April 30, 2010

a hopeful aspiration day to you, dear reader.

April 29, 2010

pomelo with grapefruit

santa clara, CA

quote of the moment

"i guess imagination is free."

-- special K

quote of the moment

"i like almost every movie better on repeat watching. maybe because it
has then become my friend."

-- special K

April 28, 2010

quote of the moment

"South Korea is now like a CSI investigator who, upon seeing a dead body
with a bullet hole in the forehead refuses to rule out a heart attack as
the cause of death since the only suspect in the room with a pistol is a
vicious gangland boss."

-- Bruce Klingner, former CIA analyst, on N Korea's role in the
suspected torpedoing of a S Korean ship

April 27, 2010

trivium of the moment

latest wii poll

"when ordering at a restaurant with a group of friends, do you usually

A) order first
B) after everyone else

65% of people choose B.

what's interesting here is the one state where people are *even more
likely* to order after everyone else?


quote of the moment

"Going to KFC and complaining about the food is like going to a Demolition Derby and complaining about the driving."

-- "Q Macphail" on the LA times website

April 25, 2010

trivium of the moment

roman polanski is a holocaust survivor.

April 24, 2010

quote of the moment

"he's a great competitor and a champion."

-- donald trump on poison lead singer, bret michaels

trivium of the moment

nigeria is the most populated african nation.

trivium of the moment

the global ratio of males to females at birth is 107 to 100.

trivia of the moment

in the latest wii poll:

when dining out, which is more important to you?

A) large portions of food
B} presentation of the food

57% of the US said "large portions of food"

the states of UT, NE, VT and NH all more strongly believed in portion
size than the rest of the country.

only PR was interested in the presentation of the food.

trivia of the moment

latest wii poll results:

how long have you known your best friend?

A) < 10 years
B) > 10 years

55% of the US said < 10 years ...

but only the states of WY, ND VT and DE said > 10 years

April 22, 2010

quote of the moment



(where i am number G700 and the number being served G575 -- i'm not
allowed to mail my transaction of today.)

lighted taxi ad

las vegas, NV

April 21, 2010

quote of the moment

"if human life expectancy continues to increase at its current rate,
half the children born in the developed world today will be around to
celebrate their 100th birthday."

-- time magazine

trivium of the moment

two-thirds of all US $100 bills circulate outside the country.

April 20, 2010

trivia of the moment

the band black moth super rainbow have 5 scratch-n-sniff scents for
their "drippers" ep: fruit punch, tomato, campfire, firecracker and

April 17, 2010

quote of the moment

"apparently, if you touched anything on the walls, you would have rectal
cancer for the rest of your life ... so we tried to avoid that."

-- guillermo del toro in the director's commentary of "hell boy 2"
talking about an abandoned gas factory used as a set

haiku of the moment

the fire of iceland
rocks becoming clouds

April 16, 2010

movie line of the moment

"i'm not a baby, i'm a tumor."

-- hell boy 2

trivium of the moment

a woman giving birth to a child more than 9 pounds increases her risk of diabetes in later life.

-- national institute of health

if i were to die today ...

... these are the probable causes, in order, given my current check-box responses:

  1. Heart Attack
  2. Lung Cancer
  3. Liver Cirrhosis
  4. Stroke
  5. Diabetes Mellitus
  6. Suicide
  7. Emphysema/Chronic Bronchitis
  8. Colon Cancer

interesting that lung cancer is #2, given that i've never smoked -- shows what living in a city does.  suicide is too low -- it should be about #3.  cirrhosis is too high -- i drink, at the absolute very most, 3x/week; really it's closer to 1x a week average.  diabetes should probably be a notch or two up.

conversation of the moment

special K: "i have to go to denver sometime."

b1-66er: "but you hate denver."

K: "i know, but i have my list."

b1: "what list?"

K: "things i have to do in denver."

April 15, 2010

haiku of the moment

my smirk disappears
superiority gone
first speeding ticket

quote of the moment

"he who does not write is written upon."

passing comment on NPR

April 13, 2010

(Upright Tri) + (Double Down) + (B1 Around) = Invincibility

Dear Reader,

You know how some days things just are a little out of kilter and nothing goes quite right? Well, the reason I'm writing you is that yesterday, exactly the opposite happened ...

I was astonished and anxious to see the Double Down (DD) released nationwide -- especially in a self-proclaimed health hotbed like California. While it's true that the Double Down doesn't have any more calories than a Big Mac (both have 540, with the DD having 30 more of those calories coming from fat), the fact that you just go out and scream to the public that you're building a "sandwich" made with fried chicken instead of bread is a little much. I knew it would never sell well to any of the self-denying, maladjusted, mentally infirm or Canadians who would boldly say the DD is evil out the left side of their mouth, while extolling the virtues of other fast "food" easily holding 1.5 times as many calories from the right. So I figured the feast in your fist would never get nationwide exposure.

