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Thinking Spring!

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Another weekend, another home & garden show!

Getting to the John S. and James L. Knight Center in downtown Akron is not real tough, although the predominance of one-way streets does sometimes make it a little tricky if you should happen to miss a turn.  There’s a parking garage nearby too but I won’t even tell you how many turns it took to work that one out last year.  I think that this time I wound up in some luckless vendor’s parking slot when he/she went out for lunch; either that or I deprived a client of some three-name law firm of easy access to his/her court mouthpiece.  Oh well.  Getting in on an online press pass (Well, Lah-di-dah!) was fun too.

I thoroughly enjoy these extravaganzas.  I like looking at new ideas for dealing with old problems…or new problems, for that matter.  Some of the new problems are just more expensive to solve and some  of them …who knew they were even problems?  I like picking up the literature and notepads (I probably have my year’s supply of notepads, but I’ll undoubtedly get more at the fair) and listening to the salespersons giving their spiels about cookware or insurance or windows or whatever(Ohio State Waterproofing has a heckuva T-shirt).  The cooking guys are fun to watch; they’re frying eggs and cheese and stuff to show how non-stick their product is.  Mostly, the stuff seems to be to be ungodly heavy, like cooking in lead.  The cutlery demos are similar—slice, dice, peel, chop—Wham! Bam! We’re cooking, ma’am! I especially like the VitaMix salespeople because they have tasty samples made from the most unlikely ingredients.  Toss in a banana, some spinach, a lime, a couple of chunks of cucumber, a handful of ice cubes, flip a switch—Voila! A smoothie!  A cupful of tomatoes, a few stalks of kale, half of a jalapeno, pieces of chicken, some Doritos, flip the switch—Presto! Chicken-tortilla soup!  To hear them tell it, you could just pitch your stove out and eat directly from the container on the top of the device(Baking could be tricky).  One of the most appealing(That’s a joke, son) features, of course, is that no peeling is necessary; skins, stems, knots, bruises—everything just goes in, gets chopped, pureed, juiced and you’re done.  Pretty startling to watch slices of pineapple or cantaloupe disappear.  The samples always go fast.

You haven’t seen the Fuller Brush man going door-to-door lately?  That’s because he’s set up shop at the show…along with the Stanley Home Products people.  They’ve got brushes, all right, along with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos that you’d never think about needing  but have the appeal of novelty at the moment.  The same gadgets and gizmos are later found at the back of the kitchen misc. drawer and you think, “What was that for?”

The company selling wine frappe’ mixes was there; they also had chips and dips.  Tasty.  Look for these later in the year, if summer ever comes.  Gave the samplers strength to finish the rounds of other exhibits.

One company dealing with medical issues had ersatz cloth bags available, so I snagged one to put all of my acquisitions in.   Then I noticed the business card that was in it  which said that the young lady at the booth/table was a “patient recruitment specialist/research assistant”, so I’m thinking, “Is this in the same league as ‘ambulance chasers’?

Later there was a brochure for the Foxfield Preserve at The Wilderness Center, which, I believe, is down in Stark County, down by Wilmot, in any case; it’s a nature preserve cemetery.  Interesting.  They do “natural burials” and restore the land by planting native grasses and trees; it’s an environmentally-friendly operation.  The information was very well-presented and thoughtful.  It’s all about your last home, after all.

A fellow named Rod Flauhaus was exhibiting some stunning wildlife photography; I got a card with an owl on it.  The High Sierra Timber & Gift Co. of Medina (pretty funny if you’ve ever been to the flatland around Medina)was pushing their interior design gallery and rustic furnishings.  Buckeye Mosquito Control promised to take the BITE out of Summer…for your summer activities …NOT next week, that’s for sure.  Try their Buzz Kill Special.   You can book the services of Rolling Video Games of NE Ohio for parties, corporate events, fundraisers and such.  They have a mobile video game theater.  It’s a game truck trailer with high-def  TV screens, speakers and stadium-style seats.  Pull that baby up to your next birthday party.  But first, invite the neighbors. Western & Southern Life Insurance was handing out little-bitty packets of seeds; I got Champion Radishes and Swiss Chard, neither of which I have ever tasted.  Another adventure !  My favorite was Trash Daddy Junk Removal from down in Hartville.  My place could be the Mother Lode for them!

The baby chicks were back again but I have been worried about them ever since I saw them.  They were in a little chicken wire cage with water and all but some doofus had neglected to provide an extension cord to hook up their heat lamp.   The girl who was supposed to be looking after them didn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation.  Baby chicks need heat.  An exhibit with miniature poultry lying dead in the corners would be a definite downer.

Right across from the chicks were the folks from Stark State Technical College touting their environmental/educational/employment programs, of which they have many.  They were also giving away t-shirts, green, of course.

I missed Miss Julie’s Organic Bakery this year.  She did good things with chocolate!

There is always a bunch of stuff that I will—for sure—get when I win the Lottery.  This scenario may be hampered by the fact that I don’t, as a rule, buy a ticket more than about once a year, and then only when the jackpot is over about $100 million.  I’m not messing with no small change.