There are things I think, things I know, and things I think I know.
Coming back to Seattle after a near-month on the road, I was interested to see the local Starbucks move out out of its niche next to the Fred Meyers and into what had previously been a Burger King. So now they have a drive-through, I thought at the time. Then a couple days later, I noted that ANOTHER Burger King, this time in Burien, was gone, replaced by ANOTHER Starbucks (with a drive-through). Once is an accident, twice is an incident, and three times will set precident. I'm wondering if BK is abandoning the field in the South End, much like Dunkin' Donuts, which quietly pulled out last year, turning its franchises into a gaggle of independents.
In other news, The War on Christmas is back. It's sort of the "silly season" for rightie pundits - there is nothing else they CAN talk about at the moment, so they go back to the old favorite of "Everyone Hates You!" in this season of Peace on Earth. Of course, this year it has been blowing up in their faces like badly-baked fruitcakes, when everyone from Fox to the President is saying "Happy Holidays" (since they obviously didn't get the memo), driving the pundits to even greater levels of caterwauling. And like the fruitcakes, my own take on all this is now a year old.
And speaking of misfired messages (and sounding like Andy Rooney), I never "got" Doctor Pepper commercials. I mean, they advertise for a lot of crap on the tube that I would never buy, but at least I could respect the thought behind the ads. Not on this carbonated nightmare-inducer. Not only did the "Be a Pepper" jingle leave me cold, the attempt to co-opt niche musical genres (hiphop, motown, country, and salsa all come to mind) with an "established star" and a "rising star" belting out their love for the product just left me scratching my head. So it should be no surprise that the current ads, with a a bunch of young teenage boys crushing on a mini-van driving mom who has the drink in her back seat (with the not-so-subtle musical score "Tracy's Mom has got it going on"). Somehow, it has lecherous overtones - all that's missing is a heavy-breather saying "Candy, Little Girl?"
So burn that image from your brains as I note that the bowl games are announced, and I think there are more college bowls than there are NFL Playoffs. Twenty-eight of them according to my paper, and still no real idea what it will resolve. OK, I can get behind the Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, and Gator Bowls. I'm not a total barbarian. I'll even give you the Holiday and the Liberty. But the Houston, Music City, Emerald (San Francisco) and New Orleans (Lafayette) bowls seem to be spreading it all a bit thin. Then there's the sponsored bowls - the GMAC in Mobile, Alabama, the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Capital One in Orlando (What's in YOUR backfield?) and my fave for this year, Mieneke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte (where, I understand, you're not going to pay a lot for that penalty). And then there are the ones I have no clue about if they're sponsored or not - is the Alamo Bowl pushing for car rentals? Is the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando plugging chicken wings and beer? Is the Insight bowl about computers, or merely personal revelations?
I dunno, but I'm not watching any of them. This holiday season, I am trying to embrace this thought, ganked from John Kovalic:
Tolkien Society Awards announced - So, this year's Tolkien Society awards for excellence in Tolkien Scholarship have just been announced: - *Ted Nasmith for best Tolkien-related art...
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