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Upgrade Your Personal Dictionary

     If humans did not discover a way to communicate through words, I can't imagine a world where people grunt, point and stump to get a message across.  Google defines LANGUAGE as the method of human communication, spoken or written, that's made of words arranged in a structured or conventional way.  I speak 3 languages:  English, Filipino and my own dialect, Bicol.  (There's still a debate on the difference between languages and dialects so OK, I will count Bicol as a language[1]).  I'm quite aware that I have not perfected those three yet so I use them with care and try to mind my grammar as much as possible.


     Oopps, don't ever think for a second that I will bore you with all that stuff because the introduction is not  at all the point of this post.  Yes, it still has something to do with language but if you're not Pinoy or if you don't speak the Filipino language, please read NO further.  But if you are and you understand Filipino or Tagalog, then read on my friend.

     It's funny how sometimes we become creative with language and invent a version for our own amusement.  For instance, Filipino homosexuals have what they call "swardspeak[2]" (also known as "Bekimon" or "gay lingo") and when they talk among themselves, you might wonder whether you've gone insane or you've landed on the wrong planet.  I received a BBM broadcast from @Varrylicious a few weeks ago and just thought that I'd share the content with you guys.  It was quite a laugh and the list might surprise you on how language has definitely evolved in ways that you can't imagine.

Words/Terms That Needs To Be Added To Your Personal Dictionary

  • THE EGG - kapag mas magaling s'ya sayo, "the egg" ka n'ya.  Papa "the egg" ka ba?  

  • DUE CARE - if you're a fan of Batman movies, s'ya yung kalaban ni Batman, si "due care."  Oo, s'ya talaga.   You have to believe.

  • IN SEX - these are small invertebrate animals, especially those with several pairs of legs.  Halimbawa ng mga "in sex" ay ants, bees, bother fly, bugs...

Buko Pie from Melgian's Sweets

     My brother was in Laguna a few days ago and brought some pasalubong[1] on his way home.  He was nowhere near our favorite Orient's Buko Pie but he was able to get some buko pie, among other things, from another store.  And since I'm a buko pie fan, I cannot miss this opportunity to compare.

Melgian's Sweets Buko Pie

     Folks, this is the buko pie from Melgian's Sweets.  According to the information printed on the box, it's made from buco, milk, sugar, eggs, flour, margarine, and cheese.

I'm Loving The Province

     Hey guys, how are you all doing?


     I'm having my vacation here at home in the province and a bit busy with something that my brother and I are brewing -- thus my long absence from blogging. It's supposed to be just a few days visit at my parents' place but something came up and it needed my attention so I extended indefinitely.  Anyway, just wanna tell you all how much I miss blogging and while I'm picking some stuff in the city, I dropped by at a nearby coffee shop and said HI to all my blogger friends and loyal readers.

The Monsoon Flood Through The Lens Of My Camera

     A few more hours before I head home to my province for a short vacation, I found myself in my room with nothing much to do.  As I transfer images to the desktop to free some space on my camera, I saw the photos I took a week ago during the height of the monsoon flood.  Going through them, I can't help but silently admire how resilient we Filipinos are.  Surely we have other positive traits, but one prominent characteristic that surfaces at the most crucial of times is our ability to cope and survive -- and most of the time, with a smile.

Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
A boy aboard his improvised vessel looks on as two men settles aboard a boat.
Third day of southwest monsoon flood, Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City, August 9, 2012.
     Looking at the photos on this post, you can see how difficult the situation was for some of our fellow Filipinos.  Unlike other affected areas in Metro Manila where water have receded immediately, flood water in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig have stayed for at least a week.  Even worse was during the Ondoy flood back in 2009 when the flood lasted for almost a month.  The images below are plain proof that no matter how hard circumstances can become, people will always find a way to live through it and never lose hope.

Monsoon Scrambled Eggs with Beef, Oats and Tomatoes

     Being trapped in my apartment because of the monsoon flood have required me to be more creative with my food and what supplies I have left.  Today, I'm gonna share with you guys my scrambled eggs recipe that I have named after the flood which brought havoc to Metro Manila.

