South Florida is Sick…no wait that was me.

•September 12, 2008 • 1 Comment

I just got home from a bit of work down in the Ft. Lauderdale/ Boca Raton area.  One thing I immediately noticed was the sheer about of money in the area.   Monday I checked into the Gallery One Fort Lauderdale which is a Doubletree Suites property.

The suites were super high end and modern.  The huge rainfall shower head put out more water than 100 of mine at home.  This trip was all about work so I didn’t get to do a lot of exploring.  I was pretty concerned on Monday that Hurricane Ike was going to blow me away.

It seemed that Bentley’s and Royals Royce’s were the Hondas and Toyota’s of the area.  There was around 2 Million dollars worth of automobiles (approx 8 cars) in front of the Blue Martini on Wednesday night.  Unfortunately I was coming down with a wicked cold so I had to pass on the martini fun.

I had two memorable meals while in town. Tuesday night we checked out Big City Tavern 609 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 727-0307

I had an excellent tuna steak grilled rare with a side of braised red cabbage.  We sat outside and braved the wind.  I couldn’t let the trip end with out some South Florida sushi.  China Grill came highly recommended.

The Flank Steak and the Blackened Cod were great.  I mainly focused on eating as much sushi as possible.  I have mentioned before that I have a serious weakness for guacamole so I was completely blown away by the Tuna Oshi.  It was a creative stacked sushi roll with layers of tuna, crabmeat, sushi rice and wait for it………….wasabi guacamole.

Apparently Boca is where Young Dro buys his diamonds.  Or so he says in Shoulder Lean.  Anyway when I think of Boca this is what comes to mind.

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dinner and a movie… nice!

•September 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I thankfully got to flex my fear and loathing muscles on my standard evening while working in Pensacola, FL.
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Dinner at Ichiban. Sushi and a super cold Sapporo that was served in a scary 22oz. steel can. 

Then I headed over to Silverscreens (My favorite Pcola theater)  to catch a mediocre sci-fi movie.  Babylon A.D. meh!

While waiting for my movie I grabbed a beer (did I mention that this is a cool theater) and followed my ears around the corner to one of the adjacent theaters where I stumbled onto a Battle of the Bands.  There were two bands battling it out. Young under 20ish Emo Kids vs. Late 40’s Stevie Ray Skinnard.  They were still going at it after my movie left me hung out to dry so I went in to watch the Stevie Ray Skynard guys take the victory. (Judged by Crowd Applause)

Ah yes i’m thankful for the opportunity to have a perfect fear and loathing night while on the road for work.

Reception time @ Park Lane

•August 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

My Friends Andy and Ashley had their wedding reception last night at Park Lane.  Good Times were had by all.

Here is Joey showing his fiance how to plan for the future…short term that is.  It’s good to always carry a spare!

Christie insisting that I get out and dance.

Here is the happy couple showing of their “colors” at Billy’s after the Reception.

And who could forget Philip.  He caught the Garter Belt.

Good Times!

A visit to Little Rock… or Fire that Architect

•August 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I spent most of this week in Little Rock, AR working.  I didn’t get to check out any fun places to eat.  Long hours at the hospital limited my fare to the University of Arkansas Medical Centers Cafeteria and chain restaurants that were close to the hotel.  I took a quick detour on the way to the airport to check out the Clinton Library.

Upon arriving I was taken aback by the shear resemblance of this structure to many I’ve seen throughout my childhood growing up in rural southern Alabama.

After a little web browsing I realized that this is a common thought after visiting this giant metal mobile home on stilts.

Example, Example

This Gruner Veltliner brings the Thunder!

•August 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Back home from traveling so I popped the “cap” on a funky bottle of Bio-Weingut H. u. M. Hofer 2006 Auersthal Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken.  I thought I’d try a Gruner Veltliner  to mix things up.  It was very light in color and taste.  It has a very clean and crisp taste.  I got citrus on the nose and a light lemon flavor initially on the palate with a very clean finish.  I really enjoyed this and think it would be a hit at any party on a warm evening.  At around $9 I think this brings a ton of value.

I searched around and found another review of this wine that recommends paring this GV with freshwater fish and other “white meats” as well as spicy thai foods.  If you like light crisp whites such as pino gris then I’d say seek out this awesome Austrian gem!

Fear and Loathing in Galveston, TX

•August 21, 2008 • 2 Comments

I had the opportunity to go to Galveston for a meeting recently. Just to keep you informed, the highlights of work trips like this usually tend to center around after hour activities not the actual meeting. My trip to Galveston was no different.

