Archive for May, 2003
Scotty McSulu in one of his rare waking moments. He may be young, but already he regards us with a cynical and jaundiced eye, perhaps because we regularly expose his tender flesh to the bitterly chill 74 degree environment that exists outside of his onesie and blanket cocoon.
Doesn’t like it, nosiree, not in the least, and he utilizes a very specific cry for those times when he’s bathed or has his diapers changed, a ragged and continuous wail that ceases the moment he feels cloth on skin.
“I’m a bee”
Ngnat has decamped to Nana’s house for a week, leaving us and Scotty behind. She took one of my old driver’s licenses so she would have a picture of Daddy, told Mommy “I love you” totally unprompted, and screamed “BYE BYE BABY” at the sleeping Scotty M. She couldn’t wait to get away.
Here is an interesting link offering a report of a class that worked on discovering the identity of Deep Throat for 3 years. Still sounds like a porn movie to me.
Beers of the mid afternoon. Why, with luck I’ll have a beer of the night post as well. Nothing like having to wade through another alcohol discursion to find the Ngnat news to make Meryl and the relatives crotchety. Three words, Meryl. Lindemans Framboise Lambic. There’s nothing like it the world when it comes to changing a person’s mind about what beer is. Lambics taste like nothing else on the planet. If I hadn’t told you it was beer you’d have never known. The Peche is also verra nice.
Was in a two hour meeting about purchasing a couple of Nortel’s Alteon SSL accelerators at noon today, so it was a late lunch. The weekly N&O beer column had mentioned that Top of the Hill was going to offer a saison in June, so I figured I’d go see if it was available yet.
At Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill, brewer John Withey keeps his Summer Lager on tap year-round, so when it came to a choice exclusively for the summer, he decided to do something different. He will turn to Belgian brewing traditions, and in June, Top of the Hill will offer its first saison. Appropriately meaning “season,” the saison beers of Flanders are usually bottled, champagne-style, with secondary fermentation in the bottle creating lots of carbonation. The draft version will be less carbonated, cloudy, pale and refreshing, with additions of coriander and orange peel. Saisons are wonderful with food.
Apparently the N&O jumped the gun a bit, for there were shocked looks all round when I asked for the saison. Presumably this was as much for my horrid pronunciation of the word as it was for the fact that the brew wasn’t due for another two weeks, minimum. Disappointing, but as I had already decided on beer for lunch this was hardly off putting. The bartender pointed me towards the Old Well White instead, it being the closest thing to a Belgian beer in the absence of the saison.
Must of been a slow day, or else I’d already been identified as a first-class beer geek, for hardly had I gotten my white and unpacked my lunch time reading (a comic book, cause there’s nothing in the world as a appealing as man alone at a bar with his comic book) than the brewer himself, John, hustled over to denigrate it.
That’s right, talk bad about his own beer. He wasn’t happy with it, he having experimented with a brewing process on this particular batch that didn’t give the orange peel a long enough exposure in the mash to create the classic high citrus notes that characterize a Belgian White. And he was right. Belgian whites are distinctive beers, of a type that easily distinguishable from every other drink in the world, spicy and with the mouthfeel of a soft champagne, and the Old Well white, while a perfectly decent drink, was rather thin on the both citrus high note and the mouthfeel. Reminiscent of a lager, almost.
I ate my pizza, talked beer for a bit and closed out with 10 ounces of the Davie Poplar IPA. I did have to go back to work, after all. It’s a mainstay at Top of the Hill, hoppy, and bitingly refreshing, with a nice backgrounded caramel overtone. The hop content has crept up over the years as the general beer palate in Chapel Hill has grown more sophisticated, though it’s nowhere near the level of some of the more extreme bitters. Almost took another one, but I am alas all too responsible now I’m a parent.
I’ll be back. Not only should the saison be ready in two weeks or so, but as I left they told me to ask for the cask beer next time I was in.
“It’s not on the menu. It’s what we drink.”
