May 312018
  • I’ve decided I’m going to cut out red meat entirely this summer and see what happens. I started Tuesday. I’ll end the Friday before Labor Day (presuming I want to end).
  • With a violent crime rate of 33.1 per 1,000—that’s 33.1 murders, rapes, robberies, and/or aggravated assaults per 1,000 people annually—the most dangerous city in the country is Anniston, Alabama, where I lived until I was 15 years old. That makes me sad.
  • Sears announced the imminent closing of 72 more stores today. Most are Sears, but a few are K mart. The full, traditional Sears store closest to the Huntsville area is in Gadsden.
  • Do you know where all of the GFI outlets in your house are? Check them all first before deciding you have a significant electrical problem.
  • It’s official: Madison is getting the Mobile minor league baseball team. There is a resort hotel planned, and it looks like quite a venue. I certainly hope the research that says we can support this is sound. It’s a big bite.
  • We’re excited about seeing Solo this weekend. There seems to be a little more grousing this time around, but I am undeterred. Too many people have gotten weird about Star Wars films. If you know exactly how it’s supposed to go and anything that deviates is heresy, then why even bother going?
  • The weather looks better this weekend than it has been, and positively delightful early next week if the forecast holds.
 Posted by at 3:30 pm
May 302018

Roseanne Barr was once “only” a stand-up comic—and she was a good one.

Alas, it seems being a good stand-up comic is a major risk factor for being, if you’ll pardon the insensitive expression, out of your damned mind. Sometimes it seems relatively innocuous. Frequently, it’s destructive. Roseanne is definitely in the latter category.

Recently you may have heard that she tweeted offensively, and ABC promptly canceled the revival of her popular sitcom. “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said.

This has brought out the worst in people, from all parts of the political spectrum and on all sorts of issues, real and imagined. However, as David French points out, the first mistake was ABC’s, in reviving the show at all. It has been established for quite some time now that Roseanne is a lunatic, trafficking in 9/11 conspiracy theories, ranting about the Jews running the world, and what-not. Presumably ABC had its eyes open when they brought her show back, and decided it would be lucrative enough to be worth the risk. How’d that work out?

As far as Roseanne the show goes, I was never a big fan, and I never saw the revival. So this development causes me no heartache, other than the swelling disgust I feel at absolutely everything being turned into a political cudgel.

I think I’m turning into one of the reasonable ones.

 Posted by at 11:47 pm
May 292018

I like to eat. It’s not hard to figure that out looking at me. I also like to write. I’ve had for just about exactly a quarter of my life.

So, restaurant reviews are a slam-dunk. Once in a while, I review them here. I review them regularly at Rocket City Mom, where I’ve done more than 40. RCM just put up my top 5 choices in the area. If you want a good place to eat, start there.

There is method to the madness—more than may be apparent from casual examination. For example, Rocket City Mom does not run negative reviews. If there is a minor ding during an otherwise positive experience then it will still run, but an overall subpar experience won’t show up at all. So, potentially, outings that begin as Rocket City Mom reviews may end as reviews. (Whether that has ever happened is left as an exercise for the reader.)

You can get all of my restaurant reviews—indeed, all of my reviews period—on this page. You’ll want to bookmark it. On such matters, you should trust a fat guy who can write.

 Posted by at 9:48 am
May 242018
  • Star Wars.
  • Frios has opened in Madison! I’ve only ever had one Frios treat so far, but it was memorable. Looking forward to having them close. Stan and Tina are taking over the world. Get on board now or get left behind.
  • I’m more than halfway through Safe now. I’m interested enough to follow it through and see how the season ends, but this is just an OK show. I find little art in the twists and turns. It plays like the audiovisual equivalent of a box with five false bottoms. The theme song is spectacular, though.
  • One of my semi-obscure favorite actors Joseph Campanella just died. (Click the link; you’ll recognize him.) RIP.
  • Super-pumped about the Indy 500 Sunday. The weather forecast is favorable, if not perfect. I’ll be pulling hardest for my man Tony Kanaan, but I would certainly be all right with Danica winning too. Sage Karam is also looking pretty interesting, posting the top speed for practice one day. Here’s a good article if you want some intel to bolster your viewing awareness. (And if you’re a racing fan but not following IndyCar, you’re missing the most competitive, most intense racing in the world. Sunday, 10 am CDT, ABC.)
  • I had a minor misstep at Kona Grill this week. I ordered yellowtail sashimi and received an artistically-plated situation of six pieces with jalapenos, greenery, and such. It was a whopping $14. Folks, I was expecting three or four pieces of raw fish, placed neatly but plainly on the plate, for $5-6. That’s what ordering “yellowtail sashimi” should yield.
  • Welcome to summer, my sons. Congratulations on your successes this school year. Your mom and I are very proud of you both!
 Posted by at 9:45 am
May 212018

“Every single year that we’re on Earth, you have huge tons of silt deposited by the Mississippi River, by the Amazon River, by the Nile, by every major river system — and for that matter, creek, all the way down to the smallest systems. And every time you have that soil or rock whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise. Because now you’ve got less space in those oceans because the bottom is moving up…All of that displaces the water which forces it to rise, does it not?” – U.S. Representative Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, May 16, 2018

There are many discussions to have about climate change, and there are many specific points on which reasonable and intelligent people can disagree. However, that ocean levels are rising is not a controversial assertion. Moreover, though there may be more than one way to consider what constitutes an alarming rate of sea level rise, as well as how we might best react, the causes are well understood.

“Soil or rock whatever it is” causing “less space in those oceans” is not one of them. To suggest that we could detect such an effect at all, much less that it would be a primary contributor to the current sea level rise, is to demonstrate significant ignorance of, most prominently, the sheer vastness of the ocean. (When did I take physical science? Eighth grade?)

Now I don’t expect my elected officials to know everything. In fact, strictly speaking, my ideal elected official doesn’t even have to be particularly smart. However, Brooks was asking a question at a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing, not chatting at the Waffle House. A responsible professional would be better prepared.

But even that is not his greatest error.

The worst thing Mo Brooks has done here is to insufficiently consider the Alabama factor. There is a widespread predisposition to cover Alabama in an unfavorable light anyway. It is singularly unhelpful for our congressman to be spitballin’ ’bout the crick washin’ rocks into the ocean and shoot, that right there is prob’ly why it’s risin’. Departing from what you know (and despite this attempt to mitigate the damage, that appeared to be exactly what he did at the hearing) on a large stage is perilous indeed, and absolutely no charity may be assumed.

Brooks had a mulligan of this nature already. That he still doesn’t know any better does not tell the story of a savvy politician.

 Posted by at 7:08 am
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