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    Entries in food (16)

    Thursday
    Jul042019

    REPRISE: The Best Introduction You Will Hear All Year

    NOTE: Today is July 4th Independence Day in the USA and that means only one thing - The Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest! Back in 2016, I was watching the annual contest and witnessed not only some unreal feats of eating but also became more appreciative and even awed by the contest Master of Ceremonies, George Shea. Shea is a fantastic showman and his 2016 intro of legendary eater Joey Chestnut was equally the stuff of legend and as in 2016 I was writing about just about anything that interested me, I featured Shea here on the blog. So here it is again from 2016.

    Have a great holiday weekend!

    From July 5, 2016

    This is the best speaker/performer/sportsman introduction that you will hear all year - maybe ever.

    It comes to us courtesy of the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest held on July 4th and delivered by Master of Ceremonies George Shea, as he introduced competitive eating legend, and former champion Joey Chestnut.

    Forgive the very shaky quality of the video embedded below (email and RSS subscribers click through), as it was recorded by me with my phone from a DVR replay of the event.

    Trust me, you want to give this a minute and a few seconds to watch/listen.

     

    Here's the full text of the intro, in case the dodgy audio was tough to decipher:

    Two years ago on this stage he asked his girlfriend to marry him. And then last year one week before the contest the wedding was called off. And then on the 4th of July he lost the title of World Champion. And he was beaten and he was broken and he was alone. And nothing that he owned had any value, and his thoughts had no shape and no meaning. And the words fell from his mouth without sound. And he was lost and empty-handed, standing like a boy without friends on the school yard. But then he remembered that he is Joey Chestnut. And there is a time for pain and there is a time for punishment. A time for doubt and a time for dominance. A time for forbearance and a time for fury. And there is never, ever a time for submission. Ladies and gentlemen, the former champion of the world here to take back what was once his  - Joey Chestnut!

    Did that bring chills down your spine, or what?

    Awesome.

    Why write about this, or bring attention to it at all?

    Because it is a perfect example of someone, (Shea), going the extra, extra mile. It is a master class in combining facts, context, emotion, and excitement to make his audience interested in and excited about what is about to happen.

    Because it is an amazing 1:15 showing a person (Shea) at the absolute top of his game. And not for nothing, shortly after this introduction, Chestnut went on to reclaim his Nathan's Hot Dog Champions title, (and Mustard Belt).

    The next time it is your job to introduce someone for a speech or a presentation you'd do well to watch Shea's introduction of Chestnut a few times to find some inspiration. 

    And the next time I get introduced for a presentation, I am going to demand that George Shea gets the job.

    Friday
    Jan252019

    Cool Job Alert: The Weinermobile Needs Drivers

    Looking to make a career change?

    Or maybe you are a college student scheduled to graduate this spring and wondering what your next move will be?

    Do you like (in no particular order), driving, public relations, marketing, and hot dogs?

    Well if so you are in luck - the iconic Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is looking for a new batch of drivers. Here are the details as reported on Mental Floss:

    Applications are being accepted for the one-year position now through January 31. Hotdoggers tasked with commandeering the Wienermobile will be responsible for doing media interviews and appearing at grocery store, military, and charity events across the country. The position is primarily a PR job, and candidates with a BA or BS in public relations, journalism, communications, advertising, or marketing are preferred.

    Carl Mayer, the nephew of Oscar Mayer, introduced the first Wienermobile in 1936, and today there are six vehicles on the road making 1400 stops a year. After disappearing for a couple decades, the Wienermobile was revived in 1986 for its 50th anniversary. Oscar Mayer hires 12 new hotdoggers each year and usually receives more than 1000 applications.

    The job comes with benefits and a competitive salary in addition to the impressive title. The new hires must be ready to hit the road in June of this year. for a shot at becoming Oscar Mayer's next Wienermobile driver, email your resume by the end of the month.

    Steve here, I don't have much else to add to this, other than to say if I didn't have a ton of other commitments this year I would absolutely toss my name in the ring for a spot as a Weinermobile driver. It just looks like an awesome job - traveling all over the country, passing out free hot dogs, getting to ride in one of the most unique vehicles ever created - what's not to love? Even the name of the job, 'Hotdogger' is super cool.

    I am going to follow the story this year and try to get an interview for the HR Happy Hour Show with one of the new lucky drivers this summer - if any readers have an 'in' with the Kraft/Heinz/Oscar Meyer people, let me know.

    And now I want to have a hot dog.

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Feb082017

    Over, Under, and Properly Rated #4 - Business Travel Edition

    NOTE: My current favorite sports talk show is the Russillo and Kanell Show that airs nationally on ESPN radio. On the show, the hosts occasionally do a 'rated' segment where they categorize sports teams, players, and other aspects of sports and pop culture into one of three buckets. 'Overrated' for things they think are generally praised or valued more than they should be. 'Underrated' for the opposite - things that do not get enough attention or accolades. And finally 'Properly' rated, for the things that receive about the correct level of praise or derision.

    It is a fun segment, complete with sound effects, and in the spirit of running out of good ideas this week, I am going to steal borrow for this site. So here goes, the fourth installment, of 'Over, Under, and Properly Rated' (SFB edition). I am going with a business travel theme this time, since I have been back on the road some after a January lull and also because I am pretty sure the world does not need another blog about employee engagement or robots coming for our jobs right about now.

    So here goes...

    Overrated

    1. The fun places you will see! - Writing this from a hotel room in rainy, damp, dreary Cleveland. That is not a knock on Cleveland, you could substitute Newark, Pittsburgh, or Dallas and it would be pretty much the same. At least half, if you are lucky, of the places you will travel for business are places you'd never go to otherwise. 

