Boomer Twilight

Mostly Humorous Observations of Most Anything, with a Boomer Slant

Archive for March 2008

Mr. & Mrs. Popeye Celebrate 80th Wedding Anniversary

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Bridgette and Doyle Popeye celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary on March 27, 2008. Bridgette Squeaky Moonloop was born in Corncob, LA on February 29, 1908. Her husband, Doyle Isakiah Popeye was born in Vegetable Leaf, MO on February 29, 1904. They met at the National Society of Leap Year Babies celebration on February 29, 1928, and just under a month later they were man and wife. On January 17, 1929 their son, Aristotle Ezra Popeye, who became a comedic star using the name Popeye The Sailor Man, was born.

Vegetable Leaf, MO was known for the abundant spinach crops each and every year. During the 1930s and 40s, spinach was a slang word for nonsense (there is no significance for this story, just interesting). Doyle Popeye’s family had the largest spinach empire in the State; just over 27,000 acres of greenery.

One day in the summer of 1937 while visiting his grandparents, Aristotle was chasing the family’s pet rat, Phoebe, through the rows of crops. Becoming exhausted from the frivolity, he rested a moment and witnessed Phoebe gnawing on some spinach leaves. Phoebe perked up with enthusiasm, daring young Popeye to chase her. Aristotle, being not a particularly bright child, decided to chew on a leaf as well. His forearms grew immense, and he developed a hankering to smoke a corncob pipe. His increased speed allowed him to catch Phoebe and they snuggled for hours. Aristotle Ezra Popeye knew he had happened upon a miracle weed (not that kind of weed).

After years of spinach-induced mayhem, and kicking a lot of ass in High School, Aristotle figured he could parlay his strength into a career. He brought his idea for a hit series to famed Hollywood Producer, Bluto Tandrum, who insisted on a part in any of the movies, cartoons, or other media invented during that time. Since Bluto was a very large, imposing fellow, it made sense he assume the role of villain. Popeye agreed to Bluto’s demands, and a series was launched.

Another son, Doyle Isakiah Popeye, Jr. was born on January 30, 1930. Doyle, Jr. could not stomach spinach. His parents tried hiding it among other foods, like spinach dip, spinach ravioli, spinach juice (they called it lime), and other dishes. But he was not fooled. Eventually Doyle, Jr. refused to eat any green leafy vegetables, and it was he who coined the term vile weed to emphasize his hatred of spinach. Eventually the term was used by Newman in a Seinfeld episode in reference to broccoli.

Although Doyle, Jr. never developed the large forearms and affinity for corncob pipes, he did understand there is a lot of money to be made in the entertainment business. Adopting the screen name, Gene Hackman, he became a famous, Oscar-winning performer. His early success was realized at the age of 41 in the film French Connection, in which he played Popeye Doyle, a cantankerous police detective, bent on destruction of the heroin trade through France to America. He was very tough in the Popeye tradition, even without the spinach.

Bridgette and Doyle Popeye have lived a long life. Both are centenarians, yet they have not been honored by Willard Scott or Smuckers (probably an oversight). Most vegetable authorities attribute their longevity to lifelong spinach consumption.

The Popeye name has been branded throughout the world in products such as Popeye’s Chicken and Popeye Spinach. There is even a club in Chester, Illinois devoted to the Popeye Picnic; an annual event, which includes music, food, games and such; all in the honor of Popeye. Somebody kill me . . . . now.

With Love,

Bake My Fish

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Written by bakemyfish

March 28, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Posted in Food, Humor, Media

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Mine Is Blue

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See the suitcase? That’s mine. Only blue. Don’t laugh. I’m serious. What do I know? I haven’t required a big suitcase in eight years. On my recent trip to Florida, a larger than usual piece of luggage was necessary, so I ventured to the basement, cleaned up the familiar Samsonite and went about my business.

I like the handle and wheels, which makes it easy to lug. Nothing can penetrate it. And it makes a good seat if necessary. My wife added a red ribbon to the handle for easy identification among all the other blue luggage that was populating airports in the 90s. Finding my bag was not a problem in February of 2008.

When we arrived in Ft. Myers, one of the cooler guys in our group saw the case coming down the chute and commented (not knowing it was mine) about the old commercial with the gorilla jumping on the luggage. He was having quite a chuckle. Then I walked over to retrieve it and he laughed. We both did. It was really funny. I had no idea of the archaic nature of my satchel.

Further ridicule was set aside during the stay at the hotel, since the satchelite was hidden in my room. Then came the day we had to leave. Everyone had their luggage in our meeting room due to checkout requirements. My trusty Samsonite looked like a broken thumb among all the other clothing luggers. It escaped my notice, because I was trying to learn my trade and was blubbering through role play. Then we had to go to the airport and Sammy would be alone among more common conveyances.

After returning to Baltimore, we had to pick up our bags. Not as many people noticed during the trip to Florida, but back in Baltimore, the Samsonite looked silly among all the other cases. The red ribbon had no place. “Poor Little Sammy” couldn’t be mistaken. There it was with the solid handle; waiting for my touch. I thought, “Maybe I can let it go around the carousel a bit and no one will notice (and honestly I didn’t want people to set their sights on the sissy ribbon).” But no, my friend had to yell, “Here comes your bag!” as he laughed his ass off.

The most biting rib was, “Bake, Bake, Bake, Bake. That’s the same suitcase my parents used to have.” That was particularly funny and I laughed, while slinky, ferret-like snatching my case from the conveyor. “Yeah, it’s mine” I thought in a decidedly dorky moment, fumbling with the bag and trying to get it quickly out of sight.

Alright, so trend-setting is not my forte, but I really was naively unaware Sammy was ancient. Sure, the luggage in the stores all seemed to be the soft baggage. I was not devoting an inordinate amount of time to thinking about the change, because I wasn’t looking to make a purchase. The transition to soft suitcases (if that’s what you call them) caught me by surprise.

I’m sure the embarrassment of being the only turd in the entire airport of two cities to be toting around the Samsonite bag will eventually subside. It will not fester in my craw for eternity.

It’s OK. I enjoy a good laugh. Even at my expense. But, we will be buying the soft stuff for the May trip.

With Love,

Bake My Fish Digg! StumbleUpon My Zimbio Seed Newsvine

Written by bakemyfish

March 21, 2008 at 12:22 am

Posted in Boomer, Humor

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What’s with the Nuts?

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In February I took my first flight since 2000. That seems like a long time between launches, but I like to drive. It’s the Jim Ignatowski in me. I think during my last journey, the airlines still provided passengers with meals. This particular trip was from Baltimore to Florida and back, so not such a long flight. Food was not a big priority. The airline did supply us with a pack of dry roasted peanuts.

After receiving my mini-bag, I started reading the wrapper. Ingredients: dry roasted peanuts, salt. The Disclaimer – “Produced in a facility that processes peanuts and other nuts.” Their italics, not mine. They wanted to place serious emphasis on the statement that peanuts were produced in a facility that processes peanuts and other nuts.

The moment I read it, I knew liability concerns are out of control. Either that, or they really think the general public consists of blithering idiots who don’t understand that peanuts are peanuts. I know some moron will cut his hedges with a lawnmower, and be forced to sign his “x” with a nub. So, yeah they need to put a warning on the lawnmowers for that guy. And some fool will use a bungee cord to smash his head on rocks lining the river bank below the bridge he felt the need to use as a launching pad. Go ahead, print the distance limitations of the cord for that guy. To assume we can’t figure out that peanuts are produced in a peanut factory, brings visions of mindless zombies walking around with ice cream cones stuck to our foreheads.

I ate the handful of nut kernels and chuckled inside, showing the wrapper to those nearby. They thought it was silly, of course. The fallacy was exposed. Do you remember the Wendy’s “Parts is parts” commercial? Well, “Peanuts is peanuts” (I just wanna slap somebody).

Please understand, my whining has nothing to do with a like or dislike of a fine legume. I love peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, filberts, macadamias, etc. All nuts are OK by me. No, my complaint is “we have to stop treating ourselves like fools.”

Eventually there will be no name on any products, because the nutrition and warning labels will be the packaging. I know peanuts and other foods do cause allergic reactions. If you are allergic to peanuts, I am sorry. The alert really isn’t meant for you, because if you see a wrapper that reads dry roasted peanuts, you assume suicide is unpleasant.

If the dangerous stuff is hidden within another product and sensible people may not know, then it should be revealed in warnings. I can kind of figure out that milk is produced in a facility that processes milk products. Or that wheat crackers are produced in a facility that processes wheat products. So goes the peanut reference. There’s no need to spend the time or effort rubbing our noses in it. We get it. Nuts is nuts.

With Love,

Bake My Fish

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Written by bakemyfish

March 17, 2008 at 5:45 am

Soy To The World

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I have really been enjoying soy products lately. Tonight my dinner was Peanut Noodles made with soy pasta. Add a little spinach and/or bok choy to the recipe, and you have a home run. Mmmm. You might be turning your nose up at the thought, but it was really good. Tasty.

I’m by no means a Vegan. Meat is a part of virtually all my meals. The occasional nibble of a hunk of jerky is within the realm of my dietary kingdom. I haven’t chomped on the side of a buffalo lately, but I do eat meat. My joy for soy is not because there is any particular concern over chewing on carcass. It’s just that soy products are so healthy and are now more like familiar food. And honestly, they please the Buds of Taste (sounds like a movie).

When I was a kid, one of my favorite journeys was to the Chinese restaurant with my sister and parents. We always got a kick out of my father eating the hot mustard and pretending the beads of sweat were not rolling off his brow. “Naaa, it’s not hot. It tastes good,” so he said. We knew better. His red face and fire-eyes were a dead giveaway. Dad was cool.

When the food came, the first thing I reached for was the soy sauce (bet you do, too). If I had known then my sauce would turn into Peanut Noodles as an adult, I would have prepared myself for the evolution.

Soy crisps make a great substitute for potato chips. A dripping, sloppy cheeseburger; with a side of Roasted Garlic Soy Crisps, is more healthy than a dripping, sloppy cheeseburger; with a side of dark russet oil chips; probably about 70 calories.

It seems with all the diets there is an emphasis on high protein. Soy contains hearty amounts. The standard grocery chains are carrying more and more diverse soy products. You don’t necessarily have to go to the natural food markets and pay an exorbitant price for healthy food. It has always bothered me that to eat healthy, you have to pay way too much. It’s as though you need to take out a loan to live. Why is that? I know supply and demand economics is at work here, but is it really fair?

When I saw soy noodles on the shelf it was exciting. I love pasta, and this gives me a chance to eat it and get the near equivalent of the protein contained in meat. Another really good dish, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, is great using soy pasta. The recipe calls for minced garlic, but if you slice it real thin and brown it in olive oil, it’s better. Maybe use a little more because the chunks will be bigger than minced garlic, which emits more flavor than sliced.

As a society we have grown bigger and broader. The clothing industry and models of the clothes seem to be telling us we shouldn’t be allowing this to happen. Yet, we continue to expand. Obesity is a major concern, and our health is challenged by our abnormal growth. “Fat is not where it’s at.” We do little to counter the expansion of our torsos. Food made with soy will help. And for the tree hugging, animal saving public, it can be the answer.

Soy ice cream is terrific. We can feed our fat fetish, while saving our hearts. It seems to me that is a good way to go.

With Love,

Bake My Fish

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Written by bakemyfish

March 7, 2008 at 8:47 pm