The Remorseful Day

The problem with “cliff-hanging” Endeavour is that you know how your main character turns out. He’s not going to die, nor remain convicted in prison for the rest of his life.

The Remorseful Day is about as bleak an ending for a main character as I can recall. Pretty close to life-like. Morse is old, in poor health, abandoned by his late love. The shine is off for the brilliant detective, reconciled to bird watching for the remainder of his “miserable” life. Even Lewis knows more about birding than Morse, their roles reversed. And, how life-like, Morse dies and Lewis can’t even be there because his profession calls. Well done!

I’ve never been good at working crossword puzzles, my feeble attempt at appreciating Opera failed,  I don’t like the taste of beer, and I work alone (for the most part), daily, solving small problems.

I’ve recently enjoyed poring over many of the 360 degrees images of Oxford University college buildings via the Virtual Tour of Oxford.  Did I even know what Michaelmas or Open Admission was before that?  But I am impressed that there are tunnels used to port books between the various Bodleian libraries.

Still, I’ve reached a time in my life, “old age” and find myself watching stability leave my life with ever increasing speed.  Nothing really important has gone lately, but little things.

I’ve lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina for almost twenty years.  I started work at Fayetteville State University on August 7th, 1995.  About six months ago, I passed by a Hardee’s fast-food restaurant, either going to or from work, and realized it had closed.  I saw a note on one door, from a distance.  Wondered what the note said, but never made a detour to read the note.  The building has remained empty.

20140713_091027One morning after breakfast, about three or four months ago, I got in my car and headed past Independence Mall.  As I looked opposite the Mall, I saw that the Golden Corral was gone.  Well, most of it was gone, and it had been there less than a week before.  I quickly made a right turn and came around into what had been the restaurant’s parking lot.  There was still wreckage of the building in heaps, and heavy equipment parked nearby.  I saw no sign of fire.  I took a couple of pictures and then left.

I found that plans were in the works to build a new Golden Corral on the same location.

Less than a week ago, as I was having lunch at another Golden Corral (across town), DeWayne, a long-time waiter there, told me that the current location 20141020_131644would be closing after the coming Sunday.  He and others were to be transferred over to the new location.  *I’m not sure if it is open, or will be opened before closing the current location.  Still two long-time restaurants that I have visited regularly for almost 20 years have/will disappear.

I was born on my cousin, Mary Ann (Kellum) Sharpe’s sixteenth birthday.  I think I recall that she has been married to her husband, James “Jim” F. Sharpe for almost 50 years.

I like Tom Selleck as an actor.  I have especially enjoyed the character, Jessie Stone.  But, I have noted how old the actor has become.

In addition to liking Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis and Endeavour, I am a fan of Midsomer Murders.  I’ve enjoyed John Nettles, but had noted that in his last episodes he was looking old.

Go, go, Golden Corral

I just found out yesterday that the Golden Corral that I normally visit will be closing after this coming Sunday. I don’t recall exactly, but I think it was built shortly after I came to Fayetteville, NC in 1995. I am not sure of that.
I have known DeWayne probably since my first visits.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Making a Sandwich

Over the years I have refined a sandwich favorite of mine and here is how to make it.

I buy the Boars Head Black Pepper Ham and HT White American Cheese and buy a loaf of whole wheat bread.  The bread is not the organic version, so it has the grains in the bread.

I put the Indian Mint Chutney on one slice of the bread and the curry remoulade on the other slice.  I either sprinkle some ground Chipotle pepper on the ham, or on the curry remoulade (and then put the ham on top of it).  I then put a couple of slices of the white American cheese on the other slice.

Harris Teeter has good roasted red peppers, so I put a couple of those on top of the ham before closing the sandwich up.

*I make the curry remoulade out of Dukes mayonnaise, a little Patak’s Hot Curry Paste (HT), and some capers.

I want a half pound of Black Pepper Ham.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to get some sandwich fixin’s.  This grocery, a chain, had a large Deli Meat/Cheese section and a bakery section nearby.  I have shopped here for years.

