Thursday, September 24, 2015

Air Freshener? Really?



 I  invited my daughter Jen over for dinner last night. She and her daughter came. It was a delightful meal  I must admit. I made Halibut Olympia and English pea salad. We also had some pickled beets and green jello with pears. Lovely. Afterwards she wanted to either go on a walk or a drive. I opted for the drive since my legs were sore from climbing up and down the ladder yesterday slapping some paint on the house. For whatever reason, Jen loves car air fresheners. I don't know why. There have been plenty of times when I wish I'd had one for my car, like after I've hauled bait in the front seat or packed a load of neoprene gloves that I use to clean fish. Inevitably they get holes in them and of course the blood and slime gets inside and it doesn't take long for them to exude a stench that can take your breath away, or perhaps you just wish it would. Anyway, we went for a drive in her car last night, and upon entering I noticed an overpowering smell. Initially  it wasn't totally unpleasant, but as we drove along, it started to bother me. The air freshener said it was lemon, but that's not what I smelled. Perhaps it was because she had six or eight other fresheners hanging on her shift lever, dangling like fruit on a tree. I don't know why she doesn't just discard the old one's. Perhaps she's being frugal and trying to extract every last molecule of scent from each one. Maybe she's just lazy and doesn't want to take off the old ones, I don't know She claimed it smelled strong because it was new. I replied that I'd rather smell a fart, and of course that started a whole new conversation; hence this blog post. We discussed marketing a line of air fresheners that stank. We could call them HIG's-  short for Hot Intestinal Gasses. You could purchase varying degrees of stench, depending on who you were trying to repel. We've all experienced uninvited or unwanted guests in our life. If you had company that was only mildly annoying, you could buy the popcorn fart HIG. Unpleasant, but not totally overwhelming, just enough to make the guest uncomfortable. For the guest who doesn't know when to leave perhaps the Wet One's HIG would be in order. You only bring it out after numerous yawns and glances at the clock have failed to imply that you are tired and want to go to bed and you wish they would leave. For really hard core cases, the Pants Load HIG would be in order. You would plug it in to a socket and a small fan would circulate the stench throughout your home. That way regardless of whether you're talking in the kitchen, the dining room, den or living room, the whole house will stink. We once had a couple who befriended us. I didn't know either one of them all that well, but in the course of an innocent conversation I had mentioned not having shot a deer yet. The man insisted on giving us one. He even butchered it and packaged it up. I was thankful and somewhat overwhelmed by his generosity. Well, pretty soon his wife was coming down to visit Jan during the day. Initially she would stay for an hour or two and then leave. As time progressed, she would come  every day and stay until almost supper time. Then it got worse. After spending the whole afternoon here, her and her husband would come by after supper. This went on for weeks. Finally we stopped answering the phone, for fear it was one of them. Jan was familiar with the sound of the lady's car, and when she heard it pull up, she would drop to the floor and hide. They finally got the message, but it was a most painful experience. Had there only been HIG's around then, we could have dealt with the situation in a much timelier fashion. I'm going to be traveling soon, and will be a house guest at several different homes. I hope that if the unmistakable scent of hot intestinal gasses starts to waft around the room, I'll take the hint and go get a hotel room.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Labor Day




















 This past Monday was Labor Day- a day of celebrating the folks whose hard work has made America what it is. It's kind of the unofficial end of summer I guess, although by the look and feel of the weather here in Southeast Alaska, summer started giving way to fall during the first week of August. That's when the cottonwood and alder trees started to turn from green to gold. My daughter Liz and her husband and youngest child rented a cabin from the Forest Service out at False Bay during the Labor Day weekend, along with Jen and Kaylahni. They invited us out for dinner, so of course we had to go. When the chance to eat your kid's food comes up by all means take advantage of it. It's payback time. Of course there was hot dogs and chips and soda, but there was also shisk- ka -bobs on the grill, which was an added treat. I noticed that Jen was sitting on a makeshift bench, and the smoke from the wood fire kept drifting right towards her. It's something she's inherited from me I guess. Not everyone is so lucky as to come home smelling like they've been grilled. I was looking at my daughter Liz and saw that the sweatshirt she was wearing had a slogan that said "Cute enough to stop your heart- skilled enough to restart it." She's a CNA so I thought that was appropriate. I wish I would think of a slogan like that. It's not that I never think of anything good, it's just that no one wants to pay me for my great ideas. What's up with that? My son-in-law and a family friend spent most of their time fishing. Unfortunately Bill had gotten some false information about how many silvers were being caught and he came out expecting to really clean up on them with his fly rod. The fishing in Freshwater was just as discouraging as it's been everywhere else this year.For some unknown reason the silvers just haven't shown up, at least not in any concentrations that would matter. I don't doubt that they're out there somewhere, I just don't know where. Once he got back in to town Walt Lindoff took him up Garteeni Creek and he got a few nice ones to take home and smoke. While we were there, Jan and I went into the cabin to check it out. It's very nice. There's no electricity and you have to provide your own firewood, but it's well built with built in bunks and a wood stove and picnic table in the kitchen area. There is a spacious outhouse near the rear of the building. You need to think ahead and bring toilet paper, unless you're really planning on roughing it. There is a porch and a balcony to sit out on, and the view is fantastic. It's very relaxing.  You can rent the cabin from the U.S. Forest Service on line. I believe it may be listed as the cabin at Kennel Creek, although it could be under Freshwater Bay. It's only $50.00 a day to rent, but if you should decide to rent it, give yourself plenty of time in advance.It's fairly popular, understandably so. I don't know if it's available year round or not. I think that hunters may rent it during the deer season, but as the season progresses and snow starts to fall, the road that leads to Freshwater can become impassable. Something to think about. Anyway, we were fortunate enough to enjoy the last holiday of the summer there, had a good time and ate some of the kid's food. What more could you want?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Root Beer Floats


  I've been trying unsuccessfully to access the internet for the past few weeks. I'm not really sure what's going on. At best it's been sporadic, so doing a post has been very difficult. However, for the immediate time being, I do have the internet, so I'm going to attempt to post something.  Several weeks ago, during a rather extended hot spell that we were going through, I had the wonderful idea of enjoying a delicious rootbeer float, and believe me, enjoy it I did. This particular rootbeer is a delightful brand sold at the local market, Henry Wienhard's. It's some of the best I've ever tasted. When I was a kid Barq's root beer was the local favorite. I don't know if they still make it or not. Hire's root beer was always good, and of course one of the highlights growing up was a trip to the root beer stand on a hot summer night for a frosty mug. Oh my! I did a little research on the origin of root beer. Apparently some semblance of it has been around for quite a long time. Not doubt the natives in the lower 48 had something resembling root beer made from various herbs, berries and roots. The first commercial rootbeer marketed in the U.S. was produced by Charles Hires, a Philadelphia pharmacist. It was originally an herbal tea. Hires first introduced it to the public in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.  He originally marketed it as root tea, but a friend, realizing the potential increase in sales if it were re-named, convinced him to call it root beer. I found it interesting that initially it was served hot and un-carbonated.- yuk!  I saw an ad for his rootbeer showing a little kid holding a glass of  it and pointing to the reader with a caption that says, Say! You ought to drink Hires Root Beer. The caption above it reads -The great health drink. I never thought of rootbeer as a health drink, but I would imagine it must have some redeeming qualities about it. In 1960, the Food and Drug administration banned sassafras as a potential carcinogen. As most folks probably know, sassafras is one of the ingredients used to make rootbeer. Only the oil in the sassafras is considered dangerous, so when they figured out a way to separate it from the plant, it was all systems go again. In 1919 Roy Allen opened the first rootbeer stand in Lodi California. I wonder if they had girls in roller skates taking the customer's orders. In 1920 Frank Wright joined Allen, thus A&W was born. One last little bit of trivia. The first rootbeer float, known as a black cow is credited to one Frank Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1893. Since then there have been all manner of variations, including the alcoholic  version of the float. In any event, whatever variety you imbibe, I hope you'll raise a glass to ol' Charles Hires for a fine darn concoction.