Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Replacement For George Carlin?

I snickered when I read the CNN politics page link teaser, "Sarah Palin Gets Vegas Gig". No, she isn't doing stand-up, even if her candidacy for VP seemed like a Neil Hamburger routine. But no, she's addressing the alcohol industry at a convention. From the CNN report:
Washington (CNN) - Las Vegas and alcohol probably aren't the first two things that come to mind at the mention of Sarah Palin, but the former vice presidential candidate is about to change that.

At least that's according to Craig Wolf, the president and CEO of the Wine and Liquor Wholesalers of America, who announced Tuesday that Palin will keynote the group's annual convention and and expo in Las Vegas in early April.

"Governor Palin is a great supporter of America's free enterprise system and understands that industries like the beverage alcohol industry play a key role in driving our national economy. We're proud and honored to welcome her as a speaker," Wolf said in a statement. "We expect she will share with the convention attendees her analysis of the current political environment and her vision for America's future."

If she were such a great supporter of truly free enterprise, she'd get up before them and let them know that she finds the wholesaling laws to be protectionist and generating a needless, inefficient monopoly for middlemen.

I know that would be bad form, taking their speaking fee and then bursting their bubble. But hey, just saying. I guess maybe the reason Palin appeals to conservatives is that they don't understand liberty.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Next? Jokes on SNL?

The Onion has a take on the Colts rested players. Excellent.

Colts To Rest Starters For First Game Of Playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS—At his weekly press conference Monday, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell announced that he will rest key starters during the divisional round of the AFC playoffs to keep his players fresh for a Super Bowl run. "You can't win the Super Bowl if you don't get there with all your players healthy," said Caldwell, who added that next Saturday quarterback Peyton Manning would probably get the first two series, which will mostly be comprised of running plays. "Dwight [Freeney] and Dallas [Clark] will get about a quarter in the AFC Championship game. But honestly, even if we make it to the Super Bowl, I can't see playing these guys the whole game. The 2010 season is closer than you think." Throughout the entire press conference Manning could be seen in full uniform, stalking and pacing in the back of the room.

A Soup of Thoughts on Travel and Food

I'm going to New York City next week, and looking forward to the food. Mainly, I'm staying in Queens, in Jackson Heights, which has more ethnic food of excellent quality than all of Indiana, far as I can tell. I am certain that I will eat Indian and Afghani, and probably eat in Chinatown for Dim Sum. Other options include a huge range of Latino offerings (Mexican, Columbian, Ecuadoran) and of course Italian.

New York is a funny place. Because I started going there in the late 80s, I still kind of think of it as a wild, permissive place. That's not in line with the outward reality, what with the smoking ban, the assault on trans fats, and now an attack on salt. From CNN:
First it was trans fats. Then it was high-calorie fast food. Now, the New York City Health Department is tackling another diet enemy: salt.

The department unveiled an initiative Monday urging restaurants and food companies across the country to voluntarily reduce their products' salt levels, city officials said.

"Salt is a huge problem in our diets," said Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control Program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "The majority of us consume too much salt, which increases blood pressure and puts us at risk for heart attack and stroke."

New York has partnered with cities, states and national health organizations across the country with the goal of cutting the salt in packaged and restaurant foods gradually by 25 percent over five years. Doing that would reduce the nation's salt intake by 20 percent, Angell said.

The funny thing is, I don't smoke (never have), don't eat a lot of fast food, and I have low blood pressure (have even been advised by my physician to increase my salt intake at times). I didn't need any laws to bring me to this way of life, as astonishing as that may be to a pointy-headed New Yorker.

I'm kind of interested to see what impact these laws have had on the food there. One place I want to visit is Manhattan's Skylight Diner. They have many Greek dishes, but their fries were to die for. I want to see how they taste, along with some of their other obviously high calorie offerings.

This year, I chose to give up sodas. Now, my friends know what a sacrifice that is. I LOVE sodas. I used to drink 4 liters of Coke daily. When I started realizing that I could shed a few pounds just by switching from regular Coke to Diet Coke, I lost eight pounds. But, I've had a kidney stone, and phosphoric acid is an obvious culprit, so I dramatically cut my cola intake back in 2006.

Mind you, I did this without the benefit of a well-intentioned law directing me accordingly. I gathered the data, and made a choice. Isn't that incredible! That's not supposed to actually work in the real world.

And, I've said nothing about root beer. I really loooooove root beer. No matter. I've given them up. Gone 11+ days now without one. It's a matter of my personality that I find it easier to go completely without at first. Maybe come Summer I'll allow myself the occasional fizzy treat. But for now, a clean break. Lots of unsweetened ice teas, with loads of lemon for me!