November 8th, 2008


Bliss cafe, a review

The wiereless at the house is dead, and making it work again is more expensive than is warranted before I move, so I've been heading out to get ready access.

About a mile from me is, "Bliss Cafe," which has good coffee, friendly people, free wireless, and is open late. All good things in such a place. On the downside, it's also a hookah bar, so the wafting of sickly sweet smokes can sometimes be unavoidable, even in the deepest depths of the indoor area (it has an open wall to the outside, so the entire place is a smoking section, per Calif. Law).

Upside, during the day it's not a problem.

For Net users, the tables against the wall have outlets in the banquettes.

The coffee is good, "armenian" is available; at whatever sweetness one cares for (which is, for style, also known as arabic, greek, turkish, serbian, croatian, bosnian... all of it basically the same; small, dark hot and thick with talcum fine powdered coffee, sometimes sweetened, sometimes spiced), and the usual range of espresso drinks.

None of this is why I'm writing a review. They also have a kitchen.

It's pretty straightforward fare, kebabs, lulae, hummus, appetizers (chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, fries; with cheddar or bleu cheese, onion rings, buffalo wings, tabouli, tzatziki, etc), lamb and pork chops; and a selection of salada.

Plates come with hummus, pita; and pita chips, a pilaf (or fries) and cabbage salad. The cabbage salad is wonderful. A very slightly pickled cabbage, with shredded carrots and some spicing. It's like a very young winter kimchee; with the heat set to mellow. As a counterpoint to the meats, it's perfect. The lulae (ground beef or chicken, grilled in the manner of kebab) are fairly run of the mill. The beef kebab are also average, but tasty. I'd prefer a little less time in the marinade, but it's no reason to forgo them.

The chicken (esp. the thigh kebab) are great. Just a little marinade, and griled to the point of being brown, with a few crunchy bits (gotta love those maillard reactions) and still moist in the middle.

The hummus comes with a really nice drizzle of lemon juice; so it's also a bright counterpoint to the meat and the pilaf, which is well cooked, but not very spiced.

I've had either the pork, nor the lamb chops (and I'd like to see what they'd do with lamb as a kebab).

Sadly they don't have any pastries. When they get fully staffed, and can open at 0600, I'm told they will have some. With a limited array of cold drinks (Orangina, tarragon, cherry and mango sodas, some Sob&eactute;, water, Red Bull and fountain sodas) it's perhaps not the best place for a hit day, but the inside is shady, and has a breeze.

Prices are a 3-6 for appetizers (and a combo plate for 15: fries, hot wings, fried mozzarella, chicken tenders and jalapeño poppers). Meals are about 8, with the salmon kebab at 11, and the lamb chops at 15. Salads 4, and you can add meat for another 4-5 (chicken/beef).

Sandwiches are 6-7.

Bliss Cafe (and hookah bar)
1709 E Washington, Pasadena Calif.
(626) 797-3862
Sun-Thurs 8a.m.-12:30 a.m.
Fri-Sat 8 a.m.- 1:30 a.m.
Pixel Stained

On Prop 8, and scapegoats.

The "black vote" didn't pass Prop 8.

We have a black population of about 6 percent. Assume they all voted, that's about 1.9 millon people. Assume all of them (whch isn't the case, but bear with me)are of voting age, and all of them voted, and the 70 percent of the black vote was pro 8 is true.

That's 1.3 million votes. Last I checked the prop was passing by about 500,000 votes. But... about 600,000 of those 1.9 million are under the age of 18. And, sadly, a large percentage of that population is in prison right now, and not eligible to vote. so we can lop another 190,000 votes (with a conservative estimate of 10 percent of black either in prison, or on parole).

That gives us about 750,000 votes, assuming (arguendo) all the blacks in the state who are eligible are registered.

The amendment is ahead by about 500,000 votes. Ok, if every black in the state voted no, then the amendment would be dead.

There are 17 million registered voters in Calif. The stats say black are registered at about the same rate as other groups, so we can probably figure they are registered at, call it 60 percent (because Obama was certainly something of an in-group identifier, much as a the home state of a national candidate is expected to have a larger turnout in their favor).

Take those votes we tallied up and adjust for that number.... 525,000.

So yes, the total number of votes which have it ahead is almost exactly equal to the black voting population.

But there are an awful lot of white folks who voted, and a lot of hispanics too.

My neighbors account for at least two of the vote for. They are white. A really small percentage shift of the white vote would have made the difference. The absentee ballots (which are not, traditionally, black, but rather white folks) aren't reversing the trend.

The whole of the polity voted, the whole of the polity takes the rap. The white folks (and it was a whole lott a white folks spending the money to flood the airwaves with the ads equating a vote againt 8 with a vote for religious intolerance) voted for it. The hispanics voted for it, the asians voted for it.

Yeah, we might be justified in pointing fingers if the black population were the only group which voted for it. Even if we call it 70 percent of the black population who voted for it, that's only 20 points (roughly) more than the percentage of whites who voted for it.

Which means the part which matters is that differential; the actual EXTRA votes of the black population is about 150,000; and that's if every one who is registered actually showed up to vote.

Which means everyone else is to blame for, at least, 350,000 votes.

It's not their fault.