Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moonshine, Trikes, and Other Million Dollar Ideas

1. I'm reading yet another financial disaster book--review of doomsday and panic forthcoming soon, hopefully before August 2nd!--but one thing that strikes me as odd is that it seems like every single person of note is described as "a blue-collar, parochial-school type, unlike all of the other WASPs that make up Wall Street." Sometimes it seems like the finance industry is just a bunch of Catholic former longshoremen who are pretending to be trust-fund Presbyterians.

2. Perhaps it's that I haven't been very perceptive about it, but I've seen more motor trikes than I even have in the past, which, to be fair, is "never." I've never been a motorcycle person--just not my thing--but I'm intrigued. They seem safer, though I don't know why; getting plowed by an inattentive Suburban driver will be the same whether you're riding a hog or a tricycle with a motor. But I will never understand how a small vehicle such as a motorcycle is more expensive than an equivalent car. I mean, sure, the main core parts are the same, and a car is basically a motorcycle with a bunch of plastic and hope duct taped on it, but it's silly to think that more material and/or craftsmanship goes into a motorcycle than a real life breathing car. Still, I was shocked and astounded at the going rate for these vehicles. I don't get it.

3. This is pointless, and also immeasurably cool. A color wheel of cartoon characters.

4. A company in Charleston, South Carolina is going to start selling moonshine, legally. I'm a live-and-let-live kind of guy when it comes to stuff like this; especially given our nation's tumultuous relationship with alcohol in general, I don't mind a little bit of passive resistance. I'm not a drinker myself, and I will never understand the "alcohol culture" we have created for ourselves, but I do recognize the fact that with a few exceptions, booze encompasses all classes, races, and regions. It seems like everyone but Mormons and people on the liver transplant list like to get boozed up. Anyway, moonshine is the perfect blend of entrepreneurship, Southern charm, and symbolic rebellious that encompasses the best of the American dream.

5. I'm not an expert on such things, but it seems the reign of comic-book movies are coming to an end. They got all the low hanging fruit and getting the second-tier heroes up to bat (Green Lantern, anyone?) and now they're trying to capture some of that but without any actual, real comic book stories (Cowboys vs. Aliens, anyone?) I am a lukewarm fan at best--they're usually pretty good fun, and they seemed to get the right mix of story, action, and fun without getting all art-house creepy on us--but except for the occasional sequel I think we're doing seeing them for a while. (Why they don't develop more of them for TV shows I don't know. I know production costs are mind-numbingly high for such things, but there are some basic cable shows that are managing to pull it off.)

6. Speaking of, I am becoming more and more of a fan of the 13-episode series. I used to hate it, because that meant less shows to watch, but a lot of recent examples--True Blood and Mad Men, specifically--has shown that if the quality is high enough, it often feels like a whole season anyway, and probably most previous series were just padding it out anyway. I'm not sure if comedies have got it quite right--even those that do, such as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia--seem like they should be full-run seasons.

7. Another million dollar idea: have a themes restaurant with lost treasures. Have replicas of Excalibur hanging on the walls, drunks can chug moonshine out of the crystal skull, and kids can go play in a big Ark of the Covenant filled with fake gold coins. All the glasses are holy grails which, if you finish your drink and there is a mark of the Templar there, you've found the One True Grail and get, like, free dessert or something. And the waiters are dressed like Indiana Jones or if you want to go downscale Nicholas Cage, with the hostess dressed up like Lara Croft. Just sayin'.

8. Football is coming back! The new CBA doesn't have my long-desired 40 Team League, but at least there will be a season. To be honest, I didn't miss it, and I actually don't care if it starts in a week or so, but I know once the games start airing I'll get all excited about it. This also means that, to paraphrase House Stark, fall is coming.

9. I have so far been underwhelmed by Google+. It's probably because there are only a few people I know on it yet. But we shall see.

10. I have a ton of reviews I haven't gotten around to doing yet. This involves candy, food, board games, and all sorts of fun stuff. It's been too damn hot lately to do much of anything, so I have just been lazy. If you'd like to read some reviews of restaurants and trips we've taken lately, head on over to my wife's blog where she has plenty of posts up about it. July has been slow as far as my productivity goes, so hopefully August will go much better.

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