Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday's Featured Fast Food Favorite #10: Sonic's Chicken Club Toaster Sandwich

This week's Fav comes to us courtesy of Sonic Drive-In, a place that I only eat at rarely because I never seem to live anywhere near one. And while I do usually love their television commercials, they do not seem to be funny enough to make me drive 10 minutes out of my way to find one. That said, there is a sandwich there that I really do like: The Chicken Club Toaster Sandwich.

Sonic chicken toaster

The sandwich comes on two thick pieces of Texas Toast and has chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a nice honey mustard sauce. I think the toast really makes the sandwich. And the honey mustard sauce is a nice touch.

Another thing I like about Sonic is how they are putting credit card readers out on the drive-thru ordering station. I mean, we no longer are signing receipts at fast food places, so why not just speed that part of the process up.

I also like that Sonic seems to have a pretty wide variety of specialty drinks, shakes, and side dishes. You aren't stuck with just a drink and fries to go with it. Onion rings, chili cheese tots, cream pie shakes, etc. Sonic's got'em. Others don't.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Dizzying Downfall of Disney

I'll start this post by saying that I am no Hollywood movie guru, and my thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my personal experience as a consumer of entertainment media.

That said, what in the world has become of Disney? When I was a child growing up, Disney represented everything high-quality, super-memorable, classic storytale magic. I was raised on Disney films in the theatre, from the video rental store, and even in the form of "tape-books" that gave a summarized version of the film along with an audio accompaniment to help young readers get some practice. I think what I always enjoyed most about Disney was the songs. Every movie featured great songs that will forever be associated with the films and with Disney in general. I was probably about 5 years old when I took my first trip to Disneyland, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. The moniker "the Magic Kingdom" still rings true for me.

But somewhere along the line, in the last 10 years or so, Disney strayed from their magic formula. No longer do I wait with anticipation for the next Disney classic to be released in the theater. No longer does a Disney trailer invoke the same excitement as a Star Wars trailer. No longer do I find myself singing along to songs from the latest Disney release. Classic Disney animations featuring Mickey, Donald, Goofy and the rest have become hard to come by on television. What has become of the name that was once the highest standard in family entertainment?

Some of my earliest Disney memories including going to see the Jungle Book (re-released of course) with my dad and older brother, being super excited to find out that our hotel room carried the Disney channel, and listening to Disney tapes on a family vacation to northern California.

This era was followed by what I'll call the Disney Renaissance which spanned, in my mind, the years from 1989 (the release of the Little Mermaid) to 1994 (the release of the Lion King). Also included in this span were Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992). At this point, Disney could do no wrong. They had just released 4 back-to-back theatrical triumph, each one critically acclaimed and full of the songs and storylines that Disney was famous for.

And yet, somehow they did do wrong. The next big animated feature released was Pocahontas (1995). A film based on a story from American history that featured several songs, but none that resonated with viewer like the others. Its no wonder we've yet to see a Broadway version of this Disney film. I remember that I took my little brother and sister to see this movie in Tooele and in the other theater there was a Power Rangers movie playing. About halfway through Pocahontas we were all wishing we would have chosen to see that one, because there was no way it could be as dull and preachy as Pocahontas.

Pocahontas, for me, marks the beginning of the end of Disney as we once knew it. Theatrical follow-ups to Pocahontas included The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. Each of these while decent family entertainment failed to meet the high standard that movie-goers had come to expect from Disney. Mulan could arguably be considered a last gasp of Disney greatness, but at that point Disney had already lost its hold over the family animation market. Tarzan could arguably be considered as the first big-release Disney animation feature to not feature any real songs, other than Phil Collins singing in the background. At this point, I was done with Disney. No longer were they making the effort to produce films that would stand the test of time with songs that kids could learn and sing throughout their lives. More recent Disney releases have not even seemed interesting to me (Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little) and while I'm sure they are fine family entertainment, they fall far short of what I've come to expect. The most recent Disney animated release I've seen advertised is something called "The Wild" which as far as I can tell is a rip-off of Madagascar.

