Weekly Henry, Holiday Edition

26 11 2008


O Hai!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Next update on Monday.


Happy Thanksdrinking

25 11 2008

In the spirit of a holiday founded on a band of fundamentalist Christians offering temporary clemency to a well-intentioned, poorly armed native population by sharing in a meal of poultry and squash, Urbzen would like to offer this festive cranberry martini recipe. Because if there’s one thing we’re thankful for, it’s booze.

dog sweater

• 3 oz. cranberry/raspberry cocktail
• 1/2 oz. crème de cassis
• 1 oz. vodka

Mixing instructions:
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Option: Garnish with a candy cane or cranberries.

You can make a pitcher of this recipe beforehand and chill in the fridge.

Dear Lance Armstrong,

24 11 2008

You’re truly an amazing athlete. And I’m glad you don’t have cancer anymore.

But you’re still a dick.



Weekly Henry: Blast from the past

21 11 2008


[Ed. note: I’ll be out of the country all next week. I’m going to set some stuff to auto-post, but I apologize in advance if I don’t respond to your emails or comments right away. Have a happy Thanksgiving!]

Five Dollar Footlong vs. Saved by Zero

20 11 2008

Since the days of Burma-Shave and the Victrola, advertisers have used jingles to worm their way into their customers’ conciousness. Advertising has gotten a lot more sophisticated since then, but these insipid anthems still have the power to hijack our brains in a way few other strategies can.

As consumers, we like to think that we’re not so easily manipulated, and maybe you’re not. But try to read the following lines to yourself without also humming the tune:

  • My bologna has a first name, its O-S-C-A-R
  • What would you do for a Klondyke bar?
  • Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat Bar


Recently, the Gods of Marketing added two more jingles to our playlist from hell: Subway’s “Five Dollar Footlong” and Toyota’s “Saved by Zero.”

Launched earlier this year, “Five Dollar Footlong” has met with largely good, if exhasperated, reviews. It also seems to have had a dramatic impact on sales of, you guessed it, $5 footlongs.

“Saved by Zero,” on the other hand, has recieved a downright chilly reception. In place of the bemused irritation of the Subway campaign, reactions to “Zero” have been much more hostile. Why?

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When to winterize man’s best friend

18 11 2008

Because of their head-to-toe fur coats and the fact that they are descended from the hearty wolf, many pet parents assume that their dogs are immune to the chill of winter. But today’s domestic canines are a far cry from their lupine ancestors, and for many breeds, a trip out into the cold feels very much like it would for you in your birthday suit.

Of course, the doggy definition of potty training and your furry pal’s need for daily exercise means you can’t eliminate outdoor excursions altogether during the winter months. But since dogs can’t speak up and ask for a venti hot chocolate whenever the mercury drops, it’s up to you to know when and how to winterize your pooch.

dog sweater

Does your dog need protection? Arctic breeds like the husky, malamute, Akita, Samoyed, jindo and chow chow obviously thrive in the cold, as do mountain breeds like the Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard and Bernese Mountain Dog. Shepherds, collies and hard-coated terriers like the Airedale and the Westie are also reasonably well equipped to ward off the chill.

Some breeds, on the other hand, need a little help staying warm. Any breed with well-defined muscles, little fat and a short coat is going to catch a chill very easily. Boxers, greyhounds, pitbulls, Dobermans and whippets are all highly sensitive to the cold. More than anything, pay attention. Like people, dogs shiver when they get too cold—this is a sign they need additional protection.

The most important part of keeping a dog warm is insulating their core; everything from the neck to the shoulders down the back to the hips should be covered. On a cold, dry day, a well-made sweater will do the trick. In a storm, or if your pooch likes to romp in the snow, opt for something waterproof, like a jacket or parka.

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History is just a series of accidents in time

18 11 2008

It was January 20, 2004, the night after the Iowa caucuses, and I was at the Raccoon River bar in downtown Des Moines with a couple dozen fellow Edwards staffers, drinking, reminiscing, and debating what we’d do next.

Up at the bar, I got to talking with a guy who happened to be from the same city as me. He was trying to recruit me to come work for a US Senate candidate named Blair Hull, essentially a shoo-in and the Next Big Thing in the Democratic Party.

Hull was an attractive candidate, the kind of guy it’s easy to campaign for. The Women’s Sports Foundation had named him “Title IX Dad of the Year” and he enjoyed the support of organized labor and Emily’s List. Plus, he was largely self-financed and had a double-digit lead.

I decided against joining the Hull campaign, opting instead to go back to school and finish my final semester. Things didn’t work out for Hull. A month before the election, his divorce papers were unsealed, revealing a history of domestic violence, the campaign unraveled, and he ultimately lost the Democratic primary to a little-known state senator named Barack Obama.