Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sheila C'S Burger Barn,

So, as you read below a true landmark was burned, basically destroyed by some kid. The Talisi Hotel had quite a history and one of the best southern buffets in the world. Once Stacey and I drove around the block ,wondering what the hell happened and why most of downtown Tallassee was shut down, we started looking for food. Again.

We had put our hunger on hold looking for the right spot to dine while driving to Mobile last Wednesday. I had a few places in mind and planned on stopping at the first one we found. In Opleika we could stop at Chucks BBQ, but I passed that exit having had Chucks BBQ before. I was not real impressed. If I was gonna have BBQ I was gonna stop at Kendalls Howling Good BBQ. Problem was, I could not remember what exit to take. I had fried chicken from the Talisi Hotel on my mind and I knew how to get there. Well you know how that worked out. So we left downtown Talisi and took a left going away from the interstate.

It was not looking real good and all we had found so far were fast food joints. Then we came across Sheila C's Burger Barn. Thank you God.

Sheila's is a small place with a dirt parking lot. Lot's of trucks covered in mud. We entered to find some tables and chairs, a few hunters (trucks/mud) and a small counter for ordering food. A guy in a camo ball cap was taking orders and Sheila worked the stove. There was a sheet of typing paper taped to the wall with the menu printed on it. Burgers and dogs, chips and soda was all that was offered. Stacey ordered a single with cheese. I maned up ordering a double with cheese combo. The combo part was a drink and bag of chips.

Checking it all out I noticed how Sheila had about 10 fist sized balls of hamburger meat on the flattop. As we ordered she smashed 3 of the meatballs flat with a spatchler. At first I wasn't sure why there were so many burgers in waiting on the flattop. I soon learned why, as one after another folks came in, ordered burgers and found a seat to wait. All kinds of folks. Gangsters, grandparents, nuns and cops all ordering burgers. And Sheila was ready. She kept the meatballs, soon to be burgers, at the ready. As the orders came Sheila smashed them flat to get them cooking faster.

I had told the guy taking orders we would eat our burgers there, but still he packed them to go. He packed everyones order to go although most folks sat and ate. Like I said, thank you God. These were exceptional burgers. They were the perfect size, not so big you couldn't get them in you mouth. Even my manly double was managable. The buns were steamed and I bet Sheila moved the burgers from the flattop to the buns, no draining the grease on a paper towel or anything. So this made for a very moist sandwich. The burgers were not to greasy at all. They had mayo, ketchup, chopped onions and cheese. All of this blended very nicly. From the first bite I knew we had found a really good place to eat.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

HOTEL TALISI

Hotel Talisi

One of the best Christmas gifts Stacey and I ever received is a book about "out of the way" places to eat. It's focus is on the South. Once Stacey and I drove from Atlanta to Little Rock. We took three days to make the trip and never once got on the Interstate. We used this book, A Southern Belly, as our guide. We spent days eating our way through Alabama, Mississippi and into Arkansas.

We use this book often when making road trips. Since we regularly drive from Atlanta to Mobile, we have tried most spots in between that Southern Belly recommends. One spot is in Tallassee, Alabama. The Talisi Hotel once laid out one of the most beautiful southern buffet one has ever seen. It was full with all that makes for a great southern meal. Fried chicken, country fried steak, fried catfish, mashed taters, rice and gravy. Beans, butter, pole, green and blackeyed peas. Cornbread. Pies to die for and lot's more. Many times on our way to and from Mobile, Stacey and I would exit I-85 and drive the 15 minutes to this antique hotel for a meal. On Sundays it was always busy, so we got it to go. We could fill up a to go plate for $4.95 a pound. Then we walked around the corner to sit high up on the banks of the Tallapoosa River to enjoy our food. Good times.

Well, bad news. We stopped in last week and not just the hotel, but most of the small downtown was boarded up. The streets were blocked off so we really could not tell what had happened. Once we got home and on the computer this is what we learned.
http://www.wsfa.com/Global/story.asp?S=11590245

http://media.al.com/birmingham-news/photo/-02fff0dfa636ecb4.JPG

So sad. So, so sad.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SLACKER?


So Saturday night I'm listening to a radio show and one of the musical guest is introduced as having a Cd package of his life work, so far that is, and it took over 90 Cd's to cover it all. Got me to thinking, what the hell am I doing. I'm standing in my kitchen, drinking a vodka martini, listening to the radio. Nothing, that's what I'm doing, a bunch of nothing. So I mix another martini to help me think about all this nothing I'm doing.

Not for nothing, but I'm not so sure we ain't supposed to be doing to much. Especially if it ain't fun. That part I sure about, if it ain't fun don't do it. If you got to do stuff that ain't fun make sure you counter it with stuff that's fun. It's all about decisions. You got to decide what you can and can't control and you got to decide what makes you happy.

I was talking to friend about children. I expressed how I kind of felt guilty not ever having children. Kind of like I was greedy with my life. I thought one reason I may have never had kids was they never fit my life style. I wasn't sure that was a good reason. My friend shared her thought which was we are not all put here on earth to have children. There certainly isn't a shortage of children in this world.

I have no idea where I'm going with this, it's starting to sound like bullshit to me. I guess it's the slacker thing. The martini thing. Maybe we all aren't put on earth to compose 60 Cd's of music. Maybe we are not supposed to be the President of the good old USA. Hell, maybe were not supposed to be the president of the our kids PTA. That's if we had kids.

Friday, December 18, 2009

THE LATEST ON DOCTOR JOHN

Maybe you have or maybe you haven't read previous "transmission" from my friend, the good Dr. John. I met John 10 or so years ago as he was taking over ownership of a veterinary clinic in the Atlanta area. South side. So he could be amongst his peeps. He has been in Ely and Duluth Minnesota as of late, both working and advancing his education. Below is Johns most recent transmission.


Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 3:24:23 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: journalism

What up T?
So I've been on this (wildlife)ecology path for 3 years now because I
wanted to have a legitimate segue from my previous career. Now I have a
"job" so to speak at Auburn Univeristy in wetland ecology - which,
although in the school of forestry And Wildlife sciences, it is slanted
more towards forestry because it deals with urban effects on carbon
cycling and water retention. Point being - its important work in
today's climate - no pun intended - but not what I really started out
on. You see, along the way towards getting certified in wildlife
ecology so that I could apply my previous scientific background to
managing overall wildlife populations, I took a wetland course, then got
certified to determine where a wetland begins and where it ends, got
contacted by this professor at Auburn who was really interested in me,
and wha-la, here I am. Suppose to show up at Auburn on January 11 - I
get a stipend to work on a project and teach some undergrad biology
labs. Its freakin ridiculously low wages but its progress on the path.
Also along the way, I have written a lot of papers - gotten a fair
amount of writing practice. Its funny to see my instructors correct me,
though, because I like to put a creative bend on the writing. "You
can't do that! Its a freakin Science paper!" So now, I think I want to
be a journalist and work for somebody like NPR and report on scientific
matters so that people can understand the issues and get a clear
understanding of both sides. Oh, what to do? So many choices in
life...so little time. I'm packing the car and driving south in 4 days
as soon as my finals are over here in Duluth....."Headed down south to
the land of the pines...." I have some pictures of wintertime here to
be sent later. jd

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IT'S IN MY BLOOD


I love music and it's in my blood. See that little boy? That's my brothers son and like me he too loves music, just look at him.

I've been thinking about writing a post about music. What it means to me, where my love for it comes from and maybe a list of favorites. Then I got to thinking I could write about music forever. My Mom and Dad are both huge music consumers and no self respecting music love would dare try and list favorites. It's impossible to do that. Hell at least once a week I learn of a new band that I want to explore. And one would also have to break those favs into categories. I listen to lot's of different kinds of music, it would be easier to list the genre's I don't enjoy.

How could you do a list of favorites when you've been listening to music since you were 5- 6 years old? That's what I remember. I was telling Stacey about the first stereo my sisters got for Christmas when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I told Stacey that was my intro to music, the first stuff I listened to was what my sisters played. Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Rod Stewart and so on. But, the more I thought about it I started to remember the huge console my Mom and Dad had on Chadwick Dr. I remember laying on the floor near the door way from the dinning room to kitchen listening to whatever my Mom and Dad were listening to. I can still remember some of the songs. Trailers for sale or rent, Roger Miller. Al Hirt, Cotton Candy. The sound track to West Side Story. Music I still listen to. I have both the West Side Story and Al Hirt album. So I guess that's where it all started.

This morning I am listening to Neil Youngs' After the Gold Rush album. Very loud. This is the kind of music my sister was listening to in high school. She also listened to lot's of bands not so many people knew about. Southern bands. Bands like the Dixie Dregs, Poco, The Locust Fork Band. Ya ever heard of these bands?

I could go on and on. My Mom and Dad have never stopped listening to music. My Mom has turned me on to some of my favorite music. Whenever I get in her car I see what she is listening to and many times find something new to me. Louis Prima and Squirrel Nut Zipper Zipper are just a couple of examples of what I have found in my mom's cd player.

I could go on and on. I could tell you about the newest thing I've heard or the latest live act I have tickets to see. That would be the Residents. We will see the Residents for the third time in February at the Variety Playhouse. Last time we saw the Residents live was about 20 years ago at the famous 688 club. I saw the Residents with Snake Finger two nights in a row way back then. The Residents are nothing like any of the bands I have mentioned so far. The Residents are a very good example when I claim to enjoy lots of different styles of music. Click on them and read a bit about them.

I could go no and on and maybe I will.
Stand by.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN MOBILE, ALABAMA

Stacey and I were in Mobile for the Thanksgiving holiday. We drove Wednesday. It was not a bad trip. Stacey ask me to get a audio book cd for the trip, but instead I brought along some new music I had on hand. The whole way down to Mobile, about 5.5 hours we listened to music. We listened to Nick Cave, a cd of B side and rarities. We listened to Steely Dan, we listened to a collection of very old American folk songs done up by contemporary artist. I should do a blog on this cd set soon.

Any way Stacey and I are in beautiful downtown Mobile for the weekend. I moved to this neighborhood when I was 12 years old. I thought it was the coolest place then and still do today. I like Mobile because I grew up in the Garden District with old buildings and strange neighbors. Good flat streets for bike riding. There were hotels in the neighborhood and they were great places to skate board or sneak into the swimming pool.

Like I said we were there for the weekend and as always we took long walks. Here are some photos of the different places I see when I walk in my Mobile neighborhood.









http://www.archives.state.al.us/mobile/images/21b.jpg

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Very Important Information

Po-Boy Preservation Festival winners include some surprises

By Judy Walker

November 30, 2009, 11:32AM

On Sunday, November 22, Mahoney's winning chicken liver po-boy was one of three top sandwiches that included slaw of some sort. 5,000+ New Orleanians celebrated the city’s most famous sandwich on the newly renovated Oak Street corridor.

In a press release afterwards, the festival released the winners of the judged competition for the best po-boys in seven categories.

In an unusual twist, three of the winning sandwiches included some form of slaw.

This year’s winners include:

Best in Show: Grand Isle’s Shrimp Caminada
The po-boy was named in honor of Caminada, which is a fishing town west of Grand Isle wiped out in a terrible storm on October 2, 1893. The sandwich consists of shrimp sautéed in a spicy citrus butter sauce topped with herb slaw. Grand Isle will soon be adding the sandwich to their menu.

People’s Choice: New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co.’s Shrimp-Zilla
The sandwich consists of roast beef, fried shrimp and coleslaw.

Best Pork Po-Boy: Dong Phuong Bakery’s Vietnamese Po-Boy
The Banh Mi was quite popular with the crowds at this year’s festival. In Vietnamese, “banh mi” translates both as ‘bread’ and ‘the sandwich using that bread.’ Here in New Orleans, banh mi has become known as the ‘Vietnamese po-boy.’

