Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Three minor things I do not shy away from, when confronted, though I tend to omit them in polite conversation with complete strangers.

  • I do not think much of the movie The Sandlot.  I don't dislike it.  It's not a bad movie.  It just never made any particular impression on me.  I've never really understood the fervor with which its adherents stand by.  I'm not knocking it, because I have my own sacred cows, for sure.  I'd long held that maybe I was just the wrong age when the movie came out.  My sister loves this movie.  LOVES THIS MOVIE.  Probably more than she loves me.  She was of an age with the kids in the movie, at the time the movie came out.  I tend to think Goonies and Explorers hit the same sort of note for me, a few years earlier, for a lot of the same reasons.
  • I am uncomfortable with the use of the adjective "savory," when describing a dish.  I am even less comfortable with other folks using the adjective, wielding it like a kid who's found a sword and waves it wildly because they've seen it on tv.  It seems too many things go into the word.  Sweet, sour, salty, I'm right with you.  Savory just doesn't work for me.  Seems too subjective.  Also seems like a word people hear on cooking shows and then use themselves to seem smart.  But then, maybe they do understand, and I don't, and this fact is what I am most uncomfortable with.
  • Over the course of several conventions, I made it my mission to get a picture of myself and Gary Coleman, without paying the exorbitant Gary Coleman fee.  I was never successful.  I got a good picture of Coleman, while trying to catch my mug in the shot, too.  If you look at it a certain way, it looks like Gary Coleman is peering into a giant ear.  (A certain way might involve lots of alcohol).  I am not proud of my quest.  Gary's been dead 5 years, this year.  Time flies, don't it?

Monday, March 23, 2015

In which our hero responds to a Buzzfeed list about food

Just minor thoughts of response to a Buzzfeed list about the 31 Weirdest Foods in America

This list, and my responses.

1.  Olive Loaf

I have tried.  I don't dislike, though I couldn't tell you the last time I had any.

2.  Jell-O Salad

It's not a pot luck in Tennessee unless somebody brings a Jell-O salad.  I think it's state law.  And that being the case, it means it's time to overthrow the current goverment, and violently.

3.  Koolickles

I have heard of these, but I have not tried.  I find myself intrigued.

4.  Chicken and Waffles

A combination that has grown on me.  Yes.

5.  Scrapple

I have tried.  It's not my thing, though if you're eating a sausage patty, you're only eating a differently spiced cousin of Scrapple.  Incidentally, my pilot for Cousin of Scrapple starts shooting next week.  We got Richard Moll, you guys!

6.  Grits

You're not allowed to vote in Tennessee unless you eat a bowl of grits, first.  Seriously, we need to look at the rulebook in this state.

7.  Deep Fried Butter

Though it may surprise you, I have never tried such a thing, nor am I in much of a rush, too.  I'm a little curious, sure.  Who isn't when you're young and out on your own?  But the time for such experimentation is in my past....

8.  Chitterlings

I have tried.  They didn't taste bad, I will admit.  Still, knowledge of what part of the anatomy they are, combined with the troubling texture make these things not something your old pal Tommy hungers for.

9.  Kraft Singles

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that they're good, or good for you.  But I have bought them.  I will buy them again.  Probably in bulk.

10.  Ambrosia Salad

Again, something of a potluck staple on those Sundays after church.  I have eaten.  I would hesitate, given the severe distaste for marshmallows I've developed in the past decade.

11.  Sloppy Joe.

Hells yes I've eaten a sloppy joe.  I've eaten a sloppy joe made out of goat meat.  This last phrase is on my business card.

12.  Pop Tarts

Hells yes I've eaten a Pop Tart, though I didn't get them as a kid.  I think this was due to my mother's severe phobia for the number 11, thus preventing our owning a toaster.

13.  Chicken Fried Steak

Again, Tennessee.  If Tennessee had it's own currency, it would have Chicken Fried Steak on the 5 note.

14.  Tater Tot Casserole

Yes.  I would eat a baking dish full of it now.  You think I won't?  Winner gets the other's car title.  We're doing this.  (No we're not).

15.  Red-Eye Gravy

The lady who took care of me when I was little would feed us Red-Eye Gravy.  In our bottles.

16.  Gumbo

It is the only way I will take my okra.  I realize this bars me from holding office in Tennessee,  We really need to change the Constitution, guys, though I'm really for putting Chicken Fried Steak on the money.  Or perhaps using it as money.

