Bitchin' Brews Beer, from a woman's point of view

3May/13Off

Gluten free on the go

Having a wheat allergy/celiac/gluten intolerance is a pain. Having that problem AND having to travel ~50% of the time is even worse. And, now, after countless trips I have finally taken a stance with fast food joints. It's not like I actively seek out McDonald's food, but while I'm traveling (aka running like a crazed person to the airport gate) I need to have something I can eat quickly and preferably on the go.

With the flurry of news and stories about how wheat is so bad for us, and the gluten free fad out now, I am shocked that the fast food joints haven't picked up on the idea. I'm not a fan of fast food, but for me, it's occasionally unavoidable. When I had some time I'll always choose a sandwich shop (shout out to Subway & Jimmy John's) because they caught on the bandwagon and can make any sandwich a salad. And truth be told, the Jimmy John Unwhich is my favorite thing but I often find the ability to wrap it up is not consistent between stores.

This brings me to the meat and potatoes of it all (also, gluten free). Why haven't fast food chains considered that their "low carb" options are seriously un-"to go-able"? Just create SOPs about how to make at least a couple of items in a gluten free, to go manner and thousands of us would be ecstatic (I think, no official survey taken).

What do I mean? Take a look. Does this Double Cheeseburger look at all edible on the go (forget about it looking plain ole' edible):

McDonald's double cheeseburger gluten free style

What's worse is that I generally ask that they make it "to go" by putting the meat on the outside an wrapping it up like a regular burger. I have only ever eaten one like that when I ordered a Big Kid's Meal. Otherwise it's always made in this plate-like thing with a leaf of odd, flimsy lettuce (which is not a part of the double cheeseburger food item on the menu).

It seems like such a simple thing, I don't know what's so hard about it. I mean, having to eat out is already a stressful event (yes, I have broken down in tears at the Burger King drive thru) I don't want to be the bitch that has to complain that, no, I can't just peel the bun off and eat it. Also, I hate that it wastes food like that too.

Does anyone know if McDonalds or other fast food joints are doing anything for the folks like us? Or should I just go back to my hermitage and live on a liquid diet as I travel?

30Apr/13Off

Coffee, Tea, or Me?

When it comes to caffeine intake you might think I follow all the other "polinskys" and have 10-15 pallets of Diet Cola stored in my garage. Well, I don't have a garage, so I choose coffee.

When you start your day at 5am - for whatever reason - coffee is the answer.

When it's late afternoon - too late for a nap - coffee is the answer.

Whether it black, a la American, or cooked into a cake, I love coffee. It's soothing and calming, despite its caffeine overload on my system. Somehow I can relax with a good cup of coffee.

But in a pinch I'll drink anything that resembles it (Starbucks Via, anyone?)

How do you drink your coffee?

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9Apr/13Off

So Google refuses to index your homepage…

Or any other page for that matter...how big of a problem is that really? I was reading an article about Movies2k and Google having it out over some copyright infringements or something. Honestly, law was a profession I chose not to go into, but that aside, let's just go to the question no one seems to be asking...is having Google "unindex" you that big of a problem?

Now, let's be clear, I've never had a site deindexed or penalized like Teleflora, JC Penny, or even what Movies2k is going through. But whenever I do hear about these, I really *hear* about those. It's as if I see an article, with each and everybody's opinion on the subject, in each of my RSS feeds. I think the closest parallel I know of would be celebrities for news outlets with Google being the celeb in question. The TMZs and E! Onlines of the tech industry chase after Googlers as if they're all mini-celebrities. Then we read the articles which tell us these are the people of whom I should worship or hate just like Cosmo tells me how to satisfy him in bed! Well, I don't honestly get it. We're all just people. People who need people. And at the end of the day we all put on pants one leg at a time.

So back to your site, now your homepage is not on the top 10 pages of results (or perhaps 3 pages) but you do have a page ranking, and that means you can still get visitors to your site. Are you a small, quick, agile company? Monitor the traffic you do get to the page.

  • If keywords are staying the same for the page and the traffic is pretty level, do nothing.
  • If you notice that you're getting more brand terms driving to this page, chances are it's showing high on pages your homepage used to.

Then you'll have to make the decision to redirect your page (most likely to the homepage) to keep the UX intact or update that page's content with temporary content during the penalty. But you'll still want to fight the fight with Google. Post press releases about what's happened. Let the media outlets like HuffPost or NYTimes pick it up and run an op ed about it! Engage your social networks and ask for their opinion! Let's see if we can get the social networks on your side to talk about it and, better yet, link to your homepage over and over! Not only did you get your name in front of a lot of eyeballs (meaning more brand searches) but you also get some added link-love from those sites too.

