Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Strug gul ling

There is a war being waged. And, for once, we can't blame frauded up intelligence. For this war is being fought deep within my psyche. It is a war being fought on two fronts. It is a war between myself and boredom and stagnant inertia.

Thanks to the Internet, This is no Longer a Problem

(quasi-safe for work)

Monday, July 30, 2007

TSoS Test Kitchen: Guinness Braised Chuck Roast

I've made this a half dozen times before. But I haven't made it since October and I was craving it this weekend. With the possible exception of my lasagna, this is the best thing I know how to cook. The meat comes out so tender it can practically chew itself. And the gravy is like a buttery onion soup. And the house smells so good for days. This is the perfect dish for a cool fall Sunday.

Tom Snyder: 1936-2007

I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise to me that a man that spent an hour every night chain smoking on national television has died. But it is still a kick in the nuts anytime an icon of my youth passes -- especially on the heals of Marvin Zindler's death.

This colortini is for you, Tom.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Would the Owner...

of this ass, uhm. Gee I don't know where to go with this. Panic! But Peacock and I were mesmerized by this woman's back-bottom at Matt and Heather's wedding.

Egrets, Nothing but Egrets

I have a sickness. I can't help but stop and take a picture of a lone egret when I'm biking around White Rock.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

You Can't Go Home Again

Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with an angle for a post. This is certainly the situation for this post. Last Wednesday, after having lunch with Matt at Piranha (there's no point in reviewing it, everyone knows it's the best sushi in the world), I wondered up to my old home town of Flower Mound. The intent was to check out the bike route I used to take when I lived up there. With all my free time, I don't have to limit myself to just White Rock Lake. In fact, that was one of the reasons I lived there -- easy access to farm roads for much biking. But, after 3 1/2 years worth of progress, expansion, sprawl or what have you, my old bike route is virtually unbikeable. The giant Super Target is just one of the ultra traffic attractors that would make any ride dangerous.
The other thing that struck me -- and strikes me whenever I venture out to the Mid Cities -- is how fucking far that place is. Good Christ what was I thinking. Kris10, if you're still reading this, thank you for putting up with that ass beating drive.

Top Ten: Dallas Burgers

With my visit to Twisted Root Burger Co. I thought I make my top ten list of burger places in the area. Here goes:
  1. The Old Monk: I get it with 5 County cheese, bacon and jalapenos.
  2. Twisted Root Burger Co.: Yup even after one try it ranks this high
  3. Snuffers (Greenville): The Old Monk has better Loaded Cheese Fries too. So suck it.
  4. Lakewood Landing: How did I forget this perfection of beef and cheese.
  5. The Libertine
  6. Kincaids: A bit overrated, but it's still real good.
  7. The Hole in the Wall: A greasy mound of greasy goodness.
  8. Burger House: There signature spice holds this place back. It's too much.
  9. Fudruckers: Giant burger piled high with pico de gallo.
  10. Keller's Drive In
UPDATED!: TAFKATJ reminds me of The Hole in the Wall. So the list has been updated.
Double Update!: Wow, I had a brain cloud. I forgot Lakewood Landing.
I guess I should spend more than 10 minutes compiling these lists.


This is probably the one drug The King didn't use.

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Camera

Somehow last week I lost my camera. It was either stolen out of my car -- the last place I remember it being, or it was misplaced while cleaning my house for Dara's party. Either way, I needed a camera for Matt's wedding and for other blog pix. So I bought the latest version of the camera I lost: the Samsung NV11.

I'm sure now that I have the new camera, the old one will miracously show up. So if anyone out there would like a Samsung NV10 with a 1gig memory card, let me know.

One of the cool features of the NV11 is automatic redeye correction. Usually any picture of alex must be brought into PhotoImpact for redeye correction. But this picture came straight from the camera.

Right Management

I finally made it to my "Getting Started" orientation meeting. I'm now a small Laotian boy.

But seriously folks. One of the benefits of getting laid off from Nortel beyond the mere benefit of not having to work at Nortel anymore, is they set you up with Right Management. This is a company who's goal is to train and counsel me so I can move forward to the appropriate next step in my career. So I guess they're paying for my penile lengthening and body waxing for my desired porn-star gig.

But seriously folks. The first step is a career assessment test they call the Birkman First Look. And it peered into my dark soul and discovered that I should be a programmer. Gee. Thanks.
My results will be explained and analyzed in a meeting I have on Monday. So stay tuned.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Blue Man Group Announces New Member

Emperor Palpatine is saddened to lose a valuable staff member.

Datehole’s Drinking & Dating & Drinking Guide

This shit is fucking Highlarryass.

My favorite bit:

Like cigars, anal sex and running for President, scotch has somehow become something certain kinds of women claim to like. This is the polar phenomenon to men treating themselves like Barbie Ken dolls with the waxing and the expensive haircuts and the open-toed shoes with jeans and the generally having the vagina. (Three years. That's how long it'll be before men can get surgery to get monthly periods.) The truth about scotch-drinking women is that you probably don't have to get them drunk to get them in the sack. By the time you've sat down, they've already decided if they're going to sleep with you or not. Ask them to be gentle (though they hate gentle men).
Works Best For: Women who like to act like men. Also trannies

WiFi Fun

It's another cool July day here in Dallas. So instead of surfing and playing poker inside, Alex and I are outside. I don't know why I felt compelled to post this. I guess I'm feeling guilty about not posting anything yesterday.

Eating Dallas: Twisted Root Burger Co.

I figured I would try out my new temporary crown and create some blog material with a visit to a new restaurant. Browsing through the latest D Magazine I came across a place I've been meaning to try for quite a while now, Twisted Root Burger Co. And to quote Jules Winnfield, "That is one tasty burger". And being the thorough blogger that I am, I ordered the works: A Western Burger (bacon, jalapenos, pepper jack, onion ring), combo fries (sweet potato chips and skin-on white potato) and a chocolate shake. Clearly I was also attempting to be featured on the next episode of I Eat 33,000 Calories a Day.

Let's start with what's not so great. The regular fries were just OK. The Libertine's garlic fries are the current gold standard for fries. And these don't come close. They're a good fry, but I would not get them again. The really disappointing part was the sweet potato fries. First, they were really chips. I was expecting fries like I've had at The Alchemist. Secondly, they had a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on them. WHAT!!! NO!!. Sweet potato fries should be savory. How about some chipotle salt? That would be great. Alex did prefer the sweet potato over the regular, though.

The chocolate shake was just OK as well. Yes, it was better than a Frosty. But they didn't have strawberry. And that's my shake flavor of choice.

But this place is all about the burger. I mean it's right there in its name. The meat is perfectly cooked with a slight saltiness. And the bacon, oh the bacon, was quintessential smokey perfection.

So on my next trip, and there will be a next trip, I'm going to skip the fries and shake and just get the burger. I don't want to lose my girlish figure, ya know.

Oh, and by the way, this meal was not cheap. This whole meal cost $15 plus $2 for parking.


2615 Commerce St. / Dallas, TX 75226

Root Canal

One of the things that I've been putting off during my vacation is the replacement of my one and only crown. Just before I got laid off -- well maybe a bit longer than that even -- I was stupidly eating some toffee and my crown got pulled out. There was no pain and it didn't bother me. So I thought I would wait until I had the time to get it fixed. Well, after almost a month of laidoffedness, I finally made my way to my new dentist at The Dental Center of Lakewood. And after a quick xray I was presented with the great news that I needed a root canal before the crown could be replaced.
It wasn't as bad/painful as countless sitcoms have made me believe. The worst part was the smell emitted by the drilling. Clearly the Great Maker did not even consider major dentistry when she put the nose right above the mouth. Still, it was no walk in Tietze park. The best part was that there was no waiting. They just opened the week before. So, if you live in Lakewood and need a dentist and don't like to wait, give these guys a try.

Monday, July 23, 2007

SoS Test Kitchen: Sauteed Pork Chops with Sherry-Berry Pan Gravy, Rhubarb Chutney

One of my goals for my "vacation" is to not only cook more but to try new recipes. I finally had a chance to do just that.

The dish I tried was Sauteed Pork Chops with Sherry-Berry Pan Gravy, Rhubarb Chutney courtesy of Rachel Ray's 30 Minutes Meals show on the Food Network.
I have never knowingly eaten rhubarb and I wasn't real excited to try it. While chopping, it emitted an odor that was not very pleasant. And I can't say, that after trying this, I'll ever jump at another chance to eat rhubarb. Even Alex left it for last when I gave her my dish to clean up. She eventually ate it all. But with every bite she gave me a "What is this shit??" look.
The pork chops, on the other hand, were great. This was also the first time I have cooked with cherry. And the cherry-berry gravy had just the right sweet/buttery flavor to complement the chops.
So, I'll definitely make the pork chops again. But I'll leave the rhubarb for others to "enjoy".

My Simpsons Avatar

The Simpsons Movie website has a feature that lets you creat your own character. I think I'll keep my South Park avatar.


OK. That's it. I'm giving up the booze. I got so drunk on Saturday that I laid on the couch the whole of Sunday watching such Academy Award runners-up as Not Another Teen Movie and Who's Your Daddy. 200 channels on satellite and this was all there was???

And The Jester earned himself a special prize for being both the Angel and the Devil on my shoulder that night. He was good and wise enough to cab me home when it was apparent that the street I was wrestling with was not going to be choked out easily no matter how hard I tried. I've got some nice scrapes on my right knee and left elbow from it all. Never in 17 years of Ultimate have I ever had such nice layout badges of courage.

But then he comes back to my house to see how I'm doing. Observing that I had rallied and sobered up fairly quickly thanks to eLoad, he decided that there could be no better way to cap off a night of falling-down-drunkenness than than one-on-one beer pong. I'm not even sure we finished the last game because there are still 2 cups with beer on the table.

So I am hereby giving up drinking. I'm tired of the hangovers, the blahs, the just plain tiredness of it all. And one can still have fun without drinking, right? Right???

Oh, and for those interested, Martipalooza will be August 18.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Eating Dallas: Primo's

I have long resisted going to Primo's. Every time I've driven by it on McKinney, it's patio has been packed with douchey guys in douchey striped shirts drinking Corona Lite and hitting on douchey chicks wearing those douchey giant sunglasses pretending to be Lindsay or Paris or Britney. But I had heard that they have really good Mexican food. So, now that my days have freed up, I could finally check this place out when the Summer's Eve factor was at a minimum.

Let me preface this review with some of my Mexican prejudices (wow that sounds racist). I grew up eating at a place in Ft. Worth called The Original Mexican Eats or, as we called it, The Original. So this has become my Mecca for Tex-Mex. And it is, therefore, the gold standard to which I compare all other Mexican food.

So how does Primo's stack up? Let's start off with the tradition chips and salsa. Primo's has a nice spicier than average salsa with rich flavors. To be honest, The Original's salsa has always tasted like it came out of a bottle to me. So here, Primo's has a clear victory. Both places have really good chips.

Now for the really important items -- guacamole. Primo's falls a little short here. The guac was very tasty and very creamy, but it needed something. But, to reiterate, it was tasty. Maybe it needed some more salt or onion or something. I don't know.

For the main attraction I went this a traditional Tex-Mex meal -- cheese enchiladas, rice and beans. And they were outstanding. Unlike many Mexican restaurants, and this has always baffled me, Primo's uses real cheese in their enchiladas and not Velveta. And the chili con carne that topped the enchiladas tasted a bit too much like Wolf Chili. But it was still very good. The beans, while not as deliciously lardened like The Original's, they were deliciously smokey and chunky. Finally who really cares about the rice.

I hate to admit it, but this place has good food. If you have a high douche tolerance, the have dinner here, otherwise check it out for lunch. And there were many specialty items on the menu I can't wait to go back and try on another visit.


3309 McKinney Dallas, TX 75204

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Drinking Dallas: Club Schmitz

I played Ultimate for the first time since early May. A combination of torn calf, bacterial infection, travel and torrential rains has kept me away from the beloved plastic.

And while it was nice to strap the cleats back on (am I putting them on wrong????), the highlight of the evening was heading down to the Bachman Lake's foremost divebar -- Club Schmitz. This place has everything you want in a dive: beer that's cold, cheap and yellow, food that's greasy and often fried in oil last changed when LBJ was a Senator, and a big-haired ornery waitress whose name may or may not be Flo. And it is the waitress that is the real treat at Club Schmitz. She always makes sure to leave you with the impression that she has something far more important to do than take your order of grilled cheese and onion rings.
So if you're in need of a beer, greasy food and a waitress with attitude and in the Love Field area, stop by. You'll be glad you did. Flo won't be glad, but you will.
Oh, and they have tater-tots. Which is nice.

9661 Denton Dr, Dallas, TX

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ladies, Something For You

Finally A Club I Can Join

My leader, Adam Carolla, alerted me and his other listeners today that there is a Bacon of the Month Club. Thank precious 8 pound 7 ounce little baby jesus for Google Toolbar's autofill button. It took me only seconds to join.

Trantor Approaches

Huh?? What's Trantor?? You kids may understand the concept better as Coruscant. It's basically the sci-fi motif of a city completely encompassing an entire planet. A planet-city, if you will, and I know you will.

I bring this up because I had to take Lidia to her parent's house in Sachse so she could get her motorbike. Turning north on SH 78 (aka Garland Road for those living on the other side of White Rock Lake) from the Bush, we passed several miles of what appeared to be freshly minted suburban sprawl. After I dropped her off, I took a little road trip up 78 all the way to Farmersville to see how far north the sprawl travels. I can report that the general sprawl stops, for now, in Levon just south of Farmersville. But I doubt that will be the case in a year.

This was all very interesting to me after having read this article on Unfair Park the day before.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Eating Dallas: Green Papaya

Green Papaya is a Vietnamese restaurant in the Oak Lawn area and not in any way affiliated with the hot dog joint in NYC of a similar name.

It's a nice little place that was fairly busy for a 9pm on a Tuesday. The main dining room was half filled and the patio only had a couple of empty tables, which made sense since it was a nice night out especially with their cooling misters.

I started with the Tropical Roll appetizer consisting of Shrimp, Snow Crab Meat, Mango, Jicama, Vermicelli and Lettuce Rolled in Rice Paper, served with Peanut Sauce. The roll itself was tasty but the peanut sauce could have been a little spicier for my taste. For my main dish I ordered the Hot and Spicy Pork with Baby Bamboo Shoots, Carrots and Onions. This was good with a nice spicy kick. The meal was big enough to take home half for lunch the next day.

Half way through the meal an interloper sat down at the table next to us on the patio. Anyone who has spent a Thursday night at the Blarney Stone would recognize him as the old, skinny, often shirtless, belligerent bum that stalks lower Greenville. The manager quickly came out to get him to leave but the bum merely barked -- and I'm not being metaphoric, he actually barked -- back at the manager. A few minutes later he stumbled off of the patio and back to his homeless oblivion.

Overall the food was good, but nothing special. I would like to go back and try some other items as there were several other items on the menu that sounded good.

3211 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75219

Daily Minutiae

  • Coffee: Coffee People's Wake Up Call
  • Bike: 28 long hot miles


I have come to the realization that without employment, I have become a dog. All I do is eat, sleep and poop with copious amounts of laying around the house. Stay tuned for TheLifeOfAlex.BlogSpot.Com.
This also begs the question -- what do women do when they get laid off since they can't poop. Just wondering...

Huh? Wha??

I was awaked at 7:15 this morning to the cement maker and other machinery being used to lay the foundation of a house being built across the street. Every 45 seconds I would be startled from blissful sleep back to dreaded reality with the pfft of steam being released by the cement maker.

Well, at least something is getting laid on my block. Thank you. I'll be here all week.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Daily Minutiae

  • Coffee: IHOP Burnt Bean Bonanza
  • Bike: 28 miles


My long (2 weeks?) struggle with a bacterial infection of unknown origin or location is finally over. My white cell count is back to normal after 2 shots of Rocephin and 10 doses of Avelox. And how long did it take for me to find out this datum? Almost 2 hours.

To minimize my wait, I got to PrimaCare this morning, at 8am -- right when it opens. However there were already 5 people ahead of me. So i was not placed in a room until 8:55. There I sat for 15 minutes waiting for a someone to take my blood. In the previous 3 times I went, the test results came back in less than 5 minutes. This time, however, I waited at least 25 minutes for the PA to come in and tell me I'm back to normal. So I finally left at just about 9:50am. And this is not atypical. My first visit lasted almost 3 hours.

I am convinced that there are businesses who's primary purpose is to make you wait. They somehow collect our lifeforce through unseen lifeforce collectors and sell our lifeforce to the super rich like Warren Buffet. PrimaCare clearly has this business model. And I think most car dealers do as well.

Eating Lakewood: IHOP

This is the first in a series of reviews of places to have breakfast in Lakewood and the vicinity. Over the next few weeks I'll hit Goldrush Cafe, John's, Legal Grounds and the Corner Market. If there is some place in the Lakewood area that serves breakfast, let me know.

So, you may be wondering, why IHOP? Well there are several reasons 1) It is a baseline of sorts for breakfast -- generic corporate coffee shop food. 2) As a child, it was always a treat to go to IHOP on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Is it still a treat??? 3) I had to go to PrimaCare this morning and IHOP is right across the street. So, really, #3 is the prevailing reason. But we had to start somewhere.

Is it still a treat, I asked above. Uhm, well, not so much. I love French Toast, so I went with their Vive Le French Toast combo platter. This comes with an egg (scrambled) and bacon (mmmmmmmm bacon).

The french toast was fairly flavorless. With only a light dusting of powdered sugar, I had to apply the "maple" syrup to get some flavor. I'm not a fan of syrup on french toast, so this is a last resort. The scrambled egg was slightly above room temperature and pretty much tasted like a scrambled egg. The bacon was crisp and perfectly smokey. It was definitely the highlight of the breakfast.

Let's now talk coffee. Starbuck's has raised the bar on what passes for coffee these days. Everyone is offering better coffee. McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, 7-11 all are positioning themselves as having superior coffee. And I get the impression that many places think that good coffee equals roasting the bejesus out of the beans. At least that's what the coffee at IHOP tasted like. There was no subtlety, just a strong almost overroasted taste. The coffee was ok. But I'll stick with m k-cups.

Overall, this is food best eaten at 2:30am after a long night of drinking. But Cuquita's is not that far away. So, go there instead.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

I'll Do Better

I'm sorry there haven't been any posts in the past couple of days. I just haven't done much. I promise to do better. So, enjoy this picture of Lake Ramapo I took last October in north Jersey.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Meet Jake

Lidia got a new dog to go with her new condo. His name is Jake.

Daily Minutiae

  • Coffee: Coffee People's Wake Up Call --- mmmm mmm goood.
  • Poker: - $48

Trivia Night at the Flying Saucer

In order to provide fodder for this blog I am forced to do things so that I can later blog about it. So look forward to next week's review of the Sachse town square.

The first thing that caught my attention at Trivia Night was the emcee. This dude was a Danny Bayless starter-kit (producer of the Hardline, bassist of Sorta). OK, I get it. You're in a band. But for chrissake, you're my age -- enough with the Rock&Roll hair already.

Useless Stuff I learned:

  • Neetsfoot oil is made from the shins and hooves of cattle and is use to condition leather. I also learned that there is something called neestfoot oil.
  • There are mosquitoes in New Hampshire.
  • Japan has a space program.

Major kudos to Glenn for pulling Billy Bob Thorton out of his ass on the question "Who won the best screenplay Oscar in 1997 in a movie he stared and directed." He also thinks I should "prop" him for his "Moonchild" answer. But I didn't understand the question, and I have no idea what it refers to, so I'm witholding my "prop" for now. Oh and Glenn, sorry for calling your co-worker a whore.

Hot Teachers II

I've been ordered by Lidia to update the picture of the hot teachers from a few weeks ago. But instead I'm going to add a new post. That way people will actually see it. Otherwise, only Lidia would see it when she searches the archives to make sure I've updated the picture.

Lunchtime Poll

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Emptied Out My Cube

I emptied out my cube on Monday. I supposed I'm supposed to write something profound about this experience. But I have been slowly emptying my cube for months. The only things left were my radio, headphones and the knick-knacks on my monitor.

Daily Minutiae

  • Poker: - $48
  • Beer: Avery IPA

Monday, July 9, 2007

Daily Minutiae


For the first time, it felt like I'm jobless. With all that has gone on the first 2 weeks of my glorious layoff, this morning finally felt like I haven't a care in the world. I got up around 9ish, had some OJ followed by some coffee and puttered about.

So you can all officially start hating me............... NOW.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Daily Minutiae

  • Poker: + $59

Trip Report: Winstar Casino

Where: Winstar Casino in Thackerville, OK.

Never have so many traveled to smoke and drink soda.

Glenn thought it would be a good idea, since the weather has been so crappy, to take a road trip for some indoor fun. Since I've spent much of the past week sick in bed, I jumped a the opportunity.

Having never been there before I don't know if this is a normal occurrence or if there was something special about the 7-7-7 date, but this place was packed -- nut-to-butt. For those taking the GREs some time soon, this place is to dreary what the sun is to hot. This place is truly dreadful. It's as if someone transported Circus-Circus to Oklahoma, turned off half the lights and filled it with a less classy clientele but 100% more smoke. When I got home I walked by my smoke alarm and it blared instantly, and it doesn't even have a battery in it.

So what makes this "casino" the last place you should ever go to gamble. Three reasons:

  1. NO BOOZE. How the mother of holy fuck do you put a casino in a place you can't even buy that abomination of 3.2 beer they have in OK? I thought it was crazy that there was a 2am "last call" at Foxwoods. It's real simple math: BOOZE + GAMBLING = HUGEPROFIT$. So, instead of booze, we see an ocean of sullen people smoking and sipping Dr Pepper.
  2. 50¢ Ante for each hand of Blackjack: Apparently this an Oklahoma law, according to one dealer. Otherwise, I suspect, it's their way of making up for all the booze induced bad decisions people make at real casinos. I mean, if you're drunk enough, you'll do dumb shit like split 10s.
  3. NO BOOZE.

In addition to the 3 casinos making up the Winstar, there was also a large smoke free poker room and bingo room. Additionally, there was an enclosed area in one of the casinos that housed the horse race book (no sports book). The horse race book and an unusual aroma that caused Meghan to remark that it smelled better at Lone Star Park. And there's fresh horseshit there.

Overall, I did have a good time. I won $35 (which would have been closer to $60 if not for tipping and those antes). But I think Lonestar Park or Shreveport are better options for semi-local gambling.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

And I Thought I Wouldn't Be Able To Fill My Days

Daily Minutiae

  • White Cell Count: 14000 -- down 15000 from yesterday, definite sell indicator
  • Blackjack: + $35
  • Poker: +$9
  • No Fever

Hey Ladies, I'm Clean

One of the antibiotics I'm on, Rocephin, is also used to treat gonorrhoea and chlamydia. And I've been shot in the ass twice with this stuff. Not that I had either, but now I know I don't. So, ---- how u doin??

Friday, July 6, 2007

Daily Minutiae

  • Poker: + $31
  • Fever: 100°
  • White Cell Count: 29000

Game On, But Please Bring a Snorkle

TheSummerOfSteve correspondent Peach "Scoop" Epp provides this picture of our winter playground know as the Las Colinas Polo Fields. Maybe Texas Two Finger can be a beach tournament this year.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Daily Minutiae

Fever: 104° - so I went to PrimaCare -- more on that later -- and I have a massive bacterial infection somewhere. Good times.

