Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sierra Madre's Who-Ville Festival and Small Business Saturday

Are you Black Friday'ed out?   Tired of fighting your way into the big box to pay big bucks for big plastic things shipped in from overseas?   Well, here's a small town antidote to your weariness.

Today, Sierra Madre is presenting its Who Ville Festival.  It runs from 1 PM to 8 at night and all the information is here.   

The festival, like "downtown" Sierra Madre, is the antithesis of the Best Buy/Target/Walmart experience.  One is small town; the other Big Box.   One is lots of small stores. The other lots of long aisles.   One is picturesque and homey.  The other ....   Well, I could go on, but you get where I'm coming from.

I've posted before about one of those small Sierra Madre locally owned efforts -- Mother Moo Creamery.  
The Moo, as we call it around here, opened a year ago and is now a fixture at 17 Kersting Court.   They are local folks, who hire local folks and who get their ingredients locally.   And, they turn out gourmet products on par with anything you'll find in town or out of town.

Special for today, the Moo will be hosting other locals upstarts who make top quality products.   Marcia will be there with HomeBody Botanicals.  In addition to her great lotions and salves, she'll have some extra special stuff for the holidays.   One is Elderberry Syrup made with elderberries that our family wildcrafted in the local foothills.   Another product I really like is her Fire Cider, which we take in the winter to ward off colds.  Like everything she makes, the Fire Cider is made from locally or organically sourced ingredients and is carefully packaged. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday at East Pasadena's Best Buy

This week I've watched the line outside Best Buy grow.  It started Monday with a few guys who set up camp outside the front doors.  The line has grown each day.  Here's a picture taken at 7 PM tonight (Thanksgiving night).  The line now stretches from the Best Buy doors (which are on the other side of Ross) south all the way to Foothill Blvd.

They are in line to get a shot at  buying the Doorbusters.   This year, the Doorbuster to top all others is a 40 inch Toshiba flat screen TV for $180.  That's an advertised savings of $240.

We talked to a guy toward the front of the line.  He's after the Toshiba flatscreen for re-sale.   Of course, there are other items he wants too.      

Doors open at midnight.   There's still time to get in line. 


It is fun to watch people set up camp in front of Best Buy and to see the line grow.  But, I have no desire to get in that line.

What looks better to me is Sierra Madre's WhoVille set for Saturday from 1 PM to 8 PM.     .  

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving with a photo of a wild turkey I took north of Sacramento and a 2009 post that's an oldie but goodie:

Some interesting turkey facts on this Thanksgiving Day.

Turkeys are the biggest game birds in North America. Wild turkeys have dark feathers to help them blend in with their surroundings. They eat seeds, berries, acorns and small insects. At night, they evade predators by sleeping on tree branches.

Wild turkeys populate many areas of the country. Seems wild turkeys were also native to the Los Angeles basin. Don't know if any wild turkeys remain here. But, there are wild turkeys in northern California. The flock above was photographed in the Sierra foothills.

None other than Benjamin Franklin championed the turkey for the nation's Great Seal. Dismissing the bald eagle as a scavenger of bad moral temperament. Franklin preferred the turkey because, "though a little vain and silly" it is a "Bird of Courage." I think Franklin more loathed eagles than exalted turkeys. He also made a case for putting a rattlesnake on the Great Seal.

Ever wondered how the turkey got named? The Story of How the Unofficial Bird of the United States Got Named After a Middle Eastern Country is an entertaining piece on the MIT website that explores the question. And yes, our word "turkey" was named after the country Turkey.

The turkey on your table this afternoon is a distant cousin to the birds that fed the Pilgrims or which roam wild in the foothills. The National Turkey Federation website describes modern turkey production. Domesticated birds have been bred to maximize breast and thigh meat, can't fly, and have white feathers which don't leave pigment spots when the bird is plucked. The NTF reports that per capita consumption of turkeys in 2009 is estimated to reach 17 pounds.  That's a lot of turkey.