In parallel with this decline in theatrical release quality, Disney began another practice that reeks of just trying to make a buck entertainment -- the straight to video release sequel. 1994 marked the first of these sequels to established Disney classics with the release of Aladdin 2: The Return of Jafar. The hallmarks of these straight to video releases is the failure to return the same voice talents as the original films, coupled with substandard animation quality and an overall decline in the quality of the final product. It would be one thing to me if they were just releasing a lower-tier series of animated products, but its another thing when you are taking characters and storylines that people have grown to love and expanding them without giving them the proper respect just to make a buck. It was one thing to make The Rescuers Down Under theatrically, but quite another to make a film like Peter Pan 2 just to capitalize on the popularity of the Peter Pan franchise.

Other examples of Disney fairytales that have been extended in this fashion include: Beauty & the Beast (Belle's Magical World), the Lion King (Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, and Lion King 1.5), the Little Mermaid (Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea), Lady and the Tramp (Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp's Adventure), Cinderella (Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True), 101 Dalmations (101 Dalmations II: Patch's London Adventure), The Jungle Book (The Jungle Book 2), and Dumbo (Dumbo 2). How long until we see Steamboat Willie 2: Willie's Adventure?

Imagine if you will that 30 years from now, after George Lucas is dead, whoever owns the rights to the Star Wars franchise starts making sequels to the movies, and in addition, making straight-to-video poor quality Star Wars films. Or someone deciding now to write sequels to the Lord of the Rings books, but just having some no-name run of the mill fantasy writer sit down and crank them out to make a buck.

The final vestige of Disney magic, Disneyland, has as yet managed to hang on to most of its magic, but given that it has previously relied heavily on characters from Disney's theatrical releases, how long until we see older classic rides like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride replaced with something like Home on the Range's Wild Tractor Ride.

I honestly don't understand what Disney is doing these days. If not for their serendipitous relationship with Pixar, it would have been years since I'd even cared about a film with the Disney logo. Its not like there aren't good song writers out there. Broadway seems to still be cranking out hit musicals filled with original music. Has Disney given up on creating the best in quality family entertainment? Disney now owns ABC and ESPN. What does that have to do with making quality family entertainment? Right now, I feel as though I've lost a piece of my childhood.

Monday, March 27, 2006

In the Beginning...

Back in 1997, I went to college and got my first email address. This was a time when the internet was usually slow and email was something that had to be checked at the school (not that I had a computer at my apartment). With the advent of this new-fangled messaging communication came the infamous Forward. Honestly I don't know how people got their humor before the internet existed. Letterman pretty much had the corner on Top Ten lists, and even Jay Leno might share a joke that you hadn't heard before.

In this time of ASCII-art and non-web-based email, a friend of mine sent me a forward that truly has withstood the test of time, and today I would like to share it with you. I try to be very judicious in the things I forward on to others, but this is one that I would never be ashamed to pass on. My only guess as to its origins are the name at the bottom, but even then I can't be sure that that person was the original creator.

Warning: this forward falls into the category of "Bathroom Humor", but in a very literal sense. Also, its mainly for the guys, but I think that girls may find it humorous as well. Without further ado:

Okay this is pretty funny especially for men.  Ladies,
I hope you can
appreciate this!

The following is the urinal configuration in a sample
men's room.
An X above the number will indicate "in use."


| - | - | x | - | - | x | (Indicates that urinals 3 and 6
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | are occupied.)

You are to identify correctly, based on urinal etiquette, at
which stall you are to correctly stand. Good luck!

