... A Sour Apple Tree
Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.
- Name: Christopher Scott Jones
- Location: Huntington, WV, United States
I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
A cool online radio station to break the mundane.
Today I read that he had actually gone through with it, live on radio, with the help of Yoko Ono. He ate the pooch in the form of a meatball with apple, onion, and bread. The dog was not killed for the stunt and has died at some sort of breeding kennel.
While I was sorting out my emotions on this form of protest, one thought really struck me: what sort of radio station broadcasts this sort of programming?
Resonance FM 104.4 is the guilty party. It is a community-based "art" station that is operated as a non-profit by the London Musicians Collective (a group that supports experimental music).
The first things that I heard when I logged on to their online feed was several minutes of what sounded like a piece of broken glass being drug along on concrete. Later they played some Afro-Latino records from the '50s and some rather long experimental jams. There are also quite a few postmodernist and/or absurdist (but not absurd) radio plays and serials that are quite heavy on the right brain. Some of it comes off as a bit silly to Americans (as is often the case with the musings of Europe's radical left), but it is usually thoughtful , irreverent, and intelligent.
While this might not prove to be my favorite destination radio station on the net, it did seem to serve a distinct purpose. The music and talk kinda stimulate the vast unused chunks 'o brain and seemed to enhance my problem-solving skills on a particularly tricky assignment. It has, thereby, earned a spot in my "radio" bookmarks folder.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Who, exactly, is their target audience?
Sunday, May 27, 2007
...ASAT trolls the Aughts
Oasis, "Little by Little" ---By 2002 the white hot (*warning, lame pun ahead*) champagne supernova that was Oasis had cooled a bit and the Gallagher bros. had taken their peerages in the House of Lords of British pop music (with McCartney, Bowie, Queen, and such). It is, therefore, no surprise that "LbL" is borderline forgotten in the states. Personally, any song that is essentially Noel getting to be Noel while Liam has to fuck off for a few minutes is alright in my book.
Weezer, "Beverly Hills" ---In 2005, America was completely obsessed with undeservedly rich white folk from California (Paris Hilton, The O.C., and whatnot). "Beverly Hills" was initially seen as a sarcastic comment on artificial celebrity, although Rivers Cuomo refutes this idea and says that it expresses a sincere admiration for that lifestyle. Either way, the song has some jamtastic instrumentalization and managed to bring back some fun party rock that the world desperately needed at the time.
Daphne & Celeste, "Ooh Stick You" ---OK, let me warn you, straight up, that this song---despite strong efforts by Gwen Stefani ("Hollaback Girl"), Avril Lavigne ("Girlfriend"), Fergie ("London Bridge"), and those fake Russian lesbians---is by far the worst song of the decade thus far. Imagine two snotty teenage girls verbally tormenting another girl that is lower in the social standing of their high school. Now imagine it being poorly sung. Thank god this trend didn't take off.
Manic Street Preachers, "Your Love Alone is not Enough" ---This modern rock track is my favorite song du jour. In addition to having a great rock feel to it, guest vocalist Nina Persson of The Cardigans proves her rock 'n roll chops with a performance that is both powerful and beautiful.
Kanye West, "Jesus Walks" ---West had a lot to prove coming into the world of hip hop due to his upper-middle class upbringing. He, however, managed to prove that hip hop could be booksmart and still authentic. You hafta love a song that riles up folks on both the left and the right and still succeeds as a genuine piece of art.
Friday, May 25, 2007
...ASAT trolls the 80's
Tears for Fears, "Sowing the Seeds of Love" ---While Songs from the Big Chair is TfF's best album, my favorite of their singles has to be "Seeds." I'm a sucker for ambitious musical arraignments in pop music as long as they are sensible and non self-serving. This tune joins the likes of The Beatles' "A Day in the Life," The Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight," and Silverchair's "Across the Night" as one of the few that got it right.
Crowded House, "Don't Dream it's Over" ---Sadly, most Americans know of the late Paul Hester only as the chef from some Wiggles skits. However, he was once the drummer for Crowded House, one of Australia's better '80s pop/rock bands. This song was particularly poignant when used in the TV adaptation of The Stand, for what it is worth.
Cyndi Lauper, "All through the Night" --- A beautiful love song, each of the 37 times that it has been used on Cold Case it has brought a tear to my eye.
Michael Penn, "No Myth" (warning: actual video unavailable, this is a lame cartoon slide-show set to the song)---While never as successful as his siblings, in 1989 Sean and Chris' big brother Michael did produce one of my all-time favorite modern rock tracks. Granted, the song is somewhat esoteric and inaccessible to anyone that doesn't have degrees in Eng lit and geography, but sometimes it is OK to listen to music that is smarter than you are in order to counter-balance the three times that you heard Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" on the way to work.
Queen and David Bowie, "Under Pressure"---This is probably as good as pop music can or ever will get in the English language. Even the humming is brilliant.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
...ASAT restaurant ranking for 24 May, 2007
1) Sam's Hot Dog Stand (
2) Austin's Home-made ice cream---Great ice cream and very good hot dogs.
3) Jim's Steak and Spaghetti---'nuff said
4) Panera Bread---Fast food that makes me feel falsely smug. I like that.
5) Tie: M & M Dairy Bell and Hillbilly Hot Dogs (downtown)---More great hot dogs (I'm seeing a pattern). Also check out HBHD's fried bologna sandwich.
6) Nawab---Best veggie korma between Cardiff and Seattle.
7) McDonald's---An odd choice for a ranking, I know, but their new Southwest Chicken Salad is by far the best new/limited time menu item at any of the regular fast food haunts.
8) Chili's---Best of the clone restaurants in terms of summer grub.
9) Applebee's---Second best.
10) Tudor's Biscuit World---I think I saw a billboard for them once that read "best breakfast ever." They should win a truth in advertising award.
Honorable mention:Midway Drive-in, Calamity Cafe, Mycroft's, Wiggin's, Lorenzo's---We hardly ate yee.
Dishonorable mention: Chili Willi's---Please let everyone know when y'all get your act back together. I haven't heard of anyone having a good experience there since they moved into the old AT&T Wireless building.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
WSAZ must have Cialis...
Yesterday, during one of their time-killing segments for slow news days, Justin Ryan demonstrated how to make a rather tasty-looking Brussels sprouts recipe. After they cut back to Ryan at the desk with Carrie Cline and Bill Murray, Cline indicated that she had often eaten sprouts that were too soggy. Ryan, without thinking, accused her mama of making shitty Brussels sprouts. Cline, a southerner, probably didn't appreciate Ryan, a New York City native, talkin' smack on her mom's cooking. Cline remained diplomatic, but you could tell that she was mildly pissed/annoyed. Poor Bill Murray, stuck in the middle, looked like he wished that he could Quantum Leap right outta Dodge.
As for Today's cock-up, let me preface by going back in time a couple of weeks. During another one of WSAZ's annoying time killers, the lame viewer mail segment, Tim Irr and Penny Moss borderline mocked a militant vegetarian who complained about a turkey dinner being prepared during a 6 PM segment. While making fun of a viewer's deeply-held belief wasn't Moss or Irr's most professional moment, I agreed that the segment was not out of line and, in fact, made me want a turkey sam'mich.
Well, at exactly 6:01, even this avowed carnivore 'bout tossed his cookies---actually, it was a homemade Skyline cheese coney (with a Nathan's Famous skinless frank)---over a different dead animal segment. Apparently someone hit a bear on Paint Creek and they decided to send a news crew out to shoot some footage. Well, right as I took my second bite, there was a close-up of the dead bear's head while still pinned under the truck.
To WSAZ's production crew and news director, remember this rule of thumb: dead turkeys during dinner can be delish, while dead bears, um, aren't.
(Maybe this was just the blog gods extracting revenge on ...ASAT for this post.)
Local TV commercial round up: 2007 Kentucky gubernatorial race.
