This meal will keep you out of the hospital

IMG_2402
Fish and Chips from Long John Silvers

There is no question that Fish and Chips are one of my favorite meals. Whenever traveling I always look for a good basket of authentic old-country goodness.

I think it all stems back to my childhood when I was having my double hernia operation. The doctors wouldn’t release me from the hospital until I stopped throwing up. It was due to the hospital food being quite terrible and bland. One evening, it seemed as if a superhero entered my room with a long flowing cape. Under that cape was Fish and Chips from Long John Silvers. Nothing that I remember has ever tasted so delicious. Needless to say, the next meal that the hospital placed before me stayed down with no problem. Turns out, my stomach was missing an essential layer of grease that would help the bland food stick to my innards. I was released from the doctors thanks to the healing power of Long John Silvers!

You can never stop drinking coffee

I don’t know why, but I decided to start drinking coffee in 2002. Having just started a new job, I was finding it difficult to adjust to the time zone difference, recover from the move, and deal with new co-workers. I called a friend who had commended something called a “press pot”. I started from there skipping over the whole drip coffee maker ordeal that my parents had when I was growing up. No wonder I never liked coffee.

At first, I bought ground coffee. Millstone Foglifter to be exact. Then I discovered that the coffee tasted better if I bought the whole beans in the store and ground them and brought them home. Next, I found out that I could grind my own beans at home right before brewing, big improvement. Then I figured out filtered water tastes even better with coffee.

Next, I formed an alliance with co-workers and formed a super-hero coffee club. We vowed to fight coffee injustice by only grinding the freshest beans and preparing the coffee at the right brewing temperature. It was an in-house debate about which temperature was superior. I preferred 192.5 F and others preferred 185 F. We bickered about grind settings complaining that some were too coarse while others were too fine. We hurled insults if someone let the coffee steep too long, so we had to start using a timer.

We then discovered that we could roast our own green coffee beans. That opened up new layers of complexity that we could fight about. Roast settings, under or over roastings, and how the coffee sometimes tasted like drinking boiled string bean water out of a brown grocery bag. I finally had to move away to a new job to get out of the coffee club. I now know the secrets to true coffee bliss. Throw a K-cup into a machine and drink the contents once it squirts out. So easy…

Amazon.com – One star reviews

oneStarThis is where product review gold is found. You will find the most minuscule complaints about how a product didn’t meet expectations. Complaints like, the golf GPS not lowering your score because you are not able to hit your pitching wedge 170 yards like Dustin Johnson.

My favorite so far is reading a Yelp one-star restaurant review. The restaurant wasn’t known for making wraps. In fact, they didn’t have wraps on their menu. The lady asked them to make her a wrap and she had to explain what a wrap was. So when the wrap didn’t come back as she liked she complained and gave a 1-star review of the whole place.

I understand one-star reviews for terrible products, but bringing your subjectivity into the complaint is another thing. I tend to either leave five or one-star reviews. There is no middle ground for me. All it takes is one small experience and I will never go back.

Selection Anxiety with Coca-Cola Freestyle

IMG_0065

I like the idea of the Coca-Cola Freestyle and I love the options, however it’s not worth the anxiety attack. Once you get to the front of the line you are inundated with a plethora of beverage configurations. As you are mashing buttons a line begins forming with anxious patrons with lids half cocked waiting to fill their containers with carbonated corn syrup and artificial flavoring.

I’m all for consumer options but this machine basically causes a traffic jam. I’ve even seen these in airports, a place where there is enough traffic. I’m a bit disappointed that there’s no button for an extra shot of caffeine, which would turbo charge any beverage selection. This would also be a great product placement for a Xanax button for a shot of relaxation. This would ease the anxiety about the five people in line waiting to stab you in the orbital socket with a bendy straw.

JUST PICK ONE!

While great in theory the execution can be painful. If you have these in your restaurant then have a minimum of two machines. People have enough trouble retrieving sporks and straws and now you present them with thousands of flavor combinations?

Think about what flavor you want beforehand.  There is nothing more frustrating that watching someone hunt and peck for Orange Flavored Sunkist when it’s not even a Coke product. Have an additional dispenser for just ice and water, this will speed up the queue and reduce the glacier of ice that has formed because of trigger happy customers. I would also be nice if these machines could detect the type of drinking vessel so that you don’t cascade the soda over the cup onto your hand. Or maybe just have one size for this machine and tune it for proper filling.

Marriage Advice from Tony Chachere

 

tonyc
Yellow cloud?

When I was first married, I thought it would be nice to slowly introduce the spouse to some food I enjoyed while living in the Deep South. One night I prepared Red Beans and Rice with cornbread. I went all out and bought two boxes of Tony Chachere’s from the local Food Lion. Well after a few bites in she decided it was too spicy, and plus I forgot about her terrible acid reflux.

