Luca Ellis

Luca Ellis

"My Way", "Come back to Me", "The Lady is a Tramp".  If you are into music from the 1960s, Sinatra, and jazz, then check out Luca Ellis.  Luca describes himself as a throw-back to an earlier generation or a modern day incarnation.  I got to hear his Rat Pack era performance at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.  

Pull up a chair, order a drink, and enjoy the free show.  Luca is nice enough to take requests, so have a few in mind and tip generously.  Next time I go he promised to do "Street of Dreams" for me.

"Luca Ellis built his foundation as a crooner in the lounges of fine dining chop houses and mansions for Hollywood’s elite.  Luca is widely known for mastering the singing style, phrasing and intonation of Frank Sinatra.  Luca has performed with the Gene White Orchestra at the Las Vegas Hilton and played Sinatra in Sandy Hacket's RAT PACK SHOW at the Sahara in Las Vegas under the Musical Direction of Joey Singer (Debbie Reynolds' musical director)." 

For information about Luca's next show and location

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The Stinking Rose Review by Jesse Bluma

The Stinking Rose, Beverly Hills Review

Garlic bread.  Garlic steak.  Garlic shrimp.  Garlic pasta.  Garlic dessert.  If you enjoy garlic, then this is the place for you.  I first heard about The Stinking Rose years ago, finally I made it."It's cool, it's hip, and IT STINKS! It's The Stinking Rose, LA's exciting tribute to garlic gastronomy and the latest dining and entertainment attraction to rival any Tinseltown extravaganza.Like the original San Francisco restaurant, The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills has become a star on the famed Restaurant Row and THE eatery for celebrating the culinary euphoria of garlic.  Our star - quality menu features delectable California-Italian cuisine, including our famous garlicky signature dishes prepared with as much - or as little - as you like of the pungent herb, depending on each diner's palate.  This is the place for ingenues and veteran garlic connoisseurs alike to see and be seen.  To eat, drink and STINK!"

The Musts

Garlic House Baked Focaccia Rolls and Garlic Pesto (should be on table, if not then ask)

Bagna Calda (garlic soaking in a hot tub), spread the garlic and oil on your rolls

Gilroy's Famous Garlic Ice Cream


Valet is available, street parking at night may be full on La Cienega Boulevard.

Another option is parking on Wilshire Boulevard.


Bring the following items for after dining:  

change of clothes (especially if you are going some place after),
stainless steel spoon (Rub around inside of mouth.  It sounds silly, although it will help.),
Stainless steel pie plate (rub on hands and skin).

"It's cool, it's hip, and IT STINKS! It's The Stinking Rose, LA's exciting tribute to garlic gastronomy."

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The Stinking Rose Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Disney Tower of Terror Fight: Pepper Spray

Disney Tower of Terror Fight:  Pepper Spray

Warning:  Video contains strong language (ages 18+), you can play the video without sound.

The video of a man cursing and hitting a security officer at Disneyland in California is making the rounds.  This video brings up several topics and questions.  One question is for park guests to consider.  If someone in the park can act out to this degree and for this long, how safe are guests in cases of more extreme danger?  Are park officials and employees ready for a larger danger or natural disaster?  This may be a lesson in individual responsibility, have your camera ready, know what to do in an emergency at an amusement park, and know some self-defense.

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The Ultimate Proposal with Cameron Mathison

The Ultimate Proposal with Cameron Mathison
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

My friend Judy has a son that proposed to his girlfriend via The Ultimate Proposal on Yahoo!.  

"When Jeff and Cassie met near the coast of Australia, he knew she was a keeper.  Coming up with a proposal on her turf, Jeff runs the risk of spoiling the surprise.  Will everything go according to plan or will his proposal sink?"

The show is hosted by Cameron Mathison, well known for his role on All MY Children.  Mathison also raises awareness for Perthes disease, a degenerative disease of the hip bone.  He had Perthes as a child and avoided arthritis by wearing leg braces for several years.  Pretty cool when you consider he would go on to appear on Dancing with the Stars.  You can learn more about Perthes at


"Hosted by Cameron Mathison, Ultimate Proposal helps marriage proposers put together the proposal of a lifetime.  We’re not talking mundane ring in the champagne glass theatrics here either.  Our expert team is all about creating a truly amazing event, complete with theatrics, fanfare, heart and, of course the most important element: a “YES.”"

