Friday, February 17, 2012

RIP Husum Roadside BBQ

I forgot to mention this, as I was caught in the despair of an unfortunate end to the fabulous Super Bowl game the other weekend. It was just too much bad news to deal with at one time. The winter storms took their toll on the MASH tent that had so much potential for good times. The big ice storm, which caused an estimated $2.4 million in damages around Klickitat County, delivered the death blow to the aged canvas.

BBQ John says he'll reopen for the Annual Husum 4th of July Parade, .1K micromarathon and celebration. And he thinks he might do special orders. We'll see. He also said he has to find a 'real job'. It might be a long time before the denizens of Husum enjoy a good Combo again.

Thanks, BBQ John, it was great while it lasted.

Oh NO! Italy Joins the 'War On Relgion'?

A bit of shocking news on page 10 of the Oregonian this morning: Church to Lose Tax Break. Yes, the Italian Government is breaking from its business as usual, that is passing laws that benefit the Catholic Church with little fanfare. It hasn't been in the habit of publicly taking bennies away.
"The government of Prime Minister Mario Monti took that step Wednesday, telling the European Commission that it intends to change Italian law to ensure the Church pays property tax on the parts of its buildings used for commercial ends."
So now the convents that offer B&B services, and the churches that rent space to shops will have to pay their full share of property tax. No small change: estimates range from $650 million to $2.6 billion. And could set off a wave of such changes in tax exemptions across cash strapped Europe. There was no link to it from the O, so here is a Reuters link instead.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is Blind- Get Over It

(Political alert)

The ink wasn't even dry on the Marriage Equality bill that Gov. Gregoire signed yesterday when Rick Santorem rolled into town to whip up the homophobes and try to advance his chances of winning the GOP nomination ahead of the March 3rd GOP Caucuses here in Washington State. He couldn't give supporters of the bill one damn day to celebrate. He spoke in Tacoma, just blocks from an Occupy group, and was honored with protesters and a glitter bomb.

As he hypocritically charged intolerance of religion, his own intolerance was showing like a long slip under a short dress. His intolerance of the rights of women. His intolerance of those who don't believe strict Catholic dogma. His intolerance of those whose sexual orientation is not to his liking.

Rick, honey, that speech won't play well west of the Cascades. But you can keep on giving it wherever you like because it's making it easier for the rational among us to motivate the voters.

Reach out to those gay and lesbian voters. They love being treated as second class citizens. It's such a shame about VT, MA, CT, NY, IA and Washington DC. They've just fallen apart and gone to h-e-double hockey sticks since voting in Marriage Equality laws.

Then reach out to all those women voters. You know, the ones who are tired of being able to control when or if they become mothers (including an overwhelming percentage of Catholic women). Or deciding if they can afford to stay home or go to work for almost equal pay. Or who like their contraception covered, because it's a whole lot cheaper for insurers to not have to pay for childbirth and all those medical costs of raising lots of kids. You know better how it should all go down. And women are just not capable of making all those tough decisions.

Rick, Rick, Rick...I appreciate that you know who you are and what you stand for. I'm glad it all works out for you in your world. But the bigger world out there doesn't see things that way. You should have figured that out when you got bounced out of your Senate seat in 2006 by a measly 18 points was it? The NW prides itself on being progressive. Your dog won't hunt here.

And by the way, your slip is showing.

UPDATE: My awesome Governor blogged today on Huffpo. Read it here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fenway Fun

This year, Fenway Park turns 100 years old! I hope to catch a game in person this year, just because. I kind of have a big birthday coming up, too. Spring fever has hit. Saturday was Truck Day. And now there is a fun activity for all you die hard Red Sox fans out there.

Go here and choose your players for the All Fenway Team! They are tallying RH and LH Starting Pitchers now, and will add positions from now to mid May. Seeing as I'm slightly biased towards the Impossible Dream team, I was happy to see Jim Lonborg on the list. And who could forget Spaceman Bill Lee on the LHP list?

Oh, this is going to be so much fun. I can't wait to see who the other choices are.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

34th Anniversary of the Blizzard of '78

A friend reminded me that on this day in 1964, the Beatles arrived in NYC to prepare for their 1st appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. And that it's "the anniversary of some blizzard that happened 14 years later".

I remember that first appearance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was a turning point in musical history. I remember even better the Blizzard of '78. It was a turning point in my life.

The story starts in June of '77, when my fisheries coworker Linda and I took a vacation to Poland to visit the folks we worked with on the RV Wieczno over the previous few years. She worked in Woods Hole, and I worked in Narragansett. What an adventure for two wild and crazy single gals in their 20's. In fact, I celebrated my 25th birthday during that holiday. At the end of the trip I met a nice dental student in a town near Gdynia, the brother in law of the Bosun of the ship. We made plans to meet in February during his school break, and go skiing in the mountains. He would meet me in Warsaw, and we'd take the train to Krakow. How exciting!

By November, I'd met Lloyd. He was in a long distance relationship, so I wasn't taking him too seriously at this point. He agreed to stay in my apartment to take care of my cats while I was gone to Poland. Boy, I had it all covered. My best buddy Karen drove me to the Amtrak station that morning in her Karmann Ghia, in the snow that was beginning to fall. In this day and age, I'd have been online checking the Weather Channel, the airline and airport websites and never left Saunderstown. Back then, nada. We knew it was going to snow. Period.

I got to South Station, and rode the T to the airport, which was closing as I arrived. Wind was blowing through the terminal any time a door opened. I scrawled a note to my Polish date for the airline rep to forward to Warsaw. Poor guy would be wandering around looking for me. And there was no one for me to call, he didn't have a phone. Talk about being stood up!

I made it back to South Station in time to catch the train that was heading to DC. The Kingston stop was ordinarily about an hour and 20 minutes or so. We slowly made our way south, got stuck in Providence for several hours during which time the train ran out of booze. Four hours it took to get to Kingston. The snow was waist deep by then. People were stranded at the train station.

Neighbors had brought PB&J sandwiches and hot chocolate for us. I waded out to the main road where there was a phone booth. Remember phone booths??? I called Lloyd to tell him I was NOT in Poland. He said the road had been plowed by the house, he'd try to get there. So I waited by the phone booth. Built a family of snow men. Watched plows go by. Finally the phone rang again. No luck, there was no way to get to the station. So I trudged back and waited with the other refugees. Sometime after midnight, the station got plowed out, and the fire dept came and evacuated us to a makeshift dorm at URI. There was a buffet of food for the workers and refugees. We had cots to sleep on.

The next morning, we were watching the Today Show, amazed at the size of the storm. A pair of wet mittens fell on my face. It was Lloyd, come to rescue me. I never went back to Poland. The airport was closed for a week. I did mail clippings of the newspaper about the storm to the dental student in Poland, so he'd know I didn't totally stand him up. He never did get that message from the airline. But by the time the last of that snow had melted, there was a nice oceanography student who'd won my heart.

And they lived happily ever after.

For some great photos of that day, check this link.