The Pinoy Wanderer's Habagat Scrambled Eggs Recipe
"Monsoon" Scrambled Eggs with Ground Beef, Oats and Tomatoes

Ingredients

For the Ground Beef Adobo:
1/4 kilo Ground beef[1]
Oil for sautéing
5 cloves garlic, minced[2]
1/8 cup chopped kinchay
Soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste

Platehead.com's SPAM E-Mail

Tuesday, August 7, 2012:  Just as the monsoon flood is threatening the safety of thousands of people in Metro Manila (read my post and check the photos on this LINK), I'm in my room managing my worries and praying that the flood water does not go further beyond the gates outside.  The muddy flood water which greeted me that morning was made worse by the rain that went on through the day.  And as I monitor the happenings in the country, I also went through my e-mails and saw a really nice offer for a "web content writer" position.  I scanned the message and made a mental note to attend to it as soon as the monsoon flood situation becomes stable.

     Here's the full copy of that e-mail:

From: writers@platehead.com
To: yourlook2day@yahoo.com

Hello Michael X. XXXXXXXXX

We are looking for committed individuals to add to our team as internet marketing assistants/Virtual Assistants/Web content writers/copywriters

Job description:

You will be given a wide array of internet marketing related tasks and projects, especially search engine optimization work.
Tasks would include writing blog posts, publishing articles, web development, creating joint ventures with other websites, etc.

Skills required:

You must be fluent in written and conversant in the English language
You must be proficient with web-mailing, browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, etc.
Experience with building/managing websites and HTML,CSS,PHP, etc. are preferred.
Internet marketing experience preferred, but not required.
College degree preferred, but not required.
"Willingness to learn new skills useful for Internet marketing"

Pay:

13000-14000 per month starting pay.

How to apply:

Please submit atleast 1 article about "Information Security & Techonology" to writers@platehead.com

This job is 3 hours a day and 5 days a week we offer high compensation for qualified employees.


Thanks 

     Sounds legit, right?  Aside from some typo errors (i.e. missing punctuations and incorrect spelling), all seems to be in order.  But boy, was I in for a great surprise...

10 Best Ways to Ease Back Pain

     Anyone on the planet is not exempted from experiencing back pain.  A study[1] once revealed that 90% of Americans experience back pain at one point in their lives.  A recent report from CBS News[2] declared a much improved statistics, stating that 8 out of 10 Americans suffer from back pain at one time or another.  The difference on the findings does not really indicate a huge development.  Thus, the struggle against back pain continues -- and on this post, I've put together a list of the known effective ways to fight off or prevent back pain.  Please deal with caution as this is just presented for educational purposes.

10 Ways to Ease Back Pain

     Back pain is that debilitating pain felt in the back which usually comes from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or structures in the spine[3].  It can have a sudden onset or may be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, might stay in one place or extend to other areas of the body; it can be a dull discomfort or a sharp, piercing, or a burning sensation.  Back pain can be a cause for sleepless nights or an uncomfortable day all throughout. 

     Whether you are presently waging a war against back pain or trying to prevent it, here are some effective and recent solutions:

10 Ways To Ease Back Pain

1) Inversion Therapy

Inversion Therapy: 10 Ways to Solve Back Pain

     Many causes of back pain is attributed to the natural force that gravity puts to the body.  Inversion therapy claims to reverse gravity's effects by allowing you to hang upside down or at a certain angle using an inversion table.  Inversion therapy allows the body to work with the downward pull of gravity, which will then increase the space between the vertebrae and relieve pressure on the areas of the back that are in pain, such as the discs, ligaments and nerve roots.  Inversion therapy claims to reduce back & neck pain, relieve stress, reduce sciatic discomfort, stretch and relax the entire body and other benefits such as improved posture and improved blood circulation.  Consult with your doctor first before doing the therapy and invest on a quality and trusted inversion table brand if you decide to do so.  

Famous People Who Needed Bankruptcy Attorneys

     Bankruptcy is one of the lowest points in life that many of us can only imagine -- but for some, bankruptcy is very much part of reality.   Bankruptcy can happen to almost anyone and more importantly, it can happen to the best of us.  Example of famed people who have filed for bankruptcy include Kim Basinger, Mike Tyson, and Toni Braxton.

