Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Cold Oven Pound Cake" . . . mmmmmm

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, my 87 year old grandmother was reminiscing about how good a "Cold Oven Pound Cake" is, and how she hadn't had a slice from one in a long while. For Christmas, my mother decided to make one for her. I was fascinated by the "cold oven" part and so was my mother. Verdict? Heartily recommended. Honestly, it was hands-down the tasty pound cake I'd ever had, so I thought I'd share the recipe here.


2 sticks butter
1/2 cup shortening (butter flavored Crisco was used)
3 cups granulated sugar
5 (yes five) large eggs
1 cup milk
4 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour (measure first, then sift it)

All ingredients should be at room temp. Grease and flour a large tube pan. Cream together the butter and the shortening, then slowly add sugar while stirring. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each egg is added. Add the vanilla to the milk. Add a little flour and then a little milk alternately until it is all mixed in well.

Pour batter into the large tube pan. Place in a COLD oven and turn to 300 degrees and cook 1 hour. Turn oven to 325 degrees and bake 30 minutes more.

So moist and dense and practically melts in your mouth. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pompeii Exhibit in Charlotte

Last week I realized that the Pompeii Exhibit "A Day in Pompeii" would be leaving Charlotte on January 4th. The exhibit was only in 4 U.S. cities and Charlotte was the last stop. I quickly arranged for an overnight trip to see the exhibit and to have a little Christmas gift of staying in one my favorite hotels, The Dunhill, which is just across the street from the exhibit.

After a Saturday afternoon drive through the misty, gray rainy weather, we arrived at The Dunhill, which incidentally had already picked up tickets for us, and off to the exhibit we went. The docent said no flash photography, so I disabled the flash and took a few pictures. The first part of the exhibit showed a typical day in Pompeii in 79 A.D. The cooking, the jars and jugs, the food, the houses, the worship, the utensils, jewelry, art and gardens. The last part of the exhibit explained the eruption of Vesuvius and how the people of Pompeii tried to escape, and what dying in the ash, gases, pumice, and other volcanic material would've been like. Dark, hot, increasingly hard to breathe. Terrible.

For hundreds and hundreds of years it was all left undisturbed under many feet of ash, rubble and rock, but in the 1700's archeologists began the work to uncover the city again. The most haunting images were the body casts of the people and animals that died. Here's how they were discovered (from the wiki site about Pompeii and Herculaneum):

"Giuseppe Fiorelli took charge of the excavations in 1860. During early excavations of the site, occasional voids in the ash layer had been found that contained human remains. It was Fiorelli who realised these were spaces left by the decomposed bodies and so devised the technique of injecting plaster into them to perfectly recreate the forms of Vesuvius's victims. What resulted were highly accurate and eerie forms of the doomed Pompeiani who failed to escape, in their last moment of life, with the expression of terror often quite clearly visible."

The room in the exhibit where the body casts were shown was dark, with black walls and a red floor. Spotlights showed the plaster body casts, and beautiful somber music played softly in the background. Something I won't soon forget.

Here are few pictures I took of the exhibit:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Triangle D now Trinity Food Mart

The corner store at Trinity Avenue and Washington Street suddenly closed for a few days and re-opened with a new name, Trinity Food Mart and "under new management." I drive by nearly every day on the way downtown and occasionally stop in for an over-priced soda if the mood strikes. The place is open, but the inside is sparsely filled with convenience store items. I assume more stock will be arriving. Gas was more expensive than most, at $1.79 per gallon yesterday. Admittedly I've had to stop at the old Triangle D when my car was running on fumes and I needed the closest gas available--and was glad it was so close to work and home. And honestly, I've always liked the quirky old store, mainly because it's not a generic clone chain mini-mart.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bull Pen Lounge

Some friends and I found ourselves downtown after 6 pm on Sunday, having just seen Milk (yes, it's as good as all the reviews say) at The Carolina. We wanted to grab some coffee and sit a bit and talk about the film before we all went our separate ways for the evening. Blue Coffee was closed and every place else seemed to be too. So we headed over to the Marriott, which is conveniently hooked onto The Carolina Theater upstairs --I always forget about that--to see if the Marriott's "Bull Pen Lounge" was open. It was. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I'd been there.

