Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cereal Killer

I just love the title of this post. It used to be my name on MSN messenger. For some reason certain people found it disturbing, whereas I think it's hilarious, particularly given my Seinfeldian love affair with cereal. It's not just for breakfast!

This brings us to a recent visit to the grocery store made by my wife.






What I wanted









What I got












What my wife bought for herself





Fiber One -am I eighty years old? The cereal I really wanted is fairly healthy (a good source of whole grain, as you can see in the pic above), whereas she purchased LUCKY CHARMS for herself. This dichotomy would be hard to understand without realizing that my wife is afflicted with OCD. Not the OCD you are familiar with, but Obsessive Coupon Disorder (hat tip to my honeymooning friend Eric for coining the term). Naturally Fiber One was on sale/she had a coupon, and since it contained honey clusters, she reasoned it was virtually the same thing as what I wanted. I explained that when the first word in a cereal's name is FIBER, it basically means that the cereal contains as much fiber as if you ate the cardboard box it comes in, and it may taste better. I can't complain too much, as I do really appreciate how she handles the food shopping, but I just think that is a funny story on her thought process!

Random cereal reviews
1) Fiber One with honey clusters: Not as bad as I expected, but not very tasty either. The box is about half gone 2.5 weeks after purchase, not counting the time in CA where I couldn't have eaten it. This is a long time for cereal to last around me, so we know I'm not too excited. However I will definitely be able to finish the box, and it is very healthy fiber-wise, so I will give it
2.25 out of 5 stars.

2) Kashi Go Lean: The worst tasting cereal ever made. I don't care how healthy this is, I can't even choke it down.
0 out of 5 stars.

3) Honey Bunches of Oats: The best cereal on the market. I'm a cereal mixer, but there's no need with HBO, as it already combines just the right amount of different textures and flavors. Exquisite! And decently healthy too!
5 out of 5 stars.

4) Cheerios: Old standby that will always be there for you. Not an outstanding flavor on its own, but serviceable, and a great mixer. The vanilla ice cream of cereals. You'll leave it for more glamorous brands, but eventually you'll be back, and it will be there waiting, wagging its tail like always.
4 stars out of 5

5) Post Selects Banana Nut Crunch: The only cereal that can challenge HBO. Has slightly lower texture marks, but potentially a little better flavor. Loses out mainly on its normally higher price point.
Still, 5 out of 5 stars.

6) Cracklin Oat Bran: This cereal puts the crack in Cracklin. Seriously, it's addictive. However, it is overpriced and masquerades as healthier than it is: 225 calories for 3/4 cup serving. 8 grams of fat is pretty high too. However, in addition to tasting great, it also has some health benefit with 6.4g of dietary fiber.
I give it 4 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Final score

1) In-N-Out - 2 times
2) Chicago Fire -only once, but perfect
3) Jersey Mike's - 2 times
4) Original Pete's - 3 times
5) Ettore's - 3 cinnamon rolls that my wife brought home. I'm pretty sure I gained 12 pounds on this trip.
6) The Gold Miner's Cafe (or possibly Venita Ray's) - the only one that didn't happen. I set up to meet at Venita Ray's on Friday morning, but I just had too much going on. And I was exhausted on Thursday night, so there was no way I could have gotten up early enough to meet for breakfast before my 8:30 meeting on Friday, not to mention the fact I was driving in from Folsom (aka the far side of the moon).

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Perfection

It is almost a sobering thought to realize that, at the age of 29, I have experienced the best that mankind has to offer: Chicago Fire Pizza. No pizza in Dallas can ever compare.

Quotes from my superlative dining experience last night:

"If you live in Sacramento, and haven't gone to Chicago Fire, you're just a fool. I PITY THE FOOL."

"Every bit of this pizza is perfect. The sauce. The cheese. The toppings. The crust. Especially the crust. Perfect."

"I don't even understand how people here are addicted to crack when they could have this instead."

"If you told me you had eaten here and did not like it, I would be angry at you."

"I would definitely do a commercial for them, especially if they paid me in pizza!"

In a comment to how it has achieved the status of being used as a metaphor:
"San Diego is the Chicago Fire of places to live."

"Will it even be heaven if there isn't Chicago Fire pizza there?"

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Eating in Sacramento!

Inspired by David over at allkindsoftime, I too am composing a list of places I will visit to eat after arriving in Sacramento this Saturday.

