Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Very Important Question

So this weekend is Wondercon, a gathering place for the people that do cool stuff. A place of magic and... I have no idea... Just like any of the other "con's" like ComiCon or Dragon*Con. What I do know is that Trish from Adult Swim Central will be there to check out, among other things, the Radical Axis of Evil people and their stuff. Of particular significance to me, and the hundreds of millions of fans of 12 Oz. Mouse, is that Matt Maiellaro, the creator of the show, will be there. I have asked Trish to ask a very important question, one that I feel only Mr. Maiellaro has the answer to. When I close my eyes this how I see this play out:

Trish (abruptly running into the room and looking nervously over her shoulder as if she is trying to elude security: In 12 Oz. Mouse, in the second scene of Episode 2 - "Signals", when the room floods with water, what did Shark say to Fitz?

Todd Redner: Matt, you don't have to answer that. How did she get in here... Security!

Matt Maiellaro: I'll answer the question! You want answers?

Trish: I think the fans are entitled.

Security Guard: There she is! GRAB HER!

Matt Maiellaro: YOU WANT ANSWERS?

Trish (as security is dragging her out): I WANT THE TRUTH!

(Dramatic pause... Everyone falls silent... All eyes on Matt... Security releases Trish...)
Woman, we live in a world that has cartoons, and those cartoons have to be drawn by men with beer. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Bobo? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Skillet, and you curse the Rectangular Business Man. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what Eye knows. That Skillet's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And 12 Oz. Mouse, while grotesque and incomprehensible to some people, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about on internet forums and chat rooms, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like gunkenschlanger, fortmeiser, reticulous. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent creating something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to people who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very cartoons that I provide, and then question the things they say when they are under water. I would rather you just laughed, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up twelve pack, and make your own cartoons. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think the fans are entitled to.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I miss my iPhone.

My iPhone decided to die on me new year's eve, and I have been feeling a little down about it. From what I can tell through my research the battery burned up. I pulled it out of my pocket to fiddle with it as I always did, and when I turned it on the screen went white and it started to get burning hot, then wouldn't turn on. It continued to get hotter and hotter to the point I thought the battery was going to explode. When it finally cooled down I tried to plug it in, and nothing.

I stopped to think just how much of an impact my iPhone had on my life. That old saying, "you don't know what you have until it is gone" has never struck so close to bulls-eye with me for any posession. I knew the moment I picked up an iPhone for the first time at the AT&T store to see what all the hype was about that I didn't just want one, I needed one. Over time it became like an extension of me, not just a phone or a gadget that I had at my disposal to kill time, but something I just used without much thought like walking, talking, breathing... It was like in Avatar when the Jake of the Jarhead Clan chose his Ikran and it chose him.

I estimate that I used my iPhone for about 8 hours a day on average for the two years I had it, close to a third of my life for the past couple years. The first year usage was about 12 hours a day. That first year I had a job where I had about six hours a day with nothing better to do than play with my iPhone, added to that our computer was in storage at that time and my iPhone was the only way to keep in touch with the friends I made online over the years. The second year I would say average daily usage dropped to about 4 hours a day on average due to the new job and having our computer again.

My most recent obsession was the Brushes app, which is an amazing art app. I was doing a drawing, painting, or at least a sketch every day. Some can be seen on my Flickr account (link to the right), but sadly most are gone forever.

All hope is not lost though! It was the original 4gb iPhone, and it lasted all that time which is amazing considering the amount of use I got out of it. I had planned on getting a new 3GS 16gb iPhone soon anyway. And I have a new appreciation for just how much that little thing can do for me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Christmas: The best 24 hour stretch of the year, which begins at about 5 pm on December 24th.

Probably my favorite tradition is reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to my kids. I missed it twice when I was overseas, and it was gut wrenching. As I am preparing to do my fatherly duty we have some business to attend to. The kids have been cleaning and playing in the snow all day. After they thawed out we had a quick and easy dinner, watched A Christmas Story, then it was time to break out the book and gather all the kids up for story time. After the cookies and milk were put out and the little monsters were finally put to bed two of Santa's "elves" had to bring all the presents down from their hiding places, finish wrapping up the ones that slipped passed the wrapping process, and get them under the tree. It really is magical!

Photo from my iPhone. Finally done. It looks so beautiful. So peaceful.

Nothing beats the feeling of watching these little monsters shred the wrapping paper, which my wife so lovingly encased each present in, with their tiny claws and admire it briefly before moving on to the next one. It's the best, and it will begin in a few short hours. Then it will be my job to assemble all things requiring assembling, and of course testing them out to make sure they work properly... Breakfast will happen somewhere in there, which of course will be cinnamon rolls. Then it will be on to dinner preparations. Ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin rolls are all on the menu. And for a night cap I have a pint of Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout in the back of the fridge.

Another year inches closer to it's end. Another Christmas down. A whole year to get ready for the next one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Greatest Sandwich Ever?

So I went to Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh, PA a couple months ago, I have been itching to post this since then but who has the time these days? Anyway, I must say that on that day I ate the most amazing sandwich ever!

First let me set the stage: We went to the original location in the Strip District. Walking into the restaurant had a strange nostalgic feeling, like I had been there before. There is a toughness in the air, the spirit of the hard working people that have frequented the joint since the 1930's. That attitude is instilled in the staff; not rude but no nonsense. Like that aunt that you just don't want to piss off, you know she loves you to death but you have a feeling that the next words you speak to her may set her off...

Photo taken on my iPhone

Me and my friend Sam saddled up to the counter and ordered up the black angus sirloin steak sandwich. Sounds like it would be expensive but even though it is the priciest sandwich on the menu it comes in at a reasonable $6.75. Every sandwich comes topped with coleslaw, tomato, and a huge handful of fries and is served on fresh baked, thick sliced Italian bread. Sam isn't big on coleslaw but was up for an adventure. The toppings are lovingly smashed down on the sandwich by the cook, watching her cook added so much to the experience. The sandwiches are huge but so good we just looked at each other and knew what we were thinking - one more please!

We left very full and very satisfied. I envy him, work takes him to Pittsburgh at least once a month, and every time he is that way now he eats one of those amazing sandwiches. I have yet to go back, but that will change in the next couple weeks.

Primanti Bros. locations now include 15 restaurants in the Pittsburgh area and 4 in Florida.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Well, it was Mexican...

So my wife heard about a new Mexican restaurant, so we have a total of one in the local area now. Had to try it out.

Bad news first. The wait staff sucks. I hope they fix it. The people that sat next to us got there a full five minutes after we did, but somehow they got their food before we even ordered our drinks, and we had the same waitress. Half our food came out several minutes after the first plates arived. And for a Mexican resraurant the portions were super small. I'm used to a huge plate of food, I mean beans and rice are cheap. But I guess it was enough.

Worst of all: NO BEER!!!

Good news, the food was good. Fairly authentic. Reasonable prices. Nothing to do cartwheeles about though, but since they have a monopoly on the market it will have to do.

If you have patience to spare and are desperate for some decent Mexican food and you happen to be in the Olean area let me know. I'll get you the address.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Zoo Day '09

If you know, you know. If you don't you don't. Either way enjoy 2/22!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's been a little while...

Not that anyone ever looks at this :-P

We are settled in our new home in Olean, NY. There are quite a few local food establishments around for me to post about. So check back soon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Great Breakfast

Here's one of mine and my oldest son's favorite breakfast recipies:

2 eggs, scrambled with a dash of milk
Spam, sliced
Fry in a pan. Repeat as necessary.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sad News

Looks like my favorite beer of all time will probably not return.

From: "Webmail" <>
Date: June 13, 2008 12:18:45 PM EDT
To: Ray
Subject: RE: Craft Brands Contact

Sorry, Ray, STILL no good news. There's talk it may come back in draught form for our restaurant, The Gasthaus, but so far that's all we've heard. No doubt we'll know more by the end of Summer as we transition into OKTO and prepare for our new Winter seasonal (it's called Brrr), but I still wouldn't get your hopes up.


Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
929 N Russell St.
Portland, OR 97227
P (503) 281-2437
F (503) 281-1496

From: Ray
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:00 PM
To: Webmail
Subject: Re: Craft Brands Contact

Dear Widmer Bros.,

Did you change your minds? Snow Plow is by far my favorite beer. Not bringing it back would be a tragedy of epic proportions! Well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but I sure would miss it, and I know a lot of others would as well.



On Mar 6, 2008, at 8:15 PM, "Webmail" <> wrote:

Thanks for your email, Ray.

Sorry to hear about your "predicament", but things might not be as dire as you think because we're actually in 48 of the 50 states, including Maryland!

Alas, the Snow Plow issue is a tad more...vexing. Not only is the Snow Plow season over (it was pulled and replaced in early January by our W '08 seasonal), but rumor has it that Snow Plow will NOT be back as the 2008 / 2009 Winter seasonal! Unless Kurt, Rob, and the folks in sales and marketing change their mind it appears that Snow Plow will join the ranks of Hop Jack, Winternacht, Blonde, and a few others as beers whose end came far too soon.

Sorry I don't have better news.


Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
929 N Russell St.
Portland, OR 97227
P (503) 281-2437
F (503) 281-1496

First Name: Ray

Question/Comment: I recently moved from the Portland area to Baltimore, and I miss your beers, especially Snow Plow! Is there any way to order a case?


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holy Frijoles!

So here's my first restaurant review. Holy Frijoles is the best Tex-Mex place I've been to in Baltimore, MD so far. The decor is eclectic, somehow authentic in a surreal way if that even makes sense. The wait staff has been excellent the three times I have been there for lunch with my wife and youngest boy (4).

The food is excellent. For starters they bring out the chips and salsa, not the store bought stuff either. I have tasted their tacos, enchiladas, chicken and chorizo taquitos, chicken quesadilla, and my personal favorite so far the refried bean and steak burrito, not a single complaint about any of them. The portions are huge, and the prices are very reasonable.

There's a full service bar there, and they serve a couple Samuel Smith's beers including the Oatmeal Stout and Nut Brown Ale. According to one of the waiters the place is busy on Friday and Saturday nights.

Holy Frijoles is located at 908 w. 36th St., Baltimore, MD 21211