Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taming My Inner Veruca



In my younger years, I could care less about the conservative, slow acquisition of financial gains by virtue of discipline and hard work. Screw that! I, like the ultimate spoilt brat Veruca Salt, screamed out "I WANT IT NOW!" with every foolish impulse purchase I made.

I've stated here how that mentality had inevitably hurt me as time wore on.

What you earn in income from your means of employment is the primary factor in how "well off" you become, of course, but for people like me, who don't comparatively make a lot, security in a satisfactory lifestyle is the goal to strive for.

On my salary, I can't dream too big, in fact, because of my relatively meager wages, I have to be wary of financial pitfalls that could potentially spell ruin.

The best way to stay stable is to establish and maintain a healthy credit history. This sets off a number of beneficial door openings that allow not only more stability to weather fiscal storms but a brighter path to eventually elevating to the lauded status of homeownership. The ultimate dream for all us lower middle class folk.

I've been working hard at getting my credit in a more spiffy state for some time now. And at present, it looks okay...it's getting there. Certainly much better than the early to mid 2000s...the height of Koyaanisqatsi.

Here's were I stand at present:

Credit Cards:

BankAmericard Cash Rewards VISA
Credit Limit: $2,000
Opened 8/11
Current Balance: $62.99
APR: 18.99%
This card had a 0% intro rate for a year and I took good advantage of it. I paid down the nearly constant $1,000 balance over the year in time to avoid any interest. In order to increase my available credit, I just this week requested and received an increase from the original CL of $1,500 to $2,000. I use it as a substitute debit card which I'm diligent about paying off in full each month to avoid interest. This is because the cash back rewards are the best I have. I've read that if I allow my rewards to accrue to $200, I will qualify for an additional $20, so I am waiting until that happens 'till I cash out my rewards. Believe me when I tell you, I know a lot about cashing out rewards. I'll leave it at that.

Dell Financial Services
Credit Limit: $3,000
Opened 11/11
Current Balance: 0
APR: 0% if paid in 12 months.
This is not a credit card, it is Dell-only credit line available for purchases of Dell products. But it is interest free if paid within a year and it helps the overall debt to credit ratio. I opened it to buy my most recent desktop, the one I'm using right now. Now that she's totally paid off, I don't use this account at all.

Walmart Credit Card
Credit Limit: $1,800
Opened 11/11
Current Balance: 0
APR: 22.9%
Obviously at this APR, I'm never going to revolve a balance. It didn't even come with an intro rate. But hell, its open credit line (upped to $1,800 from $800 this week) helps increase available credit. I occasionally use it when I know I'll pay it off in the next couple weeks or so. It does come with a debit-card-like cash back at POP. I haven't used this yet since no cashier could tell me if it's at a cash advance interest rate or not. This card also allows for a monthly FICO score for free.

Fairwinds Credit Union Platinum Rewards VISA
Credit Limit: $3,000
Opened 3/12
Current Balance: $1,021.81
APR: Intro 0% until 3/13
I applied for this after getting a pre-approval notice in the mail. Perhaps because this is through my checking and savings acount credit union, they took a more conservative approach with the approval process requiring me to fax in a hard copy application. The loan officer contacted me and requested income verification as well. So it took longer than any other card (about a week or so) to get approved but it is the largest credit limit I have to date. The rewards are somewhat of a joke. Only 1% on any purchase and redeemable via their 3rd party vendor at outrageous "Fingerhut-like" rates (ie: A second rate DVD is on average about 2,000 points = $2,000 in spending or $20 in point redemption) I plan on paying this card off by March to avoid interest. Then, like any card I have that charges an interest rate, I'll only use it when I can pay it off monthly.

Chase Amazon.com VISA Rewards Card
Credit Limit: $600
Opened: 6/12
Current Balance: 0
APR: 21.24%
Soon after the death of Ray Bradbury, I was moved to log onto Amazon.com to buy some of his classics. I saw a banner ad for an Amazon.com VISA Rewards and that I'd get a discount on my purchase for applying. Expecting to be rejected (since I well enough knew which bank issues Amazon.com VISA cards) but applying in order to get a discount, I found out that I actually had been approved for a card with a $400 credit limit. So I immediately proceeded to buy an Amazon Kindle Fire right then in order for it to also qualify for the discount. Just this week I requested the limit increase to $1,000 but I was granted only $600. Perhaps, in light of past events, Chase might want to be extra cautious in trusting me. Just sayin'. BTW, I only use this card for Amazon.com purchases since the best rewards percentages are applied to them and I pay it off almost immediately.

Discover Card
Credit Limit: $1,700
Opened: 9/12
Current Balance: 0
APR: 3.22% intro till 3/13
I got a pre-approved notice in the mail and thought "yeah, right." Basically, Discover has been the most difficult card to get in all my years. In the eighties, I was rejected about 3 times. The nighties, maybe twice. And I didn't even try to apply in the new century. When I verified I'd received the notice online, the screen flickered and a message stated that the request was being reviewed. I thought, "Oh well, yet another rejection from Discover." The screen came back and regretted it couldn't offer me the 0% intro APR as indicated on the mail-out, but offered a 3.99% intro APR instead. I've since used it, but paid it off rapidly since even 3.99% is 3.99% more than I've paid lately.

Citi Simplicity Card VISA
Credit Limit: $1,000
Opened 12/12
Current Balance: 0
APR: Intro 0% until 12/13
Another unsolicited offer in the mail. Since I'd just cancelled Credit One, I thought I'd get this one to replace it. With a new 0% intro APR comes new opportunity for free credit over the next 12 months. Oh yeah.

Closed Credit Cards:

I've recently closed these two accounts I've had since 2007. It impacted my FICO score a bit since they were my oldest credit accounts on record, but with their exorbitant annual fees and high interest rates, not to mention the "poor credit stink" that is associated with their names, I had to cut them loose. Of course they were closed by my request with a zero balance and a perfect payment record for both.

Credit One Bank Platinum VISA:
Credit Limit: $1,300
Opened: 2007
Closed
The annual fee for this dog was about 8 or 9 dollars a month. Never mind the application fee, processing fee and set up fee I had to pay when I opened this card. Eh, I needed something back then when my credit was bad and this was the best of the pack of vultures that are sub-prime lending cards.

Orchard Bank Silver MasterCard
Credit Limit: $620
Opened: 2007
Closed
Another low-end credit risk issuer taking advantage of their desperate clientele with high fees, including an $80 year annual fee and high interest rates. No tears shed in saying goodbye to this one either.

According to my credit reports:

My one non-medical detrimental account is that pesky AT&T bill I chose not to pay when I moved from Lake Mary. So for a mere $180, my credit rating is impacted for the next 5 years now. And it's especially hard to take when I very well could have afforded to pay this. Other than this and a couple medical bills also neglected in 2010 or so which do or don't show up on reports due to them being medical bills? I see them so they must have an impact. One of the reasons I didn't pay them was because I'd heard medicals bills don't affect your credit. Um, I think they do.

So according to 2 latest credit score reports, my current credit score is either 658 (GE Capital FICO) or 686 (CreditKarma Score). According to the GE Capital tracking my FICO score was as high as 745 in late October when it had spiked up from a prior 659 score. What happened?  I would guess...Christmas. They probably hike scores for the holidays in case people want to overspend a lot. How sick.

So what now:

Most of these accounts are still wet behind the ears so until good ol' Father Time makes men outta them, they'll probably not contribute as much as I'd like to increasing my credit score. What will help right away though is keeping my debt-to-credit ratio low. Currently I'm around 10% and it will probably stay around that as I add debt to the new Citi card while it enjoys a 0% APR for the next 11 months and pay off the Fairwinds card.

Now the main thrust of focus will be to really build up savings.

I have $3,300 or so in my 403b, but I'm currently only 50% vested. Plus, that's not savings, it's retirement. I only have about $50 something bucks in my Fairwinds savings. With earnings interest rates as low as they are, there's no investment reason to really use that account. But it's a psychological thing. Much like the thinking behind why a kid would be given a savings account to manage (like I was), it's a way to instill a sense of commitment to portioning away a part of one's earnings and sequestering it in a special place for a rainy day. Who cares it earns virtually no interest? It stays in the account and is more complicated (in theory) to withdraw from than checking. That's why it works. (In reality, my Fairwinds savings is easily transferable online to and from my checking so it's not so difficult to spend from it, but it would be a psychological partition, if not a bank-imposed one.)

And when my lease comes up for renewal late this year, will I stay here, or will I have enough to buy my own place?

By then, after so much patience and so much waiting, I may just really, REALLY need to scream out "I WANT IT NOW!"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

YUMMY!: Baked Tilapia With Shrimp Stuffing

I thought I'd get a little creative tonight. I wanted to use only ingredients I had on hand so I dreamed up this dish, almost literally as it came to me when I was just waking up. I'd planned on actually stuffing the fillets but what I had were too small for that so I topped them with the filling instead. I dreamed up what I thought would be an interesting cream sauce too, but upon execution it was, let's say, not interesting at all.


Ingredients (items in parenthesis are what I would have used if I'd shopped for them):

Fish:
Thawed tilapia fillets (I think flounder would work best but remember I went with what I had)

Marinade:
2 tbsp. Kraft Tuscan Italian dressing (Kraft is subtly changing the formula for this dressing. Tastes a little more like Zesty Italian now. Maybe it's doing poorly in sales? Maybe it'll be discontinued? Boo Hoo! I want the original Tuscan Italian blend!)
1 tbsp. Goya minced garlic in olive oil (fresh garlic, finely chopped with added extra virgin olive oil)
2 tbsp. bottled lemon juice (The same. Foodies who think fresh squeezed lemon juice is better in a marinade like this are just being pretentious)
Generous sprinkling of Zatarain's seasoning

Broccoli:
1/4 stick margarine (butter)
frozen broccoli florettes (fresh broccoli spears)
1 tsp. bottled lemon juice (Here's where fresh lemon juice matters, fresh is best)
Generous sprinkling of Zatarain's seasoning (Again, no, I don't get anything for promoting them, they're just good, IMHO.)

Puree of Carrots:
Package of baby carrots
4oz. Philadelphia brand Garden Vegetable cream cheese 1/3 fat
1/4 stick margarine (butter)

Shrimp stuffing:
8 oz. medium cooked shrimp
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste

Failed Cream Sauce:
1/2 pureed cucumber (I was thinking color, not flavor)
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
Sauteed onions
Philadelphia brand cream cheese with chives
This looked and tasted awful so I abandoned it.

I was thinking a creamy and mild savory sauce but it looked awful upon execution.
Without the cucumber it might have been okay. But seeing the completed dish, it does well without a sauce

Execution:

Marinated fillets for 1 hour, then placed on cookie sheet, baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
Chopped shrimp, added egg and bread crumbs, topped on fillet just before baking.
Boiled carrots till tender, mixed with cream cheese and margarine in food processor. Blended till smooth.
Microwaved broccoli.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

SIMS CREATION: Virtual Shep689

As an avid fan of Shep689, a fabulous YouTube channel showcasing the daily exploits of an average 20-something gay couple and the wonderful people they know, I decided to create them and keep them in my menagerie of collected Sims.


Here the boys are posing so politely in their kitchen. Boyfriends Will and RJ are on the left and to the right their straight roommate Kasey.


Here we have the Shep689 vehicles. From left to right, Kasey's motorcycle, RJ's SUV and Will's Ford Focus sedan.


Here the boys are still in the kitchen though I don't know why, we know they're going to eat dinner at Chipotle's!


Later they'll end up splayed out on these couches and loveseats watching a movie or playing a video game.


Will, stop messing with those doors!

Friday, January 18, 2013

SIMS CREATION: TV Memories Series: "Downton Abbey"

As I mentioned in this post, I absolutely adore this series. So, to pay homage to it, I thought I'd break protocol and do a SIM CREATION: TV Memories on a current show instead of something from my past.

I give you my humble rendition of...

Downton Abbey:




Here's some of the interior. Note that I created this in that Bayou neighborhood that came with Sims 3 Ambitions so there seems to be a layer of swamp fog all throughout the house and grounds. Ugh!

The Saloon:



Lord Grantham's Library:



Let's all get dressed for dinner. White tie, of course.


I still have plenty more rooms to do. And my family, so far, consists only of Robert, Cora and Carson. I didn't have the patience to make all the others. And with a max of eight in a family, I'm hard pressed as to who to omit. I'll post more when I am done.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stop Death Star Violence!

Thankfully the White House is not only concerned over the number of guns in the hands of potentially unstable Americans, but also the number of Death Stars in the Universe.

We're all aware that a certain nefarious empire in a galaxy, far, far away advocates the profusion and escalation of Death Stars to the point of insanity. Certain citizens here on Earth have even gone so far as to petition the White House to budget for the building of at least one of these planet-smashing weapons. Thankfully their request was denied.

But I fear that the administration's attempt to curb inter-galactic violence has bolstered the Empire into thinking that we Earthlings may be easy targets, cowering in fear of their massive balls.

Makes you think that maybe, just maybe, we ought to have some measure of protection. Perhaps, if we're careful and responsible we could, merely for personal defense mind you, ehem, grow a pair ourselves?

Better. Stronger. Faster.

Here's my daily drug therapy regimen at present. Well, it may not be bionics but it is modern medicine's go-to answer to the middle aged condition. "We have the [pharmaceutical] technology!"

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bellagio Blues

Looks nice, yes, but come on in and look a little closer...
A couple of years ago when I moved into my little apartment here at the complex called Bellagio, I thought I'd gotten quite the deal. Rent was well below average for comparatively good quality. Or so I thought.

Slowly but surely though, I've become more and more aware of the reasons why the rent is such a deal.

1. The neighborhood has a high minority, high transient rate, high crime rate and a high low-wage earner/no wage earner population. Here's how that breaks down:

  • Minorities: Of course it would be racist to suggest that a place is inherently bad if it has a high ratio of non-whites to whites, and I don't at all intend to say that. But the fact of the matter is, I have the feeling, when assessing the attitudes and behaviors of many of my neighbors, that many minority affiliated groups regard the apartment complex, the neighborhood and perhaps Florida as a whole as an foreign land to which they feel no pride or allegiance. This is evidenced by the poor conditions of individual apartments, the common areas and the general regard for their fellow residents. It creates an atmosphere of "terrible despite".
  • Transiency: Since many residents are from other countries, or, for other reasons have weak ties to the area, they tend not to stay around. Economics come heavily into factor here as well. I think many end up defaulting on their lease and since the credit/background checks here are very lax, they may play a game where by they basically squat in an apartment, not paying any rent, until they are evicted, then they move to a similar apartment complex and repeat the process. I know it can be done.
  • Crime Rate: This area of Orlando has the second highest crime rate in the city. Luckily, I've not been a victim, but in places like this, it almost becomes a waiting game. Stick around long enough and statistics catch up to you.
  • Low-wage/No-wage: It appears that most residents that I see that do maintain a regular schedule of coming and going seem to be dressed in minimum wage job uniforms, either take the bus or drive old, dilapidated cars and, from the lack of visible wall hangings and/or furnishings, have few possessions of any value. Also, there are a lot, and I mean a vast majority of the residents that have no visible means of support. They are in their apartments virtually all the time and don't appear to need to leave for work.

2. The complex is old by Orlando standards, built in the '70s, I'd say. It was also built cheaply. This means that all manner of maintenance issues are everyday situations here. Broken plumbing, bad electrical wiring, ancient A/C systems, thin walls, inter-apartment ducts, dated appliances and fixtures and a long history of bug issues.

3. The management is incompetent and maintenance a joke. Just read my posts regarding some of my personal experiences in the past two years.

So with all this, you may ask, why do I stay here? Why did I renew my lease last August up to the end of 2013? Simple. It's cheap. And so am I. Yes, I love a well-maintained home and I love to feel I live in a comfortable, safe and convenient place. Who doesn't? But ultimately I want to be able to purchase my own home so that I might be able to have more of an ability to maintain those standards. And that takes money.

Since I don't make a lot of money and I'm unwilling to do what's necessary to do so, I have to depend on time as my ally. I can hold up here, in my sub-par dwelling until I have saved enough to effectively "escape".

Until then, I guess I just have to grin and bear it. My IKEA-ish furnishings and fag-ulous decor as well as my stalwart vigilance against the never-ending onslaught of infrastructural decay and noisy, inconsiderate and alien neighbors will get me through this.

I just gotta get out my ol' harmonica and play me some Bellagio blues.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Downton Abbey Fever

Yes, I've got it!

As surely as poor Livinia had contracted The Spanish Influenza in Season 2, I've caught "Downton Abbey" Fever. Though I doubt I'll be killed off because of it.

It started a little over a week ago (yes, that recently!). I'd never seen the show before but certainly due to its rampant popularity I'd, of course, heard about it. I knew the basics; that it was the ups and downs of life among a household of English landed gentry and their servants in the early part of the twentieth century. Well, I thought, hadn't they done this with "Upstairs Downstairs"?

So I thought I'd check it out. Season 1 was available to stream on Netflix and at first I was rolling my eyes at the "surprise" twists and chaotic relationships among the various characters. (I saw the "shocking" revelation about Thomas and the visiting Duke coming a mile away!) But as characters developed and their motives became more and more complex, I saw this was no ordinary prime-time soap.

I don't know how to describe the pace of the show. It seems to me to be an odd mix of slowly-evolving overriding arcs mixed with more sub-plots than you can shake a stick at. The character count is daunting...what, some 18 to 20 regular players? But I don't feel overwhelmed. I can easily keep up with the varied storylines. I thank that to the superb writing and phenomenal acting. I just can't say enough good about this show.

Among a lesser talent pool, this show would likely not succeed with the plot laid out as it is. Let's face it, it does get a little over-dramatic...a handsome Turkish diplomat dropping dead in congress indelicato with a virgin daughter of the Earl, the stately home sufficing as a makeshift wartime convalescent retreat (actually, the real-life estate used as the backdrop for the show actually was a military hospital during the First World War, go figure!) and a handicapped valet who may, or may not, have offed his estranged wife. But these over-the-top plot points become believable due to the personalities that have been sculpted from the characters that carry out these actions.

I had to pony up $20 to view Season 2 as it wasn't available free online (and I don't pirate) but I didn't hesitate since I was by then quite afflicted.

And, now like so many people who have been following this regularly since its beginning broadcast over a year ago, I dutifully set aside my schedule to allow time to watch it as its televised via PBS.

Of course I know we Americans are getting this show as leftovers. The Brits have already completed the full 7 episodes of the most recent season and, I suspect those yet to be broadcast in North America may be available on the ITV website. But I won't even check it out. I can't endure any spoilers.

No, I'll wait patiently with my fellow American fans and watch it each week as it airs on television. To cheat and view it ahead of schedule would be, well, un-gentleman-like.

And wouldn't The Dowager Countess Violet have something deliciously saucy to say about that!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Love Conquers All

As you know, I try to remain relatively apolitical on this blog since, by nature, I'm actually quite apolitical myself.

But I happened upon some statistics which I don't think are getting any fair-play in the airing rights as they aught to, IMHO.

According to Wikipedia, the following is currently true in the US:

The United States has the only bans on cousin marriage in the Western world.

As of February 2010, 30 U.S. states prohibit most or all marriage between first cousins, and a bill is pending in Maryland which would prohibit most first cousins from marrying there. Six states prohibit first-cousin-once-removed marriages. Some states prohibiting cousin marriage recognize cousin marriages performed in other states, but despite occasional claims that this holds true in general, laws also exist that explicitly void all foreign cousin marriages or marriages conducted by state residents out of state.

Data on cousin marriage in the United States is sparse. It was estimated in 1960 that 0.2% of all marriages between Roman Catholics were between first or second cousins, but no more recent nationwide studies have been performed. It is unknown what proportion of that number were first cousins, which is the group facing marriage bans. To contextualize the group's size, the total proportion of interracial marriages in 1960, the last census year before the end of anti-miscegenation statutes, was 0.4%, and the proportion of black-white marriages was 0.13%. While recent studies have cast serious doubt on whether cousin marriage is as dangerous as is popularly assumed, professors Diane B. Paul and Hamish G. Spencer speculate that legal bans persist in part due to "the ease with which a handful of highly motivated activists—or even one individual—can be effective in the decentralized American system, especially when feelings do not run high on the other side of an issue."

Among supporters of repealing the laws, the Cousin Couples organization describes itself as "the world's primary resource for romantic relationships among cousins including cousin marriage." This group likens laws against cousin marriage to the anti-miscegenation laws of decades past. Their website includes legal and religious information and a message board.

A bill to repeal the ban on first-cousin marriage in Minnesota was introduced by Phyllis Kahn in 2003, but it died in committee. Republican Minority Leader Marty Seifert criticized the bill in response, saying it would "turn us into a cold Arkansas." According to the University of Minnesota's The Wake, Kahn was aware the bill had little chance of passing but introduced it anyway to draw attention to the issue. She reportedly got the idea after learning that cousin marriage is an acceptable form of marriage among some cultural groups that have a strong presence in Minnesota, namely the Hmong and Somali.

