Disappointment

Let me qualify what I am about to say with this: I love queso and I enjoy Chipotle. The taste of that cilantro-rice with their fresh meat and really good salsa just works together really well. And queso…well…c’mon. There is no better dip for your chip.

I mean, a jar of Tostitos queso and whatever tortilla chips there are in the house is my number one pick for a Saturday or Sunday of football. Tastes amazing, and cleanup is just tossing stuff in the fridge (if there is some left) or the trash. The easy cleanup has it just ahead of Velveeta&Rotel, to me, because you have to make that queso, meaning there is a pot to clean.

Heck, in a pinch, melting some cheese on top of your chips is a solid play.

Heres where my posture turns.

Chipotle made queso. The one thing their menu lacked. My friends and I have always agreed, should Chipotle make queso, world domination would not be far behind for the Tex-mex giant. Chipotle becoming a hotbed for killer foodborn disease notwithstanding, the restaurant has actually blundered with their installment of the cheesy delight.

It sucks. I really don’t know how else to describe it. Chipotle got caught up in some glory battle over fresh ingredients or something and made a not-so-good-tasting product. By itself on a tortilla chip, it actually tasted more like cheddar potato soup. I was incredulous. All they had to do was take some of their delicious salsa and some of their fresh cheese and combine the two. Whatever they did instead of that created something more confusing than auto insurance fine print. Once combined with a burrito, taco, whatever you get at Chipotle, it completely disappears. I got it on my bowl and couldn’t tell it was there. Thinking I was losing it, I grabbed a chip, scooped some queso, and added some rice from the bowl (and only rice) and I was unable to tasks the queso of which I had a good bit of on the chip.

Starting at $1.25 to add it to your burrito, it’s a bit costly. By this line in the blog I’m sure you are thinking “Okay, maybe you’re overreacting? Is it possible you hyped it up too much and were betrayed by your own expectations?” The answer is no. Not at all. This stuff sucks. Don’t waste your money on it.

Bottom line, if you want queso on your Chipotle, do this. Go to Kroger, buy some Tostitos queso, then go to Chipotle and order your stuff. Then combine. Don’t waste your money or time with Chipotle not-queso.

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Football

We did it. Just pat yourself on the back right now. Congrats buddy, we’re here. It is football season once again.

Tonight, a big school with national title hopes weirdly opens on the road at a conference foe’s stadium that will showcase a team destined to squeak into a bowl. Yeah, Ohio State plays Indiana. I’m not too interested in that game, though, and here’s why…

The UC Bearcats open up their season at home against Austin Peay. The lowly Governors have won something like one game in 4 years. They didn’t win any last year. Now they come to the Queen City to face a revamped, reinvigorated Bearcats team led by the next big thing in coaching, Luke Fickell.

Luke has already done some things right. Firstly, by definitively announcing who the starting quarterback is. I know, that seems pretty easy, but ol coach Tuberville couldn’t even do that last year. Hayden Moore, Gunner Kiel, and Ross Trail were handed starts like Tuberville was Oprah giving out gifts to her audience. All three started multiple games, and all three were surprised pretty much every week. Remember senior day, when Kiel, the senior quarterback, didn’t play a down? Yeah…

That’s all changed, though. Straight out of camp, Fickell tabbed Moore as this year’s guy. Moore even expressed his gratitude in an interview, not just for being named the guy, but the way it was handled. He feels confident now, something he sorely lacked last season. He’s go experienced teammates on the offensive side of the ball, so we’ll see what happens.

Speaking of experience, that’s something the defense lacks. Take the linebackers, for example. The corp has a total of eight guys. Six of them are freshmen, one a sophomore, and the other, Jaylyn Minor, is the lone senior. The program needed rebooting after last year’s 4-8 record, and Luke has the young guys to do it.

Most folks are saying the key thing to watch in this game, that should ultimately be a blowout, is how well the running game looks. Last year it was pretty atrocious. Mike Boone is back and healthy now, though, so it will be intriguing to see if the O-Line has improved any at all. If it has, the Bearcats may go Bowling this winter.

IDK: Turbo

If you google how to create a successful blog, most, if not every article will tell you to find your niche and stick with it. I don’t like that. I enjoy many things, but am no expert in anything, so I will take on everything. That being said, there’s an awful lot that I don’t know. These posts will be about things I have no knowledge of but decided to look em up and write about em.

 

This being my first know-nothing post, I didn’t want to tackle something too out there, like string theory. Instead, I thought I would write about a turbo charger on an automobile engine.

I like cars (and trucks) and enjoy car shows.

jeremy-clarkson-facts

Grand Tour host, and former Top Gear presenter, Jeremy Clarkson once described what a turbo charger (henceforth referred to as ‘turbo’) does. He said, “Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens, and you go faster.” Probably as good as you can explain it, really.

 

 

Say I am slightly more curious, though. The all-knowing Wikipedia describes a turbo as such: “(it) is a turbine-driven forced induction device that increases an internal combustion engine’s efficiency and power output by forcing extra air into the combustion chamber.” Sounds like it’s your annoying younger sibling who constantly is blowing on your ear during a long road trip in order to get a rise out of you. The reaction is the mechanical equivalent of you throwing a tantrum.

2017-porsche-911-turbo-test-review-car-and-driver-photo-674265-s-original

Engines aren’t limited to just one turbo, either. The Porsche 911 turbo has a pair of turbos that create a quick ride. Blowing all that air and pumping proportionate amounts of fuel pushes the 911 T up to 60 mph in less than three seconds. You can only blink like a few times before you’re speeding on every road that doesn’t start with the letter I.

 

The McLaren P1 takes that even a step further, adding an electric engine to the mix. See, despite not having driven a turbocharged car, I have heard that there is a slight lag between acceleration and turbo firing. The German engineers who made the P1 decided to fix that by having the electric motor boost the engine while waiting for the turbo to wake up. Because of that, well, there’s a reason you haven’t seen a P1 around your suburb (unless you live in Beverly Hills).fbrywmx2sswrg1kor11c

Nowadays turbos are pretty common. A turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is becoming more normal and replacing the V-6. Turbos, despite making your car more awesome in the performance area, also make your car more fuel-efficient. Take the new Chevy Cruze, for example.2017-chevrolet-cruze-lt-sedan-headlight

 

The 2017 Chevy Cruze comes with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, in some options, that delivers 40 mpg highway and 30 mpg in the city. The 1992 Grand Marquis I scoot around in, meanwhile, has a V-8 and gets maybe 12 mpg overall. Give me that Chevy.

So, yeah, basically a price tag that bumps up a few nickels due to that “turbo” tag, it’s worth it.

Really Early Thoughts: Cincy Football

We’re a little over halfway through July and I am really jonesing for some football…

…so here are some thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals as Training Camp approaches.

The Bengals have three running backs that they think are of starting caliber. Just about everyone else that knows football thinks its Joe Mixon and everyone else fighting for the second-string spot. It would probably be a more closely contested match if Giovanni Bernard were healthy, but he isn’t.

That pits Mixon against Jeremy Hill. For what my unprofessional opinion is worth, I like Mixon.

The Bengals’ offense, overall, should be far more entertaining this season. John Ross adds the kind of receiver opposite the awesome A. J. Green that the Bengals missed last season (Should have kept Sanu/Marvin Jones). Green will catch pretty much anything you throw at him while Ross is supposed to be the kind of guy who can speed past the furthest defensive back. Add in a healthy Tyler Eiffert (full disclosure, I am getting tired of waiting for Eiffert’s health) a sophomore Tyler Boyd, and the play-making ability of Mixon and the Bengals, with some amount of blocking from a decimated o-line, will be fun to watch.

Defensively, the Bengals got younger.

No more Rey Maualuga, who Cincinnati fans had become so accustomed to seeing that most of them may not realize he is gone, and enter in Kevin Minter, who came over from the Cardinals. The 2017 season will be Minter’s fifth, his first four all spent in Arizona. In his last two seasons in the desert, Minter compiled 175 total tackles, 20 of them for no-gain or negative yardage. Another key newcomer to the defense is rookie Carl Lawson. For what opinions from OTAs are worth, he’s really fast.

Another interesting watch will be the kicker…and now I’m done talking about that.

…………………………………

On the college side of things, the UC Bearcats will be completely different.

Luke Fickell has come to Clifton and put everyone on notice. As of right now, the only thing that is known about the new Bearcats is that they are intense and well-conditioned. Other than that…well…we’ll find out August 31st when they host Austin Peay. Yours truly has season tickets to Nippert, so expect a little more writing regarding the college football team from Cincinnati.

I love baseball, but the past few years, during the All-Star Break, I’ve gotten pigskin fever. This year feels like the fever upgraded to a virus…

August 31st can’t get here soon enough.

A Movie Review Nobody Asked for – Spider-Man: Homecoming

It’s been tried twice before. Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield gave it their best shots, but ultimately they fell short. Given the past showings, they may have attempted to capture the essence of the most difficult superhero to accurately portray.

