But they're high in protein

Interesting and noteworthy ride yesterday. I went out around three in the afternoon, thus avoiding the main cancerous rays of the sun. Usually I go out in the morning and am back by ten, but it looked like rain so I put it off until after the Mets noon time game. It turned out not to have rained in the morning, but was more like a marine layer from LA. Anyway, I went out at three with a planned route but not sure how long it would be figuring around one and a half hours or about twenty miles.

Two things of note on the ride. First, the finished ride was 21.2 miles which put my total for the year at 1112.5. What makes this noteworthy for me is that last year my total for the year was only 1097. This was due to the many days of not riding or riding low mileage because of back pain. In 2005 my total was 1898.2 and I hope to top that without a problem, but the 3049.8 of 2004 will remain out of reach.

Along the ride I saw that someone had put a small upright organ out at the curb for garbage pickup. It was not in good shape, but as I passed it I thought of things that might be done with it if I were a crafty person, like taking the keys and making something out of them, or using them as accents on a small piece of furniture. But soon my thoughts turned back to avoiding potholes and inconsiderate drivers. That will be a rant for another posting. About twenty minutes later I looked up ahead and there by the curb, believe it or not, was another upright organ, almost exactly the same as the first one. I marveled at the coincidence, first unique to see one, but then a second one on the same ride.

Then a bug flew in my mouth and gagged me.


Vegetable Garden (or is it?)

My garden this year is smaller than in previous years, consisting of cucumbers, string beans, eggplant, japanese eggplant and cherry, big boy, and early girl tomatoes. Eggplant and cuke plants have been producing very well. String beans started out good, but have slacked off greatly and I think they may be done. As for the tomatoes, they haven't started producing yet, except for seven cherries. I counted over forty large green ones on the other two plants and they seem to be preparing to all come at once.

The title of this post might seem puzzling, so allow me to explain. The tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable. Many of you probably have heard that argument before, but it isn't only the tomato. The eggplant and cucumber are also fruits. If it weren't for the beans I would have a fruit garden instead of a vegetable garden. What? You say hooey. For anyone who does, or is puzzled by this, or disagrees with me just because they feel like it, here is what sciencebob.com says...

The big question to ask is, DOES IT HAVE SEEDS? If the answer is yes, then technically, you have a FRUIT. This, of course, makes your tomato a fruit. It also makes cucumbers, squash, green beans and walnuts all fruits as well. VEGETABLES such as, radishes, celery, carrots, and lettuce do NOT have seeds (that are part of what we eat) and so they are grouped as vegetables.”

And then there is this from the Oxford Dictionary....

The confusion about 'fruit' and 'vegetable' arises because of the differences in usage between scientists and cooks. Scientifically speaking, a tomato is definitely a fruit. True fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower, and contain the seeds of the plant (though cultivated forms may be seedless). Blueberries, raspberries, and oranges are true fruits, and so are many kinds of nut. Some plants have a soft part which supports the seeds and is also called a 'fruit', though it is not developed from the ovary: the strawberry is an example. As far as cooking is concerned, some things which are strictly fruits may be called 'vegetables' because they are used in savoury rather than sweet cooking. The tomato, though technically a fruit, is often used as a vegetable, and a bean pod is also technically a fruit. The term 'vegetable' is more generally used of other edible parts of plants, such as cabbage leaves, celery stalks, and potato tubers, which are not strictly the fruit of the plant from which they come. Occasionally the term 'fruit' may be used to refer to a part of a plant which is not a fruit, but which is used in sweet cooking: rhubarb, for example. So a tomato is the fruit of the tomato plant, but can be used as a vegetable in cooking.

So now that you are totally confused I will take my leave to go putter around in my fruit garden.


A sad change

It dawned on me recently that a place of significance in Pat's and my past is now changed forever. In her mother's house, when they converted the garage into a larger kitchen and family room, that place of significance disappeared. That would be the garage itself. There are two events that took place in that place that may have changed our lives forever. The first occurred in high school when we were sixteen. Mike Williams and I walked her home either after school, or after a school event (I can't recall details). He waited in the driveway or on the sidewalk while I walked Pat into the garage to say goodbye. I remember her leaning against the wall near the door to the kitchen saying goodbye and then hesitantly moving in to steal my first kiss from her. It was the first time I had kissed anyone and I can't brag that I was good at it, but walking away from the house I was feeling really good. The second event, and even more notable, happened on Christmas Eve in 1968. It was after returning from midnight mass with Pat's family. Her father had backed the car into the garage as he always did, and we all exited the car to go into the house through the kitchen. I asked Pat to stay behind a minute because I had something to tell her. Later she would tell me she thought I was going to break up with her because we had broken up a number of times before and she thought this was going to be one of those times. But in almost the exact same spot that I stole that kiss, I took out a ring and asked her to marry me. Not the most romantic gesture; surely not like putting it on a scoreboard or having it written in the sky, but it did the job. So, I lament the disappearance of that garage.


Could I care less?

Okay, this isn't a big deal, but why do people always say it incorrectly? It is "I couldn't care less", not "I could care less". The phrase means that it is the least you could care about a subject, so you can't care less, thus the former is the only phrase that makes sense. I hear people using it all the time, even people in the news business on television or radio. And it obviously irks me.

And while on the subject of word usage, let me address one that makes me cringe when I hear it. That would be "so fun", as in This party is so fun. First of all anyone who knows a little of grammar and speech should recognize that it just doesn't sound correct. Bells and whistles should go off in your head. What makes this incorrect is that "fun" is a noun and "so" is an adverb and adverbs don't modify nouns. Here is a link for an article that delves into this topic a bit more. http://www.editpros.com/news0501.html



Grandson number two, Aidan, celebrated his first birthday yesterday. Here are just thirty of the over one hundred pictures I took of the day.



Time on my hands

I have too much time on my hands obviously. I wanted to try a short slide show and chose my life in pics.


My attempt at posting from a widget.

Just trying to keep up with my ubergeek son.


I've got nothing

I want to post something but life is dull and there is nothing to write about. Weather? Cool and rainy for the 4th and today. Sports? Mets suck right now. Nothing else. Oh well.



Not an observation as defined by Webster, but just something I saw today. While out on my bike ride this morning I saw a snake. That's it, a snake. I would say a little over a foot long and slithering across the road in Middletown. I would guess that before I had gone another quarter mile he was road kill.

But what ever happened to toads. We used to call them hoptoads. There was a time when they were flattened on every road you went down, but not anymore. Rarely do you see one, either alive or flattened. And no longer is there a concern when mowing the lawn that you may fillet one. Nope, they seem to be gone. Pesticides?