Ricketts Glenn

Wow, Ricketts Glenn is gorgeous. A perfect outing for last weekend’s perfect weather. The leaves in Northern Pennsylvania were just starting to change, the park’s waterfalls were falling, despite the recent dry spell, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Actually, a lack of clouds isn’t always desireable, since nothing adds interest to your photos like some nice, puffy clouds. Thank goodness for the magic of digital technology:

Does this gum make my ass look big?

Well, does it?

Thanks to Type E for the marketing tie-in idea. More gum is on blueq.com.

Heathen pretzels: Beelzebub invades Philly street corners

Pretzels, a popular American source of carbohydrates, are a sacred snack:

  • Monks used them to reward children who memorized Bible verses.
  • The pretzel twist represents a child’s arms in prayer.
  • The three holes represent the Christian trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What, then, are we to make of the “Philly pretzels” sold throughout our fine metropolis?

heathen pretzels
The heathen bakeries are squashing the Holy Trinity! They are crushing the praying children! How much longer can we sit idly by and let the forces of Satan corrupt this venerable goodie?

The next time you’re in Center City, be sure to drop by Rick Santorum’s local office and suggest that he introduce the Defense of Religious Snack Foods Act:

1 South Penn Square
Widener Builder, Suite 960
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-864-6900
Fax: 215-864-6910

Free Gumby

gumby in tree

The story of Moon Pappy

happy moon

Guess who made the 2,000th comment on Good Grief!? None other than the infamous Moon Pappy. And why, you ask, is Moon Pappy called Moon Pappy?

Moon Pappy loves to work in the garden. He spends many hours planting, weeding, mulching, and composting and spends a lot of his extra money on trees and shrubbery. Moon Pappy’s pride and joy, however, is the back yard fish pond.

One day, my brother Dan S strolled into the yard, where Moon Pappy was diligently extracting fish carcasses from the pond’s filter. Moon Pappy has historically worn his pants slightly below the waist, but as he was bending over the pond on that fateful day, his outdoor work pants slipped down more than usual, crossing the boundaries of common decency.

Dan S promptly wrote an essay for his English class in which he speculated that the unexpected moon rise could have a deleterious effect on the fish pond tides*. The essay title was “Moon Pappy,” and legend has it that this masterpiece made its rounds in the teachers’ lounge of Warwick High School.

* There are no remaining copies of the “Moon Pappy” essay. But based on the title alone, don’t you think that Dan S should start a weblog?

Consumer whore: the bulk edition

My first trip to BJs:

Superwoman: Look!  I found my favorite jeans.

Becky: They sell jeans here?

Superwoman: Hello?
Sassy J [on phone]: I’m in aisle four.  Where are you?
Superwoman: We’re in produce.

Becky: They don’t have sweet potatoes.  Only yams.  Can we put yams in the pie?

Becky: Wow, I could use some black beans.  Too bad you can only buy these cans in twelve packs.

Superwoman: They’re cheap–you should get them.  Don’t worry, they won’t go bad.

Becky: And where exactly will I put twelve cans of black beans?

Superwoman: Under the bed.

Superwoman:  Hello?

Sassy J [on phone]: Where are you now?

Superwoman: We’re in the Goya aisle.

Is this normal?  Do people really buy cans in bulk and store them under the bed?  Can I eat two pounds of feta crumbles before they get moldy?  How much extra gas do we burn by hauling around a twenty-five pound bag of sugar and a hundred rolls of toilet paper, anyway?

Tasteless Americans

A Sassy J guest post!

Why does the U.S., supposed nation of so many cultures, ethnicities, and religious affiliations (or lack thereof), insist on dumbing down its taste buds? Why must fruit, such as the all-American apple, look perfect (Red Delicious or Fuji, which is half Red Delicious anyway) but taste so bland? What happened to misshapen, multi-colored, succulent apples–tart and sweet? This is the same for cheese, which should not taste like fat-injected plastic but actually have pungency, kick, bite, and be available in hundreds of varieties. And if one would chose to be a carnivore (I hope it is not disrespectful to the lovely Becky S, who does not partake, to mention meat in this blog), just travel anywhere in the world outside of the U.S., and you will discover flavor with your iron. I suppose Michael Jackson’s insistence on bleaching out his skin is part of this same phenomenon. Although I certainly don’t want to taste him.

Published author–again!

City Paper Love & Hate
I am happy to report that the Philadelphia City Paper printed my I Love You, I Hate You rant.    In fact, this week’s edition contains several similarly-themed entries.

There was also a great piece* by Agnelina Sciolla about people who “increasingly regard their politics like religion–something that suggests a certain moral superiority and which should not be questioned.”  I won’t say more, but people who know me in “real life,” as they say, will understand why this woman is my new hero.

*This link will only be good until next week.

SkyMall catalog: consumer whoredom at 50,000 feet

The SkyMall Catalog. It’s one of the few constants in today’s uncertain airline industry. The carriers can reduce the number of blankets and take away the meals, but travelers can always count on the SkyMall Catalog, a beacon of consumer whoredom, to be waiting for them on the plane, conveniently located in the neighbor’s seat-back.

Imagine every silly catalog you’ve ever received aggregated into one lifestyle-enhancing meta-directory. Do you have problem areas in your yard? Sore calves? Insect bites? Small mailbox? The SkyMall Catalog can help!

It all makes sense at 50,000 feet. Flying is so surreal, with the constant drone, the lack of cell phone chatter, and the people in navy blue demonstrating emergency oxygen procedures before passing out little bags of peanuts, that it doesn’t seem strange to consider spending $895 on Mombasa, the eight foot tall garden giraffe. “Your neighbors are sure to be surprised when Mombasa moves in!”

SkyMall rules, though it does lose some of its luster once the plane has landed and you’re safely back to reality. Below are some fascinating items I discovered on the trip to Montana. Next week, we’ll learn about the “As Seen on TV” store.

From Femail Creations: a glow in the dark pillowcase.

By night the pillowcase glows with empowering messages like; Dream Big, Have Courage, Girls Rock.

From the Ex Officio section: insect-repellent clothing:

Protect the whole family from mosquitoes, ticks and UV rays.
BUZZ OFF Insect Shield Insect Repellant Apparel by Ex Officio is the only insect repellant clothing registered by the EPA. BUZZ OFF apparel gives you the protection of insect repellent spray without having to keep reapplying oily chemicals to your skin.

From the Diversions Catalog: Presidential figures. Collect all six!

At the push of a button, each president’s oral history comes alive with one of 25 authentic phrases in their [sic] actual voices (except for Lincoln).

From Plow and Hearth: the infamous Mock Rock.

Hide unsightly or problem areas in your yard with the Mock Rock. Lightweight and durable, the hollow design is a great solution to pipes, meters or landscaping problems.

The Omnivore’s Delusion

The Omnivore’s Delusion:

“But farmers have reasons for their actions, and society should listen to them as we embark upon this reappraisal of our agricultural system.”

Found this via Greensgrow Farm’s Facebook page.  I love Greensgrow and being a member of its CSA.  I especially love Mary’s (she’s the founder) forthright commentary about farming, urban farming, and the current organic/anti-industrial-farming movement.

I’m guilty of being the person who goes around quoting The Ominvore’s Dilemma, and this article presents some nuances worth thinking about.