May 22, 2009




Spotted on I-40 eastbound, ~6:45 today.  Slow traffic because of what looked like a five-car fender-bender at the I-40/WadeAve. split.

I wonder if there are versions of this plate around Memphis, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque or Bakersfield.


For the record, I was in the passenger seat.

12:28 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (3)

Mar 29, 2009

Mint and Mimosas -- Indian in Chapel Hill

Mint Indian Chapel Hill

Randy asked, "is that the right proportion?"

I dunno -- isn't 60% sparkling the normal amount for a mimosa?

The kind folks at Mint Indian in Chapel Hill had suggested we start with drinks while we waited for the running-a-little-late buffet to open up.  The ten minute shot-clock differential between free-access-to-drinks and an open buffet line struck me as dangerous.  But we did alright.

Randomalia on Mint, Indian mimosas, and other Indian buffets:

  • I'm no expert but thought that the food at Mint was fine.  I particularly enjoyed their gajar halva (carrot pudding dessert) which I'd never seen before.  I also appreciated the food had less salt than I expect in any buffet.  (Cleverness bonus: they split our change into two equal piles of seven singles, two nickels and two pennies each.)
  • Note that the newly-opened Mint is at 504 W. Franklin Street.  The longstanding India Palace is two doors down at 508.

10:34 PM in Food, Reviews, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mar 07, 2009

Saul Alinsky on Means and Ends

Rules-for-radicals"The practical revolutionary will understand Goethe's "conscience is the virtue of observers and not of agents of action"; in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent with one's individual conscience and the good of mankind.  The choice must always be for the latter.  Action is for mass salvation and not for the individual's personal salvation.  He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of "personal salvation"; he doesn't care enough for people to be "corrupted" for them.

"The men who pile up the heaps of discussion and literature on the ethics of means and ends--which with rare exception is conspicuous for its sterility--rarely write about their own experiences in the perpetual struggle of life and change.  They are strangers, moreover, to the burdens and problems of operational responsibility and the unceasing pressure for immediate decisions.  They are passionately committed to a mystical objectivity where passions are suspect.  They assume a nonexistent situation where men dispassionately and with reason draw and devise means and ends as if studying a navigational chart on land.  They can be recognized by one of two verbal brands: "We agree with the ends but not the means," or "This is not the time."  The means-and-end moralists or non-doers always wind up on their ends without any means."

-- Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals -- A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

I'm a newcomer to Alinsky's work and am shocked that no one forced me to read this book before now.  There's much in there to learn from and much to argue with.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, some right-side bloggers made a point of showing the Obamas' connection to Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation founded in 1940. Left-side bloggers said, yeah, but that's a good thing.

Locally, Durham CAN (Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods) began forming as an IAF affiliate in 2000. On their Accomplishments page they "claim victory" for several accomplishments such as the City Council approving $300k in funding for after-school programs in 2003, and the City Council increasing Parks & Rec funding by $350k in 2004. 

Recently, Durham CAN seems to have recently morphed into (or been enveloped by) Triangle CAN, according to this N&O article about director Ivan Parra, in which Parra comments on the difference between Durham County and Orange County:

“The culture of the towns is different,” Parra agrees when I ask him about Durham and the Chapel Hill/Orange County areas.

“The people in Durham act more out of impulse. The heart is at the center of everything they do,” he says. “In Orange County there’s so much education. People act out of intellect.”

I haven't found any links to a Triangle CAN website, but will be glad to hear from anyone with info or other commentary.

11:37 PM in Destination Durham, Quotables, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

Feb 13, 2009

Greg Cox, Triangle Food Critic -- on the radio next Wed (18 Feb)

Cox_greg Local eaters take note:

Restaurant critic spills the beans on the radio

Tune your radio to 100.7 The River next Wednesday, February 18 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., when I’ll be the guest on the Mornings with Kitty Kinnin Show. Excerpts of my recorded conversation with Kitty about the local food scene will be scattered throughout the program. For a more complete sampling (or if you miss the broadast), you can catch the podcast at whenever you like.

posted by Greg Cox at the N&O blog.

Hey, why didn't Shooting the Bull get him first?! :-)


Image yoinked from N&O, duh.

12:22 PM in Destination Durham, Food, News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nov 04, 2008

A Quiet While Waiting

I spent the morning with my friend Jenny, canvassing in rural Roxboro, and we couldn't help but notice how beautiful the country was at half past eleven on a cloudy Election Day.

At 37 Brian Ct., we walked up a gravel driveway to the well-kept pre-fab.  Jenny noted the rose bush, perfectly trimmed, still full of rich red blossoms so late in the season.

