Whole Foods, Gluten, Cat’s Eye

In order of importance, I’ll start with the cat. We took Commie to the vet yesterday, where both vets came in to visit us, because they were both completely flabbergasted that his eye is almost back to normal. Shocked, they were! His eye still has a little bit of a cloudy spot on it, which may be permanent damage from the month or so that it was completely hidden by swelling.

The vets have no idea what happened. Or why it fixed itself. I believe both of them used the phrase “miracle cat”. For the cloudy spot, we were given some steroid drops (which are so much easier than pills or oral liquids, so I’m very glad) and we’re going back in a week to see if it clears up. But he seems to be seeing out of both eyes. At least both eyes track us. Which is great.

The kids look a bit grumpy in this picture, but they’re just a bit tuckered. I found where I’d packed the laser pointer, so I made them do some laps around the living room.

Next up, gluten. Since January is now over, so is Gluten-Free January. I stayed the course the whole time, and discovered that I could eat other carbohydrate foods in moderation (potatoes, rice, corn) and still not gain weight. In fact, my maintenance zone had been 130-133 pounds for the last year, and for most of January, I stayed in the 129s.

But to complete the experiment, it meant having some gluten. So we headed out to Costco, because I love their cheap pizza. I mean, look at this monster slice!

Greasy, gooey, awesome. 700 or so calories of pizza magic. Although I didn’t eat the big puffy end crust. I wasn’t against it — I was just too full.

I didn’t get the stomach cramps or bloating that others have reported from adding gluten back after a long break. But I did find myself hungry all evening long, and nothing could stop the munchies. Haven’t felt that way in a long while. I didn’t gain any water weight, which is good, but I think I’m going to stick with mostly gluten-free from now on anyway. But I will continue experimenting with other carby foods, to see how far I can expand my choices.

On that note, I sallied forth to Whole Foods, where I knew they had some gluten-free beers. Just the other day on the Facebook, someone wrote that all of our local Whole Foods employees seem like they hate the world. And I have to say, they weren’t the friendliest bunch. I don’t know about hating the world, but nobody was full of good cheer, that’s for sure.

Spotted the following GF option:

Of course, the gluten-free rice noodles make it twice the price of other macaroni & cheese dinners. And since it’s fancybrand, that means it’s like six times the price of a box of Kraft dinner. Boy howdy, did I love Kraft dinner. Maybe I’ll buy a box sometime, just to get the powdery cheese packet. Although that’s probably loaded with gluten too. I wonder if I could put powdered Kraft cheese on some spaghetti squash?

I got one bottle of gluten-free beer (New Grist, which is both an awesome name and a terrible name) and a hard cider I haven’t tried yet. They had three or four gluten-free beer options, which is great. Surprisingly, our local Publix grocery store had a wider variety of ciders (although they didn’t have the brand that I got at WF). Much to sample!

Lastly, I got these chips from the vending machine at the courthouse, when I did my jury duty. What I want to know is, what’s the creamy part? The chips weren’t creamy, they were crispy. And I sure hope dill pickles aren’t creamy. Also, what do dill pickle potato chips have to do with DJing and turntables?

All that aside, the chips were delicious. I love a good dill pickle chip, creamy or not.

Photodump: Cat and Holiday Shopping

First off, a cat update. The swelling around Commie’s eye is steadily worse, and the eye looks more nasty every day. Plus, yesterday he started having more sneezing fits than ever before. Still, we watch and wait and cuddle.

As you can see, his eye is barely visible anymore, and it looks even more like the eye is sealing itself up. Poor kid!

We’re in the middle of packing and sorting right now, because the House of Meyer is moving in January. We came across an old film camera with a roll of film inside. I can’t remember the last time I used the camera, so we took the film out and took it to the Costco. Did you know that they still develop film? Did you also know that the ONLY option is 1-hour processing? I think the last time I got film developed at Costco, it was a 2-day turnaround, and that seemed fast.

