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    Lamenting The Pensacola Ice Pilots: Now Defunct June 29th, 2008

    Pensacola Ice Pilots

    Back in the mid-90s, I became a hockey fan thanks to my co-worker and friend Jonathan Dennis who introduced me to the sport when Tallahassee had an ECHL franchise, the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks. Since I grew up in Mississippi where hockey was a foreign concept only mentioned briefly on the news to announce who won the Stanley Cup or, at every four years, the Olympics, I grew surprisingly a big fan of the sport and still enjoy it today. For many years, until the team folded operations here in Tallahassee and moved to Macon, Georgia (renamed the Macon Whoopee — cute, huh?) I supported the team as much as my limited income would allow. I attended games, bought souvenirs, joined the booster club (the “Fin-natics”) and even won some game-worn jersey auctions at the end of several seasons (my favorites are the two home jerseys I won of the Tiger Sharks most famous enforcers, the Killer B’s — Louis Bedard & John Badduke — complete with rips, repairs, board burns, etc.). I still have those jerserys to this day and when the weather gets cold enough in the winter (about 4 weeks worth around here) I’ll wear them in public. Sometimes when I do wear them I’ll occassionally receive a comment from a fellow fan lamenting the loss of the Tiger Sharks back in 2001. After the Tiger Sharks moved to Macon for one season only to finally disappear altogether, the only chance I had to go to a pro-hockey game was when my wife and I traveled to Gulfport to visit her parents. We’d attend a Mississippi Seawolves game, sometimes wearing one of my old Tiger Sharks jerseys which would always get people to come up to me and strike up conversations. Great ice breaker (no pun intended). I still hold out hope that one day Tallahassee will once again be home to an ice hockey team via a smaller regional league, but pessimistically, I’m not holding my breath.

    Periodically I will check up on ECHL news and the teams in the region (e.g. — the Ice Pilots and the Seawolves — Mobile, Alabama hosted the Mobile Mysticks until 2002 when they moved to Georgia and became the Gwinnett Gladiators). Today I learned that the Pensacola Ice Pilots announced earlier in June that the franchise told the league it wouldn’t field a team in the 2008-09 season or thereafter. This announcement force the ECHL to officially withdraw the Ice Pilot’s membership in the league. Although placing dead last in the league, fans were still loyal to the team and expressed overwhelming anger at the owner of the team Mario Forgione, who lives in Ontario, Canada as well as franchise President Greg Schuh. One major criticism of Forgione was that he was an “absentee owner” hardly ever staying in the Pensacola area and lived in Ontario, Canada. One angry fan wrote, “Mario Forgione and Greg Schuh are at the heart of our problem! These two men are dishonest crooks. They have lied to the fans, the players, Coach Marks, local county officials and ECHL officials.” Another fan wrote, “The ECHL, Coach Marks, competitors and fans were blind-sided by the decision, but Greg Schuh doesn’t seem suprised [sic].” All the reports I have read from Pensacola indicate the overwhelming anger and disappointment of the Ice Pilots faithful. The Pensacola News Journal put it this way:

    What certainly did not work here is absentee ownership. Majority owner Mario Forgione was an Ontario-based businessman. That’s where he chose to live, and that’s perfectly understandable.

    But in this market, like so many other places with minor-league sports franchises, you need the boss in town. You need the owner pressing the flesh, meeting with business owners, meeting with city officials, marketing the team, pushing the product.

    The owner has to connect with the people.

    That did not happen here.

    Both Forgione and Schuh claim they will be looking into joining a smaller league and resume play as soon as possible however it seems no one believes them. This leave the Florida Everblades, located in Estero, Florida (southeast of Cape Coral) as the only remaining ECHL team remaining in the state. Florida hockey is now limited to only Tampa, Miami and Estero with no teams remaining in north Florida where once there were ECHL teams in Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola making for interesting rivalries along Interstate 10 (along with Mobile, Pensacola, Biloxi and New Orleans). With this departure from the league, I am now worried about the Mississippi Sea Wolves who only recently resumed play after Hurricane Katrina heavily damaged their home rink, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum. The Gwinnett Gladiators, just outside of Atlanta, are now the closest Sea Wolves’ opponent. They are approximately six hours away. The Everblades are farther away in southeast Florida. This is going to put a greater financial burden on the Sea Wolves and I am concerned that they, too, may have to suspend operations in the near future.

    Trying to put a silver lining on a very dark cloud for me, I hope this may eventually pave the way for a smaller, southeastern-based league to form and create new, locally-owned franchises in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Pensacola and Mobile as well as other locations. I have heard and read various plans similarly, but thus far nothing has come to fruition.

    So I bid a fond farewell to the Pensacola Ice Pilots and to all the fans over there, I truly empathize with you all.

    Pensacola Ice Pilots

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Adam Lawson, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Adam’s Blog, Right Truth, Shadowscope, The Amboy Times, Beagle Scout, Democrat=Socialist, third world county, Nuke Gingrich, Allie is Wired, McCain Blogs, Walls of the City, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, CORSARI D’ITALIA, Nuke’s News, Stageleft, and Right Voices. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    2nd Amendment Upheld By Slim 5-4 Vote June 26th, 2008

    In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) rules that the District of Columbia gun ban was unconstitutional. Justice Scalia’s brilliantly written majority opinion can be read here as are the dissenting opinions (which, in my humble opinion, contain several errors in logic and reasoning and also completely ignore what the founding fathers actually wrote and said concerning the citizen’s right to keep and bear arms). As expected, the usual liberal suspects are whining that it’s “dangerous” for the average citizen to have the right to keep and bear arms. Scary thing is that 4 radical liberal judges are of the opinion that the 2nd amendment needs to be changed so U.S. citizens would be unable to keep and bear arms. Now if the SCOTUS can use a single letter from Thomas Jefferson referencing separating church & state as the major basis for banning prayer in school and other anti-religious rulings, why can’t they be consistent and take widely published materials by founding fathers and supported by subsequent U.S. Presidents, Congresscritters and even federal judges as the basis for gun rulings like this one? To whit:

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    Thomas Jefferson

    As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article [the Second Amendment] in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
    Trence Coxe in “Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution”, under the pseudonym “A Pennsylvanian” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 18 June 1789

    The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by a rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.
    William Rawle, View of the Constitution (1825)

    Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches the jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.
    Patrick Henry

    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage then to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
    Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in “On Crimes and Punishment”, 1764

    Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any body of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
    Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principals of the Federal Constitution, 1787

    No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
    Thomas Jefferson, proposal Virginia Constitution, June 1776, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334

    Congress shall never disarm any citizen, unles such as are or have been in actual rebellion.
    Samual Adams, Proposal for the Constitution on behalf of New Hampshire

    The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
    James Madison, The Federalist No. 46

    Arms in the hands of citizens (may) be used at individual discression… in private self-defense…
    John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Governments of the UAS, 471 (1788)

    How freakin’ clearer can it be?

    ADDENDUM: Heard Barack Obama speaking about the 2nd amendment today. Currently he’s FOR gun rights but upon hearing some quotes made by Obama from the past, it becomes apparent that he was AGAINST gun rights back then. Did he get tutored in flip-flopping by John Kerry? I wonder since he’s been flip-flopping so much recently.

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, Shadowscope, The Amboy Times, Cao’s Blog, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, Allie is Wired, Faultline USA, third world county, The Pink Flamingo, A Newt One, and Right Voices. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Weird Product: Armadillo Handbag? June 25th, 2008

    Yesterday, my wife was shopping online for purses when she came upon this…er…unique item.

    Armadillo Handbag

    Make up your own joke.

    Out of curiosity, I found this one myself online.

    Chihuahua Handbag

    Yo quiero mis llaves! Dónde están mis llaves?

    Again, make up your own joke.