Best Roast Beef Po-Boy: Gattuso’s Neighborhood Bar & Restaurant Roast Beef Po-Boy

Best Shrimp Po-Boy: Boucherie’s Barbecued Shrimp Po-boy

Best Special Seafood Po-Boy: Acme Oyster House’s Fried Oyster Po-Boy

Best Special Non-Seafood Po-Boy: Mahoney’s Po-Boy Shop’s Fried Chicken Livers & Coleslaw Po-Boy

This year’s panel of 26 judges included chef/owner Johnny Blancher of Ye Olde College Inn, who won Best of Show at the last two festivals. Other judges were Todd Price, freelancer for The Times-Picayune; Lorin Gaudin of WDSU; Camille Whitworth, report/anchor for WDSU; David Darragh, president of Reily Foods, and Robert Peyton of New O

London part II

I kinda got away from this subject, I come across pieces like the two videos and articles from the New Orleans food section and I really want to share them with you. Also I'm gonna have to sit down and think to recall my London trip, the videos and stuff like that are no brianer. But anyway, back to London.

One of the first things I noticed about London was how quite it was for such a city. The folks on the train to Victoria Station were a very civil bunch. It was obvious most were commuting to work in the city proper. Only one bloke talking to loud on cell phone. When it came to getting a cab you would que up and wait your turn if you were at a hotel or somewhere lot's of folks were waiting for cabs. When you did get a cab you didn't just get in, the cabbie would roll down the pass window and you would "ask" if he would take you to such and such place. I also noticed how few horns were blowing, it was quite quite for such a city.



We drank at many pubs. This is a photo of the Churchill Arms. The guy I was traveling with had lived in London a few years back and knew where the good puds were. He told me how the older pubs were referred to as "locals" by the locals who frequented these puds. The Arms was totally a locals place. One of the coolest bars I have ever imbibed at. He knew which puds were chain operated and steered clear of those unless we had no choice at that moment. He pointed out the extra cold Guinness tap which was referred to as "American Guinness". The Brits prefer their beer a bit less cold then us Yanks. The Guinness beer was the best tasting, freshest beer I have ever had. So I had many.

We ate as well. Traveling partner enjoys food as much as I do so we looked for a couple of gastro pubs suggested buy the Chow Hound website. We tried to eat at Anchor Hope which was first on the list, but 2 hour wait. So that night we went across the street to Live Bait. We had a good meal. Oysters, Scallop Risotto, and more. The next afternoon we had our best meal of the trip at the Atlas gastro pub, 2nd on the chow hound list. We had five minutes before the kitchen closed for lunch so we took a seat by the open fire, ordered beers and checked out the menu. We ate Rabbit with veggies and Duck three ways.



Stayed tuned!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SMOKE AND EARS

You got to take the 2o minutes to watch this video. Mr. York has been at it for years and his shorts keep getting better and better.
Enjoy!
http://www.southernfoodways.com/documentary/film/smoke_ears.html

PERFECT FRIED CHICKEN




A couple years ago friends gifted me with the Lee Brothers southern cookbook. I had seen and heard a bit about these brothers from the south making their name in NYC. I had heard that they had tried to sell boiled peanuts door to door in NYC. I really didn't know what I thought about them, and after watching them here I'm still not sure. The thing is I'm not sure what I'm not sure about. But this video is cool. It's about one of my favorite foods with a great little back story. I plan on eating there next time I'm in NYC. Ya got to get past the 30 second ad, it's worth it.
http://www.chow.com/stories/11719

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

PRIMAL

Don't tell me I don't know how to show my lady a good time.
Saturday night Stacey and I got Primal. We drank beer, ate lot's of meat and sat in on butchering demos. Sweetwater Brewery hosted this event. We ate sliders from grind house, lamb brains from P'cheen and roasted veggies from Farm 255 and more. We also enjoyed watching a master butcher with 35 years experience completely break down a really big lamb in about 10 minutes. Like I said I know how to treat the ladies.







Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WE INTERRUPT THIS LONDON REPORT......

if meat is murder send me to jail cause i plan on being at this event.

Thrillist - Primal
Be a Butcher: Primal
6pm Sat at Sweetwater Brewery: 195 Ottley Dr NE; Buckhead; 404.691.2537

Hit this one-time meat & greet to commune with local chefs (Nick Melvin of Parish; Todd Richards of Rolling Bones BBQ; Alex Friedman of P’cheen...), who'll teach you how to properly butcher whole animals (pig, cow, goat, lamb), cook them using advanced methods over hickory, Applewood, or almond wood flames, and let you gobble up the results. There'll also be 35 pounds of TN-based Benton’s bacon, wood-fired oysters, and whole wheels of hardwood-grilled artisan cheese, plus brews from Sweetwater and an Oregon wine tasting including vineyards like Van Duzer, Daedalus Cellars, and Firesteed, which'll have you boasting Wednesday morning that you're hungover like a horse.
Photo: Stacy Cahill

Monday, November 16, 2009

LONDON PARIS AMSTERDAM AND MOBILE

These are my favorite cities in the world and I just got back from my first visit to London. I have been to the other cities many times, but never to London. It was a great weekend trip. Left Thursday evening and arrived 7 a.m. Friday. Checked into hotel then headed to Tate Modern for the POP LIFE exhibit.

The Tate Modern is housed in an old power station smack dab on the Thames. It is huge with large open space and lot's of small galleries. The Tate Modern is one of the greatest modern art museums in the world. The power station closed in 1981 and if not for some forward thinking folks it would have been leveled and replaced with another residential monster. It was rehabbed into the museum and the Tate opened in May of 2000. Just outside it's doors is the beautiful Millennium bridge. A pedestrian bridge designed by Arup, Foster and Partners. When it first opened it got off to a shaky start, literally. The bridge swayed so much it had to be closed for about a year to fix the problem. I took this picture from the 3rd floor restaurant in the Tate. That is St. Paul's Cathedral in the background. Click on either photo to enlarge.



This next photo was taken on the bridge looking back at the Tate. More on my London weekend soon, please stand by.



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Thursday, November 12, 2009

SO ON A LIGHTER NOTE

I know I've got it made. Born a white male in America. That's changing though. Not me and the white male part, but America is in for big changes. In the meantime enjoy some music. Asaf Avidan & the Mojos are from Jerusalem and I can't imagine what their life has been like. Click here and listen to some of their songs.






I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS

I hate putting shit like this on my blog, but I read it and It makes me mad. It makes me feel helpless, it makes me glad I don't have children. Truth be told it makes me feel a little lucky, maybe I'll be dead before things get really rough. It's a simple problem, read below, K Street, Wall Street, millionaire mayors and congressmen. It's a simple problem, GREED.
I should probably stop reading the New York Times.


November 11, 2009, 9:30 pm

The Betrayal

ST. LOUIS – So long as Budweiser, the King of Beers, was enthroned in this pleasant and nobly resilient middle American city, the blows of corporate condescension from the other giants who abandoned the Gateway Arch could be endured.

But then, last year, came a kidney punch that still hurts: Anheuser-Busch, which had survived Prohibition and the micro-brew craze, was sold to a Belgian brewer. Bud was now Euro-beer. Next they’ll tell us Huck Finn had a taste for √©clairs as he floated down the Mississippi.

Board members, those solid citizens of St. Louis, made a pile in the merger that created the world’s largest brewer. But everyone else lost, including more than a 1,000 longtime employees given pink slips.

I heard the Bud buyout mentioned in the same soured breaths that exhaled expletives regarding the upcoming bonuses that will be passed around this holiday season by Wall Street firms saved by taxpayers — $30 billion in bonuses to the top three investment banks.

It takes quite a bit for Americans to say that the social contract is broken, or look upon concentrated wealth as anything except a virtue.

But we may have reached that breach. Our politics are not simply left and right, conservative and liberal. Never have been. Every once in a while, the great middle of independents are stirred to one side. My guess is, if the drift caused by recent actions continues, the United States will be consumed in the coming year by the politics of betrayal, and the winner will be ahead of the rage.

Right now, a time when only 20 percent of Americans call themselves Republicans and Democrats are shrinking as well, the independents are disgusted with both parties. In large part, it’s because neither one seems to be on their side.

The early warning shots came on Nov. 3, against an ineffective former Wall Street executive, ousted New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, and the billionaire mayor who barely bought himself a third term, Michael Bloomberg of New York. Both felt the back hand of an electorate that feels as if the system is rigged against them.

A year ago, most people were open-minded about the ground-shaking changes that came with the economic collapse. Polls found a slim majority in favor of Wall street bailouts to save the economy. They would listen, watch, wait.

By this fall, the majority were not only against the bailouts, but in favor of curbing pay on Wall Street, and tightening government regulation of same.

The continuous drip of perceived unfairness continues. One day it’s news that Goldman Sachs seems to have stepped ahead of the line of those waiting to receive H1N1 vaccines, prompting questions about why investment bankers were getting doses rather than children or pregnant women. This week, Gallup found one in five parents saying they were unable to get swine flu vaccine for their children.

Another day brings a report that the top banks are raising credit card interest rates – some as high as 29 percent, which would shame a Mob extortionist — even against people who have always paid on time. This is the thanks we get?

If Congress steers through the Great Recession without responding to the thousand points of pain among average Americans, people will see them for what they are in bottom-line terms: an insulated club. Proof, just recently, came from a Center for Responsive Politics report that 237 members of Congress — 44 percent — are millionaires, compared to just 1 percent for the country as whole.

In theory, there’s nothing wrong with a Congress stuffed with people who don’t have to buy health care on the open market, or worry about meeting a mortgage payment. But in practice, it’s a prescription for misrepresentation. And though Congress is now trying to curb Wall Street excess, the reform effort seems headed for K Street strangulation.

Two things will define which way the rage goes next year: health care, and the fate of the feeble economic recovery. Again, forget liberal and conservative labels. In recent Gallup polls, 54 percent of Americans perceived Barack Obama’s policies to be “mostly liberal” and an identical margin approved of his presidency. This in a country where only 20 percent are self-described liberals.

If health care reform gives people a choice, and doesn’t just fatten the rolls of insurance companies, it will be something to run on. If the recovery helps millions of people who don’t have a well-staffed lobby in Washington, it too will be a plus.

History, as always, is a guide for these American moments.

There was once a political party that came out against concentration of wealth. They called for regulation of food, drugs, and big corporations. Called for “square deal” for the average American. And their robust spokesman, the leader of their party, said this of his countrymen:

“There is not in the world a more ignoble character than the mere money-getting American, insensitive to every duty, regardless of principle, bent only on amassing a fortune.”

That party was the Republicans, a bit more than century ago, led by Teddy Roosevelt.

The next governing majority will be guided by independents, and include liberals, conservatives and people whose great-grandparents left the Republican Party a century ago. It will also include a whole lot of Budweiser drinkers, wondering how the world changed so quickly, without them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I LOVE THANKSGIVING


I really love Thanksgiving!
Probably because I love to eat Indian food. Who doesn't?
I love the holiday season and I'm starting this holiday season off right with a trip to London. Tomorrow, about 5:30 p.m I'm gonna get on a non stop flight to LGW. That's not Heathrow, that's Gatwick, it is the other airport in London. I will arrive about 7 a.m. London time. I'm going with a friend who wants to see an art show at the world famous Tate Modern. My friend is a huge Keith Haring fan and Haring is a big part of this show. The Tate has rebuilt his famous Pop Shop that was once at 292 Lafayette St in NYC. The exhibit is named Pop Life and it runs til January 17th. Andy Warhol is featured as well as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons,Takashi Murakami and others. I'm really looking forward. I have never been to London and the guy I'm going with once lived there, not so long ago.
Quick trip. I will be back in Atlanta 3 p.m. Sunday. Stand by for a detailed report, with photos.
I love trips like this.

Monday, November 9, 2009

OUR DAILY BREAD

I ain't baked anything since my sisters had a Easy Bake Oven and a light bulb was the heat source. Stacey and I like fresh bread and have no where to get a loaf on the south side. So when I read about a recipe for bread made from 3 ingredients, cooked in a dutch oven, in you home oven, I had to try it. Here is the recipe. I have never been to Sullivan St. Bakery, but I have heard how good it is. Here you can read the article about the guy who invented this recipe, it was in the NY Times.
I haven't tried my bread yet, it just came out of the oven. This is a photo of it, if it taste as good as it looks..........

Friday, November 6, 2009

MORE WORK EQUALS LESS WRITING

And so it goes...... The more I build and paint the less I write. Also we have had a crew of sheet rock artist working on the master bed and bath. It is a very messy job that goes on longer then planned.
Whatayagonnado? This is what I did this week.


This here table is a checker board table. I used an old column for the pedestal and I used lumber from my bed room renovation for the top. I spray painted beer bottle caps for the checkers.

This here is another table made from salvaged materials. The metal top is from the slave quarters at the Oak Grove Plantation just south of Atlanta. Painted black and distressed. I delivered both of these tables this morning.



I painted this here painting this week from a photo a lady gave me. Her good friend grew the veggies and she wanted a painting of them. I didn't think I would like it, but when I was finished I liked it a lot. I offered it as a donation for an auction along with the pig painting. I told them to pick one for the auction.



They picked the pig.

WALKING 'ROUND NEW YORK

Check out this short video, I want to do this. Everyday.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/1-in-8-million/index.html?hp&hp#/maggie_nesciur

Saturday, October 31, 2009

NEW WORK

So if you wonder what the hell I've been doing since I haven't posted here lately, just have a look. As you can see I've been busy. These are all custom orders. For each of these pieces I have used wood salvaged from a KOR Mardi Gras float. All furniture orders, no art,whats up with that. Would someone please order a custom painting.
Thank you very much!

Tall cabinet. Doors are original shutters from plantation home.


Cut down columns. I cut out the door and put tops on to make end tables.

These folks sent a photo of an old bench they found and wanted duplicated. Done.

Monday, October 26, 2009

EAST POINT, GEORGIA

A few weeks back we were having brunch at Chefs house. Chef and his wife host a brunch at their home about 4 times a year. We always meet someone new at chefs house. This time I was talking to a guy I had just met and when he learned Stacey and I live in East Point he wanted to know more. It seems his wife was interested in maybe buying a house and moving to East Point. I gave him my digits and told him to come on down and I would show them around. Well we tried but could not connect so I told him I would do a pro/con list on East Point and get it to him and his wife. I made the list but never got in touch with them so I thought I would do a little something on sososouthern and send them the link.

Stacey always refers to EP as Mayberry. That's cause it kinda quite down her and a much smaller city then Atlanta. EP is about 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta and 20 minutes from midtown Atlanta which is where most of the fun is. Being on the southside of Atlanta the traffic is not nearly as bad as the northside.

Crime is most folks concern about the southside. We have lived her 10 years and have been the victim of one crime. Our car was stolen, wrecked and totaled. Kids, 13 years old! Our home has never been broken into, but 3 or 4 houses on our street of 20 house have been. It is always the same. Bust in grab the change jar, camera, ipod, ect and run. I do not know of much violent crime in EP.

We lived in Grant Park before we moved to EP and the panhandlers were the worst. You could not go to the gas station or a store without being ask for money. Our cars were broken into very often. In EP the package stores or gas stations/convenient stores can not sell single beers and it makes a difference. I get ask for $ sometimes, but not much.

We love to eat and although there is not a lot of "fine" dining on the southside there is some and like I said midtown is 20 minutes away. There are some great "hole in the wall" restaurants. I can get fried chicken, shrimp poboys, apple pies and tacos as good as any in Atlanta, and for a lot less $. There are a hand full 0f good bars, Brake Pad, East Point Corner Tavern and Manchester Arms which is both bar and restaurant with really good food.

Grocery stores are plentiful, but the good ones are a 10 minute drive. That would be a Kroger and Publix. The Camp Creek Market Place has about everything you need for shopping and is in EP. Click on it to see list of stores.

The city of EP is broke. They have closed half of the fire stations. Police have been cut back. The streets are a little run down, but EP is by far not the ghetto. There are some great houses and some with huge lot's and when the economy turns things will get better. Before the shit hit I was able to buy and flip 2 houses for a good profit.

Some of the best things going are the Truly Living Well Farm and another urban farm in EP which I have not yet found. But I did do a post on the TLW Farm just look back on this blog. It is great and has a lot to offer. Every Wednesday it is open for retail at 3 in the afternoon.

The Fort McPherson project is gonna be huge. I think 700 acres. Although in Atlanta it boarders EP. I am sure it will be a live/work, retail and entertainment complex.

The Ford plant in Hapeville which boarders EP has closed and was bought by the folks that did Atlantic Station. It to will be a new "small city" within a city. I think both of these projects will have a huge impact on EP. Click on them for some good info.

Marta has a station in EP, we use it for big events in town when parking will be a problem.
The Airport is nearby, noise from planes is no problem.

There is a small plant in EP that makes "treated lumber". The smell is a problem for a certain neighborhood in EP, Jefferson Park. I don't think any other neighborhoods suffer from it.

Schools? We don't have children, but lot's of our friends do and it the biggest problem they face down here. A group just got together and earned a charter to start a school. I think it will be for early ages, but they hope to grow as their children do. The Main Street Academy. Check out their website.

So for my new friend, his wife and their two children and anyone else interested I will tell you we love it here and would make the same decision to move here again.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Somtimes.......

