Good morning and greetings, baseball playoff fans. Well, last week’s
weather picture on the central coast was wackier and more surprising than the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain, winning the Florida GOP presidential straw poll. Despite the fact that I’m a big fan of his mutiny, I would have opted for the straw.
Anyway, last Wednesday was simply the ideal Santa Cruz weather experience, as we had a perfect day with sunny skies, a warm offshore breeze and no fog in sight. I thought, well, Indian Summer has finally arrived here in the last week of September. Better late than neverland.
Then before I could say “God bless Robinson Cano,” I woke up on Thursday and the blue sky was solid gone, replaced by a light rain and misting fog. This was to the bewilderment of the locals, who were expecting to see either the father, the sun or the holy coast. It was quite a radical turnabout, but my heart was still globally warmed by this reminder to expect the unexpected.
So what to do as the rain fell upon the plains, trains and automobiles? My brother Brad had complained, er commented that he wanted to see some fresh images in the blog. So not wanting to leave a carbon footprint, I put my Lady Gaga poncho and headed out the front door to
shoot photos of the wonderful world of color in my moist front yard. You can see the results of my foray into nature in today’s six pack of pictorial pleasure. I was dew to take some new pictures, and here
they are, front and slightly off center. Speaking of which, on Saturday, I shot my first sunset of the fall up in Davenport which I’ll be showcasing next week on this blog-o-rama.
But we here on the central coast shouldn’t complain about the rain, which has caused major problems of all kinds back east. Now a
good portion of the eastern United States is facing a major shortage of
pumpkins. As a result of disease, severe weather and Red Sox karma, this will not be a banner year for pumpkin-picking.
The problem began with the heavy rains in spring and early summer, which led to flooding and a huge spike in umbrellas sales. This delayed the planting season for pumpkin farmers and caused an outbreak of a fungus called phytophthora that thrives in wet conditions and spelling bees. This fungus that was among us wiped out pumpkin patches put did wonders for local fungus fairs.
And if that wasn’t enough, Hurricane Irene devastated pumpkin growers with torrents of rain that overflowed rivers, flooded fields and washed up celebrities. Some growers had to rent mules to harvest their farms as the ground was too wet for tractors. One farmer in upstate New York saw his entire crop of about 15,000 to 20,000 pumpkins washed into Lake Champlain. It’s like the old nursery rhyme, where is pumpkin, where is pumpkin, in Lake Champlain, in Lake Champlain.
This is not to say the whole country will be suffering from the pumpkin
shortage, but it doesn’t sound like it will be the usual jack-o-lantern city back along the Atlantic seaboard. Can anyone say watermelon-o-lantern? There was a pumpkin shortage back in 2009, which turned into the great pumpkin hoarding of 2010, and now has bakers and Quakers asking everywhere if there is going to be a pumpkin shortage 2011.
Well, the good news for canned gourd lovers is that thanks to pumpkin
growers in the midwest, consumers, bakers and candlestick makers will be able to find canned pumpkin in mass quantities on the grocer’s shelves in plenty of time for the 2011 holiday season. A grateful nation breathes a collective sigh of relief.
This is a result of the pumpkin’s growing popularity that has boomed in
kitchens across the country. We’re talking pumpkin pies, breads, donuts, rolls, brownies, cub scouts, cookies and steaks. Because of its richness in nutrients, it has been designated a “super-food,” by the Betty Crocker Hall of Fame, as people are devouring this multi-colored gourd all-year round. Some even feed it to their dogs and cats as a digestive aid. My golden retriever prefers it as a side dish with some lightly grilled red snapper over a bed of angel hair pasta.
To most people and TV critics, pumpkins mean that fall is in the air.
However, I take my cue from NFL football and the new TV season.
So far I like Poppy Montgomery in “Unforgettable”, Maria Bello in “Prime Suspect” and Michael Emerson and James Caviezel in “Person of Interest.” In the words of his character John Reese, “I don’t like to kill, but it’s something I’m good at.” That’s solid Thursday night family
entertainment. And don’t get me started with the boys from Sons of Anarchy hooking up with the Galinda cartel. Throw in returning favorites “Parenthood, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and the new Hawaii Five-0″ and it’s shaping up to be one very active fall on the TiVo frontier. On the advice from my attorney, I’m not even going to mention “60 Minutes, 48 Hours Dateline, The Daily Show or any celebrity roasts on C-SPAN.”
On to the late night. “If you’re keeping score at home, they have now
applauded executions at the Republican debate, they have cheered letting an uninsured man die, and they booed an active duty U.S. serviceman for being gay. I don’t know how you get to the right with this crowd but Ron Paul’s new campaign ad is just the Rodney King beating to the sound of children laughing. Larry Flynt is offering $1 million if someone came up with proof that Rick Perry had an illicit sexual liaison. But I say, Larry, really we don’t have to do that. We already came up with a way to embarrass Rick Perry. It’s called debates.” –Bill Maher
“We have a pumpkin shortage in the United States. Thanks a lot,
Obama. The stock market dropped 400 points yesterday. I saw a bunch of guys running out of Goldman Sachs with squeegees. They had another of those Republican debates. The field seems a little anemic. President Obama was watching with his wife, and halfway through he said, ‘Honey, you can stop packing.’” –David Letterman
“Someone smashed the windows in President Obama’s L.A. campaign office. And today, Joe Biden said it was likely the work of vandals, and definitely not someone who forgot their key and had to go to the bathroom. Mitt Romney says he wants Sarah Palin to run for president to make the race ‘more exciting.’ Although with Mitt Romney running, even Al Gore on Ambien would make the race more exciting.” –Jimmy Fallon
“Sarah Palin’s website sent out an email to her supporters hinting that if
they send her enough money, she’ll run for president. I need this woman to run. This kind of material doesn’t just show up every day.” –Craig Ferguson “Bad day for the stock market. It’s down nearly 400 points. They’re calling it the worst September meltdown since the Red Sox.” –Jay Leno “Today President Obama is visiting the hometown of House Speaker John Boehner. Obama plans to give a speech and then visit the tanning bed that Boehner grew up in.” –Conan O’Brien
So that’s our first blast for October. With the exception of baseball
fans in Boston and Atlanta, last Wednesday night was as good as it gets for excitement on the national pastime front. That’s the beauty of sports and my past lives, they’re totally unscripted. We’ll catch you when you’re down to your last strike. Aloha, mahalo and later, Evan Longoria fans.