Wednesday, February 27, 2008

An Epicureans Delight

A few days ago, I was talking to a friend who lives in the western Chicago suburbs. As we do every year at this time, we conversed about our favorite baseball team; The Chicago Cubs. Basically, we have the same conversation every late February; just the names of the players are changed. We both tend to over analyze the team and we are both hopeless optimists.

The highlight of our conversation was not concerning the Cubs, but instead the Chicago Hot Dog. He had gone to one of our favorite Hog Dog emporiums for lunch on Sunday. He was appalled by the behavior of the customer in front of him. The man asked for Catsup on his hot dog. The young employee, behind the counter, told the man that they didn’t have Catsup. The man then became indignant and told the employee where he could put the hot dog. Nasty words were exchanged.

My friend, who is well known for his lack of tolerance, jumped in and said “get the “xxxx” out of here and go back to Detroit". I guess that they serve hot dogs with Catsup in Detroit.

If you have never had a Chicago Hot Dog, you have no idea what I am writing about.

The classic Chicago Hot Dog uses a Vienna Beef Frank (2oz) which is steamed and served on a poppy seed bun which is also steamed. The condiments are mustard, a bright green pickle relish (picklelilly), chopped onions, tomato wedges, a slice of dill pickle or cucumber, a dash of celery salt and optional hot (Sport) peppers. The dog is usually served with French Fries. It’s wrapped in white paper (fries included) and served in a brown bag.

Please note that there is no mention of Catsup, Chili or sauerkraut!

The better Hot Dog Emporiums do not keep Catsup on the premises.

Last night I was drooling while thinking about a Chicago Hot Dog. We have a Chicago style food carry-out less than a mile away. I sent my daughter to fetch one. It was good, but just not the same as eating one in Chicago.

The Beach Bum

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Check Them Out

I have added a few more blogs that I visit to the right sidebar. This is a long overdue change to my template, as I had planned to do this in January. If you haven’t noticed by now, I have a tendency to procrastinate.

The first blog added is Gledwood Vol.2. It is written by a heroin addict who lives in England. Besides the stories of the fighting of his addiction, he also writes on a variety of other topics that I find interesting. All in all this blog is a good read.

The second is Captain Picard’s Journal. You don’t really have to be a Star Trek (Next Generation) fan (I am), but it helps if you are. If just so to understand the characters mentioned in the Blog. It is a well written Blog that I enjoy reading at least once a week. The author of this Blog makes me feel as though I am actually reading Jean Luc Picard’s Journal.

The third is Skittles Place. For a year I avoided visiting this Blog because of its name. I don’t like candy unless it is dark chocolate. But constant references to the Blog by one of my favorite Bloggers (The Curmudgeon) enticed me to visit. My theory was that if he liked it, it had to be good. It’s full of Memes (if you don’t know what a meme is, Google the word).

Last, but not least, is Len & Bob’s Baseball Blog. This blog is written by WGN Cubs announcers Len Kasper and Bob Brenley. It’s a must read for all Cubs fans.

I will be adding more to the list in the near future as I try to visit at least 2 or 3 new Blogs per week.

The Beach Bum

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Sunday, February 17, 2008


Today on the CNN News I heard Presidential hopeful, Republican candidate and most likely the party nominee, John McCain say that there would be no “New Texas” if he was President.

I have no idea what New Texas is, so therefore I Google it. Somewhere down the line it mentions Ron Paul. That in turn links me to several Ron Paul websites. I read some interesting things about Ron Paul. First and foremost is the fact that “According to, the top three contributors to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s campaign are from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force respectively.'

“His message of a strong national defense and only going to war with a declaration of war – as mandated by the Constitution – resonates with those who risk their lives to defend that Constitution.”

I like this rhetoric!

But, I still couldn’t find anything about “New Texas”. What the hell is the “New Texas” that McCain is talking about. The closest thing that I could find was Ron Paul’s saying that we should shut down the borders, round up all the illegal Mexicans and send them all back to Mexico. In my opinion this is not a bad idea!

Paul also mentions that the Mexicans want to reclaim parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Maybe this is the "New Texas" that Senator McCain was speaking about.