So what now? I had a huge pot of red beans and rice that I didn’t want all that Cajun goodness to go to waste. Well, I suffered through and consumed red beans and rice for every meal for the next few days until it was gone. Let me tell you, rehydrated red beans are probably the gassiest. At first, I thought all the farting was hilarious! But after a full day of constant farts every 5 to 10 minutes and gut-wrenching gas that felt like someone was using an air compressor to inflate my large intestine, my pucker muscle was fatigued. I just wanted it to stop and so did my wife.

I was starting to leave permanent odors on my office chair from trying to hold them in. I didn’t want to kill any office plants or cause workman’s comp cases for my co-workers. Some lessons you learn the hard way.

How much should you tip a waiter?

I’ve changed my strategy over the years, but I do not subscribe to automatic tipping. 20% is the max and it goes down from there.

10% Deductions

  • If the waiter attempts to show off and not write your order down and either get
    the order wrong or has to come back to verify the order.
  • If your food has hair(s) in it, deduct extra dollar for coarse curly hair(s)
  • If the silverware is not clean
  • Your salads arrive a minute after your appetizer
  • Then your meals arrive a minute later.
  • Another dollar if you still have no silverware.
  • If you touch any of us.

2% Deductions

  • If the waiter gets your drink order wrong
  • If the waiter brings your change in a bunch of small bills without you asking
  • The waiter asks if you want change, no matter the bill denomination
  • You have to ask for your change
  • If your change is greater than you should get. (a bit presumptuous are we?)
  • If your waiter comes back twice within a minute asking if you are ready to order.
  • Your table has leftovers from the last meal encrusted on the table.
  • When you order water and they never refill it. (I’m cheap, but I’m still thirsty)

1%

  • For each minute your drink is empty
  • If the waiter asks _how you guys doing_ when you have your mouth full.
  • Ask if we “saved room” for dessert after we requested for a takeout box.
  • If the color of the ink for signing the bill is other than blue or black
  • You ask for Malt Vinegar and you get Red Wine Vinegar.

100% (yes, I will ask you for money or a free meal)

  • Spill something on me or my family.
  • Drop food while carrying it to the table and put it back on the plate.
  • Sneeze on our food in front of us.
  • Use a smart a$$ response while we order.
  • Curse and Complain about the restaurant or your boss within earshot of my kids.

Extra Credit

  • Smile
  • The waiter doesn’t write down the order and gets it correct in every way
  • Recommend something that you’ve actually eaten there.
  • Act like you enjoy your job
  • Remember our names

I know being a waiter is a tough job. I’m guessing because I dislike tough jobs, so I’ve never been a waiter. You have to put up with jerks and picky eaters and people who don’t tip well regardless of great service. Don’t work there just because it pays well, do something you enjoy. If you hate being a waiter, go find something else to do so that you don’t ruin the restaurants’ reputation.  The customer isn’t always right, I know that first hand. Customers are stupid and unreasonable and sometimes need a free side order of batter-fried crumbs with their long john silvers fish planks. Is that so much to ask?

What kind of things cause you to reconsider your tips?

Nutrisystem Man Shaming

Dear Nutrisystem,

I know you want to promote your product, but fat-shaming men is not ideal. Don’t assume all men are sitting on the couch watching football and eating pie. Also, men can cook so stop with the gender stereotypes. I tried Nutrisystem for a month once and while I did lose weight as advertised it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. There are much better ways to shed pounds than eating packaged food. The key is creating a lifestyle with micro resolutions, not a short-term fix.

The Slow carb diet, if followed, can be sustained for an extended period. Just be careful that your cheat days don’t turn into cheat weekends, weeks, months, then years. Slow-carb diet pretty much saved my life.

Slow Carb Diet

I will never eat this cereal again.

IMG_3254

There is no doubt my favorite cereal is Kashi Go-Lean Crunch. The cereal serves dual purposes. One it tastes delicious and two it produces so much gas that it keeps everyone away from me. I can time it like clockwork. I eat a huge bowl first thing in the morning and by high noon, there is a showdown at colon corral. I’m expelling flatus about every two minutes and it continues all into the night.
Once I was going to play golf and wanted to load up on ammo for the course. My wife knew what I was up to and hid the box from me. I had to pick up some Bojangles Cajun Filet biscuits instead.
However, the sad news is I physically can’t consume it any longer. The problem is the gas production. I eat a bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch for breakfast and by the afternoon my body is producing so much natural gas I could heat a small village. It’s funny at first with all the farting, but after a few hours, you get exhausted. So long Kashi Go Lean Crunch our relationship has run out of gas. I still eat the regular Kashi Go Lean when I don’t have any wicker furniture to consume.