Victoria: September 2006 Archives

So, just because I haven't posted about a diner in a while doesn't mean that we haven't been going to them. In fact, now that I live by myself and my rent has therefore increased, I may only be able to eat out at diners from now on. And then only rarely.

We have mostly been going to diners that we've already written about. However, this past weekend we found ourselves near Allentown, PA, and very hungry. So we stopped at the City View Diner.

City View Diner
Photo Credit: Mike

The City View Diner is kind of on a hill, but what it mostly seems to overlook is a small village of shopping centers and malls that surround it. There wasn't much of a "view." But I like the design of the building, with the bulging out glass sides. It reminded me of some '50s era vision of the future, like an old-school Disney Tomorrowland.

City View Diner
Another one by Mike

Reflection
Me, taking advantage of the shiny walls to get a Mirror Project-esque shot. Mike was shooting digital, and I was shooting old-school, with my Canon AE-1. By the way, "Nas" and "USA"??

We are supposed to be focusing on Jersey diners here at Pop5, but personally I don't think there is anything wrong with us expanding our focus every once in a while. We have been to an awesome diner in PA that serves double-decker grilled cheese sandwiches and malt sundaes, a diner in upstate New York where we eavesdropped on sorority girls from the nearby college at 2am, and a "diner" (which hardly deserved the name) in North Carolina where we almost died from starvation before finally getting served. How can we neglect these?

Phone Booth
Me

Gumball Machines
Me

Pumpkin
Me

The City View Diner is just as pretty on the inside as on the outside, and they have the huge menu you would expect at a diner.

Inside
Mike

Inside
Mike

Menu
Mike

They even had a salad bar, and what's more, it was a good salad bar with romaine lettuce and not crappy iceburg.

Salad
Me

Mike was happy with the menu, because you could get a tuna sandwich on a pita with pierogies instead of chips or fries.

Tuna
Mike

I think he was expecting a tuna salad, but the sandwich was hot, with no mayo, and I think some celery mixed in. This he deemed just okay, but the pierogies were excellent.

I ordered egg salad. I am very picky about egg salad, but I started ordering it at the Phily Diner, and I like the way they make it there. So then I started thinking I could order it anywhere. But unfortunately, no.

Egg Salad
Sandwich that did not get eaten
Mike


We had already scoped out the dessert we wanted to try before we ordered our lunch; it was a combination cake/cheesecake, like at Ponzio's.

Cake Before

This one wasn't as good as Ponzio's, in my opinion, because there was much less frosting, and the chocolate cake was very dark and rich, and I prefer the lighter cake at Ponzio's. The cheesecake part was fabulous, however, very light and fluffy. Yum!

Cake After
Me, but with Mike's camera

So is you ever find yourself hungry near Allentown, stop in at the City View Diner. Not for the view, but for the pierogies and the cheesecake.

Canon AE-1
Mike plays with my camera
Me, with Mike's camera, obvs


City View Flag
Me

City View Diner Sign
Mike

The City View Diner gets 3 Coffee Cups
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Project Censored released its list of the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007 - they must run a year ahead, because as far as I know, 2007 hasn't happened yet. Maybe it took place while I was cleaning bees off of my windowsill.

My personal favorites:

  • #2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
    According to journalist Jason Leopold, sources at former Cheney company Halliburton allege that, as recently as January of 2005, Halliburton sold key components for a nuclear reactor to an Iranian oil development company. Leopold says his Halliburton sources have intimate knowledge of the business dealings of both Halliburton and Oriental Oil Kish, one of Iran’s largest private oil companies.
  • #6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy
    Special Counsel Scott Bloch, appointed by President Bush in 2004, is overseeing the virtual elimination of federal whistleblower rights in the U.S. government.

