Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day

As we are getting closer to Christmas, I wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas songs.  "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, as arranged and performed by one of my favorite singer-songwriters, John Gorka.  Here is the poem in it's entirety:

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
'There is no peace on earth, ' I said
'For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.'

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.'

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Product Review: Pringles Pumpkin Pie Spice

These were given to me today by a co-worker who knows my affinity for unusual potato chips.  I'm pretty sure she is at least part elf, as she is very short, and wants to put maple syrup on everything.

I definitely taste the pumpkin pie spice right away, nutmeg and a little cinnamon.  The potato and salt hit my tongue on the finish.  After eating on this canister sporadically throughout the day, I have reached this conclusion:  I don't like them.

To be fair, I just don't like mixing sweet and salty very much.  I don't like kettle corn style popcorn, for example.  I like my chips to be salty.  I'm also not a pumpkin pie enthusiast either. 

My wife really likes them, so I guess it is subjective.  If you like sweet and salty mixed, or if you really like pumpkin pie, these are good for you.  Not for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5 ghosts. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shameless Self Promotion

I got my first bass guitar when I was sixteen years old.  My best friend Adam Randall had been learning to play acoustic six-string guitar the year before.  As soon as I could play a little, I called him up and said, "Wanna jam?" Ever since then we have played music together in some form or another. Dozens of songs, and 4 independently released albums.

What's my point?  Well, we're working on a new album and looking for financial help via Think of it as a way to pre-order a great indie folk-rock album, as well as supporting a talented local Florida artist.  Watch this and enjoy!

(note: if the video below is not working, click HERE.)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Product Review: Hot Potatoes's Spicy Bloody Mary Potato Chips

Take a minute and read this description that is inscribed on the side of the bag: Spicy Bloody Mary Potato Chips.  Notice the word "HOT," so big and bold.  Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  Unfortunately, just like the kickin' jalapeno ranch chips from Ruffles, the flavor did not live up to the hype.

These are kettle chips, so they are super crunchy and shaped in a variety of lumpy, swirly curls.  The flavor is a mild tomato taste, which my wife says tastes like V8 juice.  (I've never tried V8 because I don't like tomatoes, but I don't mind the flavor of these chips.)  After that, there was a very mild spicy afterburn.  Very, very mild.  And therein lies the problem.

Based on the bold wording and fiery colors of the package, I was expecting my tongue to burst into flames, or something equally as dramatic.  However, the flavors that were there were just barely there.  These chips aren't bad.  If I had just tried them without expecting 'HOT SPICY BLOODY MARY,' I would have liked them more.  I am just a victim of false expectations, I suppose.

Rating: 3 out of 5 ghosts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Song of the Day: Sun Kil Moon "Carry Me, Ohio"

After receiving some complaints about the lack of music on my blog, I've decided to add a song that I've recently become obsessed with: Sun Kil Moon's "Carry Me, Ohio."  Please... enjoy!

(BTW, this is audio only)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Product vs Product: Sweet Heat Battle!


 You are in for a special treat, folks!  Because I was given two similar themed bags of chips, I decided to do the first ever product versus product battle royale!  Prepare for... SWEET HEAT BATTLE!!!!!!!!!  Sylvia's Restaurant Honey Jalapeno Chips vs Cape Cod Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Kettle Chips.

Round 1: Texture.  Sylvia's chips were light and crispy.  The Cape Cod chips are "kettle cooked," which are thicker and crunchier than your standard chips.  I'm a fan of kettle chips, so this round goes to Cape Cod.

Round 2: Flavor.  Both of these chips had a decent afterburn from the jalapeno.  The main difference is found in the sweet aspect.  Sylvia's chips have a surprisingly strong flavor of honey, which, also surprisingly, paired extremely well with the spiciness of the jalapeno.  Cape Cod, however, really had no overt sweetness to it, just that faint, mild sweetness most kettle chips have.  This round goes to Sylvia's hands down.

Winner:  Sylvia's Restaurant Honey Jalapeno Chips by a landslide!  So good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Product Review: Wise Cheez Waffies

This is the first time since I started this blog that a snack actually made me recoil in disgust.  The bag has the audacity to display the phrase "deliciously crispy."  Lies.  LIES!!!

The "cheese sandwich" consists of two sweet, waffle flavored chips with a quarter-inch thick layer of artificial, neon orange "cheez" in between them.  (see below)
The "cheez" is just plain gross.  The texture of it made my stomach turn.  On top of that, the flavor was just so super-tangy and artificial... I'm actually shuddering at the memory.

The "cheez" failed, but the waffle chips themselves were actually pretty tasty.  Very light and thin, with a sweet, sugary flavor. They should just sell the chips by themselves.

If you are willing to take the time to scrape off 95% of the orange abomination, this might be tolerable.  Might.  Unfortunately, I am not willing in the slightest.

Rating: 1 out of 5 ghosts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Product Review: Herr's Old Bay Potato Chips

This is a pretty straightforward offering from the good folks at Herr's.  Potato chips seasoned with Old Bay seasoning.  Boom.  The challenge for me here is how to describe the flavor of Old Bay to somebody who has never tasted it.

There are a lot of strong flavors going on in each chip.  Vegetable (tomato), citrus, vinegar, and paprika definitely stand out, as well the standard saltiness found in all potato chips.

The first 3 or 4 handfuls tasted really good.  However, after that, the flavoring became so strong that it began to taste unpleasant.  My wife experienced the same thing.  I wound up taking the rest of the bag to work, and my coworkers all said the same thing.  I guess there really can be too much of a good thing.

I have a friend who puts Old Bay seasoning on everything.  If you are that guy, then you need to try these chips.  Otherwise, I recommend you eat these in moderation. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 ghosts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Movies According to Juju

I stopped by the library on the way home from work today and picked up a few DVDs.  (The library is great, like a poor man's Netflix.)  Juju, my 4-year-old, asked to see the movies.  After inspecting the cover of each one, he came up with these alternative titles:

"Golden Man"

"Rock 'N Roll Man"

"Saw Man"

"Kissy Man"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Product Review: Great Value Buffalo Wing Potato Chips

It's been another long break between blog entries.  One reason for this is I've been busy.  Another reason is I've been lazy.  And, believe it or not, as The French Ghost is getting closer to 40,  I am slightly concerned about my cholesterol.  But only slightly.  ;-)

I was offered the remainder of this bag of Great Value Buffalo Wing chips by one of my coworkers.  After sampling them, I can see why she was eager to get rid of them.

I didn't think it was possible for something to be both spicy and bland at the same time, but they nailed it.  Another coworker (who is a known vegetable enthusiast) described the flavor as "spicy lard."  I find that pretty darned accurate.

The bag was priced at one dollar. At that price, if you're craving chips and only have one dollar... find another dollar in your sofa cushions and buy something else.  Or, forcibly take a dollar from an old lady.  She'll understand.

Rating: 1 out of 5 ghosts.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Product Review: Lay's Spicy Ketchup Potato Chips

I've heard for years that ketchup flavored chips are huge in other countries, like Canada.  Now, I've started noticing them more and more on U.S. soil.  I've tried the non-spicy variety before, so I was pretty excited to see this new offering from Lay's in my local grocery store.

These chips are definitely spicy.  My tongue had a good after-burn going for several minutes (which if you read this blog regularly, you know I like the heat.)  Outside of the spice, though, I was pretty disappointed.  I really didn't get a solid ketchup flavor.  To me, they tasted too much like regular BBQ chips, lust a little less tangy, and with a blast of heat on the finish.  Which is even more unfortunate because I don't really like plain BBQ chips.

Bottom line: If you're really wanting ketchup flavored chips, I would recommend Herr's Heinz Ketchup chips.  These Lay's Spicy Ketchup chips aren't terrible, just not my thing.

Rating: 3 out of 5 ghosts.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For.

"I Wish I Could" by Dean Walley was one of my favorite books when I was a little boy.  The story is about the different wishes the narrator, a young boy, would like to come true: to be able to fly, or to be a friendly giant, to be able to turn invisible, etc.  Fortunately, my parents kept this book so I could read it to my own kids someday. Which I do.

So, the other night when I finished reading it to my 4-year-old, Juju, I asked him what his wish would be.

He replied, "I wish I had a blowhole on my back that sprayed water.  I would spray water all over everybody.  Then, the water would make a giant splash park, and everybody could play!"

Gross, but still kind of sweet.  I guess it's the thought that counts, right?  Right?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Product Review: Herr's Classic American Hot Dog Chips

I have not blogged for a few weeks.  We started watching the show "Lost," and discovered it is called "Lost" because I lost all my free time, and I lost all motivation to do things other than watch "Lost."  I actually have a long history of watching shows and movies long after they are culturally relevant.  The next thing I'm going to see is some movie about a boat.  I think it's called something like "Ty-tanick?"  I have no idea how it's going to end, so please... no spoilers!

