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Oh, the things human need, ingenuity, and capitalism can create

Furrydoc and I spent several hours at a big farmers’ market today. Amid the goat cheeses, fresh fruits, native plants, cannabis therapy creams, craftworks, and artisanal breads, there was also this:

The Tsunami Pod, also known as the RescuePod. This puppy comes with two “racing seats,” a personal locator beacon, MREs and water for three days, waste bags, a hose for bailing out any seawater that might get in, and metal loops to enable a helicopter or ship to hoist it out of the ocean or whatever pile of debris it ends up in. Additional upgrades are available for pets, communications, comfort, rations, and more.

The pod doesn’t appear to come with barf bags, which I suspect would be badly needed.

Furrydoc and I agreed we’d probably rather die than be tossed about for days in this device. But at least a few others disagree. The vendor has sold 13 of them so far and the pods were drawing more interest than most other displays at the event.

For a mere $6,900 or $1,500 down and $200 a month on approved credit, you, too, can be tossed about like a grape in a punchbowl — but, in fairness, also have an interesting chance of riding out a tsunami if you manage to get into it, strap yourself in, and dog down the top quickly enough.

Videos available via the site do show the thing as being amazingly stable and buoyant in water (though quite a rough ride). And in truth, no matter how bad a long ride in that pod might be, there are places along the Oregon and Washington coast so flat and wide that there’s almost no chance of escaping a tsunami. This might be all you’ve got, other than clinging to a piece of floating debris and hoping not to get crushed by some bigger piece of debris.

—–

Furrydoc and I, however, stuck with buying organic berries, artisanal balsamic vinegars, and fresh-baked sourdough bread that was almost — almost — San Francisco quality.

Tsunamis may be the worst hazard of living in this area. But I tell you, fabulous fresh food is among the blessings that make up for all the ordinary and extraordinary miseries of life in the NorthWET.

After the market, we stopped at a Walmart where (strangely enough) they were handing out samples of what, by Walton standards, constitutes fresh fruit. I took one little cup with an orange slice in it and another than contained two blueberries, a blackberry, and half a strawberry. The items were all tasteless, unless eye-watering sourness counts as taste. I could cry when I think of the difference between that and real fresh fruit.

But no crying tonight. I’m enjoying a dinner of real blueberries and strawberries from the farmers’ market, plus sourdough bread pieces alternately slathered in grass-fed butter or dipped in barrel-aged vinegar as thick and delicious as maple syrup.

—–

Seconds after I blogged, Furrydoc shared a photo of her dinner for tonight, made up almost entirely of ingredients bought at the market today, right down to the homemade balsamic dressing. Now, that’s pretty.

17 Comments

  1. fred
    fred July 8, 2018 7:35 pm

    I was surprised at how much better the onions were at the farmers Market vrs any store bought.I would look and see 1.00 an onion (YIKES),but when I finally bought and weighed one,it was 1.25 lbs,so by that measure that wasnt bad at all.Another deal was 3 smaller onions for 1.50 that came out just under 1.5 pounds.

    PLUS one big onion can make a lot of onion rings(beer batter,yumm!)

    Now one of my favorite vendors this season is old Tom and his great onions,tomatoes and garlics from his home garden.Another thing we are getting right now are Persian pickling cucumbers,my but they are crazy good,I cant grow them because of powdery mildew here.

    Store produce,total junk! Only maybe half way decent store veggies is Sprouts around here.

    Only thing I regret is when we miss a couple weeks

  2. Claire
    Claire July 8, 2018 7:49 pm

    Speaking of tomatoes, there were some real beauties today. Big, round, uniformly red, and totally unblemished. I think they were hydroponically grown. I didn’t buy any, but Furrydoc did.

    Our local, family-owned grocery store has lots of fruits and veggies that are decent. I bought some very tasty corn on the cob there for July 4th BBQ. But still.

    I just wish the farmers’ market we went to was a lot closer. It’s the kind of place we go once a year for a treat rather than once a week for regular food supplies, more’s the pity.

  3. Jim Wetzel
    Jim Wetzel July 8, 2018 8:26 pm

    Here in northeast Indiana, it gets real cold in the winter and real hot in the summer … your typical inland blues. But after reading this post, it occurred to me that I have very, very, very little concern about tsunamis.

