Monday, June 18, 2007

I had a lot of fun with this today. It's too bad I can't save my mix - clicking instruments on and off - to share with you all, but it should entertain you for about five minutes.

Chick chick boom chick-achicka boom!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Imagine how echo-ey it is in here. For scale, dig those doorways on the bottom right and bottom left of the photo.

Now imagine letting loose with a giant sneeze right in the middle of the room. I already thought sneezes were enjoyable, but I've never experienced one in as massive an echo chamber as this. I think my sneeze lasted about 23 seconds by the time it disappeared into the nether realms of the building where only ghosties and stray echos are kept.
This is Union Station in Kansas City and boy is it huge. I mean HUGE! Imagine if airport terminals looked like this. Why, it would almost make waiting for your overdue flight a joy. I dare say that it would . . . if you could sneeze every once in a while.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Shelf-Stable Milk: A Follow-Up

This morning, I decided to have some cold cereal. Dumped a pile of wheat pockets (Safeway's brand of Wheat Chex) into a bowl and then opened the fridge for some milk. What th'!?! No milk? Fine, I'll have some of Heidi's soy milk then. Hmmm. Lot's of boxes resembling soy milk (broth, soup), but none of them would go well with Wheat Pockets and honey. To the pantry! She must have an extra one stashed on a shelf (stably). Nope nope and nope. Does this mean that I have no milk for my cereal? Yes indeedy.

Sure wish I had that milk from yesterday.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Had a humorous moment at The Knitting Factory tonight. Eric's brother Ryan had a gig at 8:15p, and the band before them seemed . . . well . . . inexperienced; as if the freshman class Chess Club decided to form a band, learned a few chords and emoted furtively on a stage. They were about to start a song - the drummer just started clicking his drum sticks together in a manner suggesting Grandma's muffled metronome and was on his third click of four - when some jams-wearing music lover up at the front of the stage popped open a beer. The sound drowned out the last click from the drummer so the song began without the band member standing nearest the beer can, the bass player. It took him a few bewildered bars to catch up. Eric and I howled in the back of the room; the timing couldn't have been better or worse (depending on who you ask).

It's lunchtime here at wordinedgewise, and Heidi's just made me a delicious meal of curried chicken with cranberries and almonds, whole wheat naan bread, and spinach. So I thought, "What better to wash down that tasty treat than Shelf Stable Milk?"

Mmm mmm! Nothing like Ultra High Temperature (UHT) processed milk in a juice box to really bring out the subtle nuances of the curry. Supposedly, no preservatives have been added to make this milk shelf stable, and the nutritional information seems to validate this claim. The best-if-used-by date is Feb. 2008. That's a ways away - that seems impossible knowing what I know of milk going bad and all (and I know a LOT, let me tell ya). But why do I have this in the first place, you ask? Well, the answer may not be as simple as you think, assuming you think that I bought it at the grocery store. Because I didn't. I got it from the United States government by way of their military. But why are you getting food handouts from the military, you ask? It's because of a claim I made to a certain Lieutenant at Ft. Irwin; I said that In-N-Out Burger, besides having delicious fries, has the best milk in the world. Yes, you heard me: The Best Milk. He found this claim to be outrageous and demanded to be taken to In-N-Out in order to try their world-class milk. Plus, since he'd never been there, he took the opportunity to get a Double-double animal style and some fries. And he got a milk. After sampling the milk, he looked non-plussed.

"Eh eh?! What do you think?" I asked eagerly.
"Meh," he said. "Tastes like milk."
"oh nononono, but they keep it on ice so it's as cold as can be. It doesn't taste different to you?"
"Not really," he replied. "You know what milk I like?" (you can see where this is going)
"What," I said, disappointed.
"Have you ever heard of shelf-stable milk?"

Between mouthfuls of french fries, he went on to explain to me that the military provides a variety of new and interesting preserved items for the dogfaces to field test. He asked me if I wanted a few MREs when we parted ways the next day and I said sure. For good measure, he tossed in a carton of milk.

"Give it a try and tell me what you think," he said. This was a month ago.

So now I'm trying it. The verdict?
It tastes like individually wrapped Kraft Singles in liquid form. Very processed cheesy. Milk should not taste processed cheesy. It should taste like the milk from In-N-Out. Well, let's see what they suggest I do with their cheesy milk besides drink it. On the side of the carton, the Gossner family suggests that one can use this milk for:

School Lunch
Food Storage

My vote goes to the last option. I hope it gets stored indefinitely.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Accident Prone

Here's a rundown of a few of my clumsier moments from this last week:

1. The Grand Slam that Wasn't

At softball on Tuesday, I had a monster hit that sailed deep into center field with two outs and the bases loaded. The outfielders were still running after it as I rounded second, but this is the moment when I, normally sure-footed, chose to stagger. I nearly ended up on my face in the dirt, but I managed to keep my feet with some large, ungainly, thudding steps. This didn't help my top speed though, and I ended up having to stop at third; if I'd kept my feet, I could have made it home. That moment played over and over again in my head that night - I have no recollection of catching my toe on second base or anything. It's like my internal gyroscope chose that particular instance to reset, because I have no explanation for my loss of balance.

2. The Burning Calf

I broiled some Chili Lime Chicken burgers on Thursday. They're some of my favorite things from Trader Joe's. I eat 'em with Ortega chilis, fresh tomato, avocado, and spinach all on a sweet, whole wheat bun. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Well, I just finished broiling my second two (Heidi and Rachel came home from a shoot and ate the first two, the dirty thieves) and I was breaking down the little box that the burgers come in to toss it into our recycling bin when I nearly fell down. What the . . .?!! But that's when I felt it. My leg was touching the oven, and I didn't even know it until my spinal cord decided to launch me across the kitchen to escape the burning on my calf. I stared, puzzled, at the oven because I had NO idea that it got that hot on the outside. "Maybe my leg's just sensitive," I thought, and I reached over to touch the side of the oven. "OUCH!!" I burnt my fingers, too.

3. A Race for Tempura

Last night, I decided to bake some tempura vegetables for dinner. I preheated the oven - the nasty, cruel oven - placed my tempura inside, then went to the living room to check my email until they finished cooking. At the appointed time, I jumped up and zipped toward the kitchen; my habit is to do a series of juke moves that gets me through my small, Z-shaped hallway in the quickest way possible. However, Heidi and I just bought a new armoire so the contents of the old armoire are strewn about in piles all over the place. Our TV is sitting on its rolly pedestal in the tail of the Z; it's big enough to take up most of the hallway and this threw off my juke. I slid past, and rather than having to bounce off of my left foot, I had more of a straight shot to the kitchen than usual. HOWEVER, I completely forgot about the sharp edged speaker stands that were sitting to the side in the hallway and I barreled right into them. I crashed into a painful heap cursing my stupidity for putting them there. When I staggered to my feet, I discovered that I was bleeding in many places. My right hip had a small gash in it, but my right forearm came out the worst - I have about five inches of missing skin near my wrist and several cuts from landing on the edge of the speaker stand and bouncing a couple of times. I bit it HARD!
Despite all of this, I didn't forget about my tempura. Lifting my bleeding arm above my head, I dashed into the kitchen, grabbed my food from the oven - the despicable oven - tossed it on a trivet, then bolted into the shower. Yowch! Serious stinging action. Moments later, I found my first aid kit in the closet and dressed my injuries. The tape's gonna hurt like the dickens when I remove it today to redress.

4. Lapping Milk

And now for the straw that broke this clumsy, bumbling camel's back. I usually breakfast at my computer since there a few blog sites I like to visit first thing in the morning - sort of the modern equivalent of reading the paper at the breakfast table. This morning's breakfast option was cold cereal - the Safeway version of wheat chex. As I lifted the bowl to drink the leftover milk, my spoon slipped and I made a spastic move to keep it from falling out of the bowl. This produced an effect in the milk not unlike a wave pool; the milk sloshed backwards, gathering itself for the rush forward. I watched it all in slow motion, helpless to keep it inside the bowl; the wave came forward, crested and broke over the lip of the bowl, splashing down onto my crotch with a wet slap. "Aww MAN! What's my deal?!" I yelled.

And then I wrote this (after I mopped up the milk, of course). Seriously, it's as if I'm making up for lost time with the amount of pratfalls I've condensed into one week.