For my family and I, having had health issues over the past eleven weeks, I’m not too sure I really want to know the future.  I just might freak out.  Someone might have to talk me off the ledge.  We all would love to know the future until we know it.  That’s when problems arise.  I got to thinking about this coming back from the Post Office this morning.  One major road in the Brainerd area of Chattanooga is Brainerd Road.  Sitting right there, next door to McDonalds is “Psychic Readings by Ms. Taylor”.   That “establishment” has been there for over forty years.  Never been in—never will go in but I do wonder what type of guarantee, if any, is given after a reading.  Who knows?

Now, the population of greater Chattanooga according to the 2104 census is 173,778 people. Not too small, not too big.  Just right in my opinion.  Do you know how many psychic readers there are in Chatta-boogie?  Take a look at the list below.

  • Psychic Center of Chattanooga
  • Psychic Readings by Ms. Taylor
  • Psychic Readings by Ms. Evette
  • Psychic Readings by Cecelia
  • Psychic Isabella
  • Psychic Readings by Gianna
  • Jackie Bradshaw Psychic Reader & Love Reuniting Expert
  • Keen – Psychics
  • Diane love specialist
  • Psychic Readings by Donna
  • Psychic Center
  • Medium
  • America’s #1 Love Psychic Jacqueline
  • Readings by Mrs. Fatima
  • AskNow
  • Psychic Source
  • psychic readings by Eva
  • Psychic Readings by Phone Call Now

That’s  one (1) psychic reader for every 9,654 people.  One good thing—not much waiting and most are open twenty-four (24) hours per day.  OK, with that being the case, I have copied the “list of services” one reader can give a client.  Please take a look, as follows:

Top 3 requested readings: Love/Relationship Reading (addresses all love matters questions/concerns), Psychic Reading (addresses the here and now, unfolding the future), Spiritual Reading (Connect with your spirit guides for an overall healing of the mind, body and spirit). SPECIALIST in relationship crisis, and reuniting lovers. Superior accuracy with 35 years’ experience. Any reading your choice $55.00. Born a naturally gifted psychic spiritualist, Psychic Cecelia offers readings on love, business, marriage, love affairs, relationship crisis, court matters and family discord. Any reading you choose to do will amaze you with the most accurate details of information, that will end your skepticism. Call now and allow my spirit guides to address all of your questions and concerns. You’ll find there is a better way to solve the matters that keep you awake at night. Are you struggling to find a path to inner peace, success or career choice? Do you have a love problem you cannot solve alone? With a wealth of experience and knowledge my psychic vibes allow me to touch base with my callers, and furthermore telepathically communicate with their spirit, and their particular situation. If you’re interested in an accurate psychic reading, then call today. All readings guaranteed private and confidential. Call now and receive the most in depth accurate reading on love, marriage, and business.

This is BIG—really big and with being the case, just imagine the aid Ms. Cecelia could give in addressing the following problems:

  • Peace in the Middle-East
  • Appointing a new FBI Director
  • National Debt
  • Student Loan Defaults
  • North Korea Mad Man Kim Jong-un
  • Trade Deficit
  • Overwhelming Drug Use in the United States
  • Environmental Issues; i.e. Global Warming

You get the picture.  Just think of what we are missing by NOT allowing Ms. Cecelia in on the solution to these burdensome problems.  Just blows my mind as to why the “FED” has not come to this conclusion before.  Then again, maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way.  As always, I welcome your comments.

CHICAGO—THE MUSICAL

February 18, 2017


Our youngest son and his wife gave us two tickets to the musical CHICAGO.   This was a Christmas present from them this past year.  The play was held in one of the most beautiful theaters in the south and certainly the most beautiful in the Chattanooga area.  Before we talk about the play, let’s take a quick look at the Tivoli Theater.

THE TIVOLI:

The Tivoli Theater is located at 709 Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga and is definitely the focal point of the city.  The first digital shows the entrance and the marquee as you approach from Broad Street.

outside

The Tivoli was built between 1919 and 1921 at a cost of $750,000.  That was a huge sum of money in 1919.   It was designed by the famed Chicago-based architectural firm Rapp and Rapp and well-known Chattanooga architect Reuben H. Hunt.  It was constructed by the John Parks Company (general contractors) and was one of the first air-conditioned public buildings in the United States.  The theatre was named Tivoli after Tivoli, Italy.  It has cream tiles and beige terra-cotta bricks;  a large red, black, and white marquee with one thousand (1,000) chaser lights, with, as you can see, a large black neon sign that displays TIVOLI with still more chaser lights.

