Oct 252016

It wasn’t long after our esteemed president was reelected that I began imagining the candidate for whom the country would be ready in 2016. The person wouldn’t have to be overtly Reaganesque, necessarily, but the person would need his unapologetic love of country. We were starved for that in 1979, and we’re starved for it now.

It wasn’t Donald Trump I was imagining.

Now, don’t click away. I’m not going off on him. I’ve gotten over the worst of the sting, actually. I’ve made as much peace as I’m going to make with the fact that in Trump, the Republicans may have nominated the only remotely plausible candidate that someone as disliked as Hillary Clinton could beat.

(And when I say “made…peace,” I also mean with that inevitability. She’s going to be president.)

There are many—and I mean many—people whose thoughts, views, and opinions I have respected for a long time (in some cases, decades) who are supporting Donald Trump for president. Many of those even do so enthusiastically, not reluctantly. They defend their positions. I understand their defenses. I don’t agree with them, but I understand them.

I hope that most of them understand that choosing not to support Donald Trump is also a defensible position. I hope this for our continued cordiality and affection, but also because we’ll all be sitting in the same gymnasium the morning of November 9. We’ll have questions.

As it turns out, Peter Wehner has asked some very good ones.

My Trump friends, please don’t take your anger out on me that morning. My state is oxblood red. My vote for Johnson will not have made any difference, other than that I’ll be able to point to my discontent on a television or computer screen.

I suspect, though, that how you and I came to differ so significantly is at the heart of the questions we should ask going forward. Let’s remember we were, and are, allies who disagreed—not enemies.

 Posted by at 4:55 pm
Oct 212016

bigmac1Last week there was a little hullabaloo about millennials and the McDonald’s Big Mac. It seems only one in five millennials has ever tasted one. To children of the ’70s and ’80s, that seems rather incredible.

The closest I get to eating a fast food burger anymore is Five Guys. I’ve pretty much stopped eating any burger that can be passed through a drive-through window. Consequently I have no idea when I last ate a Big Mac. It may have been ten years. It may have been longer.

Now I do remember a time in my life—high school, college—when I ate quite a few of them. McDonald’s periodically ran a 2 for $2 Big Mac special. When they did, some Friday and Saturday nights my friend Byron and I ate three Big Macs apiece.

Yes. We did. With fries, and sometimes even apple pie a la mode. And then we’d go home and go to bed less than two hours later. That would put me in the hospital today.

So what do we have here? That’s not difficult to answer, is it? As embedded in our souls by decades of relentless advertising: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun. In its heyday it really wasn’t like any other burger, and there was that iconic third piece of bread in there. Today there are multiple similar offerings, but with the Big Mac as the obvious template.

Despite its name and reputation, it is not a particularly large burger, especially by today’s standards. The entire burger checks in at a little less than half a pound, and contains 550 calories. Demonstrably, I liked the Big Mac once upon a time. What do I think in 2016?


(Click either burger photo for a closer look.)

The presentation was robust, if not very neat. It stood up nicely instead of being squashed. It was warm, and I could believe it was prepared within the last ten minutes.

The taste is largely as I remember. The beef patties are unremarkable, but they taste good. The pickles and the sauce give it a tang I like. Sure does seem like there’s a lot of lettuce and bread, though—and the little lettuce shreds get everywhere. I also wish the Big Mac used the real onions like on the Quarter Pounder instead of the little dehydrated pellets like on the regular hamburger.


This review isn’t about the fries, but they were good. (Not as good as when they had beef fat in them, but they were fine.) I’m pleased the Big Mac still comes in a clamshell box so you can put your fries in the other side.

The Big Mac is a challenge to rate, because as I said, I don’t eat fast food burgers anymore. Nevertheless, that’s the fair arena in which to judge it, is it not? That I don’t eat a lot of fast food doesn’t mean there aren’t millions who do, and I certainly remember enough about when I did regularly as well to craft reasonable expectations. I’ll give it two ratings.

Given a typical town’s Fast Food Alley, if I were set on getting a burger, I don’t think this is what I would do with my $4.19. I think I would choose a Whopper or a Wendy’s burger over a Big Mac. Nevertheless, I think the Big Mac still gets points for originality. There are knockoffs out there now, but they all hew pretty closely to the progenitor. If you like the taste of a Big Mac, then get a Big Mac.

Oh, and you millennials? As you well know, none of this stuff is good for you. Furthermore, there are far more gustatorily satisfying ways to consume 550 calories and a similar amount of fat and sodium. If you’ve never tasted a Big Mac and have no particular drive to, my advice is to remain ignorant.

6/10 as a fast food item
2/10 as a life experience

 Posted by at 2:26 pm
Oct 202016

It rained for about 30 minutes in Research Park at lunchtime. It was kind of like a spring rain that stirs up a bunch of pollen, but this time it was just…dust. In related news, actual autumn looks likely to arrive tomorrow, and not a moment too soon. I had three $300+ electric bills this […]

 Posted by at 4:54 pm
Oct 132016

My friend Conni‘s daughter and son-in-law lost everything in Hurricane Matthew-related flooding. Please prayerfully consider whether you can help them. A whole bunch of little bits is a lot. Nathan doesn’t like sleeping with a window fan on a cool fall night. Did you ever hear of such strangeness? Bob Dylan won a Nobel prize […]

 Posted by at 8:38 pm

BoWilliams.com is using WP-Gravatar