August 16, 2004


Just like John Kerry, I'm now on a cross-country tour. And just like John Kerry, each mile brings me nearer to Cambodia.

I'm currently in Reno, Nevada, where Ken Layne has made a foolish $100 bet with me on the US election result. He's asleep now, so in a few minutes I'll simply remove the cash from his wallet. This will save Ken the trouble of selling his car in November.

Here’s my Nearer to Cambodia tour schedule:

• Sunday August 15: Salt Lake City, Utah.

Salt Lake City on a Sunday night! Could life get any wilder?

• Monday August 16: Albuquerque, New Mexico.

According to cartoon folklore, a left turn is required somewhere around here.

• Tuesday August 17: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

It's in Oklahoma.

• Wednesday August 18: Memphis, Tennessee.

Home of Doctor Nick!

• Thursday August 19: Knoxville, Tennessee.

Everyone comes to Knoxville eventually.

• Friday August 20: Greensboro or Winston-Salem or Durham, Sou ... North Carolina.

Haven’t worked out where yet. Whichever is nearer to Cambodia, I guess.

• Saturday August 21: Richmond, Virginia.

Practically on the shore of the Mekong!

Most nights I plan to be in a bar in these places. If anyone cares to join me, please send an email. Also, advice on motels, bars, nuclear silos, secret briefcases, and local speeding laws would be appreciated. And Ken Layne needs $100, so send him some money!

Posted by Tim Blair at August 16, 2004 12:41 AM

No visit to the most important State ever? Why bother even making the trip to America, then.

Posted by: Donnah at August 16, 2004 at 12:55 AM

Well, you're not visiting Washington State. For this omission you are forgiven. This time. But don't do it again.

Unfortunately, I haven't done much travel into the cities you mention, so I can't offer many suggestions. The best I can do is point out that you could go to Graceland and visit the grave of Elvis Presley while in Memphis.

And pick up a radar/laser detector for your car!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 16, 2004 at 01:07 AM

I have heard that the Winston-Salem, Durham, and Greensboro in NORTH Carolina are also very nice.

Posted by: Amelia at August 16, 2004 at 01:29 AM

Hope he packed his Rand-McNally. ;)

Posted by: Donnah at August 16, 2004 at 01:52 AM

Tim, since you're going to be driving along Interstate 40 anyway after you make that left turn in Albuquerque, skip lunch there and go for the free 72-ounce steak -- if you can eat it all -- in Amarillo. That ought to hold you over at least until Knoxville...

Posted by: John at August 16, 2004 at 02:04 AM

Tim, while on your journeying, you should read Bill Bryson, 'The Lost Continent'. A heart-felt account of regional and small-town USA. And much as I experienced it myself quite a few years back.

(I recall that a nice young lady from Nth Dakota on a bus out of Denver even complimented me -- 'You sure speak good English!'.)

Best wishes.

Posted by: BillC at August 16, 2004 at 02:11 AM

When in Oklahoma City, it sure would be nice if you made your way up to Wichita, Kansas ... but hey, I understand you have a schedule to keep.

Posted by: Dwayne at August 16, 2004 at 02:30 AM

Not sure of your route from SLC to ABQ, but I would recommend heading east on US-40 (not to be confused with I-40). Then take to US Hwys down the western slope of Colorado, which will take you thru Telluride, Dolores, Durango, Pagosa Springs and over Wolf Creek Pass. The route is a longer, but the scenery is spectacular. I can recommend several good bars, motels, and restaurants in Durango, but it's been years since I was in Abq.

Be careful driving thru Navajo country. The tribal police have sophisticated equipment for catching speeders.

Posted by: Polly at August 16, 2004 at 02:32 AM

I was going to say what Amelia said. And don't confuse Greenville, SC, Greenville, NC, and Greensboro, NC. They're all in very different places.

I have no recs for the Piedmont area (I'm from Raleigh (that's NC) originally) - I always ate at Cracker Barrel on my trips out on I-40 west. I have no idea about the bars around there.

Posted by: meep at August 16, 2004 at 02:33 AM

Are the liquor stores in Utah still closed on Sundays? Hope you planned ahead Tim!

Posted by: mike at August 16, 2004 at 03:31 AM

"This will save Ken the trouble of selling his car in November."

All right -- compassionate conservatism at work! And if you decide to get to Charlotte, I'd be happy and honored to stand you to a cocktail or three, Tim.

Posted by: Mike at August 16, 2004 at 03:33 AM

I second Polly's comments, but as swell alternative, US191 south off of US6/I70 takes you through Moab and Monticello, UT. I just did that recently on a trip home to Albuquerque from Tonopah, NV (got sick of going back and forth on I-40).

Once you make that left toin in Albukoiky, blend in with the trucks on I-40 for maximum safe speed, especially through the Texas panhandle where the speed limit drops to 70 mph.

