Archive for July, 2000


I’ve determined that there are two purposes for gardens:

  1. To feed the squirrels
  2. To feed the neighbors

In the front strawberry patch, we’re running 5 to 5. I’ve gotten 5 somewhat small reasonably ripe berries, and the squirrels have gotten 5 big plump berries, 3 of them 1 day before picking. Mind you, this is from 20 plants. (There was a bit of a watering drout in the early summer, so the first crop … sucked)

In the back 40, there are 6 tomato plants, 1 surviving zucchini, 3 mature basil plants, and a bunch of little basil, and oregano plants. The tomatoes are going nuts producing green tomatoes. The basil is tasty. And the zucchini is flowering. I’m going on vacation in the second half of august. So far, I have harvested basil. I have visions of all the tomatoes ripening while I’m gone.

Oh well, at least I had fun inflicting extreme violence on the weeds.

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Northwest Recipie

From Friday’s dinner party:

Salmon with Summer Fruit Salsa.

2lbs Salmon
1 nectarine
1 peach
1/2 lemon for juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
little bit of fresh cilantro, minced
touch of hot pepper
one bottle Pinot Gris

The idea behind this is to have a spicy hot/sweet/tangy flavor to go with a firm salmon base. I’ve always been a fan of the spicy hot and sweet combination that you get from some Carribiean cuisines, and this is an attempt to do it without overwhelming the salmon flavor.

Dice the peach and nectarine into 1/4-1/2 inch chunks. Add everything but salmon in a glass bowl and refrigerate for an hour or so. When you’re ready to grill salmon, put salmon in aluminum foil, add fruit salsa, and seal. Put on grill and cook till not overdone. Turn a couple of times. (with 1.5″ thick salmon, it was about 10 minutes total on a fire that you can hold your hand over for a couple of seconds)

Eat immediately with a nice well chilled Pinot Gris. (I went for a 1998 Chateau St. Michelle Pinot Gris, but any good Oregon or Washington pinot gris would work. Willakenzie, Erath Vinyards, and Adelshiem Vinyards are all good.)

In all honesty, you don’t need to grill the salmon, the same method will work in an oven. But salmon is a summer fish, and who wants to turn on an oven in the summer?

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Omar Torrez Show

Omar Torrez Thumbnail - credit www.omartorrez.com
Saturday I saw the Omar Torrez Band at the Tractor Tavern.

The Omar Torrez is still my favorite local band, even with the uncertainty of integrating new backing members. Jesse Stern has matured on the bass, giving more feeling to the music than I’ve heard in the last couple of shows. Aurturo was back on percussion, and there was a new keyboardist and drum player. (Whos’ names escape me for the moment, and are not listed on the web site)

Brent has asked if there is anything new happening with Guitar, Bass, Amplifer and Drums. (I’d add keyboards to the classic ‘rock’ sound, everything from the Hammond B3 to the current midi gear) I’m not sure if Omar Torrez is ‘new’, but it’s certainly interesting. It’s got enough of a beat that even I can dance to it. It’s got infectious hooks, guitar virtuoso, and a bass line that reaches all the way down. The cd even makes me sing and dance in the car (which is a revealing thing, given that I drive a Miata).

I would note that the question ‘Has everything been said that can be said in xyz’ has been asked over and over through all sorts of arts fads. There have been some forms that endured, but most forms of art have at most a couple of hundred years in the sun, and then move on. Symphonies have been in decline since Beethoven, Opera is certainly not in a golden age, Iambic pentameter is a lost art, as is epic poetry. However, the novel is coming into its own as an art form in its third century, Jazz and blues are going on 75 years, and Rock is maybe 50.

I think that there is still something to say in rock. It may not be the blues of Zeppelin 1 or the bubblegum of early Beatles. But there’s still space. It probably involves giving concerts to a couple of hundred people in a dark bar in the industrial heart of a forgotten neighborhood who won’t shut up or stop dancing till the band plays another encore. But then, I’m biased.

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Just got back from a little walk about Ballard. I would have been out later but the concert I was going to is tomorrow night.

Parts of the city are beautiful in the late evening. Little flower gardens tended by grandmothers. Little kids riding scooters. The occasionial dog on a walk. The ivy taking over Brent’s fence.

Sunsets in seattle are something else. It must be the combination of the mountains, a little dramatic coud cover, and the green glow from downtown. I don’t know why, but the east coast never had this feeling of long drawn out days slipping into night. The look of a continous fade from Cyanish (00ffff) to a blue that is nearly black (000010). Not exactly a websafe palate.

I was also struck by the remains of the Ballard building that burned a few months ago. Now there are steel braces stabilizing the remains of the 100 year old brick facade, but no windows or roof. Yet one of the second floor apartments still had an intact clock visible on the walls. It’s kind of eerie realizing that you are looking into what was someone’s home 3 months ago, but they haven’t been able to get back in in that time. It’s been preserved in the post fire destruction state for this time. It’ll be gone soon.

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More Track Racing…

Whohoo! I didn’t get shelled! (for reference, see “track again”)

Last year, I had some similar performances. For most of the season, I was sucking wind off the back of the pack, trying vainly to keep up. Then 3 weeks before the end of the season, two of the old hands at the track suggested that I might want to increase my gearing a bit so tha I didn’t spin out so easily. It worked, dramatically. I was in contention for most of the races after I jumped up a couple of gears.

You would think that I’d learn that when I feel sluggish, I might want to try a higher gear. Apparently it took 2 months this year to figure that out. I moved up to a 92.5″ gear from a 90, and suddenly I can stay with the pack. Hopefully next year I’ll keep this in mind in May.

Three races, three sprints. Including one that was a pretty good lesson for not pulling a competitor up to your teammates. I nearly caught all three of them napping, only missing the front one at the line. Of course, if I had dealt with the penultimate sprint better, I would have been up with the front two the whole time.

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Happy Fourth

Happy Fourth of July.

Let us celebrate the birth of our country by blowing up a small portion of it.

Apparently my neighbors have a 400 round Super Happy Fun Pack of explosives. I just hope they don’t light anything on fire…

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