Restaurants… breakfast food… conditioning.  And that’s what it really is is conditioning.  There’s no other logical reasoning.  Pro-tip for restaurants:  Not everybody likes eggs.

  • Go to McDonald’s (or almost any fast food restaurant) and almost all options include eggs of some sort.  McDonald’s even recently rolled out all-day breakfasts.  Why is it so hard to to have a burger option or two for the rest of us?  Doesn’t have to be the entire menu, but a couple basic options would be appreciated.
  • Go to almost any sit-down restaurant and pretty much every combo option involving pancakes or french toast also includes eggs.  And this is one area where they are loathe to consider substitutions.  Sure, I can order ala carte, but then I’m paying inordinately more for my meal.

Eggses, by themselves, are nasty!  The notion of cutting up a lone fried egg and eating it alone is nauseating to me.  Scrambled eggs, by themselves, need to be covered in ketchup… which says all that needs to be said regarding them.  Now, I’m not wholly anti-egg.  I will eat them in certain scenarios…

  • Omelettes:  Eggs in the form of an omelette are quite tasty.  Being combined with the other ingredients is what makes an omelette tasty.
  • Over-easy eggs mixed in with harsh brown potatoes:  Not “American fries”, but hash browns.  Put the over-easy eggs on top, and cut them up and mix them in.  (Mix in some link sausage, too, and it makes a nice meal.)  This is something my Dad learned in the Air Force in the 1950s, and was something he taught my sister and myself, and is the only way that I actually like over-easy eggs.  The whites must be trimmed away as much as possible, too.  Egg whites are tasteless.
  • Hard-fried egg sandwich:  This is kind of an exception.  A hard fried egg on toast.  With or without meat and cheese, depending on my mood.  Mayo is required.  Usually salt, too.  A scrambled egg makes a mice sandwich, too… no ketchup necessary.
  • Over-easy cut up on toast:  About once a year.
  • Oh, and poached as part of an Eggs Benedict is a nice change of pace, as well.  (A local restaurant here that I like stopped making poached and tries to pass off scrambled for Eggs Benedict.  Blasphemy!)

Those are about the only way I will do eggs.  Hard boiled/Deviled Eggs?  *Gag!!!*  Raw in a ‘healthy’ drink?  Do you really want to clean your shoes?  My list of what is acceptable doesn’t seem so bad, but if you have caught the common theme so far is that they must be “doctored” to some degree, and/or combined with something else, to be palatable.

Bottom line:  People only eat “breakfast foods” at breakfast because they’ve been conditioned to do so.  Someone told them that’s the way it’s supposed to be as a kid, and like a good little soldier fell into line and repeated that mantra for the rest of their life.  A good burger for breakfast is perfectly fine, quite tasty in fact, and restaurants especially need to suck less and do better to accommodate us non-egg people.

Rant: Idiot Drivers

And no, I don’t mean just Iowa.  I mean idiot drivers everywhere.  I mean the morons who refuse to turn their headlights on in inclement weather.  Rain, snow, fog, and so on.  And what are the most common lame excuses?  They are…

1) “Having my headlights on don’t allow me to see any better.”

Yes, I have actually had people say this to me.  Hey, idiot, headlights on in bad weather is not for you to see better, it’s for other people to better see you.  Duh!!!

I come from the central valley in California, with some of the worst Tule Fog imaginable.  Fog so dense you often feel the only thing guiding you is the lines on the road.  “Driving by braille” we often called it (many California roadways have raised line markers), and the ONLY thing that clued you in to an oncoming car was their headlights.  You for a 2 second warning.  Cars with no headlights on you wouldn’t be aware of until they were right on top of you.

Most places, such as Iowa, don’t have fog nearly that bad, which actually makes your headlights more important because you can get a decent sense of who else is on the road.

2) “My headlights are automatic and activated by a sensor.”


Seriously?  That’s your excuse?  Don’t be irresponsible.  Are you in charge of your car, or is your car in charge of you?  Think.  Be aware of your responsibilities as a safe driver and take  control.  Be pro-active.  Override your automatic system and manually turn on your headlights, if necessary.  To blame it on your automatic sensor is pure laziness and abdication of responsibility.

Bottom line:  Don’t be an idiot driver.  This has been your driving PSA for today.

It Tastes Just Like…

Stop!  Halt!  Cease and desist!

No, it doesn’t. It’s bad enough that you’re lying to me, though I know better so it’s a hollow claim, but it’s sad that you’re lying to yourself. Is that what you really need to do to get yourself to choke down that healthy replacement of the real thing? I mean, c’mon, even dogs aren’t interested, and they eat cat poop.

