Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I met Big Jim Slade for lunch today at The Roasting Company. If you've never been to The Roasting Company over on Montford Drive, it whips almost as much ass as the license plate on this Mustang illegally parked in the parking lot. The lady that owned it was pretty upset that someone had just hit her car. She said she parked it where she did because she didn't want anyone to hit it.
She said I could take a picture of her car and quite possibly the best license plate ever if I emailed her a picture of the scratch. She wrote down her email address on an old Burger King receipt. In case you were wondering, she ordered a Chicken Sandwich with mayonnaise only and a medium Dr. Pepper from the drive thru on Roosevelt Blvd. in Monroe.

Red Means Stop

Here's an average weeknight for me. I leave work at eleven. Typically I'll drop by The Lady's place to sit on the couch, talk and play with the dog. We may watch King of the Hill or catch up on the DVR. If I don't stay there, I'll leave between 12:30 and 1:00 and head north on Hwy. 51 to Mint Hill. I could take I-485, but deer are all over the place and I'd rather not hit one and ruin my extremely bad ass pickup. I pass maybe 25 or 30 cars on my 17 minute trek to the house. I hit several traffic signals on the way home. Normally I stop at all of these signals, but there's one at the intersection of Alexander Rd. that is pointless that late at night. I'm the only one there and it turned red as I was entering the intersection. A mile later, I was pulled over by Officer Lang from the Matthews Police Department. I think he was hoping I was hammered. Upon informing him that I wasn't drunk and wasn't speeding, I told him I wasn't sure why he pulled me over. I didn't even think about the red light because I barely ran it. He reminded me and wrote a citation. The whole deal took fifteen minutes. That's a long time to write a ticket for running a red light. I got so bored I took the most creepy self portrait I've ever seen of myself thanks to the glare of the alley lights Officer Lang blasted at my truck. Sure, I broke the law and deserved the ticket. I'm mad about it anyway. They should go get a meth dealer or something. e

Monday, January 29, 2007

High Point and Greenville Come to Charlotte

Colonel Corn called me early last week and told me Lenslinger and JL from Little Lost Robot would be in town this weekend for an evening of cold beer drinking and shop talking. I didn't know either one of these gentleman, but their blogs are legendary. Lenslinger(Stewart) is a better writer than any reporter you know. I don't know if he was the first photog blogger, but the popularity of his blog and the publicity it gets on other websites has turned him into one of the better known photographers in the country. JL has traversed the country shooting news. He was in Portland but moved to Greenville, SC last year. I like JL. I like him because he got drunk, fell out of a golf cart, ruined his camera and is proud to tell it. The LCD screen on the back is useless, and the old school viewfinder is fogged over. You really can't see a thing, but he still gets good pictures out of it. Stewart's Dad, Dick, left Greenville, NC Saturday morning, picked up Stewart and drove down to Charlotte. They met up with Ken and JL, went to Southpark, ate a piece of cow ass at Manzetti's, and then went to the Double Door where I got up with them.
Ken told me that Stewart is a big fan of the blues. There is no better place to see blues in Charlotte than the Double Door. I told Ken that's the only place I know of. Unfortunately, there were no such blues Saturday night. A band from Charlotte known as Weedeater Deluxe got on stage. They describe their music as True Stoner Rock. I don't know what it was, but it certainly did suck. We only stuck around for two songs so I suppose they may have sucked less as the night went on. Sorry guys, come back to Charlotte on a Monday night. Saturday night was good. I got to meet three new people and see Ken drink Miller Genuine Draft instead of shoot tape. Saturday night wasn't good for this dude. He was in the Double Door Parking lot and appeared to have had ten or twelve too many MGD's. I hope that was his car.

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Not Warm in Maine

I hate sad posts here on, I really do hate them. Kate Barker took a job back home as the morning reporter at the CBS affiliate in Portland, Maine. That's right, Maine. Kate left Charlotte, USA Thursday evening and was greeted with a high of six degrees Friday in Portland. That's heinous, and no way to spend a week, much less an entire season every year. The move is great for Kate and her fiancee and fellow reporter Adam. He spent months preparing for the LSAT with nobody knowing about it. He passed it during the holidays and will enter law school in the fall somewhere in the greater New England area. I just can't believe someone would leave television news. I mean, you get paid 30,000 bucks and your face is on television every day!!! Isn't that great?? In law, you'll at least triple that and never work weekends! We all knew this was coming, that Kate and Adam would head back to the land of no golf in February, but it didn't make it any easier when Kate left last week. To ward off any sad feelings, we went and did what we typically do. We went to the Gin Mill and drank beer!!

