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)