Get an A-Maze Mug! c[_]


Hey, we talked about it before… No one, not two, but three times.

It’s finally here! Get an A-Maze Mug from Ci3! How cool is that? Each mug comes with a dry-erase marker so you can solve the maze, both in a nifty box covered in mazes!

A-MAZE MUG by Ci3 & AiXeLsyD13
A-MAZE MUG by Ci3 & AiXeLsyD13

More cool maze-related merch coming soon. What else would you like to see? Socks? Masks? T-shirts? Books? Puzzles? Mirrors? Tiles?

I haven’t ever done anything to make my mazes available for any kind of sale, so this is exciting to me. What do you think?

I am eternally grateful to Mike Copen for the nudge and the opportunity. It’s so cool for artists, designers, entrepreneurs, & creative types to support each other.

Of course, I think they’d make great gifts for friends, family, teachers, co-workers, or even anyone that may be hard to buy for. Who doesn’t like a nice warm beverage? Solving the maze with the dry erase marker is a good opportunity to kind of zone out in a zen-like state, to help you regain focus to start the day or even decompress at the end of a long day! I know that’s the drive behind drawing them.

These would be great for coffee, tea, hot cocoa, warm apple cider, ramen, or one of my soup recipes.

Please, share the link if you’re so inclined. I’d like to see how far these can go. Thanks in advance if you plan on making a purchase!

Chili (AiXeLsyD13 Style) 🌶


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. round steak, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ package of bacon pieces
  • 1 10.75 oz. can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes with sweet onions
  • 1 12 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 5 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 15.5 oz. can black beans
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, diced
  • 1 fresh orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 fresh sweet banana pepper, diced
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of Straub Amber
  • 1 pack of chili spice mix
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, steak seasoning, seasoned-salt, cumin, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper

I wanted to try 2 things, the Ninja Foodi pressure-cooker function & steak in the chili. The steak was successful, the pressure-cooking was not so much.

I cut up the steak and sautéed with a tiny bit of EVOO in a pan on the stove on high then medium-high, added about half of each chopped up fresh pepper, the ground beef, and about a tablespoon of minced garlic. This is where I added all of the dry spices at the end. I don’t measure. I also used some Straub to deglaze the pan. This mix was delicious.

I added the rest of the ingredients into the Foodi after draining & rinsing both cans of beans… including the unused peppers, garlic, and beer.

It got up to pressure then insisted I “ADD WTR.” I reluctantly added a cup of water and a beef bullion cube. I like chili thick enough to eat with a fork.

It got up to pressure again and insisted “ADD WTR.”

Googling solutions seemed to lean to the fact that it could be overheating, stuff could be burning on the pan, or a few other suggestions. A real life friend confirmed the burning thing via Facebook. It eventually got to a boiling point after the second pressure-up, but again demanded “ADD WTR.” No, Foodi. I like thick chili! NO ADD WTR! NO ADD WTR! I put it on the saute setting and let it boil down for a bit.

I think the stove top would have been the same amount of time. The flavors were great. Would they had been enhanced with proper pressurized cooking? Will the Foodi learn to say “STR SHT” when that’s what it really means?

Next time I will put the liquid on the bottom maybe? Also, no water/bullion cube… and I may eliminate the small can of tomato paste & sauce. The meat & pepper mix itself before other stuff was delicious. I could add the tomatoes, & soup, & beans right there and have a fine meal to be seved with rice or mashed potatoes.

Maybe I will go back to the slow-cooker. You can’t deny how awesome that is. My recipe is always changing.

One of these days I’m gonna try cocoa powder. I have seen stuff calling for brown sugar (which I love in spaghetti sauce), but no thanks in chili. I have also had cinnamon in chili, an that’s totally not my thing, but I get it if you dig it.

I had mine with some tortilla strips, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. We had some pretzel breadsticks on the side too. They serves soft pretzels with chili at my elementary school, so they will always belong together for me. This would have also been great over mashed potatoes or on a baked potato, rice, or even pasta.

IG CHILI

How do you do chili (or chili con carne)? Beans? No beans? Over pasta? Over potatoes or rice? Any musts for the side like peanut butter, corn bread, sweet corn cake, rolls, cinnamon rolls, tortilla chips or strips, etc.?

Do you use cheese or sour cream? Do you like it hot? Do you cut the heat with anything?

Do you have a preferred cooking method?

Any tips on pressure-cooker (or Ninja Foodi) chili?

Teh Facebooks on Chili

How yinz make your chili? 🌶 [Chili à la AiXeLsyD “Recipes”] 🌶


Yinz like chili?  I do.  I haven’t made any for a long time.  I may need to change that.  I stole this (& modified it) from my never-used Cookpendium blog.  My writing has hopefully improved since then.  Maybe not.  I like a tamer chili that would appeal to a wide variety of people to add heat as they like.  I like it thick enough to make a spoon stand.  I can take or leave the beans, and I reject your debatable elitist visions of chili or what it ought to be.

