Home > Uncategorized > A few random observations about McDonald’s, Frank Zappa, columns, guitars…

A few random observations about McDonald’s, Frank Zappa, columns, guitars…

…A news report says McDonald’s is facing a lawsuit by a group who feels McD’s promotes childhood obesity by giving away toys in its Happy Meals.

Understand, I’m not defending McDonald’s: about the only thing I like about Ronald McDonald’s restaurant is the iced tea. But if they’re going to insist McD’s quit putting toys in its Happy Meals, maybe they’ll show concern over other areas of health issues. Such as beer companies that sell their product by the case or whiskey companies that sell their product by amounts that could easily make one person drunk very quickly. Or, to be fair to those who drink in moderation, to restaurants that offer all-you-can-eat buffets.

It’s a moderation issue. A responsible parent is not going to get their child a Happy Meal three times a day. In fact, I know of no parents who do so on even a daily basis…

…Lately I’ve been listening to music by the late musician, Frank Zappa. I’m not sure how to classify Zappa since I know from a final interview he loathed the monikers “rock legend” and musical “test pilot pushing the edge”.

Some of his music I like due to it being unusual with crazy lyrics (such as the Montana song where he talks about going to the Big Sky State to raise a crop of dental floss). But regarding his disagreement with warning labels on music albums? If we put ratings on movies, why not do something with music to make buyers and (for underaged buyers) parents to be aware of what’s on there?

That being said, I’ve seen some Zappa interviews and feel sad that he died at a relatively young age of 52. From a musical perspective, it’s bad enough how he had urinary problems for years but what’s even worse, somehow doctors still didn’t find the prostate cancer until it was too late. I imagine he must’ve been very bitter over what he probably deemed an early death…

…I did not write a column this week for the Herald. It was a combination of two things: one, I needed to take a week off and two, I didn’t really have anything interesting to write about. Not that south Genesee County and north Saginaw County are boring, but the ideas just didn’t flow. Besides, I’m a firm believer it’s better to write no column than a filler column. Perhaps next week From A to Zowie will return to the Herald’s editorial page…

…Had a talk a few days ago with a guitar store owner in Clio. After chatting, I gave him my name, number and e-mail and asked him to contact me if anybody brings in a left-handed guitar (preferably acoustic) on consignment. “Please keep in mind, sir,” I said, “This is not a notice to hold the guitar for me, but rather to let me know you got one in. If you happen to sell it before I get in to look at it, than that’s fine.”

He then informed me that for around $150, he could order me a new left-handed acoustic guitar. I plan to visit with him to ask about layaway and how quickly I’d have to pay it off. In fact, I’ll probably be seeing him in a few days to buy a replacement string for my son’s guitar.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar, not to be a professional musician but for the sheer pleasure of playing it. Time will tell whether or not I’m successful. Jennifer, my wife, suggested I try out an electric guitar. If I do that, I’d play it mostly unplugged since hooking it up would eat into our electric bill. I pride myself on keeping a low profile in my private life, and I doubt my neighbors would like to be inundated with discordant guitar chords…

Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based journalist, columnist and blogger. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

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