Oct 312016

Do we need Halloween this year? Do we want to be scared for fun when we’re being scared for real so consistently? Heh.

My younger son made 2014 his last year to go, so I don’t have any trick-or-treaters at home anymore. (I’m thrilled, and more than a little surprised, that they actually got to have the entire experience pretty much like I did.) And I’m retired from answering the door. Nate’s a little under the weather and said he wanted to watch a scary movie tonight, so I’m thinking about what that might be. I’m between Halloween and Psycho right now.

I did wear an orange shirt and a watch with an orange dial today.

 Posted by at 10:45 am
Oct 282016

Do you remember it ever being this consistently warm this late in the year?

I’ve usually been able to wear an Alabama sweatshirt or two to work on a Friday by now. It’s two days from Halloween, and I’m wearing shorts and a Tacky Jacks T-shirt to my son’s Scholars Bowl competition this weekend. (I can remember getting mad at my mom because she’d make me wear a coat trick-or-treating, and I felt like it screwed up my costume.)

I’m ready for cold. I can sell soup, and chili, for dinner to my family much more easily when it’s cold out. I’m ready to know that I’m not turning the air conditioner on again for months, not days.

I cannot remember less autumn than this. It’s about to turn from late summer directly to winter.

 Posted by at 11:26 pm
Oct 272016
  • I see the apocalypse World Series is upon us, and it’s tied 1-1 so far. Just kind of have a feeling the Cubs and the Indians will go seven games, don’t you?
  • I’m making friends with Android. The only other time I used it daily, it was an early version with lowball hardware and an unpleasant experience. It’s much more robust and responsive this time around, though I still don’t care for how “sprawled out” the UI is. Presumably I’ll care less as I get it configured like I want it.
  • The washer needed a water inlet valve. Online prices for the genuine part ranged from $24 to $50. I installed an aftermarket one that feels every bit as robust as the failed part I removed, and it came to my house for $11.
  • I’m sure this is an independently-conceived activity that is not new, but my younger son and his friend play a game with Wikipedia. They come up with some target. Could be anything—Terry Bradshaw, pomegranates, Minneapolis, what have you. Then, click the random page link on the Wikipedia front page, and try to click to your target’s page. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great way for them to study for Scholars Bowl. (Blue Diamond, as in the almond people, took me about 15 minutes the other night.)
  • Didn’t Gary Larson write a Far Side about this? It seems a parrot may have exposed his owner’s marital indiscretions by repeating flirtations between him and the housekeeper. Adultery is illegal in Kuwait, so his wife went to the police, but they said the parrot could have heard that stuff on TV. No arrest.
  • Had to turn the damned air conditioner on before I left for work this morning. I can turn it off shortly after sunset and run window fans, but still. Can this please be the last warm weather this year?
  • Alabama is off this weekend. I guess Clemson-Florida State and Nebraska-Wisconsin are the games in which I’m most interested. No idea what to make of Georgia-Florida. That’ll be an interesting one to check out too.
 Posted by at 11:45 am
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 232016

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list.

village1Village Pizza, directly across East Limestone Road from East Limestone High School, is a long-time go-to for us for their excellent pizza. While over there for a game recently, I noticed wings on their sign.

Wings are listed in various sizes, with flavors including teriyaki, barbecue, and honey mustard, and the heat levels being their own flavors. The hottest appears to be Extra Hot on the online menu, but when my wife ordered them she was told Triple Extra Hot was the hottest. So, she brought home 12 Triple Extra Hot for $9.49 plus tax. I got six drums and six flats.


Quality: 5/10. These are priced competitively, the meat was of reasonable quality, and they were warm. However, there was considerable size disparity, with some pieces being more than twice the size of others. The meat was mushy, with little crispness.

Flavor: 7/10. Tasty munchies; well within tolerance for bar/football game/party food. There’s a basic buffalo wing scaffolding, a little bit on the salty side, with black pepper and garlic prominent.

Heat: 5/10. Village Pizza’s Triple Extra Hot wings hit like one of the high-revving Japanese cars of the ’80s: you get up to speed quickly, and it’s fun, but you’re not really going all that fast at the red line. Perhaps a bit of excitement here for a civilian palate, but a chilehead will be fine with a periodic sip of tea.

Village Pizza will continue to be one of our favorite locally-owned stops, as their pizza is among the best in the area. However, there is a little room for Village to raise its hot wings game.

 Posted by at 1:40 pm
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