My Favorite Things

Hot girl + bridge = Heaven for W. Gimme a beer and some barbeque and it’s all over….

My only problem was trying to decide whether to look at the girl or the bridge. I think Bethany at RealVerse may become a blogger pin-up. I wonder if she was recruited because she's hot, or if she's more deeply involved in the project.

Am I A Hipster Now?

I do love me some BBQ, and I’ve been trying for weeks (both of them) to go to Mothership BBQ in Berry Hill. Lunch during the week is out of the question because the mile long hike from the office to the parking lot takes up most of my break, and it’s only open from 11-2 on Saturdays. Apparently that crazy Knucklehead likes his weekends free. But Tuesday I finally managed to get there on my way home from work. And now I understand why it’s where all the cool bloggers hang out.

I had the pork sandwich with potato salad and beans, and it was amazing. It’s all been said before, but I’m going to say it again. I got my order to-go and it smelled so heavenly I had to break into it while I was still in the parking lot. It had a really strong hickory flavor which I don’t notice in most restaurant barbeque. The sides are great and made on site. Both the potato salad and the beans have some non standard spices on them which are an excellent contribution to the overall flavor. My only complaints were that the barbeque sauce and the dressing on the potato salad were too thin. I felt like I was leaving the best part of both in the bottom of my plate.

I didn’t stay long enough to get a good luck at the décor, and obviously didn’t get to see the much vaunted ladies room, but from what I did see…. There is much cheese on those walls. There’s a lot of personality invested in the whole place.

Good job Knucklehead. Now how about funking up the place?



Back in college I remember a particular conversation. We were sitting around drinking beer and the subject of breasts came up. One of the girls wondered aloud why men find them so fascinating since all they really are is fatty lumps. We never did figure it out, but for some reason that question stuck in my mind a lot more than anything I learned in class that week. (Ever since then, whenever someone mentions staticly indeterminate structures I think of breasts.)

So when I saw that Showtime was airing a documentary on breasts appropriately called ‘Busting Out’, of course I had to watch. It’s an interesting study of one of the favorite body parts of most American men. The director lost her mother to breast cancer when she was young, so she explores how that affected her.

The main point of the entire documentary is how American women are affected by the eroticization of the breast. It reminded me of some of the things the Davinci Code said about ‘the goddess’. Essentially that primitive cultures worshipped the goddess and breasts were celebrated as a sign of fertility. Then the evil Christians came along and felt that breasts were shameful and had to be covered up. There were various cycles of more and less obsession with breasts in western culture, and cycles were curves were admired versus thin women being the ideal.

The closest we got in our drunken conversation back in college was that breasts are so eroticized because women keep them (at least semi) covered. I’ve always suspected that it went back to some weird mother issue and was related to the fact that an infant relies on them for sustenance.

There’s this whole big theory presented that the breast fascination is cultural. A study is quoted in which the sexual practices of eleventy thousand cultures were studied, and the majority of them didn’t really care about breasts. Interestingly enough, the more ‘primitive’ cultures were the ones more inclined to see breasts as just another useful body part. I’m not sure what that means, but it seems all us guys from high tech countries like to see some breasts.

This theory asserts that sexual sensitivity of the breast is learned. One high forehead PhD type (who also had breasts) was quoted as saying something to the effect of “If you were taught that elbows were sexy, then touching your elbow could cause orgasms.’ I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with that one. It seems to be a pretty well documented fact that breasts, or specifically nipples have a lot more nerve endings than elbows.

I have to wonder, if breasts are such a great symbol of fertility, why is it so surprising that they are eroticized. They are the fountain of life after all. Why shouldn’t a man be attracted to them. They were his source of food when he was a child, and full breasts are a visual indicator that a woman can feed his child.

At one point the director makes the comment that she really doesn’t care what turns a person, or a culture, on, so long as it doesn’t risk the health of any one. And then she goes into how eroticizing the breast is bad for health. Mostly in the form of encouraging implants, and discouraging breast feeding. She has a point about the dichotomy of breast feeding. On the one hand most guys like to look at a bare breast, but on the other no one (not even many women) wants to see a woman breast feeding.

There’s a long segment on the damage done to a girl’s psyche during that phase when breasts first start growing. Blossom to early and the girls make fun and the guys drool. Blossom to late, and the girls make fun and the guys don’t drool. They even follow a young girl and her mother on a shopping trip to buy her first bra. I never realized the potential for trauma there. Any imaginary reader ladies want to comment?

The segment on breast cancer includes a really juicy quote. The leaders of a national support group for breast cancer survivors comment on the fashionable pink ribbon you see these days. They said that the pink ribbon was the brainchild of some advertising executive and that retailers are using the pink ribbon to cash in. An interesting discussion by a group called Breast Cancer Action can be found here.

Well, I probably haven’t done the show justice, but I found it to be pretty interesting. It made me think a little bit, but whether or not it got the message across to me is debatable. I still like to look at breasts. Now I need to find my copy of Maxim…...


Little Brother Is Watching

According to today’s Tennessean, the Metro Parks Department is getting its very own eyes in the sky. Video cameras are going to be installed in Two Rivers, Cedar Hill and Hamilton Creek parks in order to discourage sex. Apparently these parks have been publicized on the internet as places to go for sex.

