Gift Guide for Every Occasion

Trying to find the perfect gift for that very special person? You won’t go wrong shopping at Archie McPhee in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. A Holy Toast maker – imprinting the Virgin Mary in your bread –could be just the thing for your devout friend. Or how about Nikola Tesla socks for that electric-car driver? Or a Mr. Bacon Air Freshener? If you’re looking for something more conservative, Archie McPhee carries the traditional Rubber Chicken.

Archie McPhee has been selling life’s necessities since 1983. If you can’t make it to Seattle, they also offer on-line shopping.

For a report on the hazards of this specialty business, click here.

Shopping at Archie McPhee can work up an appetite. I recommend going around the block for Puttanesca at Bizzarro Italian Café.

Urban Annoyance

IMG_1874The car on the left is several feet behind the marked front line of the parking space. The vehicle on the right is well in front of the painted rear line. Any markings that may have been painted in between have been obliterated. Thus, the two cars are filling up enough space where three autos could have parked.

In the not-so long ago, parking meters indicated where the vehicles should be parked. The modern system of payment at a machine, one machine to a block that spits out a receipt to display in the car window has removed that little bit of regulation. It’s no doubt more efficient to not have to empty coins out of each individual meter. And if you leave your parking spot twenty minutes before your ticket expires and someone immediately takes your spot and pays again, well, that doubles the revenue for those twenty minutes. So it couldn’t hurt to at least paint lines on the street marking the spaces.

The End of the Strawberry As Some of Us Know It?

In my early teens I spent the early weeks of a few summers in the strawberry fields around Portland. I say early weeks because the berry’s season in Oregon is very short. In recent years the strawberry crop in Oregon has been shrinking, a victim of the flavor-intense ripe berry’s very short life and inability to travel far. Watsonville, California, meanwhile has been dramatically increasing its berry output. The California season is nearly year-round and the berries have a long shelf life. Oh yeah, not much flavor, either.

Gravenstein apples have suffered a similar fate in Sonoma County for similar reasons, with the additional pressure of vineyards taking over every patch of ground

What WPA and CCC Did For Us

Timberline Lodge 1937
Timberline Lodge 1937

My father, born and raised in Florida, settled in Oregon after World War II. When relatives came to visit, Timberline Lodge was at the top of his list of attractions to show them. There is irony here: a staunch Republican and FDR hater, he took great pride in showing off this Works Progress Administration make-work project. Franklin D. Roosevelt, creator of the New Deal bureaucracies, came to Mt. Hood to dedicate the Lodge in 1937. Continue reading “What WPA and CCC Did For Us”