... A Sour Apple Tree

Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.

Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Friday, February 29, 2008


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Thursday, February 28, 2008


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

...ASAT grocery store death tournament, round 4

1. Barboursville Kroger vs 10. Julian's

Julian's sure has had a hell of a run. Their specialty products and convenient South Side location have made sure that it comes out ahead of many of the large supermarkets in the Moneyton area. Unfortunately for Mr. Saad, the little gem has met its match in the finals. Barboursville's Kroger is simply the best place to shop for groceries in and around Huntington. They offer a wide selection of specialty items, they double coupons, and they run weekly sales. Julian's just cannot compete on price and variety.

Congratulations, Kroger of Barboursville, you are the top grocery store in the Huntington area.

Update: The H-D ran a story on the B-ville Koger in the 3/2/08 edition.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Link dump

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Fake ...ASAT Oscar Ballot, Part 2

Quick note: keep in mind that these are my fake votes and not actual predictions.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose (La môme)
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

'Cause it's her turn.

Best Actor
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

I cannot recall a stronger set of nominees since the 67th Academy Awards slate for best picture (Forrest Gump, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, The Shawshank Redemption). My vote goes to Day-Lewis by a nose, but I wouldn't too shocked if Jones pulled a minor upset and won.

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman, Juno
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Reitman did a kick-ass job with Juno and, any other year, he would have my vote. But this year the Coens, two of our best directors, did arguably their best work with No Country...

Best Picture
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

No County is, in my opinion, the best movie made since The Shawshank Redemption (note: if you were an Academy Award voter in '94 and voted for Gump over Shawshank, then fuck you). That being said, I don't know if I ever want to see it again. Yup, it's that damn good.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good food, bad service at Moe's Southwest Grill at Pullman Square

As requested by Donutbuzz a few months ago, I finally got around to checking out Moe's Southwest Grill's second incarnation at Pullman Square a few days ago.

The food was great. Everything was hot and fresh and, with their assembly line approach to food prep, the hots stayed hot and the colds stayed cold. If there is one complaint, the food needed salt. Lots and lots of salt. If there is another, it would be the the salsa verde SUCKS. I think that someone added some of that Bitrex stuff to the batch.

The service, though, was helluh-weak. No one seems to know how much more guac or sour cream will cost (they had to look at the menu) and the person working the register (who totally should have been wearing her sign) tried to charge us for an extra meal and got testy when I called bullshit on her.

I give the place 3 out of 5 globs of over-priced sour cream. The food was rockin', but the service was suckin'. My advice: wait a few more weeks until they have all of the bugs worked out and/or morons fired and go when it isn't super busy.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fake ...ASAT Oscar Ballot, Part 1

Well, it seems like yet another major award academy has forgot to mail out my ballot, this time despite my deleted deleted scene as an extra in We Are Marshall. Well, here is the ballot that I scribbled on a Penn Station Subs napkin and mailed to Price-Waterhouse-Cooper anyway.

Best Animated Feature
Surf's Up

Ratatouille is one of the best films of the year, period. The animation is phenomenal, the voice acting precise, and the overall story is sweet without getting sappy. In fact, if this award didn't exist, I am almost certain that the film would have received a nod for Best Picture.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Atonement, Christopher Hampton; from Atonement, novel by Ian McEwan
Away from Her, Sarah Polley; from "The Bear Came over the Mountain", short story by Alice Munro
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Ronald Harwood; from Le scaphandre et le papillon, memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby
No Country for Old Men, Joel and Ethan Coen; from No Country for Old Men, novel by Cormac McCarthy
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson; from Oil!, novel by Upton Sinclair

NCFOM stays true to the feel of the bleak novel while allowing the Coens to leave their mark on this epic.

Best Original Screenplay
Juno, Diablo Cody
Lars and the Real Girl, Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille, Brad Bird
The Savages, Tamara Jenkins

The hip choice is Diablo Cody, but I'm partial to Bird's take on the rat cartoon. The storytelling and dialogue are perfect and lacks the forced-cleverness of Juno's sillier lines like "he's good in chair."

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Sometimes actors give a powerhouse performance, but bear no resemblance to the real person (Anthony Hopkins in Nixon) while, at other times, they will do a dead-on impersonation without doing much in the way of acting (those Amy Fisher telefilms). Blanchett, in her turn as the superstar-era Bob Dylan, does nails both the person and the sentimentality of the part. She does a better Dylan than Dylan and really gets at the heart of what it meant to be an artistic counter-revolutionary in the mid-60's.

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Bardem's Anton Chigurh is the single fucking scariest movie character that isn't a killer shark or isn't a Sith Lord. If he doesn't win, it will be the great screwjob of this Oscar ceremony.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A "WTF?" Moment at Kroger

I was checking out the beer section of the 5th Ave Kroger the other day and came across an unusual item: a can that contained a mix of Budweiser, Clamato, lime juice, and salt.

Um, wtf?

Well, it turns out that "chelada" (or "michelada") is essentially a bloody mary made with beer instead of vodka and has been popular in Mexico and the Southwest since the 1940s. Miller Chill is meant to be a similar offering, only lacking the tomato juice. My guess is that, as demographics in the country shift, the big breweries are trying to keep up with the demands of a changing marketplace and this is an attempt to reach out to the Mexican-American consumer. The folks at ratebeer.com, however, are having none of it. With the exception of some guy from Texas, the product seems to be universally despised ("tastes like spaghetti water," "didn’t realize vomit was available in cans").

As a fan of bloody marys and culinary masochism, I'm gonna grab a can this weekend and see how it tastes. I will, of course, post my results on ...ASAT.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

The Digital Switch, Now One Year Away

We are officially less than one year away from the February 17, 2009 switchover from analog to digital terrestrial television signals and, as you may know, there is still a fair amount of confusion regarding the process. The FCC and the Department of Commerce seem to be passing responsibility for educating the public about the change back and forth like a passion fruit flavored blunt, so ...A Sour Apple Tree is here to offer up a primer as the big day draws near:

If you have cable or satellite TV:

  • No worries, the switch should not affect you at all.

If you get terrestrial broadcast signals using an antenna and a digital-ready television:

If you have an older, analog TV and you do not subscribe to cable or satellite:

  • Buy a new digital TV
  • Subscribe to cable or satellite TV.
  • Buy a converter box and a UHF antenna. You can go to this website and request a $40 certificate for the purchase of said box.

Other sites to check out:

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Congrats, Kosovo

Nothing says "welcome to the club of nation-states" like some George Michael:

(Serbia and Russia are the Andrew Ridgeleys here, BTW).

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cliff Jumping at Summersville Lake

Here are some youtube clips of people jumping off of the cliffs at Summersville Lake, which is one hell of a rush. Note that it is now illegal, so don't do it or something. Like, ever. ...ASAT encourages everyone to obey all laws, even the stupid ones.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2008 Candidate Website Directory

Here is a directory of all candidate websites for campaigns appearing on the primary ballot in and around Huntington. Check back regularly for updates (this page will be linked in the sidebar). For a complete list of candidates, click here.

Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama

John McCain
Ron Paul

Mel Kessler
Joe Manchin

Russ Weeks

Secretary of State
Billy Wayne Bailey
Joe DeLong
Natalie Tennant

Charles Minimah

Attorney General
Darrell McGraw

Dan Greear
Hiram Lewis

State Treasurer
John Predue

State Auditor
Glen Gainer III

Commissioner of Agriculture
Gus Douglass

US Senate
Sheirl L. Fletcher
Billy Hendricks Jr.
Jay Rockefeller

Jay Wolfe

House of Representatives (WV 3)
Nick Joe Rahall

Marty Gearhart

Supreme Court
Bob Bastress
Mennis Ketchum
Spike Maynard
Margaret Workman

Beth Walker

Mayor of Huntington
Bob Bailey
Shawn Bresnahan
David Felinton
Lucille Wight

Kim Wolfe

(More to come)

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Monday, February 11, 2008

...ASAT grocery store death tournament, round 3

1. Barboursville Kroger vs 5. South Point WalMart

The lack of a sales tax on food in Ohio has helped the SP WM get this far in the tournament, but, alas, cannot get it past the #1 seed. Bvillle's Kroger cannot be denied of its ticket to the finals; the sushi bar, the gourmet cheeses, sale prices, and the double coupons just will not let that happen.

