Feb 262018

When I was a tot, I thought getting mail was just about the coolest thing in the world. I guess probably most kids did. So anything that would get me mail–addressed to me, not “here, you can have this”–was a good thing.

I watched a lot of WANX and WTBS on weekday afternoons. (They were cable channel 8 and 9 respectively, and though they were nascent “superstations,” this was before that term was in widespread use, and they were still UHF channels 46 and 17 too). During The Brady Bunch, the Good Time Gang, and so forth, there were a lot of spots for something called the Consumer Information Catalog. “To get your free catalog, write to Consumer Information Catalog, Pueblo, Colorado, 81009.”

Well, I did. So I got my free catalog. It was full of government publications that you could order. You could get a brochure on saving energy around the house, or a booklet on nutritious and inexpensive meal planning, or what have you. There were hundreds of publications like this. And many of them were free!

So I got a lot of mail from the U.S. government. And at some point I figured out that I could request more than one catalog, so I said yeah, put me down for 100. Then I started getting heavy mailers at taxpayer expense. Good times. (Can’t remember what I ever did with my huge stacks of catalogs, but I’m sure it was needlessly wasteful.)

I idly wondered this weekend “I wonder what happens if you write to Consumer Information Catalog, Pueblo, Colorado, 81009 now?” Alas, a little research revealed that the Consumer Information Catalog is now discontinued. However, it lasted all the way to 2016. (I am simultaneously delighted and appalled that such a thing would last so far into the Web age.) So if I’d had that idle thought just a little earlier, I could have had a new one. Oh, well. Here’s the Web equivalent.

(In our next exciting episode of Children of the 1970s and the U.S. Mail, we’ll discuss the ease of alarming your mother with free copies of The Book of Mormon.)

 Posted by at 10:17 am
Feb 242018

Kiss is attempting to trademark the phrase “The End of the Road.” If successful, then only Kiss could use the phrase to describe a live musical performance. This has sparked speculation that Kiss will soon undertake a farewell tour.

But see, I already attended the farewell tour—on April 14, 2000. Sixth row center on the floor of the BJCC. Want to see my hat? I had turned 29 years old three days earlier. Lea and I had been married for less than three years. We didn’t have children yet. My mother was still alive.

This has all gotten so damned stupid it’s just barely believable.

While AC/DC and Van Halen compete mightily to see which legendary rock band will have the more undignified end, no one can touch the all-time champion Kiss. In addition to whatever “The End of the Road” might mean, Paul is again babbling about the band going on forever. So who knows what will happen? There are certainly no dignified outs left.

I said a heartfelt and genuine goodbye that spring night nearly 18 years ago. I said a considerably more jaded goodbye in 2014 in Nashville. And you know what? I’m still pleased that we got the boys their Kiss show.

But it’s way past time for Kiss to fall silent.

 Posted by at 7:29 pm
Feb 222018
  • I am so glad we had Billy Graham. I am so sad he has no heir apparent. RIP.
  • Earth and Stone has added craft sandwiches at both locations, beginning today! Now I’ve known these were coming for a while, being a prominent local influencer and insider and all, but I’m so excited they’re finally here. Expect a post soon.
  • If I make just a little effort (example: if I park as far from the door as I can at work, that’s another 660 steps), then it’s now pretty effortless for me to get my 10,000 daily. I may increase my daily goal, which would really be unheard of. As I type it’s 16 pounds since 1/1.
  • I can’t believe how many items I’ve seen about Jennifer Aniston’s separation. I mean, if I’m seeing it this often, then someone who cares about celebrity news is probably being snowed under. (I also can’t believe she’s 49 years old.)
  • Never been a hand sanitizer guy before. I’m a hand sanitizer guy now. I have some in my car. I have some on my desk. Will this habit survive flu season? I don’t know.
  • I have numerous pieces in the pipeline at Rocket City Mom. Make sure you keep up with what I do over there. (I mean, I know you have BoWilliams.com as your home page, but you should at least bookmark my page at RCM.)
  • Just two weeks and change to go until the 2018 IndyCar season starts. To say that the boys, particularly Aaron, and I are pumped is an understatement.
 Posted by at 3:37 pm
Feb 202018

I’ve done a pretty good job over the past few months getting rid of negative lifestyle behaviors and replacing them with positive ones. And the train may go flying off the rails in five minutes, tomorrow afternoon, or next week, but for now it’s chugging along pretty nicely.

One area that’s still not up to snuff, and that my wellness program has done a good job keeping in front of me, is my sleep pattern. Like many people, I don’t get enough regularly. And I’m not at all sure that the reasons I don’t get enough regularly survive rational analysis.

I’ve been self-aware enough not to complain too much about lacking time for the things I want to do, because I see how much time I waste—on social media, watching YouTube, and such. I’ve determined that there is a direct correlation between the time I spend doing that and my sleep deficit.

I hit the snooze bar because I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t get enough sleep because I don’t go to bed early enough. I don’t go to bed early enough because I’m wasting time with nonsense. See how that works? There are also, all too frequently, things I tell myself the night before that I’ll do in the morning that I then don’t have time for because I’ve snooze-barred it away.

So, it seems like eliminating the snooze bar and working backwards from there is a good approach. I’ve set my wake time and explicitly accounted for every minute of my morning routine. This includes a set window that may or may not contain time sufficient for a minor goof-off or two, depending on how much “real” I have to do.

Then, starting with a good estimate and adjusting accordingly, I will set my bedtime to ensure I have enough sleep to make my morning routine pleasant. (This is where I expect the major schedule adjustments to occur.) There’s something to be said for occasionally whiling away an hour on Facebook or watching videos, but it hardly warrants a regular time commitment. Family and writing time are far more important.

Get this sussed, and then on to tackling sodium in my diet. Onward!

 Posted by at 9:42 am
Feb 172018

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

The boys and I took in the Madison location of Ted’s Bar-B-Q, in the former Golden Rule location on Madison Boulevard, for a rainy Saturday lunch.

The restaurant is fast casual. Ted’s Signature Wings come one way, with no heat levels or flavors from which to choose. They got the nod for a #hsvhotwings stop after the person with whom I conversed on the Ted’s Facebook page convinced me to try them.

Ted’s Signature Wings. (Click for larger.)

Quality: 6/10. While not especially large, my three drums and three flats were lean, tender, and served at an ideal jump-right-in temperature. Unfortunately, the price costs them points on the quality score. Six wings, a side, and a drink are $11.76 (and I will say the slaw was fresh, obviously made in-house, and delicious). Or you can get just the wings for $8.71. Ordering 50 wings, the largest quantity listed on the menu, still only gets them down to $1.09 each.

Flavor: 8/10. Ted’s Signature Wings are tasty indeed. These wings are smoked, then fried, and consequently they have a marvelous woody flavor while still remaining quite juicy. The barbecue glaze is sweet and tangy, complementing the smokiness perfectly.

Heat: 1/10. There is no heat at all here, but then there is no heat advertised. I did try some of the Ted’s spicy barbecue sauce that was on the table, but there isn’t much kick there either.

Ted’s Signature Wings are delicious, and if you’re not a chilehead and find yourself here for lunch, they’re a good play. However, they’re a bit high. If you’re taking the whole office out for wings or buying them for a party, there are more economical choices.

 Posted by at 4:22 pm
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