to split or not to split

scottish indep vote 9-18-14

i am curiously awaiting the results of today’s referendum on scotland’s independence from the united kingdom / i would find it weird for scotland to no longer be a part of the u.k. \ on the other hand, i would be excited for the scottish people if that is what the majority of them desire / imagine that, starting tomorrow they begin a new era in their history \ i’d be curious to know too what the people of the basque country would think or do, if “aye” wins

closer to home, what are the pro-secession citizens thinking? / in 2012, the top 5 states that petitioned to secede from the union are –  texas: 125,000; tennessee: 32,694; alabama: 31,597; arizona: 23,987; arkansas: 23,506 \ however according to texas vs. white:  When Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.  / so no chance, texas  \

and i do have a scottish connection / my street is “dunedin” \ the most “unpronounceable” among the streets i have lived in here in the u.s. / is it DONE-edin or done-EE-din \ dunedin comes from  Dùn Èideann which is the scottish gaelic form of edinburgh, the capital of scotland

today @market square

imagei thought i’d keep at least one record of the making of “the tower” at pnc plaza / it’s set to open in 2016 \ she is singing mumford & sons “white blank pages”


the other apple

honeycrisp apples

i know it’s fall when the morning temperature drops between the speed limits of the roads that i drive & the roads i don’t drive ;-)  / a more obvious sign is when a wide variety of apples becomes available in the supermarket \ i was excited to finally find the wonderfully delicious apple variety honeycrisp / i first had a taste of it from a paddlefish teammate at dragon boat camp last april

back in the philippines, apples which appear around christmastime were of the red delicious variety / they were indeed red but definitely not delicious < in my opinion, the worst tasting apple aside from having a horrible texture > \ an easy conclusion to make after having a bite of the many other apple varieties that i discovered when i came to the u.s. / i lived in apple country \ cornell university has one of the three apple breeding programs in the u.s. <the others are at the university of minnesota & washington state university> / cornell has given us 66 apple varieties since the late 1890s, including cortland, macoun, empire & jonagold \ i almost exclusively just buy gala which was created in new zealand in the 1930s & is a cross of golden delicious and kidd’s orange red

my new favorite however is honeycrisp which was produced by the university of minnesota in 1960 & became commercially available in 1991 /  it is a cross of macoun & honeygold \ the latter is a cross of golden delicious & haralson / honeycrisp is singular in being very pricey <it’s like a designer apple> \ while gala is $1.99/lb. at my supermarket here in pittsburgh, honeycrisp is $3.99/lb.!  / BUT it is well worth it for me \ because aside from being the right sweetness & tartness plus having the perfect texture & appearance, i am not allergic to it!  yey!

some 10 years ago, i developed what i found is called oral allergy syndrome <also called pollen food allergy>  \ specifically i have an allergy to birch pollen which associates with my allergic reaction to apples, almonds, cherries, peaches, carrots & nectarines / microwaving a gala has been the solution to my OAS \ because cooking destroys the protein that triggers my allergy / but i can benignly enjoy honeycrisp raw! \ [a hypoallergenic apple is currently being engineered in italy using biotechnology / it sounds like genetic modification though instead of cross breeding ]

the non-electronic apple industry is as interesting as the electronic / from both, we can look forward for ever more varieties & innovations in the future \ one of the reasons i think is the economic life cycle of a new apple type / the apple breeding programs develop new varieties that are then licensed to specific growers \ these growers are selected for specific growing conditions of the apple type / honeycrisp for example is picky about climate conditions and grow best in minnesota, michigan & upstate new york / however because it commands an attractive price, it will likely be grown in less than perfect locations & over time lose its outstanding qualities

nonetheless there will likely be others to replace current favorites \  new varieties from cornell to watch out for in 2015 are snapdragon < an offspring of honeycrisp & an unnamed apple> and ruby frost < a cross of braeburn & autumn crisp> / these are now available in upstate new york & of course at the cornell orchards

our cox moves on

our cox is off to college and yesterday was his last practice with us 

good luck, robert!

thrival music festival @bakery square

i couldn’t find anyone to go with to thrival / next best thing is shop at anthropologie, get coffee & hang out under the sun at bakery square \ awesome – whoever the band that’s playing right now at 3:11pm! \ mister wives were great too!


analog selfie


today is the opening reception for the exhibit of summer camp artists at the pittsburgh center for the arts / dropped by after rowing & i was way too early \ but nice worker allowed me in / and let me have a sneak peek!

illustration friday | money

illustration friday money

this tree grows money | pen & colored pencil



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