Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

OMG!  It was a Thursday night.  More than 200 people were already inside at 6:30 p.m. They'd parked with tires on the highway.  Behind neighbors' car ports and cars.  There was a huge line at the outside carry out window.  And people were still streaming in.  We knew we'd arrived at the Long Creek Fish Fry in Dallas, NC - an offshoot of Gastonia. There's nothing we dislike more than chain-type restaurants.  We try to find the local joints, owned by locals, frequented by locals, and packed by locals.  We search Yelp.Com, check the reviews - must have several reviews - not just one or two that might be inserted by the owner or a friend. We are not fans of fried foods, but we make an exception about every 6 months when we hit on a 'special' place. The Long Creek Fish Fry was such a place.  We counted more than 30 employees, about 20 on the wait staff alone - like sharks - always in motion. Despite the crowd, we were immediately seated in the sparse, cavernous restaurant. Our waitress was instantly at the table.  Drinks (no booze) arrived at our elbows.  We looked around at the other diners.  Many were a wee bit overweight, gray headed, or bald.  Some in bib overalls and work clothes. Very few youngsters or kids. Oysters.  Fried. Fish. Fried.  Scallops.  Fried.  Hush puppies.  Fried.  Potatoes fried.  Everything except a baked potato was fried.  One of us ordered a small size oyster platter and the other took perch plate. The meals appeared within minutes and there were enough perch for 3 people and the French fries looked like a double order.  There was a large helping of homemade cole slaw, a dozen hush puppies, and large size cup of homemade tartar sauce, sitting on top of the oyster plate with contained 18 large size oysters in addition to the other sides. Half gallon pitchers of iced tea was left on the tables. We said, "OMG," who can eat all of this and they are just a half size orders.  In 5 minutes the drinks were refilled, the waitress left two carry out boxes (how did she know?), and our check.  Everything was served in throw away containers - everything thing and our table was cleared before we could leave the room. It was an incredible experience.  There were 12 pieces of perch and 12 large oysters that went into the carry out boxes to take to the motel for a midnight snack. Total price?  $23.54.  I left a $5 tip and the waitress, with sweat running down her cheeks, gave me a big hug and kiss and pleaded that we come back again. Outside the restaurant, carry out orders were leaving almost as fast as patrons could pay and most had a 1-gallon jug of sweet iced tea. The owner never left the inside cash register because there was always a line waiting to pay- it took us 8 minutes to get to the register.  Incredible experience and the fried seafood was not over done and well worth the trip.
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VIRGINIA BEACH (November 23, 2010) - - We recently logged a rant about the TSA for its sexual molestation under the guise of national security. I'd personally rather risk being among 3,000 killed in a new terrorist attack in the U.S. than to give up my rights under the Constitution. Would you ever have believed your government would sanction sexual molestation of its law abiding citizens?  While at the same time it hunts down whackos who have a picture of a naked kid on their computer? I have just spent a week walking the hallowed grounds where our freedom was won more than 230 years ago under harsh, deadly conditions.   Reliving the terrors of yesteryear has to bring a tear to your eye if you care anything at all about our country and why so many of our ancestors died in the name of freedom. If you don’t care you need your ‘junk’ manhandled by a government paid molester. If you do care, you should rebel.  You should act to force the government to cancel this unconstitutional violation of the 4th Amendment. If you don’t the invasive abuses continue to expand, will continue; next they’ll want to slip a finger in your body cavities. Let us be perfectly honest:  Giving up our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and rights is not worth the prospect of another terror attack. There’s not terror attack - NONE - that can justify destruction of our Constitution. We’d rather run the risk of another 9-11 - with all the ensuing deaths - than to see us sit passively by and allow this corrupt, criminal government steal our rights using the ‘terror’ excuse. Contact all your legislators and let them know:  You like the government feel up or you don’t.
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Government sanctioned sexual molestation has gone too far.  They are illegal, but they could put the 'thrill' back in flying! The American public should show their displeasure by refusing body scans and physical molestation by Transportation Security Administration. Such searches will continue only as long as the public refuses.  Holiday flyers have a perfect opportunity to refuse - would could draw attention as it gums up the national transportation network. This continued and gradual theft of individual rights is one reason I don't fly anymore.  I worked for an airline.  I loved flying in the old days.  Frequently I'd get off work at 10 or 1    1 p.m. at Los Angeles International, board a plane and fly to Seattle or Portsmouth overnight - getting great night's sleep. On the return trip to LA, I be awakened and served a filet migon steak and champagne breakfast, offboard and go home for rest of the morning.  Travel was fast and easy.  I designed a system to move bags from airliner to baggage area as quickly as 30 seconds after opening the hatch door. Now, that freedom and convenience has been replaced by bureaucrat whackjobs applying increasing frustrating and ineffective rules and regulations. PROFILE - that's the solution.  60 YO Iowa grannies ain't a threat. Mormon infants in diapers ain't a threat.  If you can't look at a couple and tell whether they are likely to make homicide bombers out of their babies, then the bureaucrats should be loose on the public. Read the rest of this entry »
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On VA Route 40, west of Stoney Creek

During a recent trip through the back roads of Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina I found my mind wandering to earlier days. Here and there I found dilapidated 'country' stores, long closed by economic pressures of modern day shopping, giving way to the ravages of time and weather. These stores along the Middle Atlantic states were to the community what the 'juke' joints were to the Mississippi Delta  These famed old juke joints existence is slowly dying out from modern entertainment around casino country. But they were the place to be in their day.  In the deep south, always great fried fish, hush puppies, cold beer, the lonesome music of the blues with maybe dancing and a little gambling. In the country stores, it was much the same.  A place for the locals to gather, swap farm and crop stories, gossip and speculate why the constable's car went by so fast last night.

North of McKinney on VA Route 40

You could get a piece of thick sliced bologna or cheese, served across the counter on two pieces of cracker - in 4-unit pieces or a moon pie and a cold RC Cola or Big Orange. There wasn't much dancing, but in the evenings the good ole boys would come by with their banjos, guitars, maybe a fiddler and there'd be picking' 'n singing on the porch or around a pot bellied stove in the middle to the store in the winter time. In TN beer or booze was out in such establishments - thanks to the  Southern Baptist church folks' support of the moonshiners and bootleggers. They joined hands to defeat every vote attempting to approve the sale of beer or wine,  It kept the bootleggers happy and in business and the Baptists could go to church slapping each other on the back for another defeat of legalized booze. After the country store closed in the evenings,  the younger hangers on would pile into the cars, drive down the road to a house sitting down a long drive, park under a huge tree in the back yard, out of sight of the main road, and the bootlegger would sent someone out to take your order and your money. Then filling themselves with the spirit(s), the car'd park along a lonely back road and the tales would get wilder and the music louder until time to head home.  Nobody ever came by to bother them. Those were horrible old days, but I can't help but miss them when I drive by a closed country store.
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BLOWING ROCK, NC - - The tourist brochure ads for Pssghetti's Restaurant, advertising homemade Italian cuisine,  over-represented the quality for it's over-priced menu.
Up the hill leads to Pssghetti's

Up the hill leads to Pssghetti's

Located on the side of a mountain at 7170 Valley Blvd., Pssghetti's is a challenge - drive up a narrow drive up the side of the mountain and let valet park your car, it they don't crash it. As anyone knows, who has been in the restaurant business, rice and pasta are our two highest profit foods. 4 of us were at Pssghetti's on Labor Day weekend, '09.  The place was slamming and jamming, but the staff was able to keep up with the demands. We had to wait about 30 minutes to be seated. We watched as a valet parking girl drove a customer' s car backwards over a huge rock damaging the quarter panel.  Not good. Wedding soup way too spicy and inedible,  said dining mate, Cindy Fowlkes of Virginia Beach. The bread should have been 'homemade' - instead it was simple toasted commercially-produced baguettes sliced up. Read the rest of this entry »
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