Monday, January 16, 2012

Cake and ice cream for everybody!

Miscellaneous retail baloney. Kirkland’s is one of my favorite go-to stores for home decor doodads, candle holders and assorted rustic whatnots. I’m sad to report, however, that lately Kirkland’s seems to be in a desperate situation. For instance: 1) what used to be a pleasant weekly email ad with a $10 coupon is now four or more truly annoying emails EVERY DAY; 2) their store-branded credit card and frequent-buyer perks were discontinued as of December 31; and 3) they’re CLOSING STORES ... four so far in the Dallas area since the first of the year and probably a few in YOUR area, too. My local Kirkland’s in Mesquite is still breathing but I might have to do a weekly drive-by just to keep tabs.

Sad, sad news. “USA Today” reports that Dan Evins, founder of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurant chain, has died at age 76. The company’s press release states that Cracker Barrel caters to highway travelers, focusing on Southern hospitality, high-quality country-style cooking and an associated gift shop. Yeah, right. If Cracker Barrel sells “high-quality country-style cooking,” I’m Eleanor Roosevelt.
Sam and I have eaten at Cracker Barrel, and there’s a Cracker Barrel restaurant right here in Mesquite at the Galloway exit from I-635. Trust me ... Cracker Barrel microwaves their entrees, reheats vegetables that come from cans, and the average age in the dining room is 75 because you don’t need any teeth to eat their food. As for that “associated gift shop,” be sure to browse Cracker Barrel’s fine selection of outdated jawbreakers, gum and candy or pick up a thoughtful bottle of liniment — seriously — for loved ones on your gift list. Does anybody really buy this crap?
“Your President is not a crook.” I’m suffering from a serious overdose of Richard Nixon minutiae after watching two feature-length films today — Frost/Nixon with Frank Langella and Nixon with Anthony Hopkins — that delivered more than FIVE HOURS of excruciating detail concerning Vietnam, Cambodia, slush funds, Bebe Rebozo, the Democratic headquarters break-in, dirty tricks, missing tapes, the White House cover-up, firing the special prosecutor and tricky Dick’s delusions, paranoia and eventual resignation. Of the two movies I think I liked Nixon best because it included the entire scandalous cast of White House characters staffers criminals, as pictured below.
By the way, if you don’t know what I’m talking about you seriously need a refresher in modern American history. Click here to read the whole story courtesy of “The Washington Post.” For the record, Richard Nixon was a crook.

And finally, the Howdygram would like to extend belated birthday wishes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would be 83 years old if he hadn’t died in 1968. The City of Mesquite celebrated Dr. King’s birthday by not picking up our garbage.
Sam called a few minutes to let me know he’ll be working late so I think I’ll make some sugar-free raspberry jello, toast a bagel and watch today’s episode of “People’s Court.” Thank you for reading this.

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