The World According to Carl

 
 
 
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    Mercedes Benz’s New Luxury Vehicle: The MZ-3000 Illusion July 31st, 2008

    On sale starting in early November, 2008. Get ’em while you can.

    Linkfest Haven

    Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, third world county, Allie is Wired, Maggie’s Notebook, Adam’s Blog, Right Truth, Rosemary’s News & Views, The Pink Flamingo, Cao’s Blog, Democrat=Socialist, and A Newt One. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Uncle Jay Explains The News — July 28, 2008 July 28th, 2008

    Uncle Jay’s News Word for this week is “enhance.”

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    My Wife’s Birthday Celebration At Rodizio’s July 27th, 2008

    Nancy & Carl At Rodizio's For Nancy's Birthday
    Nancy & Carl At Rodizio’s

    As I mentioned in the Open Trackback Friday (July 25, 2008) post, Saturday was my wife’s birthday. She got to pick the place for her birthday dinner so she chose a South American steakhouse named Rodizio’s. As their website states:

    Rodizio’s South American Steakhouse is influenced by the cooking style of the Brazilian Churrascaria. Churrasco is the name for Brazilian “barbecue”.

    At Rodizio’s our Gauchos come to your table with knives and skewers laden with various kinds of meats to serve you.

    It’s definitely a meat-eater’s dream come true. Several types of steaks, pork, chicken and seafood. I particularly enjoyed the bacon-wrapped scallops. Nancy, who normally does not like scallops, loved Rodizio’s. They were cooked to absolute perfection! I really liked their andouille sausage. Now I don’t know if they make their own andouille or they get it from an outside source, but it was delicious. Good andouille sausage is hard to come by around here. I was spoiled over it since I grew up near Louisiana and got a lot of great homemade andouille. I have found a second place locally for great andouille. Rodizio’s also served us a succulent honey glazed pork that was outstanding! Moist and tender with a glaze that accentuated the pork rather than overwhelm it. Their shrimp was fresh (I betcha those shrimp were probably swimming somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico earlier that same day) and cooked just as perfectly as the scallops. Shrimp is Nancy’s favorite seafood. They also served a bacon wrapped steak filet that just melted in your mouth. But the pièce de résistance was their churrasco which was so tender the gaucho almost didn’t need a knife to slice it from the skewer. And not only was it grilled to perfection (there’s that word again), it was gently seasoned to accentuate the overall flavor of the meat. In short…freakin’ delicious!

    Admittedly I am not a trained food critic but I know what I like. And frankly, after living in Tallahassee for over 20 years this, by far, was the most enjoyable dining out experience I have had. Actually I’ll go further than that…in my 45 years of living, our evening at Rodizio’s was the most enjoyable time I have ever had. Period. The combination of Nancy’s exhuberant mood, the celebration of her birthday and the excellent food and service at Rodizio’s made for a wonderful, wonderful evening for both of us. Thank you Rodizio’s!

    Rodizio's In Tallahassee, Florida

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    AQUABATS! SUPERSHOW! July 26th, 2008

    Courtesy of Boing Boing comes the video of the pilot for the Aquabats live-action/animated TV show. I’ve been a fan of this California band for quite some time now and have even mentioned them on this blog before. They are usually labeled as a ska band (or variants thereof) but they cover a wide variety of genres. It’s hard to describe their stage show (I’ve only seen it via DVD) but it’s sort of a combination of ska meets rock meets sci-fi meets superhero meets comic-books-come-to-life sort of thing. According to their website they plan on having Florida dates on their year-end Hooray For The Holidays tour. Hopefully they’ll play a date locally.

    The Aquabats
    The Aquabats

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    Memories Of Weidmann’s Restaurant In Meridian, Mississippi July 25th, 2008

    Weidmann's Restaurant Postcard circa late 1950's
    Weidmann’s Restaurant Postcard Circa 1950’s

    I originally posted this almost two years ago but only recently did a nice person by the name of Joyce Nance supply some very welcomed detailed information concerning the Weidmann’s Restaurant peanut butter crocks. I’ve included her information verbatim at the bottom of the post.

