Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poem # 25: Homage to Alaska

A rugged, demanding, unending land,
vaster even than man’s ego,
epitome of wilderness,
as teeming with wildlife as it is bereft of trails,
possessed of a beauty as staggering as its immensity:
mountainsides a vertical patchwork quilt celebrating autumn,
vibrant sunsets bloodying clouds
as evening shadows morph into darkness,
innumerable vistas screaming for attention
as Nature’s palette displayed broad stroke
overwhelms mere mortal senses,
a mind quake attempting to seize the unattainable,
yet compelling sight and smell, taste and touch
to gulp and digest for spirit nourishment.

An enigmatic land of immutable contrasts:
exhilarating and exasperating,
enticing and foreboding,
invigorating and enervating,
terrain which can thrill and kill,
cloudless azure skies and smoke choked heights,
shallow silty beaded rivers and hundred fathom translucent fjords,
sea level and continental apex,
glaciers and wetlands,
rock solid mountains and trembling earth,
rainbow tinted daysky and Aurora highlighted nightsky,
towering forests and diminutive lichen,
unyielding boulder fields and mattress soft tundra,
ever-sun and never-sun.

For eons peopled by hearty souls
toughened by climate and topography
like iron made into steel,
the Tlinket and Athabascan,
Haida and Tsimshian,
the Stampeders and mountain men,
miners and trappers,
not broken by this land, but blessed,
relishing, not relinquishing,
thriving, not succumbing,
exemplars embodying values of fierce independence,
self-sustenance, and personal accountability
as each struggled for life and livelihood.

Just as surely as a people form a land,
the land forms its people,
and just as surely
this land and people
transform visitors,
captivating, edifying, mystifying,
and like an alluring, magnetic mistress,
Alaska attracts and compels all to revisit
and once again become intimate with this bewitching lover.

Text and photos copyright 2005 by Chuck Morlock

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lake Fayetteville Trail hike

Yesterday morning it was 61 degrees. This morning it was 15 degrees. Glad it's almost time to head to central Florida! At least it did hit 47 degrees today as we hiked the 5.5 mile Lake Fayetteville Trail again under cloudless blue skies. Here's a shot of the lake as the trail crosses the dam. The south and east sides are heavily wooded, up-and-down, narrow dirt trail. The north side has the old single-track bike trail or the new wide blacktopped trail for 2 miles or so.

Then we stopped at the Hunan Manor Chinese restaurant for their lunch buffet. Mmmmm!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Fayetteville Trails

Yesterday and today, we availed ourselves of the 60 degree temps and biked, despite sustained winds of 25 mph and gusts up to 50 mph. Today we explored new territory north of Wedington Drive, seeing new sub-divisions, the Stone Chapel Church, cows and horses, numerous ups-and-downs, and discovering the newest Fayetteville Trail, the Clabber Creek Trail, seen below.

In 2002, the City of Fayetteville (AR) invited citizen input which indicated a need for community trails. They created an ambitious master plan envisioning 129 miles of trail, and each year they have been adding 5 or more miles of paved trails to the finished total. By the end of 2008, several of the trails will connect, allowing longer rides and walks.

We then went to the top of Mt. Sequoyah and hiked on the up-and-down trail which traverses the eastern side of the mountain, seen below.

As we hiked, we noticed the strong wind feeling much chillier, and within an hour or so, it had fallen from 64 degrees to 32 degrees with snow flurries whipping around in the 25+ mph wind. What a raw day it had become! So we headed to Olive Garden and enjoyed a wonderful lunch before heading home.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Random Facts #9

1. Of all the people ever born, one-half are still alive.
2. “Dreamt” is the only English word ending in “mt”.
3. No matter what the temperature is in your room, it is still room temperature.
4. There are more people speaking English in China than in the USA.
5. Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.
6. The average human body contains enough sulphur to kill all the fleas on an average dog.
7. The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.
8. There are three golf balls sitting on the moon.
9. A cat’s jaw cannot move sideways.
10. If the population of China walked past you in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Backroads bikin'

We took advantage of the 62 degree sunny day and biked 15 miles (eat your heart out, Patti and Dave!) on back country roads and through sub-divisions. It is interesting watching new homes going up here -- their building traditions are not like ours back home. It was great using different muscles after 3 months of only hiking in the woods for exercise. In a few weeks we'll be exercising the upper body while kayaking Florida rivers, and also biking on a half dozen or so of Florida's long-distance bike trails.

