November 24, 2008

Teenage Mutant Ninja Failure






I spotted this ebay auction last night while searching for a new winter hat. Something tells me this isn't an official Warner Brothers release. I myself have an obsession with symmetry, but that doesn't give me the right to tell 4 Teenage Mutant Turtles with lethal weapons that they are hereby relieved of their Ninja duties. I was tempted to bid anyway (they're only asking $0.99) thinking it may be a mistake and a future collector's item, but I'm quite sure it's a homemade and therefore, completely worthless.

On the other hand, it's possible that this was a hat abandoned by a disgruntled employee of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey Inc. at the doorstep of Warner Brothers Studios, and just like Splinter adopted the 4 young Turtles, kshanks18 took the beanie in as his own and prepared it for the world. Kshanks18, not trained in the ways of Ninjitsu, still tried to be a good sensei and gave the cap a well-rounded education in the Martial Arts. Thus were born, the Teenage Mutant Martial-Art Turtles.

Ultimately, I decided to buy a different hat, so kshanks18 will not get to experience what I consider the Coolest Ebay Feedback In The History of Ebay Feedback That Gets Fed Back Via Ebay Feeback:
  • Seller must be a Wizard. Transaction was magical. A+++ x A++++++ = A++++++++++++
  • Supermegaultrafast. I would give you 18 hundred thousand stars if I could
  • Item came awesomely fast in awesomely good condition. A++++++++++wesome Ebayer.
  • The superproduct arrived superfast. Eraserhead21 is a super-ebayer. Superduper!!
  • Thanks for bundling this set together. I love you.
  • CD arrived quickly and in perfect condition. you rock the casbah.
  • Good price and good shipping time! good! happy! buy! buy! buy!
  • Fantastic transaction. A Plus Times Infinity. Exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Received DVD very very very very very very very very very very very very quickly
I CAN'T WAIT TO BUY MORE SHIT!!!!!!!!++++++++++++++++!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until then, watch this TMNT animation. It gets really weird towards the end.

November 20, 2008

I don't know

Sorry I've been MIA. I had every intention to post more frequently after last week's flurry, but then I got all tied up with my hotsaucing and even more stress inducing, my apartment situation. Neither war is over yet. I will soldier on.

Speaking of the url, I got a personal email from the founder of Urban Dictionary after my latest bitchfest. It came just a few hours after the post and was, to my surprise, very calm. I usually take things very personal on the internet (insert cliche Special Olympics jpg) and probably would've flipped out if I read somewhere that "Beauty and the RoBeast is really going downhill." In fact, I'm getting fired up just seeing that sentence typed out.

Instead, he simply apologized for how long my submission took to be processed by editors (apparently there really is a backlog), and then asked me why I thought the site was going downhill. I wrote a long response email issuing my constructive criticism and thanked him for his diligence.

And then... he made "bagside" the Urban Dictionary Word of the Day on November 15th. I had complained about the quality of the Word of the Day in the letter, so I don't know if he did this to appease me, or just to stick me out there with the wolves (aka whiners like me). Either way, I'm pleased to say that I've got more Thumbs Up than Thumbs Down. So far.

Dr. Pepper sent me a response too. First an automated one saying they'd respond to my email in 72 hours, then a more human, but still 99% automated (much like Darth Vader) email stating this:

Thank you for contacting us about Dr Pepper. We do apologize for the problem you experienced with our packaging.

We take great pride in producing high quality products and any experience to the contrary is cause for concern. Please be assured that high quality control standards and precautionary procedures are observed throughout the production of our products.

To ensure that appropriate action is taken to prevent future incidents such as yours, we have forwarded your comments to our quality assurance team for investigation.

We hope you continue to purchase and enjoy Dr Pepper products.

Consumer Relations

I think it's amazing that Dr. Pepper has someone named Consumer Relations working in their Consumer Relations department. It's truly a match made in heaven. I doubt the quality assurance team will take my letter seriously, unfortunately, because there really is a problem with Dr. Pepper's plastic six-pack rings.

Now onto the most important company in the world, one that I constantly bitch about but refuses to make amends. I've complained a million times about Google's Blogger but they have yet to stumble upon my blog and respond to my constructive criticism, like Urban Dictionary. I did formally submit issues I discovered while using the beta version of Google Chrome (is it out of beta yet?) but received no response addressing my issues. I switched back to Mozilla's Firefox as a result.

I may finally need to compose a letter to the Google Blogger folks in order to get their attention, since I've been disinvited from their holiday party this year. I know, I know, it's a free service and I shouldn't cry about it. I hear it used to be worse. And what I mean by that is, when you Google "Blogger Sucks," a number of the complaints are from 2005.

Here, I used Google's search engine to rat out on itself:

(search term, using quotes) -- (number of results)
"Blogger Sucks" -- 43,500
"Wordpress Sucks" -- 8,310
"Myspace Blogs Suck" + "Myspace Blog Sucks" + "Myspace's Blog Sucks" + "Myspace's Blog Blows Dog Shit" -- 1,352
"Livejournal Sucks" - 1,160

Highly scientific, I know. In fact, just by typing these search terms and publishing this blog, I've already skewed the results. Yeah, yeah, it's possible that the number of people using Blogger is 5 times as many people using Wordpress, so the resulting complaints may be accurately proportional. I don't care. These are statistics, and I'm manipulate them anyway I want.

"Dr. Pepper's Plastic Six-Pack Rings Suck" -- 0 ???

Well, not for long, bitches.

November 13, 2008


While in Seattle last week, I dragged the RoBeastress out to see one of the awesomest fucking drummers, Zach Hill, perform a solo set. It was a 35-minute piece called "Necromancer" from his debut solo album Astrological Straits, which came out over the summer on Ipecac Records. The "Necromancer" track is a nonstop flurry of drumming. Really difficult to digest, but amazing to see in action. I don't know how he can it keep up for that long (arm Viagra, I presume), let alone remember all the parts and stay basically in synch with the backing avant garde piano track. Here's a clip that someone recorded from the Denver stop on Zach's Necromancer tour:

Now multiply that by three, and there's the set. I just got into Zach's former band Hella earlier this year, and they've quickly become one of my favorites now.

The point here is not just for me to pimp out Zach Hill. I was thinking while at the show, "Holy shit, I've really seen so many of the best drummers in the world." The Rock World at least. Here's a list of Rad Drummers I've gotten to see perform live (that I can think of right now at least):

Damon Che - Don Caballero
Brann Dailor - Mastodon
Chris Penne - formerly of The Dillinger Escape Plan
Danny Carey - Tool
Dale Crover - Melvins
John Stanier - Tomahawk, Battles (Never saw him with Helmet)
Dave Grohl - Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters (Never saw him with Nirvana)
Matt Cameron - Pearl Jam (Never saw him with Soundgarden)
Mike "Puffy" Bordin - Ozzy Osbourne (Never saw him with Faith No More)
Dave Lombardo - Fantomas (Never saw him with Slayer)
Bill Ward - Black Sabbath
Janet Weiss - Sleater-Kinney
Vinnie Paul - Pantera
Joey Jordison - Slipknot
John Freese - A Perfect Circle
Abe Cunningham - Deftones

Oh, and how could I forget... Phil Collins.

So who is still alive that I need to see? Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart, Lars Ulrich? Any other recommendations, dear readers?

November 12, 2008

More Fights!

RoBeast vs. Blogger
I switched to Blogger because it was popular and everybody was doing it. It was also convenient because I was slowly moving all of my services over to Google anyway, and I would be able to just log myself in once while having continued access to Gmail, Picasa, Calendar, Blogger, etc. Blogging on Myspace was horrible and on Facebook, it's still non-existent. Here, it's pretty straightforward, but I still find plenty to bitch about.

Right now, I'd like to (possibly again) complain about the fact that I can't respond to individual blog comments. Four or five people responded to yesterday's entry, but I can't acknowledge their contributions without either commenting myself four of five times and hope that they keep desperately refreshing the talkback page (which no one should be expected to do) or start a whole new entry to respond. That's what I've chosen to do, but that's flawed for a few reasons. First, once I hit "publish post," the case is closed. If someone else responds to the last entry, then it's too late. I won't be editing this entry to reflect every new fucking comment that comes my way because then it gets back to the Desperate Refresh Theory. Also, I would never get to any actual content because I would spend the whole time going back and forth with comments. Not that we even get that many comments, but thanks to the flawed comment system, people are discouraged from commenting in the first place because they know a meaningful dialogue will not occur. And I'm not going to track down everyone's email address or blog and write back that way.


RoBeast vs. Urban Dictionary
I submitted a word to Urban Dictionary on 8/29, and it was finally published/accepted on 10/18. What's the hold up all of the sudden? Am I to believe that the site is so popular now that the "editors" are deliberating on words for two months? Or are they just oversaturated with bullshit "words" that Teen Girl Squads and Juggalos keep submitting? I've mentioned before that the site has been going downhill for a while. Is it so hard to just require people to register in order to submit new words? You already need to be registered to edit anyway.

Or do they just think my word sucks? If so, then editors should be required to reject words and specify a reason. I know it doesn't suck though. It's not a 5-star, but then neither am I. Anyway, here's bagside.

RoBeast vs. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Hello, I stock my company's cooler several times a week with quite a number of your products. I noticed several months ago that the packaging quality of a specific brand has gone downhill. We order dozens of cases of Snapple bottles, and cans of RC Cola, Diet Rite, 7-Up Diet 7-Up, and Dr. Pepper. It's been in my experience that the six packs of Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper become unhinged much easier than your other line's soda cans. I suppose this would be considered a convenience if I were just dealing with a six pack in my fridge at home and I was in a hurry to get a can to drink, but I'm handling a large number of six-packs every day, and I'd really prefer consistent strength and flexibility over speed. I performed a very unscientific test earlier today make sure there was any basis for my informing you of this problem. I handled and shook 6-packs of all your different brands with different degrees of roughness and sure enough, the Dr. Pepper packs fell apart every time. This was especially evident if I removed one can from the pack, as if to simulate loading a cooler--another one would almost immediately fall out of the plastic holder. The other brands did not have the same result. I don't quite understand the problem because the cans and plastic holders all seem to look the same to me across brands. Are Dr. Pepper cans somehow heavier or differently shaped? Is there a difference in the six-pack rings not visible to the naked eye? Are they packaged in different plants? Does the shrink wrap or lack thereof make a difference? I'm genuinely curious. It's not a serious issue for my company because we order so much (and give them away to our employees rather than sell the drinks), but it's very annoying on a personal level when the Dr. Pepper can inevitably slips away from my grasp, explodes on the floor, and covers me in sweet shrapnel. I urge you to look into this before more lives are lost. I mean, Dr. Pepper cans are spilled. Thanks for listening.

RoBeast vs. RoBeastress
No, I did not forget the clever addition to our argument from your Award Winning Mother™. I just felt it detracted from the story. But here it is anyway for loyal BaTR readers:

When the RoBeastress' father offered up Two and Pair to the argument, and we could not immediately distinguish a difference, I brought up that we had considered amending the postulate to "No two adjectives have exactly the same definition." The RoBeastress' Award Winning Mother™ immediately challenged the backpeddle: "How about Two-y and Pair-y?"

Hilarious, but we must move on.

RoBeast vs. RoBeastress II: Special Guest Referee General Dowd
Hmm... sauce... This opens up a whole different can of worm dip.

Sauce - 1. flavorful relish or dressing or topping served as an accompaniment to food.

First, I forgot about topping, so now I want to know what the difference between dressing and topping is.

Topping - 1. A sauce, frosting, or garnish for food.

Holy fuck, this just gets worse.

Frosting - 1.frosting a flavored sugar topping used to coat and decorate cakes

Ok, that's the end of the line for frosting, and it even came with a little picture of a cake.

Garnish - 1b. An embellishment added to a prepared food or drink for decoration or added flavor.

So a garnish is something that is not a required ingredient for the already prepared food. It may enhance the flavor, but it is distinguished as serving a decorative purpose. Frosting is a very specific garnish, requiring flavored sugar. Some may argue that frosting is a required ingredient for a cake, but they'd be wrong, motherfucker!

(By the way, the dictionary notes that frosting and icing are regional words meaning the same thing: "Regional Note: Although both frosting and icing are widespread, people in New England, the Upper Midwest, and the Western U.S. tend to put frosting on cake. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the Lower Midwest, and all of the South, the preferred term is icing. There is some overlap, especially in upstate New York, Michigan, and California, but the regions in which the two words predominate are surprisingly distinct. A few people in the South call it by a third name, filling, even when it goes on top." I have a few other things to talk about now...
  1. You would think that with the dictionary basically saying frosting and icing are the same word with only "regional use" as the difference, it would completely invalidate my whole argument that no two words are the same. The RoBeastress and I, for a reason I can't remember, decided early on to excuse "regional use" as a valid difference. It's like saying "dog" and "perro" are two words that mean the exact same thing. I believe we've agreed that our argument needs to stay within one lexicon.
  2. If you are from the South and you call a topping filling, what the fuck is wrong with you? Maybe in your belly it's filling, but as long as it remains atop the food, just choose a topping term, or secede from the Union already. Or subscribe to the RoBeastress' blog which also defies all logic by not existing.
  3. Frosting and icing are also widespread in the Dessert Regions of the US Southwest. Huh huh, get it?! Yeah, not funny.)
Ok, we're done with the Garnish Crime Family, I think. (Sounds like a joke, I know, but I spent the other morning studying the hierarchy of the Sopranos families, a completely fictional universe.) Let's get back to the topping and sauce hiearchy. I'm putting topping befittingly at the top of the chain. Sauce refers to something with a liquid component. Topping can contain either or both (Oh Beauty, we need Venn diagrams!).

(I just read on Wikipedia that sauce for a salad is called salad dressing. They also have separate sections for Salad Dressing and Garnish on the salad page. There are now more arguments:
  1. If Salad Dressing does not fall under the Garnish category (which correctly includes ingredients not required for a salad such as bacon bits, croutons, etc.) then does that mean Salad Dressing is in fact a requirement to call a dish a salad?
  2. If that's true then the RoBeastress broke two laws of physics: A. dipping a carrot into a dressing, and B. eating a "salad" without salad dressing. Double Jeopardy!
  3. And if that's the case, than I'm just as bad for calling it a "salad" myself. And even worse, I usually don't eat salad with dressing.
  4. This is Wikipedia though and should really be discredited as a source.
  5. I'm not italicizing anything for a while because this is starting to become real work, and I'm certainly not getting paid for this.)
I tend to treat salad dressing as a garnish, but if dressings are sauces, then here is the big classification question: Are sauces a necessary ingredient for a dish? If yes, then dressing falls safely under sauce. If no, then dressing and sauce are a garnish, just like frosting.

A minor problem here involves another type of dressing--stuffing (and we're back in italics again), and I mean both as nouns. I was thinking the root origins of dressing meant a protective coat, much like dressing a wound keeps the blood in, dressing your body keeps your junk in, and dressing a salad means keeping the, I don't know, I guess it doesn't mean that at all. Dressing a turkey means stuffing it (now I'm using verbs), where the turkey body is acting to protect the dressing/stuffing. And this is mostly solid matter as far as I'm concerned, which would make it not a sauce anymore. What is in dressing? I sort of want to eradicate the term dressing as a synonym for stuffing. Did someone in the fucking South popularize that too?

I'm going to back up a bit. A lot actually, because I know this is going too far. Most of my preconceived notions regarding what dressing is came from linking it to the definitions of dress that involve coating something, but I see that in the sense of a sauce, it does not necessarily mean that. Dip the Noun hearkens back to the definition of Dip the Verb. It can certainly be classified by its method of application. Dressing, I feel is so obviously the same, but I just can't find any evidence to back it up. The language world is so vague about dressing. Sauce can be defined with sensation (flavorful), consistency (liquid), and dimension (accompanying food), but I just can't get that out of Dressing. I feel like I'm in limbo.

Relish - 3. a. A spicy or savory condiment or appetizer, such as chutney or olives.

Condiment - A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, or spice, used to flavor or complement food.

I feel like I should put condiment atop the hierarchy now because it seems to encompass the universes of sensation and consistency. It neglects the dimension of topping though. And also, the fact that condiment is a compliment makes me think it's not a requirement, hence, a garnish when applied to a dish. So if a condiment is a garnish, and a relish is a condiment, and a sauce is a relish, and a topping is a sauce, and frosting is a topping, then ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE GARNISHES. What does that prove? Nothing! But now we know that Garnish tops the hierarchy.

Or does it?

Hey, let's see what Auguste Escoffier thinks!

In Le Guide culinaire,[3] Auguste Escoffier divides Seasoning and Condiments into the following groups:


  1. Saline seasoningsSalt, spiced salt, saltpeter.
  2. Acid seasoningsPlain vinegar, or same aromatized with tarragon; verjuice, lemon and orange juices.
  3. Hot seasoningsPeppercorns, ground or coarsely chopped pepper, or mignonette pepper; paprika, curry, cayenne, and mixed pepper spices.
  4. Saccharine seasonings—Sugar and honey.


  1. The pungentsOnions, shallots, garlic, chives, and horseradish.
  2. Hot condiments—Mustard, gherkins, capers, English sauces, such as Worcestershire, Harvey, ketchup, etc. and American sauces such as chili, Tabasco, A-1 Steak Sauce, etc.; the wines used in reductions and braisings; the finishing elements of sauces and soups.
  3. Fatty substances—Most animal fats, butter, vegetable greases (edible oils and margarine).
This is especially awesome because on my little chart that I've been attempting to draw to go along with this ridiculous conversation, I had divided Garnish into Condiments and Seasonings. Clearly, I was onto something, though I had no idea what. From there, I was attempting to classify Condiments into Sensation (sweet, savory, sour, salty) or Consistency (solid, liquid), but I just could not come up with something consistent (ironically?). Auguste apparently could not either, as he divided his into two completely different forms of Sensation (one scent and one taste) and one Category of Consistency on its own. His Seasonings category, in my opinion, is more clearly classified, but still we have that "hot" category I hadn't even considered (and usually don't consider when I order food). I feel that logically, I can still put Garnish at the top of the food chain (the food chain that is served with food, at least), though I have no idea what Auguste would think about that.

All right... so how do we apply my questions to Auguste's system? Sauce, we can agree, is a condiment. Sauces can be divided up into 4 categories according to 19th century chef Antonin Carême (Auguste would later further change the categories):
  • Tomato Sauce, Based on tomato thickeners used such as arrowroot, tomato puree, roux and slurries
  • Béchamel, based on milk, thickened with roux.
  • Espagnole, based on brown stock (usually veal), thickened with a dark roux.
  • Velouté, based on a white stock, thickened with roux.
Dips can fall under many of these different categories though. Soy sauce... hot condiment. Melted butter or Olive Oil... fatty substances. Fondue... Bechamel. Salad dressings seem to be able to fit in all over the map too. Does any of this prove anything? Christ, I don't even know anymore. It seems that these great chefs really had no interest in dividing things into Dimension like I do. They cared more about Sensation and Consistency. And as much as I would love to claim the Dictionary is on my team, it's just not. It defines Dip clearly, but not Dressing.

So for now, General Dowd wins. Sauce for all.

If I still have the energy, maybe I'll get into Brunch for ya tomorrow, Ken.

November 11, 2008

Dip vs. Dressing

The RoBeastress and I often have ridiculously passionate arguments about words. These heated discussions never really end, they just mount up and eventually include more people.

First there was the Itch vs. Scratch debate. I regularly use itch as a verb, which makes her head explode. She insists that one can Scratch an Itch, but not Itch an Itch. Most, but not all, dictionaries agree with her viewpoint. I have not yet conceded victory in this race.

Then there the pronunciation of Vaginal. No, I don't know why the word comes up in our conversations so frequently, but when it does, she naturally stresses the second syllable with a long I (və jīnəl). I am positive that it's the first syllable that requires the accent (vajə nəl) and I don't even have a vagina. Turns out that both are acceptable, so everyone wins, vaginally.

We had a long, bizarre brunchtime conversation a couple weekends ago where I posed the rhetorical question "Do any two words have exactly the same definition?"* I played devil's advocate and said no. She started coming up with words that challenged me to try and find the subtle differences in definition. Far & Distant stumped me. Infinite and Endless could be differentiated with help from my dictionary, which also pointed out that Boundless and Limitless are also not the same exact word. Her father offered up Two and Pair, but a few days later I found that Pair refers to two things that are similar while Two does not require that specification.

* Originally, the question was "Are there any two words that are truly synonymous?" but we learned that Synonym actually means similar, not same, so the question was rephrased. We also learned that we're fucking dorks.

Our longest standing battle is unequivocally Dip vs. Dressing. There has been no give on either side with this one. I maintain that the liquid that gets poured onto a bowl of salad is dressing, but if I were to take a part of that salad and put it into a bowl of that liquid instead, the liquid would then become dip. It is the method of application that dictates the word usage. To me, butter is fucking butter, but it could still be called a spread when it's dragged across a warm bagel, a spray when it's squirted onto corn, a dip when melted in a bowl for mussels to be dropped in. The RoBeastress posits that if the liquid is still the same combination of ingredients, then the words can be used interchangeably and indiscriminately. Clearly, I am stubborn and inconsistant at being a strict interpreters of the English language, but in this case she is standing firmly on the side of the Rebels.

Look at this defiance of all laws of physics and semantics:

Can you believe the nerve of her?! The cover clearly states "DRESSING - POUR IT ON" and she dares to dip her baby carrots in it. I did not take pictures of what happened to my dressing, but I can assure you, it was poured on top my salad and ingested properly, with zero Ranch left for my baby carrot ration. I am surprised she wasn't immediately dragged off the airplane by US Air Marshals and placed on the Do Not Fly List. TSA must be going soft.

All right, I know what you're saying... you have time to post pictures of your girlfriend eating carrots, but not the Halloween costume that we've been demanding to see for over a week. The truth is, I did upload all my Halloween and Vacation photos to my computer, but none of them contain a photo of me in costume. So if you want to complain, yell at the RoBeastress instead because she's got the photos. And while you've got her attention, tell her what you think a dip is.

Unless you're telling her the dip is me, smartypants.

November 7, 2008


I just realized that 90% of my outgoing messages have the subject title "Hey," "Yo," or my favorite, "Heyo."

That's really all I have to share today. The RoBeastress and I are on vacation in Seattle this week. Hopefully on Monday (our designated Day of Decompression), I'll be able to post the Halloween pictures as well as some inspired ruminations on rain, grunge, and volcanoes.

Maybe if I'm feeling antagonistic, I'll bring up some post-election thoughts about Ralph Nader and Fox Pussy News.