No idea what it is, But it’s fun.

Eieloris in flight to Brewfest. This trek involved hoofing it through the Wetlands to get to Ironforge.
Tharthurm taking tourist pictures with the Orgrimmar guard.
Creavishop is seeing Pink Elekks. They look like elephants for some reason.
I think I’ve found my new favorite thing in the universe.
Peaceful drunken sleep.

Distracted Driving

Another rant inspired by Jeff Ward and Our Little Show. I can’t find any information on this subject other than the news story on KLBJ AM’s website, but I’m betting that this issue is being discussed, along with the issue of red light cameras

[go here to voice your opposition to that issue. Red light cameras actually cause accidents because of their effect on traffic, and because the governments that install them also shorten yellow light times so as to make more money from the cameras. It’s all about cash flow]

both of which are favored by a number of Austin City council members (Congresscritters in training is what they really are) neither of which are good ideas. Don’t take my word for it, check out what AAA has to say about the dangers of driving distracted. Sure, I’ve nearly been run over by people on cell phones (more than once) I’ve also been nearly run over by people arguing with children, spilling coffee, doing their makeup, shaving, you name it.

When I have been run over (I think the total is about 6 wrecks now, none of which my insurance had to pay for) it’s always been by someone who was distracted by a passenger in the car. Maybe we should limit vehicle capacity to one person. That should cut down on the number of accidents.

But the thing that really chaps my hide is this driving need on the part of politicians to pass a new law that essentially duplicates parts of laws already on the books. If a policeman feels you are unreasonably distracted by your use of a cell phone, he can already pull you over and issue a ticket for reckless driving. So the new law does…?

Nothing but put more money into government coffers.

City Council contact info.

5 foods that should have a place in your diet

What was I thinking? I just gave up coffee again and now this…

Now that scientists are looking beneath the surface at mushrooms, avocados, and peanuts–as well as once-maligned eggs and coffee–redeeming qualities for each of these five foods are coming to light. They have nutritional respect and deserve a place at your table.

read more | digg story

Coffee improves memory! Maybe I’ll finally remember all those things I’ve forgotten

Jail Time for Taking Food From Trash

Ran across this story while surfing a local news radio site. Two guys who hopped a fence and dug through a grocery stores’ refuse bins have been charged with trespass and theft.

The DA wanted to charge them with felonies, but they plea bargained the charge down to a misdemeanor, even though they had to do 6 months of time behind bars (instead of the few days the DA offered for accepting the felony charge) for the lessor charge. I guess they knew that a felony conviction marks you as a criminal for life these days; and is frequently used to deny work, licenses, and any number of other things that government busybodies can think of to take away from those horrible criminals that clog the system.

I worked my way through high school and technical school at various grocery stores. Every night I worked it was my job to take the out of date food to the bins. When the food wasn’t damaged, but was just out of date, I frequently would set it aside for someone to pick up; that someone generally being me. As the eldest in a single parent family of five, I felt it was my job to help provide for the family. We never went hungry, in part because of the supplemental food that I diverted from being wasted in the city landfill.

My manager, on the other hand, took a pretty dim view of my theft of store goods. Never mind that they were going to throw it away, it was the principle of the thing. They said it was garbage, and it was going to be thrown away, not eaten by somebody who hadn’t paid for it. The few times he caught me setting food aside for later, he stayed behind to make sure I destroyed it before throwing it in the dumpster. If I refused, he would do it himself.

[this was the same idiot who locked me out of the store during a tornado because I was out in the parking lot when he decided to take shelter in the walk-in. He told me “I didn’t want anyone to be able to steal something while we were hiding. Stealing food in the middle of a tornado. Riiiiiight.]Are these guys criminals? Not to me. To me, they’re just a couple of hungry people who should have known better than to jump a fence. Now, to my manager on the other hand…

…I’m sure he would want those felons to pay for what they’ve done. I never knew that he had a sex change and became a DA in another state. There can’t be two people that stupid on the planet.

Corporate correspondence

In the continuing saga of “The Quest for Sobe Black Tea“:

A Message from Consumer Relations 011015940A
Hello Anthony,
Thank you for taking the time to email us here at SoBe Beverages. It’s always a pleasure to hear from lizard lovers like yourself.
Unfortunately, the product that you are asking about is no longer carried by the local distributor in your area. However, keep your eyes open for new beverages from SoBe in your area. In the meantime, your comments will be shared with our sales team and senior marketing staff. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Again, thank you for contacting us. We appreciate your interest in our company.
Lauren Napolitano
Consumer Relations Representative


Couldn’t care less about any other flavor of beverage that you produce. I have been on quest for Sobe Black Tea since I first discovered Sobe on a road trip to West Texas nearly 10 years ago. Following that discovery, I went to more than 50 quickshops in the Austin area, personally, in order to get Black Tea from the local distributor. Instead I get all the other flavors BUT Black Tea.

I can’t even buy it online. I can’t even buy it directly from you. I am beyond pissed at this point, I’m just about livid. I would really like some answers as to why I can get 19 other flavors of Sobe in Austin, but I can’t get Black Tea? Does someone need to be replaced at the local distributor? In my opinion, the answer is yes.

I would really like a response that answers questions rather than a blow off note that suggests I find something else to like. As someone who will special order Cokes, Dr. Peppers and 7-ups with real sugar in them, just to get the ‘real thing’, I think it’s a more likely possibility that Satan will ice skate to work tomorrow.

