A Quick Update

I just drove/rode in from New Orleans. The contraflow began early this morning so we couldn’t get back to the airport to fly out.

It was about a 16 billion mile ride as best I could tell compared to air travel.

More to follow.

Good Night Everyone!

Tomorrow morning my pal Thomas will pick me up at 3:45AM for a 6:00 AM flight to New Orleans.

Moving this time of day is almost unfathomable to me.

Saturday we will have made or way to Baton Rouge for the clash between Appalachian State and LSU. Watch it on ESPN at 5 PM EDT if you get a chance.

Then hopefully we’ll get out of the way of hurricane Gustav. If not I hear New Orleans has a real good record for getting folks out of harms way around hurricanes.

If not they’ll send me to the football stadium where I can crap of the 50 yard line of the New Orleans Saints field. I think this is what people did during Katrina. This appeals to me since they are a division rival.

I’d better go to bed now.

Tornado Watch 869 in effect

Cool. They are naming tornado stuff now.

The mighty thunderstorm Wreggie moved thru last night.

I like the way that sounds.

Riding in the Brothel Bus

In the sad but funny news….Dave Freeman, co-author of "100 Things to Do Before You Die," a travel guide and ode to odd adventures that inspired readers and imitators, died after hitting his head in a fall at his home. He was 47.

I hope he got to do all that stuff he wrote about.

It’s raining all to be damn outside. Since our parking deck pancaked in the spring we have been offered a shuttle bus from the remote lot. Most mornings I just walk. This morning I decide to take the shuttle to avoid getting soaked.

Before I realized my error, I was engulfed with cologne and stale cigarette smell amplified by the humidity. Does everyone but me chain smoke in on the way to work?

I felt like I was riding in a brothel commuter bus.

The Mother-in-law Storm

I’d like to welcome a new lady to our neighborhood. Yes, Fay is finally going to pass over us for some well needed rain.

Gosh it’s been two weeks since Fay passed over St Croix. I hope there is some Cruzan Rum fumes still left in her as Terry suggested.

It seems she turned out to be a mother in law tropical storm. She’s running very late but never in doubt. She’s been overstaying her welcome and leaving wreckage in her path.

I buttoned up the jeep for the rain. I am dripping wet from the humidity.

Horrific Wind Damage in Jacksonville FL from Tropical Storm Fay

This is not convenient for me

I find that a convenience charge is inconvenient. This was on a couple of tickets to the Carolina/San Diego game in a few weeks:





2 Full Price Non-Club

Ticket Price

US $98.00 x 2

Convenience Charge

US $7.50 x 2

Not only do they charge a convenience charge but they make you do math and charge postage. At least multiply and add all this crap up if you claim to be convenient.

A handling charge is outrageous if you actually take the charge and estimate how long the item was handled and apply an hourly rate to the handler.

Maybe I should be a handler and handle stuff so I can charge money.

On EBay one rarely pays the actual shipping charge. I get a bit miffed when the shipping is more than the item.

Man uses Barbie fishing rod to make record catch

It looks like he is attempting a push out a record fart.

In this undated photo released by the N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission, David Hayes holds his state record-breaking channel catfish while his three-year-old granddaughter Alyssa holds the Barbie rod and reel that Hayes used to reel in the 21-pound, 1 ounce fish in Elkin, N.C.

It Is What It Is

A week from today I will be traveling to New Orleans and then Baton Rouge to watch the opening game of the season for my Appalachian State University Mountaineers. I can’t wait.

I heard a guy on Bloomberg radio yesterday pronounce diaper and you could hear the “A” and an additional syllable. Is it just me, doesn’t everyone pronounce diaper like wiper and leave off the “A”?

I canceled my weekend trip to Southport because Fay was headed our way. Now Fay has turned so far south that I doubt we’ll get a drop of rain.

I played golf yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I may have my golf groove back.

I applied for a $500,000 20 year term life insurance policy yesterday to replace a $300,000 15 year term that just expired. I figure the odds are 50/50 that Gigi will collect on this puppy. Hell I’ll be seventy friggn two, a fossilized paw paw!

One of my favorite new sayings is, “It is what it is”. The saying cuts through all the bullshit and makes one face the reality of the truth.

Abby our new Border Collie is doing fantastic. Her energy is very good and she is growing hair. She has a cute personality and fits in with the pack.

Wildlife Lesson for the Day

Son of Loaf Bread

My last post about bread caused such a firestorm of comments that I just have to share again.

Here are a couple of loaves I baked this afternoon. Damn good, chewy in the inside and crunchy on the outside.