    Poison ivy, yes. Carnivorous deer flies, yes. Starving mosquitoes the size of small sparrows, absolutely. But not tsunamis.

  4. Claire
    Claire July 8, 2018 8:33 pm

    “Poison ivy, yes. Carnivorous deer flies, yes. Starving mosquitoes the size of small sparrows, absolutely.”

    I spent eight years living in Minnesota where we had all of the above. You have my sympathies. Should you ever get a tsunami, I believe we’ll all hear about it, worldwide. Assuming the rest of us survive whatever caused it.

    I’d rather have volcanoes, megaquakes, and tsunamis than those carnivorous critters.

  5. Mike
    Mike July 9, 2018 6:47 am

    Farmers markets are one of the true blessings when looking at city verses country life. Saturdays, in the summer will find my wife and I up and out early, so we don’t miss the deals. The market is a place to catch up with friends on local gossip and get all sorts of great food. For example, one of the vendors here sells German pastries. One of his specialties is a cream filled doughnut called a Berliner. It’s kind of like a Boston cream only better. His filling is laced with vodka and tastes amazing.

    I looked at the Tsunami Pod. It’s one thing to film an empty pod traveling down a small waterfall but I suspect in the real deal the pod would have to take much more abuse than this. The pods are listed as being made of “Extremely durable Roto-molded HDPE.” To translate this, the pod is made of plastic Well, if I’m going to risk my fat behind in a product, I want that product to be made of something more durable than plastic and something that’s been tested independent of the manufacture to CSA standards.

  6. Joel
    Joel July 9, 2018 7:31 am

    Still, that’s pretty cool that somebody thought “Hm. Tsunami.” … and then came up with a product for at least briefly and unpleasantly surviving one. I am laughing out loud here. I love America.

  7. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 9, 2018 7:52 am

    Being also on the wet side of the Cascades and on the ocean too (but sitting at 500 feet high and 10 +/- miles back from the bay) my concern is more of the Volcano behind me than the possible Tsunami in front of me unless of course we get visited by both at about the same time. The 100 or so islands off our coast probably will slow down that Tsunami pretty good too however with that volcano is there anything that will slow that down, methinks pods won’t be a solution either? The odds of seeing either (Tsunami or Volcano) in my lifetime is most likely about the same I bet.

    We have a farmers market twice a week. One thing that has gotten popular up here is Mead, see any of that down your way?

  8. Claire
    Claire July 9, 2018 8:37 am

    that’s pretty cool that somebody thought “Hm. Tsunami.” …

    That was exactly my take. I know buyers are totally invested with the thing actually working. But I was just fascinated that somebody thought of it, produced it, then went through the hell of trying to persuade people that they needed it.

    Comrade X — Farmers’ markets twice a week. Oh heaven. As to mead … several wineries had booths, but we didn’t check them out. If mead is trendy, though, it would surely have been there.

    Mike — I have no idea how well the pods work, but they were thick and obviously heavy. Whatever they’re made of, it’s not some thin little shell. They’re very solid; at first I took them to be metal.

  9. Larry Arnold
    Larry Arnold July 9, 2018 10:11 am

    Down here we get three or four markets per week, with some specialization. Some have crafty stuff, some are strictly produce.

    The wine industry is growing locally, with dozens of vineyards, but I haven’t heard of mead. Our first brew pub just opened, though, so that’s a possibility. (City council had to modify an ordinance for it to work.) Not my interest, so I don’t know.

    If you were close enough to get in, the balls might also protect you during an earthquake. Fire, notsomuch.

    Mike, today’s “plastic” is pretty good stuff, and lighter. I really wouldn’t want to add weight to the top half of the ball and the hatch, as it would make the thing likely to roll, rather than bob upright.

    Of course, I’m 500 miles north and 1,600 feet up from the coast, so not interested. Around here we get storm shelters and mainly worry about brush fires and staying out of flash-flood areas.

    Critters and plants? Everything in Texas has thorns, stickers, splinters, fangs, stingers, antlers or horns. Love it that way.

  10. Jim Brook
    Jim Brook July 9, 2018 12:02 pm

    Yes, Walmart does have amazing capabilities with fresh fruit. I don’t know how they do it. I was in Peachtree City, Georgia, about 2-3 weeks after the peach harvest. I bought a peach at Walmart there. It was absolutely disgusting. I had to spit out the first bite and throw it in the garbage. I cannot fathom how they could manage to get such a bad, old peach in that place at that time. Those tsunami pods look like something out of a Scooby Doo episode.