On the west end of Amarillo, look for a bunch of cars buried nose first in the dirt. I don't know much about art, but I know what I like. I forget the name of this wonderful piece. Also, watch for the world's tallest Christian cross out there somewhere.


Posted by: Reese at August 16, 2004 at 04:08 AM

Cadillac Farm, on Route 66, Amarillo, Texas. Here's pic:

Posted by: c at August 16, 2004 at 04:37 AM

I second (third?) Polly's warning about speeding in tribal lands. Our area is surrounded by reservation territory, and believe me, the tribal police have absolutely nothing better to do than chase speeders- be especially alert around towns, as there are usually several lovingly maintained speed traps.

Olympia Cafe on Central Avenue in Albuquerque is a good bargain if you like Greek food. Bars are generally to be found in this area as well, however be forewarned that my source is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and therefore these areas are likely to be stocked with obnoxious frat boys. My own advice is to seek out smallish Mexican places where "red or green" is the standard question. Depending on which route you're taking, if you can afford to detour through Espanola there is a restaurant named El Paragua that offers the absolute last word in Mexican food to be found in America. (This includes their margaritas, the recipe for which my father-in-law managed to wheedle out of the bartender after roughly five years of begging. No, I'm not going to tell.) If you have the time you won't regret it.

Oh, and whatever you do, DO NOT EAT IN GALLUP. It is cursed ground, the revenge of the Navajo against the white man in the form of culinary atrocity. In 20 years of road trips through the southwest, each time trying someplace different- including standardized chains- I have never had a meal edible enough that I could finish, or that failed to give me indigestion later.

Posted by: LabRat at August 16, 2004 at 04:46 AM

Naturally occuring to me after I hit "post", it would be well worth your while to snag a copy of Jane and Michael Stern's "Roadfood" before you set out. It's a coast-to-coast guide to the best local eateries along American highways, and it is indispensable if you want to eat well on a road trip through unfamiliar territory.

Posted by: LabRat at August 16, 2004 at 04:51 AM


I have a backlog of drinks to buy you.

I'm serious. Richmond=not close enough.

Posted by: Jeff B. at August 16, 2004 at 04:57 AM

When you're in Albuquerque, go to the Church Street Cafe in Old Town. Order the Huevos Rancheros with red chile and an over easy egg on top. Put this in a mailer and send it to me in Bellevue, WA. Thanks in advance. I lived there twenty years and the only thing thing I miss about Albuquerque is the food.

Posted by: Ken J at August 16, 2004 at 05:02 AM

Labrat is right. That part of Central is university infested. Lots of "BUSH LIED" bumper stickers. I'm a recent graduate of UNM and I know. Across from the Olympia, watch for a near-naked guy holding some protest sign or other. There's a nice bar a few blocks west of there called Coach's that I like. I think you can still smoke there. Also a few blocks east of there is Kelly's brew pub in the "Nob Hill" area. (Yes, Albuquerque has a Nob Hill.) Nice. And across from there is an Irish-style (can't think of the name) pub that has about twenty beers on tap.

"Red or Green?" was recently codified by the New Mexico Legistature as the official state question.

Poor Ken J. Right now on just about every street corner here there's a big propane fired green chile roaster going full blast.

Posted by: Reese at August 16, 2004 at 05:24 AM

Old Titan II silos along I-40 from Maumelle to Little Rock. Two or three are just off the highway.

Just south of ABQ is a town called Los Lunas. The Mansion is a great restaurant, steak and lobster, and the best hot bread and butter you'll find anywhere.

Posted by: Mike at August 16, 2004 at 05:35 AM

Tim, come on down to Orlando! We need some help cleaning up here. (Mind the fallen trees.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 16, 2004 at 05:46 AM

I can also point you to sites and sounds of the Little Rock scandal tour (Rose Law Firm, Excelsior Hotel (now the Peabody)), etc.)). But I'd skip Little Rock -- it's a nice place to live, as I did for a year -- but there's not much reason to visit.

Posted by: Andrew at August 16, 2004 at 07:21 AM

Be careful driving in Albuquerque! I actually did miss a left turn there and ended up on I-40 going the wrong way.

Fortunately, I discovered my error before ending up in Antarctica, Baghdad, or the Black Forest.

Posted by: Arnold at August 16, 2004 at 07:27 AM

Tim, you're also needed in Seattle, which also happens to be closer to Cambodia than Winston-Salem is.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky at August 16, 2004 at 07:29 AM

I've lived in Winston-Salem most of my life and I have no idea where the bars are, but I do know that Winkler's Bakery makes one fine slab of sugarcake.

Seriously, if you do visit Winston I recommend lunch at the Salem Tavern in Old Salem, which is a restored Moravian section of town - cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, etc.; very pretty IMO. Try to get some Moravian chicken pie, it's yummy.

