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Kaplan Cycles – Grand Opening Bash!!!

Central Coast Today

vjsjoy has invited you to the event ‘Mike Kaplan Cycles – Grand Opening Bash!!!’ on Central Coast Today!

Check out “Mike Kaplan Cycles – Grand Opening Bash!!!” on Central Coast Today


Time: November 22, 2008 at 12pm
Location: Mike Kaplan Cycles
Organized By: Mike Kaplan

Event Description:
Mike Kaplan Cycles Grand Opening Bash!
Come and check his new shop and all the great bikes and great people!
Music – Valerie Johnson & the New Sound Boogie Band
50/50 Raffle and more…
Tri-Tip BBQ – proceeds benefits the kids of Camp Hapitok
See more details and RSVP on Central Coast Today:


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‘Beneath A Phrygian Sky’




~Loreena McKennitt~
‘Beneath A Phrygian Sky’



The moonlight it was dancing
On the waves, out on the sea
The stars of heaven hovered
In a shimmering galaxy


A voice from down the ages
So in haunting in its song
These ancient stones will tell us
Our love must make us strong


The breeze it wrapped around me
As I stood there on the shore
And listened to this voice
Like I never heard before


Our battles they may find us
No choice may ours to be
But hold the banner proudly
The truth will set us free


My mind was called across the years
Of rages and of strife
Of all the human misery
And all the waste of life


We wondered where our God was
In the face of so much pain
I looked up to the stars above
To find you once again


We travelled the wide oceans
Heard many call your name
With sword and gun and hatred
It all seemed much the same


Some used your name for glory
Some used it for their gain
Yet when liberty lay wanting
No lives were lost in vain


Is it not our place to wonder
As the sky does weep with tears
And all the living creatures
Look on with mortal fear


It is ours to hold the banner
Is ours to hold it long
It is ours to carry forward
Our love must make us strong


And as the warm wind carried
Its song into the night
I closed my eyes and tarried
Until the morning light


As the last star it shimmered
And the new sun’s day gave birth
It was in this magic moment
Came this prayer for mother earth

Bon Temp Creole Cafe New Year’s Party

Hey Everybody            “Let the Good Times Roll”
Come join Al B. Blue & Valerie Johnson playing New Years Eve (for the early birds) @ Bon Temp Creole Cafe  from 6:30 – 9pm.  Ya’ll come!!!
A little birdie told me some of our musician friends may be joining us ( Dr. Bottom, Bongo Blues Mama Raeanna & Steven Arbarian – great  young singer, uke and guitar player) as well as, our favorite belly dancer in the whole world – Adaire. We gonna be celebrating!!!
Where else can you have this much fun?  Good Food, Good Friends, Good Music and Good Times!!!!
You can party – celebrate the New Year - @ at 9pm -start all over again!!!! Yea!!!!!
Please RSVP 544-2100
Bon Temp Creole Cafe, 1000 Olive St, San Luis Obispo, CA
We Wanna Blues You Up!
Valerie Johnson & Al B.Blue




Bon Temp Creole Cafe, San Luis Obispo, New Year's Party

Bon Temp Creole Cafe, San Luis Obispo, New Year's Party

Cultural Fusion

  Chaco’s Mexican Food Restaurant in Oceano Calif has a very nice and festive set of murals along the outside of the building.

   This is in the ‘Barrio’ section of Oceano. 

   When you combine elements of differnt cultures, you can get a fusion that is pretty exciting… we have that in much of California. Many people here get a good dose of different cultures.  For the most part…. it works well here.


   A good example of fusion is the musical collaboration of an Egyptian fellow named Hakim, and Olga Tanon of Puerto Rico.
   He sings in Arabic, and she sings (beautifully) in a perfect Spanish.




Spanish Omlette

   There are a lot of ways to prepare food in this huge glorious world…. and the more you travel and meet people from places other than your own, the more you will be open to the diverse ingredients and culinary opportunities that are available in our interconnected modern world.   I am fortunate in that I was raised in a military family, and got to travel the world as a kid. We lived for four years in Spain.  One day a neighbor showed up at our door with his eighteen year old daughter. He had met my Air Force father who is from the US South, and my mother who was born in Hungary and raised in Germany… he explained that his daughter would be available to babysit my parent’s young children.  So for a while she came over to care for us children when my parents went out… it wasn’t long and she got work in a beauty shop frequented by American women.  After a while she came to live in our home taking care of us kids and helping with household chores while working in the nearby beauty shop.  I suspect her father thought that through our family she might meet a young American who would marry her and take care of her. Her life might be immeasurably enriched materially by such a meeting.    She had her own room, cooked many of our meals and helped keep the house up.  It wasn’t long before she attracted the eye of a businessman nearby, he owned the deli/bar/restaurant called ‘Pinky’s’ in Torrejon. I recall him and his friends serenading her one evening, singing Spanish songs outside her window as she looked down at them. I enjoyed his visits because he always brought the best foods from his deli to share with the family (and Spanish deli food is great!)… Yes, that was quite an experience.  And in time the two of them married, and we lost our free housekeeper (and the cool deli foods).   But the cooking she did was fine also, and she and my mother traded recipes, so she learned how to make German Roladen, and Hungarian Goulash while my mother learned of the beauty of Paella and potato tortillas…. and our family was enriched by the melding of these various cultures and foods. 

