Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Internuts Podcast! Episode 1.5 - Extra Nuts!

Hello again!  Since we're producing a monthly podcast there will be plenty of times when an audio gem surfaces in between episodes.  To provide an outlet for these sonic masterpieces we have created "Extra Nuts!"

Friend of the podcast (and friend in general) Jim Conrad was nice enough to create a "best of" promo for us.  It took him 2 minutes to do what I did in 1 hour.  Please take a listen and we'll be back in October with Episode 2.


Chris learns about Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison.

Hey, Internuts!  I’d like to thank everyone who has listened to the podcast already.  It took quite a while to put together and it’s very nice to hear that my little in vitro audio baby is being warmly received.  If you haven’t listened yet…well, please do so.  You can also find us on iTunes, if that’s your bag.  Just click on a link, like this, and scroll down until you see “Subscribe with iTunes.”  It’s just that easy!  And, as I’m writing this post it happens to be my birthday!  If you’d like to get me a present please check out the ads on the right side of the page and click on them if you see something you like.  Every click throws a few nickels my way and if I get enough I’ll go out and buy another load of disgusting food to write about.  Self-sustaining!  Alright, enough deplorable shilling for now!  It’s been far too long since we got to know the American Presidents, so please say hello to…

Martin Van Buren & William Henry Harrison!

Look at these handsome devils!

I’d like to focus on William Henry Harrison today but I can’t.  At least, not yet.  Many of you know that I minored in Presidential History at The University of Phoenix (online).  U of P On L taught me many valuable lessons.  “Courses are not transferable,” for example.  But the lesson that I took to heart was, “Don’t take shortcuts.”  I took this advice seriously and I’ve spent many an hour in standstill traffic as a result.  Today, I’ll apply that nugget of wisdom to my blogging about the Presidents.  Sure, William Henry Harrison will be amazing to write about but he’s not the 8th U.S. President.  Stupid Martin Van Buren is!  If I want to continue filling these pages with wildly inaccurate information (and I DO!), we’ll have to eat the Brussel sprouts that are Martin Van Buren before we can enjoy the chocolate cake that is William Henry Harrison.  So, let’s eat our vegetables!

Stop sleeping with your cousins, Presidents!
Martin Van Buren was born 1782, the son of a Dutch tavern keeper and farmer.  Van Buren is the only U.S. President to speak English as a second language.  But not so fast, Michele Bachmann!  Marty was also the first President to be born an American citizen!  In your FACE!!!  Martin married his childhood sweetheart (awww!) and cousin (gross), Hannah Hoes in 1807.  There’s a lot of infant mortality among the children of our earliest Presidents.  This could be blamed on inferior medical practices OR it could be all the cousin humping that produced the wrong-faced monster babies of our founding fathers.

Van Buren began his political career at the age of 17.  He became well known for forging strong political connections, gaining him the nickname, “The Little Magician.”  He was also called “The Little Magician” because he was a dark sorcerer who stalked the forests of upstate New York, mutilating squirrels and casting spells on trees that he was suspicious of.   Thanks to Van Buren’s many political connections and well…magic…he quickly became a U.S. Senator for New York.  Martin became a vocal supporter of Andrew Jackson and soon enough he hitched his wagon to Jackson’s bloody, murderous star.  Jackson appointed his loyal friend Secretary of State and Van Buren was elected Vice President in 1832.

Martin Van Buren.
Martin was elected President in 1836 and things started going downhill.  Van Buren had used his evil magic to grant himself three wishes as a young man.  He wished for a little down and dirty cousin lovin’.  He wished for a solid gold spittoon.  And he wished to become President.  But Martin forgot to wish that the economy wouldn't completely fall apart on his watch.  So it did.  Van Buren’s Presidency was a mixed bag.  He grew to oppose slavery and took steps to steer the country away from it.  He also oversaw the forced relocation and murder of scores of Native Americans.  Also, he was an evil wizard.  Did I mention that?  Due mostly to the sagging economy, Van Buren failed to secure his party’s nomination for a second term and placed a powerful curse on the Presidency (a curse that would prove very fateful to Van Buren’s successor).  Martin Van Buren retired to Kinderhook, New York where he spent the remainder of his days.  He was killed at the age of 79 by Harry Potter.