  • Margarine is not butter, and the two don’t taste remotely the same. “I can’t believe it’s not butter”, my arse!  They should be jailed for false advertising.
  • Mashed cauliflower is not the same as mashed potatoes. To suggest so is an affront to all that is pure and holy.
  • Tofu. Oh yay… tofu. 😐  But but but… it takes on the taste of whatever you cook it with. Oh, goodie, I have to add bacon and butter to get it to taste like bacon and butter. And let’s not even start about the lack of consistency. Bleh!

Now, it may taste good. That’s fine. That’s totally acceptable and believable. Just don’t insult me by claiming it tastes “just like” the real version, the version that even you know you prefer better, because if you didn’t think the original was better you wouldn’t be trying so hard to replicate it. If you have to “doctor it up” to get it to taste the same… which is impossible, but for the sake of conversation we’ll go with it… then you’re only kidding yourself. You can put a Mercedes emblem on a Yugo and it’s still a Yugo. Just suck it up and say it tastes good and leave it at that.

“Internet Disease”: Lying for Reasons Unknown

Half the people on the internet are lying at any given moment. I am convinced of this, based on observations and correlations over many years. Now, I don’t know which half, and it’s probably safe to say that the lying half fluctuates from topic to topic, in other words it’s not always the same people, but the ratio still remains at roughly half being liars.

And what they lie about is stuff that is so inconsequential that it doesn’t matter. Nothing in the world will change based on their lie. It’s all to boost their ego, or save face so others won’t think lowly of them (which might suggest low-self-esteem, but that’s another topic for another post… and blog).

I have named this phenomena “Internet Disease”. Let’s take a look at some examples, shall we? If one were to believe everyone on the internet at face value…

-…McDonald’s would be out of business, because no one ever eats there. The food sucks, they say. Many question if it’s food at all. The old, long debunked, rumors… what’s in the meat, etc… keep getting spread around as if they’re true. I think many people want to believe they are.

-…Walmart would be out of business, too, because no one would ever be caught dead in that place. They don’t come right out and say it, but the class of people who do shop at Walmart… which apparently don’t have internet because we never hear from ‘those people’… are literally beneath them. The funny part is that many of these people readily admit that they shop at Target… which is just Walmart with a different color scheme and slightly higher prices.  Status costs extra, ya know.

-…the BBC would be the only news source for the entire world. The rest would be out of business due to lack of viewers, readers, and listeners. Ask people on the internet and the standard answer is the BBC. Maybe a few stragglers will admit to NPR, if American guilt hasn’t completely consumed them, but it’s clear that all the informed people use the BBC, and they want you to know it.

-…chain restaurants, in general, are always empty, bereft of customers. Chain food is unworthy. Really, restaurant food, in general, is questionable, and is to be consumed only in dire emergency, but if one must eat out then the obvious choice is the “mom-and-pop” restaurant. <cue harps from heaven> Mom-and-Pops are full of people. Which I guess explains why mom-and-pops are thriving and chains are closing and going the way of the Automat. Oh, wait…

-…relating to the last point, no, we all eat at home almost exclusively. Why? Because we all have all the time in the world and use only the finest ingredients. A regular Galloping Gourmet we all are.  Margarine? Pshaw! Surely you jest, only real butter. Preferably hand-churned by silk-haired virgins who were sacrificed to a volcano immediately after to preserve the uniqueness of this butter. And only the best olive oil is used, pressed between the bosoms of lusty Italian widows. And we all have a special butcher who saves all the best cuts just for us, and will even deliver on Christmas morning if we get a hankerin’ for some extra-lean goat brains. We also have Juan Valdez climbing the peaks of Colombia on his hands and knees to pick coffee beans with his teeth so they can be shipped fresh to our door every morning. That’s right, we will tolerate only the best!

Now, granted, some people do do some of these things, but I call BS that all that claim to do so actually do do so.  (Was that awkward wording, or what?  lol)  And in the interest of full disclosure, I even have my things. For example, we recently stopped buying margarine entirely and now use only real butter, but we buy it from Walmart… and the Walmart house brand, no less. I often seek out mom-and-pop restaurants when I’m traveling, as sometimes you discover some truly great food and you experience the local culture, but there are times that I crave a Denny’s or a Wendy’s hamburger, as well. There’s nothing wrong with any of that.

To paraphrase Dave Ramsey, “We go to great lengths to claim an air of sophistication we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” The whole thing is absurd.

