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Cough! Hack! Wheeze!

March 29, 2005 at 9:17pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

That pretty much describes life in Downtown Lincoln following the smoking ban. All I wanted to do was walk over to Oso, grab a burrito, and walk back. In the process I was assaulted by literally dozens of smokers forced to line the sidewalk in a sort of carcinogenic gauntlet. Who is the supposed winner here? The business owners lose money while their customers are stuck outside; the smokers still face the same health risks as before; litter along Downtown’s streets has increased substantially; and now more people—specifically, more unwilling people—are exposed to second-hand smoke than prior to the ban.

Today I inhaled about five minutes’ worth of second-hand smoke as a direct result of the smoking ban. Without the ban, I would have run into about a minute’s worth (mostly directly outside the building I work in).

How, exactly, does the ban help me and other non-smokers like me?

Oops! Guess We Shouldn’t Have Killed You!

March 29, 2005 at 7:41pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Is it just me, or is the announcement that Michael Schiavo will permit an autopsy on Terri a little weird? It’s great that he is willing to prove to the world that he is correct. I admire his openness. He doesn’t have to allow an autopsy before she is cremated. But an autopsy—by definition performed after Terri is dead—seems like an awfully lame way to prove that Terri is truly a vegetable. Michael Schiavo has refused to authorize a number of tests that could be done on Terri while she is alive to determine the level of her brain activity. What is he going to say if she is proven to have been semi-conscious this whole time? “Oops?!”

If he really wanted to prove to the world—and, more importantly, to Terri’s family—that she has virtually zero brain activity, wouldn’t a full list of brain scans, oh, 8 years ago have been a great idea?

[Update]I just discovered that Terri did, in fact, have a full MRI back in 1990.

“7/24/1990—MRI Report Dr. Pinkston. profound atrophy w/ very atrophic appearing cortex. Mild white matter disease, anoxic/hypoxic injury.”

I had been led to believe that, although a few basic brain scans were performed,  MRIs and advanced tests were not performed. I seem to have been misinformed about the full extent of the tests completed to date. In that light, an autopsy isn’t nearly as ironic, and the point of my original post is pretty much deflated.[/update]

The Power of Pennies

March 28, 2005 at 5:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

imageWhat do you get when you combine boredom, small change, and a degree in civil engineering? Penny power.

BK Imitates Hardee’s

March 28, 2005 at 4:16pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Looks like Burger King is hopping on the gigantic sandwich bandwagon, following Hardee’s lead. BK’s Enormous Omelet Sandwich doesn’t sound all that exciting to me. Their Croissanwiches are plenty tasty and reasonably sized. But I don’t doubt that a larger offering will be popular, especially for young men whose metabolisms are still chugging away.

The Countdown Begins

March 28, 2005 at 4:01pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Only five more days of work remaining at my current job. It’s going to be a long, busy week. As I look over the mess on my desk I am realizing: not only do I have a lot of substantive work to do, I have a lot of miscellaneous stuff to do as well. For example, I have to file a ton of stuff that I took out of various filing cabinets long ago. As if I’m going to remember where everything belongs.

Had this not been my last week at this job, I would not be here today. Yesterday’s fantastic weather helped me to realize it’s practically a crime to sit in an office on a day like today. Oh well, at least I got to spend much of yesterday outside. We took Daisy for a long walk at Pioneers Park in the morning, and we watched my niece play outside for part of the afternoon.

My parents left for a Caribbean cruise this morning. It’s their first cruise, but not their first vacation on the ocean—they went to Tahiti years ago. They decided to go on a cruise in part because the Missus and I so enjoyed our honeymoon Alaskan cruise. It will be interesting to see how they like it. They should arrive in Florida around Noon today.

Dan Marvin spams?

March 28, 2005 at 5:53am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I received spam from Dan Marvin today. I replied, asking for him (or his campaign) to explain where he found my e-mail address. I have a feeling I know where he got it—from a particular e-mail list I happen to be on. If true, I’m going to be uber pissed. It would be a gross violation of the list’s privacy policies to have given out my e-mail address.

