar salad cost $6.50. Over all, Fellini is a good place for Italian lunch and we would return to try other things. Kimar But I wouldn't order the sandwich again. Ron

Fellini is located at 1401 University Avenue and it's phone number is 510-841-5200. It's open from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM all days but Tuesday. Tuesday it's closed.

*The Margherita is the classic tomato pizza with mozzarella and basil and is a Neapolitan specialty.
Italians use seeded ripe tomatoes in the sauce and often add garlic, olive oil-just a bit, and salt and pepper. In tomato season they don't cook the sauce, it really is a topping rather than what we think of as sauce. Kimar

 

My very good neighbors just bought two Huffy bicycles at "The Dented Can Store" for $79.95 a piece. Hoorah!

 

 

 

 

3/12/04

Happy Summer of the moment!

 

 

 

3/11/04

 

 

 

"This revision provides compelling evidence that we need to regulate the high cost of workers' comp and let the insurance commissioner go into each insurance company's records . . ." reports George Avalos of the West County Times in his "Workers' Comp Cost Estimates Cut."

And, IRMI.com offers this guide book Levine on California Workers Compensation Premium and Insurance.

 

 

 

3/10/04

One view of the future of Bay Area dinning-out is offered by Carol Ness at SF Gate.com in her "Star Chefs go Simple Route: Many Plan to Open Inexpensive Spin-offs of Their Restaurants." So, now the ex-computer-guy can afford to dine out at his new minimum-wage-service-sector income?

 

 

3/9/04

Cassata Gelato

Ingredients
500ml-- vanilla ice cream slightly softened (2C equal 475ml)
125ml-- chocolate ice cream slightly softened (1/2 C equals 120ml)
250ml--double cream (1C equals 240ml)
3 tbs powdered sugar
0.25lb mixed crystallized fruits cut up very small

Method
Line a 1.5litre mould--with the vanilla ice cream. Freeze until solid. (1 1/2 Qt is about 1.5 litre) Layer the chocolate ice cream over the vanilla. Freeze until solid. Whip the cream until it stands in soft peaks and stir in the crystallized fruits. Sweeten to taste with powdered sugar folding it in carefully. Spoon this mixture into the centre of the frozen chocolate ice cream. Cover with foil and freeze for several hours until solid. To serve, dip bowl into hot water and then turn the Cassata out onto a serving plate.

To celebrate early Summer, here's an Italian dessert via Susan Tjhi of Taipei, changed slightly reflecting metric and language differences.

 

Kimar's tips for the day:

At Trader Joe's you can find ten daffodil stems, opens to ten-inch bouquet, for .99. Happy Spring! And while you're there, pick up a couple Pugliese Italian breads from Grace Baking for $1.39. This is a partially baked small loaf for two. Keep one in your freezer.

 

 

 

 

3/8/04

Kimar our food and more person

Check out Foods of Berkeley

 

 

 

3/7/04

Curious about the recurring rumor, early this morning I was out and in Potter Creek. At 1:27 AM the mushroom cloud had already formed in the north-west. Rising from the ground to altitude then hovering, it was drifting toward me. As the wind changed it moved slightly more north-east moving over the Bakery Cafe and Ruth and Marvin's. Could this be the "midnight emissions from Bayer" that the homeless talk about?

 

 

 

3/6/04

"The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback and sports analyst.

 

"While most people interviewed by the Times believed [Martha] Stewart had lied . . . , most also believed prosecutors put a target on Stewart's back because she had dared to be a powerful woman in a man's world" write Joan Morris and Jessica Guynn in their West County Times report "Some Women See an Example Made."

 

Though Margaret Breland, our council person, is getting stronger everyday, she has still not decided if she'll run for office this Fall. "[It's] in God's hands" she's said in the past. I'll go along with that and include her in my prayers.

 

The Saffron Café closed last week--and, thank you for scrambled eggs and lox.

 

 

 

3/5/04

Winter Salad of Fig and Stilton with Port Wine Dressing

3/4 C. Ruby Port
1/4 C. dry red wine
1/4 C. oil can be olive or vegetable
3 T. balsamic vinegar
2T. walnut or hazelnut oil
3 T. sugar
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 9 oz. package dried black Mission figs stemmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 5 oz. bag mixed baby greens or about 8 cups
4 oz. crumbled stilton cheese, about 1 1/4 C.

Whisk first 7 ingredients together in med bowl, to blend
pour in sauce pan with the figs and simmer until slightly syrupy, stirring occasionally, about 8 min.
cool slightly, season with salt and freshly ground pepper
Divide greens among 6 plates
sprinkle cheese over greens. Ladle warm dressing and figs over salads and serve
from Gourmet Magazine and prepared by Kimar

 

Beef Bourguignon (This is not your Mom's beef stew, unless she was a gourmet.)


Recipe Summary

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon good olive oil 8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks 2 yellow onions, sliced 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves) 1/2 cup Cognac 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir 1 can (2 cups) beef broth 1/2 can tomato paste 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 tablespoon dried) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 pound frozen whole onions 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

For serving: Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprikle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to bum off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.

Ina Garten recipe prepared by Kimar

 

My University of Wisconsin college-buddy, Ed Hahn, sent this from Hong-Kong. "I work in a restaurant that has open-air rooftop dining. While explaining this to a woman who called to make a reservation, she asked me, 'Now, the roof, is that on the top of the building?'"

 

Lots a stuff about Berkeley in Meredith May's School Notes in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Where can you get the best store-bought tapioca? The San Francisco Chronicle's Carol Ness tells you here. And her recommendation for the best take-out chicken can be found here

 

 

 

3/3/04

Today is Bulgaria National Day and Morocco National Day.

 

Potter Creek is two very different neighborhoods--one when business are open, the other when they are not open. The dense traffic and lack of parking disappear when business are closed. Quite simply, the neighborhood's congestion is a direct result of manufacturing and wholesaling business. In fact, interviews with delivery people of all sorts yield one conclusion. Traffic congestion is in large part a result of business delivery and pickup. How can this problem be solved ? In the long run it will solve itself. As land increases in value--in this order, heavy manufacturing and heavy wholesaling, medium manufacturing and medium wholesaling, light manufacturing and light wholesaling will be replaced by more cost efficient land uses with planned parking provisions and lighter heavy traffic. (Restrictive zoning can delay this development but not stop it. "Show me the money!") In the short run, parking congestion can be solved by the building of a parking garage. But, I believe the increase traffic without the change in land use is an inevitable result of increased density in the East Bay.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Camabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

 

 

 

3/2/04

The Antelope Valley by Rick Auerbach

 

Also, yesterday mid-afternoon Rick stopped at my door "I want to show you something around the corner" he said. We went to the corner of 8th and Grayson and turned left. As we walked down very residential Grayson toward 9th, I became aware of the smell of lacquer-like paint. We reached 9th and Grayson and the air was filled with the irritant. It hung heavy over the corner and I began to cough. Could this be the infamous Inlite odor about which the neighbors talk? Well, we were standing in front of Inlite. "How's your situation?" Rick asked.

 

Marvin just returned from a month in Australia."In Sydney you don't wake up in the morning with a face full of phlegm" he observed. Funny, that's just what Bob and Paul said about waking up in Albuquerque.

 

The West Berkeley Plan which sets forth general development policy for West Berkeley, including Potter Creek, is going to be reviewed starting at the end of this year. If you have some ideas, concerns, even complaints, contact John Curl our Planning Commissioner or Zelda Bronstein who is also a Planning Commissioner.

return

ronpenndorf@earthlink.net