The biggest "WTF?" moment for me was when their location was given as in the Blue Ridge Mountains "not too far from Raleigh" (3-4 hours as the Mustang speeds, depending on blue light density) but as the tale progresses it sort of makes sense. No spoilers, read the book.
And for the record, even though I'm in the neighborhood (sort of) I certainly did NOT go to Chapel Hill to find the bookstore owned by dragons (although that would be totally cool - and OK, one spoiler but you still have to read the book to see where it fits), but if I had, it would have been nice to have had better directions.
Anyway, if you have any interest at all in the legend of King Arthur check this one out, it will be well worth your time.
Also please note the addition of the anti-soma blog to the blogroll. You can find more of her books there.
Saturday night at the HQ we were discussing different BBQ sauces and how the method of preparing the meat differs from one place to the other. One of the commenters was talking (writing?) about the Lexington dip, while another opined that any time you put ketchup in the sauce you have committed a grave and mortal sin (I wrote about the different sauces you find in the Carolinas here). South Carolina mustard sauce was not even mentioned.
Yet a third claimed that any type of pork that was shredded/chopped was an Abomination Unto Nuggan, and that the proper way to serve smoked pork was sliced with a Kansas City style of thick sauce. He was immediately banished as a troll, as everyone knows Carolina barbecue is king.
At any rate it woke a craving for pulled pork, and I decided I'd give the Lexington dip a chance.
1 C distilled vinegar
1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C apple juice (not cider)
1 t. hot sauce (I used this)
3 T. light brown sugar
1/2 T. salt
1 t. crushed red pepper
1 t. finely ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients in a Mason jar, put the lid on it and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined. Let it sit for at least 3 hours. I let mine sit for six while the pig was absorbing the rub.
You are supposed to baste (mop) the meat with this mixture while it is cooking, but I just rubbed a pork shoulder and let it sit for a couple of hours, put it in a 250 degree oven for 4 hours while I ran off to do my errands, then put it on a smoky fire over indirect heat for another 4 hours, spraying it down every hour with apple juice.
The sauce itself is a little thicker than the East Carolina sauce due to the ketchup, but isn't nearly as thick as the Kansas City style sauces. It's also sweeter due to both the tomatoes and the extra 2 T. of brown sugar in the mix (actually, the recipe has to be doubled to approximate the same volume as the East Carolina sauce, so by volume there is 6x the sugar in it). There is still a bit of the kick to it due to the Cajun Sunshine hot sauce and the red pepper, but not nearly as much as the East Carolina sauce (of course, I didn't put any Insanity Sauce in it, either...which reminds me, I've really got to try this).
My verdict...I liked it. Not more than the East Carolina sauce, but as much at least.
Next I'm going to have to try my hand at making both types of slaw.
This morning I set out with the singular goal of purchasing a firearm.
I have long wanted a Marlin 795 to make an Appleseed gun out of, but I saw a Savage 64F in the local mart of walls for a pretty reasonable price. I decided that if the 795 was not available I would opt for the Savage instead.
My first stop was at the aforementioned mart of walls to ensure the Savage was still there, and much to my delight, there in the ammo case, was .45ACP and 5.56 Winchester white boxes! The 5.56 was in 20 round boxes, but there was a whole pile of them. The .45ACP was in the 100 round white boxes, a sight I had not beheld in quite some time.
Limited to 3 boxes total, I opted for two of Gods Own Caliber and one of the 5.56. I'll have to pop in tomorrow early and see if there is any of the 5.56 left, if so I'll get three more boxes. I'm not expecting them to be there, but I can hope.
With the availability of the Savage determined I was off to Gander Mountain in search of the elusive Marlin. When I stepped up to the gun counter what should my wandering eyes see but...the very object of my desire, front and center in the display rack! When the clerk stepped over to me I pointed and said "I'll take that one right there."
We went over to the BATFE(IEIO) desk and filled out the proper paperwork, and before you could say "Mark Kelly is a sad panda" I was carrying the box out to the car. I don't know if the BATFE(IEIO) was aware of my existence before but now they can tell for sure that I own one firearm, and I can say that my carry permit made the process much more streamlined.
Along with the ammo purchases at the mart of walls I had also picked up a set of sling swivels and a cheapo nylon sling in anticipation of my acquisition. As soon as I got it home (well, after I walked the dog that was ecstatic to see that I had made it home safely) I put its new accessories on.
First impressions: It's shorter than the Model 60, but it's obvious to even the most casual observer that the actions are the same, the biggest difference is the magazines.
The Model 60 sports the traditional wood stock while the Model 795 has a synthetic stock. I prefer the looks of the wood stock, but the synthetic stock makes for a lighter rifle. The 795 weighs in at a mere 4.5 lbs, a full pound lighter than it's wood stocked sibling. The synthetic stock is just a touch longer, but not long enough to make up for the Model 60's barrel length advantage.
Another very obvious difference is the bolt release. Pressing the tab up on the 60 releases the bolt, pressing the lever down on the 795 accomplishes that purpose. Both have the last-shot open feature, and pulling the bolt clear back and pushing the handle inward locks both bolts fully open.
A look at the top of the receiver further illustrates the similarity of the two rifles. I had not noticed the integrated rail on the Model 60 until I looked at the 795, but the two are identical.
On the previous models of the 795 the swivel studs were the traditional screw-in post type, but on this model they are molded into the stock. I'm not sure how much I like that...
but they worked well. The swivels mounted up with no issues, and if they do end up being troublesome I can always drill and install the studs that came with the swivels.
All told the final cost was as follows: rifle, $160.11 with tax; sling swivels, $9.97 (tax not included); el-cheapo WallyWorld sling, $6.97 (tax not included); Tech-Sights TSM200 sights, $75.00 shipped, total cost approximately $255 (estimating the tax for the sling and swivels). Add a $20.00 magazine (the standard Marlin magazines are about the same price as a ProMag 25 rounder) and the cost ends up being in the neighborhood of $275, Appleseed ready. Not bad, considering the Ruger 10/22 will cost you around $250 for the basic rifle, and then you have to add the sights, sling and swivels to it as well...and this is before the trigger and barrel mods are done to the gun (I don't know that it absolutely needs them, but apparently everyone does them so there must be something to it).
Now all I need to do is put some .22LR through it.
The Heart of Carolina Mustang Club had their 20th annual car show today, and I have to say it went off pretty well. We were worried that we were going to get rained out, but when we got to the site the sun was shining and the skies, while not exactly clear, were non-threatening.
We had reserved the option to end everything early, but we ended not having to exercise it. We had a goodly number of cars and everyone seemed to have a good time. The only complaint I heard was that we didn't put a registration deadline on the flyers so when the deadline came at 12 noon we still had a handful of people show up that wanted to be in the show.
There was no judging, instead we opted for a People's Choice sort of thing where everybody got a ballot and voted for the cars of their choice. We had four categories: Best Ford, Best GM, Best Mopar and Best Import. We only had three Mopars show up (two classic Challengers and an Indy 500 truck) but we had a pretty good number of Fords and GM's. We unfortunately had no imports.
When the ballots were counted this happened:
Yep, that's my banana boat, bird droppings on the hood and all. Three of my club mates saw the little Subaru sitting off to the side with a generator running in the back powering the DJ equipment and wrote it in. With no competition (there was one, a Pontiac G8 made by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia, that was disqualified because it was entered as a GM) it won in a landslide (100 percent of the three votes cast).
It's probably a good thing my little Firefly is such a good sport.
I'm taking some use-it-or-lose-it vacation time, so I have the next ten days off.
I don't have anywhere to go or anything to do, outside of the Heart of Carolina car show on Saturday (the only day in the next ten, incidentally, where the chance of rain exceeds 20%). I do have some yard work to do.
Other than that I plan to spend a lot of my vacation surfing internet pr0n.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this incident that happened not too very far from the Refuge. Long story short, kid went shooting over the weekend and left the gun in the car, took the car to school, realized what had happened and called his Mom to come and get it. The call was overheard and the kid was expelled and arrested.
Sure, the suspension was itself suspended so he will graduate on time, but he still faces charges...and in North Carolina they are felony charges. There is a chance that he won't be on that stage for his graduation because he will be behind bars. The time to celebrate will be if the outcome in court is positive (he's scheduled for a hearing on May 16th).
The shameful conclusion that I have reached is, if you have done something wrong don't say a damn thing to anyone (a lesson that criminals and politicians already know...but I repeat myself). If he hadn't called his mother no one would have ever known the gun was in the car. Denials, lies and obfuscation gets the rewards, trying to do the right thing gets the punishments.
This is not really the lesson I'd like to teach my kids.
have I been doing lately, you might have wondered, and why the lack of posting?
I can't blame the weather this time, it's been uniformly crappy since Sunday. I'll blame work instead.
Last Friday I went to help Range Partner put outside doors in his house. Just so you know, ready-to-install doors aren't so much, especially when you are talking about a 50+ year old brick house. Fortunately it didn't take a lot to make them ready-to-install, but the craftmanship in the door frames left a bit to be desired. Nothing that can't be corrected, just a PITA to have to do it.
The front door will take a bit more work to make it weather-tight, but the back door went fairly well, at least it went fairly well after we got the old one out. The frame on the back door wasn't as sturdy as the frame on the front door, so the previous owner had used a lot of screws and some kind of caulk/weatherstrip/glue that pulled the brick off in places when we tried to take it out. Range Partner fastened them both in with many substantial screws, so any home intruder would have to be very determined to get in...not that it would do any good. I don't refer to him as "Range Partner" for no reason, after all (this is the guy that carries a gun chambered in a caliber suitable for truck engines).
After that I put the top down and headed to Fort Mills, SC to join the Carolina Chapter of the Mustang Forums for a car show to benefit Gaston County Hospice at Pro Dyno. Friday's trip down was in the sunshine and very agreeable, but Saturday was cloudy all day and the rain started about the time we were handing out the awards and wrapping everything up.
Side note here, I'm not as good about washing the car as I once was, when I first got it I would wash it two or three times a week. Two years dealing with the pollen storm every spring has pretty much broken me of that, now I figure that clean is for those who don't drive them. I told you that so I can say this, at two of our Mustang Forums events I've bought drawing tickets, and both of the events I won cleaning supplies. Who says God doesn't have a sick and twisted sense of humor?
Anyway, about halfway home Saturday the clouds and rain were gone so I was able to put the top back down for the last half of the trip. By the time to go to work Sunday the clouds had caught back up, and regardless of the weatherman's foul lies prediction that they would be gone and the sunshine would return by MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday Friday afternoon I haven't seen the light in a week. Maybe today though, the clouds cleared off just after sunset last night.
This weekend the Heart of Carolina Mustang Club is having their spring display at Crossroads Ford in Cary, but I won't be there. The company I work for has determined that everyone needs to do at least one day of overtime per pay period, and I've elected to do mine on my short weekends (so I don't mess up my 4 day weekends). Unfortunately since I've had things scheduled for Thursdays I couldn't work those days, so I've been taking Fridays...which is right dead in the middle of that 3 day weekend, which pretty much ruins the whole damn weekend for me, hence the dearth of postings lately.
Next weekend is the Heart of Carolina Car Show, and then I'll be taking a couple of weeks of vacation before I lose them. I'm not planning on going anywhere, so maybe I'll get a chance to relax.
Yeah, right. Look for the flying monkeys, but word of advice...don't smell them cause you won't like where they've been.
Back to work this week, after having two weeks off it was kind of tough getting back into it. That's not all bad though, it's been warm and sunny so I've been driving the convertible in to work. I need to stop that, I don't really like to take it to work in case I get into something really dirty, but I haven't been able to help myself. The car I wasn't going to put a lot of miles on now has 55K on the clock.
We're on mandatory overtime right now (not because we need it, because someone down the hall needs it so the managers figure if they need it everyone else does, too...I imagine it will last up until the bean-counters get the bill) so I'll be going in tonight. I'm forcing myself to take the Subaru.
Tomorrow will be nice and sunny, too. I think I'll try to find something to put on the grill.
Yesterday morning (Saturday) was the first Saturday of the month, which means Cars n' Coffee!
These two photos show the three versions of the car jointly produced by Subaru, Toyota and Scion. Subaru made the motor and drivetrain and Toyota made the fuel injection and did the styling. The only thing Scion contributed, as far as I can tell, is a name badge (but then again, they are owned by Toyota).
Sunny and kind of cool yesterday (mid to upper 50's), today is 45 and...sleet? Seriously? Good thing I got the lawn mowed early today before it started. Guess the Mustang will stay in the drive tonight, I have somewhere to be this evening but the Subaru is sure-footed.
Starting tomorrow the sun comes back out, and next week is supposed to be in the lower 70's. We will see how much the forecast changes by tomorrow afternoon. (Not that the weatherman would lie, but he has been known to be mistaken.)
The Heart of Carolina Mustang Club met up at Virginia International
Raceway today to run some charity laps. This sessions beneficiary was
Victory Junction. It was a bit cool, but the sun was shining and it
was a beautiful day. After two sessions we had a group photo taken with
Kyle Petty and presented him with the clubs donation. All together
between the donation and the laps we raised a bit over $2000 for
Victory Junction. More photos can be found here.
I'm happy to say the Continentals
performed well. They don't seem to be quite as sticky as the Pirellis,
but for the extra tread life I'll gladly make the trade. Not only that,
but the Continental DWS tires have delusions of all-weatherability (DWS
means Dry Wet Snow) which is something the summer only Pirellis never
even pretended at. I still won't press my luck, after all I have a perfectly good
Subaru for nasty weather.
I lived in Jacksonville from late '94 to almost 2000 and never once went to St Augustine to do the tourist thing. With the temps in the 70s and a house full of kids to entertain today was the day.
The four of us got there in the afternoon, we found a good parking spot and walked through the old jail first. After going through the gift shop we went down to the ticket booth across the road and rode the red train (actually we rode the black train, but it was being used as a red train) and then went through Ripley's.
St Augustine Old Jail
Castillo de San Marcos
House made from redwood log, that's Grand-daughter posing for the picture
The Great Cross, Mission of Nombre de Dios, St Augustine FL
We didn't get to go through the fort or see the Fountain of Youth, but they will be there another day. Sonny's BBQ rounded out the days events.