TBT: Road Trip!

Note—when I first scheduled this post, I was still scheduled to go to Florida.  Due to The Virus afflicting one of my girlfriend’s sisters, we’ve postponed that trip.  So, instead, we’re going to do a little road-tripping around South Carolina this weekend.  We’ll be getting down to Florida in December, though, so while my return to Florida is delayed, I’m looking forward to visiting down there later this year.  Just pray for my sweet girlfriend—while we will have fun this weekend, I know she is heartbroken that she won’t get to see her family as planned.  —TPP

Tomorrow after school I’ll be riding down with my girlfriend to visit with her family in Florida.  After The Year of Universal Studios back in 2020, I haven’t made it back down that way in awhile, and I’m looking forward to a few days over Labor Day weekend in sunny central Florida.

We’ll be taking the Interstate Highway System most of the way, and I doubt there’ll be many backroads, but I’ve always enjoyed cruising the less-traveled pathways to see what little bits of Americana are out there, waiting to be discovered.  There’s still plenty of what John Derbyshire calls the “old, weird America” out there, and I love finding it (and, perhaps, living in it!).

Well, even if we aren’t hitting many backroads, I’m excited to be out and about on another footloose adventure!

With that, here is 22 July 2022’s “Road Trip!“:

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TBT: Preserving Old Varieties

On Saturday I wrote a bit about an arrangement my neighbor and I have regarding my fig trees and grapevines:  I grow them, he picks them—and makes them into delicious preserves.  He’s also provided me with heirloom broccoli plants, which I shamefully think have largely died (though two stalks have somehow soldiered on through the hot summer months; I’m surprised they survived the heat!), and he grows an impressive garden himself.

So when casting about for this week’s TBT feature, this post about the Bradford watermelon—a variety thought lost to the world—fit neatly with what was already fresh on my mind.

There is so much variety out there compared to what the supermarkets put on offer.  We’d probably all be a lot happier and a good bit healthier if we tried some of these old varieties.

With that, here is 24 August 2021’s “Preserving Old Varieties“:

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Supporting Friends Friday: Backwoods Home Magazine

As I’ve noted in the past, I’m running low on friends to support.  There are still a few bloggers out there that deserve some praise, I’m sure, and I can think of a few that I really enjoy, but who are a bit too spicy to endorse outright (until blogging pays the bills—which is an extremely long way off—even I have to censor myself).

As such, I might be giving Supporting Friends Friday a hiatus starting in July.  I started it last June (with a post about real-life buddy Jeremy Miles‘s book of poetryHindsight: Poetry in 2020), so it’s had over a year—a good time in which to run its course.

I’m not saying it’s gone forever.  I’m just going to give my talented friends more time to churn out excellent work.  Supporting Friends Friday has really been beneficial to the blog, especially since honoring Audre Myers with a post on 27 August 2021; that brought over a whole new readership, and has led to more contributions in the comment sections and to the blog itself.

Of course, I could end up changing my mind by next week, so who knows?  That said, I thought I’d dedicate this “season finale” edition of Supporting Friends Friday to a publication I’ve come to enjoy and respect over the last year:  Backwoods Home Magazine.

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Shortages

Everyone reading this post has noticed their grocery and gas bills shoot up over the past few months.  These are not the result of the war in The Ukraine, despite the mewling protestations of the Biden Administration to the contrary.  In part, they are the result of extended lockdowns during The Age of The Virus, and the subsequent disruption to the world’s “just-in-time” production model.  Shutting everything down immediately probably didn’t do much to stop the spread of The Virus, but it definitely stopped the spread of goods, and the production thereof.

But these shortages seemed largely academic until recently.  Sure, you’d hear about them here and there, and it was impossible to buy toilet paper for awhile, but other than a few panic-induced shortages, you could pretty much get what you needed, even if you had to pay double for it.

Now, for the first time since the very early days of The Age of The Virus, I’m getting seriously concerned about looming shortages—and not just a few missing luxury items from store shelves (not that toilet paper is a luxury item, but there are always substitutes for that), but the basic necessities of life.

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TBT: Egged Off

Shortly over a year ago I wrote a piece about officious bureaucrats shutting down two little girls selling chicken eggs in Texas.  The girls were trying to help people out and make a few bucks after the crazy ice storm massively disrupted Texan supply lines.

Since then, I’ve obtained a source to bring farm fresh eggs to my home on an as-needed basis; it’s one of many small blessings for which I am thankful.  With food prices even higher than they were a year ago, free eggs is a huge boon.

I ended this post with the admonishment “The time to start growing and raising our own food is now.”  But even yours portly has largely ignored his own advice.

Let’s work on changing that in 2022.

With that, here is 30 April 2021’s “Egged Off“:

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Lazy Sunday CLIX: Scrambie Eggs

The title for this weekend’s Lazy Sunday comes from the breakfast scene in The Cable Guy (1996), in which Jim Carrey’s deranged character opines, “But I made us scrambie eggs!”  It was also the weekend of the Lamar Egg Scramble, and a good friend has been bringing me farm fresh eggs, of which I have been scrambling up quite a few on the weekends.

  • Egg Scramble Scrambled” – The last Lamar Egg Scramble before yesterday’s event ended in fisticuffs, and law enforcement shut it down early.  That was the first time since 1983, so honestly not a bad track record for an event that essentially quadruples the population of the town.
  • Lamar’s Sesquicentennial Celebration” – On a brighter note, Lamar is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year, with a ton of celebrations to mark 150 years of being a town.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: The Egg Scramble Returns” – The 2022 Egg Scramble “Over Easy” was a fun event.  It was the first Scramble I’ve managed to attend, and I was blown away by the size of crowd.  John and I played a few tunes, and it was a fun afternoon.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: The Egg Scramble Returns

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Today marks the return of the Lamar Egg Scramble, which organizers have dubbed the “Egg Scramble Over Easy,” as it’s a scaled-down version of the event.  It’s part of this year’s sesquicentennial celebration, featuring months of celebrations and observances to commemorate the town’s origins (as Lisbon) in 1872.

Believe it or not, it will also be the first time I will actually get to attend the Scramble.  Indeed, my buddy John and I will be playing at it later in the day.

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Lamar’s Sesquicentennial Celebration

My little adopted hometown of Lamar turns 150-years old this year, and we’re celebrating!  The town is planning a full slate of events over the next nine months, kicking off with the return of the famous Egg Scramble Jamboree and a community worship service the first weekend in April.  The Egg Scramble usually lasts the entire weekend, but as it’s the first since The Age of The Virus, the committee behind the event is doing a one-day event, dubbed “The Egg Scramble: Over Easy.”

That cracks me up every time.

Longtime readers know that I love festivals and small-town boosterism.  It’s no surprise, then, that I am super excited for all of these events.

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TBT^2: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony

One of the many benefits of teaching music is (re)discovering beloved favorite works.  During last week’s round of distance learning, I had to pull out some of the classics.  If we’re going to sit on a Google Meet call, let’s listen to some music, not just talk about it.

I really love programmatic music—instrumental music that tells a story, often accompanied by program notes explaining (usually very briefly) what the listener is supposed to hear in the musical “story.”  Students often like to imagine their own stories when listening to instrumental music, which is great, but I find that programmatic works give students (and myself!) some guideposts to follow.

Fortunately, Ludwig von Beethoven provided some handy ones for us in his Sixth Symphony, quite possibly my favorite symphony, and certainly my favorite of Beethoven’s.  It’s the so-called “Pastoral” symphony, as it depicts a pleasant trip to the country (besides the roiling thunderstorm in the fourth movement).

It’s also unusual in two respects:  instead of the standard four movements of the classical symphony (a fast opening movement, a slow second movement, a dancelike third movement, and a fast fourth movement), Beethoven includes five; and the third, fourth, and fifth movements all flow seamlessly into one another, without the customary pause between each.

It is also long, especially by the standards of the classical symphony (the Romantics, however, would have easily matched Beethoven for runtime), clocking in at nearly forty-five minutes (the typical classical symphony averages around twenty-five-to-thirty minutes, but forty-five would have been the upper limit for the time).  But that length is in service to Beethoven’s vision, and he fully explores every theme in this symphony.

Here is a particularly excellent performance—the one I showed, in part, to my classes last week—by the Berlin Philharmonic, under the direction of Bernard Haitnik:

With that, here is 4 February 2021’s “TBT: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony“:

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