Cats and dogs may forever be rivals. Here’s 60 seconds from a recent exchange between our cat George Paul John (aka PJ) and Ringo the dog. I gave PJ his name so that no other animals could be accepted into our house. “Sorry kids, there are no more Beatles to name it after?!?!”
UPDATE: So our dear friend JPizzle reminds us that technically there is another name available for our pet-naming needs: Peter Best was the original Beatles drummer until he was replaced in 1960 by Ringo Starr, says Wikipedia. Futher reading reveals that we may also end up with a goldfish named Stuart Sutcliffe, an short-time bass player for the band.
The houses are lined up in perfect rows like cars on a factory lot, some with manicured lawns and colorful landscaping, others with chain-link fence, beware of dog signs and weeds in the sidewalk cracks. This is a well-lived-in neighborhood on the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area where neighbors span the economic spectrum depending on street address. There are gangs of neighborhood kids riding bikes and playing with sidewalk chalk. And there are neighborhood gangs of kids carrying dangerous weapons.
But you can grow lots of fruits and vegetables here.
Raised-beds of all sizes and filled with fruits and veggies.
While traveling up and down the West coast this month on the annual Weekndr family vacation, we made a stop in the East Bay and witnessed an agrarian science project in full swing. A collection of raised bed gardens, cobbled together with scrap lumber, discarded containers, and other creative solutions, was alive with fruits and vegetables blooms.
There were tomatoes planted in a soil bag, peppers of several variety lined up in rows. The heads of lettuce that hadn’t yet been clipped were thick and bushy. Even shoots of corn sprung from two planters after the resident amateur gardener discovered how to start a plant from seed (in this case a corn kernel).
It’s easy to imagine yourself becoming rich and famous by discovering that the dusty old antique hidden away in your attic is really a national treasure.
If your grandparents were collectors or artists or business associates with a famous person, or you go yard saling every weekend in search of some unidentified treasure that was unassumingly tagged at $5, it doesn’t take much to convince yourself that everyone else would pay large sums of money if only they could have what you have.
I was one of 6,000 such people who had tickets to a weekend filming of the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Celebrity appraisers were camped out at the Hartford Convention Center in search of undiscovered treasure somewhere in the old state of Connecticut. Having a ticket (learn how here) entitles you to two appraisals and a chance to share your story of discovery with 11 million viewers on national television.
Attending the show mostly involved standing in line (read the show FAQ for details). It’s only during the last 15 minutes of the approach to the appraisal tables that you actually get to be part of the set and stage as seen on TV. Two areas are set up for filming inside a ring of appraisal booths, creating a circus-tent vibe.
I got to meet the pony-tailed appraiser Gary Sohmers who always wears wacky shirts, and had one of my great grandpa’s newspaper illustrations appraised by Philip Weiss. The drawing has a neat back story and the detail and penmanship is superb, he said, but apparently the market isn’t clamoring for this kind of collectible. The paintings I brought by my great aunt Moira received a similar “wonderful-and-thanks-for-stopping-by” review.
There were a few lucky people whose treasures did take them behind the camera, but for me it was back to my day job. There is a chance I might show up in the background when the show airs next January so look out for the guy lugging around a raggedy old satchel full of artwork. – Mr. Weekndr