Subscribe via feed.

Have Geek Will Travel

Posted by Mick on January 2, 2010 – 7:57 pm

It is indeed a glorious day.  Thank you for coming by.  You might not realize it, but I was actually thinking of you when I wrote this.

And not at all in a creepy way.

The day started out wonderfully.  I woke up, got some coffee, and found that Encore Westerns was running a marathon of Have Gun Will Travel, one of my all time favorite Westerns.  I then proceeded to tweet about it mercilessly.  HGWT is ostensibly a Western, but in actuality it’s a Chivalric Morality play.  Richard Boone plays a West point graduate.  After the Civil War, he moves into a fancy hotel in San Fransisco and offers himself out as a gunfighter.  But his last name is Paladin, and he only fights for good.  He’s well educated, refined, multi-lingual, a stone cold pimp with the ladies, and deadly with his fists or a hand crafted firearm.  He’s a knight.  He’s a gunfighter who rarely uses his gun.  The series is perfect for sampling, because it’s completely formulaic and very episodic.  No continuing narrative linking the episodes, no worries about not being caught up to date.  And almost every episode is wonderful.  The writers really knew how to tell a story, and it’s like popcorn, once you start you can’t stop.  There aren’t many shows I don’t get tired of after a few hours, and even fewer that Tara can watch a marathon of.  That should tell you something right there.

And Richard Boone was Sam Elliot before Sam Elliot was born.  That’s a good thing, by the way.

I don’t know how many episodes I watched before I had to leave and run some errands, but I know I was gone for 3 hours and when I came back, Tara was still watching.  I think I got her hooked.

Have you heard about what we did yesterday?  If you haven’t, you should probably head over to Tara’s blog and read her version of the story.  She describes the trip wonderfully, and I see no need in duplicating effort (particularly when she does it so well).  I’ve got a few things to add, but better that you’re somewhat familiar with the events in question before I confuse you with my ramblings.  Go ahead and read it.  I’ll wait.

I seriously considered splitting the blog at this point, like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. One path for those who went and read Tara’s blog, and one for those of you who didn’t.  Then I had two thoughts:  a) that’s going to be a lot of work, and b) no one would be nearly as impressed by it as I would be.  We’ll be proceeding normally from this point on.

Even the asphalt speaks to me

Even the asphalt speaks to me

This picture isn’t 100% clear, but if you look closely, you’ll see that the right lane has been partially patched.  A road crew resurfaced only the part of the asphalt that most drivers have their wheels on.  Probably a good idea, I imagine it saves some money and resources.  It drove me crazy though.  I could not for the life of me drive on the patched surface.  Being me, I had to ponder that at great length.  Even though my scientific mind understands why it was this way, the rest of my head was screaming at me to ignore this subliminal attempt to control me.  I’m not going along with the rest of the crowd.  I’m going to color, or in this case drive, outside the lines.

This immediately struck me as kinda stupid.  I pointed the road out to @mztomlinson, and asked her where she would drive.  Without a moments thought, she said “off the lines”.  I like the way she thinks.

I was just driving down the road, about 9 miles north of Llano, minding my own business, when I drove by this sign.

How does anyone NOT stop when they see this?

How does anyone NOT stop when they see this?

WTF?  I stopped the car and turned around.  No way I can pass this by without investigating. I mean seriously, you know me that well by now, right?  What does the name even mean?  Is this simply the most specific cemetery in the world?  And if so, I have even more questions.  Luckily, there was also a Texas Historical Marker.  I’ve got a picture, so don’t even try to say I made this up, but in the ineterest of saving space, I’ll just tell you what it said.

“According to local oral tradition, the name Babyhead was given to the mountain in this area in the 1850s when a small child was killed by Indians, and its remains left on the mountain. A local creek also carried the name, and a pioneer community founded in the 1870s became known as Baby Head. The oldest documented grave here is that of another child, Jodie May McKneely, who died on New Year’s Day 1884. The cemetery is the last physical reminder of the Baby Head community, which once had numerous farms, homes and businesses.”

So that explains that. Or does it?  Still being me, the only me I can be, I couldn’t leave it alone.  I came home and did some research.  There’s are several differing stories about where the name came from, and one of them is glorious.  One of the local residents in Llano tells a story passed down in his family for generations.  He claims that his great-grandfather was a landowner in the area at the time, and he was approached in secret by a cabal of rich and influential citizens of the area who were looking to get a Cavalry post moved to the area.  They were planning to murder a family of less homesteaders who were less than welcome (he used the term “poor white trash”) and make it look like an Indian massacre.  His great-grandfather wanted nothing to do with it and told them so.  He doesn’t know why they only killed the baby, but he says that this is the true story, and at the time everyone knew of it but no one would speak against the true culprits, because as stated before, they were rich and influential (Some things never change). This story could also explain why there are conflicting accounts of where the name came from.  It’s hard for that many people to tell the same lie.

