Category: Food

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Inflation Disarms The Bomb

I learned something about cost-creep today that hopefully will benefit you. Don Miguel The Bomb Spicy Red Hot Beef & Bean Burrito is a favorite of mine—available in lots of 12 at my local Costco Business Center. When I first found them, some years ago, a case could be bought for $18.99 or $1.58 per 14-ounce burrito. Later, the price rose to $19.99 before quickly going up to $20.99 and finally $21.99 during the tightest SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns. That’s $1.67, $1.75, and $1.83 per package, respectively.

After nearly exhausting a somewhat stocked supply, I returned with my wife to the warehouse store for more. My mistake: I did not closely inspect the box. Price is higher now: $22.49 for that dozen-filled case. But that 50 cents more is for less. The Bomb now is 12 ounces, a decrease of 14 percent in size for a burrito costing $1.87—15 cents per ounce versus 13 cents previously or 11 cents from what I paid about three years ago; maybe four, I don’t rightly recall.

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Don’t Drive Plastered

Is there some metaphor or deliberate message here? Hodad’s is a popular burger joint in Ocean Beach, Calif.—if the persistent waiting lines are any indication (unless seating is inadequate; I wouldn’t know). As you can see from the Featured Image, the restaurant’s vintage Volkswagen minivan is plastered with stickers, such that anyone sensible shouldn’t drive it. Safety first!

The eatery also sells craft beer. Being plastered is a euphemism for intoxication, in which state no responsible person should be behind the wheel of a vehicle. So is it coincidence that a place that brews beer parks its plastered VW nearby? I should have asked someone when in OB on Nov. 17, 2021 carrying Leica Q2. Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 12:30 p.m. PST.

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The Grillers

From the same Greenbelt, Md. church picnic as yesterday’s “Pooh Party“, we present another moment. I used Canon EOS 20D and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 18, 2005. Vitals: f/6.3, ISO 400, 1/400 sec, 70mm; 12:22 p.m. In Capture One 22 post-production I applied style “Oslo 1”, working from an original JPEG. The portrait is composed as shot.

If the prognosticators of climate doom get their way, grilling events like this will someday soon be but a memory. We will all consume protein-infused plant matter made to look like meat because—so they say—cows and chickens produce deadly global warming gases. Eh, and people don’t?

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‘Growing with Passion’

Whenever walking by this mural, I often regret not photographing the lively, colorful Yipao Coffee outdoor café that once occupied this location. More importantly: What the place displaced—trees and lush green space that the (permanently closed) florist had used. Hence the irony, if you don’t see it yet, of “growing with passion”; because all that remains is dirt, on top of which vehicles park. Nothing green grows, nor the vitality of human interaction.

In late June 2018, I shared about the departure of Florabella, which had to abandon its 24-year commercial space after the landlord informed the owner that rent would triple effective July 1. I wondered: What will replace the florist? Well, Yipao took up residence in the not-long-later clearcut corner area. Interesting aside: John Adams disappeared and was discovered to be accidentally locked inside the closed floral shop, which Yipao used; perhaps for storage. He is among the “Cats of University Heights“; June 2019.

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I Don’t Long for Them Beyond Nostalgia

Go ahead and scold me for this being one of the most pointless of posts. But before changing my diet in July 2013—foresaking all confections  and largely reducing processed carbohydrates—MoonPie was among my top choices for cheap treats (I couldn’t find Devil Dogs outside the Northeast United States).

My wife and I passed by a massive display of the Double-Decker variety, in boxes of 24, for $9.49—that’s 39.5 cents each—at Costco Business Center today. Best price for the same thing from Amazon sellers: $23.79. That’s a helluva markup, if Costco’s considered more wholesale.

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Juicy Fruit

I frequently see Loki, who was profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series, jump onto a fence and into a yard where he doesn’t live. Two catio captives, nicknamed Jester and King, call home the place right next door. Today, while walking by, my wife and I saw something else on the fence—the owner’s generosity. Don’t you want one? C`mon, confess! The persimmons sure look delicious.

What I initially missed, and Annie pointed out, is the tree bearing the fruit. It towers in the blurred background of the Featured Image. The companion provides context, by focusing on the leaves and hanging persimmons, but would be meaningless without the first photo.

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Birthday Beans

Saturday supper is a burpy (or, ah, gassy) memory for some folks back home in Maine tonight. Baked beans are a traditional meal for the day—classically cooked buried in the ground under hot coals. Growing up in Aroostook County, I remember grocery stores selling Saturday fresh baked beans and bread—by the pint or quart and loaf. Yum.

Like some United Kingdom residents, we would eat beans on toast (usually cold on hot crust), typically for breakfast. As a youngster, I saw it as poor-man’s-food when short on other options, not realizing that we consumed something quite tasty and traditional.

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Where are the Oscar Mayer Cold Cuts and Nathan’s Franks?

Someone might blame the so-called supply chain crisis for this unnamed (I won’t say) supermarket’s empty packaged, prepared, processed meat section. I’d like to think that to celebrate the World Series and return to big gatherings before the big screen following more than 18 months of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns that a whopper shopper cleared out the Bologna, hotdogs, and other deli delights for the big game.

The temperature gauge is in the red, which could indicate cooling malfunction—that despite stocked goods on either side of the empty section. As I walked by, a store employee wheeled a cart stacked with boxes of deli-fresh replacements. You’re welcome to blame the supply chain, and who doesn’t these days? I won’t.

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Pumpkin Mountain

The iPhone 13 Pro camera system surprisingly satisfies—more than any other smartphone to bless my grubby fingers. I am loving the ultra-wide (13mm) and telephoto (77mm) lenses, along with RAW capture capabilities. Shots are sharper than I would ever expect from a device with relatively small sensor and which primary function is not photography.

All combined, the 13 Pro is creative fun—and that’s from my only surface skimming the sea of benefits. The Featured Image is example, with distortion from the ultra-wide lens adding character to an otherwise mundane scene. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/122 sec, 13mm; 1:01 p.m. PDT, yesterday.

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An Orijen Story

Let’s talk kitty kibble. Our longhairs, Cali and Neko, eat a variety of McDonald’s-caliber wet food and the exceptionally healthy Orijen Cat & Kitten hard stuff. We typically buy the 5.4-kilo (12-pound) bag, which will last for months. On Sept. 25, 2021, with the last bits eaten, I walked from our apartment in University Heights to Pet Me Please in neighboring Normal Heights. But, uh-oh, so much time had passed since our last purchase that Orijen changed recipes. Ugh.

Cat & Kitten is gone. Where was one, there are now three: Original Cat; Kitten Formula; and Guardian 8 Formula. The store clerk claimed, and surely packaging means to suggest the same, that Original is closest to what we previously purchased. But he warned that the new recipe is different enough. Lovely. We ended up feeding our putty-tats the equivalent of wet fast food following formula changes made to two different manufacturers’ better quality canned brands; our beasties refused to eat the revised recipes. What they get now costs less and isn’t as healthy (grumble) but they like it.

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Ripe and Ready

Call my obsession with grapes overkill photography, but I must present one last look at the vine located between Campus and Cleveland along Meade in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. They’re gone now; someone picked them, or so seems the case.

I worried they would ripen and rot, being located between sidewalk and street rather than on someone’s property. Thankfully, they appear not to have been wasted—like so much other fruit languishing from lush trees outside residences. I don’t understand why. Food is precious, and the berries and citrus that I see requires so little human effort to grow.