    The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the agency that is supposed to protect federal employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse is dismissing hundreds of cases while advancing almost none. According to the Annual Report for 2004 (which was not released until the end of first quarter fiscal year 2006) less than 1.5 percent of whistleblower claims were referred for investigation while more than 1000 reports were closed before they were even opened.
  • #8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act
    The Department of Defense has been granted exemption from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In December 2005, Congress passed the 2006 Defense Authorization Act which renders Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) “operational files” fully immune to FOIA requests, the main mechanism by which watchdog groups, journalists and individuals can access federal documents. Of particular concern to critics of the Defense Authorization Act is the DIA’s new right to thwart access to files that may reveal human rights violations tied to ongoing “counterterrorism” efforts.

    The rule could, for instance, frustrate the work of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other organizations that have relied on FOIA to uncover more than 30,000 documents on the U.S. military’s involvement in the torture and mistreatment of foreign detainees in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and Iraq—including the Abu Ghraib scandal.
  • #11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed
    Several recent studies confirm fears that genetically modified (GM) foods damage human health. These studies were released as the World Trade Organization (WTO) moved toward upholding the ruling that the European Union has violated international trade rules by stopping importation of GM foods.
  • #14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US
    Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced on January 24, 2006 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps in the United States.

    According to a press release posted on the Halliburton website, “The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. The contingency support contract provides for planning and, if required, initiation of specific engineering, construction and logistics support tasks to establish, operate and maintain one or more expansion facilities.”
    ...
    Scott speculates that the “detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law.” He recalled that during the Reagan administration, National Security Council aide Oliver North organized the Rex-84 “readiness exercise,” which contemplated the Federal Emergency Management Agency rounding up and detaining 400,000 “refugees” in the event of “uncontrolled population movements” over the Mexican border into the U.S.

    North’s exercise, which reportedly contemplated possible suspension of the Constitution, led to a line of questioning during the Iran-Contra Hearings concerning the idea that plans for expanded internment and detention facilities would not be confined to “refugees” alone.

    It is relevant, says Scott, that in 2002 Attorney General John Ashcroft announced his desire to see camps for U.S. citizens deemed to be “enemy combatants.” On February 17, 2006, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke of the harm being done to the country’s security, not just by the enemy, but also by what he called “news informers” who needed to be combated in “a contest of wills.”

They also ask the following question: If a national movement calling for the impeachment of the President is rapidly emerging and the corporate media are not covering it, is there really a national movement for the impeachment of the President?

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So the moving is done and my apartment is set up almost the way I want it. There are only three things standing in the way of my happiness:

1) BEES! On the first day I moved in, I noticed a large quantity of dead bees in the windowsill of my bedroom, between the screen and the window pane. We're talking at least 20 dead bees - a total bee cemetary. Then I noticed that some bees became both enterprising and undead, and actually entered my room. To die on the inside windowsill, or the floor. Where I stepped on them. Twice.

People, I have not been stung by a bee since my youth, but it happens to suck almost as much as moving.

I cleaned all the dead bees and flushed them down the toilet (the new bee cemetary!), but I noticed there were more buzzing around outside my window. I figure there must be a rip in the screen, and one got trapped in there and communicated "help!" to its hivemates (bees can communicate, right? I think I read that somewhere), luring them in and trapping them one by one into the mass bee grave in my windowsill. Then the enterprising ones attempted to escape by crawling through the crack in the window into my room. So I called maintenance, and taped up the window with masking tape in an attempt to prevent them from entering. I don't much care if they live outside, and I don't even really mind cleaning up dead ones from my windowsill from time to time, but I draw the line at another foot-stinging injury.

2) DISHES! Apparently, when you move and buy a whole pile of new kitchen stuff, not only do you have to wash all of the dishes you brought, but all of the dishes you just bought as well. I don't have a dishwasher in the new apartment, and so I have been proceeding with this task, slowly.

3) NO CABLE AND INTERNET! This will be remedied very, very soon.

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sheis.jpg

Lun Lun, the panda at Zoo Atlanta, gave birth to another baby panda today!! I think they should name it Butterstick 2.0.

za_cub_infant_inarms.jpg

And I don't care if all you all think I'm a freak!!

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Special guest Evan joins us for Podcasts 7 and 8!