And then I bought this!

And then I bought this!

I think it’s one of the birds from Labyrinth.  Or maybe something from a Terry Gilliam movie.  The bird’s body is a big rock, and it’s loose on the stand.  Perfectly balanced, it will rock back and forth for several minutes on a very small push.  It’s very weird and awesome and I love it!  It’s from a store in Fredricksburg called The Choo Choo Trolley, and I believe this piece, like much of the artwork and furniture made from giant trees, was made right there on site.  There is an abundance of cool stuff, including this fountain.  He’s got another fountain like this that includes a sink and mirror – I want that in MY bathroom.

Functional art

Functional art

We were driving down one long stretch of road when we passed an entrance to a driveway.  Like many rural entrances, especially to large houses, there was a rather nice entry gate.  Damn near every one of these I’ve ever seen, and I grew up semi-country so I’ve seen thousands, damn near every one of them has the name of the ranch, or the name of the family that lives there.  Not this guy.  His says “_______ _______, World Champion Roper”.  I don’t want to give his name because this isn’t personal, but what drives someone to do that?  I’m trying to think of where I’ve ever seen the like of it before.  It strikes me as kinda sad – “Look at me, remember when I did something?”  And yes, it’s impressive, roping is difficult, and anytime you work that hard and win a world championship you should be proud, but to hang a sign on your front door just seems, I don’t know, tacky? Is it just me?  You know you can chime in here anytime, there’s a comment box somewhere on the page.

We have a great sponsor today,  Johnny T’s BBQ.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that Johnny T is my brother.  I should also point out familial duty would never lead me to hyperbole.  Hell, unlike some people out here in the blogosphere, even money will not buy my praise.  Money will pay me to talk about something.  If I say it’s awesome, it’s because I think it’s awesome.  End of soapbox, let’s move on.

Johnny T’s is owned and operated by John Tomlinson.  John is a 3rd generation restaurateur (yes it’s spelled correctly, I looked it up!).  He’s wanted to own a restaurant since he was 4 years old.  So what did he do?  He went to Texas Culinary Academy and graduated with honors.  He passed his exam and is indeed Le Cordon Bleu certified.  Certified?  I don’t really know the process, I just know he’s got the goods!  He was an executive chef in the fine dining game for several years, but he wanted to run his own place.  And he wanted to do BBQ.  Le Cordon Bleu and BBQ may not seem like a natural fit, but it adds up to the best BBQ around.

John is most proud of his side dishes – and this is an are where he has truly let his culinary skills run wild.  Not only does he make everything from his own unique recipes, but he’s even made up a few new items, like his tamale potato casserole, something you’re not likely to see anywhere else.  And somedays he gets really creative and has things that aren’t normally on the menu.  Today I was treated to a dish he called Deep fried Gumbo.  Okra, potatoes, onions, and other goodies, seasoned and breaded like only Johnny T can do.  I can’t let you taste it, but I can show you a picture.

mmmmmmm Fried Gumbo

mmmmmmm Fried Gumbo

It tastes even better than it looks.  John also claims that he has the best pulled pork in all of Texas.  Personally, I think most of what gets passed off as pulled pork in this state is a disgrace to the name, but John’s is authentic.  You can have it naked, Memphis style, or North Carolina style.  The difference is in the sauce.  For the uninitiated, Memphis style comes with a sticky sweet sauce, while the North Carolina style has a thinner sauce with vinegar and peppers.  If you’ve never had good pulled pork, especially my fellow Texans, you have to try it.  It’s different from Texas BBQ, but as John says “I don’t care if it’s Texan or not, it’s awesome”.

You don’t have to take my word for it.  Check out his reviews on Yelp.  And then go see him.  he’s located at 1318 Round Rock Blvd in Round Rock.  That’s the 620 exit off of I35.  Follow him on Facebook and you’ll always know when he offers a special item.  Those are extra nice.

Thanks again or coming by.  And if you know anyone who would like to have a Geek For A Day, send them over.  We need sponsors, and it doesn’t get any cheaper than January.

This post is under “Adventures, Personal, TV” and has no respond so far.
If you enjoy this article, make sure you subscribe to my RSS Feed.

Post a reply

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wordpress themes