Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday

I know, not exactly an original title. Last week it was announced that the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday was closing a large number of their underperforming locations. That news didn’t shock me in the least. I’ve been to Ruby Tuesday twice, and each time the same thing happened…

They messed up my order.

It’s not like I wanted anything special. Both times I ordered a cheeseburger straight off the menu. In fact, both burgers had pictures of the item on the menu so it wasn’t like I misunderstood what I was ordering.

The first time I ordered some sort of multi-patty burger that was supposed to have a variety of toppings. What I got looked worse than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. What angered me the most was they insisted that was what I ordered despite it not matching the picture or description of the burger I ordered. They seemed oblivious to the fact someone else in our party ordered the same burger as me and ours didn’t look anything alike.

They did finally agree to take it off the bill when I told them to just throw it away. I guess up to that point they thought I just wanted a free meal by complaining.

The second time my mother took us there after a movie. I was not real happy she chose to go there, but she was paying so she gets to choose. And they messed up my order again. Having learned from the first time I ordered a basic bacon cheeseburger. I pointed to the item so the server would be totally clear what I wanted. I also ordered it “medium well”, which is more than I like but gives a wide margin of error.

It’s came rare and without bacon.

From that point on I’ve refused to set foot in their restaurants. There’s absolutely no excuse to mess up in either of those cases. If you can’t remember to add bacon to a bacon cheeseburger you’ve got issues. I won’t even get into how any person could confuse “rare” and “medium well” or make the wrong thing.

I’m not a complainer at restaurants. You can count the number of times in my life that I’ve complained about food served to me on one hand. I’ve always followed the comical mantra of diners, “order what you want, eat what they serve”, and it usually works itself out.

I was just recently reminded of a time at my favorite diner (Lou Roc’s on West Boylston St) when Trish and I were sitting at the counter joking with the waitress when I ordered a homemade hash and cheddar omelet and was served a meat lovers omelet. I have ordered that lots of time in the past, so I just dug in. I was about halfway through when the waitress suddenly realized she wrote the wrong thing down and she felt horrified. I just laughed and kept eating. To me it was no big deal.

To give me something that isn’t remotely compatible with what I ordered and to have it look like crap when I get it is certainly a situation where a polite “Hey, I think this is wrong” isn’t out of line to say. But to then say I’m the one that made the mistake and then ignore that someone else in my party ordered the same thing I did and our food looks completely different isn’t an issue with a server or cook, that’s an issue with management.

So while I feel badly for the hard working people that will lose their jobs over the closings I can’t help but hope the people that run the chain and who set policy like that manager said he was following also find themselves unemployed.

I like to end my posts with a humorous line, but Ruby Tuesday is such a joke I can’t think of anything funnier than them.

Let The Chips Fall Where They May

I have a confession to make. It isn’t really much of a confession because pretty much everyone who knows me knows what I’m about to say, but they say the first step is admitting you have a problem, and it’s time for me to take that first step…

I’m addicted to potato chips.

Yeah, I know. Of all the things someone could be addicted to potato chips are not exactly high on the list of stuff that causes eminent danger, but it still can be a big issue. Although I’m not really certain what any of those issues could be, I need to make sure I nip this in the bud before it gets completely out of hand.

I should also clarify my addiction and mention it’s not all potato chips. It’s specifically ridged chips. Plain is preferred, but some of the cheese flavored are also acceptable. Sour cream and onion are good in a pinch. I’ve never seen a good BBQ ridged chip, so as far as I know they don’t exist. The rest I can easily avoid with no issue.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t go shopping with Trish very often. We inevitably end with a bag or two in our cart. And it’s not like it matters if I go into the store hungry or not, nor if we need to go down that aisle at all, chips end up in our cart.

Lots of folks are into these kettle chips now, but to be honest unless they’re straight out of the fryer like some restaurants do they aren’t any better than normal non-ridged chips. Sure they’ve got some awesome flavors, but make regular chips in those flavors and they’d taste the same.

I once mentioned to my mother that buying those big bags of chips is bad for me because I tend to eat the whole bag in one sitting. She said that it would be a good idea to place some of the chips in a small bowl and just take the bowl into the living room instead of the entire bag. And when you think about it, that’s a great idea…

…now I can get a little exercise while eating the whole bag.

Sunday Funday: Recap and Tidbits 3

We’ve hit another Sunday, but this time we’ve also hit a bump in the road. I tried to make a “scheduled post” yesterday as I was unsure of my internet availability, and I failed to do that correctly. So I missed yesterday, theoretically penalizing myself in the contest/challenge to post for 30 days in a row. But seeing as I’m lagging far behind in the scoring anyway it’s not like it really matters that much. I’m throwing that post back in the hopper and it will go up sometime over this week.

Also because I was away yesterday and spent some time getting ready for the gathering (there will be a post about it soon) I didn’t get to do a whole lot of news reading over the past few days, so this will be a lean posting. With baseball being over for the local team I’ll be back on my normal schedule this week and hopefully will get some interesting stuff up. I guess we’ll both see together.

Now, on to a few tidbits…

Lots of my friends watch Criminal Minds and are talking about Thomas Gibson’s firing. Based on what I’m reading online there’s a lot more going on there than just Gibson having a physical encounter with writer-producer Virgil Williams. With so much money on the line for all parties a fight on-set between two people is almost always worked out somehow, so the fact Gibson was fired says to me this could be the latest in a long line of issues involving Gibson.

It stinks for fans of the show, and I get why they would be upset over what’s happened. But if you look at this from a “real world” perspective (because we all know things that happen in Hollywood seldom qualify as “real world) starting a fight with a coworker gets you fired from the vast majority of jobs, and this situation shouldn’t be any different. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this.

This is the first time I can recall going a full week of an Olympics without watching more than a handful of seconds of it live. With highlights available on the internet nearly instantly after the event is over watching on TV isn’t that important any more. NBC has paid over $12 billion to broadcast the Olympics until 2032 games, and executives there surely must be worried about the ability, legally or not, of people to watch events on the internet.

I haven’t seen any TV ratings for the games, but I’ll be a bit surprised if they’re as good as the 2012 games. When you figure that those games were in London and not in the same time zones as the US it’s not a good sign for NBC’s investment. I could be totally wrong and they’re raking in the viewers, but at least those I’m talking to are watching a whole lot less of the games on TV. Time will tell.

When it comes to video games I’m pretty much just a Diablo 3 player. Several of the guys at work were talking about Fallout 4 a few weeks back and I was intrigued, but it’s not the kind of game that really interests me so I didn’t get it. After reading about No Man’s Sky I am once again thinking about buying a new game to play, although if I do I’ll be waiting for them to work all the kinks out. It seems the version for PlayStation4 works great but there are some issues in the PC version. Will be waiting for the “all clear” on that before deciding.

My favorite headline of the week: “Apartment set on fire by homemade cockroach-killing flamethrower.” – UPI. Guess he should have gotten one at the store…

For last week’s recap, just in case you missed any of my posts from the last week…
Monday: The Silliness of Sports Motivation
Tuesday: Very Superstitious, Writings on the Wall
Wednesday: Thirteen Month Old Baby, Broke the Lookin’ Glass
Thursday: Some People Just Like To Complain
Friday: Hot Time, Summer in the City
Saturday: It didn’t post 😦

And finally, your moment of Zen… (and what else could it be this week?)

Hot Time, Summer in the City

I make it no secret that I don’t like the heat and humidity. Anything over 75°F and I’m really uncomfortable. I’m more into cold temperatures. If it’s cold, I can put on more clothes. When it’s hot there is a “socially acceptable” limit to what you can take off. And for those that don’t know me, I’ll tell you that when it comes to covering my body, more is better.

It annoys me when I say I prefer the cold that many immediately reply they hate the ice and snow. Well, so do I, but it’s not like it snows every day it’s cold out. It would be like if someone says they prefer it hot and you reply you hate the rain. Sure you could have a cold rain while a warm snow isn’t possible, but that’s not the point. The fact I don’t like thunderstorms plays no role in me not liking the heat. You can have “thunder snow”, and that doesn’t deter me from liking it cold.

(As an aside, for something to laugh at go to YouTube and search “Cantore Thundersnow Montage”. It’s Jim Cantore going nuts during a thundersnow episode. No, really. Yes, I’ll wait while you do that)

OK, back to my rant…now I’m not talking about extreme cold. I’m talking about your average winter day. Even a few degrees colder is fine. If you talk to people who love the heat they still have a point where it’s too hot for them. I get that if you’re a fan of the beach warmer is better. But most golfers and softball players I know would rather it not be blazing hot like the last couple days have been. Heck, even hanging out at a pool is still better when it’s not 90° and humid.

Yes, there are some things you can only do in the summer months, but it doesn’t have to be so hot and humid to do them. But there’s also lots of stuff that is better to do when it’s on the cooler side. Outdoor sports is better to play when it’s cooler. Yardwork and household chores are a lot easier when it’s not so hot out.

And let’s be honest, there’s a reason why September is the most common month for birthdays…

Some People Just Like To Complain

I am amazed by the number of people who can find something to complain about in every situation. I’m not talking about when something actually goes wrong, I’m talking about people that just aren’t happy no matter how good something turns out.

Case in point, today the company I work for had a free cookout for lunch. It was the standard fare: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, a variety of chips, cold drinks, and a dessert. Now I know we’re not talking gourmet food here, it was a freakin’ cookout. The food was fine. The burgers and hot dogs were hot, the potato salad was cold; everything was about as good as could be expected for a crowd of 300+ people. And yet some people still complain.

Now I have come to expect that there are some people you can never please. They always seem to be the only one that got the undercooked burger, or the burnt hot dog, or a variety of other possibilities that only seems to happen just to them. What I heard today tops them all. It was so mind boggling stupid I was certain I had heard it wrong. But they repeated it to other people, so I know I correctly heard exactly what they said…

Apparently the onions were cut too small.

As someone that doesn’t usually put onions on his burger I have to admit I didn’t notice them at all. I saw there was some, but that’s the limit to my knowledge of the subject. I have no idea if the onions were indeed cut too small. Heck, I have no idea how big they should be cut.

But I am smart enough to know if they’re cut small to ask for more.

Knowing who the complainer was I know that if it wasn’t the “too small” chopped onions they would have found something else to complain about. Every single time the company buys us lunch this person complains about some portion of it, and inevitably says they’re never going to take part in these free lunches again.

I’ll bet any amount of money they were among the first in line. Because you know if they didn’t get that occasional free lunch they’d be the first to complain about not getting one.

Thirteen Month Old Baby, Broke the Lookin’ Glass

Wasn’t planning a sequel to yesterday’s post, at least not so soon after making the first one. I had something else I wanted to blog about today, but now I guess I have something I can use on my getaway day on Saturday. Something related to yesterday’s post happened over the last couple days and now seems a good a time as any to talk about it.

Yesterday’s post was about being superstitious and how I might be a tad more than I think I am. Now I know I have some things I do because I suffer from a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but it isn’t superstition that makes me do those things. Last night showed I’m more than a tad superstitious.

On Monday night the Bravehearts were in Lynn, MA to take on North Shore in game one of their series. It was 1-1 late in the game and Worcester really hadn’t had much going on for a few innings. So I decided to tweet out some encouragement despite the fact I know there’s virtually no chance they’d see it.

Simple and direct, right to the point. Only autocorrect took over and changed the spelling on one of my hashtags. “#Mission3pete” should be “#Mission3peat”. Had I noticed at the time, and I should have because autocorrect has done that same thing to me before, I would have deleted it and tweeted again with the “correct” correct spelling. But I didn’t notice until much later, and out it went.

Within minutes the Bravehearts scored four runs and went on to win.

Obviously my tweet played no role, right? It’s not like they even saw it. Heck, I’m not sure anyone paid the least bit of attention to it. “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (Latin for “after this, therefore because of this”) is one of my favorite sayings because many people presume that things that come before other things caused that other thing. It is virtually never true that what came before is the cause of what comes now. Basically, correlation does not imply causation.

But what if it happened twice?

Tuesday night, with the score once again knotted in the bottom of the eighth I scrolled back to the misspelled tweet, copied it, and tweeted it out again. This time it was noticed by “SC” who runs the Bravehearts’ in-game twitter account. He direct messaged me that I had misspelled “#Mission3peat”. I replied that I knew but had made the exact tweet the night before (in fact I’d copies and pasted it) and what happened. I got a “LOL” reply back.

In the top of the eighth Worcester manufactured a run and won to advance to the finals.

I’m guessing we’re both laughing at it now. And you can bet if it’s needed in the finals I’m absolutely tweeting that out again, misspelling and all. Can’t mess with the magic.

Like “SH” commented on my link on Facebook, “Superstition in everyday life is silly. In sports, it’s gospel.”

Amen, brother.

Very Superstitious, Writings on the Wall

I am not a superstitious person. While I do avoid walking under ladders (let’s be honest, you shouldn’t do that for any reason), I don’t care about black cats crossing my path, or breaking mirrors, or any other of the hundreds of things that supposedly bring bad luck. Superstitions are just plain silly, and I really don’t get people that truly believe that things like that matter one bit.

But I just canceled a bunch of blog posts for that exact reason.

As silly as it sounds I’m not making planned blog posts on 210Sports specifically because I’ve never done that before during the previous Worcester Bravehearts playoff runs. They won both times, and according to at least one person I shouldn’t mess with karma. For some reason I can’t really explain, despite being ready to mash the “post” button as soon as the game was over last night, I instead dumped the post in the trash and tweeted I wasn’t going to make post-game blog postings.

Now before you call me crazy, something like this has happened before. Before every Bravehearts’ playoff game last season I retweeted my preview for the current match-up. Well, almost every. I didn’t do it once. You see, it didn’t make sense for me to retweet it, unlike the early rounds of the playoffs in the finals they played the same team in a best of three. Retweeting my link before each game made sense when it was a different team everyday and folks might have missed it from the night before, but to do it before game two? Why would I do that? I had already retweeted it twice by that point. So I didn’t do it again.

And they lost that game.

Of course my not retweeting played no role in the loss, but the next day I retweeted it and they won. So now that the example has been set, I’ll retweet those previews before every game. Hardly anyone clicks on them after day two, but hey, if people demand I do it because they think it helps the Bravehearts win, I guess I’ll do my part.

The thought of not making those post-game blog posts never entered my mind. I was asked a couple weeks ago if I was going to post some post-game recaps and thoughts, and without really thinking about it I decided right then I was going to do it. Seems like something someone blogging about a team should be doing, so I figured I’d spend a few minutes after each game mashing out a post.

In fact, I had one ready last night. It was all set to go, just waiting for a quick update if anything “newsworthy” happened late in the game. And then I heard my phone chirp that I had a new email. It was from “LF”, and she begged me not to make game posts because I didn’t do it last year, and we have to do everything the same as to not “change our Karma”.

I have to admit, I thought this woman was a kook. Seriously, how could that even be a thing? 210Sports didn’t even exist in the Bravehearts’ first season, and blogging about them in year two didn’t stop them from repeating. So why would me adding more coverage of the team cause them to lose? I mean, come on. No reasonable person would even think that.

Then I put the post in the trash.

I guess I’m a little more superstitious than I think I am.

The Silliness of Sports Motivation

If you’re someone that’s doing something to improve your health or life, being motivated to continue doing a thing that is likely contrary to how you’ve been doing stuff before is important. To convince yourself to walk that extra half mile, to eat that piece of fruit instead of a doughnut, or to have the willpower to not have that drink, motivation is an incredible tool for your success.

But if you’re an athlete that needs outside motivation, you certainly won’t be a successful one.

You always hear about great pregame speeches that helped a team to victory. Odds are in the opposite locker room there was a speech just as good, but because they lost no one hears about it.

In the movie Miracle Herb Brooks’ speech to Team USA was brilliantly reproduced by Kurt Russell. It’s a great speech, although not not exactly word for word what Brooks said. No matter, it’s still a great moment in the movie. How much would anyone care about that speech if Team USA lost the game?

Yesterday the North Shore Navigators retweeted some comments I made weeks ago, paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen, saying the Navigators weren’t the Worcester Bravehearts. Called it “bulletin board material”. I call it silliness. Are they going to play better because of something anyone says? Are they going to run faster, or throw harder, or see better to hit the ball? Of course not.

To be honest, I’d be insulted if it was insinuated that I wouldn’t have won were it not for some speech or tweet. That would mean someone else gets credit for my victory.

That doesn’t sound very motivating to me.

Sunday Funday: Recap and Tidbits 2

So I’ve managed to reach another Sunday while making a post every day. Already see a potential bump in the road for next Saturday as I’m attending an all-day event (which I’ll have a posting about afterward) and won’t have any time to blog that day. The event is at a place with spotty cell access too, so getting on the internet will likely not be possible. So I guess that’s two bumps in the road.

A third bump in the road might be the need to make a blog post early Saturday morning about a potential college summer baseball playoff game the night before. Going to gave a busy week for as long as the Worcester Bravehearts stay alive in their playoffs. Semi-finals are Monday, Tuesday, and (if necessary) Wednesday, with the finals being Thursday, Friday, and (if necessary) Saturday. That’s a lot of blogging on top of doing my regular work. Guess we’ll all see how this turns out.

Now on to the tidbits…

I’m part of the ever-growing crowd that’s already had enough of this election. If anyone had written what has happened so far as a book it would have been rejected as being unrealistic. It’s like two crazy reality TV stars joined forces to make an even worse show than they usually have. And we have three more months of this insanity. You want to know why the rest of the world laughs at us, this is the reason.

I was sent an email with the following question the other day…”What do the following pairs/groups of people all have in common? Each group has the same thing in common”. These were the pairs/groups:
Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Karl Marx
Charlie Chaplin and 50 Cent
Betty White and Alexander Graham Bell
Ben Franklin and Mozart
Pharrell Williams and Pablo Picasso
Confucius and Buddha

I didn’t get the answer and had to look it up…each person was alive at the same time as the others in their group. I never would have guessed that.

Revolver, my second favorite Beatles album, turned 50 years old this week. From Harrison’s mono-tone “One, two, three four…” opening of Taxman all the way to the end of Tomorrow Never Knows it’s just as solid as a record can be. Many call Revolver the best album the Beatles ever recorded, for my money that would be Rubber Soul. They just don’t make music like those anymore.

Speaking of terrible reality TV, Jack Osbourne on Sway in the Morning discussed his parent’s relationship, saying “They Don’t Have a Picture-Perfect Marriage”….yeah, no kidding. Is anyone who knows Ozzy Osbourne’s history really shocked he screws around on his wife Sharon? To be honest I’m shocked the dude is still alive.

My favorite headline of the week: “No, You Don’t Have to Worry (Much) About Getting Clobbered by an Asteroid”,…that’s good.

My second favorite headline: “Poop is spontaneously combusting in upstate New York”,…that’s not so good.

For last week’s recap, just in case you missed any of my posts from the last week…
Monday: Autopilot
Tuesday: Can’t play
Wednesday: No news is good news
Thursday: Why I’m here and doing this again
Friday: The world we live in
Saturday: Just can’t get it right

And finally, your moment of Zen…

Just can’t get it right

There are some things in life you’re never going to be good at. No matter how hard you try, or how many people show you the right way, or how many books and articles you read about it, there will be things in life you can’t grasp the fundamentals of or will just never be good at. If that thing you can’t do isn’t something that comes up on a regular basis you can go through life with hardly anyone knowing you can’t do “whatever”. But if that thing is something very simple and comes up often, it’s best to just come right out and admit you can’t do it.

I can’t make a good pot of coffee to save my life.

You’d think someone like me who is addicted to coffee would be able to make a pot. Now I know this is the simplest of tasks, and I follow all the steps required. I mean seriously, how hard is it to put the right number of scoops of coffee in the brewer and then add the correct amount of water? I got those things down pat. It’s just that when I do it the coffee that comes out after brewing is vile tasting.

It makes no sense that would happen, but it indeed does. I’m not the only one who thinks the coffee I make is terrible, so does Trish. Just this morning when she left for her cult Weight Watcher’s meeting I was still sleeping, so she didn’t make any coffee. When I got up, I put together a pot, and drank the vile concoction that came out. When Trish returned home she poured herself a cup. Three sips later, she dumped it out.

I wasn’t kidding.

There have been multiple times that Trish has stood next to me and watched me get the pot ready to brew, and said I did it all correctly. And then we end up with a pot full of crap. It makes absolutely no sense, and yet, it happens all the time.

What’s even worse about this is many years ago my niece, who was about age 6 at the time, slept over at our apartment. When we all got up in the morning and Trish said she was making coffee, “M” said she made coffee for her mom and dad all the time and could do it. So Trish watched her, and she got it right. Of course, it tasted fine.