Thursday, September 8, 2011

Still Amazed at the Internet

Watching an old wartime movie on AMC -"Submarine Seahawk". Am surprised by the beauty of a star I had not seen before. IMDB tells me her name is Mabel Rea. Hmm.. never heard of her. Google tells me she died in 1968 at the age of 32...I guess that's why. Google sends me to a site called . This tells me her death was a result of a car accident on December 24th, 1968. There is another link to I'm not kidding. On it, there are actual photos of the cemetary in which she is buried and her head and footstone. Wow.. All of this information took me less than one minute to gather.

Find a Death:
Find a Grave:


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Good old Saskatchewan ass soaking

I drove to this neighborhood specifically to go to this Vietnamese place. I was craving me some pho soup. When I get there at 9:07, I discover they have been closed for the past seven minutes. Cursing not having left work earlier, I decide to wander down the street to a busy looking Italian place I saw when I drove by. It’s a beautiful warm night and the walk feels good. It’s nice to be moving at my own will as opposed to from one troubled computer to the other.

I get to the restaurant and as you walk past one of the windows, you can see right into the kitchen. Right down the galley style prep line. I am encouraged to see that everything is shiny clean and organized. The two cooks are working away and neither looks like he has the sniffles. I swell with confidence.

The patio is the type where the restaurant has decided to forego a few parking spots in their lot and put up some tables. I decide to go inside to tell the hostess I will be taking a table outside. She is in the middle of a salvo of ridiculous questions from a person ordering take out. She maintains remarkable poise throughout the ordeal. I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good As it Gets. The guy is asking “What kind of turkey is it? Roast? Turkey breast? Dark and light meat? Or just the turkey loaf from the deli? And what do you mean by whole wheat? Is it like Wonder Bread brown? Or more of a whole grain? Do you offer more than just regular mustard? Is the lettuce iceberg, or romaine?” And on and on..

So finally he stops and muses for a moment, then announces, “I’ll be back later”. Turns on his heel, and leaves.

If this were a cartoon, and not real life, the waitress would have an array of different sized question marks surrounding a tornado shaped squiggle above her head.

As she watches him leave her gaze falls upon me. Sizing me up. I decide not to ask ANY questions and just wait for her to offer her sales pitch whenever she ready. In an attempt to help, I am smiling more than I should be.

She senses my nervousness and offers me a playful eye-roll and a smile. I commend her on her calmness when responding to Mr. Turkey Sandwich. I advise her I would like to sit outside. So she hands me a menu and tells me to have a seat where I want and someone will be right with me.

I navigate myself to the patio, find myself a good seat at a clean table near the sidewalk edge (good for people watching) and sit down. Chair puddle. Fuck. Not a small one either. I have soaked my entire ass. I jump up as if that will help. Stare at the chair in disgust. I then quickly sit in a nearby DRY chair to weigh my options. My entire ass is soaked and even though I am wearing an untucked shirt, it is not quite long enough to completely cover my shame. I do NOT want to sit in a plastic chair in the middle of a parking lot in wet pants. It hasn’t rained in 2 days. Is this even WATER? My vehicle is 2 blocks away because I parked close to the Vietnamese place and the sidewalk is teeming with people and buskers ready to cast judgment. The dining room chairs inside the restaurant are upholstered fabric. Maybe I could make my way back inside and ask for a table. Then proceed to allow the dining room chair to absorb my wetness a bit until I can sneak to the bathroom and hopefully use the hand dryer to dry my pants. Good plan.

I won’t re-narrate my actions as they occurred much the same as above. Except the hand dryer. Because there wasn’t one. But over the course of dinner, my pants dried out to a sufficient amount so that I could go back to my truck without embarrassment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No eggs.