In contrast, Maryland delegates Henry B. Heller and Kumar P. Barve sponsored a bill to ban first-cousin marriages in 2000. It got further than Kahn's bill, passing the House of Delegates by 82 to 46 despite most Republicans voting no, but finally died in the state Senate. In response to the 2005 marriage of Pennsylvanian first cousins Eleanor Amrhein and Donald W. Andrews Sr. in Maryland, Heller said that he might resurrect the bill because such marriages are "like playing genetic roulette."

Texas actually did pass a ban on first-cousin marriage the same year as Amrhein and Andrews married, evidently in reaction to the presence of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). Texas Representative Harvey Hilderbran, whose district includes the main FLDS compound, authored an amendment to a child protection statute to both discourage the FLDS from settling in Texas and to "prevent Texas from succumbing to the practices of taking child brides, incest, welfare abuse and domestic violence."

While Hilderbran stated that he would not have authored a bill solely to ban first-cousin marriage, he also said in an interview that "Cousins don’t get married just like siblings don’t get married. And when it happens you have a bad result. It’s just not the accepted normal thing." Some news sources then only mentioned the polygamy and child abuse provisions and ignored the cousin marriage portion of the bill, as did some more recent sources as well. The new statute makes sex with an adult first cousin a more serious felony than with adult members of one's immediate family.

The U.S. state of Maine allows first-cousin marriage if the couple agrees to have genetic counseling, while North Carolina allows it so long as the applicants for marriage are not rare double first cousins, meaning cousins through both parental lines. In the other 25 states permitting at least some first-cousin marriage, double cousins are not distinguished.

States have various laws regarding cousin marriage and other close relatives, State laws regarding cousin marriage as well as defined laws on status, including whether or not you are a half-cousin, double cousin, infertile, over 65, or whether its a tradition prevalent in a native or ancestry culture, adoption status, in-law, whether or not you need genetic counseling, and whether you are allowed to marry a first cousin once removed.

The information about Maryland is most distressing since Maryland has just passed gay marriage into law.

To allow any same-sex couple to marry, but only some, select, opposite sex couples...this seems like a recipe for revolution.

True, same-sex marriages won't add to the debate over close-relation offspring disadvantages. But how true are we to uphold love as the ideal prerequisite for marriage if we continue to impose its universal power for reasons beyond the scope of governmental control.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Gird Your Loins, Boys!

So I just read an article where a Kansas man was sued for child support because he donated his sperm to a lesbian couple so they could have a baby. The guy answered the ladies' Craigslist plea and handed over his loin syrup and, so he says, all parties agreed he'd waive any and all parental rights. He was merely the stud service. And, perhaps to his chagrin, without even a proper physical fuck to show for it; they performed an amateur artificial insemination. Turkey baster perhaps?

Well the two women broke up after the birth of the baby and now the single mom wants this poor bastard to cough up some coin. And since they didn't have a doctor perform the insemination, it appears the state agrees that he should assume the responsibility.

Man, makes you wonder...

What if some crazy chick broke into your house and found your recently used cum rag lying about? And what if she stuffed the crusty cloth up her craggy cunt crack and sopped up some of the lil' guys who may have survived? If she got preggers, you'd be footin' the bill nine months later?

So let this be a lesson, boys...

Keep track of your semen,
"Cause some bitches be schemin'!

Know where you spunked,
Or you may be punk'd.

Some women will take,
And a-baby they'll make.

And to the courts they will go,
Lookin' to take all your dough.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

YUMMY!: Homemade McRib

Last night I was scoffing down a precious McRib sandwich and "Lovin' it" when I thought to myself "Why endure the torture of only having this pleasurable delicacy but once a year?" I made mental note of the ingredients and thought I'd make this myself.

I knew immediately the meat I'd use. The McRib meat is not simply boneless ribs. That'd, no doubt, be too expensive. They basically use a skinless sausage patty. But not breakfast sausage, a different kind. Like a bratwurst sausage.

So a quick stop at Publix and some easy prep, I present to you, the homemade McRib. And let me tell you, it tastes just like it.

Go ahead McDonald's...pull the McRib off your menu for another year...I won't mind.

click pic for close up

Johnsonville bratwurst patties
Sweet Baby Ray's Original BBQ sauce
pickle slices
sliced raw Vidalia onion
sesame seed buns