fighting the lack of good ideas

peak city grille & bar

This evening I moseyed to Apex NC with a coworker for dinner. We parked on N Salem St, and perused the available options, settling on Peak City Grille & Bar.

Peak City is a former general store converted to a restaurant just a few years ago. 126 N Salem St is an unassuming store front, but after walking inside, the open expanse, down to the original tin ceiling panels, greets you with a subdued, classy grandeur.

When we finally made our decision on dinner, our food was prepared very quickly. I ordered their prime rib special, a 10oz portion with a “colossal” baked potato and side salad. Mark requested their shrimp and grits, and both were out to us very quickly. While we waited, our salads and drinks came out, and my only complaint was on the Peak City ‘house’ brew – it’s supposed to be similar to a Bass, but it tasted bruised.

Their beer selection was somewhat lacking this evening, as they were out of several of their normal draughts, but their cocktail list and availability was quite extensive.

I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve had prime rib since I went to the Van Ness House of Prime Rib in San Francisco. I’ve held-off because of how good the prime rib was in California.

Tonight’s offering, though, was a very close second. The black pepper crust really helped to bring out the flavor of the beef. The baked potato came home because of its size – it was easily 7 inches long and 3.5 inches in diameter. And it was stuffed with cheese, chives, bacon, and butter. I’m looking forward to finishing dinner in the next couple days!

In recent years I’ve become a big fan of local restaurants, especially in small town centers like N Salem St is in Apex. Peak City has definitely made my list for favorite local spots.

jim hansen – climatologist

A friend pointed-out Jim Hansen’s profile page on the NASA site:

I find this quote amazing on his profile, “The hardest part is trying to influence the nature of the measurements obtained, so that the key information can be obtained.”

He flat-out admits to manipulating data to better his study’s goal.

I’ve seen brazen folks before (myriad politicians come to mind), but someone who’s supposed to be an impartial researcher?

That’s frightening.

I wonder how many of his esteemed colleagues do the same thing?

how is this racist?

Yes, I am aware of regional American history in which black people were sometimes referred-to as ‘porch monkeys’.

But please tell me how this cartoon is racist? stimulus

According to Roland Martin, it’s a racist attack on the president. “The cartoonist didn’t hang a sign around the neck of the chimp, so he left it up to the reader to determine exactly who the cops were referring to. We all know that the stimulus bill was the first priority of the new president, so when reading the caption, it was easy to infer that the cartoonist was implying the president of the United States.”

I’m a smart guy.

I’m pretty up on the news.

I saw the story about a chimpanzee that was shot in Connecticut after escaping and attacking several people.

If I hadn’t seen the CNN editorial, I wouldn’t have known about the cartoon (I don’t get the New York Post frequently). Now that it’s become a broohaha, I’m looking at the cartoon.

Mr Martin is sorely mistaken – no one I know would’ve seen a racist comment being made in this cartoon. Nor a statement against the President of the United States. Congress wrote the bill (even if the President did back it).

The statement obviously being made is that Congress is a bunch of monkeys, and a chimp could do no worse.

In my experience, it’s people like Mr Martin, Al Sharpton, and others who constantly bring-up racism (who, may I add are black themselves) who keep the issue alive and well.

In my experience, skin color has never had any role in any interaction I’ve ever had. Where I grew up, the line of work I now have, jobs I’ve previously held, and where I’ve gone to school all show that if the person (irrespective of ‘color’) gets his work done, is pleasant, and overall just a ‘person’, they’re fine. I have friends of all sorts of colors and backgrounds. None of them feel any race issue.

I have a huge problem with hyphenated Americans. Other countries don’t have hyphenated citizens. There are no African-British. No Italian-Canadian. Never heard of a French-Chinese. So why do we have African-Americans (especially when a large percentage of black folks in America didn’t come from Africa)?

We are a post-racial country, as long as folks like Mssrs Martin, Sharpton, Jackson, and myriad others who vault themselves into the public eye keep quiet. Did America do wrong by other colors in the past? Absolutely. We participated in enslaving blacks (who we typically received as already-enslaved blacks from competing tribes), turning Chinese into barely-human workers to build railroads, etc.

This cartoon, and the [apparent] whirlwind of attention it is getting, just go to show that the only reason it’s an issue is because a few people make it one.

Had Roland kept quiet, anyone who had missed the cartoon wouldn’t have known, and everyone who saw would have gone along with the surface, obvious, not-read-into ‘meaning’ of the drawing as a political statement drawn on top of a recent news story that the stimulus bill was written by monkeys.

“News stories” like this contribute to people hating the news media. When the media becomes the news, makes the news, and comments about its own news, they’re not reporting’ the news’ – they’re participating in a narcissistic, self-aggrandizing series of congratulatory back-patting to make themselves feel better.

Maybe folks like Roland Martin could go back to doing something productive in life, rather than making an issue of something that isn’t there.

999 business ideas – free for the taking

Have fun:

holmes and watson ltd

After our mixed experience at Brown’s Monday evening, my buddy Chris and I headed over to Holmes and Watson a few blocks away on Broadway in Troy.

I wasn’t very hungry, but after walking inside, I could tell that the folks running Holmes and Watson were at least going to *act* more friendly than our waitress at Brown’s.

H&W has 20+ beers on tap from all over the country and world, in a great mix of styles. From this array of choices, I added two to my list of beers I’ve tried with the Rogue Mogul and Hophound.

Eventually we did decide to get some snack food, and their clam chowder was awesome – exceptionally thick and creamy. The hot wings looked good, but I’m not a fan of them because they have bones (yes, I’m that lazy).

Holmes and Watson is also setup on two levels, and their menu items are all named for characters/places/events in the Sherlock Holmes world. Since we were just having a couple drinks and some light fare, we stayed at the bar, but they can easily accomodate scores of customers. This spot has definitely been added to my list of regular stops when I’m home visiting.

brown’s brewing

Monday night I went to Brown’s Brewing on River St in Troy. Their menu is wide-ranging, and many of the beers they serve they brew in-house.

Seating is available on two levels, along with a sizable bar, and they were really busy for a Monday evening, so we sat upstairs.

For dinner, I had the portobello fries and a bowl of french onion soup, while my friend Chris had one of their burgers.

We also tried several of their house brews, including a pilsner and ESB. The pilsner wasn’t to the standard of Pilsner Urquell, but was still pretty good. The ESB was a decent example of the style, too.

The only drawback to our evening was that our waitress became very rude after we’d been there for a while. We’d been there for over an hour when I ordered dessert (a fantastic porter chocolate cake slice). When she brought dessert out she also dropped-off our check – and not with a “if you’d like anything else, let me know”-type statement but more along the lines of “I don’t want to bring you anything else, pay me now”.

So we did, and then headed over to Holmes and Watson a few blocks away to finish enjoying the evening.

I do plan to go back because the food was god, and so was the beer, but I’ll be avoiding that waitress in the future.

man of kent tavern and cafe

My friend Chris has been bragging-up Man of Kent in Hoosick Falls for months. So on this foray to the Great White North (aka ‘home’), we decided to go out for the evening.

They’re located at 4452 Route 7 in Hoosick Falls, on the south side of the road, about 20ish minutes outside of Troy.

Their menu has top-notch pub food, with most ingredients sourced locally. They don’t have a huge on-tap selection – maybe 10ish – but they have scores of bottled beers to pick from if the draught ones aren’t good enough.

Chris had a portobello panini and hot wings, while I enjoyed their chicken soup and mac & cheese. We met the owner, one of the waitresses (Chelsea), and two pub regulars. The owner, waitress, and pub regulars were all pleasant to talk to, and all bragged-up the establishment. It’s not ultra close to my parents’ place, but worth the ride out for atmosphere, food, and good drinks.