It is a well preserved and excellent example of the downtown Grand Palace Theater built throughout America in the 1920s. Not every town and city has a comparable theater so we are extremely lucky and very happy events such as CHICAGO still visit.   Its elaborate and exotic architectural and decorative detail, its conveniences, and luxurious materials combine to make theater going a complete social as well as entertainment phenomenon infrequently rivaled. Notable is its elaborate plaster work, rich colors and textures, marble, and theater organ. It was also among the first buildings in the United States to be air-conditioned.

Twenty-six hundred (2,600) yards of carpet for aisles, boxes, logs, approaches, mezzanine, stairs, and rest rooms. Electric fixtures for the entire house are plated with fourteen (14) karat gold, burnished, and ornamented with hand painted china. The balcony is supported by a five thousand five hundred (5,500) ton steel beam encased in concrete, and there are no columns or pillars. One million bricks were used in the construction of the balcony. The proscenium opening measures 48 x 26 feet and is the largest in the south. You may see the balcony design and structure as follows.

the-auditorium2

 

The lobby is noted for its marble floors, niches, tunnels, and promenades. The marquee extends the width of the building and has 15,000-watt capacity lamps, and on its underside, are a number of 75-watt day light globes. The outer lobby’s ceiling is the same height as the building, and is enriched with massive plaster designs in polychrome and antique with Chinese and cobalt blue, mulberry, green, and buff over aluminum leaf. There are sectional plate glass mirrors at each end to reflect the ceiling. On the left is a seven-foot fountain with running water and a figure of Cupid which is named “Cascatelle” for the river of many cataracts outside Tivoli, Italy. The floor is marble. It is lighted by a seven-foot hanging lantern in antique design. Glass doors lead to the inner lobby and the large plate glass window is hung with brilliant American Beauty plush draperies.

the-lobby

The grand staircase features ornamented bannisters of copper bronze surmounted by mahogany handrails.  Of course, the stairway leads to the balcony above.  You can see the auditorium and balcony, as pictured from the stage area in the digital below.

auditorium-from-the-stage

The mezzanine is the most beautiful section of the theater. It circles the auditorium and is the promenade. Its carpet is solid and it is furnished with chaise lounges and Adam designed chairs. It is known as “Villa D’Esta” after a famous villa at Tivoli, Italy. All openings are draped in silk with gold embroidery. The box seats are on either side of the auditorium and are truly beautiful.

box-seats

NOW THE MUSICAL:

My musical abilities are limited to playing the radio.  No piano, no guitar, no trumpet.  I can only listen, BUT I have an immense respect for talented individuals. Performers who can make a play, movie, musical come alive.  That is exactly what my wife and I saw last night during the CHICAGO performance.  I don’t know if you are familiar with the play but her are several specifics.

CHICAGO is a musical Vaudeville play that opened June 3, 1975 at the 46th Street Theatre.   It ran for 936 performances, closing on August 27, 1977.  The opening night cast starred Chita Rivera as Velma Kelly, Gwen Verdon as Roxie Hart, Jerry Orbach as Billy Flynn and Barney Martin as Amos Hart. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she reported on. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal.” You may think this is somewhat heavy but it is hilarious and the music is phenomenal.  Several recognizable songs are:

  • “All That Jazz”
  • “Cell Block Tango”
  • “When You’re Good to Mama”
  • “Roxie”
  • “Mister Cellophane”
  • “Razzle Daxxle”
  • “Hot Honey Rag”

One definite reason we wanted to go—Eddy George played the part of Billie Flynn.  As you recall, Eddy George was a Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State in 1995 and played for the Tennessee Titans for several years.  HE WAS GOOD. I know it is difficult to go from the NFL to the stage but he really pulled it off.   ALL of the performers were absolutely excellent.  The rolls of Roxie and Velma were played by Dylis Croman and Lana Gordon.  Amos, the husband of Roxie was played by Paul Vogt and Mama was played by Roz Ryan.  Are you ready for this?  All of the ladies in the cast sang and danced in high-heels never missing a step. If you ever get an opportunity to attend the musical CHICAGO—take it.  You will come away realizing it was a wonderful experience.

BUILD THAT WALL

January 30, 2017


Certain portion of the information for this post come from the article entitled “How to Build Trump’s Controversial Wall” by Mr. Chris Wiltz.  Chris is a writer for Design News Daily.

 

OK, President Donald Trump indicated during pre-nomination televised exercises that if elected President, he will authorize building a wall between Mexico and the United States AND get the Mexican government to pay for it.  Now as President, he seems to be living up to fulfilling that somewhat lofty campaign promise.  From an engineering standpoint, how do you do that?

A direct quote from President Trump:  “We are in the middle of a crisis on our southern border: The unprecedented surge of illegal migrants from Central American is harming both Mexico and the United States,” Trump said in remarks reported by Reuters. “And I believe the steps we will take starting right now will improve the safety in both of our countries. … A nation without borders is not a nation.”

An analysis done by Politico estimates to do just that would total at least $5.1 billion US (not including annual maintenance costs). According to Politico:  “Those estimates come from a 2009 report from the Government Accountability Office [GAO], which found that it costs an average of $3.9 million to build one mile of fencing. About 670 miles of fencing is already up along the 1,989-mile southern border, so finishing the fence that’s already there would cost about $5.1 billion.

But the actual cost is likely much higher, according to experts. The vast majority of the existing border fence is single-layer fencing near urban areas, which is considerably easier to build. Much of the remaining 1,300 miles runs through rough terrains and remote areas without roads, so it’s fair to assume the per-mile cost of finishing the fence would be on the higher end of the GAO’s estimates, which was $15.1 million per mile.”

This is obviously a huge amount of money and the time necessary appears to be years and not months or certainly weeks.  The construction time of the Ming Wall was well over 2,000 years Many imperial dynasties and kingdoms built, rebuilt, and extended walls many times.  This wall subsequently eroded due to environmental issues and the materials used. The latest imperial construction was performed by the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), and the length was then over 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles).

HOW WOULD WE DO IT:

In a September 2015 article for The National Memo , a structural engineer, writing under the pseudonym Ali F. Rhuzkan took on the challenge of mapping out the logistics of constructing Trump’s wall. I really do not know why Ali F. Rhuzkan was used but his article was very interesting.

Rhuzkan writes: “A successful border wall must be effective, cheap, and easily maintained. It should be built from readily available materials and should take advantage of the capabilities of the existing labor force. The wall should reach about five feet underground to deter tunneling, and should terminate about 20 feet above grade to deter climbing.”

A rendition of his design looks as follows:

diagram-of-the-wall

According to Rhuzkah, assuming the wall would be constructed using pre-cast concrete (cast in a factory, then shipped to the construction site) building a wall to the necessary specifications to meet the President’s demands for a roughly 2,000-mile border wall would require about 12,600,000 cubic yards of concrete. “In other words, this wall would contain over three times the amount of concrete used to build the Hoover Dam,” Rhuzkah writes, “Such a wall would be greater in volume than all six pyramids of the Giza Necropolis … That quantity of concrete could pave a one-lane road from New York to Los Angeles, going the long way around the Earth…”

And this is just the concrete. One also has to factor in the amount of steel needed to reinforce such a structure – about 5 billion pounds by Rhuzkah’s estimation – as well as the labor, production, and shipping costs of all the pieces. Not to mention the wall would have to be built and regularly maintained by workers that would ideally be paid and not slaves.

