Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Through the Keyhole - October 2020

Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
"This location is where the primary guiding documents of the United States were debated and adopted.  This city is home to some of the most aggressive and rabid sports fans in the nation.  Home to fictitious prize fighter, a famous bell and some really good sandwiches (although you may classify them as tacos - see below)" Can you guess the location?

Ginsburg and the Sandwich...
Recently, the world lost another big brain and Supreme Court Justice in Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG). As polarizing as her decisions could be, it is unmistakable that she gained a level of notoriety not common in octogenarians.  I guess you could put the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, Madonna (joking but not really) and Colonel Sanders in the same category but it is very uncommon for someone in that position to be asked for selfies where ever she went.

Rather than be political (like everything in the world today), I would rather share an interview that was really cute between Stephen Colbert and RBG...where she bases her answer on Colbert's definition (and is utterly wrong).  And if you are a gluten free person you can still appreciate this story although it will be much more dry and unsatisfying.

New York and California tax law say a hot dog is a sandwich. And Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when asked by comedian Stephen Colbert, issued this ruling:

Ginsburg: You’re asking me? Well, you tell me what a sandwich is, and then I’ll tell you if a hot dog is a sandwich.

Colbert: A sandwich is two pieces of bread with almost any type of filling in between, as long as it’s not more bread.

Ginsburg: You say two pieces of bread. Does that include a roll that’s cut open but still not completely?

Colbert: That’s the crux. You’ve gotten (it) immediately. See, this is why you’re on the Supreme Court. That gets immediately to the question: Does the roll need to be separated into two parts? Because a sub sandwich – a sub is not split, and yet it is a sandwich.

Ginsburg: Yes.

Colbert: So then a hot dog is a sandwich?

Ginsburg: On your definition, yes, it is.


I am sorry to report that this decision is incorrect (with all due respect to RBG).. Everyone who has been approaching the hot dog vs. sandwich problem has been looking at it all wrong. It is not a question about bread and the unique nature of cylindrical beef. It is a geometry problem.

Enter the Cube Rule, a simple way to categorize What Foods Are and What Foods Aren’t. According to the Cube Rule, there are eight categories of food, each defined by the placement of starch. Use a cube as your guideline for where the bread or starch goes, and it will determine what a food truly is – and whether it is a sandwich. Starch only on the bottom? It’s a toast. Starch on the top and bottom that is not connected is, obviously, a sandwich. But starch on the bottom and two opposing sides is a taco. Therefore, a hot dog is a taco. And, to correct RBG, a sub is also a taco. Rolled starch on the top, bottom and two opposing sides is, according to the Cube Rule, maki roll sushi. Therefore, an enchilada is sushi. Starch on every side except the top, like a quiche, is a bread bowl. Any food fully enclosed in starch is a calzone. A corn dog is a calzone. A Pop-Tart is a calzone. A bean pupusa is a calzone.

The handy diagram below, created by Twitter user @Phosphatide, makes it easy to understand the Cube Rule and issue decrees on other dishes. He drew it after the hot dog debate came up on a video game stream he was watching, and another user outlined the basis of the Cube Rule. His name is Brandon, but the 25-year-old student declined to give his last name because he didn’t want to be seen as taking credit for the theory, even though the diagram and many of the clarifications and rulings on particular food items are his.



So what about starches that don’t have “sides,” like spaghetti? Simple answer: All starches that do not hold a defined shape, or foods that do not contain starches, are salads. Poutine is a salad. Fried rice is a salad. Mashed potatoes are a salad. A steak is a salad, albeit one with only one ingredient. Any starches or non-starches suspended in liquids are soups, which are just wet salads. A vanilla soy latte is technically, according to the Cube Rule, a three-bean soup. And while a loaf of bread, the building block of this formula, might be a six-sided starch, it is not a calzone: it is merely an uncut toast. This applies to any breads that do not have a filling. A plain doughnut is a toast, but a jelly doughnut is a calzone. A dinner roll is a toast.

As the illustrator of the Cube Rule, Brandon is also its arbiter of disputes. Ask him about any food, and he will issue a ruling.

Let’s start with an easy one: pizza. “It’s just a toast,” he says. “It’s a large piece of bread.” A cherry pie is a bread bowl if it has an open top, but it’s a calzone if it has a closed top.

For the latter, “If you were to serve it as a slice, it would be a taco, because it has three sides, technically,” Brandon said. “That’s what brought this whole thing together as mostly a joke. That was my favorite example.”

A burrito is a trickier food to consider. “That would be a topic of debate — it’s created with a single tortilla roll, by nature it feels like more of a four-sided object,” he said. “I would be willing to consider it as a calzone, as well.” Interestingly, the sandwich chain Panera tried to argue in Massachusetts court that a burrito is a sandwich — they felt that the addition of a Qdoba to a mall shopping court violated a contract that said they were to be the only sandwich chain in the space — but the judge disagreed, ruling the burrito not a sandwich in 2006. Nevertheless, the USDA’s Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book describes a burrito as “a Mexican style sandwich-like product.” Wrong.

A piece of fried chicken, if it has a nice, crunchy breading on it, would technically be a calzone. A shepherd’s pie or a chicken pot pie, with crust only at the top, is another difficult categorization. “By the nature of the starch location, I would also rule them as toasts with the ‘jam side down,’ ” Brandon said.

After Brandon posted his illustration, thousands of people chimed in with other applications of the Cube Rule. Nigiri sushi, with the starch at the bottom, is a type of toast, one user pointed out. A Twinkie is a calzone, and a Swiss Roll is sushi. Pigs in a blanket are sushi. Some posited that a multi-decker sandwich is an additional category – a cake – which makes lasagna a meat-and-cheese cake.

How seriously you decide to take any of this is up to you. But it is very amusing to look at, say, a piece of Gushers candy and declare it a calzone or to call a meatloaf a salad. Because, yes, for the record: It is a salad of meat and vegetables and bread crumbs that has been cooked. Unless you make it an open-faced meatloaf sandwich. Then, it’s actually a toast.

And yes this is all nonsense.  But isn't it refreshing?

Halloween is coming (or is it?)...
Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Cindi Bechtel
 who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
ANSWER: Honolulu, Hawaii (Diamondhead)
 "This location is has a very large and gentle break where people from all over learn to surf.  Home to the "house without a key", poke and amazing sights and sounds.  You also may visit the Arizona here to pay your respects." Can you guess the location?" 

Well, Hawaii has been having some trouble with this whole COVID-19 thing...  They are have had mandatory quarantines for visitors (14 days), two lockdowns, all kinds of mandatory rules, masks, etc. and tourism is but a shadow of itself.  It will get better eventually but this beautiful part of Hawaii (Waikiki) is all but a memory at this moment.

It is true that Waikiki beach has one of the best breaks to learn to surf on.  It is also home to the Halekulani hotel which has a restaurant / lounge called the House without a Key.  My father and mother stayed there on their honeymoon and he always told me to go to the House without a Key if I ever get there.  When I did, I unfortunately was not dressed appropriately so they gave me a jacket to wear and made me feel like a heel.  Either way, it was a good story and although I was a bit embarrassed, I enjoyed my time staying at that hotel.

The city of Honolulu is a really fun place (when things are normal).  Think of a city like Chicago (much smaller) but on the most beautiful surf break.  There are tons of hotels, restaurants, galleries, theatre, shopping malls and shops. 

It is also kind of difficult to get to Honolulu.  From ORD, it is 10 hours and 41 minutes non-stop.  You would have time on your 9 am flight to have enough drinks and be hungover...twice.

However, once you get there, it is usually beautiful weather, lots of Asians and some really cool things to see.  Pearl Harbor is there. Surfing. Snorkeling. Sunset Cruises. Luaus.  Poke (a raw tuna dish). Water sports. Parasailing.  Art shopping. Hiking. Laying out.  Eating.  Just to name a few activities...

When I was there in 2002 with my wife (pre-kids), we took an open air helicopter ride (no doors - super cold) and landed just like Jurassic Park at the bottom of a waterfall.  We had lunch and went swimming in the coldest water I can remember.  It was great fun and we survived.  The pilot was a veteran of Viet Nam and was the coolest guy ever - think Harrison Ford in Clear and Present Danger.

There are some really good deals coming if you want to visit Hawaii.  I suggest strongly that you look into it.  I certainly have no regrets having travelled there.


Walking to Waikiki Beach ~9 min.
Travel VLOG - ~15 min.
"Eddie would go..." surf competition BIG WAVES ~16 min.
Probably not the best renovations..

1. My goal for 2020 was to lose 10 pounds.  Only have 14 to go.
2. Ate salad for dinner. Mostly croutons and tomatoes. Really just one big round crouton covered with tomato sauce, and cheese.  FINE, it was a pizza.... OK, I ate a pizza!   
3. How to prepare Tofu:
         a. Throw it in the trash
         b. Grill some meat, chicken or fish
4. I just did a week's worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.
5. I don't mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food supply in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
6. A recent study has found women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.
7. Kids today don't know how easy they have it.  When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.
8. Senility has been a smooth transition for me.
9. Remember back when we were kids and every time it was below zero outside they closed school?  Yeah, Me neither.
10. I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented.  I forgot where I was going with this.
11. I love approaching 90, I learn something new every day and forget 5 other things.
12. A thief broke into my house last night.  He started searching for money so I woke up and searched with him.
13. I think I'll just put an "Out of Order" sticker on my forehead and call it a day.
14. Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

How to watch Hallmark Channels without Comcast
Hallmark Christmas (now Holiday, LGBT, COVID) movies start up on October 23rd this year and if you don't have a subscription to a major provider (ATT, Comcast, DirecTV, etc.) then you are out of luck.  UNTIL NOW...

There is an app that you can watch 15 live channels on your Roku, Fire TV or mobile device.  You can find it at frndlytv.com.

3 Hallmark Channels, Weather, Outdoor Channel, etc. appear on this service and it is only $5.99/mo. with no commitments.  As such, you can subscribe from Halloween through Christmas and get all of the movies for $12 including the ability to save and record.

Remember the formula:
A personal family drama
A 90s actress you almost forgot about
A hunky romantic interest you probably don't know
A town with a dumb name
A dead spouse
A supernatural element that changes everything
Mostly white cast
Terrible babysitting skills
Falling in love
A final kiss (but not too long)
Roll credits...

Let the good Christmas vibes roll.
These are FUNNY
Best Fight Scene EVER
Robert Duvall and  Michael Caine in Secondhand Lions VIDEO ~4minutes.

Officer Oliver

This kid is AMAZING. ~2 min.
Meanwhile...In CANADA
Remember Hollywood Squares?
Best of Paul Lynde
These great questions and answers are from the days when  the “Hollywood  Squares” game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they were in later years. 
Peter Marshall was the host asking the  questions, of course..  
Q. Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat?   
A. Paul Lynde: Loneliness!   
(The audience laughed so long and so hard  it took up almost 15 minutes of the show!)   
Q. Do female frogs croak?   
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.  
Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be? 
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.   
Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years..   
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.  
Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?   
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.  

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think  
that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?  
A. Rose Marie: No, wait until morning.  
Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?  
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.  
Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say 'I Love You'?   
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.
Q. What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?   
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.  
Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less   with your hands while talking?  
A.. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter,   and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.   
Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?   
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.  
Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries.  Are you going to get any during the first year?  
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.  
Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?   
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.  
Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps.  One is politics, what is the other?   
A.      Paul Lynde: Tape measures.  
Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?   
A.. Rose Marie:  Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom. 
Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?  
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out. 
Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?   
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark? 
Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?  
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.  
Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit   
 of kissing a lot of people?                                                           
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.  
Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?  
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.
Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head,   
what was he trying to do?  
A.      George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.  
Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?   
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?  
Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?  
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.  
Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them   
and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?  
A.      Charley Weaver: His feet.  
Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?   
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh   
Comedy Wildlife Photos
America's Sweethearts...
Costume Suggestions for the Party that Won't Happen...

Caramel Apple Fondue (just in time for FALL)

Caramel Apples…a favorite treat during the Fall Season, but often times they are difficult to eat, especially for little hands. So why not make them easy to handle, easy to eat and loads of fun by adding toppings and serve a Mini Caramel Apple Fondue that includes an easy Caramel Apple Dip!

Caramel Apple Topping Ideas

To serve the toppings, we used Mason Jars (4 ounce jelly jars) and the lids and rings from the Mason Jars. The apples are in baskets that I found at Michaels in their Fall section, as well as the small metal pedestal that we used on the Fall Table Decorations.

Mini Caramel Apple Fondue Tips

  • Cut apples into chunks for easier handling
  • Soak apples in lemon juice or lemon-lime soda about 30 minutes to prevent browning.
  • To keep the caramel from sliding off the apple, be sure to gently dry apples with a paper towel.
  • Use sticks or skewers for the handles. If you use sticks, be sure to wash them first.
  • Caramel – Use our super easy (and delicious) Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe or you can also use 1 bag of caramels plus 2 tablespoons water, melt on the stovetop and add to a crockpot to keep warm
  • Serve toppings in Mason Jars, or display them in a muffin tin, cupcake liners or bowls
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