    2. Turn down service - Let me see, I had to jump to attention with a startling knock on the door so that someone could fold back the blanket a foot and a half and drop two milk chocolate squares on the night stand? No thanks. 

    3. The hotel indoor pool - Unless you are traveling with kids under 10, you will never, ever dip a toe in the indoor pool. Can that room smell any weirder?

    4. 'Comfort' Class - You just paid $59 more each way for 1.2 inches additional leg room. And one 'free' Bud Light.

    5. Going out for drinks/dinner with the local staff - Usually fun for about an hour. Then the locals are all thinking 'It's Wednesday night, I have things to do at home, when can I get out of here?', and you start thinking, 'I had to get up at 3:45AM to catch my flight here, I am about to crash hard. When can I get out of here?'

    Underrated

    1. Hotel in-room coffee makers - You might take these for granted. You might even think the quality of the coffee is terrible, (it is). But tell me how much you enjoy that 37th floor city view room in Vegas until you realize that there is no coffee maker in the room and you're facing a 18 minute trek and a 23 minute long wait at the Starbucks in the lobby.

    2. The chance that being around all those people in tight spaces like planes will make you very sick - The sickest I have ever been in my life was about seven or so years ago when I picked up the Swine Flu (remember that), after a quick two-day, one-night trip into NYC for business. I was knocked flat for 10 days, every muscle I had (not many) ached, and I don't think I got off of my sofa for more than 8 minutes a day. The illnesses you can pick up on a commuter flight to JFK are legion.

    3. The Sky, Admiral's, Captain's or whatever Club you use at the airport - This is the best travel investment that any regular business traveler can make, (yes, I would rate it higher than TSA Pre-check). Just one bad weather night and a 7-hour layover in JFK or LGA will make the $500 or so annual fee worth it right there. And it seems to me that the Airport Clubs are all getting nicer, while almost every other aspect of air travel is getting worse.

    4. Business/First class to Asia, (or anywhere else really far) - Another investment I would recommend, (even better if you can get someone else to fund this), is the splurge upgrade to Business/First Class for any flight you may have to take of 12 hours or more. Why? Because if you only take this kind of a flight once in your life, you will always remember it as the best flight you ever had. The last Business Class pod I had on a flight to China was bigger than my first apartment. And the food was much better too.

    5. Frequent Flyer Status - Things get a little better with 'Gold' status. Things get better still with 'Platinum' status. But things get much, much better with 'Diamond' status. Which it is why it is so hard to get. And worth every stopover in Detroit instead of flying directly to Chicago that you have to endure. If you are just starting to travel for business, pick one airline and stick with it. Cling to it like grim death if you must. You want status.

    Properly Rated

    1. Room service - Pros: It's food that someone brings to your room after you make one phone call. And you can eat in your bathrobe and no one cares. Cons: Overpriced, usually mediocre food.

    2. Rental cars - Pros: It is someone elses car! Let's do a neutral drop as we pull out of the Courtyard by Marriott! Cons: How do I turn on the headlights? Arghhh! That was the windshield wipers!

    3. 'Local' TV/news - Kind of fun to watch a different city's local news shows to get a little bit of the flavor of the place. But tempered by the fact that local car dealers and personal injury attorney advertising is just as annoying on the road as it is at home.

    4. The Hotel Gym - Often, you will be so bored and stir crazy in your room that you will work out more when you are on the road which is good. But, it is a hotel gym. You see some strange stuff in there.

    5. Eating at Chili's, Applebee's, or any other place you can eat at that is within five minutes of where you live - Sure, you feel like a jerk for eating at a nondescript chain place. But, it probably saves you at least 27 minutes of scrolling through Yelp trying to figure out if 3.5 stars means the same thing in San Antonio as it does in Des Moines.

    What do you think? Do I have it right? 

    Is this post itself over, under, or properly rated?

    Have a great day.

    Wednesday
    Apr062016

    Pies, ranked

    In collaboration with my HR Happy Hour Show Co-host, Trish McFarlane, we present the authoritative, unscientific, unresearched, subjective, and 100% accurate ranking of pies.

    10. Boston Cream - (Trish says there is some controversy if this is 'pie'. It is.)

    9. Banana Cream - A good way to introduce the fruit to an unwilling eater.

    8. Vinegar - this is a Trish pick - it involves custard not so much vinegar. It's a midwest thing.

    7. Apple - more for the nostalgia than the tasteVinegar pie

    6. Cherry - Cool drink of water.

    5. Lemon Meringue - How come there are not more 'meringue' pie types?

    4. Peach - Very underrated pie.

    3. Pecan - is 'Pe-can' or 'Pe-Kahn'? Doesn't matter.

    2. Pumpkin - deserves to be eaten more than once a year

    1. Key lime - 'I could eat this all day' - Trish

    As always, you can disagree with these rankings, but of course, you would be wrong.

    Friday
    Mar252016

    Easter candy, ranked

    In preparation for the imminent arrival of everyone's favorite Bunny, your entirely unscientific, unresearched, incomplete, and 100% accurate ranking of Easter basket candies:

    398 - Spiced jelly beans

    397 - 11 - <big list of forgettable candies>

    10. Solid chocolate bunny

    9. Lindt Chocolate Carrots

    8. Peeps

    7. Milk Chocolate Peeps

    6. Mini Robin Eggs

    5. Reese's Peanut Butter Egg

    4. Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny (the best part is the hard candy bunny eyeball)

    3. Cadbury Creme Egg

    2. Russell Stover Marshmallow Egg

    1. Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

    As always, you can disagree with these rankings but of course you would be wrong. 

    Have a great, long weekend, hope your basket is filled with whatever it is you love.