On picture [L-R]: Kim Basinger, Mike Tyson, and Toni Braxton.
Famous people who needed NC bankruptcy attorneys.

What is Bankruptcy?

Wensha Spa Pasay Branch

     For wellness and relaxation, Wensha Spa is one of the destinations that comes to mind ever since my brother introduced me to the place back in 2009.  I've visited the Wensha Spa branch in Timog, Quezon City a few times before but it was my first time to visit the Wensha Spa branch in Pasay -- and that's what I'm gonna talk about here on this post.
   

     Wensha Spa Center Co. Inc. is open 24 hours and offers a range of services such as massage, reflexology, facials, deep exfoliating scrubs and many other skin care treatments.  Their price range starts from P680.00 to around P2,000.00, the last time I checked the information board at the lobby.  Some of the services offered comes with an eat-all-you-can buffet and shabu-shabu, and of course, use of their facilities.

Orient - The Original Buko Pie from Laguna

     Hello everybody, what's up?  The Pinoy Wanderer is back to bring you one bestseller Pinoy food -- and a personal favorite too! --  the BUKO PIE from Los Baños, Laguna!


     It became a hobby for me to buy buko pie whenever I go home to my province and I travel by land.  Vendors would come up the bus during a stop-over in Laguna and they'll outdo one another trying to sell passengers with their pasalubong goodies, buko pies included.  These ambulant vendors usually offer discounts for bulk buys; say for the buko pie, the second box will come at a discounted price.  I don't usually buy right away because the prices are a bit expensive but at that crucial moment before  the bus  leaves,

10 Ways To A Healthy Brain

     Getting healthy and fit is a recurring new year's resolution for many of us.  And as we work towards this  goal, let us not forget the one thing that holds everything together -- the BRAIN.  Read on and find out how you can fuel your brain with good stuff so you can keep it up and running all the time.  Be surprised that most of what's on the list are too trivial yet many people tend to overlook how important they are. 


10 Ways To A Healthy Brain

EXERCISE YOUR MIND  It is said that continuously educating yourself can lessen the risk of Alzheimer's.  So go read a new book, solve some puzzles, or engage in a new activity to stimulate the mind and make it rust free and well-lubricated. 

     Reader's Digest Asia said that learning new information and skills can help keep the brain strong even at a later age.  However, take note that doing stuff that you already know has less benefits as the brain is already comfortable with them.  Instead, try doing stuff that you find complicated and which you don't engage in frequently -- these activities will likely benefit the development of new connections in the brain and make those neurons busy and running.  Getting out of your comfort zone will certainly make your brain happy.

     Why don't you check this word power game from Reader's Digest Asia and try it on for size?  I'm sure some of you will find the game quite engaging. 

Virgin Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas

     Hey everybody, what's up?  Summer is definitely extending so don't miss on the opportunity to have fun under the raging summer sun.  Be careful though, do a checklist of the summer essentials so you can keep your cool every-time you go out and play.

     Anyway, I had the chance to jam with Mark and some new-found friends last weekend on their yearly summer getaway held at the Virgin Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas.


Virgin Beach Resort through the lens of my camera. [Click on the image to view larger size.]

     Mark and I used to work in the same company a few years back and when he transferred to [24]7, we kept in touch through Facebook and BBM.  When Mark invited me to join them last weekend, I thought it's just going to be a small group so I said yes.  Lo and behold, there were at least 10 buses en route to Virgin Beach Resort that day.  But I didn't mind -- the whole idea seemed fun and it was certainly nice to meet new friends.  ☺

Why Businesses Need A Reliable Billing System

Why is a billing system so important for businesses today?

     If you're a business person, chances are, you've landed on this page because you are looking for a reason to convince yourself why your business needs a billing system that works for you.  Well, you're not the only one that needs convincing, I also need to convince my brother who manages a small business back at home. 

