Two Out Of Three

I’m back… (and as of this morning I have too much to put into one day, so guess what, there will be a blog again tomorrow.)

Yesterday’s Daily Challenge
Learn about a local issue.

Learning about the community where you live helps build deeper connections with the people around you. Together, well-informed citizens can find solutions to problems and create a stronger community. You may even be moved to become involved in a local issue! You can help change the world by starting with where you live.

This was a challenged that just didn’t resonate with me.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Good
Before heading out of town last week I tried to get all of the renewals for Sharpened Stone completed. With some difficulty I renewed my City of Atlanta business tax. It was fairly easy to renew my State of Georgia business license. Unfortunately I encountered difficulty trying to renew my Apple Developer membership. So, I’m still not done with the process of renewing the information for a company I plan to shutter later this year. Manic.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
My weekend in Asheville (described below) was a good time. I didn’t do all of the things I wanted to do (like buy a case of beer that I can’t get locally) but I did get to do a thing or two initially not on the agenda.

I left Asheville early yesterday morning because it was raining and I didn’t think that it would clear up before I’d want to head back to Atlanta. My initial plan as to head to Nantahala Brewing but since I headed out so early I decided to come straight home instead rather than take a rainy drive through the mountains and await the opening of the brewery. Besides, I consumed an ample amount of beer over the weekend so seeking out more was not high on my to-do list

Worlds Colliding!
After a traffic snarl on Friday I wound up in (West) Asheville in time for a late lunch. Because I had all-but skipped breakfast I was really hungry and was driving around looking for a nondescript Chinese buffet. Instead I went “local” and stopped in at a place called Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack. The term “hot chicken” has always intrigued me since first hearing about Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville, TN so I decided to give Rocky’s a shot.

I stopped in and ordered a lunch of (really spicy) chicken wings, and a Pisgah Pale Ale. While waiting for my food I did what I used to do when I first moved to Atlanta — get the local “scene” paper, the Mountain Xpress in this case, and see what’s happening in the area. I quickly leafed to the music section and noticed that Chatham County Line was playing at Pisgah Brewing in nearby Black Mountain, NC that night. (You may recognize the town of Black Mountain because I’ve returned there for LEAF for the last three years winters, and will be doing so again for my first Spring LEAF in May.) And this is how my worlds collided….

  1. I found about Chatham County Line (whose bassist is a Raleigh neighbor of ITP-Readers Lisa and Randy), LEAF, and Black Mountain from Lisa and Randy.
  2. A few weeks ago I found out that Pisgah Brewing is co-owned by my boss’ cousin.


Surprisingly I managed to muster up the courage to say “Hello” to Jason (the brewery owner) and Greg (the bassist). I was somewhat embarrassed when I introduced myself to Greg as “Paul, friend of Lisa and Randy who are your chicken shitters this weekend.” as I meant to use the term “chicken sitter” instead.

I am happy to announce that I was neither disappointed by the beer nor the music that night.

I nearly got lost driving back to Asheville because I quickly realized that I’d never driven in Black Mountain at night. I had not bothered to hook up the GPS because it was “two turns back to I-40” and I falsely thought that I could manage this without technology.

ITP Flickr Pic
See, I told you that Chatham County Line played Pisgah Brewing on Friday night.

Asheville Brewing Company: An Exercise In Bad Business Practice
On Saturday morning I decided that I was not going to go out for pancakes (my hotel was tantalizingly close to an IHOP) and instead hold out for lunch. At nearly 11:00am I made my way from my West Asheville hotel into downtown Asheville. Using my iPhone I navigated my way to Asheville Brewing Company. I have been meaning to trying the food and beer at Asheville Brewing Company but when I arrived I saw that I was too early. I assumed that they opened at 11:30am. It being a beautiful day I decided to walk around for a while before eating lunch. Though tempting I even managed to eschew the lure of a nearby parking lot containing a handful of food trucks.

