Friday, February 29, 2008

My Childhood, Revived by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

They say that you need to grow up sometime. But I never believed that.

When I was a kid, we had the snow cone man. He was much cooler than the ice cream man. The ice cream man drove, well, an ice cream man truck
. It had doors on the side where the ice cream was kept. The ice cream truck played stupid kid music.

The snow cone man, on the other hand, drove a cool white Volkswagen Bus. You could get red, blue, lime, and root beer sno cones. And there was no stup
id music. The snow cone man beeped the horn of his white Volkswagen bus until you came out to get your snowcones.

Life was good. But now, it promises to get even better,
thanks to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Yes, the backward PLCB, owner of Pennsylvania's antiquated State Store monopoly, is giving consideration to starting a fleet of Liquor Mobiles. Now, you don't have to look for one of Pennsylvania's 600 plus stationary Wines and Spirits shops. Just wait for the Liquor Mobile to come by. The Liquor Mobiles will have music. The leading candidate song is "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. If they're really smart, they'll also sell Kahlua Snow Cones.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

WPXI Channel 11 Greater Gas Giveaway Has Passed

WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh had a contest called the Greater Gas Giveaway. It is now over, which is too bad because my boys would have been eager contestants. It would have been a welcome version to the Doorknob game where, when you pass gas, you have to call "Safety" before someone else calls "Doorknob" and the other participants can abuse you.

Speaking of which, if your kids play this flatulence game, stop farting around and click here
for the perfect gift for the Safety/Doorknob game player in your life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Power Outage Shuts Off Brains of Florida Drivers

A major power outage could ruin your day. If, like me, you have a well, you can forget about washing your hair or even flushing. You couldn't get a drink of water, so you'd be stuck with beer. No sacrifice, unless it was an extended outage, in which case the beer would get warm.

But I'm being selfish. Because my concerns are nothing compared to those South Floridians struck by today's massive power outage. The power to their brains was shut off, and they couldn't figure out how to drive through intersections, as reported by that bastion of hard news,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Burgers That Bite

Avid readers of Scott's Spot (who number in the single digits due to the fact that we don't advertise) are well aware of our interest in large burgers and pizzas. At Mama Lena's in McKees Rocks they have "The Big One" pizza, which is a big pizza with a lame name. At Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, PA, it's the Monsterous Belly Buster, which has the 123 pound Belly Buster.

And now, at Malie's Sports Grill and Bar in Southgate, Michigan, there is the 134 pound (and that's just the patty) burger. It's big, but it has no name. And what is it with that big ugly bun?

We're still liking the burger from Denny's, which is much better looking and appears to have been better thought out with respect to its proportions.

The last time I was in Clearfield was for a funeral visitation. But when I get back up there in happier times, you can bet I'm going to head for Denny's for one of their great burgers. Maybe I'll get one of the big ones and split it with the family!

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Name From O'Hell

If there's one thing you don't want trouble with, it's your name. But if you're Irish, you may be set up for a bit o' trouble. According to Sean ODriscoll of the Associated press, apostrophes can stop you from voting, destroy your dental appointments, make it difficult to rent a car or book a flight, even interfere with your college exams.

More than 50 years into the Information Age, computers are still getting confused by the apostrophe. It's a problem familiar to O'Connors, D'Angelos, N'Dours and D'Artagnans across America.

It's not just the bad luck o' the Irish. French, Italian and African names with apostrophes can befuddle computer systems, too. So can Arab names with hyphens, and Dutch surnames with "van" and a space in them.

A hyphen or apostrophe is often mistaken for a piece of computer code, corrupting the system. That's what happened during the Michigan caucus in 2004, when thousands of O'Connors, Al-Husseins, Van Kemps and others who went to the polls didn't have their votes counted.

In this year's primaries, the system worked much better, according to the Michigan Democratic Party. There have been isolated reports of problems elsewhere, but nothing on the scale of Michigan.

Still, an apostrophe, hyphen or space can interfere with medical and dental records, gym memberships, online searches or school registration.