The coffee wasn't bad, and we tried some desserts on the menu, and relaxed and dissected the film we just watched. The service at the Bull Pen was fine, although our server was wearing latex gloves, which was odd. We weren't rushed and the place wasn't busy on a Sunday night anyway. Here's what desserts we tried, and they were fairly tasty (but for the completely out-of-season 'fresh' strawberries which tasted faintly of strawberry):


Creme Brulee

Strawberry Shortcake

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Know Your Parking Lots.

I don't get annoyed very often. With that said, this really annoys me: people who don't 'get' how parking lots work.

It seems obvious to me that there are at least 2 categories of parking lots. One kind has angled spaces and is meant for one way traffic only. You don't have to be a genius to see it. At Northgate Mall tonight, there was an example of the one way traffic category:

See? Designed to be one way. The spaces were angled specifically for cars travelling one way. So please don't come barreling down the wrong way, headlights blazing, looking for a space, okay? Because you are going to cause a wreck. And what kind of crazy turn will you have to make in order to get into the space angled away from your car? Just go to the very next row and that row will be for one way in the opposite direction. This is not hard.

Granted, there do exist parking lots designed for two way traffic. The tip off: the spaces are not angled and the row is bit wider to accomodate the two way traffic. An example of this would be the Durham Costco, if you are ever at that parking lot. Or Target.

Here's a drawing yoinked off the net for illustration:

This isn't about whether one kind of parking lot is better than the other, or whether we need less parking lots. But let's at least learn how to work the ones we got first.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Cactus

This time of year when nearly nothing is blooming, my Christmas Cactus explodes with beautiful pink blooms. This one (below) was a gift from a friend a few years ago who came to our house one night for dinner. It's not too terribly hard to care for as outlined here. And it's not really a "cactus" as it doesn't grow in the desert, but rather is a tropical plant that grows in the rainforests of South America. Certainly grows quite well here hot, humid NC as long as it comes inside in the winter.

Christmas Cactus

One bloom

The blooms always looks like some sort of butterfly creature in flight--or maybe an angel if you are in the Christmas spirit when it blooms.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Heave Ho, Ho, Ho.

City holiday decorations going up near Five Points, downtown Durham, yesterday morning:

It appears to be 3 giant snowflakes on some mountains . . . or maybe on Venus of Willendorf?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Durham Performing Arts pictures

I attended the Open House for the Durham Perfoming Arts Center tonight. I managed to be standing right beside the Plensa sculpture when it was lighted. Jaume Plensa himself was there too (pic of him in my photostream below). Our arts center is beautiful--I went inside and sat on every level including the uppermost seat in the place. The seats are extremely comfortable with plenty of leg room, whether you have the expensive seats or are in the upper section. I drank some hot chocolate and managed to nab a cheese cube or two, but it was crowded around the food, natch. I even got a picture or two of the crescent Moon with Jupiter and Venus, which was spectacular once the clouds left town.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Durham Performing Arts Center Open House

If you are interested in checking out the new Durham Perfoming Arts Center, it will be open to the the public this Monday evening, December 1st, for an Open House starting at 5:30pm. The Plensa sculpture will be dedicated at 6pm, and there will be self-guided tours of the building available, live entertainment, and refreshments. I drove by there tonight on my way back to Durham from my Thanksgiving festivities, and it was beautiful, so I took a picture:

Couldn't resist a few shots across the street of Durham's new "Old Bull" sign (which is moving neon--you can see the full movement here at Bull City Rising):

Both the new Durham Performing Arts Center and the Old Bull sign (click for a larger picture) :

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's flying around up there anyway?

Neat site I just discovered at spaceweather to track what satellites you can see from your location (what time and where to look):

"US and Canadian readers, enter your zip code ... hit Go!, and you will find out what is going to fly over your area in the nights ahead. There are hundreds of satellites in Earth orbit; we cut through the confusion by narrowing the list to a half-dozen or so of the most interesting. At the moment we are monitoring spy satellite Lacrosse 3, the International Space Station, the Early Ammonia Servicer, and the Hubble Space Telescope."
Heck if you are looking up there in the night sky, you might even spot the lost NASA tool bag, estimated value $100K. It was lost in the current Shuttle mission and it's now streaking across the sky.

As uploaded to youtube (just a few seconds long) of the streaking tool bag:

Happy sky-watching!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Berry Breakfast

Outside my kitchen window this morning, a cold, fluffed-up cardinal chows down on berries. The berry tree was in the shade still but I snapped a few pictures anyway. (You can click the pictures to make them larger. )

Friday, November 21, 2008

Whether it makes you scowl or smile, the Beaujolais Nouveau's here.

