Sunday, July 16, 2017

Up and running

I don't know why it took us so long to get this thing done.

I think basically it's because, as a board of directors, we're probably dinosaurs. At least one of us still uses a flip phone. Another one of us doesn't have a personal email account (meaning he's the only person on the planet who's never been hacked). One or two of us might not use debit cards. Yikes.

But here we are, the board members for the Davidson County Sports Hall of Fame (I am the board's secretary) — and we just walked into the 21st century.

We finally created a Web site. Or, more precisely, Deb Watson of Business Marketplace in Sapona, created and maintains the site for us. Here it is: (see here)

It's finally up and running. And it's easy to find. Isn't it great? Thanks, Deb.

As a board, we came to the conclusion that a Web site was necessary because we physically don't have a place to display 15 years of information about our inductees. No wall to hang pictures. No place to store documents or biographies. The only thing we had prior to the site was a plaque full of names hanging in a dusty corner of the Old Davidson County Court House. It wasn't sufficient.

In essence, we didn't have a hall for our Hall.

The Web site takes care of all of that. Right there on the home page is a list of all the inductees, grouped by the year in which they were inducted. All you have to do is click (I find it amusing that "click" is such an ancient word for such a modern function) on an inductee's highlighted name and, Presto!, that person's biography is right there for you to read, complete with pictures.

It's a cyber Hall of Fame. It's a virtual hall that extends from here to infinity. For eternity.

Another great feature on the home page is a link to an inductee nomination form that anybody can fill out and submit. This means if the average citizen has a name he wants the board to consider for induction, all he has to do is fill out the form and "click." Instructions are included. Easy.

We actually considered taking this step years ago and had an exploratory meeting or two with potential site developers, but noting came of it until Watson entered the picture. Then we somehow moved with warp speed.

It's no doubt that other halls of fame are cyber connected. But I wonder. Maybe it's only us. Maybe we're the trend setters now.

Dinosaurs indeed.




Sunday, July 9, 2017

WD-40 to the rescue

We weren't having a great day.

Little things kept popping up unexpectedly just enough times to be annoying. We'd no sooner resolve one issue and then another would appear to take its place. Ever have days like that?

But it was getting to be late afternoon. We'd gone, what, five, 10 minutes without a problem? I thought we'd finally turned a corner.

Until Kim wailed "Bruuuuuuce."

Uh-oh. I know that wail. It's not good.

Kim was in the kitchen working on a hashbrown casserole to take to the annual family reunion. I'd been playing a mindless computer game on our laptop in the next room, because I needed to do something mindlessly for a few minutes. But I got up and went into the kitchen.

"I messed up," said Kim. I thought she meant the casserole. But then she pointed to the stove.

"I put the (plastic) bag of hasbrowns on the burner and forgot that it was still hot," she said.

One of the burners on the ceramic range was covered in melted plastic. Kim was beside herself.

"I don't have time for this," she said. "I still have to make the baked beans. Check the computer and find out how to clean this up."

That was a great idea. I googled "melted plastic on glasstop stove" and found any number of possibilities. One was to take a butter knife and carefully scrape off the plastic. Tried it. Nope. Another was to take baking soda and pour vinegar over it. So we did. I liked the reaction that resulted. It looked like it would take paint off a battleship when it bubbled up. But in the end, no dice.

Then I tried WD-40. I knew this stuff had a lot more uses than quieting squeaky hinges. You can use it to slide rings off swollen fingers or to take gum out of your hair (how does that happen?), among other things. So after cleaning off the baking soda/vinegar science project, we tried the WD-40.

After a few minutes to soak, I took a sharp knife and began edging the melted plastic off the flattop burner. It was working.

"Go fix your baked beans," I said. "I got this."

Within 15 minutes, the burner was clean, although it smelled a little bit like an oily bicycle repair shop. And as far as I could tell, I hadn't scratched the surface of the stove or done any collateral damage. So I went back to my computer game.

About 10 minutes later, I heard, "Bruuuuce."

Now what?

"The cat missed her litter box..."


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Cinnamon girl knows how to roll

The first thing that I had to understand was that this was pretty much just a test run.

I mean, when I first saw her post on Facebook a couple weeks ago announcing that she was back making cinnamon rolls to sell as special orders, I could hardly contain myself.

"Hmmm," I said to me. "Not a good time to be on a diet. I wonder if she'll come back to the Farmers' Market?"

Not so fast, Bucky.

Pam Spach sells me a dozen of her cinnamon rolls.
 "Not at this time," said Pam Spach, whose baked goods business, "'Tis So Sweet," was nearly legendary at the Farmers' Market (located in the restored railroad freight depot in Lexington) more than half a decade ago. Especially her cinnamon rolls, which just might be the best anywhere on the planet. Maybe even in the solar system. They are that good.

"But I am thinking about it," said Pam. "I went to the Farmers' Market on opening day this year to shop, and after being gone five years, I don't know how many people came up to me and said 'We miss you. We miss your cinnamon rolls.'"

Pam got out of the baking business after several years because it was getting to be too much like work and not enough like fun. Not only was she making cinnamon rolls, but breads, cookies, cakes, pies — the whole gamut. The baking was bumping heads with raising a young family, so she unloaded all her commercial kitchen supplies and became a fulltime teacher/tutor at Union Grove Christian School.

Then, earlier this year, her son volunteered her to make cinnamon rolls as part of a bake sale to help a fifth-grade classmate who is fighting cancer.

Turns out, the cinnamon rolls sold like hotcakes (so to speak).

"People started talking about them (the cinnamon rolls), saying 'Please, please, please come back,'" said Pam. "I said, 'Fine. How much will you pay?' So I decided to see what happens."

That's pretty much where we are right now. So far, Pam has been baking 20 to 24 dozen cinnamon rolls to sell as special order each Friday. It takes her about 10 hours of labor to make that many, and she sells them for $20 a dozen. She's currently lining up customers for the next four Fridays through July.

"Sometimes I think about the people I'm baking for," said Pam, "and what they're going to do with the cinnamon rolls. Are they gifts? Are they for birthdays? For neighbors, or for church? For somebody who is not feeling well?"

She is caught somewhat off guard by how much she enjoys being back in the baking business.

"I am a little surprised," said Pam. "I love what I do. I love pleasing people with the cinnamon rolls. I'm just amazed that after all these years people are still so excited about it."

So there is hope that she'll return to the Market one of these days. Only this time, it'll be exclusively cinnamon rolls.

And that will be more than enough.

 •  •  •

Interested in putting in an order? You can contact Pam at pamspach@gmail.com