William Henry Harrison was born in 1773 to an aristocratic family in Virginia.  William enlisted in the Army as soon as he could and quickly rose through the ranks to become a pivotal figure in the nation’s westward expansion.  The largest obstacles in the way of westward expansion were the people who already lived out west.  The Native Americans.  Harrison’s job was to be all, like, “Hey, get outta here, you guys.  This is our place now.”  Then the Native Americans were all, like, “Wait…what?”  Then Harrison was all, like, “Yeah, yo.  Pack up your shiznit and hit the bricks.”  But seriously, though, it was awful.

Harrison’s biggest claim to fame was the Battle of Tippecanoe, named for the Tippecanoe River where the battle took place.  Harrison repulsed the attacks of Indian leader, Tecumseh, and made his name as an unflappable leader of men.  Harrison also went on to serve as brigadier general during the War of 1812 (the other one with the British).  William leveraged his celebrity as a war hero to serve in both the House and the Senate before setting his sights on the Presidency.  Harrison easily defeated the unpopular Van Buren in 1840 and was super stoked to be the President for a long time.


The day of the inauguration was cold and wet but Harrison refused to wear a coat because he didn’t want to look like a pussy.  William proceeded to deliver a two hour inaugural address in the freezing cold, all the while confidant of the fact that he looked awesome without a coat on.  When he took office on March 4, Harrison was heard yelling from the Oval Office, “I’m going to live forever!  I am an invincible god!  Certainly, this pesky head cold will not define my legacy!”  What started as a common cold quickly led to pneumonia and septicemia.  30 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes after becoming President, William Henry Harrison stopped being President (or anything for that matter) due to being dead.  Harrison served the shortest term of any U.S. President and he was also the first Prez to die in office. 

Okey dokey, Internuts!  Two more Presidents down, thirty five to go!  I’ll meet you back here next week!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Internuts Podcast! Episode 1 - The Saga Begins...

Well, hello there!  It's been a long time coming but tonight I'm very pleased to introduce you to The Internuts Podcast!!!!

The podcast will be a supplement to the Internuts blog that you've grown to love like your firstborn blonde child.  A new podcast will be released every month.  This month's episode features lengthy interviews with Karl Whitman (Attorney at Law and fencing enthusiast) and Thelma Weinstein (Semi-Professional Acupuncturist and my own lovely girlfriend).  We'll have a rotating panel of guests and will happily accept discussion topics if you have any to offer. Click on one of the highlighted links if you'd rather download the show than stream it.  If you do stream below, please give it a few seconds to load before playing.

Also, I generally keep the blog around a PG-13 rating (about one F Bomb per post) but the podcast will be mostly uncensored.  Please don't listen unless you're an adult (or an awesome child) who doesn't mind a little salty language.  

Alright, that's enough about a little listening for a change!  Please enjoy The Internuts Podcast and spread the word if you enjoy what you hear.  Okay, bye for now!

The Breakdown:
0.00.00 - 0.02.30     Introductions
0.02.31 - 0.19.22     Box Office Talk (and some other stuff from awhile ago)
0.19.23 - 0.22.09     Lou Templeton, Attorney (Commercial)
0.22.10 - 0.31.50     Remakes, reboots and sequels. (Boob tallies and Over/Unders)
0.31.51 - 0.34.23     Accent of a Woman (Karl Whitman)
0.34.24 - 0.36.16     Food King 1400 (Commercial)
0.36.14 - 0.38.14     Introductions and apologies
0.38.15 - 0.41.48     Recent Box Office Talk
0.41.49 - 0.48.30     Milestones (Birthdays and Deaths and Other Things)
0.48.31 - 0.51.29     Box Office Again...
0.51.30 - 0.55.49     The Emmy Awards!!!  A couple shows we know and a ton of shows we don't know!
0.55.50 - 0.58.25     The Vineyard (Commercial).
0.58.26 - 1.08.57     Random talk, games, and goodbyes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chris watches H8R.

Hey everybody!  Well, the summer officially ends next week and the weather is starting to behave accordingly.  After a summer that included a hurricane and an earthquake, I’m looking forward to a surprise-free autumn.  And nothing is more surprise-free than fall television programming!  Segue!  Around this time every year, networks throw a bunch of new pilots at the wall to see what sticks.  Sometimes they paint a masterpiece.  Most of the time they poop out a Jackson Pollack like today’s entry…


You guys, this one was tough on your old pal Chris.  I’ve done a lot in the name of unpaid, un-fact-checked journalism.  I’ve watched terrible television.  I’ve eaten terrible food.  I’ve listened to Rebecca Black.  Ladies and gentlemen, H8R is the unkindest cut of all.  Et tu, Slater?  I saw a commercial for this show a few weeks ago and I knew…I knew I had to watch it.  I also feared that the mere viewing of this show might crush my spirit and render me, for the rest of my days on earth, a cynic.  Let’s talk about H8R and why it might be the worst thing in the world!

Albert Clifford Slater
If you haven’t heard of H8R before (excellent work, by the way!) it has a very simple premise.  Mario Lopez (television’s A.C. Slater!) introduces D-List celebrities to the regular people who hate them.  That could be a good reality show!  Keep in mind, being a good reality show is like being the prettiest patient in a burn ward.  There’s potential for some mindless entertainment watching celebrities and their critics spar for an hour.  The problem with H8R is that the producers are firmly of the opinion that celebrities are right and the rest of America is so, so wrong.

In each episode, two celebs confront their vocal critics and try to win them over.  Our first pseudo-famous person is Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi from Jersey Shore.  A.C. Slater collects Snooki from her hotel room where we find her poured into a black dress with light-up heels on.  Relatable!  We are next introduced to Nick, Snooki’s “H8R” or “hater” if you’re not a goddamned idiot.  Snooki confronts Nick and asks him why he harbors such ill feelings toward her.  Nick expresses exactly why he dislikes her through a series of incredibly salient arguments.  For example:

1. Snooki is paid millions of dollars to portray a negative Italian-American stereotype on television.

2. Snooki isn’t even Italian.  She’s Chilean.  Like those miners!

3. Snooki cashed in further on her negative image by publishing a book (the pages of which are, no doubt, bound by vomit burps and venereal disease).

4. Snooki has a CHOICE about the way she is seen by the public.  If she stops acting like a drunken clown on TV everyone will stop treating her like one.

Role model!
Case closed, right?  Being a “reality star” means that you are theoretically playing yourself on television.  Therefore, if you behave like an ass on TV it is implicitly understood that you behave like an ass in real life.  Accepting a truckload of money to sully your good name means that you can’t have it both ways.  Either you give up the paychecks and try to live a life you can be proud of OR you keep acting like a buffoon all the way to the bank.  Nick spelled this out for Snooki who insisted that he hadn’t yet met the “real” her.  Again, trying to show America the “real you” doesn’t hold a lot of water when you do it ON ANOTHER REALITY SHOW!

America’s heartburn, Mario Lopez, forces Nick and Snooki to go on a play date to the grocery store.  The unlikely pair shops for ingredients to a meal that Snooki will be preparing for Nick’s large Italian family.  It’ll be like an episode of All in the Family but…you know…tense.  Snooki asks if a bottle of wine from 2009 has expired.  Way to rehab the old image, Snook!  The needle is wavering between "Savvy Businesswoman" and "Severe Learning Disability."  Snooki heads home to meet the family who, despite their obvious distaste with her, act like gracious human beings the way nice people do.  The producers take this as a sign that Snooki has charmed a divided nation and wrap up the segment.  Good news…we’re only halfway through this train wreck!

