A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "No Soap Radio!" They both jump in the water.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I got Sips

It's not entirely official, but this weekend I was given the Sips column in Go Triad. Sips is a weekly column that details a drink and a bar that serves it, previously written by Joe Killian (and a few people before him, I believe). Joe's columns are logged at The Sips Blog. I'm going to sidebar for a minute and tell you what you should expect from Joe's columns, which I insist you read.

The night of my 21st birthday a few of us go out drinking. At one point in the night Joe and I go to the bar to get a couple glasses of bourbon. Joe orders a glass of something good, Knob Creek I think, when the customer sitting in front of us asks the bartender, what is bourbon?

The correct answer, of course, is that it's an originally American liquor, distilled from at least 51% corn, aged at least 2 years in an unused white oak barrel. The bartender's answer?

"It's brewed in Bourbon county."

Ouch. Swing and a miss. Bourbon is named after bourbon county, but that's where the county's invovlement stops. That's kind of bad for any guy to think all of the world's bourbon is made in one county in the US, but for a bartender it's inexcuseable. Joe stepped up the the bar and explained to the bartender, in detail and in front of the customer, why he was wrong and what the correct answer was.

To top it off, Joe ended with this: "And you want to know how I know that?" He held up his glass. "The guy who makes this told me that." I'm now assuming he was referring to a whiskey tasting he did a story on earlier in the year, but at the time I was trying not to laugh long enough to order my drink. My order?

"I'll have what he's having."

Now, back to me and my new column. Sips is weekly, and my first one will run July 13th. It'll start in the same issue as my other column, Cheap Eats, but that one runs every other week.

It goes without saying that I'm incredibly pumped to have another column, not to mention one that's about drinking, but this entire entry has one point, and that point is this.

I am now paid by Go Triad to eat junk food and drink alcohol.

Drunk Blue Bird Taxi driver

Earlier today I was nearly smashed into by a Blue Bird taxi driver. That's a good news story lead. Here's another: "A local freelance writer was killed today when a taxi t-boned his car."

After work today, I turned onto my road. I noticed a white van coming from the opposite direction, signaling onto my road as well. As I turn into my driveway (which includes turning slightly outward and then in so I can make the turn into my driveway without going over the curb, pretty standard for any driveway), I was quite startled to notice a Blue Bird minivan taxi swerve in front of me and into my front yard.

At this point I'm going on assumption, but I'm assuming that he though I was going to be turning left (though I hadn't signaled left) and he didn't want to wait and see if I was actually turning before passing me on the right side of the road. He then saw what I was so obviously doing, and had to swerve over the curb, over the sidwalk, and into my yard to avoid driving right into me.

That or he thought my lawn needed a ride.

I called the Blue Bird office, and, as I assumed, they couldn't do anything unless I had the driver's ID number. Of course, the guy answering the phone didn't have to be a raging dick about it. He could have simply said "I'm sorry that our driver almost ended your life through his blatant negligence, not to mention the giant muddy tire tracks now resting in your grass. Please don't write an angry blog entry urging everyone to stop using Blue Bird taxis."

Screw that guy.

The next time a taxi cuts me off, runs a red light, or for some reason takes a personal vendetta with the side of my car, I'm making it a point to follow him until I get his number.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Cheap Eats

Go Triad - Somewhere on Spring Garden Street tucked away from prying eyes is a place called Hayble's Hearth. Odds are you missed it.

It's almost like Hayble's is playing hide-and-seek with all the other restaurants in town, but turn at Hayble's sign, drive down a small slope, and there it is: a nondescript metal door with only a small sign to give you any hint it's a restaurant and not a speakeasy. This is what Southern restaurants would look like if the government suddenly banned fried chicken. Full column

This came out in print last Thursday, but for some reason the online edition didn't come out until yesterday. Next week is Jan's House, which is also my new favorite diner.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ignition sequence start

Ideas for the first legal drink? As if I hadn't already decided.

EDIT: I should mention that, since I'm turning 21 at midnight on Saturday, I will be in the bar waiting for the clock to strike 12 like Cinderella in reverse. That being so, it's really only four days.

An open letter to Fred Phelps

Dear Mr. Phelps,

I've read that you and several other members of your Westboro Baptist Church will be protesting the Southern Baptist Convention taking place in Greensboro this week. Specifically, you'll be protesting the statue of Billy Graham that is to be unveiled - and I can't say I blame you. It does seem a bit idolatrous of the convention, and that would make them hypocrites. Of course, if I were to protest them I could think of a much longer list of complaints, but I digress.

Your group has gained notoriety nation-wide by protesting American soldiers' funerals by waving signs with messages such as "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Thank God for 9/11." Obviously it's your opinion that our servicemen, or "typical fag-ass American soldiers" as your church's website so eloquently puts it, are in disfavor with the Lord.

These messages have caught you a lot of flak in the past few years, a few states going so far as to create laws banning specifically what you do at these protests. Recently President Bush signed a federal law completely banning all protests at funerals in the entire country, which I assume has shut down the funeral protesting business for you. Now you're moving on to conventions, which is probably a good move. It was time for you to get some bigger gigs anyway; the funeral act has been done to death.

Full column - Failure to Communicate

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cheap Eats launched

I'm a week late with this, but my column in Go Triad launched Thursday. Not this Thursday, last Thursday. I've been busy.

It got plugged on the front page as well.

So that's exciting. Take a gander at the first Cheap Eats.

Beef Burger is a fast food restaurant stuck in the fifties.

It's not a chain diner trying to re-create the '50s, mind you. There's no attempt to mimic the set of "Happy Days." No ornamental jukebox on display while a CD player in the back plays the "Greatest Hits of the '50s!" No overwhelmingly chirpy staff that greets you at the door with a fake smile that suggests everyone in the '50s was really, really happy about the Cold War.

They just haven't redecorated in 50 years.

The whole thing.