I will be interested to see if Mr. Marvin replies and, if he does, what he has to say. He may very well have collected my e-mail address “legitimately.” If so, fine. I’ll just tell him to take me off his list. But if he got it where I think he got it…

Another Nauseating Mexican Food Experience in Lincoln

March 27, 2005 at 10:20pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

I was hungry as hell for some good, fast Mexican food today. I was also running a bit late as I found it hard to find a hardware store open today (Easter) because I needed to buy some things for my vacuum. First, I drove past the new De Leon’s on 27th street, dissapointed to find that it still hadn’t opened yet (although it did seem close to being on the verge of final remodeling). After finally going to an Ace Hardware up on vine and 48th that was open and purchasing what I needed to get, I turned back south and headed for chipotle, which is usually open on Sundays, only to find it closed due to the holiday. There were also several other people milling about outside, dissapointed and a bit surprised it was closed.

Knowing that Oso is closed on Sunday, I headed south on 13th, thinking that Taco John’s was probably open. Taco John’s is pretty crappy, but Taco John’s also has super hot salsa verde available on request only (a discovery I made in Iowa), and with enough of that stuff on, their horrible tacos are actually suitable for human consumption. I drove into the driveway at the Taco John’s on south street, to find a policeman standing at the door asking me if I worked there! I said no, and he remarked that it was closed, but someone had left the door open. In anycase, I quickly left TJ’s and headed south on 9th directly for Taco Inn, the nearest Mexican place I knew of. I was really late already and very irritable because I was missing basketball. Within minutes I came to the Inn, only to find that it, too, was closed.

OK, as a last resort, I knew there was an Amigos on Nebraska Highway and Pioneers another moment down the road. Yes I was truly desperate. I swung in, to find it open. Although I was really late and could have brought it home with me, I decided to eat i

t quickly there so I could make use of the salsa bar and cheese and eat my meal while it was hot and pour a ton of condiments on it to make the food edible. I ordered the “combo burrito” and “crispy pinto burrito” and used a lot of cheese sauce, pico, and a salsa with a sign on it saying something like “limited time only fire-cooked salsa” or something like that. Both burritos were stomach churning. The combo burrito tasted like it was made from rat meat. The so-called “fire-cooked” salsa (“fire” connoting a message that it was supposed to be spicy) was about as hot as ketchup. I could not finish either the combo burrito or the pinto burrito, even though I was hungry as hell. Ironically, this particular Amigos faces a prison across the road, where I could watch inmates from afar exercising in the yard (what a wonderful view to complement your equally wonderful food…not). It made me wonder whether the food I was eating was any better than the grub served at the prison.

Most shocking of the entire experience was that there were several people, including couples and families, who were also at Amigos and apparently seemed as if they were actually enjoying their meals! This included one family, who I could tell from their dress had obviously just come back from Easter service. WTF?! Why in God’s name would a family celebrating a religious holiday spoil their day with a meal at Amigos?!?! That’s like having Christmas dinner at a Runza (another horrible Nebraska chain).

Lincoln truly dissapoints me. Not only have Lincolnites, collectively, allowed the cancer called Amigos actually spread as a franchise, but they keep this tumor alive by continuing to frequent this hellish establishment because they apparently like the “food” it serves. And some twisted and perverted souls like it so much that they bring the family there on holiday weekends!

I am counting the days until De Leon’s opens its 27th street branch. Please….let it be soon.

Tom DeLay…..damn….

March 27, 2005 at 9:35pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

Interesting article here. One wonders if he would have liked to have had his dad’s tragic death turned into a political circus and international headline news?

Congress: The New Appellate Court

March 25, 2005 at 5:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Jacob Sullum has a quick and dirty analysis of the dangerous precedent Congress set in the Terri Schiavo case.

Teppanyaki?

March 24, 2005 at 2:43am By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

I swung by the old Vien Dong restaurant across from UNL’s city campus earlier this afternoon. As some of you may know, Vien Dong recently and quietly gave up (or moved on). They served a damn good beef pho, which I use to eat religiously once a week last summer. Anyway, walking by there was a very small sign with a photo indicating that the old Vien Dong will now become “Dat Nguyen’s Restaurant” and there was a small photo of a guy standing behing a teppanyaki grill and holding a plate of sushi.

This should be an interesting development. In my experience, teppanyaki places actually make very good fast food joints. A typical place will have several teppanyaki grills surrounded by chairs, with a chef who will cook up an entree on the flat iron grill (so hot it takes a minute or so to cook the food) in front of you, and comes as a set meal with say, a small vegetable salad, white rice, and some miso soup, which is served to you separately.

Here is a photo I googled depicting a teppanyaki type of experience. Notice that all the customers have smiles on their faces, communicating a message that they are happy and pleased with the meal. I have never been to a restaurant where the patrons all have similar such smiles plastered onto their faces, but I would be happy if there was a quality, inexpensive teppanyaki place to replace Vien Dong.

Breaking News…

March 23, 2005 at 10:14pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Well it looks like those fools over at lincolnite.com are posting more garbage as usual. WHOOPS! Sorry, I meant to post that on my new blog I just created, which focuses on international law and policy. Mr. Wilson wants me to tell him the URL of this new blog, but if I tell him, a moment later I know it will be flooded with “cowboys rule!” and “uR teh SuxX0R” comments on it. In fact, he just got so worked up about it, that he physically attacked me moments ago!

In the many years I have spent living in this fine city, I have met and known many people who I am sure have wanted to assault me. Mr. Wilson actually did assault me. Way to go Mr. Lincoln Guy. Represent.

4 down, 1 to go

March 22, 2005 at 11:52pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

For those of you interested in keeping up with the true boredom and nerdom of my life, I have just learned that I have now broken my record and will be getting published 4 times this year. I am gunning for an all time high of 5 this year, with my last submission just sent out earlier this month. All of the articles, with the exception of one, focus on the ultra-sexy topic of European law and policy.

By the way, since my fellow co-blogger and host here Mr. Wilson derides my interest in European law and policy, I have been forced to start my own blog specific to this topic. I thought for a second or two about sharing the url of this new blog with Mr. Wilson, but decided against it. I don’t want to see animal porn links or “nuke paris” comments posted on it.

Seriously, Mr. Wilson is actually providing some free consultation on this little project. Thanks dude!

Americans Aren’t As Dumb As I Thought

March 21, 2005 at 7:52pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A new ABC poll shows that a whopping 70% of Americans think congressional intervention in the Terry Schiavo case is inappropriate. That is a HUGE number. Seventy percent of Americans don’t agree on anything. Ironically, 67% of Americans think that politicians are getting involved for political gain rather than for principles. If it is true that congressional Republicans are getting involved for political gain, they really ought to rethink their actions.

Twister in San Fran

March 21, 2005 at 4:48pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I suppose I shouldn’t poke fun at others’ inexperience, but this article about a San Francisco tornado struck me as funny. It’s probably as funny to us as an article about a violent 4.2 earthquake would be to Californians.

The whirling cloud — which meteorologists from the National Weather Service believe was a tornado…

Uhh, you think?

The article includes some brilliant factual reporting:

Tornado winds can reach 100 mph.

Somebody should have told that to this storm.

Complete Trash Reading

March 21, 2005 at 12:16am By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

Actually, I decided against finishing the da vinci code by Dan Brown this weekend. I’ve already wasted 10+ hours reading up to where I am now. Enough is enough. This book is so bad I’m actually angry at myself for spending 10+ hours reading it so far. It is truly trash. The only reason I don’t throw this away now is because I borrowed it from my mom last fall and should return it. (by the way my mom’s taste in reading truly sucks…sorry mom) Otherwise, I would use this book for toilet paper.

Anyway, if you want a quality historical thriller about religion in medieval Europe pick up The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. This was actually made into a movie of the same name starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater that was actually quite good, despite being a very superficial treatment of the novel. Eco also wrote Foucault’s Pendulum, about the Knights Templar, which I believe must have served as the inspiration for Dan Brown to write the da vinci code. At least when Tarantino rips off Hong Kong films he usually comes up with a quality production, but the end product of Brown’s ripping off of Eco is what I would call “negligence per se” - i.e. so bad that it doesn’t even have to be proven that its bad - its very existence is negligent.

Oh yeah, oddly enough, this horrible

work of fiction is evolving into an international cultural monstrosity with its release next year as a film starring Tom Hanks, Jean Reno and Audrey Taotou (star of one of my favorite films of recent times Dirty Pretty Things)

By the way, if you’re looking for a one-stop review site of books, movies, and music, check out meta-critic.

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