Not Your Everyday News

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

in recovery..., not from drugs or alcohol, but from a week of doing the opening
shift at the restaurant! Yes, a full week of waking up at 5:00am to get
the madhouse open at 6:00am. Those who know me well know that I
am NOT a morning person, never have been, never will be. And to top
it all off, it was Parents Weekend at the local university, so we were
even busier than usual. But fortunately, things went smoothly, as is
the case when you have good, reliable help, as dayshift does, unlike
my lackey minions on nightshift! The good thing about this opening
shift nonsense was being able to see some customers that I would
not normally get a chance to see and chat with. But I know from now
that my night shift regulars will be giving me an earful in the next
several days about my adoring fans and groupies!
Before I sign off, a quick update on my best girl, Lady, that out of
this world puppy! She is fast approaching 6 months, is right around
50 pounds, and is simply growing into a gorgeous, elegant canine.
Lady is still WAY too rambunctious and just gets excited about
EVERYTHING, but she is smart and loving, maybe the best dog ever!

Monday, October 22, 2007

That time of year

I am not sure what my favorite time of year really is. Could it be
spring, when it starts warming up again after a cold winter, or
fall, when it starts cooling off after a hot, humid summer? I guess
it would have to be fall, for the simple reason that it is also foot-
ball season! By the way, my Dallas Cowboys are 6-1. To be honest,
I am not quite sure how they have achieved this, as a couple of
games have basically been pulled out of a magician's hat, but
hey, a win is a win! In any case, it's just nice to watch football
again; summer is just not a good sporting season, unless there
is an Olympics, World Cup, or if you are a baseball fan, which I
am NOT...BORING. Anyway, another characteristic of fall is the
the extra weight mailmen need to carry around due to all the
winter/holiday catalogs they need to deliver. My mailbox has
had its share of catalog glut, but I am sure nothing compared
to the mailbox of my dear friends the Thompsons. See, Mrs.
Thompson is simply the queen of catalogs and mail order. If
she gets less than 1/2 dozen a day, she questions if the mail-
man delivered ALL of her mail! Yep, definitely a pro shopper,
we pseudo shoppers can all pick up a few pointers from her!
Another sign that summer is over and fall is here - tree leaves
changing color. Here in Virginia we are blessed with true
beauty - the vibrant array of reds, yellows, and oranges even
attract tourists from out of state. And last, but not least, fall
means cooler evenings, which translates to the occasional
cozy fire in the fireplace (thanks to hubby's talents!), and
more home cooking by people who really know how to cook
and are generous enough to give samples away! Last night
for instance, one of the cooks at the restaurant gave me a
piece of sweet potato pie that his mother had made. Now, I
am not a real fan of sweet potato pie, perhaps because I had
never tasted a good one. Well, I did last night, and am now
wondering what other goodies this lady has in store. Oops,
there goes my diet.....AGAIN!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Toast, pop tarts....schnitzel?

The toaster has to be one of the more significant kitchen appliance
inventions. I mean, look at all that can go in and be made warm
and.....TOASTY! Bread, english muffins, bagels, pop tarts, frozen
waffles, and more. But now a German firm has come up with a
new item to toast - Schnitzel! Yes, I have my doubts too about
this one. Apparently German meat producer Toennies believes
that the convenience of a frozen schnitzel that one can pop in
the toaster for 3 minutes, rather than going through the trouble
of breading and frying, will be a draw for many time-pressed
people. What I am curious about is how they claim that the
concoction won't ooze or drip grease from the heated meat.
Toennies spokesman Dietrich Gumppenberg wouldn't discuss
how that is possible, stating that it "...will remain a company
secret. We're patenting our invention." I could maybe buy this
if you put the schnitzel in a toaster oven, where you could line
the pan with aluminum foil, but I wouldn't feel confident putting
this "invention" in a pop up toaster, but hey, that's just me, True
fans of the breaded pork or veal dish are cringing everywhere!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


