Friday, December 28, 2007

The Journal Junction

It's always fun to step outta the "big city" into a small town and read the local newspaper. Sophisticated journalism and general copy editing are typically tossed aside in favor of local gossip (in the form of police reports) and the readers' own thoughts. It's fun, yet disturbing, to read a paper like this since I wonder why newsprint is wasted for such garbage.

Anyway, to tease you bit, here are some recent gems from the "Journal Junction" section of WV's The Journal newspaper:

"“Friggin’” is a word that is ... used to denote that the object of the statement is true in the extreme, and often, that it is negative ... It is based on an understood mispronounciation of “freaking,” which carries the same meaning, i.e. “My neighbor has six freaking cars on his lawn.” It is understood the neighbor has six cars on his lawn, and that this is considered a bad thing."

"To the caller who doesn’t like sweat pants on people over 30: Well, I am over 50 and overweight. I like to wear my sweat pants, because they are comfortable, and they are warm. I encourage people like me to keep on, baby. That’s why we live in the U.S.A. I even think I wore bedroom slippers to Wal-Mart one day when I forgot to wear my shoes!"

Essentially, people call or write the paper with their thoughts on anything, and the paper actually prints these items (no, they are not just posted on the web site). If people see an item one day and want to comment, they write back via this section. It's a community dialogue!

For a giggle, visit the Journal Junction and be sure you click on the "Full Story" link to see all the entries from a given day.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

International Man of Snoot

I just returned from abroad with this little nugget of humor. It isn't a typical souvenir, but rather an amusing tidbit of an egotistical and haughty fellow countryman.

Story: I met this gentleman in a wine tasting room. He gave me "his card" following tales of living on two continents and wanting to start a business. I almost guffawed in his face when I read his official (and obviously self-given) title.

What to note: Yes, the guy spells the word "connoisseur" in the French way for some unknown (but likely uppity) reason. Surprisingly, he never explained what he is a "connaisseur" (to use his spelling) of! My perverted mind has filed a mental list of possibilities.

What you can't see: The gentleman has phone numbers on three continents (two of the numbers are on the back of the card) and an e-mail address clearly exclaiming "I not just an international man of snootiness, but I went to a damn good school too!"

[Card details blurred to protect the privacy. I feel so kind now.]

Monday, November 12, 2007

Furry wrestling from outer space (in an outer borough)

So I attended my second ever live Kaiju wrestling event on Friday night and enjoyed it thoroughly. You may recall I posted on this phenomenon a while back. This most recent event was certainly no let down. Not only did I get to see a space bug beat up a guy dressed as a dust bunny, but I also witnessed a hybrid octopus-boulder defeat a giant waffle. And to top it all off, I saw two titles change hands. Truly a historic night.

The venue was nearly as much fun as the event. The Warsaw in Brooklyn doubles as the "Polish National Home." I'm not sure what that means, but I do know they serve a nice kielbasa in a delicious roll (not quite Amaroso, but nearly as tasty). And I now have a new favorite Polish beer -- Zywiec.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Deer on Crack

I have a special place in my heart for the "grittier" cities of America (Detroit not included in this happy feeling, of course). Nothing sums up the grittiest of American towns -- Baltimore -- than a recent quote from famed filmmaker (and lifelong Baltimorean John Waters). While in a bar in his hometown, Waters asked a guy what he did for a living. The guy responded, "Can I be frank? I trade deer meat for crack."

Obviously this quote conjures up numerous thoughts:
- Do crack dealers or crackheads have a penchant for venison?
- Does crack cause people to want deer meat?
- Are there markets for other meats when trading in animals and crack?
- Does he use the crack or sell it again for more profits?
- Do people give deer any crack before they are killed?

I think this deserves a read of the whole article. And of course, a viewing of John Waters most underrated flick (and my personal fave), Pecker.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Beer in a Punkin'

I love beer...and I love pumpkin...yet I don't love pumpkin beer. However, I was truly fascinated by literally brewing beer IN a pumpkin. Check out the whole brewing process. Amazing.

