Help Needed

I need to buy a vacuum cleaner but never having bought one before, I have no idea what type, model or brand to get, so all recommendations (based on experience only, please) would be welcome.

As for parameters:

  • Cost:  if your recommendation is expensive, I can deal with that as long as the thing is reliable. Spending extra money on something that lasts for ten years is not expensive, it’s a bargain. On the other hand, if they’re all fragile regardless of cost, then I’ll just go cheap and replace every year, if that’s your recommendation.
  • Capabilities:  Must be able to vacuum both wooden- and carpeted floors.
  • Dust storage:  Can be bags or washable cylinders, I don’t care (unless this is an important distinction, in which case please explain).
  • Weight:  irrelevant as there are no stairs involved.
  • Additional features:  if, say, a steam-cleaning capability is included, it cannot detract from the primary function, i.e. vacuum cleaning. Ditto a detachable hose cleaner; I’ve heard that while the flexibility is nice, the suction leaves a lot to be desired.

If y’all don’t know or have little expertise (like me), then ask yer wives and such.

Otherwise, I’ll just go with my gut instincts and get a broom, mop and a Shop-Vac.

“Dear Dr. Kim”

“Dear Dr. Kim,
“I like keeping myself fit, so I jog every day, sometimes twice a day. My boyfriend resents all this time I spend away from him, and told me to stop. In fact, he threatened to break off our engagement if I didn’t. What should I do?”
— Fitness-Obsessed, Los Angeles

Dear Obsessive:
Keep jogging. Frankly, if he’s that much of a control freak (and he is), then you’ll be well rid of him. And for your next boyfriend, pick someone who’s as big an idiot about jogging as you are.
— Dr. Kim

Cheese Toasties

Stephen Green at Insty linked to this article about grilled (a.k.a. toasted) cheese sandwiches, and the best cheeses to serve therein. (It’s a HuffPo article, but somehow they managed to avoid any “Trump is Hitler”references, so it’s safe.)

Loyal Readers may remember my discovery in London last year:

…and from this you may deduce that I too am an aficionado of the toasted / grilled cheese sandwich (which I’m going to refer to as “toasties” hereafter). You would be correct. Here, then, is my take. (You may want to get a fresh cup of coffee ready, because this is going to take a while.)

Let’s get the easy part out of the way. Toasties cannot be made in panini presses (as Stephen Green mistakenly suggested), because the press makes the bread tough and dry. The only way to make toasties (of any kind) is either in a sandwich toaster (like a waffle iron, only with flat sides and should not be pressed closed ) or (preferably) in a frying pan. Either way, the sandwich has to be buttered on the outside first, to give the bread just the right degree of crunch. So avoid the panini press because after all, it was invented by some Italian fascisti after listening to a speech by Mussolini. (I may need to check that one, but you get the picture.)

Not appetizing:

Ideal:

Next comes the bread. Forget any thoughts of Wonder Bread, Mrs. Baird’s, Sarah Lee or any of that ilk unless you are making the snack for a young child, in which case it’s fine because kids like to stick bland stuff into their mouths. But grownups can and should do better. A good toastie is never bland. Good bakery bread is essential because it adds depth and flavor — and while I prefer white bread (preferably from French boule or batard loaves), I won’t run screaming from the room if you choose sourdough or even wholewheat. Here are the boule and batard, in order:

Next comes the butter. Most American butter is terrible: off-white and tasteless, it should be called “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Margarine!” For a good, golden toastie with incredible flavor, use one of the two below (the first is spendy, the other isn’t, but both come from over The Pond):

       

(The Double Devon, by the way, is de rigueur for scones and jam, less so for toasties. The Kerrygold is just fine.)

Now for the fun part: the cheese.

I myself use a hand-slicer on whatever cheese I decide because it can make paper-thin slices (and takes less time than grating), but whether slicing, shredding or grating, this is to avoid having thick slices of cheese, which won’t melt properly without the bread getting burned. And now for the cheese itself.

My number one cheese, the cheese I would eat if I could eat no other for the rest of my life, is Norwegian Jarlsberg — so it should come as no surprise that it’s also my favorite toasting cheese: nutty, smooth and buttery, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

I buy the large wedges at Sam’s Club because it’s too spendy everywhere else. (And avoid the Jarlsberg “Lite” because “lite” anything is just awful and will give you dropsy or turn you into a vegan, perhaps both.) Back to the real stuff:

Other, more tangy choices are Emmental or Gruyère:

…and if I’m feeling really wild and crazy, a sharp-ish cheddar, preferably real English cheese like Barber’s 1833 (which you’ll have to grate because it’s too crumbly to slice):

…but you can find a decent local cheddar if you eschew the large commercial brands (e.g. Kraft). Like this one:

If not using Jarlsberg, I like my toasties to be ever so slightly piquant; but rather than using spice or garnish, I like to let the cheese provide the piquancy. (Some people like to spread mustard on their bread before putting the cheese on, but be warned: it’s easy to overcome the delicate flavor of cheese with too much or too hot a mustard — it’s like putting hot sauce on mushrooms: you can, but why?)

There are people who add things like pickles, onions or tomatoes to their cheese toasties, but I avoid these additions because Satan. The garnishes can be eaten on the side — see the pic at the top for reference — but should never be in the sandwich itself. (By the way: if you commit the heresy of putting tomato in your sandwich, be aware that long after the cheese has cooled to eating temperature, the hot tomato will still be able to blister the inside of your mouth, which would serve you right.)

And speaking of Satan: there is something known as “American” cheese (a.k.a. Kraft Singles or Velveeta), an orange-colored pasty substance of no discernible flavor or nutritional value. Among us grownups this is known as “kid’s food” and should be severely shunned, as one would a fanatical Muslim cleric, a gun-confiscator or a Democrat [some overlap].

Armed with the above ingredients I’ve listed, you should be able to make yourself a first-class toastie.

Finally, you will notice that I’ve avoided the topic of putting ham with the cheese. That’s because adding meat to a sandwich turns a snack into a meal. I’m not averse to a toasted ham ‘n cheese sarnie — by no means — but for a simple, satisfying snack there is almost no substitute for a cheese toastie.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the kitchen.

“Dear Dr. Kim”

“Dear Dr. Kim:
“A couple weeks ago, I was out riding my bicycle (as part of my fitness regime). I was wearing a T-shirt and shorts because the weather was hot, and I didn’t want to sweat too much. I was about five miles from home, riding pretty fast when I took a corner on the gravel trail and my back wheel went out from under me. I hit the ground pretty hard and although I wasn’t seriously injured, I still got a massive case of “road rash” on my shoulder, biceps, forearm and calf muscle, all on the left side. I managed to limp home (the bike was pretty mangled) and cleaned up, then put antibiotic gel on the scrapes and covered each of them with a sterile dressing.
“The stinging and burning lasted for several days, and one evening I was lying there unable to sleep, when a thought came to me: I needed something to take my mind off the pain. The problem was that I couldn’t move much without pulling off the dressing, and I realized that I needed some mothering: not to be too graphic — and I hope you’ll forgive me for saying this — I wanted something like a blowjob to get the proper level of distraction.
“So I put out a couple of calls to some lady friends and outlined my need for a little nursing, some… shall we say “advanced” mothering. To cut a long story short [too late — Dr.K] , not ONE of these friends was the slightest bit interested in helping me out.
“Now my question: was I asking too much of my lady friends?”
— Road Rash, Atlanta

Dear Mr. Rash (Swedish, is it?):
Let me give you more than one answer, because you have some bigger issues than frigid girl friends.

In the first place: unless you’re training for a serious athletic event like the Tour de France, I see absolutely no need for anyone to ride a bicycle outdoors — especially when there are any number of stationary bikes to be had on eBay. Outside, there lies sunburn, heatstroke, traffic collisions, bugs, bitey pit bulls, excessive sweating and, as you discovered, a real possibility of injury from a simple fall.

Stop that shit. God invented air-conditioning — or maybe it was Westinghouse, I don’t remember — but regardless, you can get all the exercise you need without going outdoors and exposing yourself to the elements and/or automobile accidents, bitey pit bulls etc. You got off easy this time, so take it as a warning.

Now for your second issue, that of your so-called “lady friends” who won’t help you get through your pain. I find it a difficult one to address because back in my day, most men had any number of female acquaintances — let alone actual female friends — who would be only too willing to pop over for a little impromptu nursing if a man were to be ill or injured. Hell, I remember one time when even my cousin Stephanie… ah, never mind.

