Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Fun

Having fun this weekend...

Sighting in the new EBR...

Took the .223 out to Gateway Gun Range and flung a bunch of boolits at a paper target...
100 yards is a long way with just iron sights...
I think I'll head to the Gun Show and pick up a scope for Reason.

I also picked up a box of Ostreoidae for the me and the Perfect Child...

Quick and Dirty Oyster Rockefeller

Shuck your oyster, leave the meat on one of the shells, a dab of minced onion, a dab of minced garlic, 2 baby spinach leaves, a little grated provolone...
A couple minutes under the broiler and a squeeze of Sriracha.


Monday, January 26, 2009

You must be kidding me...

From The History Company -

Pocket Urkel

"Printed in a size that easily fits into pocket or purse, this book is an anthology of quotations borrowed from Barack Obama's speeches and writings. POCKET OBAMA serves as a reminder of the amazing power of oratory and the remarkable ability of this man to move people with his words. His superb and captivating oratory style has earned comparisons to John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and this historic collection presents words that catapulted his remarkable rise to the American Presidency. It is an unofficial requirement for every citizen to own, to read, and to carry this book at all times.

The little blue book includes themes of democracy, politics, war, terrorism, race, community, jurisprudence, faith, personal responsibility, national identity, and above all, his hoped-for vision of a new America. POCKET OBAMA is a portable, everyday primer for readers who want to examine the substance of his thought and reflect on the next great chapter in the American story."

"It is an unofficial requirement for every citizen to own, to read, and to carry this book at all times."

(Sold in convenient 10-packs.)

I'm having flashbacks to a stroll through Panjiayuan in Beijing and seeing stacks and stacks of...

Pocket Mao

From Wikipedia
Mao's Little Red Book
"...The book's phenomenal popularity may be due to the fact that it was essentially an unofficial requirement for every Chinese citizen to own, to read, and to carry it at all times during the later half of Mao's rule, especially during the Cultural Revolution."

Instead of a Pocket Urkel, maybe investing in one of these might be a better idea.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

20 Worst Things to Eat

I'm trying to eat better these days...
In theory to try to drop a pound or 70, but in reality just to try to make it to the age of 50 before dropping dead from congestive heart failure...

My research has led me to the oh-so-helpful (and guilt inducing) article from Men's Health Magazine and learned me all 'bout so tasty-but-deadly menu items, and got a kick out of some other articles as well...
How to Behave at a Strip Club was interesting, but to tell the truth, I already have a full education in that area... Between the many informative trips to such establishments with PeteO and Jingles I've got the titty bar Ph.D. (Piled Higher and Deeper).
But I digress...

So... the 20 worst things to order at a restaurant...

20 - Worst Fast-Food Chicken Meal
Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald's (5 pieces) with creamy ranch sauce

830 calories
55g fat
(4.5g trans fat)
48 g carbs

The only thing "premium" about these strips is the caloric price you pay. Add a large fries and regular soda and this seemingly innocuous chicken meal tops out at 1,710 calories.

19 - Worst Drink
Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie
(30 fl oz)

900 calories
10 g fat
183 g carbs
(166 g sugars)

Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie; we call it a milkshake. In fact, this beverage contains more sugar than two pints of Ben and Jerry's Butter Pecan ice cream.

18 - Worst Supermarket Meal
Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie
(whole pie)

1,020 calories
64 g fat
86 g carbs

The label may say this pie serves two, but who ever divided a small pot pie in half? Once you crack the crust, there will be no stopping.

17 - Worst "Healthy" Burger
Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger

1,145 calories
71 g fat
56 g carbs

We chose this burger for more than its calorie payload: Its name implies that it's healthy.

16 - Worst Mexican Entree

Chipotle Mexican Grilled Chicken Burrito

1,179 calories
47 g fat
125 g carbs
2,656 mg sodium

Despite a reputation for using healthy, fresh ingredients, Chipotle's menu is limited to king-size burritos, overstuffed tacos, and gigantic salads—all of which lead to a humongous waistline.

15 - Worst Kids' Meal
Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni 'n' Cheese

1,210 calories
62 g fat
3,450 mg sodium

It's like feeding your kid 1 1/2 boxes of Kraft mac 'n' cheese.

14 - Worst Sandwich
Quizno's Classic Italian (large)

1,510 calories
82 g fat
3,750 mg sodium
106 g carbs

A large homemade sandwich would more likely provide about 500 calories.

13 - Worst Salad
On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef

1,450 calories
102 g fat
78 g carbs
2,410 mg sodium

This isn't an anomaly: Five different On the Border salads on the menu contain more than 1,100 calories each.

12 - Worst Burger
Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger

1,520 calories
111 g fat

Carl's brags about this, but also provides convenient nutrition info on its Web site—so ignorance is no excuse for eating it.