  11. progunfred
    progunfred July 9, 2018 12:23 pm

    You guys make it hard to be an anonymous lurker with such interesting posts and good comments. ROTFLMAO at the Nacho Day.

    I’m convinced. I’ve been turning into a total food snob anyway. We have a few Farmer’s Markets ’round here and one of them appears to be the same rotating market between 3 different spots. I’ve bookmarked them.

    And Claire, don’t think that I didn’t read about your little unarmed foray with a lion about.
    Here’s the Headline: Unarmed women killed by Mountain Lion. Seriously, the story writes itself: A local woman was killed when she went berry picking gunless while perfectly mimicking a prey animal foraging among low foliage and ground cover for food. And yeah, old lions are dangerous but mother’s run their young, now adult, males off so that mom may come into heat again. (why do I feel like some New England puritanical SJW leftist is weeping uncontrollably by that statement?) Anyway, even more dangerous than an old or sick lion is a young apex hunter trying to establish a new territory, which would account for the killing of other felines in the area. (They don’t care that Fluffy is too lazy to even chase a chipmunk.) And their territory can range very large and they can travel 25 or more miles daily so it may have appeared to move on but be back in days or a week.

    Now stop talking about interesting things so I can go back to lurking. Smile.

  12. Mike
    Mike July 9, 2018 1:14 pm

    Claire, on the website the pod construction is listed as “Extremely durable Roto-molded HDPE” which is High Density Polyethylene AKA plastic. My first question was, extremely durable by what standard? I checked to see if there were any company independent tests done and the site was very light on that information. So… the question is, would you be willing to bet your life on a plastic container only tested by a manufacture who has a vested interest in seeing the item pass? It is a cool idea though.

  13. Claire
    Claire July 9, 2018 2:23 pm

    “would you be willing to bet your life on a plastic container only tested by a manufacture who has a vested interest in seeing the item pass?”

    Me? Hell, no. I wouldn’t even get into that thing if it were securely anchored in my driveway 100 miles inland.

    “A local woman was killed when she went berry picking gunless while perfectly mimicking a prey animal foraging among low foliage and ground cover for food.”

    I can’t argue with your reasoning, progunfred. As I say, bad me.

    And you’re interesting when you come out of lurk mode.

  14. fred
    fred July 9, 2018 7:20 pm

    No tsunami probs for me,Im on a mtn at 5000 feet.

    Speaking of tomatoes,I prefer the oddly shaped ones,a blemish here and there….Last year a lady had her’s rained on and we got GREAT heirlooms half priced because they got blemished.

    We are also there ASAP after the Saturday 8 AM opening,never know what great deal or product might be there early.Ours is once a week.

    We combine it with our weekly sale priced shopping for groceries,we buy meat only on sale then eat from the freezer,not from the store at normal prices.Nephew visits,gets some ice from the large chest freezer…”Dang Uncle,you guys are never going to starve!” Yup,and at bargain prices to boot!

    Did I mention 2 weeks ago at Farmers Market about the lady from the County? Asks wife,you over 60,if so want some free food stamps? Mrs fobs her off on me.

    Turns out they have some County seniors nutrition program,only qualification is over 60 and sign on the line.Hands us five 4 dollar coupons good at the Farmers Market,a one time deal during the summer apparently.

    Dang but thats a good what goes around comes around Karma.

    God Bless the Farmers Market! Yay!

  15. Larry Arnold
    Larry Arnold July 9, 2018 11:41 pm

    I’ve been noticing more and more mainstream interest in preparedness and prepping.

    Still, I was a bit surprised that Disney is involved, and for their target audience:
    http://public-static.disneystorycentral.com/ddb/redcross/9781423198451/index.html#/page/1

    They’re working with the Red Cross. One initiative is prepper pillowcases, because apparently that’s what college students use to last-minute evac pack-and-run:
    https://www.preparecenter.org/activities/pillowcase-project-preparing-students-disasters

    Apparently, even in disasters, dumping your school backpack is a no-no.

  16. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal July 10, 2018 8:48 am

    I bet you could buy a tsunami pod and have the thing pay for itself by offering rides in the surf for a fee (barf bags included). Extra points if you can hook it to a zip line that drops it in the ocean.

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