17.  Fry Sauce

Nope.  Not rushing out to find any, but I would try some.

18.  Twinkies

Come on now.  You think I look like I do without eating a Twinkie or three?  I'm not a great fan of the Twinkie, though.  If you're going Hostess, you should go with a Zinger.  Although naming a snack "Ding Dong" is tremendous fun, especially at family gatherings.  Which I don't get invited to, anymore.

19.  Sweet Potato and Marshmallow

Yep.  And what the fuck, America?  Stop it with the marshmallows.  It's like a nation full of gummy joes wandering around needing to mush their foods and enjoy the texture as it plops off your soft palate.

20.  Burgoo

Never even heard of such a mess.  I wouldn't turn it down, though, if somebody were to offer me a spoonful.

21.  Green Bean Casserole

Guys, the State of Tennessee keeps the Hanover Bean Company afloat with how many giant cans of Hanover Green Beans they buy each holiday.  Have I mentioned how much one of those big cans hurts when it falls onto your foot?  I'd have guessed as much, but these things happen when you're building a display of the things.  Note to Hanover:  Round the bottoms of your cans, assholes.

22.  Peeps

Dammit, America.  What is your obsession with peeps?  What folly.  Easter candy in general is firmly planted  in the gutter, what with its emphasis on Peeps, Cadbury Snot Eggs and the broken promise that is the hollow chocolate bunny.  Still, there's some props to be given.  I'd never have thought a marshmallow could be much more disgusting, but then they've decided to add sugary grit to that gooey garbage.

23.  The Doughnut Burger

You know, this gives me pause.  I have not tried.  I like burgers.  I like doughnuts.  I'm just not sure I'd like them together.   I'd try it.  I just don't think I'd like it.

24.  Mayonnaise

What's wrong with mayonnaise?  I mean, it's not like I eat more than a jar of it a week.  Ever meet somebody who made their own mayonnaise?  And I'm not talking about some sick joke, though my mind went there almost immediately.  Seriously, though.  Made their own?  Those people are heroes, guys.  And they're what makes America great.

25.  Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

I dislike this item's inclusion in the list.  Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches are awesome.  I have tried them fried, but I prefer them plain.  It's the only time I like white bread, too. Though I feel it's as good as time as any to mention that bananas should be sliced like poker chips, on the sandwich.  There is no alternative.   None.

26.  Rocky Mountain Oysters

Yes.  And I knew what they were.  They weren't horrible, though if something's breaded and deep fried, it's almost always good (excepting Okra).  I don't rush out to get them.  I don't order them.  But I've tried.

27.  Cincinnati Chili

Yep.  It's not bad, though I certainly wish the people of Cincinnati weren't so proud of it.

28.  Chicken Gizzards

I have tried them.  I luckily did not inherit my Dad's gene that makes him eat these like he's going to win a prize for it.  If I had a dollar for every time I saw him sharing these treats with the family dog, while I, my sister and Mom looked on, wondering why he'd spent his entire paycheck on chicken gizzards?  He'd probably knock me on my ass, and take that dollar to go buy chicken gizzards.

29.  Pickled Pigs Feet

They're not deplorable, but they're not worth the mess you make of your tuxedo when eating them.

30.  Meat Loaf

I enjoy this food, though not nearly as much as I enjoy the musical stylings of Marvin Aday.  And this is perhaps the truest statement I have made in the 13+ year history of this blogamathing.

31.  The KFC Double Down

I tried it.  It wasn't bad, though the two chicken patties are somewhat unwieldy.  I had to fashion a more adequate handhold by placing the sandwich in between two patties from a Hardee's Monster Burger, and then tying the whole thing together using beef and cheddar from an Arby's Beef and Cheddar.  My heart leapt out of my chest and helped me eat this thing, that's how much I loved it.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Big Stupid Tommy Fast Food Review: The Cheddar Bo

After weeks of seeing the insipid commercial for the Cheddar Bo for weeks now, I decided to try one.

I cannot dissuade stringently enough from trying this.

The theory itself is sound.  Cheese.  Bread in biscuit form.  Both things I enjoy.

The practice is an exercise in overkill, however.  There is too much cheese to make the thing an enjoyable breakfast food.

I ordered through the drive-thru.  This is an important factor.  If I get a breakfast food from a fast food place, it is through the drive-thru.  I'm a busy man.  Places to go.  People to see.  I'm that guy you see trying to jam a steak and egg biscuit down his gullet at the red light in Calhoun, chasing it with coffee blacker than the night he's driving to work in.

The Cheddar Bo is not a good food to eat in your car.  The cheese skirt (which is so delightfully and not condescendingly at all described in the spot above) welds the cheese to the foil it is wrapped in, if you do not get to the food soon enough after it is removed from the oven.  Bojangles biscuits are crumbly, in my experience, and prone to disintegration if the correct biscuit keystone is removed during eating.  There is not a solid enough medium in the biscuit to maintain structural integrity, when trying to remove cheese and biscuit from the foil.

I very likely broke several traffic laws in the midst of trying to remove biscuit from foil.

I ended up driving up Highway 11 eating crumbles of biscuit, and chasing it with a wad of melted and re-solidified mild cheddar cheese.

The cheese is a quandary.  I suggest this to the fine folks at Bojangles:  find a sharper cheddar, for more taste, and then use less.  Otherwise, you've got something people will either have to use two hands to eat, or use a fork and knife.  For a convenient breakfast food, it sucks....

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I've been going through some old comic boxes that I haven't gone through, it would seem, in more than ten years.  Getting ready to get rid of some.  Ebay.  Give some to the nephew.  Some to young friends Shyam has at the fisheries.  Point is, I don't need a few hundred pounds of fire hazard sitting in the hall closet.

At the bottom of one of the boxes, I found a yellow legal pad.

I've got dozens of these things around the house.  I make lists.  I write longhand.  I doodle.  They're just handy.

On this particular one, in early 2004, I'd started keeping track of the movie I watched.

I'd forgotten completely about this little project.  2004 was an odd year.  I was working third shift.  I didn't have a roommate, for the first time.  Since I was paying rent without help, I didn't have a lot of extra dough, so very few of these were seen in a theater.  Most were what I had on hand at the house, or rented (most likely from Videoculture, may she rest in peace...)

In July of that year, I moved back over to East Tennessee.  It was in the course of packing that I through this pad into the comic box, where it remained covered for nearly 11 years.

So apropos of nothing else, here's a list of the movies I watched from January through the middle of June, 2004:

1/1     Cold Mountain
1/1     Big Trouble
1/2     Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
1/4     Willard
1/5     Empire Records
1/6     Jeepers Creepers 2
1/9     American Wedding
1/13   The Twelve Chairs
1/14   Heroic Trio
1/14   Lost in Translation
1/17   Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
1/19   UHF
1/21   the Thirteenth Warrior
1/24   Johnny English
1/24   Open Range
1/25   Straw Dogs
1/25   the Killing
1/26   Cabin Fever
1/26   The Medallion
1/26    CQ
1/29   Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country
1/30   Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country (w/ commentary)
2/5     Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2/6     Melvin Goes to Dinner
2/6     Buffalo Soldiers
2/6     Night on Earth
2/7     Mallrats
2/7     Animal House
2/10     Independence Day
2/12     Jurassic Park
2/13    Thirteen
2/15     American Splendor
2/21     Road to Perdition
2/21     Rear Window
2/22     Runaway Jury
2/23     Brother from Outer Space
2/23     the Secret Lives of Dentists
2/23     Transformers: the Movie
2/26     Karate Kid
2/28     8-Mile
2/29     Hard Trip
2/29     Swimming Pool
2/29     Casino
3/1      Apollo 13
3/1     Club Dread
3/3     National Lampoon's Vacation
3/6    Dream Team
3/6    Intolerable Cruelty
3/7    A Shot in the Dark
3/7    Whipped
3/8    School of Rock
3/8    Shadow of the Vampire
3/13    Mona Lisa Smile
3/15    Spaceballs
3/20    The Missing
3/21    Underworld
3/21    Matchstick Men
3/22   Gremlins
3/23    A Mighty Wind
3/27    Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
3/28    O Brother Where Art Thou?
4/2     Hellboy
4/3    Clerks
4/4    Radio
4/5   St. Francisville Experiment
4/8      Batman Returns
4/9      the Alamo
4/10     It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
4/14    Ghostbusters
4/19    Looney Toons:  Back in Action
4/19    Timeline
4/20    the Shining
4/20    Monty Python and the Holy Grail
4/23    Stand by Me
4/24    Rain Man
4/25    Kill Bill, volume 1
4/25    Veronica Guerin
5/1     Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home
5/2    Star Trek V: the Final Frontier
5/3    Signs
5/5    Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
5/8    the Big Empty
5/9    Star Wars
5/9    Big Fish
5/12    Super Troopers
5/14   Star Trek: First Contact
5/18    Miracle
5/19    The Cooler
5/21    Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
5/25    Police Academy 2
5/27    The Day the Earth Stood Still
5/28    Day After Tomorrow
5/30    Weekend at Bernie's
6/2     Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
6/2     Empire Strikes Back
6/2     Return of the Jedi
6/4     Welcome to Mooseport
6/5     Deep Impact
6/6     Troy
6/12    Monster
6/13    Club Dread
6/14    Bubba Ho Tep
6/14    Near Dark