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Random Yak, Right Truth, Shadowscope, The Amboy Times, Cao’s Blog, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, Allie is Wired, Faultline USA, third world county, DragonLady’s World, The Pink Flamingo, A Newt One, Right Voices, and Gone Hollywood. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Obama’s Pseudo-Presidential Seal Illegal? [UPDATED] June 24th, 2008


    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal

    Probably nothing will come from it, but the pseudo-Presidential Seal that Obama’s been using of late just might be illegal. To whit:

    18 USC Sec. 713 …
    (a) Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States, or of the seals of the President or the Vice President of the United States, or the seal of the United States Senate, or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress, or any facsimile thereof, in, or in connection with, any advertisement, poster, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, public meeting, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production, or on any building, monument, or stationery, for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    (b) Whoever, except as authorized under regulations promulgated by the President and published in the Federal Register, knowingly manufactures, reproduces, sells, or purchases for resale, either separately or appended to any article manufactured or sold, any likeness of the seals of the President or Vice President, or any substantial part thereof, except for manufacture or sale of the article for the official use of the Government of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal

    Obama’s counterfeit Presidential seal is symbolic of his spurious persona, his pretense of having experience, and his disingenuous promises. It also symbolizes the fact that he also lacks originality.

    Maybe a more accurate and descriptive redesign should be this:

    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal
    Graphic courtesy of Bright & Early Blog

    In the interest of full disclosure, I did not design this Obama pseudo-pseudo-seal and apparently “celsus asinus” is pseudo-Latin for “arrogant ass” (using an online translator, apparently “arrogant” better translates to Latin as “timidus”).

    Or maybe THIS one is a more accurate and descriptive redesign:

    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal
    Graphic courtesy of Pirate’s Cove

    Maybe this one?…

    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal
    Graphic courtesy of Blogs For Victory

    Blogs For Victory have requested people submit their Photoshopped Obama pseudo-pseudo-seals.


    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal
    Graphic courtesy of William Teach

    And some of mine…

    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal

    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal

    Barack Obama's Pseudo-Presidential Seal

    UPDATE: This morning (June 24, 2008), Headline News aired a goofy (her CNN bio page uses the word “quirky”) Jeanne Moos “man-on-the-street” package about the Obama pseudo-seal although the story is quite old at this point. IMHO, it just shows CNN Headline News (and CNN in general) is growing more irrelevant (and perhaps irreverent). Of course, Headline News spends a good chunk of each hour in blatant self-promotion thinly disguised as news which further lends itself as evidence of CNN Headline News’ growing irrelevancy. Slow news days, CNN? So slow that you’re recycling old stuff? Hot Air has more up-to-date info on Obama dropping the seal and his spin as to why he did so. So much hooplah from all sides on an issue that for me is a non-issue and a goofy one at that.

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Hot Air, Hot Air, Pirate’s Cove, Blogs For Victory, Pirate’s Cove, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Stuck On Stupid, Cao’s Blog,, Democrat=Socialist, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Allie is Wired, Nuke Gingrich, third world county, McCain Blogs, Woman Honor Thyself, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, Dumb Ox Daily News, A Newt One, and Right Voices. Also thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    George Carlin — 1937 – 2008 — R.I.P. June 23rd, 2008

    George Carlin
    George Carlin
    May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008

    My favorite comedian of all time, George Carlin, passed away Sunday evening due to heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday. He was 71. He had a long history of heart problems, drug usage, and other health-related issues. He is known for his edgy, provocative material with the most famous (or infamous depending upon whom you are asking) bit being “Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say On Television.”

    My personal introduction to George Carlin as a standup comedian was when my parents allow me to stay up late one night when I was a child and I saw him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson where he performed his “Al Sleet: Hippy, Dippy Weatherman” routine which had me laughing so hard that my sides hurt when my parents put me to bed.

