Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
by Louis Smeedly
We wanted to take five and wish you all happy trick or treating a very scary Halloween.
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014
by Ned Wazowski
Everything comes to a halt for a TV marathon
When I was a kid TV marathons were an annual event. Every year some TV station would show a day’s worth of Elvis movies on his birthday, monster movies in the lead up to Halloween, and all the Rankin and Bass claymation Christmas specials seemed to run in a continuous loop throughout the holiday season. Needless to say, my TV calendar was full the whole year long.
However, my favorite TV marathon was the weekend of Spaceman Jax and the Galactic Adventures cartoons that the local station showed late in the summer. Looking back, I don’t know if they showed them in order or even if they showed all of the episodes, but I always felt that if you missed one you would “interrupt the flow” and miss out on something. So to prepare, I made snacks in advance and diligently did all of my chores ahead of time to be sure that I’d never have to leave the couch. (My parents, I should say, were very understanding and maybe just the tiniest bit glad to get me out of their hair for a weekend.)
We didn’t call it binge-watching back then, maybe because we felt it was beyond our control – and when you’re rushing to take a shower in the time it takes for a commercial break, you really do feel at the mercy of someone else. But I suppose the TV marathon of the past is the same today. It might not seem like such an impossibly big event today, since watching endless episodes back-to-back is so much easier to do, with online streaming on demand and the ability to press pause. Is binge-watching today as much fun as the TV marathons I enjoyed as a kid? If I can still spend a weekend on the couch watching Spaceman Jax cartoons, I guess I don’t care what you call it.
Tuesday, Sep 09, 2014
by Ned Wazowski
When you’re ready to grab life by the handle.
I’m not really sure why so many treats we enjoy in the summer are so greasy – hamburgers on the grill, funnel cake, chili cheese fries at the ballgame. You’d think that with the hot temperatures summer days can bring, we’d want something a little easier on our stomachs. But, I guess the heart wants what it wants. And my heart (or stomach, I guess) wants corn dogs in the summer.
A corn dog is simple enough: a hot dog, dipped in cornmeal batter and deep-fried on a stick. But tracing the history of this summertime treat is a lot more complicated. At least twenty people across the US are credited with inventing the corn dog. As early as 1910 you could buy a Krusty Korn Sausage Pan for baking your own corn dogs at home. Back then it was served without a stick and was cut into slices. In 1946, Hot Dog on a Stick opened at Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, and by the 1950s and 1960s corn dogs were everywhere.
With their handy stick, corn dogs are perfect for summer venues like county or state fairs, amusement parks or boardwalks – anyplace where you might want a snack while you stroll around. So naturally, corn dogs come to mind whenever I think of summer vacation. Summer just seems to be a time when you want to relax the rules and take things a little easier. Going barefoot, sleeping under the stars, eating out on a picnic blanket instead of at the table. And like an ice cream cone, corn dogs release you from the necessity of a plate and allow for more freedom with your meals.
Some people eat them with ketchup, some with mustard, and some with both. The Arizona Diamondbacks serve a $25 version at their stadiums that’s a foot long and stuffed with bacon and cheese. However you like it, a corn dog is one snack that’s really got a handle on summer.