My Review of Alan Richman's Review of my Review

I recently had the privilege, nay the honor of having one of my reviews eviscerated by none other than Alan Richman. Who's Alan Richman you might ask? Good question and I’d never heard of him till about 30 seconds after he posted his comment on my review of StarKist Lunch To-Go (Chunk Light). Alan Richman is, well, let me just insert his bio taken from GQ.com (yes GQ as in Gentlemen’s Quarterly – oh la dee dah).
Alan Richman is the most decorated food writer in history. He has won 15 James Beard Journalism Awards, a National Magazine Award (and was a finalist five more times), and a Bronze Star for service in Vietnam. You won't find food writers like him at the food magazines. When he received his National Magazine Award, the presenter described him as "the Indiana Jones of food writers." He has reviewed restaurants in nearly every Communist country (China, Vietnam, Cuba, East Germany), proof that he will go anywhere for a meal. He once reviewed the Chicago restaurant owned and operated by Louis Farrakhan, not known to be a fan of Jewish journalists. In Cuba, he defied government regulations by interviewing starving political dissidents, then rewarded himself with a lobster lunch at the most expensive restaurant in Havana. In 1998, Richman was inducted into The James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, which recognizes culinary industry professionals for their achievements. He is the Dean of Food Journalism at The French Culinary Institute in New York, where he teaches a class in food writing. Richman's 14 Beard awards have been presented in restaurant reviewing, feature writing, and wine writing. He has also taken the top prize, the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, twice. He continues to indulge his passion for eight-course dinners (plus cheese). (reference: http://www.gq.com/contributors/alan-richman). 
This officially makes me the first reviewer at this site to be lampooned by someone who is actually SOMEONE. Suck it Meatwad and Matt.

I was pretty excited by the scathing comments made by Alan but when I realized who he was …. Well let’s just say I was in 7th Heaven.

You can read the full review of The StarKist Lunch To-Go at the link above but to summarize I didn’t care for it. I gave it zero stars. Now onto Alan’s comment:
Man this review was terrible in so many ways. I haven't read any of your recent reviews, but I hoping that you've done a little work on your approach since then. the review read like a C- report for a 100 level English class. Full of classic and corny cliche review lines like "I ripped open the bag ot tuna grabbed a spoon". This is a supposed to be a review, not a play-by-play of everything that went down during the eating process. A review is obviously only a matter of opinion, but it seems to me like you were approaching the thing totally wrong and not seeing the item for what it really is. It's obviously not supposed to replace a real and completely fufilling lunch my friend. On that note, I don't really see how they could've done much better considering what the medium is: Tuna. Its a package of Tuna with crackers. Nuff Said'. At least you can get credit for being the only weirdo on the planet who would take the time to write the longest review on earth for something as ridiculous as some crackers with some tuna. Bravo. Don't take it personally - I'm simply lampooning your negativity in the review....all over a package of tuna....and crackers. Cheers and happy holidays
Right out the gates the flattery begins. See little does Alan know but “Terrible” is as far as any of the reviewers here have ever aspired to. To say I had not only reached that level but done so in “so many ways” thrills me to no end.

Not only has he not read any of my “recent reviews” it’s clear he hasn't read any of them other than the Tuna one or he would know that this one was no different than any of the others. I haven’t improved and why should I? Obviously I've reached my goal of “Terrible” and there’s nowhere to go but down. Since you have only read this one review let me fill you in. We review anything at this site and we do it with an eye to the silly and the ridiculous.

I am pleased to see my English Class grades have improved to a C- I scored a 2 on the AP English test (a failing grade). Oh wait. In college I actually got straight A’s in English all the way through 200 level classes. So maybe there’s room for some improvement.

Alan’s comment falters a bit when he starts telling me how a review is supposed to be written and then says reviews are a matter of opinion. All the reviews at our site are written in a similar vein. Our reviews are certainly not reaching the high level standards of GQ.com, we have a regular following. Even without a new review posted in almost a year, we still have people visit and read every day. Did we set out to be an exact clone of other review site out there? What would be the point of that? That would be stupid. So suck it!