For dessert you can wander down the street to the aforementioned bakery or(/and!) go to the Krispy Kreme store(which started here) and get some HOT glazed doughnuts, fresh from the line - that elevates them way beyond the mundane world of simple pastry. You can find one on Stratford Rd. near the business 40 exit and across from Thruway Shopping Center, or just ask around for the nearest one.

Hey, is it dinner time yet?

- Cliff

Posted by: Cliff S. at August 16, 2004 at 08:21 AM

Great reference site on all the tourist traps and offbeat attractions to be found:

Posted by: Vexorg at August 16, 2004 at 08:24 AM

i'll give you $150 if you find the president's guard records.

happy motoring!

Posted by: tony at August 16, 2004 at 09:00 AM

Well, holyguacamole! I was just in Reno last week. Your timing sucks, dude.

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 16, 2004 at 09:07 AM

If you know that Memphis is the home of Dr. Nick (Hello everybody!)then you must also be aware that Knoxville is home to the Sunsphere, although I think the wig shop that used to be there has been gone for many years.

Posted by: Joe Bagadonuts at August 16, 2004 at 09:40 AM

skip lunch there and go for the free 72-ounce steak -- if you can eat it all -- in Amarillo.

The Big Texan is AWESOME. I second this recommendation.

Try the rattlesnake. It really does taste like chicken!

Posted by: Sortelli at August 16, 2004 at 09:49 AM

Be very careful if you go to Durham NC. This is home to Duke U (PC is the LAW, as currently interpreted), and contiguous to Chapel Hill (aka "Pinko Hill" according to our own Jesse "Senator No" Helms). UNC faculty worships mummified mock-ups of Lennin and Stalin that they keep in the planetarium, and enforces an interesting student indoctrination (i.e., "Summer Reading") program. Could be risky. Recommend Durham, SC, if there is such a place.

Posted by: DeepCover at August 16, 2004 at 09:54 AM

No, no, no. If you turn left at Albuquerque, you miss meeting some of the most interesting people...

And check out Carlsbad Caverns whilst in Niew Mehico...

Posted by: mojo at August 16, 2004 at 10:01 AM

Yeah, what Jeff B said - come to DC!

Posted by: Chris at August 16, 2004 at 10:02 AM

Oh, uh huh, skipping Ohio/flyover/drivethru country, are you? Fine. We'll keep our food and our bars to ourselves then.

Well, anyhow, enjoy the country while you're here (what you see of it, missing some important parts, but it's your life), and do keep us up to date on the doings of the Grand Old Poobahs in Noo Yawk.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 16, 2004 at 10:15 AM

So far as Oklahoma City goes, there are decent downtown hotels (finally), and the bar district is just to the east, literally across the tracks in Bricktown.

Rooms: The Westin (1 N. Broadway, at Sheridan)
The Renaissance (10 N. Broadway)
Courtyard by Marriott (2 W. Reno)

Getting a room on a Tuesday should be pretty easy.

Speed limit on I-40 through the city is 60 mph; traffic, outside of rush hours, tends to move at about 67 to 73. Generally you have to be blatant to get pulled over; I've been hit once in 24 years, and got off with a warning.

Posted by: CGHill at August 16, 2004 at 10:27 AM

I presume the odds on your personal bet are even money. But did you check out the casinos while in Reno, to see what odds they are giving on the outcome of the Presidential election?

Posted by: Paul H. at August 16, 2004 at 10:37 AM


Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 16, 2004 at 10:44 AM

Tony — Pay up. They were found. All of them. I love seeing people who only read the papers making bets.

Oh, and in case, for some strange reason, no one heard about this either, the Telegraph (UK) says the Abu Ghraib investigation turned up no connection to Rumsfeld.

Used photos anyone?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 16, 2004 at 10:46 AM

Oh Timmy boy, here you are ranting on about another nation's politics, when in your own backyard you ignore the Man of Lies.

** Howard was told the truth,5744,10456121%255E601,00.html

It really is typical of two dollar bloggers like you to only pretend to be "covering the news".

Just like the Master Blogger at Fox you are completely biased and in no way a reputable, even handed information service in reporting the news of the day.

You are in short a fraud.

Report ALL the news or shut the fuck up with your blog of hate and lies.

Posted by: Tom Thumb at August 16, 2004 at 11:06 AM

Tom Thumb - Scrafton watched a video and concluded that no kids were thrown overboard from that ship and he rang the PM to tell him so. And The Aus runs that as 'truth'. I call it bullshit.

Posted by: W at August 16, 2004 at 11:30 AM

Andrea, you are probably busy, but maybe remove my post above cos it is off topic like Tom Thumb's. This thread should be about Tim's Stateside drive. Sorry for feeding the troll.

Posted by: W at August 16, 2004 at 11:35 AM

This I'll leave (after banning "Tom Thumb's" IP). I mean, didn't you just envision Mr. Thumb bursting into tears after typing that last line? "Shut -- sniff -- the fuck up -- sob -- with your blog of hate and lies!" (Wail of despair.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 16, 2004 at 12:05 PM

Experience with Richmond VA suggests you should either make sure you've got a room lined up in advance or check Jehovah's travel schedule as he, and apparently thousands determined to witness him, made damn sure they had the accomodation there sewn up when I dropped in 3 weeks ago. Those folks were not well represented at the bars I went to though so you'll be unlikely to have to push your way through the crowd for a drink...

Posted by: Larry at August 16, 2004 at 12:35 PM

A really nice place to drink in Albuquerque is Maria Teresa. It's an 1840 hacienda house now stranded in the middle of a parking lot, but strictly nineteenth century inside. The bar is mid-19th century and from one of the Kid's old stomping grounds, and him being an alcoholic, the chances are exactly one in one that he raised a glass off the same wood. Food's good, too, and the place is haunted, which is a plus in my book.

Hey, and it's a stone's throw from the national Atomic Museum!

Posted by: Bruce at August 16, 2004 at 01:13 PM

Speaking of The Australian, is it the new Sydney Morning Herald?

Its Chief Political Correspondent, Steve Lewis, is nothing but a Mark Latham cheerleader:

(Latham will) be hoping to capitalise on his recent solid performance. His speech on Thursday in the parliament was a ripper, an uptempo anti-Howard rant cheered on by his colleagues. "This is a government led by a man who can barely lie straight in bed - a man who has become so dishonest, so addicted to the deception of the Australian people it has become a way of political life," was one of his better lines.

Ripper? Uptempo? Better lines? He's easily impressed for a Chief Political Correspondent.

Maybe it was sarcasm. If not, the sooner we turn the national newspaper over to 43 Iraqis the better:

'WE, the undersigned, are Iraqi-Australian citizens very grateful for the freedom we enjoy in this country - our new homeland. We respect the rights of the 43 former senior figures to freely express their views in their statement to the Australian people last Monday. However, many of us have certain doubts about the timing of their statement since it appears to be politically motivated as there is an election to be held very soon ... Did these 43 people ever consider contacting members of the Iraqi-Australian community in order to assess their opinion? ... We are in touch with members of our families in Iraq and some of us have visited Iraq recently so we are well aware of the true facts of the situation there today. ... We are extremely grateful to the Australian military forces for helping to liberate our former beloved country from the indescribable suffering imposed by the brutal Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. ... The Australians are doing a splendid job over there and we hope the statement by the first group of 43 does not undermine their morale. We are particularly grateful to the Australians for their superb management of the airport in Baghdad; also for their magnificent efforts at the facilities for training the new Iraqi army in Kirkuk and Mosul. ... The fact that an RAAF Hercules flew the Iraqi Olympic athletes towards their destination in Greece is a source of pride for us all. ... We express our heartfelt gratitude to the members of the Australian forces and we wish for a safe return to their families and also to all who have supported the liberation of our country of origin.

Posted by: ilibcc at August 16, 2004 at 02:15 PM

I'll second the Graceland recommendation for Memphis, and I'll add another: Mud Island River Park. It has an impressive half-mile long scale model of the Mississippi River.

Oh, and radar detectors are illegal to use in Virginia.

Posted by: Christian at August 16, 2004 at 02:39 PM

"Shut -- sniff -- the fuck up -- sob -- with your blog of hate and lies!"

OMG Miranda has found a boyfriend. Let's all hope the relationship implodes before they breed.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 16, 2004 at 02:56 PM

Hey tim, It would be a pain if you had an..accident. (evil laughter)

Posted by: caspian at August 16, 2004 at 03:28 PM

Oh no! Someone has a different opinion!! Kill the person with a different opinion! KILL!!!

Posted by: caspian at August 16, 2004 at 03:30 PM

I live in Albuquerque and would be honored to buy you a couple of drinks! please send me an email so we can sample the libations

Posted by: Brent at August 16, 2004 at 03:39 PM

Hey tim, It would be a pain if you had an..accident. (evil laughter) + Oh no! Someone has a different opinion!! Kill the person with a different opinion! KILL!!! = Irony

Posted by: Sortelli at August 16, 2004 at 03:48 PM

tim — Ya gotta hit Missouri. Ya'll ain't seen America til ya'll's seen Branson... Dollywood, baby!

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 16, 2004 at 03:48 PM

Looks like I was a little premature with my statement "Where have all the trolls gone?"

They're back, baby!

Posted by: Quentin George at August 16, 2004 at 04:18 PM

Tim - In my last job I traveled between Seattle and Salt Lake City every two weeks for over a year. If you find a decent bar in town please share the name and address with us.