If you need a visual of what such a wall would look like, a group of interns at  Estudio 3.14 —a design firm based in Guadalajara, México have created a conceptual rendering that they’ve dubbed the Prison Wall . Estudio 3.14’s concept envisions a wall that crosses multiple terrains (hills, desert, a river, even the city of Tijuana) and also includes a built-in prison to detain those seeking to cross the border illegally, as well as a shopping mall and a viewpoint for tourists. By its renderings, the studio estimates the wall could employ up to 6 million people. As for why it’s pink, the studio said in a statement that, “Because the wall has to be beautiful, it has been inspired by Luis Barragán’s pink walls that are emblematic of Mexico.”

rendition

CONCLUSION:

I have a twenty (20) foot ladder in my workshop downstairs.  If I have one, the Mexican illegals probably can get one.  Here are my conclusions:

  1. A twenty (20) foot wall is much too short. Forty or even fifty (50) in some places will be necessary.
  2. Five (5) foot depth is much much too shallow. I could tunnel under a five-foot depth.  At least fifteen (15) in some places will be necessary.
  3. It would be wonderfully wise if someone could and would estimate the maintenance cost on an annual basis so we know what’s coming.
  4. It does not matter how high the wall; additional patrolling will be necessary by our Border Patrol. Please estimate the added costs for that.
  5. Please forget the government of Mexico paying for the wall. I WILL NOT HAPPEN. President Trump indicated he may assign added import taxes to pay for the wall.  Those will be passed on to the American people.  You know that.
  6. I hope it’s obvious that I do not know the complete answer to this one, but you have to give credit to President Trump. He is trying and, in my opinion, making progress is not waves.

As always, I welcome your comments.


Two years ago, I wrote a post about THE universal language.  Can you guess what language that is?  Well, there are approximately six thousand-five hundred (6,500) spoken languages in the world today.  However, approximately two thousand (2,000) of those languages have fewer than one thousand (1,000) speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world speaking Mandarin. The following list will indicate the top ten (10) languages spoken.

  • FRENCH: Number of speakers: 129 million
  • MALAY-INDONESIAN: Number of speakers: 159 million
  • PORTUGUESE: Number of speakers: 191 million
  • BENGALI: Number of speakers: 211 million
  • ARABIC:     Number of speakers: 246 million
  • RUSSIAN:  Number of speakers: 277 million
  • SPANISH:     Number of speakers: 392 million
  • HINDSTANI:     Number of speakers: 497 million
  • ENGLISH: Number of speakers: 508 million
  • MANDARIN:      Number of speakers: 1 billion+

An old-world language tree looks something like the following:

old-world-language-tree

As you can see, language is very very complicated– but fascinating.

With this being the case, how on Earth could there be one UNIVERSAL language and what is it?  MATHEMATICS is a language recognized and used by all people on our very small “blue dot”.  I know this sounds very strange but that definitely is the case.  So—do we celebrate accomplished mathematicians and if so how?  YES, starting with the INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICAL OLYMPAID (IM0) for pre-college.  Let’s take a look.

IMO:

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for High School students and is held annually in a different country. The first IMO was held in 1959 in Romania, with 7 countries participating. It has gradually expanded to over 100 countries from 5 continents. The IMO Advisory Board ensures that the competition takes place each year and that each host country observes the regulations and traditions of the IMO.   The IMO Foundation is a charity which supports the IMO. The IMO Foundation website is the public face of the IMO. This is a particularly valuable resource for people who are not necessarily mathematical specialists, but who want to understand the International Mathematical Olympiad.

The symbol for the IMO is given below.

symbol

ORIGIN:

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is an annual six-problem mathematical Olympiad for pre-college students, and is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads.   Please note the phrase pre-college, although almost all of the students taking the test are high school age.  This is due to the questions being asked.  The first IMO was held in Romania in 1959. It has since been held annually, except for 1980. Approximately one hundred (100) countries send teams of up to six students, plus one team leader, one deputy leader, and observers to the Olympiad.

The content ranges from extremely difficult algebra and pre-calculus problems to problems involving branches of mathematics not conventionally covered at school nor university level,  These are  such problems as projective and complex geometryfunctional equations and well-grounded number theory, of which extensive knowledge of theorems is required. Calculus, though allowed in solutions, is never required, as there is a principle that anyone with a basic understanding of mathematics should understand the problems, even if the solutions require a great deal more knowledge. Supporters of this principle claim that this allows more universality and creates an incentive to find elegant, deceptively simple-looking problems which nevertheless require a certain level of ingenuity.

