Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cilantro blues

I just saw an ad for a taco that highlights cilantro as one of its main ingredients.

Too bad I'm among the 10% of people for whom cilantro tastes like SOAP. I guess I won't be trying that menu item. Too bad -- it looked good.

I'm a little disturbed by the culinary trend to add cilantro into everything that's not moving. It's one thing to either dodge or put up with cilantro in Mexican cuisine. That's expected, and there are enough other flavors in Mexican cuisine to drown out or mitigate the soap flavor.

But now it seems that every other restaurant has decided that cilantro is their new toy, and they're sneaking it into every farging thing they can. So now I have to read every ingredient on every menu before I place an order, and even then sometimes I get caught in a cilantro sneak attack.

Hint to restaurant owners: uncooked cilantro is way more soapy flavored, so think twice before mixing it into salads.

I wish someone would develop a strain of cilantro plants without the soapy tendencies, so everyone could enjoy the herb. It must taste pretty good to the people who don't detect the soapy factor, since every time I turn around, someone's adding it to something else.

Even so, I wish that chefs would reconsider their tendency to think that everything, everywhere is improved by cilantro, because trust me, for many people in the world, IT'S NOT improved at all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I sense a theme here

Hmm. I am trying AOL Radio's 60s channel, and the song Green, Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones came on. It's a song about a man on death row, in his final hours prior to execution. Minutes later, we heard Gotta Get a Message to You, by the Bee Gees. It's about, you guessed it, a man whose execution will take place in an hour.

Hmm. I sense a theme here.

Fun with Mother Nature

I'd forgotten I took this photograph. This was from my camera phone; there's no alteration of the picture whatsoever. It happens to be a very reflective building combined with an unusual weather pattern of dark clouds to the north, blue sky and white fluffy clouds to the south.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Bit by bit, jewelrymaking supplies I ordered are coming in. I'm all happy. These are the kinds of thing that keep me off the streets and out of trouble. ;-)

The MRI people actually did return my call. Sadly, my cell phone rebooted itself(?!) when I went to answer the call, so they got shunted to my voice mail. Grrr... but now I know for sure that they close at 4, so I will place my return call accordingly.


I found an MRI location within easy walking distance of my house. WIN. There's nothing so annoying as trying unsuccessfully to find a parking spot when you have an appointment. I figured I'd call them and make an appointment, so I can just walk to and from the MRI.

Yeah, good luck with that. I tried calling them around 4:30 PM and they were closed. They must have early hours. If they don't call back early on Wednesday, I'll definitely call them at 4 PM or earlier next time I try to get in touch.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Once again, I've been looking through the local Craigslist job boards. I specified "telecommute", and once again discovered that there are people who are absolutely incompetent when it comes to composing their job ad.

Just look at some of the positions that have the "telecommute" flag set to yes:

NANNY... what am I supposed to do? Keep the kid(s) on the phone all day while their parents are at work?

MAINTENANCE -- BUILDING AND GROUNDS: yeah, I'd just LOVE to do that job from home, by phone. That way, I won't have to deal with the bad weather like heat, cold, and snow.

AUTO TECH/MECHANIC -- What are they going to do, hook the car up to the internet so I can log in from home and fix it?

HOME INSPECTION CONSULTANT -- I think the only home I can inspect, via telecommuting, is MINE.

Sigh. I get my hopes up when I do this kind of search and see tons of listings, only to be disappointed when I realize that a large portion of the so-called telecommuting jobs are anything but. I guess I should look at the bright side. These companies have proclaimed, for all the internet to see, that their staff don't proofread their work. Maybe that is, or should be, a red flag to anyone who's considering working there.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ARGH on distracted drivers!

As I pulled into a parking space to go to the gym, I couldn't help but notice the driver in the parked car in front of me. She got into her car, flipped open a paper-thin cell phone, placed a call, scrunched the phone between her shoulder and her ear, and started talking. In this cramped position, she backed out of her parking place while turning the car, talking the entire time.

GOOD GRIEF, lady, GET BLUETOOTH. How the bleep could anyone see their rear view mirror to back up and turn safely, while their ear is plastered to their shoulder?

Or how's this for an even BETTER idea: place the call and *don't move the freaking car* until the call is over? You're not the CEO of a billion-dollar corporation. Your time isn't THAT valuable that you need to attempt to save two minutes and start driving before the phone call is finished. And if your time WAS that valuable, you'd be able to afford a chauffeur and *never* talk while driving.


Fortunately, there were no pedestrians around to be endangered by all this. A while back, a similarly distracted guy in an SUV nearly ran me over while trying to combine talking on his cell phone, backing out of a parking spot, and turning.

I repeat, GET BLUETOOTH. Or, better yet, just don't start the freaking car until the call is over. Problem avoided.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Now THAT was a Legend!

A couple of weeks ago, I happened on a magazine at the checkout counter at the CVS which caused me to do a double-take. Its title was, "Justin Bieber: The Making of a Music Legend".

Now, with all due respect to young Mr. Bieber, I took issue with the concept that anyone who's 16 years of age could possibly have been performing long enough to have earned the appellation "legend". In my book, an actual LEGEND is someone who's been performing, at an exceptionally high level, at least long enough for someone born at the start of their career to have grown to adulthood. So forgive me, but applying the term "legend" to someone who hasn't even been BREATHING long enough to reach adulthood himself is, to put it mildly, premature.

Which leads me into how Mark and I spent Saturday evening. The *truly* legendary Paul McCartney played at the newly-rechristened Wells Fargo Center (formerly known as the Wachovia, First Union, and Corestates Center). First of all, the man is BRILLIANT. Second of all, his staying power is such that the fans from the start of HIS career have got ADULT children of their own. Third, he's got a repertoire that dwarfs that of any non-legend. I'm pleased to report that his voice has held up admirably for all these decades. He's a phenomenal showman, his singing was excellent, and he not only sang but played an instrument on every single song of a VERY long concert. And when I say "instrument", I mean any one of several including bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele(!), grand piano, and upright piano. I remember reading once that Paul had an innate talent to master just about any instrument he laid hands on, but on Saturday I saw this talent put on display firsthand.

All in all, it was an absolutely outstanding concert, and even though it lasted over three hours, it only covered a fraction of his hits. I wished it could have just kept going and going.

I was especially pleased to see the wide age range of the concertgoers. Along with the people who were clearly old enough to have been fans since the 60s, there were people who were certainly too young to drink and possibly were too young to obtain a learner's permit. It doesn't surprise me that McCartney has such a broad appeal, however, as the mark of truly good music is how well it stands the test of time. Fads will fizzle out; excellence will sound just as wonderful regardless of how many years ago it was released.

And THAT, my friends, is the REAL definition of "Legend". Paul McCartney most definitely fits that bill.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dear Sir Paul: We're not worthy!

Dear Sir Paul: We're not worthy!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Pre-Paul McCartney

Awaiting Sir Paul McCartney. I believe this is the first event at the newly-rechristened Wells Fargo Center.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mr. Softee

On Saturday, we had a group trip to Marsh Creek State Park's pool. It's the first pool I've ever seen that's got a wheelchair ramp in it. We can wheel Joe right into the pool with the chair. That's important, since his condition has deteriorated to the point where it's hard, if not impossible, for him to get in any other way anymore.

Anyway, we had Joe and Jean, Karla and Al, Joe P. and his niece, and Mark and me. Thanks to a conversation that Karla, Al, and I had during the afternoon, during which I mentioned being unable to find the Mr. Softee theme music online, Al sent me a couple of links where all or part of the song resided. Finally, someone put the song online! I've been looking for it off and on for the past few years, and as of last year, it wasn't anywhere to be found.

In any event, I set the Mr. Softee music as the ringtone on my cell phone. (For those who aren't from the Philly area, that's a chain of ice cream trucks that definitely can be found in PA and NJ, and I'm told at least some of NY state as well.)

Mark and I then took Mini to the classic car show on Passyunk Avenue, and I promptly forgot that my ringtone was changed. So I missed a call, no doubt thinking that the music I was hearing was an ice cream truck in the distance rather than my cell phone. On discovering that my dad's call had gone to my voicemail without my answering the phone, I resolved to pay better attention and reach for the phone the next time I heard Mr. Softee music.

Which, shortly thereafter, I had the opportunity to do. On hearing those first few notes, I quickly retrieved the phone from my pocket and tried to answer the call. Nothing. The music continued playing. I wondered what was wrong... until I realized that this time, it actually WAS the sound of an ice cream truck at the other end of the block.

GRRRR. Maybe I should've waited until WINTER to put this song on my phone. ;-)


This is what it looks like when a HDD has only 4% free space and is fragmented all to H*ll.

I'm trying to speed up a friend's machine, but Defrag won't complete without errors. Argh.