Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tripping at Mickey D's

I had a FALLING DOWN moment at McDonalds today.

FALLING DOWN is the 1993 Michael Douglas film about a laid-off tech worker who, frustrated by his life, goes on an armed rampage across LA. Called DEFENS from his personalized license plate, he’s tracked across the city by Robert Duvall’s character to a one on one confrontation at the Santa Monica pier.

In one significant scene, DEFENS stops at the local Whammy Burger and orders breakfast. Alas, it’s three minutes past breakfast time. He must order lunch.

He doesn’t want lunch. He wants breakfast.

His pleas about the customer always being right and three minutes, c’mon, fall on deaf ears until he pulls out a stolen TEC 9 and puts a few rounds in the ceiling.


This morning after some shopping I felt the need for comfort food. I pulled into the drive through at McDonalds. It was three minutes to 11.

Ordered a Big Mac.

I’m sorry, a disembodied voice said over the speaker. I can’t take a lunch order until 11. I know it’s silly, but you can’t have lunch for three minutes. 

I’m trapped in the drive through. What am I supposed to do?

Can you back out?

There are two cars behind me and three in front of me. I’m trapped in the drive through and unarmed.

You’ll just have to pull through.

By the time I reach the window, I say, it will be 11. Can I order at the window?

Radio silence.

Or I could just sit here for three minutes. I think but don't say.

I’m going to say yes. I’m at the first window.

Well now. Not Independence Day but a little common sense coping is almost as big a surprise.

When I reached the first window, it was 11:02.

The young lady within seemed harried, taking orders through two speakers and one window. She apologized for making me wait. I told her, no problem, and that I appreciated her accommodating me.

In Dublin, we got in trouble at the Guinness brewery for not following the designated tour order, skipping one floor then wandering back to see what we missed. The young lady there was astonished at us but adamant we needed to move along. Mostly because she couldn’t drop the con that we had paid $46 for a free beer.

It was almost enough to put me off the black stuff.


Back in America, Guinness is $4 and a person can be surprised by kindness and creative thinking in unexpected places.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Susie Homemaker

The kiddo came home from a hike with a hat-full of chokecherries and I was hit with a nostalgic homemaking wave.

I always thought they were named chokecherries because if you ate one, you'd choke. But, bears love them. Why should the bears have all the fun?

I decided to make syrup.

I ended up with four cups of juice and as many recipes.

I didn't know magenta appeared in nature.

And now I have chokecherry syrup. Three jars fresh - into the refrigerator. Four jars canned.

It tastes like black cherry with a slight tart finish. Very nice.

I'm also making an alcohol beverage I'm calling HOOCH because it sounds more native and less yuppified than fruit-infused liquor.

Two jars processing in the back of the fridge.

We'll have to check back in six months to see how that project turns out.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


We have out-of-town company so we took in one of the tourist sites -- what we call the Montana Boat Ride.

A tourist from Alabama struck up a conversation after eavesdropping on us telling our company about the houses across the river (American Bar) the forest fire remains (Meriwether.)

Alabama asked us did we live around here?

Yes. Across the way, down a long road.

Alabama sidled up to Dearest and said, "Do you folks have electricity at your house?"


By a power line that comes to the house?

Yes.   No, by magic -- was what I thought but didn't say.

Alabama wanted to know because his cell phone didn't work here.

Then Mrs. Alabama made her husband return to his seat and "stop bothering those folks."

Since Dearest and I hold the world record for the most frequently lost, bumfuzzled and pathetic tourists in multiple countries, we are always kind to tourists visiting our area.

No matter how tempting the comic possibilities.

Return With Me Now

A few years ago, I produced a grant-funded photography exhibition called After the Burn: The Meriwether Fire. Available here as a slide show. The Devil's Backyard.

This weekend we had occasion to revisit part of the route I took when I was making the photographs.

Here's the area seven years after the fire.

Still looks more like a parking lot than a healthy forest.