It’s been a slow day at work because my boss and nearly everyone else in my office has decided to take the day off. Slow days at work often mean I get a lot of reading done. I found several stories that were interesting to me and didn’t want to post them individually, so I decided to create my own “top stories” index. I figure this will give me something to post on a daily, or at least weekly, basis and will give me a vehicle for spreading the word about things that catch my eye and my interest. Plus it really doesn’t take a lot of work and I am a horribly lazy blogger. And in my own private daydreams, I imagine that people will stop by and be inspired to create their own indexes on their own blogs and before long everyone will be doing it and I will be famous because I did it first. So, click the links and then go and spread the news. I can only become world-famous with your help.
Oh, and if you already do this…well, I really thought of it a long, long time ago.
Today’s Keehar Index (with special thanks to New Scientist, which provided most of the material today):
Stem cell “Holy Grail” found
SEX PILLS: Taking On Viagra
Handsome men have the best sperm
Hidden danger behind the Three Gorges dam
Asymmetrical people make jealous lovers
Beautiful people spark a brain reaction
‘Good’ bacteria may thwart allergies in toddlers
Swimming in chlorinated pools raises asthma risk, study finds
Over time, people ‘catch mood’ of friends, lovers
We think differently, we act differently, we react differently, and apparently we even pray differently. This came in an email from a friend.
Before I lay me down to sleep,
I pray for a man, who’s not a creep.
One who’s handsome, smart and strong.
One who loves to listen long.
One who thinks before he speaks.
When he says he’ll call, he won’t wait weeks.
I pray that he is gainfully employed.
When I spend his cash, he won’t be annoyed.
Pulls out my chair and opens my door.
Massages my back and begs to do more.
Oh! Send me a man who’ll make love to my mind,
Knows what to answer to “How big is my behind?”
I pray that this man will love me to no end,
And never attempt to hit on my friend. Amen..
I pray for a deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge boobs who owns a liquor
store and a boat.. Amen.
It seems like every time you turn around a favorite local store has been bought out by a big national chain.
That’s crazy talk. Why bother to buy out the locals when you can just drive them out of business?
The prices are sometimes lower at first, but the chain doesn’t have that character that makes our neighborhoods feel like home.
You mean Drunk Willie, the fella who littered the front stoop of the General store with peanut shells and frightened the preteens with his wandering eye? He’s the greeter at Wal-Mart now.
Now, federal regulators up in Washington are trying to make it easier for big media conglomerates to buy out locally-owned television and radio stations.
And there’s nothing he can do about it other than write letters. He’s only a United States Senator, for God’s sake!
Local stations are critical to making our communities feel like home.
“Because there’s nothing like the local news philosophy of “If it Bleeds, It Leads” when it comes to promoting closer ties within the community.
In North Carolina, local stations offer Atlantic Coast Conference basketball games, prep football games, Billy Graham crusades, and muscular dystrophy telethons.
Now there’s 3 good arguments for giant media conglomerates to own local stations. I’d be willing to pay extra to ensure that I never again had to view a prep football game, Billy Graham crusade, or a muscular dystrophy telethon.
They offer responsive and accountable coverage of local interests < spit-take > that can’t be matched by big conglomerates that own hundreds of stations around the globe.
We need to protect smaller stations, which is why I have urged the Federal Communications Commission to not make it easier for media conglomerates to gobble up local stations.
“Urged?” My god man, don’t bring out the heavy weaponry this early in the fight! All you’ve got left in the ammunition dump is the “Strongly urged”, and after that we’re SOL.
To read more about my efforts please click here.
Hey, another letter! When you find your groove, you stick to it, don’tcha?
Many parts of our rural way of life are threatened by today’s economy.
Because they can’t grow pot at all, and only as much tobacco as we let them. Television station ownership impacts this how, exactly?
Lack of capital, unfair trade practices, and a limited access to quality health care and educational opportunities are forcing young people to move out of rural areas.
That is exactly what I told Billy Bob when he came to Chapel Hill. “Billy Bob, ” I said “Lack of capital, unfair trade practices, and a limited access to quality health care and educational opportunities have forced you to move from your rural area to this here den of iniquity.”
He kept insisting he needed him some iniquity, and somewhat less horse manure and churchin’, but that’s just nonsense.
Growing up in Robbins, I understand the importance of protecting our rural way of life and values.
And you call yourself educated. It’s either “Growing up in Robbins, I understood the importance of protecting our rural way of life and values.” or “Having grown up in Robbins, I understand the importance of protecting our rural way of life and values.” That’s 10 points off your final grade, Senator Quayle……er, Edwards.
