The 2015 Inclusive Seasons Greetings Edition

santa mixing music

Happy Holidays!
Happy Black Friday (NOT!), Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Turkey Day (more on that later*) to you & yours.  If we left-out any printable holiday greetings, complain to the management–a lot of good it’ll do ya!  But puhleeeze don’t get us started on Starbucks’ now-infamous red holiday coffee cup that’s caused such politically-correct outrage around the nation.  Let ’em drink tea, sayeth we!  ‘Nuff said on that subject…

starbucks christmas cup

Now that the “tis the season to be jolly” time of year is again upon us, there are still certainly other deserving topics to share during this festive season (politics, mercifully, will not be among them…)

gum wall
The Gum Wall at Post Alley

Seattle’s Gum Wall Lives On!
In the “Only in Seattle” department, here’s the latest news on Post’s Alley’s “famed” gum wall.  Oh, really, you didn’t know about Seattle’s renowned gum wall?  Go to:  for an update on the wall’s status, including time lapse video of the wall’s recently completed de-gumming process, i.e. the intensive 130-hour project of ridding itself of over 2,350 pounds of accumulated, purposefully-placed, gooey trappings.

gum wall2  The bad news is that the gum wall is already in the process of re-chewvinating itself, right there in the heart of Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market!  (Sorry, but you don’t have to be a former East Coaster to be totally grossed-out by this uniquely bizarre local tourist attraction).  Trust us, folks, there are much better places to visit while you’re here in the Emerald City, but go there if you must to witness firsthand what a real gum wall actually looks like.


Recent Events North of Seattle You May Have Missed

Well, of course, there was the 7th annual blockbuster Taste of Tulalip, where over 2,000 attendees, including yours truly, showed-up to avail themselves of the dizzying array of wine and gourmet food samplings. Breaking the cardinal rule journalists are supposed to follow, NOT to show favoritism when covering such events, Woodinville’s award-winning Betz Family Winery sure won over our wine-loving little hearts with it’s outstanding red blend pourings…


Time Flies cd cover - Pearl Django

Pearl Django fans were treated a to a joyful musical romp at the Camano (Island) Center.  This, following on the heels of a very powerful windstorm that had just whipped through the region, knocking out power much of the day and night before.  The much beloved Django Reinhard Gypsy Jazz tribute band did not disappoint the appreciative audience.  PDj-band members did not let evening’s performance go by without acknowledging the recent tragedy in Paris.  Their long-standing Parisian music roots are understandably tight…
Vive la France!

Here’s a little “Who knew?” ditty for the uninitiated on how, back in the early 1990’s, Pearl Django acquired its now internationally-known name:

Since their inception as a musical trio in the early 1990s, Pearl Django’s name started as a spoof (coined by a member’s wife) on the band, Pearl Jam. But the group thought it was clever so the name stuck. With all joking aside, Pearl Django means business when it comes to playing Gypsy Jazz.  (Showcase Magazine 2010)

*Anticipating Thanksgiving Day feast-induced drowsiness, aka postprandial somnolence? Don’t blame it on the turkey!  Read on… 

Explanation of tryptophan: A common assertion in the US is that heavy consumption of turkey meat results in drowsiness, due to high levels of tryptophan contained in turkey.  However, the amount of tryptophan in turkey is comparable to that contained in most other meats.  Furthermore, post-meal drowsiness may have more to do with what is consumed along with the turkey, carbohydrates in particular.  It has been demonstrated in both animal models and humans that ingestion of a meal rich in carbohydrates triggers release of insulin.  Insulin in turn stimulates the uptake of large neutral branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), but not tryptophan (an aromatic amino acid) into muscle, increasing the ratio of tryptophan to BCAA in the blood stream. The resulting increased tryptophan ratio reduces competition at the large neutral amino acid transporter (which transports both BCAA and aromatic amino acids), resulting in more uptake of tryptophan across the blood–brain barrier into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).  Once in the CSF, tryptophan is converted into serotonin in the raphe nuclei by the normal enzymatic pathway.  The resultant serotonin is further metabolised into melatonin by the pineal gland.  Hence, this data suggests that “feast-induced drowsiness”— or postprandial somnolence — may be the result of a heavy meal rich in carbohydrates, which indirectly increases the production of sleep-promoting melatonin in the brain. 

Happy Holidays!

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