10. Julian's vs 3. Rt. 60 WalMart

Yet another upset for the tiny mom 'n pop shop. This store, in addition to being the cornerstone of Huntington's South Side and Fairfield West neighborhoods, is truly the last of a dying breed. The Rt. 60 WalMart is ok, but they refuse to be annexed by the city and they ship their profits back to Arkansas. Meanwhile, Julian's continues to do more than it's fair share to keep the culture and economy of Huntington sputtering along (that, and the homemade sausages and hummus are to die for).

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Another WV Public Radio story on NPR

On Friday's All Things Considered, NPR covered yet another story from West Virginia Public Radio. This time, they featured Anna Sale's report on the possibility that 3/5ths of our state Supreme Court (il grasso, il pazzesco, il marionetta) might have to recuse themselves in cases involving Massey Energy.

With all of the exposure they have been getting, we should probably enjoy Scott Finn and Anna Sale's top-notch journalism while we can. After they leave for bigger and better things, we'll all be S.O.L. in terms of getting half-decent, non-softball news.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Buy a Dyson

After saving up for a few paychecks, we finally bought a Dyson. When we got it home, we ran the old upright over our living room rug and then swept it again with our new vacuum. Here is the result of the second pass (the first with the Dyson):

That totally creeped me out. How the heck did we ever get by without one of these?

Money well spent, in my book.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Conway Twitty: The Man, The Myth, The Cherry-Poppin' Daddy

No one, and I mean no one, moistened the panties quite like Conway Twitty did back in the day. In fact, many West Virginians owe their very existence to Conway and a bottle of Thunderbird.

Here are some of his classics:

"The Rose"

Wow, Bette Midler is totally his bitch.

Whenever I hear this, I think of that scene from Napoleon Dynamite where the "Helping Hands" club signs this song. You know, if I had a nickel for every time I've seen this song performed in sign language, I'd totally go buy a Vault Zero.

"Hello Darlin'"

One of my buddies was a firm believer that "once you nail a chick, you can hit it again, whenever, forever," While I doubt it would be true for me or him, you bet your sweet Aspercreme that Conway could pull it off. In this tune, Twitty is trying to recycle some poon from a few years back. My guess: he scores.

"Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"

"Hey baby, I'm from Mississippi and you're, like, from Louisiana. Wanna do it? uhuhuhuhuhuh."

"You've Never Been This Far Before"

Finally, my all-time favorite Conway Twitty tune. Our hero is totally about to bang the bejesus out of a virgin (+10 points under Spur Posse rules).

Any time that I have ever heard an old relative gripe about how music today is full of sex and filth, I make it a point to flip through their record collection and, with one exception, this song has been present. Fucking hypocrites.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How very prophetic...

Who knew---at the beginning of the season when it was released---that this figure would be a stunningly accurate depiction of LaDainian Tomlinson's contribution to the Chargers come playoff time:

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Live blogging the WV GOP convetion feed

I've been listening to the live feed of the GOP convention from WSAZ. Here are some updates, as they happen:

Update: Ron Paul got huge pops from his small but dedicated crowd.

Update: There was a hint of desperation in Romney's voice. He knows that he needs this. WSAZ's Scott Saxton says that most of the national press left after Romney finished.

Update: There were a good bit folks heckling fmr. Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, John McCain's surrogate, from the ignorant redneck faction of the state GOP. Don't reinforce stereotypes, folks (Saxton is blaming the Paul folks. Figures). That being said, Roemer was less than inspiring and McCain must know that he really doesn't need these 18 delegates.

Update: Huckabee went from the charming, folksy preacher to a "they're gonna kill us all" fear-monger without skipping a beat. He even used the word "Islamofascism." He also came this close to calling the Saudis "Sand People." He is also using lots of populist rhetoric on immigration (outsource it to UPS), the "fair tax" (so that drug dealers pay taxes), guns (they keep us free somehow), abortion (Thomas Jefferson would somehow oppose it), and gay marriage (teh gheys are bad). His speech was over with the crowd, though, and he might just steal this thing from Mitt.