I can’t help but notice you left your rural area, Senator. Was it because of a “lack of capital, unfair trade practices, and a limited access to quality health care and educational opportunities,” or because personal injury lawyers don’t make that much on “Farmer Jim’s mule done kicked me in the berries” cases?
I recently proposed a strategy to revitalize rural America.
Did it include wiping out agricultural subsidies, or letting farmers grow pot ? Might as well have kept your mouth shut for all the good it will do otherwise.
You can learn more about it on the Senate web site.
Now there’s a party!
One of the best ways for North Carolinians to reach me is by email through my Senate web site at http://edwards.senate.gov/mailform.html
Excellent. You see I am Dr Hamza Kalu, the co-ordinator of the federal government of Nigeria contract review panel of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and I have a proposal for you.
An Unsubtle Gorejack, or Something Worse?Posted in Uncategorized on May 30th, 2003 by Bigwig – Comments Off
This morning the first words out of Ngnat’s mouth, after the obligatory crying and screams of “Nana!” that she greets the sudden shock of unwelcome wakefulness with each and every day, were “Where’s that sneaky fox?”
We’ve been infected by Dora The Explorer. We have Dora pajamas, Dora shirts, Dora drinking cups, plates and cutlery, and a little Boots the monkey doll that craps in its hand and flings feces at the walls when you squeeze his tummy.
Well, not really, but a man can dream, can’t he? Has to dream really. Gotta have something to balance out the song his daughter makes him sing to the cereal bowl every morning.
Hey, that’s a Dora bowl!
It’s just adorable!
It is your Dora bowl
‘Cause you’re adorable!
To the tune of the chorus Ta ra ra boom de ay if you’re dying to know.
Last night, after another Dora full day, Ngnat announced that she was Dora “I Dora!”, that Nana was Boots “Nana, you Boots!” and that they were going to cut pictures out of the 25 cent back issue comics on the coffee table and glue them to poster board. “We’re gonna blue!”
No, that’s not a typo. Ngnat can pronounce “Guh” perfectly well, but at some point she decided the sticky white stuff in the plastic squeeze bottle was “Elmer’s Blue”, and there’s no point in changing now. It’s cute the first couple of times, then becomes blackboard scratching annoying. Man was not meant to say “I want to blue.”
“I blue now, Daddy?”
“Glue, honey, glue. Guh. Guh!”
“That’s right, glue.”
“OK! You blue with me, Daddy?”
“Yes, yes I am blue with you.”
“Ok, come on!”
And so we blued. Ngnat was Dora, Nana was Boots, and Daddy was……
“Swiper,” I told her. “And I’m going to swipe your scissors!”
Shrieks of delight and pretend fear. For those you you who are happily unfamiliar with Dora, Swiper is a fox who steals things and then ineptly hides them in various places, where they are inevitably recovered by Dora and her monkey. He’s prevented from this if Dora incants “Swiper no swiping!” three times before he lays hands on the object of his desire, which Ngnat attempted to do. I allowed myself be turned away by one repetition, as excitement had rendered Ngnat incapable of repeating more than once. Indeed, sheer delight threatened her ability to stand upright.
So for the rest of the evening I played the part of Swiper, with Ngnat occasionally coming over to the dark side and announcing that she too was Swiper. Other times she was content to just shriek at the sight of me. I was Swiper while we blued, and she shrieked, while she took her bath, and she shrieked, while we brushed her hair, and she shrieked and while we read books at bedtime. Since it was bedtime, she shrieked quietly to herself.
After she determined the location of the sneaky fox this morning, she ran into the bedroom and yelled “Wake up, Swiper!”, shrieked yet again, and ran downstairs. It appears that was my final curtain call, however. As we walked down the driveway to pick up the newspaper prior to the morning trip trip to daycare she looked up and asked, “Are you Daddy?”. Perhaps she was concerned for the safety of the News and Observer.
I assured her that yes, I was Daddy, at present.
“I like hot,” she said, stepping into a sunlit area of the cement. “You like cool, Daddy.”
I wonder what she would have told Swiper.
Sen John Edward’s email listserv, The Edwards eList, is open and apparently unmoderated for all subscribers. This morning a member’s change of address notification went out to the entire list.
Now I just have to figure out what to post.