Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vittles, y'all!

I wanted to send some home-cooking to my displaced North Carolina brethren and sisteren in the Great Northwest. To Colonel Tomato Stake Thompson and Blathering Kate, and any others who might need some good eats.

Livermush sammiches and pan-seared tater-tots, yum! I made enough for company, so come hungry. Wish you were here.
Correction/update: That's a livermush, egg, and cheese sammich slathered with Duke's mayonaisse and gently fired up with garlic Texas Pete...Popeye's spinach for this blogger.

Reliable Sources

First things I read this morning were the sports sections of the Charlotte Obscurer and Raleigh News & Obfuscator, two McClatchy (sp?) papers. McClatchy is also the publisher of a book that seems to actually celebrate Barack Obama, and professed their collective support of that candidate during the campaign. That support strikes me as a conflict of interest, because the printed word carries the implication as being from those who know to inform those who do not. And if you the reader are going there to glean anything more than the sports scores and voting results for the All-American team, you are likely to be victimized by systemic misleading rhetoric disguised as information.

This post was going to be a mild cry of disgust at the fact that anyone not named Tyler Hansbrough could be considered Player of the Year. Truly, fans of Oklahoma, Arizona State, Davidson, UConn, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Marquette, Louisville, Kansas, Florida State, and Duke, all having a player who received at least one number-one vote, would gladly swap their best player for Hansbrough. Anyone who says different is smoking crack. Don't give me that, "he has the athletic game suited to the pros" nonsense about Griffen, because it ain't the NBA he's playing in. I'd concede that he (Griffen) will certainly be a better pro, because the NBA game is exactly what that guy exhibited most of on Sunday: not doing much for great stretches of gametime until an opportunity presents itself to do something spectacular. He obviously wasn't very well conditioned to maintain any sustained excellence. Did everyone else see him gasping for air in the first half, and refusing to run back downcourt to play defense with his teammates? Must be the comparative League of Weaklings that is the Big 12. That smack doesn't go to the KU fans...just those pansies from Greater Mexico. Ooo, that reminds me of an old joke...paraphrasing... Know why Oklahoma doesn't have a basketball program? Answer: Because then, Texas would want one too.

But like I said, that was what this post was going to be about, but it ain't...College basketball is a fun diversion from everyday struggles but there are things infinitely more important.

In spite of the sliminess I got from doing the McClatchy thing, I still held out hope that better and brighter subjects might land on my reading plate this morning. And, clicking on the BlackFive link served up two such morsels to rescue my disposition for this day.

If you haven't stored the sites from my blogroll in your IE favorites files, the obvious question is, "Why the monkey-spank not?"

Seriously, before you read anything else, you'll be better off checking for updated content from any/all of these: Blatherings, No Feet, The Sister, BlackFive, Flopping Aces, the JLF, and the Wild West (in no particular order) and even to include Pam at Atlas and Ace of Spades. These folks can be counted on to dish out the straight poop regularly. And, like I said, MacQ and Uncle Jimbo (who I've quoted here before) fed us some gems today. Those authors, respectively, gave us the story of welcoming home the remains of a US Paratrooper who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Cpl. Jonathan Ayers, and a politically unifying community you should at least be aware of, if not heartily subscribe to, Simon Jester. Regarding Cpl. Ayers, his hometown, and his comrades:

Probably the most gratifying moment for me, besides the award, took place as everyone was leaving. The family had been escorted off the stage, and other members of the family in the audience were allowed to leave before anyone else left. Then Cpl Ayer's platoon mates stood and began to file out from the front of the auditorium. The entire crowd, unbidden, stood and gave them a standing ovation as they left, many patting them on the back and shoulders as they passed by. I saw a few glistening eyes in both the crowd and among the platoon members.

And regarding Uncle Jimbo's I am Simon Jester:

We are not Far-Right or Far-Left. We are the seventy percent in the middle.
We are not Capital “L” libertarians, although we do have sympathies with their platform.

We are neither bitter clingers nor conspiracy nuts.

What we are is a group of folks that think we see liberty and freedom eroding in our beloved United States. We see the policies and agendas of the hirelings in Washington D.C. heading toward an abbreviation if not outright abrogation of the Bill of Rights.

Since each post is not an independent link, you'll have to scroll down to each article. Small effort considering the reward. Go there, now. Feel better about yourself and your world. And consider it good advice to rid your life of mind-numbing things like Oprah Winfrey, MSNBC, and McClatchy "newspapers".

