Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Overstaffed with SOS

Went to the new OG in town for lunch today. OG for Olive Garden. Walked in at about 12:15 and was in line behind a party of 4. There were 2 of us. 2 more groups of 2 walked in behind us. There were 2 hostesses at the counter and 2 other girls who were seating and handing out menus. The older lady who was in charge of the list somehow looked right at the two of us and promptly forgot us standing right in the middle of the front area. Seated everyone but us. Fortunately the smart cute girl behind the counter suggested that there was a table open in the bar area that we could grab right away. So we sat down, but unfortunately it was in the stuck on stupid bartender area. There were 6 tables and 12 spots at the bar and the two bartenders who were working the bar only had to handle the bartops and 3 out of 6 tables. I was wondering why they had two bartenders at lunch in this little old town but after witnesing the talent I was left wondering why they didnt have 3-4 bartenders. They could not decide who would wait on our table, they couldnt keep up with the people they had, and their waiting skills left us waiting more oftern than not. I had the stuffed chicken marsala and while it was good, it wasnt $14.99 worth of good. The sad thing is that chicken marsala by itself is a very simple recipe, that is quick and tasty and easy to prepare, but it was overcooked and had a lot of stuffing and sauce trying to cover that up. Luckily I know how to cook better marsala and way better spaghetti and meatballs than the Og so I am not stuck with them as an only source or Italian food. Meanwhile I would suggest that the manager host some service classes for the bartenders and then they could reduce their staff number by having better skilled wait staff.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My own 12 step program.

Hi my name is Fred and I am an Oreo-a-holic. I am sitting at work and I have been Oreo free for at least 3 months (Maybe 2 if you count Newman-O's), but I click on the following article and within 20 seconds I am drooling.

Got Milk? Truck Carrying Oreos Overturns
var s_prop9="Got Milk? Truck Carrying Oreos Overturns"
MORRIS, Ill. Got milk?Police say a trailer loaded with 14 tons of double-stuffed Oreos has overturned, spilling the cookies still in their plastic sleeves into the median and roadway.Illinois State Police Sgt. Brian Mahoney says the truck’s driver was traveling from Chicago to Morris on Interstate 80 around 4 a.m. Monday when he fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into the median.“The boxes came out of the trailer and boxes were ripped open,” he said.The crash about 50 miles southwest of Chicago remains under investigation.Mahoney says no charges have been filed but both lanes of traffic remain closed while authorities remove the cookies.

You think I am joking, but I am not. I am seriously sitting here drooling. I need help. Is there a program for Oreo-a-holics? I mean the two thoughts running thru my head are "MMMMMM, they were the good double stuffs" and "MMMMMMMM some ice cold whole milk like we used to get on grandpa's dairy farm would work really well with the double stuffs". PLease, help me stop the madness.......

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shrimp n grits goodness...

Start with Suzy secret recipe stone ground grits, add some bacon bits, green onion, shrimp, cajun spicy seasoning, and cheddar cheese. It is home made good eats any time of the day. After having a touchy stomach for the last 3-4 days this really hit the spot to fill my empty belly. This is one of those recipes that is a home run right off the bat and i dont really think there is anything that I can think of that i would change. Mighty tasty! Reservations are recommended if you are coming to Freds Eatery for a heaping helping.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vacation holiday summer.....

what have I done with the first 10 days of a 16 day stretch of days off you ask? I mean really 16 days in a row is a lot of time to do a lot of fun important goof off type things. Well let me count the things.

1. Walked (ok bussed part of the way) to the top of Georgia.
2. Walked all the way back down from the top of Georgia (4700 plus feet)
3. Saw crazy guys in speedo's on bicycle's ride very fast DOWN the mountain.
4. Learned how to make real grits real tasty. Thanks Suzy!
5. Saw a LARGE dead alligator in the median of hwy 27 on the way to Hollywood (scared me because at first I thought he was alive and coming after me)
6. Visited my 95 YO grandmother.
7. Picked up a new-used Mini Cooper for my mom.
8. Picked up my cousin Rob from the airport in the new-used Mini Cooper.
9. Saw my cousin Jennifer for the first time in almost 10 years.
10. Fixed the broken power window on my truck (.05 cent piece that ended up costing $150)
11. Installed a satellite radio in moms new-used Mini Cooper.
12. Saw Iron Man the movie. Strong on CGI, a little week on story, still worth seeing.
13. slept.

I still have 5 days left, so i am planning at least one trip to some beach to chill out and read. And I have to fit in time to look for a new Casa Fred in South Florida. It is going to be a busy 5 days, but I will cram in as much as I can.

Can you hear me now?

