Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Ultimate Cookie

One of my husband's relatives makes The Best Cookie In The World.

The Cookie is the Ultimate Good. They are so absolutely amazingly great, so scrumptiously perfect, I've witnessed people debasing themselves to get more. Once, another relative stole them from a wedding we attended - he started stuffing them into his pockets. The mother-of-the-bride (who is the Originator of these heavenly confections) complained to us, as did almost every other person in attendance. People were willing to come to blows over these cookies.

I kept a low profile because he shared his stash with me.

Those cookies are the nearest thing to heroin. Or crack. Or meth. Once you've had one, you're hooked. The mere mention of the word 'cookie' sends me into withdrawals.

Allegedly, she shared this recipe with other family members. Don't you believe it. In spite of many attempts at baking The Best Cookie, no one has ever produced as fine and luscious a treat as the Originator - I've concluded she's left something out of the recipe. And who can blame her - It would be like the inventor of cold fusion giving away the patent.

I've been so frustrated by The Best Cookie In The World recipe, I submitted the concept of a falsified recipe to the Verbotomy people.

While we were in Boston this summer, we heard of a bakery in Little Italy section of town - we scurried there in hopes of finding a reasonable facsimile.

Nothin. Just some cheap imitations posing as The Cookie. Heartbreak, again.

Somehow, some day, somewhere!

George Carlin - Saving the Planet



I think the folks in Manhattan Beach missed this video by Mr. Carlin. (Be aware there's some powerful expletives thrown around, which may be inappropriate for the younguns.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Unclaimed Moola

This is another site I check out from time to time - it's the Unclaimed Property site at the California State Controller's Office. You simply do a search of your own name, or anyone else you know, and the databank checks to see if you have any money or property that you may have forgotten about - this includes insurance refunds, paychecks, forgotten safety deposit boxes, or even real property.

I also check out my family's names and friends - I found a lost account for my dad dating back to the 1940s, and a forgotten paycheck for a friend.

It's fun, it's free, and requires just a little paperwork for whomever wants to make a claim. To search other states, you can try this link.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Credit, check!

Every year I get my credit file disclosure over the internet for free. Over the last several years, I've battled an identity thief who had opened up several business phone lines using my home phone number. I've spent several hours just straightening out that issue with the phone company and the reporting agencies. The thief used alternate addresses which were listed on my credit report as mine. In comparison to some horror stories I've heard, it's pretty small potatoes, but annoying anyway.

This year has been the first year in many that there have been no issues whatsoever - no inaccuracies, no wrong information, and NO THEFT.

I use annualcreditreport.com to get my free credit disclosures/reports. This is a service started by Transunion, Experian and Equifax. There are dozens of other sites claiming to be free, but this site is really the only legitimate one that is authorized by the Federal Trade Commission - others will tack on a fee if you agree to a free report.

Annualcreditreport.com is an easy, safe conduit to get through to each reporting agency. Although each separate company may try to get you to purchase extra features, you can easily get what you want without paying a dime. If you were to try to go through each of those companies separately, you'll spend a whole lotta time wading though their sites, trying to locate the FREE report. If you fear doing something like this online, you can call and order a report through the mail, and this service is also free.

In a few months, my husband will request a set for himself, so we actually get two free sets of reports every year.

If you've never done this, I highly recommend it - you'd be surprised to find how many inaccuracies can turn up on your credit report.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Childhood Cliches

I find find the old childhood cliches don't work for me anymore. "You'll poke your eye out" and "your face will stick like that" don't cut it - the kids are simply not doing anything dangerous enough to bother with ocular warnings, and they have access to the internet and know better. Old standbys like "Get off the phone, someone might be trying to call" have lost their relevance completely.

Here's a list of some of the old - my parents used them, so I know they are authentic. The new are the one's I currently use.

Old: "Those comic books are going to rot your brain. Why don't you read some real books?"
New: "Those video games are going to rot your brain. Why don't you read some comic books?"

Old: "Never play with matches again!"
New: "Never put a Mentos in my Diet Pepsi again!"

Old: "Why don't you ever empty the trash?"
New: "Why don't you ever clear the cache/trash/history/cookies?"

Old: "Eat everything on that plate - people are starving to death in China."
New: "Eat everything on that plate, and you're going to look like every other fat American."

Old: "Too much sugar is bad for you."
New: "Too much refined carbs/fat/salt/chemicals/preservatives/colorants/sugar are bad for you."

Old: "Who is Ernest Borgnine? He starred in McHale's Navy, Poseidon Adventure, and Marty."
New: "Who is Ernest Borgnine? He's Mermaid Man's voice." (I know this isn't really a cliche, but I answer questions like this all the time.)

Old: "No, Aunt Jemima and Betty Crocker are not real people."
New: "Yes, Paul Newman is a real person. He's an actor. No, the man on the rice box is NOT Morgan Freeman."

Old: "If you don't do what I ask, you'll be grounded for a month."
New: "If you don't do what I ask, you'll be playing outside for a month."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Onolicious Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi is a family favorite. It's easy to make - you can even use the Spam can if you can't find a musubi maker at your local Japanese market; however, you have to remove the bottom from the can, which ain't easy.

My son would eat these things daily if I let him. They're great at picnics and for lunch boxes because they keep well and they're good clean finger food.

1. The furikake is optional - kids sometimes don't like it. You can also just sprinkle it between the spam and the rice.
2. You can add sushi no ko to the rice, which is the powdered vinegar often used with sushi rice. I don't do this, but I might try it sometime.
3. Some people add a little shoyu and sugar to the spam while it's cooking to add a little carmelized sweetness.
4. Not all nori (seaweed) is created equal - some of the cheap stuff is very tough and hard to bite through. Stick with the good quality Japanese stuff.
5. If you refrigerate the musubis, you'll have to nuke it for a half a minute to soften the rice. Typically, it's made to eat the same day, and of course, it's usually so popular, there are no leftovers.

Still Breathing

Has it been over FOUR MONTHS since my last post?

What a lazy good-for-nothing I am. That is about to change - back-to-school is just around the corner! Free at last, free at last!

I have enough backlogged fodder for at least a couple of posts. And with the kidlets gone, I'll have plenty of time on my hands to click away at my keyboard.

Keep posted.