Saturday, October 21, 2017

A sneak preview of the upcoming State Fair food report

I haven't had time to write the full report, but I wanted to share this one lovely dish with you:

Click the image to see a larger version.

Say hello to the one, the only, bacon cheddar pretzel dog. 

With Fair food, I think it's sometimes wise to dig a bit into the details to see just how much each dish delivers on the promise of its name.

The bacon here felt and tasted real, as if someone had in fact cooked and diced some bacon.  It was, of course, yummy, as bacon is.

The use of the term "cheddar" is questionable at best.  The white gooey mess that overflowed the base into the container was definitely cheese-like, maybe even cheese-ish, and in its cheese-like sticky way was surprisingly good, particularly when you ate it with the rest.  Was it, however, actually cheddar?  Only in that the term was as close a cheese label as one might reasonably choose for this particular concoction.

The coating was definitely pretzel dough.  The dish earns an A+ for honesty on that front.

As for the final word and the heart of the beast, this lovely creation benefits from the fact that it's extremely hard to define the limits of the hot dog category.  Better than a red hot but not up to an all-beef dog, the one inside the pretzel tasted good enough that I was quite happy to have had two bites.

Overall, I considered the bacon cheddar pretzel dog to be quite tasty, as did all those who sampled it. 

Well done, Fair food creators!

Friday, October 20, 2017

The peace of fall

Chills sweeping like songs through the days.  Nights sneaking ever closer in a slow game of tag.  Trees proud and green one moment, then shedding the next, preparing for rest and rebirth.  Moons screaming "Harvest!" and "Hunt!" to all who will listen.  Summer's heat fading from memory while winter remains a blur on the horizon.  Softer, rippling air that refreshes one moment and then warns the next.   

I love fall.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Time for a little Stephen Kellogg

This one sprang to mind, and I couldn't shake it, so I'm sharing it with you.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Is it odd

that I want to replace all tech items with newer, better versions as soon as those new releases are available, but I feel betrayed by the fact that a bathing suit I bought in 1995 and have used since then recently split entirely in half?

I don't think so.  Clothing should last forever.

I have learned, however, that not everyone agrees with me.  In fact, some apparently consider my attitude downright odd.

I, obviously, do not.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Every time I read the news

I try to control my anger, and in the process I often think of the immortal words of Elvis Costello:

Oh, I used to be disgusted
But now I try to be amused

It's not working, and at core I believe disgust and rage are appropriate, but sometimes I aim for amused.

Monday, October 16, 2017

When an Internet outage turns surreal

After dinner last night in Toronto, I returned to my room and settled down to do all the work that had accumulated.  I couldn't handle my email, however, because I could not get an Internet connection from the hotel's Wi-Fi service.  After verifying the problem occurred on multiple devices, I called the hotel.  They immediately transferred me to "technical support."

After about ten minutes of tedious muzak and reminders that they would service those of us in the queue in the order in which we entered it, a tech came on the line and asked what my problem was.

I explained that the Internet service was out at my hotel. 

She made me provide the hotel name (fair enough), my name, my room number, and whether I was in the room.

I did.  I asked why she needed all of that information--some made sense, some did not, at least to me--and she said, "Security."

I asked about the problem, and she said, "Yes, there is a minor problem with the hotel's Internet service."

"So," I said, "you'll fix it soon; is that right?"

"It's been escalated to our highest-level tech support team," she said.

"So it's not a minor problem?"

"It's a minor problem."

"So you'll fix it soon?"

"It's been escalated to our highest-level tech support team."

"Can you tell me what the problem is?"




"Can you tell me when you'll fix it?"




"I'm trying to figure out if I need to leave the hotel to find a place to work.  I don't want to do that if you will be fixing it soon.  Can you at least tell me if you're likely to fix it soon?"

"It's a minor problem."

"I understand.  Can you at least give me a timeframe in which you expect to fix it?"

"No."  Long pause.  "For security reasons."

"Seriously?" I said.  "You're really going to stick to that story?"

"It's for security," she said.

I gave up. 

Maybe this Internet connection company and the people who protect my allergy serum from terrorist attacks could combine to broaden their security empire. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017


is a new (to me) Cirque show that by happy coincidence is running in Toronto right now and that I got to see today.  I'm happy to report that Cirque continues to be in fine form:  the show was magical, mesmerizing, and a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours on a rainy gray afternoon.

The story began a bit heavy-handed, but it quickly picked up speed and turned into a touching tale of accepting your differences and finding your own path with them.  The acts ranged from acrobatics to stunt bike-riding, and getting to see them up close was very cool.

As always, I can't recommend Cirque shows enough.  I feel privileged to have seen the one's I've had the chance to enjoy.


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