Saturday, July 28, 2007

Steal a Truck...The Consequences

Well, the event started this way in Phoenix. A guy in a utility truck is stopped. The truck is stolen, maybe, or the driver doesn't want the cops to check him. He crashes into the crusher and flees. Lots of cops pursue. A police helicopter, too. And four news helicopters. Just as the day pulls over and gets in a truck that is idling and (miraculously because you'd say he was surrounded at that point) pulls away, two of the news helicopters crash into each other. You can hear the crash on this video.

Some days start out so simply...and then take bizarre turns.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

All Organ Meat Meal

We had a delicious '97 Burgundy Grand Cru and a 1986 Silver Oak Napa Cabernet last night in celebration of a friend's birthday. This is my foie gras with one succulent bite of the liver already gone so you can see how pink and beautiful it is. Yum. I had sweetbreads for my main course. A most politically incorrect meal. The sweetbreads were probably once the thymus gland of a young calf (dare I say the veal word?).

This delicious meal was at a venerable Austin restaurant whose name will not be revealed here because vandals have the handle as Dylan said. Although the vandals' attack on another restaurant had the effect of costing them in clean-up but making the foie gras sell out halfway through the evening. Go figure. As we are constantly pointing out in this space: things don't always happen like you expect.

I'm sure this meal is supposed to be damning my health, too. I buttered several small rolls to eat along with my two dishes, too.

Birthday celebrations. Hoping for many more. And we eat and drink. But is it really an accident that my most gourmet-minded, organ-meat-eating, vintage-wine-drinking friends are the ones soldiering on with me in the greatest numbers?

Perhaps the biggest unintended consequence of the way I live my life is that it is becoming a sort of experiment. My 90-year-old dad went along last night. He didn't drink too much. He had steak. He told jokes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

To China and Back, with Love

You all know that getting rid of all those old computers, printers, cell phones and such is a huge problem and that tossed on the land fill they are toxic to ground water. Well, sometimes we fill ships with them and send them to China. So far, so good. Contaminate the communists, I guess, because they toss what they don't recycle and contaminate their own landfills.

But the Chinese are apparently recycling some of this waste into lead alloy and making it into children's jewelry and sending it back to us. The Wall Street Journal reports today that two studies suggest that this jewelry had traces of copper and tin indicating solder material from circuit boards was the source of the high levels of lead and that some jewelry contained antimony, a toxic metalloid element used to harden lead in batteries.

You will be glad to find out that China bans imports of e-waste but that it arrives nonetheless in loads of sixty tons or more.

To add to the profound head-hurting globalization many of the trashed electronics, or parts of them, came from China in the first place.

You Are What You Steal

This just in from today's Wall Street Journal. A company collects data on pirated music downloads and sells it to radio stations to refine their play lists.

What's next: Wal-Mart stocking stores based on the most often shoplifted items? [Warning: they are cracking down on young shoplifters over at WalMart, I read elsewhere recently.]

Friday, July 6, 2007

Revenge for Not Cleaning Your Plate

[First...apologies for stealing this picture. These are actually clever lamps from this company.] But I've been thinking about all those "there are people starving in China" admonitions we got from our mothers who wanted us to join the clean plate club. Now, Chinese factories are poisoning their food and ours (and our pets'). There's some justice in that.

Global Parenting

It's tough on the rich and well-connected to teach their kids everything they should know. So Al Gore's kid is driving a Prius, yes. Did Daddy buy it for him? Did he mention that driving it 100MPH might defeat some of the positives for the planet? (You think the internal combustion engine is working when a hybrid goes this fast? Me, too.) Yeah and he had a bit of drugs, too. Just say no. To global warming.

I'll bet the father saw things this way: my son will be setting a good example in a Prius. In the Unintended Consequence of parenting, it just makes this story so so funny! And, of course, pushes Paris Hilton off the media table for a minute or two.