Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How we live today

A former federal prosecutor, George Parry, has an interesting Op-Ed in the Inquirer this morning, noting that Philadelphia has fallen on hard times indeed - even the Mob is moving out.

Up from a high of 80 members, the small but once-feared Mob is now down to a mere 10 or so guys on the street, with another 10 or so cooling their heels in prison. Far from being a triumph of police work, the author argues, it is a mark of how big a mess the city has become.

"It means that we have so little going for us that we can't even attract and keep a decent-sized organized-crime family. Things have deteriorated so badly that not even these bums want to live and commit crimes here."

Hooray for us.

Of course, on the up side, the Inquirer also reports that the top selling item at a local pet boutique chain is a woolly Michael Vick chew toy for your dog to nibble on while you watch the Eagles.

At least that's something.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My beer tried to kill me

I have a few cases of almost forgotten homebrewed beer in the basement and I figured I ought to fish some of it up before it loses any appeal. So this afternoon, I hefted up a partial case of a nice IPA I brewed last fall and set it down in front of the fridge. I leaned over to clear some space on a shelf. Then I heard a pop and felt a searing pain. I looked down and realized a bottle had exploded right between my legs, driving the neck and cap straight up into my undefended crotch.

Let me tell you, this hurt a very great deal. Perhaps more than a great deal.

I guess it beats a piece of glass in the eye, but I will be remembering this for a few days.

The only good news is that, based on the aroma of the exploded bottle, the hop character has held up pretty well over the last 10 months. As long as the remaining bottles don't blow up on me, I am in for a few reasonable glasses of beer.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fun with English

We were wandering through the wilds of Arizona recently when we happened upon a remote hotel and diner kind of place. The guests appeared to be mostly German and Japanese. One of the Japanese men was wearing a shirt that caught my eye. Under the logo for something called "The California Surfing Company" it said:

"Sports requires a balance of mind when practiced with patience, it's very pleasant. Surfing."

I don't recall seeing that one at the T-Shirt shops of Venice and Malibu.