September 17th, 2006

Pacific Rose

I bought a Pacific Rose apple -- a variety I was unfamiliar with  -- a couple of days ago, and ate it today.

Texture-wise, this apple was pretty much the Platonic ideal of apple.  Very crisp, not even the faintest hint of mushy or mealy, but not at all hard to chew, with a very unobtrusive peel, and very juicy.

Flavor-wise, I'm sad to say, it didn't score anywhere near as high.  Too sweet, very little tartness, and very little other flavor.

I still think the Pink Lady is the best apple variety around.  Hopefully the stores around here will have them again soon.

EFRC 2007 Calendar

The 2007 calendars have been delivered.  If you'd like to have one, and you're going to be in the same place as I sometime between now and Jan. 1, I'll be happy to pick one up to save you and the EFRC folks the hassle of a mail order.  It will cost $15 either way, but if you have me get it there won't be postage on top of that.

This calendar once again features one of my photographs.

I'd like to get a head count, so that I can buy one big pile instead of a bunch of little piles.

"Do they make good pets?"

Just as I was leaving EFRC today, a Girl Scout troop was finishing their tour, and Jean was giving them a short lecture in response to the leader asking for a statement about whether exotic cats make good pets.  Jean explained how they are wild animals, and never completely safe.  It was one of those answers that our society gives to children when they don't think the children are ready for the complexity of the real answer, which bothered me a little bit, but I guess it's necessary.  But I got to thinking about how to give a more nuanced answer to an adult, and this analogy popped into my head.

Think of owning a domestic cat as like having a car.  It requires some care and responsibility, but most people can manage it OK.  Having a small cat like a bobcat or a serval as a house pet is like having a private plane like a Cessna.  It costs a lot more than a car, it requires special knowledge and training, and it's not really practical all the time -- but it does get you something that a car doesn't, and fairly ordinary people can be successful at it if they work hard.

A pet tiger is like having your own F16.  It's insanely expensive, and in addition to a much higher level of special knowledge and training, it requires innate qualities that a lot of people don't have, and it tends to give your neighbors and the government the heebie geebies.  Very definitely not a good choice for the ordinary person -- but there are a few people who could do it.  It might kill them in the end, but to them, it's worth it.

As a final touch to the analogy, having the exotic cat but just keeping it in a cage all the time, never interacting with it hands-on, is a little like owning the plane but never having it out of the hangar -- it's a shameful waste, but it's where you'll end up if you get the cat before you learn how to "fly" it.