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Whatchamacallit 146: Apple Crumble by Moonshine Creek

Apple Crumble by Moonshine Creek

Last September I spent a week in Quebec: I flew to Montreal, rented a car, slept off jetlag, then drove north – but while I tend to think of the vacation as being in Quebec, the fact remains that I spent my second night in Campbellton, New Brunswick.

Whilst there, I did a little liquor shopping, buying local booze: Moonshine Creek Distillery’s Apple Crumble.

As you can see, I still haven’t opened the sipping cocktail – for whatever reason, it never crossed my mind last winter. Instead I foresee pleasant fall evenings, at home, sipping some liquid Apple Crumble.

Yum.

I was in Campbellton for about 12 hours, walking along the waterfront in the evening, then around Sugarloaf the next morning – all in the name of ensuring that I got my 10,000 steps each day.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 145: Up (and Down)

Up

Back in December 2013, I visited London to see Book of Mormon, among other things.

It was during that trip that I acquired this book, “Up.”

If you flip the book and turn it over, the book is “Down.”

The book is actually a flipbook – and as you flip the pages, a bridge rolls up, or rolls down, depending upon which way you’re reading the book.

They roll the bridge on Fridays at noon – or at least they did in 2013. Normally it is down, allowing people to save a good 45 seconds while walking around this part of London.

After watching the bridge roll and unroll twice, they handed out copies of this book to people who were watching – since then, this book has rested on the shelf behind my couch, so I see it regularly and am reminded of this quirky, fun, bridge in London.

I blogged about it in “Rolling up the bridge in London…


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 144: Happy End, soft de luxe

Happy End Toilet Paper

The first time I visited Germany, the Lonely Planet guidebook mentioned that one grocery store chain had named its house brand of toilet paper, “Happy End.”

My hosts denied knowledge of such a store with such a brand. It wasn’t until after I lived in Germany that I learned that Penny was the store and that the story was legitimate.

Now Happy End is the only brand of toilet paper I will use at home – specifically the premium 5-layer version.

Fortunately, there is a Penny Markt within walking distance of where I live, so I have not needed to stock up.

That said, I have always kept an emergency package of Happy End on the top shelf of my bookcase – the go-to supply if something bad happened. Next to it are back-up supplies of nasal tissue and paper towels. I’ve never understood not having a back-up supply: accidents happen, illness happens, and you’re not always able to go to the store if you’ve got a combination sneezing fit with explosive diarrhea.

Thus, I was amused during the initial lockdown that people were panic buying toilet paper – I’ve not needed to touch my emergency supply of toilet paper and I have no intention of ever using it.

Hopefully I will always use Happy End – because if there’s any thing that should be happy, it is my end.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 143: The Rainbow Troops

The Rainbow Troops

I acquired my copy of The Rainbow Troops back in March 2013; I liked the book so much that I convinced my book blub to read it as the book for September 2014.

This might be the first book about Indonesia that I’ve ever read – and it was a pleasure to read it. Although I am not 100% certain how I came across the book, I suspect it was reviewed in The Economist.

It looks at the struggle that kids face to get a basic education in an environment where schools receive little, if any, funding.

It is, easily, among the top 100 books that I’ve read in my life – probably in the first quartile.

Rather than ruin it, I’ll just suggest you read it.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchmacallit 142: Ա (A) (To be deaccessioned)

Ա (A)

I’ve been engaged in random cleaning of late, in doing so, I ran across this small key chain Ա – the Armenian letter A. I bought it in 2006 during my first visit to Armenia, when I was really enchanted with the Armenian Alphabet – when I bought and then foolishly gave away a small tapestry of the Armenian Alphabet, since replaced.

Ignorance is sometimes bliss, because I just asked what the message below the Ա says, and it says, “God save you.”

Whoops!

As an atheist, not really a message for me; though I should have guessed given the prominent cross above the Ա.

The thing fell off the ring it was attached to very quickly, so this has spent much time, uh, gathering dust.

It is nice, but I really have no idea what to do with it – so it is probably going to be deaccessioned in the near future.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 141: Albuquerque, New Mexico (2015)

Albuquerque New Mexico 2015

In 2015, I visited Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the first time in years – although I have relatives living in the city and I love Santa Fe, I do not visit New Mexico nearly enough.

This poster was a present from my relatives – capturing Route 66 going down Central Avenue, hinting at the famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and generally emphasizing local businesses throughout the city.

