I’m already thinking ahead to next Christmas and that I’ll likely make a dish. Perhaps something that I can’t pronounce like bolognese. Meat is definitely a requirement.
What happens when you try to come up with a menu to appease seven human beings, each with differing dietary restrictions, penchants, picadillos, likes, dislikes, preferences, predilections, disinclinations, propensities, and predispositions?
Answer: Exponential permutations.
Good news. It looks like we’ll only need 128 different dishes to satisfy everyone.
The new gold card’s here! The new gold card’s here! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this card every day! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, your name in print, that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.
I walked confidently into the corner coffee shop. I got in line and waited a quarter hour. Finally it was my turn. I cleverly placed my order. “I’ll have a chestnut praline latte with a twist. Shaken, not stirred. Make it a grande.” I whipped the gold card out of my camouflage wallet and presented it to the barista. Light from the trendy overhead track lighting reflected and momentarily blinded her. “The name’s Taker. Tom B. Taker.”
Several women in the vicinity immediately swooned and removed their tops. Decisions, decisions.
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The people in the self-described “weird” city of Portland, Oregon are serious about many things. Like roses, microbrew, recycling, bridges, kale, bicycling, front yard gardens, cafés with garage doors, beards, fedoras, the Trailblazers, dogs and, last but not least, trees. These are but a few of our favorite things.
We were lucky enough to be the recipients of a new tree in our front yard courtesy of a non-profit organization that plants and cares for trees in metro areas. We also routinely have a CAR2GO parked down the block but that’s another story.
What we didn’t know was that this tree was the harbinger of a new long-term relationship in our lives. These trees like to put down roots.
Taking on the responsibility of a tree is a serious matter. It’s nothing to bark at.
We recently received our second report card (in the form of a flyer on our door) based on a personalized visit to our home. Yes, in a crazy mixed-up world where abused children often go unnoticed and sadly fall through the cracks, our baby tree is lavished with love, support and attention. If only the government could run with this much efficiency.
I thought I’d end this post by leafing you with a description of our tree parenting grades. I told my wife we should have redshirted the bastard but no one ever listens to me. Now our graduation ceremony marking us as successful tree companions is in danger of going timber.
Soil: Mixed. Ours was rated “a little dry.”
Mulch: Thumbs down. Ouch. But they said they’ll take care of it.
Root Zone: Thumbs up.
Bark: Thumbs up.
Canopy: Thumbs up.
Sucker Growth: Thumbs up. (Apparently we got a waiver for me to remain on the property.)
Overall Grade: Double secret probation.
There was nary a gold star on our report card. Apparently we’re falling down on the job. But we did get a nice thank you doing our part to help the “urban forest” grow.
In the comments section they also noted that we have failed to properly christen Junior with a name for his root certificate. I’ve purchased some baby name books and we hope to accomplish this soon. I’ve already got a bottle of champagne ready to smash on his/her trunk. Hopefully the christening procedure won’t hurt our Bark Rating.
No trees were harmed during the creation of this post.
It’s been a long time since we had a photo challenge. The wait is over!
“Set a course for the Nooglachmiaskoo system. I like their sense of individuality.”
“Make it so, Number One!”
Hint: The photo has absolutely nothing to do with Star Trek. But there is a wee wee clue buried in the dialogue above. For those who know me well it’s actually a very good clue. Think about it.
Hint: It’s where your guru wants to go for a picnic.
It sure looks a lot like a place where Kirk and Spock would beam down and have adventures, doesn’t it?
Oriented radially along the path of the sun, the building will feature a rooftop that folds up and down. As the seven separate folds of the roof tilt, in sawtooth rhythm clerestory windows fill the void created by the upward fold, responding to the movement of natural light and airflow. The downward fold drains the landscaped roof runoff into a berm, on the south facade, and bioswales, returning the stormwater to the Columbia Slough. The folded roof, combined with a north-oriented, louvered, and operable glass facade, will allow daylight and natural ventilation to fill the interior during working hours and make possible night flush cooling. The building’s hydronic system will connect to the plant water flow, efficiently heating and cooling.
–A description of the building
Can you identify the purpose of this architectural marvel recently constructed in Portland, Oregon? You can log your guesses in the comments section below.
“This post doesn’t have a price tag? It must be free, right? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
In response, the Abyssian customer service associate doesn’t lose his shit and calmly points at the the wall. “Clearly you did not see our sign.” It reads:
“The next customer to crack the ‘it must be free’ joke on an unmarked item will be stabbed in the eye. Thank you for shopping Abyss Inc.”
–Our humorous sign (patent pending)
And no, this post is not free. By reading this far, per our implied EULA buried on some other page you’ve never visited, you already owe me $2.99. I’d immediately quit reading if I were you.
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Tom B. Taker (@shoutabyss) July 25, 2013
Half a beer, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be. But half the beer has got to be, vis-à-vis its liquidity – d’you see? But can o’ beer be said to be or not to be an entire beer when half the beer is not a beer, due to some recent imbibery?
Positive? Negative? Is the beer mug half full or half empty? Beer isn’t just something that you drink. It’s something that you do.
I thought I knew beer. It was something I drank once in a while. Nothing special, nothing to write home about. But then I moved to Portland, Oregon, the microbrew capital of the world.
In July 2011, representatives from the Oregon Brewers Festival declared Portland had 40 microbreweries located within the city limits, more than any city in the world and greater than one-third of the state total.
Suddenly I was awash in the stuff. I was drinking a “pint” almost every day of my life. Sometimes more.
Sure, it was nice. The formula is simple:
More Beer = The Good
There was, however, a problem. A big problem. (Surprised?) I don’t like generating cans and bottles. For one thing, in Oregon, you pay a five cent tithe per container. For another, you gots to lug ’em around and shit. And I despise going back to the euphemistically-named “redemption centers” to get those nickels back. Unless you love hacking and slashing your way through a literal jungle of flies with your handy machete. So we’d end up just tossing the empties in the recycling bin, essentially a cash donation to The State. For some reason that gnawed at the very fiber of my existence.
Then, by chance, it happened. I learned of something called The Growler.
Tom B. Taker (@shoutabyss) July 15, 2013
It was at that moment I learned that I had been living only half a life. (Prior to that I was merely radioactive.) As is often my wont, I celebrated by bursting into song…
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