Saturday, December 31, 2005

Great Lunch at Greenbriar

To kick off our Christmas celebration schedule, we went down to visit Mike and Cassondra. First we went to eat at the Greenbriar Restaurant, on Greenbriar Road, in Greenbriar, Alabama. Then, we went to the Booklegger, a used book purveyor in Huntsville. Then......and, Then......

They Gave Me AIDS!!!!

Here you see a lovely stuffed HTLV virus. Much better than the nasty, old biological variant. Mike and Cassondra gifted me with this from the Museum of Modern Art. I like it!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Baby Hatch Here!

Jackson Aidan Hatcher was born around 6-ish pm last night. He arrived weighing 8 lbs and 1 oz, and 20.5 inches tall. He is a good-looking kid with curly brown hair, big blue eyes, and a strong set of lungs. Baby and Mom are happily resting at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. Pictures will follow. Check the Hatchblog for more info.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Chuck F. Norris "Facts"

I generally resist this sort of stuff, but it is funny. My favorite of the listed Chuck Norris "facts":
A man once asked Chuck Norris if his real name is "Charles". Chuck Norris did not respond, he simply stared at him until he exploded.
Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.
There is no chin behind Chuck Norris's beard. There is only another fist.
There is no theory of Evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.
Chuck Norris has two speeds: walk and kill.
Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.

Chuck Norris can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. At night.

Helen Keller's favorite color is Chuck Norris.

McGyver can build an airplane out of gum and paper clips but Chuck Norris can kill him and take it.

When Chuck Norris goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a handgun and a bucket.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

You No Like, You No Pay!

Those are the words of chef Tony Yeh, pictured below.

Last night, for the second night in a row, Ferlotta and I dined at Onaga, the Guam-cuisine mecca of Bellevue Center Mall. The owner, Tony Yeh, was formerly the kitchen manager at 101st Airborne. He has opened a low-cost eatery in a mall's food court that rivals Nashville's big-ticket grub joints (for example, the food is much better than Nick and Rudy's downtown).

On Thursday, for a total of about 17 bucks, we had lemon-coconut grouper (prepared in a fashion that I cannot deduce, but amazingly good) and shrimp pacifica (prawns in a zingy chili-tomato sauce). Each entree was served with the best grilled veggies I've had anywhere (the grouper was served with grilled carrots, daikon, asparagus, potatoes--the shrimp with grilled carrots, tomatoes, daikon, asparagus and broccoli) and rice pilaf that was wonderfully flavored. Oh yeah, and pretty good cheesecake, too.

Last night we had beer-cheese soup (yes, just like at 101st....amazing), the vegetarian plate (lotsa different grilled veggies, plus a roasted potato and rice), chicken marsala (very good) and grilled Mahi-Mahi (served with an amazing citrus/wine sauce).

Mr Yeh will talk your ear off as you order (making sure you are getting something that you'll like), and he gives each party a lot of attention, ensuring that everyone leaves happy. From the time we ordered, our food arrived hot and fresh-seeming within 5 minutes. He came out and played with our daughter, even doing a little song and dance, which made her laugh. We were left with the impression that this was a man who truly loves what he is doing, and it shows.

He let me look back into the kitchen, and it was very clean. There were two folks back there (a grill-guy and a "line cook", and it looked like an efficient set-up, indeed. I didn't see a microwave. There is a limited menu (varies daily), but I reckon this lets them get a few different things out quickly, and with precision.

We will continue to rave about this place, and give it our highest recommendation (especially considering the price). I am sure that the place will eventually expand, though I hope they retain the simple, fast, highly-personable style.

Hollie Shulick, a local food critic with whom I occasionally agree, wrote this review of Onaga.

Stealing Toys From a Dead Kid's Grave

No, I'm not kidding. Story here. (Login password: nothing -- or use bugmenot)

This is enough to make me hope that Hell exists. The Dante Alighieri kind.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Make Pho, Not War

Tonight, Beloved Wife and I took the 2-toothed monster out to our favorite Vietnamese greasy spoon, Kien Gang. The pho and all the other food is great, and you get a lot for your money. Some folks might not like the service, but as we are "regulars" we are treated well (plus, we've grown accustomed to the waiter not allowing us to order things he thinks we won't like, and having to go to the kitchen to get our own sweeteners and drink refills), and tonight, for example, one of the two "wait-persons" (one is the owner's condescending brother, the other his evil wife) was kind enough to change my (accidental) request for "sliced beef tendon noodle soup" to "sliced beef and meatball noodle soup".

Ferlie says that they have the best rice in Nashville.

As a family-run feeding place, Kien Gang is very child-friendly, and we even had the entertainment choice of Lord of the Rings on the TV or watching the owner's kids playing football in the parking lot (American Football, not that Commie-Kickball soccer stuff). Most of the crowd was Vietnamese, but there was an assortment of other Asians, honkies, negroes, and Messicans there, too.

I even took my dear ole Mama there once, and she liked it just fine. You can't ask for a better endorsement than that.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

J.C. In the Hiz-ouse!

Some of you have heard me rant about middle-aged, religious white guys trying to use rap music as a way to reach "the youth of America". Many of you have not, and don't worry, you won't today. However, I invite you to check out this Google Video Link, guaranteed to prompt mass nausea.

"He's Like a Gay, Black, Brad Pitt!"

I overheard this comment at the Belcourt the other night. I'm still trying to get a picture of this in my mind.

And They Can't Act, Either!

In celebration of Agent 8375309 accomplishing his Dec 8, 1980 mission, Ferlotta and I went out for an evening of fine artistic performance. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful and saw this "Western Zombie Christmas Musical" instead. There were several bits of hilarity, but truth be told, I've seen better-performed high school plays. In the performers' defense, the script, being the literary equivalent of a bedpan's contents, didn't give the performers much with which to work. I should note that the attempt to supply in profanity what it lacked it substance did not go unnoticed (also, that Jennifer Richmond, as "Town Whore" stood out from the rest of the cast as being able to sing and act).

I enjoy seeing a bad play almost as much as seeing a good movie, so the night was not a total loss. Ferlie and I have enjoyed mocking the production over the last few days, and I've tortured her with my renditions of some of the lyrics (I should note that Veronica enjoys my version of the title song, especially the little zombie dance I do with it). I will go see other productions by these folks, as I enjoy these smaller, more intimate-seeming performances.

If you want to read up on some "Zombie Survival" tips, go here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Other White Meat

After a hard day of swimming, Yoga, and Christmas shopping, nothing beats coming home and cleaning out the garage. Nothing, that is, except eating the best roast pork loin in the history of heat and pork once you're finished! Just in case you're wondering, I rubbed it with vinegar, then rubbed it with garlic, injected it with a marinate of my own design, and "crusted" it with cinammon, red pepper, black pepper, kosher salt, and rosemary.

I may be exaggerating a bit, but I must say ummmm, ummm.

Also involving things that are white and mammalian: On the great news front, Marissa is doing better, and is home from the "IV Ordeal" at Centennial hospital (for all of my Roman friends, that's "IV" as in "intravenous", not "4 Ordeal", which might also be interesting, but I don't have a story for that. She and baby Jackson are doing well, and that's what matters. Further updates may appear on "The Wayward Hatch".

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Revolution Comes to Vanderbilt

Well, okay, not the Revolution, just their guitarist Dez Dickerson. Story here. Working at Vandy, I get the opportunity to participate in cutting edge medical research, AND listen to lectures from b-list 80's musicians......Man, I love my job. Of course, it would've been better if they'd also had Wendy and Lisa and Dr Fink.

Rocky 6?

Last night I went with my friend Travis to watch the Taylor vs Hopkins rematch. There was much fun had by all, and, in terms of sociology, it was very educational. Fried foods and malt liquor aside, I learned something else.....They are actually in the process of filming a sixth installment of the "Rocky" franchise (beware of spoilers).

The HBO PPV folks panned the cameras over to where Stallone was filming crowd and "entrance" scenes. It looks like "The Italian Stallion" is going back into the ring, though it looked as though he might need a hand getting through the ropest. Max Kellerman, oddly-bearded boxing analyst extraordinaire, claimed to have read the script, and he gave it a "thumbs up". Of course, since he's in the movie, you can't consider him to be an impartial critic.

Oh my. The horror, the horror. Excuse me whilst I eat some lightning and crap some thunder.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Ferlie and I have no been promoted to "adult" status, having been allowed to host our first family event. We had a great time, surrounded by loved ones and great food (including, he typed humbly, the best turkey in history).

Soooo Juicy!

The chef at work with the twenty-one pound Alton Brown bird. If you've never tried a brined turkey, you just don't know what you're missing.

Some of the Sides

On the top left, Creamed corn and apple/sweet tater/walnut casserole from Aunt Mary. On the bottom row, my turkey gravy and ham-hock-collards, with Granny's potato peas in-between.

And More Food


Home-made pumpkin, pecan, walnut/chocolate, and sweet potato pies rounded off the dining experience.

We're really glad cousin Smelly-Melly and her boy-friend (who's also a distant cousin of mine, just on the other side) made the drive up.

Cousin Maddie lights up her eyes. She and her sister Anna-Banana were the life of the party.

Uncle Alvin, after vanquishing all opponents at the card table, as well as the dinner table.

My precious Ling-Ling and cousin Pancho are all smiles while "Lolo James" does all of the work.

Granny and "Lola Mary" take a break from the festivities.

Our good friends, the Robinsons, gave Ferlie a warm early Christmas present, which she's modelling for us here.