Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Lasseters +

Here's a photo of the complete family: all the Lasseters, new husbands Ned and Brian, and Fr. Dan. Too bad the photo is fuzzy. I had camera issues over Thanksgiving weekend.

Juggling Brothers-in-Law

Lasseter girls like similar qualities in men: curly hair and juggling, both seen here.

Home again

and decorating for Christmas!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

ND vs. USC

It's a sad scene.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lasseters at the table

We don't have the attention span to visit. Note the computer,
phone,and camera at the table. And I'm blogging. Ned deserted long ago.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Check out Ned's plate. He didn't go back for seconds.

Happy Thanksgiving

From the Lasseters and Outlaws

Cooking the turkey

We begin with a good wash, plus the plucking of feathers that
Butterball missed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bayesian BBQ, by Tom Freeland

The reponse to our challenge has been a good one. And, while some folks have written in with some rather implausible explanations of Bayesian Networks, we were a little concerned when our friend, Tom Freeland, wrote in with an example problem that actually makes us think that he understands BNs. At least he made it interesting for me, with the food connection! His thoughts follow. And, for more thoughts by Tom, check out his blog here.

While Baysian networks may be inadequate to resolve the question “what is good barbecue,” this approach may bring some focus to what seems to many an intractable problem. Prior approaches have tended to propose answers in terms of relatively simplistic dichotomies—inside or outside meat? Sliced or chopped? whole hog or shoulder? Vinegar or ketchup?—with complicating arguments for geographic dominance. The literature is also plagued with nuisance variables, early examples being arguments about barbecue made from meat other than pork, or with a sauce that is actually based on yellow mustard, and more recent examples arising from the marketing of gas ovens that do not use wood or charcoal as suitable for cooking barbecue.

The approach proposed by this paper would call, first, for an identification of the appropriate pairings from the literature, along with the elimination of nuisance variables, and then the creation of appropriate interrelationships in a directed graph.

A secondary problem in framing the question is that some pairs that seem entirely independent (whole hog/shoulder and vinegar/catsup) seem to spontaneously arise in tandem. Examples include the barbecue traditions of Memphis, Tennessee (shoulder/ketchup), Lexington, Tennessee (whole hog/vinegar), Goldsboro/Ayden, North Carolina (whole hog/vinegar) and Greensboro/Lexington, North Carolina (shoulder/ketchup). Even here, geography is a complicating factor, with the existence of “blended” barbecue (shoulder served with vinegar sauce in Chapel Hill, North Carolina) on the border between traditions that follow the more usual combinations.

--Tom Freeland

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving begins

Today on National Street: grocery list and menu compiled; stocks begin for dressings and gravy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ned is celebrating...

because now we can blog from our iPhone! Amy, you must get one. (The weekend's a little slow -- can you tell from all the blog traffic?)

Two Cousins, born on the same day

Today, Ned's cousin Jeff--and wife, April--welcomed a little girl, Harper Mitchell. And Mary Beth's cousin, Laura--and husband, Jim--welcomed a little girl, Tessa. Congrats to both! We only have one photo at present, stolen from Jeff & April's blog. Hope they don't mind us sharing!

Christmas is coming, Santa --

And, in the spirit of the holidays, Ned and I want stuff. Mainly, this.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bayesian Networks, by Melanie (Mama)

And here's the response from Melanie/Mama:
Almost 50 years ago the pioneers of Walt Disney World Resort envisioned a complex system of underground tunnels that would link all the different "kingdoms" yet to be developed. Because the land in central Florida is sodden, these tunnels needed to prevent humidity from damaging the sensitive electronic equipment that would connect these worlds. Hence the Bayesian Networks were created. Headquartered under the Seven Seas Lagoon, the tunnels were constructed of materials that were initially created by NASA for use in the space program. Yes, the same materials that protect astronauts in space from extreme temperatures also work deep within the earth. Bayesian Network technology has also been implemented in other places as well: the underground bunkers of Washington, D.C. and the often-denied storage facilities of Area 51 among them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bayesian Networks, by Daniel

And here's my brother Daniel's response:
The Bayesian Networks are a series of adult-oriented cable television networks that feature the acting works of the stars of the hit series Baywatch. Among the channels are The Hoff, devoted to the awesomeness that is David Hasselhoff, and The Boob Tube, which is a reality channel about the daily activities of Pamela Anderson’s breasts (this channel scores very high in the teenage boy and perverted old men demographics). On the Fit Channel, it shows a continuous loop of the famed Baywatch “running” opening credits.

Another really happy moment

brought to us by my friend Ari, of Zingerman's. He never comes to Oxford without slipping me some candy bars. I don't want to play favorites with my SFA friends, but Ari's hard to beat! Order some of your own online here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It was time for a new haircut.

This is the first photo where it strikes me that I look my age. I'm not so sure how I feel about that. Actually, I don't think I feel too good about it.

Ned in action

Don't ask him about it, but Ned's been plugging away at the diss for days now. I'm so proud!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Update: Operation Gravy Boat

After months of whining about needing a gravy boat to go with my china, and then finally getting one during our anniversary trip to Florida in August, a few weeks ago Ned pointed out that I'd never actually fixed him a meal with gravy. We've had gravy, don't get me wrong -- but usually it's in the bowl with the stew or the fried cube's never been in its own boat. So the other night I made real, serious, in-its-own-container, gravy. And then I put it in the Fiesta gravy boat, and forgot all about using the china one, which is how the conversation got started in the first place. Ugh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


A week or so ago, Delta Diners/Vicksburg Chapter hit the road to Greenwood, Mississippi. Sadly, we found the Crystal Grill subpar. I think they were closing just as we arrived and, realizing the confusion over our reservations, stayed open late for us. Alas, the food was miserable, but the pie -- the pie can't be beat. Check out that meringue!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Garage sale casualty

At our garage sale last week, I sold my childhood eraser collection. Later, I cried. But here's the nice lady who bought it -- she showed appropriate enthusiasm, took a photo with me, and didn't seem to mind that I harvested a mini-collection before she made off with the basket. I mined a Cabbage Patch eraser, Garfield, and my World's Fair New Orleans treasure.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November Tomato Harvest

Well, the freeze beat our fall tomatoes. We had to harvest them on Sunday amidst reports of cold weather on the horizon. They're not red like we had hoped, of course, but we'll fry them up to enjoy at dinner tomorrow.

Vicksburg gets better groceries!

The most exciting thing to hit Vicksburg in months happened Nov. 15 -- the opening of our new Kroger. Now, grant you, it's no Publix...and we won't even bother a comparison with Whole Foods. But it's nice, shiny, and new. See Ned shopping/trying to escape me and my camera earlier on Sunday evening. I couldn't let the moment go undocumented -- it's the most bloggable thing that's happened in weeks! (Surely, you've noticed we're slow on news around here.)

The painting never ends!

But here's where it began, with Ned and I carefully selecting the color for our bedroom. We went to Home Depot to have it mixed, only to find that "Ralph Lauren Ginger" has been discontinued. So we went with "Behr Clam Chowder" instead. Drama tonight, as the drying paint does NOT seem to match the card. Looks more "yellow" than "clam chowder" to me. A repaint may be in order, if I can muster the energy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hot Chicken

We're slow on blog material this week, so here's a flashback laugh. Joe York produced this film for the SFA back when we hosted Camp Nashville. Check out Corlione. He may advocate hot chicken as a weapon, but shortly after this segment was filmed, his gun (probably concealed in his jeans at the time of the interview) accidentally fired in the kitchen. He's a man who appreciates a back up defense plan. Ah, Nashville -- how I miss it!

Hot Chicken from Joe York on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Fridge

Normally, Ned does a good job of clearing out the leftovers. But lately, he's fallen behind. Left to eat this week: grilled sausage and bean soup; mashed potatoes and peas (he did finish the pork chop!); spicy chicken with garbanzo beans; and pot roast with vegetables. Wish he were hungrier...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can't we all just get along?

Less tragic than the shooting after the LSU-Alabama game, but equally Southern Gothic:
Fort Pierce Man Accused of Punching Woman for Opening Can of Sardines and Vienna Sausages
Please note the mugshot, followed by the photo of the evidence replica (above).

Monday, November 10, 2008

If ever I leave the SOUTHERN Foodways Alliance

I definitely WON'T want to work here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Living in a Grown Up House

We've been doing a lot of work for a long time, and we filled this weekend with finishing touches. Moving around a little furniture makes the house feel completely different! Note the clock (moved from the floor by the TV to the mantle), and the armoire (moved from the guest room to the newly renovated sun porch). On schedule for next weekend: painting our bedroom. Moving all the furniture for that project is going to be a nightmare, I fear. Our [my] goal is to have everything settled by December 14 -- a year to the day after I moved to Vicksburg.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yard Sale on National Street

Actually, it was more of a porch sale. And, after years of collecting stuff, three hours of prep work, and four hours of a sale, we have more money in our pockets and less stuff in our storage shed, two very good things.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Favorite Toy, Newly Purchased

Throw away your old cell phone in a moment of absent mindedness, and get the iPhone you've always wanted! Not exactly the lesson we'll want to teach our kids, but Mary Beth's happy with the outcome. It's amazing. GPS. E-mail. Web access. Phone. iPod. Even a tip calculator! All in one.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Favorite Toy, Salvaged

We were reminiscing about toys from our childhood the other day, when Ned recalled his Illustrated Wildlife Treasury. For those of you who know Ned, it will come as no surprise that he loved the collection of cards that he could sort and organize by phylum, and reorganize by region, and reorganize again alphabetically by name. As I drove through Jackson last week, I popped by his mom's house to see if there were any toys left in her shed after the big move, and I found the bright green box! Ned keeps it by his computer for some light-hearted relief from the diss.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Garden Update

You might think that because it's November, there's nothing to report from our garden. You'd be wrong. Here's the update: we pulled up all the dead zinnias about a month ago, only to have volunteers return in force. Interesting, volunteer zinnias are all pink. Our eggplant continue to grow like gangbusters (baba ghanouj is a staple of our diet these days), and we got the first peek at broccoli on Sunday.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Smores on Saturday

In addition to the fabulous fire in the grill on Saturday night, Lauchlin and Olivia had us over to enjoy an outdoor fire in the nifty fire pit they have. Good friends, a warm fire, cold beer, and toasty marshmallows--it was the perfect end to our day! Thanks, ladies.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Home Improvement Weekend

I'm having to backpost for Saturday, because we were too, too busy to blog. On our to do list: hang a new shade in the bathroom and throw away those ugly old flowery curtains, and repaint the porch room. The porch is the best room in our house, but we don't use it (1) because it's an ugly shade of yellow and (2) because the floors are in need of repair. Problem #1 was fixed yesterday with MB's less than stellar painting skills. Problem #2 will be solved just as soon as MB locates a tile guy. And next week, we'll spend every minute on our porch, peeking out the windows at our neighbors!