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    Hillbilly Ecosystem

    Hillbilly Ecosystem

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    “Ultimate Super Heroes”? May 29th, 2005

    Last night, my wife Nancy and I watched “The Ultimate Super Heroes”, the first part of a three-part series on the Bravo cable network. This special, according to Bravo, “ranks the best fictional characters in pop culture, drawing from movies, television, comic books and video games.” After watching the first of three parts (the other two supposedly dealt with “Super Villains” and “Super Vixens”), I decided it was a waste of time and really wasn’t accurate or valid.

    I admit that there are more important things to worry about in life, but what can I say? I was bored.

    Anyway, let’s examine their rankings of super heroes and expose the flaws, shall we?

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Hot Sauces May 21st, 2005

    miscellaneous hot sauces

    I love trying new hot sauces. In fact, I not only enjoy trying new sauces, but also writing reviews on my own personal web page. It’s just a hobby, but it would be so nice if I could be paid to do it. Would it still be a hobby? I think so.

    In the past I have made some of my own hot sauces from various peppers. All have turned out quite good. When I got really creative, I went to a local nursery and purchased several exotic pepper plants and attempted to grow my own peppers in pots on the porch of the apartment my wife and I were living in at the time. The plants grew more peppers than I anticipated (my wife says I have a “green thumb” but I honestly have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to raising plants) and I had fun producing my own sauces from the peppers.

    Several years ago, I worked for a legal publishing firm and one of my co-workers enjoyed hot & spicy foods, especially hot wings. The hotter, the better. One Monday, I brought in a bottle of Dave’s Insanity Sauce which at that time was the hottest sauce on the market. It was too hot for my tastes (I knew my limits) but I didn’t want to waste the whole bottle by throwing it away so I decided to share. At lunch I showed my co-worker the bottle and asked him if he wanted to try some. He did, so I warned him of the potency. I don’t think he listened because he then placed a good glob of the stuff on the Mexican rice portion of his microwavable dinner. Sensing trouble, I urged him to at least mix the glob into the rice. Nope. He took his spoon and dipped it into the rice taking the whole hot sauce glob with equal parts rice into his mouth. For the next few nanoseconds, I expected both extremes: cries of pain or maybe even pleasure, but neither occurred. Instead, my co-worker let out what can be best described as a desperate attempt to draw in a breath of air and then sprinted frantically from his office. This was not the reaction I anticipated from a man who bragged that he liked his buffalo wings “nuclear hot.”

    While my co-worker was wherever he was, I took the bottle to my supervisor.

    I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking that I was going to try to dupe my supervisor into suffering a similar fate. I don’t do things like that. After all, I warned my co-worker about the sauce’s heat. I can’t help it if he didn’t listen and allowed machismo to rule.

    So I sat down in my supervisor’s office. We always had a great relationship and spent many breaks shooting the breeze in there. I told him what happened a few moments earlier and asked him if he’d like to try some. My supervisor also likes hot & spicy foods, but at least he listens. He used a toothpick to taste just a tad of the sauce and that small amount was enough to convince him that Dave’s Insanity Sauce was too hot for his preferences.

    After several minutes, we started to get worried about my co-worker. After all, the desperate gasping noises he made on the way out of his office weren’t exactly encouraging. My supervisor and I both half-jokingly wondered out loud if the hot sauce was giving him a heart attack. We decided to wait. Several minutes later, he came by and informed us that it was the best sauce he ever had. You couldn’t tell by looking at him. His face was flushed and rivulets of sweat were still forming on his brow. However, it was obvious that internally, endorphins were being released in large doses because he was happy. Major league happy. Positively giddy. Relieved that he didn’t die, I went ahead and gave him the bottle.

    That was many years ago. Since then, numerous even hotter sauces have been concocted and are on the market. I don’t think I’m going to tempt fate by trying most of those sauces. And then again, maybe I will.

    Anyone for an endorphin rush?

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