Friday, November 11, 2011

Random Thoughts for a Friday

Here's just a few things that have been on my mind, but none of them warrant an entire post on their own.

I saw another car that fits into the same category that I wrote about here.

I followed an Angry Bird home.

Things have been a little weird in Oklahoma this year.  I was there to experience the 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 5.  Since then they've had aftershocks on the same day as tornadoes, flash flooding in places strangled by a drought, and earlier in the year they experienced new state records for snowfalls, hail stones, low temperatures, and wind!  You can read more about it here (unless you've lived it, then you may not want to).

Speaking of weird, Earl Grey tea.  Bergamot oil - 'nuff said.

I've thought about this a long time, but have never had a platform to express it until now.  Isn't it ironic that the bread manufacturers spend all that time and energy to get the bread to the grocery store so it's as fresh and soft and moist as possible, for us to bring it home and dry it out in the toaster.

A tea blog I follow, The Devotea, recently had an entry about Politically Correct tea.  It humbled me to be reminded that the (often) amber liquid I love (not Dr. Pepper, it's caramel colored) is picked and produced by people who most likely make less in a day than what I spend per ounce on some tea varieties.

Speaking of tea, if you're ever in middle Tennessee, and you like tea, be sure to stop in at Franklin Tea in downtown Franklin.  Jan is the owner, and she is the nicest person you'd want selling you tea leaves.  (Which reminds me, I still have a post in progress about a tea tasting My Sweetie and I attended.  It's taking awhile because I don't want it to be boring. No comments about that never stopping me before, thank you.)

I've mentioned that most of the time there's just two of us in the house now, right?  I called home to let Sweetie know I was on my from work, and a deep voice answered.  It caught me off-guard - did I dial the right number?  Who's home with My Sweetie?  Then I realized it was our son.  His university is close to a military base, so they don't have classes on Veteran's Day.  He surprised us by coming home.

Another blog I follow is Stuff Christians Like.  It's author, Jon Acuff, is a humor-filled guy who works in Dave Ramsey's office.  He's written a book called Quitters, that's next on my want list.  It's about quitting your job to do something you dream about.  The first step is Don't!  As in, don't quit your day job without preparation for the next step.

I've been slightly obsessed recently with a term that I'd heard before, but never really thought much of until Jon wrote about it -- the Jesus Juke.  If you've never heard of a Jesus Juke, it goes something like this.  One person will quip, "Don't you hate how expensive Starbucks is?"  and another will respond with something like, "Yeah, think how much good we could do all that money went towards overseas missions."  Usually it stops all conversation and leaves most parties feeling guilty - when the person doing the juking was probably either trying to be profound or funny, and no one is sure which it is.  Anyway, on Facebook I saw a status that said something like, "I sure miss my husband when he's traveling."  One of their (obviously single) friends said, "Be thankful you have a husband to miss."  Would that be a Spouse Juke?  A Secular Juke?

Why do we enslave ourselves to these creatures who seem most concerned that their food bowls are empty?
Cat wanting to be fed - at least she was until she ran off while I got the camera
Well, I better feed the cats instead of blogging about feeding the cats.  They'll love me more for it.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, we don't typically store our cereal in the middle of the kitchen floor.  Well, it is cereal, and it is on the kitchen floor, but it's there to keep the dog from opening the pantry and getting to the cats' food dishes.  He's trained like elephants, who don't escape when held by loose ropes.  We had something heavier there, and now he doesn't go in with something light blocking it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Jack

(This is a little late.  I started composing it before going to Oklahoma, and then tried to finish it while there, but I'd already loaded my pictures to the home computer.  Those puppies were worth another 5,000 words, you know.)

Saturday, Oct. 22, was the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue.  This is one of the, if not the, biggest BBQ competitions in the country.  Teams must qualify to enter by winning another major competition.  It's not like anyone can just show up with a little Coleman grill, and a couple of racks of ribs, and their grandmother's "secret" sauce (that she probably got from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook anyway).
Me with a Jack Daniel's themed Barbecue Grill

There were teams from all over the world.  40 United States were represented.  Squeal-on-U-BBQ came from Alaska, and Up In Smoke made it from Hawaii.  There were 18 international teams.  The largest contingent was from our neighbor to the north, eh.

Walking around and seeing the names of all the crews was half the fun.  We got to see teams like I Smell Smoke!!! (Malden, MA), Hog Tide BBQ (Bentonville, AR), - they had both University of Arkansas and University of Alabama banners hanging from their tent - 4 Smokin' Butts (Millstadt, IL), and Chix, Swine & Bovine BBQ (Jessup, MD).  The last one's logo is a chicken, a cow, and a pig all dressed like businessmen.  This is serious stuff, but they have a  lot of fun doing it.

This overgrown house was interesting.
That's not a trellis next to the satellite dish.
That's a flag pole.

My favorite team had to be Motley Que Crew from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI.  They by far drew the largest crowd of the day.  One of their crew members is Guy Fieri.  If you don't know Guy, you need to.  He has a couple of shows on the Food Network.  My favorite is Diners, Drives, and Dives.  He puts a rockin' spin on cooking.  His spiky blond hair, two-toned gotee, and his tattoos and bling let you know he's not another Emiril or Julia.

Guy Fieri and the Motley BBQ Crew (he's drinking the water)

I don't think we'll be on TV since we were behind them.
 The highlight for me, though, was visiting the Squire "tent" at the Jack Daniel's Distillery. 
My son and me at the Squire Tent
 It's a privilege to be a Tennessee Squire. Jack Daniel's definitely treats their squires right. One can only become a Squire by being nominated by another Squire. It has nothing to do with how much you partake of the golden liquid. My predecessor (? sponsor? nominator? Squire Father?) only tasted JD for the first time last year. His predecessor, on the other hand, well, we joke with him that he doesn't need to be embalmed after he dies. Also, we all know it would be catastrophic if he were to be cremated.As for me, I imbibe every once in awhile.  I'd much prefer a glass of Dr. Pepper, but Jack and Coke, or even better, Lynchburg Lemonade, definitely have their times and places.

The trip was a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to going back next year.  BBQ anyone?