The selection process differs by country, but it often consists of a series of tests which admit fewer students at each progressing test. Awards are given to approximately the top-scoring fifty percent (50%) of the individual contestants. Teams are not officially recognized—all scores are given only to individual contestants, but team scoring is unofficially compared more than individual scores.  Contestants must be under the age of twenty (20) and must not be registered at any tertiary institution. Subject to these conditions, an individual may participate any number of times in the IMO.

SCORING AND FORMAT:

The examination consists of six problems. Each problem is worth seven points, so the maximum total score is forty-two (42) points. No calculators are allowed. The examination is held over two consecutive days; each day the contestants have four-and-a-half hours to solve three problems. The problems chosen are from various areas of secondary school mathematics, broadly classifiable as geometrynumber theoryalgebra, and combinatorics. They require no knowledge of higher mathematics such as calculus and analysis, and solutions are often short and elementary. However, they are usually disguised so as to make the solutions difficult. Prominently featured are algebraic inequalitiescomplex numbers, and construction-oriented geometrical problems, though in recent years the latter has not been as popular as before.

Each participating country, other than the host country, may submit suggested problems to a Problem Selection Committee provided by the host country, which reduces the submitted problems to a shortlist. The team leaders arrive at the IMO a few days in advance of the contestants and form the IMO Jury which is responsible for all the formal decisions relating to the contest, starting with selecting the six problems from the shortlist. The Jury aims to order the problems so that the order in increasing difficulty is Q1, Q4, Q2, Q5, Q3 and Q6. As the leaders know the problems in advance of the contestants, they are kept strictly separated and observed.

Each country’s marks are agreed between that country’s leader and deputy leader and coordinators provided by the host country (the leader of the team whose country submitted the problem in the case of the marks of the host country), subject to the decisions of the chief coordinator and ultimately a jury if any disputes cannot be resolved.

RECENT AND FUTURE IMOS:

The two-day event is truly global in nature with the following locations having been selected.

The only countries to have their entire team score perfectly in the IMO were the United States in 1994 (they were coached by Paul Zeitz); and Luxembourg, whose one-member team had a perfect score in 1981. The US’s success earned a mention in TIME Magazine. Hungary won IMO 1975 in an unorthodox way when none of the eight team members received a gold medal (five silver, three bronze). Second place team East Germany also did not have a single gold medal winner (four silver, four bronze).

The top 10 countries with the best all-time results are as follows:

countries

CONSLUSIONS:

I think a competition such as this is one of the best events sponsored because it gives recognition to those who excel within a specific discipline.  After all, we have the Oscars, the Grammys, the People’s Choice Awards, the Country Music Awards. Pro Bowl, Super Bowl.  Why not celebrate the talents of those around the world who “march to the beat of a different drummer”?  Just a thought.


Our youngest grandson is twelve (12) years old and happens to be an avid Falcons fan.  As you probably know, the Falcons have their home in Atlanta, Georgia.  Actually, he is a rabid fan!  He has a Falcons “T” shirt, sweat shirt, ballcap, socks, underwear, rain jacket, wind-breaker etc.  Our grandson bleeds red and black.  You get the picture.  For his birthday, last week, we purchased tickets to the next-to-last Falcons game.  They played the San Francisco 49s and won in a handy fashion.  The 2016 season will be the last year for the Georgia Dome and the Falcons home field. Next year, the fans will watch the team in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Let’s find several facts about the “Dome” and look at the complex.

In 1992, the Georgia Dome was completed at a cost of $214 million (US),  The funding came from the Georgia General Assembly, making it one of the largest state-funded construction projects in state history.  It seats 74,228 for football, and can hold approximately: 80,000 for concerts, 71,000 for basketball when the dome is fully open and 40,000 for basketball and gymnastics when the dome is sectioned off (one half closed off by a large curtain). For most Georgia State football games, the dome is configured with 28,155 seats, with tickets for the bulk of the lower level and the club-level seats on sale. The record for overall attendance at the Georgia Dome is 80,892,  This occurred during the 2008 SEC Championship Game in football.

The structure is located on 9.19 acres (3.72 ha) of land.  It has a height of 270.67 feet (82.50 m), a structure length of 745.75 feet (227.30 m), a structure width of 606.96 feet (185.00 m), and a total floor area of 102,149.51 square feet (9,490.000 m2). The dome is the largest cable-supported dome in the world. Its roof is made of Teflon-coated fiberglass fabric and has an area of 374,584.08 square feet (34,800.000 m2). From its completion until the December 31, 1999 opening of the 20-acre (8.1 ha) Millennium Dome in London, it was the largest hooked domed structure of any type in the world.

