Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Recent license plates

Wherein it's always me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me

If I did get a vanity plate, if would be random number and letters.

On a Georgia license plate. What's the first thing you thought of? What do you think you would see if you googled "KC Crip"? Are you thinking young or old? Black or white? I'll just say the driver was doing a very good impression of the least positive thought you could have.

Top Gumm 2
Also on a GA plate. Actually, kinda cute if for a dentist and got half a chuckle out of me.

Overall, personalized plates annoy me. I see them as both a sign of insecurity and a need for attention. Even more so than bumper stickers. And what's the point? You have to spend more money, a government employee has to approve it, and you have 7 or 8 spaces to get across your message. And that message is always "please look at me, I'm a pathetic loser."

Maybe it's your name. Why should anyone care who you are? If we cared you wouldn't need to advertise it. Some are advertising and if it involves the actual business name, then fine. So looking at Top Gumm 2 all we have is a profession and the potential that there is a Top Gumm 1. If we did have the thought that "My, that witticsm cut me to the quick and that's just the type of person I want sticking his hands in my mouth" we'd have no way to find the person.

The worst have to be the ones that identify the car. You know, having a corvette with the plate reading MY VETTE. Thanks for the assist, couldn't figure that one out on my own. Goober.

Had a friend once say she was thinking about getting a personalized plate. I told her, no matter what she got my opinion of her would have to lessen. (Kinda like people who watch Family Guy). Soon after she moved to California and I never heard from her again. Probably got a plate reading SCRW BLL. Sorry, there is just no upside to the vanity plate. So, please, don't get a personalized plate or if you do, don't tell me. Because I will have to give you the look of scorn and the half-head shake of disappointment.

Katrina victim: Marisol is closing

Wherein I am truly sad I never made it to Marisol, but hope to one day be able to eat a Chef Pete meal

What happened:
"What happened at Marisol and when will you re-open" is a question we hear on a daily basis. Sadly, the answer now is "Never."

The first part of the question is easy to answer, albeit a bit gruesome. All of the beautiful trees in the patio were blown down. Some of them smashed part of the roof and a couple of outbuildings. The mountains of wonderful foods that were waiting to be served at our Annual Fungus Fest turned into a river of virulent ooze and have contaminated large sections of the building, including all the refrigerators. Insects and wild animals burrowed in to create even more havoc. And if that weren't enough, we were burglarized, to boot.

Addendum: As of February 27, still no settlement from the insurance company. We cannot re-open without funds, and we cannot occupy a rented building without paying rent. We have been put out of business by our insurance company. Goodbye, friends.

And in email, they provide some information on what their former crew is up to:
There is life after Marisol and I will continue to keep
you posted about Chef Pete's whereabouts as well as
other Marisol alumni.

Chef Pete at Bacchanal: This Sunday, March 5 at
sundown. Latino & Mexicano foods, live music, and
lots of fine wines from Bacchanal's proprietor Chris
Rudge. Call Chris for more info at 948-9111.

Need Fencing, Roofing, or Tree Removal? Former
Marisol cook, Matt Schreiber does it all and does it
really well. Call Matt at his construction
business "Tomahawk Fencing" for quality work and
friendly service. 274-8437

Going to New York? Visit our former sous chef Simon
Glenn at Night and Day Restaurant in the Park Slope
section of Brooklyn, 230 Fifth Avenue at President
Street. For reservations, call (718) 399-2161

Fine Photography from Jose' Fernandes, waiter
extraordinaire, can be found by contacting him
through his website: www.ozepa.com

formerly at 437 Esplanade Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116

Quick reads

Wherein what I'm actually thinking today is that while a pork with sage and apple stir fry with a pumpkin and goat cheese souffle sounds good, what I really want for dinner is a grilled Italian sausage on a roll with salsa

malcolm gladwell has a blog. Sounds like he's using to expand on points and resources he was not able to mention in his articles.

Poppy Brite interviewed in the Village Voice:
Carnival isn’t about bare breasts? I'm crushed.
Carnival is variously a family celebration, a gay celebration, a traditional black celebration. This year we're seeing those elements more than ever, and less of the dorks. Zulu, the traditional African-American parade, is the only one being allowed to keep part of its traditional route rather than having to use a shortened Uptown route. This year's tourists seem a little more respectful and interested in our traditions than the usual drunken yahoos. And I think it was an act of amazing bravery for St. Bernard Parish—one of the most devastated areas—to hold a parade. That parade, the Krewe of Nemesis, was my favorite so far.

The Liquor novels are, of course, behind the time curve. Will Rickey and G-Man face Katrina?
I plan to write at least two more Liquor novels: Dead Shrimp Blues, which will end with the storm, and Hurricane Stew, which will deal with its aftermath and the rebuilding of the local restaurant scene. I feel it would be callous and irresponsible not to write about an event that will shape the city for the course of my lifetime and beyond.

Jaime J. Weinman goes off on conservative movie reviewers:
The nuts at Libertas are easy to make fun of, but they're the culmination of twenty years or more of trying to reduce cinema to politics, reduce "Hollywood" to a pejorative, and evaluate movies entirely based on whether their ideas are acceptable to conservatives.

Stephen Green is discussing Gulf War I - The Disaster:
Having left Saddam in power, we were also forced to leave troops behind in Saudi Arabia. For that reason, Osama bin Laden declared war on us for Despoiling the Holy Places, or Loitering on the Sacred Loam, or something. That one sure came back to bite us on the ass. In all fairness though, Osama is a clever fellow and undoubtedly would have eventually found some reason to smite us. That new Gillette Fusion, for example, is allowing millions of dhimmi to keep their faces infidel-smooth, and in record time. Nevertheless, our decisions back then handed Osama a loaded gun. In retrospect, it's no surprise he fired it at us.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Al's Breakfast

Wherein this is one of the few places I'll consider waiting more than 30 minutes for a seat

I left Minnesota January, 1992. While I'd love to move back, when I have visited there's just one place that I absolutely have to go to before leaving - Al's Breakfast. It's literally a hole in the wall serving breakfast, but the pancakes are the best you'll ever eat.

It's about ten feet wide and seats fourteen at the counter. There's enough room behind the seats for a single line of people waiting for seats and in winter this space is also taken up by the parkas hanging on the wall hooks. I've waited in -10 weather to get in.

Don't believe how small it is? Here's a couple pictures:
  • http://www.tholt.com/als.html
  • http://www.lileks.com/mpls/uofm/dinkytown/als.html (Lileks)

Once in, I always recommend the tall stack of whole wheat walnut blueberry pancakes. I am drooling just thinking about it. Also the strawberry and sour cream omelet, I think it's called the West Bank. Al's also has what I consider to be the perfect hash browns. Recognizing the significance of Al's Breakfast, they were awarded the 2004 James Beard Classic award.

If you ever find yourself in the Twin Cities, you must eat there. Just head to the University of Minnesota and stop in at Dinkytown. Get there early because they close at 1pm.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sad Songs

Wherein I can only repeat those famous words uttered by the short order cook at Al's Breakfast (In Dinkytown and home to the best pancakes in the world): Life is fair, get used to it!

This started with my Christmas compilation. As that post says, even my wife thought it was depressing. Fine, whatever. It did have it's moments, so I fiddled with it and ended up with what I thought was a much tighter CD. Santa's Blues is fairly upbeat and probably the most depressing song, Fairytale of New York, is about two proud people in love unwilling to give up. There are a number of quieter selections, but they're not sad and I bracketed them with more upbeat songs. In no way is this depressing. I'd agree to contemplative, with a sprinkling of melancholy. Something appropriate for a midnight walk across a frozen lake.

I'm happy with it. Some of my favorite holiday music, this is good stuff. Hand off a copy to Amy and next thing I hear her husband is calling it the most depressing thing he's ever heard. I'll take that from the person I'm married to, but from someone whose musical taste is already suspect and probably open to ridicule?

No. In fact a challenge has been issued. Here is the most depressing CD I could put together.

  1. Institutionalized, Suicidal Tendencies (Repoman Soundtrack). A bit of a head fake to start off with. Sure, it's a kinda depressing, but in a jokey way. What are you trying to say? I'm Crazy? Well I went to your schools, I went to your churches, I went to your institutional learning facilities, so how can you say I'm crazy?

  2. Dad 2, Kevin Kling (Home and Away). The second song is a sucker punch. Kevin Kling is a superb storyteller. You might have heard him on NPR's All Things Considered. I've seen his play, the Seven Dwarves, and I've seen him perform in the oddity known as Bad Jazz. This story recalls when Kevin's dad told him he had cancer.

  3. Every Little Bit Hurts, Charles Brown (Someone to Love). The pinnacle of love gone wrong songs. Weeping guitar, desperate, self-pitying lyrics, this is a song that begs you to have a bottle of Jack with you...and no cups. I plead with you, do not listen to this song if already in a depressed state. Every night I cried, every night i sighed and wondered why, you treat me cold and you won't let me go

  4. Angel From Montgomery, Bonnie Raitt (Bonnie Raitt Collection). This is the live version with the song's author John Prine. This is the most beautiful, sad song you will ever come across; all hope is gone and all that is left is busted and forgotten dreams. Just give me one thing I can hold on too, to believe in this living is just a hard way to go

  5. Happy Father's Day, Lynda Barry (The Lynda Barry Experience). Another excellent storyteller, she's the author of Ernie Pook's Comick. The Lynda Barry Experience has a couple of great, nonsad stories: "Naked Ladies" and "I Remember Mike." This is about the first father's day after their father left.

  6. My Dad, Paul Westerberg (Folker). Yeah, we're a bit heavy on the dad songs and stories. Are there no bad mom songs? Actually, this isn't about a bad dad. It's a loving ode to his dad, who hasn't had the kindest life. Back story helps on this, as I think Paul said he hoped to get this song published before his dad died. My dad sitting in his chair, Still got hair and pride, Ask him how he's feeling, With an emphysema grin, he's fine

  7. A Year, Loudon Wainwright III (Grown Man). Here's another song about a bad father, but this time it's the father singing about himself. In short, a woman he is not married to has his child and he disappears for a year. True story and about his daughter Martha Wainwright - a fine singer in her own right and her bloody mother fucking asshole was the last song cut from this collection. I didn't pick you up because I'd have to put you down

  8. Beeswing, Richard Thompson (Mirror Blue). A song of lost love. Gotta be one of Richard's finest. Oh she was a rare thing, fine as a bee's wing, And I miss her more than ever words could say, If I could just taste all of her wildness now, If I could hold her in my arms today, Well I wouldn't want her any other way

  9. Unsatisfied, The Replacements (Let It Be). This works amazingly well with Beeswing: it's a continued frustration of other's expectations.

  10. Drowning, Joe Jackson (Laughter & Lust). Another breakup song. Pair this with Every little bit hurts and you've got a killer duo for the recently dumped (literally). I don't need you, But it's so hard, To be without you

  11. So Fuckin' Perfec', Juliana (The Machines 1990-1993). This is off a compilation from the DC company Simple Machines. I know nothing of Juliana, other than she has two songs (spoken word over music) and both are hypnotic. This is about a drug addict with AIDS.

  12. Helpless, k.d. lang (Hymns of the 49th Parallel). k.d. lang sings songs of other Canadians. Canada being mostly cold and empty and lonely, many of these songs will kill spring daisies. This is a Neil Young song. Helpless, helpless, helpless, Helpless, helpless, helpless, helpless, Baby can you hear me now

  13. The Long, Long Drive, Julia Sweeney (God said Ha!). You know what's funny? Cancer! And really funny? People dying of cancer! This is Julia Sweeney's (yes, she was androgynous Pat on SNL) performance piece of her brother, Mike, dying of cancer and then she comes down with cancer. This track is when Mike finally stops fighting. And you're only halfway through disc two! Seriously, it's quite good and if you've ever been around a similar situation you'll know there's a lot of dark humor involved. She has a new piece about how she became an atheist (Letting Go of God). Should be out on CD soon.

  14. Death of Butterfly (Tu Tu Piccolo), Malcolm McLaren (Fans). The finale of Madame Butterfly where Cio-Cio San kills herself and the rat bastard Pinkerton takes their love child. Don't let the Malcolm McLaren bit fool you that this isn't a serious take on the tragic opera.

  15. Intro to Cara Quinn, Jabbering Trout (Jabbering Trout). "She was walking to school...it was valentine's day...someone drove by and asked her if she wanted a ride to school...she accepted...he took her to another town where he proceeded to rape her and kill her. Her name was Cara Quinn and she was my first girlfriend and this a song I wrote about that."

  16. Cara Quinn, Jabbering Trout (Jabbering Trout). The song about the above. I don't think I'll say anything about this song. I will mention that on the same album is a song about a massacre at a McDonald's.

  17. O Lonely Soul, It's A Hard Road, Mary's Danish. I love this band and I love this song. I listen to it over and over and over. Favorite line: I got an open invitation to nothing. Second favorite: wisdom is the window to the earth and sky

  18. People Ain't No Good, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. People just ain't no good, I think that's well understood, You can see it everywhere you look, People just ain't no good

  19. Country Death Song, Violent Femmes (Hallowed Ground). Man can't feed his family. Takes his youngest daughter, pushes her down a well, overcome with shame and guilt he hangs himself. She was screaming as she fell, but I never heard her hit

There you go. Nineteen songs plumbing the depths of the human soul. I'm sure someone could make a more depressing CD, but do you think you're strong enough to go there?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I have a Word Cloud

Wherein this makes as much sense as my flowchart post while looking a bit prettier

With Snap Shirts create an artistic block of words and print it on a t-shirt. Here's a sample created based on So Quoted.

There's a Foxworthy in there. How'd that happen?

Deconstructing Warner Brothers

Wherein the cartoon I want to see is Bugs Bunny in the land of Samurai Jack

Jamie at Something Old, Something New has had an amazing series of posts analyzing the individual animators within a single cartoon and how you can identify their traits and tendencies. Must be viewed for the artwork.

Hillbilly Hare
Most of the next scene with the hillbillies falling for Bugs in drag is Phil DeLara, though Greg says that one close-up shot of Bugs in drag may be Chuck McKimson. DeLara does some fine work on the lecherous hillbillies

Show Biz Bugs
The subsequent xylophone sequence, with the famous "Endearing Young Charms" gag (which writer Warren Foster had previously used in the Private Snafu cartoon Booby Traps and the Bugs/Yosemite Sam scuffle Ballot Box Bunny) is Art Davis. Again, Freleng tended to give him a lot of scenes involving something extreme -- extreme anger or extreme violence, both of which are in this particular scene.

Rabbit of Seville
With Elmer back in the barber chair, Ben Washam animates the sequence where Bugs "is massaging Elmer's head and eventually makes a salad there." Washam also animates the subsequent sequence with Bugs as a snake charmer. Washam is easy to identify, at least in Bugs Bunny cartoons, because he always makes Bugs' teeth pointier -- or "chisel-toothed" as Duffell calls it -- than any other animator, as well as his generally angular way of drawing Bugs's head and features.

Do I need to draw you a freakin' flowchart?

Wherein this sounds like those conversations held at 2am on a Saturday night with "Music for Airports" playing in the background

XWL adds me to his blogroll with this comment:
So Quoted (Still not sure what this blog is about, but whatever it IS about it's done well)


It's about nothing, which is the same as everything. Without defining myself, it's little blips of data points that do define me. It's a collection of what interests me, without stating why it interests me. The meanings are multitude and various; or a smokescreen and a diversion, a head fake. Information. Data, good or bad, is still information and just as useful in drawing conclusions or a pretty watercolor picture of a toy boat on a pond. Or a dinosaur eating a jet plane. That's cool.

The fact that anyone else reads this amuses me. This is also information and who you are also defines what So Quoted is and reflects back on who you are. Perception is reality, even when false. Viewpoints and relationships are not buried in concrete, they are always on a sliding scale. Biases and preformed opinions color too much of what we read; who someone is affects the outcome more than the actual words. Mobius strips reflected in a mirror painted by Escher.

I have a habit of telling jokes or stories that are just for my amusement. Not because I'm elitist (though in many ways I probably am) or I mean to confuse (though I also don't mean to not confuse), just that the real joke is the reaction to the nonjoke. Years ago, I had problems with a manager who could never tell when I was joking because I never smiled. Sorry, smiling kills it; besides, she was a twit. What that has to do with So Quoted I'm not sure, just consider it another data point. It's the aside, the fleeting glance, the recognition that the guitar line in James Brown's Get on the Good Foot is the Sesame Street theme. That, speaking of, Sesame Street, Bert is the nice guy and Ernie is an asshole.

It's the art and exploration of serendipity.


Wherein I tease, because that's just the kind of girl I am

Really more of a small announcement. An oddity, actually. Whatever it is, I'll be out of town for a couple days so you'll have to wait until next week.

Auditing iTunes, # 2

wherein this is also mostly an exercise in wasting time

See previously

Black & Tan fantasy, Kronos Quartet (Monk Suite)
Blackman Time, Sister Carol (Call Mi Sister Carol)

Can I get a wet nurse, Laura Love (Welcome to Pagan Place)
Can Your Monkey do the Dog, Rufus Thomas (Complete Stax/Volt Singles)

Can't Be Still, Booker T and the MGs (Complete Stax/Volt Singles)
Can't We Be Friends, Linda Ronstadt (Round Midnight)

Come A Long Way, Michelle Shocked (Arkansas Traveler)
Come to My Window, Melissa Etheridge (Yes I Am)

Dance, Soul II Soul (Keep On Movin')
Dance Motherfucker Dance, Violent Femmes (Add it Up, 1981-1983)

Do I Love You, Aztec Camera (Red Hot +Blue, A Tribue to Cole Porter)
Do Yourself a Favor, Jesse Johnson (Shockadelica)

Don't Ask Me to Be Lonely, The Dubs (The Doo Wop Box Set)
Don't You Just Know It, Crescent City Gold (The Ultimate Session)

Down, Mary's Danish (Circa)
Down Yonder,, Roy Clark and Buck Trent (Banjo Bandits)

For an Actress, John Wesley Harding (Swings and Roundabouts)
For Your Precious Love, Otis Redding (Otis Redding Story)

from a Late Night Train, Blue Nile (Hats)
From Your Girl, The Muffs (The Muffs)

Get a Job, Silhouettes (The Doo Wop Box Set)
Get Up, Stand Up, Bob Marley and the Wailers (Legend)

Going Back, Richard Thompson (Easy There, Steady Now single)
Going South, Wolfgang Press (Funky Little Demons)

Good and Evil, David Byrne (Dei Momo)
Good to Me, Otis Redding (The Otis Redding Story)

Hard, John Wesley Harding (Adam's Apple)
Hard to Stop, Buckwheat Zydeco (Trouble)

Hey, Shona Laing (New on Earth)
Hey That's no way to say good bye, Laura Love (Pangea)

How, Cranberries (Everybody Else is doing it, so why can't we)
How You Remind Me, Nickleback (Cities 97 sampler, Volume 14)

...to be continued

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

No reason

Wherein sometimes a quote is just a quote...and sometimes it isn't

From The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William H. Shirer:
On the evening of May 10, 1933, some four and a half months after Hitler became Chancellor, there occurred in Berlin a scene which had not been witnessed in the western world since the late Middle Ages. At about midnight a torchlight parade of thousands of students ended at a square on Unter den Linden opposite the Univeristy of Berlin. Torches were put to a huge pile of books that had been gathered there, and as the flames enveloped them more books were thrown on the fire until some twenty thousand had been consumed.

