HARBOR GROUP TO MEET WEDNESDAY JUNE 29- THA to present

The Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group is having its monthly luncheon on Wednesday, June 29 at the Cookhouse which will feature a presentation by the Timber Heritage Association. Those are the great folks who bring out the speeder trains on holidays and are working on a round-the-Bay tourist train.  

The flyer for the event is HERE.   Pork steak! See you there!

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The Best Things In LIfe Are Free – at Bug Press

Last weeks’ Mad River Union, an indispensable paper if there ever were one, featured an announcement from Arcata’s venerable Bug Press that in celebration of the National Parks Service centennial and in view of the budget cuts with which the NPS is struggling, “Bug Press is sharing restored National Parks and Works Progress Administration posters as a gift to the community, and a plea to help support parks. Donations to help NPS can be made directly at http://nationalparks.org/support-parks.

To encourage donations, Bug Press is offering  restored National Park posters through Friday, June 17.  A selection of 11 original WPA designs, including those for the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion and Lassen will be available daily at the front counter at 1461 M Street in Arcata. Quantities are limited. (707) 822-2001.

FREE!  I found the Bug Press office on a quiet street kind of near Arcata High and walked in. It was a peaceful scene.  There didn’t seem to be anyone there.   I scored five GORGEOUS posters including one of the Castillo at  St Augustine during the period when it was renamed Fort Marion.  That’s going to my brother in Jacksonville. I left $10, probably should have left more. 

Anyway, get over there before the 17th.   And thanks, Bug Press, for a truly great gift to the community.

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SHOPPING MYSTERIES: Loleta Cheese Version

You’ve heard of Mystery Shoppers? This is our new feature, Shopping Mysteries, wherein we will point out various incongruities and contradictions in our local retail scene.  To wit:

The Loleta Cheese Factory is always a great place to take visitors.  Surely they can pick up an edible souvenir at the very cheapest price because they’re right there at the source, right?  Wrong.  The cheese at the store is confusingly packaged in 11-oz chunks, but the bottom line is you pay 53¢ per ounce or $8.48 a pound. 

Loleta Cheese at Murphy’s Market (we shop in Cutten) is $7.99 a pound. 

Loleta Cheese at Winco is, apparently, $6.99 a pound but there were several more cheaply marked packages that were close to their expiration date. 

So there you have it.  The “close-to-the source” mythology doesn’t work with cheese factories any better than it does at our outrageously expensive farmers’ markets. The laws of supply and demand  are not subject to strict enforcement.

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The Chickens Are Growing

Our chickens are growing up. The three babies that we had in a bin on the dining room table are now outside full time. We finished clearing out the space on the side of the house and now we have a lovely chicken run. It has quite a few plants for shade and for snacks., and plenty of room to run around.  They definitely like greens and I’d get tired of the chicken food, too.  It looks like gravel and probably tastes like it too but they love it.  Southside Mike, who lives  over on Glenwood, warned me about hawks so Jon has rigged up netting over the space to deter them.

Their day begins at 7am when I go out to open their little enclosure. They don’t mind being penned up.  When the silky was the only one outside she’d go into the cat carrier we used as a chicken house of sorts, and wait for someone to lock her up.  Now that there are three others, they take longer to settle down but they’re the easiest animals to manage I’ve  ever seen. I feed them in the morning  and again around 6 or 7 so they’ll mosey back into their enclosure.  They seem to smell that dry feed; somehow they know when you’ve replenished  it.  There is a lot of chatter before they go to sleep.  Are they catching up on each others’ days?  They’ve been together  the whole time.  They spend their days poking around the space.  There are plants, a big table with more plants to afford them shelter, some higher points where they can perch, some shady spots, some sunny spots. They seem happy.

Now that they are teenagers, their appearance has changed .  The little yellow chick is becoming a beautiful white bird with black markings. The smallest, the brown one, has developed a gorgeous chestnut color with tiny golden chevrons and the big  black one is going to be HUGE. But I love the siiky best of all.  I love her white fluffy feathers, her dopey look with that topknot, the fluffy feathers all up and down her legs and between her toes as she steps so high and deliberately.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get any eggs and I don’t care.  We have chickens. Our house is complete.

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Shopping for Tires

My tenant borrowed my car.   When he brought it back he said someone should look at the tires. So I took it to Gosselin’s.

A nice young guy there looked at them  and pronounced that I didn’t need tires, at least not till late in the year. What I needed if anything, he said, was an alignment. Okay.

It was late on a Friday so I didn’t pursue it right then.  The next week I took the car into Old Town Brake.  Old Town is a very different experience now that Wally has retired. The staff were unfamiliar to me although I’ve been going there for 15 years.  No, they said, an alignment wouldn’t do.  I needed new tires and would surely die before sundown without them.  They wanted $650.  I thought  that was way too high and told them I’d think it over.

I went online and found a set on the COSTCO website. $375 and change. Now, that’s more like it.  (I drive a 2007 PT Cruiser which is why I don’t like to spend much on car stuff.)

Then I Googled some more and found reviews that said you couldn’t make an appointment for tires at COSTCO.  You may end up waiting a long  time. I like to get in and out of COSTCO  real fast, so I demurred.

Finally I went back to Gosselin’s and spoke with Tim.  He inspected the tires and said I should come back around September.  Their price: $384.68 for Doral radials.

Guess where I’m buying my tires In September? Take a wild guess!  What a pleasure when supporting local business turns out to be the smart thing to do! God bless Gosselin’s. They’ve made a customer for life.

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Harbor Blues- They’ve Got ‘Em in Portland,Too.

We’re not the only port city longing for more business. This review from the Mail-Tribune, sent in by a Friend of the Blog,  summarizes the West Coast situation. Here are a couple of quotes that I found quite chilling:

From a shipping exec:  “Ports such as Portland don’t generate enough traffic for carriers to justify making calls “.  Really heartening for the Humboldt Bay Harbor situation.  Or how about this,  from the same source:

Zaninelli said officials who don’t understand the industry hire people ill-equipped to run carriers.

“People who don’t know what they’re doing appoint people who don’t know what they’re doing,” he said.

Read the whole article HERE.

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