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Holy Sh*t… This is Food??

Published June 17, 2009 - 2 Comments

I recently watched part of a program on the rise of McDonalds. It was quite interesting, and I hope that it’s back on TV soon, because I would like to watch the entire thing.

Although it wasn’t specifically centered on the nutritional value of the fast food giant’s menu, you couldn’t possibly spotlight the company without mentioning the recent controversy, especially with regard to childhood obesity.

So of course this activated my craving centre. I decided to go for a “treat” and revisit my favourite 24 hour drive-thru. I had a plan in mind. I needed something big. Really big.

Good ole Combo #4

“Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Oh, and large size my fries please. Medium Coke is fine. Thanks.”

I brought the goodies back to work, where I sat back and slowly consumed my meal until there was nothing but crumbs and ice cubes remaining. Then my co-workers and I went searching for the nutritional information on the company’s website.

I’ll give McDonalds a little credit. They don’t hide that information. It’s very front and centre on their website. (Note, McDonalds.com and McDonalds.ca are two completely different sites, each with their own way of locating the nutritional information)

The McDonalds (.ca) site actually makes a little game of it. You click and drag your menu choices from the shelf onto your tray, and the site breaks down each item, and gives you a total.

Keeping in mind that some people think that calories are what you should concentrate on, while others think that fat or sodium are more important.. I’ll stick to those three…

Hmm.. so let’s see..

Double Quarter Pounder: 760 Calories, 45g Fat, 1310mg Sodium

Large Fries: 560 Calories, 27g Fat, 430mg Sodium (that MUST be before they drown them in salt)

Medium Coke: 220 Calories, 0g Fat, 10mg Sodium.

For a grand total of… oops.. don’t forget the Sweet and Sour sauce that I asked for to dip my fries in…

50 Calories, 0g Fat, and 150mg Sodium.

And the grand total of…

1590 Calories, 72g Fat, 1900mg Sodium. Wow. That’s one meal. And to look at that further, that’s 111% of my daily Fat intake, and 79% of my daily Sodium allotment. I’m thinking that means that I’m not allowed to eat until 24 hours have passed.

So if that wasn’t enough to scare the hell out of me, we started to look around at some of the other popular fast food places. None of them are any good. That’s no big surprise. Double Stacker, Big Crunch, Flamethrower… they’re all slowly poisoning me one combo at a time.

In case anyone is interested, here are some quick links to the nutritional information of some of my (and maybe yours too) favourite fast food places.

McDonalds USA / Canada
Burger King
Dairy Queen

The big question is, what am I going to do with this information?

U-Haul? U-Suck!

Published June 16, 2009 - 1 Comment

Apparently the third time’s a charm. In this case it was. I’d tried twice already to rent a truck to move the remaining items from my old stomping ground to my new chateau in the country. Most of my things had been brought up over the time that I’ve been there, but I hadn’t yet figured out a way to fold the mattress into the trunk of my car, and I don’t know anyone with a truck. I’ve stalled long enough, but my ex is moving ahead with plans to sell the house, so it was time to get my larger items out of there.

U-Haul is an amazing service. For only $19.19 you can rent a truck large enough to move a 1-2 bedroom worth of stuff. Other than the mattress and boxspring, I had 3 dressers, my bike, a chair, small table and a few boxes of things that weren’t important enough for me to have moved already. It really wouldn’t take very long to pack those up, and unload them at the new place.

The problem wasn’t time. The problem was money. $19.99 sounds great until they tell you that it’s $0.69/km for mileage. At that point, you’ve taken possession of the truck, but you haven’t actually DRIVEN it anywhere. For some reason, that doesn’t sound too bad until you actually start watching the kilometers tick away during the drive. $115 later, plus the $36 in gas, and I had all my worldly possessions packed away in the garage. I’m not even sure that I own $150 worth of crap in the garage, but if I do, at least it’s now closer to me.

Time to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and figure out where everything should go.

Beware the Great Bear

Published June 16, 2009 - 0 Comments

As I was driving home the other night, I rounded the corner and bear-ly (sorry.. couldn’t resist) noticed what I thought was a large black dog lumbering across my lane. It didn’t seem too interested in getting out of the way, and thankfully there was no oncoming traffic, so I swerved around it. As I did, it looked at me.

That’s no dog. That’s a freakin’ bear! And no cute Winnie the Pooh bear, either. That’s a big, grumpy, “where’s the garbage?” bear. Just what I didn’t need to see in the middle of my lane.

Next time that I hear something going through my garbage at night, I’m not going to assume that it’s a bandit raccoon.

Welcome to country living.

Supermarket Madness

Published June 14, 2009 - 2 Comments

I read an interesting article in the summer edition of Money Sense today. It’s titled Zombies of the aisles: How do grocers turn us into buying machines? I’d always known that the grocery stores spent a lot of time (and money) trying to figure out how to get me to load up on as much unnecessary junk as possible, but I really wasn’t sure WHAT it was that they had come up with.

Of course there’s the matter of stopping by to pick up some milk. I actually didn’t realize this one until the new Sobeys store opened. I now have to plan a mini road trip through the store, from one corner diagonally across to the other corner. I guess with the smaller stores, it never really occurred to me. With this one, it’s so obvious that they want me to walk through everything to find the milk. I’m surprised that it’s not hidden in a back room, or on a moving trolley.

Then there was a mention that people naturally look to their right when they shop, so most stores put the more expensive items on the right. I’m trying to think if that’s true for me, and I don’t think that it is. I think that I spend a lot of time looking on my left, so either I’m backwards, or I’m starting down the wrong aisle. Kinda like driving on the wrong side of the road. I’m going to have to start paying more attention when I’m in there, and try to compare one side to the other.

There was also the tidbit about the expensive items being eye level. That’s an oldie, but a goodie. No wonder if takes me so long to find the Kraft Dinner or chicken noodle soup. They’re sitting on the floor.

It’s hard to imagine that there is a science to making people buy more than they normally would. It’s just groceries, right? Apparently not so.

Now to figure out how to translate that into the online world 🙂

Mr Plumber 101

Published June 13, 2009 - 2 Comments

I decided to have a nice bath yesterday. Apparently when the old farm house was built, showers ranked right up there with insulation… neither existed. I’ve become quite fond of my big old bathtub now. If I knew how to swim, I’m sure that I’d be able to do laps in it. So yesterday I ran the water, and then climbed in to enjoy a nice relaxing soak. I figured that I’d be there for awhile, so I let the hot water continue to run while I lay there. When the water started to get a little on the warm side, I tried to turn the tap with my foot. The water continued to gush from the pipe.

Hmm… odd…

I tried turning it the other way. The water kept coming. Hot water. Real hot water.

I sat up and tried shutting it off with my hands. No go. Now I understand what a lobster feels like. I got out of the tub as quickly as I could, and pulled the plug (that was a pleasant experience). Thankfully the water was draining from the tub faster than it was coming in. The new problem wasn’t so much flooding, as it was trying to figure out how to make the water stop flowing.

I’m not the handiest of men. *chuckle* I looked for a valve in the bathroom, but there wasn’t one. I ran downstairs and checked the different valves in the pantry beneath the bathroom. None of them appeared to be what I wanted. So then I did what any other inept handyman would do when in a time of need.

I called Dad.

After explaining the problem, he confirmed what I was already afraid of… I needed to take a trip into the basement…

I use the word “basement” loosely. I also use the words “dungeon” and “crypt“. They might be better suited to describe where I was now going.

After locating a flashlight, I began to descend into the dark space under the house. It reminded me very much of the scene from The Cask of Amontillado, and I had no idea what lurked behind the locked door. Oh yes, my uncle had given me the tour when I first moved in, but like all good lessons in life, you don’t realize how much you should have paid attention until you actually NEED that information.

