All Politics

Dear, Mr. President – Keep It Simple

Yes, I am still working on the burgers (see? a bacon triple!), but I need to rant about the Economic Stimulus Package they’re trying to move forward in Congress.

Dear, Mr. President (and all you senators and representatives),

The American People are getting tired of this B.S. The Republicans are crying “tax cuts” and “no more spending”. Why? Because you’re letting them get away with it! You have a huge laundry list of programs (600+ pages?!) in this stimulus bill, but have yet to explain to each other (or to us) the simplest of things that we all want to know:
HOW MANY JOBS will each of these programs create? I’m not looking for an exact number, but COME ON!!! GIVE US A GUESS! SOMETHING! ANYTHING! If you’re not even going to try to justify these programs for the immediate stimulus that we need, then maybe some of those programs should wait until the next bill. Either way, move this thing forward!


Create or increase “shovel ready” jobs (I hate that term) that immediately put people to work and help badly needed infrastructure repairs (roads, bridges, construction, green-tech conversions, etc). FUND public transportation (like Chicago’s CTA)!

FIX THE BANKS! I don’t know exactly how, but a lot of smart people out there do. Find them and figure it out! All I know is … billions of bailout dollars later, I still can’t refi my condo and all the credit card companies are buying corporate jets and sponsoring Superbowls all while raising their rates to gouge us all until the new laws kick in in July (not soon enough – make ’em comply NOW). Put a cap on balance transfer fees. They mysteriously removed them, making it even more difficult for those trying to pay down their debt.

ELIMINATE or standardize ATM fees. It’s out of control! Everyone knows that self-service kiosks SAVE money for Banks. Let’s stop pretending that they’re not benefitting from this.

Get the banks lending again!
Require ALL banks getting TARP funds to offer refinance for ALL UNSECURED DEBT at 1 to 3% over prime,
and provide a mechanism for people to refi ALL MORTGAGES at 30yr fixed rate for 1 to 3% over LIBOR.

Let the Big 3 automakers die if they refuse to actively upgrade their production to electric, hybrid, etc.
We should all be getting 60+ MPG by now for gas powered hybrids.

Make the Republicans happy. Throw in a MEANINGFUL tax cut:
Take the other half of the TARP funds and give it to the people. That would give about $2000 to $2500 (if I did my math right) to every person in the workforce (and the unemployed) earning less than $75K per year. Most of them will use that money to keep their debts from getting out of control. Trickle UP economics.

I’ve got more ideas, but I think that should be good enough to get the economy rolling.

HURRY UP! We’re all getting poorer!

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Guitar Hero – version zero

Guitar Hero – Version Zero

Just sayin…

All Politics

Really Really Really Big Photo from the 2009 Inauguration

David Bergman has a giant zoomable composite photo of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration located at:
When I zoomed in , I discovered our former President disturbed and distracted by something in his hands:

All Cheeseburger

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Clybourn

Getting back to the general theme of this blog, I finally have my first burger joint review for this blog. In the coming months, I’ll have more reviews of places I’ve already been to (Kuma’s Corner, for example), but have yet to write about.

Non-virtual burger chain FIVE GUYS has finally found it’s way to Chicago. After recently hearing the praises from satellite radio personality and Bubba The Love Sponge (he’s in Tampa, Florida), I was thrilled to find out that they opened a Five Guys restaurant at 2140 N Clybourn Ave in Chicago about 2 and a half weeks ago.
Now that I could find out for myself what all the fuss was, was the hype was justified?
Short answer… YES.

Atmosphere: Nothing special, but FREE PEANUTS!
When you walk in the door, employees yell “ONE IN THE DOOR!” (or 2 or 3 in the door, or however many people happen to walk in the door) to let the rest of the crew know there’s customers coming in and that they should get their keesters ready to take and prepare your order. It’s a pretty basic layout inside. Navigate to to the order station , which is in front of an open-air burger and fry kitchen. Huge griddles cook burgers next to multiple deep fryers with stacks of fry baskets waiting to be cooked. Tables and chairs surround piles of giant bagged potatoes (the most noticable decoration) with big open boxes of shelled peanuts for customers to enjoy while waiting for their orders.

Ordering: Pretty Easy (once you figure out that one really means two).
The menu is straight forward, but for first-timers can be confusing.
The one thing that makes it simple is this:
A burger is TWO beef patties, a “little” burger is ONE patty.
I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with everything on it, which prompts the order-taker to yell “TWO PATTIES!”. One burger… TWO patties. Got it? Good! The rest of the deal is straight forward. You have a large list of toppings that you can choose from, and you’ll need to specify what you want on your burger. 2 sizes of fries, regular and large (the large will serve a small village).

The Food: Good Burgers. GREAT FRIES!
The french fries…. FANTASTIC! Five Guys figured it out. Fresh whole potatoes, cut daily, skins on; fried PERFECTLY. Cajun seasoning is an option, but I chose to go traditional.. good fries rarely need more than salt. They post on a board on the wall where their current potato supply came from (today was Idaho Russet, but I’m told it varies). Burgers were quality greasy-spoon fast-food burgers. That’s not a bad thing. They were tasty and better than any of the big chains. I will say, however, that when I return, it will be for the outstanding french fries, which outclassed the burgers.

Overall, a very good place to get a burger and fries. This location has only been open a short time, so although the service seemed a little haphazard and wasn’t the fastest I’ve seen, it will most surely improve over time.
One thing missing from Five Guys… MILKSHAKES.

I can see that they’re keeping it simple, but It would be the only thing I’d add to the menu.

All Politics

Get your very own Barackberry smartphone!

General Dynamics’ Sectera Edge smart phone may be President Obama’s new BARACKberry, according to a CNN article.

Hmmm… I think I might need a new phone too.
Anyone got $3300 I can borrow?

Maybe we could get a quantity discount if we order more than one.
What do you say, Mr. President? Can we go bulk order on this deal?