a moment of silence

about a week ago we lost one of the great ones. the ovens were shut off, the doors were closed and the delivery trucks were forever parked. never again will a grocery store receive a fresh delivery of mother’s cookies.

for me, this is one more piece of my childhood gone. many childhood memories centered around have the iced animal cookies for snack. how can one forget the iced cookies with the tiny colorful sprinkles all over them. or the holiday ones… orange and black for halloween; green, red and white for christmas; or even the red, white and blues one for our independence day celebrations. they were always the first to go in the cookie parade bag, but then i discovered the chocolate sandwich cookies with the fudge center… after those were gone i would loose interest in the cookie parade.

tonight, in honor and memory of cookie history, i set out on a mission. to purchase mother’s iced animal cookies for the last time. i began my adventure at winco, while doing my other grocery shopping for the week. no success, there were a couple bags of cookie parade left on the shelf, but i refused to settle… insisting on pure, unadulterated bags of iced animal cookies.

several hours later i made a visit to target… failure again. then to o’briens, a locally owned grocer, and discovered the mother’s cookies are indeed on sale… creating a much bigger demand then they can supply. after picking up a bag of fat cat scones, found in the freezer section and because o’brien is across town and not a place i regularly shop at, i continue my journey to smart & final.

i enjoy smart & final. i entered the store as someone on a mission. i immediately sought out the aisle signs to locate the correct aisle cookies would be on, and once i spotted the sign i headed in that direction. almost like a hunter who caught the sent of its prey, i was on the trail of these cookies. i knew that i would be successful, eventually. there was no way that the people of modesto would completely buy out all the iced animal cookies in all of modesto… no way, no how.

as i approached the aisle i  began identifying other cookie paraphernalia. i scanned from the top of the aisle to the bottom, making sure not skip a shelf. the mother’s logo caught my eye… for a bag of chocolate chip cookies. no offense to their chocolate chip cookies or to anyone who is a fan, but they don’t float my boat. they don’t do what the iced animal cookies do for me.

disappointment began to set in and i began reformulating my game plan for the next location, when my eye spotted white and pink. could it be? really… am i starring at a dozen or so bags of mother’s iced animal cookies? yes, yes i was. immediately a smile appeared on my face. i was thrilled and relieved. i had completed a successful mission. i looked around the store, grabbed a bottle of sesame ginger marinade for the chicken that i will be grilling tomorrow and walked to the check-out with four bags of mother’s iced animal cookies in hand.

sure, i got a couple of weird looks, but no one identified what was really happening. nobody acknowledged that this would be the end of an era. nobody talk to me about how future generations will never know the joy that is to be had while sharing a bag of mother’s iced animal cookies or opening you lunch box and finding a sandwich baggy containing the cookies.

it’s a sad moment in culinary history… thanks for the memories.



my mom made sure i knew my manners. when growing up it was drilled into to me to say please and thank you all the time. we also didn’t mention bodily functions (i.e. farting, burping, etc.) in public, much less in the privacy of our home. and if there was a need to mention it, then it was always passing gas… and heaven forbid if i were to ever burp out loud. the bottom line here is that my manners were on the uber sensitive scale, as to not offend anyone. i am sure that she would have instituted a household rule that i was to wear skirts or dresses all the time, if she wasn’t so confident that i would stage a coupe!

today i had an urge to throw out all my manners and rip a lound one in the ladies room at the olive garden today. my inspiration, you may ask, was due to the fact that in the very stall next to me, the woman using the rest room was also talking on her cell phone in full conversation.

once i realzed what was happening, i was in shock. i had this friend in high school whom i would spend hours on the phone with, not evey day, but enough. at any given time during our conversation i would hear the toilet flushing in the background and he would then inform me that he had just been in the bathroom… completing his business while we were in mid conversation. i was always completely appaled and discusted by it.

i understand this: when you gotta go, you gotta go! but come on people… really in a public restroom!?!i wanted the loud bodily noise to happen… so when we were standing side-by-side at he wash basin, there would be the akuward silence… which i would just greet her with a warm smile and be on my way.

here’s the lingering question… was what she was talking about really that important that she couldn’t hang up for three minuets to pee? i mean come on, really!

this is one set of manners that my mom didn’t anticipate when teaching me… do i need a refresher? should i ask her for my money back for an incomplete education?

by the way… there is actually an International Center for Bathroom Etiquette

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred

this comes from the blog very good taste. here is what you do…

  1. copy the list below into you blog, including these instructions
  2. bold all the items that you have eaten before
  3. cross out any items that you would never consider eating
  4. optional extra: post a comment on the very good taste blog

the vgt omnivore’s hundred:

  1. Venison
  2. Nettle tea
  3. Huevos rancheros
  4. steak tartare
  5. crocodile
  6. black pudding
  7. cheese fondue
  8. carp
  9. borscht
  10. baba ghanoush
  11. calamari
  12. pho
  13. pb&j sandwhich
  14. aloo gobi
  15. hot dog from a street cart
  16. eposisses
  17. black truffle
  18. fruit wine made from something other than grapes
  19. steamed pork buns
  20. pistachio ice cream
  21. heirloom tomatoes
  22. fresh wild berries
  23. foie gras
  24. rice and beans
  25. brawn or head cheese
  26. raw scotch bonnet pepper
  27. dulce de leche
  28. oysters
  29. baklava
  30. bagna cauda
  31. wasabi peas
  32. clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
  33. salted lassi
  34. sauerkraut
  35. root beer float
  36. cognac with a fat cigar
  37. clotted cream tea
  38. vodka jelly/jello-o
  39. gumbo
  40. oxtail
  41. curried goat
  42. whole insects
  43. phall
  44. goats milk
  45. malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
  46. fugu
  47. chicken tikka masala
  48. eel
  49. krispy kreme original glazed dughnut
  50. sea urchin
  51. prickly pear
  52. umeboshi
  53. abalone
  54. paneer
  55. mcdonald’s big mac
  56. spaetzle
  57. dirty gin martini
  58. beer above 8% ABV
  59. poutine
  60. carob chips
  61. smores
  62. sweetbreads
  63. kaolin
  64. currywurst
  65. durian
  66. frog legs
  67. beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
  68. haggis
  69. fried plantain
  70. chitterlings or andouillette
  71. gazpacho
  72. caviar and blini
  73. louche absinthe
  74. gjetost or burnost
  75. roadkill
  76. baijiu
  77. hostess fruit pie
  78. snail
  79. lapsang souchong
  80. bellini
  81. tom yum
  82. eggs benedict
  83. pocky
  84. tasting menu at a three michelin star restaurant
  85. kobe beef
  86. hare
  87. goulash
  88. flowers
  89. horse
  90. criollo chocolate
  91. spam
  92. soft shell crab
  93. rose harissa
  94. catfish
  95. mole poblano
  96. bagel and lox
  97. lobster thermidor
  98. polenta
  99. jamacian blue mountain coffee
  100. snake

christian music

christian music is an odd genre. some good, some bad and a smidgen great. but there are golden moments in christian music history that, shall we say, can be the source of… well… laughter.

without further adoo…

making it’s blog debut… my tattoo!

This is Phil… the artist… and the needle… need I say more?

This is Phil adding the scripture onto the design…

Making sure it is in the correct position…

Ok, I need you to be really honest with me… how much will this REALLY hurt? What will it feel like?

this is the point of no return…

the finished product! (sorry, i can’t figure out how to turn photos in this!)

Well, it’s all said and done and almost two weeks old… and I still love it!

faithful readers…

oh, wait… i don’t have any.

or maybe i do and i just don’t know about you.

well, if i do, please introduce yourself!

the mundane of starbucks

“The three are competing to be to ice cream what Starbucks is to coffee — a ubiquitous chain offering a high-priced, high-quality version of a relatively mundane product.”

From a New York Times article, “Slabs Are Joining Scoops in Ice Cream Retailing

i have had several conversations this week about starbucks and the fact that they can be found on almost every street corner, and the phenomena that they have taken a product that could be made by puring hot water through a dirt sock and a similar product is achieved and charge $4 for a cup of it.

the joy of costco therapy

i have officially reached a new plateau in my ongoing adventure of being an adult… i am now my own costco membership. yes, i know its something trivial and small on the grand scheme of things…  but i have now cut the one lasting tie to my mom by having my own membership.

while i was perusing the ails of costco yesterday i realized the joy that is found in bulk buying. i realized i missed the smell of the bakery cranking out muffins and cakes by the truck load. i missed the costco shuffle… you know where you turn a corner and there are two samplers on each corner and three or four people with shopping carts who have stopped in the middle of the aisle blocking all possibilities of getting to the other side.

yes, the grandness of costco does not go unrecognized by this middle class consumer. in fact it is lovingly embraced. call me a typical american who over indulges at large warehouse shopping meccas, but i really don’t care. i love costco and most everything about it. the only thing i would change would be to add an express lane for those two random purchases outside of the regular visit, because i really don’t like waiting in line by someone who is buying a month worth of food for twelve kids!


almost six years ago i bought my first car. i was fortunate to be able to pay cash for it and not have the need to take on a car loan, although it would have been better for my credit in the long run… oh, well. so, i bought a nissan sentra. it’s a great car. sensible, reliable and somewhat fun. after six years of use, the cd player doesn’t work anymore which does provide a source of frustration for this music lover, but i get over it.

i stumbled across a blog the other day about a guy who was living in his car for seven days. after further investigation, not only is he living in a 2007 sentra, but he is doing so after hearing the new claim from nissan "you can pretty much live in it."

now i have never attempted to live out of my sentra for even one day, but i have done a lot in it, including moving. (i was pleasantly surprised as to how much of my crap i could actually stuff into my car.)

i have been highly entertained by reading what has happened in the course of the seven days.

extreme drive thru at mcdonalds

this is so hilarious!!!here is the description: We were bored, so we decided to write a song and perform it through the drive thru at a local McDonald’s. More coming soon. If you don’t like this, you don’t have a soul.