Funny girl
Funny girl

Today, while cleaning out one of the kitchen drawers, Akemi came across a photo of a young boy.  “It’s you,”she said.

“That isn’t me,”I corrected her.  It was, in fact, a photo of my ex’s nephew.

“Of course,”she said, apparently realizing her mistake.  “Yours are black and white.”

Hey, check it out.  Perfect timing!  Our trip to Tokyo happens to coincide with the release of this seasonal McDonalds menu item which is, as far as I can tell, a deep-fried mac and cheese and bechamel burger:

Also, I’m not completely sold on this Japanese McDonalds campaign (the jingle translates to: McDonalds is always here):

Mailbag:

Fagate One writes: “An announcement before month’s end = tomorrow !”

Answer: Damnit.  I thought we were already in November.  Announcement next month.  If all goes according to plan.  I wouldn’t it?

Mike A. writes: “I’m curious, I don’t remember if you ever put Continuum on your watch list last year or not.”

Answer: Nope.  Did watch the first episode though and thought it looked pretty good.

Sparrow_hawk writes: “Also, a friend’s son is getting married in Tokyo next year. In July. How is the weather in Tokyo in July. Hot? Humid? Rainy?”

Answer: Hot and incredibly humid.  Apparently, air-conditioning is a must.

mark writes: “was there any plans for characters such as Cameron Mitchell, John Sheppard or Teal’c to appear on stargate universe in a later season?”

Answer: There were no concrete plans, but the door was always open.  After receiving word of the SGU cancellation, we even toyed with the idea of a wrap-up movie that would have seen a rescue op launched from Earth to Destiny, made up of characters  from both SG-1 and SGA.

astrumporta writes: “Oh, I don’t know about a mole in TWD, but I think the little blonde girl is up to no good. In fact I think she was faking being sick to get put in the isolation wing and do something bad – maybe just start killing? She’s mental, I think.”

Answer: Interesting theory.  Or maybe you’re just an untrusting person.  Poor blondie.  🙁

astrumporta also writes: “I heard Hello Ladies was rather derivative but based on your rec I’ll watch for sure when it gets to Netflix.”

Answer: As I said, it’s from the Larry David/Ricky Gervais School of Uncomfortable Humor, but it’s far and away the funniest of the new fall shows – and probably the funniest of any of the show currently airing.  Unless someone has a better candidate?  Careful now.

Nola Shingledecker writes: “Did you ever decide on attire for the Tokyo wedding? I’m still hoping for the full samuri regalia – complete with swords (short and long).”

Answer: I decided to go with the dark suit, white shirt and tie.  But will get a perm and don sunglasses for that perfect yakuza touch.

gforce writes: “I wouldn’t worry about that phone call – if it was important they would have at least left a message for you to call back.”

Answer: That’s what I assumed.  And they never did, so it couldn’t have been THAT important.  Unless, of course, some terrible fate befell the caller in the interim.

shinyhula writes: “The project sounds interesting!”

Answer: Oh, you’re all gonna love it.

bambamfans writes: “Hey Joe – Have you seen this film review of The Counsellor? I think it’s hilarious, the review reminded me of you and Ivon. Do you dare watch it?”

Answer: It’s too bad Paul and I retired our weekly Bad Movie Night.  This one sounds like it could be just as worthy a candidate as Battlefield Earth and Boxing Helena.

30 thoughts on “October 30, 2013: Funny girl! Weird Japanese McDonalds! Mailbag!

  1. Dr. Mr. Cryptic:

    “Oh, you’re all gonna love it.” After all the buildup, it had BETTER be something Stargate. 🙂

  2. Hey, check it out. Perfect timing! Our trip to Tokyo happens to coincide with the release of this seasonal McDonalds menu item which is, as far as I can tell, a deep-fried mac and cheese and bechamel burger:

    you don’t seem like the fast food type. but if you do venture into that territory, there seem to be a lot of options for a weird food purchase of the day video *hint, hint* 😉

    http://www.businessinsider.com/bizarre-japanese-fast-food-2013-5

    this link has stuff form 2012. i don’t know if they still have any of these.

    http://www.tofugu.com/2012/11/28/the-best-japanese-junk-food-of-2012/

  3. LMAO at Akemi’s picture comment. That girl is developing a fairly sarcastic sense of humour. I wonder where she’s getting that from?

    Those McDonald’s ads are simply disturbing. Clowns trying to open a locked door and hiding under the bed are the things of my nightmares.

    “And they never did, so it couldn’t have been THAT important. Unless, of course, some terrible fate befell the caller in the interim.”
    – Well, that’ll show them for calling too early! 🙂

  4. Akemi is so funny. Mine were black and white too, then a yellowish instant polaroid picture that popped out of the camera and took a minute to develope itself. Now you can snap a crystal clear picture from your phone…just in time for my gray hair and wrinkles. 🙁

  5. I was going to say anything with “Star” in the title would be awesome, but the hope against hope of any SG fan would be that you served as Emmerich’s continuity adviser. I’m sure you wouldn’t call that having “fielded similar offers” though, at least so nonchalantly. Conversely, anything with “Caillou” in the title, I might pass on.

    All going to love it” was a big hint.

  6. joe said: “Oh, you’re all gonna love it.”

    deni said: “After all the buildup, it had BETTER be something Stargate. :)”

    sally says: PLEASE be stargate!!!

  7. 1. Oooh! Akemi got you good, Joe! And I think if you got a perm, you might wake up to find that Akemi had shaved your head,

    2. I agree: the McDonald’s commercials are really creepy. They don’t do Halloween in Japan, do they? Is so, maybe they are just in the spirit of the season. On the other hand, that burger looks kind of interesting – in the way that corn and mayo on your pizza in interesting. But that looked like a Christmas ad.

    3. Thanks for the Tokyo weather info, Joe! I’ll pass it along to Joanie (not the one on the blog, another Joanie that work with) so she can be prepared. Her son is getting married at Saint Francis Xavier Church (Kanda.Catholic Church) in Tokyo next summer.

  8. A few years back the daughter of a friend of mine, while trying to explain to her mother about the ‘olden days’, said that it was a very sad time because there was no color in the world yet. That must’ve been the same time you were growing up, Joe. 😉

    Okay…that McDonald’s commercial thing is damn creepy!! I started watching it, then scrolled down to type, forgetting that it was still playing. Suddenly, from under my desk (where my speakers are) I hear that creepy voice, and it scared the hell out of me! 😛

    Sometimes I am such a weenie. 😛

    das

  9. Dark suit, white shirt and tie will look very nice. How about ditch the perm and glasses and make the suit a tux with tails. That would look great, although perhaps too overdressed for the wedding?

  10. @Das:

    A few years back the daughter of a friend of mine, while trying to explain to her mother about the ‘olden days’, said that it was a very sad time because there was no color in the world yet. That must’ve been the same time you were growing up, Joe.

    That reminded me of a Calvin & Hobbes comic:

    Calvin: Dad, how come old photographs are in black & white? Didn’t they have colored pictures back then?
    Calvin’s Dad: Sure they did. In fact, those old pictures are in color. It is just that the world was in black and white then.
    Calvin: Really?
    Calvin’s Dad: The world didn’t turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.
    Calvin: So how come old paintings are in color? Wouldn’t they be black and white, too?
    Calvin’s Dad: Not necessarily. A lot of great artists were insane.
    Calvin: But…..but how could they paint in color? Wouldn’t their paint tubes have been shades of gray then?
    Calvin’s Dad: Precisely. But they turned color as did everything else in the 30s.
    Calvin: So how come old photographs are in black & white?
    Calvin’s Dad: Because they were color photographs of a black and white world, remember?
    Later, sitting on a branch Calvin: The world is a complicated place, Hobbes.
    Hobbes: Whenever I feel that way, I nap in a tree and wait for dinner.

    And Joe, I’m looking forward to when you can eventually tell us what the ‘Project’ is!

  11. Okay, considering how many HTML tags I had in there and the fact that I took two melatonin tablets a half hour ago (getting ready for bed), one screw-up is not too bad! 😉

  12. McDonalds in other countries is so weird. Yes, it makes perfect sense to cater to the market – and like, I had no issue with Starbucks serving very British sandwiches (they love their mayo :P) – but that burger-thing looks crazy. And the fries in England – while very tasty – are nothing like normal McDonalds french fries! Talk about cognitive dissonance.

  13. @ JeffW – Now you have me pining away here for Calvin and Hobbes…I just miss them so!! *sniffle*

    @ Joe – Question (for, whenever) – With Akemi’s mad cooking skills you seem to be eating at home more often than before. Do you find that you’re saving quite a bit by doing so? Are you just as satisfied eating at home as you are eating out?

    We’re trying to eat at home more often to save money, and I hope it’s working. Hard to tell sometimes with groceries as pricey as they are these days. The cheapest thing for us to do is to get Chinese take-out. A $15-20 order can last us 2-3 days, so we can easily get by on less than $60 a week for dinners, and maybe a couple lunches, too. But after 2-3 days I’m totally sick of steamed chicken with broccoli, which is one of the few things I can still eat since going gluten free. No more of the good stuff that’s deep-fried or the spicy or garlic sauces loaded with soy sauce (which usually contains wheat).

    And for some reason if I cook chicken with broccoli for a week straight, it ends up costing me like…$5000 at the market. I need to go grocery shopping with blinders on. 😛

    das

  14. @Akemi: Burn!

    I call shenanigans on those McDonald’s ads. Sure, their slogan might have been “McDonald’s is always there” but I can’t see anyone, not even the Japanese, thinking that those ads would entice people go eat there. Plus, the ads are a bit too amateurish for a marketing budget the size of McDonald’s.

  15. Hi Joe in the follow up to the SGU question I wonder is there any possibility of Roland Emmerich consulting any person involved with the television series or is MGM aiming for a ‘Star Trek’ reboot/continuity of the franchise?

  16. So November then for the big news, lots to look forward to. I’ve started having Walking Dead dreams again, even though I’m not watching the show. I dreamt I was hiding with my sister and cousin when a band of hill folk parked their bus in our yard. We opted to stay hidden in our house but by the hill folk discovered our hiding place. Then we came home to find the hill folk grooming themselves on our porch and assuring us they meant us no harm, but they still were scarier than the roaming zombies. And they really wanted my opinion on their newly shaved heads. I’m getting no rest this week thanks to the vivid dreams.

  17. Jeff@: That was some fancy coding. I’m impressed! Good story about the Old Days without color. It is amazing how each generation adds more tech. How did we live without USB sticks? Do you remember how long it to dial a rotary phone? Now, smart phones are a necessity for some people. I love the new tech!

    The deep-fried mac and cheese and bechamel burger sounds like it could be a hit here in Mississippi! No one would know what béchamel is, so the name would have to be changed or the product. Maybe they could do a deep fried mac and cheese with Nacho sauce? My stomach aches just thinking about it.

    Anyone live in Austin? I’ve heard they are getting drenched.

    My new convection oven is here. It took a few hours to get it “dropped into” the cabinet. (Don’t ever buy a house with a drop in oven.) I have to go read the booklet. This oven has a PROOF function. (?) I have two batches of chocolate cookies to bake. I hope I don’t screw them up!

    I can’t wait to see what the project is! Fingers crossed.

    A big HI to everyone!

  18. dasndanger: If your not saving money over eating take out then you might be doing something wrong. Me and my wife eat very well and we don’t spend a lot on groceries, much less then what we would if we at out or purchased take out.

    We try to always buy in bulk, and I stay away from any processed food. I buy a no name brand of converted rice in 20 kg sacks and make rice pilaf which is easy to make and very tasty. I usually try and buy things on sale. If chicken is on sale, I buy lots and freeze what I don’t need for the next few days.

    I keep a small pocket notebook with with a list of everything we buy. Each item gets about four lines, each line for one of the four different supermarkets in our area. I mark down regular price and sale price. Then I only go shopping when I need to, I make up a list of everything I need including stocked items I’m getting low on. I check out sales and match what I need to the sales.
    We live very close to five different super markets, if you include Wal-Mart, five minutes away from each other including traffic lights, so it’s not a lot of driving or time to go to different stores, and it does make a big difference in how much we save. The difference in price is often surprising. If something is on sale I take the flyer to the store I go to and get them to match prices to save time and travel, if possible.

    If something is on sale that I like, say halibut or steaks, I buy some and have it for the next few days, or freeze it. Things like Raisin Bran, when it’s on for a really good price I’ll buy six of the largest boxes. Then I wrap them in plastic bags and they stay good for well over a year.

    In order to shop like this you need to have room to store food, and hopefully a freezer. I have a 4 x 8 foot pantry with deep shelves from three feet to the ceiling on one side, and narrow shelves from the floor to the ceiling on the opposite side for cans. It still isn’t big enough.

    If you don’t already know how, learn how to cook. Instead of buying chicken breasts I buy bone in breasts, a half dozen and then debone them and make stock with the bones. Then I make soup or freeze the stock in 750ml yogurt containers which I use for gravy, rice pilaf and soups. If we have a roast chicken we eat that for three days, make a stock with the bones and scraps on the second, make soup on the third, eat the soup on the fourth and fifth, maybe sixth.

    You can do the same with beef roast. Eat it for two or three days, then I slice it thin and eat it on sandwiches or baron of beef with au jus.

    I aim for about $2.00 for a dinner meal. Sometimes we splurge, for things like halibut or steak. I try to buy a largish piece,cut it into serving sizes and freeze everything but a night or two meals.

    One of my favourite meals is fresh spinach and cheese ravioli in tomato sauce with grated cheddar and thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, finished in the oven. I use canned tomato sauces, which I buy on sale and I add 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh frozen chopped basil that I grow in the summer and freeze with olive oil, onion, pepper and or mushrooms. The ravioli is about $8 for 2kg, which I put on baking sheets and freeze. I only use five pieces per person per meal. The tomato sauce lasts three to four days for two people. The fresh mozzarella is purchased close to their expiry date when it’s sold at half price. I cut it into four pieces and freeze it. I love fresh mozzarella.
    I serve with steamed broccoli, beans, or peas.

    Don’t buy stuff that goes bad and don’t buy lots of stuff you haven’t tried before. You don’t want three cases of something you don’t like.

    I don’t know if you can get fresh non-gluten ravioli. I imagine it wouldn’t be cheap.

    We don’t tend to use a lot of coupons, we don’t get double coupon days, and I don’t buy much processed food which is the most likely stuff on sale. It also tends to be the most expensive food besides being the worst for you.

    I hope some of this is useful to you. I find it relatively inexpensive to eat but we still eat well. I’m certainly not starving.

    To everyone else, sorry for the large comment.

  19. @ Mike from Canada – Thanks so much for the feedback! Very kind of you. 🙂

    One of the problems here in our area is that it is a resort area – and in New Jersey – so everything costs much more. My sister can buy most of the same products down in Florida for not just cents, but dollars less. That’s one reason they moved to Florida – NJ is a very expensive state. The only thing we have ‘cheap’ here is our gas, often the lowest in the country, and our service stations are full service, so not only is the gas cheaper, but we don’t have to pump our own.

    When it comes to shopping one problem is that I don’t plan well – I go when I need stuff, so often end up paying full price instead of looking around for the sales. I do cut coupons once in a while, but honestly they’re just not worth it (and so few are things I actually use). I buy very few processed foods (except pickled things), so that’s not much of a problem.

    Another (recent) problem is that gluten-free foods are EXTREMELY expensive. There’s one ‘deli-style’ bread I like to get when I have a hankering for a sandwich, and it literally costs over $1 per slice. OUCH! Needless to say, I don’t buy it often, and when I do I make sure I get the most for my money (usually by cutting the slices in half).

    Lastly, one problem is me. I like things that aren’t cheap – cheese, olives, chocolate, ‘gourmet’ seasonings, etc. This is one area I am trying to work on because all the things I like Mr. Das doesn’t, so when I do buy them it is just for me – a true indulgence and not a necessity.

    das

  20. @Das:

    I loved Calvin & Hobbes; too bad Bill Watterson opted for early retirement. He and Gary Larson, I tell ya, they came up with some great stuff and then they check out at the height their careers. Hmmph, some people! 😉

    @Tam Dixon:

    Hey, we both made one mistake per post…not too bad ratio!

    @Sparrow_hawk:

    Thanks! It was mostly cut&paste, but I missed one closing bold tag. Oh well.

  21. i think that mcdonald’s (and other fast food places) should have some of their foreign products in US (& canadian) restaurants. maybe just the top-sellers, but i heard that it would cost too much to train the workers to make the stuff and some of the things need different equipment to make.

  22. Dasndanger: I have the same problem with my wife. She used to be adventurous with food, but no longer so. I’ll eat anything, well, almost anything, I’m not fond of olives.

    Luckily for me I have time to make different things. I usually make up lots of meals in advance, instead of making dinner for one night I make it for six and freeze two thirds of it. That way if I’m too tired to cook or if she doesn’t like what I’m having she can try something else. I try different recipes and when I find one I really like I add it to my recipe box, then change it up. I make plain mac and cheese (cheddar and monterey jack) and when I defrost it I add lobster cubes or bacon on one side with just a little sliced fresh mozzarella. I probably eat more fresh mozzarella then I should.

    I love fresh mushrooms, chanterelle, oyster, morel, which I pick locally or up island with my brother when in season, but my wife won’t touch them. She won’t eat mushrooms and picks them out of food I cook. I love all seafood, salmon, ling-cod, mussels, clams, prawns, crabs, she only eats halibut, salmon and canned tuna. We used to have fish and chips every one or two weeks, but I’ve been cutting back on the deep fried food too. Except for the occasional pan fried Elvis style chicken (Chicken a-la the King, recipe on the official Google blog), which is awesome. If you try it make sure you marinate the chicken in the buttermilk and spices at least 24 hours. But the spices are expensive and it uses a lot of them.

    I also have a penchant for cheeses, specialty sausages and cured meats.

    Unfortunately while I have a lot of super markets around here I haven’t really found a decent specialty food markets in the area I live, outside of the downtown core. There are better ones where my brother lives, a much smaller city three hours away. He probably keeps it in business.

    So like I say, I do understand. I find it can be difficult having royal tastes but a peasants pay.

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