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A little confession

June 10th, 2006 by jomo

Using GMail as webmail is very handy, and I have been quite happy with it. The linkage of paid advertising to email subjects or keywords which apparently totes the freight for the free service, sometimes produces humorous or interesting connections. When I go to see if any good messages accidently got sent to the spam folder, the ad-link that always shows up at the top of the page is for a recipe site, with appetizing spam concoctions (like “Spicy Spam Kabobs – Serve with hot cooked rice”).  My confession is that I like Spam…not a steady diet of it, to be sure.  But the introduction of vacuum-packed Spam singles allows me to indulge my taste for it without having to open a whole can.  Just right for a Otis Spam Special sandwich:  spam, mayonnaise, sliced tomatoes and hot sauce between slices of toasted bread (glass of milk and potato chips optional).

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Bubble blowing

June 7th, 2006 by jomo

Some kids at school had BUBBLE GUM! It was just after the end of WWII (today that would be W2I2?). Rationing had ended, but many things were still scarce. One boy told me that his father had gotten the gum at a neighborhood cafe. That afternoon I told my father, and he took me to the cafe. The counterman there said that they had gotten one box in and had sold it all the same day. He didn’t know when they would get more.

Not long after that we moved from Long Beach back to Texas, where my father went to work as a store manager in downtown El Paso for Furr Foods. He must have remembered my disappointment in that gumless cafe, because when he came home from the first day on his new job, he brought me a whole bag of Fleer’s Double Bubble.

There were many different brands of bubble gum, but the others were not as good as Double Bubble. In the 50s Fleer’s stumbled, and went from the squat cyclinder form, wrapped in twisted paper like seashore taffy (the funnies had to be smoothed out to be readable), to a stubby rectangle in machine-wrapped regularity. Never the same again.

What started this line of thought? The new corner grocery store down the street, P&K Grocery, left a hanger/flyer, with a piece of Bazooka. It ain’t Fleer’s, but stand to your gum, boys, and blow ’em a good ‘un.

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This just in

June 5th, 2006 by jomo

Actually, it was in on Friday, but the story is that CO2 (carbon dioxide), the main greenhouse gas, which we are producing in over-abundance, makes poison ivy thrive. So report researchers at Duke University. No wonder I feel like the stuff in the driveway might start fighting back.

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The driveway horror

June 2nd, 2006 by jomo

Our long-time tenant (I said ten years, our oldest son said 15 years, the tenant said 18!) has moved out.   His record and jukebox collection had grown so large that he needed much more space, so he bought a place in a small town northeast of Austin.  I had only been around the now-empty property on maintenance errands through the years, so I walked around the place yesterday, seeing what needed to be done.

In the back I noticed a lot of poison ivy.   The perfect xeriscape plant for Central Texas, poison ivy thrives and expands its domain relentlessly.  Without an aggressive control effort, it will dominate an area.  So I focused in on the shiny, pointed green trinity pattern of the poison ivy leaves, trying to determine the extent of its spread.

Working along the south fence beside the driveway, I saw it everywhere.  Then I realized that the leaves just overhead were also poison ivy. Looking around the hackberry tree there, I found a poison ivy climbing stem about the size of my wrist. Similar runners were on neighboring trees.  It gives me the shivers, thinking about all of the urushiol stored there, just waiting to make all those excrutiatingly itchy tight clear blisters – ugh! Double ugh!!

So job #1 in renovating the rent house will be poison ivy eradication – which I know is a hopeless task, but I do have to make up for 18 years of inattention.

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