... 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.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The toddler's favorite song

"Teenagers" by My Chemical Romance.

Fortunately, he doesn't understand the violent undertones.

Also, we sub the word "shit" with "poop," which he finds friggin' hilarious.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How Huntington Sees West Virginia

Time to go back to the well for the sake of comedy, only this time with a decidedly more localized perspective.

Click here to see the full-sized image.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Fast Food Review: KFC's Kentucky Grilled Chicken

I've just returned from KFC with my free Kentucky Grilled Chicken thigh. I've been pumped about this for a couple of days and, judging from the turnout at the KFC closest to my workplace, so had a bunch of other people. Since I had to wait about 5 minutes for my KGC thigh, they even gave me a free drink to go along with my free chicken (+10 points, KFC).

When I opened the box, I was stuck by just how beautiful a piece of chicken this was. Crispy skin and grill marks are truly a sight to behold. The skin turned out to be just as tasty as purty: well-seasoned, crispy, and juicy (mmmm chicken fat). There was even a hit of a burnt flavor that can only be found on grilled meat.

Sadly, it went downhill once I got into the meat. The flesh was rather dry (something that I rarely see with thighs) and lacked flavor. If the meat is indeed marinated as advertised, they might need to let it soak a while longer.

I give the skin 4.5 out of 5 Secret Recipes, The meat 2 out of 5 grade school cafeteria baked chickens, and the overall product 3 out of 5 Crystal Pepsis.

Next time I wonder if they'll just let me get an order of the skin?

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Free Kentucky Grilled Chicken today @ KFC!!!

Kentucky Fried Chicken is giving away one free piece of their new Kentucky Grilled Chicken at locations today (April 27, 2009) nationwide.

I've accordingly planned my commute home to pass by every KFC in the Tri State.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cleveland Browns draft wishlist

Round 1: Either Michael Crabtree (WR Texas Tech) or Jeremy Maclin (WR Mizzou). With Kellen Winslow gone, Dante Stallworth in some legal trouble, and Braylon "Butterfingers" Edwards likely to be traded soon, the Browns need a viable primary receiving target for QBs Brady Quinn and/or Derek Anderson. I'm slightly partial to Crabtree, but it is only a 55/45 preference. I'd be happy either way.

Round 2 (Pick 36): Pat White (QB/WR/KR/RB West Virginia). Can we say "wildcat?"

Round 2 (Pick 50): The best defensive player still on the board.

Round 4: A defensive back with something vaguely resembling a work ethic. Right now, our DBs all hang out and play Xbox 360 while they are supposed to be on the field keeping Roethlisberger, Flacco, and Palmer in check.

Round 6: A value running back or another DB. Picking running backs with the potential to be productive at the NFL level is often a crap shoot. Many solid backs have been found this deep in the draft. If none are available, another DB would be welcome.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Ramp & Roasted Pork Soft Taco

The new batch of ramps are in and my first culinary experiment with this mess goes south of the border for some soft taco action. I used some leftover pork tenderloin cut into strips and pan-fried with some pre-sauteed ramps. I served them on a warm corn tortilla with some green habanero hot sauce, sea salt, and mild cheddar cheese:
Sorry about the crappy photo, but I can assure you that this is quite possibly the best use of the potent flavor of the ramson that I have ever personally prepared or even--dare I say---tasted.

I think I have a new signature dish.

5 out of 5 Third Generation Mexican-Americans from Logan County.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Blind Pilot: "Oviedo"

After hearing this song, the past ne'er felt so close or so distant.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

I wish I was in a faux French band...

like my new favorite band of the moment, Nous Non Plus. Then I could smoke a bunch of cigarettes and pretend to be an aloof asshole who has a misogynistic view towards woman without, you know, actually having to live in France and be a sexist douchebag. I could just pretend.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"I wanna dip my balls in it."

In honor of the teabaggers gathered around the country, here's Louie, "the guy who comes in and says his catchphrase over and over again," from the classic sketch comedy show The State.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fast Food Review: Burger King's TenderCrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

Well, after years of moaning and complaining on my part, Burger King has finally yielded and re-released the TenderCrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch sandwich (you may remember it from the excellent country/western-themed commercial starring Darius Rucker). This should be one of the happiest moments of my life.

Should be, but it isn't (yes, I'm that damn shallow).

