The Attractions of Vine St

As if the original Peet’s Tea and Coffee and the cutest gaggle (?) of front yard chickens weren’t enough:

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Vine Street now also has a Wish Tree!

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Where do single socks go?

After mysteriously disappearing from hampers, drawers, washing machines and dryers, they crawl out of closets, laundry rooms and laundromats in dark nights. They hide out in secret spots for days, weeks, months. But then, on the day of winter solstice, they congregate into joyful gaggles of no-longer-lonely knitwear, wool embracing cotton, dress-sock kissing tube sock, black, white and charcoal, an orgy of tubes. Don’t believe me? Look what I just found on the sidewalk in front of our house:

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A Sock King! As opposed to a Rat King, this rare phenomenon is a good omen, promising a nice harvest of baby socks the following spring. The parent socks, much like Salmon, die shortly after releasing their woolly spawn.
One question remains: What to do with the single socks left behind in your drawer? Personally, I put them in an open box on the bottom of my closet and encourage them to leave and procreate. And at least some of them do. I run into their mates weeks after they had tried to sneak away – hiding behind sofas or in pillowcases – but then, when trying to reunite the pair, I find the other one gone from the box (I’m sure this has happened to you, too). Gone – I now know – to join a Sock King!

Make that a double breakfast burrito with extra salsa

Everything that’s wrong with this country in one Etsy item: LE BIBB Commuter Bib. It even has “a handy lapel pocket for your cell phone” – thank god, because driving while eating is not enough!

There is such a thing as free lunch

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Who Needs Christmas Lights?

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My Big Fat Argentine Ant Colony

A few weeks ago, our apartment was invaded by ants. They started showing up in the living room. Then in the bathroom. Then in the kitchen. Poisoned bait holds them at bay for a few days, then they show up again. I was puzzled by this. I mean, either it poisons them or it doesn’t, how come they always “recover” after a few days? – but after some internet research, it all makes sense.

Turns out we literally live on one giant pile of ants, and I don’t mean just below our house, or below Berkeley, or below the East Bay – I mean a massive ant colony that stretches from San Francisco Bay down to San Diego. That’s 900 km (560 miles, for the metrically challenged among my readers). It being one “supercolony” means that if you’d take one of the little ant workers slaving away on our kitchen counter and dropped it onto an ant trail somewhere in Hollywood – it would be recognized by its siblings as one of their own, and would just keep doing whatever it is ants do. In fact, you could even drop it somewhere in the Mediterranean region, or Japan, and it would assimilate in an instant. That’s because Argentine Ants have a global “Mega-Colony”, consisting of the “California Large”, Mediterranian and Japanese Supercolonies that are all one big family. You can read more about this phenomenon here.

Now, imagine their Thanksgiving get-together…

Prickly Pears on Cedar St

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