Summer of Steve: Week 1

Well the first week of my summer certainly didn't turn out to be all that great. There's really not much to compensate for a deceased grandmother and a summer flu. So, week one gets a letter grade of:


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Daily Minutiae

  • Poker: - $65, probably cause I'm sick.
  • Fever: 102.4° -- ugh sick in the summer and I can't take a day off.

It's Good to be Home

But it sounds like someone was naughty while I was gone.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Eating New Jersey: Sanducci's

I hope everyone is sitting down when they read this. But New Jersey has some great Italian food. You read it here first. And Sanducci's Trattoria is a perfect example of this excellense. Nothing really fancy. Just good Italian food. This was my first trip there and I was overwhelmed by delicious sounding choices on the menu. I eventually decided on the Chicken Valdostano -- kind of an Italian take on Chicken cordon bleu, only better. And for dessert I had one of the best tiramisus I've ever had. The only misstep was the crabcake appetizer with a mango chutney. It was ok. But I've had far better. I cannot wait to go back and try some of the half dozen items I had to pass on.

570 Kinderkamack Road, River Edge, NJ

Eating New Jersey: White Manna

Located along the mostly non-toxic Hackensack River in beautiful crime-free Hackensack, New Jersey, White Manna is a Mecca for the lover of the Slyder (White Castle, Krystal).

But White Manna is better, fresher and more entertaining. Like the White Castle and Krystal, these are tiny hamburgers. Only White Manna uses fresh hamburger rather than frozen. Also, grilled onions are atop each burger rather than semi-reconstituted onion like substance. Each burger is grilled to perfection on a remarkably small grill. It is here where the magic really happens. You place your hamburer order, and your hamburger order only, with the grill chef. If you want fries, drinks or other item -- of which there are few on the menu -- you place it with the other workers in the restaurant. Amazingly the grill chef can remember everyone's order.

And be sure to have your ducks in a row when you do order. There is a Soup Nazi vibe to the place. But it is all worth it.

358 River StreetHackensack, NJ

Daily Minutiae

  • Coffee: Folger's Breakfast Blend
  • Poker: - $59 -- thanks Glenanomous for jinxing me.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Helen Markley 1917-2007

My maternal grandmother passed away last Thursday and we laid her to rest today. It is from her that I get my sense of humor and my "youthful" outlook. So I guess I can blame her for my "Peter Pan Complex". She leaves behind a wonderful family that, I grow to realize more and more, I need to spend more time with.

Daily Minutiae

  • Poker: + $174

Eating New Jersey: DiAmici

If you ever find yourself in Woodridge, NJ -- and I don't know why you would -- and you want a nice slice of pie, then you have to make a stop at DiAmici. I mean look a this slice.

Makes your mouth water, doesn't it??

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Daily Minutiae

  • Coffee: Columbian Supremo -- aka crappy hotel coffee.
  • Poker: + $102

It's Just Like a Mini-Mall

My flight to Newark left from the new Terminal-D at DFW. I checked the AA website before I left and it said I was leaving from C30. So, of course, I parked at Terminal-C. I got there and the flight had been moved to D16. So not only did I get to see the new terminal but I got to use the new SkyLink people mover. These are special times we live in.

In other travel related news, I am reporting that Sue from Survivor:Borneo and Survivor:All Stars was on my plane and sat in the row in front of me. I'm not 100% sure. But it sure did look and, more importantly, sound just like her.

Also sitting in the row in front of me was, what I have since learned through the miracle of Wikipedia, a monk of the Syriac Orthodox Church. His strange garb, long ungroomed beard and middle eastern looks quickly had me rolling up magazines so that I might later save the plane from this obvious terrorist. Then he turned around and I saw that he was wearing a cross and I let out a "Oh thank Christ!!".