Tagged: food

The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2013 Edition

We got up at 3:45 yesterday morning. That’s not the impressive part though. We had gone to bed at close to midnight the night before, and then lay mostly awake through those very few hours trying to sleep through the sound of the dog clock in the neighbor’s yard. This dog literally barked once per second for over an hour. A true canus tempus. I wanted to kill him in the face. But we were energized by vacationalistic excitement, and thus were able to get up with no problems. Then I set about to making Bloody Marys for all of the day’s travelers. Well, except for the kids, of course. Duh. They drink whiskey sours.

By 5:15 we were on the shuttle (all seven of us) heading for the airport. At the end of the three-hour flight, the stewardess announced congratulations for Bret and Danae who are getting married on the beach. I know. Copycats, right? They’re even getting married on the same slice of beach as we did nearly four years ago. Major rolleyes. But then the flight attendant had us do the wave. Very nice.

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Do we need a better mouse trap?

What is the best mouse trap? You hear all the time in company meetings and motivational speeches alike, “let’s build a better mouse trap.” It has actually turned into a cliche. But why? Are mouse traps really that bad that someone needs to be thinking about building a better one? Or is it just the perfect item to make a joke about because it really needs no improvement?

I can’t tell. See, I think the absolutely perfect mouse trap would completely disintegrate the mouse. Turn it into energy, or a puff of perfume-laced smoke. Every mouse trap I’ve ever used – though all of them worked effectively – was imperfect in that you still had to deal with the body of the mouse when the deed was done. And that’s the part I think we all dread the most. I mean, who wants to have to touch a nasty, dirty, flea-infested, possible-rabies-carrying carcass? Not I. So let’s take a look at some of the mouse traps available on the market, and discuss the pros and cons of each.

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The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 3

What I didn’t consider when I wrote volume two was that it was Memorial Day. I mean, of course I knew it was Memorial Day. But I hadn’t considered that the breweries would be closed. So in short, what this meant was that we could take our time getting to Portland. There was no need to rush to make sure we had plenty of daylight left to hit as many brewhouses as we could. And you know, that worked out after all, because we were able to have a nice leisurely drive back. What should have taken three hours took almost six. And it was completely cool.

Cadillac Mountain was very nice. Gorgeous views. It was a little cold up there, but we had a great experience. Then we sat at Jordan Pond and had a brunch of popovers and lobster rolls with coffee. One of the most excellent brunch experiences of my life, right there. Completely worth the drive, friends. The wind was cool and fresh off the lake, as we sat outside at a picnic table staring out over the water while we ate. So beautiful.

These popovers are apparently the latest craze up there. The bake a muffin until it gets huge and just sort of explodes. So it’s a gigantic muffin that’s hollow on the inside. You put butter and jam on it, and – well, let me back up. You know those spherical scoops of butter they give you in breakfast diners? Yeah, I took that whole thing, sliced a hole in the pop and stuffed the entire butter sphere in it. Then poured the entire cup of jam inside, and sort of mashed it all around. Dear sweet WOW.

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The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 2

We ran into a couple of hikers the other night, and hung out at the Dog & Pony with them, then ended the night at Leary’s Landing (the Irish Pub) listening to a guy play the guitar and sing songs we all know. Well, we helped him out a little bit. And being at the table closest to him, I asked him if he knew certain artists occasionally. “Do you know any Bette Midler?” I would say, for instance. Or, “Hey, can you play any Barry Manilow? Air Supply?” Unfortunately, he was more of a modern rock guy. It was fun.

The church we attended Sunday morning was very old-fashioned. It reminds me of my childhood. The same tired old songs from the hymnals, the same tired old sermons repeated every Sunday from the same tired old preacher. He was actually reading his notes the entire time. Not very dramatic. He’s no Chris Seidman, I said. But it was good. It was nice to stop down and be reminded of why we’re here in the first place. Spending a little time in worship was pleasant before we hit the streets and bars again. Which we did in short order. The Seaside Grill serves an awful Bloody Mary, by the way (though their haddock popkin is pretty remarkable).

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The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 1

You can fly into Bangor and drive the hour into Bar Harbor, which is what we should have done. Don’t get me wrong, the drive up was absolutely gorgeous. We counted more trees per square yard than we could even believe actually existed. But a five-hour drive is pretty taxing when you’ve gotten up at 0400 to be at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport by 0625. Yeah. They don’t even serve bloody marys that early.

So flying into Bangor will save you the five-hour drive, but costs you a couple of Franklins. Well, next time I think we may do that. We, instead, flew into Boston / Logan and drove up. Now that was a really nice drive through all those bay towns, including Portland. We plan to spend a day in Portland Monday, actually. We’ve decided to knock off out of Bar Harbor a day early to cut the trip in half so we’re not rushed on the day we fly out.

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New York Diaries, Vol 1

I’m finally changing career paths. At almost forty years old. But they say it’s never too late to learn something new, right? I’m tired of fixing computers for a living. I’m pretty good at it, and I’m almost never stumped by a problem for too long anymore. I mean, there are perhaps an infinite number of things that can go wrong with a computer or a piece of software, or a printer… But a lot of them start to look alike – and certainly have the same solution. And I’ve been doing this a really long time. Yeah, it’s time for a change. So my company sent me to a three-day training course in New York City. So this is it, huh? I finally get to go to New York. Well let’s do it!

You see, all my friends have been. Well, most of my friends anyway. My red-haired wife has been. My dad has been. And everyone says you have to experience it firsthand to really get the full drift of what it’s like down on the street. Well, I’ve been here for four days now, and let me just say this about it: you have to experience it firsthand to really get the full drift of what it’s like down on the street.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 5

Part Five: Dancing in the Streets

When you think of vacation spots, you probably don’t very frequently list Panama City as one of your choices. It seems – to me, at least – to be one of those spots like the Roman Coliseum. It’s beautiful, and you’d love to see it, but you’re not going to lie out and catch some rays on the theater floor. These seem more like educational spots. Culturally rich locations where you go with a history team, or a college class for a field trip. And certainly if you’re staying at Playa Bonita on Diesel Beach, it’s not a great place to catch some sun. The pools are fine for it. Amy (“I’m not getting any sun! I need to wash this crap off my back!”) burned like an unconscious lobster left on a grill. While the fire was lit. On high. And people threw cigarette butts at it. While laughing. Even my red-haired wife caught a little too much sun, and when her skin started peeling it really made a picture of her new Embera Ink tattoos.

But a large part of me is glad we didn’t get to choose the vacation spot for our getaway. Panama is literally the last place on the planet I would have chosen. Ireland? Turkey? Germany? Canada? Kansas? These are all places that sound reasonably like good tourist spots for a nice week away from work. But the company chose for us. As they do every year on their Presidents’ Club vacation. And this unlikely spot made for a fantastic, and life-changing experience I won’t soon forget. Yes, even I – with my terrible memory – am not likely to forget this one.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 4

Part Four: The Tribal Village of the Embera

We’ve come a long way with technology. This to me is science. I like to stay at the forefront – the leading edge, and all the other buzzwords you can think of that have to do with technology. I sometimes buy devices and gadgets with the full intention of returning them within the fourteen-day window just so I can become familiar with them, learn all about them, and be able to speak intelligibly of them. I would never personally own a Windows phone, but I was quick to hop on my mother’s for an hour or two when she got it, just to check out what they’re all about. I have more gadgets and technology in my house than a Best Buy distribution warehouse. Well, one that’s very small and only has like five laptops and three tablets in it.

I never dreamed I could part with my tech so easily. And maybe I can’t. I brought my tablet and my D/SLR camera with me on this trip to Panama. And my cell phone. And my wife’s laptop, her cell phone, a pocket camera, a 3G wireless hotspot, a GRUB analyzer, a Trip Socket spectrometer, and a bag full of cords, cables, chargers and SD cards. I came fully prepared. Our phones, however, remained off the entire trip. It was nice to be disconnected. Sort of. Not sort of nice. Sort of disconnected. Of course we still fired up Lync and Google Talk to video chat with the kids in the evenings, and I checked my email on my tablet and sent my drawings to my game mates on Draw Something. But we were more off-the-grid than usual. Especially when we went to see the Indians.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 3

Part Three: The Heart of Panama City

Panama has three beers to offer us. There’s nothing special or fancy – they’re all golden beers, light in flavor and body, and all pretty similar. We tried them all, of course, and actually wanted to venture out into the city to pick some up to keep in our hotel room. Those Panama nights get long, and that balcony that overlooks the Diesel Beach just seems to call to us like the crickets of the jungle. We longed to sit out on that balcony and enjoy a few cold cans of Balboa. Alas, here now we sit in our comfortable leather couches back in Dallas, Texas, and can say we not once sat in those chairs on the balcony.

We did do plenty of sitting and drinking though. I met some really great people on this trip. Certain people with whom I’ve spoken and supported many times were there, and it was great to meet them. But they also brought with them their spouses, and that really rounded out the vacation for me. Tom and Jeremy and Sean – these guys were the perfect compliment to the Suzanne, Shana and Kacy I’ve already come to know and love. Though I’d not yet met Suzanne and Kacy, I was already very fond of them from my dealings with them on the phone. The nights we spent out by the pool crowded around a table drinking beer we had bribed a waiter into serving us were as memorable as the tours and experiences we were talking about around those tables.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 1

Part One: Man Versus Murphy

As our tour guide for the Panama Canal said, “Murphy isn’t just a part of our daily lives here in Panama, but he was also born here.” He spoke of Edward Murphy, the Panamanian native who coined the phrase we all know today as Murphy’s Law. Well, we met Mr. Murphy before we even got to the airport.

State Highway 121, which is perpetually in a state of construction, almost caused us to miss our flight. They had blocked the exit to the airport. I don’t know who ‘they’ is, but I’d sure like to have a little chat with them. Yes, they blocked the exit. How can they do that when there are literally thousands of people every day who depend on that exit to get to the airport? Well, you’ll have to ask ‘them’.

