These are from Park Chow in San Francisco. According to this, chains are now offering their versions, and it is predicted that short ribs will soon disappear from certain restaurants.
In early spring I planted three or four packets of sunflower seeds, noting that in the past, these flowers attract hordes of squirrels. My solution would have been to cover the flowers with paper bags once they reached the height of their perfection.
Only two have sprouted. In one bed, I keep finding seeds that seem to have risen to the surface, and then fallen prey to something that likes the taste of what’s inside.
Could this be the work of the resident gnome? For readers who haven’t followed along, the mysterious happenings of the garden could not be explained any other way. I’m not talking garden statues here, but a real, live, grumpy and apparently voracious gnome who manages to keep out of sight.
Back to the bagged flowers: now you might want to ask, what’s the purpose of growing flowers only to cover them up with brown paper bags? Because then the squirrels can’t come along and dine as if they were rodent royalty, that’s why.
It has been a long, racket-filled day of workers repairing fences. After a quiet dinner, I settled down for some dessert (an orange, nothing to get excited about) when I heard what sounded like a team of roof rats with high heels walking around on the patio. After a bit, it sounded like a few had managed to get inside. Very soon, the phone would ring and I would hear a hollow but ominous squeaking at the other end.
But then something very large flew across the room to the lamp, bounced off and careened to a wall, bounced off, went to the window, bounced . . . well, you get the idea. I didn’t get a good look, but went outside, because it’s not everyday you see a bunch of rats wearing clackety heels. The insect came outside as well. When I went in the garage, it followed, throwing itself against surfaces.
Perhaps it was the gnome, angry that I’d written of its supposed theft of apricots.
The little apricot tree suffered in the spring. Buffeted by unseasonal rains, high winds, and life in general, it could only muster the energy for half a dozen fruits. Three of these were on a single branch, which I covered with swaths of white garden fabric.
On Sunday, the fabric was tossed aside (it was not a windy night), the three apricots gone and the branch broken. When I blamed large varmints, a family member recalled that we suspected gnomes in the past for various misdeeds.
It stands to reason that a hungry gnome might go for the apricots, leaving us an equal amount, although the ones left have brown spots on them, obviously passed over.
Now I’m wondering if my green but rapidly growing tomatoes might be the next casualties. Just because someone likes apricots doesn’t mean they will also pick tomatoes before their time.
There was the bag of lemons that had turned a dark, forbidding green. Spinach and scallions that were just this side of completely dissolved. Old, squishy apples. Liquid lettuce. In my rush to get them out fast, I moved the wastebasket right next to the crisper and started flipping stuff out.
Of course my zeal backfired and I got a frontal splash of brown goo. Not quite the mess that Clive Owen got in Greenfingers when he plunged a toilet too enthusiastically. Nor was it the ungodly consistency of the measles medicine Nanny McPhee doled out. But still.
A pair has lost its young, and the entire neighborhood is going to pay. As soon as a human appears, the ravens descend with raucous calls, flying much lower than usual.
This happened once before, and the harassment went on for weeks. A great photo op, but unfortunately, I may not get the time for some shots.
Whenever I get what is perceived around here as a ‘child’s movie’, there are groans and exasperated sighs. I had heard it was an excellent movie, but knew very little other than that Emma Thompson had a prominent nose and various facial afflictions aimed at striking dread in the hearts of bratty kids.
I’d also forgotten that Colin Firth was the father. In My Life So Far, he had a large brood as well, but a bit more help. Angela Lansbury’s remarkable makeup would have sufficed by itself, but when she became animated, it was amazing to watch. And Derek Jacobi in a minor role. The baby, great editing.
Dinner was not memorable, but filling - sausages and corn on the cob.
The view from the Lawrence Hall of Science this afternoon.
So far, it’s only in the high 70s, wonderful for humans, disappointing for the tomato plants that experienced a huge growth spurt in the last few days of intense heat.
Looks like I won’t have to fill the tub with crushed ice and eat a gallon of ice cream after all.
The forecast says up to 105°. Tonight I bought
1 honeydew melon
1 gallon ice cream (1/2 gal. French vanilla, 1/2 gal. chocolate swirl)
8 ears of corn
1 gallon of orange juice
Tomorrow I’ll make a vat of a Jamba-Juice-like concoction, and not worry about cooking anything much. And gradually work my way through the above.