    At 210 22nd Avenue in Meridian, Mississippi stands Weidmann’s Restaurant which has almost constantly been in operation since 1870. I say almost because in 2001 a group of 58 local investors bought the restaurant which had fallen upon hard times and “reinvented” it to become more upscale. The new owners closed the restaurant after serving lunch on October 4, 2001 and began the renovation process. All the old and charming accoutrements including historical and often-autographed photographs of celebrities who dined at Weidmann’s, the classic peanut-butter crocks (more on those later on in this article), carved wooden chairs, taxidermy animals on the walls and just about everything else were sold at auction. When the restaurant re-opened on New Year’s Eve of 2002 (under Good Eats, Inc, owned by Nick Apostle of Jackson and four months behind schedule), it had been transformed into an upscale restaurant on the ground floor with a fancy bistro upstairs. Locals never warmed up to the change. In fact, the outcry against this massive and radical remodeling of the beloved restaurant was overwhelming. And as the saying goes, “they stayed away in droves.” The restaurant suffered and continued to lose money when in late September of 2004, owner Nick Apostle announced that the restaurant would once again close its doors. However local businessman Fred Wile stepped forward and after twelve hours of intense negotiations with Apostle and Executive Chef Willie McGehee, Wile became the new owner. The restaurant reopened under the new corporate name LLC, Fine Dining, owned by Fred Wile and his wife Sissie. The group of investors, Weidmann’s Square, would continue to lease the building for the restaurant’s use. McGhee remained onboard as Executive Chef, however changes were made to address the failure to court those who were loyal to the old Weidmann’s restaurant along with those who perceived the renovated restaurant as high-priced and too formal. Even though all the old materials from the old Weidmann’s were long gone, efforts were made to bring back certain elements to bring back memories of that former version of the restaurant. For example, new peanut butter crocks were created in the same style as the originals and placed on each table although without peanut butter in them (due to health department restrictions) and old photographs reminiscent of the old days of Weidmann’s were hung on the walls throughout the restaurant. Apparently this approach of mixing the past into the present along with bringing back the more relaxed atmosphere seems to be working because the restaurant is still running as of this day.

    Weidmann's Restaurant circa 2004
    Weidmann’s Restaurant 2004

    When my Dad and his brother were growing up in Shubuta, Mississippi (a very small town 38 miles south of Meridian), my Grandparents would take them occassionally to Weidmann’s. This continued when my brother and I were growing up in Mississippi. While we lived in Cleveland, Mississippi we would go to Shubuta for some Christmas holidays and my Grandparents would take us to Weidmann’s. When we moved to south Mississippi (Waynesboro), my parents took us to Weidmann’s as well.

    Weidmann's Restaurant circa 1979
    Weidmann's Restaurant circa 1979
    Weidmann’s Restaurant Circa 1979

    I have many memories of Weidmann’s Restaurant. When my Dad was a kid, there was a gentleman who was considered the “family waiter.” He always made it a pleasant experience for them. This gentleman stayed with the restaurant as a career and was “our waiter” even when I was a kid. He really took care of us and made my brother and me feel very welcome. Also, if my brother and I ate all the food on our plate and behaved as “little gentlemen,” we were allowed to pick a prize from the treasure chest. This was a tradition that existed when my Dad was a kid and most likely started even before then. Needless to say, my brother and I were usually on our best behavior so we could get at that treasure chest.

    Weidmann's Steamboat Pilot's Wheel Light Fixture
    Weidmann’s Steamboat Pilot’s Wheel Light Fixture

    Upon doing the online research for some of the facts presented in this article I came across this interesting item. An antique steamboat pilot’s wheel that was used as a main light fixture inside Weidmann’s and was subsequently auctioned off in 2001 eventually was restored and now resides in a townhouse in Los Angeles County, California.

    When I started college in 1981, I drove through Meridian on my way to Starkville on many instances I stopped to eat at Weidmann’s. Now that I live in Florida I haven’t been to Weidmann’s in years and frankly with all the changes, I’m not sure if I want to. It probably would be a bittersweet event for me if I did. Perhaps I will one day if I’m in the neighborhood.

    An interesting story of the origins of Meridian and Weidmann’s comes via a pamphlet written and produced several decades ago by Mary Dorothy Weidmann. I have it available in a fairly large format now online (Pamphlet coverpart onepart twopart threepart fourrecipe & back covercloseup of three generations of Weidmann’s).

    Weidmann's Restaurant Peanut Butter Crock
    Weidmann’s Restaurant Peanut Butter Crock

    Another item that made Weidmann’s unique were the peanut butter crocks that were placed on each and every dining table. Each crock would contain peanut butter made in the Weidmann’s kitchen (I assume) and would have a basket of crackers next to it. It was nice to have onhand on which to snack while waiting for the meal to arrive at your table. However for kids, it was so tempting to eat too much of the peanut butter and spoil dinner. The crocks were made by local and regional potters and if you really wanted one to take home, they had them available at the front for a few dollars (I seem to remember $5 as a price when I was a teen). Sometimes a crock was knocked off a table and broken and many were sold to customers over the years so replacements were often created. I obtained a couple for sentimental reasons several years ago via ebay. They tend to come up sometimes (not as often as they used to). And although they are sometimes labeled as “rare” they really shouldn’t sell for more than twenty to thirty dollars if they are in excellent condition with no chips or cracks and have the original lid. I’ve witnessed some sell for as low as $9 and as high as $75. Since they are all handmade by various unknown potters over many decades in the Meridian region [CORRECTED INFORMATION ON THIS BELOW], each one is unique and no two are exactly alike. Each one should be hand-inscribed with “Weidmann’s Peanut Butter Since – 1870 Meridian, Miss.” in cursive script. This also makes each crock unique and never exactly the same. As far as I know, the crocks won’t have any artist’s mark on the bottom. However since the crocks were made over a period of decades, some may be marked. The ones I own and others that I have seen have no artist’s mark. The history of these crocks and specific details of where they were made are unknown as far as I know [UPDATED INFORMATION ON THIS BELOW]. Also, I know of no specific way of dating these crocks nor do I know when the tradition started but I do know it was in existence all the way to the restaurant’s initial closing in 2001 and was resurrected (although without the peanut butter) in 2004.

    Shorty McWilliams
    Shorty McWilliams

    Back in the 1970’s when I was a kid, I was introduced to one of the co-owners of Weidmann’s, Thomas E. “Shorty” McWilliams. He was a star tailback in 1944 at Mississippi State University and earned second team All-American and first team All-Southeastern Conference honors. After the outbreak of World War II McWilliams played for the 1945 undefeated Army team in the backfield with Heisman winners Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis. He had a brief pro career with Los Angeles and Pittsburgh that was cut short by a knee injury. In 1962, he was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. I don’t remember much about the initial meeting except that my Grandfather, also an MSU alum, introduced me to him. I was a shy kid so I imagine I was very nervous.

    Weidmann’s is a restaurant that holds a fond place in my heart. I have great memories of Momma and Daddy taking my brother and me to eat there. And as far as I can recall, every experience there was quite pleasant. Even though the Weidmann’s of old is long gone, there are many folks like me who remember how it used to be.

    Updated information on the Weidmann’s peanut butter crocks courtesy of Joyce Nance:

    The maker of the Weidmann peanut butter crocks was Stewart Pottery in Louisville, MS. Originally Tom Stewart made them and his wife, Grace, wrote the words. Later his nepew Bill made them with his mother doing the writing. Stewart Pottery is still in operation. Frank Stewart is the potter. He has made some peanut butter crocks also. His are new and are marked with his name. I believe this to be the only pottery that made crocks for the Weidmann’s. I recently purchased a crock from ebay, though without the top. Frank Stewart verified that it was made by his uncle, Tom Stewart.

    Thank you, Joyce, for this information. I greatly appreciate it.

    Linkfest Haven

    As Good Of A Description Of Liberal Extremist Insanity July 25th, 2008

    Liberals

    I was thinking today (I know…you uber-libs are shocked…a conservative actually thinking…get over it) and remembered two quotes that when taken together aptly describes the thought processes of liberal extremist politicians and liberal extremists in general.

    Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

    The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.” — Rita Mae Brown, Sudden Death, Bantam Books, New York, 1983, p. 68

    Liberals, as I have concluded, hold to failed policies and programs of the past and wish to increase those failed policies in an insane hope the results will be different.

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    Kennedy vs. Obama — Germany July 24th, 2008

    Kennedy vs Obama

    “Ich bin ein Berliner” — Kennedy
    “Ich bin ein Beginner” — Obama

    Barack Obama -- Fluffmeister

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    More Examples Of The [Un]Lovable Looney Left July 22nd, 2008

    Just more evidence that the radical left are loony, irrational and full of psychotic hatred against the United States, its military and conservatism.

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    Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, third world county, DragonLady’s World, Shadowscope, DragonLady’s World, Rosemary’s News& Views, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Dumb Ox Daily News, Democrat=Socialist, A Newt One, Conservative Cat, and Right Voices. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Godly Wisdom — July 21, 2008 July 21st, 2008

    Godly Wisdom
    Graphic by ChristArt.com

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    Watchmen: The Movie July 18th, 2008

    I, as well as countless fans, have been waiting for this movie for a long, long time. In fact, ever since I first read, and re-read, and re-re-read (in order to fully grasp the plots and subplots as well as the subtle nuances, multiple readings are necessary) the graphic novel, The Watchmen, back in the late 80’s, I wondered if a movie even could be made that would do it justice. Creator Alan Moore never thought so and claims he won’t see any movie made from his creation. Over twenty years late, the movie has been made and is scheduled for release in the spring of 2009. I will be there.

    Main characters from The Watchmen graphic novel
    The Watchmen
    The Watchmen

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    More Hypocrisy From Al “Mr. Fake Environmentalist” Gore July 17th, 2008

    And since I’m on a pointing-out-hypocrisy-by-holier-than-thou public figures, here’s a video demonstrating the latest hypocrisy from Al Gore.

    Why is Gore actually on this global warming crusade? Ego. Plus the fact that he has large investments in companies who would greatly benefit financially if global warming fanatical legislation passes. Follow the money trail and the real reason comes out. Gore just wants to get richer. Al Gore cares most about…Al Gore. However Al Gore is full of…bovine fecal matter. Interesting that Gore is unwilling and most likely unable to debate with experts who have shown that global warming is a) cyclical & a natural occurance that humans cannot alter and b) a naturally occuring phenomenon that humans did not cause nor can “cure.” Gore is still full of…bovine fecal matter. But those experts are called “deniers” and dismissed out of hand by Gore and his devotees. Gore claims that the time for debate is over however scientific method, which Gore claims to utilize, never stops with debate, discussion and close examinations. And Gore is still full of…bovine fecal matter.

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    The Latest Jesse Jackson Hypocrisy July 16th, 2008

    Jesse Jackson -- Shakedown Artists

    Check out the latest bit of blatant and gross hypocrisy perpetrated by shake-down artist and perpetuator-of-racism-for-his-personal-benefit, Jesse Jackson. Expect another free pass from the corporate mass media and uber-libs.

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    Time For Some Campaignin’ July 16th, 2008

    Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

    Well whaddya know…someone’s managed to actually make humor bipartisan.

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    Godly Wisdom — July 16, 2008 July 16th, 2008

    Godly Wisdom
    Graphic by ChristArt.com

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    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog July 16th, 2008

    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

    What exactly is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog? It’s superheroes vs. supervillians…well a supervillian-in-training: Dr. Horrible (played by Neil Patrick Harris). It’s also a musical. What?!? And to top it all off…it’s completely silly a la Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Just go take a looksie.

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    Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, Allie is Wired, third world county, Faultline USA, Right Truth, Shadowscope, The Pink Flamingo, MacBros’ Reviews, Leaning Straight Up, Democrat=Socialist, Dumb Ox Daily News, Conservative Cat, Right Voices, and Gone Hollywood. Also, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.