Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Welcome to Hotel Turkey Breast

New FoodMaster specials


Remember when I blogged about the cool movies being projected onto the back wall of the FoodMaster in our backyard? No? Well get the hell back into the archives and find it! I think it's on livejournal.

I took this photo a few days ago from our back deck. The neighbors downstairs have installed a local area FM transmitter on the laptop playing the DVD, so they can listen in silence at any time of the night. The project is not even noticeable from our house unless we go to the window and look out.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Black Person iPod

iPod nano is about to rock my world. But I was a little taken aback by this invoice email from Apple:

 Item Product   Product Description       Total   Total   Unit       Extended
      Number                              Ordered Shipped Price      Price 
 001  PA107LL/A IPOD NANO 4G BLACK PERSON 1       1       249.00     249.00
                SerialNo.: ( XXXXXXXXXXXX )

Black Person iPod? Racist - isn't it?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Shake Your Punk Ass

If you've ever wondered what I would look like in a mini-skirt, dancing insanely to KISS ... it's time you found out:

Thanks (?) to iTunes and Cingular (archive.org hosting of original http://makemedance.com).

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Foodmaster Food Pyramid

The Foodmaster has a pretty high-tech receipt printing system, for such an overall low-tech (and some might say low-brow) grocery store. In addition to printing out an itemized list of everything you just bought, the Foodmaster receipt printing system separates them all by category. This is sort of like how some credit card statements break down what you bought into handy groups. At the Foodmaster, this means that as you're leaving the store, you can reflect on the weight of your alcohol purchases compared to everything else.

Of course, the Foodmaster's high-tech system doesn't make things too complicated. At first, I thought there were actually only four categories in place: meat, grocery, produce, and beer. If that isn't an advertisement for America then I don't know what is. Whoever came up with these categories obviously thought that wine was just a glorified, purple beer. "BEER - Napa Ridge Cab" and "BEER - R.R. Chardonnay" mark recent receipts.

As a vegetarian, I'm fortunate that my white-trash neighborhood supermarket is hip enough to stock at least a few veggie-boy feel-good necessities. Walking out the market door one evening I glanced down at my receipt. "I bought meat?" Sure enough, there it was on my receipt, "MEAT - Smart Dogs" and "MEAT - LOL Swiss Cheese." The LOL stands for "Land-O-Lakes," but in this context, it sounds like the store is having a fun internet chat with me ... "MEAT - Laugh Out Loud! Haha I'm fucking with you, I'm going to put swiss cheese in the meat section!"

I imagined some poor stock boy laboriously deciding which of these four food groups to classify newly stocked products in. I imagined him staring deeply at the tofu dogs for a minute or two before finally deciding that anything shaped like a hot dog is more meat than grocery. And cheese, it comes from an animal. Meat comes from an animal. Case closed.

Then I noticed that there are more categories than just the "Big 4" outlined above. There are actually tons of categories. I don't know if I've even exhausted them all, because they're so random and pointless. There's the "DELI" category, into which a package of ordinary water crackers falls (even though it was boxed and cellophane-wrapped just like any other "grocery" product). Then there's the DAIRY ... why didn't the fucking cheese end up in dairy? Dairy is apparently reserved for liquid dairy. Solid dairy is meat, and frozen dairy has its own category as well: "FROZEN FOOD." Well this little beauty of a category is helpful. I'm glad to know that frozen peas, ice cream, and a frozen side of ribs all belong to the same organization.

That's all for now, I'm off to enjoy a nice glass of room-temperature purple beer, some swiss cheese meat, and crackers fresh from the factory, via the deli, but shelved on the other side of the store from the deli.

Thanks for making life interesting, Foodmaster.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Cokes 'Til Sunrise

12-pack of a coke for $2.22? Where are Jeff & Suzy when I need them?



Sunday, September 04, 2005

Minuteman Bikeway Adventures

I decided to take a late Saturday afternoon ride on the Minuteman Bike Trail. This trail technically runs from the Alewife T Stop in Cambridge out to Bedford, but an extension to the trail brings it through part of Somerville, to within about a mile of my house.

I had ridden it once before just to Arlington Center, a mile or two past Alewife station, so today I thought I'd head out and try to go a bit further than I had last time. I had the idea that I might gradually build up distance on separate rides until one day making the entire journey to the end and back. Before today, I didn't even know where the end actually was, so it was sort of a magical mystery dream to explore as far as the end of it.

The ride was really pleasant, despite the throngs of idiots who pollute the trail on a nice summer day. Stupid moronic families loitering in the middle of the trail huffing and puffing, drinking juice out of a thermos. Get off the trail! Imbecile children riding on the wrong side of the path while imbecile parents warn them about completely stupid things like "don't go too fast, stay close to daddy," when they should be warning them that they're going to become kid-smear the first time some fast bicycle comes around a blind corner. Idiotic inline skaters who do their stupid skating moves in the middle of the trail, headphones blaring, obliviously sliding as far to the left and right as they possibly can as they meander their way up the path. Hey idiot! Olivia Newton-John just called and they're worried about you back in Xanadu!

Anywhoo... as I was saying, the ride was pleasant nonetheless. It's just a good thing I'm such a patient, easy-going, happy-go-lucky kind of guy.