The party started at 6:30 Wednesday night. This picture was at 10:45 pm shortly after The Lady and I arrived. I honestly didn't think Kate would still be standing, but she paced herself like a veteran reporter tracking a funeral package.

Here's Brian and Campbell. Brian and his brother Mark went to go see John Eddie at Amos' so they were able to drop in for a 24 oz. Pabst Blue Ribbon. Campbell bought all of my beer Wednesday. Thanks Mark!
Kate wanted me to sing Suspicious Minds Wednesday, but some no talent assclown sang it before me. I went with Burning Love instead. I reckon they don't play Elvis in Maine. She made sure I sang an Elvis song.
Todd Baldwin and Tim Baier were pretty into this shuffleboard game. It looks like Tim was drinking liquor. Tim likes to dance when he drinks. He should dance more often. He pulls it off much better than your average white dude in his twenties.
On the other end of the table Adam Shub and Broders were actually taking the game seriously. Luckily we get to keep Adam for two more months before he heads north. He'll likely play as much golf as possible.
Broders lost the serious streak and hit the dance floor with Kate for the first of many grinding sessions. I'm pretty sure they were whippin' it to Sexy Back for this picture.
Here's Kate trying to explain to Brian that Maine really isn't all that bad. Here's Brian trying to tell Kate that several weeks of mud while the winter's snow and ice melts before Spring really isn't all that cool.
These pictures are for Kate's parents. Here's Kate dancing with a complete stranger. He's not a stranger to everyone, just Kate. Derek sings a lot Wednesday nights at the Gin Mill. He's damn good and I'd just as soon not follow him. Especially after he does Nelly's Hot In Here.
It sucks Kate has to take off. I've always hear that Canadians are just like Southerners without the accent. That's kind of how Kate is. She adapted here very quickly, and is nicer and more hospitable than many southerners I know. She'll be happy in Maine. She's close to her parents, sister and two nieces. She belongs there, but she's certainly left a good sized portion or her big assed heart right here in Charlotte USA. Wednesday was good, Kate is already missed.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My Ass is Huge

I'm not big on resolutions for the New Year. I think if you want to do something, do it. Don't wait until next year. This year I decided to make one. Eat better!! Since I'll have my Butler Family Heart Attack in my 40's, I really want it to be a small one. So, I quit eating horrible foods. I've been bringing my dinner to work four nights a week. I've been eating a lot of organic stuff, whole grains and fruit. I've been eating less meat, pretty much cutting out beef. I had two bites of a cheeseburger on the way back from New Orleans and a cup of vegetable beef soup my dad made a couple of weeks ago. Other than that, no beef(Don't worry, I'll still be eating a filet when I'm at a steakhouse.) Seafood is my friend when I'm out for a nice meal and still want to eat healthy. Sundays are the only day I let loose and eat food that's not terrific for me. I feel pretty good eating well. I'm hungry, though. I didn't do this to lose weight, but damn if I'm not getting skinny.
I've been between 178 and 1-82 for the last week or so. This is as skinny as I've been in five years. When I was working at NBC sitting in a chair taking feeds and smoking a pack of cigarettes every day, I was up to 210 pounds. Now I think I'm too skinny. Back to the Y I go. Maybe some of the New Years resolution folks working out have gotten over it and I'll be able to find a treadmill.

Catching Up

Sorry folks, I've been busy and haven't had much time to write. Actually, that's a lie. I've had plenty of time, I just haven't wanted to or felt like doing something else.

A good bit of my time recently has been spent looking at houses. I've found a couple I like. One I really like with a big assed fenced yard that would be good for dogs(hehe, I accidentally typed dongs the first time I wrote that.) It's exactly six minutes and zero stoplights from uptown. If that one doesn't work, I've seen a couple of very cool houses in Belmont. It's the same distance from uptown as Mint Hill, just in another county. My pal Tracy and his family live there, so I'd have some built in friends already in the area. My mortgage pal said I can borrow a bunch of money. I told him he was crazy for giving me that much, so I'm aiming about $30,000 dollars less that what he told me I could spend. It's nice to know he's got faith in my finances. I'm in house mode 100 percent of the time these days. I look at our stories at the beginning of the day and volunteer to shoot those near houses I'm looking at. I was able to check out three or four in Belmont yesterday. That's a good perk of my job. Instead of eating lunch, I looked at houses. After I'm done with the evening live shot, I look at houses.

For whatever reason, I've been in a cooking mood in the last few weeks. I enjoy watching the Food Network. The Lady and I like to watch and be hungry. Anyway, I wanted to cook The Lady a real nice dinner. In damn near nine months, this was the first time I'd cooked for her. It was long overdue. So, a couple of weeks ago I went to the Food Network website and typed VEGETARIAN in the search engine. I was greeted with more than 4,000 recipes. A bit overwhelmed, I looked at several of them. I wanted something easy, tasty, and a little fancy. I found something tasty and fancy, but not easy. Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings! Oh my! They really weren't that difficult to make. It just took a long time. You cut up tofu, carrots, peppers, cilantro, scallions and a few other things. Mix them in sesame oil and soy sauce and Wham-O!! you've got filling for dumplings. Here comes the time consuming part. You take wanton wrappers, brush the edges in water, put a small amount of the filling in them and seal them up. This took a long effing time. I think we ate dinner at 9:00, but they were damn good. If you spice up the tofu or buy the tofu that's already in some kind of spicy marinade, it really doesn't suck too bad. I'm going to do some whip ass wings for the annual Jim Travers super bowl party next Sunday. Everyone's invited.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hey, Let's Clean Out the Cell Phone!!!

To borrow a favorite feature from Blog Bronis, I was looking through my cell phone and saw some pics from the last couple of weeks I meant to throw up here. Here she blows!!!!
Here's a random New Years Eve picture from Jackson Square in New Orleans. The Lady has the beer, and I've got the fruity Hand Grenade. Go figure. I really want to go back to New Orleans. I haven't enjoyed telling everyone about a vacation this much since I went to London in 4th grade.
Mom was uptown Friday so we met for lunch at quite possibly the best restaurant in Charlotte, USA. Dish is on Thomas Avenue in Midwood and it whips a ton of ass. Modern, southern, home cooking is the only way I can describe it. Every meal comes with a biscuit and a deviled egg!! I went with the cornmeal crusted grouper which they always served with a raspberry reduction sauce. Oh, my!!! Mom got the Chicken and Dumplings. Wow. If you haven't been to Dish, go sooner than later. Mom and I had some good, yet weird conversation. Someone remind me to talk about that next week.
Saturday I rolled down to Oakboro to help Shawn and Jenny paint their house with about three hundred other family members and friends. They are remodeling a cool old house and found these Pepsi and Mountain Dew cans with a note written on wallpaper saying something like, "Left here in 1970." It was cool. I think Shawn was going to drop in a couple of things in one of their new walls for someone to find down the road. They hope to move into their house by the end of the month. They've been working hard down there.
Watch out everyone!!!! Smithwick's is making it's rounds to a grocery store near you. It's even in Mint Hill. It's cool, yet not cool at the same time. I now have to choose between High Life Light, PBR, and Smithwick's for the house beverage.

As I said before, look for some updates soon on good yet weird and awkward conversations with Mom. Also, I had my job review last week. It went well, but so have the last eight I've had. I really, really, really, really need to do something else. Not that I don't enjoy what I'm doing, but I'm not going to get any better at what I do than I am now. Well, I could, but I don't know that I really care to. I guess I do, but the only challenge these days is lighting up live shots at night, and trying to set the up faster and faster each time. That's not good. Look for a career change soon, or at least heading in that direction. More later, everybody.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's not 2006 Anymore

New Years Eve was fantastic. We won the game, took a nap, then went for a walk to find dinner. We started at the Redfish Grill which was attached to our hotel. Joe told us it was one of the best places in New Orleans so we thought we'd give it a shot. The wait was more than two hours. So we set out to walk around the French Quarter to find a good spot. We were a bit worried we wouldn't find a place with a long assed wait. We rolled down Canal St. for several blocks and saw few places, but not a menu that really excited us. Eventually we made a left onto Chartres St., passed several places and stumbled upon The Alpine Restaurant just a block shy of Jackson Square. Much to our surprise we were seated as soon as we walked in. We had a great cajun meal. I went with the cajun Ahi Tuna, The Lady went with crab cakes. Walking around the Quarter that night with The Lady looking for a restaurant was my favorite part of the trip. It was a peaceful night in a romantic place and we had a wonderful evening.
After dinner we rolled back to the hotel to change clothes and prepare for New Years Celebrations. Our goal was to get back to Jackson Square for the gumbo bowl drop and fireworks at midnight. We left the hotel and walked down Bourbon St. back to the Tropical Isle Bar for another Hand Grenade. You can see above how crowded the street was. The bar was just as slammed. It took more than half an hour at the bar to get the Hand Grenade. As soon as that was taken care of, we made it back to Jackson Square to meet up with Jim and Mark.
We actually ended up with everyone else from our group at Jackson Square which was kind of cool. The fireworks began right at midnight. I may or may not have gotten a kiss from The Lady. The Hand Grenade was beginning to take it's toll.
The champagne wasn't helping either. We all took a sip and passed it along to some strangers from Venezuela standing next to us.
You can see how great the fireworks are. Mark and I can't beleive our own eyes and Travers can't stop taking videos with his cell phone.
New Orleans was great. I would really like to go back again and try about every restaurant in the entire city. I'm not sure I'd go with a group of twelve in minivans again, but we had a wonderful time in the city. I have to say I already miss it. Well, I don't miss the Saint's fans. Oh, and a big thanks to The Lady. She took 90 percent of these pictures.

Gameday Continued

We had some fine seats in the end zone. Here's a great shot of Deshaun Foster not scoring against the Saints' 3rd string defense. We did pull off a meaningless 31-21 victory, though. I enjoyed the Superdome, but I now know that if you've seen one dome, you've seen them all. At least the ones built before 2000.
Here's The Lady and I preparing to go get heckled by Saints' fans. Nothing worse then whipping their ass, then getting heckled by them after THEY lost. It probably would have been better if we had lost. I'd hoped to be rooting for the Saints in the playoffs, but their fan's actions Sunday has me hoping they'll lose their first playoff game next weekend. Back to the hotel for a nap and New Years Eve!


Saturday we walked around for a while until a monsoon hit dropping more than a couple inches on the Crescent City. It left the four of us with a mile of town to walk through with ponchos. Bad news, but fun. We took a nap and went to dinner only to watch the Giants beat the Redskins. That normally wouldn't be a big deal, but it put the Panthers out of the Playoffs making the game Sunday meaningless. That's alright, we had a good time anyway.
The walk from the Quarter to the Superdome was a bit depressing. It's a bunch of office buildings that seemed dead. Not a lot of traffic around for a gameday. It just seemed dreary. Even the sign on City Hall isn't fixed.
It was a different story once we got to the dome. Saw several Panther fans that were part of a great party atmosphere.
This huge bridge in front of the dome was full of fans before the game drinking beer and having a good time. They had a band that people were actually listening to. Very cool pregame festivites.
On the other side of that bridge you can see many buildings are still damaged. Several windows in this building were still broken, and the hotels behind it don't look much different than they did when we saw them on television after the hurricane.
The Superdome's in great shape. Here's the mass exodus inside before the game. Oh, and we ate muffaletta sandwhiches before the game.

New Orleans is a Good Place to Be (Friday Night Continued)

Bourbon St. is nuts. We stumbled upon this gentleman holding my favorite sign in all of New Orleans.
He was nice enough to take this picture with us holding the sign, then informed me that he works for tips and America is a great place.
Everybody knows about Pat O'Brien's and their famous hurricanes, but we only drank beer. After a VooDoo daiqiri, a Hurricane would have been a great, yet horrible idea. We had a spirited discussion with some Saint's fans inside the courtyard at the bar. Most of the fans were real nice up until game day.

New Orleans is a Good Place to Be

Friday morning at 7, a dozen of us hopped in two minivans led by Joe Kuhlmann of The Evening Muse. By 8:00 Friday night, we were hoofing it down New Orleans' own Bourbon St. on our way to a famous Voodoo Daiquiri to kick off a weekend of fun complete with a Panthers game and New Years celebrations! Lafitte's has been around since the late 1700's when New Orleans was under Spanish rule. It made it through two big assed fires that destroyed the entire French Quarter except for Lafitte's. It's mainly a locals kind of place, so a few folks were suprised to see us shamelessly sporting our Panthers gear.
Jim Travers was the first of the twelve to finish their VooDoo Daiqiri which is alledgedly a mixture of everclear, 151, and grape stuff. It tastes like a giant Dimetapp slushie. It's outstanding. Here's Mark Campbell feverishly trying to catch up.
If you know me, you know that I don't drink liquor. Alcholism is rampant in my extended family history and I really enjoy liquor. Thus, I rarely drink it. Upon one sip of this wondrous grape mixture, I decided to make the weekend one of these rare occasions. The VooDoo quickly turns the tongue a scary deep thigh bruise color. The Lady and I showed ours off for the rest of the evening.
We left Lafitte's, rolled down Bourbon St., and quickly ducked into the Tropical Isle Bar for pizza, gumbo, and veggie burgers. We also came upon a wonderful drink known as The Hand Grenade. It's alledgedly a mixture of rum, everclear, gin, melon liquor, and vodka. It's fruity, delicious, and quite potent, too. Easily my favorite drink in New Orleans.

Here's The Lady Enjoying a Hand Grenade of her own. There's a blues band with a guy named Hambone playing trumpet over her left shoulder.