This morning I wanted an egg sandwich to go with the bacon I had pre-cooked the other day. After assembling most of the team, I realized I had no eggs.  This was troubling.  I can't just make a bacon sandwich...can I? Surely not.  That would be careless.
I glance over to the fruitbowl and I see fresh tomatoes. Bacon and tomatoes? Wait! That's mostly a thing. Now I just need some lettuce, which we happen to have in stock, and I'm good!
Rye bread goes into the toaster, tomato sliced (not too thick), cheese sliced, bacon warmed in microwave. It's all coming together.  Now I just need...oh crap.
I didn't even need to look in the fridge to know that we were out of mayo. I had used the last of it some days ago when making lunch for the kids.  I've been to the store a few times since then, but had forgotten to pick it up.  A couple of times, Tannis had even called me to ask "Do we need anything from Safeway?" on her way home.  "Nope!", I'd exclaim cheerfully, "We're good!".
No we're not. People who are 'good', have mayonnaise.
Then I had a thought.."Why can't I just make my OWN mayonnaise?"
Sure, it's a little ambitious to be whipping your own mayo on a Wednesday morning before work.  But we had all the usual suspects lined up for a BLT, so my path was forged already. I just needed to walk it.
For those of you who read Encyclopedia Brown as a child, this is the point in the story where the question would be posed:

"Why is Bugs Meany lying when he says he can make his own mayonnaise this morning?"

Some of my more astute and observant readers have already forseen what is coming.  I didn't. I opened the door of the fridge to grab some eggs and...Nooooooo!
I remembered too late that the reason I was making a BLT in the first place was due to my lack of eggs.  Oh well.  I rumaged through the salad dressings and found something other than Ranch that was creamy.
So, what did I learn today? When life gives you lemon poppyseed dressing, use that instead of mayo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mrs. Mikes - A cautionary tale

I received an e-mail this morning that caused me great conflict. My Burger Club mentor asking me if I was planning on attending this weeks excursion to Mrs. Mikes.  I initially responded "no" as I had a case of food poisoning a couple years ago there.  And shortly after that, I saw a news report about some infected beef that was found there by the health authorities.  This didn't bode well for my making a return visit.

In fact, the time we were to meet there was 11:30, and at 11:20 I was still in my house.  My commitment to Burger Club prevailed and I raced to 7-Eleven for a Slurpee and pulled in to a parking spot just down the street from Mrs Mikes at 11:38.  If I can't be fashionably dressed, I might as well be fashionably late.

The sun was strong and hot as I took my seat at the table of men.  I displayed dominance by arriving with 4 days of beard and wearing my finest grimy sandals. There was some posturing at first, but they eventually accepted me as their new alpha.

I steeled myself for the possibility of being poisoned, and strode confidently to the take-out window and ordered a Single King ($ 6.00 taxes in).  I apologized to the clerk for ordering off-menu, but she assured me that people do it all the time.  I fell short of telling her that I was simply trying to reduce the amount of salmonella I was about to ingest. There seemed no way for that to not sound confrontational.

A few minutes later I was handed a hot mess of meatlettucemayobunpicklemustard. I appreciated the faith the clerk showed in my eating ability by only handing me the allotted ONE NAPKIN. I asked for more napkins and was given a SECOND NAPKIN.  That's OK. I like a challenge.

As I unwrapped the burger, I was immediately concerned for all of the people in the world who would not have any mayonnaise because my burger had ALL OF IT.  It was oozing out of all sides and dragging the shredded iceberg lettuce with it. I reluctantly picked it up and chose what I thought was the head of this creature, and with some trepidation, bit down.  The chain reaction that this caused, was immediate and really, really messy. Nearly half of the shredded lettuce, lubricated by the copious mayo, oozed out the back of my Single King and hung there; draped from my burger down to the wrapper on the table.  I recoiled to wipe my mouth with as little of NAPKIN ONE as possible.