There were several pictures of shoes (clearly, one night a lot of the members of Jet City Improv were wearing Chuck Taylors, so we all put our feet together for a snappie) and some of the cats as kittens. From the location in the pictures, it was in our first six months with the cats, and they were both under a year old. Look at their size compared to the remote controls! The pictures are all dark and blurry, but since the film sat in the camera for 12 years, I’m amazed anything came out at all. A little adjustment or two in Photoshop, and this one came out pretty well.

Scott had family in town last week, so we hit the parks. We even went over to Universal, where we watched the sad and limp Macy’s parade. We got to see the bottoms of several underinflated balloons:

Almost all of the balloon-holders looked like they wanted to stab themselves.

Just this evening, we braved the holiday shoppers to get some grocery shopping done at Target. Carts were few and far between, so we ended up with a dud with a shrill squeak. Scott figured out how to stop the squeaking, but he got a few strange looks.

And as a final note, to celebrate the awesome article in the L.A. Times about how it’s carbs that make us fat, not fat, here’s some bacon that looks like a pair of seahorses.

They were delicious little seahorses.

Photodump: The Cinema, Floors, TV Guide

Continuing to catch up, here’s a photodump.

We went to see Harry Potter 7.1 in the theater. I dislike the cinema experience, mainly due to the other people involved. Does nobody respect the call for quiet anymore? Stop with the texting, and talking, and crinkling, and asking, “Who’s that now?”

This was the bathroom at our local Regal. It was like peeing in space.

As for HP7.1, it wasn’t that great for me. I should have realized how much of it was sullen camping. They may as well have filmed the thing in black and white, what with all the washed-out filtering. Plus, how many times can you start a shot looking at the ground, then pan up to where something magical has just happened? Apparently, MANY times. Which certainly saves on the special effects budget. Here’s hoping 7.2 is more action-packed, and less dreary.

Not a photo, but a screencap from TV Guide’s site. Instead of subscribing to TV Guide, I just get the RSS feed. It’s actually MORE news than I got from the magazine, hooray.

The Good Guys appears to be ending for good, since it’s been huddled in FOX’s Friday Night Slot of Death since it came back (that same slot Fringe is headed for come January). But if you’re a TV writer, and you’re writing about a show that you like and are going to miss, please don’t refer to the character Dan Stark as “Don Stack”. That’s right up there with people who are telling you about their “favorite” actor or movie, then mangle the name. Which happens all the time.

Speaking of TV, eagle-eyed viewers/readers let Scott know that Adam Savage wore his Infini-tee on Mythbusters again. Thanks for this, BI readers! It tickles Scott greatly every time.

We visited Downtown Disney recently, and I fell in love with this carpet at the year-round Christmas store. If I have to have carpet (I’m not a fan), then why can’t it be cool carpet like this?!

Photodump: All You Need Is (Insert Need Here)

I am so far behind on various projects, but at least I can catch up on dumping pictures from the cameraphone. It’s quick! It’s easy! It’s fun (for me, at least)!

It’s getting colder here in Florida, which means I needed to pull out the heater for the winter. Sometimes, when we three are curled up around the parabolic magic, Scott has his fan on. But it’s three against one, so Scott is wrong.

Our female cat is more “my” cat. The big fat boy leans a little more toward Scott. The other day, my cat was a needy beast who wouldn’t leave me alone. Shadowed me everywhere, even into the shower. She was kind enough to stay there until I went and got my phone and pulled the curtain and liner back around her. Picture this, but with constant creaky mewing as she watched me get soaked in the water torture room.

Yesterday we visited a different Costco than usual, so we could go to the Costco liquor store. Sadly, they didn’t have the Kirkland Signature single-malt scotch. Apparently they only get a few cases once a year, and they sell out fast. We missed it by about a week. Instead, we got a 1.75L bottle of Maker’s Mark. It’ll last us a year! Our local Costco also doesn’t have the self-check lanes. We need these at our Costco! I’m totes jealous. Grocery stores here don’t have them either. Unless you count Wal*Mart as a grocery store, which I don’t.

Need a cake for Thanksgiving? How about a turkey that looks like someone’s junk? With a bloody nose? Who had a C-section?

It’s labeled as a “turkey football”. Sometimes our local Target gets some funny ideas about what makes a good cupcake cake. (As if there is such a thing as a good cupcake cake, right?) Although compared to some of the turkey cakes over at CakeWrecks, this one’s a stylish and graceful work of art.

But really, this is all you need.

Photodump: More Feet Than You Expect

We’ve had a busy time lately in general. And as always, I take pictures of every damn thing.

This pop machine at work (I refuse to say soda, Florida!) is having issues. I don’t think the bottles inside can truly be considered “ice cold” anymore.

We went bowling with friends a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea that bowling shoes were getting so groovy! Scott’s were orange with flames. Mine were this fantastic lime green, one of my two favorite colors. The bowling balls were also an awesome variety of colors.

I scored over 100 in both games, and that’s good enough for me. The next day, I had aching muscles I didn’t even know existed.

Seen at the grocery store. I think Dr. Oz needs to try his own cure.

We’ve visited Gatorland a couple more times, and always go into the aviary. For a dollar, you get a popsicle stick with birdseed glued onto it. In the process of the birds attacking the stick, some of the birdseed falls on your feet. I can now say from experience that birds biting your toes is tickly.

Last but not least, our regional AAA magazine learned a lesson that we learned early on with the show Twisted Flicks: when using the captial-style L next to the I, a quick glance can make the word “flicks” look like another word altogether. A much more profane word.

Photodump: Skating, Disney, and Fontography

skate-dorks2

Wednesday mornings are frequently roller-skating mornings. Our local rink (in beautiful Kissimmee, FL) has an “adult day” session, which is mostly full of adorable seniors wearing velour skating outfits. Combine roller skating with new phones that have an action-shot-panorama mode on the camera, and you get this kind of tomfoolery. The panorama stitching isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for me.

skate-school

The local rink recently changed ownership, and these banners went up for their skating school. I was perplexed by the weird off-center logo of S-shaped skaters. Check out the site if you want a glimpse into the past; it looks like it was designed years ago. Not a surprise, since the rink’s site is just as much of a throwback.

ziti-sisters

For you Disney fans, there’s a new show at Epcot. My coworker and I sauntered over on a break to check it out. It’s in the Italy pavilion, featuring “The Ziti Sisters”. The sisters represent aspects of Italian culture, from music to romance to art and history. A very cute show with audience participation (and very bold costumes).

buzz-chase

Speaking of Disney, this ad showed up in an entry on my RSS reader. Is it me, or does it look like a maniacal Buzz Lightyear is chasing that poor kid?

police-slogan

Lastly, I was horrified to see that the Orange County Sherrif’s Office cars have a slogan in quotes … in comic sans. Clearly, the ways in which they’re “making a difference” don’t include using modern, classy fonts.

A Mini Staycation

I’ll admit, a staycation is probably a lot more fun here in Orlando than it is in a lot of other cities. Scott’s younger brother visited us for a few days, so we took time off and checked out some places we hadn’t yet visited. We also got in a good little chunk of Disney, of course.

I’m hosting these snappies over at Flickr — I’ve been receiving notices that my site is going over some allotment of something, since I’m on the cheapest possible plan. It’s probably my penchant for pictures that puts me over bandwidth, so hopefully this will ease the pressure on my tiny site. Anyhoo, onward!

Our first day was Disney. We hit the Studios for the big three rides there, then moseyed over to the Magic Kingdom. After a half-dozen rides, we stopped at Aloha Isle for some Dole Whip. While there, we saw this foursome. Now, it was my understanding that adults weren’t allowed to wear costumes inside the MK, except during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. There was no party this particular night, so I was surprised to see a quartet of crazy getups. The hidden girl is in a full, actual Snow White costume. Next to her, I’m calling the girl “Sexy Minnie”. Following them were the boys — a cowboy with butterfly wings, and what I can only describe as a sexy Nazi costume. Perplexing!