Alan’s comment devolves further when he exposes his 1 percenter snobbery with the sentence: “It's obviously not supposed to replace a real and completely fufilling lunch my friend.” First learn how to use spell check Alan it’s really distracting. And second, those who review here are engineers. In other words, we work for a living. A can of Tuna on crackers is a full meal for me and many others at least once a week. Congratulations on your success in your career that has given you big
GQ paychecks, book profits, the condo in Manhattan and a billion frequent flyer miles and also gets you the best seating at the best restaurants throughout the world (where ironically you probably don’t have to pay for your food). Unfortunately your success has separated you from the real world. Oh, I’m sure you’re comfy with the average GQ snob but what about the guys washing dishes in all these restaurants. Nah man, you’re out of touch if you think Tuna on crackers isn’t a meal. Hell they’re called “Lunch To-Go” right on the package.

Now I feel I must defend my actual review. You said it best when you said that it’s just Tuna and Crackers. It is just Tuna on crackers, so how come they screwed it up so bad? Can anyone deny that Ritz is Par for a good tasting cracker? If so then these crackers are sub-par. The functionality of the MEAL is unsatisfactory and the after-MEAL mint is gross. I stand by my review.

You called me “the only weirdo on the planet who would take the time to write the longest review on earth for something as ridiculous as some crackers with some tuna. Bravo.” Well how about being the only weirdo on the planet that would write an even longer review of the review of my review? Do I get a Bravo+ for that?

You end on a pseudo-high note, telling me not to take the aforementioned verbal anal reaming personally. After all you were just lampooning me and then you wish me happy holidays. Well Alan, don’t take what I’ve said here personally, I’m simply calling you out for the snob you are. I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you set aside all your usual GQ rich boy hoity toity attitude and actually buy one of these StarKist Lunch To-Go’s. Take it to a public cafeteria somewhere, a food court or like venue and try it out just like you would an 8 course meal (including cheese) and then write a review of it for GQ.com. Don’t forget to link to my review as a comparison. Teach me all wise one how I should have done it differently.

As far as your review of my review I must give you 4 stars.  It made me laugh, it made me cry it made my day (2 days now)!  Mr. Richman (for you are due my full respect) clearly I am nowhere near the same league as you when it comes to reviewing food or anything else.  I'm just excited that you took the time to "slum it" with one of the little guys!  Happy Hanukkah and best wish for the New Year!


Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

Over the course of the last year it has become painfully obvious that I am the ultimate answer to the "the first question, the oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight". No the question is not Doctor Who? It is: Who actually writes reviews on this website? And the answer of course is: Just Jim.

On September 7, 2009 I wrote my first review for reviewspew.com. The review was for my brand new LG Env3 cell phone. As Reviewspew.com seems to be in its final death throes (barring some miraculous rebirth), I found it fitting to “close the loop” and write what will most likely be my final review. The Samsung Galaxy S4.

For well over 4 years I enjoyed the use of my Env3. It should go down in the history books as the best “basic” cell phone for texting and durability. It was in perfect working order for all that time and still works. So why did I upgrade (or perhaps you’re asking, “Why didn’t you upgrade over 2 years ago”)? For well over 2 years now I have watched with real jealousy as each and every single person I know upgraded to a Smartphone. Even my wife was able to upgrade. Even my kids, in a way were outdoing me with their Galaxy Tab 7’s and their iPod Touch 5s (not phones but still….).

I finally said “No more” and broke down and upgraded. Ok, it actually went like this: I broke down, cried like a baby, whined enough to my wife that she finally said, “If it will make you stop making that obnoxious noise, then by all means go upgrade you big fat baby!”, and then I upgraded.

I had the best experience I ever had at a Verizon Store. I walked in and there was no wait, not even a second. The woman that helped me was just the right amount of flirty and filthy-minded to make me feel comfortable. In fact, our conversation degraded so quickly that by the time she handed me her iPad and said “finger signature right here” I felt perfectly comfortable replying, “I’ll finger you any time you ask me too.” But then I found out she lives a quarter mile from my house and my son goes to school with her daughter. We cleaned up our act after that tidbit of knowledge was discovered.

But I digress. Onto the actual review (admit it – you’re going to miss this roundabout way of reviewing something aren’t you – well blame Matt and Meatwad – I did all I could do). But I digress once again. You know what? Screw it. You are either an Android person or an iPhone person. If you’re an Android person you already know everything about the S4 and would much rather read reviews about the Note III or the upcoming release of the S5 (my girlfriend at the Verizon store said the S5 was “underwhelming” btw). I love my new S4.  It's a great phone, although I find myself taking hour long crapper breaks now because I lose track of time surfing while pooping.  I give the phone 4 stars.  There are some things I think could improve on it, but whatever.

