Thursday, September 20, 2012

Be there or be square

Fire Department retirement party. As you know, I am retiring from the Redway Fire Department. 

Really? A quarter page ad???
  I stopped at the Redway fire hall the other day, just to say hello, and find out if they wanted anything from me for my fire-retirement party, the crew was on an emergency medical run. When they came back to the hall I got a chance to talk to Richard Rotbergs and Brian Harper. Brian said that if I wanted someone special to be there that I should invite them. I told Brian that the whole community was special to me and that I wasn't sure that they could feed them all. I also said that I thought that everybody was supposed to call Pat Dowd to R.S.V.P. (923-2579.) He said that there will be PLENTY of food... tri-tip steak, with fixin's. So they should just come, everybody will get fed, it would just be nice to call Pat. I also know that there will be plenty of beer. I'm bringing my Guinness tapper and the fire department tapper will have Sierra Nevada and a sissy beer for the lightweights. They will even have bottled water.

The party will be from 4:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. The 9:00 P.M. thing will be pretty firm, after all they crew will have to clean up and make it back into a fire hall when we are through partying.

The band "Twango Macallan", who has become the official "Redway Fire Department Band", will be there. I can't say enough good things about this band. They not only play for us at the Barbecues, but they entertain the patients at the hospital, the people at the farmers market, and other worthy community happenings. I understand that they even like getting a paid gig periodically.

So, it sounds like a fun time and EVERYBODY is welcome. Now you've been told. So, be there!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 4:00-9:00 P.M. At The Redway fire hall, 155 Empire Avenue. Behind Shop Smart, in Redway.
 R.S.V.P Pat Dowd at 923-2579 or just show up, I would.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is that a rock on your desk or a dead potato?

Click on rock for a close-up.

Anonymous said...
So, is that a rock next to the keyboard or a really old potato?

In the previous post, about pie, I took a photo of the pie and in the left-hand side was a rock that I use as a paperweight, or a Pet Rock as the case may be. It's funny that anyone would ask about the rock. It is also characteristic of a natural born seeker. Did anybody else notice the rock on my desk?

My whole life I have spent noticing the things around me, I have an insatiable curiosity. I can't walk down a river bar without trying to find the prettiest rock. I start off by limiting myself to collecting three rocks. After I have collected three rocks I have to throw one away to collect another prettier one. Usually I find more than three pretty rocks and I can't stand having to throw away a pretty rock to save another. So.... I revert to "Ernie's Rules". When I don't like a rule, or I resent that a rule would apply to me, I change it. Simple huh? Wouldn't it be nice if all of life's rules could be so simple. So my silly rule changes from three pretty rocks to four... or five... or six. Soon the whole rule seems to be silly, so I change the rule to all that I can pack. As it turns out the all that I can pack rule has it's own built-in limits.

At some point, I have to impose limits on myself, or I try to make bargains with my wife to help pack some rocks for me, but she by then, has her own pretty rock collections... that she would like me to help her pack. I would be wise to not ask her for help, because then she feels free to ask me for help. She has far better bargaining abilities than I have. She is usually able to convince me that HER collection is far prettier, and therefore far more valuable than my rocks. My rocks usually end up back on the river bar to await the next seeker of pretty rocks. Sometimes I stash them with a plan to return for them later.

Now, back to the rock on my desk. I found it on the main Eel River. It is six inches tall, eight inches wide, and three inches front to back. That, of course depends on which side is chosen as the bottom. It has two fairly flat sides, and it will stand on the narrow end as it is shown, or lay flat. Both positions are stable, no wobble. I like stability in my life, so the rock is somewhat symbolic of me in that respect. 

The rock first attracted me because of it's pretty, and varied coloration. I used the pretty rock test that every pretty rock collector uses, I dipped it in water. The colors popped out. The colors vary from rose to deep red, yellow to gold, with many spots of blue black and green. The white streaks and spots are quartz. I was drawn to polish it for a desk decoration and paperweight. As I tried to polish it, it soon became apparent that there was a significant amount of quartz in it. The quartz is grainy, and it simply won't take a polish. I thought about coating it with a shiny epoxy polish but decided that was just plain unnatural. So I left it as you see it. To me, I know that it is beautiful just the way that it is. I still see it as I did when I dipped it in the cool clear waters of the Eel River.