I'm certainly not a wine snob, nor a complete rube either. I'm merely reporting that the the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau arrived (as always) the third Thursday of November, which was yesterday. We picked up a bottle and drank some this evening and it was pleasant.
According to French law, Beaujolais Nouveau, a red wine made from 100 percent Gamay grapes, is released at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday in November. This longtime tradition is celebrated worldwide with creative "Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrive!" events, from this year's midnight pajama party in San Diego to a weekend of events at Paris Las Vegas, commencing with a lighting of the hotel's famous "Eiffel Tower" Beaujolais red and delivery of the wine by helicopter at 12:01 a.m. More than 250 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau events taking place around the country can be found at www.chilledred.com. Georges Duboeuf is the most popular producer of Beaujolais in the world and the number one French wine brand in the U.S. (link)

Each year, Beaujolais Nouveau is the first taste of the grapes just harvested, and it wasn't such a great year for grapes in France as noted here:
Vintners hope the festive atmosphere surrounding Beaujolais Nouveau's release will bring some joy after a soggy summer that saw some of them lose their entire harvest. It was the smallest crop since 1975.

"Despite low yields due to bad weather this year, we didn't change the Beaujolais Nouveau's price much because we know it's hard for our customers in times of crisis," said Nicolas Pasqua, manager of Ma Bourgogne, a Paris restaurant specializing in Beaujolais and Bourgogne wine, near the Champs-Elysees.

His customers, sipping at lunch, were divided over the quality of this year's brew. Some say it tasted like pear. Others have noted raspberry tones.

The annual arrival of the young, fruity and heavily marketed wine is generally a cause for parties from Beijing to Las Vegas. Connoisseurs, though, say it is too light to be considered a serious wine.

In 2008, at least for Georges Duboef, the bottles arrived mostly by ship, not jet:
This year, in an unprecedented break from tradition, 75% of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau was delivered by ship from France to the U.S. instead of by air freight. According to Bill Deutsch, this measure was intended to help offset the wine's carbon footprint. The boat shipment also helped offset an otherwise significant price increase due to rising fuel costs. Due to shipment by boat the wines remains at a retail price of US$10-12 per bottle.

The fact that there's usually lots of hype surrounding the release of this wine each year causes much consternation from a few. That's fine. As for me, I don't much like stamping out fun, even vapid fun, just for sport so I usually buy a few bottles and give the new crop a try, marveling that the grapes were basking on a sunny slope in France just a few short weeks ago.

If you want to try the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau, it is available most anyplace you buy wine around Durham.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not so Fabulous

Yikes, on the end cap of an aisle at Food Lion tonight, 16-oz. colorful (Powerade-like) power drinks? Nope. 16 oz. bottles of colorful cleaning fluids. They're Fabuloso! Seems like a products-liability case waiting to happen to Colgate. They'd sure look like bottles of something to drink, especially to a thirsty kid.

Powerade, for instance:

Maybe I'm just being a Nervous Nellie about it, but it sadly looks like an accident-in-waiting.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Best. New Yorker Cover. Ever.

I was thrilled when we got our New Yorker this past week because the cover is a real keeper. I'm almost always interested in the cover, and there's been some great ones and also some duds. This one is beautiful, with the "O" as a full moon over the Lincoln Memorial, with it all shining in the reflecting pool (another view of the reflecting pool, 1963, here).

Here's a slideshow of all 47 covers of 2007 from The New Yorker site.

Here's a slideshow of all 16 cartoons from this week's issue.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Got weeds? Hire the Goats!

Instead of firing up the noisy weed-eater and possibly contracting poison ivy and a case of achy arms and shoulders, if you live 'round here, you can invite The Goat Patrol to your garden to handle your weeds and vines and unwanted vegetation. A friend mentioned she'd be witnessing The Goat Patrol taking down some weeds over the weekend and I was intrigued. Here they are in action a few days ago, doing their job and chowing down--not to mention providing entertainment.

You can even meet the herd before they come over to help you out.

Word was that the owner of the yard in the pictures above was very pleased after the job was complete, and that the little ones in the household were thrilled with the goats coming over for the day.

(Photos were provided courtesy of Wendy Evans.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Matthew Sweet and The Bridges at the Cradle

Matthew Sweet was at the Cradle last night and I've been a fan for quite a while now, so we went over for the show.

