Daily Archives: January 1, 2015

dollars and dog food in 2015

I was shopping for paper towels yesterday at the Dollar Store . Everything there’s  a dollar ;  but , of course , there are exceptions . Greeting cards are less than a dollar . Probably there are a few other non-dollar items . I haven’t checked everything .

I was perusing the food section yesterday , December 31 , 2014 , just for fun . I noticed two different canned beef stews . I have always wondered about canned beef stews . I used to see canned beef stews from Argentina . Are they all from Argentina ? Lots of cattle in Argentina , I guess . I have probably tasted canned beef stew once in my life ; no doubt during college days . Evidently canned beef stew didn’t thrill me . I ain’t got no memory of the experience except a nagging , vague notion that it wasn’t particularly tasty .

Canned beef stews are part of those many mysteries-to-me in my life , one of those blank areas ,  probably better off not explored . Now , I may get curious and buy a dollar’s -worth of canned beef stew soon one of these days  , heat it up , and chew it up . I may regret it . On the other hand it may be wonderful , a delight , something fabulous that I’ve been missing all these years . It’s 2015 now , after all . Right ? Canned beef stew might could be something what the new year dragged brings in .

Next to the two types of canned beef stew at the Dollar Store were cans of Gravy Train .  Now , I know what Gravy Train is . I guess I know it from old TV commercials decades ago . Gravy Train is dog food . The cans , though , up there on the top shelf next to the canned beef stews , just above the chicken dumpling soup ,  near the little cans of Vienna Sausage  , didn’t scream : dog food !  For a second or so I wondered if some unsuspecting , probably foreign , company was producing canned beef stew with the dog food name . That would be an interesting twist of fate .

I picked up a can of Gravy Train , put on my Dollar Store spectacles , and read the label . Okay , yeah . ” For dogs and cats “.jars

Okay . Certain questions arose . Inquiring minds want to know . ( Or is it ‘enquiring’ minds ? ) Has the economy sunk to such a level that dog and cat food is now marketed as  a cheaper alternative to human food ? Could be . Unlikely , though . Even I am not so unforgivingly  and irretrievably   cynical to think the Dollar Store bosses would be so brazen . But , hey ! , this country has been slipping it’s mental moorings over the last several years , hasn’t it ? Torture , for example , is now not torture as long as the torturers are pure-of-heart patriots with the right intentions . Right ? Their little torturing black hearts are , after all , in the right place . So it’s all good ?  I won’t mention Guantanamo at all here , or the so called ‘black sites’ around the world , but you know what I mean . We’ve been torturing that old Constitution of ours lately . What !  I’m the only one thinking like this ? Do you love Congress , too ? Think they’re right on target ? You know what I mean .

Anyway , politics aside , I stood there for a few moments in the food aisle of that Dollar Store , reviewing the last several years of U.S history , pondering important social , moral , and other significant changes on the last day of the year 2014 ( Assume the use of our calendar , of course . Other calendar schemes will not work , as far as I know . Is ours the Julian calendar ?  However , I must tell you that other calendars take their places  next to canned beef stews on my ( crowded ) mysteries-to-me shelf. Just so you know .[ By other calendars , by the way , I don’t mean the ones that  real estate agents send in the mail and I’m not referring to the variety of cute little kitten calendars , or exotic beaches , or babes , or famous trains , or Native California Flowers calendars , etc.  Just so we’re clear . ] ie, I refer only to the last day of the year on Julian’s  calendar . )FAIR Szczecin 2014 158

I mentioned my dog- food-on-the-people- food -shelf discovery to one of the store employees . I skipped the employee who was busily shelving something . I skipped the busy checkout clerk with the big permanent  smile . I chose to ask the woman nearby who wore a slightly different -looking store shirt . She was doing much of nothing but was doing it with an air of authority , so I suspected that she was the store manager . ” I have a comment ,” I said , and all three of them looked a me . The shelver stopped shelving . The checkout clerk smiled wider .

What ? No one announces a comment ordinarily ? It’s a cause for curiosity , for attention , for trepidation , perhaps ?

Anyhow.  I told them all , since they were all suddenly staring at me , about the dog food on the human-food shelf . Simple statement of information presented in a friendly manner ; and then I waited .

Oh , wouldn’t it have been fantastic , in a way , to be told that this was the new store policy . ” Saves customers the trouble of checking two places for their economical meals ,” she might have said . ( Only , she would have said ‘guests’ instead of ‘customers’ . Store customers have in recent years become store guests . That’s a whole other blog post sometime in the future ! )1940 1941 image

But , she said instead ( to the checkout clerk ) : ” Oh , he’s done it again ! ”  Some poorly-paid employee apparently was too young or wasn’t in the country back when Gravy Train was advertised on TV . I felt sorry for the guy , whomever he is , because the Gravy Train cans look like the beef stew cans . I’m guessing the taste is more-or-less the same too . I’m not going to do the taste test , but maybe the Gravy Train tastes better  .SOUP 005

HAVE A FANTASTIC YEAR .Irene and Vernon castle


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A San Diego New Year’s wish: Peace on Earth.

Cool San Diego Sights!

A fervent wish for this New Year: May There Be Peace on Earth.

Perhaps it’s futile to expect peaceful human coexistence on this crazy, mixed up planet. It often seems that way. That’s unfortunate. But it would be even more tragic to completely lose hope.

The creators of one poignant local memorial certainly yearned for the end of war. Because they understood war is brutal.

A row of plaques stand on the east side of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park. Originally called the San Diego Peace Memorial and installed in Old Town in 1969, the silent monument was renamed the Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial in 1996 and moved to this location. It lists all San Diegans who were killed or designated missing in action during the Vietnam War.

Today’s Veterans Museum and Memorial Center is housed in the former chapel of the old San Diego Naval…

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Album Of the Year 2014 – Richard Thompson Acoustic Classics

The Immortal Jukebox

‘We are all falling. See my hand: it bends.
And look at others: It’s in all their calling.
And yet there’s One, who’s holding all this falling
Endlessly tender in his upturned hands .. ‘.

(Rainer Maria Rilke. Translation Walter Aue)

‘ The artist is not meant to be a judge of his characters and what they say; his only job is to be an impartial witness … Drawing conclusions is up to the jury, that is the readers. My only job is to be talented, that is, to know how to distinguish important testimony from unimportant, to place my characters in the proper light and speak their language.’

(Anton Chekhov: letter to Alexi Suvorin May 30 1888)

Vocation: A person’s main occupation especially regarded as worthy and requiring dedication. From the Latin, ‘Vocare’ – to call’

‘I still have to practice a lot. You have to keep yourself going…

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