Your problem, you will be either glad or saddened to note, is not an uncommon one these days. Modern young women seem to have lost all sense of maternal feelings, probably because they’re “building careers”, “finding themselves” or else spending all their spare time looking at their bloody cell phones. Then when they reach the age of oh, thirty-two, they suddenly rediscover their maternal instinct, only it’s not for a wounded friend like yourself, but for an actual baby — which means you’ve lost out not just once (as a young man) but twice (as an older one).

Personally, I blame the godless feministicals, who have poisoned the minds of these young women and made them feel as though a blowjob is a privilege, to be grudgingly (if at all) doled out only as a reward for “good behavior” on a man’s part, e.g. buying them a diamond necklace for Valentine’s Day or paying to have their kitchen remodeled. This, when we all know that a BJ is more of a friendly gesture, carrying as it does no fear of pregnancy nor even excessive emotional attachment (if properly positioned).

What you need to do is to cut these women out of your life, ASAP. I have no idea where one finds a “normal” woman with mothering/nursing instincts — like I said, this seems to be a recent phenomenon and one outside my experience and expertise — but one thing’s for sure: the lady “friends” that you have are not true friends at all. (Although you can be sure that if they needed your ummm muscles, e.g. to help them move house or put up a heavy shelf, they’d be all over you like syrup on a pancake.) Ditch ’em, and good riddance.

Good luck with your recovery, and don’t forget to sell your bike — if it’s not too badly damaged, that is — and start exercising responsibly, indoors. That’s the important lesson, here.
— Dr. Kim

Don’t Go There, Lefty Fuckwits

Apparently, this latest round in the saga of Leftists’ desire for general citizen disarmament has them yucking it up about gun owners’ “cold dead hands” mantra, as seen in this revolting video.

Just to make it perfectly clear:  we’re not joking.  And if your response is, “Nor are we,” then I guess I need to buy some more ammo, and your storm troopers will have to buy more body bags. Assuming you’d have enough storm troopers, by the way. (Because we all know that you’d never try to take away our guns yourselves, you braying cowards.)

This is no joking matter; this is deadly serious stuff we’re talking about. Too many Americans have died defending our Constitution for the rest of us to submit meekly to this kind of subversion. And all your bleating that “20% of Americans support our gun confiscation agenda” simply means that 80% of us don’t, which is why the Second Amendment will never be repealed.

Choke on it. And watch as our numbers grow.

“Dear Dr. Kim”

“Dear Dr. Kim,
I recently read this article written by a relationship expert who claims that men have to do these five things in order to get some action from their ladies. Here’s the list:

  • Take away the stress
  • Stay connected
  • Surprise her
  • Give her space
  • Make her feel special

What do you think?”
— Desperate, Melbourne

Dear Desperate,

It’s a load of old bollocks. I didn’t even have to see the picture of this “relationship expert” to know it was a woman — there’s wishful thinking written all over each of those pathetic suggestions. Let me address each of them before I offer up my own tried-and-tested, guaranteed-not-to-fail suggestions that will have your lady at your complete priapic command.

  • Take away the stress — if the thought of bonking you is stressful, I’d suggest taking away all the stress by bonking someone else who isn’t stressed-out by the prospect
  • Stay connected — considering that you’re offering her the ultimate in “connectedness”, I have no idea what she means by this
  • Surprise her — yeah, and don’t you be surprised if she reacts negatively, followed by having you arrested for “spousal rape” (which is apparently some New Thing advocated by Teh Feministicals)
  • Give her space — in all likelihood, she already takes up most of the marital bed anyway; so give her even more space by getting into someone else’s bed (see above)
  • Make her feel special — if she’s refusing to have sex with you, that’s all the “special” she’s entitled to; so feel free to make someone else feel special (see above, again).

My own no-fail suggestions are quite simple, albeit costly:

  • pay to have her kitchen remodeled
  • buy her diamonds
  • buy her mother a new house (in another city — you don’t have to be stupid about this, after all)

If you’re unwilling to spend this much just for a roll in the old, familiar hay (and nobody can blame you for that), but you’re okay with spending some money just to get laid, send me a private email and I’ll send you the phone number for Madame Fifi’s House Of Carnal Delight. If you don’t want to spend any money at all to get your rocks off, you need to grow up, my son: sex is never free. Even when you’re married.
–Dr. Kim