new story #1 : Burford’s weekend

We’re going to start a story.  It’s really simple and there’s just a few rules.  Read through the post and the comments, then add whatever you want to the end.  You may not write back-to-back (even with different aliases), but you may participate multiple times.  No vulgarity or profanity.  (The language rules of the site still apply.)  End your part of the story with some type of cliff-hanger or unfinished sentence, to set up the next person’s part.  And keep it short.  (If you want to write a novel, get your own site.)  If we have two people reply at about the same time and it ruins the continuity of it, we may delete the newer post.  (If that happens, it’s nothing personal; it’s just a situation that might happen.)  At a time of my discretion, I will end it.  And, of course, remember to have fun with this.  Be random and funny.  Now, let us begin…

It was Friday evening, and Burford was sitting on his couch at home, trying to decide how to spend his weekend.  It had been a long work week, and he didn’t want to do anything resembling work.  He wanted to do something adventurous, something he’d never done before.  As he contemplated various ideas, the phone rang.  This surprised Burford, because he wasn’t expecting any calls.  He picked up the phone and was shocked to hear the voice of…

eating like a millionaire

I don’t make it a habit to daydream about how I’d live if I won the lottery and had millions of dollars. It’s just not all that productive or fruitful, though I admit it has happened before. But I thought of it again recently due to a news story.

Mike Lindell (CEO of My Pillow) is back in the news because the FBI “raided” him at a Hardee’s drive-thru and took his phone (with a warrant). I won’t get into all the politics of that (except to remind you to get your news from multiple sources so you get the full story and not just what fits the narrative of “conservative news” or “liberal news”). (Also let me remind you to not get into a political rant in the comments or it may be deleted. If it’s a funny joke, that may be okay, though.)

Anyway, so Lindell is a multi-millionaire, at one point worth an estimated $500 million. He can afford to eat anything he wants. And of course, he is free to choose to eat anything he wants, so if Hardee’s is his preferred place for a burger, that’s fine. It just seems odd to me. I’m not trying to dis’ Hardee’s at all — they sell fast food at a certain price point, and there’s a market for that — but there are better burgers available, albeit for a higher price. It’s just that Lindell can afford any burger he wants.

I don’t know what restaurants are available in the town where he works, and I don’t care to research that. But here’s my idea. Since he’s the CEO of his own company, he could just hire someone to grill burgers for him with an actual charcoal grill and cook whatever else he wants whenever he wants, and clean it all up, and he could write the whole thing off as a business expense. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Granted, it is somewhat extravagant to have your own personal chef, although he is a millionaire. But he could do even more with that idea — he could share that food with other people in the company, which would boost morale significantly. I used to work at a large corporation, and I still remember when they’d have free burgers. They weren’t great burgers, but they were good, and they were free. People get excited about free food. And even if the company didn’t want to add that expense, they could offer it to the employees at cost. They could even use high-quality ingredients, then. That would boost morale, and it would encourage employees to take a shorter lunch by staying on-campus. Then it becomes a win-win.

I do realize this whole discussion is based on the premise of grilling a great-tasting burger. I don’t know if most people feel this way or not. But I have researched the taste of my own grilled burgers against the burgers at various restaurants around town, and I prefer a freshly-grilled burger at home. If others don’t feel the same way, maybe that just means they’re not as good at grilling… 🙂 It is important to note that the quality of ingredients matters, too — not all beef patties are the same quality, as well as other ingredients, and technique matters.

Maybe Lindell is is penny-pinching because he’s concerned about that lawsuit over the voting machines where Dominion is suing him for all-the-money… Although one could argue that he should live it up while he can because he may soon be poor or middle-class like most of us.

Note-to-self: if any of us ever win the lottery and start a research company, we could do this food write-off proper. Well, not just proper (which is a saying), but next-level awesome. The concept could be applied to other foods, too. And while free food is great, the IRS now wants to tax employees for it when they receive free food at work, so selling it at cost might be the better option. Imagine if for your lunch break you had the option to get a steak grilled to your liking using high-quality ingredients, at cost. I figure most of us would like to eat more steak, but it’s quite expensive, especially if you want it done well. If it was at cost, it could be just a few dollars, which would greatly improve morale around the workplace…

invisible sculpture for sale

From the department of “you are not going to believe this”, there’s an Italian artist named Salvatore Garau who recently auctioned a sculpture that does not actually exist and someone paid $18,300 for it! Literally, there is nothing but a certificate of authenticity and some instructions for how to display it. He calls it an “immaterial sculpture”. And this isn’t even the first time he’s “created” an invisible statue / sculpture — he’s made one that’s supposedly inside some white tape on the ground (see video image at the link above).

The “artist” explains it this way (from Snopes.com):

Rather than invisible sculptures, I would define them as immaterial sculptures. My fantasy, trained for a lifetime to feel differently the existing around me, allows me to “see” what apparently does not exist. The intangible sculptures are works that I feel as physical. Into the void there is a container of positive and negative possibilities that are constantly equivalent, in short, there is a density of events. Furthermore, the void is nothing more than a space full of energy, even if we empty it of electromagnetic fields, neutrinos, dark matter – in a way that nothing remains – it stands out that according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (which I recently read with enthusiasm) nothing has a weight! Therefore, it has an energy that condenses and turns into particles, in short, in us!

Now, if you aren’t experienced in the finer nuances of modern art, you might think this is all just jibber-jabber nonsense with a few scientific words included to confuse ignorant folk. But apparently he’s onto something, if multiple people are willing to bid tens of thousands of dollars to buy this art. And I completely understand what he’s talking about.

However, this is way too “high society” for most people. Honestly, middle class people just can’t afford $18,300 to buy any art piece, no matter how good it may or may not appear. Plus his requirements of five feet by five feet is a lot of spare room that most people just don’t have in their house. I get that. That’s where Buffet o’ Blog comes in.

We have for sale similar sculptures, made affordably for you. Each piece is unique, yet immaterial. It’s random, yet profound. Amusing, yet contemplative. Each order includes a certificate of authenticity. And it requires only about one foot by one foot, so you can put it on a coffee table or your bathroom counter or for your dining table centerpiece (it’s a great conversation starter!). It can be enjoyed anytime, but for optimum experience, we recommend you contemplate the depth of it while consuming your favorite beverage (like sweet tea). We also made them easier to understand — no need to ponder the uncertainty of neutrinos or any such scientific stuff. Anyone can comprehend what ours is all about.

See how much better this looks?

How much would you pay for something like this? $5,000? $10,000? It could be worth that. These are hand-crafted here in the USA — no imported ingredients ever. We pay attention to detail, and they all pass multiple stages of quality control. But because we want everyone to be able to enjoy these in the comfort of your own home, we are offering them for the low, low introductory sale price of $120 each. That’s over 95% off the MSRP!

Order now! Supplies are limited! If you pass on this offer, you might have regret for a long time (which might feel like indigestion… or bad gas).

Seriously, we priced it low so you can enjoy it. This is for your benefit. These are super premium quality — pictures don’t do it justice, you need to see it in your home. It’s not every day you can get world-famous-style art in your home for such an affordable price!

2014 National Cheese Dip Competition

cheese dip research, 11-8-12, 2A couple of the Buffet o’ Blog staff attended the National Cheese Dip Competition this year.  Let me just say it was AWESOME!  And let me also add that next time attendance is required for all Buffet o’ Blog staff — just because you don’t want to miss it.

Perhaps I should quantify my opinion.  It wasn’t like a carnival or state fair — there were a few side activities and music, but the primary event was trying lots of different cheese dip recipes.  If that sounds like a good time to you, then you should definitely go.

There were around 15 entries in the competition, including both amateurs and professionals.  Fortunately, there was plenty of cheese dip to go around, at least while we were there.  And all but one of the cheese dips were good.  The one that failed was trying to be healthy — which may not have been the whole problem — but it was both too liquidious (runny) and grainy at the same time, somehow.  Perhaps just that one batch was messed up, because I can’t see them entering that.

I think the amateurs outperformed the professionals in the competition, and I even voted for an amateur group.  When the final results came out, my choice didn’t win, but I don’t think the voting results are necessarily fair.  Each person who attends the competition gets two votes.  However, additional votes can be purchased, which is where I think it’s not fair.  For a restaurant entering, it would be worth investing several hundred dollars for more votes, in the name of advertising.  Being able to display the championship logo and advertising that you won the National Cheese Dip Competition is a big deal!  That will result in more sales, no doubt.  For amateurs, a group with more money can sway the votes in their favor.  So I don’t pay much attention to who won.

Most of the entrants were from around this area, but one group was from San Francisco.  I learned that most people there don’t know what cheese dip is, but a guy from Jacksonville, AR, married a woman from San Francisco, moved out there, and told them they should sell it in their restaurant.  On a related note, all of the entrants were friendly, and it was just non-crowded enough that you could talk for a bit with them, which made the experience more fun.  We enjoyed asking them what made their cheese dip special, or what the secret ingredient was — we received some amusing answers.

Overall, I would give the event 4.5 stars out of 5.  The only real knock against it is that they didn’t have sweet tea.  (Hello, we are in the South here!  Besides, tea is very profitable.)  At least the bottled water and other beverages were affordable.

Speaking of profitable, all proceeds were donated to a group that performs medical services for those who can’t afford it.  That’s admirable.

Also, if you’re wondering why the National Cheese Dip Competition would be located in Little Rock, Arkansas, I’ll explain that in the next post.  🙂