Giant French Fry

I opened a bag of frozen store-brand steak fries to prepare for dinner last night and a GIANT fry came out. It was like getting a golden ticket to Wonka’s factory — that’s how excited I was about it. So I snapped a picture before cooking it.  The dollar bill is for perspective, of course.



Some actual good news from Iraq

The Iraqi national soccer team triumphed in the AFC Asia Cup this weekend – the greatest sporting achievement in it’s history. Soccer, the world’s sport, has once again brought more people together than politicians and bureaucrats ever have.

As he bounced with joy with friends outside his house in Baghdad’s violence-racked Amiriya neighbourhood, Taha Mahmoud, a 25-year-old computer programmer, said: “In 90 minutes, 11 men on a soccer pitch thousands of miles away have made millions of Iraqis happy while 250 MPs, our government, the mullahs, imams and warlords can’t provide us with a single smile. I hope this is a turning point for our country.”,,2137653,00.html

Anti-anticipation of The Simpsons movie

Count me as one of the legion of former Simpsons fanatics. I can quote most every episode of the first 7-8 seasons. I still do so quite often. But over the past 5-6 years I’ve gradually stopped watching the new episodes. In fact, I haven’t seen a first-run Simpsons in over 3 seasons. So the arrival of The Simpsons feature-length movie is a non-event for me.

Ian Jones, writing in the Guardian, pretty much nails the decline of a once great TV series. The “Rise and Fall of a Comic Genius”

True, a long-running series has to evolve. Nobody would expect Simpsons episodes to still be solely about Lisa getting a pony or Bart failing a school exam. But, in the second decade of its life, The Simpsons evolved into a dreadfully predictable monster. With each new series came the same questions. Which foreign country will the family just happen to end up visiting this time? Which pop star will the family just happen to encounter while there? And what unsubtle bit of physical violence will Homer be subjected to en route? Contract leprosy, perhaps; get raped by a panda; or maybe get his head trapped between two halves of a lowering drawbridge?

This was change all right, but change as an excuse for idiocy. It was desperately disheartening for those who cherished and loved the show’s early years. Watching Homer hold forth on the topless women he’d seen on holiday in Florida, or Marge accidentally getting breast implants, you wanted everything to be revealed as a huge wind-up, or a cunning satire on trashy TV. But there was no hidden agenda. What you saw was what you got: a base, repetitive, unfunny cartoon.

The show has been ruined for me for many years. Everything that made the show great has been lost for a long time, replaced with “a base, repetitive, unfunny cartoon.” The “raped by a panda” scene is the series low point by a mile. I despise that scene so much that I cannot bear to hear Hank Azaria’s voice anymore because of his play-by-play narration of the, eh, courtship of a male panda by Homer in a panda suit. “Yep, he’s doing the Lindy Hop…” Damn, just thinking about it makes my blood boil.

I don’t even care about the movie and I doubt I ever see it. Does anyone really believe it will be any good?

This writer thinks so. Although based on the following statement, I remain unconvinced:

In short, it looks like The Simpsons Movie is going to be worth the wait. Still sceptical? Consider that this joke, revealed by Groening, didn’t make the movie, as Bart inadvertently gets stuck in an Egyptian sarcophagus:

Marge: “Homer, get him out of there!”
Homer: “Honey, he has to get over his fear of coffins one day.”


Excited? Based on that “joke,” not in the least.

Gold Cup Summary

I have extensive notes from every US match during the Gold Cup, but I never got around to posting anything. It would’ve been a pretty boring set of posts, considering the through line in all matches was basically the same: Hejduk can’t cross, Onyewu is always out of position, Dempsey can’t finish, etc.

Instead I’ve decided to post the only thing that mattered in this tournament — Feilhaber’s golazo, wondertor, super volley matchwinner.

Please lay off the Vitamin Water

I know lots of people that drink this stuff. As Greg Saunders summarizes, “Despite the marketing that would suggest that you’re drinking regular bottled water that’s been “enhanced”, it’s really just Kool-Aid with a multivitamin in it.” He also exposes the little tidbit that Glaceau is just a subsidiary of Coca-Cola.

With the recent explosion of organic groceries, most of the big food corporations have a major stake in “natural” brands. For instance,  Kraft owns Boca Burger and Kellogg now owns Morningstar Farms.

These companies are not concerned with your health or the environment. They are focused on making a profit — as corporations, making money for shareholders is the main focus. Conscientious shoppers should be as fastidious as possible when purchasing seemingly healthy groceries. Don’t let a picture of a meadow on the box blind you to its contents or origin.

I am an avid consumer of most of the products I’m discussing here. I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 12 years. I buy lots of veggie burgers. The quandary of the current state of the organic, vegetarian-friendly food industry is that I am ecstatic at the availability and selection of vegetarian-friendly products, but I’m disgusted by the corporate duplicity and disingenuous, predatory marketing. But I hold no delusions. Sure, I shop at Whole Foods, but I don’t think I’m saving the world by doing so. You shouldn’t either.