Feb 272014

I went back to Madison Square Mall today.

I wouldn’t have thought it possible for the mall to decline significantly further since my last assessment without expiring altogether, but here it is.

Only six months ago, there were 32 vacancies in the mall. Today, I counted 47. Madison Square Mall is more than a third empty. In at least two locations outside the food court, there are three vacancies in a row. This one has a sign that says hey, keep walking and you’ll find actual stores!

msmc1Speaking of the food court, there are now exactly four functioning eateries there:  Sakkio Japan, Cajun Express, Greek Gyros, and China King. The Subway Lucy and I visited when she interviewed me for her article has perished:

msmc2When Sbarro bails, it’s grave indeed:

msmc3I had Sakkio for lunch. While I was waiting for my order, the free samples guy exchanged an absolutely untouched plate over the counter for a new one. I was sitting and eating when I got excited for him. Someone actually tried his offerings:

msmc4Then I chuckled when I saw him eating lunch somewhere else:

msmc5CBL, this is getting ridiculous. You have a property in good condition in a good location, and you’re starving it with lack of vision.

What are you going to do?

 Posted by at 8:45 pm
Feb 272014
  • “No, we’re not homosexual, but we are willing to learn.” Thanks for the substantial laughs and all you did to shape my beloved 1980s, Harold Ramis. RIP.
  • You know those crazy things you read sometimes about life expectancy in the Middle Ages, like it was 36 or something? That doesn’t mean a lot of people dropped dead in their mid- to late 30s. That’s much higher infant mortality skewing that number, more than anything else. Even the most conservative calculations agree that it was reasonable and expected for people to live into their 40s and 50s.
  • I’m thinking about writing blog posts about some things that are happening right now that I wouldn’t be able to publish for a long time—maybe several years. I’ve had stuff happen that I’d say “ooh, don’t blog about that,” but for which I never really had the drive to anyway. This time I think it’s good stuff. I’d just have to sit on it until maybe 2018 or so. It’s an odd place to be.
  • Jake E. Lee is back! Red Dragon Cartel came out last month. Looking for some new stuff to listen to, I bought it earlier this week. I’ve only just skimmed it so far, but I’m liking what I’m hearing.
  • I have decided. (I’m gonna live like a believer, turn my back on the deceiver…) Heh! I have decided for sure that for Lent, I shall be a lacto-ovo vegetarian.
  • I remember thinking it was the greatest thing in the world for our family to pile into the MG and go to Baskin-Robbins in north central Anniston. It hasn’t been a Baskin-Robbins in quite some time. I look every time I drive through.
  • Saintseester and I have been jamming a bit and have decided we’re getting (most of) the band back together. Stay tuned.
 Posted by at 12:28 am
Feb 252014

Nathan leaves the deck lights on. They’re useful when letting out or putting up the dogs, so that’s when he uses them.

More than once I’ve come home from work to find them blazing merrily away. If they’re on at 5:30 in the afternoon, that generally means they’ve been on since 6:00 that morning. They’re some of the last incandescents installed in the house too, so there’s that. I turn them off, admonish (with a periodic threat of receiving electric bill assistance from Nate’s piggy bank), and reset for next time.

I had the bright idea (ha) of installing LED bulbs out there. He’d still forget, but instead of costing $10 a month to run, they’d cost $20 a year.


So I did that two weekends ago, and you’ve guessed the next part of the story. Now he doesn’t forget anymore. Every evening I come home and peek out expectantly, hoping my kid has validated my decision by screwing up. Every evening, they’re off. He hasn’t forgotten a single time since I swapped those bulbs out.

Yes, I’m glad he’s learned. But it’s going to take forever to recover the cost of these bulbs now.

 Posted by at 7:45 am
Feb 242014

January 21, 8:04 am
First Cabinet meeting of President Bo Williams
White House gymnasium

pressealThank you for being here with me today.

