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Friday July 11th, 2008

The Book of Morons

   I don't let my mouth say nothing my head can't stand.
The Prophet Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong

Hi folks,

Prime Minister Rudd has donned his art critic hat once again over yet another ‘children in art’ incident. Rudd is beginning to resemble John Howard more and more lately. But I guess he’s the best we can hope for. Kind of a transition between a blockhead Pinocchio and a Real Boy. Art Monthly Australia used a picture of a semi-naked six-year-old girl on the cover of its July edition in protest against the treatment of artist Bill Henson. Kevin Rudd says he can't stand artwork that depicts naked children. All I can say is: ’Kevin, stay out of the Sistine Chapel!’ The girl – and her parents, her legal guardians – approve. And if it’s not illegal, then it’s a matter of taste, Kev, so either change the friggin’ law, or Shaddap You Face, and leave artists, who understand these sensitive matters, to do their work. Why don’t you make yourself useful, instead -  and replace that stained glass window up above from that Catholic Church? That looks a bit suss to me.

Well, it’s official. June 2 has been declared Italian Independence Day. (Emperor Napoleon III, of France, had previously been the true sovereign of Rome for twenty years until 1815!) Here’s the proclamation:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2, 2008, as Italian Independence Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day by celebrating the contributions of Italians and Italian Americans to our Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second. GEORGE W. BUSH, Grand Bacalla of the USA .

US readers might like to pop in to the Order of the Sons of Italy Lodge in Boca Raton, Florida, for a celebratory glass of grappa. Leonardo da Vinci Lodge #2841. This is the first year of the newly formed lodge which is now the fastest growing Sons of Italy lodge in South Florida. Under the list of lodge boosters, I found this intriguing couple: Joseph & Josephine Dolce!

-  Joseph and Josephine?
Eat your heart out, Napoleon!  


The episode of Melbourne Channel Nine’s THE SINGING BEE – the one where I close the show with a ten piece band, including New Orleans style brass, grand finale ‘live’ version of Shaddap You Face – is going to air next Thursday July 17th, at 8:30 pm.  I’m in good company in this second series with Daryl Braithwaite, Ross Wilson, John Paul Young, Deborah Conway and Grace Knight. Tune in and sing-a-long with the bouncing meat-a ball. Hey!

Parrot Sings Queen of the Night Aria
(thanks to WaylandN)

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 1
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.


hiya joe,
sorry i've been out of touch.  we were on the road and didn't have much access to communications devices! but at least i'm having fun reading back issues of the news letter. . .
 . . .anyway, speaking of "my home ain't in the hall of fame", i'm proud to tell you that my band, "prairie oyster's” home is, in fact, about to be in the hall of fame, as we have just been told we are to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association hall of fame during country music week this fall.
i don't really think i'll be moving from my house here in toronto's little india, though.  it's a nice award, but it won't pay for any plumbing repairs around here...
 . . . and hearing about jonathan edwards makes me think of this---this weekend my good old pals, sylvia tyson, gordie lightfoot and i are going to hugh's room here in toronto ( . .  where jonathan edwards plays when he comes here), to hear a special night with pete seeger, who is almost 100 years old and still playing, and his grandson who has a band.  i can't even begin to imagine the old folkies we'll see there!
. . . and hearing about albums named after songs, this happened to my very talented friend shirley eikhard--she'd been writing great songs for years (along with her terrific singing and playing), but never gotten a really good cut.  then it looked as if anne murray was going to record one of her tunes.  anne decided not to record the tune, but used the title as her album title!!  burn!!!   but it turned out okay, because pretty soon after that, bonnie raitt recorded shirley's "something to talk about", and had a huge-o hit with it.   when i told shirley "congrats", her response was, "...aaah, that old song--it's like nine years old...".  and i said to her, "for crying out loud, shirley, everybody else in the world except you doesn't know that...!"    aren't we musicians a wacky bunch?!?  
. . .i can't imagine that that spray toilet doesn't, in reality, end up distributing some degree of all its users intestinal flora pretty much everywhere one wouldn't want it to be.  like all over the stall.   every single goofy modern no-touchy loo device does that. At this point, road rat that i am, i defend myself against bizarre automated public toilet devices by carrying a bottle of hydrogen peroxide with me all the time. As we used to say in latin class, "semper ubi sub ubi!"   (always where under where...) hall-of-famously, joan besen

(Note:  Joan, the Hall of Fame sounds good. Congrats. I've always wondered, though, why they do they put you in the hallway?
Surely there is a whole building around it. Who gets into the Main Banquet Room of Fame? The Bedroom of Fame would be good place to have one's name. Scratched on the headboard of the bed with your teeth. Yeah baby!  Oh well, I guess a Hallway of Fame is better than a Waiting Room of Fame,  as long as it's situated near the Toilet Block of Fame and not too close to the Screaming Kids Childcare of Fame.)