My had was filled with what appeared to be an albino Rastafarian with an affinity for cream rinse.  In respect for the lady that was now seated at our table, I reduced the lettuce in my burger by pulling it out onto the foil wrapper.  This was helpful in removing most of the mayo as well. This made for an easier time as I progressed.  I used every bit of NAPKIN ONE and SECOND NAPKIN as I progressed through my bukakke burger. (Don't Google that-SO NSFW).

Once I had removed the lettuce and mayo mess, I was able to concentrate on the flavor of the burger.  The bun was appropriately sized.  It didn't let me down.  The burger patty was a decent size and there seemed to be a lot of filler lending it to have an odd color and texture.. This is what I have come to expect from "Fat Boy" style burgers.  So I wasn't surprised.

Aside from the mayo, the other condiments were amount appropriate and complimented the burger well. I like a thinly sliced tomato on my burger, but in this case, I felt they were too thin. Nitpicking a little there. But the tomato didn't even have the seed and gel part. Just the cellular walls.  It was odd.

All things considered, I rate Mrs. Mikes a 3 out of 5 in each category. I would have elevated a couple categories to 4 had there not been the issue with the lettuce and mayo.  I also felt the price was too high for what was definitely not an all-beef patty.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cubs Leader = Me

In the fall, Mitch joined Cubs. And this spring, after a great deal of paperwork delays, so did I - as a Leader. My shirt is bigger, and he's the one that gets to collect the cool activity badges, but aside from that there isn't much difference.

I really am enjoying working with the kids and the other leaders.  Mitch has become more and more independent as we attend more meetings. There are no other kids from his school that have joined, so it was tough to find people he related to quickly.  But he kept at it, and has become friends with a few of the other Cubs.

This past weekend we went camping at Birds Hill with all of the Service Area 9 groups.  There were over 80 cubs and some 300 campers all tolled.  It was a great experience for both of us. Mitch spent the day Saturday going around with the other Cubs and leaders to the various activity stations while I conducted a geocaching activity for the 6 Cub groups.  It was a blast. 

From building Cub cars, selling popcorn, going camping, hiking, launching rockets, singing camp songs, and completing badge work activities, this has been a very fun experience.  I'm looking forward to next fall when we start up again.

Food Symmetry

Presentation of the Kona burger at Original Joe's seems to be saying something about the cook's OCD. For the 2 optional sides, I chose the Caesar salad and mango pasta salad. For the latter, I was unable to find any mango, but there were entire peppercorns to munch on. Not pleasant.
The burger was quite tasty. The pineapple, bacon, and bbq sauce worked well together with the burger patty.
Speaking of which, based on the price of the burger and 2 sides (14.99) I'm quite certain it was not beef, but unicorn, or perhaps mermaid.
As usual, the best part of my lunch was the company. Burger Club is awesome!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An open letter to Burger Club

There are definitely different burger philosophies out there. The typical "Winnipeg burger" incorporates a thin-ish patty of seasoned beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a thin meat sauce that is seasoned with chili powder and usually cinnamon and nutmeg. All of this is served on a day old kaiser made with an egg dough to give it a crumbly texture and glossy sheen(not the sheen that lives with porn stars).
I propose we visit 2 and no more than 3 of the type of establishment that serves this classic Greek burger.
There is also the other type of burger of the "bistro" variety that generally uses a thicker meat patty. No chili here, but you will still see the requisite lettuce, tomato and onion. In place of the 'one molecule from plastic' processed cheese slice found on most Winnipeg burgers, you will often find a slice or two of cheddar, swiss or mozzarella. Accompaniments available will include seasoned bacon, mushrooms, and sauteed onions.

There is always going to be a burger for everyone. Except vegetarians, I guess. And don't get me started on hippies trying to pass off giant mushroom tops and compressed olive patties as 'burgers'. Not meat=sandwich. End of story. Yeah I'm lookin' at you, Boon Burger.
The important thing to remember: we all love hamburgers. So instead of burger club being a wedge that drives us apart, let it create a bond that holds us united in our support of hamburgers.