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Start Date 2006-10-09 16:01:55 |Comments 5 |Entries 9 |Images 4 |

Category: food

04/17/07 06:22 - 44ºF - ID#38931

Chocolate is King

While sorting through the aftermath of the Easter holiday week, I found a couple of bags of unmarked jelly beans that my mother left in my apartment. I'm not sure why they're here, since my mother knows very well that I'm not too fond of jelly beans (don't worry, I got plenty of real Easter candy too).

I decided that I should at least do a taste test, before writing the beans off completely. There were 2 unlabeled Ziploc bagfuls, which I will now refer to as Group A and Group B. Sampling a bean from Group A first, I was instantly struck by its overall gritty texture. This sandy candy was not for me. I then put that bag down and tried a bean from Group B. These beans were much more fruity in flavor, and less gritty overall. With clearly identifiable flavors such as green apple and coconut, I couldn't help but enjoy several of each color. The yellow ones tasted more like liquid lemon Pledge than citrus flavored candy, but I guess that's all one can expect from artificial flavorings.
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Permalink: Chocolate_is_King.html
Words: 182
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: work

02/15/07 12:28 - 10ºF - ID#38126

On the origins of office furniture

While I've already left my first (and hopefully last) cubicle behind, this chronicle of the ultimate office furniture proved interesting. How cool to hear from the "father of the cubicle" himself. If I had created such a beast, I'd be a little bummed, too. I have to forgive the guy, though. The cubicle is just another case of a designer's creation being mangled by economics.

Note: An installation of the Herman Miller Resolve furniture ("1999" in the article's Photo Gallery) was completed on the 1st floor of RIT's Wallace Library during my years there. It looked pretty spiffy.
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Permalink: On_the_origins_of_office_furniture.html
Words: 97
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: mechanization

01/31/07 11:34 - 20ºF - ID#37947

Green beans, anyone?

Modern Marvels on the History Channel is one of my favorite TV shows. I seldom sit down to watch it deliberately, but sometimes it's nice to affirm that there's something on the tube these days besides American Idol.

Tonight's episode, which focused on cans and canning, introduced me to a company called Edlund, and a great mechanical beast known as the 825A Can Opening System. This is the most awesome can opener I've ever heard of. It opens, dumps, cleans, and crushes 30 cans per minute

Now I know why the old southern lunch ladies at my high school always looked so chipper. They never had to break a sweat, because all their cans were opened for them. In fact, this thing reminds me of a scene in the movie Super Size Me, that features a cafeteria worker brandishing a box cutter. She proclaims it to be their most common tool of the trade.

Soylent Green, anyone?

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Permalink: Green_beans_anyone_.html
Words: 158
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: near misses

01/15/07 11:34 - 28ºF - ID#37709

New year, new laptop?

2006 held a couple of great opportunities for new hardware. It wasn't time to upgrade when the first MacBook was released, nor when the 2nd generation MacBook arrived, all decked out with a Core 2 Duo processor. Other options? How about a PC laptop? Sure, just as long as it's free.

When I found that the Toshiba booth at this year's Consumer Electronics show was giving away chances to win one of their laptops, I thought mine was in the bag. So I took my seat in the audience to play their version of the game show Deal or No Deal. I was the first contestant called on stage that round. I made small talk with the host, eyed the wall of cases behind me, and decided that Case #6 must contain the laptop.

Had I chosen wisely? They tried to bribe me with a padded laptop-toting backpack, but I don't need one of those for my aging PowerBook. My good ol' man-purse case works just fine for this tiny machine. The audience shouted CASE! CASE! CASE! I made my decision; the case it must be. As the lovely stage hostess cracked that silver briefcase, my hopes for portable computing in the new year faded a little. I won...another backpack.
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Permalink: New_year_new_laptop_.html
Words: 210
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: changes

12/12/06 11:01 - 51ºF - ID#22995

Different things

When relaxing in my own apartment, there used to be few surprises. That changed over a year ago when I opened my heart and my living quarters to the girlfriend. Thanks to her being enrolled in a veterinary program, there are more physiology flashcards than CPUs lying around my place these days. When I came home the other day, I found a new DVD on the coffee table. "Horseowner's Guide to Colic in the Horse." I won't even mention the pair of lab rats that have taken up residence in one of the bedrooms.
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Permalink: Different_things.html
Words: 94
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: music

11/12/06 10:51 - 38ºF - ID#22994

What a sound

The opening act for Ben Folds at Geneseo this weekend turned out to be a wild one. I overheard some students there saying that the activities board had contemplated booting this guy from the show. Once on stage with his gleaming accordion, Corn Mo certainly managed to captivate the audience. My emotional state throughout the performance wavered between shock and extreme amusement.
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Permalink: What_a_sound.html
Words: 62
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: food

10/28/06 10:53 - 43ºF - ID#22993

Chicken Helper

Last week I acquired a sizable stock of sundries that a neighbor vacating my building left behind. Unopened boxes of pasta and jars of sauce, dessert mixes, soup, and the like. I checked the expiration date on everything, but some non-perishables don't have one. Thanks BHT!

An un-dated, (and therefore, unexpired) box of Skillet Chicken Helper found its way into my cupboard with the rest. Its loud yellow and red Ronald McDonald color scheme should have tipped me off that it was pretty old. When I decided to cook up the contents of the package with some grilled not-chicken strips, I noticed the absence of the familiar "Nutrition Facts" banner on the label. Plain old nutrition information stats were printed on the side panel, pre-1993 style. Copyright date on the box: 1991. The inside flap was also stamped with a print date of 11-27-91.

After careful inspection of the well-sealed rice and dried vegetable/bouillon packets, I decided to eat the stuff anyway. It didn't taste good, of course, but it wasn't bad either. As I ate, I couldn't help thinking about all the events that have passed in the last 15 years, while that box has been sitting on a shelf in my apartment building. Tasty memories...

Note to self: This information may prove very useful in the future, if I ever have to stock a bomb shelter.


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Permalink: Chicken_Helper.html
Words: 230
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: cheese

10/15/06 09:54 - 43ºF - ID#22992

Pistachio wedge

I've perused many a Wegmans cheese department in my day, but never came across any green cheese--until yesterday. While shopping for the basics at Latina's, I saw what might otherwise have been a very ordinary layered wedge. Port wine, cheddar, and pistachio cheeses, covered with chopped almonds.

The pistachio color in the package caught my eye from quite a distance. Probably contains plenty of FD&C Green No. 3. I don't have a photo, and new and exciting cheeses aren't in my budget right now. So I'll have to settle for a Photoshop mockup.


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Permalink: Pistachio_wedge.html
Words: 96
Location: Buffalo, NY

10/11/06 11:09 - 61ºF - ID#22991

One for the Rolodex

I lived with my folks in the great state of North Carolina for six years before leaving for college in WNY. I've called a number of places across the US home, but my southern surroundings in the Tar Heel state proved to be radically different from the rest in so many ways.

Among many other things, I encountered a lot of general racial bias down there. Of course, not everyone showed signs of this, but it seemed as though far too many people were still bitter that their ancestors had lost the Civil War.

A little more evidence of that southern hospitality showed up in my Inbox this morning. The buyer of some Commodore software I'd listed on eBay lives at an interesting street address--Triple K Lane in Brownwood, TX.
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Permalink: One_for_the_Rolodex.html
Words: 130
Location: Buffalo, NY

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