It wouldn't have surprised me if the thing were pulled at the very last minute -- especially since KFC announcement was made on April 1.

My previous DD experience has done nothing but make me crave more. I suspect, but can't prove, that the sandwich holds methadone as one of its ingredients. Nothing else really can explain why both I and the person who shall never be named have been obsessed with it since that fateful day last September.

Special K was already giddy with excitement and even the sociologically slothful ZZ was showing signs of interest, so when I woke up (after 14 hours of sleep -- having not slept the night before), I was rip-roarin' ready for the day.

(I even dressed for the part with my Mountain Dew boxer shorts -- those are skaters to look like camouflage.)

For the last several months I've been holding my daily caloric intake around 1500 with a weekly regimen of aerobics and weight lifting. At first I had steady weight loss (down about 30 pounds from my max) but in the last few weeks my weight has plateaued -- even though my physical shape continues to change.

With a few very special exceptions, I've all but given up on soda, but considering that I've got a coupon for a freebie with a DD, you better believe I'm gonna be deep in an empty calorie fest this evening ... And that can only mean one thing:

The Almost Entirely Indoor Triathlon

The normal circuit order for a tri is swim-bike-run, with the idea being that you're ultimately less likely to kill yourself as you get exerted; but my sequence will be aerobic step-run-stationary bike. The stationary bike goes nowhere and that's easily my safest "event."

As an aside, I may well be the World's Best Armchair Athlete. You can pretty much put me through any sort of punishment at any time and I'll endure. I'll never be the fastest in any given endeavor (in fact, the first time I swam from Alcatraz, I was the slowest), but you can bet me to finish and make all the pocket change you'll ever need from your pals and your enemies.

Normally I just do whatever the exercise of the day is before I eat my first meal, but if I'm gonna stretch the effort a little, it's a good idea for me to get some raw fuel intake first.

I pull out an old Gatorade Energy Bar (about 10 years expired -- when I called Gatorade to ask about it, they said the barcode I had was no longer in their system). 280 calories of mixed carbohydrate goodness can't be the wrong answer here.

Unfortunately as I chomp on it I can tell that some of the oils have turned and are a tad rancid -- a taste and smell that I'm particularly sensitive to.

Normally I wouldn't let this bother me. I'd just mow on through it -- the problem, though, if it ends up putting me down some chowderhead like ZZ will give me a nearly infinite amount of abuse along the uncreative lines of, "Hey! That Double Down must've been GREAT! Har. Har. Har. I'm so fuckin' funny." And I don't need that in my life. Again.

So I stop at half a bar, but I still need to top off the body-fuel gas tank. I have two obvious and immediate choices involving nothing more complicated than boiling water (which is about all I want to do when I first wake up). One is oatmeal, the other is some crazy Japanese fancy ramen. Even though I'm a shareholder in Pepsi (Quaker Oats is owned by Pepsi), I figure the oatmeal is out if for no other reason than being too healthy. Besides, I'll be having lethal amounts of Pepsico products later today.

I opt for my swanky three-packets-to-add ramen.

I always forget, though, that you are what you eat. So when I head over to the aerobic step ...

... I can't help myself but to put on the DVD of Gamera the Invincible.

How good is the movie Gamera the Invincible? How 'bout this ... You get a cold war Soviet air attack (resulting in the first non-war nuclear bomb detonation), crazy screaming Japanese scientists, Japanese Eskimos, and US polar servicemen sexually harassing a secretary ("I know you've got yourself marked 'No Trespassing,' but baby, it's cold outside!") ALL BEFORE THE OPENING CREDITS.

Gamera's first screen appearance

90 minutes later I've walked up the equivalent of the Empire State Building and, thank merciful Buddha, Gamera's been launched into space. The world is safe.

On to my run.

Even though I probably have 100 10K's under my ever-widening waist band, I sort've hate running, so I'm doing 2 1/4 miles at 11 minute/mile pace with seven intervals of 40 seconds at a nine minute/mile pace. Intervals are a great way to get into shape quickly without suddenly blowing guts out the side of your knees, or spending enough time on the path that you become homicidal.

It goes fine, with the expected number of Indians (dot, not feather) on the route.

This leaves me with the exercise bike (forgot to take a picture of it and I'm writing this away from home), an arms-and-legs Schwinn Airdyne (my Dad was recommended one by his cardiologist, after his heart attacks and I liked his enough that I bought one myself). Here too the regimen was intervals -- 30 minutes at 60rpm with seven, 40 second, intervals of 75rpm.

