Thursday, July 31

Bigger not always better (women say "yeah, right")

Well, today I checked with Carter BloodCare to see if they had my blood type & cholesterol information (from my donation Tuesday); they did. There's good news, and bad news:

Good: my blood type is the same as it was 20 years ago (!), when I last donated blood. Mine is [O Pos] which is the most common type.

Bad: my cholesterol is significantly above the recommended 200 (and no, they didn't break it down by HDL (good) or LDL (bad) cholesterol). It's time to get serious about getting this fixed (all things being equal, I'd prefer to be in the majority groups which do not have high cholesterol or high blood pressure).

I am not alone: 1 in 5 people has high cholesterol, and 1 in 4 has high blood pressure. Theory: this high cholesterol could also explain why my pulse is higher than it should be (acceptable range is 50-100 and mine's around 90).

I went to the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute website and got this info:
"Based on the information you provided, the number of calories estimated for you to help you lower your blood cholesterol level is 2000. Based on your estimated calorie level, your daily limit for saturated fat would be 13 grams and your daily limit for total fat would be 66 grams."

That is very good information: I always seem to work better when I have hard targets for which to aim.

According to the DASH Eating Plan (hey, they avoid the D word, too!) a BP higher than 140/90 indicates hypertension. Mine is in the prehypertension category, and won't be considered good until it is consistently below 120/80.

Today's acronym:
DASH   Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
Today's abbreviations:
CHD    Coronary Heart Disease

HDL High Density Lipoprotein
LDL Low Density Lipoprotein
NHLBI National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NHBPEP National High Blood Pressure Education Program
RD Registered Dietitian
TLC Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes

Spotted on
What's the bottom line? At 9 calories per gram, fats are our most caloric energy source, so we need to keep track of how much we're eating, no matter what type. Still, you'll improve your health greatly by eating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. Make an effort to cut back on saturated fats and try to avoid trans-fats. How can you scout the supermarket aisles for products with trans-fats since they're not yet on food labels? Look for the words "hydrogenated" and "partially hydrogenated" and steer clear of these products.

Wednesday, July 30

Guinness Book of World DVDs?

Speaking of healthy: the Largest Blood Donation In One Day yielded 3,155 productive units of blood (Missouri, 1999). I found this by wandering across the Guinness Book of World Records site tonight. Latest items include Longest Female Beard (i doubt she gets more than one date per lifetime); Most Tennis Balls In A Dog's Mouth (5); and the Oldest Male Stripper (63)

Speaking of healthy, here is's list of Alternative Beverages (including Brainalizer, Pink- and Purple Love Potions, DOA, and many more). the DOA label distantly reminds me of Rogue Dead Guy (available at The Flying Saucer).

Speaking of healthy, here are today's Fun Words To Say:
babaganoush (eggplant dip, available @ Shine's)
Mulligatawny (Indian soup, available @ The Clay Pit)
Iztaccihuatl (dormant Mexican volcano)
Popocatepetl (active Mexican volcano)
Tuzigoot (Sinaguan ruins, Arizona)

Tuesday, July 29


Today, I donated blood at one of those "blood drives at the office" (Carter Blood Center was the sponsor). The donating part took about 10 minutes, but the whole process took 45. This is the first time I've donated blood in 20+ years, and things have changed a wee bit since 1980.

Lessons learned:

1. The mobile unit (translation: special-purpose van, the size of a Winnebago™) can accomodate about 10 donors at a time (2 in the arrival area where the 2-page health screening questionaire is completed; 2 in the private interview booths, 4 giving blood; 2 snacking on cookies and PowerAde™).

2. The questionaire had 2 sections: you fill out part 1 by yourself (mostly Yes|No stuff: questions are mostly about any medications you've taken). Part 2 is administered by a clinic worker (in that private interview booth), looking into your eyes to see if you're lying (those are the personal ones, mostly about your sexual habits since 1977). If you answer some of the questions in a particular way, it's an automatic rejection, and your blood won't go into the supply chain.

3. Surprise questions: had I been to any place where SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) has been present? Had I been to the UK for more than 3 months in the past few years?

4. At the end of the private interview, you have to choose between two identical-looking barcodes, one of which is affixed to the questionaire, and the other is tossed in the trash (while the clinic worker looks away). This is a way for you to privately tell the blood center "Okay, I've heard all the questions and I know my blood is unacceptable, but I don't want to tell the clinic worker. just throw it out and we won't tell anyone, okay?". In hindsight, I thought it odd that they ask you to do this immediately before (not after) they draw the blood. At this stage, you're pretty committed to that needle in the arm, even though you know you're blood's going into the trash.

5. While you're in that private booth, they test your blood for iron content (finger prick), take your temperature, and your blood pressure/pulse (systolic of 180+ and/or diastolic of 100+ are rejected). While mine wasn't great (130/78), it was well within the acceptable range. Ideal BP appears to be about 115/75, and ideal pulse in the 50-100 range.

6. body temperatures higher than 99.5F are rejected (mine was 97.4). If you're running a fever, go home.

7. when they ask which arm you want to use, tell them the opposite of your -handedness. my writing/typing arm's a bit sore at the moment. and don't even think of crossing your legs while you're giving blood.

8. i don't wait particularly well, so I HotSync™'d my Palm before donating (sitting there for 10 minutes while I fill a pint bag doesn't strike me as a good use of time). part of my HotSync involves AvantGo (a must-have Palm application) so I got to read the Wall Street Journal headlines, the Motley Fool, Yahoo! and a few other channels. Good multitasking.

9. the nurse who swabs your arm, finds a vein and injects the needle does this a few hundred times a week, and tends to give you verbal instructions fast. i had to ask her to repeat herself several times (not being a "regular" at this blood donation thing). stuff like "squeeze the ball every 3 to 5 seconds" became "squeeze the ball every 35 seconds". I suspect I heard about 85% of what she was saying. Fortunately, there was no quiz.

10. In hindsight, her rapid-fire instruction must be how first-time fliers feel when the flight attendants are giving pre-flight instructions. "Hey, could you repeat the part about how to put on the oxygen mask?". Not once did the nurse ask me to raise my tray table to its fully upright and locked position.

11. your blood type and cholesterol info will be available within 5 business days. you have to call a number for the result.

