Open Tabs (What We’re Reading), And Other Misc.

Holiday weekends are always light on news, and it seems even during a pandemic and the now usual shit-show that it Lord Damp Nut’s Maladministration, everyone is longing for a return to normal and hence The Villagers (our Failed Political Press) are off somewhere, dreaming of the cocktail and pool parties they are missing in The Village.

Here in the Emerald City, we are still in sheltering-in-place so picnics and what not are not a possibility. And of course, it’s been raining.

We turn to long(er) reads. I thought some of these might be of interest to you.

The Atlantic: America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further

The New Republic: Blow Up the Restaurant Industry and Start Over

Medium: Inside the Flour Company Supplying America’s Sudden Baking Obsession (which reminds me that I need to start a dough today)

Just like the flour, seeds companies are selling out of product. Pandemic America is really going back to basics. Seeds of Italy is sold out(!), and more seeds are not coming from Italy, at least not at present.

I just received some seeds from (new to me) upstate NY’s farmacie isolde, which has a very curated list of seeds (all of which are intriguing), and Mendocino California’s Quail Seeds (who came about when the much-beloved Bountiful Gardens closed), which focuses on heirloom seeds and permaculture, so I will be seed starting greens today. I’m pleased to report that Seed Savers is open again for orders and running free shipping this weekend. If you are at all inclined to be pandemic gardeners, these are fine places to buy rare and unusual seeds.

So tell us in the comments, Scissorheads, what are you doing this holiday weekend to remain sane?

This entry was posted in holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Open Tabs (What We’re Reading), And Other Misc.

  1. MDavis says:

    I’ve got a quilt to finish, once I’ve taken care of chores.
    I also started a tiny crop of tomatoes. I haven’t tasted a real tomato in years, just those bred-for-shipping red things. I think I need bigger dirt, but I went with what I could get.
    Finally, we plan on setting up a raised bed for hubby’s crops. He had yet another failure in the spot that worked once, two years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. donnah says:

    My hubby and I have been good about staying put, so we may safely bring our elderly moms to our house for a cookout on Monday.

    And I finished a rug hooking project! My tribute to Helen Keller.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. w3ski4me says:

    Weekend and a Holiday you say? I can’t keep track anymore. Does it matter anyway?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Long reads get long comments, I guess!

    I’ve never had much luck growing anything (mom got all the green thumb genes in the family. I swear I can merely glance at a plant and it dies.) This weekend is going to be household chores as usual. I gotta get the car in for emissions testing,

    I may get ambitious, and pull a hunk of pork out of the deep freeze and make carnitas for tacos.

    I also have several costco rotisserie chicken carcasses in there too, waiting to make stock. Thinking a batch of my not-famous-but-should-be hot&sour soup with some.

    I read through that TNR article…honestly it sounds like yet another Privileged Woke White Person’s take on what We Should Do to Make the Servants Life Better.

    Yes the restaurant industry is exploitative…it has always been that way (read Orwell on the subject, then read Kitchen Confidential. ) but magical thinking about How the Revolution Will FIx It
    If We Just Blow It All Up, or absurdly: * “I think one way would just be compensating workers in such a way that restaurants become a luxury.”* aint’ how to fix it.

    Yes, lets fairly compensate workers by making it so costly to go there people stop going as much.

    The Underwear Gnomes Revolution. 1.2.3??.4.Profit!

    And the prescription ends up, as always, “We have to fix everything at once in a deeply interconnected way!”

    Only someone speaking from a position of deep privilege, sheltered life, a cosmic level of naiveté or just sitting around getting stoned with their Oh-So-Progressive friends shooting the shit how everything’s gonna be better come the Revolution would view this as a better way, or even a possible way, given that we’re riding a greased slide into the “Hold Mah Beer, I’ll show you what a Great Depression looks like!” economic pit.

    We’re gonna be lucky to get out of this without WWIII, let alone some form of a Super-Duper New New Deal.

    Remember even the Old New Deal was only won through gruelling political trench warfare with the Gilded Age Old Guard. In the end, they were only truly mollified by the cataract of $$$ flowing into their pockets for war industries and after the war they would have gleefully rolled it all back if they could, and their effort continues to this day.

