Restaurant Biz

Many people sit in a restaurant and dream of having one of their own.  On the surface, it seems so simple – have a good idea, be a good host, show people a good time and it must practically run itself, right?  While the do-it-yourself ethic may be a great idea for many things in life, a restaurant just isn’t one of them because, put simply, it’s not something you do for yourself but for your customers.  Yet there’s nothing to get the ideas flowing like an empty space decked out in a stainless steel kitchen, marble bar, and wooden tables to get the imagination going.

Such a place just opened up, again, in my neighborhood.  Any takers?

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Fried in Greece

Another big credit crunch is brewing, this one starting in Greece.  It may not be obvious how and why this has the potential to affect us across the Atlantic, but it does. In many ways, this is just a mirror of the Goldman grilling in the US House – a story of cavalier disregard for reality unraveling as the people nominally in charge of things try to get a grip on what is actually going on.  How this one is handled will resonate for at least the next few months as the developed world struggles to get a handle on what’s really happening and what they can do about it.

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Move Ahead with Kelliher!

The Minnesota DFL State Convention endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher for Governor, the first woman to receive this vote of confidence.  It’s all over now, except for the Primary in August – and the complaining.  While there are always a few less-than-fully-gruntled people at the end of this process, there are several main objections to Kelliher that I’ve seen out on the ‘net.  In the name of DFL Unity I think it’s best to hit these head-on and move forward as boldly as we can.

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The Age of Anxiety

After the mechanized cruelty and destruction of World War II, two important works of literature tried to capture the feeling of despair.  Along with well known 1984 (1948) by George Orwell, there is the lesser known Age of Anxiety (1947) by W H Auden.  Both of these cast a shadow we still live under, twisting our language to defy and define a mechanical world not entirely fit for humans.  Auden’s more romantic treatment is worth the read if for no reason other than its resonance today.

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Convention Contention

The Minnesota State DFL Convention is this weekend.  It’s one important step on the road to what should be a highly contested and interesting election for Governor this November.  It should be, that is.  The USofA isn’t in the kind of mood that makes for good elections at the state level, and it certainly isn’t in the kind of mood that favors left-leaning candidates.  That’s a real liability given that the last time a State DFL Convention endorsed a winning Governor was in 1986, when Rudy Perpich was picked.  But the real question isn’t the candidate, it’s what the DFL does to bring up its energy and focus for the next six months.

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Ever day we learn that a chemical in our lives is thought to cause cancer or some other illness. After a while, most people’s eyes glaze over and it’s left to the experts to figure out what the real hazard is.  Sometimes, movements form to get rid of the offending material and either an industry converts away from it or legislation is passed to force the conversion.  One very simple molecule, formaldehyde, has stubbornly resisted the pressure on it and remains a large part of some people’s lives to this day.  It is, at least, very strange.

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