May 212019

Late in the sixth season of Seinfeld, one of the greatest television shows of all-time, Kramer receives, by mistake, a vanity license plate that reads ASSMAN. He goes to the DMV to straighten things out, but the clerk, consulting her computer, says  there’s no mistake. (“You are the Assman!”)

The plate actually belongs to proctologist Dr. Cooperman, whom they encounter later in the episode in that tie-it-all-together Seinfeld way. Along the way, Kramer dates large-bottomed women and parks in the doctors-only lot at the hospital. (“Cosmo Kramer. Proctology.”)

So, what a great front plate for my pickup!

A couple of people have gotten the joke. That’s cool. I was an instant hero with my younger son, who suddenly wanted me to take him to school on my way to work. And I chuckled every time I got in.

Alas, as of this morning, the ASSMAN plate has come off. Why would I do such a thing? Am I yella?

Well, yeah. A little. A gate guard gave me a funny look last week. He didn’t say anything to me, but that feels like a time bomb. Also, I haven’t done a slow, opposite-direction approach with a police officer on a side street yet—you know, the sort of encounter that would give him/her plenty of time to read the plate? Portal Lane, anyone? I doubt the plate is illegal, but that doesn’t immunize me from having to prove it inconveniently.

Finally, though there are surely many people running around who get the joke, it’s probably safe to say there are more who don’t. And to those folks, I’m just some schmuck driving around with a not-nice word on the front of his vehicle. Church? Passing kids playing in the neighborhood? You getting me?

The ASSMAN plate will live on and give me chuckles. Still considering whether it goes in the garage or in the study.

 Posted by at 8:30 am
May 062019

Clyde’s BBQ is now open, just north of Browns Ferry on County Line in Madison, and I’ve been excited about it for some time. After all, Stan and Tina are not only friends, but talented restaurateurs with a well-earned reputation for excellence. For them to apply their talents to a barbecue restaurant is a tantalizing thought indeed. Lea, the boys, and I had dinner there Friday night.

Clyde’s becomes a bit of a barbecue oasis in a former desert, if you think about it. In this immediate neighborhood, it was a pretty good haul to barbecue before last Monday.

Clyde’s offers delicious pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, either in sandwiches or on plates. Lea went with the brisket, accompanied with smoked, three-cheese penne and house-friend pork skins. She made a happy plate.

Brisket plate. (Click for larger.)

All of the sides are house-made. Aaron was delighted to find hash brown casserole available. My slaw was fresh and flavorful.

There’s an unusually broad menu here, so there’s a lot more to explore here too. The specialty sandwich game is particularly strong. How about a BLT made with house-cured and smoked lamb bacon? Stan’s been talking that up to me for a month, and I couldn’t wait to try one, so that’s what I had.

Not Mary’s BLT, made with house-cured and smoked lamb bacon. (Click for larger.)

Wow. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s an experience. The lamb bacon is rich and decadent. Nathan went with a generously-slabbed smoked turkey sandwich.

Smokey Turkey. (Click for larger.)

Aaron had the BA, with rib meat. Call it a greatly elevated McRib. (Stan did.)

The BA. (Click for larger.)

Clyde’s plans to offer a number of regular daily specials. We were able to share and enjoy some delectable wings. These are smoked, then fried, and tossed in a flavorful sauce with just a whisper of habanero. (Don’t let that scare you. You can eat these, but there’s a milder sauce available if you don’t want to chance it.)

Strong wing game. Watch for these as a daily special. (Click for larger.)

We’ve left ourselves plenty to try when we come back. Most obviously, how in the world did we get out of a first visit to a northern Alabama barbecue place without tasting the pulled pork?

There are pulled pork nachos, which was my favorite thing to get off their food truck at Blue Pants. These are available with house-fried kettle chips or the aforementioned pork skins, which makes them keto-friendly. I’ll also be watching their Facebook page closely for savory empanadas (“hand pies”), which are available as a daily special and have received across-the-board rave reviews so far. Finally, we were all too stuffed to try the banana pudding, prepared by The Dessert Fork (also in Madison).

Right now there is space for 30-35 diners total, inside and outside, but this may increase a bit. I think the model and intent is to do a considerable amount of carry-out business.

For now Clyde’s is closed on Sunday, but I suspect that may change eventually. (That’s when the NFL plays, for example.)

There are grab-and-go deals for family dinners and tailgating, of which I’m certain we’ll avail ourselves from time to time. Clyde’s is dangerously close to world headquarters, and we’re looking forward to a long, satisfying relationship!

Disclosure: Stan and Tina asked me detailed and specific questions about their offerings, just as they did when Earth and Stone opened, and they also knew that our dinner would be the basis for a post on For these reasons, they insisted on picking up our tab for this visit.

 Posted by at 6:59 am
Apr 232019

Of the several rechargeable battery technologies we have, lithium-ion batteries run a whole bunch of stuff. Your phone almost certainly has one in it. Electric and hybrid cars largely rely on them. This makes sense. Lithium-ion batteries are reasonably durable and perform well, with good capacity, charge times, and so forth. There’s just one thing […]

 Posted by at 8:59 am
Apr 032019

Probably lots of people who are neither necessarily highly informed nor excessively perverse know that a fetish for women’s underwear is pretty common, as these things go. Some significant, but probably smaller, percentage of those people know that, for a lot of fetishists, dirty is better than clean. And then yet another subset probably knows […]

 Posted by at 8:48 am
Mar 242019

Even for a sporadic mass-media consumer like me, it’s been tough to miss the tremendous advertising push for Coca-Cola’s new Orange Vanilla variety. It seemed like an ideal review candidate from the first spot I heard, so when Lea came home with a six-pack the other day, I asked for one. This looks and […]

 Posted by at 10:58 am
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