This time around, it seems that the candidates are carefully targeting their audiences and advertising dollars. The eastern Kentucky electorate is primarily made up of socially-conservative, pro-labor Democrats with a sprinkling of newly-converted "values voter" Republicans. When these folks extinguish their cigarettes and file into schools, fire stations, and post offices across the state, most of them will will go to one of several booths marked "Democrat," while a few will brush aside the cobwebs on their way towards the "Republican" lever (this should sound familiar to my fellow West Virginians, except with dipping tobacco).
The two GOP front runners, incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher and Rep. Anne Northup, are concentrating on the Republican strongholds in suburban Cincinnati and the western part of the state. Businessman Billy Harper, on the other hand, was running commercials in the market as early as the 2006 election. Harper's ads often show him in a drag racing hot rod and tout his conservative credentials, such as a "no new taxes pledge" (warning to Mr. Harper: that's bitten Republicans in the ass before). He is certainly trying to play the roll of the outsider, but polls suggest that it ain't working. Even John McCain's 2000 "Straight Talk Express" had a coat or two of polish slapped on the bus, a characteristic that Harper is almost proud of completely lacking. The race has really come down to whether or not Northup (with Harper's inadvertent help) can keep Fletcher from getting 40% of the and thereby force a heads-up run-off. However, I'm guessing that---after tomorrow night---Harper will go back to building infrastructure, Northup will be heading back to D.C. to work on immigration, and Fletcher will be waiting to find out the identity of his November opponent.
The Democrats, on the other hand, have dumped a fair sized chunk o' change into the coffers of WSAZ and WOWK to reach the sizable Democratic electorate between Maysville, Ashland, and Prestonsburg (home of several talented country artists AND Billy Ray Cyrus, by the way).
The most visible Dems in the on local TV have been former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear and Lousville businessman Bruce Lunsford. Both have running mates from eastern Kentucky that have been featured heavily in local commercials in order to show that they have made an effort to balance the ticket between the east and the west. While they will likely finish one-two, it is doubtful that either will get the necessary 40% to prevent a run-off next month. Expect both to keep slugging it out through election night and into June.
Another former Lt. Gov., Steve Henry, is also in the mix, but he got into the advertising mix late and has mainly focused on buying air freshener from Kentucky, not Chicago, businesses (*yawn*).
Personally, I'm really pumped for this round of campaigning to end. As a West Virginia voter, if I wanted to follow an election where my opinion will be meaningless, I'd go read up on the upcoming presidential primaries, where WV votes damn near last.
Monday, May 21, 2007
The better Elvis
In 1977, Elvis Costello was relatively unknown in the US and was booked to replace the Sex Pistols on SNL when they couldn't get into the States due to visa problems. His record company had decided that he should play "Less than Zero," as it was his most well-known song stateside at the time. Costello, however, had other plans.
"Zero" was written to rebuke neo-fascism in Britain and Oswald Mosely, the spiritual leader of said movement. Costello correctly realized that the song would have little or no meaning to the North American audience and, after starting the song, abruptly stopped playing and apologized to the audience. He then instructed The Attractions to play "Radio Radio," a song critical of corporate radio culture (of which NBC was a big part at the time). Lorne Michaels, a notorious control freak, promptly banned Costello from SNL until 1989.
Click here to watch the performance.
In 2000, the Beastie Boys were performing their song "Sabotage" at the SNL 25th anniversary shindig when Costello abruptly interrupted the Boys and, almost in verbatim of his 1977 appearance (this time done for laughs), instructed the Beasties to play "Radio."
Click here for that version.
Thank you, Mr. Costello, for kicking so much ass.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
A smug sense of self-satisfaction.
In addition to being too tired to cook, we were too tired to think, so we both got that Tyler Florence bruschetta burger (muy tasty and soon-to-be gone from the menu, according to the manager, so get it now!) that the TV commercials told us to try ("when in doubt, let TV do the thinking"---Aristotle).
While obliterating our burgers, we noticed a young couple dressed in a manner that suggested that they were going to a prom. A nosey waiter asked them where they were from and they mention a high school in Mason County (a beautiful rural county about 45 minutes northeast of Huntington on WV 2). You could also tell by the two extra menus on the table that they would soon be joined by some fellow travellers.
Well, as we later discussed, my wife and I both independently (much like the development of civilization in a simultaneous and independent manner in the cultural hearth valleys of Asia and north Africa) had the same first reaction: "you drive your prom date for damn near an hour to the big city (compared to anywhere in Mason, Moneyton is freakin' Paris) and you take her to bloody Applebees?"
Another sign of the boy's total ineptitude: he turned down an appetizer. Wrong answer, dipshit. She didn't buy a beautiful dress and spend three hours making herself look as nice as she ever will in her life so you could cheap out on mozzarella sticks.
So, as we watched them wait for the other couple, we noticed that she was growing increasingly uncomfortable. We speculated that it was his friend, not hers, who was holding up the shindig.
I quietly told our waiter to bring them an order of the new cheesy bread dip thing that I had glanced at on the menu and put it on our check. We would have paid for her whole meal, but we are a few years away from being able to afford such acts of generosity.
A few minutes after the long-awaited friends arrived (a doofus and a flawless blonde airhead), the appetizer arrived. The blonde turned down the food in a manner that came across as at least 70% bitchy towards the girl.
These two girls were not friends, and the likable one was going to have to put up with her Mean Girls BS all night, in addition to her dorky boyfriend and his oxygen-stealin' pal.
Well, it was time to get Baby Butthead off to bed, so we had to leave before we could watch any of the drama unfold. But we left with three things: some garlic parmesan fries, a smug sense of self-satisfaction that at least one nice thing would happen tonight (thanks to us), and a sincere hope that doofy wouldn't get any action that night.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Well, this blows.
This comes as a rude awakening to many Gen X and Gen Y heterosexual women and homosexual men that consider/considered giving head to be a safer alternative to vaginal or anal intercourse. For example, one of my college friends was technically a virgin, but dispensed enough BJs to make a truck stop hooker blush. Others, while not opposed to traditional sex, used fellatio as a means to avoid the time, energy, and mess that can result from sex, especially in confined spaces like a car or a bathroom at a party.
I seriously doubt that these findings with cause a shift in American sexual mores or steer people towards the use of condoms while engaging in oral sex. What these findings should do, however, is alert the public of the dangers posed by HPV and the fact that, with time and research, vaccines can likely be developed to combat the strains responsible for these cancers and that HPV is a problem for men, too (especially if possible links between HPV and penile cancer are proven).
To the single folk out there, I know that the dating scene is killer and there are certain expectations that only increase as you get older. But remember, what was once thought of as consequence-free behavior is now shown to have some serious side effects. I am by no means preaching abstinence from these activities, just be careful out there.
Remember y'all: he might groan about it, but, when it comes down to it, he probably won't turn down a hand job.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Cutting the DoT some slack.
They have posted a nifty website that features a clickable map of the state that loads up .pdf versions of all of their official county highway maps free of charge. These are a must-download for all WV road geeks, adventurers, moonshiners, shunpikers, hunters, campers, fishermen, circuit-riding Methodist ministers, photographers, mountain bikers, or anyone that thinks that roads with paint on them are just plain uppity. If you do not have access to a commercial plotter, there is also a link where you can order the maps at a reasonable price from the state.
It sure looks like we have a potential 2007 Appie nominee for "Most Useful WV Website" on our hands.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Why Studio 60 failed.
Instead, America got a show about an esoteric topic that went on hiatus a couple of times and never really caught on with much of a crowd beyond some TV execs and a bunch of critics. Now the show has officially been canned and fans will be able to purchase the DVD set of S60's complete series by October.
So just why did the show fall flat pretty much right out of the gate?
The first thing that I point to is what I call the "who gives a shit" factor. What percentage of the American, much less the international, audience is inclined to care at all about the doin's of sketch comedy show set in LA? Ultimately, Sorkin has successfully, if unnecessarily, proved once and for all that the inner workings of the White House is much more entertaining than those of either a comedy show or a sports newscast.
Another problem with the show was believability. Here are some of the things that I never bought about the show:
1) No matter how successful it might be, a late-night Friday sketch comedy would not be the flagship of a network and would not get this much individual attention from the highest ranks of the network.
2) People aren't going to care nearly as much about a sketch comedy as the show would have us believe. In S60, Christian fundamentalists raised a major stink over a skit called "Crazy Christians," while in the real world no one would have noticed and, if anyone had, it would have been met with a couple of press releases and not much else.
3) Past sketch comedy writers have slammed the show as not being particularly accurate. Sorkin really should have done more to reach out to ex-SNL folk beyond Mark McKinney.
I am kind of sad to see it go so soon. But, hey, life goes on. It is time for me to accept that the magic of the first four seasons of the The West Wing are gone. Maybe it is time for Sorkin, Schlamme, and Whitford to do the same.
Monday, May 14, 2007
"Scooch"ing right off of the world stage...
Maybe it is time to bring back the lend-lease program. Only this time, instead of sending boats and rations, we send them Christina Aguilera or the kids from High School Musical or something.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Hall of Dorkiness
Action figures rule.
When I was in college, I worked for a while at a toy store and used my 30% discount to amass this impressive shirne to Peter Pan Syndrome. Notice how sports figures, rasslers, monsters, comic book characters, Springfieldians, and noted murderers from history live together harmoniously.
Labels: Action Figures
Friday, May 11, 2007
Ok, time to render unto Caeser...
On a personal note, my readers can prolly guess that I'm something of an Anglophile. My personal love affair with the blessed plot began in 1999, so any British current event that I gave a remote rat's ass about happened under his watch. Although I have come to regard Blair as a spinmeister, a lap dog, and a closeted righty, I have to admit that my heart will always have a soft spot for T to the B.
Therefore, I found a song from right around the same time that Blair entered office from Oasis, a band that ironically seemed so full of promise but proved to be a disappointment in the new millennium. Ignoring what we now know, both the song and the man seemed to be a glimpse of the hope and glory that would soon come. Despite the fact that Blair and Oasis ended up letting us all down, let us pretend, for a minute about what might have been.
Let's pretend for a minute that anyone other than John Reid is thinking "Tony, don't go away." (click link for youtube video).
Thursday, May 10, 2007
What clever name will it be called this time?
Fortunately for us, there is a new crop of Brits that, unlike the Spice Girls and The Verve, don't suck that are about to hit stateside that promise to liberate us from Emo hell. Today ...ASAT will discuss the three most promising acts: Kaiser Chiefs, The Fratellis, and Arctic Monkeys.
Probably the best known of these acts in America is Kaiser Chiefs, a five-piece act out of Leeds. Their second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, was released here in March. The CD's lead track, Ruby (youtube link), is currently #15 on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. Popular Charleston based disc jockey Spike Nesmith has described it as "very singalongable" and I couldn't agree more. In fact, the chorus is stuck in my head right now.
The Fratellis are a Glaswegian indie rock trio that ie together hints of rock, punk, pop, and an occasional banjo to create a sound that is absolutely kicking my ass right now. As an experiment, check out Whistle for the Choir (youtube link) and Chelsea Dagger (youtube link) and try not to bug the bejesus out of your friends telling them about the band (hint: it can't be done. Ask my friends.).
Last, but certainly not least, are Arctic Monkeys. This Mercury Prize-winning quartet out of suburban Sheffield is probably my favorite band right now and their newest album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, is beating the crap out of all other albums in terms of sales right now in the UK. I am already guessing that the CD's second single, Fluorescent Adolescent (youtube link) (a tune about the transition from the carefree days of a 20-something to a more mature/boring, post 30 version of adulthood), will be one of my favorite tunes of the decade.
With music this good, who needs a shitty genre label?
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
It came from the streets...
Over the years, I've contributed lots of crap to the city's semi-usable trash industry: a boom box, lots of kit furniture, a busted recliner, two broken computer chairs, and the world's heaviest sleeper sofa have all found their way from my possession to domiciles in Guyandotte or to the Proctorville Flea Market by my employment of this method of waste disposal.
In fact a bright pink disk chair of which my wife disposed a few years back can still be seen on a porch near Ritter Park.
This weekend, however, I turned the tables on the system. I snagged a well-maintained retro plush chair that some moving college student down the block sat on the curb.
That's genuine gold velour that your feasting your eyes on there.
As much as I loved the fabric, my wife and I opted to cover it with a sheet on the off-chance that it had either served as the BJ chair or was the centerpiece of somebody's jack shack.
Still, it sure beats forcing company to sit on a fouton or a stool and, most importantly, the flat arms allow me to eat while watching the tube.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Beetlejuice cartoons now online!
The cartoon centered on the Beetlejuice and Lydia characters from the movie. In the universe of the TV show, they have been retconned into friends and Lydia has the power to visit Beetlejuice in the Neitherworld and they get into various misadventures. Zaniness and toilet humor also abound (ie Beetlejuice hocking a loogie into his coat pocket and saying "save that one for later.")
If you never watched it, the show is fairly risque, considering that it was produced in the early 90s and wouldn't be a best bet for younger kids. However, older kids and adults should get a kick out of this guilty pleasure.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Britain gives Blair one last kick in the bollocks.
Before the election, Blair promised that he's step aside in favor of Gordon Brown in a matter of "weeks" and it appears that the population of Britain took advantage of their last chance to stick it to Fat Tony before he starts working on his memoirs.
You gotta feel a little bad for Brown, considering that---if the Granita Pact was indeed real---he was supposed to take the keys to #10 about four years ago. Instead, Brown starts off his premiership after four years of an unpopular war and a resurgent Conservative Party under the leadership of David Cameron. Brown has to be devoting a small part of his brain to the fear of becoming the next James Callaghan.
Meanwhile, two other men are starting to have visions of themselves as PM. With these results and the poll numbers coming from the Beeb, it would take a major change in current political trends to keep Cameron from becoming First Lord of the Treasury. Up north, Alex Salmond is also probably starting to dream of an independent Scotland with the SNP in charge.
Overall, the British public's message to Blair was loud and clear: don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Instead of a real post...
- The futon critic has you covered for the latest update on TV network cancellations, renewals, and fence-riders.
- Wrestlecrap has been applying one of my favorite under-apreciated literary genres, alternate history, to one of my favorite pop culture guilty pleasures (pre-2001 pro rasslin').
- WOUB is a better NPR affiliate than WV Public Radio, and they stream online, too.
- Local radio favorite Spike Nesmith has a cool podcast at his blog.
- And finally, Zen Fishermen, arguably Huntington's most popular band for the first half of the decade, have indeed split, but there is one video on youtube of their groov-tastic music. Enjoy.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Welcome to the world, little fellow.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
What a draft.
Randy Moss finally has a great quarterback and a solid team with which to make a run at a Super Bowl ring (and enshrinement in Canton). Have you seen that receiving corps? Talk about stacked. Whoever ends up being their #5 guy would likely be a #2 on 16-20 other teams.
I just hope that he can hang with the Pats system.
As for the Browns, I have a weird feeling that I haven't felt since Kosar was cut: a lack of shame. We managed to get the guy that we needed (Thomas) and the guy that we wanted (Quinn). Hopefully this can be the start of a few good playoff runs and, more importantly, a few Steeler ass-whoopins.
Joe Thomas should plug-n-play nicely and keep Frye and Anderson healthy long enough to make the case for some free agent bucks after Quinn takes over and then ensure that Quinn doesn't suffer the safe case of assplantitis that plagued young QBs like Tim Couch and David Carr. When Quinn does step up, he will find two great targets in Kellen Winslow (a likely career Pro Bowler starting this season or next) and Braylon Edwards (assuming Edwards has learned how to hold on to the damn ball).