Friday, March 29, 2013

Breakfast Of Champions

Photos courtesy Flickr

A pop-med advisor recently recommended a daily beer for "wellness". I'm not inclined to quibble with that advice, especially since a Washington State alum taught me to drink red beer.

Mix beer with tomato juice, any version of either beverage, and add red pepper sauce to round out the flavor. I find the cocktail oddly habit forming and wonder if it has something to do with WSU's legendary party stamina.

-30-  More after the jump.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shopping Run

Photo courtesy Flickr

The shift in shopping patterns that was encouraged during the Great Oil Crunch of 1973 complicated life to a maddening degree. Buyers were encouraged to make multiple stops on one venture out of the garage. When I was Mrs. Wheels spending two hundred miles a week in second gear on Seattle’s crowded streets, I had a dashboard covered with sticky notes detailing the day’s loop of procurement.

Saturday morning the in-house geek brandished a gift card and announced he was off to buy some tubes at the foot of the Hill. One of my target merchants lay between him and his destination, and I briefly considered asking him to pick up a few things. Then I realized that week-end time is precious, his concentration on the project sacrosanct, and that the efficient specialists in the store’s mail room and the shipper’s distribution facility can bring my little carton of stuff to the local concierge for less time, less hassle, and more happiness all around.

-30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Memory Lane

Photo courtesy Flickr

Asked if I wanted a fixer Grundig Majestic, I began to reminisce about other beloved sound systems of the past. My precious KLH Model 11 came to mind, and I searched it. Affordable systems came right up, and I realized that that is one regret I can put aside. The machine can easily be replaced.

A few minutes spent contemplating images of that wonderful little stereo reminded me that the bulk, complexity, and fragility of vinyl technology, even solid state, were more than I cared to manage after computers invaded the house. It probably would still be more than I care to manage should I bring it all back. I never thought of the Internet as a storage facility before, but of course, it is the ultimate repository.

Music, though, is more valuable than ever. The live, local soundscape is richer even than Haight Ashbury’s during the Summer of Love.

-30-  More after the jump.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Photo courtesy Flickr

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is an enchanting documentary about San Francisco’s population of feral parrots. Seattle has one, too, parrots, that is. I was horrified to learn that the Audubon Society supports exterminating this invasive species, but I am willing to respect expert opinion.

A dear friend took in a feral cat, thereby volunteering for long months of apprehension at the hands of a powerful carnivore given to aggressive interaction. I don’t know what became of the animal, but I have been assured that “the right thing” was done.

An alumni magazine recently ran a story about feral cats invading a part of the campus that has been restored to native habitat. The project took more than a decade and a considerable amount of volunteer student labor. Apparently, one queen, given quite a darling nickname, came to live in kitty paradise and generated several litters of kittens. The school is contemplating the future, if any, of the cats. 

One alumnus identifying himself as “Woodsman” posted a comment reminding the community that harboring feral cats opens one to legal liability, that regulations require a six-month quarantine period for any feral cat brought into captivity, and that handling a feral cat is playing Russian roulette.

The risk is rabies, among others, and on a whim, I searched disease transmission from feral cats. What I found is not encouraging, and it would appear that, as with SF’s parrots, knowledgeable authorities do not favor extending a cat’s life span at the expense of irreplaceable native species. It does not hurt to remember that every cat comes tipped with a collection of twenty dirty needles.

-30- More after the jump.