Monday, July 19, 2004


I know, you get what you pay for.  And I've gotten some very polite (and quick response) replies to my e-mails from on the editing problems that they seem to have introduced with their "enhancements".  But it, uh, seems to be getting worse.  Please bear with me...

Go, Linda!

This may be the first time in my life that I've liked Linda Rondstadt.  At the Aladdin in Vegas...

Before singing "Desperado" for an encore Saturday night, the 58-year-old rocker called [Michael] Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is spreading the truth."
 Ronstadt's comments drew loud boos and some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air.
[Aladdin President Bill] Timmins...decided Ronstadt had to go — for good. Timmins said he didn't allow Ronstadt back in her luxury suite and she was escorted off the property.

Heh heh heh...

Strowd Hill

Another Friday night, another fatal automobile accident on East Franklin Street on Strowd Hill, otherwise known as "the big-ass curve and hill from downtown Chapel Hill to Estes Drive". "[CHPD Sgt. Steve] Riddle said the car was traveling in excess of 100 mph in a 30-mph zone at the time of the accident. The car left 355 feet of tire impression before hitting the tree on the passenger side, he said." Let's see... rental car, 3 guys (2 of them underage, one with a borrowed ID) with Durham addresses, half hour after last call on a Friday night - gee, do you think "that alcohol and speed were factors in the wreck." Uhm, yeah.  One dead, two in serious condition - and if they were doing 100 mph on the main drag (which they would have to be), probably a miracle that no one that wasn't in the car got hurt.
The second thing I thought of when I read the report (the first was "that's a real shame!  I hope the other two guys make it.") was a night in October of 1985, when I was driving Bo Diddley back to the Holiday Inn down that curve at 3:00 in the morning after his show and we saw a car against a utility pole in exactly the same place these guys augered in.  After commenting that we hoped no one was seriously hurt, my next comment was that I hoped that they hadn't been drinking in a bar.  I explained the "pub law" that had just recently gone into effect in North Carolina, holding bar owners (and store owners and party givers) potentially liable for damages done by someone after drinking at their place.  Bo's rant following that was partly unintelligible and partly unprintable, the most coherent thought being something along the lines of "I thought that kind of bullshit was what we fought against the Nazis for" (I didn't quite make the connection, but he was on a roll).  And I couldn't argue with him.  I've always thought that was a lousy law (and still believe so long after I no longer have a liquor license).  It would be interesting to find out how often it has been applied and how many convictions there have actually been.  No law's a substitute for personal responsibility and for clearly foreseeable consequences of one's actions.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

"We are here to PUMP... you UP!"

A bunch of people seem to have gotten their panties in a bunch (ooh, how sexist!) over the Governator's reference to members of the California state legistature as "girlie-men".  Does no one have a fucking sense of humor anymore?  Far be it from me to defend Ahnold, but when the guy uses a line from a long-running Saturday Night Live skit that mocked him, I think that's actually pretty cool.   Yeah, you can talk all you want about how this is real life and not a movie, but unlike Reagan I get the feeling that Arnold has no trouble telling the difference between the two.  I'd be pretty damned outraged that he was elected if I were a Californian, but the girlie-man thing is just a silly sidelight to the real question of whether the legislature should pass his budget.  Instead we get this:

Democrats said Schwarzenegger's remarks were insulting to women and gays and distracted from budget negotiations. State Sen. Sheila Kuehl said the governor had resorted to "blatant homophobia."

"It uses an image that is associated with gay men in an insulting way, and it was supposed to be an insult. That's very troubling that he would use such a homophobic way of trying to put down legislative leadership," said Kuehl, one of five members of the Legislature's five-member Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

and this from the Assembly speaker:
 "It was no question a very, very insensitive comment to make. I personally am not intimidated or threatened by it, but I think it really is beneath Gov. Schwarzenegger."

Somebody needs to take a chill pill...

Death Run 1983

I was looking through some old file folders earlier in the week and ran across the map from Death Run 1983 - the layout of Franklin Street and Rosemary Street with our plan of attack to hit as many bars as we could on a Friday night. Included were the locations of the cars we drove to town so that we could retrieve them on Saturday and the phone number of the person who was picking us up to drive us all home from wherever we ended up (very organized, we were!). Bill Krampf and I were the only ones to make it the whole way through - 17 beers in 16 bars over the course of about 7 hours. I'm not sure whether it's more surprising how many of those bars still exist or how many of them are gone.

1 - Looking Glass Cafe - long gone - dinner and 1 beer (this was really a pre-Death Run stop to fuel up)
2 - Henderson St. Bar - still there - 2 beers (I think Bill and I were waiting for Jim to join us)
3 - Jordan's - long gone - 1 beer
4 - Troll's - long gone - 1 beer
5 - Backstreet's - long gone - 1 beer
6 - Molly Maguire's - long gone - 1 beer
7 - Papagayo's - long gone - 1 beer
8 - Four Corners - long gone - 1 beer
9 - Rathskeller - still there - 1 beer
10 - Carolina Coffee Shoppe - still there - 1 beer
11 - Upper Deck - long gone - 1 beer
12 - Spanky's - still there - 1 beer
13 - Linda's - different location - 1 beer
14 - Mr. Gatti's - long gone - 1 beer + refueling (mmmm, pizza!)
15 - He's Not Here - still there - 1 beer
16 - Colonel Chutney's - long gone - 1 beer

So out of 16 places we hit, 5 are still in existence and another is in a different location (Linda's moved to the old Sadlacks spot). I have no idea what's in the old Looking Glass space - nothing has done very well there and University Square is almost dead. Jordan's has been Bub O'Malley's for years and Troll's has been Hell for years - haven't been into either one of them. Backstreet's was torn down, Molly's hung around for awhile in sort of an on-again, off-again existence - that space hasn't done well in years either. Papagayo's is now Goldie's, which is a really nice looking space now but again, rumored to not be doing well. Four Corners is now Woody's - my favorite sports bar in town. The Upper Deck is now a University office, Mr. Gatti's is now an empty restaurant space yet again and Chutney's has been Pantana Bob's for a long time. We had some additional places on the list in case we were able to go on - Bullwinkle's, the Sidetrack, the Cave, Tijuana Fats. Of those the Cave is still going strong - the rest are long gone.

Now it would probably be easier (and possibly more dangerous) to do the same thing with coffee rather than beer - my guess is I'd feel worse the Saturday after that than I did post-Death Run 20-some years ago! But another beer run - I could be up for it if there are any takers out there!