31 August 2007

Barley's Ale House

Brew pubs offer you a choice. Instead of drinking one mass produced Continental pilsner, in a brew pub you have options ranging from pale ales to porters to weizens, and even additional seasonal options that pop up from time to time. Barley's is a brew pub that offers you that kind of choice in addition to choosing which Barley's outpost to drink and dine in.

Barley's has two locations. I went to the Ale House, which is a far more veggie-centric dining experience than the Smoke House, which offers barbecued animals of all shapes and sizes. Both establishments have vegetarian options--the Ale House just has many more options for the choosiest of veggie diners.

Both locations brew some of Columbus' finest beers. The Spark of the Divine Barley Wine was the newest seasonal beer. At 10 percent alcohol, the house limit was two barley wines per customer. Three of them might put a huge smile on your face if it were so allowed, as the beer offers a rich, sweet toffee midpalate and a lingering hint of clove on the finish that doesn't even begin to hint at the alcohol content contained within.

The pale ale is American in style, with a clean malt character followed by a fragrant hoppy bitterness. There are three year-round beers and approximately five other seasonal offerings at one time on the drink menu, which also includes domestic beer, a limited wine selection and a cadre of flavored martinis. Their beers were featured at Skipper's in Athens during Ohio Brew Week, and were covered by this blog in a previous post (hint: check the pictures).

I started off with the onion strings. The appetizer came in a basket and was a pile of breaded onions washed in the pale ale. This is great pub grub, but be warned--you will be carrying the aroma of onions around with you for days.

The main course was a veggie burger made from black beans, portabella mushrooms, rice, garlic and fresh vegetables. It was served with a choice of sides, and being a Polish lad, how could I say no to a couple of cheddar cheese and potato pierogis served with onions in brown butter? The pierogis are available as a happy hour appetizer for $5, and Polish carnivores can get their fill of kielbasa as well in the form of a dinner entree. It's like a little slice of Krakow near the hockey arena. (Well, it's nothing like Krakow or Warsaw. But the pierogi is delicious wherever it's served.)

There was one minor hiccup during the night. The appetizers were served a little too close to the main courses for my liking. Of course they were brought a little too early by the lovely Rebecca, a server who was very friendly, great to speak with and pretty enough to have dumped a pot of hot coffee on my lap without making me too upset. So I'll let her slide on this one. The rest of her service was attentive and prompt, making for a wonderful evening.

Brew pubs give you choices, from beer to food. Vegetarian diners can make the better choice in Columbus by picking Barley's Ale House. It should only take a sip of barley wine and a bite of pierogi to make it worth the trip. Enjoy the pictures in the Picasa link below.


Barley's Brewing on Urbanspoon

30 August 2007

NC Two A--Today!

It's back! College football is in the air, with LSU most likely wiping the floor with the overmatched Mississippi State tonight on national (cable) television. The fans are crazy. The predictions are in. One day after my complaints about the Big Ten network and cable television, my cable provider picked up the channel, which should give me all the fuel I need to watch OSU play its way into third place in the conference. The game is on. Let's play ball.

According to the Government Accountability Office (what a nice concept!), the surge has failed to meet 15 of the 18 benchmarks for success in Iraq set by Congress. In Chicago, Rex Grossman has failed to meet 16 out of the 18 benchmarks for success, suggesting that he will start and play through most of the season. You know what that means in Iraq.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has agreed to give up his military rank in order to remain in office while simultaneously allowing exiled Benazir Bhutto back into the country to run for prime minister. The U.S. government views the plan as the least of many potential evils. U.S. citizens are presently contemplating the possibility of exiling most of the White House and putting somebody from the military in charge at least until the next election. I'll keep you posted.

Texas, a state whose capital punishment totals are dwarfed only by large totalitarian nations, is trying to set a new low in cause for execution. This bastion of good ole boys has executed the mentally retarded and (potentially) the innocent. Now, Kenneth Foster is set for execution August 30. He didn't murder anybody, but rather was the getaway driver who knew nothing of the murder committed by another man who was greater than 80 feet from Foster's vehicle at the time of the robbery. Foster has used his time in prison to develop his craft as a spoken word artist. Meanwhile, a judge in California has suggested that the state needs to fast track more executions in order to make the system run more effectively.
Let's call him the CEO of Death, Inc. Across the pond in the European Union, people are looking at us now with the same disdain with which the Romans viewed the Barbarians.

In music news, a Viennese pathologist is working on determining whether lead poisoning by his doctor contributed to the death of Ludwig van Beethoven. In my opinion, the genius composer probably visualized how his craft would be thrown to the dogs when nincompoops like Fall Out Boy and Fergie became the famous composers of the day, and then Ludwig choked on his own vomit.

Speaking of musicians vomiting, clinically brain dead guitarist Keith Richards is outraged at negative reviews of a Stones show he had translated from Swedish papers. The reviews called him "Superdrunk," and "a bit confused." Richards probably cried himself to sleep inside a giant bottle of Absolut.

29 August 2007

Hey Ladies! Meet Larry.

Today's news starts with the obvious conclusion that poor Senator Larry Craig is not gay. Just listen to the man. He said he is a conservative straight man, no matter what the police found him doing in a men's restroom. Or who he offered to do it to. Or on. Or with. Nothing helps your image as a heterosexual stallion than trolling in the men's room, Larry. That guilty plea won't help your cause either.

The vultures are circling around the carcass of the Attorney General's office, and many are offering up lists of potential candidates before they get to make their flyby in Congress. The purported front runner is Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff. If anybody is keeping score, Congress might want to call Chertoff to task for lying about his knowledge of torture at Gitmo. If Bush is looking to slip somebody past Capitol Hill, I would recommend nominating famous prosecutor Jack McCoy. He has great credentials, plus he served under Fred Thompson, so he'd tow the party line.

The New York Times finds that, despite their promises, the U.S. has been slow to accept Iraqi refugees displaced by war. Hopefully President Foresight can lend some assistance with the extra $50 billion he's asking the taxpayers to fork over to continue the effort in Iraq. He'd at least be helping somebody.

Ending on a depressing note, the census report identifies nearly 50 million people who are going without health insurance in the United States. This is turning into the hot button topic that candidates will not be able to dodge, the gorilla in the room that is the imperfect American medical system. Relying on private business to tow the line is one step. Making sure that everybody is guaranteed health care no matter their birthright is the next step. Here's to hoping our medical future is less sick than our medical present.

28 August 2007

It Was Nice To Have Known You

Finally, they got rid of the bad guy. No, I'm not talking about Michael Vick, although even that speedster couldn't outrun his dogfighting charges. Vick should be congratulated on finding Jesus, albeit after he mistreated and potentially killed a cadre of God's creatures he was entrusted to protect. No, the bad guy in question here is Alberto Gonzales, who finally offered his resignation after much heel dragging ensued. The case against Gonzales was strong. It's a shame that he and Vick won't get an opportunity to be roommates in the Federal Pen.

The American quest to find leadership in Iraq may be taking a turn down familiar streets soon, with former failed leader Iyad Allawi campaigning in Washington to take over for the current failure in leadership Nouri al-Maliki. Most Americans at this point are doing the same, contemplating the possibility of putting former failure Jimmy Carter back in office to stop the bleeding before President Bush II REALLY gets a chance to screw something up.

On the other front in the war on terror, the Taliban has harvested a record crop of opium, making the group the only religious order consisting of equal parts Tony Montana and James Dobson.

The death toll in Greece continues to rise after the county's battle with wildfires, once again illustrating the imminent danger of saganaki.

The battle between sports loyalties and corporate muscle flexing continues to fester with the Big Ten Network and most cable companies "worlds apart" in reaching an agreement that would allow Ohio State fans the pleasure of watching their football team crush powerhouse programs like Youngstown State and Akron on cable television. The quandary could spill over into basketball season as well. Luckily for me, my college football teams are Otterbein, who I will be able to watch on the local cable network as they get throttled by Mount Union 118-6, and Ohio University, who spent most of last season playing on Court TV, meaning that it sucks to be you, Big Ten fans.

Also in sports news, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was cited for crashing his $400,000 Lamborghini on the highway and abandoning it there. Good thing he signed that franchised player contract, because I'm sure that the lease office might be more than a little upset receiving their high-performance automobile back in pieces.

Finally, news of the weird crosses the war on drugs in Mexico, where one of the most important pieces in the country's battle with drug smugglers has been replaced by a mutt. Rex IV, the Tim Duncan of drug sniffing dogs, was kidnapped while being shipped off to a mission, and replaced by a mixed breed puppy. I have no idea what happened to poor Rexy, but if I had to guess, I'd say somebody borrowed him to perform some additional evidence searches at Owen Wilson's pad. Don't quote me on that, however.

27 August 2007

Mad Mex

Vegetarian diners looking for an experience that resembles their last peyote trip should head over to the South Campus Gateway and check out Mad Mex. If they dig deep enough, they'll leave full of enough Nuevo Latino cuisine and strong drinks to make them think that they had come all the way through the looking glass (and I mean that in the best way possible. Please read on.).

The slogan on the back of the shirts is, "It isn't the size of the burrito; it's the strength of the margarita," and that statement is no lie. The Mexican libation comes in many shapes, sizes and flavors. It is available on the rocks or straight up with a selection of tequilas unparalleled in the Columbus area. The top of the line margarita is made with El Tesoro de Don Felipe, the crown jewel of aged tequila, and the VIP has an anejo Don Julio floated in a lime boat atop a Don Julio Silver margarita.

Mad Mex also offers a seasonal selection of about 20 micro brews on draft alongside an array of international and domestic bottled selections. The Great Lakes Octoberfest and Stone Arrogant Bastard drafts were delicious.

The Pickadippa appetizer offers a choice of three dips with chips. The cheese dip is very good, with a lingering spice. The habanero salsa is sweet upfront, with a tropical pineapple note followed by a blazing finish. The fire roasted tomato chipotle is milder and faintly smoky. The guacamole is pleasant, with big chunks of avocado smoothed out by onions and radishes with a citrus tang that makes you smile. The pepita hummus, made from toasted pumpkin seeds, is very herbal and markedly different from the stuff you pick up at the corner Middle Eastern eatery. The pico de gallo was the worst of the bunch, featuring a soggy mass of tomatoes and a noticeable lack of onions and jalepeno.

The main courses offer a range of burritos, enchiladas, tacos and other options to keep all makes and models of vegetarians happy. They also offer carnivorous selections, but I'm not here to write about that. Instead, I sampled a 3 cheese 3 pepper enchilada made from jack, cream and goat cheese spiced up by jalepeno, Anaheim and red bell peppers. The creamy goat cheese tempers the spicy peppers, and the rice and beans on the side are better than the main courses you can get at the other cookie cutter Mexican eateries that dot the landscape of Columbus.

Mad Mex's menu includes the Angry Hippie Burrito and the Veggie Burrito alongside other international creations that are clearly marked vegetarian by the Mad Mex logo, and special requests are easily and successfully executed.

You can enjoy the Mad Mex experience inside, outside, or at the bar, and they serve food very late. The bar also shows sports most nights with a random selection of other programming. You can enjoy the pictures of the food, drinks and psychedelic artwork in the Picasa link below.

Mad Mex

21 August 2007

Are You Ready for Some Football?

And with the first pick in the 2007 draft, the United States penal system selects Michael Vick, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. Here's hoping your cell mate isn't carrying a rape stand, Mike.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee is calling for the ouster of the "democratically" elected President of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki. It's a shame that American citizens don't have the option of picking new elected officials because the last batch of elected officials is ineffective and unnecessary.

The ineffective and unnecessary leadership at the White House is making a stand against health care for children of the middle class without insurance. Their logic is that if these kids die off young while their parents also die off from old age, nobody will be left to be critical of the shambles that are the Bush legacy.

The Democratic majority in Congress has given birth to a 33 percent increased budget meant to battle global warming. It's about time somebody in this country spent money on something that will actually do ME some good in the future. Bravo to their selflessness (and a hurrah for my selfishness).

If you think the U.S. has trouble in our coal mines, maybe you should try China on for size. Relatives of the 172 miners trapped in a flooded mine protested the government's inactivity related to their loved ones. China's relationship with good press is about as longstanding as Michael Vick's, suggesting that China may want to just shoot all journalists dead before the press corps tears China to shreds at its own Olympics.

Finally, sports and news of the weird intersect at the story of a 59-year-old senior football player at Sul Ross University in Texas waiting to hear if he made the squad 35 years after his junior year. I don't know what Mike Flynt thinks he's doing, but if he makes that roster, he may inspire Barry Bonds to be the designated hitter for the Angels until 2050. Boo that idea!

20 August 2007

The Not So Lazy Days of Summer

For all of the people who regularly read my columns (both of you), I apologize for my laziness making me unable to post anything in this blog. The not-so-lazy days of summer sees me slaving away at my thesis and getting prepped to begin my tenure as a Web Producer at the Columbus Dispatch. As soon as I get a free minute, my wrenching sardonicism will shine once again.

15 August 2007

A Little Duct Tape Will Fix Imus' Career

He's back! Don Imus, the racist windbag with a face ready made for radio, settled his wrongful termination suit with CBS, and is expected to return to terrestrial radio very soon. One of the Rutgers women's basketball players insulted by Imus has filed a defamation law suit against the Human Race Riot, complicating Imus' return to radio. Radio has gotten so bad at this juncture that Imus and his ugly mug actually look good on a broadcast billboard.

Four truck bombs exploded in the Kurdish region of Iraq, killing at least 250 people and injuring 350. This is obviously another installment in the continuing success story of the American involvement in Iraq.

The Axis of Evil is expanding now that the U.S. has designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Like Bush said, "If you aren't with us, you're against us." It seems like less and less of the Middle East is with us.

Furthering the fruitless war on terror, the U.S. has expanded the use of satellites for the purpose of domestic espionage. With all of these new tools at their disposal, you'd think Congress would finally be able to crack Alberto Gonzales' wall of secrecy.

China does more every day to improve their commitment to quality with Mattel recently recalling millions of Chinese made toys that contained toxic chemicals. Made in China apparently is to quality what Made in a Sweatshop is to business ethics.

The mainstream media is giving plenty of reports about trying to save the miners in Utah, but they are ignoring the 324 safety violations in the mine since 2004 according to the Huffington Post. Introduce a bunch of reporters to shiny new technology and even they can't focus on the issue at hand!

Everybody was all over Obama for threatening military intervention in Pakistan if Al Qaeda was not being dealt with effectively by the Islamic nation, but why is nobody talking about Hillary's plan to nuke Osama Bin Laden? Perhaps they'd like an aggressive slogan to mark their campaign ambitions. The Democratic Party 2008--Don't Call Us Weak or Trigger Shy.

Baseball news abounded over the past 24 hours, with Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto dying, Baseball Prospectus determining that Barry Bonds couldn't hold Babe Ruth's jock strap and Atlanta manager Bobby Cox setting the all-time record for ejections. All of this excitement will keep me from acknowledging the Cubs pathetic reign in second place in the NL Central.

Finally, authorities in Kentucky have apprehended the dreaded Duct Tape Bandit, a criminal who covered his face in tape to conceal his identity while he robbed stores. It's a little late now, but I'm sure removing a ski mask from your face is far less painful than removing a thick layer of duct tape from your mug. Just ask your future cell mate. He should be able to give you some friendly advice (amongst other things).

13 August 2007

The Final Answer Is...

Jack of All Trades Merv Griffin, the former talk show host who created "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune," died of prostate cancer Sunday. Griffin was so multi-talented, he even composed the Final Answer Jeopardy theme, a move that should no doubt allow him to live on forever in movie scenes where some dummy has to figure out something that is bleeding obvious in a drawn out, low comedy sequence.