All of which means I'm now ready for the full-on DD experience.

A quick shower and I get to our pre-scouted KFC on the stroke of 19:30. The Instigator, Fat Paulie, Special K, Radioactive Dave, Mr. Milk Run and the person who shall never be mentioned are already lying in wait.

After the very briefest of hellos we head in. I'm pumped up enough that I don't even act like I'll let someone else order first.

I thrust my coupon in the cashier's face. "We're all here for Double Downs ...," he gives me that well-practiced look of boredom, so I push ahead, "... and I want something special." He gives me a sideways glance. "You're also a Long John Silver's too, right?" He nods. "Okay. And you have tartar sauce on tap?" He smiles and nods again. "Great. I want a Double Down and I want another sandwich that is exactly like a Double Down, but uses tartar sauce and fish fillets instead." I'm frothing. I can say this in Spanish if I have to. I might anyway, just for practice.

He pipes up. I can see that crazy steel dental work that they do down in Mexico. "And you want the bacon in that too?"

"Of course!" I'm a little shrill. Gotta settle down. "Oh and no pepper jack cheese on either of them. Just regular jack."

"One minute. I need to explain this to the back." And he walks around the counter to talk to the cooks in the back. In Spanish he says to the other cashier, "Do you want to ring this guy up?" and she recoils slightly.

I act like I'm talking to the back and say, "No, as a matter-of-fact I don't want to ring this guy up. Thanks for asking."

This emboldens her. She laughs and steps up to the register. "I'm having a Double Down and a sandwich just like a Double Down, but with fish filets. I call that sandwich a 'Two-Deck Shoe.'"

Without batting an eye she says, "Okay, I'll just charge you for two Double Downs." No questions to the back. No trying to figure out what the hell to do. No stuttered panic. This woman gets paid something very close to minimum wage and she can just single handedly pull out a decision like that.

Now is America a great country or what?

Who the hell cares if the receipt mentions fish twice?

Try doing that in England. Or Spain. Or Japan. Or any other "first world country." (Notice I don't mention Mexico, because anything can happen there, but just like the Middle East, it'll be associated with either drugs or a bribe.)

I shuffle around and by the time my order is up, we've added Solid Goldstein, ZZ (and his spinner), and the Assassin to our gay band of poultry gypsies.

My sandwiches are perfect. Exactly as ordered, including the never-before-made-on-the-planet-Earth Two-Deck Shoe (call it a "Fish Double Down" if you must).

I notice two striking differences right away from my other DD experience: one is that the DD isn't inner wrapped (a second time) with wax paper; the other is the cheese isn't melted.

The non-melty cheese bothers the person who will never be mentioned enough that s/he/it goes up to the counter to get it melted and gets the response, "there's nothing we can do."

Not exactly what the Chinese would call "auspicious."

But I take a bite and all fears are allayed. (It's only then that I remember to take the picture above.) It's every bit as good as I remember.

The person who shall never be mentioned takes a bite and smiles with satisfaction.

One by one I get to watch people take their first bites ever of the DD, and to a person the look is one of either raw enjoyment, or surprise. Of all the people present, Mr. Milk Run is easily the most impressed -- but that's not surprising, because of all the people present, he's the one whose true inner being is closest to mine (no offense, Milky).

My Two-Deck Shoe is actually really good. I tell no one this, but I might actually prefer it to a Double Down.

The enjoyment level of the group as a whole rises -- everyone is jabbering and laughing. We've essentially taken over the entire back-half of the super-cool, ultra-modern, but by-God-we-adhere-our-tables-to-the-floor KFC/LJS. With the exception of Solid Goldstein and the person who shall never be mentioned, I think it's the first time I've ever seen any given subset of these people having this much fun around something that wasn't computers, cell phones, iPods or movies.

The consensus on the DD is that it's well-above average. A couple of people show regret over the fact that it isn't just chicken ("I don't like the breading touching my mouth to meat ratio"). Z doesn't think there's enough bacon taste. (Me: "Well, you can always add more bacon." Him: "NOW YOU TELL ME!") But there are many who think it's an instant Fast-Food Hall of Famer.

Is it working for the Colonel? Of the ten people in our group, six haven't been in a KFC in the past year -- and if it wasn't for the DD being in RI, that number would be eight.

I would've loved to have stayed and talk to my pals -- especially Solid G who traveled all the way down from the city, and the Assassin who stopped by on a whim -- but the San Jose Giants were playing their opening Bay Area Game and that meant fireworks.

The person who shall never be mentioned and I hot-tailed it down to Municipal Stadium, got a Hollywood parking space immediately in front of the gate, handed in our free tickets to watch the last three innings of a losing baseball game.

