08.May.2013 Goods & Services: Convolute on Fruits

{Indicate processed, canned, dried, or preserved} fruits

512px-La_BoqueriaMajor issue is obviously definitional.  There is a discrepancy (bordering on animosity) between the botanical definition (which relates to seed-bearing tissue) and the culinary definition (basically any plant matter that tastes sweet).  Many foods satisfy the botanical definition but not the culinary definition (e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers). Fewer foods satisfy the culinary definition but not the botanical definition (rhubarb apparently).

Deep structures of the persistent fascination with Nix v. Hedden, the Supreme Court case deeming tomatoes a vegetable.  Why does an 1893 Supreme Court case have a Facebook page with 152 likes?  On the one hand, it is appealing that the Supreme Court, in its august glory, would occupy itself with such a mundane topic.  It’s a classic Margaret Dumont bit.  On the other hand, the whole fascination with false taxonomies — the savory goodness of parallel discourses coming together into one icon.  Compare favorably Borges’ taxonomy of animals ostensibly found in the “Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.”

Google Trends as an empirical method of determining the extent of definitional controversy:  Tomato and fruit / tomato and vegetable.  Notice how they are evenly matched.  Now consider apple and fruit / apple and vegetable.  “Apple and fruit” dominates “apple and vegetables.”  And rightly so.  But then we can also identify some other gray areas.  Cucumbers; squash; corn.

Required reading.  Cross-reference with forthcoming entry/entries on tomatoes.

Fruit moulds.  Not to be confused with mold on fruits.  Consider development of Takery and Silver Univnron fruit moulds.

Dole Pineapple Maze:  “The fastest finishers win a prize and enter into the history of Dole Plantation, with their names recorded on a sign at the maze’s entrance.”

Fruitarian diets:  How extreme you could take fruit only diet?  Empire apple only diet?  Perhaps each month or each year you take on a new type of food.  So over the course of a lifetime you’ll have a balanced diet but month by month it is only focused on a single food.  January 2013: banana.  February 2013: Milk.  March 2013: Salt.  And so forth.  Even when you eat a meal, each bite is going down at different intervals.  You are simply changing the interval at which you receive those bites in a much more orderly way.  Seem quite sensible when you break it down.


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29.Apr.2013 Cool Ranch Doritos — Matt Diamond

Gregory hated going to the Techno-Psych. He felt like a computer on a lab bench, wires exposed in harsh fluorescence. But he knew he needed to go. His mind was “a ship torn apart by two odd captains,” or at least that’s what the Detector said. It was prone to overly florid language, an unfortunate design decision. Gregory had little patience for poet-engineers.

In the elevator, the man on the k-screen was babbling. Something was for sale. Laser knives? Gregory didn’t much care. All he wanted was some Doritos. He would do anything for some Doritos. He would die for some Doritos. He would put a gun under his chin, pull the trigger, feel his brains erupt from his head in a crimson splash, if it meant that someone would give him a bag of Doritos. Ideally the Cool Ranch variety. He loved Cool Ranch.

The Techno-Psych sat waiting, tapping his finger against his watch.

“You’re late,” he said, blood pouring from one of his eyes.

“You’re bleeding,” said Gregory.

“Am I?” replied the Techno-Psych. “Fuck off, you know nothing. You think you know things, but you don’t. There is nothing that you know.”

“Sorry,” muttered Gregory, taking a seat on the plastic couch-shaped object by the door.

“State your name,” ordered the TP.

“Gregory Blasch,” stated Gregory.

The TP closed his eyes.

“Why have you come here, Gregory Blasch?” he asked, as if he were terribly inconvenienced by this visit.

“I don’t know, the Supervisor said I had to,” replied Gregory.

“And do you do everything the Supervisor says?”

“I guess so.”


Gregory thought for a moment.

“Because if I don’t, the Supervisor will be upset.”

“That’s true,” noted the TP. He scribbled something on the metallic note-plate resting on his lap. “Would you say you’re happy with your current state?”

“I don’t know,” said Gregory.

“Well I don’t know either,” said the TP, a hint of frustration in his voice.

“Okay,” said Gregory.

They sat there in silence for 15 minutes. Then a buzzer sounded and a voice came through on the speaker above the door.

“Blah blah blah,” it said. “Blah blah blah blah.”

“Oh, I see,” replied the TP, as if this announcement were perfectly coherent. “Indeed, indeed.”

The blood which had been streaming out of the TP’s eye had slowed to a trickle, and Gregory was becoming restless.

“I think I’m going to go now,” he said.

“Very well,” said the TP, standing up and brushing lint off his jacket. Then he fell to the floor and died. Then everyone else in the building fell down and died. These things happened now and then. Gregory felt something like melancholy pass through him briefly, but could not catch it in time.

“I wish I had some Cool Ranch Doritos,” he said. He stood up and made his way to the exit, stepping gingerly over the bodies in the hallway, hoping beyond hope for a vending machine.

