Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Great Canned Ham Experiment Of 2011

A couple months ago I saw some Spam on sale and, having not eaten any since I was a child, decided I'd try some to see if it was as bad as I remembered.  I decided to prepare it by slicing it up and pan frying it.  Over the course of 3 days I ate it for breakfast with eggs and toast.  I found it to be too salty for my taste and a little mushier than I would have liked.  After the first day, I attempted to rectify this by frying it longer, but this seemed to only crisp up the outside while it was still mushy in the center.  Thinner slices failed to rectify the situation.  Overall it was edible, but I wouldn't call it good.  Not good enough for me to buy again in the following decade.

Having successfully survived phase one of the experiment, I moved on to Dak canned ham.  Thinking this was just straight ham with no seasonings or potential mystery ingredients, I assumed this would be a step up in flavor and quality.  This assumption was incorrect.  I prepared it the same as I had the Spam.  I don't really know how to describe the flavor other than surprisingly un-hamlike.  An hour or so after my first helping, I grew ill and threw up all of the ham I'd eaten.  As you may have inferred from the use of the phrase 'first helping' in the preceding sentence, this intrepid experimenter was undeterred by the possible contraction of trichinosis.  Allowing myself a day to recover, I indeed proceeded to round two.  This was more successful in the fact that it didn't make me vomit, however it was still not good by any conventional use of the term.  I still had half a can of ham left after two breakfasts but couldn't bring myself to eat any more and tossed the remainder. 

Following a few week hiatus, the experiment resumed with Deviled Ham.  To the best of my knowledge, I've never had deviled ham before and didn't really know what to expect.  I've had deviled eggs, which are more or less eggs with mustard, so I didn't know if this was just ham with mustard. 

Cat food?
 The first thing I noticed was that it, had I not seen the label on the can, I would have assumed it was cat food.  Based on the consistency, I clearly couldn't prepare it the same as the previous experiments so I decided to spread it on some toast.  While this was hands down the best flavor and the least likely to be regurgitated, it turns out the devil likes his ham really salty.  Saltier than I typically prefer.  I think that perhaps made into a sandwich with some lettuce and maybe relish to cut the saltiness it might be quite good, but at this time I'm no longer interested in continuing the experiment.  I think I might just be better off sticking to some sliced deli ham to fulfill my ham needs.  I don't know if there are other variations on canned ham that I'm unfamiliar with, but if there are I may or may not give them a try when I find them. 

Monday, June 20, 2011


As you may or may not already know, after a 5 year hiatus Weird Al Yankovic has a new album out titled Alpacolypse.  You can listen to it in its entirety here.  For the most part it's pretty disappointing, possibly more an indictment on the state of pop music today than on Al, but there were a couple gems. 

The second track on the album - CNR - is a parody of the White Stripes and an ode to Charles Nelson Riley.  The video was created by Jib Jab and is a masterpiece.  Note the head of Chuck Norris on his trophy wall at about :50.  This is now my favorite video.

The other one I really enjoyed was Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me.  Believe me, there are some people that I need to start replying to their emails with a link to this:

Thursday, June 16, 2011


So this morning I was stuck behind a guy walking down the sidewalk that I couldn’t get around.  It was a narrow section of sidewalk and he and his buddy were taking up all of it.  I was very tempted to say, “get the f*#& out of the way please” feeling like adding please on the end made it polite.  So if I add the word please to the end of any request, does that automatically make it polite, in the same way that prefacing any statement with, “with all due respect” makes it socially acceptable no matter how insulting the following statement might be?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ode To The Stock Market

I'm officially nominating this the official song of the New York Stock Exchange.

My big question though, is this the beginning of the double dip recession that's been predicted by some or a temporary down turn?  Historically speaking a June lull is not uncommon for the Dow, is that what's going on now?  I've read analysis suggesting that we're in for another long term bear market and others that suggest we'll be back to a bull market by year end.  I really don't know what to believe. 

On the one hand my gut tells me that this is a short term correction since there are not apparent indicators driving the market down.  Unemployment hasn't spiked in recent months.  Real estate is still struggling but hasn't dropped significantly.  Mortgage rates are low so real estate might even level off.  Speaking of which, how much percentage would I need to save in order to make refinancing worthwhile?  Retail sales are up a little.  I feel like this is a buyers market.

On the other hand, some of the crazy IPOs recently - see Linked In (LNKD) and Zipcar (ZIP) - are somewhat reminiscent of the tech bubble in the late 90s.  The market seems far too speculative - investors seem to be ignoring fundamentals and gambling rather than investing.  That makes me a little skittish.  Is this behavior going to fuel another crash? 

I just don't know which way this is going to go, but will take the advice of Warren Buffet who said, "I am a huge bull on this country. We will not have a double-dip recession at all. I see our businesses coming back almost across the board."  He also said, "we simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." Is it time to be greedy?  And even though he said, "beware of geeks bearing formulas" I don't think that applies here.  It is entertaining though.