Off the Record

Friday, April 23: I have crossed the state line for lunch. The temperature is pleasant: not too warm and not too cool. I order two Ebony General chili dogs that have been wrapped in white packaging and placed inside a plain, brown paper bag. Songbird Creek sparkles from the sun as I drive back to Lizard Creek. This is lunch at Lake Gaston.

I think it would be funny if people around Lake Gaston bought billboards, but didn’t have anything to promote. Just a picture of... Jim. “Here’s Jim. He doesn’t own a business. He’s just here to say hello.”

The moving process for the Roanoke Valley Veterans Museum to downtown Littleton will start on Thursday. Call 252-686-2943 to volunteer.

I noticed a Twitter trend that prompts users, “Without naming the state you’re from, tell us something it’s famous for.” I don’t think places should count; so for example, we can’t use the Outer Banks for North Carolina. I think I’d have to go with pulled/chopped pork or Tobacco Road (a figurative place) for North Carolina and folks from other states would quickly get the idea. For Virginia, there’s a number of founding fathers and historical events to choose from. My pick would be: Where the decisive battle of the American Revolution took place.

Our neighbors in Gaston, Northampton County High School, have reached the 1A high school football playoff semifinals. Northampton will play Northside High of Beaufort County this Friday for a berth in the state championship against either Murphy or Robbinsville.

Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres went 8-for-17 with five home runs in a recent series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tatis, who has a 14-year, $330 million contract with the Padres, had been off to a relatively slow start this season, but the 22-year-old is perhaps the new face of baseball. He’s must-watch TV.

On the subject of must-watch TV, did you know Judge Judy makes somewhere around $900,000 per workday? Judge Judy should have a Lake Gaston billboard.

LeVar Burton will be guest-hosting “Jeopardy!” this summer. Burton, of “Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Reading Rainbow” fame, has garnered enormous support to be the next permanent host. I’ll be watching closely, and shouting incorrect “answers” at the TV screen all along.

The popular folk duo Mandolin Orange announced a name change last week. Mandolin Orange is now Watchhouse. As many of you probably know, one half of Watchhouse hails from Warren County: Warrenton’s Andrew Marlin.

“So put me on a highway

And show me a sign

And take it to the limit one more time”

- Eagles, “Take it to the limit”