So, now what? (Customizing my New York Pro, finally.)


So, this past weekend, I finally got a chance to work on customizing my New York Pro, I thought I’d get a bunch of it done all at one time.  Well, I hit a roadblock or two as I was taking it all apart.  (Of course.)

I already got some great advice via Facebook, but thought I’d try & chronicle everything here.

It doesn't fit...

It doesn’t fit…

Once I got my work bench set up on the basement, taking everything apart was quite easy.  I just took out all the hardware, and when I went to line up the new pickguard, it didn’t fit. It’s really close, but it doesn’t fit.  I’m going to have to file or cut or sand or Dremel or some combination of all of the above.

It's not the same...

It’s not the same…

The holes in the pickguard aren’t going to lineup with the screws, either.  I’m going to have to maybe 2-sided tape it in place to mark all the holes once I get it cut right.  I have no experience taking apart guitars, but it’s odd that the neck doesn’t fit “perfectly” into the body.  There’s a weird gap there.  It’s also easy to tell (now) that the old pickguard has been cut.  There are some other spots where it doesn’t quite line up.  I hope I don’t have to route anything out where the pickups go.  I got them all from the same place, so I hope not.

Also, I thought I was taking the neck plate off… but it wasn’t having it:

That's supposed to come off when you take the screws out...

That’s supposed to come off when you take the screws out…

Help?

Help?

It’s stuck.  I feel like it’s glued on or was put on before the stain dried?  I bought all black hardware, including a neck plate.  Should I try to get this one off, or just let it go?  I even tried to pop it off using  a screwdriver through the 5th larger hole… all to no avail.

Any advice on that one?

If you’re interested in checking out my progress, take a look at the Photobucket album that’s my attempt to chronicle the whole thing.  (Or, sit through this slideshow…)

Dethlehem & more at Stage AE the other night… Review/Photos/Video ☠


This isn’t all an all-out super in-depth review, but I wanted to post that I really enjoyed the show the other night at Stage AE with Ascend the Fallen, The Bloody Seamen, Lady Beast, & Dethlehem.  All of the bands put forth a great effort, and the (giant) crowd was pleased.  I managed to take a ridiculous amount of photos, and some of them even turned out pretty cool.

Professor Richard Smallchange & Harry Valentine

Professor Richard Smallchange (Channeling Lord Bonecrush) & Hairy Valentine

Check out my photos on Photobucket & Facebook here…

If you’re on the Facebook and know the bands (or anyone else) in the photos, please tag ’em!

Ascend the Fallen

Ascend the Fallen

Ascend the Fallen was all over the place… literally.  They’re quite the active bunch up on stage.  They run n’ jump all over the place & had the crowd all riled up.  Those cats can shred.  They were a perfect opener for this gig, getting everyone ready for the things to come.

The Bloody Seamen

The Bloody Seamen

The Bloody Seamen always blow me away.  Their showmanship & dedication to character is unmatched.  My wife (who’s not a metal fan by any means) saw them for the first time the other night & became an instant fan.  Their catchy choruses, funny tales, and ridiculous stage presence will easily shanghai many a fan.  Something about everyone yelling during some of the aforementioned catchy choruses & the melodies have a very Dropkick Murphys/Flogging Molly sort of feel.  I’m sure the fife, accordions & bagpipes don’t hurt there either.  I’m going to have to try to barter with some doubloons to get my hands on some of their bootleg demos or something to hold me off until they have a proper album out for purchase.  Also… where else can you see a guitarist snap all of their strings with a machete at the end of their set, a fire-breathing sea-captain, and a bass player with a really creepy dead eye?  The highlight the other night was watching “Filthy” Cheswick Springdale decided to throw his guitar on the ground & assault it with his combo amp head while it squealed, only yo expertly cut it off when the song ended by unplugging the feedbacking beast.

Gunny

Gunny

Lady Beast

Lady Beast

Lady Beast rocked hard.  One dude on guitar had a Ravelle and made me extremely jealous.  Their singer is one hell of a positive role model for women into metal.  There were more ladies packed in front of the stage for their set than I have ever seen at a predominantly metal show in all my years of going to & playing shows combined.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s got great pipes and the band has a really heavy attack without sacrificing groove or melody.  These cats can play hard.  I’ll be anxiously awaiting their album, and I plan to check out more of their gigs!

Deb

Deb

Overlord Brom

Overlord Brom

Dethlehem

Dethlehem

Of course, I may have biased opinions on Dethlehem.  They are absolutely ridiculous, and no one deserved headline an all-local-acts show at Stage AE more than them.  These guys put a crazy amount of effort into not only the performance… but the song-writing, the shredding, the drumming, the singing, the over-all story arc, the costumes, and the entire production.  Someone needs to interview them & ask about the stuff they do to constantly take their playing & song-writing to the next level.  Trust me, it’s intense.  Sometimes people might look over that due to the theatrics.

Dethlehem

Dethlehem

It was great to be there for the first full show of the new Brutalitus the Bloodbeard, and it was very cool that Professor Dick Smallchange helped narrate and channeled Lord Bonecrush, joining the apparently chronic self-pleasuring barbarian-turned-blacksmith Sean “Hairy” Valentine for an encore.  The troll/ogre being made a eunuch, the birthing & bloody decapitation of said newborn, …both fantastic moments of on-stage debauchery.  The music itself was spectacular… with fretboard acrobatics by Bovice and Hildor, a helmeted Brom for nearly the entire show, Davidicus is truly a wizard of the low-end and keeping things going between songs with the interludes.  Bloodbeard proves himself to be a mighty vocalist, looking forward to his development with the band.

Headbangin' Harry

Headbangin' Hairy

I found a bunch of cool videos of that night online, enjoy!

If you have any links to more photos and/or video, please share!

Curvilinear Course [Maze Solution]


So, we have a solution to one of my ridiculous mazes by Chris Thornborrow of the Labirintia Project:

Chris writes along with his solution…

Hi there,

Wow it took over an hour. In the end I started blacking out dead end paths to narrow the search down. This meant I found a start at the finish first and then worked toward the start. As you can see I had to black Out huge amounts. Very confusing very hard maze. How the hell did you design this?

I wrote back to Chris, saying…

Hi Chris,

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to try the maze & to send a photo! I haven’t got many responses yet. I hadn’t heard of the blacking-out method until recently.

I don’t really design the mazes, as much as “just draw”. I try to always keep an open path until the end. Sometimes I work form both the start & the finish, connect two paths, and try to close off all the others. Sometimes I have multiple paths.

If you’d like to try this maze for yourself, you can here: Curvilinear Course [Maze]  –  Try not to look at the solution above first, though.

Solutions have also come rolling in from Eric Yano, to a handful of mazes at once!  Are you brave enough to try?

SHOW REVIEW: Dethlehem / The Bloody Seamen / The Approach and the Execution


08/11/2011 @ Howler's

How cool is this flyer?

So, last night I broke my normal “school night” routine of hanging out at home (or at least getting home by a decent time) to check out a local show that I could not resist.  If you’ve read the blog, I’m obviously a Dethlehem fan.  In addition to those medieval fantasy knuckleheads, the Pirates that “crashed” their CD release party were on the bill; The Bloody Seamen (apparently known in some circles as The Flying Dutchmen).  I’ve been wanting to check those cats out for a while, so this alone was a no-brainer.  The other band was The Approach & The Execution.  They’re out on tour from Cleveland, OH… but we won’t hold that against them.  The place was Howler’s, and I know it well.  Bengt is a hell of a sound-guy.  I haven’t exercised my photography muscles in a while.  All of  the right ingredients added up to getting my lazy old musician behind out to a week-night show.

☠ The Approach & The Execution ☠

The Approach & The Execution

These guys were up first, and they just ripped it all apart right out of the gate.  I’m pretty sure there were 5,692 guitars on stage and their lead cat went through all of them… even knocking one from the stage to the floor at one point.  There was screaming, there was “woah-ing”, there was shredding, there was thunderous drumming, there was harmonizing vocals, there was dueling leads, there was even muscle flexing choreography.  The one highlight of the set for me is when the one dude on vocals & guitar was playing a show soulful lead… and the dude next to him was shredding circles around it.  It was later in the set, and I hope that song’s on the CD that I picked up, The Blood March.  These guys were incredibly tight, & played really well off of each other.  Apparently they had some setbacks in the way of van trouble and had to have AAA & some friends bail ’em out.  They had a vehicle-less trailer out front.  Hopefully they make it to their next destination tonight, so they can melt the faces of the next group of new fans!  (Interestingly, I popped the CD in on the way to work this morning… and heard keyboards & a chick vocalist… neither of which were at the live show.  I’m only 3 songs in so far, but I wonder what’s up there?)

☠ The Bloody Seamen ☠

The Bloody Seamen

These dudes are hardcore.  They show up in full pirate regalia, and don’t break character easily.  I even got a “business scroll” from Captaine Blackguts when inquiring about obtaining some recorded material!  For all I know, these cats really are pirates, and have a ship docked somewhere on the Allegheny river.  (Although, the one guitar player Cheswick looks a lot like the guy from Deathmobile/The It’s Alive Show…)  This is a band of buccaneers that knows how to work a room, and work it they did.  They definitely put a gleaming sharp metal edge on some really catchy drinking songs, with fighting, fornicating, plundering, and treasure thrown in for good measure.  They seemed to cross musical genres with some straight up rock and some more funky/groovy stuff.  Any band with a guy named “pipes” that plays the accordion, what  think was a fife or some kind of small flute, and the bagpipes alongside screaming guitars is cool in my book.  These guys know what they’re doing.  I bought a T-shirt because no CD’s exist yet.  I had sort of hoped they’d bust into “Friggin’ in the Riggin’” or “Whiskey in the Jar“, but alas… they were more original than that.  I will definitely be at more of these guys’ shows.  I just hope they weren’t distracting us with awesome swashbuckling metal as the rest of their crew picked our pockets and stole our women.

Dethlehem ☠

Dethlehem

Have I told you how much I hate these guys?  I mean, they have people that come out to their shows in costume.  How cool is that?  That’s fan dedication!  Bovice and Hildor make seemingly effortless movements across the fret-board that put me under a musical spell.  I wish I could unlock the secret to that power… or had the patience to practice like a madman.  Davidicus is indeed a wizard with the low-end, weaving together the ridiculous guitars and Brom’s pulverizing rhythms while managing to still have a voice of his own.  Lord Bonecrush commands your attention as he’s belting out tales of their conquests.  He even let a guest get up to help belt out “Blood Forest”.  Slaying orcs and harnessing dragons is hard work, but these guys have the time to do it, then to tell you about it.  They follow a rich oral tradition as old as the first hunter coming back and telling how he captured his prey to provide dinner for all, and you’d better appreciate it.  These warriors are going places.  I expect a cartoon series, live action movie, a graphic novel that transitions into a monthly series, and some damn stickers, patches, and pins soon.  I believe a side-quest with the Bloody Seamen is inevitable.  I vote that it gets put out on vinyl as well as digital download.

As stated above, I got some photos from the show.  I have them up on Photobucket and will probably eventually have them all on Facebook too.

Photobucket:
Grid View | Slideshow

Facebook Photos:
The Approach & The Execution | The Bloody Seamen | Dethlehem

Here are some Photobucket highlights:

Last night’s Tubonegro tribute! (via Ernie and the Berts)


Ernie and the Berts did some crazy Turbonegro covers last night… “Suffragette City” (a cover of a cover), “I Got Erection”, and “Sell Your Body (To the Night)”. It was captured in photo and video.  It’s a good thing we have no shame.

Last night's Tubonegro tribute! One lucky Ernie and the Berts friend & fan who goes by the YouTube handle johnnyaUSA captured a very special moment last night.  Ernie got to live out 3 rock n’ roll dreams (a.k.a. “steps to becoming a man”) at the 31st Street Pub and it’s all captured here on video.  What are they?  Well, you’ll just have to watch and see! … Read More

via Ernie and the Berts

Tyson Foods, Inc. & Willie Barber FTW.


