When I was in High School 10 to 13 years ago, Wendy's was my favorite place to eat.
I liked their food, but I also appreciated their company.
Dave Thomas, Wendy's founder and spokesperson, was always promoting quality and service. He was also well known for his philanthropic work in support of adoption.
I often said that Dave Thomas deserved to have a statue erected in his honor.
In May of 2001 I graduated from school and began preparing to leave the country for two years.
Dave Thomas died in January of 2002.
When I left that February, I made sure that the last meal I had in this country was the Classic Triple combo, my usual.
Naturally I selected that same meal when I returned home in 2004.
As you can see, Wendy's and I go way back.
Here's the thing though...that Classic Triple I had when I got home... it wasn't as awesome as I remembered.
Maybe I just got one on a bad day...that happens now and again, especially at fast food places.
Only this proved to not be a singular experience. Over the next few months I returned to my favorite restaurant periodically and began noticing that nothing was as good as I remembered. It didn't seem to matter what I got, or which location I got it from, the quality had just gone downhill.
Years passed and my frequency at Wendy's dropped nearly to naught. The few times I ate their food in the last several years were very disappointing indeed. They had somehow descended even below McDonald's in my estimation.
Now we jump to the not-too-distant past; i.e. two months ago, when I read this article.
Wendy's has decided to remake its classic line of burgers calling them Dave's Hot 'N Juicy, in honor of Dave Thomas himself!
What exactly is different? Well, pretty much everything! They conducted a HUGE study and tried all kinds of ingredients, recipes, and configurations. If you want the details you can read the article. It is actually quite interesting. Suffice it to say, Wendy's burgers are now COMPLETELY different.
Intrigued, I decided that I had to try this new incarnation of the classic cheeseburger.
I was going to give Wendy's another chance.
So, several weeks ago, I returned to my old stomping ground and ordered myself a Dave's Hot 'N Juicy double. (I'm too old to be eating triple sized burgers; I now have my figure to consider.)
It was AWESOME! This isn't just a good fast food burger, this is a Wendy's burger the way it ought to be, the way I remember it being!
The quality is there, the flavor is there, the excessive grease is not there; it is just plain yummy!
It is amazing to me that by changing everything that could possibly be changed, they somehow made the burger taste the way it used to taste, the way it tasted when Dave Thomas was at the helm!
I am impressed!
Combine this with Wendy's new fries and you have a winning combo!
I've returned to Wendy's several times in the last few weeks, and each time I have been equally impressed.
My brother was just as delighted when he took his first bite of this new burger.
We agree that Wendy's has finally returned to its former glory, and for this, the new Dave's Hot 'N Juicy gets...
(Actually I got it two weeks ago. What can I say? I'm slow to blog these days...)
Isn't it nice looking?
I really like it!
I'm particularly proud of my custom wallpaper.
I decided to use 2001: A Space Odyssey as the basis for my wallpaper for two reasons:
First, it is easy to compare Apple's new (artificially) intelligent assistant, named Siri, to the HAL 9000. The difference being that Siri is helpful and friendly while HAL is evil and murderous. Because of this key difference I decided to change HAL's foreboding red glow to a nice friendly blue.
Second, I think that the phone sort of resembles the mysterious black monolith from the film...
See the similarity?
I'm quite happy with the phone so far, and I love how much stuff it can do!
I just wish it hadn't taken so long to arrive.
I preordered it on the 8th, it was officially released on the 14th, and mine didn't arrive until the 27th.
Lesson learned: Next time don't go through AT&T, just order direct from Apple.
It was definitely time for an upgrade. When I took my old phone in to have all the contacts transferred over, the dude at the store was amazed that I had kept that same old phone for so long. Hey, it was a really good phone!
I have already found a ton of really cool and useful apps! Would anyone be interested if I started blogging about my favorite apps?
I was at the store a few days ago looking at candy and decorations when I had kind of a depressing realization:
I don't seem to enjoy Halloween anymore. (gasp)
So what the heck is wrong with me? Finding a costume just seems like such a hassle these days. Going out on a busy night to a crowded noisy party where I only know a handful of people is suddenly unappealing. Most discouraging of all, the thought of all that candy kind of grosses me out.
I was discussing this unfortunate realization with one of my coworkers today who pointed out something very interesting.
She said that holidays are less fun for people who are done with college but don't have any kids yet.
Holidays are pretty awesome in college when you have tons of single friends and lots of awesome parties to go to. Once you have kids, their excitement helps bring back much of the holiday magic for you as well. But inbetween these times? Holidays just aren't as fun as they used to be.
I hope this stage of life doesn't last very long because holidays are awesome and I want to enjoy them again!
...1000 rounds of 9mm ammunition!
Ha ha! Thanks Mom and Dad!
Seriously though...I'm 29 now...
I'm not very thrilled about it. Especially since my Mom reminded me that I am now in my thirtieth year.
Yuck! I can't believe that this is the last year of my 20's! I've accomplished a lot of stuff, especially this last yer, but that doesn't change the fact that I am not exactly where I wanted to be by this time.
(Not really though; this is more of an inside joke.)
On a happier note, I went to renew my driver's license the other day, and I was pleased that my weight hasn't changed much since my last license 10 years ago. It's all about the little victories.
Anyway, despite being depressed about my age, it was a pretty good day.
I opened presents in the morning before work. After work, my brothers and I went to the bowling pin shoot. I shot one round in less than four seconds; that's my best time so far. After shooting, we came home and had pizza and cake with the family.
It was pretty fun, although more lonely than last year.
I've decided that I need to make a list of all the things I need to do before I turn 30.
What do you think should be on this list?
If you convert that number into phone years, my phone would be approximately 140 years old.
In that time it has been a great phone. Unfortunately it is getting tired and starting to show its age.
-It can't send photos without wigging-out and shutting itself down. It doesn't do much better at receiving photos either.
-It's battery is nearly done for. It will only last all day if I don't use it much. Ongoing text conversations will kill it in about half a day, and actual talking will drain it in about an hour.
-The battery cover doesn't want to stay on anymore.
-One of the buttons sticks a bit.
-It's rubberized finish has almost completely peeled off.
-It has various scratches, dings, and cracks.
-But worst of all, it shuts itself off at seemingly random times; sometimes as much as three times per day. This is pretty annoying when you are waiting for a call/text, or are using your phone as your alarm clock.
Despite its many problems of late, I have really liked this phone! I've never lost any of my contacts or data, the calendar is really useful, I like the notes feature, and it takes ok photos on the rare occasion that I use its camera. I also like that I can plug it into my computer and backup everything. The MicroSD card thing is cool too.
This is definitely the best phone I have ever owned, but I can't ignore that it is due for retirement.
I know I haven't really blogged about this before, so I should tell you that I love shooting sports!
I don't hunt, I just like skill shooting. Whether it is shotguns and clay pigeons, or pistols and paper, I pretty much enjoy it all.
For the last couple of months my brothers and I have been doing a lot of pistol shooting.
Recently we discovered that the Lions Club near our house does a weekly bowling pin shoot!
It is a simple competition where they setup five pins and you try to shoot over all five pins as quickly as possible. It is just a small local thing, so it is pretty causal, and you don't really win anything, but it is well attended by good people, and well run.
None of us had ever done any kind of competitive pistol shooting so we were a little nervous at the idea, but it looked like fun and we decided to give it a try.
I'm glad we did because we had a great time!
I was pretty pleased with how I did. I think we shot about 10 rounds, and in those rounds I hit all but one of my pins.
When I first started I was shooting in the seven second range, but after a few rounds I dropped down to the five second range. I was hoping to drop below five seconds, but I didn't quite make it.
The fastest guys were shooting all five pins in less than three seconds. That's pretty dang fast!
I can't wait to do it again! I think this will definitely become a regular activity for us.
Here are a few pictures from the thing:
I like this one because it caught me mid-shot.
You can see my gun mid-cycle, and the first pin tipping slightly before falling off the table.
Recently, my brother and I, along with a few of his friends, drove down to Cedar City so they could run a half marathon. I was pretty much just the driver.
The drive down was a little bit stressful. Traffic was bad, and the torrential rainstorm didn't help. It rained the entire drive down. Normally I like driving in poor conditions, but this was a little much.
We had planned to camp out, but that wasn't looking good. Luckily some guy let us sleep in the spare trailer he had behind his house. I have no idea who the guy was, but he let us sleep in his trailer. It was pretty cool.
Andrew and his friends ran the dang half marathon while I took a nap in the back of my car.
I also took pictures as they approached the finish line.
The highlight of the trip though was seeing this decorated car.
In case you can't read it, it says "Just Divorced".
I thought it was pretty funny.
A few weeks ago Dave, Robin, and I hiked Mount Olympus. This was my third time doing this hike.
I think I liked the ascent better this time, since there was no snow. However, the decent was much more difficult. It is quite steep and rocky for much of it, so coming down really pounds your knees. I was pretty sore by the end. Also, once we got out of the trees and onto the switchbacks, the sun really took it out of us. It was very hot! We made it though, and everyone really liked the hike!
In case you didn't already know, one of my favorite films is Die Hard.
Let me begin by making one thing clear: I am not an action movie junkie! In fact, I typically detest the formulaic action films that have been plaguing our theaters for far too long.
Die Hard is special. Die Hard is unique. Die Hard hails from an era where the characters were real and the action was pure and plot driven. By comparison, today's action movies are flat and contrived and driven by over-amplified effects.
I honestly feel that Die Hard is an excellent film with incredible merit and value. A classic in every sense of the word.
For this reason, I was delighted to read an article from NPR that describes incredibly well what makes it such an impressive film.
Here is a link to this amazing article for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
P.S. I would really like some Die Hard related comments. :)
Wow! This is an old one! How did this not get published seven months ago?!
Better late than never, I guess.
I really need to go through my unfinished blog posts more often...
Anyway, here is the much delayed review of my New Year's celebrations.
We went to see Tron: Legacy in 3D IMAX. It was pretty cool! Amazing score!
We watched Brian Regan at home as a family. He is so dang funny! No matter how many times I watch his DVDs I end up laughing my head off!
Pizza for dinner, lots of snacks, sparkling cider, and my brother in some weird scarf thing...
We played family games like Uno, Go fish, and Apples to Apples.
We also told a really lame progressive story thing.
To celebrate the new year we opened fortune cookies and popped those party popper things. Good times.
That night/early morning, after the festivities were over, we had a slumber party with family and friends.
Oh yes! I almost forgot! Every year we always buy a variety of brands of egg nog and do taste tests to see which one is our favorite. It's pretty fun. I'm always surprised at the weird variety of nogs that my Dad manages to find.
Lastly, my very most favorite New Years activity, (and pretty much everyone else's as well) was...
We ran all over the house flinging hundreds of little foam darts at each other.
It was pretty dang awesome!
Even my mom joined in on the fun for a little while. She liked it.
(As a side note, we are still finding darts strewn about the house in odd places.)