Ch-ch-ch-changes

One of our favorite pizza joints is undergoing a renovation. We love this place. We could walk in, sit down and not even have to say anything. Rose, Ali and everyone else would just know.

It’s one of at least two stores in this local chain built in an old gas station. Part of the charm of these two restaurants was the quirkiness that came from stuffing a pizza n’ beer eatery into a service station: tables in the service bay with a thin veneer of decor (adeptly seasoned by everything ever cooked there), the funky traffic flow inside and the bathrooms outside.

The other ex-gas station restaurant we frequented was abandoned and a shiny new one built in a somewhat post-modern Italianate concrete box with elaborate landscaping. Inside  is the  most sound wave-richocheting interior that could be conceived. The food has never been the same.

We’re hoping for a better outcome for this restaurant, but have already learned that at least one of the well-seasoned ovens won’t be making the change over. It was so old, repair parts can’t be found.

Publication2

6-27 US Pizza inside
One last look. The view from our favorite table.

Vroooom!

Sunburn, bratwurst and what sounded like very large, very angry bees all added up to Sunday of being smitten by the motor sports bug.  It was a blast watching drivers of all skill levels and cars of all wallet sizes careen around orange cones in the parking lot of War Memorial Stadium  trying to best their last timed lap.

There were daily drivers — sedans and station wagons with blue masking tape numbers on the side. There were other vehicles whose owners had invested in high-end engines, exhausts, spoilers, paint jobs and other modifications.  The atmosphere was very laid back, and if there were any drivers’ excuses, we were too far away to hear them.

The autocross was put on by the Sports Car Club of America’s Arkansas affiliate. Maybe some day we’ll get to see the race from inside the windshield.

composite shots of sports cars

All I wanted was breakfast

This young bandit was probably on an early morning raid for dumpster delicacies in the office parking lot and became startled, running for the nearest shelter. His inexperience showed in his choice of a very short tree with very few leaves. The frightened little guy remained treed until just afternoon, climbing slowly down the tree then bolting for cover. He looks like he could’ve used a big hug.

UP A TREE -- This young raccoon became quite the celebrity at the office on Monday, attracting stares, cameras and sympathy from almost everyone who passed.
IT'S A STRETCH -- The young raccoon tries to get comfortable -- or invisible -- in his perch. (Photo courtesy Kerry R.)

Going back through the archives, this photo turned up. Possibly the same scared bandit. This time, he’s making a beeline from the woods to the cover of shrubs planted under the windows.

SCRAMBLING FOR SHELTER -- Impressionistic photo of a young raccoon exploring the grounds between the office and the greenbelt.

Polo

There are no hooves, no Argentine-made boots and spectators don’t crowd the field between chukkers to stamp in the divots. But make no mistake, this is polo. Below, two-wheeled and one-wheeled versions are demonstrated during a media event at Little Rock’s River Market.

ONE IS AS GOOD AS TWO -- Mandy and Nick demonstrate that bike polo is possible with half the wheels of a usual mount.
SCRAMBLE -- Two two-wheelers chase the ball.