Category Archives: Random junk

Official lies

At some point in the past I gave my email address to the Whitehouse. I didn’t use to get emails from them. Recently things have changed and the database has been turn into a mailing list of self promotion.

This one caught my eye. It starts with the following assertion stated as unqualified fact:

The past 8 years have taken a toll on America’s job force.

A quick Google search on job statistics brings me to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, whose job is to collect precisely this sort of statistics. Here’s the last 10 years, handy chart and all:

Other assertion are very dubious. For example, a clueless reader would think that the new government had something to do with the Intel plant announcement when in fact it’s been in planning since 2011.

But that opening statement? Direct unambiguous lie, and easy to disprove, too. Yet this precise sort of lies (plus a dose of xenophobia) is what propelled Trump to the presidency. It makes no sense to me. And it worries the hell out of me.


Hello loyal fan base, I’m back to bring some life into this blog! Today I’m here to report on the family’s experience with Hellofresh. I originally heard about Hellofresh on Groupon, and I was immediately intrigued. Raising a toddler and a husband is no easy work, so anything that helps make our life easier is appreciated. I purchased the Groupon, signed up for our allotted three meals and eagerly awaited their arrival.

The box was impressively packaged, with the meat and poultry encased in ice packs on the bottom and the rest of the ingredients in boxes on the top.


The first meal that I prepared was steamed salmon with jeweled couscous and yogurt. What’s nice about this company is that all meals are promised to take approximately 30 minutes to prepare – very helpful for weeknight dinners, because who has the time or energy for any more than that? You are also provided with pre-rationed ingredients, so you don’t have to bother with measuring anything. Their only caveat is that you must have salt, pepper and olive oil on hand – easy enough, these are staples in most households anyway.

Salmon ingredients
Ingredients that came with the salmon meal box


Salmon recipe

One issue that I had, and I fully acknowledge that this is my personal preference, is that they don’t include how to prepare the ingredients under the “ingredients” section but rather include it in the directions. I tend to have a more stressful cooking experience when I dutifully heat the oil in the pan, as per step 1, but then must finely chop a whole bunch of vegetables (step 2), as I am racing against an overly heated pan full of oil that stinks up the house and jumps all over the countertop. Granted, I could have read ahead and gone rogue, chopping and preparing in whatever order I damn well pleased, but given that the whole point is to save time, I didn’t.

Stressed out hand
My stressed-out hand dashing to squeeze lemon juice as quickly as possible

Final salmon
Final result – not too shabby!

Other than this issue, I had an overall great experience. All three meals were delicious, took the promised 30 minutes to prepare, and spared us the headache of having to pre-plan meals for the week and purchase specific ingredients. The portions were great, as both Marcos and I felt satisfied and full at the end of each meal. Despite the fact that the non-Groupon rate is a bit pricey (it comes out to approximately $10/person/meal), we ordered another box about one month later and plan to treat ourselves every once in a while by ordering more. And to be honest, given the fact that their rate includes the packaging and shipping, it’s really pretty reasonable.

Final chicken pic
Another entree, mozzarella-crusted chicken with crispy potatoes and garlic tomatoes

If you want to try it out, you can get $40 off your first meal (which is more than what we saved with the Groupon) by using our referral code: VQ84HL. Happy eating, and stay safe out there!

Beast Burger

I read an article about the Beast Burger a few months ago. This is a vegetarian hamburger made by California based company Beyond Meat.

More protein than beef. More omegas than salmon. Tons of calcium, antioxidants, and vitamin B.

Most importantly, it’s supposed to look, taste – and the hard one – have the texture of a real hamburger.  So is it true? The MKX® set out to find out.

Unsurprisingly, Whole Foods was the only place where I found it. It comes in a box in the frozen section. Two patties for $6, which seems pretty expensive to me, but what do I know.

While there, I also bought the only  hamburger buns they had. They were whole wheat, organic, small, dry, overpriced, and nasty. This means that the Beast Burger would be at a disadvantage in the taste tests. I wasn’t about to go to HEB for normal hamburger buns though. To round it out, I got overpriced organic tomatoes and lettuce, both looked great.

Beast Burger packaging. That photo looks amazing, doesn’t it?

So for the taste test I invited three participants.

  1. Eli: Lifelong vegetarian, hasn’t eaten a hamburger ever.
  2. Nira: vegetarian since 2000, hasn’t had a hamburger in five years.
  3. Shlomit: vegetarian since that morning, hadn’t had a hamburger in five days.

While the instructions on the box say you can do this on a pan, I had to do it right and fired off the grill for the first time since last year.

This is what it looked like:

Beast Burger on the grill


The weird looking things in the back are portobello mushrooms, in case the experiment is a failure. I was not brave enough to face hungry blood-lusting vegetarians.

You can see the four patties. The one on the left still has ice on it – you are supposed to put them on the grill still frozen. They do look like convincing hamburgers and for this they get a point. Notice those beautiful grill lines on them. I take no credit for them: that’s how it came out of the box. To me that’s cheating and for all I know they use dye to paint them.

After a few minutes on the grill I served the hamburgers. Here’s Eli and Shlomit enjoying them:

The best hamburger Eli has never had.


This is what they had to say:

  1. Eli: I have no idea if this is what a hamburger should taste like, but it’s good.
  2. Nira: It’s good.
  3. Shlomit: I want a real hamburger.

It was so good that I still have four frozen patties in my freezer and no plans to eat them anytime soon.

But really:

  • The texture was pretty convincing.
  • The taste was a little bit bland, needed more spices and maybe salt.
  • It was a pretty small burger.
  • Better buns would have helped.

I think that if you aren’t vegetarian, you shouldn’t approach this as “will taste like a hamburger” or you will be disappointed. You should think of it it the way I think about Tex-Mex (don’t expect Mexican), or soy milk (don’t expect milk), or transvestites (no further comment). If you do this, I think the Beast Burger is a pretty decent non-meat meal and my cholesterol thanks me for it.

That said, any man with instinct for self-preservation knows that when hungry nursing woman says, “I want a real hamburger,” you must deliver.

So here’s the real beast of a burger: Roaring Fork’s famous and also overpriced $14 1 pound of real cow “Big Ass Burger”:

Mine is the “Big Ass”, Shlomit’s is a “Half Ass”. After my morning training for the Cap 10K I had the hunger of a beast. It’s been 23 hours, I’ve been to the potty three times, and I’m still full.


I Completed the ice bucket challenge

My four year old nephew challenged two of his four year old buddies and his thirty six year old uncle to the #icebucketchallenge for raising ALS awareness. Done.

I must admit I was getting deeply offended no one had challenged me yet.

The three of you I challenged: I expect links to your videos within 24 hours.

Update Aug 20: Donation with company match has been processed.

Update Aug 20: My dad has accepted the challenge: