We Know Chinos!

Chinos. Khakis. What's the difference, or is there? Stores tend to use the terms interchangeably. I've asked around, and some say it's whether the front is pleated or flat, but I've seen contradictions to both claims. So I took to the Internet -- you know, the "Information Superhighway". (It has stuff other than porn and pop-up banners, you know.)

nice pantsMost of the answers I found described the difference between them as being in the style of them, or based on the look or fit. Even AskMen has definitions in their Buying Pants 101 (and follow-up article Part II).

But at the core of the khaki/chino debate are those that tell you "khaki" is derived from the Hindu word for "dust colour", while "chino" is really the cotton twill weave used. Khakis remain the colour of choice for chinos, due to military surplus reasons.

That seems to be the definition that makes the best distinction and makes the most sense to me: chino is the style, khaki is the colour. Given that, what do you call them normally?

How Many Ways ...

pound itHere's a little news about some court action. So, how many puns can we make out of it? A friend and I came up with a few.

Yeesh, think he's "doing justice"?
"Here comes the judge!"
Talk about "pounding the gavel".

Now you.

Dream A Little Dream For Me

I was wondering what to write about this morning, but it was quickly decided for me. I have a question.

What does it mean if your friend dreams that you proposed to your ex-girlfriend with an engagement ring rivaling that of J Lo?

Uh, it's a hypothetical question. Yeah.

Lingering Feelings

It's funny how you think you're past something, and one conversation pulls you right back in. How you think you've got all your emotions squared away, your heart in check, and one brush brings it all back into chaos. It's funny when you thought all those feelings were packed away, but it suddenly becomes clear that it's all still there every time I talk to hEr or see hEr screenname online. Can't help it.

Say It Again, Sam, But Not Too Much

Ever notice that, when you say a word enough times, carefully listening to each syllable, eventually it starts to sound weird? Like the word suddenly sounds strange and ... not right anymore. Even if it is.

Say it with me.

I notice the same thing when I type a word, or stare at it for a while.


I wonder if there's a pattern with what kind of word it is. Hmmm. What words have you noticed will do this?

Pinching a Small Fortune

Every morning, I hold the fate of nearly $14,000 in my hand. More accurately, I pinch it. Between my thumb and forefinger. Well, sometimes, because sometimes I grasp it loosely in my whole hand, just to feel that it's there.

And every morning, I get to choose what to do with it. I mean, it's like standing at the craps table with a bunch of chips. Bet it all? Or just hold out and wait it out?

And so it is with the small fortune. Funny, that I don't even act like there's that much at stake, but I get to decide. It rests on me.

I can either keep it the way it is, or I can drive it into oncoming traffic.

A Jab at the Ribs

I had been thinking about how to get my BBQ ribs to taste better, and decided to apply some tenderizing concepts to it this weekend.

and everybody's favourite ... baby back ribs!You see, acid and alcohol tenderize meats more quickly, and help the marinade flavours sink into the meat. (This is clear from the Korean bulgogi recipes that use kiwi in the marinade, and from ribs in beer, or from the Montreal corned beef marinaded in coke.)

I bought that huge pack of pork spareribs from Costco (the baby back ribs are twice the price, but not twice as good) and gave my new idea a try. Here's what I did, and they turned out yummy!

1. Trim the ribs and score the fatty underside. This lets the flavour into the meat while marinading, and lets the fat get out while you're grilling. Don't cut off all the fat -- it's holding that meat together so it doesn't just fall apart!
2. Marinate the ribs in beer and Coke -- 2 bottles and 1 can of Classic, respectively -- for 2+ hours. Top it off with water to make sure the ribs are covered. I stuck it in the fridge for that time.
3. Gently boil the ribs in that same marinade, and simmer for another 2+ hours. If your water is boiling too hard, the temperature is way too high, and your ribs will dry out.
4. Prep your smoking woodchips now (in the tinfoil pouch) and get your grill going.
5. Place the ribs on the grill, and cook over the lowest possible heat (lid down) for 45 minutes. We're trying to get as much of the smokey flavour as possible, without charring the ribs. (My grill doesn't do this very well, unfortunately.)
the secret's in the sauce!6. Brush the BBQ sauce over the ribs, both sides, and brush liberally. I used Cattlemen's BBQ sauce (hickory flavoured), and don't worry about it being too tangy; BBQ sauce tastes different after they have cooked onto the ribs. (I think they caramelize, like the marinade Coke.)
7. Turn up the heat to get the broiled outsides; you'll know when the fat is sizzling on the ribs already. My Weber Q does this nicely around medium heat.
8. Flip them over again, and brush the sauce again. You want to have done this twice on each side. Don't let the outsides get too crispy, because they'll be impossible to cut (when the insides are fall-off-the-bone tender).
9. Serve with a side of BBQ sauce, and enjoy!

Mmm ... let me know if you have any secret techniques too!

If I Were a Cocktail or an Acronym ...

The Personality Cocktail (from Go-Quiz.com) shows us how to make a Ben:

3 parts mercy
3 parts self-sufficiency
3 parts instinct

Method: Add to a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously.
Add emotion to taste! Do not overindulge!

And they also generated my Name Acronym (which is little more than a group of adjectives supposedly describing me):


Have fun!

Let Others Decide

man, i miss this channelCBC's doing a "Screw The Vote" campaign, and from what I've seen, it's hilarious. Along the same vein as Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans". It's airing on (Thursday) June 17, at 1130pm on CBC TV! Wish I could watch it.

"Screw the Vote ... let others decide your future!"

Swish, Swish, Swish.

Remember back in the day, when they used to give you fluoride pills at school? They were those little pink pills handed out every morning to all the students.

The teacher would give the command, and we'd reluctantly pop them in our mouths. The pill designers knew that children like bubblegum or some fruity flavour, because they sure packed all that taste into this tiny little pill. I mean, it was a tart flavour bomb, that thing. Upon contact with saliva, it would coat tangy pink slime all over your mouth.

Your first instinct was to gag and spit it out, painting your desk and papers in hot fuschia; your second was to yell explicatives at the teacher and storm out. Neither ever happened, of course. Instead, you swished it around your teeth, the classroom echoing with nasty squelching sounds. All eyes intently on the teacher, who stared at his wrist (while secretly laughing at our misery).

Swish, swish, swish. "Today's thirty seconds sure seems longer than yesterday's."

"Hmm ... maybe he mis-timed us." And about now, you begin to experiment with swishing rhythms. Swish-swish, swish. When you've mastered the mouthful melody, you graduate yourself to investigating different types of squelching noises. Swish-swish, squelch, swish-squelch.

Any time now. Swish, squelch-squelch-squelch.

Finally, "Okay, go spit." Even before he finished that sentence, 25 kids bolted for the bathrooms to spit out the hell-in-a-pill torture. Around then, I wished I had a consent form from my parents exempting me from this.

(Funny that these are the memories that occupy the limited space in my head. You'd think I'd use my memory for more important things.)

Hey, Moron! You Can't Stop There!

Costco shopper traffic makes me sick. And Chinatown traffic makes me sick too. It never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate (and just plain stupid) some people can be. Some can't control their cars properly; others can barely handle their carts. All of them, somehow, end up in front of me.

Talking to a Hummer

People eat while they talk, and talk while they eat. And as long as they don't play seafood (#13), that's just fine with me. Common courtesy is still to keep your mouth closed when you eat, of course, but I guess people aren't content with just eating without talking.

They have to talk. You see, it's really important that you know right this instant, and it can't wait until the current mouthful of food is properly chewed and swallowed. So what do they do?

"Mmm-mmmm mmmm mmmm-mm hmmm-hmm-hmmmm."

"Oh, I see. Uh-huh? You don't say!" As if, with a good grasp of the language, I should be able to deduce a full English sentence based solely on the intonation you're using.

I used to guess at it, whereby they would nod or shake their head. Or they would hum the same thing louder and slower (and somewhat more frustratedly). "Ah, thanks, now it's clear." Heck, I'm not deaf, and I'm not stupid -- I just don't understand your humming.

This quickly grew old for me, and I figured I would wait until they were ready to communicate intelligently: I'd simply stare that them blankly. But after a while, I found ways to have even more fun with it.

"Jab your butt with a plastic fork?"
"You like meat that's twelve days old?"

Somehow, only I seemed to think it was funny. Only I would have the gall to play around with this urgent message they were trying to get across! Of course, I still don't understand why they can't just chew, swallow, then talk.

The Life of the Boss

It's 10:46 am. Do you know where your CEO is?

Hey, No Fare!

We all know there are sneaky police cars driving around, pretending very hard to look like normal vehicles. Ghost cars. It's sort of a "hidden camera" way of watching the masses when they don't think they're being watched. (And that's a silly thing to think anyhow, because we all know we're always being watched, everywhere.)

On several occasions in various discussions, people seem to think this is an acceptable method of surveillance. But I can suggest a better way for cops to watch us, by having police cars masquerading as taxi cabs.

But why not?

5-0! 5-0!I mean, most taxis and police cruisers are the same models: Ford Crown Victoria or Chevrolet Caprice or the like. Barely anyone else really drives these beasts except those two professions. And they both have those huge search light things in the front A pillars, for finding addresses or criminals, respectively. There is typically more than one person riding in either of them, and sometimes one person is in the back. There is often a divider between the front and rear seats -- either a cage or plexiglass or something like that. And both types have light fixtures on the TOP of cars, as well as identifying vehicle numbers along the sides or back. Amazing similarities, I'd say.

So it's an obvious match, right? Perfect as a disguise, really. But without fail, the response to my idea is negative.

It's too sneaky.
It's underhanded.
They're pretending to be something they're not.
That's not fair.

And?? That's exactly what ghost cars are. I guess I don't understand why it's okay for a cop car to be disguised as a normal car (which they aren't) but not as a taxicab (which they're also not).


Dammit, in my haste to get to work this morning, I forgot to shave. I don't like feeling the roughness when I brush my hand across my skin, and get that scratchy sound back. Plus, the stubble is so unsightly. I hate it when my legs are all hairy.


So ... how's your day turning out? Do tell, I'm listening.

Do You Believe in Magic ...

... in a young girl's heart?

We met that afternoon and spent the day at the lake together. It was a friend's BBQ, but I paid no attention to just about anyone else from the moment we started talking. It was just us; nothing else existed.

Do you believe in love at first sight? I didn't until that day, when I lived it. Memorial Day, 2002.