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Showing posts from April, 2018

Chicken Math

I was pondering the menu at a local restaurant the other day when a strange thought entered my head; the chicken math just doesn’t add up. Think about it, when you go to your favorite wing place, how many do you order... 6, 8, a dozen? Where are all those wings coming from. The last time I looked, chickens only had two wings, so it would take six full chickens to produce a dozen wings. No wonder the Internet was recently abuzz with Photo-shopped images purporting to show a genetically-modified chicken sporting multiple wings, an idea also explored in Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake in which a company has patented the ChickieNob, a headless bird with multiple wings and legs growing from a central stem. I'm not entirely certain about this, but I suspect the concept of chicken wings as bar food was originally designed to even out the math the other way around. Back in the day, people ate breasts and legs and thighs but nobody wanted those scrawny wings that barely ha

The Chicken, the Egg and the Farmers' Market

In a previous life,* the first Evening farmers' Market of the season was much anticipated. My office was located directly across the parking lot from the small park where a dozen or more vendors regularly set up under the sprawling pecan trees, selling everything from homemade soap to cookies to cut flowers. The first few weeks were, understandably, a little light on produce, as the market opened in April and the growing season doesn't really kick into gear until June, but the lack of tomatoes and peppers was more than made up for by the aforementioned craft and baked goods along with cold-hardy vegetables like spinach, lettuce and kale. Recalling that experience, I was excited for the first Uptown Wadesboro Farmers' Market last June. To say it was a bit of a letdown would be an understatement. That's not to criticize Uptown Wadesboro or the vendors who participated--they did the best they could with limited resources and some difficult weather--but the lack of bo

Where's the Stripes?

Special edition of FIELD NOTES today because I want to comment on the new Jaguars uniforms while they are still newsworthy. Jacksonville unveiled its new uniforms yesterday. The good news is that they are definitely better than the ones they replaced. The bad news is that's akin to saying I'd rather be kicked in the shin than in the groin. The Jags went from cartoonish monstrosities to uniforms devoid of any sort of character or identity. The ironic thing is they are touting these as a "return to tradition," but neither the Jaguars nor any other team in the NFL has traditionally sported uniforms this plain and characterless. In fact the Jaguars original uniform, the one they wore as an expansion team in 1995, was an excellent, traditional look. It's difficult to understand why they don't simply revert to a slightly updated version of that. Like many young boys, I enjoyed drawing pictures of football players when I was 10 or 11. I would make up entire lea

Stop Throwing Money at Homestead Problems

When Janet and I started our first homestead -- The Little House on the Highway (LHOTH) -- outside Bowing Green, Ohio in 1987, we were just a couple of years removed from college and had very limited financial resources. Although we both had good jobs, we had spent every penny of our meager savings on the down payment and were, like many couples just getting started, cash poor. There were some anxious moments those first few years as repair bills on the aging farmhouse mounted (I think we put the plumber's kid through college) and the stark realities of rural living began to wear on us. Fortunately, both of us had been raised by parents who were a little financially challenged themselves and we understood how to stretch a dollar. Ultimately, that initial homesteading experience did not work out, but we were able to sell the farm for a small profit and learned some valuable lessons along the way. Fast-forward thirty years and we find ourselves in a different place, literally and

Last Call for Flannel

To be honest, I had planned to put my flannel shirts away for the summer last weekend, but ran out of time; and good thing, as temperatures this weekend struggled to make it out of the 40's and my flannel got in one last fling. I really don't feel like I got my money's worth out of those shirts this year. We had a warm spell right after Thanksgiving, and just about the time the mercury started to drop, we had planned a Christmas beach trip. After the first of the year, I got a case of the crud and didn't fully shake it until near the end of January. That was six weeks of prime flannel season down the drain. By the time I felt good enough to resume my normal outdoor routines, the area was in an extended warm-up, what I like to call the January Bump, and by the time temperatures fell back into a more seasonal pattern winter was all but over. Barring the start of another ice age, however, the flannels will go back in storage next weekend and the shorts and tee shirts wil