Wednesday, April 29, 2015



Revisiting the White House's Presidential China Sets, in Ascending Order of Flamboyance


Maysles and Apfel - whats not to love ?

Raves from the NYT

A ( other ) Night at the Opera

We hit the last of the MET IN HD operas for the season tonight. Two as a matter of fact, as both of these are short - you know you have heard this song a million times in your life - it was good to see where it came from. The second was better than the first, but both were enjoyable.


President and Mrs Obama hosted their eighth White House State Dinner this past Tuesday night , this time for Japan. I need to check and see if I have covered them all here on the k+b. This time with the added bliss of NEW WHITE HOUSE CHINA! ( and its not even my birthday. )

It is, or was - hopefully they are still there, cherry blossom time in DC, a long ago gift from the Japanese, the perfect time to welcome the Prime Minster and his wife.

Michele Obama chose this beautiful vibrant purple / violet gown by Japanese - American designer Tadashi Shoji


Earlier in the day both she and Mrs. Abe chose Monique Lhuillier for the welcoming ceremony

Mrs. Obama in a sunrise printed scuba coat and matching dress


The dinner for only 200 was held in the East Room of the White House , not in an attached tent - more personal ( and smart for DC spring weather ) Sticking with the cherry blossom theme, " the windows of 1600 Pennsylvania were decorated with crystal curtains meant to embody both springtime rain and the fleeting beauty of the areas cherry blossoms"

 The blue of Hawaii ( more on that to come ) with the pink of the cherry blossoms and orchids 
 mixed up center pieces for different tables

I love the modern use of the mirror here, you have to get a couple hundred people in your dining room the tables are going to look a little crowded - but I think it is beautiful . The pop of the red chop stick, along with the multiple hues of the flowers brings the table to life.


 Tuesdays dinner was the debut of the new OBAMA WHITE HOUSE CHINA - 

 From the Washington Post : At Tuesday’s state dinner for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the “good china” being used is finally the Obamas’ own.
The Obama state china service, 320 11-piece place settings made by Pickard China of Antioch, Ill., was introduced Monday at a packed media preview in the State Dining Room. So packed, in fact, there was concern in the crowd that some clumsy soul in the gaggle of TV cameras and pushy reporters might bump into the tables laden with dishes, delicate gold-rimmed stemware, and massive centerpieces of cherry blossoms and orchids.
The Obama china has been in the works for about a year. The $367,258 cost of the china, all 3,520 pieces, was paid for with private funds donated by the White House Historical Association’s White House Endowment Trust.
It joins a long line of gorgeous sets of china the first family has on hand, whether the glam Reagan red service made by Lenox or Lady Bird Johnson’s beloved state service depicting American flowers, designed by Tiffany & Co. and manufactured by Castleton China.
“The idea was to do a service that was representative of them and this moment in history, but it also needed to bridge between the other services so they could blend beautifully together,” said Michael S. Smith, the Obamas’ designer for the White House, who worked with Michelle Obama on the china. “We looked at the design collectively, rather than creating something that would only stand alone.”
According to William Allman, White House curator, the design gives a modern aesthetic to the china “while continuing to draw on historic and traditional elements.”
Smith said that he and the first lady spoke to the White House chefs and other staff about what shapes and sizes of plates and bowls would be welcome additions to the presidential china closet.
Meaningful references can be found throughout the settings. “Kailua Blue” appears on a number of the pieces, inspired by the bluish-green waters off Hawaii, the president’s home state. “We think it’s a color that food looks good on,” Smith said. There is also a bas-relief motif taken from an 1806 French dinner service used by James and Dolley Madison. The Obama china, Smith said, was designed to be flexible and coordinate well with the other state services for large gatherings.

It is hard to see in the photos, but the raised element design from the 1806 James and Dolly Madison French china is mimicked in the new Obama china.

I think it is very pretty and a lovely addition to the WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

( all of them )

You can even watch them all walk in if you have an hour to kill.