Monday, March 16, 2015


An all female reboot of Highlander with Rebecca Lobo as The Kurgan.

I don't mean that as an insult.  In the least.

Who wouldn't want to see a 6'4" woman swinging a broadsword?

Nobody.  That's who.

Everybody wants to see that.

If they tell you they don't, they're lying.

That would be the most awesome thing that's wandered down the pike since that Krystal commercial I posted a post or two down the page.

I'm also stuck on The Kurgan.  You notice that?  I notice that.  It's my goto 80's movie reference for badass bad guy.

I'm just saying, though.

If I win Powerball, we're gonna do this.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Morning Random Thoughts

A few thoughts, as I let the coffee work its magic on my brain.

Your old pal Tommy is on vacation this week.  It had been one where we'd had designs on heading up to Washington, DC, to take in a few sights.  Real life and baby trout had their say (her family's business raises trout, and the eggs require constant care for a week and a half to two weeks, and during that time, she can't be spared).  It's just one of the fun parts of being a grownup, I suppose, especially when the both of us work non-traditional schedules.

No worries, though.  Supposed to be a beautiful week.  And? The NCAA basketball tournament starts this week, today being Selection Sunday.

The first two days of the tournament are my favorite sports days of the year.  Lots of games running at the same time that all matter.  A bit of chaos put into the ultimate organization of a bracket.

It's a sad truth.  My sister and brother-in-law finished their divorce a couple years ago, now (I think).  I spent a good amount of time mad at him on her behalf, and I suppose I still do.  This is one of the times I miss having him around in the family, though.  Few of my friends follow college basketball, even to the limited extent that I do.  If he could get the day off for one of the tourney days, we'd always plant someplace with multiple teevees and watch.

Couch Potato Dreams, y'all!

Still.  It was nice to have a companion, there.  I'll still get together with a couple of fellers I work with, so this isn't meant to be a woe is me screed.  Still, I do miss that particular camaraderie between him and me.

Now, he said, changing the subject somewhat, with basketball, I don't have the time to follow multiple teams over the course of the season.  I followed Tennessee, when I could.  They looked strong early on, but lost their way in February.  I, like most people, was endlessly impressed with Josh Richardson.  It pleases me to hear that his NBA draft stock is high.  I feel like he deserved better for his last year in Knoxville than what they got.  Still, they did better than what I'd expected.  And it should tell you something that finishing 10th in a 14-team league is still better than expected.  Made me interested enough to see what Donnie Tyndall can do with his own recruits, and own system completely in place.

I found myself rooting for Auburn yesterday against Kentucky.  Part of it was a bit of nostalgia for those Bruce Pearl-led Tennessee teams.  Pearl's Auburn had won three games in the SEC tournament, coming in as a 13-seed.  They played against Kentucky.  Truth be told, if you fashioned a team out of diarrhea, I'd root for Diarrhea against Kentucky.

It wasn't a contest, though, between those team.  Led to me flipping over to Wisconsin and Purdue.  Wisconsin, as luck has it, is one of the few teams outside of the SEC that I have managed to catch over the season.  They looked good.  And in my limited experience, they look to be one of the only teams that would match up well against Kentucky.  (There are others, I'm sure....it's going to be a shit show when I fill out my bracket this year....)

More sports?  More sports.

It was our anniversary last night.  And because she's the best girlfriend in the world, Shyam wanted to hit a hockey game up in Knoxville last night.

After spending most of the season at or near the top of the standings, Knoxville has struggled at the same time that Pensacola, Mississippi and Columbus have hit their strides.  Knoxville's fallen to fifth, though with last night's win over Louisiana, they did secure a spot in the playoffs.  There's still a lot of hockey left to play.  3 points separate second and fifth place.  There's a lot of shaking out left to do there.

