Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Coke Freestyle or (ZOMG This is so Awesome!!!)

     The Noodle's & Company in Davenport, IA has added the new Coke Freestyle machine to their restaurant of awesome.  (I have heard that Wendy's in Rock Island has also acquired this machine but who actually eats at Wendy's?)Not only am I able to choose from different types of noodles, but from hundreds of drink options as well.  This is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Actually, sliced bread is still pretty awesome.

What is this Coke Freestyle you speak of?

    I'm glad you asked subheading.  In 2009 Coke introduced Coke Freestyle.  A unique way to
dispense it's product offering over one hundred unique choices and combinations.  Simply walk up to the fountain and you are greeted
by a screen like this.

You just select a category and choose the desired flavor within that category.

    This is clearly the Ferrari of the Coke machines.  I'm not just saying that because it's fancy, it was designed by Pininfarina, an Italian engineering and design company which have designed things like this:
Kit's metro sexual Cousin. 
  I know what you're thinking and yes ladies I am single.  I know what else you're thinking.  This is just some fad to create hype and sell Coke products.  Yes.  That is true.  To be honest, that's what marketing is.  Trying new things and watching customers scream "Wow, this is awesome.  Take my money!"  If it didn't work, just try something else.  Remember clear Pepsi?  No?  Of course not.  After it failed Pepsi immediately moved onto something else.  Just in case you think I'm making clear Pepsi up here is a quick refresher. 
Marketing is like evolution.  If it works it will survive with the plan of reproducing.  If it doesn't, it will end up at the bottom of a tar pit or on youtube which is basically the same thing.   Buying is like voting.  

What do you think of this coke freestyle sorcery?

     Another excellent question Mr. Subheading.  I absolutely love this machine.  It's all about choice.  However, it could use some improvements in my opinion.  That is what this blog is about anyway.

  • For many people who just want to fill their cup and sit down, a couple extra steps are now required.  You must first hit the coke button and then select the coke you want such as coke.  This may not be that bad except:
  • Sometimes hitting the button on the screen doesn't work. You must poke it a few times before it registers.  This can be somewhat annoying.
  • New users standing in front of you exclaiming how awesome this machine is and hit several buttons and gleefully yell "I don't know what to try yet!"  (the best way to deal with this is to stab them with your chopsticks.
  • I don't want to say old people, more accurate is "technology deficient" individuals who just happen to be old.  They don't understand why the machine has changed to this new monstrosity. 
That's a good question.  Why would a restaurant choose to put something in that would challenge older folks?
I'll excuse the interruption from Mr. Subheading because that is a good question.  My answer is this, the machine isn't challenging at all.  It may just seem daunting at first  but that's it.  Secondly, I feel it's about moving forward.  Trying things that work and don't work.  It's also a good way to "vote".  Let's say there is a large amount of Orange Coke being ordered,(yes there is orange coke and yes it is delicious) and Coke sees this and says to itself "Hmm, let's release orange coke to the masses.  It's clearly what they want."  There you go. It's a way of marketing that doesn't seem to invasive.  Nobody with a clipboard asking you to choose between drink A or B and then telling you that you weren't supposed to drink them they were in fact laundry detergents but you grabbed them too quickly before she could explain what the test was about.

Final Thoughts?

I think with some minor improvements such as a faster screen response or have just quick buttons for those less adventurous individuals who just want to fill their cup with traditional Coke products.  Maybe making it voice activated.  That way this will be a possibility:  

Earl Grey Tea is the Choice of the Next Generation

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Snack Attack or (Keep yo' hands off of my 'maters.)

