Friday, July 31, 2009

Martin Fierro

First, sorry for the lack of posts. I've had several things going on the past few weeks (doing the powerpoint at the Area Wide Gospel meeting at the Carson Center for one) plus not feeling the best in the world (I think my sinuses are messed up).

A few months back, a new restaurant opened in Paducah called Martin Fierro's Argentinean Grill. One of the meals they server is the Rodizio where they bring different cuts of meat on skewers and you eat your fill. I had said I wouldn't go there til I got my weight below 180. I had managed that over a month ago, but hadn't arranged a trip there. Josh was going to have his wisdom teeth pulled on Friday the 31st so we decided to go there for a big meal the night before. We figured he get that in before he'd go several days on a liquid/soft diet.

We ended up taking a couple of Josh's buddies with us. Turns out on Tues through Thursday, you get the rodizio for 22.95 as opposed to the usual 37.95 price. I had made a 5 o'clock reservation and we got there right at five. Turns out you can see them cooking the meat on the grill from the window so we sat mesmerized watching that.

We finally went in and were shown to our table. The waitress explained that we would be brought nine different meats and then could decide which one we wanted repeats on. She showed us how the disk on the table worked. You leave it green to tell them to bring you meat and red to tell them to stop. She showed us the salad bar they had, but we just laughed and said "Bring us meat". So, they did...

We started with sausage, then went to bacon wrapped chicken breast and chicken legs. They brought us top and bottom sirloin, bacon wrapped fillet, pork tenderloin and lamb. They finished up with ribs. It was really, really good. They also bring you rolls, garlic mashed potatoes, and caramelized bananas. After the first round, we requested more ribs, chicken breast and fillet. That finished. Josh took another round of chicken and sirloin and finally gave up. We were all well stuffed and could barely waddle to the car. Josh's friend Chad said he was still not hungry almost 24 hours later. Josh said that it helped him not be so hungry after not being able to eat today because of his teeth being pulled (more on that later).

It was an excellent meal. The only meat we didn't think was fabulous was the lamb (it seemed a bit overdone to me). Everything else was fork-tender, hot, and delicious. Since we were some of the first one's there right when they opened, they didn't bring the meat out as fast as other similar places I'd been too. It did enable us to have a leisurely dinner discussing a myriad of topics.

If you are a staunch carnivore like we are, I'd recommend you give it a try. If you are wondering where the name came from its the name of a 2,316 line epic poem by the Argentine writer José Hernández.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Famous tomatoes...

My in-laws (Jack and Carolyn Woods) finally some some pub for their excellent tomatoes that they sell to several local supermarkets.

Delta Gone (the sequel)...

This story appeared in the Paducah Sun the other day.

Delta Airlines will file a notice next week with the U.S. Department of Transportation that it intends to suspend commercial air service at Barkley Regional Airport in 90 days.

But the notice isn’t as scary as it sounds.

It is a necessary first step for the airline to receive a subsidy from the federal government, Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said. “We intend to continue service without interruption.”

Delta operates three daily flights between Paducah and Memphis. The number of flights will drop to two next month.

I hope they are right... We'll see what happens in 90 days..

Sunday, July 12, 2009

MLB All-Star Game 5k

Several months ago while trolling for Baseball All-Star Game tickets, I noted that MLB was doing something new in their All-Star game festivities. They added a 5k run for charity (cancer research). I talked to Josh and we decided since it was close (St Louis) and it was the first one, we'd give it a shot.

We went up this weekend to run. We stayed at the Hampton by the Arch. We made sure to get their early since there was a free concert nearby (Sheryl Crow and Elvis Costello) and we didn't want to get caught up in the crowd. Josh and walked over the "Sponsor Zone" (over by Busch Stadium) to pick up our race materials. We managed to snag free tacos from the Taco Bell booth. We traipsed all over downtown looking for food. Once again, the Lion's Choice was closed. I went back to the hotel and did a search and finally found a Subway at Lacledes Landing. I brought food back and we ate and rested.

The next day, the weather was good. We ate and headed over about 7. There was a lot more people than I thought there would be. There were 8,000 in the race. It was a colossal jam. They did have chip timing for a more true time. It was actually in a piece of tape you looped around the laces of your shoe. This way, you don't have to remove it and turn it back in when you are done (like other chips). The crowd to start was huge. Lou Brock (Cardinal icon) was the official starter. It took us almost 10 minutes to work our way to the start line. Trying to get a good time was almost impossible. There were way too many who walked that pushed to the front and there just wasn't enough distance in a 5k for the crowd to thin out. I would get going good and than either come upon a group of walkers or one would move right in front of me. We both made it fine though and got a medal and a t-shirt for our efforts. We were able to get cleaned up in plenty of time to make to Collinsville church of Christ for Bible Study and Worship.

This was their first 5k so I'll cut them some slack. However, they really need to stress in the future that walkers stay in the back and stay to the sides (this is normal protocol in most 5ks). They might consider corrals (used in half and full marathons) that split up people by mile times to help with congestion. We still had a lot of fun and got to spend time together and be a part of history...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I See Blue - Part 2

Josh had signed up for Freshman Orientation at UK a month or so ago. It involves the parents as well (they have all sorts of informational sessions for us) so Donna and I went as well.

We left Saturday even though the sessions didn't start til Monday. Josh jokingly told everybody "It's because my dad wants to make sure we are on time for everything". Our real reason is so we could attend worship services at North Lexington church of Christ. We'd been there before and one of my fellow deacons at Central (Dr. Tim Mabry) always speaks highly of that congregation plus he said he would let people know about us and Josh.

We drove Josh's Impala just to make sure it would handle the 250 mile trip ok. Plus, I wanted to show him the ins and outs of the trip like which exits have the best food and the route to take. The drive isn't really all that complex except for the part where you go from the Western Kentucky Parkway to the Bluegrass Parkway by taking a two mile stretch of I-65 around Elizabethtown. Josh did all the driving and did really well.

We got there about 8 and checked into the Doubletree Suites. Something about the place kept nagging at me. I finally realized that this was the old French Quarter Suites that I had stayed at a lot many years ago. When we were working with Portsmouth Plant to integrate more fully together in the early 1990's, this was the favorite hotel to use. The rooms were really nice with two flat screen TVs and a jetted tub.

On Sunday, we went to worship services at North Lexington. Everyone was really nice and said they'd "Keep an eye" on Josh. The preacher (Steve Johnson) was very good. Turns out he's from our end of the state (Farmington in Graves County). They have a class for the college students and we were told "they take good care of them". They even gave us a loaf of bread when we left (which Josh promptly devoured). We ate lunch at Cane's chicken strips and then went back to the hotel. We rested all afternoon. I wanted to eat at the Columbia Steak House near the hotel. It was good but I forgot how much food they give you. I couldn't even finish mine. We went back to church, got back and rested and finally went to bed.

We drove to the campus on Monday morning with no issues. We went to the Otis Singletary Center for the Arts for the beginning of orientation. We sat through several presentations and then had a catered lunch. Josh saw a girl he went to Ballard with so they hung out together the rest of the day. Her mother stayed with us since I still know my way around the campus pretty well. In the afternoon, they had breakout sessions you could pick from to go to. One that especially interested Josh was MathExcel. This allows him to have additional work with a smaller group on Calculus and they even have a "Math House" to meet at. It even sounded neat to me. We had checked out from the Doubletree that morning since the rate went up abruptly for Monday nite and went to a Hampton Inn instead. We discussed at length where to get dinner and finally just walked to McDonalds. I did drive to a Krispy Kreme I saw the day before to get dessert.

We checked out the next morning and headed back to UK. First, the students went to a general session while the parents went to sessions basked on which college the student would be going too. Josh is majoring in Computer Science which is in the Engineering college so Donna and I went to that. They explained about classes and degrees and how the students sign up. Then, we went to the Student center for more presentations on things like Campus Security, Parking and Transportation and HealthCare. The students met with their advisors and registered for classes. Josh got in what he wanted and he was happy. The drive home was uneventful and we got back on time for Josh to go to the Summer Youth Series.

We enjoyed it, but it only draws us closer to the day in August when we nock that arrow and shoot it far away.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Delta Gone (well almost...)

When the Delta/Northwest merger was announced last year, many wondered what would happen at Paducah's Barkley Regional Airport. Some hoped that they would bring in additional Delta flights to say Atlanta. Some feared they would trim back service.

The later came to pass as was announced yesterday. Delta announced it would cut back from three to two flights out of Paducah. They are dropping the mid-day flight and leaving only the 6:30 and 4:00 pm departures. This is the fewest number of flights I ever remember going out of Barkley. When TWA (later American) was there, there were at least 7 (3 TWA and 4 Northwest). American pulled out a few years ago and Northwest had trimmed back to three flights. Needless to say, this caused somewhat of an uproar. Several local businessmen expressed their displeasure at having to either get up really early or get to their destinations really late. Local government (McCracken County and Paducah) said they'd try to convince Delta not to do this. I am unsure how they think they are going to convince a large company to do this but anyway. The reasoning was of course as most often is cost. The flights out of Paducah are smaller commuter flights that hold about 30 to 40. They are generally always pretty full but I presume that simply wasn't enough for Delta.

Northwest in Memphis is the next hop for other areas besides Paducah such as Hattiesburg Mississippi, Fort Smith Arkansas, and Monroe Lousiana (just to name a few). From what I heard, some of those flights might be cut. There is starting to be a fear that Delta might someday pull completely out of Paducah leaving no airlines there. From about 7:00 to 2:00, the airport will be a ghost town I'd guess. It'll certainly hurt the two rental car companies there (Hertz and Avis). It wouldn't surprise me to see one of them pull out too.

Other flight options besides Paducah are Marion Illinois (about an hour away) which has commuter flights via American to St Louis. Cape Girardeau Missouri is about 1.25 hours away and also offers a couple of flights to St. Louis. And of course, one can drive to either Evansville or Nashville. This move solidifies my going to Nashville for my travel. I don't want to have to get to the airport at either 5:30am or leave at 4:00pm and not get to my destination til very late. I often have to fly out Sunday for a class starting Monday and I don't want to miss worship services by flying out really early in the day or really late. By going to Nashville, I can worship at Lebanon Road church of Christ.

I certainly hope they get more flights or another carrier for Barkley Regional, but right now I am not optimistic at all..