Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The hierarchy of ice cubes

Eating lunch at TK Burger today, I was met with a welcome surprise: rabbit pellet ice. Not sure what I'm talking about? Check out the rad Sonic cherry-limeade above; THAT is ice, my friends. This got me thinking about the different ice varieties out there...let's generate a hierarchy of the ice cubes, so you can understand what ice options are out there and where they rank in the ice cube food chain. FYI, I have assigned names to each variety of ice and referring to these forms of ice in a public setting may be met with confused looks, or excitement as someone appreciates that you know your ice!

At the top of the heap has to be the "rabbit pellet" ice, named for it's close resemblance to rabbit pellets; maybe Cap'n Crunch, I don't know. This ice provides ample surface area and flat out looks cool. The sound it makes landing in your cup is soft, inviting. It's a joy to eat due to it's rather soft consistency, crunchable from the first sip to the last briquette clinging to the bottom of your cup. It might bunch up, but a gentle shake and the network of ice cubes breaks up instantly. Coupled with a high foam-content soda such as root beer and you have soft drink nirvana. Yes, this ice cube is bacon of the ice cube world: none can challenge its greatness.

Next up comes the "flat/crunchy" ice as I like to call it. This ice is frozen in sheets and then dropped into the bin, resulting in an ice that is small and flat with very little height. Easy to crunch, abundant surface area for maximum cooling efficiency, this is a high quality ice; still second place to rabbit pellets, though. Rapid melting becomes an issue with this ice due to it's smaller volume but it, too, is a welcome sight coming out of an ice machine.

A cousin to "rabbit pellet" and "flat" ices described above is the rarely seen "high oxygen content flat ice" (photo unavailable...too rare a beast). Slightly thicker, but loaded with trapped air bubbles, this ice is like a flat version of rabbit pellet ice, but in flat ice form. Quite the frozen treat, to be sure.

"LEGO" ice. This is probably tied with speed bump ice as the fast food ice of choice. The cubes sometimes come out in these groups of 3 or 4 and resemble LEGO bricks or an egg carton. This is a solid all-around ice. There is ample surface area for keeping your drink cold, crunching the ice isn't too difficult and it doesn't bunch up that often. It's popular for a reason, folks.

"Froot Loop" ice. This ice could be strung on a rope or necklace (and may be in the Arctic) due to it's rather large center opening. This ice is very common at fairs, concession stands, banquets and such. Sporting events seem to find this ice a winner, as well. Several grocery stores sell bags of froot loop ice, too, so it's certainly no johnny-come-lately cube. Decent surface area, but too thick. Crunching this ice is dangerous and not recommended. This ice lumps together and builds strong bonds, not easily broken with a simple shake of your glass. Use caution with this ice.

"Speed Bump" ice, named for its close resemblance to the "cool" speed bumps you can still haul-ass over in parking lots and in neighborhoods, not those annoying Mt. Fuji wannabe speed bumps. This is probably the most popular ice cube found in restaurants. The cubes are wide squares with little height and an arced dome shape. They melt slowly and provide adequate surface area; perfect for restaurants looking for customer satisfaction and maintenance due to its popularity. There is much wasted cooling energy stored inside these cubes that could be better utilized if the cubes were smaller. Crunching this ice is ill-advised until the cubes have melted somewhat and are thinner; more transparent.

Lastly, "homemade" ice. If there was a poster child to keep ice cubes in school to get an education and stay off drugs, it would be this. The ice comes from your freezer ice bin all white and stuck together and it tastes gross. Look at the photo: does that look appealing in any way, whatsoever? This is an absolute last option ice, even though it's convenient and free. The best things in life are free...unless those "things" are ice cubes.

"Ice machine" ice is lumped into the same category. It's those big crescent-shaped cubes that your ice machine automatically makes for you, as if it knows you love the ice it makes and wants to please you by making in without any prodding. I've got news for you, ice machine: your ice sucks...start making rabbit pellet ice and you're my new best friend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

YouTube Tuesday

I thought about posting up the Jimmy Kimmel video of "I'm F*cking Ben Affleck" which is wicked funny or maybe a little SNL take on Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood with his own Food Network show called "I Drink Your Milkshake" which is also hilarious.But, no. Not today.

I'm in a bit of a funk right now so I wanted something a bit more mellow; more inspirational as I need all the inspiration I can gather these days. Here's one of the most talented men that's ever walked among us; the late, great Dudley Moore performing his true passion: classical piano. Not only was Moore a wonderful actor, a very funny and witty comic, but he was a classically trained pianist. A damn good pianist. I remember seeing this performance on PBS about 20 years ago and I couldn't stop watching. His performance is one of the best classical piano performances I've seen, most likely because I was in utter bewilderment that this comic/actor was the one making the music happen; I had no idea he was this talented. Any time I see tapes of Moore performing I have to stop and watch; it is a true joy to experience the immense talent this man possessed.

So, here's Dudley Moore performing the last movement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in 1980.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Ooo we ooo, we look just like Buddy Holly...

I watched the Oscars night and noticed that apparently if I want to make it in Hollywood, I need only 1 accessory:

Big, thick, black-framed glasses.

Johnny Depp, Martin Scorcese, those 2 dudes from Superbad, Jack, Coen Brothers...Hell even Frances McDormand was sporting black frames large enough to make it into Von Zipper's fall line.

Maybe Rivers Cuomo can hook a guy up with some hand-me-downs...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Al Roker is a tool

Al Roker on the bleeding edge of technology? What's this "Bluetooth" you speak of, oh great television oracle.

Admittedly, I'm a lot more "wired" than anyone I know and I had my first Bluetooth headset 7 years ago, but c'mon Al. Get with the program. BT was around before you and Willard Scott started trading low-cal recipes on the Today Show. I get the feeling Al is gonna have a spaz attack when he finds out that he can dial phone #'s just by saying them into his mobile phone. I can't wait!

BTW, wait for Al to start dancing to the Beastie Boys near the end of this clip. 1 word: awkward!

I think I saw Al at a Rage concert ten years ago...

Yeah. Right.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Randy Jackson is MY American Idol

Let's talk about "The Dawg" Randy Jackson. Randy rocks. From his over-the-top "YEAH! You're going to Hollywood, baby!!" to his favorite descriptor "pitchy" he just rocks. Oh and you're guaranteed to have him name drop once every few episodes about how he played bass for Journey or some other chart-topper. Whatever. He's a talented musician, he deserves to name drop simply because he played with Journey and that's my final answer.

But what I really love about The Dawg was presented to me last night, clear as a bell.

His eyes.

Look at this photo (I recommend clicking for full-size)

Gaze deeply into my eyes...

How about the size of those eyeballs? I told Katie that Randy's eyes look huge behind those glasses because he probably wears magnifying glass-like lenses like Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter films for dramatic effect.

You're going to Hollywood, Mr. Potter!

I dont think I've seen The Dawg with his glasses off but if I ever do, I'm imagining that his eyes will be awfully small. Maybe never know.

OH! And if I ever need to have bad news about my health delivered to me, I want The Dawg to deliver it. Skip ahead to 3:59.

If you're not willing to watch a mediocre at best performance of Rescue Me, Randy says--very matter of factly, sounding somewhat stoned--to Simon "she's got the bronchitis, dude..." as the excuse for the lackluster performance. Imagine going to the hospital and The Dawg walking into the room and saying, "You've got the goiter, dude..." I mean, I could take the news if it were delivered like that. Talk about great bedside manner!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Infomercials make us colorful

I LOVE infomercials. The cheesy products, the cheese-ball hosts, the craptacular music...what's not to love about them??

What I particularly love about a good infomercial is the radical transformation the product promises; namely, changing your world from one of black & white, clumsy, sad and frustrated to technicolor, coordinated and HAPPY! You perform tasks faster, you smile, your appearance is anything but unkempt. How did I get by in my black & white world before discovering this amazing product?

Not sure what I'm talking about? Watch this...

See what I mean? I put the Handy Peel on and BAM! I'm a coordinated peeling professional IN FULL COLOR! Sweet potatos? Please. Bring it on... There's nothing I can't peel with my Handy Peel, in full color.

I'm posting more of these from now on. Commercials like these make the world go 'round, and add color to our daily lives. Literally.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

YouTube Tuesday

I can't wait for this surf film to come out. Under The Sun by Cyrus Sutton; should be pretty damn groovy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day to ME!!

Check out this bitchin pair of Vans that Katie made me for Valentines Day! She really knows the way to a Jayhawk's heart :) Super stoked!

Love you, Katie!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lucha, Va VOOM!!

Last night I went to my 3rd Lucha Va VOOM!!! show at the Mayan Theatre in LA. What is Lucha Va VOOM? Glad you asked!

Sex & Violence. Simple as that. My wonderful girlfriend Katie and a few of her friends have been going for years and get ring-side seats for every show and the ringside experience is nothing short of amazing.

You'll have to pardon the sub-par photos from my Blackberry, but these should give you a good idea of what I witnessed. I couldn't get any good photos of the burlesque shows since the lighting was all janky and last I checked, my Blackberry didn't have a strong flash and adjustable aperture and shutter speeds.

If you want to see more, go to Lucha Va VOOM's website or put it in your Google and smoke it.

A "pollo loco" being bitch-slapped by some dude named "The Machine Gun." His partner with the tropical speedo in the background entered the ring to Rupert Holmes' "Escape"

Day of the Dead wrestlers. FYI: that ref sucks...Timmy from South Park can count to 3 faster.

Does this really need any explanation?

Human Tornado with his signature Michael Jackson finishing move...
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

YouTube Tuesday...on Wednesday

My bad. I totally spaced on posting yesterday for YouTube Tuesday. So, here we go...a bit delayed.

Do you like waffles? One of my favorite songs to get stuck in my head. Try not to sing along with this one...

I heart my Stretch quad

So, I bought by 1st ever used board last weekend in my 6 years of surfing. It's pretty hard to believe I've never bought used but, quite frankly, everything I ever see used is a total POS that's overpriced and misrepresented. "Only ridden twice; 9/10 condition!!" Bullsh*t. Only ridden twice, if the sessions were about 40 hours long.

Anyway...I found a killer deal on a Stretch quad shortboard with Marko EPS foam down in San Diego from a cool dude named Matt. He surfed the board for a few months and it just didn't work for him. The price was right. The condition was flawless. I like to call his board an "adult-owned" board as it was taken care of and used responsibly, and it shows.

Surfed it for the first time yesterday in some shoulder high and clean waves--head high sets if you waited--and was blown away. Fast as hell. Light as a feather. Loose as a street-walker, with drive for days. In a word: bitchin.

Super thin and narrow (2.4 x 19.125) but for some odd reason, the EPS foam floats me with a length of 6'6". Sure, it's no fish or Bonzer in terms of flotation and paddle but it works. It works because that's how I wanted this board: thin. I needed to get onto something that I could throw around; bury a rail and change direction on a dime. This board accomplishes that with ease.

All my boards are quite thick and wide. I felt that I needed the float and paddle that a wider/thicker board would give me as I push 200+ pounds and not the most talented surfer in the lineup (just being honest). Turns out, I might be wrong. The way the rail engages during a turn with this board is sick. Floating ON TOP of the water with the aforementioned boards works great, for the right board and right conditions; has a fun/different feel to it. But, is it worth it to have a board that sacrifices performance for a little extra "oopmh" in the paddle and float department? I'm not so sure, anymore...

In a perfect world this board would be 2.5" and maybe 19.25" but as-is, it works fine. I'm back on my workout and healthy diet kick and when I lose those pesky 10-lbs from a holiday season of gluttony and laziness, I'll be back to my fighting weight of 195 from last summer. Then, I think this board will be magic.

There's still a lot of courting that will happen in the weeks to come but I caught the wave of the year on that board and I'm still amping on it! Stay tuned for more news and some photos of the Stretch quad...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy happy, joy joy

1st session with the new suit today. Awesome. Not a drop of water made it inside for 20 minutes, at which time I had to let some water in to cool down. Still a bit tight, but after a couple sessions it should be perfect.

The wetsuit rocks. My wait is over. Back to marathon sessions.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I heart new wetsuits

My new suit arrived last night, and not a day too soon. Yesterday, I went for one last surf with the Billabong sieve and froze my ass off. Nice to see the 'Bong suit made every effort to keep my business in the 12th hour.

Anyway, Quiksilver suit is here and it's comfy as hell. No clue on how warm it is and how well it works out in the water just yet; stupid low tide killed it this afternoon and I had business to attend to this morning. But, it's pretty tight at all the openings so I can'r imagine that it will be cold, at all.

Tomorrow. It's on like Donkey Kong.

Maybe with this suit I'll surf like Dane Reynolds...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

YouTube Tuesday

Let's make it a habit to have YouTube Tuesday's here at übersurf. Let's get this thing started with one of my favorite jazz composers Maria Schneider live at the Jazz Standard in NYC.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Muck Fizzou

In honor of KU's manhandling of MU tonight, I give you this:

There were several others (that were epic, as rivalry shirts go) featured on ESPN during the game, but this one has to be my favorite.

Enjoy another disappointing season MU.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ripped wetsuits suck

I have a Billabong 3/2 Solution Gold zipperless wetsuit. Great suit. Cost me about $300 when I got it about a year and a half ago. Lightweight, thin, stretchy, nice looking; it seemed like the perfect wetsuit.

Now, it sucks. Time has not been kind to the suit and the once iron-clad craftsmanship has shown its true form and now falls apart at the seams. Literally. A 6" rip in the inseam right above my knee ensures that the second I am knee-deep in cold water, my entire suit is filled with cold water. Oh and it gets better. Rips at the chest/shoulder--coupled with the slash on the leg--have trasformed my once toasty wetsuit into a sieve. Basically, my suit keeps exchanging cold water and I freeze my ass off every session. Wonderful.

The real kicker is that I barely wear the suit. I typically trunk it (or wear a 1.5 mil jacket) from April to November or December and only wear the suit when the water is
really cold here in Orange County. Granted, I surf pretty much every day so when it's being used there's not much down time, but, c'mon Billabong...are you kidding me? $300 buys me a season and a half of use? I guess Billabong is keeping themselves in business by making high-end suits with a guaranteed failure not too far down the line so you've got to go buy the newest high-end suit that will set you back 3-bills. Good on ya, Billabong.

Bryan don't play 'dat. I'm ditching my Billabong fullsuit and jumping on team Quiksilver. The mountain and the wave are getting my business for the next suit. Sure, I have a connection that will get me the wetsuit at cost, but it's not all about the money. At least, that's what I tell myself. Will it last longer than the Billabong P.O.S? Hopefully, but probably not. I'm betting than any of the big names all play the same game and if I want
real durability I'll have to visit Patagonia or Matuse and cough up the change. But, I'm willing to give Quik a shot...

So, until my Quik suit shows up, I freeze my ass off.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Back in the saddle again

I'm getting back into the blog-o-nation and will be posting things here regularly from here on out.

Stay tuned for more me...