Of course, I need to give the Internet a shout-out for bringing this to my attention. I love you Internet!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vodka Tasting: Take Cinco de Mayo

Well, it wasn't the 5th of May, but it felt like a party when the gang gathered to do another round of vodka tasting. The theme of this round was: more plain vodkas you often see at bars that we haven't tried yet. Yeah yeah, I know it's not a creative theme, but the non-flavored vodkas truly make the cocktails we all know and love. So, on with the results!

Vodka Tasting Take Five's Lineup: Svedka (Sweden), Three Olives (UK) and Reyka (Iceland).

Tonight was a little different than usual in that the two ladies and one gentleman had differing opinions on the vodkas, especially with the Three Olives. So, let's break it down a bit.

Best vodka straight up for the night: Svedka *barely* beat out Reyka for this title. Both ladies thought the Three Olives straight was horrid, with Goddess exclaiming that this tastes "chemically like an ultra-light cupcake" and "tastes like DC tap water." Strangely, the gentleman liked the Three Olives.

Best vodka with soda: Svedka, in it's very blue Ikea-looking bottle, was the clear winner for this category with all 3 tasters scoring this the highest. Reviews were "inoffensive" and "has a decent sweetness."

Best in a mixed cocktail: This round Reyka with its Icelandic lava-distilled goodness won, inciting comments of "clean" and "a little sweetness." Guess that lava works.

Overview: Svedka, which was $8.99 for the 750ml bottle this week, is a very good "bang for the buck." It would be a good choice for your next party when you don't want to go broke serving Ketel One. Our gentleman taster really like Three Olives best in his overall scoring, but frankly, the ladies thought it was just plain bad (and who really wants vodka from the UK anyway). Reyka did fine...but not so amazingly better than Svedka that you'd necessarily want to plop down an extra $10 or more bucks a bottle.

An aside, when selecting what seltzer or club soda you're drinking at home...we recommend paying the extra few cents for the Vintage (or other good brand). When using store-brand Zazz this round, we noted its crappiness and thought the better seltzer must be made by the Jews.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Smelly Smelly

Score for the strangest thing I read today...KFC wants to put the aroma of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the halls and offices of corporate America. If only I was lying, but this is from a legitimate press release on the KFC site.

Basically, Colonel Sanders wants to put some kind of smell-o-lator on mail carts to spread the good news of chicken in offices, including here in DC. Frankly, it sounds more like they are spreading nausea to me. Now if they were to do a combined KenTacoHut smell, I'd be into that. Mmm...gorditas + pan pizza + popcorn chicken...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Love for Bruiser

We all know Bruiser loves Japan and the wackiness that ensues there. To honor him, I found this lovely Hello Kitty bento box. Yes, it's real, made from cucumbers, rice, and other savory treats. So, next time you're in Japan, I hope you find this special box.

For more info on this precious piece of passion, pop over here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Maybe Eddie Vedder had a stroke...

...because a stroke-induced slur is the only plausible explaination for the inscrutibility of the song "Yellow Ledbetter."

Judge for yourself.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just because this site has been quiet lately...

Here's a little something funny. And timely, given the upcoming Kanye-50 Cent album release showdown.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Billy Blanks method of diplomacy???

I don't know who thought this was a good idea, but they should be fired.

As his contribution to the talent show that traditionally closes the annual meeting of ASEAN member countries, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso helmed an elaborate parody of Billy's Boot Camp, the workout videos hawked by Billy Blanks on infomercials across the globe. Check out the video HERE.

You gotta feel sorry for the unfortunate bureaucrats who were likely forced upon threat of demotion to serve as the supporting cast for this mess. Government salaries aren't good enough to justify this kind of abuse.

