Saturday, August 29, 2015

An Open Letter to GOP Candidates for President of the United States


Dear Fellas,

A lot of us--supporters and detractors alike--were interested in watching the process as the Republican party sorts out who to nominate for President of the United States in 2016. I never thought any of you were perfect, but I was (and remain) keen to learn more about you all and watch the whole thing go down. I was even starting to put together a bracket, since there's sixteen candidates and all.

Then Trump happened.


This whole thing is going down in smoke.

Maybe it won't matter. Maybe, even if he wins the nomination, the Democrat wins, or the Independent Socialist wins, or the Libertarians candidate wins, or Jesus returns and we never get to Election Day 2016. But, what if it does?

Not only did this Trump guy totally screw up the Sweet Sixteen bracket, but this guy's not even a Republican. He's changed parties at least four times in the last sixteen years, for crying out loud. Google his name, key words for the topic of your choice, and pretty much any year that isn't 2015 or 2016, and you're likely to find quotes that are in stark contrast to anything this guy is saying now.

That isn't to say that the problem is that he isn't a Republican. The problem is that the guy's a total blowhard, a narcissist, a loose cannon, and quite possibly holding the potential to be the worst President in the history of Presidents. Nobody knows what we'll get.

This might be obvious, but, umm: Stop him.

There are a whole bunch of articles online (you know how the Internet works, I presume) about whether or not Trump can be stopped and what any of you might do to win the nomination for yourself. It looks like a bunch of hoping. If you care about your country at all, roughly fifteen of you need to be patriots, drop out, and rally around someone that wouldn't be a complete disaster.

Sincerely,
Mike Lyons






Photos of Republican Candidates: New York Times
Photo of Mike Lyons: Bree Lyons

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger at Burger King (#13305)

Truth in Burgers
My Bacon Cheeseburger
Theirs
The burger was actually totally fine, just maybe half the size they'd lead you to believe. The service at this location is pretty good.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

At Lake Michigan

One of my favorite places on earth,


but not one of my favorite seasons. I'll take what I can get. :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Zen of Beard Trimming

I haven't blogged in forever, but when I was given the chance to receive an advance copy of The Zen of Beard Trimming: Stories of Punk Rock, Poverty, and the Search for Peace by C.J. Campbell so that I could review it, I  had to take the opportunity and dig out my login information. :)

In this brutally honest "five-year memoir," Campbell tells a story of struggle. Some of it I could not relate to, such as struggling with the realities of living with cerebral palsy, growing up without having a father around, and fighting anorexia. Much of it, however, is truly universal: fear of failure, the desire to be loved, and, simply, life as a struggle. However, if you're looking for a heart-warming tale, I'm not sure this is it. Much of Campbell's story is not overcoming. It's surviving. Coping. Failing. Accepting. Moving on. Understanding.

Where it falls short of heart-warming, it certainly leaves the reader with a renewed sense of gratitude and sensitivity to others. This story is about the struggle for things that we all desperately, desperately want--the things that most of us take for granted once we have them. And through three-quarters of the book I kept hoping Campbell would get them. But, as far as I can tell, he doesn't. If you totally lack in empathy, you might enjoy Campbell's story as a comedy of errors. The right movie director could pull it off. I am neither lacking in empathy, nor the right movie director.

I feel like Campbell has told me half the story--the middle half. He left out some of the beginning, which might just be good editing on his part. However, I really wanted the end, the part where Campbell doesn't have to struggle. Perhaps the end of struggle never happens for Campbell, and the fact that the reader has to accept that is what makes this book compelling and possibly devastating.

Buy it here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Burnin' Love & Whiskey River BBQ at Red Robin

While out doing some Christmas shopping, V and I stopped for lunch at the Red Robin at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois.

I ordered the Burnin' Love and a gingerbread-flavored milkshake. The shake was free, thanks to a promotion with our loyalty card. V ordered the Whiskey River BBQ and a bottomless root beer float. As always at Red Robin, our burgers came with bottomless fries. As is our custom, we shared (a little) with one another, so I got a little of her food, too.

Truth in Burgers

For the sake of truth in advertising, here are photos of my actual burger and a  promotional photo from Red Robin's web site:

My Burnin' Love

Theirs 
And here's V's actual Whiskey River BBQ and the corresponding promotional photo:

V's Whiskey River BBQ

Theirs

We both ordered our burgers well done, and both fell a little short in that regard, but not so much that I bothered to complain. I was otherwise happy with my Burnin' Love, but V was maybe halfway through her Whiskey River BBQ before she began to lament that she hadn't ordered a salad instead. When I tried it, the "crispy onion straws" were not at all crispy. I was so impressed with it that when she asked me if I wanted to finish it, I declined.

I declined a burger. This does not happen.

The gingerbread shake was very good.

Service

This particular Red Robin isn't our usual Red Robin, but the service was pretty much what we've been getting lately. It used to be much better. The frequency at which we visit them is declining along with their service.

Red Robin used to serve their burgers in baskets heaped with fries. Then they got fancy and started serving them as you can see above, with maybe a dozen fries. Of course, they never ask you if you want more fries. Our waitress never asked V if she wanted a refill on her "bottomless" root beer float, either. The float was delivered with an extra glass of root beer, which was not at all helpful when V wanted more ice cream, which seems reasonable to expect to have in your root beer float.

Apparently, the definition of "bottomless" at Red Robin is defined more by your own patience and persistence than any measure of actually getting what you want. It is my personal opinion that anything that is advertised at "bottomless," "unlimited," or having "free refills" should be kept fully stocked at my table without any effort on my part. Things like fries and drinks should be replenished without the waiter or waitress even asking me if I want it. (Why should my conversation be interrupted?) This never happens. If you want to gorge yourself on fries, you're going to have to ask. And ask. And ask. Each basket comes with six to eight fries.

Location

I don't like this particular Red Robin location. It's a fairly compact layout, and even though climbing over a stranger's bags to get to my seat might sound like fun, I thought it was a little awkward. The arctic breeze washing over us every time a patron walked in our out the front door wasn't really great, either.

What Other Patrons Were Saying

As we left, from one of the ladies who had been sitting in the next booth: "They lost mom's American Express!" I'm serious.


With peace, love, and burgers,
Mike

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Heads Will Roll!

This, from the Associated Press:



Head of sunken ferry's owner in S. Korea detained


In this April 17, 2014 photo, Kim Han-sik, president of Chonghaejin, is escorted by helpers to hold a press conference at Incheon Port International Passenger Terminal in Incheon, South Korea. South Korean prosecutors on Thursday, May 8, 2014 detained Kim, the head of the company that owns the ferry that sank last month, over an allegation of cargo overloading.(AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUTAssociated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors on Thursday detained the head of the company that owns the ferry that sank last month over an allegation of cargo overloading.

...

At first I was thinking this was going to be something more like the whole Perseus-and-Medusa-thing.


Am I the only one that has these kinds of problems? Being a headline editor must be hard.