Programming my remote raises more questions than answers

Really. Should I use such a serious headline to introduce my internal psychobabble?

Here it is Black Friday. I am sitting at my computer, having just programmed my remote control. Now, if we put those two statements together one might surmise I have bought a new TV set or something else which operates with a remote control. But one might be wrong in their supposition.

The truth is that the TV remote controls works fine. That is, it works fine unless I press a wrong button. Whatever the button I pushed may have made my remote temporarily inoperable. When I say “temporarily inoperable,” I mean that I hope that that is the case. This has happened on more than one instance.

I have to always refer to the manual for the type of remote that I  have in order to reprogram it. It was hard enough to find the manual so I have the URL stored in my bookmarks. I suppose it might seem to others that if I had to do these type of technical gymnastics very often — which it seems I do — then reprogramming the control should be a snap. Yeah, it does seem like that.

Some may say: “Big deal! Go out and buy another remote.”

Right. Why not just buy another television? Why not buy one of those big honking suckers that is half as wide as your double wide and enables you to see a football game in such detail that you can see the bugs in the grass having sex?

Well, until this remote, or this TV, or both, decide to give up the ghost then I believe there is no reason to spend money on something that only causes a modicum of irritation. So does that mean peace of mind has a price tag affixed to it?

Uh, why are you, I mean, me, asking me all these questions?

I don’t know. I have better things to do. And yes peace of mind sometimes come with a price. I  likewise don’t know whether it is better to watch the television. I am watching the news after all. But since some of my time today was spent reprogramming my damned television remote, then does it not seem that I should at least spend some time using that instrument?

Questions, questions. I have no answers. If I watch more TV I may not find any answers. I probably won’t find answers. So what is the result of this exercise?

Well, it’s making my head hurt. Maybe I should go out and buy a new TV and remote. No, I don’t think so. Maybe I should have my head examined. But I did that earlier this week. I think I will watch some TV after all. Another couple of hours shot to hell!


Thanksgiving. My thoughts.


Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow. I plan on getting together with some of the family for lunch — where I come from we call lunch “dinner” and the evening meal “supper.” Our meal will happen in my old hometown and in the house where I was raised.

Although Thanksgiving is rooted in religion, as in “giving thanks to God,” it has become a secular or even capitalist occasion.

I am thankful for a number of things, not really in a religious sense, but thankful nonetheless. One particular hope I have is that people can pray — or not if they wish — for all people living in peace. It’s always amazed me how some people who claim they are religious are in reality bloodthirsty, two-faced, liars. There are also others who are likewise pious yet they mock or become inflamed when it comes to people of certain religions. Case in point: Muslims today are the new pariahs. At the same time, certain people who claim Allah as their God pretend their Islamic religiosity is so deep that they believe it gives them the right to kill by the thousands men, women and children of their own faith. Oh they especially feel they have some special dispensation from Allah to kill all of those who are not Muslim.

I have several things to be thankful for, in whatever way I choose. My selection isn’t at all heady especially considering what I have just written on capitalism, religion and war. There are some things I will not share here. But, for instance, I still have my sense of humor.

Increasingly, I find that times when I “laugh my ass off,” a.k.a. in our Facebook world as LMAO. Maybe I don’t read the comics enough although what was the “funny papers” aren’t as funny as they used to be. But I am certainly thankful for Stephan Pastis, who produces the “Pearls Before Swine,” comic. His strip isn’t always funny as sometimes he makes some profound thoughts about life in this world. Maybe it isn’t funny but it is important.

Despite its shortcomings and its delivery of stupidity throughout the world I am thankful for the Internet. Facebook is surprisingly high in my book because one can communicate with people, or vice versa, that you might not otherwise contact. Google and other search engines, can lead me to various sites where I can find people, places and things. Google=Good noun.

I am also happy that I took a week of leave and made a trip for several days to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Perhaps it is a “redneck Riveria,” but I didn’t really go to Biloxi, Gulfport and Ocean Springs (and Long Beach and Bay St. Louis) to gamble or frolic in the Gulf.

My journey there was a trip back in time. Those were my days as a young Navy man when I was 19-turned-21 was spent there. It was a laid back time 1974-77. I went to sea in ’77 and was able to get out of the Navy back in Gulfport in 1978. This visit I went to the base and saw my barracks was still standing since the 70s. Some of the places I knew were gone or new places were standing. Some signs of Hurricane Katrina – it was a killer storm for the Mississippi Coast too – were there. And even though about a dozen casinos were open, the area wasn’t too much of a surprise.