I ought to try and make a new batch using only stuff I buy at Aldi.

How do you make yours?


[Originally from a post at (the now defunct) PittsburghBeat.com, here’s a few consolidated chili recipe/methods…]

Recipe 1:

I’ve never made chili before, and in researching, I came across 50 billion recipes. So, this morning I made my own in the crock pot…

  • 2 cans of condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 packet of chili mix
  • about ½ cup of water
  • 1 tsp. of beef bullion
  • 1 can light red kidney beans
  • however much ground meat was leftover from last night
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • a dash of paprika
  • a dash of garlic

…and I slapped it into the crock pot on low for 8 hours.

Hope it tastes good when I get home. I’ve got shredded cheddar cheese for the top of it, & Super-Pretzels to go along with it. They always served pretzels & chili in my elementary school cafeteria so they belong together in my warped mind.

Most of them use tomato paste, soup, sauce, juice, or diced tomatoes as a base… I even saw one that called for Spicy hot V8… and I think my mom always used soup. Tomato paste is usually bitter, so I figured the tomato soup would counteract it. All of the spices should be rockin’. I like my chili thick.

Oh yeah, about 1/2 the ground meat was cooked w/ some seasoning salt & A1.


Recipe 2:

Here’s what basically went into my chili. I’ll probably eventually make a blog about it with a narrative so I can remember what I did this time for next time… to see what I wanna change or what I wanna do again.

I ended up only using the one can of diced tomatoes (the one with jalapeños) and still kind’ve overflowed the pot by a small amount. So, next time I may cut out one can of tomato soup or a can of beans. Also, I want to try garbanzo beans in my next batch… and I’ve heard chocolate powder goes good in chili some times… so I wanna try that one day too.

I also tossed in 2 slices of Velveeta ripped apart, a dash of spicy brown mustard, and a drop or 2 of A1 Cracked Peppercorn Steak Sauce.

I think the meat that I used was too fatty or I didn’t drain enough fat (…even though I got a about ⅔ of a regular sized plastic cup full of fat out of it). I had to skim some excess grease off of the top when I popped it open this morning.

I’ll let you know the general consensus after it’s been consumed.

[Edit:  It was good.]


Recipe 3:

I must have pinned this at some point, too.  Someone re-pinned it here…

I think it was a joke about Pepto because this chili killed my guts, even served over mashed potatoes.


Share your chili recipes with me in the comment section below.  Don’t be a jag and sit on your secret ingredient(s).  Is it cocoa powder?  Chocolate bars?  Corn?  Zucchini?  Cinnamon?  Potatoes?  Steak?  Instant potato flakes?  Cornmeal?  Chupacabra?

How do you serve it?  In a bowl?  Over baked or mashed potatoes, rice,or spaghetti?  With soft pretzels or cornbread?  With tortilla chips or crackers?

How do you cook it?  Crock pot?  Dutch oven?  Stove top?  Over a campfire?

Do you like the Hormel canned stuff or the stuff from Wendy’s?  Who makes your favorite?

Spill it!

Danke Daka


Did you read about my trouble with the One-Touch Can Opener?  How about my attempt at emailing them in Chinese?  Well, sadly they wrote back, and it’s quite boring.

The word is…

From: info info
To: Me <_____________@_____.___>
Cc: info <info@onetouchproducts.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Subject: Re: One-Stuck Can Opener

Dear Eric,

Thanks for your email.

For the can opener issue, please try to press and hold the reverse switch at the rear of the can opener.

The cutter will move in the reverse direction to the start position and the can lid will be released.

You may also check the instruction manual for trouble shooting ways.

Please download and keep the user manual from our website (as per below link) for your reference.

http://www.onetouchproducts.com/CanOpenerll.htm

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Best Regards,
One Touch

There’s a reverse switch?  The answer is that simple?  I’m so disappointed, I haven’t even tried it yet.  Why not mark the switch?  I don’t remember the thing coming with instructions!  Bastards.

There may be a slight language barrier here, and a large cultural one.

Also, I decided to further my communication with Astrid at Bed Bath & Beyond.  Apparently this was going too far…

From: Eric <_____________@_____.___>
To: Bed Bath & Beyond <bedbathandbeyond@mailnj.custhelp.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: PRODUCT INQUIRY [Incident: 120525-000501]

Thanks Astrid,

We’ll have to go with the store credit then.  This is absolutely not a problem.  I always want to buy many things every time we’re in a Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Do you have a favorite can opener, or other cool kitchen gadget?  Perhaps we could get that.  Maybe some time my wife & I could have you over for dinner & we can use our new can opener.  What’s your favorite canned food?  I generally prefer fresh vegetables over canned… but I do like to make chili with a lot of canned ingredients.  Do you like chili?

I’d like to suggest that you guys carry P-38’s.  They really are useful, and don’t have any moving or electrical parts that can break or get stuck.