Now look, I'm not suggesting you go out and do things to become penalized now that I have provided one way to skip around them. I have to say this because I would assume my readers were not all blackhat SOBs, but heck, I've met some of you, and some of you are ;)

Anybody want to share their data from before/after a penalty? I'd love to see the change in Direct & Referral traffic compared to Organic traffic over the same time.

Filed under: SEO No Comments
7Apr/13Off

Gluten free Egg McMuffin-ish

1 Van's Wheat Free Waffle
1 slice American cheese
2 eggs, prepared as desired
3 slices deli ham

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A serving of waffles is 2, so I think the carb intake is only 19g for one. So it's not the most completely low carb thing ever, but it's damn close. And for breakfast it's pretty good.

I probably could have gone for a slice of bread instead but I don't have any. Plus, sometimes the waffles are cheaper and they act a lot like bread when I need it to.

Anyone know why the waffle "must be cooked for at least 10 minutes" in the oven? It's probably to kill bacteria, but I figured since it was frozen that should be ok...no?

But back to the breakfast! It's almost an egg McMuffin and I think if I added a hollandaise sauce I might be convinced this is like Eggs Benedict. Either way, it's pretty yum, and took 10 minutes to prepare and cook and all that. With limited breakfast options (other than eggs, grits, bacon, and cheese) I was looking to expand my horizons and stumbled on this tasty meal.

Did I mention this may have been a desperation meal; a resulting consequence when work takes you on the road more often than you are home. (And if you're gluten intolerant you know the problem with going out/ordering in, amiright?)

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27Mar/13Off

Smokey & The Bandit

Pairs well with the Jim Beam Devil's Cut.

Also, how thankful for technology am I? Without having progress I wouldn't be able to watch Smokey & The Bandit without such happiness. I mean how impossible would this movie be to kids today? Aside from all the actual impossible, that is.

Now, to move on to II or take a break. Jim & I will discuss and get back to you.

22Mar/13Off

Protip for Anxious Travelers

Bring something to do. I find that trying to relax doesn't ease my anxieties of the plane blowing up during takeoff, but if I bring some work to do I can keep myself busy enough to not think about the problem.

Well, I'm sure the Lorazepam I take helps too. (But I don't like taking pills so I'm really trying to wean myself off of it.)

And while my work helps to ease the anxiety of flying by passing the time, it doesn't help with the takeoff & landing (you know that whole pesky "turn off electronic devices" spiel). So if that's the worst part for you I would suggest a book of crosswords or sudoku. Maybe even a plain ole book or magazine (the inflight reading is poor and SkyMall will only take so much time to flip through). So if you still remember what books are, grab one and go. There are a lot of used book stores popping up in airports I find.

What tricks do you have to ease the anxiety of flying?

19Mar/13Off

Ice drifts, Garrett’s Popcorn, and MN

Sometimes just getting anything I can eat makes me happy. I really do like to stick to my "Paleo" diet, but when I'm traveling its not only tough, the added emotional stress makes it impossible.

So after 12 hours of traveling, 2 delayed flights, and playing in the ice drifts, I deserve this Garrett's popcorn & Cherry Pepsi. Hells to the yeah.

Here's hoping Buca di Beppo caters a salad option tomorrow.

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15Mar/13Off

Diet Coke & The Polinskies

If you have ever met any of the Southern Polinskies you might be aware of our reliance upon Diet Coke & ranch dip to survive.

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So when I travel I hate that it costs me nearly $3 for something that probably costs $0.50 to make. Consumerism is great and I know that there are many individuals who need the other $2.50 I slap down in order to survive. But at what point can the rich realize there is no more benefit of being richer? I mean when a someone moves from $1B to $1.5B is their standard of living that much improved? I'd rather spend my money on local goods so I know more of that $3 stays in my region, but dammit if Diet Coke will always make me think twice.

Oh, and don't even get me started on why I can't find Cherry Coke Zero in bottles anymore.

What sort of local, sugar-free drinks (who am I kidding - any type of drink!) should I be trying? Oh, and have you tried Cheerwine yet?

12Mar/13Off

Pete The Cattledog

Picking up a roommate sometimes comes with perks. Like Pete the Australian Cattledog. Aka Cuddledog Pete. At 13 years old he is still a happy, cute guy. And a great cuddler. And pretty decent at motivating me to work (nothing like slobber mouth to get me to get up and back to work)

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Filed under: pets No Comments
12Mar/13Off

Testing

Just checking to see if the app works. Does it? this is a link

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Filed under: Uncategorized No Comments

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