12. since they don't want you to pass out (from loss of blood), you're asked to hang around the front of the Mobile Unit, and feast on some "cookies and juice" for 5-10 minutes. When I gave blood 20+ years ago, they asked me (before donating) if I had breakfast. I said "sure, sure" when in reality I hadn't. Big mistake: after the blood had left my body, it was obvious that I was going to pass out (!) and I was swarmed upon by a gaggle of health care workers, with cold towels and lots of orange juice. This time, I learned my lesson and had a good breakfast before donating. Much better this time!

13. minor problem (once I returned home): dogs and cats like the smell of blood. hmm. keep the Band-Aid™s and gauze out of their reach. do NOT throw them in a non-covered trash can (they won't stay there).

off-topic spot: Calorie Counters' Fast Foods Nutritional Guides
(now if I can find a way to download that entire site to my PDA)

Monday, July 28

the last few are the hardest

After nearly breaking the bathroom scale (at 275 pounds, about 2-3 years ago) I've been on a long, slow, steady weight loss thing (notice how I avoid the D word). I've been hovering at 195 for several months, and have been aiming for 174 as a target weight. But, those last 20 pounds are proving to be tough. So, I've been toying with the South Beach Diet for the past few days, and so far it's resulted in a 4-pound weight loss. That's good, I guess .. anything to get me off the 195-pound dime.

Naturally, the real trick will be keeping it off after the weight loss, but I can do that. Discipline, discipline.

btw, the South Beach Diet is basically a modifed Atkin's Diet: big woop.

Sunday, July 27

Klaatu Barada Nikto

Watched The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) on DVD today. I don't understand why Captain Jonathan Archer wasn't involved in the meeting. Must be some problem with the space-time continuum, or a quantum singularity, or a trans-warp conduit, or a transporter malfunction, or any of the myriad of things we take so much for granted here in 2003.

Off Topic: I travelled to Bali about 9 years ago, and noticed that Doritos (Frito Lay) are called "Happy Tos" there (next to the Chee-tos on the snack food aisle). Doritos/Fritos/Cheetos/Happytos .. hmm. I asked a friend (who speaks Malay); she has NO idea what (if anything) is wrong with the word "Doritos" in the native (Indonesian) language .. other than "Dori" sounds like a woman's name.

Saturday, July 26

narrowly avoided: Heil Schicklgruber!

Adolf Hitler's father was Alois Schicklgruber (the illegitimate son of Maria Anna Schicklgruber; historians are not sure who the father was, although Johann Georg Hiedler is assumed). At age 40, Adolf's father changed his surname to Hitler (also randomly spelled Hittler, Hidler, Hiedler or Huettler).

I've never met anyone with the surname Schicklgruber or Hitler. I do remember a character on the Hill Street Blues TV show (1981-7) .. a narcoleptic stand-up comic named Vic Hitler, who refused to change his surname. His career suffered accordingly.

Note to self: suggest shelving plan to change my first name to Buford, as a means to achieve fame.

Trivia: Adolf Hitler had an adult sister! Paula Hitler (aka Paula Wolf) died in 1960 (single, childless) and is buried in the Bergfriedhof ("Mountain Cemetery") in Berchtesgaden. Three of their siblings died young; Paula and Adolf are the only ones who lived to adulthood. Adolf committed suicide in Berlin in 1945 (it was in all the papers) and is not buried anywhere.

Also, it's possible (never proven) that Adolf Hitler was ¼ Jewish! See page 90 of the OSS Papers: A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler. The Nizkor Project offers fascinating (yet tedious) reading.

patients (patience) are for hospitals!

after this morning's meeting of MaGaW (Meet A Geek A Week) at the Coit/Campbell Starbucks, I moseyed for awhile.

Since I was already on Campbell, I decided to go east and find the Richardson location of the "Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille". It's been on my list of ABC [Authentic British Cuisine] locations for months, but I've never seen it while driving on Campbell. I found it .. and it's not on the road; it's behind a McDonald's west of Central Expressway (US-75). It's a large place, from the outside: 112 W Campbell Rd, Richardson TX 75080 (972-437-4225).

Stuff in that area can be a bit hard to find. A few weeks ago I found a 40-lane bowling alley (how do you hide one of those?) behind Café Brazil (on the southbound access road to US-75): AMF Richardson Lanes
2101 N Central Expressway, Richardson TX 75080, 972-231-2695 (they have a small Pro Shop called Top Notch where I bought a bowling ball buffer and some "ball juice"). I would lay odds that 99% of the people passing there never notice the bowling alley, which is about 50 yards from the access road; I learmed about it from a strange guy who was collecting grocery carts in the Tom Thumb parking lot one night. He waited for me to unload my bags into Jack's boot, and we talked for a few minutes about his experience riding a mechanical bull in Memphis (he broke several vertebrae in his back). Turns out he's also a bowler: go figure.

Anyway .. after finding the Fox & Hound, I moseyed a bit more, eventually checking out "Big Mama's Chicken & Waffles" .. a funky drive-thru at the corner of Forest @ Audelia. I first spotted that place years ago, but couldn't figure out how to get into their parking lot. btw #1: I think "Big Mama's" is the name of this place (it's hand-painted in script on one side of the building). It has a permanent banner sign draped across the front of the building which says:

  • CATFISH BASKET (large letters)

  • bbq basket

  • pork chop basket

  • chicken strip basket

The only entrance appears to be from northbound Forest Lane; maybe you could enter from eastbound Audelia, but it would be a wicked turn. I thought this would be easy to track down on Google. After all, how many places exist in the USA with "Chicken & Waffles" in the business name? (turns out: about 805, and [naturally!) this ain't one of them). Sadly, there were 2 cars in front of me, and no speaker to place your order, so it looked like I'd have to wait my turn and talk to a human being. Needless to say, I waited 10 minutes and the line didn't move, so .. I put Jack in reverse and skedaddled!

btw #2: while searching the web, i ran across a strange little web site: Mr. (it has a page for Dallas breakfast venues which I'll check out later.

btw #3: while searching the web for Café Brazil (2071 N Central Expressway), I wandered across Frank Campagna's web site (he's a local artist). Turns out he's painted several murals in the area. I also wandered across which is a roll-your-own restaurant locator. I have found a dozen (or more) web sites specific to finding restaurants; they cannot all hope to survive and a shakeout is overdue.

btw #4: i know about Café Brazil because that's where the Talk-Java/Drink-Java group meets (met?) when Java was getting started.

Friday, July 25

Ja, ist die eine Autobahn!

Tonight, I watched a History Channel piece on the (German) Autobahn (the inspiration for the US Interstate system). It's available on VHS, but not DVD, so .. no, I won't buy it. Regardless, watching the episode makes me want to take Jack (the Bimmer) out for a real spin. how far is it to Montana, anyway?

Trivia learned: about half of the Autobahn (near the cities) does have (adjustable) speed limits. A driver's license in Germany costs $1500 and up. You can be fined for tailgating: penalties vary based on income! You must move right when a faster car approaches from behind. Rude hand gestures can result in a large fine! There's a book entitled American Autobahn (by Mark Rask)

Because the Autobahn is designed for high speeds, they have almost no pavement cracks .. any that develop are promptly (?) repaired by replacing entire sections of roadway. The road base is 2x thicker than that of the US Interstates .. designed for a 20-year pavement lifespan.

Thursday, July 24


Okay, I don't get it. Maybe the news reports were just incomplete. But just how were four (yes, 4) people able to hold off 200 US Marines, complete with attack helicopters and tanks, for 3.5 hours? Looks like the Hussein brothers were eventually killed by 10 Humvee-mounted TOW missiles (according to a BBC report).

Maybe they were advised by those wily Canadians, hell-bent on world domination?

I doubt the Sons of Saddam took a page from the Vietnamese, who had massive tunnel complexes underground, leading here, there and everywhere. Such tunnels (such as those rumoured under the Korean DMZ) would have allowed them to escape.

This does not explain why the Marines encountered "stiff resistance" yet only came away with 4 bodies (Uday and Qusay Hussein, their bodyguard and Qusay's 14-year-old son). The Iraqi gent who turned them in will soon be $30M richer and living in Boise, no doubt.

Wednesday, July 23

It's true!

Well, I saw BigFoot again, this time inside the Wal-Mart in Allen .. several of us spotted him (with our night-vision equipment) in the camping supplies section, but the photos didn't turn out (I suspect he was emitting an electromagnetic force field which dampened our digital cameras). I got the idea from the Texas Bigfoot Research Center [TBRC] web site; I spotted the TBRC link on the North Texas Skeptics web site, which was on the site, which was on the Skeptic World site, which was .. uh .. I forget. Plus, all this skepticism is making me hungry.

Personally, I am shocked (shocked, I tell you!) that there are Texans out there who are skeptical about skeptics (they certainly don't write letters to the DMN). Personally, I think most of these letters come from those who couldn't pass the strict test for Wal-Mart Greeter, or who didn't qualify for the distinguished Dallas City Council or a Trustee on the Dallas Independent School District.

Several entertaining tangents may be found on Google's Skeptical Inquiry section (and frankly, I'm glad to see that is on the list).

Tuesday, July 22

Note to self: avoid bowling after dental work

Well, there's good (yet unrelated) news following yesterday's dental work: our bowling team swept the 4 games against our co-workers, and we fully expect to be in 1st place (of 13 teams) when the new standings are announced. Woo hoo! We have another 4 weeks of bowling in this summer (co-ed, handicapped) league.

However, I'm not claiming any credit for last night's win, since my scores declined from game to game (I usually get better as the night goes on).

Fast reverse to 3pm: the dentist's waiting room was full, with a 4-year old camped out near the door, while his seated mother (babysitter? - never assume motherhood) tried to ignore him. He looked up at me with a non-descript look; I stepped over him and told the receptionist that I Had Arrived for my clean-and-polish, then quickly seated myself and pretended to go to sleep. I only had a minute or two to wait.

The hygienist started off by taking my blood pressure (129/80), then took 4 Bite-Wing X-rays, but otherwise things were normal. The big excitement was trying a new "fruit flavored" polish : turns out it was pineapple! But then, it was time to spring The News: I was scheduled to have 2 cavities filled. Oh no! Didn't they know I had to bowl at 6:30? Well, no .. they didn't ask when they called to make the appointment (last Thursday).

That's the one complaint I have with my dentist: I seldom know when anything other than a cleaning is about to occur. So, yesterday it turned out I was due for 2 fillings after the cleaning (which, like a haircut, takes about an hour). I told the dentist that I was due to bowl, so he agreed to "go easy on me". I emerged from the dentist's office only 75 minutes before bowling, with the right side of my nose, and my upper right mouth, feeling like numb putty.

The novocaine (or whatever they use for pain killing during the cavity-filling) wore off. I went into the night with a positive attitude, and bowled about 50 pins above average - on the first game. The other team was going very slow - one member retreated to the parking lot for a smoke break every 30 minutes or so, and we didn't get out of there until 9:30 (we're usually done by 8:30).

My mouth kept getting drier and drier, so I resorted to 2 extra-large Cokes to give me a caffeine boost (that just made me bloated). I decided to bypass the haûte cuisine locally described as The Alley Burger (one of my teammates said it was "well stretched with soy"). Wonder if they plan to add a Gutter Dog to the menu anytime soon? Although they have an extensive menu (more than 20 items!), this is Bowling Alley Food (and not to be compared with the fine dining that is the Whataburger across the street).

This morning, I'm feeling coldness in one of those fillings, which I hope will wear off.

Monday, July 21

Speaking of healthy ...

spotted in the morning paper: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(see the "Stay Healthy at any Age" items in the Prevention & Wellness section)

Speaking of healthy, I watched 2 movies on DVD yesterday:
Sleeper (1973, Woody Allen & Diane Keaton)
Easy Rider (1969, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson)

Note to self: gotta get me one of those orgasmatrons (Sleeper). Separately, I found Easy Rider to be way depressing, since it reminded me of my (few) journeys through the South (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi).

Speaking of healthy, I have a (routine) dentist appointment today, followed by bowling (tonight's opponents are our co-workers!)

And speaking of healthy, there's now a DMN Opinion Blog (another sign of the impending Apocalypse). BTW, a few days later, the Dallas Observer commented on the DMN blog

Saturday, July 19


I got the title for this entry from's Test and Answer Series (lower right of that web site). After all, "Q&A" is so last century. A friend sent me two online tests to take, in the past 2 days. Both were amusing:

The Political Compass (~15 minutes)'s Death Test (~5 minutes)

The Political Compass says I'm closer to Gandhi than Stalin (which will no doubt shock my friends), and the Death Test says I'll die of a heart attack at age 75. I also took the's Gender Test (~5 minutes) , and .. it guessed my maleness correctly.

Oh wow man .. the colors!

I introduced Marvin to catnip yesterday. First, a little pinch on the floor .. he sniffs it, likes it, eats some. Then he buries his face in the container and takes a deeeeeep whiff. Then, he rolls over onto his back and starts purrrrrrring. Wow; he really likes it. I advise my friend not to let him drive home. Alas, he and Simone have left my domicile. My cupboards are once again safe from surprise inspection.

This started me wondering .. how does catnip work? I learned that catnip is a mint; later, I'll see if there's anything similar for humans.


I've had insomnia for several years. Just happened to remember a connotation: "night owl" (which sounds better than insomniac).

I don't know if my brain has a very accurate chronometer, or if I have ESP, but this morning I woke about 2 minutes before the DMN newspaper carrier dropped the paper on the lawn .. at 4:30am (this is not the first time this has happened). I opened my front door in time to see a car's headlights coming down1 the street, so I stepped back and allowed him to toss the paper (rather than spook him with the sight of someone coming down2 the sidewalk to catch the paper) as he tossed it 7 paces onto the lawn.

The National Sleep Foundation has a nice web site, and monthly e-newsletter.

1) down=north to south, versus up=south to north
2) down=east to west, versus up=west to east

Wednesday, July 16

The Joy of Cats

Yesterday was the annual "take my 2 cats to the vet" day (routine shots, physical exam). Not only do I have a single-cat carrier, but the older cat isn't fond of the younger one (who enjoys playing), so this means 2 trips. Good thing the vet is only a few blocks from my home, otherwise I would seriously consider putting one in a burlap bag while the other travelled luxuriously in the cat carrier.

Anyhoo, Pandora and Samantha accepted their shots with glee, and tolerated the poking and prodding and lights and sounds that are involved in an annual exam. The vet and I had a conversation about the UD Agent I run at home, and how his pre-vet degree was related to chemistry. He finds computational chemistry interesting (there is no "pre-vet" curriculum).

Fast forward 24 hours. A friend of mine's air conditioner is down for the count, and a replacement will be installed sometime Thursday. The weather forecast is for triple digits (100+F) and she wants to know if I can keep her 2 cats until her AC's fixed. Sure, no problem. Her cats (Marvin and Simone) arrive, look around a bit (one even spots the LitterMaid!), then crawl into the safety of a kitchen cabinet, while Beta (the wonder dog) sniffs around, hoping to play with her new friends.

At this writing (6 hours after arrival), they're both still in the cabinet, and if they come out, that's fine .. at least they're cooler here (76F) than at their home. Pandora and Samantha have wandered the house a few times, and seem unconcerned. Beta has long since forgotten that The Visitors are here, and is dreaming at my feet.

Coming Real Soon Now: "How the Black and White Cat Turned Black and Grey" ...

The Joy of Tipping

Had lunch at an Addison restaurant yesterday, and the subject of how much to tip for lackluster service arose. My co-worker and I were seated around 12:45 and were told our waitress would be with us soon. We noticed a lot of waiters milling about (filling water glasses, supplying salsa & chips) but no waitresses.

Our hostess provided us with menus as we were seated, and after another few waiters came by (to refill our water, etc.) one took my menu (but left my co-worker's menu)! I can only assume he thought my order had been taken while my co-worker's had not ... Another 10 minutes passed, and we started thinking about walking out. Did someone put a sign on our backs saying "ignore this table"?

My co-worker was able to flag down a waiter and ask if he could take our order. He appeared a bit baffled as to why a) one menu had been "confiscated", and b) why our waitress was nowhere to be found, but he took our order for soups and an entree, and we waited.

Our soups were delivered by (yet another) waiter, and water refilled by a fourth. Still no signs of our waitress. The entrees arrived, and a few minutes later (as if by magic, and on queue with a fresh mouthful of food) our waitress finally appeared - to ask "does the food taste okay?" (note: this was probably 20-25 minutes after we were seated) We asked about a refill of the chips and salsa; she said "sure" and then vanished again.

We finished our meal (those roving waiters kept coming by to refill water and ice tea) and -- once again as if by magic -- our waitress appeared to ask about desert. We declined, and she quickly produced our check (along with the credit card receipt for someone else's table).

We had enough cash to cover the meal (good thing I didn't need to produce a delay-inducing credit card!) .. I paid and left a $1.06 tip .. about 50c each, and far below my usual 17-25% tip. My co-worker said my tip was excessive for the service we received, but I assumed (never assume?) that the waiters would get at least some of it.

As far as the waitress was concerned, her only presence was to ask if the food tasted okay, and to present the check. Sadly, I probably won't go back to that restaurant again soon .. due to one waitress who hid (?) for 74 minutes of our 75 minute "lunchtime dining experience".

And then what really frosted my brownie was (unrelated-yet-timely) finding a web site called where she whines about dealing with customers, and makes it appear that we're all to blame for her place in society. Oh, please.

Monday, July 14

We're number what??

Just learned that our bowling team is either #1 or #2 in the league. Why don't I know for sure? Well, the other team has a better percentage, but has bowled 4 fewer games than us, so we're listed atop the standings, for now.

Sunday, July 13

48 years after release ...

Well, I watched Rebel Without a Cause last night, on DVD. It was released in 1955, shortly after the lead actor, James Dean, died of a broken neck in a 2-car accident in rural California.

Some DVDs are better than others. Sometimes the DVD extras take as long to view as the film itself (~2 hours).

The Rebel Without a Cause DVD is in letterbox format(+) but has no "commentary version"(-). It did have the 3 movie trailers of James Deans' films(+) along with some campy interviews of James Dean; Jim Backus and Natalie Wood(+). The film was going to be made in black and white, but Warner Brothers switched it to a color production after a few days of shooting.

Since I lived in Los Angeles for many years, and have been to the Griffith Observatory, it's amusing to see the artistic license that's taken with the local geography. You would think that the planetarium, the oceanside cliffs and the suburban neighborhoods are a 5-minute drive from each other. Not so .. especially in 1955!

After the movie, I Google'd for Donald Turnupseed (the driver who turned in front of Jimmy Dean's Porsche) and see that he died of lung cancer in 1995, at age 63, after a successful career in the electrical contracting business. Based on the various web postings, he must have been tormented for the last 40 years of his life, by those who blamed him for Dean's death (Turnupseed walked away from the crash, and Dean's passenger survived).

Dean: 1955 Porsche Spyder
Turnupseed: 1950 Ford Custom Tudor (there's a huge set of 1950 Ford photos on

Saturday, July 12

Intelligent Shopping Cart - when?

i would like to create a shopping list on my PDA, and then HotSync™ or (infrared) beam it to a shopping cart, which would then plot the fastest route through the store as I search for my items. As I gather each item, a barcode scanner would check it off the list.

If an item's not in stock, it would send that information to the store's buyers, so it could be on the shelf next time.

Then when I am done, I can bypass the checkout line in lieu of a passive (RFID ?) device which debits my checking account, and I'm off to my car. naturally, the intelligent cart will also bag the groceries, being careful to not to break the eggs, and to put the bread on top. Hmm.

Strolling for Music .. and Video

after the movie, I strolled across the parking lot and into the Virgin Megastore -- easily the best place for music and movies in Dallas (sorry, Tower). I emerged 45 minutes later (and $120 lighter) but yes, Arnold .. I'll be back.

BTW, sends you to, at the moment; I wonder if they'll keep that relationship for a long time? Virgin (not just Virgin Records) has quite a web presence, including and of course Virgin Atlantic Airways

Tonight's finds included CDs by Alpha Blondy (French Reggae); Bob Marley; the Moody Blues and even ZZ Top. and then the DVDs of Dr. Strangelove (my all-time favorite movie); Rebel without a Cause, and some little-known flick called Gone with the Wind. Yeah, I'm in a retro mood lately.

I really need to download my DVD/VHS list to my Palm, so that I don't accidentally buy duplicates (as I did with a half-dozen or so CDs, over the years). I sold those CD duplicates to Half-Price Books (a chain of used book/CD stores).

Recently spotted: lists the estimated DVD release date of movies.

Children of the Holocaust

went to see Secret Lives: Hidden Children & Their Rescuers During World War II at the Angelika - Dallas last night. It's a 79-minute documentary and was good, but not life-changing. I did like the fact that it presented a viewpoint seldom heard: that of the small part of the (occupied-territories) population which successfully hid Jewish children during Adolf Hitler's campaign of extermination (1938-1945).

No matter how young, these children were dealt a permanent mark from the ordeal; many of the rescuers became more real as parents than their own, for a variety of reasons. Many of the birth parents were sent to the Nazi concentration camps, never to return. The vast majority of Jews were duped into believing they were being sent to forced labor camps, and not crematoria, which is why 90% of the Jewish children were killed.

I've been to several Holocaust-related films in the past year, nearly all close quickly at the box office (a notable exception being The Pianist, by Roman Polanski). One movie (Amen) examined the Catholic Church's non-intervention, and was mostly panned by the Church (probably adding to its credibility).

Friday, July 11

Ben James? Biff Johnson? Bill Jason?

it was my first time at BJ's for lunch today (Addison); it's a big place with lots of customers and it's easy to see-and-be-seen. they have an extensive menu, good food (even large lunch portions). in my best Schwarzenegger impression: "I'll be back ..."

if'n i ever git in a dessert-makin' mood, i should go here: Texas Monthly Desserts

Thursday, July 10


I tried a McGriddle® (sausage patty surrounded by two "buns" made of mini-pancakes with syrup baked inside) for breakfast. I didn't McCare for it; it made me feel McBloated.

Too bad they no longer sell the Spanish Omelet Bagel (but at 690 calories*, maybe it's not a bad thing). A web search found the Spanish Omelet Bagel recipe at Why do I always seem to choose the menu item with the most calories? Hmm.


The Amazing Race 4

Just before lunch, I treated Jack to a car wash @ Brushbusters. I then had a beef gyro @ Shine's Mediterranean Market, and another Spite Tropical ReMix (yum).

After work, I watched The Amazing Race 4 during the leg that started in Mumbai and went to Ernakulam, in southern India (26 hour train ride).

Successful travel invariably comes down to the little stuff. I recall a previous Amazing Race coming down to the wire, won by the team that could flag a taxi the fastest (in a residential neighborhood). Wow.

In Amazing Race 4, the models (Tian and Jaree) were eliminated because one of them couldn't hold onto the harness during the "mud bull race"; it took 3 attempts before they completed the task, by which time Reichen & Chip had taken their chickens to market (even a few months from now, this will make no sense whatsoever but it was amusing tonight).

Next episode: 7pm next Thursday (five teams remain).

Curing smallpox from the comfort of my home

i have (always on) DSL service, and my PC is always on (I run the UD Agent which is (among other things) looking for a smallpox cure). The UD Agent is similar in concept to the well-known SETI@Home stuff, but in my mind has a much more short-term solution that merits my PC's extra cycles.

anyhoo (amidst another bout of insomnia), i came in to check email, and somehow wandered to and found an item on Chinese-Mexican restaurants, to which i replied about the Indian-Chinese hybrids in north Dallas. It was in the [Starters ->Adventures in Eating -> Chinese Mexican Food] topic.

Wednesday, July 9

The long way to Big D

I made a few tweaks to the neighborhood web site. I do this on behalf of the homeowners association [HOA], who could do all sorts of awful things if I stray too far out of line. I'm not sure what the repercussions might be, but they probably involve stamp licking, folding and related stuff. It's a voluntary HOA and there's always a need for volunteers. Hey, it keeps me off the street.

I was born in San Diego and lived in 4 different locations in Los Angeles county (from 1983 until August 1993). I don't remember Wahoo's Fish Taco® but then I wasn't cultured yet (having not yet moved to Dallas, which is the epicenter of North American culture).

By the way, I took the long way to Dallas:
San Diego CA -> Anchorage KY -> Bowling Green KY -> Elizabethtown KY -> Anchorage KY -> Boulder CO -> Lakewood CA -> Manhattan Beach CA -> Torrance CA -> Dallas TX

Automotive bureaucracy

I live in Dallas County, and have to go to downtown Dallas to pick up replacement license plates; the reflective paint only lasts 5 years, so you must replace them, even if the old ones are not worn out. I have personal plates (which cost an extra $40/year here). When I lived in California, there were many more personal plates, because the fees were more reasonable. As I recall, I had to pay the "personalized fee" once, and after that it was treated like any other renewal.

I don't need to have the safety inspection this year; my car is now 2 years old. If I did, this DPS - Texas Department of Public Safety web site would be useful: (vehicle emissions inspection for certain "problem" counties)

these are 2 common emissions inspection tests:
ASM Acceleration Simulation Mode
OBDII On Board Diagnostics-Second Generation (public education about smog, not recommended for drivers of pickup trucks)

Texas law prohibits any person from operating a motor vehicle emitting visible smoke for 10 seconds or longer on Texas roadways. If you see a vehicle belching smoke, you can report it up to 30 days after the fact:
Smoking Vehicle Program (
You should write down the license plate, date & time, and location. The state has a nice online reporting form.

If you spot some moron littering (including cigarettes), go to

If you need to renew your driver's license, you may be able to do it online:

Tuesday, July 8

TASK: Find The Mecca, but avoid the white armadillos

Azadi, Arak, Eshgh!
(Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy! in Farsi)

in a discussion on a BMW group about the monster Bott's Dots found in Plano (which can do serious damage to a car), I encountered National Motorists Association (Texas chapter)

was looking for the street address of The Mecca (restaurant) in Dallas and came across Finally found The Mecca's address on (there's a huge list of stuff at DFW's Best).

Monday, July 7

Bowling for Dummies

bowling a perfect 300 game requires throwing 12 balls (each of which knocks down all the pins).

at the other extreme, a poor bowler will throw 20 balls and knock down fewer than all 10 pins. if you have the audacity to throw a spare on the 10th frame, you must throw even more balls before you can sit down.

the bowler who throws the fewest balls wins. so, this is like golf, except the ball weighs a lot more, has holes in it, is generally not painted white, etc. ok, ok .. so there's not much comparison. never mind.

Paint is not just a breed of horse

i got an estimate from a painting contractor today. i had heard that painters were expensive, but i was still surprised when the quote was for 50% more than it cost to put a new roof on my house (after the 5 April 2003 hailstorm).

the quote was separated into [inside] and [outside] with the inside costing twice the outside (which is mostly trim). i'll get another bid or two before making a decision. note the inside could be higher, depending on the color scheme i choose. darker colors will require additional coats (layers) of paint.

projected time to complete this job? 5 or 6 days

Bowling for Scholars

tonight was bowling night .. 4 of us from work bowl in a summer league in Plano. i'm officially a sub(stitute), but because others on the team often travel, i've been asked to bowl every week since the league started. it's not because i'm a great bowler (trust me!) but i serve as an inspiration to all bad bowlers : it is possible to improve! this is a handicapped league, similar to the crop subsidies paid by the government for farmers not to plant crops. well, in a way.

one member of our team bowled a 277 tonight .. very impressive. he had 4 strikes in a row, then a spare, then 6 more strikes in a row, then knocked down 8 pins on his last ball. nice! we also bowled well as a team, winning all 3 games. this should vault us into 3rd (or maybe even 2nd) among the 14 teams.

3 members of the other team bowled without putting their fingers and thumbs into the holes! maybe this is normal, but it certainly looked very unusual. i guess that saves on the $30 or so you have to pay to have holes drilled. :P

how they holiday in Europe

went back to work today after our US-wide mandatory vacation week. not sure why the Europeans worked, other than they typically take off the entire month of August, and this is some sort of compensation. well, maybe.

Sunday, July 6

14 days and 6.2 miles later ...

Just got an email that one of my Where's George?® bills made it all the way (3 miles?) to Plano, TX, two weeks after I entered it online. Heck, I could have wadded it up and let the winds blow it and achieved better results! :P My hit rate is just over 2% - 3 bills hit after entering 148. I first used Where's George? in February 2000.

I understand the need to fund it, but the Where's George? web site can be really annoying, due to all the pop-up ads. Each time you enter a bill, you get a pop-up. Ten bills means 10 pop-ups. Unless you use a pop-up blocker. The only one I've found worth keeping is the blocker that comes with the Google™ 2.0 (beta) toolbar (which is Microsoft® Internet Explorer specific, sadly). BUT, the blocker works well.

See Sharp
Jim says .. Henckels, and Gene replies .Wüsthof ! Jim retorts: Kyocera .. you know, Ceramic Knives
Gene replies .. Ceramic Knives ?!?

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime
You know I must be in an abnormal mood when I go to Sam's Club® and, instead of buying Diet Dr Pepper™, I buy cases of:

1) Tropical Sprite ReMix™
2) Mountain Dew® LiveWire™
3) Perrier™

I bought the Perrier after watching a History Channel piece on the American Revolution, reminding me that (if it weren't for the French) we'd still be a British colony, and have to speak British instead of English. Jolly good, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, pip-pip, Cheerio! eh bloke?

Job Hunting? spotted: and for career networking:

You Don't Know Jack
I own about 2 dozen DVDs: new acquisitions include The Hire (free from BMW Films); Red Dragon (bought it on sale at the only Tower Records™ in Dallas); and 10 (!) Jack Nicholson movies (many of which I bought from CD Universe):

  1. 2001 About Schmidt

  2. 1997 As Good As It Gets

  3. 1996 Mars Attacks!

  4. 1992 A Few Good Men

  5. 1980 The Shining

  6. 1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

  7. 1974 Chinatown

  8. 1970 Five Easy Pieces

  9. 1969 Easy Rider

  10. 1960 The Little Shop of Horrors

Speed Dating
Gotta wonder how many other Speed Dating web sites exist (for Dallas)?

8 (and links elsewhere)

and this appears to be an index of sorts:

Beta the Wonder Dog

Beta is my 2.5 year old black Labrador (I rescued her from the Richardson Animal Shelter in April 2002, about 6 months after Tori - a black Labrador/Coonhound mix (!) - died).

Some people have suggested that Beta is a mix with a Dalmation, because she has a striped tongue; that would explain her lack of intellect (she tries hard, but just doesn't have the brain cells needed to be a scholar).

On Friday morning, I let her into the backyard, and she spotted a squirrel climbing the bird feeder (equipped with a squirrel baffle, which works really well). This may have been her best chance to catch a squirrel, since it had to:
a) go down the pole
b) cross the yard
c) climb the tree
Naturally, the squirrel won, "clucking" at Beta from a safe spot up the tree.

Saturday, July 5

Of Air and Airports

I live about 4 miles from the runway of Addison airport (a very busy general aviation field), and (being a mildly paranoid sot) wonder when one of those jets will lose power, and nose dive into my neighborhood.

had a dull headache this morning. wonder if the Pollution Watch Level Orange was to blame?

spotted before: jump the shark

spotted before:

the daily snail

The snail mail (US Postal Service™) came. It usually arrives between 10-11am. Today's catch is pretty normal:

1 magazine (Wired™)
1 newsletter (Bottom Line Personal™)
1 catalog (Herrington™)
1 letter from a charity (trashed, including the address labels - see below)
1 survey from National Family Opinion™
1 solicitation (C/C++ Users Journal™) - trashed without opening
1 letter from Entergy™ (new electricity provider: automatic bank draft paperwork)
1 letter from mom

This issue of Wired felt stiff; inside is a CD advertising the Chrysler™ Crossfire. The CD is designed to play in a PC (Windows 98 or higher) or an Apple PowerMac™. Linux users: forget it.

This month, I decided to weigh my mail-order catalogs: 18 pounds! Honestly, I did this so as to balance them in a storage unit (4 piles of 4.5 pounds each). Sometime in the future, someone will find that behavior fascinating. Right.

When I get address labels from a charity, I keep them only when:
a) the address is complete, including the 9-digit ZIP code;
b) the charity is one I support (if their name is on the label);
c) the charity's name is not on the label (if I don't support them).

I dreamed (!) about this blog last night, coming to several conclusions:

  • I won't mention names, at least in any public blog. Friends, relatives, etc. Exceptions include public figures, and my pets (who won't be offended).

  • Nothing goes here that is sensitive info, into my worst enemy's hands (not sure what that might be, since I'm not privy to anything even remotely interesting)

  • I will create a few mini-blogs for stuff like my weird dreams; my therapist (yet to be hired!) will be intrigued. Possible other mini-blogs will include food (I've had a weight problem for years, and have dropped from 275 to 195, with a target of 175)

Did I mention that I take 400 IU of Vitamin E twice daily, to help with my memory? Ginkgo Biloba just didn't do anything for me. I also do the 81mg aspirin therapy. Note: IU (Incredible Universe) is not related to IU (International Units)

The palm that is not on my hand

In addition to the stuff I learn by reading the DMN, there are all sorts of random observations I make throughout the day. I wonder how long before I repeat myself? I wonder how long before I repeat myself?

My entire life is stored in the few square inches of my Personal Digital Assistant [PDA]: Palm™ Tungsten|T™ (aka T|T, aka m550). I'm using only 6 of the T|T's 14 MB (I've added a 256 MB expansion card (Secure Digital [SD]), which helps a lot with storing photos, long documents, etc.).

I bought my T|T as an open-box item from Fry's Electronics™. Like most electronic gadgets, it dropped in price after I bought one!

The T|T is the 3rd Palm I've bought; I sold my two previous Palms to co-workers (a Vx and an m130). I bought the Vx in October 2000, and replaced it with the m130 in November 2002. I quickly realized that I just would never be happy with the m130, so (3 months later - February 2003) I bought the T|T for $370.

The T|T is much, much faster than the predecessors; it uses the Texas Instruments™ OMAP™ processor and is Bluetooth 1.1 compliant (meaning: I can communicate wirelessly to other Bluetooth devices within the 10 meter spec). I've tested this with a co-worker's Nokia™ 3650 cellphone (he sent a photo).

Fry's was not in Dallas, when I moved here in August 1993. I knew of Fry's expansion from the San Francisco Bay Area (where I often travel on business), and in the Los Angeles basin where I lived from 1983-1993. In early 1997, Fry's bought 6 of the 17 Incredible Universe [IU] stores from Tandy Corp (who closed the remaining locations); TIU had 2 stores in the Metroplex; in 2003, Fry's built their 3rd Metroplex location in Coppell (near DFW Airport, north of I-635) this year. I guess they really, really like us.

I have to remember not to stretch in my office, early in the day. I keep hitting the ceiling fan with my hands, and it hurts. Why do I keep doing this? The fan in my office is the only one which doesn't have something underneath (a table, a bed). I have 5 ceiling fans in my house; in the summer, they run nonstop. In theory, using ceiling fans minimizes the air conditioning bill.

Electricity deregulation came to Texas [TX] a year or so ago; I switched from TXU™ to Entergy™ and should save 11% this year.

I have a 1200-watt microwave oven (Sharp™ Carousel) .. I usually adhere to the recommended cooking time, but set the power at 8 (80%) and that works pretty well. Today's breakfast came at 10am (very late for me), and is an Uncle Ben's breakfast bowl (sourdough pancakes and sausage was today's variant).

The Daily Routine

I know I won't do -this- more than a few days, but I thought it might be entertaining to take notes on my Palm and publish them to GeneBobBlog. It would be hard to go back to my Life Before The Palm (PDA), since I'm accustomed to turning it on, jotting a random note and turning it off. Later, I HotSync™ it. Woo hoo.

In college, and my 2nd [sic] job out of college, I was a news reporter. That followed a few years working as the Sports Editor (and Photographer) of my high school paper (The Eastern Eagle) where I also learned to use a 35mm camera. Maybe that's why photography and writing are such second nature to me. Pity I never learned to type correctly.

During the work week, I commonly wake at 5am or so. I've had an insomnia problem for the past several years. Not sure if a doctor could help.

My Morning Ritual involves walking outside to fetch the Dallas Morning News™ - DMN off the lawn (it's there waiting for me, most mornings). There are times when I've gone outside at 4am and it wasn't there yet, so I watched through a window until I spotted a slow-moving car (with emergency flashers blinking) and heard the telltale [plop] as the paper hit the lawn. Now this is excitement in The Big City. Even more excitement when I go outside to find the sprinklers on, but that's another story.

While I have a sidewalk that goes from the house to the street, the DMN carrier rarely hits it. Today, the paper was 9 paces frm the sidewalk. Yeah, I count them. His end-of-year tip depends on how many days he hits the sidewalk in 365 days. For Calendar Year - CY 2003, he's 1 for 190.

BTW, the DMN is known locally as the Dallas Managed News (I'll explain that later)

Another step in My Morning Ritual involves giving my dog (Beta) a pill for healthy skin and a shiny coat. I like Derm-Renu™, made by a company in Fort Worth (30 miles away). However, I can no longer find their product in the local stores (it was available at Petco™ but they dropped it). So, now I order it from a company 1500 miles away, in California, because I found it on their web site (thanks, Google™). Go figure. Will have to call Virbac AH (817-831-5044) to inquire if there's someone closer, Real Soon Now.

I'm boycotting PetSmart ever since they put (former Dallas mayor) Ron Kirk on their board of directors.

I was -amazed- that Wikipedia had Metroplex in the search engine, but not as a term. So, I just added it: Wiki: Metroplex

There's lots of stuff in the DMN each day, and here are a couple things that caught my eye today (some for later web browsing, some just to discern how I think - a scary thought). They're in no particular order.

  • (caveat: I'm straight but have many friends, some of whom are gay (some still in the closet)). This article says that gay teens are really not discriminated against, and do not commit suicide. I'm leery.

  • article: Visions of summer: Find joy in the season's hidden beauty (photography article with way cool photos, requires free registration on the DMN web site)

  • Singles Groups are listed in Texas Living section (1st Saturday?) .. gotta see if any of these interest me (I scanned the list and downloaded it to my Palm a few months ago .. it hasn't changed since then). There are 23 groups listed.

  • movie candidate: Owning Mahowny, playing @ the Inwood

  • A study by Nucleus Research shows email spam reduces productivity by 1.4%, costs the average company $874/employee/year. I downloaded the 3 page PDF and was amused to see "The average employee receives 13.3 spam messages per day" and spends 6.5 minutes dealing with it .. I guess I'm not average, since I get much more than that. The vast majority of my spam lands in my Inbox at work; I use a company-wide filter which traps a lot, but not enough. SBC+Yahoo does a credible job of keeping it out of my Inbox at home; even so, I check my inbox using their Web Mail app first, before I download anything.

  • Richard Alm article: Sports still a hot ticket here

  • 93 people sworn in as US citizens yesterday at Old City Park including an Iraqi (Ahmad Aljaberi). I'm adding Old City Park to my list (Palm) of Culture To See In Dallas.


  • campaign: today's item - soaker hoses

  • fireworks explosion Friday in Kilgore TX (115 miles east of here) kills 3, severe damage to 6 homes

  • redesigned BMW 5-series debuts in Europe, will be in the USA by autumn (I drive a 330Ci, aka E46)

  • Takeru Kobayashi won his (6th-in-7 years) hot dog eating contest on Coney Island (44.5 Nathan's Famous hot dogs in 12 minutes)

  • Iran's Shahab-3 missile can reach Israel (Haaretz paper)

  • Letters (to the editor). After reading this, I have to keep asking myself if all Texans are idiots, or just the ones who write?

  • Leonard Pitts (Miami Herald columnist) opines re (I emailed him about The Magic Words:)
    Hi, Leonard.

    I spotted your column about the web site in today's
    Dallas Morning News.

    For several years, I've been using The Magic Words to deal with

    It's amazing how well that works, and is a near-permanent solution (I
    have yet to get another call from a telemarketer after using those 6
    words). Yes, I too signed up for the national list, via the web site.
    But I get so few calls anymore that I'm not expecting to notice any

    Some people say "I'm not interested" TWICE (at which point the
    telemarketer will go away) but that's only good for THAT CALL. The
    Magic Words work for that, and all subsequent calls. Try it!

Gene becomes a blogger (Newbie 101)

I've been doing web stuff for several years (I'm webmaster at a very large internal site at work), but this is my first attempt to do a blog. Why? Because I noticed the [BlogThis!] logo in the Google 2.0 toolbar and decided to give it a whirl. Please bear with me as I learn what works, and what does not, here in Blogville.

This week was mandated vacation week at work. Hey, at least we still have work.

Today was Independence Day, and I stayed home most of the day, doing lots of nothing. Normally, I'd waddle over to the Elementary School and take pictures of the neighbors at the annual neighborhood parade (for posting on the neighborhood website), but I just wasn't in the mood (plus, after doing that 2 years, there's not a lot of new stuff to see). This is the 10th Annual Parade. Wow.

Sometime around 21:30, I heard fireworks not too far away, but because of my 13 monster trees, I couldn't tell where. Maybe Breckinridge Park (I think that's the name) in Richardson. Yesterday was Addison's annual Kaboom Town but I wasn't in the mood for crowds so didn't go to that, either. Some patriot, huh?

I was amused to see the multi-page ad for fireworks in Wednesday's Dallas Morning News. Fireworks are illegal in Dallas County, but that doesn't mean the local newspaper won't happily tell you where to buy them (just over the county line). Gotta wonder if (in the aftermath of 9/11) the Dallas County Sheriff will be handing out leaflets at the fireworks stand.

On Thursday (pre-blog), I removed the blades on my Honda self-propelled lawnmower and took them to Richardson Saw & Lawnmower for sharpening. After one look at them, the experts said I'd be much better off with new blades, but .. they don't carry Honda. So, they sent me up(1) Central Expressway to the place I bought the mower in 1996: Plano Power Equipment. Now, $25 later I have a pair of blades and they're installed on my mower. I really feel like I'm on the cutting edge. Woo hoo.

(1) in Texas, "up" means north

Earlier in the day, I went to see Convicting the Friedmans which is a documentary about what happened to this dysfunctional family in Great Neck, NY starting in 1988.

Earlier in the week (Tuesday) I went to the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) for the first time. They're listed on the Texas Association of Museums web site, among other places. The DMA was easy to find .. just south of that no-name freeway between US-75 and I-35E. Big place (350,000 square feet). Parking was $5 but the huge museum was a freebie. Well, okay, I helped pay for it with my property and/or sales taxes.

On Wednesday, I went to the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery near Turtle Creek, to see their Mondo Cane exhibit (no relation to the 1963 movie), and had a hula burger and fried zucchini at Hunky's (not my usual hangout .. hey, I wanted to see what it was like). Hunky's hamburgers is across the street from JR's (a well known gay bar) and down the street from Sue Ellens (an equally well known lesbian bar). And no, I have no been a patron of either one! :) Both bars take their names from characters in the 1978-1991 TV show Dallas, filmed at nearby Southfork Ranch (the 2nd most popular tourist destination in Dallas, behind the Sixth Floor Museum)

I have a Wüsthof knife set, but with several empty slots. With which knives shall I fill it? Maybe ... Wüsthof 7 in. Santoku Knife (Food Network)