I like chili served over mashed potatoes.  I like mashed potatoes.

Rock on!

-Eric

I have as of yet not received a reply.

English: A small plate with a serving of mashe...

I like them.

Bed, Bath, Above & Beyond. Daka & One-Touch refuse to answer.


Google Translate

Google Translate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

如果我尝试在中国吗? (That’s “What if I try it in Chinese?” or “If I try in China?” according to Google Translate…)

Well, I never got anything from our friends at Daka about the One-Touch Can Opener that won’t relinquish the lid.  So I decided to use Google Translate to try & express my frustration in Chinese through the wonders of technology.

The added opening line is…

Hello, going to try in Chinese (with the help of Google Translate) because I haven’t had a reply yet.

Here’s what it gave me…

你好,去尝试在中国(谷歌翻译的帮助下),因为我还没有答复。

你好能征服者!

今天我写信给你,你必须有遇到过的问题。目前我是我的第二个单触式开罐器…它已被卡住盖子无行为能力。请参阅所附的图片,从字面上说明我的困境。正如你可以看到,盖仍然是牢固地掌握在单触式开罐器。这是不是第一次,这已经与本单位发生。有时,我能够说服放弃后,一个额外的按钮按盖子的开罐器。这个时候,所有的额外的感人不能正常工作。现在只剩下我与数额是多少,我的厨房柜台上的电池昂贵的塑料和金属摇滚。这可以大开眼界来岩目前有没有目的(以外恼人的我,每次我看到它)。我只有一两个月。它具有新的电池。在此之前它毫无用处,它并没有得到多大用处。

我以前曾拥有 单键开罐器,最终遇到同样的问题。我能看过去的事实,产品名为单键操作了几个涉及到很多出师不利后。我是能够处理的事实,偶尔会削减微小的,可以标注彩带和拖放到我的食物。的下脚料,一般很容易找到,并挑选出。我是能够接受的,它偶尔会倒下了,一个能完成后,取下盖子,也可能在可以敲的过程中。它仍像我获奖的辣椒或轻松舒适的食物9 CAN蔬菜汤,做的事情时节省时间。 (虽然,我投注的人…我会放在我的钱,在一个P-38的军队打开了一罐开罐器更快。)

我曾经以为,当我试图强行从我的第一个触盖子开罐器我可能爆发的东西。它不再回应我的接触。我检查了电池。我尝试不同大小的罐。我试图使用武力。 (我想在第一道曙光,并最终黑暗的一面。愤怒确实恨,就像尤达说。的仇恨也最终导致了我的钱包的痛苦。)我和平的企图都是无济于事。也许用钳子野蛮撬从盲目单键的强大抓地力的盖子是个坏主意。我粉笔我是一个傻瓜,辞职只是一个新的购买。

我买一个新的,从床Bath&Beyond的,我相信,我们已经到达的情况,我在此电子邮件的开头介绍。我离开卡住所附照片的盖子,并在无用的单触式开罐器。

我也不知道是什么,什么我的游戏结束在这里。我的计划是给你写信通知你的情况,看看是否有别人谁也遇到同样的问题,看看你可以提供一个解决方案。我想说的行动可接受的课程将包括(但不仅限于)以下:

如何正确地得到单触式开罐器放弃的盖子,它深深地拥抱的建议。
一种新的改进功能的单键(如果存在)。
价值约20美元,美国军队发出的P-38或其他运作非电动开罐器。我来到这个大致的数字(和我向下舍入):$ 15为单触式和5美元的名牌电池。

当然提供更同意recompensation,如果你想,我很开放的建议。我觉得我应该得到的东西,至少你的产品对我的失败而快速连续。当然,你同意吗?最合理的人。

谢谢您的时间和援助。我期待着您的答复和建议的解决方案。我急了,除去20元的塑料从我的厨房柜台金属装饰的无功能的一触式岩石。

愿力与你同
– 埃里克

。趣乐的习学人疾残使,笑好不的真这

Here’s what happened when I translate that back into English:

Hello, try the help of China (Google translation), because I did not reply.

Hello can conqueror!

Today I write to you, you must have encountered the problem. I my second one-touch can opener … it has been stuck lid incapacitated. Please see the attached picture, literally, to explain my plight. As you can see, the cover still firmly rests in the one-touch can opener. This is not the first time this has occurred with the unit. Sometimes I was able to convince to give up, an extra button lid opener. This time, all the extra moving can not work properly. Now left with what amounts to expensive battery on my kitchen counter, plastic and metal rock. This can be an eye-opener to rock at present there is no purpose (other than annoying me, every time I see it). I have only one or two months. It has a new battery. Prior to this it is useless, it does not get much use.

