Lookin' Out My Back Door

Monday, May 29, 2006

Who will save Alta California from the Mexican onslaught?



Vikings?

34 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

Hmm. No eagle devouring a snake while perched on cactus growing on island in middle of lake visible on the white band. Maybe obscured by the folds. Sure we aren't talking an Irish family? Italians?

truepeers said...

Our local Danish-Scandinavian community centre often has Nordic-themed festivals. But in a change, they just held a "European festival". Maybe the Vikings are getting ready to role, er row, again.

Rick Ballard said...

Nope, Jimenez. He refuses to fly the Mexican flag - but he likes to tease his neighbors. It would be Irish or Italian though. I counted 22 American flags, his tease, the Dane and a Swede this afternoon.

Skookumchuk said...

Truepeers:

You should drive or take the Talgo down here. The Sons of Norway put on a pancake breakfast that leaves me wanting to be somehow hoisted through the sunroof and in to the driver's seat as I leave.

Rick:

Sadly, I have a broken flagpole bracket on the garage wall, which will be repaired well in time for the 4th. But the next door neighbor has a true flagpole that must be 30 ft high. So I get to bask in the aura.

Barbeque if the weather clears even a bit.

Buddy Larsen said...

I alwayd duct-tape a dried herring to the mailbox down by the highway. Could use a fresh one but then I won't get any grocery coupons until I take it down.

Skookumchuk said...

When I was a kid in sunny Southern Cal, there was a Scandihoovian smorgasbord in Claremont or Redlands or someplace called Griswold's, where we would stop on family outings and where I developed an early fascination with pickled herring. A good way to segue in to lutefisk, etc. slightly later in life.

In fact, there is (or was) a dive in the old Scandinavian part of Seattle that serves a martini with a chunk of pickled herring on the end of the toothpick. Very good. Now I make 'em at home. If I wanted to get multicultural, I suppose I could salt the rim of the glass and serve with a wedge of lime.

Rick Ballard said...

Now that's a little too Finnish for me.

terrye said...

Hey, when I was a kid in Oklahoma it was Comanche is full war dress and paint.

No kidding.

Now up here in Indiana there is the beer festival as Jasper with the busty ladies in their funny looking costumes and people with accordians drinking and getting rowdy.

Skookumchuk said...

Our Norskies at the pancake breakfast have accordions too, but they are a pretty sedate bunch. (Very unlike their logger great-granddads, or so I'm told.) Today there is more life in the mariachis at the local Mexican restaurant as they commemorate routing the French every 5th of May.

If only I could convince the owner, an otherwise very kindly, intelligent, personable sort (who flies what is almost a US garrison flag on the 4th of July) to include lutefisk tacos on the menu . . .

terrye said...

What the hell is a lutefesk taco? it sounds perverse.

Skookumchuk said...

Well, yes. Yes it does.

Buddy Larsen said...

There are places where it is good to remember that taco spelled backwards is o cat.

Rick Ballard said...

Terrye,

Ya gotta look in the Mariscos Smorgasboard section of the menu, they're usually right next to the Swedish camarónes.

Skookumchuk said...

OK, a Scandinavian - Central American restaurant. Los Vikingos. We'll have the mariachis wear Viking helmets and paint themselves blue. They'll blow a steerhorn battle trumpet at the conclusion of every verse of Cielito Lindo. Remember, Lutefisk Taco Night every Wednesday.

All I need, see, is a bit of start-up money. We'll make a kazillion.

Rick Ballard said...

I sure hope Buddy doesn't get thor about this. Them Norskies can be a bit broodish at times.

Skookumchuk said...

And Friday, we'll have our renowned Haggis Enchiladas.

chuck said...

Haggis Enchiladas

OK, time for a fence all around the country and a dome overhead. I'm beginning to understand the meaning of "mongrel" Americans.

Rick Ballard said...

First you have to try our Egg McMenudo breakfast sandwich. Saturday mornings only, of course.

truepeers said...

Dare I ask what are on those pancakes, Skook?

The fusion cuisine has its afficionados here. There really is a Chinese restauranteur who puts on a kilt and serves up sweet and sour Haggis on Robby Burns day. And there are at least two Indian Chinese restaurants that I know of, where Cantonese cooking meats Indian spices - I went to one, the clientele was mostly Indian, the owners Chinese via Bombay; it didn't quite work for me. All this may help explain our "European festival", though I fear the motivation may be EU thinking now festering overseas.

