A-Bomb and ...

Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver


I had my go-to channel on (Food Network), and was pleasantly surprised to see a story featuring Carlene LeFevre on Unwrapped. I missed getting the first few seconds recorded, but you get the idea: Carlene and Rich have just returned from the grocery store and are unloading the car at their Nevada home. You can watch the rest here. The episode specifics -

"Stuffed" Episode #CW1F01.
Stuffed treats.
Original Airdate: November 22, 2004.

You Never Know

There was possibly going to be an IFOCE event sponsored by GoldenPalace.net at the Taste of Colorado this weekend. I had suspected the event to be a no-go when an official announcement of an event was not made last week. I inquired today, and Kate replied: Yep, it's canceled. It would have been cool, but no worries!

Can't Stop

For anyone who hasn't heard, the upcoming qualifying tour for the Krystal Square Off III World Hamburger Eating Championship begins Thursday and run through the championship on October 28. Krystal will webcast every moment of competition. Check here for details.


Here are links to videos of the Three Brothers Pizza World Pizza Eating Championship. My brother-in-law had the video camera going for the whole thing.

You will need to enter credentials to access any of the videos.
Username: watch
Password: video

Introductions of all the eaters
Eating, Part 1
Eating, Part 2
Announcing the top 4

So Much To Say (Part 2)

(photo courtesy Steakbellie)

I am not going to attempt a complete write up of the event. With mega munch, Liz and Steakbellie there will be enough out there. And with Steakbellie you can get the added bonus of wonderful haiku.

But a few observations:

(photo courtesy Liz)

This is a good shot of the crowd in front of the stage. There were also people to the left of, right of, and behind, the stage. It was a pretty good turnout. More than I would have expected at this venue - in the rotunda of a mall. I don't know exactly, but the mall may be late 1970s or early 1980s.

(photo courtesy Steakbellie)

I finally got to meet Liz. Well, kind of. It was not until after the competition was over. I was sitting down behind the stage. Drunk on cheese. I think she shook my hand which was covered with a particularly unique smelling combination of grease, crust, and cheese. I apologize. Liz is a Denver native who has lost her way and for some reason moved to the east coast. She and her other breathren do a very good job writing in general, but of course we really love the coverage they provide of many competitive eating events.

(photo courtesy Steakbellie)

Above you see Mike Castellano reviewing a few things before the eaters take the stage. All of the IFOCE emcees are super and it is difficult to favor one over another. This was my ninth IFOCE competition and I have been lucky to have as emcee: Mike, Rich, George, and Ryan. I put Mike at the top of my list because he brings a certain charisma that is his own to the event. He gets the crowd going, keeps them participating, and runs the event expertly from start to finish.

There were 18 eaters. Mike did a great job with the introductions. The eaters, in order of introduction:

dave "megamunch" shoffner
michael "surprise" updike
"carnivore" paul saccolatus
"pistol" pete marinake
daniel "brimstone" brimmer
steakbellie livingston
mongo federighi
dangerous justin mih
brickhouse braunstein
larry mcneil
"the natural" arturo rios
brian subich
allen goldstein
pat philbin
chip simpson
humble bob
pat bertoletti

(photo courtesy Steakbellie)

I look like I have a pinch between my cheek and gum. I did not.

(photo courtesy Steakbellie)

(photo courtesy Liz)

That is "carnivore" paul saccolatus standing next to me.

(photo courtesy Liz)

Brickhouse, Justin, me.

(photo courtesy mega munch)

(photo courtesy Liz)

The totals for the top 6 or 7 eaters are pretty official. Beyond that it's hard to say who finished where and how much they ate. I ate 8 slices, one pie, but I did leave four crusts. One of the rules for the event was for every 4 crusts remaining take away 1 slice from your total. My four crusts were pretty clean - half-inch to an inch, all dough, no tomato sauce or cheese. So I can say I ate 7. Another rule was no dunking. First time I had not been able to dunk. I think weighing may be the way to go with anything that is not very consistent in preparation - like hot dogs or Krystal's. Weighing takes additional time but it is hard to argue with a scale.

(photo courtesy Steakbellie)

(photo courtesy Steakbellie)

Go, Mike, go.

mega munch ended his story with a shout out to the class that Humble Bob shows again and again. I too saw a gesture by Humble Bob that is a small act but is all class. While we were waiting behind the stage before being called up on the stage, Bob made sure to find each of the 3 brothers and other Three Brothers execs. He shook the hand of each, being sure to look them in the eyes, and say "Thanks for having us". I do not know exactly what more may have been said, but that's not important. What is important is that he did this. Other eaters may have also done something similar, but I saw Humble Bob do this. I liked what I saw. Forget being "like Mike". Let's be like Bob.

Too Much

A dude at work sent this link to me. Go here, and then there's another link about the Cranbury qualifier for Nathan's. I don't believe these were posted prior to now.

Hot Dogs May Cause Genetic Mutations

So Much To Say (Part 1)

When the Three Brothers Pizza World Pizza Eating Championship in Greenbelt, Maryland was announced I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go back to the area. I lived there (in Annandale, VA) from 1983-1991 (ages 12-20). Lots of memories - fun stuff, not fun stuff, dating, high school, learning to drive, golf, running, lifting, and all that comes with growing up. I had not looked back since taking off for Colorado in 1991 but it was OK to go back. For a day or two.

The plan was to fly in to Dulles, in Virginia, and meet up with my parents in Greenbelt. They'd fly up from Tampa. Saturday my sister, her husband, and their two kids would drive up from Norfolk. It was not until we were already there that we thought about the obvious - why did we stay in Greenbelt?!? Why didn't we stay in Annandale?!? It would have been more convenient for all - I had an 8:30am flight back to Colorado. Oh well, getting up at 4:30am is what it is.

