Saturday, December 31, 2011

Waddling Through December and 2011: The Results

At the risk of rubbing it in, I'll zoom out and remind everyone that I waddled around Hawai'i for a while in December.

Here's a more realistic view of what I accomplished. Not bad, but vacation does not lend itself to racking up the miles. Still, a respectable 254.57 miles (could you be a little more precise, Jack?) for the month.

Here's what my 2011 Stumptown waddles look like. Total mileage for 2011 checks in at 2,432.16, or the distance from Stumptown to...what the what? New York? Fort Sumter? Fernadina Beach and Gainsville? Acapulco? Unalaska? Chicoutimi and Québec City? Jeezu, Jack!

It's been a good year for waddling. And, I checked out of the year short 2.72 pails of LARD! from where I started in August, 2010. Take that Professor Javier Boleyn!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, 2012!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
from D'Mestiere Investigations!


Back by popular demand is our own Yule Log a la WPIX

Me and Dolly-girl want to wish all of our friends, from Stumptown to Hawkesbury; from the Rose City to the Windy City; from the Left Coast, which is the right one, to the Right Coast, which isn't; to Tinseltown, Ithaca Schmithica, the Valley With a Heart, the Heart of the Valley, Our Nation's Capital, and Pennsylvania's Capital City; to The Best Location in the Nation, Ravenrock Ranch, Whidbey Island, Washington, the Redwood Forest and the Gulf Stream Waters; to the Vale of Glamorgan; Kodiak Island, and the tropical paradise of Hawai'i

A Very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Healthy and Happy 2012!

A Night Out in Stumptown: Poutine at 15th Avenue Hophouse

Blower. Kitty. "Yallow, Jack's on the line. D'Mestiere Investigations. We make your trouble no trouble at all..." "It's Kitty." "I knew it was you 'cause of that gadget Dolly-girl put on the blower so as we can tell whosit before we decide to..." "Old technology, Jack. Called Caller ID. Been around for years. Anyhoo, look, I had my thinking cap on my bean and a GE flashed that said maybe we ought to mosey on down to that new hop house on 15th and Brazee and tie on a feedbag." "You mean the 15th Avenue Hophouse?" "The same." "I'll check." I looked around the room and saw lots of up-and-downs seeing as how I was using other new-fangled technology--a "Speaker Phone"--and Dolly-girl, Dania Inebriata-Beech, Cuco O'Macka, T. Anthony Kavanaugh III, and Libretto all knew what Kitty had been pitching. "We're on."

Turns out the FAHH (that's what I'm gonna call the 15th Avenue Hophouse as it's easier to type and I'm typing this myself 'cause Thelma has the day off and I type slower than cement erodes according to Dolly-girl) is the partner of the Hawthorne Hophouse and they both got the same whatchmacallit. Also turns out that if you want a beer, it's a place you ought to go to, but then that wasn't a surprise to me (or to any of you that know about the fact that I like to waddle from joint to joint).

Where was I. Oh, yes. So we all piled in a couple roadsters and headed down there. It didn't take Missy anytime at all to fill some glasses and set them down in front of us. "You all look like you think you've come to the right place and I'm here to tell you, you have. Just have a pull on those brewskis and a look at the whaddayawant, and I'll be back in two shakes."

"I'll tell you one thing you could bring us from the getgo--some of those sweet potato fries. Kitty knows what Kitty likes and I'd like it if you'd put them down right in front of me." I guess Kitty might have seen the inside of the joint too. And, what the? They were a quarter gone before I could even get the Kodak focused. And it wasn't a couple minutes before that plate looked like a scene from Exodus 10: 1-20. Jeezu, those folks were famished, I guess. I looked around the table and six sets of mandibles were masticating and six sets of vocal chords were purring. Make that seven.

Missy was back, and none too soon, if you ask me. "What's it gonna be, Jack?" How is it people always seem to know my name? Is it that billboard that Thelma talked me into putting up around town to try and increase business? "I'm a little cautious seeing as how we are a long ways from Québec, but hows the poutine?" "Me, how would I know, do I look like I eat that?" I had to take her point. Professor Boleyn's advice was wasted on her... "Well, I'm gonna a chance it. Une poutine, s'il vous plait, et un plat des Oeuf de Diable a la wasibi to back that up, just in case." "Vous l'avez!" I looked around. Everyone else went for the pretty standard fare, but no one seemed like they were jumping on my wagon. But one thing was for sure, everyone was finding the suds that washed their dishes, if you get my drift.

Missy put the cacklefresh down in front of me and they looked like there were gonna make me stand up and pay attention. Sparks were flying off those henfruit and the hash slinger had thrown a little red on there in honor of the season, I guess. It hit the spot. But ah, the piece de resistance...

Missy set the plate in front of me. "Voila!" I dug in quick. It was the real thing--crispy fires, tasty gravy and curds--wait, the only chink in the armor, no squeak in the curds--even this far from the vaisseau-mère! "C'est bon, Missy!" "Heureaux vous l'aimez..." My blower sparked. Without even looking, I gave it the "yallow." "Jackie-boy, what is THAT in front of you? Have you lost your mind? A pile of fried potatoes, smothered in gravy and cheese curds? In what universe is that part of the 2-Step Duh! Diet? It's going to be the one-million steps for you tomorrow diet..." "Professor Boleyn? How did you find me? How..." "Jackie-boy, the Red Alert warnings were going off through the entire Boleyn Sky Cluster. You can't make an order like this sous le couvert dde l'obscurité. But, you know what, enjoy your poutine and I will speak with you tomorrow. Randall, put an early morning scolding for Jackie-boy on my calendar..."

I felt lower than a pill bug in the cellar with my tail between my legs. Dolly-girl put her hand on my arm and shot me a smile through the wave. "Forget him, Jack. It's the holidays, we're with friends and family, and even you deserve a night off." I gave her a peck on the kisser and went back to my poutine. Ha! Pill bugs don't have tails! Wait, that's no pill bug...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Punaluu, Hawaii VRBO Listing 229721 Blue Ginger Beach House

I hate to do this. I only do this because of the email my wife received from the owner in response to my review and her response on the VRBO web page. I believe the owner is disingenuous. I gave, I thought, a very fair review on VRBO. She responded. I can't on VRBO. But I can here. I would not have responded if she had left it alone. Most people rated her property a five; I rated it a two. A simple, "I'm sorry you were disappointed," would have been fine. But, we received an email transferring all the guilt to us after we paid over $1,000 for a week that promised something that wasn't.

The place is well equipped and comfortable, and I stated as much. I never said it wasn't a good value. I brought to prospective renters' attention that there is road noise and construction until February. It is not "landscaping" as the owner responds, unless "landscaping" to you includes large excavators, dump trucks, etc, starting at 7 AM or before. They are in the process of removing concrete and steel that was part of the temporary bridge. This is the beach view I observed and below is a little movie of the "landscaping." I realize it's not her fault, but let's be honest. It's not "landscaping."

Maybe most all beach view places on O'ahu are on highways. Not all are. You might want to rent one that isn't. All I pointed out is that there is traffic and a lot of it. What I didn't put in my review--a couple nights we counted over 30 buses in a single hour going by the house.

I do not question the comfort of the place. In fact, I was quite complimentary in my review. I just wish the owner had been forthcoming in her ad. I did not say in VRBO that the ad was misleading. I did not ask for a discount. I did not ask for a refund. I only believe that an honest review is an honest review.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holy Smokes: Another Record Month for Waddling!

Just when I thought I couldn't walk more than 325 miles in a month, I left 328.09 miles in my wake in November, a short month at that. "Jackie-boy, this is nuts. You've got to get out of competition with yourself! Oh, have you purchased my new book, "Hijacking Your Holidays: 2 Steps to the Yuletide Gift of Guilt" by none other than the prolific Professor Javier Boleyn?