Onward and downward!  We next meet Jake Pavelka.  He was the bachelor on that one show…The Bachelor!  Jake is a handsome wood pile who cheated on his TV fiancĂ© and is an all-around douche canoe.  Jake’s hater is an opinionated young girl named Danielle.  Mario Lopez, for reasons known only to him, instructs Jake to behave like a total dick towards Danielle.  You know, to win her over!  While Danielle is relaxing next to a pool, Jake strips to his bathing suit and starts doing pushups.  He then starts hitting on Danielle who quickly informs him that she hates his guts.  Since he was given carte blanche by Mario Lopez, Jake then creepily tries to buy a drink for Danielle who is 20 YEARS OLD.   Ugh.  This show is unappealing on a molecular level.

Jake takes Danielle on a plane ride which she is thoroughly unimpressed by.  His next tactic is to take this poor young girl to The Bachelor mansion which Jake considers “near and dear” to his heart.  Danielle astutely asks why Jake doesn’t have any other sides to his personality.  When Danielle asks Jake for one of his best qualities he answers “morally, I’m great.”  Danielle observes that Jake is just trying to clean up his image and has only deepened her initial impressions of him.  Danielle is a little spitfire and I’m proud of her response to this onslaught of skeeviness on an almost parental level.  Her only foible is that she’s a 20-year-old Californian girl and, as such, uses the word “like” 62 times (I counted) during her brief amount of screen time.  Jake, after realizing that he will never convince Danielle of his non-douchiness sends her away and declares, “She does not get a rose.”  Fuck this show.  If it isn’t canceled after the pilot episode I am moving to Wyoming and stocking up on canned goods and crossbows. 

Well, that is more than enough of that, friends!  I am going to go take 3 showers and I’ll meet you back here next week!  Happy football season, boys and girls!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chris goes gluten-free.

Hello dudes and dudettes!  Although I promised to have the Top Secret Internuts Project ready to go there are a couple scheduling issues that still need to be ironed out.   You’d think the Dalai Lama would have nothing but free time!  It looks like it’ll be ready for sampling in the next week or two barring a catastrophe.  In the meantime, I recently polled my Facebook friends about what I should write about this week.  The overwhelming response (2 votes!) was that I should taste test some gluten-free, milk-free, soy-free, all natural Chili Macaroni.  The runner up was a story about a perilous drive down a mountainside in Virginia but that will have to wait for another day.  Let’s dive right in and get a mouthful of…

Allergaroo Chili Mac!

I think the first thing that needs to be addressed is the Allergaroo mascot.  It’s an alligator.  “Alligator” shares a bunch of letters with “allergies.”   This should have been a slam dunk, marketing team!  So, why is the name of the company “Allergaroo?”  How did a kangaroo get mixed up in this?  Did an alligator mate with a kangaroo to make some kind of high-jumping, iron-jawed monster from the dyspeptic bowels of a Lovecraftian fever dream?  No.  I’m pretty sure they just tacked “roo” on the end of the name.  Why couldn’t they name the company “Allergator” and get rid of the stupid kangaroo all together?  Or, more to the point, why couldn't they name themselves “If-you’re-eating-this-you-got-dealt-a-shitty-hand-in-life-gator?” 

Silly mascots aside, the folks at Allergaroo are doing some noble work for kids with food allergies.  The company’s mission statement reads: “I am happy to provide a line of ready-made dishes that I believe your kids will love and you will know is food allergy safe. Allergaroo products are formulated to be free of the 8 most common food allergens (wheat (gluten), milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish and shellfish).”  Lucky for me there won’t be any fish in this macaroni!  I’m not allergic…you just shouldn’t put fish in macaroni.  It’s gross.
I still won't mention "nuts."  I'm better than that.
It’s estimated that 12 million people in the United States suffer from food allergies.  Severe allergies result in upwards of 30,000 E.R. visits and 100-200 deaths each year in the U.S. alone.  Food allergies affect more people than I would have imagined but, looking at the “Big Eight” list of allergies, I know someone that falls into each category.  But there’s more!  Celebrities, on the rare occasions when they eat food, are also prone to food allergies.  Just like us normals!  Drew Barrymore is allergic to garlic and coffee which led to her nickname “Fresh Breath” Barrymore.  Billy Bob Thornton is allergic to wheat, shellfish and dairy leaving him nothing to eat but French-fried pertaters.  American songbird, Clay Aiken, has a long list of food allergies including mint, shellfish, tree nuts, mushrooms and chocolate.  You’ll be happy to learn that I just used “Clay Aiken” and “nuts” in the same sentence without taking the low road.  Today I put aside childish things and become a man.

Now we're talking...
Although nut allergies remain the most common, wheat (gluten) allergies can be the most daunting.  For people with Celiac disease, gluten coats the small intestine making it impossible to absorb necessary nutrients.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and malts and it’s also a popular additive in food and cosmetics.  Gluten does not discriminate when it comes to religion.  It is present in matzah balls and communion wafers alike.  Sadly, almost all forms of alcohol are made with some form of gluten.  Luckily, some ingenious brewers have developed gluten-free beer using buckwheat and sorghum instead of the common grains.  Swearing off bread and beer is hard enough but gluten also sneaks into places you’d never expect to find it.  Gluten can pop up in nacho cheese, seasoned rice, baked beans, imitation crab, dry roasted nuts and seeds, lunch meat, hot dogs, soup, salad dressing, frosting and seasoned potato/corn chips.  Do you know how many foods have gluten in them?  The best kinds!!!  Just so I don’t bum out my gluten-free readers, this is what the rest of us are shoveling in our faces…

This is a big bowl of gluten.  Seriously.

Considering how prevalent gluten can be, it’s obvious why there is a market for Allergaroo.  No food can be completely trusted without scouring the list of ingredients and, even then, there’s a danger of contamination.  The appeal of a quick, safe, non-allergenic meal is clear…especially to harried parents.  I tip my hat to Allergaroo (mascot notwithstanding) for providing such a thoughtful product.  But, now we come to the matter at hand.  Can it possibly taste good?

My pouch of Allergaroo Chili Mac informs me that it contains no gluten, milk or soy.  The ingredient list includes tomato paste, rice pasta, rice flour, pinto beans, and various spices.  I guess rice is the replacement grain of choice.  The Chili Mac earns bonus points for convenience.  Preparation consists of opening the pouch, placing in the microwave for a minute and eating.  I dump my macaroni into a bowl and take a whiff.  The scent of tomato and onion are overpowering but not in a bad way.  It smells like every Chef Boyardee product that has ever been or will ever be.  The pinto beans look a little out of place but I suppose they are a meat substitute and not unheard of in veggie chili.  I balance a heaping helping of Chili Mac on my spoon and take a bite…


Now, there are two ways to rate this food.  As an easily prepared, allergy-safe stand-in for SpaghettiO’s this is an absolute success.  It’s ready to eat in seconds, it tastes pretty good and (if you’re allergic) it will not kill you.  That’s a win!  As a food, there are some problems.  The rice pasta is way too firm.  The texture of everything is just a little bit off and the flavor is exactly like you’d expect from a pre-cooked pasta dish.  But it doesn’t claim to be filet mignon.  Allergaroo Chili Mac tastes as good as any Chef Boyardee product that I’ve eaten and that is a great success.  This is a quick and easy snack with the added benefit of not killing people with food allergies.  Unlike this son of a bitch…

Does he have pasta sauce on his hands or the blood of children?  Pasta sauce is the answer!

Alrighty, Internuts!  That’s all for today but I’ll be back next week.  Until then, stay safe and don’t dip your hot dog in frosting if you have Celiac disease.  Or if you don’t have Celiac disease.  Either way.