Friday, October 24, 2008

Bike Commuting

I biked home from work 3 days this week and plan on picking and choosing favorable days through the winter. It's been awfully dark at 6:30am, so I've opted to take the bus in the morning. It's great to have the flexibility with all the buses having bike racks on the front.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bulldog St. Paul Countdown


It'll be opening across from Mears Park on the corner of 6th & Wacouta. The Bulldog has locations in Nord'east and Uptown and has some of the best burgers and beer selections in town. I can't wait!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rolling Stone: A History

Ever wonder which rolling stone came first? There's the band, the magazine, the Bob Dylan song...
The answer, according to this story in the online version of Rolling Stone, is that Muddy Waters started it all.

1948: Rollin' Stone (by Muddy Waters)
1962: The Rolling Stones (the band)
1965: Like a Rolling Stone (the Dylan song)
1967: Rolling Stone (the magazine)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shopping Hell

So I've been considering buying a new pair of jeans for awhile now. What I was looking for seems so simple:

Darker blue jeans, otherwise normal, but:
  • Not boot cut
  • Not loose fit
  • No bullshit design on the back pocket
  • And fer godsakes, NOT PRE-FADED!
You'd be amazed at what a difficult chore this is. You see, the garment industry works on fashion cycles and Lord help you if you want to buy something that isn't in the style of the moment. Pre-faded is in. Bullshit design on the back pocket is in.

This is why I hate shopping so much and get the willies when I enter a mall. The culture therein represents all that I despise about American consumerism -- teenagers requiring clothes so they can fit in; crappy music blaring out of the "lifestyle" stores; spending money to cheer us up (which I admit to doing before); the idea that spending instead of saving is better for the economy; trinkets, baubles & crafts.

Department store blue jeans are strewn all about the men's floor so I was hunting through all the different display areas and experiencing continuous emotional ups and downs as I'd discover a new stash somewhere, only to be disappointed by its high degree of fashion.

Even though I made it out of this one alive, it's not because I actually found what I wanted. I caved and did the best I could. Everyone will think that my new jeans look nice, but that's just because they've been conditioned to believe that pretty much whatever is in fashion looks good. Looking back 10-30 years from any point in recent history makes it quite clear that this is not true.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bailout Plan

Click here to listen to a great piece to help us lay people better understand the current economic crisis. This American Life is a terrific radio program out of Chicago that I've been podcasting for the past few years and I highly recommend it.

Brings to mind this Uncle Tupelo gem cover version of a Carter Family classic:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Song of the Day by Weezer

Going to the Weezer concert in St. Paul Friday night and their new single has been in my head all week. It's classic Weezer with their ever-present guitar sound. I've never seen Weezer before and just kind of got tickets with friends on a whim, but I'm really getting psyched for the show. Last night I was on YouTube devouring their videos, so after you click through to Pork & Beans, don't forget to check out other video gems like the Spike Jonze directed "Island in the Sun" and "Keep Fishin'" with the Muppets. The Pork & Beans video includes many YouTube stars including Tay Zonday and Miss Teen South Carolina (for real!).

Sing along to.....

WARNING: You're gonna want to put it on repeat. I dare you to listen to it only once.

Previously (and still) recommended songs:

Ain't That America

According to MPR, MN Rep. Jim Ramstad decided today to switch his "no" vote to a "yes" vote on the famed $700B bailout bill because the new version includes mental health insurance parity.

Was this the plan to get enough votes for the bailout? Take each of the needed 28 votes, find a pet project for each of those representatives, and add it into the bailout bill?

Now I don't know the exact definition of an earmark (never really been one fer the fancy language they like to use out there in DeeCee), but this smells kinda fishy to me.

The MPR story also mentions, at the very bottom, a couple other more relevant provisions that Ramstad also supports. But if those were enough for Ramstad then why include the completely unrelated mental health insurance parity provision as well?

And where were Maverick John McCain and Hopeful Changer Barack Obama when this bill was being crafted? I'm sure each of them vehemently opposed such actions as it represents that greed of the old entrenched Washington ways that both claim to be so opposed to.