Day 2: Universal! We visited both parks when we came down to find an apartment, almost 4 years ago. Hadn’t been back since. And there were several rides that were new to me — on our last visit, we rode Dueling Dragons first and I was queasy the rest of the day, so I didn’t go on Spiderman or The Hulk. This time we Hulked (which was awesome), and hit the all-new Harry Potter section of IoA. Welcome … to Hogwarts castle.

The warnings list for the new Forbidden Journey ride is massive, and yet they didn’t include a very important one. I think arachnophobia should be among the warnings. Seriously. Also, this ride (as well as most big Universal rides) requires you to put your whatnot in a locker before riding. I’m glad I remembered the locker issue, and just loaded my crap into my pockets and safety-pinned my pockets shut.

The ride was well-themed — the most impressive job I’ve seen Universal do. But I won’t ride it again anytime soon, since a goodly portion of it was motion-simulator, and as such made me queasy. A shame.

They did have plush shark hats over near the Jaws ride, which I forced Scott to put on. We didn’t buy one — I don’t think he’d be able to find many occasions to wear it. We went back out to CityWalk for lunch.

I saw signs for the BK Whopper Bar, and thought, “I HAVE to check that out!” I had visions of a full Fuddrucker’s-style toppings bar dancing through my head. Sadly, the Whopper Bar turned out to be a smallish Burger King. That’s it. I opted this day to not have it my way, and eat elsewhere.

Day 3 started at Disney, where we rode Expedition Everest and Dinosaur. Is it just me, or is Dinosaur better-lit these days? Seems like for a while, when something broke, they’d just turn the lights off on it. This time through, I could see almost everything. It’s still a pale imitation of the Indiana Jones ride out in California, but it’s all right.

Then we went to Gatorland! We’ve lived a mile away from this place for three years, and never visited before. Did we like it? Well, we upgraded our one-day admissions to annual passes. It was cute! And quaint! And chock full of fascinating animals. Especially …

TINY BIRDS! A room full of lorikeets, parakeets, and budgies, where you can buy a popsicle stick covered with birdseed for a buck and get covered in tickly cuteness. And yes, you really do need to watch your step — the birds walk all over the floor and up on your feet, so you have to kind of shuffle around.

Even Scott, who has a self-documented fear of birds, enjoyed our new avian overlords. This beautiful orange guy even got on Scott’s shoulder and licked his salty face. And now, thanks to annual passes, if I ever have a bad day I can just pop over to Gatorland, pay a buck, and get covered with tiny, happy, tickly birds.

We ended the day at Epcot. Scott observed that this mural at the front of Spaceship Earth looks like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. To which I say, a thousand times yes! The annual Food & Wine Festival is in full swing, but we did the German buffet at Biergarten instead. And it was a delicious sausage festival. (Heh heh.)

Today it’s back to work! Which means … back to Epcot. Love it!

Photoblog Phanatic

I do so enjoy it when pictures I take end up in photoblogs.

Yesterday, a picture I took in Costco a couple of years ago appeared out of the blue in Poorly Dressed People, part of the Cheezburger network. I didn’t submit this one; I was surprised to see it on my Google Reader feed, and was all, “Hey, that’s my picture!”

Today, one I submitted: An amazing parking job over on Bad Parking. Really, it’s impressive. The guy parked with precision.

And of course, there’s the classic fireman cake, which Scott blogged about at Basic Instructions, and found some internet fame after being reposted to Cake Wrecks.

Costco no longer has the fireman as an option for cake-based graphics. So we’ll never see that recipe again.

Technically, I’ve made Cake Wrecks twice — recently they posted a post full of watermelon cakes, one of which is mine. I got a picture of it at our old Albertson’s grocery store. I wonder if their cakes are why all of the Albertson’s stores in this town closed down.

I keep my camera phone at the ready on the rare occasions we go into Wal*Mart, but I’ve yet to see anyone in real life who’s freaky enough to appear in People of Wal*Mart. Now, if they had a People of Costco blog, I’d be submitting practically every week. (There is actually a photoblog at peopleofcostco.com, but it was last updated in December of 2009.)

Photodump: Bunnies, Books, and Obscenely Early Holidays

That’s right, another load of snappies from the phone camera. I’m going to head to the T-Mobile store this weekend (and when I say “weekend”, for me I mean “Wednesday and Thursday”) to fondle some of the newer Android phones. My G1 is getting a little creaky. Maybe I’ll even get a phone with one of those anemic little flashes — that would open up my snapshottery to a whole new level. In that I could take pictures in dark places. And after all, dark places are where some of the most fascinating things happen.

First off: BUNNIES! We frequently see one rabbit out grazing on the lawn near Epcot’s old kennel. But on this past magical Friday, there were TWO of them. I’m still dazzled by the wildlife all over the place. And in even more amazing news, yesterday there were THREE rabbits grazing by the kennel on my way out. But sadly, they were scattered around and as such, not easily photographed. There were no rabbits out today, so I guess Sunday is not my lucky bun-day.

This past week, I visited the Gastroenterologist’s office to get my monthly injections. There was a table with the usual outdated magazines in the waiting room, and then I happened upon this grouping of reading materials on a little shelf. I don’t know that I’ll ever again see three things more in contrast with each other sharing the same shelf space.

The big problem is that I’m so tied up with options regarding Breaking Dawn being crap, and being at the gastro office, that I can’t choose which way to go. Curse you, Stephenie Meyer!

I hate to see this. These dogs weren’t restrained in any way, and were sliding around in the bed of the truck when it was driving. Why is it that big white trucks account for more than their fair share of driving douchery? What is it about owning a big white truck that makes someone such a jerkbag? Just look out there, friends. Once you start keeping your eyes open to Big White Truck Syndrome, you’ll be shocked at how much bad behavior there is.

Oh, and don’t worry — as you can see, we were stopped at a red light when I took this.

Last but not least, COSTCO HAS CHRISTMAS STUFF OUT IN MID-SEPTEMBER. Since when is this OK? Here I thought it was still a tad bit early for all of the Halloween costumes, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but three full aisles of Xmas decorations. And come on — can you really call this awful thing a “lighted Santa” when it’s just a frame of stringy lights with Santa-colored tinsel garland draped on it? He looks more like he has a case of the glowing chicken pox. Or some sort of fluorescing mumps. Poor Santa.

Photodump: Skywriting, Business Cards, Furries

Can I say once again how much I love having a cameraphone? I only wish it were as good as Scott’s. His pictures come out with much better color balance, and his phone even has an anemic little flash. Who’s jealous? Me, that’s who.

First off, our local skywriter-for-god had a fantastic weather day the other day. Clearly not too breezy up there; some days, the first letter is blown into a smear before he’s done with the second. Also, he was kind enough to write his messages so that the viewer didn’t need to look directly into the sun to read them. You’d think this would be an obvious move, taught in Skywriting 101, but more often than not you have to squint into ol’ Sol in order to read what he’s writing.

A coworker and I had a small bicker about whether or not the skywriter himself/herself is the actual religious person, or whether it’s a rich religious person who has hired the skywriter. I vote for religious skywriter, myself. Although this picture was taken on a Sunday morning, which means if the skywriter is religious, he/she was skipping church. Hmm.

This business card, which I saw today, hits several of my design/grammar sweet spots. A hearty combination of serif and sans-serif fonts! The perilous Occasional Capitalization (because words like Butts are Very Important)! Missing hyphens galore (second-hand [or even secondhand], cancer-causing)! “Quotation marks” around “Electronic Cigarette”! And don’t forget, you can either Leave a Message, or call the other number and be yelled at by JAY (!!!!).

Lastly is one of the regular pin-traders here at Epcot. I don’t know if you know the hullabaloo about pin trading, but some adults take it very seriously. They come in and park themselves at these little cocktail tables with their ginormous binders full of pins, and hang out all day. I’ve seen this guy before, and was hoping he’d come back again. And he did! With his sparkly floor-length tail! Sadly, this time he wasn’t wearing his dogs-playing-poker cabana shirt.

People. Their variety just delights me.