Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tivo Alert!

After gazillions of people griped over the water cooler that John really should have won, Dancing with the Stars returns tonight. Kelly and John have a live 90-minute dance-off. It's on ABC half an hour after the prime time block starts (7:30 PM if you're in Arizona, your mileage may vary).


After reading the recent installment of OGHC (see the sidebar), I'm sure the headline made a few Psychonauts players twitch violently. Fear not, this is something completely different. An Italian art group has put together an extremely enormous pink bunny on a hill in the Italian countryside. Check out the story in The Guardian for more details, including a charming yet creepy picture of this 200 foot long cuddly beast.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Chat Exchange of the Night

Just had to share it... it works as a capsule summary of why American culture is going to hell in a handbasket. We were discussing what we had done this weekend, and he told me he went for a drive down the Apache Trail from Roosevelt Lake into Phoenix. (Tip for non-native Arizonans: You want to take the Apache Trail from west to east. Vice versa is much more harrowing.) Anyway, a fair amount of that road is dirt. It's the kind of thing Miss Océane, my green Honda Element named after the water elemental in Cirque du Soleil's Dralion, lives for, twisty roads and great scenery everywhere. We had this exchange while chatting not just a couple of hours ago:

[him] "I should have kept driving on paved roads. My poor vehicle."
[me]"What do you drive?"
[him]"A Jeep."

Lordy, I wish I was shitting you on this one.

Oh Damn, Another Time Sucker

As you can tell by the link bar to the right, my preferred Sudoku puzzle is the one created by Nikoli for Britain's Guardian newspaper. Now, the brilliant souls at the Guardian have imported another Nikoli puzzle, Kakuro. It's a little more like a crossword, but adding up numbers instead of figuring out words. And it's every bit as interesting as sudoku. Regrettably (or thankfully depending on your POV), I don't have a direct link to the online version of the puzzle like I do for the Guardian's daily Sudoku (right now you'll have to dig through the online print edition's G2 section), but you know darn well once I do, you'll get the link and already be hooked on the puzzle weeks before everyone else is addicted to it.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Subway Code

Something possessed my brain to go get a meatball sub from Subway for lunch... food coma should set in any moment now. I have noticed there are two kinds of Subway locations in this world. The first will put the same amount of toppings even if you specify that you want three pounnds of lettuce on it. The second kind (the one I went to today) has a befuddling Standard Operationg Procedure; if you specify that you want a lot of something, they put 1 piece of it on the sandwich, and if you say you want just a little bit, they give you three big handfuls. Since I wanted just a little bit of red onion on my sammitch, I am now something of a social leper for the rest of the day.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Prize That's All Wet

The Price Is Right is currently in reruns. Yesterday, they showed an episode that originally aired in December... I hope they already got their prize. One of the prizes in the Showcase was a trip to beautiful New Orleans. The prize offered after that? A shiny new speedboat.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What The Jester Had For Lunch: Atlanta Bread Company, Tempe AZ

One of my co-workers recently got a free lunch for everyone in the office at Atlanta Bread Company. It was being done by a company that offers financial planning services. The lunch I had selected was a half-and-half combo consisting of half of a turkey sandwich and a bread bowl of baked potato soup, a favorite of mine. Things got off to a bad start when the guy from the financial company didn't bother to get up from the table, welcome us, or shake my hand... First impressions are everything, and theirs sucked like a Hoover. We then found out that the menu selections that we had sent to them a week prior had been left back at his office. Puh-leeze, if you can't keep track of a goddamn order slip, do you *really* think I'm going to trust you with a cent of my money? I'd rather leave it with the evil bastards at Wells Fargo, at least I know for certain they'll suck my account dry.

Speaking of dry, it's a perfect adjective to describe the turkey sandwich. I think the most flavorful element of the sandwich was the lettuce; nothing else even registered on my palate. And for being the Atlanta BREAD Company, they could put out a decent baguette. HA! This was everything a baguette shouldn't be, dense with a very soft crust. The baked potato soup was bland as hell, a marked contrast to the overpoweringly sour sourdough loaf that held the soup. Did they throw in extra acid just to make sure it was really, really tangy? The crust on said loaf looked to be crisp, but one bite told me it was closer to plastic in nature. The interior of the sourdough reminded me instantly of those cottony, dry French bread loaves one can get at supermarkets for a buck. The one noteworthy thing about the entire meal was how incredibly bland everything was (with the exception of the one-dimensionally tangy sourdough); it's almost as if they attempted to deliberately remove all flavor from the food so that nobody would complain about weird tastes in the food.

I've noticed after eating there that I have been insanely thirsty. I normally drink a lot of water, but I'm slugging it down like it's going out of style. I just did a quick check of the nutrition info at Atlanta Bread's website, and I found out that my menu selection had a whopping 3,195 milligrams of sodium! The FDA recommends no more than 2400 mg a day, meaning not only did I get my entire sodium intake in one meal, but enough for tomorrow's breakfast as well! While it's true you don't always get what you pay for, a meal of this caliber wasn't even worth what I paid for it... zero dollars, zero cents. If someone offers to take me to Atlanta Bread, I'll strongly suggest dining elsewhere. If they still want to go, I'll politely decline. It really is that awful.