Thursday, April 30, 2009

Weekend vegetarian? Weekend hippie?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 10:32 PM


So after my panic attack over the dangers of eating red meat, I thought to myself: I'll only eat red meat, like, two nights a week and during the weekends, and I'll only eat healthy fresh vegetables and grains and tofu and horrible, dry, tasteless, vegan desserts."

And for some completely strange reason, the concept of being a "weekend vegetarian" reminded me -- this was almost like a flashback -- of an episode of the incredibly saccharine 1960s TV sitcom Family Affair.

God knows I hadn't thought of that TV show since August 28, 1976, when actress Anissa Jones -- who had played cute little pig-tailed Buffy on the series -- died of a drug overdose. It was a big news story for a few days.

But my flashback had to do with the episode titled "Flower Power," in which straight-arrow big sister Cissy goes out on a date with a clean-cut, blond-haired all-American boy named Garfield and he takes her to a "pad" in the "East Village" where his friends, all "cool cats," play guitar and wear, like, far-out clothes. While Cissy sits around, talking to the cool cats, Garfield briefly vanishes and returns wearing a dark Prince Valiant wig and groovy "flower power" duds. Cissy is stunned, but Garfield (who, in his clean-cut persona, bears more than a passing resemblance to alleged "Craigslist Killer" Philip Markoff) informs Cissy that he's a "weekend hippie."

Unbelievably, I discovered the "Flower Power" episode on YouTube tonight and found it to be much more bizarre and disturbing than I remembered. Of course, I was a mere child the last time I saw it, but the memory of Garfield, the weekend hippie, stuck with me for decades.

The show is hilariously awful, but the sitar music playing in the background of the hippie pad did make me hungry for a good Indian buffet. 

(Image via Flickr: hlthom4) 



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Go ahead and love red meat...until it kills you!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 9:22 PM


This New York Times story by Jane Brody, about the dangers of eating red meat, was exactly the wrong thing to read after eating a big fat double cheeseburger from The Burger Joint. My entire night was ruined. For the first time in 25 years -- ever since the night that I abandoned my strict 11-month attempt at being a macrobiotic vegetarian and in a fit of complete madness, ate five White Castle double cheeseburgers -- I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian again.

I mean, why give up the pleasures of smoking just to be struck dead by a medium-rare Kansas City Strip?


(Flickr: nofcna)

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Pitchfork to Life and Times: "6.9"

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 3:09 PM


Thanks to Back to Rockville for drawing our attention to the review Pitchfork posted today of Kansas City band the Life and Times' latest album, Tragic Boogie. The 'fork verdict is a 6.9 out of 10. And we know what that means. It means the reviewer secretly wants to lie down on the band ... upside down. ROFL!!!

Oddly, TLAT's previous album, Suburban Hymns, rated a 7.4 on Pitchfork in 2005. Perhaps we can take a cue from Idolator and look at the last line of each review to understand why our beloved band dropped .5 points in P-fork's estimation from Hymns to Boogie.

Continue reading »

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Shipp wrongful-death lawsuit thrown out

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 1:35 PM


We still don't know who killed Summer Shipp, who disappeared in December 2004 while conducting door-to-door surveys in Independence. Almost three years later, a couple of fishermen discovered Shipp's remains in the Little Blue River. And a month later, Shipp's daughter, Brandy Shipp, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, alleging that the marketing companies that her mother worked for were negligent and failed to protect her mother.

A federal judge dismissed the case last July. Yesterday, an appeals panel blocked the lawsuit, The Kansas City Star reported. "We will find out who did this to my mother," Brandy Shipp told the Star.

Hopefully, Shipp finds peace.

For more on the case, read former Pitch reporter Kendrick Blackwood's story on Shipp's disappearance.

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Is it iced-coffee weather?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:45 PM


Yesterday with the rain pouring down, I felt like a nice hot cup of joe. But first, I had to check to make sure my coffee was supposed to be hot. It was!

For those not in the know, is a Web site where the you enter a zip code and it tells you whether the weather is right for iced coffee.

There is no explanation just a big "No. Try it hot," like the one I got yesterday if the weather isn't right for iced coffee. If you live in place where it's hot like Tempe (85291) you might get a coveted one word answer of "yes."

The thing is, nobody can figure out how the Web site works and how it calculates what places are ready for iced coffee. As Slashfood points out, there is no "about" button or e-mail address to contact. It's as if the decelerations were coming from on high.

Of course there are several of these style sites on the internet -- Is it Christmas (no), Abe Vigoda's Status (alive!) -- that declare things with a curt yes/no but they're usually not complicated like having to know your zip code.

The current theory on this iced coffee site seems to be that any place over 70 degrees is "yes" and the rest are "no" but even though today's high is supposedly 72 degrees I'm still getting a "no" reading.

Of course you can drink iced coffee whenever you want but coming from a person who felt like iced coffee today, this site can oddly turn you off of it.

Once it does became iced-coffee weather, though, make sure you know the proper ways to brew it. Hint: Don't just stick in in the fridge.

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Free Black Lips feat. GZA MP3, "Drop I Hold"

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:44 PM

SXSW hookups usually consist of an out-of-town indie rocker going home with a townie for a one-night stand. But on the larger artistic landscape, strange things can happen. Atlanta garage rockers the Black Lips and Wu-Tang Clan maestro GZA met one afternoon of this past year's festival, at a Dickies-sponsored showcase. Later that day, the scraggly foursome and their rapper friend were on stage playing together at a Vice Records party. The collabo will be written indelibly into rock history's annals starting on May 5, when the Lips will release the iTunes-only Drop I Hold EP, featuring the Genius on the title track, which was originally released earlier this year on 200 Million Thousand. But you don't gotta wait -- or pay. Download the track below, courtesy of Vice.