...In the words of a student proclamation, any book was condemned to the flames "which acts subversively on our future or strikes at the root of german thought, the German home and the driving forces of our people."

Dr. Goebbels, the new Propaganda Minister, who from now on was to put German culture into a Nazi strait jacket, addressed the students as the burning books turned to ashes. "The soul of the German people can again express itself. These flames not only illuminate the final end of an old era; they also light up the new."

Supporting Denmark

Christopher Hitchens
And there remains the question of Denmark: a small democracy, which resisted Hitler bravely and protected its Jews as well as itself. Denmark is a fellow member of NATO and a country that sends its soldiers to help in the defense and reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. And what is its reward from Washington? Not a word of solidarity, but instead some creepy words of apology to those who have attacked its freedom, its trade, its citizens, and its embassies. For shame. Surely here is a case that can be taken up by those who worry that America is too casual and arrogant with its allies. I feel terrible that I have taken so long to get around to this, but I wonder if anyone might feel like joining me in gathering outside the Danish Embassy in Washington, in a quiet and composed manner, to affirm some elementary friendship. Those who like the idea might contact me at christopher.hitchens@yahoo.com, and those who live in other cities with Danish consulates might wish to initiate a stand for decency on their own account.

Sounds like a good idea. Here's the list of Danish Consulates in the U.S.

In Atlanta:

Atlanta, Trade Commission
Trade Commissioner Jan Sauer
Trade Commission of Denmark
International Tower
229 Peachtree Street
N.E. Suite 1010
Georgia 30303
Eksp.tid: 8.30-16.30
Tel: (404) 588 1588
Fax: (404) 588 1589
E-mail: dtcatlanta@dtcatlanta.org
Homepage: http://www.dtcatlanta.um.dk/en

Atlanta, Consulate (Northern Part of Georgia)
Consul S. Stephen Selig III
Royal Danish Consulate
c/o Selig Enterprises, Inc.
1100 Spring Street, Suite 550
Atlanta, Georgia 30309-2848
Phone (404) 876-5511
Fax (404) 875-2629
Off. Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.
E-mail: bfick@seligenterprises.com

Free beer!

Wherein all I need is to end up in Milwaukee

Got an email from the Sprecher brewery
We would like to announce an In-House Promotion to our valued customers through the end of February: Special Savings on Generation Porter, winner of the 2005 USBTC Best of the Midwest-Fruit Beer category.

Characterized by a medium body and a dry, well-balanced finish, this deep brown porter brewed with Dutch cocoa and pure raspberry concentrate evokes the sumptuous tastes of chocolate, caramel and fresh raspberries. Soft and silky, Generation Porter is a terrific dessert beer; it also tastes wonderful in front of a fire.

Buy one get one FREE! Receive a FREE 16oz. bottle of Generation Porter with every bottle you buy. Offer good ONLY in our Retail Store through February 28th, 2006. Located in Glendale at - 701 W. Glendale Ave (414) 964-BREW (2739)

Sprecher is the finest beer in all the land and impossible to find in this part of the country. Last bottle I had was two years ago when I had coworker bring back a few bottles when she went home to Wisconsin for the holidays. Like liquid gold, I tell you.

The first time I had Sprecher was just about 20 years ago. Fourth of July weekend, 1986, went to Milwaukee Summerfest with a girlfriend. Stayed with her brother, a student at Marquette. When Jeffrey Dahmer showed up on the news a few years later, I recognized the apartments as being in the same neighborhood.

At that point, Sprecher had been open less than a year when we did a brewery tour. Drove past blocks of abandoned buildings to a deadend corner of a rail yard. Pretty sure if we weren't murdered or the car stolen we'd turn into the Donner party trying to find our way back out (speaking of cannibalism). Tour was a $1 and led by one of the brewmasters. About all I remember is that the place was run by maybe three guys who hadn't slept in three months and were surviving off cigarettes and beer. And then we spent an hour drinking the freshest beer I've ever had. Best buck I've ever spent.

Now they've moved upscale and have a brewpub. Still have a tour, but just samples instead of an hour-long booze fest. Sprecher is now available in six states. Closest to Atlanta is probably Cincinnati and since we have friends we'll be visiting at some point this year, I will be bringing back a stash.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Auditing iTunes, #1

wherein this is mostly an exercise in wasting time

Inspired by my post that I have 440 songs beginning with 'The', I searched and cataloged a few more phrases.

Listed is the number of songs, followed by first and last.

A Baby Just Like You, John Denver and the Muppets (A Christmas Together)
A Year, Loudon Wainwright III (Grown Man)

All I Want For Christmas is You, Carla Thomas (The Complete Stax/Volt Singles)
All Her Favorite Fruit, Camper Van Beethoven (Key Lime Pie)

And I Believe (the Credo), Me Phi Me (One)
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, The Pogues (Red Roses for Me)

As (Seasons), Har Mar Superstar (The Handler)
As Time Goes By, Mandy Patinkin (Experiment)

At My Front Door, El Dorados (The Doo Wop Box Set)
At the Mall, The Mommyheads (The Machines 1990-1993)

Baby, George Bruns (The Jungle Book soundtrack)
Babyhead, Fishbone (The reality of my surroundings)

Be Careful What You Eat, Animaniacs
Be Well, Luka Bloom (Acoustic Motorbike)

Big Apple, Urban Dance Squad (Mental Floss for the Globe)
Biggest Memory, Exene Cervenka (Old Wives Tales)

...to be continued

Sunday, February 19, 2006

How does Time make money?

Wherein despite the apparent deal I am skeptical due to the bizarreness of it

Time wants me to subscribe to their magazine. Here's what they're offering:
  • 56 weekly issues
  • Person of the Year special issues
  • All other special issues
  • Unlimited access to Time.com
  • Unlimited access to archives at timearchive.com

The cover price for 56 issues is $221.20 ($3.95 an issue). A subscription to just the archive is $49.95 or $2.50 an article. So how much does Time want to charge for approximately 60 magazines mailed to my house AND allow unlimited access to the online archive?

Fifty percent off the cover price is a good starting price for a subscription, so $110? Nope, too high. What about a 75% discount - $55, no, a buck an issue is still too high. Surely, it couldn't be as low as fifty cents? Lower still.

Tired of guessing? Time will offer all that for $14.95! Or about a quarter an issue. How can they do this and why would they want to? I can't imagine this is profitable so it looks like a desparate attempt to increase subscription numbers. Increase subscribers, then they increase ad rates, then give away more magazines for free?

Maybe a subscription to Time has always been this low and I'm overly skeptical. Though, ordering from their website, 56 issues is $29.95, so maybe not.

So all that's left is asking if Time is worth $15.

Must be doing something right

Wherein there seems to have been no harm teaching her to impersonate Richard Nixon and the monster from Alien when she was two

What are the expectations for a parent-teacher conference of a 4-year old? In many ways I find it a bit freaky how much kids are supposed to know at so early an age. Why in my day (picture an old man raising his cane), I didn't learn the alphabet and couldn't count anything until I started first grade. I could barely tie my own shoes.

Now, my daughter can count to, I don't know, 40 or 50? She's easily up to thirty, so she conceptually understands groups of ten (Joking around earlier and asking how many I was holding up. She doesn't even stop to count, just recognize the pattern. Then I held up 3 on one hand and 2 on the other, and her answer was 32...very interesting). Alphabet is a piece of cake and she can write her own name. She knows more Spanish than I do and has been doing sign language since before age two. The sign language is also interesting. Kids understand language before they can truly vocalize and can communicate by sign language before speaking. She floored us one morning when we realized that what we mistook for hand waving was her saying "more, please."

Seems relatively unbraindead to us, likes to try new things, and other people tell us she's polite. As my wife says, our job isn't to raise a good kid, it's to raise a good adult. I'm more likely to say, she may become a psychotic mass murderer, but at least she'll remember to say please and thank you.

Long story short - She's one of the most intelligent kids in the class - "freaky smart" was the exact description, very popular with a fun sense of humor. And most shocking to us, she's the peacekeeper. Anywhere she's at, there are no problems and everyone gets along; apparently she just explains who will do what when and it happens. Loves science and art and usually gets whatever they're doing right the first time. Teacher will often tell the others to just watch her. So she's smart, popular, well adjusted, and a bit of a teacher's pet. Not a bad start.

I suspect her best friend (best friends since 18 months old) is also freaky smart, but with a completely different personality. She's a bit darker and more of an instigator. I can see her being the one talking someone into doing something stupid and that person thinks it was their idea. Her parents told us that part of her evaluation said she'll argue with the other kids until they give up. If the two of them stay close, they will be a scary tandem in their teenage years.

This segues into another topic I should discuss in more detail another time - meeting the parents of your kid's friends. Since at this age there's still plenty of adult supervision, meeting the parents is almost like dating. Sure, our kids like each other, but how much time do we want to spend together? Is a casual meeting at the park ok, or are we ready for a playdate at the house and maybe cooking a meal? Dinner out with everyone? Or should we get babysitters and go out for a night on the town? Very stressful.

Friday, February 17, 2006

What passes for humor in the soquoted household

Wherein the 4-year-old could not understand why the parents were laughing

The child is a puzzle wiz. Last night, she pulled the Melisssa & Doug Solar System Cardboard Floor Puzzle out of the closet. It's 48 pieces and 2x3 feet. Here's a picture:

After putting it together, she jumps over it. Because that's just who she is. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Leading to this conversation:

She: Look, I jumped over the sun and didn't get hot.

Me: Yeah, but you almost fell on Uranus.

ENUNCIATE, Maria, e-nun-ci-ate

Wherein I will not spoil the story

Go read what happened to Maria Dahvana Headley at the Writer's Conference

Update: Such a well written anecdote, I'm considering her book. But the first blurb is from Katie Couric, and that decreases my enthusiasm.

