I was making Thanksgiving candy in the kitchen.  Porter was flipping channels in the family room.  He settled on a documentary talking about someone named Birdseye who for reasons I didn't catch took his family to live in the frozen wilderness of Labrador.  "I wonder if he's the guy behind Birdseye frozen food," he mused.

I am the family looker-upper.  I didn't ask for the job, but my family quickly learned that asking Mom was better than using the dictionary or the encyclopedia, because I couldn't rest till I knew the answer.  So if they lack dictionary skills, it's my fault.  I also drive people nuts:  we'll be in the middle of playing a game and someone will casually comment, "I wonder how high the Aswan Dam is," and you guessed it, much to their consternation I leave the game and look up the answer.  (The Internet has only made my compulsion easier to indulge in.)  It turns out they aren't really curious enough to want to interrupt the game.  To which I reply, if you don't want to know, why ask!

So, Porter will flip through channels, and when I ask what he's watching, he'll reply, "I have no idea."  At that point I have to grab my phone and check the TV listings, because even though I have no interest in the show, I can't stand not knowing the answer.  In this case, I determined that the show was How We Got to Now: Cold, and Porter's hunch was good:  the Labrador traveller was indeed Clarence Birdseye, who (eventually) brought us the world of frozen food.

The answer found, I went back to my fudge—only to be drawn away again by a subsequent part of the show:  the invention of air conditioning.  This I actually sat down and watched, because Porter is not the only one with good hunches: I doubted they would say much about Willis Carrier without interviewing the author of Weathermakers to the World.  Sure enough, I hadn't watched for long before I was able to turn to Porter and remark, "You know Eric who sometimes comments on my blog?  That's him."  (Ungrammatical, I know.)

Anyway, that was fun.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Edit
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That is cool! I'll have to see if I can find it on our local station. I watched a few clips and it looks pretty interesting.

The book Birdseye by Mark Kurlansky (author of Salt and Cod) has been on my "to be read" list for awhile. May have to check it out (along with Eric's book, of course).



Posted by dstb on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:55 am

"How We Got to Now" is also a book.



Posted by dstb on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Thanks, Linda! Those three minutes of fame came from a day at an (abandoned) grand old movie theater in Jersey City, summer of 2013. Stephen and I talked about air conditioning for six hours while suffering in 90F heat. Funny thing (just to complete the circle)...a company I work with locally, Windover Construction, is putting a new hotel up in Gloucester on the very site of Clarence Birdeye's first frozen food facility. http://www.bankerandtradesman.com/news161913.html?Type=search



Posted by ericbschultz@gmail.com on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm
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