Monthly Archives: May 2013

T.I.T.’s Annual Food and Nutrition Issue

Dear readers, so much has been happening food-wise recently that it made sense to just dedicate one issue to the subject.  Then too, there are a lot of basic nutrition rules I’ve learned over the years (as Dr. Reinhold Boehmke), that I simply must pass on. 

I was in the gas station convenience store a while back and the guy ahead of me was buying what appeared to be his next several meals:  Beanee Weenees, and Cheeto’s for dinner, Pop-Tarts for breakfast, and a 2 liter Diet Pepsi to wash it all down with.  Oh, and a pack of off-brand cigarettes to enjoy after meal time.  I thought, wow, here’s a guy who really has it together.  In one stop he can fill up the gas tank and buy healthy and delicious food all in one convenient stop.  Then last week The Princess and I went to the movies, the Mathew McConaughey movie, Mud (four stars out of five on the T.I.T. rating system), and in one scene he’s shown eating Beanee Weenees cold, right out of the can.

Alright, I’ll admit it, I’ve never eaten actual Beanee Weenees.  I really like saying the words Beanee Weenee.  And I’ve eaten beans and wieners, just not the real brand name thing, and certainly not straight from the can.  So, out of curiosity and as a service to my readers, this week I bought some, popped the top off the can and slurped some down just the way Mathew did. 

Beanie Weanies

Notice how my honk almost seems to be sniffing the product in.  This an advantage of  the “right from the can” technique; you get the taste and a full jolt of the complex Beanee Weenee aroma all at the same time.  Honestly, they were not bad, and they brought back memories I’ve my youth when the Idiotic Mom would serve up beans and wieners for lunch.  For the record, the IM never bought brand name anything. 

I do recommend the Beanee Weenees (3 stars out of 600) with one caution, well two.  First, if you’ve got a honk like mine, pull the can back slowly, or its sharp edge will scrape your nose, and (b) I found out the guy at the convenience store didn’t just get one kind of gas that day!

The Beanee Weenees do lead into my first nutrition rule, the balanced meal.  Essentially the balanced meal rule states that you can eat any damn thing you want as long as you pair it with something nutritious.  So, for example, the guy in the convenience mart paired the Cheetos (bad) with the Beanee Weenees (good).  Similarly, you can eat two donuts (like I did this morning) as long as you pair them with a banana.  Another example, bratwurst (bad), sauerkraut (good).  Cashews (bad), martini (good), what!?  That’s right, a gin martini contains the juice of the juniper berry which is an anti-inflamatory.  As a matter of fact, gin was initially invented as a medicine.  I know this is a fact, because I read it on the internet.  I often pair a scrumptious cinnamon role with a cup of oatmeal, and finally here’s one I love, Snickers bars and an apple.  The two eaten together taste like a caramel apple .  By the way, eggs and bacon, two bads, so not a balanced meal.  That’s why I limit that one to once a week.

Mention of the Snickers reminds me of another nutrition rule:  everything in moderation.  This rule, also known as the “cop-out rule,” allows one the leeway to eat bad things as long as it isn’t done to excess.  The Idiotic Brother takes is a step further and follows the rule:  everything in moderation, “including moderation,” but I’m sorry, if you follow that one, well you might just as well not even have any rules.  When moderation can’t be maintained , then drastic steps must be taken.  Here’s an example from personal experience.  It was after Halloween last year that I took the ill-advised step of secreting uneaten Halloween Snickers in the fridge in Gene’s garage.  While working on the Pony, if “the hungries” got me, I could just grab a few bite-size Snickers and an apple (sometimes).  After a while though, I noticed that the Snickers seemed to be disappearing faster than I was eating them, but then, miraculously, more would show up.  It was like the biblical miracle of “the loaves and fishes.”  Gene and Lynne, admitted that I had accidentally gotten them “hooked.”  Moderation was completely out the window.  The whole family out there was noshing on Snickers.  The more we all ate, the more showed-up in the fridge.