I was firmly convinced that I am going deaf and I still think that one day that will come true. Grandpa wore hearing aids, uncle Joe wears them now, my dad wears them and having just bought a motorcycle and riding it around even with ear plugs in, I am always thinking about what i am missing out on. So today I went to the hearing aid specialist not for hearing aids, but to get a set of custom made ear plugs made to wear while on the motorcycle so I can preserve and keep what little hearing i thought I had left. The very nice specialist took one peek in my ears and told me that I had 90% blockage on one side and 95% on the other. EWWWWWW! They have to clean your ears out before they pour liquid latex in to made the impression of your ear canal to make the plugs from. Well he was amazed I could hear anything at all and did a test with a tuning fork and I could only hear it from about 6-9 inches away from my ear when he rang it. I wont go into the gross details, but after cleaning out the one side I could hear the tuning fork from almost 3 feet away when he rang it. much better now! I do have an excuse though. I do a good job cleaning the outer area's of my ears, but I have always had a thing about sticking anything smaller than your finger into your ear. Probably comes from watching old gangster movies as a kid when they would stick an ice pick in your ear with dramatically bad results. So now i have to wait till Friday for my poor ears to recover from the extreme cleaning session and then I will go back to get the ear plugs so i can protect my new found super hearing ablities.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Earning the title this week.....

It has been toooooooo long for a post. This update took the title of the blog to heart and here are the latest adventures. I thought I was being philosophical or whimsical when I used the uphill and downhill title but this week was back to reality. I rode the moto up to Albany and hopped on the Clark and Suzy express and we went up to Helen, GA to stay the weekend and go see the last two stages of the Tour de Georgia professional bicycle race. The Saturday stage is run in the heart of the NE Georgia mountains taking advantake of some incredible steep and tall mountains. The stage we watched started in Blairsville and went 88 miles and topped out at 4700 plus feet with some slopes on the paved road reaching 24-27 percent grades. To walk up the hill is a chore. To race other professional cyclists tot he top of the mountain is insane. Fortunately we caught the $5 shuttle to the parking area and only had to walk the last 6/10th of a mile up to the summit to watch the finish line. Unfortunately we walked the 5km down the hill back to where we were able to park the car. Walking down hill is a little less effort than uphill but it still makes you use muscles that dont see a lot of use and mine are still complaining 4 days later. It was an exciting suprise finish with a relative newbie putting a hurting on a veteran rider and another up and coming star. The main thing I kept thinking was why did I leave my motorcycle in Albany and not bring it up to Helen for a little motorized fun. Someday I will bring it, but it was a lot of fun hanging out with my best buds at their awesome cabin. If you ever want a relaxing dog friendly vacation cabin in some beautiful mountains drop me a line and I will give you the website for reservations. Sunday unfortunately we were rained psyched out and didnt go into downtown Atlanta to see the final stage. We rolled straight back home and I spent the night in Albany and then rode the moto home on Monday. I only got rained on 5 different times, but each shower was only a couple minutes in duration and tolerable with the raingear I bring with me. Total miles for the weekend came to 755 on the motorcycle and roughly 480-490 in the car.

Tuesday I went to Orlando and picked up a car that my mother just bought to replace the RX-8 that is ending its lease. She picked up a used 04 Mini Cooper in BRG with the green grey black interior, sunroof and auto transmission. The original owner replaced the wheels with some slick looking 17" hoops and it is a pretty cool looking car. After handing over the check and signing on the dotted line I tooled home in the new-used wheels. What an fun little car. On the 4 wheel side I now drive a F-150 which comes in very handy when you need to haul stuff, but I have forgotten how much fun a sporty little FWD car can be when it is tuned for fun. I think my mom is going to have a lot of fun in her new car and the MPG will help also considering the wankel powered RX-8 was pulling 17-19 mpg. IF you are in the market for MPG this is a brilliant little car and the used copy my mom has is extremely tight and solid for being a 4 year old model with 60K on it. fun fun fun!!!!!

Today I scooted down to the south Florida area to scope out the area and check out a couple neighborhoods. I am headed down that way for business in the next month or two and I need to line up a new place to live. I have been spoiled with low living cost for the last 3-4 places I have lived, but it will take a little luck if I am going to find cheap and fun housing. I found a really cool place in hollywood that is right near the old downtown Hollywood area dn has a lot of old restaraunts and hsops that are making a comeback "revitalization effort" and it is only about 1 to 1.5 miles from the beach. Time will tell, I am going to call a realtor and see what is available closer to where I will be working and what is on the market right now in my price range. By the way I rode the moto today for a total of 390 miles sot he total from Friday thru Wedensday we are at 1145 miles so far. I feal like I am getting over considering I used about 29 gallons of gas in the moto compared to approx 63 if I used the truck.

So I have 4 more days of vacation left to do laundry, see my cousin coming in from NYC, check in on grandma, rest, relax, and recharge in time to go back to work Monday......I am going to need time off to recover from the time off.