The Secret to Living to a Ripe Old Age


That goes without saying.  Oh, and being a jerk.  Yes, that’s right, be a jerk.  In a curmudgeonly way, of course.  That’s the secret.

You hear about people who live to be 104 and they credit a whiskey a day, biscuits and gravy, smoking, nitrate-laden meats, and on and on.  All that is just coincidence.  The part that no one talks about is that all these people were jerks.  Mean, nasty, stubborn, difficult, obstinate… jerks.  Allow me to present my case…

I watch a lot of true crime documentaries.  Shows like Forensic Files,etc.  I find them fascinating.  Quite often a murder victim is a young person.  Usually a girl, but not always.  And the one thing they ALL seem to have in common is that they were such sweet great wonderful people.  I’ve lost count at how many of these people would “light up a room” as soon as they walked in, how they all were “full of life”, and “had the world by the tail”.

Really?  Maybe this is why the world is so screwed up.  All the good people die young.  Perkiness attracts bad people, apparently.  Bad people leave other bad people alone.  There must be no satisfaction in harming another person like yourself.

So that’s it.  Be a jerk and you’ll live to over a hundred years.  I rest my case.

p.s.:  I wonder if having crass and insensitive taste adds a few years?

Soap Box: 10 Things Servers Shouldn’t Do

The internet is replete with articles about rude customers and how people should be considerate to servers. And let’s be fair, serving is a hard job. I won’t dispute that.  There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to treat a server poorly.  If you think you’re better than them, the hard truth is probably the opposite.  But these articles make it sound like the customer is the only one ever unreasonable. Not so. Servers themselves do things that are unnecessary, if not outright rude, and equal time is called for. Here are some of the primary things, in no particular order, that servers need to stop doing…

1. Don’t scowl when I order ice water for my drink. Yes, it probably cuts into your tip, but either the customer wants to be healthy, or they don’t want to pay over-inflated drink prices. $3 for a soft drink is unreasonable, outrageous really. That’s $6 for two people. If that’s the issue you need to take it up with your employer, not the customer.

2. Don’t make it an issue if the customer doesn’t want to sit at the table you want them to sit. As long as the customer is not requesting a room or large section that is obviously closed and segregated from all other activity, the customer should be accommodated and made comfortable. It is not the customer’s concern whether they are upsetting the carefully planned rotation.

3. Don’t beg. If I pay in cash, do NOT ask me if I want my change. Ok, you’re busy, I get it, but it’s still my money. Asking this is equal to begging, to panhandling. It’s undignified. There are times that I will, of my own choice, say “Keep the change.”, but that’s my choice and I do so freely. If you are quick on the draw and ask if I want my change I will automatically say “Yes” just as a matter of principle and just to make you make that extra trip… even if I intend to leave it all as a tip anyway.

4. Don’t try to force me into leaving a larger tip than reasonable. The bill is $9.62 and all I have on me is a $20 bill. You bring me change of a $10 bill and 38 cents. (Some will bring two $5 bills.) What am I supposed to do with that? Too many people are too timid to say anything and will leave the larger tip. Unless your service was absolutely fanatbulous… which would be pretty impressive, and rare… I am not leaving a 50% tip. And no way in hell am I leaving a 100% tip. Ever. I now have two choices, basically stiff you, which you will misinterpret as me just being cheap, or make you go back… again… and bring me some ones. Bring me a five, five ones, and 38 cents, the first time and we’ll all be happy.

Side note: I once had a server ask me if I wanted my change when I paid with two $20 bills for a $22 tab. I’m not leaving an $18 tip for a $22 meal. I’m sure they weren’t even paying attention, but it was still insulting. And yes, I made her bring me my change, and I tipped accordingly.

5. Don’t tell me how tired you are, or how you can’t wait to get off work in an hour, or how much you hate your job. Let me be clear on this: I… don’t… care. Not only do I not care, I am now annoyed and put off that you have expressed to me that my presence has inconvenienced you. You are not earning my sympathy, I have a job, too. Oh, and I don’t want to overhear you saying these things to your co-workers, either. Be professional.

6. Don’t stop serving prematurely. In other words, when you believe that my visit is winding down, or you want to hasten my exit for whatever reason, don’t ignore my empty glass. (Doing so will affect your tip.) At least ask if I want a refill. Often I do, but if I don’t I’ll be honest and politely decline. At least then I will know that you were still paying attention and doing your job.