After walking around for a little more than thirty minutes I made my way back to Asheville Brewing Company only to find out that they open at noon on Saturday. Hungry, but determined to eat and drink there I shrugged my shoulders, grabbed my iPad (1) from the Jackmobile and wandered to the far side of their ample shaded patio to sit and read until they opened for business.

Before I had the opportunity of sitting down a guy opened the door and informed me that the business didn’t open until noon. “I know, do you mind if I sit over here?” He paused, and the in a reticent way declined with something which sounded like he didn’t want me sitting there because it would “draw people in.”

One man, reading an iPad, for twenty-five minutes will draw people in?

Incredulously I said something to the tune of “Okay, suit yourself.” and promptly get into the Jackmobile and drove away. I doubt that I will ever return to the Asheville Brewing Company.

Before you write me off for being “Grandpa Paulie” let me tell you that Asheville Brewing Company is not really in the walking path of most of the people who visit downtown Asheville. And in the rare case that I did happen to lure people onto their patio, wouldn’t that be a good thing?

Oh well, his business (or his right to deny my ability to sit on the property while closed), my right to visit businesses who treat their customers (and potential customers) well.

Ticked off, I drove around Asheville looking for parking. When I finally found a parking space I fell back onto my default Asheville eatery, Barley’s Taproom — where I had a $3.75 pint of non-Asheville-Brewing-Company beer and a wonderful calzone.

Better Luck At Night
I returned to downtown Asheville on Saturday night and decided to fork over the $5 for parking given that it was St Patrick’s Day (which to my surprise wasn’t as big of a deal as I expected it to be). After walking around a bit I wound up at Early Girl Eatery for dinner. I had a fantastic meatloaf with beets and sweet potatoes, and washed it down with a Highland Brewing Company’s St. Therese’s Pale Ale.

I walked around a little more before grabbing a cup of coffee from the Double D(ecker) coffee bus and heading into The Orange Peel. I’d heard about The Orange Peel for years, but never have had the opportunity to see a show there. The venue is amazing. The Orange Peel is like the 40 Watt Club on steroids, and with fantastic wooden floors. Smoke free, awesome acoustics, a huge fan which circulated air around the open cavity, and a friendly set of people working the venue. The crowd at the night’s show was older than I had expected (I know, pot calling kettle black). I had a blast listening to both Hey Rosetta and Gomez; each band put on an entertaining set. After Hey Rosetta!’s set I briefly spoke with their lead singer and was happy to hear that they will be opening the Atlanta show next month as well. I’ve already purchased my ticket.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – bummed (many reasons)
Current Music – listening to a recent SxSW music update from NPR
Website Of The Day – I had dreams of a writer’s retreat this weekend. If I could swing it I’d love to build a tiny getaway house like one of these Compact Cottages somewhere in the mountains.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Morning Weigh-In – weigh in again on Wednesday, not looking good

Foot Mileage – ~28.3 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 0 flights

Days Of Bed-Making – 17 (not including hotel days)

Vegetarian Days – 1
Carnivorous Days – 17
Pancakes Eaten – 0

Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

Books I’ve Read/Heard In 2012

  1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me — Mindy Kahling

March Goals
– Lose at least three pounds (net weight loss)
– Exercise for thirty minutes no fewer than twenty days
– Not to get sick for the entire month (may be a moot point as of today)
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than ten days
– Not get fired from my job, nor quit my job
– Follow up with doctors, lawyer, women in whom I have interest
– Go out on a least one date with a woman in whom I have interest
– Submit 2012 paperwork for Sharpened Stone, LLC
– File tax paperwork for 2011 income taxes
– Watch all of the classes in the 2011 Winter semester of Stanford’s CS193P (iOS Development) course

