It’s My God-given Right…

It’s my God-given right to:

  • Empty every last little bit of trash out of my car when I get gas
  • Try every sample at Costco and walk away during the sales pitch without feeling any guilt
  • Get new sheets and towels EVERY day in a hotel and not feel guilty about the environment
  • Look at all the hot chicks I want to. If they’re displaying it, I can look as long as I don’t touch. The Wife and I have an understanding on that.
  • Rudely end a sales call…particularly if they won’t take no for an answer when I’m nice
  • Pee outside. I live on a 20-acre ranch. I can find plenty of places to fulfill this primal need without exposing myself to the public.
  • Get 27 refills of my soft drink if the restaurant offers free refills

It’s my God-given right.

50 Random Things About Me

Thanks to John via Chris for this one.

Here’s a meme with 50 seemingly random questions that I will answer with my expert writing abilities.

  1. What do you add to your coffee? I love the smell of coffee but generally need creamer to withstand the taste. Actually as I age and my taste buds die off, black coffee is starting to work for me.
  2. What are you reading now? I have kids. When do I have time to read? During vacation next week, I plan on reading Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca? by G.M. Ford.
  3. Do you own a gun?  No, two (evil laughter).
  4. Are you registered to vote? Absolutely. If you don’t want to participate in our democracy, shut up if you don’t like what’s going on.
  5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Doctors freak me out. I have to lay down when they draw blood out of fear of passing out.
  6. What do you think of hot dogs? I love them, but don’t ever tell me what’s in them or how they are made. 
  7. Favorite Christmas Song? No contest. Bing Crosby’s White Christmas
  8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Diet Mountain Dew
  9. Can you do push ups? I don’t know. It’s better that I not try…I might be embarrased.
  10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? I’m such a freak. My first girlfriend’s name was Lee. And this was in college (laugh amongst yourselves). The kicker is that I turned her into a lesbian. Yes, I was the last guy she dated before switching teams.
  11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring is my favorite (and only) jewelry I wear.
  12. Favorite hobby? I have kids. When do I have time for hobbies? I guess the closest thing I have to a hobby is blogging.
  13. Do you work with people who idolize you? (Dies laughing and is unable to answer)
  14. Do you have ADD? I do not believe so.
  15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? I’ll answer tomorrow.
  16. What’s your Middle name? Too paranoid to answer. You might track me down.
  17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. How can I find a way to be on vacation permanently? Pizza rules. Beer rules.
  18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Gas, t-shirt, dinner at Subway.
  19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. Diet Mountain Dew, water, beer.
  20. Current worry right now?  Being successful in my new job.
  21. What side do you dress to? I’m not really sure what this means. Left-right? Gay-straight? I don’t know how to answer.
  22. Favorite place to be? The Oregon Coast
  23. How did you bring in the New Year? I watched New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with the Younger Daughter.
  24. Where would you like to go? Hawaii
  25. Name three people who will complete this. No
  26. Whose answers do you want to read the most? I want everyone to play along. Do it.
  27. What color shirt are you wearing? Dark blue
  28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?.  No, I’m not a chick.
  29. Can you whistle?  Yes
  30. Favorite color? Red
  31. Could you be a pirate? Unlikely
  32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Our of respect for my family members, I do not sing in the shower.
  33. Favorite girls name?  Heather
  34. Favorite boy’s name? Jeff
  35. What’s in your pocket right now?  Cell phone, keys, and $0.50
  36. Last thing that made you laugh? I looked in the mirror.
  37. Best bed sheets as a child? Star Wars
  38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I sprained my ankle so badly when I was a junior in high school that I was on crutches for several day.
  39. Do you love where you live? I like it, but don’t love it.
  40. How many TVs do you have in your house?  5, but only 2 are used regularly.
  41. Who is your loudest friend?  Probably John (sorry John)
  42. How many dogs do you have? Two
  43. Does anyone have a crush on you? Not that I’m aware of.
  44. What are the most fun things you ever did? I don’t know.
  45. What are your favorite books? Refer back to #2.
  46. What is your favorite candy? M&Ms
  47. Favorite Team? Portland Trailblazers
  48. What songs do you want played at your funeral? I don’t want a funeral. Please have a party and laugh about the good times we had.
  49. What were you doing at 12 AM? On the computer when I should have been sleeping.
  50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Morning comes much to early in the day. Can we start it at about noon?

The $2,200 Burger

Bryan Sampson just wanted a quick, cheap meal for his family. So he sent his wife to a Burger King in Meridian, Idaho. Sounds like a great Saturday afternoon meal right? Well, it was until he checked his bank account the next day and found that he had been charged $2,243.33 for a $22.43 meal!

He went back to the restaurant to get the problem resolved. However, the bk2.jpgassistant manager on duty cancelled the debit charge rather than reversing it. Apparently, this causes the charge to still show pending for 3 days. To make matters worse, the manager is out of town until Tuesday and apparently no one can fix it. Meanwhile, as of Sunday, Sampson has 7 overdraft charges (at $35 a pop) and rising on his account.

This is not the first time Burger King has done this. In 2006, they charged a man in Glendale, California $4,334.33 for a $4.33 meal. Now I get it–people make mistakes. But that’s why they should have safeguards in place for this. It would be a unique to each restaurant, but there should be an upper limit above which it prompts the cashier to confirm that the amount is correct. For Burger King, $50 would be a good limit before it requires confirmation. Of course, this just makes too much sense.

Gotta Love Public Educashun

Our family had dinner at Garbanzo’s (the best pizza in the Treasure Valley by the way) last week. While waiting for our pizza, we were going through one of those trivia question things that you often find on the tables in mom-and-pop restaurants. Things were going pretty well until we came to the question “What country is north of Idaho?” The Younger Daughter (4th grade) answered Alaska (hello, that’s a state, not a country); The Older Daughter (9th grade) had no clue. I was floored. I consider myself reasonably intelligent and thought that The Wife and I (and even the public schools) had done a good job of educating our kids. How could they not know that Canada is north of the United States?

To give them a chance to redeem themselves, I asked a follow-up question: “What country is south of Texas?” Crickets could be heard as I waited for an answer. Once again, they had no clue. How is this? What geography are the public schools teaching our kids if not such basics as what countries border the United States? I am now convinced that our country is doomed.

Fuddruckers Sucks

I have a rule about trying new restaurants: If I don’t like it the first time, I always give them a second chance. Everyone has a bad day, right? Even an entire restaurant. About a year ago, a Fuddruckers came to town. I kept hearing people at work brag about how incredible the place was. I finally relented and took the family. In short, we hated it. But per my policy, I gave it a second try today. Let’s review my culinary adventure.

As we walked up to the door, we were greeted with pleasant Christmas wreathes hanging on the doors. We opened the door and walked in to bone-jarring shouts of “Hi guys! Welcome to Fuddruckers!” from the kitchen staff across the way. So much for my relaxed, festive mood. From the front door, we were funneled into the cattle chute to weave our way toward the register to order (think airport security or the line to a Disneyland ride without the benefit of the FastPass). I settled in for my 10 minute wait in line and began surveying the menu. They have various items, but they claim to have the “World’s Greatest Hamburgers”, so that’s what I settled on. So, burger, fries, and a drink: $9.50. Wow, a little spendy. Oh well, it must be worth it. They took my name and payment and handed back this massive plastic cup for my beverage. Sweet!

But still no food. You have to make your way to a table and wait again. The décor of the restaurant is pleasant. It has a mixture of antiques hanging from the walls and ceiling, and various local items to give it more of a homey feel. The table is covered by that red and white plaid tablecloth you are familiar with on a picnic table. Hmmm. Pricey $10 lunch…and I’m sitting at a picnic table? Ewww…to make matters worse, it’s a sticky plastic finish on the tablecloth. My cup and arm stick to the table. Now if these things will stick to the tablecloth, what about germs. Just saying…

The orders are called out over blaring speakers located throughout the restaurant. “TOM, YOUR ORDER IS READY!” As you might imagine, this just adds to the peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. After about 10 minutes, I’m finally called to retrieve my food. ($10 lunch and I have to pick up my own food?).

I go up to the pick-up area and am handed a plastic basket with the paper lining on the bottom (strange, it doesn’t seem like a fast food place). On the paper is an open-faced hamburger patty on the bun along with my fries. That’s it, no toppings whatsoever. Apparently they have various stations where you add the topping you would like. ($10 lunch and I have to build the burger myself?) I went to the first station, which had all the usual veggies you would expect. So I threw on some lettuce and a little bit of onion. Then I’m looking around for the mayo. There are so many people milling around building their $10 burgers that I nearly bumped into one. Thankfully a tragic, burger-ending, collision was averted. The last thing I wanted to do was get back in line. At that point, I would have left and just hit McDonalds. I finally found the mayo, finished building my $10 burger, and carefully headed back to the table.

Okay, well it has not been the most pleasant experience so far, but now I’m ready to chow down on my world class $10 burger. Yeah…not so much. It was not particularly juicy or tasty–it was actually rather dry and tasteless. So now I’ve spent way too much time and way too much money on a crappy burger…great! So can anyone explain the appeal of this place to me? If I want I decent burger at a good price, fast, I’ll go to most any fast food restaurant and be satisfied. If I want a great burger, at an okay price, at a sit-down place, I’ll go to some place like Red Robin, Chili’s, etc. What’s the appeal of Fuddruckers? It seems to embody the worst of all worlds: high price, crappy burger, slow service, and I have to dress it up myself! If you have a good answer to this, I’d love to hear it.