After I had made it to my previous mark at Arlington Center, I was still attached to my original plan. Just go until the next "town intersection" or whatever and turn around. Well I started scooting along and before I knew it I was completely confused as to where I'd gotten to. Most of the path is bordered by either random suburban backyards or by public parks, making for a confusingly non-descript repeating landscape of baseball diamonds and monkey bars (which must be part of the attraction for the drooling stroller-pusher crowd; this trail is like the world's best bar-hopping strip for the Gymboree crowd). I kept thinking I would just go a little farther until I could figure out where I was. I was slightly concerned about getting too far and then having to trudge all the way home, but I took comfort in the fact that the trail seemed to be almost entirely a slight uphill incline going this way, so going home, I'd be practically coasting.

As I said, the trail is basically a connecting route for mothers drunk on the idea of bringing their children to the next park. But one field really stood out as I rode past. This was no municipal little league field. This field was not even fit for a state college! Surely it must be some kind of private hoity-toity school with bazillions of dollars:


But in fact, on the internet later, I discovered it is part of Arlington High School! A public school? I presume so. It sure looks nicer now than it does in that overhead shot on the web.

After not too terribly long, I made it to an intersection where the Veterans of Foreign Wars office confirmed for me my location in the city (town?) of Lexington, MA. Well, this is where I figured the bike trail ended. I hadn't looked on the web carefully enough, I suppose, but it had been my anecdotal impression that "the bike trail goes all the way to Lexington." So surely it must end soon, if not now. I kept pedaling.

I was in fact starting to get a little bit tired. I hadn't eaten lunch, and hadn't had much water to speak of for that matter, either. I arrived at Lexington Center (I presume) where I was greeted by a lovely drinking fountain and a quaint little tribute to the man who allegedly spearheaded the bike path I was presently enjoying.


I was pretty sure the path ended in Lexington, so I forged onward. I was still feeling surprisingly energetic, and I was excited to think that I might actually make it to the end today! The path at this point is very rustic, with few houses abutting it. I think in Lexington and beyond a lot of the land around it might be park land. I stopped to take a picture of what was ahead of and behind me on a particular straight stretch of path.


Finally, I reached an "end of the road" looking place. Bedford, MA! Hmm! Well, I didn't know it went there, and that's kind of far! I asked some bike dorks in the parking lot if this was the end of the road, and they confirmed it. Here is a dorky little restaurant or something you can go to if you end up at the end of the Minuteman Bike trail.

I was so disappointed with the destination (no offense to Bedford residents, I'm sure it's got much prettier spots than this - and isn't BBEdit made there?), that I decided to venture a little off the trail, just to see what was around. I went about 500 feet in one direction and discovered the welcome sign to Raytheon, a major military defense contractor. Gotta love the calm, relaxing countryside!


I decided to head home. I had passed up some interesting sites on the way in without taking pictures, because the uphill incline encouraged me to keep my momentum instead of stopping for tomfoolery. On the way back, I made sure to stop and grab a shot of an amazing sign I had seen on the way in. There are few signs on the path, so you notice them when you see them. I couldn't help but wonder when I saw this sign, is somebody going to sell me crab here, or are they inviting me to play Nintendo's Legend of Zelda?


It turns out that this sign is a remnant of what was once a more prolific guerrilla art exhibit on the trail. I found a reference from the Minuteman Bike Trail site to the Sonik and the "Bolted Signs Project." While I'm excited to learn what the hell the signs were about, I'm glad the trail isn't littered with a bunch of signs like what's shown on the web site. Evidently somebody agreed with me and tore down all the signs except for the cute crab and squid pictured above.

The ride back was shaping up to be a bit tougher than I had expected. Apparently the "uphill incline" I had counted on for most of the trip had actually turned into a slight downhill after Lexington, and now I was paying for it. My fingers were turning numb from gripping the handlebars, and my ass was starting to hurt, due to the fact that all bicycle seats make your ass hurt unless you've been riding every day for a month. I was starting to think about the recent Runners World article I'd read about hill runners, and their tradition of grabbing a pint of beer between runs. I thought it would be a nice refuel, especially since I hadn't had lunch. Hell, I might be able to score a cheese toasty, or at least nachos. I stopped in Lexington, because they were kind enough to put a sign on the trail advertising the "Buckman Tavern." Hell yes!


History Schmistory! It's just not cool to put a sign for a tavern on a bike trail where sweaty, exhausted individuals will read it, and have it be a historical museum. Eat your heart out, Jeff!

I thought maybe Lexington would have *something* to sate my hunger, so I took a walk down the street. Unfortunately, the town that once housed our country's most rebellious fighters is now home to posh yuppie eateries, Starbucks, and the most frickin' yupped out gilded Dunkin' Donuts on the face of the earth.


I decided to suffer the thirst and hunger and barrel on towards Arlington. On the trail, I did observe one slightly less highbrow refreshment offer. One of the applications of capitalism directly on the trail. I decided to keep pedaling instead of wasting time tinkering with these machines.


But I did stop to take a quick snapshot of the headquarters of the ice cream company I ridiculed in a recent post!


Finally I made it to Arlington, and stopped at Spy Pond, where a refreshing drinking fountain and the low sun over the water provided a kind resting spot.


I made it home about 3.5 hours after I had left. Not bad for a 26-30 mile trek that included many a ponderous moment and camera clicking.