Then again, at least Japan performed its own show. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte just hired a bunch of Filipino singers to belt out a few showtunes. Heck, if he was just gonna hire someone and was already in Manila, he should have given these guys some work.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Danger - Might Cause Blindness

We've all been told to respect our elders, but now we're expected to get off to them, too? Well, we would if the curator of the "Golden Gals Gone Wild" art exhibit had her way.

What's next? Nude Night Court? A Jeffersons-inspired porno?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wonders of the Far East Part 3 - Alternative Marshmallows

In this final chapter of my travel diary, I'd like to introduce you to the "Japanese Marshmallow." Walking through a morning market one day, I passed a bunch of European tourists gawking at something being sold from a mini take-out window. Curious, I approached them and saw that the object of their attention was a weirdo shopkeep selling something that looked like banana tofu. The Euro-tourists couldn't make heads or tails of what the product was, so the shopkeep excitedly shouted at them in broken English, "It's not french toast. Oh no! It's Japanese marshmallow! You try now!" They quickly scampered away without buying anything, but I thought I'd give it a go.

Tasted like scrambled eggs and sugar. Not that that is a bad thing.

Here's the recipe. I'm not sure what what "...baked 6" means. Maybe that is some sort of traditional Japanese cooking method.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Grand Tastings: Pineapple Soda

In the grand tradition of comparison tastings here at STSS, the latest is pineapple soda! Props go to my coworker (thank you Sir Pop View) for dreaming of the pineapple soda tasting. I’m not sure I ever had pineapple soda before this grand showdown.

Participants: Two lovely gentlemen and Elle Woods.
Location: Office conference room.
Favorites: Fanta (by Elle and Sir Pop View) and Jamaican (by a coworker who generally is disgusted by pineapple soda).
Other Coworkers' Views of Tasting: Very sad that we weren't tasting alcoholic beverages.
Current Status of Sodas: In office fridge becoming science experiment.

Overall Thoughts on Pineapple Sodas Tasted:
Jamaican: Candylike, which is why wacky coworker friend liked it best.
Goya: Not overly syrupy; generally decent tasting; 2nd favorite for Elle and Sir Pop View.
Fanta: Probably the most real pineapple flavor; nice fizz.
: Almost like pineapple juice in texture and flavor, but obviously not as good as juice.
Jupina: Strange brownish color; not very fizzy; rather bizarre.

Final Experiment: Mixing all the sodas together! Strangely, this had a decent flavor. When in doubt, mix!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's Thriller!

Yeah, I know...there are a zillion Internet videos that your friends make you watch. You get a good giggle and then wonder why you wasted three minutes on some stupid dog doing a trick.

However, I bring to you an amazing, seemingly real Internet video that you must watch. It's
Phillippine prisoners re-enacting Michael Jackson's Thriller video! No, I'm totally not lying. Be sure to notice the prisoner dressed up as the girl int he video. For more enjoyment, the prisoners also do a song from the fine film "Sister Act."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pizza Bean Chips?

Growing up in the 1980s, I think many of us ate some strange family dinners. However, it wasn’t until this weekend that I heard of probably the strangest meal ever: pizza, baked beans and potato chips. Yup, all three items served together on a weekly basis.

When my long-time friend shared this dark family secret, those who heard this amazing anecdote (including her husband for the first time) were entertained and enthralled. Why did these items become a weekly meal? Could, say, lima beans be substituted for the canned baked beans? And what about Doritos – could they take the place of potato chips? After some research (otherwise known as asking her mom why this strange meal ever occurred), it was found that her dad just happens to really like baked beans and felt that pizza warranted a side dish.

For now, I’ll be sticking with beer as my pizza side dish. Anyone else have any strange meals as a kid?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Shopocalypse is Near

Left-wing activism has officially gone televangelist style. It was probably only a matter of time. What do lefties like to make fun of the most? Crazy uber-Christians!

The Reverend Billy is leading the Church of Stop Shopping on a journey against the shopocalypse: when spirituality is replaced by the coveting of goods and the worshiping of credit cards. He is urging folks near and far to stop shopping, stop over consuming and stop to consider where and how goods are made (think sweatshops in India). An almighty goal, if I do say so myself.

I had the pleasure of learning about Rev. Billy via the documentary "What Would Jesus Buy?" shown at the fabulous Silverdocs Festival. The documentary travels alongside Rev. Billy and his troupe of singers/evangelists on their journey in an aging tour bus from NYC to Disneyland. Along the way, the gang stops at local churches, strip malls, the infamous Mall of America and finally ends with a sneak attack sermon/demonstration on Main Street in Disneyland (where Rev. Billy of course gets arrested).

This was one of the film's premieres, so hopefully it will receive wider release in theaters or on DVD. So in the meantime, Rev. Billy takes confessions online like all good 21st century televangelists do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wonders of the Far East Part 2 - Alternative Sports

I was waiting for a train last week and had a great epiphany when I saw this sign...rather than do something routine like join a softball or kickball league (kickball? tres passe!), I am now putting an official shout out for members of the first Save the Squared Stage goldfish scooping team!!!

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Bruiser, isn't goldfish scooping a singles sport?" Heck, no! The more the merrier. Those goldfish can get feisty! You're gonna want a team member to watch your back when the competition gets fierce!

Who's in? I think this event even doubles as an olympic qualifier...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wonders of the Far East Part 1 - Cultural Diplomacy

Following a long-standing tradition of only exporting the finest American product to our friends in Asia, the United States is now responsible for introducing the Japanese to none other than Billy Blanks. Who, you ask? None other than that psycho-looking fellow who peddles tae-bo and boot camp-themed workout videos on informercials.

Billy was the theme of many a conversation I had with the locals in the past two weeks, whether they were commenting on how funny Billy's Japanese-dubbed voice is, his visit to Tokyo, or how they haven't yet developed Billy-esque abs despite daily viewings of the DVDs (yes, I actually know someone who bought these DVDs; but, heck, I also know someone who swears by the Magic Bullet).

Perhaps this is part of a new soft power diplomacy strategy by Karen Hughes to win the hearts and minds of our foreign allies.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Philly Taco!

Just for Bruiser, a true blue Philadelphian, I bring you the Philly Taco! Bruiser and I share a deep love of Ishkabibble's, the fine cheesesteak institution that plays a big role in creating this special taco (make sure you read how this is created). Normally, I would consider bastardizing a REAL Philly cheesesteak as a horrific crime. However, since I love pizza so much (and Philly is a very under-rated pizza town), I'll let this fine concoction live free. I can't wait to get back to Philly...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Do You Have Airness?

While Bruiser is far, far away in the foreign land of sushi and Engrish, I'm the uniblogger. I know he's sad that he missed the Washington, DC debut of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. And no, I'm not making that up...

Air guitar broke out last year with little known documentary "Air Guitar Nation" chronicling a small group of dreamers in the barely existent U.S. Air Guitar Championships with the hope of reaching the international air guitar crown in Oulu, Finland. Two men were pitted against each other...C Diddy, a fake samurai who wears a Hello Kitty chest armor and Bjorn Turoque, a scrappy New Yorker with a most excellent stage name. (FYI - DVD comes out in August and it is a must rent.)

Back to DC...hosted by infamous air guitarer Bjorn Turoque, one of the regional competitions came to a sold-out 9:30 club last week before trekking to eight other cities around the country. An urban cowboy, a military man, an ancient philospher and some other generally weird characters competed for the Mid-Atlantic crown. Round one was a musical selection by the competitor; round two was a secret selection by the air guitar governing body. The guitarer with the most "airness" wins (see movie to full understand that concept). At the end of the show the entire crowd air guitared together.

One last thought...we cannot forget the political side of air guitar (especially for a DCite like myself). Air guitar aims for peace, because if you are holding an air guitar, you can't be holding a gun at the same time. As they say in the movie "make air, not war." Think on that for a minute...those are deep words for world peace.

(Photo courtesy of svetlana80 on Flickr since I'm an idiot and forgot my camera.)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Odd State of Affairs

Nothing says "it's the night before a wedding" than chilling at an uber-smokey bar with a pregnant waitress selling test tube shooters! Yeah, this really happened in a small, central Pennsylvania town. I won't guess the kind of alcohol in her colorful test tube shooters distributed to the tunes of Bon Jovi and AC/DC. I fear it involved Everclear.

Sadly missing from this photo is a customer sporting matching, orange-sized tattoos on ther "upper boob-le area." I guess you could say it was an unforgettable night.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Video game reviews-better late than never

My addiction this past weekend has been the Angry Video Game Nerd. This dude (who must live in a Philly suburb based on his references to Vitamin Y as a "local brew" and posters in his room from classic rock station WYSP) has taken the time to review a bunch of crap old NES/Atari/Sega games. He's foul mouthed, crude, and pretty darn funny.

I think my favorites are his reviews of:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Drunken Gossip

In the vein of gossipy newspaper columns...What former head of the Christian Coalition was spotted this week looking overtly over-cocktailed? His flushed face apparently didn't fool anyone who saw him. I wonder what his former followers would think of him now?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I *Heart* the New Scott Stapp

American Idol really changes people. In fact, I think there are levels of transformation. Example A: Chris Daughtry. Last evening in Vegas, Mr. Daughtry was full-on rock star with heavy eyeliner and a heavy rocker attitude. The guy who worked at Jiffy Lube has transformed himself from the AI rocker and now into super rocker. Frankly, his demonstration last evening made me think he's been watching too many Creed videos...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

This panda needs some Claritin

Sorta like how I feel today. Damn pollen.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

TV Shows on DVD

Big news this week about TV shows coming out on DVD. One of my favorite web sites -- -- just ran a story about "My So Called Life" *finally* appearing on DVD. While I'll have to wait until fall for the set, I'll be pleased as punch to see Jared Leto when he was still hot. Ahh...those were the days. In the meantime for your viewing plesure, "90210 - The Second Season" just came out on DVD yesterday. So for those without expanded cable and access to SoapNet, Dylan can certainly fill in until fall.

[I know, I know...this post wasn't funny or silly. But I contend it is newsworthy and helpful, and I'm just trying to keep things fresh.]

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Holy Hip-hop

Although I was originally directed by a fellow dork to this site today, I found the above gem just one click away. It is a little long, but endearing.

Who knew there were so many knock-off Sir Mix-a-lot songs out there?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm Just Buzzed

This video easily lands in the top 5 best Internet videos ever created. Words cannot express how amused I am at this, so please, watch the video. Thanks to my SIL for sharing ;)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Only in WV...

So a felon was hiding from the po-po in a Porto-Potty! This is no joke. I only wish they had to tip the skanky pot over to get him out.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Not Aliens...But Spaceports!

Book your plane tix now, a "spaceport" is soon to be built in Las Cruces, New Mexico. As my friend just noted, "Perhaps they can build a stable for Unicorns next."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Drinkin' Time

Ahh college...gone are the days of drinking Koolaid and vodka at any hour of the day. How I yearn for such a carefree existence. Anywhodle, a coworker directed me to this fine video of college hijinx. One should appreciate the coordination of the students that made this video possible and amusing -- especially since coordination is typically not a subject where college students excel. I applaud the kids' effort, and for doing something besides having toweled males and females walk in and out of co-ed bathrooms to freak out parents (like certain students at certain colleges excelled at doing)...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Graffiti No Longer Entertains Masses

The Internet Age has really zapped people's creativity, hasn't it? Even graffitied bus stop signage is no longer interesting or funny. Rather, it's just strange. Example: this sign from a DC metro area bus stop. If I were going to toy with a Google sign, researching "cross-dresser midget porn," "furry porn" or "jello porn" would be way more entertaining, and way more inventive, than this silly crap.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Vodka Project: Take Four

Another weekend and another round of vodka tasting. We sipped two of the very few American-made vodkas -- Tito's Handmade (an Austin, TX pot-still vodka) and Hangar One (a young Cali vodka born in 2001) -- versus Chopin, a traditional Polish potato vodka.

As in previous tastings, we tasted each vodka straight up with an ice cube, with soda, and in a mixed cocktail (a lemonade-chambord cocktail as in previous rounds). Two females and one male got drunk, er, um, I mean tasted with much thought and commentary.

Winner of the night: Hangar One
We didn't expect it, but the the sweetness of this vodka straight up and with soda won over our small crowd. All three tasters ranked this vodka tops in the three categories, with us especially enjoying this vodka mixed with soda.

Loser of the night: Chopin
While not as bad as some previous vodkas we've tasted (vodkas that shall remain nameless), this tater tot-based vodka was not a favorite. One taster noted this vodka "smelled faintly of a public restroom" and another said "this isn't as good as mashed potatoes." With comments like this, no wonder there is no deep love.

Overall, Hangar One is a reliable choice in your next bar setting. Tito's Homemade was noted to be a smooth and decent vodka, but if you have a choice, ask for Hangar One.

Note to readers: after we make it through the mainstream vodkas you see at your local bar, we'll be doing a "championship round." Don't miss it -- this really is a public service!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Snakes on a TV

This makes me laugh no matter how many times I listen to it.

This poor SF Chronicle subscriber just wants to watch Nancy Grace, but all he can find on Channel 57 are "some dumb snakes crawling all over the television when it is time to go to bed." Huh??? Plus he missed Geraldo?!? I'd be upset, too!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Morning Stank

Yeah, here we are again with another food-related gadget, but at least this time it's unique, useful and zany. Here we have the "Wake 'n Bacon," a devilish device that awakes sleeping beauties with the aroma of a cooking cured pork product. Pretty funny, huh? Well, this is just a prototype, as the inventor-in-chief is looking for a manufacturer, so don't rush out with your gold card just yet.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Honoring a Great Man

It's a sad day. The inventor of the TV remote control died today. This man was truly a patriot. When TV was in its earliest (and obviously crappiest) stages, he toiled long hours so that millions around the world could sit on their collective asses and and bask in the glow of television. In 1956 when the Zenith Space Command remote control was debuted, did he imagine the almost 400 channels that are available today? I'm guessing not. Frankly, in my book, he stands next to the inventor of TV as one of the world's greatest people ever.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

3-in-1 Breakfasts Are Dumb

I'm convinced there is an idiotic new kitchen item unveiled every week (and some previous examples have been mentioned right here). This week it's a ridiculous yet amusing all-in-one breakfast genie. Do people really need an appliance that makes a complete breakfast? And how does lunch feel about this? I mean, a tuna melt and coffee makes a great lunch but no one ever mentions that! Lunch gets no respect. Anyway, if the inventor of this monstrosity gets rich off this, I'll be really pissed...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hooray for laziness!

Sometimes you just don't feel like walking the rest of the way home. This guy didn't, and did something about it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This drones on a bit...

Elle and I love us a good rant. Especially when it is directed at the evil liberal print media! And given that this rant relates to unmanned aerial vehicles (a secret passion of mine in a former life), the synergies were too much not to blog about.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently decided to have a little fun with its angry readership by turning readers' phone calls into a wacky podcast. In this pilot (no pun intended) episode, a word-wise reader bitches out the editors of the paper for their use of the tautology "pilotless drone" as a synonym for UAV. For shame!

And in a first for STSS, I have linked below to a fun music video somebody made of the call. Enjoy!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Power to the Napkin

I'm happy to report the infamous "napkin notes" of Bruiser and my college experience is still alive and kicking at our alma mater's sister college. Apparently the wacky and witchy Bryn Mawr chicks are complaining via napkin notes (notes written on brown, recycled paper napkins while eating rice krispie treats made in a bowl at the tasty Rhodes dining hall) that they dislike the new mtvU TVs in their dining halls. (For those of you beyond college years, mtvU is a college-oriented network showing music videos and info about social-change from campuses across the country.) It's rather typical of Mawrters to complain about something as non-threatening as TV. They'd more likely rather see a witches-and-warlocks network or the un-fashionable fashions network. However, if you read to the end of the story, one Mawrter provides hope that not all strange lurkers of the Mawr will be societal freaks.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vodka Tasting - Part Tres

Yes, my friends and I drank a lot again, but we did it for YOU. We're tasting more vodka so that you can select the perfect base for your next cocktail. This round included three females and one male. Again, we're tasting the classic plain vodkas straight up, with soda and in a cocktail. However different from other rounds, we didn't compare the "cheapies" to the "pricies." Instead, we just went vodka by vodka in no particular order.

The lineup: Skyy, Stoli, Grey Goose, Ketel One, Level and Effen.

Crappiest vodka of the evening: Level
The vodka designated by manufacturer Absolut as "beyond smooth" is more like "beyond crap" to us. This was the lowest scoring vodka in all categories by all tasters. "Bad and wrong" and "My mouth waters to get rid of it" were just a few comments about how ass-tastic this vodka tastes. At the evening's conclusion, we were wondering how to use the leftover Level. Most likely it will be pushed onto less discriminating friends at an upcoming fiesta.

Curiously delectable vodka of the evening: Ketel One
Ketel One was the big winner of the "flavored" tasting (see Vodka Tasting - Part Uno), and it scores high yet again. All tasters were impressed in all categories by the Ketel, noting it's "the cleanest one we've had thus far." We were especially surprised that Ketel One was drinkable straight up, a category several tasters typically don't enjoy exploring.

Cheapskate vodka winner of the evening: Skyy
While tasters don't think it's as tasty as the fine Finlandia, as a "we're drinkin' cheap" vodka, Skyy did well this round. Tasters did not have deep positive or negative feelings towards Skyy. It performed best in the "with soda" category.

Other thoughts to note: The plain Stoli was only decently rated in the mixed cocktail category. Tasters exclaimed "Smells like college!" and "Fumes!" in response to the Stoli straight up and with soda. Surprisingly, Grey Goose did not perform as highly as its price and reputation. On average, it finished below Effen, Skyy and Ketel One. One experienced vodka taster expressed a "Yech!" when drinking the Goose.

Don't worry! This isn't the last installation of vodka tasting. If you can believe it, we still have popular brands Chopin, Citradelle and Hanger One to sample, along with others.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Passing of Bam Bam Bigelow

I just learned that Bam Bam Bigelow passed away. Heck of a wrestler. I remember being impressed by him when I first saw him as a wrestler for WWF and years later was glad to catch him working for ECW.

I did a quick You Tube search for one of his fights, and decided I'd link to this one because it has him wrestling Nikolai Volkoff. Very clear who is the heel here. Nobody likes a Soviet-era Russian. Rocky IV taught us that. Unless, of course, that Russian is Yakov Smirnoff. We like him, because he helps keep the Branson, MO economy vibrant with his wacky stage show.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Creamy Goodness

American Idol, in typical fashion, is whoring its brand once again. This time it's ice cream. Actually, the "Take the Cake" flavor sounds damn good. However, I really think some better flavors would have been "Silky Simon Sundae" or "Peppermint Poppin' Paula" or even better "Razzy Ripple Randy."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Big Big Brother problem

I would have skipped right past this new item if I hadn't experienced first hand last year Brits' love of their version of the Big Brother reality show. They eat it up. More than we obsess over American Idol. They not only run the show multiple times a week -- they have recap and chat shows devoted entirely to the show!

Anywho, jolly old England is now enjoying a celebrity version of the show (among the D-list stars we Yanks would recognize are Jermaine Jackson and Dirk Benedict, of A-Team fame). Unfortunately, the show has been tainted by bad relations between some of the contestants and their Bollywood star housemate. Enough to cause something of an international incident.

Let's hope we never get this worked up over Beauty and the Geek.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Further proof that Germans have a weird sense of humor

It isn't news that our friends in Germany love the stylings of Mr. David Hasslehoff. But yesterday I learned that they also have a strange appreciation of British humor. The LA Times printed an article recently about the German tradition of watching a short British comedy sketch which, oddly enough, has never been aired on British TV. I'll admit that it is pretty funny. But why do the Germans love it so? Yet another of life's mysteries, perhaps.

I guess Germans also love Legos. Though everyone loves Legos, so that isn't really surprising.

MLK remembered...sort of

Nobody ever confused us for a country of history scholars. WashPost reports today that a disturbing number of US college kids think Martin Luther King, Jr. was an abolitionist. Well, I'm sure he would have been anti-slavery if that had been the pressing issue of his time. So I guess these idiots aren't totally wrong.

And for more fun with distorted history, look no further than our fearless leader (OK, so it's a parody).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fried Crowns

The fast food industry never ceases to amaze me. First, there was the Taco Bell double-decker taco, the greatest combination of beans, tortilla, and taco ever created. Now, there are the crown-shaped "chicken" nuggets. The tights-wearing King at your local Burger King is now frying up these shapely breaded goodies for everyone, not just kids, via the value menu. I think we all know what you'll be doing with your next $1...especially since it's about the closest thing we'll all get to royalty.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Vodka Tasting - Part Deux

There's no better way to start 2007 than with our latest vodka tasting update! Oh sure, you may be hung over now, but by the weekend a quality cocktail will be required. In case you've been on another planet and missed vodka tasting numero uno, my friends and I have devoted ourselves to finding the perfect vodka for every cocktailing occasion (and to save you from plastic-bottle Gordon's vodka when you're at a loss for what vodka to request).

Anywhoodle (as "Goddess" would say), the second round of vodka tasting focused on the utilitarian plain/unflavored vodka. Our method for tasting this round was to pin "cheapie" vodkas (cheap, but not arriving in a plastic bottle) against each other, and then move to three "pricies" head-to-head. As in the previous round, we tasted each vodka straight up, then with seltzer, and finally mixed in a cocktail. This tasting included two females and one male.

Cheapies Lineup: Smirnoff vs. Finlandia
Results: The Smirnoff was reported by all tasters to have an odd sweetness and medicinal taste, thus giving it the lower overall score. By comparison, Finlandia had a clean, nondescript, and smooth flavor that the group found to be pleasant straight up, with seltzer and in a cocktail.

Pricies Lineup: Belvedere vs. Ciroc vs. Blue Ice
Results: Ciroc easily leads the pack with its high scores in all categories. This French grape-based vodka was a crowd-pleaser, with one mentioning its hint of citrus flavor. We were most dispointed with Belvedere, with one taster succinctly exclaiming that it's "nasty, nasty shit." I think we all agreed after noting the vodka's medicinal quality and general ass-tastic-ness. Blue Ice performed best in a mixed cocktail, but generally the group felt so-so toward this American vodka.

Overall thoughts: Your everday, go-to vodka should be Finlandia. Lacking an overpowering flavor, it lends well to tasty mixed drinks without breaking the bank. For your next vodka and soda, all tasters gave Ciroc with soda the highest scores. Ciroc has a pleasant flavor that comes through nicely with just soda. Finally, we were deeply disturbed by the disgusting flavor of Belvedere and urge the world at large to avoid it at all times.