Anytime is pizza time.
Yesterday while doing some grocery shopping I noticed a woman with three children cruising down the bread aisle whilst munching on a slice of pizza at the same time.  I was mesmerized almost transfixed.  Here I was doing my shopping because I was almost out of food and I was getting hungry.  It never even occurred to me to kill two birds with one stone. Most supermarkets have their own deli or pizza place.  I could understand the appeal of eating before venturing forth through the endless aisles where the chocolate covered muffins with bacon frosting seem to call out to the famished customer.  Almost like Psirens luring an unsuspected sailor to his death.
In Soviet Russia, the tomato fondles you.
     The difference here was she was just casually strolling down the aisle with a slice of pizza in her hand, the grease most likely oozing off of the cheese.  She may pick up a box of cereal and the put it back leaving pizza grease finger prints.  She may have fondled the tomatoes in the produce section trying to find the perfect morsel.  Although from what I have gathered from looking at her, I don't think she was even aware of produce or anything that wasn't prepackaged.  I'm not saying that because she was overweight.  But her attitude seemed to suggest that if it wasn't processed it wasn't food.  The way she just threw boxes of sugar into the shopping cart at the request of her children.  Since when do adults listen to children?  Perhaps I am being a little mean or even judgmental but what else is there to do while shopping?  That's what people do.  You go to a place full of people and you automatically make judgments.  It's our brains way of staying sane.
It turned out she was a pregnant watermelon thief.
Image Source
     Just a few weeks prior I saw a pregnant woman pushing a cart burdened with just watermelons.  That's it.    I was amused because the melons were the same size and shape of her abdomen.  I was thinking, "Watermelons are high in Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is important to someone in their third trimester."  But underneath that I was also thinking, "This woman is a watermelon thief.  I'm sure of it.  She probably has a whole mess of watermelon themed weapons and even leaves a calling card at the scene of the crime.Okay, maybe I was the only one thinking that.  But I digress.  The point is, if you walk through the grocery store with three kids while eating pizza and throwing boxes of sugar and candy into your shopping cart it's a safe bet to say this person isn't exactly health conscious.
     This brings up a very interesting question.  Is it okay to have a snack while shopping?  Is it acceptable to snack on something before you have paid for it?  Let's say I open a box of cookies or take a swig out of the milk jug before I approach the counter.   I've seen parents give their children a grape or cookie to keep them quiet while they check out. This seems perfectly normal.  But a whole slice of pizza even if it was from their store. What if they had McDonald's?  What if I just went around the store and made myself a sandwich so I could eat while in line at the check out?  Is there a line to be drawn?  I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

BK Bacon Sundae or (Sundae, Sunday, Sundai)

As the temperature rises along with the energy bills.  It's time to find alternative ways to stay cool this summer.  Burger King recently announced their new bacon Sundae.  I have no problem with that sentence.  Being a fan of both bacon and ice cream the next logical step is to combine the two.  Many will say "Ew" when thinking about combining a fried crispy meat product with a cold creamy dairy product.  I for one hold no fear for the unknown.  I set out on my quest to try the things that no one else dare.  I grabbed my wallet, I grabbed my car keys, I grabbed my jewel encrusted battle shorts and embarked on my glorious expedition to uncover the secrets of the bacon sundae.  I pulled my car around to the local Burger King.   I calmly asked for a bacon sundae and then pulled around to collect my purchase.  The girl at the window told me that she wasn't sure about the sundae when they first introduced them but she tried it anyway and had to tell me how amazing it was.  My excitement grew.  I mean, how often do you go to a fast food drive through and have the employee there tell you how good the food is you are about to eat?  I admitted to being an bacon sundae virgin and her smile only grew wider.
  "You're in for a treat." she said handing me the plastic cup containing my order.
  If you are reading this and grimacing at the thought of bacon and ice cream, don't knock it til you try it.  Sure, it seems weird.  However, if you have ever dipped your french fries into a milk shake, then this sundae is for you.    It didn't just have bits of bacon, it had whole frickin slices of bacon.  The saltiness gave a great contrast to the sweetness of the ice cream.  I almost found myself enjoying the bacon more.  I would have been perfectly happy with just a plate full of bacon and nothing else.   This treat however is a treat that keeps giving.  Approaching the bottom of the Sundae I found all the melted fudge and caramel but hidden within those chocolaty depths were smaller bits of bacon.  The saltiness dancing on my tongue while the sweetness melted over it.  
What about the fat and calories?
First of all, anyone ordering something called a "Bacon Sundae" isn't worried about calories.  Yes there are probably a butt ton of calories (*510 Calories and 18g of fat).  This isn't an every day treat.  Perhaps every other Thursday.

What if I can't eat pork?
First of all, you CAN eat pork.  You may have a religious restriction which would not allow you to indulge in pork.  Fear not, I have done some research and it says you will only be unclean until sunset. (Leviticus 11, Numbers 19).  The next day you should be right as rain.  On a side note, if you are attacked by suicide bomber, throw your sundae at them.  They will have to wait until the next day to carry out their plans.  If you can't eat bacon or ice cream for health restrictions then I do feel for you.  If you truly love something, you have to pay for it.  Sometimes with more than just money.  

Final Thoughts
Over all the bacon sundae does have a place in my heart.(as well as my hips, butt, and belly.)  Is it the greatest thing since sliced bread?  No.  Sliced bread is still pretty cool.  Just don't miss out on something because it seems weird.  Would you try or have you tried the new bacon sundae?  What are your thoughts?  Please let me know in the comments.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Fanta Sugar-Free Mango Slurpee or (A Slurpee, a Slurpee, my Kingdom for a Slurpee!!!)

I'm not always impressed when it comes Ito new beverage flavors.  The world of sugary beverages is always changing.
    "You like Mountain Dew, right?  Well, try Mountain Dew Red...Same Dew flavor but uh, red with some uh berry like BS in there somewhere."
    "Tired of Dew Red?  Try Dew Blue!!!"  or "Try Dew Blue, Red.  Just like Dew Blue, but in a Red bottle."
      I'm not saying I'm against soda in any way.  I enjoy a cold fizzy beverage every now and then.  I just don't see a commercial for something new and say to myself.  "I'm going to try that."   Then immediately grab my car keys and head to the store with the sole intention of buying that particular flavor of soda.  When it comes down to it, if I have a craving, I just grab what happens to be cold in the fridge.
  Why are you telling us this?  I can hear my readers chant while bathing in a bathtub full of Dew Blue scented Shampoo. (Dew Blue Poo!)

   Because contrary to what I've stated in the previous paragraph I did see an advertisement for a Slurpee.  I haven't had a Slurpee in years.  To be honest, I wasn't sure they still made them anymore.  Then I saw it.  "Try the new Fanta Mango Lite Slurpee at 7/11.  My first thought was, "Oh.  7/11, I won't get to..." then I remembered they just built a 7/11 in the Quad Cities.  A few of them actually.  It's something that doesn't sound to bad on the tongue, boasts 50% fewer calories than the other flavors and it's sugar free.  I grabbed my keys, I headed out the door, I dived over the trip wire just barely getting out of the way of the acid soaked fire net, then somersaulted past an onslaught of acorn tipped arrows.  I dived in through the sunroof of my car and sped off into the sunset in search of this new sugary free beverage.

The Experience.
It felt sort of like this.  Imagine the red bits as frozen cherry ice.
I'll be the first to admit I'm a newbie when it comes to Slurpee ice beverages.  The last one I had wasn't self serve.  I was under the impression that a person needed some sort of training to operate the Slurpee machine. Like baristas at a coffee house (I assumed they had to be trained otherwise why would they ask to be tipped if it was that simple).  I grabbed a cup and held it under the nozzle.  I turned the lever.  I cackled with insane glee which frightened a small child.  I brought my frozen concoction to the counter and then tossed my money at her in a casual way with a smirk that said "I do this all the time."  The first sip was actually quite good.  I was surprised at how cool and refreshing this was.  The pleasant sensations dancing on my tongue were soon interrupted by an intense pain that started from behind my eyes.   My chest felt like it was about to cave in and my neck began to tighten up.  "This is it," I thought.  "The dreaded 'Brain Freeze.'"  I desperately searched my memory for all the remedies that had been invented to sooth brain freeze.  

Tips For Relieving Brain Freeze

  1. Take a sip of warm water.  An excellent idea with only one major drawback.  I didn't have any warm water.  All I had was this Slurpee.  Maybe that will help. *SLURP* Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!  Nope.  That didn't help at all.
  2. Press the tongue to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds:  I'm not sure if this worked of it gave me something to do for the 30 seconds it took for the brain freeze to subside on its own.
  3. Rubbing the back of your neck:  I actually did this while pressing my tongue to the roof of my mouth.  Again, I'm not sure which one actually worked or not.
  4. Just Deal with it:  So far  the best solution that actually seems to work.  Just let it pass.
What are your thoughts about the new sugar free Slurpee?
I'm glad you asked bold faced printed sentence.  Brain freeze aside I think this was an enjoyable experience.  My only question is why hasn't something like this come out before?  Diet Soda's definitely have their place in the market.  Why wouldn't the makers of Slurpee want to cash in on that?  I gave up regular soda years ago and whenever I have a craving I reach for something diet.  The sad thing is, I feel limited when some new flavor comes out and there isn't a sugar free alternative.  Try this out, go to any restaurant that has a soda fountain and count the number of diet options vs. the number of regular.  Most will have Diet Coke and Diet Coke Caffeine Free.  Wow, so many choices, where do I start?   That's why I felt the need to try the sugar free Slurpee.  Something new that wasn't going to throw me into a sugar shock induced coma.  If you have a 7/11 in your area I do urge you to try it.  Even if you don't have to watch your sugar.   If you've already tried this, or if you have a similar story of something new you tried, please let me know.

For more information including nutritional information check out their website.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chess Fight Club

     This Saturday I will be playing in a chess tournament.  April 21, 2012.  I have the information posted below.  Everyone is welcome to either watch or play.  If you happen to be in the Quad City area it is worth checking out.  If you have never been rated by the USCF the entry fee is waived.  That mean you can play for free.  The nice thing about chess for me is the way the rest of the world seems to disappear and I enter an almost quiet bliss.  Is it hard?  Yes, Do you have to be super intelligent?  No, not really.  They  haven't really found any link between chess talent and intelligence.  In a way it's like martial arts.  You must be able to attack your opponent while at the same time figure out the best way to defend your own pieces.  Chess is really one of the only games I've found that can be fun whether I am winning or losing.  It's like a conversation.  Each move is a form of dialogue.  You move a piece which threatens a complex tactic,  that is your question.  You are asking "What are you doing to do to get out of this?"  Part of the fun is seeing what answer they come up with.  Chess is more about imagination than strategy.  Sure, there is strategy and tactics, but imagination is what makes it fun.

Below is the PDF file about the event.

Also, here is a link to Bob Long's blog who's running the tournament.  http://chesstoast.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Motorcyles Crashing the Bike Path or (Take it Easy Rider)

     One of the great perks of living in the Quad Cities is the Great River Bike Trail.  This is a sixty two mile run along the river between Rock Island, IL to Savanna, IL.  A breathtaking scenic route with stops along the way where one can use the restroom or get a drink of water.  I have traveled this trail before.  I won't lie and say I went the full sixty two miles, but I did visit both sides of the river.

