Here are my most popular blogs from last week, Sunday – Saturday:
March 25, 2009.
West Allis Memorial Hospital.
Happy Birthday Kyla!
Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.
On Saturday it was pandemonium at the Fischer household. Kyla had some friends over for a small birthday party. A larger gathering is planned for sometime in May.
This was one of the quiet moments as the girls (from Kyla’s school, the neighborhood, and Cashel Dennehy Irish Dance) got right into the spirit of the party’s donut theme with frosting, icing, and sprinkles.
Donut decorations came after other snacks including pizza were served. The pies came from Papa Murphy’s (plain cheese that were a big hit).
There was enough on hand (imagine that) allowing me to sneak a slice or two. But the plain cheese needed some pzazz for my blood so I sprinkled on some red pepper flakes.
We’ll never think twice about ordering Papa Murphy’s. And some frozen pizzas are mighty good for frozen. But as far as the chains are concerned, for me, unless it’s Papa John’s the others will never see the inside of my house. I don’t care how many deals they’re offering during March Madness.
Let’s consider what’s happening at Pizza Hut. We’ve mentioned before that all the goofy restaurant ideas often originate in the moonbat capital of the United States, the Golden State.
At select Pizza Hut locations in southern California the restaurants are selling 99-cent petite shakers of crushed red pepper and grated cheese. That’s how Pizza hut and other chains do it. Unlike pizzerias that put those condiments in jars on the tables, Pizza hut gives it to you in packets. But they don’t just “give it you” in the aforementioned select spots.
In a statement Pizza Hut said, “As the marketplace continues to evolve, select Pizza Hut restaurants in Southern California have begun to test selling crushed red pepper and grated cheese for 99 cents.”
The shakers contain a measly .88 ounces of grated cheese and .61 ounces of red pepper flakes, according to Pizza Hut.
One Pizza Hut location in Orange County, California, charges $1.25 for 1 gram of red pepper flakes and $1.25 for 2 grams of grated parmesan cheese. Two grams is equal to 0.07 ounces.
The 1.75 ounce container of red peppers I used on my plain cheese pizza this weekend…
Yeh. That’s it!
My wife bought it for 99 cents. If the size was 2 ounces the cost would be $1.40 as opposed to the $2.50 the restaurant might be serving. But the restaurant isn’t putting shakers on the table. They’re putting packets on the table.
Are they soaking customers?
Are they asking customers to pay out of pocket when customers are not accustomed to?
You are a major national chain and you’re asking me (if the experiment heads to Wisconsin) to pay for a puny packet of cheese or peppers?
And not enough fresh stuff in a jar.
This is like McDonald’s asking me to pay for cream in a creamer. A Greek joint wanted extra for gyro sauce. A fee for maple syrup for my to-go pancakes?
By now the no-no should be clear and non-defensible.
Why this nickle-and-diming of Pizza Hut customers that could very well stretch elsewhere?
We’ve blogged about it many times, and many more times has it been reported.
The answer is food politics.
When the minimum wage goes up many who can’t see past their nose foolishly suspect good news.
But, from Nation’s Restaurant’s News:
In January, California’s minimum wage increased $1 an hour, to $12, for businesses with 26 or more employees. The minimum wage will reach a state-mandated $15 an hour in 2022 for large companies. Employers in California with 25 or fewer employees have an additional year, or until 2023, to raise wages to $15 an hour.
Most operators raise menu prices when faced with rising overhead costs, including labor and commodities. But with wages rising every year in California, independent operators and chains have resorted to adding surcharges as well.
A minimum wage increase hurts more than it helps.
Sounds good initially to the teenage worker (the increase benefits the most), but he /she will, if not dismissed, have to work twice as hard to make up or those who lost their jobs because of increased labor costs.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES
Dump the horrible “Phil” segments.
Void of all humor.
A waste of time that could be used on highlights or analysis.
Who thought this was a great idea?
A basketball team that talented shouldn’t also be that lucky.
A pictorial week-in-review posted every Sunday.
