Apr 172014
  • Blooming Bradford pears smell like stale urine.
  • Dad turned 70 on Monday. Happy Birthday! I love you.
  • My foot started feeling a lot better Tuesday afternoon. Had my first physical therapy session yesterday, and I have almost full range of motion and only a little swelling. We made another appointment for two weeks out, which I’ll cancel if this continues. After such a miserable Thursday through Monday, I’ll take it!
  • I came within 50 pages of reading Paul Stanley’s book in one sitting last night. It’s articulate, candid, and thoroughly engaging. It’s easily the best book by a Kiss member.
  • My Lenten vegetarianism is 94.2% in the books. I’ve been 100% compliant and I’m not dropping the ball now. Leaning against abstaining from red meat entirely after Easter, though I will likely cut my consumption significantly.
  • Tuesday’s freeze likely helped out with bugs, but it wasn’t cold enough for long enough to be as devastating as the late freeze five or six years ago.
  • One of my ubiquitous clandestine informants shared with me that Coach Saban was highly fired up addressing the local Red Elephant chapter this spring. He spoke passionately of “rebuilding” at Alabama. He was referring to attitude – players, staff, and fans. I was excited listening to the report of the meeting. The A-Day game is Saturday at 1. Roll Tide!
 Posted by at 9:05 am
Apr 162014
  • Overtip for good service more than you undertip for bad.
  • Purchase only high-quality socks, pens, and beer. Pinch pennies somewhere else.
  • Stay out of Wal-Mart for the rest of your life.
  • Be five minutes early everywhere you go. You’ll almost always find a way to build value for the appointment as a result.
  • If you don’t know what a word means, look it up. If you can’t look it up, ask.
  • Drive as if there is a full glass of water on the dashboard.
  • Actively seek at least one big laugh every day.
 Posted by at 1:35 pm
Apr 152014

As I type, I have just about 100 hours of my meatless Lent left. I would love to tell you that I’m seeing it out peacefully and in a place of greatly centered spirituality.

The reality is that I have more than half of my meals planned next week, and I can’t wait. I’m trying desperately to keep things as herbivorously interesting as possible for these last few days.

It was in this spirit that I went into Publix looking for something interesting to fry with the boys’ chicken sandwiches tonight. Thought I might find some onion rings. Then I saw Arby’s Seasoned Curly Fries ($3.19), and that got the nod.

arbys1Arby’s curly fries are a viscerally gustatory time warp straight back to high school for me. We hung out there quite a bit. Those fries are also some of the only fast food items left that taste like they did in 1988. It’s a high bar indeed to get over with me on this frozen grocery store freezer case item. Hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I found the appearance out of the package a bit jarring:

arbys2I expected the fries to be pale, but a perusal of the package reveals why they’re not. The only provided instructions for preparation are to bake them in the oven at 450º. So basically, these are already cooked—you’re warming them and giving them a little patina of crisp.

I deep-fried them instead. Because fries. I went four minutes in canola oil at 375º. Here they are cooling:

arbys3The moment of truth was very satisfying. Dudes and dolls, I can tell you with conviction that those are, essentially, Arby’s curly fries sitting in your grocer’s freezer. These are them for less than half the price, and without you having to put pants on.

The only probable deviation from how they do it at the restaurants, and the only minor deduction in my rating, has to do with them being already cooked when they come out of the bag.

But because they are, I’m confident in my assumption that following oven instructions will result in a highly palatable product, just as my unsupported deep fryer path did.

Go for it. They’re worthy.


 Posted by at 8:22 pm
Apr 132014

I had a busy weekend scheduled, but I’ve been home since late Friday morning.

The diagnosis is peroneal tendonitis, and I promise it hurts a lot more than it sounds like it does.

I was walking to my car Thursday evening when over the course of about ten steps, it became impossible for me to hold my left foot in any way but absolutely parallel to the ground. Any front-to-back shift of the sort that is customary when walking caused sharp and immediate pain.

bootFortunately I already had an appointment with my general practitioner on Friday morning. She referred me to an orthopedist, and I was home before noon with two called-in prescriptions, a home rehab plan, and a big boot.

I must have done most of the damage hiking at Camp McDowell, but I never had any pain from that apart from usual soreness. It was bizarre for it to decay so quickly more than 24 hours later.

I’m not happy, but Achilles tendon damage was the other candidate diagnosis and would have been a lot more serious, so I’m thankful it wasn’t that.

Still hurts, but not like it did.

 Posted by at 1:42 pm is using WP-Gravatar