Thursday, June 30, 2011

Waddling Through June: 204.02 Miles on the Streets of Stumptown, Boise, and Juneau

June 30, the results are in. June is my waddlingest month so far. Professor Javier Boleyn will no doubt have a comment before long...

Dispatch from Juneau

Leaving Juneau and its rain behind. But I'm not leaving all of its smoked king salmon behind ...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dispatch from Juneau

Departure time leaves me with a Stone IPA and a halibut taco at the Hanger. Too bad, tourists ...

Dispatch from the Juneau Lab

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Very Happy Hour at Cocotte: Enjoying the Guilty Pleasures of Stumptown

(Cookware image © Whoever put it on Wikipedia; Hooker image © Princesse Tam Tam)

"Cocotte, Jack. It's a cooking vessel, not just a French hooker, and in this case, it's a new feed bag that opened in Gourmet Gulch. Remember, we went there with South Dakota Slim and his missus back when what we call winter but passes for spring everywhere else was in full bore. Honestly, Jack, I'm going to have to get you some of that Ginko biloba..." "There's nothing wrong with my memory, Dolly-girl. Ginkoales Ginkoaceae Ginko biloba. Monospecific to order, so there. Anyhoo, how did you get all these whatzitmeans for Cocotte?" "Skimming through my Larousse, of course. Jack, what do I always tell you? An idle brain is the devil's playground..." "OK, Dolly-girl, knock it off with the one-liners (© Stan Freberg, History of the United States, Jefferson speaking to Franklin). What have you and Dixie got up the sleeves of your Kimmielees (©Tahari by ASL)?"

"Well, you know that Dixie and Delancy have been working their fingers to the quick getting the new Maison Devereaux in shape, and frankly, Jack, they could just use a good sit-me-down-pour-a-drink-down-my-hatch-and-feed-me-some-good-food. So I put on my thinking cap and figured we ought to do the happy hour at Cocotte. Remember, we were there a couple weeks ago." "Yes, I remember--I remember everything. Have you seen the blower? I got a call to make..." "Anyway, we're meeting them up there just about the time old mister Sol hits the yardarm." "I'm there."

Five o'clock found us looking at Stumptown outside from inside a bistro that pretty much screams "Hey, welcome to Paris"...well, no, not really. No cigarette smoke. English spoken. Table settings different. But it could scream "Hey, I'm close enough for Stumptown and what the hell, if you want to be in Paris, go to Paris." The Devereaux duo arrived. Being that I make my living checking facts and catching people in lies, I demanded to see their fingers. Dolly-girl gave me a quick boot with her Dansko (® Dansko) and I turned my "Looks like regular unworn fingers to me" to a "mumph, Hey you two!" We settled in, Missy was by with some whaddayas--drinking and eating--and we gave them the once over three or four times. Gads there were hard choices to be made. The full-sizes sounded great--and they lived up to their buzz the last time we were there--but we were looking for the lighter side. The happy hour menu was it.

One thing that didn't take long was to settle on what was gonna head down my gullet. "Does that tap jockey know how to mix up a tub-o-gin?" "You'd better believe it." "Drown four." He did and Missy was right. "Best martini I've had since Monday," but really, it was the best one I've had in a long time. Delancy had an I-can't-remember (oh, jeesh, I can hear Dolly-girl with the Ginko biloba again). Our dolls settled on a vin blanc for Dolly-girl and a Sazerac for Dixie. "It's America's oldest cocktail, you know, and it's just what this Florida girl needs to put the quick back in my fingers!" I kicked Dolly-girl under the table and opened my trap, but caught her eye-balling me so "What's with the exaggeration?" turned into "Here's mud in your eye!"

The happy hour menu had a good selection of what Dolly-girl likes to call 'small plates' I suppose because they come on small plates. Dolly-girl went for a mermaid's splash and I'll tell you, it put a smile on all our faces 'cause she saw fit to share. Dixie and Delancy ordered up a trio of Asparagus Velouté, cowfeed, and an order of Murphies, roasted and served in what looked to me like red mayo, but Dixie said was a sauce rouille. I looked it up later. It means red mayo. I ordered up a bowl of clams, and I'm not talking money here. These babies were steamed in wine and garlic and some whatyacall Fines Herbs that did their job, I guess, cause they sure tasted fine. And, one of those Hop Lavas washed them down in Fines Style, too. At five clams a pop for the small plates, and a good price on the drinks, there wasn't any bad news when Missy dropped the bomb. We walked out of there a lot happier than the clams that didn't.

"See, Jack, Cocotte is a lot more than you realize." "I'm with you there, Dolly-girl. I suspect this is one French hooker that we'll be seeing a lot of..."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Circling the Northeast: Picking up the Strays

I was just about to put my lips to the Oakshire Line Dry Rye that Bar-Am had set in front of me when the blower sparked. Being that the who-is-it on Dolly-girl's fancy eye-phone (® along with the rest of the world, by Steve Jobs) phone said "None of your Bizness," I had a pretty good idea who to expect on the other end of the line. "You got Jack, shoot." "Jackie-boy, are you OK?" I shot Bar-Am a glance. This was highly unusual. "Yep, fit as a fiddle..." "No Stradivarius, I'm here to tell you..." "and just about to wet a whistle that's dry as dust. Been out for a long waddle." "Are you at Radio Room?" "Of course, and since when don't you know where I am?" I saw Bar-Am reach up and touch her ear--Blue Tooth. "Yes. Yes, he's sitting right here. Just hopped a brew down the bar to him. ROGER. Just one."

He was back. "OK, we thought we were having troubles with the Boleyn's Eye View Sky Cluster (® Boleyn Enterprises). In fact, after your last few waddles, we had to send BE752SCT home on leave--he was getting dizzy." "BE752SCT?" "BE, you know what that is. 752SCT is technician 752 on the Sky Cluster. Anyway, he was having vertigo. We figured you'd found some way to confuse the system. Maybe have a coyote carry around the sensor in your...Oops, almost blew it there..." "Nope, just been rounding up strays. And besides, the coyote is on 19th." "Rounding up strays?" "Yep. That's what Bar-Am calls it. When she asked me where I was walking, I showed her the map I keep. There are a few streets that I always seem to miss so I started walking routes to pick those up. She calls it "rounding up strays." "Cute." "I think so." "You would." "So does she." "Hmm, note to self. Talk to Bar-Am about 'cute' sayings."

"Jackie-boy," his tone deepened, "I'm a little worried about all the waddling you are doing. It's been well over a month since the last time you had a day off. In fact, you've only missed 6 days in the last 86 and that counts days you were out of town "on cases" and days it was hosing rain. Perhaps you need to slow down a bit." "Whoa, now wait just a minute there Mister Professor..." "Just 'Professor' is fine, Jackie-boy, we aren't in Germany..." "Now didn't you tell me that waddling was something I was going to have to do the rest of my life? Didn't you tell me to buy and read your book, Living With Lard: Two-Stepping for the Rest of Your Life." "Well, yes on both." "And didn't you make me order an advance copy of your new book, Life and Lard Two Steps at a Time? "I did." "Well, Professor, you've done this to me so just back off, get your boy 752 some Dramamine, (©2011 Prestige Brands, Inc. All rights reserved.) and let me get on with the waddling." I drank down the rest of my beer, wiped the suds off my mustache, and set the glass on the bar. "Until next time, Bar-Am, I hear that 3-block dogie, Humboldt Street, cryin' in the sage brush. Time to saddle up." I could see one set, and hear two, of eyes rolling. "Catch ya later on down the trail...(© The Coen Brothers, The Big Lebowski)". "Calm down, Jack. You don't have a mustache, by the way, and knock it off with stealing lines from The Big Lebowski; you'll make me nuts." "Calmer than you are, Bar-Am..."

Both books mentioned are (© Boleyn Enterprises. Line Dry Rye picture © Oakshire Brewing)