Saturday, January 31, 2009

Four Things That Define America

It's been a while. I consider it Christmas break. I may only get one day off from work, but it still amounts to about a month of not doing anything productive. That doesn't mean nothing happened, though. We officially have a new president now, and 24 is back. Coincidence? ...yes, why wouldn't it be? American Idol is also back. Hey, there might be an Obama joke there, actually.

So what do I think of this Obama guy? Well, aside from not voting for him, not much. I'm sure he means well, I'm sure he's not the antichrist, I'm sure he'll tip the scales to the left a little (and since I don't want it to go too far right for too long, is that such a terrible thing?), I'm sure the media will eventually stop going soft on him when it no longer becomes profitable to do so, and I'm sure the economy will find its way back to its former glory some time during his presidency. Whether it'll be his fault or not, who knows? I mean, in a way it will of course, because whoever's in there has to work overtime to fix stuff like this. It's not an easy job, no matter who has it. But I sort of feel like as long as someone is in there doing his best, it'll work out somehow. It's not just the president's responsibility, after all, whether times are bad or good. There's a whole government there. For better and for worse.

So in short, I believe Obama's administration will get us back on track, but I don't believe McCain's administration wouldn't have been able to do the same. But you can never know these things, can you? What the other guy would have done? That's probably why I don't talk about politics a lot. It's a whole lot of speculation, making connections between things that may or may not be related, etc. Usually people aren't even talking about the heart of these issues anyway, which is what I care about more than whether or not something should be legal and stuff like that.

On to the stuff that I'm more likely to think about on a daily basis: 24 is back with its seventh season, and so far it's great. I'm not one of the people who bashed season 6 like it was the worst thing in the history of television -- I think all of the seasons are quite watchable -- but at the end of the day (ha), I had to admit it didn't hold up to scrutiny. After pretty much the best 4-hour premiere ever, it went from subplot to subplot with seemingly no pre-ordained plan for how to fit it all together, leaving behind a lot of things that should have had an impact on the entire 24 hours. But season 7 looks to be changing all that. The subplots are all tightly interwoven and moving along at an even, believable pace. Things that shouldn't take forever aren't (like the time between terrorist attacks), and things that should take a while are. And the plots themselves are almost all interesting.

American Idol is its usual self, becoming more irrelevant every year but still hard to avoid watching completely. The auditions are over, and they were the usual predictable mix of good singers, sob stories, and freaks. It's definitely not as fun as it used to be, but there are still a few gems in there, and it'd be a shame for them to get rid of this round altogether. I do wonder what they're thinking with some of these Hollywood picks, though; it almost seems like they're setting bait for Vote For The Worst, but that doesn't really make any sense.

Lastly, something I discovered over the past few weeks: the best popcorn ever. I'm still not sure what the company is called -- it might be "Popcorn, Indiana" and it might be "Dale and Thomas Popcorn" -- but their Original Kettle Corn flavor is delicious and downright addictive. And apparently, it's relatively healthy. I went ahead and tried their Aged Cheddar flavor -- also great. I think I'm going to have to try them all. Once I do, I doubt I'll ever buy any other brand of pre-cooked popcorn again. Find out more about them at, which currently has a chick with a bikini on the front page for some reason.

Well, that's all for now. Until next time...

Guantanamo closes, Bauer cries