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24.Apr.2013 Goods & Services: Convolute on Frozen Entrees


“TV dinner” coined in the early 1950s by one or more Swanson employees.  The genesis is highly controversial.  Was it a Swanson sales executive faced with a glut of turkey meat in refrigerated railroad boxcars?  Was it the VP of marketing at the time? Or was it the Swanson brothers themselves? Perhaps it was one of the turkeys, exposed to large amounts electromagnetic and microwave radiation, now able to speak, now having the intellect of several humans, now joining the Swanson executive team in board meetings, corporate outings, golf outings, shopping outings.

Equally controversial: (1) whether “TV dinner” refers to a tray configuration that approximates a television screen, (2) they were meant to be eaten while watching TV, (3) there was no connection with TV, other than a shameless attempt to latch onto TV’s growing popularity.

Frozen, packaged, and/or prepared dinners consisting primarily of pasta and rice that are made to be confusingly similar.  Pasta that looks like rice (e.g. orzo and couscous), pasta that is made of rice (e.g. rice noodles, healthy non-glucose rice pasta — stuff found in organic section, etc..).  What about rice grown to look like pasta?  It could be done.  Where are the rice shaped wagon wheels?  Rice raviolis? Aren’t pasta and rice really the same thing – a common conspiracy theory.

Frozen/prepared/packaged dinner superlatives.  What is the largest frozen pasta and rice dish on the market?  The smallest?  The Loudest?  The most and least pungent.  Constraints on largest are dictated by microwave size.  Constraints on most pungent are dictated only by the imagination.

Assassin’s Creed brand frozen meals consisting primarily of pasta or rice (TM serial number 85782796). Looking forward to seeing the specimen.

The sworn enemy of frozen food enthusiasts everywhere: warmed-over flavor or “WOF.”

Jimmy Dean’s, Original Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick. “Now your favorite breakfast foods are even easier to eat. We wrapped a delicious sausage inside a sweet pancake, and put it on a stick to make it portable.”

From eHow’s, “How to Start a Frozen Food Business.”  “Starting a frozen food business is fairly simple and can be done with very little overhead.”  Further, “[y]ou may decide to market your products online and deliver them in freezer trucks, pedal your foods to businesses and homes face to face or open a store. You may also have an idea that’s completely unique. It’s up to you.”



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22.Apr.2013 Official examplars

These are the official “specimens” provided to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to show the mark as used in commerce for various Pizza Hut trademarks.  The first is remarkable because it is a striking example of the Roof in its purest form.  The second is remarkable because it appears to be a polaroid picture.  (Note: the second one illustrates how Pizza Hut is moving away from the Roof design).


pizza hut

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14.Apr.2013 The Woodcuts of Loren Kantor

Picture 58






Kevin Crites





















Editor’s Note:  Loren Kantor is a xylographer (i.e. a woodcutter) and writer living in Hollywood, CA.  Most of his works involve portraits, but I thought that the “Open Road” was particularly relevant to certain subject areas of interest to DR.  Note also that Kantor’s woodcuts are often accompanied by a detailed and thoughtful written piece.   File this squarely under “Lost Arts.”

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01.Apr.2013 DRUGTG&S: Hops

{Indicate fresh, raw or unprocessed} hops


Humulus lupulus, from the family Cannabaceae (yes, that Cannabaceae).  The hops are the seed cone (the hive-looking structure lower right) of the plant.

Beer without hops would be, I am told, almost unbearably sweet.  Hops add bitterness to the malt with the added benefit of serving as an antimicrobial.

DR Futures predicts huge growth in edible hops (i.e. cooking with hops).  The stalks can be sautéed like asparagus, made into bruschetta (hops apparently optional according to the recipe), or turned into something called a “fried hop pesto purse.”  RIYL jalapeño poppers (extreme fajitas?).

“Chocolate covered hops” nets only 31 results on google.  A handy descriptor for beer finish, but could find no working examples.

Other alternatives, beer with the hops left in.

Takery commissioned to mount a PR campaign to familiarize the nation with hops — to make hops as recognizable as apples or bananas.  Working feverishly, weeks on end, Takery devises a six-foot tall felt mascot, vaguely resembling a hop cone, more closely resembling a pine cone, sometimes resembling an acorn (depending on the light).  Despite no resemblance to a rabbit, dubbed the Hop Bunny (perhaps due to Takery’s natural predilection towards rabbits, for obvious reasons).

Astounding variety of hop cultivars available.  Takery, on a roll from PR assignment for hops, makes felt mascots for each cultivar.  Apollo.  Bravo.  The venerable Fuggles.  And most intriguing of all, El Dorado.  Collegiate sports interested in making a 64 (68?) team bracket, pitting cultivar against cultivar.  Winners to be determined as a result of complex algorithm involving alpha acid content multiplied by beta acid content.


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24.Mar.2013 DR Unabridged Guide to Goods & Services: Chives

{Indicate fresh, raw or unprocessed} chives


Allium schoenoprasum, from the genus Allium (edible onions).

The main difference between chives and green onions is that people have given green onions a variety of names (scallions, spring onions, salad onions, table onions, green shallots, onion sticks, long onions, baby onions, precious onions, yard onions, gibbons, or syboes) whereas people only refer to chives as chives.  Also green onions have yellow flowers and don’t appear to have bulbs or leaves whereas chives have bulbs, leaves, and purple flowers.