Who can defeat the Fist of the West Side?

Wherein I still want 5% of the pay-per-view and a cut of the t-shirt sales

Earlier, I asked who would win, Dick Cheney or Chuck Norris.

Still, no answer but Rumsfeld and his Fighting Technique gets next.

Now's that an interesting way of looking at it

Wherein I suspect he's guilty of Hurley hatin' and if so, we have a problem

Pooh offers his Theorem of Lost explaining the difference between good shows and bad.

And he also offers a selection of classic matchups, but XWL pretty much gives the definitive answer out of the gate. I offer this as a followup:
The Bride Vs River

No disrespect to the Bride - wicked tough and a cool chick - but even with her Hattori Hanzo sword, I think River takes her.

Hate the paint, not the artist

Wherein I say if it was a real sport, they'd play for longer than 8 seconds at a time...or, I went to a football game and a soccer riot broke out

First, the cheeseheads rioted.

Now, a bunch of "ice fishing militia recruits pissed off they couldn't get into Ohio U" Michiganders have inflamed the "incest-riddled drunken barefoot hillbillies" from Alabama. Quote:
Riots broke out across the University of Alabama campus and the state itself today following reports that the M Zone's Danish affiliate - Den M Distrikt - posted cartoons showing former University of Alabama football Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant wearing an Auburn hat and another showing him drawn into the infamously cheesey "Dogs Playing Poker" painting. The cartoons were first published way back after the 2000 season. But officials speculate they were not noticed at the time because Crimson Tide fans were too busy trying to figure out how the hell to get rid of Mike DuBose before he ruined their program.

found @ Vodkapundit

Pocket full of promises in my jacket of leather

Wherein this is one of my favorite Mary's Danish songs

Some information on Mary's Danish.

You got a strange suspicion
that I cannot quiet
I got a strange suspicion
that I cannot do it

I try to prove them all wrong
I put up a nasty fight
I try to prove them all wrong
But I just keep proving them right

I got a pocket full of promises
in my jacket of leather
I got a tattoo of a bombshell
Are these ties just too binding
to sever?

I try to prove them all wrong
I put up a nasty fight
I try to prove them all wrong
But I just keep proving them right

The road to hell is paved with good intention
It's there that I pitch my bad intent
Hypocrisy take me in your loving Arms
Where has my dirty life been spent?

I got a hundred confusions
My soul you see it's wearing thin
I feel like a child
I'm drowning in sin
I don't want to fight
I just want to prove them wrong
But I just keep proving them right.

Want to buy celebrity autographs?

Wherein an Atlanta organization is fund-raising

Bid on unique autographed valentine cards from an eclectic group of celebrities.

Atlanta GA - A few famous folks have sent us their valentine wishes by autographing our special Arts & Kisses valentine card. All of the Arts & Kisses valentines listed below, along with additional items sent by some celebrities, are currently up for auction on eBay. But hurry, the auction for those listed below ends Tuesday, February 21st!

To view pictures of the autographed valentines and other items, and to place bids visit Atlanta Performs and click on any of the celebrity names to view their auction page. Proceeds benefit participating theatre companies and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

The list of celebrity autographed Arts & Kisses valentine cards includes:
(more will be added as they are received from celebrities)

Brooke Adams
Arts & Kisses from stage and screen actress Brooke Adams! Her autograph on the one of a kind valentine is accompanied by an autographed photo that says "Happy Valentine's Day! Brooke Adams" Check out the auction for award-winning actor Tony Shalhoub's valentine too and keep the happy couple together. Proceeds from this auction benefit Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Brad Daugherty
Arts & Kisses from former Cleveland Cavaliers player and current television sportscaster Brad Daugherty. One of a kind autographed valentine is signed by Mr. Daugherty. Proceeds from this auction benefit the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Jeff Foxworthy #1
Arts & Kisses #1 from comedian Jeff Foxworthy! One of a kind autographed valentine - "Keep Laughing! Jeff Foxworthy" - PLUS, Mr. Foxworthy has added a special kiss wrapper with the note "A kiss just for you! (Sorry, I ate the chocolate part)". See Mr. Foxworthy's other valentine for his simpler message. Proceeds from this auction benefit Savage Tree Arts Project and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Jeff Foxworthy #2
Arts & Kisses #2 from comedian Jeff Foxworthy!. One of a kind autographed valentine - "Keep Laughing! Jeff Foxworthy". See Mr. Foxworthy's other valentine up for auction with the special kiss he added. Proceeds from this auction benefit Savage Tree Arts Project and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Newt Gingrich
Arts & Kisses from former Congressman Newt Gingrich! Includes one of a kind autographed valentine - "Best Wishes, Newt" - plus autographed copy of his book To Renew America - "All the Best, Newt". Proceeds from this auction benefit Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Kenny Leon
Arts & Kisses from Kenny Leon, Broadway director of A Raisin in the Sun and Gem of the Ocean, and Artistic Director of Atlanta's True Colors Theatre Company. One of a kind autographed valentine is signed by Mr. Leon. Proceeds from this auction benefit True Colors Theatre Company and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Vikki Locke
Arts & Kisses from radio sensation Vikki Locke of Atlanta's Star 94 FM! One of a kind autographed valentine and accompanying photo are signed by Ms. Locke. Proceeds from this auction benefit Savage Tree Arts Project and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Mr. McFeely
Arts & Kisses from Mr. McFeely of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood! Includes one of a kind autographed valentine -"Speedy Delivery from Mr. McFeely" with special message on the envelope - "This is a Speedy Delivery Valentine from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, from Mr. McFeely". Also included are an autographed photo with message - " Happy Valentines Day 2006 from our Neighborhood, Mr. McFeely" - and autographed copy of his book Speedy Delivery - "Speedy Delivery! from Mr. McFeely 2006. Proceeds from this auction benefit Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Mike Mills
Arts & Kisses from Mike Mills, bass guitar player of the band R.E.M. One of a kind autographed valentine - "Love is all around. Mike Mills. Feb. 2006". Proceeds from this auction benefit Savage Tree Arts Project and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Tony Shalhoub
Arts & Kisses from Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Tony Shalhoub! Mr. Shalhoub, star of USA Network's Monk, says "Happy Valentine's Day! Tony Shalhoub" in his one of a kind autographed valentine, and on the autographed photo he sent along. Check out the auction for actress and wife Brooke Adams' valentine too and keep the happy couple together. Proceeds from this auction benefit Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Michael Stipe
Arts & Kisses from Michael Stipe lead singer of the band R.E.M. One of a kind autographed valentine - "Enjoy and Live! Kisses, Michael Stipe".

Proceeds from this auction benefit Savage Tree Arts Project and the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Reimagined snowscape

Wherein I spend 3 minutes in Photoshop

It's snowing in Madison, WS. I borrow this photo of Ann's and slapped on a few Photoshop filters: neon glow, frosted glass, and splatter.


I am iPod, destroyer of worlds

Wherein this is part of a post that blogger deleted a couple weeks ago. So, "last twenty" is not technically correct. For the record, I've been listening to Mary's Danish and just switched over to Mike Doughty.

A list of the last twenty random songs:
  1. Baby, Baby, Baby, Roy Buchanan (Alligator Records 25th Anniversary Collection). Found this 2-CD collection at a used CD store last week. I have no understanding why anyone would get rid of this.
  2. Irish Heartbeat, Brian Kennedy, Shana Morrison (No Prima Donna: The Songs Of Van Morrison). A Van Morrison tribute album produced by the man himself, it's hit or miss.
  3. If I Wanted To, Melissa Etheridge (Yes I Am)
  4. Take Me To the Pilot, Elton John (Live in Australia). This might be the first CD I purchased - 1987(?). Something I just realized is that an Elton John greatest hits album might be one of the first albums I purchased - 1973(?) - still own it and the Elvis, Live via Hawaii, which I think is the first.
  5. Your Favorite Thing, Sugar (File Under Easy Listening). I never got into Husker Du, but loved Bob Mould solo and with Sugar.
  6. Fear, Sarah McLachlan (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy). Don't think I've ever listened to this.
  7. Those Oldies But Goodies,Little Caesar (Doo Wop Box II). Everyone should own some doo wop.
  8. Halo, Depeche Mode (Violator). Wow, it has been a long time since I last listened to this. That's all I have to say.
  9. Tobacco Road, War (Anthology). Early 70s was really a heyday for multicultural bands.
  10. Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out, The Replacements (Let it Be). Possibly the greatest album ever.
  11. Mr. Floosack, Mary's Danish (Circa). This song isn't a great example, but Mary's Danish is a band that deserved to be huge.
  12. Whatever's For Us, For Us, Joan Armatrading (Joan Armatrading). During a discussion of the Rock and Roll HOF, it was mentioned that Melissa Etheridge would be eligible. One commenter said that she should easily get it being some sort of pioneer. Well, I like Ms Etheridge, but she didn't do anything that Ms Armatrading hadn't done at LEAST ten years earlier. The whole RR-HOR is just a silly marketing scam, but the fact that Joan isn't in it is disgusting.
  13. Holding Out for Roses, Dayroom (Perpetual Smile). Silly frat band from Athens that probably no longer exists. Had a couple fun songs.
  14. French Kiss, George Clinton (The Cinderella Theory). This album just does not work.
  15. Sister Brother, Archie Roach, (Charcoal Lane). An Australian folk singer. Got this working at a college radio station. We had three main camps of DJs: hiphop, metal, and college rock. I played anything and would counter program against whatever I followed or preceded. Anyway, when going through all the CDs the labels would mail us, there developed a category called "bill music." What this? I dunno, give it to Bill, he'll play it.
  16. Housebound, Special AKA (In the Studio). This song isn't anything special, but the Special AKA should always be remembered for creating the best protest song you could dance to: Free Nelson Mandela.
  17. The Cat Rambles To The Childs Saucepan/Maire O'Keefe/Harry Bradshaw's, Cherish the Ladies (Out and About). Another radio station gift. Six American women singing English and Irish folk songs. I alaways enjoy it when it pops up in rotation.
  18. Rockin Back Inside My Heart, Julee Cruise (Rockin Back Inside My Heart). If you watched David Lynch's Twin Peaks, you've heard Julee Cruise. Haunting vocals, not too different from Kate Bush. This CD has the original release and 3 remixes. The remixes rock. She has a blog/diary.
  19. Where or When, Mandy Patinkin (Experiment). From Babes in Arms by Rodgers and Hart and, yes, I had to look that up. I'm a big fan of Patinkin. I think one of the greatest film travesties was him having to sing with that lighweight, Madonna, in Dick Tracy. A role that should've gone to Bernadette Peters - it's Sondheim, for god's sake.
  20. The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Sandra Bernhard (Without You I'm Nothing). She's one of those performers that you either hate or love and most of the time she cracks me up. Speaking of cinematic moments, her crawling across the table in her undies and getting punched out by Jerry Lewis is a masterpiece. This is a recording of her one woman show - a collection of odd stories giving her an excuse to sing. I have her first album as well. It's a mostly straight effort leading me to believe she'd wanted to be known as a singer, unfortunately, no one could get past her comic persona. The Lion Sleeps Tonight is good, but the reason to get this CD is for Little Red Corvette

Who would win?

Wherein a simple question and a request for 5% of the pay-per-view gross

If Dick Cheney fought Chuck Norris, who would win?

thanks to Pooh for the idea.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lost 2/15: "My name is Sayid and I am a torturer"

Wherein I say "Damn!"

Let me start with two quotes from the spouse:
  • He is evil. Said of Henry Gale as he stared down Sayid after Jack pulled Sayid away.
  • God, he's an ass. Directed toward Jack for any number of offenses.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm hoping for a sweep episode that's nothing but two hours of Locke and Sayid kicking Jack's whiny ass.

The Sayid flashback shows him as a member of the Republican Guard during the Gulf War. We knew he worked as an interrogator, but tonight we learned it was the Americans who gave him his initial training. Very interesting twist. And this mirrors Sayid recovering from his guilt of previously torturing Sawyer to do what must be done.

Back on the island, Danielle shows up looking for Sayid. Turns out she has a guy in one of her traps - says his name is Henry Gale from Minnesota. Sayid cuts him down, he runs, Danielle shoots an arrow through his shoulder. "If I wanted to kill him, he'd be dead." Damn! As Sayid hauls him away, Danielle tells him "He is one of them. He will lie for a long time."

So Sayid has Henry in the hatch and is questioning him with Locke when whiny Jack shows up. So Jack takes out the arrow and gets all "whine whine whine," so Sayid has Locke change the combination of the armory, then fakes out Jack so Sayid and Henry can have some alone time. Sayid proceeds to get medieval on his ass. Unfortunately, the timer sounds and Jack won't let Locke key in the numbers until Locke opens the vault. Locke folds (boo! hiss!), and Jack pulls Sayid off the now bloody lumpen Henry. Looks like Locke doesn't get the numbers in, but then he does. Now I'll have to wait for someone with TIVO to post the pictures, but before flipping back, the numbers turned to red cards with symbols. Looked to me these might be the symbols for the Dharma hatches. We'll see. What this means I have no idea.

Side story of Sawyer hunting down a tree frog with help from Hurley. Hurley would prefer not to help, but Sawyer discovers his stash of food. Guess this is the shows nod to why Hurley isn't losing any weight. Sawyer finds the frog and squeezes it to death to remind us that we're not supposed to like him.

Ends with Sayid talking to outcast Charlie because Charlie killed Ethan, one of the Others. Sayid confesses he knows Henry is one of the Others, because "I know because I felt no guilt for what I did to him." Goes on say these people are dangerous, they can take us any time they want. Charlie asks why Sayid is telling him this. Sayid's reply: "Tell me Charlie, have you forgotten."

Maybe when Lost ends, ABC can spinoff Locke, Sayid, and Hurley into a wacky sitcom. Make them...whatever, I don't care...I just want the Hurley, Sayid, and Locke show. Sun and Jin can make frequent guest star appearances.

What did we learn?
I'm tempted to say, not much, other than Sayid is done playing nice. On the podcast, it was said this was the first of a 4 episode story arc. So this is the setup and we're introduced to a new outside element. My first instinct is that Henry is evil and we're about to see more of the evil Others, as opposed to the Mr. Friendly Others. We also saw something new with the counter. Was this a tease, or was something triggered.

baseless speculation
Henry Gale is an acronym for "Argyle Hen." OH MY GOD!!!!!! That doesn't mean anything. It also an anagram for "Ely Hanger." He did say he was from Minnesota - Ely is a city in Minnesota - and he was flying a balloon - uff da! A balloon could be kept in a hanger! Proof he's innocent.

There is also a Henry Gale who was an Astrophysicist.

Since all conspiracies lead to the freemasons, a Robert Henry Gale, was mayor of Vancouver.

Go forth and discuss.

Update #1: I speculate that Henry Gale meant to be captured and insert himself into the Losties. These people walk without leaving a trail, they're not stepping in a trap unless they want to. Either he was convinced Danielle would turn him over or he made a deal with Danielle. Still, I doubt he expected to be shot with an arrow and then tortured.

Update #2: Greg mentions that "Henry Gale" is Dorothy's uncle in the Wizard of Oz. D'oh! Completely missed that. And the counters rolled over to Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Update #3 The Iraqi Torture Edition

That's quite interesting

Wherein the Brits are also overly fond of sticking the letter "u" where it doesn't belong and can't keep straight the order of "e" and "r," the bloody bastiches

Doktor Frank expounds:
As I've mentioned before once or twice, the word "quite" has a different meaning in British English than it does in American English. In American English, the word "quite" means "quite," whereas in British English the meaning is more like "not quite," or "not really," or "sort of, but not very," "or hardly at all, really."

Read the rest.

Hey, I know one of these guys

Wherein here's a sport that should be in the Olympics but won't be because (1) it doesn't rely on gravity like a fat man on a sled, i.e. bobsledding (2) No sequins - toe pick!

Ever heard of Bandy? It's played on a sheet of ice about the size of a soccer field. Players use rounded sticks and hit a ball. No checking allowed and the goal is about the size of a soccer goal. Fun to watch, but due to the ice requirements, not available in too many places.

I once worked with a guy that played on the US national team (then and now, mostly Minnesotans) and he even spent a few winters playing professionally in Sweden or Finland. I was kind of surprised to see he was still on the national team.

The men's team just competed in the World Championships and won the B-Pool. Unfortunately, they lost the next game, which would have qualified them for next year's A-Pool.

The Women's World Championships are currently taking place in Roseville, MN though Saturday.

Spinach confetti

Wherein I reveal my secret tip for spinach salad

I love spinach salad. It's a great raw vegetable, but cook it, even to just a mild wilt, and it gags me. Pretty much any leafy vegetable is like that and it's the full range of culinary senses: taste, smell, appearance, texture. None of it is appealing.

So I eat a lot of spinach salad. However, spinach isn't the crispiest of leaf and the leaves like to stick to each other. Then they can be hard to toss or they'll stick to the roof of your mouth. Also doesn't "fluff" well on the plate. Then I "discovered" this idea when making fish tacos and all we add was spinach because I forgot to make the cole slaw: chiffonade.

For a salad, a rough chiffonade is fine. I grab a handful of spinach, roll it into a tight bundle, and chop to about quarter-inch strips. That's it. Try it - tosses nicely and looks great on a plate.

Another thing I look to do with salads is place all ingredients in a gallon ziplock, drizzle the dressing, and give everything a big shake before pouring into a beautiful mound on the plate. You use a lot less dressing this way and everything gets a nice light coating. Works best if done just before serving, otherwise it all gets soggy. For finishing presentation, you could drizzle a touch more dressing and maybe some cheese. Or add some finely chiffonaded herbs.


Too many laws or too many lawyers?

Wherein shooting a guy while bird hunting can't be all that bad. I mean how hard can it be to kill a 78-year-old man? And Greg LeMond won Two (2!) Tour DAY Frances after his brother-in-law plugged him right good when Greg was mistaken for a small animal with the gift of flight.

Here's the scoop on Attorney Season and Bag Limits. There are eleven rules, I'll quote three:
3. Killing of attorneys with a vehicle is prohibited. If accidentally struck, remove dead attorney to roadside and proceed to nearest car wash.

4. It is unlawful to chase, herd, or harvest attorneys from a snow machine, helicopter, or aircraft.

5. It shall be unlawful to shout "whiplash", "ambulance", or "free Perrier" for the purpose of trapping attorneys.

It's really a chicken and egg kind of thing isn't it?

ANSWER: Baking Squash

Wherein the wee hours of the morning are discussed

QUESTION: What was I doing at 4am?

What the hell, I was awake. Might as well get my prep work done for dinner. Meant to do it last night, anyway; but too exhausted to stay up and went to bed just after 8pm. The problem with that is that I wake up even earlier than usual, meaning I'm awake longer, so I'm still exhausted when I get home. It's a vicious combination of insomnia and an internal clock that makes it practically impossible to sleep past 6am and often has me awake at 2am.

Half the battle of cooking dinner is the prep and if I can do it the night before, all I have to deal with is the actual cooking. On the menu tonight is pan-fried, pecan crusted catfish and baked acorn squash with pecans and goat cheese.

The time-consuming part is the squash - about 30 minutes. Even from scratch, from refrigerator to table would only be about 45-50 minutes, but now I've cut the evening kitchen time in half.

Each half of the squash will be filled with a mixture of chopped pecans, syrup, and thyme, and topped with a slice of goat cheese. Then baked another 10 minutes. Squash is baked, pecans are chopped, and the thyme is shredded. While the oven is heating, stir in the syrup and fill the squash.

For the catfish, I'll throw a cup of pecans and half a cup of flour in the food processor, click whir for about 30 seconds and dump on a plate. On another plate I'll beat the bejeezus out of an egg. Coat the fillets with egg, dredge through the flour/pecans, and drop in the oil that's been heating since the squash went in the oven.

From the time I walk in the kitchen, to the time we can eat is under 20 minutes. Then after dinner I can prep the vegetables and pork for tomorrow's stir fry and I could still be asleep before 9pm if Lost wasn't on.

Later today, perhaps I'll share my simple secret for spinach salads.

Update: Squash recipe

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Any John Wesley Harding fans

Wherein I post another email

February... the month for love. But not the month for too much JWH action. So we do what we can, give you a little bit of power, and fill you in on some upcoming events. Gotta love that, right?


iTunes has decided to do a 45 song JWH Essentials compilation - nice idea. The only thing is, there are too many songs to choose from. So we are turning to you for help. To make it easy for you, we're setting up Polls on the message board at www.johnwesleyharding.com so you can vote for your favorites in three categories. The iTunes categories are:

The Basics (greatest hits, defining and iconic songs)
The Next Best and Biggest (fan favorites, most requested at shows)
Deep Cuts (under-appreciated, unjustly ignored)

These lists were made after careful consideration and review, but if you feel your absolute favorite has been left off the list, you can make additional suggestions in posts under the poll - just be sure your song is not on another list. (We have already added a couple of songs, including Here Comes The Groom, due to popular demand!)

Try and get yourself into the mind of someone who doesn't have everything by JWH - what they should have put in front of them for the first time. The only other requirement is that your chosen song must be available on iTunes at this time: which includes most of the albums, and even EPs, but sadly omits things like If You Have Ghosts from Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye - and all the Dynablob albums which, anyway, we consider are for the cognoscenti ie. you. [Note: we have been asked to report our findings to iTunes, but have no actual control on what goes up there finally.]

So have at it, have fun and vote, vote, vote.


Two upcoming gigs, both in March:

18: White Plains NY - The Little Theater, Westchester County Center
30: Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS - The Odeon Concert Hall

This is JWH's first gigs in The Netherlands in some time. The Amsterdam gig is in a beautiful hall, and produced with Vrij Nederland, a Dutch magazine, to coincide with the publication of Misfortune. As such, there will be an interview and a reading, but, most importantly, a regular JWH gig.

In other live music news, JWH played with Colin Meloy at two of Colin's recent solo shows - at New York Town Hall (1/26), and Philadelphia's Theater of the Living Arts (1/27). Both nights they duetted Barbara Allen and Turpin Hero, two songs which feature on Meloy's new solo EP "Trad Arr Collins" which highlights the arrangements of Shirley Collins as "Trad Arr Jones" did those of Nic Jones.


JWH has unreleased songs on two new CDs, both coming coincidentally from Portland OR.

The first is: "Live Wire! Live: Volume 1" - Various Artists
The first song is a live version of Goth Girl by JWH, recorded on the show 22nd April, 2005. Other artists on the compilation include Colin Meloy, Pete Krebs and Richmond Fontaine.
The CD can be found at:
Information about the show itself:

The second is: "Mississippi Studios: Live Volume 2" - Various Artists
The second song is Female Rambling Sailor. This is mistakenly credited to JWH, but should have been credited to JWH and Kelly Hogan. (Although on the Love Hall Tryst album, the song was sung by Kelly and Nora, here the song is - uniquely - sung by JWH and Kelly.
Other artists on this compilation include Paula Frazer, Hamell On Trial, and Jon Dee Graham.

And elsewhere, there is a new compilation of the musical life and works of JWH friend and associate, Dave Rave, which comes in two volumes: Anthology Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, on Bullseye Records. It includes two of the songs from the sessions that CvS and JWH produced for Dave Rave and Lauren Agnelli, and this is their first appearance on CD. You can find them at: http://www.dave-rave.com/ and doubtless at Amazon.

The Minus Five have a wonderful new album "The Minus Five" - destined to be called The Gun Album. JWH sing on Twilight Distillery, but there are many other great reasons to buy this record. See the message board for glowing reviews.

JWH has made recording plans for later this year in Portland, OR.


Misfortune, or L'Infortunee, has become a bestseller in France, finding itself two places above Harry Potter this week. The next country of release is The Netherlands in March. The relevant covers can be found at www.wesleystace.com in the Misfortune section, under Translations.

Misfortune was nominated for The Guardian First Book Award and The Commonwealth Writer's Prize, scooping neither. The US paperback is published in April, and the reworked cover can be seen on Amazon. It has received the following generous blurbs:

"I am in complete admiration, but will I give it a quote? Over. My. Dead. Body. Misfortune is remarkable, complex, delicate, sophisticated, highly unusual and I am ashamed to have a novel published in the same year. There will be no public acknowledgement of my admiration except for this which--if anybody sees--I will deny writing. I am now going to hide my galley of Misfortune in a place that no one will ever find it."
Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, Less Than Zero

"I laughed, I cried, I swooned—I even got the hiccups, though I don't think those were caused by Misfortune. I loved this book very much. Do try it."
Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveller's Wife

"I really loved Misfortune. I read it with great excitement, astonished by its verve and sense of literary history."
Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm

"This masterful first novel started as a sensitive little song but --lucky us, readers-- grew up to become a fully formed rumbling thunder of a symphony. Think of "Misfortune" --and enjoy every one of its pages-- as the bastard but very legitimate son (or daughter, of course) born after a freaky and very hot night of passion between Jane Austen and Thomas Pynchon."
Rodrigo Fresan, author of Kensington Gardens


As ever, a wide range of CDs, books and lithographs are available at www.johnwesleyharding.com, under the RSPCJWH.

Now, go out and kiss the nearest JWH fan and have a happy Valentine's Day.

Much love forever...
Cathy Hendrix
Michael Dixon Management

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow Days

Wherein my second choice was "Winter Kills" from the Yaz classic album, "Upstairs at Eric's"

My favorite winter/snow song from Trip Shakespeare. Great band. When I worked at a bank banch in the Uptown area of South Minneapolis, the band had an account there and they'd come in to deposit checks. Chances are you're more likely to have heard of Semisonic, the band that grew from the ashes of Trip Shakespeare.

Snow Days is from their major label debut, "Across the Universe." Good luck finding it. iTunes does carry two earlier albums, including the Minnesota epic Toolmaster of Brainerd

Snow Days
It's coming down...
On a lucky Monday, Mrs. Braintree
All your lanes are waxen silver

And the stores are loot for vagabonds
It's coming down
Go home!
Go home and take a snow day, Mrs. Braintree!

It's coming down
Snow pains on the motor veins
Keeps your business on the ground

It's coming down
Slow day for the teacher
And her wheels are spinning now

On account of winter, Mrs. Braintree
All the roads are closed
And the stores are loot for vagabonds
It's coming down
Go home!

It's coming down
Snow lays on the chainfields
There's a blessing on the ground

It's coming down
If your lanes are crammed with children
There's a blessing on your town

On a lucky Monday, Mrs. Braintree
All your lanes are waxen silver
And the stores are loot for vagabond

It's coming down
Go home!
Go home and take a snow day, Mrs. Braintree!

Mrs. Braintree, you're a chilly northern woman
Go home from yonder bus stop
Because there's a blessing on the ground

Mrs. Braintree, it is written
When the snows come over Dixie
All the roads are closed and the stores are loot for vagabonds.

It's coming down 
Snow lays on the chainfields 
There's a blessing on the ground

It's coming down
If your road's patrolled by children
There's no order to be found

On account of winter, Mrs. Braintree
All the roads are closed
And the stores are loot for vagabonds
It's coming down
Go home!

Go home and take a snow day

Saturday, February 11, 2006

You try not laughing

Wherein I post a link found at Vodkapundit

Mohammed Dance

Stephen Green also had this to say, earlier:
I am sick and tired of being taken advantage of by both political parties. But you know what? Before screwing me over, the Republicans have the decency to at least buy me dinner, and they always use plenty of lube. If only the Democrats were so thoughtful.

News of the world

Wherein I discover that the rest of the world is boring and there is no reason to ever leave the glorious United States

South Africa
illegal import of sweets
TheSouth African Revenue Services have embarked on a campaign to stop illegal imports of sweets, which they say could ruin the local sweet industry.

Lackay said it was quite difficult for consumers to tell if the sweets were illegal imports as they were not of an inferior quality.

De getrouwen van topcrimineel Holleeder
De Bosniër Maruf ’Paja’ M. is al vele jaren een vertrouweling van Holleeder. Hij regelt onder meer lijfwachten uit het voormalige Joegoslavië voor kopstukken uit de Amsterdamse onderwereld en was zelf enige tijd verdacht van betrokkenheid bij een mislukte aanslag op Heineken-ontvoerder Cor van Hout in Amstelveen. Paja begon zo’n 25 jaar geleden met het spel balletje-balletje in winkelcentra, maar maakte daarna carrière in de misdaad.

Steamed wedges served with a knob of butter and plenty of cracked black pepper is the only way to eat choko, according to my father. He remembers when choko vines grew rampantly over everyone's backyard shed spilling into neighbouring vegetable gardens.

Judge Fines Butchers:
But prosecutor Robert O'Neill said the public shouldn't feel sorry for Otto Huttman, 70, and wife Phyllis, 72, after the couple, who share a $1,700-a-month pension, pleaded guilty and were given six months to pay.

"He's running a full-blown butcher shop out of his garage, and he knew that was wrong," said O'Neill, outside of court. "The fact he put all these people at risk, and all these customers at risk, all of sudden $30,000 doesn't sound like such a large penalty."

