Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Magnolia ~ The Devil's Tree

  I have figured out the meaning of life. Yes, yes I have. So sit up and pay freaking attention.

  Life is a giant test, or at least an ongoing annoying quiz at times. At the end of this test there is accountability, so one might want to straighten up a bit. Now for me personally, I am trying to cram for the final exam. Hopefully, I will pull out an A with some extra credit points on the final... just like my adventures in High School Chemistry. Hey, I passed with a D- ... my professor raged about my wasted potential.

 There are many tests in this life and the Magnolia tree is a test straight from the Devil. It is "the Devil's tree" according to gf.

  This is the second encounter I have had with a Magnolia. The first was with my grandmother "Mére's", or translated in to Southern, "Mater's" Magnolia. As the story goes, Grandfather saw the budding Magnolia, and knowing that it was of the Devil cut it down. The Devil was enraged and sprouted four trees from the cut down root. That tree(s) is still among us today, and it is mammoth. It will never die. Since I did not live nearby, my cousins no doubt took the brunt of the punishment that the devil tree divvied out. I now know their pain.

  Now logically, if the Magnolia is the Devil's tree, then that would make Mississippi the Devil state, since they have embraced and glorified this tree. I better inform my sister about this as she lives in The Magnolia State. She may not know that she is playing on the wrong team.

  Let me explain why I believe the Magnolia is evil. 
  1. Most trees grow modestly throughout the year and let go of their leaves in the fall... One stop shop. Not the evil Magnolia, it drops it's leaves when ever it pleases. Let me tell you, it pleases fairly frequently. 
  2. The Magnolia's flowers are beautiful white delicate flowers that are the size of a fat baby's head. The trouble with the flowers is that one can never reach them. The tree is fifty feet tall and one would break their neck trying to pluck the flowers. That is exactly what the Devil wants. 
  3. The Magnolia has an evil black trunk that looks inviting from afar. The old "beauty from afar" trick. Every girl looks good in a bikini when she is half a mile down the beach.
  4. The Magnolia grows like an adolescent that eats extra large pizzas five times a week. It is abnormal I tell you.
  5. The amount of energy it takes to maintain a Magnolia is not found with any other plant in the plant kingdom. 

  The tree in my yard is testing me. I could have it cut down, but then my test would be cut short. If I cut my test short then my rewards in heaven will be diminished. I must rake weekly without complaining. I must bag the leaves weekly, lest I have to bag up fifteen extra large stretchy lawn bags like I did this Thursday. I must pick up sticks and hard round prickly ball things before I mow each week to protect my riding lawn mower from damage to the undercarriage. I must have the tree trimmed back yearly lest its ever reaching shade chokes out all forms of life in my front yard. I am the Magnolia tree's bitch. 

  Dare I revolt? No. I must obey the evil Devil tree. It owns me. I am its slave. My fate in the future depends on it. I am being tested. I must pass the test. 

  Why do I feel like no matter how well I do on this test I will just wrap up with a D- final grade? 

I hate Magnolias. Magnolias belong in empty fields with plenty of room to grow. Idiots plant Magnolias in subdivisions. I thank the previous owners of this hallowed ground for planting this test in my front yard. They are making me a stronger person every day. Who ever said idiots could not be helpful?

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Don't Fry Bacon Naked"

Thank you! = $1.00

  Servers know that in the "Server World" there will be days when they make money and days that they will not. They are generally OK with this fact of life. This is the ebb and flow of the universe... The way that the world turns... The Yin and Yang...
Fine; I will stop.
  What is not known is the monetary value of those clever comments that guests write on the tickets and/or receipts. Yes, comments have value. Don't you think so?

  You know the type of comments which I speak of. For example: "Great job!"; "Best service ever!"; "God bless you and your family.".
   I once got a comment when I was server... "We would have left you more, but we gave that money to Jesus today.". I think that comment turned me just a bit. It was a party of ten. Diet Coke; Coke; Orange; Mellow Yellow; Unsweet Tea; Sweet Tea; Coffee with creamer; Sprite; Dr. Pepper, and a Lemonade. I will never forget the drink order. Everyone had six refills. They left me $2.00 on $120. What is that? 1.7% Nice. Now, a comment like that should have a pay-out of about $20.00 according to gf.

   Now let me diverge for a moment...  for those who have no idea how to tip. 

Let us review how to tip according to gf.

 10% = You survived. The server was a brainless troll.
 15% = The server did their job but they reminded you of, well, nothing.
 20% = You thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The server was attentive like a Maremma Sheep dog. What?!
30% = You are an idiot and you need to learn how to save your money... or you are tore-up-drunk.

  There are those of you out there who at this very moment have a confused and blank stare on your face. Let me help...

