Monday, March 30, 2009

Banana burger

Yesterday I had a really unique pairing of flavors on my lunch sandwich, and wanted to share. T.G.I. Friday's has a "Chipotle Grilled Steak Sandwich". Nothing unusual about that.
"Tender Cajun–rubbed skirt steak served on toasted ciabatta with a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion & Chipotle mayo. Served with beer–battered onion rings."

Since I despise mayonnaise and tomatoes, I skipped both, but there's one very important flavor to this sandwich that I left out. Roasted plantains. Much more colorful and tasty than bananas, and it worked surprisingly well on the sandwich. If the steak was a little more tender it would be outstanding.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Play it again.

The person at work who has the shift before me on Saturdays had the computer logged into his XM account, which allows him to stream the same channels online that he can get in his car (this was news to me). He left it logged in for me, especially since it looked to be a slow afternoon. I landed on channel 54, "Classic Alternative Hits". It seems weird to me that this music is called classic, since pretty much everything on the channel is mid-90's music like Weezer, Collective Soul, Counting Crows, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Matthew Sweet, Nerf Herder, Oasis, etc. Anyway, a lot of this music I haven't heard for 10 years or so because it's nothing I own on CD. It's really interesting to be hearing it again, kind of like being able to turn on the on a radio station from 1995 as I'm driving home from high school. I don't know how much of the music is actually good and how much just takes me back to that time period.

I experience something similar when I dig out older CDs I haven't listened to in a long time. It's like listening to an album for the first time again, but with all the appreciation that comes from familiarity and without that period of listening to an album several times, getting used to it before you really understand how good it is.

A couple of weeks ago I was using the Genius feature on my iPod and Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode came on. I found myself wondering what people hearing it for the first time on a jukebox in 1958 would have thought. Could they appreciate the fact that what they were listening to would become a sonic icon?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Check, please.

Thursday night I got away from work in time to get to the library 4 minutes before they closed and pick up a book that was on hold. Afterwards I drove across the parking lot to the bank to deposit a check. I shouldn't have had this check in the first place. I accidentally sent it to myself using online bill pay, instead of who I was trying to pay, so I was surprised when it showed up in the mail. I wanted to get it back into the account as soon as I could.

Chase recently installed a new ATM that doesn't use envelopes, but has one slot for checks and another into which the customer can put up to 100 bills for deposit, which will be counted by the machine. When they installed the new machine they apparently installed a new plastic front that goes all the way around, attached to the wall, and with decorative lights along the bottom to create a glow. There's about a 1/32" gap between this plastic moulding and the machine. I pressed the check against the machine to sign the back and it slipped out of my hand and fell straight through this tiny crack. That's it, it was gone. No way to get it back. I called the bank the next day and was told it's essentially in the wall and inaccessible until they replace the ATM front, but that she would put a work order in to have the crack sealed off. Especially since I wasn't the first person to whom this had happened. Not even the first person I know! My mom had the ATM receipt fall into the very same crack, and apparently someone else lost their ATM card. Anyway, they say they're going to solve the problem and I was able to get a stop-payment on the check at no charge.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Electronic

Last night I went to turn on my TV/DVD combo, on which I usually watching something as I fall asleep at night. I've been watching LOST Season 1 because I knew the Blu-ray was coming out this year. I had already sold the DVD set and just wanted to finish last disc before shipping. I hit play, which resumes where I left of. The power light came on and then went right back off. No matter which button I pushed the result was the same. I decided it was dead, but I had to get the DVD out. The drawer wouldn't budge no matter what I tried. Finally I took the back off the TV with a screwdriver. Then I had to unscrew the circuit board/DVD player and slide it out from under the CRT. The only wires I had the luxury of disconnecting were the internal speakers. Then I had to remove about 10 screws from the DVD player cover. I could see the DVD easily, but the player itself was clamped onto the disc from top and bottom. I had to pry up the top stabilizer of the player to get the disc loose, but it scratched the media side as it finally slid out. The disc played fine so I shipped it. Put the TV back together to put it on Craiglist as non-working. Plugged it in one more time and it worked normally. The DVD tray opened and closed every time I tested it. Of course now I'm not comfortable watching DVDs on it.

Next day:
And now it's broken again.


I usually have a frozen Lean Cuisine for lunch at work, but I don't think I've lost any weight. Maybe if I start eating two Lean Cuisine's for lunch, they'll work better...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Snack time

When I was about 9 or 10 years old my brother and I used to make a snack that normal adults probably wouldn't even consider eating. We would take a piece of bread and add a slice of Kraft cheese. Microwave for about 10 or 15 seconds to get the cheese soft. Now comes the interesting part. A layer of peanut butter. Then cinnamon and sugar. The optional finale: Reese's Pieces.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Volatility of the Internetz

I like books. The problem is that I'm not a fast reader. I don't mean I have to sound out words or anything, I'm just easily distracted and lack focus much of the time when I try to read something. But I like books. I've bought them faster than I can read them ever since one summer in college. I bought four more this weekend at thrift stores in St. Louis. Four dollars, four books. A couple of times I've had to purge used books I had sitting on the shelves on in boxes because I realized I'd never get around to reading them...also I currently have 3 magazine subscriptions, at least one of which I'm probably going to allow to expire.

What does this have to do with the Internet? I've noticed in more and more magazine articles and current events-type books (global warming, politics) cite specific web articles as sources and references. I haven't gone and looked at these (literally) hundreds of urls, but a person has to wonder how long these references will remain valid. In the past, sources cited would be other books, or newspaper articles that a person could find in the library. Solid. Physical. Even microfiche was something a person could hold in their hand. Internet articles are fragile, volatile entities that may or may not be around tomorrow. I realize most major news outlets are going to archive their articles for future reference, but even those may change. Christopher C. Horner, in Red Hot Lies, makes note of global warming articles changed multiple times within 24 hours due to outside pressures, often without even a note recording the edit.

They say that whatever we put on the internet never really goes away. Even if I delete this post, it's supposedly archived on a server hard drive somewhere. Who knows? That could very well be. My inane ramblings preserved forever (hey, if this guy [] can do it...).

I read an article online about a year ago (that I now can't find) about the exponential growth of information produced and saved and the need for new ways of saving it, but it's not all being saved. Anyone who has done an online search knows that some results will be a bad link because something has been taken down. I dealt with this last week when I was trying to find audio for a theology debate I know existed, but the first four or five links I tried yielded no results.

Short story long: I imagine a day when someone reads a book and wants to dig deeper, looking up the references cited, and can only find maybe half of the referenced articles because information stored as zeros and ones never required ink to touch paper.

St. Louis

My weekend in St. Louis ended up being something like our own episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Dewey's Pizza - All fresh ingredients. They don't own a freezer!

Ted Drewes (In STL since 1931)- Local frozen custard icon. There was a line at 8PM on a Monday night in 40 degree weather.

Chuck-A-Burger (Since 1957) - Classic diner.

Crown Candy Kitchen (Since 1913!)- The line never let up the whole time we were there, which was about 2 hours. We had roast beef and shakes...but no candy.

Sen Thai - Top reviewed Thai restaurant in the city. I usually get Massaman curry, but I had Japanese-style "Stew" curry which was thicker, like gravy.

Jennifer's Pharmacy and Soda Shop - I had a delicious coconut phosphate (carbonated soda water, flavored syrup and phosphoric acid), and some Gus's Pretzels. I wanted to go back for a Lime Rickey. I'll just have to wait.

Fitz's Root Beer - Had to pick up some of the local favorite for my brother.

And of course I have to mention Ericka's store, The Cupcakery. Two words: Buttercream Icing.

Also did a little bit of shopping at Vintage Vinyl.