Donuts are part of the magic that makes life so sweet. I founded the Level 3 Friday Donut Club in 2004 and ran it until my departure in 2015. It had a three year run at Windstream and is now virtual, but at its peak, we had a rotation of 50+ folks who brought donuts every Friday. We had three simple rules: (1) five dozen (2) boutique shop donuts (3) by 8:00 am. This blog memorializes these e-mails to share my thoughts (and, once upon a time, announce the donut arrival). Have a happy Friday!
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I Did It Maguey
Maguey (aka Agave) plants live somewhere between
10 to 25 years –unless, that is, they’re harvested for tequila, or its cousins,
mezcal, sotol and pulque (a worthy topic for another blog J). These spiny
plants are arguably one of the most useful known to man. They can be planted
atop fences for protection, dried-up for rope or used as needle and thread in a
pinch. There are recipes for desserts made with its flesh and, as we mentioned,
strong drink can be brewed from its juice. It’s a versatile construction material –the leaves can be used as
roof tiles and the flower stalk as a house beam. It also serves as a billboard
to carve your loved one’s initials. There are quite a few varieties. Blue we all
know. There is also the green agave and in the Andean highlands above 9,500 feet
grows a variety we call Achupilla, among many others.
When the end is near, a thirty-foot-tall
flower stalk shoots-up from the center of the plant. This glorious reproductive
display becomes its final act. Not unlike males in some spider and praying mantis
species, agave plants go out with a bang. I’ve often thought it a shame that
this spectacular growth spurt (massive exrection? –sorry, couldn’t resist) is
followed by death. Couldn’t the plant simply forgo this stage and continue living
indefinitely? Perhaps, but then, that would be the end of the line. Without the
“chahuarquero” (Ecuadorian for agave flower stalk), there would be no new “pencos”
(Ecuadorian for agave). And so, in death there is new life. Like a grain of
wheat must die in order to become a new plant, so too the penco dies to bring life
to the next generation. There’s something beautifully poetic about this thought,
don’t you think? And speaking of wheat, I think I’ll grab a donut and ponder the
circle of life (get it?) as it applies to my newfound career stage. Heck, a shot of
tequila might be the perfect complement.
Friends, My predawn attempts to watch the planetary alignment have thus far been met with cloudy skies. The weather forecast through the end of the cosmic event suggests I shall not witness it. And yet, my futile attempts have been rewarded in other ways. The chorus of birds, frogs and insects singing in anticipation of the sun’s glorious rising complement the river’s steady churning. The crisp, fresh air in a desolate town whose citizens are still bidding Morpheus “adieu” caresses my skin while the sweet aroma of petrichor fills my lounges. Deep shadows of centenarian eucalyptus trees slowly recede and give way to the imperceptible progress of the brightening skies. Sure, witnessing those tiny bright spots lined-up in the sky would be pretty cool —like sprinkles on a donut. Speaking of donuts, if you’re ever in Cuenca around the feast of Corpus Christi (which ended yesterday) you need to try the Huevos Chilenos (Chilean Eggs) —think of them as less sweet donut holes. And, if like me t
Friends, I believe going anywhere in the world (so long as you abide by the local laws) should be a human right. People should be allowed to wander freely (or vote with their feet whenever a government alienates them). In this, I fully support Doctors Without Borders’ decision to no longer accept funding from the EU due to their immigration policies. Good for them! That said borders can be useful. Take, for instance national sports teams. If there were no borders, events like the summer and winter Olympiads would not exist. Closer to home, those of you who follow soccer are probably tuning-in to the hundredth edition of Copa America , currently under way. Last night the quarter final opener featured both of the teams for which I've been rooting. Who do you cheer for when you know only one of your teams will advance? You can't root for both or you risk becoming a dispassionate observer, so, you either pick one or choose to narrate the game in English (i.e. no 100 MPH narra
Friends, The weekend is upon us; time to relax your inhibitions and howl at the moon (or bark , if your name is Ozzy). Skies should clear-up by 7 PM, revealing the wolf moon —January’s full moon. For extra effect, you could go to Moffat county in northwest Colorado, where a pack of wolves has set-up shop for the first time in seven decades. Or, there’s Canada, where gray wolves never left (I suspect that’s why Meghan left Harry alone with his bombshell). Of course, if you’re feeling really brave, you can go to Chicago, where they had two coyote attacks on Wednesday. In addition to howls, you might get some other sounds in the wide coyote repertoire , including huffs, yips and barks —which should satisfy even Mr. Osborne. I think I’ll put on my wolf hat and go stock-up for tonight. Some bear claws feel appropriate. Happy Friday!