Not that it mattered, because the fireworks after were spectacular -- including a nice mid-display pre-barrage.

And no, I'm not trying to make reference to Robert Duvall when I say that no smell makes me happier than spent gun powder. I associate only pure, unadulterated, joy with that aroma.

After fireworks, we made our way back to my place, but not before stopping to pick up an in-season fresh pineapple.

Chased with a handful of peanuts as we watched my $1 Red Box choice, The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Really, honestly and truly, days almost never get better than this. I've had, maybe, 100 days this good in my life.

But I know what you might be thinking ...

...How did all this caloric stuff for the day turn out?

Caloric values are really hard to determine for reasons of biochemistry, nutrition and basal metabolism (even more so when I don't know my basic rates, nor my true Body Mass Index -- which has to be determined by immersion, not some goofy height/weight formula). And all calories are not the same. Complex carbohydrates, for example, require more caloric burn by your body to be converted into energy than fat does.

So, contrary to what may seem to be intuitively obvious, the body is not a simple calories-in/calories-out machine. You can diet and not exercise and your body will figure out a way to run on fewer calories. You can exercise, but without the right biochemical changes in your body you may just sweat off water, or actually burn off the protein in your muscles. And once you're buff, you can do nothing and still burn more calories than the fatty sitting next to you because muscle burns ten times more calories -even at rest- than fat (and that, right there, tells you that height/weight/calorie formulas are off if for nothing more than musculature differences).

The reason you exercise is not to burn calories, but to instead change the biochemistry of your musculature ... What you're trying to do is create more fat burning enzymes. And once you do that, everything starts working a lot better -- you get a true systemic response.

But let's ignore all that and try to answer the fricken question.

I can list all the food I ate for the day. The breakdown is pretty easy:

Half an energy bar: 140 calories
Ramen: 360 calories
Double Down: 540 calories
Two-Deck Shoe: 800 calories
(the fish filets have double the calories of the chicken filets in a DD -- no wonder it tasted better)
Soda: 600 calories (four glasses at 150 each)
Pineapple: 225 calories (78 cals/cup -- I had three thick slices)
Peanuts: 250 calories

In round numbers (because it's senseless doing this to the exact calorie), this is a 2900 calorie day. The biggest day I've had in at least half a year -- probably the biggest since I made the world's best macaroni and cheese last American Thanksgiving.

Conservatively speaking my exercise calories burned are:

Step for 90 minutes: 1000 calories
Running: 400 calories
Bike: 400 calories (according to bike calorimeter)
For a total of 1800 exercise calories

The Base Metabolic Rate (the number of raw calories you burn from simply being alive, without doing anything, in calories) for a man is:

66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

For all my current stats, this number is, funnily enough, 1800 calories. In other words, I burn the same number of calories just by breathing and thinking in 24 hours as I did with the Almost Entirely Indoor Triathlon in two and a half hours. (A good example of how little direct caloric burn there is from exercise.)

This means my exercise and being alive combined burned about 3400 calories (you can't double count the being-alive calories during the amount of time that I was exercising -- gotta love that applied math degree) ...

... But I ate 2900 calories.

One pound of human fat is 3500 calories.  Since I ran a 500 calorie deficit for one day if I did this exact diet/exercise program every day for a week, I would lose one pound. Weirdly enough, this is the theoretical deficit I shoot for roughly on a daily basis -- although I focus far more on my exercise than my exact dietary balance. I didn't know this was going to be the result here until I worked the numbers just now.  (Honestly, I didn't care.)

Putting it another way (and ignoring the significance of the fat calories side of the equation), I shoveled all this crap in my pie hole and still lost weight today.

Remember that I had a Two-Deck Shoe and a Double Down -- washed with a jacuzzi's worth of Mountain Dew. If you wanted to write this as a National Enquirer headline you could say:


And if you've read this far, you're either dedicated or insane. In either event, you should go and sign the petition to give the Colonel his own postage stamp.

And do yourself a favor -- if you haven't gone out and had a Double Down, do so before they yank the sucker from production (although I bet you'll be able to order it "secretly" for a l-o-n-g time to come). Remember, not everyone is as fortunate as you Americans -- you can't just order these at any KFC around the world.

If you decide to exercise as part of your DD diet, and you're only going to do it once, it's better to do so before than after -- you'll need all the fat burning enzymes you can get.

Thanks for reading.

April 12, 2010

DD time change ...

... same place, now @ 19:30.

double down monday

it happens @ 20:00
2609 e charleston rd
mountain view, CA
SJ giants fireworks afterward at municipal field (if they play -- it's
steady rain right now)
coupon here:

double down monday is here

according to the KFC website, double downs are now available everywhere in the US.  a great, great day is upon us.