We stayed at Moody Gardens on Galveston Island. A nice hotel with lots of activities near. There are several pools and a man made beach with lots of area’s for the kiddies. The hotel shares a parking lot with the water park Schlitterbahn. There is also an IMAX theater, Aquarium, and a Rainforest totally enclosed in a Luxor styled glass pyramid.

Due to this being a more localized meeting our small group was dominated by fairly conservative individuals who tend to go to bed early and consider getting a salted rim on their single small margarita “stepping it up a notch”. So our team building activities were planned accordingly. Of course I would have voted for Schlitterbahn but we ended up checking out the Galveston Aquarium as well as the visiting Titanic Artifact Exibition. You get a ticket of an actual passenger upon entering the exhibit and at the end you get to check your “boarding pass” against the list of passengers and see if you survived or perished. Of course not only was I a 3rd class passenger I totally didn’t make it.

So after theses thrilling adventures, NOT! I was ready for some food and drinks.

The first night we went casual beachy fair. We hit Fish Tales located along the seawall and the food was right on. I started things out with a Frozen Margarita with full intentions of forgetting our team building as quickly as possible. If the Margarita didn’t immediately do it the Gulf Shrimp Ceviche Marinated in lime juice, roasted tomatoes, peppers,onions & cilantro, served with tortilla chips sure did. At $9.99 it was well worth it. Someone else ordered the “Hot Combo” which had Popcorn Shrimp, Calamari,  Fishin’ Poles,Shrimp Kisses & Puffers on a bed of French fries and Shark’s Teeth. I tried…unsuccessfully to avoid this massive pile of fried goodness. I sampled most of the contents and all were really good. In an attempt to keep er’ healthy I had the Seared Tuna which was fantastic.

After dinner the I joined a few of the “old timers” for frosty drinks as another establishment along the seawall. We passed several worthy candidates including places like “The Poop Deck” in favor of the Galveston Classic “The Spot”. The Spot is famous for its Hamburgers as well as the Biker Crowd that seem to dig the place. I did get to see some interesting things with at The Spot. Our young waitress impressed me with her ability to open beer bottles with her forearm and magically hold the cap affixed there for a seemingly indefinite amount of time. It was late and I was awfully easy to impress.

Fast forward though another day of presentations and PowerPoints and we find ourselves back at dinnertime. We hit Fisherman’s Wharf at peir 22. Between the fresh oysters on the half shell and the calamari I wasn’t sure I’d be able to power through to the main course. I sampled one of my colleagues lobster bisque and I highly recommend it. Obviously this place is all about the fresh seafood so choosing between the fresh Flounder, Ahi, Amberjack, Red Snapper, Golden Tile???(the menu says Tender, sweet & delicate with a lobster-like flavor), Mahi, Red Fish, and Chilean Sea Bass was tough. I went with the Stuffed Flounder. It was Huge! Over a pound and three-quarter-size flounder stuffed with their famous crabmeat stuffing & topped with crawfish tails sauteed in a Dijon cream sauce. Throw in some sautéed spinach and a icy cold Heineken and it was damn near perfect.

Our last night in Galveston we stepped it up a notch. We hit The Original Mexican Café at 1401 Market St. It looks like a nice old southern gothic house pulled straight form Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Food and service were great. I ordered the sampler platter and the tacos and chalupa were super fly.

We decided that a nightcap was in order so one of the guys in our group who went to school in Galveston recommended O’Malley’s Stage Door Pub at 2022 Post Office St. The place just had that good Irish pub feel. I can’t think of another opportunity that I’ve had to kick back and enjoy a Chimay (RED) while simultaneously watching one of the Toxic Avenger movies and Olympic swimming on separate big screens.

One additional comment. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try a Chimay you really need to make that happen. It is by far one of the most complex beers I’ve tasted. On the nose it is very fruity with a heavy component of dough. The taste also reminded me of a red wine’s bouquet. Of course at approx. 7% ABV Chimay kicks like a four legged ninja.

USB Storage Enclosure from an old PC case

•August 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

So I finally got around to putting together a storage enclosure for all my spare IDE drives.  I used 4 cheap IDE to USB adaptors, a small 100 watt power supply and a 4 port USB 2.0 hub. I Hacked together a switch to turn the PSU on and off and Voila!  I also threw the drives in hot swappable drive trays mounted in the 5.25 bays for easy access.

Here is a screen shot of my Server showing off my success.

And I couldn’t help but to throw in a screen shot of the Samba shares showing up on my Compiz-Fusion tricked out workstation.