Friday, March 27, 2009

I can't get the phrase, "Zombie kittehs vote for Ken" outta my head

We at the staff of the Livermush blog shall not revel in the Blue Devils' loss last night. That team and their fans should be proud of a successful season. I don't want to dogpile on them, because I've always felt that bad form might usher in bad luck. It's already got to be the worst harbinger in sports history that the monumentally inept and despicable Obomination is publicly rooting for my guys. Combine that with Sports Illustrated putting Ty Lawson on their cover (universally known for being bad luck) and my fellow Carolina fans better be finding some Buddha bellies to rub.

If the bad-luck factor isn't enough, consider the fact that Gonzaga, Carolina's opponent tonight, runs the Flex offense. Care to guess which other Tar Heels' foes this season ran the Flex?

Maryland & Boston College.

Care to guess what program is the model for the Flex? Gonzaga.

They know the Flex offense so well, one of their assistant coaches has written a book about it.

I hope that all the UNC players, coaches, and staff have had an opportunity to expectorate in the Mighty Mississippi by now.

On a slightly different note, the picture above is of all the folks I recruited to go vote for Ken, who is a Duke fan. But, Carolina fans are fans of Ken because he kicks the bad guys' ass. So, go vote for Ken, else I'll come kick your ass.
Photo credit goes to the FCB, who aside from being a better photographer than I, is also a brilliantly gracious host...the gold standard in that department.

Recapping...find something lucky for the 'Heels, vote for Ken, kisses to the FCB...

Go Tar Heels!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A comedy of minor tragedies

Remember in the Coen brothers' mob drama, Miller's Crossing, when bad guy Gianni Kaspari whacks one of the other bad guys Eddie (The) Dane over the head with the fireplace ash-shovel, as The Dane is strangling good guy Tom Regan? And the oaf known as "Drop" starts hollering, "Aaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuggggggggghhhhhhh..."?


Well, go watch that film and when you hear Drop hollering, you'll have a sense of what has kept me away from updating this thing.

I should have been able to punch out a happy report (on Sunday) of all the pleasantries from the road trip of the day previous. That trip, coupled with the suffocating sense of dread over our country's future, has had me near catatonic except for the occasional Drop Johnson impersonation.

The genesis of the entire plan was the scheduled Tea Party at the Capitol in Raleigh. Then, because of its proximity and recent fame, I decided to have lunch, beforehand, at the Roast Grill. The plan was to park there, eat Greek hot dogs, walk to Capitol and observe Tea Party.

Also during the planning, I learned about a "Big Rock Show" at the Carolina Theatre, and a UNC vs. Duke baseball game. Okay, I thought, it could all mesh together seemlessly.

The obvious (read "obvious" to anyone who's ever heard of Murphy's Law) flipside to that meshing together business, is that if one domino in the chain got twisted, absolutely none of it could "mesh". I believe it was more than just that one domino askew, because it seems now that forces were acting in concert to prevent the Big Plan from coming off.

I made sure to set the DVR to capture the Carolina vs. LSU game, and got started out perhaps 15minutes later than intended. The 2.5hr drive to Raleigh was more encumbered than expected, and we (I picked up the FCB at her house, and made sure that she also DVR'd UNC's bball game) arrived at The Roast Grill 30 minutes later than planned.

There was a video crew on the scene from the Travel Channel, filming interviews with patrons as a follow-up to the recent Man v Food episode, and its being there drew a crowd, which meant the actual dog dining took way too long. The dogs were pretty good. You can get them "burnt to a crisp" which is the only way to cook 'em at my house, and you can have a freshly squeezed Budweiser with them (which I did). You can't, however, carry your Bud outside "to-go"-like. Plus, there's no real parking at the Roast and I was parked in a tow-away (even on Saturday) lot. The chili wasn't thick enough for my tastes...

The day's schedule should have gone about thusly:

  • 11.30- roast grill

  • 12noon- tea party

  • 1.30p- leave for baseball game at UNC

  • 2-5p- UNC whips Dook

  • 5.45-7.59p- UNC basketball, NCAA tourney

  • 8-10p- Arrogance reunion show

  • 11 until- maybe watch DVR'd replay and hang with party aminals

Since there wasn't adequate parking at the Roast, we left looking for something closer to the Capitol...only to learn...this is classic...the St. Patrick's Day parade, rescheduled due to bad weather from the weekend prior, had gummed up all the roads around and to the Capitol. We had just come from the place closest to the Tea Party, and already behind schedule, and with the daunting prospect of finding a parking spot (and some subliminal stick-in-the-mudness from the FCB), I abandoned the Tea Party, which was the whole original purpose for the trip, to get back on schedule by heading on to Chapel Hill. It was almost 1PM then, facing approximately 30 minutes to campus via I-40.