The word “chives” is derived from the Old French “cive” which is in turn derived from the Latin “caepa”  for onion (think cebolla).

Chives v. chive.  Usually plural refers to the singular.  But see chives v. chive.  Curious results (heavily skewed toward chive) accounted for by popularity of internet kudzu, “thechive.com.”  Devastated when I learned that results from chives v. scallions were also skewed for same reason (fueled by desperate searches for non-existant website, “thechives.com”).

Decorative chives.  But we know them as ornamental onions.  Related: Chive makes some pretty nifty vases — strangely though, the vases contain all sorts of exotic flora but not chives.

Unsubstantiated rumor of a subdivision with chive lawns.  Will continue to search.

Searched for biggest, longest, and greenest – or bluest possibly.  File under “deep fry big chive.”

Wikihow for drying chives.  Step 1: Dry chives.

Results from chive professors: chief volatile components identified as dipropyl disulfide, methyl pentyl disulfide, pentyl hydrodisulfide and (cis and trans) 3,5-diethyl-1,2,4-trithiolane.  Note predominance of sulfur.


Editors note: This is the first installment of The Dairy River Unabridged Guide to Goods & Services, using the Trademark Acceptable Identification of Goods & Services as an index.  It represents our systematic efforts to examine detritus, ephemera, minutia, and miscellany.  Each entry is presented in convolute/monograph form.




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09.Mar.2013 Untitled 1 by Matt Diamond

“It’s pronounced bo-bob, like ‘bow’ in ‘bow and arrow’ and then ‘bob.’ Bobob. Do you follow?”

Bobob Erickson tapped a wrinkled finger against the pleat of his starched pants. The ash-gray fabric was distractingly dull, which seemed to J an inexplicable paradox. The room smelled faintly of sausage.

“I’m Bobob. Get it? Bobob. Me Bobob.”

“I understand,” said J. “You can let it go now.”

“I can’t let anything go,” said Bobob, looking downward, not in a wistful way, but as if he were examining his crotch. J wasn’t sure what was going on.

“I’m not sure what’s going on,” stated J. Bobob laughed and tapped his finger against his left ear. He seemed to be a fan of tapping.

“You’re simply lost, my poor boy,” said Bobob. “You’re lost in your own mind, but more importantly, you’re lost in mine.”

“Does that statement mean anything?” J asked, his voice sincere with a hint of incredulity. “I’m not sure if you’re just stringing words together.”

In the distance, there was a faint rumble. J thought it could have been thunder, or perhaps a distant explosion. Bobob’s eyes widened.

“Did you hear that?” he asked. “Did you hear that sound?”

J nodded.

“Good,” sighed Bobob. “I thought perhaps I had stepped outside the consensus reality.”

“Are you on drugs?” asked J, after a long pause.

“Is anyone really on drugs?” countered Bobob. He laughed a strange, tiny laugh, as if a small mouse were calling for help from within his larynx.

“I don’t really understand the question,” mumbled J. He wasn’t sure how he got here or who he was speaking with. He could barely remember his own name.

“Don’t worry, son.” Bobob’s voice changed timbre to a low, soothing pitch. “Don’t worry about anything.”

In the corner, a snow globe began to levitate, almost imperceptibly.

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02.Mar.2013 File under Great Roofs of America

Stumbled on this Great Roof last weekend.  Aspen Hill Public Library, Aspen Hill, Maryland (John Henry  Sullivan, Jr., architect), 1967.  Note two-tiered roof with broad lower tier and steep upper tier.

Sullivan (not to be confused with the OTHER John Sullivan, Jr. architect of same era) seems to have designed a number of interesting modern structures in the D.C. suburbs, including the National Sand and Gravel Association and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association HQ Building in Silver Spring.  Could be wrong but the Comress, Inc. HQ he designed off I-270 in Rockville was demolished in favor of a Sleep Inn.  Unfortunate.  In-depth roof classification analysis will follow.

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17.Feb.2013 Two Poems by Marc Carver

the past

I got into the Jacuzzi
with two women
they looked like they had been around the block a few times.
They chatted away and i pretended not to listen.
They touched me with their toes
and flirted with me a bit.
They started to talk about their plumbing problems
then the one who looked like she had been a stunner twenty years ago
turned to me and asked
“Are you a plumber?”
“Well i have looked up some holes but nothing professionally.”
They burst out laughing but asked me no more questions.
One turned to the other and said.
“You weren’t expecting an answer like that.”
I left them in there and ten minutes later they were flirting with another couple of guys.
Oh what bliss to live in the past

Monday Morning

I watched the man as he pulled up his trousers at the middle
so the  immaculate creases would run straight down to his polished shoes.
Earlier i had looked at his fresh socks, pulled all the way up past he ankle.
The green letters on the black socks said.
I had to think about it for a while

I am lucky if i can find two socks that are the same  color.
I almost want to see him tomorrow
just to check
but i know i don’t need to.
Because I am sure
socks will say   ???????????

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Official Taxonomy