Saturday, December 27, 2008

Coming to America, McDowells, & who we are as a people

There are some places in life that capture our imagination. There are places we see in movies or read about in books that make us wish we could go there.

For some it's the Yellow Brick road from The Wizard of Oz. For fatter people it's The Land of Chocolate from The Simpsons. For the illiterate it's....well...1955 from "Back to The Future."

But all of these pale in comparison to a mythical place that captured the hearts and mind of every kid who believed in America. Yes my friends, I'm talking about the fast food place of McDowell's from "Coming to America" where Eddie Murphy (Prince Hakeem) works as a janitor and meets owner Mr. McDowell's daughter, Lisa.

Now clearly the restaurant isn't a real place, or is it...

Major props go to my brother who upon watching the movie again today and noticed that they mention the McDowell's address, 85-07 Queens Blvd.

So what did he do? He Google Mapped (yes "Google Mapped" is a verb) 85-07 Queens Blvd., Queens, NY 11373 and found what's in its place! ....and it's also a fast food place, Wendy's !!!
I know. This is big.

In this picture he put together you see a picture of the present-day Wendy's restaurant and in the corner, an screenshot of a picture of McDowell's from the movie.

Yes this is groundbreaking stuff.

Forget about trying to figure out the plot of the Mumbai attackers or who's to blame for the present housing crisis. This kind of research should win award. Big awards. Awards given out at large gala events.

Things to do in my life before I die #372 : Eat at this Wendy's

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kings vs. Blue Jackets @ Columbus

Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio

Kings win 3-0, to give goalie Jonathan Quick (great goalie name) his first win/shutout of the year. The funny moment of the night occurred after the Blue Jackets had a goal disallowed (the second time for them in 3 games). When the verdict was confirmed by replay, the fans chanted "Toronto sucks" in reference to the fact that the league's central replay center is in Toronto.

Smart taunting is funny. Having Boston Celtics fans chant "Beat LA" while still playing the 76ers since it's in their last game prior to the Lakers/Celtics Christmas match-up is one thing, but yelling that a city sucks even with no reference or animosity to the team that plays their (the Leafs) or their players is hilarious.

Sadly for Jackets it was the loudest the fans got all game.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Drinks on a Plane, Part 2: Ordering drinks on a plane

Now that we have established the Taco Bell Postulate, the concept that a limited number of mathematical options can be trumped by the will of humans has been firmly established.

More importantly my ode to Taco Bell shows that not only is possible to an infinite number of permutation from a finite number of ingredients, but we value it.

Taco Bell has more R&D then most recession hit automakers.

And so with that comes the natural issue of ordering drinks on a plane. When the beverage cart rolls around I always feel a sense of one upsmanship on what to order.

When the steward rolls down the aisle there are several dynamics at work. On one hand you're thirsty, that is a given. But on the other hand the other 3 people in your row with whom you're rubbing elbows with (but never speaking to) will have only three points to judge you on during the whole flight.... assuming you don't smell very badly, which clearly will trump the others:
  1. Assuming you're not in the window seat, when they have to use the loo, do you get out of your seat and temporarily stand in the aisle, or do you make them go over you while sitting down?
  2. What clothes are you wearing?
  3. What are you ordering for your drink!
Constructing broad character sketches out of three random items is a tactic used by only two types of people: passengers and Indian people.

But I digress.

Coke is always an easy option. Ordering water is just sheer stupidity because the water is so freaking cold it increases your propensity to pee much more so than other drinks. And we all know my views towards using the lavatory on the plane.

Lately I've started the new trend of getting orange juice. OJ has taste and it is distinguishing. The problem is that it's a total crapshoot. If you're flying on some shoddy airlines like Alitalia or at times Delta (which is like being on a flying bus with its plastic seats minus the ambiance) the OJ may be overly sour. I mean it's not like I expect anything to be freshly squeezed, but this is going to be tooo concentrated. Your only option at this point is to get ice to dilute it. But this will bring us back to the water sitch, where it's too cold.

The winning choice, after years of research and personal trials, the champagne of soda. Yes, the one and only (or as I heard at some random Indian show several years ago "...the one and one-ly...") Ginger Ale.

Ordering Ginger Ale usually causes one of your other row-mates to change their order OR at least nod approvingly. We're not looking for a ticker tape parade with our choice, just an acknowledgment that given a limited set of choices that were available to everyone, you still won.