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 2011: What a Month for Waddling!

The results are in: 324.89 miles in October. Yes, that's correct, 87.85 miles more than my previous best effort! A combination of a beautiful fall and walking to and from work is responsible for this success, soon to be documented in Professor Javier Boleyn's latest book, Ten Miles a Day The Two Step Way by Professor Javier Boleyn as told to Randall Phüβe, edited by Nora O'Floinn.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Waddling in Ithaca: The Impressive Reach of Boleyn Enterprises

"Yallow, Castaways, the Music Venue. We're More Than a Bar. You got Jo La on the blower. What'sit?" "Mister , um what did you say, Jo La?, umm kind sir, this is Randall Phüβe, please hold for Professor Javier Boleyn..." "Good afternoon, this is Professor Javier Boleyn, no need to acknowledge my international renown." "Good thing, what's that name again? I don't think you're in Castaway's what we call repertoire." "Think again, Mister La. Think of a certain supplement the mixologists at your establishment receive monthly. Did you think that was a stipend based on outstanding academic performance? I think not. It's time for Boleyn Enterprises to activate the Ithaca node on the Sky-View Cluster (®Boleyn Enterprises).

(© Castaways)
"Are you acquainted with a Miss Anna-Maria D'Mestiere?" "Well, sure. Who isn't? At least if you spend anytime here at Castaways, the Music Venue." "Yes, I know that Miss D'Mestiere has, from time-to-time, been known to engage in the Hot Dog Happy Hour (© Castaways) --quaint, provincial and quaint. That is at odds with her current efforts to join the War on LARD! Hence my need to activate more than occasional surveillance, and therefore necessitating this call, as required in our contract, to inform you that in our efforts to help Miss D'Mestiere achieve her goal, we will be monitoring the activity of all 'clients' of your establishment as they may be aiding or abetting Miss, what do you call her?" "AM. We call her AM, you know, pronounced like initials, first the A and then the M." "Yes, I know, and it's refreshing to see that you are more advanced than her father, who would pronounce it as though it were the first person present tense of the verb to be." "Well, we are in a college town..." "Thank you for that, Mister La." "Call me Jo."

"Professor Boleyn...Randall here. The Sky-View has picked her up near something called Cherry Street. Should I contact her on the Boleyn's-Eye-View (® Boleyn Enterprises) Voice of God (® iBlessed Steven). "That's an excellent idea Randall, crank up the machine. Remember to adjust the volume as it will deliver my voice directly through her iPod (® the mortal formerly known as Steve Jobs). "Anna-Maria D'Mestiere." "What the? Where? Where's that voice coming from? Who is that voice..." "Miss D'Mestiere, it is Professor Javier Boleyn." "Busted." "Hmmm, a common reaction when people hear my name. Nevertheless, Miss D...may I call you AM?" "Yes you may, shall I call you..." "Don't even think it. I am Professor Javier Boleyn. You may shorten that to Professor Boleyn or Professor, if you must. But let's get on with this."

"By the way, I am speaking to you through my new Voice-of-God technology (® iSaint Steven, fastest canonization in history and the first registered trademark in NeXT World © iSaint Steven, also the first registered copyright). First, I have to say that it took Jackie-boy--I mean your father--months of following the 2-Step Duh! Diet (® Boleyn Enterprises) to be able to take a picture of his feet and yours are much smaller than his. You must be following my regimen..." "I try..." "to some extent. However, the Tap-Cam has recorded you at a local watering hole, Castaways." "It's a Music Venue, more than a bar..." AM breathed a sigh of relief thinking that the good professor could have seen her at a lot more than just one local watering hole. "Even though the Voice-of-God is a 2-way technology, I didn't need to hear your thoughts to know that you frequent other establishments in this fair town. They all are part of the Sky-Cluster and all have my patented Tap-Cam." "All?" "Fall Creek House, Chanticleer, Nines, Maxies, Benchwarmers, Haunt, Moonshadow, Ale House..." "OK, OK. Guilty as charged. Except the IC joints, we don't go there..."

"But I have been waddling my level best towards fitness, Professor. It's not easy when you're a young person. I mean, I have a life. Jackie-boy--that cracks me up that you call him that--I mean what's he got to do? Bumpkus. Walk, walk, and walk some more. It's pathetic, no pathologic. Really, look what you've done to him, bullying him to blisters." "Relax child. Randall, make a note, my next book. Bullied to Blisters: Extreme 2-Stepping with Professor Javier Boleyn by Professor Javier Boleyn as told to Randall Phüβe, edited by Nora O'Floinn. Oh, and file the copyright on that too." "Already done, PJB." "AM, back to your plight. You are trying, I can see that. For instance, your iHair Pony-Tail-Scrunchie-Cam (®Boleyn Enterprises and Heavenly Host Enterprises, an iSaint Steven corporation ) detected this group of dedicated Ithacans practicing surfboard yoga, a technique I pioneered while under the influence of mild hallucinogens in my younger days at Venice Beach. The PTSC reported your velocity at the time to be 6.5 mph (mph is an abbreviation in the public domain). "

"I continue. Your UO Sweatband-Cam (® Oregon Ducks, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Phil Knight. Wait, how did this new guy get in here?) sent this image to the Sky-Cluster, documenting some impressive numbers. But, not impressive enough." "Wail and whoan." "Child, calm yourself. You are studying at the foot of the World's Master. Under my tutelage, you will be a wisp of your former self in no time."

"But, Professor, I'm trying so hard, and I'm waddling the straight and narrow, and, and, IT'S SO DAMNED BORING! Whoan!"

"Straight and narrow? I suggest you read the fine print on the Menu page and see if you really think you are 'straight and narrow'. I mean, really, even Jackie-boy avoids places with descriptions like:

"The menu ain't gigantic and the kitchen isn't open all the time,
but if you catch us cooking you can be sure to get
some of the best bar favorites around." (© Castaways)


Friday, September 30, 2011

Waddling Towards Fitness: September, the Best Yet!

I'm not sure how I pulled this off. The first half of the month I was well off my summer pace. Then we had a week of beautiful weather and I walked to and from work. That did the trick. 235.07 miles in 30 days for an average waddle of 7.84 miles per day. 1524 miles so far this year. Where's that put me? Winona, Minnesota--where Michelle Bachmann went to college. That will keep me walking! Or Las Vegas if I'm doing a round trip! Or Santa Barbara...

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Conversation: Professor Javier Boleyn and Fiora D'Mestiere

The blower sparked. Dolly-girl looked at the gadget and yelled, "Jackie-boy, it's for you. Professor Javier Boleyn on line 1." "Joseph, Mary, Kitty Carlisle and all the saints in heaven, Dolly-girl, just answer it, will you? I'm scooping cat boxes down here. You know how he hates the machine." "Yallow, D'Mestiere Investigations. What's it?"

"Fiora, dear, that patois does not fit your visage." "Oh. Hello, Professor." "You blink and blush, dear. Remember, you are clearly visible to me on the Sky-cam (® Boleyn Enterprises). I digress." "Professor, Jack's indisposed. Can I have him call you back?" "Fiora, it's you with whom I wish to speak. You see, I've written another book. Well, I use the word loosely. I have dictated a book to my new assistant, Randall Tuphts. I'm afraid it's not up to my usual standards, but then I did dictate it during intermission at the ballet. I believe it could use your magical editorial touch. Of course, Boleyn Enterprises pays handsomely, providing you think there was something remotely handsome about Quasimodo (All references to anything having to do with Notre Dame de Paris ® Benedict XVI and Steve Jobs)."

"I'm honored. What's your timeline? How about a month?"
"Well, seeing as how I 'wrote' it during intermission, I was hoping to go to press tomorrow. After all, how long could it take to edit Grande Jeté Your Lard Away the 2-Step Way by Professor Javier Boleyn, as told to Randall Tuphts and edited by Fiora D'Mestiere"

"On it, Prof."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waddling Around Ashland: Is There No Escape?

"Jack, the roadster is packed, now would you shake a leg and get it in gear? We gotta a lotta ground to cover today if we're going to make it to the wedding party that starts tomorrow, you know, Dania's little Dot is getting hitched down there in wine country. Now, get it going!" "Alright, alright, Dolly-girl. Just let me get my heater and my Luckies and I'll be ready to roll. You know it takes me a while..." "For Sam's sake and the love of Mike, you are the slowest. And leave that damned gun and those smokes at home. You sure don't need the gun and you don't smoke." "Anymore..." "What's that mumbling?" "Mumble mumble..."
Me and Dolly-girl were taking off on a little adventure and, how shall I say it, it was starting off on the il piede sinistro, if you get my drift. I just don't know how she gets started so much faster than I do...

We eventually got out the door, into the Chevy, and down the road to Red Bluff, California, where we pulled over for the night. Dolly-girl had found us a roadside hotel--what they call a motor hotel--where we could rest our butts after a long day of doing nothing. I spotted a road house where we could tie on a feedbag and knock back a couple cold ones. Dolly-girl went for a vino bianco. It was a coupla IPAs for me. Surprising when it comes to drinks the two of us are not, I guess. We had a nice relaxing time sitting outside along the river. Something felt real comfy about this town, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

The next morning, shank's mare and I went out for our morning constitutional and I found what made me have that kinship feeling. Turns out Red Bluff must have a touch of that unsavory element. Either that or the 24-hour bail bond place has the same sort of bottom line that D'Mestiere Investigations has. Let's just say that it's a good thing Dolly-girl sells a poem from time to time to keep beans on the table back in Stumptown!

Skip ahead. The hitching was about as much fun as you can have, especially when it takes place near Santa Rosa and you get to make a coupla trips to what Beluga Slim calls "The Mothership of IPAs", the Russian River brewery. I'll tell you, those boys know how to brew them some beer that will make you spin and lucky for us, there was plenty to go around. And you know, a beer at breakfast just isn't that bad a way to spend time on a little vacation get-away. Of course, it earned Cuco and me a round of tsks tsks from Dolly-girl and Dania, mostly 'cause they couldn't quite buy our "what are time zones, really?" argument.

The following Saturday, found me out and about in Ashland, you know that spot where her and me go each year to see the live action plays that she likes so much. I'm pretty sure I've given you the straight talk on this before. It's the weekend-a-year when she goes all nerdy on me. The rest of the year she's only nerdy during the week, but hey, Fiora wouldn't be Dolly-girl if she weren't like that.
Anyhoo, I decided to get up with the chickens and get out on the streets to see what Ashland looked like early and to wear off some LARD! as I knew back at the old Blue Moon B&B, the joint where Dolly-girl, or as they call her there "Fiora, dear", likes to set our brake, Dino would be cooking up a storm for birdseed time. I couldn't wait to just enjoy a meal in peace. In fact, given that the War on LARD! was going so well, I might even cast caution to the wind and eat my fill!

Sure enough, Dino rolled out a frittata that would make a hen proud of where her fruit ended up. As I mentioned, I'd decided to throw caution to the wind and I put what looked to be a delicious home-fried potato on my plate. "Jackie-boy, just what gives you the idea that you can hang a "Mission Accomplished" banner on your bridge and act like you're King of Whatever, prancing around in your flight suit?" "Javier--I mean Professor Boleyn?" I looked up looking for the Boleyn's Eye View Sky Cluster (® Boleyn Enterprises) that had found me. It must be in the umbrella..."Jackie-boy, look down."

The voice didn't have the usual booming Voice-of-God quality--it sounded right-in-the-room, if you get my drift, even though we were outside. "That's right, Jackie-boy, in the flesh." Sitting next to Dolly-girl was, OH MY GOD! PROFESSOR JAVIER BOLEYN (® Boleyn Enterprises). I gulped, gasping for air. My breakfast was ruined. "That's right Jackie-boy..." "Professor, must you call me Jackie-boy here in front of strangers. It's not like when it's Bar-Am and you are talking through the Tap-Cam (® Boleyn Enterprises) or on the LARD! app (© Boleyn Software, Ltd.) on my iPhone (Galactic © Steve Jobs). "Yes, Jack, I must call you Jackie-boy. It's part of the humiliating Demean-o-talk that's a key ingredient in a new strategy outlined in my latest book, Respect Weighs Heavily: Lose it in 2-Steps with Professor Javier Boleyn (Pre-orders are now being accepted on (© Steve Jobs and I must leave you now, as enjoyable as this is. I'm here as a consultant. You see, Falstaff has been 2-Stepping and now needs to don a fat suit to play the part. I'm here to perform my patented Hip-No-Therepy (USPTO 7,932,457) which will allow him to wear the suit without imagining that he's a hefty hog again. Ta ta. I'm off."

"Go ahead and finish your breakfast, Jack. Don't let this chance meeting spoil your vacation." "I can't do it, Dolly-girl. The Professor is correct. I have no business trumpeting "Mission Accomplished" just because I've shed 61 pounds of LARD! Osama bin LARDEN may be dead, but another LARDorist will rise to take his place. Eternal vigilance is my fate." "You're right about that, Jackie-boy." The professor popped out of the doorway as he was leaving. "And oh, Fiora, dear, I've autographed your copy of Polka the Pounds Away: 2-Steppin' in NEPA with Professor Javier Bloeyn on the table inside. I depart!" Fiora blushed. I didn't even know she was thinking about 2-Stepping!

The solitary home fry remained on the plate and I left the table, not quite sated. The next day I was determined to walk enough before Dino filled the feedbags that the good professor would not be able to interfere with my full enjoyment of a savory meal. Well, it turns out it was sweet day, not savory day, at the Blue Moon, but you get my whadda-ya-mean, right? I got an early start because I knew it was going to be a long road before I got back and could settle down, smug as a bug, and render the professor speechless. Hours later, I arrived at the table, exhausted, sweaty, and ready to carbo-load. The world famous oat flapjacks were being flipped and I eyed a fresh blue-berry something or other that was fixin' to be poured over those griddle cakes. And was that the smell of, yes! Bacon!"

"Good morning, Jackie-boy." The professor had beat us all to the table. He was looking at the screen of a gadget the likes of I'd never seen before. He noticed."Oh, this, just a little iSomething (USPTO All Parallel Universes Patent Pending, oh what the hell, just give it a number, you know it will be patented, Steve Jobs) that Steve lent me. I've connected it to the Sky Cluster and used it to track you this morning. Good walk, Jackie-boy, and at a brisk 4.5 mile-per-hour pace, as well." "What the? Pit tags? Do you have pit tags in me?" "Oh, never. Don't need that old technology. Steve and I dreamed up something new (USPTO patent pending Javier Boleyn and his new best friend, Steve Jobs) that uses a satellite acquisition to identify and follow the spectral emission of your perspiration." "You track me by my sweat?" "Yes, indeed, Jackie-boy. As long as there's a single bead, you are in my bead...I'm proud of you, too, Jackie-boy. You walked by the Morning Glory and stayed on the other side of the street. You know you gain weight when you walk by places like that." "Wail and whoan." "Stop your sniveling and eat breakfast."

Dino set my breakfast and I couldn't believe my eyes. An entire flapjack, some of the wonderful blueberry stuff, whatever it's called, and bacon!" "Jackie-boy, I didn't want to completely humiliate you, so I instructed Dean to serve you this modest breakfast. Of course, you can't eat it. I used the Boleyn Enterprises Carbo-Carver (® Steve Jobs--I sold it to him...) to cut your allowable portion. See it there, by the cantaloupe. Enjoy!