The Strange History of Monterey Jack

If there’s two things Americans love, it’s ranch dressing and Monterey Jack cheese.

The story behind ranch dressing is simple and happy: in 1954, a couple named Steve and Gayle Henson opened a resort called Hidden Valley Ranch near Santa Barbara, California. There they served a salad dressing Steve had discovered and improved upon in Alaska. The dressing was such a hit with customers that the Hensons began packaging it, and in 1972 the couple sold their dressing company to Clorox for $8 million (around $47.6 million in 2017 dollars).

The story behind Monterey Jack is much darker.

It all began on June 3, 1770, when the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was founded in what is now Monterey, California. The Franciscan missionaries began converting the local Indians to Catholicism and teaching them trades relevant to the building and maintenance of the mission, like carpentry, making adobe bricks, farming and animal husbandry. They also began making a type of cheese called queso blanco, which originated in Spain but which many Americans now think of as Mexican in origin.

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There ARE Stupid Questions!

Yahoo! Answers is a site where you can ask anything, and hopefully some helpful strangers will answer it for you. Yahoo! probably intended for the site to host questions like “What’s the best place to get a burger on the Upper West Side?” and “How can you get from San Diego to Sacramento by train?”… but even they can’t stop the stupid.

This site has a list of some of the best (worst?) questions and answers, like “Cheerleaders Y du u think their stupid?” and “Why are there school?”… and my personal favorite:


Check it out at the link!

Hooray! VM Intercept 2.2 Confirmed!

Good news yesterday for Virgin Mobile customers with Samsung Intercept phones:


Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint, and it seems that the company had several issues when it tried to update Sprint Intercept users to Froyo back in December. I guess being Sprint’s red-headed stepchild is good for VM users in a way: all the bugs that plagued Sprint users should be ironed out before VM rolls out the update this spring.

R.I.P. Dick Winters

Dick Winters, World War II veteran, winner of the Distinguished Service Cross, and main character in the mini-series Band of Brothers, has died. He was 92.

I tried to think of something poetic to say, my feeble words just won’t cut it. Instead, I’ll just quote Alan Sepinwall, who called Winters “a calm, selfless, inspiring, exceedingly decent man, and the very model of what Tom Brokaw dubbed ‘The Greatest Generation’.”

Read his Wikipedia entry here, and tear up a little as you watch this memorable clip:

“We are paratroopers Lieutenant; we are supposed to be surrounded.”

“Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?” “No”, I answered, “But I served in a company of heroes.”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-09

  • Woo-hoo! Go Steelers! #
  • AFC North champs! #
  • R.I.P. Pete Postlethwaite #
  • Screener season has started! So far, "True Grit" > "The Fighter", with "Black Swan" up next. #
  • It's official.. Nancy Pelosi is officially no longer Speaker! #
  • I went 157-99 on my NFL Pick 'Em this year. Not too bad, but not great, either. #
  • Between the birds and fish dying, the crabs washing up on the beach in the UK and rivers changing colors, I wonder if this is END TIMES! #
  • hahahaha! No Luck for Panthers in the upcoming draft: #
  • NFL: Steelers top team for merch; Polamalu has #1 selling jersey this year! GO TEAM! #
  • Great. I have a Lonely Island song stuck in my head! #
  • Sadly ironic that the press conference about Gabrielle Giffords' condition is coming from TV station KGUN. #
  • Man, I didn't think Lisa was being serious when she said she was hibernating this weekend! #

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Fun Friday!

Here are a few things I’ve stumbled across lately, mostly funny stuff with a couple of “cool” things thrown in just to “keep it balanced”:

– I have a passing interest in stock photography. It stems from when I subscribed to several IT magazines and saw the same hot girl, standing in a server room with her arms crossed and a smile on her face, used in different ads over and and over again. So I was amused to see one site ask why stock photo women laugh when they eat salad, and why black women are so happy to shop. Any guesses?

– Paula Deen gives us her “wisdom” in this recipe for English peas. Don’t want to click the link? The recipe has two ingredients (butter and peas) and I’ll let you figure out the rest of the recipe. More culinary genius from the folks at FN!

– Here is the alleged intro for the Japanese version of 30 Rock:

Looks like an 80s sitcom on CBS, no?

– Speaking of TV, here’s a cool behind-the-scenes look at the CGI used in Boardwalk Empire. Aside from the obvious (but well done) CGI used for backgrounds, the video shows us how they make Richard Harrow into a grotesquely maimed WWI vet.

– The folks at Failblog have a picture of the best anti-shoplifting sign ever:


– Some Charlotte filmmakers are making a documentary about the rise and fall of The Penguin. Check out the teaser:

– And lastly, Android has jumped ahead of iOS in the US smartphone market! Woo-hoo!

“Cutthroat Steelers”

If you a Steelers fan or statistics junkie (or both), head on your to this post at One For The Other Thumb. Although the article looks at both sides of the football, the numbers for the Steelers 2010-11 defense are pretty amazing:

– The Steelers D gave up 276.8 yards per game, second in the league.

– They also gave up a league-low 14.9 points per game.

– They also gave up only 1,004 rushing yards ALL SEASON, which is the least in Steelers history… all the more amazing when you consider that the former record holders played four fewer games than this team!

– And, not to leave the offense out in the cold, my main man Mike Wallace “only” came in 5th in the league with 1,257 receiving yards… but all the folks above him had 76 or more catches. Wallace had only 60. He has the most receptions of 40+ yards in the league, and tied Steelers legend John Stallworth for most 100+ yard games in a season… and this is only Wallace’s second season!

Check out the article for some good stats about the Steelers!

Quote of the Day

“Challenge my most cherished beliefs about the place of humankind in God’s creation, and while I may not agree with you, I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it. But dangle a participle in my presence, and I’ll consider you a subliterate cretin no longer worth listening to, a menace to decent society who should be removed from the gene pool before you do any more damage”.

– Jack Lynch
The Lexicographer’s Dilemma