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Smite the Vote

Smite the Vote

Update:  Smite the Vote has closed.

Each state has a set of rules governing candidates and deadlines for getting on a ballot.  The question is for every citizen, of every party, Republican, Democrat, or some other party voter.  If you want to run for office or support someone wanting to run, how many hurdles should there be to get on a ballot?  Maybe this is not your issue at this moment in time, although it is one to think about and be able to answer.  Smite the Vote is offering a means to "vote" for candidates that are not on your ballot.    

"In this current political environment, voters throughout the United States, specifically Virginia, have been limited in their ability to express their political voices.  These limitations have come from the hands of complicated ballot access restrictions and party control over candidates."  

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Obama in hot water over shark fin soup

Obama in hot water over shark fin soup

Did you see the story below in the news?

Barack Hussein Obama II, 44th President of the United States, visited a restaurant that serves shark fin soup.  The serving of shark meat brings up a good point.  How much responsibility do politicians and others have in knowing the items sold at a restaurant?  The harm done to the species and issues regarding human consumption of shark meat is why the sale of shark meat was banned on Amazon.

Sharks are large fish within a diverse species of over 400 and were first known as "sea dogs".  The fins on sharks are made of protein similar to that of keratin, familiar to most people in hair and feathers.  Eating shark harms the efforts to conserve the species and is unhealthy for human consumption.  According to Marine Pollution Bulletin, researchers discovered high metal and metalloid concentrations in sharks.

Obama in hot water over shark fin soup

"It was the sort of visit made for cameras, but President Barack Obama's stop at a Chinese restaurant came under scrutiny on Friday after the menu showed that it served shark fin.
Obama, in San Francisco for fund-raisers, on Thursday surprised and delighted lunch-time diners with a surprise stop at a restaurant in Chinatown. He posed for pictures and paid in cash for two bags of take-out food.

But a look at the menu of the restaurant, Great Eastern, showed that it offered soup from shark fin, a Chinese delicacy that environmentalists say is pushing the ancient fish to the point of extinction."

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Image: duron123 /, Pixabay janeb13

Join Me: Subscribe for Email Updates

Join Me:  Subscribe for Email Updates
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Jesse Bluma at Point Viven liberates taste in cookery, culture, and community, provides gourmet goods made with organic ingredients, inspired by the culinary worlds of California, Central, and South America, and engages in a community of customers and readers with lifestyle content, reviews, and expertise.

How do you liberate food and taste in your everyday?  Location…follow…Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven offers gourmet morsels made with high standards.  Quality, respect for local, fresh, and organic ingredients is the recipe for success.  Artisanal goods are lightly sweetened, using natural ingredients and thoughtfully created.

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Teacher: What my friends think I do...

Teacher:  What my friends think I do...

I saw the above meme online and laughed.  I'm sure each profession had its own set of misconceptions and truths about it.  If you know a teacher, send them a a quick thanks and a box of treats.

Other Related Articles

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Chocolate Gingerbread Bars by Jesse Bluma

Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

A nice balance of chocolate and 
ginger.  Perfect for that after dinner
nibble.  These chocolate 
gingerbread bars manage to be deep
and dark in color, while light and
airy in texture.  Made with organic
and natural ingredients.  

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Drugs: The Basics, Misconceptions, and Resources

Drugs:  The Basics, Misconceptions, and Resources

According to Addiction: A Behavioral Economic Perspective, by Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Springfield, individuals use drugs for seven various reasons.  Genetics mixed with social environment, such as children growing up with parents that use and abuse drugs.  Cultural practices at institutions, for example, students at a school campus where there is a strong use of drugs.  Money is another key factor.  Inexpensive or free access to drugs makes the drug more tempting.  Personality traits also play a factor, specifically individuals that do not delay gratification.  Self-medication is common for those that wish to escape negative emotions, anxiety, and do not choose to acquire coping tools.  Loneliness and lack of socializing is another reason for drug use.  Ultimately, addictions are created over time and repeated indulgences.

Drug use is not liberating, it is not an expression of freedom, it is not living.  Taking drugs damages your physical, mental, and social health.  Most drugs stimulate the brain’s pleasure and reward system.  This fools the brain into thinking it is a good thing.  Marijuana damages the lungs, affects brain development in young people, causes depression, and affects reaction time when driving.  There is also an opportunity cost to drugs, spending money on drugs means that you are not spending money better on yourself or helping others.

Drugs fool the brain, so they are a big business opportunity, as some companies, celebrities, and others want to legalize them and make money off selling drugs. Please share this information on your social networking sites, link to your own blog, and encourage teachers to post resources on their webpages.  Also, encourage celebrities, athletes, companies, ministers, and politicians to join the campaign.  As Professor Barrie Gunter, University of Leicester, examined, celebrities, athletes, politicians, and other elites have social capital.  This social capital, or special influence, makes celebrities and others role models.  Movie stars, politicians, and others have a long tradition of promoting healthy and unhealthy health practices.  Gunter noted in his evidence-based research, "[c]hildren and teenagers can be especially susceptible to role model influences as they pass through stages of their psychological development" (Celebrity Capital: Assessing the Value of Fame).  Consequently, it is essential to choose personal role models with healthy habits and support children in choosing role models with healthy lifestyles.

The Basics

"Taking dangerous drugs can damage your physical, mental, and social health.  Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illegal drugs.  Long-term use of marijuana can damage the lungs.  In fact, five joints  can contain as many cancer-causing chemicals as seven packs of cigarettes do.  The best way to avoid drug addiction is never to start.  Refuse to Abuse:  Planning to avoid drugs ahead of time can help you stay drug free.  Drug-Free Coping:  It is important to find drug-free ways to deal with problems.  Refusing Offers:  Friends that share your ideas about drug abuse can help you avoid drugs." (Holt)

The Misconceptions

1.  The Legalization Lobby claims that the fight against drugs cannot be won.

However, overall drug use is down by more than a third in the last twenty years, while cocaine use has dropped by an astounding 70 percent. Ninety-five percent of Americans do not use drugs. This is success by any standards.

2.  The Legalization Lobby claims that the United States has wasted billions of dollars in its anti-drug efforts.

Compared to the social costs of drug abuse and addiction—whether in taxpayer dollars or in pain and suffering—government spending on drug control is minimal.

3.  The Legalization Lobby claims legalization of drugs would be good.

Legalization has been tried before—and failed miserably. Alaska’s experiment with Legalization in the 1970s led to the state’s teens using marijuana at more than twice the rate of other youths nationally. This led Alaska’s residents to vote to re-criminalize marijuana in 1990.

4.  The Legalization Lobby claims that the “European Model” of the drug problem is successful.

However, since legalization of marijuana in Holland, heroin addiction levels have tripled. And Needle Park seems like a poor model for America.

5.  The Legalization Lobby claims that America’s prisons are filling up with users.

Truth is, only about 5 percent of inmates in federal prison are there because of simple possession. Most drug criminals are in jail—even on possession charges—because they have plea-bargained down from major trafficking offences or more violent drug crimes.

Drug use is bad to the bone.
See the world; don't escape from it with drugs.


National Crime Prevention Council
"Research shows that the main reason that kids don’t use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs is because of their parents -- because of their positive influence and because they know it would disappoint them. That’s why it is so important that parents build a strong relationship with their kids and talk to them about substance abuse -- the earlier the better!"

"NIDA supports research on drug abuse and addiction. NIDA-supported science addresses the most fundamental and essential questions about drug abuse, including tracking emerging drug use trends, understanding how drugs work in the brain, and developing and testing new drug treatment and prevention approaches."

(Drug Abuse Resistance Education)

Just Say No

"Profiles people whose dependence on drugs and alcohol or other compulsive behavior has brought them to a point of personal crisis or estranged them from their friends and loved ones."

