Archive for February, 2007

It Tastes Like What?!

Posted in food, humor, reviews, soda with tags , , on February 28, 2007 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

It’s happened to you. You are in the supermarket, you pass a product, usually in the drink or snack food aisle, with a weird name or crazy color scheme, you take a look at it, maybe even pick it up, and say to yourself, “This tastes like what?” I do it all the time. Take the Jones Soda Company. Each year their novelty soda line becomes more and more disgusting. Soda that tastes like antacid, turkey and gravy and peas & carrots is not even remotely appetizing, but they make a killing off it. True, though, that people only buy it for the novelty value. As if to say, “Yes, yes I have tasted the soda flavored like buttered mashed potatoes.”

Well, in order to make the same statement, I bought some weird and disgustingly flavored food/drink items recently and I’m going to try them right here, right now. If I die, remember me well.

Cel-Ray Soda
Item #1 – Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda – This stuff has been around for years. It’s almost legendary. I used to see it as a kid at the local deli (shoutout: Diplomat Deli) when my dad took us there for dinner. I say now what I said then, “Celery flavored soda?! Who’d buy that?!” The jury is still out on who would actually buy it. The next question is, “Does it taste like celery?” The answer: Yes it does, if said celery was left out on the counter in a warm glass of Sprite until it rotted away leaving only a dark, foul-smelling death-liquid. I’ve only had 3 or 4 drinks of this and I already have a headache. I hope I don’t get leukemia. Ugh. This also comes in a diet version, but, thankfully, for the sake of the children, Dr. Brown discontinued it. If you have trouble finding this, consider yourself lucky.

Canfields
Item #2 – Canfield’s Diet Chocolate Fudge – Yes, you read that correctly, Chocolate Fudge soda. DIET. Haha. I’m really asking for it this time. Here we gooooo………..oh sweet jesus that is awful. I can’t imagine a chocolate fudge soda tasting good in the first place, but make it diet, and you’ve just created what scientists refer to as a “biological weapon of destruction”. My insides are now under attack by this BWD. Holy crap, I think the soda is trying to burn its way out of my stomach like an Alien. Foul, foul liquid. I actually saw a Diet CHERRY Chocolate soda at the store the other day. After this, I’ll be afraid to even walk down that aisle ever again. This soda now owns me.

Jones Soda
Item #3 – Jones Caramel Apple soda – Jones really made this whole trend popular so I had to try one. This was one of their Halloween sodas from 2 years ago. The cans are cool, and this flavor at least has potential………potential to taste like sun tan lotion mixed with burnt maple syrup. Oh. My. God. That is awful. And do I detect an aftertaste of scalded rubber? My taste buds are going to revolt and suicide bomb my brain for continuing this torture. I can’t even articulate the supreme awfulness of this soda. Stay away.

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Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid, Superman!!!

Posted in humor, Kool Aid, Photoshop, pop culture, Superman with tags , , on February 22, 2007 by Paxton

Continuing my on-going series of Photoshop creations, I have another fake Kool-Aid packet for you. For the budding evil genius in all of us, I present Kryptonite Kool-Aid.

Kryptonite Kool-Aid

I created this around the time Superman Returns was released in theaters. If this seems familiar, it was mentioned in an earlier article on this blog.

Check out my other Kool-Aid creations here.

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Enough Academy Awards Trivia to Choke a Donkey

Posted in Academy Awards, movies, Oscars with tags , , , , on February 21, 2007 by Paxton

Oscars Wild!

The time is nigh, my friends, the Academy Awards are here. Well, almost here. They’ll officially be here on Sunday at 8pm EST. I. Can’t. Wait. The wife and I, being rabid, movie whores, are throwing a huge (read “small”) shindig to celebrate the occasion. No expense will be spared. Our guests will drink out of the finest gold color paper cups and eat off the most delicate black and gold paper plates that Wal-Mart can provide. We’ll dine on the most succulent tiny quiches and taquitos a microwave oven can cook. Extravagant doesn’t even begin to describe it. Our guests will feel like Gary Coleman at the Soul Train Awards. ROYALTY.