2012 Goals [will be a little less fluid than last year]
– Get my weight under 200 pounds, or at least whittle myself back down to where wearing a 36″ pant size is comfortable
– Completely read ten books, audio books permissible
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
– Run in no fewer than one one 10K
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store
– Restore the ITP Estate to a condition where it can be put up for sale at any time
– Buy a new iPhone (iPhone 5?), a new iPad (iPad 3?), and MacBook Air [look, not all goals have to be altruistic]

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient and profitable programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions
– Start, and continue, to make my own bread using my bread machine as well as using the technique outlined in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
– Read and discard magazines during the month in which they arrive (even digitally)
– See more live concerts than I did in 2011
– Eat more pancakes
– Drive/Fly somewhere for a real vacation

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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10 Responses to Two Out Of Three

  1. Steve says:

    Maybe the homeless in Asheville all have iPads? Had it been 5 minutes, he probably would not have said anything… but 25- maybe he thought he would have to explain to everyone that, no, they are not yet open and you are not being ignored by your server. Still a pretty lame excuse and mostly uncalled for.

    Debbie and I and the Farley marched in the St. Patricks Day parade on Saturday. It was great fun- Farley is like walking with a rock star- everyone wants to take his picture or pet him and he was great the whole time.

    Yesterday, after working a bike race in the morning, I met Debbie for lunch and then we hit a few of the little local cemetaries that seem to dot the area. The oldest grave we could read was a death in 1820 I believe. One little cemetary surrounded by the exit ramps for I-85 near Grantville. All maintained well, which is nice to see.

    Happy Monday and welcome home Barb!


  2. I think I’ve seen that cemetery in the past. I remember seeing on surrounded by an exit ramp, but I could never remember where it was.

  3. Steve says:

    I think we’ve ridden by it.. the other one was on the far end of Gordon Rd. and you would have passed it on the Wilson.

    I don’t know what the proper protocol is for doing “rubbings” of headstones. Anybody know?

    And the power washing of the pool is coming along.. (wait for it).. swimmingly!! Should be done in another day or so and start refilling later in the week.

  4. Randy says:

    Glad you had a good weekend and enjoyed the music – I’ve had mixed experiences at Asheville Brewing and prefer Barley’s, overall (garlic knots notwithstanding, of course). Bob, Laura and Lisa enjoyed “hearing” from you while we were hanging out this weekend. We all had a great time and they are now headed home. The chickens produced quite a few eggs, shared by several of the neighbors.

  5. Greg admitted to leaving a few eggs behind for the kids to find. 😉

  6. Jenka says:

    Steve, gravestone rubbing policies are different per cemetery. You have to ask the cemetery office or whatever’s there if they allow it or not. More and more cemeteries don’t allow it anymore, especially older ones. If there’s no office/maintenance/whatever, rub at your own risk. Heh.

  7. Steve says:

    Jenka, that’s kinda what I thought.. It’s not as if I have a family connection to any of the graves- more a curiosity of the text as art as anything.

  8. Barb says:

    I’m back, sooooo lost & confused here at work, maybe in a few days I can figure out what my co-workers did to my accoutns while I was gone…….

    and – I’m a little tired, but not too bad, went to sleep last night at 9:30ish (2:30am Bacelona time) after a most excellent wine & tapas tour Saturday night – started at 6:30pm, ended at 12:30am (and, we had to be up in a cab to the airport at 7:30am). We had the best tour guide, learned all kinds of cool stuff about Barcelona as we wandered the city & ate & drank.

  9. Steve says:

    Tour Guide, as in a real paid professional? Very cool. My Spanish is muy pico, but after the Olympics when there, I’ve always wanted to go.

  10. Barb says:

    We did a tour through a company called Spanish Trails (owned by one of Katrina’s friends in Girona) – it was a little pricy ($95 euro a person), but I think it was very worth it. 8 people tops per group, and the tour guides speak perfect english) Ours was actually from Maryland, but she had lived in Spain for 17 years now. We went to 4 different places, all over town, walking, and stopped here & there to hear cool stuff about this neighborhood, etc. ANd, of course, plenty of wine & tapas.

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