Friday, October 31, 2008

trip home

so, i've made some progress on the trip home.  after 30+ hours of traveling, i'm in an Intercontinental hotel in frankfurt, germany.  our pilot contracted diarrhea somewhere between italy and germany.  it must've been the bologna sandwiches we were served up in cyprus.  his little bout with the shits is costing the government dearly, and causing a lot of people to not make it home on time.  way to go.

at least the hotel is a nice place, where i can get some good sleep...sleeping in passenger terminals and on planes is killing my back.

the hotel's nice.  i'm sitting in the lobby sipping on a Schoffenhofer Heffeweizen, surfing the free wireless, listening to some cheesy euro-techno, watching all the young troops get trashed.  i'm keeping it at 2 beers, out of habit. also tried the Radeberger Pilsner.  both beers were good, true to their styles....a little pricy at 6.5 euros at 10 bucks for .5 liters, that's a low PQ.  i don't have a euro/metric PQ, and am too tired to calculate...i give both of the beers A's.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NA-Fest '08

it's 1030 am, and i've nothing to do but wait for a ride home.  i have 3 NAs in my fridge that have been there since July.  i couldn't think of a better way to spend this morning than a good old-fashioned NA-fest!
the line-up:
1) from Hamburg, Germany:  Holsten Pomegranate
2) from the fine folds at Brouwerij de Orangeboom in Breda, Holland:  Oranjeboom Premium Nonalcoholic Beverate
3) from St. Louis, Missouri:  Budweiser NA Tropical Fruit Flavoured Beverage
first up is the Holsten.  Holsten's non-flavored NA is really not bad.  it's my favorite NA, which is even better than some regular beers (Natty Light, The Beast, Miller Lite, Heineken).  i've avoided this beer after my previous fruity NA experience with the Bud Green Apple.  i'm willing to give Holsten the benefit of the doubt as Bud doesn't make a good NA anyway.  the plain Bud NA was slightly better than Efes.  Holsten Pomegrante does smell very pomegranaty.  i can barely smell the beer.  the ingredient listed are: water, glucose-fructose syrup, malt, carbon dioxide, natural identical pomegranate flavouring, citric acid, caramel, quillaia, hops, coloragent: e150c.  it appears more fruit drink than beer.  now for the taste....not bad.  tastes nothing like beer, rather a pomegranate soda.  nothing hoppy, malty, or beerish about this drink.  i'll probably finish this after the tasting.
now for the Oranjeboom.  this NA is no-frills.  looking at the can, it appears to be the Schlitz of European NAs.  the smell is a combination of ass and beer.  not very appealing.  i'm going to have to wash this down with some Holsten Pomegranate.  it tastes like the swill from the bottom of a 40oz of St. Ides.  painful indeed.
the Budweiser NA Tropical Fruit Flavoured Beverage is the NA i'm looking least forward to sipping.  the Green Apple version was awful, probably the worst NA i've tried.  how can Holsten make the fruity NA so good, yet the King falls short?  this stuff smells like a mix of Natty Light and Hawaiian Punch.  the taste is not as bad as the Green Apple, yet not as good as Holsten's Pomegranate.  it's surprisingly drinkable, yet not desirable.  Holsten's sweetness overpowers the bad NA flavor.  Bud retains more of the NA taste, so you could say that Bud's a little more true to the fruity NA genre.  if you're a fruity NA purist, go for the Bud Tropical Fruit.

body glide

this is what 6 months of bodyglide will do to your polyester shirt. 
needless to say i'm trashing these shirts.  i look forward to running in something a little more comfortable.

tomato bacon salad

i always thought bacon could do no wrong...until i saw this masterpiece

Monday, October 27, 2008

cost benefit analysis

Time = Money
Since I'm doing nothing but awaiting transportation, or put simply, wasting time, I'm wasting money.
I'm paid $358/day...multiply that by 5 days = $1790
Commercial airline ticket from mainland to Honolulu: $1174
Room on the mainland, since I have to spend the night to catch my commercial flight to HNL: $172
Total Cost:  $3136 (neglects a few other expenses, such as feeding me at my current location and the cost of the contract airline that will take me to the mainland...I will ignore the cost of the contract airline, as it has already been paid.  Had it not been paid, savings would've been even higher.)'s cost for an airline ticket directly from my current location to HNL on Oct 27:  $804
Had they allowed me to buy the Expedia ticket, I could've saved the man at least $2332
There's no guarantee that I'll make it to the contract flight.  Bureaucracy will move even slower to buy me a commercial ticket.  In that event, waste will grow by $358/day.
Yes, there are other considerations.  However, none pass the common sense test. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

meatball thursday

every thursday, the chow hall takes some frozen balls of grade d meat, mix with ketchub and barbecue sauce, then serve as "italian meatballs."
actually, they serve "meatballs" 5 or more times a week, using differrent sauces and giving them different names, such as "cannonball" in order to give the perception of variety.
this being my last meatball thursday, decided to give 'em a try.
remind me of the chunks of meat that are present in a can of spaghetti-o's.
the corndog was better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


finally tried first corndog as an adult

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hollandia Malt

Hollandia Malt NA.  This one looks considerably better than the Efes NAs.  Hollandia is brewed in the Netherlands by Bavaria, who according to the can have been around since 1758.  I doubt they've been brewing NAs for Arab countries since then, but at least they've been in the beer game for awhile.
Unlike the other NAs I've had recently, this one lists Hop Extract as an ingredient...hopefully that means this one will taste more like beer.
Smells like NA.
Taste is NAish, but drinkable.  I think it's pretty similar to the Bavaria NA I was drinking back in the summer.  This is a lot better than the Efes. I may even make it through the entire can.
Only 1 week until my replacement gets here.  I've got 3 NAs remaining in the fridge....2 of which are fruity NAs. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008


almost done here...approximately 2 weeks to go. 
replacement gets here late next week, and hopefully i'm out of here 3 days later.
can't come soon enough.  the food here is really getting me down, literally.  i've dropped 7lbs since i've been here.  although i've been running a lot, i attribute this weight loss to the lack of edible food. 
a typical dinner for me is 2 bowls of cereal, a banana and a bowl of ice cream (the ice cream is just for a few extra calories.)
i've had tuna sandwiches for lunch every day since the porcupine incident.  i tried something different last night...cheese fries...had me running for the nearest bathroom.
there have been a couple positive food moments lately:
-brazilian restaurant last week
-the fine folks at some chipotle in new jersey threw a bunch of burrito ingredients on a plane and sent them our way
-outback steakhouse is here today...they brought their own food and are cooking for us

meat salad #2

they brought it back. 
now with beans!
after the last serving, a friend wrote a poem:
Why oh Why did no one eat me, by Eric Lee
Why oh why, am I left alone.
To stew in my juices, so sweet they are.
Could it be my texture,
My color, or smell?
My supple flavor,
Or My very essence,
Might it be my recipe content,
That no one can tell.
Why oh why, am I left alone.
To stew in my juices, So sweet they are.
What ever the reaction,
the name meat salad invokes,
I know over time,
A day, perhaps a week
I will age with grace,
With dignity
And someone hungry enough will love to eat me, And then not feel so well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Classic" Festival Malt Drink

Festival Malt Drink is made by the fine folks at Efes.  According to
" Festival is the tasty non-alcohol beer brand of the Efes Portfolio. This beer is a perfect combination of refreshment and fun with 6 different fruit flavours such as apple, lemon, strawberry, pineapple, mango and peach. The "classic" variant of Festival serves the consumers with a full-flavoured beer taste with no alcohol."
I bought the "classic variant" as I prefer the full-flavoured beer taste...that, and fruit flavors can ruin a perfectly shitty NA.
Since Efes already makes a NA with its Efes label, I'm not sure why they created a separate Festival label.  Maybe it's their premium NA.  The smell is similar to the regular Efes NA.  You have to be careful to not breathe in too hard, as the Festival NA smell is harsh on the senses.  It's like high school chemistry lab, when Mr. Hale told us to wave our hand over the test tube to smell the chemicals, rather than put our nose over the tube and inhale.  This stuff is pungent, and I'm pretty sure that big inhalation is going to give me a headache.  I can only imagine what a full can of this stuff is going to do to me.
First sip...can barely taste anything. A second later, and the flavor smacks me upside the head.  It's got a malt-liquor kind of feel, and goes down harsh.  It really doesn't taste like beer at all.  This is worse than the regular Efes NA.
Festival is to Efes NA as Natural Light is to Bud Light.
Grade = F...would give it less if possible.  Truly the worst.
PQ = 0

Thursday, October 2, 2008

cordon bleu tartar

chicken cordon bleu is another popular meal.  it's served with the same frequency as corndogs and meatballs.
cooked to the eater's surprise, this one was rare.