Merle’s Barber Shop

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Why does Merle (or at least the man in the window) look as if captured in the act of calling someone a bastard?

Signage of Wenatchee
Signage of Wenatchee

In a dry country

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Photo by flickr user Doug Aghassi. Used via cc: All rights revert to originator.
Photo by flickr user Doug Aghassi. Used via cc: All rights revert to originator.

Wenatchee keeps it real

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There is a lot of great old-school signage here in Wenatchee but this has to be my favorite.

Wally’s House of Booze 322 S Wenatchee Ave. Wenatchee, WA 98801

New York Times analysis of estuarine development at the mouth of the Elwha

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In the early days before the removal of the Glines Canyon and Elwha Dams that returned the Elwha River to its free-flowing state, most talk was focused on the return of salmon to a once-prodigious Native fishery. Some raised valid concerns about the post-removal turbidity as decades of sedimentary buildup behind the dams washed down to the sea: making the river water too cloudy for hatchery fish to survive in outbound migration much less the return spawning trip from the sea.

Eventually — in a decade or more, Dr. Warrick said — all of the sediment that had accumulated behind the dams will be gone. Then, the researchers predict, the river will revert to its pre-dam pattern, moving about 300,000 cubic yards of sediment downstream each year to the beaches.

Though the geology of California differs from that of the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Warrick said, this project demonstrates that dam removal may remedy beach erosion in both regions.

The idea is popular among some environmental lawyers and legal scholars who have long argued that beaches have “sand rights” — a right to sand that would naturally flow to them if people and their infrastructure had not gotten in the way. Advocates of sand rights say anyone who interferes with the flow of sediment to and along the shoreline should be required to mitigate the effects.

Once the water levels had gone down behind these dams the amount of sedimentary infill in these impoundment lakes was fully revealed. The entire contour of the valleys where the lakes had been had slowly filled up with sand, silt, and gravel. Deprived of their source of natural replenishment beaches and wetlands downstream had become anemic, requiring bolstering with rip-rap or other artificial means (as the law of unintended consequences rears its head). Reconnected with a century of undelivered sediment, the beaches at the mouth of the Elwha and nearby along the Strait of Juan de Fuca are rebounding at a reassuring rate as the turbidity of the Elwha’s waters continues to improve.

Read the full New York Times article from July 15, 2015 here.

Mac’n’Yease: An Attempt at the Plum Bistro Classic

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There are a lot of takes on the ‘problem’ of vegan mac & cheese, but local vegan bistro Plum has it dialed in just right. Here’s another blogger’s effort to deconstruct the recipe, with photos.

The Dough Also Rises


In early August, I had my first experience of Plum, the fabulous Seattle vegan restaurant. I had never heard of Plum until some Amazon browsing brought me to their new cookbook. I was so excited about the look of the cookbook and the food that I bought the cookbook before ever visiting the restaurant. Now having eaten at Plum and cooked from the book, I can fully vouch for both.

Anyone who knows Plum also knows their classic dish: Mac’n’Yease (a vegan macaroni and cheese). I am not one of these in-the-know folks, but luckily I had my friend LJ there to fill me in on its infamy. In fact, it’s such a well-known Plum specialty that they don’t even give away the recipe in the cookbook…which led to this weekend’s culinary adventure. LJ and I, who had brainstormed the recipe together, made it as a special treat for…

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Washington state pear-apple tart

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Washington state tree fruit makes the best pies. Apples and pears too ginormous to ship commercially at the farmer’s markets: cutting results less in slices than apple steaks. These apples and pears were well-diced before going into the oven. A little ed

Aw yiss. Washington state pear-apple tart

Mark Lanegan – El Sol

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Ellensburg’s Mark Lanegan sings like west of the Cascade curtain, all black and green with flashes of brilliant blue. If ever a voice were pulled howling up a mile of gravel road to be born feet-first into the yearning ear of a rock and roll audience, it is his.

You’ve encountered plenty of his work on these pages as the frontman for Screaming Trees. His solo recordings are expectedly more self-referential, allowing for tunes like this one, which appeared on ‘Whiskey for the Holy Ghost.’ This time of year you start to get an ear for songs like this: songs that strongly reflect the ponderous inevitability of a northwest winter (among other things).

The sun is gone, and that’s all I really know
No angels in the air
With hearts as good as gold
The closer you stand to the gates
The more the gates are closed

These darkened days
Make some bodies hunger and thirst
Blessed burns the sun
He’s throwin’ shadows on the earth
The shadow you find at the gate
And all the gates are closed

Anytime you find your race is run
Felt much colder standin’ in the sun
Waitin’ for some warmth and comin’ down
Felt much older than I really was
Waitin’ for some warmth and comin’ down