Spider-man has always been my favorite superhero. Batman is great, Superman is…well…super, but there’s something about Spider-man. He was always a kid trying to figure out life stuff while at the same time trying to calm down a genius with robotic tentacles coming out of his back or a man who is really a scorpion. At the end of the day, when the baddies were put away, he’d go back to algebra homework and figuring out how to talk to Mary Jane.

Tom Holland captures that with his performance in Spider-Man: Homecoming. We get the awkward teeny-bopper that Maguire and Garfield just can’t evoke. Holland shows the ability to get a laugh out of a tense situation, and that is my favorite part about Spider-man’s character. When the Green Goblin is tossing little pumpkin bombs at him, Spidey has the kind of personality to say “Hey, you forgot this!” while throwing the bomb right back at the Goblin.

You also really get the feeling of Spidey trying to fit in with the superhero world. Sure, it’s written in as a plot point, but you really feel the frustration that Peter Parker has whenever Tony Stark tells him he needs to keep focusing on the little things. Holland easily plays a teenage Spidey who feels unappreciated.

Another area where Homecoming hits the nail on the head is with the villain. Michael Keaton is a terrific actor who has played many roles. In Homecoming he plays a dude you could almost level with. Sure, he makes a living stealing things and turning them into his own creations but his reason is sort of admirable. The government screwed him over, so he now does what he does to get back at them. Plus, his suit is pretty cool. I like the pseudo-robo Vulture.

Overall the movie was good. I’d give it 4 out of 5. A little word of warning heading into the movie, the beginning is slow and it takes a minute to get going. One of the biggest victories for this rendition of Spider-man, though, is that they don’t spend half of the movie telling you what you already know. In the movie, Uncle Ben died a while ago. So much so, I do not remember a conversation between Aunt May and Peter where they mentioned Uncle Ben. Big plus, I say.

So go see it. Go see it if you like action, go see it if you like superheroes, and definitely go see it if you’re a fan of the Web-slinger. For this installment, the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man, will have you walking out of the theater satisfied.

Passing Down a Little Knowledge

If you like IPAs, you will love Rhinegeist’s newest year-round brew, Knowledge. Having had a few I can tell you straight up, I will be having more.

Let me get this out of the way first, I am not going to sound like an expert. From www.thegnarlygnome.com:

Intense & refined, Knowledge delivers notes of resinous pine, dank sap, pithy grapefruit, & ripe pineapple. Chewy hops, a zesty punch; this erudite Imperial India Pale Ale sharpens perceptive depths in the studious night.”

That dude knows how to say stuff about beer in a really “guy wearing a monocle and drinking out of a snifter” sort of way. Check out that website for more stuff like that.

What I have to say about beer will make sense, but won’t sound studious/scholarly/smart, just straight average Joe talking about beer. So here it goes.

Knowledge is crisp and refreshing. I love drinking it with food. It’s great with hot dogs or pizza or burgers. It also rocks out with some Doritos.

Also a plus, it sounds like it makes you smarter (even though we know with beer, that isn’t true).

I hope you don’t mind…but I’m going to get back to drinking some Knowledge.

Mitch Said No!

THE most important thing in Cincinnati sports for 2017 happened Wednesday.

FC Cincinnati played some soccer against the Chicago Fire in a U.S. Open Cup match. The beloved FCC against the big brother MLS team from the Windy City. It took every second of the clock to figure out the winner…and then some penalty shots, but the good guys pulled off their biggest win of the franchise’s short history.

Orchestrating such a win was the team’s stellar goalie, Mitch Hildebrandt. Mitch said no…a lot. Like every single shot that came toward the net, except for a penalty shootout goal by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Soccer fans will remember that name as the former captain of the German national team in the World Cup a few years back.

Yeah, FCC beat down some big dogs on Wednesday.

A little unprofessional analysis:

  • Jimmy McLaughlin was the runner-up to Mitch for man of the match. Chicago was stuck on defense for the bulk of the time McLaughlin roamed the pitch.
  • Second highest attendance ever for the U.S. Open cup. No biggie. But, ya know, Cincinnati doesn’t have a big enough media market for some MLS pundits. Uh huh…
  • No Djiby, no problem. The man who leads FCC, by a wide margin, in goals scored was not present. They still found a way.

The underdogs now become the top dogs as FCC goes to Miami in a few weeks for the next round of the tournament. Miami is in the same boat as FCC as they are in an underling division looking to rise up.

Win in the Sunshine State and FCC is looking at a pairing with either New England or Philadelphia, both MLS teams.

Are FC Cincinnati done yet? Mitch says no!