Sometimes I feel so good about everything I can't stand myself. Should a body be so happy. Yea, my back hurts, my feet stink and I don't love jesus,(thanks JB) but there ain't enough room on this here blog to tell you bout all the good things in my life. My yard needs cleaning, leaves need raking, grass needs cutting and hedge needs trimming. I don't care. I know most the women in my life are pissed at me right now, but I don't care cause they still love me. And just look at how my wife sparkles, it must be love.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Setting up house with Dr. John in Duluth.



OK. So I showed up in Duluth 3 days before classes started at the
University of Minnesota. The U. sits on the flat area at the top of the
hill above Lake Superior and the old neighborhoods filter down the slope
toward the lake (which, by the way, holds 10% of the world's surface
fresh water - just f'in huge!) You can't see the lake at the U but once
you start going down the hill, you have a view of the Duluth harbor.
You don't get an appreciation of the vastness of the "inland freshwater
sea" until you go up the north shore a ways towards Canada. Yet still,
it is a pretty picture. I was driving on the streets that cut across
the slope when I saw a "For Rent" sign in the front yard of a three
story Victorian home with a slate roof and steep architectural angles.
I parked and walked up the cracked sidewalks to the steps leading to the
front door. I noticed the front door was wide open and so I just walked
into the foyer. The huge door into the living space was
also wide open. Bold, dark wood floors and pillars, 10 foot ceilings.
I could feel the energy of the open space. I walked up the four-foot
wide stairs to the second floor where a guy was playing drums in his
room. I knocked on the door and introduced myself.
"So I guess you live here?"
"Yeah"
"Are you the landlord?"
"No"
"How much rent do you pay?"
"350"
"Does that include utilities?"
"Yeah"
"Where can I see the landlord?"
"Well, he is actually on his way here at this exact moment."
"Sold!"
And so I moved in that night and slept on the couch in the living room.
Glen, the landlord, had told me that the house was built in 1903. There
was a wall separating a second set of narrow stairs that went into the
kitchen. Glen said that those were the servants' stairs. The only
problem with the house was the dust and clutter that others had left
behind. Former tenants had no appreciation for the grand eloquence that
they were living in. They probably had just become down-trodden cynical
beasts paying an over-bearing landlord, "the man".
I spent four hours boxing up shoes and coats in the foyer, washing and
organizing dishes in the cabinets, dusting, sweeping, throwing away
junk, and just generally making the place look like someone cared to
live there. I told Glenn about it later and he paid me 75 bucks.
I spend most of my time in the living room reading and doing homework by
lamp. I sit on the big front porch during the day when I have time. I
live at 2019 East 1st Street. I can walk to school in 25 minutes,
bicycle in 20 minutes, or take Duluth transit (free for U. students!)
one block from the house. When I ride my bicycle, I have to crank hard
up the hill but I fly like a bat out of hell on the ride home. On 19th
Street, half way up the hill, I found a cafe (Chester Creek Cafe/At
Sara's Table/?Market - it literally has 3 names) that serves locally
harvested organic veggies, or Lake Superior fish, or locally harvested
grass-fed beef in all its menu items. And 5 blocks towards downtown,
parallel to the shore, there is a Farmer's Market every Saturday.





No
need to buy apples at the market though. They are everywhere. Many
yards have apple trees and it was an abundant year for them. Just
harvest on the way home. Tres nombres Cafe (or would it be four now?)
serves fruit pies using major ingredients from the 'hood as well. I
snatched some grapes off a fence that were over-ripe just yesterday.
Which reminds me .... Someone needs to get the pecans in the empty lot
next to my house.
jd

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ABATTOIR

A slaughterhouse, also called an abattoir (from the French verb abattre, "to strike down"), or freezing works (New Zealand English), is a facility where animals are killed and processed into meat foods. The animals most commonly slaughtered for food are cattle (for beef and veal), sheep (for lamb and mutton), pigs (for pork), horses (for horsemeat), goats (for chevon), and fowl, largely chickens, turkeys, and ducks, for poultry meat.

Would you eat in a restaurant named Abattoir that was in fact located in a building that was in fact once an Abattoir. I would and did last night. Even if their personalities proceed them you can't argue the fact that everything the Bacchanalia Restaurant people touch turns to gold. And so it goes with Abattoir. I know it has not been open very long, but these people never fail. They know what the people want and how they want it. That is why, when they open a restaurant that is focused on meat and animal innards and is located in a slaughter house that has been decorated like an upscale slaughter house, it works. It more then works, it was really good.
This is what we ate.
3 terrines a pork, a pig foot and a rabbit.
Pickled Apalachicola Shrimp, they were served in a jar with a screw top.
Pole Beans with rabbit bacon, tomato's and watermelon.
Lamb liver fritters with a tomato relish
Glazed duck meat balls with cabbage and parsnips
Sheeps milk cheese from the Netherlands
A gorgonzola fron Italy
Ginger and winter squash cookie sandwich and a glass of malted milk.

Ok, I could tell you about each dish and try to describe it, but most of these dishes tasted just like they read. The Terrines were great, the rabbit was best. Pole beans were pole beans and tasted like pole beans. The pickled shrimp were divine, tasted just like shrimp. The fennel and vinegar did not over power or replace what this dish was supposed to taste like. Shrimp. I'm gonna learn how to pickle shrimp. The larger plates like the Duck meatballs and the Lamb liver fritter were a bit much. Both a little heavy, the Lamb having a strong mineraly taste. But, I liked them both. I didn't try the Squash cookie and malted milk, but Stacey said it was wonderful, she liked it a lot. She said it tasted like a ginger snap with squash puree and a thick glass of ice cold milk. Just like the menu read.

I once had a meal like this in Spain. A few miles outside of Barcelona. A local fellow and a friend took us to a mountain top restaurant where everything we ate or drank came from one of the farms on the mountain. Everything. True farm to table. Last night was a lot like that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

PIG ROAST

THE EAST POINT GENTLEMAN'S TASTING CLUB HAD THEIR ANNUAL PIG ROAST FRIDAY NIGHT. HERE ARE A FEW PHOTOS.










Sunday, October 11, 2009

PIG HEAD DELIGHT

Watch this video and then meet me in Mobile at Mardi Gras to help execute it.
http://www.gourmet.com/food/video/2008/09/cosentino_pigshead

Thursday, October 8, 2009

MY OWN PRIVATE FARM, ALMOST

Watch this video about Truly Living Well Farm.

http://www.wsbtv.com/video/21204457/index.html

The farm is East Point, where we live. Stacey has taken classes with Rashid and I try and shop there every Wednesday. Stacey and I will have our own small farm one day, in the mean time this will do.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dr. John


My friend John wrote about his job as a park ranger in the Redwood National Park very nicely. I liked the way he wrote and posted 4 or 5 of his transmissions on life as a park ranger. As of late the good Doctor has returned to Ely Minn. and continues his education. As he has always been, John is restless. I asked him to write something I could post because I knew it would be a good read, insightful and honest. John always gets me to thinking.....

Missing Home

"Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore."
Did I really think it would be easy? You know - embarking on a new
career at 40 years old. I wanted to pack up the car and drive to
Atlanta last week. But I held off - a friend told me that I might want
to wait until morning. And after I had slept on it I changed my mind.
What did I take for granted when I uprooted? The support network of
good friends that I had built over 8 years. What the hell was I
thinking to take that so lightly? I felt like the walls were closing in
on me when I called my friend. A weird and awful feeling. I didn't
know what to do with myself. Is that what they mean when "you are
beside yourself?" I'm learning a new culture here. I started the
integrated biosciences grad program at University of Minnesota so that I
might be able to teach one day. These professors and colleagues of mine
in class have no idea of what its like to be outside the ivory tower.
Now I know why the liberal colleges are seen as elite. They are! They
are isolated. There is no sincerity here and things don't work on a
handshake and your word. Everyone is vying for a position - like a
horse race; who is going to get the inside rail on the homestretch? I
love my classes though. I am having no problem with the work load;
advanced organic chemistry, analysis of variance, and integrated
biosystems. The other day we had to introduce ourselves in the class
and tell everyone our background. I explained briefly that I had done
contract work with the USDA in disease eradication, had owned and managed a vet practice for 7 years, served on a city zoning board, and
that now I was pursuing academia to teach one day. One girl said that
she was a vet as well but was not changing careers. She was a Mexican
citizen and accepted into the program with a salary because she will be
teaching some undergraduate biology laboratory. Meanwhile, I have a
6300 dollar tuition bill. I asked her the next day, "Have you ever
practiced?" She said, "No, as vets in Mexico, our value is in grooming
dogs."
"You're not changing careers because you have never been in one!"
She got accepted to "diversify the student population." I don't add
diversity? I wouldn't add to the undergraduate students' learning
experience at the University of Minnesota? Really?
jd

Monday, October 5, 2009

VEGAS CHICKS

So, when in Rome do like the Romans right? So when in Vegas do like the losers?

I thought while I was in Vegas I would hire a hooker. It's practically legal there and there are ad's everywhere for "escorts". So I thought why not get a "escort" for the evening. These ad's that you see everywhere are like a menu. There will be photos of each "escort" from each business. There will be a few vital details like height, weight and specialty services each "escort" offers. There will be the amount of the flat fee listed and then you are to work out the rest of your cost with whichever "escort" you hire.

I found the girl of my dreams. Right there on page 11. Her name was Destiny. It was love at first sight. So I got on the phone and made the arrangements. That's when I learned the "escort" service was having a two for one special. I looked again and found the other girl of my dreams and told the "escort" operator to send them both. The second girl of my dreams was Candy and she was beautiful. Hell they both were two of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen in my life and for only $400 dollars they would be at my door in one hour. I knew it was a gamble, but I was in Vegas! Send them I told the nice lady at the "escort" service.

Well I didn't know what every other guy that has been to Vegas probably knows. The old bait and switch. The scheme I used to get my first wife, which went south as soon as she learned a little bit about me, but that's another story. I had no idea that Destiny and Candy would not be the girls in the photos I had picked out.

So when the "escorts" that the "escort" service sent knocked on the door I was a bit surprised. These were not the "escorts" I had ordered. These were nice, mature, clean "escorts" that reminded me of my sisters. I had to send them away, there was no way. No how. I couldn't, just couldn't. So I put the "escorts" back in the cab and sent them away. I snapped this photo with my phone just as they were pulling off, you can see one of the "escorts" was not real happy with me. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

SAVING THE DAY

So, like I said it was a good thing we had a little down time that Saturday in Vegas, the day before my Niece was to get married.

See my Mom and Dad need a little help getting around sometimes. Like when we travel to Las Vegas. My Mom has bad knees, my Dad gets his medicines mixed up and sometimes I got to take over. Good thing I was there to get them to the "church" on time. My Sister, bless her heart, really tries to help, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Like I said good thing I was there.

My Sister was sharing a room with my Mom and Dad, I know, I know, but that's a story for another time. Since she is sharing the room with my parents we make plans for her to have them meet us in the lobby 30 minutes before the wedding. My oldest Sister, the Mother of the Bride, tells us it will be a 20 minute walk from the hotel lobby to the chapel. So I'm thinking 30 minutes is a good head start. Weelllll. My other Sister, the one still living with my parents, said she would have them in the lobby at 6:30. Perfect. Except they show up 15 minutes late. My Sister, the one still living with my parents, took my parents to the top floor instead of the 1st floor where the lobby is located. I didn't have time to ask her why she did this. We were late for a wedding and I had to take control.

First thing I did was find my Mom a wheelchair. I knew I could push her faster then she could walk. Next I had to figure out where the elevators were cause we couldn't take the wheelchair on the escalator's. Things were going pretty good until my Sister, the one who still lives with my parents, got a little behind and as we entered the elevator she rushed in at the last minute and bumped into me which made me ram my Moms feet into the elevator wall. Mom was okay after a few minutes.

It was kinda hectic for a few minutes, but I keep everything cool and calm and got us all there on time. And, I think my Sister, bless her heart, the one who still lives with my parents, shes 49 years old by the way, never had a clue.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

LAS VEGAS

We had never been to Vegas before last weekend. Our niece was getting married, between her and her husband they have 7 parents, so I think going to Vegas was the best way for them to handle that situation. I was glad they decided on Vegas, I'm always up for exploring a new city. We tried like hell to get there on Saturday and for the first time in our 21 years traveling standby on Delta we could not get a seat on one damn plane. All day long, no extra seats available. Sunday was different and we got out on the first flight.

We met up with my Ma and my Pa and my sister right away and headed for the Bellagio. Once there we had a couple Bloody Marys and listened to this really strange looking man play piano. He would be playing piano, someone would be sitting on his bench talking to him and he would stare right at you and smile like a crazy man. He played the hell out of this piano, never missed a lick.

But never mind this freak, we were there to see the Richard MacDonald sculptures. This is a permanent show at the Bellagio. This artist, MacDonald, worked with some of the acrobats/contortionist of Cirque du Soleil to create these amazing sculptures. "O" is the Cirque show this group performs in. Go to this page and just see the way this guy works. He's right in the middle of his studio surrounded by a live model, a Cirque artist no doubt and his current works. He works in clay and wax to start with and cast his finished product using the traditional lost wax method. Go here to see the different sculptures.

These were extraordinary sculptures, some were full size some table top size. This was a nice start to Vegas. Good thing we had this down time before my Sister got the schedule all screwed up and we almost missed the wedding.

Friday, September 18, 2009

YOU WISH

cid:_2_06F43F8406F43B80007E55CA4A257611

BBQ RULES
We are about to enter the BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor
cooking activity . When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

Routine...

(1)
The woman buys the food.
(2)
The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
(3)
The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.
(4)
The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.

Here comes the important part:

(5)
THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL.

More routine...

(6)
The woman goes inside to organise the plates and cutlery.
(7)
The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat

Important again:

(8)
THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.

More routine...

(9)
The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

(10)
After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

(11)
Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

(12)
The man asks the woman how she enjoyed ' her night off ' and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pawpaw's Flowers


My Grandfather grew lot's of plants. He did all kinds of stuff after he retired from the railroad. He had two small workshops in his backyard. One for gardening and one for woodworking. I think he did woodworking out of necessity. I don't remember him ever really building a piece of furniture, I mostly remember him repairing stuff. Like furniture for himself, family and neighbors. I remember different aunts and uncles dropping off a chair or a table that needed repaired. My Dad remembers him building small, wooden boats, but that was before my time.

When school was out for the summer my little brother and I spent a lot of time at my Grandparents house. Every day we ate a huge breakfast and lunch, dinner time was about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. In between we helped Pawpaw work in the yard. Tending the lawn, flowers, ferns and some vegetable plants. There was a huge pear tree and Pawpaw shot the squirrels that tried to eat them with a pellet rifle.

Pawpaw often gave my mother plants. About fifty years ago he gave her a cutting from an Angel Wing Begonia. I think Mom is still growing that plant. About five years ago she gave me a plant grown from a cutting off the same plant. Above is a picture of a flower on that plant. It is growing in my kitchen. So I guess I'm the third generation growing that plant. There is a lot of pressure involved in growing that plant. Some folks have jewelery or art or cars or something like that passed along in their family. Not mine. I've got a plant and unlike jewelery, art or cars, one can kill a plant.

Thursday, September 10, 2009



HI THERE
I'M GLENN BECK AND I'M A DUMB ASS IDIOT

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BEST BUTTS IN BAMA


Well, since my wife now lives in Georgia I would have to give this award to Phil's Barbeque in beautiful downtown Eufaula, Alabama.

I googled Phil's and the first 8 hits were for places in either San Diego or St. Louis . As popular as BBQ and food blogs are these days you would think Phil's in Eufaula would rank a little higher. Well if you ate at Phil's in Eufaula you would agree with me. I'm sure.

We came across Phil's on our way to the beach a few weeks back. We were driving from Atlanta to Indian Pass Beach in the pan handle of Fla. I love a road trip. We fly just about everywhere, my wife owns Delta Airlines, at least that's what she tells me. Anyway road trips are fun when your not in a hurry and not on the interstate. We had both going for us and that gave us the chance to spot the sign directing us to the best butts in Alabama.

Phil's could be any BBQ joint in the southeast. A low cinder block building, smoke stack, screen porch, metal roof, a parking lot full of cars. You order and they bring it to your table. There were no tables available and a few folks waiting so we got it to go. We both ordered a chopped pork sandwich and a large slaw to split. At this point we didn't know what we were in for or I bet we would have ordered a lot more. Enough for a couple meals at the beach I'm sure. See this was really, really good BBQ. And it was what they said it was, chopped not pulled or minced as some places do and then call it pulled. This was called chopped and it was. Huge chunks, with the gristle and a little fat in tact. Both pink and a little char in the same bite. Juicy. They had applied just the right amount of a mustard based BBQ sauce. South Cackalack style. Man it was good. Mustard, brown sugar and vinegar go into this sauce and they had the balance just right.

So as we ride down the road eating these bodaciously good sandwiches I began to cry. Of course Stacey noticed and I told her the truth. I cried because I didn't order enough food. Like I said this was really good stuff. I have been waiting for this a long time. I have been waiting to discover really good, or what I think is really good BBQ. Yes, I have been to many good BBQ spots. Some I found on my own some I have read about and sought out. But, none have mad me cry. That's what I'm looking for in BBQ, something so good it makes me cry. Do you think I'm expecting to much? Might be, but it ain't my fault. I have read so many times about the best BBQ joints in the whole world. I have even gone out and found these places they write of. Never have I said "that writer was right, that is the best BBQ in the world". Well now I have found a place and right now it the best I know of. It might not be true. Don't matter, it's my opinion.

Best Butt's in Bama by far, but only so far. My quest for good food of all kinds is just getting started.