Everything that rises must get a stamp.

May 26th, 2015

The Postal Service is issuing a Flannery O’Connor stamp.

To which I say, “Good.”

My relationship to O’Connor’s writing is a bit complicated. I had to read “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” when I was in school, and I hated it; it seemed like a collection of random cruelty with no point to it. But much later on in my life, something made me pick up The Complete Stories. I pretty much loved almost every story in that book, especially “Everything That Rises Must Converge” and “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”.

But I still hate “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”.

Well, isn’t THIS a shocker?

May 21st, 2015

Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant is suing Twin Peaks’ ownership company for damages related to the deadly biker gang shootout that left nine dead and 18 others wounded.

Also:

Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton now says crime scene officers have made a new weapons count and come up with 318 “and still counting.” Swanton said he expected the count to continue to rise.
Of those weapons counted so far, 118 are handguns, one is an AK-47 assault-style rifle and 157 are knives. Swanton says weapons still uncounted are clubs, knives, brass knuckles, firearms and chains with padlocks attached.

Yes, 118 plus one plus 157 does not add up to 318.

…it’s the hole.

May 21st, 2015

From the NYT, a short documentary about Chris Burden and “Shoot”.

(Subject line hattip.)

New York City?!

May 19th, 2015

The restaurant critic for the NYT reviews “New York’s first authentic Tex-Mex restaurant”:

My interest in telling the truth about this establishment could come into conflict with my interest in not having my butt kicked by angry Texans. What if something I didn’t like at Javelina turned out to be the very thing that Texans most love about authentic Tex-Mex?

Among the things Pete Wells apparently thinks Texans might like about “authentic” Tex-Mex:

  • People shouting.
  • Margaritas with “a slight chemical taste”.
  • Warm drinks.
  • Identical drinks served in two different sized glasses.
  • Lukewarm queso.
  • “At most restaurants, you are served what you ask for so routinely that your eyes glaze over with boredom. Javelina does not fall into the trap of dull predictability.”

And for the record…

May 18th, 2015

Mike Redmond out as manager of the Miami Marlins.

155-207 in “just over” two seasons, 16-22 so far this season.

He received an extension through 2017 after a 77-85 record last year. The move means Marlins ownership and management changed their minds about Redmond just 23.5 percent of a season later. It also means they’re now paying two fired managers — Redmond and his predecessor, Ozzie Guillen.

Random notes: May 18, 2014.

May 18th, 2015

Lawrence has been on the Waco biker gang shootout like a fat man on a Chinese buffet. I’d encourage you to go here and here for coverage. (I was out and about with friends pretty much all day yesterday, which is why I’m running behind.)

A few random thoughts:

  • Before yesterday, I couldn’t have named five biker gangs; my knowledge pretty much stopped with the Hells Angels, Bandidos, and Mongols (the latter because of their trademark battle). Not that I’m proud of my ignorance or anything, just saying.
  • A lot of yesterday’s stories included some variation on “Twin Peaks corporate office was unavailable for comment”. Of course; it was a Sunday. But I figure there’s got to be a 24/7 emergency number for franchise owners to call…

    “Thank you for calling the Twin Peaks hotline. If you have an emergency, press 1.”

    “Thank you. If your restaurant is on fire, press 1. If your restaurant is flooding, press 2. If there is a shootout between rival biker gangs going on, press 3. If someone is committing an act of regicide, press 4.”

    You have selected regicide. If you know the name of the king or queen being murdered, press one.

  • Speaking of Twin Peaks corporate, Lawrence quotes: “Twin Peaks corporate “is ‘seriously considering revoking’ the Waco location’s franchise agreement.” Gee, you don’t say. (As I was writing this post, the Statesman reported that the franchise has, indeed, been yanked.)
  • “”We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today.” Shocked, shocked we are to find out that biker gangs used our restaurant as a meeting place. (I know it is early and I’m relying on news media coverage, but it seems pretty well established at this point that this was a biker hangout, and that the management knew it.)
  • Not only did they shoot up Twin Peaks, they walked the check at Denny’s and were rude to the Hooters girls. “They come in here all the time. I’ll keep waiting on them because that is my job. But this whole thing is just so crazy. And it’s also disrespectful, because of lot of those girls at Twin Peaks used to work here.”
  • Seriously, I feel bad for the Twin Peaks and Don Carlos staff, who are probably going to lose at least several days of pay (if not their jobs) over this. Twin Peaks had their liquor license yanked temporarily, though the reports I’ve read say they can reopen as a restaurant “as soon as police allow it to be opened”.

