August 14, 2006

Keep It Real.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m enjoying “Who Wants To Be A Superhero?” on Sci-Fi this summer. It’s a reality show about an initial group of 12 superheroes that, in true reality show style, are being weeded down to the last one standing, who will win his or her own Sci-Fi movie and have their character featured in Stan Lee’s latest comic. It’s an interesting show in that there are many twists and turns, plus there’s groovy costumes and great cheesy special effects thrown in for good measure.

It’s “Big Brother” with a Super Geek twist.

Unfortunately, it’s a little too “Big Brother” for me, in that more than half of the contestants on the show are struggling actors with acting credits behind their name.

That sucks.

Everyone expects a reality show to be somewhat scripted. It has to be, because television producers are terrified to let anything happen on their own; ratings and ad revenue are both conquered best in a controlled environment. I understand that and I accept that.

What I don’t understand is the need to populate these “reality shows” with a bunch of actors. There are a ton of supergeeks out there that would love the opportunity to dress up in their favorite spandex outfit and prove to the world that they are a superhero. These folks would keep it real all the way. They’d get their 15 minutes of fame, show off a little bit in front of the family and friends and then quietly fade back into their secret batcave and continue to silently better the world, a little stronger and a little more able because of their experience on television.

Is it unreasonable to ask that producers use real people in their next round of reality shows? I don’t think so. Come on guys, let’s keep it real.

And yes, I’ll still watch the show, but since I’ve looked up the contestants on imdb, the fun has kind of disappeared. Small wonder YouTube has become so popular. It’s the only place you can find reality television.

Food, Glorious Food.

The world wide web is an amazing thing. With a simple click of a mouse, you can find yourself with all sorts of information on any given topic. And since its a web, it can keep up with my scatterbrained way of thinking, the pages can follow right along as I jump from topic to topic.

I was doing some research at work this morning on a Sonicwall firewall. I had mistakenly typed “sonic wall” into Google, instead of putting the name of the manufacturer as one word. While the search results did lead me to my desired location, it also led me to Sonic: America’s Drive In, one of the coveted “My Favorite Places To Eat” in the country. Since I am trying to eat healthy this week for the 999,987th time (I think my odometer is getting to roll over), naturally my eyes were glazed over with the thoughts of hamburgers, fries and Frito Pie. So I took a small detour on the web and visited the Sonic site. That in turn reminded me of our trip out west this past May, which led me to think about where else we had enjoyed wonderful meals. As a result, I did a little more googling, the Sonicwall firewall long forgotten and ended up on wikipedia, where I promptly found the recipe for Cincinnati Chili.

So, in an effort to try to enjoy my healthy barley soup for lunch, I’m going to post the recipe for Cincinnati Chili to be used at a later date. Now that I think about it, I don’t recall really enjoying the Cincinnati Chili all that much, but when you’re hungry, you’re game for anything.

Bon Appetit!

Cincinnati chili
3 3 onions, chopped
6 6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons 45 mL cooking oil
4 pounds 1.8 kg ground beef (chuck works well)
1/3 cup 80 mL chili powder
2 tablespoons 30 mL sweet paprika
2 teaspoons 10 mL powdered cumin
1 teaspoon 5 mL ground coriander
1 teaspoon 5 mL ground allspice
1 teaspoon 5 mL dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon 3 mL cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon 3 mL ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon 1 mL ground mace
1 1 bay leaf
3 cups 720 mL water
1 can (16 oz) 450 g tomato sauce
2 tablespoons 30 mL wine vinegar
2 tablespoons 30 mL molasses
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft. Add beef and stir until lightly browned. Add spices (except the bay leaf) and continue to cook for another minute or two, still stirring. Add bay leaf, water, tomato sauce, vinegar, and molasses.
Simmer, uncovered, for two hours, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary, keeping the meat barely covered; chili should be thickened but still soupy enough to be ladled. Discard bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

Blogoversary: Better Late Than Never.

Well, my blog is five years and nine days old. Here’s the very first entry:

August 4, 2001

Well here I am trying to maintain an on-line journal. I hope to do this once or twice a week to let curious people know what the heck is going on with our life.

Today Earl and I went along with my sister and her fiancée to the Pulaski Field Days. For those unfamiliar with the “field days” concept, it’s a town carnival sponsored by the local fire department to raise money. There’s amusement rides, chicken BBQs and other food, a parade, games and much other merriment. It’s also like Old Home Days, as you tend to run into people you haven’t seen in a long time. Well this year I ran into a few of my old teachers from my school days, and it was wonderful to see them. As well as some old classmates. I have said for years that I never see anyone from my particular class. And I mean NEVER! Well for once I saw someone I graduated with and a bunch of others that hung out as part of “the band clique”. And Jen and Jody won two stuffed animals on the games.

My dad is a private pilot and has built his own airplanes as well. Tonight was also the first night that I’ve ever flown in his new Acro Sport. WOW! It’s an open cockpit bi-plane (four wings instead of two) that cruises at about 110-120 MPH. He used to have a Piper J-5A from the 40s that cruised along at 80 MPH, so this one is really a rush. You get to wear the old aviator’s helmet and goggles and everything in this!

My dad has aviator fuel for blood, and he’s happiest when he’s flying or working on his airplane. We used to fly a lot together, it was nice doing it again today. I imagine that I’ll become a private pilot someday as well.

Hmmm, it seems some things never change.