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Swing and a miss—no, foul ball!

Okay, told you the experimentation was gonna begin almost immediately, and, that time came. Early last week, Billy and I went out to get me set in the event we went on statewide lockdown, and even though all the restaurants had closed their indoor seating, we could still do drive-thru. Mickey D’s it was. (2 for $3? Hell yeah!) We wrapped up for the day, I threw my leftovers in the ‘fridge and, wouldn’t you know it? Forgot about ‘em…for 6 days. 

(Admittedly, had I left these bad boys in the microwave, I might’ve thought twice about cooking them. I mean, I still would have, but at least I would’ve weighed the wisdom of it). Now, while I love McDonald’s, I can’t stand leftover McDonald’s. Once it’s in the ‘fridge or I have to nuke it? Nope, rather have something else. Mickey D’s may hold up well being put in a plastic box and not turning to glop after a short amount of time, like 3 years, but once they’re a day or four old and chilled thru-and-thru? To me, there’s no rescuing them. But…if one’s gonna experiment on something, why not experiment Victor Frankenstein-style, and try to resurrect something Hence: Air-fried Double Cheeseburgers.

Air-fried Mickey D's

Verdict: Unlike the Nacho chicken fries, the burgers-back-from-the-dead (zombie burgers? Hmnnn) experiment was not a victory. Not a failure, as the pic shows, that’s a first bite taken. Meaning, there were more. In seeking a second opinion, Mouse got a piece, too, and she enjoyed it, so there’s that. But I probably should have let them warm up enough to take the top buns off, and cooked the bottoms & meat first. The buns got rather toasted, like on a BBQ grill, so that wasn’t bad, but the meat was still only lukewarm, and I wasn’t about to cook them any longer. I’d say, swung for the fences on a ball thrown in the dirt, and got juuuuuuuuuust enough of it to foul it off (That’s for Nick Smith and my baseball fan friends who are going through Opening Day depression). Will I try it again? Ehh, maybe. Barbers didn’t cure the plague bleeding those first few patients totally dry, right? (Yeah, yeah, poor example, but my sensitivity valve’s never had a restrictor plate. There, covers my NASCARites, too). Next up? Thinkin’ mozzarella sticks.

Magnetic Attraction!

While not yet in lockdown mode here in FL (albeit close-ain’t like I’m driving myself anywhere!), been working on a new screenplay. While this isn’t anything unusual (I’m almost always working on a script), this one was a stop-in-the-middle-of-everything, get-flooded-with-a-wave-of-complete-pieces-of-story, and turn back around to get behind the keyboard to start making notes. 

Oh, and in a genre I’ve never written before. Yup, that was the real surprise. Sometimes scenes will hit me that might work in a drama or rom-com, something like that, but this? This was something totally out of the ordinary. So, with all the free time to work, and mining RL experiences like I’ve got a helmet with a headlamp, I worked in a refrigerator magnet I had back when I was 7 or 8, that eventually led to the semi-creation of a fictional creature for some very early tales. 

On to Saturday. I’m giving my fingers a break because they’re cramping, and come across a post by Keith Rainville, from Vintage Ninja. I thought – Oh, perfect! I’ll see if he knows any forums where cereal-toy collectibles are big, maybe someone can ID this thing, which I did not remember a lot about. Hit SEND, get a response back in less than 5 minutes: “There was a cereal in the ’70s called FREAKIES – had these monster themed sculpted premiums for years. Might be from that line?” Something in my head clicks. I can’t remember the cereal, what it tasted like, anything. We’re talking early-to-mid ’70s, after all, but Freakies stands out. I thank him for the lightning-quick reply, start looking things up, and holy crap! They’re exactly the magnets I was thinking about. I give Pam a basic idea of the one I want to ID, and sure enough, the one I had was exactly what she described, and besides the teeth, I remembered it pretty accurately. Now, your turn. Dig into your grey matter and see if you had any of these as a kid. I had a couple (meaning I must’ve liked the cereal well enough), but BossMoss? This was my guy. Who else had parents cool enough to buy you this cereal based on commercials like these, huh?! “Toasty and sugary and packed with vitamins!”

Not the news I needed tonight…

The Gambler...

This was not the news I needed tonight (3:58am as I write this). Dad went into the Army to get out of his house, because his stepmom was a bitch and he had had enough. So, he joined the military, became a paratrooper for the 101st Airborne, and served for four years. He did all his service in the South, and as you might imagine, did so with a lot of good ol’ boys, spending many a weekend at some Kentucky or Tennessee hole-in-the-wall honkey tonk. Thus, Dad liked country music, and brought a liking for some of those classic artists back up North with him when he got discharged.

I heard a lot of Kenny Rogers growing up. When we went to Sunny Hill in upstate New York? Rogers was a listening staple. Kenny Rogers albums and cassettes and yes, eventually CDs were perfect birthday or Xmas gifts. Can’t count the number of times Jimmy Capo played “The Gambler” with our parents singing along at night outside the rooms where the adults had set up their mini bar. Ahh, the Grimstad.

Hearing that the gambler broke even tonight soured my mood immeasurably. Don’t think there’s enough incense in SWFL to burn away my mood, and I’ve been returning to the screenplay and plugging away as hard as I can, but…it’s hard. Especially with it being the week of Dad’s birthday. Real hard. So, all I can say is, Rest well, Brewster Baker. Thanks for all the killer tunes. You and I alone need know when I last sang “The Gambler…” out loud, and how much I appreciate that tune.


Return of the Air Fryer

Joe Monks and an Air Fryer

After having it a coupla years, and Pam using it twice, finally decided to try putting the air fryer to work. (Tnx to Billy & Tommy Martindale for the prompt, they’ve been using theirs a lot, & Catherine Rose Hoffman’s been posting about hers and Josh’s experiences, so , the blind guy wanted in). 

First up… Nacho Chicken Fries. (I’d gotten some coconut shrimp, but this was handy at the front of the freezer). Verdict? No question, a victory. Adds another option when Pam’s out of town (like she is now, and may be for some time), gives the toaster oven a break, and cooks fast. Not 100% sure, but think I may need to cook things a tiny bit longer, as they seemed to cool off fast, but was sticking to the minimum to avoid burning the things. Very happy. Next up, probably the coconut shrimp, and after that? Time to start experimenting! #CanIMakeABurgerInThisThing

P.S. The nacho chicken fries are Yummy brand, and if anyone sees a coupon for those bad boys in the BJs book, pls tip Sir Sightless off!