Nov 24
KFC: An Update
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Information has come to light which suggests that the prize in the below-mentioned “KFC Classic Catches” competition is in fact $1,000 worth of KFC product in a one year period.

It’s been a while since I’ve bought anything from KFC, but I seem to remember I liked the Zinger Burger Combo. This included a tasty “Zinger” Chicken Fillet Burger, regular chips and can of Pepsi. This cost about $6.00 from memory.

So, factoring in a price increase to $7.00 one could buy no less than 142 Zinger Burger Combos, that’s 2 or 3 every week over the course of a year. You’d even have a few dollars left over to buy a special treat on Christmas Day, such as KFC’s rich and creamy Choc Caramel Mousse (“layered with real chocolate flakes”!) 

Burger, chips and 15ml Pepsi

Nov 22
Killing From Calories
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I was watching the cricket yesterday when the Channel Nine commentators announced the new “KFC Classic Catches” competition. I forget the details of how to enter but the prize sticks in my mind: $2,000 cash plus a year’s supply of KFC.

This immediately raised two questions in my mind: firstly, how much KFC constitutes “a year’s supply”; and secondly, what is the $2,000 cash for?

How much KFC are they assuming a person will need in a twelve month period? Do they go to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and get data on the annual per capita intake of fried chicken amongst cricket-watching Australians? Perhaps they just assume one or two meals per week and then extrapolate, but surely this would leave the majority of chicken-loving Aussies unsatisfied. Or is it an “all you can eat” deal, where the winner is given carte blanche at any KFC outlet Australia-wide?

Either way, a year of complimentary fried chicken is hardly the sort of prize that should be offered in conjunction with an international sporting contest. I would like to see a “before” and “after” comparison of the prize-winner. I’d be very surprised if they hadn’t packed on a few kilos in their 365-day orgy of chicken consumption.

And then we come to the $2,000. Perhaps this is to cover medical bills for the (un)lucky winner? Cholesterol tests, stomach stapling and so on. How much liposuction can you buy for two grand?

The official KFC Nutrition Guide is vague on exactly how much KFC is too much, although it does give the recommended maximum daily intake of saturated fats for a typical adult as being 20 grams. KFC’s “Chicken Pot Pie” – whatever that is – contains 31 grams.

So if you should win the “KFC Classic Catches” competition I’d steer clear of the Chicken Pot Pie if I were you. Maybe stick to the nuggets, they’re much tastier.

Full of chicken-heady goodness!

Nov 19

I have before me a pile of concert ticket stubs spanning the last 23 years. Flicking through these old tickets now brings back some fond memories, but also makes me realise how much the cost of attending concerts has risen in the past two decades.

The first live band I ever saw was Queen at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on the 28th April 1985. I couldn’t hear for a week after and it cost $22. You could buy a Queen CD for that nowadays. Eric Clapton charged nearly ten times that amount for a decent seat at his 2007 concerts. (It was worth every penny by the way.)

In the interests of science I have plotted ticket prices for the concerts I have attended since 1985. This is only big-name, international artists – your Eltons and Stings and McCartneys and so on.

You’ll notice quite a clear upward trend in prices. You’ll also notice that I appeared to drop from the face of the earth between 1998 and 2004. Not sure what happened there. Perhaps ticket prices for the Sydney Olympics shocked me into submission for several years.

In fact, I can tell you that during those “lost years” I spurned the international “big names” and saw quite a few local bands for often a comparative pittance. Bands such as You Am I – the greatest band in the known universe, and one of the hottest live acts in recent times – tour regularly and always keep prices down. We recently saw them at the Metro Theatre in Sydney for a measly $35. This is what it cost to see David Lee Roth at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in 1988! A ticket to Tim Rogers at the Opera House Studio in 2002 was only 20 bucks!!

So give the superstars the proverbial finger … $150 to see Kylie Minogue? No way! John Mellencamp (with special guest Sheryl Crow) at Acer Arena for $151.25? Fark awf! Leonard Cohen, the senile old git, for $195.80? Get a dog up ya!

