Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dogs and Wagons

A recent post on FaceBook reminded me of something from my yoof: family drives with the dog. In this case it was the seventies and summer drives in our "beach" wagon (as it was referred to) with our family dog Jackie. Dad would drive us to various destinations of scenic beauty while us kids in the grand tradition of the last century roamed unfettered by safety restraints between seats and cargo areas. We'd go to the Berkshires, to the Quabbin reservoir or to Rockport in a day.

One of the things I clearly remember is Jackie navigating. He's plant his butt between Dad and Mum with his eyes on the road and his nose in the AC vent, scouring the terrain for any objects he might have to warn us puny humans against.

Except when he'd fart.

In the seconds before we could smell it, we'd know it was coming- Jackie would decide that the best place possible to be in this rolling living room was in the waaaaaay back, and this was the sign to roll all the windows down. Even the tailgate. even at the risk of exhaust entering the cabin. Because while exhaust can poison you Jackie's farts could melt your face.

Of course, in retrospect it didn't help that we would insist that Jackie had his own cone at the Tastee Freeze like the rest of us (he preferred butter pecan). Jackie at least had the good taste to look a little abashed.

While I know that this era of strapping the kids and the pets and ourselves in is the safest way to be (and I never even sit in a car without a belt) I do have a sense of nostalgia for the bad old days where "climb over" was common and farting unfettered poodles could drive a family outing.

image: wikipedia commons

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Eating Out

This evening I went out to dinner with friends. We went to a local place on Wilshire here in town and I decided that for once I was going to have a starter that we'd share: asparagus in a really nice mustard sauce. I ordered meatloaf with mashed potatoes and sautéed kale.

I loved it, but wish it had been about half the size of what was served. It wasn't one of those Cheesecake Factory portions that should be serving six, but I didn't come near to finishing it, and knowing myself I likely never will, even though I did take the rest home.

With all the talk about the obesity epidemic I kind of wish places did half-sized entrees. Wheeling out a plate the size of a truck tire heaped with food may make people feel they "got their money's worth", but giving me something that is a third the size at half the price will make me comfortably full, save food and money being wasted and just generally make more sense.

Image: my iPhone