Sunday, October 11, 2009

Increasing Traffic Flow

I finally figured it out. Tired of poky traffic? I think I've got the solution. Follow me on this. Ok, not EVERYONE is a car fanatic. But I think I'm safe in saying that most drive a car they like the looks of..I'm thinking most people do not drive a car they feel is visually repulsive. Of course, there are some out there that drive cars as a status symbol, etc.

But something I noticed today. I'm driving the Metro. It is apparent that some people out there do not like the fact that they are being passed by an unshaven, baseball hat wearin' guy driving a slightly rusty, dull blue, 3 cylinder, 4 door hatchback 1990 Geo Metro. At least the guy in the Jag and the Navigator didn't. Kind of embarrassing getting your lollygaggin', cellphone talkin' ass lapped by a little 3 cylinder Hooptie. The ego just couldn't take it.


So to all of you who were behind these yahoos who were being forced to drive far slower than the speed limit and being aggravated by their slothfulness, you're welcome.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Re-lived Childhood Memory

Today I needed to go to my parent's house. It was about 8:30 am and high 30's outside. What is my 80 year old father up to? He has drug out grandfather's near century old cider press and is already a few gallons into the cider making process. 5 gallon buckets of apples (and knowing father, a few pears) that have fallen (or forced to fall) from their untold amount of apple trees are ready to meet their fate.

In my younger years, the press was down at grandfather's farm. We used to make enough cider to drown Tremont. There was a way to hook the press wheel via a belt to the power take off on the small Ford tractor and you could crush tons of apples in no time. Now come to think of it, I don't remember THAT many apple trees at the farm...must have been "imported".

The press was old when I was a kid. It is basically iron, wood and tin. Dad says it was old when he first saw it in the mid 50's. It was made in Springfield, OH by the Platt Company and has mid 1800 patent dates forged into the steel grinder parts. You dump one of those five gallon buckets into the hopper. You turn the big handle and the first round of grinders just busts the apples up. The second set does something between chopping them up and grinding them and then the mutilated apples fall into a "bucket". It really isn't a bucket, it is vertical wood slats held together with wire and bits of tin that make it look like a topless and bottomless bucket. You slide this to the far side of the machine and apply the press. As you screw down the press, the apple juice seeps out the sides through the slats, out the bottom and a little out the top. The juice runs down to an opening to where you set a pan, etc. to catch it. The five gallon bucket makes about a gallon of cider.

At this point, it is fresh, unfiltered, unfined, unpasteurized apple juice. A couple days at October outdoor garage room temperature and it starts to ferment a bit and it gets "a bite". Then filter it to get out some of the sediment and stick in the fridge. I'm guessing that is against some health department regulation but I'm sure going to work with the flu is more dangerous to public health.

But this IS, WITHOUT DOUBT, the BEST apple cider made....anywhere. You can have Tanners and all the rest, but once you've had this apple-icious goodness, the rest tastes like apple juice from a can. It more resembles Woodchuck Dark Cider than anything else, but much heavier.

So, out in the damp cold, my father, my nephew and I were grinding the heck out of apples. For my effort sits a gallon milk jug on my counter of this fine nectar, aging, like a fine vintage bottle of Bordeaux (hopefully, the vintage Bordeaux would be in a dark cellar somewhere) evolving into cidery goodness. MMMMMMM...... and you all should be V-E-R-Y jealous.

On a side note. Both of my parents have made funny comments lately. Today, my father quipped several times how OLD the cider press is. Then he mentioned "It is probably 80 or 90 years old". Obviously, the press is old at 80, but not him. He's still planning on living to 100. Good. That means 20 more years of health department violating apple cider.

Mother said "those older women in their 70s and 80s......". She is 72. I guess she meant LATE 70's....not the "young hen" EARLY 70's like her.

Friday, October 02, 2009

2212 N. Prospect Ave.

Ok, I have "silly" questions.

2212 N. Prospect Avenue is one of the houses I believe D 150 bought to tear down to make room for the new GOS to be built in GOP (debacle). And I'm sure I read SOMEwhere (and I'm sure there are those who could find it) that these houses bought along Prospect weren't worth living in, remodeling, saving, etc. even though I knew the people who lived in 2212 for a few years and did a lot of remodeling, cleaning up, etc. to that house. But, it was OK enough to house the teachers from China for a year. Today I noticed that there was a sign of some home remodeling firm in the yard and when I came home about 1 hour ago, the house was lit up like a Christmas tree on the inside.

Hmmmmmm.... makes you go Hmmmmmmmm....

So, what is the school district doing with an "old crappy" house? Ok, that is one silly question.

I guess I'll ask another, like I do every year at this time. What purpose, except to drain tax dollars out of my wallet, do the Glen Oak Park tennis court lights, shining like a beacon in the night, serve on a rainy, cold October Friday night at 9:30 PM?