Archive for July, 2006

Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part I

Posted in coffee, Death By Taurine, humor, pop culture, reviews, soda with tags , , , , on July 31, 2006 by Paxton


Energy drinks have become extremely popular in the last few years. I remember in college, the only energy boost options we had were coffee (which I hate) and Jolt Cola (which tasted like crap but gave you a nice buzz). That’s assuming you didn’t want to delve into the recreational use of pills like No-Doz and Dexatrim. In the last few years, though, energy boosting drinks have become all the rage. Red Bull was the first of the energy drinks to become hip and popular, but now you can find energy drinks branded with Las Vegas (a city), Hulk Hogan (a wrestler), Von Dutch (a clothing company), Orange County Choppers (a custom chopper shop) and many, many more. You can still find Jolt Cola in certain smaller markets in the US. TaB, the ever elusive diet soda, also has its own energy drink, and so does Ice T. That’s right, ICE-FRIGGIN-T has his own energy drink! Take that home, play with it, see if it rolls over. Anywho, I originally resisted the urge to try these things, but I’ve become curious to their energy-giving abilities whenever I wake up in the morning for work feeling like I was hit by a truck. I figured I’d either try these energy drinks and I would feel better, or they would make me feel like a crack addict; all twitchy and shifty-eyed, waiting for my next fix. With this review, I’ll let you in on some of my favorite energy drinks and I’ll give mini-reviews of each. I’ll let you know if it tastes good and if it does actually give you a boost in energy. Let’s take a look.

Red Bull – I’ll begin with the daddy of the modern energy drink boom. It’s become hip to drink these on the bar scene and quite a sizeable mixed drink menu has sprung up using this as an ingredient (i.e. Jager Bombs). It’s not bad. It has a very black liquorice taste which goes away when you are about half way through the can. I prefer the Sugar Free version as it has 100 fewer calories and the sugary, liquorice-y taste is somewhat muted. As you try more and more of these energy drinks you will see they have a similar taste: black liquorice. Just keep that in mind. As for Red Bull’s energy boost, I never got a slight buzz or energy lift from it. But that’s just me, you may find different results as people metabolize food and drink differently. For me, though, this is best used as a drink mixer. According to Energy Fiend, 170.63 cans of Red Bull would kill me.

RockStar – This is pretty popular too. Steph tells me that other teachers at her school (Club-A) drink the Diet version to give them a boost. The product has a great name, and their slogan rocks too; “Party Like A RockStar”. I bought it for my friend Dave who said it didn’t do much for him (he likes Red Bull), but I decided to try it on my own. As far as energy boosting, this gives me the biggest buzz. One can of this or the Diet Rockstar and I feel like a ferret on a double espresso. A few weeks ago, I had one at 7am and I STILL had trouble getting to sleep that night. The Diet Rockstar does have that “Diet” taste compared to the regular RockStar, but it has 0 sugar and 20 calories (220 calories in regular) and, like Red Bull, Rockstar has a very black liquorice-y taste. The taste does fade as you progress into the can, but the first few sips, for me, kick like a pissed off mule. If you need the energy boost, pick up a can of Rockstar and prepare for the onslaught of mind-buzzing energy shakes. If you want taste, you’ve bought the wrong can. According to Energy Fiend, 91.00 cans of RockStar would kill me.

TaB Energy – One of the first diet sodas on the market, TaB, gets its own energy drink. The drink itself is pretty tasty…and pink. Not only is the can the trademark TaB pink, but the actual drink itself is pink. Like neon pink. Almost EMBARRASSINGLY pink. TaB was originally developed by Coca-Cola in 1963. Originally thought, by me, to be discontinued, TaB is still available in limited markets because it still sells just enough to be profitable. So, in reaction to the growing energy drink market, Coke decided to release TaB Energy. The drink, I just found out, is marketed mostly for women, so I looked like the idiot when I was checking out at the Winn-Dixie. TaB Energy tastes nothing like the original TaB because it’s not a cola drink, they just share the same brand name. The drink is sweet, almost candy-like in its taste, but the energy kick is low, almost non-existent, consistent with Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle. Pretty good on taste, but an energy drink that doesn’t give you energy is like kissing your sister. Sure she’s hot and it tastes good, but why bother? It’s illegal. According to Energy Fiend, 143.68 cans of TaB Energy would kill me.

MDX – This is the Mountain Dew energy drink. It’s very similar to Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle, but does not taste as good. It’s almost bland, like Diet Mountain Dew, and there was NO energy boost. Period. If you are going to take the taste away, at least hit me with some nervous energy to make me forget that I drank bland sugar water. Both Sugar Free and regular taste the same. So if you like the taste of Diet Mountain Dew but think it should cost twice as much, this is your drink. According to Energy Fiend, 165.96 cans of MDX would kill me.