For movies, I have Nanny McPhee, which no one else around here cares to see, Capote and Casanova. I’m set.
A son is in the process of moving, and brought back a box full of Cup o-Noodles, Easy Mac and Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese. I had just read in today’s paper that Anthony Bourdain loves KFC’s macaroni and cheese. So it was on the mind. It has been many, many years since I last opened a box of the Kraft standby.
Imagine my surprise when I peeked into the box and saw what appeared to be either a large insect or a darkened, possibly moldy piece of pasta. (I’ve not been the same since the visit by the varmint in the garage where some of the food is stored.)
Then I noticed this particular box had a Blue’s Clues theme. Hmmm. I can see little kids fighting over the blue pieces.
Despite the temps being close to 100°, I also made coleslaw. Instead of sour cream, I added plain yogurt. Or so I thought. Turned out to be vanilla yogurt, which transformed a perfectly good batch of slaw into a too-sweet, aromatic dish that was not to my taste.
Then the a/c went dead, along with the refrigerator. Which meant a circuit breaker problem that was fairly easy to fix.
The only dish actually palatable was the beef curry with zucchini. Which is why I’m having a large bowl of fudge tracks ice cream right now.
Wait a minute. Anthony Bourdain goes to KFC?
My 50 tomato plants are ecstatic, the breeze is a hot one, and I wish I had stocked up on melons over the weekend.
The device came about when Ken Armitage, a geophysicist, and his wife Anne, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, were hurrying to a pub that served an excellent cream tea. Because she walked so slowly, Ken worried they would miss the tea.
After putting his backpack on Anne, he attached one end of a bungee cord to the pack and the other to her foot.
Result? They made it for the tea, and MuSmate was born.
A variation of the idea might be of tremendous help to the elderly.
Last night I left a basket of moldy cherries out in the yard. They were destined for the compost heap, but what with one thing and another, they didn’t make it. Normally I don’t leave food, even spoiled and fuzzy, barely edible food, outdoors, because we have our share of mysterious wildlife waiting to pounce after dark.
Most are of the long-tailed variety, silent and voracious. When it’s really hot, we get the bigger critters, the ones who bump against the garbage cans and chairs.
I still haven’t ruled out the occasional gnome, experiencing hard times and in need of a bite now and then. I also left my box of seed packets outside over the weekend, and something tore into a package of sugar snap pea seeds and didn’t clean up after themselves, tsk. The pea seeds are somewhat meatier than say, a tomato seed.
But back to the cherries. Digging compost is not my favorite thing to do on a warm day because sandals don’t like sinking into compost. When I looked at the basket from inside this morning, they seemed unmolested.
Tonight I checked again. What I didn’t see this morning was the pile of cherry pits on the other side of the basket.
Too hot to cook tonight so grilled cheese and fruit salad had to do. Helen Mirren is always fun to watch and Clive Owen up to his elbows in gardening was fetching as well.
The young bear in the Vancouver kitchen refused to leave till it had its fill of oatmeal.
At last, a loose bear story with a happy ending.
Why is there never a picture when you could really use one.
A most unusual sky phenomenon in Idaho on June 3, the circumhorizontal arc.
For the past few weeks, Papa robin became a familiar sight in the yard while Ma sat on the nest in the tangerine tree. I forgot about the resident hawk.
For several mornings, I would hear a wild flapping of wings near dawn. Yesterday, there were loud and frantic chirps from the robins as well, and after that, some faint cheeps. I was only half awake and went back to sleep.
I’ve been giving the nest as much peace as possible while taking care of plants nearby. Yesterday was busier than most Thursdays, and I didn’t think to check..
This morning I peeked in, and there was no mother robin. No papa nearby either. The nest being above eye level, I couldn’t see in.
Just now, I climbed up on a chair and had a look. Whatever got the parent(s) did not come back for the babies.
Oh, to be in Pocatello now that spring is here.
At the Idaho Museum of Natural History, a comprehensive showing of Bigfoot artifacts will be on display. Including the branch stepped on by a possible Bigfoot in a famous video.
Roast chicken, baked potato (first in many months thanks to low carbs), and fruit salad. The movie? I’d watch Maggie Smith and Judi Dench read the back of cereal boxes, and find it wonderfully entertaining. Toss in a young man who washes up half dead on their beach, and that’s a nifty evening.
Definitely a Movie That Made Me Cry.
By following, I mean got up from his seat to stand next to me as I looked in the stacks, edging ever closer till I turned on my heel and moved off. After giving him time (about 15 minutes) to find what he was looking for and making sure he was no longer there, I went back to the same spot, and here he comes, rising from his seat to try again. Then he lurked near the front as I checked out my stuff.
Hey you. Jeez. You seriously creeped me out.
Once in a great while, I mix a few pounds of ground pork with a lot of spices, make large patties, and serve it up as sausage. The house fills with a maddeningly wonderful smell, and family members begin to gather without being called.
Sometimes, I buy up five pounds of ground beef, and make up large burgers meant for the freezer.
Today, I warmed up what I thought was a burger, and went to more effort than usual to toast a bun, melt a slice of Jarlsburg light swiss, cut up a tomato, slice a red onion, and get out a jar of the bread-and-butter pickles I made two years ago that are still fine.
Before long, I realized that what I had was a sausage burger. No matter, it was very tasty.
By the weekend, I should know lots more about adding more umami to my food.
The pair moved in a few weeks ago to the tree sheltered by an overhang. At first, the female was particularly jittery. Either that or I was particularly curious.
This is a part of the yard that needs regular watering. Early in the going, I dragged the hose along, irrigating the fuchsias and bamboos nearby. At some point, I peered in from a distance of about four feet, trying to see if there was indeed a robin in there.
She flew out with a loud shriek, scaring the heck out of me. I was afraid she would move away.
A week or so after, I decided to take another look, keeping a little farther away. This time, I could see her tail hanging out over the edge of the nest.
I suppose she has accepted my comings and goings with an annoyed patience. Now when I check, she is usually looking right back at me with little fear. Maybe even some defiance.
In the elementary school years, he says, every American child is a soccer player. After that, they move in the general direction of sports considered to be more ‘American’.
Before it hits land tomorrow, Alberto may well become the first hurricane of the 2006 season. Parts of Florida expect storm surges of up to 10 ft.
Since getting her own cell when she was six, the child has been sending up to 30 text messages each day.
A mightily disgruntled woman, upset that her new puppy died, used the unfortunate animal as a cudgel against the dog breeder who sold it to her.
No serious injuries were sustained in the fight, and there are no publicly available pictures or videos of the altercation.
In this time of ever-present cameras, there is just no excuse.
Centered about 500 miles from Tokyo, only minor injuries reported. No tsunami warning.
From this page, click on the ‘Robert Borsuk’ link.
‘Not quite winter. They look like. . . November. Not autumn, not winter. In-between.’ From Three Days of the Condor.
A pet tabby strikes fear into the heart of a black bear, who runs up a tree to escape. There is a photograph.
The new version of LuckyOliver rolled out June 1. It’s not your stodgy, old-fashioned stock photo place, but a peppery, high-energy and somewhat irreverent site where you can sell or buy photographs.
Is this a commercial? Well, yeah. If you like my photos, some of them, possibly many of them will be up at LuckyOliver.
Tom, Tom. Now why would you want to do that. And what’s this about losing your female fan base.
From the mind of Mitchel Resnick of the MIT Media Lab comes a kit filled with the stuff of traditional crafts but juiced up with sensors, cables, sound boxes and a small, programmable computer.
The recipient of such a box of treasure will be able to create musical sculptures and toy figures that will interact with their maker.
According to Resnick, the kit appeals to girls as well as boys. I certainly wouldn’t mind having one of these.
Naomi Watts gets to eat a restaurant meal heartily while Jack Black tries to persuade her to star in his movie. Later, there are scenes of eating, but they are not of humans eating restaurant meals.
Upon closer examination, scientists found cell-like red structures that could reproduce. Yet, they contained no DNA. Theories abound, including a possible meteor strike into a flock of bats. But blood cells are unable to replicate.
Another idea is based on panspermia, and suggests that microorganisms from space enter our planet via comets now just as they did when life began.
An Aboriginal artist, Davidson combines drawings of Australian animals with computerized images. The juxtapositions can be striking indeed.