Atlanta Time Machine!

The other day I decided to change the “In Memoriam” picture on the home page. In the past I dedicated it to brewers Arthur Guinness and Frederick Pabst, as well as Art Rooney, Sr., founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I thought about it for a while then decided on Horace McKennie, longtime bartender\waiter at Moe’s and Joe’s, a bar in Atlanta’s Virginia-Highlands area. The bar opened in 1947; Horace went to work there just a few days after it opened and worked there until he retired in the early 2000s. We went to Moe’s and Joe’s all the time in high school, not because they served us beer (in fact, we never even tried to get beer there), but because of the great food. You could get a “Moe-Joe Burger”, fries and a Coke in a glass bottle for less than $5 back then, plus we were always the “cool kids” that had to go to downtown Atlanta because just getting a burger somewhere near Gwinnett Place Mall just wasn’t “hip enough”. And it seems that Horance was always our waiter!

Anyway, while looking for a picture of Horace, I stumbled across a really cool site: the Atlanta Time Machine. The site’s circa-1997 web design isn’t all that great, but that’s not a problem. What’s cool there are the thousands of pictures of Atlanta from as early as 1900, as well as scans of ads for the original Underground Atlanta (which was actually worth going to) and the Clermont Lounge.

Check out some of these really cool pictures:

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This is what Moe’s and Joe’s looked like back in 1949! The area really hasn’t changed that much, has it? One of the most interesting things about the ATM site is to see how much really hasn’t changed. Sure, most of the buildings in downtown have changed hands several times since the 30s and 40s, but you can look at the original pictures and ones taken in the past couple of years and see that the buildings haven’t really changed much. Sure, that high-rise was an insurance company in 1942 and is loft condos today… but the facade looks pretty much as it did it the 40s.

Here’s something really cool:

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(click to enlarge)

This is the very first Waffle House, located at 2719 East College Avenue in Decatur. This picture is from approximately 1965, which is ten years after this location opened on Labor Day in 1955. According to this page at the ATM site, as of 2005 the location was a run-down Chinese takeout place… however, according to this page at the Waffle House’s official website, it’s now the “Waffle House Museum”. I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m in the area!

Seriously, though… it’s an awesome site! I’ve kept a tab open in Firefox for the past few days and have found myself spending way too much time looking at the old photos!

Goodbye Yankee Stadium!

Like any red-blooded American, I hate the New York Yankees. I’m not even much of a baseball fan, but the loathing I feel for the Yankees transcends the sport and fills every fiber of my being. That said, I’m profoundly sad today, as this day – Sunday, September 21st, 2008 – marks the end of an era. After 85 years, Yankee Stadium is closing its doors, soon to be demolished to make way for “New” Yankee Stadium.

Miles of ink and acres of trees have been consumed by sportswriters talking about “tradition” in sports, and baseball in particular. Much of what they write about is sentimental pablum, the sports equivalent of “kitten rescued from tree” stories you see at the end of your local newscast. Let’s face it: no one will really miss Three Rivers or Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

But losing Yankee Stadium is different. It’s the House that Ruth Built. It’s the Cathedral of Baseball. 15% of all postseason games and 21% of all World Series games in MLB history have taken place in Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Sparky Lyle, Graig Nettles and Ron Guidry played there. Casey Stengel, Billy Martin and Lou Piniella managed Yankee teams there. Lou Gehrig gave his famous farewell speech there. George W. Bush threw out the first pitch after 9/11 there. The New York Giants played the first overtime game in NFL history there – a game frequently called “The Greatest Game Ever Played“. The “DEE-fense! DEE-fense!” chant was invented there. Knute Rockne, Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry coached football games there. Chuck Bednarik of the Philadelphia Eagles hit Frank Gifford so hard in Yankee Stadium that Gifford had to be carted off the field; the photograph of that moment (below) is one of the most iconic in the history of the NFL. The “win one for the Gipper” aphorism originated there. Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali fought there. The first Papal Mass in the Western Hemisphere was celebrated there. Pink Floyd and John Philip Sousa both played concerts there. Nelson Mandela and John F. Kennedy gave speeches there. Even Thomas Edison was involved in Yankee Stadium, designing the very concrete that makes up The Big Ballpark in the Bronx.

Yankee Stadium is a fucking icon… and, as of today, it will be consigned to the ashheap of history. Poor Yankee Stadium has fallen victim to its lack of $2500 seats, sushi bars and cushy corporate luxury boxes. Instead of “dirty water dogs“, those rich enough to afford a game will be able to dine at the Hard Rock Cafe inside the stadium… after parking in their VIP parking decks, of course.

And once “New” Yankee Stadium is completed across the street, old Yankee Stadium will be demolished – after the Yankees pick apart every saleable artifact of the stadium, like a Sunday Dinner Chicken. As one long time Yankee fan said of the future demolition:

“I don’t think I could watch it. Once this stadium is taken down, it’s gone forever. You can’t say Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle played here anymore. Those walls have living blood in them. When that ball hits, it would be the same as me or you getting hit with a 95-mile-an-hour fastball. Those walls are alive. They are going to scream.”

It’s depressing, and it’s senseless. It makes me profoundly sad to see Yankee Stadium go. Not in the tragic and personal “the 15 year-old dog I had since middle school just died” sense. As I said, I loathe the Yankees. But still, seeing this icon of American sports go… the most famous sports arena in the entire world… go away just for the sake of progress… it actually makes me tear up, as if they decided to tear down St. Paul’s Cathedral or the Colosseum just because “they’re old”.

