Thursday, April 21, 2016

I Have People Coming In From Berlin...

With that opening remark, a customer in the fish shop on the Ave began a classic dialogue with the guy in the day-stained apron behind the counter. Any local host knows the rest of the discussion, that was aimed at preparing a drop-dead trophy for the barbecue. Personally, I would use alder for the fire rather than imported briquettes. Local supermarkets sell bundles of alder firewood. That smoke will give you the authentic scent of tribal salmon.

Add wild blackberry pie, tossed salad, and good bread, and you will have as good a meal as any sane menu planner would care to produce. Simplify further by presenting cracked crab or a heap of local shrimp. Failing wild berries in your freezer, set out wild blackberry jam, that is not too hard to find in the store. Homemade baking powder biscuits approach traditional fry bread. Fill in with potato salad if necessary.

My friendly local archaeologist agreed that this traditional food presentation echoes indigenous entertaining. It certainly continues the tradition I learned as a child, to sit at the table cheerfully toasting tribal cuisine.
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More after the jump.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Scouring The Kit

I had the honor to be consulted about travel gear by a woman planning a visit to Europe. She knows I rarely leave town, but decided my pedestrian ways have honed my sense of what to tote when I'm out of the house. The exchange triggered a seasonal sort in the evacuation kit that accidentally generated fresh and useful combinations of field clothing. I recommend tossing one's entire wardrobe onto a clean floor and examining the montage.

I'm working on integrating emergency and ordinary domestic amenities. So far, I've freed a couple of cubic yards of space and saved a considerable number of dollars on top of the treasure I have wasted making mistakes.

The exercise is designed to ensure that should I need emergency gear, I will have it at hand, if not actually on my back. 
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More after the jump.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Achilles Heels

The world of industrial design has not perfected the latch that secures batteries in small electronic devices. My pet emergency radio, about the size of a smart phone, will spill its AAAs if I don't secure the cover with gaff tape. A new travel alarm has the same flaw.These are not the only examples of the problem I have found in my inventory, but they are the ones with the potential to cause serious trouble.

Short version: tape the covers as a fail safe. Forget how they look.
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More after the jump.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Frames Before Furniture

Most of the picture frames in the house are better pieces of cabinet-making than most of the furniture. That's fine with me. I can ignore the chair I'm sitting on, and a companion will obscure the chair they're sitting on. If I have time to sit at all, it's a welcome opportunity to gaze at a well-protected still image.


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More after the jump.