Back to the beginning of the story. My flight out of Denver is at 10:15am. We leave the house at 6:30 what with the Orange Alert and stories fresh in our heads of 1 to 2 hour waits. We get to DIA before 7. I say bye to T, Honey and Max. Head inside to wait. Only there is NO WAIT. I only have the one carry-on so I hop in the Xpress line. Through that crap, on the train, and at the gate just after 7. DMB Weekend on the Rocks it is.

Just waiting

The flight takes off on time. No big deal here. I get to Dulles, get a car (Hyundai Accent!), and head toward Annandale. On the drive I see stuff I remember and a lot of stuff I don't remember. I don't remember stuff because it is new - maybe not new in the NEW sense but new since I was last here.

Driving through Fairfax I see this 7-11. No way. NO WAY! I go in and buy a Big Gulp and a bag of pretzels. Big whoop, you say. But ha - screw you Mr. Convenience Store Manager who in 1985 forbid me from coming in this 7-11 FOREVER because he caught me shoplifting a candy bar or something. I will see you in HELL! But really, thanks to you. I would have one later lapse of juvenile misjudgement, but getting caught at sev that day way back when was a turning point.

But seriously, why the locks?

After the 7-11 stop it's on to the first planned stop. W.T. Woodson Freakin' High School. Class of 1989!

High school for me was fine. I took the middle of the road. Not a big jock, or a stoner, or dweeb. I was just me I guess. I learned a lot - be it academically, about girls, about life.

I went in. Found my locker I had for the first two years.

Below you can see the temporary classrooms. Easily 40 of them if not more. That's new.

This is Frost Middle School. Wargames. Break dancing. Moving on....

Below is the stadium shared by Frost and Woodson. I cannot tell you how many times I ran the stairs. Up. Pump the arms. Down. Do it again. Nor can I tell you how much I do not miss running up and down stadium stairs. But it primed me for kicking ass during the ROTC PT tests.

After stopping at Woodson and Frost, it was on to our house.

It's been kept up well.

Nice enough.

It's the same deck. No external changes. My parents sold it in 1991 for about $250,000. Good. It last sold in 2004 for $600,000! I would've loved to go in and see if something could justify the price!

Here's the subdivision pool and tennis club. Is the swim team no more? My sister had some records on a board. I had one too. The board is gone. Or maybe it's moved.

I leave and get on the beltway that will take me to Greenbelt.

Slow down though because it's stop and go the WHOLE way. Never going above 30 mph. For 22 miles. Lovely.

Next up, I will have Part 2. The competition.

Where Are You Going

Ikea. We are there!

Too Much

Pat B 16.5

Field was stacked

Good stuff

Me 7. Ate all 8 pieces but docked as per rules for leaving crusts. 4 equal 1 slice. Fun time.


You Never Know

So my flight is at 10:15. We leave the house at 6:30 what with the Orange and stories fresh in our heads of 1 to 2 hour waits. We get to DIA before 7. I say bye to T, Honey and Max. Head inside to wait. Only there is NO WAIT. I only have the one carry-on so I hop in the Xpress line. Thru that crap, on the train, and at the gate just after 7. DMB Weekend on the Rocks it is.

The Best of What's Around

Anthony's Pizza and Pasta.

I ordered the large neopolitan. No toppings other than the standard cheese and grease. The menu lists the large at 18", but this BEHEMOTH was 22.75", cut into 8 pieces.


The fun begins.

On the 3rd piece.

Below, starting #4 which is the end of the first 1/2.

So the first half went down in just under 10 minutes. Within each piece the crust was quite variable. There was maybe a 4 or 5 inch bull's-eye in the center of the pie where the bottom crust was soft and malleable. The greasy goodness had formed this circle. That was easy eating as far as chewing. Beyond that circle and continuing towards the outside crust of each piece, the crust was crunchy and not as easy and fast to chew. I expected that to be the consistency of the outside crust but not the outer 5 inches of each piece. But I continued...

Here is a shot of T's hand against a piece which gives you some scale. Her hands are not the biggest, but each piece is over 11 inches long.

Here, getting toward the end.

Here's the last shot. The last 1/2 piece you see? Yeah, that did not go down. I did not want anything to come up. I was nearing that precipice.

In retrospect I am still glad that I left the 1/2 piece. I cannot say I ate the whole large but that is OK since I did not want to finish the whole thing feeling the way I felt. I will leave that for another day.


Last night it was raining quite hard when we were working out at 24 Hour Fitness. On the drive home the clouds looked pretty cool. And then we spotted this rainbow.

I had to take three photos and make one panoramic picture. Click the picture to make it bigger. See the lower left part and the lower right part sticking out of the clouds? I don't think I have seen that before. Very nice! Normally the atmospheric conditions are such that you see the whole arch, not just the ends protruding from the clouds.


So Shamalama & I were chatting on Friday, and we got on the subject of Z-teca --> Qdoba. We wondered what could be the meaning of the name Qdoba. So Shammie sent an inquiry to them. And we got our answer. It's not quite as exotic as you might think:

From: Guest Relations
Date: August 1, 2006 3:19:28 PM MDT
To: shamalamanospama
Subject: Qdoba Feedback / 100014176

Hi Amy,

Thanks for your e-mail. The name Qdoba is a word that was made up by a marketing group hired by the company and has no meaning.

Guest Relations



I think freakin' Michael McDonald is S*T*I*L*L playing.