7. Don’t mislead me. If I ask for a Diet Coke, don’t say “Ok” then serve me a Diet Pepsi.  By just saying “Ok” you are allowing me to believe I will be getting a Coke product.  The two are not the same, not to mention that businesses actually do get into legal trouble if caught doing that. Normally I will notice, but even in the times that I don’t, you’re still being dishonest by doing this. It’s called lying-by-omission.

8. Don’t use absurd adjectives. Nothing… and I mean that quite literally… is ever “perfect”. When you ask, “Is everything perfect?”, you are insulting me by asking me to knowingly lie. Granted, it’s usually at the insistence of management, but you don’t have to be so enthusiastic about it. I would even suggest you don’t even have to do it at all. Rather, just ask how my meal is and let me answer for myself.

9. Don’t stand silent if I request a substitution that adds an extra charge. If I want to substitute soup instead of french fries, and there’s an “upcharge”, tell me right then. Allow me the the courtesy to consider my option. Don’t surprise me with a bill later where I’ve been nickle-and-dimed.

10. Don’t be difficult. Don’t tell me a certain substitution is not allowed when other servers have done it for me many times. Worse yet, don’t argue with me when I point it out that it has been done before. The customer isn’t always right, but neither are you. If in doubt, excuse yourself and go check… then be adult enough to admit if you were wrong.

No, I am not a Luddite!

Part of me wants technological advance to… not stop, per se… but slow down a bit.  Maybe it’s me, but I would like to, you know, spend some time just doing things and getting things done without having to spend time keeping up with and learning something new every time I turn around.  Is that too much to ask?

Yes.  Yes, it is.

Anyway, let’s track the “progress” of human communication, shall we?  It all started with grunts.  (See my first post for where grunts fit into current society.)  Pre-cave men without a clear and defined language deficiency.  Then humans moved to painting pictures on cave walls, ala the cave men.  Eventually coherent spoken language evolved, and we held with that for awhile.  Then came the written word.  People could record ideas and convey them to others in places far away, either in distance or in time.  There were some sporadic changes in terms of technology, i.e. movable type, etc., but for the most part this stayed pretty constant for a long time.

Then, the game changer:  the telephone.  Communication over long distances was instantaneous.  People could talk and share important information immediately and pretty much at any time day or night.  And really, who doesn’t need to know about Aunt Erma’s gout right now?  Yes, important information was easily shared, and the world rejoiced.

Technology started advancing more quickly.  The next big technological advancement on our communication ride was email.  Sort of an updated merging of letters and telephone, only now we could send written correspondence instantaneously.  This was wonderful.  This is what I latched onto and what I personally prefer.  I will always prefer email.  It’s quick.  It’s easy.  It’s archival… and for that reason I will defend the “bcc”, aka “the CYA” of office communication.

Next up was Twitter.  Ugh, Twitter.  I will never, ever, understand the attraction of Twitter.  And now, as I understand it, the maximum length of characters has increased from 140 to 280.  In other words, it’s now twice as bad and twice as annoying as it used to be.  I once heard a baseball broadcast where Vin Scully referred to “tweets” on Twitter as “twits”.  Heehee.  I think Vin was onto something.

Now we have texts.  Ostensibly short messages for quick unimportant communication.  I proudly had never sent a text in my life until about four yeas ago, but they have a place.  Not as lengthy communication, though, and some people treat it as such.  No, just for short stuff that only needs to be said, like “Pick you up in 20 minutes.”  And don’t even get me started on “textspeak”.  Are you educated?  Good, act like it.  “r u 2 l8” is NOT an acceptable abbreviation of “Are you too late?”  I will pretty much shut you off in my mind if you do that… immediately… especially if you do it outside of texts and in public and other forms of writing and social media.  We as a species already suffer from too much dumbing down, don’t accelerate it.

As mentioned before, the advancement of technology keep increasing at a faster and faster pace.  Major communication revolutions that once took decades or even centuries, now happens in just a couple years.  I once thought, “Could we all agree to get together and just ignore the ‘next big thing’?”  That would be lovely.  Won’t happen, but that’d be awesome.  Instead, just slow down.  Let me enjoy what I have for awhile.  Being the first and most innovative does not impress me, it annoys me.  I don’t admire you for making my life more hectic, I curse you.

What’s next?  Going back to grunts with some mental telepathy mixed in?

Disclaimer:  Don’t mistake this as a historically accurate portrayal.  It’s just entertainment.  In other words, I don’t give a rat’s arse if you find something inaccurate herein.  Concept, not history lesson.  Go away!