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Lettuce

Posted on Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Dave!I hate buying produce in the winter.

Everything is bland and flavorless. Tomatoes being the absolute worst. I don't even bother buying tomatoes from October through April.

And then there's lettuce.

Today I bought a head of iceberg lettuce. I figured I was safe because it doesn't have much flavor anyway. After picking through the rusted, rancid mess... 80% of it had to be thrown in the garbage.

And so...

I'm done. For the next couple months I'm subsisting on potato chips and chocolate pudding.

Delicious.

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Bullet Sunday 421

Posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Dave!Don't be sad that my trip to California delayed your favorite post of the week... because Bullet Sunday on Monday starts... now...

   
• Weekend! Had such an amazing time in San Diego for Jester's birthday weekend...

Jester's Birthday Weekend San Diego 2015
Thanks to Chuy for the Group Photo!

A nicer bunch of people you will not meet.

   
• Heart! Speaking of Jester... a song he wrote with Matthew Hayes is being performed by Kenyth Mogan in a clever Wizard of Oz inspired video... with a twist. Jester appears as Scarecrow, by the way...

And here's a behind the scenes making-of video for the video where Jester (Aaron) explains the origins of the song...

I love having talented friends!

   
• Horror! One of the biggest surprises from this past weekend was attending the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Ken Cinema...

Dave at the Rocky Horror Picture Show
Newspaper and squirt gun ready! Thanks to Jester for the Photo!

I haven't "done" the Rocky Horror in 25 years. I remember a lot of the audience participation lines... but I was surprised by how much everything has evolved. There were plenty of current pop culture references (Justin Bieber?) to be found, and a lot of stuff had been added. Hopefully it won't be 25 years before the next time... it was a lot of fun.

   
• Carrots! Best episode of Billy on the Street ever!

We have the coolest First Lady ever.

   
• Sausages! Whilst having Sunday Brunch at the marvelous Cafe 1134 yesterday, I was introduced to the fact that Soy Chorizo exists. It was absolutely wonderful in my breakfast burrito, and made an ordinarily boring egg and cheese entrée into something flavorful and amazing. Now I just gotta find it local.

   
• Spock! As I was flying home today, I learned the Leonard Nimoy has been hospitalized for chest pains. Wishing him the speediest of recoveries. Nothing would make me happier than having him make a third appearance in the Star Trek reboot.

   
And that's the end of the bullets, everybody!

   

BurgerQuiz!

Posted on Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Dave!I'll go first...

   
What kind of burger do you like best? How is it cooked?
As I'm a vegetarian, Boca Burger is my favorite... both in a restaurant and at home. I like them thawed then fried. On occasion I'll take a black bean burger.

   
What tops your favorite burger?
American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, raw onion, ketchup, and lots of mayonnaise. Maybe pickles if I'm in the mood. NO MUSTARD! Mustard is for hotdogs.

   
Where do you find your favorite burger?
Johnny Rockets (Streamliner Burger, no mustard, add American cheese), or 25 Degrees Chicago (Veggie with Cottonwood River Cheddar, lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup, extra mayo), or EZ's Burger Deluxe Wenatchee (Classic Veggie Burger, extra mayo, add cheddar cheese). I also like the McVeggie Deluxe, which I've only ever seen at the Times Square McDonalds, New York City.

   
Burger Packaging

How do you like your favorite burger packaged to go... Paper Wrap, Foil Paper Wrap, Paper Bag, Foil Paper Bag, Paper Box, or Styrofoam Box?
Hands-down a foil paper bag. The only one I don't like on this list is the styrofoam... if you don't eat your burger right away it sweats and gets soggy.

   
When cooking burgers at home, do you make your own patties by hand or do you purchase pre-fabricated?
I've made veggie burgers from scratch a couple times, but vastly prefer buying them pre-made from the freezer section of my local grocery store.

   
Ideally, what accompanies your favorite burger?
Crinkle-cut fries (like those found at Culvers) and a Coke (or lemonade, if it's hot out).

   
How often do you eat a hamburger?
Probably once every two weeks or so when at home. Once or twice a week if I'm in a place that has good burgers.

   
And you?

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F-Bomb

Posted on Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Dave!GAH! IT'S 3:00 IN THE MORNING! Boy I wish I could get a good night's sleep.

Anyway...

Tonight I was happy to attend University Sunrise Rotary's Debuts and Discoveries charity function with wines, brews, spirits, and food trucks...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

The event was held at an old hangar in Magnusson Park at Sand Point, which used to be a Navy air station...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

True to their word, there was an abundance of new alcohols to sample and buy...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

Best of Show for me was Skunk Brothers, which had a very nice moonshine whiskey and a sublime Sweet Apple Pie spirit...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

Interestingly enough, there was also cigar rollers in attendance...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

The hangar itself is a terrific space for events like this...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

I already had several shots of Jäegermeister before the event, which meant I was getting pretty trashed as we neared the end of the evening (I "sampled" all but two tables, and they had multiple products at most tables!). Not wanting to pass out on my friends, I decided to stop drinking and start shooting photos. I brought my miraculous Sony A7s camera, and Hangar 30 had plenty of opportunities to get sone nifty shots.