The good folks at Herr's have done it again!  Just in time for the 4th of July comes Classic American Hot Dog potato chips.  I can feel the tension in the air, so I'll cut right to the chase: Do they really taste like hot dogs?

Yes.  Yes they do.  I don't know how they did it, but there is a smokey, meaty-garlic taste, like a hot dog, followed by the flavors of ketchup and mustard on the finish.

Ok, so they do taste like hot dogs.  But, having said that, do they actually taste good?

Again, yes.  Yes they do.  I really like them.  And apparently I'm not alone in this.  I have a friend who is quite a well-known hot dog enthusiast, so I went back to the store to buy him a bag for his birthday.  To my chagrin, they had completely sold out in a matter of a few days.  Doh!  I have not seen them since, either.

Bottom line: I really liked the flavor.  If you come across them, I recommend you pounce on that bag like a ravening wolf.  A wolf draped in an American flag.  These colors don't run baby!  Aw-roooooooh! U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 ghosts.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Product Review: Chili Cheese Dog Hot Pockets

My beautiful and talented wife surprised me with these goodies a few days ago.  She knows me so well, yet she continues to keep hanging around.  A word of advice for any single, male readers out there: A girl who surprises you with chili cheese dog Hot Pockets is what's known as a keeper.  Put a ring on it.  Immediately.

The first thing I noticed was the conspicuous lack of a crisping sleeve.  I couldn't believe Hot Pocket technology had advanced this far!  All I had to do was take off the plastic and chuck it in the microwave.  Talk about a great first impression!  Plus, it probably shaved a few seconds off my prep time.  Winning.

The bread shell, or "bun," was soft and chewy.  The hot dogs and chili had a nice flavor as well.  The box describes the chili sauce as containing "pork and beef patties."  Doesn't sound too appetizing, but the important thing is that it tastes delicious.

If I have one minor complaint, it is the picture on the box is a little misleading.  The pockets there seem to be near bursting with cheesy dog goodness.  However, my pocket had about an inch of space between the filling and the top of the bun. 

These are definitely my new favorite Hot Pockets flavor!

Rating: 5 out of 5 ghosts.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Product Review: Hot Buffalo Bugles

I encountered this confection at one of my favorite sources for unusual snacks: The Dollar Tree.  Yes, I shop at the Tree.   Like a boss!

I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor.  The corn flavor of the Bugle paired nicely with the spice, which was the traditional cayenne and vinegar of buffalo wings.  Decent afterburn on the finish too.

People seem to have a love-hate relationship with Bugles. Having said that, if you like Bugles, and you like spicy buffalo sauce, then this is a good snack for you.  I liked 'em, but I wouldn't pay more than a dollar for them

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 ghosts.

And yes, I put them my fingertips of course.  Duh!
(not my actual fingers. or face or hair.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Product Review: Snyder's of Hanover Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Pieces

Is it OK to say "Happy Memorial Day" on Memorial Day?  Because, if you think about it, the point of today is to remember people who have died, so I'm not sure if I should say "happy."  But then, what should be the appropriate greeting for Memorial Day?  "Are you remembering?" or "Be sure to think on today with reverence?"  Kinda catchy.  I have a year to prepare for the next one, so I'll come up with something.

They had a few sample bags of these Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel Pieces today for $.99, so we grabbed a couple for research purposes.  The flavor wasn't bad, but... to paraphrase that old Wendy's commercial, "Where's the bacon?"

Neither my wife nor I could taste any bacon flavor.  We taste cheese, a little onion and garlic, and of course the pretzel, but no bacon.  Unfortunately for the folks at S.O.H., the only reason I purchased this product was for the bacon.

Unless we happened to catch a batch that wasn't seasoned correctly, we probably won't buy these again.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 ghosts.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Product Review: Ruffles Ultimate Kickin' Jalapeno Ranch

These chips have deeper ridges than normal Ruffles.  I guess that's what makes them "ultimate?"  It forced me to only eat them only one at a time, which makes the bag last longer.  Which is a good feature in my opinion.

The main flavor that hits my tongue is actually just potato, which is disappointing.  After that, they taste a lot like sour cream and onion chips.  Finally, near the end is a little bit of the jalapeno heat, but very subtle.  Too subtle for me, actually.

Disappointing is the word of the day.  I guess I saw the words "ultimate," "kickin'," and "jalapeno," and expected to be blown away by the awesomeness.  Come on, there's a picture on the bag of the chip breaking through steel plating!  Steel plating people!

I wanted to fall in love with these chips, but... alas!  My wife likes them, though.  She says they have a "grassy" smell she likes.  She doesn't do spicy, and these aren't too hot for her.  I probably won't buy them again, unless she really wants them.

Rating:  2.5 out of 5 ghosts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Product Review: Lays Classic BLT Potato Chips

I was totally stoked when I learned of the existence of this product.  BLT?  I knew I had to get my hands on these ASAP.  But, going into it, I had 2 concerns: 1) I don't like the taste of raw tomatoes.  If these turned out to be too "tomatoey" I wouldn't like them.  2) It is allergy season here in FL.  I'm beginning to be perpetually stuffed up, which affects my sense of smell and taste.  Thankfully, my oh-so-lovely wife is always willing to lend me her taste buds.  Teamwork, kids.  It's what marriage is all about.

The main flavor I get is sort of a smokey bacon.  Very salty, which I always like.  Julie describes it as more of a ham flavor.  The more she ate, the more she picked up subtle tomato flavors.  They definitely earned her seal of approval.  She was willing to give them at least 4 ghosts.

Even though my taster and sniffer are not 100%, I definitely liked what I was tasting.

Rating: 4 out of 5 ghosts.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Product Review: Krunchers! Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Potato Chips

I feel like I've been in a little bit of a rut lately, with my last few product reviews being cheese based.  So, I'm switching it up a little bit with Krunchers Sea Salt & Black Pepper chips.

If you've never tried kettle-style chips before, they are very crunchy (hence the name.)

From the first bite, I really enjoyed the flavor.  The salt and pepper really go well together, and there is also a hint of sweetness under the dominant pepper flavor.  So good!

I can only seem to find these at the "off-the-beaten-path" stores, which makes me worry that this is a limited time deal.  So I'm going to stock up on these bad boys like a doomsday prepper!

In summary:  I liked them.  I liked them a lot.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 ghosts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Product Review: Doritos JACKED Enchilada Supreme

The first bite threw me off a little bit.  There was a different texture than what I was expecting.  Kind of hard to explain... they were crunchier, but not crispier, than regular Doritos?

The flavor is advertised as being "bolder."  I would agree with that.  They definitely did not scrimp on the cheese powder.  Nacho cheese is the dominating flavor, followed by a spicier finish.  I wouldn't say it tasted like enchiladas exactly.  More of a salsa with taco seasoning aftertaste.

Bottom line:  I liked it.  Hot enough for me, but not too spicy for my wife's more refined palette. (She's my barometer of spiciness.  What I consider mild is typically a lot hotter than what she would say is mild.)

I would buy them again, but probably wait until they're on sale.

Rating: 4 out of 5 ghosts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Milo's Rant Against Waste

I made this a while ago when was a free site.  I was going to do a whole series of this character Milo, a loveable curmudgeon.  Sadly, this is the only one that exists to date.

I won't pay.  I won't.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Product Review: Herr's Kansas City Prime Steak Flavored Chips

First impression: these chips are huge! Some of them were as big as my entire hand.  Seriously.  I'm glad I bought the "family" size.  A smaller bag might've only had four or five chips in the whole thing.

The flavor was unique, yet strangely familiar.  Even after eating quite a few of these massive chips, I couldn't quite pin down what I was tasting.  Fortunately, my lovely and talented wife was able to utilize her refined palette and assist me.  And she nailed it!

The taste is beef flavored ramen noodles.  They taste like potato chips coated in the brown powder from the foil packets of beef ramen noodles.  I guess it's up to you whether or not that is a good or bad thing.  Personally, that happens to be my favorite flavor for ramen.

Overall, I like 'em.  Not quite as good as Late Night Cheeseburger Doritos, but I'd buy them again.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 ghosts.

Monday, April 16, 2012

There Are No Accidents

Someone once told me, the hardest part of being a parent is not laughing at the things your kid says while you're trying to be stern.  I have found this to be true on many occasions.  Like this afternoon, for example.

Juju, our 4-year-old, has been on a Kung-Fu Panda kick lately (no pun intended).  He was carrying around a plastic water bottle which he did not have permission to have.  We told him to be very careful with it so he wouldn't spill any water in the living room.  Sure enough, just seconds after we said it, he dropped the bottle on the coffee table, soaking the clean laundry that was laying there.

"Darn it boy, didn't we just tell you to be careful or you'd have an accident?" I shouted while mopping up the wet table. 

And, like a little Dragon Warrior, he solemnly replied, "There are no accidents."

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Top 5: Favorite Current NBA Players' Names

Just on the off chance that anyone actually reads this, I just want to make it clear that I am not making fun of anybody here.  As a writer, sometimes I just enjoy the way certain words and syllables sound together.  To me, these names are like little tone poems, sometimes pleasing, sometimes intriguing, sometimes challenging... And I like basketball.  Tote.

So, here is my top 5 names of current NBA players:

#5) Marcin Gortat
(Bonus: He also has the best nickname - The Polish Hammer!)

#4) Von Wafer

#3) Luol Deng
(When he dunks on you, you say, "Deng it!")

#2) Thabo Sefolosha

And the number one pick goes to....

#1) Serge Ibaka

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just Shut Up and Dance!

When our 4-year-old is running around and we have the TV on, we always try to find something to watch that is either: A) kid friendly, or B) not kid inappropriate.  So, this afternoon we had America's Best Dance Crew on.  Seemed like a safe choice.  Nothing real offensive there, and lots of colorful characters break dancing and flipping and whatnot.  He sat and watched it for a while, then trotted off to his bedroom.

Next thing we know, he comes back to the living room with an armful of toys.  He separated three of them and put them on the table, then started making the other toys jump and flip around.  Then, he made the three toys on the table talk to the toys on the floor.

It wasn't until I heard him say, "Nice, clean lines," that I realized what he was doing.  He was playing ABDC.  The three toys on the table; Ernie, Jeff Wiggle, and Buzz Lightyear, were the judges, and the other toys were the performers.  Ernie was the mean, hypercritical one.

I love the way his little mind works.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Product Review: Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso

After what happened last time, I was hesitant to buy another bag of what my wife now refers to as  "The Devil's Chips."  Well, call me a glutton for punishment, but I went in for round 2 against the Dinamita.  To quote The Joker (Jack Nicholson's version,) "I make art until someone dies."

There are peppers pictured on the bag, but the flavor on these chips is nacho cheese and jalapenos.  I got a nice little afterburn, but, thankfully, not nearly so severe as the Chile Limon's scorching.

The combined flavors of cheese powder and jalapenos should always equal instant success, but, sadly, that  was not the case here.  Julie commented that they smell terrible, but I call that a matter of opinion.  I didn't hate them, but I probably won't buy them again.

Rating: 3 out of 5 ghosts.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Splitting Hairs

Got my haircut today at 11:15 AM.  I didn't tell anybody at work what was happening.  I just left shaggy, and came back shorn.  (The spellchecker is trying to tell me that shorn is not a word.  I choose to defy you.)  Basically, I woke up like this...
And turned into this...
But, I feel a little bit like this...

 I used John Lennon because I am told several times a year that I resemble him. I have been told the same thing about Vector too, but I don't like that comparison because Vector is ugly and I am quite handsome.

I had this idea to try to grow my hair out one last time before I'm 40.  Kind of a last hurrah (or hair-rah?)  My ultimate goal was a Kurt Cobain thing, where the front hangs all the way to my chin.  Technically I have a few more years before the self-imposed deadline, but I think the short hair is what it's going to be.

But, this is what I plan to look like when I'm 60...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Pursuit of Unhappyness

There's a cartoon on PBS called 'Word Girl.'  Word Girl has super powers and a sidekick monkey, but her real power is her extensive vocabulary (she hails from the planet Lexicon, after all.). An educational show, every episode teaches the kiddos a new word or two.  And at the end of every show they ask a few kids what their favorite word is and why.  So, at the end of tonight's episode we asked our 4-year-old for his favorite word.

At first, he just made up some silly gibberish words.  After we pressed him for a real word, he thought for a minute and came up with this pearl: "My favorite word is unhappy."

"My favorite word is unhappy because I like to be angry every day.  Then, I can go like this all the time," and he turned his little face into a scowl and made a ferocious growling noise.

Yep.  One of those moments where Julie and I just look at each other and laugh.  Love that kid!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Product Review: Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon

I must've accidentally wandered into the "ethnic" section of the grocery store.  This bag caught my eye, so I decided to give it a whirl.  This is how the experience went:

     1.  First chip - "Hey, they brought back Rollitos.  Awesome!"

     2.  Second chip - "Nice flavor!  I can really taste the citrus under the chile flavor."

     3.  Third chip - "OH  [poop]!!!!  THESE ARE SO HOT!!!!  I'M GOING TO DIE!!!  GIVE ME A GLASS OF MILK OR I'LL KILL YOU WHERE YOU STAND!!!!"

Seriously, if you've read my previous posts, you know I like spicy.  But this was ridiculously hot.  Absurdly hot.  I wound up dipping them in a container of sour cream to cool them off a bit.  That made them tolerable enough to finish the bag.

Besides exceeding my pain threshold, the only other big complaint I had was the food coloring.  The brick colored chile powder was so thick and red, my fingernails were stained for over a week afterward.  And it ruined the sour cream too.
(not my actual fingers)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 ghosts.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Top 5: Basketball Teams

I don't understand why hipsters don't like sports.  It seems like that would be "tot" ironic.  Whatevs!  They just won't admit it in public.

Anyway, here's my top 5 favorite basketball teams of all time, from 5 to 1.

#5)  The 1992 Olympics "Dream Team."  - What a team.  Truly a collection of legends.  Jordan, Magic, Bird, Barkley... Enough said.

#4)  The 1989-'90 University of Nevada - Las Vegas "Runnin' Rebels."  - The best team money could buy.  Larry Johnson at center, and Coach Jerry "Tark the Shark" Tarkanian chewing his towels on the sideline.  This starting 5 could've taken on any pro team and held their own.

#3)  The 1990-'92 Portland "Trail Blazers." - What I loved about this team is that they relied on pure athleticism over skill.  It seemed as if there were only 2 plays in their playbook: put your head down and drive to the hoop, or chuck a 3 from anywhere.  Lots of heart and hustle, and lots of fun to watch.

#2)  The 1992-'93 Phoenix "Suns."
- The Barkley era.  Even though they lost in 6 in the finals against Jordan's Bulls, Phoenix's playoff run was some of the best pro basketball I've ever seen.  Barkley at his career best.

#1)  The 1994-'95 Orlando "Magic." - The Magic have been my favorite team since they started in 1989.  This Magic team had Shaq, Penny, Dennis Scott, Horace Grant, and my favorite player of all time: Nick Anderson.  The '95 team made it to the NBA Finals, which is the fastest that any team has ever gone from expansion to title contender, where they lost to Houston in 4 games.  Unfortunately, Shaq took off to the Lakers soon afterward, and this talented core never got to see what they might have accomplished together.  (pay attention Dwight!)

Side note:  As I read this, I'm realizing all these teams are from the late 80's early '90's.  In other words... I'm so old! :(

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Product Review: Doritos Locos Taco

For anybody who may not know, the Doritos Locos Taco is a Taco Bell taco with a shell made out of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Oh yes.

As soon as I heard that such a thing existed, I found myself thinking about it all the time, in sort of an unnatural way.  At odd times throughout the day, I would imagine how it would taste.  The nacho cheese shell. The moist beef.

Finally, finally I got try one last night.  And it was good.  So good.  It tasted exactly the way I had been imagining it.

If I have one complaint, it's that the Doritios shells are on the brittle side. I broke the first one I tried into five or six pieces effortlessly.  Fortunately, they are served in little cardboard sleeves.  I had taken the first one out of the sleeve, so for the next two I utilized them to help maintain the integrity of the shell.  That pretty much solved the problem.

Rating:  5 out of 5 ghosts.

P.S. - If anyone from Taco Bell corporate happens to read this, I DEMAND Cool Ranch Doritos tacos!!!  Not a request.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Product Review: Spicy Hawaiian Pizza Hot Pocket

At first bite, I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  The pizza sauce is sweet, and I usually enjoy more of a tang.  But then the spicy kicked in. Woooo!

The after burn turned my opinion around.  The meat toppings are forgettable, but I love spicy, so I'm now adding this flavor to my Hot Pocket rotation.  Well, as long as this limited addition lasts anyway.

Rating: 4 out of 5 ghosts.

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Top 5: Pringles

I made a little grocery store run tonight, and I picked up a canister of dill pickle flavored Pringles.  This inspired me to rank my top 5 favorite flavors, from least favorite to greatest.

So, for your pleasure...

#5)  Cheddar Cheese.  Nothing too crazy.  A solid, dependable flavor. Hard to go wrong with cheddar cheese.
#4)  Xtreme Ragin' Cajun.  Nice & spicy!
#3)  Jalapeno:  Mmm... I loves me pretty much anything jalapeno flavored.
#2)  Screamin' Dill Pickle:  If you've never tried them, they really do taste like dill pickles. I love that vinegar after burn on my tongue.

Finally, my all time favorite....
#1)  ONION BLOSSOM!!!!  So good.  And hard to find in Clearwater. I always try to snatch them up when I can find them.  The dominant flavor is horseradish, which is awesoooome.