RL299 - Mas Libros

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The problem: John was a Harvey Man, which is an unknown reference right now.

The show title refers to a visitor from Spain who thought John would have more books, but he does have a lot of book, mas libros in Spanish.

It is early, both here, there and everywhere. Merlin had okay good sleep last night, but John was up late as usual because he has some projects going on.

John got a bookshelf that is 100 miles long. It twists around and turns and goes up and down for multiple levels. He was hiding behind it, pushing books out, trying to communicate with people in the past. It is fun, but also super-frustrating because you can’t really move the book as much as you would want.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

Merlin’s trash pickup concept (RL299)

Merlin’s garage is a regrets-sink. It certainly has a lot of empty cans of fizzy water. He just had a pickup this week where men come with their truck and take things away, like a lot of cardboard. Merlin’s family is on the brink of a purge and clean-up because the house is getting smaller and his daughter’s stuff is making an extra Sudetenland. She expands and her projects expand. The things in Merlin's garage are some combination of known junk and garbage stuff, to the point where the little carriage for the doll, the little perambulator is getting mildewy and his daughter is not going to play with it ever again.

Merlin likes the idea of pickup, when the big burly men with the big burly truck come to visit him. It usually is preceded by a period of angst and frustration that there is no room anymore. It starts with a situation where you have to make room to make room. Usually Merlin wakes up one morning and the itch is too strong to not scratch anymore. That is when he calls and makes an appointment for that day or the day after. He needs to get out of the thinking mode and into the things-leave-my-house mode, which is why it helps to do it the same day. He knows that there is a large amount of stuff that is no-brainer garbage and it needs to go. Then it becomes a game: How big can I make this pile with 3 hours notice? All of a sudden everything is potential garbage and it changes your POW. If Merlin had scheduled that appointment for 3 weeks from now, he would just procrastinate and get a system to get organized.

Breakfast for the table (RL299)

John has expanded his pancakes-for-the-table-thing and started ordering a whole separate breakfast entree for the table, because who doesn’t want a little bacon, and if you don’t, then just don’t eat it! There are four of them and five entrees arrive, one of which goes in the middle. It got 2 pancakes, 4 slices of bacon and a couple of scrambled eggs. Now you can get your Eggs Benedikt or Reuben sandwich or you could get spaghetti for breakfast, but you can still have a little pancake.

Chicken sandwich (RL299)

Merlin is on a chicken sandwich bender to a point where he has become an embarrassment to his family. He doesn’t know why, but he wakes up in the morning wanting a zesty fried chicken sandwich. If they had a Chick-fil-A near him, he would be in trouble. A fried chicken breast on a soft bun with some kind of zestyness like Sriracha and some pickles on. John likes to reach into the refrigerator and bite a pickle. Merlin gets those little sweet ones called Bread and Butter.

If you go to Katz’s Deli, they give you the one pickle and the other pickle if you ask, the sweet and the sour pickle. Merlin was at a barbecue place yesterday where he got some pickle on the side. He had a sample platter with Pulled Pork, Brisket and Ribs. It ended up being for the table, because his daughter dug into his bonus Mac & Cheese side. Merlin enjoyed the greens with peppery vinegar on it. Beans and Greens and Mac & Cheese.

Sometimes Merlin buys 2 chicken sandwiches and saves one for the next morning. John would eat both. Last night he made chicken Cordon Bleu for dinner and had to resist eating them all. Merlin wishes he could just deploy chicken sandwich the way you can get a 12-pack of Seltzer, like if there was an automat across the street from his house.

Merlin’s wife has a few signature dishes that everybody enjoys. She is a specialist in air-dried whole-roast chicken or she will turn Thai meat into Teriyaki chicken. Merlin is glad she is the one who shops for that because he would order 2-3 times as much of the protein as she choses. They never had left-overs! Merlin treads lightly because that is her project and he wants to be really careful not to seem ”Meh, you did it wrong!”

John doesn’t want a pickle on his chicken sandwich. He takes it off and there will be a little bit of flavor left, which is okay. He doesn’t mind a vinegar. John is a chicken-sandwich with mayonnaise guy.

Fast Food restaurants (RL299)

One time John went to a place in Des Moines that had unlimited Fish & Chips, which John thought was his dream meal, but after you eat two helpings you are pretty cashed. When Merlin was in Brighton, he made a point of having Fish & Chips and he is still digesting it. It came in a cone of newspaper that was absolutely soaked all the way through and it was so good! Unlimited though? Bottomless salad and bread, like in an Olive Garden is a different thing. Red Robin gives you bottomless fries, which is like giving people bottomless rice. John used to work at Red Robin.

Seattle has made a point to not have any fast-food restaurant in the entirety of the city. They just ran them out one after another and there is only one Denny’s left. John’s mom loves a Red Lobster and they have to drive 45 minutes to get to a Red Lobster because the nearest one is in Tacoma.

Recently, John was driving around out in the sticks, he looked over and there was a Wendy’s. He asked his passenger if they remember the last time they ate at a Wendy’s and they did not, so John immediately pulled over into the Wendy’s. John’s dad loved Wendy’s! If you were going to go to a fancy fast food restaurant in the 1980s, Wendy’s was a cut above.

John’s compatriot ordered a single and a medium Frosty and John got a double with cheese and a large Frosty, because: Come on! You didn’t come here to get a small frosty, we are not fucking Ichiro here just singling into the infield, building up our stats. When John was just about to close the order, he added a chicken sandwich. It is fast food and got a lot cheaper so the whole thing was $10 or something and John doesn’t want to know about what happened between the farm and the table. It was a great chicken sandwich and so Daddy is going to stop at a Wendy’s once in a while for a large Frosty and a chicken sandwich.

Merlin could imagine a platter with 6 different kinds of chicken sandwich. He is not generally a fan of sliders, because that is a little cute, but a flight of 6 small chicken sandwiches? Chicken salad sandwich on the other hand is not even a fair comparison. It can be good, but Merlin is not much of a salad sandwich person. He used to like Underwood Deviled Ham on white bread when he was a youth and he will eat a Chipped Beef on toast. He used to have a Stouffer’s version of it.

Merlin’s dad used to call it Shit on a Shingle. When he came back from Korea where there was a police action, he couldn’t eat chicken or rice ever again, because he had to kill fucking chickens and eat them. He also didn’t like fireworks. Police action, Harry Truman, hear what I’m saying? John’s mom has killed a lot of chickens. Her grandpa would take a chicken down into the root cellar, chop off its head and run and then the chicken would run around with the blood shooting all over the place while they would sit at the top of the stairs and laugh.

Rhein Haus, Seattle (RL299)

There is a restaurant in Seattle that was called Von Trapps, but they got sued by Austrians from Vermont and now they changed their name to Rhein Haus. It is built in John’s old neighborhood in an old warehouse that used to be a band practice space and that they blew out and made this enormous restaurant. It has Bocce courts in it and it is really fratty in there on weekend nights.

They also have big spaces that are for example reserved for the X-box team, like a company will take their 25 employees there for a meeting. Everything about it would suggest that John would not go there. It is pretty bro-y, a drinking place with a corporate feeling, but it is right in the heart of John’s old neighborhood and it serves sausages of every stripe. There are like 15 kinds and there is a sampler platter with one of each and it comes on something like a garbage can lid. ”White sauce? Not a problem! Extra meat for $1”

There is probably a guy in the back who is dipping his catcher’s mitt into Sauerkraut, because there is also a catcher’s mitt sized blob of Sauerkraut alongside the 15 sausages (see menu here) which are not small, but sized like a lighthouse for a green army men army. They also have a phenomenal goulash there and John challenges you to find a goulash anywhere!

John’s nuclear family loves going to the Rhein Haus and his daughter likes to watch people play Bocce. She wants to play it but they won’t let her. You have to be this high to ride this ride. The Bocce area is in the bar area, so the little girl can’t go in, but she can stand outside and watch people play it. Every once in a while John is going to ask a waitress and they will let them go in and watch for a minute.

John’s gang loves to go to the Rhein Haus because at 5pm there are no bros there, just a smattering of people who work at X-box. There are many other things on the menu, but John always gets the 15 sausage platter. Normally John will get a different thing every time, but 15 sausages are the definition of variety. He never gotten a Schnitzel there or a Spätzle or a Sachertorte, he doesn’t even know if they have one because he never reads that far down and his desert at this place is another sausage. He will take some home and eats them three more days.

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