Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reluctant to Rush the Recap

I was planning on writing my typical recap of the monthly Secret Science Club lecture, but it's been a busy, busy day. First off, I received a call from my department head... the father of one of my team members was placed in an Intensive Care Unit of a hospital (he's been sick for a long time), so my co-worker had to take a personal day. It was supposed to be my day off, but, hey, I've got to be behind my people 100%, so in I went for a four-hour shift.

When I got to work, my department head called me again, this time to tell me that there was a heating problem in one of the buildings at another site, and that a service call had been placed. He indicated that he would call me when the technician was near the site, so I could drive down, meet him, and let him onto the premises. The building that needed furnace service (that doesn't quite rhyme) is the one building that I don't carry keys to, so I had to disarm the alarm system, open up the site office, and get the keys out of the keybox.

The furnace tech was a hell of a nice guy, we had a good conversation about the importance of union labor- he mentioned his five year apprenticeship and his three years as a journeyman, then made a comment about a competing company which is a non-union shop that underbid his employer on a lot of accounts: "You don't want someone making eight dollars an hour working on your gas lines." He then went on to describe how this non-union, low-payrate shop would cut corners: they didn't pay a night differential, so they didn't have around-the-clock service, their employees had substandard skills. Hey, the furnace is out, and the heating contractor tells you to shut off the water to the house and get a hotel for a couple of nights until they can send someone over? Guess what? You just lost the money you thought you'd saved by taking the low bid!

After the furnace service was accomplished, I stopped at a local supermarket on my way to my principle jobsite. I don't have a traditional lunch hour per se, but I can pop out for a few minutes to pick something up to eat. While at the market, I discovered a fruit I had never eaten before, a sweet lime, produce of the Dominican Republic. The lime had the merest hint of sweetness, but nary a tart note like most citrus fruits. It was unusual, not the tastiest of fruits, but refreshing. I also bought the mushiest persimmon I could find. As Daffy Duck would tell you, an unripe persimmon is not a pleasant thing, though I would characterize the flavor as "astringent" rather than sour. My mushy persimmon was as sweet as candy... I'd describe it further, but the description would verge on p0rn0graphy.

I didn't have much time for writing today. I banged out this post while waiting for my relief to arrive. Tomorrow, I should have time enough to do the lecture the justice it deserves.


Vixen Strangely said...

There are two kinds of persimmons that I know of--the kind that are only ripe when mushy, and the kind that... isn't like that. Which is why I am a grown woman, and my husband buys the fruit and tells me when to eat it. (My experience of produce growing up was limited and did not include things I now consider staples, like cactus pears and lychee. I like the kind of persimmons that aren't really mushy when ripe, but I had one of those bad experiences with the other kind and just won't let that happen to my tongue again. Even if the good mushy ones are like nectar. #producebaggage

Smut Clyde said...

Your humble persimmon goes well in a curry, sez I. Lots of proteolytic enzymes to digest the meat for you.

The situation here used to be that the tart-when-unripe persimmons were the only kind available. Then orchardists found out about the cultivar where the fruit can be eaten even before they deliquesce, and they are easier for distributing to short-attention-span customers who want their fruit edible WHEN THEY BUY THEM. So they became the norm.

It may just be food hipsterism but I maintain that the old-fashioned cultivars, the kind that bit back if you bit them before they were ready, had more flavour.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Which is why I am a grown woman, and my husband buys the fruit and tells me when to eat it.

Every family needs its designated produce expert. I'm pretty good at picking out the fruit, even when I don't know what I'm doing.

Your humble persimmon goes well in a curry, sez I. Lots of proteolytic enzymes to digest the meat for you.

I am interested in your ideas and wish to know if you have a newsletter.


I was into them, before they were ripe.