Monday, June 29, 2009


Place: Hickman Buffet
Lunch: Lunch buffet, Pepsi

I have a new favorite Chinese buffet. WOW this is good. WAY better than Shangri-La or that one over by Half-Price Crooks.

Okay, I get it. He's dead.

Shut up.

I was never a fan of Michael Jackson, really. Never owned any of his albums. Respected that "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" were great works. Played the hits off them a lot in my young days as a radio dork, back when AM stations still played music. The guy was a huge talent and deserves his place in music history. And I had no problems with him up until the moment MTV played the "Thriller" video for the first time. After that, he was a walking cartoon for the rest of his life.


The XM broadcast of the PGA tour event over the weekend used hits from Jackson's library in and out of nearly every break. Radio talk show hosts all over the country did it Friday, and some still Monday. As a direct result of all of this, "Thriller" has been stuck in my head all weekend.

I will consider it a national terrorist act if this happens when Lionel Richie kicks the bucket.

It's not like he's the only celebrity who's died in the past week. Farrah. Ed McMahon. Fred Travalino. Billy Mays. BILLY FREAKING MAYS. Do you have ANY idea how sad I was to hear about that one?

I shouldn't have to put up with this.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Place: Subway
Lunch: Five...Five dollar...Five dollar Meatball Marinara foot long (toasted), Lays potato chips, Dr Pepper

It's hot.


Hot hot hot.

And humid.

And hot.

You'd think I'd have gotten a cold sandwich, wouldn't you.


This will totally not help my lack of sleep last night at all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pennies from Illinois

Place: Taco John's
Lunch: Six tacos (it IS Taco Tuesday, after all), Dr Pepper

Frowning Counter Girl gives me my change, which is exactly three pennies, and something about them catches my eye as being terribly odd.

So while crunching down tacos, I check them out.

The front looks normal. The back has some guy who looks like Kramer from Seinfeld sitting on a log doing something.

Not sure what.


So I Googled. Maybe I should Bing. You've heard about Bing...Microsoft's new search engine, right? They're spending tons of money advertising it. Haven't tried it.

Turns out it's the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. And the centennial of the debut of the Lincoln penny. Don't feel bad...I didn't get him anything either.

Anyway, "Kramer on a Log" is apparently supposed to be Lincoln on a log. You had Lincoln Logs as a kid, right? Whole different thing. Oh...that something he's doing is reading. Probably Harry Potter. Reading books from the future would explain a great deal about Lincoln's brilliance.

They have four designs, one which is nothing but a log house. Again, not intended to be a tribute to Lincoln Logs, although it could easily be replicated with them. The log house is supposed to be Lincoln's birthplace.

"Kramer on a log" represents Lincoln's "formative years in Indiana Reserve".

Then there's one in front of an obvious government building which represents his "professional life in Illinois".

Finally, there's the "Presidency in Washington DC", which features the not-quite-finished US Capitol building. Lincoln's nowhere to be seen. He's probably hiding with Waldo.

The US Mint website has a nice summary of what each coin represents.

I'm sure they'll be part of the annual collection this year.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Half-Price Snobs

Place: El Aguila Real
Lunch: Number 4 combo (two tacos, an enchilada, chili con queso), bean dip, chips, salsa, Coke

We have about a dozen local Mexican casual restaurant brands in town, a few which have multiple locations. They all have identical business practices, almost identical menus, and use almost identical recipes. Every one of them has a lunch special called "Speedy Gonzales". But one of my Facebook friends thinks these guys are the bee's knees.

Personally, I like La Bamba a little better. Are they even still around? I haven't been on that side of town in probably a year or more. They're housed in an old KFC. For La Bamba's first year in business, the Colonel's silhouette was visible in the little roof tower thingie under a coat of green paint.

We had one Mexican place I discovered a few years ago that did their own thing, and they were awesome. Incredible enchilada sauce. Naturally, they lasted about six months.

Oh...And if you're wondering what a "chili con queso" is, it's a tortilla covered in liquid cheese. This place seems to use a flour tortilla, while others use corn. Some of the other places also put beef on it.

Beats me.

So I cleaned out my CD's and DVD's of titles I no longer needed this morning, and headed off to Half Price Books, Earth's worst book store. This ridiculous scab of an operation buys books and "anything recorded" for pennies on the dollar and resells them for several times what they paid you. Example: They say to me "We can offer you $65.00 today." I was genuinely surprised. Until I counted the items I brought while he was writing the slip and realized I'd brought 45 CD's or DVD's, working out to about $1.44 per item.

Books are even worse. After Darlene died and I was cleaning out to move, I brought in her massive collection of romance paperbacks. A good hundred or more. There were some hardbacks too...mostly ones I bought her as gifts. The complete Outlander series, for one.

"We can offer you $44.00 today, sir."


I just stare cold and they just smile back with their "working their way through college so they can pretend they're just a little bit better than everybody else for a moment longer" grins. These people are SO public radio.

The best part is if you bring something really good, because whoever is going through them immediately claims it as their own. Especially movies.

And for the prices they charge, you may as well buy new.

My personal revenge is to never spend the money I get there.

Why double-dip.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Place: Qdoba
Lunch: 3 crispy ground beef tacos, chicken Mexican gumbo, Dr Pepper

Everytime I come here, regardless of the time of day, the staff is sitting in the dining room eating. The WHOLE staff.

Jay Leno ended his run as host of the "Tonight Show" last week.

I didn't watch the last show.

I didn't care.

I grew up a night owl. As such, I grew up with Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Carson was the man. He could make any guest funny without resorting to the scripted, badly acted "interaction" you see today. The man was brilliant. It didn't hurt that he was also pretty much the only thing on at that time of night back then. Remember only having five over-the-air channels...IF you were lucky?

I remember when the Tonight Show was 90 minutes. I remember countless jokes, guests, comedy segments, contract disputes with NBC, divorces...And I remember that final week. Guests David Letterman and Bette Midler in particular. Wow.

When Johnny passed the torch, it was a milestone.

I never liked Leno's Tonight Show. I like Leno as an individual when I see him in interviews discussing other topics (like cars), but the show and his comedy just didn't work for me. I watched Letterman for awhile, but eventually didn't care about any of them anymore.

Now there's...what...a half dozen late shows between the major networks alone? There's nothing special about any of them anymore. Yet there's still apparently not enough. Leno will be back in the fall filling five hours of NBC prime time so they don't have to produce as many expensive dramas or comedies. In recent years, they've proved to be lousy at that anyway.

I did watch Conan's "Tonight" debut last night, at least until Will Ferrell showed up.

Nice set. Nice use of the classic peacock on the intro.

Nothing special otherwise. It's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on a different set.

Ever notice that Conan, when wearing sunglasses, looks exactly like David Caruso's "Horatio Kane" character from CSI: Miami?

One more note...A quick thanks to Stacy from Tulsa, who took the time to read last week's blog and directed me to some chocolate yogurt.
Brown Cow whole-fat chocolate cream top yogurt was acquired over the weekend. So now I can say I've had chocolate yogurt. And probably won't again. But if you're looking for a premium whole-fat yogurt, check out Brown Cow. You actually have to STIR in the fruit from the bottom (yes, I picked up other flavors too) like the old days. There's a cream top on it too. I guess this is a tribute to how a layer of cream used to float on top of milk or something.

It's super creamy, and might even taste less sugary to you.

Even if it isn't.