Bo

Feb 242017
 

James and Stephanie of Grub and Love and I hung out last night! We opened at Pints and Pixels, and then finished at Local Taco, where future Huntsville chef and restaurateur Dave Story (second from left) was working in the kitchen developing some menu items.

Dave’s got a chicken place and a pizza place in him, he thinks. We had a fried pimiento cheese appetizer, served with bacon jalapeno jam. And we tried a hybrid Nashville-style hot chicken that injected a good bit of sweetness into the profile.

The chicken was good, but the fried pimiento cheese with the bacon jalapeno jam was one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten in a month of Sundays. Wow. I enjoyed being on such deep assignment here, and Dave, I wish you all the best. Huntsville is becoming quite a foodie’s town.

Oh, and James and Stephanie, y’all are delightful, and I’m glad we’ve finally met! I’m sure we’ll have fun together again soon!

 Posted by at 8:18 pm
Feb 232017
 
  • Alan Colmes died today. I used to enjoy his commentary quite a bit. RIP.
  • I have two Lava Lites in my home office. They’re on timers so they only start about an hour before I get home, and they’re on for about six hours a day total. I don’t run them in the summertime because of the excessive heat. I’ve only gotten to run them about two weeks this whole winter. Can you imagine the thick clouds of mosquitoes we’re going to have come August?
  • Nathan went to school in a Black Sabbath shirt this morning. He’s listening to some early stuff. I’ll let that go a while longer before I spring Heaven and Hell on him. I’m curious about how much he’ll like it, frankly. The first Black Sabbath albums are not the most accessible stuff in the world, even now.
  • Aaron has until Saturday to decide whether he’s playing spring soccer. We have offered and begun designing a family hiking program as an alternative, which we’ll pursue either way, but rather more vigorously if he does indeed pass on AYSO. I’d like to see if we can work up to Walls of Jericho before school lets back in for the fall.
  • With only two more Upward Saturdays ever, I’m playing it really loose with run-out music. Be entertained.
  • Doing what I do every year:  actually somewhat looking forward to the Daytona 500 because I’m so desperate for a race. Just two weeks and change to IndyCar, though!
  • A radical (for me) new daily regimen starts next week. I am doing it for Lent, but I am also trying to make it stick beyond. Reports forthcoming.
 Posted by at 4:26 pm
Feb 222017
 

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list.

New Orleans Lunchbox is a well-regarded Cajun restaurant inside the gas station on the northwest corner of Jordan and Holmes. The menu is extensive; the model, fast casual (and quick). I’ve had a few good meals there, but never had the wings until today.

New Orleans Lunchbox “award-winning wings,” as described on the menu, come eight for $8.67, or you can get six wings with two sides for $7.58. There are several sauces available, which come in cups. You can pour it over the wings to approximate a “tossed,” or you can dip. There are several tamer sauce flavors available, but I went straight for Fire in the Hole (the hottest). It was clingy enough for me to pour it on the wings directly, so that’s what I did.

Quality: 8/10. My three drums and five flats were served warm, appealingly meaty (only one runt), and essentially devoid of noticeable fat. They were smoked effectively: cooked through, but keeping just enough juiciness to be gustatorily pleasant. At just over $1 apiece, they are a fine value.

Flavor: 7/10. Solo, these wings have a smoky front end with a bit of salt and black pepper. The Fire in the Hole sauce complements them effectively, making an effective presentation (even though some assembly is required). No trouble with salt overload here either. Tasty wings, and easy to get the meat off the bones because of (again) the effective smoking. I made a happy plate.

Heat: 7/10. As you might expect, the scaffolding is of vinegar and salt; i.e., firmly one of Louisiana hot sauce. However, there is a considerably stronger pepper here than lurks in a typical Louisiana. Given the climb and depth of the burn, I suspect the addition of habanero or maybe even a little ghost. (I asked the nice lady at the counter, but she wouldn’t tell me.) I had a moderate afterburn of about ten minutes.

New Orleans Lunchbox was a solid destination indeed for a hot wings experience. Recommended.

 Posted by at 12:44 pm
Feb 212017
 

I would guess some people will compare Milo Yiannopoulos to Icarus.

I am reminded instead of one of my stepbrother’s years-ago adventures. Long story made very short: bunch of buddies together, one had a go-kart, and oh yeah, there was some beer. Every time they refueled the kart they were using a bottle of 104 Octane Boost in the gasoline. Then someone got the bright idea to run the kart on only 104 Octane Boost. Holy shit, that made the kart go fast!

(For 30 minutes or so. Then the engine burned up. I believe I remember the words “melted piston” being tossed around.)

I was momentarily fascinated by Milo Yiannopoulos. I appreciated a lot of what he had to say about the scourge of political correctness and the warped objectives of fourth-wave feminism.

But mostly I watched because his numerous detractors blew through “dislike” so quickly. He fostered near-immediate visceral hatred in liberal ideologues, at an intensity I really hadn’t seen since Rush Limbaugh 20 years ago. It was hard for me to see why. He told you right to your face that he was an asshole and a provocateur. If I tell you I’m trying to piss you off, and then you get pissed off to the point of meltdown, then…?

Thing is, you could always smell the heat. This was not a guy who ran any slower than 6,000 RPM. The engine had some power, but it was also operating at most of capacity all the time. As that olfactory cocktail of hot metal and stressed oil became richer and more pervasive, it wasn’t hard to guess that we probably weren’t headed for an orderly gear-down and cool-off.

Turns out Milo’s melted piston was saying it was just dandy for adult men to have sex with young boys.

I had been intrigued enough to want to read his book, but Simon & Schuster isn’t going to publish it now. That’s the right call. You can’t make extensive comments attempting to legitimize pedophilia and still expect to sit at the grown-up table (however tenuously you were doing so).

We’ll have some disingenuous machinations now, during which his very blithest fans will try to reconstruct a rational base on which to support him, and some number of his detractors will try to install him as the universal leader of all conservatism, now that he’s been unambiguously discredited. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Next!

 Posted by at 10:38 am
Feb 192017
 

We are about to conclude our final season of Upward basketball and cheerleading at Good Shepherd. There will not be a 2018 season.

Many of you know that this Upward program is rather dear to me. Lea and I began attending Good Shepherd in 2008. We had one or both boys in the program from 2009 to 2016 (when Aaron aged out). I coached from 2010 to 2016. I assisted the program director in 2014 and 2015. And, I directed the program last year and this year.

It was not my idea to end the program, and part of me is quite disappointed. Personally, it is a blow; no question. While the director position is not an easy one, it has always been important to me to be a happy warrior; to do it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. (I dare say no one ever heard me complain except Holly and Lea, and even then I kept it brief and infrequent.) Demonstrably, the program means something to at least several hundred people, and that means someone has to direct it. I would have been happy to do it again in 2018.

So why is it ending? Well, there are two main reasons—one immediately addressable, but one not.

The problem we probably could have overcome is that several longstanding contributors to the program are tired of it. That is understandable. Upward at Good Shepherd is a little bit of work for hundreds of people, but it’s a lot of work for a handful. We would have needed different people to step up and take their places. Alternately, we’d have needed to scale parts of the program deployment back. These are navigable paths, except…

…Upward at Good Shepherd isn’t delivering on its core mission anymore. That’s its fatal problem. Unfortunately, Upward has not been an effective mechanism for growing our body of Christ in several years. We are running a basketball program that remains Christ-centered, but that pays no apparent dividends the rest of the year.

The 14-year-old program certainly remains a positive thing for our community. However, we can no longer measure church growth as a direct result of Upward, and it has always been intended as an outreach ministry. It is therefore reasonable to question the wisdom of continuing to invest our blood, sweat, and tears in the program.

I’ve known since the start of this season that this was a possibility, so I’ve had some time to get used to the idea. (I’ve needed it.) Upward Saturdays are some of the happiest times of my life, and I know I’m going to miss them terribly. Nevertheless, I understand the rationale of church leadership in making this decision. I have already pledged to contribute at a similar level to any new ministries Good Shepherd pursues with this sudden surplus of energy and resources. If you’re reading this and you’ve contributed to Upward’s success in the past, perhaps you would consider doing the same.

It’s not always easy to trust God. But it’s always the right thing to do.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I am proud and humbled to be here with you, and I look forward to spending these last few Upward weeks with my fellow volunteers, my church brothers and sisters, and most of all these wonderful children and their families.

God bless you all, my friends.

 Posted by at 1:53 pm

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