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Taste Test: J&D's Ultimate Bacon Lover's Gift Pack: Part 1: Bacon Salt

Emerging from hiatus to share our latest adventure with food additives. A while back, Ryan found and ordered the J&D's Ultimate Bacon Lover's Gift Pack (how could he not??). A few weeks ago we cracked it open and performed our first taste test, starting with three of the ten varieties of Bacon flavored Salt. Other items awaiting us in the Gift Pack: Bacon flavored lip balm Bacon flavored envelopes (or MMM-velopes) Bacon flavored popcorn Bacon flavored sunflower seeds *Bacon flavored mayonnaise Bacon flavored ranch dip mix *Product most likely will not be sampled thanks to it's 2 day layover in our mailbox. Sorry folks, we'll eat a lot of gross things, but I draw the line at food poisoning.

USA v England with Legos

Somehow one's failure is only magnified when recreated in slow motion with Legos.

Taste Test: Soda Marinade Series: Part 3

We now conclude our tour of soda marinades. Last stop: A&W Sauce. Part 1 Part 2 Surprisingly, I'd say the A&W was the least offensive of the three marinades. Not that it still wasn't bad. Thanks to my helper tasters Steanso, Paul, Erin, and especially Ryan for braving all three! Ryan has ordered me a secret gift set that should provide an entire summer's worth of tasting adventures. You are in for a treat and I am....probably not.

Clean dog

I got all gung ho this afternoon to bathe the dogs. Lucy in particular, considering every time I looked at her recently I could practically hear the flies buzzing, was in desperate need of a dip in the tub. My plan was to get Scout in the bathroom first, because I wasn't sure if 1) She would actually go into the bathroom 2) She would actually get into the tub 3) She wouln't freak the hell out when I ran the water As it turned out, we barely covered step 1. She was frightened of the towels I had placed on the floor, and when I tried to lead her in by her collar, her defense mechanism was to hit the deck. Taking a different tactic, I went to get the mini-marshmallows to attempt to lure her into the bathroom. I didn't honestly think this was going to work, but it was worth a shot. After feeding her a couple of treats, I tossed one into the tub to see what would happen, but that only resulted in the sudden appearance of a black lab in the bath. I gave up and washed Luc

10 Years

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Tomorrow, the 28th of April, is Ryan's and my 10th wedding anniversary. Ryan and I met at a party my freshman year at Trinity University in San Antonio. I had been randomly placed with roommates (hi Shannon and Erica!) that had gone to high school with Ryan, who was attending the University of Texas here in Austin. Ryan was down in San Antonio for the weekend visiting his brother Jason, who was a fellow Trinity Tiger (rawr). We only chatted for a bit that night, and while I thought he was super cute, I didn't quite know what to make of this tall, *cough* slightly inebriated friend of my roommates who needed a tree for support and seemed to be trying to focus through my head to a point about a foot behind me. While subsequent meetings went much better than our first introduction, they were few and far between. I only saw him once more that year and twice our sophomore year, but he made an impression on me and I looked forward to our rare meetings. The stars finally alig

They are Watching

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Taste Test: Soda Marinade Series: Part 2

What you've all been waiting for: Part 2 of our Soda Marinade Taste Test Bon appetit (Part 1 Here )

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

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A post which deserves to be much longer will unfortunately be abbreviated because I am typing with only my left hand. Troubles strikes again! The elephant table that used to live in the bedroom got banished to the hallway to make room for the new exercise bike. I took one look at it there and said, "I'm going to smack my leg on that". Sure enough. The elephant heads that make up the legs of the table are right at shin level. I am now using my right hand to apply ice pressure to the leg. ANYWHOO Today is Ryan's birthday! We had a fun party for him this weekend and will celebrate more this evening. I hope he enjoys the alpaca I got him, although I don't think Scout likes it too much. Ryan, I hope you have a wonderful day. I love, love, love you and couldn't ask for a better partner in crime! Here is a great post from Chronological Snobbery listing Ryan's best posts on his retired League of Melbotis blog.

