blending of branding domains
Sunday, December 13 2009
The boiler needed to be reset this morning, and I'm hoping that it was a fluke, perhaps from a glob of moisture in the fuel line. There are still things that aren't brand new and could theoretically be replaced: the electrodes, the ignition coil, the blower, and the photocell. But all of those things seem to work perfectly.
Ray and Nancy are always slow to develop the momentum to do whatever it is that they have an idea of doing, whether it is buying a house or just leaving the house to look at it. Today Gretchen and I would be coming along and would just be doing a drive-by to look at a house on Basin Road (near the Reservoir Inn in West Hurley). By the time we got going, snow was falling at a rapid pace. There was enough accumulation by the time we got to the Basin Road place that we actually got stuck in its driveway (we were in Ray's Saab).
As for the house, it was an old building with a storied past that had been added to over the years. Supposedly it had been a speak easy during the construction of the nearby dike on the east end of the Ashokan Reservoir. We couldn't see the house all that well from the road, but superficially it seemed to be something better than a complete teardown. Ray was more skeptical of the garage, whose roof ridge had assumed the shape of concave parabola. The best thing about the house was its location: surrounded by nothing but forest but still within walking distance of the Reservoir Inn, Catskill Mountain Coffee, Onteora Lake, a huge beer retailer, a place that sells little Amish-built outbuildings, and even a Harley Davidson dealership. The grounds around the house appeared to be comprised mostly of forest-covered bluestone blocks, though there was also a line of old-growth lilacs.
Ray and Nancy were going to treat us to lunch at the Garden Café in Woodstock, but by now so much snow had fallen that Ray was having second thoughts about going any further in his car. It certainly didn't make him feel any better about conditions when he went to stop at the intersection of 28 and 375 and went sliding right through.
But we made it to Woodstock without having to go back for the Subaru. As always at the Garden, the best food was the soup.
The snow had stopped sometime during the meal, but not before someone's tragedy somewhere required the attention of the Woodstock Fire Department. As the fire engine went past, I noticed it was emblazoned with an icon of Woodstock, the yellow bird from the Peanuts cartoon. Such cleverness isn't as easy as it once was; it's doubtful all the appropriate licensing paperwork had been filed for such a blending of branding domains.
This evening, after a marvelous afternoon of sitting around the woodstove, Ray and Nancy took us out again, this time to the Kingston Indian Restaurant in Uptown. During the meal, I noticed that Ray was showing an unusual interest in whether or not food items contained animal products (I've noticed that on occasion even Gretchen doesn't seem to want to know for sure). So I asked Ray, "Since when did you become such a big vegan?" And so then he admitted that he'd been vegan for two weeks now, and he hadn't been telling anyone for fear of jinxing it. He then added he was attempting his new diet mostly because of the hypocrisy of loving animals but then also eating them. It blew Gretchen's mind; it was only a little less stunning than it would have been had our friend David Wαllis announced he'd gone vegan. Generally, you see, when one thinks of Ray's diet, things like ethnic pork dishes and piles of hot wings come to mind.
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