09/09/13 - The Truth About Kale

Our friends all know that we're crazy about kale, but we recently ran into some terrifying news. Not only is our favorite vegetable, and partial namesake, full of chemicals, but it could destroy the planet. Check out the article Just Kale Me.

It's hilarious. (No, the kale cultivars we eat have extremely low levels of the chemicals noted, though there are heirloom varietals with higher ones. No, no one is expecting kale to feed the world. Most people will go on eating the usual staples, but maybe with a nice dish of kale on the side.)

The terrible truth about our favorite vegetable

Keywords: food, science, humor, kale

03/01/10 - This Was Just Awful

We saw this corn on the cob for sale at Pike's Place Market. Curious, we asked:

Q: "Why is it called 'pirate corn'?"

A: "Because it's a buck-an-ear."

We did warn you that this was awful.

Actually, it looks like pretty good corn.

Keywords: seattle, humor

07/26/09 - Blood Bat

We saw this little fellow on our way to the blood lab at our local medical center.

Keywords: humor, art

02/18/09 - Upgrade Your Tribble

After the recent demonstration of cooking with triticale at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market, we decided to take a good look at our tribble. You have to be a Star Trek fan to understand, but this is a reference to one of the great comic episodes in the original series, The Trouble With Tribbles. The tribbles are organic eating machines, and Captain Kirk was assigned to protect the precious store of a newly developed grain, quadrotriticale.

In any event, we have a tribble, one of the many sold by Thinkgeek. That's our tribble above. It doesn't seem to purr, but it does chitter noisily whenever one of us sneezes. We decided it needed a new look. As chance would have it, we had just the thing, a fox fur hat suitable for a Russian princess, or a tribble. The fit was perfect. Not only is our tribble larger, indicating that it is getting all the quadrotriticale it needs, but it is also softer. It still chitters something awful when disturbed, but otherwise doesn't seem to have minded the modification.

Keywords: art, science, humor, russian easter, farmers' market

12/09/08 - Are We Entering a New Golden Age for Red Ink?

Watching the economic news one might think that we are entering a new golden age of red ink. This is probably not so, at least if the 1930s are a guide. There was similar speculation a mere seventy six years ago, as reported in Fortune in December 1932:

People have written asking why we haven't written about the prosperity that these times are bringing the makers of red ink, so we've looked into the matter. One maker had never thought about it but another was pretty sick and tired of answering jokes about his thriving on misfortune.

Well, there isn't any red ink prosperity. Quite the contrary. For the past three years sales have been falling off steadily and are still falling. It's the machine age, ink makers say. Companies use tabulating machines and bookkeepers haven't the time, nor the need, for ruling pretty red lines - which uses more red ink than the traditional noting of deficits. (Deficits, of course, are not the only items noted in red. Red ink is used to set off figures or identify a particular class.) Moreover, such great users of red ink, as shipping lines, who note Third Class registration in red, haven't had so many passengers in the past couple of years. And also, while there are a good many firms which have had to change to red ink for their income figures, there are - or were - also a good many firms, persistent users of red ink even in good times, which were so hard hit that they couldn't even afford to buy red ink and have gone out of business altogether.

Keywords: humor, fortune

10/20/08 - The Thirteenth Stroke of the Crazy Clock

We don't set our clocks back an hour for nearly another two weeks, but we've been reading up on daylight saving time anyway. From the 1950 World Almanac on the Ups and Downs of Daylight Saving Time (p535):
In 1949, Grand Central Terminal Station in New York City, used by more passengers than any other railroad station in the country, adopted two sets of summer time. The New York Central adhered to eastern standard time. The New Haven changed to daylight saving time. While trains departed on their regular schedules, they were apparently an hour apart. To accomodate travelers, all clocks were furnished with an extra hour-hand.
It has to be true. I read it in the World Almanac.

Keywords: science, humor

09/16/08 - The Current Financial Crisis

Why are we thinking of the old Monty Python skit where they're wheeling their wooden cart around New York's financial district shouting, "Bring out your dead."?