Here's a cute sign I found on the porta-potties they have for the construction workers.

Sipping Vodka

Note: Having given the sermon a number of times over my life, I can identify with the new priest's nervousness, if not his solution to the problem.


A new priest was so nervous at his first mass he could hardly speak.

After mass, he asked the monsignor how he had done.

The monsignor replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous in the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So next Sunday, the new priest took the monsignor's advice. At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:

1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.

2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.

3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.

4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

5) Jacob wagered his donkey. He did not bet his ass.

6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.

8) David slew Goliath; he did not kick the shit out of him.

9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.

10) We do not refer to the cross as the 'Big T.'

11) When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper, he said, "Take this and eat it for it is my body." He did not say "Eat me".

12) The recommended grace before a meal is not: "Rub-A-Dub-Dub, thanks
for the grub. Yeah God."

14) Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at St. Peter's,
not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lost Bridge Trail

Today we hiked 2 1/2 hours on the 5+ mile Lost Bridge Trail. In 1960, the Army Corps of Engineers built Beaver Dam, creating 50 mile long Beaver Lake. Wednesday's hike was at Hobbs State Park on land abutting the lake, and today's trail is likewise on adjoining mountainsides the Corps administers. "Lost Bridge" refers to the highway and bridge which are now underwater, covered by the impounded water. Today's trek provided numerous views of the water, one of which is below.

The trail is mostly in decent shape, though caution is required due to the abundant roots and loose rock on the often up-and-down terrain. Dozens of fallen trees cross the trail, most of which can be easily stepped over or ducked under.

The trail routes hikers alongside a number of picturesque limestone bluff walls, past some campsites for Scouts who are backpacking, past the old Schrader farm dating back to the early 1900s, by caves/overhangs used as shelters by Native Americans, and past a pond and waterfall, currently frozen and thus attesting to the below freezing temps which have invaded this area during the past week, as seen below:

The sun came out as we entered the park, and the bright sky and 40 degree temperatures raised our spirits just as hiking the strenuous terrain warmed our bodies.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human, because even though it was a very large mammal, its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven, I will ask Jonah."

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him ."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Poem #24: The Poet

The Poet

The poet applies words,
not as cosmetics slathered
layer upon layer to obscure imperfection,
but dabbed delicately, lovingly, creamily,
with forethought of intention,
enhancing by highlighting shadows
and shadowing highlights.

The poet fabricates word mirrors,
reflecting, redefining, rejuvenating,
unveiling concealed beauty and
magnifying reticent perfection,
focusing natural radiance
to luminesce and glow
and unfettering inner heat to sizzle forth.

The poet elucidates, not obfuscates,
shows rather than says,
captures in the eternity of a moment
in the brevity of a lifetime,
answering the unasked
and posing the unconsidered,
unearthing the You within Yourself.

copyright Chuck Morlock 2007

Curses, Foiled Again!

One night, a police officer was stalking out a particularly rowdy bar waiting to catch any drunk drivers. At closing time, he saw a fellow stumble out of the bar, trip on the curb, and try his keys on five different cars before he found his. Then he sat in the front seat fumbling around with his keys for several minutes.

Everyone left the bar and drove off.

Finally, he started his engine and began to pull away. The police officer was waiting for him. He stopped the driver, read him his rights and administered the Breathalyser test.

The results showed a reading of 0.0.

The puzzled officer demanded to know how that could be.