The big news for the day centers around the resignation of Karl Rove, the White House linchpin. The Huffington Post blog criticized the excuse of "family reasons" for Rove's departure. Rove is giving Michael Vick ideas for how to put a public relations spin on his latest batch of trouble...family problems.

A humongous rally in Jakarta culminated with group calling for the resurrection of the Muslim caliphate, in essence creating a global Islamic state. Hopefully they have a plan for the faith's willful aversion to science and the seeming inability for Sunnis and Shi'a factions to get along in Iraq. Slate views Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq as branches of the same bank, meaning there is one less hurdle to clear for the reactionary religion to turn the clock back to the year 800.

A report in the Christian Science Monitor reports on the defense attorneys for Jose Padilla accusing the terror investigators of causing the defendant's mental illness through their harsh interrogation and confinement techniques. Prosecutors are countering by calling Padilla's injuries fake, much like wounds sustained by Pacman Jones on TNA wrestling Sunday night.

Finally, if torturing prisoners doesn't upset the American people enough, perhaps the Congressionally-approved ability to secretly spy on Americans will get people up in arms. Most people haven't been tortured in a secret jail in Poland or Romania...but they have experienced that nagging, Big Brother feeling of being slowly choked of their individual liberties. Keep track, because many of the people running for election next term are responsible for passing this legislation. Payback can be a bi-yotch.

11 August 2007

Effortlessly Unbeatable

Go ahead, Tiger Woods. You just had to prove once again that you were better than everybody else and ruin my dreams of the Golfing Beer Keg John Daly taking the major. Rooting against Tiger is like cheering against inevitability. Picking the field against Woods in a major is like putting your money on the Washington Generals. The field in professional golf typically plays like the Generals. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Those looking for somebody to blame over economic problems tied to the latest batch of Wall Street woes would have problems connecting the two based upon the decentralized lending hub that makes up the domestic mortgage system. Accordingly, Americans should do what they've always done and focus their efforts blaming the boogie man, gremlins or Saddam Hussein.

The White House is intensifying the pressure on the illegal immigration issue, using 26 measures that strengthen the laws already in place. It's about time in my opinion. If our government can't keep foreigners like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal out of America where they are stealing money from the honest native population, how else can we expect Andy Roddick to win a tennis major?

The NYTimes details a new highway in Israel that is segregated to keep Jews and Palestinians apart. There should be a similar proposal in the United States where the highway is partitioned to separate people who are driving on the highway from people who are using their cell phones, Blackberries and DVD players to connect to the world.

The Iraq War Czar Douglas Lute has a new plan for strengthening the forces in Iraq, and it's based upon an old, unpopular relic from past wars...the draft. The only people in this country that support a draft are the New York Knicks because having a few players shipped out to Iraq is the only way they could get rid of the dead weight that currently makes up their roster.

While the current Supreme Court has done everything in its power to crush Constitutional rights of ordinary citizens, the lower courts have done their damnedest to stick up for the little guy. It's about time somebody other than Ralph Nader and his reviews of the latest developments in microwave ovens supported the people of this country.

George Bush has been a President that deeply concerned about his historical legacy, and after all of the bad press that has been thrown his way, somebody has finally given credit where credit is due. The authoritarian president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe cites the policy of espionage used by the Bush administration as the basis and the defense for the newest tool in the dictator's bag of tricks. Both Bush and Mugabe have authority to secretly authorize wiretaps and email surveillance. Being a model for Mugabe does for your legacy what Michael Richards gets backing your credibility at an NAACP convention.

The news day concludes with a woman from Virginia who sold a chunk of her driveway with a smeared patch of sealant colored like the face of Jesus Christ on eBay for $1,800. This is only one of many examples of eBay generating big money for religious icons. The previous examples included spirituality in the form of Funyuns and grilled cheese. If anybody is interested, I just took a dump that is shaped like Goliath's head after David hit him with the rock, and you can bid on it in the comments section.

10 August 2007

Crown John Daley's Ass

I was hoping that I could lead off today with the story of John Daly on top of the pack at the PGA Championship, but trained doofus Scott Verplank had to shoot 4 under to take a one stroke lead over the neatly chiseled specimen pictured above (as of press time). Nothing screams athlete like the Hooter's logo stretched over your man breast. What was Daly's secret to success in the oppressive heat? He recommends caffeine, cigarettes and a training regimen that involves slot machine gambling. Everybody roots for Daly because he makes the common man believe that no matter how much drinking, smoking, eating and lounging we do, we might be good enough at something to be crowned champion.

The stock market is rapidly turning to mush, with the credit issues in the United States causing economic unrest in Europe. Sounds like it's time to invest in Matthew Lesko's free government money plan before your stock portfolio turns to worthless paper.

After an angry rebuke from Washington, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf canceled his plan to declare a state of emergency in his country. Maybe somebody should explain to them the lesson learned by most children at some point or another: pretending something isn't there doesn't make it go away.

Salon details the lengths it is possible for the executive office to go in espionage efforts after Congress allowed the secretive spying to continue. Maybe you aren't so paranoid, schizoid...they really ARE watching you.