I guess there’s nothing left to do now but say goodbye. It’s been fun reviewing for this site and would be fun to do so again. Thanks for reading. I’ll tell you what I’ll do, if I get at least 10 legitimate, positive comments on this review (not SPAM and not from one of the other reviewers – who don’t read my reviews anyway so no problem there) then I’ll post another review. Until then … Smell Ya Later!!!!


Kindle Paperwhite Review

When I was 14 years old, my father spent over $1400 on a computer for me. It was an Epson Equity II 8088 PC. It had no hard drive, but did come fully loaded with 640K DRAM, Dual 5 ¼ inch floppy drives, DOS, and Word Perfect, plus a 13 inch green screen monitor - and as you all know green screen is what you want in your monochrome display unless you’re a racist (Black and White monitor) or a commie (Amber Screen). It also came with a dot-matrix printer with continuous feed paper with the little perforated holes on both sides of the paper!

Compare this computer to what you are reading this review on today is like comparing the Sony eReader I’ve been using for the last 4 years to the new Kindle PaperWhite Next Gen eReader. I bought the Sony eReader 4 years ago for the ridiculous price of $275. It was their first model touch screen. It’s slow, it glares, it’s about the worst eReader I've ever seen. Don’t ever, ever, ever buy an eReader from Sony. They suck. You might as well buy regular books and use a card-catalog to keep track of your personal library. It would be more user friendly.

But I digress. I waited patiently for just the right Kindle to finally come out and it now has. The Kindle PaperWhite with Next-Gen Built in Light is simply the best eReader to ever grace the Earth with its presence. Here’s why:

Design – It is light weight, easy to handle and looks good.

Functionality – It is responsive, turns pages instantly by swiping your finger or simply tapping the screen. My Sony you would swipe the screen and in 20-30 seconds it would finally change to the next page (or not). Built-in WiFi allows for near instant downloads of books or periodicals you purchase at Amazon (either through your laptop or from the Kindle itself).

OK, ok, you know what Kindles have, I don’t need to go on. Let’s just say this one is the most advanced one you’ve ever seen. But then add to all of that an adjustable back light. No more flashlights, cases with lights or head-lamps to read in bed at night. And even with this, the battery life is extremely long. Several weeks of use on one charge.

The appearance of the text in this version is different than previous Kindles but it is just as readable if not more so. No glare at all, read in the sun, read in the dark, read anywhere you want with comfort and ease.

As nice as this Kindle is to hold, the cover designed for it only enhances that experience. It’s a little spendy but gives you the feel of holding a real leather-bound book. It also automatically puts the Kindle in and out of sleep mode when you open the case.

The only thing I absolutely hate about this Kindle is the power-down activation. There is only one physical button on this whole thing. You use this to turn the thing on and when you want to power it down completely. That’s cool, but here’s the problem. To turn off you have to hold that button down and wait 5 agonizing seconds for the confirmation window to pop-up asking if you really want to shut down. 5 SECONDS. Doesn't sound like a lot I know but run that exercise in your mind. It feels like an eternity. All you’re trying to do is ensure you don’t accidentally turn your device off. A two-unrelated-step process is standard for smart phones because you can butt-dial or butt-power-down. Which shouldn't be a real concern with an eReader. So it’s not necessary anyway but then to make you hold that button down for so long is almost cruel. My iPhone 4s you only have to hold the button down for 2 seconds. The latest Galaxy Smart phone is 2 seconds also. Come on Amazon. You’re wizards at your “secret LAB126” are figuring out how to deliver a package within 30 minutes via flying drones, yet you can’t figure out the problem with this?

A quick word about Kindle eReaders verses Tablets.  Even the Kindle Fire Tablet uses an App to read books.  You still have to deal with the glare you get off any tablet.  If you want a tablet, get a tablet.  But if you want an eReader for the pure love of reading don't fool yourself into thinking that if you get a tablet that you'll have your cake and eat it too.

I love this eReader but it loses a star because of that one thing. A software patch should do the trick. Fix it Amazon and you’ll get the fifth star. I promise.

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