I now know what cranberries really taste like…

< 1 minute read

July 31, 2006, 7:02 PM

First of all, considering my recent illness, I’m pretty much convinced that it was food poisoning, considering that I got really sick all of a sudden, with the fever and all the other symptoms of being sick, and then with it going away so fast like it did.

But now I feel fine, and so life is good. And today, I got something new with my lunch and discovered something. I discovered what cranberries taste like. Previously, whenever I’d have something with cranberries in it, it would usually be something like cranberry sauce, or the food would have cranberries in it. Or if drinking it, it wouldn’t be straight cranberry juice. Cranberry-apple, cranberry-grape, etc. Or even if it was just cranberries, it would have been sweetened.

Today, I bought a 32-ounce container of Ocean Spray 100% all-natural unsweetened cranberry juice (from concentrate) to have some of with my lunch. No one commented on the faces I made, but I certainly made some faces when I was drinking some of that. This was certainly something. I had about half of the container on my lunch, and the other half on my last break. And I did have it all myself. However, I did have to make a minor “adjustment” to it in order to finish the container. “Unsweetened” lost its “un” when I added some sugar to the juice to make it more palatable. I couldn’t handle it straight. Consider this “wimping out”. But I did get my money’s worth out of it, even if I did have to sweeten it slightly.

Categories: Food and drink

I didn’t think it was possible to screw up spaghetti…

< 1 minute read

May 15, 2006, 9:47 PM

Well, it’s Monday night, and the whole house has the smell of burned food in it as I accidentally burned a pot of spaghetti. And of all foods, I thought that spaghetti was the one food that you couldn’t mess up.

And it really is my fault for burning it. I put it in the pot, and then left it for a while, during which time I worked on a future photo set for the Web site and talked to a few friends online. Then, remembering that I had spaghetti on the stove, I “brb”-ed myself, and went downstairs, where the distinct smell of burned food greeted me. I caught that smell and my exact thought was, that’s not a good sign. In the pot, the water had boiled away, and some of the spaghetti was stuck to the pan. So I took it off the heat, and with the pot in one hand, I pulled out the colander and salvaged what I could. The spaghetti was sticky and slightly gloppy, but I got it out. I also scraped out a lot of burned spaghetti. Eww. And right down the garbage disposal with that. That pot’s going to need a little work to get all that gunk off of it.

But the unburned spaghetti was salvageable, and I still had a nice dinner, after I added the chunky Ragu sauce. But now we know better for next time, despite that after so many cookings of spaghetti, this is the first time I’ve screwed it up.

Categories: Food and drink

Thirsty or not!

< 1 minute read

April 13, 2006, 9:48 PM

Well, I was productive today. I found a little tiny stub article on Wikipedia about the soda Grapette, and adopted it as one of my own, and fleshed it out into an article that very well could become a featured article one day.

But don’t take my word for it. Let me show you. This is what I started out with. And then this is what I turned it into. And this shows the differences in the last revision before I started and the final revision that I made.

And what’s funny is that Grapette doesn’t even particularly send me. The way people talk about this soda, you’d think it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a grape soda, and it tastes grapey. Whoopty-doo.

Otherwise, though, today was the first day that I broke out the shorts and flip-flops. It was in the upper 70s today, and being off work today, I went casual. Really casual. I wore my fire alarm t-shirt with it, and so life is good. I don’t wear my Schumin Web apparel nearly enough anymore. Still, life is good.

Categories: Food and drink, Wikipedia

The first test of my no-red-meat pledge…

2 minute read

March 24, 2006, 10:12 PM

Today at work was the first real test of my will after having given up red meat (as a stepping stone towards vegetarianism) at the beginning of this month.

How was this different from otherwise?

Two words: free food. Work had a cookout for all the associates today.

Considering I’m working on paying off a Mercury Sable, I’m usually not one to pass up a meal that someone else is paying for. And what did I do?

I passed it up.

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Categories: Food and drink, Myself

A whole bunch of health topics…

< 1 minute read

March 1, 2006, 11:15 PM

First of all, I can’t get over that it’s been a year since I had that pilonidal cyst removed. A year. On my way up to DC yesterday, I was thinking about the operation. Recalling from this Journal entry, “…I arrived at AMC at 6:30 and was out before noon.”

How interesting, though, that on the anniversary of the operation, I went to Washington. And went ice skating.

Meanwhile, I’ve gotten comments from three different people that I look like I’ve lost weight. One was Mom, and two were coworkers. So these are people who see me all the time and have noticed these things. It’s gotten me thinking. I’ve been heavy for most of my life, but I like to think I’ve always carried it fairly well. Still, if one modifies one’s eating habits, who knows how far we can go.

Now before you think crash diets or anything like that, let me say this. For some time now, I’ve admired vegetarians. These are the people who have managed to eliminate meat from their diets. Meat, particularly red meat, is kind of fatty, and not exactly the most healthy thing on earth. I’ve contemplated making a changeover to vegetarianism, but I’ve also realized that if I were to make a change all at once, I’d break it the next day. Too radical. Too much at once.

Bowever, lately, in thinking about this, I’ve been wondering how difficult it would be if I worked out certain classes of meat one at a time, while exploring around a bit food-wise. I’m thinking it just might work. I’m still contemplating it, though.

Catching up…

< 1 minute read

December 22, 2005, 6:39 PM

First of all, despite the site outage, its resolution, and related kinks to be worked out in restoring everything, I’m still doing the Journal, though composing the entries offline to be added in later (the time, however, does reflect the time of wrtiting). It’s been so long in writing because I’ve been hoping that this would be a short downtime. Since it seems it will be longer in getting things fixed, it’s time to get some things going again.

You’ve probably wondered what happened with the previous entry, regarding whether or not I would be brilliant or stupid with clearing my window. Turned out I was brilliant, but ended up looking stupid another way. What happened? I got my driver’s side door to open, but then I was unable to get it to close again. Mom ended up taking me to work. Mom later got the door closed, too. It had something to do with some gunk. I still don’t completely understand what’s going on there. But the door closes. Previously, I’d had some trouble getting it closed on really cold mornings, but never before had I been unable to get it closed.

Otherwise, I stocked up on Vault. The 20-ounce single-serve bottles are perfect for the drive to work.

My trip to Starbucks to get a Venti Coffee Frappuccino…

4 minute read

October 10, 2005, 9:57 PM

I finally visited the new Starbucks Coffee in Waynesboro after work today. Yes, that’s right. Starbucks in Waynesboro. I never thought of Waynesboro as a Starbucks kind of town, but there you have it. I guess someone thought we were.

So I went over there to check the place out. It was built on a small property, where the old KFC once stood (KFC moved to a bigger property next door and the old building was demolished). It’s bigger inside than it looks, too. Going in, I remembered SpinnWebe‘s parody of my original Wal-Mart photo set, now in Life and Times, and so I ordered a Venti Coffee Frappuccino. So this is what it looked like:

Venti Coffee Frappuccino at Starbucks in Waynesboro

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What a wonderful day Wednesday was…

4 minute read

September 8, 2005, 11:41 PM

I went down as far as Blacksburg on Wednesday. My goal was to visit two people: Sis at Virginia Tech, and my friend Amanda Mone, who I first met in December at the Roanoke Star.

But first, I had some shopping to do. Coca-Cola recently launched Vault, which is marketed as an energy drink, but is basically Surge in a new package. Currently, Coca-Cola is test-marketing it, and Roanoke is one of the areas where it’s being test-marketed. So I went down to the Wal-Mart next to Valley View Mall and got some. First I bought a 20-ounce bottle, to make sure it was really Surge in drag. It was a match! So I went and bought ten bottles of it, so that I’ll have lots of it, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to get down to Roanoke again to get some more.

