Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kyoto closes

I was dismayed to see that one of my favorite sushi restaurants, Kyoto, is closing its Kennett branch as of Sunday, April 20. The sign on the door says a lease dispute is the reason. Kyoto's Pike Creek branch, on Linden Hill Road, will remain open.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

For the Monarchs

The Kennett Square Beautification Committee wrote to me looking for some ink about its annual plant sale, which will be held Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Genesis walkway on State Street. Proceeds from the sale go planting toward the group's lovely barrel planters that you see around downtown Kennett.
Another goal of this year's sale is to draw attention to the plight of Monarch butterflies, which are facing a population decline because of the decrease in habitats on their annual migration route between Mexico and the United States. Gardeners can help the butterflies by planting Asclepias (milkweed), which they like to eat as they migrate. The committee will be selling the perennial milkweed variety, which comes in several colors and reseeds itself.
"Could you please help our cause with some publicity in your column?  We would be most appreciative (and so would the butterflies!)"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grace under pressure

The brief electrical outage at the Kennett Giant on April 14 provided a little something out of the ordinary for those of us who spend so much time in the U-Scan line that we know by heart the four-digit PLU codes of all our fruits and vegetables. I was just about to finish scanning my order when the lights went out throughout the store, leaving darkness and beeping noises from all the computers.
One of the management types sprang into action, warning the clerks not to hit any keys on their terminals. After the system powered back on after a few minutes, he started multitasking calmly, answering clerks' questions, keying data in manually and apologizing profusely to customers. One woman had tried to pay with her debit card four times before the payment went through, and he reassured her that she wouldn't be overcharged.
I'm not sure what the power outage was all about: it was a perfectly nice, if windy, day.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Who knows if my little item a few weeks ago had anything to do with it (if I remember my logical fallacies, that would be a classic "post hoc ergo propter hoc" one), but it was gratifying to see a worker finally removing the "Seasons Greetings" banners from the parking lot at the New Garden Giant on April 14, when it was sunny and 72 degrees.

Heads up

A concerned reader shared this alarming story with me on Sunday:
"My daughter and I had a scary incident this a.m. while hacking in Cheslen. We were up on a grassy bank and a bicyclist came silently down the dirt road beside us from behind us causing a violent spook (rear and bolt) from our horse and pony. The bicyclist had been able to see us from quite a long distance but apparently not being a horse person didn't realize the horse's instinct was to flee from attack from something silently and quickly coming up from behind. We stayed on, he stopped and apologized. Can we educate our cycling friends?"
Consider it done. Horses often "spook" at things we humans wouldn't consider threatening. A popular cartoon among horse lovers shows a terrified horse watching what would pass for the ultimate in a horse horror movie, entitled "The Flapping Plastic Bag."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fabulous Fungi

Fredda Pennock of the Kennett Township Historical Commission was kind enough to alert me to their annual lecture, which will doubtless be of interest to many in our community.  It's called "Fabulous Fungi," and it's about mushroom farming in Kennett Township, past and present. Tina Ellor, technical director of Phillips Mushroom Farms, will be doing a PowerPoint presentation about the history of mushroom farming, and Chris Alonzo, third-generation farmer and president of Pietro Industries, will discuss current farming practices.
The program starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at the Kennett Township Building, 801 Burrows Run Rd. You might want to get there a little early: Last year's fascinating program on old barns was standing room only.

Final Four

While upgrading my cellphone the other day, I was asked, twice, for the last four digits of my social security number. Both times I had to recite the whole number to myself before I could tell the sales guy what those four digits were. I supposed I think of my SSN as a whole chunk rather than something "fungible," as the attorneys among us say.
I laughed at myself and asked the sales guy if everyone does the same thing. He nodded. His colleague, who overheard, turned to me and agreed enthusiastically: "Everybody does that," he confirmed. "Everybody!"
(By the way, the newer Android is an excellent phone and it's almost scary how quickly it has customized its texting dictionary to my preferences: When I typed in "poi" it offered me a choice between "poison ivy" and "point-to-point.")