FOOD

I had the opportunity to go food shopping this evening, which is a bit of a luxury these days given my work schedule. It’d been a while since I’ve been in a Safeway so it was a bit of a treat. I came away from the store with two items of interest.

The first picture you see above is two 12-packs of Kraft Dinner single serving cups. As I eluded to an earlier post, I’ve become quite fond, perhaps too fond of these things. They’re delicious! I usually buy these things at Wal-Mart for about $1.15 each or at 7-11 for the outrageous price of $1.49 each. Well clutch the pearls, was it a surprise when I found these boxes of Kraft Dinner cups at Safeway. Not only were they in convenience box form, they were on sale for $7.99 for 12 cups! These were less than 70 cents per cup! I took little time in scooping up two boxes for myself. You can also see the 12 cups are divided into eight of the original recipe and four of the triple cheese variety. I’ll be eating good for the next few weeks!

The second picture you see are some Aunt Jemima Griddlecake breakfast sandwiches which I found in the freezer section. Now, you may not know this but for the longest time, I’ve lamented the lack of hearty and quick breakfast items in the grocery store. Sure, you can get all the frozen waffles and pancakes in the world but what about a heartier kind of meal? For example, in the US, you can a whole variety of Jimmy Dean breakfast items. That’s why I was so pleased to see the Griddlecakes at Safeway. Make no mistake, these things are a direct copy of McDonald’s McGriddles, right down to the boast of “delicious syrup flavour BUILT IN”. Note they mentioned “syrup flavour” as opposed to actual syrup baked into the griddle cakes. As you can expect, these thing aren’t exactly healthy for you either, with 21g of fat in each approx. 125g sandwich. I will try these as an experiment as I won’t let myself eat one too often.

Wow, what a sophisticated and refined palate I have!

ONE FAMILY'S EVENING LAST WEEK

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A lot of families post pictures on Flickr, so you can see what they’re up to. One of those nuclear units just happens to be the family of Barack Obama, the next President of the United States. On election night, a photographer took an amazing set of photographs, detailing the family watching the returns to the moment before President-elect Obama took the stage to give his victory speech.

If you ever wondered what it was like to be in that room when he was declared the winner, you’ll want to see these pictures.

PIMPIN'

I’m still enthralled by all the US Presidential election coverage and could probably write a dozen more posts about it but that may have to wait for the weekend. I’m otherwise out of ideas tonight, so all you have for this post is the video above. Yes, it’s about the game I’m working on but the first 20 seconds is interesting in that it actually shows my work environment. After it’s just Brian talking but it’s okay since he’s a very cool dude.

Last but certainly not least, please indulge me in letting me write this one more time: US President-elect Barack Obama. Oh that’s nice.

A MUCH NEEDED HAIRCUT

The last time I received a haircut was sometime in early to mid-September. It’s now November. For people who have seen me in person in the last two weeks, thank you for not making comments about my hair. My hair is ridiculously poofy now.

The picture you see above was taken on Thanksgiving weekend, about a month ago, when I was busy discussing politics with an acquaintance. You can already see some signs of poofiness then, just try to imagine what it looks like now.

I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow evening. It will be a glorious time.

WELL DONE AMERICA

I extend my congratulations and thanks to every American who voted for Barack Obama and other Democrats today. Americans have finally steered their country in a new direction, one that I believe is filled with optimism and hope.

President-elect Obama triumphed over Senator McCain, in what I would call a stunning defeat. I’m not a political scientist but I believe the formal term for what happened is an “ass kicking”. Obama’s 338 electoral college votes compared to McCain’s paltry 163 was something I could not even have envisioned in my most optimistic mood. Could it be that Americans would no longer accept eight years of bumbling, divisive right-wing rule? Whatever the reason, a near-decade long dark chapter of history is almost at an end. After Bill Clinton, Obama now becomes the second African-American US President.

I am amazed by the number of celebrations that spontaneously erupted through the US and beyond. There was very little such merriment in 2000 and definitely almost none in 2004. Tonight was so remarkedly different. From the catinas of Mos Eisley, the towers of Coruscant, to the marbled walkways of Naboo, people celebrated with a sense of optimism that has been so sorely missing in the last eight years.

The elation and joy will continue for the next several weeks, culminating in what promises to be a historic Inauguration Day on January 20, 2009. While the celebration is much deserved, I caution Americans and the rest of the world to be patient with President-elect Obama. He inherits from Bush a faltering nation, damaged militarily, financially, and socially. Even if his entire tenure as President is taken up with reversing the damage that Bush did, history will paint Obama in a kind light. I encourage all Americans to give President-elect Obama a chance and to support him through these difficult times.

Future challenges aside, this day has indeed been a good one. A little bit of my faith has been restored in America and that doesn’t happen on any average day.

ONCE AGAIN WE STAND ON THE BRINK

Nearly four years ago to the day, I wrote a post expressing my thoughts on the eve of the 2004 US Presidential election. I was realistically pessimistic about the chances of John Kerry winning enough Electoral College votes to become the next US President. It turns out, I was right to be pessimistic.

To this day, I still don’t fully understand why American voters decided to continue to support Dubya. On November 2, 2004, the US was already mired in the conflict in Iraq. Bush lied to Americans about the non-existent weapons of mass destruction. He also never finished what he started in Afghanistan.

The American people could have held Bush accountable for his misdeeds but they tragically did not. They stunned the rest of the world by re-electing him. Bush thanked his people by mishandling Katrina and letting the US economy collapse.

Despite the massive criticism sent towards Bush and his Republican administration for Katrina, guess who is currently leading in the polls in Louisiana? Yeah, I am afraid so. Are the people of Louisiana just dumb or just really forgiving?

So tomorrow, US voters will again have a chance to elect a new President. Who will it be? In 2004, I had a tiny bit of empty, baseless hope that Kerry would win. It was the same type of hope you get when buy a lottery ticket. You know a win is a (theoretical) possibility but in your heart, you know it won’t be there.

In 2008, I also have a tiny bit of hope but it’s different. It’s a genuine and real but albeit small amount of optimism that enough Americans will finally have that moment of clarity to make the right, sane, and logical choice on Tuesday. I’m desperately hoping that US voters will be courageous enough to vote for change and to steer their country to a better course.

There is a perceptible difference between Kerry’s campaign in 2004 and Senator Obama’s campaign in 2008. Somehow, there are many more people who seem willing to stand with Senator Obama and his platform. It could be just circumstance but it’s my impression that many US voters want change and they want Obama to be the one to affect that change.

Despite the optimism I’ve seen, I still expect a close race, right to the end. Why will it be close? Who will be voting for McCain? You can thank the uninformed, the racist, the fundamental Christians, and your plain old, dumbass morons for that. The US is still far from a perfect place and for every state that will turn red on Tuesday night, you’ll see an example of that.

For any of my US readers who might be reading this, I ask you to make the right choice on Tuesday. I ask you to consider where your country has been heading in the last eight years and if that’s the right direction for it. Be brave and consider a change for the better.

On Tuesday night, I’ll be at work watching the voting results. There probably won’t be too much work going on as many people I work with are deeply interested in the election. Where ever you are on Tuesday night, let us all hope the US (and the world) gets the change it needs and deserves. I’ll see you on the other side.