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I Went To Meat… And Beyond!

11 Nov

November 12, 2019

I was in my local Dunkin’ Donuts (or DD as they like to be called nowadays, to the ire of Daredevil fans everywhere). It was strangely derelict-free.

Dunkin’ D has joined the growing trend of fast-food restaurants that serve meat-that-isn’t-meat. Surprise! It is some sort of plant based thing, made from, I don’t know, algae? Plankton? Triffids?

Triffids. It is made from Triffids.

They’ve got a lot of nerve calling this a sausage. Anyway, I had no intention of trying one. I’m a real man. Real men eat real meat, whether it comes from a cow, coyote, or crow. That’s real eating right there. This plant-based abomination? Save it for the Bernie Sanders supporters.

But if there’s something I like as much as real meat, it’s a freebie, and this D Donuts was giving out free samples of this sandwich, little pieces of plant-based “sausage” on a little piece of bagel with a little piece of cheese. About the size of a quarter of a sandwich. So I tried it. What the heck? The worst it could do to me was give me severe stomach cramps.

If this tray was full of free arsenic sandwiches I would have taken one.

The first thing you have to know is that the color is deceptive. On the outside it is a brownish-red, but on the inside, all green. Yes, this is green on the inside. Totally unlike meat but very like something plant-based.

But how does it taste? It tastes absolutely unlike meat. Completely and totally non-meat-like. What about the consistency? Again, nothing like meat. It was like eating leaves that were pressed together. Not chewy but not falling apart. Honestly, it was OK. Just not meat.

Bottom line- would I eat it again?

It will never be my first choice, or my second choice. Not my third choice either. But if ever found myself in a situation where there was no other place to eat for miles around, and there was nothing else to eat but this, I would eat this. The taste was OK, whatever it was, with a hint of spice. Triffid never tasted so good.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review of Star Wars: Tarkin, by James Luceno

25 Jan

January 25, 2019

In Star Wars, Grand Moff Tarkin was played by Peter Cushing. He’s easily my favorite character, more villainous in the film than Darth Vader. He’s also played by one of my favorite actors, so when this book came out I went against my better judgement and read a Star Wars novel. I’m glad I did.

I give Tarkin 5 stars, but bear in mind, this 5 star rating is not the same 5 stars I give Flowers for Algernon. This is 5 stars as far as Star Wars books go, a totally different scale. Flowers for Algernon is a triumph of literature. This is a good read.

I generally dislike Star Wars novels. This one, though, breaks the mold. It is more sci-fi than fantasy, ignoring all the Jedi mumbo-jumbo nonsense that other books get bogged down in. In fact, being from the bad guy’s point of view, this has a nicely negative view of the Jedi. It reads more like the old Alan Dean Foster novels, like Splinter of the Mind’s Eye or the original Han Solo novels. It bridges the gap to the New Hope era, disposing of The Clone Wars and entering the better era of Star Wars. If  you need a movie reference point, consider this as happening just before Rogue One.

Peter Cushing

Some reviewers don’t care for the plot, which they dismiss as Tarkin and Vader chasing around some random disposable rebels. They miss the point. This book is all about the backstory. You learn a lot about Tarkin and what molded and motivates him. You also learn a bit about The Emperor and Vader too. The main plot is really just the skeleton that the meat of the backstory hangs on. This is a character study / biography of Grand Moff Tarkin, and as such it works. The novel also explores the relationship between Tarkin and Vader, and for all those who wonder why Vader would take orders from anyone besides the Emperor, let alone someone who isn’t even a force user, this book explains.

The writing is also well done. In fact, just compare it to the two excerpts of novels by other authors that follow it in the paperback edition. Not only is neither the least bit interesting or original, but their writing is clearly not as good. James Luceno may be the only Star Wars writer today worth reading.

 

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