The driver replied, "Tonight, I'm the Designated Decoy."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hobbs State Park Conservation Area hike

This is Arkansas' largest state park at 12,000 acres, and is named for Roscoe Hobbs, a local businessman and conservationist, who owned the property for 40 years. We did the 8.4 mile hike from Pigeon Roost Trailhead around the Dry Creek and Huckleberry Loops

The forest is 75% hardwood (oak and hickory) and 25% shortleaf pine, so splashes of green dot the otherwise stark brown scenery. The trail is in excellent condition and well-marked with white blazes and intersections are marked with signage. In several places, views of the abutting Beaver Lake appear, as seen below with the Van Winkle Hollow arm of the huge man-made lake which runs 50 miles in length and has 487 miles of shoreline.

Below are some of the ubiquitous fungi growing on a dead tree trunk. We also hiked alongside several large sinkholes.

After our 3 1/2 hour up-and-down hike, we headed for the KFC Buffet in Rogers, hungry after the strenuous workout.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Worthy Quotes to Ponder

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
-- Walter Elliott

But the moment you turn a corner you see another straight stretch ahead and there comes some further challenge to your ambition.
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.
-- Georgia O'Keefe

Study Nature. Love Nature. Stay close to Nature. It will never fail you.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.
-- Janis Joplin

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
-- Mother Teresa

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
--Mark Twain

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
-- Bertrand Russell

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
-- Albert Einstein

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
-- Mahatma Gandhi

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
-- Anne Bradstreet

Be not simply good; be good for something.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, January 21, 2008


Two young boys are sharing a hospital room.

"What are you in for?"

"I'm getting a circumcision."

"Damn! I had that done when I was born and I couldn't walk for a year!"

Lake Fayetteville Trail

It's a gray, chilly 39 degree day with threat of freezing rain later, so we headed back to Lake Fayetteville to hike the 5.5 mile loop hiking/mountain bike trail. Other than 2 joggers, a couple bikers, and a large red-headed woodpecker, we had the trail to ourselves and enjoyed the quiet and solitude as well as the stark beauty. This bridge was constructed as an Eagle Scout project a few years back. I would surmise from the effort they expended to raise it four feet or so that the creek really rages in the spring flood season.

The southern section has the most hills as the trail has to descend 4 times to cross fingers of the man-made lake, and then ascend to regain the altitude of the hills.

Here's our other hike last week

Here's our mountain biking day last summer

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prairie Ridge Battlefield State Park

Begun in 1908 by The Daughters of the Confederacy, this Arkansas state park commemorates the all-day battle on December 7, 1862 which the US forces won, though both sides suffered equal loss of life and injury. Over 2700 troops were killed or wounded. Our history books always spoke of the battles out east and I wasn't even aware of the momentous fighting in Arkansas during the Civil War, but this battle and the fighting at Pea Ridge were huge battles with much suffering. This battlefield has been nationally recognized as one of the most intact Civil War sites, as the ridge and the fields look much as they did on the day of the battle.

The Visitor Center seen behind Ellen above included a small museum with interesting displays and artifacts from the battle and the era, including displays of the weapons used as seen below.

A number of interesting buildings within the 6 mile area had been moved to the park grounds, giving a perspective of life in the 1800s. The walking trail followed the ridge line and passed the Borden home and orchards which represented the high ground occupied by the Confederate forces, as seen on the photo below taken in front of the house and looking below and to the north into the meadows (then corn and wheat fields and pasture land) which hosted the battlefield and was described as being "muddy from blood.")

The park hosts Arkansas's largest Civil War battle reenactment every other year.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Church Signs #3

In my driving trips across all 50 states, I often spot clever, amusing, and thought-provoking signs in front of churches of all denominations, and long ago I began jotting them down. I'll gradually post them here for your entertainment and edification.