What do they plan to do if they see something going on? The article says that the cameras can be monitored at park police headquarters, or in the squad cars. So are they going to have someone monitoring these things constantly and dispatching officers? It seems like this would be pretty time consuming and more trouble than it’s worth.

The video will be stored for an indeterminate period of time. Will they be going back and looking at the recordings to find evil doers? I can just imagine a special section of the Tennessean, or the Metro webpage with photos of all these people. Let’s just ruin a few lives. And being public record, anyone should be able to go and request the footage. You heard it here first, this stuff could be the next big innovation in porn. The Girls Gone Wild folks will save a ton of money just grabbing free copies of the surveillance footage and editing out the dull tree parts.

The biggest question I have is related to this quote:

the department would not publicize exactly where the cameras will be placed, because "that gets into actual law enforcement operations."

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the point of this to make the cameras a deterrent? Seems like the best thing to do would be to publicize the locations, just to keep people honest. Granted, telling all the exact locations would just make it easier to avoid the cameras. But if they’re hidden, then no one will believe they’re really there. So maybe something along the lines of “here’s 15 of them, but the other 5 are hidden.”

I also like this part.

Police have found cameras to be a deterrent in areas under surveillance, though criminals often move to places not in view, Aaron said.
"You're not going to eliminate the criminal activity altogether, but perhaps displace it."

Translation: “When we can afford it, we’re going to have to put cameras in all the other parks. So get used to the idea.” It's a self perpetuating cycle. They’re already putting cameras on 2nd Avenue and Broadway downtown (at least those are going to be purposely highly visible), so we have this nice slide into more monitoring. The next step will of course be stop-light and speeding cameras to make us safer (and augment the Metro budget). One of these days they’re just going to hire psychics and, and arrest us for future crimes. Don’t like it? Why not? What do you have to hide? Huh punk?

Just take the money and hire two more park police to go shoot the people with tasers while they’re trying to have sex behind the tree. It’s so much simpler.


Guess What I Ate


Well, not all of it. Just a little.

If you’ve been paying attention, then you should have caught on to the fact that The Lady Friend is a little odd. So last weekend she proposed that we go to the RC Cola & Moonpie Festival in Bell Buckle. She’s what I used to call a ‘city girl’, even if the city is just Chattanooga. Apparently she didn’t get proper exposure to small town life as a girl, so now she makes up for it by going to weird small town festivals. (Next year, Mule Day!)

We studied the festival schedule Friday evening so we could decide just what we wanted to see. Our attempts to see the parade were thwarted by the comfort of my bed and the lazyness of myself, but I decided early on that the rest was just gravy. The only important part was The World’s Largest Moonpie. It was just like a regular moonpie, only writ large. That sucker was at least three feet in diameter. And the marshmallow was fresh. After it was worshipped, the World’s Largest Moonpie was distributed to the masses for eating. Obviously, the highlight of my day. Especially since the line for the Moonpie Toss contest was too long for me to stand in. The only disappointment was when they refused to let me get my picture taken with it.

The highlight of The Lady Friend’s day, on the other hand, was visiting all the antique/junk stores in town. It seems The Lady Friend has a taste for kitsch. And she’s from the ‘so bad it’s good’ school of thought. (That quality, in a professional artist, can lead to some interesting things, but that’s a post for another day.) We spent many an hour in the several junk stores and even made a few purchases. In fairness, I did find it kind of interesting. I think you could probably learn a lot about a person just by looking at what they keep, and what they choose to throw away.

For all you other city folk (or Yankees), moonpie is a brand term similar to Kleenex. Other places have similar snacks, but they can’t technically be called moonpies. They’re usually called marshmallow treats or something similar. Buy the originals here. But not the strawberry, those are blech (too artificial).

Oh yeah, and these things were being sold at the craft fair stall. Scary. It haunts my dream. (Picture not by me.)


This Is Good Journalism?

Yesterday's Tennessean had an article about how 75 state employees make more than double their base salary due to over time pay. That's 75 employees out of more than 40,000. Approximately 0.18% of the entire state work force. Sounds like an important fact to know, doesn't it?

Other than proving the Scene right, that doesn't do much though for me. The problem I have is that someone over there thought it was a good idea to get all state employee salaries, and post a searchable database on their website. Why is this news? Why does the world need to know my salary????

I could live with them posting the salaries of the persons who are getting paid double their salary due to overtime. But all state employees?? My salary isn't germane to their story. I don't even get paid overtime. The privacy breach is amazing here.

Privacy issues aside, posting all that extraneous information seems like poor journalism to me. It weakens the story because you have to question the importance of the facts being reported when only 0.18% of the target group actually has a problem. They quote the Governor Bredesen as saying "I'm not aware of any widespread pattern of abuse." and mention how 'some' question the amount of overtime being paid. Does 0.18% sound like a widespread pattern of abuse to any of you? I will give them credit for at least mentioning how big the sample size was. It does say in a sidebar that they included over 40,000 employees.

Leave it to the Tennessean to violate the rights of 40,000 people and be irrelevant at the same time.