So there I was taking photos of cool stuff when I hear some asshole start mocking me with "LOOK AT THAT GUY TAKING A PICTURE OF A WALL!"

I am beyond sick and tired of people taking a shit on my happiness, but decided to let it go.

Or I would have if I hadn't been soaked in alcohol. Instead I said "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU CARE?" a bit too loudly.

Oh well. I may have been taking a PICTURE OF A WALL but, in my defense, it was a pretty interesting wall...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

   
There were four food trucks and you got four sampling coupons to try each of them. Except the chicken truck didn't have a vegetarian option (boo Chick’n Fix!), so I skipped that one.

The first truck I ate at was Spicy Papaya, which had a delicious Pad Thai to try...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

Next up was Wicked Pies, which must be run by some Twin Peaks fans...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

But Best in Show for me was the El Cabrito truck, which was serving up an amazing "Beet & Pumpkin Seed Quesadilla" that rocked my world...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

It was so good that I used my last ticket to pay a return visit...

University Sunrise Rotary Debuts and Discoveries

El Cabrito can park their truck in my driveway any time! That quesadilla is absolutely worth a stop if you're ever in Seattle's International District.

And thus ends my last day in Seattle. Not too shabby!

Even if I did drop an F-bomb on an airplane hangar.

   

Lump

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Dave!Um, yeah.

If I wanted lumpy, under-cooked potatoes, I would have made them myself instead of trusting a professional to do them up right...

Hormel Mashed Potatoes Tub

If "Homestyle" means there's cold, hard lumps of un-mashed potatoes throughout the entire bowl, then I guess these are a success? Except it's kinda gross to eat them.

Which means I'm going to have to pull out the mixer and re-blend them.

NOT what I had in mind when I bought into Hormel's lie of convenience to satisfy my mashed potato craving.

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Nacho

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Dave!The first time I had nachos was back in the late 70's. My family was invited to dinner at the house of one of my father's work colleagues and they were served as an appetizer.

But they were a far cry from what most people call "nachos" now-a-days.

Instead of tortilla chips swimming a massive glop of orange stuff with olives, tomatoes, onions, beef, beans, salsa, sour cream, peppers, and guacamole dumped on top, they were artfully constructed. Each chip was individually topped with a small cube of orange cheese next to a small cube of white cheese then finished with a small slice of jalapeño and heated until the cheese melted. They were sublime. And any nachos I've had since then have paled in comparison. Especially the awful, awful, "nachos" I had in Australia...

Nacho Soup

Or the even worse nachos I had in the Cayman Islands...

Shitty Nachos from Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Grand Cayman Georgetown

The reason I have nachos on the brain now (and every time I eat them, really) is because of something interesting I saw in the news this morning: Deep-Fried Nachos on a Stick at the Texas Renaissance Festival...

Deep-Fried Nachos on a Stick
Photo By Texas Renaissance Festival

Apparently I have until October 24th to dust off my pirate costume and get me a plane ticket to Todd Mission, Texas.

Or more likely Houston. Something tells me that Todd Mission doesn't have direct flights from anywhere I'd want to be.

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Swiss

Posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Dave!I've discovered a newfound love for Swiss cheese.

Never liked it before. Always found it to be rubbery, stinky, and possessing an "off" flavor. But then I had an Arby's sandwich (hold the beef) one day and found it quite tasty. The cheese on my sandwich? Swiss. And so I've been eating it on sandwiches every day for the past two weeks.

The food equivalent of binge-watching on Netflix, if you will.

Then this morning for breakfast I skipped the Captain Crunch and toast and went straight for a chunk of Swiss.

Such is the perils of having "an addictive personality."

Good thing I can't afford to try cocaine.

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Lake Tahoe

Posted on Monday, May 4th, 2015

Dave!"What's the bare minimum amount of money and effort we can sink into this thing and get away with calling it a Hard Rock?" —Warner Hospitality

Or so I assume.

The property currently known as the "Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe" began as "Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe" and was a pretty big deal back in the early 70's because Elvis performed here regularly...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Eventually the property was rebranded as the "Horizon Resort" before ultimately becoming a Hard Rock in January of this year. As it's not part of the "authentic" Hard Rock portfolio owned by the Seminoles, I was prepared for it to be underwhelming. Because they usually are.

But this one didn't even reach that far for me.

