Thursday, July 15, 2004

Another day of READER'S LAST MEALS!
Iz you ready?

Dogeared from parts unknown...

Carrot stick and celery appetizer.
Green salad with low fat Ital. dressing.
Broiled whitefish, asparagus, no salt.
Low cholesterol, carbs,low salt, -sodium will kill you, you know.
Gene S. from Texas...
I would like 8 fried eggs, sunny side up.  21 oz sirloin steak, rare.  A skillet full of french fries, 4 cayenne peppers and 2 pots of folgers coffee to wash down the
gallon of bluebell banana split ice cream.  That ought ta make my veins stand out.
Kirsty from Atlanta, Georgia
One Double Quarter-Pounder w/ Cheese (w/o Onions) from McDonald's, One Super-Sized fries from McDonald's, One Kickin' Chicken sandwich from Zaxby's (w/ 2 extra Pickle spears), One Frisco Melt sandwich from Steak 'N Shake, 1 cup Collard greens, 1 cup mashed potatoes with brown gravy, 3 Chicken wings, 1 cup Macaroni and cheese, 1 cup my mom's Spaghetti, a small cheese pizza, 1 bag of popcorn (the already popped kind), 1 piece of Key Lime pie, and a 2 liter of Mr. Pibb.
Kevin S. from Indianapolis, IN
5 white castles with extra pickles; 8" Royal Feast with Barbecue sauce from Pizza King (with Muncie / New Castle recipe); 1 can of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni; 1 can of Chef Boyardee Raviolis; a nice Greek salad with spinach, green peppers, mushrooms, feta cheese, green and black olive, tuna, and my wife's homemade vinaigrette dressing; one slice of pickle loaf, one slice of cheddar, one slice of pepper jack, one slice of Monterrey, 2 cans of coke, 2 cans of Mt. Dew, 2 cans A&W root beer, a glass of 2% chocolate milk; a piece of pumpkin pie with cool whip; a piece of chocolate cake; a piece of carrot cake; 1 whole beefsteak tomato sliced;I usually try to drink diet anymore to watch my weight but since it is that last time I get to drink anything I am going for the "real" sugar filled versions.
Kathleen V. from parts unknown...
the menu:it can be anything as long as it's my mom cooking.  everyone has to love moms cooking

The highlights...
From the Houston Post...
Actress visits death row inmate
Sarandon meets pen pal, set for execution Aug. 26

...With a brisk walk, actress Susan Sarandon made an unannounced trip Wednesday to Texas to visit her pen pal--a convicted murderer on death row.

She had corresponded with the inmate, James Vernon Allridge III, for several years after buying some of the detailed drawings of flowers and animals he creates with colored pencils.

Prison officials said she had only recently been put on his visitation list, and she would not tip her hand as to why she had come to see Allridge, who is scheduled for execution Aug. 26.

"I'm trying to be as low-profile as possible. It fits the strategy at this time," Sarandon said, declining to comment further. She wore tennis shoes and a loose pants outfit without a belt to avoid setting off the metal detector.

The 41-year-old inmate has spent the past 17 years on death row--much longer than the average inmate, including his older brother, Ronald, who was executed in 1995.

James Allridge was sentenced to death for fatally shooting Fort Worth convenience store clerk Brian Clendennen while robbing the store of $300 in 1985.

"In 1985, the two brothers had gone on a spree of robberies and killings. Each was driving the getaway cars for the other when their capital murders happened," said Mike Parrish, the Tarrant County prosecutor in James Allridge's case.
About Sarandon's visit, Parrish said, "Nothing surprises me anymore. Like all those people from Europe who send (Allridge) money. It's surreal."

On a Web site where Allridge sells his art, he writes about his past and does not deny killing the clerk.
He, along with Atwood (founder of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) and Sarandon, wants his sentence commuted to life.

"Susan has written to him for a number of years and sees him as a person who has changed and developed. She is impressed by his accomplishments like his art and intelligence," Atwood said.

Our wise, wise readers...
Yesterday, one of the reader's last meals requested their steak "Pittsburgh rare."  That was a new term for those of us by the Santa Monica Pier and we queried what that meant.  Well, ask and ye shall receive.  We woke up and had beau coup replies in our inbox.  Thanks to you all and now that we know what it means, we will never order it.
Pittsburgh Rare
A culinary term unique to the region, "Pittsburgh rare" is my favorite way to eat steak (and I didn't even grow up here!). Often referred to as "black and blue," meat that is ordered Pittsburgh rare comes charred on the outside and blood red rare on the inside. The term is believed to date back to the region's steelmaking days, when steelworkers would bring big slabs of steak to work and, when it was time for lunch, would slap their meat on a furnace or other piece of hot metal to sear the outside black. Even without a hot furnace, you can still cook your own authentic Pittsburgh steak at home.
Ummm, we'll pass.

July 14, 2004 
...the cost of an execution by lethal injection is $66.43...
Last (Special) Meal:   Vrabel was allowed a specially ordered meal the evening before -- a BLT with extra mayonnaise, ham and cheese omelet with extra cheese, two hot dogs with mustard, pork and beans, potato salad, vanilla ice cream, chocolate pudding and six Cokes. 
The skinny:  Vrabel was executed for killing his wife and 3-year-old daughter.  He stuffed the woman's body in their refrigerator and the little girl's in the freezer section and continued to live in the apartment for several weeks before leaving.  He surrendered after the bodies were found by a family member. 
Vrabel never said why he shot his wife. He said he shot their daughter - whom he described as a "perfect child" - in part because she was "freaking out" about her mother's death. After the shootings, Vrabel placed the girl's body in the freezer along with her favorite stuffed animals. 
At the time of the killings, Vrabel was a year away from earning a bachelor's degree in social work at Youngstown State University.
Vrabel worked various jobs, including as a floor stripper, gas station attendant and jewelry salesman.

Vrabel, 47, had waived all appeals. Capital punishment opponents said he was a severe schizophrenic who spent four years in a psychiatric hospital after his arrest for the 1989 slayings.
Last day and such:  Vrabel spent the last night of his life watching the American League rout the National League in the All-Star Game. 

Last words and such:    Vrabel walk 17 steps from his holding cell to the execution chamber.   "I want to thank my sister for all the joy and happiness she has brought into [my daughter] life, and I want to apologize to anyone I may have wronged in my life," Vrabel said just before the lethal chemicals were pumped into his body.
Was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame closed?  Busloads of death-penalty protesters, mostly students from other parts of the state, were expected at the prison. 
Factoids:   Vrabel was the second Ohio death row inmate since 1999 to drop his appeals to speed his execution.
With Vrabel's execution, Ohio quietly set a record with five so far this year, the most in a single year since the state resumed carrying out the death penalty in 1999.  A sixth, also a "volunteer," is set for Tuesday. 
A prison spokesman said the cost of an execution by lethal injection is $66.43.  
Because Vrabel's execution is for a double murder, the victim's family was allowed six witnesses, double the number usually allowed.

Vrabel will be buried in a state-owned cemetery in Chillicothe.

Vrabel was the....
33rd murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
918th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
5th murderer executed in Ohio in 2004
13th murderer executed in Ohio since 1976     

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

THE RETURN OF READER'S LAST MEALS...You folks must be gittin' hungery!

Amy, St. Louis, Missouri

Filet mignon, Pittsburgh rare (Ed. Note: What is Pittsburgh rare?), Lumpy mashed potatoes like Mom makes, Fresh green beans with bacon and onions, 6 cartons of Ben & Jerry's 'Half Baked', Grape Pez in assorted dispensers, Swedish Fish, Hairibo gummi bears, Hot apple pie ala mode--the whole thing.
Enough vodka & tonic to make me forget I'm about to die.


j.s. from alabama

-one beef taco with white cheese, fresh shredded lettuce, and a side of medium salsa with chunks of onion and cilantro
-one 16 oz new york strip medium rare seasoned with fresh ground pepper and sea salt
-one baked potato from red lobster
-one salad with ranch from outback steakhouse
-homemade spaghetti and meat sauce ( already tossed together)
-loaf of fresh french bread with extra butter
-loaf of bread from outback steakhouse with extra butter
-one maine lobster with hot butter
-coconut shrimp (all i can eat)
-shrimp cocktail served in a fancy glass with cocktail sauce in the middle
-large order of fries from mcdonalds must be hot and not completely done with lots of salt
-bottle of heinz 57 ketchup
-bottle of white wine Worcestershire
-salty dog made with grey goose vodka
-pint of cherry Garcia ice cream with chocolate sauce whipped cream and cherries
-my aunts homemade chocolate cake
-homemade peach ice cream
-gallon of sweet iced tea
-12 pack of coke classic
-pint of vitamin d milk


Robbin R., Phoenix Arizona

1 lb cut of Prime rib cooked med. rare, fresh cooked green beans with a hint of garlic.
1 baked red potatoe with butter sour cream and chives, salt and pepper to taste.A six pack of Coke, a pack of Marlboro 100's For Dessert 1 warm peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.


Brent F. of Dallas, Tx

3 cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, flour tortillas, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes. 1 gallon sweet iced tea. 1 dr. pepper. No dessert, too fattening!


Jennifer H. of Fort Lauderdale Florida

2 dozen steamed clam w/ melted butter.... 1 soft taco from taco belll w/ sour cream...guacamole.... ...1 cherry coke and a slice of greasy cheese pizza ... and a pack of marlboro menthol ultra lights andddddddd... a piece of german chocolate cake.

There you go. Much, much more to come.

this is an audio post - click to play

The special meal request of Stephen Vrabel, Ohio, July 14, 2004

Vrabel requested a BLT with extra mayonnaise, ham and cheese omelet with extra cheese, two hot dogs with mustard, pork and beans, potato salad, vanilla ice cream, chocolate pudding and six Cokes.

The complete skinny will be forthcoming shortly.