2 Things I do Well and 2 Other Facts.....

I have discovered recently two things that I do well.

One is I grow decent flowering and ornamental plants in the summer. On my first trip to St. Croix I was overwhelmed by the flowers and lush greenery growing everywhere, even in winter. I decided I would grow flowers in my backyard every summer to bring a bit of the island home to me.

Second, I enjoy working with yeast. Yes yeast. I like to make beer and recently I have discovered bread. I made a few loaves of the simple white bread and it was excellent.

Today I plan to use dough I made last night for some crusty bread. You know the fancy bakery stuff with the slice marks across the top.

I was once caught in a rip tide. I was a small child at the coast of North Carolina swimming happily along when I was suddenly being drawn out to sea. My father who was a good swimmer knew what was going on and yelled at me from shore to swim along the coast line. I did and broke out of the current in text book fashion.

I pay close attention to the local weather forecasts because I like to leave the top off my Jeep. If there is anything above a 30% chance of isolated storms I’ll cover the Jeep with a tarp and bungee it tight. This is easier and quicker than actually putting the top back on. This time of year the weather people seem to under estimate the chance of rain. It is raining now and there was no mention of rain 12 hours ago.


I’m going to call Bullshit on something that happens this time of year.

We have a local drive every fall called “school tools” in which the goal is to collect paper and pencils for students that can’t afford paper and pencils.

The premise is that every basic need in their young lives has been met except when it comes to paper and pencils. Without free paper and pencils the young student’s mind will not function. The final assumption is these paperless children are so eager to fill their minds with the fantastic knowledge that our public schools will dispense in just a few weeks but they can’t learn without paper and pencils which they can’t afford.

You see the crescendo building here. We have a deadline. We have children, the future our society longing for pencils and eager to learn.

I just checked with Office Max online and found that I could buy a box of 36 #2 pencils for $1.99. I was shocked how cheap they are. For $1.99 I could effectively supply one over crowded classroom of eager students will to learn. A whole classroom for $1.99!

I remember when I was in school a pencil was a free ticket to get up out of my chair and walk up to the pencil sharpener. I would take my time drinking in the freedom. Then I would poke the sharp point at my buddies and the way back to my desk. Next I would bite my pencil and look at the marks my teeth made in the wood. No telling how much paint lead I ingested.

But one can’t learn on pencils alone. You must have very expensive paper for the young mind to drink up knowledge. Paper must be out of site in price if all these kids can’t afford it, right?

Let’s see. At Office Max I see that I can buy two college rule spiral notebooks for .79 cents. Damn I am surprised how cheap that is.

I used to write on both sides of my paper in a spiral notebook. I liked the way it made the paper crinkle when I turned the page.

So bottom line a pencil costs 6 cents and a spiral notebook costs 40 cents.

Oh I know kids need other things for school like cell phones, flat brimmed caps, hooded sweat shirts, baggy pants, and new shoes. How can they expect to come up with 46 cents for school?


Sincere Thanks

This is Abby after three days at Club Gigi for dogs. She is doing so well.

Biker Bars

I ate dinner at a biker bar the other night in Asheville. Biker Bars have become quite trendy even in stuffy Charlotte.

When I was a kid we had three motorcycle gangs (clubs) that were truly to be feared. Coexisting in the same territory like rutting bull elks were the Hell’s Angeles, The Outlaws, and The Pagans.

These gangs were typically groups of mean, armed, tattooed and hairy men that drank a lot and were prone to violence. They wore their colors on their denim jackets and hung out with like minded members and skanky women.

We would steer clear of them and would avoid confrontation of any type. Even just eye contact or any conversation.

There were some famous shoot outs between rival motorcycle “clubs” on I-85 here in Charlotte as recently as 1980.

So you can understand my apprehension when I was invited to eat some barbecue at a biker bar on South Blvd a few years ago.

“What? You’ve got to be kidding!”

No, this is a nice place with good food they insisted.

Turns out that these biker bars are nice places with good food and are basically sports bars with a biker theme.

It’s a place where people can dress up in biker costumes and enjoy like minded people.

So on any Sunday afternoon you’ll see bankers and mechanics, and folks from all walks of life dress up like bad bikers from days gone by and drive their expensive Harleys to a biker bar to hang out.

But, come Monday morning they all stop being bikers and put on their work costumes.

Pretty cool if you are into that theme. Personally I want some Jeep Wrangler bars.

Who Owns the Elevator?

I’m staying at a “good enough hotel” Fairfield Inn where I will meet some clients in their outrageously expensive “Board Room”.

I was taking luggage down to the car so I can get a quick escape when I’m done when I went by and juggled the door to the boar room to make sure it was open. Nope…locked tight.

I went to the hotel desk and asked for the board room to be unlocked. She said, “Are you in there?”

Well hell no, I’m standing in front of you missy. When you unlock it I can get in there.

I knew what she meant and said “Yes”.

Then I jumped on the elevator and pushed button five to get my PC from the room. I rode up alone.

When the door opened I saw a surprised business man loaded down with luggage looking at me like I had violated his elevator by being in the space he had just summons by pushing the down button.

I likewise took offense at his assumption that this was his private car.

We both nodded and said “morning” and passed by each other.

High Altitude Dreams

I’m in Asheville, NC this morning.

After playing a round of mountain golf yesterday with a friend we decided on a few burgers and beers before I turned in for the evening.

I went to bed early because I have a full schedule today.

I dreamed we were at some resort place in New England and there were about four couples. We all decided we wanted to have a cup of coffee so we stopped at this trendy coffee shop.

They stopped me at the door and wouldn’t let me come in. They said I was too fat and then started pulling on my cheeks to prove their point.

I got pissed because I could clearly see obese people in the coffee shop and maybe I could loose 10 pounds.

Then a guy grabbed me by my shoulders and started tipping me back. He aid it would make me look skinny and the guy at the door would let me in.

I looked at my group for help and they all looked like they had bodies of Olympic swimmer, but I knew better.

I left and went to McDonalds.

Abby, formally known as Emily

Abby, formally known as Emily, formerly known as Inmate A729498 came home yesterday afternoon.

I am quite sure she thinks she was euthanized and awoke in heaven. She is a happy dog despite her hairless butt. Bare dog fannies are really ugly.

She gets along with most everyone and everything, even cats.

She likes to walk in the pasture and obeys dog commands like sit and no.

Hopefully we can find her a longer term foster home in Knoxville when she gets her health restored just a bit more.

For now she is just happy to be sprung from the joint.

5 of my top 100 things that make me happy….

I love to take a Sunday afternoon Jeep ride in the country with one of my dogs.

I love to pick the stringy over cooked meat from a pork or beef roast.

I love having finished a job/activity that makes you thirsty and then drink a cold beer. The first one is always the best.

I love seeing the first site of land when I travel to St Croix especially in the winter. I know I am about to see my friends, lush vegetation and beautiful clear blue water and have a good time.

It feels so good to take a wedge out from 100 yards on a well watered lush fairway and making a perfect arching golf shot landing within 6 feet of the hole. Yes I have done it a few times.

Adoptive dog Update - Inmate ID# A729498 will now be known as Emily. Gigi will pick up our first foster dog this afternoon. Our goal is to get her healthy and pretty and find her a good loving home.

A Tale of Two Cities

The following story would ruin the reputation and economy of any small Caribbean island. But it was just another Saturday night in Charlotte, “The New South”.

5 people shot in NW Charlotte

11:46 PM EDT on Saturday, August 9, 2008

By NewsChannel 36 Staff

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- 5 people have been shot on Charlotte's Northwest Side; 2 with life-threatening injuries. It happened around 10:40 p.m. Saturday night. Emergency crews say black male wearing all black with dreadlocks shot 5 people at a home on Thomasboro Drive. One of the victims sustained a gun shot wound to the chest, another was shot in the face. A two year old was shot in the foot. Emergency crews said the two people that had life-threatening injuries were alert at the hospital and were optimistic about their condition. There is no word on a motive in this incident.

Woke Up This Morning

Rise up this mornin,

Smiled with the risin sun,

Three little birds

Pitch by my doorstep

Singin sweet songs

Of melodies pure and true,

Sayin, (this is my message to you-ou-ou:)

I had this email from border collie rescue pleading for someone to rescue this dog from Charlotte animal control. I called and she is still there. “Poor emaciated, flea-ridden Border collie (see picture below) was turned in by someone who found her. She had no hair from flea allergy. I asked them to IP her so I could try to find rescue. She is HW negative and in good shape for her estimated age. Please, Please contact anyone you know that does Border collie rescue and lets see if we can find rescue. For more information about this animal, call: Animal Care & Control, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department at (704) 336-3786 Ask for information about animal ID# A729498”

I cannot house 4 dogs in my house but I can’t let this dog die just because no one wants her and she is allergic to fleas.

I have been nerved out lately; kind of frazzled with all of my work.

So I thought it would be a good idea to bake bread last night. I have never done this without a bread machine. It was fun and turned out just wonderful.

