People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

So Who Goes To Actually Watch The Game?

Radley Balko over at The Agitator is astounded at the price tag for a luxury suite at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Obviously he's never been there.

Markets In...Um...Everything

The Palace at Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons, is offering new luxury suites next fall. The cost: $450,000.

Oh, one other thing -- there's no view of the actual basketball court. That's right. Four-hundred fifty grand to leave your living room, drive to the Palace, pay for parking, then sit in a room with 12 of your friends to watch the game. On television. Just like you could have done in your living room.

Okay, so you do get two tickets to the VIP section of the stadium. But I'm guessing you could get those for a lot less than $450,000. (link)

I can claim the distinction of having occupied one of those suites at a number of Detroit Pistons games at the Palace (as well as some second-tier professional hockey games) and I have to tell you, when you have closed circuit television monitoring the game downstairs, lounge seating, booze, beer, a urinal close enough to where you don't have to worry about peeing all over yourself after having consumed great quantities of booze and beer, an array of foodstuffs, and a computer link that provides ongoing real-time stats throughout the game, the game itself becomes of secondary importance. And it should be noted that the Palace is the most perfect venue ever designed by man for athletic events.

Besides, we're talking about NBA basketball. Who cares what's going on on the court? It's $450,000 worth of Kentucky's finest bourbon whiskey, Radley, and a whole lotta ambiance.

As If My Morning Didn't Start Off Bad Enough

I just knew this was not going to be a good day. But I had no idea I'd be dodging terrorist suicide planes.

Guess where I was today ...
Capitol, White House evacuated after scare

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Capitol and White House were evacuated Wednesday after a small plane entered restricted airspace over the capital. Within minutes people were allowed back into the buildings.

Several other government buildings, including the Treasury Department and the U.S. Supreme Court order people to safer locations.

A small plane breached the security zone over Washington, several law enforcement officials said, prompting alerts across the city.

The plane was approached by a fighter aircraft and veered away. (link)
When they cut into the local radio broadcast to announce to everyone in the Washington DC area that the White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court building were being evacuated, I - and seven million other people - looked to the skies and saw a couple of F-15's to the north going after the intruder.

Unlike 9/11 though, we on the ground were prepared this time. I had my Cross pen out and was prepared to kick a little Islamist ass.

Fortunately for Osama, it never came to that.

Next time ...

Now This’ll Bring ‘Em In

I'm not big on tourism as a panacea. But this could be just the ticket for tiny Oak Hill, West Virginia.
W.Va. town to start Hank Williams museum at former Pure Oil station
Bristol News

OAK HILL, W.Va. (AP) -- The town of Oak Hill plans to turn the former Pure Oil service station where a chauffeur discovered the death of country music legend Hank Williams Sr. into a museum.

Williams had been in Knoxville, Tenn. and was being driven from Montgomery, Ala., to Canton, Ohio, for a concert when his driver found him dead after pulling the songwriter's baby blue Cadillac into the station.

Williams was declared dead at the former Oak Hill Hospital on New Year's Day in 1953 at age 29.

The lease will be held by the town until it can be turned over to a new foundation that will administer the museum, Oak Hill Mayor Barbara Hickman said. (link)
I have always had an unexplainable fascination with Hank Williams music. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that he died a drunk and I didn't. Whatever it is, I can tell you I'll be one of the first persons lining up at the converted Pure Oil station to tour the International Hank Williams Museum and Quick Oil Change Center.

When The Shoe Fits …

This gave me a chuckle.
Internet, Radio Blamed for Discrimination
By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Anti-Muslim Internet traffic and radio broadcasts are fueling an atmosphere of hate and contributing to increased discrimination, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday.

Hate crimes against Muslims rose 52 percent to 141 last year compared with 2003, and civil rights violations reported to the council jumped 49 percent to 1,522.

"Whenever there is a beheading or act of terrorism overseas that involves Muslims, we see a rise in reported incidents here," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the council.

The trend is toward "rising Islamophobic rhetoric in American society," said Arsalan Iftikhar, the council's legal director. (link)
Yeah. It's those bloggers and right-wing radio goons that are distorting the fact that every freeking terrorist act committed anywhere in the world is being perpetrated by a Muslim fanatic.

You want some Islamophobic rhetoric? Continue to ignore the slaughter being committed by your Islamist brothers in Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Indonesia, Yemen, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Egypt, Algeria, Spain, Turkey, .. and New York City, and you'll get some rhetoric, Arsalan.

I Suppose It Had To Come To This

I suppose it makes perfect sense that, since textile mills in southern Virginia are rapidly disappearing, that someone would want to attempt to capture a few mementos of what is about to become a bygone era.

State's first textiles museum will soon open in Pulaski
Paul Dellinger, Roanoke Times

Bob Harman's dream has been to preserve the craft that has been in his family for six generations.

PULASKI -- Virginia's only textiles museum is scheduled to open July 2 in a former Pulaski shopping center.

The Olde Virginia Textiles Museum will occupy a building that once housed People's Drug Store in the Maple Shade Shopping Center, now owned by the town of Pulaski.

The project is being put together by Bob Harman of Hiwassee, who is leasing the space from the town. "If there's a loom in somebody's basement," Harman said, "people will say 'Harman will buy it.' " (link)

I contend that it didn't have to come to this. Had our elected leadership throughout the area - and in Washington - not been obsessed with promoting tourism, for God's sake, and had been focused on keeping valuable jobs from being shipped overseas, there would be no need to wax nostalgic about what used to be. A little creative government and cooperation with business enterprises in Danville, Martinsville, Galax, etc. could have kept textile plants here - and our citizens gainfully employed.

"The Good Old Days" could have been "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!"

Please Stop Before You Hurt Yourself

The Rolling Stones are going out on tour again. They are stocking up on extra pacemakers, cases of Depends, and bottles upon bottles of Geritol for the excursion. The average age of the bandmembers is 60 after all. (!)

I don't think Rock n' Roll was supposed to go out this way. Couldn't they simply slip away (with their bazillions in earnings and royalties) and go quietly into that gentle night?

When you start scaring little children, and a reporter for Mother Jones is assigned to count the number of wrinkles in your face, it's time to hang it up. Mick. Keith.

Photo courtesy of stones.net
Click on image to enlarge. Posted by Hello

Hotel Hell

You've heard of road rage.

Is there such a thing as hotel rage? I have now added a hotel chain to my rather short list of those I'll never return to. I'll not mention which one it is, but this particular facility was in the Washington DC area and was not cheap.

Is it too much to expect that:
  • my reservation not be lost when I arrive?
  • that I not have to pay premium price for a room when it was not my fault that said reservation was lost?
  • that the hotel not assign people to work the desk who have no training and may not be completely sane?
  • the hotel have internet hookup capability? In 2005?!
  • the bathroom fixtures in the hotel not be groaty?
  • when taking a shower and someone in another room turns on their shower or flush their toilet, that my water not suddenly become ice cold?

I'm now diseased AND upset. Not a good way to start the day.