Filed under: WTF?

t:e was down: for a few days

My blogging platform, Typepad, which is generally wonderful, was under a DDoS attack for the past few days. This means that some douche(s) clogged the pipes to the extent that it brought Typepad and all of its customers to a halt. They, these douches, generally then ask for a ransom to stop their immoral and illegal(?) activities. If not illegal, then certainly dick-ish.

This is a thing that horrible people do, and by definition I don't like it. Frankly I'd like to meet these douches in person and ask them what their major malfunction is, before I elbow them in the throat. But that's likely not possible.

Typepad has been working hard to restore services and stabilize the whole mess.

I'll take this moment to note that if I were sincere insincere I'd say that I'm glad you're back to visit.

Either way, rest assured, I'll be talking about myself more in the upcoming days, perhaps even making up for lost time. Or not.

In general, be kind. I think that's a good idea overall. 

While you're processing all of that, process this, by the great Blitzen Trapper.


Velveeta shortage: alternatives to Velveeta

By now you've heard that Kraft is claiming that there could be a Velveeta shortage in the coming weeks. The timing couldn't be more perfect to put the brakes on your processed food-studded Super Bowl party.

So what is the uncaring and heedless host to do in light of the shortage of this staple? Well, I'll just tell ya.

To help you ensure that your party is the effortless and barbarous event that you had hoped, I am offering some assistance. We'll get through this, together.

Here it is. Just what you need, and just in time:  alternatives to Americas's favorite Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product:

Continue reading "Velveeta shortage: alternatives to Velveeta" »

Burger King: Satisfries

In an unfortunate turn of events, I found myself at Burger King the other day. The whos, hows and whys aren't important.

That's not to say I have a philosphical problem with Burger King, or fast food in general. Everything in moderation. Eat what you like, and don't let anyone put you down for your taste.

That said, I sure as hell didn't like the new "Satisfries."

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The despicable theft of photos and recipes: on Facebook

Dont-shareYou've no doubt come across this type of theft, and perhaps even rewarded that theft, without realizing what's going on.

Like when your friend shares some sort of wacky video from some Facebook page with a name like "Funniest Sh*t Ever." That friend probably saw it on another friend's feed, who saw it on some other friend's, and so on.  Sure, the video is entertaining and probably worth a look/share.

But the person who created the Facebook page Funniest Sh*t Ever had nothing to do with the creation of that video. That distinction goes to the talented, hardworking people that actually produced that video. Often at some expense and always with some level of effort. And they deserve credit, in the form of a direct link to their content. 

The only thing the Funniest Sh*t Ever person did was take time to steal the video from YouTube, or whatever service it was put on by the owner, and put it on their Facebook page, urging every to "OMG this is so funny...have to SHARE!. I love working from HOME click my link to learn how to be the best mom." Not only time, but also effort; you are assured that you cannot "accidentally" steal a video from the internet. It takes a bit of know-how and it's never by mistake.

That person, is a thief. And a sorry ass, ta boot.

Closer to home, for me, since I am somewhat involved in the food writing and recipe creation world (don't snicker, it's sort of true...OK, so maybe it's more of an "interest" than "involvement"), is the ongoing and egregious theft of not only recipes, but photos, in the form of posts that contain someone else's recipe and photo, and suggest you "share share share." I am seeing this every day, and it seems to be picking up steam.

I'd say about 100% of the time, the goal of the thief is to drive traffic to their Facebook page, urging unsuspecting people to join some group like "Skinny Minnie's Diet," at which point they are very likely going to be sold something. More often than not, there is some sort of personal and financial advantage to getting people to "follow" or share the stolen recipe or join the page. Other times, I suspect, people are just lonely, and want the attention.

Examples of this theft can be found all over Facebook (and the internet in general). I found three in about 4 minutes today: 

Continue reading "The despicable theft of photos and recipes: on Facebook" »

Bikini Girl Margarita: Taste test

The saturation/color in this photo were not exaggerated

Gotcha, didn't I.  After taste testing the Skinnygirl margarita, you don't really expect me to put this stuff in my mouth, do you?

This Bikini Girl Margarita caught my eye at Bottle King last week.  Not because it looked interesting, but because it was glowing.

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Skinnygirl: Margarita


The poor margarita.  Once a near-perfect drink, in the family of cocktails known as "the sour" (not, you'll note, "the sweet"), blessed with a balance of natural sweetness, mouth puckering sour, and agave flavors, the margarita has become almost a joke in the hands of bartenders and regular folk across the land (and I suspect across other lands as well).  

You see, there was a time when a margarita would be enjoyed in a coupe, or cocktail glass (stemware which is now generally referred to as a "martini glass"), 3, maybe 5 ounces at a time. But I'm guessing most people, when thinking "margarita,"  picture a huge pint glass of a neon green, overly-sweet, vaguely tequila-y slushie, more fitting for a frat party or Bourbon street than for a restaurant or serious contemplation.  And that's the problem:  people don't know any better.  We've been brain-washed!

I've already noted here on this blog that a margarita's success is based almost solely on the use of quality ingredients, used in a proportion which you find appealing.  Those ingredients include:

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Skinnygirl margarita: sold out

Edit:  Click here for the taste test/review.

A sign of the end of civilization as we know it.  People are gobbling this stuff up.  Draining bottles of it into their naive gullets.  Few having any clue of what a proper margarita should taste like, much less how easy one is to make.

Skinnygirl margarita2

A sign by the door of Harding Liquors in Ridgewood, NJ

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Stirrings: Simple Syrup

There's a discussion on on where to find simple syrup...made by Stirrings.

At first I thought I must have misread the post; surely Stirrings isn't bottling sugar water and selling it as "simple syrup" (and if they were, surely no one is foolish enough to buy it).  Bottling and selling sugar water (or more accurately, corn syrup water) is nothing new of course, but at least you get the satisfaction of a clever name like "Coke" or "Grenadine" with other sugar water products.  However, a quick jump to the Stirrings website confirmed my fears:  they are selling simple syrup.  At 5 bucks for 12 ounces!

Brilliant stuff.  

My first inclination was to ask the posters on Chowhound what advantage they see in using this product, rather than making simple syrup on their own.  However, the moderators (and quite frankly the posters to a large extent) at Chowhound do not appreciate questions and open discourse, and my question would have ultimately gone unanswered in any satisfactory way, and then removed.

That's OK though, because it seems that the folks at Stirrings knew people might be questioning the rationale behind such a ridiculous product, so they do offer an explanation:

Continue reading "Stirrings: Simple Syrup" »