Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Quick Note For The Weekend
First and most exciting, I got to meet Kim du Toit. He was (more or less) in town holding a Shooting Trail event at Clark Bros. gun store and shooting range. Clark's is technically in Opal, VA but it's really just outside of Warrenton. The event was a "teaching women to shoot event" though, apart from Kim's Missus, there was only one member of the distaff side by the time it got under way.
Why did I go? I have had two old rifles, a Remington of possibly WWI vintage and a Japanese Arisaka, that my father had and ignored for as long as I can remember. Thus, they had no emotional signifigance for me. Had my father ever told me about them, provenance and his connection to them, I may have been inclined to have them cleaned up and actually use them. But without any deep conneciton to them, I thought that I would give them to Kim who is, after all, the founder of the Nation of Riflemen, a true aficionado of old rifles and a staunch proponent of the Second Amendment. I gave the rifles to him. I did ask that he send me a signed copy of one of his books in exchange.
He was busy with a small crowd when I arrived and my lower back was still giving me grief (as it will from a trip and nights on a different bed) so I didn't stay long at all. Had I prepared, I would have brought my folding chair, ear and eye protection and enjoyed the festivties a bit. He was entirely gracious and I would have liked more time to converse with him. Still, a great experience to meet him.
That said, I made it a point to gas up about ten miles outside Warrenton. $1.94! (OK, OK $1.94.9) And this time it's not a typo. A solid nickel under $2 a gallon. I blame George Bush.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Songs of PRaiSe
I've tended to link up PRS guitars on eBay that are the same models as those I have. With the exception of the Santana SE which is, for all its beauty, the entry-level model from Paul Reed Smith. I break with that tradition here to show you an absolutely stunning Singlecut in violin amber with a blazingly flamed 10 top, a gold anodized stoptail bridge, the PRS signature birds fretboard inlays and, remarkably, a solid Brazilian rosewood neck and fretboard. Whoa. If I read the serial number correctly, it's a 2001 manufacture. If there is one PRS I'd like to add to the collection, it's a Singlecut (link goes to the PRS site). But I find it hard to pony up $4K for one on eBay even if it's a mint, unplayed unit with all the "case candy" (see the first picture in the set for what the term entails).
Take a look at the picture of the reverse of the headstock. That dark rosewood set off against the McCarty pegs looks amazing. Even the truss rod cover is rosewood! That's hard core. The bidding only goes on for anther two hours and there are no bids as yet. The collector who' selling this may have over priced it. Frankly, if this were about a grand less, I'd be sorely tempted.
UPDATE: Here's another Singlecut listed by the guy from whom I bought Holly. It has much to recommend it: a tremelo bridge (me likee - no good reason), a good but not exactly blazing 10 top, the anniversary "birds in flight" inlays which are extremely cool and a price that is a lot easier to swallow. Nuts. I really don't need another PRS. But I want one.
Return Trip, Part The First
I usually make the drive to and from Florida in a one-day, 15 hour drivefest. It's a long day but not as agonizing as one might think inasmuch as I have a very comfortable seat in the Outback and an iPod interface that lets me play BlogDog Radio all the way home. But this trip was different both ways. The trip down was broken by the Mike Cross show at the Randy Wood Guitar Shop and concert space. I'll get into that later. And yeah - it was great.
The trip up was broken at the
same place (Pooler, GA) for a variety of reasons. The Holiday Inn Express in which Lycurgus and I stayed after the show was a great hotel - new, clean, comfortable. It could be less expensive but that is true of any number of things from phone service to Maserati Quattroportes. Since my departure from the Lycurgus compound was complicated by a difficult load out, we decided it made more sense to leave later and break the trip. So I didn't hit the road until 10am versus the, say, 6am I'd leave for the one-day drive. And it was a lovely day to drive.
With the exception of the farging love bugs. By the time I refilled the tank, I thought the sun was setting early. Turns out it was just a haze of bug guts on the windshield. My sole consolation is that while they were annoying me, I was killing them.
And where was I when I was filling up? Brunswick, GA of course. "Of course" because stopping for barbecue at the GA Pig (exit 29 east of I-95) is a necessary thing. I blogged it before. Just killer chopped boston butt pork barbecue. Killer. Also, there are several gas-em-ups at the same stop which have very attractive rates. I filled up with gas at $2.17. Well, $2.17.9 I suppose since they always play that little game. But still - least I'd paid for gas in quite a while.
Then, an easy cruise up the interstate to the Savannah area and into the hotel by 5pm. Easy peasy. And my first day was done.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Doesn't that say a lot in just one word? I'll do a bit of travel blogging tomorrow as I ramp up the blather quotient.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Post Where I Become A Food (non)Critic
In a previous post, I mentioned Farlow's restaurant and gave them a link because they have a web presence. Unfortunately, there is no web presence for the next restaurant that gets the full thumbs up. It is the Zydeco Grille on Placida road in charming Englewood, FLA. Last night's late dinner was a cup of crawfish and sausage gumbo and a plate of "Mardi Gras Crab and Shrimp" which was the specified seafood and asparagus pieces in a deep red sauce heavy with sun-dried tomatoes. (For someone who claims to not like tomatoes, I sure do like me them candy-sweet sun dried ones.) I couldn't even finish the main dish after pushing some off on Lycurgus who opted for the (big) bowl of the same gumbo. I tried my friend Elaine's cajun chicken dish and it was wonderful. It's almost a shame that she and shellfish are at loggerheads since the bayou contry food is so full of the fruits de mer. Still, I'd get that chicken myself without a moment's hesitation.
After dinner the owner, Joan Sambucci, stopped by our table to schmooze a while. And I say "schmooze" because she's a New Yorker by origin. We didn't get into the permutations that led her to be running a creole restaurant on the Gulf Coast but her enthusiasm was evident. Let's just say this: she's nearly as much of a treat as the food. I say nearly because I am a foodoholic after all. I need more foodohol.
I'll be going back for lunch there on Saturday as Lycurgus and his other half are off for the day on their necessary errands leaving me to lounge around and relapse ... sorry, relax. I think a nice cajun meal in the middle of the day will just be the ticket.
So, to repeat the important part: Zydeco Grille. If you are on the central Gulf Coast of Florida, make it a point to have something there. You will walk out with a smile on your face.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I Am Not Dead
Although my blog posting doesn't exactly reflect that. I am still fighting my hideous fungal attack and stand on the verge of victory! Take that ya mycorrhizal bastages! I am also down in lush Florida enjoying such things as boat rides and a dinner of barramundi (Australian snook according to Farlow's restaurant).
So I'll be back later here on PoW.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years On
Feeling sorry for oneself becomes an excercise in gross self-absorbtion when confronted with the enormity of the evil that was done to America on 9-11-01. I watched the morning shows this morning and felt myself coming to tears at the reading of names of those lost in the World Trade Center. I am not particularly a sentimentalist but with what we know now, it is heart-breaking that these innocents, these civilans, were put to fire by a rampant evil that seeks to drown the world with fire by proxy. An evil that doesn't even have the nerve to stand and fight honorably for their dreams of world domination.
We may no longer be in what John Kennedy called the "long, twilight struggle" but we are certainly in a new struggle that appears to be longer still and just as poorly illuminated. In the next decade, there will be many deaths. We have to have the resolve that we can accept the loss of of some of our greatest for the ultimate destruction of the worst that rage against us. They are cowards who wrap themselves in the mantle of God. And they must be defeated.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It Would Seem
Apart from this, I lied. But it was an unintentional lie.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

There Will Be More Blogging
Soon. This weekend I expect. My hideous state is under control but today my right hip (the "good" one, ha!) feels as though something has gone terribly, terribly wrong in there. Let's cross our fingers and hope against avascualr necrosis of the femoral head.
UPDATE: Hurts like holy hell. Something has definitely gone south in the pelvic region. And yet. And yet: I managed to hobble into the shower this morning and I'm walking slightly better with ach iteration. Even though I'm leaning on a walking stick and bent over at the waist. I think I'll be looking into a hip replacment sooner rather than later.