Get back on schedule? Au contraire, mon frere...

Something on the interstate had westbound traffic...not just slowed, but...stopped. Hey, no problem. I went baja to catch an almost-missed exit ramp and directed FCB to punch up some detour request from her TomTom, which she had luckily (yeah, right) brung along. I wasn't a fan of TomTom, or any GPS navigator, but here was the perfect opportunity for one to prove its worth. Let's just say, since TomTom helped get us to the stadium in 1.5 hours (instead of 0.5 hours), I'm even less of a fan now. When we got to our seats, it was the bottom of the 2nd, and the Diamond 'Heels were down 3-zip. If we'd have gotten there in a timely manner, I'm convinced I could have willed away at least one of those Dookie runs. That sounds unpleasant, doesn't it? "Dookie runs"...heh...

The Tar Heels made a valiant comeback, but 4 errors (bad luck all around that day) were insurmountable.

At least we'd get back to Durham, and the FCB's house in time for the basketball game, right?

Nay, Loki...

We (meaning not me) decided to that it'd be best to meet Debra DeMilo (she of the Fabulous Knobs fame, who would turn out later to be the highlight of the evening's big rock show) at a burrito joint. Since I knew we were DVR'ing the game and I could watch it later, I didn't kick up too much fuss. I don't remember the name of the joint, but their burritos were damn good. I knew FCB had promised Debra that she could change and prep for the show at her house, and I had no idea at this point that FCB's spare bedroom was really going to later be commandeered by the visiting Big Rock Star (effectively kicking me to the sofa), I was giving the whole equation the big 'W' for wut-evah...

Coming out of the burrito joint, I quickly got Woody Durham dialed in on the Frequency Modulated station, and we headed back to FCB's. It sounded like a royal dog-fight of a game. On arriving, she punched up the game on tv. During breaks in the action, I changed my puddled-up undershirt, and noticed how Big Rock Chick's travel and stage items didn't look especially temporary in the spare bedroom. No biggie...just my imagination...

Back I went to the remainder of the game. And what a game! I would later read Adam Lucas' account that both teams played their best game, that the point-swings were more a case of great things accomplished than due to errors on the part of one team or the other. The 'Heels had lost, I think, a nine point lead and trailed by one, and the announcement was made that we needed to go to the venue. At 7:25.


Since when do I find myself in the presence of, not one but two, females one of which is a Big Rock Star, intent on arriving...wait for it...

Ahead of schedule...?

I had already volunteered to drive, partly because I hate being left to the coming-and-going whims of others, but also to maybe have some influence on the overall itinerary. Again: yeah, right. We loaded up, and I got them to the Theatre (it was 3 minutes away), and I listened to Woody and Eric call the end of the game whilst the girls went on to their Big Rock pre-schmooze. Whew! that game was too close for too long.

I knew this was going to be a saga, but there's no getting around it. Instead of integrating the photos, as planned, I'll probably bump them to a second post.

Back to the show...Arrogance was a late-70's-early-80's NC band that most have credited with the North Carolina "Combo-Land" sound, which spawned later, more-successful, acts like REM. The adjective that kept pounding away in my head was: "anthemic" And, I'm pretty sure I had long since had enough of "anthemic" with REM's first album. At least it was a sit-down show, and folks managed to hold back on standing up to show their "homage" until about the next-to-last song. Thanks, old hippies...I mean it.

On the other hand, Debra kicked their asses. She purely tore up Chuck Berry's Little Queenie & The Stones' Honky Tonk Women. The FCB confirmed sometime during the festivities that I had, indeed, inherited the couch for the night...but no biggie.

By 10PM, I was ready to vamanoosepordelacasa for PBRs and 'Heels, but apparently there were interviews and more schmoozing to be done, so I waited in my truck for another hour and a half.


Finally, getting back to Club-FCB, I was allowed to get into the DVR'd game, and I planned to see the whole thing. But that plan lasted through about halftime, and was pulled in favor of...get this...wait for it...

Jessco White, The Dancin' Outlaw.