11 - Worst Steak
Lonestar 20 oz T-bone

1,540 calories
124 g fat

Add a baked potato and Lonestar's Signature Lettuce Wedge, and this is a 2,700-calorie blowout.

10 - Worst Breakfast
Bob Evans Caramel Banana Pecan Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes

1,540 calories
77 g fat
(9 g trans fat)
198 g carbs
(109 g sugars)

Five Egg McMuffins yield the same caloric cost as these sugar-stuffed flapjacks.

9 - Worst Dessert
Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

1,600 calories
78 g fat
215 g carbs

Would you eat a Big Mac for dessert? How about three? That's the calorie equivalent of this decadent dish. Clearly, Chili's customers get their money's worth.

8 - Worst Chinese Entree
P.F. Chang's Pork Lo Mein

1,820 calories
127 g fat
95 g carbs

The fat content in this dish alone provides more than 1,100 calories. And you'd have to eat almost five servings of pasta to match the number of carbohydrates it contains. Now, do you really need five servings of pasta?

7 - Worst Chicken Entree
Chili's Honey Chipotle Crispers with Chipotle Sauce

2,040 calories
99 g fat
240 g carbs

"Crispers" refers to an extra-thick layer of bread crumbs that soaks up oil and adds unnecessary calories and carbs to these glorified chicken strips.

6 - Worst Fish Entree
On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos with Rice and Beans

2,100 calories
130 g fat
169 g carbs
4,750 mg sodium

Perhaps the most misleadingly named dish in America: A dozen crunchy tacos from Taco Bell will saddle you with fewer calories.

5 -Worst Pizza
Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza

2,310 calories
162 g fat
123 g carbs
4,470 mg sodium

Downing this "personal" pizza is equivalent to eating 18 slices of Domino's Crunchy Thin Crust cheese pizza.

4 - Worst Pasta
Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Meat Sauce

2,430 calories
128 g fat
207 g carbs
5,290 mg sodium

This meal satisfies your calorie requirements for an entire day.

3 - Worst Nachos
On the Border Stacked Border Nachos

2,740 calories
166 g fat
191 g carbs
5,280 mg sodium

More fat and sodium than you should be getting in one meal, let alone in a single appetizer.

2 - Worst Starter
Chili's Awesome Blossom

2,710 calories
203 g fat
194 g carbs
6,360 mg sodium

It takes a special talent to turn a single over-sized onion into the fat equivalent of 67 slices of bacon, but the line cooks at Chili's manage this horrific feat with the help of a thick batter, a calorie-loaded dipping sauce, and a vat of bubbling fat.

And the absolute worst item to order:

1 - The Worst Food in America
Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing

2,900 calories
182 g fat
240 g carbs

This weapon of mass construction is the caloric equivalent of eating 14 Krispy Kreme doughnuts, before your dinner arrives. Even if you split this "starter" with 3 friends, you'll have downed a meal's worth of calories.

Why guilt-inducing? Because I can see myself ordering any of these items without giving it a second thought...(and in some cases I have ordered them... 'cause I loves me some Aussie Cheese Fries.)


Another Law Broken to Honor Urkel...

(Sorry Kids, I know I said I wanted to minimize the Urkel content, but some things just piss me off...)

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 3 §176 of the US Code
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(And yeah- I've seen this. As I said, it's quid pro quo nowadays.)


Saturday, January 17, 2009


From Craigslist in Savannah
(It has since been removed, but the comments and follow-ups are still there...)

If it's true, it's pretty cool. If not, it's still a good story.
Especially the part of about calling Mom...

Posted to Craig's List Personals:
To the Guy Who Mugged Me Downtown (Savannah)

I was the white guy with the black Burrberry jacket that you demanded I hand over shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I hope you somehow come across this message. I'd like to apologize.

I didn't expect you to crap your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. Truth is, I was wearing the jacket for a reason that evening, and it wasn't that cold outside. You see, my girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber 1911 .45 ACP pistol for Christmas, and we had just picked up a shoulder holster for it that evening. Beautiful pistol, eh? It's a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head, isn't it?

I know it probably wasn't a great deal of fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge flopping about in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse since you also ended up leaving your shoes, cellphone, and wallet with me. I couldn't have you calling up any of your buddies to come help you try to mug us again. I took the liberty of calling your mother, or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, and explaining to her your situation. I also bought myself some gas on your card. I gave your shoes to one of the homeless guys over by Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all of the cash in your wallet, then I threw the wallet itself in a dumpster.

I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell. They'll be on your bill in case you'd like to know which ones. Alltel recently shut down the line, and I've only had the phone for a little over a day now, so I don't know what's going on with that. I hope they haven't permanently cut off your service. I was about to make some threatening phone calls to the DA's office with it. Oh well.

So, about your pants. I know that I was a little rough on you when you did this whole attempted mugging thing, so I'd like to make it up to you. I'm sure you've already washed your pants, so I'd like to help you out.

I'd like to reimburse you for the detergent you used on the pants. What brand did you use, and was it liquid or powder? I'd also like to apologize for not killing you and instead making you walk back home humiliated. I'm hoping that you'll reconsider your choice of path in life. Next time you might not be so lucky. If you read this message, email me and we'll do lunch and laundry. Peace!

- Alex


Friday, January 16, 2009

How Will You Celebrate?

Caution: Urkel Content. I'll keep it brief.

Watching the news this morning on one of the networks...
"(Nothing But Communism" as they called it in Beijing this summer.)
Seems like all they are talking about today, and by logical extension, probably all through the weekend and next week, is the upcoming Anointment Ascension Coronation Sickening Display of Hypocrisy* slated for Tuesday.
The historical aspect isn't lost on me...
Yes, The American People elected a black President.
Well, a half-black President was elected. Not so impressive to me, but then, I'm not hung up on the race issue. Want to impress me more?
Elect a qualified black person of slave descent; a 4th Generation Black American man or woman from the streets of Philly or St. Louis or Detroit.
Now you're talking.

No, I'm more concerned with Urkel's bonafides... His complete lack of experience in governmental leadership, not his vast experience in ACORN-style community activism.
And worse than that, his position on several Constitutional issues.
Free speech, freedom of the press, the right to assembly, and the one that means the most to me...
Second Amendment rights.

His nomination of Holder as Attorney General and Urkel's known position on gun control and the desire to "remove guns from the hands of criminals" by removing guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens is disturbing.

Doubts? Check the facts for yourself:

1. Ban use of firearms for home defense.

2. Pass Federal laws eliminating your Right-to-Carry.

3. Ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns.

4. Close down 90% of the gun shops in America.

5. Ban rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.

6. Ban and confiscate rifles and shotguns commonly used for skeet, trap and hunting.

7. Increase federal taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent.

8. Restore voting rights for five million criminals including those who have been convicted of using a gun to commit a violent crime.

9. Expand the semi-auto ban to include millions more firearms.

10. Mandate a government-issued license to purchase a firearm.

And as a bonus:

11. Appoint judges to the U.S Supreme Court and
Federal Judiciary who share his views on the Second Amendment.

Hey- how about doing something about the criminals instead?

I'm trying to figure out how to celebrate the event myself...

I think I'll go to the range and run through a hundred rounds or so, then head home and raise a glass in mourning for the demise of the Bill or Rights.


1993 Clinton Inauguration= $33 Million
2005 Bush Inauguration= $42 Million - and huge protests about effrontery of having a party in light of economy and an on-going war in Trashcanistan and Iraq.
2009 Urkel Shindig= $145 to 160 Million.
And not a peep from Mark Cuban...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Balloon Animals

I'm sending Durex a bill for a new keyboard 'cause I just shot a noseful of coffee on mine as I played this.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

PETA's newest lunacy... Sea Kittens.

Give me a break...

From the PETA website which I will not honor with a link...

"People don't seem to like fish. They're slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads—which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you're swimming, and the big ones—well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy—stat."

So, lets just start calling them something that might bring to mind something cute and cuddly.

Sea Kittens.

PETA thinks that by renaming fish sea kittens, compassionate people who would never dream of hurting a dog or a cat might extend that sympathy to fish, or sea kittens.

Sea Kittens my aching, dying ass.

Have you ever dealt with a wet cat? They aren't cute and cuddly.

Besides the marketing folks have already been hard a work applying new benign names to some pretty scary fish...

For instance-
You might see on the menu something tasty-sounding:

Chilean Sea Bass.
Formerly known as a Patagonian Toothfish.
Srsly, if you saw "Patagonian Toothfish" on the menu, you wouldn't order it, would you? And Dissostichus eleginoides is too damn hard to pronounce.

And I guarantee that if you saw it in the fishmarket, you wouldn't order it...

(Chilean sea bass: Photo by Mike McCune (CC))

And this isn't the first time...
Chefs have a long and storied history of food re-labeling...

Selling skate and stingray as scallops. And 9 times out of 10, when you see grouper on the menu at a restaurant, what your are getting is something only very distantly related to the Gourper/Snapper Complex.
(I like how Hooters Restaurants deal with it... It used to be a Grouper Sandwich.
Now it's the Grouper's Cousin sandwich.)

Another one of my favorites, Monkfish.
A/k/a Lophius piscatorius

Monkfish is tasty tasty!
It is a white-fleshed fish that has the taste and consistency of lobster.

Mmm... Monkfish!!

From, recipe here.

But, before it was popular on the menu, Marine Biologists had another name for them...

Smile for the camera!

Well, the plan has worked for the restaurant industry, why not for the whole orders of Osteithyes and Chondricthyes.

Sea Kittens.
Well... I guess the only other thing I can mention concerning this on-so-intriguing topic is that, as a rule, Fish (or Sea Kitties) taste like fish.
Kitties (real ones that is) as a whole, taste like chicken.
Trust me on this.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Your Truss is Showing

Jingles and the new videowall structure.

Out of Context - New Video Wall Structure

Jingles: "You want to keep your nuts on the outside."

Well... Of course you do...

TBG, nuts out.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Out of Context

Perfect Child: "Just put some cheese on that thang and leave it alone."



It's a WHAT?

Do you use Google's RSS Reader?
It can sometimes be a hoot...

When it pairs up with Google's AdSense system, it can produce some interesting word associations.

I had one a couple years ago...

Hey Google, Quit trying to be helpful.

I use the Google RSS Feed reader...
One thing it does, and I'm not certain of what fuzzy logic it uses when pairing ads for the topic, is place an AdSense ad in the view window when you look at the article.

So... (and here's where it gets weird) when one of the websites I read had an article on the new limousine to to be used by His Urkelness, it added an banner ad to the article.

To wit:

Semen tank?
You've got to be shitting me.

(Original article here.)

Now... You know me...
Curiousity killed the cat. I just HAD to know...
To hell with our Interweb surf-monitors and reporting systems, damnit.
I just GOTS to know.
(I'll take the hit so you don't have to have your Intarwebz reputation at risk by clicking the link...)

Lo and behold...

Semen tanks.

Just like it sez on the label.

Now... Is it just me, or are anyone else's brain cells just popping and fizzing like mine as I try to figure out the association between The Lightbringer's Limo and containers for storing and preserving semen?

Just wondering.


Forget the Japanese Game Shows...

...the French are on to something here.

The Japanese shows are just wacky.
This bit of Froggy programming gives a new dimension to the term Boob Tube and shows that they are capable of producing something of social relevance other than girls with hairy legs, smelly armpits and feminine men.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

"You're getting boring."

A Constant Reader just took me to task.

AG: "You're getting a little boring... You keep beating up on Obama.
He hasn't even done anything yet."

Yours Truly: "That's my point. He hasn't done anything yet."

And then we discussed the list of crap they are honoring BamBam with, even though he hasn't actually done anything of note so far...
I won't bore you with the actual play-by-play.

AG: "But that's what I mean... That's all you ever talk about any more. Where is the humor? Where is the fun stuff? How about the Hooters Girls and the funny menu items?"


Ok. Point taken. More fun stuff. Less Urkel-Bashing.
Bring on the obscene youtube clips, graffiti murals, French postcards, Columbian neckties, filthy needlepoint samplers, stained-glass hard-core porn windows, and nuns with tattoos.

In the meantime I'm going to TRY to quit beating the dead horse, but then there is a reality check:
Hanging in my office is a flag from the Athens Olympics Games in 2004 with a quote from my man TJ Kudalis scrawled at the bottom of it...
"I ain't never seen a dead horse that didn't need another kick or two."

Well... It's not really a resolution. But I'll try.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Another Gem from The Beerwench

(Discussing her classes at FCCJ...)

BW: " her class your exams are 60% of your grade, and the homework and class notes are the other 60%."

I wonder if she's talking about her math class?


Out of Context

Beerwench talking to her friends at bar:
"Let's do something fun... Let's go get wasted and go rollerblading!"

Does this have hyperextended ACL or a broken wrist or elbow written all over it or what?


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Winter Classic 2009 - Post Event Report

My first event of the year is in the books...
The NHL's Winter Classic in Chicago at Wrigley Field.

Tuesday Night, things are pretty close to being ready...but something is missing...

Bring on the Snowmakers...

So this is what we found on Wednesday morning... A Winter (Classic) Wonderland!

Here's some trivia...
You know all those seats on the tops of the buildings around the friendly confines of Wrigley Field?

This place behind the left field wall called Beyond The Ivy is selling tickets...

...for $400 each. Yikes.

I mean, for 400 bucks, I better get a helluva good view.
And it better not be blocked by a video wall...

And for all the kind folks who asked about where I was posted for this event...
I was not out in the cold, or down by the ice.

See the doorway behind the railing? That's where I live...

And where is this location in the realm of the Big Picture?

Way up there above the marquee.
Everybody takes pictures of this view of the Stadium...

This one is for Sean at the HelpDesk:
The view from above the marquee of...

...The Cubby Bear. And no, we never made it over there.

And no NHL Event Report is complete without a picture of the Off-Ice Officials hard at work during the game.

The Crew from the United Center pointing and clicking...

Well... Detroit won the game, but Wrigley was the star of the show...

Onward, to Montreal.