Light Rail will make things worse in Charlotte

Charlotte, NC is a wonderful little city with a bit of charm. I grew up in Savannah so you are going to have to work hard to have “charm” as a city. But “charm” does not always help a city with deep problems.

The traffic for a city this size, just over 1 million people, is horrible and not going to get much better. I-85 South is a parking lot every morning and I-85 North is the same way in the afternoon. There was an accident in the middle of I-85 a few days back that created a 13 mile backup in just 20 minutes. That is unacceptable and it happens everyday in Charlotte.

The new toll road on I-77 North is a locked in deal for the next 50 years. No new roads can be built after that toll road so you had better get it right the first time….and they wont. I-77 North out of SC is a mess as they try to merge 7 lanes down to 3 and then wonder why it’s congested all freaking day every day, even on Sundays. Don’t even get me started on I-485 and the fact that the narrowest parts of it are in the most populated areas while the widest parts are in areas where no one lives and is very little traffic.

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Visiting Japan – Things you might want to know

There are so many things I learned in Japan this summer while on Vacation (and while I lived there from 1993 – 1996). I will share those with you.

Japan can really be (and in my opinion is) one of the most fabulous places on earth to visit. I was able to spend 3 years in Japan in the 90’s (while in the Navy) and 14 days this past summer (2014). I would go back right now if asked. I have always considered moving back there to live. Japan is just one of those places that always felt like home to me.

I would encourage you to visit Japan and take it all in. While Europe seems like a nice place there is nothing over that way that tugs at my heart like Japan does.

Of course I am open to anything you want to know and will be happy to answer any questions.

Take time and read what I have and enjoy Japan! – David

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Chatham Artillery Punch

A little History first:

The Chatham Artillery was a local militia that was formed in 1786.  Militia members participated in the Oconee Wars between 1789 and 1793, and George Washington wanted to thank them for that service.  He came to Savannah in May of 1791, and during his visit, presented the Chatham Artillery with 2 cannons, one that was captured at Yorktown during the Revolutionary War, and one that was presented as a gift to the young country by France.

The Chatham Artillery held a ball in his honor, and what’s a ball without punch?  So they made a special punch to celebrate George’s visit.

That said it was also noted in Savannah that when Sherman was on his march to the sea and burning everything in it’s path he arrived in Savannah around Christmas and the local Artillery supplied his men with their punch. They enjoyed it so much he spared the city and offered Savannah as a give to Lincoln as a Christmas Present instead of burning it to the ground like everything he touched in the last 500 miles. So you could say this punch saved the city….that is some damn good punch!

Back to the punch:

I was looking online for the receipt for Chatham Artillery Punch  and found there is a lot of misinformation out there with none of them getting it right. The first thing about this punch is you have to be from Savannah to appreciate the amount of love that goes into it.

There were a few parties I can recall where this was the staple beverage. The punch showed up in 25 gallon coolers, yes coolers, meaning more than one. Before the night was over the coolers were empty and people were sprawled out all over Savannah’s squares like a giant party bomb had gone off.

The Punch, like most of Savannah, it’s a complicated and delicious thing. Making the punch takes time, love, and a level of insanity that only a native of Savannah could posses.

So I took the last 40 years of handed down knowledge and consulted a few “punch gurus” to give you this, enjoy y’all!

Chatham Artillery Punch – For 100 People (Or Ten Admirals)

1 ½ gal. Catawba Wine
½ gal. Rum (probably Jamaican)
1 qt. Gin
1 qt. Brandy
½ pt. Benedictine
2 qt. Maraschino Cherries
1 ½ qt. Rye Whiskey
1 ½ gal. Strong Tea (black)
2 ½ lbs. brown sugar
1 ½ qts. Orange juice
1 ½ qts. Lemon Juice
4 Bottles of Champagne (more if needed)

Mix from thirty-six to forty-eight hours before serving. If I have a party on Saturday I tend to start the mix Tuesday night. I know it’s more than 48 hours but that has always been my game plan and it’s not failed me yet. Letting the flavors mix is key to the great taste.

First, juice the oranges and lemons into, you guessed it, juice. Use your hands, a manual juicer, or use mechanical juicer but either way you need  to juice them. Don’t be a cheap SOB and get store crap. No decent punch maker would cut corners. Using fresh fruit is advised and will give you the best taste.

Take the skin of the fruit and muddle it with brown sugar and let sit for 1 – 2 hours. Things down south move slow and making this punch is no different.

After they sit  for a spell muddle them again for good measure.

Add the muddled mix to the juice and stir in to allow the muddle to mix with the juice. Let  the juice and the muddle sit for 15 minutes, then remove the orange and lemon peels from the punch mixture. You want the taste of the muddle but not making it too strong. Strain if needed, but really you don’t need to. Leave that pulp in there it’s damn tasty. Makes you think it’s healthy and something you might want for breakfast. Gives the punch texture and lets your guest know you did it by hand.

