Bo

Jul 252016
 

persian0I don’t know for sure, but I believe House of Kabob, on Sparkman just south of Executive, is Huntsville’s first Iranian restaurant. It’s open for lunch every day but Sunday. When I went looking for some way for my ridiculously attractive editor and me to zag instead of zig when we met for lunch, House of Kabob got the nod.

I didn’t get a photo of the storefront, but let’s just say the place is a lot nicer inside. Order at the counter, and make yourself comfortable in the charming dining room while your lunch is prepared.

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The halal menu includes kabobs and a few salads. The kabob plates come with a generous portion of fluffy, buttery rice; a pepperoncini; and a grilled tomato. Stephenie had lamb, I had beef, and we each had chicken. Both of us tried everything. It was obviously fresh and quite tasty.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect on spiciness. There was a shaker of something brownish on the table, but neither of us could discern much of a taste. Post-visit research indicates it was probably saffron powder. Curiously, there was a bottle of Tapatio hot sauce on every table. Tapatio is a decent sauce, but it’s unambiguously in the Mexican/Central American sphere. I’m not sure whether there’s any Iranian connection or just owner’s taste or what, but I used it on my chicken.

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The staff was helpful and earnestly friendly. I felt almost like we were visiting their home.

I have a friend whose father squirreled his family out of Iran when the shah was overthrown, so she’s been here since she was eight or so. I used to work with her, and she would bring Iranian dishes frequently. What I consistently noticed about her lunch was that there was very little middle ground. Either it seemed divine—pretty, and marvelous smells—or it looked like she was eating a bowl of vomit. (Not that we saw anything like that on our visit.) She might be the most intensely private person I’ve ever known, so she doesn’t go out much. But I might like to see if I can coax her to House of Kabob for her view.

I mention that as context for the fact that I don’t know much about Iranian cuisine at all, so this isn’t a review per se. Steph and I enjoyed ourselves, and it’s not far from the office. I’m intrigued enough to go back and try something else enough times until I’ve reasonably sampled the whole menu.

 Posted by at 9:51 pm
Jul 222016
 

I didn’t watch a single minute of the Republican convention, which means I didn’t see or hear any of Donald Trump’s speech last night. I haven’t seen many excerpts or reactions today that surprise me.

However, I’ve seen more than one person up in arms about this:

Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America first, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. The respect that we deserve.

The American people will come first once again. – Donald Trump, July 21, 2016

Boys and girls, that the President of the United States should think first of the welfare of the American people should not be a controversial notion. Of course, the United States should be a good world citizen, but we are best equipped to be such when we are strong.

There will always be a biggest kid on the block. Throughout recorded history, when it hasn’t been obvious which nation is that biggest kid, there has been widespread war. (If that thought makes you uncomfortable, or you doubt it, or both, go have a look.)

The most powerful nation is in the best position to propagate its values. And despite the shots on the chin the United States has taken over the past several decades, liberty still has its first, best opportunity to thrive here.

The “community of equals” world model, evidently favored by our esteemed president and the generation of tongue-clucking hand-wringers who’ve come of age during his administration, is woefully naive because it ignores human nature. There are several world citizens who are considerably more likely to ignore or discount opportunities for mutually beneficial agreements, and just take by force—whether land, blood, treasure, or all of the above.

American strength is one of the most effective mitigators of such. You don’t build strength to go to war; you build strength to avoid war.

Whatever else Mr. Trump has to say notwithstanding, he’s not wrong about American exceptionalism.