Not that it's not a nice hotel... it totally is... but the complete lack of excessiveness and rock-n-roll theming that defines a "Hard Rock" is just not here. And it starts from when you first pull up to this rather boring building...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

If it weren't for the signs, you'd never guess this was a Hard Rock at all. Things are slightly better on the other side, where at least there's a giant guitar...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Inside isn't much better. The reception desk is boring as hell. No effort whatsoever was put into making your first contact with the property be special. No guitars. No cymbals. No art. No nothing. Just blank walls to stare at...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

I mean, seriously, what the hell?

There are some nice showcases on the back wall, but it's just not enough...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

At the far end is my favorite piece, a passport belonging to Johnny Cash...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

About the only attempt at making the lobby feel in any way special is a display for one of Michael Jackson's gloves. Which is nice, but it does nothing to pull you away from all those blank walls behind it...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

And then there's the rooms. Again, nice... but where's the "Hard Rock" here? An orange wall, a teddy bear, and a couple of prints is all we get?

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

At least the bathroom has something rock-related. Even if it is just a tiny guitar print...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Seriously... this could be any mid-range hotel anywhere in the USA. There is absolutely nothing about it that makes you feel like you're in a Hard Rock except when you look closely at the water bottle tag, the shampoos, and the guest services book. About the only unique thing about it is the fire sprinkler in the closet...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

I guess they have a real problem with guest's clothes spontaneously combusting or something.

Oh... and thank God I paid the extra money for a "lake view" room. I would have hated to have missed this beautiful view of... the parking lot?!?

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

I mean, yeah, there's a lake way back there... but I'd hardly call this a "lake view" room. When I booked it, I was expecting to look out my window and see something like this...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

...which is a shot I took when I pulled off the road on the drive here.

Oh well. The casino isn't much better. Absolutely nothing on the casino floor. Just a couple of cabinets scattered at the entrances...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

And some guitars scattered without presentation down a random boring hallway you have no reason to visit...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

The pool is total shit... though there are signs everywhere about a fantastic new pool area that will be debuting this summer, so maybe it'll improve...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Overall, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe is a massive disappointment for Hard Rock fans. There's just not much here to see. If you don't care about the Hard Rock, it's a nice enough hotel, sure... but for those who do care, it's hardly destination-worthy unless you're a hard-core completist.

Which, unfortunately, is me.

UPDATE 5/5/15: You know, it may not sound like it, but I was trying to stay positive here. But when I went to check out everything kind of came to a boiling point in my head. First of all is the idiotic "resort fee" I had to pay... $22 ($26 with tax) which basically got me internet. It's not like I could go lie by the pool or anything (given there's no furniture). But even worse was the service. When I checked in, you're supposed to get complimentary valet parking, but the ONE guy tending the drive was too busy talking to somebody to bother and, after I had to interrupt to find out what the fuck I do with my car, he positioned valet parking as a "well, if you really want to..." situation, so I ended up self-parking. THEN, when I went to leave in the morning, I asked the guy at the reception desk if they had a postbox. No. Can you put my postcard with your outgoing mail? No. Now that's service! They wouldn't even mail a damn postcard. Seriously, fuck this place. I wish I had never come. A complete stain on the Hard Rock brand if there ever was one.

Contrast and compare to the positively gorgeous "authentic" Hard Rock Cafe next door at Harvey's Casino. It's an absolutely mesmerizing property that's got a "Tahoe Ski Lodge" aesthetic going on. And it's packed to the rafters with fantastic rock-n-roll memorabilia and classic theming. So much love went into this place...

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Now THAT'S Hard Rock! That's a destination-worthy property. That's why I am a Hard Rock fan.

sigh.

Anyway...

Before driving to Lake Tahoe, I got to have lunch with the Blogger Formerly Known as Floating Princess, so the day wasn't a total loss. We had most excellent pizza at Pirate's Pizza in Reno... it is, in fact, the best pizza in the whole world...

Pirate's Pizza Reno

Pirate's Pizza Reno

Pirate's Pizza Reno

Dinner tonight was another excellent meal... across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe at the Lucky Beaver...

Lucky Beaver Sign

I like the place very much... excellent service and a cozy atmosphere. But the food is way pricey... $12 for a burger and tots! Though their black bean veggie option is really good, so I guess it was worth the money.

And that's my day. Time to walk back to the Hard Rock and see if I can get some sleep.

I'm not much of a gambler, but I was compelled to put money in the "Ellen DeGeneres Show Slot Machine" until something happened. Five dollars later and...

Ellen DeGeneres Show Slot Machine

If you win something special, cartoon-body Ellen dances across the screen and she talks to you. Cute.

Tomorrow? The journey back home.

   

Lakeview

Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Dave!A much nicer day today than yesterday.

Probably because I had to leave this morning!

Since my "lakeview" room at the Hard Rock didn't have a view of the actual lake, I stopped off at a "viewpoint" along the way to see if I could get a photo of Lake Tahoe. Sure enough...

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

And here's a pano of the whole schebang...

Lake Tahoe

Beautiful, right?

But before I drove back to Reno, I returned to the Lucky Beaver for a fried egg and avocado breakfast sammy... which was amazing. Even though I had to get up at 7:00am to get one...

Lucky Beaver Fried Egg Breakfast Sammy

Anyway...

The drive was fairly uneventful. Though I did run across somebody who loves A) Scotland... and B) Clifford the Big Red Dog... very, very much...

Scotland and Clifford the Big Red Dog

Much to my surprise, I ran across a Back to the Future slot machine at the airport. I refused to waste more than $10 on the thing, so I didn't get to see much... but it was very cool just the same...

Back to the Future... THE SLOT MACHINE!

Back to the Future... THE SLOT MACHINE!

What are you lookin' at, butt-head?!

Annnnnd... so much for my trip to Reno and Lake Tahoe.

   

Bullet Sunday 433

Posted on Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Dave!Rainy days and Sundays shouldn't get you down... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Carson! This clip is SO good. Makes me realize how much I miss Carson... and how much I'm going to miss Letterman...

As much as I'm looking forward to seeing what Stephen Colbert is going to do in late-night space, I am gutted at the prospect of Letterman closing out The Late Show. I may not be a consistent viewer, but I go on Letterman binges that make me very glad he's around. Until he won't be.

   
• Slider! Before I became a vegetarian, I was a fan of White Castle and their infamous mini hamburgers, better known as "sliders." There's no White Castle near me... I only got to eat there when I went to the coast, so it was a rare treat. After I became a vegetarian, White Castle (and my beloved In-N-Out Burger) were off the menu. Earlier this year White Castle did the unthinkable... they released a VEGETARIAN SLIDER! And I was beyond thrilled. Until I went to actually order one. Instead of a mini vegetarian burger topped with onions and a pickle like a real slider, you got a vegetable patty packed with carrots and peas and shit topped with your choice of honey mustard, ranch or Thai sauce. WHAT THE FUCK, WHITE CASTLE?!? I don't want that vegetable shit with salad dressing... I want a damn WHITE CASTLE SLIDER! To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement. Once again a restaurant tries to do a good thing badly by grossly misreading what vegetarians want. We don't want a vegetable version of what everybody else is getting... we want what everybody else is getting without having to kill an animal to get it. McDonalds totally nailed it with their "McVeggie Deluxe," but White Castle... like Burger King before them... failed utterly with their vegetable-infused monstrosity. Enter Gardein's "The Ultimate Beefless Sliders"...

Kingsman Movie Poster

They're perfect. And delicious. Add some lightly grilled onions and a pickle and it's the slider I've been wanting all along. Except... holy crap are they expensive. $6.00 a box! That's $1.50 a slider! Isn't a White Castle slider like 50¢ or something? All those government subsidies for America's toxic beef industry must be nice.

   
• Kingsman! I had rather high expectations after viewing the trailers for Kingsman: The Secret Service... and Michael Vaughn blew past every one of them...

Kingsman Movie Poster

Such a great movie! It's a smart, funny, action-packed spy thriller with a cast to die for, a really good story, and violence so over the top it verges on comedic.

Following in his father's footsteps, Eggsy Unwin trains to be an elite agent in Britain's premiere secret spy organization: Kingsman. And it's a good thing too... evil internet billionaire Valentine (played to the hilt by Samuel L. Jackson) has plans to wipe out the human race! Features epic appearances by Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Jack Davenport, Mark Hammill, Jack Davenport, and Michael Caine... along with strong breakout performances by Sofia Boutella and Taron Egerton. The film did some major box office action, so I'm hoping for a sequel. If you've read the comic book version, this is considerably different, but not in a bad way at all.

   
• Seventh Son! Unfortunately, another movie I had been looking forward to did not fare so well...

Seventh Son Movie Poster

Despite a really good cast, Seventh Son ended up being a complete and total turd. Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore are great actors that defy all expectations by turning in truly awful performances. And while the story (based on a series of books) had huge potential (an 18th century evil spirit hunter learning his trade), it was utterly wasted in this mess of a film. Fortunately, like Jupiter Ascending, it bombed at the box office so we'll be spared any sequels. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

   
• Super! When I saw the extended "First Look" for the new Supergirl series, I was pleasantly surprised...

Looks like the team behind Arrow and The Flash have done it again! And then I watched the first actual trailer... only to discover that, apparently, we're getting "Team Supergirl." Which sucks ass. "Team Arrow" I get... it was core to the concept of the show's take on the character. But "Team Flash" is just unnecessary layers of shit, as Barry would have been much more interesting figuring out everything on his own. And "Team Supergirl" is an even worse idea. Why in the hell can't super-heroes exist on their own without some kind of stupid "team" there to constantly steal their thunder? Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg are clearly out of ideas here, and I wish that they would stop being called in to rehash their same tired concepts over and over again on new super-hero shows.

   
• Toys! Ending things on a down-note... I was sad to learn that F.A.O. Schwarz will be closing their doors come July. This iconic toy store is probably best remembered for it's part in the movie Big, but I'll better remember it as "that one place I visit every single time I'm in New York."

F.A.O. Schwarz in the movie Big

On one hand, I get it... online shopping is rapidly displacing retail shops for things like toys, so profits can't keep up with the cost of rent... but it's still sad that such a special part of New York City is going to evaporate. I mean, damn, 145 years?

   
And... back to my rainy Sunday...

   

Salad

Posted on Friday, May 29th, 2015

Dave!Well.

Fortunately there was a delicious salad with apples, aged cheddar, plus candied walnuts & pecans to take the edge off my day...


Apple Salad

   

My new comfort food, I guess.

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Frozen?

Posted on Monday, June 8th, 2015

Dave!I am starting to get annoyed at frozen food manufacturers who have no smarts when it comes to how people heat their food in the real world. Everybody knows that the ideal way of cooking something frozen is to use the MICROWAVE to mostly thaw the item... then switch to a CONVECTION OVEN to finish cooking the item because cooking it all the way in the microwave usually makes it taste like rubberized crap. So why do manufacturers ONLY give you cooking directions for microwave OR convection?

Amy's Mexican Bowls Casserole

Fortunately, the answer for many items is to split the difference.

For example, Amy's amazing Mexican Bowls have instructions for 5 minutes in the microwave OR 40 minutes in the convection oven covered in foil followed by 10-15 minutes uncovered to crisp the top. But you can cut the cook time almost in half and still end up with optimal flavor by splitting the difference: 2½ minutes in the microwave followed by 20 minutes in the convection oven covered in foil followed by 10-15 minutes uncovered to crisp the top.

This is the strategy I use for cooking a lot of frozen foods... from veggie burgers to enchiladas. And I'm probably not alone. A lot of people are undoubtedly microwave-thawing then convection-cooking their freezer stuff to save time without ruining it.

Unfortunately, splitting the difference doesn't work for everything, and sometimes there are foods (like pizza, veggie corn dogs, and veggie breakfast sandwiches) which still get rubbery or end up under-cooked. So I end up having to spend a lot of time via trial-and-error attempting to find the right balance... usually cutting microwave time and/or increasing convection time until I get something fully-cooked but not rubberized.

But why should I have to figure all that out? Why aren't frozen food manufacturers doing the hard work for me? Isn't that their job? I can only hope that one of these days one of the big companies will pioneer an effort for providing Best Cooking Practices using BOTH microwaves (to thaw) and convection ovens (to cook) so the rest will follow. Until then... maybe I should start a website where people can post their cooking hacks for frozen food? Or maybe there already is one? With the internet, it's hard to tell sometimes.

And now I'm hungry. Way to go, internet.

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David’s Too

Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Dave!I have been a lot of places on this planet.

I have eaten a lot of pizza everywhere I go.

My favorite pizza on earth (so far) is the Da Vinci from David's Pizza in Spokane, Washington. It's red sauce, mozzarella, and feta with a swirl of pesto sauce that's topped with fresh tomatoes after baking. It is sublime. The sauce at David's has a rich and robust taste that doesn't rely on toppings to give their pizza it's flavor. The mix of feta and pesto is insanely good. It just doesn't get any better.

Which is why you can understand my utter devastation when I rolled up to David's Pizza to get a slice and was greeted by this...

David's Pizza Bulldozed Over and Dead

The greatest pizza I have ever known was gone.

Sure David's Pizza kinda lived on inside of a bar called "Famous Ed's"... but it was never the same.

Fast forward four long years... and David's is back at a new location, and it's very nice...

All New David's Pizza

All New David's Pizza

All New David's Pizza

The pizza profile seems closer to the original for me... but the crust is more "Famous Ed's" than "Original David's Pizza" in that it's missing a bit of the "snap" it used to have. It's slightly more chewy instead. Not necessarily a bad thing... just not as I remember it...

All New David's Pizza

Still probably the best pizza on earth.

Believe it or not, the second best pizza I've ever had is 20 minutes away from me in Wenatchee at a place called "Third Generation Pizza N More." The sauce is so flavorful that just a plain cheese pizza packs plenty of delicious flavor, and their amazing crust is my favorite.

After that my pizza favorites get a bit murky. Maybe Pizano's Pizza in Chicago... could be Roberta's or Totonno’s or Grimaldi's in Brooklyn... could even be Tony's in San Francisco... the list goes on and on. And it's not limited to the US either... I may not care for Italian pizza, but I've had some pretty great pizza in several places in Europe... and even a couple spots in Japan!

Great pizza's all, but David's is on the top of my list. And I am oh so happy they're back in Spokane again.

The trip home was pretty awful, despite having a nice day for a drive...

Driving Home from Spokane Sunset

The problem was that I was so tired by the time I got home that my brain was numb. Thanks again to Amtrak for their five hour delay that resulted in my having to make the drive in the first place.

And now... my last two slices of leftover Da Vinci are calling...

   

Footlong

Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Dave!I was desperate enough, hungry enough, and lacking time enough to grab a decent dinner... so I made the huge mistake of eating at Subway tonight.

Thank heavens I just bought toilet paper...


The Planet Pluto

   
Nothing quite like having to blog while on the toilet because of early onset diarrhea from a footlong cheese sandwich.

Eat Fresh, everybody.

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Hallucinogen

Posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Dave!I am so tired that I can barely function.

Work has been brutal, and it looks like I may break some kind of record for number of hours worked straight.

Luckily I have the memory of my delicious Maine Wild Blueberry Poundcake from yesterday to keep my hallucinations delicious...

Ant-Man UK Poster

   
Also... something I found out while chasing down an expense receipt for the HEINOUSLY EXPENSIVE INFLIGHT INTERNET I bought on Monday? You can pre-purchase internet directly from GoGo at LESS THAN HALF the cost! Just $16.00! So... if you're traveling and am going to be on a flight that has internet you'll want to be using, be sure to buy before you fly.

Hopefully that wasn't a hallucination, because... FORTY FRICKIN' DOLLARS?!??

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Death-Defying

Posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Dave!Tonight I came the closest to death I've ever been.

Work was delayed ten hours and didn't start until around 11:30pm on Tuesday. I then worked all through Wednesday right up until Thursday until 10:30pm. So, basically, a 47-hour workday with only a three-hour nap in there somewhere.

And a six-pack of 5-Hour Energy.

To say I was tired and not looking forward to the 2-1/2 hour drive back to Boston this evening was an understatement. I considered grabbing a local hotel for a few hours, but have learned the hard way that I need to power through. So I picked up two bottles of Mountain Dew and away I went.

I was beyond exhausted, but the caffeinated fizzy water and constant stops at toll booths kept me going.

And then it happened.

At three minutes until midnight just before crossing the border from New Hampshire to Massachusetts... a car facing the wrong way, stopped dead in the middle of the highway. No lights. No blinkers. Just a dark automobile angled across the road, centered in the middle lane.

In my lane.

And here I am going 70 miles per hour under the cover of darkness.

In a Prius.

A Prius which would have been utterly destroyed if it had hit the car at that speed... probably taking me with it.

Fortunately, the full moon illuminated just enough of the car before my lights reached it that I saw... something. It was just enough warning to give me time to brake and swerve out of my lane... hard.

It felt like the Prius went up on two wheels.

I thought I was going to tip over.

I struggled to keep control of the car as I started skidding off the road. After what seemed like an eternity, I gained control and managed to stay on the highway.

My wits, however, went out the window back in New Hampshire.

   
Needless to say, I had no problem staying awake for the remained of my drive into Boston. The adrenaline rush was a bigger wake-up call than all the Mountain Dew on planet earth.
   

What if there hadn't been a full moon?

What if I was glancing at Google Maps on my phone instead of focusing on the road?

What if there was a car next to me and I couldn't get out of my lane?

The list goes on and on.

My guess is that somebody from the opposite direction fell asleep at the wheel, then tore through the median until they came to a stop on the opposite bank of oncoming lanes. So crazy.

And now I sit here in my hotel room where I had hoped to get four hours sleep before flying back home. Except, obviously, sleep is impossible now. Despite being so tired that my brain feels mooshy and I want to pass out, I won't be getting any sleep tonight.

So I ordered a sandwich from a local restaurant that delivers until 2:00am.

I went with the highly risky choice of egg salad, which I would usually avoid like the plague because nothing good can come from a delivery egg-salad sandwich at this hour. At least health-wise.

But clearly I am indestructible, so why not?

Boy I hope nobody behind me crashed into that car. I saw police cars headed to the scene, so hopefully everything will be alright.

   

NOTE: I have blog entries I've been writing all week... but I couldn't get them to send from the work site so I'll post them when I get back. None will be even remotely as exciting as this one, however.

UPDATE: Well, that was disgusting. If I don't end up with a scorching case of diarrhea, I will be very surprised. And now my hotel room smells like the entire city of Boston farted in here. Not one of my smarter moves, that egg salad monstrosity.

   

Half

Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Dave!Still recovering from my sleep-deprived trip to Maine.

Last night I bought milk for cereal and had a surprise when I went to pour it. It wasn't milk... it was half & half! I didn't understand how this happened until I ran back to the store so I could have cereal for breakfast...

Darigold FAIL!

When the cartons are angled towards you, all you see is purple. Somebody at the store got confused and loaded the fat-free milk section with half & half. I didn't bother checking because I buy milk from the same spot week in and week out.

Pretty crappy of Darigold to not do color-coding right. If you're going to make two different items the same color, you should at least try to differentiate them design-wise. ON THE PART PEOPLE ACTUALLY SEE!

What does one do with half & half anyway? What is it even? Half milk and half fat? Scary.

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Categories: Food 2015Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Trabajo

Posted on Monday, August 17th, 2015

Dave!Originally I had two business meet-ups and a dinner meeting peppered throughout my trip to Los Angeles... plus a birthday party (happy 95th, grandpa!). After landing I ended up with another meeting, which meant I'd be working every day I'm in the city. This was a major bummer, so I arranged to push all my work to Monday (today!) so I could enjoy time with family and friends over the weekend.

Which was a fantastic idea.

Until I woke up this morning and realized I would be dragging my ass from one end of L.A. to the other. Which pretty much means an entire day stuck in traffic between meetings.

But there were bright spots along the way.

I had time to stop at Pink's for a Patt Morrison Baja Vegan Dog, one of my favorite things...

Pinks!

Pinks Patt Morrison Vegan Dog!

Amazing.

Pinks!

Pinks!

   
After an unexpected side-quest back to my hotel, I was off to Anaheim for one last meeting and a business dinner.

It was at my final meeting that something amazing happened.

We were discussing our impending dinner when somebody said "I'm surprised we're not going to eat at Earl of Sandwich since Dave's in town." I laughed and then broke the news that I don't eat at Earl of Sandwich anymore because they discontinued their veggie sandwich. A colleague then piped up with "Really? I just had one at Disneyland a couple weeks ago."

Uhhhh... come again?

So I look at their online menu and, sure enough, their veggie sandwich is listed. Thinking it surely has to be an outdated menu, I am nevertheless intrigued. This is my favorite sandwich on earth. For years I obsessed over Earl or Sandwich and moved heaven and earth to eat at their restaurants.

With no choice in the matter, I hop in my car and rush to Downtown Disney so I can check it out. As I walk up to the restaurant, I'm starting to hyperventilate...

Earl of Sandwich Downtown Disney!

Sure enough, their veggie sandwich IS back...

Earl of Sandwich Downtown Disney!

Earl of Sandwich Downtown Disney!

And it is just a glorious as it ever was.

So, even though it spoiled my dinner, a tremendous THANK YOU to Earl of Sandwich for bringing back one of my most favorite things to eat. Amazing. Delicious.

Since I was at Downtown Disney, I decided to use a Disney Dream Dollars gift card that's about to expire. I ended up getting a Disney 60th Anniversary pin and lithograph, which is pretty cool. Also cool? Now that Disney owns Star Wars, they are doing a super-sweet job of integrating their new property into the Disney parks...

Darth Vader Does Disney!

Darth Vader Does Disney!

BWAH HA HA HA!

The dinner meeting was short & sweet, and I was on my way back to my hotel at 7:00... arriving by 7:30... in bed at 8:00. Not a bad end to a pretty great day... especially food-wise.

   

McBreakfast

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Dave!It's a good time to be a McDonald's fan.

Like me. I loves me the McDonald's!

   

First McFried McPies came back...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey with a McDonald's Fried Pie.

Now McDonald's is rolling out Mc24-hour McBreakfast starting October 6th...

C2 McDees

   

Can it be that the McVeggie McBurger going nation-wide is next?

NYC McVeggie Deluxe!

   

Oh how I McHope so.

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Categories: Food 2015Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 457

Posted on Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Dave!No need to put on pants, because a PANTS-FREE Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Angel. If you skip past everything else on this page... if you read just one of my links this Bullet Sunday... the story of Ruth Coker Burks should be it...

Ruth Coker Burks
Photo by Brian Chilson & The Arkansas Times

What an amazing, amazing human being.

   
• Vegetarian? IT'S PEOPLE! VEGGIE DOGS ARE PEOPLE! DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS PEOPLE!

Dueling Veggie Chicago Hot Dogs!

Last Puka Dog

Pink's Veggie Dogs

Guess I like people after all!

   
• Sexual Chocolate! And speaking of hot dogs... Chicago's famous Wiener's Circle restaurant dressed up as Coming To America's "McDowell's" for Halloween!

Ruth Coker Burks
Photo by Mina Bloom

Epic. And now I've got to see that movie again.

If you haven't heard of Weiner's Circle before, they're famous for char dogs and the abusive staff...

Intrigued? A visit to their fan site is in order... which is probably safer than visiting in person.

   
• Chew! And now you know why I hate gum-smacking whores, cereal commercials, and any other time somebody CAN'T EAT AT A RESPECTABLE DECIBEL LEVEL! It's because I'm a frickin' genius!

   
• Yay? The World's Largest Fast-Food Chain Is Going Antibiotic-Free—and Not Just for Chicken? Way to go Subway! Almost makes up for the fact that you KNEW Jared Fogle was a child-raping psychopath yet did NOTHING because he sold a lot of your shitty sandwiches. Oh... wait a second... no it doesn't. You're a horrendous company and I will never buy another one of your fucking sandwiches ever again. I don't care if they're made of rainbows and you're give them away.

   
And now for something entirely different... I bid you adieu!

   

Port!

Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Dave!Got out of work around 4am, which was nice. And pretty much on-time. A pleasant change from last time when things ran nearly a day late. I celebrated by sleeping in early, then catching up on work back home.

I decided to spend the night closer to the airport, and headed back to Portland. Partly because I'm familiar with the city and comfortable hanging out there... but mostly because amazing dessert was calling me from the Flatbread Company. In the Summer they have a Maine blueberry cobbler that's to die for. in the Winter it's usually apple cobbler, which is almost as good...

Flatbread Co. Dessert

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Noon. Check out of the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch. Which was a lot weirder than usual. Even though I was specifically told it wasn't. There I was loading the trunk of my rental car in the hotel parking lot when a big black pickup truck comes squealing up beside me. A guy leans out the passenger-side window and is waving a yellow piece of paper. "HEY! HEY! YOU WOULDN'T HAPPEN TO WANT A HOME THEATER AUDIO SYSTEM INSTALLED, WOULD YOU?!?" — "Uhhhh... not unless you want to drive 3000 miles to my house..." — "THIS ISN'T WEIRD... WE'RE HOME AUDIO INSTALLERS!" — "And you're looking for business in a hotel parking lot where people you find probably don't even live in the area?" — "No... we're looking in ALL the parking lots!" — "Um... okay?" — "THIS ISN'T WEIRD! WE'RE INSTALLERS!!!"

12:30pm. Drop by the Home Depot in Topsham to see if they have the towel loop I was shorted when my local Home Depot ran out. And they did! If my luggage goes missing again, at least I'll have something to pack home with me.

1:30pm. Check into my hotel and have housekeeping barge in on me while I'm answering emails. At least I had my pants on this time.

2:30pm. I still have tons of work to catch up on, so I can't really go out... but I'm too hungry to avoid eating. So off I go next door to Micucci's Italian Grocery where they have this amazing slabs of Sicilian pizza I love...

 Micucci's Pizza Portland.jpg

4:30pm. Still full from pizza, but hot apple crisp from Flatbread Company cannot be denied.

Midnight. My new lip balm is Maine blueberry flavored. As a result, the entire room smells like a blueberry muffin exploded. This made me hungry again, so I went to the hotel gift shop to see if they had a snack. I am now eating an entire tub of DIBS ice cream snacks at midnight because it's the only thing they had that sounded good. This is not going to bode well for a good night's sleep... but oh well. What else is new?

1:30am. I write this post then plan on surrendering to sweet slumber. Hopefully.

   
And... that was pretty much it. This probably sounds like I spent most of my day eating, but almost all of it was spent working.

Sadly, no time for pretty pictures like last time.

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Categories: Food 2015, Travel 2015Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 455

Posted on Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Dave!Time to put the holidays behind you, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• COMICS! Ordinarily, today would be filled with my favorite comic books of 2015. But I've drastically reduced the amount of comics I'm reading because I'm just not finding the compelling reads I've found in previous years. The biggest disappointment being that we didn't get more installments of Jupiter's Legacy, whose first volume ended in a massive cliffhanger back in January. I dunno. Maybe I'll find my comic book renaissance in 2016, but I'm just not feeling it this year.

   
• GAH! As if I weren't already excited enough for the upcoming Doctor Strange film...

Doctor Strange on Entertainment Weekly

Less than a year away!

   
• FOOD! Food costs are going through the roof. Even a meager bag of groceries will cost $25 or more. My average trip to the store is running around $75. With this kind of cash involved, you can bet I'm trying to get the most for my money. Which is why I am getting sick and tired of having to throw food in the garbage because the quality is in the shitter. Latest example? I bought a box of Eggo Waffles only to find that once again they're covered in crystal frost. Even when you scrape as much as you can off, they still end up wet in spots. Gross. And a total waste of money. I can only guess that they are partially thawing at some point, then getting re-frozen. But it's not me. I'm seven minutes from the grocery store. From now on, I'm going to start seeing if I can take the shit back for a refund. If not, I'm done shopping there. Or done with the product.

   
• WINTERY! The weather has been pretty shitty this past week, but it made for a beautiful couple days this past week once the sun came back out...

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Not bad, Mother Nature, not bad at all.

   
• HOLIDAYS. It's not been a very good holiday season for me. The days from from Thanksgiving right through Christmas has been filled with sadness, loss, and more challenges than I would wish on anyone. With less than a week left in 2015, I'm ready to move on. So... let's wrap up the year with entries looking back at my favorite movies, television shows, and music... followed by a recap of the year here at Blogography, then get on with a fresh start in 2016.

   
And... the bullets have landed.

   

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