Brew the tea and add the rest of the brown sugar to the tea to make it sweat as a southern belle. Combine the juice and the tea….stir slowly because stirring fast would make a mess.

Now add the Rum, Gin, Brandy, Benedictine (Go BC), Catawba Win and Rye Whiskey to the juice and tea mixture. Basically everything but the ice and champagne. Now measure out the cherries and add to the punch mixture.

Let this stand until you are ready to serve (48 – 24 hours). The mixture is the base of your punch. Let all the things you just put in the punch get to know each other. They need to mingle and get well acquainted before you serve them. Now the flavors will combine and start to form the part of the punch that will kicks your ass with deliciousness.

You don’t have to refrigerate this stuff as there is enough alcohol in here to preserve a few bodies and frankly nothing is going to spoil. Just let it sit at room temp for a few days. Ignore it and tasting it is only to be done by the preparer.

Before serving add two or three hand fulls of ice to each 5 gallon serving. Just want to start to cool it off but not water it down. A small block of ice will do as well.

As the party guest start to arrive show them you have some Savannah class and pop those bottle of champagne then add them to the punch. Serve and enjoy the atmosphere!

Any Savannahian will tell you this punch is best served from a red solo cup as it magnifies the taste and completes the ensemble. Other colored cups should be used for beer and water. Red Only!

This will knock you on your ass and it’s so tasty!

Online Dating 99 – Refersher Course

So recently I had the opportunity ,due to the previous two posts about online dating, to review a profile and of course it broke many of my rules we have already talked about. So I will  go over the highlights again for all the slow people on the back of the bus. Let me first tell you that online dating is filled with pitfalls. There are all kinds of people out there who are single for a damn good reason y’all. Some of them are decent hard working people who are just not good at dating or have a tight group of people with no one to date and others are f’ing bat shit crazy and are truly single for every reason you can think of. They come in male and female so don’t think I am picking on the ladies. Guys are a hot messes as well. I think that might be a good next post is to break down the types of single people ….anyway. Here is refresher course in case the short bus dropped you off and you are now lost again in online datingville….!

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Work Email and Private Email

I don’t talk much about email yet it’s something I deal with everyday. It’s something I know very well and yet it’s the most abused, most wrongly used and most boring way to communicated in the world…next to sending a fax. For all of you reading this Email as we know it is dead and most likely you are using it wrong anyway. Not to say there is no place for email, there is, but let’s be honest the generation that is entering the work force today does not use email much and communicate without using email and without using the phone. That said we need some rules.

We are all users of email. Both at work and at home. Still not saying it’s right to use it but you are using it and stop lying to yourself…you are doing something that is not acceptable on it.

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Online Dating – Case Closed

Back a while ago I posted about the really bad behavior on dating sites. I can honestly tell you those two posts got a fair amount of attention and some interesting mail. Some people thought it was funny, and there were a few who thought I was directing the posts at them. In reality they were a compilation of some hit and miss posts of my own and the absolute train wreck that is online dating.

In case you missed them here is 101 & 102

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Belly Fat Cure – It will kill you!

The Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruise is what we are going to talk about. Jorge has build himself a multi-million dollar book deal telling people that he can cure your belly fat. This sounds great, but in reality it’s a load of poo! The books are well done and about $20 each. There are just a few problems. While I think Jorge means well (really I don’t) I don’t think he is telling the truth about everything, and I don’t think he is really in a position to be handing out eating advise since half of what he says does not make logical sense. I also wonder how much of this diet he actually does? He post pictures of meals he is eating and most of them are whole foods, not the processed crap he is encouraging you to eat.
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Personal Marketing 102 (Online Dating)

So you have read Personal Marketing 101 and now you are going to read 102. Super! We are going to dig deeper into the issues wrapped around online dating and why it is an absolute mess that clearly no one on these sites is aware of. I was thinking of starting a business to help people build a profile but I think those already exist. Plus you should never pay for advice from someone who clearly is this cynical. Sadly for comical purposes I purposefully have broken some of the rules. I just wanted to fit in.

The topics for today will include: Religion, Duck Face, Old Photos, Smokers and Party Girls

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Personal Marketing 101 (Online Dating)

I never thought I would have the knowledge to write anything like this, but here I am writing about one of the most annoying parts about being single. Let me be clear I could care less about the dating part, it’s easy to find people to go out with without using a dating site, but frankly dating sites are just one “hot mess” after another and I can’t stop reading them. It is better than the tabloids or the gossip section in a paper. I don’t know how to explain the idiots that post the most interesting stuff on dating sites, but you have to look for it. Facebook has nothing on dating sites.

Dating sites are full of crazy people who have no idea what makes a good online profile. Some profiles are short and some ramble on for days with no freaking end in sight. Dating is now a full blow “Marketing Effort” and most people are failing at it.  What I am going to try to do is help these poor lost souls with what not to do and if I can maybe post what to do.

Here are some of my observations.

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