Tuesday, September 29, 2009
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
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
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:
(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.
(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
(8) THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.
(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
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
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
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.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
My brother, an Alabama Alumni, sent us a couple tickets. The seats were okay. That is if you like sitting on the 40 yard line, second row, behind the Alabama bench. Really good seats.
We decided to take Marta knowing the games a sellout and the traffic will suck. We live almost at the end of the line, down by the airport, but as soon as we hit the train platform we spot Alabama fans on their way to the game. As we got closer to the Dome more and more Tech and Bama fans piled on the train. By the time we get there it is SRO on the train and it is getting loud. As soon as we exit the train cheers start. First the Bama fans then the Tech fans. Three blocks to the Dome from the train station and it's getting loud. This is a culture I know nothing about. I know of die hard fans, but going to the game with them is something else. You can tell who's a student and who is not by the noise they make. These people are pumped, it's the first game of the season. They have waited for this moment since they left the last game of last season.
So we get in the Dome, we get a beer for $7.50 and a double Bourbon drink for $15.00. We find our seats, we sit and take it all in. The seats on either side of us are empty and I hope they stay that way. No such luck. Soon the place is as full as it can get. A young couple come and sit next to me. The guy, dressed from head to toe in Bama gear turns and shakes my hand and says to me "Roll Tide", so I roll tide him back like the good fan I am. A second later he turns to me and ask if I think Devroux will start tonight. I say no. He ask if I think Devroux will play at all tonight. Again I say no. A moment later I turn and tell the Bama fan I have no idea what he is talking about. I think maybe he will explain his question to me, but instead he looks at me with disgust and makes his wife switch seats with him, telling her "I can't sit next to this guy, he doesn't even know who's playing".