February 9, 2017

Adventure, Just things

Recently I have been watching more TV. I signed up for the new DirecTV NOW streaming service in December and have a decent array of channels to watch. I have been watching a wide range of channels and shows.

You have to understand it’s only recently that I got a TV hooked up again. I have not owned a TV for nearly five years. After working in television for 20 years or so I had no real use for TV (except for the occasional hotel or bar TV) for quite a while; I guess that I still don’t but it is something cheap and entertaining to do. Plus, I only used to watch about three channels and it’s just not economically smart to pay that kind of money for so few channels. I also have Amazon Prime – mainly for the free shipping – but I can get movies through that too so it is really not logical to pay for two video services and I’ll be selling my TV in a few weeks anyhoo. Hauling a big screen in a small travel trailer is not very feasible. I do watch movies on my computer so it eliminates all the garbage – it’s only the things I really want to watch.

I have been watching a lot of programming on Viceland. They have some interesting news that is not like mainstream media, and they definitely have found a niche with many of the shows they are producing. They are not really a news channel in as much as they are an information network. The documentaries they have produced that I have seen were very well done.

I have gotten on an “Archer” binge, a show on FXX that is so damn funny I laugh out loud several times an episode. It is not for the faint-hearted so discretion is advised. “Seinfeld” is almost always a sure bet, and Velocity has a few interesting shows. Mostly I watch history programs, travel shows, or documentaries. I was never a fan of reality TV so that eliminates most of what is on these days.

Yesterday I discovered something so delicious it took me quite by surprise. Yes…I’m talking about the Naked Chicken Chalupa at Taco Bell. That is one tasty creation. I recently got to try some poutine at a local bar. Granted it was an American twist on the Canadian national dish, but it was so good. I still have to get some in Canada to get it off my bucket list.

Otherwise not much else going on right now but that will be changing fairly soon. Next week I have quite a lot going on with appointments but after that I should have most everything wrapped up (fingers crossed!) so I can get that much closer to a road trip. I am probably going to be taking a few trips with some friends from work.

Until I type again…


They Are Back…

Just things, Uncategorized

That’s right. Twinkies… Those delicious creme-filled golden sponge cakes devoid of any food and nutritional value. I have not had them in nearly two years before they had stopped making them (other than trying a knock-off that really sucked). It really was a shame that happened, but it did and I am not going to get into the politics of it.

I went to the local Safeway and got two boxes over the weekend along with my groceries. I had read articles about the “longer shelf life” attained by freezing (which is a great way to eat them!). The other thing I read about the Twinkies 2.0 was that they were smaller than they used to be. Figures, and then I saw that the previous owners had already shrank them down and the size is still the same as that. Not surprising.

I got home and opened the box, and sure as hell… they are smaller – NOTICEABLY smaller. I cannot believe the difference and this brings up something I do not understand. Why is it that companies make things smaller but charge the same? I know it is all in the name of profit, but just leave things the same size and charge more for the item. We buy these name brands because of their size and quality. We DON’T buy the lousy knock-offs because that is what they are – horrid imitations of the name-brand products. Same thing with fast food. It is not that I eat much fast food anymore, but sometimes you just want chicken in a bucket, a decent-priced but good pizza, or a cheap greasy taco. I remember when Long John Silver’s used to be a place that was moderately upscale fast food. How about A&W? The only places you can find them it seems are in the corner of a convenience store. And McDonald’s… no more Ronald pimping burgers since they are trying to be more “upscale”. McDonald’s always was and always will be a kids restaurant so why not embrace what got you to where you are? Which restaurants actually cook a burger to order anymore? In most all of them I see they nuke the food in a microwave. All of these parent companies have made fast food (that was not the best food to begin with) even worse quality to reinforce the bottom line.

No… I am not longing for the good ol’ days, but I am longing for quality in all forms instead of doing something half-assed just to get by simply because of relying on a name brand as you drag it through the mud. What I would like to see is a return to how these companies used to do business – that is what made them huge to begin with and got us in the door as customers. All I see now is shitty, horrible-“quality” “food” that is compromised to keep the stockholders happy. If you treat people right they will keep coming back, and that will keep stockholders happy too. Okay, off my soapbox now.

It was good taste them again, but I probably won’t be buying many more Twinkies due to the loss of quality (yes, I view a reduction in size as a loss of quality). I will enjoy the ones I have left… in a bowl, piled high with some locally-grown strawberries. Hostess used to make and sell shortcakes, and they were basically a bowl-shaped Twinkie without the filling so I tried it one day and it was pretty tasty. The filling works in place of whipped cream so it is easy to prepare. Give it a try.

At least it won’t take as many strawberries as it used to…