Category Archives: Food

Arkansas, I have returned

ROGERS, Ark. — Let the record show at 14:35 on 13 April 2022, David Steinle is eating in the dining room of a fast-food establishment.
That was impossible throughout most of 2020 and 2021, thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in part due to a lack of employees who decided they’d rather draw unemployment rather than go back to work.
During the pandemic, customers were banned from all interior areas of many restaurants. You could not go in to pick up an order, complain about your order being wrong, or use the restroom. You had to use the drive-thru, or if you were technologically advanced enough, the app to pick up curbside.
The app was wonderful if you craved McDonald’s. Never a problem.
Chick-Fil-A? Great. Sonic? Excellent. Wendy’s? A few bugs at first, but it got its act together.
If you wanted Arby’s, you were out of luck. Arby’s did not roll out online ordering until late last year, and only a fraction of their locations have it now.

I did not miss not being able to eat inside a fast food joint. Since moving to Kansas, I hardly ever did it when I was alone prior to the pandemic, unless I was going to plug in somewhere to get work done.
In Kansas City, most of my restaurant time has been spent in Buffalo Wild Wings and Minsky’s Pizza, which are conducive to eating at a table and working if I so choose.
On the road, I hardly eat at fast food places anymore. Why eat at McDonald’s when it’s in Russell? I may go to Chick-Fil-A occasionally, but I can get that in Salina on the way to and from Russell, and if I’m craving it that bad, it’s only a 75-minute drive.

Today is different. Today is special.
For the first time since July 2008, I have ventured to beautiful northwest Arkansas.
When you think of northwest Arkansas, three things usually come to mind: (a) the Ozarks; (b) Walmart, whose world headquarters are in Bentonville; and (c) the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, home of the Razorbacks.
I ventured to Fayetteville three times during my association with the LSU baseball team. The Razorbacks have a beautiful stadium, one which has been named the best in college baseball by numerous publciations on numerous occasions. When it opened in April 1996, it became the blueprint for almost every other collegiate stadium, including the new Alex Box Stadium at LSU, which came online in 2009.
Baum-Walker Stadium is one km (0.6 miles) south of the main campus. Since Arkansas was smart enough to build from scratch instead of retrofitting its stadium into an existing space, it would build something bigger and better. It did, and the stadium has been upgraded significantly since my last visit in 2003.

When I departed Russell Monday morning, I was determined my first food stop in Arkansas would be Whataburger.
Yes, I ate at Whataburger in Independence last December.
However, the three Whataburger locations in the Kansas City area have significant flaws.
First, the menu is very limited. Several items found in locations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana are not available in Kansas and Missouri.
Second, online ordering does not work in the KC metro. The last thing I want to do is sit in a drive-thru line for a long time, or wait in a long line in the restaurant. I waited 50 minutes for my food in December.
Third, I refuse to support Patrick Mahomes II. He is the main proprietor of the KC locations. I have had it with Chiefs fans and media who cover the team treating him as our Lord and Savior.
I reached the boiling point the Tuesday before the AFC championship game as I was driving in Des Moines.
Former Chiefs center Tim Grunhard compared Mahomes to Michael Jordan.
Okay, Tim. Whatever you say.
I don’t like Jordan. However, to compare a quarterback who just completed his fourth season as an NFL starter to one of the most iconic athletes in the history of sport is ludicrous.
Then The Kansas City Star showed its true colors by running dozens of photos of Mahomes’ wedding last month.
For a team which has won one Super Bowl over the last 52 seasons, Chiefs fans have become quite entitled and spoiled. I guess the 2-14 seasons of 2008 and 2012 don’t exist anymore, and anything before Andy Reid’s hiring in 2013 was part of an alternate universe.

I ventured south on Interstate 49 today from Kansas City to northwest Arkansas. the sun broke through the clouds near Joplin, and it turned into a nice day. Not too hot, not too cold.
My first thought was go to the hotel in Fayetteville, then order from Whataburger there, since there is one just down the road.
When I crossed the state line, I decided I couldn’t wait for Whataburger.
I pulled off I-49, and the Whataburger app pointed me to one in Rogers. There is also a Walmart nearby, so I figured I could eat and shop before heading south.

I can tell you the last time I was inside a Whataburger: 16 April 2008, when my dad and I stopped in Shreveport driving from Baton Rouge to Oklahoma.
Wait, now I remember the last time I ate inside a fast food joint: October at the Russell Subway with Peggy.
However, I cannot remember the last time I did it alone.

Thank you for reading this pointless post. At least it shows I’m not six feet under.