    Don’t you believe for a heartbeat that they’re going to let us get away with taxing the hell out of them to claw some of it back this time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tengrain says:

      BDR – My reaction was similar. I felt like they diagnosed the problem well enough, but offered no solutions or even inklings. The author did try to explain the luxury thing near the end, but I am thick and didn’t understand.

      Unionize the workers, make everyone owners, sure all that is good.

      I know several chefs and all of them have told me that what breaks a restaurant is the rent, many of which also pay the landlord a cut of profits based on receipts right off the top. It’s allegedly why the landlord will take the risk of renting to a restaurant. It’s madness.

      There’s too many structural things wrong, and I have no idea how to fix any of ’em. I just know that American-style capitalism/consumerism is unsustainable. This is not news.



      Liked by 3 people

      • MDavis says:

        The landlord gets a cut of the gate?
        Taco truck on every corner is sounding even better, especially if that includes non-taco trucks.

        Liked by 3 people

      • tengrain says:

        I know, I think that food courts and windows might be the future. The barrier to entry is lower, too.



        Liked by 1 person

      • MDavis says:

        One of the best restaurants I’ve been to was a little Vietnamese place in Burien. They had around five tables, a cooler to keep drinks in, and a kitchen put in by a weird little breakfast place that preceded them. They were all but closed by the time we left, alas. It was family owned and run, so I guess it was like a co-op in that way. We never asked about how they ran their business, we just ate their delicious food.

        Liked by 1 person

      • $15 minimum wage and M4A will also go a long way towards doing that ‘deeply interconnected fix’ thing across the board. The issues here aren’t unique to restaurants.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Steve-O says:

    Working on a short story and smoking both a brisket and a pork jowl.
    Probably while imbibing considerable whiskey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. watching Joe Bob and mowing the lawn!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. purplehead says:

    It’s a holiday? A weekend? I’m unfamiliar with both. Just going to do what I do every day: my daily 4 mile walk amongst the outcrops and partially stabilized dunes; then mess around in the garden and yard; interact with the kitties; doze off in front of the computer.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dennis Cole says:

    TG – this here place has always been my go-to for seeds both common & esoteric, it’s where I look first, but I AM partial, since they’re right next door:

    But when I scrolled through today, they indicated they were closed temporarily, probly due to the Virus, although it seems they’re still accepting & shipping online orders. So if you’d like, you can sign up for their email alerts, announcing new arrivals, or sell-outs of much-requested items, etc.
    The pics of downtown Chickaluma are worth a drive-by, as well, besides.


  9. ali redford says:

    Lotsa reading, books and online. 🖖

    Liked by 1 person

  10. donnah says:

    You all are very kind with your praise. .thanks very much!

    This rug was finished last summer:

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Infidel753 says:

    what are you doing this holiday weekend to remain sane?

    Do you really think remaining sane is a good idea these days?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. StringOnAStick says:

    I just took my new knees on a 5 hour hike to 13,000 ft; it is so nice to be able to do things again without constantly screaming knee arthritis! Led a few rock climbs on Thursday, the first in years for the same reason,. It’s not an easy surgery or recovery but I’m so glad I did it. Knee #2 will be 1 year old on July 2 so that’s what I’ll be celebrating that weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy Kneeversary!


    • purplehead says:

      Ooooo, good for you, SOAS! I know all about that knee pain. I couldn’t walk more than five to eight minutes without sitting down in agony; walking aided by two trekking poles so that I could crab along the sidewalks. But almost five years ago, I had both knees replaced at the same time. So I only had to go through the whole shebang once. Not many people do that. Not many surgeons will do that. It was hard-work recovery that you just had to take seriously, or you wouldn’t be happy with the outcome. I’m a stubborn cuss, though. Heed the physical therapist. It was so worth it! I’m mighty happy and grateful to be pain-free. Which is why I love walking four to five miles a day. Because I can. But I just know, in 15-20 years, this kind of surgery will be looked upon as barbaric. It kind of is. You don’t want to watch videos of it….



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.