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An All-American Booty Call

Posted on Friday, July 4th, 2003

Dave!I've now received my 5th e-mail asking if I've heard about the lawsuit filed a while back against Robert's American Gourmet Foods, who happens to make my absolute most favorite snack food ever, "Pirate's Booty." This comes as a bit of a surprise, because I thought that only two people were reading this blog, let alone caring about my Booty obsession. I can only guess that I'm a Google hit or something for Pirate's Booty searches (well, if there was anything I'd ever want to be noted for, that would be near the top of the list, so it's all good!).

Anyway, you can head over to the "Stupid Lawsuits" section of power-of-attorneys.com and read about it for yourself, but the gist is basically this: Good Housekeeping did some tests and found out that the claimed calorie count of 120 was actually 147, and the 2.5 grams of fat was more like 8.5 grams. A woman read this, and decided she was going to sue for FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS because of "distress over weight gain, mental anguish, outrage, and indignation." Now, Robert's claims that this was a mistake, that they changed their formula and somehow forgot to re-label the packaging, which could very well be true.

But even if Robert's was intentionally skewing the Nutrition Facts (which makes no sense at all)... FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS??? How much Booty was this bitch eating that an additional 6 grams of fat per serving was causing enough weight gain and mental anguish that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS seemed like a fair settlement? Such a stupid-ass lawsuit has caused me at least $100 million dollars in "outrage," so where do I sign up to sue whatever lawyer thought that this was a worthwhile case to eat up taxpayer's dollars?

The lawsuit was filed to "represent consumers who ruined their diets and had to spend more time in the gym because they ate mislabeled Pirate's Booty." Well, you daft bitch, don't do us any favors. Sane people understand that Pirate's Booty is a snack food (but a far more healthful alternative to most of the hydrogenated crap that's out there), not a weight loss tool. If an extra 6 grams of fat is enough to ruin your entire diet and spend extra time in the gym, then you obviously have far more problems that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS could ever solve, and should probably visit a few impoverished areas of the world where they don't have enough food to even keep children from going hungry, let alone worry about their weight.

I find it fascinating that there are people in the world who put so much time, effort, and energy into the destruction of the USA when all they really have to do is sit back, relax, and watch the show... we've got idiotic politicians, daft bitches, and piece-of-shit lawyers working overtime to make sure we destroy ourselves. What an ungrateful, petty, embarrassment of a nation we are that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS is considered acceptable restitution for 6 extra grams of fat on some daft bitch's lazy ass, when we should instead be thankful that we've got food to feed ourselves at all. So happy birthday to the United States, and long live the American Way of greed and frivolous lawsuits!

Categories: DaveLife 2003, Food 2003Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

The Real Problem with Airports

Posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2003

Dave!It's not the added security, long lines, rude people, freaky security agents, lack of seating, take-off delays, or even the noise that pisses me off about airports today... it's eating at the airport that sucks ass! On top of your choice of dining establishments being limited, your choices within those establishments are even further limited. Even if you manage to find a McDonalds, Burger King, or Taco Bell, you're assured of a gravely reduced menu that is extremely vegetarian hostile. And heaven help you if you have to use a crappy independent eatery... they have even fewer choices and far worse food than the shite they serve on actual airplanes! This morning in Milwaukee I stopped at a place that was selling a limited menu for "breakfast." The problem was not that hot dogs were considered a breakfast item whereas pizza wasn't, the actual problem went more like this:

me: Do you have any apples or bananas?
them: I'm sorry, we don't.
me: Oh. Can I get a toasted bagel please?
them: We don't toast bagels.
me: Hmmm... that's unfortunate, can I get it heated?
them: I could throw it in the microwave.
me: (realizing full well that a microwave will destroy a bagel) Okay then, I'll take a nuked bagel with cream cheese please!
them: We're out of cream cheese.
me: (refusing to pay $2.49 for a microwaved bagel without cream cheese, even if I was going to have to pay 49 cents extra for it) Alrighty... can I get a sandwich with cheese and vegetables only then?
them: You can take the meat off, but the sandwiches are pre-made.
me: Well, I guess I'll take a bag of Sun Chips.
them: Is that all? (oh the irony!)
me: Given that I'm a vegetarian, and my only food choices are a rubberized bagel with no cream cheese, a hot dog, or a meat sandwich, I think that's gonna have to be it, thanks.
them: Okay then, you have a good day! (Wisconsin folk are among the nicest people I have ever met, even when telling you that all you're getting for breakfast is a bag of chips).

How sad that you can't even get a piece of fruit for breakfast anymore. With every passing year, the American diet is heading further into the crapper, with the only thing available to eat on the road being foods littered with dead animal flesh, packed with deadly hydrogenated fats, or void of any nutritional value what-so-ever. Is it any wonder that, as a Nation, we're getting fatter and less healthy?

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Best Pizza in the World

Posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2003

Dave!Here I am in lovely Spokane Washington! Actually, I am not a big fan of the city, because it's hard to get excited about something when you have to drive 3 hours in 106-degree heat to get to it. The thing I am excited about is the opportunity to eat the best damn pizza on the planet at "David's Pizza." This is no joke. I have eaten pizza in every major American city (and oh-so-many not so major cities) along with a good chunk of other cities around the world... and none of them compare to the fine fare you can get at David's. Chicago thick-crust pizza? Fantastic, but this is better. New York stuffed pizza? Excellent, but this is better. Authentic Italian pizza in Rome? Amazing, but this is better. If you ever find yourself in the backwaters of Eastern Washington near Spokane, you owe it to yourself to have a slice (or three) of the "Da Vinci" pizza (with Feta cheese, basil pesto, fresh tomato & mozzarella) at David's. They've been voted "Spokane's Best Pizza" for 6 years in a row, but I find it to be true no matter where I go.

Categories: Food 2003, Travel 2003Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bagelmania

Posted on Sunday, September 7th, 2003

Dave!A while back I made note about the best bagels in the world coming from New York, and was just asked which shop there has my favorite. The easy answer is "all of them," because if you have bad bagels in New York City you aren't going to be around for very long! But, if pressed, I can say that the best I've found near to the Hilton Towers (where I usually stay) is "Pick-A-Bagel" on W. 57th. Of course, no discussion about New York bagels would be complete without mentioning "H & H Bagels" at 2239 Broadway, which is one of the most famous shops (deservedly so!), and I always eat there at least once when I'm in the city. Outside of New York City, my favorite bagel chain is "Einstein Bros." but they don't have any locations in Washington, so I usually bump into them while traveling (I was pleasantly surprised to find an Einstein Bros. at the Detroit airport my last layover). My favorite bagel is sesame, lightly toasted and topped with a smear of cream cheese.

Categories: Food 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Seoul food

Posted on Friday, December 5th, 2003

Dave!A friend was kind enough to take me to a traditional Buddhist/Vegetarian restaurant in Insa-Dong today (which is kind of a touristy area, thanks to the huge number of souvenirs and traditional Korean antique shops and restaurants). As a vegetarian, my eating options are fairly limited at home, so I was pleasantly surprised at the 16 courses that were served in no less than 25 bowls! As the goodies started to pile up, I was beginning to wonder if I would have a place for my soup bowl and plate...

Seoul Food!

Garlic, which is a staple of Korean cooking was present (nobody uses garlic like the Koreans!), but my favorite dishes were those with a kind of spicy chile paste, which kind of reminded me of enchilada sauce, but not exactly. I definitely have to see if I can find some of this stuff... perhaps in Seattle... when I get back, as I think it would be an amazing addition to any kind of fried or steamed vegetables (and sticky rice, of course).

Categories: Food 2003, Travel 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Escape Mad Cows… Enter The Meatrix!

Posted on Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

Dave!It would seem my home state is under siege due to a possible occurrence of mad cow disease in the outskirts of Yakima (a city under two hours away from me)... you can read about it in an article at Wired. The scary thing about the disease is that if you eat infected nerves or other tissues, you can end up getting the disease yourself, which rots holes in your brain. Not a very nice way to go.

Which brings me yet again to a question I've pondered over the last decade... why in the hell to people continue to eat meat?

Commercial beef is a horrid substance that is filled with steroids and other crap that nobody should be consuming. It is risky food because, in addition to mad cow disease, it can also infect you with salmonella and E. coli... cause heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer... and make you fat. The cattle industry is astoundingly harsh on the environment, raping topsoil to produce feed, polluting waters with toxic cow waste, and consuming energy and resources at an alarming rate. So not only is beef one of the worst, most unhealthy substances you can eat, the industry is also destroying the planet to create it.

The funny thing is that meat is probably one of the most expensive foods in existence. It is only government subsidizing of the beef industry that keeps a Big Mac from costing you $35. Ironically, this means our government is spending huge sums of money to put its citizens at risk by making healthier alternatives to meat products (like soy burgers) be more expensive to purchase when they are far less expensive to produce. What kind of stupid shit is this? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Maybe when more and more people finally wise up and stop eating meat, the money wasted on the meat industry can be put into organic fruit and vegetable production so our country can afford to eat healthy foods again.

The Meatrix.

Are you ready to free your mind, take the red pill, and enter The Meatrix?

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Mad Taco

Posted on Friday, January 2nd, 2004

Dave!Interesting how mad cow disease comes home to roost and all of a sudden restaurants are falling all over themselves to show non-meat options on the menu. Burger King has the BK Veggie that's right up front (too bad it sucks) and now Taco Bell has a "Cheesy Rice & Bean Burrito" that's in full-panel glory on their menu. All I can hope is that McDonalds gets in on the act and finally rolls out their McVeggie Deluxe nation-wide (I've only ever seen it at the Times Square location). Sad that it takes a horrid disease to turn people on to the dangers of meat, but there you have it.

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SuperSize

Posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

Dave!I read on Fox News today that McDonalds is phasing out the "SuperSize" menu items, and will have eliminated them entirely by the end of the year. Since I have never once purchased anything SuperSized, I can't say this affects me much. Heck, since McDonalds refuses to sell thier McVeggie Deluxe burger outside of their Times Square restaurant, it's not like I eat there often anyway.

I never really understood the concept of "SuperSizing" in the first place. Who can eat such a huge amount of food? Even if you can eat that much food... is it really healthy to eat so much of this food?

Dave Super Size It!

Maybe the idea is for the people who SuperSize to grow into the food they're eating... that way the SuperSize foods will eventually seem normal sized by comparison?

SuperSize Dave!

Here's the burning question that's been on my mind for years... at McDonalds you can SuperSize fat-drenched potatoes, you can SuperSize carbonated sugar syrup... but you can't SuperSize a salad or an orange juice? Why is it that the healthier the food is, the more it costs and the less of it you get? How can people afford to eat healthy when crap foods at fast food joints are so ridiculously cheap?

I suppose when you have a heart attack and end up in the hospital, or end up taking drugs for high cholesterol, that you end up paying more for a bad diet after all. If that's the choice, I think I'll go ahead and pay more up front rather than letting doctors and drug companies collect it on the back-end.

UPDATE: I got an e-mail telling me about a movie called "Super Size Me" about a filmmaker who are nothing but McDonalds food for an entire month. As a result, he gained 24 pounds, and had his cholesterol level rise 65 points(!). That's cool... I want to see this film!

Categories: DaveToons 2004, Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Strut the Rooster

Posted on Friday, March 19th, 2004

McHappy!Today is the 25th anniversary of McDonald's "Happy Meal" which, for those of your fortunate enough to live in a McDonald's-Free zone, is a meal for kids that includes a hamburger, fries, cookies, a drink, and a toy surprise. I'm sure I ate a few Happy Meals when I was a kid, but don't much remember them growing up. I became a vegetarian in 1987, so the only time I run into a Happy Meal now-a-days is when I am with kids who are eating them or buying them for somebody else who is collecting the toys.

The current blog meme running around the internet is "What's your favorite Happy Meal Toy," which is an easy one for me. About 5 years ago I was at a photo shoot in Seattle when I got a call from my mother who was trying to collect all of the "Mini Beanie Baby" toys that were in the meals at the time. She wanted a "Strut the Rooster" toy, and the local branch had sold out. Since there was a McDonalds around the corner from my hotel, I told her I'd give it a shot (the irony being that you could get a cute chicken toy along with your dead chicken McNuggets!).

Whenever I had done this for somebody in the past, I always just pay for the meal and tell them to keep the food. But this time was a little different...

On my way to the restaurant, I came across a homeless gentleman who asked if I could spare some change so he could get something to eat. I explained that I am unable to hand out money (I cannot be party to them using it to harm themselves or other people), but I would be happy to buy him something from McDonalds if he cared to wait for it. He looked pretty miserable, so along with the Happy Meal, I went ahead and bought him a cup of coffee, a few bottles of orange juice, and an extra hamburger. I then made my way back to the guy, handed him the food, and turned to leave after he had said his thanks.

That's when he stopped me and asked "didn't you get anything for yourself to eat?" I explained that no, I had already eaten, I just needed to go to McDonalds so I could get the toy for my mom. This puzzled him greatly, and he asked to see it...

McChicken

He took one look at "Strut the Rooster," neatly sealed in a plastic bag, and said something that has forever haunted me to this day... "It looks like it costs more money to make the toy than the food." It was a simple observation of such insight and clarity that I was stunned it had never occurred to me before. Probably because I am fortunate enough to have never gone hungry.

When I got home a week later, somebody had already found a "Strut the Rooster" for my mom, and so I kept the one I got. He sits on top of my computer at work as a constant reminder that there are people in the world who go hungry every day, and I should be forever grateful that I am not one of them.

I try to be.

Categories: DaveLife 2004, Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FANTAstic!

Posted on Sunday, March 21st, 2004

Dave!I try not to drink pop very often because it's just not good for you. On the rare occasion that I do imbibe, it's usually because I am really tired and need caffeine and sugar to help wake me up or because Jones Soda is on sale, and you know it's impossible to resist Blue Bubblegum Jones Soda (I keep hoping I'll run across their M.F. Grape soda, but haven't seen it yet). Anyway, I am watching television late last night and a commercial for Fanta comes on looking like this:

Fantanas

These retro bundles of sugary hotness are called "The Fantanas," and are named Capri, Lola, Sophia, and Kiki. Damn those Madison Avenue marketing geniuses! Now I find myself needing a Fanta pretty bad.

Categories: Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Meat-free

Posted on Monday, March 29th, 2004

Dave!Today I got an e-mail asking if I wanted to register for an upcoming conference, which had an option for a meet-n-greet dinner with the speakers. This was not unusual in itself... I get dozens of conference invitations like this. What was bizarre is the menu. You had your choice of beef, chicken, or the vegetarian option of salmon. Uhhhh... anybody got a clue as to whether salmon is a fruit or a vegetable?

Disturbing.

But, then again, we've now got Pizza Hut commercials featuring the Muppets where Miss Piggy is eating Canadian Bacon and Pineapple pizza. I wonder who the brilliant marketing genius was who decided to make her a cannibal? All we need now is Kermit digging into a big plate of frog's legs and my trauma will be complete.

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Jones!

Posted on Monday, April 5th, 2004

Dave!While walking down the aisle of the local mini-mart here in town, I spied a bottle of Jones Soda "Naturals" with the very cool name of "D'Peach Mode" which is an obvious nod to my favorite band ever, Depeche Mode. Naturally, I just had to buy a bottle and see if the juice lives up to the name. As with all things from Jones Soda, this lovely blend of Natural Peach and Tangelo juices is terrific! Highly recommended... if you see a bottle, you should give it a try.

Jones D'Peach Mode!Jones Soda Bananaberry!Jones Soda Dave!

Also on the rack was "Bananaberry" (Banana & Strawberry) and "Dave" (Green Tea & Ginseng), so I'll have to grab a bottle of those next time.

Categories: Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Stracciatella

Posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

Dave!I've decided to purchase an ice cream maker. It's not because I like to eat a lot of ice cream... dairy and me don't get along as well as we used to... but every once in a while I have a flashback to eating stracciatella gelato in Rome and have a very hard time letting go. I've tried buying the "gelato" they sell here in the States, but it is not the same. I figure the only way I'm going to fulfill my frozen longings is to create my own stracciatella recipe and keep working until I get it right. I had tried to do this a few years ago, but my crappy $60 ice cream maker wouldn't cooperate.

So this time I am buying a real Italian gelato machine that has a built-in freezer compressor. It's obscene how much money you can end up spending on one of these things (there are models costing thousands of dollars), but eventually I found a highly recommended machine that was under $200. It's called the "Lello Gelato Junior."

Gelato Machine

Can you believe that little machine weighs 40 pounds? Can you believe that I am probably going to end up weighing 400 pounds by the time I perfect my stracciatella gelato recipe? Wish me luck...

Categories: Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Carb Awareness Day

Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2004

Dave!Today has been declared "Carb Awareness Day" by the Amateur Gormet, and I am doing my best to celebrate. Of course, I think the entire anti-carb paranoia movement is complete and total bullshit so every day is carb appreciation day to me. My most favorite foods are loaded with carbohydrates, and I seem to suffer no ill effects. Last night I had pasta for dinner... somehow, I am still alive this morning. For breakfast I tried to order as many carbs as possible... potatoes, toast, a flour tortilla wrap on my eggs...

Carb Breakfast

Delicious! There is probably thousand carbs on that plate, and I savored each and every one of them!

Which brings me to my rant of the day: THE ATKINS DIET IS STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!! Any diet that tells you to avoid fruits and vegetables and eat loads of fat and steroid-riddled dead animals is STUPID. Want to lose weight? Eat less and exercise more. It's not rocket science. Carbs don't make you fat... eating more calories than you burn makes you fat. Everything else is window dressing. Why not eat a normal HEALTHY diet (that includes fruits and vegetables), but smaller portions? Why do these wacky fad diets force people to think they need to suffer to lose weight?

Moderation. Balance. Two words that seem to be lost on the world today. Why is it that everything is in absolutes now? Everywhere you turn it's "all or nothing" and it's out of control. I can only hope that common sense will prevail in the end.

Categories: Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

I (heart) NYC

Posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Dave!Alrighty then... pop quiz hot shot... You are in New York City, home to some of the greatest restaurants the world has ever known. You are vegetarian, and know that some of the most creative veggie cuisine on earth can be found within a 10-block radius of your hotel. You are hungry for dinner, and are here for one night only... the world is waiting outside your door... where do you go to eat?

NYC McVeggie Deluxe!

Well, if you are me, you go to McDonalds at Times Square! The only place in the world (that I know of anyway) where you can get the amazing McVeggie Deluxe Burger!! Delicious! I had two of them. If I was staying another day, I'd eat two more for dinner tomorrow (after probably having had another for lunch). Why in the hell McDonalds doesn't roll these out to the rest of the chain I will never know. It's not the best veggie burger in the world, but it tastes great and would be a welcome option for fast-food seeking vegetarians.

As I was leaving, I see this on the front of the restaurant...

Veggie Back!

AAAAAAAAHHHHHH! What do you mean "it's back?!?" Where did it go? Why would you ever remove it? All I can say is that it is a darn good thing you brought it back for my visit or I probably would have freaked out... badly.

Of course, no trip to New York is complete for me unless I drop by and see what new pins they've got at the Hard Rock...

NYC HRC

And, naturally, there's always a stop at Pick-A-Bagel, my favorite New York City bagel shop (which I blogged about previously)...

Pick-A-Bagel

Boy don't I wish I had a couple more days here. One night in NYC is definitely not enough!

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Everglades

Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2004

Dave!The route I took to Tampa this morning was across "Alligator Alley" through the Everglades. About a third of the way through, I thought I would stop at a rest center and take a look around. There were two other people there as I walked up to the muck-covered water...

Woman: Where are the everglades?
Man: You're looking at it.
Woman: I don't get it. It's just a big swamp!
Man: Uhhh... yeah.

I am still trying to figure out what she was expecting to find. I think it's kind of nice... croaking frogs, dragonflies, and all...

Everglades

Everglades

Of course, this being Florida, there is a "Waffle House" at every exit. I remember them for having passable food at cheap prices. This time when I stopped, they had passable food at typical prices... no better than Denny's or something. Still, you just can't beat the cheesy atmosphere! I found a good one this time...

Waffle House

Onward to Tampa!

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Fast

Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2004

Dave!A few people e-mailed me about my previous post where I mentioned I would be preparing for a fast this week. I wasn't joking, this is something I actually do, and have been doing roughly every nine months for the past five years. The process forces your body to work out toxins and burn through fat reserves that stores up all kinds of nasty stuff that accumulates from the junk we eat (this is especially true if you eat meat), so I guess you could say it's a health thing.

But mainly I do it because I feel so much better after it's all over. I have more energy, don't feel as sluggish, and (most of all) have an entirely new appreciation for the food I eat. Because a couple of people were curious, I will post my fasting regime below. But, before I do, the necessary legal disclaimer:

I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I have no medical training. I certainly do not recommend anybody make radical changes in their diet (even temporary ones, like fasting) without consulting their doctor first. This information is posted for entertainment only, and should not be constituted as medical advice.

That being said, I can say that I have been fine-tuning this process for several years and it works wonders for me. When I first started, I could never stay on a fast for more than a day or two... eventually, through trial and error, I found I had much better success if I "ramped up" and "ramped down" from the fasting period. It works kind of like this:

Dave Fast

Dave Fast

Lemon Water: The juice of half a lemon (organic is best) mixed with water (warm is best) four times a day... it is important to stay hydrated, so drinking plenty of plain water as often as you can throughout the day is highly recommended. Cayenne Pepper: I add a tincture to my warm lemon water each morning, then take the cayenne in pill-form at "lunch" and "dinner." The cayenne stimulates your body to eliminate toxins that have built up (or so I am told). Fruits: Raw and organic is best (no sense adding toxins back into your system that you are trying to eliminate!). Vegetables: Ditto on the raw and organic. If I am feeling a bit weak coming off the fast, I sometimes add brown rice to my diet on days 11 & 12 in the mornings.

NOTE: When I first started, I was only fasting for 2 days in the middle... I then worked my way up to 3 and then 4 days. I've gone as long as 6 days, but didn't find any additional benefits from it, so eventually settled on 4 days. I do take vitamin supplements while fasting, which some people tell me is wrong, but that's just me.

And that's it. It's really not as bad as it sounds... sure on day 6 you are pretty hungry, but days 7 and 8 are not so bad as your body adjusts and starts going into ketosis. I can honestly say that the first piece of fruit you eat on day 10 will be the best tasting thing you've ever eaten in your life! I usually start easy (no skins and half-servings) and try to make it a real treat... like mango or something exotic like that.

Oh, one more thing... I found that it is much easier to eliminate certain "bad foods" you are addicted to after a fast. You simply don't eat/drink them anymore when you begin eating again. I was able to give up my soda-pop (i.e., "death nectar") habit years ago (I drink it only rarely now, but used to drink 4 to 8 cans a day) and it was a piece of cake (mmmm... cake!).

So, if I am a bit cranky in my posts this week and the next, it's only because I can't have candy and ice cream! I'll be back to "normal" (well, normal for me anyways) on the 18th.

Categories: Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Stop

Posted on Sunday, June 13th, 2004

Dave!A little over three hours ago I posted a "Sunday Rant" because I woke up in a not-so-great mood. Since then I have gotten out of bed, done a half our of yoga and meditation, got cleaned up, went for a ride in the rain (of course it's raining... I washed my motorcycle yesterday!), stopped at the hardware store for some brackets to install some shelving, and now I am at work for a while. I fire up my Macintosh (it's not just a computer, it's a Mac!) so I can get started, and this is waiting for me in my in-box:

"I AM SICK OF YOU BADMOUTHING THE ATKINS DIET IN YOUR JOURNAL!!!! LOW CARB DIETS ARE SAVING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE FROM OBEESITY AND IF YOU HAD A WEIGHT PROBLEM YOU'D BE ON YOUR KNEES THANKING GOD FOR DR. ATKINS BECAUSE HIS DIET WORKS!!!!!!! THE REASON RESTAURANTS SELL LOW CARB FOODS IS BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW IT'S THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!! IT'S BEEN PROVEN BY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE SO SHUTUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Now, normally, I'd hit the "delete" button before I was six words into the e-mail because I just don't care enough to read this crap. But I'm still in a bit of a bad mood so, what the heck. I am going to do something I never do and waste valuable web storage space by actually replying in my blog...

ONE. Do you realize what a complete moron you look like when you don't have the sense to turn off the caps-lock key? Though I must admit I am a bit surprised that you only had one misspelling in your e-mail, so I guess that's something. Most people who write screeching e-mails like this don't bother to even attempt spelling the words properly.

TWO. For the last time... This is my blog and I will say whatever I want in it. If you don't like what you find here, then please stop reading it!

THREE. The reason restaurants sell low-carb foods is not because it's the best way to lose weight, it's because people are buying it. If a new diet of cougar urine became a hot fad for weight loss, McDonalds would put "Cougar Urine McFrosties" on their menu simply because people would buy it... that's how they make their money.

FOUR. Yes, millions of people are losing weight on the Atkins Diet. But at what cost? The diet is so new that there have been no studies done to see what the long-term affects might be. A diet that's loaded with fatty foods like cheese and chemical-altered, steroid-filled foods like meat just can't be good for you in the long run. I love cheese, but being told to eat it instead of an apple so you can lose weight is insane.

FIVE. While it's true I am lucky enough not to have a weight problem, there is no way I would ever be "THANKING GOD FOR DR. ATKINS" if I did. I'd have to give up being a vegetarian since fruits and vegetables are loaded with carbs, and I wouldn't do that (they are the healthiest foods you can eat!). Millions of people may be losing weight on the Atkins Diet, but billions have found out the hard way that diets don't work! Diets are a temporary solution to a long-term problem that requires a lifestyle change, not a bogus "miracle cure."

Now, for anybody who might write me yet another moronic diatribe about being a hypocrite for passing judgment on a solution to a problem I don't have... don't waste the effort because I just don't care to hear it. I am not at all against people trying to lose weight, I just don't want to be faced with a ridiculous "low-carb" lifestyle everywhere I go because it's a popular fad. If there has to be a fad for weight loss, why can't it be one that is healthy and makes sense? Why can't we bring back the one person who had it all figured out...

Where is Susan Powter?

Susan Powter

Yes, she's the same hyperactive woman with blonde spikey hair that had those annoying "STOP THE INSANITY" infomercials years ago. Yes, she's the same man-hating freak who holds the entire male gender responsible for everything wrong in the world. Yes, yes, and yes... she's a loon, I know. But if it were her book that were all the rage right now, I wouldn't have to be bombarded with "net carbs" and "Atkins-friendly" crap wherever I go. Instead it would be all "low fat" and "vegetarian-friendly" crap! Now, that's something I wouldn't mind seeing.

Categories: DaveLife 2004, Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Eat

Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2004

Dave!Hmmm... I can eat again now that my fast has ended, but I don't really feel like it for some reason. That's never happened before.

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Yoo-Hoo

Posted on Monday, June 28th, 2004

Dave!Why is it so hard to find a store that sells Yoo-Hoo anymore? I mean, I just don't get it. It's chocolate milk which doesn't require refrigeration... that's pretty much magic in a freakin' bottle... so you would think that all stores would carry it. And why in the hell isn't everybody drinking it? Yoo-Hoo tastes awesome. Yoo-Hoo is cool. Yoo-Hoo sponsors motorcycle racing, which kicks ass...

Yoo-Hoo Racing

Yoo-Hoo is endorsed by The Simpsons. Yes, Bart Simpson drinks Yoo-Hoo...

Yoo-Hoo Bart

And if Bart Simpson isn't bad-ass enough for you, Jesse James drinks Yoo-Hoo...

YooHooJesse

Forget about Jesse James... Jesse James' DOG drinks Yoo-Hoo. Why in the hell can a dog get Yoo-Hoo, but I can't find it? This sucks ass. I need to move to a real city. Yoo-hoo rules the earth!

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Taters

Posted on Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Dave!Taco Bell is one of those places that you should never eat at, but inevitably do because they have pretty decent grub for a fast food joint and, even more importantly, it's cheap.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Today I had to run to Wenatchee so that I could purchase an International Driving Permit for an upcoming trip...

International Permit

The relevant bit here is not that I look like a terrorist in my photo. The relevant bit is that I had to have the photo taken in the first place. You see, I was planning on spending $10 for the permit... that's how much I was told it cost. But, because I had to have my photo taken, that added another $6.50 to the bill. The $20 I had allocated for the permit and my lunch was now almost gone.

So, I now have just $3.50 for lunch... where do I go?

Taco Bell Taters

Yes, Taco Bell. Thanks for keeping up. Anyway, I am now in love with Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes. They taste like cheese and sour cream covered bits of heaven on a spork. The problem is that anything tasting this good is bound to be horrendously bad for your health... over half the calories come from fat and each bowl contains 30% of the recommended daily intake of saturated fat. Eating enough of these suckers could kill you.

But what a way to go.

Categories: DaveLife 2004, Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bellissima

Posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

Dave!There's a restaurant in Piccadilly Circus (here in London) that I like called Biagio Ristorante Pizzeria (on Rupert). Sure it's got great authentic Italian food and the atmosphere is top-notch, but the real reason I eat there is because it reminds me of the infamous Kirstie Alley "Bellisima" sketch from Saturday Night Live.

Waiter: "You like-a the small salad with-a you pizza no?"
Dave: "Um, no thanks."
Waiter: "It's-a very very good the small salad."
Dave: "I'm fine thanks."
Waiter: "I bring-a you the small salad!"
Dave: "Uh, okay."
Waiter: (Here is where I expect him to say...) "Bellissima seniore!" (and then lick my face).

Naturally, he doesn't, but I brace myself just in case!

Of course, if you haven't seen the SNL sketch, all of the above makes absolutely no sense to you. If you have seen the sketch, you will understand the supreme effort it takes to keep from laughing while placing my order at this restaurant (if you are really wanting to know what I am talking about, rent the The Best of Adam Sandler: Saturday Night Live DVD and you can see it for yourself).

Ciao bella!

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Julia

Posted on Saturday, August 14th, 2004

Dave!I was saddened to learn that Julia Child had died yesterday. It's not that I was a huge fan of her cooking shows or books (as a vegetarian, it's not like I could eat very much of it anyway)... but I am a big fan of her fascinating life and remarkable personality. There's something cool about a woman who starting as an advertising executive, became a spy(!) during World War II, and eventually (against all odds) became one of the world's foremost cooking authorities.

I'd imagine that being a woman chef was not easy ground to break back then. Her mother was the first woman in the US to get a driver's license, so perhaps she was destined to be a revolutionary? And who could ever forget that classic Dan Aykroyd SNL parody? Julia is a personality that will definitely be missed.

This week's FridayQ will be food-related in her honor... save the livers!

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FridayQ: Culinary

Posted on Friday, August 20th, 2004

Dave!In addition to the dearly departed Julia Child, who is your favorite food personality? I'm a big fan of Iron Chef French: Hiroyuki Sakai. He seems a very capable and hard working chef in the kitchen, and both a respectful winner and gracious loser in Iron Chef food battles.

What meal would you have this culinary genius prepare for you if they asked? Well, since he's an expert in French cooking, probably something French? Problem is, French dishes don't tend to be the most vegetarian-friendly cuisine around (though their pastry is the best in the world, so it's probably a fair trade-off?). How about a vegetable bisque soup with French bread and a nice wine, followed by a large assortment of pastries for dessert.

If they refused, and you could eat at any restaurant you wanted as a consolation, which one would you choose? A plate of Fettucini Alfredo at Alfredo alla Scrofa in Rome would do nicely. It's a restaurant that doesn't rank high in atmosphere, but their pasta is the best I have ever tasted.

Alfredo's

FQ Kitchen: Share with us a favorite recipe or cooking tip. I'm not much of a cook, so any recipe I might offer would involve combining two frozen foods in a microwave. I do, however, have a few tips which somebody might enjoy...

  • Substitute a Mexican rice mix (my favorite brand being Farmhouse) for ground beef in Mexican recipes. I use it in tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and anything else that would normally use meat as the filler.
  • Top mashed potatoes or potato salad with crisp-fried grated potatoes, which adds a new crunchy dimension to their creamy texture. If I'm too lazy to fry some up, I'll use crushed potato chips instead (don't knock it 'til you've tried it!).
  • Chocolate chip cookies are even more special when you eat them frozen.
  • If you're not worried about the extra fat calories, add a packet of powdered creamer to your instant cocoa mix to make it taste more like fresh-made.
  • Everything is better with cheese on top.

Eat your heart out at the FridayQ.

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Dave Approved: Enchiladas

Posted on Saturday, September 4th, 2004

Dave!It's Saturday, which means it's time to whore myself out by endorsing a product, person, or service that I'm currently enamored with! Since I'm hungry, I think I'll pick a food I'm fixated on just now: El Monterey Cheese Enchiladas.

When you are a vegetarian, finding good Mexican food is tough. Most of the time, you just have to ignore the fact that the food you're eating probably has chicken fat or bouillon or some other dead animal-related product in it. There's not much you can do about it in a restaurant but, when buying frozen foods, I do look at the ingredients. Odds are the cheese is going to have rennet in it, but I can at least rule out more obvious animal products.

The problem is that when you finally do find an elusive frozen Mexican entree without chicken juice in it, the stuff usually tastes like ass. I think I've tried just about everything out there, and none of it has merited a repeat purchase (especially the designated "vegan" crap which is the worst of the lot). That's why I wasn't holding out much hope when I saw the local Fred Meyer had started carrying "El Monterey" brand foods that appeared to be dead-chicken free...

El Monterey!

Wow. I mean, WOW. These are the best enchiladas I have ever eaten. They are so good that they seem more like dessert than an entree... deliciously light and fluffy filling that's not a pile of grease, and a sauce that's to die for (well, not for me to die for, but it's certainly worth somebody else dying over!).

There is a catch, however. These things are horrible for your health. The "serving size" on the Nutrition Facts is "one enchilada" and looks pretty scary. Multiply that by the four-enchilada serving you would actually eat and it's downright tragic, with recommended daily values off the chart: 80% of your total fat, 144% of your saturated fat, 44% of your cholesterol, and 100% of your sodium. Yikes. I would probably eat these every day if they weren't death-inducing, but figure once a week won't kill me.

But what a way to go.

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Barney’s

Posted on Saturday, September 11th, 2004

Dave!Nine-Eleven is a day of profound sadness for me. I'm sad because two thousand, seven hundred and twenty-seven people were killed in a senseless act three years ago... but mostly I am sad because of what this tragic loss means to all of humanity: If things keep going like this, we're not going to make it. That's not to say I've lost hope, but such a visual symbol of how truly far away we are from living together in peace is hard to ignore. I realize that terrorism is not new. I understand that the horrifying events at the World Trade Center in 2001 are just a blip on the terrorism radar that claim untold thousands of innocent lives every year. But it all solidifies for me on this day and I continue to be dumbfounded that people just can't seem to get along.

On the one-year anniversary of 9-11 two years ago, I said in my then-blog "Dave Spot" that I could not bring myself to write about the subject because no words could possibly express how I feel (that blog died a few weeks later). On the two-year anniversary last year, I again was at a loss for words and decided to instead write about the new Fall television season and the discoloration on the exhaust pipes of my motorcycle (thinking that writing about mundane events would somehow make me feel better, I guess).

This year is not any easier. It would seem that time does not heal all wounds, because I feel more sickened by 9-11 with every passing year. It's the date that things started going Terribly Wrong. We're now in a war where over a thousand American soldiers have been lost, and heaven only knows how many other people... from innocent civilians, to reporters, to soldiers from other nations, to Al-Qaeda... and everybody in-between. Terrorism is a constant threat and shows no signs of letting up. The America I know is slowly eroding. Peace seems further and further away.

To try and lift myself out of a lingering depression that such thoughts inevitably bring, I decided to do something truly American today: shoot handguns and eat a McDonalds hamburger! But then I realized that my Buddhist philosophies prohibit such things, and had to come up with something else: breakfast at Barney's!

Barneys

Saturday mornings at this eclectic Cashmere eatery are truly a slice of American life, and I wanted to be a part of it today. Barney's started as a tavern, but is slowly being re-imagined as a family restaurant... with attitude. Today was especially fun because tourists over from "The Coast" (i.e., Seattle and the surrounds) were popping in on their way to the fairgrounds. Nothing is more amusing than watching city-folk try to make sense of us rednecks here in hicksville. The people at the table across from me were greatly amused while reading the menu, which I found funny because it was written with people just like them in mind. A few of my favorite selections:

Notice: Annoying the Cook will result in smaller portions.
PRICES subject to Change according to customer's attitude.

We are not a "Fast Food" outlet, please be patient, we have only one deep fryer and a small grill. You can ask how long your order may take. If you don't have time to wait, then please don't order. We are not a 5 star Restaurant. We can tell when you walk in if we will be able to please you or if you are one of those people that no one can please and you should not eat out. We have been in business since 1980, We lost our patience in 1981.

Two Eggs cooked, served with fried potatoes & toast................$3.75 {Poached, scrambled, basted, over med-well, over hard, over easy — extra $12.50}. Crisp Potatoes $15.00 extra. We will also ask you to stand while we announce that you are the reason everyone else has to wait for their breakfast because you want crisp potatoes!

And so on.

You probably think that they are just joking around, and they are... but not really. Gary and Virginia (the owners, cooks, bartenders, and janitors of this fine establishment) are two of the nicest people you will ever meet, but they seriously will not put up with any bullshit or big-city attitude (and neither will the staff). There are moments here at Barney's that are priceless. I love it when some ignorant Redmond socialite decides to "rough it" in our section of the State and comes here to "experience" a small-town rustic restaurant... then asks if they can have a glass of white wine to go with their Barney Burger because they're "just not finding it on the menu." The result of such an action is always entertaining, and there's been more than one time I've been eating here that I wish I had my video-camera.

I know it sounds bizarre, but knowing that places like this exist makes me feel better on a day like today. No matter how horrible world events may seem, no matter what mess our government has gotten us into, America will go on (and the folks at Barney's will get around to serving you when they damn well feel like it).

Categories: DaveLife 2004, Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Kiwi

Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

Dave!Ooooh look! It's time for a kiwi and pineapple break! The odd thing about kiwi is that they are fairly normal-looking on the outisde. It's not until you look inside that you find out where their true beauty can be found...

Kiwi.jpg

I'm pretty sure there's a life lesson in here somewhere, but I just can't put my finger on it right now.

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Tatercrack

Posted on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Dave!While I've never actually experienced crack cocaine, I continue to imagine that it must be very much like eating a bowl of "Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes" from Taco Bell. For the past six months, I have been physically unable to drive past a Taco Bell without stopping and buying a bowl (or three). On occasion, I've even been known to make a special trip into Wenatchee with the sole intent of purchasing Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and nothing more (that's a 40-minute round-trip). I've written about this before, but right now I am on a Cheesy Fiesta Potato high, and felt the need to share (share my being high, not my taters, so keep your hands to yourself).

A pity that they're so horrendously bad for your health.

But hopefully a bit better than crack cocaine.

I guess when I start holding up convenience stores and selling myself on the street to pay for my Cheesy Fiesta Potato fix, I'll know for sure.

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Security

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

Dave!Today was a rather interesting and eventful day. Just when I thought I had a handle on things, something shocking, surprising, or otherwise strange would come along to mess with my head.

The end of my work day was no exception. I get out of a meeting, go back to my office to grab my coat and notice a package sitting on my desk. Ordinarily, this would not be unusual, as I get dozens of packages every week. What made this one unique is the fact that it was plastered with US Customs inspection stickers. What the-?

The return address was partially obscured but I did figure out it was from England, which made me think: "ENGLAND?!? That's odd, I get all my cocaine imported directly from COLUMBIA! (or Taco Bell, via their Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes)." Oh well, I figure if it's cleared from Customs, it must be safe to open. So I open it only to find that an interior envelope had also been inspected...

Customs

Curiouser and curiouser... what could possibly be so astoundingly interesting to US Customs that an X-ray of an envelope could cause such scrutiny? Drugs? Fresh fruit? Animal feces? LIVE KILLER BEES?!? My curiosity gets the best of my and I bravely open the envelope...

Customs

Uhhh... it's postcards, a gift card, and delicious MARS DELIGHTS CANDY BARS!!! Apparently my good friend (and fellow Hard-Rock fanatic) "The Ref" has decided to deter my current addiction to "Fiesta Cheesy Potatoes" by getting me re-addicted to one of the most fabulous candy bars on the planet!

But wait, there's more... Customs opened one of the candy bars as well. Hungry perhaps? Err... no, they didn't take a bite, just verified that chocolatey goodness was indeed inside. And that's when I noticed that the Customs stickers plastered all over everything are actually from Homeland Security.

What the-??

Isn't Homeland Security there to protect us against terrorist threats? What in the heck did they think was in there? I can't even guess. Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly appreciative of Homeland Security's astoundingly difficult fight to protect us from harm, but don't they have scanning equipment and stuff? How do they know that the Weapons of Mass Destruction they're looking for in my candy wrapper weren't chocolate-covered?

Bizarre. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm long overdue for a sugar coma.

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Guano

Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Dave!Sienna: The Sun is reporting that Jude Law has proposed to the blisteringly hot Sienna Miller. I've been in love with Sienna since her days on the funky Keen Eddie television show, and am a little crushed here.

Death: Is it wrong to wish Jared dead every time one of his stupid-ass Subway commercials shows up on television? I feel badly about even thinking it, but I just can't help myself. And it's not just that I want him dead, I want him really dead... like chopped up in little pieces and then lit on fire. Or run over with a steamroller and then disintegrated in a vat of acid. Or maybe even blown up with... uhhh... must... stop... thoughts... of... Jared... death... by... Wyle E. Coyote...

Quiz: And speaking of sub sandwiches, why does Quiznos bother to post a menu showing the sandwich contents if they are just going to ignore it? A Quizno's Veggie consists of the following: guacamole, black olives, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar, and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing. So, you would think that if I ordered a "Veggie with everything that comes on it except the mushrooms," it wouldn't be rocket science to figure that out. But they manage to screw it up every time. Usually they're denying me my guacamole, but last night they tried to add green peppers to it. Maybe I am going to have to start drawing diagrams? Oh well, I'll still take a delicious Quiznos sub over a boring Jared Subway sub any day.

Guano: How fabulous! Blogography has won the most prestigious of all blog awards: The Golden Guano! What makes this recognition particularly special is that it's awarded by somebody I truly admire and respect: me! I have decided that my Guano will have been won for "Blog Most Likely to Touch You In An Inappropriate Place." Feel free to go grab one for yourself at My So-Called Strife (available in black, white, and lovely hot pink) and come up with your own blog category...

Golden Guano

Lou: I usually delete comments which are just thinly veiled attempts at advertising other people's blogs (i.e., "I agree totally with what you said. Come visit my blog at www.lame.com!"). The reason I do this is because A) the person obviously didn't bother to read my blog, why should I bother to read theirs, or ask somebody else to do so? And B) it's kind of senseless... how many people are actually going to click on such a link? That being said, "A-Lou's Diary" ended up being an interesting use of a blog as I've seen. It's "written" by a 5-year old Belgian(?) boy who has been blind since birth and is facing complex mental challenges. Apparently it's a big hit in the French-speaking world, and is being translated into English now. I just wish "Lou's Daddy" would find some other way of advertising it.

Goodness: Alias is on tonight! The sweet hotness of Jennifer Gardner has returned to set us free and bring peace to all the world. Oh joyous day!

Categories: Blogging 2005, Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Terror

Posted on Monday, January 24th, 2005

Dave!For weeks now I have been wanting to cook up a batch of my delicious cheese-n-rice enchiladas (based on my grandmother's original recipe), but it's a 2-hour ordeal and makes one heck of a mess in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of time. Tonight was no different, but I just didn't care. If I didn't do it tonight, it wouldn't happen anytime soon... certainly not before I leave for Europe. So screw it, everything else in my stressful life can just wait.

But then the terror starts to settle in.

According to my "100 Things," I am most afraid of deep water, heights, and freaky bugs. But there is one things that tops all of those: my Cuisinart food processor. Or, as I prefer to call it, THE WHIRLING BLADES OF CERTAIN DEATH!!. I am mortified at the very thought of having to use that thing.

But when a recipe calls for a two full pounds of grated cheese, you really don't have much choice. To grate it by hand would take weeks. So, with adequate precautions in place, I face my deepest fear...

Dave Cuisinart

And twenty seconds later, Cuisinart has decimated my brick of cheese into tidy shreds. After unplugging this foul mechanical demon, I'm off to make enchiladas. Two hours after that, a delicious fiesta of exotic delights ensues.

But that's not going to keep me from having nightmares tonight. -sob!-

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We're going to be bunking together the next sixteen weeks, and I just want to know... am I living with a pecker-head, or am I living with someone who can be quasi-normal?"
Categories: DaveToons 2005, Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Thick

Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Dave!This afternoon I had to take a run into the "big city" of Wenatchee (population 28,000) to pick up my dry cleaning. For some reason I wanted to be all clean and relatively wrinkle-free for my trip to Europe, which is ironic considering I won't arrive either clean OR wrinkle-free after spending 14 hours in a plane. But anyway, twenty minutes later and there I was at Hays Cleaners with my expensive garments in-hand. Since it was around lunch-time, I decided to squander a small fortune and grab a sandwich at Quiznos (delicious!).

After consuming my toasty sub, there was nothing else to do but head home. On the way out of town, I noticed that the car ahead of me had a bumper sticker that said "Alaska Girls Kick Ass" which raised all kinds of questions. Kick ass at what? Kick who's ass? Do all Alaska girls kick ass, or was it only the Alaska girls in the car? All I can say is that it must be really tough to be a guy in Alaska with the girls kicking all that ass. Ah well, so long as it's not my ass that's getting kicked, I guess it's all good.

Alaska Girls

But anyway, all that pondering made me hungry for dessert. I needed ice cream. I was going to pull into McDonalds for a McFlurry with McOreo McCookies, but then I remembered that Jeff from Geekable wanted to know if any of the Wendy's restaurants had salad bars anymore, so I decided to do a drive-by and take a look (since I had never been there before and didn't know). The menu was crammed full of "Biggie this" and "Biggie that" but I couldn't find ice cream anywhere...

"Welcome to Wendy's may I take your order?" the girl in the speaker box chirped. "Err yes, I'd like an ice cream please" I replied. Then, in a tone that I can only describe as utter contempt and loathing I hear: "Sir, this is Wendy's, we do not have 'ice cream' at Wendy's." Much embarrassed, I forged ahead... "Ah, I'll have a chocolate shake then." And that's when things got complicated.

In a condescending tone that is usually reserved for uptight English butlers on television shows like The Nanny and movies like Arthur, she responds: Wendy's does not serve 'shakes.' Might I suggest you order something off our menu like a Frosty?" Confused that a fast-food menu could possibly be this complicated, I reply: "I don't know what a 'Frosty' is, what's the 'Frozen Dairy Dessert' on the menu?" And that's when she really lost it.

"THAT IS A FROSTY!!" She says, drier than the Sahara. Progress! I ignore her tone and respond: "I see. Does that come in chocolate?" She has now lost all patience... "Sir, the only flavor IS chocolate!!" - heavy sigh - "It's like a chocolate milkshake, only thicker!!" I think if I would have been standing in front of her, I would have gotten slapped and called a moron, but there you have it: "Okay, I'll take a medium please."

Apparently Wendy's is no mere fast food restaurant, but is instead a fine dining establishment too good for such lower class foods like "milkshakes." All those times driving by and I had no idea. I sure wish I could have been present to witness the Frosty Miracle when the fast-food gods handed down the recipe to Wendy's founder Dave Thomas from on high...

Frosty

Thinking that my adventure at Wendy's is over, I pull up to pay and collect my frozen treat. After handing it over to me, I notice something is missing... "Uhhh, can I get a straw?". A burst of laughter and then: "You can't suck a Frosty through a straw! That's what the spoon is for!" I was about to make a comment about what really sucks around here, but decided I'd hold my tongue in an attempt to escape with my life (and what's left of my dignity).

And, before I forget, no there isn't a salad bar at my local Wendy's. But the Frosty's are worth a stop... if you dare.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Hey, hey! Bubbles, man! Say man, when I was growing up, we want a Jacuzzi we had to fart in the tub!"
Yesterday's Answer: Commando (1985) with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rae Dawn Chong.
Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Four: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

Dave!Confidentiality agreements preclude me from ever discussing my work here on this blog, but I can say that I took a nice detour to the largest candy and biscuit show in the world today ("biscuit" meaning "cookie" for the benefit of any Americans out there). This fascinating trade show which showcases sweets from around the world is the ultimate exercise in restraint, because every booth is passing out free samples of the delectable treats they make. And, since this was the last day of the show, most companies are desperately trying to get rid of everything so that they don't have to take it home with them. As I understand it, at 18:00 hours, the doors are open to the public, and scores of German sweet-tooths descend like locusts on to the showroom, devouring anything in their path. I would have really liked to have seen that.

Anyway, walking the show takes an entire day, because that's just how big it is. Even then, I was practically running from booth to booth so I would get to sample see everything. Here are my top-three favorites...

Candy Peeps

Yes, BLUE PEEPS were representin' in the house! There's something to be said for going on a pure-sugar high, and Blue Peeps are the best way to do so if you don't want to mess with any wacky flavors or other distracting ingredients that are not sugar. I also scored some Necco Wafers, Tootsie Rolls, Lemonheads, Hot Tamales, and a handful of other sugar-fied favorites that are guaranteed to keep me entertained for hours. I'm hoping my coma doesn't hit until I finish this entry.

Candy Monkey

I'm a sucker for any product that dares to put a screaming monkey on their package, and this banana candy that comes out of Brazil is a class act. All that's missing is a word balloon which says "BUY THIS CANDY OR DIE!" coming from the naughty monkey, and our slow descent into Planet of the Apes style madness can begin (so I've gone ahead and taken care of that for them). Sadly, they didn't have any bags I could take with me, but I did get a taste and it definitely kicks ass monkey-style. I'm hoping that some American importer picked it up so I can buy it at my local grocery store. This has "cult-favorite" written all over it, and I need me my monkey candy fix bad.

Candy J.D. Fudge

There were a number of products that had me saying "WTF mate?" (Swiss Army Chocolate?)... and Jack Daniel's Fudge was definitely on that list. But it's not the fact that it's an alcohol-based candy which has me confused (it's about time!)... it's because the stuff is made in Australia. Yes, for a weekend of fun, nothing beats tossing a shrimp on the barbie and then getting wasted on whiskey fudge while shooting kangaroos, koala bears, and other adorable creatures in the land down-under. I am so proud that in addition to Starbucks coffee and McDonald's hamburgers, America is now starting to export our entire redneck lifestyle to other countries. Go America!

Well, I'm off to pack my bags for a few days of vacation. Hopefully I will have internet access where I'm going so I can post the FridayQ this week.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "My mommy always said there were no monsters... no real ones... but there are."
Yesterday's Answer: Ever After (1998) starring Angelica Houston and Drew Barrymore.
Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Suckage

Posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2005

Dave!Perhaps it's the splitting migraines that have been plaguing me all week, but I am in a terrible mood. Nothing seems to be making me happy. In the hopes that I can alleviate my frustrations, I'm venting things that suck today. Lucky you.

Alias: What in the heck was last night's Alias supposed to be? I don't know. But I will tell you what it actually was: STUPID! I was so happy that the show seemed to be back on track, but now we've got hallucinations, vampires, and rampant idiocy going on at mind-numbing levels. If this is what we have to look forward to for the rest of the season, I wish somebody would let me know so that I can stop watching right now. This has got to be the worst episode of Alias yet, scraping the bottom of the barrel with the rest of the crap that's on television.

Podcasting: Whatever. I suppose when something comes out in a podcast that I actually want to listen to... then I'll start getting excited about it. But, after trying dozens of different "shows," I am less than impressed. When Stern starts a podcast, somebody let me know. I wish Robin Williams would do a weekly podcast, that would rule: comedy podcasts for when you need a dose of funny.

American Dad: We waited all this time so that Seth MacFarlane could create American Dad, a grossly inferior copy of his brilliant Family Guy show? What a complete and total waste of time. Stewie has been replaced by a fish and Brian has been replaced by an alien, but it's basically the same show... only not funny. Thank heavens that the original Family Guy is coming back in May.

Service Pack: I don't use my Windows PC unless forced, which means that it's never much kept up to date with the latest round of bug patches and useless security fixes. This morning I fired it up to find out I had Windows XP Service Pack 2 awaiting (and probably many others, but it's hard to tell). I noticed that Internet Explorer is finally getting a pop-up blocker, so I figure that alone is worth the hassle of downloading SP2. Anyway, my Windows PC is now officially dead. Since I'd rather shoot myself in the head than go through another WinXP install, I've decided to just leave it that way. Microsoft bastards. And here I was actually considering the purchase of a Tablet PC... what was I thinking? Look, it's a version of Windows that sucks just as bad as regular Windows, but you can use a pen instead of a mouse!

iPhoto: And to show I'm not 100% biased here, I offer the following: Given that I am a certified Apple whore, do you know how hard it is for me to find something to criticize about Apple software? Well iPhoto 5 makes it easy, because it's a steaming pile of crap. It's worse than crap. In fact, you usually have to search through Windows 98 shareware collections to find something with this magnitude of suckage. Slow to the point of being absolutely unusable, I have to wonder if anybody at Apple even bothered to test this ass-sucking turd of a program on anything other than a Dual-G5 machine. Apparently they didn't bother to test it at all, considering that many people lost their photos in the upgrade from version 4. Did Apple get bought out by Microsoft while I wasn't looking?

Wonderfalls: I finally finished watching all thirteen glorious episodes of Wonderfalls on DVD and have to wonder... how could this remarkable show be canceled so FOX could have room for shit like Trading Spouses in their schedule? As if that wasn't enough, the inferior "girl talks to God" show Joan of Arcadia is still running. While I used to actually like Joan, she has turned into a whiny bitch that's so boring in the latest round of shows that I've stopped watching it entirely.

Boca Burger: When I became a vegetarian, I was ever-so-grateful when "Boca Burgers" came along, because I could then enjoy the most deliciously fantastic hamburgers... all mad-cow free! But in the past year, they've re-formulated the recipe, and now they taste like ass. Wet ass. I don't know what in the heck they are thinking, but now their burger patties are slimy, soggy, and horrible in every way. Where I once was eating them by the box-fulls, now I can't even stand to look at them. I guess when the company was bought out by the cancer cartel of Philip Morris tobacco (under their "Kraft Foods" umbrella) they decided they didn't want people to actually buy the product anymore, and made it taste and "feel" like shit to get these results. Well congratulations, as if supporting big tobacco wasn't enough of a reason to stop buying them, now you've given me a reason I can't ignore.

Seattle: WHY DOESN'T SEATTLE HAVE A HARD ROCK CAFE YET?!? I mean, come on... Latvia is getting a cafe for heaven's sake! LATVIA! And, while we're at it, whatever happened to the cafes that were supposed to open up in Oslo and Frankfurt? Lastly, it also sucks that the "Hard Rock Beach Club" experiment has closed in Choctaw. UPDATE: It has just been brought to my attention that the cafe in Queenstown, New Zealand has also closed... which is horrible, because I hadn't made it to that one yet!

Station: It seems as though you can't just sit down and watch television anymore. Oh no, first there was station identification "badges" in the corner, now we've got pop-up ads, news tickers, and loads of other obnoxious crap to distract you while trying to watch your favorite show. I weep for the future. How much longer until our television screens are cluttered with so much shit that you can't even watch the actual show?

Television ID

Trackback: If things keep going as badly as they are now, I will soon be joining the multitudes that are disabling trackbacks on their blogs (like Antipixel and Wirefarm). I loathe waking up in the morning to find 70 emails notifying my of trackback spams... all of which must be deleted and blacklisted. When is it going to be legal to hunt down and slaughter these low-life, bottom-feeding, bug-f#@%ers like the ass-biting dicks they are? They've taken a wonderful feature of the blogosphere and destroyed it utterly.

Lahti: I finally gave in to peer pressure and started having TiVo record Jack & Bobby, which is the story of a young boy "Bobby" who is destined to one day be president, and his growing up with brother "Jack" under the femi-nazi domination of their bitch-from-hell mother "Grace." It's a fascinating concept with good writing and interesting twists... all destroyed by Christina Lahti's completely unlikable portrayal of "Grace." She has -zero- redeeming qualities, and I find it mind-boggling that such a heinous character was ever green-lighted for television. Just like CSI: Miami which I cannot force myself to watch because of David Caruso's arrogantly laughable William Peterson impersination, I'm afraid that Jack & Bobby ain't making my list of must-see shows so long as Lahti is so horribly featured on it.

Hate: I can't help but wonder if these so-called devout Christians who email me the most hateful emails I've ever received understand what the word "hypocrisy" means. I must be on some kind of watch-list since the clown thing, because every single time I speak my mind on such things as gay marriage and other "controversial" topics, I am bound to get at least one raving email (can't you people leave comments?). In my previous post where I recommend a book by Bill Bryson where he discusses the "science of everything" (including evolution) I received an email telling me I was a "shill for Godlessness" and then was consigned to hell... again! I usually don't dignify such things with a response, but I am feeling especially frisky today, so here it is: f#@% you. And I'll also offer a helpful hint: if reading my blog makes you so upset, STOP READING IT YOU DUMBASS! I have never, ever, been anything but supportive and accepting to people's belief structure, and don't think it's out of line to ask the same courtesy from others. Go read somebody else's blog that won't bring about such hatred because, let's face it, there's enough of that in the world just now and I don't want to hear it.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You shot me! I can't believe it... they're giving you a medal for shooting me, you little prick."
Yesterday's Answer: Office Space (1999) with Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston.

   

Frosty

Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2005

Dave!A while back I had blogged about my first experience eating a Frosty from Wendy's (documented in excruciating, yet amusing, detail here). I then received two comments and an email telling me that I really haven't experienced a Frosty properly until I've dipped french fries into it. And so, bizarre as it sounds, I decided to give it a try on my way out of Wenatchee this afternoon.

As it turns out, dipping french fries into a Frosty is yummy good once you get over how bizarre it feels to be eating cold-hot-salty-sweet all at the same time. Overall, I recommend it heartily. There is one problem, however. Size differential.

I ordered a medium-sized Frosty and a Biggie Fries... and ended up running out of fries long before my Frosty was gone. That left me with lots of Frosty and no fries to dip in it. Bummer. I suppose next time I could order a "Great Biggie Fries" and see if that's enough to make it through. But then there's another dilemma... what happens when the Frosty is so far down in the cup that you can't reach it with a french fry?

I'm guessing it will take some experimentation to find the proper ratio of Frosty to fries. My gut instinct is that it will end up being Biggie Fries and small-sized Frosty. Don't worry, I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Frosty

As typical with me, actually getting my Frosty and fries was not as simple as it might sound. When I got to Wendy's, there was a line of four cars to get through the drive-through. I figured it would be faster if I just run inside.

I figured wrong. Time for anonymous letter number two...

Anonymous 2

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really good looking... and I plan on finding out what that is."
Yesterday's Answer: Unbreakable (2000) with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.
Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blog-o-Rama

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Dave!Sniff. I don't really celebrate my birthday anymore, but I'm sitting here burning a candle that smells like birthday cake, so I guess that's something. I haven't kept up with the "candle renaissance" that's going on right now, but it's freaky the dozens of flavors they've got for candles now-a-days. Birthday Cake was strange enough, but Pineapple & Pomegranate? Mojito? Lemongrass?!? The flavors I want are Pizza, Beer & Pretzels, and New Macintosh.

Crushed. Well, the Huskeys couldn't really pull it together, leaving Louisville (at the top of their game) to blow by with a 14-point win. It's kind of a sad day for Washington State, but the Dawgs had a great season, so there's really no reason to whine about it.

Order. One of my all-time favorite music groups, New Order, is releasing a new album Monday! It's called Waiting for the Siren's Call and they have a limited-time free preview where you can listen to every song in its entirety. Very sweet. Since Apple has most of New Order's stuff on the iTunes Music Store, I am hopeful it shows up on "New Music Tuesdays" on the 29th.

Pie! My favorite pie is my grandmother's apple pie, which is unearthly good. Next on the list would have to be Key Lime pie, which I am rarely able to get around here (heck, authentic Key Lime pie made with real Key Limes is hard to find even in Key West!). I've tried making it once before, but it ended up being a difficult, sloppy mess that tasted like ass. Now I have a no-cook solution that tastes pretty darn spiffy and is rediculously easy to make. I'm going to record it here in case I ever lose the recipe card...

Fast & Easy Fake Key Lime Pie.
Dump two 8-oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, a cup of sugar, and the juice from 6-7 limes (with just a bit of the pulp) into the scary Cuisinart machine along with 2 drops of green food coloring and 2 drops of yellow food coloring. Pulse until blended, then run full-out until smooth and green-like. Now add an 8-oz. tub of Cool Whip topping and pulse gently until it's all mixed in... do not over-blend. Slop everything into a pre-made graham cracker crust, then refrigerate a few hours until firm. Eat delicious green pie until you puke. Mmmmm... pie.

Release. March 24th seems to be a popular day to release a new product. MacOS X was released on this day in 2001. Four years later, Sony has chosen this date for the American release of PlayStation Portable. Unlike the Nintendo GameBoy DS which looks like a clunky toy, the PSP is serious. A big, beautiful screen that not-only plays kick-ass games, but audio and video as well. Since Steve Jobs continues to be astoundingly short-sighted about releasing a video iPod, perhaps this is the answer for me? I wonder how much trouble it is to re-encode downloaded TV shows for PSP playback? I want one.

Tru. Fox has dumped the boringly awful Point Pleasant and is replacing it with the second season of Tru Calling, starring the delicious Eliza Dushku! I really enjoyed this show, especially when they introduced the "anti-Tru" (played by Jason Priestly) late in the season. Unfortunately, the second season was short-ordered, but it's better than nothing... and at least now we're finally going to get to see it.

Mars. I've been going insane while Veronica Mars has been on TV hiatus, but the up-side is that I've been slowly working my way through all the previous episodes. I am now seriously starting to wonder if Duncan is responsible for both raping Veronica (his then ex-girlfriend and now potential half-sister!) and killing Lilly (his sister and Veronica's best friend). It's an odd theory, all things considered, but I wonder...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It was something your wife said while we were in bed together. She said we had the same build... from the waist up, I'd imagine."
Yesterday's Answer: Se7en (1995) with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt.
Categories: Food 2005, Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Muffin

Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

Dave!I'd like to say that today was a fabulous day filled with sunshine and merriment. But that would be a lie. Absolutely nothing has gone as planned, and it all started with breakfast.

I was out of milk, which makes digging into a bowl of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cereal no fun at all. So on the way to work, I decided to stop by the mini mart for a muffin and a carton of milk. That was my first mistake. What I thought was a blueberry muffin was, in fact, a chocolate chip muffin. I don't know who in the heck ever thought this was a good idea, but chocolate chips in a muffin suck ass. I did my best to pick out the offensive chips, but that left me with a muffin-flavored muffin which is not a good thing. They add things to muffins for a reason.

Things kind of went downhill from there, but there is light at the end of the tunnel...

Lego Star Wars

Tonight is a new episode of Veronica Mars, and tomorrow is when GameStop tells me they'll be getting in my copy of Star Wars Lego for Xbox Game! If it doesn't show up, I swear I'm going to buy a PlayStation so I can finally play it. Xbox is lame now because nobody wants to carry games for it anymore. Even worse, games are always late, and some cool games (like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) don't seem to show up at all. It seems that no matter how you slice it, Microsoft always seems to end up sucking, and I guess I shouldn't have expected anything different from their Xbox (which is now the chocolate chip muffin of video game systems).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake... well, this could be it sweetheart."
Yesterday's Answer: For a Few Dollars More (1965) with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef.
Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

2-Year Blogiversary: DAY THREE

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Dave!TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Taste of Home" $100 Big Box of Gourmet Foods!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
From my home to yours... a taste of the Pacific Northwest. It's an assortment of various treats from Washington, Oregon, and Montana that I've come to enjoy over the years (and hopefully you will too). We've got jams and jellies. We've got vinegars and glazes. We've got candies and pancakes. We've got bread and fish. WE'VE GOT MUSTARD FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! MUSTARD I SAY!!! In any event, this prize is sure to add a bit of exotic flavor to your boring culinary routine (you pizza-eating slacker you).

Food Box!

THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (and this one ain't cheap... the sucker weighs TWENTY POUNDS!!). ALSO... Some countries have severe restrictions as to food imports. If you live outside the USA, please make sure that none of these items are forbidden to receive in the mail (call your local post office and see).

THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Friday, April 22nd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.

TO ENTER: Just send an email to tasty@blogography.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

A complete list of the goodies in the box can be found in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2005, Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Nutritional

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Dave!With each passing day, I lose a little more respect for my fellow human beings because people, for the most part, are stupid. Astoundingly, unfathomably stupid. And the worst part is that people are stupid not because of genetics, but because they choose to be. Nobody wants to think anymore. They want all their thinking done for them. This kind of lazy-ass approach to living enrages me to the point where I believe that the extinction of the human race is not such a bad thing.

But whatever, it's the world we live in now. Every last obvious detail has to be spelled out in nauseating detail lest the stupidity of the masses will be left standing around scratching their heads. And that brings us to the new "My Pyramid" campaign unleashed by the USDA upon an unsuspecting public. It's not actually "new-new" but instead a revision of the old "Nutrional Pyramid" developed a while back. Its purpose is to help curb the obesity epidemic that's crippling this Nation by educating people to eat healthier...

Pyramid Two

And so now I find myself compelled to ask... WHO IS THE DUMBASS WHO DREAMED UP THIS STUPID SHIT?!? And... SOMEBODY WAS ACTUALLY PAID TO CREATE THIS JANKY CRAP?!?

I mean, the original pyramid was no masterpiece, but at least you kind of got the idea about what it was trying to communicate. Even the stupidest person could see that you are supposed to be eating more breads and grains than milk and dairy. But this new pyramid is so f#@%ed up that there's absolutely no way to figure out what it is trying to tell you. When I first saw it, I thought it was some new gay pride symbol or something. I never dreamed that it could possibly be communicating any information. Probably because it doesn't communicate any information. Even a brilliant person like me would find it impossible to figure out what the f#@% it was trying to tell you. And since I am a brilliant person, here are my guesses...

  • Dump the contents of your refrigerator on the floor, then climb a rainbow.
  • Trash your kitchen, then step up to a gay lifestyle.
  • Stick your arms and legs in a pencil sharpener, then climb a flight of stairs to look at a prism shining on a garbage dump.
  • Sort your food into color groups, then look at it from on top of a rainbow to choose what to have for dinner.

WHAT THE f#@%?!! I could go on for pages about how poorly the new pyramid is designed, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say that it's next to impossible to tell what the different colored slices mean, or even how big they are in relation to each other. Somebody on the design team desperately needs to read some Edward Tufte books, because there is no way anybody is going to figure out that this pyramid is telling you to "put down that donut, eat a banana, and exercise." It's just not going to happen. Holy crap... a simple pie chart would have been easier to decipher than this disaster.

It's yet another case of the stupid leading the stupider, and your tax dollars at work. Oh well, it's not like people bother to look at this stuff anyway. Kind of like those asinine warning labels on a pack of cigarettes. People are just too stupid to pay attention, and the people paid to change that are not much smarter.

But enough of that crap...

LoVe!

OMG!! Did you guys see Logan and Veronica totally making out on last night's episode of Veronica Mars?!?? I was like, SOOOOooooooooo excited!!!! Logan is like so totally hot and Veronica is so cute!! And Veronica is all "what are we doing?" and Logan is all "I don't know!" And I was like totally dying and rewinding the TiVo. And then Veronica Mars broke up with Deputy Leo and I was all "OMG! SHE LIKE TOTALLY LOVES LOGAN NOW!!!" And was like "this is totally the bestest show ever!!!!" And went to bed smiling like a fool because I know Logan and Veronica are so totally perfect together!

And then the next morning I woke up and started looking for my testicles.

I thought for sure I had left them next to the television remote, but they weren't there at all. Tonight I'll tear the couch apart, because they probably just fell behind the cushions or something.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I don't want to be a vampire... I'm a day person!"
Yesterday's Answer: Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981) with George Hamilton and George Hamilton.

   

Chocolate

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Dave!After a very long and annoying day, I wanted nothing more than to make a batch of chocolate-almond ice cream and veg-out in front of the television. But then the Cuisinart started leaking all over the place, so what I got instead was a chocolate-coated kitchen. Seriously, it was like Chocolate Armageddon over here. There was chocolate all over the countertops. There was chocolate running down the drawers. There was chocolate splattered on the floors. Everywhere you looked was chocolate...

Chocolate

Apparently, there are limits as to how much liquid you can put in a WHIRLING BLADES OF CERTAIN DEATH Cuisinart machine. I really do need to read that manual one day. Undeterred, I forged ahead whilst ankle-deep in chocolate, and made a new batch.

So now I sit here waiting for my ice-cream maker timer to beep, letting me know that frozen chocolatey goodness is waiting for me.

Checking my email, I see that Apple has shipped my copy of MacOS X 10.4 via FedEx today. The courier gods willing, I'll have it tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about that, but not all is coming up roses for Apple... the loser ass-clowns at "Tiger Direct" are suing Apple because MacOS X 10.4 is code-named "Tiger" and they claim that it will "cause confusion, mistake and deception among the general purchasing public." This is laughable on so many levels, I don't even know what to say. First of all, the Apple "Tiger" code-name has been in existence for YEARS... but they wait until the day before Apple ships the product before firing off a lawsuit and injunction? Dumbasses. Like anybody is really going to confuse the Mac OS with a lame reseller. Like anybody even cares.

I was able to make an appointment at the screen printers today... it's set for next Tuesday. That means I can start sending out all the fabulous prizes from the Blogiversary 2 contest next Wednesday. Watch your mailbox!

Ooooh! Time to add the almonds - ice cream is almost ready. ICE CREAM! IIIIICE CREEEEEEEAAMMMM!!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You were born with an asshole, Doris... you don't need Chuck."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Blade: Trinity (2004) with Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds.

   

FridayQ: Tasty

Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2005

Dave!Your favorite sweet food? When did you last have it? My grandmother's apple pie, and I had it about three weeks ago.

Your favorite salty food? When did you last have it? French fries, which I had two days ago.

Your favorite sour food? When did you last have it? Green apples, which I had last summer.

FQ EDIBLE: What's the best thing you've ever tasted? The most horrible thing you've ever tasted? The best thing would have to be Pasta Salvi from Salvi's Bistro in Columbus Ohio... I still fantasize about it, and would probably weigh 700 pounds if I lived anywhere in the vicinity of Columbus. The worst would have to be natto (which is also the strangest), a Japanese delicacy that is nothing less than torture to the uninitiated.

Everything is tasty at the FridayQ.

Categories: Food 2005, Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Access

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

Dave!I am one of those people who believes that complimentary internet access should be included with every hotel room... kind of like a toilet, bed, and those little bottles of shampoo. Nothing pisses me off faster than having to pay an additional charge for internet after already having paid through the ass for a room.

But there is something worse... paying for SHITTY internet access.

Such is the case for the newly remodeled Vance Hotel in Seattle. They use "Eleven Wireless" as their paid provider. Eleven Wireless sucks ass. Primarily because you have to pay $10.95 a day to use it. But on top of that you have to create an account that expires at the end of the day AND CANNOT BE EXTENDED!! Oh no... you have to create ANOTHER account on the second day. Then another on the next, and so on. What's the f#@%ing point in creating a f#@%ing account if you can't f#@%ing buy more time to f#@%ing add to it? Dumbasses. As if that weren't enough, half the time pages don't come through, so you have to push the "reload" button two and three times to see anything.

Bah!

While eating dinner at the ever-excellent Il Fornio restaurant tonight, I had the grave misfortune of spattering tomato sauce from my fabulous Cappellacci Di Zucca on my Bad Monkey T-shirt. Ordinarily, this would not be a big deal, as I have twenty more back home. But this one is my favorite because it's been washed a dozen times and has reached that comfy-soft stage that's so prized by T-shirt connoisseurs. As you might guess, tomato sauce is next to impossible to get out, so I just resigned myself to the fact that the shirt was probably a goner. But when I got back to my hotel room, I remembered I had these little "Oxi-Clean" stain sheet packs in my bag.

Miracle of miracles... the stuff actually works! With a little patience, the stain eventually disappeared, and my shirt is as good as new. NOTE TO SELF: buy more Oxi-Clean travel packs when I get back home, and stick them in my backpack, my desk drawer, and my glove box. No telling how many pieces of clothing I could have saved over the years if I had these little suckers available (or if I weren't such a sloppy eater).

Now, if you will excuse me, NBC has The Eagles "Farewell 1 Tour" running. It's not like that's something you can pass up watching.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I've fought many wars in my time... some I've fought for land, some for power, some for glory. I suppose fighting for love makes more sense than all the rest."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Gladiator (1999) with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.
Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tripping Day Two: Hartford (Wisconsin)

Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2005

Dave!I have come to the conclusion that my hotel here in the heart of Wisconsin is frequented by hookers. This is partially because of the outrageous sounds that were coming (heh heh) from the room next to mine last night until 2am... but mostly because the shampoo and soap they give you smells like lavender or lilacs or some other whore-house boutique cologne.

Unfortunately, I didn't have anything else to use, so now I smell like I was with a hooker last night. Or perhaps I smell like I became a hooker last night... I can't decide. In any event, I have the definite air of a hooker about me thanks to a very poor choice made by hotel management in bathroom amenities.

Wisconsin, for lack of a better word, is "charming." Especially once you get out into the countryside. The people are exceedingly nice and friendly. So when I inquired at the front desk this morning as to whether the people from last night would be giving a repeat performance (two guys and a gal... let your mind wander with THAT for a while), it was very uncomfortable. Without giving details (seriously, you don't want to know) I asked if the "noisy room" next to mine had checked out today, or if I could get a different room. The woman was so apologetic that I thought she might cry. The good news is that they are gone... the bad news is that something very much worse could potentially move in for tonight.

If a donkey is involved, I'll be checking out.

There are down-sides to Wisconsin if you are a vegetarian, because they really like meat here. It is not uncommon to find restaurant specialties involving one meat, wrapped by a different meat, that is then stuffed in yet another meat. It's all very disturbing. If you like cheese, however, you are in luck. Wisconsin is famous for cheese, and they put it on everything (even the meat-wrapped-meat-stuffed-meat thing).

"Home cooking" is prized here, and there are many home cookin' restaurants scattered about. I rather like this idea, and eat at them whenever I can. The conversations go something like this:

DAVE: Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. Do you have anything I can eat?

WAITRESS: Why sure... we have a lovely beef stew that's filled with vegetables!

DAVE: Ah. I'll just have a grilled cheese sandwich please.

I end up eating a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches here.

The worst day of the week for me in Wisconsin is Friday. On Fridays, every restaurant has a massive fish-fry. Entire towns smell like deep-fat-fried fish, and it is not so pleasant. On Fridays, the conversations go like this:

DAVE: Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. Do you have anything I can eat?

WAITRESS: So you'll be having a baked potato with your fish then?

DAVE: Ah. I'll just have a grilled cheese sandwich please.

WAITRESS: And what kind of fish would you like on your sandwich?

It's almost as if they can't possibly conceive of anybody showing up at a restaurant on a Friday and not ordering fish. It just doesn't register.

Nope. On Fridays, it's much safer to leave home cookin' behind and eat at a place like Culvers, where I can hunker down with a huge plate of crinkle-cut fries and a caramel-cashew frozen custard. Oh so bad for you... but oh so tasty. Culvers is mostly famous for their frozen custard (which is sublime), but also for their "Butter Burgers" which I can only guess are named as such because they fry each burger in a stick of butter. If only they made Veggie Butter Burgers, I could die a happy man (mainlining cholesterol like that almost guarantees it). Oh well, I leave on Wednesday night, so I won't have to worry about it anyway.

And UNTIL Wednesday, my work has me on call 24-hours a day. I've maybe gotten a couple of hours in naps over the past 36 hours, so I am understandably buggin' right now (especially since I only got three hours the night before that). I think I'm starting to hallucinate. If this entry is totally incoherent, now you know why. Of course, this doesn't excuse every other entry I've made being incoherent, but it's nice to have an explanation once in a while.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "To kill, you must know your enemy. And in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit... ever. They're like the Viet Cong... Varmint Cong."
Yesterday's Answer: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1986) with Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Robert Patrick.
Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Neverland

Posted on Sunday, July 24th, 2005

Dave!After toiling away at work until 3:00, I decided to take a break so I could watch the Oscar-nominated film Finding Neverland and eat some Cheesy Potato Quesadillas. Both the movie and the food were spectacular.

Finding Neverland is a shockingly good film of brilliant imagination that showcases just how amazing an actor Johnny Depp has become. His performance is the epitome of subtlety and nuance that few others can match. It's been a long road since 21 Jump Street...

Finding Neverland

Depp portrays J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, and the film shows the real-life inspirations that led him to write about the little boy who would never grow up. Of equal brilliance is the supporting cast which includes Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman, and four boys who are beyond gifted. I always marvel at how child actors can manage to pull it together, and this movie features some of the best I've seen in quite some time. Highly recommended.

Dave's Cheesy Potato Quesadillas.

  • Four Large Flour Tortillas
  • Grated Mix of Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheeses
  • Southern-Style (Small Cubed) Potatoes
  • Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Black Olives
  • Green Onions (Scallions)
  • Your Favorite Brand of Salsa
  • Sour Cream

Heat 1/3 cup of cooking oil in a skillet and then add one pound (1/2 bag, if frozen) of Southern-Style (Small Cubed) Potatoes. Sprinkle with Taco Seasoning to taste. Cook until crispy and golden brown, then drain the oil and set aside over low heat.

Take a Large Flour Tortilla and lightly butter one side. Place into large skillet over medium heat (butter-side down). Sprinkle with potatoes and plenty of cheese, then add a spoonful of salsa with green onions and black olives to taste. Cook until cheese is starting to melt (don't over-cook!). Fold tortilla over in half with a spatula, then continue to cook until both sides are a nice golden brown.

Cut into thirds, then serve with Sour Cream and Salsa (if desired). Delicious!

After Finding Neverland, I took a look at Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was moderately entertaining. I've never read the books, but it seems as though they must all be the same story... Orphans get taken in by some freaky unknown fringe relative, then the evil Count Olaf comes along in disguise and tries to get them back so he can kill them and inherit the family fortune. I guess it's a formula that works, since the books are wildly successful, but it all seems a bit redundant to me.

Back to work...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Even if you hadn't grown up a savage, you'd be lost... there are no trails through a woman's heart."
Yesterday's Answer: Clueless (1995) with Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash.
Categories: Food 2005, Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pizzalogy

Posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2005

Dave!As I came off the bridge and rounded the corner, I saw a girl pulled over by an undercover policeman. She was crying her head off as the officer wrote her up, which I found funny for some reason. What a bastard I am. Thirty minutes later, as I drove back home to pick up my luggage, the policeman was long gone, but the girl was still sitting in her car there, red-faced and crying. I'm assuming that it was just a speeding ticket, which begs the question: if getting a ticket is going to cause you to sob uncontrollably for a half-hour, then why exceed the speed limit? Why risk it? Seems pretty stupid to me.

The three hour drive to Spokane (pronounced Spoh-can) was uneventful. It's always uneventful because there's nothing very interesting between Cashmere and Spokane. Just scrub brush, fields of wheat, and wide-open spaces. The speed limit is 70mph, but should be 100mph, because there's nothing to hit along the way.

When I finally get to Spokane, I do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not check into my hotel, do not even stop for the bathroom... I drive directly to David's Pizza, which makes the 3-hour drive actually worth the trouble...

David's Pizza

Unfortunately, they only had one slice of Da Vinci pizza left, so I had to get a slice of cheese to go with it. And, of course, a bottle of Stewart's Orange n' Cream soda...

David's Pizza

For those who are curious, the Da Vinci has Mozzerella and Feta cheeses, with basil pesto sauce and fresh tomatoes. I haven't confirmed it yet, but I'm pretty sure they sprinkle crack cocaine on there as well. It would explain my addiction to the stuff.

But telling you what's ON it doesn't fully explain how it TASTES. Which is amazing. I've been around the world a dozen times, eaten a lot of pizza over the years, and a slice of Da Vinci is the best it can get. Each bite is like that feeling you get when a nice tequila buzz just starts to set in... that kind of deliriously happy high you get when your mind starts to float away, but you're not quite drunk yet.

Followed by three orgasms and a full-body massage.

Yeah, it's pretty good stuff. If you're ever in Spokane, you'd be pretty darn stupid not to drop by the corner of Hamilton and Boone to have a slice. I'll be eating there again for lunch and dinner tomorrow, and would probably go back for breakfast if they were open that early.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "He's not a President... he's an ordinary person. I can kill an ordinary person."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Weekend at Bernie's (1989) with Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman.
Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pizzarazzi

Posted on Friday, August 12th, 2005

Dave!In-between jobs in Spokane today, I decided to drop by "The Comic Book Shop" to see if I could track down a book I've been trying to find for quite a while now. I drive down Division St., arrive at Sharp Avenue, and realize I must have missed it. So I turn around and drive down Division again... still not finding it. Thinking that I must have somehow forgotten where it is, I turn around and pull over. I have a photo of The Comic Book Shop on my PowerBook, so I figure there might be a clue as to the location. Using the photo, I'm able to find the building, which is now a National Guard Recruitment Center, complete with Army jeep out front...

The Comic Book Shop

A pity they painted over the Batman emblem... they might have better luck getting people to join up. Who wouldn't want to fight crime with Batman?

Anyway, I go back to my hotel and grabbed a phone book to see where it had moved to. But the phone book still lists it on Division, so I thought it was probably an old book. On the verge of losing my mind, I call The Comic Book Shop to find out what in the heck was going on... only to learn that they moved from 1402 Division to 1401 Division... DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET!! And sure enough, there they were. Sitting there with a big "ZAP!" and "POW!" painted on the side of the building in bright colors.

I was so focused on where I thought it was that I didn't see where it actually was, even though it was staring me right in the face. I even got out of my car to take a picture, stood right in front of it, and didn't see it. I feel more than a little stupid about that.

To top it all off, they didn't have the book I was looking for.

But all was not lost. A quick trip to David's Pizza for lunch revealed that they actually had two slices of Da Vinci Pizza waiting for me. Now THIS is what the perfect meal is supposed to look like...

Davincipizza

Fabulous.

Oh yeah, and for those who were curious, I think the restaurant was built in an old gas station, then they bought the building next door and expanded into it. When I examine the concrete in front, I see an outline of where the gas pump "island" used to be. That's their "Pizza Emergency Response Team" fire truck out front...

David's Pizza!

Pizza Response Team

Don't worry, I'll be returning for dinner tonight. It's not like I really have a choice in the matter.

Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Two: Roma Alfredo’s

Posted on Saturday, October 15th, 2005

Dave!There was really only one choice for dinner... Alfredo alla Scrofa. This is one of two restaurants in Rome claiming to be the inventor of Fettucini Alfredo, which is my favorite pasta dish. But this is the real Fettucini Alfredo, which is quite a bit different than the grotesque imitation you'll find at a typical "Italian" restaurant in the US.

REAL Fettucuni Alfredo has very thin noodles... almost noodle shavings instead of the thick, gummy crap typical of Americanized pasta. REAL Fettucini Alfredo is thick with a deliciously aged, sharp parmesan cheese instead of the flavorless, watery cream that plagues Americanized Alfredo sauce. REAL Fettucini Alfredo is so good that it's practically worth a trip to Rome just to taste it...

Alfredo

REAL Fettucini Alfredo is impossible to describe with mere words... but "orgasmic" comes to mind...

Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Kool

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2005

Dave!I've recently started drinking Kool-Aid again.

No, I have no idea why. I haven't drunk it since I was a kid and yet, as I was walking by the Kool-Aid aisle in the store, I had the sudden urge to buy some. And not the pre-mixed crap either... the real Kool-Aid in little packets that requires you to add your own sugar in huge amounts. Sadly, some of the standard flavors I used to enjoy have been replaced with strange new varieties, but they're still ever so yummy.

Which is not surprising. I mean, Kool-Aid consists of is a cup of sugar that has been chemically flavored... what's not to love about that? The only thing that frightens me is not tooth decay or a shorter life expectancy, but the Kool-Aid Man...

Kool-Aid Man

Crazy bastard. He always shows up and starts busting through walls and stuff so he can terrorize kids and feed their hyperactive young bodies a crap-load of sugar. But he's a man(?) with a mission, so you've gotta respect that.

But now we have an all new Kool-Aid Man...

New Kool-Aid Man

What the f#@% is THAT?!? In an attempt to make Kool-Aid Man "cool" they've given him a Hawaiian shirt, hip purple tennis-shoes, and pants. PANTS?!? Kool-Aid man doesn't have PANTS! This is just sick. If Kool-Aid Man wears pants, that means that Kool-Aid Man is packin'.

Kool-Aid Man now has a penis.

I can only assume it's made of glass like the rest of him. Going to the bathroom must be a very delicate and dangerous process... and I don't even want to speculate about Kool-Aid Man gettin' busy with it.

Who are the sick and twisted dumbasses that would give Kool-Aid Man a penis? He used to be a glass picture of Kool-Aid with arms and legs... I have no idea what he is supposed to be now. Is he some kind of mutant? Was a man somehow combined with a picture of Kool-Aid in a freak nuclear accident or something?

This is highly disturbing.

Oh well. All I can say is that if new scary-ass Kool-Aid Man crashes through my wall, he's getting a kick in his glass testicles. Call me a pussy if you like, but I don't think the manly rules of engagement apply in a situation like this.

Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Eat

Posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Dave!The very definition of irony: Crunching numbers with Microsoft Excel this morning and having the program crash on me. This triggers the "Microsoft Crash Reporter" which, big surprise, immediately crashes. Oddly enough, there was no crash reporter for the crash reporter. I guess when the crash reporter fails, you're on your own. My guess is Microsoft wouldn't have it any other way. After all, if MS Office crashes and there's nobody to report it... did it really crash at all?

This was pretty much an early indicator of how my entire day would go.

And how it would end.

Right now I am sitting down to dinner after a long day at work. Earlier I was having an email conversation with Kevin about Chicago when Giordano's Pizza came up. This delicious Chicago institution makes a mighty fine pie, and I was more than a little jealous that Kevin and his wife were getting to eat there tonight.

And all day long I couldn't get Giordano's Pizza out of my mind...

Giordano's Pizza

So when I finally got home, I decided to have pizza. And since Giordano's was a 2000 mile drive and 28 hours away, I had no choice but to pop a Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket in the microwave...

Dave Dinner

It's not quite the same experience.

But then again, a Hot Pocket is not quite pizza.

I decided to make up for it by having a glass of Orange Kool-Aid with a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and a U-NO bar for dessert. Delicious!

   

Okay, not really. It's actually a pretty sad little dinner isn't it?

But don't feel sorry for me. Oh no. No tears in my Kool-Aid tonight. In just 21 days I'll be able to have a real Giordano's pizza all my own. w00t! (If you want to cheer me up in the meanwhile, why not stop by the Blogography Reader's Map and add a pin if you haven't already?).

Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hart

Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

Dave!Tonight was a bit of a bummer. I had some errands to run in Wenatchee, and decided to stop by Quizno's for a bite to eat. Despite my love of all things Quizno-Toasty, I don't eat there very often because it's so astoundingly expensive. But it was the least I could do to reward myself for having to brave the cold and crowded streets. Unfortunately, Quizno's has now crossed over the line from "merely expensive" to "total rip-off." Their bread, which used to be of fairly good size, was barely over 2-inches wide on my sandwich tonight! WTF? Was this some kind of freak bread accident, or is Quizno's shrinking the size of their sandwiches on purpose? They sure as heck didn't shrink the price.

As if that wasn't bad enough, it was a fairly mediocre episode of Veronica Mars on this evening. Of course, it's only mediocre when compared to other episodes of Veronica Mars. Compared to all the other crap on television, it's positively brilliant. My one complaint is the lame resolutions for Deputy Leo and Meg, which seems to have been a half-hearted attempt to explain their absences in future episodes.

Fortunately, there was one good thing that happened today... my DVD set for the complete first season of 80's classic Hart to Hart arrived! There's something special about a show that features a massively wealthy couple who are so bored that they travel the world solving mysteries with their dog and their butler. Heaven only knows this is exactly what I would do if I had big money.

Well, that and being able to afford to eat at Quiznos with their new and unimproved skinny bread.

CHAPTER 7: All I Want for Christmas is my Two Left Feet
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR TOY OF THE DAY: Safe with Precious Gemstones.
   
A stranger named Lego Buzz has appeared on the scene and cut the dead crooked cop into itty bitty pieces...
   
"How is this supposed to help?" Lego Dave asked. "Now instead of one easy-to-carry body we've got a bunch of really gross chunks!"
"Bark! Bark!" added the dog helpfully.
"Chill out buddy!" Lego Buzz replied. "I've got an idea. Grab some parts and follow me!"
   
Gathering bloody meth-addicted chunks of policeman in their arms (and a severed hand in Barky's mouth) the motley crew runs away from the raging crack house inferno just as the fire department arrives.
   
"Quick, in here!" Lego Buzz says as he enters the back door of a jewelry store. "I was breaking into the safe when I saw you guys axe that bad copper across the street!"
Lego Holiday Seven
"And what are we supposed to do with these body parts?" Lego Dave asks as he waves a left foot in the air.
"Easy!" Lego Buzz chirps happily. "We'll put the body pieces in this safe then toss it in the river!"
"Are you nuts?" Lego Dave replied cautiously. "All of this won't fit in that tiny safe!"
"WE'LL PUT THE BODY PIECES IN THE SAFE AND TOSS IT IN THE RIVER I SAY!!" Lego Buzz screamed. "AND I'M GOING TO PUT YOU AND THAT DOG IN THE SAFE TOO! BWAH HA HA HAAAAAH!.
   
Lego Buzz revs up his rotary saw and starts moving slowly towards our hero and his brave canine companion.
"Bark! Bark!" says the dog in alarm, the severed hand dropping from his mouth...
   
Whoa! How is Lego Dave going to get out of this one?
   
FIND OUT TOMORROW WHEN DAVE'S "A VERY LEGO HOLIDAY TALE" CONTINUES!

   

Dave Approved: Big City Soup

Posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

Dave!After last night's culinary disaster for dinner, I took absolutely no chances today. For breakfast I went straight to McDonalds for an Egg & Cheese Biscuit, then for Lunch I went to one of my most favorite places to eat in all the land... Big City Soup! Seriously, the soup here is so good that it should probably be a controlled substance. As if that wasn't enough, they've usually got two or three vegetarian selections on the menu, so there's always something good for me to eat.

Today I decided on a Cheese Panini with their delectable Tomato-Basil soup that was ever so yummy. Almost worth a trip to Salt Lake City all by itself...

Big City Soup

Big City Soup

If you're ever in town, I'd highly recommend dropping by Big City Soup.

It came as no surprise that SLC has a new Apple Store here at The Gateway, and I felt compelled to run in and caress a video iPod for a few minutes. This is always a dangerous gambit, because one day the temptation will be too great. Fortunately I was semi-rational today, and was able to leave without a $400 dent in my credit card.

But I want one ever so bad.

CHAPTER 13: Jingle Hell.
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR TOY OF THE DAY: Crossing Arm.
   
Lego Buzz has just chopped a crossing guard in half, and is moving in on Lego Dave and his friends...
   
"YEEEEEEEEE HAAAAAAW!" screams Lego Buzz as he starts inching towards Lego Dave, his rotary saw slicing through the air in wide arcs. "I'm gonna cut you... CUT YOU UP!"
   
But before Lego Buzz can take another step, a crossing arm comes crashing down on him! Barky the Dog has snuck into the dead crossing guard's control booth and managed to press the "DOWN" button!
   
"Bark! Bark!" says Barky the Dog triumphantly!
"Argh!" says the evil Lego Buzz!
"Cool!" says the construction worker with his hand chopped off!
"Way to go Barky!" says Lego Dave! "Now hop in the wheelbarrow, because we need to get Mr. Construction Worker to the hospital before gangrene sets in!
Lego Holiday Thirteen
Is this finally the end for Lego Buzz?
   
FIND OUT TOMORROW WHEN DAVE'S "A VERY LEGO HOLIDAY TALE" CONTINUES!

Categories: Food 2005, LEGO, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Microwavable

Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Dave!Dinner this evening consisted of a Morningstar Farms vegetarian-safe corn dog. I enjoy these very much, and have converted many a meat-eating friend to them as a healthier alternative to the mystery meat that is in "regular" hot dogs. Delicious!

Normally, I cook these in the oven because I like 'em crispy. But tonight I was in a hurry, and decided to follow the microwave instructions.

This was a huge, HUGE mistake. I mean, when you look at the box, microwaving appears to be just another way to cook the things... but instead it's a way to ruin them. After I took my dinner out of the microwave, I was left hanging on to a limp dog that tasted like gummy ass...

Dave Corn Dog

Nobody likes a limp corn dog.

I am of the opinion that it should be required by law that if microwaving a product causes it to taste like ass, you should have to warn the consumer on the box...

Microwaves Suck

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my saggy corn dog and continue watching the random hotties on Deal or No Deal. Super-models with cases of money?!? Who is the genius who thought up THIS brilliant bit of network programming?

CHAPTER 22: Blight Christmas.
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR TOY OF THE DAY: Kitchen Counter with Glassware and Frying Pan.
   
Lego Dave has finally caught up to the evil Lego Buzz so he can avenge Barky the Dog's untimely death...
   
"Give me the rotary saw, or you'll never see Junior again!" shouts Lego Dave.
"You bastard! You have NO idea what you've done!" says Lego Buzz frantically. "Go ahead, take the saw... nothing can save you now!"
   
Visibly shaken, Lego Buzz hands over his rotary saw and starts babbling incoherently... "you're dead i'm dead we're all dead and nobody can stop it... YOU'VE KILLED US ALL YOU IDIOT!"
   
"The only person getting killed here is YOU" exclaims Lego Dave, his eyes burning. "Say goodbye to your head you puppy murdering maniac!"
   
But before he can take another step, something snaps in Lego Buzz's head. He leaps at our hero like a man possessed, knocking him into the kitchen of the pizzeria! Lego Dave drops the rotary saw as he crashes into the kitchen counter, smashing into a rack of glassware. Picking up a frying pan, the evil (and quite insane) Lego Buzz advances with a grimace...
   
"At least I'll have the satisfaction of finally getting rid of you!" screeches Lego Buzz. "Prepare to join your mutt in doggy heaven!"
Lego Holiday Twenty-Two
Victory has turned to tragedy, and time is running out! Can Lego Dave prevail?
   
FIND OUT TOMORROW WHEN DAVE'S "A VERY LEGO HOLIDAY TALE" CONTINUES!

Categories: Food 2005, LEGOClick To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Chewable

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Dave!Society will eventually turn me into a psychotic killer.

Though, in the event that the District Attorney should ever question you about my mental state, I'd appreciate it greatly if you would keep that to yourself. If I ever DO go on trial for murder, I think that I should like to go free so I could kill again.

Because I hear that once you've tried killing, you really get a taste for it.

And speaking of taste, do parents teach their kids eating manners anymore? Little things like...

  • Chew with your mouth closed.
  • Don't talk with your mouth full.
  • Take small bites so it fits in your mouth
  • etc. etc. etc.

Anybody? Because it seems that everywhere I go, there's at least one person with positively appalling manners. I am getting really grossed out at having to listen to people smack away at their food while watching them chew with their mouths wide open, or having them spit food at me while they're talking...

Dave Chew

Last week a work contact called me on the phone and I had to listen to her chomping away in my ear because she was too stupid to understand that it's RUDE to eat lunch while talking on the phone.

      It made me want to kill her.

Then yesterday I went to a bagel shop that's not really a bagel shop because the gummy crap they serve tastes nothing like a real bagel (so few "bagels" outside of New York City actually do), and had to wait for my take-out order next to somebody who was totally incapable of chewing with their mouth closed.

      He deserved to die quite badly.

And it's all because manners are getting to be a thing of the past. I guess people don't know any better, and probably wouldn't care if they did. Rude eaters should warn you of their bad behavior before inviting you to lunch... or, at the very least, ask permission first. I'm all for permission-based behavior...

  • Do you mind if I smoke?
  • Do you mind if I order an alcoholic beverage?
  • Do you mind if I fart?
  • Do you mind if I clip my fingernails?
  • Do you mind if I chew with my mouth open?
  • Do you mind if I spit food at you while I talk?
  • Do you mind if I take that taco and shove it up your ass so I don't have to watch you eat it?

I don't want to become a killer... honestly I don't. But can I really be blamed if society makes me a murdering psycho? Then it wouldn't be my fault, right... you'd forgive me?

Anyway...

Wanna do lunch sometime?

Categories: DaveLife 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  28 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Herpes

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Dave!Last night while I was waiting for a surprisingly tame episode of Veronica Mars, I saw a new commercial for a product called Herpecin. In case you hadn't guessed, Herpecin is used for treating any herpes infections that happen to find their way onto your face. And, while I appreciate that when you get oral herpes there is a product to take care of it...

HERPECIN?!?

Dude! Seriously. Who in the heck wants to walk into the drugstore and ask the sales clerk: "Where can I find the Herpecin?"

Worst. Product. Name. Ever.

But it did get me thinking about what would happen if this trend escalates...

Dave Remedies

Bleh.

Unfortunately, as wonderful as modern medicine is... THERE IS STILL NO CURE FOR DUMBASS!!

Some stupid f#@%er is suing Apple Computer because listening to an iPod at full volume can cause hearing loss.

WELL NO SHIT YOU MORON!

Here's another newsflash for you... CUTTING YOURSELF WITH A KNIFE CAN CAUSE BLOOD LOSS!!

Who are these ignorant douchebags that are incapable of comprehending the obvious? The iPod NEEDS to have high volumes because NOT ALL MUSIC IS RECORDED AT THE SAME LEVEL! Some music is recorded softer than others. Many audiobooks certainly are. Some of the podcasts I've listened to are barely audible, even at full volume. On top of all that, some people are hard of hearing and need higher volume levels in order to hear anything in the first place. It's up to the individual to determine what volume level is appropriate for them and, if they are too f#@%ing stupid to figure it out, then they shouldn't be allowed to buy an iPod in the first place.

Seriously. This has got to stop.

Whenever a lawyer files such a stupid lawsuit, they should be immediately shot and then lit on fire. Or maybe bludgeoned with metal pipe and forced to choke on their own vomit. Or something involving a hack-saw and flesh-eating parasites. I dunno. All I do know is that this shit HAS GOT TO STOP!

What really chaps my ass is that these greedy turds are filing the lawsuit under the pretense of public safety, but the truth is that they WANT TO GET PAID. LAWYERS WANT MONEY!! Never mind that people have been using headphones for decades, all of a sudden everybody is too stupid and irresponsible to know that loud music can damage your hearing. WTF?!?

At some point people have to be responsible for their own stupidity rather than forcing everybody else to do it for them. That USED to be the American Way. But NOW the American Way is to sue everybody you can. Is this really what everybody wants for this country? Nobody wins but the blood-sucking bastard lawyers.

Anyway, one last thing... do you like potato chips? If you do, you'll want to read the rest of today's extended entry. If you don't like potato chips, then FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW!!

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Vegetarian

Posted on Saturday, February 4th, 2006

Dave!The fact that I am vegetarian is a source of curiosity for many people. I suppose this is mostly because I am not a "militant" vegetarian who is hell-bent on making everybody else a vegetarian too. It's a choice I made for myself, and I don't force my dietary habits on other people. Since many vegetarians do feel the need to preach their views, this makes me a bit of an anomaly.

I first flirted with vegetarianism 20 years ago as a New Year's resolution in 1986. I only really liked hamburgers, bacon and pepperoni growing up anyway, and so it seemed like an easy step to take. Unfortunately, the local burger joints kept tempting me back to the life of a carnivore, and I never made it more than three months at a time. Come Thanksgiving, I had given up completely, because I wanted a slice of dead turkey pretty bad.

Fast-forward a year-and-a-half. I was dating a girl who was a vegetarian. She was very vocal about animal rights, and made compelling arguments against eating animals. After a couple weeks of pestering, I finally kicked the meat habit on Earth Day, March 1988, because my girlfriend promised to make it worth my while. And while she lived up to her promise, we only lasted another couple weeks before breaking up.

But the diet has stuck ever since.

Part of it is for health reasons, but mostly it's because I can't make the leap from this...

Dave Vegetarian

To this...

Dave Vegetarian

And I have to wonder how many other people would continue to eat meat if they had to slaughter it themselves. It's easy to become detached from where meat really comes from when it comes so nicely packaged at the supermarket. I also wonder if people would be willing to pay the price to eat meat if the US government were to stop subsidizing the industry. Without billions in taxpayer dollars, a hamburger would cost around $14.00... would people be willing to pay it when suddenly a veggie burger was so cheap by comparison?

Anyway, vegetarianism fits neatly into my Buddhist way of thinking, so I am quite happy to stay the course. And while I am (unfortunately) still eating unfertilized eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy, I can safely say that I won't be eating meat ever again. I seem to be much healthier because of it, and am happy to contribute to a diet that's not destroying the planet.

So while I don't begrudge people who choose to eat dead animals, eating less meat or becoming a vegetarian is easier than ever. Why not give meat-free options a chance next time you're at the grocery store or eating at a restaurant... you might be surprised.

On the other hand... boy do I miss pepperoni pizza.

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  45 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Routine

Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2006
Two or three times each week I find myself needing to step away from my desk and get some fresh air. And every time, it's the same routine. First to the bank's ATM for cash... followed by the Mini-Mart for a Coke with Lime and a stick of Pepper-Jack Cheese... followed by the Bakery for Po-Boy Rolls. I then go back to my desk, slice the Pepper-Jack Cheese in half, put it in the Po-Boy Roll to make a sandwich, then eat it while drinking my Coke with Lime.

But today everything went terribly wrong.

And I should have known that it would because I was given an Omen of Doom on my way to the bank.

As I reached the intersection, I suddenly noticed that there was nobody around. No traffic. No people. No sound. No anything. It was highly unusual. Naturally, I assumed that The Rapture had just occurred, and I had been Left Behind. Just for fun, I yelled "OH LORD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!?"

Only to realize that there was a woman standing right behind me.

I am now officially one of those crazy people who wanders the streets talking to themselves about the world ending.

I suppose it was only a matter of time...

The End is Nigh

Anyway, I get to the bank's ATM only to find out that my card doesn't work. Turns out that the credit card company accidentally released all their card numbers AGAIN, and so it had to be replaced "for security reasons". Dumbasses.

But it's when I finally get to the mini-mart that the real tragedy occurs...

THEY ARE NO LONGER CARRYING MY BELOVED COKE WITH LIME!!!

Once again I find myself screaming "OH LORD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!?"

And so now I am left wondering if the Coke-heads have discontinued it or what. I suppose now it's only a matter of time before I become a rent boy, walking the street with the promise of sexual favors in exchange for feeding my Coke habit...

Will have sex for Coke

Coke bastards! The item replacing Coke with Lime is called "Vault" and it appears to be a rediculous hybrid of soda and energy drink. That's some stupid shit right there... if I want a frickin' energy drink, I'll buy a Red Bull.

In protest, I decided to skip on Coke products and buy a Dr. Pepper instead.

Except now that I've opened the bottle, I realize that it's not REAL Dr. Pepper... it's Dr. Pepper with Vanilla and Cherry flavorings. YARGH! I HATE CHERRY FLAVORING!!

I'm having a very bad day.

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Vodka

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Dave!As I mentioned a while back, I'm going through kind of a Kool-Aid renaissance.

Lately I've been getting much bolder in my Kool-Aid choices, and have started to stray away from the classics (Grape, Orange, Lime, Tropical Punch) in order to try some of the freakier flavors they've got going on. First there were the "Kool-Aid Twists" which are blended flavors ("Swirlin' Strawberry Starfruit", for example). Then I experimented with "Kool-Aid Ice Cool" which adds a bit of tingle to the taste ("Arctic Green Apple" anyone?). And now I'm moving on to the "Kool-Aid Aguas Frescas" which are favorite flavors from Latin America...

Kool-Aid Flava

Last night was time for "Pineapple" which tastes about as unlike pineapple juice as you can get. I didn't care for it at all.

Until I added vodka to it.

Suddenly the pineapple-ish stuff became an exotic nectar of the gods. Which begs the question... is there any juice (or juice-like substance) that vodka doesn't taste good in? I like it in grape juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and any kind of fruit punch. I haven't tried it in apple juice yet, but something tells me that it will be equally tasty.

Much like a fresh episode of Project Catwalk with the delicious Elizabeth Hurley...

Project Catwalk 8 Liz

Project Catwalk 8 Liz

And speaking of alcohol, I need a new drink. I'm getting bored with the same old cocktails every time.

Here's the kind of stuff I like:

  • Jäger Bomber (Jäger & Red Bull Energy Drink).
  • Long Island Iced Tea (Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Gin, Triple-Sec, Sweet-n-Sour, Coke).
  • Hard Rootbeer (Capt. Morgan's Spiced Rum & Rootbeer).
  • Pinedriver (Vodka & Pineapple Juice).
  • Liquid Cocaine (Jäger, Bacardi 151, Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps).
  • Snakebite (Yukon Jack & Lime Juice).
  • Liquid Asphalt (Jäger & Sambuca).
  • Bronze Monkey (Vodka, Capt. Morgan's Spiced Rum, Orange Juice).
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey over Ice.
  • Any decent ice-cold beer (from the bottle).

Maybe I should create my own alcoholic beverage. I could call it the "Bad Monkey"...

Bad Monkey Cocktail

Too bad my lunch hour is almost up, because I would totally try drinking that.

   

Pork

Posted on Thursday, March 16th, 2006

Dave!When you live in a small town, your options for eating out are limited. We have a fine dining restaurant, a family restaurant, a pizzeria, a burger drive-through, and something like 37 Mexican restaurants (give or take). Unless you want to eat Mexican for a month, you only really have a week's worth of variety (and even that's pushing it, because they all feature mostly hamburgers on the menu).

And if you're vegetarian like me, only about 3% of what they serve is edible to you.

Last year a new restaurant opened up selling "Authentic Pulled Pork BBQ" which has since turned out to be a fairly popular place to eat. If you like shredded dead pig and loads of barbecue sauce on a bun, it's the restaurant for you.

I affectionately refer to it as the "Little Shop of Horrors". Mostly because of me doing the vegetarian thing, but the fact that they blast country music at full volume and have redneck decor everywhere is the real kicker...

Pulled Pork BBQ

Jackalope

Pulled Pork BBQ

Frightening.

And yet this is probably what everybody from outside of the US thinks that all restaurants here are like (at least the ones that aren't McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken). They could be right. I'm pretty sure that this is what the cafeteria at The White House looks like now.

But they make a decent potato salad and have good cornbread (with honey butter!), so I drop by every once in a while when I can't think of anything better to eat for lunch.

I just ignore the stench of roasting animal carcasses and try not to think of what goes on in that kitchen...

Dave Vegetarian

Or what they have to do to get their "pulled pork"...

Pulled Pork

Which ends up looking like something that dropped out of a diarrhetic yak's ass...

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Bleh. It's Rush Limbaugh on a bun! Bon appetite.

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  45 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Golden

Posted on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

Dave!Steak SAUCE!!

Last night while tearing through some work I had to finish, I was watching my bitchin' DVD set for Justice Leage: Season One, which rocks SO hard. Honestly, I am more excited about watching a new episode of Justice League than I am about seeing the new X-Men film. The lame-ass "movie X-Men" fight stupid boring crap instead of the bad-ass enemies they get in the comic books, so who cares?

But the Justice League cartoons are just as exciting as the comics, if not more so. It's a comic book lover's dream come true...

Justice League DVD

Justice League DVD

And speaking of super-heroes, I was my own super-hero this morning when I totally made Kitty Spangles my bitch on my very first game of double-deck Klondike...

Kitty Spangles

Kitty Spangles Solitaire was recently upgraded to 2.0, and now includes some other versions of the game (like Freecell, Spider, and Yukon). Even better, it's free to registered owners which was pretty swell.

And speaking of swell, I finally managed to watch the season finale of Project Catwalk. The best part of the show was when the final three contestants were told that their mentor "Ben" would be paying a visit to their home, but when they opened the door, it was actually a SURPRISE GUEST... Elizabeth Hurley had dropped by...

Elizabeth Hurley Visit

I would have shat myself right then and there, but the finalists somehow managed to hold it (somewhat) together...

Project Catwalk Shock

Liz was brutally hot, as always. Even if she did go a little bit crazy in the end there...

Crazy Elizabeth Hurley

Sigh. And so ends my weekly Elizabeth Hurley fix. It sure would be sweet if they bring her back for another season...

Project Catwalk Elizabeth Hurley

And speaking of sweet, has anybody tried "Golden Oreos Originals"??

Goldenoreos

They kick all kinds of ass, and I am on my way towards devouring my third bag in two weeks. That cannot be good for me, but I am going through a kind of "cookie renaissance" just now and can't help myself. Somebody needs to suggest another awesome cookie so I can use it to break my 3-bag Golden Oreo habit.

   

Vapor

Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

Dave!I have wonderful, amazing news.

Incredible, spectacular, miraculous news.

As I was heading home yesterday, I stopped at the mini-mart and found out that my beloved Coke with Lime is back! Sometimes begging and pleading actually works. What I am not sure of is if this is old stock that the Coke Man is trying to get rid of... or if it really hasn't been discontinued, and they were just going to stop selling it at that one store until I complained.

Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I'm just happy I can still buy it...

Dave with Lime

Coke with Lime kicks ass.

In other news: Ha ha. HAH HA HA HAAAHHH! BWAAAAAHH HAAAHH HA HAAAAAAHHH!

Vista Delay

Maybe they should call it "Windows VAPOR"?

For crying out loud... just buy a Mac and be done with it.

   

As for me? I'm going to Daveland...

Daveland!

Oh Daveland...
   It's the place to sing a happy song.
   Grab your wallet and come along!
Oh Daveland...
   It's the place to have a great day.
   Bring your money to pay pay pay!
Oh Daveland...
   It's the place where fun times begin.
   Give us cash or you ain't gettin' in.
Oh Daveland...
Dave how we love you!

   

Raimu

Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

Dave!For Hachiko...

No. I am not kidding.

I totally love Coke with Lime. Except for an occasional Jones Blue Bubble Gum soda here and there, I had all but given up soda pop for four years. But then I was walking in the grocery store one day and was intrigued by these bright lime-green caps calling out to me from the soda aisle. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try because I like lime.

I now drink a minimum of two servings each day. Yesterday I had four.

Dave's Coke with Lime

Seriously. If you haven't experienced Coke with Lime, you haven't experienced life!

And to all those kind souls who have suggested adding lime juice to Coke to get the same effect... I've tried it. For some reason, it's just not the same. I've tried bottled lime juice. I've tried squeezing fresh lime. I've tried lime slices. I don't know what those Coke bastards do in order to make Coke with Lime so tasty, but I'm sure it probably involves some sort of crystal meth type substance.

That would certainly explain a lot.

Categories: Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

IN-DEPTH REPORT: Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts

Posted on Friday, April 28th, 2006

Dave!Ever since I read that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are being released over at Timothy's blog, I've wanted them. Days of searching at local grocery stores turned up nothing, and so I started telling everybody I know to help me look. My Hello-Kitty Pop-Tart search eventually involved a dozen people in four states. Finally, after I had reached suicidal-levels of despair that I would never find Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, my mom found them at the local Fred Meyer (hey, you really do "find it at Freddies!").

Behold the grandeur that is Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts...

Hellokittypoptarts1

BACKGROUND: I've long held a fascination with Hello Kitty, but not in the way you are probably thinking (i.e., I don't have my bedroom decorated in Hello Kitty merchandise, nor do I wear Hello Kitty clothing). Nope, my obsession stems from two things: 1) My love of Japan from my travels there, and 2) The elegant simplicity that defines the "Hello Kitty Look". As you might guess, Hello Kitty was a big influence when creating my cartoon persona...

Davehellokitty

HISTORY: Hello Kitty was created in 1974 by Sanrio graphic designer Ikuko Shimizu as one in a line of several "characters" for the company. Her popularity eventually escalated her to near cult status, and she is easily one of the most well-known Japanese exports of the last couple of decades. Remaining popular both in Japan and abroad, Hello Kitty can be found on everything from toys and stationery to toilet paper and vibrators. There is some question as to whether Hello Kitty was inspired by Dutch cartoon icon "Miffy" (created 1955 by Dick Bruna), but most people have written this off as a coincidence.

ASSOCIATES: Hello Kitty is often found in the company of her many friends, including Cathy the bunny, Tim & Tammy the monkeys, Tippy the bear, and (ironically) her pet cat Charmmy Kitty. Hello Kitty's full name is "Kitty White", and she has a twin sister name "Mimmy".

PACKAGING: Hello Kitty "Meow-Berry" Pop-Tarts are made by Kelloggs, and is just one out of dozens of Pop-Tart flavors. They are sold in boxes of twelve and are conveniently foil-wrapped in six two-packs. They weigh-in at 22 ounces and you can buy a box for under $3.00. In addition to the front panel (shown above), there is also a game on the back...

Hellokittypoptarts2

Colorful, and well-rendered in Hello Kitty Style, it's a search puzzle to locate as many bows as you can find. The answer is printed inside the carton, and I ended up missing two because they were so small or obscured as to be unrecognizable. Faithful to the Hello Kitty brand, and an eye-catcher on store shelves, I give the packaging an A-.

APPEARANCE: From the box, it appears that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are decorated in her signature pink color and sprinkled with miniature candies in the shape of Hello Kitty, bows, and flowers. The reality is a bit disappointing...

Kittytarts

Instead of a festive pink frosting, it's kind of a purple-ish pink that's not very appetizing. Instead of the icing being neatly centered on the pastry, it was smeared off to one side. The generous assortment of candy sprinkles shown on the box were nothing more than a few scattered bits. In short, the product looked nothing like what I was expecting. If it had even remotely resembled what was on the box, I would have been much happier. But, alas, I give the actual product a D- for looks.

TASTE: Pop-Tarts are an acquired taste that not everybody enjoys. I happen to love them. My only criticism is that the pastry dough is dense and gummy when chewed... forming a kind of nasty paste. You have to be careful that you always have plenty of filling with each bite so that the crap pastry doesn't ruin your dining experience. The flavor advertised is "Meow-Berry" which is explained to be a "wild berry filling". Tasting it, I get a good sense of berry flavor, though trying to figure out which berries are in the mix is fairly difficult. I definitely taste strawberry... and probably some kind of raspberry or blackberry... perhaps a hint of blueberry... but nothing definite can be discerned. Overall I give the product a B for taste, considering we're talking about Pop-Tarts here.

OVERALL RATING: This product had such high potential, but really fell short in the appearance department. This is really bad news for a food item, and cuts the final score down to a C+. If Kelloggs could find a way to improve the look of Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, they'd jump to a B+ or A- easy. Overall, I am giving them a cautious recommendation. If you like Pop-Tarts, these are worth a try. If you don't like Pop-Tarts, the Hello Kitty Meow-Berry variety will not change your mind.

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  56 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Butter

Posted on Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Dave!First of all... praise be to The Force.

I'm the type of person who becomes easily addicted to foods. Last week I was addicted to fried egg sandwiches. I had one every single day for dinner until I ran out of eggs on day 6. Right now I'm going through a kind of Pop-Tart renaissance, whereas I am consuming them for breakfast and lunch each day.

Several weeks ago, my food addiction of choice was cheese and potato pierogies. It was so bad that I was going through a box of Mrs. T's Pierogies every single day, which got kind of expensive. So when the Schwan's Man dropped by and offered up a huge bag of pierogies for a bargain price, I went ahead and took him up on the deal.

Unfortunately, they sucked ass. Schwan's Pierogies were nothing like Mrs. T's Pierogies... even though they look the exact same. Heartbroken, I shoved the bad bag to the back of the freezer and forgot about them.

Until last night when I was having trouble finding something to eat. In digging through the freezer, I ran across that bag of pierogies and decided "what the heck, it's all I got". But then as I was tossing them on a cookie sheet for baking (which is how I usually cook them), I accidentally read the recommended cooking instructions. Turns out you are supposed to boil them, then saute them in butter. So I did.

Freakin' amazing. Is there ANYTHING that doesn't taste better with a stick of butter on top??

Butter

So now I'm addicted to Schwan's Pierogies, and am terrified that I'm going to run out before the Schwan's Man drops by again. I sure hope it's soon, because I'm also out of banana popsicles...

Banana-Pop

Nothing like a banana-pop to make your day a little better.

Categories: Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  41 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Spleen

Posted on Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Dave!Last night I took my mother and grandmother out for an early Mother's Day dinner. This neatly avoids having to battle the Sunday dining crowds, and didn't require me to make reservations months in advance.

Of course, the term "fancy restaurant" is a relative term. If you live in New York, Chicago, L.A., or any other large city, you would undoubtedly laugh your ass off over what qualifies as "fancy" here in Wenatchee, Washington. As if to prove my point, arguably the best restaurant in town is a burgers and pizza pub called "McGlinn's Public House" (I'd provide a link to their site, but it's a shitty Flash monstrosity that sums up just about everything I HATE in a web site). Out of all the places to eat in the valley, this is the only one I really like.

Not wanting to take my grandmother to a pub... even a really nice one like McGlinn's... we instead went to "The Cottage Inn" which is kind of like a boring version of Applebees. The food is pretty good for Wenatchee (mostly steaks and stuff). Most important, however, is that the atmosphere is very non-threatening and grandma-approved. This type of setting makes The Cottage Inn a favorite haunt for the elderly, and it seems like there is never anybody under 60 eating there.

This presents a problem.

Since most everybody is old, dinner conversation usually revolves around health problems.

Scary health problems.

I remember one time where the table next to mine had four old ladies actively discussing their bowel and bladder issues while they were eating. Once they got to the point where they were having to wear diapers on road trips, I was ready to kill myself. Last night was no different. The booth directly behind me was talking about all kinds of balls-nasty crap. As I was trying to enjoy my baked potato and salad dinner, I kept hearing words like "bile" and "mucous" and "spleen".

WTF? Why would anybody want to talk about this crap while eating?

It was so bad that I didn't even want to order dessert. And I ALWAYS order dessert. Things like this have me hoping I die before I get to the point where I feel the need to discuss my bowels and spleen in public.

Categories: Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  24 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Poisoned

Posted on Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Dave!I started the day with the worst breakfast in the worst restaurant with the worst service ever. I think there was something wrong with my eggs too, because I eventually got very very sick. It felt like my intestines were going to burst out of my torso, and the pain was kind of harsh. I had no idea what was going on down there, so I took a Pepto Bismol, an Immodium, a Gas-X, a Pepcid AC, and a couple of TUMS. None of that made me feel much better, but at least I didn't explode or anything.

Maybe it's salmonella poisoning.

Tomorrow I'm going to eat breakfast at McDonalds where I know it's safe.

"Safe" being a relative term, of course. But I can't risk getting sick again when I've got two more days of work ahead of me.

Devoted

So what's on TV?

The last time I watched Lost, Locke and Jack were fighting over whether or not to push a button. I wrote about the sheer idiocy of it all here.

Wanting to know if anything had changed on that stupid, stupid show... I decided to buzz by tonight's season finale for a minute and see what's happening. And what did I find?

Locke and some other guy are fighting over whether or not to push a button.

Holy crap.

Somebody please explain how a show that never changes and keeps recycling the same shit over and over and over again with NO resolution and NO answers can be so popular? Who actually gives a crap anymore? Not me. I gave up months ago, and am now thrilled that I didn't waste my time watching it with the expectation that things would change.

Hmmm... I hope the hotel doesn't fine me for borrowing a towel for Towel Day 2006 tomorrow!

   

Twisted

Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2006

Dave!I just got back from dinner at Fogo de Chão.

For anybody who has never eaten there, it's kind of a vegetarian's nightmare where fanciful chefs in goucho pants wander around the restaurant with butcher knives and skewers of meat... continuously feeding you a variety of dead animals until you explode. Ordinarily I would have skipped an invitation to such a place, but they have a very good salad bar and so I was happy to go. I admit that the never-ending parade of meat to the table is a bit distracting, but eventually I am able to just ignore it...

Davefogo

Well, they don't really go wandering around with a pig's head... but you get the idea.

Anyway...

It was an interesting end to an otherwise sucky day. Lets go back in time eight hours...

Today should have been fairly uneventful because I spent most of it in my hotel room working. But the weather outside was so beautiful that I couldn't resist rewarding myself with a walk up to Johnny Rockets for lunch.

That was a mistake.

After I had eaten, I spotted a guy giving out free Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I snagged a delicious Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough cone and happily started walking back to my hotel. I was half-way home when a car coming from the opposite direction turned in front of me as I was making my way through the crosswalk. Apparently they ended up turning wider than they intended, because they nearly ran me down in the street... I actually had to jump out of the way to avoid getting creamed. I never saw a turn signal, and they turned so late that there was really no way for me to anticipate what was going to happen (never mind the fact that I had a "walk" signal).

And while I did avoid death or serious injury... I made a terrible landing. Probably because I was trying not to drop my ice cream. Much to my horror, I twisted my leg and came crashing down on the pavement.

I was too shocked to be angry, but the woman crossing behind me was furious. "DID YOU GET THE LICENSE OF THAT BITCH?!?" she screamed as she leaned over me. "Uh, no... the car was going too fast" I replied, and then stupidly added "it was a silver car".

As I was getting up with my ice cream cone (miraculously spared), a small crowd wandered up as the woman had to tell everybody what had happened... "A BITCH IN A SILVER CAR JUST RAN HIM DOWN!! JUST RAN HIM DOWN IN THE STREET!!" she announced (as if it would have been less tragic had it taken place in a parking lot?).

So now my leg and back are all jacked-up. Fortunately, I have my meds with me.

And just when I think things can't get any worse, I arrive back at my hotel just in time to learn our beloved president is announcing his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

It's so nice that the office of the president is continuing to represent ALL the people of this country*.

   

*Assuming that you are a healthy, white, wealthy, Christian, heterosexual from Texas.

   

I've already said my peace on the subject, but continue to be amazed at how many people have to suffer in the name of a political agenda. There's no way such an amendment could ever pass, so why sully the office of the president with a statement of such horrific bigotry? Why stir up even more hatred in a country so divided? Why be so intentionally hurtful to his fellow American citizens? Why do this when it's so mind-bogglingly un-presidential? Why?

Probably because his popularity is at an all-time low and he needs to rally support from his conservative fan base for the upcoming mid-term elections.

Which is a pretty crappy thing to do, and begs the question...

When President Bush took his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America... did he ever bother to f#@%ing read it? I've never cared for Bush, but was always respectful of his office. Now I've been worn down to the point where I just have no respect left to give. It's very sad.

So now I am hurting both in body and in spirit. I just want to take a few more pills, go to sleep, and make the world go away. Maybe everything will be better when I wake up in the morning.

I can dream, can't I?

Categories: Food 2006, Travel 2006Click To It: Permalink  38 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Slayed

Posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Dave!I feel so violated! I just rode twenty-seven floors with a couple who were going at it in the elevator. Without sounding like a total prude... ew! Surely they realize that nobody wants to see that? I mean, if I were trapped in the elevator with two lesbian porn stars, maybe... but this dopey guy and his skank-ho girlfriend? No thanks. Some people should be banned from displays of public affection (and, unless you actually ARE a lesbian porn star, this means you).

Tonight's dinner was at one of the best Thai restaurants outside of Thailand... Vong's Thai Kitchen. They have a "Yellow Vegetable Pad Thai" to die for. Succulent, flaky noodles that aren't the least bit gummy! Here is what I got out of my Thai fortune cookie at the end...

Dave is the best!

If you cannot read my drunken photo, it says: "Everyone agrees you are the best". I never really doubted this, but it's nice to have proof in writing.

I woke up with mild pain in my back and only a little tenderness in my leg... so apparently I am going to survive getting run down in the street yesterday. This is a good thing, because it means I don't have to take pills (which I hate, because it makes me sleepy all day). It also meant that I got to bum around the candy expo here in Chicago. It's always a cool event, mainly because I love me the free samples of sugary treats! There were many wonders to behold, but two things stood out for me...

The first is CHOCOLATE PEEPS!! Yes, Peeps are now available cocoa flavored! I like Peeps, even though I can't eat them (marshmallow has gelatin, which is made from gross animal parts I refuse to stick in my mouth)...

Cocoa Peeps

Maybe it's just that I like saying "Peeps" a lot?

Next up was the PEZ booth. PEZ is a candy I love and actually DO eat. The big surprise was that they had the American Chopper guys from Orange County Choppers make them a cool bike...

Pez Chopper

And that's all she wrote. It has been a very long day.

BUT BEFORE I GO... in deference to Mistress Eve on this most auspicious date of 06-06-06, I am hereby recognizing "Day of Slayer" by rocking out to the ever-excellent death-metal classic album South of Heaven on my iPod (yes, I know you are supposed to blast without headphones, but they would most certainly kick me out of the hotel for that!). Slay on my Mistress of Metal!

Dave Slayer

♫ The root of all evil is the heart of a black soul... a force that has lived all eternity! ♫ A never ending search for a truth never told... the loss of all hope and your dignity! ♫

   

Egg

Posted on Monday, June 12th, 2006

Dave!When my next blogiversary rolls around and I decide to print new T-shirt to celebrate the occasion, somebody slap me. For the first two years, I never had to send out more than fifty shirts. This year there are HUNDREDS to ship, and it's a lot of work (as in an unbelievably huge amount of work).

I spent a big chunk of my weekend folding, bagging, boxing, and processing... yet only managed to get through 94 of the 311 orders I received. Tonight I barely got through another 40. At this rate, it will take me the rest of the week to ship all the shirts out, which makes me feel bad for everybody who's been waiting so long.

Ooh! As I'm typing this just now, thunder ripped through the heavens, lightning started crashing, and a deluge of water started dumping out of the sky.

Almost makes me glad that I didn't pull my motorcycle out of storage yet.

Anyway... I've had a few people ask before, and James just asked again, so I present a recipe for y'all:

Dave's Perfect Fried Egg Sandwich!

  1. Grate a half cup of Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese and set aside.
  2. Crack two eggs in a large skillet that's been pre-heated over medium heat and treated with cooking spray (like PAM) or a tablespoon of butter.
  3. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper to taste, then pierce the yolk so it runs. While the egg is cooking, pop two slices of white bread (preferably a "wide" loaf bread, like Orrowheat) in the toaster.
  4. Continue cooking the eggs until just before they start to turn crispy (I usually flip the eggs over for a bit at the last minute)... then remove from heat (DON'T let them turn brown!).
  5. The toast should have popped up by now, so lay the slices side-by-side on a plate - if you are hard-core and don't mind the extra calories, go ahead and butter the toast (so that it ends up on the inside of the sandwich... you don't want to end up with butter-fingers). Put the eggs on one half and sprinkle with the Tillamook Cheddar, then cover with the remaining slice of toast.
  6. Eat and be happy.
  7. VARIATION: From time to time I like to spread that second slice of bread with mayo (because eggs, butter, and cheese simply aren't enough fats for me)... it's ever so delicious and creamy!

And if you're looking for something to watch while eating your sandwich, here's some spiffy-keen new Mac ads...

Macinthebox

Look! It's a Mac-In-The-Box!!

   

Crunchy

Posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Dave!I was all excited about Betty White being on Gameshow Maraton tonight, but it was for naught. Sure she was there and was totally cool and everything... but too much time was spent on all the other lame celebrities. This was not a good thing, because D-list "star contestants" Lance Bass and Kathy Najimy were positively stupid in their answers. And Ricki Lake was no Gene Rayburn, that's for sure.

Such a pity, as I was so looking forward to the show after yet another grueling day of work.

Fortunately, good TV news was to be found: Comedy Central has ordered THIRTEEN NEW EPISODES OF FUTURAMA!!

Futurama Dave

Easily my favorite animated series of all time, Futurama is far more clever and brilliant than we deserve (which is probably why it was cancelled). About the only cartoon character I love more than Bender would be Curious George, so you know this is a seriously big deal for me.

In other news, I have a new best friend...

Crunch Master

These little crackers are called "Crunch Master". At first I was dubious because I found it seriously hard to believe that any chip could possibly out-crunch a Doritos corn chip. Crunch MASTER? Bitch, please. But I do love me the rice cracker, so I decided to give them a try.

Holy shit!

These people do not lie! They are indeed the Crunch F#@%ing Master!!

In fact, the only way these crackers could be any MORE crunchy would be if they were made out of GLASS. Yes, I kid you not, they are indeed that crunchy! They are so crunchy that if you listen really closely, you can probably hear me crunching on them... even if you are in a different time zone. They are so crispy that I dare say you could use shards of Crunch Master crackers to cut through steel. It would not surprise me to find out that Crunch Master crackers are prohibited on airplanes by Homeland Security for fear somebody could break one in half and take over the plane.

Crunch Master crackers kick serious ass.

I am hopelessly addicted to them now (especially the cheese variety). I eat them constantly. In fact, when I am not eating Crunch Master crackers, I am sad. I need to devise some kind of automated feeding mechanism so that I can be force-fed a constant supply to my mouth and be happy all the time. But there would have to be a "pause button" so that I could temporarily suspend feeding while talking on the phone. Because talking with your mouth full of crunchy crackers would just be rude.

The good news is that they are practically calorie-free. That's because there's nothing in them. There's so much crunch that there's not room for anything else.

I have to stop blogging now so I can eat another bag of Crunch Master BEFORE bedtime. I don't dare eat these crackers IN bed, because the crumbs would probably cut me up and cause me to bleed to death in the middle of the night. Hey, there's a cool new advertising slogan! Crunch Master: so crunchy they could kill you to death!

Now that's a totally bad-ass cracker.

   

Interview

Posted on Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

Dave!I was sent an interesting "Thierry Ardisson Interview" meme to think about. Since it's in French, it's taking a while to decipher because my French language skills are quite poor (and long-forgotten). But one thing is immediately apparent... most all of the questions are introspective. They force you to take a real look at yourself as opposed to asking how others look at you (or asking how you look at something else). The second question is this: "Quand vous vous regardez dans la glace le matin, vous vous dites quoi?" - which translates into "When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, what do you say to yourself?"

My answer would have to be "I don't say anything," because I never really look at myself in the mirror. I put my contact lenses in by feel, and brush my teeth while doing other things. I never care how my hair looks, and so it never occurs to me to look. So this morning I decided to give it a try...

Dave Heroin Addict

And all I could think to say to myself is "you look like shit, buddy!"

Having not slept in a month has really taken its toll. I have bags under the bags under my eyes. I am also in bad need of a haircut. I should cancel my upcoming travel plans and check myself into a spa or something. Or perhaps start shooting heroin, so at least then there would be an excuse for looking like a heroin addict.

And speaking of questions... my best friend Karl has answered my five "Barbara Walters interview questions" over at Secondhand Tryptophan. I must say, asking for questions to fill up blog entries is a pretty sweet idea. I would steal it and have people ask me five questions... but, considering some of the emails and comments I get, that is a very scary prospect. Perhaps it would be better to ask "If you were to GET to ask me five, questions, what five questions WOULD you ask?" That way when somebody asks me something particularly frightening, I can just laugh and say "wow, that WOULD be a good question!"

I am such a weenie.

But since I won't talk about my friends, family, or work... I'm guessing those are the questions most people would ask, and so I really can't go there. I did get a question in my email yesterday that I WILL answer, however...

"Hey did you make any money from that Google ad you put in your RENT entry?"
Wow, that's a good question! I never bothered to look! Let's see shall we? ... ... ... HOLY CRAP! I made $9.54!! That's pretty good isn't it? This is 1/10 the current cost of keeping Blogography running each month on 1/30 the entries I write in a month, so it looks like the site could support itself if it had to. Kind of nice to know that I have options if I should need to use them. Still, I would much rather remain ad-free for as long as possible. Media Temple has mentioned that they will be increasing their bandwidth allowance, so maybe that will take care of my current troubles?

Ooooh, look...

Crunch Master 6!

Costco is selling Crunch Master 6-Packs! That's enough to last me almost an entire week! Now all I need is Coke with Lime in 60-Packs, and I'm good to go!

   

Internetless

Posted on Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Dave!Well this day sucks ass.

It started out well enough... I'm on my way to New York City, baby!

But then my flight out of Seattle was delayed two hours and it was all downhill from there. I thought that the hour wait to get my luggage would be the end of it. Until I got to the hotel... WHERE THE FREAKIN' INTERNET DOESN'T WORK!! You'd think I was staying at the Motel 6 or something... but this is a freakin' FOUR-STAR HOTEL IN MID-TOWN MANHATTAN!! Apparently $340 a night doesn't assure you of internet. WTF?!?

After three trips to the front desk to get busted internet routers, I gave up. I suppose I'll just have to figure it all out tomorrow. Oh well. Life may suck, but I AM in New York!

I Dave New York!

Time for a McVeggie Deluxe in Times Square!

Categories: Food 2006, Travel 2006Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Buttered

Posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Dave!Wisconsin, for lack of a better word, is delicious.

Every time I come here, I always end up eating way too much. Unfortunately, what I eat are foods that are very, very bad for you. Things like a caramel-cashew frozen custard sundae from Culvers (which isn't bad until I tell you that I eat two of these EVERY DAY). Or cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. My latest addiction is fried cheese, which is taking something horribly delicious, doing bad things to it, and then ending up with something atrociously horribly delicious. I just can't help myself... fried fatty foods are my kryptonite.

Another problem here is that they love butter almost as much as I do.

Last night I was at the grocery store looking for snack foods to eat while I was working. I eventually ended up in the chip aisle, and picked up a bag of something called "O-Ke-Doke" because it had cool aliens on it...

Jays Corn Puffs O-Ke-Doke

It looked kind of like imitation Pirate Booty, so I was going to put it back until I heard a voice behind me...

NICE LADY: That had better not be the last bag, I was going to get some of that myself!
   
DAVE: Uhhh... no, there's plenty. I was just looking at it anyway.
   
NICE LADY: What? How can you not buy it? That stuff is addictive! Haven't you ever had it before?
   
DAVE: No. They don't have "O-Ke-Doke" in Washington State where I'm from.
   
NICE LADY: Oh you have GOT to try it then! It tastes like butter, and my kids just love it!
   
DAVE: Butter you say?!?

So I bought a bag along with all kinds of other snacky crap. All the way back to the hotel, I was getting more and more excited about the prospect of eating crunchy fried butter. What a brilliant idea! So I get back to my room, pull out my laptop, and rip open a bag... only to find out that it's not that great. Sure it tastes like butter (and that's a good thing)... but it's way too salty.

Except I cannot stop eating the stuff.

I ate half the bag last night for dinner, and polished off the remainder this morning for breakfast. It's like butter cocaine or something...

Crunchy Butter Addiction

Damn those dirty space-alien-fried-butter-cocaine-snack-pushers!!

Who needs spaceships and lasers to take over the earth? They've got O-Ke-Doke! And with 1190 calories, 1470 milligrams of sodium, and 77 fat grams per bag, humanity's destruction is assured.

And now I have to go to the store so I can buy another bag for lunch.

Addiction sucks ass.

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bob

Posted on Friday, July 14th, 2006

Dave!"I'll kill you! KILL YOU DEAD!" he screams, his eyes filled with rage...

It all started innocently enough when Bob (of Chasing Vincenzo fame) read that I would be back in Chicago and was kind enough to write and ask if I wanted to meet for dinner while I was in town. Since he's a great guy with a lot of interesting things to talk about, I agreed immediately. Bob ended up choosing a very nice tapas restaurant with authentic authentic Spanish tapas (quite a different story from the "fake" authentic tapas houses I've run into).

The restaurant, Emilio's, was celebrating an anniversary, so there was live music and flamenco dancers for entertainment. We started out with a bit of light pre-dinner conversation... war, politics, religion, who would win in a fight between Batman and Spider-Man... you know, the usual kind of stuff. But then we somehow got on the topic of nuclear fusion and all hell broke loose.

"You can't contain the super-plasma using inert gasses as a barrier between the magnetic fields. You need a total vacuum or it's not going to work!" Bob says.

"Oh I think it will work just fine if the molecular state of the gas is excited by injecting weak protons into the barrier matrix" I reply. "Perhaps xenon or argon would be a good gas to use."

"What did you just say?!?" Bob asks over the escalating sounds of the guitar and rat-a-tat-tat of the flamenco dancers stomping away.

"Errr... maybe xenon or argon..." I offer meekly.

"Argon?!? ARGON?!?? How can you say 'argon'— I hate argon gas!" Bob says loudly as he tries to compete with the music filling the restaurant. "No self-respecting scientist uses argon gas for containment!"

"Uhhh... calm down, Bob" I say diplomatically. "I'm sure quite a few nuclear scientists have had good success using argon to—"

"NO! NO THEY HAVEN'T!!" Bob bellows as he jumps up from the table, his temper soaring. "Stop saying that! Stop saying 'argon!'"

"Bob, you're overreacting" I say, trying to keep my voice calm. "Argon is just a gas, it's not—"

"THERE! YOU SAID IT AGAIN!!" Bob screams, his voice filled with fury. "I TOLD YOU NOT TO SAY THAT!"

Bob then grabs a handful of papas bravas (a yummy potato dish) and throws it at my head. The restaurant, once noisy with flamenco dancers, music, laughter, and conversation, suddenly becomes silent. A kindly waitress appears at our table and tries to fix things...

"Is there a problem here gentlemen?" she asks nervously.

"YES, THERE IS A VERY BIG PROBLEM HERE!! THIS BASTARD THINKS THAT ARGON GAS WOULD MAKE A GOOD BARRIER BETWEEN MAGNETIC FIELDS OF A FUSION REACTOR!" Bob roars, all eyes on him.

"Argon?" the waitress says in a small voice. "Well, maybe not argon per-se... but certainly if the gas molecules were in an excited state... perhaps by injecting weak protons?"

Bob just stands there for a minute fuming, his hands bunched into fists. Nobody moves. It's as if the restaurant has been suspended in time.

Suddenly, Bob springs across the table and lunges at the waitress. "I'll kill you! KILL YOU DEAD!" he screams, his eyes filled with rage. The waitress is paralyzed with fear as Bob knocks her to the ground and wraps his hands around her neck. "ARGON THIS, YOU BITCH!!" Bob wails as his hands tighten on her throat.

Panic fills the air as people start running around screaming. One of the busboys and a team of flamenco dancers manage to pull Bob off the poor waitress and hold him at the bar. He starts yelling something about "argon gas being a tool of the devil," but I am in a state of total shock and don't hear it.

I just sat there sobbing quietly with papas bravas in my hair until the police showed up and took Bob away. Something tells me he won't be welcome back at Emilio's any time soon.

...    

Well, okay, that's not really what happened.

We had a wonderful dinner with fantastic food, and it was a lot of fun. But I'm getting tired of writing about how great it is to meet up with my fellow bloggers, and so I thought it would be more entertaining to write about what would happen if Bob went crazy and tried to strangle a waitress.

Because that would be kind of cool.

Not for the waitress, obviously, but it would make for a far more exciting blog entry.

Anyway, thanks Bob for a great dinner!

Categories: Food 2006, Travel 2006Click To It: Permalink  24 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cherry

Posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Dave!I wish I knew what I have against cherries and cherry-flavored foods.

I'd like to blame it on the fact that I spent hot summer days in a smelly orchard picking cherries for back-to-school money when I was younger, but I never really cared for them before that. Cherries are just one of those things I dislike for no particular reason, and I haven't a clue as to why. Sure I loathe broccoli and cauliflower and stuff, but there is a very good reason for disliking them because they are ugly, smelly, taste gross, and make you fart.

But cherries?

They are pretty, sweet-smelling, assumably fart-free, and everybody else seems to love them...

Cherry

The problem with disliking cherries is that you end up wasting a lot of edibles because almost every fruit assortment is assured of having cherry in it. When I buy a case of popsicles from the Schwan man, I end up with yummy orange, delicious grape, and a butt-load of gross cherry I have to try and give away. Buy a carton of Tootsie Pops, and it's the same way. Even a pack of Starburst Fruit Chews has me tossing a handful of candy out because of those freaky pink cherry squares.

Yes, life would be much better if I could get over my aversion to cherries. Instead I just become more freaked out during July and August because everywhere you go in the valley people are picking, selling, and eating cherries. It's cherries everywhere, and even when you don't seem them, there's always cherry pits that people have spit out into the gutters or dumped in a parking lot or something. A constant reminder of those yucky little red fruits.

The good news is that cherry season here in Washington State seems to finally be falling off. Soon, no longer will I be assaulted by bins of cherries when I enter the grocery store. People sucking on cherry stems and spitting out pits will be a much rarer sight. Cherries will slowly start to disappear and the world will eventually go back to normal.

Until next year.

Categories: Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  40 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

IHOP

Posted on Monday, August 14th, 2006

Dave!It was a very long day.

At the end of it all... once I finally had time to eat... I decided that all I wanted was to go to IHOP (International House of Pancakes). They've been running commercials for weeks advertising their new "fruit-topped funnel cakes," and I have been keen to try them. Unfortunately, there is no IHOP where I live, so here was my chance (Spokane has three of them).

How can you resist something that looks as good as this...

Ihop

Yeah, it tastes just as amazing as it looks (thought I had blueberries on top instead of strawberries). And so now I know what the perfect breakfast is:

  • Two eggs, over medium.
  • Two slices of sourdough toast.
  • Crispy hashbrowns with cheddar cheese fried into them (50¢ extra).
  • Afore-mentioned blueberry-topped funnel cakes.
  • A glass of skim milk.

It's a lot of food but, since I hadn't eaten all day, I was able to eat most of it.

And now I am back in my hotel room watching a documentary on the ritualistic circumcision celebrations of tribes in Vanuatu. It is all at once horrifying and fascinating. Of particular interest is that the parents of the child being circumcised can only drink coconut milk during the seven-week healing period after. Not only that, but women are not allowed to witness the ritual, nor are they allowed to see those having been circumcised until after they have healed. This causes quite a bit of stress on the poor mothers, but everybody gets together to dance, sing, and kill pigs at the end, so I guess it's all good.

Well, except for the pigs, of course. Not a good day to be a pig.

Categories: Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  33 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Roundtrip

Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Dave!Five months ago I was going to quit blogging. Between the horrors of finding a hosting company that wouldn't screw me and the never-ending onslaught of hate mail and spam I was receiving each day... I had just had enough. Blogging wasn't fun anymore and I wanted out.

But then a little boy stopped to tie his show in front of my car one day and everything changed.

This morning I was driving on that exact same road and came upon a cat that was laying in the middle of my lane. A black cat. I slowed down thinking he would move out of the way as I approached, but he didn't. He looked up at me until I came to a stop, then started licking himself. He wasn't going anywhere.

"Huh." I thought. "Perhaps this is a sign to have a break from blogging. Maybe I should be taking the time to stop and lick myself?" (errr... metaphorically speaking). So I swerved around the cat and continued onward, all the while thinking that maybe a nice vacation from Blogography was a good idea. I'd take the rest of the year off and return to my daily writing on January 1st.

But then I read on Karl's blog that he has declared a "Quitting Moratorium" and my blogging vacation was ruined.

Thanks a lot Karl.

Later in the day I had work in Spokane. But when I got there, things weren't working out as planned, so I had to turn around and come back home. This basically meant that I just drove a 6-hour roundtrip for a slice of pizza.

Most people would be upset by this. But it was a slice of the Best Pizza In The Known Universe, so I wasn't upset at all. I once drove an eleven-hour roundtrip to visit a Hard Rock Cafe, so crazy stuff like this is nothing new to me.

Except now I'm tired and need to go to bed.

No DaveToon for you.

Categories: Blogging 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  35 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cake

Posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Dave!I'm hungry.

And it's not the kind of hungry where you just eat something to make it go away. It's the kind of hungry where you are more interested in the experience of eating than just having a full stomach. At times like this my mind starts racing with memorable culinary experiences I've had, followed by an incessant need to list some of them (which I will, in an extended entry), followed by the sadness I feel over writing about food I've enjoyed when so many people in this world go hungry... really hungry... every day...

McChicken
My McChicken reminder of Happy Meals and hunger.

Hmmm... errr... uhhh... if anybody knows of a good way to seamlessly transition from talking about food to talking about urinal cakes, please let me know. In the meanwhile, I'll do what I usually do, and use the "blunt force" method which involves simply starting a new paragraph.

What is the deal with urinal cakes being PINK? And it's not even a manly kind of pink... it more of a feminine pink that you'd find on panties (not that I am claiming to actually own any of these panties) or a little girl's bedspread (not that I am claiming to be uncomfortably familiar with little girl's bedding preferences)...

Dave Urinal

Every time I step up to a urinal and find a little pink hockey puck floating in the bottom, I want to scream at the injustice of it all. Urinal cakes should be BLUE... or maybe even GREEN... but not yellow and certainly never, EVER, pink. If I were forced to choose between a bathroom which smelled like rancid urine and one that had pretty pink pellets in the urinal, I'D CHOOSE THE RANCID URINE SMELL EVERY TIME!! It may be unpleasant, odor-wise, but at least I won't have to suffer the indignity of having what little manhood I posses assaulted by girlie urinal cakes.

Anyway, if you have any appetite left at all, a partial list of favorite food experiences are in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Diet

Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Dave!Fun! On the way home from work I was nearly run over by a stupid bitch who thought that talking on her mobile phone was more important than watching the road. I almost wish that she had, because having to come home and watch @%^#*!'s collection of complete crap win Project Runway had me praying for death.

This morning I received an email from a nice reader who has spent the last month reading Blogography ("a monthly archive every morning!"). After saying some very nice things that I am too modest to reprint (summary: I totally kick ass!), this reader asked a question I found quite interesting: "How did Bad Monkey lose all that weight?"

Because, if you look at the DaveToons over the years, it's quite a change...

Bad Monkey Diet

The answer can be found in Bad Monkey's new book...

Bad Monkey Diet Book

It turns out that Bad Monkey owes much of the success of his astounding weight loss to Jared Fogle.

Yes, that Jared Fogle... the Subway Sandwich whore.

But not in the way that you think.

You see, what Bad Monkey did was record all those stupid-ass Jared commercials, then mount a television and video player on top of his toilet tank. That way after every meal he could run to the bathroom, watch Subway commercials, and puke his guts out.

Because every time Jared comes out and compares an anemic Subway sandwich with NO mayonnaise and NO cheese to a Big Mac or something, I know it makes ME want to puke. It would be different if Jared were to simply say "I lost a lot of weight by eating right & exercising, and Subway was a part of that" — but he doesn't. Instead he comes out as a prostitute for Subway and and slams other restaurants like a whore. Why don't you compare a crappy Subway sandwich to a McDonalds salad? Or an Arby's Market Fresh sandwich with NO mayo and NO cheese? Or even a Quizno's sandwich with NO mayo and NO cheese?

What a f#@%ing tool.

And then the douchebag writes a "motivational self-help book." I haven't read it, but I sincerely doubt that it says "be a total whore by taking money to say whatever the company paying you tells you to say." Jared ate at Subway because he lived above a Subway restaurant. The fact that he decided to lose weight had nothing to do with Subway. It had everything to do with finally deciding to eat right. Because I can go into a Subway right now and order a sandwich with triple cheese and extra mayo just as easily as I can order one without.

I've taken some crap from people who think that I'm a dick for picking on somebody as "inspirational" as Jared. Well I think he's a dick for bashing other restaurants with nonsensical comparisons because somebody pays him to, and then acts like he's a hero by trotting out his old big-ass pants and telling people the key to losing weight is eating at Subway.

The only thing Jared inspires me to do is buy his book so I can wipe my ass with the pages.

Bad Monkey doesn't wipe or he would too.

WARNING... Project Runway season finale spoilerage in the comments...

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  35 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cauliflower

Posted on Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Dave!I live in constant fear of cauliflower.

And broccoli too, but mostly cauliflower because it looks more like a human brain. Although if I stop and think about it, broccoli should be more scary because it's like a green alien brain or something.

Every once in a while I have nightmares where I am being chased by a head of cauliflower which has grown to a giant size by sucking out human brains. Eventually the evil cauliflower traps me in a dead-end alley and there's nowhere to run. I pull out a gun and start firing at the vegetable hellspawn, only to find out that he is bullet-proof...

Evil Cauliflower

Then, just as the cauliflower is about to eat my brain, I wake up.

And I smell cauliflower.

But then I realize that I farted in my sleep, and that's what caused the nightmare.

Which makes me wonder why people would eat something that smells like farts in the first place.

Anyway...

Tonight I was watching a Steven Wright stand-up special on Comedy Central. The final break had a new Subway commercial where Jared the Subway Sandwich Whore trotted out subs with 6 grams of fat each and compared them to a "Burger King Stacker" which has 54 grams of fat because it's piled high with beef and bacon. FOR THE LAST TIME YOU STUPID F#@%... IF YOU WERE CONCERNED ABOUT FAT WHILE EATING AT BURGER KING, YOU WOULDN'T BUY THE FATTIEST THING ON THE MENU!! Why doesn't Burger King have a commercial where somebody comes out and compares a BK Veggie sandwich with 8 grams of fat to a Subway Spicy Italian Sub with extra cheese and mayo which has 305 grams of fat?? F#@% Subway. And double-f#@% that moron Jared Fogle. He has got to be the biggest douchebag asshole on the face of the planet. I'd like to strangle the idiot with his giant pair of f#@%ing pants and then deep-fry his f#@%ing head...

Subway Whore Jared's Fat Fucking Head

Then I'd make my own television commercial where I would compare Jared's fat head to a Subway Meatball Sub sandwich. They appear to be equal in brain cell grams.

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  21 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Popcorn

Posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Dave!"Won't come back from Dead Man's Corn! ♫

Today I was at the grocery store about to pick up a box of "Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter Microwave Popping Corn" when I started freaking out because I suddenly realized that Orville Redenbacher is dead. D-E-A-D dead! I would be buying dead man's corn, and was not sure if that was something I wanted to be sticking in my mouth. Snacks loaded with fat and cholesterol, on the other hand, I have no problem with at all.

And then I started seeing dead people everywhere... Betty Crocker... Chef Boyardee... even that Sun-Maid Raisin Girl would be about 100 years old now, so she's probably dead too.

Granted, Orville Redenbacher always looked half-dead (and a little evil?) anyway, but Betty Crocker and the Sun-Maid Girl are HOT! I haven't made up my mind about Chef Boyardee, but I think he's kind of hot too...

Dead Food Icons

I don't know about Mr. Clean, The Morton Salt Girl, and the Gorton Fisherman because I try not to clean with harsh chemicals, avoid added sodium in my high-sodium butter-popcorn diet, and don't eat fish.

Back to my quest for excellence in popcorn, raisins, canned pasta, and cake mix... I have no doubt that while these people were alive, they gainfully supervised over their respective foods with dedication and care. That's how they became famous icons with popular products. But what about now that they're gone? Who's minding the store?

Just to be safe, I passed over Orville Redenbacher and went for Pop Secret brand popping corn.

Only to find out that it is made by Betty Crocker. Or, to be accurate, somebody POSING as the deceased Mrs. Crocker.

So then I put that box back and decided to grab a box of Act II EXTREME BUTTER popping corn.

Only to realize that Act II is a brand in the ConAgra Foods stable of products... which also includes Chef Boyardee and Orville Redenbacher foods. MORE DEAD PEOPLE!

WTF?!? So I put back the Act II (which was kind of sad, because EXTREME BUTTER looked pretty tasty) and decided to go with Jolly Time brand popcorn. It sounds like a very happy popcorn to eat, and I can find no trace of dead people on the box. Except buying this brand is really difficult because there are like... fifty different kinds of buttery popcorn they sell...

Jiffy Pop

  • Better Butter. Sounds like bragging, and sets me up for disappointment.
  • Blast O Butter. Sounds scary and dangerous. I don't want a "blast" in my microwave.
  • Healthy Pop Butter. From past experience, "healthy" = "crappy".
  • White-n-Buttery. Sounds racist and vaguely naughty.
  • Blast O Butter Light. From past experience, "light" = "shitty".
  • ButterLicious. Buttery + Delicious = Butterlicious! And it's made with REAL butter! SOLD!!

When did shopping for popcorn get to be so much work?

From now on I'm buying generic SafeWay brand foods. It's dead-free, and "safe" is in the name!

Categories: Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  34 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Spread

Posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Dave!My hand reached out to touch it and I was pleased to see that I was not trembling. There could be no mistakes. There was no room for error. Things would never be the same again and my excitement was palpable. With nothing left to lose (and everything to gain) I swallowed hard and took the knife.

The blade was cold against my hand as I stood mesmerized by the light glinting off the edges. Something primal was in control now and, despite my better judgement, I liked it. A pang of regret swept through me but I dismissed it immediately. There was no turning back. Not now.

I thrust the knife forward. It went in much easier than I expected. There was no resistance at all. Just for kicks, I stabbed it in a few more times. This made was a lovely squishy noise that sent tingles down my spine. But enough playing around, it was go time.

I smeared the soy tofu "cheese spread" on my cracker and stared at it.

It kind of looks like cheese. It's certainly better for your body than cheese.

And, though it didn't taste much like cheese, it still beat eating a plain cracker.

Plain crackers suck ass.

   

If only they made tofu Pop Tarts, I'd be able to eat a lot healthier.

Categories: Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 10

Posted on Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Dave!Oooh! It's Bullet Point Sunday in the snow! Well, not really, because I don't see any snow falling outside... but that's what my weather widget is telling me. Darn you to heck you lying weather widget!

• WARNING! What is it with these stupid-ass warnings on DVDs now-a-days telling you not to steal movies? I JUST BOUGHT THE MOVIE... why in the heck do you waste my time telling me not to steal something I just bought... EVERY TIME I PLAY IT?

• ASSHOLES! I am getting so f#@%ing pissed off at all these f#@%ing idiots who drive down the f#@%ing road with two feet of f#@%ing snow heaped on top of their f#@%ing roof that comes flying off and f#@%ing smashes into my f#@%ing windshield...

F#@%ING ASSHOLES!

One of these days I am going to follow one of these f#@%ing dipshits back to their f#@%ing house and get rid of that f#@%ing snow by setting their f#@%ing car on fire. Assholes.

• SHOP! Adobe released a public beta of Photoshop CS3 that runs super-sweet on my Intel Macs, and the speed increase alone is worth the massively huge download. The problem is that Photoshop CS2 never gave me any problems other than running slowly. What I need is a public beta of Adobe Illustrator CS3, because that CS2 sucker crashes constantly, and there are dozens of little quirks that drive me insane on a daily basis. I don't know if the icon change is temporary or not but, even though it lacks imagination, it sure beats the shit out of the horrendous old icons.

• FLAT! My local grocery got in some pricey pizza-type frozen entrees by "American Flatbread" which are simply amazing. I've only ever found the "three cheese" version, and am dying to try the other varieties but, alas, they are nowhere to be found in the valley. This is the first time I have ever eaten a frozen "pizza" which didn't taste like it came from a freezer, making it well worth the cost. I highly recommend giving one a try if your local grocery should happen to have them in stock...

American Flatbread Pizza

• ZOOM! My Flickr Pro Account is running out and I am debating whether or not I want to renew it considering the good people at Zooomr will give bloggers a pro account for free. After all, if Zooomr is good enough for Thomas Hawk, a photographer I totally idolize, then surely it's good enough for me. My initial goofing around with the service has been good. There's only two negatives bothering me so far... 1) Logging in with OpenID is kind of clutzy because you aren't taken directly to your account, you instead get to muck about in the OpenID server and have to backtrack to get into Zooomr. 2) The interface is way cluttered compared to Flickr, and all that excess crap distracts from viewing the photos. That being said, the Zooomr community seems more closely-knit and active than Flickr. I uploaded just one photo and received five nice comments in barely any time at all. I suppose it doesn't hurt to nab my free account and figure it all out this weekend...

Great Wall Fog
Foggy Day on The Great Wall of China

• MARS! Season Three of the amazing Veronica Mars is now available for sale at the iTunes Music Store. This will come in handy since TiVo WON'T GET OFF THEIR F#@%ING ASSES AND RELEASE A F#@%ING MEDIA PLAYER FOR MACINTOSH! What f#@%ing asswipes. Oh well, when I am away from home and can't get American television, the iTunes Store is probably more convenient than trying to mess around with BitTorrent. Holy shit I hope that Apple is working on a TiVo-like solution so I can kick my f#@%ing TiVo bullshit to the curb once and for all.

   

Voice

Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2007

Dave!After a long day at work on a public holiday, I was looking forward to finally seeing Children of Men and going out to a nice dinner.

Unfortunately my favorite restaurant in Wenatchee (McGlinns) has, for some stupid-ass reason, decided to stop offering veggie burger substitutions on their burger menu. WTF?!? THEY'RE FROZEN!! How hard is it to keep a box of frozen veggie burgers in your freezer for those times you have vegetarian guests? Is that really too much to ask? Sheesh. It's inexplicable shit like this that causes me to abandon local haunts in favor of sanitized chains like Applebees. Hey, they may be a chain, but at least they don't f#@%-over their vegetarian clientele.

Children of Men

As for the movie... it was pretty freakin' amazing. I was blown away at some of the more shocking turns (of which there are several). It is now readily apparent why Children of Men is garnering such critical praise... it's relentless. And beautifully acted. And wonderfully shot. And skillfully directed. It's not a feel-good film by any means, but it is a film that will make you think. And feel. Just watching Children of Men is thoroughly exhausting, but in a good way. If you can handle the violence and a few meandering scenes, it's worth checking out.

Anyway, if you will now excuse me, I'm choosing to retire on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day by listening to a few of his speeches. So many of his words are as profoundly stirring today as they were when he spoke them, and I don't know whether I should be happy or sad about that. Happy, because it just goes to show that great words withstand the test of time. Sad, because if I were asked to name a "Martin Luther King Jr." for our day, I could not. Why is it that America's greatest voices all seem to come from the past?

Bleh. I'd feel a little less depressed about that if there was a new Veronica Mars on tomorrow night, but she doesn't return until the 23rd.

Categories: Food 2007, Movies 2007Click To It: Permalink  21 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Deadenbacher

Posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Dave!AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

So there I am innocently flicking through channels when I see Orville Redenbacher on television selling his popcorn. He's one freaky-looking guy, which would ordinarily be scary enough. But this commercial is particularly disturbing for one simple reason... HE'S F#@%ING DEAD!!

The only explanation I can come up with is that the people who make Orville Redenbacher popcorn read my Blogography entry where I don't want to eat a dead man's corn, and decided to revive him all zombie-like in a series of new commercials to get me to buy...

Dead Orville

The problem is that he was always kind of zombie-like while he was alive, so the computer-enhanced version is just downright terrifying. If they made a horror film staring Dead Orville, I would be too afraid to watch. "CORN OF THE DEAD!". they could call it...

Corn of the Dead!

But the commercial did make me hungry.

Here is my dinner menu tonight...

  • A can of Coke with Lime.
  • Two Eggo toaster waffles with extra butter and Mrs. Butterworth's maple syrup.
  • A Snack-Pack chocolate pudding.

Delicious! Pudding kicks ass.

But what I really want now is popcorn.

Unfortunately I'm out of popping corn, and it's too frackin' cold out to go buy more. Bummer.

Field of Dreams Pano

Here's another panorama photo I made using Adobe's super-sweet pano-stitcher tool in the PhotoShop CS3 beta. It's a shot of the "Field of Dreams" from my trip to Iowa. My previous efforts to stitch it together failed miserably, but Adobe's magical new software somehow managed to do a beautiful job...

At this size it's hard to tell but, even at high resolution, I can't find the seams. All pieces were warped and blended flawlessly. Bravo Adobe.

P.S. I HAD TOTALLY GUESSED THE IDENTITY OF THE MASKED WOMAN IN "UGLY BETTY!" I totally should write for television.

   

Bullet Sunday 14

Posted on Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Dave!It is 4:30am on a Sunday. Using my brilliant math skills, I calculate that this means I've had 4-1/2 hours of unrest. I want to go back to sleep, but figure I might as well write a few bullets for Bullet Sunday first.

• Pudding. The reason I woke up at 4:30am was so I could go to the bathroom. And grab a Snack-Pack pudding (because there's nothing better to do in bed that blog and eat Snack-Pack pudding*). But this is no ordinary Snack-Pack... it's NEW "SpooNibbles" Snack-Pack. Each little container of chocolate pudding comes with a vanilla cookie that you can use to eat with. When you are done eating the pudding, you eat the cookie "spoon." It's the single most brilliant invention since electricity. I once accidentally grabbed a plastic fork for my Snack-Pack, but didn't notice until I was ready to eat it. Thanks to "SpooNibbles" you can avoid horrific experiences like this. I think more foods should come with cookie stick spoons to eat with. I'd totally eat crap I didn't even like if I knew there was a cookie at the end. I might actually even eat a salad.

Dave Spoonibbles

• Dated. You know how there are people with whom your entire relationship is based on a mutual hatred? And I'm not talking about politicians and Hewlett Packard... I'm talking about real people with whom you regularly interact. I don't have too many of these heinous individuals in my life, so imagine my surprise when one of them asked me out. Like on a date. It was really strange, because I had always just assumed she loathed me as much as I have come to despise her. Yet there she was. I guess that I am so totally lovable that even mutual hate can't keep people away from me. Using my brilliant math skills, I calculate that it has been 6 months since my last date. This gives me serious pause to consider actually accepting. Fortunately, rational thought manages to somehow overcome raging hormones, and I decline by telling her "oh, sorry... I'm leaving the country." In retrospect, this sounds like a lame blow-off excuse, and I feel kind of bad about it. Even though it happens to be true.

• Veronica. I am receiving mixed signals about the fate of the best show on television: Veronica Mars. I received a flurry of emails telling me that Veronica had been cancelled in favor of a Pussycat Dolls reality show (where they will apparently be searching for a new Pussy). It sounded just typical enough of network television to be true, so I did some digging and found a statement saying that Veronica was just moving away from Tuesdays, and wasn't cancelled at all. This made even more sense, because previous statements had said Veronica was given a nearly-full-season order. But now I read an actual news story which says Veronica is taking a "breather" in favor of Pussycat Dolls after February sweeps, and will then return after with the final five non-serialized episodes of the season. This is not a cancelation notice, but it might as well be. CW network f#@%ers. How in the hell are people supposed to get into a show when you keep moving it and pre-empting it for shit? I mean, it's not like I am against the hot bitches of Pussycat Dolls having a television show, but to pre-empt Veronica Mars for this crap? Seriously?

• Bedridden. It's 5:30am now. After three bullet-points and a half-hour of blog surfing I am going back to bed, where I fully expect that I will lay awake staring at the ceiling until it's time to go to work. My life sucks that way.

• Uh huh. It's now 7:30am. Just as I expected, I didn't get any additional sleep. Instead I thought about how happy I would be if the Pussycat Dolls were to die in a fiery plane crash and the idiots at CW Network had no choice but to order additional episodes of Veronica Mars to fill the sudden gap in their scheduling plans. I then thought of how I would be even happier if the Pussycat Dolls were to crash their plane into Hewlett Packard so they BOTH perish in a big ball of fiery death. The fact that I am wishing death upon my enemies usually has me sleeping like a baby, but not today. Hmmm... what if Jared the Subway Sandwich Whore was visiting Hewlett Packard when the Pussycat Dolls' plane crashed into it? Bitter tragedy or poetic justice?

• Madness. In addition to Barack Obama's book, I'll also be taking my Absolutely MAD: 50+ Years of Mad Magazine DVD-ROM. I already have some comics on DVD, and was pretty happy when I found out MAD was getting a similar treatment. The first issue I was exposed to was the "Star Wars Musical" issue from 1978. I then became an addict, buying all the MAD books and magazines I could afford until Don Martin left the publication in 1987. With Prohias already gone, it just felt like time. Re-living "my" MAD's glory years and being able to see most everything that happened before and after for only $40 is pretty cool...

Mad Musical

Mad Musical

• Hands. Yesterday while washing my hands in Quizno's bathroom, I saw one of those signs that said "EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS BEFORE RETURNING TO WORK! - LOS EMLEADOS DEBEN LAVAR LAS MANOS ANTES DE VOLVER AL TRABAJO!" "No shit!" I said to myself. Then I laughed, because that's the whole point.

Bah! Time to go to work...

* Actually, there are plenty of things better to do in bed than eat Snack-Pack pudding and blog, it's just that it's been so long since I've done anything else there that I forget what they are.

   

Day Two: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Dave!Bullet Point Sunday will have to wait (Bullet Point Monday?) because there's important stuff going on!

Every year Cologne hosts one of the largest candy shows on the face of the planet (called "ISM") which is a fascinating place to spend a day. There's hundreds of candy makers from around the world showing their latest creations and tempting you with handfuls of free samples. Some of the candies are deliciously familiar... others not so much.

My favorite candies are those that are just bizarre... either by concept or creation. There's candy made from insects. There's candy made from vegetables. There's candy made from gold (yes, real gold!). There's even candy that's made from Jack Daniels!

The show is so massive that I could spend an entire week blogging about it. Since my attention span is quite short, I'll just show a few highlights instead...

ISM Cologne

It's not just the candy that's sweet at the show... it's the samples. High-end chocolates that would cost you major bank to buy can be sampled free! Even better, they are often served up by total babes. There's not many things better than having beautiful women give you candy all day long. Sadly, there are people who really take advantage of this. The worst are those that bring a roller-suitcase, and grab handful after handful at every booth, stuffing their suitcase to overflowing without ever intending to buy anything.

ISM Cologne

Some of the major manufacturers have large booths that range from extravagant to clever. Fisherman's Friend (the throat lozenge guys) built a ship in the middle of their space that was way cool (they are also handing out colorful bags to everybody, which is really smart... their name is everywhere here now).

ISM Cologne

First you find candy that says "hello" to you, then you turn a corner and see candy giving you the finger.

ISM Cologne

Chocolate is, of course, everywhere. One booth hired a guy to carve statues out of chocolate. Another booth built a chocolate waterfall. One booth even has a chocolate volcano. Except there's a guy out front telling everybody "no pictures! no pictures!" To which I can only say WTF? I mean, why are you here if you aren't wanting people to get excited about your company? I took a picture anyway because I thought this was pretty stupid but, since they don't seem to want the publicity, I deleted it once I got back to my hotel.

ISM Cologne

Candy for Bad Monkey! Banana candy isn't seen much in the USA, but it seems to be popping up everywhere else. I found some chocolate-covered banana marshmallows that were tasty (even if they do look like little turds).

ISM Cologne

Some candy is just strange. I saw some "Russian Roulette" candy which featured a box filled with a bunch of delicious flavors... and one "bad" flavor. Since the candies aren't marked, you are literally playing Russian Roulette with the candy "bullets"... trying to avoid the piece that tastes like crap. And of course there was ass candy. You can't have a candy show without ass-pops.

ISM Cologne

Familiar faces show up from time to time... Hello Kitty is everywhere. Other characters are not so familiar (and kind of odd)... like Trolli's "Glotzer" gummy eye-ball guy (who I think is pretty nifty).

ISM Cologne

I thought this company had the right attitude. And cool packaging with their little "Munchy" guys.

ISM Cologne

Haribo had a kind of fashion show going on, where mannequins were dressed up in costumes made from their packaging. It's hard to see in this photo, but those are gold Gummi-Worm packages, and she has the candy worms in her hair. Awesome! I was rather shocked when Sexual Harassment Panda showed up... only to learn that it wasn't Sexual Harassment Panda after all... these guys are mascots for Panda licorice, which is a candy company in Finland.

ISM Cologne

EXTERMINATE! EX-TER-MIN-ATE! Apparently the Daleks have their own candy. I'm afraid to eat it though, because it could be just another plan to conquer the universe. And speaking of universal domination, the Haribo kid kind of looks like me. But he hangs out with a friendly giant golden bear instead of a bad-ass Bad Monkey, so I think Lil' Dave could take him in a fight.

And now, if you'll excuse me, some of the Belgian booths are cooking up fresh waffles(!) for sampling, and I mean to get me some. Then it's off to Scotland, because I loves me the Walker's Shortbread.

I sure hope I don't end up with a stomach ache tonight...

Categories: Food 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

F#@%INGCOCACOLABASTARDS!

Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Dave!I just knew that no good could come from installing Microsoft Windows Vista. It has set off a chain of events that will certainly lead to catastrophic death and destruction for the entire planet.

And the reason I know this is true is because I just got off the phone with the Coca-Cola bottling company of Northern California to verify that Coke with Lime has been discontinued here on the West Coast. You can still buy the diet shit, but the regular stuff is no longer available.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

F#@%ING COCA-COLA BASTARDS!! Get people addicted to your shit, then take it away! I hate it when that happens!

Dave Fuck

Why, it seems like just yesterday that I discovered the joys of Coke with Lime...

Dave's Coke with Lime

And Mooselet led me to discover the sweet asses of the Coke with Lime Girls...

Coke with Lime Girls

And I found out just how much better life is with a little lime in it...

Dave with Lime

Now that it's gone, I hope that I don't end up selling myself on the street for a taste of that sweet, oh so sweet, nectar of the gods...

Will have sex for Coke

I'm probably going to have to start smoking crack now in order to ween myself off of my Coke with Lime habit. Thanks a lot Coke f#@%ers! Crack is expensive, and I've got bills to pay!

Crap! I can only guess that my installing Microsoft Windows Vista will cause Golden Oreos to be discontinued next. Followed by U-NO candy bars. And those Cottonelle pre-moistened ass-wipes I like so much (wiping my ass will never be fun again!).

I WILL AVENGE YOU MY COKE WITH LIME!!

Clearly, Microsoft must be destroyed.

Oh great, I just got a call telling me that there is a safety recall notice for my motorcycle.

WTF?? I wonder what's going to happen next?

UPDATE: Well I guess I got my answer... Anna Nicole Smith DEAD after staying at my beloved Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Categories: DaveLife 2007, Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  47 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Miracle

Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2007

Dave!I am a total mayonnaise whore.

I will put mayo on anything. I heap it on French fries. I pour it on sandwiches. I drench my potato salad. I cover my vegetables. Whatever. Sometimes I think the only reason that I eat veggie burgers is so that I have an excuse to dump obscene amounts of mayonnaise on them. I'd probably eat it straight out of the jar if I wouldn't die from the massive amount of fat it would introduce into my system.

The only thing I don't eat mayonnaise on is a VBLTCC. Whenever I eat a VBLTCC (Veggie Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Cheddar Cheese sandwich on toast) I use Miracle Whip. Don't ask me why.

Because I use Miracle Whip so rarely, a small jar lasts me a very long time. The stuff usually expires before I have a chance to eat it all up. When my previous jar of Miracle Whip expired, I bought a new jar and found that it wasn't the same... it kind of soaked into the toast or something. I figured it was probably just a bad jar, but didn't toss it out since I don't use it very often. Well, that jar recently expired, so I purchased a new one. Then today I go to make myself a VBLTCC and find out my new Miracle Whip also melts into the toast and sucks ass. Refusing to believe that I got yet another bad jar, I decided to Google it...

And found out that the Miracle Whip dumbasses changed their recipe.

The primary ingredient is no longer oil, it's water. WATER!!

WTF?!? No wonder the crap falls apart and soaks into my toast, IT'S BECAUSE THE SHIT IS MADE OUT OF WATER!! How incredibly stupid. If they want to cut corners to save money, that's fine... but call it something other than Miracle Whip, BECAUSE IT'S NOT MIRACLE WHIP ANYMORE!

This kind of idiotic crap drives me insane. Did they learn nothing from the "New Coke" fiasco?" Oh well, the original REAL Miracle Whip recipe is available at Top Secret Recipes (for free!), so I guess I'll have to start making my own.

Miracle Whip bastards.

Categories: Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  38 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 23

Posted on Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday and I'm another year closer to death!

• Thanks! Well, shucks. Thanks to everybody who was nice enough to leave birthday comments. Thanks to everybody who sent birthday emails and eCards. Thanks to everybody who called and sent birthday text messages. Thanks to everybody who sent me birthday presents and cards. Thanks to everybody who wrote birthday wishes to me in their blog entries. I am so very grateful to everybody, and am most pleased that I seem to have fooled so many people into thinking that I am somehow deserving of such kindness and generosity.

• Behind. The bad thing about goofing off all weekend is that you get behind on email and blog reading. The bad thing about drinking all weekend is that you have no desire whatsoever to get caught up on your email and blog reading once you get back home...

Email Unread

• Panera. Living in a smaller city is kind of sad in that your dining choices are so limited. As an example, there is no place to get Indian food in the entire valley. We have fifty Mexican restaurants, but not one Indian restaurant. We are getting a bit lucky that some of the better chains are making their way to Wenatchee... there's an Applebees and a Red Robin here now (in addition to all the usual fast-food shops). But there are restaurants I really like which have not yet arrived. I'd kill for a Johnny Rockets. I'd love a Chili's. And then there's IHOP, Olive Garden, and TGI Friday's, all of which I would enjoy as dining options. But my latest obsession is Panera Bread. This weekend I was able to eat at their Alderwood location, and had one of the best sandwiches ever... the Panera Mediterranean Veggie which is described as "zesty piquant peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro hummus on our Tomato Basil bread" (I hold the cucumbers). To say it was "delicious" is an understatement of massive proportions. Now I'm going to spend the next month craving another one. In some ways I dread the idea that Wenatchee will ever get these restaurants, because I'd probably weigh 500 pounds from eating at them all the time.

• Manning. Who could have guessed that Peyton Manning would be so good hosting Saturday Night Live? I just wish that they would give the President Bush impersonations back to Will Forte (instead of Jason Sedakis). It's not that Sedakis is bad, it's just that Forte offers a more sympathetic blundering to his parodies which I find funnier...

Will Forte as Bush
Photos swiped from WillForte.net

• Done. Argh. I was going to write more bullets about being gifted the latest iTunes episode of Lost, running across somebody whom I thought was dead, planning my first real vacation in 10 years, finding $40 I didn't know I had lost (in a very unlikely place), why aquamarine is a crappy birthstone to have, and a meme about magazines, but it's 11:55pm and five minutes isn't enough time to do any of that. So I guess it will all have to wait for another time. Though I have about 120 blogs to read and 211 emails to look at, so I have no idea when that might be. Probably never. I need to hire a blog ghostwriter or something.

   

Fellow

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Dave!Finally. Finally the praise and recognition I so richly deserve has started to come my way. It may have taken a bit longer than I expected, but my plan for world domination has been set in motion at long last. As more and more people celebrate my greatness, my influence will grow and my destiny to rule the earth will finally be realized.

Today I was bestowed the great privilege of becoming a "Paul Harris Fellow" by the local chapter of Rotary International. It was awarded me in recognition of service to Rotary and the local community, which is a real honor. I got a medal and a certificate and everything...

Davepaulharrisfellow

I'm thinking I'm just going to wear my medal constantly so everybody will know how great I am. It's not like I do things for the community to win prizes and get medals but, so long as they're giving me one, I might as well take advantage of it.

To celebrate, I went to dinner with my mom at Applebee's.

I had the Tuscan Cheese Spread appetizer as an entree, which tasted so good it was like a full-body massage, complete with a happy ending...

Tuscancheesespread

You get grilled ciabatta bread slices that you top with warm, gooey Italian cheese and a tomato-garlic salad. It's pretty amazing, especially if you like garlic. I wanted very much to spread it all over my waitress and have a party, but I try not to do inappropriate things like this when my mother's around.

I guess I'll have to save that idea for another time.

I wonder if you face jail-time for spreading hot cheese on a waitress?

I suppose it all depends on how big a tip you have leave.

And if you're wearing a medal or not, of course.

Categories: DaveLife 2007, Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  27 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 26

Posted on Sunday, April 15th, 2007

Dave!I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm irritable. And it's time for Bullet Sunday!

• Driven. You're driving back from the Seattle over the mountain pass with your iPod set on shuffle and piped into the stereo. Suddenly the rain stops and the sun starts to come out. Everything is fresh and green and the air smells as if the world is brand new. Then Etta James' beautiful voice comes over the speakers singing At Last, and suddenly you realize that you're glad to be alive. For a few minutes anyway. Then some moron pulls in front of you going 10 mph under the speed limit and you're stuck behind them for 20 minutes wanting crash into their stupid ass... not even caring if you survive, just so long as they die in a ball of fire. Isn't it strange how life can turn on a dime like that?

• Panera. I took a photo of my most favorite sandwich at Panera Bread yesterday. Behold the glory that is The Mediterranean...

Panera Bread

I wish I had another one right now, because the only thing I have to eat here at home is chocolate pudding.

• Leopard. Apple announced that the next version of OS X, code-name Leopard, has been delayed four months, moving to an October release date. This is a bit of a shame, but better late than Vista. At least I'll have my iPhone to keep me occupied come summertime...

Daveleopard

• Repaired. Finally scraped the money together to have Saturn repair all the damage that Midas did to my car when they "fixed" it last. Sure I'm poor now, but at least I don't have to stare at that stupid "Service Engine Soon" light anymore. Not having my car backfire when I turn the engine off is pretty sweet too. If only Saturn would have installed rocket launchers and a flame-thrower, the ride home wouldn't have been quite so bad.

Now it's time for dinner. Looks like it's going to be chocolate pudding and a can of 7-Up tonight.

   

Denny’s

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Dave!This morning I woke up craving Spaghetti. And not just any spaghetti, but the crappy Chef Boyardee spaghetti that comes in a can. Never one to deny myself anything, I found some in the back of my cupboard and heated it up. But canned spaghetti seems kind of weird and squishy to be having for breakfast, so I dumped some corn flakes on top and it was all good.

The problem is that I didn't eat enough of it, and was still hungry as I was heading out the door to visit my dentist for a teeth cleaning. Since I had already brushed my teeth, I didn't want to eat any Chef Boyardee leftovers for fear of having spaghetti-breath. So instead decided to have a lime popsicle.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I immediately realized my mistake when I pulled up to the dentist office and looked in my rear-view mirror to make sure I didn't have anything stuck in my teeth...

Dave's Green Tongue

Well fuck.

Can't... catch... a... break...

Faced with the embarrassing prospect of having my dentist see me with a bright green tongue, I search for anything I could use to wipe it off. I started with a few napkins I had in the glovebox... moved on to some tissues I found in my side-pocket... then ultimately ended up scraping my tongue with a Swiffer Duster I found under the seat.

A lot of the toxic color came off my tongue, but I still had a nice green cast as I walked through the door.

I'm fairly certain both my hygienist and dentist think that I am completely insane now, despite not having said anything about my freakishly green tongue... but what else is new?

Still unsatisfied after Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and a lime popsicle, I decided to drop by Denny's for some kind of brunch-type meal. If you've never been, I can tell you that nothing makes you appreciate getting older than eating at Denny's at 10:30 in the morning. The place was crawling with the elderly, and I'm guessing the median age must have been at least 85 years old.

It was the most entertaining meal I've had in ages.

These crotchety old people bitch about everything. They fight about everything. They get away with everything.

Take the couple sitting behind me...

OLD MAN: I want bacon!
OLD WOMAN: You like the pancakes! Order the pancakes!
OLD MAN: I WANT BACON OR HAM, DAMMIT!
OLD WOMAN: THEN ORDER YOUR DAMN BACON, BUT YOU'LL NEVER EAT IT!
OLD MAN: I'M HUNGRY AND I'LL EAT IT!
OLD WOMAN: No you won't.
OLD MAN: YES I WILL EAT IT, AND I'M ORDERING IT!!
OLD WOMAN: Then get the Grand Slam, you get bacon with your pancakes.
OLD MAN: I'm going to get the Slim Slam so I can get some eggs.
OLD WOMAN: BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR PANCAKES?!? YOU DON'T GET PANCAKES WITH A SLIM SLAM!
OLD MAN: YES YOU DO GET PANCAKES!! IT SAYS SO RIGHT ON THE MENU, DAMMIT!
WAITRESS: Hello there! Have you decided what you'd like to have?
OLD MAN: I WANT THE SLIM SLAM WITH SCRAMBLED EGGS, HAM, AND STRAWBERRIES ON MY PANCAKES!!!
WAITRESS: Errr... okay. And for you ma'am?
OLD WOMAN: Oh! I don't know what I want yet!
OLD MAN: HAH!! YOU WERE SO WORRIED ABOUT WHAT I WAS GOING TO ORDER WHEN YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE!! STUPID WOMAN!
OLD WOMAN: OH SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
WAITRESS: Why don't I give you a few more minutes...
OLD MAN: BUT I WANT MY HAM!!

People dread getting older. They fight the aging process every chance they get. I'm just the opposite. I so totally can't wait to get old so I can act like a spoiled two-year-old in public without having to worry about what people are going to think. Once I turn 85, I'm not going to give a fuck about anything... A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I'm going to do whatever the hell I want whenever the hell I want to do it.

Which is pretty much how I am right now, but I'm betting I won't feel nearly as guilty about it.

Categories: DaveLife 2007, Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  29 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sandwich

Posted on Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Dave!Today's entry has been rated R by the Blogography Review Board for verbal violence, mature themes, and massive use of profanity. Text contained within may be upsetting to younger readers, persons with heart conditions, pregnant or expectant mothers, overly religious nut-jobs (this means you Pat Robertson!), dumbasses incapable of comprehending satire or parody, those with an IQ under 80 (including idiots, morons, stupid-heads, imbeciles, dunces, dimwits, dorks, chowder heads, or raging dumbasses), fans of the television show 7th Heaven, and all those people who are already offended by my blog (but read it ever day anyway)...

Rated R

Do not proceed if you fall into any of the above categories. And, if you should choose to proceed anyway, don't even think about sending me an email or leaving a comment telling me how much you hate me and my blog. Because after I've gone to all this trouble to warn you about the atrocities within, that would just make you a major douche.

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Categories: Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  43 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Stage

Posted on Monday, July 9th, 2007

Dave!I'm in a New York state of mind.

On my first trip to New York City, I had a laundry list of crap that simply had to be done... Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Hard Rock Cafe, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, The New York Public Library, Museum of Modern Art, Times Square... and a dozen other essential tourist haunts that first-time visitors to NYC are obligated to visit. Every morning I would get up and rush around the city trying to see as much as possible before my trip was over.

The last thing on my list was to eat at the Stage Deli. This New York City institution is famous for serving insanely big sandwiches. Seriously insanely big. These things are at least six-inches tall...

Stage Deli Sandwich

And so on the last night of the last day I walked a block behind my hotel (The Hilton) to 7th Avenue and dinner at the Stage Deli.

Where I proceeded to have one of the worst sandwiches I've ever eaten.

But I don't blame the Stage Deli. I blame myself.

It was my fault because I went there and ordered a "cheese sandwich" off the menu which, as you might guess, ended up being nothing more than a bazillion slices of American on bread. It was much like sitting down and eating a brick of cheese. And as much as I like cheese, that's just too much to take. But that's what I get for ordering something off the menu that doesn't work for how they build sandwiches. They gave me exactly what I had asked for because I wasn't thinking, so who else could I really blame except myself?

Which is why I tend to get a little upset when I do a job exactly how somebody tells me to, only to have them turn around and blame me because they don't like the result. But it happens quite often in my line of work, so I tend not to go ballistic when it happens.

Except when I'm donating my time and working for free.

Today I had somebody bitch at me because a logo I made for a charity event had too much yellow in it.

It was a drawing of a ring of stars circling a moon, which is exactly what they had asked for.

So I re-colored it with a variety different star and background color combinations, only to have them get upset because it looked "wrong" that way. At this point they told me that they had a couple of NEW ideas for a DIFFERENT logo since I was having trouble with their "vision." Biting my tongue, I apologized and explained that I am very, very busy this time of year and didn't have time to start all over. They grabbed the work I had done, gave me a terse "thanks" (as in "THANKS FOR NOTHING!") and stomped off.

And then tonight I get a call from a friend who overheard the event organizer bad-mouthing me because I promised to make them a logo and then bailed on them.

Typical.

Categories: Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  37 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Unlikely

Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2007

Dave!The big news in Western Washington today is that Seattle's King County Board of Health has mandated that chain restaurants with 10 or more locations must post nutritional labeling on their menus and eliminate trans fats. This is all done under the pretense of improving health and fighting obesity, but is so monumentally stupid that I can't help but wonder if anybody on the Board of Health has a grip on reality.

Banning the trans-fats I get. Trans-fats are evil and should be destroyed.

But being forced to put calorie, fat, sodium and carbohydrate information on your menu in full-size type? Did anybody bother to think this through? Ordering at a fast-food restaurant can already be a confusing, time consuming task to many people... what happens when the menu board has to be twice as big to accommodate all this extra shit? Does anybody really need to be told that a veggie salad with lite dressing is a more healthful meal than a triple hamburger loaded with cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise? Is this really going to come as a huge revelation once the menus have changed? When Taco bell alters their menus, are people going to die of shock that deep-fried dishes covered in sour cream and cheese have fat in them? Really? People can claim ignorance, but is that an excuse to punish the restaurants?

I mean, seriously, look around. Food manufacturers have already spent billions of dollars updating their product packaging with Nutrition Facts (twice!), yet medical cases of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease show no sign of slowing down. If people won't take the time to study nutrition intake while they are eating at home, why should anybody expect that they'll bother to take the time while at the McDonalds drive-up? This is yet another case of trying to crack an egg with a sledgehammer, burdening companies with major expenses to initiate changes that will have little (if any) effect.

Do I think restaurants should be required to provide nutritional information to their customers?

Absolutely yes.

I think it is perfectly reasonable that consumers be informed as to what they are eating. As a vegetarian, this is something I can appreciate. Not only should customers have access to nutritional information at a restaurant, but a complete list of ingredients as well.

But let's be realistic here.

There's no reason that restaurants can't hand over a brochure or pamphlet with this information for those who request it. Why force everybody to change their menus and reader boards? This is not only impractical, but a very dangerous precedent as well. If people don't care enough to take an interest in their own health and can't be bothered to ASK for nutritional information of their own free will when they need it, then too damn bad. I am tired of government deciding I am too f#@%ing stupid to figure out for myself what constitutes a proper diet. So long as the information is made available upon request, demanding a restaurant to go through all this extra expense is grossly unfair.

I say that if restaurants are required to deface their menus with this shit, that EVERY F#@%ING TIME politicians and local government officials appear in media... from newspapers and television appearances to personal correspondence and an election ballot... that their salary should be listed after their name. Knowing how much money these power-abusive idiots make to come up with this stupid crap is information that could really make a difference.

Categories: Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Piggie

Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Dave!Oh yes.

And It's just a frakkin' cool as I knew it would be...


Dave's New iPhone

Amazing how handy it is to have Google Maps and the entire internet with me everywhere. I find myself turning to iPhone constantly, and I've only had it one day. Heaven only knows what my life will be like once its been fully integrated. Sure AT&T's EDGE network is painfully slow, but do I really care when I'm out in the middle of nowhere and need driving directions? To get un-lost, I'm happy to wait a minute for a map.

What really gets me is how great this is for a version 1.0 product, and I can't fathom what cool stuff Apple will be adding in the next update. iPhone is an incredibly functional and useful tool that's a joy to use. And, get this... the phone quality is not sacrificed... calls are SO much nicer than with my old P.O.S. mobile phone. Now that I have iPhone, I can't imagine going back to anything else.

Side note: Dave's wish list for iPhone 2.0: GPS functionality that integrates with Google Maps. Automated voice dialing.

Anyway, on my way back from work, I passed through Thomaston, Georgia, and couldn't resist stopping at the local Piggie Park drive-in for a grilled cheese sandwich and some fries...

Piggie Park!

My sandwich was a very reasonable $1.35!! I can't remember the last time I paid under $2.00 for a sandwich...

Piggie Park!

The place has been around since 1950, and is very popular. Even at 2:00, the place had a steady stream of customers. At the lunch hour it must be over-run...

Piggie Park!

And from the "totally tasteless but funny department," I saw this sign for a mailing service today...

Goin' Postal

Tonight will be my first night in four days where I'll actually have time to get some decent sleep. Needless to say, I am looking forward to that. The only thing that worries me is the impending thunderstorms which iPhone says are due to hit both Georgia and Wisconsin for the next couple days. I wonder what the odds are that I'm going to be stuck in Atlanta? Given my luck, the airport will be completely destroyed.

Oh well. It's not like I'll care... I'VE GOT MY iPHONE, bitches!

Lil' Dave Jump and Shout

   

Bullet Sunday 45

Posted on Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday back at home, as I return from a week of fun and excitement in the Mid-West. Well, at least ONE day was fun and exciting... most of the rest was nothing but hard work and sleepless nights. Right now I'm exhausted and feeling thoroughly worn out, which is why I'll be off to bed directly after finishing up this entry.

• Davecago2... Nothing makes me happier than adding people to my "Bloggers I've Met" list that's growing ever-longer in my sidebar. So, in addition to Ariana, Diane & Evan, Gary, Jenny, Kevin, RW, Mrs. RW, this year's Chicago Meet-Up happily allowed me to add three new bloggers to the list...

  • Ajooja: Formerly the author of two blogs I've really enjoyed, it was great to finally meet Ajooja at long last. On top of being a nice guy who is fun to hang out with, he's a fantastic writer who expresses himself with a sense of humor and humanity that makes reading his blog an intimate experience. So intimate that, much like Delmer and Tonya, I find myself rarely being able to comment on his entries... not because I don't have the time (my usual excuse)... but because I feel that adding a comment is almost like an intrusion into something that's already complete as it's been written. I've been a fan of Ajooja since the very beginning, but anybody who's new to his blog should do themselves a favor and dig into the archives, as there's absolute gold to be found there.
  • Ilax Studio: Probably one of the most hardcore bloggers I know of... mainly because she codes each entry in HTML by hand... I've been reading Kimberly's blog for over a year now. Even when she was living in Italy and my jealousy was near-maniacal. What impresses me most about Kim is not the fact that she's witty, charming, and can endure the pain of walking on shredded feet like a real trooper, but the fact that she would take time to meet with fellow bloggers when she's getting married in a week. Not only that, but she brought along her future-husband, which is kind of a risky proposition when you think about it... we bloggers are a strange lot, to be sure, and can be a scary experience for the uninitiated. But Steven handled it all like a champ, so many congratulations to you both!
  • A Little Bird Told Me...: Robin's writings are probably one of the smartest uses of a blog I've been lucky enough to find. She's blogging a collection of letters from the 1940's that spans ten years in the lives of ten brothers and sisters (including her grandmother). It's an utterly fascinating glimpse into the lives of a family scattered across the US, and has "...compiled an interesting family history that starts in the thick of World War II and continues on through post-war years and the new found prosperity following times of war rations. Through their eyes, we get to experience the advance of airline travel, something we absolutely take for granted these days." The fact that Robin is willing to share this amazing find with her readers makes "A Little Bird Told Me..." worth a visit (and it's best to start at the beginning now, while you're only a month behind!).

Excellent blogs, all of them.

And lastly, truly... from the bottom of my heart... thanks again to everybody who took time out of their weekend to come eat pizza and visit. Saturday meant a lot to me, and it's always an amazing feeling to connect with my fellow bloggers up-close and in-person. Hopefully we can do it all over again next year!

• Bob 'Maters... RW and Mrs. RW arrived at the festivities bearing gifts... in the form of two perfect garden-fresh tomatoes. I was then charged with the rather daunting task of getting them home in one piece and squished-free. The box I had for them was too small, so I ended up protecting them the best I could with T-shirts and books. Fortunately, airport security decided that they were not a liquid or gel, and they survived the trip in perfect shape. It was Mrs. RW who suggested a BLT sandwich so, after micro-waving some veggie bacon, lunch was served...

Bob Maters

Needless to say, my sandwich was totally delicious. Few culinary delights can compare to a garden-fresh tomato! Except chocolate pudding. Or maybe chocolate cake. Or perhaps even ice cream. But yeah, a garden-fresh tomato is hard to beat.

• Pizano's... Choosing a pizza restaurant in Chicago is a tough thing to do, because there are so many good ones to pick from. For the most part, any pizzeria worth its salt will be able to get a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza right, as it's one of the city's signature dishes (I'm partial to Giordano's for deep-dish, but have had many great pies from many terrific Chi-Town restaurants). What's more difficult is finding a pizzeria that serves a good deep-dish AND a terrific thin-crust pizza. And for thin-crust, it's tough to beat the cracker-crispy "butter crust" from Pizano's. So many thin-crusts are boring and flavorless, but all that butter does wonders here...

Pizano's

If you're looking for good pizza in Chicago, you might want to give Pizano's a try.

And it's midnight. Time for sleep...

Categories: Food 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink  20 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Corn!

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2007

Dave!w00t!

It's that time of the year again... time for the Chelan County Fair!

Not that I really care about the fair itself anymore. I haven't gone out to the fair in years, because riding a Ferris Wheel and looking at giant vegetables and visiting animals that are being sold for slaughter isn't my thing. However, there is one thing that I do love about the fair...

CORN!

Dave Corn

The American Legion has a booth where they sell boiled ears of sweet corn that have been drenched in butter. All for the bargain price of just $1.00! All I have to do is find somebody I know that has a fair pass, then have them run to the Legion booth and buy me one.

It's pretty tasty.

Especially when you eat it with a delicious Veggie Corn Dog.

And a bag of popcorn.

And a tub of Snack-Pack Chocolate Pudding.

And a couple shots of Jägermeister.

And some Golden Oreos.

And some toasted bread with hummus and feta cheese.

Wah! I'm hungry!

Categories: Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  29 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Ketchup

Posted on Monday, September 10th, 2007

Dave!There I was this morning looking at the ingredient labels of all the food in my refrigerator and cupboards when it dawned on me... WAAAAAHH! I'M GONNA DIIIIIIEEE!

Last week while I was sick and didn't have an appetite, it was easy to be eating under my new diet. Juice and applesauce three times a day was okay by me. But now that I get hungry and actually want to eat, it's a frickin' impossibility. Everything I have contains the things I'm supposed to avoid while testing out my new medication. Of course, after researching these things a little bit, they look like stuff I should be avoiding anyway...

  • Hydrogenated Oil... Poison. Literally poison. This shit will kill you, and should be made illegal. Fortunately, many food manufacturers are getting rid of it, but eating out at a restaurant can be like having a hydrogenated oil bomb go off in you.
  • High Frustose Corn Syrup... The least-healthy sweetener there is, and it's in everything. Many researchers claim that it's high fructose corn syrup that's responsible for the obesity epidemic in the US.
  • Gluten... I thought problems with gluten were limited to people with celiac disease, but apparently eating too much gluten (wheat, rye, and barley) can rough-up your lower intestine even if you don't have it.
  • Dairy... I don't have to give up dairy, but I'm supposed to limit my intake of it. Dairy isn't exactly good for you, but the stuff is made far worse because of all the hormones they inject into cows, and pesticides in cow feed.

With nothing to eat, I went to the store and found out most of the food available is also filled with this crap. But eventually, after a lot of work shopping, I managed to find stuff I could eat (rice-almond bread with hummus and feta cheese... delicious!). But there's still a massive problem...

Dave Ketchup

KETCHUP!

I love ketchup and put it on half the stuff I eat. Having to stop eating it because it contains high fructose corn syrup is a crushing blow to my menu. So I used iPhone to see if there was a recipe for making my own ketchup on the internet, and there are dozens of them! So now I'm making my own ketchup, and all is good again.

Especially since I just read that My Boys has been renewed for a third season! Sweet!

UPDATE: GAAAAH! Speaking of My Boys, I just watched the season finale... AND IT'S A CLIFFHANGER? Why? Why would they do this? Who was on the plane? WAAAAAAAAHHH!

Categories: Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  20 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pee-Chee

Posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Dave!Today I was getting aggravated with the file folders I use to sort my projects because my stuff keeps falling out of them. Then, in a flash of nostalgia, I remembered the Pee-Chee folders from my school days and decided that they were the perfect solution. So off I went to the school supply section of the local drug store, only to find out they don't have them. No problem, I'll just order them from Staples. Except Staples doesn't have them. So then I look on Wikipedia to see if I remembered the name wrong or something, only to find out that they don't make Pee-Chees anymore!

WTF?!?

How old am I?

Apparently, really old. High school was 23 years ago, and somewhere in that massive span of time they stopped making Pee-Chees!

Pee Chee

What in the heck do school kids use to carry their papers now-a-days?

More importantly, what in the heck do they use to write cool graffiti on? When I was in school, everybody plastered their Pee-Chees with nifty stickers and decorated them using multi-color markers to write the names of their favorite bands and stuff. Mine was covered in cartoons I would draw when I was bored.

Which was most of the time.

Padma Lakshmi
Photo swiped from the always-excellent Maxim Magazine.

As I'm typing this, Padma Lakshmi is being her usual scorching-hot self on the latest episode of Top Chef. The big challenge this time is one of the coolest I've ever seen on the show... airplane food! I really like how this season they are being so creative in the challenges and toning down the stupid-ass drama that plagued last year. Of course, then they invite Anthony Bourdain to be a guest-judge, where he's his usual cheerful and supportive self. He must be a scream at parties.

For my dinner, I was a bit of a Top-Chef myself, making my own pizza sauce for the first time. I saved up all my dairy allowance for the day so I could make pizza on toasted rice flour bread. It was surprisingly tasty. I should totally be on Top Chef next season!

UPDATE: My Pee-Chee obsession drove me to Google searches where I've found others lamenting the passing of the Pee-Chee...

Blue Flavor says that MySpace is the Modern Day Pee-Chee.
A nice Evolution of the Pee-Chee is over at CreativePro.
Defective Yeti with a tale of Pee-Chee customization gone wrong.

Categories: DaveLife 2007, Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  50 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Candy!Candy!Candy!

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2007

Dave!The rest of my yesterday was uhhh... interesting. I've put it in an extended entry for anybody who wants to read what happens when you go off a restrictive diet and eat loads of fried foods.

Today I managed to spend some time at Chicago's All-Candy Expo. It's not as huge as the ISM show in Cologne Germany I attended in January, but it's still a pretty spectacular event if you like candies as much as I do. The coolest thing about the show is seeing the new stuff companies are coming out with, and how candy technology keeps advancing.

Anyway... when you arrive at the show, you are greeted by M&M's!

M & M Guys!

This is kind of cool, but not as cool as visiting the M&M booth where they will draw a caricature of you as an M&M. And even that isn't as cool as visiting the super-sweet M&M race car...

M & M Racer!

I especially like the tail-end of the car...

M & M Racer!

Not to be outdone, Snickers also has a race car at the show. And so does JUICYFRUIT!...

JuicyFruit Racer

The All-Candy Expo is so big that it can be hard to decide where to start. I took a panorama of the show floor and it ended up being so big I couldn't fit it in a computer graphic, so I took three chunks of it and put them here. It's all candy, baby...

All-Candy Expo

Well, not ALL candy. There are other snack foods there too. I saw a lot of beef jerky. In fact... "you might be a redneck if you own your own beef jerky company"...

Jeff Foxworthy Jerky

And then I saw that Steve Irwin was back from the dead to endorse Crocodile Hunter Chocolates (I've already said how I feel about the deceased endorsing products)...

Croc Chocs!

Some of the stranger stuff I saw was CARROT GUM! Yes, seriously, carrot bubble gum...

Carrot Bubble Gum!

And Jesus Candy Canes ("Blessed is he who licks unto Him")...

Jesus Candy Canes

My most favorite new candy treat was GüdFüd's jelly or chocolate stuffed marshmallows. I can't eat them because I'm a vegetarian and they have gelatin in them, but they're probably the cutest candies ever...

GüdFüd!

GüdFüd!

GüdFüd!

And, of course, PEZ was there. Gotta love PEZ! This time I saw that they have FUZZY PEZ!!

Fuzzy PEZ!

There was also a kind of Pez imitator of some kind. I didn't quite understand how they worked, but I especially like the Human Torch dispenser because of his funky flame-hair...

Fantastic Candy

And, lastly, I bring you the Hello Kitty's Beauty Kit... filled with candy jewelry, candy makeup, and candy perfume...

Hello Kitty Beauty

Hey, heaven only knows that I never look more beautiful than when I'm covered in candy!

And that's just a tiny slice of all the amazing stuff I saw while cruising the aisles of the All-Candy Expo this afternoon. What a delicious way to spend your day.

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Categories: Food 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink  25 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pink’s!

Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2007

Dave!I finished with work around noon, and had made plans for lunch with the fabulous Suzy Soro from Hollywood: Where HOT Comes to Die! I figured she would be passed out from hunger in the 90 minutes it would take to drive across town and pick her up but, in what must have been a record of some kind, my driver managed to make the trip from LAX to the Hollywood Hills in under 40 minutes!

Once Suzy was on-board, we made our way to the Hollywood dining institution of Pink's for hot dogs...

Pinks!
The line never seems to drop below a 20-minute wait at Pinks any time of day.

Liz over at Everyday Goddess had told me that they served a veggie dog, and I was anxious to try it out...

Pink's Dogs
My Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog, Suzy's Chili Dog, and a Martha Stewart Dog for our driver.

After getting our driver his hot dog, we grabbed a table inside to eat. Then, as if by magic, I look up and there was Betty White! Well, not actually Betty White, but an autographed photo... right between Nelly and Eduardo Arroyuelo...

Betty White at Pink's
I love Betty! Betty White totally kicks ass!

My "Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog" was covered in really good guacamole, then smothered in chopped tomatoes & onions and tasted fantastic! I'm going to have to try making them myself when I get back home.

After lunch we went up to the Hollywood Walk of Fame so we could say hello to Catherine, then went star searching...

Khan!
KHAN! KHAN! KHAAAAAAAAN!

We also ran across this totally sweet puppy. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take home...

Hollywoodpuppy
Yeah, it doesn't get much cuter than that.

Once I had bought a crappy (and totally inaccurate) Star Map, our driver took us through Beverly Hills and down Rodeo Drive so we could see how the other half live and shop. From there Suzy and I decided to go down to Venice Beach, where the storm we've been expecting for two days was laying just off the coast. This made for some cold weather, but beautiful background scenery...

Venicebeach
More bars in more places... Cingular is now the new AT&T.

Suzybeach
The fabulous Ms. Soro at Venice Beach just before the rain.

Seagullvenicebeach
Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!

After being assaulted by every hip-hop hopeful in Los Angeles wanting us to listen to their music and buy their CD, it was time to head back. I only had the car until 6:00, and the horrendous Friday rush-hour traffic over to Hollywood and then back to LAX was going to tear through that like wet toilet paper.

And so here I am back at my hotel getting some more work done while trying to decide what I want for dinner.

I can't really decide, because all I really want is another Pink's veggie dog.

Categories: Food 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 49

Posted on Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday as I attempt to blog after a 3-hour nap out of the past 35 hours. My time in L.A. was all-too-short, but I got a lot packed into four days... with Saturday being so jam-packed with big fun that I just don't know what to do with myself.

• Lunch! Proving that there is life outside the blogosphere, I met up with a friend who doesn't have a blog (gasp!) for a tour through the geekier-side of Los Angeles' treasures... including two great comic book shops (Meltdown and Golden Apple) so I have a place to go for comics now that Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash West is closing up shop. We also went out for a pizza lunch to a place called Mozza where I was hoping to run into Betty White stopping by for a slice (since this IS a Hollywood hot-spot). Alas Betty wasn't there, so I had to make due with Madeline Stowe sitting next to me (who got up to leave after I sat down). Mozza has probably the best pizza crust I have ever eaten... so deliciously flaky that it's almost a pastry instead of bread. They also make one of the most beautiful pizzas ever...

Mozza Pizza
Gorgonzola dolce-fingerling potatoes-radicchio-rosemary pizza!

• Star! I had an hour to kill after lunch, so I hunted down Betty White's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame using the map that Suzy and I had bought yesterday. I am in absolutely no way a guy to get star-struck, and couldn't care less about seeing movie stars or famous people, but Betty White is the one exception (well... maybe I'd add Elizabeth Hurley and James Earl Jones to that list, but Betty is the only star who would probably make me crap myself if I were to ever meet her)...

Betty White's Star
I LOVE YOU BETTY! Betty White kicks ass.

• Lucky! The fabulous Dave L.A. event was taking place at the Lucky Strike Hollywood, which is a kind of nifty-cool boutique bowling center right next to the Kodak Theater...

Lucky Strike!
Feeling lucky, punk?

Once I got inside, I saw that SJ from Pseudotherapy had already arrived with her husband Bret, at which point I wanted to shoot myself, because I could have been visiting with them instead of wandering the streets of Hollywood killing time. SJ is one of the earliest supporters of Blogography (not to mention one of the sweetest people you will ever find), and this blog owes a great deal to her (and others like her from those early days) for being what it is today. To finally meet her in person after all these years is the type of thing that makes blogging all worthwhile...

Dave & SJ
Photo by Bret. I'm totally drunk and sweaty from bowling here... sorry SJ!

• Dinner! It was great to see some familiar faces at dinner... Liz from Everyday Goddess (whom I met back in 2005), Neil & Sophia from Citizen of the Month (whom I had met at TequilaCon earlier this year), and of course mah BFF Hilly-Sue from Snackie's World was there. And here's some other fabulous bloggers I met for the very first time that dropped by...

  • Amanda from Amandarin's Ordinary Extraordinary. The first entry I ever read at Ordinary Extraordinary was Silence from earlier this year. How could anybody not become a diehard Amanda-fan after reading such a poignant piece?
  • The Bombshell from Atomic Bombshell. One of the first blogs I ever read on a regular basis, meeting The Bombshell was an almost surreal experience. Charming on every possible level (not to mention a fellow Mac-whore!), she brought along The Ninja (who owes me another pirate joke).
  • Catherine from The Seventh Notebook. Catherine's a relatively new blogger, but fit into this group of veterans like a real pro. She's a fellow Washingtonian, so we had more than blogging in common.
  • Foo from Pink Bunny Foo Foo. Hilly's real BFF flew in for the party, and ended up totally humiliating me at the bowling alley with her mad bowling skilz. She made up for it by being the total sweetheart she is and driving my drunken ass back to my hotel. Loves me the Foo-Diddy.
  • Peggy from Totally Unauthorized. One of my favorite blogs of all time, Totally Unauthorized is absolute must-read material. As if having one awesome blog wasn't enough, Peggy also runs Abandoned Couches, which is the only RSS feed that's on my Mac's desktop... because no matter how terrible my day is, seeing Peggy's endless parade of forsaken furniture always brings a smile to my face.

• Photograph! I was so busy drinking and talking that I was forever forgetting to take pictures. Here's what few ended up on my camera...

Hilly and Foo
Foo reenacts my Salt & Pepper DuckyButton while Hilly looks on.

Catherine Bombshell Ninja
Catherine attempting to explain to The Bombshell how cool I am while The Ninja gives me his death-stare.

Hilly and Whit
Whit couldn't make it and asked us to bowl a game for him, but instead we had a round in his honor.

SJ
SJ has a professional camera, so she made fun of our little pocket models like this one.

• Bowl! Uhhhh... yeah. Much like an observation my friend made about the effects of alcohol on playing darts, a similar conclusion can be made about bowling. It's made much, much worse by the fact that I totally suck at bowling in the first place...

Drunken Bowling

Liz Bowler
Everyday Goddess Bowling!

• Homeward! By the time I had gotten back to the hotel and packed my suitcase, there was only three hours until I had to be at the airport, so I didn't even bother even trying to sleep. Instead I attempted to get some work done and whine to myself about how tired I was. As if fate were trying to ruin me, my flight out of Seattle was delayed "due to mechanical difficulties," robbing me of even more precious sleep. But here I am, home safe and sound after a fantastic week of fun and adventure, so I have no complaints.

And that wraps up another Bullet Sunday! Thanks to everybody who took time out of their busy lives over the past week to hang out with me. Hopefully we'll meet up again one day soon!

Categories: Food 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink  27 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Broiled

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Dave!My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. It's the only repast that I really try to eat regularly, and is easily my biggest meal of the day. I thought that this would change once I went on my restrictive diet (which I am starting again tomorrow) but it didn't. Even without toast, waffles, and cereal drenched in high-fructose corn syrup, I still love to eat each morning. The food may have changed, but my desire for breakfast is the same.

Except while traveling.

When I'm on the road, I rarely have time for breakfast, and always seem to end up in some fast food joint eating complete and total crap. Yesterday, for example, I was in a hurry and stopped at Burger King for a quick bite because it was convenient.

Note to self... STOP EATING AT BURGER KING!!

Their breakfast stuff is often stale, and is always... ALWAYS cold. This morning I had disgusting cold eggs with unmelted cheese on a stale "Croissandwich" that was practically inedible. What the hell? Isn't Burger King famous for flame-broiling shit? Why not put some of that heat on their crappy breakfast sandwiches?

I know what I'd like to flame broil...

Flame Broiled Burger King
With a twist of my ring, I flame-broil the Burger King!

I choked the disgusting Croissandwich down, because I was hungry, had no time to go anywhere else, and am accustomed to eating in the mornings. Then I was sick most of the day because the crap sat in my stomach like a rock.

And did I learn my lesson?

No.

This morning I wanted a frickin' breakfast burrito because I thought Qdoba would be open and serving them. But, unlike the SeaTac airport Qdoba which serves an awesome breakfast burrito, the Spokane location doesn't open for breakfast at all. Obsessing over getting my dang burrito, I decided to go to Sonic. I tried eating there once before, but "America's Drive-In" doesn't have any options for vegetarians (apparently, people who don't eat meat are un-American?). But I did remember they had a breakfast burrito, so off I went.

I had a "Super-Sonic Breakfast Burrito" without the sausage along with a Tropical Smoothee and a side of Tater Tots.

The eggs in my burrito were kind of nasty and browned. The Smoothee wasn't blended enough, so I couldn't even drink it because massive chunks of pineapple were sticking in the straw. The tater-tots were cold... and I'm not saying they were "not hot" they were actually cold. Yet another crappy breakfast that made me miserable the rest of the day (and driving 3 hours home in that state was not fun).

I'm hoping I've learned my lesson. From now on, if I don't have time to dine at a proper restaurant and eat a decent breakfast, I should just not eat. I'd much rather be hungry than sick.

Of course, I think we all know the odds of me actually remembering that I learned this lesson...

Categories: Food 2007, Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Restaurant!

Posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Dave!There's many disadvantages to living in a small town, but one of the biggest would have to be the lack of variety in restaurants. In the entire valley, there are only three restaurants that I eat at with any regularity... the rest either don't interest me, or have disappointed me badly enough that I don't want to go back.

Tonight the last thing I wanted to do was go shopping for groceries or pull something out of the freezer for dinner. I wanted to hop in the car and go out to eat. Problem is there was nothing that I felt was worth going out for, so I ended up eating frozen pizza. Again. And it sucked. Again.

It got me to thinking about the restaurant chains out there that I would love to have set-up shop locally...

  • BURGERS: Johnny Rockets. Oh how I love their "Streamliner" veggie burger with no grilled onions, no mustard, and add American cheese. I would eat there at least once a week... probably more... if there was a local franchise. Wenatchee has a Red Robin which I like, and a local drive-thru called "EZ Burger" that's great, but nothing compares to Johnny Rockets.
  • SANDWICHES: Panera Bread. Their Mediterranean Sandwich is heaven on earth, and I don't get to eat them nearly often enough. We have a Subways which I loathe because of their spokes-whore Jared, and a Quizno's which I am boycotting after they killed the veggie sandwich. I need me a Panera Bread!
  • MEXICAN: Qdoba. Their signature burritos are awesome and, though we have many decent Mexican restaurants around, I'd trade them all for a Qdoba just so I can get their veggie burrito.
  • PIZZA: David's Pizza. They make the best pizza on earth, and what I wouldn't give to be able to have a slice of "DaVinci" without having to drive over 3 hours to Spokane to get it. I'm counting this as a franchise because they opened up a second location at the city's Geiger Field Airport.
  • ITALIAN: Il Fornaio. I actually would have chosen Cucina! Cucina!, but the entire chain has been gutted until there's only one restaurant left in Issaqah, so I guess it's not a chain anymore. Il Fornaio probably wouldn't be able to survive in my area, but their Cappellacci di Zucca is freakin' amazing, so I'd have to choose them anyway. We do have one local Italian restaurant which is decent (and one that sucks total ass) but nothing really inspiring.
  • INDIAN: Maharaja. Actually, I'd settle for ANY Indian food but, alas, there isn't a single Indian restaurant in the entire valley. On top of that, I don't know of any Indian restaurant chains to pick from. The closest I can think of is a series of Maharaja Indian Cuisine restaurants in Seattle, so I guess that's my choice. They make an Eggplant Bharta that is orgasm-inducing good.

Gah! Now I'm hungry, even though I just ate.

Categories: Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shopping

Posted on Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Dave!As I have no doubt mentioned many times before, I loathe shopping and avoid it like the plague. If I need something, I'll visit a physical store only as a last resort, preferring to buy stuff on the internet whenever possible. Well, today it finally became unavoidable, and a shopping expedition into the nearby city of Wenatchee was required...

...on one of the worst days of the year to be doing so, the day before Thanksgiving (with the very worst day obviously being Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving).

Anyway, here's my shopping for the day...

Folding Door Runner: My closet door broked, so I had to buy a replacement piece at Home Depot. Just like every other time I've been here, trying to find anything in this massive store is nigh impossible when you can't get somebody to help you. After 15 minutes of getting nowhere, I finally turn to leave in disgust when some guy on his lunch break is walking through and tells me where to go. It was the wrong aisle, but eventually I DO find my runner. I'm off to a terrible start.

Pizza: I had a coupon for Papa Murphy's, so I dropped by to get a Cheese Pizza for dinner on Friday.

String Cheese: I went to Costco specifically to find these incredible Multigrain Tortilla Chips from FoodShouldTasteGood...

Multigrain Chips!

When I couldn't find the chips, I was determined not to leave empty-handed and ended up getting a 60-pack of string cheese. As much as I love string cheese, this will probably last me into February.

Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints: I may not celebrate Christmas, but I'm not about to pass up on delicious holiday treats because of it! Food Pavilion always has a nifty selection of seasonal sweets, so I dropped by and found new Crunchy Junior Mints. They aren't as crunchy as the packaging would have you believe (they need bigger pieces of candy on the top for that), but they're still killer good...

Crunchy Junior Mints

Black Bean Chipotle Gardenburgers: My favorite frozen veggie burger is the Black Bean Chipotle patties from Gardenburger. I love them. LOVE THEM!! Then two months ago I couldn't find them anymore. And I looked everywhere. I stopped at every grocery store I could find in every city I went to. Ultimately, I figured that they must have been discontinued (even though they're still listed on the Gardenburger site). On a whim, I decided to look at Food Pavilion after I got my crunchy mints. I nearly broke down in tears when I looked into the freezer case and saw them there staring back at me. I bought all ten boxes they had...

Black Bean Chipotle Gardenburger

Please, please, please tell me that these are not the last Black Bean Chipotle Gardenburgers on earth. My heart cannot take losing Coke with Lime AND my beloved burgers too. The bad news is that my freezer is now totally full. Beyond full. If I find anymore Black Bean Chipotle Gardenburgers, I won't be able to buy them until I eat some of the ones I already have. Or throw out the chocolate ice cream. What a dilemma that would be.

And that was all the shopping I could stand for the day. For the month, really.

Of course, there's only one thing worse than shopping during the holidays, and that would be traveling during the holidays. Knowing that I have not one, but two trips coming up makes me want to scream... then cry... then drink until I pass out.

Instead I'm going to write up a business proposal, sketch out some design concepts, answer my backlog of email, then go to bed.

Right after I eat some string cheese. One down, fifty-nine to go...

Categories: DaveLife 2007, Food 2007Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Panini!

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Dave!w00t!

Today my beautiful new "DeLonghi Retro" panini press arrived. It was a little more expensive than my budget, but it had an adjustable temperature control, which I really wanted. It would be a major bummer to shell out for a press that didn't cook hot enough to melt things properly... or was overly hot and burned the bread. Ensuring toasting perfection was worth the extra money...

Panini Press

My first sandwich? DEATH BY CHEESE!! It's my take on the "Ultimate Grilled Cheese" sold at Kathy Casey's "Dish D'Lish" restaurant at the SeaTac airport. To make it, you need country white bread (not too fresh... leave it out for a few hours), cheddar cheese, provolone cheese, and spreadable herb cream cheese, assembled as follows...

Death by Cheese Sandwich

Once it's all put together, I microwave it for 10 seconds to get the cheese in a more meltable state. After that, you just slap it on a panini press at medium temperature and wait until you hear the cheese running out and sizzling on the grill... wait another 20 seconds or so to make sure everything is thoroughly melted, and you're done! The cheese needs to be the consistency of molten lava. If it's not oozing out of the sandwich and scalding your hands, you've made it all wrong and will have to start over...

Dave's Cheese Sandwich

Now that I have my own panini press, I can experiment with ways to add more cheese to the sandwich. It's a difficult proposition, because too much cheese will cause the bread to start sliding around, making it impossible to eat without a spoon. I'm thinking the answer might lay in adding a third slice of bread, but worry it might slip out if not handled properly.

Ah well... I can dream, can't I?

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  29 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Eight: Köln

Posted on Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Dave!Oh my aching head.

Today I met up with my friends from Essen, who came down to visit with me and check out the Kölner Karneval (Cologne Carnival) festivities. Unfortunately, I am leaving tomorrow and won't get to see the big carnival climax with Rosenmontagzügen (Rose-Monday Parade), but there was still plenty going on.

After days of rain and overcast gloom, the party gods decided to smile upon Köln with blue skies, which was nice...

Cologne Cathedral

In preparation for the ensuing craziness of the carnival, businesses are boarding up their storefronts, which is not so nice...

Boarding-Up The Store

When I met my friends at the train station at 11:00am, their first order of business was getting a beer. Fortunately this was not a problem, because there are beer stands every ten feet. Stores that you wouldn't normally associate with selling beer have signs plastered all over their windows advertising it. I didn't check, but would not be surprised to find the LEGO store selling beer. Of course, since this is Köln, the drink of choice is Kölsch, which is a beer unique to the region (and which can only legally be named "Kölsch" if it's brewed here)...

Kölsch!

This is where the trouble started, and it was not because I was attacked by a group of transgender Viking warriors...

Transgender Viking Brigade

I made it very clear to my friends that I would not be getting drunk because I absolutely did not want to take an international flight with a hangover in the morning. My good "friend" Denis told me that I would not get drunk if I were to eat something with every beer I drank, then handed me a Kölsch. "This is good German beer! You will be fine!" he says.

And it was a good theory... at first.

I had Kölsch & a Spritzringe donut. Kölsch & a slice of corn pizza (don't ask). Kölsch & an ice cream cone. Kölsche & potatoes with mayo... WHICH, by the way, is about the most awesome food invention since chocolate pudding...

Mayo Potatoes
Yes, that's my room number written on my hand in case I forget!

But once you drink five Kölscheses, it doesn't matter how much food you've eaten... you're probably going to get drunk. After you've had six, it's guaranteed. Which is why I had seven. And so here I am, drunk at only 8:00pm, praying that I can sleep this off and not be miserable on the flight tomorrow...

Dave Scarf

Dave Scarf

You know I must be drunk, because I'm wearing a clown scarf. Except it's not really a clown scarf but instead the official scarf of the Kölner Karneval which Emma assures me looks totally hot. Though I don't think anybody noticed my new-found hotness, because the crowds were insanely huge...

Köln Street Party

Anyway, Denis tells me that I wouldn't be having this drunkenness problem if I were to stop with my vegetarian nonsense and would have eaten something from the Giant Flaming Wheel of Meat, because that's what he did and he's totally not drunk...

Giant Flaming Wheel of Meat

The very idea of it makes me want to puke, which is probably just what I need right now. And I never thought I'd be saying that about a Giant Flaming Wheel of Meat.

Thus ends my final day in Europe... and what a way to go. It's not every day you see a man in a purple mini skirt and pink bunny ears puking into a trash can while a woman dressed like a cat blows a big plastic horn at his head. Of course, I've never been to Mr. Fab's house, so I could be wrong about that.

Thanks to everybody for tagging along on my trip. Tomorrow we return to our regularly-scheduled blogging...

Categories: Food 2008, Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Broil

Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Dave!Rumor has it (from ex Disney-CEO Michael Eisner, no less) that the Hollywood writer's strike is all but over, and this Saturday will pretty much seal the deal once the writers themselves sign on.

I sure hope this is true, because I miss my television.

As I sit here typing this, the first episode of Survivor Season 16 has just ended (the only non-Bravo reality show I watch), and I am caught in the 9:00 void until Eli Stone starts at 10:00. And before everybody starts screaming "OH MY GAWD... YOU DON'T WATCH LOST?!?" The answer is no, I do not watch Lost. After a brilliant first season the show degenerated into total shit, where the writer's idea of being clever is to just keep piling on more "mysterious" crap while resolving nothing. Every time somebody tells me "But it's so much better now!" - I tune in and find out it's just more of the same... introduce even more new mysterious characters, pile on even more mysterious mysteries, and leave me even more mysteriously mystified at just how the fuck this show continues to be popular. Maybe once the whole thing is over and people tell me that the writers did, in fact, manage to wrap everything up in a satisfactory manner... I'll revisit the show on DVD or something. In the meanwhile, I'd rather watch reruns of Hannah Montanna.

In other entertainment news...

Today I got a brilliant email because of an entry where I posted this cartoon:

Flame Broiled Burger King
With a twist of my ring, I flame-broil the Burger King!

The email was not from a concerned parent about the excessive violence depicted at my flame-broiling Burger King (which is what usually happens)... it was from a fan of the restaurant chain who didn't like that I would publicize a bad experience I had there. "Millions of people enjoy eating at Burger King and it would be a shame if your complaining were to keep people from trying it for themselves."

So there you have it. Don't take my word for it... go to your local Burger King for breakfast and see for yourself just how bad it sucks!

Though, I have to add a disclaimer here: My problem with BK is only with their shitty breakfasts. I am compelled to give them credit for having the sack to put a veggie burger on their menu, which I actually quite enjoy. Until McDonalds sees fit to roll out their awesome McVeggie Deluxe burger nation-wide, the BK Veggie is about the only burger I can find most anywhere in the US that I can actually eat.

Sigh. I should have wrote more. There's still forty-five minutes until Eli Stone is on...

   

Cupcake

Posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Dave!DirecTV sent me a notice that my television channel package price was going to increase. Again.

The bastards.

It seems like they raise their prices every year. Or more. Tired of paying such a huge amount of money every month for something I find less and less entertaining, I was trying to figure out how I could switch to a smaller package and yet still get those few channels I really want.

But it's all terribly confusing, because the package I have now doesn't exist anymore, and I don't know how it compares to what they currently offer. And then there's my local channels which were not included in my old package, but seems to be included with the new packages? And my TiVo charge, which is for a device that's no longer really supported now that DirecTV has their own much shittier DVR service.

I have no frickin' clue how to make sense of DirecTV, and am pretty sure they do that intentionally.

Not knowing what else to do, I decided to cancel HBO so I could save money.

I made the cancellation online while, ironically, I was watching HBO. Much to my surprise, the television went to a black screen almost immediately after I had made the change. DirecTV doesn't mess around.

The bastards.

Here in Washington State, it's time for our presidential caucuses. I voted by mail a week ago, but it's only today that the results are starting to come in. Right now, it looks like Obama is going to take the Democratic slot easily, winning over twice the votes Hillary got.

But it's the Cupcake Caucus at Cupcake Royale that interests me most...

Caucus Cupcakes

Though MY vote would go to my beloved Kate, the best cupcake ever...

Cupcake Royale Kate

Oh great. Now I want a Kate but I can't have one because Cupcake Royale is closed.

And it's not like I can go get one even if they were open, because the mountain passes are also closed.

And I don't have the money for a plane ticket to Seattle because DirecTV is taking it all.

The bastards.

   

Quirky

Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Dave!Today I knocked off work early so I could run into Wenatchee and buy stuff to put in my care package for AnySoldier.com (I've written about this wonderful organization here). While shopping at Target for magazines and snacks, I was reminded that when you do good things, good things come back to you.

Because, OMG... HELLO KITTY GUMMIES!!

They taste totally awesome, even though I didn't get a pink My Melody Bunny in my bag (I would have preferred Kuromi anyway), and all my blue Kitty Bows were a nasty vomit-green color. The good news though? They go great with Little Debbie Chocolate Chip Snack Cakes, and would no doubt perfectly compliment Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts...

Kitty Gummies!

Awww, isn't that sweet?!?

UPDATE: Boy was I wrong... Hello Kitty Gummies, as manufactured by Kelloggs, contains DISGUSTING GELATIN as an ingredient. Why the hell they feel the need to put such unnecessary shit in their product is a mystery to me when alternatives like citrus pectin are available. Shame! SHAME ON KELLOGGS! And shame on me for trusting them and not reading the ingredients.

A meme bopping through the internets anew is the SIX QUIRKY THINGS ABOUT YOU meme. You're supposed to post rules and tag everybody and stuff, but I never really play by the rules and loathe tagging people. So I'm just going to post my quirks and be done with it...

  1. I don't drink coffee. Given my proximity to Seattle, many people think this is the quirkiest thing about me.
  2. I hate train whistles to the point of insanity. I live in a small town that has a train running right through the middle. Since there are two road crossings, one at each end of town, there is no place in the city that you can't hear the f#@%ing train whistle every time they blow through town. I have to listen to train whistles all day at work and all night at home and it drives me nuts. Even when I am riding a train, every time the whistle blows I want to beat something with a hammer.
  3. I'll go anywhere on earth at a moment's notice if the mood strikes me. As an example, I once flew to Denmark just to attend a friend's 30th birthday party. Two full days of travel for just 9 hours in Copenhagen that I booked the day before I left. This seems perfectly natural to me, but I can see how people might think this kind of thing is "quirky" behavior.
  4. I watch The View. Well, to be more accurate, I fast-forward through The View each night. It all started when Bill O'Reilly was on while Rosie O'Donnell was still hosting and I was compelled to watch. It's been stuck on my TiVo ever since. But the reason I still watch it is because these bitches are crazy. Barbara Walters and Sheri Shepherd are particularly bat-ass insane, which has high entertainment value. Whoopi is always smart entertainment whenever she plays herself. Joy Behar represents the Liberal end of the spectrum with insightful commentary that communicates her opinions with humor and wit. Unfortunately her counterpart, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, woefully under-represents The Right by doing nothing more than regurgitating popular Conservative propaganda which she passes off as "opinion." If only they would fire her ass and hire a smart Conservative (that leaves Ann Coulter out) with actual opinions, The View might be a good forum for political debate. As it is, however, the show is just a train wreck I can't seem to give up.
  5. I am afraid of clowns. People always think that I'm joking when I say this, but it's no exaggeration... clowns positively terrify me. If I'm taken by surprise by a clown, I will freak out. It would be cool if I could tie my coulrophobia to something interesting, like a Stephen King novel, but I hated clowns from long before I learned how to read. If I had the power to eradicate Ronald McDonald from the face of the earth for the benefit of all humanity, I would do it in a heartbeat.
  6. I'm obsessed with Hello Kitty, for heavens sake. That pretty much says it all.

Eh, that's not so quirky. We'll have to save that for later.

Categories: Food 2008, Memes 2007+Click To It: Permalink  32 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Buns

Posted on Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Dave!Living in a rural area isn't always a bad thing, but there are days I would give anything to get the hell out of this podunk town.

Like today, for example.

And it's all Tracy's fault. Yesterday she blogged about top-loader hotdog rolls, which I remember fondly from my trips to Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Boston. My friend there likes to take me to Spike's because they have vegetarian hot dogs I can eat. The "buns" they use are not "buns" at all... they're French rolls, sliced at the top instead of the side. Delicious. But the rolls Tracy was talking about are top-loaders which are meant to be grilled on the sides...

Hot Dog Rolls!

Evil!

EVIL TRACY!! How can I resist trying something as totally awesome as this? I cannot.

So I clicked through to Maple and More to get me some grillable top-loaders. The minimum order is 24 rolls for $20 (Priority Mail postage paid!) which sounded like a pretty good deal (assuming I eat hot dogs morning, noon, and night before they go stale). All I needed was the veggie dogs. My favorites are tofu dogs made by Yves, and I've been buying them at the local health food store for years. So today after work I headed into Wenatchee to get some.

Only to find out that the health food store doesn't carry them anymore! In a panic I run to Safeway, but they don't have anything either. Horrified that I have buns coming with nothing to go in them, I head to Albertsons where they don't have Yves tofu dogs, but they do have Smart Dogs and Morningstar Farms Dogs. I grab both. After all, I have two-dozen buns to fill.

And then on my way to the self-checkout it happens.

Some bitch in her scooter runs into me.

It's not the first time I've been hit by somebody in a scooter, but it is the first time I've been hit BECAUSE SHE WAS TALKING ON HER MOBILE PHONE!! This was no accident, it was negligence, and I would have sued her stupid ass if I thought I could have got any money out of it. Unlike the last time I was hit, however, she did apologize... but it sure didn't sound sincere. Not wanting to let the opportunity pass me by, I said "maybe you shouldn't be talking on your phone if you're going to drive that thing into people."

Her response?

"I DRIVE INTO PEOPLE WHETHER I'M ON THE PHONE OR NOT!!"

I guess she told me.

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  25 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 76

Posted on Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from lovely Salt Lake City, Utah!

Where I may very well be spending the entire day in bed.

• Skittles! OMG! WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME THAT THEY NOW MAKE CHOCOLATE-MIX SKITTLES?? Each bag-full has five yummy flavors: S'mores, Chocolate Caramel, Vanilla, Brownie Batter, and... wait for it... CHOCOLATE PUDDING, BITCHES!! Just look at my most excellent breakfast this morning...

Choco Skittles

• Stones! But my happiness at discovering Chocolate Mix Skittles is seriously dampened by the constant mind-blowing pain of a kidney stone that has long since worn out its welcome. Unless doped up on drugs all day long, my entire groin aches as if I'm being kicked in the balls every two seconds...

DaveToon Kick in the Balls

I am so ready for this to be over.

• Galactica! I was too drugged to watch the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica on Friday, so I've got it at home sitting on my TiVo. But I really wanted to watch it last night. First I tried every legal option available to me. iTunes Music Store? Not sold there. Streaming from the official site? Yes, but Sci-Fi Channel's streaming sucks ass by stalling every 10 seconds. BitTorrent it is then! This is really f#@%ing stupid on Sci-Fi Channel's part. Had they been selling their shows on iTunes, they would have got a double purchase from me... once so I could watch it now, and again when the DVD is released (just as I've bought all the other Battlestar Galactica DVDs). Why is it these dumb-f#@% networks STILL don't understand how to distribute their shit? They'd rather bitch and moan about how internet piracy is killing their profits WHEN THEY'RE THE DUMBASSES WHO CAUSE THE PIRACY IN THE FIRST PLACE!! Cry me a river, bitches. It's really a shame too, because this show is amazing. The space battles are about the best I've ever seen.

• Chilly! Long-time Blogography commenter and fellow blogger from Banal Leakage, Marty (better known here as ChillyWilly) was kind enough to bring along his fiance and join me for dinner at the Salt Lake City landmark: The Rio Grande Cafe. Since I was whacked out on pain-killers, who knows if I was coherent for the evening... but that's probably true whether I am drugged-up or not...

Dave and Marty at the Rio Grande

• Skank! On my way walking to dinner last night, a car full of girls at a stop light started screaming obscenities my way, saying things like "SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TEACH YOU TO FUCK LIKE A MAN!" I should have ignored them but, because this is me we're talking about, I screamed back "AND SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TEACH YOU TO DOUCHE YOU FILTHY WHORE!!" I didn't think anything of it until the three of us were walking back from The Gateway after dinner when another car of girls pulled up and started screaming crap like "YOU'RE THE KIND OF MAN I'M LOOKING FOR!" What the hell? But then it was explained to me that they were not yelling at me... they were yelling at the Mormons walking next to us. Remembering back, I realized that I probably wasn't the intended "victim" the first time either, because there was a group of Mormons walking behind me then (there's a huge convention for the Latter Day Saints Church here in town, so they're everywhere). Seriously, WTF?!? Dumbass ugly bitches in this city drive around screaming crap at Mormons to feel better about themselves? It wouldn't have been any less stupid had they been hot, but these were so not hot-looking babes. They were skanky trolls hanging out with other skanky trolls so they could make fun of clean-cut Mormon guys who are too decent and kind to fight back. I suppose for these ugly-ass skanks, it's the closest thing to being in a relationship with a man that they're going to get without a crack-pipe being involved. Is there anything more ironic and sad?

• Founded! Okay, I can't let this go... Salt Lake City was BUILT by Mormons. They MADE this place. This is THEIR city. The came here to make a home of their own after being persecuted everywhere else for their religious beliefs (go America!). You'd think that the butt-ugly bitches that drive around harassing Mormon guys would show a little fucking respect. You may not care for their religion, but is that any reason to treat them like crap in a city their people founded to get away from exactly this type of bullshit? Instead of tormenting guys who are just trying to live their lives in peace, why not go build your own city... a city where toxic ugly bitches can go be miserable without bugging the shit out of the rest of us. I wish society would fucking grow up and learn tolerance, because this stupid shit really sets me on edge.

• Beauty! And now, because I refuse to close out this entry with such ugliness, some photos I took on my trip yesterday...

While I was eating my Qdoba Breakfast Burrito, I looked out the giant glass windows of the Sea-Tac Airport food court and was stunned to see that a shaft of light was cutting through the horizon, illuminating the mountains in a way that made them look as if they were floating. I threw down my food and hauled ass towards the windows so I could capture the moment, but none of the pictures came close to reproducing the staggering sight. Perhaps if you use your imagination, you can kind of see what I'm talking about here...

Morning At Sea-Tac

But not really. Oh well. It was truly jaw-dropping, and by the time I gave up trying to photography it, a bunch of people had crowded around the windows to take a look.

I've published so many from-the-air shots here, but I really liked the way this one turned out as I was flying over southern Idaho...

Over Idaho

And, lastly, here's The Great Salt Lake as I descended into SLC...

Great Salt Lake

Breakfast has me feeling much better, so I think it might be time to get out of bed and go get some soup! I swear, some of the best soups on earth are to be found in Salt Lake City...

   

Bacon

Posted on Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Dave!Professor Ahmet MacBarnaby has the unfortunate distinction of being the first person to perish in an anti-gravity toilet accident.

The fact that his many accomplishments in life would be so embarrassingly eclipsed by the manner of his death is an irony anybody can appreciate. Except for Professor MacBarnaby, of course.

Not that it really matters to him... he's dead.

"Tut tut, my dear!" he mumbled as he had dismissed the attendant. "I managed to figure out how to deflect rogue tachyons during a wormhole compression, I think I can figure out how to operate a toilet!"

He couldn't have been more wrong. This was made abundantly clear as his internal organs were liquified because he failed to secure the rectal safety coupling before the Physemann Vent engaged. There are far worse deaths one can experience, but few have the distinction of disintegrating your ass in the process.

— Taken from "Varukkah Blind" (unfinished), by David Simmer II

   

You can thank Bac-Os Artificial Bacon Bits for my digging out an old sci-fi novel I started writing two decades ago.

I bought them because I used to like bacon when I ate meat, and the label promised me that Bac-Os "Makes Every Bite Better" (yet contained no actual meat in the ingredients). How can you resist marketing hype like that?

As usual, when things sound too good to be true, they usually are.

In this case, it's because Bac-Os taste like super-bacon infused toxic waste. They are SO disgusting. And now I've got a giant bottle of them taking up space in my cupboard.

But my real concern is the handful I popped into my mouth just now to give them a try.

They burned my mouth so bad that I became terrified as to what happens when they are excreted. Worrying over Bac-Os disintegrating my ass on the way out reminded me of the fictional Professor MacBarnaby in my story, and I was compelled to go read it again.

With classic storytelling like that, how am I not a massive literary success?

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Strawberry

Posted on Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Dave!I didn't realize that my entry yesterday would result in a half-dozen emails and some comments asking what was wrong and if I was going to be okay.

I'm fine. I was just banging my head against the wall trying to think of something to blog about, and ultimately decided to blog about banging my head against the wall. But instead of writing about it, I drew up a DaveToon. I don't know why, but sometimes it's easier to express myself that way than trying to come up with the words.

Anyway, today I'm working on stuff for my Kick-Ass Blogiversary 5 Celebration next week. Since I can't really talk about that yet, there's nothing I could blog about except how I ate Hello Kitty strawberry cream dipping biscuits for breakfast...

Hello Kitty Biscuits

They're Hello Kitty delicious! That bitch really knows how to make breakfast!

Before I get back to work, I'd like to wish everybody who celebrates Passover a happy Seder tonight.

Mostly because it gives me an opportunity to reprint a nifty cartoon I drew for the occasion last year...

Dave Seder

I think every Passover needs a drunk monkey sommelier at the table... even if they do eat the Karpas off of everybody's Seder plate. Bad Monkey!

Categories: DaveToons 2008, Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Angioedema

Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Dave!Ever have one of those days where everything sucks?.

Yeah, that was pretty much my day today... and tomorrow isn't looking like it's going to be much better.

But the big news? I've developed a serious allergy. It first appeared without warning when I woke up in New York with a swollen tongue. Ever since then, I've had random knots of allergic swelling from time to time on my feet, hands, lips, and tongue. It's been driving me a little nuts, but today the pieces finally fell into place after I started keeping a journal of everything I consume.

I think I'm allergic to eating food dyes.

After starting my journal, I've found that any time I've eaten colored foods, I end up with a welt somewhere. The first time it happened in New York City, I remember having drank a bottle of Orange Gatorade earlier in the day. Today I had red Fruit Punch with my Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes at Taco Bell, and now I've got a nice welt on my lip.

So it looks like my diet will be a lot less colorful from now on.

Like I said, suckage.

Thank heavens there's no artificial colors in chocolate pudding.

But there is one good bit of news from the day... I finally finished the box design for my playing cards!

Artificial Duck Co. Playing Cards box with Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey holding hands under a star-filled night sky.

Awwwww, cute! This is probably my favorite DaveToon I've ever drawn, so when it came time to decide what to put on the card box, it was the only thing I really considered. I hope that the card company does a good job of printing it!

For more information on Blogography Playing Cards, you can check them out at the Artificial Duck Co., store.

Next week I'll be wrapping up the pre-orders at the store... so, if you want something there, now is the time to order it! I will try to get a few extras of everything, but can't guarantee how long they'll be available. If you don't have the cash to pre-order right now, just email me and I'll try to reserve your stuff (my email is in the top of my sidebar).

Oog.

One. More. Day.

   

Oreo

Posted on Friday, May 16th, 2008

Dave!It's what's for dinner.


A single Oreo cookie.

   

   

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  27 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Alarm

Posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Dave!Why is it that technology is making life simpler in every area of creation except when it comes to setting an alarm clock??!?

It used to be that to set the alarm, you press and hold the ALARM button and adjust the hours and minutes until you have the time you want to wake up. Then you slide the OFF/RADIO/BUZZER switch to BUZZER and you're done. That's three out of four buttons and a slider switch until F#@%ING DONE!!!

But not any more.

The alarm clock at my hotel has TWENTY-ONE F#@%ING BUTTONS PLUS A SLIDER SWITCH (for Mega Bass)...

Sony alarm clock with a hideous number of complicated buttons.

To set your alarm you have to go through FIVE STEPS, two of which you have to repeat, which means there's SEVEN F#@%ING STEPS to set an alarm! It's so absurdly complicated that they have to give you an instruction card to figure the shit out...

Complicated instruction card for setting an alarm clock.

FAIL!!!

All the love I used to have for Sony products is gone. Because of this piece of shit alarm clock, I somehow didn't push enough buttons to set the alarm (even though the alarm indicator was lit?). So even though I got up at 4:30am and didn't need to be up until 6:00am, I was counting on the alarm to tell me what time I needed to stop working and get ready. But it didn't. Suddenly the extra time I had given myself to get ready and make it into the city for my meeting had evaporated because it was 6:45 by the time I looked over and noticed something was wrong.

Granted the stupid alarm clock has a CD player in it, but big f#@%ing deal... my iPhone has a MP3 player, clock, map, camera, calendar, calculator, notepad, web browser, and all kinds of other stuff in it... but has TWO BUTTONS!!

Half my kingdom for an Apple-designed alarm clock.

Work was at the delicious All-Candy Expo here in Chicago. I've bored everybody with accounts of all the cool stuff at the show in previous years, so I'll skip all that... but I did see two things that made me squeal like a little girl when I visited the PEZ booth. As long-time readers already know, I love PEZ. LOVE THE PEZ!!!

So imagine my delight when I saw that they are coming out with STAR TREK PEZ!!!

A PEZ collectible Star Trek Set with Original Series crew as PEZ dispensers

As if that wasn't enough, I turned the corner and saw one of the most amazing things ever... CHOCOLATE PEZ!!!

Bags of Chocolate PEZ candies hanging on a rack.

It's as if PEZ is starting to combine all the things I love best in life into a single product family. Next year I'm fully expecting that there will be an Elizabeth Hurley PEZ dispenser waiting for me.

After working the show for a bit, I was free for the day. Just two goals remained...

ONE... Go to America's Dog and get me a veggie-dog done up Chicago style (I was going to just put ketchup on it, but I didn't want to risk the wrath of RW's Hotdog Commandments!)...

A veggie hot dog decked out Chicago-style with mustard, tomatoes, pickle, peppers, and relish in a steamed poppy-seed bun.

TWO... Make up for the shitty experience of watching the horrific movie tragedy known as Speed Racer by going and seeing Iron Man yet again. Which I did, at the magnificent Muvico 18 Theater in Rosemont...

Muvico 18 building at night in Rosemont

I paid for "VIP Premiere Seating" which puts you in the balcony in a huge comfy seat that's reserved for adults only, so you can take a beer into the theater with you! According to Wikipedia, the Muvico 18 Rosemont is the first theater in the country to have Sony SRX 4K digital cinema projectors in all auditoriums, which means the picture quality and sound were frakin' amazing.

This is my third time watching Iron Man, and I can honestly say that I love it more with each new viewing. I'll probably see it two or three more times before it leaves theaters. I just can't help myself. Robert Downey Jr.'s performance is so sublimely awesome in every way... from his impeccable comedic timing to his note-perfect delivery... that I am positively mesmerized by the character of Tony Stark. The fact that the movie RESPECTS THE F#@%ING SOURCE MATERIAL AT EVERY TURN is just icing on the cake. A big thank you to director Jon Favreau for having the intelligence to understand that there's a f#@%ing REASON that iconic comic book characters have endured for so long, and it is insanely arrogant and stupid to reinvent the wheel when you've already got something that works and people want to see.

And what I really need to see right now is a pillow, because I have to be to the airport in 5 hours.

Yay.

   

Reaction

Posted on Monday, May 26th, 2008

Dave!Well, I can't say this has been a good turn of events.

Last night I had a sudden allergic reaction which caused hives to break out all over my body. The welts didn't itch, but they were painful to touch. And they looked kind of funny. In a bit of a panic, I swallowed a half-box of Benadryl and got my Epi-Pen ready... my lips were all tingly and I was afraid it was a precursor to some serious swelling of my tongue or throat. After a couple of hours the swelling stopped. This morning I woke up with nothing but pink splotches to remind me that it had even happened. Benadryl seems to work wonders, but the side-effect is that it puts me in a coma.

I'm trying to get an appointment with an allergist this coming week, but that scares me almost more than choking to death on a swollen tongue.

Worse-case scenario? I'm allergic to soy.

As a vegetarian, soy is a substitute for a lot of meat products I used to eat... hamburger, bacon, hotdogs... they're all soy-based products for me now. And, as far as I know, there is no substitute for this substitute.

Next worse-case scenario? I'm allergic to wheat.

Bread and pasta are such a hugely enjoyable part of my diet that the idea of losing them fills me with dread. Sure there are gluten-free breads... but they just don't taste as good.

Worst-case scenario after that? I'm allergic to dairy.

I've tried giving up dairy before when I wanted to switch to an all-vegan diet. I couldn't do it. Chocolate pudding and cheese are two of my favorite foods. I don't even want to contemplate my life without them. And what about ice cream and gelato? None of the substitutes are remotely close in taste and texture.

I could, of course, adapt to whatever diet was necessary... if necessary.

But not being able to sit down to a veggie burger with cheese and a chocolate pudding for dessert?

I don't know how I'll be able to deal with that.

And now it's time for another dose of Benadryl and another coma.

At least I'm getting some sleep out of the deal.

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  51 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Stupid

Posted on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Dave!I usually wait until the end of the day to blog because then I have a day's worth of events to pick from. But this morning after I turned on the news, I knew exactly what I was going to blog about today... there's no need to wait.

And it's this... I am so fucking sick of stupid.

Honestly, I am beyond tired of the daily bombardment of stupid that assaults me on a daily basis. Turn on the television? Stupidity. Pick up a newspaper? Stupidity. Read a magazine? Stupidity. Cruise through the internet? Heinous stupidity.

And don't think for a minute I am excluding my own blog here. I fully admit that bitching about menial crap and drawing cartoons of drunken monkeys is far from brilliant. I may joke to the contrary, but I honestly have no pretense that Blogography is anything but "stupid crap daily." In fact, as anybody who was at TequilaCon can confirm, I proudly hand out buttons proclaiming just that...

Stupid Crap Daily Buttons with Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey on them.

But the difference here is that I REALIZE this is all stupid crap, and can say with some confidence that MY stupid crap is pretty much harmless.

It's the people out there who actually BELIEVE their stupid crap... the people who are causing real damage with THEIR stupid crap... those are the ones who are making me fall to new depths of despair.

The relentless stream of hatred and intolerance. The ceaseless persecution in the name of religion and morality. The persistent propagation of lies and fraud. The never-ending pessimism and greed. There's no escaping it. For the longest time I've been able to find it all amusing by laughing it off. But it's getting harder and harder to do that. Things have gone from "so stupid it's funny" to "so stupid it's tragic."

In weighing my options for dealing with this unwelcome reality, I had seriously considered becoming an alcoholic, a drug addict, or anything that would make it easier not to care. But why punish myself for the failing of others? Why sell everything I own and run away into the mountains? Why go insane and have myself committed? Why stick my head in the microwave and turn it to maximum-defrost?

Turns out I like myself too much.

So I came up with a new solution to the problem when it was time to make my breakfast.

Introducing pudi-cake-a-cookie.

Dave's Pudi-Cake-A-Cookie Dessert on a fancy paper plate.

You start with a big dollop of chocolate pudding, float a Little Debbie "Devil Square" snack cake on it... put a dollop of pudding on top of that... stack another Devil Square cake on top... then garnish with another dollop of chocolate pudding and stick a Golden Oreo cookie on the top. Presto! Breakfast is served!

Delicious! It's hard to be angry at the stupidity of the world when you're eating a pudi-cake-a-cookie.

If only I could find a way to get some ice cream in there.

That may very well be the answer to my staying sane until the presidential election is over.

Categories: DaveLife 2008, Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  42 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hostility

Posted on Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Dave!Being a vegetarian is usually not a big deal. Even if you end up at a steak house, they usually have a veggie salad of some kind... or perhaps a soup... maybe some kind of veggie sandwich... or even a baked potato. There's always something I can eat, so going out for a meal is no big deal.

Unless you are dealing with the bastards at Applebees. They have NOTHING for vegetarians on their menu.

Every salad has meat on it.

Every sandwich is meat-filled.

Every pasta bowl is topped with some kind of dead animal.

Applebee's now has the single most vegetarian-hostile menu I've ever seen. The only two things I could find on it were some kind of gross-looking mushroom pizza appetizer, and greasy deep-fat-fried mozzarella sticks. Which is great, except I'm allergic to mushrooms and don't want to have a fat-induced heart attack. Asking my nice waitress for help, here are my options...

  • Order a salad or pasta bowl without the meat (but pay as if you had the meat).
  • Order a $3.49 entrée side-salad without an entree for $6.49.
  • Substitute a veggie patty on a burger and have them hold any other meats which come on it.
  • Eat dessert for dinner.

I went with the veggie burger (no bacon), because it was easier than trying to figure out how to order a bunch of sides (like a baked potato and garlic bread) which aren't on the actual menu anywhere.

This is ridiculous. Seriously. Applebees is run by dumbasses who need sensible advice badly...

  • There are 7.3 million vegetarians in the USA... furthermore, 22.8 million people (10%) follow a vegetarian-inclined diet, where they are trying to reduce meats from their diet. How are you serving these fucking customers?
  • If you offer veggie burger substitutions, PUT IT ON THE MENU! Why hide your ONE existing vegetarian option?
  • Add a fucking meatless entrée salad to your fucking menu. How fucking hard could that fucking be? You already have all the fucking ingredients! Sure you won't be able to fucking over-charge vegetarians who want a salad anymore, but at least you won't have to deal with angry people writing blog entries about what fucking assholes you are for ripping them off.
  • You have side salads, side baked potatoes, side garlic bread, side fries, side vegetables... put them on the menu! Don't tie everything you make to a dead animal, because not everybody wants to have to buy a dead animal in order the get them.
  • Develop one entrée... just one fucking item... that's meat-free. A pasta with vegetables instead of meat. A sandwich with no dead things on it. ANYTHING. Just one thing that doesn't force vegetarians to rework your meat-infused crap to be acceptable for their consumption.

Vegetarians are not asking for the world. Just a line on the menu that says "Substitute a veggie patty on any burger at no extra charge!"... or... "Without the chicken, subtract $2." Just SOMETHING that shows you aren't so stupid as to be hostile towards 10% of the population you're asking to patronize your business.

Otherwise, we just get hostile back, and declare to the entire internet that we're sick and tired of your crap, and won't be eating at your over-priced-piece-of-shit-vegetarian-abusive restaurants anymore.

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  57 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Convenience

Posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Dave!As you are probably aware from my ceaseless whining, I live a busy and complex life.

This would explain my obsession when it comes to finding ways of making common tasks easier and more efficient. Because the more time I'm able to save throughout the day, the more time I'm able to set aside for luxury activities like sleeping and going to the bathroom.

A couple weeks ago, I happened upon something new to me in the freezer case at my local grocery store: UNCRUSTABLES!!

These are tiny frozen sandwiches from Smuckers that you thaw out and eat without all that mucking about with a loaf of bread and making a mess. I tried the peanut butter and jellies first... both strawberry and grape were yummy. I then found grilled cheese... totally delicious. Sure they are horrible for your health, but they are just so darn convenient that I can't get enough of them...

Uncrustables boxes by Smuckers

   

Then the other day I ran across a NEW Uncrustables variety... peanut butter and honey. I like honey, so I bought a box to try.

Holy crap! I believe that this is what "suck" would taste like if you could distill the essence of suckage to a food product. On top of tasting horrible, I was shocked to discover that the "honey spread" contained any honey, because it tasted more like toxic waste. Sandwich FAIL!

Totally disgusting box of Uncrustables Peanut Butter and Honey

Oh well. I guess you can't win them all... but did anybody at Smuckers bother to TASTE these things before selling them? When your motto is "With a name like Smuckers, it's got to be good," you'd think that they'd have to be a little more careful with the crap they actually put their name on.

And in other, more expected news...

I keep hoping my pet Webkinz monkey will calm down after having been ripped off by the Webkinz eStore, but it just hasn't happened. If anything, the little psychopath has escalated his game... getting more creative with his senseless killings. I think he's always resented the cat who works at the employment office, and saw him heading that way...

Cat Before

The remainder of this entry NOT appropriate for children or those who are traumatized by cartoon violence!

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Food 2008, Internets 2008Click To It: Permalink  37 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tomato!

Posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Dave!

Cartoon Tomato

   

I say tomato and you say tomato...

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Rocket

Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2008

Dave!WTF?? It's happened to me AGAIN?!? Seriously, do these fuckers not know how to take inventory?


I'd like a veggie burger! Sorry, we're out of veggie burgers.

Are you sure (gun to head). Uhhh... yes?

Silence.

Blam (shoots off hat off waiter)

Johnny Rockets sucks ass!

Somebody needs to die.

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  34 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Failure

Posted on Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Dave!Running out of new ways to say FAIL!

After my three previous failed attempts of getting a Streamliner Burger from Johnny Rockets, I played the odds and figured that my luck was bound to change. They can't ALL be out of soy burgers ALL the time? And this is a TUESDAY when they must surely have gotten their supplies in for the week.

So I take a very expensive taxi ride from my hotel to the Southcenter Mall's Johnny Rockets for dinner. I sit at the counter and wait to have my order taken. I order my usual vegetarian-safe Streamliner Burger with no grilled onions and no mustard. Then grit my teeth as I hear my waiter say...

"Hey, are we still out of Boca Burgers?

It was all I could do to stop myself from seriously jumping over the counter and choking the shit out of everybody with a Johnny Rocket's apron on.

But, much to my shock and delight, the answer was "yeah, we got Boca!"

Score!

A short while later my burger arrives and I start chowing down on it. But something's not right... it tastes... off. At first I tell myself that the lettuce must be funny and keep eating. But then, as I am half-way through, something falls out of my burger. And it looks like a piece of mushroom. WTF? That's when I pull the bun off and see that it's not brown like a Boca Burger usually is, but kind of a yellowish color. Oh shit.

IT'S NOT A 100% SOY BOCA BURGER AS THEIR MENU STATES, BUT SOME KIND OF RICE & GRAIN MUSHROOM BURGER!

Badburger

And have I mentioned that I AM FUCKING ALLERGIC TO MUSHROOMS??!

Even if I could eat mushrooms, the burger was pretty gross. My best guess is that it's a GardenBurger "Savory Mushroom" patty... or something like it.

Fortunately, the amount was not enough to kill me, but it was definitely enough to make my throat swell up and cause me to have some serious gastrointestinal distress for the rest of the evening. So much for going to a movie tonight. FUCKERS!

I just don't get it. I have gone to Johnny Rockets and been denied a Streamliner Burger in San Francisco (twice), Santa Monica, Seattle University Village (twice), Seattle Pike Place Market, Seattle Pacific Place, Miami Aventura Mall, and Kent Station. And now Johnny Rockets Seattle Southcenter tries to kill me with an unannounced mushroom burger substitution. Why the fuck do they even offer a soy burger if the person in charge of inventory can't be bothered to keep it in stock or confirm they received the correct item? Who the fuck puts an item on their menu that you can only successfully order 50% of the time?

Johnny Rockets. The very definition of EPIC FAIL...

Epic Fail in the dictionary: George W. Bush and Johnny Rockets.

What's funny is that the waiter seemed completely unconcerned when I told him about the problem. He credited me the amount of the burger (still making me pay for the fries and a Coke), but that was it. As far as I know, he didn't even bother to follow-up with the kitchen staff to tell them they had the wrong burgers. And, as always, no offer whatsoever of any restitution... no free burger coupon for my next visit... nothing. I didn't even get a "hope you don't die."

The real shame here is that my favorite food on earth is a Johnny Rockets Streamliner Burger with no grilled onions and no mustard. And I'm not joking when I say that I would eat them morning, noon, and night if I could. It would be easy to say "I'm never eating at Johnny Rockets ever again," but I just can't do it. I will continue to eat at their restaurants knowing full-well that I'm setting myself up for disappointment and possible death by doing so.

In the meanwhile, I am waiting for somebody... anybody... to explain to me why it's so impossible to keep a FROZEN item in stock. It's not going to spoil... IT'S FUCKING FROZEN! It's not going to go to waste if you over-order... IT'S FUCKING FROZEN! It's easy to make sure you never run out of something... BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING FROZEN!! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S FUCKING FROZEN?!? I am flabbergasted beyond all reason as to why this is such a huge problem. It make no sense at all... and yet it's consistently fucked up no matter which Johnny Rockets location I try.

What's beyond EPIC FAIL?!?

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  57 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Comic-Con: Day Four

Posted on Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Dave!Bullet Sunday will be postponed until tomorrow when we have another edition of "Bullet Sunday on Monday."

As I type this, I am eating Pinkberry which, I've been told on more than one occasion, you either love or hate.

I don't really agree with that, because I don't have such strong feelings about frozen yogurt. Even Pinkberry. To me it's just "different" and I can take it or leave it. It's not like we're talking about chocolate pudding here. Besides, the stuff is just a knock-off of Red Mango, which I first had in Seoul, South Korea, years before the "sweet-tart fro-yo" fad hit the USA (though I understand that Red Mango shops are starting to pop up here now too).

Anyway, Pinkberry is kind of difficult for me, because it tastes better with fruit instead of chocolate toppings. This goes against everything I believe in when it comes to desserts, but oh well. I'm kind of enamored with strawberry and mango right now...

Pinkberry Strawberry

After changing hotels and having lunch with Vahid, it was time to bid him adieu so I could go back to Comic-Con for a while. The crowds, while still a little crazy, were much more manageable today. My main goal was to look through the magazine and silver-age comic tables to search for some issues I'm missing in my collection. I got away very cheap because, while I found just about everything I was looking for, I decided not to buy anything over $20, which left me only one thing to buy.

I came dangerously close to spending $2750.00 on a piece of original artwork that I really, really, wanted... but, alas, with the $20 Rule in effect, I had to take a pass. This was tough considering the original asking price was $3500.00 (and it was totally worth it).

I will now spend the rest of my life regretting my decision not to buy.

All while being secretly thankful I didn't.

Dinner tonight was with a friend over in Coronado, and totally excellent.

Except the bill, which was substantial.

I'm generally not the type of person who likes spending outrageous amounts of money at a restaurant, but sometimes it's nice to treat yourself to something extravagant. On rare occasions it's okay to live above your means. Every once in a while it's good to spend money you don't have on something that makes your life a little sweeter.

Shit. I totally should have bought that original art page, shouldn't I?

Categories: Food 2008, Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 93

Posted on Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Dave!Live from Chicago, it's another edition of Bullet Sunday!

• iPhone. When I got back from Davecago 3 last night and went to charge my iPhone, I found out that my power adaptor was dead. This was frustrating, but not a big problem, because I was going into the city and could just stop by the Apple Store and get a new one. But when I got there, something strange was happening. The line to get a new iPhone 3G had only one person in it. Not knowing quite what to do with myself, I made the snap decision to just get a new iPhone so I could finally have the GPS I need so badly in my travels (and go completely broke from having to shell out $299). I'll undoubtedly blather on about it later, but my initial reaction? Feels better in the hand, but design is not as nice as my first iPhone. Face feels more like plastic than glass (oh shit!). GPS is slow to acquire. 3G network is faster only sometimes and not widely available. None of my old complaints were addressed (clipboard, subscribed calendars, etc.). Conclusion? If Apple had put a fucking GPS in the original iPhone like they should have in the first place, I would never have "upgraded." Still a nice product, however.

• Doggity. Since earliest childhood, the only way I ever ate hotdogs was plain with ketchup. Now that I've started eating Chicago Style Hotdogs, I can't imagine eating them any other way (well, maybe one other way). Damn they're addicting. Fortunately, there's a vegetarian version here in Chicago at America's Dog, which is where I had lunch (again) today...

A veggie hot dog decked out Chicago-style with mustard, tomatoes, pickle, peppers, and relish in a steamed poppy-seed bun.

• Chef. Isaac Hayes, who I will forever associate with the phrase "Hello there, children!" from his character "Chef" on South Park has just died. I know that Hayes had a major falling out with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of the show) a while back, which resulted in the death of "Chef"... but I sure hope that they do something on South Park to remember him and the years he worked on the show. It hasn't been the same since he left...

Cartoon character "Chef" from South Park.

• Davecago 3. I hate to admit it, but RW over at 1 Step Beyond gave up a much better recap of the festivities than I could ever hope to write. Suffice to say that I had a great time, and was so very happy to meet some terrific new people...

  • Leah from Leah In Chicago - Accidentally Jewish. Oddly enough, Leah was the blogger I've been reading the longest that attended. In trying to figure out exactly when I first found "Leah In Chicago" I believe it was in 2004. I honestly don't remember how I bounced across her blog, but I think it had to do with Google research for one of my many trips to Chicago. At the time, she was gearing up to convert to Judaism, and I found it interesting, so I stuck around until she made the actual conversion in 2005. After that I continued to lurk around for a while, reading off and on for another few months until I lost touch. Then, in one of those wild coincidences that only seem to happen in the blogosphere, Leah made a comment on MY blog on an entry about Passover, and I had no idea it was the same Leah I had read earlier until much later. Bizarre, but cool coincidence.
  • Lynne from Life After Work. When I got an email from "Lynne" wanting to attend Davecago, I was thrilled that I was going to meet somebody I had never heard of before... until I went to email her back and recognized her email address as somebody who has been commenting on Blogography for years. That was one of those "slap-you-in-the-face" moments when I remembered that she too had a blog that used to be in my feed reader, didn't survive the transfer to my new computer, and had been plugging along for months without me. Horrified that a faithful commenter was going unread, I immediately added her back, and then faced the awful embarrassment of meeting her at last at Davecago without even knowing what's happening in her life. Sigh. I guess I'll be better prepared next time. Lynne also has a great Davecago recap here.
  • Suzanne. RW has branded her that "lurker who comes to your site, has no blog of her own, never comments and continually scares the living crap out of you." Fortunately, she's a lot friendlier in person.
  • Tori from Radioactive Girl. Tori is one of those bloggers who appeared from nowhere to comment on my blog, and all of a sudden I was seeing her pop up on other people's blogs I read. Then one day last month I finally went to her site and read her current entry, was instantly captivated... then browsed back a few entries... and there I was. She was writing about one of my favorite projects: AnySoldier.com and actually had a link to Blogography! Naturally, I was now in love with Tori. That love turned to obsession when she showed up to Davecago with packages of home-made brownies for everybody... complete with recipes! The brownies were so amazing and addictive that I was looking to see how many tablespoons of crack cocaine was in there. Answer? 1/2 Tablespoon. Sure she calls it "Kahlúa" but I know what she really means. Click here for Tori's Davecago 3 recap post!

UPDATE: Tori has relented and published the recipe for her amazing, highly addictive brownies! Click and rejoice!

And also to reunite with some old friends from Davecagos past...

I swear that every time I meet up with other bloggers I feel so amazingly lucky to have people like this in my life. It's not easy spending so much time traveling far away from home, but knowing I have a blogging family no matter where I go is a blessing in life that I just can't put into words. I have received criticism from those who think that I'm an egotistical bastard for "renaming cities in my image" and "inviting people to come worship me"... but the truth is exactly the opposite. I don't do this so people can meet me... I do it so that I can meet them...

The group at Davecago 3

Jenny and Kelly from Davecago 3

Another group shot from Davecago 3

The fact that I am lucky enough that people even care enough about me to show up and say "hello" is just a bonus. If I am very lucky, I'll get to keep meeting up with fellow bloggers and blog readers for years to come.

Past and upcoming meet-ups can always be found on Blogography's Dave Events Page.

Oog... I really need to update my "Bloggers I've Met" list in my sidebar, but it's time for bed. I have a very long day ahead of me tomorrow...

   

Dieting

Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2008

Dave!Today I started yet another special diet with the hope that it will help doctors figure out what's wrong with me.

To say that I don't do well on diets is a massive understatement because I have become quite fond of eating whatever I want, whenever I want. Anything less than that is just depressing. And, of course, it's not like any of these diets ever consist of cheese pizza and chocolate pudding. That would be too easy. Instead I get the shitty diet with stuff that I eat only when forced (like now). Blargh.

This time I am forbidden from eating any refined sugars in addition to the deadly high fructose corn syrup that plagues our food supply. That right there cuts out 40% of my diet. Gluten and all wheat-type products? That's another 25%! Dairy products and eggs? Say goodbye to the remaining 35%! One of my favorite foods, Snack-Pack Pudding Spoonibbles (which comes with cookies you can use to eat the pudding with!), consists entirely of sugar, gluten, and dairy. The new trifecta of evil...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey eating chocolate pudding.

So what can I eat?

For a minute I was a little excited because I thought I could still have French fries and potato chips, but I'm not supposed to eat cooked vegetables either (apparently steamed is okay). With that in mind, I've made up a list of crap that I'm allowed (given that I don't eat meat)...

  • Fruit.
  • Raw Vegetables.
  • Rice & Rice Cakes.
  • 100% Juice.
  • Nuts.
  • Water.

If I get creative, I can create things like "rice with soy cheese on steamed corn mash" or "natural peanut butter on rice cakes with apple slices" or even go crazy and have "lettuce salad with pear, raisins and Vinaigrette." But that's a lot of work, so I pretty much subsist on baby carrots, almonds, apples, pineapple slices, and juice.

And that's just wrong.

Humans were never meant to live this way.

Without cheese pizza and chocolate pudding, we are not men, but animals!

Animals who try to make French fries out of steamed potatoes and fail miserably!

   

I would so totally kill for a piece of toast with butter and strawberry jam right now...

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  39 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Intestinal

Posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Dave!Turns out that when all you can eat is crappy stuff like carrots and rice cakes, you don't really have much of an appetite.

I spent much of the day forcing myself to eat tiny meals at 2 hour intervals so I stay full, but most of the time I just wasn't interested. Pineapple slices, almonds and apple juice for breakfast. Rice cake and raisins for after-breakfast snack. An apple and Pineapple-Orange juice for before-lunch snack. A salad with grape tomatoes, tofu, and Vinaigrette plus a rice cake and water for lunch. Carrots and almonds as an after-lunch snack. A banana as a before-dinner snack. Rice cakes with Spanish rice and tomatoes on top plus mango-pineapple juice for dinner.

And I never wanted to eat any of it, because none of it sounded remotely tempting (though it all tasted okay).

But that's alright. Because tomorrow I have to drive to Spokane and I will cheat on my restrictive diet. I will cheat because Spokane is home to the best pizza on earth, and I would rather die than visit there and not eat some of it. But I will only have one slice, and I won't drink a soda with it, so hopefully it won't mess things up too much.

Nobody tell my doctor.

A lot of people made note of what I'm eating and were concerned about two things... protein and my bowels.

The protein isn't too big of a deal. This diet is only a two-week trial, and I'm eating almonds and tofu to make sure I don't collapse.

And my bowels are fine, thank you for asking.

Apparently many people commented that eating all those fruit and vegetables would cause "intestinal distress," yet I've experienced no such problems. But the week is young. This is not to say I won't be giving a presentation or something when all of a sudden my bowels act up...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave giving a presentation.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave's stomache rumbles.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave starts farting.

   

Then I guess my ass is just supposed to explode all over the place...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave's ass explodes and shit splats on the wall.

As fun as that all sounds, I think my bowels will be happy to keep it all contained.

At least I hope so.

Wouldn't it be horrible to be driving in the middle of nowhere (i.e. Eastern Washington State) and have your ass explode?

Categories: DaveToons 2008, Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  33 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

100

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Dave!As I was browsing through CNN's website to read coverage of the Democratic National Convention, I ran across an article saying that "100 Things To Do Before You Die" co-author Dave Freeman has died. Sadly, he only made it through half of his list.

As someone who has endeavored to see as much of this earth as I can before I die, this news hit me pretty hard. I have, of course, read his book and was inspired by it. Even if I didn't always agree with Freeman's choices, "100 Things To Do Before You Die" opened up a whole world of fascinating possibilities and sparked my imagination. After finishing the book, I decided to make my OWN list and see how many I could check off.

But I just couldn't do it.

I was always afraid that I'd perish before I could finish my list. Not wanting to die unfulfilled, I needed to do things a little different. So I decided to make a list of "Things To Do Before I Die"... but only add things to it after I had done them. This way, no matter when I die, I'll have finished my list. Brilliant! I'm up to 72 so far.

✔ Click here to read The List.

And here I am in Spokane so I can work in the morning. Thanks to road construction it took an extra half-hour, dragging out the already boring three-hour drive. Given this heinous new restrictive diet I'm on, Spokane is a dangerous place to be. This city is home to the best pizza on earth and I knew that I would cheat and have a slice once I got here...

A slice of David's "Da Vinci" pizza with pesto and feta cheese.

Turns out I needed that pizza.

As soon as I got into the city I found out that I have to be in Portland at 7:00am Friday morning for another job.

Unfortunately this means don't have time to go home, and will be flying directly out of Spokane tomorrow night. Then I fly back to Spokane on Saturday morning so I can then drive three hours to get back home (at last).

Good thing I always pack an extra set of clothes for emergencies!

I need more forbidden pizza.

Categories: Food 2008, Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  21 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Puddiet

Posted on Monday, October 6th, 2008

Dave!After massive quantities of Benadryl last night and massive quantities of Cetirizine this morning, my welts finally subsided. Cramping went on for a while longer, but I'm all better now. I've decided to stop eating all peanut products and see if that fixes things. I'm not convinced a peanut allergy is the real problem, because I remember plenty of times I've eaten peanuts and nothing happened. But I've got to try something because I'm quickly growing afraid to eat anything.

Except chocolate pudding.

Chocolate pudding would never hurt me.

It's my favorite thing to eat. I think it always has been, as photo evidence will support...

Young Davy Eating Dinner

Young Davy Eats Chocolate Pudding

Perhaps it's time for a puddiet... eating nothing except chocolate pudding.

Because pudding has milk in it and milk does a body good!

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  32 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dining

Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Dave!Living in the rural area I do is torture when it comes to dining out. There's nothing but burgers, pizzas, and burritos as far as the eye can see. We have very few ethnic restaurants (and they're rarely authentic). This is probably because most of the locals here haven't been exposed to great ethnic cuisine, and couldn't care less about it. I, on the other hand, have traveled quite a lot and know exactly what I'm missing. There are times I go insane because I'm craving some kind of food that's not available to me unless I drive three-and-a-half hours to Seattle.

Take Indian food, for example.

I love good Indian cuisine, mostly because it's an excitingly exotic option with plenty of choices for we vegetarians. Eggplant bharta with peas served over rice with a side of naan (Indian flatbread) is one of my most favorite dishes ever, and yet it simply doesn't exist here.

We finally got a decent Thai restaurant last year (Mai Lee Thai in East Wenatchee), a passable Sushi Bar with veggie options (Wasabi Sushi Bar also in East Wenatchee), and have a surprisingly good Vietnamese place that's been around a while (Cuc Tran Cafe in Wenatchee). We also have a fantastic South American restaurant, which is one of my absolute favorites (South in Leavenworth).

And that's about it.

French? No. Tapas? No. Moroccan? No. Tex-Mex? No. Greek/Mediterranean? No. Tibetan? No. Cajun? No. Creole? No. Mongolian? Kind of. Italian? Yes, but I have yet to find any Italian food here that I actually enjoy (I once ordered Fettucini Alfredo and got a plate of watery noodles with bacon on top). As for a vegetarian restaurant? BWAH HA HA HAAA HA!!

So when I say that I ended up having a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and a tub of chocolate pudding for dinner at 9:00pm because nothing else sounded good... now you know why.

There's only so much pizza and burritos you can eat.

Cocoa Puffs and chocolate pudding, however, are forever.

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

More

Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Dave!More is not necessarily better. I found this out the hard way when buying bread.

Wanting to eat healthier, I started buying Oroweat "Multi-Grain" bread instead of their "Country White" bread. Like all Oroweat breads, it was delicious. Then one day they didn't have Multi-Grain, so I bought their 7-Grain. It was even MORE delicious. This led me to conclude that MORE GRAINS = BETTER. So when I was at the store and saw that Oroweat makes a 12-Grain Bread, I was understandably intrigued. "That's FIVE MORE GRAINS OF DELICIOUSNESS!" I thought.

Turns out this was not the case. 12-Grain wasn't nearly as delicious as 7-Grain.

I can only guess it's because there's a grain threshold for bread where, after you achieve the perfection of seven grains, things just go downhill from there. I made a graph to explain it...

   

Oroweat Bread Grain Graph

   

The problem is that this goes against the very principles we hold dear here in the USA, where more is always better.

Which begs the question... why does Oroweat hate America?

Categories: Food 2010Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Corny

Posted on Monday, August 10th, 2009

Dave!I am having fresh corn for dinner tonight. It is the most excitement I've had all day...

Dave Corn

   

Aren't you glad I didn't decide to have pig's feet?

Tags: ,
Categories: Food 2010Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Calories

Posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Dave!Despite the fact that Salt Lake City's airport is a mere 6 miles from downtown, it will run you about $20 (+tip) for the privilege of being driven there by a taxi. My hotel, however, pushes for a private transportation company which runs an outrageous $25 (+tip). Having fallen for that trick before, I requested a METERED TAXI instead of the private car. This caused the valet to freak out. He started jabbering on about how a taxi would take a half-hour to arrive, and it only saves you $3... AS HE WAS LOADING MY LUGGAGE INTO THE PRIVATE CAR.

Not wanting to argue, I just went along with the scam. But I was fuming, and nobody got a tip.

I don't give a crap if I have to leave five hours early and book the taxi myself, next time these assholes are not getting any of my money. I cannot wait for Salt Lake's local TRAX light rail to be run out to the airport sometime in 2013. Then I'll be able to tell these rip-off taxi companies and hotel scammers to kiss my ass. I mean, seriously, TWENTY-FIVE-DOLLARS? That works out to over $100 an hour! For that kind of insane money, I expect to get blown after my luggage is unloaded.

Anyway...

When my flight arrived at Boise, Idaho, I got a text telling me that my connecting flight to Seattle was delayed. This meant I would miss my final connecting flight home. Seeing that there was a flight leaving immediately, I ran to the gate and managed to get on the earlier plane just as they were closing the doors. My luggage wouldn't make it home, but at least I wouldn't be stuck in Seattle's airport (WITH NO FREE WI-FI!) until midnight.

The upshot being that I would now have a four hour layover in Seattle, which was plenty of time to grab some lunch.

Which is when I overheard this...

GIRL ONE: Do you want a bottle of water with your salad?
   
GIRL TWO: No, I need to cut down on my calories.

Needless to say, I was mystified... calories in WATER?!?

Davesani Water Bottle

Isn't water the stuff where you look at the Nutrition Facts and everything is ZERO... because it's like... fucking WATER?!?

Davesani Nutrition Facts: IT'S WATER YOU DUMBASS!

Just when I think that people couldn't possibly get any more stupid, something comes along to prove me wrong.

Unless there's some new high-calorie water out that I don't know about...

   

Guinness

Posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Dave!Guinness celebrated their 250th anniversary today!

Deliciously wholesome and hearty Irish Guinness Draught.

I can't remember when I had my first pint of Guinness, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't here in the US. It was probably in London and I think it was purchased for me. But even though I don't remember where or when, I do remember most everything else. I remember it was a properly poured pint instead of out of a can or bottle or made by somebody who didn't know what they were doing. I remember it was different and delicious. I remember joking about having to eat it with a spoon because it was so thick. I also remember that I had another.

I still drink Guinness from time to time. Mostly at pubs when I see that they know how to serve it up right.

And, of course, I drop by the Guinness Brewery at St. James's Gate whenever I'm in Dublin...

DAVETOON: Dave and Bad Monkey take the Guinness Factory Tour in Dublin

Once when I was in Ireland, I had some time to kill and so I took the Wild Wicklow Tour where I saw something pretty amazing. The Guinness Estate (owned by the Guinness family) has its own lake... Lough Tay. It's a pretty lake in some very pretty countryside, but that's not what makes it amazing. What makes it amazing is that they imported some white sand for the beach there, which looks something like this...

A photo of Lough Tay's white sand beach.

But to really appreciate what this means, you kind of have to look at it from space. Like this image from Google Maps...

Lough Tay Guinness Lake!

And then need to use your imagination...

Lough Tay Guinness Lake Morph!

And there you have it...

It's a lake that looks like a pint of Guinness!

Pretty cool, huh?

Happy Anniversary, Guinness!

   

DOTS!

Posted on Monday, September 28th, 2009

Dave!Okay. Yesterday I wrote about the wonderment that is Ghost DOTS!

And now I found something even better. Something so great that it is FUNDAMENTALLY LIFE-CHANGING in its AWESOMENESS!!

Because there is a new Halloween Assortment DOTS Bag which, in ADDITION to Ghost DOTS, also includes Candy Corn DOTS and Bat DOTS!! I know it seems too good to be true, but here they are...

Halloween DOTS!

The Candy Corn DOTS taste kind of like... well... candy corn.

The Bat DOTS look like they'd taste like licorice, but then don't... they taste like Mandarin Blood Oranges!

Both of them are pretty frickin' sweet.

This is shaping up to be the best Halloween ever!

   

Pants

Posted on Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Dave!There's something to be said for kicking back on the couch, watching television, and eating junk food until your pants no longer fit on a Saturday night while you get some work done...

Dave Sweatpants

   

The good news is that I'm catching up with all the television I've missed over the past month-and-a-half.

The bad news is that I spilled ketchup down the front of my shirt 20 minutes ago and have been too lazy to get up and clean it off before it stains. I'm pretty sure the shirt is a goner now.

Or is that good news? Now that the pressure is off, I can spill whatever I like on my shirt and it doesn't matter.

Eating is so much more fun when you don't have to care about the consequences.

Categories: Food 2010Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 163

Posted on Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Dave!w00t! It's the last Bullet Sunday of 2009!

• TQ 2010. The moment we've all been waiting for has come. Jenny has announced the venue for TequilaCon 2010...

TequilaCon 2010 VANCOUVER Announcement!

I am sooooo looking forward to another awesome TequilaCon event!

You can read my wrap-ups for TequilaCon 2009 here... TequilaCon 2008 here... and TequilaCon 2007 here.

   
• Kindle 2. I bought my mother a "Kindle 2" electronic book from Amazon. I was waiting on Barnes & Noble's "Nook" because it looked a little niftier in pictures, but the reviews were less than stellar so I went back to the Kindle. The device itself is pretty sweet, and a lot easier read from than I had expected. Sure it would be nice if the "e-ink" display had whiter whites for better contrast with the "type" but if you have decent light, it's not bad at all. Bumping up the type size seems to help. In any event, my mother likes it quite a lot, which is all that really matters...

Kindle 2 by Amazon

You can buy new books directly from Kindle easy enough (assuming you have a 3G signal... shopping over EDGE is painfully slow). The good news is that new e-books are released at the same time as the hardcover, but cheaper. As an example, the latest James Patterson release "I, Alex Cross" retails for $27.99, can be bought on Amazon for $18.33 (including tax & shipping), or delivered to your Kindle instantly for $10.79 (including tax). But the best news is that you can get free sample chapters of most books to decide if you want to buy them or not, which makes shopping for Kindle more like shopping at a book store. Overall, I'm impressed. Like most electronic devices, I wish Apple would overhaul the user interface to something more intuitive, but it's all good.

   
• Totino's. I left work at 3:00 because I was tired and hungry and couldn't stand the thought of sitting at my desk one more minute. Despite a rumbling tummy, nothing really sounded good... EXCEPT A CHEAP-ASS 99¢ PIZZA FROM TOTINO'S!

Totino's Cheese Pizza

So few foods can give you 46% of your daily fat content, 36% of your saturated fat, 6% of your cholesterol, 24% of you carbs, and a whopping 56% of your daily cholesterol requirements... all in one convenient box! Genius!

   
Annnd... I'm spent. Assuming I don't die from my poor nutritional choices in food, I suppose I'll be back tomorrow.

   

Whine

Posted on Friday, January 8th, 2010

Dave!It never ceases to amaze me how some people get such a bug up their ass when it comes to a glass of wine.

Too many times I've sat at the table with some self-professed wine connoisseur who has felt the need to bore the ever-loving shit out of everybody with their "expertise." They'll drone on and on about fruit notes and acidity. They'll wax poetic about earthy components and bold finishes. They'll be to the verge of orgasm as they describe puckery tannins and oaky bouquet. And, if you haven't lapsed into a coma when they've run out of wine buzzwords to throw at you, they'll delve into an oration on their favorite decanting techniques. It's a never-ending cavalcade of bullshit designed to make them look smart by pointing out how stupid you are because you don't give a flying fuck what "vinosity" means.

Don't get me wrong... I have nothing against people with a passion for wine who wants to discuss its intricacies and idiosyncrasies with other people who are equally inclined. But is it really necessary to force it on the rest of us? The only thing I care about in a wine is how many glasses it's going to take for me to get drunk...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey drink entirely too much wine.

A part of me wants to fight fire with fire.

What I'll do is study the hell out of some common dinner staple... like say... CORN. I'll learn everything there is to know about corn, and the next time some pompous oenophile decides to batter everybody with the depth of their wine knowledge, I'll hit back with some assholery of my own...

Wino: What a magnificent bottle! The muted tannins are fabulous, and those cherry notes exploding in my mouth are just to die for! And is that a hint of vanilla my sensitive palate is detecting? Why, yes... it is vanilla! Vanilla mixed with a touch of currant. Such sophisticated nuances here... and when you marry that to its dense body and throaty florals on the back end... it's just heaven. Heaven in a glass I say! And don't get me started on the texture! The glossy mouthfeel reminds me of a trip to Napa I took ba--
   
Dave: HAVE YOU TASTED THIS CORN?!? UN-FUCKING BELIEVABLE CORN HERE! It's sweeter than the butter they topped it with! There's also a toothy bite that makes my mouth sing... and don't get me started on those starches. This corn has starches so crisp and inviting that I'd swear my mouth has been wrapped in silk! And the color! I haven't seen a yellow this vibrant since that limited edition crop of Heirloom corn I had back in '98! I defy you to find a sexier yellow than this corn! Your piss isn't this beautiful a shade of yellow! Now, do you think this is Quincy corn or perhaps a Japanese import? If I were a betting man... AND I AM... I'd say this is some kind of organic hybrid. Perhaps using a new iteration of hydroponics-based therapy. Because this... this is some amazing shit right here. One thing's for certain... I'm ordering a second helping of this bad boy!

Well, it's either that or I start talking about Dungeons & Dragons.

Either way, I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE!

Wow. I could really go for an ear of corn and a glass of wine right now.

   

Blaaaaahg

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Dave!Having a blog can sometimes be a very, very strange thing.

Mostly because of the people who end up reading it. Well, not you, obviously, but you know... those people.

You know, the people who happen across a blog, read ONE entry, then feel that they know absolutely everything about you and have all the information they need to judge you. The people who feel that their opinion is the only one that matters, and if your opinion is contrary to theirs, then you're wrong and evil and stupid and don't deserve to live. Yes, I'm talking about those people.

Usually, I just delete the comments and emails from those people because their abuse just isn't worth it. They've already condemned you, and nothing you say or do will ever change their mind.

Oh, sure, every once in a while I get a comment that is so outrageous that I simply can't stop myself from publishing it... like the crazy-ass pageant mom who trashed me in a comment over something I never said or even hinted at. But that's rare. Most of the time I just don't bother.

Like when I wrote an entry in support of the National Equality March on Washington and got a comment telling me that I am a "condescending fuck" and "demeaning to gays" (or something like that)... for supporting gay marriage. Apparently, only gays can offer words of support and encouragement to gays or else they're just being snobby patronizing elitists. DELETE!

Or when I wrote how much I enjoyed The Holy Land Experience theme park and called it "inspirational, even if you're not a Christian"... only to get a comment telling me that "people like you" (heh) "only go there to mock Christians and ruin the park for everybody with your Godless perversions" (or something like that). Apparently, only Christians are allowed to say nice things about Christian things or else they're just being snobby patronizing elitists. DELETE!

Or when I wrote about my worries over having intestinal distress from my doctor-mandated restrictive diet and got a comment telling me that "real people suffer from intestinal problems and their lives are made worse by ignorant assholes like you who only want to make fun of them" (or someth... no, that was exactly what they said). Apparently, only people with severe intestinal disorders can joke about having diarrhea or else they're just being snobby patronizing elitists. DELETE!

Honestly. You can't make this stuff up.

Tonight while I was watching Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay, the challenge was making Belgian Waffles. This reminded me of a comment I got when I wrote about my favorite thing about visiting Paris...

Waffles!

This resulted in a bizarre, profanity-laden comment from some American guy who was tired of "ugly Americans" (such as myself) insulting foreign cultures and making us all look bad.

Because I like waffles.

Well, damn. Apparently I am just a snobby patronizing elitist no matter what I do.

DELETE!

That comment still hurts, even after all these years.

Which is why I ended up healing my pain by buying a new Belgian Waffle baker from Amazon tonight. Just to be sure I didn't suffer a relapse, I also ordered some Stonewall Kitchen Waffle Mix.

Don't judge me.

Sometimesa little retail therapy is all we snobby patronizing elitists have to keep us warm at night.

   

Bullet Sunday 167

Posted on Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Dave!I'm hungry and it's Bullet Sunday so I thought I'd bullet my current food obsessions!

PINK LADY APPLES!
Seriously, these things are like candy. Like Sweet-Tarts candy. Apparently they're some kind of unholy hybrid union between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams varieties that are crunchy, sour, and sweet all at the same time. They're expensive, but so totally worth it. Just. Can't. Get. Enough.

Pink Lady Apple

FROSTED FLAKES!
I am kind of going through a Frosted Flakes Renaissance. I eat these things for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, snacks, and also use them as a delicious way to exfoliate my skin. Just like Tony the Tiger says... they're grrreat!

Frosted Flakes

CHEESE TOASTWICHES!
Schwan's makes a lot of delicious frozen foods, but their Cheese Toastwiches are to die for. I've never been addicted to crack cocaine, but I'd imagine it's much like this. I frickin' DREAM about eating Cheese Toastwiches! Crispy crunchy on the outside... gooey cheesy on the inside. It's everything good in life combined into a toastable snack! Unfortunately, they are horribly unhealthy with 11g of fat, 5g of saturated fat, 20mg of cholesterol, and 490mg of sodium. Yikes. The good news is that they taste so good you won't mind that they're killing you! Helpful cooking hint: cook one cycle with the toaster set on medium-high, then WAIT 5 to 10 minutes to completely thaw, then toast another cycle (toaster setting may vary).

Cheese Toastwiches

CRAISINS!
I've never been much of a cranberry fan. Except for cranberry jelly at Thanksgiving. And cranberry juice mixed with vodka. And maybe cranberry jellybeans. But anyway... I first ate Craisins at the Hard Rock Cafe because they put them on their salads. I've been in love with them ever since. I eat them on salads. On Frosted Flakes. In cookies. Or right out of the bag. Bittersweet deliciousness.

Craisins

PRETZEL THINS!
I kept getting these on airplanes, but could never find them in the "real world." Eventually I noticed that Pepperidge Farms was making them. This means they are really expensive, but they are also delicious. I go through a couple of boxes a week, which would make me feel bad... except they're fat-free, and that's pretty good isn't it? In any event, they're a nice change from "regular" pretzels.

Pretzel Thins

   
And now I'm REALLY hungry, so I think I'll go rustle up something for dinner.

   

REALLY?!?

Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2010

Dave!People are stupid.

This will come as a surprise to nobody (except perhaps stupid people, but that's to be expected).

But even so, there's got to be a limit as to just how much you have to dumb something down in order to be understood by even the lowest of the lowest common denominator when it comes to intelligence. Some things are so bloody obvious that pointing them out only serves to makes you the stupid one.

This morning on the TODAY show, Al Roker was yucking it up with some guy who wrote a book about choosing healthier alternatives when eating. Basically, it boiled down to looking at labels when deciding what foods to eat. Excess calories, empty sugars, and fat is bad. BAD!

Well duh.

Some comparisons actually had a little merit... showing how the self-proclaimed "healthy" cereal actually had more sugar than other cereals on the market, for example. But other comparisons where just pathetic in their obviousness.

And here I was actually becoming an Al Roker fan after he took on Spencer and Heidi.

Well all that went out the window when Al didn't puch this guy in the face just on principle...

Al Roker on the TODAY show

And why? Because the douche felt the need to point out that it's healthier to eat dried prunes than it is to eat Mike and Ike's candies...

Mike and Ike vs. Dried Fruit... WHICH IS HEALTHIER?

My first reaction upon hearing the news was...
"ZOMFG! Really? REALLY? It's healthier to eat DRIED FRUIT than it is to eat fucking CANDY?!? That's astounding! Somebody should alert the media! Fruit is healthier than candy! This is a revelation that transcends the entirety of accumulated human knowledge. I mean, imagine it! Fruit is healthier than candy! Can you believe it?"

I lie. My actual reaction was in fact...

NO FUCKING SHIT!

Could this radical piece of advice BE any more obvious? IT'S FUCKING CANDY, MUTHAFUCKER!! I mean, this is right up there with ""Fire is hot!" and "Rocks can't swim!" and "Cutting off your penis is bad for your sex life!" You would have to be so astoundingly stupid to not already realize this that I doubt you'd know how to turn on a television, let alone open a box of candy.

And it pisses me off.

"Mike and Ike" is an awesome candy. There's no need to disparage such a delicious treat for the sake of making a bowl of prunes look good. Everybody knows that eating lots of candy is not very good for you. When eaten in moderation, however, there is nothing wrong with candy. And anybody trying to villainize "Mike and Ike" is trying to sell you something.

Something like... oh... I dunno... A BOOK CALLED "EAT THIS, NOT THAT!"

   
Next up, are fried potato chips healthier than freeze-dried wasabi peas?

Fried Potato Chips vs. Dried Wasabi Beans... WHICH IS HEALTHIER?

ALERT THE MEDIA!

FRIED FOODS AREN'T AS HEALTHY AS FREEZE-DRIED FOODS!

   
Holy crap.

   

McPie

Posted on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Dave!I've been thinking a lot about pie recently.

It all started when I went through the McDonald's drive-thru last week and wanted something to eat with my French fries. As I read through the menu looking for non-meat options, I landed on the McDonald's apple pie and felt my heart sink. McDonalds' apple pie sucks ass. Compared to my grandmother's apple pie, all apple pies suck ass... but McDonald's is a new low in apple pie suckage. Especially since they switched to their awful "baked" pies in 1992. Prior to that, their pies at least had the benefit of a crispy goodness that can only come from deep-fat-frying.

I ended up getting a OREO Cookie McFlurry with my fries because I just couldn't handle the disappointment.

But my longing for deep-fried fast-food pie has lingered.

Mostly because I know that most foreign countries have McDonalds that serve fried pies. I've had fried McPie in Hong Kong, France, Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, and other countries too. Never mind that McDonalds was Made in America, foreign countries get the good pie.

Why Americans suffer in silence.

BUT I CAN BE SILENT NO MORE! I WANT FRIED McPIE BACK IN AMERICA!!

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

I don't care about health care reform or tax spending or national debt or any of that long-term crap anymore. All I care about is fried McPies for the American people NOW.

I realize that McDonald's probably started baking their pies out of some kind of misguided attempt to create something healthier to eat... but people don't go to McDonalds to eat healthy, and they certainly don't order pie for the health benefits. So let's cut all the pretentious bullshit and people what they want.

McDonalds owes us that much.

McDonalds owes us fried McPie.

   

Unsweetened

Posted on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Dave!This morning the Washington State House and Senate ended their "special session" to balance the state's budget. They did this by passing a package of tax hikes and spending cuts, which kind of makes sense given that we don't want to end up on the verge of bankruptcy like California. Nobody likes more taxes and less spending, but you do what you have to do to make things work, Right? I can live with that.

Except...

While I may be open to sucking it up and paying a little more in taxes so that critical services and functions will continue in my home state, I do insist that the new taxes MAKE SOME FUCKING SENSE IF I HAVE TO FUCKING PAY THEM!

Rated R

If you're not afraid of the word "fuck" and aren't bothered by mindless ranting, then feel free to proceed...

   
A major source of the new taxes are on bottled water, tobacco products, pop, candy, gum, and beer. I don't pretend to understand exactly what's going on with all this (exactly as our government wants it) but I'll do my best to comment anyway. From what I can tell, these taxes are on things that are supposedly "bad" for you or "luxuries"...

  • Bottled Water. Water isn't bad for you, but those plastic bottles are bad for the environment and taking up space in our landfills. From that perspective, I guess taxing bottled water isn't such a bad thing. Maybe it will encourage people to buy water filters and re-use plastic bottles and stuff? But here's my problem... when did water become a "luxury" item? The classification is categorically absurd. I stopped drinking tap-water because it tastes like chemicals and contains fluoride (which is toxic and has been linked to a number of heinous health problems). WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN RAISING TAXES ON DRINKING WATER WHEN YOU ARE POISONING THE FREELY AVAILABLE ALTERNATIVE? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! And heaven help you if you don't have drinkable water where you live.
  • Tobacco Products. I think we can all agree that society would be a lot healthier if tobacco products were eliminated. Cigarettes, cigars, chew, snuff, whatever... it's all bad for you. But here's the thing, tobacco products are already taxed to death. Washington currently has the third-highest tax on tobacco in the entire country. And since the tax on a pack of cigarettes is already in excess of $2.00, it raises the question: exactly how much of our state's spending are smokers expected to bear? Because of massive anti-smoking campaigns, education, location limits, and (a-ha!) huge taxes, the number of people using tobacco is decreasing every year, yet Washington seems intent on maintaining the amount of money they get from smokers. WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN HEAPING A MASSIVE TAX BURDEN ON AN ALREADY OVER-TAXED SEGMENT OF OUR RESIDENTS? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! If you smoke, there's now a much bigger reason than your health to quit.
  • Pop/Soda. In all honesty, I am of the opinion that any product using high fructose corn syrup deserves more taxes. High fructose corn syrup is pure evil in liquid form but, because of massive government corn farm subsidies, it's used in absolutely everything because it's cheaper than real sugar. And there's the problem. The government GIVES our tax money away to make an unhealthy ingredient cheaper, but then turns around and COLLECTS the money on the back-end... thus fucking over consumers twice. Well, whatever, because deadly high fructose corn syrup needs to be more expensive so real sugar can compete... except real sugar is taxed in pop just the same (even though few use it because subsidized HFCS has been made so cheap). WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN COLLECTING MORE TAXES ON SOMETHING YOU'VE ALREADY SUBSIDIZED WITH TAX DOLLARS? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! Apparently corn has fucking GOD-LIKE POWER to make our government STUPID.
  • Candy & Gum. And here's where I really lose it, because this is the stupidest tax of all. NOT because I feel that "luxury" foods like candy shouldn't be taxed... but because candy shouldn't be singled out as a "luxury" food in an arena which is overflowing with foods that aren't good for you when eaten in excess. For example, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is now taxable... but a Twinkie is not. A box of Milk Duds is now taxable... but a can of frosting is not. A box of DOTS is now taxable, but an entire bag of sugar to make your own candy is not. In other words, the candy industry has to take a bullet as being something "bad" for you, when foods that are just as "bad" (or even worse) escape unscathed. To put it in still other words, the entire candy industry just got fucked. Hard. To say nothing of the fact that MEAT, which Americans eat waaayyyy in excess of what could be considered "healthy" is still tax free. WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN DRAWING LINES ON TAXATION WHERE LINES DON'T EXIST? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! Candy is far less "bad" for you than eating lard, but guess which one gets taxed? For your answer, ask which one is supported by the Beef lobby buying off your politicians.
  • Beer. NNNOOOOOOoooooo!! WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN TAXING BEER, WHEN IT'S BEER THAT'S HELPING PEOPLE COPE WITH GOVERNMENT STUPIDITY? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! Micro-brews are exempt from new taxes, but that's of little consolation if your beer of choice is Miller or Stella or Corona or whatever. Lovely that your personal beer preference is enough to get you fucked or unfucked by this new law... so much for freedom of choice in America!

Look, I know that my genius-level IQ means that I tend to see things more clearly than a lot of people. But surely I am not the only person who looks at the Washington State government and wonders WHAT THE FUCK?!? None... NONE... of these tax hikes make any sense at all. You can dress it up as a "luxury tax" or a "sin tax" or whatever the fuck you want to call it, but the end result is that these have all been levied unfairly. Poison the water, but tax clean drinking water. Tax the most taxed products ever because less people are using them. Subsidize something bad for your health to make it cheaper, then tax people to buy it after the healthier competition has been slaughtered. Add taxes to a candy that has a cookie in it, but don't tax a cookie that has candies on it. THEN tax a beverage that makes all the other stupid shit bearable.

Again, I understand the need for taxes to help pay for the services we all enjoy... I'm not debating that.

But taxes need to MAKE SOME FUCKING SENSE for me to support them. When lawmakers just pass bullshit taxes because they're too fucking lazy to find logical solutions to balance the budget, it just tells me that these politicians need to get the fuck out of office to make room for creative thinkers who won't tax first, then think later.

And elections are just around the corner...

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Deliverance

Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Dave!I don't know why, but I'd just as soon not have banjo music with my dinner...


DAVETOON: Lil' Dave plays a banjo for a pig.

   

Even so, it's pretty hard to ruin a good macaroni & cheese.

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Day One: Alkmaar

Posted on Friday, June 11th, 2010

Dave!And so here I am in DutchyLand.

There was a bit of an adventure leading up to this moment, because my airport hotel caught on fire at 11:45pm last night. Except not really... it ended up being a false alarm that caused the entire hotel to be evacuated for 30 minutes. The alarm was a continuous piercing shriek that gave me an instant headache of massive proportions. This made getting any sleep a total impossibility. Which is a lovely thing to have happen before hopping on an airplane for nine hours...

The Hotel is on Fire!

So I haven't slept in two days, and still have a full day ahead of me.

Yay! I'm a zombie! Again!

After landing, The DutchBitch and Lady Penelope picked me up for a trip to the city of Alkmaar, where they have a famous cheese market and cheese museum. As a lover of all things cheese, I had been dying to go for years, and the ladies were nice enough to indulge me.

As were were making our way through Alkmaar Centraal, I started noticing these badges embedded in the street...

No Shit in the Netherlands

This was very confusing to me, because it looked like an invitation for you to let your dog take a shit here. I asked DutchBitch about it, and she said that the red ring indicates that the action within is FORBIDDEN.

Back in the USA, the sign would look like this...

No Shit in the USA

Alkmaar has a serious dog shit problem, so they should put more of these signs up. Perhaps if they switched to the American version, it would help make things more clear?

In any event, I'd think what Alkmaar really needs to worry about is this...

No Human Shit

Because eating too much cheese can definitely have unpleasant effects on a person's digestive system.

The Cheese Market itself is fun. They have a kind of reenactment you can watch with cheese runners and the whole bit...

Alkmaar Cheese Market

Cheese Runners of Alkmaar

Blue Hat Cheese Runners

Behind the festivities is a beautiful Cheese Museum that shows a lot of cheese history and cheese-making stuff. You ever get a view down to the market...

Cheese Museum Entrance

Cheese Museum Fake Cheese

Cheese Market View

Inside the Cheese Museum at Alkmaar

But the most IMPORTANT thing about the Cheese Museum at Alkmaar is that you get a free sample of cheese! Because the cheese is free, it's undoubtedly the cheapest, crappiest cheese Dutch Euros can buy... but it still kicks the shit out of 95% of the cheese you can buy in the USA.

Lunch, of course, consisted of an Old Cheese Sandwich and Patatjes Met. Which is about my favorite lunch on earth when freshly made in the Netherlands...

Perfect Patatjes Met

Hooray for cheese!

   

Withdrawals

Posted on Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Dave!I'm suffering from Patatjes Met withdrawals (which, for the uninitiated, is Dutch fries with mayo). And, since I won't be returning to the Netherlands until September, it's going to be a loooooooong three months.

In the meanwhile, I'm eating a lot of toast. Delicious toast with butter. It doesn't work.

So I've tried waffles. Freshly baked waffles with whipped cream. It's not helping.

Even my favorite, chocolate pudding, has failed to fill the void left by Patatjes Met...

DAVETOON: Dave and his Patatjes Met

I suppose this is how cocaine addiction starts...

   
P.S. If you love Dutch-style mayo too, there's a FaceBook Fan Page you can join!

   

17/20: LOVE

Posted on Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "love."

And I decided to take it to heart and show some love to myself for a change. I made plans, made time, and made decisions that benefitted me today. Sure it's selfish, but I've been working so hard for so long that I think I've earned it.

It was a great two hours.

After that, I needed to think of something other than myself to love so I could post an appropriate photo.

I decided that I love breakfast. Mostly because I so rarely have the time to have a good one. Like this order of Banana-Macadamia French Toast I had in Maui a while back...

Banana Macadamia French Toast

Or this fantastic Scrambled Egg Breakfast Burrito I ate for Carb Appreciation Day a few years ago...

Breakfast Burrito & Taters

Or these sweet Mickey Mouse Waffles I found at Walt Disney World...

Mickey Waffles!

Breakfast is awesome!

But tomorrow it will be a can of Coke as I rush out the door, as usual.

If I really loved me, I'd make time for breakfast.

   

Salmonella

Posted on Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Dave!Eggs!

I'm a big fan of eggs. Especially scrambled eggs and toast. And omelets. And deviled eggs. And egg casserole. And egg salad sandwiches. And quiche. And fried egg sandwiches. And so on. Not to mention all the delicious things that have eggs in them. Like cake.

So eggs are good, right?

DAVETOON: Good Egg!

Not if you read the news lately.

Apparently gazillions of eggs are being recalled because of a health scare. There are some bad eggs out there that have been infested with salmonella...

DAVETOON: Bad Egg!

Salmonella is an ugly business that can give you a nasty case of diarrhea. Or death. And nothing spoils your day like a good case of death.

Adds an exciting new element to breakfast, doesn't it?

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Supper

Posted on Monday, August 30th, 2010

Dave!Food Network has a show called The Best Thing I Ever Ate where they invite their own network "food stars" along with famous chefs to talk about (surprise!) the best thing they've ever eaten. Each episode starts with a theme like "Hot & Spicy" or "Sliced" or "Crunchy" or "Totally Unexpected" and then everybody has to pick a "best thing" to match. It's a surprisingly engrossing show, because the answers run the gamut from sublimely extravagant to dead simple... from impossibly expensive to dirt cheap... from around the world to around the block. It's a fun show to watch, especially if you're a foodie like me.

The episode I saw tonight was the most interesting show so far. The theme was "Last Supper," where everybody had to choose their final meal as if they were going to die once they ate it.

After reading Satoshi Kon's touching goodbye letter to his family and friends yesterday, death has been on my mind lately, so the topic seemed apt.

My last meal would be here...

Alfredo alla Scrofa Ristorante

It's the birthplace of Fettucini Alfredo... which is Alfredo alla Scrofa Ristorante in Rome. I had eaten Fettucini Alfredo many times before I first came to this restaurant in December of 2000 but, once I ate the original, I realized that I had never really eaten it before. My meal was so good that I ended up eating here for both lunch and dinner the next day, and dinner the day after that. I couldn't get enough, and was thankful that I'd be leaving soon so I didn't end up with an Alfredo-induced heart attack.

After my final supper at Alfredos, I'd walk to a neighborhood gelateria for some authentic Italian stracciatella gelato. I think then that I'd be ready to die. Or have a triple bypass. One of those.

Five days and counting...

   

Donut

Posted on Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Dave!I spent my entire day craving a donut.

But since donuts aren't very healthy, I abstained and didn't buy a donut. Even though not having the donut made me want a donut even more. Now that I'm home with no donut, and the bakery is closed so I can't buy a donut, all I can think about is donuts. I've eaten everything in my home that's not a donut and it hasn't helped me forget about wanting a donut. And so now I'm uncomfortably full... couldn't eat another bite, really... and yet I still want a donut...
   

DAVETOON: Dave Wants A Donut

I should have just bought the damn donut when I was first wanting a donut, then I wouldn't be in this predicament.

Do you think if I punched a hole in a chocolate rice cake and put frosting on the top of it that the result would somehow be donut-like?

Me neither.

This is going to be a long night.

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Replicate

Posted on Friday, December 10th, 2010

Dave!This morning on the way to work I stopped by the mini-mart so I could pick up a package Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. For some reason, I woke up craving Reese's, and I knew that I'd spend my entire day being distracted by my desire if I didn't just give in and buy the dang things.

But since it's kind of silly to be eating candy first thing in the morning, I decided to hold off a bit. So I set the Reese's aside and started work. Sure enough, all I could think about all morning was eating those dang peanut butter cups. I finally relented around 10:30 so I could get on with my life...

   

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Candy

Except...

The delicious peanut butter centers of my Reese's were dried out. So instead of rich, creamy peanut butter, I ended up with some kind of chalky peanut butter-flavored residue in there. Blech. Now not only did I have to force myself to eat this crummy excuse for a candy bar, I was still craving a good Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

This got me to thinking about Star Trek. Well, not the the REAL Star Trek, but the Captain Picard-infused Next Generation version of Star Trek. On this show they are blessed with an amazing bit of technology awesomeness called a "replicator." You simply tell it what you want, and it materializes it out of thin air...

DAVETOON: Star Trek Lil' Dave Says TEA. EARL GREY. HOT.

DAVETOON: Star Trek Replicator is Glowing!

DAVETOON: Hot Earl Grey Tea Appears in the Star Trek Replicator!!

But that's not even the most amazing part.

When you think about it, the amazing part is that whatever you get out of the replicator is going to be perfect. Every damn time!

Because when they program the thing, they're not going to program it with a crappy cup of hot Earl Grey tea... they're going to program the most amazing fucking cup of hot Earl Grey tea ever made. And that's exactly what you're going to get each and every time. Because, technically, you're getting the SAME cup of tea each time.

And, of course, when they program in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, they'll program a freshly-made bar right off the line with a flawlessly delicious and creamy center.

The list goes on and on. Ever grab a handful of almonds only to have one of them taste like it's going rancid? Not in Star Trek! Ever take a big bite out of an apple only to find it has water-core and tastes like crap? Not in Star Trek! Ever burn the toast? Not in Star Trek! These people not only know the miracle of getting food to appear out of thin air... they don't know what imperfect food tastes like! Everything they ever eat is sublimely perfect. There's never any nasty surprises.

It's like the most amazing thing ever... consistently perfect food.

After flying cars and lightsabers, I'll take a replicator please.

And a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

   

McLawsuit

Posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Dave!I'm a vegetarian.

Because I'm a vegetarian, I am not a huge fan of McDonald's. The one thing McDonald's made I could eat... the TOTALLY AWESOME McVeggie Deluxe... should have been expanded to every McDonald's in the world. Instead they removed it from the menu at the one place you could get it: the wonderful Times Square McDonald's. Oh well. I still stop by for McFries every once in a while, because they're some of the best fast-food fries you can get. They used to have the best fried pies you can get, but now they have shitty baked pies. Bummer.

Anyway... despite my not being a fan of McDonalds (nor being a fan of the subsidized cheap beef they use which is destroying the planet) I still believe they should have a right to sell whatever they can get people to buy. Even if it is unhealthy dead cow products. I may choose not to eat their vegetarian-hostile crap, but a lot of people like it so good for them. If eaten in moderation, there's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a Big Mac every once in a while.

And then today I read in The L.A. Times that McDonald's is being sued because "The Center for Science in the Public Interest" feels the toys in their Happy Meals unfairly entice children into "eating food that can do them harm"...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey contemplates a Happy Meal box

   
The lead plaintiff in the case, a mother of two from Sacramento, goes one step further by claiming McDonald's "uses toys as bait to induce her kids to clamor to go to McDonald's."

Uhhhhhh...

The word you are searching for, YOU MORON, is "no."

That's right... if you don't feel McDonald's is healthy for your kids and don't want them eating there, JUST SAY NO! When I was a kid I clamored for a flamethrower. My parents, WHO ARE ACTUAL FUCKING PARENTS THAT CHOSE TO RAISE THEIR KIDS INSTEAD OF HAVING A RESTAURANT DO IT FOR THEM, felt a flamethrower could be detrimental to my health and told me "no."

Idiotic bullshit like this drives me fucking insane.

Kids "clamor" for all kinds of crap that can "do them harm."

It's the job of the parent to read labels and research products and do all the stuff parents do to protect their kids from harm. Yes, the parent! If a frickin' cheap-ass toy is enough to totally usurp your parenting authority, you've got bigger fucking problems than a stupid Happy Meal. I hate to think what lawsuit is coming next. Are you going to fucking sue JC Penney for distributing a toy catalog because it entices children into clamoring for toys that aren't healthy to your bank account? Are you going to go after Pop-Tarts because they put Hello Kitty on the box to entice kids into eating toaster pastries that aren't healthy to HUMANITY? What the hell? Do parents want ANY responsibility in raising their kids any more?

The word you are searching for is "no."

If you don't know how to use it to keep your children from harm... or use your brain to figure out a healthier alternative to placate your kids over a frickin' toy... you might want to consider putting your offspring up for adoption. Odds are they'll be a lot better off.

   

Assault

Posted on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Dave!Right now. Right this minute. I want nothing more than to assault a Kate...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey Assaults a Kate Cupcake from Cupcake Royale

   
I know this totally goes against the new anti-violence sentiment that is sweeping the Nation...

...but I've always been an aggressive eater when it comes to dessert.

   
And she totally has it coming for being so gosh-darn delicious.

   

Day Two: Köln-Essen

Posted on Friday, January 28th, 2011

Dave!As I type this, it is 12:30am Saturday, January 29th in Cologne, Germany.

Since I woke up at 3:30am Thursday, January 27th in the US Pacific time zone, this means I have been awake for 37 hours straight. And yet I am still not tired. I tried to sleep on the plane, but ended up watching The Social Network again (a little more boring that the first time, but still awesome), Salt again (liked it even more the second time around), and Scott Pilgrim Saves the World again (which sucked even more the second time around, because whiny, dorky Michael Cera is NOT lady-killer slacker hero Scott Pilgrim... AT ALL. This movie could have been sheer perfection if the lead role weren't so hideously miscast).

Anyway...

The flight from Seattle to Amsterdam via Delta Airlines was bliss. I wasn't upgraded, but the plane was so empty that I had almost an entire row to myself, which was super-sweet. Except for the not-being-able to sleep thing, it truly was a flawless experience. As was my connection at Schiphol, as usual. Looking out the plane-window at sunrise, it was looking like a glorious day in DutchyLand...

Schiphol Airport

Except... it was freezing cold. Even after the sun was out. Much like it would be when I finally ended up in Cologne. As I landed, I noticed that Gowalla had rolled out their new flight-tracker status updates, which is wickedly cool...

Gowalla Flights Update
Not shown is my flight from Wenatchee to Seattle... probably because Wenatchee hasn't been considered an airport yet?

Anyway... after checking in at my hotel and then getting some work done, it was time to head up to Essen for some dinner with friends. While waiting at the train station, I ran across an awesome poster... I just love good advertising! That's the hugely tall Cologne Cathedral buried in snow there...

Cologne Snow Day!
"Ihr Beitrag zum klima? Mehr Bus & Bahn fahren!"

Dinner was with my fellow Hard Rock Cafe fans, Marc & Mechthild... with vegetarian pizza hand-made by Mechthild herself, which was as beautiful to look at as it was delicious...

Pizzzzzzzza!!
Easily the best pizza you'll find in all of Germany. You may commence being jealous now.

But the truly unexpected surprise of the evening was the beautiful salad that was served. I still have no idea what kind of greens these were... or even if there's a US equivalent... as I had never seen them before. Marc & Mechthild called them "winter salad," as there doesn't seem to be an equivalent name for it in English (they looked!). The greens appear to be some kind of thick four-leaf clover type-thing, tasting buttery and sweet. There's absolutely no bitter notes in the flavor at all, which made the whole thing taste like frickin' candy when tossed up with a lovely vinaigrette. I shit you not, CANDY...

Mechthild's Winter Salad
If all salads tasted like this, I'd be eating a lot more fucking salads!

After-dinner conversation was all Hard Rock Cafes and world travel (two of my favorite subjects!). The time went flying by and suddenly it was 11:00 and time to take the train back to Cologne. The evening was loads of fun, despite the fact that I really should have been dead from lack of sleep. Praise be to the power of the internet for continuing to find me wonderful friends around the globe!

And now it's 12:56am here in Cologne, which means I've been awake for 37-and-a-half hours straight.

Still not tired.

I have no idea what my deal is, but I sure don't want to be around when this lack of sleep catches up to me!

Alas, I have no choice...

   

Day Three: Köln

Posted on Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Dave!Work ended a senses-shattering three hours early, leaving me a little free time to goof around Cologne today. Having been to the city many times, I'm very much at home here, and so it's an entirely different experience than visiting a place you've never been before.

But before I get to that, I'd like to observe a moment of silence for my newly-dead Kenneth Cole dress shoes. Tonight I pulled out all my work clothes so I'd be ready to go in the morning. As I was shining my shoes, I noticed that one of them had somehow split in the back (I'm guessing my suitcase must have been crushed in transit? Or perhaps when the TSA opened my bag to inspect it, they really, really hated my shoes?). Anyway... all attempts to repair them were met with failure. So now I guess I'm going to attend work in sneakers. That'll look special.

On to my favorite things in Cologne!

   
KÖLNER DOM!...

Dom Cathedral
No matter how many times I see the massive Cologne Cathedral, it still takes my breath away.

   
SPRITZRINGE!...

Spritzringes!
The light, airy, doughy inside makes "doghnuts" taste like shit by comparison!

Dave's Uber Spritzringe
I could eat this delicious bits of deliciousness until I asploded!

   
PATATJES MET! POMMES FRITES!...

Pommes Frites with Mayo!
While not the same as the Dutch patatjes met, my favorite, they're still inanely delicious!

Pommes De Luxe
The line was crazy-long... it took me 8-10 minutes to get mah frites!!

   
KÖLSCH!...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey and Lil' Dave drinking Koelsch
The delicious and refreshing regional beer... usually served in tiny glasses, not steins, so you have to order lots of them.

   
And, lastly, since you have to pay for all this shit...

GELDAUTOMAT!...

Man Using Geldautomat
My photo turned out blurry, so this is not me. I found a photo of Neil Patrick Harris using a Geldautomat at Wincor Nixdorf.

   

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've had my fill of doughnuts, fries, mayonnaise, and beer for the evening, so I'm going to go to bed and hopefully get some sleep this time. Last night I managed to nap a mere two hours after being up for 38 straight hours, so I'm thinking I kind of have to sleep or I'm going to turn go brain-dead. ZOMFG! Do you think that's what happened to Sarah Palin?

Previous adventures in Cologne...

   

Day Six: Köln

Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Dave!So very tired...

The weather in Cologne today was odd. It was dreary and cold, but not the kind of cold that lands on you... it was more a general cold around your immediate vicinity. Sure I could see my breath and needed a jacket, but wearing gloves was too much, and my hands were perfectly fine without them. I'm a real weenie when it comes to having cold hands, so this was kind of freaky. In a good way.

What was decidedly not freaky was that they finally replaced the chocolate chicken! Isn't she awesome?

Chocolate Chicken Lives!

   
As today was my last day in Cologne I had intended to try and wander around a bit, but I was just too exhausted and had entirely too much work to do. So instead of eating dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, I just bought some pins and a T-shirt while breezing through after work...

Hard Rock Cologne Bar

Hard Rock Cologne Wall

It's a fairly small property, but has all the classic Hard Rock fixin's so I really like it here.

Alas, I didn't have time to hang around, so dinner consisted of glorious Patatjes Met "Pommes Frites mit Mayo" with a delicious Spritzringe and a Coke back at my hotel room for dessert...

Pommes Frites mit Mayo

Spritzringe and a Coke

   
While I was walking to the tram stop so I could get "home" I noticed some interesting things:

   
ONE: HINDENBURG! After the movie Titanic made a gazillion dollars, I remember asking when somebody would get around to making a modern movie drama about the Hindenburg tragedy...

Apparently they now have, as I've seen the posters around Cologne...

Hindenburg: The Movie
"Ein Traum von Ruhm" - "A Dream of Glory"

   
TWO: MADONNA! I've lost count of the number of times I've walked through Neumarkt, but this is the first time I can ever recall seeing this Madonna & Child statue glued to one of the buildings on the Eastern loop. While I'm sure it must have been beautiful at one time, it's kind of creepy now that pieces have fallen off and it's been partially eroded by pollution and the elements...

Madonna and Child Statue

Madonna and Child Statue ZOOM

   
THREE: BANNED! I never take food or drinks onto the tram anyway, but I found it funny that fries and mayo are specifically banned on the signage (along with coffee and Kölsch/beer)...

NO PATATJES MET!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

   
And now I suppose I should probably pack my suitcase. I've got a long, strange journey ahead of me tomorrow, and the last thing I want to have to do when I wake up is pack before rushing off to the airport.

   

Change

Posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011

Dave!Without change, something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens.
Duke Leto Atreides, Dune

I've been struggling this week. A couple weeks, actually. Ever since I came back from Europe it seems as though I've been hit by one horrible thing after another and I'm starting to lose faith that things are ever going to get back to normal. Whatever "normal" is. It's like I left my life for a while, then came back to find all the things I recognize about it... missing.

Almost like it never existed and I'm just remembering it all wrong. Except I have pictures. And this blog. I'd blame the travel, but I know that's not true.

Now.

Because today as I was skimming the news sites, I figured it all out. And this is what did it...

Giordanos pizza chain files for Bankruptcy

Nooooooo! Not Giordano's! They say they'll stay open as they declare bankruptcy, but who knows how long that will last? Their cheese supplier could decide to stop delivering cheese tomorrow and where would that leave us? How can you make pizza without cheese?

And there it is.

I haven't eaten at Giordano's in quite a while... even though it's kind of a quintessential Chicago experience... but that's not the point. The point is that I always know I can go to back to Giordano's for a pizza and a beer if I wanted to...

Giordano's Pizza

Giordano's Pizza

Except...

Now I don't know how much longer that might be true. Giordano's could close tomorrow and I'd never get to have pizza there again. I don't know how much that would actually bother me if it happened, but the thought of it weighing on my mind is crushing me.

And if that's true for a pizza restaurant 1650 miles away then it's true for everything in my life.

Anything I do... anyplace I go... anyone I see... could be the last time.

I don't fear change. Really, I don't. In many ways I embrace change and welcome the new adventures it brings. But sometimes change makes you question the things you know... the things you believe in... the things that are true. And with all that doubt floating around my head lately, it's no wonder I don't want to get out of bed in the morning.

I suppose I should do something about that.

Or go to Chicago and have a Giordano's pizza and a beer while I still can.

   

Portlandia

Posted on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Dave!Last night I got -zero- sleep.

It seemed like all the horrors of the world just wouldn't let my mind slip into oblivion... instead I was endlessly occupied with the events in Libya, The USA, New Zealand, Yemen, Bahrain, and the rest. There seemed no way to let it all go. Instead I just laid there feeling restless and helpless all night long.

When all I really wanted to do was go home.

But I was slammed with work all day long and, when it was time to leave, I found out I couldn't. The passes were either closed or a hellacious mess, and the weather was just getting worse. After four people at work started Googling maps and pass reports, the general consensus was that my best option was to drive to Portland and make a run up the Columbia Basin tomorrow.

So here I am in Portland, feeling exhausted and destroyed...

Roccos Pizza, Where Philosophers and Alens Meet!
My hetero life-partner suggested I have pizza and beer at Rocco's... where philosophers & aliens meet!

   
A $75 Book I Wanted Badly, But Resisted Buying!
Then it was time for the awesomeness of Powell's City of Books, where I spent WAY too much money,
Not on this particular book... though I wanted to. Badly.

   
Mio Gelato, Gelato!
Then Vahid just had to remind me of Mio Gelato. The bastard.

   
Gelato Cone in Front of Powell's!
Stracciatella gelato and Powell's Books... the perfect combo.

   
Centerfold Suites LIVE NUDE SHOWS OPEN 24 HOURS!
Classy third-floor entertainment for gentlemen!

   
Voodoo Doughnuts Box!
Time for... VOODOO DOUGHNUTS!! Where good things come in pink boxes.

   
Voodoo Doll Doughnut!
A maple bar and voodoo doll doughnut for dessert!

   
For those who have never had the orgasmic pleasure of eating at Voodoo Doughnuts, here is the carousel of awesomeness which awaits...

   
And so now I think I will take my aching head and tired body to bed even though it's only 8:30.

Please please please let me get home tomorrow...

   

Bullet Sunday 222

Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Dave!After the sheer awesomeness of my Saturday, I did the best I could to get through Bullet Sunday.

Meh.

   
• She's a Wonder. And so the most perfect woman on earth, Elizabeth Hurley, has been tapped for a role in David E. Kelly's Wonder Woman project. Apparently she'll be playing Wonder Woman's far more beautiful and classy arch-nemesis, Veronica Cale. I, of course, think she would be perfect as Wonder Woman herself, hard as it will be for anyone to fill Linda Carter's red boots. She was Wonder Woman. Even with Elizabeth Hurley, I have to say I am still very, very nervous about the show. If David E. Kelly can resist the urge to add his stupid-ass Allie McBeal craziness to the mix, it might have a chance...

Elizabeth Hurley is Wonder Woman!

   
• Pretty Cool. Gotta hand it to Miley Cyrus, she handled her guest-hosting on Saturday Night Live like a champ last night. She not only managed to get in a few digs on Lindsay Lohan, but spent a lot of time poking fun at herself as well. Of course, what every SNL fan was waiting for was seeing if she would make an appearance on Vanessa Bayer's ongoing "Miley Cyrus Show" skit. Surprisingly, she did... as Justin Bieber!

Miley Cyrus Show on SNL

I was secretly hoping that Billy Ray Cyrus would make an appearance as himself here, but Jason Sudeikis did his usual hysterical impersonation. A couple sketches fell flat for me (The Sound of Music, really?)... but overall it was a pretty funny episode and Miley did a great job. I still miss Hannah Montana.

   
• Upgrade. Microsoft has an entire website devoted to killing off their piece of shit web browser, Internet Explorer 6...

Internet Explorer 6 Must Die!

Their suggestion is to have you upgrade to Internet Explorer 8.

If I may be so bold, a suggestion: bypass Internet Explorer 8 and upgrade directly to an even better browser...

Or, don't stop upgrading there... get rid of Windows and step up to Macintosh! It's so much nicer up here!

   
• Downgrade. Meeee-ow! My review of the latest "upgrade" to Twitter for iPhone...

DAVE TWITTER REVIEW:

Developers always seem to play the victim by saying things like "Well, nobody wants to pay for apps anymore, so we use ads. SOMEBODY has to pay, so cut us a break!" — And that's a very good point... except you can't expect people to be happy when the app's functionality is impaired by the ads. Either find a way to insert ads in a way that's not going to shit all over your app, or just charge for the damn thing.

   
• Go for the Gold. One last thing before I go... this morning I discovered Rold Gold "Everything Bagel" Pretzels. Deeeelicious. They kind of reminds me of Chex Mix, but more subtle and without the fishy Worcestershire sauce to mess things up. Still really good flavor though. This is a great find because it's really tough to find the Snyders of Hanover flavors I like around here...

Rold Gold Everything Bagel Pretzels

   
And there's Bullet Sunday for you. Until next week... stay classy, blogosphere.

   

Layover

Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Dave!I just came back from London & Venice, then left for Los Angeles.

Now I'm back from L.A. and am heading off to Las Vegas.

Apparently my travel layovers are no longer in airports, they're at home. It's like I've gone back in time twenty years and I'm living out of a suitcase again. Except now I actually have a suitcase and can afford to stay in accommodations where I don't have to worry about getting stabbed in the middle of the night because somebody wants to steal my socks.

Though I did have my personal shampoo stolen while staying at a Holiday Inn just five years ago.

I suppose it was all my fault for stepping out to Taco Bell so I could try the new "Crunchwrap Supreme" that everybody was talking about. Except I had them substitute rice for the beef, so I guess it wasn't actually the same Crunchwrap Supreme that everybody was talking about after all. Still tasted good. Though it's probably impossible for anything with this much saturated fat content to taste bad. Especially when it's cheese-flavored saturated fat...

Crunchwrap Supreme!
NOTE: Actual product will bear no resemblance whatsoever to this photographic fantasy.
Purple background is optional, and my not be available at your local Taco Bell.

I'm sure there's a life lesson here somewhere. I just can't decide if it's that you should never eat at Taco Bell... or you should never travel with your own shampoo and instead just use the crappy free stuff they give you at the hotel.

All I know is that they will let you take a full-size Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme through airport security. Try that with a full-size bottle of shampoo and you'll end up having it confiscated.

I'll leave it up to you to decide which is the bigger threat to National Security... but something tells me that the TSA has it all backwards.

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Bullet Sunday 226: Las Vegas

Posted on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Dave!It's a Vegas-infused edition of Bullet Sunday!

   
• Classy. The most interesting aspect of Vegas is the people who show up here. People-watching is so good that could almost be a full-time activity. Hang around long enough, and you'll see it all. Drunks walking out into traffic. People puking in trash cans. Women walking through the casino in a bikini. A pickup full of cats that says "Pussy Wagon"... it's all going on in Vegas. But the best thing I saw this trip was a woman walking down The Strip in leopard print pants, a halter-top, hooker-high heels, and makeup so thick it was probably put on with a spatula. This alone wasn't unusual because half the women here look like that. But throw in the fact that she was nursing a newborn baby, and it doesn't get any classier!

   
• Cups. I swear, every time I come to Vegas, the drinking cups are bigger. First there was the "Big Gulp" cup. Then there was the long-neck cup. Then there was the "Yard Glass" cup. Now there's the 100-oz. Cup which is SO long (over 4-feet) that it comes with a neck-strap. I suppose next time I come to Vegas, there will be 200-oz. cups that come with a pull-cart to lug it up and down The Strip...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey and the Ultimate Big Gulp.

What I love is the little "Always Drink Responsibly" signs displayed where you buy these things. How could you possibly drink anything this massive responsibly? The entire purpose of buying one is to be irresponsible.

   
• Gambler. I'm usually pretty lucky when it comes to gambling (even though I don't believe in luck). But not this trip. I won a grand total of $17. On an "investment" of $200. I am officially poor now.

   
• Fremont. I'm always surprised when somebody comes back from Las Vegas, I ask if they visited Fremont Street in the "old town" and they say "no." It's such a shame, because it's such a fun experience. A lot to see and do in a rather small area...

Fremont Street

Fremont Street

And, of course, there's the giant-screen ceiling of the covered-walkway that spans a big chunk of the area. This time we got to rock out to Queen and Kiss, which was very cool because the sound system is great. If you ever end up in Las Vegas, don't miss a chance to visit. It's worth the $20 cab ride...

Fremont Street

   
• Stargate! They will make just about anything into a slots game. TV Shows like Survivor and Sex In The City are popular, and this time I saw one I hadn't seen before based on Stargate SG-1...

Stargate SG-1 Slots!

Stargate SG-1 Slots!

Seems a little sci-fi geek esoteric for Vegas, but it ended up being a good game (even though I didn't win any money)! There really needs to be a slots game based on Top Chef or Project Runway!

   
• Bloody! The perfect Bloody Mary is a difficult beast to track down. Usually because so many place make such bad ones. Imagine my surprise when it was suggested to go to Rainforest Cafe if you want a good Bloody Mary... and they were absolutely right! It's a good mix that's not too spicy and not all watery. AND it comes with potato chips on top! Genius!

Rainforest Bloody Mary

   
• Eat! The best place to eat in Las Vegas? EARL OF SANDWICH at the Miracle Mile Shops in the Planet Hollywood Resort! The franchises are hard to find unless you live in Texas or Florida, and the shop in Las Vegas is the only location in the Western USA. Probably the best sandwich I've ever had. So good I went both days...

Earl of Sandwich

Right next door is Pink's, which is funny since I just went there when I was in Los Angeles this past week...

Pink's Hot Dogs Vegas

   
Annnnnd... that's a Vegas weekend in bullets. Well, the parts I can talk about anyway. Because what happens in Vegas...

   

Terminated

Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Dave!As I write this, it's 8:11pm on April 19th, 2011. Thanks to events in Terminator 2, Skynet has just become self-aware and we're all doomed. I, for one, welcome our machine overlords.

Anyway...

You know how when you go to eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup how you have to go through all the hassle of removing that stupid brown paper cup? What a horrible waste of time! Who wants to mess with that crap? I buy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups because I want to eat them... not because I want to play around with stupid paper!

Well, the people at Hershey must have felt my pain and frustration, because they've released NEW Reese's Minis. Tiny little peanut butter cups that are UNWRAPPED, just like God intended...

Reese' s Minis!

So now there's no time blown on futzing with that stupid paper cup. You can just tear off the top and pour them into your mouth directly...

DAVETOON Bad Monkey Pours a Bag of Mini Reese's into Lil' Dave's Mouth

Now THAT'S how I eat a Reese's!

   
Annnnnnnd... SHIT! My entire website is down. Either Media Temple is dicking around with things AGAIN, or Skynet really has become self-aware, and I will never be able to post this entry!

Looks like Blogography has been terminated.   :-(

   
UPDATE: Annnnnnnd... we're back.

   

Hard

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011

Dave!Most people cite Thanksgiving as the "leftovers holiday" because they end up eating turkey for days afterwards. Others say Christmas is the "leftovers holiday" because they end up eating ham for a week. Neither of these work for me because I'm vegetarian. A vegetarian who eats dairy and eggs. Which is why Easter is my "leftovers holiday." It's hard boiled eggs, egg-salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, and potato-egg salad from here on out...

DAVETOON: Hard Boiled Egg

   
Not that I'm complaining. I love egg-salad sandwiches!

What I hate? Being the last person to hear a joke.

Which is why an email I got this morning made me a little depressed. I had to actually Google That Shit in order to even realize there was a joke in the first place. How did I become this out of touch with the world? I guess I'll ponder that while having another egg-salad sandwich...

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Categories: Food 2011Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cinnamon

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Dave!When I was younger, I loved to cook. I loved to bake. I loved experimenting in the kitchen to come up with something new. But, as the years went by, I had less and less time available for messing around with food. Home-baked bread was replaced by bread-machine bread. And when that got to be too much trouble, I went back to store-bought bread. Things I used to make from scratch were soon replaced by mixes. And when that got to be too much trouble, I just started buying pre-made stuff in the freezer section. It's not as good for me. It's certainly not as fun. But I just don't have the time any more.

But then I got addicted to cooking sites like Foodiddy and baking sites like Joy The Baker, and was assaulted with goodies so amazing-looking that I simply HAD to start baking again. Last night I brought a shit-load of work home with me, but then I happened upon a recipe for Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread from Joy The Baker. It looked too delicious to ignore, so I dropped everything and baked a loaf.

So there I was, eating mind-blowingly delicious Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread while Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was on... all while my pile of work sat there unfinished. And as I thought about how much trouble I was in, I began wondering how many other lives have been ruined by people getting all distracted because of blogs like Foodiddy and Joy The Baker...

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If you would like to ruin your life too, you can visit the most excellent cooking blog Foodiddy here. And if that's not enough of a distraction, Joy The Baker can be found here. And you can go here if you want to make that stupidly-awesome Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread.

You're welcome!

   

Falafel

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Dave!As anybody who follows me on Twitter is aware, I have been futilely searching for falafel here in Redneckistan. No local restaurants seem to make it. When I ask for it at the stores, few people even know what it is ("What's a floppal?") and I worry that I'm going to be put on a terrorist watch-list when I try to explain it ("Middle Eastern? LIKE IRAQ?"). A couple stores carry a falafel mix that's kinda okay, but it doesn't taste very falafely when I make it. I'd make my own falafel from scratch, but the recipe for it is huge and complex and I'm just not that smart in the kitchen. Yet.

So, basically, if you have a falafel craving in the valley here, you're kinda fucked.

Perfect Falafel Sandwich
Perfect Falafel Sandwich taken from Joy of Kosher.

Alas, as a vegetarian, I'm used to getting fucked (in a culinary sense).

Take Olive Garden, for instance. Every time I turn around, they're advertising some new special dish that could be vegetarian, but they screw it up some how. A couple weeks ago, it was Cheese-Filled Soffatelli. Yummy-looking pastries filled with cheese and herbs and junk. But the only way to get them? Served with your choice of beef or chicken...

Olive Garden Soffatelli

Of course I could always order them without the beef or chicken, but you pay the same price. I tried negotiating an extra Soffatelli instead of the beef or chicken, but "it doesn't come that way." Oh well.

And now their latest creation is Four Cheese Pastachettis. Yummy ribbons of pasta filled with cheese and herbs and junk. But the only way to get them? Served with your choice of sausage or chicken...

Olive Garden Cheese Pastachettis

I dunno. Maybe next week I'll go and try begging to see if I can get and extra Pastachetti substituted for the meat. Then prepare for the waiter to stare at me like I'm from outer space and tell me "it doesn't come that way."

Meh. Whatever.

But, you know... I'd kill for some good Indian food.

Of course, you can't get Indian food in Redneckistan either.

Guess I'll just have a salad.

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Bullet Sunday 230

Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Dave!It's a "Holy crap it feels like somebody shot me in the back!" kind of Bullet Sunday this week. Fortunately I have really good drugs to put me out of my misery so I can (hopefully) get some healing sleep tonight. Let's see how many bullets I have in me before I drop off...

   
• Quandary. As somebody who attempts to live my life according to Buddhist precepts, it is not possible for me to take joy in the death of any living thing. So call me unAmerican if you wish, but all I can think of today is the chain of events which began on September 11, 2001 and the horrific loss of life which continues to this day because of it. One more death on the pile... no matter how much one believes it was deserved... is not going to suddenly make everything better in my head. And I'm not sure how I should feel about that. About the only thing I can feel right now is regret. Not that an asshole terrorist and mass-murderer is dead, but that humanity has failed so badly for us to have gotten to this point.

   
• Accomplished? I keep running across people on the internet who are amused that today's news falls precisely eight years after a banner above former president George W. Bush's head declared "Mission Accomplished"...

Mission Accomplished!

Am I a tin-hat wearing conspiracy nut if I admit that the first thing that came to mind after first reading this was "Wow. That's really convenient!" Because, seriously, if you wanted to (further) embarrass President Bush over the failure to capture Public Enemy #1 on his watch, wouldn't this be the ideal way to do it? Hmmmmmm. Nah, it's most certainly just a coincidence. Especially when you consider Hitler's death was also announced on a May 1st. Irony can be so ironic sometimes.

   
• Who? Can I just say that Dr. Who under the brilliant mind of Stephen Moffat has evolved to one of the single best shows ever to air on television? I'm not kidding. The two-part season opener was jaw-droppingly amazing in every possible way...

Doctor Who is Dave Approved!

If you have even a passing interest in really good sci-fi, this show is a must-see.

   
• Magnum! Another import that's well worth checking out? Magnum ice cream bars! It was just over two years ago I mentioned their advertising featuring Eva Longoria when I was in Germany...

Sexy Magnum Ice Cream Ad

And now they have arrived here in the USA! If you happen across the "Almond" variety, which is covered in chocolate with crazy-delicious large chunks of almonds, it is about the best-tasting thing you'll ever eat. Unless you're allergic to nuts. Then it's about the most deadly thing you'll ever eat.

   
Annnd... my meds are starting to kick in. That's kind of a bummer, because I didn't get to all the bullets I had jotted down. Oh well. Something to blog about tomorrow, I guess.

   

SSE2011

Posted on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Dave!My day in pictures...

Falafel Chips!
Yes. They are real. They are delicious.

Phineas and Ferb PEZ
"Hey Ferb, I know what we're gonna do today!"

Phineas and Ferb PEZ
So shark extreme I just can't stand it.

Scorpion Pop
Of all the times to be a vegetarian...

Peepsmobile!
Just don't put it in the microwave.

Boddingtons
BODDINGTONS!!! (oblique Friends reference).

Flan!
Not my photo. Not my inappropriate dessert.

   

   

Super-Crispy

Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Dave!There's something profoundly sad about being in an amazing city like Chicago and having to be stuck indoors working all day long. Even though the weather outside was pretty crappy.

Though I did manage to escape for an hour so that I could have falafel for lunch at a place that Farnsworth recommended last night called BenjYehuda (which, as Mr. Shiny points out, is undoubtedly named after the famous Ben Yudea Street in Jerusalem). It was fantastic falafel to be sure... BUT, it was the greasy bag of super-crispy fries that made this a lunch to be reckoned with...

BenjYehuda Falafel and Fries

As I mentioned, the weather during my lunch hour was pretty crappy. Cold, windy, misty, and a little rainy all at the same time. This made for a miserable walk to the falafel shop from the L-stop, and an interesting conversation as I waited for the crosswalk signal to change...

STRANGER: Geez, man, where's your coat?
ME: Eh, I don't need a coat when I'm walking.
STRANGER: Well, you're stopped now! Are you crazy?
ME: Maybe. But what about that guy across the street? He's in a short-sleeve shirt.
STRANGER: Yeah, but he looks cold like he's supposed to. You don't. That's crazy.

No more crazy than any other pedestrian in Chicago, I'd argue.

Mostly because you have to be crazy to be a pedestrian in Chicago in the first place.

Yesterday on our way back from the candy show, the shuttle bus had to make a detour because a woman was laying in the middle of the street. Presumably because she had been hit by a car. I was not the least bit surprised after I was nearly killed while crossing the street five years ago... the drivers here can get pretty dangerous. I didn't see anything about it in the morning paper, so hopefully the woman was okay.

Anyway...

After work it was time for dinner at my favorite pizzaria in Chicago, PIZANO'S! They have a thin-and-crispy buttercrust pizza to die for. As usual, I ate too much, and am now a little bit miserable. Which is no fun when I've got another 4-5 hours of work to do.

Especially when I'd rather be going to the opening night premiere of The Hangover 2. Sure it looks like it's going to be more of the same, but The Hangover was one of my favorite comedies in a long time, so I'm okay with that.

Alas, back to work I go...

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Bullet Sunday 234

Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from The Windy City!

   
• Forecasting. And when I say "windy" I actually mean "stormy with torrential rains." This afternoon there was thunder, lightning, black clouds, and a literal flood pouring from the sky. What's so odd is that the forecast for tomorrow is "mostly sunny" which is almost impossible to believe. But, then again, looking at the extended forecast, impossible weather seems to be a continuing event here over the next week...

Chicago Weather Forecast

Make up your mind, Chicago!

   
• Thor. Back in the 1980's I was mostly reading DC Comics, with only occasional dalliances with Marvel Comics' stable of characters. All that changed when I got hooked on Walter Simon's absolutely brilliant work on Mighty Thor. His critically acclaimed run on the book was the stuff of legends, and I instantly became a massive fan of the epic stories he was telling there. Eventually Simonson left the book and my interest in the series waned, but I never lost my love of Thor as a character...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Thor

Fast-forward to earlier this month, and Marvel has released a massive tome which collects Walter Simon's work and called it the Thor Omnibus. It runs 1200 pages and is almost too big to hold comfortably (it should have been a 2-volume set!). The interior is absolutely stellar, having been completely recolored. They also added 50 pages of bonus material including drawings from Simonson's sketchbook...

Thor Omnibus

If you are a Thor fan, this is essential. If you are not a Thor fan, this book will make you one. Highest possible recommendation.

   
• Thorified. Which brings us to the brand new Kenneth Branagh-helmed film Thor, a faithful and wholly amazing adaptation of the comic book series. It is a massive, brilliant, totally EPIC film that I simply didn't want to end. Everything from the acting to the special effects to the design to the story was near-flawless...

Thor Movie Poster

If I have one complaint, it's that the story seems oddly rushed. What should have taken months to unfold seems to happen in mere days, providing an unrealistic edge to the character development. I don't care who you are, you don't completely change your entire outlook on life in two days, and yet that's exactly what we're given.

Anyway... the movie tells the story of an ancient race of Norse gods who live in Asgard, one of the "Nine Realms" of our universe. One of these gods is Thor, a vain and arrogant warrior who is due to succeed his father Odin as king. But all this changes when Thor makes a big mistake and ends up being banished from Asgard to "Midgard" which we know as earth. Love, loss, and adventure ensue.

I gotta hand it to Marvel Comics here. First Iron Man came along and blew me away. Now Thor. Next up is Captain America, which looks even more amazing. And then there's X-Men: First Class which looks like it's going to kick all kinds of ass and finally make up for the totally shitty X-Men films that came before. All this will culminate with The Avengers in 2012 which has the potential to redefine the word "epic"... especially with Joss Whedon behind it. All in all, this is a great time to be a comic book fan.

   
• Bridesmaids. Even with all the critical acclaim and internet love, I was still wary of going to see Bridesmaids. Too many times the things other people think of as being "funny" I just think of as being "stupid" and a big waste of time. And then along comes Kristen Wiig's answer to The Hangover. And it's actually funny. And more than a little touching. But mostly entertaining...

Bridesmaids Movie Poster

Wiig plays Annie whose best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and wants her to be her maid of honor. Hilarity ensues. And while there are moments where it felt like an SNL skit that goes on way too long had been shoehorned into the plot, overall I really enjoyed the story. Probably because it went for "funny-smart" instead of "funny-stupid." Add to that a really good cast, and you've got a movie actually worth your valuable time.

Assuming you're an adult who can appreciate an R-rated movie with occasional lapses into gross-out humor.

   
• Pasta. I seem to be going through a ravioli renaissance. I stopped eating the stuff (despite it being one of the things on an Italian menu I could eat) because it always ended up being gummy and squidgy. The last Wednesday I had some of the best cheese ravioli in my life at Piccolo Sogno... followed by an amazing dish of butternut squash ravioli tonight at Prasino. Apparently the greater Chicagoland area knows how to make the stuff. Which is little help as I head back home where nobody seem to know how to make it very well at all.

   
And speaking of home... I suppose it's time to finish up my work, pack my bags, check in for my flight, and post this blog entry so I can fly out tomorrow. Hopefully in better weather than today.

   

Breakfast

Posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Dave!After I got out of the movies last night I was wanting ice cream, but it was really late and so I decided to ignore my craving for the vile stuff and dream about it instead.

This morning when I woke up my ice cream obsession still there, so I decided to drop by a mini-mart on the way to the studio. I ended up buying a Chocolate-Almond Magnum Ice Cream Bar and a bag of "Original" Taco-Flavored Doritos for breakfast. When I got to work, I tore into them so fast that I think I broke the sound barrier...

Magnum Bar + Doritos = Crazy Delicious Breakfast

So there I was eating ice cream and Doritos when I look up and see that a little boy waiting for the school bus is looking at me through the window and screaming "HE'S EATING ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST!!"

Soon a bunch of kids were pressed against the window pointing and staring at me as I sat there with Dorito-breath and ice cream smeared on my face. Not really wanting to be children's entertainment so early in the morning, I waved goodbye then retreated to the back of the studio so I could eat in peace.

As I was sucking the last remaining bits of chocolate off the ice cream stick and dumping the Dorito crumbs in my mouth, I was starting to feel guilty for being such a bad influence on kids... until I remembered that they were going to public school where they would undoubtedly be snorting cocaine off the bathroom toilet seats, looking at porn in the computer lab, and getting wasted off cheap liquor on the bus-ride home. I'm guessing at least one of the kids was having an affair with his teacher or had gotten a fellow classmate pregnant. All of them had probably been to rehab, and half likely had a police record.

Sure they looked eight years old, but the little bugger grow up so fast now-a-days.

Ah the innocence of youth.

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Recipe

Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2011

Dave!Now that groceries are so obscenely expensive, I'm far less confident and creative in the kitchen. I follow recipes exactly as they're written because I'm too worried about something turning out bad and having to throw it out. I just can't afford that kind of waste when a sack of food costs $50.

So when I got a hankerin' for potato salad this past weekend I needed to find a recipe because I've never made it before. After a recommendation and research, I settled on "Myron Mixon's Killer Potato Salad." Apparently the guy is a famous chef and his potato salad is award-winning and stuff.

Anyway, as I was following the recipe to the letter, a number of questions popped up.

Like... the recipe says to boil the potatoes whole, then cut them up after cooking. This sounded silly to me. Potatoes are oddly-sized and cook unevenly. Wouldn't it be better to cut them into uniform pieces BEFORE boiling so they all cook at the same speed? But I didn't want to goof up so I did as the recipe instructed. The bigger ones ended up a bit tough in the center and the little ones were a bit mooshy, but whatever.

Like... the recipe says to add a tablespoon of salt to the dressing. This seemed excessive for two cups' worth of dressing. But, I didn't want to question an expert on how to season potato salad, so I did as the recipe instructed. My expensive potato salad ended up tasting like a salt lick, but whatever.

I spent a lot of money on the ingredients ($6.79 for a tiny bottle of dill alone!) so I didn't want to throw it out. But eating it was out of the question because my lips were burning from all the salt. My solution was to make another batch of salt-free potato salad and mix the two batches. But this time I cut the potatoes before boiling. And I seasoned to taste instead of by measure. Now it tastes great!

And now I've got a shit-load of potato salad in the refrigerator. I'm going to be eating the stuff every day for a month. And yet, I'm okay with that because I didn't have to throw anything in the garbage...

Lil' Dave Eats Potato Salad

I guess sometimes when the ingredients are expensive, it pays to question the recipe.

I guess sometimes when the stakes are high, it pays to break the rules.

I guess sometimes when the situation is bad, you have to start over.

I guess sometimes I need to be reminded of that.

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Sandwiches

Posted on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Dave!My doctor-prescribed diet consists primarily of... shit.

I eat shit for breakfast. Shit for lunch. Shit for dinner, and... if I'm really good... shit for dessert. And it's not so much that I mind eating healthy shit in an effort to actually be healthy, it's that there are other factors at play. Like the heat. It's been crazy hot lately. I am laying in bed right now at 10:30pm with a fan pointed at my head and two ice-packs under my neck. As if that weren't enough, my workload has been insane. From 5:00pm Friday until 8:00am this morning I logged 37 hours. Some three-day weekend.

Which is to say that the prospect of coming home to a shit sandwich* for dinner was unacceptable. At least tonight it was.

So I decided to ignore my doctor and go out to a restaurant so I could eat actual shit, filled with all those things I'm supposed to be avoiding.

And it was delicious.

Even if it was just the Olive Garden.

   
   
* I'm not meaning a literal shit sandwich here... mostly because I'm not allowed to have bread.

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Tragedy

Posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Dave!The drive to Spokane is not a particularly pleasant one.

It's long, it's boring, and it's filled with more nothing than a person really wants to deal with. So whenever I have work there, a wave of dread washes over me. Don't get me wrong... Spokane's a terrific city... I just hate the drive.

But there is a reward at the end of this tedious journey. Because Spokane is where the Best Pizza in the Universe can be found. The mind-numbing hours of driving through vast open spaces isn't so bad knowing that a couple slices of my favorite pizza ever will be waiting for me. It's pretty much all I can think about the entire trip...

Road to Spokane

Road to Spokane

Little Barn on the Prairie!

David's Pizza!

Davincipizza
David's Pizza's Masterpiece... The DaVinci!

But there would be no pizza waiting for me today.

After nearly three hours of mind-numbing boredom, there would be no reward for the drive.

As usual, I don't pass GO, I don't collect $200... I don't even check into my hotel room... I head straight for David's Pizza only to find...

This...

David's Pizza Bulldozed Over and Dead

It's gone.

It's just gone.

And as I sat there in my car staring at the mounds of dirt and rubble that used to be one of my favorite places on earth to eat... I just didn't know what to do with myself. Life had suddenly become meaningless and impossible.

   

Apparently they will be opening up at a new location "soon," but that doesn't do me much good now.

Now that I am abandoned and pizza-less.

Now that all I have to console me are memories.

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Roadie

Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2011

Dave!Today I had to make the long drive back home from Spokane.

WITH NO DAVID'S PIZZA FOR THE ROAD!

Oh how I used to love road pizza. Remember road pizza? I remember road pizza. Nothing makes a long drive fly by like road pizza. Except perhaps Jägermeister and cocaine. But Oprah says you shouldn't drive while drunk and high, so I guess that wouldn't work.

Except Oprah doesn't drive at all. She has a chauffeur drive her ass around! So who the hell is Oprah to tell me that Jägermeister and cocaine is a bad substitute for road pizza? She's probably drunk and high in the back of her stretch limo all the time! If I had Oprah-money, I know I would be.

Sigh.

I really miss road pizza...

Road Pizza!
Mmmmmm... yummy road pizza!

Don't miss Oprah though.

Last night I went to Famous Ed's, which is a sports bar run by the same people that run David's Pizza. They had my beloved "Da Vinci" pizza, so I ordered up a pie...

Famous Ed's Pizza

It looked kind of like David's. It had a taste that was reminiscent of David's, but... not so much.

For one thing, they added clove garlic to it, so the subtle flavors in the pesto were destroyed. For another thing, the feta cheese had too many crumbs, so it was also too salty. Something was off with the crust too. Not that it was a bad pizza per se, but it just wasn't David's.

Oh well. Better than nothing, I guess.

Hopefully they'll re-open at their new location soon and the universe will go back to normal.

And I can go back to having my road pizza.

   

Taco

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011

Dave!Holy shit.

HOLY SHIT!

Headline 1964 Beatles in America

Headline Man Walks on Moon 1969

Headline Berlin Wall Crumbles 1989

Headline Red Sox Wins the Series 2004

Headline Taco Bell Taco with Doritos Shell 2011
Photo by Reddit user fybpm

   
Time for a trip to Taco Bell. Three Doritos tacos, substitute rice for beef please!

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Culinary

Posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Dave!After a boring two-hour drive to the coast...

Jäger Bucket
Dinner... just pump it!

Fry Bread!
Dessert... just fry it!

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Bullet Sunday 257

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday on Monday from the great state of Georgia!

   
• Hurt! After arriving at the gate of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, I was pulling my backpack from the overhead bin when some guy decided he simply couldn't wait for me to get out of the way... and pulled down his pack right into my face. He had some kind of wooden easel or tripod attached, which ended up scraping across my eyelid. So now I've got a good cut there that's nice and swollen. His excuse to being such a dick? "Sorry, I've got a tight connection." And if my eye would have been poked out? Well, he's got a tight connection, so sorry about that. I swear that manners and courtesy go right out the window when people get on an airplane. The really terrible part? This is not the first time somebody has nailed me while retrieving their crap.

   
• Dino! Since my work was pushed back until late Monday, this left me all day Sunday to goof off in Atlanta. I started out by visiting The Fernbank Museum of Natural History, as suggested by Coal Miner's Granddaughter and The Muskrat...

Fernbank Museum Atlanta

It's a very cool museum... though a bit expensive at $17.50. As a holiday bonus, a group of young girls were dancing Christmas-themed ballet amongst the dinosaur skeletons in the main atrium. I wish I could say that was the oddest thing I've seen in a museum but, alas, no.

   
• Shop! From the museum I went to the Lenox Square Mall so I could go to The Apple Store. Along the way, I passed the shameless PC-based copy that is The Microsoft Store. Inside there were a handful of customers and a small group of employees. Once I got to The Apple Store, however... madness. Dozens of employees were helping wall-to-wall customers. The place was packed. And while there were a lot of people just looking, a good chunk of them were buying, as customers were leaving the store with Macintosh computer boxes and Apple-logo bags at a steady clip.

This is kind of an odd turn of events given the sorry state Apple was in just fourteen years ago. I remember a time when there was a very real possibility that Apple was going to fail...

Wired Cover Apple Pray

Microsoft isn't going to lose their massive PC market share over Apple any time soon, but it's nice to see how well Apple is doing now-a-days after being an underdog for so long.

   
• Pig! In previous years coming to Atlanta during the holiday season, I was introduced to Priscilla The Pink Pig. It's a train ride for kids that is put on by Macy's each year. As you might imagine, it's a very big deal. And, if you must know, I'm kind of obsessed with The Pink Pig...

Pink Pig Sign at Macy's

Priscilla The Pink Pig Character Balloon

The Pink Pig is Stoned!

The Pink Pig Train!

Stuffed Toy Priscilla the Pink Pigs!

One of these years I'm going to ride that pig. Probably because my love of Invader Zim demands it...

Ride the Pig! From Invader Zim!

   
• Eat! Copasetic Beth and Houston's Problem were kind enough to join me for dinner at The Varsity. For anybody unfamiliar with this Atlanta institution, it's "The World's Largest Drive-In Restaurant" located near Georgia Tech. Their menu is pretty limited and not very vegetarian-friendly, but they have a "Frosted Orange Drink" that I love, so I end up eating there every once in a while...

The Varsity Atlanta

What makes the place interesting is that employees accepting orders will start screaming "WHAT'LL YA HAVE? WHAT'LL YA HAVE? WHAT'LL YA HAVE? at the top of their lungs when they're ready for their next customer. The first time I ate here (again with Copasetic Beth and Houston's Problem), the woman at the counter yelled "HAVE YOUR ORDER IN MIND AND YOUR MONEY IN HAND" at me as I approached the counter. For people not accustomed to it, this can be a little intimidating. But, given the sheer volume of customers streaming into the place, they have to do what they can to keep the line moving...

Inside The Varsity

With practice, I now know to pass over my $5 while saying "GIMME A REGULAR F.O. AND FRIES!" so I don't get an eye-roll by not being ready and not knowing how to order properly...

REGULAR F.O. AND FRIES!!

It's like an Orange Creamsicle in a cup, and oh so delicious!

   
• Sew! When I was fairly young, my grandmother taught me how to sew. She figured I should know how to hem a pair of pants or repair a tear if I had to. I was never really good at it, but I did manage to use what skills I had to make Halloween costumes and stuff...

Dave and Mr. Flibble

Dave as Avitable's MURDER CLOWN!

Since sewing is a handy thing to know how to do, I've always wanted to take a class so I could be better at it. The problem is that enrolling in a class requires you to be at a certain place at a certain time and adhere to a class schedule in a way my work and travel makes impossible. Enter Whipstitch and her e-courses, which allow me to take a "virtual class" which is a lot more flexible. The reason I bring this up is that you can now pre-purchase any of the 2012 courses (including the Sewing Basics class I'll be taking) for just $99... which is up to 45% off the regular price! If you've ever wanted to bone up on your sewing skills... or learn something new with the skills you already have... you can get all the details over at the Whipstitch Blog!

   
And now I should probably try and get some rest since there's no telling what time I'm going to be woken up for work.

   

Rage!

Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Dave!Work ended hours earlier than I thought it would at 8:45pm. This was a pleasant surprise, and meant I could drive back to Atlanta tonight and not have to worry about heading back tomorrow on the day of my flight. But my injured eyelid was killing me... I had been up since 4:00am and was exhausted... and it was raining hard with lightning strikes... so I decided to just grab me some dinner and go to bed.

At least this was the plan as I pulled into a 24-hour restaurant.

After being ignored when I walked in the door, I was finally told to grab a table and they'd be right with me. But nobody was right with me. Everybody wandered off. I tried to get the attention of the one girl who was left, but she just rolled her eyes at me and walked away. I'm a fairly level-headed guy, but After TEN FULL MINUTES of being completely ignored, my anger was at the boiling point.

I said "SCREW THIS!" and walked out.

Which I have only done twice in my entire life.

Fueled by rage, I was no longer hurting. No longer tired. No longer giving a shit about the pouring rain. I just wanted to get the hell out of Dodge.

So I packed up my shit and drove the hour-forty back to Atlanta.

One of the reasons I love The South is the genuine Southern hospitality here. These people aren't faking it. Most of the time I feel like family when meeting total strangers because they're just so dang nice. I expect to walk into a restaurant and feel like I'm at home because that's how it's been every other time I've eaten at a restaurant here.

So when bullshit like this happens, I'm understandably pissed off.

On the way back I stopped off at a Waffle House in the city of Griffin and had me a couple fried egg sammies, which were delicious. And served by a friendly, attentive, hard-working staff...

Fried Egg Sammies & Mayo!

I tipped well. Not being ignored puts me in a generous mood. And now I am taking my generous mood to bed, where hopefully I can sleep-in tomorrow morning.

I'm taking an Excedrin PM, so my fingers are crossed...

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Sticks

Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Dave!Dear Pizza Hut,

I love Pizza Hut breadsticks.

When I travel, I often times go from Pizza Hut to Pizza Hut so I can have your delicious breadsticks with their oh-so-crusty buttery tops covered in parmesan cheese that I love to dip in that rich, thick, sweetly flavorful red sauce. It's deliciousness I can count on no matter where I go... from London to Sydney to Tokyo to locations all over the good ol' USA. I write songs with Pizza Hut breadsticks in them. Most days I can honestly say that I'd rather have an order of Pizza Hut breadsticks than chocolate cake...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey with Pizza Hut Sticks

I wish I had Pizza Hut delivery in my small city, but I don't. My local Pizza Hut is thirty-five minutes away. I don't eat there very often because it's inconveniently located and usually requires a special trip. But tonight I was craving breadsticks, so I made a detour to get some.

Let me start out by saying that my server was excellent. She didn't just make me feel good about eating at Pizza Hut... she made me feel good about life. She was capable, friendly, helpful, energetic, enthusiastic, and knew exactly how to provide flawless, attentive service without being smothering. It was delightful.

But then the breadsticks came and I noticed something was wrong.

The sauce wasn't that luscious rich red color. It was kind of brownish-orangeish-red. It looked sad.

Then I went to dip a breadstick in it, and saw that it was thin and watery... not thick at all. This had the disastrous effect of turning my crispy breadstick soggy in the middle no matter how fast I took a bite after dipping.

And then I tasted it. Bland, uninspired, boring.

What happened?

Are you now serving regular-old pizza sauce with your sticks instead of that sweet, succulent, scrumptiously zesty red sauce I know and love? Is that what's happening?

I sure hope not.

I hope this was just some terrible, terrible mistake. A temporary lapse of judgement, perhaps.

In this world gone mad, there's very few things people can count on. Delicious Pizza Hut breadsticks with red sauce is one of them. If that's no longer the case, then shame on you for taking a little happiness out of the universe at a time when we so desperately need it.

Right now all I can think about is my next visit to Pizza Hut and whether or not my beloved breadsticks will come with that wonderful sauce that makes life a little more bearable. I'm actually scared to go to Pizza Hut again in case it doesn't.

   
In happier news, there was a wonderful Google Doodle tribute to one of my all-time favorite artists, Diego Rivera, today...

Diego Rivera Google Doodle

If only I could Google up some real Pizza Hut breadsticks. Instead I'll just have to dream about them.

   

Butterhorn

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011

Dave!I caught some crap for this old blog post today.

Some people are really serious about their wine, I guess. I thought I could get out of it by saying "I was only joking," but then I re-read the entry and realized that I wasn't. Oh well.

When I got home from work I was hungry but nothing sounded good to eat. Well, nothing here sounded good to eat. I would have killed for some Patatjes Met from the Netherlands. Or a Puka Dog from Hawaii. Or a plate of authentic Fettucini Alfredo from Rome. Or Pizano's Pizza and an America's Dog from Chicago. Or even just a Johnny Rockets veggie burger from Seattle...

Foods I Love

But what I really wanted was something I can't even have any more... even if I went to Salt Lake City to get it... I WANT BIG CITY SOUP!! But it closed down years ago...

Big City Soup

I hate it when that happens.

I hear they're making a Big City Soup Cookbook or something, but it wouldn't be the same.

   
I ended up having Peanut Butter M&M's and a Svenhard's butterhorn with a can of Coke...

Svenhard's Butterhorns
Yo! Svenhard's... BUTTERHORN is ONE WORD, NOT TWO!

Delicious.

Relatively speaking.

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Bullet Sunday 264

Posted on Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday and I'm so happy I could crap my pants!

   
• That Dog Won't Hunt! So Jon Huntsman, the only Republican candidate that I might have voted for, is dropping out of the race. And since the remaining candidates will be hard pressed to sway independent voters to their respective agendas, I guess that we're in for four more years of President Obama. Unless he punches Betty White in the face while wiping his ass with the American flag during a televised White House press conference or something.

Now, if you will excuse me, I shall now go and mourn the loss of what could have been our three First Daughters...

Jon Huntsman's Unbelievably Hot Daughters!

Sadly, Mitt Romney has no hot daughters (that he knows of, I'm sure). Though I'm starting to wonder if he'll even be a factor now that Stephen Colbert has entered the race in South Carolina and these wicked attack ads are airing...

Genius. And it's funny because it's true!

   
• It's a Fucking Frog! Just when I think that it's impossible for nature to shock me more than it already has... along comes The World's Tiniest Frog...

Tiny, tiny, impossibly tiny frog on a dime.
Photograph by Christopher Austin, Louisiana State University

How?

How in the hell is this even possible? That's a DIME! And that's an actual frog sitting on top... not even half the size of the coin. How does its lungs function when they must barely be the size of the air molecules they breathe in? Unbelievable. And cute. Lookat da iddybitty froggy!

   
• ZOMFG it's Music! After one of my favorite bands, The Shins, kind of imploded... I worried that we'd never hear from them again. Shins mastermind James Mercer appeared to move on to a new collaboration called Broken Bells with DJ Danger Mouse, so I figured that was the end of it. But lo and behold this last week I got an iTunes pre-sale notice for a new band line-up and a new album called Port of Morrow...

Port Of Morrow Album Art

My expectations are high. Fortunately, the preview track Simple Song didn't disappoint. Can't wait until I get to hear the rest of the album in March. You can pre-order your own copy at the iTunes Music Store here.

   
• Eggxactly Right! Because groceries are so stupid-expensive, I find myself buying foodstuffs not because I necessarily want them, but because they're on sale for cheap. Most of the time, this comes back to bite me in the ass, but every once in a while I stumble across something so delicious that I wonder how I ever survived without it. Such was the case with Crystal Farms' "Three Cheese Chef's Omlet" from the freezer case...

Dave Approved Chef's Omlet

Holy cow. It's the perfect omelet. Light, fluffy, and loaded with quality, flavorful cheese... from a frickin' microwave! When served on buttered toast with a little ground pepper... it's a quick and easy breakfast that's so good. Which means that it's probably being discontinued and the reason it was on sale was because they were clearing out their inventory. Crap.

   
• Well I'll Be! And so Washington State is dangerously close to passing Marriage Equality legislation. Color me pleasantly surprised. Despite the fact that "The Coast" is decidedly liberal... the view from Redneckistan here on the other side of the mountains is often cloudy when it comes to gay marriage. Oh I'm sure there are many people here who have no problem with everybody getting their fair shot at happiness (as promised when our country was founded). And there's undoubtedly a growing number of people here who are tired of their gay friends and family being relegated to second class citizens. And it's certain that more and more heterosexual couples are realizing that same-sex marriage has -zero- effect on their marriage. And it seems many Conservatives are finally figuring out the smaller government includes getting politics out of bedrooms and keeping religion out of politics.

So maybe.

It just comes down to whether enough politicians will do the right thing and move forward in a way that an increasing majority of Americans want to have happen. Here's hoping.

   
And now I have to get back to work. And Dune, which is playing as background noise here in my living room. THE SPICE MUST FLOW!

   

Krave

Posted on Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Dave!There's new products.

And then there's dangerously new products.

After I got home from work, I saw a commercial for "Krave," which kind of blew my mind...

Kelloggs has a new breakfast cereal called KRAVE. It's cereal filled with chocolate candy. Sweet Jesus I've never felt more proud to be an American.

Because, seriously... IT'S CEREAL FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE CANDY! Isn't it glorious?

KRAVE Cereal

Pour a shot of Jägermeister on top, and you've got a party.

Anyway...

My work Mac has been dying for a while now. It's been in near constant use for six years, so this isn't surprising. I'm just happy that it has worked so well for so long... and especially pleased that Apple supported it all this time. So far as I know, you can still run all the latest software on the latest version of MacOS X, which is pretty remarkable. Sure it runs slow, but not prohibitively so. If the video and hard drive controllers weren't flaking out, I probable could have gotten another year or two out of it. But, alas, the video gets jittery even when I replace the video card, and I keep losing files and having crashes, soooooo... I guess it's time.

At first I was looking into getting another Mac Pro. But then I noticed that Apple seems to be distancing themselves from their desktop computer line. It's rarely updated and no real innovations have been happening there for a while. Where the action is at is in the iMac line...

iMacs!

The top-of-the-line iMac is over twice as fast as my current computer. That's not as nice as a new mid-level Mac Pro, which would be four times faster, but an iMac is half the price, so there you have it. It's also pretty. So I ordered a tricked out a 27-inch iMac and we'll see how it goes.

Nothing quite like adding even more profit to Apple's bottom line to make you feel alive.

   

Girls

Posted on Monday, March 26th, 2012

Dave!Yesterday on the way home from The Coast, I stopped at the grocery store because my cupboards were bare. On the way in, I noticed a table stacked with Girl Scout cookies being attended by sweet, smiling Girl Scouts. "Hello!" they said cheerfully as I walked by. After shopping, I went to pay for my groceries and realized I forgot my wallet in the car. "Hello!" said the Girl Scouts once again as I rushed out to my car. I grabbed my wallet and dashed back into the store. "Hello!" said the Girl Scouts as I ran past.

After finally paying for my groceries, I was pushing my cart out to the parking lot when the smiling Girl Scouts once again gave me a cheery "Hello!" as I rolled past. "OKAY! I'LL BUY A BOX OF COOKIES!" I bellowed.

It was then that I noticed the Girl Scouts were wearing jeans and T-shirts. "Hey! Where are your Girl Scout uniforms?" I asked. I was then shown that the girls were wearing an official "Girl Scouts Pin" and told that uniforms are now optional. "Optional?!? Then how can I tell you're real Girl Scouts? Maybe you mugged some Girl Scouts and stole those cookies! This got me some nervous laughter, but apparently they didn't care about my being a smart-ass so long as I was buying their cookies. That's just good business sense, I suppose...

Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey sell Girl Scout Cookies!

It's probably only a matter of time before other uniforms go the way of the dodo bird. But so long as that police officer is wearing his official "Police Force Pin," he still has a license to shoot people and drive really fast with his lights flashing... even if they're wearing a pair of Hawaiian board shorts and a lime green tank top.

Oh well. I guess we'll still get to see uniforms on Halloween...

Sexy Police and Girl Scout Uniforms

   

30 DAYS DRAWING CHALLENGE: Draw Something You Don't Like...

Santorum Poster in a Pile of Shit.

And I'm liking Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum less and less every day. That being said, he would be hysterical opponent for President Obama in a debate. The entertainment value would be so amazing that I'm almost tempted to donate to his campaign.

   

Cashless

Posted on Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Dave!Today I got in a conversation with somebody where I mentioned that Canada is killing off their penny. They bristled at the idea. I said that not only do I wish we'd kill off our penny... I wish that we'd do away with cash altogether. In addition to saving us bajillions in production costs, we'd also do away with counterfeiters, hamper drug dealers, and reduce who-knows what other problems plaguing society. Money truly is the root of all evil, ya know. The person I was talking to admitted that they had never thought of it that way, and could see my point.

That's when I had to drop the bombshell that it's never going to happen in the US in our lifetimes because the Christians would revolt.

"Huh? Wha-? I'm a Christian, why would we revolt?!?"

"Well, a lot of you guys believe that the advent of a cashless society is a sign of the impending Apocalypse and the End of Days."

"Wha-? No we don't!"

"Some of you do. Among the freaky imagery in Revelation 13 is the idea that the Anti-Christ will do away with cash and you'll need the Mark of the Beast to buy stuff."

"Mark? Like a tattoo? That's in the Book of Revelations? "

"Err... Book of RevelaTION, yeah. I guess it could be a tattoo... like a barcode. Or maybe a brand. Or a computer chip or something... sure. Could even be a credit card... The Bible isn't always literal about things."

"Weird. Guess I don't remember Revelations much."

"Perhaps if you started by remembering the title correctly the rest would come easier..."

"Huh-?"

And then I had to wonder for the millionth time how it is that I, a non-Christian, have put in more time studying The Bible than most Christians I meet. And then I had to wonder for the billionth time how it is that somebody can choose to live their life and base their faith on a book (The Book) that they don't know much about and don't really understand. Maybe going to church and listening to somebody else tell them what they should think about their most sacred texts is enough. It wouldn't be for me. But to each their own I guess.

Anyway...

It snowed last night and was cold and rainy all day, so I was looking for something warm to eat for dinner. But after having worked all day, I didn't want to cook. So I decided to make a salad and see how that goes...

My dinner salad recipe for tonight (all measures approximate)

It was delicious. Though I do wish tomatoes were in season. With an additional vegetable (or a fruit masquerading as a vegetable), it might actually be considered a "salad" instead of an excuse to eat loads of dressing and cheese. I suppose I could have tossed some frozen peas in there or something.

But then I had Eggo waffles for dessert, so I guess it doesn't really matter how many vegetables I dump on my bowl of dressing and cheese.

Now I wish I had some ice cream.

Oh man... how awesome would ice cream be on Eggo waffles?

   

Bullet Sunday 273

Posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Dave!Time to grab your bullet-proof vest, because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Fool. I am not a fan of "April Fools' Day." Most of the pranks are pretty lame, stupid, and usually too obvious to "fool" anybody... especially the ones you find online. But Google has once again hit it out of the park with not one, but two amazingly well thought out and executed joke videos. Sure it's unlikely that anybody is going to be fooled, but they're still genius if you haven't seen them already...

   

   
• Leyner. I am not a fan of audio books. If I'm going to invest time in a book, I want to read it myself instead of having somebody read it to me. But I had a friend who was addicted to them, so every time we'd take a road-trip, he'd bring a bunch of them. I was never impressed enough to pay much attention. Except once. That would be the time that he popped in Et Tu, Babe by Mark Leyner into the cassette player and blew my mind. It was the single most awesome and bizarre thing I had ever heard...

Et Tu, Babe!

After that, I was a diehard Mark Leyner fan, and kept up with all his genius that I could get my hands on... Tooth Imprints On a Corn Dog; I Smell Esther Williams; The Tetherballs of Bougainville; My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist; and now his latest... The Sugar Frosted Nutsack...

The Sugar Frosted Nutsack

It's pretty insane... even for Leyner... but I still liked it. There's just nobody out there doing what he does the way he does it. But here's the thing... YOU HAVE TO GET THE AUDIO BOOK! Leyner reads all his books himself, and half of what makes his stuff so damn funny is his performance of the material. The shame is that Et Tu, Babe, which remains my favorite, is not available anymore. I keep hoping that Audible will add it since I only own it on cassette, but it's never shown up. Leyner is absolutely not for everyone... the guy is crazy-ass bizarre... but if you're looking for something different... really different... then the audio book might be worth a listen at your local library.

   
• Amazement. The season two debut was everything I was hoping for and more...

Game of Thrones Season 2 Poster

And if you're a fan of Tyrion Lannister on the show, you need to read an interview with the actor who portrays him, the amazing Peter Dinklage, in the New York Times.

   
• Eggo2. For the person who said Eggo Waffles were "gross" after I mentioned them yesterday, I would have to agree. Usually. Except... the NEW "Thick & Fluffy" Eggos that just came out are an entirely different animal. The honest truth? I prefer them to a lot of waffles I've had in restaurants...

Eggo Thick and Fluffy Waffles

So delicious. So not kidding. If you like waffles, give 'em a try.

   
Annnnnd... SCENE. No more bullets for you!

   

Day Five: Zaanse Schans

Posted on Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Dave!Today The DutchBitch says "It is a beautiful day to visit Zaanse Schans!" And, like the fool I am, I believed her. Though I suppose if you ignore the freezing winds and overcast skies, it was a beautiful day to go exploring.

Zaanse Schans is a tourist attraction north of Amsterdam with various shops and interesting things to see. But it's best known for its collection of preserved and functional windmills...

Zaanse Schans

Windmills

Among the attractions is a "Klompenmakerij" or "Wooden Clog Workshop" where you get to watch them make shoes...

Klompen Wooden Shoe Maker

They also have a "Kaasmakerij" or "Cheesemaker Shop" which has all kinds of delicious hand-made cheeses...

Cheese Maker

It's a nice shop... but you can't bring your chicken in with you...

No Chickens!!

And there's a gift shop with... Miffy!...

Miffy

Eventually the sun started to come out a bit, so we walked down the row of windmills...

Windmills at Zaanse Schans

Once we were tired of goofing off in Zaanse Schans, it was time for PATATJES MET and OUDE KAAS!!

Patatjes Met

Never mind that I have eaten fried potatoes with mayo and an aged cheese sandwich every day since I've been here... you just can't get enough of a good thing.

And, just like that, my adventure in DutchyLand has come to an end. I'm off to the airport in an hour.

   

Bullet Sunday 275

Posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Dave!I'm droppin' bullets like Benjamins, yo, because Bullet Sunday starts... now.

   
• Bitchsterdam. An overdue thank you to The DutchBitch for an awesome Bitchsterdam 3 blogger event. I've been to the Netherlands many times, but she managed to find some fantastic touristy stuff that I've never seen before... including a visit to the amazing Keukenhof gardens. Easily worth a ten-hour flight. Here's hoping she can be convinced to have Bitchsterdam 4! If, for no other reason, than I can attempt to use words like "geesteswetenschappen" in a sentence again...

Geesteswetenschappen!
It apparently means "humanities"... OR DOES IT?!? You just don't know!

   
• Superiority. And speaking of DutchyLand... I fully accept that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world and all those other freedom-hating backwater countries don't matter and have nothing to contribute. I mean... I kind of have to don't I? The minute an American even implies that other countries are relevant to world affairs and have wonderful cultural contributions to be made, FOX "News" will brand them an American-hating traitor. And heaven forbid that you happen to be the president and have an appreciation for other countries' contribution to the planet. That's enough for FOX "News" to demand your impeachment!

However...

Call me a traitor if you must, but creamy and delicious Dutch mayonnaise is so fucking superior to the gelatinous glop we call "mayonnaise" here in the U.S. that it's not even funny. This trip I checked a suitcase, which meant I was able to bring home a bunch of the stuff. So now I can fry up some fries for PATATJES MET at home...

Patatjes Met at Home!

PATATJES MET!!! Amazing. Whoever decides to market a superior Dutch mayo here is going to make millions. Millions!!

   
• WHAT?!? And speaking of fries... have you heard that browning potatoes creates a cancer-causing chemical called "acrylamide" that makes them deadly to eat? Can you believe this shit? Why is it that everything that tastes good ends up killing you? This is so not fair. PATATJES MET OR DEATH?!? I can't answer that.

   
• Earth! Ooh! It's Earth Day! That one day out of the year where people pretend to give a shit about our planet! Including me. Despite it being 82° out today, I rolled down my window instead of turning on the air conditioner in my car. That totally counts, right?

   
• Television. Kind of gutted that two of my favorite new shows, Awake and The Finder are not getting the ratings they need for renewal. Instead they'll be cancelled and replaced by a reality show or some other stupid-ass crap that doesn't require thought from the American viewing public. And who knows what's going to happen to Fringe, which had a game-changing episode on Friday. It's almost to the point where I'm afraid to get invested in good television anymore...

Good Television Posters

   
And, on that sad note, I've gotta go tempt death by having another plate of PATATJES MET!

   

Murder

Posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Dave!We were hit by a deluge this afternoon, with the rain falling so hard that leaves were being ripped from the trees. This made it really difficult to drive on the highway because the water was piling up faster than it could run off the road. Some cars started hydroplaning and losing control, so everybody slowed down to a more appropriate speed and everything was fine.

Until some dumbass came ripping down the highway at top speed, skidding through the water while weaving in and out of traffic. As he attempted to pass me, he slid so close to my car that I thought I would lose my side-mirror, but I managed to turn and brake quickly enough that I didn't get hit. That I nearly ended up in the ditch didn't mean anything to the asshole, and he sped off to even more dangerous encounters as horns were blaring around him.

The hospital was in the opposite direction, so I have no idea why he was in such a hurry, but I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually ended up killing somebody.

Oh, excuse me, murdering somebody.

Because driving like a psychopath in such bad weather conditions is an intentional bid to kill someone... there would be no "accident" here. And yet, even such a reckless regard for safety (including his own) didn't seem to register as he was skidding all over the road.

Which makes me think about the old "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you do it?" question. No, this asshole driver probably isn't going to end up responsible for killing millions of people... but do the numbers really matter when murdering even one person is a tragedy? Everybody is important to somebody.

And so there I am behind the wheel watching in horror as some dumbass is skidding all over the place while other drivers try their best to avoid him. And it occurs to me that I don't have to go back in time to kill this asshole and save lives... I could follow him home and kill him right now!

Not that I would actually do it, of course. But what about the person that would? Like me, they come to the whole "kill Hitler" quandary and then, unlike me, decide to do society a favor and eliminate the bastard driver. What about them?

So drive safe everybody. It's not just an accident that can kill you.

And speaking of something that can kill you...

Pizza Hut in the Middle East has introduced "Crown Crust Carnival Pizza" where cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets are baked into the crust!

Pizza Hut Burgers Pizzas

GENIUS! It almost makes me wish I wasn't a vegetarian. And I lived in Kuwait. And I had a deathwish.

It's only a matter of time before they start putting chocolate cake in the crust so you can have pizza and dessert at the same time. I can't tell you how happy I am to be alive during an era of such magical culinary innovation. But it's pretty happy.

   

DIBS!

Posted on Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Dave!Waaaaahhh!

This blog entry is brought to you by... DIBS!

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Eats Dibs!

What makes ice cream taste better than ever before?

DIBS!

What makes ice cream unhealthier than ever before?

DIBS!

What is so addictive that crack addicts use it to wean themselves off the pipe?

DIBS!

What consumes your life so completely that it's known as "Satan's Candy?"

DIBS!

What snack is so overwhelming that even Charlie Sheen won't touch it?

DIBS!

What did I have with every meal today?

DIBS!

Yes, that's right... it's DIBS! Delicious bites of ice cream that's been covered in chocolate and rice crispies, then frozen in tubs for your eating pleasure!

And now... I'm sure I had something I wanted to write about today, but who can blog at a time like this when I've got DIBS left in the freezer!

DIBS!

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Breadsticks

Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Dave!So... I worked straight through all day and have been completely out of touch with the world. Anything happen while I was gone?

Well, other than Olive Garden's 2 for $25 Italian Dinner Special... WITH UNLIMITED SALAD AND BREADSTICKS!

Salad and Breadsticks

I just wish they didn't mandate that you have to pay for the dinner in order to get the unlimited salad and breadsticks. Why should I be forced to pay for something I don't want just to be able to get unlimited free access to something I do? I mean, it's nice they made it cheaper and easier to get, but who knows when I'm going to eat that breadstick... I may end up never eating it! And that means I was forced to pay for dinner for nothing!

Sure, I still get all the benefits of dinner that will get me all the salad and breadsticks I need if I ever end up needing some... and, yeah, it wouldn't be fair to just wander into Olive Garden and demand unlimited salad and breadsticks when I didn't pay for any dinner... and, certainly, it's the money that's coming in from the dinners that allows Olive Garden to provide the unlimited salad and breadsticks in the first place... but forcing people to buy something is totally un-American! It's like a socialist plot invented by... oh, dunno... the Italians or something!

I should be able to refuse to buy dinner and instead fucking starve to death because I can't afford to pay the $200,000 for a salad and breadstick emergency... which is how much something like that costs when you didn't purchase the dinner plan. I mean, it's my right as an American to gamble my life away! That's why we're the best country on earth and leaders of the free world!

And it's also my right to decide I don't want to die... and to change my mind at the last minute if an unexpected salad and breadsticks emergency happens... and to then shame this country for killing its citizens just because they made the mistake of not getting dinner when they had the chance. Would Jesus allow a man to die just because he had no dinner and couldn't afford emergency salad and breadsticks? I think not!

I dunno. I just don't get it. What's next... is Olive Garden going to force me to buy Justin Bieber albums? Or force me to do some other random thing that sounds crazy but has absolutely no bearing what-so-ever on Americans' access to unlimited salad and breadsticks?

Probably.

Bad enough that I am forced to buy dinner... but the fact that some of my dinner money is going to provide salad and breadsticks for the poor is what really pisses me off. Because they're poor. They should just be allowed to starve to death because feeding the poor is socialist. I'm pretty sure that's in The Bible.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go eat AT TACO BELL. Where real Americans eat American food like American Nacho Burrito Supremes... just like our American Founding Fathers did.

U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!

   

Unplanned

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2012

Dave!This morning I had grandiose plans to wake up early, unpack my suitcase (from four days ago), and do some chores that have been piling up over the last several weeks. Instead I read a really cool book about the Batman movies and ended up being 20 minutes late to work.

Sometimes things just don't go as planned.

Which is okay... except I'm going to be working all weekend, so my luggage and list of chores is going to be put off until next week. Heaven forbid I should get up early on a weekend to take care of stuff before a Toxic Biological Event starts growing in my suitcase...

Bad Monkey Suitcase Trouble

And speaking of Toxic Biological Events...

What in the hell is happening over at Taco Bell? These new Cantina Bell items look fantastic and they have vegetarian options...

Cantina Bell Menu

I haven't been this excited for shitty Mexican fast-food since Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes debuted!

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Cantina

Posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Dave!I finally made it to Taco Bell to try their new "Cantina Bell" menu... which is supposed to be a "gourmet" selection of Mexican dishes.

My expectations were understandably low. This is, after all, Taco Bell.

I ordered the Veggie Cantina Salad with a side of guacamole and chips. The salad consisted of a bed of warm cilantro rice topped with black beans, lettuce, guacamole, roasted corn & pepper salsa, pico de gallo, and a cilantro dressing.

All I can say is bravo, Taco Bell... bravo...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Claps

The salad was excellent. All the ingredients were tasty, fresh, and of good quality. The guacamole was creamy and had good flavor. I loved the roasted corn & pepper salsa. The beans and cilantro rice were cooked to perfection. The dressing had a nice "tang" to it and tied everything together nicely. I would have liked to have had a little cheese sprinkled on top, but it wasn't a deal-breaker.

I can't wait to try the Cantina Veggie Burrito, which takes all the salad ingredients and wraps them in a flour tortilla that looks to be toasted. I'm betting it's even better than the salad...

Taco Bell Cantina Burrito
This photo (taken from Cantina Bell) shows dead chicken in the burrito, which I'd skip.

   
Cantina Bell Menu
Any one of the three sides (guac, salsa, pico de gallo) with chips and a Pepsi can be added for just $2!

   
The recipes for all this great stuff are courtesy of Lorena Garcia. Not only is she a famous chef who comes up with good recipes... she's totally hot and is a contestant on the current season of Top Chef Masters as well...

Lorena Garcia

   
I can honestly say that my Cantina Bell meal at Taco Bell... YES, TACO BELL!... was as good as I've had at some finer Mexican restaurants, even though you're eating it with a plastic spork from a crappy plastic bowl. I will absolutely be eating at "Cantina Bell" again, and hope that the menu sticks around for a while.

Or forever.

If you need a quick meal and feel like some pretty good Mexican fare, give it a shot!

   

‘Merican

Posted on Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Dave!Several years ago a chef at an upscale restaurant asked me what kind of cheese I wanted on my fancy sandwich. I said "Oh, I dunno... American is fine."

I got yelled at. "AMERICAN IS NOT A REAL CHEESE! IT CAN BARELY EVEN BE CONSIDERED A FOOD!"

Which was confusing, because the American cheese I always buy says "cheese food" right on the label.

But even so, I was embarrassed for having been so classless and ignorant as to have asked for "American cheese" on a sandwich, so I stopped eating the stuff. Instead I started buying cheddar cheese at home and always asked for cheddar, swiss, or whatever "real" cheese was available when eating out.

Because I'm classy and smart like that.

But then the recession happened and I started buying groceries not based on what I wanted, but what was on sale. If it isn't on sale (or I don't have a coupon), I don't buy it unless I absolutely have to.

And last week it was Kraft brand American cheese food that was on sale...

Kraft Deli Deluxe American

I had forgotten how much I absolutely love the stuff. I don't care if it's chunks of cheese that's been blended with fat, milk, and artificial chemicals and crap... it's creamy, delicious, and melts over a veggie burger like a dream. So now I'm undergoing a kind of "American Cheese Renaissance." I'm eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And snacks. I can't help myself.

And now I'm keeping an eye out for a sale on White American...

Kraft White American

I'm not trying to sound racist here, but I'm thinking that White American is probably better to eat than "regular" American because it won't have any stuff in it to make my insides turn orange. Unless... you don't think that they add bleach to American to make it turn into White American? That wouldn't be a good thing at all.

And now a piece of sad news concerning a black American... Michael Clarke Duncan, a wonderful actor I came to love in his role as Leo Knox in The Finder, passed away this morning at the age of 54...

Michael Clarke Duncan as Leo Knox

Such a horrible loss. Michael Clarke Duncan was a truly amazing talent who could steal any scene with one flash of his million-dollar smile... or one word from his wonderful voice... which means that he stole every scene he was ever in. And I can't overstate my love of his character on The Finder. Leo Knox was achingly real while still being endlessly entertaining. I always hoped that the cliffhangers left when The Finder was cancelled would be wrapped up in an episode of Bones, where the show originated. But that will probably never happen now. How could they possibly wrap up anything without Leo? I'm just crushed. Rest in peace, Mr. Duncan, your work made me very happy at times I needed a little happiness, and I will miss you.

   

Language

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012

Dave!The story burning up the internets today is about a letter written by Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe in support of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (who is vocal advocate of marriage equality).

Making a long story short, Maryland Democratic politician Emmett C. Burns asked the Baltimore Ravens football organization to make Ayanbadejo shut up about marriage. Kluwe (also a supporter of marriage equality) thought this was bullshit, and decided to write an open letter to Burns to tell him how he felt.

The letter is sheer genius. Go read it immediately.

Chris Kluwe
I'm guessing this image of Kluwe is a team photo, courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings?

   
As you might have noticed, the letter is filled with colorful language which has raised some criticism of Kluwe's choice of words.

This really hit home with me, because I struggle with whether or not I should use swear words most every time I write in this blog. When I first started blogging I swore constantly and didn't think anything about dropping f-bombs. But then people started actually reading Blogography, which caused me to not only curtail my swearing... but also go back through old entries and eliminate the curse words I had previously used.

It was a practice that was destined to be short-lived. I use swear-words in real life when I'm fired up. So it's unavoidable that I'm going to use swear-words on my blog when I'm fired up. For a while I tried to disguise it... typing out things like "F#@%!" and "B#LL$H!T!," but comedian Suzy Soro commented that this is kind of stupid. Since absolutely everybody knows what you're trying to say anyway... why not just come out and say it?

She was absolutely right, and I've been cursing in my blog ever since.

Though I admit that most times I do regret it.

Somebody once told me that swearing is a sign that the writer is unintelligent. They don't know how to express themselves properly, so they foolishly have to resort to curse words to make their point. In some respects, I agree with this assessment.

In other respects, I'd argue that there's no word that can adequately take the place of "fuck."

And so I use it. Probably more often than I should... but definitely not as often as I want to. "Fuck" (and dozens of words like it) are forms of expression that I find helpful in communicating exactly what I'm feeling in a way that "shucky darn" doesn't quite reach.

Anyway...

Today I managed to get in my essential visit to America's Dog so I could get my Veggie Chicago Dog...

Chicago Veggie Dog

It was, as always, delicious.

Oh... and speaking of delicious food... I never check a bag when flying into O'Hare so I can grab a veggie burger at Johnny Rocket's before I exit through security. But yesterday as I approached the restaurant, I was horrified to see that IT WASN'T THERE!

WHAT THE FUCK?! Shucky darn!

I hate it when that happens.

   

Bullet Sunday 298

Posted on Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Dave!Be sure all loose items are securely stored under your seat and remember there's no flash photography, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Halloween! 'Tis the season for "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" once again. Taking place after the normal park hours, the party has a special parade "Boo to You!" and a really nice fireworks show in addition to trick-or-treating throughout the Magic Kingdom park...

Boo To You Parade

Boo Fireworks

It seemed a lot more crowded than the last time I did Mickey's Halloween, with the trick-or-treat lines being absurdly long. So totally not worth waiting 15-20 minutes for a handful of the cheap candy they're handing out.

   
• Star Tours! The last time I was in Orlando I didn't have time to do the whole Disney thang, so I missed seeing the "new and improved" Star Tours ride. Much to my surprise, it actually is "new and improved!"...

Star Tours Continues!

You get a completely randomized experience every time you ride. Two different openings (Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon), three different adventures (Kashyyyk, Hoth, and Tatooine), and three different endings (Coruscant, Naboo, and Death Star 2)... which makes 54 different possible combinations. I kept riding until I saw all the pieces I wanted to see. The only two I didn't experience were the pod race on Tatooine and the Trade Federation battle on Naboo (since I don't give a flying fuck about the shitty Star Wars prequels. Overall, very well done and a lot of fun!

   
• Safari! Even though I went on the much more extensive and interesting "Wild Africa Trek" through the Animal Kingdom savanna, I still managed to get in a ride on the canned "Kilimanjaro Safari" they offer. Much to my surprise, the "ride" has changed. No longer is there a story element about chasing poachers and rescuing a baby elephant... that's all gone! Instead, it's "just a safari" where you may (or may not) see many interesting animals. The poaching story was kind of lame, so this is probably a smart move... but it was still kind of shocking that the ride wasn't the way I remembered it.

   
• Beignets! No trip to Walt Disney World would be complete without a trip to Disney's Port Orleans' Resort for breakfast beignets!

Beignets!

   
• Dining! This trip I was sure to eat at two of my favorite Disney restaurants... both located in their Hollywood Studios park, both of which I highly recommend (assuming you can get reservations or manage to get in without them... they're really popular). First up is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant, which simulates an old-time drive-in theater playing crappy old sci-fi movies and tables shaped like cars...

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Next up is the 50's Prime Time Cafe, which is set up to look like a house from the 1950's, complete with sassy waitresses bringing out "mom's food" and reminding you to "KEEP YOUR ELBOWS OFF THE TABLE!"

50's Prime Time Cafe

50's Prime Time Cafe

A new restaurant to me this time was "Via Napoli" with authentic Naples pizza. Their White Pizza was amazing, and I will definitely be back...

Pizza at Via Napoli

And, of course, there's always Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney, which makes the best sandwich you will ever eat...

Earl of Sandwich

It's surprising that I don't gain 50 pounds every time I come here. I spend most of my time eating.

   
• Hunter. One of the best shows nobody ever saw was called Oh Grow Up! which was a short-lived comedy by Alan Ball (of American Beauty, True Blood, and Six Feet Under fame). I was a huge, huge fan, which is why I was very sad to just now learn that Oh Grow Up! lead actor Stephen Dunham died back on September 18th. His character of Hunter Franklin was not an easy role to pull off... but Dunham managed it flawlessly...

Dunham

Oh how I wish they would honor Dunham by releasing Oh Grow Up! on DVD or even iTunes download!

   
Annnnd... I could probably shoot off another dozen bullets here, but I've got to be able to get caught up on sleep sometime!

   

Bullet Sunday 299

Posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Dave!Find your happy place, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Debate? I thought I was missing something by being in an airplane during the first presidential debate. Now that I've seen it, I realize I didn't miss much at all. President Obama was uninspiring, passive, and boring. Mitt Romney was artificial, creepy, and a dick. Neither was looking very presidential tonight... though at least Romney seemed to have some passion to him. That being said, I don't think either of them changed any minds. The biggest loser of the night had to be moderator Jim Lehrer, who couldn't moderate wiping his own ass. Pathetic. The next person who puts him in charge of moderating a debate should be shot. Then fired. I guess downsizing Lehrer is one thing that Mitt Romney and I can agree on? I just don't think that Big Bird should go with him...

Lil' Dave and Big Bird

Given the dearth of stupid shit on television for kids, I'd say that supporting entertaining educational programs like Sesame Street is essential for the survival of future generations. Especially when you consider that Big Bird gets 1/100th of 1 percent of the congressional budget (PBS as a whole gets less than 1%). So, yeah, that'll make a fucking dent.

   
• Maries! If crack cocaine and mayonnaise had a baby, it would be Marie's All-Natural Salad Dressings. For the longest time I ignored them on the shelf because they were too expensive compared to the other salad dressings available. But last month I was bored and decided to try one. It was so frickin' amazing that I've been slowly working my way through every flavor available. Now that I've tried them all, I have narrowed my favorites down to Chunky Feta Cheese and Asiago Peppercorn...

Marie's Salad Dressings

Anything that can make lettuce taste this good is worth every penny. And so now I'm going to be poor because I spend all my money on salad dressing. If you're looking for a pricey but delicious way to liven up your salad, I highly recommend giving Marie's a try.

   
• Television! Ooh! New TV shows! As a total television whore, this is a happy time for me. At least it was until I realized that there have only been four new shows worth watching out of all the stuff that looked intereting to me so far this season...

  • 666 Park Avenue. Uhhhh... yeah... I couldn't even make it through the first episode. Cheesy and lame. And not in a good way. DROP
  • Animal Practice. I was hoping for "so stupid it's funny" but ended up with "so stupid it's stupid." DROP
  • Ben & Kate. Kind of reminds me of the genuine charm and humor found in Raising Hope. But here's the thing... Raising Hope is an absolute rarity because they somehow manage to sustain the charm and humor episode after episode. Something tells me that Ben & Kate are not going to be that lucky, and we're going to take a wrong turn into stupidity any episode now. I'll keep watching until that happens. KEEP
  • Elementary. As a huge Sherlock Holmes fan who has long felt that the character doesn't translate well outside the books... I was surprised to find that I like both the Robert Downey Jr. films and the Benedict Cumberbatch British television series. Not believing that lightning could strike three times, I was very dubious about Elementary, which adds some odd twists to the classic Sherlock trappings. Turns out I was right... this is nothing more than a "crime of the week drama" where the two leads have been given the names of Holmes and Watson, but bear little resemblance to the actual characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But, when you put that aside, I actually enjoy the show. The talents of Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu coupled with some interesting stories makes for good television. KEEP
  • Go On. Look, I really like Matthew Perry. The guy was amazing on Friends. He killed in his guest spots on The West Wing. He was brilliant on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I liked him in movies like The Whole Nine Yards, 17 Again, and Fools Rush In. Which is why it's hard for me to understand how heinous crap like Mr. Sunshine happens. And now we have Go On which isn't tragic, but merely mediocre and a complete waste of Matthew Perry's talents. It's not worth his time, and it's certainly not worth mine. How it's getting critical acclaim is beyond me. DROP
  • Guys with Kids. A tired and unoriginal show which (surprise!) has enough funny moments to keep me watching. KEEP
  • Last Resort. The concept of a US submarine crew gone rogue seems like an exciting and unique concept. Which it is, kinda. But, much to my disappointment, it ends up feeling like a bad soap opera most of the time. I'll probably tune in off and on when I want something to watch, but this really isn't what I had hoped for, and it's not going to get a permanent spot on my viewing schedule. DROP
  • Major Crimes. A reboot of The Closer sans Kyra Sedgwick seemed an almost foolish endeavor. Turns out it was. I still like the cast, including Mary McDonnell, but without Brenda Lee Johnson at the center, something is lost in the translation. DROP
  • The Mindy Project. It's hard not to be a fan of Mindy Kaling, but this show doesn't work for me. It has moments, but they're mostly overwhelmed by predictable, stale, tired cliches that nobody wants to see anymore. DROP
  • The Mob Doctor. Yet another medical drama... this time with mobsters tossed in the mix to try and make it new again. Doesn't work even a little bit. DROP
  • The Neighbors. I know people who love this wacky alien comedy, but I am not one of them. Painfully un-funny. DROP
  • The New Normal. Oh yay! 30 minutes of stereotypical gay humor tempered by a racist, homophobic, acerbic grandmother played by Ellen Barkin! It's just what the world has been waiting for! But... surprisingly I don't hate it. And it seems to be working okay now after the first two episodes fell flat. I guess the writers are getting it figured out. For how long I have no idea. KEEP
  • Partners. Oh yay! 30 minutes of stereotypical gay humor tempered by... nothing. Truly awful television that's annoying to an absurd degree. DROP
  • Revolution. After the horrendous fucking nosedive that Lost took because the writers had no clue what they were doing, I will never invest in a J.J. Abrams show again (I should have learned my lesson with Alias seasons 3-5). If the critical acclaim continues after the show ends, THEN I'll take the time to watch it. DROP
  • Vegas. I really want to like this show given the talent that's on (and behind) the screen, but it's just not working for me. I can't decide if it's deep and interesting... or just a bad knock-off attempt at recreating Boardwalk Empire. DROP

It will be interesting to see how Arrow, Nashville, and Chicago Fire fare, as I think they're the only new shows left that I want to see which I haven't seen.

   
Annnd... apparently I can't post this because my internet just went down. Guess I'll be late. Again.

   

Bullet Sunday 300

Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Dave!Time to deal with that hangover... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Flip! While I was trying to come up with things to do to kill time before the Matt & Kim concert last Friday, I found out that The Muskrat was flying into ATL that same day, so we decided to meet up for lunch. He took me to "Flip" which is an upscale burger "boutique" restaurant created by Top Chef: All-Stars winner Richard Blais. Their vegetarian choice was a "Fauxlafel Burger"... which is a kind of falafel patty topped with marinated vegetables. I fucking hate burgers with non-burger crap on them, so I asked to have a "Classic Burger" but substitute the "Fauxlafel" patty. They were happy to accommodate me, and the resulting burger was fantastic! Wished the bun was a little bigger... but other than that it was really flavorful and delicious. Flip's claim to fame is their "Krispy Kreme Shake" which has a doughnut blended into it...

Flip Krispy Kreme Shake

Absolutely amazing. It really did taste like a Krispy Kreme, and I was definitely left wanting more. Overall, a great experience at Flip, and I would absolutely go back.

   
• Pre✓ And so there's a new program from the TSA which gives frequent fliers the ability to receive "Trusted Traveler" status. I had never heard of it before today, but am happy that it exists. I'm even more happy that Delta Airlines opted me into the program...

TSA Pre Logo

Going through the Pre✓ line meant that I didn't have to take off my shoes. I didn't have to take off my light jacket. I didn't have to take off my belt. I didn't have to remove my baggie of liquids & gels from my bag. I didn't even have to remove my computer from my backpack!

Well... if I didn't have a big block of cheese given to me by The DutchBitch, I wouldn't have had to remove my computer. Turns out that cheese looks like organic explosives or something, so they actually did have to remove my laptop for a second scan.

In any event, this is an awesome perk for people who have to fly a lot. It's a much better program than the stupid "Regular/Family/Experienced" lanes that they had tried earlier... those programs were doomed to fail because everybody piled in whatever lane was shortest. Many, many times I got behind somebody in the "Experienced" lane who didn't know what the hell they were doing. With Pre✓, it's invitation only to "experienced" travelers, so newbies can't get in to fuck everything up.

In all honesty, I don't know how effective all the crazy security stuff is that the TSA has in effect. What I do know is that Pre✓ goes a long way towards making me not mind it so much.

   
• Holy Crap! I've been skydiving. And, even though I have a fear of heights, I didn't have any problems because there's a point where the scale of the height is so big that you don't really recognize it as something to fear. But then there's this...

Felix Baumgartner Jumper
Photo by Felix Baumgartner himself

I'm pretty sure that I would lose my frickin' mind if ever I faced a jump of 28,000 feet. That's 24 frickin' miles! And yet... Felix Baumgartner took it on like a boss. Kind of makes skydiving look like a walk in the park. Next up? Lunar jumps!

   
• Frothy! It would appear that everybody's favorite gay-sex obsessed piece of shit, Rick Santorum, is still in Washington State drumming up hate against equality...

It used to be the only reason I wanted marriage equality for my home state was so that my friends here who want to be married but are unable to will finally be able to fulfill their dreams. But more and more I want it to pass so that ridiculous, bigoted, homophobic idiots like Rick Santorum will fail utterly... thus sending a message to other ridiculous, bigoted, homophobic idiots that their time has passed. And good riddance.

   
• Lawdy! And, speaking of ridiculous, bigoted, homophobic idiots... I think this one is my favorite one of all...

Oh horrors! The law will apply to everyone... not just the well-adjusted, well-educated, sophisticated, wholesome, gays... it'll also apply to the gays with drug problems and who are mentally unstable! Well, shit! We simply cannot have that! Can you imagine if there were straight couples with drug and mental problems having families? What would we do then? Clearly, this is the strongest argument against marriage equality ever.

   
• Nemo! Please tell me you saw the wonderful Google Doodle celebrating the 107th anniversary of Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland...

Google Little Nemo Doodle

Absolutely brilliant... just like Little Nemo, which remains one of the most imaginative things to come out of human history.

   
And... I suppose now that it's 2:00am I should see if I can get some sleep. It's been a long day.

   

Bullet Sunday 305

Posted on Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Dave!Before you start celebrating that I finally made it home, you might want to chill for a minute... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Hostess. I haven't eaten anything from Hostess in decades. They use disgusting LARD in their products, so once I became a vegetarian they were scratched off my shopping list. But, as a kid, I loved Hostess products. Lemon Pies. Ding Dongs. Cupcakes. Twinkies. And Ho-Hos... oh how I loved Ho-Hos. Everything they made was magic...

Bad Monkey and Twinkie the Kid

So you can imagine how the news of their impending doom is a conflict for me. On one hand... who gives a rat's ass that people won't be able to buy their unhealthy crap any more? But, on the other hand... Hostess's unhealthy crap is an American childhood right of passage! Not that I have any doubt somebody isn't going to buy out the production rights for all those classic Hostess products... it's only a matter of time before people can buy Twinkies again. But something will be lost in the process. It always is.

If I'm lucky, it will be the lard that's lost.

Because, seriously, who the fuck eats LARD these days?

   
• Elementary. As I've said before, I did not have high hopes for yet another reimagined Sherlock Holmes. Especially when they moved it to New York and cast Lucy Liu as a female Dr. Watson. But, much to my surprise, I liked the show. And yet... the bigger surprise was yet to come. The show keeps getting better with each new episode. The mysteries have rapidly evolved into some of the best-written, most clever, least gimmicky, stories I've seen on the small screen. And, of course, Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are fantastic...

Holmes and Watson

If you're not watching... I urge you to reconsider. This is some seriously great television.

   
• Five-0. Speaking of amazing television... I watched the Hawaii Five-0 reboot off and on when it first started, but the show didn't hook me enough to become a regular thing. Sure it had pretty scenery and the stories were okay, but it just seemed so "by-the-numbers"... like the cast weren't interested enough to make it feel "real" or whatever.

But something happened in the middle of the second season. The characters started clicking. The writers seemed to finally figure out what made everything feel "real." And now? Hawaii Five-0 is can't miss television for me. I love this show. And the biggest part of it is the chemistry between Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan. The smartass banter between them ranges from amusing to hilarious, but there's a warmth there that feels absolutely genuine...

Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

And now we're in the show's third season where every episode has been gold. Seriously some of the best-scripted action on television, and well-worth your time to tune in.*

*Assuming that completely obvious non-stop Microsoft product placement doesn't drive you insane. Seriously, Microsoft must be providing free blowjobs and millions of dollars to all the producers and writers of this show.

   
• Maps. When Apple released their replacement for Google Maps, I hopped on the bandwagon to declare them a bad move. But most of my criticism came from the botched 3-D renderings and missing places I ran across (or didn't run across, as it were). Things just seemed so half-assed and "un-Apple-like."

But then I started using their turn-by-turn navigation just to see how goofy it was... and was floored to discover that Apple Maps provides better directions than Google Maps. My favorite thing about Apple's directions? They consider what side of the street your destination is on. Google regularly leads you to places while not giving a shit what side of the street it's on. This means you sometimes have to cross over traffic on busy streets... if you can cross at all. Apple? They provide a route that puts your destination on the right so there's no fighting to turn across the street...

Google Maps - Apple Maps

So, yes. Apple Maps have some problems. And their navigation isn't perfect (I hate it when Siri says "KEEP LEFT" only to send you into a left-turn-only lane or something), but the more I use the app, the more I love it. And don't get me started on the beautiful vector maps. They load very quickly and are cached MUCH better than Google. Losing your internet connection in rural Georgia isn't nearly the tragedy with Apple, because your maps still work... they just cache so much of the area because the vector art is so small and efficient. Google turns the screen grey if you venture into a new location without internet. Not the best solution. So if you've been avoiding Apple Maps because of the negative hype... you might want to give them a second look. You might just be pleasantly surprised like me!

   
And... I'm going to have to cut bullets short, because I'm falling asleep as I write them. It's been a lonnnnng week.

   

Purplish

Posted on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Dave!You know when you buy a frozen dinner and it comes covered in plastic that you have to stab before putting it in the oven? HOW DOES THAT SHIT NOT MELT?!? And if it's made of some kind of transparent flame-retardant chemical... is that something you want sitting on your food? Baking on your food?

Anyway, Safeway had some deli side-dishes on sale the other day, so I picked up a seasoned potatoes...

Tri-Color Potatoes

Looks pretty good, huh?

What I did not see was that "purple potatoes" were part of the deal. They're kind of hidden in the photo.

I didn't even know that purple potatoes existed until I opened up the package and thought that my potatoes had gone bad. But after reading the box more carefully, I found out that they do exist and they really are purple...

Purple Potatoes
Photo from Svetlana Catering

Gross!

They look like a human organ gone bad that was then cut out of somebody and served on a plate. With olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and spices.

I ate one, and it wasn't horrible. But it was purple.

So I picked them all out and ate the yummy-looking non-mutant potatoes.

I take no chances when it comes to eating something you dig out of the dirt.

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Representation

Posted on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Dave!Look, I fully realize that food manufacturers have to exaggerate how great their stuff looks on their packaging. I realize this because I make a living creating perfect photos for food manufacturers to use for just that purpose. The idea is that the photo is representing the absolute best-case scenario for the product. Everybody knows to lower their expectations, so no harm no foul, right?

The problem is that sometimes the packaging photo so grossly over-exaggerates the look of the product as to be complete fiction. I wrote about this before when I posted my IN-DEPTH SPECIAL REPORT for Hello Kitty Pop Tarts...

Kittytarts

Not only is the pink frosting on the box not even remotely the same color as the putrid magenta glop that's been smeared on the Pop Tart, but they grossly exaggerated the number of kitty sprinkles you'll get. In cases like this, it's not a "best case, idealized scenario"... it's an outright lie.

But it's a fucking Pop Tart, so what can you do?

When shopping at the grocery store, I saw that Kashi had added a new Four-Cheese variety to their pizza line-up. I kind of like their Mediterranean flavor, so I thought I'd give the new pizzas a shot and bought three of them. The picture on the box just looked so darn appealing!

Unfortunately, reality had to come along and fuck everything up...

Kashi Four Cheese Pizza

So... you tell me... Four Cheese Pizza... or BARELY Cheese Pizza?

Other than the three badly-distributed slices of Provolone, the other cheeses are nowhere to be found. Just a tiny sprinkling of assorted shreds scattered around the crust. The pizza was mostly sauce, not cheese at all. So I'm chalking this one up as a BLATANT LIE. And, unlike a Pop Tart, it's not like you can so easily write off.

I don't know if this is a design-issue or an implementation-issue, but I'd appreciate it if Kashi would actually put a half-way decent amount of fucking cheese on their Four Cheese Pizza. I shouldn't have to have to deal with this kind of disappointment when it comes to pizza-related life choices.

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Spohcan

Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Dave!Picking up from yesterday's unexpected journey...

The 3-1/2 hour drive to Spokane is not one of those awe-filled journeys that you look forward to. It's pretty much 30 minutes of civilized nothing followed by three more hours of nothing nothing. The Columbia Basin is vast, flat, and uneventful, with only a few farms and a lot of road to distract you from the tedium. Not to say that there can't be some pretty moments in the summer when the crops are out... I've seen some amazing sunsets, for example... but mostly? Not a lot to look at.

And now it's the middle of winter, which means there's even less to look at than usual...

Basin Boring Drive

The truth is that I never minded the drive that much, because there was always the best pizza on earth waiting for me when I arrived in Spokane at David's Pizza. But then this happened...

David's Pizza Bulldozed Over and Dead

Needless to say, my trips to Spokane are not quite what they used to be. The owner of what was once David's Pizza is co-owner of a bar/restaurant called Famous Ed's where they claim to serve the same pizza... but not so much. The crust at David's was crispy with a nice snap to it when you took a bite. The Famous Ed's crust is tough like shoe leather and has to be torn off the slice. There's also something different about the sauce, but I can't put my finger on it. David's just had a better flavor profile somehow (though I'm sure it's the same recipe). The biggest problem is that Famous Ed's is always changing the toppings for "The Da Vinci"... last time they added clove garlic and salt... this time they added green peppers (which totally overpowered the feta and pesto notes that make this pizza so amazing). Oh well. They were running a special where you could get a large for the price of a small, so at least I'll have something for breakfast tomorrow...

Famous Eds Pizza from Davids

For those who have never been here, Spokane is an interesting place. It's more like a humongous town than a big city. It stretches for absolute miles, but it never seems densely populated because it's so spread out. Even the downtown area, which is fairly cosmopolitan, never really seems like you're in a modern metropolis. The end result is actually kinda nice... you have most of the stores and services of a big city, but without the massive crowds and craziness.

Meaning "Children of the Sun" in the Native American Salishan language, Spokane (the second-largest city in Washington State), has a few claims to fame that I know of. It was the site of the 1974 World's Fair Expo. It was the setting for the Johnny Depp movie Benny & Joon and the Madonna-soundtrack-fueled film Vision Quest. It's the city where future Ted Mosby (from How I Met Your Mother) designs his first skyscraper (though, honestly, the idea of a skyscraper in Spokane is ludicrous, as I had previously talked about). Spokane is also home to the Lilac Festival in mid-May, which is kind of a notable event. At least it is here in the Pacific Northwest. And then there's the Bloomsday Run, which claims to be the largest timed race in the USA. And, of course, Bing Crosby grew up here and this is the city where Father's Day was invented.

Most important of all, Spokane is home of Gonzaga University Basketball, which is all kinds of famous. Oddly enough, some out-of-staters have asked me where the "City of Gonzaga" is, not realizing that the college is named for a Jesuit saint and not a city (the university itself having been founded by the Roman Catholic "Society of Jesus").

Gonzaga Bulldogs Logo

The geography of Spokane is also worth mentioning, because that massive blob on a map of Eastern Washington is not really all Spokane. It's divided into two parts... Spokane and Spokane Valley...

Gonzaga Bulldogs Logo

The city of Spokane Valley picks up at the eastern edge of Spokane proper and extends almost to Idaho. If you ever question which city you're in, all you have to do is look at north-south streets. In Spokane, they're labeled as "streets" but in Spokane Valley they're labeled as "roads." The distinction between the two cities is kind of important, and some Spokane Valley locals will be offended if you say they're from "Spokane" (just as a Spokane resident might be offended if you were to say they live in the "Spokane Valley," which has a specific meaning in this part of the state). It's not quite so contentious now, but decades ago it was kind of a "West Side Story Jets and Sharks" situation where Spokane kids and Valley kids did not mix. Even today, both cities have separate ecosystems for living, shopping, and eating... they're just not so isolated as they once were.

And that, as they say, is that.

Probably more about Spokane than you wanted to know, but that's what you're paying me for.

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Cuisine

Posted on Monday, February 18th, 2013

Dave!I've been back from Oakland for one day.

And while I already miss my friends (and civilization), what I am missing right now... and quite badly... is food. Here in my little corner of Redneckistan, my culinary options are severely limited.

Just days ago I was eating an amazing falafel wrap...

Falafel Wrap

As for today? It's a box of shitty dehydrated julienne potatoes in "cheese" sauce...

Julienne Potatoes Box

So gross. And exactly the kind of thing that makes you lose your will to live.

Reeeeeaaaly looking forward to me next trip.

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Eggo

Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Dave!Well this day didn't get off to a good start either!

Sometimes events happen in life that are too traumatic for words. They can only be expressed in song.

So now, in the tradition of Bitch Got Three Spaces, Blogography proudly presents yet another Grammy-worthy edition of Song Lyrics from Redneckistan...

Half an Eggo

Eggo Didn't Leggo My Waffle
Lyrics and Music by Blogography Gangsta.
Sung by Blogography Gangsta (featuring Killa Kyleon, Ice Burgandy, and Gucci Mane).

-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-

Got my butter!
Got my syrup!
Got my fork and knife!
Now all I need is a delicious Eggo waffle
To complete my life!

Open the freezer!
Open the box!
Open that plastic wrap!
What the hell? they gave me half a waffle
Now I think that I might snap!

Eggo ruined my breakfast,
The most important meal of the day!
This ain't no way to be livin',
Ain't nothin' goin' my way!

Yeah, yeah, yeah... yeah!
Eggo didn't leggo my waffle.
Eggo didn't leggo my waffle.

Pray for peace!
Pray for freedom!
Pray for world harmony!
Lord, they done gave me half a waffle
Why have you forsaken me?

Rage on Eggo!
Rage on Kelloggs!
Rage on breakfast too!
Don't need no haters messin' with my waffle
Or else I'm comin' for you!

Eggo ruined my breakfast,
The most important meal of the day!
This ain't no way to be livin',
Ain't nothin' goin' my way!

Yeah, yeah, yeah... yeah!
Eggo didn't leggo my waffle.
Eggo didn't leggo my waffle.

-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-

— All lyrics copyright ©2013 by Blogography.

   

Foodie

Posted on Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Dave!And so it begins again.

For the past three months I've stuck pretty close to home. Sure, I flew to my sister's house for the holidays in December, made a quick trip to Spokane for work in January, and took a wonderful trip to Oakland to visit friends and get a tattoo in February... but the bulk of my Winter was spent taking a vacation from travel.

Now the vacation is over, and the next nine months are back to travel as usual.

A part of me is sad about that. It's just so nice to stay in one place for a while... but, on the other hand, holy crap am I happy to get back to big city living. I've only been in Chicago for three hours now, and I already feel a change coming over me. This is normal. This is the way life is supposed to be. This is where I belong. At least until I've been on the road for nine months, at which time I'm sure that I'll feel the same way about being home in Redneckistan. But until then, I'm quite happy to be metropolis-hopping.

One of the things I love about being in cities like Chicago is the food. But perhaps not in the way you think.

It's not because the city is filled with five-star fine-dining options... though I do enjoy treating myself to five-star cuisine from time to time... no, it's the variety of things I can get here that I can't get back home.

Case in point... can you guess where I was dying to eat in Chicago the minute I landed?

Burrito Beach.

Not a five-star restaurant, but instead a local fast food chain of Mexican grill restaurants in the Chicago area. Heaven only knows I can get pretty good Mexican food back home... but I can't get Burrito Beach. And I love Burrito Beach. Their grilled rice & bean burrito tastes amazing, and I'm a huge fan. It costs under $5. And it was delicious.

Another thing I'm craving? A Chicago-style vegetarian hot dog. Can't get a veggie dog back home... and certainly not Chicago style for $4.18... or any price. Tomorrow is the day, and this is what I'll be dreaming of tonight...

A veggie hot dog decked out Chicago-style with mustard, tomatoes, pickle, peppers, and relish in a steamed poppy-seed bun.

Yet another food I'm dying for? A falafel sandwich. Just a simple, $4.99 falafel pita sandwich. Back home, most people don't even know what the fuck falafel is. It's one of my favorite foods on earth, and yet there's no place that serves it in all of Redneckistan.

I could go on and on (don't get me started about the amazing pizza here).

People make fun of me because I travel all the way to big cities and, for the most part, don't take advantage of the haute cuisine that's available. But it's not because I'm cheap... or can't appreciate it... or am opposed to it... it's because I'm too busy stuffing myself with all the simple foods I just can't get when I'm at home.

Hell, it used to be that my favorite restaurant in all of New York City was McDonalds Times Square because they had a McVeggie Burger.

When it comes to the food you love, the price doesn't really matter.

Even when it means the price is five dollars.

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Sentinels

Posted on Friday, March 8th, 2013

Dave!Just one day in Chicago.

A really pretty day in Chicago.

   

Chicago Veggie Dog

Chicago Blue Sky

Reno Pizza

Stolen Bike

Newcastle Beer

The Sentinels Poster

The Sentinels Live

The Sentinels Live

Top Cab Display for Pretty Girl Modeling School

   
The end.
   

   

Bullet Sunday 324

Posted on Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Dave!Don't go going off all half-cocked... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Cheese! April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and grilled cheese sandiwches just happens to be one of my favorite foods on earth. Sadly, most people seem to think that a grilled cheese consists of a slice of cheese melted between two slices of bread in a skillet. Not even close. Great grilled cheese sandwiches are creative culinary delights that are a little more interesting...

Dave's Cheese Sandwich

I've already blogged about my "Death By Cheese Sandwich," which is one of my favorite recipes... but lately I've been experimenting with shredded cheese recipes (which melt so very, very beautifully) and adding things like sliced green apples or tomatoes to my sandwiches. The last batch I made had Feta Cheese mixed in, which was mind-blowing. Next up I'm going to try a recipe which is made with potato chips. The varieties of grilled cheese deliciousness are endless. Which is why I want to encourage everybody to take National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month by the balls and seek out a few of the more inventive ways of cooking one of the world's most classic foods. Go! Go! Go!

   
• Hannibal! Let's just get this out of the way... I feel that Sir Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs is one of the most inspired performances in all of cinematic history. It is one of the few times I can use the adjective "flawless" when describing what actors do. With that in mind, I put my expectations into low-gear when tuning into NBC's efforts to turn the character into a Dexter-style television series...

Hannibal Series Poster

So imagine my surprise when I start watching the premiere episode of Hannibal only to find that creator genius Bryan Fuller wisely decided to sidestep a failed attempt at mimicking the Anthony Hopkins movies. I was riveted as I watched a much more flawed and interesting version of investigator Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy) rope me into one of the best homicide dramas in recent memory. As the show continued to play out, I found myself excited at the prospect that this might actually work out.

But then Hannibal Lecter showed up and everything went sideways.

No offense to Mads Mikkelsen, who is a fine actor (he was really good in Casino Royale)... but the guy is horribly miscast as Hannibal Lecter. For reasons that escape me, he's playing the part as about as flat and uninteresting as it gets. I certainly wasn't expecting Sir Anthony Hopkins, but I was expecting to see some of the sparkle and charm that makes Hannibal such a compelling character. Well, there's none of that here. It's the idea is that Lecter is so charming and fascinating that you don't want him to be evil. The fact that he IS a psychotic serial killer is what makes him so terrifying. With Mads Mikkelsen being so eerily lacking in charm, he comes off as exactly what he shouldn't... a psychotic serial killer! I dunno. I'm going to keep watching in the hopes that Hannibal grows on me because Will Graham is so beautifully realized here... but, unfortunately, I can see a day when Lecter's half of the coin pushes me over the edge.

   
• Bridegroom! "It's not a gay thing. It's not a straight thing. It's a human thing." — I was really happy this Kickstarter project got funded, and I can't wait to see what Linda Bloodworth-Thompson has done with a story that everybody needs to see...

   
• NIK! When Google bought out NIK Software, I was gutted. They obviously bought the company to get their hands on Snapseed, and I worried that the rest of their brilliant apps would be tossed aside. That may yet come true but, in the meanwhile, Google has dropped the price of NIK's plugin suite to a astounding $149! If you're a photographer who uses Photoshop, scrape together the $149 and RUN, don't walk, to their website and snap it up before Google changes their mind. Color Efex and Silver Efex are sheer magic for punching up your images, and all the rest of the tools are just gravy. If 70% off and my praise doesn't compel you to jump onboard, they have a 15-day free trial available.

   
• WTF? Seriously. I wants to die now.

   
• Mini! More and more I have been uploading double-sized photos to my blog, then manually down-sizing the dimensions in the HTML. This makes it so that readers with a Retina Display get a much better quality photo to look at...

Retina Blogography Image
Detail of Non-Retina low-res on the Left... Retina double-res on the Right

The problem is that readers without a Retina Display (or equivalent) are downloading a bigger image file, only to have their browser throw out every other pixel. Kinda a waste of time and bandwidth but, sorry, one day all displays will be "Retina" in quality, and I'm trying to future-proof my images here. To make this as painless as possible, I am using a tool called JPEGmini to reduce the size of my large images (small images don't net much of a savings). So far, it's worked surprisingly well, and my largest images are being reduced as much as half. Yes. Half. But the best part? The image quality is maintained! Looking as hard as I can, I can't spot any difference between the original and the JPEGmini version! It's been working so well that I've taken to compress my camera libraries as well. If you're looking to save some space with your JPEGs, I highly recommend giving JPEGmini a try (there's a free version to check it out, so what are you waiting for?).

   
• Veronica! If you loved me, you'd donate one measly dollar to the Veronica Mars movie project so it can become the most backer backed project in Kickstarter history. If you don't love me, then you can still donate a dollar and pretend to love me... I'm perfectly fine with that. Just five days left...

   
And now... TIME TO MAKE FRESH BREAD FOR MORE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES!

   

Disappointment

Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Dave!Today was kinda a play day where I had no real agenda. That's the good news.

Today was filled with disappointments. That's the bad news.

But, all in all... any day away from the office is a good one, am I right? I mean, sure, I worked a bit... but most of my time was spent looking for things to do in Salt Lake City that I haven't done before. I've been here many, many times, so that is a bit of a challenge.

My first stop was decided last night when I saw "BRUGES WAFFLES" flash across my hotel television's concierge screen. "Wow. I could go for some authentic Belgian waffles!" I said to myself. And so I got up and walked the three lonnnnnng blocks to the waffle shop in time for...

   
DISAPPOINTMENT NO. 1
On their website, Bruges Waffles says that they have "authentic caramelized waffles," which is exactly what I wanted. The reality? Not so much...

Un-Belgian Waffle

Don't get me wrong... it was a delicious waffle, and the cream was out of this world. Overall, a wonderful breakfast. But where is the pearl sugar that makes that delightful speckle of caramelized bits that I love? I sure couldn't find them. If they were there, my waffle would have looked like this...

Belgian Waffle!
Photo from A Feast for the Eyes... which has a recipe for the waffles you're looking for!

And let me tell you... those pearls of caramelized sugar are what makes a Belgian waffle go from "good" to "FOOD OF THE GODS!"

Next up? I wanted to visit the Natural History Museum of Utah. I had been there before years ago, but they relocated to a new building in 2011, and it's supposed to be pretty spectacular. The problem is that there's no real "elegant" way of getting there via public transportation. By car, it's a 16 minute drive from downtown to their location on edge of the University of Utah campus. But I had to spend an hour and fifteen minutes taking the Blue Trax Line to the Red Trax Line all the way out to the University Medical Center... then catch a campus shuttle over some gawdaful roads to get to the museum where I was faced with...

   
DISAPPOINTMENT NO. 2
The Natural History Museum of Utah is, indeed, in a spectacular new location and has some exhibits that are incredibly well done. The dinosaur exhibits alone are worth the price of admission. Honestly, if you're in Salt Lake City, you owe it to yourself to check it out... it's totally worth it, even if you have to go through public transportation hell to get there.

HOWEVER... when I was there it was absolute bedlam because (I'm guessing) there was a school field trip going on. This wouldn't have been a big deal, except the kids were running around going ape-shit insane. Museum staff didn't even attempt to reign them in, which was just senseless. And the "chaperone adults" that were accompanying the kids didn't bother to "chaperone" at all. They just lounged around while kids were yelling, screaming, running, kicking, and beating on the displays. It was beyond crazy. Even if they didn't make the kids behave, you'd think they would AT LEAST attempt to keep walkways clear so people could get around the museum... but... no. After 45 minutes, I couldn't take it any more and left. But I still got to see some cool stuff...

Natural History Museum of Utah Dinos
The dinosaur exhibits are truly first class.

Natural History Museum of Utah Dinos
RAWRRRRR! Says the ancient giant crocodile!

Natural History Museum of Utah Diorama!
The dioramas were nicely done too... if you like looking at dead stuffed animals.

Natural History Museum Sky Deck
The "Sky Deck" offers amazing views of downtown Salt Lake City and beyond.

Natural History Museum Weaving Exhibit
There was a really nice weaving exhibit that was much more interesting than I would have thought.

I complained about the ordeal of using public transportation to get to the museum, but there's one cool bit I should mention. When I was ready to leave, I checked my phone to see how often the campus shuttles ran. Much to my shock and delight, they have a web app that shows you where the shuttles are AND you can tap on a station to get an estimate as to when the next shuttle will arrive there...

University Shuttle Web App

Now THAT'S cool... and so useful! I wish the TRAX light rail system here had the same feature.

The one thing I wanted to do above anything else while I am here is to visit The Leonardo so I could see the awesome-sounding MUMMIES OF THE WORLD exhibit. Unfortunately, that brings us to...

   
DISAPPOINTMENT NO. 3
The show was sold out for the day. And the next day. And the next day. Talk about a soul-crushing sense of defeat... I missed getting to see mummies, dammit!

Last night Marty had mentioned that The Apple Store had relocated from The Gateway to a new shopping mall built by the Mormon church called "City Creek Center," so I decided to stop because I really want a different case for my iPhone 5. When I first got it, there were like -zero- cases available, so I thought I would have a better selection now that seven months have passed. You can probably imagine that this brings us to...

   
DISAPPOINTMENT NO. 4
The iPhone 5 case selection at the Apple Store is only barely better than it was back in September. They don't even have a simple bumper I can buy... they come attached to a hunk of ugly plastic. And the rest of the cases they have are pretty lame. WAH! Oh well... City Creek Center is really a beautiful mall (if you're into that kind of thing) so I was happy I got to see it...

City Creek Center SLC

After bumming around beautiful Temple Square for a while (which is never a disappointment), my waffle started wearing off so I decided to head back to the Bruges Waffles shop again for a late lunch. They advertise having "wonderfully crispy 'frites' or fries, with 10 delicious homemade mayos." Now, as anybody who has read this blog for even a little while knows, I am absolutely crave "patatjes met" (Dutch Fries with Dutch Mayo) and also love "frites avec mayo" (Belgian Fries with European Mayo). So this was kinda a no-brainer idea, right? Not really...

   
DISAPPOINTMENT NO. 5
Patatjes Met? More like Patatjes Meh. First of all, the mayo is NOT creamy, delicious, Dutch/European-style mayonnaise with that delicious taste I love. Nope... it's no different than the clumpy, egg-flavored American mayo you get out of a jar. In fact, I would't be surprised if that's exactly what it is. The "homemade" stuff they're talking about must be American jar mayo mixed with spices or whatever. "Disappointed" doesn't even begin to cover it. But that's just the beginning, because then I got the "frites"...

Frites in SLC

They weren't "bad"... but they also weren't the big, crispy, golden frites you get in Belgium. Not by a long shot. Too many of the fries were limp, waggy, and overly-greasy. But making matters worse was that a full half of my frites were crusty little nubs that aren't fit for dipping... they're barely fit for eating...

Frites Mess in SLC

BULLSHIT! Even the worst frites shop in Belgium would never serve this. I make better fries at home. Hell, McDONALDS makes better fries than this. The entire time I was eating this mess, all I kept thinking about was flying to Belgium and getting me some real frites. Or, better still, flying to the Netherlands and getting me some delicious patatjes met...

PATATJES MET!

Oh damn. Just look at those beautiful fried potatoes! AND LOOK AT THAT LUSH, CREAMY, FLAVORFUL MAYO FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! This is the stuff you want!

WAH!

Not wanting to risk any further disappointment, I headed back to my hotel so I could rest up and get some work done.

And now it's time to leave all my disappointment behind me so I can put some pants on and head out for an evening that promises to be anything but disappointing...

   

Bullet Sunday 325

Posted on Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Dave!Am I doing the smart thing and packing my suitcase right now? No. Instead I'm here blogging... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Awarded! I pretty much think that all award shows are crap, but the MTV Movie Awards at least show stuff you want to see. Not just with the nominees, but also in the commercials, which featured looks at upcoming hot movies... including two I'm dying to see: Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness. I think I've rewound and rewatched both spots on my DVR at least a half-dozen times now. Here's hoping they live up to the hype.

   
• Beebus! I know Justin Bieber is young and all... but holy shit...

Bieber at Anne Frank House

I've been to the Anne Frank House. It is a very somber and emotional ordeal to experience how her family was forced to live and what they went through to survive. Once you've seen Anne's hopes and dreams on display throughout the museum, you're reminded that she ultimately didn't survive, and it's like a punch in the gut. You feel it.

But all Bieber seemed to take away from the experience was how cool it would be if she were alive today so she could be his fan. I honestly don't know if I should chime in on what a fucking moron he is... or just feel sorry for the little wanker being so blissfully clueless about anything except his own ego.

   
• Graze! In the UK they have a service which delivers healthy snacks directly to your mailbox once a week called "Graze." They're kind of famous for their olives, but they've got a pretty big assortment of nifty treats. Not so long ago, they launched here in the US, and I've been a member for the past twelve weeks. To make a long story short, it's probably not the greatest value for your money, as the four portions you get for $5 (delivered) are pretty small. That being said, I do like the variety and convenience...

Graze Box

Recently Graze sent out paper doll bunnies to their members(?!?). I have no idea why, as it seemed like a huge fucking waste of money. I would have been happier to get a dollar off my next box or something useful like that, but oh well.

About the only thing I don't like so far are their "flapjacks," which are a slimy granola bar of some kind. Other than that, everything is pretty decent. For some reason we Americans are denied the olives, but hopefully they'll be added at a later time. I think the service is still in beta, so signing up is limited to invite codes... but they should be launching for reals any time now. Might be worth checking out when they do.

   
• Coachella! Tonight OMD played Coachella and YouTube was streaming it live. While not quite the same experience as being there, I was really happy to see the show from the comfort of my living room...

OMD at Coachella

Oh how I love this band. If you wanna take a look, YouTube may still have it up.

   
• Opener! Speaking of OMD, their opening act was a guy calling himself Diamond Rings. Surprisingly, his band exceeded my expectations in just about every way. Most of his music is inspired directly from 80's acts, and Marty and I spent his entire set tossing out which bands were the template for the song he was playing. I ended up buying his latest album off iTunes, as it has some good tracks...

   

If you're into 80's pop and looking for something new, Diamond Rings is worth a listen.

   
And... now I suppose I should pack that suitcase.

   

Mixer

Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Dave!Still in pain. But instead of doping up and laying in bed, I doped up and went to work today. I figure if I'm going to be miserable, I might as well try and be productive.

It didn't go very well. I got some stuff done, but never felt like myself. Sometimes in the middle of a project I'd forget who I was and what I was doing. Then I'd have to start all over again, which is the opposite of productive. Oh well. At least my mind was taken of my brain exploding. Kinda.

In happier news, I bought a new heavy-duty KitchenAid mixer for making bread...

KitchenAid Mixer

Previous loaves were mixed by hand... but I could never get the recipe-stated 7 cups of flour into the mix. My arms would start to die at 6 cups. But this mixer easily manages to take the 7 cups, which makes for a much nicer, more elastic dough.

And now for my review of the KitchenAid KV25MCX Mixer (which is a model made for Costco).

I have mixed feelings on this product, and really wish I had researched more before making my purchase. The only thing I did know was to make sure I got a "fixed-head" mixer instead of a "tilt-head" mixer. "Fixed-head" mixers are supposed to be more powerful, which is what you want when you are kneading bread. I also heard that KitchenAid was a high-quality, made in the USA brand.

The problem is that this model has a "wide" bowl, which is what you don't want when kneading bread. Apparently, wider bowls allow for too much slop, which makes the bread want to climb up the hook more easily instead of staying in the bowl. The problem is nowhere near as bad as I've read, but it does happen every once in a while during the mix. The good news is that wide bowls are better for just about everything else. Except I'm going to be using it for bread 95% of the time, so I guess I should have looked for a more appropriate model.

In non-bread-making news, the mixer is awesome. The wire whisk aerates like a champ. The flat beater is nicely designed to mix thoroughly, quickly, and with minimal mess. I like the controls. I thought I'd be unhappy not having a tilt-head, but the bowl-raise alternative isn't bad at all, even though it's a bit less convenient.

When it comes to build quality, my initial impression is favorable. It's looks tough and feels solid. KitchenAid claims the gears are metal, which should make for good longevity. The problem is that customer reviews claim that not all the gears are metal, and some people are reporting that their gears are stripping after 4-8 months of use. Needless to say, this would suck ass when I paid $330 for a professional, high-quality mixer. But KitchenAid has a one-year warranty, so hopefully I'm covered.

If I was starting all over again, I would have probably invested the extra $110 and got the Pro Series 600, which apparently excels at bread-making. Oh well. Live and learn, I guess.

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Foodstuff

Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2013

Dave!The cost of a trip to the supermarket has reached such epic heights that I've developed a genuine fear of grocery shopping. The panic sets in the minute I enter the parking lot, and all I can think of is how I am not escaping for less than $50 no matter how little I have on my list. This is especially scary when you consider that I'm vegetarian, don't eat a lot, actively look for sale items, and buy the cheapest option whenever I can.

I have no clue how large families can afford to feed themselves now-a-days.

Guess I'm going to have to start buying in bulk, look into buying a FoodSaver, and start freezing everything.

Or start a garden.

Or beg for food in the streets.

For the past seven months I've been saving for a new camera and I finally ordered it today. It arrives tomorrow. But after my latest trip to the grocery store, I'm starting to wonder if I should have kept the money in savings so I can eat.

Nah.

Priorities and all that.

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Barbarian

Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Dave!Today I had to run some errands to the "Barbarian Village" of Leavenworth, Washington.

Well, actually it's billed as the "Bavarian Village" because it's a themed town meant to look like something out of the German Alps, but when the crowds of tourists arrive, it rapidly degenerates into something much more savage.

Anyway, I couldn't very well leave without some German food, so off I went for a bratwurst. Well, a veggie brat, but still... the best part is figuring out which mustard you want, because there's always at least a dozen on-hand...

Abundance of Mustard

I went with a more traditional "sweet & sour" because half the stuff is difficult to decipher (what the hell is "Backyard Brat" about?)...

Veggie Brat!

Of course no faux-German sausage garden would be complete without freaky murals to keep you company while you eat...

Mural One

Mural Two

And since one good thing leads to another, I could not resist stopping by the Danish Bakery for one of their glorious almond custard pastries...

Danish Pastry Shop

Danish Pastry

After than I stopped at a chocolate shop because, ya know, it was there. Then I decided to head home while I still had insulin levels that were somewhat respectable.

All I'm missing now to make my day complete is some lederhosen.

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Church

Posted on Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Dave!I didn't know what could possibly top the Ke$ha concert last night, but darn if we didn't try!

After packing up all my crap and stowing my luggage, Becky picked me up for a day of fun and excitement that only Pittsburgh can offer.

Breakfast was at a cool, old-fashioned diner and consisted of crepe-pancakes, scrambled eggs, and Lyonnaise potatoes. If you're hungry in the morning, then Pamela's Diner is the place to go...

Pamela's Diner Pittsburgh
You just know that if there's a pink door it's gotta be good, right?

   
I could have spent an hour wandering around looking at all the knick-knacks and photos that cover the walls...

Pamela's Pittsburgh Vintage
There may be two packs of smokes on the counter, but you still can't smoke in the restaurant!

   
After stuffing our faces, we wandered around the corner to The Strip District, which is an eclectic neighborhood packed with lots of cool shops, restaurants, and other wonders...

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh
Who can resist taking a photo of a building with a giant chicken on it? Not me!

Park Here!
Just about everything in The Strip is interesting in one way or another.

Improvement of the Poor Sign
A remnant of a time when helping the poor was considered a good thing.

Wholey's Singing Pigs!
At Wholey's Market, which is much like Disneyland with it's animatronic cows and pigs and such.

Becky and The Wholey's Bear
Becky takes her life in her hands when she gets friendly with the ferocious Wholey's Market Bear!

Piñata Market
Happy piñatas at the Mexican market want you to beat them with a stick until their guts fall out. Sick!

Becky is a Cowgirl
Becky searches for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Hat at the Mexican market.

   
As we were walking back to Becky's car, I was compelled to stop at a mini-donut shop. Like most people, I don't possess the will-power to resist a freshly-made, warm, mini-donut that's straight from the hot oil...

Peace, Love, and Little Donuts!
If forced to choose between peace, love, or mini-donuts, I'd take the fucking donut.

Little Donuts Maker
If I had this job, I would weigh 700 pounds and have oil for blood.

   
As punishment for giving in to mini-donut temptation, Becky thought I needed to go to Church...

The Church Brew Works
Surprise! It's The Church Brew Works, built in an actual old church building!

The Church Brewery
Yes, they are totally brewing beer where the church's altar once stood.

The Church Brewery Glass
Mmmmm... beer! Becky came up with this great shot idea, I just copied her.

Sleepy Moth
Becky spotted this sleepy moth hanging on for dear life in a flower bed outside The Church. He's scary-cute.

   
From there Becky decided to run out to Randyland, which is so interesting on its own that I'm saving the details from THAT visit for tomorrow's entry...

Randyland!
It's pretty remarkable in a photo, but really needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.

   
From here it was off to see Star Trek Into Darkness in IMAX OMNIMAX at the Carnegie Science Center.

Then it was time to get me out to the airport. But we simply couldn't say goodbye until we had one last beer. This time at Sharp Edge Creekhouse...

Sharp Edge Creekhouse
Yeah, that goose tap handle is pretty much the ultimate tap handle.

   
Earlier it was pointed out to me that I was hanging out with Princess Merida (from the Pixar movie Brave) all weekend. I had always thought of Becky as a QUEEN, but darn if it wasn't true...

Princess Becky meet Princess Merida

   
And thus ends my perfect four days in Pittsburgh with the coolest of Disney's princesses.

Going back to Real Life ain't gonna be easy after this.

   

Bullet Sunday 335

Posted on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Dave!Don't go getting yourself blinded by the Super Moon... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Animal! I've been too busy to spend much time playing it, but Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released for the Nintendo 3DS. It's pretty much the exact same game as Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing: Wild World, and Animal Crossing: City Folk. Basically you run around catching fish, hunting bugs, harvesting fruit, collecting seashells, and other tasks... all so you can earn money to buy cool stuff for you and your house. Except this time the little character you take control of is mistaken for the mayor, so you have other responsibilities as well. It's fun and all... but if you've played any of the other games in the series, you've pretty much played this one...

Animal Crossing New Leaf

That being said, it's still an entertaining way to kill some time each day. And the 3-D effects are done very well, which makes it visually interesting as well. If you've never played Animal Crossing before, this would be a good place to start. If you have? Well, if you didn't tire of it before, you probably won't mind playing it again.

   
• Twikies! And so Hostess has a new owner and is going to start distributing their snack-cakes once again come mid-July. This will mean nothing to me... unless they decide to at least try to have the appearance of healthy ingredients by eliminating the LARD from their products...

Twinkies Comeback!

A switch to vegetable oil would mean that I can start eating Ding Dongs again after 23 years of avoiding them like the plague. And it might give them a fighting chance of surviving in a slightly more health conscience world where parents are not wanting to feed their kids LARD.

   
• Devious! I could never get into Desperate Housewives because it didn't really go anywhere and wasn't a very entertaining ride. Now creator Marc Cherry has come up with his next television distraction... Devious Maids. The cast is really good, so I had high hopes that this time it would be worth watching...

Devious Maids Poster

Sadly, after watching the first episode, it seems as though it's just going to be more of the same. Somebody's been murdered and everybody has secrets. I'm guessing they're just going to dance around everything for years until the show is so senseless and boring that they get canceled and have to slop together some answers. Again. No thanks.

   
• Equality! Here's hoping that the highest court in the land remembers what America is all about in the weeks ahead...

Lil' Dave Equality

If nothing else, we could finally tell the equality opponents to take their ridiculous "arguments" against freedom and just shut up already. Though the parodies of their faux pain over something that doesn't even affect them are almost too good to give up...

Yeah, definitely going to miss that.

   
• Shiiiiiiiiit! I don't even know what to say about this...

Canyon Walk Madness

People be crazy. People be crazy.

   
Annnnd... it's going to be a long week.

   

Delight?

Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Dave!Yesterday morning I had to head back over the mountains early so I could make it to work on time. The drive is usually 2-hours, 15-minutes... but I always budget 2-1/2 hours just in case something weird happens.

Like some asshole in front of me deciding to drive 15 miles an hour under the speed limit while in a no-passing zone for 20-minutes.

Or, more likely, because I have to stop at McDonalds for breakfast. Which went something like this...

      "Welcome to McDonald's! Would you like to try our new Egg White Delight McMuffin Sandwich?"

      "What? — No. — Oh gross. No."

      "Sorry, we have to ask. What can I get for ya?"

Now, I'm not doubting her word... I'm sure they really are required to ask people to try the Egg White Delight. My question is why? Do they expect that you'll order that hideous-sounding sandwich in addition to what you're already buying? That's not very realistic. Best case scenario is that you'll eat that egg white shit-sandwich instead of what you were already going to buy. Are they cheaper to make, thus more profitable or something? I doubt it. So I just don't get it.

Especially since the Egg White Delight McMuffin looks like this...

McDonalds Egg White Delight McMuffin

Oh hell no.

Because that photo comes directly from McDonalds where it was undoubtedly styled perfectly and still looks like shit. I can only guess how utterly awful it looks "in real life." The best part of an egg is the yolk, and I sure as hell ain't going to go for a sandwich without it. Go sell that disgusting, slimy, mass of vomit-inducing hell to somebody else, McDonalds.

And speaking of food styling... this is what I'm talking about...

From experience, I can tell you that a really good food stylist is worth their weight in gold. The better they are at making stuff look amazing, the less time you have to spend in Photoshop!

But even the best food stylist in the universe would have trouble making the Egg White Delight McMuffin look edible.

= shudder =

   

Dante!

Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Dave!In order to save money on airfare, I flew into Atlanta a day early. Sure it meant getting up at 4:00am this morning, but the cost of flying is getting to be so outrageous that you do what you gotta do. The up-side was that I ended up getting into town at 2:00, which left me time to meet up with some Atlanta peeps for dinner.

And what a dinner it was...

Dante's Down the Hatch Sign

Dante's Path

Dante's Down the Hatch "Jazz and Fondue Restaurant and Club" has been an Atlanta institution for 43 years that I've never heard of. Which is odd, because it's fairly famous. It's a themed restaurant built around a "sailing ship" that's surrounded by live crocodiles. Kind of like dining in the middle of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, but without the animatronic pirates and stuff...

Dante's Down the Hatch

Dante's Ship

All this plus CHEESES OF THE WORLD!!!

Dante's Cheeses of the World!

The menu is a bit confusing. I thought I was ordering vegetable fondue, but it ended up being vegetables and a pot of boiling oil. But that didn't stop me from unintentionally stealing some of somebody else's cheese, which was delicious (Houston, I owe you dinner next time I'm in town!)...

Dante's Cheese Fondue!

The jazz was good. Really good. And since our table was inside the ship, we had a front-row seat!

Dante's Jazz

All in all an awesome way to spend an evening. I'm sad that the place is closing at the end of the month, as I would have absolutely come here again.

Many thanks to blogger buddies (et al) The Muskrat, Whipstitch, Coal Miner's Granddaughter, Copasetic Beth, and Houston's Problem for strawberry daiquiri-infused dinner fun!

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Dutchy

Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2013

Dave!Pretty much the only thing on the agenda today...

Patatjes Met!
PATATJES MET!!!

   

I swear, if I lived here in DutchyLand, I'd undoubtedly weigh 600 pounds.

   

Bullet Sunday 349

Posted on Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Dave!Say hello, wave goodbye... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Bad! I've been dreading the impending final episode of Breaking Bad for months. I love the show, didn't want it to end, and was worried sick that the writers would build everything up to a shitty, "artistic," non-ending ending like The Sopranos. Or, more recently, a shitty, shitty, non-ending ending like Dexter... both of which sucked ass. But, surprise, Vince Gilligan and the rest of the Breaking Bad crew actually pulled it off...

Breaking Bad Ending

If the show had to end, this was a great way to do it.

   
• Go Martha! Heaven only knows I am no Martha Stewart fan... there are times I downright despise the woman... but her taking a stand against patent trolls has me cheering her on. If only we could get rid of these do-nothing, innovation-killing shit-bags for good.

   
• So Long! If somebody were to unfriend me for supporting my friends or family, then they were never my friend to begin with, and wouldn't be missed...

People who live in the past should be left there. If they remove themselves from the game, so much the better.

   
• Delicious! For those of you keeping up with my love/hate relationship with Earl of Sandwich, THE PHILADELPHIA AIRPORT LOCATION STILL HAS THE EARL VEGGIE ON THE MENU!!

Earl of Sandwich Veggie at PHL

A little saltier than I remember (I think they over-did the salt/pepper/spice mix) but still oh so delicious.

   
• High Society! Betty Who's "Somebody Loves You" is getting a lot of attention... but my favorite track off of her her "The Movement" EP is called "High Society." And seeing her perform it live in this video has now made seeing her in concert a priority for me...

If you haven't picked it up yet, The Movement EP is worth a listen.

   
And, I guess it's goodbye!

   

GMO

Posted on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Dave!Before I get to the part of this post where everybody starts hating me, I just want to say that I think Genetically Modified Organisms (better known as "GMOs") are a horrible idea for our food supply.

Life on this planet has evolved over millions of years to create a delicate balance between we animals and the food we need to survive. To go mucking around with this balance by modifying the gene sequence of a crop so that it's stronger, more virile, tastier, and bug-resistance, is reckless, dangerous, and probably immoral. I don't care what the FDA says, we simply do not know enough about GMO foods to declare them "safe"... and the consequences of consuming such products could have dire health consequences that won't become clear for generations. The fact that numerous countries outside the USA consider GMOs to be unhealthy and have restricted their use (or outright banned them) should be a serious wake-up call to Americans about the foods we eat. Especially considering that a shocking 80% of processed foods in this country are estimated to contain GMO ingredients.

To put it another way, if you live in the USA and are not at least a little concerned about the GMOs that are plaguing our food supply with unknown consequences, you need to pull your head out of your ass.

Given my serious objections to the use of GMOs in our foodstuffs, you would think that I would be a big supporter of Washington State's Initiative 522... which would require all (non-exempt) GMO foods to be clearly and conspicuously labeled on the front of the package.

And yet... I am not.

Or rather I was not, because it looks like the initiative failed to get the votes it needed.

There are a lot of reasons I think that 522 is/was a bad piece of legislation.

First of all, have you actually read the thing? I have. It's just so absurdly written that after trying to parse my way through it... three times... I was left looking for the benefit to consumers. It's so inconsistent and incomplete as to be laughable. Genetically-modified fruits and vegetables would require labeling. But a steak coming from a cow that has been fed nothing but a diet of genetically-modified foods from birth to slaughter would not. This alone makes 522 a complete joke. If consumers believe everything GMO is labeled, and their meat choices were not, they would naturally assume that the meat had no GMOs. But here's the rub... if GMOs are so horrible for the health of people that it should be labeled, wouldn't it also be so horrible for the health of cows that any product coming from that cow should also be labeled? And what about fast food restaurants, arguably one of the biggest movers of GMO foods in existence? Oh... never mind... they are exempt from labeling laws! I mean, come on! This is absurd. Unless everything is labeled, then labeling a selected subset of our food supply renders the whole idea of forced-labeling for "The Public's Right to Know!" useless. And don't hand me this bullshit about "Something is better than nothing" and "It's a good start" because that is the stupidest damn response I've ever heard. That's the equivalent of saying "THREE OF THESE FOUR FOODS WILL KILL YOU! But we're only going to label ONE of them BECAUSE THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW!" And yet people buy into this crap hook, line, and sinker every time. Well, helpful hint... IT'S ALL OR NOTHING OR IT DOESN'T WORK!

Next up, the labeling is categorically unfair to manufacturers. And I'm not talking about the giant conglomerates like Kraft or Coca-Cola or Unilever or whatever... they manufacture such massively huge quantities of processed foods that making a packaging change would hardly cost a thing in the grand scheme of things. No, I'm talking about the thousands of small companies who sell food products in Washington State. To them, the cost of changing all their packaging (or adding a label to their existing packaging) is a pretty big expense. First of all, if they did go to the expense of changing their packaging (because it's cheaper than adding a label), odds are they would not be able to afford packaging exclusively for Washington State. Nope, the new packaging would be what they have to use to sell to all fifty states. So they would either A) Have to stop selling in Washington... or B) Have to splash "THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS GENETICALLY-MODIFIED INGREDIENTS" across their packaging, which would then have to sit on the shelf in California next to a competitor's product which doesn't say a damn thing about the GMOs in its contents... how is that fair? Well, it's not. I am sick and tired of people who consistently paint all food manufacturers as these massive corporations when it's decidedly not the case. Again, helpful hint... IT'S ALL (FIFTY STATES) OR NOTHING OR IT DOESN'T WORK!

And then... ultimately GMO labeling laws do nothing to help a significant portion of our society. Namely poor and elderly people who have to buy cheap food or they're not going to eat at all. Let's think about this for a minute. Say 522 gets passed, so a canned spaghetti manufacturer is forced to label their product because the noodles are made from GMO wheat and the tomatoes in the sauce are from GMO tomatoes. Now some 85-year old woman on a severely restricted income goes to the store and sees a can of friendly organic spaghetti at $2.69 sitting next to a can of scary GMO-laden spaghetti at $1.89. Do you honestly think she gives a flying fuck about GMOs when she barely has the money to buy food at all? But hey, at least she can make an informed buying decision! The process required to grow organic crops ain't cheap. And do you know why? Organic foods are ineligible for federal subsidies! That's right... apparently "organic" is categorized as some kind of "luxury" instead of a necessity... so organic farmers get no federal monies to help them out. So what they sell is actually the real cost of growing food. Take away the subsidies from Big Farm so they have to pay real costs, then make them responsible for the environmental impact of their business, then sit back and watch as GMO food prices increase to organic price levels. Hey, I have an idea! WHY DON'T WE ELIMINATE THE SUBSIDIES SO THERE'S A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD? Or, if we're going to do the whole subsidy thing, why not allow organic farmers to get a piece of the pork pie too? Then perhaps GMO labeling would actually mean something because consumers on fixed incomes would truly have a choice. Of course, taking on the demonic Special Interest Groups which work 24/7 to exclude small farmers from federal funding so Big Farm is consistently at an advantage won't be easy... and it sure as hell won't be cheap. Welcome to American politics!

Up next... GMOs, while certainly the subject of considerable concern, do not automatically make manufacturers, suppliers, or especially the farmers producing them... some kind of evil bastard out to kill you. Genetic modification is not something that is done for fun. There's a reason behind it. One significant "advance" (assumably) to food production was modifying plants to survive drought conditions. Questionable? Yes. Unhealthy? Possibly. But evil? Every time I see somebody play the "Evil Card," my eyes roll so far back in my head that they are in real danger of getting stuck there. Sure, I can buy into a corporation like Monsanto being evil... hell, they are beyond evil for the heinous shit they do... but using such inflammatory words to turn public opinion against farmers who are just trying to make a living by using seeds they are told are perfectly safe by the FDA? That just makes you an irresponsible asshole, NOT some kind of champion of the people.

And now, for the big gun... GMO labeling is completely unnecessary. Shocker, I know, but it's totally true! Do you know why? Because non-GMO and organic products are super trendy and hot right now. It's the fastest growing segment of food production by far because consumer demand is growing by leaps and bounds every day. Which means manufacturers who sell products without GMO ingredients would be insanely stupid to not make that claim as huge as possible on their packaging. And guess what? Manufacturers who sell products without GMO ingredients are not insanely stupid. THEY ARE ALREADY LABELING THEIR PACKAGING AS ORGANIC AS HUGE AS POSSIBLE! There's even symbols for organic certified products and non-GMO products to identify them. Hell, even pet food manufacturers let you know when their products are organic! There's so much "green" in the supermarket now-a-days, there's no way you can miss the organic bandwagon everybody is hopping on...

Organic Foods!

Organic Non-GMO

So, seriously, think about it. IF SOMETHING ISN'T LABELED AS "ORGANIC" OR "NON-GMO" THEN IT'S GOING TO CONTAIN GMO INGREDIENTS! This is all the information that shoppers need to make an informed buying decision if they are concerned about GMOs in the food they buy. But if this is the case, and people already know how to identify non-GMO foods, then why the big push to label products containing GMO ingredients? Because information by omission is just not good enough for the anti-GMO advocates. They want to scare people into buying organic, non-GMO foods with labeling laws because fear is the easiest way to manipulate the masses to supporting your agenda. It always has been. "But wait!" you may be saying, "Isn't that a good thing? GMOs are bad, right? So scaring people into eating healthier is okay!" Except... no. It's not. Leading people to make informed buying decisions is what's okay. Scaring them into doing your bidding... no matter how altruistic... is not okay. Should not be okay. Which brings me to the most damning condemnation of Initiative 522 yet... if you are so fucking concerned about GMO foods, then spend the money to educate people instead of manipulating them. Granted, there are going to be people too damn stupid or ignorant to get the message, but it's not like they were candidates for using mandatory labeling in the first place. Which brings us to...

Lastly (well, not "lastly"... I could go on and on here), Initiative 522 was destined to fail, so wasting millions of dollars trying to pass it is/was categorically stupid. Seriously, who thought that GMO abusers like Monsanto were just going to sit on their hands and do nothing while their bread and butter was being challenged? Anyone? Anyone? Of course not. Monsanto pumped millions of dollars into a counter-campaign, completely dominating the political landscape with their limitless funds. There was no question... none... that Monsanto and its confederates would spend whatever money necessary to smash Initiative 522 to pieces. And, given how incredibly badly the legislation was written, it's not like there wasn't boatloads of opportunities to turn public opinion to their favor. Initiative 522 was just a colossal waste of time and money and that's my biggest problem. Just think of what could have been done with all that cash wasted on an unwinnable battle!

  • Spend the money fighting to equalize the playing field so that organic farmers can compete with Big Farm and all that government money they get.
  • Spend the money educating people about how to read food labels and cut through buzzwords like "Natural Ingredients" which do not necessarily mean a product is GMO-free. Run commercials that have meaning instead of wasting time with "VOTE YES ON 522!" nonsense that doesn't really educate people.
  • Spend the money on organic research to develop farming methods which make organic crops more appealing and realistic to farmers.
  • Spend the money to encourage political reform so companies like Monsanto don't create an environment where their GMO shit is the only viable option for food producers.
  • Spend the money writing legislation that isn't full of holes to advance the cause of organic foods. This may seem like a no-brainer but, apparently... not so much.
  • Above all, DON'T SPEND MONEY MANIPULATING PEOPLE! The backlash is always going to damage your cause more than it will ever advance it.

   
And now is where you are probably saying to yourself... "Wow, Dave... if you were so dead-set against Initiative 522, why didn't you write this BEFORE the ballots were cast?"

Simple... I just didn't want the drama. There are many, many, hard-core advocates of GMO labeling (some of them good friends of mine), and dealing with the fall-out of writing an inflammatory opinion piece (no matter how unintentional) was more than I wanted on my plate. In my heart, I knew that 522 was going to fail (too much was at stake for Big Farm for it not to) and so what would be the point?

In closing, I'd just like to say that my opinion about genetic modification in our food supply still stands... we should not be doing it. Recklessly defying the millions of years of evolution and adaptation it took to get where we are is the height of hubris, and the possible consequences are just too dire. We need to spend more time and money trying to figure out how to get our food back to the natural state our bodies have evolved to consume instead of trying to solve our food supply problems with potentially hazardous genetic modification. We also need to spend more time and money educating people as to why this is important. Initiative 522 was never about either of those things. It was a mis-use of funds for a campaign of manipulation, unfairness, and inevitable failure that distracted people from what is truly important. Even worse, once all the cards have been counted it probably set back the cause of the pro-organic foods movement.

That's a shame, really. But it's not like politics ever aspire to be anything more than that now-a-days.

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Ketchup

Posted on Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Dave!This morning I stopped by the mini-mart so I could get a bean-n-cheese burrito for breakfast.

I know that sounds odd, but it's not really the burrito I'm after at 8:00am... it's the ketchup. And since I don't like ketchup on breakfast burritos, scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, Captain Crunch cereal, or any other "traditional" breakfast foods, a bean-n-cheese burrito it is.

Alas, much to my horror, they were out of bean-n-cheese burritos.

And you know how hard it is to get something out of your head once you've got a taste for it.

So most of my day was spent trying to concentrate on work while my head didn't want to think about anything except how I was going to satisfy my craving for ketchup. I thought about running to get French fries at lunch but, when it comes to condiments, I'd rather have mayonnaise on my fries.

That I ended up eating a packet of ketchup left over from the last time I had a bean-and-cheese burrito is neither here nor there.

The important point is that I was finally able to focus on work.

   
At least until my craving for saltwater taffy kicked in.

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Bullet Sunday 356

Posted on Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Dave!Don't give another thought to your impending doom... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Einstein. You know how somebody comes out with a product you just love, so you buy and buy and buy... fully expecting to get sick of it, but all that happens is you end up loving it more? That was me when it came to Kraft "Bagel-fuls." These delicious bits of amazing are pre-cooked bagels wrapped around cream cheese (and other fillings) then frozen. You keep them in your refrigerator, then pop them in your toaster when you have a bagel craving. The brilliant part? The outside is deliciously crispy while the cream cheese stays cool. Truly an amazing product, and I ate them constantly...

Bagel-fuls

Until they were discontinued. I couldn't find them anywhere.

Then, like a miracle, Bagel-fuls mysteriously reappeared in my grocer's freezer... but now they're branded as coming from Einstein Bros. Bagels. Regardless, they're the same thing and taste as amazing as ever. Now everybody needs to go to their local grocery store and buy every box so that they don't get discontinued again. Thanks!

   
• LEGO. At long last, the follow-up to LEGO Batman 2 has arrived... LEGO Marvel Super-Heroes!

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

If you've played any of the LEGO video games before, this is pretty much more of the same... but with some nice upgrades in play mechanics and graphics. For the most part, it's an amazing game that's just as good as Batman 2... featuring the same easy puzzles, massive list of playable characters, adorable story-lines, clever cut-scenes (that now TALK!), and open-world play. All is not perfect though. LEGO still has shitty flying and targeting controls, and it drives me nuts from time to time when the pressure's on. Still... the Xbox 360 version I bought is an awesome and fun game that even an adult can play. Highly recommended.

IMPORTANT... I should note that the reviews for the Nintendo 3DS version of LEGO Marvel Superheroes are really bad. I bought a copy because I love LEGO on the go gaming... but I returned it unopened the minute the reviews started pouring in. This is really sad given the quality of other 3DS LEGO games (save Lord of the Rungs, which is a rare exception), and I wonder how something like this happens given how great Batman 2 was. Oh well. Money saved and all that.

   
• Kermit. I admit that I am not a big fan of the post-Henson Muppets... but holy cow does this look like fun...

Count me in!

   
• LAIKA. Speaking of fun... the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman was on sale for Halloween and I had heard good things about it, so I grabbed it. For reasons unknown, I only got around to watching it now. It's absolutely beautiful. Between this and films like Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, stop-motion-animation just keeps blowing me away. Bravo LAIKA Studios...

Interestingly enough, this cartoon was considered "controversial" when it was released because one of the lead characters ends up being gay. I kept waiting for the kid-inappropriate graphic gay sex scene, but it never came. All I saw was one quick throw-away joke about a character's sexuality at the end, and that was it. So, apparently, just the fact that gay people are acknowledged to exist in a cartoon is enough to spark controversy. The only thing controversial to me is that idiots who find this controversial n the year 2013.

   
• Hunger. And, while we're on the subject of movies... THIS has to be the funniest movie review I've ever seen...

The Onion strikes again! When it comes to The Funny, they consistently knock it out of the park.

   
And... another Bullet Sunday slides into the sweet abyss.

   

CinaTacoBoniBell

Posted on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Dave!I finally made it to Taco Bell so I could try their new "Cinnabon Delights"... which are little balls of dough that are filled with Cinnabon frosting, then rolled in cinnamon-sugar. Kind of a faster-food version of a fast-food version of a cinnamon roll.

When I first heard of them, my reaction was to say "God exists. And he's working at Taco Bell. I love stuff like this... totally bad for you, yet utterly delicious. Much like so many things on Taco Bell's menu (Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, anyone?).

Here is what got me so excited...

Cinnabon Delights by Taco Bell

Even the photo is orgasm-inducing.

But how does reality stack up?

Meh.

First of all, none of my bites were filled with hot frosting goo as shown in the ads...

Cina-Taco-Bon-Bell

They were kind of mooshy inside... like the frosting goo had been absorbed or something. Maybe they had been sitting out too long? But they did taste like there was Cinnabon frosting inside, so I guess that's what's important.

But the bigger problem with these things is the texture. The sugar crystals are a bit big, so they add a grainy gritty feeling when you take a bite. Do not like. If they could fix this, I'd probably enjoy them a lot more because the flavor is pretty decent.

In the meanwhile, I'll just track down a Cinnabon shop when I have a craving for cinnamony goodness.

Of course the nearest Cinnabon is just over two hours away, so maybe time constraints or desperation will have me cruising Taco Bell after all.

Such is my lot in life.

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Bullet Sunday 360

Posted on Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Dave!Times to put down that snow shovel and grab a mug of delicious hot chocolate... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Thrice Nine. I am very happy to announce that today we have released the ninth issue of THRICE Fiction Magazine, featuring a bevy of talented writers and artists all wrapped up in this stunning cover by the amazingly talented Katelin Kinney...

Thrice FictionIssue No. 9

Do yourself a favor and go download a FREE copy at the THRICE Fiction website... you'll be glad you did!

   
• Light. If I ever come up lacking blog fodder, all I have to do is drive down Wenatchee Avenue (the main drag running the entire length of the city of Wenatchee). Today I nearly ran over a guy crossing the street against the light while hauling a filled body bag! Filled with what, I have no idea. But that's not all, as I also saw... two white guys poppin' and lockin' on a street corner... a woman in a motorized wheelchair dragging a wagon filled with Christmas presents... a little girl twirling like she just don't care in front of an Indian restaurant... Santa Claus... a guy in shorts and a fur parka sitting on the trunk of his(?) car smoking a cigarette and drinking from a giant coffee mug... AND this...

Light of the Turd

It says "CHURCH THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"... but they drew a streaming pile of shit in the middle of it? Which is covering the secondary brake light, rendering it useless. Oh... and if you think that I managed to get into Denny's at 2:30 on the Sunday before Christmas? NO! No I did not! Which makes me sad, because that Hobbit Specialty Menu ain't gonna last forever.

   
• Mango! I'm a Kool-Aid kid. I would rather have a cold glass of Kool-Aid than soda pop any day. Tropical Punch is my favorite flavor, but I try to shake things up by making classic flavors like Orange, Grape, Lemon-Lime, and Watermelon. I also have tried specialty flavors that pop up from time to time like Purplesaurus Rex, Arctic Green Apple, and Sharkleberry Fin. And then this week I found Mango, which I almost skipped because I worried it would be too weird like the Pineapple flavor I tried last month. But, sanity prevailed, and I thought I'd give it a try...

Mango Kool-Aid

Delicious! Really good color, aroma, and flavor! If you like mango, then this is absolutely worth a shot.

   
• Reel. I've mentioned a couple times how I'm really stoked to see the Russian film Stalingrad, which takes place during World War II in the middle of one of the bloodiest battles in world history. The trailer looks absolutely amazing, even though I'm not a big fan of war movies. And now they've released a special effects real showing how they were rendered for 3-D. It's pretty mind-blowing...

Needless to say, I want to see the movie now more than ever. I guess it's in limited release, because I haven't seen it playing anywhere yet. It'll be a pretty big bummer if it leaves theaters before I can see it.

   
• Bittersweet. On one hand, New Mexico and Utah have joined the marriage equality bandwagon...

Equality Wins

On the other hand, Uganda has passed an "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" which mandates life in prison for anybody having gay sex. I suppose we should all be thankful that the punishment wasn't set to "death," which was their original idea for a sentence. But I'm too busy being absolutely horrified. Even more so because anti-gay abominations of humanity here in the USA played a part in it. The very ideal of "The United States of America" is one of a beacon of freedom and hope known throughout the world. What in the hell happened? Our government is spying on its own people. We're passing horrific laws allowing the indefinite unlawful detention of American citizens. Our politicians are bought and paid for by Special Interest money with no consideration given to the people they profess to serve. Our media so thoroughly polarizes us that we've become a country hopelessly divided in venom and hate. And now? Now? We have assholes so filled with blind hatred and homophobia that they're exporting it to other countries because their efforts are finally failing here at home. Hardly a new concept, to be sure, but still fucking abhorrent given that these people are professing to be spreading hate in the name of religion. God bless America.

Because somebody has to.

   
• Pass. And lastly, in what I can only describe as a Christmas miracle come early, BARRY EFFIN' GIBB actually made an effin' appearance on The Barry Gibb Talk Show on last night's surprisingly funny Saturday Night Live...

Ordinarily, I wouldn't spoil the surprise like this, but... 1) he's right there on the video frame, and 2) The show featured guest host Jimmy Fallon and musical guest Justin Timberlake... was there any question that The Barry Gibb Talk Show wasn't going to make an appearance? Not the best installment of the long-running sketch, but certainly one of the most eventful! And a sad reminder that Robin Gibb is no longer with us, having died May last year.

   
And... time to make some holiday magic happen, people...

   

Bullet Sunday 362

Posted on Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Dave!As winter storm warnings drop across the USA, better bundle up tight... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Return! Dan Harmon is back to running Community after having been canned from it last season. And even though only two new Harmon episodes have aired, it's clear that the show is going to be as good as it ever was. If you're not watching the show... or quit after Harmon left... it's time to jump back onboard.

Community 2014

Just don't remind me that Troy only has three episodes left before his character is written out...

   
• Good Bye. Was really sad to learn that James Avery died this past week. Immortalized as Will Smith's "Uncle Phil" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Avery was an actor who somehow managed to hold his own in scenes that would seem impossible to do so...

So long, Uncle Phil.

   
• Snack! ZOMG! THESE NEW SARA LEE DEVIL'S FOOD CREME CAKES ARE LIKE CAKE AND CANDY IN ONE! LOVE THEM!

Sara Lee Devil's Food Creme Cakes

And are as bad for you as you'd imagine them to be. Oh well. At least they don't have DISGUSTING LARD like Hostess snack cakes do.

   
• REALLY? Speaking of things that are bad for you... When it comes to stupid fucking idiots, it's pretty tough to top Jenny McCarthy. She advocates not vaccinating your child (based on bad, inaccurate information) under the guise of "saving children from autism"... but then turns around and glamorizes smoking and nicotine addiction with her Blu e-cig commercials...

Jenny Stupid Fucking McCarthy

For the children, I'm sure.

It's bad enough that her anti-vax idiocy is spreading illness and death... now she's promoting an unhealthy habit too? I'm guessing that whoring herself out for huffing gasoline is next. All she has to do is find somebody to pay her to make an ad for it.

   
And... I think I'm done. I'll just let that last bullet sink in a bit...

   

Sandwich

Posted on Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Dave!

I packed a sack lunch for work today.

Mostly because I wanted a cheese-and-potato-chip sandwich, and you can't get that at the mini-mart. So long as you pack the potato chips separately so they don't go all soggy, it makes for a pretty good meal...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Eats a Cheese Sandwich

And THAT was the highlight of my day.

If it were any other day except Saturday, that would be enough.

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Scrambled

Posted on Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Dave!Three or four mornings each week, I stop at the mini-mart so I can buy two bottles of Grape Powerade (2 for $5) and a bean & cheese burrito. It's the perfect breakfast, and a delicious excuse to eat lots of ketchup (no joke... I can use three packets with one small burrito).

Not exactly healthy though.

So this morning I thought I'd try a breakfast that's better for me... an Amy's Tofu Scramble...

Amy's Tofu Scramble

I like Amy's stuff. Her Mexican and Indian entrees are darn good, and I'm a loyal customer to her brand. Once I Googled a few reviews on how awesome her Tofu Scramble was, I didn't think twice about putting it in my shopping cart. And today was the day!

It tasted like a bowl of barf.

The potatoes were okay... but the scramble was just awful. I didn't like the flavor and really didn't like the texture. While nowhere near as bad as the Special K Breakfast Flatbread Sandwich I tried last month (vomit-inducing gross), I just couldn't bring myself to eat it.

And so I stopped by the mini-mart for two bottles of Grape Powerade and a bean & cheese burrito.

Which was delicious, as usual.

And while not exactly healthy, it was probably no worse than a bag of Doritos and a Coke, which was my go-to breakfast before I found out Hometown Market had bean & cheese burritos and a good price on double-Powerade.

I really need to go back to Eggo Waffles one day.

But right now I'm still dealing with the crushing disappointment from last time.

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Bullet Sunday 370

Posted on Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Dave!No more bitching about how your favorite movie/actor/director didn't win an Oscar, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Oscar! First of all, I just have to say that Ellen DeGeneres did an amazing job as host. Funny, entertaining, yet still nice to everybody. And now my take on the big awards...

  • BEST PICTURE: Should have won: 12 Years a Slave. Won: 12 Years a Slave. This was an incredible movie that was painful to watch. Totally Oscar-worthy, even though I doubt I will ever watch it again.
  • BEST DIRECTOR: Should have won: ? Three-Way Tie ?. Won: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity). This was hard. I honestly felt that David O. Russell (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), and Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), all had a claim to the prize. That Russell both wrote and directed American Hustle made me want him to win a bit more over the others, but the technical challenges that Cuarón had to rise above were legion, so I get it. McQueen is a solid choice too, so I just don't know.
  • BEST ACTOR: Should have won: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). Won: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). McConaughey was good, but I just didn't see his role (or the film, in general) to be riveting enough to grab the prize. Ejiofor on the other hand?
  • BEST ACTRESS: Should have won: Sandra Bullock (Gravity). Won: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine). I fucking hate Woody Allen and, even though I'm sure Blanchett was her usual incredible self, I'd rather any other picture win. Bullock managed to overcome a lot of technical challenges to pull out a very good performance, so I'd probably give her the nod.
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Should have won: Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave). Won: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club). Leto was the best thing about Dallas Buyers Club, but the sheer volume of emotional wreckage that Fassbender had to claw his way out of to deliver his performance must have been epic.
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Should have won: Lupita Nyong'o, (12 Years a Slave). Won: Lupita Nyong'o, (12 Years a Slave). A complete no-brainer. Nyong'o had the performance to beat (even though I love Jennifer Lawrence so much that I probably wouldn't complain if she won it for her awesome turn on American Hustle).
  • BEST ANIMATED PICTURE: Should have won: Frozen. Won: Frozen. Animation god, Hayao Miyazaki, had his final feature film (The Wind Rises) in the running and I would have loved for him to have won... but Frozen was the film to beat.

   
• Marshmallow! And speaking of Frozen... there's a lot of things I could say about this brilliant Disney animated feature. Maybe that will happen later in the week. In the meanwhile, how much does everybody love Marshmallow? Probably my favorite animated character since Sully from Monster's Inc....

Frozen Marshmallow

If you love Marshmallow too, be sure to keep watching past the Frozen credits.

   
• Ark! As I mentioned a year-and-a-half ago when I visited The Creation Museum, the group behind it all (Answers in Genesis) is working on a second museum... ARK ENCOUNTER