About webnerbob

A Cleveland and Ohio State sports fan who lives in Columbus, Ohio

2008 Time Warp

IMG_3471In 2008, the President Obama “Hope” t-shirts and posters were everywhere, so popular that the image became iconic.  You don’t see the image much anymore, with President Obama’s approval ratings sinking in the direction of the 40 percent level, according to the Real Clear Politics average.  However, the “Hope” t-shirts are still being sold at a souvenir stand at Reagan National Airport for $12.99 apiece — although they don’t command nearly as much shelf space as brightly colored, generic “Washington D.C.” hoodies.

Friday Night Pizza

Driving home from the airport tonight, the road was clogged with pizza delivery vehicles.  Jet’s Pizza, Donatos, Papa John’s . . . the pizza armada was out in full force, brutishly hogging the thoroughfares and (literally) feeding America’s insatiable appetite for that boxed, lukewarm combination of crust, tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings.

IMG_3482It seems like Friday night is the biggest night for pizza delivery, in Columbus at least, and the “fun facts” section of pizzadelivery.com supports that hypothesis.  It states that half of all the pizzas sold in American are sold on Friday and Saturday night.  (Super Sunday is the biggest pizza delivery night of the year, of course, but that’s a Super Special Occasion.)

Why is delivery pizza so popular on Friday night?  I’m guessing that most of that pizza is eaten by families.  Mom and Dad are exhausted by the time Friday night rolls around, the idea of fixing some kind of sit-down meal is anathema, and pizza at least allows the family to do something together.  Mix in sleepovers, football games, and the other activities that command the activities of kids these days and you end up with a night where a food option that people can slam down on the go makes sense.

I’d also bet that Saturday morning is the biggest time for consumption of cold pizza.

America Then, America Now

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Yesterday morning in Washington, D.C., I walked past Ford’s Theater.  A small, quaint red brick building among the modern concrete structures of downtown Washington, the theater looks as it did 150 years ago, on that terrible night when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

It’sdownload wonderful that Ford’s Theate still exists; so much of American history has been erased in our never-ending quest for bigger and better that it’s gratifying to see a place that played such an important part in our history has been preserved.  So, too, has the house across the street where our greatest President died, and Edwin Stanton aptly said “Now he belongs to the ages.”

America being what it is, however, you won’t be surprised to learn that, among these sober living memorials to a dark chapter is a cheesy souvenir shop called Honest Abe Souvenir, which was having it’s grand opening as we walked by.  Because, after witnessing the place where American history took a grim turn and a great man breathed his last, who wouldn’t want to buy an Honest Abe mug or T-shirt?

Found Lamb

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I like it when the people setting up a business dinner meeting pick a really good restaurant. So when the hosts of a meeting in Houston tonight said we were going to Hugo’s, I was a happy caballero.

Hugo’s is a place that will change your conception of south of the border cuisine. The food is exceptionally good and willing to bend the rules a bit, and the sauces are delectable. Tonight I had the shredded suckling pig appetizer with a punchy habanero sauce, and the entree was this beautiful combo of little lamb chops and lamb sausage. Wash it down with a glass of Amarone, and you’ve got all the ingredients of a great business meeting.

It beats a PowerPoint presentation and a Danish any day!

Smell Not Covered

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We got a laugh out of this painfully earnest sign on the inside of a rear passenger window of a D.C. taxi that took us to the airport today.

I’m not quite sure how a cabbie would determine “marital status” or “family responsibility” or “political affiliation” or “source of income” or other non-visible qualities. I do know that if one asked me about any of these topics he wouldn’t need to discriminate against me — I’d never get into a taxi with a complete stranger who asked me such intrusive personal questions. (It’s nerve-wracking enough to trust that complete stranger to drive you to your destination without incident, without wondering whether the personal inquisitiveness means he is a complete nutcase, if not an axe murderer.)

Although the list of protected characteristics is long, it is not exhaustive. It appears D.C cab drivers could still refuse to transport someone who smells awful, or displays visible signs of complete insanity, or is brandishing a hand grenade.

Well-Knotted

The act of tying a tie is a simple one — and also a pain for those of us who toil in jobs where we still are expected to wear a piece of fabric cinched around our necks — but that doesn’t make its successful accomplishment any less satisfying.

IMG_3445For most of us unfortunates, the act of tying your tie to get ready for work is as rote as tying your shoe or starting the car in the morning.  The process is so automatic and ingrained you don’t even think about the individual steps.

II don’t know the name of my tie-knotting technique and whether it produces a Windsor knot, a Four-in-hand, or something else.  I just know that the chosen cravat is placed over my shoulders with the wide end on one side and the narrow on the other, and the relative length of each is adjusted by instinct.  The wide end then is looped around the narrow, popped through a hole directly under my chin, and flopped on top of the narrow end and drawn down to make a reasonably acceptable knot.   The last step is to tug down the narrow end until the gap between the tie and the shirt collar is closed and the button is no longer visible.  Voila!

If I can accomplish this and avoid the dreaded “Oliver Hardy” look — where the narrow end is longer than the wide end, which ends up flapping forlornly on the belly — while also having the wide end reach belt level, the operation was a success.  Extra points if I meet those goals and also produce the perfectly centered dimple.

It’s the little things, especially on a Thursday morning.