Vespa crabo and friends

Those who know would call our title subject a hornet, which along with its associate the verspula germanica or wasp; is one of the little known objects of Hurricane Irene”s wrath. And even though I am one of those who had incurred their wrath at various times ( since I suffer from  a pronounced allergic reaction to their stings) I feel a duty to come to their defense.

We in North Carolina suffered significant damage from Irene although ours was not as widespread as that in some northeastern states. Hard to tell that to the residents of Hatteras though. One species that was significantly affected was those of the stinging variety. The combination of wind and water wreaked havoc on their nests and in the words of  the N C Division of Public Health may have caused them to be very aggressive as  a result. That’s a real no brainer, huh?

Come on, if your nest  was waterlogged and then blown several hundred  feet from its preferred location, you might be in a bad mood also. So, for a while give these guys  a wide berth and please, if at all possible, avoid using the Raid.


September 4, 2011 Posted by | Weather | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Culinary Overkill

Living in a small community will be  definition limit one’s choices  for dining out. No brainer concept there. Generally speaking, I am okay with that since if I get really desperate I can drive to Virginia Beach or Chesapeake or to the Outer Banks. It shows how ” not desperate” I am that I rarely do this except on special occasions. But last week, while in Atlanta to see the new granbaby, I got a chance to see how the other half lives.

It would have been almost enough just to able to walk to Dunkin Donuts any morning I chose to indulge my munchkin cravin’. But no,  there was much more. We were able to enjoy food at four quite distinctive restaurants. Two were franchises, albeit small ones, while the other two are indigenous to Atlanta. By the way, I heartily endorse all four.

My favorite  would have to be Ted’s Montana Grill, home of the bison burger and founded by  the one and only Ted Turner. Probably the most amazing burger ever. But there was also a very good pizza place  known as Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, local only at this time. Reminded me of a Subway the way one could pick ingredients of one’s choosing. Then there was Firehouse Subs, actually founded by firemen; also quite good. Finally there was another local place named The Flying Biscuit, my favorite name by far. As the name implies the biscuits are out of sight good, although not sure if they can actually fly. The other menu item that stood out for me especially ( being Southern by birth) were their tasty and creamy grits. I  would have been very happy dining on biscuits and grits.

The  service was excellent as was the food and they were all kinda fun places in which to dine. Wouldn’t make much of  a food critic, would I? Compliments to the chiefs, et al.

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Culture, Food | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you have the money, here is the house

I took a few economics course way back in my college years  and  I read economic news  somewhat regularly. From most of what one reads and hears these days the American economy is still struggling. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, 10.8% here  in North Carolina, and even higher elsewhere. The President continues to say that things are improving from month to month. although the improvement is difficult to see.

But, every now an again, a bright spot appears on the horizon and gives us hope that better days are coming. This harbinger of good times is actually east of the Currituck County town of the same name, being located in the town of Corolla. Its name is Wild Horse, although other names might be more appropriate, like Biltmore or Versailles, well maybe not that grandiose. You see, Wild Horse is  a house but not just any house. Calling it  a vacation rental is  sort of like calling a Rolls just  a means of transportation.

Wild Horse is  a recently completed rental in the Swan Island Lakes subdivision and holds the title of the largest hom eon the Outer Banks, clocking in at a mere 13,461 square feet. It has 23 bedrooms and about as many baths with all of the amenities one coud imagine and probably more than this  union worker coud imagine.

Now all of that is only mildly interesting, I suppose. What  intrigues me was the fact that the house has just become for rental and is booked for 21 of a possible 31 weeks beginning May 23 and extending through the end of the year. Weekly prices range from $24,500 during peak season to  a piddling  $4650 during the offseason. Perhaps we should only whisper but maybe there are signs of economic life yet.

Ready for a vacation anyone?

May 22, 2010 Posted by | economy | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coastal Visitors

Living close to the Outer Banks, we are somewhat familiar with tourist season. Lots of folks go through Elizabeth City on their way to and from the beaches. On occasion, I actually will make a brief pilgrimage to the land of surf. It is kinda neat to see the varied places from which people come  to vacation  in our area.

However, it seems of late that we are having a return of some visitors who used to come in days gone by. Lo, and behold, they have returned unannounced to our coastal waters. Yes, we are talking about  your friendly neighborhood Russian submarines. Been quite a  while  but they’re baaaccck!! Bear in mind that this comes shortly after Russian ships went through the Panama Canal for the first time.

Relation between the US and Russia are in a chilly state as it is and one  must wonder what these nuclear powered attack subs are doing. They have yet to enter into  our territorial waters but they have to know that we know and are watching their  movements. So says  our Northern Command through spokesman Michael Kucharek.

To me it reflects the persona of one Vladimir Putin and perhaps signals an intent to resume a bigger role on the world stage. That is when he isn’t diving into the world’s deepest lake in a submersible.

Gotta love this quote  by the Northern Command and the  North American Aerospace Defense Command. “We have been monitoring them during transit and recognize the right of all nations to exercise freedom of navigation in international waters  according to international law”. We know how the Russians have always loved international law. Oh, by the way, they conveniently forgot to tell us about this exercise in advance. Sneaky rascals are they not?

So at  least, we don’t have to search for Red October-yet.

From Russia with ?
From Russia with ?

But the Pentagon says not to worry.

August 8, 2009 Posted by | International politics, military | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Recession- What Recession?

Happy Valentine’s Day, one and all.

Since today is the day of choice to do something special for the one you hold dearest, my wife and I after much angst decided we would go out to supper. I know, big deal. but it would a special treat for both of us since we each had a bit of a trying day. We were at the beach(Outer Banks area) and ventured forth at about 7: 00 pm with intentions of going to Outback. Fingers crossed for crowds, of course. But it’s a recession, right, how many people could be there? Answer- quite a few, a plethora of humanity, if you will. Now, I am not one who waits in line gracefully, so went to Plan B.

Plan B was a local restaurant, named The Black Pelican, at which we had previously eaten. Upon entering,we were told the wait was about  an hour and fifteen minutes. Aargh!! This time  we bit the bullet and stayed for a pleasant evening.

But, amazing; two places with huge crowds. As a side note, virtually every restaurant we passed by was full or fuller. How can this be? Did we see the stimulus at work already and did we actually participate in stimulating a small portion of the economy? You know, I actually did feel patriotic while eating or maybe it was the cheesecake- who cares.

So go out there and stimulate that  economy folks, do your part, however small it may be.Your country will thank you.

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Culture | , , , , | 3 Comments