Consistency, at this level, is difficult.  For various reasons (retirement, moving to another league, suspension, injury, whathaveyou) the Ice Bears were without Frankie Drolet, Brett Valliquette, Peter Neal, Berkley Scott and David Segal.  Each was a vital part of the early season's successes.  New faces (including Lou Educate, who just pronounces his name incorrectly, frankly) are on the ice.  The new lines haven't gelled.  The Ice Bears sucked on the power play last night.  Stringing two passes together was difficult.  Watching was difficult, considering out well the team played early in the season....

Sunday, March 08, 2015

True Facts About DST

Good morning, campers.  I hope this Sunday finds you all fairly rested, and recovered from the tumult of having an hour stolen from you.


I don't want you to think of it any other way.

Those bastards stole an hour from you. 

But you'll get your revenge.  We'll all get our revenge.

But first?  A few facts about the time change:
  • The official term is Daylight Saving Time.  Not Daylight Savings Time.  You need to know this the next time you're speaking in front of the local Rotary Club.  The last thing you want is to be beaten to a pulp by a bunch of local busybodies with enough time to beat somebody up over what amounts to a pedantic pronunciation argument.  I worry that this will happen to you.  A lot.  It keeps me up at night.
  • History will tell you Modern Daylight Saving Time was proposed by New Zealander George Vernon Hudson, in 1895.  But what if I told you it was invented by the first president of the United States?  Truth is, Hudson was an immortal, who lived under several names in his life.  Among those?  George Washington.  The clues are there.  Same first name.  Washington lived at Mt. Vernon.  And Washington understood the import of the strategic value of the Hudson during the American Revolution.  Hudson was but one of the identities of the immortal originally born Eustace Ironmonger in England in 1312.  He was ultimately destroyed by The Kurgan in the late 1960's.
  • Did you realize you traveled through time last night?  And as a time traveller, you are entitled to one down-filled vest like the one Michael J. Fox wears in Back to the Future.  Just walk into JCPenney and take it.  Only rule:  if stopped by security or store personnel, you are allowed only to speak in quotes from the Back to the Future Trilogy.
  • The hours taken from you are kept in an abandoned mall in Cleveland, Ohio, in what used to be a Lane Bryant clothing store.  They are kept under guard by former NBA superstar Manute Bol, and his squad of chihuahuas that have had their teeth replaced with razors and needles.  Watch out for the chihuahua named "Lou."  His teeth have been replaced with hypodermic needles.  We don't know for sure what he'll inject you with, but it's probably plague.
  • I hope you weren't farting at 2 AM.  There is an old Inuit saying that says "Whatever you do when the hour leaves, will come back to haunt you ninefold when the hour returns."  This saying is true, though the math is 9.267fold.
  • I don't sleep much.
  • A lot of this post was written while I was sitting on the commode.  I place the laptop on the vanity, which is rather poorly placed, in relation to the commode, but makes a handy table for blogging, should the need arise.
  • You know you don't actually save daylight, right?  You just move the clock around.  You get the same exact amount of daylight, you just experience it at different times.
  • Watch out Wednesday.  That's the first shift where I have to be at work at 6 after the time change.  I likely be a raging barbarian that morning.  Because my brain thinks we'll be waking up at 3:45 in the morning.  And my brain don't like that.
  • I'm just messing with you.  I'd likely be a raging barbarian in the morning no matter what.  It's kinda my thing, until I've had my fourteen cups of coffee and bowl full of Weetabix
  • My bowels are indifferent toward the time change, at the moment.  I'll keep you in the loop on that one.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Stupid Good

I don't know why I love this spot like I do.  It's perfect.  It won't make me go buy a Krystal.  That only happens once a year, when I get the taste for them, and have a day off afterward to deal with the gastrointestinal ramifications.

Still.  Good spot.  The kids, the dance the tank top kid does, the jump, the roll.  All good.

One thought, though.

The people who made this commercial understand silly.

Conversely, the people who made this Bojangle's spot, do not:

Except, they're not trying to be silly, necessarily.  It's like they're picking on the silly.  I'd kinda like to jump through the TV to the Dad who is incredulous at the "cheese skirt."

Based on that one spot?  That can't be a happy home.

She'll probably get grounded for getting B's.