Why are you talking about a bike trail?
   I'll tell you why.  Crossing the Arsenal bridge today I saw something odd.  Motorcycles.  Yes! Frickin' motorcycles on the bike trail.  At first I thought it was an illusion.  Maybe I miss saw.  I looked again.  Sure enough, there were four motorcycles being driven by human sized dicks.  Here is my problem.  Part of the attraction of riding along the river is the peaceful serenity one feels as they gaze over the calm water.  The sounds of birds and ducks, maybe the occasional crash of water on the shore line. As a cyclist, the sudden roar of a motor cycle followed by the sight of a big black metal thing flying towards me at forty miles per hour would be such a shock.  I would be violently snapped back to reality with such a force as to lock my muscles and causing me to lose control and careen off into the river.  These motorcyclists wouldn't even notice while cruising by with their heads shoved up their own dick holes.  
   Would they care?  No.  Their only concern is what kind of chips they can jam into their mouth holes for lunch while enjoying this peaceful scenery which includes baby ducks chocking on exhaust fumes.
   There are those who would think I am overreacting to this.
"You're overreacting to this."  a text message reads to me.
   First of all, how the hell are you texting me before I've even finished the blog?  Second of all, if these motorists, (That's what they are.  Motorcycles are street vehicles.)  Payed attention to anything else besides their own sense of dickery, they would see the signs posted about every half mile or so that reads.  "Motor vehicles such as motorcycles or cars are prohibited from the bike trail."  My only conclusion is they are either blind which means they shouldn't be operating any machinery at all or they can't read.  The third option is, they don't care.  Seeing this has angered me to the point of blogging about it.  Therefore I present to you some things you can do to help in the event that you my loyal readers see a motorcycle on the bike trail.  (Entertainment purposes only)

Ways to mess with Motorcyclists on the bike trail.

Riot Ready Super Soaker, Oh Yeah!

    Super Soakers.  Yes, those high powered water cannons.  Or water balloons which I guess could be classified as a type of grenade in the water based artillery. You can soak the ever living spit out of them.  Especially if they are wearing leather pants.  If they get pissed off you can simply say, "Oh, I'm sorry were you not expecting to get wet driving your motorcycle near the river?  I suggest this website which teaches you about a nice super soaker hack

    Grab a friend and dress up as nuns. Ride on opposite sides of the trail and wait for the motorcycle to pass between the two of you.  When they do, start a yogurt fight.  (Make sure you time it just right.  You want it to appear as if the fight was taking place before they passed you.)

    It should look just like this
    Go the RoadRunner Route and erect a brick wall with a realistic painting of a tunnel.  Of course, just like the cartoons, the bicyclists will be able to travel through this tunnel but the motorcyclists will smash right into it.

       I'm not saying that these people are bad or evil.  I'm not even saying that motorcycles are bad.  In fact, motorcycles are awesome.  Just not on a trail reserved for bicycles.  It would be like a tank.  Again, tanks are awesome.  Tanks running over small cars, ok still awesome.  The point is, there is a time and place for everything.  Are these people really bad for doing this, well yes and no.  I would rather give them the benefit of the doubt and just blame it on ignorance.   I don't think they were intentionally driving on the trail with the sole purpose of ruining the experience for everyone else.
       Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?  Would you feel uncomfortable riding a bicycle along side a thousand pound hunk of metal and glass and other bits of sharp pointy bits?
    Email me or leave a comment below.

    2 motorcyclists injured in bike trail crash

    Perhaps Karma has a way of dealing with these things
    .  http://www.startribune.com/local/west/133326473.html

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    A Satisfied Customer or (Dead men tell no bad jokes)

        I sat in a waiting room.  It was brightly lit with a few paintings of sad clowns on the walls.  A large oak coffee table scattered with magazines sat before me.  I have been waiting close to forty five minutes now.  After reading through the fifth magazine on fishing, baseball, and how to fish with a baseball the large wooden door cracked open and a woman's head with short blond hair peeked through.
        "Mr.  ***********,"  she announced with a smile.  "We are ready to see you now."
      I dropped my magazine onto the table and followed her through the door.  She led me down a long hallway adorned with more sad clown paintings.  "Sure are a lot of clowns here."  I said trying to make small talk.  She ignored me and pointed at a door with the number '86' on it.
         "Here is our stop."  she opened the door.  "Mr.  Saila will be with you shortly."  She excused herself and left me sitting in a small office.  Thankfully there were no sad clowns in here.
    Instead there was a plain black desk with a folder.   Next to the desk was a simple lamp.
        The door opened "Hello, I am Mr. Saila.   I understand you have a problem and we are here to help.  Have you brought the check?"
        I was startled.  I turned around to see a smiling man which I guessed to be in his mid forties.  His hair was short, dark, and swept back.  His steel eyes half hidden behind small wire rimmed spectacles.  "Yes, I have the money here." I said looking through my pockets.  "I just had a few questions-"
        "Look," the man spoke sharply.  "We have all the information we need.  We'll take care of it."
       "Yes, but I was just curious as to how you'd do it."  I said nervously.
       The man sighed.  "We don't usually reveal our methods to our clients.  Heck, sometimes our clients ARE the targets."  He said with a little chuckle.  He sat down at the bare desk and reached into a drawer and produced a small wooden box.  "Cuban?" he said extending the box toward me.
       'Uh, no thanks I don't smoke."  I said.
       He put the box away and pointed at the chair opposite him.  "Please sit," he said.  "What I can tell you is it will be quick, painless, and no ties to you whatsoever."  He thumbed through the folder on the desk.  "In this case, we can have it done by the end of the week.   I see she has your last name, yet I have you down here as single. "
       "Well, she's my ex you see but she is trying to take everything I-"
       "Say no more." He put his hand up.  "This is more common than you think.  In fact, I'm sure you've heard of Jack the Ripper.   He was actually employed by us.  We actually spent months slaughtering women of the same profile just to make it look like a serial killing.  Of course the client paid a little extra for a painful death with the added bonus of having his wife labeled as a street walker."  He took out a cigar for himself and lit it.  The heavy smoke rose silently through the air.  "We have even, well I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but we have even gone as far as hijacking a plane to take out a well known building-"
         I almost fell out of my chair.  "What?!  You guys were behind 9/11!?"  I shouted.
        "No, no," he put his hand up. "That was all Bin Laden, we just made sure our target was on the twelfth floor."  He grabbed my check and stuck it into the manila folder.
        "Wait a minute," I said.  "Why are you telling me this, aren't you afraid of me knowing too much?"
        The man laughed and extinguished his cigar.  "I don't think anyone would believe you, besides nothing will leave this room.  Not even you."  He brought out another manila folder.
       "I don't under-" I began to feel dizzy and I started to lose focus.
         Mr.  Saila thumbed through a folder.  "It seems your ex wife outbid you.  She paid a little extra for defamation of character.  You'll die of a drug overdose.  You've been exposed to a toxin from my cigar smoke that damages the brain first and resembles a drug overdose."
        I slumped to the ground.  "But I paid you, you bas-"  my throat seized up.
        "Oh, you've probably lost the ability to speak by now."  The man stood up.  "Yes, you've paid us and rest assured she will also be dead by the end of the week as per our deal.  We always keep our promises."
          The world around me began to grow dark.  I felt as though I were falling which I guessed was the total relaxation of my entire body.  I was aware of the cold temperature as my body began to lose heat.  I suddenly felt really good, at peace even.  Then there was nothing.  Many think of death as a bang but it's really just a whisper.  Silence and solitude forevermore.
    ***The End***

       "Jesus Frank!"  exclaimed the Publishing agent.
        "You don't like it?"  Frank looked surprised.  "You said you wanted something with a good story and a twist at the end.
       "FOR KIDS!!!"  the agent screamed.  "I wanted something that kids could read and not just look at the pictures."
        "Hey now, are you saying you hated the whole thing?  What about the nice picture of the owl on the cover?"  Frank smiled.
        "The one that's being eaten by the zombie?"  He picked up the book.
        "Yeah, that one."  Frank insisted.
        "Oh yes, this one is just great."  the agent said "For fueling the nightmares of american children and jump-starting the economy for therapists everywhere."
         "Well, if you don't like it then I'll just go somewhere else."  Frank stood up.
         "What?" said the agent.  "I didn't say I didn't like.  I'm talking about all the clown pictures.  Tell you what, replace the clown pictures with flowers and we should be able to sneak just under the censors."
         "Deal."said Frank as they shook hands.

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