1. Let’s meet at my house before the game. Bring the kids. – God
2. Wal-Mart isn’t the only saving place.
3. Thanksgiving happens.
4. Wise men still seek Him.
5. Come in and pray today. Beat the Xmas rush.
6. Christmas says GOD IS.
7. The best gift to your child is your time.
8. Seeing shadows? Come to the light.
9. It’s never too soon to start preparing for eternity.
10. Unplugged? Come in and get current with God.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pea Ridge National Military Park

Brrrrr. It was 19 degrees this morning, but fortunately, Arkansas warms up quickly, and by 11:30 the sunny, nearly cloudless skies had brought the temperature up to the low 40s for our hike.

Pea Ridge, northeast of Fayetteville, is where the National Park Service commemorates the 1862 battle which assured that Missouri would remain in the union. Over 26,000 soldiers fought here and over 2000 perished as the North vanquished the Confederates after a disastrous first day of battle. We biked here last summer, but today was a different perspective as we hiked the trails for 5 miles, weaving through forest and alongside and through meadows, once bloody from battle.

We saw no one during our 2 hour hike -- only 3 bluebirds, 10 or so deer, and a flock of smaller birds. I did take advantage of being here by purchasing my Golden Age Passport, now simply called National Lands Pass -- Senior Pass, a concession by the US government for us old farts who have achieved 62 years of age, which for a $10 one-time fee grants us free access to all properties operated by the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

It was a beautiful walk, with the stark brown trees and intermingling green of evergreens shielding us from the chilling breeze accompanied by the symphony of the scampering of squirrels through the leaf clutter on the forest floor. The hilly terrain kept our hearts beating quickly as the same hearts were soothed by the stillness and calm and beauty of the forest. A good meal at Los Palmas Mexican in Springdale on the drive home capped a wonderful day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Poem # 23: Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Today

The world’s a stage
and all are players thereon,
contributing to Today,
whether phrase, scene, or act,
so live Today fully and contribute generously,
ignoring the ramblings of bit players,
the mumblings of hacks
and the grumblings of critics.
Act your various roles deliberately
ad-libbing your jibes and joshing your one-liners.
Enjoy the Moment, for only Today can be lived.

Yesterday offers value,
demonstrating where we have been
and how we got here,
its regrets and joys driving Today’s actions
and providing direction, motivation, and insightful growth.

But Yesterday must not, can not be relived.
Looking backward can move you forward,
but superfluous looking forward moves you backward,
for Tomorrow is vague conjecture,
sheer hope and veiled dream,
offering untrustworthy possibilities.

Yesterday is defined, static, concrete.
Tomorrow is vaporous, diaphanous, murky,
quicksand ensnaring the unwary.
Living Tomorrow fosters misstep
and Today’s journey falters.

Concentrate on the journey, not the destination.
Revel in the scenery, not the path.
Eternity commences now.

copyright 2003 by Chuck Morlock

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Church Signs #2

1. Our church will love you to life.
2. “Vote” is a 4-letter word. Handle with prayer.
3. Fight truth decay. Study the Bible daily.
4. God needs our availability more than our ability.
5. It is in giving that we receive. (St. Francis)
6. A thankful heart is a happy heart.
7. Join the truth squad. Follow Jesus.
8. Believe it or not: Saints ‘R’ Us.
9. It’s a treat, not a trick: God loves you.
10. TGIF: Thank God I’m Forgiven.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wal-Mart Visitor Center and Museum

Bentonville, located in northwestern Arkansas, has a quaint town square, and after a tasty lunch in the old-time Station Cafe, we went to the nearby store...

... which was Sam and Bud Walton's first establishment, opened in 1950 as a franchise of Ben Franklin 5 & 10...

The store is now a museum and homage to the founding Waltons and has interesting and varied displays tracing the roots and growth from that small operation to becoming the world's largest retail establishment.