Posted by: timks at August 16, 2004 at 04:24 PM

Watch your speed when you pass through TX. They're speeding Nazi's - and they have a lower limit than both NM and OK.

I highly recommend spending a couple of hundred on a Passport 8500 radar detector.

You'll pass right by the cadillac ranch on the east side of Amarillo. It's a must stop, but no signs and no tourist stands, so it's easy to miss.

GPS coordinates at the link

Posted by: Kevin at August 16, 2004 at 04:31 PM

Someone has a different opinion

Well, it can't be you caspian, as you just parrot the same lines mouthed by every troll that slinks in and out of the comments sections on this blog. The same tired arguments, the same crap attempt at sarcasm, ZZzzzzzz...

Posted by: Quentin George at August 16, 2004 at 04:47 PM

When in Greensboro, NC, there's really only one restaurant you need to consider:

Beef Burger #2, 1040 W. Lee St. Used to be part of the "Biff Burger" chain and is still referred to by that name.

I hear they actually do angioplasty on site.

Posted by: Bill Herbert at August 16, 2004 at 04:57 PM

The same tired arguments, the same crap attempt at sarcasm, ZZzzzzzz...

No, I find caspian's trolling to be refreshing and new. Rather than trying to slay RWDBs, he seems far more intent on convincing us and himself that he is thoughtful and above all this partisan bickering by saying things like:

"god, the Left is stupid, but the Right is stupider! i know! i've read all about it and i could tell youthings but i won't bc i am busy right now. way too busy to get caught up in this nonsense, but not so busy that i won't try so damn hard to say something clever (and fail)"

It's like someone's kid brother got on the computer and is trying to look cool.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 16, 2004 at 05:15 PM

Tim, you could wend your way through medium-small-town America by Walmart hopping and ATM using. Be a proud Aussie anti-anti-globalist on his way to the American GOP Convention. Guzzle lots of gas and CocaCola.

You've probably already figured out that the charming towns are way off the main road, because they were by-passed by the country's highway ribboning circa 50s and 60s, and died. Their state of architectural stasis is worth veering off the Interstate on impulse.

Hope you take a day or two for Appalachia and Colonial Williamsburg. If you get to Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, I volunteer my husband (who's there for a month) to help you get military billeting. Be careful, though, that Rangel doesn't draft you if you step on post. At any rate, you could look for a magic cap at the PX. Cheers!

Posted by: c at August 16, 2004 at 05:15 PM

Do me a favor and eat at a SONIC. Trust me, you'll find one.

Posted by: Chuck Tulk at August 16, 2004 at 05:28 PM

Indeed, you've got to come to Missouri. Particularly Columbia, where I could arrange a warm welcome.

Posted by: Nathan at August 16, 2004 at 05:36 PM

Don't miss Endicott, NY, from which I just recently returned. It's just west of Binghamton, and is "The Home of the Square Deal" according to a huge stone arch over the road. I don't know what that means, but there's a pretty good Chinese food place there called China Doll, and no, there's no hookers that I'm aware of.

As you're passing through the Midwest, don't miss your chance to enjoy a 24-hour "Steak & Shake" restaurant, either. It's like fine dining to us.

Posted by: Aaron at August 16, 2004 at 07:33 PM

There's a Sonic within walking distance of my apartment. It's one of the few good things about my neighborhood.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 16, 2004 at 08:17 PM

Tim, why don't you visit Andrea?

Posted by: LD at August 16, 2004 at 10:02 PM

Come on down, Tim! I know where the bars that have power back on are. ;)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 16, 2004 at 10:42 PM

Instead of heading down I-40 out of OKC, which will take you through Ft. Smith a/k/a the armpit of Arkansas, go through Tulsa and swing by Fayetteville. Mike & I and Matt (Overtaken by Events) & Miss Vicky would love to treat you to a great steak dinner and a pint or three.

The mileage isn't any greater and you'd get to see the best part of Arkansas. Little Rock sux.

Posted by: rita at August 16, 2004 at 10:44 PM

On the Texas speed limits, the rule is if the county has fewer than 15 people per square mile, the speed limit on the interstates and on the two-lane highways can be set at 75 mph, so long as the highway department considers it safe. So outside of Potter County (Amarillo), they could jump the speed limit to 75 on I-40 if the highway departmentt wanted to.

Interstate 10 is 75 mph in Texas all the way from outside of El Paso to just northwest of San Antonio, which is about a 475-mile drive (the rule was put in because a state legislator in West Texas got tired of the slow 70 mph drive down to Austin. And he's a Democrat, so don't say the party doesn't come up with good ideas once in a while...)

Posted by: John at August 16, 2004 at 11:01 PM

Tim, be warned, there is never any reason to visit Durham, NC, unless you have tickets to Cameron Stadium (which is difficult at this time of year...). I worked in the Duke Medical Center for three years, by which time my wife referred to it as Dur-Hole, and I felt like slashing my wrists. The surgeons at Duke in particular were amazing: they wore stiff white coats, and the number of buttons done up on their coats indicated the number of days they went without having a bowel action.