Think about the last time you went to your old hometown to see your folks. Now, remember going into the WalMart Supercenter and seeing your high school crush AND her 5 kids AND that extra 120 lbs she has put on over the years? The TCBCR '09 is kinda like that for me: fond memories evaporated by the cruel bitch that is reality.

The most noticeable difference is the one that they put on the sign out front. The sandwich will now set you back $4.49 + tax. If my memory serves me, this is abut a dollar more than it did the last time around. I know that times are tough for BK, but they are for us, too.

Now I might be a little less upset if the quality of the ingredients was upgraded or at least maintained. That wouldn't be too much to ask, right?


The Hootie-era sandwich had red onions that have been replaced by white onions, if you are lucky. The one that I photograph had no onions at all (I guess "no tomato" means "no onion or tomato" in BKspeak). Regular ranch dressing, or at least a significantly less bacony dressing, seems to have replaced the bacon-ranch sauce of yore.

Don't get me wrong: this is still a pretty damn good fast food sandwich. However, when one takes into account that the quality of the last incarnation of the sammy and the fact that you would have had to have received a pay raise of, say, $55,000 in the past year to afford it, I have to call it a mild-to-medium disappointment.

3.5 out of 5 Super Manch's.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

More Flat Iron Steak Fun

This time around, I cooked a flat iron steak that had been seasoned with sea salt and fresh black pepper in a blend of sesame and extra virgin olive oils to somewhere between medium and medium well. I sliced it up and served the meat on some sourdough bread topped with pan drippings deglazed with balsamic vinegar and a baby lettuce salad on the side:

This was probably the best flat iron that I have made in some time. The sourdough flavor reacted well with the sweet-tart taste of the deglaze and the texture of the meat. Thank you, Kroger, for keeping this cut of meat in stock despite the economic meltdown.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 Alex the Butchers.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Six Free Wings @ B-Dubs!!!!

My Good Sense, my personal favorite freebie blog, has posted a link to a coupon for 6 free hot wings at Buffalo Wild Wings.

FYI: the Huntington location is on the 7oo block of 4th Ave, across from the courthouse.

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Friday, April 10, 2009


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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

9.5 Theses

In reaction to rumors that the Rev. Elvis Drinkmo has been selling indulgences for the forgiveness of transgressions against the Holy Starfleet Captains and the JLA in order to finance the renovations to his tub performed by Bath Fitter, I offer these 9.5 theses:

1. Every true DC Comictician, whether living or dead, has part in all the blessings of The Flash and the Church; and this is granted him by the Justice League of America, even without letters of pardon.

2. The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of Orion of the glory and the grace of Morn.

3. To say that the power ring, emblazoned with Drinkmo's arms, which is set up [by the preachers of indulgences], is of equal worth with the Ring of Alan Scott, is blasphemy.

4. Comicticians are to be taught that if Drinkmo knew the exactions of the pardon-preachers, he would rather that his new custom-fitted conversion shower should go to ashes, than that it should be built up with the skin, flesh and bones of his crew.

5. Hawkman remits guilt to no one whom He does not, at the same time, humble in all things and bring into subjection to His vicar, Worf.

6. It seems unproved, either by reason or The Prime Directive, that they are outside the state of merit, that is to say, of increasing love.

7. Injury is done the Starship Enterprise when, in the same sermon, an equal or a longer time is spent on pardons than on Capt. Kirk's Word.

8. It is said that even Batman, if he were now President of the United Federation of Planets, could not bestow greater graces; this is blasphemy against Martian Manhunter and against Capt. Picard.

9. Latter-Day Trekiologists are to be exhorted that they be diligent in following Admiral Janeway, their Head, through Borg Assimilation, transporter malfunctions, and the Delta Quadrant;

9.5. And thus, why are Star Wars and Marvel action figures soooo much cooler than those made for DC and Star Trek franchises?

Here I stand; I can do no other. Aquaman help me. Amen.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Frozen Food Review: Frank's RedHot Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza

In the WalMart frozen food section, I've recently seen several branded pizzas for sale, including a Frank's RedHot, a Dole pineapple, and a Tony Roma's bbq sauce. At over $5 a pop, however, I had always opted to stick with tried and true brands like DiGiorno, Freschetta, and California Pizza Kitchen. Wally World recently ran a sale, however, on the branded 'zas to around $3, so I figured I'd check out the Frank's and the Roma's (Dole was sold out). The first one that I ate was the Frank's (I was jonesin' some wings anyway).