Went to Caldesi Beach over the week-end, had to catch a ferry across the Gulf to get to it. . .  [our daughter] Rachel (10) and her girlfriend came along and while we were in the hotel, Rachel's friend found the Gideon's Bible and the Book Of Mormon in the desk drawer and she said "Hey I found a Bible and a Book of Morons" what a laugh.....  Take care and say Hi to Lin...........  Frank Dolce

(Note:  Ah, out of the mouth of babes . . . . . You gotta love kids!  Rachel’s friend is of course referring to the Morons, the little known fringe break-away group of the LDS (Church of the Latter Day Sinners), who, lo, suffered a double-vision under the Angel Moron, and refuseth to give up the practice of Polygorigami – making more than one paper crane at a time.  (Not to be confused with the Italian Angel Boney Moroni  – who was as skinny as a stick of macaroni.) The Angel Moron is once reputed to have said:  "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not.”  Heck, my partner the Angel Lin says this to me all the time. Maybe I should slap the Uma and Thurman on my face and make a spectacle of myself so I can decode these wise words correctly.)
Lyrics to -
The Gideon Bible:

Hello Joe,
I know you like poets who wield the metaphorical hammer of justice, so I think you would enjoy the work of the extraordinary Richard Hayes Phillips. Perhaps you know of him already, I didn't until recently when I stumbled across his site while trying toincrease my knowledge of mandolin playing. He has some amazing poems. Regards, Don Morrison

(Note: Don, I like the lyrics to Richard’s song,  ‘And You Call Yourself a Christian’. Lots of good stuff here.)
“ Have you beaten any swords into plowshares?
Or do you live and die by the sword?
Have you learned forgiveness,
Or did you bear false witness
To lead our men and women into war?”


Re-worked: Singer/songwriters Recording More than One Version of a Song

“I encourage singer/songwriters to re-record songs that they initially recorded prematurely. Wagner used to say that a well written piece of music is greater than any single performance of it and that also applies to recordings. Many songwriters are under pressure — or they have the resources — to record quite often — sometimes once a year. However, many songs need years to gestate — and many rewrites — to reach their true potential. There may be a more mature and stronger song down the track." Joe Dolce


Subject: Stand Tall Stand Strong, Voices that Care are Crying from Your Pants.
(Note: Shucks, I don’t need no pills to pacify a screaming penii, ‘cause I know the following culinary secret:)

Watermelon Has Effect Similar to Viagra

A slice of cool, fresh watermelon has effects similar to the impotence drug Viagra, researchers say.
Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body's blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, said scientists in Texas, one of the United States' top producers of the seedless variety.
Found in the flesh and rind of watermelons, citrulline reacts with the body's enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems.
"Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it," said Bhimu Patil, a researcher and director of Texas A&M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Centre. "Watermelon may not be as organ-specific as Viagra, but it's a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side effects."
Todd Wehner, who studies watermelon breeding at North Carolina State University, said anyone taking Viagra shouldn't expect the same result from watermelon.
"It sounds like it would be an effect that would be interesting but not a substitute for any medical treatment," Wehner said.
The nitric oxide can also help with angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, according to the study, which was paid for by the US Department of Agriculture.
More citrulline - about 60 per cent - is found in watermelon rind than in the flesh, Patil said, but that can vary. But scientists may be able to find ways to boost the concentrations in the flesh, he said.
Citrulline is found in all colours of watermelon and is highest in the yellow-fleshed types, said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a USDA researcher in Lane, Okla.
She said Patil's research is valid, but with a caveat: One would need to eat about six cups of watermelon to get enough citrulline to boost the body's arginine level.
"The problem you have when you eat a lot of watermelon is you tend to run to the bathroom more," Perkins-Veazie said.
Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread.
Another issue is the amount of sugar that much watermelon would spill into the bloodstream - a jolt that could cause cramping, Perkins-Veazie said.
Patil said he would like to do future studies on how to reduce the sugar content in watermelon.
The relationship between citrulline and arginine might also prove helpful to those who are obese or suffer from type-2 diabetes. The beneficial effects - among them the ability to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra does - are beginning to be revealed in research.
Citrulline is present in other curcubits, like cucumbers and cantaloupe, at very low levels, and in the milk protein casein. The highest concentrations of citrulline are found in walnut seedlings, Perkins-Veazie said.
"But they're bitter and most people don't want to eat them," she said.

