Kings College Choir, Evening Hymn
I noticed the other day that a couple in the development behind us with whom we are slightly acquainted seem to be installing solar panels. That’s great. We’re delighted to have them as part of the family.
One of the motivations to install solar is to reduce one’s dependency on the electric utility. It was certainly one of ours. The irony, of course, is that solar panels tie you that much more closely to the power company. That’s because the electricity which you generate and don’t use you are selling back to the utility.
That’s a good thing, of course. It’s very much an economic benefit to us. And we’re using a clean, renewable source of energy to supply power to the system. Working together, those of us in the neighborhood who have solar are, presumably, helping to reduce strain on the grid on hot days when electricity use spikes.
So our while our relationship with the electric utility may not be what we envisioned when we first thought of getting solar, it’s nonetheless a positive, productive, mutually beneficial one.
Yesterday I mentioned buying Irani Tea online. As I noted, I’ve been an Irani Tea customer since the early 1980’s. I wrote about my long relationship with Irani Tea back in back in 2009 when I was blogging via Typepad, and I thought it was worth republishing that post here.
As a former resident of Moore, OK, where was I living when I first discovered Irani Tea, news of the tornado there hit me hard. The path of the tornado was only a dozen or so blocks south of my house. My thoughts and prayers are, of course, with all those affected. One excellent option for making contributions, if you are so inclined, is the United Way of Central Oklahoma.
27 November 2009
When I lived in Oklahoma City (Moore, actually, a suburb) in the early 1980′s my first wife Ruth and her two kids (whom she had in the summer and at Christmas) and I would go to an all-you-can-eat buffet called Duffs. They had a hot tea I really liked. It was lighter and richer than your average Lipton’s. The name was Irani. The PO Box address was on the tea bag tab so I wrote the company and asked if the tea was available by mail. I got a very gracious response from the company owner, one S.K. Irani, who said it was indeed. I began ordering it and enjoying it at home.
After we moved to the Bay Area in 1985, I wrote to place an order, having written and printed my letter from my computer. (I don’t remember whether it was my original Apple IIe, or the 286 I got later.) While I was off at work, Ruth got a phone call from a very surprised Mr. Irani: “A computer letter from California!”
Somewhere along the way, amidst Ruth’s sudden death in 1989 and a few moves on my part, I lost touch with Irani Tea. Then, four, maybe five years ago, I decided to try and find them. I was able to find their address in Indianapolis, but they seemed to have no Web presence at the time. I wrote to Mr. Irani and asked about ordering again. I received a very nice letter from Katrina Irani Donahue, who said she was helping her father with the business. Terry and I started ordering and drinking Irani tea again.
Today Katrina is president and owner of Irani Tea, Inc. While for the longest time I had to request my tea by U.S. mail and wait for the shipment and invoice and then send back a check via U.S. mail, I can now order on-line and pay via PayPal.
I do love my Irani tea. If you like tea but find the standard orange pekoe & black tea from the grocery store a bit too harsh, check out Irani. You can find them at http://www.iranitea.com.
I certainly spend enough money at Amazon, and I have made my share of purchases on sites like drugstore.com as well. But one of the nice things about the Internet and the flexibility that PayPal provides is that there is as much room for mom and pop merchants with their own storefronts online as there is on Main Street. Maybe more, because they’re not limited to their local community.
One merchant I purchase from regularly is Christian at FoodVacBags.com. He sells plastic rolls for the FoodSaver. I prefer to buy the third-party rolls because they are cheaper than what you buy from FoodSaver, and I find them easier to work with. Perhaps the quality is not really superior to FoodSaver’s own merchandise, but it seems that way to me. At least the third-party rolls seem to have more of a commercial-grade quality to them. I first found Christian on eBay, and he was the best and most efficient of the plastic roll merchants that I worked with. I now but directly from his own storefront, and he is always prompt and reliable.
Then there’s my friend Katrina Irani Donahue, from whom I buy Irani Tea. I have been buying Irani Tea since the early 1980’s when I dealt with her father by postal mail. Today I go to Katrina’s Web site and with just a few clicks I’ve placed my order. More on Katrina and Irani Tea tomorrow.
I think it is as important to support our cyber mom and pop merchants as it is to support our brick and mortar mom and pop merchants downtown.
Yesterday was Pentecost. I missed it. Or at least I missed Pentecost worship. As this blog entry goes live, Terry and I are coming to the end of a long weekend visiting family.
I really dislike missing the big events in the liturgical year. I try hard not to. But it doesn’t always work out. Trying to sync Terry’s and my work calendar with my brother’s work calendar and his and my sister-in-law’s personal calendar, plus accounting for the fact that we don’t want to wait until it gets too hot to make the trip down there, and we ended up, this year, with the trip coinciding with Pentecost.
Sometimes things sync with the liturgical calendar and sometimes they don’t. The Morgan Hill AAUW Wildflower Run is usually on Palm Sunday, so I end up missing it. This year it wasn’t so I was able to participate. But this year the family calendar has me missing Pentecost.
That’s how the liturgical and personal calendars interact.
In the words of Linda Ellerbee, “And so it goes.”
Magnificat in G, Charles Villiers Stanford, Salisbury Cathedral Choir
We keep our cooking utensils in an aluminum canister, as you see here. We had purchased a few KitchenAid utensils, which have rather round, thick handles. It was getting to where it was difficult getting the desired utensil out of the canister. I thought that it would be nice to replace a few of the KitchenAid utensils with new ones from Oneida in our favorite flat-handled style. So I looked. And looked. And looked. I checked Bed Bath & Beyond. I looked on Amazon. I scoured the Oneida Web site.
You would think that something as practical and useful would stay in production, but apparently not. Guess we’d better take care of the ones we have. At least they’re sturdy and have already lasted us several years.