By the way, I would provide the raw data for the above graph were it not for my acute embarrassment at some of the artists involved. Has anybody heard of ELO Part II? No? Good. I also had the misfortune of seeing Elton John shortly before he entered rehab and got some new hair. It haunts me still.

Nov 10
Solar: A Day in the Life
icon4 Nov 10th, 2008 | icon2 Family | icon3Comments Off

Solar is our three-legged, diabetic cat. Below is his daily schedule of activities.

05:15 AM
Solar awakes.

05:16 AM
Solar begins screaming to be let outside. We can usually stand this for about 5 minutes before one of us gets up and opens the front door to let him out.

05:21 AM
Solar begins screaming to be let back in. Because his cries are muffled by the door we can put up with this for a half hour or so. 

05:45 AM
Solar is let back inside and begins his morning pre-breakfast routine. This involves climbing on the dresser and/or bedside tables and knocking off anything not nailed down (photo frames, lamps, books etc). Because he has only three legs he is not the most dexterous of animals. Also, his single front paw, when applied to the facial area from a height, exerts double the normal amount of pressure (in terms of pounds per square inch) than a non-disabled cat. Remember that pressure is a function of acceleration, surface area and mass.

05:50 AM
Solar begins screaming loudly for his breakfast. This continues unabated until he is fed.

06:00 AM
Solar receives his breakfast (approximately 2/3 of a cup of Science Diet Light Adult cat biscuits) and his morning insulin shot. He celebrates by diving face first into his food bowl, thus spreading its contents across most of the kitchen floor.

06:01 AM
Solar loses interest in his breakfast. He has more pressing matters to attend to, namely …

06:02 AM
Solar urinates impassively on the entranceway tiles. At this point he is usually carried forcibly outside or at the very least told in no uncertain terms that he is a little shit.

06:20 AM
Solar receives his morning treat of a bit of toast with Vegemite. 

06:30 AM – 05:00 PM
Varied activities, including but not limited to eating the remainder of his breakfast and then: a) lying inside the couch (literally – he crawls under and up inside a hole in the fabric); b) lying on the entranceway telephone table; or c) lying on the front deck on his cushion.

05:00 PM
Solar begins to make impassioned pleas for his dinner.

05:30 PM
Solar receives his dinner (portion same as per breakfast).

06:30 PM – 09:00 PM
Evening entertainment. Free time for Solar to do as he pleases, which is usually taking the night air on the front deck, where he can keep an eye and ear on his neighbourhood rivals.

09:00 PM
Bedtime. Solar takes his place on the bed and collapses into a deep, dreamless state. Sometime during the night he rises to take an enormous shit in his litter tray, which becomes his special greeting to us each morning.

Nov 5

Recently I heard that getting up during the night to urinate significantly reduces the risk of bladder cancer. This is great news for me, because I often rise in the wee hours (pun intended) and stagger off to the bathroom. But wait a minute, isn’t a good night’s sleep meant to be healthy too? So which should I choose: sleep through the night and die of bladder cancer, or wee every two hours and increase my risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease through lack of restful slumber?

We are bombarbed on almost a daily basis with new and conflicting medical advice. Sunshine is a great mood lifter and is required for the body to produce vitamin D. But don’t stay out too long or you’ll get melanoma and die. Have a glass of wine with dinner, it’s great for your heart. Have a second glass and before you know it you’ll be queueing up for a liver transplant. 

What’s ridiculous is that the supposed benefits of things like weeing at 3 AM are more than cancelled out by the many life-threatening activities we undertake in our daily lives. Things like crossing the street, smoking cigarettes, BASE jumping, or watching commercial television. This is why I refuse to go SCUBA diving or skydiving. I just know I’d fuck up somehow and kill myself. So anyway, maybe when it comes to midnight urination I’ll have an each way bet and wee every second night.