Thursday, August 12, 2010

A New Great $teve

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

So last night, I’m home… and decide to make me some dinner. I was pretty hungry & just made a run to the grocery store… so I decided to make something, not really special, but out of the ordinary… and of course delicious. So I make me a quick Noah’s Ark with what I have. Oh… and for those of you new to the blog, Noah’s Ark is basically the signature dish if I ever own a restaurant, where you basically take two of every animal and throw it under a bun. Now, the ones that I usually make at a barbecue are a lot more… but last night I made one with a turkey burger, a beer braut sliced half so that it lies flat, a few strips of bacon, a sprinkle of bleu cheese, and of course a little barbecue sauce. Then I fried the bread like a Panini once all the ingredients were inside… you know, to seal it up nice. Sounds good, right? It absolutely was. Well, after that, the roommate and I basically watched a few hours of “Man vs. Food” on Travel Channel… and I sorta think that I missed my calling. Obviously I have a thing for incredibly delicious and unhealthy foods… and a bit of a competitive streak… and this Adam guy has the perfect job for that. Basically traveling around the country and looking for the best “pig out” spots to enjoy seared animal flesh. Burgers, barbecue, chicken, gravy, sausage, all the stuff that it’s stressed that you should eat in moderation, all on the menu… and it’s his job to try all the house specialties. And to top it all off, there’s always a food challenge… where he has to eat six pounds of barbecue… or six chicken wings that the sauce will take paint off a car… or eat a few hundred oysters… or a burger with literally everything on it, including the kitchen sink. It’s pretty epic… and it looks like fun (until the indigestion or fiery sphincter later on). Anyway, watching that stuff just makes me hungry, so guess what I’ll probably make for dinner tonight. Another Noah’s Ark. Oh well, we shall see. Here’s some news…

Another Great $teve – It’s a rare and blessed occasion when I’m able to sing the praises and induct a fellow great $teve into the Hall of Recognition. A folk hero in digital times, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has been thoroughly embraced by the Web. Not only have news stories about his meltdown on a plane from Pittsburgh to New York City been exceptionally popular on the Internet, but he's been feted in all manner of online tribute. Now he receives the ultimate tribute from me. Slater has consistently ranked as one of the most popular topics on Twitter and has birthed a small cottage industry of Facebook pages, with titles such as "Free Steven Slater" and "I Support Steven Slater." One group, dubbed the "Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund," is seeking to raise money for the airline veteran. More than 650 people are members of the group, which was founded by Gary Baumgardner, a pilot who pledges transparency in donating all the collections to Slater. He said he had raised more than $1,500 as of early Wednesday. What’s that? Oh you haven’t heard the Legend of $teve Slater? It’s f**king fantastic. Allow me to share. Steve Slater, 38, was a flight attendant with JetBlue. Basically, while loading the plane, there was a confrontation between passengers over overhead compartment space… and Steve stepped in. A female passenger berated him… and Steve turned the other cheek. After the plane landed Monday at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Slater was again berated by this woman because a bag that she stowed below the plane wasn’t readily available, allegedly calling him a motherf**ker. What happened next is the stuff of legend. Slater is accused of cursing at a passenger over the intercom (specifically saying “To the b**ch who called me a motherf**ker, f**k you!”), then dropped the intercom, said “I’m out!”, grabbed a few beers and exited on the plane's emergency slide. Awesome, right? It gets better. Two hours later, some fifty officers and marshals surrounded Slater’s home and arrested him… while in the act of sexual intercourse. Yes ladies & gentlemen, imagine if you will, a house completely surrounded by cops like they’re raiding the home of Pablo Escobar, they bust down the door, only to find this great $teve putting the good hurt on a loved one, slinging man jam all about his home. Needless to say, he was arrested and jailed before being freed on bail. A defense attorney says Slater didn't put anyone in danger. The website Free Steve Slater has been launched in support of Slater. It introduces itself: "Steve! This page is for you! Get in touch and let us know what you want to do with it!" One of the trends on Twitter has been to imagine T-shirts dedicated to Slater's audacious escape. Film critic Roger Ebert was among those churning out ideas, including: "Front: `I may be under arrest...' Back: `But I got two free beers out of it.'" Actual T-shirts were already for sale online, though with the more simple "Free Steven Slater" printed on them. On eBay, luggage tags reading "Steve Slater: An American hero" were for sale, as was a painting of Slater holding a prison number, which was going for $355 as of Wednesday afternoon. Other designs took the easy bait of parodying flight manuals. One that quickly went viral — designed by Aurich Lawson, creative director of the technology news website Ars Technica — is labeled the "proper technique for exiting aircraft" and shows a generic figure descending an inflatable slide with two beers in hand. "Watching people root for him ... is half the fun," Lawson said in an e-mail. "The reaction makes the event larger than life, kind of catapulting it into myth status overnight." Response in song has been common, too. On Tuesday, Slater was led into a state court in the New York City borough of Queens to be arraigned on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing, counts that carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. After posting bail, he told reporters, "It seems like something here has resonated with a few people. And that's kind of neat." So what do you think? Would you have done it? God knows we’ve all wanted to… and God bless this man for actually doing it (though it may send him to prison, which is unfortunate). Sometimes keepin’ it real goes wrong… but still, kudos… and welcome to the Hall of Recognition, Mr. Slater. Really wish there was a video somewhere of this event...

Taxi Awards – Ever wonder where the best taxi drivers are? Or where the worst taxi drivers are? Well, now you know. London taxis, with their friendly drivers who actually know where they are going, are ranked best in the world, according to an annual taxi poll. The survey by travel website found London taxis, despite being the most expensive, beat rivals across the globe to head the list for the third consecutive years, scoring a total of 59% in votes on several categories by travelers. London taxi drivers were voted both friendliest and most knowledgeable. Drivers in the English capital must pass a rigorous examination called The Knowledge to earn their taxi license. New York's yellow taxis came second in the list, scoring 27% which was up 10 percentage points from last year even though Manhattan's cab drivers tied with Parisian taxi drivers as the rudest (that’s bad). Travelers said New York had the most available taxis. Cabbies in Rome were voted the worst drivers in the world with almost one in 10 travelers thinking the Italian capital had the world's worst taxi drivers when it came to the quality of driving. "Traveling by taxi is one of the first experiences that many travelers have upon arrival in a new city. In fact, the research found that cabs are by far the most popular method of traveling from the airport to their hotel," a spokesman for said in a statement. The global poll scored city based taxis for their levels of cleanliness, value, quality of driving, knowledge of the area, friendliness, safety and availability. Rounding out the top five were Tokyo with a total score of 26%, Berlin with 17%, and Bangkok famed for its tuk-tuks scoring 14%. I’ve gotta give it up for Bangkok because a cabbie there helped save my mama a few months back. Madrid's taxis were ranked sixth in the poll, followed by Copenhagen and Dublin with 11% and Frankfurt and Paris with 10%. Taxis in Sydney fell short of the top 10, scoring badly in the areas of value for money, availability and knowledge of the area. The survey for, part of the Expedia group, was conducted among over 1,900 travelers between May 11-28 this year. I have to agree. London taxi drivers are probably the best out there. Though I have a lot more experience with New York, Vegas & Miami over the years. I’ll tell you who’s probably worst on the list… and it’s my old mistress Vegas. Had MANY a bad experience… rude, unknowledgable, overpriced, lie about accepting credit cards, get all b**chy when you make love stains in the backseat, the list goes on and on, which is unfortunately because that may contribute to why half the drivers on the road out there are intoxicated. Anyway, your thoughts?

Maternal Quartet - Four sisters from one family have each given birth within four days. That's four sisters, four babies, four days. The same obstetrician delivered the babies of three of the sisters — 27-year-old Lilian Sepulveda, 29-year-old Saby Pazos and 24-year-old Leslie Pazos — in the same suburban Chicago hospital on Friday and Saturday. A fourth sister, Heidi Lopez, gave birth on Monday in California. Family members said the women didn't plan the timing. Obstetrician Dr. Jean Alexandre, who delivered the three babies in suburban Chicago, calls the births "very unusual but wonderful at the same time." No planning huh? Hmm, I know what you ladies did last Halloween… forty weeks ago. Apparently there was a lot of something something going on. Anyway, just thought that I’d share the story with you. I’m sure the parents of these sisters are insanely busy trying to see all the new grandkids.

Panda Update – Speaking of babies, a giant panda born and raised in Japan has given birth to two cubs, her second set of twins, a zoo official said Thursday. Nine-year-old Rauhin gave birth to a female and a male cub Wednesday at Adventure World zoo in western Wakayama prefecture -- where she has spent her whole life -- after mating naturally with a panda brought from China (bow chicka bow wow). Rauhin was the first Japanese-born panda to breed when she gave birth to twin cubs in 2008. Her caretakers at the zoo conducted artificial insemination to improve Rauhin's chances of breeding two years ago, but the new babies were born as the result of natural mating with the Chinese male panda, the zoo said. "The two pandas go together very well," Adventure World spokesman Tadashi Ishikawa told AFP. "Giant pandas usually have a mating season only about three days a year (birthday sex? Must think they’re married), which makes it very difficult for them to breed. But the environment here seems to be good for our pandas." Captive giant pandas are known for their low sex drive, which is exacerbating falling numbers as their natural habitat in southwestern China is encroached on by development. There are currently 10 giant pandas in Japan, eight of them at Adventure World, but they all belong to China -- including Japanese-born Rauhin. China is to send another pair to Tokyo's Ueno Zoo for a price tag of almost a million dollars a year, to be paid for over the next decade (like sports stars, only w/o the sex drive). The money will be spent on wild animal protection in China. An extension of the lease can be negotiated, and the Tokyo zoo can keep babies born to the pair for the first two years, although China retains ownership. Ling Ling, the last panda owned by Japan, died of heart failure in 2008 at the age of 22 -- the equivalent of 70 human years. So there you go. Either we’ve got a panda mommy having twins every few years… or cloning has taken yet another major step forward… or they’re just very convincing robots. You can never tell with Japan involved. Yay pandas!!! Some may think that they’re just giant infertile raccoons… but I personally know that they are…

BEARS!!! - A brazen black bear with a late-night hankering for supreme pizza surprised a Montana resident last week, and it's not the first time the animal has eluded capture. The bear is believed responsible for about 21 break-ins in the Red Lodge area in south-central Montana over the past few weeks. I repeat: 21 Break-ins… over the past few weeks. In the most recent heist, Marek Rosin said he awoke at about 1:30 a.m. on July 29 to find the bear had pushed open the door to his back porch and was raiding his chest freezer. "He was about four feet from me with his head in the freezer munching on a pizza. It was almost comical if it wouldn't have been that close." Rosin scared the bear off before it could eat anything more (like Mr. Rosen). Most of the break-ins involve the bear climbing through a screened window or breaking through a screen door to access refrigerators or freezers, said Shawn Stewart, a Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist. Stewart said he thinks a single adult black bear is causing most of the problems (is that considered profiling? I know it would be if I were to say a single adult black man is causing most of the problems… and that’s just changing one word). Two culvert traps were set up, but the bear has avoided them. Apparently he’s smarter than the average bear… because another bear was captured and relocated. Seriously, how can you tell them apart? Over the past few days, no new reports of bear break-ins have come in. It's unknown if the bear might have left the area. Bear incidents are also being reported south of Bozeman, east of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and around Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "It's fairly widespread," Stewart said. I know that the great $teve Colbert has been reporting on the threat of bears for years… and I’ve been reporting on the threat of snakes… could they somehow be forming some kind of multispecies coalition to overthrow their human overlords? I only ask this because… well, there’s bears in them woods out here. I figured the snakes wouldn’t be much of a threat given the cold… but bears, this is their territory. I’m must saying, keep an eye out.

On that note, I’ll call it a day. Tonight's a meteor shower & Truckee Thursdays. The weekend’s coming up soon… and not too sure what I’ll be doing… but I know there’s a Blues Beer & Funk Festival at Squaw Valley on Saturday… so I’ll probably be hitting that up. Huey Lewis & the News are in Reno too. Can’t really go wrong with them. Now when I hear of Huey Lewis, I can’t help of think of “American Psycho” and the timeless line “Sabrina, don’t just stare at it. Eat it!” Good times. Have a great night everybody!!!

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