Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Audacity of iHop

A few weeks ago, we ate dinner at a newly opened Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
I think their focus is being a steak house.
But, they also give you unlimited peanuts. In the shell.
You are encouraged to, from the moment you enter the door, crack open peanuts, consume the nut and discard the shell. Right on the floor.
"Somebody" will clean it up! So cute!

Then you sit at your table with more unlimited peanuts in a little bucket.
You can discard the shells into a twin bucket (initially empty) or throw the shells on the floor.

While you wait for your appetizer, your main course, your dessert, and also while you are eating, the server brings you unlimited rolls.
And to-die-for cinnamon butter.

During our visit, I warned the server that I would be unable to stop eating the rolls.
I would not eat my dinner.

I ate 16 rolls. This was no joke.
I ate half my huge hamburger.
This was all reasonably priced.

Later after returning home, I left my doggy-bagged hamburger on the kitchen counter, rather than putting it in the fridge as planned.
The next morning, I threw it away. Afraid of some non-refrigerated meat disease.

Last night, we attended a fundraiser.

We played bingo.
We ate pizza.
We ate home-baked good upon home-baked good.

The kids left with a bunch of dollar store inflatable toy prizes.
I left with the disgusted feeling of overeating.

The fundraiser was to fight hunger.

Today I took the kids to the local YMCA Health Kids Day.
They have fun activities for the kids.
They have a bunch of vendors/organizations set up tables and hand out schwag and coloring books.

I had my most productive vendor/organization table conversation ever, with a pair of hunger awareness tables.

One was for the local foodbank.
Learned I can take our excess garden yield to the foodbank. Rather than taking it to work.

The other was an organization that helps feed the hungry.
1 in 8 families in our county do not have enough food.

Did I mention that the wait at Texas Roadhouse was over an hour?
And that there were ZERO parking spots available? Including spots at the adjacent Cracker Barrel?

1 in 8 families are struggling with hunger.
13,000 kids in our county get free breakfast and lunch at school each week.
They do not have enough food to eat properly over the weekend.
The local organizations only have enough resources to supply 900 kids with weekend food packages.

And that's the audacity.*

Everywhere I go.
Diet here!
Lose weight here!

I signed up to volunteer with the foodbank/hunger organizations.
Because honest.
This invisible hunger problem. And I know the numbers. It doesn't make sense.

*I have never been to an iHop

Friday, April 27, 2012

Something to Look Forward To

"We'll call you every.

Don't I feel honored?

I don't.

Because the conversation started like this.

...Cell phone rings. Unknown number. My kids just got done riding a horse at the zoo.
I answer, because who knows who is calling?!

Me - "Hi."
Jerk - "Hello. This is the Computer Maintenance Department."
Me - Thinking. Because, like, I pretty much AM the Computer Maintenance Department.
Me - "Which Computer Maintenance Department?"
Jerk - "THE Computer Maintenance Department."
Me - Thinking. Because, that's a good way to ruin a nice conversation with me.
Me - "OK. I call bullshit."
Jerk - Doesn't see this on his script.
Jerk - "I am calling from the Computer Maintenance Department!"
Me - "Here's what we're gonna do. You're going to remove me from your list. And never call me again."
Jerk - "We'll call you every.

And guess what!?
That was the truth!

Every day. In the afternoon. From the same number.
During subsequent calls, I've tried to feign interest and enthusiasm.

But just my luck. They keep hanging up.

I did Google it tonight.
And <sigh> I see posts (in the only hit I looked at) from 2010.

What's old is new.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Post Office

I like the USPS, the US Postal Service.

There's still value in sending snail mail. A letter. Real, touch and feel photographs.

But, they have a losing business model, some kind of ridiculous pension overhead, and the need to consolidate and become more efficient.

I was reminded of this stuff in the NY Times today.
I didn't get into the NYC Marathon, BTW. I'll just have to do my own version!

Aside - This new Blogger create-a-post layout is cute but so empty. Where's the color man?

Back - So what to do to help the Post Office.

Not sure if this was my original idea or not, but I'll pretend it is.

I would 100% most certainly use a USPS email address.
I mean, secure email. No SPAM. Guaranteed delivery.
Good stuff like that.

And I'd pay good for it, too.
Let's say $200/year for

Because, really.
Who wants one of these crummy free addresses that get hacked all the time and SPAMMED to no end?
I don't. I'm tired of it.
And that's how the USPS and I can help each other.

To my knowledge, that service is not available.

Which is why I loved seeing this annual conference in my travels today:

Check it out. Discussing ways technology can save USPS.

Did you know the USPS made commericals touting the security of snail mail versus email?
Damnit, they should have been setting up secure email addresses!

This topic was totally random but:
a) I just renewed this domain name for another year. I need to blog a little more to justify that $10 expense.
b) See a)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bike Ride

Oh, I still have this blog.

Lindsay and Marni are the winners of the ZipFizz giveaway.
Lindsay, I probably need your address.
Or I'll just Google it ;-)

If ZipFizz is still shipping giveaway stuff, then consider it on its way.

But since I can still blog for free, I wanted to at least remind myself that I have an idea for a 625-ish mile bike ride this summer.
A few logistics to work out first.

Google Maps has the cool little Bike-mode option.
But it is a little too protective of you the rider. Which results in a ton of little turns.
The route includes 400 "cues." Unmanageable.

Anyway, since I've received a initial response of "no way" from those that love me, I have a little more planning to do.
And then, hopefully I can share the destination and how I figure out the route.

Monday, January 23, 2012

ZipFizz Onomatopoeiatic Giveaway and Review

Got an email from Ashley of ZipFizz to review their energy drink mix.

Which is to say, you snap! Remove the cover of a little tube.
Then, tilt and pour into a bottle of water.

You guessed it.

Since I misplaced my thrilling pics/video of the experience, I give you this reenactment:
And no, despite the illustration, you do not need a degree in chemistry.

Perhaps you've seen this type of product before?
I had.

I almost bought a similar product.
Which depends on your definition of "bought."

Because I selected a similar product at the local running store.
Paid for it.
Left it on the counter by accident.
And never returned.

Which made it all the better to receive a sampler pack of this tasty energy-packed product.
And guess what?
You can get one, too. For free!
Just keep reading.

OK, so I consumed a sampler pack of flavors such as:
Grape! Berry! Pink Lemonade.
And other flavors you can find right there on the ZipFizz website.

But first.
First I had to try the LIMITED EDITION Orange Cream flavor.

Drank it during a 7ish mile run to start my Saturday.
It was happiness in my mouth.
Fizzible, yet smooth.

That same day, I really put ZipFizz to the test.
Following that empty stomach run in the morning, I decided not to eat prior to a 1-mile afternoon race in town.

I gulp! Drank the berry flavor during the race.
The tube conveniently fit into my handheld bottle's zipper compartment.

And zoom! I PR'd the race!

OK, that was my first timed mile.

Still. You can't argue with those results!

In fact, a few days later, I drank some ZipFizz while swimming laps before work.
And while I didn't notice any additional Zip in the pool, I felt great when I got to work.
Alert and happy. Alerter and happier than usual anyway.

What does this have to do with you?
Well, if you want to try out an all natural energy drink, which includes natural caffeine, ZipFizz will hook up 2 lucky giveaway winners.
Two simple rules to win.

Like ZipFizz on Facebook.
And leave a comment here.

I'll pick 2 random winners on 1/30/2012.

It's that simple.

What's that?
How much B12 does this product contain?

Well, 2500 micrograms per serving.
Exactly, we're talking bam! 41,667% the recommended daily value.
A boost of energy. And it can probably treat a minor case of cyanide poisoning.

Thank you to ZipFizz for the delightful product review opportunity and for rewarding two loyal readers with their own free sample pack.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Janathon Cheerleader

Janathon came at a bad time for me this year.

Not sure how I can make that statement after participating last year despite a 10 day trip to Disney World.

I was hoping to join Erin and Hennie this year.
Lindsay even sent me a very nice reminder email.

I can't.

Just happens that I'm extra-focused on a few things around the house.
Staying on top of home videos and photos
Finally organizing our receipts (which is horrible)
Helping my son Goodles learn woodworking
Oh and prepare for Kindergarten (which should have been listed first)
Helping my daughter HoneyBunny take initiative with Math
And that list continues

So I can't rationalize the extra minutes for daily blogging.
Or squeezing in the daily running.
Not this month.

Which leaves me cheerleading.
Happy New Year and Good Luck!