Matthew Sweet at Cat's Cradle:

Couple of observations. First of all, he and his band were LOUD. Too loud. Now I know that "if it's too loud, then you're too old" so I felt decrepit thinking they were far, far too loud for the space. Then I saw some people much younger than I am flinching and trying to get away from the speakers, so after that I didn't feel too bad for thinking so. The loudness actually interfered with Sweet's superb voice and outstanding lyrics, in my opinion. I didn't time him, but he didn't play for long, either. At any rate, he has a new CD out called Sunshine Lies and they played some tunes from it of course, opening with Time Machine from that CD. He also played some of his older ones that I enjoy such as I've Been Waiting, Girlfriend, Sick of Myself, You Don't Love Me, and Divine Intervention. You can hear a few of his songs in their entirety at his MySpace page here.

The opening act The Bridges are a group of siblings originally from Tarboro NC. I know--Tarboro! Young, with a highly melodic energetic poppy sound. Matthew Sweet produced their first CD, Limits of the Sky, and I liked their sound enough to spring for their CD. They currently have a video playing on MTV (they still show music videos?) that you can see here, and some of their songs can be heard here. The brief Boston Globe's review of the video said they "might win points for their pouting, comely looks in this video, but when was the last time you heard a group of kids making like Fleetwood Mac and actually pulling it off with a soulful, harmony-rich ballad?"

One online review at snob's music review said:

Limits of the Sky is the debut album from the family quintet. Produced by Matthew Sweet, it's a tremendous collection of bright medolic pop songs.

The group's songwriting demonstrates a pop sensilibility far outstripping their young age (all in their early 20s). Not since Ben Lee's debut have we seen a band show us this level of song craftsmanship right out of the shoot.

Vocals are definitely the focal point of the music . . . The Bridges clearly benefit from Sweet's guidance. The songs are chock full of catchy melodic choruses and vocal hooks.

The show ended around midnight so we hit TimeOut on Franklin Street for a quick bite then headed back to Durham.

So much music to see, so little time. Troika Music Festival is going on in Durham this weekend too.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rainy Election Night Party for Obama

By 7:30pm on Tuesday night, I was too antsy to sit at home and passively wait for the election returns. I knew that downtown a party would be starting for Obama volunteers and Durham residents so I suited up in my raincoat and hat, took my not-so-good camera due to the rain, and headed downtown.

Blue Coffee was chock full of people, the marching bands were playing, the ABC/WTVD satellite truck was there, and people were milling about, smiling and laughing and watching the giant TV in the rain.

Southern HS Marching Band:


Celebration, complete with cut-out of President Elect Obama:

Cool recycling receptacle (hadn't noticed these before):

Major the bull, watching the returns:

Around 10:30pm I was cold, wet, and tired of standing around, so I headed home. They called it for Obama on MSNBC at 11:00pm and so I got to see the reactions from Grant Park and Times Square. Glad Durham had their own celebration too, even if in the rain.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Map to see NC voting percentages by county

If you click on this map and then click open a state, say North Carolina, you can run your mouse over the counties to see what percentage voted for Obama and what percentage for McCain. Pretty interesting to see how the counties break down in percentages. If McCain won, the county is depicted in red, if Obama won it, it's blue.

Incidentally, Durham County NC was bluer (percentage-wise) than Cook County IL for this Election.

Hundreds of newspaper front pages

If you want to peruse hundreds of front pages from today, just click here for the Newseum's site. It has 684 front pages from all over.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

If Obama wins, here's information about the Durham celebration!

Just got a message about this, so I'm passing it along. (I don't have any information about McCain's event in Durham or I'd post it too.)

4 blocks blocked off, music, and a 2 story tall projection screen to watch the returns . . .

Barack N Roll

A celebration for Obama volunteers and citizens of Durham

Tuesday, Nov 4th, 8:30pm until

Historic Black Wall Street - Corner of Corcoran and Parrish Streets

Hosted by Durham for Obama, Blue Coffee Cafe - and the blue citizens and businesses of Downtown

Join us in Downtown for the biggest street party of the Century! Historic Black Wall Street (Parrish Street) and Corcoran Street will be closed off to create a four block celebration zone, including music, drum lines, marching bands and souvenirs. Watch live returns on a giant two-story tall projection screen. Stand shoulder to shoulder with your neighbors from across the City when the election is officially called on CNN via live satellite feed.