White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and Executive Pastry Chef Susan Morrison were joined by famed Japanese Chef Masaharu Morimoto who is on the Iron Chef and has a bunch of US restaurants. I am not sure where the custom of serving native foods to visiting heads of state started. I mean the Roosevelts gave the King and Queen of England hot dogs - this is a bit more classy .

Dinner Menu

Toro Tartare and Caesar Sashimi Salad
Smoked Salmon – Grilled Chicken – Koji
A little bit out there for sure - looks lovely on the new china. It is supposed to look like a gift - ready to be opened - lets go with it is a Japanese thing.

Vegetable Consommé En Croute and Shikai Maki
Bamboo Shoots – Wailea Hearts of Palm – Pineapple Tempura Cured Ham
Freeman Chardonnay “Ryo-fu” 2013

American Wagyu Beef Tenderloin
Spring Vegetables - Maui Onion Veal Jus Morlet Pinot Noir “Joli Coeur” 2010

( can't find pics of these online )
Silken Custard Cake
Kuromitsu Sauce – Fresh Fruit - Abekawa Mocha

A Sip of Tea
Matcha Strawberry Square – Sencha Tea Cup Tea and lemon Cakes – Sweet Tea Chocolates Iron Horse “Russian River Cuvee” 2007 


Following the dinner, The White House will host a State Dinner Performance featuring members of the film adaptation of the hit jukebox musical, Jersey Boys where they will perform songs from the film. Jersey Boys recently won several top honors in Japan for Best Foreign Language Film. The cast includes Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, and original Broadway Tony Award winner and member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, John Lloyd Young. They will be accompanied by Thomas Faragher. 

A PDF of the official WHITE HOUSE.GOV break down of the night
a good link

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The case ,  our case, my case - was heard at the highest court of the land this morning . Are Neil and I full fledged citizens of the USA ? We will find out in June. I was out this morning and did not get to follow along on C-SPAN and online and am still processing all that I have read and continue to read/ watch - we will get back to this asap

One thing I will share is HILLARY's Facebook profile picture:

NO - there is no real difference in the parties ....


and the ensuing afternoon

Today was our meeting with the oncologist - get the low down on radiation in your low down. I'm telling you these specialists with their nurses and PA's are really restoring my faith the the medical community. The exact opposite of the get them in get them out cattle call of a trip to your family doctor. Ours today could not have been more nice , spending almost an hour with us - going above and beyond answering questions , really reassuring us and AT LAST telling us what to to.

Neil is not a candidate at all for radiation treatment , and we will be going in for surgery in early July. Turns out with the new forms of surgery that the seeding and external radiation are for men who for what ever reason, health, age, mobility can not handle surgery . She explained more than even the last doctors did - even though we will be using them. More info when I get it.

She was a very kind lady from Shanghai who thought my accent, which I forget I have - was British.

 The view , again, from the parking deck of Highland Hospital

 That guy on that building in downtown Rochester

 Hit our summer home away from home to pick up the Episcopalian group tickets

 The ticket guy, whose name I never can remember - he was just the new Parker for a while, hut that was now , years ago - we did get a little Redwings goodie bag - always a nice touch.

 The Susan B Anthony / Fredrick Douglas Bridge

 What do most folks do after leaving their cancer doctor ? Take a walk around a lovely historic grave yard! It is not as weird as it sounds, they more or less use it as a park up in Rochester, and there are some beautiful vistas .
 Susan B Anthony's grave site - It is not just out by itself, like this photo looks
 its in a big Anthony family plot.
On election day folks come and stick their I VOTED stickers on here-
Im more that sure she loves that

 I loved this tree

 Then we had lunch with the mens
 A so-so burger. I wanted Indian buffet, but was over ruled

and hit the new Wegmans.

All out and about and home before late afternoon.

Fraternity Parties were Never the Same


were announced this morning.

