A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything

Suggested Christmas gifts for the man who has everything?

Your suggestion should meet the following criteria …

1. He’ll own no more stuff after you give him the gift.
2. His life will be better.

I’ll start with a few:

Re-season all of his cast iron cookware.
Have all of his knives professionally sharpened.
Take him on a depraved weekend bender.
Replace expired items in his bug-out bag.
Watch his kid(s) for a day/night/weekend/week/month/childhood.

Your suggestions?

Update: My friend Sharon sends along a few others …

Change oil in his car?
Invite priest to make weekly visits toward saving his soul?
Install new batteries in his smoke detectors (toward saving his body)?
Visit his family in his place (toward saving his sanity)?
Tickets to Stones concert (reminding him that he, too, will get old and wrinkly and that he can’t always get what he wants, but sometimes he just might get what he needs).

Dr. Bronner’s Embraces Citizens United

dr-bronners630

It’s refreshing to see a counterculture icon on like Dr. Bronner’s use its corporate treasury funds to advocate for the victory/defeat of a specific ballot initiative:

While many organics companies have contributed to Washington’s 522 campaign, none has gone to the mat like Dr. Bronner’s, which prominently displays a Yes on 522 ad on its soap labels. “Taking sides on a political campaign like that is totally unprecedented in the world of product labeling,” Robert Parker, the president of Label King, the printer of the Dr. Bronner’s labels, tells me as we float among the breakers during a company “board meeting”—an early morning surf at Carlsbad’s Terramar Beach with Bronner and a handful of his employees and friends.

This kind of activism might have been impossible just a few short years ago were in not for the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. That ruling established that people, when acting together as owners of unions and corporations, do not lose their First amendment rights when they choose to use those entities to advocate in the world of electoral politics.

Here’s a short video on the subject (produced long before the decision was rendered):

This Guy Gets Me

Leigh Alexander, that is:

Still, it’s entirely possible Domino’s pizza has simply remained the kind of thing that you just think tastes good at 2 AM, when you’ve been not-sleeping during a New York weekend and feel like being fed by an over-earnest corporation at an absurd hour. It almost doesn’t matter, because it’s very easy for Domino’s to start feeling like a pal on those nights when you tumble drunk and alone into a taxi and realize that you need to eat, urgently. You leave a party in Chelsea or a venue in Williamsburg, stumble into a car in a pile of your own unraveling frippery, mess clumsily with your iPhone for two minutes, and have a pizza ready to take to bed by the time you get home.

A Steak House … for Women

I’ve long said that if I wanted to go to a fantastic wings joint, I’d go to a fantastic wings joint. And if I wanted to go to a strip club, I’d go to a strip club. For those reasons (among others) I rarely go to Hooters, which has always seemed to be a less-than-satisfying hybrid of a wings joint and a strip club.

Enter STK, a steakhouse aimed at women. Judging by the video promotional material, it looks to be a steakhouse aimed at men who want to sidle up to groups of drunk women.

The branding on the company website reads – in descending font size – “Atmosphere / Temptation / Steak.” I simply can’t abide a place that puts the promise of sex before properly prepared red meat.

I have no doubt that it will succeed in the DMV, but that’s mainly because I have a fairly low opinion of the average D.C. guy. (via DCIST)

Did ObamaCare Shutter Lynn’s?

Like many other current and former Louisvillians, I’ve spent much of this afternoon reading reactions to the surprise closure of Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, one of the Ville’s most popular breakfast/brunch spots for two decades. I lived two blocks from Lynn’s for several years and I’m certain I contributed enough cash to help buy Lynn a few more Lay-Z-Boys. For that, I feel perhaps a bit justified in admitting this much: On a few hungover mornings, I probably snagged a few free cups of coffee from the large outdoor coffee dispenser implicitly reserved for waiting customers. There was always a line to get a seat at Lynn’s at brunch, so my thievery was likely never noticed.

The circumstances of the closure are quite odd. I’m sure as facts begin to emerge, we’ll get a better sense of what happened. The early read-between-the-lines narratives of the conflict seem to go something like this:

Why might Lynn be totally correct? A few reasons, though I’ll happily admit that I could be misreading the evidence presented thus far.

First, under ObamaCare’s state-initiated health insurance exchanges, employers could have to pay the IRS thousands of dollars for every employee to whom the employer fails to offer health insurance. Ah, but that’s got nothing to do with how employees get tipped, I hear you cry. Maybe. Maybe not. After all, employees typically pay for a portion of their own health insurance. And in a food-service industry where paychecks often come out to $0.00, that might well be a critical factor.

Second, Lynn’s COO Patty Schnatter told WAVE3 news that a new policy of requiring waiters/waitresses to carry $100 in order to tip out the rest of the waitstaff at the end of the evening was driven by the desire to make it easier for employees to file taxes at the end of the year and buy into insurance.

All of what I’ve just said is subject to revision since this is a very fresh story, but there are at least a few reasons to believe that a popular Louisville landmark’s closure is attributable to the health care policies championed and signed into law by President Obama.

If you have thoughts, please leave them in the comments.

UPDATE (01/13/12 08:00AM): I was asked how many people worked at Lynn’s. It’s a relevant question because ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) has certain triggers for employers with 15 employees and 50 employees or full-time equivalents. According to Winter, she employed 85 people, though it’s not clear how many were full-time equivalents. The point here is that the ObamaCare “tax” on employers who do not succeed at providing health insurance was likely among the front-and-center issues driving this whole conflict.

Another UPDATE: Steve Coomes argues the requirements for servers to tip out other workers with a revolving cash “bank” isn’t that big of a deal.

The Manliest Town in America

Apparently it’s Louisville. At least according to GQ, which may not be the most authoritative source on manliness.

Having spent a decade living in Louisville, ego prevents me from saying that it’s not a manly town.

What’s funny is that GQ recommends the following:

On the way out of town, hit one (or six) of the distilleries that flavor the countryside around Louisville. Our current favorite is Buffalo Trace, located in nearby Frankfort, Kentucky. If you road-tripped all the way to Louisville, as I did, now would be a good time to ask your girlfriend to take the wheel.

This seems to presume that you’re headed east out of town. I can say with some level of confidence that if I wanted advice on manliness, I would not travel east from Louisville. Still, Buffalo Trace is worth a stop.