« March 2009 | Main | January 2009 »

Sunday 22 February 2009

Those Crafty Kentuckians

This weekend saw the annual Kentucky Crafted festival here in Louisville. Unlike two years ago, she didn't have to drag me off, because this time I knew what I would be in for.

We strolled about, and gazed at all the lovely art work. Some of the woodworking was astounding; beautifully finished pieces of exotic woods. A glass hummingbird particularly intrigued me; how could they draw out the glass so finely and leave the little bits of color in just the right spots? A wide array of books by Kentucky authors were featured and we bought a couple. We also picked up some body lotion. But the real attraction for us is the Kentucky food vendors. I'm going to document them here so I can get more of them later.

We bought dip, red wine marinade, hot sauce, roasted tomato salsa and hot jelly, dried soups, green tea, spice rub, habanero conserve, barbeque sauce, chow chow, and garlic sauce.

Categories: News from Louisville

Saturday 21 February 2009

Snow Songs

More snow here today.

Ever notice how those happy snow songs - Walking In a Winter Wonderland, Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow, Frosty the Snowman, and so on and so forth - are sung before snow season arrives? Once the stuff gets here and you have to put up with it, you never hear those songs.

Categories: News from Louisville

Saturday 14 February 2009

Valentine's Day

I took my wife out for Valentine's Day today. To the grocery store. It's where she wanted to go. We went to Kroger's and to Whole Foods.

The Louisville Whole Foods Market

We got red wine vinegar, ziplock bags, diet Coke, King Arthur flours, milk, apples, beans, Old Folks sausage (a local product), soup bones, bananas, canned corn and green beans, fresh cod, champignon and button mushrooms, smoked salmon, parmigiano reggiano, okra, Brown Cow yogurt, short ribs, lettuces, hot Italian sausage, medjool dates, scallions, smoked gouda, fusilli and spaghetti and rigatoni, hearts of palm, canned sweet potato and evaporated milk and pie shells, sun dried tomatoes, tortilla chips, a salad spinner and a new can opener.

Lots of good cooking coming up. Still, her favorite part was watching all the men at Kroger's standing around the floral shop trying to decide what to do.

Categories: News from Louisville

Thursday 12 February 2009

Capital idea, Fido!

Today was Humane Lobby Day at the state capital (no, it's not Louisville). The Humane Society of the United States had arranged for a number of workers and volunteers associated with various animal protection organizations to come visit with the legislature (currently in session) and try to get some laws passed to protect pets in Kentucky.

It was a beautiful morning, and I made it to Frankfort in about an hour. Frankfort is a small town, only about twenty-five thousand people live there, and it is pretty, nestled in the Kentucky River valley with high rock bluffs all around.

The Capitol
I arrived at the Capitol just in time to see several beer trucks circling the edifice. Seems that the Commonwealth is in a bit of a budgetary pickle, and the house voted on a bill yesterday to increase the tax on alcoholic beverages. The liquor industry is not happy about this. But the trucks stayed out of my way, and I let them fight their own battle. I walked past the floral clock, but being February, it was pretty grim-looking.

The nice people at the Humane Society of the United States had made an appointment for me with my state Senator at eleven o'clock. I soon found out that an appointment with your Senator and four bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Today, it turns out, seemed to be Lobby Day for just about every other interest group in Kentucky, including the groups interested in child welfare. You wouldn't believe how many kids were there. Doesn't anybody go to school anymore? In any event, since my Senator was not available, I went to see if I could get some time with my representative. Whoa! I stood in line for twenty minutes just to sign in at the receptionist's desk. I said I'd be willing to speak with anyone in the Representative's office and was very politely told that I could wait, but there was no guarantee that I'd see anyone today. However, the nice receptionist said that my Representative regularly sees constituents at his home in Louisville, and would I like to try calling and making an appointment? Here's his home phone number. Well, that'll work, I figured, and I spent the rest of the morning talking with other pet people who couldn't get in to see their elected officials, either.

Pam & Romeo
Eventually it was time for our rally and news conference. We were on right after the official bicentennial Lincoln celebration in the Capitol Rotunda (today was Lincoln's birthday, and he was born in Kentucky). Eventually it was our turn, and we had speeches and testimonials, and I got a kiss from a celebrity! Last year, the various humane societies were instrumental in getting a law passed that makes it a crime to torture a dog or cat. It's called "Romeo's Law", in honor of Romeo, a yellow Lab who was abused by his owner. Believe it or not, it was a very difficult fight to get the bill passed into law, and that didn't happen until the very last day of the legislative session. Romeo, since rescued of course, was there in the Rotunda and I got a lick. We also had this year's "poster dog" for a bill to require that dog owners provide shelter for their dogs. This dog, named Velveteen Rabbit, is a chihuahua mix who was left outside in subfreezing weather with no shelter. The poor creature's leg froze to the ground and will have to be amputated. Yeah, it was becoming an in-your-face event, all right. Next up was the lady who is the subject of the first application of Romeo's law. She's a good-looking young woman who had a stalker break into her house and <details you don't want to know> her two cats. I discovered that one thing local TV news likes to cover more than a rescued abused dog is a young, pretty woman crying about her two pet cats being <you really don't want to know>. The suspect is awaiting trial. Needless to say, proponents of Romeo's law who said that a person who hurts animals is likely to hurt people feel vindicated on this one.

During our rally, I did get to shake hands with Greg Stumbo, speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, and thank him for his support of humane causes in Kentucky, so I guess it wasn't a total failure on the meet-an-elected-official front.

Categories: News from Louisville