A (short) look back to Iowa

So much for avoiding Outback Steakhouse. I got takeout last night, but no steak. Lobster tails and grilled shrimp. Unfortunately, the shrimp was not on a bed of garlic toast like I’m accustomed to, and the mixed veggies was only broccoli. Can’t be perfect.
Today, I made the 30 km (18 mile) trip northwest from my hotel to Boulder. There is a bar just off US 36, the highway connecting the western Denver suburbs to Boulder, whichwa also serves Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Great call. Oysters were excellent. I’m getting a second order to go. I am also going to hang around Boulder, going to Safeway just down the street and then to the University of Colorado campus to see Folsom Field and Coors Events Center.
I made another reservation at the Buckhorn Exchange tonight, but I’m guessing I will either cancel or only order takeout. I’m not in the mood for another $127 meal ($97 plus a hefty tip; I make sure the ladies are taken care of, and Andrea deserved extra for suggesting the elk/bison combination), as tempting as it sounds. Worse is the traffic from Westminster to downtown; I couldn’t go last night because (a) I had a prior engagement from 1700 to 1900, and (b) the Avalanche played the Blackhawks at Ball Arena (formerly Pepsi Center) in their NHL opener last night. No way I wanted to fight Interstate 25, which is a parking lot much of the time between rush hour and the four sports teams playing at facilities on the highway.
Back to Russell tomorrow. Will be so weird going east to get home, plus the time change will get me.
I’m convinced it’s easier to go from Central to Eastern or Mountain to Central, then come back home than the other way around. I went from Central to Eastern in April 2017 on my trip to Kentucky. I was grateful to get that hour back on the long drive from Lexington to Kansas City. If I leave the hotel at 1200, I figure I’m back at 1830 in Russell.

One week ago, I was in another state for the first time.
Okay, it was not my first time in Iowa, but it was the first time I stopped in Iowa. Prior to last Tuesday, when I drove north on I-35 from northeast Kansas City to West Des Moines, the only times I had been in the Hawkeye State was on I-29 between Kansas City and Omaha.
One time going from Omaha to KC, I bypassed Iowa completely, driving south on US 75, then taking US 136 over the Missouri River at the Nebraska-Missouri state line.
I got to experience a quirky Iowa law during my five days there.
In 1979, Iowa adopted a law which requires consumers to place a nickel deposit on bottled and canned beverages. The deposit can be recovered by returning the containers to a recycling center. They’re not hard to find in Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities (Davenport and Bettendorf), but in rural areas, many counties don’t have places to recycle.
I’m old enough to remember a small food store near my residence in New Orleans which placed deposits on glass bottles, but when plastic replaced glass, there was no need for it.
Iowa is one of a few states with a “bottle bill”, and the only one between the Continental Divide and Mississippi River. I wonder if many Council Bluffs residents buy drinks in Nebraska, or those in the Quad Cities go into Illinois, to avoid the deposit.
It would be akin to Wyandotte and Johnson County residents in Kansas going into Missouri (or Metro East in Illinois going to St. Louis) to buy cancer sticks, because Missouri refuses to tax cancer sticks at a reasonable rate (17 cents? That was unreasonably low in 1971, much less 2021).
I was lucky to receive a great rate for the lovely Sheraton in West Des Moines. I had a two-room suite at a lower price than it usually is for a standard room, and it was only seven steps from the elevator to the door.
It is one of the few hotels I’ve lodged where the rooms all overlook an atrium. There are two glass elevators on the east side of the hotel, and that creates a lot of problems when there is a large number of guests, as it was when I was trying to check out Sunday morning.
Check out was hell. Luggage carts were being hoarded by elderly guests, and elevators were jammed. I have always hated riding elevators with strangers, but I have hated it exponentially more since COVID. I had to be a jerk during one ride down, shutting the door on three different floors (from the seventh) to avoid others. Lucky for me, the final ride down was alone, and I was on my way back.
There was one jerk from Kossmuth County who parked his Equinox so far right his passenger side tires were one meter over the yellow line. JERK.
I didn’t see the Iowa State Capitol. I didn’t venture to Ames to see Iowa State. I didn’t drive to Clear Lake to see the location of the plane carsh that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. (The Big Bopper) Richardson. I didn’t venture east on I-80 to see the world’s largest truck stop, somewhere between Iowa City and the Quad Citites.
No, my long outing was to Omaha of all places to buy ten cases of Pibb Zero (formerly Diet Mr. Pibb). The addition of Interstate 880 allows motorists to bypass Council Bluffs and downtown Omaha, something I was grateful for.
I was also grateful for Kum & Go and their rib patty sandwiches, which are superior to QuikTrip.
I may be back in Iowa sooner rather than later.

The patty melt at the Boulder bar was awesome. Now I have my Mountain Oysters for tonight. I still crave the kinds you find in the ocean. I need to get back to Louisiana. Soon.

Your lazy blogger returns

Call me lazy, disinterested, whatever you will. I deserve those epithets for going almost three months without writing something, anything.
The last time I posted was 20 July, the night the Bucks won their first NBA championship in 50 years.
Today, Milwaukee is in mourning. The Brewers were ousted from the National League Division Series in four games by the Braves, the team which occupied that city from 1953-65.
Milwaukee’s offense was putrid, which negated possibly the best pitching staff in the franchise’s 53 seasons (counting the first as the Seattle Pilots).
That was the reverse of 1982, when “Harvey’s Wallbangers” terrorized American League pitching, winning the pennant and blowing the last two games of the World Series to the Cardinals.

My first trip to Colorado was going great…then it wasn’t.
I returned to my room this afternoon and discovered the order of Rocky Mountain Oysters I got to go from the Buckhorn Exchange, the oldest and most famous restaurant in Denver and possible all of Colorado, were gone.
Housekeeping at the Marriott Westminster threw them away.
First, I had no idea housekeeping was coming into the room. I have stayed in at least 15 different Marriott properties in Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita and other locales, and only once or twice did housekeeping come in, and that was only after I had been at the hotel for three days.
Second, housekeeping is not supposed to touch anything in the room except dirty towels on the bathroom floor.
I made sure the front desk realized it. I would settle for two orders of oysters (not the kind I inhaled in Louisiana). I thought about asking for having at least one night of my stay comped, but I am not that greedy.