(this notice written at 19:40 on 4/9, but auto-posted for the event, coordinated with KFCs "countdown to double down," using 'bloggers advanced posting tools.  i'm such a power user.)

April 11, 2010

quote of the moment

"the majority of the expense of the military budget in any military
operation [of size] is fuel."

-- david simmons

last flick is "district 13." bad french action film with a fair amount of of that frenchie street stunts -- par course of whatever the hell it's called.

the final credits ...

... of the final movie ... "district 13"
"black dynamite" modern day version of 70's baxploitation take-off. tries a little too hard ... but is about right after 10 consecutive hours of film.

the night that was

movie marquee; santa cruz, CA
"dionisys french cowboy" childrens toys (think: army men) in stop motion with no plot and the occasional gill man. funny for 10 minutes, sleepable after that.
"the good, the bad, the weird" korean western. manchurians vs. japanese warriors vs. evil prince look-a-alike. not quite as good as it sounds.
second flick: korean vampire movie, "thirst." what *would* it be like to become a vampire from a transfusion? how would you know you easy blood sucking loser?
first full feature, "perfect square," by the same director (edgeron) as the short. his morals? bad things go REALLY bad.
first film, a short called "spider." a true jump-out-of-your-seat film.
10 movies total. 6 on the main floor, 4 in the above theater. the ability to alternate is offered.
the del mar theater is lax about outside food and drink. very nice for 12 continuous hours of film.

interior accent light

santa cruz, CA

del mar

theater 1; santa cruz, CA

April 10, 2010

line for the secret movie festival

santa cruz, CA

secret film festival

i'm going to this tonight/tomorrow


and will be writing about it on here via TXT ... postings will appear as
title-less from here forward ... i'll probably round them all together
later next week ... slightly more indelible than twitter, this is a
partial experiment on my part.

data of the moment

latest wii poll. the question is "if you could trade knowledge or a
skill you have for something else, would you?"

53% say no
47% say yes

(forgetting, i guess, that you trade your time/skills for a paycheck)

the states of OR, WA, ND, MN, NE, IL, NH, WV, AR, AK and TN all said
"yes," everyone else said "no."

i LOVE the wii polls.

the *ONLY* twitter account worth following ...

quote of the moment

"you know what would make this amazing...if those chicken breasts were

-- "kcijones001" on midtownlunch.com, describing how to improve the KFC
double down

quote of the moment

"we used four strips of bacon, because four strips are twice as good as
two strips."

-- robert sietsema of "fork in the road," describing how to recreate the
KFC double down

when it comes to free drinks ...

... to go with your double down, it's always a good idea to hit up your
(suspiciously east) st. louis mom:


quote of the moment

"this thing is both terrifying and captivating, like a harbinger of the

-- disinfogreg on disinfo.com, describing the KFC double down

double down alert public alert

the KFC double down will be available for a limited time only (starting
next monday and probably only 'til mid-may).

act accordingly.

April 09, 2010

quote of the moment

"MY DVD's are the REAL DEAL. Not the overseas crap with tons of foreign languages."

-- scooby7797, ebay

quote of the moment

"i'm my own role model."

-- the grumbler

April 08, 2010

datum of the moment

the cumulative US college graduating class of 2010 will be 60% female
and 40% male."

-- louann brizendine

joke of the moment

courtesy of captain happy.


Q: How do I print with an iPad?

A: Lay it face down on a copier.

only the insane double down on 12

(note: to fully understand the build-up to this point, you should read about the KFC double down [DD] in my travel 'blog.  karpov's DD post there is worthy as footnote reading.)

in a nearly unimaginable turn of circumstance, the KFC double down is being released to the US public as a whole, this monday, april 12.  bucking the fast food trend of let's-eat-salad-and-yogurt-and-call-it-"food," KFC (the company that officially changed its name from "kentucky fried chicken" to the initials  "KFC" claiming that it would sound more "healthy" to not have "fried" in the name -- but actually to dodge having to pay licensing rights to state of KY) have thrown the gauntlet into the incinerator with the sandwich that uses, that's right, two pieces of fried chicken instead of bread to house bacon and cheese.

a couple of the (f)red dinner regulars -- mostly likely the instigator and mr. milk run -- are going to join me on the first day it's available in CA.  following is an email thread leading up to next week's event {my editorial comments in braces}


i'm *definitely* having a DD on 4/12.  mr. milk run and i will figure out details for the DD foray next week and we'll forward timings/location to the list for to anyone else.

the DD experience won't be a monday night dinner replacement, it'll just be extra credit in the grade book of life.



On Mon, 5 Apr 2010 10:07, the instigator wrote:

{...dumb stuff deleted ...}

As for the next dinner, I'm sorry to say that I foolishly forwarded b1 this article:


which, if you were playing along at home, you may remember from b1's Jet Blue all-you-can-jet travelogue blog from last fall:


I can't decide if the official photo on consumerist.com is more or less disgusting than b1's pictures, to be honest.  In any case, he's now on a crusade to share the KFC Double Down with all of us, and is proposing that we move the next Monday night dinner on 4/12 (the first day of the DD nationwide rollout) to KFC.

I think I'm busy that day.  {which is a lie.  he's like that.}

the instigator


BTW, I don't believe the nutrition info in that article is anywhere close to accurate. Maybe it's per serving, and the thing is 3 or 4 servings.

 - Special K


{i jump back in}

you know how the google cafeteria uses colored food tags for their dishes?  green for healthy, yellow for not-so-much and red for bad?  if they served the KFC DD there, a dish that is so far out, they'd have to use a new tag color.  some possibilities:

* infrared for "beyond unhealthy"

* black for "you're just dead, right here, right now"

* ultraviolet.  my personal favorite.  so bad that it wraps around the visual spectrum and starts coming in the other side.  so bad that when you stand in front of the sign, anything that's white on your body glows.  so bad that *just the sign* might give you a form of cancer.

to this thinking, the other, obvious, tag "color" would be X-ray.

hey mr. box cutter, i know you and i know your spare tire ...

... you would LOVE the double down,


the box cutter wrote:

There is no way in hell I will be anywhere near KFC on 04/12.

However if the Google cafe decides to create an organic free-range  homage to the DD I will be sure to invite you all over for lunch.


{and then the box cutter added to me privately:}

True story:  A five year old poked me in the gut on Sat. and asked "what's this???"


{my response to the box cutter}

that is too funny.  i can only think of two responses.

* "it is your impending doom."  pause.  then smack the kid upside the head.

* "has your mom told you where babies come from?  well, i'm eating for 2 now."


{right about here in where the person who shall never be mentioned jumps in}

This is one of those food experiences one needs to embrace fully... to eat around, as it were. Avoid that calorie-laden kashi and luxuriate instead in the rich KFC DD for just one day. I can t wait (and am already cutting back on my ice cream. A little).

I figure it s actually around 750 calories? 300+ cals per piece of chicken, 100+ for cheese ...


{special K, back, and late, to the conversation}

Any idea what flavor the sauce is? I might ask them to leave it off. I'm a sauce hater.


{i can't let a comment like that sit, of course}

oh god, you can't do that ... it's the best part ... it tastes a
little like raising cane's dipping sauce, but more addictive ... i
think, technically it's known as "umami methadone" flavor ... TASTY
... you'd HAVE to get some on the side ... but if you do you'll end up
eating the cup it comes in.


{the box cutter returns}

I just found this, a perfect synthesis of the email discussion of the KFC Double Down and the dinner discussion of b1's decision to become a homeowner in sunny Las Vegas.

   For those of you who reject the "America is the Roman Empire"
   hypothesis, we have six words for you to chew on, along with
   your BK Crown-shaped Chicken Tenders:
      "Luxury Home Foreclosure Private Jet Tour."



{planning moves forward -- my letter to a subset of the (f)red dinner list}

... KFC has posted the "countdown to double down" on their website (kfc.com), including the DD commercial (note the 2009 © on it).

unless mr. milk run says otherwise, we'll be having our KFC expedition next monday at 2609 E Charleston Rd in mountain view @ 19:30.

i went in there today, it's a nice, new, quirky one on the edge of industrial MV and *perfect* for the DD experience.  i spoke the manager, from their side it's all systems go for the DD on monday.

milky, please call or write back to let me know that this plan works for you.

i'll post a confirmation to the entire (f)red dinner list on monday.


{from mr. milk run}

Hey b1,

This is in my calendar and I am ready to go.
Thank you for you diligence and planning.
I am ready for my life to change :P

Mr. Milk Run


{then mr. milk run returns}

DOH - I was working on my calendar and realized that my son has a baseball game on Monday. Let me make sure that my wife can pick him up from the game.


{i show i'm always willing to help with the following to mr. milk run.}


i consider you to be a key element in this affair, since you were THE
person who showed outward enthusiasm toward the idea (that'll teach
you).  i WILL eat a DD on monday for "dinner," oh yes, but will bend
the schedule to fit yours.

i just called that store and they're open 'til 22:00 on monday, so
either later or earlier are possible (the worst thing about earlier is
traffic is bad and carpool lanes are closed).

here are some other suggestions:

* put your son up for adoption for a day and then change your mind.
the legal process is so long and involved that all the papers won't
even go through and he won't *actually* end up at someone's place
(like fat paulie's, for example).  your wife won't understand while it's all
happening but she'll be estatic once you're "better."