Sam's first office has been recreated and shows his meager desk, their one adding machine, the apple crate behind his chair which was for visitors to sit on, and the original dial phone with the phone number 96 on it. His final office has also been reconstructed in the museum, and though larger and better equipped, has few trappings and is far from ornate. A sign says he seldom used the office because he much preferred visiting stores and talking with associates and customers.

Sam's old red Ford 150 pickup truck is also on display, and a sign notes his comment when someone asked why he still drove the old relic. His answer was something along the line of: "I can't take my hunting dogs in a Mercedes."

Wal-Mart Visitor Center

Tanyard Creek Nature Trail

After visiting the Wal-Mart Museum, we hiked the Tanyard Creek Nature Trail in Bella Vista, Arkansas, north of Bentonville. The trail was built and is maintained by volunteers in an outstanding natural area featuring limestone cliffs and 2 creeks. Over 200 signposts name and describe flora and geologic features as you traverse the nearly 3 miles of trails, crossing the creeks several times.

Water spilling out of Windsor Lake Dam creates this rushing waterfall...

... and cascades. Benches are scattered along the trail, including one to view the waterfall and cascades.

A swinging suspension bridge is also a highlight of the hike.

After the hike, we returned home and took further advantage of the 57 degree sunny day with a 45 minute bike ride to start getting the biking muscles in shape for the season.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lake Fayetteville Trail

Yesterday, I installed Ellen's new 37 inch LCD TV and began assembly of her wooden, double-wide, 2 drawer file cabinet. Today I finished that assembly, a total of 5 hours for the project because of the hundreds of parts. Having thus earned my keep, we headed for Fayetteville Lake and hiked for 2 hours on the 6 mile up-and-down hiking/mountain bike loop trail that encircles the lake.

The views were lovely, and though the trees were brown and bare, the missing foliage allowed constant and expansive views of the lake. We saw only 3 other hikers and about 6 bikers, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

It was a sunny 50 degree day, and the effort required kept us warm in only light jackets.

A plaque honors the largest black oak tree in Arkansas, measuring 14 feet in circumference. We were wondering if someone had actually measured all other such trees in the state to come to that conclusion. At any rate, it certainly was a big, thick tree.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

M&M's First Road Trip

Since I'll be gone for 3 months, I took the cat with to Arkansas -- a 700 mile journey. M&M has traveled well the few times she's been in a car, but never for more than 40 minutes or so, so this was a bit of an experiment. The plan was to keep her in her crate for several hours and then let her roam the van, but after an hour she was rattling her cage, meowing, and pawing the towels on the floor of the crate, so I let her out and put her in her litter box -- just in time!

I had guessed that my golden "Princess" would ensconce herself on the passenger seat as her throne. Within minutes she did jump up on the seat and immediately stood upright, front paws on the side window, and looked outside at all the rapidly passing lights (it was still dark out.) Next she jumped onto the dashboard and walked its length...

... and then wiggled around the steering wheel and settled on my lap. I assumed she wanted to drive, since she then tried to crawl down by the brake and accelerator pedals, but I explained that her legs weren't long enough so she couldn't drive. She then sulked in my lap for a few hours. After getting accustomed to the movement of the van and the rushing road noise, she felt comfortable and went to sleep on the floor atop my jacket between the captains chairs...

.... and later did in fact claim the passenger seat as her throne.

All in all, she did very well over the 11 hours of the drive, and now she is exploring Ellen's place and determining how many of the cabinets she can open with her claws.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Deer Grove Forest Preserve hike

I met Patti, Marlene, Len, and Dave and we hiked a loop in Deer Grove Woods. A new dusting of snow whitened the ground ...

... but the stark beauty of the trees and fallen oak leaves needed no assistance from the dabble of white. The meltoff of the 20+ inches of snow and rainfall had the creeks swollen and rushing -- something rarely seen here in January. Most years, I could hike on the frozen creek by now!

We then had a late breakfast at one of our favorites, Walker Brothers, and said our "goodbyes" since I'll be gone for the next 3 months. Marlene tried the cherry kijafa crepes...

