Friday, February 17, 2012

The Battle of the Eggs


I am no respecter of Easter candy. Perhaps one of my favorite days of the year is when the Valentine holiday season officially ends…thus ending the immense creepiness of Easter candy being displayed right after Christmas.

One could say that I am quite a fan of Easter candy. Actually, I am quite a fan of candy in general! But please consider this review as personal insight from me. I am practically an expert in all things chocolate. And Easter candy holds a special, extra-flabby place in my heart.

And so a battle ensues today. Which candy-coated chocolatey goodness egg reigns supreme?

First of all, please excuse me whilst I get something to eat. My poor little pea brain cannot function on an empty stomach. And looking at these pictures of some of the best candies in the world is not helping the situation.

Man, I love waffles…

OK, I’m back and ready to give my true opinion.

I know from lots of personal interaction with them that these two chocolate-covered Easter egg-shaped candies are simply heavenly. Each has pros and cons. Each makes me happy in indescribable ways (until I stand on the scale, but that is another topic entirely).

Cadbury only makes their sweet little treats twice a year…and I eagerly anticipate that magical moment when they are finally released for mass consumption. For Christmas, Cadbury has its Christmas-colored candy for sale, and I have to work really hard to not “stock up” every time I am in a store that has them. I find myself purposely avoiding Target so I don’t casually walk by and empty the shelf. People think it indicates the existence a “problem,” and no one likes to be that person.

Cadbury also creates this delightful candy of eggs for the Easter season. If you haven’t tried them, please do. Or please don’t, depending on how much self-control you possess.

My only con to these little yummies is that eating a lot of them can start to negatively impact the roof of your mouth. You know how Captain Crunch tears things up a little? So do these. And I don’t know how they do it. I usually ignore such warning signs and eat them happily anyway. However, after several bags, the damage can be pretty bad. And I would know, from, um…the personal experience of a friend. Yep, a friend.

I’m a professional, remember?

As I was walking through the aisles of Wal-Mart just last week, I happened upon the Hershey eggs. Never mind that Valentines hadn’t even occurred yet…such things don’t offend me. Since I don’t have a problem with the Cadbury or the Hershey version, these somehow ended up in my hands, car, home, and belly. In that order.

Something great about the Hershey version is the sheer size of each piece of candy. If patience is shown and the egg is not bitten but enjoyed whole, then the candy coat eventually melts away to reveal the best dang chocolate in the world. And I know my chocolate.

Also, the aforementioned mouth-roofing Cadbury situation doesn’t happen with these because the shell is nice and smooth. Of course, this could be seen as a con if you have no problem eating a bag in two days. Not that I know anyone capable of such activities, of course.

The final verdict? If I see it, it’s my favorite. A true dilemma is when I am home and have both the Cadbury and Hershey eggs in my grocery bag. Which one goes first?!

I, for one, will be very happy, and skinny, when this whole Easter candy mess is safely behind us.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in speak up…which do you prefer?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pretty Little Bug


I say “bug” lightly. This gorgeous F-18 Super Hornet was parked on the ramp at Swift last week while I was watching maintenance being done on my airplane.

Nothing major. We are just replacing some springs, cables, and hydralocks in the passenger seats to make their butts lives more comfortable. I found two mechanics who work as a mobile team, which meant I didn’t have to fly the airplane anywhere. It took an hour to tear everything up to find which parts needed replacing. On Friday, they came back and spent four hours putting everything back together.


I watched most of this process and was as happy as a lark. You see, sitting at an airport and watching airplanes take off is one of the coolest things I get to do. And sitting at Sky Harbor Airport inside an open-door hangar provides lots of airplane-watching!


Don’t worry…I also paid attention to what these mechanics were doing. They are really good, and I am going to call them for work in the future. On an airplane this old, things are constantly in need of repair.


After we were done (them working, me watching), I walked to the ramp and passed by this little beauty. I say “little” because I am always surprised at how small some of these fighters are in person. Other aviation bodies have shocked me in size…remember when I told you about the Space Shuttle? I still can’t believe how HUGE it is! But this little F-18 took up one little spot on the ramp.


In fact, here is a picture from the Shuttle trip that I wanted to show again. It’s massive!

Just because the F-18 is a little smaller than one would think doesn’t mean I didn’t want to take pictures. I always have to be careful and smile a lot when I take pictures of airplanes on the ramp. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I was up to something fishy!

The smile throws a lot of people off…

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Comes to Town


I always love hearing from my sister-in-law. She is a sweet lady, and we are all rather partial to her being a member of our family. Her phone call this past week, however, only made me love her more.


She said she was in quite a quandary. She had been given tickets to the hottest show in town and was looking for people to join them in attendance. I hate having my arm twisted, but I like her. So I gave in.


Ironically, this concert had been something which begged for my attendance when we first heard they were coming last August. And by “they,” I mean the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. They had been invited to perform for the Arizona centennial, which we will be celebrating all year long.


Yes, we were all shocked to discover that this great state is just now turning 100 years old. It was the 48th state accepted into the United States. Isn’t that crazy?


After seeing the ticket prices, I simply accepted the fact that our present budget wasn’t going to allow an in-person attendance. So when I got a call that we could get free tickets, I was elated. Being with family on top of that was just icing on the cake.

The evening was fantastic. We ate burgers at Fez, a local hamburger joint. When asked why they always pick a gay hangout for family dinners, I was accused of being small-minded. I’m just saying…we could try other places to eat, too! I bet there are lots of eating establishments in the Phoenix area!


After dinner, we wandered around downtown Phoenix and happened upon a Yogurtini store. Somehow, only one cup per couple was purchased, and it ended up being a perfect treat before the incredible show began. I tried the cake batter yogurt and patted myself on the back when I realized how healthy I was for eating yogurt. Please ignore that the yogurt was buried somewhere underneath the Peanut Butter M&Ms, crushed Butterfinger candy bars, and bits of cookie dough. There was healthy yogurt in there, I promise.


Just half an hour before show time, we headed to the US Airways Center to find our seats. Receiving free tickets is a treat, but receiving good free tickets is an entirely different matter! I loved being close to the stage, and also slightly to the side. This vantage point helped me watch the conductors when they were resting. Mack Wilberg takes off his suit coat as soon as he is off the stage, by the way. And then he puts it back on when it is once again his turn to conduct. He was my favorite to watch. Hands were a blur! So intense! And what he can make that choir do is just incredible to me.

Perhaps I took my growing-up in Utah for granted. I lived just an hour away from listening to these people sing live any time I wanted. However, I only managed to do just that only a few times before. So being able to attend this concert was simply amazing. They sound even better in person, by the way.


Luckily, they humored the encore clapping and came back with four more songs. One of those was even led by Sandra Day O’Connor! She kept quite the beat to “This Land is Your Land.” Exceedingly old people can carry a tune, too. Who knew?

When the lights came on and the choir slowly left the stage, I didn’t want to leave. It made my appreciation for this group even more humbling when I heard that they are in the choir for twenty years, or until the age of sixty. Did you know that?! Twenty years?! And no one is paid to do it, but the choir and orchestra are made up completely of volunteers. I was blown away even more by their music when realized we were lucky to be getting any of it at all!

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