Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I'm currently sporting a Butt-kicker of a headache. It's exacerbated by two things: I'm trying to cut back on caffeine, and I'm jonesing a bit, and I currently have a missing filling that hurts like a %&%^*^%#. I wonder if these might also explain my inability to post much worth reading lately. But The Feared Redhead has finally managed to badger me into printing out Dentists' phone numbers. The only thing I fear more than that Dentists drill (to me it combines the soothing sounds of nails on a chalkboard with the gentle tickle of a Bowie knife being shoved into my jaw) is her wrath. So hopefully soon I'll be fix... er.... healed.

Quote of the Week

Mild he lay his Glory by,
Born that men no more may die.
Born to raise the Sons of Earth,
Born to give us Second Birth!

- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Oregon Rain

Man, it's really coming down out there. I mean, the kind of rain someone from the coast would be used to. Kinda makes me wish I could be out in it.

I'm Not Swallowing It

I'm a huge fan of the Food Network. I especially love watching Good Eats with Alton Brown. I also enjoy Unwrapped, which is an educational program to watch if you're interested in regional cuisines.

But lately Unwrapped has been repeating a meme that I have to address. They keep repeating the claim that there are only three fruits native to North America: Cranberries, Concord Grapes, and Blueberries.

Now, as it happens, Oregon is a state where you will find two of these, the berries, and is in fact a major source of them. Most of the time, however, when Unwrapped makes reference to them, you'll be watching a section of the show on New England. And the people in New England being interviewed are even quicker to point out this "Only Native" claim, since all three fruit are native to that region.

But here's the interesting thing. That claim of those three being the only fruit native to North America?


They are overlooking at least three berries, all native to the Pacific Northwest, all edible:

Oregon Grape

Salal Berries


Oregon grape is, unsurprisingly, the State Plant of Oregon. Salmonberries are the same shape as a blackberry or raspberry, but their color makes them look just like a cluster of salmon eggs. Salal berries were a chief staple of the diets of coastal Native Americans in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

All three are native.

Next on Unwrapped: Recipes for crow.

Ironically Enough....

Right after posting on my concerns about flooding, I feel compelled to post an apology for the Blogging Dry Spell. I just haven't had any inspiration lately. I still care avbout political matters, but haven't had much of a chance to follow them, between work, holiday preparations, and baby preparations. The Feared Redhead's condition hasn't improved or deteriorated, and we haven't passed any prepartum milestones, so there's nothing to report there. There's always plenty about my beloved home state upon which I could blog, but I'm at a loss to pick a specific theme. I supposed something on the holidays would be in order. I'll think of something. I promise I haven't forgot my loyal readers (EITHER of you)!

Rising Concern

The last couple of Days, as I've crossed the Willamette River on my commute, I've noticed that it seems pretty high for this early in the year. That's not a good sign, but I'm no expert and I haven't lived in the Willamette Valley long enough to judge from experience. Hopefully I have at least one reader who is or who knows a hydrologist who can interpret This Data for me, particularly the info for the Willamette at Eugene.

UPDATE (12/15/04):

I spoke to a friend of mine about my concern, and she gave me some information that allayed my flooding fears but raised other concerns. Apparently there's almost no snowpack up in the Cascades, which means that while the rivers are swollen with winter rainwater now, come spring there will not be much of an additional increase, so flooding isn't as much of a concern, Drought, on the other hand....