We knocked on the door and waited for an answer.  (By now, we'd learned that sometimes people come slowly to the door, so we weren't in a rush.)  Meanwhile, we admired the roses, the lawn, and the overcast sky.

It was about sixty degrees, with a constant light breeze that alternated between barely noticeable and just strong enough to make the autumn leaves whisper.

Most of the time, Jenny and I talk without pause.  But standing on the porch, in a space between sentences, we came to realize just how perfectly quiet it was on the eastern edge of town.  Just the air and the leaves.  Then two cars faint in the distance.  Then again, for the longest time, nothing but the air and the leaves.

It's 6:56 now.  My computer fan is whirring.  The television downstairs is talking about something important but not yet decided.  I'm trying to remember the quiet while waiting.

And I remember the sign that my friend Mark used to have taped to his monitor: B R E A T H E.

06:58 PM in Editorial, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sep 16, 2008

Help the Indy, Win $600. Survey.

Posted for my pals at the Independent Weekly:


Folks, Earn a chance to WIN $600 and other prizes
while helping the Independent Weekly serve the community.

Fill out our survey to enter the drawing for the

To enter, go to

Scroll down the home page and click on the red and blue survey logo.

09:13 PM in Destination Durham, News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sep 12, 2008

Bronwyn Merritt -- Linocuts and Land at Community Realty in Carrboro


Round Table, linocut, 1998.

The multitalented Bronwyn Merritt is showing new and old art at her Carrboro Realty office (corner of Greensboro and Weaver streets), beginning with tonight's Artwalk from 6 to 9.

And see Bronwyn for all things real estate at her extraordinary firm: 

"Carrboro Realty is dedicated to the support of local non-profit agencies. That means when we buy or sell your home we donate 100% of the profits to local charitable organizations such as EmPOWERment, a non-profit that empowers people to control their own destinies through affordable housing, advocacy, community organizing and grassroots economic development." (from the website).

04:07 PM in News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apr 21, 2008

Little India in Cary, and Udupi Vegetarian


Above, one of the dinner platters at all-vegetarian Udupi Cafe in Cary.  For $18, you can order one of their three big sampler meals -- more than enough food for two people.  The platter, above, came after a plate of fried foods (see below), which came after a bowl of rich vegetable soup.*


I'm no connoisseur of South Indian food, but I can say I enjoyed everything at Udupi.  In particular, I liked the eggplant and coconut items I'd never tried before.  I'd be happy to visit Udupi again, but for my next Indian meal in Cary, I'd also be happy to try something different. 

Fortunately for Cary people, there are many options.

Apart from Udupi, the neighboring Chatham Square at 740 E. Chatham St.** has a half-dozen Indian restaurants and/or stores (Mithai Indian Desserts!), plus a few other interesting spots (Bingo, anyone?).  Fiona Morgan has nice notes in Cary -- the Charm of a fast-growing Southern Town (Independent Weekly, June 2007).


*Sorry I didn't snap photos of the menu.  I assumed that Udupi would have all that stuff on the web.  No such luck.

**Udupi is at 590 E. Chatham St., Cary NC, which is sort of next door to Chatham Square at 740 E. Chatham.  Don't ask me how the Cary numbering system can get you from the 700 block of a street to the 500 block in less than 50 feet.  Just look for the brick building with "Pizza & Wings" and "Hair Designers" facing the street, and that's where you'll find Udupi.  Oh, and shame on any of us who reflexively think "no culture and no diversity" when we think about Cary.

12:22 AM in Food, Reviews, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 13, 2008

Home Field Advantage


Oh, sure, the Colorado Rockies get some home field advantage from playing at altitude, in thin air they're used to practicing in.

But they've got nothing on St. Matthew's Episcopal in Hillsborough for church league B-ball.

10:57 PM in Seen, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

Apr 06, 2008

Crab Enchiladas at Fiesta Grill (Carrboro) of the Gourmet Magazine Mention


Today's special at the Fiesta Grill -- crab enchiladas.  A generous portion for only $10.95.  Not pictured, the also-generous tostada de ceviche for $2.95 (available Saturdays and Sundays).

As you may know, the Baja-rooted Fiesta Grill was one of six local Latino restaurants featured in Gourmet Magazine's "Carolina Cocina" article last September*. 

I've always been happy to go there for the rich and freshly made everything.  To be honest, I've never been blown away by the food -- but I've almost always been pleased. Perhaps as importantly, they have the longest menu I've seen of any local Latino restaurant**, so I never get bored with the choices.

They also have the friendliest staff ever.  Need something to tweak your meal?  They're quick to provide extra cilantro, their alternate salsa (rich flavor without much extra heat), more limes, or a bottle of hot sauce.***

Come warm weather, treat yourself to country drive with lunch or dinner at the Fiesta Grill in west-of-Carrboro followed by dessert at Maple View Farm.  If you don't mind a messy meal, you can even take your to-go order for eating at the Maple View Farm picnic tables.



*Click for a scan of the Carolina Cocina article (.pdf 2MB)

**including eight vegetarian choices. Want proof?

***Fiesta Grill uses the well-known Tapatio sauce from Guadalajara. Did you know that Northgate Mall in Durham used to have a store that just sold hot sauces and related products?  That was ~1993.  Sadly, it didn't last long.

The fellow whom I think is the owner: his jawline and voice remind me of Marlon Brandon as the Godfather -- but in a nice, friendly way.

Essential ingredient atop the enchiladas: the half-cream aka media crema. Cans of the Nestle brand should be available almost anywhere with Latino groceries.


01:27 AM in Food, Mexico, Reviews, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (2)

Mar 31, 2008

Cho for Congress? -- NC 4th District



I've long wondered when we'd see an Asian* running for major political office in the Triangle.  Now I know.. courtesy of Barry in the comments that the answer is "earlier than I thought", with Tuan Nguyen running against David Price in 2002.  But anyway, back to the 2008 race ->. Korean-born Augustus Cho (R) of Chapel Hill hopes to occupy the NC 4th congressional district seat currently occupied by Rep. David Price (D).  But before he goes up against the incumbent, he has to beat B.J. Lawson of Cary in the May 6 Republican primary.

Neither candidate seems to be a major threat to Price, who was re-elected in 2006 with 79% 65%** of the votes in the 4th congressional district (which captures Orange and Durham counties plus Cary and a few other parts of Wake and Chatham counties, but not Raleigh).

Still, it's interesting to visit their websites and to compare their viewpoints to how we suspect our voting neighbors see the world.  Incidentally, Cho is a minister and writer whose web tagline is "preserving America's traditional values."  Lawson is an MD whose web tagline is "Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty".

Two quotes from Cho's website:

Observing the USFK (United State Forces, Korea) from within* confirmed for me that we not only have unquestionable military superiority but even more important, the right morals that go with it.  We are the only ones who refrain from using our incredible arsenal and that is based solely on our historical moral values.  This speaks volumes about who we are as a people and culture.

*note: Cho was a civilian employee working as a trainer.

On the Economy: ever since they took over Congress, Democrat leaders have been leading Americans to believe that the federal government is in some sort of revenue crisis. These voices have become even louder with the recent economic troubles. But at $2.4 billion, federal revenue is actually at an all time high in absolute terms, while as a percentage of gross national product (18.7%), it is above the historical average (18.1%). This is not a revenue crisis, and Democrat rhetoric is in such contradiction to the facts that the only conclusion one can draw is they are pursuing an agenda of misleading Americans into accepting massive tax increases. This is unacceptable. There is no economic need for higher taxes when our government wastes so much of what they already take in. Our current representative does not understand this. I not only believe that taxes need to remain low, but that there are positive steps we can take to make taxes simpler and fairer.

From BJ Lawson's website:

Big government inevitably becomes a tool for corporate and special interests instead of a guardian of individual liberty. Today, big government has given us significant problems: rising food prices, jobs going overseas, illegal immigration, porous borders, failing education, war and occupation, foreign oil addiction, unsustainable entitlement spending, and a crushing debt burden. Since our bloated bureaucracy caused these problems, more bureaucracy cannot solve them. Instead, we need a smaller federal government that is focused on its Constitutional responsibilities.

On Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: At the birth of our nation, concerned states including North Carolina refused to ratify the Constitution without the accompanying Bill of Rights. Our founders would never have tolerated today’s assault on civil rights, individual liberty, and personal privacy. The Patriot Act? The Military Commissions Act of 2006? A National ID Card via RealID? The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007? No, thanks. As your Congressman, I will fight legislation that erodes our civil liberties. Additionally, I strongly support the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007.


*In 2004, the "Asians" made up ~1.6% of the North Carolina population, according to the U.S. Census.  For a few stats and comments on Asians and Latinos and other groups in NC, check out "Ethnic Population Change" at

**sorry. my earlier number was just Orange County.  I wasn't reading the webpage thoroughly enough.  New number is from Wikipedia entry on NC US House Elections 2006.

