Milano Madness

When I was growing up in 70s and 80s, I loved Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies. They were the perfect mix of cookie and rich, dark chocolate. There were about six or eight other chocolate filled Pepperidge Farm cookies at the time, things like Brussels and Tahoe, but Milano were the best.

I lost touch with Milanos in high school, but rediscovered Mint Milanos in college. They had managed to take a perfect cookie and improve it by added the cool, smooth mint. We could buy these fantastic cookies on meal points, and boy did I buy a lot of them. Combined with 11:00 pm steak and chesse heroes and milkshakes, they did their part to support the Freshman 15.

Much time has passed, in fact I just got an invitation to my 20th college reunion coming up this Spring, and I have lost touch with one of my favorite childhood cookies. I have other favorite cookies that have other associations, but that’s another story for another day. Anyway, I was in the grocery store and noticed something called Black and White Milanos. These have one chocolate cookie and one white cookie. I managed walk on by these cookies, but it seemed like a good time to look up the varieties of Milanos.

According to Pepperidge Farm website, there are currently nine varieties:
Milano
Double Chocolate Milano
Milk Chocolate Milano
Mint Milano
Raspberry Milano
Orange Milano
French Vanilla Milano
Black & White Milano
Amaretto Milano

Plus Mini Mint Milanos

It seems that over the years, this perfect cookie has become gentrified and has grown up with its lovers. No self-respecting kid would ever ask for Amaretto or French Vanilla Milanos. I don’t think I would either. I would stick to the traditional or Mint flavors only, and leave it at that. These are not cookies to fan out while entertaining. They are just cookies. But good ones.

iPod Preferences

One of the best things about having a large (30GB) iPod is the ability to load box sets onto it. A couple of the collections I have are the Motown Set (4 disks) and the Police Box Sets (every released recording on 4 disks). But there is one box set that appears to be my iPod’s favorite: Velvet Underground. I have 4 of the 5 disks on my iPod, and I think almost every time I listen in Shuffle mode, a Velvet Underground song comes up.

I know you shouldn’t mess with the karma of the iPod and click to the next song, but sometimes I do.

Branded Monopoly

From the NY Times:

THE familiar tokens from the Monopoly board game are getting a modern — and, some might say, mercenary — makeover.

An updated edition of the venerable game, scheduled to be introduced on Thursday, will include tokens that are styled after name-brand products. Five of the eight tokens in the new Monopoly Here and Now edition will be branded, offering game players the chance to be represented by miniature versions of a Toyota Prius hybrid car, an order of McDonald’s French fries, a New Balance running shoe, a cup of Starbucks coffee or a Motorola Razr cellphone.

Punt, Pass & Kick


Today Peter participated in the local Punt, Pass & Kick competition. It was a fun and informal gathering for him and several of his sports-minded friends. He was one of 3 kids from his football team competing in the 8-9 Boys division.

He made a good attempt, but did not place in the competition. He had fun and got an official NFL certificate with all the team football helmets.

First Football Game


Peter had his first football game today. As he described it to a friend, “We got creamed 25-0.” This will be a very different year than last year. Peter has been playing back-up quarterback in practice, but did not take a snap during the game.

He only played on defense, mainly linebacker. He forced a fumble on one play.

As the coach said, this game points out what they need to work on.

Looking for the next bright idea

Last night I removed a light bulb from Grace’s light. It is a small fan light bulb, but that fits in a full size socket. It is the only use of this light bulb in the house, so we obviously don’t have another one. When we moved into this house, every light fixture had unique bulbs, which we have strived to standardize.

Anyway, I came downstairs holding the lightbulb and I laid down on the couch. I wound up falling asleep, tightly clutching the lightbulb. I woke up with my fingers stiff and wondering what I was holding and why I was holding it so tightly.

A tattooed short story

Meg said she wanted to get a tattoo. When I asked her what kind of tattoo, she said there’s a woman who has written a short story and it is being tattooed on volunteers one word at a time. She started a couple of years, but is not yet complete. If she would read all her email, she has enough volunteers, but she also said a new email might slide in ahead of others if she happens to read it.

The woman’s name is Shelley Jackson and here is her web site. The name of the story is Skin. I was interested because I went to high school with Shelley Jackson and it is possible that it was the same one.

This Shelley Jackson:

was extracted from the bum leg of a water buffalo in 1963 in the Philippines and grew up complaining in Berkeley, California. Bravely overcoming a chronic pain in her phantom limb, she extracted an AB in art from Stanford and an MFA in creative writing from Brown.

A podcast to check out


If you like audio fiction, and are into thrillers, a new podcast called Shadow Falls is just for you. This is a professionally produced audio story, written for this podcast. Many other podcasts stories are like audiobooks, where the author, or another single voice reads the story, but Shadow Falls use actors and sound effects to achieve a higher level of drama and tension.

There have been 3 episodes so far, so make sure you go back to the first one and start at the beginning.

For every light that shines… a SHADOW FALLS. Podcasting’s first professionally-produced original drama series, SHADOW FALLS tells the eerie tale of a remote Northeastern town that holds secrets some will kill to protect and others will die to expose. Settled 300 years ago by the survivors of a mysterious tradgedy, the people of Shadow Falls have become pawns being used by two supernatural forces seeking to win a war older than time itself, a war which many believe could trigger the Battle of Armageddon, and wipe out humanity as we know it.Those with alliances believe the time has come once again for the cycle to begin anew as two young women have vanished just as a pair of very mysterious strangers have come into town. This time, they believe this war will finally be decided once and for all and all their toil and sacrifices will be rewarded. What they don’t know is that they’re wrong.Dead wrong.Spun from the wicked mind of author and screenwriter Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff, SHADOW FALLS is a fully-immersive and addictive mystery that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for mercy.Just don’t expect to find mercy here.

Here’s the iTunes feed. Go here if you need other feeds.

What a way to describe wine

In a review about Valpolicella, an Italian wine, in the London (ON) Free Press, the reviewer stated:

What I love most are the contradictions in the wine — is it love or war? Is it a kiss on the lips or a kick in the arse? The answer is it’s all of these.

So the next time I go to a wine store, I think I’ll ask the clerk, “Do you have something that is a kick in the arse?”