Saturday, May 08, 2004

Lo-Carb, Hi-Death

While posting on the Krispy Kreme thread on Kevin Drum's Political Animal blog, I ran across a link to Carl's Jr (the company that bought NC's Hardee's some years ago and introduced that ridiculous smiley star logo thingie) and their lo-carb breakfast bowl (thanks to Lonewacko).

What the fuck? 900 calories!?!?! 73 grams of fat?!?!? Over 2,000 mg of sodium?! You'd be better off eating a dozen glazed for breakfast and it'd taste a damn site better!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Things I Think about while Running

Today it was "Jesus Christ, can it possibly be any greener than this?!?!"

These first couple of weeks of May are my second favorite time of year, close behind the first couple of weeks of October. One reason is of course the birthday of My Reason for Living (TM) JennySlash, but there's more to it than that. Since I arrived in Chapel Hill umpty-ump years ago, this time of year has had a special resonance exemplified for me by the incredible green that the whole town seems to turn that really only lasts until the heat and the inevitable summer drought put a layer of haze and dust over everything.

Yeah, it meant finals (studying all night and wandering through the pre-dawn through the trees on McCorkle Place to Franklin Street in search of strong coffee, which was MUCH harder to do back in the day before Starbucks and Caribou and Strong's, etc.) but it also meant that delicious time when I was done with my finals but Jean or Kevin or Donna or Steve or Peggy or one of the rest of the gang waiting to go to Myrtle Beach were still finishing theirs, so there were two or three or four days of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO but sit around the pool at Tar Heel Manor, wander downtown through quickly thinning bar crowds for a couple of beers at He's Not Here or a few rounds of quarters at Troll's 'til closing time, then stumble to Subway for a double meat 12" BMT or to Hector's for a Greek grilled cheese. I mean, it's not like the rest of the year wasn't a lot like that too, we just didn't have that vaguely guilty feeling about it during the week between finals and graduation!

And under the old academic calendar, the week after graduation was even better. There was a week break between graduation and the start of summer session back then and in a time when there were many fewer Chapel Hill residents that were NOT associated with the University, the town just freaking emptied out. Suddenly the high school kids ruled Franklin Street and the bars that didn't declare a little hiatus were pretty much empty. It was a great time to hit the bars that were in the process of going under - I recall drinking $1 call brand highballs at Harrison's a couple of nights in a row with Chaz and Handsome Dave as they were about to lose their liquor license and were trying to get rid of their inventory.

So pardon me if my motivation to work or exert myself for the next few days seems lacking - all I really want to do is wake up at 11 am-ish long enough to flop down on a lounge chair in the back yard and go back to sleep until 3, get up and shower, find a pizza somewhere and then just hang out at the Cave or East End or Woody's until somebody gets me a cab home and I do it all over again. I promise it won't last more than another week or so...


Finally took some time to help JennySlash get her blog fixed up and published - check it out!


I've just erased what I wrote here about the Michael Moore movie "Fahrenheit 911" and Di$ney's refusal to allow Miramax to distribute it - I'm really back and forth on it. While I have a well-known fondness for WaltDisneyWorld, I also have a long-standing disdain for Di$neyCo as a corporation, mostly for years of litigiousness over everything from copyright to liability. So I have no love for Disney, but I'm having trouble deciding whether I would call this censorship or just a (bad) business decision. What is an entertainment company's obligation to distribute a film that they feel may be bad for their business? Particularly when they let Miramax know a year ago that they were not going to allow the distribution. I'm not defending the Mou$e and I don't think it's the right thing to do, but I'm a little careful in how I use the word "censorship". Whatcha think?


LOS ANGELES (AP) - A construction worker had six nails driven into his head in an accident with a high-powered nail gun, but doctors said Wednesday they expect him to make a full recovery.
Mejia, 39, was atop an unfinished home when he fell from the roof onto a co-worker who was using the nail gun, Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Mark Newlands said.

Uh, ouch?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Ban Oprah!!

While I've thought that banning Oprah was a worthwhile activity anyway, BoingBoing reports an effort by Howard Stern and his listeners to point out to the FCC the double standard that they are applying to the two shows, in particular a show Oprah aired on teen sex that included what was apparently some pretty graphic descriptions of some, uh, non-standard sexual practices.

The Smoking Gun has received copies of more than 1600 complaints about that episode thanks to a FOIA request. It is impossible to know which complaints are real, but many of them are downright hilarious: 'The Oprah show ... was so offensive that my child's head literally exploded. Please ban free speech so this never happens again.'

I've figured out that my television has both an off switch and a method for changing the channels at my own discretion, so I haven't had to be subjected to either Mr. Stern or Ms. Winfrey - pity more sets aren't equipped with such devices so that people could do for themselves what they seem to need the government to do for them.

I guess when ya gotta go...

From today's Durham Herald-Sun:

DURHAM -- Thieves broke into a Durham business between 3:30 and 3:38 p.m. Sunday and stole toilet paper, police said.

The burglars broke a window in the bathroom of Welcome Baby, 2000 Chapel Hill Road, and took six rolls of toilet paper valued at $3, a police report said. Nothing else was reported stolen, and no further information was available.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Purty Pictures

I'm fascinated by The Art Renewal Center - a web site, on-line museum and organization devoted apparently to decrying modernism and post-modernism in all its forms. The first paragraph of their mission statement contains"

Modernist theory, backed by an enormous network of powerful and influential art dealers, came to acquiring complete control over thousands of museums, university art departments and journalistic art criticism. We at the Art Renewal Center have fully and fairly analyzed their theories and have found them wanting in every respect, devoid of substance and built on a labyrinth of easily disproved fallacies, suppositions and hypotheses.

Whatever. Lots of purty pictures, whatever you may think of their philosophy and goals!

On the Player

I got some very weird looks from JennySlash last weekend when I picked up a couple of Best of...s from the local Borders and Noble or Barnes and Barnes or whatever it was. Cheap-o samplers ("20th Century Masters" series) of the Allman Brothers and Traffic. Okay, not two bands that one might expect me to be picking up, but that's kinda the point of $8.99 samplers, isn't it? While I never liked either band enough to collect studio efforts, they both put out a few songs that are absolute masterpieces. Chuck Leavell's phenomenal solo in "Jessica", the pure sweetness of "Melissa", the full 11+ minutes of "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys"... damn! I mean, damn! So look at me askance if you must as I drive by belting out "Feelin' Alright" at the top of my lungs, but I'll be enjoying!

Coupla quickies...

From the Center for American Progress, next time he's asked the Preznit will have 100 Mistakes for the President to Choose From

and from David Brock, ex-right wing media hit man turned liberal, we have Media Matters, which will

"document and correct conservative misinformation in each news cycle. Media Matters for America will monitor cable and broadcast news channels, print media and talk radio, as well as marginal, right-wing websites that often serve as original sources of misinformation for well-known conservative and mainstream media outlets."

Sounds like fun, eh? Apparently they have two staffers just to work Rush's show.

Thoughts while running in the morning

Between the torture bullshit in Iraq, Sinclair Broadcasting's boycott of last Friday's "Nightline" and Paul Bremer taking back his early criticism of the Bush administration's anti-terrorism focus (or lack thereof), I'm just too disgusted to type intelligibly (much less intelligently) about current affairs.

So here's my list of my 5 favorite debut disks of all time. Not necessarily the "best" since I haven't heard nearly all the debut albums out there. But my favorites...

Elvis Costello - "My Aim is True" (1977)
The Pretender - "The Pretender" (1980)
X - "Los Angeles" (1980)
Fetchin Bones - "Cabin Flounder" (1985)
Drivin' N' Cryin' - "Scarred but Smarter" (1986)

What strikes me about all of them is that from first track to last, there ain't a weak sister any of 'em. In fact, the first 3 would be on almost any of my "desert island" lists (throw in The Clash's "London Calling" and some Talking Heads and a case of Myer's Dark Rum and I'm all set).

Close but not quite are the first albums from The Doors, The Violent Femmes and U2. The one I struggle the most with is R.E. M.'s "Murmur" - I don't know what to do with it. It was their first full-length record and would bump DnC from the list above, but with the "Chronic Town" EP coming out a year before, I don't know if "Murmur" really counts as a debut. Can I get a ruling here?