Friday, August 28, 2015

To Do

Our dog has been ill; she's been licking, well, not inappropriately for a dog, I guess, but insistently, and she needed an unexpected follow-up visit. The vet reassured us that she was mostly fine, if age related back issues don't concern you, and sent us on our way.
The thing was, we were having guests for dinner last night, and we had a lot to get done before they arrived. By yesterday evening I had once hoped that I would have vacuumed, dusted, lost the 20 pounds I put on while traveling, finally finished college, read the great works, and carried out the trash.
I had a dispute about my bill with AT&T this morning. They had changed my billing cycle, but last month's payment, and next month's payment are the same as they were, but there's a pro-rated amount  of $60 that they claim is past due, even though I paid them what they billed me last month. I do, now, see that it might be possible that I owe the money although not that it's past due. On the phone with them, though, we just agreed that I'm not an accountant, they have thousands of them, and anyway, sir, do you want to continue to have cell phone service?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Come For The Funeral; Stay For The Fair

If Will Shortz was writing this post, he might have titled it Synesthesia, since this is really just tasting notes from our day at the fair. When we first arrived, I was feeling light-headed since, because of traffic, it had already been more than two hours since I had last eaten. So, I made a quick emergency stop at the first booth we came to and had a brat. Rich asked if that was a hot dog or a local child and I told him, "I didn't ask what it was made out of."
This list is not exhaustive, but the next stop was here at the deep fried Macaroni and Cheese booth. It was delicious with a crusty cheese outside with a creamy filling, which coincidentally probably describes your arteries after eating it.
Next we had funnel cakes so we could compare them to the ones at the Alaska State Fair that we're going to twice in the next two weeks.  Karen didn't finish hers, so I was able to compare it to mine. Both good, although looking at the app when we got home, I see we could have had them on a stick. I'm not sure how that would have improved the experience, but when in Des Moines...
We went to see the butter cow, but the line was too long to get up close. The other celebrity there that day was failed presidential candidate, Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas. We didn't even try to see him even though he, as the saying goes, thinks he's something on a stick. There were real things on sticks to be had and we did, for example,  Karen ate here:
The use case for a skewer here is obvious, and the rib on a stick was a hit.
From there we went to look at crafts and art. Well, Karen did. I went  here, and had apple pie on a stick. The pie itself wasn't great, but aside from stabbing oneself repeatedly in the palate, I couldn't understand what the point (ha, ha) of the stick was. For comparison purposes, I had their apple turnover and apple cookie, and they were both good, and easily hand-held. The fair also had sandwiches on a stick and that just seems wrong. The sandwich was created to be eaten with the hands. Sticks seem like  technology for technology's sake, and a perversion of the very idea of sandwiches.
On the way out of the fairgrounds, as is our tradition, we grabbed a few random items of food to ensure a nauseating ride home. We stayed the night in Des Moines, and the next morning we drove to Minneapolis, and the next morning, we flew back to Anchorage.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Now We Are In Iowa

So, the other day, a guy asked me, "How's it going?" I told him "Fine, except it's a thousand degrees and I'm at a funeral." Karen's dad died last week, just after we arrived here. She got to say goodbye, and then there was a visitation and a funeral. We didn't know how long we would need to be here when we booked our flight, so we've ended up with time on our hands. Idle hands, of course, are the devil's playground, and we've booked a play date at the sinfully delicious Iowa State Fair. They have an app for finding food and it includes a section devoted to "foods on a stick." And that category encompasses everything from the obvious,  pork chops, to the surprisingly healthy, salad on a stick and corn in every form imaginable.

Now, I know, that people have strong feelings about corn, that corn has corrupted our government and ruined our health or that it is the grain that makes our prosperity and energy independence possible. Either way, there are some times that you just want to eat an ear of corn. Even if at no other time,  when you can eat the corn about a minute after it was picked, you'd be a fool not to. So we were hoping to eat corn while we were surrounded by it. By the way, has anyone ever noticed that when you are surrounded by corn, it has a particularly Triffiid-like aspect to it? Anyway, Chris, the nicest person in the world, found a corn life-hack that actually works! You microwave the corn in its husk for four and a half minutes, cut off the non-silk end and then grab the silk and the corn slides out, leaving the husk and silk behind. Here's a link to it at The author says it's so good, you can eat it without butter and salt, but you also can eat it with butter and salt, because she's not the boss of you.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Getting Back To The Spirit Of This Blog

I started this blog to rant about things that irritated me.  But, Twitter is just made for that, so I've been posting there every day. But sometimes I am possessed by a complaint that takes more than 140 characters to fully exorcise.

For the last few months, Quicken has no longer allowed me to connect to my credit union. What is galling about this situation is that I bought Quicken 2015 because they told me that my existing version would no longer connect. That implies that the new version would, but it hasn't. Intuit has a history of forcing its users to update whether we want to or not, but this seems like a fraudulent business practice to force us to buy a product that doesn't work, and then not to fix it.
Based on this post, I think they're aware of the problem, and they've promised a fix by the end of July. But now it's August, and still nothing. Has the FTC ever investigated Intuit?