Back when I was stationed at the Naval Construction Training Center, on the Gulfport Seabee base, was the time of transition from teenage kid to young man. It was, despite whatever shortcomings I felt about life back then, a fantastic part of my life. It was the 70s. I saw ZZ Top and the Rolling Stones, man! My uniform didn’t prohibit my having fun. Well, maybe sometime it did. My year at sea is another chapter.

I turned 60 last month. I don’t see 30 or even 40 years ago as a lifetime, although for some it really is a lifetime. Whether you are religious or not, whether you pray or not, you can be thankful for something, just be happy. I’m not going to say “don’t worry.” LMAO





Better than tangled up in glue.

“Eeeyeah,” ‘scuse me. This is just where I am.

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“The only thing I knew how to do was to keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew … ” Bob Dylan

You don’t have to sing like a bird, a crow will do.


No more dollar menu from McGreedy. But maybe Santa will bring the Texans a Super Bowl and the world some peace.


So much sadness seems to surround our world these days. And I am not just talking about the Paris terrorist attack. For instance, fast food giant McDonald’s has announced it is parting ways with its dollar value menu. It is instead offering a choice of two items from a choice of the McDouble, McChicken, small fry and Mozzarella sticks. This comes after McDonald’s belittled the tamale in Mexico. Really, have you no shame ¿damas y señores?

Well while we are speaking of such a sad state of affairs, there was one brightened light last evening. I speak of the Houston Texans keeping their shirts together long enough to upset the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were one of an unprecedented three NFL teams that were undefeated. Those 9-0 teams are the New England (Cheating Scum) Patriots and the Carolina (Where the hell is that?) Panthers. Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer left the Monday evening game with a possible concussion shortly before the fourth quarter began. The Bengals led by two field goals in those waning seconds of the third period. But then as the fourth quarter began, in the sky, no on the field it’s … not Superman. But close enough for the Texans. Out of seemingly nowhere, came T.J. Yates — who is that? — lobbing a 22-yard touchdown pass at the end of his first drive. The catch by Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins sealed the deal.

Actually, anyone who even remotely has followed Houston Texans games should know who is this Yates — not Shelly, not Keats, nor Dickens — person. It was this T.J. Yates who substituted for first string QB Matt Schaub, and second-stringer Matt Leinart, during the 2011 Texans season. Yates chunked a short pass in the last two seconds of a match with — you guessed it — the Bengals. That resulted in the first round of playoffs, ever, in the Texans’ history during that 2011 season.

So now the Texans share an AFL South lead with Indianapolis. Both sport a very unspectacular 4-5 standing. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Just wait for the jolly old fat man with white hair and beard. I believe he will make it from the South Pole in December, or is it from the North Pole in January? Maybe St. Nicky will deliver the long-suffering Texans’ fans a playoff berth. And perhaps even a Super Bowl. If you are going to wish, you might as well go big.

While he is at it Santa might as well bring some comfort to our Parisian brethren, and serve it with some world peace on the side.


An au revoir to an old friend while terrorists murder in Paris

Here I am in the “Oldest Town In Texas.” That has been the claim many years here in Nacogdoches. I lived here, went to and graduated from college here, and worked here, nearly as many years as I lived with my parents before leaving my hometown for the Navy.

I have partyied like a big dog here in what some college kids and others called “Nacanowhere.” I bet many a person who complained of what a small, nothing town, they were in, now wish they could be back here and in college at the age in which they attended. I have also loved here. A few of those were serious and some not so much.

Best of all, I made many friends here–those in school, and others — from my working as a firefighter and later a news paper reporter. But I am not here to see friends, old flames or otherwise. I am here to remember the life of my friend, Rick, who died earlier this week at the age of 61.

I don’t think I could write a memorial or an obituary for Rick, although I am more than capable of doing so. I believe I could do a better job in writing of the things we did and shared at some later date. As in “the book” I have yet to write. Rick’s death, at 61, reminds me I need to get busy, on a book and on other matters. I say this as I turned 60 last month.

Hopefully, I will write more about this unusual, talented and very funny man. His obituary in the paper — the same one where I reported and wrote for nearly four years — reminded me of the many things he had been able to do such as his work as a nurse, a mechanic and not too long ago, owning a vending machine service.

