Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Two recent ads, both for cars, have struck me as being odd. The first begins with a group of bank robbers with pink ski masks discovering that their getaway car has been stolen or towed. One of them says that they should have left someone to mind the car...they run away from the bank...another says that they aren't going to take a cab...they then steal a red Prius, well not exactly steal because they leave a bag containing some of the stolen money with a thankyou note attached....last we see them driving out of town with police in pursuit but also with crowds of people apparently cheering them on.
What is the message here? It's OK to rob banks? Priuses are great getaway cars? Priuses are easy to steal? Fashionable bank robbers wear pink ski masks? If you want to be seen as a Robin Hood-type character then steal a Prius for your getaway car?
The second ad is really sentimental, right down to country music in the background. It depicts a sympathetic-looking bearded character with a 14 year-old dog (we know the dog is 14 because his owner has bought him a birthday cake with 14 on it) going through a bucket-list for the dog which includes some kind of game involving lots of tennis balls, hanging out together, tracking down the dog's old girlfriend and going to the beach, to name but a few. All very soft and squishy and set to country song about best friends and being there till the end.
So, what are the takeaways and what on earth does it have to do with Subarus? Has the dog just been diagnosed as being terminally ill? Does he have an appointment to go to the vet's to be put down? Why else the rush to complete the bucket list? Why the Subaru? Are we saying that the owner has to have a reliable car to complete the bucket list? Is it implied that Subarus last longer than dogs? Every time I see a Subaru now I am wondering if the owner is embarked on a bucket-list treasure hunt or perhaps taking time off from working on the bucket list. I pity the poor dog whose owner comes home with a brand new Subaru - "Oh no, not the bucket-list!"
This is all very different from another current Subaru ad which shows a (female?) lab driving around at night with her puppy in a child-seat in the back, presumably being rocked to sleep by the movement of the car. It kind of makes you wonder that if Subarus can be driven by dogs perhaps the old guy (dog) should be doing his own bucket list or at least some of it but that wouldn't quite have the same emotional "pull" as the whole master/dog thing.
And for something completely different? Here's are pictures of a cute tufted titmouse and a pine warbler - both on a bird feeder here in Tillson, New York.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016
Making Kombucha in Tillson
I'm a lifelong lover of fizzy drinks - from Vimto, a blackcurrant/berry soda, in my British childhood days to Asti Spumante and then Bollinger champagne and whiskey and dry ginger in my drinking days and most recently seltzers and diet sodas. I was therefore intrigued by a new (to me) drink which I discovered in Mother Earth in Kingston which is one of our favourite shops for the staples of Sue's anti-cancer organic diet. They have a small display with four or five spigots, rather like mini beer taps, and tiny white paper cups so that one can try "classic", "ginger", "blueberry" "pumpkin spice" and other flavours and self-serve larger quantities. Sue explained to me that this drink was Kombucha which she described as a Korean concoction made with live cultures which it is claimed has all kinds of health-giving properties.
I couldn't resist trying it and loved the effervescence and light, sophisticated, dry taste. A sampling of Kombucha became a regular highlight of our visits to Mother Earth though it seemed like an extravagance to buy at around $4 for a 16 oz bottle, barely a couple of mouthfuls to an avid fizzy-drinker like me. However my curiousity was not going to be placated that easily and I began doing online research about Kombucha and its properties and how it is made and it became clear that it is not that difficult to make at home. So it was that a week ago I found myself in Bed Bath and Beyond buying a 1 1/2 gallon glass jar with a spigot and then going on to Mother Earth to buy a 16 oz jar of "Classic", unflavoured, Kombucha with which to start making my first SCOBY which means “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts”.
This is what it looked like after a few days: