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.

Scrum

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

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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.

Hamont Grill Destroyed By Fire

I heard that the Haymont Grill had been gutted by fire this morning.

20160410_082705I’ve lived and worked in Fayetteville, NC for 21 years.  For about 15 of those years I lived in a small apartment complex just about 3 blocks from the restaurant.  But, in all that time, I only ate twice at the Hamont.  And, if I had my way, I would have only eaten there once.  After having an exceptionally poor experience my first visit, I told myself I would not go back.  But one day, I was riding with a friend of mine, and as we came to the restaurant, he suggested we eat there, because he had heard good things about it.

I told him of my bad experience, but said since he was driving we could go there.  My second visit was as poor as the first and between the two visits I have only left a penny tip.  And, I tell folks that I had overtipped for the service I received.

First visit, all the waitresses stood against one wall and talked amongst themselves.  One of the visits, I was supposed to get a cornbread muffin, but because they were out, I was brought a stale blueberry muffin.  I ended up digging out the soft middle and leaving the rest.  But, you don’t want a desert muffin with a savory meal.  Failed to ask if I needed a drink refill, and even had an attitude when my friend called her back to request she refill my tea.  She actually gave a “harumpf” sign as if he was asking a burden.  She brought the glass back brimming to the top with tea which she sat down before me.  My friend enjoyed his chocolate desert and when we left, I left a penny tip and the untouched full glass of tea.

It could have gone another thousand years and I would not have returned to eat at the Haymount Grill.

If they are giving others good service and food, I wish them the best, but they are bottom of the barrel with how they treated me.

FSU & Connect NC Bond

The average dollars request of the 17 Higher Ed institutions listed below was about $57 Millions.  By only asking for $10 Millions, Fayetteville State University lost out on about $47 Millions in some potential project.  I think I’ve seen how difficult it is to motivate the FSU Alumni to give, and I’m pretty sure it would take several years to make up for losing almost $50 Millions compared to the other UNC System Higher Ed institutions.

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When asked why the FSU request amount was so low, compared to the rest, one State Representative responded, “It is my understanding that these were in response to requests from the individual universities.  Perhaps the type project they requested has a lower price tag.  It is listed as the Lyons Science Bldg renovation.  Thanks for asking.

Another State Representative responded as, “The FSU appropriation appears low in comparison. A special criteria was used that stipulated the new design/allocations had to promote growth or initiatives in STEM areas. It is my understanding that the science building at FSU was the only project that fit the criteria.

A Derivative of German Potato Salad

I prepared this on the stove top (olive oil):

  • Polska Kielbasa
  • White Potato (microwave to tender)
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Celery Seeds
  • Sweetener & Agave Nectar
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Ground Pepper

I had some avocado with salt with this.

 

 

 

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

I finally got around to visiting Freddy’s restaurant late Sunday afternoon.  The place was about a third to a half full, but not crowded.  I ordered a #1 Combo, which included a double steakburger, match-stick fries and a drink.

I noted that a few customers with order numbers after mine were called, and I was hoping that my order had not been lost during my first visit.

I drank Diet Dr. Pepper.

I read one review that called the fries, shoe-string, but I labelled them match-stick because that was about their average diameter.  I tried them both with ketchup and the Freddys fries sauce.  I like ketchup with my fries, and these little, odd lengthed fries made it difficult to get a good little dab of sauce with each bite.

I noted an odd “burger” flange which was brown and thin and crispy that went around the burgers.  I figured this was done to provide more flavor, but I’m not sure if this is done by spreading something down on the grill and then putting a regular sized burger in it.

The bun disintegrated as I continued to eat the burger, which ended up with a sloppy mess at the end.  I liked the onions that were on the burger.

I think I paid about $7 for the Combo.  I like the Burger Combo at The Wiener Works much better.  I’m probably not going to try the custard, and there isn’t much reason for me to return the second time.  *Makes me wonder why this franchise would be as fast growing as it was touted in the newspaper article I read.

$2B Bond or Not $2B Bond – Connect NC

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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.

Bill

“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.”