Easy Section

| - | x | - | x | - | - | (Urinals 2 and 4 occupied.)
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Your choice: ___
Correct answer: 6 It's the ONLY one to go to and every
guy instinctively knows this.

| x | - | - | - | - | - | (Urinal 1 occupied.)
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Your choice: ___
Correct answer: 6 Stall 5 is acceptable, but you run a
greater risk of being next to someone
who arrives later.
Kind of tricky Section:

| - | - | - | - | - | - | (empty)
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Your choice: __
Correct answer: 1 or 6 You are tacitly saying,
"I don't want anyone next to me."

| - | x | - | x | - | x | (2, 4 and 6 occupied)
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Your choice: ___
Correct answer: 1 You're stuck being next to at
least ONE guy, so you minimize the
impact and get a wall on your left.
NEVER go between TWO guys if you
can help it. Exceptions to this
are stadium restrooms where the
herd thunders in.
Subtle, tricky, but important to know Section

| - | x | - | - | x | x | (2, 5 and 6 occupied)
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Your choice: __
Correct answer: 4 Believe it or not, 1 and 3 "couples"
you with the guy in stall 2. And we
wouldn't want THAT now, would we?

This differs from question 4 in such a
subtle way that the nuances cannot be
explained. Suffice to say, only we men
would understand!
VERY tricky indeed Section

| x | x | - | - | x | x | (1, 2, 5 and 6 occupied)
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Your choice: ___
Correct answer: NONE! You go to the mirror and pretend to
comb your hair or straighten a tie
until the urinals "open up" a bit more.
If you have to go REAL, REAL BAD, for
goodness sake! . use a doored stall.
Other parts of the Unwritten Code of the Urinals:
-- NO Talking, unless it's a good friend. but even then, keep
it terse and unemotional. This ain't no clubhouse.
-- I don't think I need to tell you, absolutely NO touching of
anyone other than yourself. A touch of another's elbow is of
the highest offense.
-- NO Singing. Period.
-- Glances are for purposes of acknowledgment only."Yeah, I see
you there. I will not look again".

- ------- End of Forwarded Message- ---
Caffeine Boy

------- End of Forwarded Message

------- End of Forwarded Message---
Chad D. Navrude
Iowa State University

------- End of Forwarded Message


I think that too often today's forwards rely on people doing some stupid and having it either reported in the news, or captured in a photo, or on video. That or some silly flash animation of a baby singing and/or dancing. If only we had more like the urinal quiz. C'mon America. We can do better.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday's Featured Fast Food Favorite #9: Sconecutter's Club Scone Sandwich

This week's review takes us to another Utah original (I'm always surprised to find out that all these restaurant chains started here, although I guess I haven't lived enough other places to find out if they actually exist elsewhere): The Sconecutter.

sconecutter logo

While being a Utah original, they happen to have a pretty weak web-presence and it was pretty hard to find any pictures of any of their scone sandwiches, so I decided to just get the logo which required some cutting and pasting just to get it isolated. Anyway, moving on to the sandwich itself...

The Club scone comes on your choice of white or wheat scones (white for me). Its main ingredients are sliced turkey and a couple strips of bacon, and the toppings include lettuce, tomato, cheese, sprouts, and pickle and onions that I always skip.

I think the key to a good sandwich is the bread that hold it together. Great ingredients can be ruined by bad bread (see Gandolfo's). I think that Sconecutter does a great job of making scones that are consistently hot, fresh, and the right amount of thickness, along with just a hint of classic scone taste. And the way it holds all the ingredients in makes it feel kind of like a burrito. I do recommend getting some sauce (mayo at the least) to put on it because otherwise it can be a little bit dry.

While Sconecutter is a bit pricier than regular fast food fare, I find that it makes a nice change from the run of the mill menu. Open 24 hours, I believe, so its makes a nice late night fastfood run when you've had your fill of Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, but aren't in the mood to go all out with a place like Village Inn.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

1 for Sorrow, 2 for Joy...


"Today...I consider myself...the luckiest man...on the face of the Earth..."

