Keep Your Yams To Yourself

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food, Vacation | Posted on 17-02-2013

As you read this one of three things are probably happening to me:

     1.  I am sleeping, soon to wake up with a hangover.


     2.  I am awake with a cold adult beverage in my hand, soaking up some warm sun.


     3.  I am awake with a cold beverage in my hand, soaking up some warm sun on a golf course.

My Lady Friend and I started our vacation yesterday in Arizona.  My parents are retired and spend their winters in a suburb of Phoenix.  Every year I escape the death grip of winter’s cold icy hands by heading down to stay with them for a week or so, and the last few years the Lady Friend has joined me.

It’s a week we absolutely love because for a short period of time we get to see what it would be like to be retired ourselves.  We golf, drink beer, go hiking in the mountains and lay around doing a whole hell of a lot of nothing.  Beautiful.

I will probably share some of this awesome laziness via Twitter: @TheSimpleDude if you want to follow along.  Or maybe I’ll get a chance to put up a post here, so check back this week.

In the meantime I will leave you with something odd.  Bruce’s Yams.

Bruce always seemed a bit TOO proud of his yams.

Bruce always seemed a bit TOO proud of his yams.

The Lady Friend bought these a few weeks ago and I thought it was a little funny.  I didn’t realize Bruce was even in the Yam business.  Come to think of it I wasn’t even sure there was such a thing as a Yam business.  But there is.  And Bruce is damn good at it.

I love sweet potatoes big time, but the whole concept of calling them “yams” has always made me uncomfortable.  I know they are the same thing, but seriously why the hell do we call them yams?  That is such a weird term.  Give me some sweet potatoes and I’ll be happy.  But you can keep your yams.  Sorry Bruce.


Everyone You Know Is A Liar

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food | Posted on 22-01-2013

We are a misleading society.  It may be a popular saying, but one thing we certainly don’t do is “tell it like it is.”  Because the truth is usually not enough.  Not enough to get “it” done, whatever “it” happens to be.

You could be satisfying your boss by telling him you’ve accomplished more work on a certain project than you actually have.  You do this because you’re lazy and don’t want everyone to find out.

Or maybe you’re bragging to friends about the fish you caught, the deal you snagged at the outlet mall or the number of miles you ran this weekend.  For about 80% of the population you can take whatever number they are telling you and subtract 10 – 15% if you want to narrow in on the truth.

If you’ve done the online dating thing you understand this too.  People will tell you they have a certain body type, a certain income range or a certain amount of hair (on their head or body) and often these are distorted versions of reality.  In situations where you get to see this mystery person’s picture, the photo they share is taken in perfect lighting or taken from the perfect angle.  And it’s usually 8 – 10 years old.

It’s what we do.  We mislead.  We are a bunch of pricks.

It’s not limited to bragging, online dating or pulling the wool over the eyes of our boss.  Complete strangers mislead us every day, people we’ll never meet or have any contact with whatsoever.  No, I’m not talking about scum sucking politicians, though they are a special kind of misleading bullshitters.

I’m taking about food companies.  I myself was duped just the other day.  I bought a little instant meal thing at the grocery store with the intention of bringing it to work for lunch.  The picture on the box looked good…  sort of a Ramen noodle knock off but with actual flavor.

How do you screw up Ramen noodles??

How do you screw up Ramen noodles??

But NOOOO….  As you can see by the actual bowl, my meal didn’t come anywhere close to matching the photo on the box.  And it tasted like crap too.  It was more like cardboard flavored Ramen.  There are few things as disappointing in life as having the lunch you brought to work turn out to be bad.  You feel cheated out of your money AND you’re left being hungry for the rest of the day.

That is unless you steal a coworker’s lunch and blame someone else.  You know, keep the deception thing going in a “pay it forward” kind of way.

Liars… every one of us.


P.S. Check out this new Blogger who just started following me: Seattle Sitter.  She swears, bitches and judges everyone she meets.  And seems to have no filter whatsoever.  Is it possible I have a twin sister I never knew about?


Wait, McRib is Back? Oh Hell Yeah!

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food | Posted on 27-12-2012

A couple years ago I posted about a sort of guilty-pleasure food for me.  Something that only comes around once every year or two.  I know they look gross and sound disgusting, but I do truly love the McDonald’s McRib sandwich.

And the other day I saw a commercial saying it is BACK!  Exciting!  Since I’m on “vacation” today… here is that old McRib post from the fall of 2010.  Some classic Simple Dude:

McRib Monday

Today was a good day…  I had the day off.  I chose to spread my remaining vacation days out so that including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years I won’t have to work a full week the rest of the year.  Most weeks will only be 3 days long.  Woohoo!  So I’ll have a lot of time to either:

A)  Be productive and get things done around the house.

B)  Lay around and be lazy watching lousy daytime TV.

Which would you do?  Today I managed both productivity and laziness.  It was great.  I finished cleaning the garage and organized my closet.  Then for lunch I had a McRib.  You know, the Ribby goodness sold by McDonald’s for a limited time only.  Of course in three years they’ll bring it back again.  For some reason I always have McRib cravings when I see those ads on TV.  The sandwich itself is not anything special, or even a good meal.  It’s ok… average at best.  But something about it’s sloppy uniqueness sucks me in every time they bring it back to their menu.

I dont know if this is special to my part of the country or not, but when you order a McRib value meal they offer you a second McRib for just $1.  I cannot possibly conceive of a world where I would say no to an offer like that.  No I did not eat both McRibs and the fries for lunch.  I showed some restraint and put one of them in the fridge..  probably for dinner.  Yes indeed, it is a McRib Monday.  Don’t judge me.

The lady friend texted me earlier to see how the day off was going and I texted back the details of my McRib Monday situation.  She takes night classes on Mondays so she texted to say she was glad to be missing the “aftermath” of my McRib Monday.  I said she is probably right, and I think I used the term “McToot”.

The second McRib is still in the fridge.  After typing this post I am starting to rethink eating it, at least not today.  You know, give my system a chance to recover.

Ahhh shit, who the hell am I kidding.  I’m all over that sauce-covered-imitation-meat-between-two-stale-bun’s bitch ass.


(and yes, I am going out to get a McRib for lunch today!)

p.s. I may have some special news for everyone next week about a change in my personal life…  stay tuned.

A Simple Autumn

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food, House | Posted on 16-10-2012

Today’s post is a visual one… along with some random thoughts from me.

Minnesota, like much of the country, is a very pretty place in the fall.  Everywhere you look you see colors representing the season.  Golden yellows, burnt oranges and bright reds.  My backyard is no different.

Alright, enough is enough. Drop the leaves already.

That tree is one of the last ones in my yard to still have most of its leaves.  What it’s holding out for I do not know.  I have raked a bunch of leaves from the other trees, and yet this one just refuses to drop for me.  Maybe it’s waiting until it snows.

When I see red, yellow and orange leaves in trees while walking through a park or in a neighbors yard I stop and admire nature’s beauty.  But when I see them on trees in my own yard?  I curse at them, knowing I’ll soon be out there raking them – one of my least favorite things to do in life.

Another thing that happens this time of year is people decorating their yards with Halloween stuff.  Ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and all that happy crap.  There is a a house in our neighborhood that goes all out:

Ooooo… spoooooky!!!

It’s really hard to capture what they do in a lousy night time photo, they have a lot going on that I didn’t get in this picture and they have also added a lot since this picture.  They have added a half dozen giant lighted inflatables, skeletons, black cats and a big blow up tree with a face on it.  That one scared me a little.  But my favorite part is a tombstone in the middle of the yard.  On it reads:

Here lies the last dog who pooped in our yard.”


A few weeks ago the lady friend and I went out to dinner at a restaurant called Baker’s Square.  For those who don’t have them in your area, it’s similar to a Perkins or Denny’s except they specialize in pie.  VERY GOOD pie.  Going to a place like this for dinner is not a big deal normally, but there is something about it I would never admit to my friends… we went on a Saturday night.  At 5:30pm.  Then went straight home after.

We were BY FAR the youngest people there.  Ugh…  So this is what it’s like being 40 huh?

Oh, and the reason we went there?  We had a coupon.  Ha!  But we also went there because I absolutely has to try this:

Did they put bacon on a pie? Oh hell yes they did!

It’s called the Salty Hog and it’s “Amaze-Balls” as the kids would say.  It’s basically a french silk / chocolate cake flavored pie with roasted almonds and salted caramel.  Oh, and the best part?  It has FREAKIN’ BACON on top!

I think it was a limited time kind of thing, but I am holding my palms to the sky praying to the good Lord above that this thing comes back.  If you get a chance, you have to try it.



This Will Either Make You Hungry Or Sick

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food | Posted on 13-09-2012

This is a week of updates.  Tuesday I wrote an update on my potential pay raise at work.  If I get the 25% I am looking for, I’ll be each and every one of you a drink.  You just have to find me first.

And now I am writing a post updating you all on something more interesting then my financial situation:  My State Fair diet.  Although the word “diet” doesn’t really fit well considering what I ate during the Minnesota State Fair would make any dietician vomit carrot juice.  The best part of this update is that I have pictures to share with you.  Greasy, slimy and disgusting – and that just describes my hands holding all these fried foods.

The company I work for has a big exhibit space out there so we all take shifts working it – I was there 8 of the 12 days the fair ran, which meant lots and lots of greasy fingers.

If you want to read all about the Minnesota State Fair I wrote extensively about it recently, but to be brief let’s just say it’s a fat guys dream.  Deep fried food as far as the eye can see.  In fact, name a food that can physically be fried (and placed on a stick like a corn dog) and you’ll probably find it there.  They even find a way to put deep fried spaghetti & meatballs or mac & cheese on a stick.

I didn’t photograph everything I ate, which is good, because if I had probably would have posted all the pics.  And that would have just embarrassed me due to the high volume of saturated fat I consumed.  It was awesome.

First up, one of my favorites… the pork chop on a stick:

These are seasoned perfectly although I did spill the grease from this one all over my shirt while trying to take the photo.  See the lengths I’m willing to go to for the sake of the blog?!?

The there was the beef kabob (obviously on a stick) that comes in a tortilla for some reason.

The good news was I kept this one off my clothing.  The bad news is it cost me $8 and was nowhere near as good as the $6 pork chop.  I should have stuck with what works.

Then the last say of the fair I finally got a chance to try something I had been hearing about all week…  Bacon flavored ice cream:

As expected, it was amazing and one of my highlights of the whole fair experience.  The ice cream itself is actually maple syrup ice cream and then there are candied bacon pieces mix in throughout.  The picture is not very good because the place was crowded and I was trying to take it quickly.

Normally I’d crop out the top part of a photo like this one, but I left it as is so you could see the guy’s feet at the top.  Right after snapping this photo he stops me and says “wait can I take a photo of it too?”  I thought he was being a smart ass so I just sort of shook my head and kept walking, but he stopped me and really actually did want to take a picture of it.  Guess he was too cheap to buy his own.

Beyond the food the state fair didn’t do much for me.  So the only thing left to ask…  did this make you hungry or sick?


Deep Fried Fantasy

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food | Posted on 27-08-2012

It’s time for some classic Simple Dude – in the form of a re-post from my past.  This one goes back two years – it was one of my first posts actually.  I felt it was timely, since it’s about the Minnesota State Fair – something going on right now.  Enjoy:

I’m sure you’ve been to a State Fair, County Fair, carnival etc.  Here in Minnesota we have our annual State Fair going on now.  But this is not your normal fair, it’s what you imagine a State or County Fair to be… but all hopped up on caffeine, steroids and a giant bucket of deep fried bacon grease.

The Minnesota State Fair is the biggest in the country in terms of attendance, attracting 2 million people over 12 days on a permanent 320 acre fairground space.  How big is 320 acres?  I have no idea.  What am I, a farmer?  I looked at their official website and that’s what it says… I just know it’s damn big.

We all just call it “The Fair” like it’s some living breathing thing.  And one of the things The Fair is known for is having a LOT of food “on a stick.”  What the hell does that mean?  Well, you’ve had a corn dog right?  That’s on a stick.  At the Minnesota State Fair you can get dozens of foods on a stick.  Chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, fruit, deep fried cheese, bacon, sushi, etc.  Yes all of those are available on a stick.  No shit.

Another goofy thing about The Fair is the Princess Kay of the Milky Way.  Kind of a spaced out title.  Her big claim to fame?  She gets to pose and have her likeness carved out of butter by a sculptor.  Again, No shit.  It starts out as a big ass block of butter, then becomes a big ass butter likeness of a girl.  It sits on display in a refrigerated case during the run of the fair for people to come see it.  And they do… for the love of God they LINE UP to see it.

I know what this sounds like, but we are NOT just a bunch of backwoods mouth breathers here in the northland.  We even have running water and paved roads.  But the Fair is just one of those things we all do, even though we’re not always proud of it.

Another hook is all the weird new foods each year that people have to try.  In the past we’ve had fried Twinkies and candy bars.. on a stick of course.  One of this year’s new foods is a grilled banana, chocolate and marshmallow sandwich.  Imagine a grilled cheese sandwich but banana, chocolate and marshmallow instead of the cheese.  And some powdered sugar on top.  I have to admit I did try one of these… tasted like a heart attack between a couple grilled pieces of bread.

It was damn good.


A Tunnel To Heaven?

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food | Posted on 31-07-2012

The other day I heard a crazy story on local morning radio.  It involved an unstable dude in New Zealand who was stalking his ex girlfriend in a very unusual way.  From inside her own house.

He built a trapdoor under her house that he used to get inside a crawl space under her stairs.  He’d hang out in this space to keep tabs on her, even cutting holes into closets to get access into her house when she wasn’t home.

The police got him before he could actually hurt her or anyone else.  And when they did they found bedding, food, candles, clothes and some makeshift weapons in his little space under the stairs.

This whole thing is creepy and I’m glad they got the sick bastard before anything terrible happened.  But the story gave me an idea.

There is a little bakery near our new house in Maple Grove, MN called Nadia Cakes.  They have the most amazing cupcakes you’ll ever eat.  The owner was the winner on the show Cupcake Wars on the Food Network.  I don’t have any people in my life worthy of stalking, but I do LOVE me some cupcakes.

I am considering a trap door that would allow me to hind out in the cupcake closet of this place.  I don’t know if a cupcake closet is a real thing or not.  But in my mind it is… and it’s magical.

I’ve already started working on my master plan…

That’s the cupcake shop – or at least one hell of a rendition of what it looks like.  I bet you can almost taste the fabulous frosting right?

I plan to put up a tent on the ground next door.  Nothing fancy, in fact the more plain and drab the better.  On this tent I will hang a sign that says “Homeless.  Please Help.”  This is to be sure no one, and I mean no one, not even the police, will go near it.  Right?

But that tent is no ordinary tent.  It’s hiding my secret tunnel that will lead me right into the cupcake closet.  Ohhh…  it’s going to be awesome!

Yes, that’s me crawling on my hands and knees as I head for the tasty nirvana.  Oddly enough, my hair looks exactly like that.  And yes I have a giant smile on my face because once I get into the cupcake closet I’ll be able to come and go as I please, sneaking all that baked goodness whenever I want.

You know what… this plan could also work for my local liquor store.  I wonder if they have Whiskey Closet?

Wish me luck!  And vote for this post over at Dude Write!