Yesterday, I got two surprises in our mailbox… One being that half of it was our neighbor’s mail, and the other being the promised letter & coupons from Mrs. Barber at Tyson  Foods!  OK, the mail mix-up wasn’t that big of a surprise… that happens at least 4 times a week.  It’s always good to get mail that’s not bills or junk mail though, and this made my day…

Tyson Foods - LetterSeems a little stiff compared to my earlier exchanges, but form letters are a necessary evil with a company as large as Tyson I guess.

Also enclosed were five  coupons for free Tyson Foods items!  Two coupons for one free bag of Tyson Frozen Breaded Product or Any’tizers Product, one for any one package of Tyson Individually Frozen Chicken Product, one for any one package of Tyson Wright Brand, and one for any one package of Wright Brand Product… which makes some awesome bacon.

Tyson coupons

This is much much more than I expected, or could have hoped for!  Really, it all started out as goofing around, not a complaint by any means.  It’s certainly better than the paltry pile of coupons that I received from Pillsbury when asking about funding further “how many pizza rolls can really fit in the microwave at once” research.  I let the ball drop on that one… perhaps I better write to them and ask again, using Tyson and Taco Bell as references of good coupon giving.

I’ll have to write back to Willie to say thanks.  This really was quite generous, and will certainly help in stretching the food budget in the coming weeks!

It’s a Southern thing, just ask Willie.


Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

So, my apologies to Mrs. Barber, apparently Willie is also a girl’s name down south.  Ha ha.  You guys need to read my letter to Tyson about the soggy not smelly tiger-tender, and you’ll know what this is all about.  Here’s some follow-up…

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Sat, Oct 2, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

Buenos Dias Mr. Barber!

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my missive.  I’m glad that it entertained and proved interesting!  The information from your Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager is enlightening.  I guess if I had thought about it, I may have arrived to the same conclusion… as my wife did.  Perhaps she should look into Quality Assurance as a career?

Sadly there was no golden ticket type prize for the tiger-tender, but certainly some complimentary coupons would brighten my day.  Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated!  My address is:

ERiC AiXelsyD
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Pittsburgh, PA  XXXXX

I still need to look into sending Duquesne Light a bill for my prematurely perished perishables, perhaps cluing them in to your generosity will tip the scales in my favor?  Maybe I should send them the tiger-tender and see if they like soggy formerly-frozen foodstuffs in their freezers.

I’m flattered that you had previously read my ramblings on the web, and honored that you remembered my name!  Now I’m curious as to how I came to be on your radar.  I tend to be goofy at times, and serious at others.  Life’s all about balance… why not enjoy the balance when it swings to the absurd?  Your kind of reply is my favorite.  You may not be surprised ad how many of these types of emails fail in providing a response.  Some people are apparently just too uptight!

I enjoy many of your fine products, and now will even more… and I’ll recommend more to my friends & family!

A good day to you sir,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

PS – Think there’s any headway at all to be made with Arby’s & the distribution of their Bronco Berry Sauce?

And, she wrote back…

from    Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    RE: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    tyson.com

Happy Monday Morning!

As I recall, I chanced upon your name/blog while researching one of our customers—maybe McDonald’s, Burger King, or Subway?   Thanks for the address–the coupons will be mailed tomorrow.

By the way, I am a Mrs. not a Mr.  It’s a Southern thing!  AskWillie

Willie Barber

So, she’s read one of my various diatribes on Subway or my disdain for a nearby McDonald’s.  Quite amusing!  I don’t think I’ve messed with Buger King for a long time.

It is sad that she hasn’t addressed the Bronco Berry sauce issue, but I’m sure she can’t or won’t for corporate reasons.

I wrote back once more:

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

My Apologies, Mrs. Barber(!),

I guess I should have done my own research!  Ha ha.

I have certainly blogged extensively about a local McDonald’s who is as slovenly as they are slothful, and another who is run exceptionally well and always seems to be clean, efficient, and orderly.  Plus, McDonald’s is just so fun to poke.