Slate continues the bad press for America's mayor, going over Giuliani's shortsighted plan for health care that benefits the diabolical insurance industry more than the American people who don't own the Blue Cross/Blue Shield corporation. Bad press this election has correlated strongly with successful Republican fundraising, meaning that after this past week, Rudy should be in front by a county mile. Just check my columns for the past week. Giuliani fictionalizes his experience with terrorism. His daughter is voting for Obama. Fred Thompson is going to have to start calling Giuliani "Daddy Warbucks" if Right Said Fred doesn't start hitting Mariska Hargitay up for some campaign contributions soon.

Speaking of bad press, Google is trying out a new feature that will allow subjects of news reports to write a reply to the coverage. Hopefully the public relations minions from Barry Bonds and Alberto Gonzales' camps don't catch wind of these developments. The landslide of complaining could deluge the Web.

According to a recent study, increased cigarette taxes have decreased smoking. In other news, I drive less because gas is more expensive and I don't spend all day in strip clubs because I actually have to pay money to be there.

According to a recent survey by Mayor Daley, there are only 24 homeless people living in Downtown Chicago. Apparently the last time I was on Ohio Street, the entire homeless population asked me for money, or a few others enjoyed the opportunities available in the Loop and commuted on the train from Des Plaines.

In closing (and also related to Chicago), Coors is planning to continue the ad campaign that features stupid clips of football coaches talking with the Coors Light crew with material from former Cardinals coach Dennis Green and his famous meltdown.

Stupid Guy: Coach, we had a six pack of widemouth Coors Light cans in the cooler, but my buddies drank them all.

Coach Green: We had them on the hook, and we let them get away!

Stupid Guy 2: Is Coors Light the best beer of all time?

Coach Green: If you want to crown them, just crown their ass!


09 August 2007

Only in America

Only in America could somebody have the freedom to mope and complain daily on a blog like I do. Only in America could people be upset with the Home Run King. Only in America would the story of a has-been backup dancer filing for primary custody of his kids against a lunatic who shaves her head on a whim and cleans up dog poop with thousand dollar dresses be front page news. Only in America would the Katie Couric experiment continue to drag on. Only Al Qaeda would say that we don't live in the greatest country in the world!

Only in America would states sparsely populated with folksy rural types decide who the candidate for President will be. South Carolina, a folksy rural state with a population greater than Iowa and New Hampshire, has decided to usurp the two states that have guided the course of American politics for years by moving their primary up to January 19. This in turn will force the little states that could to move their primaries up, possibly into the end of the year before the election, in order to make politicians pretend that they really care about Iowa and New Hampshire. Iowa is less representative of America than Michael Vick is of dog owners, but whatever works for the political parties works out for America (for better or worse).

Only in America could a political party have its cake and eat it too. Congressional Democrats want to have Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' head on a platter served on a bed of rice pilaf, and to show him how badly they want him crushed, they offered him...expanded oversight over the warrantless wiretapping program? If Gonzales keeps screwing up, the Democrats might arrange to have Rachel Specter blow Gonzo for all his incompetent work.

Only in America would people rally behind a candidate whose claim to fame is dealing with terrorism, and only in America would that candidate completely fabricate those credentials, strolling by unchecked. Rudy Giuliani, America's mayor, keeps towing his campaign line in the run to the White House, and if somebody doesn't call his bullshit in the early stages, I'm sure his opponents on the other side will be more than happy to exploit his shortcomings come election time.

Only in America could a kid from the South Side of Chicago rise like a phoenix from the ashes and sit atop the Billboard charts. Common is number 1 on the charts for the first time in his career. The calls of the death of hip hop might have been a bit premature, reflecting consumers' distaste for tired, recycled garbage (is anybody out there, Shop Boyz?) and a need for the cerebral stylings of one Lonnie Rashied Lynn (a.k.a. Common) amongst others. Hip hop's success has even spilled over to France, where the hip hop verses of kebab vendor Lil'Maaz have taken the country by storm. Finally, America and France are together again, even if it is only in a superficial, bass driven linkage.

Finally, only in America would a corporate sponsored Web cast censor the political content of its headliner. Pearl Jam is up in arms about its anti-Bush lyrics being cut from the AT&T broadcast of the Lollapalooza concert in Chicago (also promoted by this blog). If I was in charge of oversight of the derivative, overrated Pearl Jam live experience, I would have censored everything BUT the part where Eddie Vedder sang, "George Bush, leave this world alone." Take it or leave it, Ed.

08 August 2007

756 and Counting

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to present to you the new Sultan of Swat, the alleged greatest home run hitter of all time, Barry Lamar Bonds. Home run number 756 is sure to draw the ire of sportswriters everywhere. Whatever happens down the line, I hope somebody puts an asterisk next to Bud Selig's tenure as commissioner of baseball.

Temperatures are up across the board in the U.S. lately. Temperatures for the PGA Championship will be greater than 100 degrees everyday of the tournament. My advice is stay inside unless you are trying to win a competitive prfessional golf tournament, and if your name is Rory Sabatini, stay inside anyway.

In Iraq, the sectarian violence will continue to get worse if the Americans stay or if they go predicts former New York Times Middle East bureau chief Chris Hedges. About the only good news in Iraq is that the U.S. has put in a request to receive military assistance from the United Nations. Hopefully the U.N. gets there before things get much worse.