01:26 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mar 16, 2008

ACC Tourney -- Triangle Teams Represent

A window sticker for the Tar Heels, red paint for the Wolfpack, and a BMW mark for the Blue Devils.*

On the way to a client meeting on Friday, I stopped for a late lunch at the Time Out Bar and Grill ("Come Try Our Lunch Buffet!") on Miami Blvd.  I wondered why there were so many cars in the parking lot at 1:30 on a workday afternoon. But when I got inside, I saw the TV sets and understood.


*Cheap joke.  Sorry.  Can't help it this time of year.  Also this time of year: I seem to associate the ACC basketball tournament with bad food.  Friday's lunch was not a winner.  Nor was the frickin' trip to Red Lobster I took in 2006 after being bombarded with their ads throughout the tournament.  Frickin' Red Lobster and their frickin' lousy lobster.

In other things, did anyone else see Tyler Hansbrough's hilarious double-fist-pump and run after he hit the game-winner against Virginia Tech?  All praise to his basketball, but for his post-bucket dance, the man might consider taking lessons from... well... anyone.  Here, in case you haven't seen it, Vince Carter  jumping-over-the-French-guy's head for a slam dunk followed by an interesting leg shake in the 2000 Olympics.  Fave quote from the end of the video, "Right over top of 'im!"

12:39 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (3)

Mar 06, 2008

"Durham - A Self-Portrait" Saturday in RALEIGH

Durham - A Self-Portrait <-works best in IE.

  • 8 March, Saturday, 2 p.m. NC Museum of History, Raleigh
  • 30 March, 12:45 and 4:45, NC Triangle Jewish Film Festival, Galaxy Theatre, Cary
  • 11 April, 7:30 p.m. Durham Arts Council

DVDs available for purchase or as a premium for $30+ donations.

Shout out to Raleigh blogger for the info.


Rumor has it that I appear for a second or two in the back of one shot.

06:19 PM in Destination Durham, News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feb 10, 2008

Blogroll --

As we sometimes talk about around here, Durham folks are often reluctant to mix with folks on the Wake side of things.  That's why I'm glad to add RDUWTF to my blogroll.*  At the risk of sounding parochial in exactly the way I don't want to be, let me just say that Robert at RDUWTF would fit in great with my Durham blogging pals.  He hates wanton destruction of old properties, he likes good food (and will drive to Durham to get it), and last summer he did a very nice blog interview with "our" own Endangered Durham. He can even be snarky about local politicians.

From Robert's About page:

There will be much complaining here but we hope to offset those complaints with a recognition of the things in our region that we appreciate. Many of our complaints will be about the disappearance of local character as it faces the wrecking ball of progress. Oh, we aren’t resistant to change! In fact, if you had to give us a label it might be: Modernist but not the Modernism that espouses the timeless and placeless ideal of design. No, we appreciate the things that are rooted here in North Carolina and that are an honest representation of their time and purpose. That state motto on our seal means “To be, rather than to seem” and we think that’s good advice.

So tune on in, 'kay?  And pester him so he keeps writing.


*apologies to fellow Durham bloggers if you've already posted notices about this guy that I've failed to read.

07:23 PM in Links of Note, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dec 05, 2007

Hell Changes Owners but the Chairman is still the Chairman


Mark on the bar at Hell -- photo by Primo,
yoinked from Dave Thomas's Fistful of Plooble.

Mark Dorosin and Bronwyn Merritt, former Duke undergrad celebrities (Mark of "Cyrus X" fame and Bronwyn of the Duke Film Society) have sold their interest in Hell, the Chapel Hill bar/club that they opened in 1997.  I used to have an office next door and spent way too much time in that great place: the bar for people who didn't have a bar; home to dogs, foosball playing lesbians, skinheads to hug, disaffected civil rights lawyers, thirty-something musicians, politicians, and scenesters.

Mark's announcement email, below.

Subject: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated...

Reports of my retirement however, are well taken.

As some of you may have heard, Bronwyn and I have, after 10 1/2 glorious, dank-laden years, sold our interest in that cruel but tempting mistress we call Hell.  It has been a fabulous and wild ride, and we want to thank all of you whose friendship, love, loyalty, dedication, appreciation and dipsomania made the bar such a great success, and the time we spent there so meaningful.  Without your support, counsel, good humor, and indulgence, neither of us could have hung in as long as we did, nor would we have wanted to.  We met many of you through the bar, and for that, we will always cherish the time we spent there.  The same cannot be said for the cirrhosis or the lingering effects of the second-hand smoke.

