Laugh tracks in the dust

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    Folks, the internet is a wonderful addition to our lives, but sometimes I wonder what the end-game of internet use is “gonna” be?

I spend a goodly amount of time searching the internet for new and unusual information, products and services. Well, one of my random searches this week revealed a new product coming on the market soon under the trademarked name Foodini. I’d guess that’s a combination of the words “food” and “Houdini,” as in “Harry” the deceased magician.

So, what is this Foodini? Briefly, it “prints” a wide variety of three-dimensional, edible foods. Some are eaten raw and some cooked after “printing.”

If you’re not familiar with the original 3-D printing that’s been around for a decade, it’s a computerized process for using an ink-jet-like spray that “builds” objects by printing successive layers of a liquid or powdered plasticized material. Three-dimensional printing can make anything from industrial parts to firearms to household items to human noses and ears. That’s right, doctors can “print” you a new ear or a new nose and then implant it on your body.

But, back to the Foodini. The company calls it a kitchen appliance. It connects to the internet through your computer — I presume a wireless connection.

The user must puree the raw food — from pasta, to fruit/veggies, to meat — to the proper consistency and then load the ingredients into “capsules” in the Foodini.

When activated, the Foodini “prints” the pureed foods onto a flat surface in either one or multiple layers in the design the user has programmed it to print. For example, star-shaped cookies, or layered desserts, a circular bun and a matching hamburger patty, an oblong pizza crust and the tomato sauce layer, or square-tube spaghetti. The list goes on and on.
Now that I’ve tried to describe the Foodini, I’ll take a shot at figgering out ways to use it. It doesn’t sound practical to me, unless you’re in the high-end restaurant business and “designer foods” might sell well on the menu.

For regular kitchens and home cooking, I see nothing practical about the Foodini, particularly when priced a more than a thousand bucks. To me, if you’re going to go to the trouble and mess of pureeing your food, you might as well eat it that way because there’s nothing “designer” about food that’s been chewed and swallowed.

However, just for fun, if I owned a Foodini, I might print up a bunch of hamburgers in the shape of a chicken leg or a batch of cookies shaped like worms.

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Chase County is in the end game of a new water system for Strong City, Cottonwood Falls, and the rural water district. One of the final main projects is the installation of a new system-wide water tank. The old tank sits on a hill east of Strong City and has provided adequate water pressure in the past.

But, the district wanted to erect a taller water tank to improve water pressure, but that idea got squelched. Guess by who? None other than the National Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and its owner The Nature Conservancy. TNC killed the taller water tank by invoking some kind of “sight-lines” rule for national parks.

TNC maintained that the new water tank, which is more than 3 miles away from the preserve headquarters, might be sighted by a tree hugger intent upon finding something to gripe about, but I’ll bet anyone ten dollars to a dried buffalo chip than there wouldn’t be one in 10,000 park visitors who would even see the new water tank, let along take offense to it’s location.

I’ll add that TNC’s interference with the water project is adding to the cost that all us water users will be repaying for the next 30 years. TNC, I believe, is just throwing it’s weight around because it can.

And, before I quit this commentary, I’ll mention that several years ago, a cell phone company was in the process of erecting a new cell phone tower near where the water tank sits, and the TNC interfered in that case based upon the sight-lines rule, but it settled with the cell phone company and let it erect a shorter tower for a substantial cash contribution to the TNC. That’s just wrong in every way.

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The mornings are beginning to feel like fall. Most mornings a mist is rising from my pond as I drink coffee on the deck. The purple martins have pulled up stakes and headed south. The hummingbirds are tanking up at our feeders getting ready for their migration. We’ve been canning tomatoes and tomato juice like crazy.

Hard to believe both the football sports season and the dove hunting season are only a couple weeks away.

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I wuz standing in line at the local farm store when the cashier asked the farm lady in front of me, “Cash, check or charge?”
As she fumbled for her wallet, the cashier noticed a remote control for a television set in the lady customer’s purse and asked, “Do you always carry your TV remote?”

The lady customer replied, “No, but my husband insisted that I make this trip to town because he wanted to eat dinner and watch the markets and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.”

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Words of wisdom? “God may have created man before woman, but it was a rough draft before the masterpiece.” Have a good ‘un.

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