Trip to Nashville… and back

We took a trip on Thursday to Nashville for the day. Our client is located in Music City, so it is theoretically an easy trip via Southwest direct flights to go down and back in a day. This is less disruptive to my family life and my work life.

When we delayed about 30-40 minutes on the way out on a 6:30 am flight, it was not a big deal. But the return… that was another story. After a full day working, we got to the airport about 7:00 for our 8:00 flight. It turned out the plane was coming in from snow-covered Denver and our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:00 (central time). That meant we had about 4 hours to kill in the airport.

A nearly empty airport concourse

I managed to sleep on the floor in airport. Having woken up at 4:30 in the morning, it was no problem to fall asleep. While I was asleep, my collegue, Katie, made friends with a single mom traveling with two small children. Apparently this woman had a few too many on the flight in, and she was having some trouble handling her kids. The World Series was on, so we were able to see the Cardinals win Game 4 and take a 3-1 lead.

Since this single mom needed help with her kids, we concocted a way too elaborate scheme where we were family members, and we could pre-board on this Southwest flight. By the time we got on the plane, it was around 11:45, and the Southwest folks we not very likely to question the make up of “our family.”

When the plane finally landed in Raleigh, the two girls were fast asleep and their mom didn’t know how she was going to get the girls and all their stuff off the plane. We helped gather the girls and their things, said goodbye.

The ultimate measurement of a long day is when you put your parking ticket in the machine to pay for parking before driving out of the parking lot. My ticket registered 20 hours 36 minutes. That’s a long day. By the time I got home it was about 2:40am.

Life Connections

It recently occurred to me that the title of this blog relates to an incident in my past. I remember is like it was yesterday…

Blurry Fade

I entered my 4th Grade classroom and written on the blackboard (nowadays it is white) was “The Trial of the Southeast Six.” As we all came into the classroom and took our seats, we tried to figure out what it meant. It took many hints from our teacher before we discovered that a cluster of six desks were in the southeast corner of the room. That was where I sat.

The day before, several of the people in our group had been talking and not paying attention. It was my teacher’s approach that we could turn this into a learning opportunity rather than a discipline opportunity. It was the 70s after all. I was not one of the people misbehaving, but I was in this group nonetheless. It was a case of guilt by association.

Anyway, each one of us had a criminal type quoted nickname for the trial. It was New York afterall. And my nickname was “Papercut.” Several days before this incident I had gotten a papercut while looking something up in an encyclopedia, and my reaction was memorable enough to my teacher to make it my nickname.

I don’t remember anyone else’s nickname. I don’t really remember the substance of the trial, but I do remember the result. The Southeast Six were split up and cast to the four corners of the room.

Deep Fried What?

As our memories of the fair fade, the hot topic of conversation is still Deep Fried Coca-Cola. We never did find it, so we didn’t get to try it. Our friend Brian Long, State Fair spokesman, not only tried it, but also was interviewed about it on Australian radio.

Morning radio hosts are the same everywhere, so they were poking fun at the fair and its visitors. If it had been a US radio program, I would say they are making fun of the South, but since the hosts are Australian, they really seem to be making fun of all Americans.

Listen here.

Trip to New York

Chrysler Building

This past weekend I took a trip to New York City for a family event. It was a bit of a disjointed trip, so this post may seem to ramble a bit. It was the first time I traveled with carry-ons only for an overnight trip since the latest ban from the TSA. I went out to the drugstore to get pint-size, I mean 3-oz travel size, toiletries. I later asked on this trip how could I take anything other than a quick shower since I had small toiletries.

I spent Saturday at the re-opened Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). While much of the work was familiar, since I have been to the musuem many times over the years, there is always something new to see in great work. I continue to be in awe of Monet’s Water Lilies. And some works just have more power in person, like Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings and Van Gogh’s Starry Night. To be able to see the brush strokes up close is pretty cool.

It was a chilly morning, but the Sculture Garden is quite a respite from the city rising around it.

Picasso’s Goat Framed by Calder

As I traveled around New York City, whether by taxi, train or on foot, I noticed that the city hasn’t really changed. While many things about the modern world have changed since I lived in New York (late 70s and early 90s), there is too much infrastucture in the city for it to change rapidly. Sure, every business has a web address printed on the door, but the streets and buildings are still the same. There is always lots of construction and many new buildings going up, but in general, it is still the same place.

I enjoyed a Sabrett Kosher hot dog from a street vendor. These are unlike any hot dogs in the world. Add mustard and onions (a unique concoction of cooked onions in a tomato based sauce) for a flavor that mixes memory with texture and taste. And I only dropped a couple onions on my pants as I walked and ate. I also had a Black and White cookie (another link), another NYC original.

I walked to Grand Central Station to take the train to my sister’s house. Even jaded New Yorkers were interested in the commercial they were filming in the cavernous station. Movie lights were everywhere, lighting up bits of the background, as well as two large balloon fill lights hanging overhead.

That night we had a good NY Italian meal and I spent some time with my nephews and niece. It was too bad my kids were unable to come, as they don’t get to see their cousins that often.

Sunday morning was the unveiling ceremony for my grandfather’s gravestone. Jewish traditions require a second trip to the cemetary to dedicate the carved gravestone. It is another time to hold the memory of your loved ones in your heart. As the rabbi said, through the memories of their life, the departed will live on.

Grandparent’s Gravestone

After the service, we gathered at Dougie’s, a Kosher barbeque restaurant for lunch before my flight home.

Carrboro Falcons in the News

From Chapel Hill News:

Scoreboards at most football games show the home team’s score and the visitor’s tally as well. Bright lights spell out the quarter, the time remaining, the down and distance.

What hasn’t shown up on the end zone marquees, however, has been how the sport of football scores with more and more young athletes.

Though Carrboro Recreation and Parks has offered youth football for years, the addition of a local Pop Warner association and two teams through Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation has added seven more options for young pigskin fans.

Playing in the Central Piedmont Youth Football League, Carrboro’s youth football teams face off each week against such daunting eastern division competition as Chapel Hill, Orange County, East and West Chatham, Bethesda, Siler City and Downtown Durham Athletic Association (DDAA) teams.

After winning the eastern division title in the CPYFL in both 2004 and 2005, this year’s Carrboro Falcon (7-8-year-old) squad is holding a “talon” show of its own.

“We’ve had some players move up and on,” Falcon head coach Grant DeBerry said, “and we wish them success with everything they’re doing. But this year’s players have come together to work as a team. They’re good kids, they’re listening, and they’re working hard.”

Under DeBerry, the 3-3 Falcons are looking to claim a road victory this weekend versus the DDAA Titans using the same philosophy that has been successful in the past.

“We keep our style simple. It’s just smash-mouth football, with nothing too complicated,” DeBerry said. “We’re just trying to give everyone some experience of what football is like and what being part of a team is like.”

DeBerry had high praise for the talent that stepped in after the departure of many who led the Falcons to success in the past two campaigns.

“Harrison Young is doing a wonderful job at quarterback,” DeBerry said. “He listens, and whatever we ask, he does.

“The same goes for our fullback Deshawn Dixon. Deshawn was with us last year, and he’s always listened well. We also have some up-and-comers who really like to get out and play.”

He cited Jackson Peete, Brandon Wendel, Chase Bolsky and Nick Mitchell for enthusiasm that added depth to the talent pool. DeBerry said fans shouldn’t judge his players by their size.

“Sometimes you look at guys like our (Benjamin and Wesley) Kelley twins,” he said. “You look at their size and think (they’re too small), but they have a lot of heart, and they love to hit. They might be under 50 pounds, but they love to hit.”

While Andrew Cuffe and Michael Marcin rounded out the offensive backfield, DeBerry also noted the standout defensive play by Lonnie Baldwin and Gianni Hooker.

“With their speed on defense, they’re really able to attack the ball,” he said.

Article continues

NC State Fair

It is that time again for the North Carolina State Fair. We plan to go and partake of our family traditions: country ham biscuits, Mt Olive pickles, fried Milky Ways, fried Oreos, funnel cakes, pig races, kiddie rides and the ferris wheel.

See this article from the News & Observer quoting our friend, Brian and his fair expert, 3-year old daughter, Chloe. Brian happens to be the official Fair spokesman (he works for the NC Dept of Agriculture, which puts on the fair every year).

Fair Blogs:
Raleigh News & Observer’s Fair Blog

If you ever stood in line to ride the Gravitron, paid good money to see the world’s tiniest horse, or served funnel cakes at your wedding reception, Blog on a Stick is for you. Come along as staff writer Matt Ehlers explores the blue-skied, deep-fried and demolition derby-fied N.C. State Fair. But first, wipe that mustard off your chin.

TV Station WRAL’s Fair Blog

I’m Tara Calishain. 51 weeks a year I write and speak about Internet search engines, online databases, and other information collections. The other week I unleash my inner child and we go to the NC State Fair!