I previously owned one-touch can opener, and eventually encounter the same problem. I can see past the fact that the product, called one-button operation involving several to many false starts. I was able to handle the fact that occasionally cut a tiny, you can label the ribbon and drag it to my food. Scraps, usually easy to find and pick out. I was able to accept, it will occasionally fall, a complete, remove the cover, may also be in the process that can be knocked. It is still like the award-winning chili or relaxed and comfortable food 9 CAN vegetable soup, do things to save time. (Although, I bet the people … I will be on my money in a P-38, the army opened a can opener faster.)

I once thought that when I tried to forcibly from my first touch the lid opener outbreak. It is no longer respond to my touch. I checked the battery. I tried a different size cans. I tried to use force. (I think at first light, and eventually the dark side. Anger really hate, like Yoda said. Hatred eventually led to the pain of my wallet.) Peace attempt to no avail. May blind one-touch powerful grip pliers barbaric pry the lid is a bad idea. I chalk I’m a fool, resignation just a new purchase.

I bought a new one, from Bed Bath & Beyond, I believe, we have arrived, I introduced at the beginning of this email. I left stuck in the attached photo of the cover, and in the useless single touch can opener.

I do not know what is what my game is over here. My plan is to write to you to inform you of the situation to see if there are others who have encountered the same problem, see if you can provide a solution. I want to say an acceptable course of action will include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • How to get one-touch can opener to give up the lid, and it deeply embrace recommendations.
  • A new and improved features one-button (if present).
  • Worth about $ 20, P-38 issued by the U.S. armed forces or other operation of non-electric can opener. I came to this approximate figure (and I down rounding): $ 15 one-touch, and $ 5 brand name batteries.

More agree recompensation of course, if you want to, I am open to suggestions. I think I should get something, at least you my failure in rapid succession. Of course, do you agree? Most reasonable people.

Thank you for your time and assistance. I look forward to your reply and suggested solution. I am anxious to remove the plastic from my kitchen counter without metal decoration features a touch of rock.

May the Force be with you
– Eric

. Interest in music, then learn the Disabled to laugh it really true

I ought to do this with all of my emails from now on.  This is much more interesting.

One-Touch Can Opener

Friends don’t let automatic can openers drink & open cans.

At any rate, I shot out an email to Bed Bath & Beyond too, and they seemingly always stand behind their reputation.  I can get store credit if I bring in the stuck lid and whichever card we used to make the purchase.  Thanks to my wife’s memory, we bought it on the same day she bought a flour sifter not too long ago.  I doubt we have the receipt, but we still do have the card that made the purchase.

Their initial response:

From: Bed Bath & Beyond <bedbathandbeyond@mailnj.custhelp.com>
To: _____________@_____.___
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Subject: PRODUCT INQUIRY [Incident: 120525-000501]

 Subject
PRODUCT INQUIRY
 Discussion Thread
 Response Via Email (Astrid) 05/29/2012 04:27 PM
Dear Eric;Thank you for your email.We sincerely apologize for the situation described in your email. At Bed Bath & Beyond, we want our customers to be 100% satisfied with our customer service and merchandise selection. You may return this item to any of our stores for an even exchange or store credit. You can receive a refund in the manner you paid for the item if you have your receipt. Please note, there is no time limit to make a return and we do not require the original packaging. We are also forwarding this information over to our buyers and the vendor for their consideration and improvement.We hope this information has been helpful. Please email or call us at 1-800-GO-BEYOND (1-800-462-3966) if you have any questions.Sincerely,Astrid
Customer Service
Bed Bath & Beyond

My reply:

From: -mE. <_____________@_____.___>
To: Bed Bath & Beyond <bedbathandbeyond@mailnj.custhelp.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Subject: Re: PRODUCT INQUIRY [Incident: 120525-000501]

Aloha Astrid!

 Thank you, your reply was rather quick!  I have not had even as much as an acknowledgement of a receipt of my email from the manufacturer.  Apparently they don’t stand behind their products.  Perhaps you ought to review or do more rigorous tests on the things that you sell.  Has anyone else complained of this issue?

I’m not sure if we still have the receipt, as it was purchased some time ago.  I’m sure my wife or I purchased it with one of our debit cards though.  Would you be able to find the transaction from the card?  I know some stores can do that, and I know you guys have a pretty awesome no-hassle returns policy.

Were you able to view my entire message?  I know I was unable to attach photos.  Perhaps you would like to see the entire message (with photos) on my blog.

If I bring in the One-Touch can opener, can I leave the stuck lid?  Do you have any P-38 can openers for sale?

Rock on,
-Eric
.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

Their secondary response:

From: Bed Bath & Beyond <bedbathandbeyond@mailnj.custhelp.com>
To: _____________@_____.___
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Subject: PRODUCT INQUIRY [Incident: 120525-000501]

 Subject
PRODUCT INQUIRY
 Discussion Thread
 Response Via Email (Astrid) 05/30/2012 10:08 AM
Dear Eric;

Thanks for responding. However, as I have explained you are able to return this defective item back to any of our stores for an exchange or store credit, if you do not have the receipt and use the credit towards the purchase of a new can opener of your choice. Please keep in mind that you may bring your return as it is with no problem. Unfortunately we do not carry P-38 can openers in our selection.