So said Lou Gehrig once, but I'm feeling that way right now, after having just returned from seeing my favorite band, The Counting Crows, play here in Salt Lake at the Delta Center. It was part of BrainShare, a yearly Novell conference, and they were ever-so-kind enough to open the concert up to the public, although it wasn't really announced and even when I heard about it, it wasn't for sure that we could get in without a ticket of some kind. So I didn't invite a lot of people to go down with me in case we couldn't get in in the end, just one friend who is also a big fan (although not as big a fan as I am). We got there about 7:30 or so and it sounded like at 8:00 they were going to open it up to the public. When we got there, there was a small line forming, but by 8:00 there was a line stretching from the doors back to the intersection (quite a ways if you aren't familiar with the DC setup).

We got in, found decent seats, across the floor from the band, right about center stage. We heard some comedian who was somewhat funny, mixed in with some Novell parodies of TV shows like 24, Lost, and CSI, and then about 8:40 the band took the stage and went to town. They played for about an hour before leaving the stage, and then after the crowd refused to be denied more CC goodness, came back and gave us 3 more songs. Here's the setlist:

Recovering the Satellites
Mr. Jones
St. Robinson and his Cadillac Dream
Mrs. Potter's Lullaby
Rain King (Acoustic)
Friend of the Devil
Long December

and for the encore we got:

Black and Blue
Hard Candy
Holiday in Spain

So not too shabby if you ask me. The only one I don't especially like is Recovering the Satellites, but even that was fine to open with. I wish they could play here more often.

A couple fun items from Adam's monologue included his thumbs-up to the Red Iguana and this little narrative (which I'm obviously not quoting verbatim):

"I made friends with a woman here in Salt Lake a long time ago, a devout Mormon. She's recently divorced, and I know the rule is no sex before marriage, but I thought I was pretty smart and thought maybe there was a loophole for sex after marriage. Nope. It doesn't matter how smart you are, you're not getting anything from a woman that she doesn't want to give you. But we did have a good conversation on religion and a lot of stuff. But no sex. Which was fine, because I've had sex before, but I've never had that conversation before."

All in all, a great night. Lots of fun, great music, and all for $3 worth of parking, and Kelsey chipped in $2 on that since I drove. I'm so lucky. Thank you Novell. Oh, and did I mention that Yellowcard is playing a free (for students) show at the U next month? Good times.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Why I Hate (or at least strongly dislike) Catch Phrase

Last night after our weekly Sunday night ward gathering of many names (ward prayer, ward stare, pray-n-stay, scope-n-hope, have-a-cookie-and-take-a-lookie) several of us stayed to play some games. We started with the classic Nerts and then moved on to Scattergories, before someone moved on to the world's dumbest game: Catch Phrase.

Catch Phrase

While I realize I may have offended many people, among them whoever makes Catch Phrase (Milton Bradley? Hasbro? I really don't know who makes games any more), but it is not without reason. I can't stand that game. And there is a sense of dread that comes over me whenever someone brings it up, because for some reason people love this game, and I can't for the life of me figure out why.

For those of you who have never played Catch Phrase, its basically a guess the word game where when its your turn you hold the beeping timer that also shows you the word you need to have your team guess before you can pass it on to a member of the other team. When the timer runs out, whichever team is holding the timer loses that round and the other team gets a point. Sounds simple enough, right? That the problem its too simple. Generally the clues are some simple phrase like "apple pie" or "center field" or something along those lines. And obviously some people will take longer than others to come up with a good clue or two to help their team guess it. But basically all the game is, is hot potato with a little bit of guessing to make you feel like there is some skill involved. But there isn't. When you look past the word guessing fluff, its really just a timer that you pass around and when it buzzes whoever is holding it loses. I like to emphasize the silliness of this by saying after each round to whoever is holding the timer, "You are terrible at this game!" Because really it has nothing to do with their ability to play the game.

I'm sure that some will argue that that's why the game is fun, anyone can win and its a easy game that everyone can enjoy. But if that's the case, then why not just play pattycakes. The amount of skill involved is pretty much the same. Just to give you an idea of the irrational love bestowed on this game, here are some excerpts from an user review of the game:
"Catch Phrase" is one of the many cool things I have discovered since being in college
And I thought my college life was a little boring.
For example, if the word was "pumpkin," you could say something along the lines of, "Okay, guys, Peter-Peter-blank-eater!" If someone has been keeping up on their nursery rhymes, he or she will know that the word in place of "blank" is "pumpkin." Make sense?
Sounds tough, right?
Educational Value: This is a thinking game. That's the only way I know how to put it. You have to think about what it is your teammate is trying to say without he or she actually coming out and saying it. And they're not all as easy as "pumpkin." There are some real stumpers in this game, and that only adds to the fun (or frustration depending upon what side you're on).
For someone in college to call this game educational, calls into question their standardized test scores. Even if they aren't all as easy as pumpkin.
In short, "Catch Phrase" is a very cool game. It's great to play with a lot of people, and it never gets boring. I've played this numerous times, and I always have interesting stories to tell the next day.
I'm sure he could tell us some really doozies.

I'm sure part of my bitterness toward the game also stems from a New Years Eve a few years back when I got stuck in a room full of people who were all so tired that once they started playing Catch Phrase they were unable to come up with any other idea, and we played Catch Phrase for at least 2 hours straight. The last hour was a variation that someone came up with where there was no timer, no teams, and you had to think of just one word as your clue. Granted this required a bit more creativity, but just playing Catch Phrase for 2 solid hours was enough to move me from a level of indifference to a true distaste for the game.

Personally I feel that Taboo, with its buzzer that must be used as an electric razor by someone each time it is played, is a much better word guessing game that allows players to be creative and benefit from their skills. But maybe that's just me.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday's Featured Fast Food Favorite #8: Schlotzsky's Turkey Bacon Club

I'm going to have to hurry to get this one in under the midnight Friday wire, but I can't be held totally at fault. In case you weren't aware, Blogger had a bit of a brain cramp and my blog has been inaccessible over large portions of the last two days. Thankfully it seems to be back up and running. *Crosses fingers*

This week's fast food favorite comes to us courtesy of Schlotzsky's Deli, another fast food joint that I can't seem to find outside of the mall food court these days, which is kind of weird considering the relatively considerable wait time for your sandwich to be ready. There used to be one down the road from where I live, but its gone now. Too bad. Also for a word, it really has a high consonant to vowel ratio. (9:2) Those Poles (is Schlotzsky's a Polish name?) really know how to get the most out of their vowels.

I am totally in love with Schlotzsky's Turkey Bacon Club sandwich (and most of their other sandwiches for that matter). I couldn't find a picture of the club itself, but here's a picture of their Original:


I think what really makes the sandwich for me is a) the quality of their baked fresh daily bread, and b) the toasting process that makes the bread so nice and crispy and melts the cheese and get the turkey warmed up....mmmm. Its really a shame that there isn't one of these near my house anymore. At approximately $7 for a combo meal they could be really taking my money off my hands for me. Just thinking about it makes me want to drive downtown and get one tomorrow.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

American History as Taught to Me in Public Schools

george washington

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In my life, I've always made an effort to do my best in school. I've done quite well academically and as as result feel like in many fields I have learned quite a bit. However, I find that History is always something that I don't know very much about. It's not that I didn't pay attention in history class, it's just that I feel like there are some inherent problems in the way that history is taught in school. Every history class feels like it has to start as far back as possible. I can realize that if you are writing a history book that you'd want to start at the beginning, but it seems like someone should be explaining that students actually study history more than one time as they grow up, so covering the same ground maybe is a bit redundant. Allow me to elaborate by giving you the full extent of what I know about US History.

First, there were Indians here. Thats right, Indians. Native Americans if you will. They were here before Columbus came. I don't know if you knew that, but I suspect you probably did. Some famous ones include Pochantas, Squanto, and Sacajawea. Every single American History class I've ever had felt the need to make sure I was aware of that. We get it. They were here first.

Then Columbus came, and there were explorers from Spain and France and Britain and the Netherlands. Then the colonies were formed and we fought the British and won. Then we got our Constitution, and there was something called the Whiskey Rebellion and the Missouri Compromise. Then there was the Civil War. I'm sure something happened in between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War besides the Whiskey Rebellion and the Missouri Compromise, but that stuff seems to have escaped me.

After the Civil War is where things start to get pretty fuzzy. I know there was the Depression and the World Wars (I & II). But I think a lot of that I learned about after high school, as a result of watching TV and Movies. I pretty sure that most of my history classes never got to World War II, much less anything that happened after that.

So basically, in my mind, there was the Holocaust, and shortly thereafter Reagan was elected. I only know about Reagan and beyond because I lived through it. Doesn't it seem silly that every history class has to start at the beginning? No class ever makes it all the way through to those back chapter, except for maybe AP American History, but we didn't have that at my school, so I can't say if it did or not. Can you imagine if every math class started with counting, and covered the same ground as every other math class? It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.


Long ago - Indians were here
1492 - Columbus came with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria
15?? - There was that island where everyone disappeared. (Roanoke?)
16?? - The pilgrims came and landed at Plymouth Rock and Squanto taught them how to grow corn, 1st Thanksgiving
1776 - Declaration of Independence
1787 - Constitution
17?? - Whiskey Rebellion
18?? - Missouri Compromise
18?? - The Gadsen Purchase
18?? - Civil War
1869 - Transcontinental Railroad Completed (It happened on the 10th of May in 1869, a wedding sealed with gold and silver nails. The Central Pacific...and Union Pacific...hugging and a-chugging down the rails.
194? - World Wars
1980 - Reagan Elected

Monday, March 13, 2006

Princess's Lib

Now before I begin typing anything in this post, I want to preface it by saying that I'm not trying to push any kind of agenda here or change the way that things are currently. That said, lets begin our journey to a place where I may possibly offend any and all of my female readers.

Yesterday I heard two contrasting stories. The first was in Sunday School where we were reading the story of Rebekah and how Abraham's servant found her and knew she was the girl that Isaac was to marry. Essentially, the servant went to the well with his 10 camels and asked if someone there would draw water for him and his camels. Some of the comments were about how that must have been a whole lot of water and how Rebekah clearly was a special woman to be willing to draw water for all of them, and clearly she would make an excellent wife for Isaac.

Fast forward to later in the day at an evening ward activity...a girl is there telling some story about how when she was in high school choir how this one time they girls in the choir were carrying all these flowers and they were soooo heavy and how none of the guys offered to help them carry them, and how lame those guys were.


I'm not saying that guys shouldn't help girls. I'm just saying that somewhere in between then and now, this whole "princess" mentality cropped up and some girls feel as though everything should be done for them, and the fact that a guy would let them do something without offering to help makes them pretty much the scum of the earth.

I realize that by just showing this contrast I'm going to imply that I am that kind of guy. I don't think that I am, but on occasion you either just don't realize that a girl needs help (heaven forbid she ask for it), or you assume that given the nature of the task they can handle it on their own. In this era of women's lib mixed with princess syndrome you pretty much can't win. In fact a lot of times, girls want you to ask if they need help, but then act offended that you would even suggest they couldn't handle it on their own.

I suggested to the girl that perhaps by carrying the flowers herself, someone was picking her out as a potential wife. She didn't think that was too funny.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday's Featured Fast Food Favorite #7: Great Steak and Potato Company's Great Steak sandwich

I've been taking a bit of flack lately for my apparent obsession with bacon (the unfancy portion of the pig). And while I can neither confirm nor deny any feelings for bacon at this time, I've decided to offer up a weekly favorite which is coincidentally pork free:

Great Steak and Potato Company's Great Steak sandwich.
Great Steak

Essentially its a cheesesteak with lettuce and tomato. Cooked up hot on the grill right in front of you. Served with some burn-your-mouth-hot french fries it was a staple of my time working at the Church Office Building, as the vocal leader of the Temple Department programmers could rarely be talked into eating at the in-house cafeteria. Its a little pricey, but as a special occasion meal its a real winner. Granted, I'm sure in Philadelphia this place is fairly run of the mill. But here in Utah, we just don't have very many fast food joints that will grill up some steak for you at a moment's notice.

