In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday this week, it might be a good time to take stock of the world and our place in it. As bombs and rockets explode on battlefields around the globe, we can take comfort in our relative security at home even as U.S. troops remain in the danger zone in Afghanistan. The bitterness and rancor from the election just past is starting to recede in most quarters, though there are some for whom the fear and loathing for the other side will remain, although hopefully we won’t have to hear it so much anymore.


I just recently finished a judging “blitz” of several local contests and had some darn fine examples of competition style barbecue with only a few that were below par. I wanted to give a little love to the folks at the Winnie Rice Festival for really putting on a fine event and treating the judges well and making sure everyone had a great time. If you ever get the opportunity or have the desire to go judge a contest, the Rice Festival is a great place to start.


For 2014, Toyota’s comfortable Avalon is available as a V6 gas model in XLE,


‘The Hunger Games – Mockingjay, Part 1’

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Rated: PG-13


Birdman movie poster

‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’

Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton

Directed by: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Rated: R