I also have an ongoing thing with Subway about their seafood subs and cross-contamination.  I have a severe shellfish allergy, and find them quite irresponsible as far as posting warnings, using the same knife to cut all their subs, and in replying to their customers.  Perhaps you ought to go over there and teach them how to run things!  They never did answer my question about having an in-house subway instead of a cafeteria or kitchen in their corporate offices.  No sense of humor or customer satisfaction, there!

Thanks again for the coupons, my wife & I both appreciate the gesture!

Tyson’s Newest #1 Fan,
-ERiC

…and no reply as of yet, not that I really need one in this instance.  This was just some shameless plugging.  I’m just waiting for my awesome coupons.

Also… if you follow the Ask Willie link, is that the coolest job description, or what?

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders…


So, not long ago, we got some of those bagged Tyson breast tenders. They’re a nice quick meal, and generally consistently good quality.  Although, in talking with Dave who serves them quite regularly, he seems to not find any of the “odd” ones that I mention below.  Do you get odd ones?  I’d like to open up discussion.

I opened an amusing dialog with Tyson, and here’s how it’s panned out so far:

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don’t feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things… whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean “left over”) from one of the many fast food chains.

On a side note… I really wish Arby’s would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It’s EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you’d have better luck with McDonald’s getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn’t you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though… I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it’s not, and I can’t… so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing1640w.jpg

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing2640w.jpg

These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don’t typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven’t seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this “deviant” to be exceptional.  Generally, there’s the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 “off” breast tenders to a pack.  This isn’t the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the “Siamese twin” one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time… where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I’m not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn’t understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It’s definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, but am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife’s dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark… Perhaps it’s a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I’m right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

And, the photos…

Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 1Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 2

I submitted it via webform, and didn’t get any immediate responses… so of course, I Googled some “@tyson.com” email addresses until I came up with a few. Luckily, it worked!

from Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 6:13 PM
subject Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by tyson.com

Hello, ERiC AiXeLsyD:

Thank you for a very entertaining and interesting message!  The pictures were very helpful.

The Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager at the processing plant reviewed the picture of the “tiger tender”  and its compadre.   She related that the stripes are overcooked batter in crevices caused by the wire conveyor belt.  Sometimes when the batter is too thin, the wire belt will make “ridges” on the tenders.  Because the batter is thin, it cooked up darker compared to the rest of the batter on the tender.  The sugar in the honey also adds to a darker color profile. She also related that the other picture looked like there wasn’t enough batter or it popped off during freezing or packing.

So, it appears that the tiger tender and the rare specimen are simply suffering from the lack of batter–nothing interesting or covert!   Send me your postal address and I will send some complimentary coupons to help your Hunger for Chicken Tenders.

Best regards,

Willie D. Barber
Manager, Consumer Relations

PS  Some time ago while researching on the web, I happened to visit your blog and became intrigued with your name.   Surprisingly, I recognized it when your message was forwarded to me.  You are certainly a multi-talented person!

Couldn’t have asked for a better response. Ha ha ha. Not only did they write back, but they took it seriously, and it looks like I may get some free stuff or at least a coupon!  Bonus points for the use of the word compadre, even if there was no mention of McDonald’s and/or Arby’s.

Also… the PS?  I’m famous? Ha ha ha. I wonder where/how Mr. Barber previously came across my ramblings?  I didn’t think that many people read this thing.

Oh well, now I need to write back… but I’d still like to know about the odd ones.  Be it chicken tenders, pizza rolls, any frozen food… isn’t there generally always an odd one or two?

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don't feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things... whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean "left over") from one of the many fast food chains.  

On a side note... I really wish Arby's would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It's EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you'd have better luck with McDonald's getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn't you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though... I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it's not, and I can't... so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:





These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket's golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don't typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven't seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this "deviant" to be exceptional.  Generally, there's the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 "off" breast tenders to a pack.  This isn't the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the "Siamese twin" one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time... where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I'm not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn't understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)  

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It's definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, buy am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife's dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark... Perhaps it's a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I'm right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD