Department Of No (Further) Comment On This
Dateline: February 14 (Valentine’s Day), driving home from an errand. Before embarking on said errand I’d just heard about the latest  brave citizen exercising his second amendment rights opportunity for the R & Rs (Republicans and the Religious)  to offer their oh-so effective, Our prayers are with the citizens of _______ (insert location of mass shooting). I turn on the radio, and tune in to the middle of a feature about children affected by war. When I hear the story’s narrator declare that “…one in six children worldwide live in or near a conflict zone,” my first thought is, “like, they live near an American high school?”
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Dateline: early Monday morning. It came on with a rapidity that woke me from a solid sleep – cough, body aches, extreme me fatigue, chills and shaking so strongly I thought I was going to wake up MH. When I was able to get control of the shaking (2:20 am) I made my way to the bathroom and took my temperature: 102.2.˚ My first thought….
Never mind. My second thought was, Am I going to be one of those people who catches the flu despite having received a flu shot?
Although my seasonal allergies make me prone to year-round sniffles, I can’t remember the last time I was actually sick. I’d forgotten…what am I supposed to do? Oh, yeah: bring down the folding TV tray from the attic and camp out on the downstairs couch, with a big glass of water and the TV remote control on the tray.
My advice to those who have the misfortune to be sick: if you have to be under the weather, try to do so when the Olympics are on.
And a day later, seemingly as quickly as it came on, my affliction eased up and I was on the proverbial Road to….(all together now)
I’ll never know if what I’d caught was one of the flu viruses which are going around. The symptoms fit; my relatively rapid recovery might be attributable to the fact that having had the vaccination will make the virus milder if you do catch it.
One bright moment in feeling miserable: it is reassuring to see one’s immune system going through its paces. I visualized my fever as a friend, torching the invading virus particles….
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Department Of Ick
Pushing open the door to The Meating Place in Hillsboro, the first thing customers see is a gleaming display case with nary a smudge or smear on the glass.
Row upon row of neatly stacked sausages, pepperoni sticks, pepper steaks and stuffed pork chops — among dozens of other delicacies — meet their eyes and tempt their palates.
Those same eyes soon light on David Quinn, the gregarious guardian of the cold case, who sports an epic red beard and colorful tattoos up and down both forearms.
I’m all for supporting local businesses, especially those which might be termed, artisanal  (and these days, isn’t everything?). And BTW, should you ever find any typos or grammatical and/or factual boo-boos in this space, it is not because I am sloppy/lazy/careless. It is because I am an artist, and this is an artisanal blog.
Once again, I digress.
Although I have friends who shop at The Meating Place and have used (and praised) TMP‘s butchering services, the photos accompanying the newspaper article were…poorly chosen and/or composed, to put it mildly. Frankly, IMHO they were yet another unintentional but effective advertisement for going vegetarian.
Seemingly ignoring current health preparation guidelines, the afore-mentioned gregarious guardian’s epic red beard was unrestrained by any kind of hairnet or other protective/cover device, in photos that showed the prodigious hirsuteness cozying up to a meat slicer filled with bacon, and also going cheek to cheek with a tray of steaks.
(The print article featured those particular pictures. The online version has a slide show of many more photos – the ones I refer to here are captioned, “David Quinn slices bacon for a custom order…” and “David Quinn holds a tray of bacon-wrapped ribeyes…”)
Another excerpt from the Tribune article (my emphases):
The company’s products — all cut, dried, smoked or otherwise prepared on-site — practically sell themselves, Quinn says, adding that appearances count. “I’m the aesthetics guy,” he notes.
DUUUDE – why are your bacon-wrapped ribeyes sprinkled with short & curlies?!?
There’s no way I want anyone’s “epic” (read: bushy on steroids and free-range to the max) facial adornment near my food. Any self-described aesthetics guy – and every person in the food industries, artisanal or otherwise – should know that unrestrained hair is both an aesthetic turn off as well as a food preparation and handling no-no.
“Men are six times more likely to shed hair from their faces rather than the top of their heads, and that has some food service advocates worried. The good news is that many workplaces already have hair restraint policies in effect, and governmental regulators like the FDA have required both hair and beard nets for years.”
(Which Of Your Workers Should Wear Hair Nets…Or Beard Nets?, Solus Group Material Handling Depot)
“Facial hair ‘is the fashion of the time, and I’m sure the health department is not happy about this fashion,’ said (an owner of an eating establishment, where more than half of the male kitchen staff sport beards). ….
The…health code stipulates that ‘all food handlers engaged in the preparation of food” use “effective hair restraints to confine hair.’ That goes for beard hair, however bushy or trimmed it may be (said a spokeswoman for the Chicago Dept.of Public Health.)….
…beards are dirty — as dirty as a toilet seat, a New Mexico TV station reported last week. The station swabbed the beards of a group of men and had the samples tested by a microbiology lab that returned the surprising results.”
(from, “Your Cool Bearded Chef Should Be Wearing A Beard Net, Health Officials Say“
Sec. 110.10 Personnel.
…. (b) Cleanliness: All persons working in direct contact with food, food-contact surfaces, and food-packaging materials shall conform to hygienic practices while on duty to the extent necessary to protect against contamination of food. The methods for maintaining cleanliness include, but are not limited to:
(6) Wearing, where appropriate, in an effective manner, hair nets, headbands, caps, beard covers, or other effective hair restraints.
( from CURRENT GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE IN MANUFACTURING, PACKING, OR HOLDING HUMAN FOOD
Subpart A-General Provisions Title 21, Food And Drug Administration, Department Of Health And Human Services)
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May you remain healthy and fever-free during this worst in years flu season;
May you have your comfy rituals to soothe yourself, should you fall ill;
May you never have to contemplate whether kissing a bearded man is,
microbiologically speaking, akin to kissing a toilet seat;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 Only In America ® does the phrase the latest precede mass shooting and/or school shooting….
 Not that members of either group may offer that sentiment insincerely…but holy crap, folks, have you figured out that your prayers don’t have a flying fuck’s worth of efficacy?
 Definition: relating to or characteristic of an artisan (“artisanal skills”); a product (especially food or drink) made in a traditional or non-mechanized way (e.g., “artisanal cheeses”).
 a former (but currently non-) meat eater.
 An enthusiastic omnivore.
 And if I came upon a dead horse and did not want to waste the carcass, I’d make sure the butcher shop I took it too adhered to basic hygienic food processing standards.