... 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.

Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Do they know it's Hallowe'en?

Here is a great Halloween video from a group of Indy and Alt rockers that was produced to raise money for UNICEF. The video is meant to be a response to the paternalistic, western-centric tone of crap like "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Instead of us seeking to remind more kids in Africa that it is Xmas with monetary gifts, this song demands help from the Third World to fight the crippling grip that Halloween has on Anglo-America every October 31.

Seriously, why can't they stop their famine and come help us!!!!

If you enjoyed the video, please consider donating money to UNICEF.

(Also keep an ear open for David Cross, one of my favorite comedians)

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If you like her buns, you should check out her taco...

Due to someone stealing a base during the World Series or something, Taco Bell is giving a free regular taco to everyone today between 2 and 5 PM.

I gotta run. I'm off to Mapquest to figure out how many I can hit in the Tri State in that 3 hour window.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

...ASAT week 8 NFL picks

Pretty good week 7, going 10-4 for a total record of 64-39.

Lions at Bears
Steelers at Bengals
Giants at Dolphins
Raiders at Titans
Eagles at Vikings
Browns at Rams
Colts at Panthers
Bills at Jets

Jaguars at Buccaneers
Texans at Chargers
Saints at 49ers
Redskins at Patriots
Packers at Broncos

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Best. Gazette. Article. Ever.

The Charleston Gazette today published its finest article ever in today's paper.

Oh, and apparently the article has text, too. Maybe I should get around to reading it or something.

Thanks to Stanton for bringing this to my attention.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

...ASAT week 7 NFL picks

I had a crap week last Sunday, going 7-6. The season record is now 54-35.

Cardinals at Redskins
49ers at Giants
Patriots at Dolphins
Falcons at Saints
Ravens at Bills
Buccaneers at Lions
Titans at Texans
Chiefs at Raiders
Jets at Bengals
Rams at Seahawks
Vikings at Cowboys
Bears at Eagles

Steelers at Broncos
Colts at Jaguars

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

...ASAT trolls the saddies, part 1.

While I have long ragged on emo/pop punk/screamo/whatever music for capitalizing on the clinical depression of some suburban teens as an excuse to sell really shitty music to millions of people, there are actually some pretty good songs that fall into one of its sub-genres or into the saddy scene as a whole.

The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"

To me, this song is obviously about jealousy, but not of the usual variety. This song dwells not on righteous jealousy (involving someone involved in some sort of commitment), but rather the sort that one feels that they have no right to feel. Whether it is an unrequited love, a "really good friend," a one-time hookup that you wish had been more, an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend, or whatever, this is the sort of jealousy that, if expressed, would lead to someone saying "how the fuck is it any of your business?" And, well, it isn't, and that makes it sting a little more. While I haven't experienced this emotion in years, I remember it all-to-well, and this song does a spot-on job of picking up on the kick-in-the-gut feeling that lasts about two weeks or so. When a work of art expresses a certain common and painful emotion for a new era/generation, it becomes a classic and that is exactly how folks will describe this song in ten years.

The All-American Rejects - "It Ends Tonight"

To me, this is one of those songs that deals with transitions. You know, the moments where your life is fundamentally different after a given event. On the surface, this song is about ending a emotionally destructive relationship on a given evening. On a metaphysical level, however, the song can mean so much more than a basic boy-leaves-girl song. This song can also symbolize any life transition, from graduation to parenthood to death, I suppose. It can even be applied to the beginning of the end of the reaction to said transition, ie the relief of grief, making new friends in your new city, or starting to getting over that ex. The sadness and emotion of the finality of all things in the human experience is the liquor that is chased with the Sprite-like knowledge that things will indeed improve, but to get to the point of letting go/forgiveness/getting over yourself, one must make a painful break with the past and this song conveys that emotion as well as any song of the decade thus far.

Morrissey - "First of the Gang to Die"

As far a saddening music goes, Morrissey was helping depressed kids wallow back when today's bands were still eating Smurfberry Crunch for breakfast. As for this 2004 song, I've probably listened to it 1000 times or so and I'm still not sure what it is all about. Something about homoeroticism in Latino gangs in LA is the face value of the song, but when has that ever been a good enough explanation for a song by Morrissey? I guess I take away from it a sort of sense of irony that misery is, to a degree, always present, even in the idealized "good ol' days" we like to wax nostalgic about. Yup, even the days who chose to remember as the best days of your life possess some degree of pain or anger that we chose to forget or ignore. On the flip side, however, in times of strife there are always positives. In other words, nothing is ever as good or as bad as we chose to allow it to seem.

Keep your eyes open for more trolling of not only more sad music, but also songs from more of my favorite acts, genres, and eras coming soon to ...ASAT.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Inspiration from The Simpsons

Since becoming a father, there has been one image from The Simpsons that has really struck a nerve with me:

The sign, located in front of Homer's desk at the power plant, is supposed to read "Don't Forget, You're Here Forever."

It reminds me that, when your a parent, you really do set aside everything else for your child. All of the sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll of the past is crap compared to the joy you get from a big hug from your child.

Yes, there are lots of things about my life I wish were different or that I wish I could still do. But, you know what? You buckle down and take shit 'cause it isn't about you anymore. It is about the kid now.

That being said, every time I watch my son make a new discovery, I realized that, by trading my old life and opportunities for all things new, I made the steal of a lifetime.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Sometimes it is fun...

to pretend that Tom McGee is still on the air. Here is a clip I found on YouTube of McGee on an episode of Live at Five back in 2000:

Keep your eyes open for a mention of the long-gone Chopper 13, which used to buzz Marshall's campus daily in the late 90s.

Ahhh, the simpler days, back when all I had to worry about were girls and grades.

God I miss college. :)

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Bill Richardson, for what it is worth

As a Democrat in West Virginia, both the state and national party leadership have made it perfectly clear to me that they do not give a rat's ass about my opinion over who should be our 2008 (or any other year, for that matter) presidential nominee. By the time we vote in May, the race has always been loooooong decided (save 1960). Still, sometimes I like to play pretend that my voice means as much as any other registered American voter, so I have actually paid attention to the primaries this year in order to find out who the good folks of Iowa and New Hampshire will pick for us this year.

One guy that is starting to stand out is Bill Richardson. I know, I know, he isn't going to win. Hillary and Obama have money machines in place that will plow through the field like a fresh mule. That is kind of a shame, 'cause Richardson actually, um, has ideas that have, you know, been articulated, as opposed to running on a cult of personality. Plus, while most of the candidates have had Senate careers of varying lengths, Richardson has served all over the place in both executive and legislative rolls. This is demonstrated in these catchy new adverts that have been showing in Iowa:

This post should not be taken as an endorsement of Richardson by any means, especially since, as a West Virginian, no one is really asking what I think anyway. But before you folks in states that matter cast your vote, give this guy careful consideration before you automatically vote for one of the rock stars. Even if he can't pull out the top slot on the ticket, he might make one helluva Veep choice, especially with the GOP doing its damnedest to alienate the Hispanic vote.

I guess the moral of the this post is that you should by all means vote for Clinton or Obama if you do the research on them and find that one of them is the candidate who you feel best addresses your concerns as a voter. Either one of them, in my opinion, will make a fine President. Just make sure not to overlook a great leader with a smaller bank account.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

...ASAT NFL week 6 picks

I got my mojo back last week at went 10-4 to bring the record up to 47-29. This week, I'm thinkin':

Cincinnati at Kansas City
Houston at Jacksonville

Miami at Cleveland
Minnesota at Chicago
Philadelphia at N.Y. Jets
St. Louis at Baltimore
Tennessee at Tampa Bay
Washington at Green Bay
Carolina at Arizona
New England at Dallas
Oakland at
San Diego
New Orleans at Seattle
N.Y. Giants at Atlanta

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Friends don't let friends...

In order to show that pointless blogs can be constructive forces in society, ...ASAT would like to takes this opportunity to show a classic anti-drunk driving PSA from the early '80s:

When I was a kid and too young to know what the hell was going on, I just thought it was cool that they were smashing stuff and would get irritated at that last fart knocker who kept the liquor glasses from busting.

Now, of course, I know better, so don't drink and drive. And stay in school and always use condoms.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This ain't no party...

Somehow, based on recent events, Talking Head's "Life During Wartime" seems oddly appropriate.

This performance comes from their classic concert film Stop Making Sense, definately a must-own DVD for any music fan born between 1953 and 1984.

I, for one, "don't even no my real name" these days.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Simply the best...

Man, in the world of rasslin', no one could work the mic quite like The Rock. That is prolly why he is the only wrestler to earn true mainstream superstardom in Hollywood. Here, in one of his best moments, he talks smack on Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and their former gimmicks. Enjoy:

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Friday, October 05, 2007

...ASAT NFL week 5 picks

I got my arse kicked last week, going 5-9 for an overall record of 37-25. Here is what I'm seein' for this week:

Arizona at St. Louis
Atlanta at Tennessee

Carolina at New Orleans
Cleveland at New England
Detroit at Washington
Jacksonville at Kansas City
Miami at Houston
N.Y. Jets at N.Y. Giants

Seattle at Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay at Indianapolis
Baltimore at San Francisco
San Diego at Denver

Chicago at Green Bay
Dallas at Buffalo

(note: I've given up on college football bacause, frankly, I really don't care what happens. To me, it is just a 4-year draft camp.)


Thursday, October 04, 2007

NFL week 5 Huntington area broadcast schedule

Here are the games currently scheduled to broadcast locally this Sunday over-the-air:

1 PM: Fox 11 - Seattle at Pittsburgh, WOWK 13 - Cleveland at New England.
4 PM: WOWK 13 - Baltimore at San Fransisco
8 PM: WSAZ 3 - Chicago at Green Bay.

Folks in Huntington should be able to see the Browns game, the Ravens game, and the Sunday night game in HD (if anyone knows what kind of over-the-air HD signals can be received in Chucktown, please let me know).

I'm most excited about my Browns getting fed too invading Foxboro to bring da pain to the Pats (I almost typed that with a straight face). Anyway, it'll be a good test to see how the rebuilding team stacks up to the NFL's elite team. Look for Brady, Moss, Welker, and the gang to rip the Browns D to shreds while the Pats D also gives Cleveland little to work with. I think Kellen Winslow might have a decent day, as tight ends tend to be the target of choice when a QB is about to get clobbered.

Check back tomorrow for my NFL picks for all the games.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Emmons buildings gettin' knocked over (finally)...what is next?

Now that all of the legal teams have gathered all of the evidence from the buildings, Emmon's Jr & Sr apartments, the scene of Huntington's worst blaze in recent memory, are finally facing Demolition.

With the structures gone, there will soon be a quarter block of prime real estate in downtown open for some sort of development/project/memorial. Any future use of the site will be determined by a mix of property owners, planners, politicians, bureaucrats, etc. and many options will be available to these folk. Here are a few that I can imagine:

  • Build new apartments.
    Pros: There might still be a need for a large building of apartments in downtown to serve college students and young professionals and the absence of the Emmons apartments may strain the area apartment market. This might also be the most profitable option for the owners.
    Cons: Well, um, who want to live in "the new death apartments" or whatever morbid nickname they might receive. Also, building more apartments on shadowed ground could prove insensitive to the families of the victims.
  • Build a retail development.
    Pros: Leaders have been pushing the bejesus out of building a sustainable retail sector in the CBD. As Pullman Square inches towards full occupancy, there may be an eventual need for more new storefront space along 3rd Ave. Even if such a development cannot take off, the spot might serve as an excellent location for a bank, gas station, or chain restaurant.
    Cons: Pullman Square might not reach 100% occupancy any time soon, especially in terms of retail stores. Any such plans might result in another Superblock situation with that chunk of land sitting vacant for years and years. Plus, without some sort of memorial marker, there could still be charges of insensitivity or white washery.
  • Build office space.
    Pros: Between telemarketers, doctors, accountants, and lawyers, there is likely a demand for more office space located in modern buildings that can handle new technology in a "plug 'n play" environment. Most of Moneyton's downtown office building are refurbished at best, friggin' ancient at worst and are difficult to adapt to new computer and diagnostic equipment. This might be the best way to get more people into downtown and spending money.
    Cons: Again, sensitivity may be a factor. Also, without a surefire plan to bring in new companies to downtown, much of the new office space might be occupied by firms that were already in the city. This would then simply have the effect of shifting in-town business from one landlord to another.
  • Build a park.
    Pros: This may be the best of the options in terms of the touched-upon sensitivity issue. They would not have to build anything on the footprint of the Sr. building and there would be ample memorial space for a marker, fountain, or monument. A park would also give downtown some much needed green space that isn't behind a floodwall and doesn't reek of river water and piss.
    Cons: As ideal as this may sound, the city and the property owners might not be in a position to behave in such an altruistic manner. We and they might prove wise to capitalize on the opportunity to bring jobs, destination shopping, or modern apartments to downtown.

Right now, my heart is saying "park" and my head is leaning towards office space, but it is still early and I'm sure I can be swayed if a strong enough case is made for these or any other options.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

John Brown's Body

History buffs can quickly identify the source of this blog's title as a fragment of a line from the Civil War marching song "John Brown's Body" and, as a result, every week ...ASAT gets several hits from search engines for keywords that suggest that the Googlers were searching for information about the tune. So, directly from the Library of Congress by way of
, here are the most common/quasi-official lyrics (there are numerous versions, BTW):

Tune: Brothers, will you meet me

John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
His soul's marching on!

Glory, halle—hallelujah! Glory, halle—hallelujah!
Glory, halle—hallelujah! his soul's marching on!

He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord!
He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord!
He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord!
His soul's marching on!


John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back!
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back!
John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back!
His soul's marching on!


His pet lambs will meet him on the way;
His pet lambs will meet him on the way;
His pet lambs will meet him on the way;
They go marching on!


They will hang Jeff. Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff. Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff. Davis to a sour apple tree!
As they march along!


Now, three rousing cheers for the Union;
Now, three rousing cheers for the Union;
Now, three rousing cheers for the Union;
As we are marching on!

The "to a sour apple tree" has been adapted many times over to match a given enemy. For example, striking workers during the mine wars sang the tune with "Don Chaffin" (Logan County's fiercely anti-labor sheriff) subbing for Davis.

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