In 2006, the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority announced a $300 million renovation to the Georgia Dome. The project was separated into two stages. The first stage, which took place before the 2007 NFL season, focused on updating the premium seating areas, including the creation of eight ‘super-suites’ as well as an owners’ club.  In 2008, the exterior of the stadium was repainted, replacing the original teal and maroon color scheme with a red, black and silver theme to match the Falcons’ team colors; the stadium’s original teal seats were replaced with red seats in the 100 and 300 levels and black seats in the Verizon Wireless Club Level (200 Level). The entrance gates and concourses were also renovated and updated before the 2008 football season.  In 2009, the video screens in both end zones were relocated to a new exterior monument sign on Northside Drive. The interior end zones each received a new and considerably wider High Definition video screen that significantly enhances views of replays, as well as graphics and digital presentations. A new sound system was installed in the same year, replacing the previous system that was nearly 20 years old.

The external structure may be see below.

ga-dome

The dome is adjacent to the Olympic Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta.  Very close to the Park is the CNN Center and the Georgia Convention Center.  As you might expect, this area is always hopping with things to do, great restaurants and other mesmerizing activities.

centenneal-park

Falcons field may be seen from the JPEGs below.  As you can see the internal structure is absolutely huge—huge with no internal supporting members to restrict vision.

falcon-stadium1

falcon-stadium2

One thing you must love about NFL football is the enthusiasm on display from the fans.  One of which may be seen below.  The foursome sitting in front of us would always turn and give us high-fives when the Falcons scored.  The final score was 41 to 17—Falcons.  We were high-fiving most of the night.

fantastic

NEW HOME FOR THE “BIRDS”

Next year the Falcons will move to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium leaving the dome behind.  The existing structure will be torn down to provide much-needed parking in the area.  The Benz stadium will be cutting-edge with all the amities you might expect.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an under-construction retractable-roof, multi-purpose stadium in AtlantaGeorgia, that will serve as the home of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). It is intended to replace the Georgia Dome, which has been the Falcons’ home stadium since 1992. The total cost is estimated at $1.4 billion.  Mercedes-Benz Stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

In December 2014, the Georgia World Congress Center’s board of governors approved a resolution to raise the cost of the stadium to $1.2 billion. The stadium was initially slated to cost $1 billion, then rose to $1.2 billion in October 2013.

The city has agreed to contribute $200 million in stadium bonds, but with additional tax revenues[42] and with the state of Georgia contributing $40 million for parking expansion, public spending is expected to reach near $600 million.

In January 2015, the Falcons announced the sale of personal seat licenses (PSL) costing up to $45,000 per seat, depending on the section of the stadium. The most expensive tickets will be priced at $385 per game, in addition to one-time PSL fees, for the first three years.

On August 21, 2015, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Mercedes-Benz would acquire the naming rights for the stadium, and this was later confirmed by a press conference at the stadium site on August 24. Under the stadium deal with the city of Atlanta and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Falcons organization controls the stadium’s naming rights and receives all related revenue. Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon stated that the sponsorship would last 27 years, calling it the largest marketing deal in Mercedes-Benz’ history, but Cannon would not disclose the full value of the deal.

As artist rendition, may be seen below.   A real departure from the existing structure.

mercedes-benz-stadium

We had a great time and I certainly hope you find the time in the very near future to visit “HOT-Lanta” and the Centennial Park area.

PECAN LODGE

December 8, 2016


This Thanksgiving my family and I traveled to Dallas, Texas to visit our youngest son and his wife Sarah.  Even though we are East Tennessee “ridge-runners” we love Dallas.  It’s a great place to visit with “tons” of wonderful restaurants, museums, and other terrific things to do and see.  If I may, let me recommend to you the following five visits that we consider “must see and do” experiences.  We have visited each of the following sites and I can attest to experiences.  Here we go:

  • Dallas Arboretum and Gardens–The gardens are truly outstanding but bring your walking shoes.
  • Dallas Cowboy Stadium—Seating 80,000 rabid fans, it sits prominently in Arlington, Texas
  • Ross Perot Museum—Downtown Dallas
  • Downtown Dallas Skyline—A wonderfully modern skyline with truly cutting-edge designs.
  • Pecan Lodge Restaurant—Best ribs and brisket in Dallas and voted one of the best four in the world.

