Friday, May 30, 2003

Trivia, disgusting and otherwise

You dear reader, may be forgiven for thinking that the Belmont Club is out to lunch -- permanently. While that might be figuratively true, in reality Wretchard eats mostly out of a brown bag, augmented by the bounty of whatever softdrink machine happens to be within three quarters of a mile. On really good days, a working candy machine may be discovered within tactical range. Experience with both devices has instilled a number of useful survival skills, notably how to spring a softdrink can that is stuck in the chute or how to edge a candy bar that has stopped just short of ledge. That is where the phrase "so near yet so far" comes from. Especially if you don't like losing your money. A liberal application of the boot is often enough, though sometimes one is forced to resort to tactics like tipping the candy machine over at a thirty degree angle. Tricky business that. One degree too little and the damnable Snickers bar stays caught in the toils. One degree too far and a 700 pound vending machine crashes to the ground. If that happens, a rapid egress is indicated before you can be billed for the damage.

But a guy called Mike Dust actually eats lunch off a plate (or at least a bowl) every day of the year. Check out his weird site at It may be of consuming interest for you to know that on August 30, 2002, said Mike Dust was having BBQ Pork Fried Rice at a joint called Le Bambou, about the time I was chasing a sandwich truck that pulled out about 5 seconds after I got out the door, on the day of all days when I forgot to pack my brown bag. And, as befitted my status as itinerant tinker, I had no recourse to an executive dining room where I could sample the choicest fruits of earth and sea to the accompaniment of a chilled semillon.

Mike, as you will see, goes through food phases. He eats Vietnamese for days on end whenever he is not frequenting the local greasepit. Yet it cannot be denied that his comestibles are a cut above Wretchard's. But he doesn't have the Belmont Club.


One of the first things you learn on the Internet is that only morons get their news from BBC or CNN. You're far better off looking for what you need at News at Google, although you have to be aware of its fundamental limitations. One of them is that Google, under a deal with the Chinese Government, has excluded certain sites from being indexed. They exist on the Net, but not if you ask Google. With that caveat, you can Google away. But if you know what you are looking for and are a polyglot, the Paperboy is an invaluable resource. It's a portal into every online newspaper in the world. Be advised, however, that there are 2,540 online newspapers in the United States alone. So, if  you want small town news from places which major media outlets don't even admit exist the Paperboy is for you. Otherwise,  Newstrove will have to do. It is nominally organized, but within its individual rooms, a great deal of lumber may be discovered, where an examination of events in Banaue may led to the home page of a writer from Davao, with one hell of a hoot of a home page. Click on the link. The .gif with the tapping foot is worth the trip in itself.