June 11th, 2004

hopper_ground_swell

Frozen Delights

Last evening I went to Safeway to pick up some things, and I wandered along the ice cream aisle. I'd heard that Ben&Jerry's was making a no-sugar-added ice cream, and wanted to try it -- provided it was not made with the vile aspartame. It turns out that it is sweetened with the much superior Splenda. Safeway's selection turned out to be rather limited, though. Limited to one flavor, in fact -- New York Super Fudge Chunk. Fortunately, I like chocolate and am partial to ice creams containing nuts, so I splurged and nabbed a pint at the sale price of three mere bucks. I was going to have just a sample of it tonight, but ended up downing about half the pint. Stuff's tasty!

I can't figure out how it got its name, though. It has chocolate ice cream, chunks of dark and white fudge, pecans, almonds and walnuts in it. Walnuts might grow in New York, but I'm pretty sure pecan trees don't do well that far north, and I know that the vast majority of the almonds grown in the U.S. come from the central valley of California, many of them from groves no more than a couple of dozen miles from my house. (There is in fact an Almond Street here in town, though the locals pronounce it Ammon Street.) Fudge, of course, is generic, and can be made almost anywhere, and thus has no particular connection to New York. Perhaps it is the cosmopolitan nature of the ingredients which creates the connection. But whatever the reasons for the name, it is a dandy concoction. I'll have to be careful not to buy it too often, since I find it so nearly irresistible. The fact that, once the sale is over, it will cost four dollars a pint will help me avoid excessive consumption, I'm sure.

The period of cool weather is drawing to an end, and it will be well into the eighties today, heading for the nineties by Sunday. Yikes! I can almost smell Sluggo's smoke already. By this afternoon, I'll likely be wishing that I could be at the beach, or at least basking in the sixty degree fog of San Francisco.
hopper_summer_evening

Again and Again

The acorn woodpeckers who spent the rainy days of winter sheltering on the lee side of the utility pole in front of my house are back -- at least it's probably the same group. Today they appear to be having a great time, swooping and gliding, chattering, chasing one another about, pausing now and then for a snack from the pole or a tree. One of them sits on a telephone wire, watching the others. I wonder what is going on in its tiny, bobbing head?

Thin but extensive clouds are allowing the suns heat to accumulate, and I suspect that the night may be long in bringing that coolness on which I depend to keep Sluggo even moderately happy. The air's doldrums threatens to evoke the namesake mood in me. As evening shades the still street and the sky undergoes that final brightening which precedes dusk, I find myself slipping into melancholy. Another night of isolation looms, with only the usual mundane tasks to distract me. I want to go somewhere, but there is nowhere to go and, in any case, I would be unable to leave. If only Sluggo were more reliable.