Archive for the ‘On a stick’ Category

Random notes: August 1, 2016.

Monday, August 1st, 2016

I’ve observed that sometimes the NYT will run nice obituaries for people who weren’t famous – the type of person whose passing would usually escape the paper of record’s notice, except that they were a community figure in their neighborhood or something very much like that.

The man who lost his voice was a gentle man who didn’t ask terribly much of life. He lived in a miniature space in a single-room-occupancy residence on the corner of 74th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan, above J. G. Melon, the popular restaurant and bar known for succulent hamburgers. And he was a New York story.

Another nice story from the NYT: Shannon Beydler and Kevin Hillery were married July 3rd. Ms. Beydler is a judicial clerk and a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps Inactive Ready Reserve. Mr. Hillery attended the Naval Academy.

But in the spring of 2011, during an off-road adventure race with three friends in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a storm blew in as he was biking down a hill; a tree hit his head and rolled down his back, crushing his spine. Mr. Hillery was airlifted to Charlottesville, Va., where he underwent surgery.
During months of rehabilitation, he wondered if he would ever be able to get back to the Naval Academy. Less than a year later, Mr. Hillery did just that, graduating with his class — the first paraplegic to do so in the school’s 170-year history.

See also, by way of Instapundit: “Can the New York Times Weddings Section Be Justified?”

Ace of Spades had a sidebar link over the weekend to the semi-finalists in the Texas State Fair fair food competition.

“Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly on a Stick”? Isn’t that just bacon-wrapped bacon on a stick? “Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers”? Can’t you get those at Chili’s? “Injectable Great Balls of BBQ”? Don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t believe the word “injectable” should ever be used with a food item. “Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Sliders on a Stick”? “Loaded Bacon Mashed Potato Egg Roll”? Okay, now these people are just stringing random words together; those last two sound like something that was auto-generated by a Perl script.

Historical note: today is the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shootings. I haven’t written much about that, and won’t: other people have done it better, and this year’s anniversary is even more politically fraught than usual. (Today is also the day that the university’s new rules on campus concealed carry take effect.)

I haven’t gone through this, and am not sure if a login is required (or if you can get away with private browsing), but here’s the Statesman‘s 50th anniversary coverage. Noted: A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders by Gary Lavergne (the definitive book on the shootings) is available in a Kindle edition.


Thursday, March 12th, 2015

NYT. BBC. Tam. A/V Club. The discussion there, and on Fark, is surprisingly civil (at least, last time I looked).

I think I’m an outlier here. I’ve only read one and half Pratchett books. The half was Good Omens (which, as I recall, I read in an advance reading copy I picked up at an ABA convention).

One of my friends and cow orkers at Dell pushed Guards! Guards! on me when he found out I hadn’t read any Discworld novels. I liked it about as much as I liked Good Omens, which is to say quite a bit. But one thing that struck me about it was that, buried in this funny story, was actually a kind of nice and sweet vision of how the police should work: how they should combat crime, and how they should relate with the citizens they protect. In some ways (and I’m not sure Pratchett knew it), Guards! Guards! was very much like “Dragnet”, except funnier. Other people have made a similar point: Pratchett overlapped silly fantasy with contemporary social commentary.

I haven’t picked up any of his books since Guards! Guards!. That’s because I wanted to hold them in reserve. Now, I feel like I’ve got enough to keep me busy for several years.

There may be additional links tomorrow, but I’ll leave off with this. I wanted to purchase a membership in the NRA (or the British equivalent) for Pratchett when I first encountered it. From Night Watch:

There had been that Weapons Law, for a start. Weapons were involved in so many crimes that, Swing reasoned, reducing the number of weapons had to reduce the crime rate.
Vimes wondered if he’d sat up in bed in the middle of the night and hugged himself when he’d dreamed that one up. Confiscate all weapons, and crime would go down. It made sense. It would have worked, too, if only there had been enough coppers – say, three per citizen.
Amazingly, quite a few weapons were handed in. The flaw, though, was one that had somehow managed to escape Swing, and it was this: criminals don’t obey the law. It’s more or less a requirement for the job. They had no particular interest in making the streets safer for anyone except themselves. And they couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like Hogswatch every day.

Edited to add: LAT.

Edited to add 2: WP.

Random notes: March 6, 2015.

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Pigeon King International sold breeding pairs of pigeons to farmers with a guarantee to buy back their offspring at fixed prices for 10 years. Initially, Galbraith told farmers that the birds were high-end racing pigeons and that he planned to sell the offspring to the lucrative markets that support the sport overseas. Later, Galbraith changed his story, telling farmers that the birds were part of his trailblazing plan to elevate pigeon meat, known as squab, from a fringe delicacy in North America into the next ubiquitous chicken. But in the end, “they were neither,” the prosecutor said; Galbraith never sold a single pigeon for sport or meat. He seemed to have merely taken the young birds he bought from Pigeon King International farmers and resold them, as breeding pairs, to other Pigeon King International farmers, shuttling pigeons from one barn to another. And this meant continually recruiting new investors so he would have the cash to buy the pigeons his existing investors produced every month. When Galbraith’s scheme finally fell apart, Pigeon King International had almost a thousand breeders under contract in five Canadian provinces and 20 U.S. states. He’d taken nearly $42 million from farmers and walked away from obligations to buy back $356 million worth of their baby birds, ruining many of those investors. A forensic accountant determined that signing up enough new pigeon breeders to pay off those contracts would have dug him into an even deeper, $1.5 billion hole.

Speaking of fringe delicacies, your yearly slideshow of rodeo food from the HouChron is here. The deep-fried bacon-wrapped Reese’s peanut butter cup sounds interesting, but it looks a little small; I have to wonder what the value proposition is. Deep-fried Nutella also intrigues me, as does deep-fried pecan pie.

Obit watch, continued: Albert Maysles, noted documentary filmmaker. A/V Club.

Confession: I have a fair number of Maysles’ films on Criterion DVDs. I tried to watch “Grey Gardens”: I got about 10 minutes into it and just couldn’t watch any more. I’m not exactly sure why, but there was something about it that just made me extremely uncomfortable…

Bad day for rat-like creatures.

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Quiznos has followed Sbarro into Chapter 11.

How about a completely amusical interlude that explains why Quiznos went bankrupt? At least, many people I know date the start of the chain’s decline to this:

(And I had not heard of “Hot Dog on a Stick”, so I wasn’t even aware they’d gone Chapter 11, too.)

Deep fried.

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kind of snuck up on me this year.

I actually don’t care that much about the musical acts at the rodeo, or the rodeo itself. But with the rodeo comes…rodeo food. I’ve been waiting for the HouChron‘s yearly slideshow of rodeo food items.

Turns out they published it a few days ago, but didn’t link it from anyplace I could find it until today. Here you go. Note that there’s a handy “View All” link, too: thanks, HouChron!

(I found out my nephews are going down to Houston for the Rodeo. I’ve made them promise to try the rodeo food; I already have a funnel cake commitment from one of them.)

And you thought fried butter was excessive.

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The HouChron has an article listing some of the fun foods you’ll be able to get at the State Fair of Texas, which starts today.

Fried Sugar- Sweet sugar cubes are dipped in pancake batter, then popped in the fryer until golden brown. Topped with creamy caramel sauce.

I am not sure if this differs from the:

Fried Sugar Cubes– Yep, just like it sounds. Simple and sweet! Sugar cubes double-dipped in batter: chocolate, vanilla, or both. Deep-fried, then drizzled with chocolate, caramel or fruit sauces.

or if the duplication is just sloppy editing by the HouChron.

Other highlights include the fried jambalaya and fried bacon cinnamon roll (previously), the “Deep Fried Red Velvet Cupcake” (the description of which sounds exactly like you’d expect, until you get to the “a perfectly fried boneless chicken wing is placed on the cupcake”), the “Deep Fried Chicken and Waffle”, and the “Fried Kitty-Kat” (which has nothing to do with being mean to animals).

Question for the huddled masses: would you eat something called “Cup of Trash”?

You had me at “bacon”.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The State Fair of Texas has announced the winners of the 2012 “Big Tex Choice” awards for the best fair food this year.

The winner of the “Most Creative” award was Butch Benavides, with the “Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll”, described on the TM Daily Post site as a “cinnamon roll dipped in a special sweet pancake batter, rolled in crispy fried bacon crumbles, deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.”

The winner of the “Best Taste” award was Abel Gonzalez Jr. with “Deep-Fried Jambalaya”, “jambalaya using shrimp, Cajun sausage and seasonings, then coated in lightly seasoned flour and fried”.

More from the TM Daily Post here. And here’s a link to an article from last week breaking down the eight finalists.

Almost everything that made the finals sounds good to me. I’m not a huge fan of jambalaya, but I might even try that.

Random notes: August 15, 2012.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

I think today is going to be a day for food writing. I have a longer post planned about last night. But in the meantime, here are some random things for you to chew on.

The NYT has made several discoveries:

  1. There are places outside of Manhattan, and even outside of New York state, with exotic names like “Iowa”.
  2. People in those exotic places sometimes gather during the summer, in what are called “state fairs”.
  3. At those “state fairs” you can purchase food items on sticks.

(Quote from the slide show attached to the article: “The fascination with food on a stick is difficult to explain, but it usually means a 30 to 40 percent increase in sales.”)

(I would really like to know how well the vegetarian corn dogs are selling.)

Speaking of food, today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. Expect festivities around the web, starting with the NYT.  I kind of like Julia Moskin’s “The Gifts She Gave” and Jacques Pépin’s “Memories of a Friend, Sidekick and Foil“.

(I note, with some bitterness, that our local PBS station is showing something called “Julia Childs [sic]  Memories: Bon Appetit” tonight. I say “some bitterness” because a) I expect this to not show any complete recipe preparations, from start to finish, and b) our local PBS station is in the middle of a pledge drive, so I expect constant “give us money” interruptions.)

Something I noticed over the weekend: the French Quarter Grille has opened a second location. In Round Rock. Specifically, in the old Gumbo’s location. Hmmmmm.

Obit watch for the record: Ron Palillo, “Horshack” on “Welcome Back, Kotter”.

The LAT has apparently discovered that used car dealers are…used car dealers.

From mid-2008 to this April, 862 licensed used-car dealers — about 1 in 8 statewide — sold at least one vehicle three or more times, The Times has found.

Things you may have wondered about. (#3 in a series)

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

What do deep-fried Fruity Pebbles look like?

The HouChron has the answer, in yet another go around of the rodeo food (warning! Slideshow!) slideshow (warning! Slideshow!). The Fruity Pebbles photos are at the very start.

You may also have wondered what kind of person comes up with these ideas. The HouChron also has the answer at that same link, in the form of an interview with Ken Hoffman.

Not answered: how do they taste?

Another go around at the rodeo.

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

The HouChron is running a second story on rodeo food, complete with (Warning! Slideshow!) a 90-slide slideshow (Warning! Slideshow!) of various offerings. The slideshow in the previous rodeo food article appears to have been updated, so both articles point to the same photos.

The hook for this article is the “2012 Goldie Buckle Foodie Awards”. The fried red velvet cake sounds interesting, as does the banana split funnel cake. I don’t see any photos of the fried Kool-Aid, sauerkraut hush puppies, or fried Fruty Pebbles, and that’s probably just as well; I’m having dinner at Cajun Pizza Place tonight and would prefer to keep my appetite.

The most wonderful time of the year.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

That would be the time I get to use my “On a stick” category.

Lots of things have snuck up on me in the past few weeks (wow, almost March already?), including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

And with the rodeo comes rodeo food. The HouChron has a (warning! Slideshow!) 84 slide slideshow of food offerings (warning! Slideshow!) starting with the Rodeo Rib.

The rib is an actual cow’s rib, clean as a whistle, not a speck of meat left on it. Then Palmieri sticks a whole chuck steak, with the gristle and fat removed, on the end. As the meat cooks, it shrinks and adheres tightly to the bone, so you have to tear the meat away with your teeth.

There seems to be a fair (ha!) amount of overlap from last year. I don’t remember fried frog legs or fried beef jerky, but the chocolate covered pickle rings a bell (and I still believe the inventors of that should be tarred and feathered). Same applies to the inventors of Bum’s Blue Ribbon Pulled Pork Sundae (back again, I see).

“Nachos made from hand-cooked potato chips.” Uh, isn’t that kind of subverting the very definition of nachos?

There’s some good stuff in the slideshow, too. Now I’m craving a barbecue stuffed baked potato for dinner.

The timeless, changeless ways of the HouChron.

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Your annual slideshow (warning! Slideshow!) of rodeo food (warning! Slideshow!) is here.

Warning: this does include photos of the chocolate covered pickle and the pulled pork sundae. Also, did I mention that this is a slideshow?

(Wouldn’t fried beef jerky be kind of dry? Or is that the point; after eating a big plate of fried beef jerky, you really need one of those $12 beers?)