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 2
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.


This is the same company which-a few months back-invented a car that costs only $2500 new. BUT it's not available in the USA or Australia . Why is it that a gasless vehicle that eliminates the reason to buy oil from foreign countries hasn't nipped the minds of US manufacturers? How bad can this be for anybody, anywhere in the world -- except for foreign oil?  The Compressed Air Car, developed by Motor Development International (MDI) Founder Guy Negre, might be the best thing to happen to the motor engine, and people all over the world.
The $12,700 CityCAT, one of the planned Air Car models,reaches 68 mph, goes for a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units. MDI says it should cost only around $2 to fill the car up with 340 liters of air!
The Air Car will be starting production soon, thanks to India 's TATA Motors. Forget corn! That's a joke. There's fuel, user friendly, pocketbook friendly fuel!  What can be better than air?
6-seater taxi should be available in India in 2008:
(Thanks to Joe Creighton)

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 3
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

America’s Love Affair Fades as the Car Becomes Burden of Suburbia
by Paul Harris

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - It is known as the Inland Empire: a vast stretch of land tucked in the high desert valleys east of Los Angeles. Once home to fruit trees and Indians, it is now a concrete sprawl of jammed freeways, endless suburbs and shopping malls.
But here, in the heartland of the four-wheel drive, a revolution is under way. What was once unthinkable is becoming a shocking reality: America’s all-consuming love affair with the car is fading.
Surging petrol prices have worked where environmental arguments have failed. Many Americans have long been told to cut back on car use. Now, facing $4-a-gallon fuel, they have no choice.
Take Adam Garcia, a security guard who works near the railway station in Riverside. Like many Inland Empire residents, he commutes a huge distance: 100 miles a day. He used to think nothing of it. But now, faced with petrol costs that have tripled, he is taking action. He has even altered the engine of his car to boost its mileage. ‘I have to. Everyone does. I can’t afford to drive as much as I did,’ he said.
Recent figures showed the steepest monthly drop in miles driven by Americans since 1942. At the same time car sales are collapsing, led by huge SUVs.
General Motors, once the very image of American industrial might, is in deep trouble. Cities are now investing in mass transit, hoping to tempt people back into town centres from far-flung commuter belts where they are now stranded by high petrol prices.

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 4
The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something
right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

Brothel Offers Customers Petrol Rebate

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Nevada brothel is trying to stimulate business by offering free petrol. Clients of the Shady Lady Ranch will get a $50 (25 pound) petrol voucher if they fork out $300 (152 pounds) -- worth about one hour's worth of services -- at the brothel in Beatty, Nevada, 130 miles (209 km) northwest of Las Vegas.
Owner James Davis said he already has had to order another $1,000 set of petrol vouchers because the first $1,000 were spent in one week.
"It's rocking along. We're doing quite well. June and July historically are not big months," said Davis, who is co-owner of the brothel along with his wife Bobbi, in a telephone interview.
The $50 rebate would roughly cover the cost of a round trip drive from Las Vegas to the ranch.
Davis said business at the ranch, which has been operating for 16 years, generally slows in the early summer. He said the brothel regularly offers specials to lure clients and his wife came up with the petrol vouchers for this month.
U.S. petrol prices hit a record $4.08 a gallon last week, up 38 percent from a year ago.
Brothels, illegal in most U.S. states, are legal in parts of Nevada.
(by Matthew Robinson, Michelle Nichols and Philip Barbara)

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 5
The things that come to those who wait will be the scraggly junk left by
those who got there first.

What Patriotism Is, and Is Not
by: Michael Winship

At the beginning of the week, a friend sent me a scurrilous, anonymous e-mail attacking Barack Obama that has been circulating around her elderly cousin's senior living community in New Jersey. Headlined "Something to Think About," it lists 13 acts of assassination, kidnapping, war and terrorism, all of which, it notes, were committed "by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40." After several other claims, including a bogus citation from the Book of Revelation, the e-mail concludes, semi-literately, "For the award winning Act of Stupidity Now ... the People of America want to elect, to the most Powerful position on the face of the Planet - The Presidency of the United States of America to A Muslim Male Between the ages of 17 and 40? Have the American People completely lost their Minds, or just their power of reason? I'm sorry but I refuse to take a chance on the 'unknown' candidate Obama."
 To point out the obvious errors, that Barack Obama's a Christian, not Muslim, and that he's 46, not "between the ages of 17 and 40," feels a bit lame, like damning with faint fact-checking. Let's call this appalling missive what it is - bigoted, hysterical and more than a little nuts. Unless, of course, it comes from the hands not of a mere delusional crank, but one of those beneath-the-radar smear forces that we all know are out there, ratcheting into higher and higher gear as November gets closer.

