This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite Dead at 92

American journalism icon Walter Cronkite has passed away and I am feeling at a real loss thinking he will no longer walk among us. For those of us who grew up in the Baby Boom generation, Uncle Walter, as he was affectionately known, was our connection to truthful, straightforward, unbiased television news. He was considered to be the most trusted man in America by poll after poll during his tenure as the anchor on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite from 1962 through 1981. Before the computer age, before the cable news channels that have given us news almost before it is news, there was Walter Cronkite each night with a half hour synopsis of the day's events. During a tumultous and sometimes frightening period in world events, Walter Cronkite could be trusted to put it all in perspective. He was at his anchor desk when he momentarily lost his composure to announce to a shocked nation that President Kennedy had been assasinated. He was there to help us through the scary moments of the Cold War years. Like me he was as giddy as a school boy when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
I often remember where I was when certain important historic events have taken place. I vividly remember the hot July day in 1969 when I sat in my father's brown naugahyde recliner in our family room and watched Neal Armstrong take "one small step for mankind." I remember the shock on all our faces in Mrs. Hatch's 5th grade class when the principal tearfully came on the intercom and announced that President Kennedy had been killed and that school was going to be dismissed. School was out for a week and Walter Cronkite was our family's choice to watch the historic events of Kennedy's funeral. I will always remember when the Viet Nam War ended and no more 19 year olds would be drafted. Mr. Cronkite went to Viet Nam and his report back to the nation that the war was at a stalemate and a peaceful end needed to be negotiated helped convince the nation we were on the wrong course. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the Hippies, the Civil Rights Era, the Watts Riots and the anger turning many inner cities into infernos, Watergate--Walter Cronkite reported it all from his anchor's seat. These were intense times in our nation's history and Mr. Cronkite helped many of us to better understand and sort through the craziness.

Though he hasn't been a regular presence in our lives for many years, in those moments when I have heard his distinctive voice for a PBS voiceover or he appeared on stage to MC the annual Presidential Awards in Washington, D.C., somehow all seemed right with the world. Tonight, when I read of his passing, I paused to remember where I was. I guess "that's the way it is." But, I will miss him. God speed, Uncle Walter!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Paseo Sandwich Heaven

After the frustration of our negative survey on the boat of our dreams, we decided to treat ourselves to area hot spot Paseo for lunch. My wife had eaten there before with our daughter and raved about it. She insisted we stop by on another occasion only to find the place closed (they are closed Sunday and Monday). Luckily for us this time we found Paseo open.

This little shack, for lack of a better word, is located along Fremont Avenue and has become famous for its Cuban-style cuisine. That fame is well deserved as the line out the door proves. Apparently lines out the door are quite common. It is a small establishment with coorugated steel walls and roof, 8-10 tables and it doesn't look like much at first glance. But I learned long ago that some of the best food in the world is served in places without white table clothes.

We worked our way toward the front of the line and ordered the #1 item on the menu--The Cuban Roast Sandwich. Each sandwich is made on the spot with chunks of marinaded pork shoulder, onions and peppers sauted together. This amazing concoction is then poured over a fresh-made crusty roll slathered with Paseo's signature tangy aioli sauce and then piled with romaine lettuce and fresh jalepeno peppers. For only a bit more than $7 you too can taste a bit of heaven. What a treat! We nearly got in line to get one to go.

No food stylist needs to dress up this sandwich. It really looks that good!
Check out the many other options on the menu including complete meals and be prepared to wait or take it with you. There may only be a few tables but they are worth the wait.

Their on-line menu (the link above) allows you to find out whether they have already run out of your favorite item at their Fremont spot. If so, stop by their Ballard outlet where you might get lucky! Either way Paseo is the place to go for outstanding Cuban cuisine!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our Boat Purchase Update

This morning we drove down to Seattle to the Queen City Yacht Club where our prospective yacht was waiting to be surveyed. We expected a long list of items that needed to be looked into and fixed but didn't expect to hear the news we received early into the survey. As our surveyor tapped on the hull along the transom in the engine room, he noted inconsistant sounds in 75% of the transom wall meaning that the interior had been exposed to water. He also found the same issues in the bulkhead just aft of the master stateroom and in a support beam in the engine room. So the issue now is what more might be found as repairs are made? What will the costs be to do the repairs? And who will pay for those repairs?

The rest of the survey went well actually. No other deal breaker issues were found. However, we did elect not to go ahead with the pull out so the bottom of the boat wasn't inspected. Nothing too extreme was expected to be found in that part of the survey but we chose not to pull it out pending the outcome of the major issue. If that can be resolved satifactorily then the pull out can proceed. Otherwise, there is no use in spending the money to have the boat pulled out.

We are heartbroken. We absolutely love that boat but can't see spending thousands to repair something so serious that should already be in good working order. So we wait. Our broker will get a bid for having the work done and then approach the seller with the problem and a request him to repair the problem. We have no idea what the outcome of all this will be. If it comes to it we will renew our search and attempt to purchase another boat. We are in a wait and see mode now. So sad!