Yes, the gymnasium is a bit of an odd location. I wanted to have this initial meeting on blankets on the White House lawn, but the weather has precluded that plan. Nevertheless, I believe we’ll be fine. With the folding chairs and the bagels and doughnuts arriving behind us, it’s a bit like a church social, isn’t it?

We are a larger group than can fit in any of the customary Cabinet meeting locations, because as you know, I’ve also invited the heads of all agencies under the control of the executive branch. I know this is an unusual request for an initial presidential staff meeting, and I appreciate you all accommodating it.

Know that I intend this to be an unusual presidency.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are all here, in one way or another, because many people have believed in us. Whether we have succeeded in political races, or on corporate boards, or in charitable organizations, or some combination, we have risen to this level because we have been trusted to act with integrity.

I want to trust each one of you to act with integrity in service of this greatest country in the world. Acting with integrity in the service of the United States is a profound responsibility, and one of the greatest earthly tasks any of us will ever undertake.

It is not, however, difficult to express what that means.

This is not my gymnasium. This is not my house. The White House belongs to all Americans. We are all blessed to sit in it today because enough of those Americans believe in us to lead. And despite numerous recent manifest abuses of the U.S. Constitution, most of us in this room can readily demonstrate constitutional sanction of the positions we hold.

You heard it in my campaign, and you’ll hear it from me again right now:  we are privileged to serve. The American people are our masters, not vice versa. Too many people, in too many of the positions we hold, have forgotten that recently.

This town has been too big for its britches for some time now. And I’m bringing humility and service back to it.

This is not a threat, but a promise:  You will help me in this pursuit, or you will go do something else outside my administration.

Everyone in this room is in charge of something. Everyone in this room has direct reports. Everyone in this room leads an organization.

By Friday noon, I want a mission statement from each of you, describing what your organization does. The mission statement is not to exceed 100 words. You may submit it in whatever format you like, but know that I must be able to read it on demand by Friday at 12:01 pm.

It would behoove you to consider what I’ve said about why we’re here when you compose these mission statements.

Failing to submit a 100-word mission statement by noon Friday is tendering your resignation, which this office accepts in advance.

I look forward to reading what you come up with. I look forward to standing with you, and you standing with me, as we regain the genuine trust of the American people.

Thank you.

 Posted by at 7:00 am
Feb 232014

Kiss will shortly be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, 16 years after becoming eligible. It should be a proud moment for the band and the Kiss Army; a celebration of 41 years (and counting!) of Kisstory.

So of course, they’re screwing it all up.

The original four members (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss) are to be inducted. So it seems clear that the original four members ought to swallow their differences for three minutes and give the world a “Rock ‘n’ Roll All Nite” at the ceremony. The social media scuttlebutt was that Paul Stanley was preventing that, and that the current lineup would instead play.

I have been a Kiss fan since I was five years old. I have been a fan for every instantiation of the band. Most of the band’s existence, it has not been the original four. The contributions of several others have kept the band alive. I get that.

Still, whether fair or not, neither Eric Carr (RIP), nor Vinnie Vincent, nor Mark St. John (RIP), nor Bruce Kulick, nor Eric Singer, nor Tommy Thayer is being inducted. Only Paul, Gene, Ace, and Peter are going in.

As the hard feelings are apparently insurmountable, Kiss has decided that the band will not play at all.

This is an absurd intended action for such a self-proclaimed fans’ band.

No Kiss fan is happy with everything the band has ever done. The band has known great highs and lows. It has acted with integrity one minute, and hypocrisy the next. The farewell tour ended 13 years ago, okay?

As iconic and unique as the band is, Kiss has managed to piss just about everyone off at one time or another.

It is sad and disappointing that for what is likely to be the largest remaining moment of attention in the band’s lifespan, it has chosen to piss everyone off.

Paul? Gene? Work this crap out. Kiss deserves it. The Kiss Army deserves it.

 Posted by at 2:02 pm
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