Saturday, October 31, 2009


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


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


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?"
"Are you the landlord?"
"How much rent do you pay?"
"Does that include utilities?"
"Where can I see the landlord?"
"Well, he is actually on his way here at this exact moment."
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.

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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


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



Sunday, October 11, 2009


Watch this video and then meet me in Mobile at Mardi Gras to help execute it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Watch this video about Truly Living Well Farm.

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
"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?

Monday, October 5, 2009


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.