Heated topics

Pun of the year goes, prematurely enough, to the current Burning Man calendar. Always creative, humorous, lots of nifty photos and informative, this year’s calendar notes that this past March 3 was the “Burnal Equinox.” That being the day marking the halfway point between the ’06 and ’07 Burns. For a community that places a premium on excellence in word play, this is yet another good one.

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One definition of pressure—being a middle-aged man at a pool party and it comes time to pull the shirt off.

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Have you heard of this mini-flap taking place between some gigantic sporting goods outfit and the city of Sparks? Seems that Scheels is a real big deal, a multi-billion dollar corporation based in North Dakota. Scheels made news last week when it told Sparks that it needed, as part of the deal to bring their hallowed hugeness to Nevada, a name change. What Scheels would like to do, exactly, is change the name of the major street upon which it plans to build, Sparks Boulevard, to, selfishly enough, Scheels Boulevard.

Well. Talk about some pompous poop. I’d now like to let my knee jerk reflexively in the direction of Scheels national headquarters and express my desire to have those folks go fly a kite. Or maybe take a long walk off a short pier. Or even attempt to have sexual intercourse, while flying, with a rolling doughnut.

Maybe Scheels is joking. If so, that’s a real hot foot. But, really, they’re not. So I hope the city doesn’t even begin to consider this move. To actually accede would set a truly ghastly precedent. It would be the municipal equivalent of Sparks selling off its street names like they were so many logos on Jeff Gordon’s racing outfit. Could the intersection of Pizza Hut and Jiffy Lube be far behind?

If all parties have this stuff worked out by now, never mind.

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I just saw a report about how most citizens in Baghdad now get anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes of electricity a day. Combine this info with the mid-June, 10-day forecast for this strategically crucial city—high temps every day between 108 and 116—and it would appear that the United States is now completely entrenched in an astoundingly crummy campaign to win the heart and mind of Achmed Q. Sixpack. Think about that—114 and no a.c. Not even a freakin’ fan. That would appear to fit the definition of “brutal.”

We’ve had four years to get some kind of dependable electric generation going in Baghdad. Fifty months, to be precise. And we’re not getting it done. I’m not saying it’s a simple job. I’m not saying it’s an easy job. I am saying, as a reasonable person with reasonable expectations of performance, this is the best we can do? Thirty minutes of electricity a day four years into the occupation? This is it?