Sunday, January 8, 2017

Anyone still there?

I got a little nostalgic while trying to find a recipe that I posted years ago.  I started reading some old posts and started thinking.  I stopped writing because I didn't think I had anything left to write about.  Maybe after all these years, I might have some new material.  Just thinking....

Friday, April 20, 2012

When Did This Happen?

You know it's been a long time between posts when Blogger has completely changed the page you go to to post new posts. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Class Customers

Today, I helped a customer who had on one of those rubbery bracelets like Lance Armstrong's. Only it was purple. And it said "I like boobies". Now, I know it probably had something to do with Breast Cancer Awareness and all. But, really? "I like boobies"?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Oh, The Places I've Been

As I look back on the places I've lived, I often wonder which ones I should have stayed in. Since I've lived in so many, and since I killed so many brain cells from the ages of 18 - 21, I'll concentrate on those places from my 21st year to the present.

*Three weeks after turning 21, I went into the U.S. Air Force. 6 lovely weeks in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, I only got to see San Antonio for a few short, sweet hours when we were given a town pass in our 6th week. A buddy and I went downtown, looked at the Alamo, and then went to the Tower of the Americas. After eating military chow for 5 weeks, we wanted steaks. We figured the rotating restaurant on top should have good ones. We splurged and we enjoyed it. Though not enough time to truly investigate the advantages of San Antonio, I might return someday to look deeper. But with a nice glass of red wine to go with the steak this time.

*After Basic Training, next was electronic training at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. Six months and I loved it. Experienced my first hurricane, Elena. My first Gulf seafood. One of my favorite restaurants, Mary Mahoney's. Came really close to moving there after leaving Macaroni Grill. Only problem was, two days before my interview at a casino restaurant, Hurricane Katrina happened. Plan B.

*From electronic training, my next post was in Germany. And I had the perfect job. Travel all over Europe to install all the new electronics being installed. Travels included all of Germany, Turkey, Sicily, England for Uncle Sam. On my own visited Paris, Denmark, Amsterdam, and more. I could live in all (except Turkey...remembering the Turkey Trots is not fun) if not for how expensive they all are now. In the early 80's, the dollar was King, now not so much.

*Coming back from Germany, I went back to Biloxi. Not how I remembered it. Moved to Michigan after discharge (Honorable, of course).

*I lived in Michigan for 16 years. The longest I've ever lived in one place EVER. I made good friends, enjoyed life, and planned on staying there for a good long time. Then came the offer to move for my career with Macaroni Grill. Maybe get the chance to be a GM at a new store on the Gulf Coast. I loved the Gulf Coast from my Air Force days. Great weather, great beaches, no snow, good money, no snow, close to my Dad, no snow.

*Sent to South Florida after a detour through Long Island (Ugh!), Massachusetts (SNOW), Chattanooga (just OK), South Florida (assholes).

*Moved to Pensacola on my own. Lucked into a job I like and excell in. Don't know if this is forever, but I do know I'd have to find the perfect opportunity to make me move. Today was January 6th and it was sunny and 70 degrees. I live in a cute little house 2 blocks from the water. I'm 1.37 miles to work and 2.4 to my dad's. It's not perfect, but what is?

I've moved many times seeking the perfect place. I don't think the perfect place exists. But that doesn't mean I won't keep that option open.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pessimism Breeds Pessimism

You know, I'm just flabbergasted sometimes. I try to be a glass-half-full type of person most of the time. When I get a smidgen of good news, I run with it. I want to see the best of a situation. And I'm encouraged with the way things are going. Yet, there are many out there who want, and are rewarded for bad news on the economy.

I try to stay away from the political here. But, come on. Things are looking better now than they were when Bush left office, but for the whole deficit thing. Getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan will show tangible benefits to the bottom line.

If only the political nay-sayers would cut back on the rhetoric. All that negativity has an effect on what people think, and say, and spend.

Two to three years ago, with the economy in rapid free-fall, there were quite a few restaurants that went out of business here. I chalked it up to weeding-out of the ones who were hanging on by a thread when things were good. People who shouldn't be running a restaurant anyway. And I think I'm still right. Then, there was a respite since then where things quieted down and restaurants clung on.

Within the last couple of months, there's been a new rash of closings. And I blame it on the pessimists who continually tell their constituents how bad their country is doing. I see our country slowly, but certainly climbing out of our malaise. Yes, the deficit is alarming. But, I've also had an alarming credit deficit and reversed it. Our country can do it too. And people will start eating out more and spending money again like we have before.

This last group of restaurants that went out of business were anachronisms. One was a local bar-b-que place where the owner died and the family just didn't have the heart to continue. Another was a fine dining start-up that had inter-family warfare to blame. Another was so mis-run that they had 4 General Managers in a 2 year period. Again, businesses with no business being in the restaurant business.

As it was before, those restaurants that have right management, the right menu, and the right price-point are doing fabulously. Those lacking one of those items are hanging in there. The rest will be flotsam.

But, don't blame the economy. People will always eat out. Just give them a reason to.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Frickin' Dum Basses

Why is it that a restaurant can order 1 case of glasses every 3 months for 3 years, and then all of a sudden want 5 cases by the week-end? What's that saying again, "Piss poor planning on your part....". But, it's all my fault for not anticipating your needs.

Or a restaurant that hasn't ordered a particular plate in 18 months gets pissed when you don't have 2 cases in stock?

Sorry, let me pull that out of my a__ for you so that I won't get in trouble for your lack of planning.

I'm also sorry that I don't have that 12 quart stock pot in stock since 3 restaurants decided to open at the same time. I'm also sorry that I don't have it because my boss (the owner's son) won't let me order more than once a month. It's not his money, it's his daddy's. And Daddy gets mad when I run out of things.

So, I think from now on, I will not ask for approval when ordering. I'll just ask for forgiveness when spending daddy's money.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Frozen Yogurt and Cupcake Overload

We seem to be having an extraordinary run on a couple of concepts lately. Frozen yogurt and bakeries seem to be the next big thing. And why, I have no idea. Bakeries, I can understand a little bit. You can expand on that by selling to restaurants things like rolls and artisanal breads. But frozen yogurt? It's like someone thinks, "Hey, I can't cook, but I want to open a restaurant!". "How can I do that?". "I know, frozen yogurt!". And to make it even worse, most are of the variety where the customer serves themselves and the result is weighed for the final price. So, the owners don't even have to be creative. It's like a restaurant where you choose the ingredients for your dinner and hope it comes out well. I don't think it will work. I see failures.

I see old ladies shrieking, "Take off 3 pieces of pineapple to get me under $2.00!"

Bakeries are also on the rise. A couple years ago, one of the last bakeries in town closed down. It was located downtown on a pricey street, so that probably had something to do with it. Rents down there can be prohibitive for the limited hours a bakery is open. Now, within the last 1-1/2 years, three have opened, with more on the way. Is there a national cupcake shortage or what? Once again, I blame Food Network. These damn shows make semi-talented home bakers think that they can make a fortune turning out red velvet cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies. Store-front bakeries like that will not survive in my opinion. Too much cost, not enough pay-out. Most should stick to catering and special orders. Store-front places have too much up-front cost to support cookies and cupcake sales. Unless you have something REALLY special.

And REALLY special has been outlawed in 49 states so far.