At the party, we pass out ballots and you have to choose who you think is going to win each category. Points are weighted towards the major Awards like Best Picture and Best Actor. It makes things fun when you start wagering on categories. Before we started the ballots, we’d be falling asleep by the time Best Documentary Short was presented. Now, the group is arguing whether No Time For Nuts or The Little Matchgirl is gonna win Best Short Film (Animated). And NONE of us have seen either one. AWESOME.

Anywho, while surfing through some move websites preparing for this weekend’s festivities, I came across a treasure trove of Oscar trivia that I thought was pretty cool. Read on, sir, for some unbelievable, face rockin’ tidbits about the Academy Awards and those who win them.

# The first Academy Awards ceremony was in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and was hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William deMille. Tickets cost $5 and the attendance was 270 people.
# In the beginning, the winners list was sold to the newspapers prior to the ceremony for publication. In 1940, guests could buy the 8pm LA Times edition and read who won each award. This lead to the sealed envelopes system in 1941.
# NBC first televised the ceremony in 1953 (25th Academy Awards)
# Longest Award Ceremony was the 2001 Academy Awards hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. It lasted 4 hours and 16 minutes but, thanks to Whoopi, felt like 36 hours.
Oscars 2004# Walt Disney holds the record for having the most Academy Awards: 22 won, and 4 honorary.
# Jessica Tandy at age 80 is the oldest person to ever win (for Driving Miss Daisy) an Academy Award.
# Tatum O’Neal at age 10 is the youngest person to ever win (for Paper Moon) an Academy Award.
# Katharine Hepburn is the only person to win more than 3 major Awards (four times for Leading Actress) (1933 Morning Glory, 1967 Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, 1968 The Lion in Winter and in 1981 On Golden Pond .)
# James Dean is the only actor to receive a nomination after death. Dean was killed in a traffic accident in 1955, but was nominated in 1956 for East of Eden and 1957 for Giant.
# Only three movies have swept the top 5 awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay): It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Silence of the Lambs.
# Only three movies have been nominated for the top 5 awards and missed by one win: American Beauty (didn’t win Best Actress), Annie Hall (didn’t win Best Actor), Gone With the Wind (didn’t win Best Actor)
# Only three Best Picture winners have achieved a ‘clean sweep’ at the Oscars, winning every award for which they were nominated: Gigi (nine nominations and awards), The Last Emperor (nine), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (eleven).
# John Cazale, the man who played Fredo Corleone, holds the distinction of being the only actor whose every film was nominated for best picture (The Godfather, The Conversation, Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter). After his death, Cazale appeared in archive footage in Godfather Part III, which was also nominated for Best Picture. Fredo no longer brings shame to the family.
Oscar Statue
# The film with the most nominations without a best picture nomination: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They with 9 nominations.
# Actress Bess Flowers has appeared in the most Best Picture winners: 5. Number I actually saw: 1.

Hope you enjoyed the trivia. Have a good week and weekend everyone and we’ll talk on the other side.

Peace.

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Welcome to the Day-That-Hallmark-Built!

Posted in holiday, humor, personal with tags , on February 14, 2007 by Paxton

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day. Just remember that this holiday was artificially created by greeting card companies to bump up sales during the slow early year months. In fact, tell your Valentine that when she asks to go to dinner. Mention how this holiday is the manifestation of the corporations’ greed and you don’t want to buy into the hype or feed that kind of soulless corporate money-lust. It’s just not right.

Don’t worry, I got your back, you can sleep at my place. 🙂

I was in the process of preparing an article but I think I’m going to save it. Work has been cracking the whip something fierce this week and I just want to enjoy the day. Tonight the wife and I are going to Roy’s here in Jacksonville. We have a gift card, so I’m not personally putting money into the corporate coffers. The place looks really good so I’m stoked. As for the after dinner festivities, well, let me just say without the least bit of exaggeration, that nary a woman can resist when Pax puts on his shiny shoes. That’s all that needs to be said. *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

How cool is the picture up top? A good friend of Steph and mine, Kathy, sent it to us. It looks like she actually created it herself in MS Paint. I love it, so I put it up here for everyone to see. Thanks, Kathy.