    I must say that there is not a lot of real food that I don’t enjoy…. and I owe much of it to those long interminable trips through the Pyrenees, Spain, France and Germany when we had to eat anything that came our way, whether we liked it or not, the alternative was the bologna and bread we usually had on hand.

   I came upon a website that has the Spanish Tortilla omlette I recall as a kid.  Yep, it’s been a while…. methinks it’s time to eat that again.

   And if anyone in the Torrejon Apartments area knows Pinky and Malona (Julia), do let them know the Dicus family wishes them happiness and prosperity.  

And now, for a word from one of our sponsors

  We got a mail recently from one of our customers… he asked if nopales cactus can be frozen….

   In the interests of honesty, I replied to the effect that yes, technically cactus can be frozen and thawed for eating later. The way to do it is to prepare the cactus as usual (wiping with an abrasive pad to rid of spines, then trim around the leaf, then wash and pat dry), dice the cactus into 1/2 inch pieces, then freeze them on a cookie sheet with space between each piece. When they are totally frozen, they can be put into a freezer bag and they will not stick together.  When you need some, you can drop some diced pieces into your recipes and it will blend into the mix. The problem with frozen cactus is that the tissue loses the great crunch that the raw leaf has. But it is still fine in a dish in which it is a minor (but important) ingredient.  In other words, if you put it into a burrito with the beans and other items, you are not likely to notice the texture being compromised through freezing.

  Also, I must admit my own particular biases are toward fresh vegetables, and anything we can grow fresh and eat fresh… that same vegetable frozen seems a distant second place. However, you cannot have fresh corn in the winter…. and I’d rather have frozen corn than no corn.  So indeed, for those who use our cactus to help regulate their blood sugar, freezing may well be a very good option. They can put a small handful of cactus into some food they are cooking and be able to have an efficiency with preparation as well.

   Here is what our customer says about his recipes….

“I love to mix a few ounces of the fresh nopales chunks with a tablespoon of canola-oil mayo, a 1/2 tablespoon of indian masala powder, a tablespoon of TJs apple-cider vinegar, and a few dashes of pepper and dried tarragon flakes. Into the bowl, I cut up (with scissors) into small pieces, an ounce of meat, usually poultry or seafood. Like roast turkey or boiled baby octopus. Sometimes I’ll add a tablespoon of seeds or chopped nuts. E.g. sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, chopped pistachios. This is a seriously yummy little snack, with a lovely complex texture.

John, nopales is now a staple of my diet. Along with avocados, okra, and bitter melon. It’s hard for someone on a low carb diet–and who avoids supplements–to get enough Vitamin C in the diet. But these four foods offer a lot of Vitamin C. And a lot of other nutritional goodies, too. And with very few active carbs.

P.S. Nopales really does seem to help my control my blood sugars. “


   We’re happy to learn that some folks find our cactus to help them out in their control of blood sugars.  Not being a doctor, I am somewhat hesitant to mention the use of cactus to control Type II diabetes.  But I am of course always wanting to hear from anyone who has used our cactus to help themselves….

Teutonic Drums, Mythos and… Lenguas Romances

   Really now, when you put Ancient Northern European myths into a video, what better music than something with pounding Teutonic drums with their heavy beats laid over upon by Jews harp and Gregorian style chants in Latin…. and now just go ahead and add in the beautifully sexy sound of the Romanian language laid sugary-sweet onto the tracks… mouthing something that surely sounds like a heavy enticement…. yes, some things are the same in any language….   This song is actually a paen to ‘Vampire Love’, but the video compiled from the film ‘Merlin’ suits the overall feeling of wonder, excitement, and just a bit of a hint of creepy danger.

   A didgeridoo might suit this song as an additional instrument. 

~Corvus Corax~
‘Mille Anni Passi Sunt’




Ave Maria

From Wikipedia:  ““Ave Maria” is a popular and much recorded setting of the Latin text Ave Maria.Written by French Romantic composer Charles Gounod in 1859, “Ave Maria” consists of a melody superimposed over the Prelude No.1 in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier – Book I (BWV 846), composed by J.S.Bach some 137 years earlier, however there is an additional bar in the Gounod so as to smooth out a rough change in harmony in the prelude. The result is a remarkable juxtaposition of these short works by two unrelated composers that fits perfectly as a melody and accompaniment.”  


   One of the prettiest and most relaxing, transcendental versions is by the group ‘Celtic Women’.


  Pavarotti does a more vigorous less relaxing version… but still done in his inimitable classic style.


Bobby McFerrin uses his talent to show students how the composition was fit together.



Barbara Bonney does a great version which is sung in German.
Heavenly, ethereal…. like the voice of an angel.



   But of them all, none beat the beauty and depth of Jewel’s version…


Coincidentally, the next town over is named Santa Maria


Merry Christmas

A neighbor's Gate, decorated for Christmas

A neighbor's Gate, decorated for Christmas

The bells of St Clemens

Old English Nursery Rhyme

A church in Oceano California, Christmas eve, 2008
A church in Oceano California, Christmas eve, 2008

“Oranges and lemons,” rang the bells of St Clemens.
“You owe me three farthings!” rang the bells of St. Martin’s.
“When will you pay me?”, rang the Bells of St. Davey.
“When I grow rich!”, rang the Bells of Shoreditch.


  An interesting moral fable can be found at ‘The Bells of St. Clemens’