VA Tech shooting fallout: Ye wondrous gun control loopholes, keeping YOU safe! To his credit, our governor wants to close 'em, but I'm sure the NRA will have something to say about that. Also, I wish Americans took the random killings of Iraqis and other foreigners as hard as they've taken the random killing of American college students.
The General's Inner Frenchmen discusses how going out of your way to be mean to small-time drug offenders is counter-productive. Compassionate conservatism, hooray!
Teh sports: Bring back the cartoon bird, my distant-third-favorite MLB team!
And teh wAckY: Our friend Hodge, who now lives in London, swears this isn't him. But I wonder.
I haven't commented on the Virginia Tech shootings, because, really, what could I add? Sadly, though, this situation seems to have brought out the worst in some people, like those who couldn't wait for it to be about Arab terrorism, and those who want to second-guess everything (showing non-surprising double standards in the process), and especially those douchebags at the Corner who think the victims should have rushed the gunman like they were in an action movie.
And naturally this has revived gun control debate; I appreciate Tim Noah's take. I've seen Noah's column ridiculed on at least one conservative blog, but not actually taken on substantially. Does our gun control policy somehow show concern for the victims of gun violence? If so, how? Because the stats have a funny way of showing it. Or do we really care more about the right to bear arms? Like most liberal Dems, I've given up on the idea of banning handguns entirely, but there has to be room for some compromise, like banning the sales of hollow-point bullets or high-capacity magazines. You don't need those to "defend your home" or hunt deer.
Teh sports: Trent Reznor, Indians fan. Neal Pollack eats too many nachos at Dodger Stadium. Since my Wrigley trip in 2005, Chavez Ravine has become my #1 "stadium I've never been to," and now it's even more so.
Teh eats: Bourdain on the awfulness of the Food Network Awards, which I fortunately have avoided.
And teh wacky: Where can I get such cat paddles?
Kurt Vonnegut is up in heaven now, indeed.
Lastly, thanks to Joel for forwarding the all-important Beer Calculator. Though admittedly, I don't find this as useful now as I would have 15 years ago.
On Easter weekend, I came to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I didn't actually have any bubble gum.
Saturday night: roast leg of lamb with tomato vinaigrette, roasted potatoes, and carrots and asparagus with maple syrup. We've never been big lamb eaters, but I've made a couple of forays in the past year and quite enjoyed it. This one was very delicate and picked up the tomato dressing quite nicely. Add homemade bread brought by my mom, and this was one of the best meals I've put together in a long time.
Sunday morning brought the Eleventh Annual Easter Sunday Potluck Brunch. I broke with ten years of tradition and did NOT make pancakes... and nobody seemed to notice. Instead I made brown sugar-cranberry scones, which turned out quite nicely, but didn't get rave reviews by any means. There was so much food that I don't think anyone would miss it if I left the house carb dish out next year. I did of course serve Potatoes Dior (fried/roasted potatoes, skin on, with green onions, cilantro, and McCormick Montreal steak seasoning), and then there was the cheesecake.
All chocolate, all the time. It didn't slice up as pretty as I'd have liked, but it was mighty tasty. In fact, I'm gonna go have some now.
Back in the day, my nominee for a wacky-yet-rocking cover song was an old Sesame Street number known to me only as "Some Of Us Are Here." Sadly, when I tried to explain it to my bandmates, they had no idea what I was talking about. That was a shame, because I KNEW that "All of the monsters and all the shaggy ones and all the furry ones and all the hairy ones!", with maximum thrashing guitars behind, would frickin' rock.
That was years before YouTube.
I love the Internet a little more every day.
Not much to say this week. Credit card fees suck, anyone who says the British sailors shouldn't have acquiesced to stupid propaganda films is a freakin' idiot, and the mayor of Cincinnati can't throw a damn baseball. Happy Easter, everyone.
When I was in B-school, we did multiple case studies on Disney, and particularly on the theme parks. In the late 90's, it was already clear that Walt's vision was being kicked around in favor of minimizing expenses and maximizing profits. The case in point was the Winnie-the-Pooh ride. The one that opened in Disneyland Tokyo (which was minority-owned by the Disney corporation, and thus more open to risk-taking and expenses) featured self-guided, seemingly free-moving cars that used GPS technology to whisk riders around. The Pooh ride in Orlando was a re-make of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, featuring cars on a track, animatronics, and painted flats--technologies 25 years old. Mrs. Fool and I went to Orlando in 2000, and while we enjoyed ourselves, I was stunned at how many things hadn't changed a bit and seemed stale since I'd been there as a kid in the early 80's. Ol' Walt took your money and used it to build something bigger and better so you'd come back; these days, they take your money and slap it on the bottom line.
As for EPCOT, when my family went to Florida back in the day, EPCOT had just opened. I very much wanted to check it out, but my dad and my older brother were all "No! Magic Kingdom! Thrill rides! That sounds boring!" But on the last day of our park-hopper pass, they relented. When we came out at the end of they day, they openly lamented not having given it a chance the day before. Walt's positive spin on science, multi-culturalism, and the future still puzzles many, but both then and now (well, 7-years-ago-now) I enjoy its more thoughtful pace. Of course, these days they're trying to steer it to the "Thrill rides! Whooooo!" younger crowd, which is to EPCOT's detriment. This post on the nightly Illuminations event gets at what I'm talking about.
Baseball season is upon us at last, and for the first time in my life, I went to the game on the actual first day of the season (Sunday night's made-for-TV game notwithstanding). Much has been written elsewhere about that game, but to recap: sunny and upper 70s, beautiful day for a ballgame, then the Nats went out and laid a 9-2 egg. There were a lot of complaints about lines for hot dogs and such, but I had an easy fix for that: drink heavily at a parking lot tailgate, grab a sandwich on the way to the seats, then don't visit concessions again the entire game. No fuss no muss!
I've tried to be marginally upbeat about the team through the spring, but Tuesday night's debacle (which I also attended) made it difficult. One sportswriter famously suggested the Nats will lose 130 games, which would requiring winning only 32 games all season. To do this, the team would basically need to feature the worst pitching staff of all time AND the worst offense of all time. The offense, methinks, is not that bad. But after losing the first game 9-2, they lost the second 9-3, suggesting that in about eight days' time they would win a game 10-9.
The one game against the Marlins I did not attend was yesterday's, and that turned out to be the good one. Funny thing about baseball: even with a team this bad, and in an early-season game between teams likely to finish last and next-to-last in the division, a last at-bat win is something to celebrate. I followed the game on my computer, and when Young got the game-winning hit I wished I had someone to high-five.
I've sold a bunch of early-season games, so I won't be back at the park until May 13. Until then, go Nats! Try to win one out of every three!