Tag: food

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Grow Your Own

Along the fence of the house from which grapevines draped over the sidewalk (August 2021), today I saw something unexpected and presumably quite new—as the Featured Image and companions reveal. Little lending libraries with books are all over my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights (Examples: One, Two, Three, Four). But this is the first seen sharing seeds. Small supply there may be but hopefully growing. I know. I know.

Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 6:24 p.m. PDT. The trio comes from Leica Q2, and this one is composed as captured. I chose the angled view to diminish glare and reflection off the glass.

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The Unhappy Meal

Before June 17, 2022, I hadn’t been inside a McDonald’s since before SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, on March 11, 2020. My daughter needed a ride, and on on the way back to her residence she asked for fast food. I grumbled and pulled into McD’s.

Whoa, what happened to prices? The current $5.99 for a Quarter Pounder is about a buck less when I last bought a combo meal, which is now $10.49 for a burger, fries, and drink.

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The Angry Birds

Somebody is unhappy about all the talk that avian flu will lead to poultry shortages in the worst scenario and soaring selling prices in the better one. Look at those grim faces dominating the Featured Image captured on April 14, 2022 using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 10:39 a.m. PDT.

You can panic, and be sure smug prognosticators of doom are correct, when Costco rotisserie chicken sells for more than the long stable $4.99—or simply is unavailable.

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Return to Nextdoor

I last quit Nextdoor on July 28, 2020, protesting the ridiculously ambiguous tenets of the so-called “Good Neighbor Pledge”. My account is now reactivated. Testing the limits of that pledge is one of my goals in what may be a temporary return. Why bother? You ask the right question.

Burgeoning crude oil per-barrel costs, surging inflation, rising prices on seemingly everything, the Russian-Ukraine war, and potentially devastating consequences (globally) from the West’s sanctions against Russia are precursors to economic crisis of frightening magnitude. S-o-o-o, my neighbors and I may have reason to buy and sell or barter items some time in the not-so-distant future.

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Amazing Grace

While walking along Oregon Street in North Park today, my wife and I unexpectedly came upon free food distribution outside Grace Church. Most of the gathered recipients were elderly, and they are a population often hiding in plain sight. There are many somewhat unkempt houses scattered about this San Diego neighborhood and those adjacent. Within may live someone older, or retired, who owns the property but lives on meager fixed-income in an area with rapidly rising cost of living.

Homeownership isn’t wealthiness if you are aged, attached to where you live (meaning not wanting to move), but barely able to manage ongoing expenses, which could include food. Tell you this: I saw no heavyweights waiting in line. This was a lean lot.

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Rudford’s Remembers JFK

For Presidents’ Day 2022, we celebrate with a slice of history. This morning, my wife watched a local TV news story about the John F. Kennedy photo hanging on the outside wall of Rudford’s Restaurant. A high school student shot the portrait as the president’s motorcade passed by the diner on June 6, 1963. I don’t know which early morning news station, and no search results lead me to the source.

In response, Annie and I walked from University Heights to North Park to investigate—and, sure enough, the massively enlarged photo adorns side of the building along Kansas Street. Rudford’s faces El Cajon Blvd, which is where Kennedy rode past 59 years ago.

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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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‘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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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.