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!

Grace’s Reasons Why

Tonight Grace and I went to a fast food drive-thru for dinner and from the time we got in line until we got our food, it took 15 minutes. That was an awfully long time to wait, especially since we had about an hour to eat, get Grace showered and dressed and get to a meeting.

Here are Grace’s reasons why it took so long:

  • The first car in line is ordering food for a banquet
  • The people in there are chit-chatting instead of working. They better watch out or they’ll get fired
  • They got hungry and they ate all the food

Another One Goes Country

Back in the 70s and 80s top FM stations played rock music. It was music of the 60s and 70s (and later 80s) because that was current and popular. Ironically, that is the exact same music played by classic rock stations today. It might include Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Coldplay, but it is still based on a world where Stairway to Heaven and Freebird duke it out every year for number one song.

When I arrived in the Triangle for college in 1983, the venerable rock station everyone listened to, including unhip college who had yet to discover “college radio,” was WQDR. This was the station everyone in the area grew up listening to. In 1984, the station changed its format to country and has been the number one station in the market for over 20 years. Around the same time, a new rock station entered the market,WRDU.

On the last day of WQDR’s rock programming, one particular DJ signed off in the morning, and showed up on WRDU in the evening. Not only was this a great stunt, but it passed the mantle to the new station.

For many years, WRDU was king of rock, but as radio audiences have slipped, so too has WRDU. It has been many, many years since I have listened to it. The format has become very dated. Radio has become less relevant. How many times can you listen to your favorite song from when you where 12, now that you are in your 40s or 50s? What is the difference between classic rock and oldies these days?

Last week, WRDU, now owned by Clear Channel Communications, changed its format to country and is calling itself 106 The Rooster. So far the format has stuck, convincing listeners that it was not just a stunt, called flipping, where a station changes formats briefly, before settling on it real new format.

The now much smaller mantle has been passed to Clear Channel sister station The River. This is a station that has switched many times, including from Oldies to its current classic rock format.

I found the parallels interesting, even though my radio listening is limited to NPR, and has been for years. Even that has lessened as I listen to podcasts on my ipod.