Also, I noticed that the domain name changed from to If you notice my list of favorites, you might come to realize that there isn’t much love lost between me and Pepsi.

Your turn at bat, swing and a miss?

Dr. Pepper addiction

The wife has a Dr. Pepper addiction, and she’s going through withdrawals. It’s a terrible thing to witness. She used to drink the same old ordinary Dr. Pepper that everyone else drinks, but recently we took a trip to visit relatives and stopped off in Dublin (Texas, not Ireland. But they try hard to ‘put on the green’ there) home of the oldest Dr. Pepper bottling plant in the world. Ever since then, the regular (corn syrup, not cane sugar) DP just aint good enough. She’s driving me crazy, and she’s drinking my sugar Coca-Cola.

So, I have a plan. Sam’s Club will stock the Dublin DP (like they stock the Sugar Coke, imported from Mexico) if they get enough requests for it. So, if everyone who reads this clicks the ‘requests’ link and makes one, surely that would be enough, right…?

Coffee drinking

Back when I first started working in an office I was a hard core tea drinker. Tea and nothing but tea. I used to mock the coffee drinkers (while waiting for the water to boil) with an outsiders description of their weird habits.

“Imagine what the first guy who made coffee was thinking: I’m going to pull these berries off this bush here and leave them laying in the sun. Then I’m going to burn them in the fire. Then I’m going to grind them up and run hot water through the grounds. After that, I’ll throw the grounds away and drink the water. Does any of this make sense?”Someone finally responded, “about as much sense as running water through leaves and drinking it.” Got me to thinking. Most offices are coffee-centric; coffee is kept hot and ready to drink pretty much all day long. If you want to drink anything else, you pretty much have to “do it yourself”. Eventually (after about 10 years) I got tired of ‘doing it myself’ and started drinking coffee.

One of the things that struck me, right off, is that most people’s coffee is actually more like battery acid. Pre-ground coffee is the worst. If it’s been ground for more than a few hours, the flavor of the coffee that you will get has already changed. If it’s been ground, canned and shipped, there is no way to get a cup of coffee that isn’t bitter. Just can’t happen. You have to start with whole beans, there is no other way. I don’t know how many times I’ve wandered into a convenience store and marveled at how many brave people there must be out there, to actually drink anything that looks and smells like that. Which brings me to…

Secondly, the equipment has to be clean. No one in any office that I’ve worked in for the last 20 years has ever cleaned the coffee maker. This leads to the coffee being even more bitter than it would have been originally. Every few days at least, swirl a little water around in the carafe (which has to be glass, by the way) and rinse out the basket. Or perhaps even throw caution to the wind and actually wash them with soap and water. Your stomach will thank you for it.

Get an electric grinder. Experiment with different grinds to see what you like (I grind the coffee fine, myself) Only grind the coffee when you are ready to make it. Make sure the coffee maker is clean. And get some decent coffee beans to start with. I recommend Capulin. Hands down the finest cup of coffee I’ve ever had. There’s a whole host of reasons why you might want to buy your coffee there, other than the fact that it’s the best. But that’s a good enough reason for me.

Why is Capulin ‘the best’? Because I’ve never had a bitter cup of coffee from Capulin beans. Even when I’ve had to re-heat a cup. I take my coffee black (tea the same way) so I’m conscious of what the flavor is. There is a natural (what is called in wine tasting circles) ‘fruity’ or ‘earthy’ flavor to the coffee; a flavor that is missing from coffee available at the local markets. I’ve tried the ever-present Starbucks, mail ordered Gevalia, and run through all the commercially available brands from the local markets over the years. Only Gevalia comes close in flavor. Visit the site and read up on Capulin. Tell Daniel I sent you.

Now sit back and relax for a few minutes. Life is stressful enough without taking the time to enjoy a good cup of coffee.

Now that I’m no longer in a coffee-centric office 12-plus hours a day, I’m back to drinking tea.  I drank coffee at home for a few years, but I began to notice an inability to sleep when I drank coffee at all during the day.  Now I either have one cup in the morning as I’m driving the boy to school, or I get no coffee at all.  Which means I’ve had to say goodbye to good coffee I prepare myself (can’t afford that temptation, sorry Capulin!) If I have time, the Wafflehouse has hands down the best coffee on the face of the planet. If I don’t I drink the battery acid you can get through any drive through window in the US.

I’m a purist when it comes to tea, too (no one is surprised, I’m sure) Russian tea you drink hot with jelly (another time when reading SF paid off. Thank you Niven & Pournelle for penning Mote)  English tea, hot with milk or lemon and honey.  Green tea is good too, just hand it to me straight.  Iced tea is definitely not Southern Style in this household.  No sugar added, not even during the boiling stage. Almost an aggravation beyond bearing to have to insist on UNSWEETENED tea in order to get my tea unadulterated. But that is life in the South of the US.

Common Sense Alternatives

It’s my curse to see them, and then spend my time arguing with complete buffoons about them.

Like the smoking argument, the solution the the drinking and driving problem isn’t less alcohol consumption, or more expensive drinks. Just as the solution to problems with second hand smoke isn’t keeping people from smoking. The solution is architectural, or in this case, a zoning issue. If it was possible to set up neighborhood pubs or sidewalk cafes as they do in other cities around the world, it wouldn’t be necessary to drive down to the pub to get a pint, or to the cafe to get a taste. You could walk there.

De-stressing the forbidden nature of alcohol would go along way in stopping teenage drinking as well, but I don’t expect anyone will listen to this argument any more than they have listened to the other arguments I’ve offered.