Archive for September, 2005

This Old House

Monday, September 26th, 2005

I have a furniture problem, and I thought I would toss it out there to see if I could find a solution James Surowiecki-style.

I have a nice armchair that was a graduation gift. It’s a solid wood like cherry or something, with a black finish in most places, and the seal of my alma mater on the headrest. Anyway, some time back I placed a cushion in the seat, because as nice as the chair is, I’m not going to treat it like a showpiece, but it gets a tad stiff if you sit in it for a while. Well, the cushion had little rubber gripper things on the bottom, so it wouldn’t slip. I know now I should have gotten one of those that you tie off, because the rubber grips seem to have left a bit of a residue on the seat. There’s a nice little ass-shaped pattern now. The one good thing is that the rubber leavings are black, too, so they don’t show up too badly. But if I rub them off, they streak a little, and I end up with smudges that look like I was using a pencil eraser on it.

I want to restore the chair to its original condition, but I don’t want to make the finish look any worse than it does. I’m willing to test some products on the bottom and see what the result is, but I was hoping someone had a better idea, or a favorite product for cleaning wood. Thanks in advance.

Calling Out in Transit…Radio Free Milbarge

Monday, September 19th, 2005

I’m still in motion. I had a list of things to blog about if I found myself in front of a computer, but now they don’t seem interesting even to me. So I’ll just say hello, call out Sebastian for not posting anything in forever, get back to whatever I ought to be doing, and promise to return to normal blogging soon. In the meantime, here’s someone I met along the way.

What he said

Monday, September 12th, 2005

Exactly. I’ve been telling Milbarge the same thing for months now. Having grown up in and spent my entire life in evangelical churches, I don’t know any evangelical Christians who are comfortable with or would classify Mormonism as a denomination of Christianity.

(post edited slightly since original publication)

I’m on a Seafood Diet: When I See Food, I Eat It

Monday, September 5th, 2005

I don’t know a lot about the seafood fishing industry, but I do know I like eating seafood. I’ve been worried to see scattered reports that Katrina could level the Gulf shrimp and oyster harvests. One problem is simply the lack of workers and boats and refrigerated warehouses, all along the Gulf coast. Another is the runoff of toxic water receding from flooded areas through wetlands. Is there any way to ensure I’m ordering safe shrimp? Not surprisingly, the Louisiana Shrimp Association says imported shrimp is unsafe.

Note that if you like catfish and crawfish, you may be facing the same dilemma. Fans of crab may be in better shape, but it was surprising to me that 25,000 pounds of crab fly flew from New Orleans to Maryland every day. That strikes me as nearly blasphemous, like Florida importing oranges or something. Those of you who drink coffee won’t like to hear this: “New Orleans, one the nation’s biggest coffee ports, holds about 8% of the world’s supply, and coffee industry experts predicted that the loss of the tens of thousands of tons stored there would take a year to replace. Coffee contracts have risen 11% this week in New York trading.” And, see this story for a snapshot of some other extractive industries that might be affected, and note that with so many downed trees, timber prices are likely to fall.

Here is a nice collection of stories about Katrina’s impact on food. As upset as I am about the shrimpers, I am beside myself over news that chicken prices will rise. Longtime readers who have heard me tout the wonders of Bojangle’s and Chick-fil-A know that this will affect me more than rising oil prices.

Of course, even if I face a near future of no shrimp and expensive chicken, at least I won’t go hungry. My donation is working to ensure that others can say the same.