I also checked out the Halloween aisles, since I was looking for a certain Halloween item that Wal-Mart sold last year that I was hoping they were going to sell again. You may recall that I mentioned in December about a mechanized black cat that reared up on its hind legs and sang a song that went like, “I’m just an alley cat, with an alley life.” I’d been unsuccessful in finding it in Waynesboro so far this year. I figured this store in Roanoke is bigger than Waynesboro, so it might be in this store. And I was right! So I bought the cat, and I’ll be figuring out all the lyrics. All I know is that I’m pretty psyched that I finally got my hands on it. I honestly thought I’d never hear that song again. And it’s catchy.

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Never underestimate the power of a man and his blender…

2 minute read

September 6, 2005, 7:41 PM

Today was interesting. After work, I attempted to recreate one of my favorite Mr. Smoothie drinks, the Lemonade Limeade Freeze, at home.

How was it, you ask? Tart. I did it just like I’d seen the people do at Pentagon City time and time again. Juice from lemons and limes, ice, sugar, and water. However, I’m guessing that the “water” isn’t just water, but really some sort of special Mr. Smoothie concoction that’s a trade secret (which I am of course not privy to).

So I went in the kitchen and tried it, adjusting to taste. To save some trouble, instead of squeezing real lemons and limes, I cheated and bought the juice in a bottle. So I mixed it all up, first in a glass, and then in the blender. Juice in the glass. Add water. Throw that in the blender. So far so good. Next I added the sugar directly to the mix already in the blender. Okay. Next, I went to the refrigerator, set the ice dispenser to “crushed”, and got a big cup full of crushed ice. Since it looked too “wet” in there, I added some more. With me so far? So I have lemon juice, lime juice, water, sugar, and crushed ice in the blender.

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Categories: Food and drink

Jolt Cola: It really does exist!

3 minute read

July 12, 2005, 10:50 PM

I could not believe it today when I went to the 7-Eleven after work for some refreshment. Looking in the drink cooler, I found Jolt Cola. I was surprised, because I’d heard of it for so long, but had never ever seen it. I was starting to think that Jolt Cola, the soda that was completely LOADED with caffeine, was an urban legend, since people had spoken of it, but I’d never seen it before. But now I know it’s real, and it’s weird. Take a look:

Jolt Cola - it does exist!

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Malcolm X Park: Mission Accomplished

9 minute read

July 7, 2005, 9:48 PM

Yes, I had a very productive time in Washington DC. Though I did get a touch of a late start. But we recovered. I ended up making up the time by hurrying along my Sheetz stop on the way up, plus traffic was lighter than usual going in. Usually I hit a considerable bottleneck from mile 41-45 on eastbound I-66, and this time, while I did encounter traffic (slowed due to construction vehicle movements), it was not as bad as I’ve seen it. So I was able to breeze right through. I still got to Vienna a touch late, but no problem.

I also finally found some background information on the I-66 construction.

At Vienna, I got a pleasant surprise – a parking spot on the top level, close to the elevator. Usually, and especially since the garage rehabilitation project began, I can only get a parking spot in the North Garage after 10:00, when the guaranteed spaces open up. So that was handy. Also, the rehabilitation work has moved once again, now encompassing the western ramp between levels. How strange it is to have that section closed off now, since that’s the ramp I usually use going up and down.

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You’ve heard of Deep Dish? This is what we call “Cheap Dish”.

2 minute read

June 25, 2005, 5:45 PM

Yes, tonight, dinner consists of what I call “cheap dish pizza”. In other words, Great Value is the name of the game. Store brand pizza. Whoopty-doo. Of course, on a Wal-Mart income, that’s what it’s about. Still, that ought to be pretty good.

Meanwhile, Mom’s been organizing and rearranging things in my bathroom lately. I have two words for it: BAD IDEA. She completely rearranged all the stuff in my bathroom that I use on a regular basis. In fact, it’s been in the same place for so long in there that I can reach for it all while still half-asleep (and sometimes do end up doing just that). So Mom rearranged. A big handful of my Q-tips ended up in a container on top of the toilet. My blue toiletry tote that sits on the counter and contains all my toiletries was missing, and the contents scattered all around the bathroom. My toothbrush was in a holder elsewhere in the bathroom. My flosser was in there, too. My deodorant was in the closet. So was my dental floss on a string. And then while the flosser was in the aforementioned holder (that had always been known for being downright nasty), the floss clips that fit it were in the closet. All on different shelves all over the bathroom. And my toiletry tote was in the bottom of the closet, empty.

