Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tonight I ate in the presence of Greatness!

I had never heard of Ronnie Gilley before this week, but apparently he is hot stuff down here in Enterprise.* In addition to his country music career, he’s a real estate developer, and has his own restaurant called Creekside Grille (attached to a gas station). Don’t get me wrong, this restaurant was very family friendly with a tasty menu.

They also had their wine list inside the napkin dispenser.

My issue with ole R.G. is he had a partition in the back of the restaurant with a booth just for him. Seriously?? Who has a private booth in the back of a well-lit, family restaurant attached to a gas station??

After we ordered our dinner, guess who walks in??

Ronnie Gilley, himself.

I promise, this guy reminds me of the villain in Road House or Walking Tall. Instead of visiting with the locals (his customers), he sat in the back, being awesome.

Does anyone else thinks Enterprise needs a James Dalton??

*Note: We are working in Elba, AL, but staying in Enterprise, AL on account of the lack of hotel rooms in Elba.

You Can't See Me

I have to give props to Clay Travis for this (man, I am so white) . . .

Bigger Better Beards

Clay is an author/attorney living in Nashville and wrote “Dixieland Delight” a hilarious book about the 2006 college football season he spent attending an SEC game in every SEC stadium. He also coined the phrase “BGID” (Beard Gettin’ it Done). I’ve e-mailed Clay a couple times, and we’re “friends” on Facebook, but I think we’re still on the stalker/fan level vs. real-life friends. He did give me a shout out in one of his “Mail Bag” columns for CBS Sportsline earlier this summer, so I don’t know, you decide . . .

We’re coming up on November 1st which means two (closely related) events:


No Shave November

If I had my way, I too, would grow a long beard, just like the guys in ZZ Top. I actually left my razor at home this week, so I’ve got a pretty sweet Don Johnson five o’clock shadow goin’ on, but I think I’m going to wait until January to start my “Busy Season Beard” . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Please Be Patient with Me

Any Colbert Report fans should check out tomorrow’s broadcast as Wilco will be performing! I can’t wait for their Peabody Award winning election coverage next Tuesday!

Wilco & Billy Bragg recorded a Woody Guthrie song called “Christ for President” (lyrics below) on their album, Mermaid Avenue. I would love to see Wilco perform that Thursday night, but they’ll probably pander to the Pro-Obama crowd . . .

“Christ for President”

Let's have Christ our President
Let us have him for our king
Cast your vote for the Carpenter
That you call the Nazarene

The only way we can ever beat
These crooked politician men
Is to run the money changers out of the temple
Put the Carpenter in

Oh It's Jesus Christ our President
God above our king
With a job and a pension for young and old
We will make hallelujah ring

Every year we waste enough
To feed the ones who starve
We build our civilization up
And we shoot it down with wars

But with the Carpenter on the seat
Way up in the Capital town
The USA would be on the way
Prosperity Bound!

PS – In case any of you (three?) readers are confused on who I am voting for . . .

McCain-Palin all the way!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't Audit, Don't Tell

As I posted earlier, this week I am down in Elba, AL doing some interim work on an audit. An out of town audit usually consists of working with the same group of people for 40+ hours, sharing all your meals, and then retreating to your own room where you can relax, talk to your wife and watch some TV . . .


I Don’t Need a Hot Breakfast to Have a Good Time

I guess the saying goes “There’s a silver lining to every cloud” . . . and today I found that silver lining

Sikes & Kohn’s Country Mall This is the first week I’ve worked on this client (names shall remain confidential to protect the innocent), and one of my fellow auditors told me last week that every time we drive down to Elba, we stop in Pine Level, AL to go to Sikes & Kohn.

I can’t get enough of plaid and/or flannel. Give me a pair of jeans or carhartts and a plaid shirt and I will be happy as a clam. This place looks like it used to be a huge TNT/Fireworks Emporium buts has been gutted and filled with Shoes, Cowboy Boots, Under Armour, Carhartts, and Plaid, Flannel & Western-style Shirts.

This is only ONE of the rooms (I thought it would be a little weird if I photographed all of the rooms on my cell phone). I seriously have never seen so many Columbia and North Face shirts in one place.

My roommate (more on that in a minute) told me they have a 20% off sale in February (when we come back to wrap up testing) and I think I know where all of my Christmas money is going!!! In case, you can't read, their number is 1-888-584-7402. Check 'em out the next time your’re driving down Highway 231.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh Weekend, Where Art Thou?