Oh, the Carnage

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I haven't done a dialysis post in a while, and it's been a semi-interesting week at the clinic, so here goes. If you are at all squeamish about blood, I'd skip part 2 of this one. We'll catch you next time. Part 1: So, Monday morning I knew right off the bat was going to be troublesome. My alarm went off, I couldn't find my glasses, and I slipped my hoodie on backwards so that the hood was covering my face. These two events incidentally are independent of each other. It's always dark when I'm getting dressed so the glasses wouldn't have helped. I ended up having to put my contacts in which I don't like to do before dialysis because it wastes time when I'm getting ready and on the off chance I can actually sleep during treatment, they make my eyes feel funny. Don't ask me what any of this has to do with how treatment goes and maybe I'm just superstitious, but it seems like something almost always goes wonky when I wake up on the wr

Nice day

Hello. I feel like I should post something since I haven't created a substantial entry in a few weeks. Not too much going on. We're almost to the end of Steans family birthday season. Karen, Jason, and I all have March birthdays and Ryan's is coming up in April. I had a very nice birthday weekend. We went to Peter Pan mini golf Saturday, at which Ryan most assuredly kicked my ass. The weather was great and we had a good time. After the golfing, we headed to Trudy's where Heather and I proceeded to get shnookered on Mexican martinis. Those things are deadly. Ryan and I are tentatively planning on executing Part 2 of the Marinade challenge Thursday night, so hopefully I'll have that ready to go sometime next week. What else? Not a whole lot. I think Lucy is hungry. She's looking at me like Stains the Dog: Hope everyone is having a good day!

Today is my Birthday

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Thanks to Nicole for the picture. I think it speaks for itself. Thanks also for all the good birthday wishes on Facebook, e-mail, and by phone. Also to my parents who came to take me to lunch. The best present is getting to hear from/ being able to spend time with friends and family today. Here's to year 35!

Happy Friday

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Happy Birthday to Jason

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Just a quick post to wish my brother-in-law, Jason, a Happy Birthday! I hope you finally figured out that people are not wearing green because they heard it was your favorite color. This traumatized kitty would also like to wish you a Happy Birthday. And also desperately wishes to escape the Phantom Zone.

Taste Test: Soda Marinade Series: Part 1

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You may remember this picture from a thrilling post I did about a trip to the grocery store: Well my friends, you are in in for a treat. Ryan and I recently purchased each and every one of the above mouthwatering soda marinades. They will be featured in our new taste test series. First up: Dr Pepper Marinade (Thanks to Nathan for pointing out there is, in fact, no period in Dr Pepper)

Oscars

I'm going to take another shot at this live blogging thing. I figure, if I'm going to already be watching the Oscars, I could at least be doing something moderately constructive. A word of warning. I'm not planning on editing this bad boy before I publish it, just so you know. I want to get to bed at a decent hour. The ceremony doesn't start for another 2 hours, but E Exclamation Point is covering the arrivals. It is apparently pouring rain so all red carpet activities are taking place under tents. Ugh, the E! (EEEEE!!!!) crew is so annoying I refuse to write about it. So the Oscars have a few changes this year. They are going with 2 hosts, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. This could go one of two ways: it could actually be funny because these are funny guys, or it could be a scripted banter/wild and crazy guys disaster. We shall see. The other major alteration is the expansion of the Best Picture category to include 10 films. My reservations here . I'm

Snow Day

SNOW

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OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG It's snowing!!!!! It is snowing in Austin, TX. I can't believe it. All week, the forecast has said snow and I said "PEOPLE, it is NOT going to SNOW." It never snows here. Ever. Not only is it snowing, it's snowing in FAR south Austin (we're almost to Slaughter), it's snowing big fat flakes and it's sticking. Somewhat. Well, now it's back to raining. Or maybe that's ice. But I did get to see a small bit of snow while it lasted and that was fun. Blizzard 2010
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Doug fixed my picture for me

Dogs

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My mom took me shopping today for my birthday (early shopping - it's more than a month away). In retrospect I'm really glad we decided to go to Barton Springs mall instead of the Arbor because of the plane crash situation. We were mainly looking for jeans, because my daily uniform consists of jeans and t-shirts and I don't know if I currently own any denim that's younger than 5 years. There's a reason I don't have any newish jeans: I hate shopping for them. Maybe it's because I'm rocketing towards middle age, but all the jeans now are totally ugly. They're either too faded or look like they've been mauled by tigers. So no jeans for me today, but I did find some other stuff. Thanks, mom! One of the shirts I tried on made me laugh. It was this t-shirt with a giant picture of a dog head. The only problem was that it looked a lot better as a flat picture and, well, I am not a flat surface. Let's just say the dog's face became a

Plane Crash

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is currently giving a press conference on the Austin plane crash that occurred earlier today and is scolding the reporters for their irresponsible journalism. As is typical in situations like this, there has been a good amount of sensationalism on the part of the news. CNN (which is national, but is a good example) is running it's coverage under an "ATTACK ON AUSTIN" splash screen. Chief Acevedo was clearly irritated that it has been suggested that this was not an isolated incident. One of the journalists could be heard arguing with him with information from "numerous blogs" and demanding how he could be sure. Really, guy? You believe heresay from Joe Blogger and not the police department, who has been on the scene all morning? Anyway, it was nice to see Acevedo giving him the smack down after that. After seeing footage of the site I honestly can't believe that only two people were injured. Eye witnesses are claiming

Turn on your Heart Light

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If you were reading Troubles back in 2008, you may remember that I had a procedure to determine whether or not I should get a defibrillator placed. The results indicated that they were able to get my heart out of rhythm and that a defibrillator was recommended. After about 3 months of mulling it over and not being able to decide, I realized my indecision was stemming from my resistance to the idea. I did not get the defibrillator. The reason I had this test performed in the first place was that I had had a series of results from previous, less invasive studies which were troubling to my cardiologist. These studies included a stress test and multiple Echocardiograms. An Echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart that helps determine your ejection fraction , which is basically a measure of heart function. More specifically: ejection fraction (Ef) is the fraction of blood pumped out of a ventricle with each heart beat - Wikipedia Healthy people generally have EFs of around 5

Groundhog Day, Lost, Radiohead

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This guy says winter's not over. No s@*#. Has Punxsutawney Phil ever NOT seen his shadow? Wikipedia says he's only predicted an early spring 14 times in 113 years. I think it's a pretty safe assumption for 6 more weeks of winter the first week of February. Especially this year which has been so chilly. The bright side of February is that it brings the start of another, but sadly last, season of Lost. I know there are a lot of people watching that are itching to get answers in this final season, but I'm just enjoying the ride. There is no possible way after this much build up that Lost can end with a satisfying conclusion. I've accepted that. But that's also not why I watch the show. It brings on a regular weekly basis better writing, acting, music and cinematography than you see in most movies. I will be sad to see it wrap up this year, but I also applaud the creators and ABC for knowing when to say when and wrapping it up before it gets tiresome.

Evil is a Girl Scout Cookie

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Morning, Troublemakers. I seem to be on the upswing from whatever yuck I had last week. The last of my fever went away Friday and I only struggled with minor aches over the weekend. Now all that's left is lots and lots of kleenex and a dry, hacking cough that is making me quite popular. It doesn't matter how discreet you try to be, when you are making that sound, people will politely back out of your radius. Sunday evening we were visited by one of Ryan's co-workers who brought over our yearly supply of Girl Scout cookies. I like that we're past the point of kidding ourselves. I know there were one or two years in there somewhere where we vowed to do good on our New Year's resolution of not eating junk and that included GS cookies, but we probably ended up getting at least one or two boxes anyway. A number of years ago, the Girl Scouts wizened up and completely got rid of the order form, pretty much rendering their sales pitch unnecessary. Lets be honest

Pet Pictures

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The Dream Team Why Scout so sad? Evil kitty stole her new pillow.

Dear China,

Thanks for clearing things up:

Sick

Bleeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh I've got the crud. At first I thought it was allergies, but the allergy readings haven't been that bad and my fever hit 101 last night. I had to turn on the AC and the fan in the middle of January. So, here's something Doug sent me. When I was a kid, we had an Atari 2600 and Colecovision. We thought Colecovision was the s#&*. The graphics were sooooo much better than Atari, because they probably added, like 10 pixels. My favorite game was the Smurf game. In my defense I was pretty young: Stupid fences We also had this game called Venture, which I would never play because I thought it was too hard and it scared me. No, I am not kidding: Stupid goblins I still liked the Atari, though, mainly because of Pitfall and Adventure: I could never get past the alligator pit without a rope You gotta love a video game where your character is a square Sorry for the sad sack post, but that's all the energy I've got. I'm goi

Catching up on Movies

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I've complained before about the dumping of quality movies around the end of the year for higher awards season visibility. My main beef is that the holidays are a horrible time for me to get to the theater. Since I seem to have very little pull with the film industry, I suppose I'll have to live with it. It is what it is, and I don't see them changing the system any time soon. Now that January has rolled around and I have more free time, I'm trying to catch up on some of the films I missed. I saw An Education last Thursday, Inglorious Basterds at home Friday night and Avatar in 3D at Alamo Drafthouse Sunday. Avatar is an amazingly gorgeous film. If you're going to see it, see it in the theater, and preferably in 3D. I'm kind of wishing now I'd gone the extra mile and seen it on IMAX. It's just all about the visuals, so I doubt watching it on DVD or Blue-Ray would do it justice. The story is fine, but nothing to write home about: + x + %

Dentist

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I just got back from the dentist. The left side of my mouth is numb, but it's mainly in the back so I can still feel my lips and tongue for the most part. He had to replace a broken filling that I just had put in 4-5 years ago. I really like my current dentist. He's close to the house, the staff is super nice, and he seems totally competent, which is always a plus. My dad just retired last year from his career as an Orthodontist. Prior to that, he was an army dentist. This meant that not only was I a guinea pig for my dad to straighten my effed up teeth, Doug and I had excellent dental care complete with yearly fluoride treatments. This was back in the days before they put fluoride right in your toothpaste so you had to swish it around in your mouth for a while. I believe it came in two flavors, Cat Pee and Battery Acid. After Doug and I left the nest, I kind of let my attendance record at the dentist slip a bit. The first time I went to another dentist was in Ar

Bright, Sunshiny Day

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Good Monday, citizens! I don't know what to call my collective group of 3 or 4 readers. League of Melbotis had Leaguers and Adventures of Steanso has Adventurers. Troublemakers? McSteanies? I admit, I am in a good mood today, primarily because I didn't have dialysis this morning. I'm coming off of a strange holiday dialysis schedule where everyone's days were shifted to give Christmas and New Years off to patients and staff. So this marks the first Monday in years that I haven't felt like crap. Hooray! Also? No dialysis tomorrow, either. It is hella cold here this morning, which caught me off guard when I glanced outside at the sunshine and ventured to the grocery store sans coat. My car thermometer informed me it was not yet 40 degrees out and I regretted my clothing choice. I hope it gets a little warmer, or at least stays sunny, because I have to get the dogs out of the house for walkies today, lest they drive me bonkers. Speaking of the grocery s

It Lives!

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Well, if you've been periodically checking Troubles the past couple of months and are shocked to see it open for business today, you can probably guess what my New Year's resolution is. I'm giving this blogging thing another go. Around October I kind of just ran out of ideas and went on a little hiatus. Hopefully I can get back in the swing of things, because I do honestly enjoy writing. I'd like to start on a somber note, by honoring my big orange friend Melbotis, who passed away one year ago today. I still miss my buddy every day and that's all I'll say on the matter for fear of getting verklempt and upsetting Lucy. I don't have any Earth shattering news, other than Scout thinks she's in the Great Escape and has run off into the wilds of Grand Oaks subdivision twice now. She returned to us relatively unharmed once by the kindness of strangers and once by the tenacity of my mother in the pouring rain. Sometimes I think I hear her throwing a