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 6
The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.


Dolce Yorkie Puppies

Celebrity pets for celebrity people!

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 7
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well


Steamed Ling with Ginger and Grapefruit Risotto

For each serve:
1 nice sized ling cod fillet
slice of lemon
2 slices of fresh ginger
sprig of fresh coriander
salt and pepper
aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 200 C. Cut a square of aluminum foil large enough to place the ling fillet on and to be able to fold over on all four sides to make a parcel. Put fillet in centre of foil, place the lemon slice and the ginger slices and coriander on top, with some salt and pepper, and a piece of butter and seal the parcel securely by folding over the sides. Place in a baking pan and bake for about ten minutes or until as you like it. Serve the parcels unopened with the grapefruit risotto and a side of cabbage coleslaw.

Grapefruit Risotto
Remember with risotto: patience, and do not leave the pot unattended.

1 grapefruit
 (for half cup juice and 2 tbles zest)
1/2 grapefruit shell for each serve,  hollowed out to make serving bowls)
1.5 litres chicken stock
300 ml dry white wine
120 g unsalted butter
1 small onion , finely chopped
600 g arborio rice
90 g parmesean cheese, finely grated
3 tbles finely chopped fresh parsley

Hollow out a half grapefruit for each serving 'bowl', being careful not to puncture the skin. Set aside.
 Heat stock and wine in saucepan. In heavy fry pan, melt half butter over gentle heat and saute onion until soft and translucent. Add rice and raise heat to moderate. Stir to ensure rice is evenly coated with butter. Add 1 cup of stock. Simmer stirring constantly, and add one cup of hot stock at a time whenever the liquid is absorbed, making sure the rice is just covered. After 15 - 20 minutes, remove risotto from the heat and taste rice. It should be perfectly cooked. Add cheese, remaining butter, parsley and grapefruit zest and juice. Stir. Cover for two minutes. Fill each grapefruit half and serve at once on a plate with the fish parcels.

Parable I

Some fishermen pulled a bottle from the deep. It held a piece of paper,
with these words: "Somebody save me! I'm here. The ocean cast me on this desert island.
I am standing on the shore waiting for help. Hurry! I'm here!"
"There's no date. I bet it's already too late anyway.
It could have been floating for years," the first fisherman said.
"And he doesn't say where. It's not even clear which ocean," the second fisherman said.
"It's not too late, or too far. The island Here is everywhere," the third fisherman said.
They all felt awkward. No one spoke. That's how it goes with universal truths.
~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, trans. S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

Parable II
The Boat and the Captain’s Parrot

Excerpt from the Book of Morons

A magician was working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.
The audience would be different each week so the magician allowed himself to do the same tricks over and over again.
There was only one problem: the captain's parrot saw the shows each week and began to understand how the magician did every trick.
Once he understood he started shouting in the middle of the show:
"Look, it's not the same hat".
"Look, he is hiding the flowers under the table".
"Hey, why are all these cards the Ace of Spades?"
The magician was furious but couldn't do anything; it was, after all, the captain's parrot.
One day the ship had an accident and sank.
The magician found himself on a piece of wood in the middle of the ocean with the parrot, of course!
They stared at each other with hate, but did not utter a word.
This went on for a day and another and another.
After a week the parrot said: "OK, I give up. Where's the boat?"
(thanks to Marcus Whitaker)

Some of Murphy's Lesser Known Laws No. 8
When you go into court, you are putting yourself into the hands of 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
(thanks to Terry Dwyer)


Ed Zachary Disease

A man was very distraught at the fact that he had not had a date or any sex in quite some time.  
He was afraid he might have something wrong with him, so he decided to seek the medical expertise of a sex therapist.
His doctor recommended that he see the well known Chinese sex therapist, Madame Chang.
Upon entering the examination room, Madame Chang said 'OK take off all your crose.'
The man did as he was told.
'Now get down and craw reery, reery fass to odderside of room.'
Again the man did as he was instructed.
Madame Chang then said 'OK, now craw reery, reery fass back to me.'
So he did.
Madame Chang shook her head slowly and said 'Your probrem velly bad. You haf Ed Zachary disease. Worse case I ever see. Dat why you not haf sek or date.'
Worried the man asked anxiously 'Oh my God, Madame Chang, what is Ed Zachary Disease?'
Madame Chang sighed deeply and replied 'Ed Zachary Disease is when your face rook Ed Zachary rike your arse.'
(thanks to Walter Stark – with a little gender tweaking!)