Keywords: humor

The Too Bit House

12/25/05 - The Too Big House

We've been big fans of Sarah Susanka's Not So Big House books, The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live and Inside the Not So Big House : Discovering the Details that Bring a Home to Life. Of course, we don't agree with Ms. Susanka 100%. We feel that her rival, Sara Sue-Sank-Her, has a number of valuable points as well. We are particularly fond of her contrarian book, The Too Big House, for those of us who feel that too big is just right.

Keywords: humor, kale

12/07/05 - Flat Screen and Pregnant - A Kaleberg journey into computer French

Christmas season often finds us browsing the internet for presents. It's also finals season, so we find ourselves browsing in French to keep our vocabulary up to date. Such is the price of being a homework helper. All this highly focussed browsing often gets us to interesting web pages, for example, those with gift ideas in French. This led us to ponder the tribulations of being écran plat and enceinte, flat screen and pregnant. It turns out that this is quite easy in French, if you speak proper computer French. For more on this, see our latest Kaleberg journey.


Keywords: humor, science, christmas, kale

Bushwhacker Restaurant Sign Damage - Hacker Rant

11/19/05 - Hacker Rant - Port Angeles

We had a bit of wind last week in Port Angeles, and the sign at the Bushwhacker Restaurant on First Street was damaged. The Bushwhacker, a seafood restaurant, seems to be going after a new crowd, the family hackers. We have to check it out. Come one, come all, and bring your favorite LINUX device driver module and DRM hacking tools! Be prepared to flame.

Hacker Rant - Sunday Open at 4PM - Family Night

Keywords: humor, port angeles

04/11/05 - The Blood Center

Whenever we head down West 66th Street in Manhattan we cannot but help notice the line of trucks from the New York Blood Center with their 800 933 BLOOD phone numbers painted on the side. Imagine, take out is not just for those living in Manhattan, it's available for the undead as well. Elsewhere, vampires have to haunt the streets at night, killing and maiming unwilling blood donors and worrying about run ins with vampire slayers and other undesirables. In New York City, a vampire doesn't even have to leave the apartment. Just dial a few digits, and a tasty meal is on its way.

Now, we are sure that the New York Blood Center is really about providing vital blood and blood products for the living, and you might consider dialing the number above and making a donation, but in New York City, where take out food is one of the glories of civilization, one cannot help but imagine.

Keywords: new york city, humor, food

02/05/05 - The World's Smallest Lumber Yard

We were just driving through Joyce, a small town west of Port Angeles, and we couldn't help but notice the little lumber yard right along Route 112. Joyce is a rather small town, but it has a restaurant or two, a laundromat, a general store, a health club, and a video rental center. These are all smallish operations, so the lumber yard is perhaps of the proper size for Joyce. Still, we had never seen such a small lumber yard before. Even the few lumber yards we've found in Manhattan, noted for its excruciating real estate prices, were larger.

Our curiosity had been piqued. Does this little lumber yard sell four by twelves, or do you have to make do with two by fours?

Kidding aside, they must have a system. This is Joyce, and Joyce is in lumber country. Perhaps this is a cut your own lumber yard. We've seen self pick strawberries, self pick lavender, and cut your own Christmas trees. Why not a cut your own lumber yard?

It all makes perfect sense. You pick up a chainsaw in the little building by the road, and while you're out in the forest picking out a likely looking tree, they'll be firing up the sawmill. We're not sure how they get the wood properly seasoned. Maybe they have one of those microwave wood kilns, sort of like at the convenience store, except big enough for a whole tree trunk. There is a lot of emphasis on knowing the ingredients in your restaurant meal these days. Why settle for Nieman Ranch beef, when you can meet the steer, and maybe tussle a bit? Why settle for factory farmed Home Depot lumber, when you can cut your own. It's so much more authentic.

Of course, the local tree varietal out in Joyce is probably cedar, but we can almost hear the guy at the yard saying, "Redwood. Not a problem. We've got seeds." But that is another story.

Keywords: humor, christmas, port angeles