There are a few places worth visiting in NC though:

1. Lexington, for the Bar-B-Q. (a slow smoked/roasted form of pork which causes chest pain and ST elevation i.e. ECG changes just by looking at it). NC is divided into the vinegar-based sauce set, and the tomato-based sauce set. One is eastern-NC and one is western-NC, but I can't remember which is which. Lexington is the third form of bar-b-q, a unique style which is the pick of the bunch. You may not find many John Kerry supproters there though....

2. The Outer Banks, including Kittyhawk

3. Wilmington which has lots of the ripe firm on the beaches

4. Goldsboro, which has Wilbur's bar-b-q; different to Lexington, but almost as good. (both lack nuance) (we're talking checked tablecloths and big fat mamas who call you 'sugar')

5. Chapel Hill: when the NC state govt were considering opening a zoo in NC, Jesse Helms famously quipped that they should just throw a fence around Chapel Hill, being a bastion of the basket-weaving middle class left as it is. I have to admit though, it does have some charm, especially a pool table bar called Zogs.

The key thing in Chapel Hill is to buy a Radio WUNC coffee mug which you can place on your desk to remind you of how a public broadcaster SHOULD be funded, i.e. by contributions from those who want it....

Posted by: Secret Squirrel at August 16, 2004 at 11:18 PM

Tim, don't listen to Rita, you need to come to Siloam Springs! Home of....oh, well never mind.

Fayetteville is actually one of the best party towns anywhere, except you can't smoke. Bastards!

Posted by: Doc at August 17, 2004 at 12:02 AM

Tim - It's been years since I lived in Richmond (almost 15 I think) but I'd recommend Joe's Inn on North Allison between Stuart and Hanover Avenues. In the so-called Fan District.

Also be aware that radar detectors are illegal in Va and will be confiscated if discovered by the firm yet polite state troopers. I think Va may be the sole hanger-on to this law but it's been in force for what must be 25 years or so now.

And have the grits and sausage for breakfast.

Posted by: Uprooted Virginian at August 17, 2004 at 12:06 AM

Well, I live just off I-44 in Joplin, MO. It's possible that you may leave Oklahoma City and take this highway to Memphis. If so, and if Joplin is approaching as your thirst is increasing to "gotta find a bar FAST" levels, send me an email and I'll certainly show you a watering hole or three. The wife can drive.

Posted by: Brent at August 17, 2004 at 12:40 AM

What, no stop in Atlanta? Fie upon you, scuttling Australian tourist creature...

Posted by: Will Collier at August 17, 2004 at 12:50 AM

Where to after Richmond? If you're coming up through Philadelphia to get to NYC, we can put something together here. Maybe Atrios will be free!

Posted by: Thom at August 17, 2004 at 01:39 AM

Stay on I-40 at Oklahoma City going east. Be alert after the I-240 interchange so that you can exit at Agnew headed south into "Historic Stockyards City". After about a quarter mile, you will see 80 years old Cattleman's Steakhouse on the left. Have a T-bone, get the house salad dressing, and save room for their coconut cream pie. (If you remember, Cattleman's was the first place President Bush, the senior, stopped when he came to Oklahoma City a few years back.)
As for the watering holes, I haven't been properly utilizing them since I turned 60 a couple of years back. It takes too long to recover! Tuesday night is not a big party night in Okc. If you like sports-bars the Varsity at 63rd and Western is okay. And down the street south on Western is Flip's wine bar, it's usually pretty busy. Across the street is the TapWerks Ale House and Cafe... beer, beer, beer! Unfortunately, the average age in the TapWerks is about 14, er, I mean 24.... I think. I like "younger" women, but at my age, younger women are in their 50s.
I have enjoyed you and your Commentors this past year, and I would like to buy you a few beers. If you would enjoy drinking them, let me know.
I generally stay clear of downtown and Bricktown out of respect for myself. Perhaps, since my tax dollars paid for most of the renovation there, I should grit my teeth and try to enjoy it. It just goes against my American capitalist soul that some, shall we say unscrupulous, individuals, when they could not get private investors, went to "persuadable" politicians, and got a tax pushed through a gullible public, to finance it for them. That should give you an idea of my mind set. I'm a rather laid-back Objectivist.

Posted by: Frank at August 17, 2004 at 01:59 AM

Well, if you're running I-40 through OKC, CG Hill up there has the right idea.

Bricktown has great food -- I recommend Mexican, but it's been so long I've forgotten the name of the place. Abuelos, maybe? For alcohol, it's the Bricktown Brewery, a microbrewery that serves a number of fine drinks made on the premises. I should also mention they often have live bands.

