February 27: Best-selling Car; Odd Use of a Urinal; Potatoes and Onions; Pileated Woodpecker
The best-selling car in America is the Cozy Coupe by Little Tykes. No child can resist the allure of this riding toy, in production since 1979. It seats up to four, including two on top, and is powered by humans: no greenhouse gasses are produced in excess of those produced by living humans. WHAT A CAR. Androp has never much desired automobiles of any sort, but the cozy coupe is a must for children.
Androp spent several days in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and came away unimpressed by the city itself. No food that scored above “okay” was consumed. Some said that the city had charm, with art deco buildings. Mainly, Androp saw monolithic downtown structures designed to impress plebeians. This reminded him of the People’s Square in Taipei City, which actually is way more impressive, although in a blue-smoke-filling-the-air way. As for the art deco: Napier, NZ, has more beauty and charm (not close). The meetings attended included visits with many old friends, which is always the highlight of any conference.
A note: Androp is invariably dreadfully uneasy in large groups of humans he does not know. Basically this represents mild to medium agoraphobia. Probably this is common: small group primates should mainly not be relaxed in large groups. Some stranger may be looking to steal your resources.
The culinary note this week centers on fried potatoes and onions. These are made and eaten approximately once a week at Androp’s house. The keys are (1) cut the potatoes into small, even-sized cubes with a sharp, 20 cm (8 inch) chef’s knife, and (2) cook the potatoes until almost done before adding the onion, which cooks much faster. The cooking shows that add many different kinds of vegetables to a fry pan at once are insanely wrong: And for gawd’s sake, never add garlic to a fry pan more than two minutes before food is removed from heat. Bitter, burnt garlic is unappetizing. Any advice from any celebrity chef that recommends adding garlic early can and should be safely ignored.
In nature notes, Andorp acquired photo-documentation of a Pileated Woodpecker on the back deck. This was a first. Spring is early: the daffodils are nearly blooming. Finally, the wife heard coyotes yipping from both sides of our urban cud-de-sac at once. The urban peninsula is about 50 m wide, with wooded ravines on either side. One group of coyotes was on one side, one on the other side. They were close enough, apparently, to actually see the wife and the little dog on the sidewalk, because they stopped yipping when the wife approached. Likely, they were spooked by the appearance of a human, not of a little dog.
The level of anxiety that he who must not be named is causing Androp’s friends is distressing. Staying ignorant of events is not responsible, but staying constantly frantic is not healthy. Hopefully, most will find some happy medium.