Sunday, September 04, 2005

Keeping promises. My Dad was expecting me together with Erika and Collette to pick him up for lunch around noon... so I called him up on the way and gave him the disappointing news that he'd have to make do with just me this time. Called Linda next, and she invited us to go with her and Jan to "The Constant Gardner", a thriller, playing at the historic Sebastiani Theater in downtown Sonoma. Dad and I enjoyed a quick bite at our favorite Rin's Thai, about two blocks from the theater.

The Constant Gardner was riveting. The scenes of the slums in Nairobi caught my attention right away, because I've been there, and they were the same ones. The portrayal of life in Kenya for Kenyans was quite accurate. The point made about the devaluing of human life there was also, unfortunately, accurate. I can't comment on the diplomatic life there. However, the part of the plot about 'big bad pharma' was distractingly inaccurate. First world pharma companies countries would not accept data from third world clinical studies, and doing clinical trials on sick people with unrelated diseases to the drug's purpose would so cloud the results as to be unusuable, any rudimentary scientific inquiry into the results would disqualify them immediately. And there is a host of other reasons this would not happen even if you ascribe the most diabolical motives to big pharma.

I stopped again at Costco on the way home, and picked ups some frozen tempura shrimp that Jo-Ann introduced me to, very good. I do have to question the excess packaging though. Each shrimp is carefully encased in it's own styrofoam bed, wrapped in trays of 5. It does protect each little batter arm. The shrimp are produced by Tiger Thai. The fact that they can be baked is a big plus. Enjoyed some for dinner.

Christian, a friend in Norway, called me to my pleasant surprise and talked about a half hour. He told me the strangest thing. It is cheaper for the Norwegians to send their salmon to China via air to be filleted, and via air back again, than to machine fillet in Norway. There is something really goofy about our currency valuation with China.

Friend Daniel came over for a couple hours and I whipped up some dinner for him while we chatted. Daniel mentioned that it is cheaper to buy garlic from farmers in China and ship it here than to buy local garlic from the garlic capital here in Gilroy, California. That isn't quite as surprising.

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