And after all, isn't it all about winning?

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kings vs. Blues @ Staples Center

Winner winner, chicken dinner, Kings win 6 to 2, behind three 2nd period goals and a hat trick by el Capitan, Dustin Brown.

Staples Center in LA

The best moment of the game (besides the barrage of hats thrown onto the ice after Brownie's hat trick) was with about 3 minutes left and they played opera solo while the King's mascot Bailey was dressed like a fat opera singer.

The fat lady had sung. Classy, super classy.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Drinks on a Plane, Part 1: the Taco Bell postulate

One of the most amazing innovations in recent modern history has been Taco Bell's ability to create a seemingly endless variety of new dishes using only the same 7 ingredients.

Mathematically we can define the number of permutations that cheese, ground beef, tomatoes, lettuce, beans, chicken, and a tortilla can have as:

P(7,7) + P(7,6) + P (7,5) + P(7,4) + P(7,3) + P(7,2) + P(7,1)

Or put verbally, the summation of the number of dishes with 7 ingredient combos plus 6 ingredient combos plus 5 ingredient combos ingredient combos.

And yet Taco Bell has found a way to take this answer of 8,660 (yes that's the real number) and wave a big greasy finger in the air at math by trumping this number by rolling out a new dish every day. Taco Bell is doing things that math can't even contemplate, such as double cheese and meat dishes.


This concludes Part One of a two part series on seemingly long essay with little value.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things I Hate #126: Plane Tatti

Flying on planes is fun. They make you go in the air.
Going to the bathroom in the proper situation can also be relieving.

But flying and going to the bathroom are not fun. It's a scientific fact. There are three main reason for this:
  1. Not enough maneuvering space in the plane lavatory (which as a small kid I thought was just the word "laboratory" misspelled)
  2. Everyone from rows 8 through 35 knows how long you've been in the bathroom (first class has their own bathroom that we are not supposed to use)
  3. They smell
One of the things I learned from my math class on partial derivatives class was that if you can't solve for all the variables, you control for those you can. And in this case the only one you can control is #3....well partially (insert "chuckle chuckle" here).

The top way to control airplane bathroom smells is to not use them... or at least minimize your usage. So why in the hell do some people insist on using the bathroom right when they board the plane?

Listen, ass, there are perfectly good ones in the terminal, use those. Why would you prefer to use a small one in a flying metal capsule that is going to now haul your tatti around world. Keep it at the airport!

This is a lose-lose situation. It is not Pareto Optimal. It cannot be said that someone is made better without harming anyone else. In fact I would go as far as to say that it's Pareto Sub-Optimal, everyone is made worse by someone making a shitty decision. Literally.

Do I get overly annoyed by minor issues that don't require a 500 word essay? Maybe. But do I speak the truth on behalf of the muted masses? Always.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Emirates Stadium: 1-nil for the Arsenal....

Arsenal vs. Wigan, @ The Emirates (1-0 Arsenal won)

Any team that can get a train station named after them has some clout...

Every good roll of pictures of a beautiful stadium needs the prerequisite shot of me covering up having the stadium to get my face in. What's that "LB" hat I'm wearing?...ah yes keeping it real in London by all the playaz in Caliente Cali from Long Beach...

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Friday, December 5, 2008

52,000 hits

Ah ha! I broke through the 50,000 hit mark over the past (almost) 3 years. Not too shabby. So basically over 1,000 days nearly 50 hits a day. I'm star. It all started out so simple....

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

I miss trans fats

Rest in peace trans fats. Rest in peace.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kenneth Cole is not a philospher

I hate the stupid quotes on the front of Kenneth Cole stores. You know the quotes the ones that say nonsense like "You can change an outfit, you can outfit change, or both" or "Try walking a day in someone else's shoes, but get the right size."

I hate the fact that it's a pathetic attempt to seem edge, trendy, and so witty....except they're not. They're stupid. And, for that matter, has anyone pointed out that a lot of clothes at Kenneth Cole are nonsense and there shoes fall apart.

I'm not saying that I'm so contrarian and hardcore that I don't shop there. But I gotta say, everytime I walk through their doors I feel a little bit of my soul die. Sorta the opposite feeling of walking into a Banana Republic or eating a Pretzel Hot Dog from Wetzel's Pretzels.