On the other front of the ever-failing war on terror, the Taliban staged an unsuccessful attack on a U.S. army base in Afghanistan. Stress like this could only drive soldiers to do hard drugs...like the cheap, easily available heroin in Afghanistan. This gives the phrase "War on Drugs" a whole new meaning.

On another front of the ever-failing war on drugs, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has asked for aid to fight the powerful drug cartels in his country. Bush promised financial support as well as the tenacious cooperation of the well-armed Ted Nugent and the deeply-indebted Wesley Snipes.

The six miners trapped underground in Utah may have to stay there for a week because of seismic activity and dangerous conditions. I'm curious as to what kind of conditions can be more dangerous than being trapped underground for a week in a coal mine.

North Korea and South Korea will hold a joint summit, bringing the two nations together for the second time in seven years. This could be the most anticipated reunion of the year save for the anticipation of Axl Rose for a future paycheck with a full band Guns N Roses reunion.

Federal authorities are also expected to announce a major crackdown on illegal hiring in the United Staes. They could also try investigating the formerly illegal warrantless wiretapping program and its illegal henchman Alberto Gonzales while they're at it.

07 August 2007

I Vote for Giuliani's Daughter

It has been difficult for Rudy Giuliani to win support, be it from his Republican base or even from those looking to cling to his 9/11 hero image. Now, you can count his 17 year old daughter Caroline amongst those who are voting for Barack. According to her Facebook profile, the incoming Harvard freshman was a member of an Obama support group on the social networking site. If you can't win an election held by your own family, Rudolph, how can we expect you to win a Republican nomination, much less a Presidential election?

British troops are withdrawing from Basra in Iraq, and following soon behind is sectarian bedlam. Then again, it isn't like life on the ground in Basra was all cookies and candy before the redcoats left, and it isn't improving, so make sure to get while the getting is good.

Press freedom organizations are crying foul based upon China's empty promises to allow unfettered access for foreign journalists during next year's Olympics. If they wanted press freedom, perhaps they should have spent more time detailing China's human rights records before the bid was accepted in order to have the Olympics elsewhere. At this point, all we can do is report that this time, LeBron James will put the smack down on their newly married bean-pole of a superstar Yao Ming. Tell Beijing to censor that!

Europe doesn't quite support the U.S. plan of firearms to Israel and Saudi Arabia as diplomacy in the Middle East. Obviously the European Union has never read the United States' holy book, the Constitution, and it's most holy chapter, the Second Amendment. If spreading democracy doesn't work, at least we can give the Middle East more guns, because much like New Jersey, the region would be safer if more people were armed. It's a slam dunk when you consider our success at keeping track of the weaponry when we send it there.

There is a great new feature on the Huffington Post that is a database that allows you to search through the records of individual donations to the coming Presidential election. This tool will allow you to ascertain whether young Caroline Giuliani's allowance money will be going to the Obama '08 campaign.

CMJ ran a feature on hosting sites on the Web that allow for music piracy by bypassing the traditional peer-to-peer and torrent routes of music distribution, making them part of the fabric of the Web. If the music business continues like this, the only thing left for the industry to do will be to (gasp) focus on the quality of their recorded product and work on putting together kick-ass live shows. Imagine the horror!

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-owner of a large wine store in New Jersey, is trying to take the arrogance out of wine drinking, and he's reaching curious consumers through his lighthearted streaming videos on the Web. Leave it to new media to create a forum where the curious don't need to know the definitions of the words brettanomyces and trichloroanisol in order to appreciate fermented grape juice. Bravo!

Every year, the loopy news wire reports on the winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest at San Diego State, a contest where the winner tries to pen the worst opening line to a work of fiction possible. This year's winner began thusly:
"Gerald began -- but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them 'permanently' meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash -- to pee." Is it even possible for me to pen a joke funnier than that piece of prose?

Finally, dog owners upset with the Michael Vick dogfighting case but unable to take their frustrations out on the nimble quarterback may have a new recourse. The Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy is available online for animal rights activists, humorists and Falcons fans everywhere.

06 August 2007

Tom Glavine is a Pacman of Victories

If you haven't gotten your fill of the Pacman, you can get your Adam Jones in the squared circle on Total Non-stop Action wrestling. The troubled football player is banned from the NFL for a year, and he has to keep the entourage thriving somehow, so he signed a contract with a minor league professional wrestling show on Spike. I'm curious if there is going to be a finishing move called the Pacman Powerbomb and why Maurice Clarett couldn't have gone into work in professional wrestling like Pacman rather than turn to a life of crime.

Bush signed into law the wiretapping program he has been operating unchecked since 9/11. The $60,000 question is, "Is anybody going to do anything about the illegal surveillance they were performing before the law was signed?" Judging from the things this administration has gotten away with thus far, you probably know the answer to that one.

There are 190,000 AK-47s and pistols provided by the United States in Iraq that are missing or unaccounted for according to a report in the Washington Post. This stockpile makes up 30 percent of the guns which were meant for security forces but undoubtedly were used to kill American soldiers or cause some other kind of American-funded domestic disturbance in Iraq. More guns are bad news for troops, who the defense secretary Robert Gates predicted would continue to be in Iraq for some time. The rosiest story coming out of Iraq today is the tale of the death of the jerk-off who blew up the Samarra mosque, proving at least one group is using American weapons against the correct people.

