Archives for posts with tag: family

A Very Blurry Thanksgiving









We were surprised to be one of only 3 or 4 groups visiting this new park/trail thanks to a low readership of the newspaper. This is probably one of the only times I’ve been happy that people don’t read print journalism anymore, we had the place to ourselves and maybe even took some samples for further inspection. I am assuming Devin will be posting more detailed info about the actual fossils and rocks found here, but I am here to report that fun was had by all and that it was a gorgeous day!

It’s the weekend now for us and it’s even starting to get sunny outside, but this coming from the non-weather predicting half of the family. We’re having coffee, listening to this, and getting ready to pack up a certain papier-mache volcano to take to a certain house for storage (or deconstruction for its chicken-wire resource.) In honor of the weekend/Saturday and all of the fun it promises, I give you this:

While I was telling my father about my delicious refried-beans-and-fake-meat dinner, my mother cautioned in the background that fake-meat patties have MSG in them. Knowing full well such a bold claim requires rapid verification, I headed to the kitchen and checked the package. The scariest sounding thing I found was something named methylcellulose (a chemically inert emulsifier, it turns out). I noticed an “autolyzed yeast extract” but chose not to mention it. Sure enough, I soon heard Mom in the background mentioning yeast extracts. I rebuffed it after a quick Google, suggesting that the (to me, scarier sounding) “hydrolyzed” yeast extracts were probably the worser threat.

Mea culpa, Mom. All yeast extracts may contain free glutamic acid, the crystalline solid salt of which would be monosodium glutamate, MSG. Free glutamic acid is prevalent in parmesan cheese, soy sauce and grape juice— parmesan cheese, for example, has 1200 mg per 100 grams. It looks like (from this Wikipedia page) like hydrolyzed yeast extracts have 5000 to 20000 mg per 100 grams, so at least I got the point on the “hydrolyzed sounds worse.” But yes, autolyzed yeast extract appears to contain MSG. I’ll write more about it in the future (it is pretty strang esounding) but, really, the process and product itself don’t seem any worse than anything else in modern industrial food, though. For example— Vegemite is pretty much entirely yeast extract and flavor. Looks like the only way to get by is sticking to a pure Bovril diet.

They changed it to yeast extract for a while but, don’t worry— it’s back to beef.

Update: Just checked my email to see the note my Mom sent at 7:23 pm, blockquoting this Wisegeek article. It even mentions Vegemite. I feel like Principle Skinner.

We engaged in some good natured ribbing of Sam and my mother this evening when they were briefly psychologically unable to differentiate a holiday season depicted in a sitcom and our real world’s actual timetable. Driving home, Sam and I listened to “Some People Don’t Even Know If It’s Christmastime.” I wanted to link it as a punchline to that life vignette but somehow a cursory glance for “Daniel Johnston Christmas” yielded the Battle of Kruger:

.. something I think of as an early example of how omnipresent viral videos can get now. I remember seeing it at my cousin’s home in San Diego and my neighboring cubicle inside a week of eachother back when it was catching fire. Now if only it was the singer-songwriter I wanted. The Internet is a many-splendored thing but it’s also damned fickle.

One of the first things I ever put on the Internet was an America Online-hosted memorial marking the passing of Wee Willie Wolfman. I once saw Willie vivisect a pigeon in the time it took you to read the word “vivisect.” My Dad bought him specifically for his breed’s rodent murdering proficiency. He developed a gimp walk but stubbornly lived on as his rear third seemed to develop leprosy. He was awesome-
but not beyond compare. There are truly singular dogs out there and- on occasion- we talking monkeys are fortunate enough to share our lives with that of an exceptional canine. Here’s to Shillelagh and those of us lucky enough to have known the furriest Clint Eastwood warrior monk street urchin out there.

…means “no good” if you’re wondering at home, relatives also reading Brendan’s fantastic travel blog — aka the best blog on the Internet from the author of the critically self-acclaimed author of the “most important book of the twenty-first century.” Please, buy the app and support an itinerant scholar and unofficial American ambassador.

Remember— only the United States of America could bring you both Little Boy and Vince McMahon in the same month. Happy Fourth— please do not blow off your fingers.