Here's the website, and here's a guide to the Bricktown area, complete with maps, directions, etc.

I just wish I was gonna be there to welcome you.

Have a great time!

Posted by: another tom at August 17, 2004 at 02:02 AM


If you pass through Philly let us know. I'd be up for buying you a pint or two.

Posted by: Bob at August 17, 2004 at 03:31 AM

Hey Bloghead, plse plse stay in the Ewe Ess of Eh, after all that's where you can do the most good. You belong there, close to your masters, better able to run their errands. Australia needs patriots, not errand boys.

My IP is So come and get me. Give it all you got. Crush my dissent, you bunch of mindless wise-cracking sheep.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at August 17, 2004 at 04:08 AM

So Miranda, have you ever told us why a true Australian patriot such as yourself is sniping at Tim from way out in Italy?

Posted by: PW at August 17, 2004 at 04:23 AM

At a guess, she's bitter because when she ventures into the streets the old women make the sign of the Evil Eye at her and the little boys throw rocks. So she takes it out on Tim, who has friends and a social life.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 17, 2004 at 05:11 AM

Did someone scribble a note on the Democratic Underground bathroom wall that, somewhere, there were people who weren't talking about politics?

"The burgers are great here."

Posted by: LabRat at August 17, 2004 at 05:21 AM

No TEXAS? Oh, I mean, all right, so we don't matter electorally. But how could you skip Texas? If tempting a girl to drive up to Oklahoma City for a night isn't cruel, I don't know what is.

Posted by: ilyka at August 17, 2004 at 06:22 AM

My IP is So come and get me. Give it all you got. Crush my dissent, you bunch of mindless wise-cracking sheep.

Unsolicited porn mail on the way. Just doing my bit for the nation.

Posted by: Quentin George at August 17, 2004 at 08:14 AM

*LOL at LabRat*

Hey Quentin, send some of that my way. Er. For research purposes.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 17, 2004 at 09:15 AM

Miranda is probably on the lam from the law. Or creditors. Or maybe both.

Or did they pay her to leave Australia....?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 17, 2004 at 11:31 AM

Ah, NC recs. OK -

The Outer Banks - Overcrowded and expensive. Last weekend the traffic on the sole highway was backed up for 18 miles. Think how much fun that will be in event of a sudden hurricane. Also, all those folks and no central sewer system. It's all on septic tanks. I know, I built a lot of those houses while a young and foolish lad. As Prof. Pilkey says: The Outer Banks are islands floating on a sea of sewage.

The Triangle - just visit NJ or MA instead.

Greensboro - best gun show in the state. Stamey's BBQ, too.

Charlotte - Home of Jim Bakker and the PTL Club. Stonewall Jackson married a woman from Charlotte and he ended up dead. That should be a warning.

Carrboro - The kind of town where former mill houses I rented for $25 a month in student days now cost $250,000 because they are "quaint".

Chapel Hill - Crowded former village. Fun fact: after forcing the annexation of surrounding surburbs and foisting high taxes on those folks, the former surburbanites formed political committees and soon swept the town board. Now they pass the time doing things like siting a huge homeless shelter downtown. Spare change?

Durham - loads of violence, mixed in with Dukies who fear the locals. What more can you want? Forget Bullock's BBQ, that's what they feed visiting Yankees. Go to Dillard's and get the real thing. You'll probably be the only white face in the joint, but don't worry - they only hate people from New Jersey.

Wilmington - fastest growing town in the state. In other words, the fastest growing taxes, a failing school system, overcrowded roads and the kind of politics where the old boy system still rules. Ever wonder why homeboy David Brinkley couldn't buy a house there?

Winston-Salem - a town without a middle class. You should visit just to study the economic system. There's a university there but I'm not sure what they do besides turn out trial lawyers.

Posted by: Strayhorn at August 17, 2004 at 12:54 PM

Or did they pay her to leave Australia....?

That would have been an act of war!

Posted by: Sortelli at August 17, 2004 at 01:15 PM

Tim --

If you stay at the Hilton Garden Inn on I-40 in OK City, there's free internet in your room. If you don't have a laptop, they also have a 24-hour business center with internet-connected computers galore. That way you can keep in touch and let us know what you've been eating for lunch. I NEED to know.

Posted by: Melissa at August 17, 2004 at 02:34 PM

That would have been an act of war!

LOL! :p

Maybe Miranda should have been airdropped onto Saddam's bunker the first night of the war. Kill him with nuance, yes!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 17, 2004 at 03:04 PM

Tim's swinging through Memphis. There's a ton of Sonics here. We can hook him up.

I'm hoping we can get him down to City Hall here and get the City Council Chairman to bar Tim from entering, like he did with the Iraqi delegation a couple of weeks ago. Two international incidents in one summer!

