UNDECIDED?

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All we have heard about this election season is talk of the “undecided voter” – the mysterious and coveted (for their vote) miniscule fraction of the American population that has yet to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Frankly, I don’t see what the holdup is.  Both candidates’ positions on some very important issues are so widely disparate that I can’t imagine how someone could still be on the fence.  Pick one already!

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ROUND THREE: RUMBLE IN BOCA RATON

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Round three wasn’t a total snooze-fest, because there were a couple of lively moments, but the overall energy level for the third debate was considerably lower than the first two.  Perhaps it was because the candidates were seated, or because foreign policy issues are inherently less debatable, due to the candidates’ similar stances.  Whatever the reason, though, this exercise was less like a debate and more like a conversation that could have occurred over a game of shuffleboard at the Del Boca Vista Retirement Community.

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HOW TO MAKE MEATLOAF THAT IS NOT TERRIBLE

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Meatloaf gets a bad rap sometimes, but it’s not the meatloaf’s fault.  Not at all.  A well-constructed meatloaf is a wonderful thing – flavorful, economical, and filling.  The fault lies with the millions of meatloaf makers out there who have no idea what they are doing.  If you find yourself wondering why your family and friends turn all shades of green while trying to force down chunks of your meatloaf, then you fall into this category.  If your guests squirt globs of ketchup on top of your meatloaf larger than the portion itself, it’s not because they love ketchup.  It’s because they’re trying to cover up the taste of your terrible meatloaf.

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ROUND TWO: OBAMA PUNCHES BACK

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After a devastating drubbing in the first debate at the hands of an ultra-aggressive Mitt Romney, Barack Obama needed a strong debate performance (1) to reassure and reenergize his base and (2) to stop the bleeding among undecided voters and independents, who are fleeing in droves to Romney. I believe Obama accomplished the first objective, but probably not the second.

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THE MAGIC OF JUICING

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I have always been a sucker for infomercials.  Whenever I’m flipping through the channels, I’m very likely to stop and watch Chuck Norris demonstrate – again – the wonders of the Total Gym.  I’m still amazed that the NuWave Oven can produce such a juicy pork tenderloin, but with its patented infrared technology, I shouldn’t be surprised.  Once in college I caught myself dialing the 1-800 number to order an Esteban guitar – only 100 left! – but luckily I came out of my trance before pulling out the credit card.  I must take after my grandmother, who once ordered a wok set in the middle of the night and thought it had been a dream.

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ARGUING WITH A FOOL?

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I’m not going to comment on the political ramifications of the Vice-Presidential debate, because very likely there are none.  Historically, Vice-Presidential debates do not matter all that much in terms of who gets elected.  In a couple of days, anything Joe Biden or Paul Ryan said or didn’t say will be ancient history.  Gone.  Adiós.  People vote for – and are motivated to vote by – the candidate at the top of the ticket.  The election is all about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

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HOME COOKING

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I love watching travel food shows, and in particular Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel program No Reservations.  For those of you not familiar with Anthony Bourdain, he is a highly-opinionated and oftentimes crude former chef who travels the world in search of the best local foods.  He avoids tourist traps and “must-see” locales, and instead seeks out the people, places and foods that convey what it truly means to live in the particular part of the world he is visiting.  More often than not, it seems, he discovers that the best food is not found in fancy restaurants, but is found in homes and in small, out of the way eating places that serve “home-cooked” food.

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