Friday, August 27, 2010

Waddling Towards Fitness: Closing in on Half a Pail!

Close call today! I stopped at Caffe Viale's new street-side coffee joint on 5th at Salmon. Very cool--built into an old (vintage 1970s) Tri-Met Bus Shelter. As is the case when one is fighting an insurgency, a minuscule lapse can be dangerous. Yes, I was attacked by an IFD--Improvised Fattening Device. A pasty tried to jump into my mouth, but, being ever vigilant, I fended it off with a series of lightning-quick jujitsu moves. It fell harmlessly, for me, into the hands of the next-in-line. But, for those of you who aren't battling LARD!, Caffe Viale has the best soup and panini in town for my Lire! And friendly people, too!

As of today, I've shed 1.71 gallons of LARD!, earning me 13.7 pints and putting me in striking distance of my next 1/4 pail. I hope to update the status board soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

If you happen to be in Terrace, BC...

It's a long way to Tipperary, particularly if Tipperary is Stumptown and you happen to be in Terrace, British Columbia. And, it's a long way in more than one way. After spending the week talking with people that needed talking with, if you get my drift, down the road up here, I decided to head to Terrace and get a jump on catching the Clipper that will take me south and back to the arms and wave of Dolly-girl D'Mestiere. I crossed the Skeena River bridge, pulled into town, set the brake at the Bear Country Inn, and decided to tie on the feedbag at a local eatery.

I talked to a local, name of Spoon, Urban Spoon, although that doesn't sound very local, now that I think of it. He tipped me to a joint called Villa 46. Said it was outta place up here, but the best and hippest feedbags in town. He had it right.

The place was mostly empty when I walked in. It was a nice night so I jerked by thumb towards the outside tables and Missy gave me the up and down. I parked my carcass and she was there quick with a dose of the Skeena and a whaddya-want. After a week down there, I knew what I wanted up here. "Drown three and make it snappy." She did. On both counts.

Those of you who read these pages know that I'm engaged in a War on LARD, and it's a war Jack is gonna win. I sipped my three-men-in-a-tub and looked over the offerings. Soup and salad seemed right. Down the road that's a bowl of Heinz 57 and a handful of iceberg. Villa 46 looked like something else would walk through the door. I asked Missy for her recommends. "Not much on that soup you're eyeballin'. Then I'm not much on chunks of fin flippers swimmin' in broth." I shot her a look--how could you not like that? "Bring it. And how's that radio salad?" "The best--can't go wrong with that one." "I'll have it. Oh, and a glass of whatever skidrow you got. Faire un vin rouge"--I tried la deuxieme lingua. "Elle est à tu." Close enough.

The joint wasn't jumping, but it took Missy a while to get back with the slurp. I knew the hash slinger wasn't in there opening a can. When she got back, voila, a fish stew that was easy on the eyes, as pretty as Fiora, and tasted good, too. I dug into a bowl that had salmon, halibut, mussels, and prawns (that's what they call shrimp up here, I guess to get around that whole 'jumbo shrimp' thing). It was tasty--could have used a shot from Mike and Ike, but hey, or is that eh?

Missy was back to check on me. "Howsit?" "You'd better learn to like fish in a bath if you have a chance to eat this on the house," I told her. "It's just what the doctor ordered." She nodded. "Yeah, I'll give it another try. Cookie tells me I need to up my tastes if I'm gonna work a joint like this one instead of being a soup jockey at some hash house on the road to Yellowknife. Une autre verre de vin rouge?" I thought about it...for about 1 second. "Sì, un altro bicchiere di vino rosso." "Si, è tuo." She was good.

Next out was the radio salad--fresh albacore, grilled to perfection, and rolled in the magic word--open sesame, get it--on top of some cowfeed that looked like it jumped right out of the garden and into the bowl. There was a little shot of a sweet and spicy dressing on the side that made the whole thing stand up and shout, "I'm the best damned tuna and salad you've ever had!"

I moved inside for a cuppa, a shot of the little emperor, and a green bottle of fizz to top off the night. Seeing as how it wasn't busy, the HMFIC, the hash slinger, Missy, and I had a chat. Interesting folks, trying an interesting, hip, eatery. I tipped Missy like an overloaded boat in the rapids, headed out the door, and ambled back to the Bear Country. I feel good when the feedbag hits the spot I need hitting. Tonight, I was whistling a happy tune. Stumptown quality, I'll tell you. If you happen to be in Terrace, don't miss Villa 46.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Putting Eggs in One Basket

Generally speaking, I don't listen to the news too much 'cause it's never very good and by the time some pretty voice is reading it to you over the airwaves, it's too late to do anything about it anyway, follow? So me and Dolly-girl keep our Zenith tuned to music. It just works out better that way what with her strongly held opinions--keeps the number of looks through the wave down--readers of this page know the sort of look I'm talkin' about...

Anyhoo, I'm on the road doing some business with people who need business done and the tourist house where I'm setting my brake this week keeps the news on in the breakfast room so as I really have to listen.

I was having a couple wrecked with Noah's boy this AM when the news came across about 380 million eggs being recalled. First I sorta smiled about recalling an egg. "Get back here mister, back in that carton." Then I looked down at the cackleberries on my plate. "Not to worry," said my hostess, "You're north of the border and only them eggs from the States called back."

Whew! That's a lotta hen fruit--more than one for every person in the country! But not us. Me and Dolly-girl? Well we buy our cackleberries local from happy hens. No siree, we can continue to enjoy ours--they've reached their final resting place!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Catching a Clipper North

From time to time, there are people up North of the Border that I need to talk with. It always makes me a little antsy 'cause you know, I'm missing two things I like to travel with--Dolly-girl and Messrs. Smith & Wesson. Wait, is that three things? Naw, I guess S&W is one because I don't carry two. After all, this isn't the Old West.

Dolly-girl took me to the airfield in the roadster, which was nice because it saved a cab fare (although I do like to contribute to the Radio Cab economy) and it gave me a chance to plant a big one on her kisser before I ran to the gate as they were calling, "Last call for the North-bound Clipper, Last Call..."

I just barely had time to stop and aim the Kodak at these dresses on display made from recycled things--Kitty (no relation) Litter bags, coffee filters, and gelato cups. Pretty clever, if you ask me, which you didn't but you are reading this so you sort of asked me...

Waddling Towards Fitness: LARD is ALL Around me

Every once in a whatever, I need to come North of the Border to talk with some people that need talking to. As I waddled to the flight north today, I realized that this is as close as I will get to my beloved Coffee Crisp. Tim Horton's? Not a cracklins chance in a pot of boiling LARD!

Bill, I need your help! Talk me down! Give me strength! Sing LARD is All Around Me! ...Find something lean to cook!

OK ,I'm off the ledge. I found a Safeway and got some Wasa Bread (no Finn Crisp available, Javier), some carrots, and smoked almonds which are a steal, by the way at 6 calories per nut. Whew, a magazine of bullets dodged. LARD IS all around me...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

War on LARD Update

Check Waddling Towards Fitness for the latest in Jack's War on LARD!

War on LARD Update

People ask me, "Jack, how do you do it?" I'm happy to share. Readers of my other blog will recall Javier Boleyn, a pal-o-Dolly-girl's and mine that we take in the Bard from time-to-time with. Well, Javier has kept himself slim and trim all these years. I asked him for his secret.

"Jackie-boy," he calls me Jackie-boy to go along with Dolly-girl, "I'll tell you how I do it. I call it the 2-Step DUH! Diet. It's copyrighted, by the way. It used to be a 1-Step Diet, but nothing will sell that has just one step, so I changed it to 2-Step.

"Now I'm going to tell you the 2-Step DUH! Diet, Jackie-boy, so listen close." I did.

"Step 1: Eat Less." "Easy enough," I thought, but then realized that eating less meant, well, eating less. "OK, I'm ready for Step 2."

"Step 2: Move more." I groaned. "That's it," he said. "Guaranteed to work."

Damn, I knew there was a catch. I thought through the steps again, turning them over and over. I tried to turn Javier's DUH! Diet into 7 Steps--I like things to have 7 steps. I couldn't make it work. There was a paradox. My entire exercise program consists of either waddling to the kitchen to get seconds and thirds or waddling to and from great Stumptown eateries, as all of you who read my other blog know I like to do. "How is it that I am supposed to effectuate both steps?" I asked.

"Simple, Jackie-boy, simple." Javier was about to explain. "Whilst reducing one's intake, one has to increase one's non-food related exercise. I, myself, took up hiking in the mountains. Why just today, upon completing a 17 and one-quarter mile hike before breakfast, I settled down at my table and enjoyed my usual morning repast of a Finn Crisp and half of a grape. That should hold me through my morning calisthenics routine."

Oh boy, this is going to be tougher than I thought. DUH!

Since last I wrote I've lost another 2 and a half pints bringing the total to 9.4 pints or 1.16 gallons. I need to lose another 6 and 3/4 pints to earn my second quarter pail on the LARD-o-Meter. I'm am, however, half way to my goal of losing 15 pounds of LARD before leaving for France on September 6. It's going to be a challenge--I have a lot of business travel between now and then, so I guess it will have to be eternal vigilance and salad.