Posted by: mike hollihan at August 17, 2004 at 03:25 PM

Don't leave Memphis without having some barbecue. The Rendezvous, downtown, has the best "Memphis-style" ribs (in fact, that's where they were invented) -- no sauce, dry rub. Opinions differ on the location of the best traditional (i.e. with sauce) barbecue, but you can't go wrong with Corky's. And, oh yes -- pork. Not beef. Head to Texas for beef barbecue. In Memphis it's all about the dead pigs. Mmmmmmm.

The trained ducks at the Peabody Hotel are kinda neat, but I think Tim's probably too cool and detatched to get into that...

Posted by: Marion at August 17, 2004 at 03:31 PM

Kill him with nuance, yes!

Miranda's not nuanced, she's just too fucking stupid!

Posted by: Sortelli at August 17, 2004 at 04:36 PM

If you have time for a non-alcoholic drink when passing through North Carolina, have a Cheerwine.

As for my hometown of Richmond, my two suggestions would be Legend Brewing and Capital Ale House's downtown location. Do Legend if it's a nice day, because they have a deck with a great view of the river and the city, or CAH if it's hot/raining/whatever.

Posted by: Josh Crockett at August 17, 2004 at 10:50 PM

And now for some important information: Tim, when passing through Tennessee, be aware of speed traps on the west side of Nashville, near mile marker 201, where the speed limit changes. And don't believe the signs that say take I-440 to Knoxville. They are lying.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol enjoys coffee, donuts, and income generation between Crossville and Crab Orchard from various locations in the median among the tall bush-like plants we Americans call trees.

Bear in mind that the speed limit is 70MPH, but you should be fine if you keep it under 80MPH in the rural areas of Tennessee.

Although there are no nuclear missile silos in Tennessee, you may want to drive through Oak Ridge (Exit 356) on your way to Knoxville (a long shortcut) and see where much of the work on the Manhattan Project took place. Although the Y-12 (no name ever given, it was so secret) and X-10 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) plants are now off limits to the casual drive-by, there is still an overlook and visitors center at the former K-25 (Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion) plant on Tn Hwy 62.

And while in a Tennessee bar, ask someone why there are three stars on the state flag and why folks laugh when MSM types refer to "south Tennessee".

Posted by: Some Seppo at August 18, 2004 at 12:53 AM

While in Memphis, a visit to Sun Studios and the Stax museum is mandatory to anyone who has even the remotest interest in music. Also the National Civil Rights museum at the Gayoso, site of the MLK assasination. And don't forget to eat massive amounts of BBQ (pork, the REAL BBQ)

Posted by: Delta Yankee at August 18, 2004 at 01:45 AM

Quentin — I hear Miranda is big on "Lolita"...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 18, 2004 at 02:14 AM

Miranda's not nuanced, she's just too fucking stupid!

Stupidity and nuance are equally deadly in the hands of an expert.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 18, 2004 at 02:16 AM

Forget these Memphis fools, come to where real BBQ is made, Kansas City.

Posted by: scherz at August 18, 2004 at 02:26 AM

What is it with the Sonic plugs . It has been my experience to avoid these places like the plague (or rotten ronnies)

Posted by: t-rex at August 18, 2004 at 02:40 AM

Gee, Tim, you would come to Richmond on the very day I'll be off to the Delaware shore! Dining tip: Mamma Zu's in Church Hill. It's in an Interesting Neighborhood, great food, and deliberately bad service. It's also Rick Nielsen's (he of Cheap Trick) favorite restaurant. What's not to like?

Posted by: Dale Leopold at August 18, 2004 at 04:13 AM

Be sure and check out the Murrah Building Memorial in downtown OKC.

Posted by: zzx375 at August 18, 2004 at 07:57 AM

My god, you slavering pack of groupies. "Tim! Tim! Over here Tim! Look at me! Look at me! OMG he looked at me!"


Posted by: Jeremy at August 18, 2004 at 09:40 AM

Heh, check it out. A troll who bemoans anyone else who wants attention. As the bard Alanis wrote... "Isn't it ironic?"

Don't you think?

Posted by: Sortelli at August 18, 2004 at 09:53 AM

Jealous, Jeremy?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 18, 2004 at 09:53 AM


I'm near Memphis, and I'm all about be out-drunk by people I look up to. I've emailed, but I expect my messages stand a good chance of getting JUNKED. Keep an eye for JORDAN KEISER--he's good people.

Posted by: Jordan Keiser at August 18, 2004 at 10:30 AM

KC: Imitation BBQ, imitation Blues...

Posted by: Delta Yankee at August 18, 2004 at 12:35 PM


Can't wait to share slabs of pulled, slow-roasted pork with you here in Memphis.

btw, the National Civil Rights Museum is actually in the old Lorraine Motel. The Gayoso is up the street a ways and is now upscale apartments.

Posted by: Memphis Mark at August 18, 2004 at 01:53 PM