Tag Archives: New York Times

The Return of “The Far Side”

“The Far Side” website, which will post a “Daily Dose” of Gary Larson’s classic cartoons, launched yesterday. The site includes weekly sets of themed strips and doodles from Larson’s sketchbooks.

Best of all, Larson told the New York Times that “I’m looking forward to slipping in some new things every so often.”

If you’re familiar with Larson and “The Far Side”, I don’t need to say anything more.

If you’re not, click that link right now! You won’t be disappointed.


You may be wondering why this post isn’t loaded with examples of Gary Larson’s brilliant art. It’s because I’m honouring the artist’s wishes, which he explains in A Letter From Gary Larson on the new website.

The Magnificent Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter as “Lucille Bluth” in Arrested Development


The word “fan”, of course, comes from “fanatic”. I’ve been a fanatical follower of Arrested Development since its first episode, in 2003. I thought—I still think—that the original three seasons of the show were the among the funniest, most brilliantly written comedies I’ve ever seen on American television.

That’s part of the reason I was so appalled and disgusted by the patronizing and dismissive treatment of Jessica Walter during the recent New York Times interview with members of the show’s cast.

In 45 minutes, they managed to trash 15 years of goodwill.

2017 Cookery Project — Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

The Silver Palate Cookbook, by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso, was probably the most influential general cookbook of the 80s, and 35 years later, it’s still one of the essentials.  Just last March, Bon Appétit published an article titled “How the Silver Palate Cookbook Changed Our Cooking”.

The signature recipe from the cookbook was the one for Chicken Marbella. Making Chicken Marbella involves marinating chicken overnight in a mixture of green olives, capers, prunes, honey, white wine, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic, bay leaves*, and other stuff that momentarily skips my mind. It isn’t really complicated, but it results in a complex melding of the ingredients. The taste reminded me of Tzimmes, the stew I’d made a couple of months ago, and when I did a little research, I found that, like Tzimmes, Chicken Marbella has become a favourite meal served during Passover.

The New York Times published a brief history of the Silver Palate on the occasion of the cookbook’s 25th anniversary. You can find the recipe for Chicken Marbella at the bottom of the article.


I’ve decided to start rating these experiments on a five-star scale, The boldface entry is my evaluation of the current dish.

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.


*When my brother and sister-in-law last visited, they brought me some wonderful fresh bay leaves from the plant in their backyard in California. I used the last of them when I made Beef Bourguignon last month, so I trekked up to Giant to buy a jar from the McCormick spice rack. I was surprised to see that the 0.12 ounce jar, containing 8-10 bay leaves costed $8.49. When I looked closer at the label, I got a bigger surprise.

At that price, a pound of bay leaves would cost $754.67. I think it might be time to buy acreage someplace that has a Mediterranean climate, and start a little herb farm to call my own.

Don Herron and the Search for The Maltese Falcon

For a long time, The Maltese Falcon was my favourite movie.  I’ve seen it more times than I’ve seen any other film—in theatres and on tablets, on late-night TV and on videotape, on PCs and at movies-on-the green.

Commemorative Plaque in San Francisco

Commemorative Plaque in San Francisco

Don Herron lives in San Francisco, where The Maltese Falcon takes place.  Since 1977 he’s been leading the Dashiell Hammett Tour, which is now the longest-running literary tour in the US.   The three-mile, four-hour walking tour takes Sam Spade fans to the buildings where Hammett lived and wrote, and to the key locations from the books and the film.

The New York Times gave the tour a nice write-up last year.

Herron leads tours for groups by appointment, and for anybody who shows up in San Francisco’s Civic Center at noon on selected Sundays in May, September, and October.  This year, he’s leading tours every Sunday in October.

I’ve never taken one, but my brother David, who once considered renting Hammett’s (and Spade’s) apartment at 891 Post Street, has.  He saw the Buzzcocks live before I did, too.  But I’m not envious.

Sure I’m not.


Here’s the original 1941 trailer for that movie about The Bird:

“Mad Men” Season 7 Advertisement

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To get the right look for the design of the Season 7 Mad Men ad, Matthew Weiner turned to 84-year-old Milton Glaser, who was himself one of the great advertising graphics men of the 1960s. The New York Times has a good story about it.

You may not know Milton Glaser’s name, but you’ve seen his work.  Here are two examples:

milton-glaser

miltonglaser_dylan