I write this as all hell breaks loose with terrorists shooting down scores of people in Paris. It was a better day when Rick was here, not that he could do anything about the terror attack. But things were a bit better yesterday. Au revoir.



Tip-ping is NOT a country, at least at Joe’s Crab Shack

Casual dining place Joe’s Crab Shack is going where no man or woman has gone before — well, at least in recent times.

The Texas-based eatery said they are doing away with tipping. RTT News has reported that the seafood restaurant will be paying employees $12 per hour which will mean a 12-to-15 percent increase an order to offset the wage increase.

I suppose this will work out fine for the diner who normally pays Joe’s Crabs around $14 per order, according to some industry sources. But then, going out to a nice sit-down seafood dinner isn’t cheap. Seafood, especially fresh seafood, isn’t cheap.

Time will tell how well a change in such a long-held practice will add to the cost of living for restaurant workers whose livelihoods rely on tips. I would imagine it would depend on where one lives. Back in the late 1980s I worked for a lunch-crowd cafe for what was then the prevailing minimum wage of $3.35 an hour. Jeez, it didn’t even seem that much back then. In 2012 dollars for 1988, that would be $6.48 an hour, according to U.S. Department of Labor figures. Oh, and I was never tipped there. Even then with minimum wage I had to work three jobs to stay afloat in my crappy little trailer house. A friend, who lived elsewhere, let me live there for free except I had to pay rent for the lot. The best I can remember electricity, water and cable were free. It was a pretty sweet deal except for the fact I could barely hold my head above that free water.

There are, of course, true service professionals who earn a very good living in upscale restaurants one mainly find in large cities. Perhaps waiters in a smaller to mid-sized cities can make a decent living or perhaps stay afloat in college. But when you think about it $12 is not a whole s**t-pot of loot. I make $20.60 per hour, working 32 hours per week, and it isn’t a whole lot of money.

Despite my trying to sound clever with a Star Trek-style lead, Joe’s isn’t the only restaurant that doesn’t allow tips. I know at least one casual dining place where I live that has a posted policy of no tipping. The Georgia-based McAlister’s Deli, at least the one where I eat in Southeast Texas, posts the no-tipping sign,  saying the restaurant’s employees are well-paid and do not need tips.

Looking around on the ‘net, it seems like the Sonic Drive-In chain purposely keeps its policy toward gratuity on the sly. I see pages and pages where people inquire if you should tip your Sonic carhop.  What I don’t see are answers.

I know at least at one newspaper where I had worked, a local Sonic had been questioned as to whether its carhops should be tipped. The answer was no.

Part of the uncertainty about tipping in restaurants is the franchising of such places as Sonic and McAllister’s. What the corporate types tell the franchisee is not usually discussed in the open.

I have notice in the past few years, I suppose it grew along with the Recession of ’08, that everywhere one looked workers were asking for tips. This includes workers who, I would think, do not depend on tips. I have seen signs requesting tips in such places as Quiznos, where the customer stands from the time they place their order until it is completed.

So there are plenty of questions as to how well those companies who stop tipping will fare. Will it come out good for the worker? The same question can be asked for the customers and owners. For many, such policies might just seem as if they are headed into the deep, dark spaces of the universe. Then again, I may be wrong and probably a little over-dramatic.


Navy launches missile. Southern Californians freak out.

Living where I do there are all sorts of catastrophes that are waiting to happen. I say that in light of all the supposedly “terrified” folks in the Los Angeles area who freaked last week when they saw a missile test just after sundown. The Los Angeles Times newspaper reports that a second and final missile was fired this afternoon off the California Coast.

Everywhere, at least in SoCal, people are “skeered.” At least that is what the media reports.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Navy photo of nuclear anti-sub rocket in 1962 from the destroyer USS Agerholm.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. The destroyer USS Agerholm fires an atomic rocket in 1962.

I live in Beaumont, Texas. It is certainly a blip compared to Los Angeles, although, just a few miles from where I live is the nation’s fourth largest port in tonnage. The Port of Beaumont sits on the Neches River, at the northwestern leg of the Sabine-Neches Waterway. The 79-mile-long ship channel serves one of the largest petrochemical producing areas in the U.S. The port is also a “military outload” port. I saw weird bubble-wrapped helicopters being loaded during the prelude to the Second Iraq War, not to mention a plethora of tanks, fighting vehicles and assorted items most of which were covered in desert camo.

