Monday, June 27, 2011

Digiorno Pizza and Breadsticks Review

This weekend I had a chance to try the Digiorno Pizza and Breadsticks combo from the frozen food section. The variety I chose was pepperoni pizza and cheesy breadsticks. It retails for around $7. First off, it's very easy to cook. 400 degree oven for about 15 mins for the breadsticks and about 18 mins for the pizza. They suggest cooking both together and timing them properly, which I did. They both smelled good when they came out of the oven piping hot. Unfortunately, the breadsticks had nothing going for them besides the aroma. When you take them out of the box, they're melded together like a big piece of bread, with marks across them to show you where you're supposed to cut them/pull them apart. Trust me, do not attempt to pull them apart. All you'll do is wind up with bite-sized pieces of breadstick. You will not be able to easily pull apart a full "breadstick." Digiorno calls these "cheesy breadsticks." I prefer to call them "cardboard sticks." These things had absolutely no flavor to them. No cheese flavor, no garlic flavor, nothing. BLECH! Pizza Hut has nothing to worry about here.

Now, on to the pizza portion of the program. This was your normal frozen pizza, although it's not the normal "rising crust" pizza you get from Digiorno. It's a standard frozen pizza. But this was very good for frozen pizza. The crust wasn't tough, wasn't hard to chew. There wasn't much sauce, but I like my pizza that way. The pepperoni pieces were nice and big and tasted like standard pizza pepperoni, which can be good once in a while. Uncle Ernie liked his slice that he had too, which is a good thing.

All in all, for $7, I don't suggest this pairing. I suggest you stick with the basic Digiorno pizza and save a couple bucks. You're better off buying a tube of Pillsbury breadsticks from the refrigerator case of your supermarket along with a Digiorno pizza if you're hell-bent on having both pizza and breadsticks.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Uncle Ernie Says...#3

Good Morning Campers!

I love to scour the car care blogs…and I found a "recipe" for something that comes in very useful for cleaning windows or other glass objects (drinking glasses probably not a good idea).
It's for a homemade window cleaner…very few streaks (if any), cheap, simple, and very effective. Here's the mixture:

- 1 part water
- 1 part ammonia
- 1 part isopropyl alcohol (90% or better)

Mix in a spray bottle and off ya go! Great for windows and mirrors especially! Also works great on clear plastic lenses - such as eyeglasses.

BE WARNED…if you've had your car windows tinted POST-FACTORY, avoid this type of cleaner because anything ammonia-based will remove the tinting.

I also swear by microfiber towels. You can buy them virtually anywhere. Find them where the mops & brooms are…or in the Automotive department. Ammonia will be near the mops & brooms as well, but the isopropyl alcohol will be in the health & beauty section of your favorite megastore!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Olive Garden Herb Cheese Soffatelli With Chicken

A couple days ago I was able to go to Olive Garden for free and I decided to try their new "Herb Cheese Soffatelli with Sauteed Chicken." This dish is described as "Artisan puff pastries filled with 5-cheese fonduta and herbs, served with sautéed chicken in a creamy garlic sauce." I had seen the TV commercials and it looked and sounded good to me. I am here to say it's decent, but not as good as it looks on TV (as if that wasn't a shocker). The puff pastries look exactly like they do on TV. Unfortunately, they don't have anywhere near the amount of cheese filling in them as they look on TV. Seriously, we're talking 80% pastry and 20% cheese filling. But, I must admit, it did taste good, when I got a bite with enough cheese filling in it, it was very herbal and pleasant, but might also be overwhelming for those who don't like things overly-herbed. The pastry was nicely browned and crisp and gave a nice crunch, except for the bottom part that seemed to have been sitting in the garlic cream sauce too long before it was served to me. The chicken, on the other hand, was very very good. They give you 2 thin pieces of chicken breast that have been pounded kinda thin, but not too-too thin. The chicken is topped with cheeses and fresh spinach and chopped tomatoes, along with the garlic cream sauce. The chicken I had was very tender and juicy and tasted great. The cheese held its own, but the spinach and tomatoes did absolutely nothing to the dish. The garlic cream sauce is just good enough to give the chicken that little extra flavor/creaminess. All in all, this isn't a terrible dish, but there are better dishes at Olive Garden.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: Dove Men + Care Anti-perspirant/deodorant

I recently received a free sample of Dove's new Men + Care Anti-perspirant/deodorant, Clean Comfort variety. It has a nice scent to it, but it almost seems a little too "feminine" for me. It does do a decent job of preventing perspiration, but some of you, like me, might need something stronger, like Old Spice's Red Zone. Just to give you a comparison of the active ingredient, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY, Dove has 14.8%, whereas Old Spice Red Zone has 19%. Mitchum has even more than Old Spice Red Zone, but it doesn't come in the chick-magnet scents that Old Spice has available. Dove isn't bad, but I think you're better off spending your money on Mitchum or Old Spice Red Zone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: MIO Liquid Water Enhancer

I received a free sample of MIO Liquid Water Enhancer, Berry Pomegranate flavor, and I felt the need to review it, since a lot of people seem to dislike drinking plain water these days, which I don't know why. But anyways, I digress. This is the flavor they sent me. I was hoping for Strawberry Watermelon, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. This is a concentrated liquid that you put into water to make a tasty beverage. It's calorie-free and sugar-free, so there's no need to worry about packing on a few pounds like Kool-aid, Coca-cola, Pepsi, etc may do if you drink the regular stuff might do. The directions say to add one "squirt" into 8 oz. of water. What they mean by a "squirt" is anyone's guess. They also say you can add more to adjust to your own taste. OK then. I had a 16.9 oz. bottle of water here and decided to pour out about 2 oz. of water and add a squirt or 2 of MIO into it. I pinched off one squirt until it stopped, and then another (Yes, I could have made a ton of sexual references/puns/jokes here, but I am trying to keep it G-rated, thank you). I then capped it and shook it up to distribute the flavoring. It gives a nice deep purple color (cue "Space Truckin"). It definitely has a "berry" nice bouquet to it, but I can't detect any pomegranate (then again, I'm not sure what pomegranate is supposed to taste or smell like, even though it seems to be the fruit of the last 5 years...perhaps because pomegranates are expensive and so is the juice, so we lower-middle class people only have to imagine what they taste like, aside from artificial flavorings). As far as taste goes, this is OK, definitely has a good berry taste to it and seemed to have a more "natural" flavor to it than other beverages. I just wish they would have not used Aspartame for sweetening. Aspartame is why I don't drink most diet sodas, the aftertaste is just so bizarre. My guess is that this is marketed for those that have already been drinking flavored waters and are control freaks that want to decide how much flavor they want to add. This would also be good for those that want to keep the small bottle (yes, it's very small, about the size of an eye-drops bottle) in their drawer at work, and add to water from the water cooler, assuming they can get away from gossiping. All in all, this is a decent product. It will cost you about $4 for a bottle that the label says will give you 24 8-oz. "squirts," so decide for yourself if you think that's worth it. I'd be willing to try more flavors if they send me more free samples (are you listening/reading, Kraft?), but I don't know if I'd personally go out of my way to buy it. See below for links to purchase this stuff and read more reviews.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Uncle Ernie Says...#2

Hello Again Blog fans…

When you hear the words "paint thinner", you probably imagine some very strong, smelly, industrial-type chemical. This chemical also goes by the name "mineral spirits"…and is a VERY simple and practical cleaning solvent. It's also practically odorless :)

If you have issues with soap scum in your bathtub or shower, fear not! Take an old rag, dampen it with mineral spirits, and rub. It erases the waxy film with little elbow grease. You may need to go over the area a second time with the same method depending on how "scummy" the area may be.

Ever tried removing a label or sticker from something and the adhesive just wants to "stick" around? Peel off what you can CAREFULLY. Then use the same method mentioned above…the solvent quickly breaks down the gum and you end up with a clean, stick-free surface.

Those of us that LOVE our cars…seems like there are always spots of tar on the lower fenders that ordinary washing only wants to smear. Lightly rub a small rag dampened with mineral spirits over the spot and it disappears immediately! And don't be afraid to use it on your finish…remember it's a thinner…NOT a paint REMOVER. Follow up with a spray wax since the solvent will erase any wax that may have been in that area.

Lastly, if you have filmy windows around the house, give em a light rub with mineral spirits followed by your favorite window cleaner.

Happy Cleaning!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pittsburgh Penguins - Matt Cooke

If Mario Lemieux really wants to stand by his statement and subsequent proposal to the NHL for head hits, then he should never have Matt Cooke play another game as a Pittsburgh Penguin. Matt Cooke was told both by head coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero that his cheap-shot crap had to stop. And what did he do yesterday? He hit the New York Rangers' Ryan McDonagh in the head with a blatant elbow. WHY???? There has to be something about Cooke's head when he's on the ice that has to be evaluated. I know the game is fast and you have to react quickly, but if you go back and look at what he did, he had plenty of time to decide to hit or not hit. And it doesn't matter whether or not McDonagh has a concussion, etc. This is about him being a cheap-shot asshole. Plain and simple. Look, I love the Pens as much as any other Pens' fan, but you have to call a spade a spade. And this spade is beyond black, if there ever could be such a thing. At the time of this posting, nothing has yet to be determined by the NHL as to Cooke's discipline, but I think the Penguins' organ-I-zation needs to do more. Mario sent out his statement after the Islanders' debacle. Shero went to the GM meetings to try and get a change to the head-shots policy of the NHL. Neither got much of an acknowledgment. And then Matt Cooke does this yesterday. This is a HUGE black eye on the Penguins, and they have to do something. Yes, the NHL will come down fairly hard on Matt Cooke for what he did, but I think the Penguins need to do more. What that is, I don't know. There are lots of possibilities (scratching, release, etc.). At the end of the day, I can't see Matt Cooke being a Pittsburgh Penguin next year. My opinion only. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Uncle Ernie Says...#1 - SuperClean

Good Morning Campers!
Uncle Ernie here with a review of a product that I've come to love. SuperClean.
What makes it SUPER? Its ability to cut through grease & oil, and the way it breaks up tough stains.
You won't find it with the Windex, or the Tilex, or the Murphy's Oil Soap. That's because it's a MEAN cleaner!!! Go to the automotive section of your favorite mega-store and look for the purple gallon jug.
A warning...if you intend to use SuperClean - full strength or diluted - please wear gloves (playtex gloves or chemical-resistant form-fitting gloves). This stuff is caustic, and will harm your skin if you're not careful. Also...if left too long on painted surfaces, it could damage the paint. Look on the back of the jug for dilution ratios for different uses. I usually keep some in a spray bottle at a 2-parts-water-to-1-part-cleaner ratio for general cleaning purposes.
Cost: between $7 & $8.
And please keep out of the reach of children :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Marcellus, coal, etc. vs. oil

I have a question. Why is it that we can drill for natural gas, dig for coal, etc, but yet not drill for oil without people getting their fucking panties in a bunch? What the hell is the difference? Drill for oil, for God's sake. What can it hurt? All it can do is help us with our energy costs. Oh, I know some of you will say "well, that's just a drop in the bucket." My retort is, at what point do you finally fucking say "enough is enough" and we start doing our own thing as a country??? Think about that, please, and get back to me when you have an intelligent response that makes sense to the contrary of this blog post. Thank you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Westmoreland County Employees

I've had the displeasure of having to go to the Westmoreland County Courthouse for certain things over the past several months, and after having to try to call them today, with no luck, it reminded me about how the county-paid people work. When I've been there, they act like you're nothing. You're just a fly on their hand. "hurry up and get out of here" Same thing when you call. I just called today, and once again, like every time before, I have to leave a voicemail so that that person can get back to me when they're done smoking/eating/gossipping/etc...terrible...I had one question and here I still sit 2-3 hours later without an answer....I left a voicemail 90 minutes ago and here I sit with nothing. This is what what we pay for in Westmoreland County? Are you kidding me? And for those that think I was just kidding about the whole "smoking/eating/gossipping/etc" thing, then you've either never been past the courthouse many times or you've never known anyone that has worked there...I have knowledge from both sides, and, to me, it's seems like all they do is sit outside and bullshit and smoke...but that's what your tax money is paying for if you live in Westmoreland County.

Review: Subway Meatball Pepperoni sub

Yesterday, I had the chance to try Subway's new $5 Footlong sub, the Meatball Pepperoni. I am a big fan of their regular meatball sub, so I figured it must be better if they add pepperoni, and for the same price. At first I was skeptical, thinking that maybe they would cut back on the meatballs since they're adding pepperoni. So I asked the female "Sandwich Artist" about that and she ensured to me that the amount of meatballs was the same, they just add pepperoni. So, with that piece of information, I went ahead with my order. I always get my subs/pizza/burgers fairly plain because I want to taste the main ingredients. I don't want a huge salad on my sub and then be wondering where the meat is. So I got my sub toasted with provolone cheese and onions (I like that Subway offers red onions as opposed to regular white/yellow are a little tamer). Upon first taste, I couldn't even tell they put pepperoni on it, even though I could tell from sight that it was there. The pepperoni really added nothing to the taste. It just seemed like a regular footlong meatball sub to me. The bread was fine, the cheese was good, as they both usually are, but the pepperoni just seemed to be a throw-in to gain customer interest. This goes along with my experience of having lasagna that had pepperoni in addition to other meats (beef, sausage) and I could never tell the pepperoni was there. I guess I should have known better before I got this sub, but the pepperoni did not detract from the sub, it just added nothing, as far as taste goes. In closing, maybe you might have a better taste experience than I did, but I don't think you'll find any difference between it and the regular meatball sub. Enjoy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wendy's Chili Seasoning

If you're like me and you enjoy Wendy's chili, you've probably gotten a packet or 2 of their chili seasoning. I have always loved this stuff and it certainly makes their chili much better. Especially if you can get a few more packets, if you ask. But I have always been a guy that likes my chili to be more full-flavored. So about a year or so ago, I sought out to make my own "Wendy's chili seasoning." So after a few experiments, I think I found a close recipe to it. Here's how it goes:

2  12-oz. bottles regular hot sauce ( I used Crystal hot sauce this last time)
approx. 1.5 oz. ground cumin
approx. 1/2 cup  dried chopped garlic
approx. 1/3 cup dried chopped onions

You'll also need:
one large bottle with a very tight lid...I use an old 1.75 liter bourbon bottle that has a very tight cork in it

(note: I get my cumin, garlic, and onion at Big Lots)

Put all the ingredients together into your bottle and shake it up well to combine it all very well.

Let this steep for at least one week or longer. Shake the bottle whenever you think about it, but the more you shake it, the better your results will be, in my opinion.

You can then either use this as a finishing sauce on your chili after it's served, or you can use it as an extra seasoning in your chili while it is cooking, which I prefer.

I suppose you could use garlic powder and onion powder, but I have not tried that...I like the bits of garlic and onion in my finished chili.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rayovac sucks

Rayovac virtually promised lots of people that they would be getting a couple for a free lithium 9-volt battery if they signed up for their site and installed an app, but they didn't live up to their promise. Lots of us on facebook couldn't get thru to the site to get the coupon. I wonder what that app is gonna do? HMMM They're not gonna get my business ever again, and lots of others on Facebook, I am sure, agree with me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Liked Abie and Bimbo's Before? Here's Why

I just found out why I loved Abie and Bimbo's Pizza in Greensburg, PA so much...they used provolone cheese...I just got some provolone from Shop N Save and it tasted exactly the same as Abie and Bimbo's pizza's cheese back in the mid-90's...I now know what I am gonna use for my own homemade pizza from now on

A Good Cheese

If you're looking for a great cheese to put on your homemade pizza or meatball hoagies, look no further than Sorrento Whole Milk Mozzarella cheese. This stuff is great. So creamy and delicious. Gives you that awesomely creamy mouth-feel when you eat it. It also has that great milky taste that makes good cheese what it should be. Yeah, it may have a bit more fat, but it's worth it.

Don't Buy Maxtor/Seagate products

I bought a Maxtor external hard drive for my computer about 5 years ago. It had worked fine, up until this past September when I got a new computer. Ever since then, the drive has never been recognised by my new PC. I've sold electronics for many years and also fixed computers for a couple of years. So I called Seagate about it, and the guy tried to make me feel like an idiot. He tried to make me do all kinds of things that I had already tried to do, without any luck. When it finally came to "crunch time" I said "so I guess I'm supposed to just demolish this hard drive?" His response was "you can do what you want to do. Is there anything else I can do for you today?" That goes to show how much they care about their customers and what they want people to do with their hard drives that only lasted 5 years. I'll never buy or suggest anyone buying a Seagate/Maxtor product ever again.

Review - Earthquake Malt Liquor

For those of you that like malt liquor to try to get a quick buzz, let me advise you against Earthquake Malt Liquor. This stuff is almost disgusting. It's almost like vinegar. When I tried it on its own, I almost spit it out. Almost. I had to cut it with another regular beer, since I didn't want to waste the $2 I spent on the 24 oz. can I bought. Once I did that, it was drinkable, but I feel that made it nothing more than an average malt liquor. If you're going for a quick buzz, go with the basics like Steel Reserve or Hurricane. Otherwise, stay away from Earthquake.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One night dream sequence, part three my brother takes us "next door" to a bridge with large rocks below...something really fun is happening down below that we can't see, but he knows what's going on...he says "come on!" and jumps over the bridge's barricade and down into a pile of huge boulders...he hits the boulders and all that I see is his torso, and his face screaming out in pain...I start crying and hoping someone next to him will one helps...I jump down off the bridge...I go over to him...there is blood one near him will help... he is very close to the edge of a cliff...I tell him to grab onto my hand so I can help him up...he moans and looks up to me a bloody face and grabs my hand...I start to pull him up...we're making progress...I keep pulling him closer...he's bleeding everywhere....just as I finally pull him up.......
....the dream ends
what the hell does this mean?????

One night dream sequence, part two my second oldest brother comes into the picture and says he's gonna buy everyone a "bucket of fries"...after he does that, we get a big stage production from a few of the old heroes of wrestling...they do some highwire act stuff....Ric Flair, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Ricky Steamboat, and Hulk Hogan...Savage lands headfirst into the drywall above the bed, and shakes his head...I say, "You OK, Randy?" and he says "Yeah"...Steamboat does the same thing....then Flair and Hogan have this huge way-high tightrope thing where I thought both would land and die...all of a sudden my brother (the one that went to get the buckets of fries) comes back and tells us there's something going on next to us, so we go out to check it out...

One night dream sequence, part 1

So the other night I had a dream sequence that was so absurd, odd, disturbing, and whatever adjective you wanna give it, that it has stayed with me for 3 days. I had this dream sequence Thursday night, Feb. 24, and I am now blogging about it...I am doing it in several parts because it that's the way it came to me....and I am also doing this because it's not often that dreams happen and stay with you like goes part one...

I am in someone's house, and they tell me that there are certain things hidden between the something makes me hit a spot in the door that I just closed behind soon as I close the door, a weird guy pushes his hand thru the wood of the door and releases a small door withing the main door...within that small door are small metal bars, like jail bars...he tries to get his hands toward me and says that there are things within the walls of the room that I am in that have special meaning, especially those that are within the studs of the all of a sudden I am now in a room with a huge bed in the middle with about 4-5 kids ages 5-16 (guessing from memory)...the walls now look like a used Plinko board from The Price Is Right...lots of spots between studs where things have been been punched thru, with notes hanging on them that look like coloring book pictures that have been filled in by kids...the kids are trying to get their hands on the pictures and put their hands thru them and into the crevasses between the studs....I immediately tell them not to because their may be electric lines within there that may cause them to be electrocuted...they do what I say...the kids continue to have of the kids jumps on the bed and lands on the floor below in such a way that I thought he was dead because he landed on his head...but he bounced right back up, as though his head was on a after a while, the kids and I are on the bed, laughing, eating candy, etc...until we find out from someone that comes in that says we have to stop to eat something...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best pepperoni rolls/chocolate chip cookies

The best chocolate cookies and pepperoni rolls you can ever get are at Delallo's in Jeannette, PA...I don't know what else to say...awesomely moist cookies, pepperoni rolls with tons of pepperoni.....just amazingly good stuff

Don't buy Magnavox/Funai stuff

Last year, my brother bought a DVR from Magnavox thru, because it was about the only DVR you could get without a service contract. It had worked pretty well, up until this past weekend. See, it's not only a DVR, but also a DVD player. So we got rid of my DVD player. And everything worked pretty well. Until this weekend. Saturday night, I couldn't play any DVD's on the unit. I tried about 10-12 different DVD's, both burned and factory DVD's. I called Funai/Magnavox about this and they said there was something wrong with my unit. But I had to wait because of "President's Day." So I call back yesterday and talked to Amanda, employee # 408222, and she says to unplug the unit for 30 minutes and it should work after that. So, after arguing with Amanda (who seemed to be about 19 years old) as to why no one before suggested this solution, I hung up and did so. And did so. And did so. Yes, Amanda was adamant that this should work, but she was also fucking pissing me off. I'd sold electronics for 14 years. I know this shit. She doesn't need to be a bitch about it And yes, she was with her tone and arguing with me, the consumer, that pays her salary. So now today comes around and I call back to tell them that what the holy Amanda said to do didn't work. I got to talk to Jessica, who wouldn't give me her employee number, no matter what I said. I asked her why she wouldn't give me her number like Amanda did, but she wouldn't budge. Look, I'm not trying intentionally to be an asshole. I just want answers. So Jessica won't help me, pretty much. So I sent a nice long voicemail to Amanda and Jessica's boss, who they said was being trained or something to that extent. LOL Customer service representatives that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground are now being forwarded to a guy that is just now being trained. I'm waiting for my call back from the "trainee". I was a trainee once, so to speak, so we'll see what he can do for me.

Review: Best Pizza In Greensburg, PA

I have to say, without a doubt, the best pizza in Greensburg, PA is Pizza Siena. They always have decent specials and coupons in the local circulars. Just yesterday, I got an extra-large pizza with meatballs and extra cheese and, once again, it was fantastic. The cheese is plentiful and the meatballs taste amazing. I wish I knew where they got them from. Crust is always fresh and never over-baked. And, this pizza tastes just as good the next day, and most of us pizza-lovers like that. They have a location in Latrobe, PA, also, so don't think twice about ordering from them. Great pizza.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Good New Orleans-style meal

On occasion, I like a good, hearty, flavorful meal that has rice as its staple. My favorite that comes to mind is Zatarain's Dirty Rice. This stuff is so good and so tasty. If you've never had this before, an 8-oz. box probably makes enough for about 4 people. But if you're like me and my family, one box is for 2 people, so make more. And leftovers are just as good, trust me. Prepare this as the package states with ground beef and you may never buy Hamburger Helper again, it's that good. It has some spice to it, so you might want to keep that in mind, but it's not "HOT" Add hot sauce, like I do, if you like things a bit more spicy. I've had Zatarain's Jambalaya before also, but the dirty rice, to me, is the best they have to offer

Review: Best Hamburger Helper flavor

I know that a lot of you out there are looking for a good, wholesome, filling meal for your family. Yes, here I am to say, Hamburger Helper from Betty Crocker. It is very inexpensive, easy to make, and very hearty. And I say this especially about my favorite variety, Cheesy Hash Browns. Not only is this variety now gluten-free, but it is also delicious. Stick-to-your-ribs beef and taters plus a very rich and tasty cheese sauce make this an awesome meal for your family. Please try it today!

Review: Easy brownies

If you like brownies, but don't like the mixing, etc that goes along with it, then please try Duncan Hines frozen brownies. They are incredibly easy to make (preheat, bake) that anyone can make them. And they turn out just as good as any mix you could make. Moist, delicious, chocolatey, MMM...My family and I love Duncan Hines products, and so should you...always good stuff

Review: More meatballs

Ok, so I like meatballs...shoot me. Anyways, I tried, again, Del Grosso Meatballs and I have to say they weren't that bad. Yes, they tasted very good and had an authentic flavor, but I have one major problem. They were very very tough. And, no, I don't mean tough because I cooked them the wrong way. They had so much connective tissue-type meat in them that you would think you were eating half rubber bands. Yes, good flavor, but bad texture. WOW

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Global Warming??? Come on now!!!

Here's is what I have to say about this whole Global Warming thing (and that's the last time I will use capital letters for that):

1. No, I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV, but I think I am smart enough to see what has been happening lately. Huge snowstorms the last 2 winter seasons. I mean, HUGE. Record storms. HUGE snow storms do not equal global warming.

2. Yes, some of you "smarter" people might say that what is happening now does not mean that global warming is not real. Really?

3. The whole "global warming clusterf@ck" wants us to believe that this is going to hinder our kids, grandkids, great-grand kids, great-great kids, and (fuggit), great, great, great, great, great-grand-kids/mothers/fathers/etc.). Anything happens to our people by then will by WAYYYY beyond any of our people we acknowledge today as our family. Isn't our society now about "today" and not "tomorrow?" And both sides of the political aisle will agree to that.

In conclusion, screw the whole thought of global warming. It'll be way too long from if it ever happens, and I don't believe it will...after all, we've had Ice Ages before, right????

Pittsburgh's mayor/county exec Super Bowl trip

Do you really want the big-wigs of Pittsburgh or Allegheny County going  to the Super Bowl? Wouldn't you rather have them around in case something here major happens? I know Luke and Danny are huge homers for the locals teams, but that doesn't mean they can scat away from their jobs. Shouldn't they stay here and watch it on TV like the rest of the "blue-collar town" of Pittsburgh and the area? Yes, they say that, according to Jon Delano of KDKA, it's being paid by "campaign and personal contributions." That should make you want to find out who has given contributions to both and say "screw that." They try to portray themselves as being "like us" but yet they take every chance they get to go to games and act like they're doing it "for the region." Give me a freaking break. Two homers, doing what strokes their own egos, nothing more. If you think otherwise, then you're as big of an idiot as the rest of the area that has voted for them. WAKE THE HELL UP!!!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Respect THIS beard !!!

Here ya go, how I look after growing my beard for a while. No, not as long in days as Brett Kiesel has grown his, but long cutting til after the Super Bowl...yes, I trim mine around the cheeks, ya go:

Review: George Harrison - Brainwashed

For those of you that like the Beatles but haven't cared much for the Fab Four's individual albums, I suggest you try out George Harrison's album "Brainwashed." This was George's last album, so to speak. He recorded his parts of this album before he died. His son, Dhani, and Jeff Lynne, of E.L.O. (Electric Light Orchestra), finalized this album the way George had intended it. And, boy, did it turn out awesome. You can feel the "end of the road" lyrics in songs like "Any Road," "Looking For My Life," and "Stuck Inside A Cloud" so much that they make you think about your own life and what it might be like when you're right there on the edge of who-knows-where. Lots of great guitar work also.  And don't dismiss the great bar-room style they, and others, add to the old standard "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea." That's something that can brighten your spirits while you're thinking about any other depressing spirits that might be haunting you and your past after listening to the voice and lyrics that Harrison has provided. Proceed with caution if you're depressed and have a drink in hand, but yet feel your glass is half-full.

Review: The Chief - the film version

For those of you Steeler fans out there that haven't seen "The Chief," the theatrical story of Art Rooney, Sr., written by Rob Zellers and Gene Collier, I suggest you do so. Especially if you're a born-and-bred Pittsburgher. Tom Atkins does an outstanding job of portraying Mr. Rooney. You may not know the name Tom Atkins, but if you, like me, love the movie "Lethal Weapon," you will remember him as Michael Hunsaker, the father of the chick that killed herself at the beginning of the film. Mr. Atkins does a great job with the voice of Mr. Rooney, and although it's done on a very small stage, the acting is great too. I am saying this as a guy that never lived in the North Side of Pittsburgh or anywhere right around Pittsburgh (I've lived an hour outside of Pittsburgh my whole life), so if I enjoyed it, then if you live anywhere closer to downtown Pittsburgh, you should enjoy it even more. It's more of a Pittsburgh story than it is a Steeler story, but, nonetheless, it's a must-see. Buy it or rent it. Would make a great pre-Super Bowl experience for yinz.

Your Favorite Western?

This past weekend, AMC was showing westerns. I am a HUGE fan of westerns. Those of you that know me very well know who I enjoy most in western movies, as well as the movies I like best. So I figured I would ask all of you what your favorite western movie of all-time is. I would have to say that my all-time favorite western is The Searchers, starring John Wayne. I would love to hear what you think.

Other suggestions:

Bad Experience - Puff 'N Snuff, Greensburg, PA

I just got back from my latest tobacco purchase. I went to Puff 'N Snuff on East Pittsburgh Street here in Greensburg, PA. They have had a special on my personal favorite product for the past 3-4 weeks. I was there last on Friday, Jan. 28, and asked how long the discount would go on, and the girl there said "Until the end of the month." So today, I go back to get a few more before the sale ends. The signs are still there below the product's shelf, showing the sale price. I tell the boy/girl (I honestly couldn't tell which it was) who was behind counter what I want, and he/she rings it up. Too much. I tell them that the sign says it should be "X" amount. The other girl (yes, this one was a girl) said the price must have gone up. I said, "Well, you have it showing X amount, I want it for that price." She says, "You'll need to call my boss about that." I reply, "Well, get your boss on the phone right now." So she does. So I wait and wait until she gets her instruction to give me the discount. Meanwhile, the whole place was filling with smoke. Yes, they were smoking in a tobacco store while on the job. Unbelievable. So, if you live in/near Greensburg, I suggest going elsewhere for your tobacco needs.

Cheap Fried Chicken - Walmart Vs. Banquet

This past weekend, I had the chance to try again, for the first time after many many years, Banquet frozen Original Fried Chicken. I know many of you out there, like me, enjoy the fried chicken that Walmart's deli/hot foods section prepares. It's inexpensive, fast, easy, and you have virtually no clean-up afterward. Banquet's chicken has to be baked in the oven for about 55 minutes and you need to use a baking sheet of course. Here's is what I found out when comparing both:

Coating Texture: I give the advantage here to Walmart, but just slightly. Yes, the Banquet chicken came out very nice, but Walmart's coating is a bit thicker and more substantial, if you, like me, like a lot of coating on fried chicken.

Coating Flavor: Here is where I thought Banquet had a strong advantage. As much as I really enjoy Walmart's chicken's coating texture, it is VERY salty. Banquet's coating is not even half as salty as Walmart and therefore, Banquet gets the nod here. I will also say that banquet's coating has more of a paprika taste to it, while Walmart's is perhaps more black-peppery.

Chicken: This is a toss-up. Both very very similar in how moist/dry the chicken was under the coating. As usual, the breast pieces were on the dry side and the dark pieces were more moist. That's how chicken is. Dark meat has more fat, therefore it is going to be more juicy.

Variables: When you buy Walmart's fried chicken at the deli/hot foods counter, it may have been sitting for a bit under heat lamps, so by the time you get home, it can be really dry. Also, if you get the family-size box of Banquet fried chicken, you get 9 pieces, and there are NO wings. 3 pieces each of breast, thigh, and leg. So you get more meat from Banquet.

In conclusion, this is a very difficult one to choose. But, in the end, I think I have to go with Banquet. For around $8, you get 9 pieces of real chicken (I don't consider wings to be real chicken pieces. They're too much trouble for virtually one bite of meat), whereas with Walmart, for around $5, you get 8 pieces, and 2 of those are wings. Here's a great meal suggestion: get a family-sized box of the Banquet chicken, get a bag of Rhodes frozen Dinners Rolls, and microwave a bag of frozen corn, and you have yourself a delicious meal for your family.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Anyone out there like the song "Layla?" Yeah, I thought/hope so. Did you also know that it's Eric Clapton singing the original version? No, not from Unplugged. He sang the original, too. Well, if you liked that song and never heard the whole album it came from, it'll be re-released in several formats on March 29, 2011. Great stuff, great album. Did you know the main riff from "Layla" was from the fingers of Duane Allman? Yes, of Allman Brothers fame. And, yes, he played on the original "Layla" album. Best track on that album, in my opinion, is "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," which, although slightly different from the original done by Freddie King, is amazing for the guitar solos from Mssgrs. Clapton and Allman. Please check it out. You can thank me later.

2-disc set:

super-deluxe edition:

2-LP vinyl:

single cd:

Mushy Pasta

If you're like me and you like pasta that is very al-dente and not mushy, stay away from San Giorgio's Cook Quick pasta. It turns out very gummy and pasty, even if you cook it less time than box says for you to cook it. Not good. Buy Barilla or DeCecco if you want good pasta.

Bad Local News

The local news here is pathetic. Why, oh why, do the local stations need to lead their "news" with a Steelers rally 9 day before the Super Bowl???? WHY??? And then the next thing they talk about is the weather, where we might get an inch or 2 of snow. WHY??? After the weather, they talk about shootings, muggings, murder, etc., but yet think that the Steelers and an inch of overnight snow are more worthy of the top news. Absolutely ridiculous...not "RE-diculous" like most people like to say, but the normal "ridiculous." If you're turning on your tv at 4 PM to watch the news just because you wanna see what John "I do nothing but Steelers or snow stories" Shumway looks like in his Steeler garb while amongst a bunch of drunk Steelers fans, then you have problems. I only that this happens because I live with my father and he watches KDKA at 4 PM, and he can't hear what you're saying when you're 3 feet away, hence the volume. Seriously, can't the local stations cut back on their Steelers fluff and still get the advertising dollars? I also think it's trash that they have to start the news at 4 PM and go to 7 PM. I would think that with today's people having less of an attention span, they would cut the news down to less hours and ask the advertisers for more per ad. But I didn't go to college for advertising, nor have I worked in television. But I think I am smart enough to think this might work if they did things the right way. Maybe I'm wrong. Some people, like me, don't watch commercials. I always have my remote in my hand for when a commercial comes on. And that is especially true of NFL games, but that's another blog post. And, for those of you that think I am crazy about how bad local tv has gotten, check out John Steigerwald's book Just Watch The Game. Yes, that's the same guy that did local tv sports for more than 30 years here in Pittsburgh. You can also check out his blog here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gripe #1

Why do people wear shorts on a 35 degree day but yet also wear a sweatshirt/jacket/coat and act like they're cold? I'll never freaking understand that. Can anyone enlighten me? Please????

another thing about my blog...

I am not going to be like other bloggers that only post things during the "work week" or "when I feel like it." I am going to post on here all the time. I don't think a blog is real unless you post things all the time and when you think of something. As far as I am concerned, you shouldn't have a blog unless you are committed to posting things when those things hit you. I dislike bloggers that only blog on certain days or when they just "feel like it." To me, that shows laziness. Yes, you may have other things going on with you life that might be more important, but don't throw your blog out there unless you're ready to go at it full time.  Again, just my opinion, but I think followers of a blog would agree with me.

Review: A Chance Of Very Good Meatballs

I tried the Cooked Perfect Italian Meatballs a couple months ago, which you can find at your local WalMart stores in the southwestern PA area, and didn't think they were that great. Well, I have tried them again in other applications, and I must say, they are really the best of all the frozen meatballs available in the local stores. They're not the best in a "spaghetti and meatballs" type of dinner (in my opinion), but they are really good in meatball sandwiches and, yes, I even used them in Hamburger Helper-type uses, if you cut them up into pieces and you don't have ground beef on hand. Give them a try, they're pretty damn good.

Women: what???

I posted this question on my Facebook page, and I'll post it on here too:
Why is it that intelligent, amiable, attractive women tend to marry/be involved with guys that look like the biggest freaking douche bags on the planet? Can someone answer that with a reasonable explanation? And, no, I am not jealous. If they decide to be with a guy like that, then I have no reason to want to be with a woman that would make that decision. Dumbfounded, yes, but not jealous. 

Steelers - Packers Super Bowl

Wow, who would have ever thought this game would happen (besides the great Peter King of Sports Illustrated I happen to be a big fan of the Packers. They're my second-favorite NFL team. But prior to the past 2 months, I never would have guessed they'd look as good as they do right now. They have a pretty good defense and an offense that has a much better running game this postseason than they did in the regular season. The Steelers have a defense that has been very good all season (remember being without Ben for the first 4 games?) and have proven they can again be very good when it they need to be in the postseason. So what does this all mean as we get closer to the Super Bowl? I'd love to hear from you and tell me what will be the decisive factor in the game. We have 12 days yet. Gonna be a great one, if you ask me.

Howdy, folks!

This is your old friend, Stew, coming to you from western Pennsylvania. This blog will be for just about anyone. I'll be posting stuff about sports, food, politics, everyday life, history, music, film, TV, underwater basket weaving, and more! I am looking forward to your comments, questions, suggestions, and any other stuff you have to say. I was going to use foul language there, but I decided against it for fear I might offend someone. We'll see how that goes. Fire away while I get my first REAL post ready. And thanks for reading. Tell all your friends!