The good news was I did get to eat oysters last night at the Buckhorn, as well as elk and bison. I love beef, but I told Andrea, the lovely waitress who took care of me, that I can eat beef anywhere, and it was time to try something different. Great move.
I do well grilling steaks on my George Foreman grill in Russell, just as long as I take them off the grill after three minutes. I can’t remember the last time I ate a restaurant steak. Outback used to be my go-to- in Kansas City and Wichita, and before that, Baton Rouge, but not now. Ruth’s Chris is in Denver, but I’m more than halfway to Boulder, and both locations are a good drive.

Gas is EXPENSIVE in Denver.
When I bought gas this morning, the price listed on the marquee in front of the station was $3.40.
Unfortunately, that was for 85 octane, which is okay in higher elevations, but in almost all of Kansas (except Goodland and a few places which border Colorado), it’s no go.
The 87 octane cost $3.75 a gallon, making it the most expensive fill-up since 2008, when gas was north of $4 a gallon.

Sorry for burying the lead, but I turned 45 at 08:16 MDT (09:16 CDT). I figured I’ve had too many birthdays in Kansas City and it was time for something different.
I was born in the same hospital in the same year as Reese Witherspoon and Peyton Manning. I feel like apologizing to them, not to mention Archie and Olivia Manning, for tarnishing the hospital’s good name.

Last week, I spent time in another state for the first time. More on that later. I promise it won’t be three months.

Missouri redux

My 44th birthday Tuesday was uneventful. That’s good some of the things which have happened on birthdays past, notably first quarter exams my junior year of high school (1992) and the quarter I was attending a “special” school for children with outlandish behavioral problems and/or juvenile criminal records, simply because my parents thought I couldn’t handle a regular school (1987). THANK GOD I was enrolled at Arabi Park Middle on 26 October 1987. Public school wasn’t my favorite thing, but given where I was in September and October 1987, it was heaven. And I met some wonderful people at APM, including my first crush, Stacie Dauterive (Seube). Stacie is gorgeous, but I now realize I crushed on her because she is so kind and intelligent.

I’ve been at Saints games (1996) and high school football games (2000). I bounced between tennis and football in 2006. There were a few years in Kansas City, with Robb and Dawn in 2015, and with Robb, Dawn and some others two years later. I was at Ottawa University with the Cox family in 2018, then rushed home late at night to beat forecast snow. Last year I left KC early to make it home for lunch.

This year, since my birthday was on a Tuesday, I had work to finish up. I stayed up past 02:00 to get it all done, got a little sleep, then did a little more work. I didn’t eat anything special, even though I still have four USDA Prime strip steaks in my freezer. I think we’ll have those for my dad’s birthday next month.

I’m back in Missouri, this time at the far end of the state—at least from Kansas’ perspective.

I planned to go to Columbia to retrieve my iPod from the Springhill Suites. Then it dawned upon me to go to the Broadway Oyster Bar in St. Louis since I had the time. Besides, I was halfway across the Show-Me State, so why not?

I haven’t had fresh oysters since Acme Oyster House in Baton Rouge when my dad and I went two and a half years ago. I seriously looked into ordering oysters online and frying them at home, but the cost and hassle were both too much.

I wanted to go to Broadway Oyster in May, but it was closed due to COVID-19. No takeout even. I could have come last Friday, but my main focus was the game in Columbia, not cuisine, even though I made the two trips to Wentzville for White Castle.

I like my oysters cooked—fried, chargrilled, baked. I have never eaten them raw. I probably would like them, but why take the health risk? I don’t know if Dr. Custer would approve with my diabetes and high blood pressure.

I fell in love with chargrilled oysters when I lived in Louisiana. It was at Zeke’s, a seafood restaurant and bar on Metairie Road in the oldest section of the Jefferson Parish community (it is not an incorporated city, but it if it was, it would be larger than every Louisiana city except New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Lafayette). The last time I was there, a little less than five months before Hurricane Katrina, I ate two dozen. A few of my older friends were stunned. They knew I could eat, but didn’t know I had the stomach for that many oysters. I ended up with the largest bill, naturally.

I had Oysters Rockefeller, the dish made famous by Antoine’s in the French Quarter, at Ruth’s Chris in Kansas City in 2008. It’s now closed, as is Morton’s. Bunch of snobbish pricks who frequent the Country Club Plaza turned their nose up at both steakhouses, since Ruth’s Chris is from New Orleans and Morton’s is from Chicago. They thought the out-of-town people couldn’t do it as well as the locals at Plaza III. Ironically, Plaza III is gone, too, so the only decent steakhouse in Kansas City—not counting Outback—is Hereford House, which I found not up to par compared to Ruth’s Chris.

I am very happy to report the Oysters Rockefeller and Oysters Bienville at Broadway Oyster were outstanding. I was an oyster junkie needing my fix, and I got it. I’m getting 12 chargrilled oysters to enjoy back at my hotel. I am seriously considering 12 on the half shell before leaving.

