Thanksgiving 2015 Early…

Danny normally works on the actual holiday, so we celebrate most holidays a week or two early.  Thanksgiving 2015  was celebrated on Sunday, November 22nd.

The highlights:

  • Saturday morning, a really good country ham, with red eye gravy, biscuits, and home fries at Helen’s Kitchen.  Two eggs over medium and coffee.
  • The house at 204 Johnson Blvd. in Jacksonville, NC is no more.  I was preparing to ride past it, and about the time I was finishing saying to 204johnson-coming-downmyself, “Well, at least I don’t have to pay the taxes on it any more…”

    I look to see no house, and a yellow CAT backhoe standing in what “used to be” the front yard.  I got out and took pictures.  A muddy pit exists where the house stood.

  • Mary Ann’s vehicle wasn’t at home so I rode down to Morehead City 20151121_120507via the beach road, and stopped at Fort Macon to use the bathroom.  I took a picture of the North Carolina flag flying just outside of the new FM Visitor’s Center because I realized it was one-sided and that the lettering, etc. appears backwards from one side of the flag.  *This is just like the picture of the Steamer CITY OF WILMINGTON that had a picture taken with the name WILMINGTON reversed… which makes some think the image should be reversed… unless they actually look at the name of the vessel on the bow of the boat and above the pilot house, where both are in the correct order.   A quick look in the gift shop and then back in the car to ride over to the Beaufort waterfront.
  • New bridge between Morehead City and Beaufort (B-side) is coming along.
  • Came back along Hwy. 24 through Swansboro.
  • I had breakfast on Sunday morning at the Hubert Grill.  The building is where Al & Cleo had a restaurant many years ago, when Sis was still alive and well.  They have a good breakfast.
  • The children were REALLY LOUD all during Thanksgiving dinner.
  • I meandered up to New Bern again on Monday morning on the way back to Fayetteville and stopped at the North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace.  I did a detour through River Bend, and also stopped at a large antiques store.
  • The North Carolina History Center is a large new, modern facility with gift shop, cafe, Pepsi 3D historical village, local history museum, short orientation video and free (changing) exhibit.
    • I paid the $12 for one of the levels of daily tickets… which ended up being almost useless.  Don’t pay that if you are single and think the 3D village is going to be worth the price.  IT’s NOT!  The 3D village needs kids, a bunch of kids to be fun!  Maybe eight to ten kids in a group, or larger, to “man” the various video screened stations.
    • The local history museum section wasn’t of much interest for me.
    • I may have been told this before, but the original Tryon Palace burned years ago and there was little but part of the old horse stable HQ left.  But, in 1959 some influential women got together and the Palace was rebuilt on its original location from old plans, etc.  ***1959?  Well, that means that what I’ve gone through, when a child, growing up in Swansboro… and then with Debbie S. when in my late teens & early twenties… and then maybe 15 years ago, when there was a State IT Conference in New Bern, and Leo Taylor and myself took a brief tour of the facilities, the rebuilt facilities were 4 years younger than myself!  It’s almost all FAKE;-)
  • I took Hwy. 70 East, heading West from New Bern to Kinston.  I had decided to continue on Hwy. 70 from Kinston and turn off to get back to Seven Springs and Hwy. 50 to come into Newton Grove.  I stopped at the Kinstonian Family Restaurant for a late lunch.  Lunch was good country cooking.  There were even “fall off the bone” pigs feet which I had a second helping of.  The vegetable soup was good, although I added just a little sweetner.  I had unsweet tea, which I added several packets of artificial sweetner to.  Good pickled beets.  Fried chicken was good, but not outstanding.

ADDENDUM:  I just noticed from one of the pictures that the Gardenia bushes that were at the NWern end of the house are gone.  A shame!  They came from the neighbor, next door from where the old two-story Morton home was, on the corner of Hwy. 24 and Bear Creek Road.  And I noticed my previous visit down, that that old house was also gone.

Honda Civic 99,999 to 100,000

Less than a mile from returning to my apartment yesterday (after going to Raleigh) my white 2011 Honda Civic rolled from 99,999 to 100,000 miles.  I now have three payments before my last scheduled payment in February 2016.

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Panera Bread — Hmmm… I think I can do this for $5.

Panera Bread is about mid-way on my trek, to and from work each day.  Until yesterday, the last Panera Restaurant that I had visited was in Petersburg, VA when I was coming back from a short vacation which included Wilmington, DE & Philadelphia, PA.  My gripe, other than “too much salt” in their food, has been that their flavored drinks (e.g. Akai Berry… sp?) are so watered down as to be like drinking the day old remains of a fountain Coke with ice.  You drank all the drink the day before, leaving some ice in the bottom of the cup, and today you have a watery Cokified drink that is almost flavorless and definitely not pleasant.  Wal*Mart has several powdered flavor packets for sale (10 packets for about $1.74) which I have come to enjoy and use quite frequently.  I sometimes think that I could order water at a restaurant and slip in a flavor packet to have a decent flavored drink… and Panera would definitely be a prime candidate.  However, I see they have assorted soft-drink products at the location I just visited.

So I ordered a 1/2 sandwich and a cup of soup special, with water to drink.  During my meal, I look down at the half-sandwich and think it unusually small, but flavorful (turkey, avocado, bacon) but the soup was enough (Broccoli Cheddar).  And, I say to myself, “I could make this for about $5.”

I don’t want to stay at work during my lunch time.

ADDENDUM [11/17/15]:  It is probably closer to $7 than $5;-)

  • Sliced turkey  $1.50
  • Bacon  1.25
  • Avocado  .75
  • Artisan Bread  .75
  • Curried mayo  .25
  • Cheddar cheese  $4.00
  • Half-n-Half  .75
  • Steamed Broccoli  1.25
  • Carrot sticks  .60
  • Sauteed onion  .75

Is that $11.85 for just the ingredients?  Makes 2.5 small bowls.

You’ve got to figure in the cost of heating the ingredients & cleaning the pot, plate, bowl, and utensils.

If I buy the family size can of specialty soup, for $1.50 +tax then it is probably over $7, but if I try to make the Broccoli-Cheddar Soup, it is probably closer to $8.50 for me to do it myself.

SPECTRE@IMAX: What a Disappointment!

The James Bond movie, SPECTRE, was a good Bond film.  Exciting and predictable formula.

But, don’t you know that just because the JAWS-type Bond nemesis gets yanked out of a speeding train car with a rope around his neck shouldn’t stop him from reappearing several times later before the end of the film?

I had never gone to an IMAX “movie” movie, and never to this theatre in Fayetteville, NC, but starting with some of the endless movie trailers and PSAs leading up to the film, I began to notice how fuzzy, jagged and lacking digital crispness some of the scenes were.  I was hoping that once the actual movie started, that the digital quality would improve greatly… thinking that local video production wouldn’t be able to fund the high-end quality of an International Bond Film.

But, several times during SPECTRE, I was forced outside of the story to make a mental note that “this is like watching an old Analog movie” because of the fuzziness of items in the film.  IMAX has very good SOUND, but I would rather stay home and watch on a much smaller screen, where the digital video quality is light-years ahead of IMAX.  Paying $11.77 for the matinee isn’t worth it just for a big fuzzy experience.

**”Movie” movie – I think I had been in an IMAX theater (perhaps Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh) once, but the videos were of various queasy stomach, “over the cliff” images meant to make your mind giddy with self-preservation.

Rooms to Go Showroom/Warehouse Grand Opening – Dunn, NC

I don’t like crowds, but for some reason, I wanted to go to the “Rooms to Go” Showroom Grand Opening in Dunn, NC the first time I saw the commercial on TV.  I know it is an important event for the area.

Although the main parking areas were already filled by the time I arrived (about 30 minutes after the 10 am opening), I saw an opening along the side of the road, just about in front of the main entrance.  It was about 1.5 car lengths and was easy to slip into the parking space.  Short walk and then the crowds.  Relatively painless though, because I wasn’t going to wait in line for the crystal glasses they were giving away.

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You Know They Were Having Fun…

Fall GearWhy does the Master Climber have radical calm?  Because of the Fall Gear he is wearing.

I went to my dentist this morning to have a filling filled.  It only took about 30 minutes and I was out, with a filled tooth and the right side of my mouth and tongue numb.  This was the magazine that I picked up shortly before going back for the procedure.  I thought it funny to have the “Fall Gear” directly below the “Master Free Climber”.