I stopped by 801 Chop House early yesterday to see if the World Wine Tour was really serving more than 300 wines. It was. The tour opened to the public at 5:30 p.m. but from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. was an industry-only event that resembled a street market, not a hoity-toity wine tasting. In each and every corner of the massive steakhouse was the cacophony of deals being done and great wine being poured.
I talked with wine producers from Argentina to New Zealand -- as well as to a former Goldman Sachs employee who had been recently laid off and was now working for his wine-producer brother.
Recently, 4:20 enthusiasts Shanin & Parks
have begun fobbing off T-shirts to anyone willing to whisper "cooter"
to them. We were shocked to see these shirts turning up everywhere.
For example, we never expected to see a Shanin & Parks shirt ...
with a statue of Sojourner Truth.
"©" made an appearance on the front page of Sunday's Kansas City Star. The Steve Kraske-written story said the FBI is investigating Missouri lawmakers for trading favors for campaign donations.
Kraske's sources are solid. Three lawmakers told The Star's chief political writer they had spoken with agents.
But Kraske, for some reason, declines to name possible targets of the investigation. A follow-up in this morning's paper (co-written by Jason Noble) even seems to go out of its way to conceal the identity of a lawmaker "running political consulting businesses while in office with lawmakers as clients."
Which leaves us to wonder whether he's talking about former Speaker of the House Rod Jetton.
In July of last year, Portland band the Prids (whose founding members met in college at Missouri Western State in St. Joseph) had a serious van accident on the road to L.A. when a tire blew. Several members were injured. Last October, the band's label, five03, began putting together a tribute CD to help pay for the band's medical and other expenses.
Out last month, Dots to Connect finds Prids pals such as Helvetia, A Place to Bury Strangers, We Float, the Upsidedown and our homies Roman Numerals covering Prids songs. The Prids are doing well these days; in fact, they played the Record Bar this past Saturday. A cold kept me from going to the show, so if you went, let me know how it was.
[image-1]T. Boone Pickens, the octogenarian who is spending a fortune made in oil promoting wind power and natural gas, will be in Lawrence on Sunday to pitch his plan. The Dole Institute of Politics hosts the town-hall event at 4:30 p.m. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback will introduce Pickens, the subject of a recent feature in The Pitch.
Brownback has a pretty solid record on energy independence. In 2005, he co-sponsored a bill which aimed to reduce oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels a day in 10 years. He likes plug-in cars and has pushed for climate-friendly farming practices. He drives a hyrbrid.
But wanting to stick it to sheiks is not the same as being an environmentalist. Brownback's record has received low scores from the League of Conservation Voters, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and Republicans for Environmental Protection, which takes the seemingly obvious but seldom implemented position that conservation is conservative.
Yesterday, Lidia Bastianich was in town lending her time and fame to the KCPT pledge drive and promoting her restaurant. I stopped by Lidia's Restaurant in the afternoon right after she had finished a luncheon with more than 100 of her fans. As the last of her lunch guests left, a small lady showing a little cleavage came out and there was no mistaking her. Lidia looks exactly like she does on the cover on her cookbooks.
"Welcome, welcome, welcome. Ask me anything you like," she said in her slight accent. So I did.
Despite the weather on Saturday, the Eat Local Expo went on. Here are some pictures of what went down. [Flickr: Eat Local Expo]
The Google search "best tamales in Kansas City" goes to a local blogger's site. The only problem is now he has to figure out where the best tamales in Kansas City actually are. [Gone Mild]
The plan is back on! Maybe there will be a casino in Wyandotte after all. $5 buffet here I come. [KC Biz Journal]
The good news is that the drop in oil prices has significantly lowered the price of food. The bad news is that food companies are taking their sweet-ass time bringing the prices back down, especially for desperate third-world countries. [WSJ]
We're saddened this morning to hear of the death of Jim Gasser, subject of Ben Paynter's May, 2007 cover story "There Can Be Only One Foam Sword Fighter." Gasser died in a car crash Monday in New Mexico.
Paynter's portrait of Gasser was unusual, in that the writer became the apprentice. Seeking to understand Gasser's mastery of Barbarian foam sword play, Paynter is drawn into the geeky Ren-Fest world and ultimately, formally challenges his mentor to a fight. (An editor probably isn't supposed to say this, but this story one is one of my all-time favorites. -- C.J.)
In memory of Gasser, we'll leave you with this excerpt from early in the story:
He drives me toward the intersection of 49th Street and Walnut while
reciting the 500 B.C. battle cry of Greek philosopher Heraclitus: "Out
of every 100 men, 10 shouldn't even be there, 80 are just targets, nine
are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the
battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others
He tells me that he hopes one day to be the One. A teetotaler, Gasser
spends hours each day working on his swordsmanship, practicing hundreds
of repetitions of his attack moves. When I tell him it sounds
excessive, he shrugs. "What would the Spartans be doing?"
