Bitter Sweet Fi-n-Chi

No more home-cut fries
Kristie had a haircut today at 5:00 p.m. so we planned to meet up at my work with the dogs at about 6:00 p.m. After taking the dogs for a walk in the Botanic Gardens, we thought it would be too late to go home and get something prepared for dinner, so we thought we'd get some Fi-n-Chi takeaway.

There is a little shop on the Miramar Peninsula called Huckle & Co. that we enjoy going to because they make these wonderful, home-cut fries. I've actually mentioned the place before as the fries reminded me of the kind of fries you'd get at a chip wagon in Ottawa. So we got there at about 7:00 p.m., placed our order and were told that it would be about a half hour as they were busy. No problem, their fries are worth the wait...or so we thought.

It didn't dawn on us, until we returned for our order that we didn't recognise any of the staff who were in there. Then, while still waiting, Kristie noticed, that on their menu, they had covered up the word "home" on their "home-cut" fries and replaced it with the word "thick". Which got our fri-die senses tingling. We still had a few minutes to kill before our order, so we went outside and that is when we noticed a...notice posted on the window that said Huckle & Co. was under new management, and they weren't making the home-cut fries.

How can I put this, without sounding overly dramatic....NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, sadly, they had switched to McCain superfries, or some variant thereof.

We were supremely disappointed.

On the bright side however, the fish, which was crumbed tarakihi, was better than other fish we've had there under the new owners.

Still, we don't think that we'll be going back any time soon, unless they bring back their home-cut fries.

Really? Really?

So as many of you probably know by now, the new Star Wars trailer came out a few days ago, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the internet pretty much shit themselves. Seriously, some people went into convulsions of sheer joy, while others started riots akin to the Arab Springs uprising.

I've seen the trailer, and I liked it. Now, I could talk about the fact that the internet went ape-shit over a black storm trooper, or I could talk about how there were virtual riots in the streets about the light saber broad sword, but that has been done to death. Honestly, listen to any geek podcast out there, and they've pretty much dedicated entire shows to the new trailer. But I don't want to talk about that. No, what I want to talk about is the mashups or parodies that many people have created for the trailer.

In the few days that the trailer has been out, there have already been a plethora of spoof trailers; like the JJ Abrams lens-flare trailer, or the George Lucas, director's cut trailer, in which virtually every bad George Lucas trope was thrown into the trailer along side the good stuff. But the one I haven't seen yet, and was really looking forward to, was the Lego trailer.

In this version, some  superfan of Star Wars took the audio from the original trailer and overlay it against a recreation of the original trailer, only all done in stop-motion animation using Lego.

So, I googled...Googled? (Should the verb be capitalised if the verb was derived from the proper noun?) So I did a Google search (better!) for the Lego Star Wars preview, and the first video result that popped up was on on Yahoo News. So, I click the link, and this is what I get (see image below):

It says:
This video is not available in your location due to provider license restrictions.

I've got news for you Yahoo...News: The entire video should be against provider license restrictions! It is a fan made, recreation of a Disney made movie; Disney, the most litigious and tight-fisted corporation out there when it comes to managing their brand. Technically, this mashup/parody breaks all forms of copyright restrictions, but has Disney forced a take-down notice? No, because it does nothing to hurt the brand, and can easily be argued that it elevates the brand. But Yahoo News doesn't say that I can't view the video because of all the other copyright restrictions. Nope, apparently, the straw that breaks the camel's back is that they think they might get in trouble if this video is viewed in New Zealand!

I don't think I will ever understand how in the internet age, why content creators are continuing to restrict content to willing (and often paying) fans.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go scream at some kids to get off my lawn.

Nutrition is a four letter word

Today, Kristie and I did something that we haven't done in a very long time, and no it wasn't a monkey knife fight. Although it has been quite a while since we've hosted one of those too. No, instead we made a grilled cheese sandwich! However, this was no ordinary grilled cheese sandwich...actually, it was; which is why it was so great.

Although we are starting to get closer to our summer, the last few days or so has been incredibly windy, sometimes rainy, and no all together pleasant on the whole. So what better dinner to have than a bowl of home made soup, and a grilled cheese sandwich on the side!

We didn't use any type of gourmet cheese for this sandwich. No this as not made with imported bacterial cultures and the cheese wasn't made from goat, sheep, or alpaca milk. It was plain old Tasty cheese (analogous to Canadian cheddar.).

We didn't make this grilled cheese sandwich with some sort of organic, whole meal, seed encrusted, crusty artisan bread that was made by some French guy or girl. No, we went to Brumby's (a bakery here in NZ/Aus) and bought a plain loaf of white bread. The kind of bread that is devoid of any nutrient value. This was the kind of bread that would have been served with cucumbers, and the crusts cut off by a homemaker from the sixties for her Tupperware party. The kind of bread that, if purchased by a modern mother for her child, would probably land her in jail with her child in protective custody. It's the kind of bread that you'd expect a 50 year old lonely divorcee to have as his breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want to emphasize that this was closer to Styrofoam than it was to bread.

So we took our soup out of the freezer, it was leftover soup from another cold day, heated it up in the microwave, and while it was heating, we made our grilled cheese sandwich in our skillet. We didn't even use the panini maker to pretend it was fancy! We just grilled that sucker up in an electric skillet!

And do you want to know something? It was Gooooooooooooooooooooooooood! Every now and then, it feels good to go retro.

A real slug fest

So, as many of you may know, my dogs have a habit of getting me up in the middle of the night to go for a pee. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, and it doesn't seem to make any difference if I take them out just before bed or not. Inevitably, one of my two dogs will get me up at least once a week. Very rarely, they will wake Kristie up instead of me, but for the most part, they see me as the pee guy and occasionally the poop guy...I mean I made a comic strip about it for goodness sake!

Anyway, last night Walnut woke me up at about 12:40 ish to go out for a pee. Now normally, what I will do is, put on my slip on shoes to take the guys out, as Wellington can be a cold and damp place in the winter. However, the weather has been quite mild as of late, so I thought that I could go outside with Walnut and stand on the patio while he went for a pee.

Well, he didn't go for just a pee, he also went for a poop. No big deal, he pooped in the dog run which is right beside the patio, so I'll just walk back to the house, grab a poop bag, and pick it up. So, I walk back, grab the bag, pick up the poop, and then while walking back, I felt something wet, cold and squishy under my bare foot. Ew!!! I say wet, cold and squishy, so I know that I didn't step in leftover poop, but as I lifted my foot to see what said squishiness might have been trodden upon, I see the remnants of a large slug wiggling on the ground. EWWWW! Below is an image I created as a rendering of what this was like from the slug's perspective.

So I wipe my foot off on the welcome mat, heel-walk back into the house and grab a paper towel to wipe off the large remnants of the slug. I then soaked another wet paper towel with hand sanitizer and wiped off my foot again as I didn't want to contract schistosomiasis. I don't know if you can get schisto from a garden slug, but I didn't want to take the chance.

So, what did I learn? Spring, summer, winter or fall...always wear your shoes.