I do not actually know Albuquerque all that well – in my book, it is a fine, if somewhat bland, city; probably I should get to know it better. In my mind, it is essentially a smaller version of Denver: situated at an important modern crossroads (I-25 and I-40), just like Denver. That’s probably an entirely unfair adjudication – but again, I have not spent nearly enough time in Albuquerque; I always spent more time in Santa Fe, the state capitol about an hour north.

The poster is framed and coated – currently it is on display high on the wall inside my front door. By chance, I can see it while drying myself after showers – assuming the door is open; unless I have guests, it is: I like the humidity to disperse as quickly as possible. Thus, I look at the poster quite regularly. The colors are my kind of western colors: the turquoise is fabulous.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 140: Canadian $5 Bill (Reverse)

Canadian $5 Bill, Reverse

If all had gone according to plan, right now I would be in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Vancouver is, hands down, one of my top ten cities globally: it is a place worth visiting incorporating great scenery, great food, and a great friend.

Alas, I’m not – instead I look at the reverse side of a 2006 “Canadian Journey Series” five dollar bill. This is not the current $5, rather it is the previous iteration.

This imagery is probably my second favorite piece of currency after the Dutch 50 Guilder.

I love this because it is quintessentially Canadian to feature children playing ice hockey, ice skating, and tobogganing – a winter montage that embraces the Canadian stereotypes.

Further, there is an excerpt from a short story called, “The Hockey Sweater:”

Les hivers de mon enfance étaient des saisons longues, longues. Nous vivions en trois lieux: l’école, l’église et la patinoire; mais la vraie vie était sur la patinoire.

The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places—the school, the church and the skating rink—but our real life was on the skating rink.

I cannot tell you how much joy I get whenever I look at this imagery.

The newest version of the $5 features an astronaut in space using the Canadarm2; the part of a US space shuttle that Canada built and stuck their flag on. Woot. It does nothing for me: I have never balked at spending a Canadarm $5, where every single time I spend an ice hockey $5, I smiled.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 139: Anklet (Hawaiian)

Anklet

I bought this anklet on October 24, 2015, at Holuaola Gallery, which is in Holuaola, Hawaii.

According to the receipt, I paid $22.50, taxes of $0.94, making for a grand total of $23.44. I used a Visa card.

This is the only anklet I own – I bought it without trying it on, then I wore it precisely once. While it is very pretty, there are two reasons why I have not worn it again: first, it is a tad too small: it fits, but there is about a 1 cm gap in the rocks once it is around my ankle. Second, perhaps more importantly, my skin was stained by one of the stones – as I recall, the stain was reddish, so the four red stones, presumably.

After that one adventure, it went back into the box, along with the receipt, which is where it stayed for the past five years: emerging only to appear on my blog.

I do not regret this purchase at all – had the stone not stained my skin, I probably would have worn it regularly in the summer.

Again, I’m not a huge jewelry person, so this is a definite aberration – the colors of the rocks spoke to me for whatever reason.

Whenever I see the box, I am instantly taken back to Hawaii and the splendid vacation that I had back on the big island of Kona in 2015.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 138: Alvin Fernald, Superweasel

Alvin Fernald, Superweasel

Back in 2011, when my blog was busy, I asked if anybody remembered Alvin Fernald. Nobody responded.

So, a mere 9 years later, I finally decided to track down one of the books that I mentioned in that post, Alvin Fernald, Superweasel. The book is about a fourth or fifth grader who single handedly intervenes to resolve pollution problems in a small Indiana city. He takes on local polluters of water and of air, culminating in a massive collection of litter.

Looking at the book as a 46 year old – good lord, the book was published when I was born – a number of things stick out: (1) the agency and independence of the kids: even before Covid-19, kids today were kept on absurdly short leashes; (2) the escapades of the kids are almost Earth First!-esque in their execution; (3) America is a generally cleaner place than it was when I was a kid, despite the best efforts of Republicans to allow pollution.

I’m glad that I ordered the book, pleased that it showed up, and happy that it is as good a story as I remembered.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 137: Gay Tarot

Gay Tarot

I bought this Gay Tarot deck in June 2017 for 21.49€.

I no longer remember the context, but I do recall that I had been watching an interview of some kind and the guest had brought Gay Tarot cards with him as an example of a ridiculous product.

At least that’s how I remember it now. Maybe it was different?

Regardless, this was a pure impulse purchase that has sat on a shelf ever since, especially since I don’t believe in Tarot cards and I have no idea how to actually use them.

Thus they remain a normally unnoticed deck of cards that I spot out of the corner of my eye periodically – whenever I do, I think, “I should open them up and look through them.”

The thought passes quickly and I forget they are there for another month or two.

This time I saw the deck and thought, “ah, Whatchamacallit 137!”


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.