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

All I ever see at the Sons of Nroway is blackberry syrup, which is not the most exotic of commodities in these parts. Maple too, probably. Just like any Tim Horton's. :-)

Sweet and sour haggis - where, exactly? Details, please.

You guys used to have a great African restaurant in Gastown, the Kilimanjaro I think. A great town for the food, Vancouver is.

I wonder how Cielito Lindo sounds on the bagpipes?

Buddy Larsen said...

I read somewhere that writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

Man, that History Channel special on George Washington--just over with--was superb. what a scrapper--and then, ha surrendered power. What other charismatic leader ever has?

And the reason he could surrender power and ride home in retirement, is because the new political system--the people--meant that the next leader would not have to hang him, as a matter of course. Radical.

Skookumchuk said...

buddy:

Yes. It makes me think that foreign observers must have been dumbfounded. And profoundly impressed at the same time.

It would be interesting to read their thoughts.

Buddy Larsen said...

America inspired the French a few years later, but for certain they missed a few of the more important points.

Skookumchuk said...

Buddy:

. . . but for certain they missed a few of the more important points.

Ah, yup.

And it is interesting that from the very beginning, Europeans and Latin Americans too were quite aware of the probable future power of the US in the coming 19th century.

But I've yet to read anything on European speculation about Washington's transfer of power. Was it commonly assumed we would dissolve into anarchy? Yet if they assumed we would be powerful, implicitly they must also have assumed that a peaceful transfer of powers was likely in future administrations.

I guess.

I would like to research that one a bit.

truepeers said...

Skookumchuk, here is a page on last year's Robbie Burns Haggis: I see you also have the choice of plum sauce. And here is the blog of Toddish McWong, the pioneer of this cuisine. The Floata Restaurant is the last big dining house in the old Chinatown.

Skookumchuk said...

Truepeers:

Thanks.

Buddy Larsen said...

Skook, re your 9:46 pm, a tangent, one wonders if there'd've even been a WWII, had Hitler and Tojo personally studied Gettysburg.

Skookumchuk said...

Buddy:

Lots of people like Tojo must have, but their cautionary impulses would have been killed by the dominant ideology.

So far as European perceptions of early America, I don't have time for a Googlefest right now, but I remember reading that America - despite its North-South divides and all the rest - had considerable industry at the time of the Revolution. This in contrast to Hispanic America, which was more like the American South plus mining activity. For example, I think that 1/3 or even 1/2 of all 18th Century British-flagged ships were built in the Colonies, largely New England. So Europeans would have been cognizant of that industrial strength. And during the Tripolitan Wars, Nelson saw the frigates in the Mediterranean and made the famous remark about them possibly becoming "a nucleus of trouble" for Great Britain.

And the Europeans were terrified not only of Lewis and Clark, but of all those other farmers walking over the Appalachians. The recent book about the Louisiana Purchase, A Wilderness So Immense by Jon Kukla, quotes Spanish and French correspondence that leaves no doubt as to how both of these imperial powers saw as inevitable the domination of the continent by the Americans. From the beginning.

So they saw the latent physical power of the new Union. The question is - did they also see the stability? As I mentioned above, the power sort of implies government stability, but I have yet to find any European statements about it.

How did Europe see Washington's relinquishment of power and the peaceful transitions in those first Administrations? Was it thought remarkable? Or as a given?

And more to the point, did they foresee Haggis Enchiladas?

Buddy Larsen said...

I think the great Tocqueville had some misgivings about the experiment--that despite all, in the end Paul would be tickled to vote in governments which would rob Peter.

But it was certainly prescient of the French and Spanish crowns to understand what the westward-moving, beholden to no man, whiskey-drinkin' Bible-thumpers were all about. See one such here.

chuck said...

So they saw the latent physical power of the new Union.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Napoleon remarked that the Lousiana purchase would enable an American power that would someday surpass England. That said, I suspect he sold the place because there was no realistic way to keep the Americans out.

Skookumchuk said...

chuck:

Yes, and because he needed the dough.

Buddy Larsen said...

That was very franc, skook.

Buddy Larsen said...

"Franc-ly, Monsieur President Jefferserson, je suis sans argent!"

Skookumchuk said...

A Wilderness So Immense is a fascinating book. Les grenouilles only haggled a bit over the price. They wanted to unload it right quick.