OK, I know there are many many others but if you have only two or three days you might consider these five.  Dallas Cowboy Stadium is out of town but is a remarkable engineering and architectural feat—it is a must see.  Put that one high on your list.

This may be a little off-the-wall, but I would like to take you to the last one on the list—The Pecan Lodge Restaurant.  If you like smoked brisket, smoked ribs, smoked sausage AND all the sides that might go with each, you NEED to visit the Pecan.  The Texas Monthly called it one of the best four (4) BBQ restaurants in the world.  (Of course, they are a bit bias but it is a great experience.)

The owners tell us the following: “It all started when we ditched our corporate jobs and weekly travel that came with them so we could spend more time as a family. And, to be honest, we weren’t out to set the world on fire – just some mesquite wood, plus a little oak. But one mouthwatering bite of brisket led to another, and before we knew it, the juicy secret about Pecan Lodge was out. Folks began to serve us up heaping portions of praise, and soon after, lines started to form for what Texas Monthly called one of the Top 4 BBQ joints in the world.


It’s not easy work, but we love what we’re doing. And there are no shortcuts to doing it right. Our BBQ pit burns 24 hours a day, fueled by nothing but wood and passion. We grind and stuff our own sausage. And anything we can make from scratch, we make from scratch – from our Southern Fried Chicken to Aunt Polly’s banana pudding to our Mac n’ Cheese to the collard greens. Times change, and sometimes you have to roll with the punches. Our little stand at the Farmer’s Market had to make way for redevelopment, so we’ve now set up camp in the heart of Deep Ellum. You’ll find us where Main St. meets Pryor St., and good old-fashioned elbow grease meets smoked perfection”

Before we really get into a pictorial visit, let’s look at how they do it.

Texas Style Brisket by Pecan Lodge
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups paprika
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons onion powder
    • 3 tablespoons garlic salt
    • 1 tablespoons celery salt
    • 1 tablespoons black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 trim brisket, about 5 to 6 pounds
    Directions
  1. Combine all the drying ingredients in a bowl and blend well.
    2. Trim the brisket, leaving about 1/4-inch of fat.
    3. Season the brisket with about 1/4-cup of the rub. (NOTE: You don’t want such a thick crust that the smoke won’t penetrate the meat. Let the brisket marinate overnight in the refrigerator.)
    4. Preheat your grill to 250 degrees F using charcoal and hickory.
    5. Using indirect heat, cook the brisket for 3 1/2 hours and flip. Cook another 3 1/2 hours, cooking for a total of 7 hours (about 1 1/2 hours per pound.) The brisket should cook to an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.
    6. Rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing. Slice brisket against the grain

How long does it take to smoke a brisket? And at what temperature? Are there any tricks to creating the “bark” on the brisket?
The answer varies, depending on the weight and type of smoker you are working with. Most of our briskets cook between 15 and 18 hours. To get a nice bark, we use a generous layer of spice rub, which — blended with the fat insulating the brisket — leads to a nice, dark bark on the outer layer.

I hope you’ve got that and will be willing to give it a try.  The Lodge is very willing to give you this recipe which I think is outstanding.

THE VISIT

The Pecan Lodge opens at 11:00 A.M. each day. Parking is no problem at all with plenty of spaces in the back and sides of the building.  As you walk towards the entrance you see two massive smokers.  These smokers run seven days a week with each brisket taking eighteen hours (minimum) to cook.  We were fortunate this day because the doors to the smoke house were open.

massive-smokers

Since it was the Thanksgiving holiday, there were fifty or sixty people in line to pick up call-in orders.  I can imagine turkey and brisket sitting on dining room tables across the Dallas area. NOTE:  The pick-up line is separate from the line for indoor and outdoor seating.  Don’t get in the wrong line.

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We got there around 11:20 thinking we would be one of the first families in line.  Please note we were at the back of the line you see below.  Down the sidewalk and around the corner past the “bull” you see in the background.  I stepped out to take this picture to indicate just how popular this place is.

waiting-line

Due to the number of people ordering and needing to be seated, the management requires each order to be submitted before individuals are seated.  In other words, you can’t send a family member to save a seat while you are in line.  They are really big on this one.

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The two digital pictures below will give some indication as to the size of the indoor dining room.  It’s big and notice not too many people are looking up—all looking down at their plates and going at it.

inside-seating

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It would not be a BBQ “joint” without hats, shirts, belt buckles, etc etc.  These are on display so you can choose and pay as you place your order.

hats-shirts

Given below is the menu.  It’s the only one you get.  We all ordered one, two or three meats and one or two sides.  This gave us variety to share with each other. Note the “Hot Mess” in the upper right of the menu.  I did not order this but my son did and it is outstanding—hot but outstanding.

menue

We were very lucky in that the day gave us seventy-five degree temperatures and plenty of great sunshine.  We ate outside where there were eleven picnic tables—most of them full.

outside-seating

I know we have BBQ in east Tennessee and some of it is pretty good, but we do not have Texas brisket.  Hope you enjoyed this post and can make the visit to the Pecan Lodge in big “D”.

CHATTANOOGA MARKET

October 22, 2016


One of the best events we sponsor in Chattanooga during the summer and fall months is the Chattanooga Market.  It is the gathering place for over six thousands people every Sunday.  The Market is, by far, the region’s largest meeting place for local artists displaying their arts and crafts and local farmers selling their produce and fruits.   It is held every Sunday from April to December at the open-air First Tennessee Pavilion.  Times are typically from 11 A.M. until 4 P.M.  but the hours can vary depending upon special events planned for that day. The market has over 300 vendors including food trucks offering just about any food idem you can imagine. One of the very BEST facts about traveling to the market—ample parking.  You do NOT have to park, walk or take a bus to the event.

This past Sunday the theme was Octoberfest.  Let’s take a digital tour of the market.

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You can hopefully see that the entrance way to the Market is wide and accommodating even though there are vendors occupying both sides.

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You get some idea as to how various vendors approach setting up to sell their products.  Tents, booths, you name it, they were there.

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What Octoberfest would be complete without a German band?  The Market had two bands playing their hearts out.  Both bands were really good and played familiar songs the entire three hours we made the visit.  I did not capture the dancers helping their efforts but they were definitely there in force.  I might mention Octoberfest is extremely popular due to the presence of VW and Wacker industries in the Chattanooga area.

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The Market has four somewhat narrow isles and run about two hundred yards from front to back.  All vendor locations are definitely accessible to visitors although somewhat tight.  People understand this and are very courteous to each other when moving through the complex.

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As I mentioned, there is a great verity of products available, food, arts and crafts, honey, produce, fruits, what I would call trinkets, etc.  It’s all there are available.

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There are several vendors from Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia selling honey.  This product remains extremely popular and most booths sell out during the one-day event.

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Jewelry is always on display and you can find just about anything you wish to purchase.  I was surprised in talking with one vendor as to how many people were shopping for Christmas.

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The fruits and vegetables are the freshest. —the very freshest.  Generally, gathered for sale one or two days prior to display at the Market.

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The pumpkins you see above are ceramic, crafted, painted and fired just for the Market.  There were three tables available with the ones shown giving only a quick view of what was available.

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This is Mr. John Muncie.  He is the owner of the Well Turned Pens company.  I have several of the products John produces.  He turns selected woods to form the bodies for fountain pens and ballpoint pens.  I am always amazed at how many pens John sells during the summer and fall months.  They are truly works of art in my opinion.

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There are three vendors selling baked goods, primarily bread. The vendor above is Niedlove’s Bakery. They provide bread for the majority of restaurants in the Chattanooga area.

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You would not think butter would be an item Chattanoogans would purchase.  Let me tell you, butter is high on the must-buy list.  There were no fewer than six vendors selling their product.

 

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The second band was located in an area devoted to people having lunch.  There is a dance floor just forward of the band itself.  If you look carefully on the left, you can see several children dancing.

I certainly hope you will visit Chattanooga and when you come, take time to see our Community Market.

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