Dale InterviewIt’s finally gameday.

I’ve got an interview with the chef who fed the Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2012 to 2016 up over at the rah-rah-football site along with a quick and easy ham & cheese slider recipe to enjoy as you watch the most brutal opening in the history (as far as my crack research team can tell) of the college game.

When they scheduled this game, both Alabama and Florida State were programs everyone expected to be very good, but I doubt anyone expected them to be preseason #1 and #3 respectively.

Please don’t let this come down to field goals.

Actually, I don’t think this will be a close game. Either FSU has improved their offensive line or they haven’t. If the haven’t, we will be all over their qb and our run game wears their defense down by the half and we do whatever we want on offense for the last two quarters. If they have and can give Francios time to go through his progressions they might just run away with this. Practice reports say that Diggs has improved at corner since the A-Day game, but he was playing wide receiver a year ago. Not getting picked on is expecting a lot from a freshman convert making his first start against a top five team.

Thankfully, FSU’s receiver talent dips a good bit after the top three so they shouldn’t be able to spread us out too much nor dictate matchups.

This either going to be a great or a horrible game. Finally.

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My Wife’s First Book Release

StrangeholdAfter years of helping others get their sci/fi and fantasy books out into the world as the editor at Pyr, my wife has published her own book, Strangehold (Crosshold of Worlds Book 1), an urban fantasy novella.

I’ve been sitting on this for a few weeks because my wife was concerned about the mechanizations of Apparently one of the last things you want is to muddy your “Customers who bought this also bought” links with non or other genre selections.

She wanted her debut to be small and at best limited to dedicated Sci Fi/Fantasy readers to make her bones and get her title included amongst those chosen by the die hard. In short, she was worried that if either of my readers were to buy the book, she’d have links to books about foot fungus, lizard people in positions of power, and the collected wisdom of Mike DuBose befouling her page. So I waited.

The cat’s out of the bag now with friends and family tossing the title out to the great unwashed via Facebook and Twitter so I get to shout this from my very small mountian top of a blog and, though I’m hopelessly unreliable as a reviewer ever since it came out that the author and I have been sleeping together for almost fifteen years, the book is great. Don’t just take my conflicted word for it. Listen to these people who have never even so much as kissed her:

“Strangehold is a fabulous creation, in every sense of the word, and I cannot wait to read more! Grounded and real, yet infused with startling wonder. Highly recommended.” Julie E. Czerneda, author of A TURN OF LIGHT

“My favorite new urban fantasy in years! Sears’s writing is confident, assured, and full of magic, just like her practical and powerful spellcaster heroine. I can’t wait for the next story in the series.”Stephanie Burgis, author of MASKS AND SHADOWS and THE DRAGON WITH A CHOCOLATE HEART 

Pretty nice, eh? Goodreads has been good to her too.

The Teaser is after the break.

Continue reading

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Backyard Tuscan Dinner

Meds for Health 2As much as I love the foods of the region and write their praises, you’d think I’d be able to spell “Mediterranean” on the first go round. There are so many points of doubt in the word. Two “d”s? Is it “i” or “a” next? I know there’s one “t” but is there a second “r?”

After an attempt or two at trying to to appease spellcheck sans help I end up opening a new tab and looking it up. Everytime. It makes me feel lesser, which is no attitude to have when starting such an inherently egotistical exercise as a blogpost. You have to believe that people will actually be interested in what you have to say.

I’m hoping that the picture above is attractive enough to entice a few readers to stick around for the recipes after the jump. Eeyore. Continue reading

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An Owl Was Hiding In My Pear.

Owl in Pear

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When Waiters Attack!

“I forgot my glasses. Can you tell me what beers you guys have on draft?”

Beers on Tap Albaq

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A Little Housekeeping

Federalist AnchoviesSomeone besides the blessed rah-rah football site deigned to publish something I wrote. I’m never very comfortable trying promote my stuff, which is stupid.

I remember a really successful writer talking to a group of fairly newly published authors and a few hopefuls like myself. It was more like he was holding court. He had opinions on everything from when to break with conventions to how to choose an agent. It was remarkable how well thought out those opinions were, but he’d been in the business of writing for at least forty years at the time.

One of the things that stuck with me was his response to a question about what to do with something you’ve written but don’t believe will sell.

“Are you an editor?” He asked. Or something in that direction. This is all paraphrased from memory. Continue reading

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Notes From The Beach: What The Hell, Man?

Beach Feet

Not to be a crybaby here, but it’s so much worse than it looks.

I thought I had a good deal going with the beach. I’ll overpay for stupid fruity drinks, not complain that you haven’t added a lane to the one road you have in years despite the fact that you keep adding hotel rooms at an astonishing rate, not complain that you serve as a dumping ground for all the corked or baked wine in the southeast, not mind the rain, and all the beach has to do is not beset me with swarms of biting stealth sea mosquitos. I was wrong.

I honestly have no idea what happened. There was no moment of attack that I can remember. I only know that after a day when, due to rain and cooking, the only time I had to wander into the water was around 9pm. My wife and I took a stroll along the coast, letting the waves lap at our feet. The next day, I’ve got constellations of what I would have assumed were fire ant bites had I not known better.

In a way I’m kind of impressed. Whatever insectoid hive mind general led the campaign against my feet was careful to make sure that each toe was individually assaulted. I admire that kind of attention to detail. Continue reading

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Notes From The Beach: Vin’tij Is Just So Good

Vintij Wine

Forgot to take a picture of the restaurant, but we came home with this.

If you know me, you know that I’m a fairly live and let live guy. I approach life and people with, not an open mind – I feel like the entire idea of an open mind is to eventually close on some truth here and there – but with curiosity. I might find what you do and how you live your life to be absolutely stupid, but I recognize that you don’t feel that way. Epistemological humility makes we want to know why you think the way you do, and by extension, why I think the way I do. I love talking to people I consider odd or even downright deplorable.

Occasionally outside forces re-orient the way we think. This time, it was honey-bourbon and Scotch. Possibly some beer too.

It was three years ago and I was looking for the best lunch with a decent wine list in Destin. My family meets with an extended network of uncles and aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews at the shore every year and we set up a moveable feast – each family hosting the others one night and on to another the next. Lunch was always a catch as you can deal and a few of us were wondering what kind of offerings the local scene could put forth. I let Facebook be my guide and the overwhelming response from the 30A savvy social media was Vin’tij, a small bistro attached to a wine shop a few miles east of where we usually stay.

I rankled at the spelling changes re “vintage.” A bit too cutesy for my tastes, but the recommendations were beyond exemplary, almost into the range of emphatic. I championed the restaurant to my travelling companions. It was all based on strangers’ recommendations, but I was interested. Paul writing to the Euphesians was not as zealous as me. That’s not true, but I was pretty excited about trying this place. Continue reading

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Notes From the Beach: Dear Beer Cozy People, Leave Us Non-Beer Cozy People Alone.

Before we get started, let me address the not yet voiced objBeer Cozyection my one reader has while it’s still in that incunabular lizard brain outrage that takes form when wrong-headed conventions are challenged. It’s “Cozy.” Not “Koozie.”

As a reddit page entitled “Koozie or Cozy,” because of course there is a reddit page entitled “Koozie or Cozy” the word “Koozie” is a trademark like “Kleenex.” And while it is perfectly acceptable to colloquially refer to a class of anything by a trademarked name of a prominent or exemplary member of that class – around these part the question “What kind of Coke do you want?” is acceptably answered by “Sprite” or “Mellow Yellow” – it does hint to the listener that you spent most of high school English period out back smoking with the janitors.

So, just to give my quotation mark button on my keyboard another click in a post where it’s already seen more action than it’s used to, the correct term is “Cozy.” Object all you want, but I’ve appealed to authority and reddit nerds have spoken.

Back to the point, I understand that some people are annoyed by the cool sensation of a cold beer in their hand, that some dislike the condensation that forms on the outside of a can in the warm summer months – it might get water on your perfect pants etc. – and want to be shielded from whatever ill effects contact with moisture may present. I’m not one of you.  Continue reading

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An Oasis in the Desert

CaptureIt’s not a real game, but the Alabama Spring scrimmage was last weekend. If you saw it, as a fan, you’d likely have been simultaneously thrilled about our downfield passing and concerned about how our defensive backs covered the long ball. Practice games are like that.

Anyway, I stayed true to my commitments and posted a tailgating recipe over at the Rah-Rah Football site. It’s a hack on sous vide that I desperately want to take credit for, but all the laurels belong to Kenji Lopez-Alt. His book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, is excellent if you haven’t read it yet.

The long and short of things are that I cooked a couple of steaks in my Coleman cooler. That was a new one for me.

128 days left until the season begins. /Sigh.

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