Average Teacher Pay Surges to Nearly $55,000 in Senate


I see from one of his flyers that “Wesley Meredith voted to raise teachers’ pay by 15.5%”.  Now that sort of angers me because I have repeatedly over the last several years asked that he pay attention to State Employees’ pay and he has done little, if anything, to work for even a fraction of that amount.  He “stepped aside” last year and between the Senate leader and the House Leader, they gave some bonus leave for State Employees.

Shrimp & Hot Italian Sausage

  • Hot Italian Sausage (Whole Foods – Raleigh)
  • Cocktail Shrimp (frozen)
  • Leeks (round, white portion, sliced into rings)
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Italian Parsley (chopped)
  • Dried Onion Flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Celery Seeds
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Fresh Ground Pepper (mix)
  • Half & Half
  • Margarine (butter)
  • Olive oil

I tried this also with onion and a few ramp roots when I was out of leeks.  I also added some fennel seeds, which I suppose should be in the Italian sausage.  Used mixed red and yellow bell pepper and with the Italian Parsley most colorful.

This was something I cooked on the stove top after 1 am in the morning.  It turned out really, really, good!

The leek almost disappeared.  Needed more red bell pepper, and maybe sliced smaller.  The margarine and half & half were excellent touches that brought the sauce together.  I think the home fries, like those in the Helen’s Kitchen Country Ham Breakfast photo would go very well with this.  The crispy outside texture of the potatoes with the cream sauce, and then the softer potato inside, soaking up that sauce to the last drop;-)  Mmmmm, Good!


My Favorite SciFi Movies


  1. Chronicles of Riddick
    This movie takes you far from reality to another, dark universe/underverse.  It moves quickly until the final moment when Riddick sits, victorious, but alone.
  2. The Mist
    Some of the brief imagery toward the end of the film is aweing.  The gigantic creature walking and the earth shuddering with each footstep feeds the imagination.
  3. Prometheus
  4. Resident Evil
  5. Red Planet
  6. Gattaca
  7. Serenity
  8. Oblivion
  9. Predator
  10. Total Recall
  11. Pitch Black
  12. Forbidden Planet
  13. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Tamarind & Date Chutney

tamarind&date-chutney.jpgI think this is the brand of Tamarind & Date Chutney that I bought at an India Indian market in Apex, NC.  It is sweet, but for some reason reminds me of Texas Pete Chili.  It would go well with ham on a sandwich.

It Ain’t Barbecue Chicken!

I was listening to a promotional video by our chancellor today and he started to talk about the Agora Project and then he reeled off the words that made up the acronym.  My mind was walking through the first letters of the words, and I said to myself, “Those words don’t spell out AGORA!”  I thought, “Maybe I didn’t hear him correctly,” so, I replayed that segment of the video.  And again, and again.  Using the first initials of the words the acronym should have been “NNGORI”.

Navy Next-Generation Outreach and Recruitment Initiative  (AGORA)

I then found the web page that explained the acronym.  The “a” in “Navy” was used.  The “N” in “Next-Generation” was not used, and the final (insult) letter, the “a” in “Initiative” was used.  The first “N” in “Navy” wasn’t used either.  Whomever came up with this acronym must have gone to the “GenX School of Acronym Makers” whose acronym is of course “NCAA.”

Why is this post entitled, “It Ain’t Barbecue Chicken?”  There is a post from several years ago when I visited a restaurant and ordered the Barbecue Chicken special.  It arrived, but it wasn’t Barbecue Chicken.  It was chicken cooked in tomato sauce.  The sauce was still runny, and was much like the “tomato-like” sauce in a can of pork-n-beans.  When things like this happen, you stop and begin to question the unquestionable standards on which you have based your life, up to that point.  What are the requirements for “barbecue chicken” to actually be considered “barbecue chicken”?

I think one of my requirements for barbecue chicken is that a thick, at least mildly sweet tomato based sauce, that may also have a smokey flavor has been baked on to the outside of the chicken so that it does not run off when you pick up the chicken.  You can cook the chicken in an oven, or on a grill, or maybe even on the stove top, but you couldn’t boil chicken in a pot of tomato sauce… unless you let it cook down until the sauce sticks to the chicken.

So, if you are the “Navy Next-Generation Outreach and Recruitment Initiative” and you want to used the word, “AGORA” as an acronmyn,…  DON’T!  It isn’t an acronym for that group of words or phrase.  You can’t pull out middle letters from the group of words to make an acronymn, but if you do… you are a moron.

The Ice Crusher on Sis’s Kitchen Wall

I don’t recall if the ice crusher mounted beside the kitchen door at my Aunt Sis’s house was exactly like this, but it was pretty close.  When I look at the shape of the red plastic ice catcher, and the cast iron teeth, alot of it comes back to me.  The kitchen walls & cabinets were of cedar.5-2-2016 10-52-04 AM 5-2-2016 10-52-51 AM 5-2-2016 10-52-26 AM 5-2-2016 10-52-14 AM 5-2-2016 10-53-10 AM

Spring Vacation

The parentheses of this vacation was that I food poisoned myself the first Saturday and am almost well now, the following Sunday.

The highlight of my vacation was Wednesday lunch.  I was heading to Asheville and stopped at “Sticks and Stones” in Greensboro, NC and ordered a small pizza.  There was a parking space right up front and there were just a few people inside & out.

The pizza had a distinctive flavor, I think it was the tomatoes.  I added bacon and red onion as I didn’t want to test my digestive system too much.   “To Be The One” Classic Margherita style pie with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil.

The waitress had a nose ring.  She was friendly and attentive.

I stopped in Statesville for three purposes.  I see that they have closed a long-time available ramp off the Interstate.

I found a First Citizens and went it.  When I walked in, there was no one in sight.  Then a teller popped out of what may have been an alcove for the drive-thru.  I finished filling out my check and gave it to the teller.  She was friendly and allowed me to tell some of my stories, and she shared a bank robbery item herself.

I then drove around and found what I thought was the main Post Office.  The letters, in gold, said “Post Office and Courthouse” I think.  I parked and walked around front to go inside.  As I am walking up the steps I start to read a sign with a gun on it.  “No firearms allowed.”  I thought that strange.  I opened the door and as I started to enter, I see an “FBI-type,” dressed man approaching me.  There was a sensor walk-thru device, but I didn’t make it there.

Seems, this is no longer a Post Office, but a Bankruptcy Court.  The officer was personable and directed me to the nearest mailboxes.

I think it was Walgreens that I went to, to purchase “adult” diapers.  I bought a package of these because I did not want to accidentally soil the motel sheets/bed.

I stayed at the Quality Inn on the east side of Asheville.  I had stayed there before and the room was small but comfortable.

Let me say that adult diapers are not very sexy, especially when they are worn by an old fat man.


A few weeks ago, we were told that we would be implementing Scrum in our department and this would mean that our departmental sections would meet for up to 15 minutes each day to do the following:

  • Each member reports what they did the previous day
  • Each member reports what they have scheduled to do today
  • Each member reports any obstacles they see to accomplishing their tasks for today

There is a Scrum Master which keeps things going.  Everyone stands, during the Scrum, as this encourages the brevity of the meeting.  If a topic becomes too detailed, the SM calls it to the “parking lot” which means those involved should meet afterwards to continue the discussion in greater detail.  If an item is completely off topic, the SM call it a “rat hole” and you go on to the next topic.  The Scrum is supposed to start on time and everyone is to be on time to participate.

It is only a little over a week and we’ve already had a SM forget the time, and be on a call with someone at Scrum start time.  Several people come to the meeting late.  Several people have other things scheduled and do not show up at all.  And probably the worst, for me, as everyone talks about what they have done & plan to do, I am painfully aware that what they do and what I do have almost nothing to do with each other.  So, rather than engendering collegiality, I feel a sense of isolation as a result of the daily Scrum.  **I’ve asked, is the Scrum supposed to engender collegiality, or be for information sharing, to which I was told, “both.”

Yesterday, I decided to do a little online “Scrum” research.  I quickly realized that what we had implemented as Scrum was totally devoid of the reason why Scrum was invented.  Scrum is a framework in which various processes and techniques are employed with a goal of effective & efficient software/product development.

We are using the interactive techniques, but not with the purpose of reaching a shared goal.  As such, it AIN’T Scrum!  Collegiality and info sharing are by-products of the Scrum process, but the goal is to reach a level of shared “Done”-ness which should be a working software or product.

A Scrum Team should consist of members with skill sets that, in combination, cover all the skills required for a successful Sprint.  A Sprint being a 30 days (or less) window for the process & completion of a “Done” product iteration.  The members agree upon what “Done” means.  **”…the heart of a Scrum is the software/product being worked on…”

I meet with other staff that are working on projects on the Administrative side, not Academic.  If your group is not working on a common project, then each person is focused upon what they are doing/have done and instead of breaking down silos, what could emphasize more, the solitary nature of what each person is working on daily, than to meet to talk about each person’s work?


Lunch at the Southern Sizzler in Whiteville, NC


I had lunch at the Southern Sizzler Restaurant in Whiteville, North Carolina yesterday (Sunday, April 10, 2016).  I had passed this restaurant on other visits to Whiteville because it always seemed busy, but today, I was a little early for the Church Crowd (about 11:30 am).

The Buffet with unsweet tea came to a little over $13.

They have good food, attentive waitresses, and a country diner atmosphere.

I sampled several items including pork ribs, meatloaf, breaded pork chop, fried chicken (wing), fried shrimp, turnips, butter beans, green beans and salt pork rind.  The only thing that wasn’t up to par was the cabbage slaw.  It was much like what I had fixed in the past before I took note of a trick that Mary Ann uses to fix her slaw.  She cuts up the cabbage roughly, puts it in a blender “with water” and then blends it.  Without the water the slaw becomes too fine and almost mushy.  Drain off the water after the slaw is chopped and add some sweetner and Dukes Mayo.

20160410_120535I enjoyed it all and went back for a few more turnips and another pork rib.  The ribs would have been better if the sauce had been cooked into the meat, but the meat was good, and the sauce had good flavor.

I had a little of two of the deserts, including some banana pudding and a lemon cake something.  Both good.

I used sweetner in the unsweet tea.  It was cold, and the waitress brought me a glass of ice with a tea refill.

I enjoyed the food here and would like to come back sometime.