Jan 29, 2012

Things Discussed at the Brewhaus, Take Five

Gather ‘round once again, as we review the diverse subjects discussed at that classic Springfield, Ill., watering hole, the Brewhaus, in recent weeks:
  • Great places to visit in California
  • The underappreciated songwriting brilliance of Hoyt Axton
  • How do you score a drop kick in football?
  • Is “Smoky and the Bandit” the redneck “Citizen Kane?”
  • How “Ancient Aliens” commentator Giorgio Tsoukalos’ hair completely destroys his credibility
  • Would you rather be called Mitt or Willard?
  • Programmable thermostats
  • The etiquette of buying rounds
  • Ways to improve the Illinois state pension system
  • The college scoring records of “Pistol” Pete Maravich
  • Jesus gets an iPhone
  • How to react when you discover the occasional nipple hair
That’s all for now.  I hope to have something new posted in the next few days.  Thanks for following!

Jan 10, 2012

A commoner reviews Olympia Steak & Seafood, Blytheville, Ark.

Before I begin my review of this restaurant, I want to say a little about the town of Blytheville, Ark., itself and the experiences I have traditionally had there. 

I have nothing against Blytheville per se, but for some reason bad weather and bad experiences have a way of finding me here.  For example, on my way to New Orleans for wedding #2, our car broke down on the Missouri-Arkansas state line.  We got towed to Blytheville, and our trip was delayed by a day.  And nine times out of 10, or so it seems, I drive through downpours in Blytheville on my way to Memphis (well, maybe it’s the Beale Street Music Festival itself that is cursed with massive rainfall). 

On to our drive back from New Orleans last month (it was the first day of December), and on a clear evening we approached Blytheville eager to find something to eat.  And if you’ve ever driven Interstate 55, and you miss your chance to stop in Memphis, you know there’s a whole lot of nothing between Memphis and Blytheville.  We were trying to avoid the chain restaurants and fast food, and although it wasn’t easy to find it after we saw it on the other side of the interstate, something made us decide to try Olympia.

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...