Archive for March, 2009

Restaurant Bonding

I like relationships. I even have some. I like to make friends and its fun to talk to people. When strangers come to know each other and become friends, well that’s pretty amazing stuff.

But it’s not going to happen at my local Outback Steakhouse or the tons of other chains where somebody must have told the wait staff to “bond” with their customers.  I’m getting not to like it a lot.

I enjoy good service. I like when people smile at me and are congenial. I know how hard it is to be a server in a restaurant and I hope to make their job as easy as I can. I say please and thank you. I smile. I rarely complain. I try to be a model customer. I think I’ve sent food back twice in my life and I felt terrible about it. But when the server sits down next to me to take my order, that’s just creepy.  They’re in my space and the first thing that comes to mind is that I’d rather be someplace else.

When they sit down next to Steve he flinches. Noticeably.

Putting coats on the booth bench next to us doesn’t help. They slide them over! If they are totally blockaded (coats and shopping bags) then they kneel down, eyes level with the table.

Perhaps they think if our heads are at the same level while we order we’re friends.  Maybe that equates into a bigger tip? What’s next, maintaining the friendship while the food is delivered? Will they be approaching the table, heavy plates in hand,  on their knees?!

Personally I don’t have a problem with looking up to a waiter or waitress, after all they’re standing  and I’m sitting. It’s OK. We are NOT on equal footing.  All I have to do is tell them what I want and eat it. They’re doing the heavy lifting.

I’m also getting annoyed with that idiotic announcement, “I’ll be taking care of you.”  Oh good. Now I don’t have to purchase that expensive long term care insurance; this nice young woman who just met me is going to take care of me. No she’s not. She’s going to be bringing me my food, not every day from here on out, just tonight. That’s probably about it. And, there’s a good chance she’s not going to remember the extra lemon.

I can’t even remember what people used to say before they started announcing that they would be having a long-term relationship with me as they handed out the menus.

And am I the only one bothered by overly friendly restaurant folks? Am I turning into a curmugeon? Is it time to start cooking again? (Say it ain’t so.)

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March 30, 2009 at 7:02 am 124 comments

Alzheimer’s On The Rise

The news is not good in a new report released on Tuesday by the Alzheimer’s Association:

The number of Americans with the disease has grown to 5.3 million. Their care continues to be a huge financial drain on our already fragile healthcare system and on the families who care for loved ones with this disease. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death across all age groups in the United States. As yet there is not a single Alzheimer’s survivor.

In the next two years, the first baby boomers will reach their 65th birthday. One in 8 persons 65 and older have Alzheimer’s.

Don’t sit on your hands. Use them to fund Alzheimer’s research by purchasing a quilt from, or donating a quilt to, the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.

Use them to write a check to support Alzheimer’s research.

Use them to email, fax, or call your congressperson to urge more funding for Alzheimer’s research.

We need YOU. Now.  Pass it on…

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March 27, 2009 at 7:51 am 5 comments

A Great Idea Is In The Bag, er… BUCKET!

Iron Bucket Check this out, it’s an Iron Bucket! Both the Kankakee Quiltmakers and the Riverwalk Quilters (Illinois) use this method to tote around their irons.

What better way to protect body parts, car, and anything between the ironing board and home, than this!? Plop your hot iron in the bucket and off you go! As long as the cord is away from the sole plate, you’re all set.

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March 25, 2009 at 7:17 am 8 comments

An Audio Moment

Deb and I walk  at the mall in the mornings. I thought it would be fun to try to bring you that experience in a podcast. This is my first try at recording anything like this.

Any other things I should try to capture?


March 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm 14 comments

Yo-Yo Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties – part 2

Mom, did you need these?

Spring has sprung. Panties have been dyed. All is right with the world because spring is truly here.

OK, it actually SNOWED the day after this picture was taken, but only for a few minutes.

More than 100 panties were dyed, my hands are back to their original color, and packages should be going out Tuesday or Wednesday, chock full of underpants!

If you are a member of the Yo-Yo Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties,  see if you can spot your panties on this YouTube video. You can also listen to my yammer on about dying underpants and a few other topics in a podcast. Click here!

If we should ever meet, by the way, the Sign of the Sisterhood is an index finger pointing to ones left or right butt cheek. Nothing more need ever be said. Or perhaps commemorative lapel pins?

It was a fun day. Thanks for participating. We’ll do it again next year.

 Madison, by the way,  is still the same color he’s always been. Good dog!

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March 23, 2009 at 7:08 am 15 comments

QuickBooks Pro 2009

Madison needs to upgradeMom wanted me to ask if there are any accountants out there who know of any great deals for QuickBooks Pro 2009. We have to upgrade. Sigh.

We got an email from the nice people at Intuit explaining that they have to disable some fun things we use in the program we already own so they can sell us a new program that does the same thing as our old one.  It probably has other things that we might need too, but they probably involve learning. I don’t mind learning. I learned how to hold this 37-pound instructional booklet for QuickBooks Pro 2006.

The nice people at Intuit want to charge us $199 for the upgrade directly from them. The nicer people at Office Max and Office Depot want to sell us one for $99. I’m wondering if it is missing the 37-pound instructional booklet. 

Madison Googles

I have been googling, but can’t seem to find anything better than $99. If you know of a better deal could you let me know. Please don’t tell me about the kind of deals where the stuff falls off the end of a truck. We are not interested in those kind of deals.

Remember: QuickBooks PRO 2009.

I thank you kindly. Mom should be back blogging tomorrow. She’s up to her eyeballs in your underwear today. Happy Spring!

PS: We use QuickBooks Pro for both Mallery Press and Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative invoicing, not just figuring taxes and stuff. The part they will disable in May (if we don’t upgrade) is our ability to email invoices. We like that part a lot.

Nobody reads the manual. I just like to carry it around.  :)

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March 20, 2009 at 12:04 pm 23 comments

Ami Simms

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