Category Archives: Surveys

Meat Update

It’s trash day, and I just cleaned out my freezer, because for the first time in five years I remembered that I’ve been meaning to do that and I remembered it on trash day.

I found some chicken breasts that expired in 2004.

This begs a question, which you can answer by clicking here:

What? It was frozen!

This has been your meat update.


My Intellectual Contribution (So Far) to Presidential Election ’08

Yesterday, Dave Barry conducted a little live question and answer session, as part of his on-the-scene coverage of the New Hampshire primary. Common themes included voter trends, change, Cheez-Its, change, possible nicknames for Mike Huckabee and Dick Harpootlian (neither of whom need nicknames, since their real names are already so fun to say out loud) and also change. I submitted several questions, which Dave graciously answered, much to my school-girlish delight.

Here’s the intro to the Q&A, as written by a professional-type Miami Herald person and seen on The Herald’s website, followed by my questions and Dave’s responses.


Dave Barry is running for President of the United States — but because he is a trained journalism professional, he is also sporadically covering the other, lesser candidates. On Jan. 8, 29 and on future dates that he can’t disclose just yet, he’ll be chatting live from 1-2 p.m. here. That’s right, he’ll actually be sitting behind a computer at the very same time as you, the reader, send him questions and comments. Please keep in mind that while Dave will answer as many questions as he can, he will laugh at most of them and delete them. That said, Dave may actually answer a question, and it could be yours.

Q: Dave, I realize that you are vehemently pro-change, but generally, I find that it’s easier to type responses to questions if I’m sitting in front of a computer, rather than behind one. Please explain how you developed this specialized skill, which is impressive, yet disturbing.
KDF, Not Quite as Snowy as NH, but Close 1/08/08

A: .rorrim a gnisu epyt I
Dave Barry 1/08/08

Q: Dave, what is Governor Huckabee’s position on Cheez-Its?
KDF 1/08/08

A: I am sure he views them as a an important nutritional component. FACT: One bag of Cheez-Its supplies 8 percent of your daily requirement of little square things the color of a traffic cone.
Dave Barry 1/08/08

Q: Mr. Barry, I took all of my change to the Coinstar machine and now I just have regular old cash, equivalent mathematically to the amount of coinage I turned in (minus a 9% counting fee, of course.) My question: since “change” is all the kids are talking about these days, and given the fact that change is apparently gaining value by the millisecond, particularly in New Hampshire, can I look forward to a day when the people in charge of the various Coinstar machines in my neighborhood will actively compete for my business and will not only stop charging me this so-called “counting fee,” but will pay me a premium to use their machine above anyone else’s just so that they can post boastful signs claiming that they believe in change and have more than anyone else?
KDF 1/08/08

A: That is a LOT of typing.
Dave Barry 1/08/08

Please pardon my giggling, but it was a heck of a lot of fun to participate in that.

Dave’s entire Q & A, which in my humble opinion, is well worth the click, can be seen by clicking here. You must start at the end and go backwards in order to follow the Q&A in order, but hey, the internets are funny like that.

Edumacation Survey

Is it just that my memory is failing, or was 6th grade math not anywhere near this hard when I was in grade school? Here is a page of Sam’s actual homework:


*fears 7th grade*


I was just doing a little blog-housekeeping, and discovered, quite by accident, that virtually all of my recipe posts involve orange food.

I find this odd, as I’m fairly certain that I enjoy the full spectrum of food colors, with the possible exception of grey.

My dad once became obsessed with carrots and ate so many that the excess beta carotene turned the whites of his eyes yellow. (Okay, not really; it actually turned out that he had hepatitis, but for a while there, the excess carrot thing was his favored and at least somewhat plausible hypothesis. Plus, it illustrates my point, as to my chromosomally-acquired obsessive tendencies, so why should I let reality get in the way of a good analogy?)

I don’t think I’m quite this obsessive myself, at least not with food, although my blog content says otherwise.

I’ll try to think of a different topic to write about, or at least a different color to cook with eventually, I promise. But for now, I’ll be in the kitchen with my sweet potatoes and cheezits. And of course, my leftover carrot soup. That stuff is good!

Urgent Travel Update

Several weeks ago, I wrote about my obsessive quest to travel with carry-on luggage only, despite my certainty that I could not possibly fit all of my crap essentials into one measly, quart-sized, plastic bag with a resealable ziploc top. Many of you kindly offered helpful advice.



I did it.

I reduced, reevaluated, miniaturized, rearranged, checked in online and walked right to my gate. I am once again free from The Prison of Waiting In Line to Surrender My Belongings, The Purgatory of Baggage Claim, and The Weekend Hell of Lost Baggage.

Now, if I end up delayed and have to stay anywhere longer than three days, I will have to find a (paper; not plastic) bag to wear over my head while I scout out retail establishments for additional supplies, but I suppose I’ll cross that frizzy bridge when and if I come to it.

For now, I will confidently pass through security, knowing that my baggie o’ liquids and gels meets government standards, content in the knowledge that I will be the only one with the opportunity to lose my luggage.

Challenge: The reader who correctly identifies the largest number of items pictured above wins a supply of FAA-approved quart-sized baggies, in addition to personalized packing advice. From me. Since I’m an expert now.

Bonus tip for everyone: bring an extra baggie. Mine was so stuffed to the gills that it ripped when I tried to repack it for the return flight. Oops.

Survey for the Curly-Haired Girls

I have a question. I am genuinely curious here, in addition to being extremely determined to conquer this beast.

The beast, of course, is my failure to fit all the liquids and gels I’ll need for a weekend into one teeny, tiny resealable one-quart plastic baggie. Because I really want to get back to traveling with carry-on luggage only, dammit.

Ever since the FAA took the precaution of eliminating dangerous hair-care products and suspect mascaras from the main cabin in order to enhance my air travel safety, I have not even attempted to fly without checking my luggage. I had been a confirmed carry-on’er for many years, since:

1) I don’t particularly enjoy watching the luggage carousel go round and round while being elbowed by my fellow travelers, only to catapult myself forward at just the right moment, dashing any illusion of grace and risking injury just to get to the front and grab my bag before someone else does, and

2) my travels aren’t nearly as pleasant when my checked suitcase goes on its own separate vacation to, say, Guam. (Of course, this would be fine if I were in fact, traveling to Guam, but I don’t really get there much. Or, ever.)


Yes, I hear you rolling your eyes, thinking, “Why would anybody possibly need MORE than what can fit into a ziploc?” and, “Oh, she’s one of those high-maintenance chicks.”


Am not.

Oh, all right. When it comes to hair care products, I am. I admit it. High maintenance.

There, I said it.

But I know that all the other curly-haired girls out there know what I’m talking about. Left to fend for ourselves without benefit of the precise, individualized combination of shampoo/conditioner/defrizzer/styling creme/hairspray in which we have invested years of field research, and upon which we faithfully depend so as not to look like big poufy balls of frizz, thereby opening ourselves up to humilation and public snickering… well, we simply cannot be seen in public. Doesn’t matter whether it’s one night or two weeks; that stuff is essential.

If you are yourself a brave soul who has faced this issue and you’re willing to help me problem-solve, I’d like to hear your answer to this two-part question. I’m going to do this. I will not let the terrorists win.

1) Have you successfully consolidated and packed all of your stuff into a little, airport security-approved, resealable baggie, without eliminating things and planning to buy them once you get there?

2) How? For the love of reasonably groomed, naturally poufy locks, how?!?

I Wonder About This Every Single Time I’m In Starbucks

I have a question, and I promise, I’m really not irritated. I just don’t get it.

Why oh WHY is there not a separate line for Starbucks customers who wish to purchase nothing more than the beverage known as “coffee,” so that they can pay, get their drink — which is already ready — and get on with their lives in a timely fashion? Shouldn’t there be an express checkout separate from the people ordering grande half-caf triple two-pump non-fat toffee nut lattes with a toasted turkey sandwich and molasses cookie on the side?

I confess — I’m usually a member of Group II. (Those molasses cookies are downright addictive.) But really, wouldn’t an express lane make sense? Fewer people crowding the store when it’s busy, less crankiness amongst the customer base?

Or do the Starbucks people want the drip coffee customers to be in the store longer, just in case the extra time standing there may entice them to buy Starbucks tchotchkes and bags o’ beans?


Never mind.