2014 National Cheese Dip Competition


cheese dip research, 11-8-12, 2A couple of the Buffet o’ Blog staff attended the National Cheese Dip Competition this year.  Let me just say it was AWESOME!  And let me also add that next time attendance is required for all Buffet o’ Blog staff — just because you don’t want to miss it.

Perhaps I should quantify my opinion.  It wasn’t like a carnival or state fair — there were a few side activities and music, but the primary event was trying lots of different cheese dip recipes.  If that sounds like a good time to you, then you should definitely go.

There were around 15 entries in the competition, including both amateurs and professionals.  Fortunately, there was plenty of cheese dip to go around, at least while we were there.  And all but one of the cheese dips were good.  The one that failed was trying to be healthy — which may not have been the whole problem — but it was both too liquidious (runny) and grainy at the same time, somehow.  Perhaps just that one batch was messed up, because I can’t see them entering that.

I think the amateurs outperformed the professionals in the competition, and I even voted for an amateur group.  When the final results came out, my choice didn’t win, but I don’t think the voting results are necessarily fair.  Each person who attends the competition gets two votes.  However, additional votes can be purchased, which is where I think it’s not fair.  For a restaurant entering, it would be worth investing several hundred dollars for more votes, in the name of advertising.  Being able to display the championship logo and advertising that you won the National Cheese Dip Competition is a big deal!  That will result in more sales, no doubt.  For amateurs, a group with more money can sway the votes in their favor.  So I don’t pay much attention to who won.

Most of the entrants were from around this area, but one group was from San Francisco.  I learned that most people there don’t know what cheese dip is, but a guy from Jacksonville, AR, married a woman from San Francisco, moved out there, and told them they should sell it in their restaurant.  On a related note, all of the entrants were friendly, and it was just non-crowded enough that you could talk for a bit with them, which made the experience more fun.  We enjoyed asking them what made their cheese dip special, or what the secret ingredient was — we received some amusing answers.

Overall, I would give the event 4.5 stars out of 5.  The only real knock against it is that they didn’t have sweet tea.  (Hello, we are in the South here!  Besides, tea is very profitable.)  At least the bottled water and other beverages were affordable.

Speaking of profitable, all proceeds were donated to a group that performs medical services for those who can’t afford it.  That’s admirable.

Also, if you’re wondering why the National Cheese Dip Competition would be located in Little Rock, Arkansas, I’ll explain that in the next post.  :)

car commercial with Bo & Luke Duke


I realize many people don’t watch TV commercials anymore, or at least try to avoid them.  Many commercials are dumb and annoying.  However, every once in a while someone creates an awesome commercial, and the one below may be the best commercial of all-time.  The premise is AutoTrader helping Bo and Luke Duke find a new car.

If you aren’t familiar with the characters, they’re from The Dukes of Hazzard, which was an awesome TV show of the ’80s that you should check out.  It was much better than the movies.

And there’s no way they’d replace the General Lee, even with a Viper.  Imagine how the Viper would fare after one of those jumps… Admittedly, the original cars didn’t always survive, but they actually did the jumps and landed them.

[Update: Apparently AutoTrader pulled the video because of the confederate flag conspiracy.  What predictable knee-jerk overreaction.  Anyway, the video is updated to another source now.  It’s still a cool commercial.  And I don’t think you can even see a confederate flag in the whole video.  So why was it censored?  Think about it…]

funny pictures, episode 17


It’s been a while since I’ve posted funny pictures, so it’s way overdue.  Plus, the first one has relevance based on current world events, if you’ve heard about Russia’s “takeover” of Crimea (part of the Ukraine).  Then there’s the usual randomness.

That's a unique perspective on Russia's position these days...

That’s a unique perspective on Russia’s position these days…

They're right... I don't understand.  Anyone care to explain?

They’re right… I don’t understand. Anyone care to explain?

That is actually a great idea!  Granted, most people would cancel their membership instead, but the concept is great... in theory.

That is actually a great idea! Granted, most people would cancel their membership instead, but the concept is great… in theory.

That's not right... and if it was intentional, that's just mean!  I understand targeted marketing, but that's just not caring about customers...

That’s not right… and if it was intentional, that’s just mean! I understand targeted marketing, but that’s just not caring about customers…

If your sweetheart wants a puppy, and this is the type of puppy she wants, then that's many bonus points.  However, be sure she wants a dog.  I've heard stories of guys who did not understand that concept, and bringing home unwanted pets will lose you many points.

If your sweetheart wants a puppy, and this is the type of puppy she wants, then that’s many bonus points. However, be sure she wants a dog. I’ve heard stories of guys who did not understand that concept, and bringing home unwanted pets will lose you many points.

I know there are tons of iAccessories for the iPhone series, but does anyone really buy this crap?  And note how easy it is to take a $600 iPhone 5 and make it look cheap and generic.

I know there are tons of iAccessories for the iPhone series, but does anyone really buy this crap? And note how easy it is to take a $600 iPhone 5 and make it look cheap and generic.

To see more funny pictures, click on the “Funny Pictures” category in the sidebar.

Einstein, ACME, and science


A while back I read an article about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and it had a few statistics that seem somewhat embellished to me.  Now, I’m no scientist, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  And because of the anonymity of the Internet, I could be the smartest person in the room (as far you know).  Whether any of that is factual or not is largely irrelevant to this discussion, because we’re going to have fun with it.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Winding the solenoid coil of the CMS [Compact Muon Solenoid] took five years to complete. When it is fully operational, it will generate a magnetic field 100,000 times stronger than the one produced by the Earth.

What could possibly go wrong?  I first think of a super magnet that Wile E. Coyote bought to catch Bugs Bunny.  It was a 10,000,000,000 volt electric magnet, in a do-it-yourself (DIY) kit sold by ACME (of course).

Actually, there’s a structure made with 12,000 tons of iron to bridle the lines of the magnetic field in the LHC so normal stuff won’t get disturbed.  So they say…  Next!

Components are assembled for A Large Ion Collider Experiment, a.k.a. ALICE, an experiment to measure the matter created in the extraordinarily high temperatures — estimated at 100,000 times hotter than the sun — that existed after the Big Bang and that will be created by the particle collider.

The Earth picks up only 0.45 billionth of the sun’s daily energy output, yet that is more than 239 trillion horsepower each day.  I realize there’s more to energy than heat, but I still question their estimate.  And even more so, I wonder what their electrical bill is…  And upon further thought, would a device creating heat that’s 100,000 times hotter than the sun contribute to global warming any?  Something has to happen to the heat — you can’t just flush it down the toilet — there are those pesky laws of thermodynamics…  :)

Speaking of ACME, they had everything, didn’t they?  Did you know that the Animaniacs helped Einstein figure out the theory of relativity by singing the ACME song to make him feel better about himself?  I never learned that in school…

But wait, there’s more!  While watching the Wile E. Coyote video with the super magnet, I noticed it said “Zajaxi Dynamos” on one of the boxes instead of ACME.  Maybe it was a subsidiary?  I have no idea.  I’ve never noticed that before and never heard of that, so I googled it, and would you believe my search returned ZERO (0) results?  There is something that’s been around for decades for which Google had no answer whatsoever!  I’ve always figured you could find anything on the Internet, but I just proved otherwise.

So now let Buffet o’ Blog be the FIRST WEBSITE EVER to mention “Zajaxi Dynamos”!  How many times can you say your website is the first to ever do something in the history of the Internet?  We should win an award…  :)

And since there’s no reference to what that phrase stands for, I suppose we can make it up.  Any ideas?

Why would you say that?!?


couple standing in front of burning barnI was recently visiting the in-laws around Christmas, and the conversation took an unexpected turn.  One person was telling a story they heard on the local news about a couple who were burning trash outside their house but went inside, leaving the fire unattended, and their house caught on fire.  That’s a tragic story, but they learned some “common sense” the hard way.  Anyway, there’s no need to rant on that, since the moral of the story is quite obvious.

After that part of the story, an older country woman said, somewhat agitatedly, “Why were they burning trash outside?”  That piqued my curiosity, as I was eager to hear some further explanation of that statement.  I mean, where else would you burn trash?  (Before anyone rushes to the comments to lecture on why people shouldn’t burn trash, I agree, but some people don’t have trash pickup and live in areas where burning stuff is still allowed.)

I looked around, wondering who would answer her question.  I didn’t know what to say.  There was a short pause (which is rare in those parts), and then the conversation went to a completely different topic.  That was disappointing.  Did everyone else just ignore her?  I wanted to ask about it, but given the general atmosphere at the in-laws at the time, I didn’t want to stir anything up, so I left it alone.  Nonetheless, someone should’ve at least jokingly asked her where she thinks you should burn trash.  It was a missed opportunity.

famous car chase in shopping mall recreated


If you start with a car chase scene inside a shopping mall (which sounds awesome), and it features the Blues Brothers (which makes it definitely awesome), then recreate the original classic movie clip with stop-motion video using LEGO blocks, you have a YouTube video worth watching.

At the end of the video, they link to a side-by-side comparison of the original scene in the movie, so you can see how close they got to it.

An interesting trivia tidbit about the mall chase scene is that it was actually filmed inside a mall.  There was no CGI trickery going on — it was 1980, after all — and it wasn’t on some fake Hollywood set or made with miniatures.  They found a mall that was scheduled to be demolished, so they helped with the demolition on the inside.  :)  Also interesting is that the other car chases were actually filmed in and around Chicago, Illinois.  It would’ve been neat to be around for that!

If you haven’t ever seen the Blues Brothers movie, I’m not sure what to say.  Wait, never mind, I know — you need to see it!  The Blues Brothers is one of the best movies of all time.  I’m not kidding.  It has a great story, great acting, awesome music, many car chases (including setting the world record for most car crashes in one scene), and many quotable lines.  It also features many famous actors and musicians: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Carrie Fisher (who played Princess Leia in Star Wars, but wields a flamethrower and rocket launcher here), “the band”, John Candy, Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and more.  (Let me add that the movie contains some explicit language, but if you can find the TV version it has all that edited out.)

Here’s an idea — someone should make a video game of the movie.  You’ve got music making, car chases, lots of military to evade — there’s potential here.  Sure, the storyline might have to be somewhat linear, but there are retelling games of Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Marvel Super Heroes, etc. by LEGO.  It could be a lot of fun.  Someone should make this happen.  LEGO Blues Brothers would rock!  I would buy it.

when words aren’t enough…


When words aren’t enough…

Say it with bacon!  If only this would work with women… but in reality, it would likely result in disasterousness (which may not be an actual word, but it would be bad).  Ironically, this would impress guys.  A girl could give cooked bacon to a guy and he would think she must really like him.  (Who ever said men and women are the same?  Maybe someone should write a book similar to “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” but include a chapter about food.  Men can relate to that, and would be more interested in reading the book.  Well, since most men don’t read, maybe it should come with bacon…)