Tuesday Night Hot Sauce Club

Welcome to yet another installment of my sporadic and food-centric series on me eating hot sauces I get from Firehouse Subs. (I know, right? This is like a highlight reel of all Blogging ’12, but stick with, it gets better).

Tonight’s entrants both rated 8s on the Firehouse Subs severity index [actual name: unknown] and one of them damn near cost me my life. No lie.

Here’s a visual aid for folks still confused about this whole exercise. Yes, it’s really all about hot sauce.


The hot sauce on the left is Brother Bru-Bru’s Very Hot African Hot Pepper Sauce. This sauce has 0mg of sodium and tasted fantastic. A great, spicy heat that came on only after I swallowed a bite.

This was definitely a solid 8 on the 10-point heat scale but maybe a 9 from a taste and overall enjoyment scale. I would definitely eat this hot sauce again and, if I can find it locally, I’m buying a bottle for home. Nothing fruity or too garlic-y, just great, savory heat almost like the hot sauce equivalent of cumin.

The hot sauce on the right, in contrast, was a lot like eating molten road tar. It was extremely hot (more like a 9 or 10 on my heat scale), it had little to no flavor to speak of and it coated my tongue and mouth making it nearly impossible to eat anything afterwords without tasting the sauce.

In short: stay away from Liquid Stoopid. In general I should learn to avoid any hot sauce that include capsaicin extract as an ingredient. Duh (at least the naming convention of this one is accurate).

It should have been a sign for me to stop eating this sauce – and I did try multiple tastes because BLOGGING FOR YOU PEOPLE – when my scalp and eyelids (yes, eyelids) started sweating after the second bite. I suffer for my craft or at least I soldier through hot sauce for meager digital jollies.

One good hot sauce out of the pair and I still have full use of all my limbs and partial use of my frontal lobe. Not entirely a loss, everybody.

Until next time (when I eat Firehouse) keep wondering why non-regular food-related blogging isn’t the absolute darling and pinnacle of the online world. I know I’ll keep trying to figure it out!

Is your inner Dilbert being helpful?

I’m not sure where I fall on the knee-jerk reaction to technical inaccuracies spectrum, but I do give most folks the benefit of the doubt as they try to explain Apps, APIs & such.

Even in the roles I have (and have had) I’ve never been the most technical, but I do pride myself on being a good cypher/translator of geek to human.

Where do you fall on the continuum of newbie to nerd?

Do you find yourself agreeing with Dilbert (via phampants) or with SocioSage (via sheatsb)?

Curious where my blogging, twittering crowd sees themselves (and their role in making this problem better or worse).

Is technical accuracy a cudgel you use to bludgeon others or do you try to meet them in the middle and shepherd them to better understanding?

Pinning my hopes

I’m sitting on the rooftop (or thereabouts) terrace of a building on campus typing this post on an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard attached.

The words are flowing from my fingertips into an app, iA Writer, that magically sends those words to the cloud (of my choosing: iCloud or DropBox).

There are bits of typing I don’t even have to do anymore since another app, TextExpander Touch, automates simple strings of text – tl;dr for instance – and reproduces a longer format version:

“Thanks for emailing me. I’ll take a look and send you edits later. -Seth”

The app also connects to DropBox so the “shortcuts” I create on one device (iPad) are available to use on another (iPhone) without any additional work on my part.

It’s just another example of software getting out of the way of people (Me) so I can JUST. WRITE.

The end result of this writing is a file that I’ll pull into another app – WordPress for iOS – to beef it up with some links & images, such as this Instagram photo of my current view.

My impetus for writing was Jeff Hilimire’s post about his own use cases for an iPad w/keyboard setup and how it allows him to work.

Now my usage today is a bit more recreational than that, but then again I haven’t had much cause (few January meetings) to use it at work. I can definitely see myself using Evernote to get things done in the future.

As it is, I’m perusing Pinterest for some inspiration (especially the Board of Man) and wishing *they* had an iPad app.

More than anything, I just wanted to share my joy that the hardware & software are such a great experience for me that doing some writing/blogging is so seamless for me now. I hope that promise is kept – and keeps getting better – in the years to come.

Because this is what people want: the true mobility to take their thoughts and devices anywhere and have all the tools they need to do what they want to do.


And since this is a Muppet-named blog, please to enjoy these Kermit/Lady Gaga images that I’ll likely pin later.

Running Motivation

Three things that set up today’s post:

  1. I’ve been running a ton recently and talking about it, tweeting about it and discussing it on dailymile
  2. My cousin, Nate, is a triathlete in Taiwan and his run-blogging is a HUGE motivating factor for me. He ran a 9k in under 41 minutes this past weekend!
  3. I used my 750words.com writing from last week as the raw material for this post
  4. I’m getting new minimalist running shoes

Given all of the above reasons, specifically #2 and, more specifically Nate’s Running and Revival post, here is a snapshot of the memories and emotions that my current running has awakened in my heart and head:

I didn’t realize it until I was much older but the Nikes my dad ran in were called waffle trainers. I remember that particular patter quite well: raised squares with central nipples of rubber amidst troughs at right angles. In my child’s mind I could imagine X-wing fighters swooping low to avoid the tower turrets and tie fighters as they made their trench run against the Death Star. At that age everything was about Star Wars for me, even a pair of my dad’s running shoes.

As I recall they weren’t flashy or multicolored like today’s shoes. I think they were plain jane two tone grey on grey. The now familiar swoosh was a bit darker, but they were basically white tennis shoes (that’s what we called any and all athletic shoes in the 80’s or at least our household) that looked dingy from rain and mud running.

My dad used to run early in the morning and I can remember waking up early (for me) at 6:30 AM to the sound of him, winded and catching his breath, as he opened and closed the front door. Sometimes he was a little too loud for that hour since he had headphones in his ears and an AM/FM radio clipped to his shiny shorts. I don’t think it even had a cassette deck as part of it, dad didn’t own any tapes, just vinyl and it would have been difficult to run with a turntable.

He’d grab some orange juice from the fridge and drink it straight from the carton or jug. I inherited this unfortunate aversion to good manners and food hygiene, though I avoid drinking directly from the fridge immediately after I finish my run: I don’t want to sweat all over the kitchen hardwoods.

Dad was skinny then, and tall. In my memory he seemed like the tallest person in my world and the outfit – waffle trainers, shiny shorts, headband and wristbands (striped, of course) and that little radio – made him the picture of the nineteen eighties. Modern, married, active and getting it all done before he’d had his coffee or gone to work.

I don’t think I ever hugged him then so as to avoid getting myself all gross (more likely “grodie”) but he did give me a kiss on the head or a pat on the back. I wanted to go with him, but I was never up early enough and I was pretty sure I couldn’t run as fast as he could, no matter what I said on the playground or in the driveway.

The socks he wore were striped too and they went almost all the way up to his knees. We had the same socks, my dad and me, and it felt very special to coordinate like that. My own son loves dressing like dad or pointing out our physical similarities both genetic and wardrobe related. I had the same sense about my dad and I really miss those socks to this day. They just don’t work in 2011.

My dad would go directly in the shower and he’d usually sing or whistle through his teeth. My dad was always making some kind of music but I wondered what he listened to during his runs. On the one occasion I tried on the sweaty, foamy headphones of his I was treated to Steely Dan or Fleetwood Mac – something with a descriptor and a man’s nickname – and I hated it. To be fair that probably had more to do with the delivery method than the music itself, but I still don’t like Fleetwood Mac that much (though I can appreciate their aesthetic).

Those shoes of his lasted more than a couple of seasons. He wasn’t the most dedicated runner and he only wore them to actually run. Not like the way I wear my shoes now – to work, to the grocery store, to actually run – I’m in them all day, every day.

No, Dad made those trainers last (why don’t we use that term more often, like the Brits do? We just adopted ‘cross trainers’ in the nineties, but it’s gone no). He used some gross goo which was appropriately and accurately called Shoe Goo. It came in a metallic tube no bigger than a stick of chewing gum and it smelled like every disgusting petroleum product I’d ever smelled. It was black and viscous and disgusting and it fascinated me.

When the waffle trainers wore they didn’t really dull down or blunt, they cracked along predetermined fault lines, those troughs I mentioned earlier. Dad’s nearly snapped in two at the juncture of his arches between his heel and his toes. The Shoe Goo was applied liberally into these fissures and then the shoes were left upside down to dry or cure or something. I must have been seven or eight and it seemed like a lot of work for a pair of shoes. I wondered why he wouldn’t just buy a new pair.

Now I know: you fall in love with your old sneakers and you can never really bury them until they’re all the way dead. I’ve got plenty of pairs of zombie trainers and undead tennies littering my closet and garage. They go from the road to the back of the closet to lawn mowing duty and, one day, the garbage can.

Part of me wished I had some Shoe Goo, though. It seems greener in some odd sense, to want to literally cobble together your shoes and make them last just a little bit longer. Plus, I now know about minimal and barefoot running styles (focusing more on a forefoot or toe strike style) and running in older shoes can be a much better experience than running in new, heavy padded running shoes.

There’s something to be said for that old friend of a shoe that fits like a glove (if that makes sense) and just feels comfy and right. My memories are like that: comforting and comfortable, a little bit worn (but not worn out) and happy.

Nate talking about his dad, my uncle, running 3 miles every night reminded me of a time when my dad was running all the time. Interestingly enough my dad stopped running because of a bad basketball injury and I started running because of a basketball injury.

Hope you enjoyed the story.

Happy Tuesday!

Playing To Type

First, a firm grasp of the obvious:

I have a blog with “Muppet” in the title.
I do the whole “Separated at Birth” schtick. A lot.
I have great friends & commenters.

Second, a perfect storm (using MATH):

This comment:

Christopher Meloni looks abit like Bert from Sesame(not sure how u spell that) Street, in a kind of cute way.

Plus this email:

I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but I’m assuming this is up your alley on multiple fronts…

Multiplied by my Tumblr entry:

Telly as Zack Braff is my favorite.

Which leads us, logically, to point #3: TMZ’s Celebrity Puppets — Sesame Street Edition

There are a ton of dupes here and a few more misses than hits than I could manage with similar source material, but it’s still worth a look if, you know, Muppets OR “Separated at Birth” shit is your thing. [HINT: they’re both mine].

YMMV, but still, enjoy.

Also, I don’t know that I’ve got this whole “blogging” thing down pat yet or if I’ll ever figure it out but for now I’m putting some things on the wackiness that is Tumblr, some dreck here and even more superfluous linkage and ephemera on Twitter, Flickr and the like. Follow or don’t.

(How’s THAT for an upsell?)


Previous incarnations of Separated at Birth:

Jeri Ryan & Cynthia Watros
Peter Lorre & Evan Handler
Lauren Ambrose & Hillary Tuck
Chuck Liddell & Sloth Fratelli (John Matuszak)
Dave Foley and Vicent Kartheiser
Javier Bardem & Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Maria Bello and Mary McCormack
Gerard Butler and Clive Owen
Christopher Meloni and Elias Koteas
Lisa Rinna and Nicholson’s Joker
Janine & Mariska