Cruise to different downtown restaurants and bars, each hosting their own election return parties. Eat, drink, roam and experience downtown as the true civic center of our community.

For more information, visit: Durham for Barack (scroll down a bit at that link)

Spread the word!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Really great Get Out the Vote (GOTV) music event

Today we ventured over to Chapel Hill to see some great music that was part of a big push to get out the vote on this last day of early voting in NC. It was held beside Morehead Planetarium on the UNC campus, near--but not too close!--to the early voting site itself. What a beautiful, sunny fall day too. I sometimes forget how beautiful the campus is there. Today it was positively picturesque. But we were there for the music. I guess we stayed from about 11:00 until 3:30pm, when it was over. Coffee and snacks were being served and people were friendly and quite enthusiastic about the Election.

I'd never seen Billy Bragg perform live before and it was just as great as I thought it'd be. He had some inspirational words about the election--'the whole world is watching,' essentially. He's performing here in Durham tonight, and was kind enough to devote some time and some songs to this GOTV effort today.

Billy Bragg

I'd never seen the band Megafaun before and I liked them a lot! What energy and enthusiasm these guys have. Looking forward to seeing more of them in the future. You can hear some of their music on their MySpace page here.


Finishing things up were the dB's with Mitch Easter. Always enjoy hearing the dB's and Ask for Jill and Amplifier never fails to thrill the crowd. They sprinkled in a couple of new songs too. And even one especially about the election.
dB's with Mitch Easter

Peter Holsapple

I didn't get a chance to see everyone perform today, but I thank them for doing the big show today and for caring that people get out and VOTE.

By 3:30pm we were tired and hungry and decided to head over to the Carolina Coffee Shop, which we hadn't been to in forever, maybe even since I was in undergrad, and had a nice relaxing meal. A superb day in Chapel Hill.

UPDATE: Peter Holsapple of the dB's has a detailed account of the music today at his fine blog here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Halloween on 9th: Let's start somethin'"

Over on Facebook, a new and interesting Group has started and has nearly 200 members. The group's called Halloween on 9th: Let's start somethin'. Forget Franklin Street, let's have a fun time on our own 9th Street. Put on your costume and let's see what happens. From the group:
"Why drive to the police “state” of Franklin street on Halloween, when over 100,000 youngens are expected to take over the main strip causing: mass chaos, probable looting and overcrowding (at under themed) nightclubs. We get the rep for having a volatile city, while they have had a shooting every year since 2004 at Franklin’s famed Halloween “parade”. I say we start one of our own, a resurgence on 9th street. We don’t have to call it anything… we don’t need an agenda at all. Let’s just plan to wear our costumes, on our blocks, with civil, like-minded ADULTS, who want nothing more than to get dressed up, get drunk and dance wildly.
If you are in agreement, come to 9th street on Halloween in your costume. I say we start the festivities at 8pm.

Dain’s, Charlie’s, George’s Garage, G Loft, Blu Seafood, Sirens and Club 9 will be available to serve your wandering needs."
And, if that's not enough, just a block over, on Broad Street, at the Broad Street Cafe, my pal Jeff Hart has a gig and will be playing and singing and having a big time for his birthday, so come listen to him--the show starts at 9pm--drink a brew, and have a great Halloween on 9th Street and Broad Street.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mary Gauthier at St. Philip's

Attended another great Strings Attached concert tonight at St. Philip's downtown. Singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier gave a benefit concert for UMD. UMD does lots of great work in Durham as you can see if you click on their site.

When I arrived around 6:30pm, Only Burger's rolling hamburger stand was set up outside St. Philip's and the smell of grilled hamburgers was wafting through air. Drool. Only Burger of course had drawn a little crowd. Inside some folks were already enjoying their hamburgers and french fries before the concert started. Wow, it smelled so good. I didn't have an opportunity to try one but I will soon I hope.

Only Burger at dusk in front of St. Philip's

Gauthier came out at 7:00pm and played straight through, ninety minutes of riveting songs. I could certainly tell that a couple of her big influences were Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. I especially liked her song about Karla Faye Tucker, Karla Faye, and another called Camelot Motel. She's charming on stage, and after the show I picked up a couple of her CD's (Mercy Now and Genesis) and got them signed. Looking forward to listening to them. You can hear a few of her songs in full at her Myspace page here.