I found the rock more than twenty years ago while on an outing with my wife. We were walking on the river bar at Fort Seward, down by the railroad tracks. The rocks that she found were by far prettier than mine (She reasoned) so I packed her rocks back to the truck. But, something forced me to keep this rock. It's been on my desk since then.

I have grown quite fond of the rock and I even find the thought of parting with it as unreasonable. The rock is a lot like me. Varied, but refuses to take polish.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Huckleberry/Apple Pie

Huckleberry/apple pie is my favorite pie in the whole world. Here's a picture picture of what is left of two pies that I made last night. With two slices cut for Gabby Haze and Olmanriver. They usually eat off the same plate, it's like they're joint at the hip or sompthin'.

Then... after the giant sucking sound!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Volkswagens, the worlds most economical car, or the bane of the highway!


This is the model that broke the old hippies heart,
 it was the last V.W. bug to roll off the assembly line forever.
The 2003 Volkswagen Beetle 
 The Volkswagen Beetle, or “Bug” as it was affectionately known.

You either loved them or you hated them, there was no in-between. The Volkswagen Bug was manufactured from 1938 to 2003. There were 21,529,464 (twenty one million, five hundred twenty-nine thousand, four hundred sixty four) Volkswagen Beetles manufactured in all. It was the most manufactured and produced car in history. No other car maker sold as many of a single model than the Volkswagen Beetle.

…and, back before freeways, in the early ‘60s, it seemed like they were the single most impediment to traveling down the highway. I can still hear the whistley little four-banger air cooled engines in my ears. It seemed like no matter what hill that you were on, there was a Beetle up there in front, bugging you, leading the parade. Even though they were getting great mileage, they were holding up everybody behind them, causing trucks busses and passenger cars to use their very lowest gears. The wear and tear, plus the wasted fuel caused by slowing down to follow the whistley little annoying Beetle more than sapped any fuel savings that the Beetle could have saved the world. Not to mention all of the labor of the people that were providing time for the freight industry. Sales people, and people headed toward their jobs were held up. You could be late to work and you could tell your boss that you got caught behind a Volkswagen on Benbow hill. It was an acceptable excuse.

I have always over-thought everything, so being trapped behind a V.W. pulling a hill allowed me way to much time to think. I have never taken a psychology class, because I’m afraid of what I might find out about myself, but that doesn’t stop me from delving into the psychology of those around me. It always seemed to me that the people that drove V.W. Bugs were doing it with some kind of a smugness about them. Their philosophy seems to be: “If everybody drove bugs, the world would be a better place, we would be using less fuel, and we would be moving at a slower and more relaxed pace”. So, they feel obliged to hold you up, because they are better and smarter than you. No way would they ever pull over on a hill, they couldn’t afford to loose what little teeny-weeny bit of momentum that they had wound up in their little itty-bitty motors. If they pulled off, nobody would EVER let them back in in front of them. NO WAY! It was like a V.W. driver could die on a turn-out before anybody would let them back in. I think that people that drove real cars would be secretly happy to see a V.W stranded in a turn out forever. Plus, if the V.W. drivers were really that concerned about the environment, why weren’t they driving bicycles, hand-carved out of driftwood? They are all pretentious phonies. There, I said it, I feel better.

The early sixties were a time when more powerful and economical engines were being developed. Trucks were being produced with large diesel V-8 engines with magnesium frames and wheels that could move freight up hills and 55 miles per hour, only to be held up by a whistley little V.W. Bug. State and federal officials recognized the problems of the highway system. They realized that there was no sense in building faster, more powerful trucks and delivery systems if they were only to have the pace set on the highways by a V.W Bug. So, the Interstate Highway System was upgraded so that every state was to have a major freeway. After the freeways were built, the popularity of the V.W. dropped off, which proves something to me. Bugs are just no fun unless you are holding something up.

As you might have guessed, most of this was written a little tongue-in cheek. And, maybe some lingering annoyance at having had to follow way too many Volkswagens...  Deal with it.

My wife’s second car, way back before we were married, was a Volkswagen. She loved it because she liked to shift all those gears, I can understand that. It gave her great gas milage, and it was a time in her life that she was not in any big hurry to be anywhere. Ah... the freedom of youth.

Volkswagens awaiting restoration. Photo by Kim Sallaway.
VW Transporter
The den of the hippie bird, used to lure young chicks with
the promise of a whole wheat alfalpha sandwich.