passing of a Google Street View car
Wednesday, July 25 2012
I'd never seen a Google Street View car in my life, but this morning while I was hanging out in the yard enjoying the morning sun, I saw one go past on Dug Hill Road. It was headed down the hill, towards Hurley Mountain Road. This wasn't the first time a Google Street View car had gone past our house; judging by the pictures on Google Street View, they first did so about four years ago. They've also gone down Hurley Mountain Road at least twice; when one gets to the bottom of Dug Hill Road if one goes north it's spring and if one goes south it's autumn.
This afternoon our friend Michæl came over to have us give him feedback on a line of vegan nut cheeses he is gearing up to produce. We tried them and they all reminded me of Dr. Cow cheeses in terms of taste and appearance, though Michæl hopes to make them more inexpensively by using non-organic ingredients and taking a few other shortcuts. The idea is to make vegan cheeses "for the masses." Michæl keeps his recipes a closely-guarded secret (and didn't even want to talk too much about his nut grinding equipment), but they involve the same sort of aging processes that take place in dairy cheeses. Gretchen and I weren't in complete agreement on the cheeses, but we were definitely tasting similar things, such as a strange "note" in one of the samples.
This evening Gretchen and I went over to visit our friends Chris and Kirsti, the "photogenic vegan Buddhists," who have been living on Zena road for a few years now. Last time we'd attended a small dinner party there, we'd brought our dogs and one of their cats (a sick blind one with heart problems) picked that night to go into the great feline beyond, a stressful event for all involved. So this time we left our dogs at home. In the meantime the cat population at Chez Chris & Kirsti had continued to increase. At this point I think it stands somewhere around eleven. But it's a tidy household and one can never tell that so many cats live there until the gradually start bubbling up from the basement and parading past. In addition to the cats, Kirsti's brother Christien and his wife Michæla are living in the basement. It's a lot of vertebrates under one extremely flat rubberized roof.
Glasses of vinho verde in hand, Chris & Kirsti gave Gretchen and me a tour of their garden atop a nearby knoll were their septic tank water is pumped up to in order to leach. C & K had done a lot to lower our expectations for this their first real garden, but it was very impressive. For starters, it was about a quarter acre in size and surrounded (of necessity) by a plastic fence designed to keep out deer. Within that area were numerous raised beds formed from dimensional lumber, though there was still plenty of room for expansion and the aisles between the beds were wide. Even with all the room for expansion, it was a decidedly bigger and more organized operation than our own ad hoc arrangement of brassicas, beans, sunflowers, and tomatoes. Their lack of experience hadn't set them back much; they had plenty of varieties of kale and spectacular cucumber vines. The only thing they were missing was tomatoes; they'd planted theirs a month later than they could have. Tonight it didn't matter; Gretchen had brought a big tomato-rich salad made from our tomatoes, which we ate along with some sort of smoke-flavored potato-kale-and-tempeh glurp. Michæla had baked a delicious fruit pie that (due to the dietary restrictions of three people present) was also gluten-free.
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