Beachcombing

By: 
Jay Beeler

Happy New Year!

The holidays are most enjoyable when we can spend time with family and this year was no exception. Retailers are now rolling out their holiday wares before Halloween and have enjoyed some success against the tide of online sales. This year it was comforting to have the Ring doorbell system at our home to monitor against “porch pirates,” who have become Grinches at Christmas time. Ring is the greatest invention since sliced bread and every home should have one.

A couple of other great inventions involve food and drink. Neighbors Roger and Suzanne introduced us to the cheese scraper that slices a cheese roll – such as P’tit Basque – from top to bottom. This is a pricey French cheese that was introduced in 1997. It is made with pasteurized sheep’s milk and aged 70 days. Place the shavings on top of a party cracker and enjoy with your favorite wine; it’s a delicious, year-round treat.

I’m also a fan of the new line of coffee-related drinks now available at McDonald’s, obviously created to be competitive with Starbucks. Every other Friday when Molly – our mixed breed Chihuahua – and I deliver bundles of papers to some of our carriers, a McDonald’s stop is part of the tradition.

Two weeks ago I ordered the caramel frappé, that’s pronounced “frah-PAY” due to the accent mark above the “e”. Apparently Lakewood Mayor Ron Piazza, who owns ten McDonald’s as well as the one at Lakewood Center, needs better staff training. The young, female window attendant on Dec. 22 insisted that it was pronounced with one syllable instead of two, as in “frap.” Try to pronounce café, paté or flambé with one syllable. It took a lot of willpower to keep my mouth shut and tell her that Starbucks was not in her future.

 

With the New Year comes change. Thanks to a letter from one of our readers we’ve decided to change the rules in our 17th Annual Best of Long Beach Contest in 2018. Henceforth only local businesses will be counted, which rules out nationwide organizations like McDonalds or Starbucks. Farmers & Merchants Bank would be an acceptable winner in the bank category because it is locally owned and operated but Panda Express is out in the Chinese food category.

One of our objectives in publishing this newspaper is to assist small businesses to grow and prosper. By restricting the contest to those that are locally owned we’ll be giving a competitive edge against nationwide chains or franchises.

January is the month we reach out to our contest sponsors and invite them to provide us with a dozen gift certificates or cards worth $25 or more. Annually we distribute $10,000 in prizes that are used in both the Best of Long Beach and Long Beach Treasures contests. If your business would like to join our annual group of two dozen contest sponsors, just send an email to contests@beachcomber.news and we’ll send you the details.

 

Humor to begin the new year:

Jim and Dianne were in a local shopping center just before Christmas.

Dianne suddenly noticed that Jim was missing, and as they had a lot to do, she called him on his cell phone. Dianne asked, “Jim, where are you? You know that we have lots to do.”

Jim said, “Do you remember the jewelry store we went into about 10 years ago, and you fell in love with a diamond necklace? I could not afford it at the time and I said that one day I would get it for you.”

Little tears started to flow down Dianne’s cheek and she got all choked up. “Yes, I do remember that shop,” she replied.

 “Well, I’m in the Hooters next to that.”

 

publisher@beachcomber.news

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