     A Billing System is a combination of hardware and software that keeps track of information, bills and payments -- to and from -- the customers, the suppliers and other businesses.  Of course there's still the old fashioned manual billing system, however, we're here to take advantage of today's technology and E-Commerce.

Fake Blog Visitors and Referer Spams

       Fellow bloggers, this is something we should all be concerned about.  I was checking my blog stats tonight and was kinda surprised to find out that I'm getting traffic from really strange sources.  Go check the screenshots and see for yourself.

       For this blog, here are the referring URLs and sites today:


How To Train Your Dragon: A Movie Review

     Released March 26, 2010, How to Train Your Dragon is a 3D computer-animated fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation which is an adaptation of Cressida Cowell's popular children's book with the same title.  This movie had $165M production budget and grossed nearly $500M worldwide which makes it DreamWorks Animation's fifth most successful film following after the Shrek film series.  What made this movie a hit?  A few things:  awesome 3D quality throughout the movie, the depth of the story, the smart and witty script, the right dosage of snappy jokes, and the irresistible charm of the characters.  Plus, I am a fan of movies with dragons in them so you can say that this film has made it to my all-time favorite list which I will post very soon.


Starbucks Philippines Happy Hour is Back!

     Hey fellow coffee lovers, here's a good news from Starbucks Philippines:  from 2PM to 6PM starting today, April 30, and every Monday then on until May 28, 2012, Frappuccino Happy Hour is back!  This means that you get your frappes for only half the usual price.  


     And this also means long lines so yeah, if you have the patience, enjoy!  See y'all on my next wandering!

*Photo taken from Starbucks Philippines' Facebook page.

#Banchetto Meralco Avenue

     Banchetto has been one of my favorite food destinations since I discovered this "OVERNIGHT STREET FOOD FIESTA" last January 2011.  From then on, when me and my friends would go out Friday nights, we sometimes drop by Banchetto at around 5AM the next day to have breakfast at their old location in Emerald Avenue. 

At the new Bachetto Meralco Avenue, and our favorite food stall.
     Banchetto is an Italian word which means a 'banquet' or a 'feast' which, in this case, is definitely true.  Started February 2006, this weekly overnight street food feast began with only around 14 food vendors and grew up to 130 last December 2010.  After the success of Banchetto EMERALD along F. Ortigas Jr. Avenue (formerly known as Emerald Avenue), several other Banchetto venues were born:

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

     A day after its release, Microsoft tweeted that Windows 8 Consumer Preview have reached a million downloads.  Windows 8, the latest update to the Windows operating system, is to be officially unveiled in October 2012 but a consumer preview has been made available to the public since February 29, 2012.

What's New?


Several things:
  • They made the familiar even better with your favorite Windows applications now with a brand new appeal and a fresher interface.

Hachiko: A Movie Review

     Also known as Hachiko: A Dog's Story, this extraordinary movie about an unlikely friendship was released in June 2009 and have touched many hearts including mine.  Watching this film can make you a bit sad and at the same time might make you realize that there are things such as loyalty, love, and friendship -- and that all these noble feelings can come from a dog.  (Writing this introduction makes me miss Yassu and Yesha, my dogs.  You might want to read about them HERE).


Freedom Writers: A Movie Review

     Freedom Writers was released January 2007 and is one of the few movies that has truly inspired me.  Though it patterns on formula and cliché, it is still a reflection of the truth -- and the truth it tells is a story that's worth telling.  The movie poses a challenge for many of us:  to do what is right.  If you have a heart, this film will get to you.


Top 10 Food to Boost Your Mood

     I've said this before on a previous post and I'm saying it again:  health and fitness probably tops the list of the toughest challenges many has to struggle with at one point or another.  So for people having difficulty sustaining a healthy diet, here's a list I made that's sure to make all of us not just healthier but also happier.  Add these to your menu, and let's all eat our way to a healthier and happier lifestyle!  