Marriage made at SXSW: The Black Lips with the GZA.
  • Marriage made at SXSW: The Black Lips with the GZA.

MP3: The Black Lips feat. GZA, "Drop I Hold"

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Mo. Rep. shows up in a facemask on House floor

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Rob Schaaf
  • Rob Schaaf

Missouri state Rep. Rob Schaaf is quite the statesman. First, he says paying for health care for poor kids is akin to slavery. Then he doesn't really apologize -- only because he really loves his slavery metaphor. Now, Prime Buzz reports that Schaaf showed up on the House floor in a facemask because, you know, he doesn't want to catch swine flu.

Rep. Jason Brown wasn't laughing and chastised Schaaf. Brown is from Platte County, site of the first probable case of swine flu in Missouri.

Never one to let a bad joke (or metaphor) go, Schaaf took the floor, encouraged people to wash their hands after coughing and sneezing and told schoolchildren to stay away from the Capitol for a couple of weeks. His colleagues booed him and House Speaker Ron Richard rebuked him. Classy, Rep. Schaaf.

Here's hoping Jason Rosenbaum of Capitol Calling gets the audio, or better yet, the video.

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Guilty Pleasures: The Burger Joint

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:06 PM


A co-worker at The Pitch turned me on to the greatest new burger shack in town: the Burger Joint at 3212 Merriam Lane in Kansas City, Kansas. I fell in love with the place the minute I walked in and saw that they mix up milkshakes -- including hard-to-find flavors such as caramel, cherry and butterscotch -- with real ice cream, and that the cheeseburgers are nearly as big as the wheel on a wheelbarrow. The Burger Joint, which opens weekdays at 7 a.m., serves breakfast, too.

Owner Chris Lang's 14-month-old diner isn't very big: there's a counter with four stools and four tables in the pint-sized "dining room." There are a few outdoor tables, too.



For nearly a century, this building was a family-owned Dairy Maid (a popular soft-serve competitor to Dairy Queen in the late 1950s and '60s). Lang rented the building out for a while, but finally decided to run his own business and spent months cleaning up the place, putting shiny corrugated steel on the walls, fixing up the old grill, figuring out exactly what kind of dishes would sell well. I tasted a few of his top sellers, including the $4 taco deal (you get four and they're very good), the double cheeseburger (which is so thick you need two hands just to hold it all together) and the beefy chili, cooked with Kansas City-made Williams seasonings. A friend of mine, a true chili fanatic, gave it a resounding thumbs up.

Lang doesn't use frozen burger patties -- each burger is made with a third of a pound of beef. I could barely finish off the double burger, so I don't know how anyone could tackle "The Works," which has two burgers and two layers of ham and bacon, plus pickles, lettuce, ketchup and onion. There's also a Monster Chili Burger.

I haven't eaten breakfast there yet, but just wait -- I'll be reporting on that shortly. Is the place hard to find? No, once you pass the House of Rocks, keep going west. You'll smell the onions about a block before you get there.

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The Golden Ox turns 60 and goes hog wild!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM


Did you know that the Golden Ox now serves Sunday brunch? If you want to know a lot more about that, you can read my Cafe review in next week's Pitch.

If you want to know about this venerable steak joint's full month of 60th birthday festivities, read on...

On this Saturday, May 2, the first 60 people in line at the restaurant -- still in its original location at 1600 Genessee in the West Bottoms -- before 6 p.m. will receive a complimentary 12-ounce Kansas City Strip dinner. (This deal is all about being the first people in line -- reservations not accepted to get into the line!)

Next Saturday, May 9, every patron dining during the dinner hours will receive a slice of anniversary cake.

On Saturday, May 16, couples celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary will receive a steak supper for two in the Hoof and Horn Room. "They must bring proof of their wedding date," said the restaurant's spokesperson Pat Paton, "and make reservations."

The restaurant will offer -- from Saturday, May 23, through Friday, May 29, only -- a 6-ounce filet entree for $14.95 during the dinner hours. From Saturday, May 30, through Saturday, June 6, the Golden Ox will offer a 6-ounce filet and grilled shrimp dinner (including salad, baked potato, and garlic bread) for $19.49 during the dinner hours.

For more informatioon about the specials, call the Golden Ox at 816-842-2866 or click on



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Waste not, want not. The pizza box

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:00 PM

It's sad but true that many Americans are oblivious to the sheer amount of garbage our daily eating habits produce. Take something as simple as a hamburger from McDonald's. First there is the burger wrapper, then assuming the burger is carry-out, there is the paper bag. Inside the paper bag are several napkins and a ketchup packet or two.

That's four items right there straight into the trash. Or take an in-home product like American cheese where not only is the entire block of cheese encased in plastic but each individual piece has its own plastic sleeves. We have plastic protecting plastic!

A more glaring example is a pizza-box. Since they are big, encumbering and don't break down easily, people tend to notice that they are wasteful. That's why Eco Incorporated invented the first environmentally-friendly pizza-box called the GreenBox.

Not only is it made from 100 percent recycled cardboard, the GreenBox does double-duty as plates and a storage container.

There are several other benefits to the GreenBox not mentioned in the video.

Continue reading »

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