Sunday, January 19, 2020


Folks in Texas are well aware of Buc-ee's but people east of the Sabine River have never seen one.....until recently. Buc-ee's opened their first store outside of Texas on I-10 east of Mobile, Al at the exit that you take to go to the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. In short, Buc-ee's is the WalMart of interstate rest stops. It is a truck stop without the trucks and therefore ideal for families travelling for vacation. They have 120 gas pumps and rest rooms so clean and large that you could hold a party in them. You can buy all the snacks and road food you desire as well as getting hot BBQ, sandwiches, candy and coffee.

If you are on the road and see a sign with a huge beaver, be sure to stop and take a break.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Migration of the Snow Birds

My wife and I decided to visit our oldest grandson in the Red Neck Riviera to decompress from the holidays. The coast of Alabama is quiet in the winter season. And the people of Alabama are always friendly and helpful so going out to shop and eat is a pleasure. While they don't have the summer crowds, the annual migration of the snow birds is well underway.

Snow birds, for those who are not familiar with the species, are a type of Northern Humanus Yankeeus. They come south to avoid the worst of the winter weather. The migrants are typically the elder of the species as the young enjoy the winter weather and may use the cold and long dark nights as an excuse to mate. The snow bird is typically an early feeder and will frequently leave eating establishments before 7:00 PM leaving the feeding area open for the local species. One can determine the home territory of any particular bird by the unique tagging that can be seen on their method of transport. You can see such strange markings as Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The Snow Bird provides a welcome change to the invasive flocks of Summer Beach Aficionados that arrive after May Day.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

John Emerald Single Malt Whiskey

This whisky is not a true Scotch as it is made in, of all places, Opelika, Alabama. John Emerald Distillery is a craft distiller making small batches of whiskey, gin, rum and vodka and is the first legal distillery in Alabama for more than 100 years.

This bottle was a Christmas present from the oldest grandson and is from Batch 135, which was written by human hand on the bottle. This whiskey uses pecan and peach wood to dry the malted barley and this imparts a unique flavor much different from peat. It is aged in virgin American white oak with a slight char. This is a very smooth whiskey even though it is less than 4 years old.One wonders what another 6 or so years ageing would do to it.

Nose: grass and floral
Palate: Very, very smooth
Color: Medium Amber
Finish: Long and warming

This whiskey is not widely available. You can find it in select stores in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. But, it you are looking for something unique, it may be worth trying to find it.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Head Count

Saudi Arabia beheaded another 8 druggies bringing the 2019 grand total to 181.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

More NOLa Fail

We learned today that the Sewerage and Water Board almost pumped raw sewage in the Mississippi River when a valve failed. They were able to avert this disaster but now the valve is held open with hydraulic jacks and wooden shims. How would that affect me? The water intake for my drinking water is downstream!

Local Swamp - Final Results

Federal grants are the cocaine of politicians. With a $45 million grant pending on the approval of a toll bridge that the locals did not want, a group of state representatives and senators who do not represent the area and in the face of vocal opposition, approved construction of the bridge and the imposition of 30 years of tolls on the population. Gotta get their fix of federal bucks. Sigh!

Monday, December 16, 2019

NOLa Fail

New Orleans, never a shining star city on a hill, has been having more than it's usual share of problems lately. The ferry from Canal Street to Algiers has been out of service for a year because they cannot get USCG inspections on the new ferries. It was so bad that the Coast Guard refused to provide a punch list, instead telling them to go read the regulations.

There have been almost weekly boil water advisories as water mains fail. A recent 30" water main failure flooded streets and cars.

There was a mass shooting over Thanksgiving weekend when 10 people were shot (nobody killed ,luckily) on Canal Street. I bet you didn't hear about it on the national news because that's Bayou Classic Weekend, the football game between two rival African American universities. (The shooters were later arrested over in St. Mary Parish)

To add to the Sewerage and Water Board problems, they blew up a turbine at their main water treating plant. The concussion rattled the neighborhood and injured two employees. Details have not been forthcoming so I'm not sure if it was a natural gas turbine or one of the old (circa 1930) steam turbines. (The SWB generates their own power as most of their pumps operate on a different frequency from the Entergy grid)

And finally, the city has had to shut down their computer system due to a cyber attack.

PS: This morning the news reported an explosion and car fire in the French Quarter about 1 block from Bourbon Street. Three manhole covers were blown off and the street around the manholes was buckled.The cause was not immediately understood but now they are saying that the cause was an accumulation of methane gas from human waste. This is troubling for a couple of reasons. First, it means that the sewer and the drainage system are connected which they are not supposed to be. Second, it means that the drainage system is blocked. UPDATE - Sewage got into an Entergy electrical vault and an arc ignited the methane. Source of sewage is not known.