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Quick History of the American Candy Bar

Posted in candy, food, pop culture with tags , on February 9, 2007 by Paxton

So, I’ve been in training this week. Yes, again. This particular week we are learning about PeopleSoft Billing and Accounts Receivable. Awesome, huh? I get goose-bumps just talking about it. Seriously, the atmosphere in this class is like the encore at a Lynard Skynard concert. They just started singing Free Bird, lighters are lit and raised, people are losing their minds. It’s almost a religious experience. Oh yeah, I’m completely lying, it’s as boring as last week.

Since the class is so boring, Winn-Dixie is providing a jar of candy to keep us all buzzed on sugar. So not only am I losing consciousness due to lack of interest, I can also hear myself getting fatter eating fist fulls of chocolate trying to stay wake. Seeing as how I’m slowly being bored to death and fattened up by my company, I could just copy and paste last week’s article into this week’s article and be done with it. But you, my readers deserve better.

I was approached recently by my mother-in-law to research and write an article about candy bars. I guess she and HER mother were discussing candy bars they remember from their childhood and wanted to know a little bit about their history and what was the first candy bar. I’ve done that research and the accompanying article is below. It’s fitting that I write this article while shoveling obscene amounts of miniature Hershey bars into my mouth. Enjoy.

Chocolate itself has been enjoyed, as a drink, since the early 16th century. Montezuma, ruler of the Aztecs, the conquistador Cortez, and many of the royal families in Spain have enjoyed drinking chocolate as a beverage. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century in England that chocolate was consumed as a non-liquid confection. Actual bars of chocolate start showing up in the late 1800s. Candy shops would sell off chunks of excess chocolate from their store supplies in order to wring every last penny out of their inventory.

At the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, Milton Hershey would purchase his first chocolate making machinery (up to this point, he only made caramel) and set up shop in Lancaster, PA (later moved to Derry Church, PA). His first Hershey bars would show up a year or so later and get national distribution by the end of the century. This is not to say that other candy bars weren’t around by this point, but it is generally believed that the Hershey bar is the first and oldest still-produced chocolate bar in the world. Other American companies would mix in ingredients like peanuts, caramel, fruit, etc. through the start of 1900, but the chocolate bar wouldn’t really take off in popularity until after World War I.

During WWI, the Army had chocolate manufacturers send 40 pound chocolate blocks that would then be cut into individual-sized bars and given to soldiers in Europe. After the war, when all the soldiers returned home, they had fond memories of those chocolate bars and started buying them. This caused a major boom in the chocolate industry and by the 1920s over 40,000 different chocolate bars could be bought across the country.

That was essentially how the whole candy bar business was born. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting trivia tidbits of these candy bars.

In 1920, the Curtiss Candy Company started producing the Baby Ruth candy bar. Since that time, the origin of the bar’s name has been debated over and over. The official story is that Baby Ruth is named after the daughter of former President Grover Cleveland. Another story contends that the company was looking to capitalize on Babe Ruth’s popularity without paying royalties. Which is true? We may never know, BUT let’s look at some facts. Baby Ruth was introduced in 1920. Grover Cleveland’s last year of office was in 1897, 23 years prior. Grover’s daughter, Ruth, died at age 12, 16 years prior. Babe Ruth was traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees in 1920 and was coming into the height of his popularity. It may all be coincidence. Apparently Ruth Cleveland was born in-between Grover’s two terms in office and, at the time, was a national sensation. Why, though, it took 16 years to get a candy bar named after her, I don’t know. It’s also said that the bar was named after the granddaughter of one of the original formula’s developers. Since he was a nobody, the whole story was concocted as a marketing gimmick. That one is interesting too, but it’s all speculation at this point. An interesting footnote, in order to combat the mis-use of his nickname, Babe Ruth released a candy bar officially endorsed by him. Click here to see the wrapper.

I’ve always enjoyed the “look” of the Zero bar (see pic). I don’t know if you’ve ever had one, but it looks cool, even if it tastes a little weird. I always wondered why they called it Zero. What’s zero? Calories? No. Fat? No. WHAT?! Well, if you look here you can see an early version of the Zero wrapper that shows the original idea was that it was a “cool” treat, as in “zero” degrees cool. Get it? Haha, that’s so dorky.

Did you know 3 Musketeers was originally three small candy bars in one package, hence the name? Also, each bar had a different flavor (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry). Interesting how that concept got lost, huh? Now, the 3 Musketeers bar is a flat taffy-like candy. WTF?!

Well, class, that’s it for today. My information/research came mostly from Wikipedia and the National Confectioners Association website. Also check out The Candy Wrapper Museum and Mike’s Candy Wrapper Page for great images of some of your favorite candies and their packaging. All of those sites are very informative.

Me, I gotta get back to acting like I’m not falling asleep. Oh, by the way, today is my friend Steve’s birthday. Let’s all wish the old sonova ‘B’ a happy one. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEVE!!!

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I’m in Training. Glorious, Glorious Training.

Posted in humor, personal, work with tags on February 1, 2007 by Paxton

Take a look at the picture to the left. Was this picture taken in like 1978? What’s with the tri-fold Science Fair display in the back? Or the easel with the paper and permanent marker? Wow, that’s old school. That’s how the people who worked during the Crusades had on-the-job training. Hard to imagine right? I’m used to sitting in stadium seating like you are at the big game. I’m used to Powerpoint presentations that look like they were directed by Michael Bay. I’m used to a table of bagels and muffins in the back with the 30 different kinds of cream cheese (do we really need a pistachio cream cheese? Really?). Things have come a long way since the Golden Days of training. You wouldn’t know this, however, if you sat in on training with me this week. Actually, staring at that picture is more exciting than the class I’m in right now. Watching the grass grow would be more exciting.

But, Pax, you say, you are learning new skills, broadening your horizons. Nay, I say, NAY. I am dying a slow death, twitching and spasming like a fish on land. The training class is attempting to teach me about the functional implementation of PeopleSoft General Ledger…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……Wha?! Huh?! I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I think I dozed off telling you about it. You see what I mean?

Since the instructor is going to continue to talk, let’s take a tour around the classroom.

training1.jpg

Here’s a picture of my instructor teaching. He manages to drone on about General Ledger concepts as if they were old friends. “Hey, I remember when Balance Sheet and I got hammered and peed in the water supply of a small town in West Virginia! Those were the days!” That just was a fictionalized example. I had to make it more exciting so you wouldn’t lose consciousness reading it. You get the idea, though. He is so dry and boring and he keeps stammering through his sentences. He peppers his lectures with uhhs, ahhs and umms. When he talks, he literally sounds like this:

mumblemumblemumbleUHHmumbleJOURNALSmumbleUMMMmumblemumbleLEDGERS
mumblemumbleAHHHmumbleSPREADSHEETS

You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. How productive can I be listening to that? Answer: Not very.

training_shoes1.jpg

 

So, here’s a picture of my shoe. I got bored watching and listening to our instructor so I just stared staring at my shoe. Pretty boring, right? This was better than the class.

 

training_cables1.jpg

 

Here’s a grouping of cables sitting on my desk. These cables became good friends of mine while the instructor started talking about transaction codes and how they map to journal entry lines. During that lesson, he actually used the phrase “…service my intraunit…” Look, buddy, I don’t know what you like to do with your intraunit, but keep it out of the classroom. Yikes.

Also, whenever an unexpected result happened during one of the instructors “demonstrations”, he says “that’s interesting”. Trust me, dude, it’s not. In fact, it’s anti-interesting. If what you just did and interesting were to ever come in contact, the entire universe would explode. Seriously. It’s one of Newton’s Laws. Look it up.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing this week. Thought I’d let you feel my pain. If you have any pity left in your heart, point it my way. I’m losing consciousness quick.

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