Update: It is 11:15 and the first round of voting is about to begin.

Update: The WV blogosphere's own Crystal is there as a delegate. I can't wait to read her eye-witness account of the event.

Update: At 11:29, the podium announced that there are some problems and the live county-by-county roll-call vote will start in 5 minutes.

Update: I see white people.

Update: 11:38 sees the convention back in session. The roll call is about to begin.

Update: Highlights so far include Berkeley going big for Romney, Boone going for Paul, and Cabell going huge for the Huckster.

Update: Romney seems to be in the lead, with Huckabee in second, and McCain and Paul pulling up the rear.

Update: Jefferson County loves Ron Paul. And Kanawha likes Romney. And someone sucks at math....

Update: WSAZ is flubbing up and we can hear Michael Wooten's chit-chat instead of the delegate counts. Bummer. We can also see him primp for his live update, as it is almost time for the Noon newscast.

Update: WSAZ needs to get used to the whole live feed thing. The same thing happened before the press conference regarding the murdered Marshall student a couple of months ago.

Update: Now some old white guy is just standing there with a mic. Again, no sound from the podium. Grrr. Now he is talking, my guess is that he is from the Parkersburg station owned by Gray Communications.

Update: ...And the feed is back with Pleasants County. People keep saying "Hucklebee," by the way.

Update: It looks like Paul will be the first one knocked out of the race.

Update: 12:23 and they are taking a break to tabulate/urinate. They haven't zoomed on the total, but I think that Paul is done. We can hear Amanda Barren and Michael Wooten discussing the feed. For some reason, Barren didn't want to do it. And they just realized their boo-boo. Also Saxton has confirmed that Paul is toast. There will need to be a second round, with Romney having a big lead (464) and Huckabee (375) in a solid second place. McCain lags in 3rd with 176 and Paul is knocked out with 118. They are now taking a 1 hour break.

Update: As the delegates lunch, there will surely be some deal-making. I have no idea who the Paul folks will vote for, but I'd imagine that the Huckabee folks will be courting the McCain people hardcore as they look to keep the delegates out of Romney's hands, as it is almost certain that McCain will be knocked out in the next round.

Update: Some notes on the GOP Convention. It will be a winner take all deal, with the first person getting 50% +1 of the state delegates getting 18 or WV's 30 national delegates. The lowest vote getter in each round is knocked out. Right now, Paul is gone and, even if all of his voters went to the McCain camp, he still would not have the votes to survive the third round. It'll come down to Romney vs. Huckabee, so expect some strategery over the next 40 minutes until things pick back up at 1:30.

Update: A warm WV welcome everyone dropping by from RedState.com. Please pardon my lame left-of-center attempts at humor. I'll try to get you the straight dope on the convention though, so hang with me, as I'm as curious how this is gonna turn out as y'all are. And, to reply to some comments on that site, no, West Virginia is NOT a southern state. We are the home of Yankee charm and Southern efficiency. :)

Update: It is 1:18, less than 15 minutes until round 2. I gotta wonder if the Paul supporters will stick around or if they have already left to go to the titty bars in Jefferson.

Update: It is 1:33 and the live feed from WSAZ.com has yet to resume. My guess is that everyone is trying to eat one last hot dog from Chris' or Romeo's.

Update: 1:40 and we are live again. They are plugging Jay Wolfe, the likely token opposition to Sen. Rockefeller.

Update: 5 minute delay due to people lallygagging around with necessary paperwork. Someone (the emcee, I think) just said "I'm Ted Kennedy and I'm going to vote for Osama bin Laden," thinking that he couldn't be heard. Always remember to beware of hot mics, dumbass.

Update: It is 1:50 and the roll call is starting. The delegates have been warned for the stupid county introductions. Early counties look like McCain voters are going for Huckabee already, as are many Paul supporters. AND STOP SAYING HUCKLEBEE!!!!

Update: It looks like the Huckster could win this round of voting and take the delegates, thereby keeping them out of Romney's camp. Good strategy by the McCain people.

Update: Wow, there is a Republican in McDowell County?

Update: McCain supporters might be doing as much for their candidate by voting for Huckabee as they would for him if they had actually managed to win this thing. It'll be a real momentum killer for Mitt "da Shit" if they can throw this to Huckabee. Scott Saxton confirms that Huckabee has the numbers to win.

Update: Huckabee is starting to pull away, even without Saxton's prediction and someone finally spoke up about the "Hucklebee" business.

Update: At 2:11, there is a five minute break to tabulate votes. It looks like they are trying to figure out if Huckabee has it clinched.

Update: It is 2:15 and Saxton says that they are getting Huck's surrogate ready to accept. He should thank McCain's supporters for their tactical voting. They won it for Huckabee.

Update: It is 2:20 and we still wait... While we are killin' time, check out West Virginia's official tourism site. Please. We need the money. :)

Update: It is 2:28 and we still wait for official word, but CNN has given the convention to Huckabee, as has Fox.

Update: Huckabee's win has to piss all over Romney's cornflakes, as he was counting on the WV bump to give him some mo' going into the primaries of the bigger states. Meanwhile, Huckabee can keep his head above water just a lil' longer and, somewhere, McCain has to be busting a move.

Update: Gavel drops at 2:35, Huckabee has formally been declared the winner, and Steve Harrison (a former State Senator, I believe) is accepting on his behalf. He is giving the usual party unity stump speech.

Update: The convention was closed at 2:39. Thanks to everyone who dropped by to follow ...ASAT's coverage of the WV GOP convention. Thanks to RedState.com and DailyKos for the links and WSAZ for the Internet feed.

Update: It looks like Romney is having a behavior over McCain's "dirty tricks" and collusion. TS.

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Super Duper Tsunami Tuesday Action Round-Up of Doom!!!

  • The WV GOP is getting in on the hot Tsunami Tuesday action with their convention today. To me, this reeks of disenfranchisement, but at least they are doing it to their own and not inner city blacks in Ohio or elderly Jews in Florida this time 'round. It is also bringing in three of the four big-name candidates (Romney, Huckabee, and Paul) and fistfuls of cash, so I sort of see where they are coming from. My guess is that Gov. Flip-Flop McGreatHair will win over the Huckster in the final round of voting and give him some much-needed rampartment as he seeks to stop the McCain juggernaut from wrapping up the nomination today. (Update: WSAZ is posting updates from the convention via cell phone)
  • That being said, look for McCain to clean-up big time today. Romney will have to do well in California, Massachusetts, and Utah and pick up the WV convention if he wants to keep things moving along. I also suspect that Huckabee will do no better than winning 2nd in a couple of primaries and eventually drop out in favor of McCain (and a shot at the Veep nod or a cabinet post).
  • With the Democrats, the proportional system of delegate allotment could leave the race a toss-up going into the later primary states. If women in California were swayed by Maria Shriver's endorsement of Obama and the weather remains pleasant over much of the country, look for him to come out of Super Tuesday with a slight edge. Otherwise, Clinton might have a lead thanks to support in the NY/NJ area and the meat 'n potatoes fly-over states. My guess is that the race will be settled on the 9th with Washington & Louisiana or the 12th with Virginia & Maryland. If neither side has ti sewn up by then, look for the campaigns to move toward heavy courting of the Super Delegates (elected officials, etc.)
  • My prediction is, that by the end of the night, McCain will have things damn-near in hand while the Democratic race will be as murky as ever, with HRC holding a slight advantage.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Barth for Congress

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Friday, February 01, 2008

...ASAT Super Bowl pick

Patriots will beat the Giants and go 19-0. I know that NY has the same sort of mo' that the Steelers had going into XL a couple of years back, but the Pats ain't the Seahawks and Tom Brady ain't Matt Hasselbeck, so look for NE to hold off the insurgency. That being said, look for the Jints to beat the spread and make it one hell of a game.

Final score: NE 27, NY 23

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