Steve's No Direction Home Page :
If he needs a third eye, he just grows it.
Updated: 10/23/2004; 11:54:03 AM.


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Wednesday, December 25, 2002

The best and worst of American Culture in 2002 [FARK]
10:40:40 PM  Permalink  comment []

Going it alone and broke? (Dallas/Ft. Worth Star Telegram)

It occured to me that I and everyone else is always linking to Dowd these days, and derservedly so, but we must never forget the original and the best of the Bush bashers - the one and only, Ms. Molly Ivans.

[michael britten's Loftware]
Glad you're out of the hospital, Mike.
10:38:11 PM  Permalink  comment []

Christmas Dinner

While I'm talking food, we did something very unusual for us tonight: we went out to dinner for Christmas, at His Lordships at the Berkeley Marina. They had a fantastic buffet dinner. I threw my better sense and recent habits to the wind, and ate the following: a slice of prime rib with horseradish, some teriyaki short ribs, a couple of large crab legs, more than half a dozen shrimp, more than half a dozen clams and mussels, a good bite of salmon, three servings of a delicious (maybe faux) crab salad, a serving of beef fajitas with peppers and onions, a cheese enchilada, salsa, a very small helping of mashed potatoes, a small sweet potato, some green beans, a very small helping of bread dressing, a small piece of ham, four or five pieces of sushi, a glass of champagne, a glass of merlot, a couple bites of pasta that Lyal and Richard had, a slice of really sweet melon, a small piece of cherry pie (I left some of the crust), a piece of chocolate cake, and half a chocolate mouse! And as my brother-in-law said, "and a partridge in a pear tree." If they'd had one, I probably would have tasted it, too.

Yow! I haven't eaten that much at one time in months. I hate to tally the weight watchers points for dinner, but I can eat lighter for the next several days and balance it out. My stomach was in pain for a bit (it's not used to that volume!) after eating, which helped drive home the lesson good. Next time I focus the eating more, and do a little more to get in shape for it (exercise during the day). I did a couple of things right: I stayed away from the bread, pastas, and potatoes (the latter was really hard to do). I ate a lot of seafood. I stayed away from things with a lot of sauce on them. That stuff let me have the desert (I figure).

The food, though, was really good. The dinner was pretty expensive, but worth it. I don't think we'll probably go again next year, but might in a couple years.

9:02:22 PM  Permalink  comment []

Let Them Eat Cakes

Review of the latest from Jeffry Steingarten, whose The Man Who Ate Everything I read recently. This new one sounds as good as that one was:

His writing is full of jokes and asides and entertaining tidbits, but the serious purpose to which he consistently returns is his dislike of contemporary food faddism and our tendency to regard food from an essentially medical perspective.

This is a cult with so many manifestations that it's hard to know where to begin in attacking it, but attack it Steingarten does. One of the best pieces in his first book was called "Salad the Silent Killer", and was about the dangers lurking in uncooked leaves of every kind. In the new collection, he has great fun with the whole subject of allergies, or perhaps "allergies", since so many of them - he convincingly argues - are imaginary. The biggest test of general food allergies was done in Britain in 1994, and showed that less than a fifth of people who claimed to be allergic to specific foods had any actual reaction to them.

8:47:33 PM  Permalink  comment []

Those Troublesome Commandments

What's wrong with the 10 Commandments?

8:03:10 PM  Permalink  comment []

21st Annual XMas Quiz

Jon Carroll's always amazing XMas quiz appeared (surprise) in today's Chronicle. In a read-through of it (after a morning's worth of "funlike activities"), I was only confident I knew the answer to two of the items! This is seriously excellent stuff. Answers will be tomorrow, though I wont' be blogging again until the 31st, so can't post a link to the answers until then. The page contains links to past columns, too. Carroll says his favorite questions are 7 & 12 on this list (7 is easy). Number 12 rings a bell to me: I once road a boxcar through what was (at least at the time) the longest railway tunnel in the Western Hemisphere, on Steven's Pass in the Cascades.
7:49:41 PM  Permalink  comment []

A Nation's Wild Start. Some critics have complained that Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York is too bloody. Yet one might just as well ask if Mr. Scorsese has gone far enough. By Kevin Baker. [New York Times: Opinion]
Indeed. Though brutal, the film actually turns away from a lot of the graphic violence it might have shown. I'm thinking of the kind of slow-motion pummelling of Raging Bull; there's not a lot of that here. It's a movie that portrays a lot of brutality without showing it. And I'm reading the Herbert Asbury book on which the movie was based, and there's a lot of horrors (not necessarily violence) that the movie doesn't show.
7:40:08 PM  Permalink  comment []

When a Country Loses Its Sense of Optimism. The weak economy and the prospect of war seem to have dampened more than the nation's desire to shop. Are we now too conscious of our domestic limits? By Jeff Madrick. [New York Times: NYT HomePage]
I think it's the fear-opinion-industrial complex. Politicians, pundits, the media are working hard to make us afraid. Afraid of our neighbors, afraid of the rest of the world, afraid of ou good judgement, afraid of our shadows, afraid of tomorrow. If we're cowering in fear, we can't act, and what's there to be optimistic about? Roosevelt was doing more than slinging rhetoric with his "only thing we have to fear is fear itself" speech. He was trying to get the nation out of a stasis created by fear. Whether it worked or not is doubtful, but it's a better approach than the fear-slinging we're getting these days.
7:14:08 PM  Permalink  comment []

Random: The Twelve Morons of Christmas. Here's a look back at twelve of the most moronic people of 2002, as chosen by our readers and editors... [Morons Dot Org]
Fun. But Bush should be in slots 1 thru 10. And not to mention the nameless hordes who take all of W's and Ashcroft's noise and think, "as long as they're making us safe."
7:10:14 PM  Permalink  comment []

Corporations are not people

On December 9, Porter Township, Pennsylvania, became the first town in America to ban corporate involvement in their local government. Full story here.

 On the evening of December 9, 2002, the elected municipal officials of Porter Township, Clarion County -- a municipality of 1,500 residents an hour north of Pittsburgh in Northwestern Pennsylvania -- became the first local government in the United States to eliminate corporate claims to civil and constitutional privileges. The Township adopted a binding law declaring that corporations operating in the Township may not wield legal privileges - historically used by corporations to override democratic decisionmaking -- to stop the Township from passing laws which protect residents from toxic sewage sludge.

4:04:07 PM  Permalink  comment []

2002: The year in technology [New Scientist]
10:24:20 AM  Permalink  comment []

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