Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doodle's in town!

My sister Doodles made it to North Carolina about 48 hours ago for an extended stay after two years in Korea. We were both up by about 8:30 the next day and by 10:30 (without any help from me, btw) the kitchen looked cleaner than it had in months... a cleaning dynamo...

After seeing this level of industriousness, I decided that it was clear what I needed to do: get her to start contributing posts to Blue Ridge Grass.

One of the first things she wanted to do was make a visit to the nearest bakery. We headed to Ollie's, where she walked in and stared at the bread and the pastries for a good while, soaking it in. After a couple years of nothing but white bread that was pretty nasty anyway in Gwanju, Korea, she said "You don't know what this means to me."

She didn't shed a tear though... just bought a loaf of light wheat bread. She's a trooper I guess.

Bee Uprising

Less than a day after spotting a bee getting to work on a hive under my garage, I found a new bee doing the same thing, and even further along. I now know that that first bee was not a fluke, but a harbinger of things to come. I dosed the bastard with Raid and plucked down his little handiwork to put as a little souvenir in my kitchen.

The next day, I went into work and was quietly minding my business when a bee the size of my pinky started buzzing around my office, presumably filled with massive amount of venom and orders to avenge his fallen comrades. I paced the office for a good 15 minutes waiting for my moment to strike and then pounded him with a clipboard as he rested on the windowsill. After this I left for lunch and came back an hour later to find the bee upright and walking around, like an aging prizefighter who refuses to stay down for the count. So I clubbed him again (killing big insects is gross, btw).

Basically, it looks like the bees and me have a score to settle. In fact, I'm so sure of this that they even get their own label. Bring it on, you bastards...

R.I.P., Flavio II
R.I.P., Flavio III

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bee Startup

"Lookit -- some bees are trying to make a hive right on my garage. They're just getting started."

"How do you know it's bees?"

"There's a bee right there."

"Oh. Weird."


"You should take a picture of the hive and then kill it."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Musical Flight

Short note that my pal & fellow contra-dancer Leah will be playing a couple hours of classical music starting at 5:30 tomorrow (Friday) at RayLen Vineyards as part of the Sky Meadow Strings trio. I expect it will be an entertaining couple hours with wine, fine music, and nice weather... My other understanding is that this concert is ultimately being performed to help the trio advance their noble goal (?) of collecting beer money to help kick the weekend off with a bang, so donations are appreciated.

Here's a link for more information -- hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bad-Ass Turtle

I was biking around Reynolda Gardens today when I bumped into this guy, definitely one of the most bad-ass turtles I've seen in a while, clocking in at maybe 2 1/2 to 3 feet from head to tail:

This picture was about as close as I wanted to get to him -- I got a little closer at one point and he snapped and sort of hissed at me. I like my fingers and other extremities, so I left him be.

I think that a good name for this feller is "Soup". As in "Sup, Soup?" or similarly: "Sup? Soup."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Two brief Texas Pete brunch stories

I was at Christopher's for brunch some time ago with my mom & DJ Dan enjoying their amazing Lobster Mac & Cheese, when the waitress came up to me and asked if she could take our bottle of Texas Pete for another guest. "Well, we don't have any more bottles of Texas Pete," she explained, "and, well... the owner of Texas Pete is sitting in the other room."

In addition to Krispy Kreme donuts, Winston-Salem is the original home to Texas Pete hot sauce, and so I find it frequently as the featured hot sauce in Winston's various Sunday brunches.

Today, DJ Dan and I did another brunch, this time at Sixth and Vine.** Most brunch entrees at Sixth and Vine come with country-style potatoes and a side of fruit -- pineapple, strawberries, and grapes. I saw DJ Dan pour something strange on top of his pineapple slices.

"You should try putting Texas Pete on your pineapple... I've never done it before, but it's pretty tasty." He said it reminded him of sort of a Thai-style sauce.

I dabbed my pineapple into a pool of Texas Pete. Mmmmm.... "You're right!"

** Winston-Salem tip: We were supposed to be joined by another friend for brunch, who never showed up... for the record Sixth and Vine is NOT the address of Sixth and Vine, and so you should not tell someone it is when they ask for directions.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pickles the Cat Theme Song

Several weeks ago, I posted a heart-warming story about the cat that often hangs out in my yard, and asked readers to give the cat a name.

The winner was JaryMane, who suggested the name "Pickles", which somehow seemed to fit to me given that the "Pickle Man" is one of my favorite starting hands to play in Texas Hold'Em (**privileged insider information). In any case, I subsequently commissioned JaryMane to write a song in honor of Pickles the Cat, to be sung to the tune of Winnie the Pooh -- this is what she came with:

Pickles the cat
Pickles the cat

Furry little feline I'll make you fat

it's Pickles the cat
Pickles the cat
DW's sorta kinda maybe pet....

The lyrics appear to be largely inspired by JaryMane's sense that it was horrible that I wasn't actually feeding the cat (Line 3 in particular seems to be wishful thinking). In fact, JaryMane even decided to forgo her payment for the song (which was going to be SUBSTANTIAL, btw) under the condition that "you have to make Pickles a bowl now. That was part of the deal."

Make Pickles into a bowl? That's gross! But OK JaryMane, whatever you say...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

When Life Hands you Hamburger, Make Diamonds

I held my first barbecue of the year on a rainy day about a week ago, where I cooked hamburgers, sausages, and pulled pork barbecue. An ambitious plan, but I am an ambitious person. Some of the guests asked if there was anything I needed help with, and I demurred, saying that I had it all under control because I am a man and I don't need anybody's help on the grill because I can handle it myself okay so just get a drink and things will be done when they are done don't insult me with such a question already thanks bye-bye now.

In any case, after awhile I took the pork off the grill and disappeared into the kitchen to cut it into bite-size pieces. I suppose I became a bit too involved with this, as I came back 10 minutes later to find the whole grill was a flaming fireball. I snapped this picture about an hour later:
You can see the nicely carbonized hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. My favorite part is the plastic handle that you can see on the edge of the grill... if you look farther to the left you can see some metallic wire bristles that used to be attached to this handle. About a week later now I still haven't cleaned the grill because my damn grill brush is now... a permanent part of the grill. Just great.

I'll give it another go sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring in Charlottesville

Didn't make it to D.C. for the cherry blossom festival this year, but I was able to do the next best thing and see the trees blooming on a short trip through Charlottesville, VA a couple days ago. Here are some trees that I felt compelled to make a stop for on the way through town:
As for Winston, trees are beginning to bloom here as well... the most immediate effects seems to be that the trees over my house are shedding a bunch of crap on my roof. Upside of spring: nice warm weather, beautiful flowers. Downside: yard work... sigh...