How many good soul food places are there in Memphis? I'm not sure but I keep finding more of them. Last week I was driving south on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Whitehaven planning to stop at Big Bill Bar-B-Que for some reliably excellent pulled pork when I noticed a sign telling me to turn right on Winchester to try Kountry Cookin' Soul Food. I'd never heard of the place so naturally I hung a right and spotted the restaurant about half a block down the road.
Kountry Cookin' ended up being a clean, spacious restaurant that serves food cafeteria style. I ordered pork neckbones, cabbage and yams and was seated with my food within minutes of entering the front door.
The neckbones were incredibly meaty and good. I've still never had a bad serving of neckbones in an area restaurant. I guess that is because it is such a simple dish and one you don't put on the menu unless you know how to cook it. The cabbage and yams were also solid, well-seasoned representations of simple, satisfying foods, which is exactly what I want from a regular lunch stop.
I've fallen pretty far behind in blogging over the last couple weeks but hopefully I can get caught up pretty soon. A couple years ago I upgraded my aging desktop computer with additional memory and turned it into a dual boot system with both Windows and Linux hard drives. For those who don't know, a dual boot system simply means that when you turn on the computer you tell it which hard drive you want it to operate from. Linux is a far superior operating system to anything offered by Microsoft or Apple, and it has the added benefit of being free. It is actually based on the same reliable operating system Apple uses, it just doesn't use the stupidly overpriced proprietary hardware that Apple foists on its customers.
The unsecure and glitchy Windows operating system is a magnet for malware, spyware, bloatware, and viruses and our computer's sluggish performance is what caused me to add the Linux hard drive. Since then the Linux setup has stayed fast and reliable while the Windows setup continued to get progressively slower. The only reason we still booted it up in Windows from time to time was due to a handful of programs we still used it for, most notably my wife's iTunes account along with some programs she uses for work. I personally despise iTunes and had been happily using the program Banshee to handle my music on the Linux computer and Google Play to handle my music on my Google phone. I look at Microsoft versus Apple as a pair of choices similar to picking between republicans and democrats in the voting booth; at best you are trying to decide who sucks least.
But my wife wanted a functional Windows system and waiting for ours to boot up and run programs was like watching a glacier move. So as a regular listener of the Gary Parrish Show on sports radio while I am in my work vehicle I dropped the computer off at Cooper Systems since Gary is constantly hawking the place and it is in a section of Mt. Moriah I frequent at work. That was last Friday and they are still running tests to figure out what all is bogging the Windows setup down, which is why I had been without a computer for nearly a week. This isn't a criticism of Cooper Systems. They have been very knowledgeable and friendly. I had a messed up Windows system. If I had a 1985
Yugo I wouldn't criticize a mechanic for having trouble making it work.
Right before I dropped the computer off I'd also checked some laptop prices on ebay. There are plenty of places, Cooper Systems included, that buy used computers in bulk from businesses and refurbish them for resale. Usually that includes wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. But I noticed an Acer laptop on ebay that was being sold without an operating system since it was missing its COA sticker. The COA (Certificate of Authenticity) verifies that a computer had a licensed copy of Windows. Without the sticker a refurbisher can't reinstall Windows without buying a new copy specifically for that machine.
The laptop had pretty good specs for a used machine (15-inch screen, 2 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 100 GB HD) so I placed a bid and, since there are still plenty of people out there who think the Windows operating system is worth money, I ended up getting it shipped to my door for $78 total. It showed up yesterday and within five minutes I already had it up and running by simply loading Linux from a USB flash drive. I'm typing this post with it right now while still waiting on the Windows desktop to come home from the repair shop.