A few years ago, I ran through a short period where I ordered Black Pepper Ham, but when I got home, I had something else.  I don’t know why I didn’t check after the first time, but now I normally check, and that problem has not re-occurred lately.

So I come to the counter and shortly one of the attendants, a young black man asks if he can help me.  I say, “I would like a half pound of Black Pepper Ham.”  He nodded, and started to reach for the ham.  I started to walk down the display and I think I tried the sample cheese that was on toothpicks.  I look behind the counter and he is telling me that he needs to go back to the walk in refrigerator to get the ham.  I say, “Okay,” and I turn to go to the bakery to get sandwich bread.

There is a bakery person behind the counter, but I walk to the back where the “day old” bread is located.  I look for the Whole Wheat loaf is that actually has the whole grain in the bread.  There is an Organic Wheat Loaf that doesn’t have the grain.  I get the loaf I want, but stop to ask the attendant what the difference is between the two.

I come back to the meat counter and the young man is beginning to slice my Pepper Ham order.  He appears to be moving slowly, but I just step back and let other customers walk past, in front of me.

The young man takes the slices of meat and places them on the scale.  He then appears to go back to slice some more meat.  I have to squint at the weight showing on the digital scale, but I see that it is showing .68.  I know that .68 is well above the .5 that I have requested.  I step up and ask a woman attendant how much the scale is showing and she affirms that it is showing .68.  I tell her that I only asked for a half pound.  She fiddles, and apparently can reset the amount that is actually charged for, from the actual amount on the scale.  She printed a label and handed it over to the young man who is still at the slicer.

In a little while the young man comes back over to the scale and puts the meat on it and generates a label.  He sticks it on the package of meat and hands it over to me.  I take a look at the label.  The price is over $10 and when I make out the weight, it is about .98 of a pound.  I immediately hand it back to the young man and tell him that I asked for a half pound of Black Pepper Ham and this is almost a pound.  *The woman says something to him.  Apparently, that she had handed him a label previously and they sort of look back to see where he might have put it by the slicer.  A new label is generated and affixed to the meat and I look at the price and it is under $5.  *I also get a third of a pound of the cheese special, which I think was called Baby Swiss.

When I got home, and was putting the sliced meat into my refrigerator, I realized that they must have put all the sliced meat (even the overage) into my package.

Still, I’m not trying to “get over” on them.  I asked for a half pound of meat.  Even if he had stopped at .68 of a pound I would have paid for that without a problem, but that it appeared that he had no clue as to what a half pound of meat was.  Or even though he had repeated back to me, “a half pound,” he had in his mind he was going to give me a pound.

**Why do I stress a half pound of meat, and normally a third of a pound of cheese?  It is because I have found over several years that if I order more than a half pound of meat, it turns green & slick (spoils) before I can use it all.

Butterscotch AMC Pacer

1979 AMC PacerI was reading online this morning and came across an article about the 10 Worst Automobiles that should have never made it on the road.  There at #1 was the AMC Pacer, and the photo illustration could have been of the very one that we (my mother) had purchased in 1979 in Jacksonville, NC.  I don’t recall the exact name of the dealership, but it was something like “Coastal Motors” and Jere Pelletier was the owner.  The dealership was located on the north end of town on Highway 17/Marine Blvd.

I believe one sales slogan for the Pacer was, “the first wide small car.”  We bought a butterscotch colored vehicle.  The rear had a hatchback and there was alot of glass all around.

One odd event that I recall happened on a Saturday morning.  My mother and I got up early and drove the Pacer to the dealership.  We rolled up to the front door and stopped.  We both got out of the car, and there was a newspaper on the ground.  We picked up the paper and walked into the showroom (the door was partially open) and went over and sat down in a couple of chairs along the wall.  Mom gave me a section of the paper, and/or we traded off the sections.  I don’t think either of us thought that it was unusual that no one had come out to greet us.  We probably thought they were in the back doing whatever it takes to get ready for customers.

At some point, when I had finished reading the paper, I got up and looked around the corner to see if I could see anyone.  The light was on in a back office, and as I walked back to it, I saw that there was a safe, and near it was a green Acetylene tank & torch.  I noted that the safe had been turned on its side, and broken into with part of it peeled back.  It was then that an odd feeling came over me.

I must have come back to my mother and told her what I had seen.  We went outside and got into the Pacer.  We had to go down the road a little to find a telephone.  I don’t recall now if we stopped at a phone booth, or if we stopped into another business and called from there, but we talked with Law Enforcement.  We reported what we had seen and then drove back to the car dealership to wait.

We waited and no one came.  We then went back to call and then were told that because the dealership was outside of the town (Jacksonville) that no officer had been sent out.  *We must have talked with the City of Jacksonville Police Department first, but because of a jurisdictional issue, they had dropped the ball.   I guess we then called the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department, and went back to wait.

My mother died in December of 1980, and I continued to drive the Pacer even when I went up to Louisville, KY to attend Southern Seminary.  At some point, while at Seminary, the Pacer’s steering started to go bad.  Apparently, the Pacer had a “rack and pinion” steering system and I think it was explained to me that some of the teeth had either broken off or worn down and this allowed for great play in the steering wheel without much motion in the wheels.

When I finally took the Pacer to see what it would take to get the steering repaired, the cost must have been something like $400 then (1983 or so).  I decided to get a new car, and I asked my dad (living in Stockbridge, GA) if he wanted the Pacer.  I put the $400 in to get the steering fixed on the Pacer and then drove it down to Georgia and gave it to my dad.  I don’t recall how I managed to give him the Pacer, but have a replacement to drive back to KY.  *This must have been about the time that I purchased a white Mazda 626.  In 1988 I bought a new white Chevy S-10, with bumpers included;-)  The dealers were actually selling these little trucks without bumpers so that the cost to the customer would be less.

I don’t recall how long it was before I visited my dad again, probably the next major holiday.  But, when I rolled up into the yard, I looked over to the right and there parked, was the Pacer and it had a bunch of junk in it.  I don’t know what had gone wrong, but I always attributed it’s demise to my dad’s intention.  *I once counted the number of “junk” cars he had dotted about his yard, and I think it was about 14.

The Bronco Fountain – Re-Imagined.

broncoPhoto240Several years ago when Chancellor Anderson was relatively new to the FSU Campus, I sent an email suggestion that the Bronco Fountain add “misting” nozzles where the thin streams of water now flow out.  I always thought the pencil thin streams of water looked “rinky dink.”

Why misting nozzles?  Here is a Bucking Bronco, raring back on his hind legs.  If misting nozzles could spray a fine mist of water upwards it would give the appearance of dust being sprayed into the air by the Bronco.

Apparently, the idea didn’t fly to the Board of Trustees… but I still think the concept works!

Jay’s Seafood Restaurant – Albemarle, NC

I’ve been to Jay’s Seafood Restaurant at least twice, before my visit yesterday.

The first visit, the food was good, but I was seated in a large room with poor acoustics and the crowd was terribly LOUD!  The second visit, I was seated in a smaller room and the food was good.

I am guessing that I hadn’t been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes on those first visits because there is little at this restaurant that a diabetic could eat and not put themselves in danger of a coma, and that’s not counting the number of items that are fried.

The slaw and beef chunks had good flavor.  I spooned some good looking corn kernels on my plate, but they had little flavor (little or no salt).  The fried shrimp were very small and I think the batter overpowered the flavor of the shrimp so that wasn’t that enjoyable.

The real disappointment was the clam chowder.  There were several whole clams in a thin, watery, milky broth, but there was little or no salt.  It smelled good, but was horribly bland to the palate.  But, there was nothing else in the soup.  No potatoes, no onions, etc.  I don’t think I’ve ever had clam chowder (New England Style) that didn’t have some potatoes.  And, I dipped the ladle a couple of times and only came up with the broth and a few whole clams.

A very disappointing visit, and probably my last.