When the day starts with a frozen chicken pot pie with a candle in it, it can only improve.
Today was the IND blog meet, organized by our beautiful and talented friend Roberta X. We had two guests coming in from out of town, one whom I picked up at the airport. As my regulars know, I met Old NFO years ago when he was in the Navy and I hauled him someplace in a Sherpa (actually several times). We ran into each other about 10 or so years ago via SquirrelVision and have shared many a phone call in years since, through several adventures and lots of travel. He is the only blogger who ever dared my 72 layer cream cheese biscuit recipe, but he wasn't home much and usually subsisted on "bachelor chow". During one period he picked up a whole case of chicken pot pies at Costco. Every time I talked to him, after he returned stateside, often after I'd posted a picture for friends of a new recipe, I'd say "what you are you having" and I heard "another *#%@*!# chicken pot pie". It seemed like a year or two went past. . . still, every conversation. "another @#$%^&@ chicken pot pie".
So, in honor of his birthday last week, I had to pick him up for the blog meet with a special gift. I don't have to tell you what his reply was.
We then met Midwest Chick and Mr. B. for a cooking supply excursion before the meet, a trip to Penzey's Spices, my favorite Artisano's, then a stop at Trader Joe's, before heading over to the local Irish pub. The menfolk took one vehicle for a smoke, while Midwest Chick and I headed out ahead in the bat truck, giggling and talking about everything from Magnum P.I. to the merits of buying things in bulk.
The men, hot on the trucks tail (you could NOT lose Mr. B. in a vehicle if he was intent on following you), followed us over. Tam had arrived early to secure the awesome "round table" and was rewarded with the last sugar dusted Norwegian baked good I had brought to share. Thanks Tam! We needed the space. We had a great turn out, including two new folks, one a blogger, one a regular reader (and military aviator, always fun to talk to with this group).
Roberta X, Joanna , Kerry, Uncle Jay, The Jack , Midwest Chick, Tam, Mr. B., Old Grouch, Donald (first time visitor!), Karl, Old NFO and myself. The rare treat of a visit from Uncle Jay was the reason we had our impromptu gathering Saturday as he traveled through, and it was well worth it to spend time with he and other great folks.
While the appetizers started arriving, someone always has to say "what knife are you carrying?
Out come the knives.
This is the Indiana, where we can get lifetime concealed carry permits and our license plates say "In God We Trust, so our waitress dashes around as a dozen people whip out large and very pointy knives to wave, and doesn't blink. She simply says "anyone ready for another Guinness?"
Then of course, out come the multi tools. Aw. . crap, I don't have one on me. I'm sitting next to Roberta X who has multi tools you can use to hotstart the U.S.S. Enterprise and all I have is whistle shaped like a little train.
Conversation was as varied and interesting as the careers and interests of the group, guns and technology, starships and starfish, cooking with peppers and getting peppered with buckshot, sci-fi, and radios, military weaponry, guns, how a No. 2 writing implement and a certain fighter jet can take the lead out of your pencil real quick, and exactly what shade of blue is seen inside a big electrical fireball.
And don't forget Spam with bacon. (Wow, I didn't know they made Spam with recognizable pork products in it :-)
Before I knew it, 3 hours had passed, and I had a long drive home to let Barkley out and make sure our out of town guests got to their hotels. Goodbyes were said to the group and then some hellos to the four legged one. After checking in where they were staying, Uncle Jay and Old NFO I headed to a little bar/eatery near the airport for a snack and a couple more hours of conversation on guns, and gear, Seals and Sealants, normal dinner conversation, just more "sploody".
Too soon, time for everyone to head out. To our out of town guests - thanks for making the trip. It was great to see you both. To our new guests, welcome!