Your ticket is $15.76 and you are starting to sweat due to the math conundrum that is before you.
10% of $15.76 = move the decimal point to the left one position. You now have 10% or $1.58 if you round up. You might as well call that $1.60. Got that?
 Let's work on 15%. You already know what 10% is, therefore cut that in half and you will have 5% presto. Half of $1.60 = $0.80. Now, add $1.60 and $0.80 to reach your glorious 15%.
(mumble mumble, carry the one, mumble). Correct! $2.40! Now round that to $2.50 and get the hell out of there.

  What is that you ask? 20%? Simple!
Double the original 10% (mumble mumble, carry the one, mumble). Correct! $3.20! Now then, you should feel confident in tipping!

  For those slanderers out there who would set their sights on defaming this math, just remember that it is "gf math". Just like many of the great mathematicians of the past, I take ridicule (daily) for my calculations while knowing that one day I will be spoken of as a genius. One day... a long-long, long-long, long time from now. (Name that movie.)

So then, back to the comments. How will servers get paid for these comments which are scribbled on their checks? Easy-sneezy.

  The Federal Government, even though they are broker than my happy ass, is still trying to figure out who else they can give money to. Currently, the discussion is whether to give money the Veterans, the insurance industry, or to those who tote the free cell phones (the poor and destitute). I recommend none of the above. The working people who pay for everything should get the free money. This is where the comments about service come into play.

  This process will require a Herculean effort by the Feds. Tons of cash will be spent on the legislation and implementation of this idea. And why not? Money is free! Whee!

 There will be a requirement for a massive data base. This effort will employ thousands, and it will also chip away at that nasty unemployment number. I am so excited.

  Remember, this will be executed by the Federal Government, so at the end of the day it will be a huge failure. This is all that we can hope for as we want to burn through these Chinese loans ASAP. Here is the "bare bones" of how the plan will work:

  • An iPhone and an Android App must be made. 
  • The server must document the comment on the check (with the check number clearly printed) by taking a photo and uploading it with the App.
  • The App will automatically send the document to the Federal Web site. The information will include the Server's IP address, participating restaurant, and Social Security number. The Server will willfully give permission to "Big Brother" to use the information however he chooses. Yippee.
  • After being processed, the participating restaurant will be sent an email to validate the check number and the server.
  • Once the comment is validated, the Server will receive payment (based on the comment's value) on their weekly payroll check. (Hey, this is more taxable income for the IRS.)
  • Server performance will increase across the nation. People will be happier, and the murder rate will drop significantly.
The next item at hand is to determine the monetary value of Server compliments. Here is the short list.

  • "Thanks" = $1.00
  • "Great Job" = $1.50
  • "You are a Wonderful Server." =$2.00
  •  "Have a Blessed Day." $0.25
  •  "Managers, (server name) is an Asset to your Company." = $2.50
  •  Best Service in town!" = $2.75
  • "Great service! We will tell all of our friends!" = $3.00
  • "You were awesome! My phone number is xxx-xxxx = $0.05
  Of course there is a dark side to this comment bit. Negative comments scribbled on checks, and, of course, one cent tips. The point is that comments are worth a value wheather they are positive or negative. While dining out, what message are you communicating? Servers who guide you through the meal with ease and are attentive should be told that they are doing a good job... with your money not your clever quips. Some may indeed need some direction from you. Many servers have no clue whatsoever, and they are idiots. However, you should know that the majority are busting their butts to make ends meet. They do not need condescending prima donnas giving them hell just for sheer pleasure and entertainment. 

Here are some comments that readers have submitted on the internet:

 "The look on your face told the truth - You f**ked yourself on this one and earned it."

"You don't always get what you want"

"Don't play in traffic."

"Don't fry bacon naked."

"Don't play leap-frog with a unicorn."

  You were the best readers ever! Thanks for reading this! (= $1.15)



Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year's Violations 2014

 Violation # 1 Resolution Failure
 The problem with resolutions is that they are resolutions.
  The misunderstanding of the concept of New Year's resolutions has a tight grip on our society. It is doubtful wheather we will ever pull free from our own idiocy. Most think of a resolution as a self-promise to correct a flaw in the way which one lives. This is where we fail. To resolve something one must find the answers to many complex problems. You know, be analytical about the issues at hand in their entirety. Our society does not do this. That would be too hard... too much thinking would be involved. Sacrifices may have to be made. Alternative plans may need to be drawn up. Our society is way to lazy for that type of activity, and besides that, there are way too many idiots out there who have no clue whatsoever. Yes, I am referring to those whom we call "Sheeple".

  Americans run around the internet willy-nilly posting resolutions wherever they can find an audience. Listen carefully, According to gf fans, NO ONE REALLY CARES ABOUT YOUR DAMN RESOLUTIONS. That's right! No one cares! 

  What they may care about, or at least be slightly amused by, are your actions and your results. That is it. You can blather on endlessly about what you are going to do, but no one cares.

"Don't tell me what you are going to do; tell me what you have done." gf

Violation # 2 Recapping Failure
  Recapping the last failure-of-a-year-that-one-let-pass is fine, I guess. But it can get depressing if one never follows up on their resolutions. Seriously now, how many of your idiotic resolutions did you accomplish this last year? Recap those! Most never document their resolutions. That is the oldest trick in the book. "Plausible Deniability" is the trick. After about two months one's resolutions become "classified" information. (Independence Day was on TV this week.)
  Some folks recap the year by bringing out the old "who passed on this year" list. Yee Haw. This is what they do at all of the award shows. It is very popular. "Let the dead bury the dead." Most dead are happier than we are I suppose. No more annual taxes. I have seen some disgruntled dead on the Dead Files here recently though. Nasty pissed off dead folks they are. They may have sucked at accomplishing their resolutions when they were alive perhaps.
  If one must recap the year please be positive. Being funny would help as well. Recap everything that went well in the past year... even if it is a short note.

Violation #3 Party Failure
 Partying is very popular when bringing in the new year, however there are a few ways to fail at partying. Let's review them shall we?
 ~ First of all, one must show up. Secondly, being prompt would be spectacular. Thirdly, fashionably late is clever, I suppose, but do not arrive hours late to the event.
 ~  Dress appropriately. No one likes a slob (except Nirvana fans). Be freaking festive once in a while. Shave. Smell good. Break out the clean underwear.
 ~  Do not get wasted. No one likes a drunk. Well, drunks like drunks, so if you are going to a drunk party get drunk.
 ~  Don't eat all the freaking food. It is a party not a Golden Corral Buffet. Show some restraint from your normal American-gluttonous-habits.
 ~  Always wear a decorative hat to a New Year's Eve party. Never go hatless.

Violation #4 Eating Two-Week-Old-Leftovers
  Personally, I love leftovers. However, after they are about two weeks old, my strong recommendation is to throw them out. Make that one week old... Okay, just go ahead and change that to a three day maximum. 3 Days. Period.
  Late-night partiers often violate this policy FYI.

Violation #5 Making Faces in Photos and/or Photo-Bombing
  My family is the leader in this violation.

  Is it really that hard to take a good picture? Yes it is.

Violation #6 Leaving Christmas Lights on the House after New Years Day.
  There are some of you out there in internet-land who are habitual violators. Please stop. Currently on our street there are six violators. I am going to start passing out tickets. I have contemplated what the ticket should say but I am open for suggestions.
  "Your home is in violation of the Annoying Christmas Act (ACA). Specifically section 12-31a has been documented. If you do not remove your lights by the second day of the New Year you will be considered as an "extreme violator". Your punishment will be bad Karma... up to and including the fleas of a thousand camels infesting  your armpits. Happy New Year. Sincerely the ACA neighborhood committee."

Violation #7 Learning Nothing from the Previous Year
  2013 was far from stellar for my family and me. Instead of dragging the world though my personal hallucinogenic-nightmare-of-a-year I have decided to learn from what the year gave me. This is what I have... so far, and in no specific order:
  ~ Learn to listen.
  ~ Learn to say no.
  ~ Remember.
  ~ Use less.
  ~ Expect more.
  ~ Simpler is better.
  ~ Less is more.
  ~ Love more.
  ~ Don't become a dog.

I will be happy to expound on these upon request.
Happy New Year and thanks for reading,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Randy's Rib Shack ~ Waldo FL

  I have never done this before, but I think it is necessary that I post a consumer advisory before I write this blog post. Yes, the type that one would find at the bottom of a menu warning diners about undercooked beef and shellfish. This is similar.

CONSUMER ADVISORY: This restaurant may not serve the type of food you were looking to consume. The name of the restaurant does not match its cuisine.

 If you take the time to drive on a highway other than a Interstate Highway you will find barbecue huts. Well, one would at least hope to find a barbecue hut. Especially if it is lunch time. Highway 301 is a normal, old, four-lane highway that evidently used to be "the road". It is an odd road accompanied by railroad tracts and abandoned motels.  Plenty of farms, fruit stands, old souvenir shacks, mobile homes, and businesses can be seen while driving this American thoroughfare. I must also add that a high percentage of the businesses along this route are using a building that was originally designed for some other purpose. It is an odd collection of re-purposed buildings. Go ahead and think of any type of business; there is a good chance of that type of business occupying an old gas station on route 301.

  Driving through Waldo Florida (no, not that Waldo... Well, it possibly could be, but I could not find him) I spotted what I thought was a barbecue hut. Little did I know how wrong I was. As I pulled in, I gazed in awe at an enormous trailer with a clever mural on the side. Two giant home-made smokers that were inside said trailer were gently wisping out white smoke. I was encouraged. Upon seeing the commercial portable smoker at the back of the shack I was even more encouraged. I should have savored that moment longer.

 After waiting at the counter, clearing my throat, calling out "hello", and watching two employees walk in and out from the back, I was finally greeted. During this wait I was able to watch a Golden Corral advertisement about a chocolate fountain, which made my mind go to another place... maybe we can visit that place together at another time... When the normal programming came back on, the show was about forensics. There was a "dead body farm" that the investigators were being walked through. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Click here to check that out. I got to view several bodies in different phases of decomposition. That was very interesting right before lunch.

 Besides watching TV while waiting, I had enough time to review the menu. I did so in amazement. Randy's Rib Shack has ribs on this colossal menu twice. They have a rib dinner and a rib dinner for two. That is it. [insert a significant pause for full effect] However, for a rib shack they have a titanic amount of seafood on the menu. They have Shrimp; Tilapia; Salmon; Oysters; Snow Crab Legs; Grouper; Frog Legs; New Zealand Green Lip Mussles; Scallops; Catfish; Pollock; Mahi Mahi; Clam Strips; Jumbo Shrimp; Crawfish; and Gator Tail. The Swordfish decorative tin above the door should have tipped me off. But wait, they did not have Swordfish.

  Randy's menu is a train wreck. On top of this Mount Pisgah of seafood there is 15 appetizers,18 sandwiches, and 20 dinners. Also, smack-dab in the middle of this menu is the statement "WINGS, OUR BEST SELLER". My head is still swimming.

  I was lucky to have so much time to peruse the menu. Maybe this is why they did not bother to greet me immediately.   I ordered a chopped barbecue  sandwich with Cole slaw and potato salad. The order-taker asked me which of four sauces I wanted to go with my meal. I picked the spicy mustard. They had spicy mustard, regular mustard, spicy tomato and regular tomato sauces. The sauce tasting ended up being the highlight of my meal.

  I had a choice of Texas Toast or a bun for the sandwich. I asked the attendant which one she recommended. Her suggestion of the bun sounded genuine so I went with it. The bun looked great but it was just too much for the sandwich. The bun overtook the unimpressive five ounces of meagerly-smoked chopped pork.

  The Cole slaw was straight off the truck. It was more like a Cole slaw soup. The potato salad was edible, but I suspect it too came pre-made and was delivered on the same truck. I was disappointed.

  So let me sort this rib shack out. It is not a rib shack. It is not a barbecue joint. It looks like one, but it is not. A rib shack would have rib baskets, half slabs of ribs, full slabs of ribs, rib tips, pork ribs, beef ribs, rib salad, rib stew, rib sandwiches, rib wraps, rib beans, steak and ribs, chicken and ribs, and maybe even a rib Quesadilla. A barbecue joint does not need twenty types of frozen fish. It does not need to have 15 appetizers nor 18 random sandwiches. It just requires great barbecue. What I truly do not comprehend is why a quaint shack would  not make their own sides. Randy's has an opportunity to be unique, but instead they choose to be the same. Trying to please everyone out of a shack is... well...  idiotic. Oh, and rib shacks do not have Pastrami sandwiches according to gf.

  The attendant mentioned that they had been there for five months. She also offered up that they were slow because they were in a bad location. She could not have been any farther from the truth about why they were slow. This is a perfect place for a barbecue shack. It was by the railroad tracks and almost under an overpass. What more could one ask for? More signs, that is what one could ask for. I recommend posting little signs along the road every so often upon approaching the shack... just like the old Burma Shave signs...that would do the trick. Click here if you do not know what Burma Shave is. 

Slow Down

Not So Fast

Barbecue is Here

Lunch At last!!!

Randy's Rib Shack

One could also ask for an attentive staff. If an attentive staff is too much to ask for then maybe a bell at the counter like at Empty Arms Hotel. I always got a chuckle when Roy Clark would jump up from behind the Empty Arms Hotel counter. If you were born after 1990 go buy the box set of Hee Haw. The show was fashioned after Rowen and Martin's Laugh-In. ...Nothing? Right.
 It was a slap-stick comedy show during the 60's and 70's. Google it when you run out of other things to Google.

  On a positive note the murals on the walls in the "dining area" were pretty cool
as were the Cypress counter tops.

  Randy's Rib Shack needs to figure out what they are going to be. What they are is very curious, very bland, and very slow.

  86 the TV.

Thanks for reading,

Randy's Rib Sahck on Urbanspoon}