If we can be of further assistance please email us again or call our eService Center at 1-800-GO-BEYOND® (1-800-462-3966).

Sincerely,

Astrid
Customer Service
Bed Bath & Beyond

Heh.  Astrid does not seem amused.

One-Stuck Can Opener


I have a problem.  The problem is the One-Touch Can Opener.  It’s a rather expensive useless plastic & metal rock.  In fact, they ought to market it as “Pet Rock: With Batteries!”  Maybe an actual rock would be more dependable in opening cans.  We just recently bought our 2nd One-Touch Can Opener.  I have no idea why we’re on a second one.

The first one was fine for a while, but it didn’t get much use unless we were making Nine Can Vegetable Soup or Chili or something where we had to open a bunch of cans at once.  One day a lid got stuck.  The can lid was successfully removed from the can, but remained under the blade of the One Touch.  It remained securely under the blade.  It wouldn’t come out with a gentle pull, or a labored tug.  Pressing the button to try & turn it back on didn’t do anything.  I think I eventually got some pliers to yank it out.  After that (of course) it ceased working.  Perhaps I yanked too hard?

Figuring it was my fault and that I broke it… I bought another.  I thought that the lid getting stuck was a fluke & it didn’t occur to me that it may (would?) happen again.  Boy, was I naive.  It happened again.  This time I didn’t try to dislodge the lid.  I have tried pressing the button.  I gave it several touches, to no avail.  I set it down & took some photos… intending to write to the manufacturer wight a verbose ranting “WTF?” kind of letter.  (You know, my usual.)  The problem being that I couldn’t find the damn manufacturer.

One Touch Can Opener - with Stuck Lid

What a wonderful piece of engineering! What excellent modern technology! I mean… What a blunder of engineering! What excrement passes for modern technology?

One Touch Can Opener - with Stuck Lid (Closeup)

What a grip!

English: A typical "As seen on TV" l...

Unless you were watching another channel.

I mean, I have some pretty cool photos to send, and I had no idea where to send them.  Googling One Touch Can Opener brings up several “As seen on TV” websites.

I emailed one of them, and they basically told me to go fornicate with myself…

From: As Seen On TV Customer Service
To: _____________@_____.___
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 11:50 AM
Subject: One Touch Can Opener [Incident: 120523-000134]

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it within the next 7 days.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

Subject
—————————————————————
One Touch Can Opener

Discussion Thread
—————————————————————
Response Via Email (Allana) – 05/24/2012 08:50 AM

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your email. We are sorry to inform you that we do not have the referral contact information you seek. Please feel free to do a general web search for more information.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Best regards,

Allana
Customer Care Center

Customer By Web Form (Eric Carroll) – 05/23/2012

Hello, can you put me in touch with the manufacturer of the one-touch can opener?  (Email or mailing address preferred.)

I’m having problems with my 2nd one now.  It’s terrible.  The lids keep getting stuck.

https://www.asseenontv.com/one-touch-can-opener/detail.php?p=296306

Thank you,
-Eric

Question Reference #120523-000134
—————————————————————
Category Level 1: Product inquiry
Date Created: 05/23/2012 09:13 AM
Last Updated: 05/24/2012 08:50 AM
Status: Solved
Order Number:

[—001:001194:41928—]

Beans!

It’s great for sitting on top of cans & doing nothing until you press the button 4 times & have 2 false starts. (Photo credit: Carol Browne)

What helpful chaps who stand behind the products they sell!

Taking Allana’s wonderful advice I tried to Google One-Touch Can Opener Manufacturer.  As you can see, there are several possible foreign manufacturing services for this tiny incredible modern convenience.  I think I have it narrowed down though, to the correct one… It appears that Daka manufactures all of the One-Touch Products.

So, I sent them an email:

From: Eric Carroll <____________@_____.___>
To: “USA@onetouchproducts.com” <USA@onetouchproducts.com>; “info@daka.com.hk” <info@daka.com.hk>; “info@onetouchproducts.com” <info@onetouchproducts.com>; “Customerservice@cricketholdings.com” <Customerservice@cricketholdings.com>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2012
Subject: One-Stuck Can Opener

Ciao Can Conquerors!

I’m writing to you today with an issue that you must have encountered before.  I’m currently on my second One-Touch Can Opener… and it has been incapacitated by a stuck lid.  Please see the attached pictures to literally illustrate my predicament.  As you can see, the lid is still securely in the grasp of the One-Touch Can Opener.  This is not the first time that this has happened to me with this unit.  Sometimes I am able to persuade the can opener to relinquish the lid after an extra press of the button.  This time, all the extra touching is not working.  Right now I am left with what amounts to an expensive plastic and metal rock with batteries on my kitchen counter.  This can-opener-come-rock currently has no purpose (other than annoying me each time I see it).  I have only had it for a month or two.  It has fresh batteries.  Prior to it being rendered useless, it did not get much use.