Some star power this year, as they are bound to give one to Bradley Cooper, nominated for being shirtless in THE ELEPHANT MAN . Also, Helen Mirren in THE AUDIENCE ( which I really really want to get down to NYC and see if I can - not sure if all our medical mishaps will allow me to Would love to see her win another award , already having the Oscar, for playing the same character , QEII.

The show is JUNE 7th on CBS hosted this year by nominated pixie Kristin Chenoweth and everyones best pal, Alan Cumming.

Thats the way it is

I didn't have the tv on yesterday - not sure what I was doing . I came upstairs , sat down and clicked it on around four - and stayed glued the rest of the night, " this again", makes me a horrible person , check.
 " SOMETHING has to be done " , shouted the masses into the wind - for what the 5000th time. This burning city just cements what ever your opinion was of the other times we watched. The reasons/ fixes are too much for our little blog, so lets deal with what we are good at : TELEVISION, and the fall of the American Empire.

I think my tv is just on MSNBC when it comes on - it is what is my background noise all day long - but on days like this they are just intolerable . As things were getting started , before the CVS was set on fire - the talking heads on afternoon MSNBC were saying the pre rioters were just " kids up to some hi jinx" or some paraphrase of that - condescending to every party concerned , and then onto how horrible you / I should feel for not being a downtrodden inter city African American.  Note to programming - the time to dig into root causes and the after math of Emmit Till ( really someone went there ) is NOT as the city is flames - maybe in the cool smokey light of day.

 As the excuses and gilt flew, I went up one channel to the root of all evil FOX NEWS. I have said this before and Ill day it again , Shepard Smith has got some deep low down dirt on Rodger Alies. That horrible , bottom of any barrel show THE FIVE was on - and they are sitting around in their hoods shouting burn baby burn and the constant BE AFRAID OF BLACK PEOPLE schtick - cutting to Mr Smith for the BREAKING NEWS!!!  - and he just gave back truth  to the flat earth set on that show , giving the best studio reporting of any I saw that day. I will look for some video of it. This got to be too much after a bit and we settled on CNN for the night.

SHOCK! real reporting on an event with out a point of view - what the hell. Real journalists on the ground at great risk for a story. MSMNC and FOX were only going with the local Baltimore feed from a helicopter. Just some amazing/tragic television, some fool cutting a fire hose on live tv- bottles rocks thrown at reporters. I dont watch much CNN - it is too gimmicky - but may switch over.

What little I saw of the news tonight post PBS was just more of the same - Chris Hayes being all hip and down with the brothas on the street ( at one point the Pride of Brown did say CHILL BRA ' tonight )  and Fox just telling the folks to just stop being black and poor - and you know, old folks BE AFRAID.

To hand crafted beers made in local breweries, to yoga, to yogurt ...

Rice and Beans with Cheese.

And it was all yellow.

 The back yard is in its pre iris glory, with all the different jonquils and daffodils in bloom.
Deer dont eat them, only the trees and tulips.

SUNDAY NIGHT TV - better late than never

Caught up in all sorts of things - just getting around to this. 


Still batting 1000 for getting that tear to roll down my cheek - yeah, the neighborhood showed up for Dr. Turner with what ever they had - BOOM! Religion everywhere with the arrival of the Christian Scientists to Poplar. I do hope we have not see the last of CUTE Priest guy.


Third show of this season - out of what? 10 - I really don't know, 12? What ever, it was another " setting the scene show " nothing major happening - really until the last scene, which again was a set up for what is to come. Keeping with the theme all of Kings Landing was dealing with fanatical religion - They must have called the midwives. There is really no way the pace can't pick up this coming week.


Broke my streak on this one and stayed awake the entire hour - still having the same trouble of exactly which family is who - relationships, but this week was the best so far. Man, that Anne Boylen was a real bitch - I'd have chopped off her head to.