The bar itself will continue as Hell and remains in good hands and with all of the current staff you know and love.  Please continue to drink, dance and enjoy the increasingly intense live music schedule.  I will still be hosting Trivia on Thursday nights, and promise to be as low-brow, esoteric, rude, and shamelessly self-promoting as ever.  Krusty has set a high bar, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp.  "Hey-hey." You will undoubtedly find me there other times, nursing a PBL in the corner, muttering about socialism, and plotting my next scheme.

Speaking of next schemes and shameless self-promotion, we'll not lay low too long.  In April we will be producing a new trilogy of short plays at the Artscenter--"Assininenation: A Comic Perspective of Presidential Tragedy." We'll be looking for performers and of course, insist you all come out and laugh your collective ass off.

Emerson wrote that, among other things, "to laugh often and much" is to have succeeded. Looking back at the last 10 1/2 years, I am sure he was right.

We love you all, but are only in love with some you.


Mark & Bronwyn

03:45 PM in News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (7)

Oct 25, 2007

Shearon Harris: Does Energy Conservation = Water Conservation?


I just read in the N&O that Shearon Harris and the City of Durham use about the same amount of water each day: 33 million gallons per day for the power plant vs. 28 million gallons per day for the Durham water system.

So does this mean that conserving electricity is an immediate method of conserving water?  It's not clear to me.  Shearon Harris draws from Harris Lake, while Durham drinking water comes from Lake Michie Reservoir and the Little River Reservoir.  How tightly is Harris Lake's water supply tied to the other two?

Here's a primer on the hydrological cycle (how water moves around the planet).  Scroll ~3/4 down the page for a graphic showing how US household water consumption compares to other countries.  You won't be surprised.



12:20 AM in Misc.Blog 2007, News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (7)

Aug 15, 2007

Room with a View


Room with a view, but not much of a floor. 

Click here for more fun pix :-)

Click here and here for more context.

01:16 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (5)

Jul 30, 2007

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough

Hilly trails.  We don't have many in the Triangle, but Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in southwest Hillsborough has about 2 miles worth.

Above, a NW view from the overlook* down to the Eno River.  The Occoneechee Mountain peaks at 867 feet (~250 above the river), which makes it a good spot for the local microwave tower and fire lookout tower.

You should put Occoneechee Mountain on your short list of pretty, uncrowded, no-fuss destinations for fishing, shaded picnicking, or a modest hilly hike.  Lots of blackberries, too, along the lowest parts of the Occoneechee Mt. Loop Trail.


*currently closed for safety reasons, but you can get pretty close.

12:35 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (5)

Jun 05, 2007

Taylor's Fine Wine and Live Bait, Raleigh NC


"Larry's Beans Organic Coffee:  Wine Tasting"

You don't see that too often on the BP gas station marquee, so I stopped in.  Sure enough, they've got it all.  Above, a $55 bottle of wine across the aisle from some Chef Boyardee.  Canadian Live Worms by the box around the corner in the refrigerators, right next to a bit of fishing tackle.

Taylor's BP
Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh NC
~0.1 mile north of I-540


01:29 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (4)

May 28, 2007

Frankie's Fastball


Whirrrrrr...  -bam!
Whirrrrrr...  -bam!

Something strange happened in the fast-pitch cage at Frankie's on Saturday night.  The first ball dropped into the chute but didn't come out.  Then another ball passed through a wormhole and went bam! into the backstop.

Honestly, I had no idea what had just happened.  I heard the noise but never saw the pitch.  Same thing happened on the second ball, but then I adjusted my eyeballs to higher frames-per-second resolution, and by pitch ten or twelve I almost knew when it was time to swing.

After that, medium-pitch looked a whole lot closer to sane.

Frankie's Fun Park
on TW Alexander Drive just south of Highway 70
(just east of Brier Creek)


pic from Frankie's

01:06 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (3)

Apr 16, 2007

Eels at Grand Asia Market

A cooler full of live eels at Grand Asia Market in Cary.*

That place rocks so much, it's beyond eel.  Er, I mean "real".

Speaking of eels, I have always thought of them as more of a European food rather than Asian.  Maybe because neither of my families ever talked about eels, and that the first time I saw them served was from a street cart in Amsterdam.


*where kids get to open coolers and squeal like the dickens when they see the eels squirm.  Or when they look right into the eyes of a live, four-pound frog.

02:29 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mar 15, 2007

Wacky Broughton Sports Fan Dude With Guitar - video


This dude rocks.  Check out this video* if you need proof.

I saw the WBSFdude** last week at NB Broughton HS*** in Raleigh, cheering for the Broughton women's laxers as they took on Wilmington Hoggard HS.

The WBSFdude has a strong voice and plays guitar pretty well.  I'm certain that the players heard him loud and clear.  Among his slightly adjusted lyrics:  "I feel good!  Like a Broughton fan should, yeah!  So good, so good -- I'm a Broughton Cap!"  And "We need the ball.  Gotta have that ball (yeah).  We need the ball.  Gotta have that ball."

From his lyrics, I got the feeling he was a Broughton alum.  Or... could it be... perhaps a Broughton parent?  I looked around for a lacrosse player dying from shame but I didn't see any.  I do like how the other fans hadn't moved away on the bench.


*Video is in 3GP format which should play in Quicktime and various other players.

**Wacky Broughton Sports Fan Dude

***Crickey, that Broughton HS website is ugly.  If only they had some talented alumnae who could help them come up with something better...

12:26 AM in Misc.Blog 2007, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sep 26, 2006

Orange County Speedway, Rougemont


Above, the newly re-opened Orange County Speedway which I visited on Saturday night with the lovely Marianne and her excellent son, J.

CLICK HERE FOR RACE VIDEO!!   (No wrecks, sorry.)  My man Todd didn't do so well due to a valve cover leak. but he still placed third, courtesy of attrition and such.


Sad news -- the Alfa is beyond repair.  Or at least, beyond repair at any reasonable cost.  Sigh.  Somehow I felt better watching several wrecks at the OCS -- an affirmation that there actually is a class of people defined as "guys who like to drive fast and occasionally have to pay the price".  I'm not alone.

12:07 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Aug 07, 2006

SparkCon -- Triangle Creative Class

Sublogo2_1SparkCon. The Triangle's Creative Class getting together and getting it on, September 14-17.  Arts.  R&D Innovation.  Inclusive Culture.  Indy Business.  Be there or at least send someone whose work you love.

FYI, yesterday's N&O article on SparkCon indicates a Wake-centric focus for the conference, but it ain't so. 

In fact, the excellent Aly Khalifa (event inspirer, chief of Gamil Design, and creator of DesignBox) gave me a bunch of posters to help spread the word in Durham.  Are there any blog readers who can help spread the word?  In particular, I'm hoping to get the word out to communication firms (e.g., McKinney/) and R&D innovators (e.g., TriVirix) on the 54-15-501 corridor.  Anyone out there who can help?

ALSO FYI -- SparkCon has extended its art submission deadline to August 11.

02:20 AM in Links of Note, News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (2)

Aug 02, 2006

You Might be a Triangle Redneck

Dsc01201 Last week a friend who shall remain unnamed wrote to our listserv:

"We have some big boxes full of old New Yorker magazines on our front porch (classy, I know). Apparently, I'm incapable of recycling them as paper products---only as intellectual content. Would anyone on this listserv like to take them off our hands?"

I didn't take the mags, but I did write a crude response:

1.  If you've got ten years of old magazines stacked on your front porch but they're mostly New Yorkers... you might be a Triangle redneck.

2.  If your front porch collapses (see item 1, above) and six dogs git killed but they're all airedales, border collies, or enrolled in agility classes... you might be a Triangle redneck.

3.  If you own more cars that that don't run than cars that do but they're all Alfa Romeos... you might be a Triangle redneck.

4.  If you're fightin' to change the law that says you can't marry your first cousin Jake -- and your name's also Jake... you might be a Triangle redneck.

5.  If you go to stock car races to watch your favorite car -- the one sponsored by your own biz... you might be a Triangle redneck.

6.  If the schoolmarm takes points off your grade for using words like "y'all," or "yep" or "ain't" in your PhD thesis... you might be a Triangle redneck.

7.  If you built a secure website to raise funds to rescue your local Starlite Drive-In Theatre then felt bad about supporting a business that also sells guns but kept going to the movies anyway because they sell such damn good onion rings and hot dogs then felt bad about eating non-free range meat... you might be a Triangle redneck.

8.  If you ever punched someone out for talkin' trash about your little sister -- on mySpace, Friendster, or Craigslist... you might be a Triangle redneck.

9.  If you love country music, especially the "traditional" kind like John Prine, Iris DeMent, and Tift Merritt... you might be a Triangle redneck.

What you got?

12:18 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (8)

Jun 16, 2006

Curious Phil and the Man in the Yellow...

Yellowsuitman600 ...Suit.

If you've spent much time in Chapel Hill, you've seen this dude.  He's also got a purple suit and, I think, a fuschia one.  All three-piece.  All sharp.  This one has something like eight button holes (but fewer buttons). All are worn with hat, shades, and a walking stick.

I asked him his name something like three times but never could understand what he said, so I gave up and handed him a business card -- asking him to write me if he'd like a copy of the photo.  If he does write, I hope his handwriting is legible.

12:19 AM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (6)

Apr 21, 2006

The Early Bird...


Wild turkey season is on, and these three hunters bagged these three turkeys while I was still getting my lazy restaurant-fed ass out of bed.

I snapped this photo in downtown Hillsborough last week before wandering into the Blue Bayou Club for lunch and WiFi. 

I'm enjoying how Hillsborough's downtown still has room to mix guys like these with gawking guys like me.  I wonder how that will change in coming years.  (For that matter, I wonder how that's changed over the last dozen years.)

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Apr 07, 2006


Chapeldurham Do you, like me, consider Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Durham a contiguous body distinct from Raleigh?

Well, the federal government does -- they split our MSAs a few years ago.

All I know is that I'll make a 25 minute drive from Durham to Carrboro without hesitation.  But the same 25 minute drive to Raleigh seems much more laborious.

Jenny, Jerry, Barbara and I were talking about this last Sunday over lunch at Pancho Lopez.

We came up with a couple of names for the CCHD lump, but I can't remember exactly what. Something like "CarrElHillAm" and a few others.

How about you - got any ideas?


image from

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Sep 13, 2005

Medicine at 9.5 Miles


As the bird flies, it's about 9.5 miles between the Duke University Medical Center and UNC's Memorial Hospital.

I took this photo from Hal's window last week while he was in for a fall/UTI/blood-infection.  Out on the horizon, you can see Memorial Hospital, with the neurosciences wing visible on its eastern end.

Hal spent some time there last year.  Times now are much better, and we still expect bluer skies in the near future, but not before we get past some air pockets.

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Aug 29, 2005

Wake County Speedway, Part II


Here's Geoff, Margaret and Nicole at the Wake County Speedway.  I have no idea what they're talking about, but I told you that the view was up close. 

Nicole got smacked by a piece of rubber from a wreck.  She's somewhat traumatized, but mostly psyched.

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Jul 28, 2005

Rosemary and Graham


Big new condos are going up on Rosemary St. near Graham St., directly across from the Skylight Exchange and right behind the A.D. Clark outdoor pool at the Hargraves Community Center.

At best, this addition will complete the spectrum of that blended part of ChapelHill/Carrboro-- adding "high end" to the current mix of black/brown/boho. (Anyone remember when Internationalist Books used to be right around there?).  At worst, it will be the first big footprint of heavy duty gentrification on W. Rosemary.

We'll see, I reckon.

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Jun 19, 2005

Wake County Speedway


click to shift.

Can someone tell me why it took me 37 years to get my southern ass to a racetrack? 

Neighbor Keith and I went to the Wake County Speedway on Friday night, and here’s the top ten list of things I want you to know, just in case you want to join us for next time:

  1. Juicy hamburger with onions and chili: $2. (Rolaids: $1. BC powder: 50 cents.)
  2. And you can bring your own goddamned beer!
  3. But don’t say “g**amned” at the quarter-mile track – it’s a Christian place and family-friendly.
  4. In the opening Classics race, #11 Duane Ealey went airborne in the final turn of lap one. Nobody got hurt, so it was really cool.
  5. Admission: $12, with another $8 for the pit pass worth every penny.  You get to walk across the racetrack.
  6. Wanna race? Modified 4-Cylinder driver Todd Langdon and his #78 pit crew told us that a season’s worth of races costs about $16k for the car, $5k on equipment replacement and entry fees, and a ton of volunteer hours from all your race-crazy friends.
  7. Keith and I are this close from becoming Todd’s race-crazy friends.
  8. We were even closer to getting to ride in the pace car, just eight positions back from the winning ticket. Damn. (I mean, “dang”).
  9. In the Super Late Model race, Dan Matthews drove his #16 "God Forgive America" car past a fading Big Jim Kelley in the #7 with about 8 laps to go. I’m Dan’s newest fan. In fact, I’m going to check on his prices to get a sponsorship painted onto his vehicle (“Marsosudiro & Co – marketing, management, motorsports”)
  10. A rookie woman driver took second place in one of the races.  I think her name was Maureen or Marianne or something like that.  Or maybe it was Danica?  Whatever your gender: drive fast, turn left.

Wake County Speedway -- more fun than a barrel full of torque wrenches.

10:58 PM in Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (2)

Aug 18, 2004



The critters who visit my friend Hal's assisted living facility get something like fifteen meals per day -- birdseed, bread, and who-knows-what that the residents drop for them to eat. This particular squirrel is far from shy. Last week he ran up Cookie Wilson's pantleg (the outside, thank goodness), looking for a treat.

Completely unrelated: I just now remembered that I owe followup posts for two things: Quaker Sunday School, and the New Car Search. Believe it or not, the NCS is not yet complete -- close, but not yet done. So I don't want to jinx it by posting anything yet. Quaker Sunday School actually lasted two weeks. We had fun. A complete disregard for religion helped make it so. Posts on that soonish. Many thanks to all for your suggestions. Even the dirty ones.

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Aug 15, 2004

Accurate With Our Lines, But Not With Someone Else's


I wouldn't have shown you the front view (above), if not for the side view (below):


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Jun 28, 2004

Skylight Exchange, Carrboro


Pic above: in the alley to the Skylight Exchange.
Pics below: bigger if you click them.


Last week I dropped by the Skylight Exchange and talked a while with Dennis the Skyboss, who was a history major in college and is now interested in what he calls "the psychology of nations," and the occasional "collective 'No!'" that results in large populations doing serious things. It's worth going to the Skylight just to talk with Dennis, or to have an excellent sandwich or milkshake, or to listen to live music. But in my case, I was there to sell books -- lots and lots of books, for these days I am cleaning house and turning clutter into money.


Of course, often as not the money turns into more things which can become more clutter if I'm not careful. On Saturday, Pennies for Change had an box and bag sale and I bought two tennis racquets, shirts, a knife block, goggles, picture frames, and an old Argus C3 Rangefinder camera. Not to mention a variety of kitchen items including a double-bladed thing that looks like it is either (a) an herb chopper or (b) something related to "The Australian" which was introduced in Caro and Jeunet's Delicatessen. If I cook something (or kill someone) with it soon, I'll let you know how it works.

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Apr 05, 2004

Mom and Friends at Tupelo's | Destination (near) Durham


Mom, Rae, Esper, and Dee
March 2004, outside Tupelo's in Hillsborough NC

The parents have finally returned to NC and they seem to be settling in without too many problems.  Not long ago we joined some friends for lunch at Tupelo's where the food is perfectly reasonable as you get ready to take a walking tour through Historic Hillsborough.  No time for the real thing -- then how about a virtual tour?

Meanwhile, it's still Pennies for Change week on the Archer Pelican.  They're closed on Mondays, but Tuesdays are 50% off almost all the clothing!

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Feb 15, 2004

The Barbecue Joint | Destination (near) Durham

Chef Damon Lapas and half of the day's menu.

Here’s what happens if you grow up in Kinston NC, travel in SE Asia, and go to school at the New England Culinary Institute: you open the Barbecue Joint.  And it's three cheers for Damon Lapas, proprietor and chef of this 3-year-old wonder on Weaver Dairy Rd. in Chapel Hill.

I keep forgetting about this restaurant because I almost never travel through the northeast corner of Chapel Hill’s suburbs, but last week I went there with Dave Thomas for a fantastic lunch. I ordered a pork barbecue sandwich and the celery root soup.  Dave chose the gumbo with smoked chicken, catfish & tasso, and a mixed green salad.  We shared the herb-roasted mushrooms and the Brussels sprouts with garlic and bacon.  It took us a while to finish, but we called our secretaries and had them reschedule all our afternoon appointments.

Unfortunately, there was no room for the shrimp and crawfish etoufee, the Asian noodle soup or fried eggplant muffaleta, but maybe we'll have those next time.  Or maybe not, since the two-blackboard menu changes daily, an ever-evolving landscape of food love.

Many professional eaters have noticed this restaurant, and always with happy mouths.  I only wish it would move to a more attractive and convenient location.  But what the heck, I can drive for a good meal, and who needs décor when you’ve got the food and great company.  Note to food/clothing fetishists: the Chinese meat smoker action will make your clothes will smell seductively edible for the next two days.  I'm just saying.


And a note on dining with the well-mannered Dave:  Some years ago he observed that when ordering, it is much nicer to express one's desires as a considerate preference ("I'd like the Brussels sprouts, please.") rather than a demand ("Let's see, I'll take the salmon," or "I'll have the spaghetti," or (heaven preserve us) "Why don't ya gimme the steak.").  Of course, all bets are off if you're dining with Dave at Penang.

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