 Posted by at 6:58 pm
Jul 212016
 
  • You know, I tried to be a pajamas guy, but I’m just not. Doubt I ever will be. I have an around-the-house classification of shorts and T-shirts, and that’s what I put on when I get home. I take them both off and go with just underwear for PJs in warm weather, and frequently leave my shirt on for PJs in cool weather. That’s as classy as I’m ever going to be, I’m afraid. That whole $75-100 set of pajamas with the shirt pocket that makes me feel vaguely like I should be smoking a pipe too? Not happening.
  • I remain wholly untouched by Pokemon Go. I expect Beth will be the one to eventually sully me with it.
  • Dudes and dolls, it’s hot, but there is still a lot of room for it to get worse. Was it 2008 that we had 17 days in a row with a high temperature over 100º? And there was a four-day run in there of 105º+? We’re still six to ten degrees off that.
  • Unilever has purchased the Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion in cash. If you’ve been a Dollar Shave Club person but now don’t like the idea of lining the pockets of The Man, may I suggest Harry’s, with which I’ve had good experiences. (Or drop all the way back to a real safety razor, which is actually what I’m using now and getting the best results of my life, only you can’t do Chisel Shave Club because they folded.)
  • In response to Paul Tracy’s assertion that IndyCar needs a “bad guy,” Robin Miller offered: “Will Power would get my vote because he’s won so much in the past six years and isn’t afraid to lean on people. He could wear a black helmet and uniform and get out of the car in Victory Lane and say something like: ‘That was like clubbing baby seals’ or just pick a fight or two. But he drives for Roger Penske, so that can’t happen.” I have so enjoyed listening to that quote in my head in Will Power’s Australian accent.
  • My ridiculously attractive Rocket City Mom editor and I are going to try what is, as far as I know, Huntsville’s first Persian restaurant next week. Watch for a post.
  • I didn’t have a lot of money to play, but I bought two flashlights and a watch for $44 on Amazon Prime Day this year. The order would have been $75 the day before or the day after. I am pleased with everything I bought. I can’t believe how much flashlight you can buy for nearly nothing now.
  • Sometimes I wonder about people, track them down, and…they’re dead. Sheesh. I guess I can reasonably expect that to pick up a bit. First, most of your friends get married. Then, most of them have kids. Then, half of them get divorced. Finally, they start dying.
 Posted by at 7:15 am
Jul 202016
 

I understand there is a norovirus outbreak. Write your own joke.

Melania Trump has been accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. And yes, whether the fault is her own, that of a speechwriter, or someone else, I believe she did. However, I consider the real tragedy here not that she did it, but that what she lifted was so banal. Why bother? Is it really so hard to babble some rot about children and dreams?

If your headline celebrity speaker is Chachi/Charles in Charge, maybe you’d better retool the evening. Even Mitt Romney managed Clint Eastwood—an unambiguous big star.

Every time I see Melania Trump’s photo flash by—on a news site, in my Facebook feed, or whatever—I think it’s Caitlin Jenner.

My level of attention really is at an all-time low, so perhaps the value of my assessment is rather more limited. But it seems to me that Democrats and other Hillary boosters are exercising no restraint whatsoever, spiking whatever balls they perceive are there to spike and just generally pointing and laughing. It would behoove them to remember that this election is historic because both candidates are disasters.

 Posted by at 10:07 am
Jul 182016
 

dash1For all of the bloviation about Wal-Mart taking over suburbia and whatever else, it’s Amazon.com who’s really making a hyper-aggressive play for your business every single time you buy anything. I’ve even started searching for car and appliance part numbers there, for cryin’ out loud. More often than not Amazon.com has them, and at a competitive price. There is a windshield wiper relay in Lea’s van, and a heating element in our oven, that each came from Amazon.com.

The Dash button is the first full-on Amazon.com IoT assault on groceries and household goods. They’re available to Amazon Prime members. You hook an Amazon Dash button up to your Wi-Fi. You need an Android phone, iPhone, or Amazon Fire phone to do this. When you configure it, you can tell it what to order when you push the button. There are scores—hundreds? maybe?—of buttons available, for foods, drinks, cleaning products, toiletries, and so on. They’re $4.99 apiece, but you get a $4.99 credit the first time you push the button. So, they’re free.

For example, I have a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dash button. Now you may be wondering to yourself “Brother Bo, how much macaroni & cheese does that button order when you push it?” Well, let me just tell you: it orders a shitload of macaroni & cheese when I push it.

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It’s fun. And, it’s pretty cool, really. We have one for dishwashing detergent, and a couple more for other things. Maybe I’ll add some more. Maybe we’ll use them long-term. Maybe we won’t. They’re inexpensive enough that we can participate in the experiment, you know? We don’t need a plan. Right now it’s entertainment as much as it’s household management.

I will watch the pricing. It’s, uh, close. It’s sensible enough if you talk to yourself about gasoline prices, and convenience, and time spent, and so forth. But there isn’t much maneuverability. If the prices jump, say, 20%, that’ll be a deal-breaker.

But for now? Sure. Why not? Let us consume.

 Posted by at 10:07 pm

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