... and I had the "three pigs in blankets" with bacon.

(The last 2 photos are in lieu of Ellen's usual food pictures since she is already back in Arkansas.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Adventure is...

Yogi Berra
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Unknown Author
If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.

Daniel Roy Wiarda
Adventure: the pursuit of life.

Helen Keller
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.

William Trogdon
There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won t.

Amelia Earhart
Adventure is worthwhile.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.


Saturday I leave for more warmer-weather adventures -- a couple months in Arkansas with my love, Ellen, and then together, 5 weeks in Florida -- hiking, biking, and kayaking. Check back here every so often to see what we've been up to!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lakewood Forest Preserve hike

I hiked today with Patti and Dave in Lakewood, slogging through the slosh-fest leftovers from the snowmelt and rains. It was a beautiful 35 degree morning with bright sun and little wind. A couple dozen deer let themselves be seen, albeit briefly...

... as well as one buck...

... and a pair of Coopers hawks overhead searching for lunch down below...

... speaking of which we later enjoyed at Culver's. Now back to packing for the trip.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Church Signs #1

In my driving trips across all 50 states, I often spot clever, amusing, and thought-provoking signs in front of churches of all denominations, and long ago I began jotting them down. I'll gradually post them here for your entertainment and edification.

1. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives are developed.
2. Your attitude determines your altitude.
3. Don’t wait for 6 strong men to bring you here.
4. Free trip to heaven – details inside.
5. Spend thyme in church and become sage.
6. This is a ch_ _ ch. What’s missing? (U R)
7. Study the Bible. It’s user friendly.
8. Life is fragile. Handle with prayer.
9. The bread of life never gets stale.
10. Can’t sleep? Don’t count sheep. Talk to the shepherd.

Monday, January 7, 2008

What a change!

Looks like we finally got our annual, brief "Indian Summer!" After 6 weeks of hiking through 4" to 10" of snow in the woods, today nearly all of our 20"+ of snowfall this winter has melted, thanks to 2 days of record setting temps -- 60 degrees-plus each day. These all-time weather records have been unbroken for as long as my Chicago Cubs (My Loveable Losers) haven't won the World Series! We enjoyed the balmy 60s despite the clouds and occasional misting rain, but tomorrow the deep freeze returns.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Random Facts #8

1. The initials M.G. on the famous cars stand for Morris Garage.
2. The top cork-producing countries in the world are Spain, Portugal and Algeria.
3. A ‘vamp’ is the upper front top of a shoe.
4. A group of foxes is called a skulk.
5. Teeth are the only parts of the human body that can’t repair themselves.
6. Only 1 in 1000 animals born in the sea grow to maturity.
7. If all the gold suspended in the world’s seawater were mined. Each person on Earth would received about 9 pounds.
8. When born, the white whale is black.
9. The bird that lays the largest egg in relation to its own size is the kiwi.
10. When first born a shrimp is male. Over time it gradually evolves to a female

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Kobe of Japan

Since I'll be out of town for the next 3 months, I took the kids out to Kobe's tonight -- one of those restaurants where the chef entertains you as he cooks. Our young man put on a great show with the utensils and knives, ending with a flourish as he "juggled" a raw egg (ultimately used in the fried rice mixture) on a spatula, tossing it behind his back and into his pocket and later atop his hat...

... and then cleaned the grill with flames...

... after which he constructed a "volcano" using rings of onion piled atop one another 10 high, which was filled with fluid and set afire...

... wowing all of us -- as seen on the faces of Scott, Sarah, Kasia, and Steve.

The veggies were cooked to perfection...

... as were the steaks, filet mignon, salmon, and under the metal dome lid, my golden shrimp...

... seen here with the marvelously tasty egg yolk sauce topping my shrimp.

Finally, here is the shrimp alongside some of the sauteed onions.

It was a wonderful evening, capped with a trek through the nearby pet store, before we old folks headed for home and the kids headed for a movie.