Daily Archives: July 22, 2008

The Chenbot is not amused…

By now you’ve probably all seen this year’s list of Emmy nominees — if you haven’t, you can download the full list of nominees here — overall, this year’s crop was a pretty decent bunch. Glad to see smaller basic cable shows like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” swing a few major nominations, but at our house, the news was all about who was not nominated.

And no, I’m not talking about the extremely talented cast and crew of “The Riches” or the writers of “Lost”, but rather, the elegant Chinese robot that is “Big Brother” host Julie “Chenbot” Chen.

With the announcement earlier this year that the TV Academy was adding a Best Reality Host category, we thought for sure our beloved Chenbot was a lock for a nomination. Of course, we expected to hear the names, Jeff Probst, Heidi Klum, and even cheesy old Ryan Seacrest…but what no one expected was to hear the next two names on the list: Howie Mandel and Tom Bergeron?!

Are you kidding me? Have you seen their shows? The best things on both “Deal Or No Deal” and “Dancing with the Stars” have absolutely nothing to do with those two ham-fisted windbags! I mean, really, take them out of the equation and the shows are just as good, or, you know…bad…without them.

But “Big Brother” without the Chenbot is just a bunch of crazy, white trash drunkards trapped in a house with cameras. Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t watch that show too, but a huge part of what makes “Big Brother” so awesomely watchable is that cool, shiny-haired Chenbot!

So…any way you look at it, our girl got straight-up robbed this week, yo!

I guess our only consolation is that the tenth season — yeah I said tenth, you got a problem with that Emmy voters?! — of “Big Brother” started last week, so that gives us all summer long to enjoy the strangely lifelike beauty of our favorite Chinese robot! And better yet, the show airs three nights a week…yah!

Emmy or not, long live the Chenbot!

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The Olive Pit, Corning

No drive from Santa Cruz to Oregon would be complete without at least one stop at the legendary Olive Pit in Corning. Located just off Highway 5 about an hour south of Redding, Corning is composed of a Taco Bell, a Starbucks, a couple of very clean gas stations and The Olive Pit.

Started over forty years ago by husband and wife Pete & Anne Craig, the Olive Pit began life as small shelf of hand-bottled local olives in their burger joint. Realizing there was a huge market for these delicious, locally-grown olives, the Craig’s shifted the focus of their business, and soon, a Northern California road trip landmark was born.

We stop at the Olive Pit every time we head up to visit Christine’s family and over the years have tried a number of very tasty olives. Our favorites have always been the stuffed variety: garlic stuffed, almond stuffed, sun dried tomato stuffed, you name it, we’ve tried it.

And though we never leave the Olive Pit without a jar or two of the garlic stuffed, I have to say our new favorite flavor is the blue cheese stuffed olives. Bottled in silky canola oil, those things melt in your melt…and though I personally think they taste better cold, that room temperature blue cheese is pretty amazing too!

And olives are only the beginning here for the Olive Pit also features a huge array of locally-grown almonds, nuts, tasty jams, a whole line of gourmet mustards and pretty much anything else you can think of. Seriously, you will not leave this place hungry. Our usual routine is to hit the tasting bar first, sample the newer flavors and then pick up a crate and stuff it full of jars of olives.

In keeping with its burger stand roots, there is also a restaurant located inside The Olive Pit that serves lattes, ice cream and all your basic diner fare at shockingly cheap prices. But strangely enough, Christine and I have never eaten there. I guess the gravitational pull — not to mention the speed of service — of that Taco Bell across the street is just too strong…

So, if you ever happen upon this little gourmet mecca in the middle of nowhere, make sure and stop by for some olives. Oh yeah, and bring your laptop too because not only does the Olive Pit now have cute little tins of Olive Pit mints, but they also have free Wi-Fi.

Take that, Taco Bell!

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