The waterway juts northward to the Port of Orange on the Sabine River. Just south of the confluence of both rivers is the Port of Port Arthur. That confluence is Sabine Lake, which is more of a bay than a lake. At the tip of the water way is Sabine Pass, where a small port sits. Also, two liquefied natural gas or LNG terminals are being built on either side of the lake. One is at Sabine Pass, the other near Cameron, Louisiana.

So, were one to be terrified of what might happen, this could be the place for you. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, fifth and ninth in tonnage respectfully, also makes for a scary place. There are refineries in that area as well and lots of varied military activity to the north and south of Los Angeles. This brings me to the big Pacific scare.

Now maybe people were really terrified. I don’t know. I bet some hipster sitting in his back yard looking over the ocean and tripping his ass off on acid had a real rush. But these type of things happen quite often off the Southern California coast. Take San Clemente Island, not to be confused on San Clemente, the city between San Diego and L.A. and the place where Tricky Dick Nixon used to live.

San Clemente Island sits to the southwest of Santa Catalina Island. The former is officially uninhabited. That is a good thing because the island has been, for years, a Navy missile and shipboard gunfire range. It is probably more of the former these days as Navy ships are more missile oriented these days. The ship I served a year on in the Navy was a World War II-era gun destroyer although it could fire “rocket assisted projectiles.” The armament system was called an ASROC, for Anti submarine rocket. The Agerholm, the ship on which I served, fired the first and I guess only, nuclear-tipped ASROC

The rocket test, called “Swordfish,” was part of a series of nuclear tests in the early 1960s, most of the tests were air drops from B-52s and were in the South Pacific Ocean. Swordfish took place about 400 nautical miles — about 460 miles — west of San Diego. According to information on the test, the 20 kilo-ton device was fired about 1 p.m. local time on May 11, 1962, from the Agerholm. The nuke’s so-called “yield,” the energy unleashed in the bomb, was approximately that of the “Fat Man” bomb detonated over Nagasaki. A raft some 4,300 yards — some 2.5 miles — away was the target for the ASROC.

 “The rocket missed its sub-surface zero point by 20 yards and exploded 40 seconds later at a depth of 650 feet in water that was 17,140 feet deep,” according to

 “The spray dome from the detonation was 3000 feet across, and rose to 2100 feet in 16 seconds. The detonation left a huge circle of foam-covered radioactive water. Within two days it had broken up into small patches and spread out for 5 to 8 miles.”

Operation Dominic took place about 15 years before I reported aboard the Agerholm. Was nuclear fallout still on the ship when I boarded her in the former Todd Shipyard facility in Long Beach, Calif? I don’t know.

Now the majority of stories on the test firings from the ballistic submarine USS Kentucky speculate whether the Navy was trying to send some message. I think the answer is “yes.” The very being of the U.S. Navy sends a message, as in the photo above being an extreme example. Some believe the people should be forewarned of such tests. The Navy says “Sorry, we can’t tell you when this missile will launch, top secret.” I would bet if something like the picture above appeared off the coast of L.A., people really would freak-out. And they’d have every right to be scared.

I conclude with this tip: Assume the Navy will test fire a missile in the water — somewhere!


Doc Carson, lies, and totes a loaf of bread while he walks like an Egyptian

This week has been the one week of the presidential “silly season” that I have come to enjoy and find fascinating.

I am talking about the “Lying Dr. Carson.” I could call it something like “Lying-Gate” or “Carson-gate” or even “Doctor-gate.” But isn’t the whole “Watergate” use to describe scandals way, way dated?

Veracity x Veracity = Veracity²

Veracity x Veracity = Veracity²

The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. — developed by an Italian firm — opened in 1965. The hotel was certainly meant as “the” place for anybody who is anybody. In the District that would mainly mean pols or high-powered lobbyists. And why wouldn’t it? Vatican money was used to build the hotel, with its view of the Potomac River, and its architect had been a favorite of the infamous strong-man Benito “Il Duce” Mussolini.

But it was Watergate as a “third-rate burglary” that made the hip 60s hotel immortal. That heist took place in 1972. And though it seemed back then that the American tragedy played out for ever and ever, it climaxed some two years and one month later, when President Tricky Dick Nixon raised his hands as his bye-bye with a “V” sign on each hand, for victory. I am not sure if anyone has developed a solid theory in what victory Nixon believed he had fomented. In reality, the president had essentially saved the nation from the spectacle of Nixon as the first president to be jailed. Vic-to-ry!