I can’t remember the last time Auburn’s football team looked this bad . . .

Needless to say, even if Auburn were playing this weekend, I doubt I’d watch. Instead I think the Mrs. and I might catch Dan Tyminski play this Sunday at Vulcan.

Next week I’m heading to Elba for work. No, not the island off the Tuscan coast. Elba, AL.

I’m sure there will be plenty to blog about from my hotel room . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Waiting to Derail

Whiskeytown/Ryan Adams is one of my favourite bands/musicians!

I think It will be funny in 10 (15, 20, etc.) years to hear people say “Oh man, if only I could have seen ____ back in ___.” Well that’s how I feel about Whiskeytown (along with Uncle Tupleo and the Lemonheads, among others).

The first (and last) time I saw Ryan Adams in concert was a little over a year ago at the Alabama Theatre. As you can imagine, I was pumped and looking forward to seeing a good show with my wife! Well, Mr. Adams, you acted like a diva and cut your performance short after some over-zealous fans requested one of your songs off your latest album (Easy Tiger).

Instead of playful stage banter (look up Jeff Tweedy in “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”), Ryan got his feelings hurt and his guitar player had the awkward job of telling the audience to basically “listen quietly and respect the confused genius at work.”

Sad to say, I decided that night I would never pay money to see Ryan Adams perform again (apparently he played a great show last week in Tuscaloosa).

Even though he is a complete prima donna, you can’t dispute the fact that he makes some fantastic music. His next record (I feel so Zandura101 saying that) comes out next Tuesday, but you can preview the album in its entirety here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jaeger (schnitzel) Bombs!

Last fall (2007), I went to NYC for work and one of my co-workers (who was of German descent) really wanted some good Bavarian food. We went to Lederhosen for lunch, and he raved about their Jaegerschnitzel (which coincidentally does not contain any J√§germeister. It’s just wiener schnitzel “in Mushroom Gravy.”)

Cooking pork has always been a little intimidating (the thought of dry tasteless pork chops come to mind), but this past weekend I decided, the TMF'Hs will have schnitzel!!*

So I searched the internet for different recipes, and here is what I came up with:

I had the mushroom gravy in a bowl (more of dipping sauce) because I didn’t want the meat to get soggy.

We ate this with okra and diced tomatoes (why I’ve never eaten this combo until recently, I’ll never know) and some baked sweet potato fries. Mmmmmmmmmm, tasty!

*And yes, I realize that traditionally, wiener schnitzel is prepared with veal . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about . . .

I am a sucker for pop music. Give me a catchy beat, a nice melody, etc. and I can’t help myself. Why do we consider certain songs “guilty pleasures”? Does music lose credibility once it becomes “popular”? Why should we care what other people think?

Ask Robby Brumberg about a problem I have with certain songs. Sometimes I can’t help myself, and I will put a song on repeat 10+ times without getting sick of it (for the record, the song was Jimmy Eat World’s “A Praise Chorus” and I’m sure Rob will never be able to listen to it again . . .)

Last summer, it was R. Kelly vs. Broken Social Scene “I’m a Flirt (Shoreline)” a song by the Hood Internet.

The Hood Internet are two white guys from Chicago who “mash-up” hip-hop with indie rock. It’s funny how you can put hip hop lyrics on top of a completely different song, and come out with POP GOLD! (Case in point – "Stuntin' Like Black Rock" (Birdman & Lil' Wayne vs. Black Rock). Love the mash-up! The original was just alright for me, dawg . . .)

Well today, they just dropped their third mix tape!

Please disregard the “subtle” Obama reference they throw in (Will, do you think they got Shepard Fairey to design their artwork?)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So I come back from lunch today and guess what is sitting on my desk . . .

Boo Yeah!!!

Watch out, Ed Weston. I’m coming for ya!!

This was brought to me by a mother . . . of children

Was T. Boone Pickens really on Rick and Bubba this morning??

If you aren’t familiar with Boone, he made a name for himself as a corporate raider in the 80’s and I’ve heard is one of the inspirations behind Gordon Gekko’s character in
“Wall Street” (PS – I really like that movie).

T. Boone is also well known for being a HUGE backer to Oklahoma State University and their athletic program (he’s given over $400 million, although his hedge fund still manages a huge chunk of it).

Anyways, you might have seen ole Boone in various television commercials the last few months promoting his “Pickens Plan” to get America off their dependence on foreign oil. Boone comes off very altruistic and grandfatherly (I expect Wilford Brimley to sit down next to him and talk about di-a-beet-us), but I’ve got a hunch he’s got a bigger financial stake in this then he’s letting on . . .

Holy Moley, that picture still freaks me out!

Anyways, I thought it was pretty impressive Rick and Bubba had him on their show (I think Boone was confused and thought they were broadcasting from Georgia), but I’d love to see them have Warren Buffett on. He’s a man. He’s 78!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

They call me the workin' man

Is there a bass solo greater than Geddy Lee’s in “Closer to the Heart”?

Different Stages - Disc 1, Track 9, 2:43

I don’t care if they are sick of playing it, I love this song!

One thing's for sure, we're all gonna be a lot thinner

Monday night I was at Publix buying some lunch meat and spent some time wondering about “head cheese” (the deli guy was a little slow, and I didn’t know what else to think about). I’ve seen Head Cheese in the meat case before, but seriously, who eats this? How is all that “scrap” meat suspended? Does Publix end up throwing away a lot of head cheese because no one buys it?

Anyways, this post was not to gross you out, but last night I got sucked into watching
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman on the Travel Channel. I don’t ever set out to watch that show, but I usually end up enjoying it even though I wouldn’t eat 95% of what that guy eats. So Andrew went to Ford’s Filling Station (home of renowned chef and Harrison’s son, Ben) and guess what was on the menu??

Head Cheese

I wonder if Frank Stitt put this on the menu, would people rave about it in Birmingham??

I would not . . .

Fool in the Photograph

Was it ever cool to be “emo”? Do the emo kids now just call themselves indie? Or are you emo in high school and indie in college/grad school?

Am I supposed to put the question mark before the quotation mark? I always thought that looked weird . . .

I’m not voting for Obama, but this is hilarious.
Reminds me of this.

I need to go listen to "How It Feels to Be Something On" now . . .

Monday, October 13, 2008

You wouldn´t be familiar with our immediate influences

One of my favourite stops of EuroTrip 2K5 (when Big McK, Lebo and I celebrated the end of grad school) was M√ľnchen (or Munich as Americans would have it). The city is most famous for Oktoberfest, which according to Wikipedia started in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

I don’t know how many years Birmingham has held Oktoberfest celebrations, but after suffering another embarrassing Auburn loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks, I convinced Whaley to attend the one at the FDSK German Club downtown.

I’m not really sure what the FSDK does every other weekend of the year, but on Saturday this place was packed (I'm assuming Friday was, too)! From 5 to midnight, they had authentic German food, music and beer. We got there around 8:15 and were disappointed to see all the wiener schnitzel was gone, but settled for Bratwurst plates with sauerkraut, potato salad and rye bread.

The camera on my phone has negative 2 megapixels, but hopefully you get a sense for all that Bavarian deliciousness. Mmmmm, next year I’ll be sure to get there early.

You're not a geek, Louis

I used to think Memphis had a better “live music scene” than Birmingham, but after the Bottletree opened in 2006, I think the “playing field” has leveled.

I read an article a few weeks ago that AL Public Television was going to have a new program called We Have Signal: Live from Birmingham (think Austin City Limits, but more intimate and probably more obscure).

I’ve set the DVR to record and so far watched the Dodos and the Weakerthans live performances in our Magic City.

Thank you, Bottletree.

My pants may be pleated, but I’m not a total lost cause . . .

Friday, October 10, 2008

At the Party

I’m usually pretty late jumping on bandwagons. It seems like 2008 is the “it” year to have a blog (although Gray has been rockin’ one since 2005) and I thought I would join the party.

Why do I have a blog?? Do I have anything that interesting to say?? My wife said I should start a blog called “What I learned on Wikipedia today” since most days I come home with useless trivia or facts on random topics I looked up that day. So I’ll probably post that kind of stuff along with my thoughts on music, food, news, etc. I might even post some pictures, too . . .

Where did “That Much Further ‘Ham” come from?? Good question.

I moved to Birmingham three years ago after “growing up” in Memphis. I really like living here and realize it has a lot more to offer than I thought when I first got here (is that a run-on sentence?).

One of my favourite bands has a song (and album) called “That Much Further West.” You should check it out.

I also really like cooking and food, so I thought ‘Ham would be a clever play on words.

Now that we have that awkward introduction over with, let the blogging begin!

PS - I use quotation marks, exclamation points, and ellipses way more than necessary . . .