Needless to say, this rearrangement of my stuff without even so much as telling me was not wanted nor appreciated. My Q-tips went back in the box. Q-tips are for cleaning ears, not for display. That little container went back in the closet empty. My tote came back out. And all the stuff that went in it went back into it in the proper places. Everything I needed to use regularly went back where it was before. When I am ready to rearrange, then I will rearrange. And for someone who doesn’t even use that bathroom to come in and totally rearrange it really irritates me.

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“I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

< 1 minute read

June 14, 2005, 10:42 PM

On my lunch break, I went to our in-store McDonald’s to get lunch, since our lines on the front end were backed out the wazoo (even the self-checkouts!). McDonald’s wasn’t busy. So since they weren’t busy, I decided to see what their reaction would be. I came up to the counter, and said that famous line of Wimpy‘s: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

And the reaction?

*crickets chirping with blank stares*

Yeah, none of the people at the counter got it. The manager, however, did get it, and got a kick out of it.

Sometimes throwing pop culture references around is fun. Also amusing is that today was Thesday, so “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” was rather odd. Of course, I did gladly pay them Tuesday for a hamburger today, since it was Tuesday and all…

Categories: Food and drink, Television

Goodness… it’s been ten days since I’ve had caffeine!

< 1 minute read

March 10, 2005, 8:23 PM

No one’s more surprised than me. The last time I had any caffeine was a Coke at AMC right after the procedure. And it wasn’t intentional, either. It just happened that way that I haven’t had any caffeine in ten days. All I have to say is that when I do have a soda again, probably after I go back to Wal-Mart, I’ll probably be bouncing off the walls.

Meanwhile, I’m itching to go somewhere. I haven’t been out since the surgery on the 28th. Considering that I’ve been working on various Washington DC photos lately, both in an “Urban Demolition” photo set that I’ve been working on (coming soon!), and all those Transit Center photos I put up last week, I’m really itching to go to Washington again. Depending on how well I’ve healed up, I want to go at the end of this month or the beginning of next month.

Otherwise, Sis comes back from Europe tomorrow! I’ll be so glad to see her again. Especially since when she came back from VT, I only saw her for 20 minutes at most. Plus I’ll be interested to see how she did with her new digital camera.

Categories: Family, Food and drink, Myself

What would you say if it was me behind the wheel of your transit bus?

4 minute read

February 21, 2005, 1:42 AM

What would you say? Well, I can’t say you’ll be seeing me driving a bus any time soon, but I did get someone to take a picture of me behind the wheel of a Harrisonburg Transit bus on Friday. That will be my cover photo for March on the site.

Otherwise, though, photographing in Blacksburg on Wednesday turned out to be quite successful. I got a whole load of bus photos, and also various other non-bus photos. Plus I got to eat dinner with my sister, which was nice.

I also discovered that Coca-Cola is coming out with a new flavor – Coca-Cola with lime. This is regular Coke, with the lime flavoring. This is NOT a diet soda! This is regular Coke. I tried it. It’s got a good flavor. It’s not like Pepsi Twist. This is like Vanilla Coke – it’s there, but it’s not obnoxious, and you’d think that the two had been together for ages. Pepsi Twist honestly tasted like Pepsi with some strange-tasting lemon flavor in it. Only place I’ve found the new Coca-Cola with lime so far is the Wal-Mart in Salem, where I stopped to make a pit stop on my way down. I’m sure it will be around elsewhere before too long.

Otherwise, I have confirmed that my sister is coming with me to DC on April 16! Though it might be more appropriate to say “A16”, considering what we’re going to a big demonstration on third-world debt. This will be my sister’s first big DC demonstration! Awwww…

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