I had some more White Castle in Columbia on the way over. Ironically, there’s a White Castle across the street, and it does a bang-up business. I’ve had my White Castle fix for October and probably November.

The calendar flipped! Let’s party!

If you know me, you know my headline is completely sarcastic. I hate New Year’s Eve more than any other celebration, and I believe it is so puerile to celebrate just because a calendar flipped and you’re putting a new year on checks.

If flipping a calendar was so huge, let’s do it after EVERY month!

I pray Bill DeBlasio will shut down Times Square in seven months and tell everyone to watch the ball drop from the comfort and safety of their residences while Ryan Seacrest provides play-by-play. Of course, there would be tens of thousands of morons who would flaunt that if DeBlasio issued that order, just like idiots did last weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks.

May wasn’t as bad as I feared. The week in St. Louis, plus two Zoom conferences with Crista and one with Peggy, helped the month go by quicker than I thought it might exactly one month ago.

However, the month ended horribly with what went on in Minneapolis last Monday and the subsequent protests and riots. Kansas City and St. Louis are among the places which have been victimized by looting. I’m leaving it at that.

There was a time where I would get on a soapbox and rant about anything political. Not now. If you’re looking for a hot take, I suggest you find another blog. You aren’t getting it from FOOTS PRINTS.

I have an appointment in Hutchinson tomorrow morning. I thought about going down there tonight to stay, but when I saw the volume of food I still had to clear from my refrigerator and freezer, I decided to save the money I would have spent on the hotel and rough it. That means departing before sunrise tomorrow to make it for 10:15, barring an unforeseen illness.

Why am I going two hours to Hutchinson instead of just going to Hays, or even Salina? It’s personal for me. Sorry.

I ate McDonald’s twice last week, both in Hays. It was the first hamburgers I ate from a restaurant, other than White Castle in St. Louis, since I met Peggy at McDonald’s in Russell in February. McDonald’s is much better able to handle mobile orders than most fast food restaurants, so I patronize them over other locations which can’t get their mobile/online ordering straight, or those which don’t have it at all.

Chick-Fil-A was the first fast food restaurant to roll out mobile/online ordering in 2015. I seemed to be the only person using it at the Kansas City location at I-29 and Barry Road, at least until 2017. The Chick-Fil-A in Salina lost my order more than once in those early years, and it angered me. But I have not had a single problem with Chick-Fil-A in three years.

The McDonald’s in Russell has some very old employees who probably don’t know how to turn on a computer. I have to go into the store to pick up an online order, something which wasn’t possible for over two months.

White Castle’s online ordering system is great, at least through the main website. The app is spotty, and often I cannot pay through Apple Pay because it gives me an error message stating “fraud”. Thank God my tablet can handle desktop websites.

I’m going to end my review of fast food ordering here, at least for this post. There is one restaurant which is so far behind the technology curve it’s downright asinine. I’ll reveal it later this week.

When I went to Dillon’s in Hays last week to pick up what few things I needed, I noticed all the maskless faces, a sharp contrast from St. Louis, where most people were compliant (or ALL were complaint in the case of Whole Foods). One man without a mask had two young daughters in tow, both without masks as well. I cringed.

I doubt the surgical masks I’m wearing could prevent the coronavirus strain which causes COVID-19 from getting into my airways. However, by wearing a mask, my sneezes and coughs go into the mask, not the air where they might infect others. It’s an inconvenience, but it’s one that is necessary. I don’t want to fathom the alternative, a strict lockdown under martial law.

It’s getting hot out there. June in Kansas. Yeesh. I knew it was coming. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Beards and no masks? I’ve got a REAL problem.

Day six in St. Louis featured trips to two supermarkets in St. Peters not too far apart. I counted seven people not wearing masks. All were male, and all but one had a beard.

It wasn’t the first time. In nine of the ten grocery stores I have visited in St. Louis, more than 80 percent of the maskless people were men with beards. I have rarely encountered a woman without a mask.

I told Peggy this. I prefaced it by saying she might not like it. Her son, Conor has worn a beard since he was in high school, and her three sons-in-law all have them, although Sam, Chelsea’s husband, does go clean shaven frequently.

I would trade my father’s facial hair for mine. My father could not grow a beard if he went without shaving for a full year. He tried growing a porn star mustache in November 1976, which looked pathetic. He had the mustache on the day of my baptism, and every time I looked at that picture, I didn’t know whether to laugh or gag. Sometimes I did both.

The only time I went an extended period without shaving was when I was in the hospital. The first time I saw my face in the mirror I nearly threw up. It was ugly. The most I ever go without shaving is one day. I don’t shave with the double edge safety razor every day right now, but I have a high-end Braun electric to touch up.

Notice I sad “9 of 10” grocery stores in the second paragraph. That’s because the 10th was Whole Foods, which won’t let you in if you’re not wearing a mask. The store provides masks, but if you don’t want to wear it, you have to leave immediately.

I don’t know how much the surgical masks I am wearing prevent against catching COVID-19, but they definitely prevent against sneezes and coughs spreading. I sneezed today in Dierbergs, and I felt good knowing the particles didn’t spread.

I feel better with the blue surgical masks than with a cloth mask. Two ladies were wearing Blues masks at Schnucks. Too bad I don’t know French or I would have said “Go Habs” in French. Montreal did beat St. Louis in both meetings this season, about the only thing that’s gone right for the Canadiens this season. Hey, at least it is still 23-1 Montreal over St. Louis in times winning the Stanley Cup.