So, Watergate became a starting point more than 40 years ago as a partial synonym for scandals that were developed and used with no real objections by lazy journalists everywhere.

Holy crap!

Therefore, with a little — though necessary — social history we come up with a presidential scandal even though the person involved is only a candidate for the GOP nomination for president. As to whether the whole dust-up about Dr. Ben Carson is officially a scandal, we will have to see how this plays out.

We have, so far, learned that the acclaimed Dr. Carson, who separated conjoined twin babies, is apparently fudging on his claims of being a young tough in Detroit. And the good doctor also wasn’t telling the truth, or perhaps just flat out lied, about having been offered a “full ride” scholarship to West Point.

But there is more and it doesn’t particularly have any bearing on his veracity.

Carson, a Seventh-Day Adventist, has expressed beliefs that are not only anti-science but as well, lack any common sense. Exhibit A is that Dr. Carson believes that the Egyptian pyramids were built to store grain, a belief he allegedly developed from the Book of Genesis. No matter that the pyramids weren’t hollow and thus would not be an optimal granary.

So does this mean that the Bangles need to revamp their 80s hit music video for “Walk Like An Egyptian?” If you’re old enough to remember:

“Slide your feet up the street bend your back
Shift your arm then you pull it back … “

Oh well, just watch the damned video.

Perhaps one should walk like an Egyptian with one hand up and thrust forward while the other carries a loaf of bread. No?

One would think a pediatric neurosurgeon would be a man of science. Maybe Carson comes from the Gump School of Medicine: Science is as science does.

As an old high school friend used to say: “That fellow is as odd as a flying snake.”


The internet and the ‘medical student syndrome’

Ed. note: Once again I have been editing after posting. This time I have been receiving help from Japan. So, hold on to your laptop, I might just edit some more.

There is a study I would like to see, and if you have seen such a study, please send it to our e-mail address. This study would gauge how people value (or no) that be-all-end-all tool, the internet. The study I’d like to see would measure quality of information and whether one often finds the quantity of the results too overwhelming. For instance, asking a question formed as such:

“How well does information you receive from the internet help you understand subjects you research?

A. The information is usually helpful in understanding a subject.

B. The information is occasionally helpful.

C. The information is mostly confusing and does not help me understand.

Think about the questions and answers regardless of how well they are constructed. I would pick B. That does not bode well for the internet if a representative sample of users — and definitely not an internet-based query — come to the same conclusion.

I have found the “information superhighway” can cause a 40-car-collision of data overload. In life before the internet I had similar experiences.

I came to that conclusion some 15 years before I ever heard the word “internet” and first used a rudimentary internet connection in my work as a journalist. When I first began training as an emergency medical technician, I had no idea that training would lead to what is a somewhat well-known syndrome.

Some call it “Medical Student Disease” while others describe it as a syndrome rather than a disease. You say potato. I say tuber. Some in the medical profession prefer to call it “nosophobia.”  While that term seems as if a person is afraid of noses — and I’ve found a few scary schnozzolas in my time — the term denotes a fear of illness. Apparently, someone felt that future doctors should not be characterized as hypochondriacs. Hey, if the shoe fits, oh wait, we’re getting off on the wrong foot here. Someone call a podiatrist!

I’m not an EMT anymore. I let my certification lapse almost three dozen years ago. But I was pretty much a hypochondriac for a little while. I finally came to the realization that I am not having this or that problem. No knee problems or back problems or heart problems. I had the majority of those medical experiences in more recent times with the exception of the latter.

I had several tests this year on my heart. It is practical that a man now 60 years old — ugh, that still is a little hard to accept — have testing done on their ticker. This is especially so because several family members had heart problems. I have had high blood pressure, controlled, with medicine for almost 20 years. I’m diabetic. I’m overweight. I haven’t touched any form of tobacco in 15 years. But the bad news is I may have problems with breathing because I smoked two packs a day for about half of 25 years.

Over the last year I’ve had three different types of cardiac testing. The first was an echocardiogram. It appeared to show a slight enlargement in the left portion of my heart. My cardiologist at the VA said that the enlargement was not anything of major alarm. Yeah, but it’s not his heart.