Dutch-American proofreader Jessica van Campen has seen her name listed as Jessica Vancampen, Jessica Van, Jessicavan Campen, Jessica Campen and Jessican Kampen by uncertain computer systems. When she went to her finals in college, she was listed under Campen and was told Jessica Van Campen had dropped out of the course.

The Irish apostrophe began with the British, who put it there because they believed the O looked odd without a link to the rest of the name. Many Gaelic speakers in Ireland refuse to carry an apostrophe, considering it a vestige of colonial days.

The article's author, for his part, has thrown off his apostrophe. From now on he'll be known as Sean ODriscoll.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Potential Surprise - WVU Players Involved in Brawl

Morgantown, W.Va., police are investigating a Saturday night incident in which a pair of West Virginia University students reported that they were assaulted by a group of people that included two Mountaineers football players, star tailback Noel Devine and potential starting slotback Jock Sanders.

However, police Sgt. Harold Sperringer said today that Devine and Sanders, both freshmen who are expected to help replace tailback Steve Slaton next season, "may not have been involved" in the incident outside Club Z Saturday.

"We just have one-half of the story right now," Sperringer said. "It's still early on."

No charges are pending, he added.

Husni Sangarie filed a report with police saying he could identify Devine and Sanders in a group of people removed from the bar after an altercation. Sangarie told police that, once outside the bar, he was struck in the back of the head by an unidentified assailant. Sangarie said he was on the ground when he was kicked by Devine, Sanders and others, and Ryan Lewis said he likewise was kicked and punched. Both declined medical treatment.

No sofas were involved in the incident, according to campus police.

Carrying Guns on Campus

When I went to Clarion University, we worried about our load of coursework. Not about whether we could carry a Smith & Wesson. But things are changing - for the worse. In the light of the latest college shooting at Northern Illinois University, there is a group called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus which advocates a Wild West approach to the problem.

If these loonies get their way, you can imagine the following: You're in class, and some jerk pulls out a gun and starts shooting. Bad scene, right? Right - but it gets worse. 10 of your macho classmates pull out their handguns and open fire. Now, not only do you have to worry about one deranged individual, but you've got 10 other crazies who imagine they're in an episode of "Gunsmoke" and who don't care if you get caught in the crossfire.

It's time to conceal these extremists by getting them off campus entirely!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Zealand Wine Tasting Notes

I went to my local Pennsylvania Wines and Spirits shop yesterday to pick up some potent potables. I particularly like to go to this Wines and Spirits shop because of their great selection and competitive pricing the state liquor control board owns all the Wines and Spirits shops and this is the only one near my house.

Anyway, I'm always interested in increasing my knowledge, so I picked up the Winter 2008 issue of Pennsylvania's Official Wine and Spirits Quarterly. It had an article on New Zealand wines. We enjoyed the New Zealand Dyed-in-the-Wool Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc at Christmas, so I thought the article would be worth a look.

It turns out that the sauvignon blanc grape is particularly suited to New Zealand's climate. According to the article, New Zealand's sauvignon blanc wines exhibit "serious acidity, vibrant exotic fruit, clarity of flavors and a minimum amount of herbaceousness - the smells of wet grass or mildly rotting parsley."

But that's not a very high standard. Here at Scott's Spot, we expect our wines to have NO smells of wet grass or mildly rotting parsley.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Freezing Rain Forecast - Delay School and Buy Water and Toilet Paper

It's 11 pm. Freezing rain is forecast overnight. 6 schools are already delayed, despite the fact that not one drop of precipitation has fallen. I haven't been to the store, but I'm sure that water and toilet paper are sold out.

Before my kids were in school, I remember one instance where the schools were closed, not delayed, closed, on the basis of a forcast, the night before. I drove to work the next day under sunny skies.

Another NRA Contribution, Another Life Lost

Thank heavens we have the National Rifle Association. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be able to protect the civil liberties of gang members to kill 12-year-old Jolesa Barber. She was killed and her mother wounded when more than 40 bullets from an AK-47 were sprayed into the home in the Perry South section of Pittsburgh's North Side.

The NRA is a radical organization that opposes any restrictions on the ownership of automatic assault weapons by criminals and gang members.

I am a hunter and support the right to private gun ownership. But I will never give one dime to the scoundrels at the NRA.