Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on social media, music, products, or, well, anything. You may find interesting creativity boosts here, some conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Click here for my previous post. Feel free to share this with friends, or offer suggestions via the comments. Let’s begin!
1) Busy Bumblers:
I’ve written before about native landscaping, with a specific mention of tropical sage planted in my own yard. What’s most fun about tropical sage is how much bumblebees love it. Bumblebees frightened me as a child, but I get a kick out of watching them now. Bumblebees are important flower and crop pollinators, and they feed from a wide variety of plants because they are often active more months out of the year than honeybees. They can even vibrate their wings powerfully enough to dislodge pollen that’s inaccessible to most other bees. Bumblebees sometimes nest in hollow trees, but they often nest in abandoned rodent holes or other underground sites. So use a little caution when you’re mowing and edging, because you never now what important life you might be disturbing.
2) To Pluto and Beyond:
The public library was my best friend growing up, and my local library had a handful of the 20-book U.N.E.X.A. series of science-fiction novels by Hugh Walters. I loved Walters’ novels so much I re-read them almost every year during much of my youth. I was inspired enough by Hugh Walters’ work that I dedicated my novel Paradise West to him. The books are somewhat dated now, having been published between 1957 and 1979, and books aimed at young readers were a lot tamer back then compared to today. But I recently revisited Walters’ third novel, First On the Moon (published in the UK as Operation Columbus), and it holds up surprisingly well.
3) If We Could Hear Him Now:
It took me a while to “get” pianist Bill Evans, to begin to appreciate why he is so legendary. A major step in my education was Turn Out the Stars: The Final Village Vanguard Recordings, a 6-CD box set released in 1996, which I’ve been revisiting this week. The recordings are from four nights of performances at New York City’s Village Vanguard with Marc Johnson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. The fact that Evans died only three months later gives the set added poignancy, but every track is (no pun intended) stellar. The set ranges from standards like Days of Wine and Roses and My Foolish Heart, to Evans-composed numbers like Bill’s Hit Tune and Turn Out the Stars, to more contemporary hits like the Theme from M*A*S*H and Paul Simon’s I’d Do It for Your Love. Turn Out the Stars is a reminder of the beauty Evans created in the midst of a tragic life.
4) To Tea or Not to Tea:
My wife and I are frequent tea drinkers – this morning I had a delicious vanilla chai. We often buy loose-leaf tea and our House Again tea strainers work perfectly. I’ve tried several varieties of tea strainers over the years, and these are my favorite. Tea leaves and grounds don’t fall out and the stable design, with tray, makes them completely portable. They’re dishwasher friendly. These strainers do absorb tannins, but a little baking soda cleans them up nicely.
That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!
This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.