Archive for June, 2010

Pluots: You’ll Love Them


Ahoy this morning, dear readers. I’d like to tip you off to a delicious new kind of fruit that you’ve never heard of. It’s called a “pluot”. My neighbor from down the street—I’ll call him Mr. H.— came over last night and brought me a little basket of them. He had extras because he bought a whole slew of them because he was going to keep some and give the rest to his daughter, but he’s not going to see her this week and he didn’t want them to go bad.

I told him that I’d never heard of a pluot before, and he said that he hadn’t either, and it’s a cross between a plum and an apricot, two fruits I enjoy individually. I took a bite and said something to the extent of, “This pluot is exquisite.” Joining the conversation, this blogger disagrees: (blog). I humbly disagree, but of course, my opinion is not the be-all-end-all of opinions.

What are your thoughts on pluots? Keep in mind, they’re not the same thing as a plumcot, though I couldn’t tell you the difference, except for the flavor. Plumcots are delicious as well, but like I said, that pluot was exquisite. And they’re good for you, too. So go out and buy a pluot, give it a try, and blog about it in the comments section below. You can also blog about plumcots.

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger

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How To Beat The Heat


Bon jour, dear readers (that’s the French for “good day”, in case you didn’t know). Is it hot enough for you out there? Yes, it’s that time of year again. Summer is upon us, and it has brought with it a heat wave. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but whenever a heat wave hits, the mainstream media always resorts to their usual story: A warning to senior citizens not to turn on a fan in a closed room with no windows open because it makes the heat worse.

I can’t help but be offended that the media thinks that we seniors are completely incontinent when it comes to living our lives. We’ve been surviving heat waves for decades, and our generation taught those young newscasters all they know. Somehow, they think that just because we’ve gotten older, we need our children to “check in” on us to make sure that we haven’t locked ourselves in our room with a fan on, just like they did themselves when they were younger and threw a temper tantrum (My son Brian was famous for doing that when he didn’t get his way).

Personally, I haven’t known one senior who ever thought that turning on a fan in a closed room was a good idea….as a matter of fact, that sounds exactly like a “good idea” that my son Brian once had: I recall him telling me to run the ceiling fan in the winter time to conserve energy. Sounds like the same thing to me, and probably very dangerous. It’s such a shame that his generation has control of the media now. What are they going to start telling us to do next? Take our pills? Don’t touch the stove while it’s still hot? Go to bed by 8:00? Those are exactly the type of things that they try to pass off as “news” these days!

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger

We Can Only Rent Pandas, Not Buy Them, And It’s Too Expensive


It’s grand to see you again, dear readers. As entertaining as it was for me to be reporting live from the campground this past weekend, it’s nice to be back home again…can’t say that I ever feel entirely comfortable leaving the missus in charge.

During my vacation, several important news stories took place, and I intend to get us all up-to-date. Did you know that a new red panda was born in the Washington, DC zoo? Now that’s not the same as a regular giant panda that’s red. No, it’s a separate animal entirely that looks like a raccoon. Which is good because we get to keep red pandas. China owns all the regular giant panda cubs that are born here because we’re only allowed to rent giant pandas from them. They call it the buzzword “panda diplomacy”, but they’re charging us a million dollars per year per panda just to rent them. That doesn’t even include the cost of bamboo for them to eat, and they eat a lot of it. And when I say we can only rent giant pandas, I don’t mean rent-to-own, though those places are the biggest rip-off next to renting pandas. You end up paying four or five times what you would’ve paid for a sofa or a refrigerator had you just bought it outright. But at least you’ll get to keep it if you make your payments. Those pandas are all going to get repossessed by China eventually. That’s why I’m glad it was a red panda being born. He gets to be an American, and he’ll never get repossessed.

The Wikipedia encyclopedia says that red pandas are sometimes called lesser pandas, but I don’t see anything “lesser” about them. I’d say they’re every bit as good as the most famous giant pandas that China sent us back in the ‘70s, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing. Here’s a picture of First Lady Pat Nixon posing with one. Remember that? If memory serves, this looks like Ling-Ling to me:

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger

Tricia and Derek Learn the Importance of Navigation


Good morning, my astute readers. If you’ve been keeping up with this “lifestyle column”, then you are sure to know that today is my final day camping with my grandson, granddaughter, grandniece, and three of her friends. It’s been a marvelous trip, though I had a touch of indigestion last night. Perhaps I overdid it on the pipinki mushrooms just a bit.

Yesterday we went on a long hike through the woods, and we spotted some squirrels and even a chipmunk. I’d swear I even saw a lark bunting, the state bird of Colorado, even though it’s not native these parts. I was so proud of the way that my grandson Max took the time to show his six-year-old little sister Fiona where to look up in the trees to see the birdies, and how he carried her on his shoulders when we were crossing a stream. What a terrific big brother! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When Max is old enough to be a father, he’s going to be a great one. He’s only 23 though, so he’s got a few more years yet.

While we were hiking, my grandniece Tricia and her friend Derek managed to get themselves lost again. Derek’s girlfriend Jessica became very upset, but I think it was mostly because she’s pregnant. You know how emotional pregnant women can be, on account of all those hormones. Tricia and Derek somehow found their way back to the campsite before the rest of us; when we got back, they were already in the trailer. I teased them both for having no sense of direction (especially Derek, because he used to be in the Army), but I thought that it would be a great learning opportunity to teach them how to use a compass. I also taught them the difference between a compass and a compass rose. On the trip up to the campground, Derek and Jessica followed the rest of us in his Camaro, so when we leave in a few hours, I’m going to make Tricia ride with him instead and navigate, and the rest of us will follow them in my Caliber. That should teach them how to keep from getting lost.

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger

Feasting on Pipinkis


Hello from the woods, all you readers! I’m pleased to report that I’m reporting live from the campground, and our camping trip is off to a wonderful start. The whole ride up, I was telling the kids all about how when I was young, I would spend the entire summer out in the countryside collecting pipinki mushrooms. Some people call them “honey mushrooms”, but the real name for them is pipinkis. I could spend all day just relaxing and eating pipinkis. But you have to be careful because the galerina mushroom looks like a pipinki. The only difference is it’s deadly. That’s why you have to take a spore print to tell them apart. That’s the only way. I may be getting older, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s how you tell a pipinki from a galerina. So if you’re going to start picking pipinkis, be sure to do your research first, because you don’t want to end up dying. Buy a book, talk to a ranger, do “whatever” (as the kids all say) you have to do to stay safe. It’s not all milk and honey and pipinkis out there.

After telling the kids all about pipinkis, they were ready to get picking. Before we even got the campsite set up, we set off, and by the end of the afternoon, we had collected enough pipinkis. I thought we had lost my grandniece Tricia and her friend Derek for a minute there because they got separated from the group, but not to worry—they showed up back at the campsite a little while later. Thought we lost you there for a second, Tricia and Derek! But it was all for the best, since my granddaughter Fiona found a chicken of the woods mushroom while she was looking for them. Now that’s different from a pipinki, but still delicious. We spent the evening feasting on pipinkis.

This was Fiona’s first campfire—that “day camp” she went to didn’t have one. When it was time for bed, Tricia and her three friends (C. J., Derek, and Jessica) retired to the trailer, and my grandchildren Fiona and Max, and myself (The Codger) retired to our tent. You see, the trailer can only sleep four, and since Tricia’s friends have been living in it back at my house, I didn’t think it would be right to kick them out just because we towed their residence to the campground. Plus, I hadn’t slept in a tent in over 25 years. Can you believe that? It had been a full 25 years!

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger

Exemplary Codgers: Rigoberta Menchu


Good morning to you and yours. Relax and stay awhile…but not too long, because I’m leaving to go camping in a few hours. We’re taking my new trailer out on its maiden voyage. I found a campground up in the Poconos that has internet access, so I’ll be able to keep you all updated on our goings-on all weekend. But before I leave, I’d like to leave you with an Exemplary Codger for your reading enjoyment: the Nobel Prizewinning Rigoberta Menchu.

The reasons why Rigoberta is an Exemplary Codger are numerous. First and foremost, she ran for the Presidency of Guatemala even though she had no chance of winning. I’ve thought about running for President myself, just to give me something to do (That was before I started this “lifestyle column”, which now keeps me occupied). She managed a respectable 3% of the vote, which is more than most write-in candidates and Ralph Nader generally get. I’m still holding him responsible for killing off the Chevrolet Corvair. I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper at the time entitled “Safe at Every Speed”, but they didn’t publish it. I should know: I drove that car at nearly every speed and was a very safe, satisfied customer. I only had that car for two years though, because that’s how everybody did it back then: You drove your car for two years and then you bought a brand new one.

Rigoberta is also an advocate for low-cost generic Mexican pharmaceuticals, something that all senior citizens can appreciate. She’s been a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, a position I would imagine probably involves receiving some type of medallion.

Additionally, the Wikipedia encyclopedia reports “Rigoberta is also a member of PeaceJam, an organization whose mission is ‘to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody.’” That sounds just like me (with the exception of the Nobel Peace Laureates part)! She received that Nobel for her human rights work back in Guatemala, although some have said that she made up parts of her autobiography. I say that as an Exemplary Codger, Rigoberta has the human right to embellish parts of her story to make it more interesting to young people. Also, there’s a fair chance that she can’t remember parts of her life story any longer, and she’s doing the best she can. It happens to the best of us.

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger

Getting Ready to go Camping


Ahoy to you all again! Welcome back to my little “lifestyle column”: From the desk of The Codger. I’m just about to do my patrol around the block. The neighborhood Block Watch committee has long been known for being rife with corruption, so I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and keep an eye on things myself. I’ve got 9-1-1 on speed dial on my cellular phone, so if I notice any suspicious activity, I’ll be able to phone it in right away.

This weekend I’m taking Max, Tricia, and Fiona camping in my new pop up trailer. Since Tricia’s friends Derek (the one that was in the Army), Jessica (Derek’s pregnant girlfriend), and C. J. (the artist) are now using the trailer as their primary residence for the time being, I decided to invite them along as well. I thought, why not? It’ll be like a big party. They were thrilled when I asked them. Simply thrilled. They’re such bright young people, and I’m glad that I can be a positive influence on them.

Today, dear readers, I would like to leave you with a quote from William Jennings Bryan’s famous Cross of Gold speech as some “food for thought” to think about: “If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

What crowns of thorns are holding back your creativity? Sometimes we cannot always live up to the “gold standard”, but that doesn’t mean we should not make an attempt. Take a few moments to step out into an open field and clear your mind. You deserve it.

Until next time!

Ahoy,

The Codger