I had previously owned a One-Touch can opener that eventually encountered the same problem.  I was able to look past the fact that the product named One-Touch took several touches (after many many false starts) to operate.  I was able to handle the fact that would occasionally cut tiny ribbons of the can label and drop it into my food.  The scraps were generally easy to find and pick out.  I was able to accept that it would occasionally tumble off of a can when finished removing the lid, possibly also knocking over the can in the process.  It was still a time saver when making things like my award-winning chili or my easy comfort-food nine can vegetable soup.  (Although, were I a betting man… I would place money on me being faster at opening a can with a P-38 army can opener.)

I had assumed that when I tried to forcibly remove the lid from my first One-Touch can opener I possibly broke something.  It no longer responded to my touch.  I checked the batteries.  I tried different-sized cans.  I tried to use the Force. (I tried the light side at first, and eventually the dark side.  Anger does lead to hate, just like Yoda said.  Hate also eventually led to my wallet suffering.)  All of my peaceful attempts were to no avail.  Perhaps using pliers to savagely pry the lid from the mighty grip of the mindless One-Touch was a bad idea.  I had chalked it up to me being an idiot, and resigned to just purchase a new one.

I did purchase a new one, from Bed Bath & Beyond I believe, and we have arrived at the situation which I presented at the beginning of this email.  I am left with the stuck can lid and useless One-Touch can opener in the attached photos.

I’m not exactly sure what my end game is here.  My plan was to write to you to inform you of the situation, see if there were others who have encountered the same problem, and see what you may offer as a solution.  I would say that acceptable courses of action would include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Advice as to how to properly get the One-Touch Can Opener to relinquish the can lid that it so dearly embraces.
  • A new improved functioning One-Touch (if that exists).
  • About $20 worth of U.S. Army issued P-38’s or other functioning non-electrical can openers.  I arrived at this figure for roughly (and I’m rounding down): $15 for the One-Touch and $5 for name-brand batteries.

Of course if you would like to offer a more agreeable recompensation, I’m open to suggestions.  I feel that I deserve at least something after two of your products have failed on me in rather rapid succession.  Surely you concur?  Most reasonable people would.

Thank you for your time and assistance.  I look forward to your reply and suggested resolution.  I’m anxious to remove the $20 plastic & metal decorative functionless One-Touch rock from my kitchen counter.

May the Force Be With You,
-Eric
.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

I hope I get some sort of response.  Until then, I will stick with my favorite can-opener: The P-38.  I will race a functioning One-Touch (if you can find one), and I will win.  It’s simple, small, and for the cost of one One-Touch I can get 50 of them from Ralph’s Army Surplus.  I’d even take a P-51, or an Australian FRED.  My grandma always kept a P-38 inside an old pill bottle in the drawer beside the silverware.  I learned to use that before I learned to cook, I think.

Size comparison of P-51 and P-38 openers

Size comparison of P-51 and P-38 openers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A can opener that incorporates a smal...

F.R.E.D. – Currently employed by the Australian Army and New Zealand Army in its ration kits. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What kind of can opener do you use?  There is a ridiculous amount of different types of can openers out there.  May I persuade you to not waste your time or money in purchasing a One-Touch?  You will most certainly have to touch it several times.  It’s false advertising.  I feel stupid for having to have purchased two of them before I realized that it was not operator error, but a terrible product.

Nine Can Vegetable Soup


This is an incredibly easy & delicious dinner or lunch.

Well, the name’s misleading.  Sometimes it’s not exactly nine cans.  I’ll give you the recipe as it was given to me…

Nine Can Vegetable Soup

  • 2 cans Hormel chili, any variety
  • 1 can vegetable soup
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can sliced new potatoes
  • 1 can mixed vegetables
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (for extra kick, use a can of tomatoes with green chiles in place of one can of diced tomatoes).

Optional: 1lb ground meat*

Dump the entire contents of every can into the crockpot – liquid and

all.

*Brown turkey or beef and drain and add to veggies in crockpot. Heat on low all day, or on high for less than 2 hours.

Well, sometimes I do it like this…

  1. Hormel Chili with Beans
  2. Hormel Chili with No Beans
  3. Campbell’s Beef With Barley & Vegetables Soup
  4. Campbell’s Vegetable Beef Soup
  5. Cut Green & Wax Beans
  6. Diced New Potatoes
  7. Succotash (Corn & Lima Beans)
  8. Mixed Vegetables with Potatoes
  9. Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, & Oregano
  10. Petit Diced Tomatoes

Nine Can Vegetable Soup

I didn’t take this picture, or make this soup. This is pretty much what it looks like though. (athomewithkim.com)

Sometimes I add other stuff.  I think I’ve put in Garbanzo Beans, Mexicorn, or

the diced tomatoes with jalapeño or chili peppers, and even plain old navy or black beans.  Sometimes I dump some of the liquid of the cans out.  I like thick soup.