Security breach at Cooks Illustrated

Wherein I post an email

February 10, 2006


Dear Friend of Cook's,

When I write to our website members, it is usually about cooking or country living. Today, however, I am writing on a more serious matter. I want to tell you about an incident that may have involved your sensitive personal information.

What I Know Happened

On January 30, 2006, we determined that a log file and a data table on one of our Internet servers had been deleted, causing portions of our website to stop working. The deleted data table contained basic information about our website members, such as their names, street addresses and email addresses. The deleted table did not contain any credit card information.

What I Did

As soon as I learned that the files had been deleted, I had our website shut down and had our computers disconnected from the Internet. I then directed that all credit card information be removed from our servers before bringing our site back online on February 3, 2006. Cook’s has engaged outside computer security consultants to test the security of our system before we bring the credit card information back online.

I also immediately began an investigation into the cause of this problem. Unfortunately, we have been unable to determine how, why or by whom the files were deleted. We are, therefore, unable to rule out the possibility that individuals gained unauthorized access to our computers. Because our website members’ credit card information is also stored on the same computer system as the deleted files, we cannot rule out the possibility that someone gained unauthorized access to our customers’ credit card information.

Given that there is a possibility that someone has gained unauthorized access to our system, I am writing to give you notice that your credit card information (such as card number, cardholder name, billing address and expiration date) used to pay for your website membership may have been unlawfully accessed. Please be aware, however, that personal information, including credit card numbers, used at our bookstore and for all magazine transactions are not located on the same computer system as the deleted files and we, therefore, have absolutely no reason to believe that they have been subject to unauthorized access.

To protect yourself from credit card fraud and identity theft you should take the following steps.

What You Should Do

You should remain vigilant by reviewing account statements and monitoring free credit reports. Even if you do not find any suspicious activity on your initial credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you check your credit reports periodically. Victim information sometimes is held for use or shared among a group of thieves at different times. Checking your credit reports periodically can help you spot problems and address them quickly.

I recommend that you contact your credit card company and keep a close eye on the activity on your cards. If you discover that questionable charges are appearing on your card you should contact the card issuer immediately to notify them of the fraudulent use, cancel the existing card, and have a new card issued.

You should contact the major credit reporting agencies and have them place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. Call any one of the three major credit bureaus listed below. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts. All three credit reports will be sent to you by the credit reporting agencies, free of charge, for your review.

Below, we've listed the contact information for all three major consumer credit reporting agencies and several other agencies and organizations that can help you monitor and manage your credit information.

I have also put together a list of FAQs which you can access by logging onto www.cooksillustrated.com/webfaqs.

As you know, we do not accept advertising in our magazines or on our websites, and depend entirely on the goodwill and support of our readers and members. That, over the years, has created a strong sense of community between editors and home cooks as well as a commitment to no-nonsense reporting. With that spirit in mind, I wanted you to know exactly what happened, when it happened, and what we have done about it. As Calvin Coolidge often remarked, “When you don’t know what to do, do the work in front of you.” That has been sound advice in the last couple of weeks.

Thanks so much for your patience in this matter. I hope that my next communication will be substantially more enjoyable for both of us.


Christopher Kimball
Founder and Editor
Cook’s Illustrated

Friday, February 10, 2006

Disco music?

Wherein I changed the channel during an "Arrested Development" commercial break

Some country I've never heard of is walking across the snow with KC & the Sunshine Band playing in the background. Weird. Kinda cool, but definately weird. I don't even want to know why.

Closing a church in New Orleans

Wherein it seems the church didn't care to try

The St. Augustine Parish is closing:
Founded in 1841 on a former plantation at the edge of the French Quarter, St. Augustine's roots are African, French, Haitian and Spanish.

Its story provides a window into the rich cultural ancestry of old New Orleans.

The city's Creole families worshipped there, along with Haitians and free black people. Short pews arranged along the walls of the church welcomed slaves, an unusual piece of hospitality, according to parish histories.

The gold-leaf French inscription over the antique marble altar reads: "Si tu savais le don de Dieu" -- ("If you knew the gift of God") -- and the stained glass windows are French.

The French saints today look down on the original pews where both free and enslaved Africans sat. And pictures of their descendants, black Mardi Gras Indians, line the walls between the stations of the cross depicting the Passion of Christ.

found the link through Poppy Z. Brite, who is not very happy:
Dozens of other Catholic churches will also be shuttered indefinitely, including the one where I sometimes attend Mass (and where G-man attends it in Prime), Our Lady of Good Counsel. As you might expect, I have a lot of problems with Catholic dogma, but Father Pat of OLGC isn't into the judging-and-hating side of things. Anyway, I don't go to Mass because I consider myself a Catholic or even a Christian; I go partly because it's an important part of New Orleans culture and partly because it helps me find a peaceful place within myself that I don't have many ways of accessing. So much for that, I guess. It only confirms my long-held belief that the archdiocese and the Church hierarchy don't give a damn about the parishioners, the little faithful people who make up the congregations; they care about lining their pockets and pulling rank on anyone who dares to argue with their so-called holy mandate.

Radical Wisconsinites wage violent protest over blasphemous cartoons

Wherein I make the editorial decision to protect you from making your own decision by not publishing the cartoons

Chief instigator, Duane Gunderson, was heard to say: Those who sow the curds of blasphemy will reap the cheddar wheel of destruction,”

Linked from Jim Treacher, who had this to say to the NY Press General Manager (about this):
At the risk of being a bit vulgar, what a huge motherfucking crock of camel shit. "We felt the images... would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion"? First of all, you mean you thought not publishing the images wouldn't hinder the readers from making an informed opinion. (Where'd your editor go, dude? Ha ha, j/k.) So, you mean like an informed opinion about whether the cartoons are a suitable excuse for some rent-a-mobs to burn down embassies? Or whether one of the cartoons was even a cartoon at all? Or maybe an informed opinion about seeing that same "cartoon" in a story about some kind of French hog-calling contest? No, you'll just tell us why this stuff is driving a bunch of idiots apeshit. You'll describe a fuzzy photocopy of, well, it looks like a guy with a beard, and is that a pig nose? "Beard! A man with a beard! Shit, they're right, that must be the prophet himself! And a pig nose! They're saying he's a pig, or perhaps just enjoys the delicious taste of bacon! AAAIIIIEEEEEE!!! ...oh wait, now that I've gone online and looked at it, it's just some harmless Gaul having a laugh. Whoops!"

Jim has a point and I'll add that the NY Press hasn't been very interesting since the new owners fired John Strasbaugh.

Goodbye to the best show on television

Wherein I raise a toast to Arrested Development

Why I read Tim Goodman:
For starters, here's to the Fox network for burning off the last four episodes we'll probably see of its best sitcom, "Arrested Development" -- tonight, right up against the Opening Ceremonies. Now there's a send-off. Let's see, how best to tell you what burning off four back-to-back episodes means against powerhouse competition, and on a night when the show has never aired? Hmmm. Try this: Fox is Joe Pesci in "GoodFellas" and "Arrested Development" is anyone in that movie that ever looked sideways at his character, Tommy DeVito. Translation: Four days shy of Valentine's Day, Fox stuffed its best sitcom in the trunk of car and shot and stabbed it repeatedly.

I'll accept this

Wherein blah blah blah blah

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lost: The Long Con or There's a new sheriff in town

Wherein this episode rocked unlike the geriatric Rolling Stones

First off, the usual crosslinks::
  • Greg has this week's podcast highlights I never got around to transcribing. Also good comments on the episode. For example, the diner waitress was Kate's mom.
  • Chicks dig the long con

Basically, the reevilization of Sawyer. This is one of those episode that has me so busy following the head fakes and dodging the misdirections, I missed the obvious. I was still holding out that Ana Lucia was responsible.

To recap
Locke reluctantly gives hothead Jack the combination to the gun safe. Sun is attacked, Ana Lucia is convinced it's The Others and now everyone is interested in her army idea. Sawyer hints to Kate that isn't this convenient, now everyone is behind Ana Lucia and wanting at the guns. Kate tells Jack, now Jack is suspicious. Eventually Jack is persuaded to get the guns, this concerns Kate so she tells Sawyer to warn Locke. Sawyer does so, Locke hides the guns, Jack is thwarted and hotheaded, and confronts Locke. Locke ain't giving the guns to anyone, but that doesn't matter because Sawyer has the guns and the balance of power has shifted. Everyone, especially Kate, feels betrayed. And there's still the question of who attacked Sun, because we know it wasn't Sun. Oops, it was Charlie, working with Sawyer to get back at Locke. He followed Locke to tell Sawyer where the guns were.

Now we're back to suspicions and mistrust. Locke and Jack are at odds - this is where I always felt the season was going, everyone's out for revenge, Sawyer is the focus of most of the anger, but no one knows if Sawyer was somehow behind the Sun attack or that was the others. Also, everyone knows all the weapons are no longer secured.

What else? A couple throwaway in-jokes for us Lostians. I doubt An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge means anything. I think it's just the writers acknowledging a popular theory. Also funny was Hurley hearing the shortwave broadcast and speculating "Maybe it's from another time...just kidding!"

Sayid did rig up a shortwave radio to an antenna. This should prove useful. Locke showed Jack the heroin stash for possible medicinal purposes. Sawyer offered Charlie one of the heroin statues for payment, but Charlie turned it down. Good for him, though as Charlie is turning completely evil maybe he could use a hit to calm down. Also note that if Sawyer does not return the statue Locke will realize one is missing and be able to implicate Charlie.

Suspicions and speculations
  • I'm still betting on there being another group of Others out there besides Mr. Friendly's crew. These will be the ones picking off the Tailies.
  • There is still a spy in the group and now one, or both, of The Others will know the weapons are no longer locked up.
  • Charlie will either have a redemptive moment, or betray the group to one of the Others.
  • Desmond was a plant, his story is false. We'll meet him again. But that doesn't explain him leaving a locker full of weapons. So scratch that. No clear idea on the Desmond angle.
  • Sayid has been working on getting around the concrete wall in the bunker. We will find out what is behind it. Most of us will say "whoa!" The rest will jump off of the bus.
  • We will see our lostaways have to form allegiance with one of the Others to fight the other Others.