As someone who isn't a huge fan of thin crusts, especially with frozen pizza, I was skeptical at first, but it did indeed cook to a perfect crispiness. The texture was truly awesome.

The sauce was too creamy instead of buttery. They really should have gone for a margarine-based wing sauce instead of the sandwich spread. That said, it just the right amount of heat for a Frank's-branded product.

The chicken chunks were too small and under seasoned and were sporadically placed here and there and the celery, while conceptually interesting, just ended up with a soggy texture that did little to advance the quality of the product. The blue cheese, while logical, often overpowered all of the other flavors, especially at the center of the pizza.

That said, I find myself picking apart a "good but not great" rather than slamming a bad product. While I cannot recommend Frank's RedHot Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza as an everyday pizza, it is certainly a fun change of pace product, the perfect accompaniment to a Bills or Sabres game, or a diplomatic compromise to an impending "pizza vs. wings" showdown.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 Jim Kellys and Grover Clevelands shoveling 6 feet of snow out of my driveway.

Here are some photos:

The box:

Ready to bake:

Fresh from the oven

Served up with some Frank's RedHot (my favorite hot sauce):

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Must. Collect. Them. All.

Wait, I already did, like 20 years ago.

Off to my parents' attic I go!!

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Serenity Now! (Dammit)

Things I'm trying not to let get all up in my business:

1. Burger King bringing back the TenderCrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch, God's own fast food sam'mich, during the Lent where I give up fast food.

2. WV Public Radio's douche-a-thon where some gits making 6 figs volunteer to interrupt my shows and try to guilt me into coughing over some dough that I don't have.

3. WSAZ's attempt to dampen the best newscast in the area with pseudo-populist outrage and dabs of corporate asspuppetry. Jessica Ralston, Marina Jurica, Will Jones, and Carrie Jones are just too damn good at their jobs to let the other crap get me too irritated.

4. The people across the street who park just in front or right behind my driveway instead of on their side of the road.

5. Del. Tom "Joe Lieberman" Louisos. In terms of gay marriage, you'd think a guy who made his fortune cramming foot-long weiners into mens' mouths would...oh, never mind.

6. Anyone bitching about Ed Schultz getting a gig on MSNBC. Finally, a cable news show for us on the politcal front line who, rather than sipping $6 latte's with people who agree with us on everything, are eating sloppy joes and shooting rats at the city dump while trying to convince friends that the "culture wars" are a red herring meant to get working class folks to vote against their economic self-interests.

7. Anyone who calls me out on having lost my serenity halfway through my first point.

8. Jackie Lantern, for being able to build kick-ass toys with his bare hands while I can barely assemble a pre-made, click-together TIE Fighter.

9. Frostop, for forcing me to order from a carhop rather than the window so I hafta feel guilted into giving him a tip, thereby allowing them to pay the poor sod only $2.13.

10. Me, for letting get me all judgmental over Tom Louisos (see above), a genuinely good man who makes a great hot dog.

11. The Cleveland Browns. At least this year I have no hopes to let down.

12. Bones. What a horrible f'n' show. So why do I keep watching it on Hulu?

13. People with OCD that conflicts with my OCD.

14. British anarchists. Every time more than one world leader is in the same room, they are compelled to smash windows and urinate on that statue of Churchill in Westminster. Jees, you'd think that they had just lost to Germany (again) in an important soccer match.

15. Mark Sanford. Apparently, earning the right to lose to Obama in '12 is more important than helping your impoverished state out of the gutter. That's leadership.

16. Star Wars prequels.

17. Kroger's choice to stop selling hoppin' john.

18. People on the Interstate who have their CD player or Sirius XM receiver set to the same frequency as WVWV or WOUL. Like I really want to hear Katy Perry or that Mad Dog guy. Ever.

19. The "Free A-Train" kid. Srsly, all of the injustice in out city, state, country, and world, and this is the battle that you pick? Try "No User Fee" or "Save Darfur" next time.

20. Marshall sports. We should forget about football, as we can't afford to have a good program without being a little dodgy in our dealing. Let us instead get behind Donnie Jones and build a solid b-ball program, which is within our price range.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

2009 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship Final Picks

Here are my Final Four picks:

1. UConn over 2. Mich. St.
1. UNC over 3. 'Nova

1. UNC over 1. UConn

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