Mar 312016
  • There is a strong east wind as I type. That’s easily the least common direction from which wind comes around here. Always catches me off-guard.
  • Lea and I haven’t had a good relationship with glass this week. Add replacement automotive side mirror glass to the list of things you can get on And, for the first time in my 22 years of carrying a mobile phone, I dropped it and broke the screen. Almost-as-capable replacement for a near-pittance also available on Back in the Fire until it gets here.
  • I reviewed Dolce Pan Bakery for Rocket City Mom. It’s a Puerto Rican restaurant, of which we haven’t had many in the area. I’m looking forward to trying more of the offerings there.
  • IndyCar is at Phoenix Saturday night for the first time since 2005, and this is the first pre-Indy 500 oval in the season since 2010. The boys and I are excited. I bet Lea even watches.
  • There are six ceiling fans in the house. I installed three of them without incident, but they were in rooms already wired for fans that didn’t have them. Two of the others that were part of the original construction have begun to develop personalities. We used a disproportionate amount of our lighting budget for them—they were nice stuff 16 years ago—but I’m not looking forward to replacing them. Ceiling fans have changed more than you might think in that time.
  • Enough people have misused this word now that the sloppy alternate meaning of severe shock is listed in most dictionaries, but dig: “electrocute” is a portmanteau of “electric” and “execute.” If you have any respect for the elegance of the English language, then no one who is still living has been electrocuted. Are we clear?
  • My sister and my niece will be here this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing them.
 Posted by at 7:40 am
Mar 302016

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

accw1Regular readers know that I spend a lot of time at Anaheim Chili, in Jones Valley. I eat there at least weekly, and frequently more often. It’s one of the most consistently good restaurants in Huntsville.

On the menu, Anaheim Chili appears to top out on heat at habanero for their wings (which are available baked or fried, by the way). When I asked if that was the hottest, my server Roberta let me know that ghost pepper wings lurked at the top of the scale. I had three whole wings (which is how Anaheim always serves them), two large pieces of celery, and dressing. It was $9.25 before tip, and Roberta did well with our service.


Quality: 8/10. Nine bucks for six take-’em-apart-yourself drums and flats seems a little high at first blush. However, they were pretty wings, with good meat quality and size. Sauce amount was right, and as with everything I’ve had at Anaheim, they were cooked well.

Flavor: 7/10. Ghost pepper with a bit of a vinegar undercurrent here, and maybe a whisper of garlic? It was a tasty lunch, and you’ll have no problem tasting (and smelling) the namesake peppers.

Heat: 5/10. They start a little sluggishly, then engage you in the dance part of the way through wing number two. It’s a pleasant and authentic burn, but not an especially strong or long-lived one. There is room to turn the Scoville crank a good bit more on these.

It’s another fine offering at one of my favorite places, and I’m glad to see the heat going back up as the exploration continues.

 Posted by at 1:43 pm
Mar 282016

mtoliveI get all of the pickles forever in our marriage. Lea doesn’t like them. She nearly never orders stuff without them, though—she picks them off. So I get extras—on burgers, but also the yummy super-garlicky wedges at Firehouse. And, she’s no threat to pickles in the fridge.

Speaking of, meet Mt. Olive Hot ‘N’ Spicy Kosher Dills. My stepmom didn’t see the “Hot ‘N’ Spicy” when she bought them, and they don’t do hot and spicy. So she asked me if I wanted them when we were over for Easter dinner yesterday. Yes, please.

Ooh, these are tasty. It’s a good dill pickle that starts building about halfway through a bite, and then leaves you with a nice little burn that persists for a few minutes after you finish it. I can’t tell exactly what the heat is from, as there’s just standard pickle stuff in the ingredient panel. Whatever it is, it blends very well with the usual dill pickle spices—and, for a mass-market product, it’s pretty hot.

Of course, pickles are low-calorie, but they also have so much salt that you have to be careful. These do make me want to sit down and have four or five of them.

If you like dill pickles and think you would enjoy a little afterglow, pick these up.

(And if they turn out to be too hot for you, I’ll take them.)


 Posted by at 9:55 pm
Mar 272016

The angel said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. – Matthew 28:5-6

God be with you and your family on this most glorious Easter Sunday!

 Posted by at 12:01 am
Mar 252016

Actor and comedian Garry Shandling died unexpectedly yesterday. He was 66 years old.

I always enjoyed Shandling’s stand-up comedy, and I liked It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (which I caught in syndication, as we didn’t have Showtime).

But it was The Larry Sanders Show that was the ultimate expression of his brilliance—and that’s exactly what it was. The show was always screamingly funny, but what you ultimately came to appreciate about it was that the humor was effective because it was so skillfully underpinned with genuine human emotion.


Garry Shandling was a rare sort of genius. He carried the weight of that human insight without it tearing him apart, and he was able to craft an ideal outlet for it in The Larry Sanders Show. We are fortunate to have had him.

God be with all his family and friends as they seek comfort.

Thank you sir, and RIP.

 Posted by at 8:28 am
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