The L.A. Times details the contentious relationship between the parties in Congress, a relationship which should only continue to fester when the members return from summer break. I'm always in to watch a bunch of windbags battle it out for agenda setting authority.

Russia is flaunting the finders/keepers techniques of the ancient explorers, planting a flag on the floor of the ocean in an area they believe holds oil reserves. If that's how they're playing, I'm bringing my flags and claiming Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova before Russia gets a chance to claim them in the name of the Kremlin.

NASA makes it a point to maintain cleanliness to the point of obsession in order to prevent introducing harmful organisms to the environment on Earth and Mars. Now they just have to quit drinking before the missions or even use some of the booze as a disinfectant in order to make it look like they really care about safety.

The South African wine industry is beginning to shake off the shackles of Apartheid's legacy by including black winemakers into their business. In my opinion, however, whether it is made by red or yellow, black or white, Pinotage wines still taste like ass.

The biggest sports news of the day was Tom Glavine notching his 300th win against my Cubbies at Wrigley Field. The two side stories included the return of Kerry Wood, a pitcher who, if suspended in a formaldehyde solution and affixed with a bionic arm, would achieve his 300th victory in the year 3007. The other story was that Alfonso Soriano, the spark for the Cub offense, will be out two to four weeks with a quad strain, proving that only the Cubs could harvest a depressing story out of a 300th win.

03 August 2007

Moving Day

Tomorrow is moving day, so there will be a one day posting break while I haul my furniture and personal possessions a few counties northwest. For all seven of you that read my postings, I'll be dripping sarcasm again starting Sunday.

It's Beautiful, but Is It Art?

Gaze in awe at the grace and beauty that was the Chicago area's most controversial piece of public art. The Spindle is no more. Berwyn residents had difficulty finding a permanent home for the display that some call an eyesore while others describe it as an ironic piece of pop culture that makes a statement about the region. However they call it, it's definitely American.

Congress finally passed legislation that will tighten up the leash on lobbyists. Now, crooked politicians will have to buy their own dinner, gifts and travel arrangements for their next trek into bed with special interests. Way to keep it on the up and up, Congress.

An unnamed federal judge declared in a classified ruling that the White House policy on warrantless wiretappings is, in fact, illegal. This explains why Bush was pressing to backdoor the policy through Congress, and also explains the reason why Congress balked at extending the plan. This may be the most crushing blow to Bush's spirit, able to be eclipsed only by the moment when Cheney has to explain to W that there is no Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.

If you thought that the CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential debate was the latest evidence of a new media future political landscape, think again. Slate, The Huffington Post and Yahoo are putting together an online campaign forum they are calling a Presidential mashup. Eight candidates will debate online, and I'm guessing Barack Obama will win the online debate based upon his massive MySpace credibility and his staff's ability to type in "lol" after everything posted by Gravel and Kucinich.

Media ethics are the story of the day in Los Angeles, where newscaster Mirthala Salinas was suspended without pay for two months after it was revealed that she was having a relationship with Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of L.A. who was one of the politicians she covered. The move was damaging to the credibility of KVEA-TV's news department and very good for Villaraigos'a quest to be named this year's Scott Baio award winner in American politics.

The editor of an Oakland weekly newspaper was shot as he walked to work in a move that police are calling a contract killing. If I had one guess as to whodunnit, I'd put my money on Raiders coach Lane Kiffin snuffing the newspaper man out for saying with or without JaMarcus Russell, the Raiders would be lucky to go 6-10 in the Mountain West Conference.

The organization responsible for regulating IP addresses is warning that the finite resource that allows people to connect to the internet is running out, and a new system will need to be developed in order to increase the growth of the Web. This may be a crushing blow to the constantly connected culture and great news to everybody who gets cut off driving on the highway by some maniac browsing their email on a Blackberry.

The University of Texas is doing their best to become the Ohio University of the 2007 NCAA Football season after freshman defensive tackle Andre Jones became the second player arrested in connection with an aggravated robbery and the fifth player arrested in the last two months. Obviously there is something other than steers and queers in Texas, and that something is felonious football thugs.

If you didn't get your tickets to see the mega-music event Lollapalooza in Chicago, you can always enjoy it being streamed to you live on your computer for free. You can also feel free to completely ignore Slightly Stoopid like you would if you were actually at the concert.

Finally, the most bizarre story of the day had to be the story about a man in Germany who was killed and eaten by his collection of pet spiders and lizards. If that story doesn't give you arachnophobia, probably nothing will.

02 August 2007

Bridging the Gap to Insanity

The U.S. news box leads with the tragic story of the Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed four and injured 79. The NY Times offers a startling slide show that displays the images, including the photograph above. This event is tragic, not only for residents of Minnesota, but also for Twins pitcher Johan Santana, who is probably going to need to find another route that will get him out of the Twin Cities.

The Sunni cabinet bloc got up and left the Iraqi government in a move meant to display their displeasure with their limited role in the fledgling democratic government. It amazes me how the Sunnis in the government can just walk out of Iraq, but American politicians on both sides of the fence can't figure out how to get the troops out of the country.

In another part of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia may renew diplomatic negotiations with Israel, assuming Israel is willing to address the "big four" issues that have always derailed previous efforts. The sticking points always come back to a Palestinian state, reparations for the displaced and the West Bank. I'm not sure which has longer odds in Vegas--peace and harmony in the Middle East or my first-place Cubs winning the World Series.