* tell your son "i just read an article about
__his_favorite_baseball_player__ and he said that he took one day off
from baseball when the was __your_son's_age__ and he believes it's
what made him a winning player.  he said, 'if i hadn't done that, i'm
sure i'd be working at KFC today.'"  (the beauty of this one is it
helps you keep your eyes on the prize.)

* tell your wife that you have to work late.  afterward go home, break
down in tears, and admit it was a cheap and tawdry affair of the
stomach.  show her the wrapper.  tell her you're willing to try
therapy or a gym membership.  say it'll never happen again.  uncross
your fingers.

notice NONE of my ideas suggest feeding one to your son.  i actually
don't buy into the modern concept that children are fragile and unable
to know or make their own moral standards.  but, having grown up in
the household of a binge alcoholic, i can say -for certain- that there
are some things that a child simply should not have to endure or
experience ... having a DD before, say, ever being pulled over by the
cops would be on that list.

thanks for your response.

let me know,


{mr. milk run returns}

We share a similar shade of dark in our senses of humor.

My son just started to eat chicken, but a double down would
not be appealing.

If we can move Dinner to 8pm, I should be fine and if not,
he can ride his bike home or get a ride from a friend or,
science forbid, his Mother.


{my response}

20:00 it is.  i'll send the announcement next week.  thanks for looking at this ahead of time and not doing the modern fad of suddenly realizing and whining at the last minute.


You're welcome. I'm excited for this.
-- Mr. Milk Run


{my pat on the back to milky}

the thing i admire ever-more about you is your sense of personal honesty.


{solid goldstein shows his approval of the DD}

My arteries are hardening at the thought....


{special K suddenly re-appears -- as i'm working on this post}

Good choice for a bizarre KFC. I've eaten there a few times. Note that it's aKFC/Long John Silver hybrid, so you have fried shrimp with your Double Down.


{my surprise ending}

you spoiler!

i had intentionally not mentioned anything about it being a two-front because i was going to go and order a double down and a sandwich that was exactly the same as a DD, except with two fish filets ... since i have to use a black jack analogy i guess i'd call it a "two-deck shoe."


{special K caps the conversation}

NOW it's getting interesting.


expect a full report on here next week.

haiku of the moment

death of a concept
pirates, rubber and pins? gone
malcolm mclaren

quote of the moment

"sadness doesn't sing in E flat, sharp or minor."

-- john lydon (formerly know as "johnny rotten")

April 07, 2010

trivia of the moment

in the san francisco bay, treasure island was originally built to hold
the san francisco airport (SFO). the idea was scuttled once they
realized it was very often shrouded in fog.

definition of the moment

beautility: the combination of art, beauty and utility ... coined
immediately before the art deco movement by the french society of
decorative arts

quote of the moment

"erin bought me a beer at lunch and then i had a couple more ... so ...
i'm ready!"

-- white 20-something guy talking to 2 40-something manager types in an
alley; palo alto, CA

i have found the ultimate location for double down monday. oh yes. conveniently located on your GPS's detour from apple to the creamery. more to follow.

quote of the moment

"risk of musculoskeletal* injuries increases as the intensity and amount
of the activity increases and can be as high as 55% among men and women
involved in jogging programs and US army basic training."

-- haskell, et al

* this one too.

quote of the moment

"attempting to maintain a healthy weight is influenced by a complex set
of cultural, psychosocial*, and biological factors making it difficult
to accurately identify what the primary cause of obesity is for any one

-- haskell, et al

*my hiptop spell checker actually accepted psychosocial as a word by

quote of the moment

"a review of studies where exercise or physical activity was the sole
intervention or was added to caloric restriction found only modest
weight loss resulting from exercise."

-- medical white paper; "physical activity and public health," haskell
et al, circa 2007

quote of the moment

"rape is the only violent crime in UT that occurs at a higher rate than
the rest of the nation."

-- ksl.com

April 06, 2010

datum of the moment

from the latest wii poll:

have you achieved a life goal yet?

54% say yes
46% say no

but 1 state has achieved more life goals than any other, and that would
be ...


quote of the moment

"last time he was nice, this time he's ice."

-- trailer for "shaft's big score"

quote of the moment

"the tablet computer is like a siren that calls seductively to computer
engineers, only to wreck them fatally on the stony coast of our total
lack of interest."

-- lev grossman

April 05, 2010

quote of the moment

"if you're a manager -and you're a businessman- you're much more
valuable than a great engineer, if you can spot who the great engineer
is. that's more important."