I’ve used ground beef & ground turkey… both work really well.  I’m sure a vegetarian version of this would be easy to make. (Hormel makes a vegetarian chili, you can get vegetarian vegetable soup from Campbell’s, & the ground tofu, seitan, or tempeh would work well… or you could just add more beans or vegetables.)

I just put it into the crock pot on low all day.  Dinner’s ready when you get home!

I like to have it with homemade bread, or over biscuits like a pot pie.  If you’re camping and have a mountain pie iron or if you have en electric sandwich maker that seals the edges you can add some flour to thicken it up or strain it a little to make incredible filling.

I also like the tiny saltine crackers.

A any rate, we make some & it lasts a while… as a main dish, or a side with sandwiches.  It freezes & re-heats easily.

Do you make something like this?

What are some good soup recipes or easy crock-pot recipes?

Dormont Dogs Does Delicious Decidedly Deftly


Dormont Dogs on UrbanspoonI recently realized that I haven’t blogged yet about one of my favorite local places to eat, so I will now.  I have a few reviews & photos on their Urban Spoon page.  I really don’t have enough good things to say about the place.  Reading my old review, it looks like I went there for the first time in 2008.

They’re tucked away on Glenmore Ave., right off of Potomac, with plenty of parking (for Dormont) in a nearby public metered lot & some metered parking on the nearby streets.  It’s a tiny yet incredibly inviting shop.  Everyone who has ever waited on us has smiled & said hello, has been polite, welcoming, and a great host or hostess.  The place is small, but it’s cozy.  Last time we were there, there was three two-person tables inside, and in the warmer months they have two picnic tables outside.

Hot Dog w/ Baked Beans, Cheese, Ketchup, & Mustard.

Hot Dog w/ Baked Beans, Cheese, Ketchup, & Mustard. • I get this one even though it's not on the menu. They'll make anything for you!

Dormont Dogs offers hot dogs served up gourmet style on delicious fresh bakery made buns.  They’re mostly all named after the neighborhood streets, and they’re all unusual yet delicious combinations.  My favorite menu dogs are probably the Reuben Dog (self-explanatory if you’re a Reuben fan) and the Wisconsin Ave. (Swiss, Pepper Jack, Cheddar, & Provolone Cheeses!).  A lot of times I order the one above… starting with a “Plane Jane” (a regular dog) & I ask them to add baked beans, cheese, ketchup, & brown mustard.  Maybe they should name it after my street?  Ha ha.  I generally have a side of nachos and cheese.  I’ve seen signs for Sloppy Joes, and have seen a delicious-looking taco salad served up, but I’ve never gone in & gotten anything other than a hot dog.  I need to just go more often, I guess.  I generally wash it all down with some of their excellent sweet tea.

My wife is a fan of the Texas Ave. (Chili sauce, cheddar cheese, sour cream, Fritos), Mississippi Ave. (Chili, Mustard, Coleslaw) minus the mustard, and Bruschetta (tomatoes marinated in olive oil and basil and creamy pesto Parmesan) dogs.  I need to muscle up the courage to make my way through the rest of the menu.  If you eat ’em all, you get your photo on the wall!

They’re not foot-longs, there’s no natural casings, there not sausages… they’re just hot dogs, done really well.  They’re prepared with tasty ingredients, and they always look like little works of art in a basket.  You can even get a vegetarian dog if you’d like, in any style on the menu.  If you’re near Dormont, and a hot dog fan, you need to check this place out.

Dormont Dogs on UrbanSpoon | Dormont Dogs on Facebook

-•-

Boston Market ups the pressure… (a.k.a. What now, Panera Bread?)


Insanity.

http://twitter.com/#!/W_a_L_D/status/136910586947715072

That’s right.  Boston Market not only reached out via my contact form thanks to Facebook, but also had the cojones to do this…

Boston Market RT!

Boston Market RT!

I still haven’t received a reply to my email to Mr. Wakabayashi, but what now Panera Bread? What now?  Clearly, this will pan out to be a bigger rivalry than Neil Young vs. Skynrd, or East Coast Rap vs. West Coast Rap.  Maybe even bigger than me vs. the people that think I’m McDonald’s (At Least Mr. Wakabayashi used my contact form correctly!)

http://twitter.com/#!/W_a_L_D/status/137169033266077696

http://twitter.com/#!/bostonmarket/status/137212008138424321

If you have no idea what’s going on, or if you work for Panera Bread.  You can catch up here…

In other news, did you know that they both cater?  I wish someone would have told me.

Panera Bread (Scott Twp. Greentree Road) on UrbanspoonI actually stopped at the local Panera the other night because the wife was sick and wanted some of that cheese-broccoli soup.  I went in to get some to go, and got myself a half of a turkey sandwich and a cup of the chicken noodle.