Obit watch: Garo Yepremian, legendary Miami Dolphins kicker.

A while back, I linked to a NYT story about the Clif Bar people ending their sponsorships of certain athletes because of their discomfort with the risk involved. One of those athletes, Dean Potter, was quoted in the article.

Dean Potter was killed in a BASE jumping accident over the weekend.

Penn Jillette on the closing of the Riveria. The Riveria was actually the first place I ever stayed in Vegas.

Finally, and on a lighter note, the NYT ran an interview with Don Rickles. The news peg is that the complete “CPO Sharkey” is being released on DVD Tuesday. I had actually completely forgotten the existence of “CPO Sharkey” (though I’m sure I watched it) until the paper of record reminded me. Man, it is hard getting old.

Edited to add: Well. Well well well. Well.

The Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco will be permanently closed as a result of Sunday’s deadly shooting.

Quel fromage! I wonder what they’re going to replace it with. Maybe a Bikinis? Or perhaps a Bombshells? Wait, wait, I know: perhaps someplace good? Or at least not degrading to women?

Notes from the legal beat: May 15, 2015.

May 15th, 2015

Latest update from the Philadelphia PD (previously on WCD):

Six ex-narcotics officers accused of going rogue and robbing suspected drug dealers during a six-year reign of terror walked out of federal court yesterday as free men after a jury acquitted them of all charges at the end of a six-week trial.

Among the evidence prosecutors used against the ex-cops was testimony from another former narc cop, Jeffrey Walker, who began to cooperate with investigators after he was caught stealing money and drugs from a house in May 2013. Numerous suspected drug dealers had also testified that the officers threatened them, roughed them up and stole from them. One said he’d been kidnapped and held in a hotel by the cops.

In totallly unrelated news, the WP has an interesting article on PappyGate.

“People don’t want to do the work to find what’s the best whiskey on their palate. They want to be told,” said Lew Bryson, author of the book “Tasting Whiskey.” “Here’s somebody saying this one is the best, and everyone tries to get it. And prices just go up and up.”

Can’t get no antidote for blues…

May 15th, 2015

It is pouring down rain this morning in Austin. Somehow that seems fitting.

B.B. King: NYT. A/V Club. LAT. WP.

Obit watch: May 14, 2015.

May 14th, 2015

This seems to have been horribly buried in the Statesman, but noted Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble passed away over the weekend.

In the 1950s, he played with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, the most popular Western swing band of the day, sometimes adding a fifth string to his fiddle to achieve a lower, rounder and louder sound. (Wills also played fiddle.) For a time he was part of the house band at a club Wills had opened in Dallas. He was featured on recordings by Marty Robbins, Lefty Frizzell and Ray Price, among others, and he was the host of a musical television show in Waco, Tex., “Johnny Gimble and the Homefolks” (for which he hired Willie Nelson to play bass in the band).

Then, in the late 1960s, he moved to Nashville, where he became one of country music’s most sought-after session players. He recorded with Chet Atkins, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty and Dolly Parton, among others, and was a member of the Million Dollar Band, an all-star ensemble including Atkins, Roy Clark and Floyd Cramer that was featured on the television show “Hee Haw.”

I can’t embed it, but here’s a great version of “Take Me Back To Tulsa” with George Jones and Mr. Gimble.

And I can embed this: a profile of Mr. Gimble produced by a Waco TV station.

Riffing.

May 13th, 2015


Krazy-Glued Gun



F/X

— MOVIECLIPS.com

booth2

(Previously on WCD. Hattip to Joe D. for the inspiration.)

Peli can’ts.

May 13th, 2015

Monty Williams out as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.

When Monty Williams came to the New Orleans Pelicans’ facility Tuesday morning for a meeting with executive vice president Mickey Loomis, he thought the discussion would be about a possible contract extension, league sources said.

So they lied to him like he was Montel Williams?

Obit watch: May 11, 2015.

May 11th, 2015

Conceptual artist Chris Burden.

(Edited to add 5/12: NYT.)

I’ve touched on Mr. Burden and his work before, particularly the notorious “Shoot”. This is one work I was not aware of:

For his master’s thesis, he executed “Five Day Locker Piece,” a durational performance in which he locked himself inside an ordinary school locker measuring just two feet high, two feet wide and three feet deep. The locker directly above contained five gallons of bottled water, and the locker directly below held an empty five-gallon bottle.