-- woz

April 04, 2010

the world's best ME on stainless (TXT experiment)

from the world's best mechanical engineer (experiment) ***

Fwd: Most cutlery is made of 400 series stainless steel, usually 420. 400 series stainless is magnetic. Most stainless steel objects you come in contact with are 300 series which is NOT magnetic. The main chemical difference is there is no nickel in the 400 series steels. The main functional difference is 400 series steels can be made pretty hard so they are good for silverware but they have mediocre corrosion resistance. The 300 series steels have superior corrosion resistance but don't heat treat well.

candy wrappers

los gatos, CA

April 03, 2010

archipelago / a small techy step forward / SMS haiku

stuffed bunny and wine bottles in easter egg

santa clara, CA

trivium of the moment

the eldest US supreme court justice decides who writes the majority
opinion when the chief justice is not in the majority.

quote of the moment

"once you learn how to think about art, you can teach yourself."

-- lady gaga

April 02, 2010

data of the moment

in the most recent wii poll, the question is:

"when planning to purchase an expensive item, which are you more likely
to do?"

A. save for the purchase

B. use credit

64% of the people say save, 36% say credit (men and women only differ by

but here's where it gets interesting ...

in predicting the results of the poll, the national average is 40%
accuracy (the lowest prediction score i've ever seen). so it's likely
that a quarter of the people taking the survey say they use cash, but
predict people will use credit (i was one of those).

people from UT, NE, KS prefer cash more strongly. people from AK, HI,
NJ and DE have a weaker preference for cash.

quote of the moment

"sometimes my brain leaks out into my mouth."

-- special K, talking about himself

quote of the moment

"every once in awhile, he'll forget he's a moron."

-- special K, talking about robert scoble

April 01, 2010

conversation of the moment

{blogger sucked down my angle brackets and tried to interpret them as html ... so i'm re-writing and posting as new ... this conversation from a couple of days ago.}

i'm walking down el camino and an older white sedan pulls over with the passenger window open ... i'm going to be asked directions -- a very common circumstance for me (that, weirdly, started on the day i moved to england, although i'm not sure why) ... but that's okay, i'm almost always the right guy to ask.

it's an older white guy.  combed back hair, putty nose.  the silicon valley is essentially a rich-yet-ungroomed version of the united nations.  this guy will be something slav or slav-like.

"excuse me ... which way DMV?"


and this gives me a chance to speak my favorite form of english: communicative.  if i'm talking to someone that knows 100 words of english, i can talk to them about anything and make them understand it all.

i point up the street and make flashing signs with my hands. "traffic light ..." i make a motion with my right hand like i'm trying to reach around a pencil holder on a desk "turn right." i run through the instructions again with the hand signals for clarity. "traffic light. turn right."

he nods and has sharpness in his eyes. he gets it.

i continue. "but bad news..." i grimace and give a thumbs down, "... today? closed." and i bring my arms up crossed like an X.

his eyes widen. "closed?" and he waves his arms like an umpire signalling safe. beauteous. we speak the same language.

i adopt his gesture and nod, "closed."

he shrugs and asks, "when open?"

i shrug back and shake my head. "i don't know..." i go slow. "the state of california..." and i point at the ground ... i can see he's not getting it, so i start again ... "the state of california ..." and i wave my arms to indicate the whole world.

he nods, so i continue and rub my thumb and index finger together "...is bankrupt." i quit rubbing my fingers. he nods. he gets is. i go on, "sometimes, things close," and i make the umpire signal.

"when open?" he asks.

i shrug and run full speed without gesture, "who the hell knows." he laughs. everyone who speaks a little bit of street english is well-versed in the expression, 'who the hell knows.'

he traces a square in the air with his fingers. "maybe sign."

i nod and copy the universal symbol for sign in the air. "for sure sign. it's the government." i put my hands up to my mouth like a kid yelling in a playground and shout, "THEY TELL YOU THINGS ..." i put my hands down and shrug. "they're the government ... that's what they do."

he's laughing hard now. time to slay the beast -- i go in for the kill. "the government today? for you to understand?" i shake my head and point at the ground, "don't think 'america...'" i point at his chest and say, "think 'russia.'"

let him think. i'm pretty sure he'll get this. if i try to jump in again i'll spoil the timing.

tick tick tick.

and then he explodes with laughter. he repeats "don't think america.  think russia." he nods and gives me a thumbs up. "thank you."

he starts driving but pulls back over about 30 feet further down the road. i look to see if something's wrong, but there's not.

he's laughing so hard he can't see through his tears.

the return of an old friend

this from the new mapquest iphone map ...
made by AOL, if you can believe it

wii balance board ...

... in its april fool's outfit.