I looked around and found the water pump. I also found the hot water tank, an ancient wood stove, several pieces of furniture, and lots and lots of dirt. Yuck. No sign of the family fortune, though. I suspect that it must be buried in the back yard somewhere.

Turning off the water pump wasn’t difficult at all. Turning it back ON after turning off the hot water valve was a little trickier because I had apparently not paid enough attention to the process when I was shown 9 months ago.

But the short of it (finally) is that I now have water pressure, but only cold water… which is great for brushing my teeth and flushing the toilet, but not so good for washing dishes and bathing… and I’ve discovered that boiling water on the stove to wash dishes in is about as effective dropping lit matches into the water.

These Penguins Ain’t Waddlin’

Published June 13, 2009 - 0 Comments

Sidney Cup What a game last night! Obviously the 2-1 outcome in favour of the Pittsburg Penguins has me pumped, but more than that… what a game… especially as the clock wound down, and pucks and bodies were flying everywhere. I was on the edge of my seat, unsure if I was going to be able to go to sleep, or be forced to sit through some intense overtime play.

And then the final buzzer went. It was all done. Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pens were Stanley Cup champions.

What do you do when you’re 21 and you’ve already reached your ultimate dream?

Would You Like to Buy Me a Hot Chocolate?

Published June 11, 2009 - 0 Comments

You may have noticed a tiny little coffee cup icon at the bottom of this post. I read about an interesting little plug-in that I’m testing out. It’s called “Buy me a beer”, but since I don’t drink beer, there is an option to change it to a “cafe” as well. I don’t drink coffee either, but I’ll consider hot chocolate to be close enough to “cafe”. I’ve looked for a “Buy me a Coke” plug-in, but that doesn’t seem to exist. (If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know)

I’m looking at testing different things with the blog, to see what works and what doesn’t, before implementing those things on some of the other projects that are being worked on behind the scenes. You might see the plug-in replaced by something else in the future. I’m still waiting for Google to approve my AdSense application, but they seem to be quite slow. Amazon approved me within 24 hours, but Google seems to be a little more picky.

Finally! We’ve got a Series…

Published June 10, 2009 - 0 Comments

I know that it’s been a “home victory” series, but I still wasn’t feeling too confident about last night’s game between the Penguins and the Red Wings. Sure, Game 6 might have been in Pittsburg, but after demolishing the Penguins 5-0 only 3 nights earlier, I figured that Detroit probably carried enough momentum to finish them off, even if it did go against the established pattern of the home team winning. I was pleasantly surprised!

So now we’ve got a Game 7. The great thing about Game 7s is that nothing else matters. Sure, the home crowd is a factor, but when you really get down to it… it’s 60 minutes of hockey, and none of the other games really matter. I’m sure that Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburg Penguins are telling themselves the same thing.

Go out, play hard, and take Lord Stanley’s Cup out of Hockeytown.

Go Pens Go!

SPAM Comments?? Oh No…

Published June 9, 2009 - 0 Comments

I was so happy to see that there was a comment from someone who wasn’t a friend or family. I thought that perhaps someone else had stumbled onto my blog, and took the time to read through it. Not sure WHY… but hey, with the old blog I think that a couple of people may have tripped over it by some unknown means.

And then I read the comment.

“Hey great post. You should write more about this!”

Wow. How completely vague and useless. Then I noticed that the person’s signature file included a website for making money on the net, and a tagline about how much they made per week. Perfect! Sign me up! I’ve been looking for a way to make lots of cold hard cash! It’s so difficult to find a quality get-rich-quick scheme. Much better when they come to you!


Beautiful Sunrise

Published June 8, 2009 - 2 Comments

Now I remember why I put up with almost $600 power bills through the winter months…  After the thaw, eventually summer would arrive…

As I was driving home this morning, the sun was rising over the hills and lighting up the river’s surface. Who in their right mind would give up a chance to wake up to that every morning? Certainly not me! I sat on the front porch for a few minutes. I was exhausted from being up all night, but I refused to let this moment get away from me. Sleep would just have to wait.

Some things are just too important to pass up.