This morning I was doing a bit of yard work and got stung between the toes by a yellow jacket. Damn it hurt….damn it still hurts.

I better go into town and check on this dog.

Sweet Sleeping

I about forgot this story but was reminded this afternoon as I took deep yawns longing for a nap.

Back in June I was in St Croix and twice I took a deep relaxing nap in our pickup truck with the windows down.

First I must say this is a testament to just how breezy and moderate the summer temperatures can be down on the island.

Second, although this sounds like I am a lazy human, the spontaneous naps were a result of my activity level when I go there.

The first nap was in the parking lot of Pueblo Market. I cocked the seat back, put my feet on the dash and commenced to snore. The second such nap was in the parking lot of Kmart.

It beat the hell out of shopping.

4 Thoughts for Hump Day

Contrary to what you may have read the Outer Banks of NC are a terrible place with thick clouds of mosquitoes and numerous storms. I have visited the Outer Banks five times and was disappointed each time.

You may recall my issue with Enterprise Car Rental. It seems they have folded up and moved on to more fertile extortion grounds.

I can’t stand that show on ABC when the loud guy with the stick up hair tears down and rebuilds a house in 88 hours. They just did a house in Charlotte for an October episode and I had to watch this crap on the local news every day for a week.

We need less sleep as we age. I hate this belief because I love a good long night’s sleep and I am getting older.

Cooking With Wreggie

In my opinion I cook the best scrambled eggs bar none, and quite possibly the best low fat “fried” sunny side up eggs.

I personally like soft scrambled eggs which I define as having high moisture content.

You’ll never see the dreaded runny eggs or white stuff in my soft scrambled eggs even though they have a lot of moisture.

Here’s how I cook my eggs.

It is best to set out your eggs in advance and let the chill wear off to room temperature. If you can, find some home grown farm fresh eggs. You’ll notice the difference in the rich taste over the store bought eggs if you cook them as follows.

Crack the eggs open in a glass bowl and whisk them briskly for about 30 seconds until you have a smooth consistent liquid.

Next, add salt and pepper to the eggs and whisk for another 30 seconds.

Meanwhile have a frying pan heating to medium heat with a few pats of butter melted. I also like to use Pam to keep cleanup easy.

Dump in the eggs and start stirring with the whisk. If you hear a sizzle your heat is too high. It is best to start with low heat and work your way up.

What you are attempting to do is slowly thicken the eggs while stirring with the whisk.

Once the eggs get to your desired consistency remove and serve.

You’ll end up with the smooth almost creamy flavor of these slow cooked eggs. Some people have remarked that they taste like I have added cheese.

This method takes twice as long but tastes far superior to traditional scalded scrambled eggs.

Now for the sunny side up fried eggs I use room temperature eggs on a non stick pan on medium to slightly high heat.

Have a lid for the frying pan along with some water.

Crack the eggs directly in the frying pan and add a small amount of water. Maybe a few tablespoons and put the lid on immediately.

What you are doing is cooking the egg from the bottom and steaming the egg from the top.

You end up with the perfect “fried” egg fit for a photo shoot on a Denny’s menu and none of the fat.


Pondering Life’s Critical Questions

Have you ever been standing in line at a restaurant and notice all the patrons and employees look like they have a sixth grade education and they are all fat as hell?

Then you stop and wonder what in the hell you are doing here?

And so it was that I found myself in line at Hardees this morning; home of the monster thick burger and obnoxious TV commercials. In some areas of the country you may know the chain by the name Carl’s.

When I passed the dive through menu on my way in I noticed a sign that said, “A picture menu is available at the window.”

I guess that picture menu was available just in case you are dumb, fat and couldn’t read. You could point at a big fat hamburger picture and grunt while handing the server a wad of wrinkled cash for her to sort through.

But then I asked myself, “Self, how would a dumb ass illiterate know to ask for a picture menu if he or dumbass fat she has to read the sign to know there is a picture menu?”

I’ve noticed too that in North Carolina the state has recently replaced signs indicating where the local library is to a picture of a stick person reading a book with an arrow pointing the way. You would think that the people looking for the library could read well enough to read a sign that tells them the location of the library.


Did I mention previously that my little college went into the Big House last year and beat Michigan in college football? Oh I think I might have said something….they called it the upset of all time on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

This year we open at the home of the national champion LSU in Baton Rouge.

My school, ASU is the three year defending national champion in their division of college football. LSU is last years champion and always a football powerhouse.

I’ll be there this time win or loose. I have tickets, airfare and hotels booked.

Watch the game on ESPN August 30 and I promise I’ll wave at you.