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Things I've Found 12 (A Small Drop of Common Sense in the Sea of Post-Holiday Ennui)—1/10/2002

by Mark Rose

It figures. We just get out of a jam-packed holiday season crammed with endless days of eating cookies, stuffed hams, turkeys, giant roast beasts, Kingdome-sized plates of mashed potatoes, sauteed zucchini rounds and I think I managed to swallow the tv remote as well (thank God it’s turned to the soccer channel but I have to be careful when hiccuping) and now, this e-zine comes out and all it can talk about is:

Food: Mmmm, I love sushi. Haven’t quite got the cojones (or I suppose that should be, roe) to make my own sushi yet but someday will do so soon. When I do, the first place to visit will be: http://www.stickyrice.com/

And if you’re more on the heavy eating side, you might want to try this Homeresque delicacy: Chicken-Fried Bacon at: http://www.s-t.com/daily/01-99/01-16-99/a05op025.htm

When you’re not hungry but would just like to nosh on the freebies at the table, visit The Condiment Packet Museum at: http://www.clearfour.com/condiment/cindex.html [Now at: http://www.clearfour.com/condiment/]

And the Sugar Packet Collector’s Page at: http://members.iquest.net/~phillip/. [Now at: http://the.millerfamily.name/sugar/]

No I’m not making these up. The latter gentleman is a proud member of the UK Sucrologists Club:

http://www.uksucrologistclub.org.uk/ [Click on it just for the hideous music that plays!]

which not only is the first and only sugar packet collector’s club in the UK, but they boast over 200 members worldwide. Oh my. What am I doing wrong with this zine that we’re only 1/4th that size? Should I start sending e-packets of e-sugar?

Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas dead at the age of 69. So ok, his favorite meal of a Wendy’s single hamburger with fries, a bowl of chili, a Frosty shake and a diet Coke is a bit too overblown for most palates. And he died of liver cancer which may or may not have anything to do with the crap we are fed as the biggest nation of fast food junkies on the planet. And once you read Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation, it prevents you from ever eating fast food from anywhere except an In-N-Out ever again, but still, damn it, Dave Thomas was cool: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20020108/bs/obit_thomas.html

(And I didn’t know Wendy’s owns the Canadian chain Tim Horton’s.) [Link is dead, so is Dave Thomas. Sad, really.]

Think you can eat a tablespoon of cinnamon in one go? Think again. http://www.michaelbuffington.com/cc2k1/ [Go here instead to see the cinnamon challenge and the horseradish challenge, et al: http://www.michaelbuffington.com/archives/2002/01/]

A Cook’s Tour: Anthony Bourdain wrote a chef’s biography called Kitchen Confidential which soared to the top of the NYT bestsellers list. In it, he describes his own maturing as a restaurant chef, much of which revolved around excessive drug taking, fantastic sex, and lots and lots of towel-snapping hand-searing macho-posturing abuse. Some critics panned it because it wasn’t the expose they had wanted. But Bourdain, while he did want to show you some of the secrets of restaurant cooking, really wanted to talk about his own life, and his absolute passion and respect for food. I’ve never seen any commentator have an equal mix of arrogance and self-deprecating humor. His show airs Tuesdays and Saturdays on the Food Network. First episode he went to Japan, next to Vietnam. Truly entertaining television. http://www.foodtv.com/foodtv/show/0,6525,TB,00.html [Well, his show used to air then and this link used to work. Mr. Bourdain is still around though, and still worth ferreting out.]

Current Events: I don’t talk much about current events. But if you are, you need to know about Fareed Zakaria, who makes his second presence in these e-mails. Zakaria is a regular writer for Newsweek and consistently is one of the most fascinating, balanced, and insightful writers on the Middle East. In this article, he tells us how to save the Arab world: http://www.msnbc.com/news/673522.asp [Which of course is no longer accessible and probably no longer practical. So instead, I recommend Zakaria’s book “The Future of Freedom” which is a lovely and inspiring read.]

History: One of the finest online photo search catalogues is available for the city of San Francisco:

It works great. Type in “miniature golf” in the search window and you get a great photo of a cool 1930s course near 6th and Mission. Oooo la la. Why can’t more cities do this? [Now at: http://sflib1.sfpl.org:82/]

It Came From the 1971 Sears Catalog:


Oh God, how did any of us survive these fashions? Every picture is a winner.

Games: If you have some time on your hands, why not start another life? The simple question-and-answer game Alter Ego takes you from birth to the grave. Tell me how you’re doing. Right now, I just managed to grab the rattle and entertain myself for a bit. Er, wait, well, you know what I mean.

http://resin.csoft.net:81/~danfab/ae/ [Try clicking here instead: http://theblackforge.net/]

Art: Old fashioned clip art dot com is exactly what it says it is. Perfect for your next graphic adventure on the PC.


Whining: Ian Thorpe pisses me off. He’s a big-footed molly-coddled nancy boy playing off his proximity to the WTC when it went down but crybaby enough to have an Australian TV reporter sacked for an unauthorized question. Um, excuse me, Mr. Thorpe, your two years of fame are about up. Hope you enjoy obscurity.