scribbles tagged ‘Charlotte’

jimjams of doom

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Jim JamsPink.   They shout Charlotte across my chest.

Following me home from a tourist shop in the steamy southern US city several years ago.   They continue to lure me into long undressed Sunday mornings, afternoons, evening.   Blurring the edges between day and night.   The baggy track-suit-like pants could cover the nether-regions of a fat person.   Down my hips they slide, jostling to trip me up on the decidedly dangerous Wendy House stair-ladder.

Can I escape their clutches?

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high spirited

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

The UK doesn’t have Liquor stores like the US.   Liquor stores  are a  novel US cultural experience for me.   In Britain you buy alcohol including liquor in many (licenced) corner shops and supermarkets.  There are shops called “off licences’ that specialise in selling Alcohol.   Off-licences normally stock wine and beer as well as liquor.  

While exploring a State run liquor store in Charlotte I stumbled across ‘EverClear‘ amongst the bourbons.    Bourbon is ‘America’s native spirit’.    Evidently you can’t purchase Everclear in Washington State.    I purchased this bottle out of curiosity. It  is  95% alcohol,   190 proof.   That exploded a few brain cells and I hadn’t even taken the cap off the bottle.  

It looks like Meths.   It’s packaged like meths.   Meths is a  strong spirit that can be drunk but is meant for other purposes.    In the UK you occassionally see bedraggled people on the streets drinking it.   I associated it with alcoholism and homelessness.  

Wendy:   what do you do with this stuff?   Drink it or use it for cleaning things?

companion #1:   Drink it.   Carefully

Wendy:   have you ever had any?

companion #2: No

companion #1: Yes.   Once.   At college.   Students drink it.

Other than take the lid of and sniff it I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my bottle.   Suggestions welcomed 🙂

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left in charlotte

Friday, July 14th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

A little creative navigation lead to an unexpected  whirlwind tour of Charlottte with no injuries,   tears or smudged make-up.   RESULT!

where is Charlotte?


Wendy:           which way?

navigator:   turn left,             NO!         the other left,         the one that isn’t right

navigator:   you’re right we should have used the left on your right…     ….errm…   …actually we should have used the left straight ahead

navigator: the other way,   the way we’ve just come,   the left that is 180 degrees the other direction

wendy:   WEEEeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

left in charlotte
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Thursday, July 13th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

A descriptive term for something that looks or behaves like a mug?

Most of wendy's tea mugs

In Charlotte the weather forcaster predicts hot, humid, thunderstorms and an ozone ‘code orange’  alert.


We should not drive anywhere,   paint anything and only re-fuel cars in the evening.    We can drink two dozen mugs of Arnold Palmer  then ask the server ‘who is Arnold Palmer’?   The server’s amazement at my not knowing this  golfing basic is evident.   Think jaw hitting floor.   Ooops.

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Charlotte chat

Saturday, June 17th, 2006 | tags: , , , ,  |

wendy:   goodmorning

Latino lady emptying the bin outside the hotel:   goodmorning (big smile)


Wendy:   I’ll take the stairs, we wont all fit in the lift

2 Latino ladies with room cleaning trolleys:   (giggles)

In Seattle when I greet or talk to the Latino people emptying the bins or cleaning the rooms at work they rarely reply, I’ve never seen them smile.   I’ve learned to treat them as if they aren’t there.   It makes me feel uncomfortable.     I don’t know any Latino people.   The only places I see them are on the streets or in support roles like gardeners or cleaners.   Here in Charlotte the Hotel staff appear more open to sharing superficial niceties.   I feel less akward  being me.

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tragic timing

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

I’ll be flying between Seattle and Charlotte when England play Sweden.   Aaaarghhhh…. ….I should have checked out the World Cup schedule BEFORE booking my flights.   There’s a risk I’ll see the end of the  game     ….I may also catch the end of the ‘Trinidad and Tobego’ match on Thusday if I can find a place to work ‘online’ and watch the match at the same time…

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arriving with Alberto

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

in Charlotte, NC.  

Anticipating hot balmy southern nights.  I didn’t bring mi’ mack.   Ooops.    Alberto,  the first tropical storm  of the season is here.   Today’s CBS report comments:

‘the heaviest rain – probably 2 to 4 inches – is likely in Georgia and the coastlines of the Carolinas, with most of Florida getting only an additional inch or so and some areas staying rain free’

Tropical storms and their bigger sibbling ‘hurricanes’ are a completely new experience for me.

I plan to get wet rather than spend my brief, valuable touristy, time mack shopping (yuck!)    

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full stop. period

Thursday, April 20th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

this is not a case of ‘flash’ red-eye.   These are traffic lights at dusk in a North Carolina spring after a rainstorm that caused traffic havoc.   Havoc included police cars with very pretty lights,   ambulances and collections of crumpled cars on the edge of the road.        

unusual traffic lights in North Carolina

Am  I on the ‘right’ side of the road?

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today’s tautology

Thursday, April 13th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

Museum of History.   Wendy winces.   At this rate of wincing I’m going to develop a permanent tic.  

The Charlotte Museum of History was a pleasure. Entrance was free on the Sunday I visited.   It was staffed by friendly, attentive,  volunteers.   I thought ‘this is southern hospitality’. The real highlight was the live folk music played by younsters and oldsters.   A ‘live’ museum.   The music  echoed around the impressive, modern, building.   Mandolins,   Banjo’s, Guitars, Violins and more.   Here they are playing ‘Amazing Grace’:

Folk music

On flick-r there are more of my photographs of Charlotte.

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crossing challenge

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

this configuration of signs nearly lured me into oncoming traffic…   …should I stay or should I go?

Road crossing sign

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Anole Lizard

Monday, May 16th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

Charlotte, NC #15

In the Andrew Jackson State park we saw this Anole Lizard. I’ve never seen one before. It was about 10 inches long from nose to tail.

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Big overhead displays in Church

Monday, April 25th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Charlotte, NC #13

The ‘Calvary’ church main chapel included 2 huge presentation screens either side of the main podium and an impressive looking control center on the 2nd Mezzanine. Apart from the ‘pew’ like nature of the seating this room felt more like a concert hall than any church I’d ever entered.

It wasnt clear if the Church also used a wireless network… certainly the pews were not wired…


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Waxhaw Presbyterian Church, SC

Monday, April 25th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Charlotte, NC #11

This church was ‘organized’ in 1755 by “Scottish-Irish’.   It was the first church in upper South Carolina.   The earliest building was made of logs and used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the revolutionary war.   It was burned by the British.   Sounds like a war atrocity – burning a church/hospital.   The Church on the current site is the 4th version built in 1896 and remodeled in 1942 (Version 4 Service Pack 1).

The graveyard contains president Andrew Jackson’s father and “General R. Davie, Revolutionary Patriot and founder of the University of North Carolina, 1789”   He was also state governor and Minister to France (1799).

The graves generally faced South (head) to North (feet) with slight variations on this line.   I found this strange because Christian graves in old British churches tend to consistently face West (head) to East (feet).   A  detailed description of  Christian burial ritual is available at:


“A man ought so to be buried”…     …  “that while his head lies to the West his feet are turned to the East, for thus he prays as it were by his very position and suggests that he is ready to hasten from the West to the East”

If anyone knows why these graves have thier feet to the North,   facing away from the church (altar),   let me know!

Some of the graves are innovately carved in styles I’ve never seen before (see picture below).   Some graves were marked very simply with a rock positioned at their head.  

Go-west Wendy

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Andrew Jackson State Park

Sunday, April 24th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

Charlotte, NC: #10

Andrew Jackson state park is actually in South Carolina, less than an hours’ drive from Charlotte.  

The park is relatively small,   including an  ampitheatre.   It looked like a wonderful place to  BBQ and listen to live music.  

Andrew Jackson   was the 7th US president, known as ‘Old Hickory’  

There is some controversey about where he was born, Carolina or Tenessee.   The lady guide at the park described how every year they held a football match to decide who gets bragging rights to his birthplace for the year.   She was an actress in over 20 films including “The Patriot’   that was mainly filmed locally.   She speculated there probably were no bears left in Britain because they must have killed so many to make the uniform hats.   The actual museum,   though small was very child-friendly,   interactive,   they had examples of all the clothes used to make clothes that you could touch and example clothes that you could try-on.

She warned us about the fire-ants which were in adundance outside.   More gently and more noticable in their presence were huge bumble-bees in the air outside.   They were so big that I originally mistook them for Hornets.   Hornets are represented on Charlotte cities ‘flag’.   They were chosen becuase a British general likened being in charlotte to being in a Hornets nest.   The flag also reminds me of the Scottish national flag,   but it is not menitoned on any of the web-sites I’ve read so far.

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Brew houses in Charlotte

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005 | tags:  |

Charlotte, NC #7

#1     Flying Saucer:   9605 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28262 (no website)

Its in an unimposing Mall.   We almost missed it because you can’t see it from Tyron St.   The choice of beers is extremely impressive,   draft and bottled organised by country and ingredients.   Over 200 beers!   A large open room has the draft beer-taps behind the bar against the wall. You can see all the brewery supplied pump-handles.   The room is decorated with ‘plates’ hung from the walls and the ceiling.   This reminded me of British pub’s tendancy to line-up plates along the walls.   On a Thursday night the bar was full,   noisey with chat and laughter and a live band playing.   This was by-far the best of the 3 venues we tried.

#2     Southend Brewery:

It has a substantial presence in a Mall,   inside there is a bar area, dining area stage and dance-floor.   It looks promising and the service is excellent.   We went there on Friday night around 10pm.   It was virtually empty,   no lively happening atmosphere.

#3     Hops:

This turned out to be more of a restaurant with some beers.   Polite service by young staff.   Nothing special.

All the brew houses provider ‘tasters’ where you can purchase a selection of ‘small’ drinks.   The photo below is a ‘taster’ from Hops:

Wendy on the beer

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Blue Grass Music in a converted garage

Friday, April 22nd, 2005 | tags: , , ,  |

Charlotte, NC #6

On Wednesday evening we went to Puckett’s Farm Equipment Co. A garage converted into a bar and venue with pool tables, music stage, and lots of NASCAR accessories.

We drove up in an Avis rented Ford Taurus. The car park was full of pick-up trucks. I was a bit scared. An old man with very few, very wonky, teeth and a substantial white beard reminiscent of ZZ-Top approached us. He asked my companion if he could ask me to dance. I tried to copy the fast-steps placed by the other girls on the dance floor. Some people had bare feet, Mr. ZZ-Top had very shiny Cuban healed cowboy boots. Everyone smiled and the girls chatted with me afterwards.

A very friendly place for a white person. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I’ve never seen an ‘electric washboard’ before. I was too shy to point my camera at the locals, it felt too intrusive. You’ll have to imagine this southern bar full of NASCAR, beer, and blue-grass fans..

Fast foot-shuffling Wendy

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Church called “Calvary”

Thursday, April 21st, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Charlotte, NC #5

This church called ‘Calvary’ is beautiful, imposing, functional and BIG.   It stands on US highway 51,   the junction of Pine-Matthews & Rae Road.   It includes playing fields (soccer,  sand-pit, climbing frames  etc), cemetery,  book-store, chapels, security guards, cafe, massive car parks, and probably much more than a visitor like me can find in 30 mintues!

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Hickory Trees

Thursday, April 21st, 2005 | tags: , , ,  |

Charlotte, NC #4

Lots of places and people here are named after the Hickory. Local by President Andrew Jackson was nick-named “Old Hickory”, Churches, roads and towns have Hickory in their name.

A good local BBQ uses Hickory wood to flavour the meat. We tried some at the “Old Hickory House”. Good wholesome tasty food!

The Hickory is a deciduous tree from the Walnut family. The Latin genus is “Carya”. This includes the “Pecan”. According to Wikipedia there are 17 types. About 12 are Native to North America. The 3 main types referred to on north American web-sites are:

  • Shagbark or Scaleybark (carya ovata) – prized for smoking meats, particularly pork. The nuts are also considered very good and an extract of the bark is used to make a syrup similar to Maple syrup. This tree appears to have many names including: shagbark, bigleaf shagbark, kingnut, big shellbark, bottom shellbark, thick shellbark, and western shellbark.
  • Shellbark (Carya laciniosa) – dense, strong, elastic wood used for making tool handles, athletic equipment, furniture, construction timbers, firewood, and its wood chips are utilized in the smoking of meats.
  • Bitternut (carya cordiformis) – as the name implies, these nuts are not favoured by humans though they do appeal to squirrels.

Tree-hugging Wendy

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Fruity camoflaged water tower

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005 | tags:  |

(Near) Charlotte, (South) Carolina #3

This peachy water tower just outside Gaffney was easy to ‘see’ and a very pleasant surprise compared to ‘standard’ water towers. The transformation of ugly, functional technologies like this into humerous, aesthetically pleasing, objects shows good humour and imagination. It is difficult not to smile when you see the giant Peach. I love it!

Have you seen any bizarre or wonderful water towers?

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Newspaper Stands

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

Charlotte, NC #2

In American cities they have brightly coloured plastic or metal newspaper dispensers. These dispensers can hold anything from free ‘events’ and ‘housing’ papers through to expensive National or international newspapers.

The photograph below shows a row of them on South Tyron St. in downtown Charlotte.

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Camoflaged cellular tower

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Charlotte NC #1

I’m in Charlotte North Carolina for a while. I nearly missed ‘seeing’ this cellular tower because of its cunning camoflage! The give-away clue is mainly that it is much taller than surrounding trees. It’s very near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).  

Have you seen any cunningly disguised cellular towers?

If so I’d love to hear about them, find out where they are and see pictures

Night night, Wendy

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