N95 masks would be the best, but the doctors need them. I hope Dr. Custer and the rest of the staff at Hays Medical Center has been able to secure them.

I still have not seen blue surgical masks sold anywhere except Hen House in Johnson County, where I’ve seen them at the Leawood and Prairie Village locations. Speaking of Prairie Village, everyone who goes out in public in that city now has to wear a mask, thanks to an ordinance passed by the city council there.

I’m curious to find out how many people in Hays are wearing masks now. I’m going there Tuesday to Walgreens to pick up medication. I may stop at Dillons just for fun, because heaven knows I don’t need food after all I’m bringing back from St. Louis.

I gorged myself yesterday on sushi, plus I ate a salmon filet and grilled cheese.

The grilled cheese was not made of cheddar, swiss or provolone. I decided to try a St. Louis specialty.

It’s called Provel, and it’s a processed mix of the three cheeses I just mentioned. It is used as the main cheese (instead of mozzarella) by St. Louis pizza chain Imo’s, where pies are baked on a thin cracker-style crust and cut into squares. Many St. Louis residents swear by it and will never eat pizza without Provel, but others dislike Provel and want good old mozzarella.

The Provel grilled cheese was very tasty. I’m going to bring some back to Russell and have my parents try it. I’m not big on processed cheese; I will eat Velveeta and “American” cheese, but it is far from my favorite. However, Provel may grow on me and I may start bringing back lots of it from St. Louis, the same way I do things from Kansas City.

I skipped White Castle yesterday but went back today. Got a crave case (30), which will tide me over through today and tomorrow. I doubt I’m going out tomorrow, because the forecast calls for heavy rain. Monday is supposed to be the perfect day for an eight hour drive, with cooler temperatures and abundant sunshine.

One thing I am really hating about shopping right now is the ban on reusable bags. God I hate those flimsy plastic bags. I get a lot of angry looks from baggers and checkers when I request paper and not plastic.

Growing up in New Orleans, we didn’t have to ponder that question. If you shopped at Schwegmann’s Giant Supermarkets, you got paper and you liked it. The bags were so ubiquitous around the Crescent City they were known as “Schwegmann bags”. Unfortunately, Schwegmann’s went bankrupt and closed its last stores just before the start of the millennium.

Forty years ago tonight, a magical sporting event took place. Too bad few people witnessed it live. I’ll get to it in my next post.

A bad March transitions into (probably) a worse April

The worst month many of us have experienced is over.

What may become the worst month many of us will experience is now upon us.

Life without sports will continue throughout April, and probably May. If there are any games played before Fathers Day (June 21), it will be a Biblical miracle. If there are any before America’s Independence Day, it will be a major miracle. If the college and professional football seasons kick off on time in September, it will be a minor miracle.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit scared the living crap out of every coach, player and fan last week, stating he didn’t believe there would be any more sports, period, until a vaccine for coronavirus was available.


College football’s resident coronavirus expert, Ed Orgeron, believes there will be “no disruption” to the college football season, which is scheduled to begin August 29 with the Notre Dame-Navy game in Ireland.

I’m naturally pessimistic, and I’m tending to believe Herbstreit might be right. I’m not scared. I’m downright terrified.

My native state is in one of its biggest crises since Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803.

The banner on the top of The Advocate’s home page is grim indeed: 5,237 cases, 239 dead, 1,355 in the hospital.

For perspective, the coronavirus has killed three times as many Louisiana residents as Hurricane Betsy, which claimed 76 lives in the Bayou State (plus five in Florida) in September 1965.

The toll is only 17 short of the total number of people who perished in Hurricane Camille, the Category 5 monster which plowed much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast the same weekend as Woodstock in 1969. The total of 256 was spread over Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia and West Virginia; the latter two states experienced flash flooding in the Blue Ridge mountains two days after landfall.

Hurricane Katrina killed 1,836 in Louisiana in 2005. If the coronavirus comes anywhere close to reaching that figure, it will be just as catastrophic, maybe more so. I’m certain it will surpass the 550 who died when Hurricane Audrey roared into southwest Louisiana in June 1957.

Kansas has “only” 428 cases as of this minute. Barton County, due south of Russell County, reported its first case yesterday.

For the second consecutive Tuesday, I ventured to Salina to pick up food and other necessities. It was a complete success, as I picked up five dozen eggs, plus the sausages and other things I like.

Target had two surprises for me.

One, TOILET PAPER. And not just any toilet paper, the Charmin Ultra Soft I have used for most of the past 25 years. I first used it when I went to LSU, and I kept on using it living in Baton Rouge following graduation. I did not use it when I moved home from April 2004 through August 2005, but once I got to Russell, I started using it again.

I have 19 mega rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft in the utility closet next to my bathroom, but 30 mega rolls for $30 was just too good to pass up. I’m set for the rest of this year, and probably most of next year.

There were ZERO packages of toilet paper available the previous Tuesday in the same store.

I was also happy to find Bounty paper towels. Bounty and Brawny are head and shoulders above all other brands. They may be more expensive, but as they say, you get what you pay for.

The second surprise: Target’s stock of home haircutting kits was completely sold out.

I was stunned, but then I realized barber shops and salons were forced to close by the statewide stay-at-home order which took effect Monday. This is going to force parents to cut their children’s hair, although there are no grooming regulations to worry about since nobody will be attending school in a building until at least August.

Fortunately, I bought a haircut set at a Walmart in Topeka in 2007. It sat unused until November, when I elected to cut my own hair to save money.

Walmart did not have haircut sets, either. Bed, Bath and Beyond, whose stores are closed through at least Friday and longer in many states due to stay-at-home orders, is sold out online. Amazon’s supplies are low.

Speaking of Salina and haircuts, I miss Amber.

Chick-Fil-A was again my meal of choice. I hadn’t eaten since the previous night so I devoured a chicken sandwich and eight strips. I think their strips are just as good as Zaxby’s and Raising Cane’s, although they aren’t hyped as much as the sandwiches.

I have seriously lost track of time. I sat down to play Buzztime at 22:00, and now it’s 02:10. I’m surprised Buzztime hasn’t kicked me off the system, which it used to after 02:00.

Just posted my first perfect Late Shift of the night. On my 17th try. Usually I can get it quicker than that.

I’d better get to bed, or I’ll sleep through my appointment with Crista at 16:00, although I don’t have to drive to Hays. We’re doing it via Zoom, which was the case last week.

Vegas’ deadline, David Glass’ two acts, and something else ranch doesn’t go with

CORRECTION from the last post: the next FOUR College Football Playoff national championship game sites have been named. It will be Miami, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Houston, in that order, from January 2021-24.

The 2025 and 2026 games will probably go to two of these three sites: Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Detroit. I blacked out earlier and forgot all about the Raiders’ stadium in Nevada (named Allegiant Stadium), which opens either later this year or in 2021. I’ll take a guess and say 2025 goes to Minneapolis since the NFL will want to host Super Bowl LIX in Las Vegas, and 2026 heads to Nevada.

The construction schedule in Vegas is tighter than a pair of skinny jeans. If the stadium cannot be completed on time for the Raiders, they’re screwed. They have the option to play in Oakland for 2020, but would (a) fans attend and (b) the Athletics acquiesce? It may force the Raiders to become tenants in Santa Clara with the 49ers, or else play as many games as possible on the road early in the season.

The NFL could conceivably schedule the Raiders’ first eight games on the road, a game in London or Mexico City, and their bye week within the first 10 weeks, leaving them to play weeks 11-17 in Vegas. It would be highly unusual, but what else can you do? If the NFL were to schedule it that way and the stadium were ready in September, the game sites with the AFC West teams could be flip-flopped.

The College Football Playoff committee says it will let northern cities without climate-controlled stadiums bid, but how many fans would attend if the game were in New Jersey, which would entail the exorbitant costs of traveling to and from New York? Foxborough, where it’s a nightmare to get to and from the stadium, no matter if you’re flying into Boston or Providence? Seattle? Better hope Oregon or Washington has a magical season like LSU just completed, and I can imagine how many residents of the Pacific Northwest would react to legions of invaders from Alabama, South Carolina or elsewhere in the south.

One city which cannot host: Chicago. Soldier Field’s capacity falls a little more than 3,000 seats short of the minimum of 65,000. However, the CFP committee would be wise to grant a waiver if the nation’s third-largest city wants the game.

As the Chiefs prepare for what they hope will be their biggest victory since 11 January 1970, there was some sad news out of the Truman Sports Complex.

Former Royals owner David Glass passed away last week at 84 due to complications from pneumonia. This came only two months after the sale of the Royals from Glass to John Sherman was approved by the other 29 MLB owners.

Glass was named the Royals’ CEO at the end of the 1993 season, a little less than three months following the death of founder Ewing Kauffman. Glass was the representative of the Kauffman trust which owned the team until he bought the majority stake before the 2000 season.

During the 1994 Major League Baseball players’ strike, Glass was one of the hardest of the hard-liners, demanding a salary cap and pleading poverty, claiming small-market Kansas City could not compete with the Yankees, Red Sox and the other big-market teams. Glass’ biggest allies were the White Sox’ Jerry Reinsdorf and the Brewers’ Bud Selig, who had been acting Commissioner since the ouster of Fay Vincent in September 1992. Selig got the full-time gig in 1998.

While Orioles owner Peter Angelos refused to use replacement players during 1995 spring training, Glass endorsed the idea wholeheartedly. Thankfully for Glass, future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor forced the owners to allow the union players back to work before any regular season games were played with scrubs.

Glass, who was once the CEO of Walmart (then known as Wal-Mart), ran the Royals like the discount giant, slashing salaries to the bone in order to pocket large profits from revenue sharing and MLB television rights.

To be blunt, Glass was probably the most hated man in Kansas City for the first decade of the millennium.

The Royals lost 100 or more games four times in five seasons between 2002-06, bottoming out with a 56-106 disaster in 2005. Somehow, Glass and a dying Lamar Hunt convinced Jackson County, Missouri voters to approve almost $500 million in improvements to Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums in April 2006, although a proposed rolling roof was rejected. Hunt did not live to see the improvements to his baby; he died in December 2006.

In June 2006, Glass revoked the press credentials of two reporters who asked questions he deemed too critical. The Baseball Writers Association of America got involved, and Glass was forced to back down.

The questions were asked at Dayton Moore’s opening press conference as the Royals’ general manager.

Glass owed Moore a debt of gratitude, for if not for him, Glass would be as reviled now as he was then.

Moore took advantage of most of the high draft picks the team received for losing and turned them into future standouts Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. Heavy investment in Latin American scouting yielded Salvador Perez, Kelvim Herrera and Yordano Ventura, and a trade with the Brewers sent Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar to Kansas City for Zack Greinke, the 2009 Cy Young Award winner who wore out his welcome one year later.

Glass went from goat to hero in 2014 and 2015.

The 2014 Royals made the franchise’s first postseason appearance since winning the 1985 World Series, sweeping past the Angels and Orioles before losing Game 7 of the World Series to the Giants and Madison Bumgarner’s bionic arm.

One year later, the boastful Royals took advantage of the error-prone Mets and won the World Series in five games. Reportedly more than 800,000 people turned out for the victory celebration two days after the series ended, but I think it was closer to 400,000.

Even though the Royals lost over 100 games in 2018 and ’19, Glass’ legacy was secure. He brought Kansas City from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the mountain in 10 years, allowing Royals fans to look down their noses at title-starved fan bases in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee (UGH), Oakland, Pittsburgh and Queens. Houston and Washington were on that list until the past three seasons.

Glass was Richard Nixon in reverse. Had Nixon announced he would not run for re-election in 1972, he could have gone out a hero for negotiating peace with the Soviet Union, opening trade between the United States and China, and ending the quagmire in Vietnam. Instead, many remember Nixon for one thing only: Watergate.

I’d like to know why Old Chicago serves ranch with its calzones. I noticed this tonight at the Hays restaurant when two ladies ordered them. I was there to play some more trivia. It was packed, as were all other fine dining establishments in Hays.

I don’t like ranch, but people I care about very much (you know who you are) love it. However, it just doesn’t seem right with a dish loaded with pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella cheese and maybe vegetables.

I posted twice today to make up for the previous three days of non-posting. I won’t bore you any further.

Thanksgiving feast? No thanks!

Tens of millions of Americans are going to pig out on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and assorted other stuff. Sadly, tens of millions of other Americans don’t have the means to do so and will scrounge for food, like they have to every other day of their existence. It’s sad.

I’m fortunate to have a roof over my head and the ability to eat well.

Yet today, I am bypassing the traditional American Thanksgiving feast.

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely and talented Alexis Del Cid, a news anchor for the NBC affiliate in San Antonio, asked her followers what their favorite Thanksgiving side dish was.

Alexis, who went to San Antonio after a long and distinguished career at KCTV, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City, admitted she liked cranberry sauce, which many people, myself and my mother included, can’t stand.

I read several dozen responses, then I realized there really isn’t anything which appeals to me at a Thanksgiving meal. NOTHING.

Turkey? I don’t eat turkey on 361 or 362 days out of a given year. In the past, the only times I ate turkey was Thanksgiving and the three days after. Actually, I liked turkey on sourdough or rye with Swiss or provolone a heck of a lot better than I did eating it on its own. Yet it is way, way, WAY down my list of cold cuts.

My favorite cold cut is mortadella, followed closely by capicola, corned beef, pastrami and salami. I even like buffalo chicken occasionally, and of course, I’ll eat buffalo wings and Popeye’s chicken any time. Roast beef? I had Arby’s yesterday, and I realized I’ve been missing something by not going more often when I’m in Hays.

Peggy knows I’ve never ordered turkey when I’ve met her at Subway!

Even worse, my father decided not to deep fry the turkey like he has every year since he and my mother moved to Kansas 12 years ago. I remember eating the turkey prepared the traditional way in Louisiana. I had to stop eating white meat because it was drier than the Sahara.

Stuffing? It was my favorite. Then I got smart and realized the way my mother prepares it is the ultimate insult to her oldest son.

My mother bakes oysters into the stuffing, which isn’t even stuffing, since she bakes it in a separate casserole dish.

Oysters BAKED into a stuffing/dressing? I’m about to cry just thinking about it.

I am the same person who downed four dozen charbroiled oysters when I went to Baton Rouge with my dad in April 2018. I downed three dozen fried oysters from a Cajun-themed restaurant in Columbia a few years ago. My favorite menu item at Ivar’s in Baton Rouge when I lived there? The fried oyster po-boy.

If oysters aren’t my favorite food, they are a close second behind a RARE steak. I could eat oysters just about every day of my life and die a happy man.

To think my mother would waste perfectly good oysters by baking them into something is revolting. I’m going to take some Alka-Seltzer. Extra strength.

Sweet potato casserole? My mother cooks this at least once a month, sometimes more. What makes it so special for Thanksgiving? Pass.

Baked macaroni? It’s good, but again, it’s not special for Thanksgiving at 1224 North Brooks, nor was it special when we lived at 224 Jaguar. Nope.

Green been casserole? I’m not big on green beans, but I will eat them. There was a time when I got sick over seeing them. However, I’d rather eat asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower.

Pumpkin pie? Okay, but if I have a need for sugar, a Twinkie will do fine. Same with pecan pie.

There was a three-year period (2004-06) where I did not eat a Thanksgiving meal.

In 2004, I was in a hospital ICU battling pneumonia and a collapsed lung. I’ll never forget I woke up watching the Colts and Lions on television, wondering where the previous two days had gone.

In 2005 and ’06, I was in Kansas while my parents were still in Louisiana. I made a bigger deal about not having anyone to eat with in ’06 than ’05, but it turned out okay.

Today, it’s my choice not to eat. I told my mother not to cook because I wouldn’t eat, but my brother and his family are here from Tennessee. I wish my parents had gone south. I would have liked the privacy.

There were years where I would rant and rave about how I had nothing to give thanks for. That’s not true. This year, I’m staying away from social media. Maybe I should do that more often.

Football and trivia will tide me over today. And a nice steak, rare of course.

Kansas City (low) lights

The Kansas City morass is over for now. I got the hell out of dodge yesterday at 1040. It was past time.

Monday was nothing but boredom. Eight hours at Buffalo Wild Wings with not talking to anyone and nobody else playing trivia. Everyone I knew who works there wanted Monday off because two employees had their wedding reception Sunday night–40 days after the ceremony and 1,100 miles from where it took place. . One bartender was bitching he was up until 0400 Monday then had to come into work at 0730.

Well, dumbass, there’s no reason to be up until 0400 unless you have to be. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for you.

I am done with weddings, unless Caitlyn invites me to hers, which I doubt. I’m not getting married, and I don’t want to go to anyone else’s.

Between not seeing anyone I knew, whether it be employees at B-Dubs or fellow trivia players, and the heat, it was a waste. I didn’t make it to Columbia. Then the trunk of my car was splattered by a bird Monday night. I sat in way too much traffic.

Tuesday morning, I woke up and found a message in my Twitter DM box from Peggy. She wondered if I was still in Kansas City, because she wanted to meet me in Russell on her way to Miami County, where she was going to spend the holiday weekend with Courtney and Andy, their kids, and the rest of the Cox and Otto clans.

Thank you Peggy! You saved me a lot of pain.

The room move paid off yesterday. The room I moved to Sunday evening was directly below my other one, and I had easy up and down the east stairwell to my car. Within 45 minutes, I was packed, the car was loaded, and I could get back to Russell.

At 1430, I was back at 1224 North Brooks. Thankfully.

Peggy and I met over Subway at 1730. I wouldn’t go for Subway, but she wanted to try one of the new sandwiches on ciabatta bread. I tried one and it was great. Maybe I’ll go back for more.

I’m not big on Subway because I grew up eating too many great sandwiches in New Orleans. Between oyster po-boys, shrimp po-boys and muffulettas, I couldn’t go wrong.

Back to the Golden Q today. No Cassandra. Par for the course this week.


The United States female association football team defeated England yesterday and now plays The Netherlands for the championship Sunday.

Alex Morgan embarrassed herself after scoring the second US goal yesterday, mocking England by mimicking a proper lady sipping tea out of a cup.

Morgan is married to some tattooed association football player from Mexico now playing in the fraud of a league known as Major League Soccer, so she will never be accused of knowing how to properly sip tea.

I am sick and tired of the American jingoistic media fawning over Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who sat out yesterday with a muscle pull. It’s as if nobody else is on the team, although Julie Ertz gets some coverage simply because her husband is a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Between the disgusting displays by US players after scoring goals to manager (do not call an association football leader a “coach”) Jill Ellis sending members of her staff to scout a hotel where England was staying in case the Americans won, I have had it up to here with this team. They were just as arrogant in 2015, when Carli Lloyd was being praised as the greatest thing since sliced bread and Hope(less) Solo was still around.

I want the Dutch to win Sunday. It would force the jingoistic Americans to shut the hell up. It’s only going to get worse between now and the opening of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

That was a very good reason to bail out of Kansas City yesterday. There were a bunch of jingoistic American fans at Buffalo Wild Wings Friday who would not shut up. Sadly, my headphones had no battery life and I stupidly forgot the charging cord in my hotel room, so I was screwed.

I know what I will not be watching Sunday. I’m ready for this crap to end.


Wimbledon began Monday. Boy.

The non-stop Serena worship is on full blast from London. Most ESPN “experts” think Serena will win the ladies’ singles title.

I honestly don’t care who wins, as long as it is not Serena. I quit caring about tennis when Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe all passed their primes.

Another thing which gets my goat are media who keep using “WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND” in bylines. WIMBLEDON is a section of LONDON. The byline should always be LONDON. They must have forgotten a few things in journalism school.

When the Brooklyn Nets play at home, the byline always reads “NEW YORK” not “BROOKLYN, NEW YORK”. Same with the Yankees, Mets, Rangers and Islanders. It’s always NEW YORK, not the borough. Why can’t the idiots who cover Wimbledon get it?


Looks like I may have extra trivia tonight. It is pouring in Hays, and the storm is barely moving. Reminds me of Louisiana when storms would dump buckets of rain on one place, yet five miles away, not a drop fell.

Everyone who is coming into The Q over the past hour has been soaked. I made the right choice by not cracking the windows in my Buick.

Tomorrow is INDEPENDENCE DAY. Yes, the date is 4 July, but it is INDEPENDENCE DAY in this country. Everywhere else has a 4 July, too, but it doesn’t hold the significance.