Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Welcome to the 3rd Annual CafeAnonsBall!

Welcome to the Third Annual CafeAnonsBall! It's Shrove Tuesday and so we're flipping the pancakes and sending them out to your tables where there's pitchers of chai and butterbeer for all.

Sit back as we spin the tunes from our First Annual CafeAnonsBall.

Some of you may not be able to pick up the tunes - we are able to pick them up ourselves on the new Safari 4.0, but Firefox seems to be perplexed. We'll try to make that up to you as we go along!

Folks are asking us about what our pancake recipe will be for this year. We found a really good one from the Baltimore Sun that looks pretty good, so here it is: - just in time!

Blue Moon Pancakes

(Makes 4 to 6 five-inch pancakes or 12 to 14 silver-dollar pancakes)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
2 to 3 tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients and stir until lumps are gone. Ladle onto a hot (350 degrees) griddle coated with vegetable oil or clarified butter.

If you would like to add extra ingredients, such as chocolate chips or berries, sprinkle them on the wet side of the pancake now, while the underside cooks.

Look for bubbles on the wet surface (a sign that the air is cooking out of the pancakes), or use a spatula to peek underneath, making sure the pancake is golden brown. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve with syrup, whipped cream and more berries or chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Here's the song that a particular Episcopal (TEC) bishop and his wife and I sang together as we wondered back along the nearly-deserted Canterbury streets to the Undisclosed Location, after a the small celebration in the upper room of the historic 14th century pub The Parrot, marking the end of the last Lambeth Conference.

Thoughts turn to New Orleans, of course. Here comes an order of pancakes as we listen:

That's Lonnie Donegan and The Battle for New Orleans, circa 1959. Here's Wiki:
Lonnie Donegan MBE (29 April 1931 – 3 November 2002) was a skiffle musician, possibly the most famous of them all, with more than 20 UK Top 30 hits to his name. He is also known as the King of Skiffle and is often cited as a large influence on the generation of British musicians who became famous in the 1960s.
So what is Skiffle music?

Skiffle is a type of folk music with jazz, blues and country influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments such as the washboard, tea chest bass, kazoo, cigar-box fiddle, musical saw, comb and paper, and so forth, as well as more conventional instruments such as acoustic guitar and banjo. Skiffle and jug band music are closely related. Skiffle was particularly popular in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. Skiffle's use of country, folk and blues influences mixed with a much faster tempo, electric instrumentation and wild, energetic performances has led some people to suggest it as an early form of rock & roll, very similar to rockabilly.

Skiffle first became popular in the early 1900s in the United States, starting in New Orleans. The Oxford English Dictionary states that skiffle was a slang term for "rent party."

Originally, skiffle groups were referred to as spasm bands. By the 1920s and 1930s, a form of skiffle was being played in Louisville and Memphis. Skiffle's roots are also found in the jazz bands of the 1940s and 1950s. The informal, humorous style of skiffle made it twice a precursor of rock and roll, first in the United States in the early years and again in Great Britain in more recent times

So now we know!

We're in a party mood so here's a shout-out to The Famous Lab Partner and Ice Cream Scooper at the Downtown Honolulu Baskin & Robbins:

Oops, just realized that he's speaking to a joint session of Congress in a bit. My, times have changed. With that in mind, here is a great video by one of the president's classmates from high school in Honolulu remembering Barack Obama's Hawaiian roots. I love the part about the old Cinerama Movie Theatre where I too must have seen Star Wars fourteen times over the year that it played there - it was the Hawaii-version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show:

So we celebrate bipartisanship at the Cafe - so there you go. On the other hand, we're not taking down the Ronald Reagan framed photo over the BabyBlueCafe Jukebox.

We've now got Fox up live online, waiting for the president to enter the floor of the House of Representatives for the Joint Session of Congress. I like doing it from there because we can get the live feed without all the talking heads.

I have never heard so many people wanting to escort the president in with all this showing off from the front. Just let him in and let's get on with it.

But let's not get cranky. Time to whip up another batch of pancakes and butterbeer.

That dear, Justice Ginsberg gets a special round of applause. Brave lady indeed.

But the President is not on time. How interesting. He's on Hawaiian-time, of course! That's okay. Shaka, brah.

You know, Congress isn't exactly acting as though we have a global crisis that rivals the Great Depression going on. They seem pretty happy with themselves, pleased as punch and carrying on as if - as if, well, it's Mardi Gras!

All right, it's been ten minutes and still no president. These guys are going to start ordering out pizza.

9:12 p.m. He's coming in now and getting lots of hugs and kisses as he makes his way through the United States Congress and Senate up to the platform to make his first speech to the joint session. He's sat through a few of these when he was the junior senator from Illinois though. Got to feel weird to be up behind the podium now, looking out at that remarkable sea of faces.

What I can't quite figure out is why would he give a speech of this kind on the night of Mardi Gras?

GEEK MOMENT: I have just discarded Safari 4 (beta). Thought I'd give it a try, but it seems to be at war with Firefox. Don't know what sort of internal conflicts those two web browsers are having, but we're not going to have any of it. So, we're back to Safari 3.2.1.

"It's not about helping banks, it's about helping people," the president says. But Mr. President - where do we put our money? It is about banks acting like banks - and not casinos - so they can help people. We know exactly what "long-term investments" mean. It means Higher Taxes. And who pays the higher taxes? We do. Let's not talk about what the government will do but what the American people will do. It's not the same thing.

We do not say that government "plays no role" - no one says that. That's a terrible thing to say because it's not correct. Government plays a "limited role," sir.

He says "we" when he means "government." Someone needs to put out a new Obama Dictionary.

Oh, I'm not feeling very bipartisan anymore. Martin, hand me your bottle of Old Ogden's please.

Did he say "re-imagined?"

"None of this will come without cost," says the President. You can say that again. And then he changes the subject to talk about everyone losing their homes and their health insurance.

Now we're going to cure cancer and beat the Chinese. What more can one ask for?

The Congress is nuts. They're just nuts. It will be interesting to see what the markets do tomorrow. We're all doomed. Give me the bottle back, Martin.

Just reminded on Facebook that our Kingdom is not in recession. You can have the bottle back, Martin.

At least he's not cynical. He is trying to sound like lefty Reagan. He's got the Reaganesque citzen up in the balcony with the First Lady and everything.

Reagan used to be lefty, though. It might be wise for the president to review what happened to Reagan to change his mind.

On that note, it's time for Dylan:

As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vines
I was passing by yon cool and crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through this weary world of woe
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
No one on earth would ever know

They say prayer has the power to help
So pray from the mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I'm trying to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain't going well

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
I'll burn that bridge before you can cross
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
They'll be no mercy for you once you've lost

Now I'm all worn down by weepin'
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry
If I catch my opponents ever sleepin'
I'll just slaughter them where they lie

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through the world mysterious and vague
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walking through the cities of the plague

The whole world is filled with speculation
The whole wide world which people say is round
They will tear your mind away from contemplation
They will jump on your misfortune when you're down

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Eatin' hog eyed grease in hog eyed town
Heart burnin' – still yearnin'
Someday you'll be glad to have me around

They will crush you with wealth and power
Every waking moment you could crack
I'll make the most of one last extra hour
I'll avenge my father's death then I'll step back

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Hand me down my walkin' cane
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Got to get you out of my miserable brain

All my loyal and much loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that's been long abandoned
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
My mule is sick, my horse is blind
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Thinkin' ‘bout that gal I left behind

It's bright in the heavens and the wheels are flying
Fame and honor never seem to fade
The fire's gone out but the light is never dying
Who says I can't get heavenly aid?

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Carrying a dead man's shield
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' with a toothache in my heel

The suffering is unending
Every nook and cranny has it's tears
I'm not playing, I'm not pretending
I'm not nursing any superfluous fears

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Walkin' ever since the other night
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' ‘til I'm clean out of sight

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, hot summer lawn
Excuse me, ma'am I beg your pardon
There's no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Up the road around the bend
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
In the last outback, at the world's end

B. Dylan 2006

Obviously we need to keep our eyes fixed on the Kingdom and not on this "re-imagined" Magic Kingdom we just spent the last hour hearing about. It will be interesting to see what the markets are like in the morning.

The songs above are three performances by Bob Dylan. The first one is from his film, Masked & Anonymous called Cold Iron Bound. The second is a performance at the Grammys of Cry a While. And the third is a masterpiece that concludes his Modern Times album. It is a song for our time, called Ain't Talking. The lyrics, poetry if there was ever Dylan poetry, is posted above. It is cataclysmic, but note that he ends with a major chord.

10:24 p.m. Ah, here's the next president of the United States.

What happened to David Brooks? Someone, please tell me.

Time for a musical interlude.

Wish we could open a franchise of the cafe here. Just imagine a David Blue Memorial Pinball Machine and plenty of pancakes, pies, butterbeer, chai, and Ogden's Old Firewhiskey are those particularly litigious days. Or perhaps a joint-effort with our friends across the Potomac might just do the trick.

It might come in handy, though, that the UN is just steps away. Just in case.

Of course, dear Jim Naughton and I did discover years ago that - whatever else happens - we will always have Potter. So, to follow the now annual tradition, we dedicate the next song to him and the gang across the Potomac, the theme that in spite of our travails, we still must keep the sense of humor. Here you go, sir, as promised:

Uh oh ... And this isn't so good either. Interesting reactions to the speeches, but still can't figure out how the pod-people took over David Brooks. Someone send him Out West for a while to round up cattle and chop wood and stand in line at the WalMart.

Still trying to figure out why President Obama would give a speech to a joint-session of Congress on Mardi Gras. Of course, things didn't exactly go so well earlier today in New Orleans, either. People are either eating cake or pancakes or twirling their beeds, or have gone to bed early or have perhaps over-indulged - not exactly a rip-roaring day to hold a big speech. It wasn't a State of the Union speech either. It's just, well, weird.

Be that as it may, it's getting close to midnight so it's time to sign off with a song or two to dance the night away before we pick up where we left off tomorrow.

So let's just do a shout-out to the guys on Wall Street. We have no idea what their names are either - and perhaps that's the way they want it.



Anonymous said...


I left a message over at Stand Firm during a horrible war of words between the Stand Firm group and a liberal in order to lighten the day...and I was forbidden from the site. It was to help the group reach something other than hate {or anger}...and take their hearts to the "things if God". I was called an "advertisement!" I was a respected customer and poster of theirs and even gave money to them less than three years ago.

You Go Baby Blue!!!

Thanks for the invite! I come here quite often...as I did their site.

Rock On! Just listened to the Anglican Blogger song!

Milton Finch

Unknown said...

Perhaps we should get you a bottle of Old Ogden's Fire Whiskey for ya, Milton.


Anonymous said...

I think I have posted "anon" once or twice here, BB. ;) I think it's totally strange that Barry should be speaking live on TV this evening. Couldn't he have waited a few days or done it last week?

Anyway, I'm sitting here in Texas, a displaced Michigander (no, not from the now infamous "U.P.") missing out on paczkis. (And if you check your Facebook, you can probably figure out who I am! ;)

Peace . . . and paczkis for all! (And I'll have a cinnamon dolce latte with an extra shot!)