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What are tonsil stones? - Michael Jakobsen M.D.

What are tonsil stones?:  Tonsilloliths

The causes for tonsil stones, or tonsilloliths, include such conditions as allergies, post nasal drip, infections, and strep throat.  A common misconception is that these occur from drinking milk.

Tonsil stones form in the pockets of the tonsils, on each side of the back of the mouth.  Some of the symptoms include sore throat, the feeling of an object like a pea stuck in your throat, and ear pain.

Dr. Michael Jakobsen at the Head and Neck Associates of Orange County.  Dr. Jackobsen explained that treatments include daily gargling with mouth wash, salt water gargles, and in some cases medicine and surgery.

Tonsil Stones (Tonsilloliths) Resources 


Dr. Michael Jakobsen


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 Note: All information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.  Use of this information is at your own risk in regard to any losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.

Crdits:  http://www.freedigitalphotos. net/,

Uses for a P-Touch: Label Your Cell Phone and More by Jesse Bluma

Uses for a P-Touch

The P-Touch 1880 Deluxe Home and Office Labeler is a terrific home and office gadget.  This model has two fonts, LCD display, built-in memory, "Preview" key, 18mm wide laminated indoor/outdoor tape, six type sizes, nine type styles, seventy symbols, ten frame styles, and operates on AA batteries or an AC Adapter.  Brother started in Japan as a sewing machine company and opened business in America in 1954.  The company offers a variety of P-Touch labelers.

Why get a P-Touch?  The P-Touch gives you professional looking labels for business, helps with organization, and the optional large size font makes reading easier for children and those with poor eye sight.  The following is a list of specific uses that might help you.

1.  Label your cell phone in case it is lost or stolen.
2.  Label freezer bags with the contents and date.
3.  Label classroom items:  folders, trays, cabinets, books, and sports equipment.
4.  Label the wires and cables of your TV, computer, and other electronics.
5.  Label work and home files.
6.  Label storage boxes for holiday decorations.
7.  Label your suitcase and travel backpack.
8.  Label kitchen cabinet shelves to organize foodstuffs and medications up high.
9.  Label bathroom shelves and storage to keep items organized.
10.  Label tool boxes and cabinets.
11.  Label family heirlooms and antique items with tags of their origins and background.
12.  Label car parts under the hood.   No more need to guess where the oil goes.
13.  Label reminders:  turing off lights, hand washing, drop-offs, etc.
14.  Label toys and games for children.
15.  Label remote controls.

Please post your ideas below.

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Power-FUL Herbalife Review by Jesse Bluma

Power-FUL Review

Update:  Power-FUL has changed to Club Elevate

If you are looking to do something new, check out Power-FUL, a nutrition smoothie store offering a variety of flavors and drinks.  The drinks are made from Herbalife products.  Power-FUL offers prepaid plans for agave water, tea, and smoothies.   There are various pre-paid plans from which to choose.  I selected the three day (which is really a three visit) plan.  

Upon arrival you will receive an order ticket to select the flavor and temperature of your tea.  You will also select your flavor of smoothie.  The cashier will give you a shot size cup of aloe water to start, then your tea (I liked the lemon the best), and then your smoothie (the smoothies are light is flavor, do not expect a bold blast of flavor as with a dessert shake).  

Nutritional smoothies and other powdered products are not really something I do, although Power-FUL does offer something new to do for various amounts of time.  One of the unique free services offered at Power-FUL is a body analysis.  My Power-FUL "coach" explained my results, all excellent for weight, body fat, metabolism, et cetera.  She explained that I've got the health of a sixteen year old.  The best numbers she had seen.


"We are a hip place with music and a fun vibe where members of the community can come to receive a complete healthy meal, a free wellness profile, and education on proper nutrition. Come see us today! We offer Bootcamps, Walking/Hiking, Nutrition Knowledge, Weight Loss Challenges, !! 

General Information 
We have free WiFi and comfortable seating to meet and greet friends or make new like minded friends interested in eating healthy and learning more about fitness. Join us you will be glad you did."

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 Note: All information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.  Use of this information is at your own risk in regard to any losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.



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