Goodbye, Yankee Stadium. Although I never visited you in person, I saw you hundreds of times on TV in my baseball-obsessed youth. I had always planned to go to a Yankees game there… but I never got around it it. And now, I suppose I never will.

But that’s “progress” for you.

George Michael Arrested (Again)

According to the BBC, pop singer George Michael has been arrested… again:

Pop singer George Michael has been cautioned by police after being arrested in a public toilet in London for possession of drugs.

“A 45-year-old man was arrested on 19 September on suspicion of possession of drugs in the Hampstead Heath area,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

The singer was taken to a police station and given the caution for possessing class A and class C drugs.

Who knew that George Michael would one day have a rap sheet as long as Al Capone’s?


This is a large Heath Shake from Baskin Robbins. It contains 2310 calories and 266g (9.38 ounces) of sugar. It also has 108g grams of fat, including 64g of saturated fat (320% of the USDA recommended daily dosage).

A McDonald’s Big Mac has “only” 540 calories and a mere 29g of fat (10g saturated fat) in comparison. The “Death Shake” also has 295mg (98% of the recommended dosage) of cholesterol and 1560mg (65% of the recommended dosage) of sodium.

On the plus side, it has 120% of your daily recommended level of calcium!

Think I’m making this up? Check for yourself on Baskin Robbins site!

Mad Men Emmy Predictions

This post over at AMC has some predictions as to how Mad Men will do at Sunday’s Emmy Awards. You can (obviously) read the whole post yourself, but I’ve excepted a large chunk of it below:

Let the handicapping begin. Mad Men is up against some very strong shows for best drama: Boston Legal, Damages, Dexter, House and Lost. Newsday says the odds are in favor of Mad Men becoming the first basic-cable drama to walk away with the best drama Emmy; the New York Post favors Lost but adds Jon Hamm should win for lead actor. As for Mediaweek, that publication predicts Mad Men wins for best drama, outstanding lead actor, outstanding directing, and outstanding writing for the pilot “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”

“A win by Mad Men or Hamm would help the Emmys do one of the things it does best: help to break new shows on the verge of bigger ratings,” reports Broadcasting & Cable. Emmys for Mad Men would also be a coup for Lionsgate, the studio that produces the show in association with AMC, says Multichannel News.

Awesome! I can’t wait until Sunday!

Mad Men: “A Night to Remember”

Sorry for the delay in posting this!

Another great episode of Mad Men is in the can… so let’s get right to it, shall we?

The episode begins with Betty having a rigorous morning ride on a horse. She returns home, only to pester Don into fixing an errant wall outlet. To say that the tension between Don and Betty is palpable is an understatement; it almost seems as if those two can’t even be in the same room with each other these days. For those of you keeping score at home, Don calls Betty “Birdie” for the first time in what seems like forever.

While all this is going on, Peggy visits her mother’s house. Father Gill arrives and asks Peggy if she’d do some pro bono work for an upcoming church dance:

On Monday morning, Duck gives Harry hell for a humorous gaffe from the television department: the night before, a Sterling Cooper ad for a Maytag washing machine called “The Amazing Agitator” ran during a movie about communist agitators. Maytag’s switchboard “lit up like a Christmas tree” with complaints, and Sterling Cooper was forced to eat the cost of the ad time. Duck tells Harry that, regardless of politics, clients are always looking for a way to get out of paying the agency, and that he (Harry) needs to be on top of situations like these. Harry then begs Sal, Ken and Paul for help in reading the scripts of upcoming shows so that Sterling Cooper’s ads don’t conflict with them; when it becomes obvious that they’re not going to help him, Harry looks around the office in a panic.

Meanwhile, Duck and Don meet about Heineken. The problem with the Heineken account is this: the company wants to compete in bars, while Duck and Don feel that the brewer should focus on “home sales”. Imported beer was something of a novelty in 1962, and Don wants to push Heineken to housewives planning sophisticated parties at home. “For women entertaining in the home, Holland is Paris”, Don says, as he comes up with a plan to test market sales in grocery stores by putting Heineken on end caps, away from the other beers, with cheeses, crackers and “toothpicks with cellophane tips”. Pete even suggests “shorting” the displays, to make it look as if the beer is already selling well.

Continue reading “Mad Men: “A Night to Remember””

Druckenmiller Withdraws

Billionaire businessman Stanley Druckenmiller “withdrew his offer to buy a majority stake of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, saying the Rooney family needs more time to consider its options about the future ownership of the team”. According to Yahoo!, Druckenmiller “issued a statement Thursday night saying he ‘removed himself from the process’ and that it is clear that the Rooney family, which owns the Steelers, needs more time to consider its options”. Read more here.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette is reporting that “Art Jr. and three of his brothers, Tim, Pat and John, have a conference call scheduled late [Thursday] afternoon to discuss the two offers for their shares in the franchise, which combined total 64 percent. They have one offer from their brother Dan and his son Art II and another from billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller”.

So… if Druckenmiller has withdrawn his offer, does that mean that the Rooney brothers are going to sell out to Dan and Art II? Let’s hope so – although The PG is also reporting that the brothers might accept neither offer and seek other, higher bids at a later time… however, Art Jr. reportedly said that “I don’t see [a sale] immediately. I, Art Rooney Jr., don’t see that right now. We only have two people involved in this. We didn’t want to make a circus about it.”

Cool Pic!

I found this cool picture online and thought I’d share. The filename is “ChileanVolcanoLarge.jpg”, and according to this article at the Daily Mail, the provenance is correct. The article says that “while scenes of molten lava are relatively commonplace, this otherworldly picture of Chaiten Volcano in southern Chile shows a truly spectacular, and devastating, volcanic phenomenon”.

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