Lance is Back, Post-Show Breaking News, and Great Weekend

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Good Morning:

The Post Show story breaking nationally is that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez will resign today. The AG has long been a target of the Democratic Leadership in Congress. He’s championed programs like warrantless wiretapping and detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay Cuba and that has made him very unpopular with the Dems and a lot of other people.

Lance in Iowa
Lance Armstrong is back to do a two day forum with the Presidential Candidates on their plans for Cancer research if they’re elected. The only problem, only six of the twelve presidential candidates running will show up. Armstrong pointed out that three of the Republicans running are cancer survivors themselves and aren’t going to come.

Drying Up, Cleaning up
Enjoy another dry day for the most part. The areas of the state hit hardest by last year’s flooding won’t get more rain today but might tomorrow. Things calmed down a little over the weekend and gave counties a chance to clean up a little from the week of storms we saw last week. Kudos to the Iowans who volunteered their time and effort to help people effected by the flooding.

Farmer’s Almanac
And while we’re talking about the weather we were talking about the release of the 2008 Farmer’s Almanac. I didn’t know this but I guess they base their predictions on things like sunspots and the position of the planets. The book claims an 80 percent accuracy rate. I’m sure it does with a forecast like, “there’s going to be snow in the Rockies” That goes right up there with my prediction at the end of the show that the Sun will come up this morning…
Do any of you get/read the Farmer’s Almanac? I don’t want to offend anyone’s system but wouldn’t a shiny quarter work just as well. Maybe we could get the old Magic Eight ball out. Or better yet, we can use the Ouija Board. While we’re asking deep questions about the atmosphere, we can ask if there are any ghosts still living in my friend Tim Payne’s lake house in Northern Wisconsin.

I had the unfortunate luck to land on this show last week during the airing of it’s first, and last episode. Dumb just doesn’t cover this one.
But, like the train wreck this show was…it was hard to turn away. I guess Fox got the answer to the question, Can anyone be a TV News Anchor? No. Just like everyone can’t be an engineer or a firefighter or a gardener.
I know I don’t have the hardest job in the entire world but I do have a job that requires a specific set of skills. One of them is being able to read. You’ve got to know something about the world going on around you. We may look pretty stupid sometimes, I admit that, but ask Brad Hook. It’s like Cattle farming…it’s a lot harder than it looks.

Weekend One-liners
Thanks to any of you who read this and attended the Science Center Auction Friday Night. We had some fun and raised a lot of money for a good cause.

I participated in our station Fantasy Football League Draft Saturday morning. We had two guys on the phone and two of us on laptop computers. It makes the NFL season more fun to watch. I got the first pick and yes, I did draft LT.

My in-laws were in this weekend and it seems a good time to say this: My mother in law had some health issues over the past few weeks. We (her entire family)are really grateful to all of the medical professional who took good care of her, and I think, especially to the duty nurses that do the bulk of the work. We talk about the health care system being broken all of the time and for many people it is hard to access. I know we are lucky to have access to good care, but these people also work hard and, for the most part, have the best interests of the patients in mind.

Is Des Moines really ready for “fine dining”?
There’s only one place in DSM I would consider truly fine dining and that’s 801. I had that confirmed at another restaurant this weekend when we went out looking for the fine dining experience they claimed to offer. We walked away sorely disappointed and feeling like we didn’t get our money’s worth. The point isn’t to bag on the restaurant…the point is…do we have the market for these kinds of restaurants? I can think of about ten places we could have racked up a bill of about half what we paid Saturday night and had a MUCH better meal. It’s disappointing but it also tells me 801 has the corner on this market.

I hope you all had a good weekend and are having a good start to the week.


  • Brenda E

    Ha here’s my virtual Happy Dance LOL there! do ya see it? Look at me I”m #1 today and guess what I since I’ve got the center stage with a blank page, I just don’t have anything to say but Happy Monday Everyone Have a Great Day!!!!! better hurry before Heather beats me! hahaha

  • Cheryl

    I realize you might not want to open this can of worms…completely understandable…but I’m curious as to which restaraunt you’re talking about. I’d rather not make the same mistake you did. Any hints?

  • C

    I think DM is craving some more higher-scale dining places. The same stuff tends to get old very quickly. I’d also like to know where this restaurant was, but I understand why you can’t/won’t name names.

  • Anonymous

    I think there is a great new fine-dining place called Joseph’s. I think the food and atmosphere is outstanding…in case anyone was wondering.

  • Heather R.

    Thanks Brenda :)… anyways! I had the pleasure of trying out Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse this weekend and my gosh, I loved it. The service was great, the food was great and what was even better is I didn’t have to pay the bill. Hah Hah :) There expensive but there food is well worth it. Hope everyone has the chance to try it out sometime. Hope everyone has a great day.Heather.

  • Patrick Dix

    Hey guys, thanks for the comments. No, I won’t say where we were for dinner this weekend. I like to give people a nice plug when they do a good job but I won’t go around saying I had a bad experience at this place or that place. Maybe they had an off night My question was more general…Can Des Moines sustain more than one of these fine dining experiences…I’m not talking about a “nice meal”. There are a lot of places that are upscale. I’m talking about a once a year…best occasion, bring your best client kind of place. 801 has always been that.

  • Amy

    I would have to agree with Patrick on 801. I think there are plenty of restaurants in DSM that are unique, but 801 has the “bring a client from NYC, Chicago, LA, etc. feel.” Service and food is outstanding. I don’t know who or what could compare, but if someone was willing to give it a try that would be great!

  • Anonymous

    I can’t say that Des Moines is ready for several more 801’s… but that’s not to say that we won’t be. With all the great improvements going on in our community, I am confident that continue to grow into the “big city” persona we’re cultivating. We’re just not there yet. I think there are several reasons why.1) Sure Des Moines has a lot of people who can afford to eat at places like that…. but not every night. And there aren’t enough of them to sustain the amount of traffic it takes to keep a high-end restaurant in business. Now as DSM develops a more corporate demographic, that could change, but right now we’re not Chicago or Minneapolis. We’re just not. But we’re getting there.2) Price. At our core, Des Moines is Iowa and Iowans are good, hardworking people that demand the most for their dollar. While the cost of living is relatively low, blowing a few/couple hundred dollars on a dinner for two just doesn’t make fiscal sense for a family with kids where both parents are working to provide, even if it’s “just for one special occassion”. That takes the ‘daily diners’ out of the clientele.Someday we’ll have the demand for more upscale dining, but I agree with Patrick – we’re just not ready for it yet. A previous poster mentioned Joseph’s.. yes the atmosphere is nice, but they’re not doing anything special for the price you’re paying. We’ve taken clients there before and everytime – it’s dead. Someday Des Moines will have restaurants that can compete with the Twenty21’s and the Perilla’s and the Cirque’s of the world. Just not right now.Dan

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