No, not the movie, nor avid music fans. This is about yet another
method of delivering illegal drugs. After reporting about 10 days
ago about a Mr. Potato Head being used as a drug mule in
Australia, our good friends the Dutch came across an even
more unusual drug mule method. Customs officials, while
examining a package from Peru, were shocked to discover
100 dead beetles inside, all stuffed with cocaine. In all, there
were 300 grams of the white powder, with a street value of about
$11,000 dollars. Dutch officials, who have probably seen it all in
a country where soft drugs are legal, admitted that it was "a very
striking method of smuggling. Well, I guess until the drunk blind
Estonian driving man of past posts pops up again ( and I really
believe it is only a matter of time!), I will just have to be on the
lookout for more astounding drug mule ideas. How about inside
some ravioli or other stuffed pastas, it would make marijuana
brownies look tame!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The dishwasher from Hades

Well, I am just chilling, resting up after a hectic homecoming weekend
and football game, which translates to very busy times at the restaurant.
Most things went fairly smoothly except that for some reason, we
have happened upon the dishwasher from H*E*L*L!!! This small, older
Hispanic dude got hired a little over a month ago to replace another
Hispanic dude who had disappeared; we had not been real keen on
hiring this guy, but after the other no-called no-showed, and with
concerts and games coming up, we figured he would be better than
nothing. WELL, maybe better than nothing, but not by much!!! He is
a complete whack job, nuttier than a Christmas pecan log. He claimed
that he was experienced, knew what he was doing, and needed no help
or instruction. But he is beyond unstable, and has been getting worse
as each shift wears on (he works only on the weekends). This past
weekend sadly made us all fearful that we would have to call the folks
with the straitjackets and rubber rooms for him. First he kept getting
into it with the cooks; dishwasher dude kept putting the clean dishes for
them to pick up on the line, where the cooks place the food ready to be
picked up by the waitresses. This left NO room for the cooks to place
food out. When they pointed out this 'minor' detail to him, he went off,
declaring that they needed to treat him with respect. uh, OK. Then it was
the waitresses turn to feel his wrath. When washing the silverware, dish-
washer dude was just racking them and running them through once; the
silverware first has to be soaked and then run through no less than 3
times. So, the racks were coming out simply nasty, preventing the
waitresses from rolling the cutlery. The gals would bring back the silver-
ware to dishwasher dude to wash again, an action repeated close to 1/2
a dozen times. Each and every time elicited a temper tantrum from the
Hispanic guy; he would curse in both English and Spanish, toss things
around and slam things down, all while shooting everyone evil, crazed
looks. I would have canned his short, sorry butt right then and there,
but without a backup, and another busy night coming up the very next
day, I decided to hold off. The next night he was only slightly better.
Some silverware actually came out clean, but during the huge rush,
when others tried to pitch in with the towering stack of dishes, he
chased them off....only to complain later on that there were 4
waitresses, 3 cooks, and only one of him, and he was doing ALL the
work. Dishwashing is not rocket science, a well trained monkey could
probably do the job. But this dude is too cocky, macho, and nuts to
do the job. In any case, our dishwasher from Hades is probably on the
way out; one of the cooks knows a guy who wants a part-time job
and is trying to get him to come in. Hopefully he will, and we will be
rid of that fruitcake once and for all, and not a moment too soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Put down that pot pie!

I shake my head as I type here - yet another food problem. This
time, it involves a typical Americana comfort food - Chicken Pot
Pies. Con Agra, who earlier this year had a recall of their Peter Pan
peanut butter (reported on these very pages), has stopped produc-
tion of Banquet Chicken Pot Pies at a Missouri plant after health
officials stated that the pies may be linked to salmonella cases.
Almost 140 cases, in 30 states, have been reported. Con Agra has
stated that the pies are safe if cooked properly; problems may
arise if they are cooked in microwave ovens, where the heat may
not be uniform, resulting in uneven cooking. While Con Agra did
not issue an official recall, it will give refunds to all consumers
who have purchased the pot pies in question. Something tells me
that once the CDC and USDA finish their investigations, we will
have yet another recall in the books.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Seattle's slew of nuns...and sluts!

I am sure most of y'all have seen the Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan
blockbuster hit movie 'Sleepless in Seattle'. The largest city
in Washington state looked rather serene in that movie.
Well, thanks to my gal pal Lola, I now know that this depic-
tion was an illusion, or at least rather misleading. Lola, upon
her arrival there, noticed an abundance of drag queens; the
most outlandish ones were dressed as nuns! She has since
discovered that these 'nuns' are part of an order called the
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The sisters originated in
San Francisco (of course!); the Seattle chapter goes by the
Abbey of Saint Joan. I have attached the link to their website,
just click on the title of this post, and prepare to be amazed
and amused! Speaking of amazement and amusement, Lola
provided both to me when she discussed the rail type metro
system that Seattle is in the process of implementing. It will
be called the Seattle Light Urban Transport (or train). Now,
I know my readers are smart and hip, so y'all have already
figured out the acronym here - S.L.U.T.! Yes, I can hear it
now - "yeah, I think I'll take the S.L.U.T downtown! or even
better, 'ok, gonna ride the S.L.U.T across town!' Well well,
guess folks are sleepless in Seattle after all!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Wacky stuff

I haven't been awake too long, just long enough to have
had breakfast with hubby, take out Lady to do her thing,
and then give her breakfast. So now I am checking my
e-mail and the news at CNN, and yes, I have come across
a couple of doozies. I am sure all of y'all have heard
of drug mules, folks who smuggle illegal stuff in their
luggage or even person. Well, we now have a new mule
to watch out for...Mr. Potato Head! Custom officials in
Australia found over 10 ounces of Ecstasy pills hidden
inside such a toy, sent from Ireland. While no arrests
have been made yet, the incident is under investigation.
A customs official did admit that while they were used
to odd methods of drug concealment, the Mr. Potato Head
was definitely "outlandish"! Gee, no wonder he has such
a goofy smile! And now a story that I could kind of
relate to - an Idaho woman trying to enter a Federal
courthouse was forced by security officials to remove
her bra because it was setting off the metal detectors.
From the video of her interview, one can tell she is a
'healthy' woman, definitely not an 'A' cup! Those who
know me know that I fall in the same catagory; I have
gone through many a metal detector, and my underwire
bra has rarely set them off, and on the odd occasions
it did, the security official simply ran the wand over me
and was satisfied. I am not quite sure why that was not
an option, rather than have the woman disrobe right then
and there. Did the security guys just want to get an
eyeful, or perhaps a jealous flat-chested security chick
seeking to humiliate a bustier broad? In either scenario, I
sense discrimination against 'D' cupped women. For shame!

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Bad news, sad note

Darn it, here we go again. After yet another spinach recall during
my hiatus month, we now have more food problems. Topps Meat
Company, based out of Elizabeth, N.J. (N.J? already sounds bad)
recalled 21.7 million pounds of ground beef and hamburger
patties after reports of about 25 cases of E. Coli related illnesses
in 8 states. Apparently, the problems started during the first
part of September; the affected meat had a "sell by" September
25 date. The E. Coli outbreak so far has been in Connecticut,
Indiana, Maine, Florida, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and of
course, New Jersey. It's just sad how rampant cutting corners
and slacking off on regulations has become. From being mad,
to being sad. The actress who played Miss Moneypenny in 14
James Bond films has died. Canadian born Lois Maxwell died in
Australia of cancer over the weekend at the age of 80. When I
was younger, I never missed a James Bond flick, either going to
the movies or watching on TV or video all the Roger Moore and
Sean Connery releases. Moneypenny pined for 007, and while
there were episodes of flirting and the occasional double
entendre, she never got her man. Or was it the other way
around, maybe James Bond never really got THE girl?

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