Saturday, October 01, 2011

Death Metal Politician

If I lived in Poland, I'd vote for this guy, and I don't even like death metal.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Night

Gah, I hate working Friday nights. Nothing but part-timers who either don't know or don't care.

And there's always some silly complaint. Tonight it was about the ads in front of a new movie called Courageous. It's a Christian movie about firefighters, the kind of movie entire congregations go see en masse. (Hey, you don't have to tell me about the cinema being a semi-religious experience. I already know.)

Anyway, it's a PG-13 movie, probably for "intense action scenes" or "language." You know, firefighters falling through burning floors in slow motion, yelling "Shiiiiiit!" Nothing the youngsters couldn't handle.

But the ads? An OMG would be appropriate. They have those weird dudes from "The Big Bang Theory" trying to be funny. They're cracking jokes, promoting their show, and one of them says "bitches." Bitches! Can you believe that?

You can't say bitches in front of a PG-13 movie! You can show two tits, say one fuck, show hundreds of people dying (as long you don't show any blood), but bitches? That's drawing the line, man.

Better Late than Never

The Aurora Police killed another guy on Thursday.

And finally, the Chief is going to order everyone to go to "don't shoot people" training.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates has ordered every officer to attend safety and use of force training following the city's eighth officer-involved shooting of the year.
I do take issue with Oates on this though:
"In the letter, Oates noted a "disproportionately high number of officer-involved shootings" this year.

"These events have mirrored national trends," Oates said. "Officers across the nation have been threatened, shot at, wounded and murdered at higher rates than in the past.""
I suspect that if Chief Oates didn't pull that directly out of his ass, then he's quoting from The Journal of Made-Up Statistics.

The Aurora PD isn't the victim of some national surge of crime against cops. They're the victim of their own incompetence. That's why they're getting more training instead of better body armor.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Slices, It Dices...

Tonight I crossed something off my bucket list. I sat in the front row at a Gallagher show.

So what if it was latter day Gallagher. He brought his sledge-o-matic with him. I'll never look at soy milk and strawberry syrup the same.

And I took my picture with him.

Stripping the Mall

Yes, I'm reading Matt Yglesias this morning...

He ponders the fate of America's strip malls:
My assumption is that the broadband share will increase over time, and that getting broadband will make people shift on the margin away from physical retailing.
I'm not sure that assumption is correct as some goods are more suitable to "broadband" shopping than others. It might be better to say that this marginal shift will affect some physical retailers, leave others untouched, and may yet improve business for others as less-nimble larger retailers fold. (Local example: With both CompUSA and Circuit City out of the picture, Micro Center is doing gangbusters.)

But for the sake of argument, let's say the assumption holds:
So what’s going to take up that space? In urban locations, I expect we’ll see a lot of bars and restaurants insofar as local regulators are willing to hand out the liquor licenses. But IN the suburban malls where the majority of the retail is located, there isn’t as much demand for bar and restaurant uses, and many of the big box locations seem implausibly large. Malls that are big enough to be spectacles unto themselves like the Mall of America should stay as attractive locations for the physical retail that remains, and in a place like Houston, the population is growing enough that you can just slow the pace of mall construction. But it seems overall like you’re going to have a fair amount of excess space unless it can be usefully repurposed for some kind of health care function.
Now this strikes me as a relatively unimaginative response. Healthcare? That's it?

In my hometown, there's an old mall that was dead twenty years ago. It was repurposed and though it does contain a health clinic, it also has a data center, a call center, a trade school, and probably some other stuff. And that was a large building, a mall. Strip mall-wise, you could put in a health clinic (many of them already do) or you could put in a church, which I've seen, or another store.

Down the street, there used to be a Big Lots. Now it's a clothing store.

Now I'm not advocating for building more box stores. From the empty storefronts in this town left by all the failed corporations, we really do have too many that need to be "repurposed." It's just silly to think that they must serve some kind of health care function. And hey, I get it.

"Health care" is going to be the big growth engine. It's the one thing that can't be outsourced. We're going to be, through the sheer force of will, the only first world country to make it's living providing and consuming health care from each other.

Come on, man. There's going to be more to it than that, even if we go Mad Max.

Part of the problem with big box stores is that they were made for corporations. National chains. Companies with big pockets and bigger ambitions. This is store #156, not their main concern, just one of many.

When those guys pull out, who can step in? Not the locals, because the locals don't have any money. If they ever got any, they'd be scooped up by the big corporate interests and go national. Then we start the whole process again. It's the business cycle.

So maybe these properties should sit idle for a while. If I had the dough and this were a perfect world, I'd take over a Linens and Things or an old Circuit City, set up a sweet apartment in the back half, a sweet bookstore/coffee shop in the front half with an attached theater for movie screenings and performances.

Would it be a viable business? I dunno. But you can't outsource culture either.

Happy New Year

One of the most interesting things about life is that there are things I do not know. And I find out about them all the time.

For instance, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to Judaica. I don't know Rosh Hashanah from Yom Kippur, and until recently I had no clue that American Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas.

I chalk this up to a life lived starkly free of Jewish influences and while an anti-semite might think that's great, at heart, I'm a multi-culturalist --nay, a culturist-- so I think it's something to be remedied.

So I watch this silly video...

And wonder where I've been the last ten years. (Seriously, that's dated by ten years. At least.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


My boy comes through again.
Simple rule in the fantasy draft. If it's time to draft my defensive player, and Polamalu is available...pick him up.

I got some shit this year in the draft, but I think I put together a decent team. Rodgers at QB, Ray Rice from Rutgers running, Tom Brady's favorite target Gronkowski on TE.

And my boy Polamalu, scoring touchdowns like he's on offense.