SoBe No Fear – SoBe is known for their juice drinks which aren’t bad. Unfortunately, their energy drink blows donkey. I applaud their attempt to make it taste like their juice drinks. The first few sips of this drink have a distinct apricot taste that is not un-welcome after so many black licorice flavors. Why must all energy drinks taste like spoiled black liquorice? Let’s mix things up a bit, people!! After several more sips of SoBe, though, the taste goes from apricot, to crap-ricot. I couldn’t finish the can it was so bad. I’m pretty sure I didn’t drink enough to get the energy buzz, but I don’t care. Worst tasting energy drink EVER. According to Energy Fiend, 172.78 cans of SoBe No Fear would kill me.

Okay, that’s it for today, class. Look for part 2 coming later this week.

Click here for Part II

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“Ask me about my wiener!”

Posted in Oscar Mayer, personal, pop culture, wiener mobile with tags , , , on July 24, 2006 by Paxton

Today is Wiener Mobile Monday on the blog. Why, you ask? Because…I answer…I saw the mythical beast in my supermarket parking lot Sunday afternoon, July 23, 2006!

I know, I know, you don’t believe me. I sound like one of those crackpots talking about filming bigfoot or coming face to face with the Loch Ness monster or playing poker with the Yeti (FYI…Yeti can’t bluff worth a damn), but I have photographic evidence that I saw the hot-doggity awesomeness of the Oscar Mayer WienerMobile!!!

Check out these pics (click on them to go to my photo blog):

Hope these pics brighten your day as they did mine. Nothing gets me excited like pictures of a wiener…….mobile.

Fun Wiener Mobile related links:

Take a virtual tour of the Wiener Mobile’s interior
Classic Oscar Mayer wiener commercial
I was damaged on a molecular level by this guy singing the Oscar Mayer jingle

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Chairman of Hooters Restaurants Found Dead

Posted in food, Hooters, humor, pop culture with tags , , on July 17, 2006 by Paxton

Robert Brooks, Chairman of Hooters Restaurants, was found dead yesterday of unknown causes. He was 69. An autopsy will be performed on Monday to determine cause of death.

I wanted to take a moment in remembrance for a good man, nay, a GREAT man. This man was a people pleaser. He knew people wanted a place to eat good wings. DONE. He knew people wanted it to be a casual place the whole family could enjoy. DONE. He knew people wanted a place where you can watch sports, drink a beer and watch scantily clad high-schoolers prance around like its 1972 in the Playboy Mansion grotto. DONE and DONE.

Please take a moment to remember this great man. Ladies, let the twins hang at half mast for a man that only wanted to glorify the beauty of the female body. Not unlike Isaac Newton or Jim Henson before him, he was a true visionary and he will be missed.

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Summer TV Shows That Rock!

Posted in reviews, TV, TV shows with tags , on July 11, 2006 by Paxton

Summer is generally considered the “dead time” for new tv show episodes. For the most part you get re-runs of regular prime time shows or retread reality shows that would never last during the “Big Show”, the fall schedule. The last few years, though, have shown a trend in certain networks airing new episodes, or entire seasons of shows, during the summer months. With these shows having their seasons during the summer, it reduces the amount of competition for viewers. It also will give viewers new episodes of shows that they might have not seen otherwise during the crowded fall viewing schedule. I thought I would point out a few good shows that air new episodes during the summer and that Steph and I actually watch. Maybe you’ll discover a new favorite.

The Dead Zone – This was the first show I started watching during the summer. It premiered during the summer of 2001 on USA Network and its normal season runs from June/July through Sept/Oct. I’ve watched this show every season since that first season in 2001 and even got my wife hooked on it. The premise of the show is based on the general storyline of the Stephen King book, The Dead Zone. I read this book many years ago, and enjoyed it, so I was very interested in this series. It stars Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith who, after a car accident, goes into a coma for 7 years. After waking up, his life has been turned upside down. His girlfriend has married another guy and has a kid (which turns out to actually be his kid), and he discovers that he has psychic abilities that are triggered when he touches personal items. This is roughly where the similarities between the book and the tv show end. Johnny starts to learn how to use his abilities to help people. The special effects and stories in the show are fascinating, and Anthony Michael Hall is wonderful as the lead. We love this show and definitely recommend it to everyone. It airs on Sundays at 10pm EST.

Psych – This show just premiered this summer on July 7, 2006, and like Dead Zone, it’s on USA Network. It’s a comedy about a guy, Shawn Spencer that was trained as a young kid by his detective father to observe and remember everything. He now has honed this skill into an almost photographic memory. The problem is, the guy is a slacker and never focuses on any one thing for any particular length of time. He does manage to call in tips to the police and solve crimes based on things he notices during the local news. Shawn does this so many times the cops think he has something to do with these crimes because they don’t know where he’s getting his information. So to get himself out of trouble when they interrogate him, he says he’s a psychic, and that’s how he’s been getting his information. It’s very funny as we see Shawn pretend to be a psychic detective while using his hyper-sensitive observational skills to solve police cases. He opens up a private detective agency and brings along his friend Gus. The pilot was very good and I will continue to check this show out. It’s on Fridays at 10pm EST.

Treasure Hunters – This is the first season for Treasure Hunters, and it airs on NBC. It had a large marketing campaign where it made you think it had something to do with the Da Vinci Code by showing pics of the Mona Lisa and making the A in ‘treasure’ look like the upside down V in Da Vinci Code. In actuality, it’s a reality show that is more like a combination of the movie National Treasure and the tv show The Amazing Race. I never really got into The Amazing Race, but this show has me and my wife hooked. Clues are hidden in specific historical places across the US and teams of 3 people must solve the clues to follow a path that leads to 7 artifacts which will then lead them to a treasure. Each of the 3 person teams is a specific group of people (Miss USA contestants, Geniuses, Grad School Students, ex-CIA, Air Force, etc.) with all the ensuing drama and alliances and back-stabbing you would expect. The mixing in of historical facts about our country into the tasks and clues makes it extremely interesting. Check this out on Monday nights at 9pm EST.

The Closer – My wife just got me watching this. It airs on TNT and stars Kyra Sedgewick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson. Mrs. Johnson, despite being an extremely capable detective, has as many quirks and obsessions as Monk on USA Network. Now, I’ve seen Monk, and it’s okay, but it just doesn’t grab me. This show, however, has kept me interested. I don’t know if the shows we’ve been watching are repeats or new, but they are good. We could be watching re-runs and I would have no idea. It would be cool if this were a summer show because fall is getting extremely crowded. If you get a chance, check this show out Monday nights at 9pm EST.

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Pirates of the Caribbean II Opens Today!!

Posted in humor, movies, personal, pirates, random with tags , , on July 7, 2006 by Paxton


Capt Pax Holley and Capt Jack Sparrow…Separated at birth? You decide. If you ask me, I think Capt Jack wishes he had the looks and chutzpah of Capt Pax. But that’s just me.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest opens today. Steph and I will probably go see it tomorrow afternoon to avoid the lines. I am really looking forward to this sequel because we loved the first one. As a matter of fact, we tried to rent Curse of the Black Pearl this week and every single copy was rented. EVERY SINGLE COPY. Since the movie is older, Blockbuster kept only 2 or 3 copies. Well, I guess everyone else wanted to see it too, because they are ALL gone. But I’m not just talking about our local Blockbuster, but every Blockbuster in our area. And that’s a lot of Blockbusters. As you know, Blockbuster is like the Starbucks of DVDs. There’s usually two or three right around the corner…and usually right next to a McDonald’s.

I even slummed and went to Hollywood Video to find a copy. Let me tell you, that place is a friggin’ HOLE. It looked like a DVD War Zone inside the store. Movies and candy littered the floor, shelves have gaping spaces where there are no DVDs. So much crap on the checkout counter that you couldn’t even see the 12 year olds they have working there. Not to mention the fact that the movies weren’t in any semblance of order. Oh, the shelves are labeled Action, New Release, Comedy, etc. But those seem to be more like guidelines, and not hard-and-fast categorical titles because the workers just put the stuff back on the shelf wherever they happen to be. You need Smokey & the Bandit? It’s in the Drama section. Aliens? Kiddie section. WTF?! And they aren’t laid out nicely on the shelf. It looks like a giant dorm room as some are stacked with their backs to the shelf and some are stacked sideways like on a bookshelf. You can forget about alphabetical order. You’re lucky the workers can even read the title, much less put it in it’s proper alphabetical order. I will NEVER go back to that place. I feel like I need to go to the free clinic and get shots after walking in for 10 minutes.

After all that, the sad thing is, I own Curse of the Black Pearl, but my mom borrowed it and has not returned it. You like apples? How you like them apples?

Anywho, have a good weekend everyone and I’ll see you on the other side.

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