Fast Food Lunch Fight, Round Four: Burger King

When I began this investigation a few short days ago, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to get out of it.  Now, I admit that this whole thing has been more fun than I expected, and so far I think every joint that thinks I’m worth five bucks plus tax has its merits.

a-suggestive-burger-king-adSo, maybe if I was more familiar with Burger King’s current ad campaign, I wouldn’t have had high expectations. If someone were to literally poop in my cornflakes, I’d suppose it’d be fair to say that this would make me feel that way.

When I walk into the Ellensburg Burger King, I ask if they have a $5 lunch, and the cashier says, “No.” Taking her word for it, I leave the restaurant and head towards the Jack in the Box, thinking that MMDG was mistaken when he put BK on my to do list. A couple of quick messages to him assures me that BK has a $5 deal.

He tells me, “They have ‘we re-invented the $5 bill’ commercials.”

I don’t think these guys understand what’s out there.

Continue reading Fast Food Lunch Fight, Round Four: Burger King

Fast Food Frenzy Day Three: Dairy Queen

I think it’s pretty easy to see that fast food places like advertising to stoners and students. You can tell that these restaurants are doing this when in one of their commercials a group of bros appear at a gathering with a box of tacos and then the party really gets started, or when some dude suddenly transforms into a puppet. However, I can’t tell who Dairy Queen’s target market is. Commercials for DQ straddle a line between friendly and stupid, so they attempt to appeal to everyone, but fail to establish a strong personality. These ads are few and far between and they’re probably more frequent than actual DQ storefronts. I can’t even remember the last time I went to Dairy Queen, but more than likely it was to get ice cream, not a lunch. With so few locations and a damn near invisible brand, I’m curious as to how Dairy Queen can compete in this fight for five bucks.

SubstandardFullSizeRenderOne of the wonderfully strange things about Ellensburg is that there are two Dairy Queens. One of everything else, two Dairy Queens. This place is as cold as Narnia and now twice as magical. If anyone is wondering where their local Dairy Queen is, Ellensburg probably took it. One DQ is located next to the university. My mom tells me this one is nasty. The $5 meal she ate there came with a cold hamburger with mealy meat, a small soda and fries, and no ice cream. This does not get me jazzed. Fortunately, there is another, and I venture to the Dairy Queen on the far side of town, near the freeway. Continue reading Fast Food Frenzy Day Three: Dairy Queen

Five-Buck Lunch Day Two: KFC

To be honest, I knew how my Taco Bell experience was going to end. Though I’d say I’m a pretty healthy eater, I’m no stranger to fast food, particularly Taco Bell’s value-to-flavor ratio and the eventual digestive wringing that follows a meal. Knowing and accepting that eventuality makes it easier to enjoy the experience, but I did not approach my second outing with the same calm resignation.

I usually don’t mess with KFC.  I admit I fell into the whole “KFC doesn’t use real chickens” hoax, and even though it’s been disproved, I think the very idea of a mutated chicken that’s mass produced in a lab to supply a fast food chain is too close to plausible for me to take the risk. Test tube chicken aside, KFC just looks unhealthy. All of the food from there comes in mostly shades of brown, which speaks to its nutritional value and I think is an indicator for the “T + 3″ effect. Continue reading Five-Buck Lunch Day Two: KFC

Fast Food Lunchbox Blitz Day One: Taco Bell

If the 20th century adage, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” is true, then the next best thing must be a cheap lunch. A recent fad in fast food marketing has several restaurants fighting over customers’ lunch money by trying to lure them in with a five dollar meal deal. A cousin to the dollar menu, these five dollar deals promise more for less; a hearty serving of tasty chow that leaves you with enough change to rent a Redbox, buy a lotto ticket, donate to charity, etc. MMDG brought this trend to my attention, and issued a challenge: to spend one work-week sampling the meal deals from the various institutions eager to win my wallet through my stomach. Normally, MMDG would handle this sort of business himself, but the idea of consistently eating fast food is something he can’t commit to in good conscience. “It’s a young man’s game,” he explained. Well, I’ll throw my hat into the ring on his behalf. I intend to eat one $5 lunch per day for one week in search of value, nourishment, and satisfaction. I’m skeptical as to whether I’ll find all three at one time, but I’ll take two out of three. I mean, technically whatever they serve me counts as nourishment, right?

My first stop: Taco Bell.

Continue reading Fast Food Lunchbox Blitz Day One: Taco Bell

66 & 2/3–Use Your Illusion I and II (Part One)

Originally posted on Holy Bee of Ephesus:

On September 17, 1991, the band that had been on top of the hard rock heapGunsnr-useyou_22 since its debut album  Appetite For Destructionwent multi-platinum back in ‘88, made the groundbreaking — and seemingly insane — decision to release two separate full-length albums of original material at the same time. “An act of almost colossal arrogance,” one writer described it. (On vinyl, each one was actually a double album in and of itself). The Use Your Illusion project was a microcosm of the arena-rock breed of populism that had been annoying intellectuals and highbrow music writers ever since Led Zeppelin and its legions of high school parking lot smokers dropped a bomb on the progressive ambitions of the Woodstock Generation.

Of course, those progressive ambitions returned with a vengeance in the form of “alternative rock,” which killed off Guns N’ Roses quite handily. Turn, turn, turn.

Use Your Illusion I

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First City, First Rate

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

In the hierarchy of California summer music festivals, Monterey’s First City Festival still isn’t getting any respect.

Best Coast loves the Central Coast
Best Coast loves the Central Coast

Maybe it’s still too young to be taken seriously. This is only the second annual FCF, but these County Fairgrounds are no stranger to music festivals. And just about every mainstage performer made reference to that fact. “First City” for a reason. Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast was excited to tell her dad that she was playing on the same stage as Jimi Hendrix. She also said she was retiring to Monterey. Next week.

It was also widely suggested that much of the Bay Area was headed to the Nevada desert this past weekend for Burning Man. Or, at least, trying to get to Burning Man. Muddy flats and 100-degree sandstorms sound fun, but it was t-shirt & jeans weather all day long, all weekend…

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The Holy Bee Recommends, #11: Michael Korda’s “Clouds of Glory”

Originally posted on Holy Bee of Ephesus:

“I felt like anything other than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought…” — General Ulysses S. Grant, on Robert E. Lee’s surrender

coverI am a Grant man. I have always been suspicious of the aloof, aristocratic Robert E. Lee. Not only because he fought on the side that was attempting to preserve one of the most odious institutions devised by mankind, but because Grant was decidedly non-aristocratic. Down-to-earth. “Blue collar,” though that term did not exist in the 1860s. He was a store clerk in Galena, Illinois when the Civil War started, having dropped out of the army as a captain a few years before. He had been a lowly quartermaster during the Mexican War, the brief conflict…

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2014: First Half Favorites

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

I haven’t relapsed into Top 5 lists or controversy-laden ranking debates. At least not yet. But I still can’t help compiling anything that falls under a Favorite Anything category. So whether or not our mixtape exchanges and Soundcloud recommendations steamroll into anything remotely similar to the old Idle Time year-end best-ofs, I wanted to gather up ten of my favorite albums from 2014′s first half. Listed alphabetically, for now.

ava-luna-electric-balloon-album-cover-press-300Ava Luna
Electric Balloon
Western Vinyl

A decade-plus since east coast bands like Radio 4 and Q And Not U punked up disco, Brooklyn’s Ava Luna are doing the same with jazz and soul. I heard three different tracks off this album via three separate outlets, and was later surprised that they were not only by the same band, but also on the same record. Just the right amount of multiple personality disorder to make up an individual party disc.

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Peanut Butter Vibes and Eight-Second Video Clips

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

Oh I like this song. Wait, what? The hell is everyone doing?

JDG was in town from UCSB for a few days, and wanted to check out Glass Animals at Rickshaw Stop. No arguments from me. I kinda dig their sexy jungle-by-way-of-Oxford vibe, even if every track on the album sounds pretty much the same. I figured it’d be music best appreciated live. And I was right.

Now… I’ve got nothing against taking pictures at a show. Before every phone doubled as a camera, we used to sneak SW’s little Sony into Bottom of the Hill, The Fillmore, Slim’s, and every other venue that once upon a time clearly printed “No Photos” on their tickets.

Before I deleted my Facebook, I felt compelled to document every live show with at least one snapshot; I still do that, to some extent, on Twitter. Now that I’m blogging again, I do it for…

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True Sons Of Chiptune

Originally posted on Every Dragging Handclap:

At 9:00 last night I was eating a sandwich on the sidewalk parklet outside DNA Lounge when DH texted me: “Dude come up here you are missing something weird.”

Coming from DH, that meant something.

The “something weird” was the last entrant in the open mic portion of the 8BitSF evening. A weathered Tina Yothers meets Michael McKean from Spinal Tap in a flowy pirate shirt dropping a David Byrne staccato over aggressive video game beats. Not just weird, but also awesome.

Glad I swallowed my sandwich in two bites and ran upstairs to see the tail end of this guy’s set, but I was also happily marveling at the crowd assembling street level for the show in the main auditorium.

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