Mary Gauthier

Another great Strings Attached show at St. Philip's. Hope it raised some nice bucks for UMD and I'm on board for whatever the next good show will be. Props to Rebekah Radisch and Strings Attached.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Durham Arts Council

A random picture from my hard drive I ran across tonight of the Durham Arts Council, as taken from my office in 2007:

It used to be the old City Hall before 1978, and the excellent Durham blog Endangered Durham has some great older photos of the building at this link (scroll down a bit at that link). The glass high-rise behind the Arts Council is the People's Security Building.

I like looking out and being able to see the Arts Council. I enjoy seeing full-of-energy kids taking classes there in the summertime, and their harried parents picking them up, and seeing the Durham Symphony folks lugging their instruments into the building some nights for practice, people taking dance classes and art classes, and various functions and art shows being attended all year long, but especially around the winter holidays. Lots of hustle and bustle there at the Arts Council and that seems like a mighty fine thing to me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

WooHoo! It's like the Durham Bulls made it to The World Series!

As you probably know, the Tampa Bay Rays are headed to The World Series. The Rays are the major league team for the Durham Bulls, which means when one of our Durham Bulls players is "called up to the majors" then that player goes to the Tampa Rays.

Watching the Rays play has been thrilling because so many of the players were playing right here, just down the street at the Bulls ballpark only a few short weeks ago.

In fact 14 of the members on the current World Series bound Rays are former Durham Bulls players. How cool is that?

Wral has a bit more detail here and at the link you can get a list of the Bulls players now on the Rays roster:
If you watched the American League Championship Series and some of those players looked very familiar, there’s a reason for that.

A total of 14 current members of the Tampa Bay Rays played for their Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, en route to the majors.

The list includes the entire Rays starting outfield of B.J. Upton, Rocco Baldelli and Carl Crawford. Third baseman Evan Longoria, one of the best young players in the game, started the season in Durham.

Pitcher David Price, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, pitched in Durham earlier this season. He came on in relief Sunday night with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and held on for the save.

Two other Rays, pitcher Scott Kazmir and designated hitter Willy Aybar, went to Durham on rehab assignments.
Yes, David Price was cool as a cucumber last night, brought in to pitch at the most intense point in the game, when the Rays were trying to protect their 2 run advantage at the end of the game and make it into the World Series. Price got the job done too and it was thrilling to watch him. He's just 23 years old.

Evan Longoria has wow'd them since being called up, hitting homerun after homerun in the post-season. Everyone now expects a homerun when he steps up to the plate.

I'm looking forward to tuning into the World Series and seeing our Durham Bulls players playing like the champs they are!

The Rays will be playing the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, and the first game is this Wednesday night on Fox. The complete schedule of the upcoming games is here at the MLB site.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yes I did . . . vote early.

I'm thrilled. Lots--and I mean lots--more African American voters at my early voting place than I have ever seen before. Lots more voters, period, too. We were #2133 and 2134 at our site when we fed our ballots through. Now I'm not saying I know how every African American voter is voting because I do not, but let me say this--we almost always vote early and there were many more African American voters voting at that early voting place than I've ever seen. This is at the main early voting site, the Board of Elections, so anyone in any precinct can vote there early. There are 8 other early voting places in the county I understand.

It was awesome! The place was packed, the energy was so high it fairly crackled, the line moved quickly, lots of smiles and camaraderie. The feeling of 'we are doing something monumental here' was in the air more than I've ever felt before.

Beyond the required 60 feet (you can't campaign within 60 feet of the voting place), there was a young woman selling Obama Biden yard signs for $5 a piece. They were going fast.

My shirt with my sticker:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Collard Green Sandwich?

Yes. That's correct. A collard green sandwich. Never heard of them until recently and the only place I've ever seen them is at a stand at the Autumn Leaves Festival in Mt. Airy, NC. (It's a street festival, held on the downtown streets, not in a parking lot, incidentally. All the downtown businesses are opened and packed with customers with money in their pockets. I'm just saying.)

Anyway, this past Saturday I went to the Autumn Leaves Festival, and I already knew the line for the collard green sandwich would be long. It was about a 25 minutes wait in a long snaking line, and as people passed by they would shake their heads and say, "they sure must be good." I think the novelty of it can't be discounted either. They are tasty, however.

What are they? Simple--cake cornbread, sliced in two pieces, a big spoonful of collard greens, and a slice of crispy pork. I snapped a few pictures so you could see too.

And for dessert, a bit of sweet potato cobbler: