Thursday, June 25, 2009

Big levers you want to pull.

I walk past this every day on my way to and from lunch.
Oh how I want to activate it!

And, I'm still undecided about watching the new Transformers movie.
I was so disappointed by Hulk I'm not sure I can take any more big
action films.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flight of the Navigator.

The Michael Eisner years are being purged from Disney records and Chicago’s tourists are reaping the rewards.

It seems that Disney, in an unprecedented house-cleaning, has found a treasure-trove of props from somewhat obscure 80’s movies. These long-forgotten 80’s props are now being distributed to large and small cities across the nation in hopes of jump-starting the U.S. economy through tourism and camera sales.

Need a reference point?
Flight of the Navigator.

Additionally, Disney’s Imagineers have wired these props to convert the energy wasted by camera flash-bulbs, (used unnecessarily in the middle of the day) to clean eco-friendly electricity. Chicago will be harnessing this surplus of electricity to power its stone-lined pizza ovens and of course, fight inner-city crime.

While the Disney company will deny any knowledge of this effort, rumors have confirmed that they intend to continue the distributing props to cities like Monkey’s Eyebrow Kentucky, Hobo Station Mississippi, and New York.

This weeks lunches have been non-existent for me. I've been traveling downtown a lot for a special marketing project and just haven't had the time to pick-up even a bite. Penny has been holding down the fort at the home office as I've been calling in creative changes and other incidentals from the client’s offices at the AON Center.

The great thing is that I've been able to hang-out with some of my favorite public works... like “The Bean” (A.K.A. Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor) in Millennium Park . There are rumors that Kapoor really hates it when people call it “The Bean”.

The massive sculpture reminds me of art classes in college. Professors in those classes would speak about how sculptures are meant to be touched and enjoyed physically. Their physical nature makes them part of our lives — they participate in everyday life, unable to be ignored like a painting on a wall. Cloud Gate really has this effect on the people of Chicago and its tourists.

The video this week is a little tame, but shows what it's like to sit and watch people stroll-by, photograph and generally enjoy Cloud Gate and downtown Chicago. It's just a little Zen video for me to come back to when deadlines are compressed.

I hope you like it too.
Millennium Park Zen

NOTE: Yes, I am reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.

More posts soon I'm sure,
Avoid the lunch-rush... if you can... muhhhaa ha ha.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lego my Lego.

Lego® does some cool things.
Does that now include popsicles?

There's much to be said for those little blocks that stack, interlock, and build. Most of it is in Denmarkese... wait... Denmarkian... no that's not right either... Danish, that's the one. The same goes for this little popsicle mold. I wonder if printing the actual instructions in English may have helped the final product.

We attempted to fill the mold with Gatorade as it seemed the most yellow substance we would want to put in our mouths. (Try not to think about that too much). Anyway, to keep this post short, let me just say it didn't turn out as we expected. See the video below.

Lego my Lego... Popsicle.
NOTE: Love me or hate me — Yackety Sax was the only music that really fit this video. Thank you Benny Hill.

I wonder if we should catagorize this stickless-wonder with the other popsicle disasters I've read about:
SpongeBob's Eyes and Teeth are Made of Same Substance?
Random Colors and Placements?
Tweety Scares Me?

I'm guessing that this may even start a whole new food disaster trend — molds that don't work.


Well, now that we've beaten-up on the Lego company for a bit, I do want to comment on how many things they seem to be doing right. Both Penny and I own a few of the Lego video games. We had to rush out to McD’s for Penny when they had the Lego Batman figures. It's just a cool company.

And even more importantly, they've got this really cool thing in the store itself. See the bonus video below.

Lego's 3d Boxes
NOTE: Filming stuff like this in stores is really frowned upon. Do not attempt yourself unless you are okay with being kicked-out of almost everywhere. Thanks to my G10 Super Spy Camera we seem to be able to do most of this undetected. Look for a Fish gets arrested video at a later date.

The kids are calling it “Augmented Reality”. In truth it deserves a whole post on its own, but I feel it kind of belongs in the Lego section. I first heard about it being done with a German ad for the Mini Cooper. All you have to do is wave the recognizable thing in front of the camera and then a 3d object is rendered in relation to its position. It's a great effect and really cool to play around with. It seems like Lego was really up on the technology and decided that they needed it in their stores. I guess the most puzzling thing about it is that you'd walk right past it in the store if you didn’t know. There's no screaming signage around it, no big "YOU GOTTA SEE THIS" banner or anything. It’s almost a secret. I urge you all to find your nearest official Lego store to try it out.

(I also secretly urge Lego to see how much we loved this and blogged about it. I also openly urge them to acknowledge Penny and I by giving us a free "Lego Deathstar")

So that’s my summary of our Lego Adventure Lunch. I invite you to leave us a few comments or tips if you can. Maybe we did the whole Lego popsicle thing wrong?

Eat well,

I just found another reason for us all to worship the creative genius of Lego. Check out their business cards: I want to work at Lego

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SpongeBob has Jumped the Shark.

Evidence that a cartoon version of “Lost in Translation” is being made?

Today we hit Mitsuwa Marketplace an amazing Japanese grocer, sushi paradise, and book store; located conveniently on the way home from one of our favorite client's offices. Penny had been there several times before and even indicated that he’s had a couple of successful dates at the sushi cafeteria. I wonder what kind of date he considers “sucessful.”

It seems The Marketplace is now a national chain and lacks a bit of the charm it had before the expansion, but it is unique enough for me to take the wife to on the weekend. Did I mention it’s Valentine’s Day weekend? The girls are always impressed by the raw fish right?

Well, my favorite part of the store included a half-isle full of Gashapon-style toys, strange candy and gum. From “Black Black Gum” to Crunky (see image below) this place seems to have it all.

The Crunky bar itself was a great find—part chocolate, part intimidating urban music/dance fad. We wondered if the Japanese were simply trying to share in “the crunk”, something no city dweller should be without.

Other notable crunks include:

Lil Jon
The Drink
and even Hebrew Crunk.

I have given one of my two purchased “crunky” bars to a co-worker, but they haven't had the stomach to open it yet. We'll report on its taste at a later date.

As for this post’s title image, the SpongeBob candy/gum, it was truly mystifying. Is this really our squishy yellow/orange friend’s “Lost in Translation” moment? Will he be finding a cartoon ingenue to continue the plot line? I suggest Hillary Duff in cartoon form. (She looks drunk in this image doesn't she?).

For this Japanese candy package, Bob seems to have chosen to model in his natural yet risqué sans-squarepants mode. We've seen him before in underwear, but it seems the Japanese consumer demands a little more than we do. For some reason only nude SpongeBob will do for this strange candy.

He has also, wisely chosen to protect his identity by sucking his face inside the holes. A move that normally terrifies my wife. He may be trying to hide, but it's obviously him, I wonder what Nickelodeon® will have to say about this.

When looking at the candy package, we were all a little worried that it may taste like SpongeBob’s butt. Our other thought was that it may be sponge-sushi flavored. In the end it was a sweet orange/lemon soda flavor that may have me going back to the Japanese market for more. I've included our video taste-test below.

Japanese SpongeBob?
NOTE: It’s great that my cube neighbor Brad can look horribly indignant and still sample the package. Speaking of packages notice how co-worker Ed’s crotch makes a star appearance in our film. Teaching us to aim the camera a little better next time — maybe use the viewfinder? Or we could include it as a commentator on the blog. I vote for option No. 2. It’s nice to know what his crotch thinks about SpongeBob’s Japanese flavor.

All this foreign snack food makes me wonder if foreign countries have American import stores. I don’t remember seeing any growing up in Canada. And more importantly are there any weird bloggers that taste test our Twinkies, HoHos and Nerd’s Rope?

Remember to tip your waiter on the way out,

P.S. --
If you've actually read this far into our post you deserve to learn about my favorite Mexican/American snack-food company ever “Bimbo Bakeries.” I Don't know about the actual food, but the name is fantastic. Their website actually says “Our trademark bear brings a smile to adults and children alike...” ( I think the bear has very little to do with it). High-five!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mystery of the Magnetic Silverware?

Mystery solved! Our new formula:
{ Amount of Magnetism } =
{Amount of Time Spent in or Near Trash Bin}

I've seen this happen at a few restaurants now. There seems to be some sort of trend towards magnetic silverware? Is it meant to take the “mettalic particles” out of the food? You'll wish it was. Today we expose the creepy truth behind the magnetic silverware mystery.

Magnetic Silverware

Back story:
I noticed it first when dining with my wife at a Red Robin burger-joint near our old apartment. While annoying her with horrible Benny and Joon impressions, I noticed my forks were sticking together. After examining the utensils for clenliness we determined they were strangely magnetic.

So, when I lunched with Penny today and noticed the same thing happening in another establishment, I just had to document the phenomenon. Then I found out the truth...

OMG Magnetic Silverware is People! Just joking, I think that's our second Soylent Green reference on this blog.

The truth is Restaurants will sometimes purchase magnetic trash bin lids to prevent silverware loss. Have a look at the following links:
Flatware Retriever
Rectangular Flatware Retriever

Now that we know about the magnetic lids, we can get to our theory. Think back to your grade-school science classes and you may remember that magnets can produce other magnets. If you leave a piece of metal containing iron on a magnet for long enough, the metal will itself become magnetized. This can explain what is happening to the silverware.

The longer or more times the silverware has been in contact with the trash bin, the more magnetic it will become. Gross eh?

So with this new knowledge, I will take the stand and say that magnetic silverware may be a sign of a not-so-good restaurant. Bussing tables without losing silverware should not be that hard. Imagine how much time they are not putting into your food prep if they can’t take the time to separate your half-eaten lasagna from your cheese-coated fork.

The next time you find that your silverware is magnetized, you'll know where that spoon has been.

This has been your unofficial lunch education post,


We have learned that some restaurants are purchasing silverware that is already magnetized. This may make you worry a little less until you realize that they are purchasing it because they keep losing their old silverware. Now instead of just getting rid of that contaminated fork they'll be fishing it out of the garbage, again and again. My comment about restaurants that need this kind of help still stands. It's a good sign of not-so-good food.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enaugh.. E-nog... Inauguration Lunch

However you spell it, it means bad jokes and good food.

I hit up my local Blanken-Eleven again to grab few packs of Obama Jones Soda on the way into work. It was my contribution to the Pot-Luck Inauguration Lunch we held at the office. The soda is a little strange because you are kinda thinking it should be orange. There's a brief political debate in your mouth, then in the end, the cola taste wins. It's not going to be on my top-ten flavor list, but I guess it was okay. I had a few people in the office that liked it, but others were kind of put-off by the thought of an orange cola.

Here's some other blog sites that tried the sodas too:
AV Club, Serious Eats.
Order your own 6-pack here: Jones Soda

After giving out a few of the bottles I was able to keep an un-drunken 4-pack for posterity. I also went around and grabbed one 4-pack of empties. I may be ebaying that full 4-pack if the prices get high here

It was a historic day and a great one to commemorate with a soda. I wonder if the future will look down on us with our Barack Obama trading cards (now sitting in my cube) and those weird sodas. Is it tacky?

Anyway, the lunch adventure captured on video shows exactly how into-it everyone was. See how creative our office got with food by watching the video below.

Note: Video includes many of the little historic moments everyone will always remember — the messed-up oath and even the Bush-is-leaving-cheers. My favorite part was an Art Director giving "the bird" to the Bush escape helicopter (for a second time, at my request).

Notable food sightings:
Sloppy Joe Bidens
Yes We Can-dy
Plus someone mentioned “Inagurum-Cake”

I hope you ate a few bad jokes yourself.
Until next time... save me some left-overs,
-- Fish

Monday, January 5, 2009

Orange you glad it’s 2009?

Soylent Orange!
A new sugary heart-clogging treat for 2009.

I found this abomination sitting on the counter at my local Blanken-Eleven (removing names for anonymity). While not exactly a lunch-time activity, it still seemed "Glue Penny" inspired (see our very first post). So I decided to stage a not so official taste-test at the agency. See the video included below as many react to the Orange menace. I believe a portion still sits on our comping table waiting for its next victim.

NOTE: This video has earned another co-worker an awesome nick-name. Agent Orange loves orange and has a stomach of cast-iron. Use her code name whenever you can!

When I found this I also saw a few other blogs posting about our Orange Overlord. Orange Crush Pound Cake debates may be found at:
Blogadilla and digg, as well as some personal blogs like Creativity.

Although we may not be the first, I believe we are the first with video.

Our reactions to the foamy orange snack included the following:
"...nothing that orange should really exist."
" the foam rubber from inside a car bumper."

There also seems to be a 7up version, and a Strawberry Crush version.

Eat healthy for 2009, otherwise you may get "wrist rolls" like me, ugg I hate videos of myself!
Fresh Packed /newer Left Ovrs /older Home Cookn /main

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