Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Small Diet



                Diets…yada, yada, yada.  Everyone knows one major factor in healthy caloric intake revolves around portion control; or lack thereof.

If you’re like me though, you eat everything that's placed on the plate in front of you ...something about “starving kids in Africa”.

The ultimate solution to portion control?  The Small Diet.

Anytime you have a choice in meal or drink size, simply choose the smallest available (including "kids" sizes).

Shoot, ordering a Tall in lieu of the larger sizes at Starbucks is equivalent to making a sizable contribution to your 401K!
Not only does this mitigate a sizable chunk of our unconscious over-indulgence on calories (we all know that's the truth), it’s the simplest diet of all time.  No formulas to remember or schedules to follow yada, yada; it’s a simple guiding framework to everything that enters your mouth!

Try it for a month and see what happens.

As with any other diet it’s not foolproof though of course.  You can portion control all you want, but if you don’t exhibit any discipline it’s pointless.  No, eating 3 small orders is not better then eating 1 extra large that has same cumulative calorie total.

Other ancillary benefits in addition to reduced caloric intake include:
  • Save some money
  • Smaller footprint
  •  “Still eat what you want” cliché applies :)


One positive here; you reduce the probability of experiencing a brain freeze!

7.5oz cans are all the rage now anyways

Plus the "stubby" 7.5oz cans are so cute looking

Who here afterwards was glad of the fact they got a large size Blizzard anyways?  Hands?  No one?  Yep.

Whoa...slow down cowboy!  You can STILL build your own Grand Slam.

Sweet tooth?  Take it Fun Size.

This baby choose the 22oz over the 16oz beer so what's the problem?  Babies are not smart.

You'd be surprised how much food comes with the "kids" meal at Chipotle.

Hey I love a Blizzard just as much as you...but the Mini saves me from myself.

I LOVE movie theater popcorn!  But when you have sizes like a "tub" that breaks the 3-digit ounce mark...you know it's time to downsize.
DO NOT read this unless you want to feel really guilty about yourself.

"Gourmet" doesn't make it any less salty and fatty.
 
They're so cute!

Requisite McDonald's gluttony picture

"Jr." is good...like Dale Earnhardt! 
I'll take one SMALL Frosty with that order too thank you very much!

Have you SEEN how big the "Little" burgers are still at Five Guys?!  Talk about false advertisement in reverse.

I know it's free, but should I still get the Large? Final answer Regis...NO.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Back to Firefox...and a Neat Trick

For reasons explained in this article (F**k It, I’m Going Back to Firefox), I’ve moved back to the Firefox for all my personal browsing needs.  Most notably, Chrome had become so bloated running on my machines (ala ‘iTunes’) that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  So far I’m glad I did as things seems to be running a lot faster/smoother and no more constant crashing of plug-ins.

                And though I’m sure Chrome and other browsers have a setting for this, I’m so glad Firefox makes it easy to configure plug-in usage.

                Though I’m not a crazy plug-in user (they have their place I know), I do use a couple; most notably Flash for things like YouTube and ESPN.com highlights.  The lame thing about Flash though is so many other things use it, most notably super annoying advertisements on pretty much every site out there.  Plus a lot of legit sites have “auto-play” set by default…so when you navigate to the site it starts to automatically load the flash player/video whether you want it to or not (I don’t).

                Thankfully Firefox has an easy configuration page for all the plug-ins you have installed on your browser.  Just select the Open Menu icon – Add-ons (Ctrl + Shift + A)
 .
  
 The program gives you the option to set each individual plugin to Never Activate, Always Activate (usually the default setting), and Ask to Activate.   Many of the plug-ins I just set to Never, but there are a few, like Flash, that I do use on occasion but that I don’t want automatically loading everytime.  Set to Ask to Activate and voila!, annoying Flash-based ads and auto play videos are gone forever!
 .

Forever ever you may be asking?  Well of course the browser is smart enough to give the option to continue to block plug-ins, allow to play once, or allow always for a particular site (like YouTube of course).

Results:

No more auto-running shenanigans!
Music to my eyes!
Beautiful nothingness

Will this give meaning and purpose to your life?  No.  But it may make your everyday a little less stressful :)



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Movie Trailer Thursday

EbbWorld’s Movie Trailer Thursday – The latest and greatest movie trailers on the Web.

Since last MTT was a bit girly, this week’s lot is for the boys everyone.  2015 is looking to be the new 1983 in cinema! :)

Star Wars (VII): The Force Awakens
                (For those that have been living under a rock the past 2 weeks and haven't watched it 10 times already)

What can you say?  Just plain ol’ Star Wars awesomeness that will allow us to forget that the prequels were ever made.  I mean when the Millennium Falcon shows up and the John Williams score kicks in…pure nerd nirvana. I think I’ll just leave this quote from the honorable Principal Skinner for this one,

“Why, it’s Luke, and Obi-Wan, and my favorite, Chewie! They’re all here...we have a winner!”


Terminator: Genisys
                I actually enjoyed Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the psuedo-reboot Terminator Salvation.  Now we get another reboot, but retaining some characters and plotlines from the original trilogy?  My head s'plode just like all the things in this trailer.


Mad Max: Fury Road
                The first teaser trailer was insane, but awesome.  This trailer turns it up to 11 and is bat$@#% insane, and 10x awesomer.  This could be, nay, this will be the greatest post-apocalyptic cinematic experience ever.  Someone on one of the forums said after watching the trailer they felt as if they should’ve paid a fee to watch.  I tend to agree…it’s that crazy awesome.


San Andreas
                Come on…the Rock and a massive earthquake.  What’s not to like here?

The Walk
                Continuing the 80’s theme (even though the movie is set in the 70’s)…Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis is at the helm of this literal high-wire act.  Pretty amazing CG of the World Trade Center towers.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Movie Trailer Thursday (Friday edition)

Today's MTT (Movie Trailer Thursday) is a bit female-themed.  I think it's just coincidence.  Or I'm just getting more in touch with my feminine side.

Cinderella
                Actually doesn’t look half bad for a live-action version.  Sleeping Beauty remains my favorite old-school Disney movie but this seems to do its source material justice.  Casting seems right on and you could do much worse than Robb Stark as the Prince.
Into the Woods
                Disney's attempt at a fairy tale-themed musical.  Women love musicals.  Men just don't admit they like them.
Project Almanac
                Another extraordinary “found-footage” film involving hormonally unstable teenagers making terrible decisions.  Looks basically like a time-travel version of the 2012 film 'Chronicle'.  Not female-themed you say?   I disagree…it’s made by MTV Films…the channel that pretty much exclusively caters to females these days.
Age of Adaline
                My wife has the same name as this young time-conquering beauty (at least phonetically speaking) therefore this is the best movie trailer on the list…for the simple fact they utter the exquisite name multiple times in it.  Even Dr. Jones says it wonderfully!
Pitch Perfect 2
                Strangely I found the first movie…watchable.  I don’t suppose I’ll see this other than by downloading it on Redbox, but it’s worth at least a trailer post.
Jurassic World (Jurassic Park 4)
                Wait, you didn’t know there is a 4th Jurassic Park coming out next summer?  Geez, what’s wrong with you.  Or perhaps I’ve failed you with the lack of MTT updates the past year :/  You didn’t know Chris Pratt was starring in it either?!  Well now you know why the ladies are gonna be into this one ;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My 'Top 10' 1980's Cartoons

Ah the halcyon days of children’s cartoons; the 80’s.  My little adventurous mind was set ablaze by these cartoons through my most formulative years (born late '79).   Have any of them not been made into terrible modern live-action versions?

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
                -A lesser known sci-fi/fantasy cartoon of the 80’s, the Wheeled Warriors cartoon was created to support the Mattel toyline of the same name.  It worked.  One of my favorite toy sets ever was my Wheeled Warrior “Mobile H.Q” toy set and accompanying customizable vehicles.
 
Silverhawks
                -Any cartoon with a kick@ guitar solo as part of the intro song is going to be kick@.  Silverhawks was basically a more space-themed version of Thundercats and though it didn’t have the same “aura”, it was just really “cool”.
Thundercats
                -What can you say?   Thundercats had everything a kid could want!  From the great animation and catchy intro theme to the iconic Sword of Omens and the eternally frightening Mumm-Ra, every episode was packed chock full of everything an 8 year-old kid hopped up on Bubble Tape could want!  Thundercats HOOOOOO!!!
Transformers
                -Before you read any further, the first thing you need to do is erase and purge any idea concocted by the modern live-action feature film abominations iterations.  Done?  Good.  So as I was saying…one of the greatest cartoons of all-time pitting two factions of sentient alien robots against each other across the galaxy only to become marooned on 80’s planet Earth.  What could be a better premise for a kids cartoon?  None…that’s the answer.  (Note: a toy tie-in gold mine!)
Voltron
                -I think the appeal to Voltron to me was that its leader’s name was Keith its ability to fuse old-world and new-world together in an overt good vs. evil space opera that even a child could understand.  Inherent in the Voltron Force were traditional moral qualities such as chivalry, honor, and courage.  Shoot, iconic 80’s cartoon voice actor Peter Cullen’s (voice of Optimus Prime also) intro narration sets the stage for a battle of good and evil that spans the cosmos…and puts chills on your back in anticipation.  I had a crush on Princess Allura.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
                -Only behind the premise of Transformers…what could be a better story for a kids cartoon then a group of teenage turtles turned into cowabungafied ninja super heroes?!  Yeah not much.  Representing everything cool a kid could want in a super hero, the Turtles never failed us until they came out with a live-action movie reboot.

G.I. Joe
                -Apart from the Bible and my family, the next best place I probably learned morality and common sense principles from was G.I. Joe, the real American hero.  A toy company’s dream as well.  I can’t tell you all the “battles” I had within my grand imagination using G.I. Joe characters.  I always wondered though, with so much artillery and destruction, no one actually ever died in the cartoon lol.
Inspector Gadget
                -I wanted to slap Inspector Gadget, Penny drove me insane with her Miss-Know-It-All attitude, and I always felt so bad for Brain getting caught up in Gadget’s shenanigans.  Yet I could not ever pull myself away from watching this cartoon.  It was just too exciting,  mysterious, and adventurous to not.   Was always on the edge of my seat wondering if Gadget was finally done for; he wasn’t :)
Ducktales
                -Any cartoon whose theme song a whole generation can recite verbatim on call 20+ years later deserves to be on this list.  Sure it was a Disney juggernaut cookie-cutter cartoon, but gosh darnit it was really enjoyable.  Just the variety of adventurers and hijinks they all got into was downright prolific.  And nothing beat the underlying premise of the episodic pursuit of fortune and glory Dr. Jones!
The Smurfs
                -Really?  Yes really.  Nothing says “Saturday morning cartoons” more to me personally than the Smurfs.  Every Saturday morning without fail, from about 1985 to 1992, the Smurfs were thee feature presentation on our family television on Saturday mornings.  Perhaps it was the influence of three older sisters on the remote controller, but gosh darnit I took a liking to those small little blue mushroom people who had no business persisting as a people in light of the constant genocidal attempts by Gargamel.


Honorable Mentions:
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears
                -Perhaps a poor man’s Ducktales, but on par with other Disney favorites of this era like The Rescue Rangers, the Gummi Bears was just a fun show.
Alvin and the Chipmunks
                -I’m not exactly sure what was so appealing about his cartoon, but I remember watching it all the time.  Maybe it was those squeaky singing voices.
Muppet Babies
                -A very underrated cartoon of this era.  The Muppet Babies took the characters and personalities of the adult Muppet characters and threw them into a daycare-like prequel.  You wouldn’t think it to be that great a premise, but boy I fondly remember some great, funny, and exciting adventurers these little guys and gals’ imaginations created.  And let’s be honest, any cartoon with a Tie-Fighter in its intro is going to be awesome.



Omissions:
He-Man
                -He-Man was unfortunately banned from viewing in my household growing up because of its “magic and witchcraft” elements.  I’m pretty sure it’s mostly Skeletor’s fault, but regardless I never had a chance to embrace a near-and-dear cartoon to most of my peers.  I’d be remiss not to mention it though.  For what it’s worth, I never did like its “americanized” animation though.  I was much more into the Japanese style like Thundercats and Voltron.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Beer Identity Crisis: How Corona Lost its Way

                Often times it’s the drinks of hard liquor persuasion that are most closely associated with tropical beaches and equatorial trade winds; what with their pointy umbrellas and exotic fruit decorations.  Yet in America when you think of a beach beer, or at the very least summertime beer – almost everyone will first think of having a Corona with a lime[i].  

For years Corona and their iconic exclusively tropical beach-themed advertisements and taglines have been ubiquitous with laying back, digging your feet in the sand, and enjoying the beautiful coastal views.  

Lately though it seems Corona[ii] is trying to change their tune, if ever so slightly, by expanding their “Find Your Beach” theme into broader, relativistic meaning (i.e. “Your beach doesn’t really have to be a beach”) – and in my opinion at the expense of its marketing core competency.

                For anyone that’s ever watched a major sports event on network TV in the past 20 years, Corona’s beach themed commercials are very familiar.  My personal favorite is the one below, chalk-full of a life truths ;)
As a mostly beer neophyte myself, I almost always grab for a Corona if available primarily because of their commercials.  They’ve done such a good job associating the beautiful, care-free atmosphere of lounging on a tropical beach with their brand that I completely buy into the association…as if I will indeed be transported to that glorious place if just pop the top.  Which is why I was disappointed to see they’re really diluting that association nowadays (see below). 
A cold football game?  Come on Corona…nobody’s fooled.  Stop trying to redefine what a “beach” is.  When your brand is extrapolated way beyond its original intention at the behest of the bean counters’ desire to expand profits (see Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M brands) – you open yourself up to full-blown identity crisis?  And that’s what Corona’s latest advertisement campaign seems to be doing.  

Sure I get the economic reasoning…it makes dollars and sense.  But for every markedly non-beach scenario you pimp yourself out to, you lose a little bit of what made your drink “lifestyle” so appealing and unique in the first place.  Soon you start to become just another behemoth beer brewer…not a tropical dream maker.  

Marketing this stuff is about transporting your consumer to a place they want to be instead of where they currently are – not keeping them there and tossing them a cold one.  

Maybe I’ll switch to Michelob Ultra… or maybe Corona NA needs to take a lesson from their colleagues down under.  From where I'd rather be indeed...



[i] In Tahiti, the beer of choice is Hinano
[ii] Corona Extra (Coronita in Spain) is a pale lager produced by Cervecería Modelo in Mexico for domestic distribution and export to all other countries besides the United States, and by Constellation Brands in Mexico for export to the United States. The split ownership is a result of an anti-trust settlement permitting the merger of Grupo Modelo with AB InBev. It is one of the top-selling beers worldwide.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_(beer)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Movie Trailer Thursday: Special Phoenix Edition

We've been gone for a while I know.  But three recent trailers have got me really excited enough (most trailers these days elicit a lukewarm "meh" from me) to motivate me to share them to the world.  Yes they're all sci-fi/fantasy related...but really let's be honest...those are typically the best kind of movie genres anyways ;)  

Mad Max: Fury Road
Max Rockatansky + Australia-only Ford XB Falcon Pursuit Special + perfectly diabolical post-apocalyptic dystopia = great sci-fi fun!


What a cool car!
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
What can I say..sort of the culmination of a 15 years of superior film-making coming to a dramatic crossroads/end/interlude, literally.  Using "Pippin's Song" as the overlay to the trailer just ads a certain gravitas...


Interstellar
Such stellar, pun intended, imagery!  To paraphrase a commenter, "Just enough to get me super excited for the movie...but nowhere near enough to know what the **** is going on."  Perfectly salient and how movie trailers should be!


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