    Several days later, my maternal grandparents drove down from Memphis to visit for a weekend and they took me to the local five-and-dime store to pick out a goodie for making the honor roll (or something like that — I can’t recall clearly). I picked out George Carlin’s “Class Clown” album and upon returning home, I took it into my bedroom to play it on my little, all-plastic GE kiddie record player. I knew he was funny and I wanted everyone to listen as well. My Grandmother was the only one to take me up on the offer. I started playing the album which started off innocently enough but only a few minutes (or perhaps moments) Carlin started using profanity which I nor my Grandmother expected. And when you’re eight years old and sitting in front of your Grandmother listening to a record, having profanity coming from the record that you picked out is not only embarassing, but kinda scary as well because you immediately think you’re about to get a spanking. Fortunately, she calmly took the needle off the record, put the album in the sleeve and told me that she was taking the album back and allowing me to pick out something “more appropriate.” I apologized profusely (or at least as profusely as an eight-year-old can). When they left, we figured it ended up in a trashcan somewhere between Cleveland, Missisippi and Memphis, Tennesee. Although I was horrified at the moment it happened, it soon became a funny story my parents told their friends. And it remains that way to this day with them.

    Several years later, I heard a cleverly censored version of Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say On Television” aired on the Dr. Demento Show on radio. Instead of the normal bleeps you would hear over the profanity, Dr. Demento used the most ridiculous sound effects available. Since everyone pretty much knew the words, the outrageous sound effects used to cover the profanity made the routine even funnier in its absurdity.

    Although I differred from Carlin on many issues including politics and Christianity, I always appreciated and enjoyed his humor. He will be missed and my condolences go out to his family and friends.

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Random Yak, Right Truth, Mac’s Opinion,, Cao’s Blog, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, third world county, DragonLady’s World, The Pink Flamingo, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, A Newt One, and Stageleft. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Parody Ad In Response To Obama’s Patently Misleading Anti-McCain TV Ad Known As The “Not My Child” Ad June 22nd, 2008

    I imagine that unless you’ve been off-planet for the past couple of weeks, you are familiar with the Obama attack against John McCain known as the “Not My Child” ad. It’s quite misleading and disingenuous for it takes a particial quote from McCain, combines with the implication of an impending draft and the resulting material is quite dishonest. Seems to me that the Obama camp is trying to recreate the infamous, yet effective, LBJ “Daisy Petals/Nuclear Bomb” ad that was aired in the 60’s. Even though that ad aired only once, it proved to be effective in helping Johnson handily defeat Barry Goldwater.

    The parody ad shown above is entitled “Not My Wallet.” Definitely more honest and makes a better salient point about what Obama will bring to the table if he is elected POTUS.

    Linkfest Haven

    Watch This Amazing Video June 21st, 2008

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    More Military Humor June 21st, 2008

    To keep the mood light, here are some humorous graphics courtesy of our friends over at Military Motivator.

    Military Motivator

    Military Motivator

    Military Motivator

    Military Motivator

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, McCain Blogs, Pirate’s Cove, Stuck On Stupid, The Pink Flamingo, Cao’s Blog,, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, A Newt One, Democrat=Socialist, Dumb Ox Daily News, and Right Voices. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Reese’s Racist? June 21st, 2008

    White Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

    With many uber-liberals so desperate to find problems where none exist, I wonder if any of them have protested Reese’s for this. Just a humorous thought but does illustrate indirectly how absurd a lot of uber-liberals’ racism charges have been in recent years. Someone call Al $harpton and Je$$e Jack$on.

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Pirate’s Cove, Outside the Beltway, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, McCain Blogs, Pirate’s Cove, Stuck On Stupid, The Pink Flamingo, Cao’s Blog,, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, A Newt One, Dumb Ox Daily News, Democrat=Socialist, and Right Voices, Also thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    What Obama’s “Change” REALLY Means? June 20th, 2008

    Barack Obama's Change?

    Perhaps it’s not what the socialist candidate for POTUS means, but what the result truly will be if he is elected combined with a Democrat-controlled Congress.

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Stuck On Stupid, Democrat=Socialist, Pursuing Holiness, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, third world county, Nuke Gingrich, Allie is Wired, McCain Blogs, Woman Honor Thyself, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, A Newt One, CORSARI D’ITALIA, and Right Voices. Also thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Weezer — Pork & Beans June 19th, 2008

    Here’s a very fun video from Weezer for their song “Pork & Beans.” How many YouTube “stars” do you recognize in the video?

    The “Making Of” the video for “Pork & Beans.”

    And a rather…ummmm…unique acoustic version.

    Linkfest Haven

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    Godly Wisdom — June 19, 2008 June 19th, 2008

    Godly Wisdom
    Graphic by

    Linkfest Haven

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    A Quick Random Thought June 18th, 2008

    This time of a year marks the longest days of daylight during the year with over 14 hours of daylight in this neck of the woods. I can’t imagine what it’s like in the far northern climes where midnight baseball is played around this time of year.

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    A Rant On Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s “Summer Special” [UPDATED WITH A RESPONSE TO A NASTY COMMENTER] June 18th, 2008

    UPDATE: A response to a snide and insulting commenter below.

    Ruth’s Chris Steak House Summer Special?

    2 SALADS
    2 ENTRÉES (Limited entrées – Petite Filet, Mixed Grille [4 oz. filet, oven roasted free-range chicken breast stuffed with garlic herb cheese and their homemade jumbo lump crab cake], Chef’s Fresh Fish Selection, Barbecued Shrimp, or Stuffed Chicken Breast)

    Only $89?!?!?

    That’s supposed to be a bargain????

    I’ve been to Ruth’s Chris Steak House and it’s the most overrated restaurant chain in America. The steaks are not all that special and in my humble opinion, the steaks there are just a little above average. I have had much better steaks at smaller, locally owned steakhouses from large cities like New Orleans to small towns like Havana, Florida. Nicholson’s Farmhouse Restaurant, back when it was open, had steaks far superior than Ruth’s Chris. Same with Tallahassee’s Marie Livingston’s. Ruth’s Chris’s gimmick is the 500 degree plates they plop the steaks on so they sizzle as they bring them out to you and supposedly keeps it warm as you eat it. Is that worth paying more than double what comparable steaks costs in other restaurants? Those 500 degree platters don’t do any better than a heated porcelain platter or a steel steak platter on a wooden base which most restaurants use. It’s called a gimmick, kiddies. The service I have experienced at Ruth’s Chris was no better than other steak restaurants. Better dressed servers mainly, but I don’t see justifying more than twice what it costs at better steakhouses to have better dressed employees. My Dad, who has also eaten at Ruth’s Chris tells me basically the same thing and one place he considers far superior is Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi.

    Ruth’s Chris? I just don’t get it.

    And now, a response to commentor Mark who touched a nerve:

    Thank you for your concern of my spelling Mark, although your tact could use improvement. Incidentally, although you are correct and I should have written “entrées” I guess you don’t speak French because you would know that “entrées” in English is “entries.” But thank you for playing. Secondly, are you in the employ of Ruth’s Chris? If not, you should be since you are quite the Ruth’s Chris apologist. However there are serious fallacies in your reasoning and claims…

    1) Quantity does not guarantee quality. Expanding a New Orleans restaurant into a chain of 120 stores only means good business sense is being used not necessary the quality of food. If we are to take your logic to its conclusion on this point then McDonald’s food must be FAR SUPERIOR to Ruth’s Chris since they have thousands of locations worldwide.

    2) Accolades and awards do not quarantee quality. Again, if we take your conclusion to it’s conclusion, McDonald’s food must be FAR SUPERIOR to Ruth’s Chris since they have been awarded thousands of awards and accolades in the time they have been in business. Furthermore, the restaurants I named have also been awarded numberous local, regional, state and national awards and accolades from the culinary community including Doe’s Eat Place.

    3) You are obviously speaking (more aptly, writing) from ignorance and also lacking in reading comprehension. First of all, none of Doe’s steaks are “fried” but expertly grilled over an open, wood fire by gentlemen who have been doing so for years, some for decades. I suggest you educate yourself concerning Doe’s Eat Place, its history and the numerous accolades and awards it has been given in its long history. In many “Best Steakhouses” lists by regional and national publications, Doe’s has ranked higher than Ruth’s Chris. So your off-hand dismissal and open insult is obviously based in ignorance rather than proven fact. Furthermore, if you go back and read my little missive, you will note that I specifically wrote that my DAD, who has travelled extensively while working for an international company and has eaten at steak houses all over North America, considers Doe’s to have superior steaks than Ruth’s Chris. I give Dad’s opinion more weight and validity considering he travelled North America for decades and has eaten at some of the best-known steak houses in places ranging from Kansas City, Chicago and NY to small towns like Greenville, MS & Branson, MO (long before it became an “entertainment mecca” and major tourist trap). I’ll freely admit I don’t know you from Adam’s housecat and as such you may be highly qualified as a restaurant critic or maybe a culinary expert. And then again you may just be a major blowhard. After reading your response to my rant, I’m more willing to believe the latter. Regardless, I give respect and weight to my Dad’s opinions on restaurants, based upon his experiences at some of the best restaurants around the country during his days of business trips. In contrast, you assume you know my palate better than I do, but it becomes apparent that you do not and are continuing to be writing from ignorance.

    4) Also, in regards to the lack of comprehension you exhibited, at no time did I say Ruth’s Chris Steak House, as it currently exists (more on that further on), is a bad place to dine. I did say it was one of the most overrated steakhouses and currently uses a gimmick (the overheated metal platter) as a major selling point although any experienced chef and cook will tell you that doing so doesn’t keep the steak any warmer than a properly heated ceramic or metal platter which most reputable steak places already do.

    5) Historically speaking, we (meaning my Momma, Daddy, brother and myself) lived for many years close enough to New Orleans that we took many weekend mini-vacations as well as longer summer and holiday vacations in the Crescent City. I was fortunate enough to have eaten at the main New Orleans location of Ruth’s Chris and had the pleasure to have met Ruth Fertel while we dined there back in the 1970’s. Frankly, the restaurant in the 1970’s was better than the chain currently is in my humble opinion. I’ve read similar opinions from many New Orleanians as well as culinary experts (including some who have had the pleasure of dining in the original Chris Steaks restaurant). Thanks to many visits to New Orleans, I have had the pleasure of dining in some of finest restaurants both past and present in that wonderful city. If you are ever there, I recommend you engage your palate at Commander’s Palace, Broussard’s, Arnaud’s, Antoine’s and many other excellent restaurants located in that region. BTW, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, from what I have read, is quite a wonderful dining experience and I look forward to dining there at my earliest opportunity. Also the Embers Steakhouse in New Orleans is another place for steaks of wide national and international acclaim that I look forward to trying.

    6) Finally, if you had bothered to do a litle research, both online and via hardcopy, you will find that in just about every list put together in the last, let’s say, ten years has placed many, many steakhouses above Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses in the best steakhouses in America category. And you will find this in such sources as Saveur magazine, Zagat Surveys, Gourmet magazine, Southern Living magazine, Sante magazine, Prime Time Top 10 Steakhouses, and elsewhere. So your opinion is duly noted, but your zeal is a bit overdone.

    Having had the pleasure of dining at Ruth’s Chris in New Orleans before it exploded as a major chain and now, I can honestly say that it’s not as good as it once was. This sentiment is shared with many others, including relatives, who have dined there before it was even franchised. My late Grandfather, for example, told me many years ago that he ate regularly at the original Chris Steaks and although excellent, he felt that when Ruth Fertel bought the place, she improved the restaurant greatly. After they expanded greatly in the 80’s was when many of the restaurants started to decline (in his opinion) with the exception of the main restaurant in New Orleans and the one located in Baton Rouge. Keep in mind when I refer to a “decline” here, it’s not from a level of excellence to a level of mediocrity but a level of excellence to a couple of levels of excellence below. A bit difficult to explain clearly enough.

    Mark, you have indeed touched upon a nerve here with me. I freely admit that I am not an expert in culinary techniques but you not only insult me with your snide and ignorant remarks but also hundreds of culinary experts who do know better. Furthermore, your insinuation that frying is somehow lowbrow and disqualified from oustanding cuisine is obviously not shared by the top chefs of the world nor the top restaurants either. However, I have a fairly educated palate. And if the opportunity arose, I would love to educate it further (unfortunately my income limits me considerably as an adult as opposed to when I was a youth and my parents and relatives could afford to take me to many fine dining establishments in the southern United States). I am not shy about trying new things in regards to cuisine whether from the finest restaurants or the mom-and-pop corner diner. To limit oneself would be tragic and lacking in adventure. I appreciate you visiting my blog and leaving your opinion, but it appears that you would be better served with a more diplomatic and tactful approach in sharing your opinion rather than the trollish, boorish manner in which you actually wrote.

    In short, you missed the main point of my rant in that $89 for a dinner for two in which one shares two sides and one dessert is not a “special” in my humble opinion. My secondary points were the fact that Ruth’s Chris is indeed overrated and their “seared to perfection at 1800 degrees” (I’d rather have cooked/grilled/broiled to perfection since searing really doesn’t do much better to retain the juiciness of the steak and, as I have been told by various chefs and cooking experts, can actually dry out the outer portions of the steak) and served on a sizzling 500-degree plate selling point is, again in my opinion, a gimmick. Personally, I much rather have steaks cooked over an open fire (something RC’s does not do – at least the one in Sarasota didn’t do) rather than a flat iron or flat cooking surface. Furthermore, again in my humble opinion, butter belongs on bread and baked potatoes, not steak.

    Thank you for pointing out my spelling error and if you so desire, feel free to visit my humble blog again in the future.


    You know, it’s aggravating when you write a rant and after you walk away you think of some things you should have included but didn’t. In this case two thoughts occurred to me after writing my response to Mark’s ignorant and churlish comments. Mark wrote, “Your palate is so used to fried food of “Doe’s Eat Place” you couldn’t tell outstanding cuisine if it was FREE! Stay at Doe’s.” Interesting since Doe’s GRILLS their steaks on an open fire. However something came to mind after I initially responded to Mark’s brief diatribe which shows how immense his ignorance is. He false accuses Doe’s of “frying” its steaks which is absurd and patently untrue. Granted he speaks from sheer ignorance. He implied that Ruth’s Chris steak house does not. This little detail in Mark’s snide comments escaped me temporarily but my razor-sharp mind (LOL) albeit a little slower with age clamped down on a point. First off, what constitutes “frying.” According to it is “to cook in a pan or on a griddle over direct heat, usually in fat or oil” and Webster’s online defines it as “to cook in a pan or on a griddle over heat especially with the use of fat.” Hmmm…why is that so interesting? Well, the method Ruth’s Chris uses to cook their steaks is on a flat commercial griddle using BUTTER! Hence, they are FRYING their steaks!!! Wow, Mark, you somehow missed that in your insult. Now one might argue that they are actually sauteing their steaks, however it is unarguable that sauteing is a form of FRYING!

    Oh, I enjoy this sort of irony. Mark makes a snide, boorish comment about frying but it turns out his beloved RC Steak House does exactly that. And they serve the steak with butter on top. Thanks for playing, Mark. Even though you’ve lost, you may take the home version of the game with you. And next time you leave a comment, do your homework.

    Now the second thought that occurred to me afterwards was of another great place for steaks from long ago. Back when I was a college student, there was a restaurant called “Bully III” located in Starkville, Mississippi owned and operated by a Mississippi State University alumn. They had outstanding steaks and burgers there and one of the reasons they were so good was that the alumn purchased his beef directly from MSU farms as well as most of his vegetables. The beef from those MSU farms were (and still are) some of the highest quality meat one can get. The results were extremely delicious, tender and fresh, reminding me of the stories I’ve read of the legendary steakhouses of old located next to the stockyards of old Chicago & Kansas City.

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    Congratulations Boston Celtics! June 18th, 2008

    Congratulations To The Boston Celtics -- 2008 NBA Champions

    Late Tuesday evening, the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA Championship with a stunning 131-92 blowout over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6. Being a Celtics fan it makes me happy that the Celtics are back in championship form after a 22 year dry spell but it’s even sweeter that they defeated the Lakers. Not just defeated, but demolished. Congratulations Celtics!

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