Monday Shorts

For today some short items that I never found the energy to turn into one of my normal-length wank-fests. These sit, like un-played games, on the pile for a while, and then I decide to just give up.

Mio Kitchen and Wine Bar

This is a new restaurant in Aspinwall that you should try. The chef used to work at Veritas in New York. Prices are high for Pittsburgh but for once the entrees are as good as the starters. I can’t comment on the wine list, I know nothing about wine. We’ve only been once so I can’t provide specific menu recommendations, but everything we had was good and everything we saw looked good. My only complaint was that the room is molded in the “if it’s really dark, the food will taste better” design style.

Coteaux du Languedoc

As I wrote in one of my Paris articles, we got a wine from this region of France at one of our fancier dinners on the last trip. I have so far been unsuccessful in finding anything like that wine in the humble state of PA. If anyone can help me, I would find a way to compensate you.

Halo Day

Tomorrow is Halo Day. I plan to have fun playing the game, and I suspect the game will be the foundation on which the Xbox 360 will stand for the next few years. I have been observing the collective orgasm that is standing in for “reviews” of the game. This will inevitably lead to the backlash against the game, where PC elitists call it a dumbed down shooter for console ‘tards and self-absorbed Left-Bank pseudo-intellectuals call it a cartoon kiddy game compared to the artistic pinnacle that was Bioshock because ya know, Halo doesn’t take place under water and doesn’t make fun of Ayn Rand.

I think that all of this misses the point. Halo 3 will be a grand old time, because Bungie is good at making Halo games. But we should not be deluded into thinking that this is some important cultural event. It’s just a good excuse to sit down with some pizza, shoot some aliens and save the god damned planet. This is what I plan to do.

On the other hand, to the bitter crack-babies who want all their games to do “more”, it should be pointed out that all Halo needs to do is be Halo. It doesn’t need to be HaloShock or Half-Halo 2, Episode 5, Max Payne Returns to City 17. People who pine for Bungie to go in a new direction with this game sound to me like people who want EA to make Madden into a pure management simulation rugby game or something. Going in a new direction is not the point here. Giving me a shiny new Halo game is the point. I like Halo, and I like it to sit on its own, over there being Halo. Doing anything radically differently would be like making a Mario game where you can’t jump. OK?

The only real question is why they allowed the 360 to ship without this game.

High end food stores in Ohio

We visited out friends in Akron again recently. I have a question. How is it that the density of froo-froo high end food stores in the Akron/Cleveland/Columbus triangle is so high? I count something like six or eight stores in the immediate area, whereas here in Pittsburgh we have Whole Foods and a couple of small independents that aren’t really that good (sorry). Why?

7-11 Vignette

I pulled in on my bike yesterday afternoon to get a Gatorade. In the parking lot is a woman sitting in her running Hummer H3 talking to her daughters and someone else, giving directions. The engine is running, the AC is on, the whole shebang. She probably burned several ounces of gas just sitting there while I got my drink. Then her daughter dribbled a bit of her bottled water on her hand to rinse it off. I have done this in the past. From over by the H3 I hear “We do not buy water to pour it on the ground.” Clearly people need a sense of perspective.


You should go here and get a milk shake. Really. Just go.