- Chris Cornell, lead singer and cofounder of both Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died at 52. He was one of my favorite musicians to come out of the grunge scene. God be with his family and friends.
- The first sugarless cola on the market was Diet Rite, a product of the Royal Crown Company, in 1958. Coca-Cola’s Tab was introduced as a response to it in 1963.
- 2048 is quite a monkey for your back. I’ve won several times now, but I’m still chasing a 4096. (I must have missed this original brouhaha because I had a Windows phone.)
- Lola was a slave for 56 years, and her story is told compellingly in The Atlantic this month.
- After sampling the nectar flavor, my review of Soylent is now complete. I wish I had tried that one earlier, because it wound up being my least favorite. I could see using any of the other three.
- Did you see the mountain lion photographed in Cullman County last week?
- Nathan spent some time driving my F-150 this morning. It was his first time in anything but the Technical Writing Express. He did a fine job.
Personal liberty? Yeah, I’m a fan. I think everyone should be free to do with his/her time and money as s/he sees fit, so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others. (But that doesn’t mean that if your personal choices beg for ridicule, that I won’t occasionally oblige you.)
Behold this Dodge Challenger, which I am reasonably assured is owned and operated by someone born earlier than 1995:
The muscle car phenomenon began 50 to 60 years ago, with American manufacturers putting upgraded powertrains (and, eventually, other bits) into pedestrian automotive platforms. Its 21st-century manifestation features retro styling—this Challenger strongly evokes one from the early ’70s—but not necessarily retro pricing. Young men don’t generally have the money to put together a car like this.
And here we have the big disconnect.
If a 20-something young man—dripping with attitude, coursing with testosterone, and still ejaculating a thousand times a year—emerged from this vehicle, he would look silly. But he would at least be understandable.
An old man just looks ridiculous.
Look, it’s not that it’s a Challenger. It’s not even that it’s yellow. (Well, maybe 5% of it is.) You have the means and want to get such a car, then go get one. I’ll (in my experience, justifiably) consider you a significantly elevated risk to be a jackass in traffic, and life will go on.
No, it’s the “prayer” on the front spoiler:
As I lay rubber down the street/I pray for traction I may keep/If I do begin to slide/Please dear God protect my ride. Amen
It’s that it’s meticulously parked in a handicap space, with no placard, decal, plate, or other credential entitling the driver to such.
It’s that it says MOVE OVER—helpfully printed backward, and with an arrow, to facilitate easier reading in rear-view mirrors of vehicles holding this very important man up.
(Let me tell you, nothing would make my testicles miserably retract more quickly into my pathetic, inferior body than seeing such a notice behind me. Yes, please, come through, you thrumming, powerful, alpha male. A thousand apologies for obstructing you. Please forgive me!)
It’s that this was the plan. It’s the intent. It’s that he’s being seen in this command-issuing car on purpose.
Well, I suppose if it’s this or cheat on your wife, you made the right call.
Donald Trump was inaugurated as our 45th president on January 20.
Since then, I’ve been mostly quiet—and somewhat bemused.
Because you see, according to the shrieking hordes, the end is nigh. The election of Trump is the final piece in place for the destruction of the United States.
(Doesn’t it seem like said destruction should be further along than this, four months in?)
As much as I still cringe when I see or hear him acting like, well, Donald Trump, I’ve not been so displeased with his governance. He played his Supreme Court nomination exactly as he said he would. Illegal immigration across the southwest border is down 76%. We have sincere efforts underway to undo the worst of Obamacare, and some significant reform appears likely.
(And I’ll admit enjoying the newly hostile environment for the worst of the politically correct hysteria.)
I encounter a germ of legitimate concern once in a while in the ceaseless bleating of Trump’s opponents, but for the most part they’re showcasing their own near-complete lack of self-awareness. The corruption and outright thuggery under the Obama administration was rampant, and either studiously ignored or actively concealed by a sycophantic media.
But similar violations, whether real or perceived in existence and/or degree, under a Trump administration signal the apocalypse.
As Andrew Klavan asked this week: what if everything is basically fine?
This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list.
Mine and Lea’s 20th anniversary was Wednesday night, and we went to West End Grill, just east of Research Park Boulevard on Madison Pike, because our first date was there. When I saw that wings were offered with various flavors, I went back with Saintseester for lunch the next day.
West End Grill is full service, and there are small (6) and large (12) wings on the menu, served with celery and dressing. The hottest listed flavor appeared to be Reentry, but our server Gina shared that a new one called Jamaican Fire was hotter. Yes, please. My 12 wings were $11.98. (The fries in the photo are not included in the price.)
Quality: 8/10. These wings were well within size tolerance, cooked perfectly, and served warm. Value is reasonable right at the $1 threshold.
Flavor: 4/10. These are obviously prepared with care and there is a great deal of promise here, but these wings were spiced much too heavily. It would be a pleasant and authentic Caribbean flavor at about half-strength, or maybe even a little less. I believe it was allspice that was so overwhelming. I smelled/tasted it for hours afterward. I would love to try these wings again with a more judicious application of the seasoning.
Heat: 5/10. I thought there might be some Scotch bonnets lurking given the flavor description, but I don’t think there were any C. chinense cultivars present. I think we have here a good bit of cayenne, with a quick climb followed by a quick retreat.
West End is highly commute-convenient and I expect will make my agenda again soon, perhaps for a validation visit on these or for Solar Flare, another new and unlisted flavor which Gina said was comparable in heat.
Are you Aldi people? We’re Aldi people. The experience is a little odd, but once you get used to it, there are a lot of killer deals within.
You have to be careful, though. Most of the offerings are of high quality, but there are a few duds there too—even, occasionally, within a range of products. For example, with Willow toilet paper at Aldi, you must select “Ultra Premium” (on the right side of this photograph).
The Ultra Premium is as fine as any toilet paper you have ever used. You’ll hear a faint trumpet fanfare when you unroll it, and when you apply it, you’ll just barely believe it’s not linen.
The “Essential,” on the left side of the photograph, could be a traveler through time and space, visiting us from 1978 East Germany. It is thin, rough, and harsh, like a meth-addicted hooker. Even the thought of donating it makes me feel guilty. It may just have to go to the landfill.