1) IN-N-OUT!!!! OHHHHYEAH. On the way in from the airport

2) Chicago Fire Pizza. Two things that suck in Dallas - pizza and radio. This will take care of one.

3) Jersey Mike's. We actually have one of these in Dallas, but it's far away. I miss being able to go there from work for lunch.

4) Original Pete's Pizza - for old times sake. This was long one of my favorite hangouts before I even met my wife, and then a favorite of both of ours after that.

5) Ettore's - most of you probably think of this as too foo-foo a bakery for me, but my wife got me hooked on their cinnamon rolls.

6) The Gold Miner's Cafe (or possibly Venita Ray's, where I used to meet Friday mornings with the guys from my men's Bible Study) for a hearty breakfast.


That's probably it for the must-visit places for me. No doubt my wife will make several visits to Baja Fresh. She loves that place, but for some reason it isn't very popular in Texas. You can hardly turn around without bumping into a Chipotle, but there are maybe two Baja Fresh locations in the whole Dallas area, both far from us.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Quick update

We've had company in town and whatnot, so I've been too busy for blogging. Here's a quick update on what's going on with me.

1) With the help of a friend, I (finally) installed a ceiling fan in our guest bedroom. One down, one to go, as I have another one still to install in the office (or the den, as my wife likes to refer to it).

2) Our friend from Sacramento arrived Friday to visit, along with his sister who had just moved into a new house in San Antonio. He had come out to help her with landscaping, unpacking, etc. in her new house, and they swung up to Big D to visit us over the weekend.

3) After their arrival, we immediately set out to experience some real Texas BBQ at Rudy's in Denton. We were looking for a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, which this sort of seemed to be, but it turns out that it is in fact a chain. Yet it was still very tasty - the meat was done just right. After a couple of wrong turns on the way there which allowed us to see quite a bit of Texas countryside, I was ravenous by the time we actually arrived, so I could have gone for some larger portions. Whatever happened to "Everything's bigger in Texas!"? I'm discovering at this point that any BBQ in this area that is really tasty has already gone the franchise route. I don't think there are too many mom-and-pop shops left. Wal-mart will probably enter this market soon.

4) Thanks to some helpful tips from our visiting friends, I cooked corn on the cob on the grill for the first time. Delicious! Not that impressive to most of you I know, but any culinary skill is a big deal for me.

5) Our friends noticed that something was wrong with our upstairs shower, which could certainly be true as we rarely ever even go upstairs, much less use the shower up there. It seemed to have trouble getting any hot water at all. In fact, as you turned the handle all the way to hot, the water slowed to a mere trickle. We eventually dismantled the handle to see what was going on, after many trips outside to turn the water to the house on and off. There turned out to be some sort of giant spider in the hole where the valve to shut off the water is, and I'll admit to some reluctance to stick my hand down in there with a big wrench. We debated whether or not to attempt to kill the spider first, but it appeared to be hiding so we just let it be. We also had to recruit our neighbor into the process, both for plumbing advice and because I lacked the necessary allen wrench to take off the shower handle. I had 3/32 and 1/8, but I needed 7/64, right in between those. After all that, I don't know exactly what we did that fixed the problem, but all our banging around seemed to have loosened up whatever was blocking the line, as we heard something flush through and then we had plenty of hot water.




6) After a failed attempt to check out the boats at the little lake in our community on Sunday when our friends were visiting (not enough lifeguards to watch the pool and the lake), my wife and I returned to try again yesterday after our friends had departed and she got home from work early. This time we were able to take out the aqua-cycle, which turned out to be quite a workout, particularly if you tried to go against the direction of the water flow. That was the last day of the season for renting boats, so we were glad to have been able to fit that in.

7) I've finally finished the setup for the fantasy football league that I'm helping to run here. That leaves me at being in three leagues this year, one I drafted live on the phone back in Sac, another one on the web, and the live draft here. This matches my high from two or three years ago. Soon I will post the big-screen TV investigation that I have ongoing to replace the one I left behind in Sacramento (now proudly owned by the proprietor of the vertigopop blog). We need to get moving on this purchase so that I can have it for most of the football season. Too late to get it for week one :( I'm being held up by the fact that it would require some minor woodworking to fit the TV that I really want into the designated space in our family room, plus the fact that I will be in Sacramento for the first two weeks of the football season anyway.