1) A structure is surrounded by floodwater on March 21, 2019, in Atchison, Kansas. Several Midwest states are battling some of the worst flooding they have experienced in decades as rain and snow melt from the recent “bomb cyclone” have inundated rivers and streams. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty
2) An onlooker checks out a bridge that washed out during a recent flood near Waterloo, Nebraska, on March 18, 2019. Photo: Ryan Hignight / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District / Handout via Reuters
4) Local surfers and competitors in the Sydney Surf Pro participate in a paddle-out wreath laying and observe a minute of silence to remember victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks at Manly Beach on March 17, 2019, in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Cameron Spencer / Getty
5) Flowers and tributes are laid at the Botanic Gardens on March 18, 2019, in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history. Photo: Hannah Peters / Getty
7) People walk along a canal polluted with plastic and garbage at the Estero de San Lazaro in Manila in the Philippines. Photo: AFP
8) Thousands of ants warm themselves under the rays of the sun on the surface of an anthill in a forest on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, during a spring day. Photo: AP
9) A view of Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, on March 18, 2019. Photo: Yu Ruidong / China News Service / VCG via Getty
12) A day-old lamb explores new surroundings on the vernal equinox, considered the first day of spring, on March 20, 2019, at Coombes Farm in Lancing, England. Photo: Andrew Hasson / Getty
13) The Louvre Pyramid is seen at sunset on March 21, 2019, in Paris, France. The pyramid of the Louvre Museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Designed by the Chinese-born U.S. architect Leoh Ming Pei, it was inaugurated on March 30, 1989, by French President Francois Mitterrand. Photo: Chesnot / Getty
14) Britain’s largest bronze sculpture, Messenger, is driven to Plymouth Theatre Royal through the city center in Plymouth, England, on March 18, 2019. Photo: Peter Nicholls / Reuters
15) Visitors spend time at “The Vessel,” a public art structure on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan in New York, on March 20, 2019. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil / Anadolu Agency / Getty
16) An inside view of the underwater restaurant Under in Baaly, Norway, on March 19, 2019. Photo: Lefteris Karagiannopoulos / Reuters. The brainchild of local hoteliers Stig and Gaute Ubostad, Under was designed by Oslo-based architects Snøhetta. Semi-submerged in the North Atlantic, the 34-metre-long building rests on the seabed five meters below and breaks the surface at one end. It will open to diners on April 2. Photograph: Tor Erik Schrøder/AP
17) A visitor takes pictures of cherry blossoms at night in Yingyuan park in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on March 20, 2019. Photo: Wang HE / Getty
18) In Newton-le-Willows, England, a pair of 12-carat gold Hibo glasses that belonged to John Lennon. The glasses are among a number of Beatles items for sale at Omega Auctions. Photograph: Omega Auctions/PA
20) An aerial view of the Chicago River as it winds its way through downtown after being dyed green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, on March 16, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty
22) Ireland player Nichola Fryday (center) and the rest of the Irish pack get ready for a scrum during the Wales Women versus Ireland Women rugby match in the Women’s Six Nations at Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, Wales, on March 17, 2019. Photo: Stu Forster / Getty
23) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro presents President Trump with a Brazilian national team soccer jersey in the Oval Office of the White House. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP
24) Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ shoots against Oregon forward Francis Okoro, bottom right, during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. Photo:
25) Wisconsin guard Khalil Iverson dunks against Oregon during the first half a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. Photo:
26) Photo: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
27) Photo: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
28) Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
29) Photo: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
30) Photo: Maddie Meyer, Getty Images
31) Marquette lost 83-64. Photo: Elise Amendola, Associated Press
32) University of Central Florida center Tacko Fall is a very large human being who stands at 7-foot-6 and weighs at a listed 310 pounds. CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson was able to get her photo taken with Fall during Thursday’s practice session at Colonial Life Arena. Photo: CBS Sports
Hilarious, but not always.
A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…
HEROES OF THE WEEK
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.”
The Associated Press
“Today, Democrats are in mourning. They banked on the Mueller investigation providing all the ammunition they would need to initiate immediate impeachment proceedings in the House and emboldening enough Senate Republicans to remove the 45th president of the United States for the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ of criminally conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.
“Yet, within an hour of the Mueller report being delivered to the Department of Justice (DOJ), at least one DOJ source was quoted as saying that the special counsel was not recommending any further indictments of individuals. Another report indicated that there were no unsealed indictments in hand.”
Bradley Blakeman is an adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University
“So if, if as Jeffrey [Toobin] is saying, they [Trump administration] get great news, the great news is, first of all, there’s no more indictments. But if suddenly the president has to say those angry Democrats who were working with Bob Mueller were actually just part of a Justice Department doing its job after he has criticized the Justice Department, then he’s now vindicated.”
CNN political analyst Gloria Borger
“Let’s be specific. This is really good news for a lot of people around Donald Trump. Donald Trump Jr. Jared Kushner. Jerome Corsi. The writer who had a draft indictment presented to him by Mueller’s office and they decided not to go forward with this. Let’s be fair here. There has been a lot of suspicion around certain people. And a lot of negative things have been said and imputation of criminal activity. Mueller has said, ‘I am not proceeding.’ There is no better news to receive than you are not being indicted by the United States government.”
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin agreed with Borger
“The president himself has called, without qualification, for the report to be made public. There is no reason on God’s green earth why Attorney General (William) Barr should do any less.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York
“The American people will see every word, every comma, every period of this report. The president is outnumbered now in a way that he was not before. We have the subpoena power … so it’s just a matter of time.
“This is a test for our country because the rule of law has had a wrecking ball taken to it, and what we do now with this report will very much determine whether the rule of law still stands.”
Rep. Eric Swallwell, D-Calif., a member of both the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee
“Russiagate weirdos next move is to claim ‘Russiagate is real but Mueller just couldn’t prove it!’ As crazy as that sounds watch them do it.
