New Self Portrait

I rarely like the way I look. Its not just because I am older, I never really was satisfied with the way I look. My wife always tells me how handsome I am and some of her friends have actually called me a babe. Meh, Robert Redford is a babe, me not so much.

So usually when I do a self portrait, you can’t see my face. So this new one taken in Las Vegas is no exception.

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New Self Portrait

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Nancy Reagan

I never really paid any attention to Nancy Reagan while she was in The White House. All I thought I knew about her was that she was an empty headed actress that was in Donovan’s Brain, a movie I liked back in the day. Not too much was expected from FLOTUS back then, we all knew nobody could be better than Eleanore Roosevelt after all.

I gained some respect for her after the White House and the way she took care of her husband who had progressed far in to dementia. I saw this on Air Force One in the Reagan Library. Maybe she was also a decent First Lady after all?

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Aboard Air Force One

Sin City

Las Vegas is like a tacky pleasure for people who don’t live there. We go there occasionally and do things we don’t normally do. You can stay in a plush resort, take a monorail to another plush resort. Eat amazing food at unbelievably high prices or graze on a cheap buffet and risk salmonella. You can gamble, drink, shop and dine without ever leaving the air conditioning of the hotels along the monorail.

However if you take off your blinders and walk around the strip you will see the other side. Expensive legal pot, illegal drugs, drunk and homeless people ,heroin addicts, prostitutes, run down buildings, hustlers and the hustled. Best to stay inside in the comfort of the one armed bandits.

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Sin City

Sin City

Sin City

Venice Beach California

The first time I visited Venice Beach was in 1967. It was a funky hippie community by a beautiful beach. Jim Morrison lived in Venice Beach. Muscle Beach was more informal and weed was available but not legal. People lived on the beach they were hippies or vagabonds, the class homeless had not yet been invented.

Time changes everything. Sure there are still the panhandlers and beach people. The area is now upscale and expensive, Dominated by million dollar and luxury hotels, a small area of panhandlers and souvenir peddlers still exists and of course a lot of pot stores doing a brisk business.

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Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Corned Beef Hash–Pittsburgh Style

When I was a kid, corned beef hash came from a can. It was all I knew so it was ok but when I became an adult it was not. Then I would order corned beef hash at diners. Sometimes it was great and some times it was awful and usually it was greasy.

Over the years I found a couple of breakfast places that made it well. In Pittsburgh acceptable corned beef hash can be found at Pamela’s (tell them well done.) The Square Cafe is very good and very expensive. The best we have found is Kelly O’s in the Strip District

Then one day my wife finally tried it and liked it and we began to make it ourselves. We use kosher extra lean corn beef, red potatoes and onions. Its never greasy and kind of pretty to look at too.

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Corned Beef Hash

Pittsburgh Signs–Beckert Seed Company

Continuing with the Pittsburgh Signs and Murals project, I give you the remnants of the Bekhert Seed and Bulb Company formerly on Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. This faded sign is all that is left and can be seen from Market Square.

Many major cities had seed and bulb companies in the early 1900’s. Centralization and mass production in places like Holland Michigan made it difficult for small operations to survive.

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Beckhert Seed and Bulb Company