A few weeks ago, there’d apparently been a Snickers “intervention” out at Gene’s.  I was in the garage and Lynne walked in with a reinforced, lockable, minnie brief case, you know, the kind couriers handcuff to their wrists.  She said hense forth I was to establish a lock combination that I was not to share with anyone at their house and place all Snickers inside.  You think I’m joking, but here’s a photo of the new “Snickers stash” lock box.

Snicker stash

Next rule:  always go with a craving.  This is another great rule, because it trumps all other rules.  If you crave it, your body is trying to tell you, you need it, so don’t ignore it.  Here’s a perfect example, and you’ll have trouble believing it, so I’ll just say right up front that “I’m not making this up.”  At the  physical I had last year up at Mayo, blood tests showed that I was low on vitamin B-12.  After talking with my doctor back home, I started taking a B-12 pill every day.  This week I got curious about B-12 and did a little research on the web.  I was surprised to see that third on the list of good sources of B-12 is braunschweiger.  Now remember, I didn’t know this before looking it up.  Here’s a photo taken inside our freezer.

Braunschweiger stash

That’s all braunschweiger (well, some is liverwurst).  I rest my case!

Moving on, “sell-buy” dates, a bunch of balony.  Milk always goes funky if not outright bad several days before its sell-by date.  Conversely, some stuff, you can totally ignore the sell-by date.  Last week I was rummaging around looking for something chocolaty for desert.  I found a carton of Jello brand chocolate pudding.  By the way, this product gets one of the few T.I.T. 5 out of 5 star ratings.  It’s easy (three cups milk and what’s in the package, stir it, boil it, chill it, and serve with lots of Redi-Whip on top) and delicious.  Anyway, as I was reading those complex directions on the box I noticed the sell by date of April 28, 2011, over two years ago.  Not a problem, the stuff was terrific.

A few quick notes.  Vitamin D comes from donuts; the sun, I don’t think so.  If that was true, you could get potassium by just looking at a banana  Men, if you have “low T,” move to England.  You can have “High T(ea)” every day. 

And a grocery store anecdote.  I was in the meat department perusing the steaks.  I was looking for a small pack of filet mignon.  The Princess claims this is the only beef she can eat because of her shaky teeth.  Right.  Anyway, I found a package with what sure looked like two filets in it, but was marked as pork and carried a price, therefore, of just $1.84.  I thought what the heck, I’ll take a chance, grilled them up that night, and sure enough, they got The Princess seal of approval.  But of course it does make you wonder, doesn’t it?  If they can make that kind of mistake, how do you know what else their getting wrong.

Finally, chocolate, or anything with chocolate in it, always good, and as the IB would say, “Good for ya.”

And a little Pony News.
Everyone’s going to be disappointed in me, but right up front I’m going to say I spent $300 (approx) this week on something I probably should have done myself.  There, it’s out there, and although I haven’t put it in the C-O-M yet, it will be in there as soon as I can get to it.  Painting is really tough; I’ve done a lot of it while working on the Pony, so I know.  I wanted the grill and hood to look really great, because those two items are what folks see first.  So I splurged, and had a “professional” do the painting.  I consciously put the word professional in quotes, because a made the guy repaint the parts twice.  I won’t keep you waiting any longer.

new grill and hood 2

I just set the parts in place to give you an idea of how things will look when all buttoned up, but as guilty as I feel about not doing the work myself and spending all that money, the results do look pretty nice, and it looks a little more like a tractor now than a Model T. 

Have a wonderful week everyone, and thanks for reading.

Pony Time!

Here are the words that were either incorrect or missing from the last post: be, be, to, here, your, a bunch of punctuation, and the list goes on.  That’s the last time (I promise!) that I’ll drink scotch while doing a post.  I went through that post the next day, after The Princess found an error, and corrected a lot of stuff.  So the edition now on the website is correct, well, probably not, but its better, well, probably not, but it’s less incorrect.

I’ll tell you, as I told the Princess today, sometimes I feel as if I’m being phased-out.  I don’t recognize half the store names in the mall.  When I go to buy a product I’ve been buying for years, it’s been changed or discontinued.  I don’t know any of the current raft of celebrities, and most of the celebrities I grew up knowing are either dead or doing ill-advised “farewell tours.”  It’s enough to make you just want to give up.  But every now and then you’re thrown a life line.  Something that renews your faith in life as you’ve known it.  Something that says, “Hey man, there is still a place for you here.”  In my case it was a life line of sausage links!

At Christmas, well no, it goes back further, in August I was out in CA visiting the idiotic brother, and as we do we began reminiscing.  We both lived in Wisconsin for a time, and he got his engineering degree during four frozen years in Milwaukee.  During those years we got to know and love Usinger’s sausage.  I don’t care, it could be brats, or wieners, or blood sausage, or liverwurst, but it was all “gut!”  We’re of German heritage after all, it’s in the genes.  While he was up there in school we went to the Usinger’s factory store, right in downtown Milwaukee.  They had liverwurst there so fresh, it was like pate (for the unsufistikated, that’s pronounce “pa tay”).

So, as Christmas neared last year, I went on-line, and sure enough, Usingers is still there and better yet, they send out their wonderful “wurst” packed in dry ice, to anywhere in the states.  The Princess and I sent Jim a gift package, and of course, he and his wife, Minnie, loved it.  So, when the Usinger’s 20% off coupon came in the mail a month or so ago, I called immediately and ordered some life-affirming wurst.   In the last couple of months I’ve ordered $150 worth of wurst.  I don’t care now what happens in the world, who the movers and shakers are, or where I’m supposed to shop, I’ve got a wiener in a bun that tells me, “You’re alright, bud, enjoy this and forget about all that other crap, you’re still right where you belong.”

Along these lines, have you looked at the “egg section” in the grocery lately.  My goodness, how do you decide.  That reminds me, on that trip back to Young America that my cousin Eddie and I made when we were teens, you know, to pick up the Model T flatbed?  It just popped into my head that we brought back a case of eggs too (a case is 30 dozen).  Yup, right through the same tornado that almost took the Model T off the trailer, we got a case of eggs home, unrefrigerated, from Minnesota to Illinois, without breaking a one.  That was another scheme of Eddie’s (he always had a scheme), I believe the eggs were meant to be sold in order to offset the cost of the trip.  Of course, no one bought them, so we ate ’em.  And that’s why I remember, to this day, that eggs can remain unrefrigerated for quite a while, and still be perfectly edible.  But naturally, I’ve digressed.

Anyway, in the egg section, you’ve got your antibiotic-free eggs,  your organic eggs, your brown eggs, your free-range eggs, then a slight nuance, cage-free,  and you’ve got your combinations of all the above.  Of course, you’ve got to pick the size too, every thing from “excuse me I just laid a medium,” to “ouch! give me an epidural next time” jumbos.  I’ve heard there are now even some unionized chickens that have negotiated for an open bar between 5 and 7 pm everyday.  You pop two of their eggs in a fry pan, and you can skip that nightly martini.

I don’t know why this hasn’t come to mind earlier, but if you were a teenager in the 60’s this YouTube video will sound familiar: Pony Time!
I thought that would be a great intro for a little slide show of recent Pony progress. 

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So, those pics take you from “unrestored” through to a partial second coat of red paint.  Also,  I’m going to get the center and left side done completely and then switch over and complete the right side.

One nasty little discovery.  As I was cleaning the bottom of the rear end I noticed two small round indentations just under both brake drum compartments.  I kept cleaning and cleaning, and finally it became obvious that there are meant to be holes there.  I finally got up the guts to jab an ice pick in one of the holes and sure enough, the hole went straight thru to the compartment.  The first hole was dry, but when I jabbed the second one, yikes!  Out came about an ounce of water, but worse, that was followed by what has become a slow, but steady, drip of oil.  I checked the manual, and it looks like the source of the oil is a bad oil seal on the left side of the differential.  Oh man, to fix that is a huge job, and I’m not so sure it’s one for amateurs.  As long as the leak doesn’t get too out of hand, I’m going to try to live with it.

As I proofed this post it occurred to me it was kind of all over the place, so I guess, “free range.”  Have a great week everyone, and may the “wurst” thing that happens to you be Usinger’s (800-558-9998).