R. Wallenda

Morning!  Hope you are well.  So we had a weekend.  Highlights?  My pleasure.

Saturday night at the Egg, a friend and I enjoyed Richard Thompson and his opening act, The Mastersons.  Prior to Saturday, Mr. Thompson’s name had made it into my head, but little else.  What a delightful surprise.  A guitar virtuoso and his lyrics are wonderful as well.  Delayed gratification at its best.

I didn’t have as much as The Mastersons’ name in my head when they stepped on stage.  A husband and wife duo from Texas (recently relocated to Austin after a spell in New York City), they flew into Albany just to open for Mr. Thompson.  Very kind of them and I’m glad they did.  Just the two of them on stage with guitars and a  fiddle, they lit up the room.  Gave me permission to be happy, yes sir.  I brought home their second LP, Good Luck Charm and am listening to it now.  I hope you get a chance to see them sometime soon.tm

Things get a little dodgy from there.  Not all.  Just some.  I was pleased to see a new garbage can at the pond.gc

It’s a fine can and finer still because it replaced a dirty yellow industrial barrel marked “USDA CONTAMINATED.”  I’m thinking dirty meat from a packinghouse.  Gross.  I’m sure Albany got a great deal on the secondhand cans, but I’m glad they found a new home for the one that used to be at the park.

On Saturday I enjoyed an epic errand fest on my bicycle.  Dropped off a dozen pair of pants at the donation box.  It wasn’t easy to admit to myself that I wasn’t headed back to that size soon.  Then to the garden to harvest greens and cabbage to donate.  Then to the co-op to donate the produce and shop.  The place was hopping and filled with goodness.  Then home.  Maybe three miles and everyone shared the roads very nicely.  A great outing.

On Sunday I braved the suburbs on an epic errand fest by car.  I found this little dude in front of Target.  db

I placed him in a garbage can and carried on.  I found myself in front of Empire Wine five minutes before they opened.  I didn’t mind waiting and about eight people soon joined me.  I took the opportunity to try a little town square action by bringing up the legal trouble that store has landed in.  Sure it is uncommon to talk to strangers out of the blue, but it isn’t to common to queue up for booze on a Sunday morning either, so I thought a little conversion would help pass the minutes.

If I understand the story, the state liquor authority has asked Empire to stop selling wine to customers in states that bar direct sale from out of state retailers.  Apparently this happens with some regularity, as the states to which Empire ships wine rarely discover the violations and, if they do, simply ask the shipper to stop.  Little incentive to follow the law, then.  Unless the state liquor authority asks you to and threatens to pull your license to sell, which is I think what went down here.

Anyway, Empire is suing the authority saying the authority is overstepping its powers in an attempt to regulate sales across state lines.  I don’t know.  Kind of sounds like people fighting red light cameras so they can continue to run red lights without getting tickets.  So I brought that up next.

The discussion on Empire’s legal troubles started and ended with me saying I thought Empire should play by the rules and move on.  The one gentleman who admitted hearing of the story wouldn’t express an opinion.  He didn’t say he didn’t have an opinion.  He just didn’t respond.

The red light conversation went worse still.  The guy who spoke said he didn’t know the issue and then again failed to respond after I gave a two sentence description.  The other six or so people stared at me blankly.  I understand my actions were unconventional, but to not say anything when someone is trying to engage you in conversion is simply rude.  I ended the exchange by saying “so much for trying to create a little town square,” they unlocked the doors, I bought my handle of Buffalo Trace and hightailed it out of there.

I was way more comfortable at Parivar.  The guy at the register seemed like he may be the owner.  I hadn’t seen him before and he just seemed to be in control of the joint.  I said I was sorry to be only buying  food to go, since my wife and I love eating in his cafe most every Sunday.  He wished Lacey a speedy recovery.  Parivar means family in Hindi and our courteous exchange certainly made me feel welcome.  I brought home two samosas to share with Lacey.  Best I’ve ever had.  Man I love that place.  You been yet?

Oh.  I stopped at Oliver’s too.  Just after stopping at the garden to plant garlic.  I was feeling a little directionless so I asked an employee for recommendations.  First thing he pointed to were half liter bottles of Ayinger Oktober Fest Marzen.  I brought home two and split one with Lacey last night.  Steller!  I try to buy beer made closer to home, but this was a welcome treat.

amNow it is Monday and I’m waiting for the west coast team to wake up and get in gear.

filThanks for helping me pass the time.  I hope you had a swell weekend.

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