Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bone Puns & Harmony: City At The Crossroads

This blog is after some new ideas, as there are significantly fewer actual burger spots that are fast-food and would qualify for a review. Expect A & W to show up at some point down the road, in addition to Rally's once this blog gets to Ohio and is able to eat there.

In any event, this blog realizes that several visitors will come to this site to check out the latest fast-food reviews, so Pun City would like to continue in a forum related to those reviews. Several ideas come to mind. Among the options:

A. Continue with burger spot reviews, only expand the idea to "slow-food" spots like Applebee's, Chili's, etc. This would milk the burger option for a few more national venues, plus a possible expansion to non-chain restaurants if it comes to that. The focus of this option would definitely remain on burgers.

B. Continue with fast-food reviews, only expand the idea to restaurants that do not offer burgers. This could include Taco Bell, KFC, Church's Chicken, Chick-Fil-A, and other options. Obviously the burger-only rankings would not apply, but a lot of the general service and value reviews would apply. The focus would be on fast-food, and this blog could probably figure out some type of "primary offering" ranking.

C. This blog has had an average of over 80 ounces of soda per day the last 2 weeks, and this isn't especially high for this site, so it feels relatively qualified to rank soda. Diet sodas need not apply. This would be a very different direction, although soda options were a factor in the fast-food rankings.

D. College campus rankings. This blog has been to about 2 dozen campuses, and plans to continually attend campuses around the country, so this would be pretty easy to maintain. A gigantic departure from the fast-food rankings, but it could work.

This blog could certainly present some "previews" of these varieties, and go from there based on audience response. If there's an overwhelming response right now to see one or more of these genres, let this blog know and it will get to work.

Um. Cool.

Rock, rock on.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pun City Springs Into Action

This blog hasn't done a fast food review in a long while (an absurd 22 posts), and it's had one that kept getting shelved. So here goes: Jack In The Box!

This blog isn't sure where Jack In The Box originated, but it was in 1951, and it's now based in San Diego, CA. Their website provided the interesting tidbit that they also own Qdoba. Unfortunately, Qdoba seems to have a greater reach than Jack In The Box, which can only be found in 17 states. The closest one to this blog's home is 350 miles and almost 6 hours away.

Pros: Great burgers. Very consistent across locations, mustard on the burgers does not detract from them. French fries are very good, pretty well salted. To date, this blog has not come across poor, or even less-than-friendly service at a Jack In The Box. This may have something to do with the location of the chain, primarily areas known for hospitality or for being laid back. The Oreo Milkshake offered is top-notch. French fries are very good. For some reason, this blog has the impression that there's always ample seating at Jack In The Box. Condiments are easy to grab. Very reasonable pricing, also offers late night dining. Had a food poisoning problem in the 1990s, so you know they're erring on the side of caution these days.

Cons: Mainly locations. 6 hours is a long drive for burgers. Not that this blog is above doing that, but it's tough to keep that pace. Could emphasize special orders more. Only offer 2 non-diet dark sodas (Coke and Dr. Pepper).

Overall Ranking: 8 out of 10 fryers. Locations are the main issue here. All other problems are essentially splitting hairs with the combination of quality and convenience Jack In The Box offers. Jack In The Box is essentially what McDonald's should be, if only it hadn't sold out to fringe health-conscious radicals. Rating could improve if they emphasized special orders, added Cherry Coke to the beverage options, and expanded a lot.

Burger-Only Ranking: 7.5 out of 10 fryers. Including mustard while being McDonald-esque in their "special orders take a while" stance is somewhat of a bummer. Meat is occasionally a little tough. Bread is good, onions aren't normally included on the burgers, so that's easy. Could possibly be a little cheaper, but that's a minor concern.

Monday, July 17, 2006

UTEP's Gold Diggers: All Mine

March 10th, 10th day of the trip. (Only 2 left). Still chillin' in Memphis. This day it was the semi-finals of the Conference USA tournament. Somewhat relaxing day since no travel was involved and only two games were to be played. Drove in from West Memphis, AR after an interesting evening. After getting some food at Sonic Drive-In, this blog was watching the Mountain West Conference tournament late into the evening. After 10 days of continuous basketball, and a 4-game slate for March 9th, this blog managed to fall asleep with the lights and TV on.

This was extremely unusual, probably the only time this has ever happened in this blog's life. This blog is a very light sleeper, so any amount of light and/or movement will typically keep this blog awake. Sheer exhaustion combined with laying down must have collaborated to get Pun City sleeping while basketball was going on. Fortunately, this blog woke up at 5:30 AM and was able to set an alarm so it didn't oversleep on the 10th.

This blog drove from West Memphis to Wolfchase Mall on the east side of Memphis, TN. Other than some construction on the way there, it wasn't too bad. This blog got some help from the Tennessee Visitor's Center, which was pretty helpful in being able to get some directions for this blog with its meager information ("Uh, 'this blog's' looking for a big mall to the east of Memphis..." "Oh, Wolfchase?...").

Wolfchase Mall was pretty decent, although somewhat overpriced. This blog was able to pick up some "Licensed To Annoy" wristbands at the Hot Topic, so that was kinda awesome.

This blog then went to the University of Memphis's campus, going to the bookstore and finding an awesome Tiger paw that says "Go Tigers" on it. Should actually be pretty useful in general, other than the blue font, there's no specific affiliation, so this blog can probably get some mileage out of the claw at Detroit Tigers, Clemson Tigers, and potentially Cincinnati Bengals games.

Still needing to kill some time, and also with an assignment to find a shot glass from Arkansas for one of Pun City's audience members, this blog shot back to West Memphis to stop at a truck stop and get said shot glass.

After cruising back to downtown Memphis, this blog tried to park at Parking Can Be Fun, but the lot was full. This blog ended up having to park in the mini-mall's lot, for $10.00, but at least it wasn't the outrageous $15.00 being charged at FedEx Forum.

The games of the day were Houston versus the hometown squad, and UAB vs. UTEP. In the first matchup, the eternal question of "Who would win a fight between a cougar and a tiger?" would be answered. The answer was a resounding vote in favor of the Tiger. This blog was able to fit in better than it had been the last few days, as it had snagged a Memphis hat earlier in the day.

The second game was dominated by UAB, setting up a 1 vs. 2 matchup in the final, and also giving the two largest fan contingents one last game to fill the arena.

Some Game Notes:

-This blog was able to get Memphis All-American Forward Rodney Carney's autograph after Game 1, after he completed a post-game interview. He was cool to sign for about 2 dozen fans while still in his uniform.

-Memphis's cheerleading team is called the Paws. This is a cool name, and the dance team was very hot to go along with the excellent moniker.

-UTEP's dance team was the Gold Diggers, which was a fantastic name for a dance team, and this blog was stunned that they got away with that name in a PC world.

-UAB's band played "Jump On It" and "Come Out And Play."

-UTEP's band played "Low Rider"

-Memphis's band appropriately played "Eye of the Tiger"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dock Ellis and Renee Thomas: A "Week" Connection

This blog is feeling rather lazy tonight, so it's just going to give a "clip post" here and let other sites do the work for Pun City. This blog should bring out a normal-quality post later this week.

For openers, we named Renee Thomas the former cheerleader of the week again, so that's the photo.

Conversation of the week is from this blog's workplace, some nutty conversations when swabbing the deck:

(Background: This blog's boss bought ice cream for the crew one week prior to this conversation, at which point the civilian known as "Private Parts" had ordered and received mint ice cream with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which is a bizarre and seemingly poor-tasting combination. Another round of ice cream was being commissioned, and Private Parts switched his order, this time excluding the Peanut Butter Cups).

Private Parts: I'm not getting Reese's this time.

Pun City: See, (this blog) told you it was a bad idea.

Private Parts: It was good, I just...

Pun City: This proves it, bad idea.

Private Parts: I'm getting (the Reese's) now. I'm changing.

2nd-Best website of the week: www.officepirates.com This blog just noticed it the other day, and it's right on the money. Many many deck swabbing experiences are comparable to the site. (obviously www.puncity.blogspot.com took website of the week honors).

Radio Stunt of the week: WLUM 102.1 in Milwaukee switched their format to "Quick 102.1," playing 5-second clips of over 400 songs per hour. This was pretty annoying to listeners, who were assured that these clips were "their favorite clips from their favorite songs." Positives of the stunt were that bad songs wouldn't last very long, and a game could be made of it, in trying to name artist and song title before the clip ended. Negatives were that when one heard a good song, it switched in 5 seconds instead of finishing off. Still pretty hilarious in that they kept it up for 2 days, and to this blog's knowledge, it is still going.

Question of the Week: From frequent Pun City Commentator Moike - In their ugliest form, would you rather face the minimum (27 batters) and give up lots of hits, or throw a no-hitter and give up lots of walks and hit batsmen, errors, etc.? Question assumes that both games are won.

This blog thinks that one's a no-brainer. Throwing the no-hitter gets you into the record books. Facing the minimum gets you out of there quicker, but doesn't have much historical significance. And, since this blog would ultimately want to leave a mark, the no-hitter is the choice.

Incidentally, A.J. Burnett had a no-hitter that could be described as pretty ugly. Here it is. Nine walks. This blog remembers Michael Wilbon of PTI commenting "Of course he threw a no-hitter. He didn't give them anything to hit." His fielders even backed him up with no errors, so it was all him.

Dock Ellis had this no-hitter where he later claimed to have been on acid. The eight walks he threw and the hit batsman seem to back up his claim. This blog seems to recall that no-hitter was named the greatest drug-induced performance of all-time by another observer, but a precursory search could only find Barry Zito calling him the greatest flake of all-time.

So, in conclusion, this blog would say that throwing a no-hitter is always better than facing the minimum (unless you're a baby about your arm throwing too many pitches or you don't care at all about history), and it is especially good if you can do so under some sort of handicap that makes the accomplishment even more unique. Ideally this would not involve illegal narcotics, but if that's the way you roll, this blog figures, your loss.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rejected: All-American Style!

Happy Independence Day to all 4 of this blog's readers, especially President Whitmore, who led us through the alien invasion crisis with such heroism and eloquence.

This blog had a weird 4th of July, one which included Mexican beer and watching BBC America. But it ended up being all good with some RC Cola, Dairy Queen, grilled out burgers, and American Flag wristbands.

There's been a clamoring for some tales from this blog's single life, practically since its inception. This blog always preferred to resist this diversion, primarily because its "single life" is so sparse. But, at any rate, there were a couple interesting instances recently, and this blog figured it would throw its meager readership a bone.

First off, there's a girl that this blog has somewhat been pursuing for a little while, and this blog doesn't come in to contact with her very frequently. (It's somewhat challenging to find excuses to be in the same location as her). At any rate, this blog had discovered that this particular girl doesn't take a lunch, so, if she didn't eat a lunch, we would have something in common (should be self-explanatory in a minute here). After a brief series of small-talk conversations, this blog happened upon the girl in passing. This blog said hi, she responded in kind, and this site asked her if she ate a lunch even though she didn't take a lunch. She said yes, at which point this blog replied, "Oh, well, (this blog) doesn't eat breakfast, so, that's what (this blog) does."

As a result, this blog pretty much wanted to kick itself in the nuts. The girl seemed like it was a weird comment to make and kind of gave the "Um, okay, I'm going to keep walking the opposite direction" response. So this blog thinks its pretty much up a creek without a paddle as far as this blog's chances with her. Not an altogether uncommon problem this blog runs into when trying to communicate with the opposite sex.

Another common problem recently happened again. This example took place while attending Summerfest (10-day long Milwaukee music/food/party festival) and seeing an absolutely stunning girl working a kiosk. Now, normally, this blog would shrug it off, primarily given its success rate with girls and the unlikely chance that anyone could pick up someone in the 30-second encounters that Summerfest provides. However, this girl at the kiosk was probably about 6'3", and this blog doesn't often find a girl that's a) 6'3", b) Not built like a linebacker, c) Not sharing facial features with Gheorghe Muresan, and d) Somehow, completely stunning. Even if this blog gets turned down here, it figured, there's no shame in that. Probably like buying a lottery ticket since the expected value is losing, but the possible payoff could be huge.

So this blog approached the kiosk, and, very fortunately, some dude that wasn't watching where he was going almost plowed over the girl and moved on without looking back. This was extraordinarily hilarious to this blog. This girl probably gets hit on 300 times a day, could easily be a model if she wanted to, is 6'3", and this guy not only somehow isn't taken aback by her, but doesn't even see her coming or going, and in the process completely ignores her, which she surely isn't used to.

So this blog just dies laughing right then and there. The girl laughs as well, but says to this site "Don't laugh!" So this blog then had an opener and started talking to her about how she actually runs into (pun intended) this problem multiple times every day. She also remarked how she's not a fan of people ignoring her while she's pitching the product right in front of them, where she clearly is being heard. This blog offered its support, and she said she'd go to me for support if the situation occurred again.

This blog walked around with a couple friends for a while, then circled back and asked if it had happened again. She said she was alright, and hadn't required additional support. This blog, courteously, offered its number in case she needed this support. While she found this tactic humorous, she brushed it off and asked which show this blog was going to see tonight. It happened to be the All-American Rejects. The girl was also going to that show when her shift ended, so she said maybe we'd run into each other.

To make a long story somewhat less long, this blog did run into the girl at the show, and her boyfriend as well! So a slightly discouraging attempt there, though it would be ridiculous to imagine someone like that being single.

This blog has gotten multiple suggestions/offers/recommendations/demands to get a "makeover," so this blog is going to try and accomodate these requests in the near future, and tentative plans have been made with one of the legions of people offering their services. Seeing as most of this blog's readership knows this blog's style, this blog would like to hear any input on what would be a positive change in wardrobe for this site. This blog is hoping for more hats and t-shirts, that sounds like a good switch. Although, this blog could use another pair of dress shorts as well. Plunk those suggestions down here, as those and any donations will be gladly accepted. (Pun City does not accept PayPal, but it will be your pal if you pay it. Let that be a lesson to you).

Happy ID4, this blog now needs to set its lasers to stunning.