I had shortness of breath upon landing in Albuquerque, N.M. back in July. Upon deplaning I walked up into the jet way and upon reaching the waiting area I had to stop and catch my breath. My breath was already waiting in the Super Shuttle. I experienced breathing problems a few times in ABQ, which is right at a mile high in elevation. I did some reading on the internet and found that even though altitude sickness is found in people somewhere above 8,000 feet it can be seen in people below that altitude. One also has to realize I left a place just a few feet above sea level for almost 30,000 feet while flying in a jet airliner. And I never came down, so to speak, until I returned Southeast Texas,

The shortness of breath also became a reason for the docs wanting a bit more testing.  About two weeks ago I had an “imaging” stress test. This is where one is injected with a medicine that makes your heart beat more rapidly. My heart was not beating very fast. The cardiologist suspected a blood pressure medicine was causing the slow pulse. I quit the meds and my pulse was back to normal.

On Monday I had a “nuclear” stress test. This test involves a radioactive camera injected via IV inside one’s blood and allows pictures to show a much better view of inside the heart. Better than the outside looking in, I suppose.

I got my test results today via email from a physician assistant in the cardio department at the Houston VA. I immediately began looking on the internet for answers — more results than I probably needed —  that explained what the PA was actually saying. I understood that the testing had what was called a normal “ejection factor.” Looking it up on the internet I found the percentage that was given in my results is normal. But what were reputable internet sites also explained that a normal result does not mean a patient cannot also have had so-called “silent heart attacks” or congestive heart failure.

I was getting back into “medical student syndrome” mode with a bit of a furrowed brow when my cardiologist called and told me the test showed my heart was normal in how well the heart pumps with each beat. He said these pictures showed a much better view than the previous echocardiogram. What that means is I have no apparent heart problems. So what do I do? I just wait and see if I have any other symptoms of heart disease.

My relapse of nosophobia or whatever one cares to call it was brought on today by the internet. That and a little more information than I likely needed, or at least information that made sense. The only problem I have now is that I am obsessing over noses. Where’s Barbra Streisand when you need her?



How’d you like your eggs, hon? With waffles.

During my visit to the Mississippi coast last week, I was taken aback by the number of Waffle Houses I spotted.

If you’ve ever been down South you probably recognize Waffle Houses by their bright yellow color and big picture windows. While they are open 24/7, the zero hour for them is whatever closing time is in their area. Since there are a dozen or more casinos on the coast that are back up and running since Hurricane Katrina, the diners are probably hopping at least some time throughout the day.

Many Waffle House diners are a favorite for those seeking “drunk food.” Some say eating a greasy early breakfast after an evening of drinking helps “soak up” the alcohol. I doubt that is the case but eating and drinking coffee helps make one a well-fed and wide-awake drunk.

I don’t know what the alcohol sales laws are in Mississippi these days. Back when I was stationed at the Navy Seabee base in Gulfport during the late 1970s, the general statute was that one must be 18 or older to buy beer and wine, and age 21 and up to buy liquor. I am sure that has changed as for age, but I don’t know about the hours legal for consumption. I remember drinking beer at sunrise in the bar where my late friend Betti worked. That is kind of like Louisiana laws where, at least in my younger days, one must only show that they were alive.

Map through Creative Commons. Copyright By Nik Freeman

Map through Creative Commons. Copyright By Nik Freeman

Waffle Houses are more than just a “Southern thing” or curiosity. Since they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the stores serve as a gauge for FEMA during disasters. If Waffle House is closed, things have got to be bad.

I came across this map by a geographer named Nik Freeman that shows Waffle Houses by density in “quads,” or quadrants, on U.S. Geological Survey maps. This information is run here courtesy of Mr. Freeman through Creative Commons. Freeman was able to figure where the most Waffle Houses were located. The top 21 quads showed the Atlanta area with 132, Fort Worth was fifth with 25, and the lower end of the top 21 was a tie with Raleigh, N.C., Little Rock, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pensacola all with 16 Waffle Houses each.

Although this information was compiled in 2012, the data helps show that I was not imagining Waffle Houses were everywhere in the Gulfport, Biloxi area. As a matter of fact the Gulf Coast from Gulfport to Pensacola (via Alabama) contained a whopping 86 Waffle Houses over a width of only about 100 miles. If you go “down South jukin’ and lookin’ for a peace of mind,” as Lynyrd Skynyrd suggested, at least you’ll find waffles and eggs cooked to order. You will also find some nice waitress who will call you, “hon.”

Whether you are jukin’ or just drunken head to the Gulf Coast and find the nearest Waffle House. You’ll have no trouble finding one.