business news in context, analysis with attitude

First off, a quick reminder. This weekend marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time for most of the US…so don’t forget to move your clocks ahead by one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.

It’s earlier than usual, but the date was changed because the government felt that it would help conserve energy…which is good enough for me.

It’ll be interesting to see if any of the nightmare scenarios develop over the weekend; there have been a lot of concerns that we could end up with a mini-Y2K because a lot of computers aren’t set up for the early shift.

It shouldn’t affect my laptop…because a couple of weeks ago I got an automatic software update from Apple labeled “Daylight Savings Time”…so I figure I’m in pretty good shape.

Amid all the discussion of nutrition and obesity issues, it was fun this week to read on about the Heart Attack Grill in Tempe, Arizona, which serves 8,000-calorie hamburgers with French fries cooked in lard – not surprisingly called Quadruple Bypass Burgers and Flatliner Fries.

And go figure – the joint has received the most criticism for the way his waitresses are dressed – in “naughty nurse” outfits.

It’s not like they are real nurses. In fact, the restaurant’s web site states very clearly: *The use of the word "Nurse" above is only intended as a parody. None of the women pictured on our website actually have any medical training, nor do they attempt to provide any real medical services. It should be made clear that the Heart Attack Grill and its employees do NOT offer any therapeutic treatments…”

I have to admit, I’m sort of intrigued...especially because I like retailers who make like salmon and swim upstream.

I’m not sure my cholesterol level can handle a visit, but next time I’m anywhere near Tempe I may have to check it out.

I’ve saved this item for “OffBeat” because, well, it is…

MNB, along with a lot of other news sources, reported yesterday that the US Mint messed up when pressing the new presidential dollar coins that have gone into circulation. The first coins, part of a rolling program that will have dollar coins bearing the visage of every deceased US president over a period of years, have George Washington’s face on them. However, some of them are missing the words "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust,” and don’t have the year and the mint location inscribed upon them.

It didn’t take long for a number of identical emails to cross my desk, all saying:

If ever there was a reason to boycott something, THIS IS IT!!!!


Together we can force them out of circulation. Please send to all on your mailing list!

To which I would respond with several points:

1. Not everything is a liberal conspiracy. It seems pretty obvious that this was a mistake, pure and simple.

2. I’m not sure that a retailer can refuse to accept legal US tender…and despite the mistake, these coins are legal currency.

3. I am sure that a retailer should accept these coins…in fact, retailers should go in search of the damn things, because they’re probably going to be worth a lot of money someday.

4. I suspect that God would have a sense of humor about this, mostly because there are a lot more things that he or she would be worried about. It’d be nice if human beings could learn to laugh at such things as well.

The funniest show on television right now, in my humble opinion, is “30 Rock.” And Alec Baldwin may be the funniest man on television.

“30 Rock” is the other show (the first being “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) that NBC scheduled this year that looked at the backstage antics at shows resembling “Saturday Light Live.” While I was enthusiastic about “Studio 60” when it launched, it has sort of meandered along and not found its stride…leaving me to discover “30 Rock,” produced by and starring Tina Fey, who used to do “Weekend Update” on “SNL.” And every time I’ve seen it, I’ve cracked up…it is sort of classic workplace comedy that transcends the genre because of Baldwin’s rendition of a GE executive and his interplay with Fey’s version of a TV producer.

It isn’t getting very good ratings, but I hope NBC renews “30 Rock” for next year…it seems like the kind of show that will age well. Besides, I can use the laughs.

Also, at the risk of committing heresy, I have one thing to say about Monday night television…

“Heroes” is every bit as captivating as “24.” I watch “24” live, but I download “Heroes” via iTunes, paying $1.99 per episode to make sure I don’t miss a moment.

Last weekend, my 17-year-old and I were looking for a movie to go to, and we ended up (more for timing reasons than anything else) at “Wild Hogs,” the midlife crisis/motorcycle movie that stars Tim Allen, John Travolta, William H. Macy and Martin Lawrence.

I was a little sheepish about it, because “Wild Hogs” didn’t get very good reviews, and I really would have preferred to see “Zodiac.”

But go figure – we both had a good time. It is a dumb comedy, but it is funny in all the right places with some pretty good performances. My son says that he liked it because the old (50ish!) men in it were pathetic in a humorous sort of way, and that I liked it because I could relate.

I wish I could disagree with him.

Two wines to recommend this week:

• 2005 Domaine Puig Parahy Georges Cotes du Roussillon, which is a wonderful blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, which is spicy and great with a chili or stew.

• 2003 Chateau Labat Haut Medoc, which is nice and thick with flavor, great with steak.

That’s it. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.

KC's View: