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June 30, 2004

Blacktop Sealing and Odd Jobs

Over the years I have made many friends. Some of these are people who worked for or continue to work for building material suppliers I patronized while I was building and still patronize when I need things for my own home.

Terry Douglas is one of these friends. He is an honest, hard-working individual who works on side jobs after he is finished with his regular day job. During the day he drives a delivery truck for Harry Ewers & Sons, Inc. in Cincinnati, OH. This company does fantastic blacktop work as well as tar and chip surfaces. They installed my tar and chip driveway. Terry can do all of this work and more, but now he drives each day.

Well, he and I were talking this morning and he told me he was busy on weekends sealing blacktop driveways. He also can do many other odd jobs and do them well. If you are looking for a great man to work around your house, call Terry. If you live away from Cincinnati, OH, you will undoubtedly have to throw in some plane tickets, food and lodging. But you know what, it just might be worth it. Call Terry at: 513-509-2092 or 513-481-0292.

By the way, if you need a one-gallon can of pea gravel, stop in at Ewers on Woodford Road in Cincinnati, OH. Ask for Lori and mention my name. My guess is she will shake her head and say take it for free. If too many of you show up, she will put it on my tab. That's OK by me, so long as you just walk out with one gallon at a time. Lori told me to tell you that pea gravel is free at Ewers on Sundays.

Posted by Tim Carter at 9:49 AM

June 24, 2004

Gettysburg - The Battlefield

Two days ago I had the enormous good fortune of visiting the hallowed ground of the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA. My family and I were on our way back home from Boston, MA and my son wished to see this historic military battlefield.

Before the visit, I didn't have much of an interest in the Civil War much less Gettysburg. But the spirits of those Americans who gave their lives on that field have now changed that.

The National Park Service now cares for much, if not all, of the ground where the enormous confrontation happened. You can actually walk on many of the fields and stand exactly where soldiers and generals died. I stood at the spot where the Confederate General Armistead died in the heat of Pickett's Charge. It was truly a religious experience for me.

Can you imagine 51,000 men killed, injured, captured or missing over a three day period? Can you imagine 5,000 deaths alone in the final hour of battle as Pickett's Charge faltered? What do you think it feels like to stand within five feet of the place where President Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address? I can try to tell you, but if you want my honest opinion, simply go there and feel what I felt.

I am quickly learning that the historical record is rich with accurate and detailed eyewitness accounts of the battle and the aftermath. The rest of my summer reading will be devoted to learning more about the bloodiest most horrific day of battle on our nation's own soil.

If you are ever within a day's drive of Gettysburg National Military Park, I urge you to take an extra day or two and go to this special place. It is so peaceful now, but on the first three days of July, 1863 it was hell on earth.

Posted by Tim Carter at 8:50 PM

June 22, 2004

Petsi Pies

Yesterday my family and I were cruising around Boston on a mission. Well, several missions actually. We were trying to find the USS Constitution but I got us lost in the East End near Logan Airport. After that failed mission, I decided to try to satisfy a craving for cherry pie that my wife Kathy and my oldest daughter had. We tried two or three places and came up empty handed.

As we were getting out of the car for dinner, my oldest daughter Meghan glanced across the street and said, “Hey, there is a pie store!” Within moments the entire family was drawn by this powerful tractor beam towards Petsi Pies.

The door was open and there was Renee McLeod, the proprietor, working on her off day. We quickly discovered she was closed and had no cherry pie. But she did have pecan and a few others. When Renee heard about our failed mission trying to locate cherry pie, she would not let us leave empty handed. Moments later I had an enormous pecan pie wrapped in protective cellophane and in a great box.

I got to taste the pie this morning and once again, moments ago. Oh, how delicious it is! Some pecan pies are too sweet. This one is perfect. The crust is both flaky and moist.

If you are near Somerville, MA, get yourself onto Beacon Street. Beacon runs between Somerville Avenue and Mass Avenue. Open your car window and the aroma will direct you to 285 Beacon Street, the source of the Petsi Pies tractor beam. Please tell Renee I said “Hello!” and that I can’t wait to come back and visit with her!

Posted by Tim Carter at 11:14 PM

June 20, 2004

ECCO Shoes

What would you say if I told you that I found the most comfortable athletic shoes ever while strolling down Newbury Street in the vibrant Back Bay section of Boston, MA? To further flabbergast you, imagine if I said it was a brand that was as foreign to me as riding a cramped T subway car from Alewife to Braintree.

Well, my wife and I purchased a pair of ECCO athletic shoes this morning and walked miles and miles the rest of the day in unbelievable comfort. Never before has a shoe fit me or Kathy as well as these. Both pairs of shoes sport a new technology called Receptor. The bottom of each shoe has a very stiff piece of plastic that minimizes flex at the arch. The way I understand it is this piece of plastic immediately transfers your body weight from your heel to the ball of your foot where it belongs. I must tell you that walking in these shoes is like walking on air. It is the most unusual feeling I have ever experienced when wearing a shoe.

All I can say is that if I had on my sandals or other shoes, I would be popping Advil pills into my mouth tonight like popcorn at a double feature. At the very least you might think I would be sporting one or two blisters. Not a chance. It is entirely possible ECCO Shoes has just made another customer for life.

Posted by Tim Carter at 11:11 PM

June 7, 2004

Norwalk Inn and Conference Center

I am in Norwalk, CT tonight getting ready for a big business meeting tomorrow. My great assistant found a room for me on the Web at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center. Talk about lucky!

This is not your ordinary cookie-cutter national chain hotel for business travelers. It is a family-owned and operated hotel that rocks. The Handrinos family operates it and when I checked in, Mr. Handrinos was bending over backwards to satisfy a guest at the front counter. He was running full speed at the problem, not making excuses.

Thirty minutes or so after checking in, I went down to the lobby to find a glass of ice with some fountain Coke or Pepsi. This wonderful young woman standing in the lobby knew I was looking for something - obviously I looked like a deer in headlights. She asked if she could help and I told her exactly what I wanted. Moments later I was drinking the most refreshing mixture of soda and cranberry juice I have ever had. Who was this woman? The night manager, Ms. Lisa Handrinos!

The Handrinos family is in the midst of a major renovation of their website. Please do not judge this wonderful business by what you see now. I can tell you it is an enormous pleasure to discover gems like this while traveling.

If you find yourself in the southwest corner of Connecticutt one day and need a place to stay, you better hope they have a vacancy. You will not believe how wonderful this Inn is until you come here and experience it for yourself.

Posted by Tim Carter at 10:38 PM

Boston Gyro Sandwich

Two hours ago I had a fantastic gyro sandwich at Christos 7 Star restaurant in Davis Square, Somerville, MA. The meat slices were plentiful and thick. The cucumber sauce made with lots of sour cream was super tasty. Oh, if you like gyro sandwiches like I do, this is a place you must visit.

Christos 7 Star is located at 233 Elm Street in Somerville, MA. Somerville is next to Cambridge, MA, home of Harvard University. You can get all sorts of other great food there as well. If you are a local, call them at 617-628-9090.

Posted by Tim Carter at 2:53 PM

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