The employee (a young girl, of course) at the counter was quite friendly, asked if I wanted lettuce tomato or onion on the sandwich, and even asked if I wanted mustard and/or mayo.  Clearly, someone went over new procedures.  Sadly, I asked for lettuce & tomato… and got neither, but I did get mustard and mayo.  I applaud the effort, and shame on me for not checking before I left the store.

I have to say, after my initial complaint, they have totally stepped it up service-wise.  I still call shenanigans on the new soup.  They ought to let sales do the talking… OFFER BOTH.  It’s certainly a popular item.  Let the consumers decide if they want a great-tasting soup… or the crappy flat-noodled healthy soup.  Clearly, as a leader in the Fast Casual industry, you can afford to test the proverbial waters?  I think more changes have been made, but it’s still not the old soup.  Shenanigans.

Also, I counted 3 signs within  a span of about 8 feet on the counter where you wait for your order advertising the catering… and the pop machine still does it too.  I think the receipt may have even said something about it.

I spend far too much time contemplating fast food & fast casual dining.  If only I could save time buy purchasing already prepared meals.  Does anyone out there do that?

New Catering Advertisement Opportunities! (for Boston Market & Panera Bread)


I’m just sayin’.

Panera Bread  - vs. -  Boston Market

Panera Bread - vs. - Boston Market

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Nov 4, 2011
Subject: New Catering Advertisement Opportunities!
To: & Cc:  A bunch of Panera & Boston Market Employees

Hello friends at Boston Market & Panera Bread,

I assume that the lack of response to my last email about an all-out catering battle at my house was ill-received.  I didn’t get any interest from either camp, or even any kind of acknowledgement of my email.  Not even a coupon.  Isn’t that the typical response?  “Throw ’em a coupon!”  Color me disappointed.

No reply is rather rude, don’t you think?  Batman movie night has come & gone.  We dutifully provided a favorable dining experience to our guests thanks to an incredible local pizza shop.  Roasted red peppers as a pizza topping?  A hit all around, I tell you!  Subs with a homemade feel cut in to bite-size appetizers were also quite delicious.

I’m not sure why neither Panera Bread or Boston Market was willing to enter my catering battle royale.  It would have been an exciting opportunity for both of you.  I realize now… that you need help with forward thinking.  You missed this opportunity to advertise your catering and fight for my dollar.

I believe that I may have come around to your way of thinking.  Perhaps I need to fight for your dollar.  I previously saw advertisements on the pop machine and all over the windows as borderline obscene… but why stop at the border, friends?  Let’s trample the border, deface it on our way through, and not look back!  I have some ideas that you may find attractive.  I really look forward to your feedback.  (Don’t give me any shenanigans about unsolicited ideas and what-not, we’re all friends here.)

  • Advertising on the napkins.  You already do it on the receipts, walls, & windows.  Subway uses their napkins for nutrition information.  Show them up, advertise!  Think of all that clean wasted ad space ripe for the slinging of your delicious wares.  Were one ambitious, this could extend to the “to go” sandwich wrappings, the fancy new plates that you’re both using, and even the trays.  Hell, why not the drink cups?
  • Guerrilla advertising. You could have employees go into your parking lot at regular intervals, and put flyers under the windshield wipers of cars.  If you really wanna get crazy, try bumper stickers!  People would love decorations on their autos.
  • Me.  Send me a T-shirt that advertises your catering services.  I play in a band.  I’ll wear it to shows.  The throngs of bar patrons who rock out with me on a regular basis will be sure to flock to the nearest Panera Bread or Boston Market location.  I might be able to convince my band-mates to do the same.  If we’d like to get really crazy, may I offer to sell my forehead as a billboard?
  • Paystubs.  Your employees get paid right?  Get that money back!  Advertise your catering services on their pay-stubs, and any communications that you need to send.  There’s room on that W2 envelope for a 10% off catering coupon.
  • Right on the food itself.  This is the one that excites me the most!  You’ve seen the toasters that produce an image of Darth Vader, and the irons that brand your initials on to a steak, right?  There are also printers that print right on things like rice paper & cakes.  Why not take advantage of this technology?  Think about it.  Full color printing on wraps?  Toasty images on buns, bread, & bagels?  Delicious meat branded with confidence, demanding that you pick up a catering menu.  It’s never been done.  It’s opulent.  It’s genius.  (If I do say so myself.)

So, what do you think?  Can I help in this new advertising adventure?  These are the next steps in the evolution of promulgation.  Let’s move onward and upward, into uncharted catering promotional territory.  It will be an onslaught to the senses, and an influx in revenue for all involved.  I’m excited for this venture, and especially excited to get some feedback from everyone involved.

Excelsoir!
-Waldo Lunar
[ -YOUR AD COULD BE HERE- ]

incessant emails / incessant advertising

incessant emails / incessant advertising

Further Reading: