Archive for February, 2011

Hey there music lovers,

This week I bring you The Very End, a melodic death/thrash metal band from Ruhrgebiet, Germany. Unfortunately, since they formed in 2005 (?) and do not seem to be a very well known band, there isn’t much information out there to share with you. So, just check out their video for the single A Hole in the Sun off of their 2011 release “Mercy & Misery”. Enjoy!

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Happy Friday everyone,

Today’s ‘Foodie’ comes from a small, nondescript Italian restaurant in Ventura, CA.

While I will concede Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant has nothing on traditional, authentic Italian food, it is pretty good. Parking is a little awkward, as they share a lot with about a dozen other businesses, so get a spot on the curb in front if you can. Very small and hole-in-the-wall-like, the ambiance in here is Spaghetti Co. (another hometown Italian dining staple) meets Sizzler. Dimly lit inside, when the front door opens, light floods in and kind of ruins whatever atmosphere is there. That being said, I don’t go out to eat for the way a place looks (who is with me?) The food is plentiful and quite tasty. Salads are crisp and fresh and their Italian dressing is among the best. Of course, let’s not forget the garlic bread- it’s tremendous.

Although they do not carry the largest drink selection, I noticed on their menu last time I was there that under the ‘Beer’ section, the following was offered: “Domestic:…[immediately followed by]- MicroBrew/Import: Bud, Miller, Peroni, etc…” This prompted me to ask our server what microbrews were available. To this our server scratched her head and told us that in 28 years, she never new they offered a microbrew. She then proceeded to ask me to describe what a microbrew is. I gladly obliged, but was a little confused at why something would be on the menu that isn’t offered. C’est la vie…

I am happy to report that they are more than happy to accommodate any changes you want to make to any item on the menu. I ordered the Chicken Francais, which normally includes lightly battered chicken. I asked if I could get it without batter, to which our server happily agreed. She then asked if I wanted capers, essentially making my dish chicken picatta, which is not included on the menu. While a little salty, it was very good.

Despite little hiccups here and there, this is a great little out-of-the-way Americanized Italian spot. Prices are fair, food is good and I will be back.

On your next late night trip to Denny’s, check out the signs they have for employee hand washing:

I don’t know about you, but I think the toilet does just fine on its own and needs no “visits” from me…

Hey people of the midpoint,

Today I bring your attention to a great metal band that kind of blew me away. Dark Tranquility is a melodic death metal band hailing from a country that has served as a reliable bastion of great metal music: Sweden. Starting out under the name Septic Broiler, this band has been around for more than 20 years, so I feel kind of ashamed not having heard of them before now. I guess I wasn’t worldly enough when I first got into the metal music not too long ago. While their song Misery’s Crown is quite good, it does sound strangely similar to Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage. You be the judge:

I realize this type of music may not be for everyone. If the growling/screaming throws you, just listen for the musical talent these guys clearly display. When the singer is not growling in some of their other songs, it sounds a little like David Gahan from Depeche Mode. While these other bands may have been influences on them, Dark Tranquility is certainly on the Metal World radar!

Hello fellow food lovers,

I am really just a fat kid at heart that loves to eat. So today I am introducing a new feature on the blog: Foodie Fridays. These weekly posts will highlight a different restaurant, cafe, deli, bistro, or just about anything other type of eatery you can think of. Alternatively, if a particular dish stands out above the rest, or just sounds intriguing to me, I will focus on that. Each week I will be serving up the high points and low points of different aspects of the highlighted place or individual food item, including atmosphere, decor, cleanliness, waitstaff, wait times, and of course the food itself. I encourage fellow closet fat kids to write in with suggestions and anecdotes from your favorite places, or about your favorite foods.

On the slab this week: Eggs ‘n’ Things

Established in 1974, Eggs ‘n’ Things is a great breakfast house with a friendly, local feel. In fact, with a total of only six locations (all in Southern California), they are a local chain. It is quite popular, seemingly irrespective of location, so expect a wait. The decor seems to be aiming for a country kitchen feel and, for the most part, it feels that way. The layout of the place is pretty conducive moving people through to avoid those traffic jams that can happen as people get out of their booths at the same time on either side of the aisle. The floor and eating utensils aren’t always the cleanest. On one occasion, I had to ask for a new set of silverware, as there was what looked like cheese stuck to my fork. This happens from time to time and I understand. Our server happily got a new set for me. Coffee is always hot and hash browns are amazing (I recommend getting them well done), but if you get cheese on your omelet, it may not always be completely melted. I chalk this up to how busy it can get in there. The fruit bowls are almost always fresh and ripe and the OJ never sour. They also serve lunch, though in the 10 or so years I have been going, I have only gotten breakfast there. For my money, it’s the best breakfast food around for the price.

Greetings mediocrity-lovers,

I don’t usually like to get political, but a particular article posted to a blog on the NPR.org website piqued my intellectual curiosity. As a disclaimer, I have only taken introductory college courses in Economics, but I did well in them and have a good enough understanding of the principle of supply and demand. This article poses some points that are as interesting as they are perplexing. For instance, the authors of the post interviewed economist Jim Grant, who argues for the gold standard: the idea that all the paper money in the U.S. economy should be backed by something physical that has value. This, he says, is and always has been that shiniest of commodities: gold. He goes on to assert that the alternative system that the U.S. has adopted is based largely on the opinions of the chairman of the Federal Reserve, who seems to make decisions on whether to inject a boatload of cash into the market just to see what would happen.

I’ll tell you what would happen: inflation the likes of which have not been seen since before the start of the Great Depression. If the paper money that the Fed so freely decides to inundate the economy with has no backing in something real (gold), the economy would essentially be running on meaningless pieces of green paper. This is not to say, of course, that paper money does not itself have value we the people have ascribed to it. This value, however, is due in large part to money’s relative scarcity compared to any alternate commodity we could use for currency. Basically, the less of something there is, generally the more value it has to those who might find uses for it. Therefore, when the powers that be want to “help” stimulate the economy by putting more things of value out there (supply), those things become less desirable due to the relative ease of getting a hold of them (demand). For evidence of why this is a bad idea, we need look no further than the problems faced by the African nation of Zimbabwe.

Creating more money is not the answer to inflationary concerns. Nor should the decision about what gives U.S. money its value be arbitrary or flippantly made. If gold is no longer viable as a foundation for the value of this nation’s currency, then an alternative should be sought immediately. The consequences of leaving it to the financial system to determine money’s value relative to things like retail prices, interest rates, etc. are far too ominous. I sure don’t want to live in a country where 10 zeros on a bank note is barely enough to catch a bus and I’m pretty sure you don’t either. Please comment and let me know your thoughts.

-The Dead Peasant

Things that make you go…

Posted: February 15, 2011 in News/Current Events
Tags: , ,

“hmmm”…

logic: 1, religion: nil.