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How I Conquered Heartburn

I know a lot of people who are permanently on some kind of acid reflux medication. What is it about today’s people – or today’s diet – that is so much worse for us than back in say, the 70s? Were people riddled with perpetual daily heartburn back then the way they are today? I would guess they were, but no one has ever confirmed this. My real question, obviously, is what did they do before Omeprazole?

Well I’ve been on it for at least twelve years. I think closer to fifteen. I know they took Propulsid off the shelves back in April of 2000. And I was on that. Apparently it caused heart attacks and all other kinds of bad schlit. But I know I was on permanent daily medication already at the point when I started taking this deadly medication. And I don’t remember how long I’d been on it. So at least twelve, possibly as much as fifteen years of my life, I’ve dealt with GERD. And I’m son-of-a-bitching tired of it.

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SpaceBrew Review: The Windup Girl

The Windup Girl
by Paolo Bacigalupi

I have a lot to say about this book. It was a big book, so it needs a big review. And by big, I mean twenty hours. I listened to it on audiobook, you see. I think Jonathan Davis was a great narrator, but he reads very slowly. He’s very precise with his words, and his pauses between sentences are often pregnant with wait. This probably added several hours throughout the entire book. But it’s also big because Bacigalupi was very liberal with his words. If words cost money, he spared no expense.

It was good. Well written. Mr. Bacigalupi has a way of romanticizing famine and plague, terrible conditions and even rape with such smooth words. They feel like warm honey running over your skin. It’s very easy to latch onto the world, and feel like you’re part of it. His world is a post-apocalyptic version of ours, a couple of hundred years in the future. Not that he ever actually comes out and tells you that, mind you.

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Public Transit: A Gloryhole for People-Watching

I ride the train to and from work on most days. Well, I should say public transit. Because part of my trip sometimes involves a bus. In the past I would have thought that only poor and homeless people used the DART buses around here. Boy was I wrong. A couple of guys from my work ride with me, and this one really classy, foxy woman rides our bus too. She’s always reading on her phone. These aren’t the only non-homeless people on the bus. Just the ones I care about. But it has nothing to do with being poor. It’s actually to do with being smart, and wanting to free up your hands to use your time the way you want. I get to ride and read instead of drive and cuss. Anyhow, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen a homeless person on the bus. Now the train, on the other hand…

But I do ride the bus for part of the trip because it gets me closer to my building. I have a nice little walk up the hill when I get off the bus. But taking the bus (and the train for that matter) every day makes for some interesting encounters with humanity. And since I’ve now been riding for about seven months, I’ve seen some very interesting people. Let me tell you about some of the most interesting encounters:

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Saturday Night Star Party

Here we are, Two-Step and a couple of friends and I moseyed out to Alpine, Texas to see the stars. They say Alpine is the best place in the continental United States to see the stars. And boy, they’re right. Zero light pollution. No street lights, no bright signage, just perfect darkness and a hundred billion stars in the sky.

Our first night we stayed in Brownswood at a budget inn type place, just to knock a few hours off the nine-hour trek to Alpine. That was a good experience in itself though, as we all sat outside around a wire-mesh table and had some drinks while we talked to some other travelers who had just arrived on their motorcycle. It seems that everyone you meet at a hotel is always so friendly. It almost restores your faith in humanity a little bit. Everyone we’ve met so far has been great.

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Congratulations, America! You win!

Way to go, the United States of America. On Independence Day – the day in which you celebrate your nation’s birth – the most important day in this country’s history – you host a hot-dog-eating contest. Let’s all celebrate our nation’s freedom and make ourselves look even more gluttonous and stupid and self-serving and arrogant by stuffing our obese faces with tubes of processed pig intestines and giraffe anus. I can think of no greater glory!

This hot-dog-eating contest has become a staple in American entertainment. These skinny little dudes eat fifty-plus hot dogs in a matter of minutes. They dunk them in bowls of water so they’ll go down more quickly and easily. Do you know how bad hot dog buns (or any bread, for that matter) taste when they’re soaked with water? Yeah, me neither. You know why? Because it’s gross!

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Bacon Talk: Thanksgiving

Welcome back, SpaceBrewers. We know none of you are reading this on Friday because you’re all out shopping at Best Buy, Kohl’s, Target and The Great American Cookie Company. But you will read this at some point. Thanksgiving has came and went, and we missed a great opportunity with Halloween – so we didn’t want to miss a Bacon Talk for Thanksgiving. So what did we give thanks for? Crrrrrringe… Okay, I thought I could live with the “has came and went” and I think I could have… But ending that sentence with “for”? Nuh uh. Grammar talk should be another weekly special here. So I can beat the hell out of you with sentences like “For what did you give thanks?” and the like.
Anyway, Haycomet, we traditionally mention our thanksgivings on this one day every year. And while that’s a good thing, don’t you think we should be thankful every day of the year – not just on that one day? I do. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ll just go ahead and ask you: who were you rooting for in the football game yesterday?
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Judge Not Thy Chili

I guess I have entirely missed the point of a chili cook-off. You see, growing up, I – wait. No, never mind. This has nothing to do with growing up. But I’ve always sort of been of the opinion that when you had a food contest, the goal for each contestant would be to cook the best tasting food. Chili included. Should not the goal for each contestant to be to produce the absolute best chili anyone has ever had? Well apparently not. Now the point is to see who can set someone’s mouth on fire the fastest. And there’s your opening paragraph.

Seriously though, did I miss some sort of memo? Here at work the other day, there was a small, unannounced chili cook-off hosted by the ladies in marketing. And of course, out of the seven or so women there, only like two of them made the chili. The rest of the entries were actually cooked and prepared by the husbands. I need not finish this paragraph, but I will anyway – if for no other reason than to hit my word quota. But yeah, you guessed it: women cannot cook chili. My red-haired wife not included.

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Bacon Talk: Dream Houses

Good morning, and happy Friday to you all, oh seekers of the bacon! Welcome to another edition of Bacon Talk, the weekly SpaceBrew feature John Goodman mentioned in his recent interview with Conan O’Brien! This week, we’re sitting inside the cozy confines of our office living room, by a crackling fire. It’s cold out there! And after last week’s episode, the new balcony collapsed, killing several birds and a nest of baby kittens. I assure you, this was not Butch’s or Bruno’s fault, though they are on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. We’re just thankful no one was out on the balcony when it collapsed. Well, the window cleaning guy was, but no one will even miss him.
So how do you feel today, Hay Hay? Word around the campfire is that you’ve got your cake site all set up now. Is that so?

Why yes, Space, that is so… thanks to you. I just need to start adding pictures of the crazy cakes I’ve made in the last eight years. I’ve made everything from guitar and drum cakes to a teddy bear pirate cake. Maybe the site will launch my career as a cakist and then I can quit my day job.

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Old People Like Applebee’s

There’s an old man who lives in my neighborhood, right across the street. He and his wife are probably in their late 70s, early 80s, possibly late 80s. I’m not very good at judging ages on old people. But yeah, they’re old. He’s a cool old dude. He was a sailor back in his day, so I know he’s got some guns in that house. I’m trying to get on his good side so maybe he’ll put me in his will, because I like guns too.

Anyway, he has this tree in front of his house that is notorious for losing branches. I mean, they’re easily found – it’s like it loses one, we look for a brief period, and say, “Oh, there it is, right beneath the tree from where it fell. How about that.” So it’s not really losing them as such… maybe not even really misplacing them. We’ll just say that branches have a tendency to fall off that damn tree quite often. More than the rest of the trees in the neighborhood.

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Bacon Talk: Nicknames

Hi Space!  How’s it it going?  And hello out there in blogland!  This is yours truly, Haycomet, and I hope all of you have a big plate of meat candy and a cup o’ Joe in hand, because today we are talking about nicknames.

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I have the beat wife ever.

The title of this column was based upon a Facebook message my wife left me yesterday, for our anniversary. You know how hard it is to type messages on a cellphone when there is no real keyboard? Yeah. Well perhaps tomorrow when Haycomet and I get together for our Bacon Talk, we’ll have something to say about cellphones. Anyway, yesterday, as a lot of you may or may not know, was my red-haired wife’s and my first anniversary. Yes, friends, what that means is that we have been married for most of a year. Or close to a year. Something having to do with a year. And, as the title suggests, she is the beat wife ever.

You see, she says some things like that sometimes, when there are not even any keyboards around. She misspeaks and they become terms of endearment, naturally, for me. Like how she says, “Chipolte” instead of Chipotle. Or she’ll call me her “Knight and shining armor”. You know, cute things that red-haired wives do that make us smile. But yesterday, for our anniversary, she did what was perhaps to go down in history as one of the awesomest things anyone has ever done for me. She got me a lunchbox.

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The The Bacon Paradox

Have you ever heard of the Bacon Paradox? Actually, I think the The is capitalized, so it would technically read, The Bacon Paradox. And since the The is capitalized and part of the title, it would be appropriate in its proper noun sense to refer to it as the The Bacon Paradox. In which case, you should then go ahead and capitalize the first the, e.g. The The Bacon Paradox. You obviously then add another the, it becomes capitalized, and so on, ad nauseum.

Yeah. Sort of like the TTR report, in which the acronym formally stands for “The TTR Report”. Figure that one out.

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Bacon Talk: Toilets

A great thing about having a huge group of writers on staff is that Space always has hundreds of articles to choose from daily. I’m just so darn talented, so that’s why he picks at least one of my pieces every week. Okay, seriously though, I almost didn’t get that all typed before I started laughing. Space and I are the two main writers and sometimes we get “blocked” or just plain busy and need to come up with anything at all to fill a day. We don’t want our faithful readers sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth, saying, “I need my SpaceBrew, I need my SpaceBrew, I need my SpaceBrew…” So today Space and I have collaborated to write this amazing article- one worthy of a Pulitzer! It’s about toilets. Why not? We can only post so many stories about bacon, any more and Space said he is going to rename the site SpaceBacon. So here we go…
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Do these genes make me look fat?

I hear people all the time saying obesity is a disease. They talk like it’s something people get infected with, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Like cancer. Oh no, you got the fat? So sorry to hear that. Did the doctor say how long you have? I’ve also heard people say it’s genetic and there’s nothing they can do about it. My dad was fat so I have to accept that I’m fat too, and there’s not much point in trying to change it. What?

I’ve known people who go through phases where they gain a bunch of weight, then get busy, bust their ass, and lose it. Is that genetic too? See I think our problem here in America is the fact that we want to be lazy. Whether or not we’re lazy seems to be irrelevant. We want to be lazy. We don’t want to do anything about it. We’d rather sit around eating twinkies, getting fatter and bitching about how we’re fat. I say be fat and happy, or lose weight. No excuses for being fat and pissed off about it.

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Bra Cups and Batteries

Here’s a list of stuff that’s been occupying at least a small portion of my small mind over the last few days. I want to break them down and share them with you. Tell me what you think.

Have you noticed that both bras and batteries have a lettering system that kind of defies logic? Why is A the smallest bra size, but in batteries there is no A? There’s an AA and an AAA, but no A, and no B. And the AAA is smaller than the AA. In bras, there is a B, C and D. But instead of jumping up to E, it goes to Double D. Hell yeah. All you women wearing Double D out there reprazent! Let’s see ’em! Just kidding. But not really. Even though I kind of am, I kind of ain’t too. Know what I mean? I mean, like, if you want to sh– okay, okay, sorry. I went off on a tangent.

But why is there a Double D? Why not just make the Double D be the new E? And they should have AA as well. For the smaller chested women, you know. And maybe even a AAA. And why the hell are there no B batteries? I love the B size. I think it’s my favorite. So it would probably be my favorite battery too. All you women out there with Bs on your chest, lemme hear you say “YEAH!” Hell yeah. Send your pics here. Okay, okay, I’ll calm down. I don’t really even like boobs that much. Seriously. I’ve just been kidding with y’all.

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Meal Ticket for a Bad Meal

We were talking last night about the concept of the discount coupon, the refund and the free meal ticket. So say you go into a restaurant, you order a nice big meal, you eat it, then you get sick and end up spending the next nine hours pinwheeling in your bathtub. For those of you who don’t know what pinwheeling is, imagine you’re spraying out of both ends. If you were to take a spear and stick it through your side into the wall, the force of the liquids coming out of you would propel you to spin, doing backflips on the spear.

After you spend all night in the shitter, you call the restaurant, or even better – go back up there, and they give you a free meal ticket to make it up to you. Ahem. Like you really want to eat there again? That was one shitty cookie! Can I have a discount on my next shitty cookie? Yeah it really doesn’t make much sense. Same thing with shitty haircuts. You might get a coupon for a free haircut since they effed your head up this time. Uh huh. That is one valuable coupon. I know I don’t keep going back to places that don’t do their job right.

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Shover Robot No Longer Cooks Bacon

It’s funny how you never realize how much you count on your electric appliances until one finally comes alive, says, “PAK CHOOIE” and pushes your grandma down the stairs to protect her from the Terrible Secret of Space. Allow me to explain.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Step, my red-haired wife, had decided that she needed to clean out the microwave oven, which is I guess what red-haired wives all over the world do. I don’t ever really pay much attention to it, so long as it reheats my bacon and my bacon-bacon burgers. Though lately it has begun to take on some of the physical properties of a cave, what with the brown rock stalactites that cling to its ceiling, and the rocky crevasses and stalagmites all over the walls and floor. The plates still fit in there, though they sort of sat at an awkward angle on the rocky surface… But I digress.

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A Real Local Celebrity

I was listening to the radio in the kitchen Saturday morning (because we have one of those kick ass radios that mounts under your cabinets and plays your iPod and stuff…) when the most interesting thing happened. I got annoyed. Yeah I know, it’s not seldom that happens. Anyway, this guy called in and was making a joke about one of the disk jockeys, so one of the hosts goes, “Tell him who you are!” to the guy on the phone. So of course our ears perk up and we get all excited, because there’s someone who is obviously very important on the phone.

It was the corny dog eating champ.

So this guy ate twelve corn dogs in like ten minutes and is obviously very proud of himself. And the hosts were asking him questions about eating corny dogs and whatnot. He’s answering them like he’s an authority on something. Get over yourself! You ate a dozen corny dogs at the state fair! I bet there are three people on my street who could beat that record, but you just happened to show up to the fair. And enter the contest. Fag.

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My fly troubles are over.

You know what Venus Flytraps do? They catch mothereffing flies, that’s what! These things kick ass. If you’ve never seen one in action, I suggest you run up to your local hardware store or retnec repus tram law and pick one up. My girlfriend walked by a whole aisle of them yesterday and said, “Ooh ooh, kick ass! Check this out, Space!” Yes, she calls me Space.

So to make a short story long, we came home with a Venus Mothereffing Flytrap. And it does what the container advertised: it traps some mothereffing flies.

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Lost Treasures

Over the last couple of years, Captain and I have analyzed and cataloged the inventories of over seventeen thousand couches. We took our science team, which consists of our Department of Couch Research, our Department of Breast Analysis and Appreciation, and our entire Ministry of Sexual Relations. Don’t ask why we needed those departments. But you can see how couches have to do with sex, at least in some respects.

Anyway, what we endeavored to do was to find out what people had lost in their couches. And there were plenty of treasures to be found. People with children usually had a few Legos and some small plastic pieces of play fence. People with cats found a lot of cat hair and an occasional chunk or two of litter, sometimes a play ball (you know the ones with the little bells in the middle of them?). But the most popular items we found in people’s couches were French Fries and pennies. Ninety-six percent of the couches we cataloged had at least one of each beneath their cushions.

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I’m not a vegetable thief.

I went to the doctor last week because of a sinus cold. While I was there I asked him if he- –wait no, it was a she. A hot doctor lady who looks kind of like a librarian, but you can tell she’s hot. Like that one in Road House. Anyway, I asked her if she could look at my plumbing, because I had a couple of tiny red spots on it. So I dropped my drawers and she quickly rolled back in her chair and said something about my having her peas. Whose peas?

Here are some sample peas.Now my girlfriend was standing in the room with me. Well, she was sitting in the girlfriend chair over there. I looked back at her with a frown. My girlfriend doesn’t have any ‘peas’ that I know of. So the doctor couldn’t have been talking about hers. I asked her what she meant. She replied, “I think you might have her peas. Let’s take some blood and we’ll test you out.” She left the room quickly, hair blowing behind her like she was riding a white stallion into a milky orange sunset.

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Sub-Par Food Service

One of their chicken sandwiches.A buddy and I went to eat at a sub shop over here, because he couldn’t shut up about it. “Oh my God dude you have to try these subs. They’re the best freaking subs ever created.” I was like hell yeah, if they’re the best ever, I sure would hate to miss out on that shit. Give me one of them bitches now! So we went to Jimmy John’s. It’s not a major chain, but who really cares about that? As long as their subs are good, they can be in the running, right? And every time I drive by there, it’s always packed like a can of tuna.

Well here’s my review on the place: I give it one star. Out of five. Why? Well, the bread was good. It was soft and fresh, and very luscious. But the rest of it was like I was eating at home. Nothing special at all. And get this bull ass shit. They don’t have swiss cheese. They have one kind of cheese. One. No pepper jack. No monterey. No cheddar. No provolone. Just American. Or whatever the damn it was they had. One kind. And they only had like two kinds of meat. Okay, I’m done talking about this place. Let’s talk about a good sub shop.

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The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2008

Lonely UmbrellaRemember how I told you I was going to The Boot? Well actually it’s more like A Used Condom, but whatever. The point is, I went. I snorkled on the beach (actually in the water near the beach), I sat under umbrellas and watched the ocean, I drank cold beers and I looked at women. Did you know you can get Corona in a can? I thought that was pretty awesome. I got some pretty good shots while I was out there. Click on that picture and you can see the set. I put nine photos up in the set.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about my return flight. Because no one cares about what happened on my vacation. Nothing exciting. I got in several fights on the beach, beat up an entire team of muscle-bound volleyballers because they pissed me off, got bit by a shark and ended up dislocating his jaw for him, got so tan that I got discriminated against at Ricky’s All-White Bar and Lounge… Like I said, nothing interesting.

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Orange (Explosive) Candy

While sitting at the lake the other day, we had an interesting experience. I mean besides the BMW that drove by with the 20-inch low-profile spinners and the extra bassy speakers. My sister and her youngest boy were there. A couple of other friends had their kids there, and I had Callie. So all the kids were running around, getting in the water, splashing, shooting water guns and eating hot dogs. A good, relaxing time, it was.

Then my sister’s boy comes walking up with orange goop all over his mouth, face, neck and hands. Oh, hey, Evan, what you got there, pal? Well, it was a paintball. He had put it in his mouth and chomped down. It exploded, sending orange paint all over the place. Hey, at least it was orange, am I right? “Well why did you put a paintball in your mouth?” And his reply? “Well, I thought it was candy!”

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The Flaming Yawn

Get it?  It’s sort of a play on words that sounds phonetically like ‘filet mignon’.  You like that shit?  Well I do, and let me tell you why.  Because a buddy and I invented it.  And not just the term.  The drink.  I unfortunately cannot divulge the exact ingredients, but I will tell you it has a little vodka and a lot of flame in it.  Yes, you set that bitch on fire in the glass.  The Flaming YawnAnd yes you quaff it while it’s burning blue.  And yes – well, no, uh, I would um, probably recommend you stay away from The Flaming Yawn if you’re wearing a decorative beard.

We discovered this drink while sitting at the Space Bar a couple of nights ago.  I poured in the several key ingredients and attacked the martini glass with my trusty Zippo.  Poof.  The gorgeous flame covered the glass like a – well, like flame covers alcohol.  And then I drank it.  You’d be surprised how subtle and wonderful the taste is.  It’s exotic, yes, but very cool and classy in the flavor department.

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The Epitome of Abandonment

I’d like to talk about something that has bothered me for quite some time. Twenty-three years, to be precise. On the 23rd of April in 1985, Coca-Cola made their big announcement that they would be changing their formula. Remember that? Well, Katy, you’re excused from this since you weren’t born until a couple of years later. But the rest of you, do you remember that? Let me remind you – or enlighten you – whichever is appropriate.

Pepsi had such a great market share of the soda pop drinkers that it really started threatening Coca-Cola’s business model. So Coke decided they needed to change their formula to taste more like Pepsi. Ahem. Let me repeat that in case you didn’t hear me properly. Coca-Cola decided that the best way to get back in the taste race was to change their formula to taste more like Pepsi. Wait. What?

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The Dredge House Chronicles, Vol 3

Volume Three: Lisa, the Notorious Cereal Thief

Lisa, my sister, likes cereal. I actually used to call her Cereal Killa. No I didn’t. I just made that up. But I should have. Being that she lived right around the corner from me, she would skate up to my house (literally, rollerblades) and visit me in the mornings. However, I knew she wasn’t really there to see me. She was there to eat my Honey Smacks. Can’t say I blame her. That was some good ass cereal. I should place a hyphen there between good and ass. I’m not sure I’m fond of the thought of ‘ass cereal’. I digress.

So she would skate up and eat a couple of bowls of cereal just about every day. And I was finally like, “Why the hell don’t you just buy your own, then you wouldn’t have to skate a quarter mile uphill in your pajamas every day?” And she was like, “Then I wouldn’t get to see you.” Uh huh. At least the quarter mile home was downhill. Well, one day I was feeling particularly generous, so while at the store, I bought two boxes of Honey Smacks. And when she came up the next morning, I gave her one of the boxes. “Here, take this home and you can eat it whenever you want!” So she did take it home. After she had a couple of bowls at my house.

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The Dredge House Chronicles, Prelude

I’ve decided to start putting down on blog some of the stories I have from my days at the Dredge House. So I’ll start by telling you what the Dredge House is. Or was, rather.

Just out of high school, I went straight into college. That didn’t work out too well, so my Pop said, “Son, if you’re not going to do it my way, you’ll have to do it your way.” I told him I had no problem with that. “But your way means your house, your car, your job, your money…” Oh. I see. So I had to move out. He gave me a couple of weeks I think. Well during the last couple of days of my stay at the Spacey Senior residence, my buddy TJ got kicked out of his house too. I invited him to stay with me for the final few days in my parents’ house, and we commenced to searching for new living arrangements.

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 2

It’s Monday now; I’m heading back home tomorrow. I’ve taken quite a few pictures, but I don’t think I need to share them with you. How many pictures do you really need to see of a snowy hillside with snow-covered trees? There’s really just not a whole lot else to see here. It’s pretty, but it’s like some certain races of people. It just all looks the same.

I went to Guitar Center the other night just to get some play time in. Being out of town without one of my guitars is deafeningly shitty. I can’t stand not being able to pick one up and play it whenever I want to. I long for it. Like a junkie needs his heroin, or a nymphomaniac needs good hard sex – I need my guitars. I have to feel those hard metal frets and tight copper and steel strings beneath my fingertips. So I went to GC to play for a while. To get my fix.

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 1

What’s there to say about the fine state of Minnesota? Uh, well we’ll see if we can find anything worth saying. I flew in this morning to visit a friend, and – having never been here before – wanted to see the sites. Or is that sights… Either way, there were some things rhyming with “ites” that I had come to see. Let me back up a little though.

I’ll start with the plane flight. We were delayed in taking off by almost an hour. Sigh. Okay, I don’t mind sitting in the terminal. I started a paperback my friend Jim had given me. Called Jupiter. By Ben Bova. Have you read it? Well it may be the kind of book you only read in airport terminals, I’ll have to wait and see. Anyway, I had my iPod playing and was making eyes with a couple of honeys, so I wasn’t terribly upset. Fifty minutes late, we finally boreded. (Boarded. Yeah, I’m full of it today.)

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The Burbank Chronicles, Vol. 1

I flew out to Burbank last night for an early morning appointment today. I’ve never been to Burbank, so the experience has been unique. I have been to California many times, but never this far south I guess. Anyway, a couple of things that have happened have been journalworthy, so I’ll write about them here.

I got to the counter at the Burbank Hilton and they gave me my room key – a 200-dollars-a-night king on the seventh floor. Yeah, that’s right. Two hundred dollars. Yawn. I’m not terribly impressed. The bed was nice, but the room was warm and smelled like fresh possum ass. It didn’t look all posh like I’d expected. I mean come on. It’s a Hilton. Anyway, when I got out of the elevator to go to my room, I didn’t pass Paris Hilton in the hallway.

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Ye Ole Hot Dog Roll-Up

Yeah that was a good holiday. Though I spent entirely too much time in the sun. And uh, forgot to put on sunscreen. I’m redder than an angry Indian in a bloodbath. That’s all right, fun was had by all.

Shockingly, we didn’t get any pictures of the event because my camera battery charger is screwed up and doesn’t roast them long enough. I just ordered another on eBay though, so we’ll be set soon. Meanwhile, I guess I can tell you what happened. And theoretically, I could say anything I wanted and you’d have to believe me because I didn’t get pictures – so – wait. I have that backwards don’t I?

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Road Trip Exchange

I guess it was around June or July of 1995, and I was driving back from Dallas to Abilene where I was stationed on the Air Force Base. I had a friend, Jeremy with me, and we were flying down the highway at no less than sixty (60) miles per hour. That may seem a little fast to the common person, but keep in mind – I was driving my old 1990 Chevy Cavalier, which had over a hundred thousand miles on it. So sixty was no sweat. No sweat at all.

Jeremy was reclined in the passenger seat, catching some Zs. A black pickup passed me on the left side, but not too quickly, and I looked over at the passengers. Seeing they were a couple of guys about my age, I waved at them. The guy in the passenger seat waved back, friendly enough. Well, they got a few hundred yards ahead and I decided to do something crazy. We had a twelve-pack of Pepsi (God only knows why it was Pepsi and not Coke, or Dr. Pepper, or Diet RC) cans on the console between us, and having only drunk about two or three between the both of us, I figured we could share a couple.

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How Not to Grill Steaks

Sometimes I wonder how I made it this far. I mean – I like to think of myself as at least a reasonably intelligent guy. Well, I know I’m not stupid. But last night I did something that made me believe otherwise.

Check this out. We had a party. There were like twenty-five people over, and the plan was to cook steaks for everyone. My grill isn’t really all that big. You can fit like six to eight steaks on it at a time. When I found out that many people were coming, I had to run to the store and get another six pack of steaks. I cooked almost twenty steaks last night. For real. I had every single one of my big ass platters (all three) out and was preparing these steaks on them. Marinade. Steak salt. Worcestershire sauce. Liquid Smoke. The works. These steaks kicked serious amounts of ass.

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Nicotine Lollipops

Good day, Crater Faces. Another month is upon us, and another item of controversy has sprung up on the shelves. Every year we digress as a society, to the point of which we will finally become a sludge pit just like Palestine. Children are learning to kill at younger and younger ages, and all we do is feed it to them, on a shiny silver spoon we call television. In Europe they show nudity in commercials and on regular television. Here we show murder. Crime. Killing and rape, guns, drugs, and a whole slew of other bullshit that has somehow become acceptable. I’d much rather my children see a naked body than a dying one on television.

And don’t hand me that hogwash line “Well that’s the real world, Brandon”. Yeah, only because we make it that way. Anyway, to the point. This item I speak of is the latest development in smoking cessation. The nicotine lollipop.

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We’re Not PC Enough

On my way to work this morning I heard on the radio that about 1500 people are lined up to sue New York City for damages incurred on 9/11. Let me say this again. 1500 people are going to sue New York City for dust damage and smoke inhalation and stuff like that. Are we a suit-happy nation? In the heat of those terrorist attacks against our country, we have people living here claiming to be Americans who want to sue their own city because it was attacked?!? What the hell are you people thinking? Why don’t you sue the al Qaeda network? Sue Afghanistan! what the hell kind of patriots are you that want to sue your own country for being attacked?

That to me is like suing your home builder because your wife got murdered and got blood on the carpet. Why don’t you sue Ford because someone rear-ended your pickup? I am so sick and tired of hearing about people wanting to sue other people. Everyone wants a quick buck and they shamelessly pursue it, without regard for taste, coherency, or humanity. That is completely and totally ludicrous. And it fills me with rage beyond that which words can describe. I say anyone that wants to sue their own city because it was attacked by terrorists should be deported immediately. Don’t want to leave? Fine. Bullet to the head. Extradition or execution. Your choice. You should be donating to help relieve New York. Not suing them to get rich, you arrogant insensitive pricks.

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Not In Your Area

Check this out: I called Pizza Hut last night and asked for some pizza. The stuffed crust, which they got the monopoly on. The lady asks what the nearest cross street is to my house, and I tell her. She says, “Oh, well you have to call this number.” Click. So she shunned her responsibility.

A little perturbed, because I had waited on hold a few minutes – and every minute counts when you’re hungry – I called the other number. They took my order, then said, “but wait… Where do you live?” I said “off such and such.” He says, “east or west of it?” I said, “East, but right off it. Like five feet east.” Well, that didn’t matter. He told me I had to call this other place.

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