“To be clear:
The Robert Mueller investigation is over
There will be no more indictments
And there was no Trump-Russia collusion
Let that sink in”
Conservative pundit Jack Prosobiec
“Special Counsel Mueller appears to have concluded, after almost two years and millions of dollars spent, that there never was any illegal collusion. In other earth-shattering news, water is wet, and the sun rises in the east.”
Jenny Beth Martin is the co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, and a columnist for The Washington Times
“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell! I don’t know him. He’s a whack job, there’s no question about it.”
President Donald Trump feuded with lawyer George Conway, the spouse of Trump’s chief counselor Kellyanne Conway. Trump denied George Conway a top Justice Department job.
“You seem determined to prove my point. Good for you! #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder. You. Are. Nuts.”
Mr. Conway tweeting at Trump
“You think he should just take that sitting down?”
Kellyanne Conway defended Trump for clobbering her own husband when she asked a reporter this question
“I studied for MONTHS for the SAT. Twice, sometimes three times a week. Tons of practice tests. Ended up taking the SAT multiple times as well. College apps were no joke… the amount of stress kids put into that to potentially lose a spot to someone unfairly is horrible.”
A tweet by John Owen Lowe, son of actor Rob Lowe
“I will appoint a new News and Information Ombudsman with the power to fine egregious corporate offenders. One of the main purposes of the Ombudsman will be to identify sources of spurious information that are associated with foreign nationals. The Ombudsman will work with social media companies to identify fraudulent accounts and disable and punish responsible parties.”
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says the federal government will punish media companies for the spread of misinformation if he wins in 2020
“You drive through Anonito and you used to not even have a gas station, and now it has four marijuana shops. I know in my district that’s not what they want downtown to look like, so this would help.”
New Mexico Republican Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a dairy farmer from Roswell, in a conservative political stronghold of the state, describing a Colorado town of 750 residents near the New Mexico state line. He said said state-run stores can prevent the proliferation of pot shops that some other states have witnessed, and provide retail shelf space at a low cost to fledgling marijuana producers. New Mexico would become the first U.S. state to set up its own government-operated marijuana stores and subsidize medical cannabis for the poor under a bill brokered between Republicans and Democrats, as a new wave of states weighs legislation that would legalize recreational sales and consumption.
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [grown-up Wade Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Barbra Streisand is under fire for comments she made about two men accusing Michael Jackson of sexually assaulting them as children
“Don’t pick a team that hasn’t been better than .500 in its last 10 games. Ahem, Marquette. A winning bracket takes a little research. The best way to avoid mishaps is to assess a team’s play in late February and early March because as much as the tournament is about matchups, a team that’s playing poorly shouldn’t be ignored. The Golden Eagles, for instance, are the best-seeded team from the Big East. But they’ve also lost five of six and do not look like they’re about to peak.”
Scott Gleeson of USA TODAY in a column offering tips on filling out an NCAA basketball tournament bracket. He wrote the column BEFORE the tournament started. Marquette lost its opener in the tourney to Murray State, 83-64.
“Certainly we didn’t play as well at the end of the season as we did for most of it. We’ve got to really examine that and figure out why. When you hit a tough patch, usually it’s not one thing. It’s a combination of things. So we’ll have to study that and figure out what happened.”
Marquette Golden Eagles head coach Steve Wojciechowski
“Are you not entertained?”
As the final seconds ticked down and Murray State became the first mid-major team to pull an upset in this year’s NCAA tournament with an 83–64 win over Marquette, Tee Morant stood proudly in his front row seat at the XL Center and yelled to everyone within earshot about his son. Ja Morant of Murray State recorded a triple double (17 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds) in the victory. It was Morant’s third triple double this season and only the ninth in NCAA tournament history—the first since Draymond Green in 2012 at Michigan State and the first one by a guard since Dwyane Wade in 2003 at Marquette.
“It was kind of like when you have a near-death experience and your life flashes before your eyes. I thought back to my first trip up to Madison, my visit. Everything. It is still tough to know that it’s over.”
Ethan Happ of the Wisconsin Badgers, a fifth-year senior, after Wisconsin lost to Oregon Friday in the NCAA tournament, 72-54
I’d like to offer a few more proposals to speed and enliven the game many of us love, often because of its unhurried pace and multifarious strategies:
Don’t bother with actual pitches and hits. They take time and are hard to predict. Have the pitcher point to his stats on a screen, the batter point to his, then each touch a button on a home screen and have algorithms flash the results. Single! Walk! It’s outta here!
Bury gold bricks under each base. Incentivize the play! A potential payoff might encourage more base stealing.
Make managers remove one item of clothing each time the opposing team scores a run. That’ll keep managers in the dugout.
And to really speed up the game, put in antelopes as pinch runners. Antelopes can run 60 miles an hour.
NPR’s Scott Simon
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
March Madness, and rightfully so
MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK
Here are this week’s highly interesting reads: