I’ve been looking for that niche product that’ll finally get me a chip and a seat at the big table. I think I may have finally found it. It’s hard to believe the answer was right in front of my face the whole time.
Would it surprise you if I said I’m rather chipped off about it?
I’ve decided to invent a new variety of potato chip. Believe it or not, I feel the market is wide open for this sort of thing.
To assist with product design, I’ve identified several key variables: Preparation, Cut, Salt and Flavor.
Santana DVX sparkling wine (aka “champagne”) is the perfect pairing to this post because it is so crisp.
This post is going to require some maths. And here I thought there were lots of varieties of Wheat Thins. Compared to potato chips? Wheat Thins ain’t shit.
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A trip to the Walmart in pictures
All photographs in this post were iPhoned by the blogger formerly known as ~#^7>u. Please, no autographs. I hate writing that fucking name. Next time I’m going to change my name to . or somethin’.
Yeah, I took a trip to the Walmart once. The other day my wife said she was going, so naturally I asked, “Can I come along?”
There were no anti-bacterial wipes at the entrance so my wife had to actually touch the shopping cart. And she hasn’t touched anything since – especially me! We asked the official greeter about the wipes, but she feigned ignorance.
Just to mess with my wife, I demanded an Egg McMuffin (no meat) before we actually stepped inside the store. Luckily there was a McDonald’s right there. Handy! It has been my dream to walk around a Walmart with McDonald’s food in my hand. Scratch one from my New Year’s resolutions list!
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Freedom fries again
Freedom fries have been attacked. Freedom fries will be defended.
Remember the good old days when politician hyperbole was limited to things like “freedom fries?” Well, maybe not. Maybe that golden era never existed. But that’s a far cry from things like a “Satan sandwich” and “Satan fries.” No, I’m not making that up. Google it. It’s there.
But this isn’t a post about that. This is a post about foods.
Last Monday the Cow Orker was hungry. She said she was going to the Mexican fast food drive thru restaurant up the street. She asked if I wanted anything.
“I’ll take some french fries, please.”
Everyone thought I was nuts. French fries at a Mexican restaurant? “We’ll see,” I said with a wizened look in my eye.
She came back with a huge container of piping hot fries. They had made them fresh just for me. They were delicious, gorgeous, plump, beautiful and served up in a large styrofoam container. And the whole order was only $1.80. I think a large order at McDonalds costs almost twice as much.
The Cow Orker was insanely jealous. “I’ll just sit here and eat my chips. The English contribution to world cuisine: the chip!” Mwuhahaha!
Today she decided to go back and get her own. She was positively beside herself with the wanting of the chips. She came back in the office talking about “disappointment.” For a moment, that made me jealous. What the hell is my personal companion doing flirting with someone else?
We gathered around the sad little bag she had returned with. She reached in and pulled out this tiny, greasy mess that looked more like a potato massacre than anything resembling what we had seen on Monday.
Limp. Lifeless. Greasy. Mushy. Lackluster. Wanting. Decidedly not served in a big stryofoam container but a little cup. Sad. Pathetic. Impotent. Spent. Waste. Different. Barely warm.
“What happened?” we asked.
She explained that she had ordered the exact same thing as before. It was $1.80, just like before. But the server had no idea what she was talking about when she explained that these fries were completely different. “No, no,” she was assured. “That’s how they always are.”
Except for that apparently make-believe land of 48 hours ago.
And that’s how I earned the title, Lord of the Fries.
Chess and Mate
The other day I strolled up to my lovely wife and said, “I just beat the computer at chess, playing white, for the first time at level six.”
Her reaction wasn’t exactly what I had hoped.
“Jesus Christ,” she said. “You’re getting into chess now, too?”
Click here for an expertly annotated game I played recently. Actually, it’s very advanced stuff. Never mind. Don’t click this link. You can’t handle the link!
Uh oh. Somehow I just found my way to the doghouse. Again.
Back when I was younger, in my 20s I think, I had the luxury of time. Those were the good old days. I can still remember it. I can remember what it was like to have so much time that you could actually feel bored.
Yes, those were the days. You could do crazy things like lay around the house all weekend eating Cheetos and watching all of the U.S. Open from start to finish on a three-day weekend. No, I didn’t like tennis that much, but since I was bored it became something that could be done. I watched a lot of tennis when I was younger. The last ten years of my life? Not so much.
Long story short, back then I had this little Radio Shack chess board. You could play a game of chess against the computer. You’d press your piece into the board to indicate your move and little LED lights would show the computer’s moves. For the hell of it, I decided to see how far I could take it. I started on the lowest level of difficulty and played games alternating white and black. When I won two games in a row I’d move up a level in difficulty. If I lost a game I went down a level in difficulty.
Since I had free time up the ass and I was bored it was no big deal to lay around the house for hours on end playing the computer in chess. I got to learn the way that sucker played. I learned his tricks. I learned the way he thinked. And my chess game improved. I got to where I could consistently beat the thing on the upper levels. But it took a hella investment in time.
But that was then. This is now. And here in the now time is my enemy like you wouldn’t believe.
These days life is lived almost exclusively 24/7 with hair on fire. It’s wake up and do this and that. Then hurry to get to work. Then race home and do the evening routine. Then try to get a few minutes in with the spouse. Then watch TV together. Then go to bed. Repeat.
There’s no time to stop and smell the roses. No time to have leisurely conversations with my wife, like laying on our backs in a field looking up at the clouds in the sky.
These days I am never ever bored. My opinion regarding boredom has definitely evolved over time. These days I view it as a decadent luxury. It’s a thing of the past, something reserved for other people.
Being who I am, though, being a curious sort, I can’t help myself from becoming interested in things. Things that take time. This is where I get into a bit of trouble.
Over three years ago a friend talked me into trying World of Warcraft (WOW), something I had resisted successfully until then. Who the hell needs a time suck like that in their life? The William Shatner commercial for WOW on TV didn’t help – it sucked me in hard. I had to get me some of that. My friend dropped out and there I was still playing all by myself. For the win! Two years later and I had a bunch of level 80 characters and my wife hated motherfucking WOW.
Then there was photography, which I’m still very much into, but just taking a little break because of the restraints of time.
And blogging, of course. I’m hard core about the blogging. The decision to write every single day has had a dramatic effect of my life. Everything is a skosh more compressed than it used to be. Free time is even more precious.
Seemingly I’m always on the lookout for the next thing that will suck up my time. Like chess. Meanwhile, I find myself thinking crazy shit like, “I’d like to take guitar lessons” or “I should learn a second language.”
Since I got the iPod other things are creeping in, too. Like a virtual flower garden where I grow flowers from seeds and then email them to my wife. The only problem? She’s mega-pissed that I won’t go help in our real garden. (Real fresh outside air. Danger! Danger!)
Perhaps I’ll even write a book. (Never gonna happen.)
We’re all going to die sometime. It’s only a question of how and when. You will too, Captain. Don’t you feel time gaining on you? It’s like a predator; it’s stalking you. Oh, you can try and outrun it with doctors, medicines, new technologies but in the end, time is going to hunt you down… and make the kill.
–Dr. Soran just before he threw himself into The Nexus
What’s next? And what are your time-crunching diversions?
The Chef’s Pairing for this post has been canceled. It was going to be “I’m a Potato” by Devo but apparently their music is too good to be on the internet where, you know, people might actually listen to it. Instead, please enjoy the Special of the Day made with last week’s ingredients.