My Top 10 Mood Boosters


BANANAS - this fruit contains the amino acid tryptophan that's responsible for producing serotonin in the body.  Serotonin, also known as the 'happy hormone,' greatly influences a person's overall well-being as it helps regulate moods, temper anxiety and relieve depression.  Bananas are also rich in potassium.  The body's potassium level rapidly depletes during periods of high stress, thus, eating bananas is a healthy way to re-balance the body's potassium level without using drugs.  On top of that, as stress is closely linked with magnesium deficiency, bananas are a great way to pile up on magnesium and avoid stress.  So go eat some more bananas and feel good about yourself.  ☺

*Read more on the health benefits of bananas here.


CHILLI - this little fruit contains capsaicin which stimulates the mouth's tiny nerve endings and brings that exciting burning sensation.  In response to this burning sensation, the brain releases endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.  Endorphins, among its many functions, controls feelings of stress and frustrations.  So with high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and experience fewer negative effects of stress.

Filipino Words Every Filipino Must Know

     This circulated on email at my workplace more that 5 years ago and found it saved on my old hard drive which I was trying to clean up earlier today.  Although a bit old, I think most of you -- especially those who can speak and understand the Filipino language quite well -- shall find this educational as well as entertaining.


     Most Filipinos are bilingual (even trilingual) and speaks fluently the two official languages of the Philippine which are Filipino and English.  But even if Filipino comes as the first language, there's a big probability that most Filipinos have not yet fully discovered the intricacies and semantics of this beautiful language which is a combination of many different tongues.

     And so, just in case you guys need further education in the Filipino language, here are some words that I think you must compel yourself to learn:

Mark Zuckerberg Endorses Friendsheet Facebook App

     Hey guys, what's up?  When I logged in to my Facebook tonight, I saw that there was an update from Facebook's Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.  Facebook's CEO apparently liked this app called Friendsheet which got me curious so I explored it up a bit. 

Friendsheet claims to be "An amazing new way to browse your Facebook photos."

Almon Marina at SM Megamall

     What happens when two perennial late comers agreed to watch a movie?  Well, they arrive not on time but AT the same time!  Ehrr, almost, LOL! -- and because I got there first, I bought the tickets and while waiting for Madam to show up, also bought some popcorn using my Smart Rewards points.

     "The Vow" will start at 10PM and since we have more than an hour spare, we looked for a restaurant where we can have some light dinner.  That's how we found this interesting place:  Almon Marina Sandwich Bar & Deli.

The Almon Marina branch we visited is located at the GF of SM Megamall Building A.

What Cosmetic Dentistry Can Do

     We wear the best clothes, nicest shoes, and coolest accessories  We get a haircut and spend time to style our hair.  We take care of our skin and our faces.  We put on that designer scent before going out.  And to finish our look, we flash that bright, cute smile across our face.  As Martin Charnin once said,  "You're never fully dressed without a smile."  And that, dear friends, is absolutely true.

     A smile can change how our face looks like and even change our overall appearance.  And how we look DOES NOT only affect our self-esteem, or how we regard ourselves, IT ALSO influence the world's perception of us.  Many people, myself included, have not been so keen on smiling.  The worst reaction I got for not smiling often was people thought I was shy, and even worse, many perceived me to be indifferent.  Can you imagine that?  If only they knew that I just didn't smile frequently because I wasn't confident enough of my smile.

On picture:  Though Oprah Winfrey's teeth were never in terrible shape, it was rumored that she used  Invisalign braces at some point.

     But thank God for science and modern technology, many people can now smile more often because of Cosmetic Dentistry.

The Café Mediterranean at Resorts World Manila

     A day before my brother's Hong Kong and Macau vacation, he dropped by our Manila apartment so we can hang out and catch up on things.  He kinda missed our usual comfort food (pasta and pizza) and so we looked for a new restaurant to try while we were at Resorts World Manila.

     After checking out some places and seeing what's on their menu, we found this restaurant that seemed worth the try.  Read on to find out if it really was...


     The Café Mediterranean is located on the 4th Floor of Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila and claims to be home of the best Mediterranean cuisine this side of the planet.  They boast of great tasting hummus, paninis, soups, pastas, kebabs, gyro plates, moussaka and moutabal for fresh, light and healthy meals.

What Are Lawyers Here For?

     Time for some laugh!

     I was Googling for stuff to lighten up my mood when I stumbled upon these lawyer articles that had me laughing in stitches.  Sharing the ones that I found quite unforgettable, read on!

When Grandma Goes To Court
(This one here is my favorite which I shared on my Facebook two years ago).


Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer. 

     In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand.  He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?'  She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me.  You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs.  You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher.  Yes, I know you.'

     The lawyer was stunned.  Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

Chef's Quarter Megamall Branch

      Yo, what's up?

     It was a cool evening and I feel like eating my favorite comfort food so MPC (Yvette Yzon) and I scouted for a restaurant where we can get some pasta and pizza.  Then we wandered into this familiar place.
The Chef's Quarter Restaurant we visited is located at
Level 3 Mega Atrium at SM Megamall.
     Chef's Quarter hopes to deliver an eclectic dining experience with their Mediterranean inspired cuisine fused with regional favorites.  I adopted that description from their facebook page which I liked the first time I dined at Chef's Quarter a few years back.

     Anyway, I kinda miss their 'panizza' -- thus, that came first on our order...

Panizza with All Meat Toppings of pepperoni, salami, pork and beef bbq and three cheese - P290.00

Orchard Road at SM Megamall - A Taste of Singapore

     Hey guys, what's up?

     I was -- ehrr -- more than two hours late and so my companion was really starving when I found her at our meeting place.  After some catching up, we decided to wander around the crowded SM Megamall to look for a nice place to dine and saw a familiar place that we haven't tried yet -- Orchard Road.


     Orchard Road is located at the 2nd Level Bridgeway of SM Megamall and since its opening last 2010, is known for its wide array of Singaporean inspired dishes which, due to the cultural diversity of Singapore, is actually a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western cuisines.  The restaurant took its name from the famous road that's known as the retail and entertainment hub of Singapore.


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     We checked their menu and saw some set meals that are good enough to try and so, here's what we ordered:

Fried Rice With A Twist - A Recipe

     Fried rice is a classic Chinese comfort food which is also a very popular Filipino household dish.  Fried rice is normally prepared from leftover steamed rice and many other ingredients (some may be are leftovers too) that are stir-fried in a wok.  Through the years, variety of other ingredients have been added to this cuisine to suit culture, necessity and even our mood.

     Here's one fried rice recipe that's worth a try which I found from one of the free recipe booklets that came with my mother's grocery.  Well, I tried and you can see the result.  Mmm!

Fried Rice recipe with a twist!
For the achuete oil:
2 tbsp achuete seeds
5 tbsp cooking oil

California Pizza Kitchen

     I'm not sure if you've noticed but I'm quite fond of places that serves pasta, pizza and anything with tomatoes.  I swear I can live on pizza all the days of my life, hah!  Anyway, here's another place to visit if you're looking for quality customer service and food that promises authentic Californian kick to it.

California Pizza Kitchen or CPK boasts of its authentic California-style cuisines.
     The CPK branch we visited is located at the second level of Shangri-la Mall in Edsa, Mandaluyong City.  The place was kinda small but the atmosphere was surprisingly warm and people are extremely accommodating.  We're not that hungry, but wanted to get full.  Taking that in consideration, here's what we ordered:

A Veneto Pizzeria Ristorante

     For some of us, 2011 came as a blur and just when we're getting used to things, another year has yet again came to pass.  Indeed, time does fly so fast!  As such, let's make every moment count by spending quality time with the people we love.  And what other awesome way to spend time with them but over a table of delicious and sumptuous food?

     Hey folks, The Pinoy Wanderer is back!  And before the year finally came to a close, I had the chance to dine with some of my friends and while we talk about things, events and interests, we sampled some of A Veneto's Italian cuisines.  Yep, I'm back to talk about food -- again, haha!


     The A Veneto branch we visited is located at G/F SM Mall of Asia and because it's the holiday season, we waited for a while before the three of us were seated.  It was around 9pm when we were ushered inside and since we were starving, we ordered something heavy.  Go check what we had:

A Veneto Family Platter P300.00 - a combination of their chicken wings
with crabsticks, cheddar munchers and French fries.
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