Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 15, 2013

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 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 15, 2013 

It has been said, that there is no substitute for time. Only through its passage can many of life’s experiences 
be fully understood. This Fathers Day I reflect back on a lesson of life and a Father that has 
ceased to teach and comfort me. I would like to invite you along for a single night with a man that has 
left this Earthy place but dwells eternally within my heart. The article below was written and published 
before his passing. 


My entire life has been an eight course meal. In 
my late teens I had the distinguished position of 
bagger at the local supermarket, and later with 
references, I was able to move to Jurgensen’s 
Gourmet Grocery. There I was to learn about fine 
wines, exotic cheeses and my kryptonite, dry aged beef. I guess it all started there because at twenty-
three I was pretentious about food. For many years I thought that 
was where it all started for me, there in those markets, but I have 
come to realize that I was wrong. For some in life it is the famous 
baseball player; or possibly a religious figure, for others it is a musical 
master or the profound artist. How many times in life, if ever 
do you get a chance to sit with those that inspire and challenge life 
with a depth of wisdom? For most they will never get the opportunity. 
I can claim one prize in this life; I have had the opportunity 
to observe, speak with and lastly follow in the footsteps of one 
person that holds that place for me. They have been labeled “The 
greatest generation” for a reason. Each day another from that stratum 
of America, “slowly goes into the night.”

Many of you know that my Father Elmer Dills was on TV and 
radio for twenty-eight years here in Los Angeles. I had the opportunity 
to dine and share with my mentor a few weeks ago. I have 
been out with my Father at least five hundred times but as a fine 
wine, wisdom increases in its depth and flavor as it ages. 

On this night our adventure took us to Madeleines(since closed) 
in Pasadena. Seems that my Dad is a regular there and lately he’s 
been a little under the weather. I have heard him say nothing but 
praise of this place, so it’s off to Madelienes. 

“Table for three, please,” on this evening we have, my daughter Lauren (the budding Critic), Pops 
and Me. Whenever I see courteous, well behaved children; I know their parents are invariably going 
to be respectful people. Likewise whenever I get a compliment, I know it goes beyond just me. As 
we sit to dine, there is no call for attention and gratification, just a smooth easy in being in his court. 
As we talk, I am struck that there is no air of condemnation but rather one of deep respect for the 
people that more often than not get it right in this business. My Dad the legendary restaurant critic 
doesn’t even ask what the ingredients of the dishes are as he orders. He doesn’t request to see the 
sommelier. Is he a restaurant critic, I am waiting for a sign? It is just as natural as going to dinner 
with a group of friends, I think.

Madeleines is/was located on Green St. at the bottom of an office building there are many different 
rooms, much like a Victorian house, there is a patio, a bar, and a large dining room. We sat overlooking 
the patio with a fireplace that added a perfect touch of ambience. The restaurant is quietly 
attractive, cozy and well spaced. You feel a little smarter here, knowing that Albert Einstein often 
slept upstairs while he was visiting Cal Tech. 

We began with a cheese plate ($9), nice but it could have used less nuts and more of cheese and 
crackers. My Dad is a creature of habit, just like many of us. He orders the Rack of Lamb, “I just loved 
it,” just like a young kid would say. The waiter was kind enough to have it cut for him. Daughter 
Lauren ordered the Pork Chops and gave it two training thumbs up. Now that is a compliment. Not 
sure if high heels work in this business though, as you never know when you may encounter a chef 
that feels you have leveled capricious discourse with your pen on the one hand and possess a frying 
pan in the other. She will discover soon enough why I wear running shoes and a sport coat.

I order the Spencer Steak, of course I am the difficult one, so once we get the steak the way I wanted 
it cooked, it vanishes quickly. 

Back to Dad, the waiter asks, “How was the meal” and I know 99% of you when asked would give the 
response, “Fine, Thank You.” Nope, the restaurant critic said, “The lamb chops were great!!!” “And 
the dessert was?” A shrugged of the shoulders told it all. That is the honesty and passion that got me 
involved in this business. Today, I still work at a restaurant to keep up on the trends and I even get a 
crazy dream that I may own one someday. You can be sure he will be one of the first to give a thumbs 
up or a shrug of the shoulders if I do. 

Happy Fathers Day – I would never trade sitting across the table from you for anything.

This was a re-print and I may just run it every year at this time just to remind you and all to hold 
these special days near your heart. 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills



NASA research indicates that blocks of frozen 
carbon dioxide—dry ice—may glide 
down some Martian sand dunes on cushions 
of gas similar to miniature hovercraft, plowing 
furrows as they go.

Researchers deduced this process could explain 
one enigmatic class of gullies seen on 
Martian sand dunes by examining images 
from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter 
(MRO) and performing experiments on sand 
dunes in Utah and California.

“I have always dreamed of going to Mars,” 
said Serina Diniega, a planetary scientist at 
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, 
Calif., and lead author of a report published 
online by the journal Icarus [http://]. 
“Now I dream of snowboarding down a Martian 
sand dune on a block of dry ice.”

The hillside grooves on Mars, called linear 
gullies, show relatively constant width—up 
to a few yards across—with raised banks or 
levees along the sides. Unlike gullies caused 
by water flows on Earth and possibly on 
Mars, they do not have aprons of debris at the 
downhill end of the gully. Instead, many have 
pits at the downhill end.

“In debris flows, you have water carrying 
sediment downhill, and the material eroded 
from the top is carried to the bottom and deposited 
as a fan-shaped apron,” said Diniega. 
“In the linear gullies, you’re not transporting 
material. You’re carving out a groove, pushing 
material to the sides.”

Images from MRO’s High Resolution Imaging 
Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera show sand dunes with 
linear gullies covered by carbon-dioxide frost during the Martian 
winter. The location of the linear gullies is on dunes that spend the 
Martian winter covered by carbon-dioxide frost. By comparing 
before-and-after images from different seasons, researchers determined 
that the grooves are formed during early spring. Some images 
have even caught bright objects in the gullies.

Scientists theorize the bright objects are pieces of dry ice that have 
broken away from points higher on the slope. According to the new 
hypothesis, the pits could result from the blocks of dry ice completely 
sublimating away into carbon-dioxide gas after they have 
stopped traveling.

“Linear gullies don’t look like gullies on Earth or other gullies on 
Mars, and this process wouldn’t happen on Earth,” said Diniega. 
“You don’t get blocks of dry ice on Earth unless you go buy them.”

That is exactly what report co-author Candice Hansen, of the Planetary 
Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., did. Hansen has studied 
other effects of seasonal carbon-dioxide ice on Mars, such as spider-
shaped features that result from explosive release of carbon-dioxide 
gas trapped beneath a sheet of dry ice as the underside of the sheet 
thaws in spring. She suspected a role for dry ice in forming linear 
gullies, so she bought some slabs of dry ice at a supermarket and slid 
them down sand dunes.

That day and in several later experiments, gaseous carbon dioxide 

from the thawing ice maintained a lubricating layer under the slab 
and also pushed sand aside into small levees as the slabs glided 
down even low-angle slopes.

The outdoor tests did not simulate Martian temperature and pressure, 
but calculations indicate the dry ice would act similarly in early 
Martian spring where the linear gullies form. Although water ice, 
too, can sublimate directly to gas under some Martian conditions, 
it would stay frozen at the temperatures at which these gullies form, 
the researchers calculate.

You can contact Bob Eklund at:

Several types of downhill flow features have been observed on Mars. This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment 
(HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is an example of a type called "linear gullies." 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona