$2B Bond or Not $2B Bond – Connect NC


Looks like FTCC is second from the top of NC Community Colleges in receiving funds from the Bond. Only Wake County is slated to get more. FTCC is scheduled to get more funds than Fayetteville State University, which in the list of higher ed UNC institutions is at the bottom. Even Elizabeth City State, an institution in dire trouble, is to get $3M more than FSU.

If you add up all the Cumberland County Projects (there are 3)… FTCC + FSU + State Parks Project, Cumberland County is supposed to benefit around $25M. But, take a look at Burke County and their total projects add up to about $90M. Burke County?!?

There are 3 projects to improve National Guard Facilities (none near Cumberland County) each of which are to receive $23+M.

I wonder who of our State Senators & Representatives were paying attention to what Cumberland County & FSU would be getting. If they were paying attention, did FSU get shafted on purpose? So, Cumberland County residents that are paying into this bond (if it passes) with their taxes will be supporting projects that are overwhelmingly for projects outside of Cumberland County.

UNC-Wilmington, my alma mater, will get $66M for their new Health & Human Services /Nursing Building, “Woo Hoo!”

FSU, where I have worked going on 21 years, will get $10M to “renovate” an old chemistry building, “Woo Huh?!?”

When you are taking from Peter to pay Paul, I don’t want to be Peter.


“Be Good to Your Baby, Before It is Born.”

Some years ago, while living in Jacksonville, North Carolina, I saw an advertisement in the Jacksonville Daily News for the Crist Clinic (Dr. Takey Crist). Dr. Crist was a well-known abortionist.

I thought the phrase was ironic.  If you can actually do things to be good to your baby before it is born, then wouldn’t killing “a fetus” be the ultimate bad thing you could do for your baby?

Logically, shouldn’t an abortion clinic advertise, “Treat your baby like shit, so it won’t be born.”

One of the best compliments I’ve ever heard.

WRAL 5 TV has a weekly tribute to a high school athlete.  This person is normally also a scholar and invested in their community.  I’ve seen a bunch of these athletes over the years, but I just heard someone provide a powerful compliment regarding this female athlete, “The schools a better place because she walked the halls.”

I’ve heard similar compliments, but this was simple and powerful.

A Poll

FATZ Restaurant – Cheraw, SC

Cheraw, SC is about 1.5 hours SW of Fayetteville, NC.  My first visit to the Fatz Restaurant, in Cheraw, was back in November of this year (2015).  My waitress was Ashley, and the overall experience was excellent!  I had onion rings, and one of the provided dipping sauces was a Chipotle Ketchup, which was sweet, with a little heat, and a definite Chipotle flavor.  Ashley was attentive to my experience and I left a good tip, for me;-)

Today was my third visit to the restaurant.  I was seated and told that Ashley would be my waitress.  Moments later, the hostess changed her mind and as Ashley came to my booth, the hostess pulled her off and directed her to serve someone else.  Ashley leaned back to me and said, “Someone else will be here to help you shortly,” smiled and walked away.  Another waitress came to wait on me.

I ordered unsweet tea, although I would sweeten it with an off brand sweetner.  I had viewed the Lunch Menu online before my visit, and had decided to order the veggie trio.  The  Kale Slaw, Red Potato Salad with Fresh Dill, and Sweet Fried Brussels had looked good so I ordered them and I also asked for some onion rings.   Later the waitress would return and ask if a substitution, for the red potato salad, would be okay.  I asked if I could get a baked potato instead and she went off to inquire.  When she came with my food, it included a baked potato, sour cream, butter, bacon bits and a mixed shredded cheese blend… kale salad, fried brussel sprouts (with onions in a sweet balsamic vinaigrette).  The onion rings had arrived just a little before my entree.

It was all good!  The kale salad and the fried brussel sprouts & onions had good flavor, as did the baked potato.  I put some of the bacon bits on my potato, but I also put some in the kale salad.  Good flavors.

My waitress did not return until almost the end of my meal.  She asked if I wanted a tea to go but I asked for a water & ice to go.  She came with my water and I signed the Visa receipt and left a small tip.

I do like Fatz and so far the food has all been good.  *I forgot, they have a bread appetizer that is also good.


My 2 Cents on Terms & Catch-Phrases

  • “Jerry rigged”
    • When I was growing up in the 1960s, “jerry rigged” was a term used to describe something, like an engine, that had been made to work, by reparing the apparatus with “what was available,” not necessarily with the parts that were originally intended to make it work at it’s optimum.  “Jerry” referred to Germans, apparently during WWII that were good at making things work, even if they didn’t have the actual replacement parts.  I’ve also heard the term, “N-rigged” which meant the same thing.  Yeah, it works, but if we had the money to buy the actual replacement parts (or if they were available) we wouldn’t have to “make do.”  There is definitely a nod toward being creative enough to keep the thing working, but also the understanding that you were too poor to afford to buy the actual replacement parts.
  • “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”
    • This phrase referred to “Kate Smith,” a large woman with a strong singing voice that apparently sang after the “game” was over.  I assume that the “game” was probably baseball because of her era (not Earned Run Average).  She was a North Carolinian, or at least she died in Raleigh, NC.  I’ve recently read online that, “It doesn’t begin until the fat lady sings,” which is just a blatant misunderstanding of the phrase’s origin.
  • “She had the vapors.”
    • This has always meant she became dizzy or light headed, and meant a “fainting spell,” normally by a “Lady.”  And, in saying the phrase, you might place the back of your hand to your forehead and feign fainting.  But, a year or so ago, I was with a group of mostly “Yankees” and one of the women said that “the vapors” meant the woman was flatulent.  Let me say that among Southern “ladies,” not a one of them would have announced that she had “the vapors,” if all would have understood she was “farty.”
  • “Coming down the pike.”
    • When I was growing up, “coming down the pike,” was the phrase used to describe something in development that would be available at a later date.  It was explained to me (and this is way before the Internet) that “pike” was short for “turnpike” which was a road.  It was only much later that I heard the phrase as “coming down the pipe.”   I immediately thought, “it’s not pipe, but pike,” but I could see where the analogy was close enough that either could be used.
  • “used to”
    • “used to” meaning “in the past,” as in “she used to teach Biology,” meaning “in the past, she taught Biology,” or just “she taught Biology.”

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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