Aug 102017

(Click images below for larger versions.)

 Posted by at 8:46 pm
Aug 092017

I have blogged about my friend Marianne before. She is my old high school friend from Oxford who was somehow born an adult.

Her daughter Mileena has this year escaped from an abusive relationship that is threatening her health and could have easily ended her life. She has shared the terrifying narrative of her last sixteen months on Facebook, and made the post public so that anyone can read and share it. Please do so. Take it to heart. Share it with someone who needs to read it. I’m so glad Mileena is out of her situation, and I’m so proud she has the courage to tell her story and encourage its dispersion.

I believe there are few human betrayals more heinous than gaining the trust and love of a woman, then violating her with abuse. It is truly disturbing dissonance: one of this life’s greatest blessings answered with wanton cruelty.

I don’t know whether there is a fire and brimstone hell, but if there is, I hope it is stuffed with unrepentant monsters who terrorized women in their own homes.

It is never all right to live in fear of abuse. If you have nowhere else to turn, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They can help you get out.

 Posted by at 3:21 pm
Aug 072017

Huntsville Restaurant Week begins on Friday, and runs through the following Sunday!

There are more than 60 participating restaurants this year, spanning numerous American and international cuisines. It’s a great time to love food in Huntsville, Alabama!

Here is an encounter I had from each stop on the Food Blogger tour this year (click to visit each respective restaurant site):

Watch for my further adventures from the tour this week, both here and at Rocket City Mom!

 Posted by at 1:58 pm
Aug 042017

I wrote a little last week about a product called Coca-Cola Zero Sugar replacing Coke Zero, and the resulting anxiety in the existing drink’s fan base (and how I could relate to it).

The way Coca-Cola was talking about it—shoot, even the greatly increased red in the graphics—had me thinking there might be something genuinely notable here.

After sampling the new product extensively, that is not my opinion. In fact, for fans of existing Coke Zero, we may have in Coke Zero Sugar the ultimate insult—a product that is only incrementally changed from the one it replaces. I think you could have handed this to me blind and I’d have thought it was Coke Zero.

The artificiality in the taste of Coke Zero has always been rather distinctive to me. Most diet soft drinks have aftertastes. Coke Zero has kind of a synthetic, maybe vaguely industrial “middle” taste—a taste for which I’ve never found a close analog in any other drink. I still perceive that same thing in Coke Zero Sugar, though it may be a little diminished.

Other than that, it may be a little less sweet. That’s it. The new product still uses both aspartame and acesulfame potassium (Ace K). It pours and sips like Coke Zero.

It is still considerably better than Diet Coke, though that’s a low bar. It mixes with liquor about as well as the product it replaces, which is to say better than most diet colas (but Diet Rite is still king here). I rate it about where I rate the outgoing product, with one point deducted for making us think, if only for a moment, that there may actually be a revolution here.


 Posted by at 9:57 am
Aug 032017
  • The boys and I watched Red Dawn last night. They dug it. I enjoyed seeing it again. I wish the remake opportunity hadn’t been so badly squandered.
  • I have eaten at an Indian restaurant perhaps ten times now. I’m sad that I apparently can’t connect with this cuisine like I have all other major Asian cuisines. I never leave hungry, but I also never find anything that makes me say “oh, I have to come back for that.” I want to be a fan. I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
  • It’s love with Mr. Robot. I may actually watch this in real time, when season three comes on month after next. (I’ll still DVR and start 20 minutes late so I can zap commercials.)
  • I will definitely be reviewing an expensive, widely-advertised pair of men’s underwear soon. I am waiting for a superficially similar but considerably less expensive product to arrive so that I may incorporate findings with that product into the review as well.
  • My friend Sarah has recently finished a book on the beer scene in northern Alabama. I’m happy for her and looking forward to purchasing an autographed, beer-glass-ringed copy of it!
  • Chicken wing prices are going up, and expected to continue to do so. This will not impact the frequency of my #hsvhotwings reviews, though if they go high enough I’ll likely reconsider whether $1/wing is a reasonable value threshold.
  • Temperatures aren’t forecast to fall significantly yet, but it appears we do have mostly highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s on deck. It’ll feel like football soon—and thanks to our new HVAC unit, we’re going to escape the summer never having seen a $300 electric bill. I think this will be the first time since Lea stopped working outside the home.
 Posted by at 1:05 pm is using WP-Gravatar