Dear North Face

The following dispatch from Daniel Heimpel was originally published here. Heimpel is a correspondent and photo model for the Iceland Review.

Dear North Face,

I hit kilometer 36 of a mountain bike race in Iceland. The sky drew black. It started to rain and didn’t stop for 19 kilometers and over an hour more. ‘D_mn this sucks, I thought, ‘but I have a North Face jacket on. At least I’ll be dry.”

But twenty minutes later I felt myself all wet underneath the $220 shell I had bought on sale from the famed North Face outlet just off of Gilman Street in West Berkeley. As the water percolated through, turning my thin stretchy long-sleeved undershirt and tee shirt wet, I became angry.

Not because I was wet. Well yes because I was wet, but moreover because a vanguard of my youth, one of the only brands I firmly believed in turned out to be such a crock. But as I slogged through the rain, my wetness becoming an obsession, I managed to think back and find evidence that the North Face would fail me when I was still in high school.

Berkeley was a medium warm kind of place. It rained and got foggy, and in high school you needed a North Face otherwise ? well – you were just wearing a rain jacket. At one of your sales at the fore mentioned North Face outlet I bought a jacket for maybe $100. It was green and I loved it.

My friend Jesse coveted this jacket. And when it came time for me to leave Berkeley High School for college he gave me a proposition.

“Let me buy that off you for $75,” he said. Continue reading “Dear North Face”

off the beaten eggman path

Just found out Mike @ c&l linked to me — Yay! I believe it was in light of this post regarding Blumenthal outing The Decider for facing up to Pappy. If you’re in Vegas, do some partying for me, and put a tenner down on the Cubs, uh, not finishing in last place? I’d be there if wasn’t stuck workin!

BONUS: E&P mentions that the Des Moines Register paid homage to the city’s “well-endowed flood control,” complete with an aerial view of this phallic “detention basin.” Which really does not seem unusual until you consider what this could do to the Iowa Abstinence Mission’s billboard campaign:
   

Chewbacca: Let’s Play Drums

Never thought I’d be the one of a hundred billion adding fuel to the Gnarls Barkley inferno, but this is just too good to resist. First off, the record is pure fun, and hats off to Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse for taking advantage of extra scrilla and turning out hilariously insane full-stage productions at their monumental live sets. Let’s just say that ugly has never looked so sharp.

So they got this tune, “Crazy,” that everyone and their dead grandmother has been covering. Click here for that silliness. However so, they’ve been inspiring peeps worldwide. Over the weekend, Gnarls tore up the MTV Movie Awards decked out in full Star Wars gear, with none other than Sacha Baron Cohen (as Borat) lending introductions. These guys can suck it up as much as they want if they’re gonna deliver like this. Check it:

Daddy Puhleeeeze! I’M the Decider Now!!!

Sidney Blumenthal, a former White House insider himself, writes today in Salon:

Former President George H.W. Bush waged a secret campaign over several months early this year to remove Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld….But the former president’s effort failed, apparently rebuffed by the current president.

Talk about a dog who’s seen better days. After all, it was ‘W’ that famously shunned Daddy once and for all, telling Bob Woodward: “He is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength. There is a higher father that I appeal to.”

And today, Michael Berg, father of American contractor Nicholas Berg, who in 2004 was allegedly beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, told the Associated Press, following confirmation of Zarqawi’s death:

“Zarqawi felt my son’s breath on his hand as held the knife against his throat. Zarqawi had to look in his eyes when he did it,” Berg added, pausing to collect himself. “George Bush sits there glassy-eyed in his office with pieces of paper and condemns people to death. That to me is a real terrorist.”

How about some real intervention already?

ABC Reports: Zarqawi Dead

Perhaps it’s because I’m on the West Coast, but immediately when the ‘Special Report’ music broke into Nightline, I thought for a second that I must be watching Saturday Night Live.

Of course, 11:35pm Nightline in L.A. plays 3 hours behind the East Coast, where, for some reason, ABC has broken through in all time zones with an Abu Musab al-Zarqawi special. Granted, I have visited the headquarters of other major networks and know that certain obituary pieces are pre-produced and ready to go (Gerald Ford, Nancy Reagan, to name a couple), but “Now with Zarqawi gone, the U.S. can claim a tangible victory in Iraq,” stated on tape by Brian Ross, seems a bit far-fetched.

Zarqawi had a 25 million dollar bounty on his head. Considering the “insurgency” and all, I find it hard to believe that the non-profit U.S. troops would have hauled in the prize.

This will keep me up for a few hours, nonetheless.

UPDATE: Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki and Gen. Casey just announced the death of Zarqawi on Iraqi TV. He was killed in a U.S. military-led airstrike at a “safehouse” north of Baquba, 30 miles north of Baghdad and not far from a handful of horrific beheadings earlier this week. Christiane Amanpour, on CNN Pipeline, is saying that the applause that followed the announcement of Zarqawi’s death is reminiscent of the official announcement of the capture of Hussein.

Gen. Casey is quick to add, “this is just a step….” Here is a link to the AP report that will continue to update with details. Full press conference at 3pm Baghdad time, 5am here in Pacific Daylight Time.