I never looked at Ron Paul's political platform or House voting record before, but I’m beginning to like the guy. If McCain doesn’t take him as a running mate (which I doubt) he should run as a Libertarian or Independent candidate. He’d get my vote!

The Beach Bum

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Bottom Line

Not that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but it appears that the Democratic Presidential Nominee will be either Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton. Therefore I will be either voting for the Republican candidate or an Independent candidate in November.

It’s not that I disagree with their politics (both Hillary and Barrack say that they feel the same as I do on several of this campaign’s major issues). I have a personal problem with both of the Democratic Party’s front runners. This puts me in a quandary; do I vote with my mind or do I vote with my gut feelings.

Personally I do not like Hillary. Do not like is a mild statement, as I detest her. I cannot stand to see her face nor hear her voice. This is a personal thing. My gut feeling tells me that she would be a terrible President. Let’s face it, she is a bitch. I don’t want my grandchildren thinking that our first female President was a real bitch.

As for Barack Obama. I really like some of the things that he has said in his speeches, such as “When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.”.

Some pundits are equating Barack to John F. Kennedy. And I can see why they do. He is young and is a dynamic speaker. Like JFK he is the voice of the youth of America. But is America ready to accept a Black (albeit half-black) President. I think not, as there are too many bigoted people still living in this country.

Then there is his name (Barack Hussein Obama). Although he is a Christian, it will sound too Islamic for many American voters.

My gut feeling tells me that if he was elected there would be several attempts made on his life. After seeing one President assassinated, in my lifetime, I prefer not to see the lost of another American President.

And as Forrest Gump said “That’s all I have to say about that.”

The Beach Bum

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Tuesday

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday and we will probably know who the Presidential nominees are for the Presidential Election in November early Wednesday morning..

I friend recently asked me what I thought about the Presidential Primary results thus far. I told him that I was not surprised at the results at this point and would wait until after Super Tuesday before I drew any conclusions. I also told him that if Hilary gets the Democratic nomination this summer, I would probably be voting for the Republican candidate.

He sez “what are you, crazy or something?” “You’re going to vote for that old man!” He obviously assumes that Senator John McCain is going to get the Republican nomination. So I sez; even though I don’t agree with some of his Senate voting record, I like McCain and believe he would be a good President. He reiterates “are you crazy?”

I am registered as an Independent voter. My voting record for Presidential candidates reflects this. I have voted for the Republican candidate 4 times, the Democratic candidate 5 times and Independents twice. The Independent candidates that I voted for had no shot of winning and I knew this; but it was my way of saying that both major party candidates sucked.

I’m really not too concerned about who will be our next President. I am more concerned about the House and Senate races, my State Legislature Candidates and local judicial races.

The Beach Bum

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Super Size This

I read today that three Mississippi legislators want to make it illegal for restaurants to serve obese customers in Mississippi.

House Bill No. 282

If this Bill is enacted into law I will not be able to eat in a Mississippi Restaurant. Not that I feel that I am obese, but by Government Height/Weight Standards I am obese. For my height and my build (medium) I should ideally weigh between 164lbs and 178lbs. I currently weigh 191lbs. But for years I weighed between 182 and 185. And that is even over the limit.

I rarely eat at Fast Food Restaurants and haven’t been to an all-you-can-eat buffet in nearly 20 years. When I go out to dine I usually eat a salad, a baked potato and a seafood dish. I stay away from fatty foods, fried foods and beef. Not that I do not like them, but because they cause major distress in my gastro-intestinal system. I occasionally cheat and then I pay for it the next day.

In the past 6 years I have gained somewhere between 6 and 9 pounds. However my waistline has gone from 34 inches to 39 inches. Why? No exercise and the fact that most of my daily caloric intake comes from alcoholic beverages.

What’s next? Is Mississippi going to attempt to pass a law that prevents obese people from drinking in bars and restaurants or from buying alcoholic beverages in stores?

People that are obese are good for the economy. Look at how many jobs would be lost by people working in the Hospitality Industry and Health Care Industry if this law passes. This translates into less tax revenue for the State of Mississippi and more unemployment compensation paid out.

This legislation will never pass.

The Beach Bum

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