Okay, so the DNC is tiredly introducing some anti-Rush Limbaugh billboards in Rush's current hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida. Here is a picture their thunderingly dull and un-clever brainchild:
So, they're gonna, what? Drive slowly around his office all day, blaring a horn that plays "La Cucaracha?" Wasn't that whole Rush thing, like, back in February? I was sort of led to believe that the rest of the world had abandoned that fat snot goblin and moved on to other, different easy targets, like that HORRIBLE airline food, and the differences between the black people and the white people. Oh -- I should probably stipulate that, thanks to a small business loan, I've been running a detective agency since January, and that, like the tragically short-lived David Hasselhoff series Baywatch Nights, I run my detective agency out of a club venue. Only, instead of a nightclub, It's a stand-up comedy club called the Giggle Pants Laff Factory in the Commerce Plaza strip mall in Independence. I'm only allowed to interview potential clients between 12-minute sets, and we have to be quiet while the acts are onstage.
Since they won't let me install internet access at my office (table eight), I rely on the comedians for all of my current events, and believe me, those guys have a ton of opinions on what it might be like if Christopher Walken worked at a variety of unlikely occupations. Call center operator? Best Buy car stereo installer? Kegel excercise instructor? Just imagine a flat, halting Christopher Walken-esque voice saying, "A good way to find your kegel muscles is to imagine that you are sitting on a marble and want to pick up that marble with your vagina." You name the esoteric or comedically banal occupation, and these Van-Dutch-T-shirt-and-jeans-wearing raconteurs-with-suburban-goatees can speculate for -- well, for up to 12 minutes at a time about Christopher Walken's job performance. So, that's a thing, right? Everyone is talking about Christopher Walken? Again, I'm asking for information, here, because what with sleeping all day and then working at my small, comedy-club-based detective business at night, I can't be 100 percent sure that the world outside the walls of the Giggle Pants Laff Factory isn't just as consumed with interest in Christopher Walken. Or that the Newshour with Jim Lehrer isn't just as preoccupied with how much time women spend in the damn bathroom as Bobby "Bagadonuts" Baldone, a Los Angeles-based stand-up comic who may hire me to follow and take pictures of his ex-wife, assuming he gets confirmed for the Douchebags of Indifferent Celebrity Impressions Comedy Tour in May.
In order to get all the way through the next tedious sentence, I'm probably going to have to stop right in the middle for a shot of Wild Turkey, a cigarette and a KFC Famous Bowl. SO. There's some debate amongst the mortarboard-wearing provosts or whatever at Notre Dame about whether or not Barack Obama should be allowed to give a commencement address to their graduating class this year because
the president believes that ladies are the bosses of their vaginas. Are they seriously concerned that the President of the U.S. would give a commencement address on the subject of abortion advocacy? As a one- and sometimes two-fisted hard-boiled private detective with one foot in the grave, the other foot in just a huge box of shell casings, both hands inside the liquor cabinet of a client who stepped out of the room for a minute and a torso drenched in the blood of baby panda bears*, sometimes I wonder how Americans became such unbelievable pussies that they just can't bear listening to the voice of somebody that they disagree with. What would your railyard-working grandfather say if he heard that listening to somebody whose opinion varied in some way from your own opinion just absolutely made you want to barf? The truth is that he would have called you a fairy, because your grandpa was an unacceptable old homophobe, and that was a different and less tolerant era in American history (the 1970s). I'm actually really sorry and embarrassed that I brought up your grandpa at this point. But I think that his argument -- that you're probably something less than a man if you can't even listen to the other guy talk -- is pretty much valid.
*See Chris Packham and the Mystery of the Baby Panda Bears Who Wouldn't Stop Whining Like He Fucking Told Them To.
I am not Shepard Fairey. But I do love running the picture of O'Fallon loon Cynthia Davis through the Obamicon. Seemed appropriate, since the Missouri state Representative (a loosely used term) won't drop the whole President-Obama-isn't really-an-American shtick. Davis has joined the "birther movement," which wants Obama to prove at a jury trial that he's really a citizen -- even though the conspiracy theory has been repeatedly refuted on numerous news sites. I'm just glad Davis is keeping this up. I really wanted to show off these posters of a woman I'd love to hug and kiss all over. Not exactly "hope," "change" or "progress."
Thanks to Fired Up! Missouri.
Who gives a fuck.
New low huds.
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