The Rs Head To Cleveland

The Republican National Committee has announced that Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican Convention.  Cleveland edged out Dallas for the convention-hosting nod.

IMG_5406I’m happy for Cleveland.  It is one of the great American cities, and it deserves a break.  The money that will flow to town will help fill the city’s coffers, but it’s more than that.  Clevelanders are proud people, and I know that they will do their best to put on a good show for the Republicans who will be coming to town to nominate a presidential candidate — and the media, and the other hangers-on, who will be present for the show.  There’s lots to see and do in Cleveland, and having the national media camped out for a week or so will help to educate people about that fact.

I also think picking Cleveland is a smart choice for Republicans.  It’s not because Ohio will likely be a “battleground state,” again, and the choice of Cleveland will help to tip the balance.  No one I know will make their decision on who to support based on where the political parties hold their conventions.  However, Cleveland will help to focus the media on the economy, and jobs — which is where the focus should be.  It’s a gritty city, and perhaps it will help the presidential candidates, whoever they are, focus on gritty reality.  It’s just up the road, too, from the Utica Shale part of Ohio, and perhaps we’ll see a story or two about how fossil fuels can help revitalize a region’s economy.

I’m happy for Cleveland and for my friends who live there.

Oliver’s Burgers, Steaks & Bourbon

-4Today the Red Sox Fan and I welcomed another new joint to the sprawling downtown Columbus Gay Street food venue.  It’s Oliver’s Burgers, Steaks & Bourbon, located in Lynn Alley in a building that formerly housed two restaurants that I never frequented.

We were there for lunch, so I didn’t try any bourbon or steaks — although the menu seems to have a lot of options that would appeal to the meat eaters among us.  I did have a Juicy Lucy cheeseburger and abundant garlic fries, both of which were tasty and well-prepared; the whole meal was reasonably priced at about $12.  As the picture above indicates, it’s a full meal, and I’m not ashamed to say that I ate every bite of burger and fries.  I’d get it again, too.  The Red Sox Fan had a salad (horrors!) and some glazed rib tips — which looked a lot like regular ribs to my uncultured eye — and wolfed them down in short order in a paroxysm of lip-smacking delight.

The opening of Oliver’s helps to expand the ever-growing geographic footprint of the Gay Street food corridor, which now features more than a dozen varied options that offer diner food and sushi, Cuban, South American, Mexican, Jamaican, American, and Italian, soups and steaks.  Oliver’s stretches the footprint in another way, too:  the Red Sox Fan and I agreed that, with its appetizer selection, its exposed-brick-and-distressed-paint decor, and its emphasis on bourbon would make Oliver’s worth a visit for drinks after work.

Is The Red Head Dead?

Climate change advocates have made a lot of dire predictions about irreversible increases in global temperature, seas rising and swallowing island nations, and other catastrophes wrought by the nefarious greenhouse gas emissions of humanity.  But now they may have crossed the line:  they’re predicting the extinction of redheads due to climate change.

The theory is that red hair is an evolutionary response to the lack of sunlight in areas like Scotland, where red heads make up a sizable chunk of the population, because red hair and fair skin allows people to get the maximum amount of vitamin D from a minimum amount of sunlight.  If gloomy places like Scotland starts to get more sunlight due to global warming, the theory goes, then the evolutionary advantage red hair provides will be lost, and redheads will vanish from the human gene pool.

There’s some facial rationality to this theory.  If you’ve ever seen a redhead in a hothouse climate like Florida, you know that gingers wouldn’t flourish in perpetually sunny conditions and instead would retreat indoors, bemoaning their apparently permanent sunburns.  There obviously will be less inclination to engage in the physical activity needed to pass on those redhead genes if your skin is burned to a brick red color and feels like it’s on fire.

I’m hoping the climate change scientists are wrong on this very upsetting prediction.  I’m a fan of redheads, and not just because I married one and Kish’s family tree is full of them.  The world would be a poorer place without Lucille Ball and Maureen O’Hara, Vincent Van Gogh and Winston Churchill, Ron Howard and Willie Nelson.  With a lineup like that, we’ll even take a clinker like Carrot Top now and then.