Friday, August 29, 2008

Earliest picture of Phelps

I found this picture, captioned “First known picture of Michael Phelps,” on Running a Hospital blog.

The artist is Patrick Moberg. See


Change no matter what

With John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, voters will elect either the first bi-racial president, or the oldest elected president and the first female vice president.

No more politics after this (unless I come across another odd fact).

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Non-Contiguous Candidates

It just struck me that both candidates for the presidency of the United States were not born in the contiguous 48 states.
John McCain was born on August 29, 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone at Coco Solo Naval Air Station. Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Happy August birthdays to both of them.) McCain is older than I am and Obama is the same age as my oldest son.

Today is an historic day with the nomination of the first African-American presidential candidate by a major political party. I am so amazed and delighted.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008


Happy Birthday Davis. You probably don't remember meeting Mr. Peet at his store on Vine Street when you were four days old. See the post below.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Flashback – Peet’s

We knew Alfred Peet in 1966 when he opened his first store at Vine and Walnut in Berkeley. His very close friend, Kay, lived just down Walnut Street and we lived in a cottage behind. Alfred introduced us to good coffee.

I painted the first sign for the store using the old logo (see above) on butcher paper to hang in the window. He didn’t really think a sign was necessary – “build it and they will come.” He was right.

There were four or five stools at a counter. The emphasis was on retail sales of coffee beans, tea, coffee makers, grinders, and spices. Yes, spices. The original logo read “Peet’s Coffee, Tea, & Spices.”

We loved his hot curry powder – the hot, not the medium or mild. One evening Kay was preparing dinner for us all and Alfred started adding things to the pot. He put in three or four tablespoons of hot curry powder. I was sure I would not be able to eat the meal, but to be polite I took a small portion. It was so good! I’d been raised on grocery store curry powder and you dared not use too much of that. But Alfred’s blend could be used in large quantities. I am pretty sure he learned to make it when he was in Indonesia on a tea plantation.
This little container has the very last bit of his hot curry. The stores discontinued spices when they expanded. I am saving (hoarding) the powder, perhaps for my last supper. I’ve tried all sorts of expensive supposedly authentic curry mixes, but they just are not the same. If anyone knows where to find Peet’s recipe I will be so happy.

Of course we used a Chemex coffee pot back then. We used lots of Chemex pots over the years because they broke easily. We also bought a Chemex hand blown water kettle. I think it is a marvelous looking thing. I dare not use it because I don’t want to break it.
One year we set up a mini factory and made tea sampler boxes. The small boxes were made to look like the large lead-lined and sealed tea boxes which importers sent filled with loose tea.

Green coffee beans came in large sacks to Alfred’s back-of-the-store roasting room. Some of the sacks were made of rough fabric but a few were made of heavy-weave cotton. We are still using one of the cotton coffee sacks as a laundry bag.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Are you CERT...

There was a community meeting to introduce our new siren warning system. We heard a recording of the sound.
CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team.
Our CERT representative, David Graas, told us what to do if the siren sounds a flood warning. Residents are to head to their “rally points” on the levee.
We hope the day never comes, but it is good to have a plan and be prepared.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Family video

I have not been quilting. I've been playing at making videos. I just uploaded one to YouTube. This is not going to be of great interest to the general public because it is about a family barbecue. There is a very quick glimpse (2 seconds) of a quilt.

It is a long, long video (3.22 minutes).

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Flashback Friday -- Poplar

In August 1991 we “rescued” a poplar sucker that was about to be chopped down in our neighborhood. We brought it home and planted it.
As the years went by it grew bigger.
This morning, I wished it a happy 17th birthday.

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