Just like the TONY nominated stage production - the costumes here are just the best maybe ever on tv. Bright and sunny week ahead of me so there really won't be any time go re watch all of these, but I am going to.

Came across a really good FOUR HOUR ( makes me very happy ) BBC Documentary on " the real " Henry Vlll


Moving right along - this one made me all nostalgic! Fast paced and with Trudy Campbell - this was the best of the short season yet. Only three left, or as they keep saying two before the final. No real idea how they are going to pull this off - but man, I hope it is satisfying . Good-bye at last to Sterling Cooper. It is 1970 - just as the death of Henry VIII marked the end of one world and the arrival of our modern one - the age of small companies is over- bigger and better is the only way now. CORPORATE AMERICA has arrived.
How , or can Don fit in as a cog in a big ass machine - even with COCA COLA. But you know what this means - Don Draper is in charge of Coca Cola in 1971. He gave us THIS :

Peggy deals with the coming age of machines with some pangs of what if - hopefully HOPEFULLY getting closer to Stan. Joan's white knight still around . I do hope we get more of Betty before we say good bye forever, but the show really is better when it is all inter office politics and goings on.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Daily Koda

Swamp Koda
Had a busy morning and then fell into the horrible things going on in Baltimore. So much going on too. Busy morning tomorrow, but hopefully can be here later on....

I Clicked

I do my best not to click the links at the bottom of news stories, any stories really. For the most part they are just hit generators and the info is never what is promised. I also really question my own browsing habits from the profile that the powers that be have of me - really , I do not now, nor do I any time in the future see plaque psoriasis as a problem for me - and yet I see 20 ads a day for a treatment.....
In the same vein,  one afternoon like 3 months ago I was looking at online dresses with Dahn for the upcoming wedding and STILL  - I get every BUY ME NOW from non MOTB looking dresses. The fact that people think this is all private is too laughable.

That rant aside, THIS was a very cool click site.

( and I am not even a pro football fan, at all
- more a fan of good design -
that said, changing any college football helmet ever makes the baby Jesus weep )

Sunday, April 26, 2015

man and superman

I just watched, well sped watched this again the other night - it is just a bad film - and the color was a part of it.

Why is it no one can get Superman right in the movies?

Won't You Be My Neighbor.

Our neighbor came over early afternoon all in a panic, her pup Fletcher was missing! She has two dogs, Giant Lilly was still in the back yard, but Fletcher the Gordon Setter was no place to be found. He has never gotten out before, so everyone was worried. His breed just get laser focused on things, so I am sure that is what happened, rabbit, fox, deer - something was out in the park and he went to get it.

Neil printed out some flyers and I put them up all up and down the trail and at the Mendon Market Turns out that someone found him right after he got out, but a ways down the road, and was walking around with him looking to find anyone else looking , so by the time Koda and I were riding around looking and calling, he was already in Honeoye Falls doggie jail ( really just the local vet ) , where he has to stay till morning, due to it being Sunday.

So a happy ending to a trying morning!

Rhubarb and Rosewater Eton Mess - The Delicious Miss Dahl - BBC Two

Saturday, April 25, 2015


In case you missed it, or have a life and are not watching C-span at 10pm on a Saturday night, here are the POTUS remarks. As funny as you will ever get.


First Lady Michele Obama in Zac Posen for the 2015 White House Corespondents Dinner

This is not a good photo, and I am having some trouble at this early hour finding good ones, they will all be from the reception pre game , because she was being the head table the enter time she was at the dinner.

Some folks were not digging the tight curls, but I very much did, gave the silver sparkly dress an almost 20's vibe. 
Also, I really loved these flowers tonight!

More on the dinner tomorrow when folks are sober and posting better pics.


Nice day today, still a little chilly. A tiny bit of allergy 2.0 as the dizzies set in today, but were gone by this evening - should be the last round of the monster this year.

Koda had a big after noon as he showed up at the little league snack shack just as they were shutting down and used his massive cuteness powers to wrangle a burger patty.