Packaged Sandwiches: US vs. UK

In the US, packaged sandwiches – and by this, I specifically mean those that come in the triangular boxes – are the lowest form of cuisine there is. People typically only eat them if there are no other food options. It’s the kind of thing you’d eat if you’re stuck in an airport at 4am and all the restaurants are closed, or if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, the nearest diner is 50 miles away, and packaged sandwiches are all the service station has to eat.

The sandwiches always seem half stale, are thin on the ingredients, and usually only come in three or four flavors: ham and cheese, baloney and cheese, tuna or chicken salad (and maybe, if you’re in the South, pimento cheese). Honestly, the only people I’ve seen that eat these poor little sandwiches on a regular basis are construction workers and people on the go all the time, like messengers or delivery people. I’m 37 years-old, and it’s always been this way here in the US, at least in my lifetime.

In the UK, on the other hand, people seem to eat these sandwiches all the time. And why not? They usually taste pretty fresh, and they come in a freakin’ galaxy of flavors. Here’s a short list of just a few of the flavors offered by Marks & Spencer, a single British retailer:

Aromatic Duck, B.L.T., British Ham & Cheddar, Chicken & Bacon, Chicken & Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken & Stuffing, Chicken & Sweetcorn, Chicken, Avocado & Bacon, Coronation Chicken, Crayfish & Rocket, Egg & Bacon, King Prawn & Bacon Caesar, Poached Salmon, Red Salmon & Cucumber, Roast Beef & Horseradish, Sausage & Ketchup, Seafood Cocktail, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese

I can’t speak for the rest of the UK, but in London and Bath you can buy sandwiches just like these almost anywhere. Drug stores (chemists) sell them. Convenience stores (newsagents) sell them. Many department stores (like the aforementioned Marks & Spencer) sell them. And almost any time of the day, you can look around and see someone eating one of these sandwiches.

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R.I.P. Don LaFontaine

Dammit – would people stop dying today?

Voiceover actor extraordinaire Don LaFontaine – who lent his voice to thousands of movie trailers, and even turned “In a world…” into a catchphrase – died today at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from “complications in the treatment of an ongoing illness”. He was 68.

Read his obit at Yahoo! here.

RFID and Mythbusters

You’re probably familiar with Mythbusters, a show on the Discovery Channel that tries to debunk urban legends and other myths using scientific experiments. Well, it seems that the show’s producers wanted to do a piece on RFID, the tiny, controversial microchips that are increasingly coming into use on credit cards, passports and other items. According to Mythbusters’ Adam Savage, the show was ready to expose “the weak security behind most RFID implementations but was shut down by lawyers from ‘American Express, Visa, Discover, and everybody else… [who] absolutely made it really clear to Discovery that they were not going to air this episode'”.

Check out his comments about it on YouTube:

Scary… but why can’t the credit card companies simply take the money they’re giving to their lawyers and give it to their engineers instead, so that they could actually, you know… fix the problem?

R.I.P. Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed, country music and film star and an Atlanta native, has passed away at the age of 71.

Reed, a talented guitarist, was best known for his movie roles in the Smokey and the Bandit films and Gator, as well his country music hits like “East Bound and Down” and “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”.

Yahoo! reports that the star died of “complications from emphysema”.

Goodbye, Snowman! You’ll be missed!

REVISITED: Weave On Your Own Server

Weave is an extension for Firefox that allows you to back up and synchronize your bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form entries across multiple computers. It’s a nifty little plug-in that takes up the slack for the much loved (and dearly departed) Google Browser Sync. Unfortunately, the Weave extension and service are in beta testing mode, and the backend servers that Mozilla uses to make Weave work are usually overwhelmed, making synchronization as slow as molasses. To make matters worse, the Mozilla servers are frequently taken offline for various reasons, so not only is synching slow, it doesn’t even work much of the time.

In this post from a couple of weeks ago, I linked to an article that showed you how to set up Weave on any WebDAV enabled server. Unfortunately, I was never able to get this working on this very server; apparently WordPress and WebDAV don’t play well together, and I was never able to find the Apache settings I needed to tweak to get it to work.

However, I recently came across this “easy as pie” method for setting up Weave using the free “online disk” service

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Ricardo Colclough: Oooooops!

Former Pittsburgh Steeler Ricardo Colclough was arrested for DUI here in Charlotte at 2:35am Saturday morning.

Colclough, who won a Super Bowl ring as part of the 2005 Steeler team, was released by Pittsburgh in 2007 after playing three games. He was then picked up by the Cleveland Browns, who kept him for the rest of the 2007-2008 season. Released by the Browns, Colclough came to Charlotte, where he seemed to be assured a spot as a backup cornerback and kick returner for the Panthers.

Unfortunately, the arrest couldn’t have come at a worse time for Colclough, coming on the very weekend when all NFL teams have to trim their rosters from 76 to 53 players. The Panthers have apparently released Colclough, and mainly because of the DUI. Interestingly, the arrest came less than a day after Colclough recovered a fumble in a preseason game against… the Pittsburgh Steelers. Perhaps he was out partying with old friends? Couldn’t someone have picked up the tab for a taxi?

If you’re bored today, why not head over to this Mecklenburg County website and look up his arrest record, complete with the mug shot shown above. You can search using his name, or PID #: 0000364673  JID #: 08-069265