Thursday, January 29, 2009


Place: Qdoba
Lunch: Chicken Mexican gumbo, Dr. Pepper

Qdoba's Mexican gumbo is easily the greatest concoction they've ever come up with. It's two ladles of their tortilla soup (itself unmatched), rice, beans, and chicken, topped with tortilla strips. Add salsa, cheese, and sour cream if you like (I add cheese and sour cream). It's just phenomenal.

But enough about Qdoba. Let's move on to McDonald's.

McDonald's longtime star of their dollar menu has been the double cheeseburger. To call it a narrow margin item would be understating it...the regular cheeseburger is one penny less. So franchisees have been whining about it being too cheap, but it's also probably the most popular menu item they have anymore. The thing gets people in the door.

What to do?

McDonald's tested several ideas and settled on keeping the double cheeseburger at a new price ($1.19) and adding a new item to the menu called the McDouble...a double cheeseburger with only one slice of cheese.

This was a brilliant move. The double cheeseburger lovers can still get their favorite sandwich, and frankly, I like the McDouble better. Two slices of cheese with the McSkimpy beef was just too much.

Plus, you can now create the best McDonald's hamburger ever for yourself.

Buy two McDoubles, discard the plain bottom buns, and fold the two sandwiches together.

Behold...the McQuad.

Four beef patties, two slices of cheese, and two bun crowns dressed on both sides.

It's perfect. Absolutely perfect.

And it's only two bucks!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dress Barn Who?

Place: Freddy's Frozen Custard (home of the FREDDY steakburger)
Lunch: Double California-style (no tomato), fries, Pepsi

So I was driving down the road past a factory outlet mall the other day, and there's a sign for "Dress Barn". Then next to it is a sign for "Dress Barn Woman".


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Video Rage

Place: Captain D's
Lunch: Deluxe seafood platter, clam chowder, Coke

A girl and her doll are sent to the dining room to find a table while her guardian orders. This isn't hard...there's three tables taken. Maybe they saw a bus approaching that I didn't.

She selects her table and cuddles her doll. She also sticks her tongue out a lot and occasionally lets out a "pfffft". Then she decides to choose a different table. Then she shows me her doll.

"This is her birthday!" she exclaims to me.

I wish her doll a happy birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, the girl holding the doll is well into her sixties, I'm guessing.

Remember when video games were simple to use and understand?

A video game system came with cartridges. You put them in, you turned on the system, you started playing. When you were done with that game, you shut off the system, replaced the cartridge with another, turned it on, and played again. Instant gratification.

Today's games use discs that have to load and connect to the internet.

It's much more of a hassle than it sounds.

Over the summer, I got a PS3. It came with a game called "Metal Gear Solid 4". Some sort of war game.

I loaded the disc into the system and waited.

And waited.

Eventually, an army looking guy smoking a cigarette appeared on the screen. There was a message that the game was "installing". Installing?!?

THIS took 20 minutes. All the while, this guy kept smoking cigarettes At least three total. He'd smoke one, through it on the ground, smoke another...

Then the game starts up. But it's not really the game. It's a game show. A game show not being played by me. Some woman is answering questions on a set that looks similar to "Who wants to be a Millionaire". I have no control over it. I have no idea why it's significant to the game.

Then there's women...or silhouettes of women...swimming in a lake. Maybe they were mermaids. I don't remember.

Then FINALLY there's a scene that looks similar to the box art. I think a game is coming. Soon.

Then the cigarette guy is back. He's apparently the lead character. He's in a field of battle of sorts. Instructions pop up telling me what to do with the controls, and what to do in the...uh...mission? Maybe.

Then the guy is standing there. Oh wait...I can move him! A half hour later, I'm FINALLY playing the game!

I have no idea what to do. So I walk around. A voice tells me to go somewhere. I wander and the game stops. I apparently found "somewhere".

...And now we're back to movie mode. I'm not controlling the character.

...And now we're back to game mode. I'm controlling the character. I move around a bit and I inadvertantly pick something up.

Back to movie mode.

Back to game mode. Now I have a knife and I'm running with it.

Back to movie mode.

At this point, I've had it. I shut the game off, pull out the disc, and delete the game from the system. It will never be used again. Ever.

Then there's the stupid software updates. You come home, you're tired, you want to let loose on a round of Tiger Woods golf or maybe randomly bash cars on Burnout Paradise. You insert the disc, and you're not allowed to play because there's a software update that needs to be downloaded. Or worse yet, a system update. Don't plan on playing anything for a good hour for system updates.

And what miracle of science from these updates awaits you to make your gaming experience all the more fulfilling? Usually nothing you can see, or some interactive interface that allows them to sell you something down the road.

"You know, if you didn't connect to the internet, it wouldn't look for software updates." Yes, I know. You're missing the point here. Please walk through the operating car wash...the one with the beater bars...and consider your comment again.

I thought every kid in the world had A.D.D. now. Who is putting up with the wait times for games to updates to interactivity to load? People really put up with this crap?

And once you DO get going, what's with the learning curve? Every game feels the need to teach you how to play. They do this by locking levels of the game up until you pass certain challenges or earlier levels or whatever, which are effectively designed to teach you stuff. Sorry...WHO paid $60 for this? I should be able to play any golf course designed within the game without having to pass "Tiger Challenges". I didn't pay to go back to school here.

And the controls! NHL-09 is so convoluted, EA Sports actually added an alternative control scheme that lets you use the controls from much older releases of the game in case you can't get the hang of things. When the game designer admits things have gone too far, you know you're in trouble.

Then there's the term "Finish the game". This is a quote used by gamers to explain how long it took them to "finish the game". Games today have a beginning and ending. Since you could play Centipede or Pac-Man effectively forever so long as you don't die, doesn't that make them more technologically advanced?

Even if you do "finish the game", guess what? There's an online store where they'll sell you additional levels!

Maybe the old lady with the doll had it right.

Keep it simple.