November 23rd, 2004

flavored with age

Things I Learned Yesterday

1. Sometimes I really hate my job.

2. I still have a stupid confrontational streak. The upside is that I can apparently still initimidate people. The downside of this is I could get my dumb ass killed someday.

3. More difficult to find than I had anticipated: creme de cassis, fresh chervil. So difficult to find I could not actually find any: sorrel, fresh savory.

4. I will eat just about anything that has a combination of potatoes and cheese in it.

5. I still won't cross a picket line, even if I have no idea what the hell it's all about.
flavored with age

This is a tiny town, and we don't want you comin' round

My latest completely pointless mental exercise: last night, after my ridiculously stressful day, I sat down with my 1995 Rand McNally World Atlas and more or less randomly selected one town from every state that seemed to be very tiny, very remote, or both. I then began to look up the population of each town, and determined, one day, to go to every one of them, perhaps with an eye towards writing a book based on this experience.

Oddly, the biggest of the towns I've looked up so far (I'm through Maine) is in my home state of Arizona -- I figured I knew most of the decent-sized towns there, so if I picked one I'd never heard of, it would surely be a real flat patch in the road. Put Paulden, AZ, is a thriving metropolis of just over 3000 people -- practically New York by the standards of this experiment. Other unexpectedly large towns: Fort Deposit, AL (pop. 1270), Cornwall Bridge, CT (pop. 1300), and Union Point, GA (pop. 1669). Not so large: Platina, CA (pop. 206), Gulf Hammock, FL (pop. 254), and Ricketts, IA, whose population of 141 is less than that of the factory where I work on a given weekday.

The biggest hassle, other than the asinine possibility of actually going to all these places, has been where I've picked out a place that either does not exist (as with Merrimac, KY, which is listed in my atlas, but to which I have been unable to find any reference anywhere else -- it may be one of those fake places that cartographers put on maps to protect their copyrights), or that does exist but may be a geographical feature rather than a town (as with Lowes Crossroads, DE), or that exists and is a town but which I am unable to find any population data for (as wtih Hoolehua, HI), or exists and was a town at one point but may no longer be one (the only population figure I could find for Warm Lake, ID was from 1960; it listed the population as eight, and it didn't really seem like a boom town), or that was a town at one point but now just seems to be an abandoned ranch (as with Powder Wash, CO).

More on this completely idiotic project as it develops.
flavored with age

When will the whoring stop?

From the WLUW ListServ:


Hey everybody,

With the holidays,
Under Surveillance is going on a temporary hiatus as far as new shows until January -- so there will be a rebroadcast this morning of a show I did back in early June with freelance writer and pop-culture critic Leonard Pierce on how politics is expressed through comedy and satire in film/television. Classic US!

Part 1 of the conversation will be broadcast this morning at 10 AM CST -- you can listen in at 88.7 FM or online at http://www.wluw.org. Hope you can tune in.


This is one of the bust-ass mp3s I tried to post on my site a while back but which didn't work, so if you wanted to listen and couldn't, now's your chance.