The Crazy Long Meme (Part I)

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:57 AM

Christopher answered this really long meme, and I thought I would do so as well. It is a rather nice one. Given its length, I decided to split up the answers into two parts so that it wouldn't grow tedious reading my answers. :) Feel free to provide your own answers in the comments.

1. Your name spelled backwards.
Reltub Ythomit

2. Last incoming call on your phone.
Pastor Mark Friz, calling last night to ask me to run the projector this morning.

3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?
According to my download history, it was Splunk, sometime last week. I was going to try this nifty log file search engine on my server, but it wouldn't install.

4. What’s your favorite restaurant?
I've done this one before! Let's try different classes of restaurants, to make this interesting:

Fast Food:White Castle — if you haven't had White Castle in the last month, life just isn't right.

Pizza (Delivery/Takeout): Pizza Hut. It is the best pizza under one roof. (SM)

Pizza (Restaurant): CPK. The California Pizza Kitchen knows gourmet pizza; I like everything I've tried there. I especially like their signature Barbecue Chicken Pizza and their Tostada Pizza with Lime Chicken:
Southwestern black beans, sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses topped with chilled shredded lettuce, fresh tomato salsa, green onions and crispy tortilla strips with our garden-herb ranch dressing. Also available with grilled lime chicken.

Quick Service: St. Louis Bread Co. (a.k.a. Panera Bread outside of its home city). I love their Panini sandwiches and I.C. Mochas, among other things.

Two Star Restaurant: The Hen House (of Bourbon, MO) has the best fried broasted chicken around. I think I'm fudging this a bit, the Hen House is more like a “1.5 Star” restaurant, according to the definition of two star restaurants, but maybe — twenty asisaid points to the person who can identify this allusion — the restaurant star rating code is not a set of rules so much as suggestions.

Three Star Restaurant: Lewis & Clark's is one of the best values in the “moderate” ($12-$15) entree range. They have the best blackened fish I've ever tasted, great spuds, delicious salads and breads and a comfortable atmosphere. It is the best dining available, in my opinion, on Main Street/the St. Charles Historic District.

Four Star Restaurant: Devil's Pool at Big Cedar Lodge (Ridgedale, MO) is a casual setting, but I think it can be placed in the four star range justifiably. Their entrees grow a bit pricey at $18-$20 for dinner, but the flavors are bold and exciting, without getting exotic. I personally love their grilled chicken with chile lime drizzle. Their house salads and ever changing selection of breads are also very good. Deserts are tasty too. Portions are extremely generous, hence I've only had desert to-go.

Five Star Restaurant: I've never eaten at one, although I think Devil's Pool could easily qualify from a culinary standpoint, although not from the other aspects.

I'm not an expert on ratings, so I checked my selections against Mobile Travel Guide's definition of two, three, four and five star restaurants, which you can see here.

5. Last time you swam in a pool?
Some time in late August in an “ool,” as the pool store sign puts it (think about that one). There are advantages to having your own pool, even if it is just a Costco-purchased inflatable 4 footer (they are so cheap, and yet so convenient!).

6. Have you ever been in a school play?
No. I have been in a few Sunday School plays in the past though. I'm not an actor.

7. 2 or 3?

8. Type of music you dislike most?
Rap. But, edging close to that lately is 80's music. Even some stuff I use to like now gets on my nerves. Enough with the stupid synthesized instruments and weird voices. Music is suppose to sound good!.

9. Do you have cable?
If you mean, “do I have a non-antenna based way of receiving TV,” yes. If you mean literally cable, no. I have a dish. I'd like cable, and keep talking to the cable company to arrange a suitable “triple play package” (It seems odd when I call that I already have the cableco's digital phone and high speed Internet but not TV). I think the price is finally right (again), and they've gone to digital simultrans (so I'm told, see part 1, part 2), but I'm waiting for them to get some more DVR's in again.

Assuming they really did launch the simultrans system, cable will be completely and unequivocally superior to satellite. Cable does not go down in the weather (unless the utility poles are knocked down, of course), cable provides more local programming (TWC WeatherScan, TWC Local Forecasts, public access channels, etc.), cable provides more HD programming, cable can provide a triple play package and cable can provide bi-directional services such as interactive TV (iTV) and Video On Demand (VOD).

Nevertheless, in the long run, I'm putting my money on AT&T U-verse (“Project Lightspeed”) fiber service as the ultimate in communications: faster internet, digital TV, digital phone service and Cingular cell service on one bill (a “quad play” package). It uses IPTV for the television portion and has the advantage over Verizon FIOS that they don't have to do a new cable run all the way to the house wanting the service, only to the subdivision. C'mon Mr. Whitaker, start upgrading the St. Louis region, please!

10. Have you ever ridden on a 4 wheeler?
I believe so, long ago. Definitely, and more recently, if you count a John Deere “Gator.”

11. Have you ever made a prank phone call?
Only to my grandpa (we use to bug each other on the phone all the time).

12. Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
No. I'm trying to wait on God about this one…

13. Would you go bungee jumping or skydiving?
Emphatic “no.”

14. Farthest place you ever traveled?
Timbuktu. Ok, not really; in reality my traveling is rather unimpressive, but I'll admit it: the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.

15. Do you have a garden?
Yes, but it's been taken over by vines.

16. What’s your favorite comic strip?
That's a tough one. Probably a toss-up between Drabble, Pearls Before Swine, Foxtrot and Dilbert. Which one depends on my mood.

17. Do you read a newspaper every day?
Yes, the Post-Dispatch. I shouldn't admit this, since I'd like to write for them again, but they're really ruining the paper with all of the ads in it recently.

18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?
Beyond the first verse, I have some gaps that require humming.

19. Bath or Shower, morning or night?
A combination bath/shower is preferable, IMO. I go with night only because I'm not enough of a morning person to make it anywhere on time in the morning if I bathed in the morning.

20. Best movie(s) you’ve seen in the past month?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). Late December/early January is my movie viewing time of the year, so I've seen a bunch as of late, but that was the best. Also notable was Holes (2003), Shrek 2 (2004, which I saw at the cinema), and Johnny English (2003, repeat viewing). The worst movie I saw during my movie viewing extravaganza? Guess Who (2005), which came highly recommended by several people. I only watched about an hour of it and then turned it off — it was moderately offensive and unamusing.

21. Favorite pizza toppings?
Supreme/Deluxe, usually. I like a pepperoni and onion if I get a Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, however. I've already talked about some of my favorite CPK choices above.

22. Chips or popcorn?
Depends. Usually chips, but movies go best with authentic theater butter and popcorn… I mean popcorn with butter.

23. Have you ever smoked peanut shells?
I'm with Christopher on this one — I didn't even know it was possible. For the record, I've never smoked, inhaled or otherwise been connected to any kind of smoking device (other than second hand smoke in a restaurant ;)).

24. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?
No. Are you nuts?

To be continued… tomorrow.

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