Great Steak and Potato Company falls into the category of fast food places that I've to date only seen in Shopping Center Food Courts. I can't figure out why this place isn't more popular and why the only one that I have ever even seen is in the one at the ZCMI Food Court. I think they have several delicious menu items to choose from. In fact the only reason it hasn't made it on to the blog until now is that I forgot that it existed until today as I was trying to think of what to write about.

Wierd side note: The spellchecker on blogger tells me that 'blog' isn't in their spelling dictionary. If I weren't so confused on what constitutes irony (thanks for that Alanis Morrissette), I'd call that ironic.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Why Firefox dominates IE

Because you can have the Forecast Fox extension pop up and let you know that the current weather is "Heavy Snow", which then makes you get up and look outside for the first time today and realize how lucky you are that you can work from home if necessary since the road outside is packed with snow that continues to fall. Go My Favorite Browser Go!

Random Thoughts on the English Language #8

When something doesn't have an author attributed to it, we say that its 'anonymous', but as of yet, I've never heard of anything being called 'nonymous'.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pickyness, Pt. 2: The touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our lives

I'm sure that my faithful readers have been waiting on pins and needles to get the follow-up to yesterday's post about my pickyness about smells. Or they've been hoping that I'll forget I ever started this thread and move on to something less boring. Well, in an attempt to appease both groups, I'll try to wrap this topic up today.

In addition to being picky about foods and smells, I also tend to be very picky regarding the sense of touch. When I shop for clothes, the way the fabric feels is a deciding factor in whether or not I will consider buying something. I pick things whose appearance I like, but then I definitely need to see how it feels when I try it on before I can ever commit to buying it. I find that I tend to choose fabrics that feel heavier and thicker. I love my Oxford dress shirts and hate when I (due to lack of clean laundry) have to wear something thinner. Lets just say that me and cotton are good friends. Nylons and polyesters are tough to find in my closet.

I also love the feel of my down comforter and down pillow when I crawl into bed at night. Something about the substance of it all. Not sure what. But I really do have a preference for those. I try to take my pillow with me when I'm road tripping. It doesn't pack quite as well on flights, but it makes a huge difference to me and sleeping.

Anyway, I guess that wraps up this topic. I am not particularly picky about sight and sound. I have one of the most diverse music collections of anyone I know, so I certainly wouldn't consider myself picky in that realm. And as for sight, I'm not even sure what a picky see-er would be.

Thanks for indulging my self-analysis. I'll try to keep it to a minimum in this space unless you, the reader, demands more of it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Pickyness: Its more than just an eating disorder

On a completely un-fast-food-related note...I thought today that I'd share a little bit about myself, something I don't do here often and certainly don't take this as a shift in the type of fare that you can expect to see here.

I've been thinking lately about some tendencies that I have. Sensitivities if you will. As a child, I was a very picky eater. There were certain foods I would refuse to eat, despite having never tried them. I'm sure that most parents can probably relate to the situation. As a result, there were quite a number of foods that I didn't first try until I was an adult.

When I was called to serve as a missionary to Argentina I promised myself that I would eat anything that was put in front of me. A bold statement, certainly, but I was lucky enough to travel to a place where I saw a minimum of foods that would be considered a novelty here (cow tongue, blood sausage). However, unlike most people, eating things like grapes and oranges was a fairly new experience for me. My trainer almost died laughing at the mess I made eating an orange at one of my first lunch appointments. Long story short, I made a lot of progress in what I am now willing to eat compared to before my two years in Argentina. Pretty much seafood is about the only thing I really am opposed to eating, and even then I can put away a few coconut shrimp from time to time.

But the crux of this post, is that I have come to realize that in addition to tastes I am also picky about several others of my 5 senses. For example:

Picky smeller: For the life of me, I can't understand how some people can handle the cacophony (smellophony?) of aromas that they surround themselves with. I think this might be biased towards the female gender, but lets just look at how many different smells you might be faced with when associating with some people. Start with shampoo and soap, followed by deodorant, hairspray, and the minor odor that comes with makeup. At this level, you probably aren't smelling anything unless you get pretty close. Now, add perfume.

I think that is pretty near the maximum aroma that anyone should be personally putting out. Sadly, we are not through. The next layer of aroma comes in the form of lotion that a large portion of the population cannot seem to stop applying to their skin. I mean, before Bath and Body Works came into existence were people just covered in open wounds as a result of how dry their skin was? I doubt it, but that's what they would have you think. And heaven forbid that a person stop smelling like apple blossom, or peach bouquet, or sweet pea (this name conjures up images I don't want to think of), or smelly-Mcsmell of the month. I mean the smell of these lotions is strong enough to stun a large buffalo if you ask me. Who hasn't had a co-worker would couldn't make it through a 30 minute staff meeting without needing to re-apply? Its getting to be as bad as smoking. Can we get a ban on public lotioning? Can someone please show that secondhand lotioning has harmful effects? I'm dying here.

In addition to the lotion-madness that has gripped the world around me, its hard to get in a car that doesn't have some super-pungent car "fresh"ner overpowering me. And I don't know if its swept the nation yet, but Utah is completely under the power of the scented candle czars, who have convinced a large portion of my state that normal house smell is just not up to snuff for visitors. One must always have a candle of some special aroma greeting, nay bombarding, each guest as they enter. Between candle hotplates and candlelighters I keep expecting the candle market to pass iPods for number of most available accessories.

Now, please realize there are some smells that I like (fresh brownies, certain perfumes, gasoline), just like they are foods that I really enjoy. Being a picky eater, doesn't make me dislike all food. Being a picky smeller doesn't make me hate all smells, but if you are personally carrying a cocktail of upwards of 10 different aroma in your aura, chances are one of them is going to be too much for me.

In the interest of keeping this post brief, I'll save some of my other pickyness stories for later this week.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday's Featured Fast Food Favorite #6: Arctic Circle's Bacon Cheeseburger

Its a little sad for me to note that I haven't made an entries in the blog since last Friday's entry. Maybe that will be my new goal: at least one entry in between the Friday features. Anyway, I'm starting to get busy with a little project for school (we'll call it the Spring Break Wrecker for now), and I'm actually heading down to Las Vegas for the weekend. So I can't be beholden to this blog at all times.

Anyway, on to this week's feature: The Black Angus Bacon Cheeseburger at Arctic Cirlce (Hold the pickles, please).

Arctic Circle Burger

Now, as a kid I remember eating at the Arctic Circle in the old downtown part of Tooele (even older than the current downtown). But as an adult, I never seemed to live near one. Just recently I realized that there was one just a few lights from where I live, so I decided to give it a shot. And I'm glad I did. While their menu is loaded with different burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fish items, I've yet to move beyond my first selection, the Bacon Cheeseburger.

Nothing too fancy, unless you consider bacon fancy, in which case we need to have a talk about which part of the pig qualifies as fancy (My vote goes to ham -- anything that can be the main course of a holiday meal deserves the title "fancy". Sorry bacon. I love you, but you ain't fancy). But always taste good and goes great with their fries and fry sauce.

The fact that they have fry sauce featured promiently on their menu made me look a little further and I discovered that, like KFC, Arctic Circle is a Utah original. I think we should consider a new state slogan: "Utah -- Cradle of several fast food joints". I'm not sure I even what our current slogan is. I remember when I was little seeing stuff that said "Utah: A pretty great state!" or something to that effect. Not quite "Best Valley City", but not much better.