Castro's newest essays hint that his time as the controversial president of Cuba may be over. This leads to the next logical question, which is, "Will the United States stop this stupid charade of the macho trade embargo against the island nation with brother Raul Castro in charge, or are we going to continue to make the citizens of Cuba suffer because we hate the last president?" Hopefully neither Cubans nor Americans will have to suffer based upon the international popularity of their last president.

The Education Department has been criticized for being willfully ignorant of the predatory larceny that is student loans. Tell me about it. I'm either going to need a winning lotto ticket or a side job as a fetish prostitute on the Web in order to pay my private school debt off.

Perhaps if we wanted to change the way education, medicine and politics work in the United States, Democratic Presidential long shot Mike Gravel's proposal for a fourth branch of government might do the trick. Gravel's new power structure basically involves a citizen legislative entity. The plan sounds great, but I think that Gary Coleman or Corey Feldman has a better chance of getting the Democratic nomination than Gravel does, so it will never happen.

A consumer filed a lawsuit against Apple for non-disclosure on the limited life and ridiculous cost ($86) of the batteries in their new trendy toy iPhone. The ridiculously expensive device has not been selling at quite the rate that was expected, and this lawsuit is just more bad news for this pile of hype. It looks like you're just going to have to go back to taping your iPod and your cell phone to your laptop in order to keep connected to the world.

Media news includes reports on professional bloggers being included in the proposed Federal Shield Law that recently passed muster in the House Judiciary committee. If the law passes, I will not have to identify the anonymous source who told me that Dick Cheney smells like a combination of formaldehyde, pickle loaf and cheap Russian cologne.

In conclusion, Slate combined sports news with news of the weird when they profiled Japanese singles hitter/nut case Ichiro Suzuki, a player who speaks to his dog and tells reporters about it. Ichiro refused to give reporters the name of his dog because the canine did not give the Mariner outfielder permission to give the press its name. When you look at the stories of Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Darren Daulton, David Wells, John Rocker and now Ichiro Suzuki, you begin to realize that the reason some people make so much money playing baseball is because they have to put up with kooks like Lee, Daulton, Wells, Rocker and Dr. Doolittle Suzuki.

01 August 2007

The Wall St. Journal is Fair and Balanced

The announcement finally came in today, and Rupert Murdoch is the new captain of the Wall Street Journal. Many have predicted that he will turn a respected daily newspaper into the Fox News Journal. Others believe that he will try to steal advertising from his media rivals including the New York Times, trying to beat them the old-fashioned way--through sharp business decision making. Whatever happens, I can't wait to see the first Bill O'Reilly column on Lindsay Lohan's latest brush with disaster.

Coming on the heels of Iraq and its feel-good story with the soccer team is the latest report that U.S. troop fatalities in the embattled nation are actually declining. In other words, the glass is half full. Unfortunately, the glass is half full of piss and vinegar, making it very hard to swallow.

26,000 troops
have finally been authorized by the U.N. to use force to protect civilians and aid workers in Sudan. Bush would pledge support, but he has to make up another member of the Axis of Evil and start a war with them before he can use the military for any truly useful purposes.

Mike McConnell, a chief intelligence official with the National Security Agency, discussed a series of unapproved moves made by the White House after they were granted approval of a warrantless wiretapping/e-mail program of domestic espionage. The program has always been controversial, and these revelations will win the plan no new fans. There is actually more support in America to sack football, basketball, hockey, auto racing, poker and baseball, thereby making soccer the nation's favorite competitive endeavor.

The White House isn't winning supporters on many fronts, with an editorial in the Los Angeles Times calling George Bush out on his intent to veto a bill that would give medical insurance to 8 million uninsured children. Is it even possible that somebody would disdain public opinion so much that they would submarine medical care for helpless youth? I guess I just answered my own question.

The British are leaving! The British are leaving! The longest standing deployment of troops in the nation's history is leaving Northern Ireland. Whenever they withdraw their troops from Iraq, they'll be finished with all of the military campaigns that are currently irritating British citizens.

The Tour de Drugs is over, and what would the race be without every rider being thrown off tour before the newly-crowned winner is accused of a horrendous doping scandal? Doping expert
Werner Franke claims to have presented evidence to German authorities that the Tour winner Alberto Contador, umm, cheated. The Tour de France makes the Grateful Dead tour look like Sesame Street in terms of drug use.

Crazy stories today include security agents at airports being asked to look out for a new insidious terrorist threat--cheese. Certainly some cheese smells strong, but this seems like overkill on security and overprotection from dairy products.

You could also pair the cheese you are eating in the airport parking lot with a nice bottle of red wine, which is a leading source of the antioxidant resveratrol. While some research shows that the quantities of resveratrol in red wine are not large enough to confer real health benefits from regular consumption, others counter with the argument that resveratrol is but one of many healthy parts of the complex liquid that is wine. Science will have to sort out the details, but if somebody tells me that drinking Cote Rotie makes me healthier, I will believe them.

Finally, USA Today columnist Janet Kornblum put together an article about the cruel fallout of online haters. Shut the fuck up you dumb bitch before I put my size 10 shoe up your rumpus.
Note: This is a complete satire, performed for a cheap laugh. Besides, I wear a size 10 1/2 shoe.