Humor cuts

Wherein I command, "Laugh, monkey laugh!"

jack sparks speaks truth to power:
When a downtown bar fills you full of 16oz cans of PBR at an obscene price, then shoe horns you onto a pink bus with disco lights for a 10 block ride to watch "bigger" gals take shots at each other on roller skates, there's a better than even chance your soul is going to get scarred, in addition to your corneas and liver.

RIA is requesting some off-color puns. All I have is a punchline, "...so then I said 'blow me!'":
I'm going to resist every single pun and quip that came to my mind when I stumbled upon this. (Not so difficult--yes, of course I changed the first word I unthinkingly typed-- since I'm still totally nonplussed.)

I'm sort of hoping that my commenters won't, though.

Great song review:
Every once in a while I buy a new age CD. Usually I am seeking some sort of insight. Often, in fact you might say very often, I end up with insipid crap such as this song. It’s like dating a woman who is beautiful but not especially smart or kind. In a very short amount of time you end up wondering “is that all there is?”

Sometimes someone just needs some STAIRS! therapy.

Jim Treacher: Would you like this blank, empty envelope?

Presidential relatives:
I predict that in another generation or two most of our Presidents will be relatives of Bill Clinton, but they won't have the last name Clinton.

Then again, most Americans who aren't President will also be relatives of Bill Clinton in another generation or two.

Sounds funny, I'd watch this:
India's leading news channel, NDTV, is producing a sitcom called "The Call Centre" in which the beleaguered staff suffers the slings and arrows of dense, rude, racist callers from the U.K. and U.S.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Well said

Wherein I read another story of school administration misconduct

A six-year-old boy is suspended for sexual harassment. RIA comments:
Could it be that the boy was just reaching for her to get her attention, and that there was no so-called sexual (or gender-based) content at all? Let's say he actually engaged in a quick waist-band snap: I still think it's quite a leap to assume any sexual content there, or even any intent to harass, much less actual harassment. Have we lost all sense of proportion, as well as our minds? A three-day suspension with details passed to the D.A.?

Add this to the list of stories demonstrating that schools have forfeited their ability to think; read examples of zero tolerance laws; more.

My daughter came home one day asking that mom make her a "marry dress" because when she got "bigger and bigger" she was going to "marry the boy Peyton." AS distinct from the girl Peyton she might hold hands with during story time. Obviously this daycare is a hotbed of sexual deviancy and I should call the cops.

Update: Pastor Jeff

I missed an anniversary

Wherein this tragedy always reminds me of that comedy equation: time plus distance equals humor

On January 15, 1919 an 8-foot wall of molasses killed twenty-one people in Boston. Sounds like an article from The Onion, but it's all true.

I love history, especially the odd little stories like this. If kids in school are bored with history, it's because there's too much emphasis on dry facts and politics without context. Instead, take a story like the Boston Molasses Flood to set the scene and begin investigating from there.

For the scoop, Eric Postpischil's Molasses Disaster Pages is a great place to start. From there, I see there's a book on the disaster I must read.

Dark Tide : The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
In this volume, Puleo, a contributor to American History magazine, sets out to determine whether the collapse of a molasses tank that sent a tidal wave of 2.3 million gallons of the sticky liquid through Boston's North End and killed 21 people was the work of Italian anarchists or due to negligence by the tank's owner, United States Industrial Alcohol. Getting into the minds of the major players in the disaster-USIA suits, victims, witnesses, North End residents, politicians-he re-creates not only the scene but also the social, political and economic environments of the time that made the disaster more than just an industrial accident. While the collapse's aftermath is tragic, the story itself is not exactly gripping. More interesting are the tidbits of Boston's and America's history, such as the importance of molasses to all U.S. war efforts up to and including WWI, which Puleo uses to put the tank collapse in the context of a very complex time in U.S. history. The most striking aspect of this tale is the timeliness of the topics it touches on. Describing Americans being persecuted because of their ethnicity, a sagging economy boosted by war, and terrorism on U.S. soil that results in anti-immigration laws and deportations, Puleo could just as easily be writing about current events as about events in 1919. Overall, this is another piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is Boston's long and rich history. Photos.

Who is a scriptwriter who has never been in my kitchen?

Wherein I find this tidbit more interesting than the game itself

Thanks to Toobworld, here is a link to the lost Cheers episode.

From Ken Levine:
My partner, David Isaacs and I wrote it, it was seen by EIGHTY MILLION people, (almost double the audience of the final episode of CHEERS)…

then never shown again..

I’m not even sure if a copy of the film still exists. For the first time in 23 years, here’s the lost script of that scene.

Backstory: People forget but Cheers wasn’t always an enormous hit. The first season’s ratings (1982-83) were terrible…as in “dead last”. In today’s world both UPN and Univision would kick our ass. In an effort to get better exposure NBC asked if we’d do a special scene to be aired sometime during the Superbowl pre game show. Pete Axthelm, the distinguished sports columnist for Newsweek and gambling tout for the Peacock agreed to appear. David and I banged out the scene. NBC aired it…right before kick-off. Talk about a good time slot.

Enjoy, trivia buffs:

Read the rest

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Ballad of...

Wherein I write of six songs

Bob E., at Throwing Things, has 17 songs in iTunes beginning with "The" and is writing about them in a 5 or 6 part series. Read it, he's good.

Intrigued by the idea I checked my iTunes and turned up 440 songs beginning with "The." Wow. Leading the pack is John Wesley Harding with 20 and PJ Harvey with 18. Among the listings are twelve versions of "The Christmas Song"; one for every day, I guess. I also have six songs beginning with "The Ballad of...." Here they are:
  1. The Ballad of Davy Crockett, Tennessee Ernie Ford (Disney Collection, Vol 2). One of the best theme songs ever. Doubt the same song could be written today. Let's review some of the offenses: as a violent youth kills a bear, grows up and kills a bunch of Indians...

    wait wait wait wait wait. Be careful where you get your lyrics. I found this on one site:
    Fought single-handed through many a war
    Till the enemy was whipped and peace was in store

    But what is actually sung is:
    Fought single-handed through the Injun War
    till the Creeks was whipped an' peace was in store

    Someone is whitewashing genocide. Back to the song, he next becomes a big government politician and vandalizes one of the country's greatest relics (patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell). The collection I have only carries the abridged version of the song that stops short of Davy and his gang trying to steal some Mexican territory.

  2. The Ballad Of Gunther Johnson, The Subdudes (Lucky). A New Orleans band, these guys are still playing and have a new album with help from Keb Mo and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Must of lost a bet because they spent January touring Minnesota and Wisconsin. They have a podcast, check it out.

    Who is Gunther Johnson? Black dude in a Northern town/ down on his luck / directing some anger / towards those white dudes in a truck. But Gunther may be someone else.

    The refrain is we're just like you and I think this is being said towards the "black dude." If I'm hearing this correctly, Black Dude tries to pick a fight with White Dudes in a rundown part of town. Someone else explains their lives aren't that great, so why not put the brick down. Implication being, Black Dude's problem isn't racial, it's economic. This is why I don't listen to lyrics. I was perfectly happy with the funky accordian and the slide guitar, now I got this socio-economic lecture on racial tension clogging my sinuses.

  3. The Ballad Of John And Yoko, John Lennon (Imagine soundtrack). [joke about how this song should be about Yoko stepping in front of Mark Chapman and taking one for the home team deleted]. I like this song, just a cute little ditty of a song. According to wiki, it's performed by just Paul and John.

  4. The Ballad Of Julie Finkle, Ray Davies (The Storyteller). If I made a list of essential albums, this would probably be on it. "The Storyteller" is Ray Davies telling the story of the birth of Kinks, based on his unauthorized autobiography. Let's get this out of the way, The Kinks are better than the Beatles, better than the Rolling Stones, and maybe better then The Who. Who among the first two could've put something like this together? Julie Finkle is the story of the groupie.

  5. The Ballad Of Robbie Jones, The Levellers (A Weapon Called The Word). A pleasant sounding, celtic-like ballad. That makes absolutely no freaking sense. It's obviously anti-war, I get that, then it's just a muddle. Robbie gets drunk and his friends carry him home. Then his friends get drafted and sent off to Argentina, so Tom has to kill people instead of play his guitar. Who is Tom and what happened to Robbie?

  6. The Ballad of the Sad Young Men, Rickie Lee Jones (Pop Pop). One of my favorite Rickie Lee Jones albums. The whole is an idiosyncratic joy. Saw her on this concert tour at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the crowd sang happy birthday to her. It's the only time I've ever seen her truly smile on stage.

    It's hard to find someone who does melancholy better than Ms Jones, but she did not write this. It's from "Nervous Set" (Fran Landesman, 1959), a parody of the Beat movement. And according to this site is about gay life.

Sing a song of sad young man
Glasses full of rye
All the news is bad again so
Kiss your dreams goodbye

All the sad young men
Sitting in the bars
Knowing neon nights
Missing all the stars

All the sad young men
Drifting through the town
Drinking up the night
Trying not to drown

All the sad young men
Singing in the cold
Trying to forget
That they're growing old

All the sad young men
Choking on their worth
Trying to be brave
Running from the truth

Autumm turns the leaves to gold
Slowly dies the heart
Sad young men are growing old
That's the cruelest part

All the sad young men
Seek a certain smile
Someone they can hold for a little while
Tired little girl does the best she can
Trying to be gay for her sad young man

While the grimy moon
Watches from above
All the sad young men
Play of making love

Misbegotten moon
Shine for sad young men
Let your gentle light
Guide them home tonight
All the sad young men