Friday, July 04, 2008

Americana on Independence Day

New York City's Great Patriotic Cheddar Cheese

A sculpture of the signing of the Declaration of Independence made from a one-ton block of cheddar cheese glistened on the sidewalk of Times Square in New York on Thursday as an artist's tribute to the Fourth of July.

"It's very patriotic ..." said Troy Landwehr, who carved the sculpture for cracker company Cheez-It to celebrate U.S. Independence Day. He worked eight hours a day for a week in a 40-degree cooler carving the block of Wisconsin cheddar.

The replica of an iconic painting by John Trumbull shows John Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin and others standing around a table signing the historic document.

The work is not the first time Landwehr has recreated U.S. history with cheese. Last year he carved a cheese version of Mount Rushmore ... [Reuters]

As a Manhattanite, I'd expect such a thing more likely to appear in Wisconsin. But I guess I'll take a walk up and take a look today. And kudos to the big marketing brains at the Cheez-It company -- they think like Americans!

Baseball trade of the season -- it's the American game

Player traded for 10 bats sees it as shot at redemption

An umpire teasingly calls him "Bat Man." His teammates consider it an embarrassment and a "slap in the face." ... it sounds like the punchline of a cruel joke, or maybe an episode from baseball's more colorful past.

But minor league pitcher John Odom sees the trade that sent him from the Calgary Vipers to the Laredo Broncos for 10 baseball bats as a shot at redemption ... [AP]

That's it, always look for the opportunity in a situation -- it's the American attitude.

Uncle Jay explains the Supreme Court on Americans' right to own guns (well, you've heard everybody else on it.)

And what could be more American than guns and cars?
A car dealership in the United States is offering a free handgun with every vehicle sold. Max Motors in Butler, Missouri, says sales have quadrupled since the start of the offer.

Customers can choose between a gun or a $250 gas card, but most so far have chosen the gun. Owner Mark Muller said: "We're just damn glad to live in a free country where you can have a gun if you want to."

Mr Muller said that every buyer so far "except one guy from Canada and one old guy" chose the gun, rather than the gas card.

He recommends a Kel-Tec .380 pistol, which he describes as "a nice little handgun that fits in your pocket". [BBC -- with audio]

Well, maybe ... cars and beer (and grandma)?

Grandma crashes car through store to buy beer

Lynne Rice of Norwalk reportedly announced, "I'm here for beer," after plowing her 1988 Cadillac through the front window of Joe's Food Mart, 10641 E. Imperial Highway, at about 6 p.m. Sunday, said Deputy Jeff Tibbetts of the Norwalk Sheriff's Station.

The owner of Joe's Food Mart, Atef Awada, says he has surveillance footage of Rice getting out of the car after the crash, walking over to the cooler and pulling out a six-pack of beer.

... Rice was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence... [Press-T]
"Suspicion" ... That's American understatment.