March 31, 2012

Happy Spring Break!

  • Tough fruit - I appreciate a themed intramural team.
  • Kentucky's Death March - Kentucky should win this week, but I hope not. Go OSU. This article's a little over the top about what UK's victory would mean, though. 

  • ESPN Can't Let Knight Play By Own Rules - I respect the man to a ridiculous level, but this article is right. Knight's petulance about Indiana and Kentucky are appropriate when he's giving a fundraising speech to the faithful, but it's not appropriate on the air.
  • Scott Pilgrim levels up to full-color, hardcover reprints - Full color? The black and white original was pretty spectacular. I'll at least check out the color versions, but I don't know that I need a second, colorful copy of each of the books.
  • The Voice - I don't get a lot of cable channels, but E! is one of them, and they keep rerunning The Voice which includes a woman with perhaps the most annoying singing voice I've ever heard. What the heck does anyone hear that is attractive?
  • DC Nations latest 'New Teen Titans' short gets cookie crazy - So cute...I miss the anime Teen Titans

March 30, 2012

$2 free at amazon

You can get $2 in free mp3 downloads at Amazon, but it expires April 1...check the details...

The best cartoon band ever

I present The Gorillaz...

March 29, 2012

I chose division II

Actually, I chose Division III, but it wasn't because of my athletics.

This past Thursday night, however, I chose to go see the NCAA Men's Division II basketball national semifinals because they were being played over at the Bank of Kentucky Arena on Northern Kentucky University's campus.

The NCAA brought in all eight of their Elite Eight teams into Northern Kentucky to play the Elite Eight on Wednesday, the Final Four on Thursday, and the championship on Saturday. I have two connections to Bellarmine athletics - Coach Sullivan is an assistant for the women's basketball team, and the men's team has a NAHS graduate in their National Player of the Year, Braydon Hobbs. The men's team spent much of the year ranked #1, so I knew they had a good chance to make it that far. With that spirit I hit up Ticketmaster to get myself and The Girl a pair of tickets for the Final Four round. At only $12 for full price - and The Girl being able to get the three buck student discount, the tickets were a bargain. Sure, the $4 convenience charge didn't thrill me, but that's what I get for wanting to be assured of a ticket.

We got there mid-way through the first half of the first game, in time to see the Western Washington Vikings take on the Stonehill Skyhawks (with their awful mascot costume). Clearly, there was no need for me to worry about getting a ticket...

Seriously, I know that WWU is 2450 miles and that Stonehill is 930 miles from NKU as the Google flies, but I would've thought they might be able to get a bus of students rolling across somewhere. Instead, WWU had about twenty parents cheering for them. Stonehill did have a few students at the game.

Once the Bellarmine crowd started to show up for their 9:30 game,the place at least started to fill in a bit. Bellarmine is only 100 miles away from the Bank of Kentucky Center...

It's not like all the seats in the place were taken up, just that Bellarmine outdrew all the rest of the teams combined.

Sadly, Braydon and the Bellarmine Knights came up short, falling 79-72 to Montevallo.

Of course it saved me from having to pick up tickets for the championship game on Saturday - where Western Washington took down Montevallo 72-65.

Lonnieburger Baskets: Skinny Legs in Bellevue

On our way to NKU for the DII Final Four, The Girl and I stopped off in Bellevue to knock off another burger on the Cincinnati Magazine list. We're something like two years out since the burger article came out, and we're approaching a point on the list when we have to search pretty far afield or accept that some of the places have gone out of business at this point.

Skinny Legs Pub & Grill, however, was certainly still in business as we stopped in on a Thursday evening around 5:45 to check out what the have to offer. Here's what Cincinnati Mag had to say about the place...
32 Black & Bleu Burger
►The Cajun spices added to the Angus beef give this burger a spicy crust, cut by a generous dollop of bleu cheese dressing. Unfortunately, our bun was overtoasted, rendering it
almost stale, but our sassy waitress more than made up for it. / 519 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, (859) 261-5111
I'm not much of a bleu cheese kind of guy, and I've pledged to hit only cheddar and bacon on my quest, so I didn't sample the Black & Bleu Burger. Nonetheless, here's what I found about Skinny Legs.

  • I went for my burger medium with bacon and cheddar, lettuce, pickle, onion, tomato, but no mayo. The burger was freshly formed and of good, quality beef. The burger lacked the rich crust that the best burgers have. Maybe because of the recent run-in with Tanks, I felt that the burger could have been more well spiced - a little more salt and pepper, even, would have been appreciated. The real issue that I had with the burger was the desperate pinkness and the blood dripping onto my bun. I'm okay with a little medium rare, especially on a steak, but I ordered my burger medium (mine was the top two and the last above) and got a barely cooked pink burger. That's not right, man. The Girl's medium-well burger is cut in half up and second from the bottom. She ordered hers medium well (barely any pink in the middle), and there's a lot more pink there than a medium well burger should have. Burger - 6 

  • Pretty standard fare here. The bacon was better than average but wasn't exactly thick-cut. The cheddar was nicely melted. The lettuce and tomato were serviceable. The garlic dill pickles were nicely thick and crisp. The onion was sharp as the dickens. The Girl went with barbeque sauce on the side of her burger and didn't end up using it. She wasn't impressed with the sauce. Toppings - 6

  • These are fries from a frozen bag, but they were served nice and hot. They were very lightly salted and had very little browning on them. Solid effort but nothing to write home about. Fries - 6 

  • The main room of Skinny Legs is a two-story bar with the upper level reserved mostly for live music and empty on our Thursday at 6:00. The bar itself was populated by one regular when we got there and three when we left. We chose to sit off to the side in a room with a half dozen booths and a couple of two tops. The place seems like a decent neighborhood bar, though we were there a little early to say what the nightlife would be like. Skinny Legs is in Kentucky meaning it's a smoking establishment, and the regular and bartender were both smoking at the bar. Sadly for our gorgeous day there wasn't any outside seating as Skinny Legs is right on the corner of the streets. It's a friendly bar. Ambiance - 6

  • Thursdays are burger mania - we didn't know until we saw the chalkboard outside the front door, so every specialty burger was $6, cheaper than their usual $7.95 price. Fries are an extra dollar, and a Diet Coke was two more bucks. The menu does say that all the specialty burgers are $6. I foolishly asked for a burger with cheese and bacon and got charged fifty cents each for those. The Girl went for the Memphis burger with the barbeque sauce on the side. So she got a $6 burger with bacon and cheese on it and bbq on the side for $6. I got a burger ($6) and was charged an extra dollar for bacon and cheddar. We'll deal with that lower in the 'other stuff' section. My burger was $7 + fries $1 + drink $2 = $10. Right there in the middle range. Cost - 5 
Other stuff
  • It's a simple enough thing for the waitress to ring my burger as a Memphis without barbeque. She didn't do that, and it was fully within her control. I took the buck out of my tip. -1 
  • The onions were sharp enough that I - who likes a good, sharp onion - ended up not eating them all. That's not the fault of the bar. They just cut fresh onions and don't taste them all.
  • Both of our burgers were a lot. -2
  • Skinny Legs is a smoking establishment. When we were there, The Girl mentioned that the smoke was giving her a headache. I didn't notice it while were there, but I did notice that even two smokers in the bar made my shirt smell of smoke half an hour after we'd left the bar. -1 
  • There's not much else to say about Skinny Legs. It's a fine place but one that exists in a hundred different places around the country. 
 Let's add it all up...6+6+6+6+5-1-2-1 = 25 pts

That's not so good...realistically that's selling Skinny Legs short. It doesn't feel as bad as Sammy's or Arthur's. It's more in line with a Habits or Tank's, they just lost out with their Other Stuff score, but the numbers don't lie.
  • Terry's Turf Club - 45
  • Cafe de Wheels - 44
  • Senate - 43 
  • City View Tavern - 40 (scaled from 32/40)
  • Stuffed on Vine - 38
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries - 36 
  • Roxy's - 36
  • VanZandt - 34
  • Gabby's - 34 
  • Oakley Pub & Grill - 34 
  • Quatman's - 32 / 34.5
  • Troy's - 32 
  • By Golly's - 32
  • Wildflower Cafe - 31.25 (scaled from 26/40) 
  • Sidetracks - 31
  • Virgil's Cafe - 28 
  • Tank's Bar & Grill - 28
  • The Pub at Rookwood Mews - 28
  • Smashburger - 28
  • Habits Cafe - 28
  • Graffiti Burger - 27
  • Arthur's - 26
  • Sammy's - 25 
  • Skinny Legs - 25
  • Gordo's - 20
Next, I have no clue. I wanna catch at least one burger over break, though.

For a few other opinions on Skinny Legs, check out...

March 28, 2012

Tags...I'm it

What tags do I use most frequently, and what do they each say about me?
  • 8Tracks (117) - I've been making mixtapes and playing DJ for a very long time. 8Tracks is the newest incarnation of this urge to share music with people. Seeqpod went away, and I miss its lack of restrictions (playlists of all one artists aren't allowed on 8Tracks), but I've apparently moved on just fine.
  • blogs (87) - I loves me some internet, and there's so much content out there to find. Most of these blogs are ones I don't follow religiously, but they're ones I've enjoyed for at least a moment somewhere along the way.
  • Cincinnati (69) - It's my adopted hometown (not The Hometown), and there's a lot of stuff to enjoy out there from the best steaks and burgers to tennis tourneys and awesome parks.
  • comics (169) - I like comic books in case you hadn't noticed.
  • education (72) - The Pater Familias is a teacher. My sister is a teacher. The Girl started as a teacher, and her mom still is a teacher. I teach. Most of my friends teach. It's not a surprise that I'm kind of interested in education.
  • food (118) - I like to eat, and I don't mind sharing that fact with you folks - especially if it saves you from eating some of the crap I've eaten along the way.
  • games (105) - From Vectrex onward, I've always loved video games. The shift from console-based games to flash games in browsers is an interesting movement to me, as is the use of our bodies as controllers.
  • links (233) - I browse a whole lot of internet time, and each week I present you folks with a few highlights. The links posts are those posts.
  • movies (274) - There are very few things that I enjoy more than seeing a good movie on the big screen. Yeah, I'm cheap enough to wait for most of them to come to the library so I can see them for free, but some just need to be seen in the huge format.
  • music (446) - Interestingly, The Pater Familias couldn't possibly care less about music. He vaguely enjoys cowboy music, but mostly he doesn't care about any tunes, singers, or songs. He doesn't turn his truck's radio on unless he's listening to sports. Mom, on the other hand, would have music playing most anytime when we grew up. She played the guitar and sang us lullabies. She's seen probably a hundred concerts - Bob Dylan makes up half of them, I'm sure. I inherited her love of music.
  • narcissism (146) - If this isn't the essence of blogging, I don't know what is.
  • oddities (107) - A lot of the blog's content doesn't fit into any particular category, but it's just weird stuff.
  • politics (121) - The music comes from mom, but the interest in politics comes more from The Pater Familias, a high school government teacher. I tend to vacillate between feeling hopeful and hopeless about our current political situation, but I still find it interesting.
  • Princeton (101) - I've been at Princeton longer than I've been anywhere but in the New Albany Floyd County School system. It's been my home for nearly a dozen years, and it's the place where I've most truly found myself. I'll probably end my career there.
  • science (149) - I can't honestly say where the science gene came from. Neither of my parents seem particularly scientifically curious, but it's my chosen interest and what I teach.
  • television (177) - I watch too much television. Actually, of late, I haven't been watching very much television at all.
  • update (70) - You guys should know that anything I find and that I learn more about will be updated. I'm committed to giving you folks the best of what I have to offer - even if that means updating you when I learn more. I try not to use updates as full daily posts unless there's a big update.
  • YouTube (287) - I think I've mentioned enjoying the internet?

March 27, 2012

Grab it by the memes

The newest Vitamin Water commercial seems to have a thing for internet memes. After the jump you'll see my list of the ones I've spotted. Which ones did I miss?

Update: A gag that never gets old

It's pathetic how frequently I search for this post. I'm going to make my life a little easier by including the phrase "batman's dead parents".

March 26, 2012

Social Media, take a bizzilion

So another social-media conundrum showed up on my doorstep this past week.

As one of the managers of the PHS facebook page, I've taken it upon myself to occasionally check to see what people are posting to the page. The page was - and is - set-up to display only posts by the official PHS folks when you land there, but clicking can let you see posts by everyone - including this one...

...which directs you to this thread on which some of our students have taken to creating their own meme images. It's a simple enough site, one that's in the same vein as I Can Haz Cheezebuger on which people can type in their own messages to display over top of standard - and somewhat cliched - meme images (success kid, most interesting man in the world, socially awkward penguin).

The thread was started by one of our students. He's clearly named himself; his call. Most of the images have been posted anonymously, though one or two were perhaps foolishly signed. All are tied to Princeton High School by the thread title. Some are less than polite. Some are downright vulgar or offensive. Most are moderately funny and specific to PHS.

I'll include a few examples so you know the kind of stuff I'm talking about...

Here's the question now that I've seen these. As an officially designated person in charge of monitoring the PHS Facebook page, do I...
  1. ...inform the principal? He's made issue of OnlyAtPrinceton, a hashtag that students (and possibly teachers?) were using to 'discuss' Princeton on Titter. This isn't as popular (only about twenty-five meme posts so far and already fading by the time I'm writing this up on Saturday morning), nor is it nearly as negative.
  2. ...delete the post? I've deleted posts that were openly offensive or purely advertising. 
  3. ...leave the post and ignore it? After all, people have free speech, and if the school goes about the Facebook page allowing only pro-Princeton comments, that's sort of defeating the purpose of the interactive nature of the FB page.
  4. ...chuckle at some of the images, flag some as inappropriate, and post about the whole situation on my blog?  
I've chosen option #4.

March 24, 2012

Elite eight...again...

March 22, 2012

My Daily Blogs

There are a few blogs around that I check into daily. They're the usual sources of my weekend links. Today I'm adding in a new one, and I thought I'd make sure you knew which rounds I make.

In case you want to make them with me each day.

March 21, 2012

Another Lego blog?

Man, I love Legos, but there are a few reasons why I don't play with them very often.

First, building with Legos is an expensive hobby. Whether you're buying things from the direct market or from the grey market, Legos are quality built and appropriately priced. Heck, there are entire blogs pretty much devoted to telling you where you can find the best Lego sales.

Second, building with Lego bricks takes a bunch of time to get good. Some of the creations I've highlighted before took hundreds and hundreds of hours to complete. I may waste a lot of time in my life, but I have other ways to play around.

Third, the Lego creations I see on the web are awesome, and I'm kind of intimidated. Take, for example, the creations of Baron von Brunk, as shown on his tumblr.

The friggin' transformers actually transform.

Seriously...transformers made out of Lego...

I am humbled.

March 19, 2012

Vonne Gut Reactions: Cat's Cradle

Here's the stuff I've been looking for, a Kurt Vonnegut novel that I can say that I absolutely loved without reservation.

We are absent any sort of alien or time travel, though there is a science fiction aspect to the concept of ice-nine which leads to the tornadoes on the cover shown in today's post.

A few things I've been noticing along the way so far that I need to remember to check in before we wrap up Cat's Cradle and head on to God Bell You, Mr Rosewater or Pearls Before Swine: idealized images of women and Vonnegut's opinion of religion.

The second certainly comes up - and could be said to be the dominant theme of this novel. Of the former, I can say that there seems to be at least a little improvement. We'll get back to those two, however.

SPOLIERS - be warned

First, as I do, I'll offer up a little summary.

Our narrator and main character, John, begins the story researching a book about what happened on the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. In the course of his investigation, John (no last name ever given) finds himself corresponding with the children of the fictitious Felix Hoenikker, father of the atomic bomb, as well as people around Ilium where Hoenikker did his atomic research. In the course of his investigations, John is introduced to the concept of ice-nine one which Hoenikker's obsessive attention was focused when he passed away many years prior.

When his research turns up little suggesting that his book would be feasible or interesting enough to continue to pursue, John turns his attention to a commissioned piece on Jullian Castle, a former playboy who has turned his charitable attention to building and running a hospital on the island nation of San Lorenzo. On the plane to the island, John meets up with two of the Hoenikker children who are on their way to meet their long-lost brother who is now a 'general' on San Lorenzo. Once there, John's journey takes a few unexpected turns as he briefly becomes the ruler of the island, marries the woman he loves, converts to a new religion, saves and then inadvertently destroys the world.

No biggie, just the end of all life as we know it.
This is the first novel in which Vonnegut reuses some of the settings and people in his fictional world. It's something tat I know comes back in many of his later novels.

We find ourselves back in Ilium, NY at the Ilium Research and Machine Works, the military installation where Hoenikker and other scientists partake in the pursuit of research for research's sake, looking into whatever happens to catch their attention and free to pursue whatever explorations that attention happens to flicker onto.

We also make a brief check-in on the Rumfoord Estate which played so prominently in The Sirens of Titan, this time a stop over for Bokonon to do a little yard work.

Vonnegut also continues to mention Indianapolis as a hometown or brief stop over for many of his characters, even going so far as to mention in this book that one of the characters finds Hoosiers running businesses and governmental posts all around the world.
Vonnegut also uses a another koan that will reappear in his later book, mentioning that the birds make the sound 'potee-phweet'.
I am not familiar with the word oubliette which Vonnegut uses to describe the hidden basement fortress in which our narrator waits out the initial destruction of the world. I had to look that one up.
Slaughterhouse Fiveis subtitled the Children's Crusade and finds Vonnegut in an old army buddy's kitchen hearing the buddy's wife accuse them of having been children when they fought in World War II.

Here in Cat's Cradle Vonnegut has the new ambassador to San Lorenzo gives a speech paying tribute to the Hundred Martyrs to Democracy (of San Lorenzo) in which he speaks of 'children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya [Hundred Martyrs to Democracy in the San Lorenzan dialect] died, my own son died...I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die...And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind."

Vonnegut's opinions of the world were clearly shaped by his time in World War II, and he does not speak of the glories of war but rather of the foolishness of war, of the need to and impossibility of never fighting another war. He doesn't hope to stop wars because he would sooner hope to stop wind, but rather Vonnegut seems to want us all to recognize that war serves no purpose other than to thin our ranks.
The father of Mona Aamons Monzano, our story's image of perfect beauty - more on that in a bit, was a Finn who
'was captured by the Russians, then liberated by the Germans during the Second World War...forced to serve in Wermacht engineer unit that was sent to fight the Yugoslav partisans. He was captured by Chetniks, royalist Servian partisans, and the by Communist partisans who attacked the Chetnicks. He was loberated by Italian parachutists who surprised the Communists, and he was shipped to Italy.

The Italians put him to work designing fortifications for Sicily. He stole a fishing boat in Sicily, and reached neutral Portugal.

While there, he met an American draft dodger named Julian Castle"
World War II was an intermingling of people of all nationalities, something that Vonnegut tells again and again in his books.
Now, to the recurring themes of religion and idealized women.

On page 219 of Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut writes that "[A]ll religions, including Bokononism, are nothing but lies."

One of the major plot threads in this book is the foolishness of religion, the idea that religion is simply a way for people to find comfort in something but which clearly offers Vonnegut no comfort at all.

Vonnegut even has our narrator end the book inspired by the words of Bokonon who has written...
If I were a younger man, I would write the history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe; and I would lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison [ice-nine] that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose and You Know Who.
There's not a much stronger statement for Vonnegut to make about religion than that.

The religion of Bokononism is one made up entirely of inspirational lie, openly told as lies and commented as such. One of the more apocryphal quotes attributed to Vonnegut - and written in his own hand - is that he hoped when he died that people would say "Kurt's in Heaven's one of [his] favorite jokes."
From Wikipedia...
"After World War II, Kurt Vonnegut worked in the public relations department for the General Electric research company. GE hired scientists and let them do pure research, and his job was to interview these scientists and find good stories about their research. Vonnegut felt that the older scientists were indifferent about the ways their discoveries might be used. The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Irving Langmuir, who worked with Vonnegut's older brother Bernard at GE, became the model for Dr. Felix Hoenikker. Vonnegut said in an interview with The Nation that "Langmuir was absolutely indifferent to the uses that might be made of the truths he dug out of the rock and handed out to whoever was around, but any truth he found was beautiful in its own right, and he didn’t give a damn who got it next.
We again get a taste of the idea that you are what you pretend to be, particularly if you pretend to be it long enough. In this case, Bokonon and Earl McCabe landed together on the shores of San Lorenzo. Once they realized that there was no reasonable way to improve the lives of the San Lorenzans, they chose to instead split their efforts, one becoming the epitome of good, a founder of a new religion who existed only as a hidden seer in the jungle, perfect good. McCabe, on the other hand, became the leader of the government, choosing to outlaw Bokononism and become the purity of 'evil'. Eventually, McCabe and his successor, 'Papa' Monzano, become true dictators, even impaling their subjects on the Hook.
Things are slightly improved in Vonnegut's treatment of women, but only slightly.

We have this time two examples of womanly perfection, women who are so gorgeous, perfect, loving, and wonderful that they cannot possibly be characters of more than one single dimension. Dr Hoenikker's first wife, Emily, is described by a stonecarver as "my first lady angel, if God ever sees fit to show me one, it'll be her wings and not her face that'll make my mouth fall open. I've already seen the prettiest face that ever could be. There wasn't a man in Ilium County who wasn't in love with her, secretly or otherwise. She could have had any man she wanted."

She is blindly devoted to Dr Hoenikker, a man whose one show of humanity toward his children is received with terror, sending his son screming from the house.

Mona Aamons Monzano is described by John as "the most heart-breakingly beautiful girl [he] ever hope[s] to see." Her beauty is so total and unassailable that she is the most treasured natural resource of San Lorenzo.

We do, however, get two more realistic female characters: Angela Hoenikker and Claire Minton. Claire is the wife of the new American ambassador to San Lorenzo, and while her part is certainly small, she isn't described to as being perfectly gorgeous or without flaw. She is a professional indexer who is able to tell much about Phillip Castle, Jullian's son, just from the index that he writes for his own book.

Angela Hoenikker is a new species for Vonnegut. She isn't a gorgeous woman. She has limited talents - taking care of her father, playing the clarinet - and a fairly miserable inner life and marriage. She actually exists as a semi-three-dimensional character here. She isn't our lead character by any mean, but she isn't a blank slate against which the male characters can throw their fantasies.

I don't know if this sort of growth will continue, but it's a solid start. If Vonnegut keeps up this growth, he just might be a decent writer.
The whole ice-nine thing...

I find the idea fascinating. There's just enough science there that I can accept it. I know that the phase diagram for water does have a number of different ice phases, none of which - by my understanding - copies itself instantly to water surrounding it.

The description of Hoenikker's ability to explain scientific ideas so clearly that anyone could understand, followed immediately by Vonnegut's explanation of ice-nine's properties and the analogy of stacking cannonballs and oranges is beautifully written.
Best Vonnegut yet...

March 17, 2012

Link, link, boboink...

Banana, fanana fo link...

Nation Abuzz With Prospect Of 18-Year-Old Boys Having Their Dreams Crushed

Get More: MTV Shows

March 16, 2012

Lonnieburger baskets: Tank's Bar & Grill (Dayton)

It's March so that means basketball. Next Thursday, for example, I have tickets to see the national DII men's semifinals at Bank of Kentucky arena over in Northern Kentucky. Hopefully Bellarmine will keep rolling along to at least then - and maybe to a second straight championship?

But I digress...

Calen and I trekked to the University of Dayton where we sadly saw the Vikes lose to the Middies - whose coach broke out Principal's heart last year, but that's neither here nor there. What is here and there is Tank's Bar & Grill (they provided the outside pic - no snow on the day we visited) in Dayton, a little down the road from the University of Dayton, a place that comes semi-recommended by RuffRyder (who used to and maybe still does frequent these parts). Calen texted and asked for a burger recommendation near his old campus, and he sent us to Tank's. Turns out, however, that he's never been there himself. He'd just heard that it was good.

So, let's put that quasi-recommendation to the test and see if anybody salutes.

  • Apologies for the photo quality that you're going to see a little later. I could blame Calen's camera, but mine's no better, honestly. This first pic, though, is spot on clear and you get about as good a pic of the burger as you're going to see.

    The burger is freshly made with loose form and slightly sloppy shaping. The beef seems to be of decent quality with a nicely moist feel and enough fat to leave my fingers shiny as I ate the burger. That's all good. The problem, however, comes with the purity of that beefiness. There seemed to be absolutely no spice in the burger at all - no salt, no pepper, no nothing. Calen and I both salted - and I peppered - our burgers and found them vastly improved. I'm not a salt freaky by any stretch of the imagination, but I do want some flavor other than the pure beef. Pure beef is bland, man, no matter how good it is.

    The burger wasn't crusty and was pushed a little beyond the medium that I had ordered - no pink anywhere to be found on mine or on Calen's (also ordered medium). So, what's that make? In almost rightly cooked, utterly unspiced, fresh beef burger. What's that worth? Burger - 6 

  • The fries in the top of the photo are in focus. Shut up...

    You can also see that they're also a little shiny (I don't want to say greasy, but they kind of were). They also weren't crispy in the least or very spiced. Clearly, Tank (Calen's pretty sure that Tank, himself, was at a table a couple away from us and might be eating a few too many of his own burgers...every day) isn't a man to overly (or remotely correctly) spice things. C'mon, man. They are, however, freshly cut. If you've had fries at Penn Station, you've had the fries at Tank's give or take. Fries - 5

  • The bacon was bacony but not noteworthy.The onion was sharp and bitey, fresh. The cheese was melted and slightly translucent. The lettuce had cell walls and chloroplast and everything. Trust me; I saw them with my own bare eyes. The toppings were successfully placed on top of the burger. Nothing was wrong with them, but nothing was particularly right about them, either. Toppings - 5 

  •  I was surprised that Tank's turned out to be a disco on the inside...particularly because the outside doesn't seem all that disco-ey.

Wait, no, that was just my shaky camera skills. The flash was supposed to be off, but it turns out it wasn't. When the flash hit, I moved the stupid thing out of everybody's face so I wouldn't be that jerk-face who flashed his camera flash all over that place.

  • Tank's is a solid, neighborhood place. They've got a bar and a couple of rooms in which to dine. They've got nice, hanging plants over the bar. They've got restrooms that are sort of heated. They've got a bunch of televisions around - no flat screens here, though. Things are a little dated, but they're comfy and friendly. Ambiance - 6
  • $7.99 for the burger - cheese and bacon coke was a couple more bucks. That's right in the middle of the range. Cost - 5 
Other Stufffff
  • Seriously, the plants are a nice touch. Fresh oxygen in the room is always appreciated. +`1 
  • Um, there's not much else to be said about Tank's. It's not a bad place, but it's the kind of place that exists pretty much in every town. 
The math isn't looking too good for Tank's. Where do they fall?

Tank's Bar & Grill got 28 points.

  • Terry's Turf Club - 45
  • Cafe de Wheels - 44
  • Senate - 43 
  • City View Tavern - 40 (scaled from 32/40)
  • Stuffed on Vine - 38
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries - 36 
  • Roxy's - 36
  • VanZandt - 34
  • Gabby's - 34 
  • Oakley Pub & Grill - 34 
  • Quatman's - 32 / 34.5
  • Troy's - 32 
  • By Golly's - 32
  • Wildflower Cafe - 31.25 (scaled from 26/40) 
  • Sidetracks - 31
  • Virgil's Cafe - 28 
  • Tank's Bar & Grill - 28
  • The Pub at Rookwood Mews - 28
  • Smashburger - 28
  • Habits Cafe - 28
  • Graffiti Burger - 27
  • Arthur's - 26
  • Sammy's - 25 
  • Gordo's - 20
Maybe we should try Doubleday's.