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Michael Landrum

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  1. To Wilma Roumel, my original landlord at Colonial Village, who took a chance on me (in the dark shadows of 9/11) just over twelve years ago, when no one else would, and who remained a growing friend throughout her long illness--and to whom I hope I remained a source of pride and support in return as long as her diminishing awareness allowed (while hoping she was never aware of what her legacy had become).
  2. Despite the name confusion, and perhaps the format confusion, Ray's To The Third serves all of the original Ray's Hell Burger menu--with perhaps the absence of Epoisse as a cheese option. I know it may seem lesser due to all of the additional options, but trust me, it is the same product and the same original staff producing the same burger. That being said, I know it is not the same. It is not the same, it will never be the same, and it breaks my heart too. On a positive note, we continue to, as we always have, offer a significant discount to all military, police and first responders while seated at a table. And without change since 2007, we offer a $5 grab and go to all uniformed personnel--Burger of choice, side and drink. I agree, Kibbee Nayee, that we can do better, and I strive 14 hours a day to do so. As to your son, I can not imagine a greater source of pride for any man or family, and he does us all an honor which we neither can imagine nor do we deserve. An officer in The Marine Corps is the greatest any American can be. A rifleman or a non-com even better.
  3. Well, truth be told, my coinage of "pas de folie a deux" alone should make the post un-deletable...
  4. Great news! (Well, for me at least...): We can finally move forward and complete the long-stalled project on K Street--which some of you may or may not have been aware of--which has been in a weird sort of limbo for some time now. You see, back in November/December 2012 we were about 90% done with the project--everything but the cosmetics and furniture and cooking equipment pretty much--when during our inspections for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing phase of the construction (the heavy-lifting, heavy-duty infrastructure stuff) it was discovered the landlord had not obtained permits or inspections for the construction of the twelve story Fire-Smoke-and Grease Safety-Rated Duct which runs through the residential complex above us. This had the unfortunate consequence, unintended, I am sure, of rendering our work un-inspectable and un-finishable. On the subject of potential consequences, however, I can assure you that this was nowhere near the first of my concerns... I think, if I remembered or understood their explanation correctly (although I am no legal expert), it turns out they either forgot to check if permits were required before they built it or didn't think they were so went ahead and built it without them. An innocent mistake, I am sure, if it can even be called a mistake at all. In any case, that prevented our completed work at that stage from even being inspected (as I mentioned above), let alone approved, which made any further work on our end either impossible or unfeasible to the point of impossibility. The great news is that just recently, they have generously agreed to install a vertical duct which meets all the code and engineering requirements and specifications, after which in no time flat we should be able to knock out all the finish and decor work--and best of all, with no threat or danger to the residents above!!! Another big plus for me, is that all of that construction was paid for in advance, in cash, and oodles of money to the landlord too in leasehold costs that did not foresee this pas de folie a deux--over a half a million dollars all told, just rotting away in the meantime, which can now finally be put to productive use. I wish I could say more about the final concept, ...errr, menu, but until I know what volume the engineering specs of the built-out duct will allow, code-wise, I can not commit to an exact concept, ...errr, menu. I'll know by whether Don let's this thread stand or not whether there is interest here in further updates on this project as they occur--and if not, well then, see you soon on K!
  5. I could not be happier for Elliot and Nick, and I could not be happier for any legacy to be passed into better hands (comma splice and dangling participle for all you prescriptive grammarians arguing on other threads), but still: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZcA3kiaQb0
  6. If ever a time cried out for a hero, that time is now. Where, oh where, is this brave jongleur to weave his magic healing of song and bring nature back into it's sweet harmony? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlAoHaQbJkI I think we can safely say that the debate between who the more prophetic of folk singers was, Donovan or Dylan, is now unequivocally settled.
  7. Sorry Don, I guess I just assumed that more people would automatically make the connection to this, musically: Maybe I just grew up with too many Gulag stories in my head.
  8. "People Obsessed With The Piano" for 500, Alex: As an added bonus, and to tie into another thread, a $100 GC to anyone who comes up with a passable translation.[Editor's Note: Six incomprehensible posts merged together, and three apparently completely erroneous attempts at using Google Translate deleted - ML, for those of us Nasty Goys, could you at least tell us what this is so we can have some sort of clue? Piano-obsessed, yes, but it is my musical medium and it's possible for someone to have a stab at comprehending it without having attended Hebrew School for ten years. This, despite Gould, Heifitz, and Horowitz all having been Jewish. To an average reader (at least without further guidance), some of these videos are akin to watching a 1950s Israeli version of Hee Haw. The following paragraph is a start, but what in the name of Elohim *is* all this stuff - how about a one-paragraph footnote for each, preferably not written under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms? DR] And for any one interested in cultural history, the Banai's are kinda like the Andrew Sisters, but like over three generations. In fact, I think there was a great documentary from a while back called "All My Banai'm" which is a great play on words between bnai'im, which means "builders" and bna'im, which means "sons" or "offspring". Believe it or not, "Lehakat Zahal" is one of the hardest units to get into, and seeing one of their shows is just one of the interminable tortures one must endure as a soldier. Check that, probably THE most interminable torture... The girls being so hot just made it worse... For example: Or: Wait, what is Ashton Kutchner doing there? Now I think I am in love. How did they get Eric Rohmer to direct this? He does do a great song, Fathers and Sons (Credit to Turgenov): Poor girl, doesn't know she is singing about something horrible happening to her.
  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAa0e7apG20 I am so sad to realize that what I always thought was the most beautiful line in this song: "Hetzi olam b'tochak mitkayam (Inside of you half of the world exists, or Half of the whole world is there inside you)" is really "Hetzi olam b'dochek mitkayam (Half the world is pushed up on itself, or Half the world lives crammed together)". I will go back to believing the first version in my mind, a love song from father and son to a mother who is not there, as shown in the video.
  10. I am so going to such a special hell for this, but... Man do I wish my girlfriend's hands were that small!
  11. And if it helps to convince you Don, just think of it as something you are already comfortable with--simply put, you could be the youporn of food, wine and dining.
  12. Don Rockwell, the individual, DonRockwell.com, the (relatively) open discourse forum, and the incipient dcdining.com are, collectively, the single most valuable food, dining, culture and community resource this town has ever--or will ever--see. However, it has lost its ability to revolutionize, democratize, innovate, stimulate, and engage the passionate dining, committed farmer and producer, foodways explorer, superlative home cook, wine and drink enthusiast (at all levels), and quality restaurant professional communities, having lost out to the "reach" of Yelp and Eater, the shamelessness of PoP Harvard comma and the unbreakable hegemony of Tom Sietsema. I also fear it will not be able to sustain relevance or viability without the total destruction of Don himself. My suggestion would be to do something totally radical, which would outstrip all of the other players, and which would create an immensely monetizable, entirely revolutionary model for passionate local food and dining coverage, which would also feed into the permanence and vitality of this site, capitalizing on and seizing the opportunity to innovate based on an emerging technology and an already culturally dominant milestone which has been strangely overlooked in the dining, foodways, oeno-agricultural and restaurant worlds. That is, create a youtube channel, built off of and linked to this site, with interviews with chefs, line cooks, dishwashers, field trips to wineries farms and brewing/distilling facilities, cooking demos, short TED-like talks by the prodigious community of experts here, videographed memoirs of Joe H,, Eric Z., Yannick Cam, drink demos,mini documentaries on all of the subjects we discuss here every day, in short. Content could be created by anyone and curated by Don, with or without Don as a participant. Thierry Thiesse with Don and Mark in the fields of Champagne or filming a degorgement? Awesome! Cathal in the kitchen--or training for a kickboxing tournament? Who wouldn't watch? Sean Mike getting slapped in the face by a sorority girl at Mad Rose? Viral! RJ and crew gearing up for Sturgis? How long has it been since this site was about assless chaps? Too long, I say!!! Not just words about Ted Drewes versus some other place, but a short video with commentary and side-by-side comparisons. Turn Don's reach (and that of this community he has built), connections, inexhaustible fields of knowledge (what caused Samuel Johnson's dyspepsia? I bet he would know) and the awesome power of this community into the new dominant technology of Youtube and other web-based channels, and there will be no limit to what he can achieve and where this can go. If not, someone else will be the Steve Shaw or Tim Zagat of that medium and all of it's limitless potential--the only one I know worthy of that, and with the depth and breadth of knowledge and passion to pull that off, is Don. Two-to-three minute video segments with poignant, incisive curating and commentary by an open-sourced team of passionate experts, professional and self-taught, is what the world wants right now. And this site can remain as the vibrant, discursive record of it all. Plus, each title of key word in each video would increase search results and cross-pollination either exponentially or by orders of magnitude. Say I were to demo a Dover Sole being served table-side, just how many searchable and cross searchable elements would that one thing contain?
  13. Note to those still keeping track, expert or amateur, or the even fewer who don't become automatically sick or disinterested at any and all things related to Ray's and/or its owner: The default judgement referenced above was set aside for failure to serve proper notice of the hearing, and an actual hearing with both parties involved has been scheduled for June 6 in General District Court, unless it is joined to our prior, pre-existing Claim filed in Circuit Court back in November 2012. I've often wondered, when in regards to reputation and integrity, what the connection between the words "speculation" and "speculum" is...
  14. Unless you are a celebrity chef housed in a luxury hotel. Then you receive an automatic 3 stars and the obligatory fawning, gushing and slavishly striving-to-matter praise. The quality of the steak, in these instances, is somehow irrelevant. (Why is it that whenever a celebrity chef is involved, or even the rumor of one, Tom S. turns into Sally Fields at the Oscars?). I myself have enjoyed some excellent, and excellently prepared, steaks and prime rib at Monty's--far superior to what I have been served at Bourbon, J&G, and, of late, sadly BLT (I thought they did some things really great there previously). Even more so, I have enjoyed the warm and engaging atmosphere and hospitality--again, quite unlike at the above-mentioned places. (Of course, for many of those who matter, they're the ones who know what they are doing and who do it right). Monty's does a great job across the board, and the loyalty and enthusiasm of their fervent regular crowd, night after night many of the same people, speaks more deservedly and more truly of their work than this review.
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