Olbermann brings out the obscure historical references

To the extent to which references to past Presidents can be obscure, I guess.

Early in his special comment defending Bill Clinton, he refers to the Bush administration as "the worst administration since James Buchanan."


I actually couldn't focus on the rest of the speech until I found out what Buchanan did that was so bad.

Turns out he was the president just before Lincoln. He was afraid to do much of anything to soothe the tensions between slave and free states. He took office just before the Supreme Court handed down its Dred Scott decision, and he really hoped that would be the end of it. His policy of inaction is thought to be a factor in starting the Civil War.

It's not the way we normally think of our "Let's bomb Iraq for no real reason!" president, but Olbermann's comparison is perfect in the context of the piece, which points out that Bush ignored warnings of terrorist activity for eight months before the Sept. 11 attacks and is now trying to place all responsibility for the attacks on the Clinton administration.

Man, I hope our next president's more of a Lincoln.

If you're interested, you can read about Buchanan here. Wikipedia is good too.

Of course, Olbermann's entire comment is worth watching; it's a very rare thing nowadays to see a news anchor who knows how to turn a phrase.


Any book worth banning ...

... is a book worth reading, says a button I've had since I was, like, 13 and the Little Professor store down by the Kroger was still in business.

It's Banned Books Week!

Celebrate by reading a Harry Potter book. They're the most challenged books of the 21st century. ('Cause they're Satanic, doncha know.)


Thursday's got the wanderlust

My cat has a yen to explore. In a one-bedroom apartment, there are only so many nooks/crannies to investigate.

So every time I open the door, she darts out into the hall. It's all right; there's only a flight of stairs and a closed door at the bottom, so she can't go anywhere. But it's time-consuming each morning to either a) put down my bag and coffee mug, scoop her up, and toss her back in the apartment, or b) let her wander about and hope the noise from a passing car will scare her back inside.

Once, I said, "Fine. She wants to explore? Let's take a tour of the stairs." So I picked her up and started walking. The second my feet hit the landing, she started crying and clawing my arms as though I were taking her to her doom. I sprinted her back up the stairs, and the second I let her go she shot under the bed and stayed there for a long time. She gave the door a wide berth for a few weeks after that.

I might see if she takes to being walked - I even bought a little harness and leash. I like the idea of being "that girl who walks her cat." Somehow, though, I don't think the cat will cooperate.


Best cake EVAR.

Here's the story.

Now I want to see a whole Food Network Challenge devoted to video-game cakes. Like, how about a Prince of Persia cake that's covered with ledges and jutting flagpoles and broken pillars, or a Grand Theft Auto cake where you can pluck passersby off the cake and rip off their little sugary arms, or maybe a Phantasy Star Online cake that's split into four different parts, each with a custom topper? There could be a Halo cake with a little Warthog being driven around the edge and random weapons lying around, and maybe a flag on either side!

Oh, and at the end of the challenge, they have to carry their cakes on a series of moving platforms across a lake of lava, with fireballs shooting up periodically.

(Via Jen.)



Rather than go to bed, I thought I'd plug my boyfriend's comic.


Peyton Manning is in every commercial, parts 2-4

The video I was talking about:

And the Mastercard commercials I adore - D-CAF and Cut That Meat!

Game day

So on Sunday I was watching the Bengals game with Mr. Wufflekins and some friends, and this commercial came on where some ridiculous new sports drink drips on a football in a field during a thunderstorm, and it starts to swell and distend, and then, Alien-like, out bursts this ready-made athlete. It's all very creepy and makes me want to never drink this beverage in case a track-and-field team decides to rip through my abdomen.

But that's not really the point. The point is that the newborn athlete is Peyton Manning, and as that commercial ended and the next one began, somebody in the room remarked that it seemed like Peyton Manning was in every commercial.

The next ad, coincidentally, featured a geeky man with strange black hair and a moustache talking about how great Peyton Manning was, "I mean, if you like 6-foot-4 quarterbacks," and how he could see all these clips of Peyton Manning doing awesome football stuff on his Sprint phone. Which he thought was cool, because Peyton Manning is totally awesome!

"That guy has a man-crush on Peyton Manning!" I said.

Everyone said, "That IS Peyton Manning!"

I guess he really is in every commercial.


Wine tasting

Popped into the Fresh Market on Sunday for eggs and water crackers. (They've also got an awesome deal on bulk spinach.)

Rounding the final corner before the cashier, I passed through the wine section - holy crap! Is that Big Tattoo?

And it totally was.

I tried Big Tattoo White two years ago and really enjoyed it. It was the first wine where I could actually taste some of the flavors listed in the tasting notes - one of which is "stone." Stone? Really? But on that night when I first tried Big Tattoo, I listened to my palette and it told me, "Yeah, Kelly. Stone." And I was all, whoa.

Anyway, I liked it and bought a few more bottles before it disappeared from the shelves of Wild Oats. Later, I asked an employee about it, and she said that the vineyard was all out, but perhaps they would make more eventually. (She also said I wasn't the first to ask.)

And thus ended my love affair with Big Tattoo White - until that chance encounter in The Fresh Market. (If by "chance encounter" you mean "huge display of bottles that you'd have to be blind - or drunk already - to miss.")

The wine has a novelty name, a strikingly designed bottle, and a backstory (two brothers - one a wine importer, one a tattoo artist - unite to create a wine to honor their late mother). Mr. Wufflekins has pointed out that these are generally the telltale signs of inferiority, but I find them charming in this case. Also, my purchase of two bottles ($9.99 each) cause a tiny donation to be made to breast-cancer-related charities, and since I'm not running Race for the Cure, it's the least I can do. (That "least I can do" is very close to literal, since the donation per bottle is 50 cents. Still, Big Tattoo's website claims the wine has raised more than $600,000 for charity.)

I'm starting to think maybe I prefer blended wines to pure varietals; I can't remember liking a Pinot Grigio as much as I've liked Big Tattoo or Barefoot Beach White ($5.99 most places - awesome!). Or maybe it's just that those blended wines are sweeter than the Pinots or Chardonnays I usually try (I've backed off from Sauvignon Blanc altogether for being too acidic).

Do I sound like a wine wonk? Don't be fooled - I still can't identify the notes of cantaloupe and citrus and (I dunno) old library books with yellowing pages in most wines, I fill my glass to the top instead of leaving some room for swirling, and I pretty much refuse to pay more than $10 a bottle unless it's something really special. Perhaps I'm less of a wine snob and more of a wino.