Something more wholesome

I said that my wife was off grandmothering right now. We also got my granddaughter Iliana a little present: a package with a bunch of rubbery squishy slugs.

They were a big hit, as I knew they would be.


  1. crivitz says

    Awww, slugs! What a charming way to teach the grandkids about their grandparents’ PNW heritage. My family moved from MN to OR when I was 8 and it was my first encounter with the little beasties and I detested them then. I believe the official term for this is called “squeamish” which is a condition that I’ve overcome, well 95% I suppose.

  2. blf says

    I lived for awhile in Santa Cruz, California, where the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)’s mascot is a banana slug, which can be found on the campus amongst the redwoods. Banana slugs are large, mostly harmless, and the species in Santa Cruz is yellow; it’s easy to see how they get their name. As a result, banana slug models, toys, tourist souvenirs, postcards, etc., can easily be found. One day, as a thank you gift to a very good friend of mine, I purchased a small living potted flower, and a wooden banana slug in a hook-like J-shape, which I carefully inserted into the pot to make it look like the banana slug was crawling out of the pot. Then I left it on their desk. They later told me they thought the banana slug was real for a few moments, and as I now recall, were wondering how to not harm it (catch-and-release it)… (They also thought it was very funny.)

  3. whheydt says

    Re: blf @ #2…
    The campus administration was horrified at the choice of mascot, and tried to change it. To no avail.

    Not the only time the UCSC students got their way over higher authority… A group of civil engineering students discovered three small, previously unknown faults. That gave them the right to propose names for the faults. They chose, My Fault, Your Fault, and McHenry’s Fault. McHenry being the dean of the college of engineering. McHenry objected. The US national body that oversees the naming of geographic features turned down McHenry’s appeal against the name.

  4. bcw bcw says

    One warning, some of the cast sticky toys are somewhat water soluble and will stick to and dissolve some furniture finishes especially if they get wet. A bit gremlin.

  5. magistramarla says

    She is such a joy to you and Mary!
    I got to see 3 of my grandchildren last week. The family is moving from Houston to Seattle,
    so they made a stop here in Monterey. More brain drain leaving Texas!
    I’m so glad that my daughter and her husband wanted to get their two little girls out of that state.
    The 23 yr old boy is helping his parents to move, then flying to NY, where he will be attending a small
    liberal arts college to finish his degree. (Grandparents are proud!)
    All 3 of them, from the 23 yr old boy, to the 9 and 6 yr old girls challenged Grandpa to a game of chess.
    He managed to beat them, but they all played very well!
    Now I will get to make some trips to Seattle. I’ve heard that the train from Salinas to Seattle is awesome.

  6. whheydt says

    Re: magistramarla @ #5…
    Can’t speak to the train from Salinas to Seattle, but I’ve ridden it from Los Angeles to Martinez and Martinez to Portland. Go first class. Get your own room. Plus, that includes meals. Speak kindly to the conductors. They tend to be…characters…and be quite delightful to talk to.

  7. Silentbob says

    Dude, it’s s’posed to be sugar ‘n’ spice and all things nice. You’re not imposing assigned gender correctly. ;-)

  8. blf says

    magistramarla@6, I’ve taken Amtrak San Jose↔Portland, and concur with whheydt@7, et al. Amusingly, at the time I took it, it was actually cheaper than flying — which the bean counters didn’t believe (I was being reimbursed), causing me to ask them (paraphrasing), “What do you want me to do, pay you the money I saved?”

  9. whheydt says

    Amtrak anecdote… I was on my way back from Los Angeles where I had attended SMOFcon. The train make a normal stop in Oakland. And sat there. The passengers were informed that the train ahead of us (a Capitol Corridor run) was held up in Berkeley due to demonstrators on the tracks and under the train. (There were major demonstrations and marches going on a result of one of the early incidents that triggered the BLF movement.)

    Out of curiosity, I asked the conductor what would happen if it got to be time for breakfast and I was still on the train, even though it was scheduled to get to my arrival stop before then. He reply was, “If you’re on the train at a meal time, we feed you.”

    That didn’t actually happen, but the train did have to wait in Oakland for 5 hours. I think in the end (due to shift time limits) they had to get a new crew from Sacramento before continuing. Had they been on schedule, there would have been a crew change in Sacramento. The crew shift limits apply to the engine crews, not the conductors.