In-bred, multiple-personality disorder West Virginians tap-dancing and saying things like, "Woman, I'll cut yer thoat with this here butcher knife if you don't stop serving me those sloppy-slimy runny eggs."

After that was done, at 2AM, I decided to let the current take me and resigned to accept the fruitlessness of the day, embrace a few hours of slumber, then wake up, dash home, feed dog, and relax to my DVR'd game.

The ride home was uneventful, and I even decided to catch Adam Lucas' essay on the game over at before watching it at leisure. I enjoy doing that when I've got a delayed version to watch; he always has fantastic perspective and insight from courtside and knowing the immediate background on the players and coaches. Needless to say, after reading his account, I was primed for watching the game...finally...Except...

Somehow the recording did not record. No matter where in the library of recorded shows I looked, it wasn't there. My comedy of errors that started with me putting myself behind schedule for the entire day, by making sure to set that confounded DVR, had come full-circle. Call it a technical glitch or operator error, no matter. It all equals the same thing.

So you can sit back and laugh it off, or you can join me in doing like Drop Johnson,


Thursday, March 19, 2009

From the Foto Files of the FlyFishing Funicator

I was very much disappointed that I didn't get to post pictures of quail, and grouse, and woodcock from this winter. Maggie and I got into the woods and/or fields 9 times this past year (hear Mr. Rooney saying, "Nine times, Missizz Beuhler...") and nary a bird shot. Not even one shot at.

So, I was starting to get the impression that God had decided to render null and void my dominion over the beasts of the earth.

So, it is with great pleasure (and a considerable measure of relief) that I present the first trout of '09.

The recent raininess had swollen this Delayed Harvest creek, so wading was tee-yoo-uff. The water wasn't muddy, as you can see in the background above, but "roiling" was the most common adjective of the day.

Picture #2 is a shot of an area that is usually manageable at about thigh depth, but this day was over belt-level. Water temps were in the 40s, air temps in the 50s to low 60s later, and since I only ever wade in canvas felt-soled hiking boots and old jeans, I could only stand it in the water for about an hour at a time before having to walk for 20-30 minutes to thaw out.It was extra nice to get on the water before the heavy pressure hits; the bait-fishing Flintstones will clean it out very soon. I ran into a retired superior court judge on the creek (as he was taking a lunch break and I was relocating the truck upstream and thawing). He named some folks who I know that he had worked with, and said that he had fished this same crick last week and caught over 30, with a couple in the 24"-plus class.

The weatherman missed it with his "2-3 mph winds becoming calm..." because it got to about 12-15mph after noon, which of course made bracing the stream (and especially casting) that much tougher, but I ain't complainin'...

Carolina girls...the best.

Oh. Yeah.

This week's SI Cheerleader of the Week. Also, revisit SI's swimsuit videos for Brooklyn Decker. You haven't done the videos, yet? The obvious question is "why not?" Miss Decker (from Matthews, NC) is also a huge Tar Heels fan.

Lotsa good vibe for the 'Heels going into the big dance.

I'm looking at catching my first game at the new Bosh this weekend, too: #1 diamond 'Heels vs. Dook on Saturday.

"What binds us to this place, as to no other? Is it the Bell, or the Well, or the Old Stone Wall?... It is, as it was meant to be, the University of the people." -Charles Kuralt

And way-cute chicks, dammit! Go Tar Heels!

UPDATE: While I was on the good-vibe happy train, the dipshits at the Charlotte Obscurer had to go and burst my bubble this morning with the news that the First Usurper likes my team to win it all. Talk about queerin' some shit up. Thanks alot, fuckwads. Hey Barkarama! We don't want your hoops love any more than we want your bullshit, big-government spendulus crap. Go give it to Kentucky. By the way, don't you have more-pressing matters?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You had me at Bullet-Proof Character

I considered adding my two cents, but in comparison to the original article, it wouldn't have been worth that much.

When I tried enlisting (Seabees, Army Corps of Combat Engineers) following 9/11, and they told me I was already passed the age of consideration (I was 37 then), my letter to Congressman Cass Ballenger pleaded that we needed men like me in this fight.

It's a fight I believe in, and vowed to undertake if I was the only one who would go. I said it then, and I'll say it again now: If there is no other man who will take the fight to the terrorists and those who support and assist them, then I will go.

I also lamented my perceived worry over the state of our military, that perhaps given the weaknesses of the Clinton years, we'd cultivated a crop of softies. I am here to tell you that I stand corrected and reassured! Meet General David Petraeus (again).

Hat tip to Flopping Aces, for this magnificent article. Warrior-Monk, indeed!

I confess that I am on board with comment #4 on that post. I'd be happy to know what you guys think.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Big Toe

Sergeant Hulka is our Big Toe. But there could come a time when Sgt. Hulka isn't there for us. If that happens, I want to let everyone know that I will do that. I will step in and be our Big Toe.

This is a great example of why to get a digital camera: photos of digits.

Get well Ty. Take the whole weekend off. For what it's worth, I'd have voted Tyler Hansbrough for ACC player of the year. You're great, but Tyler never takes a play off. Never. Ever.

On sort of a nuther note, different but similar, a couple years ago there was a concern that the Smith Center was running out of room for banners in the rafters and the school administration wondered publicly what should be done. Pertinent question as our 'Heels approach another League Tourney championship. The solution the school came up with was to reduce the size of each banner, thereby creating more space. Of course, that's really only a temporary cure.

My suggestion was that the University should rent some space over at the RBC Center and Cameron Indoor. They've got plenty of room...and will have for a long, long time.


I got some stuff cooking, but I'm too busy to post it. Kinda like this photo of my kitchen. I just need to get it in the pot.

Instead of blogging, or actual work (ha!), I'm gonna watch the 'Heels.

ACC Tourney, kiddoes! Go Tar Heels!

I just heard Jones on the pregame say that Ty Lawson won't play today. That's too bad, but I'd much prefer he got healed up for the big dance.

Y'all feel free to pick a slice of snout off the table if you're that hungry. Otherwise, don't bug me. I'm drafting!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Get away for tea & dogs

Road trip!

Our State magazine this month has a series on weekend mini-vacation ideas. I haven't gotten to those articles, yet, but they include trips centered around baseball, shopping, golf, history, and romance (eleven articles in all). I'd like to briefly suggest a 12th:

From Sister Toldjah, and her reader Donna, Saturday March 21st in Raleigh will be a Tea Party to "revolt against Barack Obama's big government spending ways." The aforelinked link also has a link to a Facebook site where you can note your planned attendance.

Fish Camp Barbie recently reminded me of the fabulous Roast Grill in Raleigh. Well, okay...their website says "No Sweet Tea," so I'm not too sure how fabulous that equation can be, but you gotta love the No Heinz T-shirt. And, if you combine the two, you'll have the best of both worlds. Bring your own Hunt's, shove a half-dozen dogs down yer thote, then go over to the Capitol (East side) & get your Tea Party on. Walking distance, kids! And, as the FCB informs, The Roast Grill is to be the destination for an upcoming Man Vs. Food episode. You can watch the show and proclaim, "I was just over there!" Oops, editorial update: While researching the show schedule, I learnt that this episode is slated to air on March 18th. So, that means that when you're watching it, you'll be saying, "That's where I'll be on Saturday...and I'll eat more hotdogs than Adam did!"

Like the Sister, make mine SWEET and no lemon...not so much on the lotsa ice, though!

I 'spect to be there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spreading the wealth

How about a study in work versus reward?

Yesterday, a friend of mine relayed a recent discussion he had with his son. It serves as an excellent lesson.

His son had asked him what it means to "spread the wealth" because it sounds like a good thing. The analogy he painted to the youngster (I'm going to say the kid is around 10-12) was like this:

Let's say you've studied very hard for a class in school, you worked hard, you put forth the most effort. And, you earned an "A" in the class. But instead of giving you an "A", the teacher pulls you aside and says, "You worked harder than everyone else and earned the highest mark, but one of your classmates didn't work as hard and got an "F" in the class.

Instead of giving that person an "F", though, which would hurt their self-esteem, and maybe keep them from being, or at least feeling, successful, I'm going to give them part of your score. So, instead of you getting an "A", you'll get a "B". And instead of them getting an "F" they'll get a "D". It's not necessarily what either person "earned", but it makes everything more even.

Of course, the son didn't like this idea at all. And I don't blame him.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Paul Harvey: Sept. 4, 1918- Feb. 28, 2009

I read where someone said that Paul Harvey was the first blogger. I wish I'd have made a note of that quote's authorship, because I've thought about it since then.

And, I concur with that, as I consider what I'd like my blog to grow into.

You couldn't just have Paul on in the background and go about your business or carry on a conversation; his ability to pull you into a story simply commanded your attention.

Go with God, sir.

The world was a better place for knowing you.